Today I saw this article on Twitter and had to pass it along. In this article titled "Do you get email rage?," Nance Guilmartin writes about that feeling we all get...the urge to immediately reply to an email we deem unfair, cruel or downright wrong. Guilmartin tells us how to avoid snapping back a snippy reply and, in so doing, saving our jobs, relationships or reputations.
Some of her tips include:
Step away from the computer
Type your reply but don't send it. Save it as a draft or print it and tear it up instead.
Give the sender the benefit of the doubt.
Anyway, great advice. I only wish I'd thought to send it first!
Social media is one of the best new ways to deliver your marketing message - and to show your business personality - to your target market. With so many tools like Facebook and Twitter to use though, how do you manage them all? How do you make time to do it all?
I use HootSuite, a free Twitter-related application that allows me to set up my various accounts and to write, manage and measure my marketing messages with one tool. It currently works hand-in-hand with Twitter, Facebook, Facebook pages, LinkedIn, Ping.fm and Word Press. You can even schedule messages to go out automatically - so you don't skip a beat when you're out of the office!
And what's even better, this tool is FREE! I love it - check it out and watch how easily you can transform your social media marketing plan into a manageable, measurable task.
With so many social media tools out there, it is hard to know which tools are worth using and which aren't. Here are three of my favorite Twitter tools, and all are FREE. They are applications created by nonTwitter entities, but they work hand-in-hand with Twitter. I have found them to be easy to use and big time-savers.
1) Social Oomph: If you have more than one Twitter account, this tool is a great one to use for managing all of those accounts. You can auto-follow, auto-unfollow, send a DM to all followers, screen followers (accept, ignore, spam or block) and more. I have 10+ accounts so this is a real time-saver to be able to ignore all of my Twitter emails (I auto-filter them into a special Twitter folder in my inbox) and then view all new followers 3 days a week (M, W, F). If I skip a few days, Social Oomph automatically accepts all followers after 72 hours so no one gets ignored. The tool I use is free, but there are upgrades for a fee.
2) Hoot Suite: Colleague Kirk Davis (GRCC's Small Business Assistance Center) told me about this gem. Again, I can manage multiple social media accounts in one place. It manages a variety of social media - including Facebook - but I primarily use it for Twitter. Here I can manage my tweets, scheduling them in advance. I choose the account, type my tweet, "shrink" my URL if needed, and choose the date and time to go out. I can even get an email confirmation that the tweet was sent. Want to delegate this task? You can add users to your account, so others can manage your Twitter accounts for you. The tools I use on Hoot Suite are free.
3) Twellow: There are dozens if not hundreds of Twitter search tools out there. I use different ones for different reasons. One of my newest (and, of course, free) favorites is Twellow. You can search for keywords under a variety of pre-selected categories. For example, for my iLoveKent.net site, I want to focus on Twitter users who are in the Puget Sound area. I click on a specific area of interest like real estate, dining or shopping, and then type in "Seattle" in the keyword area or I can select "Kent, Washington" in the keyword box and choose all categories. Twellow returns a list of Twitter followers that match those criteria. If I'm logged into my free Twellow account, I can follow them right there on the spot! This is a great - FREE - way to narrow your followers' list to those who are most likely to fit into your target market.
Have a favorite Twitter tool? Post your comments here. I'd love to hear your suggestions! In particular, I'd be interested to hear how Twitter users screen and purge their followers' lists.
People often ask me why press releases are important. The primary goal is to attract media attention and to stay top-of-mind with potential customers. The second goal is to drive traffic to your site so web visitors can learn more about you.
Any time I do a press release, I use both channels for announcing my client's product launch, fundraising campaign, event, business anniversary or other noteworthy news. First, I create a media list specific to my client, the industry and the market. Second, I distribute the press release to both free and paid online press release distribution sites. There are dozens, if not hundreds, to choose from so I try them out to see who gives me the most for the least. Some charge a fee, others do not, and results - specifically SEO - will vary depending on the service. Here are a few I like:
To determine which services you like best, take a current press release and submit it to each of the services. After 2 or 3 days, do a Google search on the client name or news item to see where it ranks in the search engines. If you've done a good job, you should see your press release listed on page 1 of Google's results.
Questions? Comments? Email me or post something here.
By now, most of us have "googled" our names to see what shows up in the mighty search engine about us. But do you use Google Alerts the same way? If not, you should check it out. Go to Google Alerts, type in your search criteria (I suggest putting your search terms in quotation marks; e.g., "Dana Neuts" or "Virtually Yourz"), what alerts you wish to receive (news, blogs, web, video, groups or comprehensive), how often you want to receive them, and where you want those alerts emailed.
I set at least one alert per client to come to me on a weekly basis. That way I can monitor how successful my marketing efforts are as well as what others are saying about my clients online. It is easy to set up, easy to monitor and FREE. You've gotta love FREE. When I get the alerts, if there is anything noteworthy, I forward it to my client so they can benefit from that knowledge as well. Check it out: Google Alerts.
Within the last month, I have witnessed at least a dozen cases of blatant theft of copyrighted material. In most cases, they were articles taken off websites and reused elsewhere under different authors' names. In another case, an agency took the copy I wrote for a client on one website to use it for someone else's website. In the latter case, I can't claim copyright infringement because I did the writing as "work for hire," but my client can take action against the offending party.
Don't get me wrong - I think the sharing of ideas is a wonderful way to learn from others, but stealing their work is not acceptable any any circumstances, particularly when passing off the work as your own. Instead, take the time to provide original material. Here are some ways to do that:
1. Research your topic of interest online or at your local library. 2. Interview experts. 3. Consult books and periodicals that address your subject of interest. 4. Subscribe to relevant trade magazines. 5. Do field research. For example, if you are writing about a new fitness program, try it out.
The bottom line - don't steal content. You might not get caught today or even tomorrow, but you will get caught. The Internet provides tools for writers and other content providers to discover whether or not their content is being used on unauthorized sites or by unauthorized parties. The penalties can be steep...including the loss of your reputation. Make it original, make it yours. Your readers will appreciate it.
Kent, Washington, September 6, 2009 – Last week freelance writer Dana Neuts of Kent was elected to the national board of the Society of Professional Journalists during its annual conference. Serving a two-year term, Neuts was named to the position of regional director for Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. She will serve SPJ chapters and members in those states as well as act as their representative on the national SPJ board. She has also been asked to serve on the national freelance committee.
Previously, Neuts served as the president of the Western Washington Pro Chapter of SPJ, which was named Large Chapter of the Year for the third time at last week’s conference. In addition, the chapter received Circle of Excellence awards for its work in diversity and campus relations. Hilary Reeves, managing editor for The Business Examiner in Tacoma, succeeds Neuts as chapter president.
“Our industry is changing rapidly with new business models and communication tools emerging daily,” Neuts said. “At the same time, journalists are concerned about the future of our industry and our continued ability to serve as a valuable ‘check and balance’ for democracy. I look forward to contributing what I can to those challenges while also renewing the public’s trust in quality journalism and its role in open government.”
Dana Neuts is a freelance journalist based in Kent, Washington. Her work has appeared in publications including Seattle Business, the Business Report, Kent magazine, Renton magazine, The Seattle Times, South Sound magazine, Seattle Metropolitan and more. She is also the owner of Virtually Yourz, a writing, editing and marketing firm that serves small businesses and nonprofits, and the owner and publisher of iLoveKent.net, a community-based news and events website. She is a member of the Kent Downtown Partnership, serves on the board of the Halo Network Foundation, and recently founded Kent Connects, a local “no rules” networking group.
If you're like me and having a hard time with all of the new language inspired by social media - particularly Twitter - than you'll love this Twitter Fan wiki site. Filled with information, you can not only learn the lingo but what to do with it. Like this post? Retweet please, my tweeps!
If you manage more than one Twitter account like I do, you know how time consuming it can be to follow your followers, reply with a Direct Message, etc. To help me manage multiple accounts, I use Tweet Later. This productivity tool is free and it allows me to manage all of my Twitter accounts from one place. I can even "vet" my followers. In other words, I can auto-follow or I can review each follower to see if I want to follow back. I can even mark those I don't want to follow - such as the numerous porn sites - as spam. It's a useful tool. Check it out.