twitter for business

Why You Won’t See “Target Audience” or “Drive Traffic” on this Blog

By Communications, Media, Social Media

I am an impassioned believer in the culture of social media. I believe that social strategy works because of the culture and those that sidestep, shortcut or throw money at it to make it work will be sorely disappointed.

What is the culture of social media?

The culture is founded on shared information, transparency (before it became a buzzword), authenticity, real, personal experiences, (yes, Virginia, even in business experiences). The culture eschews the idea of TARGETING prospects and audiences. The beauty of blogging and subscribing to content via RSS feeds changed the way the world consumes information. We were given the power to choose what we take in; what we absorb. The onus was put, at last, on us, to opt in to the information we want and conversely, block that which we don’t.

The Currency of the Digital Age

Instead of TARGETING people (and that is an unfriendly, militaristic concept, isn’t it? Are they targets because we are shooting at them?) we, instead, create content that is genuine and interesting and in doing so attract those who are interested in the topic, the service, the product, etc. We pull in people who want to read, watch or listen to what we have to say. If it’s five or 500,000, it doesn’t matter, as long as the people who arrive feel rewarded, and honor us by paying for what we offer with their attention, the currency of the digital age.

Herding Cattle, Leading Lemmings

Look: I’m a small business person. I am an entrepreneur. I want eyes on my website and know that when those numbers increase, the warm leads I have grow and turn into new business opportunities. But there’s no cattle prod here. There’s no workaround that is consistent with the practice of developing authentic, solid business relationships. Any quick fix  that promises to “drive traffic to your site!” is not consistent with the values of those doing business today. It’s not a long term, big picture view of building a business that values people, their opinions and their dollars.

Decide what kind of business you want to be in, and engage accordingly.

Social Media Assignment #10: How to Smoosh Your Facebook Page and Twitter Together

By Communications

In certain situations, a Twitter feed is established as a method of publishing information. It’s not there to engage, and the people behind it are not tweeting conversationally at all. Some examples of this are the feeds from news organizations, some nonprofits or other institutions. There are often too many regulations placed on these institutions to allow them to engage in social media the way a business, individual or nonprofit would.

In this case, for an organization that wants to have a presence on Twitter integrating that account with an official Facebook page is probably the most efficient way to achieve their communications goals.

Hopefully, the organization has set up a Facebook page (not a group or a profile). If you’re an admin of that page (and I hope you are!) take the following steps:

  1. Login to Facebook and go to your page.
  2. Click on Edit Page in the upper left.
  3. Click on Resources in the right hand sidebar.
  4. Halfway down the page you will see Link your Page to Twitter.
  5. In a separate window, log in to the Twitter account you want to link to the Facebook page.
  6. Click on Link to Twitter.

If you manage more than one page and more than one Twitter account, take care that you’re linking the right Twitter account to the right Facebook page!

Now, updates on Facebook will cross publish to Twitter. I think it’s important to mention that users that choose to use this method of integration still need to log in to and monitor Twitter — there’s no excuse for not paying attention to replies, mentions and direct messages your Twitter account may have, regardless of your method of publishing there.


Social Media Assignment #5: Find Your Tweeps

By Communications

I let you have a few days off; call them virtual snow days. Now, back to work!

If you’re not on Twitter, go set up an account at www.twitter.com We’ll wait.

If you’ve ignored that last line, still don’t have a Twitter account and yet are still reading this post (tough room), here’s the deal — you want a Twitter account in the name of your choosing yesterday. If you don’t grab your name, or the name you want it will be gone (if it is not already). So even if you’re not quite ready to tweet, grab your name (and make sure you tweet a little or you will lose it.)


You have a Twitter account and you’re following a few people; some are friends or bloggers you follow, others found you and you’re simply following them back.

Today’s Social Media Assignment: Find People to Follow on Twitter

Go to http://www.tweepz.com

Conduct a search using query tools, for example:

name: “Marijean Jaggers”


loc: Charlottesville, Va.

Use keywords to help you find the people you seek. Realize that, as usual, search is only as good as the information to find, so if people haven’t completed their biographical information, they may be more difficult to find. THIS IS A NUDGE TO GO COMPLETE YOUR BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION.

Ahem. Subtlety is not my strong suit.

Let’s see who we can follow, shall we?

For fun, I did a search for people with “business” in their bio, entering: bio: business.

Naturally the return was a huge number of users; more than 25,000. The next step when something like this happens is to refine your search by excluding extracted entities. Because I speak English, I start by excluding other languages, then I’ll move to excluding users who don’t follow anyone and so on down the line until I’ve created a more specifically generated list of people I want to follow.

You may be doing this exercise for yourself or for a client — if you’re generating this information for monitoring purposes, you can create an RSS feed to follow the search.

I hope this helps you develop new relationships via Twitter and you find it as beneficial as I have.

Social Media Assignment #2: Show us Your Face

By Communications

I’ve been pretty adamant on this point because I believe in it so firmly.

It’s really important to show your face in social media. I see a lot of companies using a logo rather than an image of the actual person behind the tweets — I get that in some cases, there are multiple Twitter contributors to a single account. But often that’s not the case. So for single-user Twitter accounts, it is imperative to provide an image that reflects you; who you are right now (not as a four-year-old, as I am depicted to the left).

Here’s why this is important: when you’re meeting with someone for the first time, you are providing them a sense of comfort by allowing them to recognize you at first sight.

It’s not about you; it’s about what you’re doing for others.

If you’re squeamish about your own image, (trust me, I get it; I’m constantly fussing over bad hair or bags under my eyes) think about this: Roger Ebert lost his chin, jaw and, in fact the lower portion of his face due to cancer. He’s never shied away from showing us his face. If he can do it, well, come on!

Now it’s OK to be silly (see left) or seasonal (also left, at Easter) as long as it looks like you. My point here, is you do not need to hire a photographer to capture an image of you to use on social platforms.


If you want to appear professional, if you want to look good, you should absolutely leave it to the experts and hire someone to give you a headshot you’re happy to share. Digital images can be captured in the dozens, giving you the chance to select from several “takes” — choose one you are satisfied with so that you will really use it everywhere you can.

Today’s Social Media Assignment:

Find or make an appointment to get that image of your face you’re happy to show the world. Wear something that doesn’t distract from what you look like; unless you wear a hat all the time (I’m looking at you, John Feminella), don’t wear a hat in the photo. The idea is to make yourself as recognizable as possible; it’s one of the best ways to really be human in your virtual social network.

Special thanks to Angie Brement Photography for professional headshots I’m happy to use!

Social Media: A Shoe Story

By Communications

SCARPA, a boutique shoe store, well-known by women in Charlottesville, Va. and beyond, understands the value of social media.

Case in point: it was New Year’s Eve when SCARPA tweeted about a silver, sparkly pair of shoes perfect for fancy evenings out.  The shoes, pictured at left, were tweeted first by the store and re-tweeted, shared, and shared again by friends on Twitter throughout the area.

The Twitter community is strong in Charlottesville, so it was only a matter of time before a group of a dozen women or so decided to do a lunchtime shoe-shopping tweet-up at SCARPA. Via Twitter, the women, all influential local business women and active users of social media let the store know they would descend en masse the following Tuesday afternoon.

Amy Gardner, founder, proprietor and online representative of the shoe store prepared for the Tweet-up providing finger foods, Prosecco and generous goody bags for the mid-day party. (Thank you Amy!)

The resulting benefits of the in-person engagement with shoe shoppers continue far beyond the event itself. First, the store was able to introduce itself to people who had previously not shopped there. Amy’s relationship with her customers is a big reason her loyal following returns again and again; meeting a new crop of potential shoppers and solidifying that relationship with a positive experience is a gift that keeps on giving. For many of the tweet-up participants, it was their first time to shop and buy at the store.

The gathering (disclosure: I created the Twitvite to invite my Twitter followers to the event) resulted in further coverage with the weekly CBS-19 feature C’ville Plugged In sharing the story of the tweet-up, a post by fashion blogger Dana Hollar and, I suppose, this blog post as well. Add that to the tweets, twitpics, Facebook updates and of course, the women wearing their new shoes around town and telling the story of tweet-up shoe shopping fun with their friends and you have a customer loyalty and satisfaction story that has legs!

Follow www.twitter.com/thinkscarpa for shoe news and sale updates.

If you have a local business, consider the power of the social media community in your region; do you know how to reach and mobilize them?