Tooting Your Own Horn: Promoting Yourself Online?

how to promote yourself online

For fear of tooting your own horn, a common question many new social media marketers may ask…“how do I promote myself gracefully online?” or, “how can I  make my new blog, accessible to my friends without looking like pretentious?“.

What we’re really talking about here is the delicate art of self-promotion. If you want to earn your visitors eyeballs, generated buzz or cash-in the dollar bills for something you’ve dreamed up, using social media is pretty much a must.

All too often promoting oneself online is a concept that may make many people run for cover. However there are the humble few who genuinely feel uncomfortable telling you why they are worth your time. And of course as usual, there are the countless self-righteous cads who really hate having to bother.

Self-promotion is an art, not a science, because it takes a bit of instinct and talent.
Check out this great article on by Andrea Bartz and Brenna Ehrlich,
Check out the column at >>

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Five ways to start building your brand online

Five Ways to Start Building Your Brand Online

by Small Business Trends

Every business looking to build online branding must know…

Corporate branding–it’s all the rage these days. Social media blogs wax on about the companies doing it right, the companies doing it wrong, and the companies that have yet to get involved at all. As a small business owner, it can be a little intimidating. How do you go about building a brand while building a business at the same time? Well, there a few places you should start.

Below you’ll find five ways to begin building your brand online. You’ll actually find it’s pretty painless.

1. Know what you want it to be.

You can’t build a brand if you don’t know what you’re trying to build. Social media is about amplifying your voice in a way that connects with customers. So what do you want your voice to sound like? Who are you in your space and what do you want people to associate with you? Everything you do on the Web and off of should work to strengthen that. Your actions now have a purpose – to create the identity you’re after. Once you know this, you have a road map for everything else.

2. Listen and learn.

The power of listening is twofold. First, listening allows you to understand your community. By being quiet and eavesdropping on the conversations they’re already having, you can find out what’s important to them, what they value, what they think about your competitors, how they view you in the market, what they’re struggling with and what their problems are. The intel they reveal is often far more trustworthy than what they’re telling you to your face. What people say and what they do is often quite different. This allows you to listen in and gain information without having your presence alter their natural behavior.

Second, listening can help you find problems in your own system. You can identify areas where customers struggle and things that constantly trip them up, and then fix the problems. Monitoring what people are saying about you is a great way to learn and make your company better. Listen to their words and watch behaviors to find opportunities for growth and interaction.

3. Identify where you you’re needed and get involved.

Where are your customers online? Where are they talking about you and discussing problems they’re having? These are the sites you want to find. They might be on Twitter, on LinkedIn or on their own blogs. Wherever your customers are talking about you is where you need to be and where you should get involved.

Once you find out where your audience is, become part of that community. Get in the conversation and build those important relationships that breed loyalty. By becoming part of your customers’ online communities you set your company up as one that is human, accessible and trustworthy.  That’s the basis upon which everything else will be built.

4. Find your team.

When you’re participating in online communities, keep an eye out for your brand evangelists–current customers who love you and enjoy spreading the word about you to their friends. Once you find these people, befriend them. Thank them for what they do for your company and find ways to help them do it better. That may mean making them part of your process or giving them special access to parts of your brand. The best way to build your brand is to make it easy for others to do it for you.

5. Give people something to share.

Whether it’s an idea, a video, a quirk, a corporate value, whatever, you need to give your tribe of people something they can pass along. Doing so will unite them around your company and strengthen your brand identity. People align themselves with companies that make them feel something. Once you figure out the feeling you want to inspire (see #1 above), think about how you can make that feeling part of your customers’ daily interactions with you.

If you’re new to this corporate or personal brand thing, the five tips above can help you get started on creating a brand image that will resonate with users.

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How to Use the @Reply @Replies in Twitter

Twitters @Reply Left You Speachless?

Read on to learn how to use @Reply in Twitter Messages

@reply is a really great feature in Twitter. You can use it to draw the attention of a specific Twitter user to a message, and letting the Twitterverse in on it as well, rather than the private direct messages, and can only be sent to people who follow you.

See the example below of how most people use @reply to send a message to a specific user:

@getsocialcity INH Help with @Replies (I need help). Can you help?

or like this:

@getsocialcity Could you please DM me your email id?

Some folks may find @replies a bit annoying if they are used in excess, especially if there are extended periods of back-and-forth between a person you follow and a person you don’t. Some people use @replies in ways that are not such an annoyance. For example here are some useful tips for using @replies, that may be more appropriate:

Personalize: make your @reply about a person as much as it is to a person

Don’t use @reply to spam people
If you want to send a message to a specific person, hoping for a re-tweet, follow them. If they follow you back, send them a direct message. Especially if you are going to send the same message to several different people who don’t know you from @adam.

DONT spam to promote you, or your product, think twice before you send @messages to a number of people that don’t even know you, even though you think they might be interested in Product.

Don’t start your @reply with @reply
Sending a tweet that starts with @reply is like starting a letter with “Dear Liz”. That’s actually fine and normal for private correspondence, but that’s not what an @reply is. Starting a tweet with @getsocialcity sends a strong signal to everyone else that this is not to them.

Don’t have extended conversations in twitter that are meaningless to followers
If you only follow one participant in a long twitter conversation, you know what I mean already. Here’s an example:

@honeybee I think that idea stinks
@honeybee Well, its not quite done yet
@honeybee What’s the hold up?
@honeybee I cant do it, I’m too busy

I could go follow @honeybee and find out what this is all about, but rather it would be nice if the author just followed the first rule.

She could have done this easily by simply replacing “its/it” and “that” with whatever she is referring to.

For example, here’s how this tweet could be fixed.

I wish I could attend Anita’s talk on Strategic Marketing Strategies with @getsocialcity today, but can’t, I’ve got PTA.

Note: this conversation is totally made up. However the twitter user named  @getsocialcity, is me….

If @reply doesn’t add to your message, just drop it

Consider this tweet:

@debtgoodbye Good Morning! have a greatsuper day

How is it any better than this?

Good Morning! have a super day

Before you send an @reply, take out the @ part and see if it makes a difference. If it doesn’t, send it without the @.

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If you’d like more information on make sure you visit Using Social Media!
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Social Media Toolkit Part 1: Top Twitter Tips

Super Twitter Tips for your Social Media Toolkit.

Twitter is a social media site unlike any other. You have the ability to meet  and reach people from all over the world, people with similar interest that, you may have other wise nver crossed paths with.

Twitter is a place to get to know people, share information and help one another. It is about creating value & education. It is not about selling your stuff.

Common mistakes(Spammers): If you consistently advertise or send people to lead capture pages then do not expect to attract quality people. In fact most Twitter users  call these people spammers. A good rule of thumb to remeber is no one wants to be SOLD all the time. It is called Social Media for a reason.

One way of looking at Twitter and social media as if you were at a party. What would you do, say, or act? I hope you would ask people questions about what they like, about their job or what is important to them ? Family, friends, hobbies, movies & more.

Twitter is in reality an excellent place to learn and make new friends, however it can also be a little overwhelming when you are new.

I’ve compiled some great tools to save you time & help you on Twitter.

There are more than 250 Twitter tools and applications, this guide should help save you countless hours learning about all the different tools and share some that have been a big help for me in my video & list below.

Social Media Toolkit: My Recommended List of Top Twitter Tools 

Free backgrounds for your Twitter page.

Schedule tweets, Automate welcome messages, Automate to follow and unfollow others.

Form groups, shrink tweets & URL’s, Facebook status updates & much more.

Automatically follow people with similar interest by keyword search.

Find your Target market by category or location.

Use Twellow to find your Target market for Twitter 


Find people by location and category. Find people that have your same interest.

Be sure to register so that you are listed in the directory and put yourself in categories like Green, Eco, Music, etc. This way people can find you by category. Then you will want to go and search for people in these categories and follow them.

What does RT mean on Twitter ?

RT means ReTweet – Give credit to The Tweeter

When you see RT on Twitter it is always followed by @getsocialcity (Example). This means that someone is re stating what someone else said. You are giving credit to the person who made the statement much like you would do with a quote.

  • You’ll want to make sure that you always give credit. Never just cut and paste a tweet and make it your own. That’s a big TABOO on Twitter.
  • You can add your comments and position the tweet however you like as long as you remember to RT or via the person who Tweeted it.
  • Retweeting is a big part of building relationship and making new friends on Twitter. I make sure to RT many times throughout the day and to help promote my follows.
  • Retweeting is also something you can use to determine if you will follow a person or not. I always look at their Tweets for the last day or so to see if they RT and are engaging. If I only see them Tweeting their own stuff then it is a one way street and I do not follow them.

If you are brand new to Twitter and not sure what to Tweet about then find some people that interest you and RT their tweets. You will not only learn this way, but your followers will LOVE you for it!

How to add RT/Retweet button on your Twitter page 

2 Steps to get the RT button:

1) download this

2) download this

What does # Hashtag mean on Twitter & Why do people use Hashtags? 

For those of you who are very green on Twitter, then you may be wondering what in the world does # this mean? You will see it for #GMO also known as #foods, #jobs, #organic & much much more.

#Hashtags are used for trending topics on Twitter and are also used as a way to create categories. These categories can be searched by using the search tool on Twitter. It’s a clever tool because many people put themselves in categories like #health, #eco, etc.

This is a great way to find people with like interest or participate in something fun happening on Twitter at any given time.

Another TIP for using hashtags, say you have a group of friends, or maybe you are all at a high profile event ? For example, say you are at an event and you decide to use the hashtag #vicexpo2010, then you all tweet and use this #vicexpo2010 hashtag so you can see what everyone is saying about the event.

A handy tool to see all the #Hashtags being used, and what is happening right now on Twitter visit the following URL…

What is #FollowFriday on Twitter ? 

Here are some tips and tools to help you on Follow Friday

Many people when they first start on Twitter are completely confused & have no idea what was going on?
Why do you see #FollowFriday? And what does it mean?
In a nutshell, every Friday people will send out their favorite people and recommend that others follow them.
You will often see many of the following tpyes of tweets:

#FollowFriday @getsocialcity @Vancouverfit @HealingCities @Village_900, @VictoriaTicket, @Coastal2009 , plus many others…

#FF @BlairVeenstra, @VictoriaTicket, @Elisitasphotos, plus many others…

Friday’s have been known to become a bit chaotic & potentailly stressful. Adding so new many followers can be time consuming, not mention the time involved in the attempt of recommend all of them.

There following tool makes Follow Friday so much easier. Twitter Tag Project, this tool allows you to scan the last 200 tweets, count the dups, and return your most active friends.

It’s so simple, resluts will be displayed, then you hit “Tweet” & that’s all there is to it!

Follow Friday: Latest updates & breaking news

For the most part all the tweets of the day look much the same. The TIP below will help you stand out, look a little different than everyone else using Twitter.

Consider creating value, something that gives credibility to each person, a liitle bit about this person & why you feel they are worth following.

Another TIP, make #follow recommendations every day of the week & not just on Friday. Doing so means your recommendations would really stand out apart from all the other noise on Twitter.

Have a look at some of my recommendations below…..

@twitter1 Awsome friend who does Joint Ventures w/ Authors, Speakers, Trainers, Real Estate and Niche Experts for Promotion/Profit.

@twitter2 Well respected friend. Always engages- very helpful here on Twitter & She markets a Organic Magazine. Take time 2 get 2 know her..

@twitter3 Great girl – My friend. Does Bookkeeping & Property Management Virtual Assistant. QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Excel Queen.

@twitter4 Darren is a tea drinking, guitar playing, low-carb eating, wine making sales maker – Luv it !

@twitter5 awesome guy -good friend to follow – Great Tweets – He is a marketer, entrepreneur & Passionate #Green advocate

@twitter6 Frank is super guy. Always here to help & he tweets to help keep your car and boat like new. Mobile detail biz

@twitter7 An incredibly brave women & great person who is always helpful. Follow her & learn about her cause to raise awareness….

@twitter8 Really great guy who always engages and is very helpful to me. He mixes it up with music & fun.. Be sure to follow

@twitter9 He is a great guy who always engages & here to help.


Learn how Tweetbeep and Tweetburner could help you on Twitter 

This will help you identify people with like interests & tracking for your business

TwitterLocal – Find Real-Time Local Peeps on Twitter to Network with 

A great way to connect with Local people.

How to Unfollow people on Twitter
Unfollow Tweeps who do not Tweet often enough

Your Twitter Karma
Who is following you & who is not – Bulk unfollow

Friend or Follow
Who is following & who is not – Se more detail on each person

*TwitFresh ( Awesome !)
Unfollow everyone not following you – happens within minutes (WARNING – does no take you to another screen or allow you to pick people. If you put your info in and hit submit then BAM they are all gone)


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Social Media Tips Part 1: Blogging Best Practices

Social Media Tips Part 1: Blogging Best Practices

This is the the first installment of our Social Media Tips, by JAR. Providing interesting and informative information on Social Media Tips & Blogging Best Practices.

We’ve all seen them. Blogs are everywhere. About everything. They’re about all things digital, they’re about fashion, they’re about nothing in particular, or photography, or silly things on the street, or books, or Apple. But companies have them too, right? Why, you ask? Because, among other reasons, Google loves blogs. They are fresh, constantly updated content which Google deems relevant, interesting, and downright important. (Not to mention their endless SEO potential!) And thus, blogs help rankings.

But what makes a blog a blog? A blog is a tool that allows one to quickly and easily publish new content, and also allows for feedback from readers in the form of comments. It is this interaction between author and reader that makes a blog what it is rather than say, a press release.  The two most important components of a blog are posts and comments. Here are some tips on how to handle these two pieces from a company blog perspective:

Posts: The posts are the most dominant part of the blog–how you post will determine the way in which you use your blog as a tool to connect to your clients.  In your posts you should aim to strike a balance between providing useful and interesting information to your readers and informing them about your company. If you slightly shift the focus of your content towards your expertise in a wider subject matter, you will attract a greater number of readers. It is a best practice to target 2-4 keywords in each post for SEO purposes.

Comments: Comments, while not the most dominant aspect, might just be the most important component of a blog. This is because comments get your readers involved and gives them a chance to speak their minds. This not only makes the blog more interesting, but it also gives you the opportunity to interact with your readers (and potential customers). A key tip on commenting: use the commenter’s first name—this reframes the interaction to be more conversational, changing an impersonal connection to a personal one thus making for a more friendly and open environment.

So now you’ve decided to make your company blog. But wait! Before you start, make sure you have the time and resources available to keep it up. Seriously consider that because if you don’t have the time or manpower to blog, it’s actually better to not have one. If readers come to your blog and see old, stale content, it will reflect poorly on your company and your brand. But if you do, here’s a hint, start writing content before you launch the blog—that way you’ll have content ready to go in a pinch if you get backed up for whatever reason. So now go out there and get writing! (And if you don’t have a platform already, try WordPress!)

Read more:

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