Blog Archives

Bring Your Social Media Under Control With HootSuite

HootSuite Streams social media networks management

What is HootSuite? According to the HootSuite website:

Save your time and your sanity. Improve productivity by managing all of your social networks within HootSuite. The dashboard is designed for you and your team to listen, engage and measure all from one simple interface.

I would say they summed it up very well. HootSuite is a social dashboard designed to make your social media life an easier one. Read on to see how to get started on this amazingly sanity saving service.

Check Your Accounts in One Window

One of the coolest features of HootSuite is you can keep up with your social media accounts in one window. Rather than logging in and out of your various accounts you can view them all from one program. HootSuite allows you to manage your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, WordPress, MySpace, and Mixi accounts. That in and of itself is pretty impressive. Keep in mind that with a free HootSuite account You can add only five connections to your networks and advanced features such as analytics won’t work. For most of you this very adequate for your needs.

Post to All in One Shot

Another benefit of HootSuite is that it allows you to post to all of your added networks at once. Posting is easy:

  1. Click inside the field at the top of the webpage that says “Click to select a social network”.
  2. Choose the networks you want to post to.
  3. Where it says “Compose a message…” type your post.
  4. Click the Send Now button.

Easy peasy so far huh?


How do you get started? Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Bookmark the HootSuite page so you can return quick and easy.
  3. Under “Sign Up Today – Free” either sign up using Facebook or fill out the form.
  4. Add your profiles.
  5. Set up your streams so you can keep track of the information you wish to use HootSuite to follow.
  6. Explore your new HootSuite set up.

Pretty simple, and you didn’t have to download and install a single program. If you have any questions please comment below and let me know.

Tell me about your HootSuite experience.


33 Social Media Web Tools That Will Rock Your Online Marketing


The right tools can make any project easier. Whether you are working on a computer, building a deck, fixing your car, or doing electrical work the proper tools will make all the difference in the world. The same holds true with your social marketing. With the correct tools, your online marketing will work faster, easier, and more effectively. In this post I am giving you 33 tools that will rock your online marketing. Check them out and enjoy.



Post presentations online.

Post your presentations online. This is one very cool service. You simply create your presentation on your computer as you normally would with your presentation software, then you use SlideShare to upload the presentation to the Web. It works pretty slick and can help you in using more variety in your posting.


Make very attractive quotations.

Post beautiful quotes. Just go to Quozio, type in your quote, and let Quozio do the rest. Make the quotes you post more attractive.


Schedule your posts.

Schedule your posts. This can be very handy if it isn’t abused.


Check your work for originality.

Make sure your content is original. This service is an excellent way to make sure your work is originally you.

Google URL Shortener

Google URL Shortener

Easy to use URL shortener from Google.


Make Lists

A list maker. This is social list making at its best.

Brainy Quote

Get quotes.

Find quotes. If you are looking for quotes you will be impressed with this huge database.



Manage your social accounts with HootSuite.

Your social media dashboard. This app makes your social media services much easier to manage.


Pocket to save websites for later viewing.

Save websites to view later.



Manage your Twitter account. This is a multifunctional program that does what it does very well.



Look up hashtags to discover what they mean and other useful information.

Google Reader

Google Reader

Make the blogs you follow more manageable. With Google Reader all of the blogs you follow can be read from one window.



Manage your Tweeps. Very useful.



Manage your business from the cloud. The functionality of this one will surprise you.




Tweet search engine.



Many website statistics. The features are truly mind-blowing.



How far does your tweet reach?



See how influential you are.



See who you are influencing.

Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights

Valuable information about your Facebook Page.



A social media search engine.



A conversation search engine.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Social media analysis.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts

Get the information you want.



Master your social stats.

Keyword Tools

Google Keyword Tool

Google Keyword Tool

Find great keywords from the company that is the king of all search engines.



Find profitable keywords from a trillion-keyword database.


Google Translate

Google Translate

Translation between languages

Cloud Storage



One of the best out there.

Email List



Work your email list like a champ.

Online Publishing



Your free website. You don’t even need to know how to code. You are pretty limited to their templates but it is easy and free.



Publish like a champ. Check it out and you will be surprised.



Start your blog today.

These are some of my favorite tools. Give them a try and let me know what you think.

What are some of your favorite online marketing tools?

Social Fitness


You hear it from the doctor, news media, and even the White House. America needs to get in shape. I have a good question for you though. What kind of social shape are you in? Are you too socially thin or socially obese? Are you socially weak or strong? In this article I will give you some tips on how to:

  • Have social room to breathe.
  • Get social stamina.
  • Become socially flexible.
  • Gain social strength.
  • Build social power.
  • Have social balance.



Breathing may just be the most important thing any of us ever do. Without breath there can be no life. It is said that a human being can only live 4 – 8 minutes without oxygen. Lets all take a deep breath as we think about that. Now, answer me this: How long do you think your social media program will survive if you don’t give it room to breathe? Trust me when I say that if you just push and go go go you will burn out and find no joy in it. This is the Internet! It is supposed to be fun, not something to burn out over.

Here are some tips to give yourself some room to socially breath:

  • Take a break once in a while. Physically, if you just continue to push with no rest, you will tear your body down rather than build it up. The same holds true with a social media program. Just understand that you are not required to sit in front of your computer for hours at a time without pause. Yes, there is more to life than just social. Go out and experience it.
  • Don’t overextend yourself. There are over 200 known social networking websites on the Internet. If you are hooked into too many you will effectively have time for nothing else and you will burn out. Not to mention, you wont be very effective on any of them because you are spread too thin. My advice would be to pick no more than 4. Ask yourself these 4 questions:
    Which one do most of my target audience hang out on? Which one will I find most of my influencers on? Which one will make it easiest to display my wares? Which one will help my SEO the most? There you have your 4.
  • Have a routine. Rather than an unorganized hit and miss shotgun approach have a plan. How often will you post at each site? What kind of posts will you make? How often will you engage with your stream? How will you keep up with it? Have a planned routine and work it.
  • Know when to walk away for a while. Yes there should always be room for life in the real world. Once in a while go out and experience it. Then you will never burn out on social.



Without energy the human body just wants to sit and sleep. With plenty of stamina the body wants to keep going. Social media can be the same way. With social, if you don’t have stamina you will run out of wind and stop. How do you build up some social stamina?

  • Get a good social tool to work from. With the right tool your social media life will be easier and you will be able to pick up the momentum to keep going. My favorite tool is HootSuite. Check it out and I think you will love it as well.
  • Practice. Just like any other activity, social media gets easier and you get better at it with practice. Keep working at it. Leverage what works. Drop what doesn’t work for you.
  • Keep going. There is never a good time to give up. Keep going and it will eventually pay off. Social marketing is something that takes time and patience.



When it comes to your body, the surest way to injury is to never stretch your muscles. In the realm of social media, if you aren’t flexible in your approach you will come off as stiff, and you may even injure your marketing efforts.  Here are some tips to get a little social flexibility:

  • Pay attention. Pay attention to what is working and what isn’t. Is it rock star or is it epic fail? Are you seeing ROI? If it isn’t working, and you have leveraged it to its capacity maybe it’s time to change gears and try something else.
  • Keep an open mind. Read about what others are doing. Follow blogs. Pay attention to the news. Read books and articles. Really great ideas are everywhere. Keep an open mind to a different or new approach.
  • Embrace change when it makes sense. When a change makes sense embrace it. Change is nothing to be fearful of. What is frightening is the thought of trying the exact same thing over and over while expecting a different result.



You need a strong body to lift a heavy weight. In the same way you need a strong social presence to lift a heavy social media strategy to the heights of success. How do you build a stronger social presence?

  • Post regularly. At the very least you should be posting once a day to each account. At the most it should be 3 to 5 times. Post much more than that and you may be accused of being a spammer. The point is, be active so your name stays out there.
  • Continuously engage with others. Yes that means reading what others are posting. Comment, share, retweet, like, favorite, etc. If someone sends you a message or comments on your post respond as soon as you can. Keep the conversation going and keep building relationships. That is what both social media and marketing are all about anyway.
  • Put out good quality content. Content is not only king (yes it is important enough that I will keep repeating it) but is the key to effective SEO. Over time good content will build into a strong Web presence that will result in a true return on the time invested.
  • Keep it interesting. People like interesting, entertaining, funny, informational, and different. People love the visual. Post the kind of things that your audience wants to read. Mix things up once in a while. It is ok to post text. It is also a good idea to post images, video, Slideshares, infographics, and yes even the occasional meme. The key is, if you aren’t offering them something in a way that they will find interesting they wont read your posts.



Just as in everyday life if you have no balance you will fall over, in your social media life if there is no balance something will eventually fall down. Just like any other aspect of living you need balance to be healthy. Spend your time on social networks. Also, spend time with other necessary parts of your business. Take time for a hobby. Spend time with friends and family. Take alone time for quiet. Find the balance you need and your social will stand stronger than ever.

Now take the steps you need to take to get into social shape.

How socially fit are you? Comment and let me know your thoughts.

Equation of a Successful Social Media Post


There are two types of posts in the realm of social media: those that are engaged with and those that are ignored. How are your posts doing? Are you getting the clicks that you are looking for? Are your posts selling? Ignored posts can be a great source of frustration for content writers. Are your posts being ignored? Perhaps it’s time to learn the successful post equation:

Hook + Useful + Benefit = Success

Lets take a closer look at the parts of the equation of posting success.

The Hook

Hook them in.

The hook is exactly what it sounds like: something to get your readers’ attention. It can be something funny, shocking (yet tasteful), off the wall, or best of all it can be visual like a picture or video. Remember, the visual sells. Why is this an important point? It is important because if you don’t get your readers’ attention in the beginning you will likely lose them before the end.

Some tricks to make developing effective hooks easier:

    • Brainstorm. Make a list of everything that comes to mind. When brainstorming there are no bad ideas. Keep it going till you run out of ideas for a hook. If you have a hard time getting started walk away for 15 or 20 minutes and come back to it.
  • Save what you have brainstormed to use later. Over time you will have a list to fall back on if you need a hook but can’t come up with one.

The Useful

Offer something useful in your post.

So you have hooked them in with a rock star level hook. Yes you are that good. Now what? Now that you have their attention it’s time to give them something they can use. If you get someone’s attention but have nothing to offer them you will lose that attention and have a hard time getting it back again. What is useful? Something that your reader can relate to and apply in some way. It can be something they can use in their business, to enhance their life, to find pleasure in, or even to share with others that need the information. Have something useful to offer them and you will keep their attention.

The Benefit

Offer them a benefit.

At this point you have hooked your readers in and provided them something they can use. Is that enough? Nope. If they can’t actually reap a benefit from what you have to say then they have no reason to use the information you have provided or to even continue reading your posts. A perceived benefit is a key to successful sales. Some examples of a good benefit?

  • Something they can be entertainment by and laughter. People like to be entertained. They like things that amuse them.
  • Show how what you are posting can improve their lives.
  • Explain in a few words how the information can be beneficial to their business or career.
  • Let them know whats in it for them.

A Successful Post


Look at what you have done. You got your readers’ attention, offered them something they can use, and showed them how the information you are selling will help them. What do you have? An epic post that just may lead to engagement and conversion.

Hook + Useful + Benefit = Success

Here are a couple examples:

“Want to save some money? Come to our big sale this Saturday and save save save! Save money and get quality merchandise.”
is better than
“Come to our big sale this Saturday and save save save.”


“Lose the old clunker and cruise in style! Visit us today for great deals on used cars. Upgrade your ride while giving your wallet a break.”
is better than,
“Great deals on used cars. Visit us today.”

Apply this simple formula to all of your posts and let me know if you have seen a difference in the responsiveness of your readers.

Share your comments. What tips can you offer on writing great social media posts?

8 Ways to Grow your Twitter Following

Follow me on twitter.

Twitter has become nothing less than a phenomenon. Last year Twitter passed the half a billion user mark. That is a lot of users. It is also a huge market. Though Twitter is a very unique and amazing tool for communication in general, it can also be a powerhouse of a social marketing platform. There is one key to making Twitter work for you: To be heard you need followers. I am not going to advise you to buy followers nor am I going to direct you to a tool that promises to do it for you. I am going to give you good Twitter best practices that you can grow on. Here are 8 ways to grow your Twitter following and get your voice heard.

Follow Others

Following others is a key to getting followed yourself. If you don’t follow them why should they follow you? It is all about community and relationship building. Who should you follow?

  • Follow your collaborators. Whether they are vendors, investors, or you name it, you should be following those that contribute to you or your business. It shows them appreciation, helps you keep tabs on their latest news, and are usually easy follow backs.
  • Your target market. Current customers and prospects are good choices to follow. Doing so will give you ear to their questions, interests, and what is on their mind.
  • Follow influencers. It is only wise to create connections with power players in your industry. Many will follow you back. Best of all, forming a relationship with them can possibly create a great connection that you may need in the future.
  • Follow experts. The reason is obvious: they know the industry and you can learn from their tweets, You can ask them questions. Get connected to those in the know.
  • Follow the competition. This one may not lead to a follow back but this is a great way to see what they are up to, what is working for them, and what isn’t. Their followers will also see your name in their list of followers.
  • Follow those that follow you. First of all it is only polite. Second, if you don’t, many of them will unfollow you. There are a couple exceptions to this rule. If they are an obvious spammer, bot, or would reflect in a negative way on your business then it might actually be wise to not follow them back.

The really cool thing about following others is that if they follow you back you will receive the following benefits:

  • Every post of yours that they retweet, favorite, or comment on will be seen by their followers.
  • The fact they you are following each other will be seen by their followers. This could lead to even more follows.

Post Regularly

Sticking with it and not overdoing it are the secrets here. I would say post between 3 and 5 times a day. Post much more and followers could become annoyed and unfollow you. Post less and you wont even be on the radar.

Be Active in TweetChat


A TweetChat is like a virtual meeting on any topic you can imagine. It is a very cool way to meet other tweeters, get your voice heard, and make new connections that could become potential  followers. Just go to TweetChat and follow the instructions to get started.

Be Interactive

I can make you one 100% safe guarantee. If all you do is post and follow you are going to have a hard time keeping your current followers or attracting new ones. Retweet, Favorite, and Reply the tweets of others. Interact with them. Don’t just throw ads in their face over and over again. Make it interesting and mix it up.

Tweet Content

Yes, content is king even in the twitterverse. If you aren’t writing something others find interesting, entertaining, useful, educational, or otherwise attention grabbing, they are not going to follow you and read your tweets. Good quality content on the other hand is the true way to win follows and influence tweeters.

Promote Your Twitter Account

The secret to doing this is simply to get the word out there. Here are some ideas, maybe you can think of more.

  • Tell your Facebook, Google+, and Linked in friends about your Twitter account.
  • Tell your real life friends and family.
  • Put a link to your Twitter profile in the signature of your email.
  • Put it on your business cards.
  • Put a link to your Twitter on your blog or website.
  • Wherever you can give it exposure without being a spammer, do so.

Use Direct Messages Wisely

One easy to lose a follower or potential follower is to spam their inbox. The Direct Message feature should be used to ask legitimate questions that you don’t want to ask in the open for everyone to read, or,  if you have a legitimate thing to say just between the two of you. It should never be used to spam people for follows or to buy your product.

Fill out your profile completely

If you don’t you wont get the follows. it is that simple. People won’t trust someone that doesn’t at least share basic information about who they are. The very basics?

  • Profile picture
  • Name
  • Bio information

As I said, these are the bare bone basics. The more information the better.

Follow these tips and have some patience. You will get followers.

What tips do you have to increase your following on Twitter?

Build a Solid Online Reputaion

Online Repuation

Whether you know it or not you all have one. It can be positive or negative but it is always there. What am I talking about? I will answer this question with one word: Reputation. Now some interesting facts:

  • Your boss probably has a Facebook account too.
  • That job you are applying to will probably at least Google you and search for your name of Facebook.
  • What you say online can be damaging in the “real” world.
  • More people than you might think do pay attention to what you say in social media.

Online reputation can be just as empowering or damaging as your reputation in the brick and mortar world. Perhaps your online reputation has an even greater impact because it is on display to the whole world.

What can you do to build a positive reputation on social media? What kind of reputation do you want to build?

As Being Genuine

It is as simple as that. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not. Don’t try to live off the B.S. card. Be real. If you aren’t genuine you will eventually be found out and trust will inevitably be damaged. If you lose the trust of your customers, followers, and collaborators your brand will suffer.

As a Content Provider

Why should I read your post? Why should I follow you? When a reader reads a post, whether it be on Facebook or at their favorite blog they are looking for content. They don’t care what you need on your farm, they could care less how drunk you got last weekend, and the fact that you need new members on your mafia crew is completely irrelevant to them. They friended you, followed you, or subscribed to you because they want to hear what you have to say. They want something that will benefit or entertain them. They want to know you.

As an Authority

Do build a reputation as an authority requires the regular posting of content. It requires research and staying on top of your game. While avoiding the B.S. share what you do know. Learn what you don’t know. Be the expert that you can be and that your followers expect.

As Being Fun

Let’s face it, no one signs into social media to be bored. People want interesting. They want fun. They want entertaining. They want the visual and attention getting. If you come off as irrelevant or boring you will lose rather than gain a following.

To be fun:

  • Don’t just post text 100% of the time. Be visual. Post images and video too.
  • Try to say things in a fun and interesting way.
  • While being an authority, don’t be serious all of the time. It is ok to be silly once in a while.
  • Post things that are relevant to them.
  • Post answers to questions they have.
  • Provide information about things that matter to them.
  • Here is a big one: Show them how your brand is a benefit to them.

Your reputation belongs to you. You have the power to build or destroy it. You also have the power to come off as an authority in your field or as irrelevant. The choice is yours and the choices you make will have a direct impact on your life, relationships, and career.

What kind of reputation do you want to build?

Become a Twitter Power User


It may surprise you but there is a lot more punch in 140 characters that you may think. There is truly power in this thing that we call Twitter. The question is are you using Twitter to its full potential? What can you do with Twitter and how can it benefit you? What kind of power does Twitter provide you?

Power to Meet Influencers

An influencer is a person or thing which influences. They can be top experts, the very popular, those in top leadership positions, those whose voice is heard by the masses, etc. One cool fact is that for the most part you can find them on Twitter. You can read what they have to say, share your posts with them, and even communicate with them. Twitter is one of the easiest ways to meet them.

To meet influencers:

  • Use Twitter search to find them. You can search by name or even search the name of your industry or location to see what comes up.
  • Browse to them through Twitter categories.
  • Check out who your followers and those you follow are following.

Power of a Listening Post

You can’t expect to be a great communicator without being a great listener. You can’t hope to be a good leader without being a good listener. You can’t be an amazing marketer without being an amazing listener. Listening is half of the equation whether you are talking about communication, leadership, or marketing. Consider Twitter a very powerful extra set of ears.

To use Twitter as a listening post:

  • Follow the competition. By following your competitors you can see what they are up to. You will know what ways they are reaching out to customer’s and collaborators that you want for your organization or brand. You may even learn a lesson or two about what is or isn’t working for them and apply it to your business.
  • Follow those you do business with and your Facebook followers. Following them opens yet another communication channel. It shows them that you are interested in what they have to say. It also provides yet another marketing channel to them.
  • Follow relevant blogs. Blogs can be some of the best free information and even education you will find. They can inform, inspire, and even provide step by step instructions on how to do almost anything. Bloggers can also be powerful influencers and connectors.
  • Follow local businesses. Forming relationship with local business’ can provide local connections, opportunity for community involvement, and may lead to future clients.
  • Follow local news. By following news sources you can keep up with current events, be in touch with what is effecting the lives of your customers, and keep tabs on what is happening in society that may have an impact on your brand.

Power to Grow a Following

The bigger your following the bigger your net of sources of information, influencers and connectors, connections, and potential clientele.

To grow your following:

  • Follow others.
  • Tweet regular original content.
  • Interact with others.
  • Promote your Twitter account.

I will provide detailed guidance on how to strategically do all four of these in a soon upcoming post.

Twitter can be a very powerful tool if used consistently, patiently, and strategically. It is everywhere. Start becoming a Twitter power user today.

How do you use Twitter to promote your name or organization?

How to Get Started With Twitter


If I had to guess I would venture to say that there are still plenty of you that are not active on Twitter. I think it is even a safe bet that the majority of you do not make full use of what Twitter has to offer to your business or organization. Right now we are going to take the first steps to change all of that.

This post will get you started on Twitter and introduce you to the main features that it has to offer. You may even learn a feature or two that you were unaware of. As I said, this is a getting started post. In the next installment I will share with you specific ways you can use Twitter to enrich yourself ad promote your brand. Now let’s get this show on the road.

Get Started

Sign Up

Signing up couldn’t be simpler. Just follow these steps:

  1. Go to Twitter.
  2. Enter your name.
  3. Enter your email.
  4. Choose a password.
  5. Click Sign up for Twitter.
  6. Choose a username.
  7. Click Create My Account.
  8. Follow the short tutorial. This will help you get your bearings.
  9. Open your email inbox and click to confirm.
  10. Enjoy Twitter!

Twitter Home


When you log in to Twitter this is the page you will see. It is also the page you see if you click the Home link. From here you can do many things.

In the upper left part of the screen you will see your name and picture (if you uploaded one, and you should if you didn’t). If you click on your name you will be taken to your profile page. More on that in a little bit.

On the Twitter Home Page, right under your name, you will see three links: Tweets, Following, and Followers.

  • Tweets:This will take you to your profile page.
  • Following: Will take you to a page that will show you everyone you are following.
  • Followers: This will take you to a page listing everyone following you.

Just under those 3 links is a box that you can use to write a new tweet. It also gives you the option of  posting a picture or even adding a location. You can also compose a new tweet by clicking the button in the upper right corner. Pretty simple and straight forward so far huh?

Below your tweet box you will find something called Who to Follow. These are Twitter’s recommendations of people for you to follow. You only have to follow them, or anyone else, if it makes sense to you.

Just below Who to Follow you will find Trends. This displays what is trending on Twitter. As you get deeper into using Twitter to promote your brand you will find this list very useful in that it will tell you what is popular in the mind of Twitter’s over 500 million users. If you click on one of these items you will be taken to a page that displays the tweets made about that word or words.

On the right hand of your Twitter Home page you will find your all important Stream. This will show all tweets made by you and your followers. The Stream is simple to use. You can do five major things in the Twitter Stream.

  • Read Tweets.
  • Expand: This will show you further information about the tweet as well as any ongoing conversation.
  • Reply: This will allow you to post a reply to the Tweet.
  • Retweet: This allows you to repost the tweet to your followers.
  • Favorite: This allows you to ad a tweet that you really like to your list of favorite tweets.

Twitter Connect


By clicking the Connect link you are given a couple of very important pieces of information:

  • Interactions: A list of all interactions between you and others on Twitter.
  • Mentions: A list of all mentions of you whether you are being replied to or mentioned in any other way.

Twitter Discover

  • Tweets: Displays a list of tweets that Twitter has tailored for you based on accounts you have followed.
  • Activity: Displays the activity of those you have followed.
  • Who to Follow: Displays a list of accounts that Twitter recommends you to follow.
  • Find Friends: Helps you to find your friends that are also on Twitter. If they do not already have accounts you are given the option to invite them to join.
  • Browse Categories: Allows you to find accounts to follow by navigating Twitter’s wide range of available categories.

Twitter Me


The Me link will take you to your profile. You will see many familiar things that we have already discussed including all of your tweets and the posts you have retweeted. There are a couple of useful things that are different on this page though: Lists and Direct Messages.

  • Lists: With Lists you can keep those you follow organized by assigning individuals to various custom made lists.
  • Direct Messages: With Direct Messages you can see the direct messages sent to you and you can write direct messages to others. Only you and the one you are messaging can see the message.

Twitter Search

The powerful Twitter Search allows you to search users and topics. Sounds simple but is actually very useful and has good business and marketing applications that we will explore in future posts.

There you have it. I encourage you to sign up and explore. We have barely scratched the surface of this thing we call Twitter. Explore and have fun with it and in the next installment to this blof we will look at how you can use Twitter to enrich yourself and promote your brand.

How do you use Twitter to communicate or market your brand?

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