Category Archives: Twitter

I use social media because….

…it facilitates connections.

There are several reasons to use social media for business. Whether you use it to gain industry knowledge; make new connections; keep an eye on the competition or see what your clients are saying, the underlying reason should be about relationships.  At their core, social media tools exist to facilitate relationships and connection.

I use social media to do the following:

  • Increase my sphere of influence in hopes to find new connections
  • Nurture some of those new connections into online relationships
  • Connect with some of those relationships ILR (in real life)
  • Learn form people who are smarter than me (the list is long)
  • Gain new industry knowledge
  • Contribute my experience and expertise
  • Increase awareness of my consulting business and my blog

The tools I primarily use are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  For many clients I also use YouTube, Vimeo and Flickr.

What are your reasons for using social media tools?



The Weight of Words

Did I Say That?

I read several articles and blog posts today about the marketing firm employee who Tweeted on behalf of Chrysler.  I won’t rehash the entire story (you can read it here).  

He meant to send a Tweet through his personal account and accidentally sent it through the Chrysler account.  His Tweet read: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to (expletive) drive.” A horrible mistake that cost him his job and his employer the Chrysler business.

@pwilson wrote a great blog post today talking about the power of our words.  Whether you are Tweeting, talking, writing or any other form of communication your words hold power.  They have the power to harm or to help. 

– Reality check –

How are you using your words when communicating with…

  • Your staff?
  • Your clients?
  • You vendors?
  • Your family?
  • Others?

Something to think about…


P.S. As a marketing professional who manages several social media accounts this affects me on many levels.  I will save that post for another day.

Hashtag Mash

A hashtag is the “#” symbol followed by a keyword that Twitter users use to follow a particular set of tweets.  They can be used to follow a topic, an event, a business, a person or just about anything else you could think of.

Hashtags can benefit small business owners in the following ways:

1. Create a company hashtag. 
You can create a hashtag as part of your branding strategy.  As your company Tweets under the official Twitter handle it can add a hashtag at the end.  When anyone retweets your post it will include the hashtag and you can gauge how much your company is talked bout on Twitter. The goal is to get your brand ambassadors to Tweet on your behalf and use the official hashtag as well.

2. Start a topic and follow the trend.
Just like an official company hashtag you can create a hashtag for a campaign, product or service.

3. Follow an existing topic on Twitter. 
This will save you time and help to narrow down relevant Tweets for you to read.

What other ways do you use hashtags for business? Chime in and let me know!

Need more information on hashtags?  Follow me and send me a Tweet!


Say What?

 Social Media Guidelines for Your Brand

On Wednesday I talked about achieving brand consistency on a budget.  Common voice (tone, wording, etc.) is a key element in brand consistency. The great thing about consistency of voice in social media is that it does not cost much, if any, cash.  It does require a time and thought investment.

Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all have status updates.  This is not news. 

What may be news to many small business owners is that you can easily set your Twitter status to appear on your LinkedIn and Facebook status plus on your blog too (depending on what blogging service you use). This is one way to be sure your voice and messaging is consistent across all platforms.

This may get a little tricky if there is more than one person engaged in social media on behalf of your company but it is achievable.  Here is where the time and thought investment comes in.  This can be done by establishing guidelines for any representative of your company to who engages in social media. 

Keep these things in mind when establishing social media guidelines:

  1. Be clear on the voice of the company
  2. Be clear on your policy to engage (or not engage) negative comments
    1. You may want to designate one person to be the voice in these situations
  3. Don’t make the guidelines too narrow so that you squash the individual’s voice
    1. Especially about things unrelated to your brand
    2. But…don’t make them too loose either
  4. Don’t make efforts so coordinated that everyone is saying the exact same thing
    1. Like automated Tweets to multiple accounts
    2. It can get boring and your audience will lose interest
  5. Add guidelines specific to your brand…

As always, I encourage you to seek the help of a marketing coach.  They can help guide you in the right direction.

If you would like to learn how to link your updates feel free to email me.

Working to add value…


Great Analytics Tool Discovery

I just read about an awesome analytics tool to track social media campaigns.  I cannot wait to try it.  It is created by RowFeeder and is built on Microsoft Excel. A tool many are familiar with.  Below is an excerpt from the Mashable article:

The product is built on Excel, so instead of simply exporting data, RowFeeder generates native Excel files with pre-populated charts, visualizations and pivot tables all based around a company’s raw social media data. The idea behind the service is to bring sophisticated social media data crunching to marketers in a format that they’re familiar with.

RowFeeder tracks and aggregates data around any word, phrase, hashtag or username on Facebook and Twitter. Automated report types include velocity analysis to chart keyword activity on social sites, location analysis to find out where conversations are happening, and influencer and people analysis.

If you use RowFeeder let me know what you think about it (post a comment). I am signing up one of my clients up for the free version today!

Never underestimate the need for, and power of, good analytics!


What Should I Twitter?

What Should I Twitter?  I have nothing to say.

Sure you have something to say! When asked this question I typically respond with another question. Why do you want to Twitter? On Tuesday’s blog I offered 5 reasons to Twitter.  These can help answer the “why” question. If your business goal is to connect with your audience (clients, prospects, colleagues, etc.) then consider these suggestions on what you should Tweet.

  1. Join the conversation! (you might learn and/or contribute something)
  2. Offer information or insight (you may have a pearl of wisdom that one of your followers needs to read)
  3. Pass along interesting articles (by passing along great articles you read, you may help someone else)
  4. Talk about conferences or meetings you attend (people who respect you may want to check out what conferences you attend)
  5. Talk about business meetings you attended and mention who was in the meeting (especially if they are on twitter too)
  6. Talk about business deals you recently signed (if they can be discussed publicly)
  7. Talk about something you have learned in business, life, parenting, whatever (this can connect you to your readers)
  8. Insert your reason here

Still need more help with this Twitter or social media thing?  Contact a marketing coach to help get you started!

Tweet On!


You’re not My Type…

About a year ago my pastor asked for help in learning how to Twitter (and blog but that’s a post for another day).  He wanted to better engage with his congregation. I wrote him a basic “how to” guide and am in the process of modifying it for business.  I thought I’d share that guide with you.  If you would like a copy, please email me at and I’ll be sure you to send one once the revision is complete.

This basic Twitter strategy guide talks about the purpose of Twittering, types of Twitter users (as defined by me), what to Tweet about, how often to do it, list of some resources to learn more, an overview of Twitter tools and steps to get started.

Today I thought I would share my take on the types of Twitter users.

Types Twitter Users

There are four basic types of Twitter Users (as defined by Kerri Karel compiled from multiple articles) –

  1. Leaders – Those who post their content on Twitter (generally these people are followed by others but may not follow many people themselves).  Their content consists of tidbits from their teachings, web sites, blogs, etc. and also some personal Tweets that give the reader a glimpse into who they are and what they care about (family, church, friends, passions, etc.)
  2. Social Butterflies – Those who want to be social with people (these people tend to follow people and get followed in return).  They twitter about everything from the latest tech gadget or application to where they are going to what they are doing.
  3. Observers (Stalkers) – Those who follow a large number of people, have very few followers and very few posts of their own. They want to see what others are talking about but do not wish to join in the conversation. They do not contribute anything.
  4. Cheeseballs – Those who use Twitter (and other social media) only to push their own products/services or agenda.  They miss the purpose, and therefore the power, of social networking. They are only focused on what followers can do for them (buy my product, read my stuff, answer my questions, etc.) and not interested in making a meaningful contribution.

As I mentioned yesterday my Twitter handle is @kkarel.

Catch you on Twitter.  Maybe we can Tweetup.


Why Should I Twitter?

Who cares what I am doing?
Why do I care what someone else is doing?

All good questions.  All questions I asked myself when I began to Twitter. I’ll be honest I was not an early adapter to Twitter. I am a marketing professional and in the beginning I did not get it. My thought was that busy professionals don’t have time for something so useless.

I do not claim to be a social media expert but I do have some experience in using social media myself and managing social media strategies for clients.  Here is my take on Twitter for the small usiness owner…

    1. Make sure you have a clear goal in mind for your Twitter (overall social media) strategy
    2. “I need to do it just to catch up with everyone else” is NOT a valid reason
      1. If you need help – talk to your marketing coach
    1. Companies can effectively use Twitter as part of their strategy to stay connected to their clients and prospects
    2. A key element to bringing value here is to join the conversation, don’t just push your company or product
    1. It is about quality of the connections, not quantity (see #1 on this list)
    2. According to a new HP study having a large numbers of followers does not equate to influence
      1. If you want highlights of the study read this blog post from ZDNET
    1. You can gain insight into your customers by reading their Tweets (see #2 on this list)
    1. Twitter can help make you a better writer
      1. Saying something worthwhile in 140 characters or less is NOT easy
      2. Saying it in 120 characters so others can retweet it is even more challenging

I have more to say but I’ll stop here – this is a blog post not a text book.  I am sure I will Tweet about it later.

Social media is still so new.  I am leery of anyone who claims to be a true “social media expert”.  To be an expert in something you need to have years of experience in it. That said I still seek out wisdom from those more experienced in it than I am. [side note: One of those great sources is Alltop. It brings together articles from some of the most notable sites on social media around the web.]

Want to join this conversation?  Post a comment or send me a Tweet. My Twitter handle is @kkarel.

Still working to stay connected…


Client Relationships – How Are They?

Seth Godin recently wrote a blog post on how we get to choose our customers.  He states that we choose our customers by our pricing, our promotion and our content among other things.  I believe he is right. 

I learned a long time ago that we teach people how to treat us.  I believe the same is true in marketing and business. We have all had our share of high-maintenance, low-benefit clients. Perhaps we have even been that client to someone else at one time. 

A key element to long-term growth is building relationships with our clients. Not every relationship will look the same with every client but it is critical to have one.

Once it is established it is our responsibility to maintain that relationship.  This is part of why social media has taken off in the way it has.  It’s about connection. Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can help you start conversations to begin new relationships. They can also help you stay engaged with existing relationships. Just remember you still have to do the heavy lifting in keeping your relationships strong.

Working to stay connected.


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