Babbling B’s Blog

Archive for April 2009

The things I’ve learned thus far in my Twitter conquest are quite interesting. No, I haven’t learned how to get rich quick or gain a million followers. Reflecting on the time I spend on Twitter, it’s such a different experience than with any other social media programs I’ve taken part in. When I explain what Twitter is to nonusers, I continually mention the same things over and over. The crazy thing: it’s not just applicable to Twitter – it’s applicable to your life, your work and your personal relationships. Crazy, huh?

So here are the top three things I’ve learned on Twitter (Twitter Teachings, get it?):

  1. Engage in the conversation: Talk with your followers. It’s not about how many people you follow or vice-versa; it’s about engaging in relevant conversations that are beneficial to both parties. While this concept is painfully obvious on Twitter, it’s amazing that more companies don’t realize the benefits of this concept. Engage in conversation with your customers, even after they’ve purchased! The more you engage and interact with your customers, the better you will be able to anticipate their future needs and thus meet them with your products. Better yet, the more you engage, the more you’ll uncover evangelists singing the praises of your product!
  2. Give more, get more: The more you give, the more you get. Seems self explanatory. The more you comment on blog posts, retweet (RT) topics, and give solid information in your arena, the more your networks responds positively to you and returns the favor. It’s cyclical. It’s karma. Pay it forward. Whatever you call it, everyone benefits (especially you!).
  3. It’s all about relationships: You begin to build relationships after a few sub-140 character exchanges. For me, it means adding you to my ‘favorites’ group on Tweetdeck. I don’t want to miss your Tweets and I was to be able to share my advice with you. In turn, I hope when I have my random ‘how-to’ or ‘have you ever’ questions, you will respond. You #followfriday each other. It’s a beautiful thing.

So get engaged in the conversation. Start adding like-minded people, begin contributing to the conversation, commenting on tweets and building your relationship. Oh, and add me so I can be a part of it: @brandiheinz

What have you learned on Twitter?

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I realized today how many emails I get notifying me about Whitepapers, Webinars, articles and other information on marketing. It’s almost overwhelming! If you are away from your email for any extended amount of time during typical business hours, you return to an inbox full of relevant (and not-so-relevant) promotional email messages or eNewsletters. I have a hard time sorting through all the good information, no less sorting through the unneeded information. I’m always afraid I will somehow miss that one article I need to read.

In reviewing my email inbox, I’ve decided to compile the top sources that deliver marketing trends and information right to my inbox:

  1. B@B: As a B2B marketer, this email never wastes my time with B2C marketing information. I know the recommendations, tips and statistics are relevant to my marketing programs and I can immediately see where I stand. You can sign up here.
  2. MarketingProfs: I especially recommend the ‘Get to the Point’ series (I think I rave about this every week on Twitter). They are short little ‘snippets’ of relevant information, plus they only take a minute to read. You can opt in to any of the many versions of information. I personally am signed up for the Email Marketing and Customer Insight emails – AND as I write this, I just opted in to 4 more. I ALWAYS read these emails. Even if I’m running away from my desk when any of the versions hit my inbox, I always flag them so I can followup on it later. You can sign up here.
  3. MarketingSherpa: MarketingSherpa was one of the first programs I signed up for. They were studying email and online marketing trends long before most other programs I was subscribed to. There is a wealth of information available on their website, and their emails even give you special access to locked information. My favorite program from them is their ‘Chart of the Week’ that’s sent out every Tuesday. You can sign up here.
  4. MarketingExperiments: A division of MarketingSherpa, MarketingExperiments looks at the analytical side of marketing, testing EVERYTHING! Their monthly clinics are interactive and very interesting. You can sign up here.
  5. Your Vendors: Make sure you are signed up for your vendors’ email programs. You ensure that you are getting up-to-date product information, as well as tips and tricks on how to optimize your use of your products. The really good vendors also share general industry best practices and guidance. One of my favorite programs is from our email marketing program, Silverpop EngageB2B because there is always a solid mix of product info and email marketing advice in their emails. Oh, and Silverpop has B2C advice too! You can sign up here.

What are your favorite sources of marketing information? I’m always looking for more! I am particularly interested in more information on social media marketing. Suggestions?

Check out my post on ‘My Twitter Experiment‘. Very exciting!

Sean Malarkey gives some really great advice on optimizing the use of Twitter!

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Yesterday I had the most hits EVER on my blog: 43. My next highest has ever been 18. I know, maybe a little lame in the blog world, but very exciting as I’ve just begun getting into the whole blog thing.

So, THANKS!

How did this happen? From what I can tell I have been slowly gaining traffic from accumulating so many followers on Twitter. But last night I spent some time commenting on various blog posts that I enjoyed which I think drove some traffic. Gave back a little, ya know? Give kudos where they’re deserved?

Karma, it’s great. It gets ya hits!

I don’t recall exactly how many contacts I had on Twitter on Friday morning. What I do know: it was well south of 100 for both people I was following and followers.

I had noticed #FollowFriday before, but never spent time looking into it because, well, it’s Friday and I work or I’m heading out to do something non-computer related on Friday nights. But since I was off on Good Friday and didn’t have much else to do, I started scanning the recommendations. Here’s what they look like:#FollowFriday

It was contagious; I added a few people, then those people were making recommendations, and then people were adding me, and lo and behold after spending a few hours with #FollowFriday, I had around 150 ‘Tweeps’ I was following and a similar amount of followers. To find more people of interest, I went to search.twitter.com and searched #FollowFriday with keywords such as ‘social media’ and ‘marketing’ to find people of interest.
With so many new people to follow and keep up on, I asked for tips and recommendations to keep track of everything more easily. Tweetdeck was suggested again and again, so I decided to try it. It’s not the fanciest looking program and I haven’t quite figured out how to take advantage of all the functionality, but it definitely helps me keep track of everything without having multiple Safari windows open.

My new TweetDeck setup

My new TweetDeck setup

Basically, you have a column of your friends, a column for direct messages, and a column for replies. From there, you can run new searches that add more columns. So, I now have columns for my #FollowFriday searches along with searches on products at my work. I also added a column of ‘Favorites’ to keep track of people I know provide valuable information as I sift through all the new messages. Another benefit: Tweetdeck also shortens URLs for you and allows you to reTweet messages very easily.
A few days later, I’ve sifted through and followed back people, unfollowed others, and I am now following 224 people and am up to 239 followers. The key is, not all are legitimate: get rich quick, business developers, random people. But, I have made connections with some really interesting people and am looking forward to more #FollowFridays!

Nike+ Kit (image from freshnessmag.com)

Nike+ Kit (image from freshnessmag.com)

In a previous post I touched briefly on Nike+, but didn’t go into much detail. While this is not a traditional social media/networking tool, I think it’s interesting how Nike has tapped into those features to create a running community that spans around the world.

How did I find out about it? It all started with an Amazon gift card I was given for my birthday. I knew I needed some new athletic shoes, and am a big fan of Nike Shox. I found a well-priced pair of shoes and saw that they were Nike+ shoes. I had a little more money left on my gift card, so I also purchased the Nike+ iPod Sport kit (it’s listed on Apple’s website for $29).

What does this mean? Basically there is a place cutout in the shoe where you can place a running sensor (Note: you can purchase a ‘pouch’ for your sensor that can be tied into your laces for a lot less then a new pair of shoes). Then, there is a small piece that you plug into your iPod, and, voila! Your sensor can communicate with your iPod to track your run speed, time, calorie burned and distance. Then, when you plug your iPod into your computer, it syncs up with your iTunes and Nikeplus.com accounts to graph out your run, track your runs to date etc.

Wanna see how it works? Here is a run I just synced up.

BabblingB's Synced Run

BabblingB's Synced Run

All of that is great, but what Nike has done to create community is the interesting part here. You can set personal goals, but you can also set up challenges and invite friends – or, leave it open and anyone can join the challenge.

I’m also a part of a few challenges, such as ‘Most miles in 30 days’ ‘100-mile Milestone Challenge’, or you can set up personal goals – mine is 12 runs in 4 weeks.

I have a ways to go...

I have a ways to go...

My running goal this month

My running goal this month

All in all I am very happy with my Nike+ purchase! It makes running fun for me again, and makes me feel accountable and more determined to run. If you’re a runner, you have to try this out!

Challenge me. My username is ‘brandigirl’. I need the motivation!

My ‘hour per night’ maximum hasn’t really been the norm for my social media study. It’s been more like ‘sit on couch in front of TV with laptop in lap for entire evening until there is a perma-dent in couch cushion’. Seriously, I need to flip my cushions.

So, I have been accused of neglect, being obsessed with the Internet, and being in love with my computer by my boyfriend. Hmm… exactly what I was trying to avoid. The first step is admitting it, right?


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