Tag: Branding

5 Tips For Communicating Effectively On Twitter

These days, social media is everywhere.  It allows us to leverage technology to communicate in an interactive manner.  Whether it is via the internet, cell phones or tablets, you can keep up with what your friends or colleagues are doing and have real-time interaction with them via comments, “likes”, or retweets, to name a few.

As one of the leading tools used for social interaction, Twitter allows users to share updates within the constraint of 140 characters.  In that sense, Twitter can be viewed as a microblogging application where users share a limited amount of content at a time unlike a traditional blog.

Whether you’re just joining the Twitterverse or you’re an existing citizen, here are 5 tips to keep in mind as you tweet:

Know why you’re using Twitter.  Are you on twitter because you hear everyone is using it?  Is your handle for personal reasons or for business?  Who are you looking to interact with?  Before you set up your account, you should know what your objectives are and what you plan to accomplish so that your use is strategic.

Develop a brand and keep it consistent.  Be true to who you are and show your personality.  However, if you intend to keep your handle professional, do keep in mind that not everything will be appropriate to tweet.  As you develop your brand, your followers will have a certain expectation which comes with the territory so hold up your end of the bargain.

Keep your content concise.  Force yourself to express your ideas, thoughts and information within the 140 characters.  Yes, you can use multiple tweets but with such a high volume of tweets flowing through everyone’s timeline, there is no guarantee that your takeaway in tweet 3 of 4 will be seen.  So use each tweet as it is your one and only opportunity to get your message across.

Be mindful of your followers.  One sure way for others to unfollow you is due to excessive tweets that are not of interest to them.  Make sure that your content is adding value, there is a reasonable amount of time between your tweets and you’re not being offensive.

Understand your followers.  When you understand your followers and why they chose to follow you, you’ll be more of an asset to them.  If you’re not sure, don’t hesitate to ask!  Find out what information they would like to see you share.  In some cases, followers may even reach out to you with specific questions which will also give you more insight.

Putting Your Professional Foot Forward Online

These days, it is very common to have a presence online.  Whether it is for personal or business reasons, the options and platforms are endless.  The sites that are at your disposal include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Delicious, Foursquare, Digg, Google Buzz, Hi5, LiveJournal, Ning, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, and Blogster.  Yes, that is a long list.  But it still isn’t all-inclusive.  However, it is very clear that there are numerous options and ways for you to have your space on the internet.

So let’s say you’re at work one day and your boss asks, “Would you add me as your Facebook friend?”

What would your response be?  Would it be an automatic and enthusiastic “absolutely!” or would your initial response be silence?  Maybe it will be somewhere in between, as the thoughts of how you can restrict your account run through your head.

The fact of the matter is that you can only be so discrete once you voluntarily share information.  If it is out there, someone may very well obtain access to it, despite protective measures.  So with that in mind, what is the information that you’re sharing saying about you?

Here are some questions to ask yourself each time you are about to push the “send,” “publish,”  “share,” or “update” button:

  • Will this add value to my brand or take away from it?
  • Will I be embarrassed if people who hold me in a high regard see this?
  • How will I feel if my kids or grandkids see this in the future?
  • Will someone be able to look at this while their 9-year old child is at the computer with them?
  • Would my past, current or future employer consider this to be something that negatively affects their brand?
  • How would an interviewer perceive me if they read or saw this?
  • Is this too personal?
  • Do others really need to know this information?

There are multiple reasons why you would want to cultivate a presence in the virtual world.  At a time when finding jobs the traditional way is being challenged, the low cost and ease of setting up shop online offers flexibility, the upper-hand in positioning and branding, and the potential that employers will find you.  With that, it is important to remember that perception and first impression will be key.  So be proactive in ensuring that you have a positive and professional presentation at all times.

Eating As A Networking Opportunity

Do you ever eat alone?  We all have at some point as a matter of circumstance or choice.  But you shouldn’t make it a habit.

At the very least, eating may be a time when you get away from the hustle and bustle of the day.  It may be your time to escape from the office where you’re staring at the computer screen, answering phone calls, or preparing for a presentation.  Whatever the reason is that propels you to run out the door for lunch, chances are it may also lead you stay out for an entire hour.

One whole hour.  That’s a lot of time.

Ever thought about fitting something else into that time that doesn’t take away from your goal of experiencing freedom and relaxation?  It is very possible.  Not only could you have an enjoyable time while eating with company but you could also achieve some of your other goals in the area of personal development, for example.

Eating isn’t just a necessity; across different cultures, it is also a way of socializing and building and enhancing relationships.  These relationships may be personal or professional; but ultimately, they are the foundation of your network.  And by now, it is no secret that having a strong network is vital.  However, since building relationships take time, the goal here is maximize your time by accomplishing multiple objectives simultaneously.

So here is how you can do it:

Make it a point to eat at least one meal with someone else each day. If you’re an early riser, breakfast may be ideal for you.  But if you’re not, there is always lunch or dinner.  That’s connecting at least 7 times per week out of 21 opportunities; this isn’t asking too much right?

So now that you have a game plan, who should you eat with?

Colleague. Maybe this is someone you work with.  You work with them today, but they may move on to something else tomorrow and be an asset to you.  You never know.

Mentor. It is great to have someone who has been there and can provide you with their insight.  Whether the advice is about what you should or shouldn’t do, this usually enhances efficiency.  And it is great to have someone who is genuinely interested in your progress and success that you can touch base with periodically.

Someone you admire. This one is simple.  It doesn’t always have to be focused on you.  Take the time to let someone know the positive impact they have on those around them.  They may not know; so give credit where credit is due.

Potential or existing client. Whether you work for yourself or for a company, you may have clients who are important to you and whose business you want to retain.  Having a conversation over lunch about topics outside of your business will make you more personable and enhance the relationship.  Or maybe you met someone at an event who you would like to become a client and discuss what services you or your company offer.  Take them to lunch to discuss how you can meet their needs.

Friends and family. This isn’t one to forget.  Non-business relationships also need to be fostered.  Aunt Margaret hasn’t seen you in two months; take her to dinner.

Now, here’s your task:

Starting tomorrow, invite someone out to breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Don’t eat alone.  Maximize your time by accomplishing the necessity of nourishment while taking the steps to build relationships that will enhance your network.  You’re doing this at least 7 times out of a possible 21 times each week.  See what your schedule allows; you may even be able to fit in more!

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