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One of the fundamental problems I’ve had with Twitter is that it’s hard to keep track of the influx of posts. People have a lot to say, don’t they? I find some of the information infinitely helpful to my own business objectives. Some of the tweets amuse me. And frankly, some of the information I receive is deletable.

Like many social media folk, I would rather have too much information at my fingertips than not enough- but I found myself asking: How am I going to track all these tweets to find what’s important to ME?

Tracking Tools:
The first tool I found to help me sort my tweets out was TweetDeck. I’ve noticed Twitterers use a plethora of tools, but this one works best for me as I can sort my friends into groups, and see my @replies and direct messages in separate columns. Being able to see all of my @replies means that I can keep up with everyone who tweets a message to me, even those that I don’t follow!

Even with TweetDeck, though, I found that I was not able to discover everyone who was talking about me, or the companies I was interested in. What if someone discussed me on Twitter, but typed it wrong? If that happened, I would not receive the @reply notification on TweetDeck. (For example: JenMitch posted about Tracking Twitter Buzz today.) I would stumble on these kinds of Tweets now and then, and wondered how many more I was missing.

Last week I discovered Tweetbeep. Tweetbeep is to Twitter what Google Alerts is to the Internet. Tweetbeep helps you keep track of conversations that mention you, your products, your company, your competitors, your prospective clients, ANYTHING! Tweetbeep even enables you to keep tabs on mentions of your blog/Website regardless of the usage of shortened URLs. It’s Twitter-stalking in the best, coolest, most productive form ever!

Managing Your Twitputation (Yeah, I made that up)
Twitter is a great forum to share with the world what you think about… anything! As a result, many don’t understand what a powerful networking took Twitter can be if utilized appropriately. In my 5 months on Twitter I have:

  • Discovered niche networking events
  • Tweeted the ongoings from my (old employers) own niche industry event
  • Found the coolest VIP parties
  • Talked to people I have never met about my resume
  • Referred business from one friend to another
  • Partnered with people I have never met before on business deals
  • Learned that the San Diego Twitter folks, despite our proximity to Mexico, have a serious Sushi addiction
  • And more…

I never expected that Twitter would be more than a way to say- hey! Check out this press release! Or, hey! Where can I get the best sushi in town? (Sushi Ota.)

I believe that managing your reputation, and gaining the most possible out of Twitter is comprised of a few key things:

  • Reply. It’s good PR to respond to @replies. Not all @replies deserve response, but if you think you could build a connection or generate interesting conversation it’s a MUST. (@replies that are mean-spirited do not require response.)
  • Send a direct message (DM) now and then. You know, to the people you would like to meet in real life, you admire and would like to thank for following you, etc.
  • Know what’s being said about you. Keep tabs on what people are saying about you, your company, your products, etc. via tools like TweetBeep and TweetDeck. If someone gives you or your company a Twitter shout-out, be sure to thank them on the public timeline.
  • Be nice. My dad told me when I was a kid that, “it’s nice to be nice.” Seriously, no one wants to see you play out some kind of high school drama on Twitter. If you have drama, keep it on the DM. (Haha, groan.) Otherwise, play nice in the online sandbox.
  • Most importantly, remember, no one HAS to follow you. Bearing in mind that your friends can come and go, stay relevant, lend a hand, share, and be interesting. Hey! That’s just like real life, isn’t it?
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