Twitter Marketing; Do You Have A Plan?

I just finished reading the book below, Twitter Marketing, and found that I had some things I wanted to talk about as it concerns using Twitter as a marketing tool as opposed to just a conversation piece. This isn’t a book review as much as it is a look at the ethics and possibilities of using Twitter to market oneself and their business.

The book pointed out some very interesting things, some I knew, some I didn’t. One, it seems that the majority of people using Twitter are between 35 and 44. that’s somewhat surprising because I’d have thought more young people would be using the technology because my mindset has always been that it’s younger people who are drawn to it. What I hadn’t taken into account is that this is the age group that was really the first group that grew up with the technology as close to the technology of today. In my very early 20’s, we had Space Invaders and Asteroids, which were relatively simple (I was my college’s Asteroids champ in 1980), and only 5 years later there was this more interactive game of the guy who dressed like a knight and had his adventures (Dragon’s Lair), and my mind couldn’t deal with it, yet the younger kids took to it like walking.

The second thing I knew was that, overall, less than 10% of everyone who signs up for Twitter could be considered an active user. What I didn’t know was that around 37% of those who are considered active users are actually bot accounts, which means that no actual person is ever tweeting a single thing. I’ve always wondered about that one, and now we have a figure.

The third thing I knew, but didn’t have any figures for, was just how fast bad customer service might bring you down, and some of the lingering effects. The writer, Hollis Thomases, pointed out the big Motrin fiasco, which I’d heard about but never knew what it was, and a potential Crocs episode that was nipped in the bud, but had the CEO so rattled by this weird attempt at extortion that he went to his blog, then to Twitter, to state his case before this woman, who apparently ended up with great fear that something bad could happen to her, followed through on a threat that was unwarranted.

All that said, it brings back these interesting questions about marketing on Twitter; is it ethical, and just how does one decide to do it.

On the first one, I believe it is ethical to market on Twitter, as long as it’s done properly. I don’t know a single person who enjoys immediately receiving an automated private message about buying something or signing up for something once you’ve decided to follow someone. Even the messages offering me something for free irk me because I don’t trust them. I immediately stop following those people, figuring I haven’t invested anything in them, and they really haven’t invested anything in getting to know me first.

But what about other marketing? If I have all my blog posts immediately go to Twitter, that’s marketing, and I believe it’s ethical, but is it? I think so because I’m really advertising my opinions and rarely advertising a product. I’m looking for readers for my blog; if money ends up coming in some fashion later on, I won’t be depressed by that.

The how of this question is a different matter. The only other marketing I ever do, which is rare, is when I announce my office hours. It’s rare that I do it because I’ve only ever had one person take me up on it, which tells me it’s probably a major waste of time, but I still pop it out there from time to time.

But other marketing? Truthfully, even though I see how some people do it, I can’t figure out if it really works for them or not. Yeah, they might get clicks, but are they irritating people? For instance, if you see a headline that looks intriguing enough to click the link, and you’re taken to one of those pages where you have to put in your name and email address to get any information about it, how do you feel? Or if the topic looks like you’re going to get information, and instead it takes you to a product; how do you feel?

I guess overall I don’t have a problem with marketing if two things occur. One, I know it’s a marketing message instead of a set up. Two, if that’s not the only thing a person’s doing with Twitter. Because when all is said and done, at least in my mind, they call it “social media” for a reason. It might not be everyone’s primary motivation, but they should at least try. Am I wrong?

By the way, not a bad book; check it out.

Twitter Marketing

Price – $18.25


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Meatloaf; My Story

I’ve mentioned in the past how I’ve written stories of things that happen in my life and share them with my friends through email. The last time I wrote one of my long stories was last year when I shared my story called The Keys. It was almost 2,400 words, but it turned out to be quite popular.

Today I’m back with another adventure, but I decided to do it a little different this time around. Instead of posting the entire story here, what I’ve done is linked it to this post, which means you can decide if you’d like to go and read it or not. If you do, then you can come back here and make a comment on it.

Im going to say this, to encourage you to go and read it. One, it’s the truth. Two, it’s funny; I know that because I shared it with one of my Australian chess friends through email (not Sire), and he wrote back saying I’d hurt his stomach. Three, I’ve already heard from a couple of the friends I sent it to via email, and they’ve enjoyed it as well. A couple of days ago someone lamented that there just aren’t many storytellers anymore. Well, let’s see if there’s an audience for it.

Without further ado, here’s the link to Meatloaf.


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Video Highlights And A New Page

I have a lot of videos on this blog. Sometimes they’re easy to find because they match up with the content. Other times they’re kind of hidden gems, something I used to add something different to the post.

Overall the videos are all over the place, so I decided it was time to consolidate them, as well as highlight a few of them here. I did this before with my post showing my early videos up to June 2008. Below are 9 others I’d like to highlight, mainly because today is the 9th of March. For all other videos on this blog, though, go to the link above that says Videos, or of course you can click on the link I just created.

This video of Tunak Tunak Tun by Daler Mehndi just thrilled my wife and I when I discovered it last year. It’s infectious and fun.

This was the video of the year in 2009, a funny wedding entrance video.

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about commenting; this was Chris Pirillo’s take on it.

I had someone recently tell me about Google 411 service; told him I’d written about it in 2008, including the video.

I had finally written about the movie The Secret, and this was the 20 minute video clip from The Secret, which is enough to get you going.

This video caused a lot of consternation for a lot of people, mainly me, on my business blog for about 2 years before I decided to move it over here instead; it’s a motivational video of a boy with Down’s Syndrome.

A very recent video showing that stupidity and racism is still alive in America, courtesy of this Rachel Maddow clip with Pat Buchanan being stupid.

Talk about people with a passion that I’m not sure I could ever find again, this one highlights something known as Free Running.

Finally, we’re coming up on St. Patrick’s Day, and even though I’m not Irish and I’m not Catholic and I don’t drink beer (let alone green beer), I figured I’d get into the spirit of things this one time by presenting the Muppets singing Danny Boy.

And there you go, 9 videos I wanted to bring some life back to. I hope you check these out, and if you’re ever looking for some entertainment, remember to check out my Video page above.

2012: Doomsday (documentary)

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Tips For Guest Posting

One of my goals for this year was to write more guest posts for other blogs. To that end, I’ve written some for my friend DeAnna Troupe, two of which have been posted, and one other that we’re still waiting for.

Otacool Worldwide Cosplayers
Danny Choo via Compfight

It occurs to me that there are both people who’ve never written guest posts for anyone else, as well as a lot of posts I’ve seen talking about the benefits of writing guest posts. There are few articles that give tips to writing guest posts, though I’ve seen a few. Here are my tips, some which I’ve seen mentioned before, others that I’ve never seen.

1. Try to write your guest post based on the topic of the person’s blog you’re writing for. If you write about digging clams and someone asks you to write on their blog about dog grooming, it’s probably best to turn that down unless you know something about grooming dogs. Someone else might like your writing style, but neither of you are going to get any benefit out of it. Take some time looking at the blog you might be guest writing for to see the topics they write on, then write something on that topic. I did that when I wrote a post for Connie Baum in January on internet marketing scams on her Healthy and Wealthy You blog.

2. Make sure you revisit your post at least the first couple of days to respond to any comments your article might have received. This one varies only slightly depending on how active a particular blog you write for might be. For instance, if you get to guest post on a blog that usually has lots of comments, it’s best to get back early to see what might be there and then address those comments. The reason why addresses tip number three.

3. Whether a blog gets lots of visits or not, leave some kind of comment at least within a couple of days. If a blog doesn’t get a lot of comments, you might miss if someone eventually does comment on a blog, and thus waste an opportunity to engage with someone new. Leaving and subscribing to comments gives you that opportunity. I always make sure to leave a comment whether there’s been anything or not.

4. Make sure you link back to your guest posts on another blog in some fashion on your blog. A great way to do it is what I’m about to do now, which I did last time, by writing something about it on your blog. For DeAnna’s blog, called Learn Small Business, the two posts that are there so far are Is There A Good Way To Market Your Business and Why A Business Blog. Go check them out; I’m sure she’d love the love, and I’d love the commentary.

One of these days I’m going to be asked to write a guest post on one of those blogs that gets tons of visitors. I’m not going to know what to do with myself on that day, but at least I know I’ll be writing on the proper topic.
 

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Diabetic Depression

By now, everyone’s heard about diabetes. This is a tough disease to deal with sometimes. There are some folks who think this is pretty easy to do; just change how you eat. Well, it turns out it’s not quite that easy to do permanently, and when you change up, sometimes bad things happen.

migrant mother, Dorthea Lange, for TFIF contest
susan via Compfight

At least I know about it. I was reading a story a couple of days ago where a basketball player on the Georgetown team was just diagnosed with it. He was having stomach problems and finally went to the doctor about it, and there you go. Now they’re saying he might miss some games; how bad can it be if he has to miss some games?

This kid is in great physical condition and got it; how the heck is someone like me, out of shape and on insulin, supposed to control it all of the time?

Well, I could, and I do well from time to time. I’ve written about my eating plans and when I can stick to them they do work. When I don’t, though, things can start messing up in different ways.

One thing I go through here and there is something called diabetic depression. I seem to get it when my glucose levels are high for at least a couple of weeks. I don’t always know it immediately when it’s coming on, but probably should know that if my glucose level is high for at least a week it’s time to go back to the drastic eating plan.

What does high mean? Though there are mandated highs or standards by the government, each person has their range where they feel good or bad. The U.S. has a standard between 80 and 120; I feel good between 110 and 150. When I start getting under 110, I feel like I’m borderline dizzy, and when it gets below 100, I’m no good at all. Hitting 44 after a walk one day, when I couldn’t even drive home, was probably my scariest moment. By the way, as Sire once mentioned here, other countries have different numbers they use, and I guess if they stay under a 4 they’re considered as doing well; I don’t fully get it, but I just wanted to be somewhat clear.

This obviously means anything over 150 is high, no matter how you look at it. If I’m around 170 or so, I don’t panic at all. But when my readings get around 200 and stay there, or higher for awhile, there’s trouble a-brewin’.

In the last two weeks, since that’s the average a glucose monitor will give you, I’ve been averaging 219; no, that’s not good. Three days ago I awoke to a reading of 320, and that was after being awake 2 hours without eating anything.

The day I wrote my post on possibly giving up blogging, it was 244 after a couple of hours; nope, not good. I’ve had only two readings under 200 in the past two weeks, and both were afternoon readings, not morning readings. I’ve come close to 300 a few times; that’s not good either.

I tend to get depressed. When I get depressed, I want to quit some things and overdo others. I’m a dessert hound; I admit that.

But it’s not just desserts that drives up the numbers. Carbs is the monster. I’ve had pizza a few times. My wife made spaghetti on Sunday and I had some, then had some on both Monday and Tuesday. I’ve eaten a lot of McDonald’s fish sandwiches over the last week or so; yeah, that commercial got to me. I’ve had cake, cookies, and hot chocolate also, and I can’t say in moderation either. Once the numbers get high, you stop caring, and you go hog wild.

Luckily, my life has always been about coming to grips with something at a certain moment and deciding it’s time to get back on the straight and narrow. My wife is out of town this weekend, yet I’m working hard on being good. I can’t claim perfection, because I acknowledge that I do need her help, but I’ve gained a little bit of control, and hopefully by the middle of next week I’ll be back into the 150’s or lower.

I was talking to a friend of mine Wednesday night at a networking event. He was telling me his mother was diabetic, and he never realized how hard it was to plan meals and try to stick to an eating plan.

I’m not going to say this is harder than giving up cigarettes, but it’s different. You stop smoking, at least you have other things you can go to that you enjoy. Sure, you might overeat for awhile, but you’ll get used to that. With diabetes, supposedly you can never go back to eating what you like, or at least how you like, and there’s nothing to replace it. Well, there’s poker, but when I play poker I don’t tend to eat, and my wife wouldn’t like that any better than me playing poker every day. She’s like that. lol

Just thought I’d share that, so if every once in awhile you see an odd post or two, you might have an idea of where it might be coming from. Doesn’t mean I might not be thinking about something here and there, but at that moment the thought process might be influenced by something else. And, just for clarification, not everyone gets depressed. There are so many different symptoms people will exhibit. I’m lucky that my vision hasn’t been affected this time around.
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