Monday, March 10, 2008

The Twitter Effect

If you aren't dialed into Social Media platforms you will have no idea what Twitter is... and that is a shame. I first discovered Twitter about 1 year ago in 2007. I logged and and set up a profile and started participating. When I first saw Twitter and its purpose I must admit, I chuckled sarcastically and said to my husband "look at this new social networking site honey, it is literally about what someone is doing... that is it. People just sit around and type in what they are doing? How lame..." My husband kindly handed me my daily Starbucks and I posted my first Twitter.

I am now hooked. It is something I consider a 'must do' during my day. No matter what, I must Twitter!

What is TWITTER? Literally, it is a social networking site where you simply type in whatever it is you are doing, thinking, wanting, reading, writing... etc. You have 140 characters to update your followers. What are followers? They are people that find you interesting enough to read your 'Twits' short for 'your updates.' One can also follow others that they find interesting. So for example: I am really interested in social media, so I try to follow people that are really on the cutting edge and who blog about social media, new platforms, etc.

I have used the application more and more as time has passed. Some amazing things have happened. I call it the 'Twitter Effect.'

First, Twitter connects people, quite simple, right? Well, it actually connects people that would never have crossed paths before. It drives people to be active and share information. It encourages community and an open-mindedness that I haven't seen on any other applications.

Conversations occur, streams of consciousness are commonplace and often coffee and Twittering go hand in hand. With a Twitter widget your friends and contacts on Facebook and My Space and other social networking sites can follow your updates easily. My friends in New Zealand know when I have a business meeting and where I had lunch, real time.

Why is this important? Because we, in this day and age have a need to by hyper-connected. Simple as that. A cell phone is no longer enough, unless of course, you are Twittering from your phone! We want to know ALL and we want to know NOW. I find it intriguing that I learn so much form 140 character updates from people I don't know. It drives me to further research in my industry and encourages an atmosphere of 'grown-ups passing notes.'

I find Twitter to be intelligent and entertaining. Just jump on when there is a Primary happening. You won't believe what happens. Log in when there is breaking news... you will be one of the first in the 'know.'

The human quality you ask? Aren't people missing the face to face interaction? Well guess what? I have now met 3 people that I was introduced to on Twitter. I have met 2 for coffee and one for lunch and I will tell you, there will be more of that for sure! It has been wildly successful for connecting with like-minded individuals who have the same Web 2.0 passion as I. And I must admit, it is very, very difficult to turn off before I go to sleep. But I make sure that I say goodnight to my fellow Tweets.

Here are some rules of the Twits:

  • Create an account, of course
  • Start surfing
  • Type in some words in the search bar to pick up and scan people with common interests
  • Click beneath their picture and "follow" them
  • When you Tweet make sure you have fun with it and be yourself
  • If you are addressing one of your 'followers' in a Tweet make sure to out the @ symbol before their user name. This will allow others to see their profile and search it if they so choose. Such as:
'Hey @ashleykingsley it is so great to hear from you! I hope you have a great day! Let's have lunch this week!"

  • Some Twitter language you will want to know:
  • Twittering: The act of hyper-updating your social networks
  • Tweets: People who Twitter
  • Twoosh: This is when you are able to utilize 140 characters in every Tweet
  • Tweet: Is the actual act of Twittering
  • Twhirl: This is the newest Twitter application that can be downloaded to your desktop and you are alerted of all your Tweets updates in real time
  • Twicks of the Tweet: This I made up and it is when you can show off some cool stuff on Twitter, like graphics, icons, etc.
  • Twine: This is when someone that you are following whines too much and you want to then, un-follow them because whining is boring. (I made this one up to)
  • Twitical: This is a critical Tweeter. (I made this up)
  • Twistherical: This is someone who Tweets and is funny. (I made this up to)
So, now that you are equipped, I do hope you will join me on Twitter and realize the power of this application. This is not just for kicks. This is texting on steroids!

Monday, January 21, 2008

What Is Your Social Networking Strategy for 2008?

Are you LinkedIn? Are you getting face time on Facebook, Konnects, or Twitter? Do you have a Mini Life?

If you are not familiar with these social networking platforms there is no doubt you are missing the largest trend to hit the internet since the dot com era. You don’t want to miss the boat on social networking. Knowing that you can gain substantial results by utilizing online social networks is imperative. It is also important to know that you could lose opportunities if you don’t get up to speed, and fast!

Wikipedia defines a "social network service" as one that focuses on the building and verifying of online social networks for communities of people who share interests and activities.

Check wiki
social network analysis. If you wonder why social networking is so powerful you may want to digg a little. It appears that age old disciplines are attached to a new medium with several key disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, psychology, organizational design, and graph theory. These have existed in many of academic circles since the 1930s. Although fascinating, the study of trends in human interaction has been confined to the world of academia, with little real life application.

Many people have probably heard of
LinkedIn, but how many people are actually using it to its fullest potential? Many think that social networking sites like LinkedIn and My Space are fads that will slip away as quickly as they popped up. There is also a sense that social networking sites have little or no impact on business.

Those who are the aforementioned school of thought are being left behind. What people may not know is that 499 of the Fortune 500 companies have profiles on

Barack Obama jumped on-board with LinkedIn to reach entrepreneurs, small business owners, and executives, asking them very pointed questions regarding their needs from the next US president. This was not only extremely effective in vast communication efforts across diverse populations; it was groundbreaking for a politician to make himself so available.

One of the messages that I work really hard at conveying to my clients is that social networks can be used to accelerate a brand.

Social networks are phenomenal pedestals for citizen driven content, products, campaigns and more. People are continuously communicating and passing along their brand creating a reach that has never been plausible let along possible.

Relationships originate and come to fruition in very different and powerful ways. Individual's, teams and organization's are at the forefront of the marketplace. Ten years ago, many people/businesses would have never communicated without the convenience of social networks. This expands business potential all across the board.

Brand, that which time after time creates sustainable loyalty and continued investment in any organization from employees, suppliers, customers, and shareholders. It is vital.

It is time to embrace social networking as a strategic business move in driving profitable revenue growth, brand equity, while integrating the ‘new tools of the trade,’ whatever the trade. Social media does not discriminate.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What is Social Media?

Social media is the combination of people participating in a media related process. Make sense? Probably not. So let me break it down.

People have largely been immune to being spoon fed information. We turn on the radio and the news is being fed to us. Though we have a choice in what station we listen to, we are still be handed information. This is also true when we turn on the television. Yes, we have channels to choose from, however, we are still being fed a the end of the day by large conglomerates with an agenda.

Over the last few years social networking sites have popped up everywhere. You have probably heard of MY SPACE or
YOU TUBE or FACEBOOK by now? These are good examples of social media platforms. These portals give the average citizen a place to carve out an opinion, steer a rating and toss a vote.

What does this mean? This means that we (you, me and the guy on the corner) have a voice. We are writing the reviews. We, yes, you and I, are leading word-of-mouth marketing campaigns, sometimes without even knowing it. Ever tell someone they must go and see the latest movie you just saw or visit the latest and greatest watering hole? Yup, this is what I am talking about!

It use to be that we turned to "experts" to find out what to buy, where to eat, what movies to see, where to travel and you get the idea. Now, we rely on our community. The communities that we in essence design. With tools like MY SPACE, we are able to communicate en mass, speak up, speak out and even communicate with people without even knowing them, often, meaningfully.

I get the question all the time "Isn't MY SPACE for the teenagers?" This makes me chuckle. The answer is, why, it is for everyone! The beauty of these platforms is we can utilize them exactly how we choose. We can use them for business, networking, dating, making friends, politics, fundraising, educating, the list goes on. The possibilities are really endless.

I have run some of my most successful marketing campaigns via MY SPACE and
FACEBOOK. The early adopters understand the power of citizen marketing. People who are savvy enough to plug in to these alternatives are the ones gaining the most from what they have to offer. Did you happen to notice who the 'Person of the Year' on Time Magazine was in 2006? YOU!

We can research information at the speed of light. No longer do we need to digg throug card catalogs and search for ISBN's to find our answers. This is archaic. We can look for what we want and we can apply our findings, our knowledge and our expertise in so many ways! It is very exciting and gives the expert and the novice all a place to play co-exist equally. How cool is that?

Wiki Definition of Social Media:

If you really want to delve deep check out some of these reading options:

Citizen Marketers: When People are the Message
Now is Gone: A Primer on New Media for Executives and Entrepreneurs
Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
ASK DAVE TAYLOR: This is an endless site for information that goes well beyond the Social Media frame.

Don't be afraid to surf around on some of these websites. Look at what people have created. Spend some time envisioning how you can create a campaign that can transcend any other campaign you have ever done using only social media. The possibilities will keep you awake all night with excitement. Oh, wait. That is why you HIRE ME! This is what I do for my clients! I would love nothing more than to take your campaign onto the social media road to show you and your target audience the endless possibilities!

Monday, January 7, 2008

TV Killed the Radio

How exciting that ASHER SOLUTIONS (me) was invited to be on START UP STORY RADIO with Rob McNealy and Dave Taylor from ASK DAVE TAYLOR.

What a fun time we had! We spent a good deal of time talking about marketing and social networking which are my passions. I finally met
Dave Taylor for the first time which was great as I have come to admire his breadth of knowledge around the internet.

Rob, the host of
Start Up Story Radio is so dynamic. I don't know too many people that have the diverse talent that Rob has. The show is all about entrepreneurs starting a business, writing a book, inventing a widget, you get the idea. It is a great show and continues to get better and better each week. I told Rob that I thought he should let me co-host!

I have come to learn that social networking is my favorite platform to leverage my clients. We got to touch on the social networking aspects of marketing, some of the dynamics of MY SPACE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, etc.

People are utilizing the computer as their own soap box now days and this is a great thing! It is called Citizen Marketing. It is an exciting time to be a writer, a marketing junkie, a public relations lover, a communications queen! Hey, it is an exciting time, period. There is so much potential on the internet. So much to learn. And it can be monetized for clients.

What clients should clients shoud keep in mind is people in the marketing and public relations industry have to keep up with all the new technology and stay on the cutting edge. This is huge as it is changing so quickly. There are great resources out there and I am, as a business owner, always trying to educate myself and stay versed on everything going on in the ever evolving world of communications.

If you get the chance, listen to the great show we had last Saturday! You can download it from HERE!