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Promoting Ourselves On Social Media – Take Two, Twitter

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015

Two weeks ago on my business blog I wrote a post saying that I don’t fully give everything away when I’m writing my blog posts. I give away a lot of information, that’s for sure. What I don’t give away is a lot of implementation techniques. I also give advice that’s at a surface level; after all, every person and situation is different, so I can only give global information. For more specific help, I have to be contacted; that’s what a consultant does after all.

Emerging Media - Twitter Bird
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In last week’s post talking about how we all need to promote ourselves on social media, I mentioned that I would be giving a more detailed account of some of the things I’ve been doing lately that seem to be helping me get over the hump as far as being better known. In this post, I’m going to be giving a lot of detailed information away, as opposed to what I mentioned above. You might ask me why; don’t bother because I’m about to tell you.

I’m not going to lie to you. Doing what I’ve been doing is going to take a lot of work and a lot of time. If you’re efficient, it won’t take as much time, but it’s still going to take a significant bit of your time in general. Also, you can’t do all of it at once, although some of it you can.

I’m going to cover Twitter today, part of which I’ve mentioned before as it pertains to Twitter and Tweetdeck, but I’m going further now than I was. At a later date, probably next week, I’m going to cover LinkedIn and Facebook and how they relate to some of my blogs; how’s that for a full cross promotion?

The one place I’ve been deficient is Google Plus, so I’m not going to talk about it in this article. Heck, even I can’t do it all. Maybe another time; we’ll see.

Let’s get started with Twitter. I’m not going to repeat what I wrote in that previous article about it, so if you want more details, the cost to you is going to be a little bit of effort in going back and reading it; while you’re there, think about commenting on it as well. πŸ™‚ I will start off by saying that I’m still using that process; I’ve just expanded it a lot.

Back then I had a list of 20 posts from this blog and 20 posts from my business blog. At this juncture, I’ve expanded that a lot… I mean a lot! lol In my Word file I’m up to 9 pages of links that include articles from those two blogs, my other blogs, and interviews I’ve conducted that are on my YouTube page. I only go back as far as the blogs will accept comments; that means this blog only goes back 1,000 days, but the business blog will accept comments going back 5 years. That’s to limit spammers, who love putting things on older posts (suckers lol).

But wait; there’s more (a homage to products bought on late night TV) lol. I have a second file that’s about 8 pages long of quotes from the early years of my business blog (which I’ve been writing for 10 years) that are geared towards topics I cover there that will help me reach an audience I’m looking to touch base with. Many of them have hashtags related to the topic, some don’t, but overall they’re another important asset I use.

Twitter addict at Web 2.0 Expo 2009 - 001
Steve Rhodes via Compfight

If you’ve read the other article, you understand the need for the blog posts so let me explain the quotes. A lot of people love inspirational quotes. If you go to Twitter you see them all over the place. However, a lot of people not only are automating the process, but they’re all posting quotes by other people, famous people whether you know them or not. Almost no one is posting their own original quotes, and I think they’re missing out on a major opportunity. Not that I don’t also share some of those things (I’ll be coming back to this), but I also share a healthy dose of me; turns out I’m pretty quotable when I look back. πŸ™‚

The first thing I do is decide the starting time for my daily posts. I start them a different time every day of the week… well, Monday and Thursday start at the same time, as do the posts on Saturday and Sunday, but otherwise I diversify the time. Trust me, the only people who are going to notice it are those who read this post; go ahead, share it and I’ll bet a lot of people still won’t notice it.

The reason Monday and Thursday started at the same time came about because I was writing two posts a week for this blog; since I’m not doing that anymore I could have changed the time up, but I’m leaving it alone for now because it makes programming everything else mentally easier to do. Tweetdeck is my platform of choice, but I’m assuming you can do the same on whatever you’re using.

This part is manual but it needs to be. If I write a new post, it’s the one that gets posted first every morning. Those are scheduled to automatically go out when published, since I write them ahead of time so I can plug them into their slot. There are 5 days and I have 5 blogs, so each blog has its day. If I don’t write a new post for any particular blog I pop something else in there.

I schedule blog posts initially with two hour periods of separation. The reason I do that is because every new post gets shared the first week at least 5 times (if I like it); sometimes more often. Well, almost every post; the one I wrote on September 11th this year was shared 3 times on that date and hasn’t been shared again. It was for a specific date and reason; those posts and sales posts follow a different standard.

The reason I space posts out 2 hours apart is because it gives me the opportunity to plug these posts into those other slots, since I’m usually scheduling everything 2 weeks in advance. Since this blog starts on Monday, it’ll get posted 5 more times during the week, including later on Monday night. If I really like it, I’ll pop it into a slot during the weekend also, and possibly a couple of times the next week. Otherwise, I don’t have an extended schedule for the new posts; I just plug them in when I feel like it.

twitt
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I use a manual process is because Twitter won’t accept the same post more than once in a 24-hour period if it’s identically written. I also don’t put hashtags on the original posting of it; it would make my titles look messy. So, it gives me the opportunity to add the hashtag later on and either move it around if I need to or just make sure the posts are scheduled further apart than 24 hours. For instance, after I’ve written this post, I’ll be able to go ahead & paste it 5 other times into Tweetdeck for the week and be done with it, since I’ve already scheduled the other blog posts for the next two weeks; whew!

By having a file of older posts with the hashtags already in place, it makes the process of putting them in Tweetdeck move pretty fast. Popping those links in takes me between 30 – 45 minutes. The only slowdown is if I select a day where I want to revisit some of the newer posts, which I don’t have on the file because some of those I want to highlight more than what I have in my file. The file always goes in order based on which blog I’m sharing. The two most voluminous come from this blog and my business blog; that would figure since they have the most posts.

Now, you could just do that and stop there… but I don’t. I mentioned my quotes file previously. Now it’s time to schedule some of my quotes into Tweetdeck. I’ve also added some of my favorite quotes from other famous people and, well, characters from entertainment I like. Most of those quotes are those others aren’t using all that often so, in a way, I’m keeping up with my originality goal while giving some people names they might recognize like Dumbledore, Captain Picard and Yoda; y’all know them right? πŸ™‚

These quotes I only schedule 4 times a day except for Mondays. I space them out 4 hours apart, but I also schedule them 30 minutes after a blog post. Let’s use Thursday as an example. The first post will go out at 9:45 and the first quote will go out at 10:15. Then there will be a quote at 2:15, 6:15 and 10:15. I never post anything during the times I know I’ll be trying to sleep, but since I stay up late, often I’ll post something live if I’m on Twitter at that time. I schedule those out two weeks in advance as well.

That might take me anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes because every once in a while, for some of my shorter quotes, I’ll go through my archives and add an image to the quote. If you have at least 22 characters left, you can add an image. If you have enough characters left and you want to add a topic specific hashtag, do it. That’s how you’ll best reach the audience you’re gearing something to.

Whew, that’s a lot of work isn’t it? Sorry kids but we’re not done; not even close! This is where many people mess up, but I’m not going to let you do it. If I did, then I’d be contributing to the noise I see on Twitter and I’d hate myself. Remember, even if it’s supposed to be about you, it’s not ALL supposed to be about you.

Next, it’s time to go through my Twitter lists to see what’s going on and what people are sharing. I have 4 specific lists: Friends of Mine; People I Want To Follow; Syracuse Folks; #Leadership.

The first is a listing of my online friends whose posts I want to share on Twitter more often than others. I don’t share everything, and, so you know, if I’m sharing a link I always go and look at the post to see if I think it’s fine before I share it; my reputations on the line after all. I always start there, and it’s not an overly large list of folks.

What are you doing?
fave πŸ™‚ via Compfight

The second is the most transient list I have. There are a few people who will always be on that list, but it’s the list I use to alternate people in and out of that, for the most part, I’m connected to on Twitter. Sometimes there’s something I’m not connected to that’s not local that I’ll put in there for a while, just to see what type of thing they’re posting. If I like it, they stay; if not, I remove them and put someone else in. The one permanent person in that list that I’m not connected to is Neil deGrasse Tyson. If you don’t know who he is… why not?!?!? Go look him up; I consider him the smartest and most eclectic person in the world today. However, this is the 3rd list I look at.

The second list I look at is third in the line, that being my local Syracuse peeps. This includes friends of mine who may have moved out of the area but I met them here. It’s a bigger list than the other two, but they don’t post a lot of stuff for the most part, and usually by 11PM they’ve stopped posting for the night; wusses. lol

The last of my created lists is my #Leadership list. Every post that’s on Twitter that uses that hashtag shows up here. This gives me a rotating list of people, most of whom I don’t know, who are posting things I like to see. If I like it, I’ll share it.

The last list I look at is that all encompassing list of everyone I’m connected to. At this juncture that’s about 1,150 people; whew! And yet, it’s not as daunting as you might think it is; I’ll tell you why based on the next step.

I do a couple of things with these lists. First, I open up a Notepad document. For the first 3 lists I mentioned I go back over a 24-hour period and look at everything that’s in those lists. Since they’re not voluminous, it doesn’t take as long as you might think. For the leadership and home columns (the column where everyone I’m connected to is called Home; not sure if I called it that or not lol). I only go back 30 minutes. Trust me, there’s so much content that 30 minutes is plenty to look through for both of them.

Tweetdeck allows me to use the mouse to copy whatever’s in the box for those people and paste it into Notepad. I mentioned earlier that if there’s a link to a post I open it up and look at it. The secondary reason for doing that is some folks paste without having the links shrink, and copying doesn’t retrieve the entire link. So, if I like it and want to share it, I have to copy the link from the browser and replace the truncated link that showed up in Notepad. I accumulate all links I want to share this way.

The second thing I do is just go ahead and share some of those links while I’m looking at them. I do this for a lot of the local links so those folks will see that I’ve shared them during the night; it seems to make them happy when they wake up. lol If I share them once, I don’t share them again. By copying and pasting later I get to control what they look like, but if I share them immediately they’re formatted differently. Thus, if they’re retweets and I want to give those folks credit, I have to type in their Twitter handles if it’s live, but if I copy it then I get their Twitter handles on the file.

How I schedule these depends on how many I get. This is the one area where I might have to revisit the columns at least one more time during the week. I’ll post at least one of these once an hour, and at an “off-time”. Every post of mine is scripted based on either ending in “0” or “5”. The others can be at any time of the day, at long as I’m awake, but the caveat is that there has to be at least 10 minutes of separation, more if I can get it. This regulation doesn’t apply to anything I’m sharing while live, but if scheduled I stick to this rule. Because of the live sharing, I end up somewhere close to a 50-50 split; that’s pretty fair.

Picture 86
Are you tired yet?

If during a period where I’m scanning the columns I end up with a lot to share, then I schedule way out. If not, I’ll revisit that again during the week, possibly a couple of times, and plug them in. Because I know what my general posting schedule every other day, I can actually post some of these in before it’s time to post my blog articles if need be.

Yet, I’m still not done; what else is there?

Because of the time I’ve spaced out, it allows for new content I might create independent of the blog posts. For instance, if I’ve posted an article on LinkedIn, I schedule that. If I create a new video, that gets scheduled. I advertise my products, mainly my two books at least 3 times a week for each of them. I pop my Facebook business page link in there every once in a while. I also pop in articles for two other sites I write for, my accountant and my consultant’s group. I don’t write weekly for them, so they’re easier to plug in later on. Finally, if I get ambitious and have more than one post on a blog in a week, I’ll still have lots of space left to pop those links in.

All of this sounds like it takes up a lot of time doesn’t it? Well… it does and it doesn’t. Usually I can knock it off within a couple of hours in one shot or I can break it up over a couple of days on a weekend. Because I schedule two weeks in advance, it gives me the free time I need during the weeks to do other stuff like writing blog posts, marketing my business, creating other stuff, etc. Frankly, by planning I save tons of time while getting my name out there… and it’s all free! πŸ™‚

One last thing; what, you thought it was over? Well, this part isn’t anything you can plan in advance, yet it needs to be part of what you do. You have to interact with people who interact with you. So, anytime someone shares any of my stuff, I thank them. If they make a comment I comment back, sometimes engaging in longer conversations. After all, Twitter really is about engagement, and when other people see that you’ll talk to them they’ll be more willing to talk to you. If they’ll talk to you, they’ll follow you… most of the time anyway. πŸ™‚ By the way, this is my favorite part of using Twitter, and why it’s my favorite social media platform.

I know the question you’re asking me now, and I’m ready to answer it; what’s my ROI, or return on investment?

I haven’t made much money yet; we’ll get that out of the way. I have sold a couple of my books by doing this, especially my latest book Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy, because some folks get intrigued by all the stuff I’m posting, go take a look, and decide to give it a shot. Now if I can only get more than one person to admit that they’ve read the whole thing I’ll be even happier. lol

However, I get a lot of people sharing both my articles and my quotes. I’ve increased traffic on my sites, though not dramatically. I’ve had a lot more people follow me there and I’ve had a few people who’ve connected with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and have gone to see some of my videos. I’ve also had a lot of people adding me to their lists, which is pretty cool as it means they’ll at least see my stuff moreso than if I was just in the general population there.

That’s about as comprehensive as it gets. Yes, it’s work intensive, but it can be a major benefit if you’re ready to do the work. That part is up to you; however, if you actually read all of this I’m going to ask you to retweet it for me so it’s not just me doing it. After all, I didn’t write this particularly epic post to read it on my own. πŸ™‚

If you think I’ve left anything out, or you have any questions, please feel free to comment. Now I’m tired so I’m going to bed. lol
 

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15 Comments »

Does Tweetdeck allow you to store the content in a database so that you only have to input it once?

October 19th, 2015 | 1:28 PM

Nope; you have to do the work yourself.

October 19th, 2015 | 1:31 PM

O….wow,
What a wonderful post. Thanks for this, Really helpful for everyone and I like your style of Sharing.
I think twitter is most helpful for growing community. Because, Twitter is wildly popular and it’s a great way for you to interact and your community and audience! Promote your Culture Days activity and other content that you want people to see. This is the easiest way to promote, communicate, and get your name out there, because Twitter is short, sweet and so easy to use. So everyone must have..

October 19th, 2015 | 2:18 PM

Thanks Uttam. Course, if one has a goal then it’s not so easy, but it’s still easier to use than almost everything else.

October 19th, 2015 | 4:15 PM

Hi Mitch, you made me tired reading this post πŸ™‚ LOL. Great to see how you do it all and yes it is a LOT of WORK. But I like how you mention Twitter being the best – it surely is and you must ENGAGE on it too like I know you do.
I can’t seem to share my own stuff enough as I preach the 80/20 rule but barely make the 90/10 rule….It’s something I have to work on as well as commenting more, posting more and working on an updated eBook. I’ll have to survive on less sleep to do it ALL.
Thanks for sharing how you do it Mitch and have a great evening.
Lisa Sicard recently posted…Learn 7 Latest Social Media Updates You Should KnowMy Profile

October 19th, 2015 | 6:09 PM

First, thanks for reading it all Lisa; I know it’s a lot.

Second, I’ve learned that you have to start with your own needs first and then pull others into it; kind of like being on an airplane where they tell you to put your own mask on first before helping others.

I love Twitter, and truthfully, I feel privileged to be one of those people who’s gotten real engagement out of it over the years, and for all those people who don’t get on after creating an account… more for us! πŸ˜‰

October 19th, 2015 | 6:43 PM

Oh. One of the things I like about Edgar is I can plug things in once and they will go into a rotation and repeat based on the schedule I set up.
I can use it on several platforms including Twitter and Facebook personal and pages.
(Disclosure: No, I do not get paid by Edgar. I could, but I do not.)

October 20th, 2015 | 11:28 AM

If you’re only concerned with your own posts, then I guess that’s fine. Also, at $49 a month, I hope you’re getting the ROI you’re looking for with it. My way might take some physical time but I can live with it; I mean, $49 buys 4 pizzas! lol

October 20th, 2015 | 5:17 PM

On the other hand, some have said, “In order to get fans, you must first be a fan.”
I am starting to swing more to the “start with your own needs first” idea as I have spent SO much time helping / promoting others and it is rarely reciprocated.

October 20th, 2015 | 11:32 AM

Well, this is one of those cases where you have to ask yourself if you do nice things for people “only” with the expectation that they’ll do nice things for you. πŸ™‚ The truth is that probably 80% don’t share my stuff back, and maybe only 50% acknowledge when I share their stuff. That’s the reason I only share stuff that interests me because I’m reading it anyway. It’s within my bailiwick of interests, and I share stuff all the time anyway, so why not use intention to share things?

Still, I do start with my own scheduling first, mainly because I want to secure my times before I plug in stuff of others.

October 20th, 2015 | 5:20 PM

Hey Mitch,

I made it and I have to agree with Lisa. You wore me out with this one, my goodness.

So you use TweetDeck to schedule your posts where I use Buffer. I don’t do things like you do of course but I’m glad it’s working for you. I mean that’s why we do what we do right! The key to Twitter though too is of course interacting with others so I think where most people go wrong is just sharing links with no interaction whatsoever.

I’ve had to just get on Twitter once a day now with my schedule getting busier and busier. Of course I’m usually on there about 45 minutes to an hour each time because I’m having to respond to tweets and of course chat with my friends during that time so it does take a while but it’s SO worth it. I just love that platform.

You share a lot of the quotes that I post but I have been trying to put some of my own in there. I don’t want this to be a me me session though which is why I do more of others than my own but you’re right. People LOVE quotes so why not let them share yours.

Long post but thanks for sharing with us what you do and again, I’m glad it’s working for you. See, this stuff does pay off.

~Adrienne
Adrienne recently posted…Open Oceans of Opportunity By Being Vulnerable and HonestMy Profile

October 20th, 2015 | 4:13 PM

It does pay off Adrienne, even if the way it pays off might not be the same for everyone’s goals. I love the engagement piece of Twitter, which is why I hang out there so often. The scheduling part allows me to be gone for hours at times and scan through tons of messages at other times, realizing that my needs are being taken care of while I do it.

Of course, compiling a large file of material for me to share of mine… that took some time, and luckily with the blog posts I have to constantly update it. With the quotes… well, at this point I’m only up to 2009 articles off my business blog, which means I still have 6 years to go through there, and I haven’t even started looking for quotes off any of my other blogs; whew! I like to tell people that all of us are quotable, just like all of us can be considered experts in something, even if we hate the title. It does take some work but the fruits of my labor aren’t wasted… I feel it! πŸ˜‰

October 20th, 2015 | 5:25 PM

I see your point. Pizza is good and $49 per month may seem like a lot of cash but breaking it down…
Edgar costs me $1.65 per day. It saves me the time of finding worthy content I want to share every day and then loading the text and a picture into the entry form on Twitter (or Facebook or LinkedIn) whether it be my own content or someone else’s. Every day I share a quote without a picture and two quotes with a picture. (There is one scheduled for you coming soon BTW) I load all those in once and they cycle through then repeat.
I dunno how long that would take me to do all of that plus tweet about my own sites / promotions but if it saves me a half hour each day, that is a half hour I could be using Twitter search to find people who are talking about my topics and to engage with them.
Is that worth $1.65 per day to me? You betchya!

October 21st, 2015 | 2:07 PM
Mark:

What an awesome post Mitch!

My friend you could very easily turn this
epic post into, (either) a really cool free lead generating “how to” special report!

Or, you could create a $27 dollar two and a half hour course!LOL!

And just offer additional paid back end coaching, if you wanted to!Thanks, you really over delivered!LOL!

November 10th, 2015 | 3:00 PM

Thanks for your comment Mark; I’m honored! πŸ™‚

November 10th, 2015 | 3:16 PM
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