Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Apr 25, 2016
I’ve been on Twitter for about 8 years now. I’ve done a lot of reading and retweeting and sharing and had lots of conversations. I’d pretty much done everything I could imagine doing on Twitter.
That is, except “like” a tweet.
I’m sure most of you remember that before it was “liking” tweets what you did was click on the star and it saved it as Favorites. In the original version, saving something to Favorites was like you were bookmarking links with the intention by Twitter that you’d go back and read them later on. I’ve never been the bookmarking type, so I never used it.
At some point it started taking on a different significance, which is why Twitter switched it over last November. Even though there was a firestorm (because most people hate change) Twitter announced after a week that based on their algorithms it was 6% more popular than Favorites; how about that?
I never used it, never even thought about it… until last week, Wednesday, when a local favorite Syracuse University former basketball player named Dwayne “Pearl” Washington passed away from a brain tumor. He was 52, and even though the entire community knew he was sick it was still a shock when it happened. He was not only a great college player and a high school legend, but he was the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet, and even I had to about the one encounter I had with him, along with hundreds of others.
There were all sorts of tributes to him on Twitter, not only from locals but from former college & NBA players and stories all over the place. I shared some of those stories on my social media sites… and then I liked a tweet. Then I liked 3 others. It’s amazing that it took this to get me to like a tweet because I didn’t even add any favorites to Twitter when Michael Jackson passed away… my favorite artist of all time; that’s saying something.
I’ve been thinking about the concept of social media sharing since last Wednesday. I’ve written about how I market on Twitter, which includes a lot of sharing of articles and posts by others. I’ve stepped up the game on that one since I wrote that post, but I’ll save that for another time.
Part of me realizes that liking a tweet is sharing with the person who posted the tweet that you enjoyed what they shared. However, I haven’t been able to figure out if anyone else sees it. I’ve looked on Twitter and Tweeten (since Tweetdeck changed) and on Tweetcaster on my other technology and have never seen in any of my other streams where someone just liked a tweet. I see when they retweet it but that’s about it.
I like sharing other people’s content, and overall I think I’m pretty good at it. More people need to think about sharing the content of others as part of their own marketing strategy, as well as sharing some of their own stuff. I see way too many people doing either one or the other but not doing both all that well. Because of that I’m going to mention the names of 3 people who are the best in the business when it comes to sharing… at least based on what I’ve noticed to this point.
First we have Donna Merrill of Donna Merrill Tribe. She’s a serial sharer of a lot of my posts, and not just on Twitter. Shew as the first person to share a post of mine on LinkedIn, which I have to admit I’d never even thought about doing. She shares my posts on all the social media sites I participate on and is always graceful in what she has to say about the posts she shares. She’s even shared posts of mine from my business blog, which most people don’t even visit. Thanks Donna!
Second on the list we have Sherman Smith of Sherman Smith’s Blog. Sherman shares my posts on Twitter, Google Plus & LinkedIn. He always offers his own opinion about a post when he shares it; that’s pretty cool so thanks to you Sherman!
Third, last but certainly not least is the share queen herself, Adrienne Smith. Adrienne shares more of my posts than anyone else alive, and she was the first person to ever share a post of mine on Facebook… which freaked me out (in a good way) because once again I’ve never thought about sharing almost any of my own posts in my general feed. If I were the type I’d bow my head to her and her sharing mastery… instead I’m thanking her here; thanks Adrienne!
Are you sharing what other people are creating? Are you doing anything so they know you’re doing it? What do you think of it as a marketing strategy, or even just as a way to show appreciation for what others are writing or creating? Let me know, and of course visit my friends above. Who knows; they might even like it somewhere. 🙂
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jan 11, 2016
Timing is everything. Last week I was thinking about writing this particular article and trying to figure out how I wanted to start it. Then, out of nowhere, the opportunity came and literally slapped me in the face. I said I was going to write about it at the end of our conversation; this is that article (folks, realize that with writers, every encounter is a potential story lol).
As I’ve mentioned often, whenever someone connects with me on Twitter I check out their feed to see what they’re all about. I’ll admit that I’m probably a bit more discriminating than a lot of people. There’s a lot of things that will keep me from connecting with someone because I decided I don’t want to see certain things in my stream; so sue me.
Last year when I decided I was going to increase the number of people I’m connected to on Twitter I opened my vision just a bit more, looking for people who were into things I was interested in and overlooking a few more things. Thus, I’ve added a lot more people than I was connected to last year. That number would be a lot higher if it wasn’t for DM’s.
A lot of people I connected to would have something automatically coming back to me via DM. It might have been within minutes, or it might have been within a few hours. You could tell which was which, but I didn’t like either of them, which prompted me to eventually write a post asking people not to Auto DM me on Twitter and saying that if it happened I would immediately unfollow them.
I’ve stuck with that for the most part. A couple of times I’ve asked someone who did that why they did it, and I’ve never gotten a legitimate response other than “I thought you’d be interested…” Sorry folks, but that’s not enough. Twitter’s supposed to be about engagement, like most of social media (although it doesn’t quite happen that way most of the time), and as the top engagement platform on the internet I’m of the opinion that people should talk to each other in the open first, or at least make the DM (direct message) a real post, without a link or a sales pitch to be… gasp… social!
Then a couple of days ago someone else sent me a link as a first contact. It was slightly different than the standard DM sales pitch, but I wasn’t clicking on it. Folks, this is 2016, and if you’re still clicking on links from people you don’t know you’re taking a mighty big risk. Since everything I do depends on my computer, I don’t take those kinds of risks.
I wrote the guy back saying I didn’t know him and that I didn’t click on links from people I’d never talked to previously. Then I followed through with my normal pattern, which was unfollowing him, and thought I was moving on with life.
Only he decided to write back. Twitter now allows that from people you’re not connected with, although I didn’t expect it. Suddenly we were in a conversation about it. He said I was sending a negative vibe in my approach to the subject. I said my Twitter profile asked people not to send me auto DM’s; he said his wasn’t, and that he thought I’d be interested in what he was sharing. I asked him why he couldn’t send me that same message in the open, or at least write to ask me first if he could send me a link and he said:
“I don’t have time to worry about people’s sensitivities…”
After that, there really wasn’t all that much to say. I did say, especially since he decided to add that if I was that worried that I should change my profile to private. I said that I’d been on Twitter almost 8 years and that people who really cared to reach out to me usually greeted me first or asked if they could send me a link, and that someone on the same day had actually done that and I answered in the affirmative.
His response to that was he would take what I’d said to him as something he’d think about as a learning experience and that he hoped we could both end the conversation having learned something. I said all was good and that it gave me something to write about… which is this. lol
The first thing I did after that conversation was to go to my profile and change the wording to say “Don’t DM as a first connection; talk to me first.”
The second was to think about this article I was already going to write, how I was going to incorporate the above into it, and how I was going to address my gripes with DM’s on Twitter as a first contact. By the way I’m not alone on this thought. Marji Sherman wrote a post titled Kill the Auto-DM. Please, and thank you. Melissa Culberson actually . A company called Sales Blend write about Auto DM’s in 2014. Goodness; there are thousands of articles telling people they shouldn’t do it.
I decided it was time to think more about the subject… why did I hate these things so much? Is it just the automation? Is it the impersonal nature of the overwhelming majority of them? Is it the perception of laziness, the uncaring of my time, the push to sell? Am I really worth even thinking about in the eyes of these folks, and should that bother me?
Bother me… since I can’t identify what others are thinking, I can only look at myself and figure out what I’m thinking. I thought about it and I figured it out… the same reason I want more gun control… the same reason I want more oversight of police… the same reason I stay far away from people who seem overly religious…
I don’t trust them. Yes, that’s it; few of the people who are vociferous about these things have earned my trust. Not that they have to so they can live their lives… I’m all for people being able to do what they want to do if it makes them feel good. But when it intrudes into my life, such that I have to deal with it… yes, my trust must be earned.
How do people earn trust? What makes me different in the trust area? For that matter, am I really different?
Let me start with this, for those who haven’t been reading my blogs for years now. I have three major convictions that are the standard I live my life by. In this order they are: loyalty, trustworthiness and honesty.
If I allow someone to be a true friend of mine it means they’ve passed all 3 of these tests. I learn that over time and it’s tested by my being this to them as often as possible. I’m of the opinion that we teach people how to treat us by treating people how we want to be treated; morality is strong for me, which surprises some people because I don’t have any faith to back me up on it. All I have are my ethics; they’ve gotten me this far in life.
If I look at the process of a DM from someone I haven’t really even met yet, what I see is someone who seems to be showing me that they can’t be trusted with my friendship. Heck, they didn’t even try; they just sent me a message, many times with a link, trying to tell me they’re sharing an ebook or a blog post or a course… sometimes free, sometimes not… but does it really matter?
Maybe it’s my age… maybe it’s my background… maybe it’s my race. I’m not really sure, but I’m not that trusting of people after 56 years. People get burned on a lot of things I don’t because I’m not so trusting. When I get burned I’m very hard on myself for allowing it to happen, even if it’s a rare event; I owned up in this blog’s first post of this year how hard I am on myself.
What I see are a lot of people who don’t really care about engaging with anyone, and that includes me, with those DMs. A few try to tell you they care, and maybe that’s their way of showing it, but it doesn’t fit my sensibilities.
A couple of years ago Kim Garst wrote a post about DM’s where she said she felt there was a place for them, but instead of selling people should actually write in their own words (write like they talk), ask a question to try to encourage engagement, and then actually engage with those who respond, creating a relationship before anything else potentially occurs. Of course, she’s still sending these things out via automation (at least she was at the time she wrote that post), going against the advice of the venerable Gary V in the process; now there’s chutzpah! lol
I had to think about this one for a few moments… then decided I didn’t like that either, especially because she added in her post that thing about not having enough time in the day to do it the other way. Then again, she has 437 thousand followers and is following 285 thousand, whereas I have 4,337 followers and I’m following 1,255; could I actually talk to that many people without automation?
By the way, it turns out there’s also systems that automate messages to people in the open… but since people like me can block them (I block all messages from TweetJukebox, Commun.it and a few others), but one can’t do that with DMs, I suppose it’s one reason not to even try sending automated messages in the open. Still, if you really care…
Enough of that. I’ve laid out the issue, given the major reason why I dislike it, and now, if you’re still with me, I’m going to lay out my belief on how a true personal connection should be made on the way to helping to gain someone’s trust:
1. If you’re going to follow someone who isn’t following you, try sharing something they’ve posted and include them in on it (like adding “via @name” or something like that. BTW, actually look at it first, just in case…
2. If they connect with you, send them a quick message either saying hello or telling them you liked what you shared. If there’s room tell them why.
3. Whether or not they follow up with you, if you still want to make a connection send them a quick message asking if you can share something with them and ask if you can send it via DM or if they’d like it in the open.
Are those steps really difficult? Are they really all that time consuming? Actually, they might be for someone like Kim with all those followers, but I guess the follow up question would be if she looks at what has to be thousands of DM’s coming her way with links and such, or if she’s ignoring them. Remember my alluding to the “do unto others” thing (teach people how to treat you)?
That’s all I’ve got, so now it’s your turn. Am I really all that far off base or do you understand and agree with me? Am I a product of my age (fearing Commies), my background (military kid; always lived behind fences with guys with M-16’s guarding the gate) or my race (a guy in a documentary was once asked why he kept his blinds closed all the time and he said “Because I’m black”, and I understood what he meant)? Let’s find out!
Posted by Mitch Mitchell 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.
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. 🙂 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.
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. 🙂
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.
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? 🙂
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.
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.
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! 🙂
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. 🙂 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. 🙂
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