Tag: Twitter

Authenticity on Twitter logo
Nudge Blog

Sign up for our new course – Authenticity on Twitter!

We’ve created a new course that went live on Udemy today!

Screenshot of the Nudge Village course about Twitter

The Nudge Village “Authenticity on Twitter” course

We created this to help Twitter users leverage it better in the following areas:

  • Learning – use Twitter as a personal learning tool.

  • Giving and Sharing – providing support to others, re-sharing the great stuff others are sharing.

  • Competitive Intelligence – find out what your competitors are doing, partner with them, connect them to others and maybe even help them fulfill a competency they have a gap in right now.

  • Networking & Reputation Building – realize that your Twitter account (for business or personal) is an extension of YOU. Make a good impression and do the same thing you would do in an interview or at a networking event – be professional, be focused, be open with information, be helpful, etc.

Guess what?

We are offering it for FREE! It’s one hour of video, presentations, and a day-to-day Twitter log sheet, and a few resources along the way.

How do you sign up?

Just go to Authenticity on Twitter and hit the “Start Learning Now – Free” button.

Photo of two business women walking
BusinessMarketingNudge BlogTools

Communicating with Twitter – Share, Learn, Give, Receive

the Twitter logo

Who doesn’t know what this bird stands for – tweet, tweet!

Who HASN’T heard of Twitter? It’s on the news and websites all over the world. In fact, Twitter often breaks news long before any radio or tv station. You’ve probably heard how it has changed a life, spread an idea or started a rebellion.

The reality is it is another way to communicate…and it is on steroids.

Most people know to go on to Twitter and follow people, post stuff, and perhaps re-tweet here and there. Yet, just like any tool, it is all in how the user (YOU) leverages the tool that gives it power or …just fall flat.

Let’s take some basic Twitter functionality and talk about how it can help you – your idea, your business, and  your learning.

To do so, it would be best to use a real life example of an idea that is just getting started – Pennies of Time. Pennies of Time is a new blog developed by a talented woman (Sheila) who wants to ensure her two young boys know how to serve others AND recognize the joy that can come into their lives from doing so. What a great idea, right?

penniesoftimelogo

Pennies of Time just joined Twitter and so they are at the perfect point to learn how to spread their idea, make some great connections and influence others.

So, let’s get Pennies of Time started…

 

 

 

Seek out the best people and organizations  (Searching)

That’s what your parents always told you, didn’t they? Find good friends. Nowadays “the experts” keep telling us that it matters who the five people are that are closest to you because they influence your likes, dislikes, priorities, values, etc. On Twitter, this is accomplished by utilizing the “search” function.

You must find people and organizations to connect with on Twitter before anything else. Why? If you don’t, NOTHING that you post will be followed. People primarily see what they are connected to (unless they regularly search) and so you will be tweeting a lot and no one will know you are even out there sharing.

So, let’s start a search! Find the search box and choose a search term. Some search terms for Pennies of Time might be:

Photo of Pennies of Time founder and her two sons

The Pennies of Time founding Trio – Sheila and her two sons

  • Service
  • Service activities
  •  Children
  • Charity
  • Learning
  • Service projects

 For each search term, a list of different people and organizations should come up. Take a minute or two to browse through them reading their little paragraph about themselves. If you like what they say, or imply, connect with them! Tip: Take some time writing your little intro paragraph. It makes a BIG difference. That’s all people have to go one when they decide to follow you.

 Mix it up a bit because once you search, you are going to find things that you want to be able to share with your followers.

 In the Pennies of Time example, every search shouldn’t be “service.” Perhaps one day Pennies of Time can search and share on “good deeds” and another on “charitable organizations” or perhaps “providing children meaningful experiences.” The purpose of this is two-fold – to have a broader understanding of how you and your idea fit into the big picture AND to continue to connect to people that have a spectrum of meaningful ideas and resources that YOU can leverage.

What if the people and organizations that come up are competitors?

 That’s ok! You should connect even if just to be aware of what they are up to! But, seriously, it is great to learn from competitors and often competitors end up being the best conduits to more information, friendships and ..to, I dare say, more business? Yes, sometimes they may offer something that is a better fit for one of your clients and vice versa.

How many people should I connect to?

I’d suggest connecting to 20-30 people in your first week on Twitter. After that point, just add people as you feel fit. Twitter will bring up suggestions and people will follow you that you may be interested in following back.

Share what these great people and organizations have to say (Re-tweet)

 Don’t under-estimate the power of re-tweeting. Why do YOU have to come up with every piece of information you share? In normal everyday conversations most of us don’t come up with every idea that comes out of our mouth. We share what we’ve learned from the tv, the newspaper, and conversations with others. We share lessons learned. Why not share what others are sharing? If you’ve connected to the right people, there should be some great information streaming through your feed.

Plus, people LOVE when you re-share what they’ve shared. It gives them credibility.

Pennies of Time can start re-tweeting what other people like them are saying.

Through that process others will realize that Pennies of Time is interested in what they are doing and they often become curious about what Pennies of Time is up to and will spend that extra second, or minute or two, checking Pennies of Time out. Who knows, they might even want to partner on an upcoming event, contribute to each others blogs or start a cause together.

Screenshot of Pennies of Time navigation

 Organize Your Learning, Sharing, and Searching Activities (Lists)

Ah, lists, how I love thee. This is where you can bring focus to your Twitter experience. Plus, lists are a great gift to OTHERS. Nudge Village has been added to a list or two and there is a bit of a secret happiness in knowing that someone thought enough of our tweets to include them in their personal ist.

Creating lists allows you to have different online “buckets” to access when you go into your account. The list of who you follow can get quite long. You may never log into the system when your favorite tweeters are tweeting. If you put them on a list you can always access that list directly and have a very focused learning and sharing experience in your Twitter account.

In the case of Pennies of Time, here are some possible lists:

  • Charitable Organizations – put all the different organizations you are connected to in this bucket.
  • Service Ideas – there will be others like Pennies of Time out there. Connect to them and you’ll see that they are tweeting their new blog posts and resources on a regular basis. You may even want to replicate some of the service activities they are doing.
  • Inspirational People & Quotes – a lot of people out there have accounts dedicated to posting quotes from inspiring individuals. Can a good quote ever hurt? Hopefully not. But, they can definitely inspire.

 Tip: Don’t forget to tap into the power of others lists. Check out what lists that they’ve made and start to follow them. I’ve learned about many great new people, ideas and organizations by taking a moment to look through lists of some of my favorite gurus.

 Share You (Tweet)Photo of two business women walking

Typically we want to do this first, but it helps to learn a lot from others before we jump in head first. That is why I shared some of the other uses of Twitter before this “posting a tweet” thought. But, at the end of the day you are, after all, participating in Twitter to share someone about you – your idea, your business, your thoughts.

Here are a few quick suggestions:

  • Brief – well, do you really have a choice? Twitter limits you to 140 characters. So, sometimes you’ll take a few minutes to simplify and modify your message. It is amazing how creative you can get with a sentence when you are given a boundary.
  • Hashtags (#) – in Twitter these have special meaning. People search by them. It is used directly in front of a word – #Twitter – which signals that it has turned into a sort of a tag. If I want to search a topic on Twitter, I can often get more focused results if I search “#charitable” instead of “charitable.” Both will bring up relevant responses. However, hashtags have gained great importance for groups that are wanting to attract especially attention to a very specific topic (#mobilelearning), a specific cause (#green), a particular conference in session (#mlearncon2012) , a weekly discussion (#lrnchat), a widely used term (#servantleadership), etc.
  • Share links to your blog, your website, your Facebook, your Pinterest

Communicate one-one-one (@mention and reply)

 Remember, Twitter is a way to communicate. Don’t just “push” out info. That’s the equivalent of talking and not listening or not replying when asked a question.

Photo of teenagers on their cell phones

All talking. They are together, but who is listening?

See what your followers are doing. Reply to a tweet you enjoy. Ask a question. Share your thoughts about their tweet. On the flip side, don’t sit around replying to EVERYONE in your stream. None of us wants to see a stream of responses that don’t have context.

Tip: A lot of people use this function to go around thanking everyone that has re-tweeted them. I’d be more creative with the thanks. Instead of a typical “Thnx for re-tweeting me @learnemergency @nudgevillage@chicksconnect @heiditotten @bijagirl” it would be better to individually thank with a message like “@PenniesofTime. Thnx for re-tweeting. I just took a look at your site. Love the idea. Can’t wait to see more of what you are doing.” 

Give 92% (share and promote others more than you push yourself)

Believe it or not, people think about themselves upwards of 92% of the time. Who knew? Father helping son fix a car

Twitter isn’t the place to show tough love and disregard this fact. It’s a place to indulge others! In fact, it might be a good rule to flip this fact on its head – share and promote 92% of the time.

Point out others accomplishments. Highlight what they are doing. Share what they are sharing. Be real. We can see through a bunch of charming and over the top posts.

But, do what you’d do in real life. Give compliments, ask questions, don’t overload us, and promote those you feel are doing good.

Oh, and yes, it is ok to share what you are doing and what you are selling. Just make sure you balance it out a bit. Remember how real life conversations go and use that as your guide!

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, Twitter is one of hundreds of tools that we use to communicate. Notice we didn’t get into all the possible ways to use twitter to learn, to market, and to share. These are just a few and we are confident you will come up with your own list. Please do share. Each person has their own special way of communicating and you definitely want to bring that personality to Twitter.

Tip: If you are a critic, be wise. You can’t take this stuff back. Once in the cyber world, always in the cyber world. It may be hidden from you, but a lot of people can get access to it at any point in your life….in the future and when least expected. Best to be respectful to all, contribute positively and remember that how you use technology is an extension of your reputation.

Resources

Why provide you step-by-step application of Twitter if there are hundreds of resources out there at your disposal. Here are a few links that may provide useful.

General

 

Nudge Village Entrepreneurs – these small business owners know how to use Twitter for marketing their products & services

Connect with @NudgeVillage on Twitter! We’d love to re-tweet, share and promote YOU!

woman searching the Internet on a laptop computer
LearningMarketingNudge BlogTechnologyTools

Chirp, Chirp, Tweet, Tweet – why YOU must start using tools like Twitter

woman searching the Internet on a laptop computer

Anytime, anywhere, anyway – most of us can’t get enough of the web

In 2012 the web headlines self-proclaimed that “the web is dead.” (Yes, even the web couldn’t help but share this with itself) It isn’t that the web is really dead, it’s just that we are using it in different ways. Mobile has played a big part in changing this dynamic as we demand just the right information and support without extraneous “stuff.”

How are you searching the web?

In 2000 I was a recruiter at XO Communications. One day another recruiter saw me conducting a web search and informed me that I was using the wrong search engine. She told me to type in http://www.google.com and in an instant my virtual life changed forever. The simplistic design of the page was a relief to my ADD mind and it seemed to bring up pretty good results.

However, in the past few years that has started to change…if only in subtle ways. Often we don’t trust the first page Google results anymore. After all, most have used some kind of SEO method vs. gaining front page based upon real value as determined by users.

So, what do we trust?

More often than not we trust people, groups and organizations that we know or that we have identified as sharing common interests.

It is time to recognize the importance of tools like Twitter.

I’m an avid Twitter user. I will admit to having 4-5 accounts. My accounts differ depending upon my purpose – one for my work persona, one for my entrepreneurial endeavors, one for just me being me and another for a hopefully hobby someday soon.

Twitter for Searching, Learning and Connecting

Twitter isn’t just for telling us what you like to eat, what you are doing right now or for promoting your product. It is a searching, learning and connecting tool!

I see a lot of friends and entrepreneurs using it just to push information out. They are missing out on easy, quick, and valuable ways to connect to more people, keep up with the pulse of the market and finding out the best way to meet their needs as well as their friends, customers, families, etc.

Communication, after all, occurs when there is an exchange .

Benefits

Friends sharing info with each other

You share and learn with people on and offline. Take the same techniques to Twitter and other social tools!

So, here are some of the benefits I’ve gained from making Twitter a part of my personal learning strategy:

  • News – you can search by any topic and find out the latest and greatest from any possible perspective you can hope for …and more.
  • Emerging Trends  – connect to thought leaders, magazines, colleges, think tanks, etc. You’ll be the first to know about what the new trends are and bring that knowledge and insight to your job, your entrepreneurial pursuits, your circles of influence and even parenting! I’ve saved money at work just by knowing a few facts that I found on Twitter. In other words, Twitter can help you know WHAT you should be learning in your field.
  • Inspiration – yes, a lot of people share daily quotes from every possible past president, prophet, author, etc. But, like Pinterest, you can get ideas and inspiration from what others are creating and designing as well.
  • Thought Leaders – yearning to learn from great thought leaders? They are all on Twitter. Ok, they are at least paying someone to tweet their stuff. It’s a great way to keep up with what they are saying and get connected to products and resources they think are important. Just this week I bought a book from Daniel Pink (author of A Whole New Mind and Drive – books I love and highly recommend) that I hadn’t known he was writing. I found out this information on Twitter.  Note – the book  just arrived at my door tonight and so I’m rushing to finish up this post!
  • Crowdsourcing – lately we’ve heard some great examples of how products, companies, and individuals have come together with other like-minded people to accomplish awesome things and help each other achieve their goals. Don’t think that Kickstarter.com benefits from Twitter? Crowdsourcing tools rely on tools like Twitter to spread their ideas and gain contributors for projects.
  • Like-Minded – are you into obscure sci-fi classics out of print? What about rare stamps? Perhaps even a nitch of a nitch? You can find them on Twitter. You can connect, share and grow with others that are interested in the same nitch!
  • Community Building – want to get more out of it than just searching and following? Start joining in conversations, make lists of different sub-group areas you’d like to hone in on, and be there to congratulate others are their accomplishments, successful product launches or their great tweets!

    Don’t be fake. Seriously, create conversations!

I’m not oblivious to the fact that Twitter is just one tool. Facebook, Pinterest, Squidoo, LinkedIn, Scoop.it, Paperli …the list goes on.

They aren’t technology tools. They are communication tools that happen to leverage technology. They are only as useful as the person operating the computer keys.  (-:

Tweet with us at @nudgevillage !

Mobile AppsNudge Blog

Mobile – tips every entrepreneur should know

It’s 2012 and smart phones and tablets are taking over the world!

Well, not quite, but according to whichever facts you read (yesterdays are already out of date), there are more devices than people in the United States! Many organizations are already employing a “Mobile First” strategy whenever they deliver content for the web. It’s all about design and user-experience and less about “shiny new objects.”

A few of my devices – Ipod and blackberry are missing!

That’s a big deal.

So, what does this mean for your business?

Should you jump on the bandwagon and create an app? Should you invest in a “mobile-ready” website? Is this really expensive? Do I need to hire a programmer?

All great questions, but feel free to take a deep breath. “Mobile” has been around for years. In fact, one of my expert friends, Judy Brown, has been pursuing mobile learning studies for over 15 years. It’s not new, but the ways we can use the capabilities of the new devices are and continue to progress.

Before you go and spend $100k on a robust app (I know some who have done this in the corporate/government world), take some time to think on a few thoughts and learn more about the following:

  • Who is your target audience? – Perhaps your target audience doesn’t use devices that much OR maybe they just won’t be using them for the purpose your product or service. Or, maybe they don’t live or work in an area that has great reception for mobile access.
  • Are you already mobile?– Chances are you didn’t know that your very own website is already mobile friendly. In some cases you need to modify the settings in the administrative section, but most are making mobile-read formats a default option. In fact, you’ll notice some websites looking more simple and elegant now to ensure that they easily translate into the many different browers available on devices. Online options that already have templates that serve up your content differently when people access your website from a mobile device:
  • What are downloadable apps vs. web-based apps?
    • Downloadable apps (typically through app stores) are often based upon a particular activity that the user is going to perform (e.g. play a game, draw something, calculate using built in equations, etc.) The programming involved and the amount of interaction the user has with the screen often makes the “app” a pretty big file size. We all know how difficult it is for the web to handle really large movies, games, etc. A downloadable app allows you to download that huge file to your device and play it “offline.” Now, some apps we like to call “blended apps” because you download them, but they still pull pieces and parts live from the web while you are using it. Of course all downloadable apps aren’t Angry Birds in complexity. Some use simple HTML templates (e.g. jquerymobile) that create a look and feel of an app, but they could technically just be offered through a normal web-page…which leads me to web-based apps.
    • Web-based apps (mobile apps)– sometimes the terms get all intertwined, but many of you probably have experience with web-based apps. For example, if you want to pay a bill from your phone, you may go to your bank website and it looks different on your phone than it does on the desktop.

  • Who is your target audience? – Perhaps your target audience doesn’t use devices that much OR maybe they just won’t be using them for the purpose your product or service. Or, maybe they don’t live or work in an area that has great reception for mobile access.
  • Are you already mobile?– Chances are you didn’t know that your very own website is already mobile friendly. In some cases you need to modify the settings in the administrative section, but most are making mobile-read formats a default option. In fact, you’ll notice some websites looking more simple and elegant now to ensure that they easily translate into the many different browers available on devices. Online options that already have templates that serve up your content differently when people access your website from a mobile device:
  • What are downloadable apps vs. web-based apps?
    • Downloadable apps (typically through app stores) are often based upon a particular activity that the user is going to perform (e.g. play a game, draw something, calculate using built in equations, etc.) The programming involved and the amount of interaction the user has with the screen often makes the “app” a pretty big file size. We all know how difficult it is for the web to handle really large movies, games, etc. A downloadable app allows you to download that huge file to your device and play it “offline.” Now, some apps we like to call “blended apps” because you download them, but they still pull pieces and parts live from the web while you are using it. Of course all downloadable apps aren’t Angry Birds in complexity. Some use simple HTML templates (e.g. jquerymobile) that create a look and feel of an app, but they could technically just be offered through a normal web-page…which leads me to web-based apps.
    • Web-based apps (mobile apps)– sometimes the terms get all intertwined, but many of you probably have experience with web-based apps. For example, if you want to pay a bill from your phone, you may go to your bank website and it looks different on your phone than it does on the desktop. Bank of America – desktop versionThat’s because they’ve (usability experts and interface designers) determined that you are most likely to perform certain banking actions on the phone compared to actions you would have taken on your desktop. They arrive at this from beta tests, usability studies, and customer feedback. Plus, they see the backend and know where you click…every.single.time. So, they want to create the best user experience possible while not creating more work for themselves.

  • Who is your target audience? – Perhaps your target audience doesn’t use devices that much OR maybe they just won’t be using them for the purpose your product or service. Or, maybe they don’t live or work in an area that has great reception for mobile access.
  • Are you already mobile?– Chances are you didn’t know that your very own website is already mobile friendly. In some cases you need to modify the settings in the administrative section, but most are making mobile-read formats a default option. In fact, you’ll notice some websites looking more simple and elegant now to ensure that they easily translate into the many different browers available on devices. Online options that already have templates that serve up your content differently when people access your website from a mobile device:
  • What are downloadable apps vs. web-based apps?
    • Downloadable apps (typically through app stores) are often based upon a particular activity that the user is going to perform (e.g. play a game, draw something, calculate using built in equations, etc.) The programming involved and the amount of interaction the user has with the screen often makes the “app” a pretty big file size. We all know how difficult it is for the web to handle really large movies, games, etc. A downloadable app allows you to download that huge file to your device and play it “offline.” Now, some apps we like to call “blended apps” because you download them, but they still pull pieces and parts live from the web while you are using it. Of course all downloadable apps aren’t Angry Birds in complexity. Some use simple HTML templates (e.g. jquerymobile) that create a look and feel of an app, but they could technically just be offered through a normal web-page…which leads me to web-based apps.
    • Web-based apps (mobile apps)– sometimes the terms get all intertwined, but many of you probably have experience with web-based apps. For example, if you want to pay a bill from your phone, you may go to your bank website and it looks different on your phone than it does on the desktop. Bank of America – desktop versionThat’s because they’ve (usability experts and interface designers) determined that you are most likely to perform certain banking actions on the phone compared to actions you would have taken on your desktop. They arrive at this from beta tests, usability studies, and customer feedback. Plus, they see the backend and know where you click…every.single.time. So, they want to create the best user experience possible while not creating more work for themselves. Bank of America – mobile browser versionOn the backend they put certain tags in the code that pulls content from one page and displays it on another in a mobile-ready format. That way, if they change content on the main site, it will automatically be updated on the mobile-ready pages. Other coders just put pieces of code in their pages to tell them which pieces of content do/don’t show when the page shows on a device and when/if it should show on the desktop. This is becoming fairly normal and many organizations now have a “Mobile First” strategy for presenting content on the web. Here’s an example of a site I’m very familiar with where the programmers “pull” content from the main website to display in this web app so they update content in one spot and it populates to this site. http://www.dau.mil – Check it out on your device? We’ve even set it up for tablets to display the mobile version.
  • How do I know if I need any kind of app for my business?
    • First of all, if you have a website created in the last couple of years it is most likely already mobile-friendly …or the provider is in the process of making it so. After all, they are competing for your business.
    • Secondly, you might not need one if all you are doing is presenting content, sharing typical info through typical online mediums (e.g. video, blog entries, discussion boards, etc.).
    • But, you might need one if you want to provide any of the following:
      • Personal Support Tools – need to track miles run, weight loss, calories consumed?
      • Reference Information – glossary, dictionary, tips and tricks.
      • Process Flow – step-by-step process to help remind people how to perform a task.
  • Is mobile here to stay? Yes. Need I say more? No, but I will. It is here to stay and it continues to be an innovative powerhouse for delivering content.
  • What “counts” as mobile?This is really important. A lot more “counts” as mobile than you might think. Smart phones and tablets have blown it wide open. In Africa most people don’t have a computer, but they have a cell phone. Text messaging has been huge there for years. Asia too. The U.S. has actually been somewhat behind. Text messaging can be a powerful way to deliver messages, spaced learning and drip marketing. Now that we are beyond cell phone into the smart phone and tablet era, there are so many options – email, phone, text messaging, video, web-apps, native apps (from the app stores), regular websites, cameras, recording options, etc. Mind blowing to actually have all of these capabilities at your fingertips!

Stay tuned for more!

Full Disclosure: Part of my day job is leading a Mobile Learning Initiative. So, these are thoughts off the top of my head, but I promise to follow up this post with well thought out info and more examples.