Tag Archives: twitter

The Small Business Express Podcast

image001A few weeks ago, I was blessed to be the first guest interview on the podcast The Small Business Express. My friend Mike Monroe, along with Gary Shouldis, are packing the podcasts full of great information for small business owners. Definitely worth downloading, and the best part is that the podcasts are free.

The topic for the particular podcast is how to have success on Twitter in 15 minutes a day. My favorite part is Mike’s disclaimer when introducing me, “..he is a very fast talker, for those of you that have never spoken with Josh or don’t know Josh. But definitely worth listening to cause he packed a lot of really great information in very short period of time.”

I feel very honored to have be interviewed by these two gentlemen.

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No Magic Pills

There are very few magic pills in marketing. Marketing your business, like anything else, comes with almost no guarantees.

Social media is often viewed as a magic pill – a fix everything marketing solution that will magically bring in customers. Social sites like Facebook and Twitter have done a lot of good, and in some ways, leveraged the playing field for small businesses. Still, they aren’t guaranteed.

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Tough Love

Editor’s Note: This is a pretty heavy handed post from me, but what I describe here happens a lot and hurts a lot of small businesses. 

Having a social media account that you don’t update – or worse yet, that you don’t use anymore – is like locking up your business at the end of the day but leaving the open sign on.

Unsuspecting customers walk to the doors expecting you to be open and find the doors are locked. You may not think it’s that serious, but nowadays, a large percentage of people are making decisions based on what they find online.

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Trip to NYC: Part II

There wasn’t wifi on my flights to New York so, instead of being able to update my travel status real-time through social media, I decided to keep a running log of all the things I would have said if I were able to post updates, along with other thoughts and observations.

These posts pick up after I landed in Denver to change planes.

*Status updates I would have made are denoted by quotations.

8:25am PST “Denver is such an oddly designed airport. I get the whole ‘tribute to the Rockies’ thing, but it still looks weird to me.”

8:26am PST I did manage the following post on twitter, “ Haven’t been here since the infamous #Denver incident.” Don’t expect me to tell that story publicly. You are welcome to ask if we know each other in person, or ask me via privately.

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#Spokane #BeersUp (a tweetup)

Tweetups aren’t anything new. Still, not everyone understands what a tweetup is. Wiktionary defines a tweetup as “a real-life meeting organised on the social networking web site Twitter.”

So, the idea is to take online relationships and move them to offline interactions. Putting faces to names, that sort of thing.

There are several great, local tweetups in Spokane. #SpoCT, a coffee tweetup, and #SpoWT, a wine tweetup, to name a few.

I started #Spokane #BeersUp for the simple reason that I like networking and I like beer. That doesn’t make me a drunk or anything, just like enjoying soda doesn’t make someone a glutton.

Anyway, a new friend, John, wrote a blog about #Spokane #BeersUp that you should check out. That is all.

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Cell phone cameras, social media, and your next big event…

Social media and cell phones offer a unique opportunity for people to share, in real time, pictures while attending an event.

The awesomeness of this, especially for the event producers, is that pictures typically capture so much more attention on social sites than just a status update or basic tweet.

But there’s something to be aware of if you are an event producer. You should be allowing attendees access and freedom to take pictures throughout the entire event, conference, workshop, or forum. Trust me, you want them to.

But allowance isn’t enough, they should feel comfortable to move around, get close to the stage or speaker(s) so they can take really intimate shots. Because as Chelsie Hadden so unintentionally wisely pointed out at a recent tweetup, “There’s a difference between ‘hi, I’m here’ pictures and ‘this is an awesome shot’.” Your event wants the awesome shot.

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Door-to-door Sales

I had not one, but two people from the same carpet cleaning company stop by my house the other day. They were offering a deal and they were going door-to-door to sell it. The deal was for one free room/floor rug/piece of furniture cleaning. After declining the offer, this dual encounter had me posting on my twitter account:

“If your product/service was really that awesome, would you really have to go door to door “giving” it away? #justsayin”

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Do Better Part II

Part I received some (well deserved) criticism for identifying a problem without providing solutions. So, here are a few quick tips to help small business owners do better when it comes to social media and blogging.

Tip #1: Post frequently. Here is a simple set of guidelines to follow (at a minimum):
Facebook: Post at least 1x daily, Monday through Friday.
Twitter: Post at least 3x daily, Monday through Friday.
Blog: Post a blog at least 1x weekly, preferably on a weekday.

Tip #2: Post quality content. Don’t be in such a hurry to post frequently that you throw up garbage. Think of ways to add value to your customers’ lives. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking, just useful.

Tip #3: Fill out all the information. Facebook, more than other sites, provides several places to put company information. Fill out every bit of it. Then do this on every other site your company is on.

Tip #4: If you don’t know, ask. If you don’t know what kind of content will add value to your customers, ask them. I promise they’ll tell you. If you don’t know how to use Facebook or Twitter, Google it or consult with an expert. The internet makes it more embarrassing and difficult than ever to use the excuse, “I don’t know.” You can’t just throw up your hands and go home. So, ask. The answers are there just waiting to be found.

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Do Better

Will tools like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and a Blog drive thousands of people to your site or to your business? Maybe, maybe not. But that’s not why you’re using them. You’re using them because they are free (from cost but most likely not time) and because you don’t have the big marketing budget for tv, radio, or billboards.

However, just because Facebook, Twitter, etc. are free-ish doesn’t mean you should approach them haphazardly. Think of a restaurant that spends tens of thousands of dollars on remodeling their dining area. New booths, new silverware, new paint, the whole nine yards. But then they cheap out on the menus. There are typos and grammatical errors, and overall it seems as if the owners couldn’t care less about what the menus look like. Patrons might find themselves asking what else the owners don’t care about, like the food.

You can do a million things right every day in your business, but if you’re bad at something as public as social media (or menus) it’ll be noticed more than anything you’ve done well.

Edit: Due to some constructive feedback, I’ve posted a Part II of this blog where I’ve addressed what small business owners can do to be good at Facebook, twitter and blogging. 

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Weekend Warriors

I don’t tweet and I rarely Facebook over the weekend. That’s because I’m too busy doing life to share it. I’m not being an elitist or anything. It’s just a fact. Like plenty of other people, I save my social media interaction for when I’m at work. The difference is, I get paid to be online and monitoring social sites. Most other people don’t.

The point is, and I’m just throwing this out there, a lot of people aren’t online over the weekend. Those who are may have more time to comment or like or whatever, but that doesn’t mean more people are online. Research seems to prove that engagement is higher over the weekend. But as I write this, at 10am on a Monday, over 30 people are logged into Facebook chat, and the people I’m following on twitter have tweeted over a dozen times in less than 5 minutes.

If I were you, I’d save my meaningful, relavent, transparent, engaging (or whatever buzz word you’re using) content for the work week.

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