Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What's on your Book Shelf?

Recently one of our FANTASTIC networking groups got together and complied a list of their favorite inspirational books. I thought since the group enjoyed sharing them so much that many members are sharing copies, and purchasing them for themselves that I would kick the list out to all of you! I would love to know if you have read them, your reviews, and what is your #1 Business / Inspirational book.

Busting Loose from the Money Game

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

The Success Principles by Jack Hanfield

Daring Greatly by Renee Brown

Entre Leadership by Dave Ramsey

Everyday Sacred by Sue Bender

What We’re Talking About When We Talk About God by Rob Bell

Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life by James Hollis

A Year of Miracles by Marianne Williamson

Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer

The One Thing by Gary Keller

How full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath

Monday, February 10, 2014

How to Make Twitter Less Intimidating & More Manageable

Twitter is one of the biggest things I get questions about, it's a totally different platform than Facebook or any other social media outlet and it's much faster when it comes to pace and it can be extremely hard to keep up.   Personally, Twitter is my favorite platform to use I get information in and out quickly with little to no effort.  When a big news event happens I hop on Twitter because I know at least 5 news sources I follow will have all the coverage possible about the situation and I don't have to search for links they are right there. I also connect with so many people around the globe.

Excited Yet?! I know what you are thinking "Kristina, I have logged on there before. It's a scary place and I'm overwhelmed being on there for even 5 minutes!" I get it, you are nervous  because you have looked at Twitter your timeline rotates faster than you can blink and the article you wanted to read is now 24 tweets lower than it was a couple minutes ago, how can you possibly keep up? How can your information be read and found? Won't you just get lost in the chaos?

Let me ease your fears a little bit, it's not as scary as you think it is once you get on there, I promise.  

Unlike Facebook, on Twitter it isn’t weird to follow anyone and everyone.  The more you follow, the more people end up following you back!  When you first are trying to join twitter think of people that you would enjoy following (celebs, industry powerhouses), topics that interest you (health, photography), or find someone you know on twitter follow them and look through their follower/following lists. On twitter it's easy to find lots of people and topics that you would be interested in following without much effort and all you have to do is hit "follow", easy right?

Again, unlike Facebook on Twitter it's completely normal to "tweet drop" and chime in. Sometimes it's kind to say "Tweet Dropping..."then proceeding but that's not something I would consider necessary. Want to look for conversations to drop into? Use the Search bar. Search for keywords or hashtags (more on # in a minute) to find the conversations that you want to drop in the most on. For example if your business is "fitness & healthy solutions" search for keywords that surround that like "lose weight" "healthy eating", etc. 

While we are on the topic of joining conversations lets talk about something else for a minute: spammers. Don't be one. Most users of twitter have zero tolerance for spammers and luckily for twitter users there is a little button that says "Report Spam" if you see a conversation and you just jump in and say "I have solutions. Go here:" or something to that effect 9 times out of 10 you just bought yourself a one way ticket to the spam button. Yikes.  Instead, use conversation - position yourself as an expert - I can't express this enough.  People use twitter to converse and spread information and gain information quickly. So instead use yourself as a transporter of information to give information and in the long term again more social exposure. Someone tweets that they need something healthy to eat for dinner? Reply "I've been eating healthy lately too! If you like chicken and fresh veggies, check out this recipe {insert link} "  OR "I might have a few ideas! Are you a fan of chicken?" wait for the reply and then say "Here is a favorite recipe of mine, it has chicken and a variety of veggies {insert link}."
 You are relating to the user and also giving information (even driving traffic to your site.)

Twitter can be overwhelming.  Lists allow you to put people into categories so that they are more easily seen and manageable for you.  This makes twitter less overwhelming. Lists are fantastic to make twitter more manageable.  Since Twitter is constantly feeding and updating, non-stop, lists make it easy for you to see what you want to see.  You can create as many lists as you want, and add whoever you want to it.   (ex. NEWS.  Business Networking Partners.  Fitness.) You can also see who has you on a list too, and if it’s a list you want to follow too, simply click “follow”.

Now that you understand the navigation portion lets talk about the Hashtag (#), and why it is important to use it!
When you use a Hashtag it turns it into a hyper-link.  For example, in the example below I used #Denver. So anyone who clicks on #Denver they will see my tweet, along with the lists of others that used it.

Hashtags can also be used to used for what is commonly called “Twitter Parties”.  Companies, bloggers and websites will use a unique hashtag to have a party (example: #WINNTwitterParty), then everyone participating uses that hashtag in their conversation responses keeping a long thread, allowing everyone to see who is participating and their responses.
A great tool to use to keep up with these conversation is TweetChat.com It allows you to type in the Hashtag you are following and feeds live updates for you - plus, you don't have to remember the hashtag it does it for you.

See something that you want to spread to your followers? Do it! I always feel like if I'm RTing something I am "endorsing" it, so if it's something borderline inappropriate think about how it will reflect you to your followers.
I recommend "Quoting" the tweet. It looks like this:
RT @WINNational If you are a woman in business please check out WINNational.com

When you add the RT making it your own, it immediately notifies the person who tweeted it, without them searching for that information.  Most people appreciate seeing their information is being pushed out even further!

You can also chime in as long as there is space in your 140 characters
I LOVE WINN! RT @WINNational If you are a woman in business please check out WINNational.com

I LOVE favorite.  Why?  Because when you click that little star you can come back later.  So whether you are checking in on twitter on your smartphone but want to look at the link on your actual computer, or it’s something in general you want to follow up on whether it’s a conversation, etc.  It saves it for you under “favorites” which you can access if you click on your name and go to your profile.  This also makes tweets more manageable
The biggest question I get is what should I post on Twitter?
Twitter users want to see who you are, but they also want to use twitter to take them elsewhere. So change up your updates - through in some tweets telling them what you are up to throughout the day, shoot out whats on your mind - but also add valuable content. Use twitter as a traffic source, to send them to other websites - your blog, your Facebook, articles you have written, articles that you have read and want to share, etc.


Twitterfeed (www.twitterfeed.com) is a great way to feed your sources.  If you have an RSS site (Facebook, Blogs) you can use twitterfeed to feed twitter directly which causes you a lot less work! Twitterfeed, and other similar sites, allow you to update multiple sites, with a fraction of the work, and drive your information on your updates to other sites.

A lot of networking sites, you have the options of feeding the information to twitter, and from twitter.  LinkedIn, allows you to update your social media sites when you update on LinkedIn; and you can feed LinkedIn with your Facebook or Twitter Updates.  E-mail Marketing sites such as Mail Chimp, and Constant Contact allows you to publish a link to your social media sites when you send out your e-mail campaign.  Pinterest also allows you to post your pins to your social media sites.

It's so easy to spend hours upon hours on Twitter and Social Media outlets and I don't know about you but when I have those time suckers interfering I don't get anything done...ever. So a great way to decrease your time on the sites is using a third-party interactor. The following will allow you to sit down schedule out your social media posts for the week (or longer even), and all you have to do is check in here and there and interact.

TweetDeck is a great way to keep your tweets right in front of you, and get updates that you want to get while you are working on other projects.  Have different categories, show different lists, and see the information you want.  The other great thing? You can schedule your tweets!  You are able to look like you are on-top of being on twitter all day long, with only spending a minimal time at once and scheduling it out.   It’s simple and accessible.

HootSuite allows you to monitor Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Ping.fm and WordPress profiles all in one place.  You can also schedule posts. It’s more complex that TweetDeck, with allowing you to run reports, add reminders, etc. There is a free version, however, you do have to pay to use some features.  The only downside: it can be overwhelming.

Still a little confused? Need a virtual walk through? Contact me, I teach Twitter users regularly!