I don't know you. But I want to!
If you use Twitter as a way to communicate with clients, potential clients, supporters or fans, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to contact you on through the platform. Anyone can always tweet at you, but sometimes people want to share something privately (good, bad or otherwise). That is where Direct Messages (DMs) come into play.
Your account can be set up so that you can only receive DMs from people who you follow AND who follow you. But that means that if you are an organization or a business, and someone wants to reach out to you privately--if you don’t follow them on Twitter, they won't be able to do so.
Good news: It's an easy fix!
First, let's check your current status. To do this, simply go to your Twitter Settings:
Then go to the "Security and privacy" tab:
Once there, scroll all the way to the bottom and ensure that you have toggled on “Receive Direct Messages from Anyone.”
There are countless tools and sites out there to help optimize your social media presence. I want to share one that offers a great solution to a very common problem.
How often have you logged onto Twitter and seen people in your feed posting links to their Instagram pics? Probably pretty often. And how often have you actually clicked through to see those pictures? Probably a lot less often, right?
Fair enough. Who wants to click a link to see if the content is worth exploring?
Wouldn’t it be nice if, without any extra work, you could post your actual Instagram pictures (as opposed to links to those awesome pictures) directly to Twitter, just like you can post them directly to Facebook? You can! And it’s easy. Let me explain.
Why post to Instagram at all?
You could post your pictures directly to Twitter, skipping over Instagram outright. But Instagram has amazing filters and very engaged audiences. The goal isn’t to minimize networks—rather it’s to minimize the amount of work it takes you to positively engage with multiple networks.
Instagram is owned by Facebook, posting there directly is as easy as hitting share. But when you try to cross-post to Twitter, they only tweet out a link. They are seeking to drive your followers away from Twitter and to Instagram. Which might be good for them. But it’s not good for you.
It’s simple. Set up an account with “If This, Then That.” (www.IFTTT.com) Once you have an account, you can set up all kinds of cool tools (they call them recipes).
Clearly, there’s plenty you can do with this site. But to solve this particular problem: sign up, set up a recipe so that IF you post a picture to Instagram, THEN it will share it to Twitter. You can search around in their “Recommended Recipes” or just follow this link.
Give IFTTT access to both your Instagram and Twitter accounts and confirm the recipe. Then anytime you post a picture to Instagram, it will automatically tweet out the same picture to your Twitter network. With no additional work, you will reach twice as many networks! (3x if you are already sharing directly from Instagram to Facebook.)
Now instead of your feed looking like this:
It will look like this:
Which do you think are going to get higher engagement rates?
Let me know if you need help setting up your recipes. Happy sharing!
Carly Fiorina, ousted head of HP and defeated 2010 senate candidate, is running for the GOP nomination for President.
Things were going very slowly for her throughout the summer. She was relegated to the “kiddie stage” for the first GOP debate. She accepted her placement and the general consensus was that she shined. She began to get noticed for the first time throughout her campaign.
By the second round of debates, she had risen in the polls and she managed to score a big victory by being the only candidate to move up from the kiddie debate to primetime.
She was again widely praised for her performance in debate #2. The highlight of the evening for her was when she took on Planned Parenthood over some tapes that had just been released. She made an impassioned pro-life plea and quickly shot up in the polls.
The problem was, the highlight was based on factually incorrect information. She claimed that the videos showed things that didn’t exist—objectively didn’t exist . No media bias, no difference of opinions, she simply created a scene and spoke about it in great detail (or possibly, confused a different video with the one she was referencing).
While her rise was meteoric, her fall was pretty much just as quick. She built her reputation on something verifiably false. Every story that followed was not about her or her ideas, but about that falsehood.
It was a good play based on a shoddy foundation and she ultimately fell right through the bottom. Post debate, she was polling at 15%, putting her in second place. Today, heading into the third GOP debate, she is at 4%.
Her Truthiness Problem is Bigger Than That One Debate Statement
Fiorina has a general problem with telling the truth, even when the fact-checkers have done their fact-checking. Mother Jones just published a story called “Carly Fiorina’s Fact-Defying Stump Speech,” outlining all of the outright falsehoods she has made a regular part of her speeches.
The problem is, every enticing story or juicy statistic she tells is sure to impress the people in the room. But candidates, like businesses, organizations or anyone else, can no longer live just in the room. The press is listening, social media is watching and the fact-checkers never sleep.
While making up facts and statistics may help a candidate—or brand—get noticed, the story will ultimately be not about the candidate but about the falsehoods. And that is always a recipe for disaster.
It is far better to win over voters—or customers/supporters/fans—slowly with honesty, than quickly without merit. Their support may be harder to gain, but it will be worth something once you have earned it.
Tonight is GOP debate #3—we’ll see if Fiorina has learned her lesson. Based on her current stump speech, I’m thinking the answer is no.
Today is the day Marty McFly traveled to in Back to the Future II. #BackToTheFuture is trending on Twitter and Facebook. Several GOP presidential hopefuls (Carly Fiorina and Senator Marco Rubio) released ads based on the sci-fi comedy classic. And plenty of brands are trying to make sure that their products are part of the story.
Here are a few highlights from the day thus far:
Recently I went into Madison Sourdough (on Willy St. on the Near East side). Great restaurant, amazing bread (obviously!).
For those who haven’t been, it’s a pretty simple ordering process: you walk in, order at the counter, get a table number and then they bring your food to you. Nothing novel or groundbreaking.
But their table number got me thinking about how a business can use (or fail to use) all of their available real estate.
Here was my number:
Many restaurants would simply hand out a sign with the number on it. What a waste of valuable real estate that would have been!
Rather than simply serving as a function of the ordering process, this placard worked to both inform me that Madison Sourdough is online (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest) and to encourage me to post about them using the hashtag #MadisonSourdough.
Many customers are going to automatically post pictures of their meal online anyway. You might as well make it easy for those happy customers to give credit to the restaurant. And for those who might not have thought to snap a picture of their lunch and put it online, you get a chance to offer a little nudge in the social media direction.
So here’s a question: what real estate is your business/organization utilizing? And more importantly, which opportunities are you missing?
People are going to post about you and your brand regardless, you might as well be working with them.
A little while back, Facebook added a new feature for brand pages: the call-to-action. It is a simple button, next to “Like” on your cover photo.
Setup is extremely simple. Go to any brand page for which you are an admin. If you have not yet set one up, you will see this:
When you click the button, you will get this pop-up:
Click where it says to “Choose a Button" and you will see this dropdown box:
These are your options. Facebook does not allow you to create your own, one of these will have to do. If you aren’t sure what to select, I’d recommend using "Contact Us" (as do they—it’s the default). You can add in a url and then when people click the call-to-action, they will be taken directly to your page.
Rather than sending people to your contact page though, I’d send them to a page that does a better job of introducing yourself. They are only one click away from your contact page (or at least they should be!) and in the meantime you are better off introducing them to your brand via your homepage (or your blog/about us/services page...) then sending them to a contact us page that puts all of the onus on them.
Once the call-to-action is setup, it is extremely easy to edit. If you are an admin and you go to the page, you will see the call-to-action button. Click on it, and rather than it taking you somewhere, it will offer you this dropdown menu:
You can edit, test or delete it, view insights or promote it (pay to let people know it exists). You can see insights for it just to the right of your cover photo.
Don’t expect to see much traffic from it. It won’t be a driver, but it will give people an option to quickly and easily from your Facebook page to your site.
Just as important, to the (even remotely) trained eye, not having it will stand out as a red flag (why isn’t this brand page using all of the resources at their disposal?).
Click “Contact Us” (or whichever option you selected) and Facebook will offer up some very basic analytics.
The whole process should take less than two minutes. So heed this call-to-action and set one up today!
UPDATE: Since writing this post, Facebook has deleted their spam folder. So worry not about missing those important (and possibly not-so-important) emails in the future!
Ever bump into an old friend and have them admonish you for not returning their Facebook message?
Maybe you were busy and forgot to respond. Maybe you were busy and willfully didn’t respond. Or maybe, Facebook sent their message to your spam folder and you never saw it in the first place!
Facebook has a spam folder. If you don’t know about it, you might be missing some important mail. That, and a lot of invites to events you were probably going to skip anyway.
If you get mail from a friend, or a friend-of-a-friend, it will go to your inbox. Everything else will wind up in your “other” folder.
The good news is that checking this folder is easy. After clicking “messages” in the top left of your Facebook homepage, look at the very top left of the new screen. “Inbox” will be highlighted. Right next to that is a tab titled “other.” Click it and you will see messages you never realized you got, dating all the way back to 2010.
Most of these messages will in fact be junk. But if you have been fuming for years that one of your college friends invited everyone but you to a holiday party back in 2011, you might very well wind up owing that person a mental apology for all those mean thoughts.
See anyone in your “other” folder who doesn’t belong there? Move their message to your inbox and Facebook promises that their mail will no longer be siphoned off, into the abyss of a folder you didn’t even realize existed.
Any truly great surprises awaiting you in your “other” folder? Share them in the comments or tweet them with the hashtag #SurprisesInMyOtherFolder
Do you own a business? Work in sales? Have a cause for which you want people to volunteer or give money? Maybe you are in a band or have an upcoming art show? If there is any capacity in your life that involves sharing what you do with others, then you need to develop an elevator pitch.
But what is an elevator pitch?
Let’s say you are asking people to volunteer for your organization. You bump into a friend/colleague/stranger on the street and the subject comes up. You have to make the ask, or they are certainly not going to give up THEIR Sunday afternoon to help you with YOUR cause. If the two of you wind up going to lunch together, or even coffee, then you have all the time in the world to walk through the organization you work with, the benefits of volunteering, how important their contribution will be... But 9 times out of 10 (or even 99 times out of 100), you don’t get to make your ask while waiting for a table. Most of the time, you have to make your ask while you are waiting for the light to change, or as someone is hopping into a cab, or in the time you share together in an elevator.
An elevator pitch is your opportunity to sell yourself, and your cause, to another person in the length of time that you might spend together in an elevator. A good elevator pitch is generally considered to be no more than 30 seconds.
But my ask is so much more complicated than I could possibly sum up in 30 seconds!
That might be true, but at the moment, your cause only matters to you. You don’t get 15 minutes to convert, you get 30 seconds.
Let’s imagine you are trying to explain a difficult concept to someone. You believe this concept to be EXTREMELY important. They have never heard of it and are not necessarily interested in learning about it. Are you going to hand that person a book on the subject? Or a pamphlet? The 1% of people who might be willing to read the book will surely become experts on the subject. But for everyone else, you will be lucky to get them to flip the pamphlet over before tossing it in the trash. You need to make your message simple, concise and extremely easy to digest.
Assuming that you can capture someone's attention in your allotted 30 seconds, then you might get a chance to expand on the subject. The goal of an elevator pitch is not to cram as much information in it as possible, it is to ensure that you get them wanting to learn more.
Whether it’s a client, a potential investor, a friend or even a stranger on the street, your elevator pitch should end with you offering them your business card. If they offer theirs in return, even better. Make sure and follow up!
But I don’t have a business card!
Why not?! Business cards are cheap, easy to get and extremely important. They show the receiver that you take yourself seriously.
So how do I create an elevator pitch?
First of all, elevator pitches are not going to write themselves, flawlessly and in the moment. You should practice yours. Ask a friend or colleague to listen and critique. Recite it in front of the mirror if you have to! Just get used to sharing your pitch on a moment’s notice. If it takes you 15 seconds to collect your thoughts, you just lost half your allotted time!
When crafting it, try making a list of your bullet points.
If someone is properly engaged, you may have time to delve deeper into any one of your main points. The most important thing is that they walk away knowing that your company guarantees satisfaction. Or that you just won ethical salesman of the year. Or that your band was recently nominated for a Grammy.
Is that all?
Having a good elevator pitch does not guarantee success in your ask. But not having one all but ensures disappointment. So get to work.
Need help telling your story? Let's chat.
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