Get a ‘Handle’ on Your Social Media

Remember when email first came out…no? Let me tell you how it went down…AOL was one of social media tip, handlesthe first email providers that everyone jumped on board with…mostly thanks to the movie You’ve Got Mail.  (We all wanted to hear those 3 little words.)

Way back in those days (the 90’s) my friends and I would try to think up the most clever email handle…not our names mind you but something clever and cute.  Like mine might have been ladyback4ever@aol.com.  Others might have been catlover1973@aol, babyblueeyes@…you get my drift.

It did not occur to us to use our actual name because email was new and exciting and our names were boring!

Fast forward to the social media age…we should have learned from those early days that our handles SHOULD be our name and not some cute moniker, we give ourselves.  However, I still see many folks on social media making this mistake.

Facebook pretty much forces you to use your full name…so your 9th grade boyfriend can look you up and facebook stalk your page! Other social platforms, like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat give you the ability to be as creative as you’d like with your handle.  Resist this urge, I beg you!

Your Twitter, Instagram, Et al. handle should be your name if you want to grow your account and increase engagement.  People have a hard time trusting an account that is @babyblueeyes…who is that? And if you’re profile photo isn’t your photo (which it should be)…then it’s really hard to figure out who just followed me on Instagram.  Social Media is about being social and engaging with human beings…so use your name or something close to your name for your handles.

The same is true for your business accounts.  Maybe you make the best pies in town but if your handle is @bestpiesintown, that doesn’t tell me who the business is…save the “best pies in town” for your bio. Your handle should be @yourbusinessname.

I see this mistake with student-athletes all the time.  They have cute handles that pertain to their prowess in the sport they play…which is fun, but when a coach is trying to find them (and they are) on social media…the student-athlete is better off using their name as their handle.

If your name is Bob Smith…I realize you are most likely not going to get @bobsmith…but you can get creative and add a number that means something to you or you can try something like, @bob_smith.

My Instagram and Twitter handles are @allysontwiggs and @thetwiggsgroup…would love to connect with you there!

 

What Brands Get Wrong on Social Media

It’s safe to say that successful businesses have a phone number for customers to use and either asocial media tip, engage brick and mortar location or an e-commerce option for customers.  I would guess that almost all businesses answer their phone regularly, answer emails and greet customers who walk through their door.  Excellent customer service!

So, why is it then that when I mention a business on social media, I get crickets? No response, no love, no bueno.

If a business has a Facebook page, Twitter account or any other social media profile…they should treat these platforms the same as they would a ringing phone.  Customers are using social media now more than ever to ask questions, check in, or recommend businesses…but many times businesses are ignoring them.  And quite possibly losing customers in the process.

Social media management is a full-time job for any business but it’s not just a one-way communication tool.  Businesses who are successful at social media management not only post relevant content but they also listen and respond to customers.  If a customer mentions that they are so excited to dine at their favorite restaurant that night…that restaurant needs to respond and thank the customer for being a loyal fan.  It’s not rocket science…it’s customer service.

My company handles social media management for businesses and we make sure that we respond as quickly as possible to customer engagement.  It’s also important to spend time each day on social media to ‘show the love’ on social media.  Each day, get on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc and like posts, tweets, and photos.  Not only will this be good will for your business…but it’s another way to get your business name out there.

Need help on improving your social media engagement?  Here are a few tips:

  • Pay attention:  Seems easy enough, but you need to look at your social media accounts every day.
  • Set notifications: On your smartphone, set your notifications for your business accounts so it dings you when someone mentions you on social media.
  • Use a social media monitoring software: There are lots of monitoring apps but I like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite
  • Hire The Twiggs Group: We are happy to help you manage your social media accounts and not only engage and listen but also help you grow your business with social media promotion.

Just remember, more and more customers are using social media to interact with their favorite brands/businesses…make sure your brand/business is taking the necessary steps to respond and engage with these customers.  Be Social!

When Twitter Bites

Have you ever posted something on social media then later regretted the post?  Maybe  you offended someone, misspelled a word or should’ve counted to ten before tweeting about your bad experience at the new trendy restaurant…it happens to everyone.

There are articles written weekly about companies and people screwing up on social media by posting something stupid or insensitive.  I feel like eventually people will learn, but no we are all humans and humans make mistakes everyday.

The NBA Draft was last Thursday and several young men became millionaires and discovered their new team and home city.  It’s a joyous night for these men and their families…hard work paid off and all that.  Most of the draftees are 19-22 years old…very young men thrust into the immediate spotlight.

That spotlight now includes a deep dive into their social media posts.  As Larry Nance, Jr and Bobby Portis learned…tweets from three years ago were found and exposed.

larry-nance-jr-tweet_1qnlbzep51afc19ezlxkvatbbg

Ouch! And guess what? He got drafted by the Lakers…home of Kobe Bryant!

 

And Bobby was drafted by the Bulls!

bobby

 

I’m not sure you could make this up if you tried.  While the tweets are unfortunate for the two players, it’s a reminder to think about what you post on social media. {especially if you plan to play a pro sport one day…the sports gods have a real sense of humor!} Hopefully the rookie hazing won’t be too bad for these two…can’t blame Bobby for being a Heat fan! The other guy might be in for a rough time though.

There’s a small movement of ‘tweet deleters’ who believe you should delete tweets because Twitter is ‘in the moment’ and tweets should not live on…much like Snapchat’s popular platform for vanishing the image after a few seconds.  I can see how this could catch on for tweets.

I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night much less what I tweeted in 2012! Hence why I try very hard to make sure that my tweets don’t come back to bite me in the ass.

Just a while back, someone tweeted me about a tweet of mine from last year; supporting a friend in an elected race.  The person was challenging my support of my friend by retweeting my old 2014 tweet. This is possible now by searching Twitter or using Google search. I’m not ashamed of the tweet but it’s an example of how if someone is looking for something specific, they can now find it in your social media posts.

Remember, you don’t have to run for public office or be a pro athlete to have your social media posts searched…most employers do this now before hiring someone.  So, keep it positive and friendly!

 

 

Friday Fab Four

Friday Fab FourOnce again, Friday is here and we’ve had so much rain! Trying not to complain too much since we will beg for rain in August! Hope you had a fun and productive week.  I was crazy busy but still had time to comb the interwebs for these four articles…just for you!

1. If You Want to be more Productive…Get More Sleep~Michael Hyatt {yes…love a good nap}

2. What Steve Jobs Stole from Ritz-Carlton~Micah Solomon {I do love a genius bar}

3. When to Quit a Project (or Career)~Tanner Christensen {never be afraid to walk away}

4. 5 Hilarious Father’s on Twitter who tell more than Dad Jokes~Eli Epstein {Happy Father’s Day dad!}

Twitter Tip

This past weekend at my son’s basketball tournament, a sports writer (with a large twitter following) was tweeting about the tournament. I noticed he was beginning his tweets with “@soandsoteam plays next” instead of beginning the tweet with a period (.) or a word.  I would assume this writer wanted all of his 30,000 followers to see his tweets but because he started the tweet this way, only a small amount of his followers see the tweets.

Tip——>When you begin a tweet with @ and the person’s handle, only the folks who follow you both will see the tweets.  Many times this type of tweeting is reserved for a conversation between two people that doesn’t need to be blasted to all followers.  Instead, the sports writer should have used a period, .@soandsoteam or a word “The @soandsoteam played well today” so that his tweets were seen by a larger amount of followers.

This tweet will only be seen by those who follow The Twiggs Group and Angie Albrighttwitterexample

This tweet can be seen by all of my followers twitterexample2

 

 

Stop Tweeting about Children

blogMost of the time, I am not surprised by what I see or read online.  Maybe I am jaded now and not affected by the fact that people hurt each other, cheat, lie and steal, every.single.day. The world is a tough place.

What does continue to surprise me is the enormous amount of people who negatively tweet about children, every day.  This is one of my biggest pet peeves and it is most rampant in sports.

I praise and commend Curt Schilling for his actions this week to confront the people who attacked his daughter on Twitter.  I mean, what the hell? I cannot believe that there are people in this world who think it’s ever a good idea to attack a 17 year old girl on Twitter.  I’m disgusted by this mis-use of social media.

It should come as no surprise that I am a huge sports fan…I played college basketball, my son plays high school basketball and I love college sports.  I’m a passionate Razorback fan and love the ‘thrill of victory’ and have lived through (a lot of) the ‘agony of defeat.’ It goes without saying, I watch a lot of games in person and on television.  Many, many times I am frustrated or upset with a play and may even yell at the television but I will not tweet about a child.

Student-athletes are children and people should never tweet about children that aren’t their own. I am always disappointed to see so many people tweet about these student-athletes and how bad they are or how they screwed up.  I always think back to this great story I heard about a soccer coach who invited the parents of his players to show up on a mandatory Sunday to play soccer with their kids. The coach then split the parents up in to two teams and told the kids to stand on the side-lines and yell at their parents just like they yell at them.  The coach said it was a revelation for the parents to hear their kids yell at them using the same terms and phrases the parents use in games.  The parents didn’t enjoy playing very much that day.

This same story could be applied to social media attacks. What would would it be like for hundreds of people to criticize your work and tweet you to say things like “Hey @johndoe, you sounded stupid in the meeting today, pull your head out” “Nice job, @janedoe, you didn’t get the report done on time, you suck.”

Could we as adults handle this barrage of criticism? I doubt we could.  Why do we think student-athletes can handle it?  Do these people who negatively tweet realize when you tweet about a student-athlete, whether you use their handle or not, they can find these tweets and read them? Would we want someone tweeting horrible things to our 18-19 year old kids? Is this a great plan for keeping or recruiting student-athletes?

I’m the first person to admit that I lose my mind when my team turns the ball over or misses a field goal but I cannot and would not tweet about that child directly.  It’s not nice and after all they are just children. They are not professionals getting paid to play a sport, they are college kids. My son hopes to play college basketball and I can only imagine what I would feel if strangers were to tweet negative comments about him.

Social media has made us cowards, we sit at home on our couches and hide behind our Twitter handles freely saying whatever we want to whomever we want and it’s gross. I seriously doubt the horrible people who tweeted about Mr. Schilling’s daughter would dare say those things to his face.

If this is something you do, please remember that the student-athlete you are bashing online has a mom and dad who probably want to kick your ass. Think twice before taking out your frustrations on social media about a kid who didn’t win the game…it.is.just.a.game.

Furthermore, if you are a die hard fan…don’t ever bash your own players.  Use social media to send positive, uplifting messages to the student-athletes…believe me, recruits would much rather see those tweets than the negative ones when thinking about choosing your alma mater.

Friday Fab Four

IMG_5432Today is a very special Friday…he’s back!! Enjoy these four articles, I will be busy binge watching House of Cards.

1. How the Mayor of Pittsburgh Hired the Most Diverse Staff in the City’s History–Debra Smit {Nice job Pittsburgh!}

2. How a Great Company Culture helps with Customer Loyalty–Jabob Shriar {it’s all connected!}

3. Use the 52-17 Rule to Maximize Productivity–Denis Lelic {sitting is the new smoking}

4. Meet the Tweet-Deleters–Kevin Roose {Interesting…and I almost agree with this idea}

Are Your Social Media Bios Blank?

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My Twitter Bio

Are your social media bios up to date and thoroughly filled out? If not, then you need to stop what you are doing right now and get to it!

A couple of years ago I was in one of Crystal Washington‘s social media presentations and I think she said it best: “If your doorbell rang and you went to the door but could not see anyone through the peep hole, would you still answer the door?”  I think most everyone would say no they would not answer the door.  Crystal says this is what it’s like not having a photo or any information about you in your bio.  (for Pete’s sake, please don’t use the Twitter egg for your bio picture!)

Your bio should be…wait for it…about you! Simple but detailed and to the point.  I like bios that say what the person does but also what the person is passion about as well.  For Twitter, its great to use a few hashtags like #marketing professional or #edtech designer…this will help people find you on Twitter based on those hashtags.   Remember, you only get 160 characters for your Twitter bio so you might have to be clever if you need to say a lot in your bio.

A great photo is important to make a social media bio really stand out.  Try your very best not to take a selfie in the car or from your computer camera…you can find a friend to help you get a great head shot, trust me! Once you have the photo you want, use the same head shot in all your bios to show consistency with your personal brand.  Also, don’t forget the heading photo as well.  This is a great place to either showcase your business or use a photo of your favorite city but don’t leave it blank! It’s another opportunity to tell people about you.  I used to have the skyline of NYC in my header (because I love NYC and hope to move there someday) but now I have a header of my business logo.

Finally, if you change jobs be sure and immediately go update all your social bios.  I think it’s so strange when I see that someone has a new job but their LinkedIn profile still says the old job.  Your social media bios are your social resume, be sure people know what you do and where they can find you.

So to recap:

  1. Fill out your social media bio completely including information about you, add your website or blog and your location…if you feel this is a privacy issue, just say USA or Earth!
  2. Use a great head shot for your bio pic and be sure and add a photo to the header when appropriate, like on Twitter and Facebook.
  3. Make sure your bios and photos are consistent on all your platforms.
  4. Have fun with your bio, don’t make it too buttoned up…even if you are a CFO you probably still do something for fun!

Still need more help with your bios, this article is great at providing guidance, love that Buffer blog!

My Christmas Wish List

My ChristmasIt’s that time of year when everyone is in good cheer and Santa is checking his list…twice! So, in the spirit of Christmas, I thought I would make my own special Christmas list.  So without further ado, these are the things that would make me smile like the Grinch this Christmas.

1. The ability to easily switch from one account to another in Instagram….please, please make this happen.

2. To find an iPhone 6, 64g in Silver…apparently it is easier to find Waldo than this particular phone.

3. For Facebook to just leave everything alone already…no more algorithms, no more policy changes, just leave it be.

4. For Twitter to once and for all demolish bots…I just love when @Suz789$M follows me and has 2 followers and follows 10k.  Good times.

5. Sharpies, lots and lots of sharpies in every style and color.  (The Hubs got me a stainless steel sharpie this year and I LOVE it.)

6. An Evernote scanner…my friend Beth has one and I am seriously coveting that thing.

7. For people/companies to stop with the automatic direct message on Twitter…be original!

8. To put an end to voice mail.

9. For my airdrop feature to work 100% of the time.

10. World Peace.

What’s on your Christmas List this year?grinch_smile_by_zhirafik21-d36m6g0

Social Resume

When was the last time you applied for a new job? (It’s ok, I won’t rat you out.) I bet you got your resume all spiffy’d up and wrote a wonderful cover letter.  Both great things to do when applying for a job…but how’s your social resume? Are you on LinkedIn? Is your profile up to date and completely filled out? Do you have a professional headshot from this decade? Is your twitter bio something professional or is it something silly and ridiculous? I have news for you…potential employers going to see it. All of it.

Today when you apply for a job, I would bet 8 out of 10 times the employer googles your name and checks your social resume. I do this when I hire people.  Mostly, I want to see if the person has a social footprint and get an idea of their personality through their tweets or articles they share on LinkedIn.

I’m not saying that you have to be on all social media platforms to get a job…well unless it’s a marketing job.  What I am saying is that if you are on social media and you do want a new job…make sure your social resume is as tended to as your actual resume.

LinkedIn is essentially your online resume, so make sure you have filled in as much of it as you can.  Ask colleagues to write recommendations for you so that employers can read a reference on you before calling your references. Be sure and add your civic duties like boards you serve on and also awards you’ve won.  All of this makes you look even more appealing to an employer.

If you are active on Facebook or Twitter, make sure that your bio isn’t unprofessional and that your user name makes sense.  I see people with handles like “@sexykitten2002” or “@alwaysonvacation” and maybe those aren’t the best handles for landing that big accounting job.

Finally, (and this my friends is my biggest pet peeve) always have a headshot in your social media profiles.  There’s nothing worse than seeing the egg on Twitter or a blank spot on LinkedIn where there should be a beautiful photograph of YOU.

Some would argue with me that they should be able to do whatever they want on social media and I would absolutely agree…unless you want to get a job in the 21st Century.  Everything we do on social media is OUT THERE…FOREVER.  So, we don’t have the luxury anymore of saying what we want on social media unless of course we are independently wealthy.

Here are a few resources to help:

Why You Need a Social Resume and How to Build One

How to Write a Damn Good LinkedIn Profile 

7 Tips for Using Social Media to Get a Job