Business Women Network

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tools for Twitter

Social media is the new frontier to marketing and advertising products...with this new phenomenom comes MANY applications. One of the most used and successful tools which help you to microblog and "feed" your many other social networks is Twitter. So if you hear things like "I tweeted it" or "retweet" rest assured that these things do exist. And, yes you heard them correctly.

The best way to look at Twitter is as "group texting". You sign up for an account and "follow" people with the same interests and businesses. As you begin to follow people they in turn will follow you back. What does this do for you? Well it provides you with a social network of people who want to hear what you have to say. The number one pointer when using Twitter for marketing is to make sure that you have a balance of personal information to business information so that people feel a personal connection to you and your company.

As you become more familiar with Twitter you will learn that there are MANY applications within in this one corner of social media. Below is a list taken from to help you use Twitter effectively. Be sure to follow us and we will follow you back!

Good Luck and happy Tweeting!!
Brabblr - With Brabblr, you can post to all your micro blogging services including Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku, Tumblr, Jabber, Frazr, and more.Autopostr - This service lets your friends in Twitter know when you post a new picture on Flickr.
EmailTwitter - With this service, you can send tweets to Twitter from your cellphone without incurring SMS charges.
GroupTweet - Allows you to post private message to a group of Twitter friends.
Hashtags - You can add tags to your Twitter posts with this service.
HelloTxt - This service enables you to update Twitter, a host of other micro blogging sites, and social networking sites with one click.
LinkBunch - Need to share more than one link in a tweet? LinkBunch puts together all the links and provides you one link that you can share on Twitter. As you might have understood, this can be used not just with Twitter, but also with emails, IMs, SMS, etc.
LiveTwitting - Helps you cover a conference live on Twitter. Similar to liveblogging, only cooler.
MicroRevie - Post reviews on twitter accs and this service will turn them into microformats.
Mobypicture - A service to post to your blog and micro-blogging sites like Twitter through your mobile phone.
OutTwit - A tool for Outlook that will send the latest tweets from your friends as incoming email messages.
SecretTweet - Post to Twitter anonymously. If you really need to.
SnapTweet - Allows you to post your Flickr pictures to Twitter.
Snitter - an Adobe AIR based desktop client for Twitter compatible with Mac and Windows. The Linux version is in testing.
Twhirl - Twhirl is a popular desktop client based on Adobe AIR. It has a lot of impressive features including multiple Twitter accounts, connect to Friendfeed, post image to Twitpic, post to Pownce and Jaiku simultaneously, and search using Tweetscan.
TweetCube - This service allows you to post files on Twitter. Files that can be shared include .zip, .rar, .pdf, .jpg, .png, .gif, .mp3 and .txt.
Tweetr- an AIR based Twitter client for MAC and PC. You can use this to send files upto 100MB.
Twibler - posts your ebay listings to Twitter automatically.
Twideeo - You can post videos to Twitter using this service that lets you upload the vid to their site and then generates a link to your video.
Twit+ - You can tweet pictures, videos, and files using this service publicly or privately among your friends on Twitter.
Twitxr - Another neat way to post a picture on Twitter, Facebook, or Picassa.
TweetChannel - You can add TweetChannel as your friend in Twitter to help you channel your various posts.
TweetLater - An useful service to schedule your Twitter posts for the future.
Twitpic - Share pictures on Twitter using Twitpic.
Twitsay - You can tweet an audio recording to Twitter using this new and popular service.
Twits Like Me - You can use this service to find people on Twitter who share your interests.
TwitterCal - This service allows you to post events from your Google calendar to your Twitter accounts.
Twitter Feed - This tool allows you to send your blog atom or RSS feed to Twitter.
TwitterGram - Post an mp3 on Twitter using this service.
Twitteroo - This is another popular desktop client for Twitter.

TwitterIM - Using this tool, you can tweet from Windows Live Messenger and ICQ.
Twitterlights - This tool allows you to highlight snippets of text from any webpage and send it to twitter. The url of the page also gets converted into a tinyurl and gets included in your tweet.
Twitter Reply - With this tool, you can send your Twitter updates on a secret email address, or through Windows Live Messenger or ICQ.
Twittershare - This desktop/web application also allows you to post pictures on Twitter. Works on Mac as well.
VisualTwitter - Allow you to post pictures on Twitter.
TopTweet - This site provides you updates from the top Twitter personalities. Yes, it took us a lot of tries to take a screenshot without Scoble in it.TweetWire - TweetWire grabs the freshest links posted on Twitter and displays them Yahoo News page style.
Twitter100 - Just like in your personal start pages, this tool will allocate a box to each of the people you follow on a single page and display their latest tweets.Twitterator - Twitterator enables you to follow a group of people at one go.
Twitter Digest - This tool allows you to subscribe to a message stream from a Twitter user of a group of users on the web or through an atom feed.
Alpha Twitter - This site provides you with the top links on Twitter.


So here we go again, 4:30 am let dogs out, 4:35 let dogs back in, go back to sleep, 6:30 get up, shower, breakfast for 3 kids, feed 3 dogs, get kids ready for school, makeup, carpool, morning hot chocolate, work 8:30 am.
Recently, my husband had to take a job out of town, he is gone 4 days out of the week, this makes things tough. Don't get me wrong. I know there are a lot of single moms out there and all I have to say is.....great job! But, for me, my 3 kids, 3 dogs, my 3 businesses, (apparently I like 3's), and my community involvement, my lack of husband is taking a toll.
Anyway, this brings me to my topic on multi-tasking. I really am a "fly by the seat of your pants" girl, but lately my seat has been getting smaller and smaller ( only in a metaphorical sense, sadly).
So, I am needing to schedule, actually writing things down in my calendar at the beginning of the week and not forgetting it by Tuesday. Of course we schedule, the obvious, School, Work, Doctor, but do we schedule the Gym, American Idol, Meal planning, Bunco, Bills, Schedule time for scheduling?
Of course, women are better at multitasking than men, but at some point the straw breaks the camels back. (wow, metaphors are hot today)
Do yourself a favor take the time, promise yourself you'll stick by it for two weeks, see how it works, there is really more wasted time in a day than you may suspect. I know it doesn't seem like it.
The best blessing you could give yourself, your spouse, your children, is your clear and focused mind. So, don't lose it by cutting yourself and time short. Start your calendar today.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why Not Me?

So, there are a lot us that see a new idea or product and think to ourselves "I could of done that" or "I am already doing that". Immediately following with another thought to the tune of "Why not me? Why didn't I get to do that".

Really?... So, here are the answers...... you didn't, not well enough, and why not you?

The first 2 obstacles that we face are mostly inner conflicts with ourselves. First, you don't really believe your business is possible, or you don't have enough money. Well, luckily you have a brain. So, at least we are ahead of the scarecrow.
We put together ten steps to start getting your business to work for you. Of, course there are more than 10 but we thought this would be good beginning.

1. What is your business? Sometimes there are a million and 1 things you want to do and sometimes there is only one. But the idea that usually keeps boiling to the top of your mind, that you can't forget, that comes to you in your daydreams. That is the one. Now we can start.

2. Take a deep breath. This is not the time to empty your bank account starting a business. There needs to be planning involved. Sit down, take a deep breath and classify exactly what you services or products will be. It is much more beneficial to start with fewer good products than 20 mediocre ones. Services as well. You may want to offer the services you know well, then when you further your training and experience you can expand your services with confidence.

3. Get the basics. Whether it is through a community college, small business workshops, seminars, etc. You need to know the principles of owning a business, this doesn't mean you have to take every available business course. If you feel comfortable with accounting for example then spend your time on business licenses and law for your state. This doesn't have to be overwhelming, there are many local business organizations that provide low cost or no cost mentoring in business startup.

4. Learn from the best. There are millions of business in the world. There are more than likely other businesses out there like yours. That is fine. But, what you can do is learn from the best of those businesses. Watch where they have evolved, their clientel, where they advertise, branding, etc. Then take the best of those qualities and put your spin on it. The best of you and them, there a unique brand. None other exactly the same.

5. Branding. Branding the image you put out to the world. It is the face of your company, fonts, logos, images, colors, they should all have the same look. This is how past and future customers create a following for you product or services. Put your best face forward. That would be your one of a kind brand.

6. Goals. You need to have short and long term goals for your company, with a specific timeline attached. Some immediately think of monetary goals. These are necessary, but so are tangible goals. For instance, expansion of a product line, how many customers, how many stores are your products in, sales totals, etc. Keep your goal especially your short term goals realistic. Don't set yourself up for failure with unattainable goals.

7. Website. This does not need to be costly. There are many build-your- own companies available that keep the cost down. But, this is where your branding is important. Will you website bring in instant business, no, probably not. But, it does give those interested in you and your company a place to get to know you.

8. Networking. This is what will get you your business. If your company performs a service, outside the tech industry, this kind of companydoes better networking locally. If you have a product or service that doesn't require close proximity, then the internet should be where you start networking, but you underestimate the value of local support. Locally, get to know people, attend clubs, groups, community meetings, once people get to know you it will be easier to get them to look at your company. Online networking is important, join facebook, myspace, get a blog, twitter, make friends with these people, linked in, create a family with these contacts, chat with them, then present your product.

9. The price is right. Research similar going rates, remember if you have a product it is not only about your company making money it is also about the stores that carry your products that need to make money. So, don't outprice yourself. This concept may seem simple but there are many small businesses that don't always heed this advice.

10. Swag. If you know or have heard of those people that talk to much (not in a bad way),get them your product, free. Perform your service for free. Be strategic with who you comp to. You need them to talk about you and your company. And say good things. :)

These are just some pointers. But what is most important, that if you are surrounded by those that tell you you can't. Then go somewhere else. The reason alot of businesses succeed is they stick it out. They ignore the naysayers and they work until their hands or brains bleed. Welcome to the world of entreprenuers. You will do great.