Twitter for Newbies

Sometimes it seems all the world is abuzz about Twitter. Television, websites and other media mention it continually. (If you are still unclear why you and your organization should engage in social media, see my previous post on Targeting Your Social Media Efforts.)

For those who haven’t yet jumped into tweeting and those who want to expand their use of Twitter, questions remain. Bear with me as I explain for the Noobs.

What is Twitter? It’s a social network that produces an information stream of short bursts of content (and links). By scanning this conversation, you see real-time news, information and insights from people you know and those you don’t know. Messages are limited to 140 characters or less. (This is changing – as a TweetDeck service now allows for longer Tweets, but that’s another story.)

Chiefly, you might be asking where do I go from here? Here’s four steps to get you started. Continue reading

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A Single Tweet Can Cause A lot of Damage (via HighTalk)

An agency PR pro takes a look at a recent gaff by a Kenneth Cole exec on Twitter. It is an example of how a small message can have big – and negative- impact. Continue reading

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10 Ways to Fail at Social Media

This entertaining slideshow shows the negative things that happen when people jump into social media with some mistaken ideas or without planning properly. Shows 10 examples of pitfalls. On the positive side, the slideshow covers 5 ways to not fail. Created by Luis Carazzana, Head of Social Media, Chemistry Communications Group, London.
The lessons here are sound.

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Social Media Overview for Fundraisers and Others, Too

Found this great presentation from a children’s hospital in Dayton. Great overview, including statistics on usage of social media, and examples with screenshots of how the hospital used it.


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Search Engine Optimization – Common Mistakes

If you build it, they will come. — “Field of Dreams,” 1989

Search Engines produce the majority of traffic to your site or blog.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for your website, blog or other web content. The majority of a site’s traffic is a result of a user searching on a search engine — Google, Bing, Yahoo! — then clicking on a result. So, it make sense to know what you are doing that can either help or hurt your site’s search engine ranking.

I plan to come back to this subject again and again, because all website owners need to constantly focus on SEO or search engine optimization.

I love Search Engine Watch – it’s a great site by pros who know what they are doing.

This article by a friend of mine Simon Heseltine “Stop Making the 6 Biggest SEO Mistakes” outlines simple things – such as not naming your Home Page “Home” or using another “call to action” instead of “Click Here.” These items are totally in your control to change and they can make a world of difference in SEO.

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Tools to Manage Social Media

HootSuiteIn today’s busy world and with small nonprofit staff, you really don’t want to create an online presence and then not keep it updated. Fresh, relevant content is the key to audience engagement AND search engine optimization. (SEO) And even if you narrow your outreach to selected social media sites to the Big Gorillas (see previous post), you probably need help managing them.

Smart Ways to Coordinate Your Social Outreach

Luckily, there are solutions for coordinating multiple social sites! You can grab tools online and download apps for your mobile device that can help you manage multiple social media sites and multiple accounts, if you need that. I haven’t tested them all, but at the moment, my fav is HootSuite. Continue reading

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Targeting Your Social Media Efforts

Social Media LogosBecause most non-profit orgs and small business people have a limited personnel, and even more limited time for communications or web tasks, it is important to narrow and target your social media (SM) outreach. You might take a look at the social media landscape (see this informative blog post – Social Media Landscape 2011) and feel overwhelmed. The post does a great job of showing the evolution of SM and it is a comprehensive primer. But for the average Jane at a non-profit, she might feel dizzied by the number of social media sites and confused about where to start.

I recommend starting with three social media sites, the Big Gorillas, and then add from there. If one has limited time, doesn’t it make sense to focus on efforts that are going to give you the most payoff? Continue reading

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