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Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Why Just Being Online Isn’t Enough

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

In the age of the digital revolution, online presence is everything to business. Unfortunately, for many businesses, getting online ends the process. Once you set up that Twitter feed, or Facebook page, the work stops. You may check back, watch your followers grow and leave interesting updates but that covers the interaction with social media.? However, a lack of follow-through when a customer raises a question or issue can quickly undo all the goodwill you created by plugging your brand into the internet.

The Orbitz Omission

Last week, my grandfather suddenly started declining. I took a rush flight to South Carolina to be with him and my family. Two days later, he passed away. My plans to go to a conference the upcoming weekend quickly disappeared. My boyfriend took care to cancel all our plans. The conference refunded our tickets. Southwest put our miles towards another flight. But the hotel? the hotel became a problem. We booked our room through Orbitz. Orbitz refused to give us any kind of break on the hotel, even with proof of a family death. So my boyfriend relieved his outrage on Twitter. With a flurry of negative tweets suddenly on their radar, Orbitz responded to us, wanting to make amends. However, despite a quick Twitter cover-up, they never did anything to fix the situation.

Just Not Enough

Obviously, a large company like Orbitz has a twitter presence, but just responding to a few angry tweets, wasn?t enough. The problem required more effort. While the apologetic tweets were thoughtful, they did nothing to solve the problem, which was having to pay for a trip I could not make, on top of expensive last-minute flights. Sentiment on social media in the end, means very little.

Negativity Can Only Be Overcome with Action

Social Media can be powerfully negative to your brand without you monitoring and reacting to each issue independently. If Orbitz had changed its tune and found a way to work with us, that small action could solve multiple problems. At this point, neither of us will use Orbitz again. And we, both significant influencers among our peers and colleagues, will advise others not to use their services either. We?ve both already written reviews of our service. These negative words are powerful and can impact a brand directly. A small action would overcome the flood of bad press this business received in just one day.

This is a lesson that even small businesses can learn from. Social media is a great way of creating dialogue. But just like real life, not all dialogue is happy chitchat, issues come up and then need to be dealt with. So when it happens, and it will happen, be prepared. Remember, swiftly and purposefully taking action against a problem often creates more goodwill among your followers.

Image by photosteve101

Good Idea, Bad Idea with Vista Print

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

p>It’s a mistake we’ve all made: Vista Print. How can you say no to cheap?printing and all the reduced rates? You order stickers or a box of cards–just once, mind you–and then the damage is done. Vista Print has your email and they will never desist.

The emails (Bad idea)

If you’ve ever used Vista Print, you know exactly what I mean. They show up at least once a week, and sometimes once a day. The titles of the emails tend to be pretty creative, usually they’ll have your name in them and often will have nothing to do with printing. These emails are kinda random and annoying and usually aren’t at all something you need. Its spam, really.

The twitter response (Good Idea)

It was from one of these emails that I discovered VistaPrint had a Twitter account. I got one of their marketing letters with a title like: “Kat, You are the Greatest!”. It was a rough day and I thought one of my lovely friends had sent a pick-me-up email. I was sorely disappointed to realize it was just VistaPrint spam. So I complained on Twitter. Well VistaPrint does a great job monitoring Twitter for their name because within ten minutes I got a reply from them apologizing for the confusion. I was impressed at the speed of their response and the fact that the account user took the time to chat with me.

The Lesson

Regularly search Twitter for your business name and relevant topics. Social media gives you the chance to instantly gain a relationship or, as in Vista Print’s case, improve your reputation. Doing this can immediately create a positive impact. It can also repair damage.

The Conclusion

Marketing has many facets. When reviewing your business be sure to look at every area. You may have great social media presence but your branding could use some work. Take the time to regularly review. Build on the things you do well, but take the time to improve on what you don’t. Marketing is a constant process. However, for the areas that might need a little work, keep a strong Twitter presence with quick response. A little tweet goes a long way.

Image by Jonty Wareing

DARA – Romance Author Bloggers!

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

p>I was delighted to give a presentation for the Dallas Area Romance Authors last month. I talked to them about blogging and even a little about social media.

Here are some snippets of what we talked about:

What is blogging? – Blogging is just writing/journaling in a public forum

Why is important? (Specifically why is having an online presence for writers
important) – Writers need to have a community. Meeting in person, having a review group is great but having you work always available to lots of different sources is only something you can do online.

Where to blog: Deviantart, other writer communities, Facebook, actual blog. There are lots of writing communities but its also great to start your own, more eyes can see you and also you can connect and form your own community.

How to blog: Etiquette – the golden rule still stands. You like comments? Give them. You want links? Link to others.

WordPress: I suggest starting with a free wordpress blog to get started. You can always get a personalized domain later and lots of snazzy add-ons but for basics WordPress is the most SEO and user-friendly.

Fears: Other people taking your work – A couple of ways around this. First of theft does happen online. Fortunately it doesn’t happen terribly often. If you’re really concerned, don’t post anything you plan to publish, or post just sections. Little bread crumbs about your work can really get people intrigued.

Blogging can help you

* ? ? ? ? Gain an audience – one you didn’t previously have access to

* ? ? ? ? Improve your writing skills -? Just like journaling you are exercising those writing muscles. Also you have plenty of critics to help you improve!

* ? ? ? ? Help you stay on track with your goals – it helps to be accountable. Having readers will force you to connect on a regular basis and stick to what you promise.

* ? ? ? ? Promote your published works – Once you’ve written something feel free to shout about it on your blog! Publish reviews or cover art. Tell people where to buy it. Create a splash page promoting it if you are using wordpress.

* ? ? ? ? Getting involved in an online community – Once you start updating regularly find some other writers you trust and connect with them. Create a little circle of people helping one another.

Paid blogging – Paid gigs exist out there. They don’t pay a lot (some time $10 an article) but it can be a great way to earn a little cash doing what you enjoy.

We also talked about social media, specifically about how Twitter works and how to connect better using it.

This is the list of blogs and Twitter handles that I have. If you are part of DARA feel free to email me or put your information in the comment to keep the list updated.

Non-DARA people: These are wonderful, talented women. If you enjoy romance take a minute to check them out!

If Social Media was a Superhero…

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Which superhero would each platform be?

This post is inspired by the mobile superhero post from Big in Japan and by a conversation with @Jax989 about what 3 superpowers I’d want (in case you’re curious, they are teleportation–to avoid traffic, telekensis–also to avoid traffic and telepathy).

Facebook: Superman


Who can leap building in a single bound? Facebook can. Its the all-performance, all powerful social media platform of choice. If you need to connect with someone Facebook is the first choice. It also offers every app imaginable (for great justice!). It exists in every time and place, it allows you to tweet, blog and show pictures. It is the website of steel. However, like Superman, Facebook has its kryptonite: privacy. Unfortunately all the awesome things that Facebook offers can be instantly over-shadowed by a single brush with its single?Achilles?heel. Privacy issues have continued to plague Facebook’s massive growth, threatening to strip the social media giant of its powerful grasp on the internet. Hopefully Facebook will overcome this evil (or it might be reduced to MySpace’s social media superhero persona: Aquaman—in other words, still have followers… they’re just fish.)

Twitter: The Flash


Need to connect with others at the speed of sound? Find Twitter and find it fast. Always on the go, always getting the most news and conversation in quick bite-sized servings, Twitter has all the powers of the famous Flash. It also latches on to some of The Flash’s best and worse qualities including witty sarcasm and a sense of arrogance (its okay Twitter users, we all know you think you’re better than other platforms). Most serious Twitter users converse in real time with a application like Tweetdeck or Seesmic. Or they connect on their phone. Either way they except all their news and conversation right now. The problem is, Twitter as a company might be too caught up in how wicked fast they are to notice their need to catch up with their users.

Linked-In: Professor Xavier


Solid, thoughtful and constantly in your head, Linked-In keeps all your contacts in line so you don’t have to. If a social media platform could be psychic, this one would take the cake. Professor Xavier had a much tamer ability than other X-men, but was the leader and the most powerful. Linked-In offers the same, while not offering the same robust social?atmosphere, Linked-In calmly offers professionals what they need most, tools and connections. It does this without forcing you to log-in every day, and allows you to download or interact as needed. While often overlooked, Linked-In is an immensely powerful networking tool. It certainly leads the charge for unruly mutants.

What super powers do your social connections give you? Tell me in the comments!

Charity and Technology: Why Social Media is So Important

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

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The overall message of this video is find where your audience is and go there. More and more young people, Gen Y, Gen X and rapidly even babyboomers use some kind of social media. So charities need to be on these sites if they want to reach people. The old ways just aren’t good enough and its not enough to rely on Word of Mouth to reach the younger generations.

If you already love social media, or technology, help out the causes you are passionate about. They need volunteers to help them utilize new technology and get with the trends!

Finally, if you don’t have a cause that speaks to you yet be sure to check out Captain Hope’s Kids here in the Dallas area.

Captain Hope’s Kids Blog – NEW




Twitter @ Conferences

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Want to know more about how to have better followers, the kind you can have personal relationships with? Many people get on twitter looking for a business solution. Some realize its the personal touch, really connecting with people. But then how do you find people to connect with on Twitter?

One way is through conferences.

  1. Start a hashtag (#) – If you go to an event, a seminar, a conference, a meetup, whatever, start a hashtag about it. Make sure that hashtag is simple, short and easy to remember. Tweet on that tag, tell others about the tag and give good vital information from wherever you are. (Note: Check and see if this hashtag already exists.)
  2. Get added (+) – If you’re giving good info about your hashtag’s subject, people will add you. (Might be a good idea to add other people who tweet on this tag as well.)
  3. Start Talking (@) – Once you’ve established the hashtag, and used it, start talking to other people who use the hashtag, or tag conversations that relate to the hashtag. Commenting and conversing with people is the only way to personal relationships on social media.

Extra links:

#Boobquake: Create awareness about women’s rights in Iran. (Yes, I’m wearing a #boobquake shirt in the video.) Instead of Wordcamp, we’ll be having all the different open source platforms come together for one awesome weekend. (I will be there!)

Twitter: Nothing with out Apps

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

p>Many companies now see twitter as an integral part of their social media strategy. They log on, start a feed and immediately start posting into an echo chamber. No relationships, no responses, just waiting for their customers to find them while they tweet away about what they think sounds good.

Like all brands of social media, twitter needs to have a personal aspect. There should be conversation, interaction and relationships forming on a regular basis. Unfortunately, Twitter does not really lend itself to the high-level of personal interaction that Facebook does. You have to remember to regularly log-in and check your replies, it often takes time for people to respond and its even harder (despite “lists”) to read comments from the people you want to regularly check in with.

Twitter is Nothing without Apps

If you’ve tried Twitter and found it frustrating, welcome to the game. If you’re considering giving up on Twitter, but haven’t downloaded an app, hold your horses. The difference between Twitter and other social media sites is that Twitter doesn’t allow you as many options. This keeps Twitter simple, but not always effective.

That’s when Apps step in. You can download them to your phone or to your desktop. They can run live in the background or send messages to your phone. The take your entire Twitter experience to a truly interactive place.

My favorite, by far, is Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck is a downloadable desktop app. It allows me to follow multiple twitter accounts, direct messages, hashtags and lists. I can know when the people I want to respond to are talking and when someone’s talking to me. And the communities I participate in, I get those updates in real time. Other examples are twitter apps for your phone, Hootsuite, and Seismic.

So if you’re not sure about twitter, make sure you try an app. Simplify your user experience and make sure you stay in touch with all the right people at the right times.

Have you tried an app? Which one do you like?

Who hates FourSquare?

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Apparently everyone who doesn’t use it.

A good friend of mine who follows me on Twitter and Facebook suddenly says, “I think I’m going to stop following you.” So say, “What? Why?” And she says, “I’m so sick of those FourSquare updates. I could care less. They are annoying. No one wants to know you’re ‘mayor’ of your church.” And then Edward says, “Tell me about it. Its even more annoying when you’re with her and she’s checking in every 5 minutes.”

Of course I immediately defended myself saying, “I use it to let clients and other tech people know where I am. Or to connect with people in the same place. Or to find out more about a particular area of town.”

But they both just rolled their eyes at me. And then it occurred to me, before I started using FourSquare, I hated it too. I would see all these updates from FourSquare on Facebook and I’d be like, “Who care?” Until I got in on the fun. Then I forget about how irritating it was.

Of course the more I thought about this, the more I realized its true of almost all social media. If you don’t use it, you HATE it. People who aren’t on (or want to be on) Twitter can’t stand that other people use it. They say its stupid and pointless. Same with Facebook. Non-facebook users feel that Facebook is a waste of time. Before that it was IMing, or web-surfing.

I’m not saying the FourSquare isn’t just a little bit silly. I’m not saying it will last forever. But I will say, to the people who don’t use it: don’t knock it til you try it.

And to the people who do use it: if someone just doesn’t “get it” don’t worry. They’ll either catch on or just be grumpy and neither effects you. If you lose a follower or two, you might want to re-evaluate, but I say so what? If you know them in real life, connect there. If you know them online and a FourSquare update offends them, forget about ’em. Be yourself online! (Even if that person is a trend-obsessing, constantly-updating, tech nerd, like me.)

Social Media Workshop Series

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

I’m doing a series of workshops for the Center for Spanish Language Media at UNT.


March 9, 2010  Web Page basics  9am-11am
*Creating a website and how to get started
*Elements of an effective website
*Increase your online presence through web development
March 25, 2010   Blogging/SEO 9am-11am
*Basic approaches to SEO and Google standards
*How blogging fits into SEO
*Blogging as the foundation to all social media
April 8, 2010    LinkedIn/Facebook 9am-11am
*Social media marketing, what, why, and how
*How to use major online communities: Facebook & LinkedIn
*Networking strategies to increase your visibility
April 29, 2010   Twitter  9am-11am
*How to use Twitter, a growing online community
*Benefits of using Twitter for your business
*Networking strategies to increase your visibility
May 6, 2010 Going Viral  9am-11am
*What is Viral Marketing
*Is Viral Marketing a Solution for you?
*How to Get Started with Viral Marketing
*How Social Media fits into Viral Marketing
May 19, 2010 How Hispanics use Social Media 9am-11am
*Importance of social media for Hispanic consumers
*Difference in approaches for social media marketing toward Hispanics
*How social media fits into other marketing strategies

Facebook Event
Linked-In Events
CSLM Facebook Page

Contact Denisse Olivas ( to attend multiple sessions.

Marketing: Obvious Gimmicks that Still Work

Monday, November 9th, 2009

There are some marketing efforts that just fall into the category of Gimmicks. Marketers use these cheap little “tricks”  to get an action out of people (purchase, share, whatever). These tricks range from taste-testing products to sappy stories made for a few heart-string tugs. Most of us are aware of these gimmicks. We allow them work on us occasionally, but usually we ignore them.

However, there’s a reason that these marketing tactics have endured. Sometimes, they work.

Twitter gives us a great example of a gimmick not only used by marketers but by parents of four-year-olds as well. You’ve probably even said it to someone in the pas month. It goes like this, you tell someone “don’t” when you actually mean “do”. In other words you tell people to do the opposite of what you want them to do, in hopes that they’ll do it just because you said not to.

Twitter hopes by saying don’t do it! More people will tweet and blog about their new Lists.

I’m sure you’ve gotten this little message on your twitter page. I’m not going to talk about lists because Twitter got exactly what they wanted, there’s a million blog posts covering it. But do check out the little highlighted section on Twitter’s notice.

Yeah, Twitter, way to use the oldest trick in the book.Oh and congrats, since its apparently working.

So what DO you think of Twitter lists? If you blogged about it, feel free to share.