Twitter Testimonial Tip

Image by Bruna Pires

We all know that testimonials can be powerful tools for our business. So what are you doing with them after the first excitement wears off? One of the techniques I encourage folks to use when creating their Editorial Calendar is to share testimonials from satisfied clients. Your clients who have taken the time to let you know they appreciate your service can become part of your brand ambassador team.

Testimonials are easy to share when they are in the form of an email or letter. However, with all of today’s tools at our fingertips why limit the variety of your reach? With smartphones and apps it is also very easy to do this through audio and video.  Think about asking your happy client to share an audio or video testimonial about the service or products your business provides. Hearing the energy and excitement of someone who is “in the moment” can really drive home the point of how well your business does it’s job.

Of course, there is more than one way to capture customer testimonials. Thanks to a recent Twitter update, we can embed some of those testimonials into our website. Here is an example of some kudos that Susan Price and myself received from one of our workshop attendees:

Be creative with the different platforms you can use to capture those testimonials. You might be surprised to discover exactly how many folks have said great things about your business. Your employees, existing and potential clients will be happy to hear about all the wonderful things your company is doing when seen through the eyes of a happy client testimonial.

Want to know the other creative ways Twitter embed posts can be used in your business? Then head over to HubSpot to discover 7 Epic Uses of Twitter’s New Embeddable Tweets Feature.

The Latest Bright and Shiny Social Network: Google+

It’s only been out for a few weeks, but already Google+ has taken the tech and social media community by storm. Bold statements like, “I Have Moved” and “I’m Leaving Facebook” have been touted from many an early adopter geek. I’ll admit my foray into the Google+ or G+ as we now refer to it has been very exciting. It is a clean and simple network. Yet in that simplicity is something quite refreshing and complex.

The ability to further define who is in your network via Circles is the first piece that grabs your attention. Most social networks categorize the people you are connected to as friends. Some of them allow you create lists and groups for some separation but it has been clunky and cumbersome to navigate in networks like Facebook. One cool feature is the ability to put your connections in multiple circles. For example my husband and sister are in a family circle but they are also in a friend circle. Making it easy to share things that are family specific with them only and also share more general posts that are for friends.

G+ comes with a 10 person video chat feature called Hang Out built right into the web interface. Nothing to download or pay for. You can create public hang outs or have a private hang out for family, friends or dare I even say it, clients. Features like this are not new, but are typically found in higher end paid premium products. In Google+ it is free. One thing I found even more exciting was that the person speaking is highlighted within the group video chat. It is really quite the nice touch.

The mobile app (which was just released on the iPhone this week) has an additional feature which is sure to make your next event a richer experience. Huddle is group text-like messaging very similar to the way GroupMe works. I have used GroupMe with much success at events like SXSW. It makes communication between your friends who may be dispersed over many panels and buildings a simple group conversation experience. We were able to meet during breaks and lunch using GroupMe. Huddle works much in the same manner except without having to worry about text charges which unless you have an unlimited plan (like me) could be a problem.

At this stage of the Google+ project limited field test, there are only personal profiles available which leaves business on the outside looking in. There were several businesses who took the leap into G+ setting up their companies using the personal profile accounts. Google has stated there is a corporate profile version in the works with an anticipated release later this year. They have begun suspending accounts that were created for business with a promise to launch the corporate version soon. In a recnet TechCrunch interview, Google continues to say they are in a limited release with access to Google+ being by existing member invite only. Although with a 10 Million+ existing user base within just a few weeks into it’s limited release, they said they were surprised at how successful the network has been achieving a faster than expected audience.

Google+ is not open to the general public at this time, but if the early adopters raving reviews are any indication, this looks it could be the next big social network. What does this mean for giant behemoth Facebook? I wouldn’t sing a swan song for Mark Zuckerberg and his crew just yet.  With close to 700 million folks on Facebook, Google’s 10 million is a long way from taking down the giant in the social networking world. Given that there is currently not a way for business and enterprise to participate in the space and being closed to the public leaves Google+ still the social playground of the early adopter geeks.

I for one am glad to be part of the “kick the tires” Google+ crowd. It is reminiscent of the early days of social media ‘ala 2007 Twitter. Speaking of Twitter, how does the ‘little network that could’ fare against the fickle shiny object crowd? Twitter is facing some internal challenges as they expand and grow. There have been more than one Google+ user state that their use of Twitter has diminished considerable with their increased use of Google+. Twitter does offer something no other network does, Chats. With over 400 Twitter chats listed, there is no shortage of folks who engage on twitter en masse. Personally, I am a big fan of the 140 character network and hope that it continues to be a relavent space for meaningful connections.

Are you using Google+? If so, share your thoughts and reactions to the newest network to take the social community by storm.

 

The Things I’m Doing, The Places I’ll Be

If you’ve ever taken the time to look on the right side of my blog, you’ll see the section titled, “The Things I’m Doing, The Places I’ll Be”.  I started using this a few years ago in response to folks asking me, “What do you have coming up?” Since not everyone can keep track of my tweets, it made sense to have a place that folks could easily discover the various events I may be organizing, attending or presenting. It is a mixed bag of all three.

Today, tomorrow and next week are going to be a hot bed of activity for me:

Thursday, March 4th 9:30-10:30am Speaking at Innote6ch San Antonio about Social Media for Business

Friday, March 5th 10:00-11:30am Hands on session at RISE Austin

Tuesday, March 9th Houston-bound with the MoveforFREE team for their “On the Move” tour to celebrate their 10 year anniversary.

Thursday, March 11th 6:30-9:30pm Social Media Club at SeaWorld San Antonio’s new “AZUL: Lure of the Sea” show.

Friday, March 12th – Tuesday March 16th I’ll be attending South by Southwest Interactive aka SXSW (Look for some Tech in Twenty videos)

Wednesday, March 17th 7:30-900am Social Media Breakfast San Antonio

Friday, March 19th-Sunday March 21st South Texas Bike Show

In between all of that look for weekly Tech in Twenty SV shows which are released every Friday morning.

Still not sure you can keep up with this highly caffeinated social gal? Well you could always follow me on Twitter @epodcaster or catch some of my presentation session videos on Ustream

I am including the embed video of today’s sessions inside the Social Media Lounge sponsored by my company, Brewing Media

Streaming video by Brewing Media on Ustream.tv

Running image by Petr Kratochvil

The Social Media Scrooge

ScroogeWe have all seen them or more likely we have all heard them. They are the folks who make a face whenever we talk about our Twitter friends. Roll their eyes when we share Facebook stories. They are also the folks who will tell you that real business doesn’t happen when you waste time on the social networks.

Are they wrong?

Yes and no.

Yes, if your employees are playing Mafia Wars instead of filling out that all important TPS report. No, if the connection they make from a Twitter post (tweet) gets them a phone or face-to-face appointment with a potential client.

Yet, how can someone be convinced of the merit of adding social media to their business? One way is to introduce case studies and offer examples of social media gone right. Zappos, Comcast and Dell spring to mind. Take a real world example that you personally have done to showcase the effectiveness of social media. Whether that was a form of communication, customer service or promotional tool. Another option is to have them attend industry specific events where the topic of social media is being addressed.

I am often asked to speak to groups about the practical use of social media. While I have shared how much I enjoy watching light bulbs go off during a session, I’ve never talked about what it’s like to watch a Social Media Scrooge “get it”.

They are typically successful business owners. They also know that if they keep hearing something over and over again, they should pay attention. They usually walk in with a determined look on their face. They may or may not chat with folks beforehand. They are there, but probably feel they could have spent their time more productively.

It is apparent to me that this person is there because they keep getting told they need to “do social media”. They have no idea what that means, not sure if it is relevant for their business and feel that overall it is a waste of time. If we go back to the previous Yes and No explanation above, they may or may not be right. However, if they do not take the time to at least have a cursory understanding of what social media is, how can they make a fair judgment? So, the Social Media Scrooge will attend an event to find out for themselves.

What I have found is that one of the best ways to cut through the jargon and buzz words that are inherent in social media is to relate everything back to traditional terms. For example, when I talk about new media podcasts and live online audio streaming I quickly compare it to traditional radio programs and talk shows. The Social Media Scrooge understands radio and will nod their head. When I tell them that one of the biggest differences between the two is that podcasts and online audio are instantly archived and available to an entire connected global audience. Their eyes widen in understanding just a bit.

The session continues and by the end there is that moment when the light bulb goes off.  The former Social Media Scrooge now has an understanding of the basics of what social media is and an idea of how it just might be a powerful part of their business.

If you know someone who is a Social Media Scrooge, consider sending them to spend some time with me at the Technology Connexus Hi-Tech Mixer on Thursday, September 10th from 5:30-8pm.

image by striatic

Open Letter to the San Antonio Podcasting Community

To My Fellow Podcasters:

Creating and being a part of the San Antonio Podcasting Group has been an amazing experience. It started as a way for me to find local podcasters to share my excitement about, what at the time was, a groundbreaking medium.

It’s been 4 years since those humble beginnings back in September 2005. So much has happened since then. We fired up the early adopter tech/geek crowd and have done some first time events here in San Antonio. From our small group the New Media/Social Media Community was born.

From PodCamp to BarCamp to TweetCamp we have been pioneers involved in building what is now a wonderfully diverse and vibrant community. Pat yourselves on the back for being part of the group and making things happen.

As New Media evolved to Social Media we have been using the Meetup site less and less. What was once a chatty message board has become as silent as a library. It’s not that we aren’t still interacting online, however the location for our conversations have been happening on Twitter and Facebook.

There doesn’t seem to be a need for us to continue to host the group on Meetup. As we are well aware, Meetup charges organizers a fee to host a group. As the use of the Meetup platform has become anemic, it appears there is no need to continue with the group in it’s current form.

There are plenty of places for us to host our group outside of Meetup. There is Ning http://ning.com and even Facebook has a group feature. We still have the SA Podcasters blog site which Nathan Lott and Leslie Baldwin have been heading up for the last year.

I propose we allow the Meetup group to close and continue the conversation on either Ning or Facebook. I believe Ning allows us more features as well as an extremely feature rich platform. It’s my first choice, however I know that for the most part we are all already on Facebook so adding a new group to our existing profiles would be easier. I’m willing to go either way.

I won’t miss Meetup. I will miss interacting with you, my dear Podcasting Buds. Knowing you has enriched my life immensely.

Thanks for joining the fun!

Cheers,
Jennifer Navarrete

Too Busy to Blog?

What happens when so many phenomenal things are happening that you just don’t have the time to write about them? Sure, I tweet about everything that is going on, but Twitter is simple. I can almost do that with my eyes closed. Writing a blog post about all the cool stuff does take more of a thought process than 140 characters and certainly more time. To give you an idea about what I’m talking about, here are some of my tweets from the last few days:

10/3/08 @epodcaster: Good Morning! Getting ready for some First Friday Co-Working fun at Firecat Studio. Topic: Guerilla Marketing for the Entrepreneur

10/4/08 @epodcaster: AIR San Antonio is off to a great start. The teams are working hard with their non-profit partners. Great job Sharon, Susan & Todd

10/4/08 @epodcaster: basking in the SMC Austin & San Antonio Mixer afterglow. Great time and phenomenal conversation.

10/7/08 @epodcaster: Good Morning! Getting myself ready for today’s Social Media Breakfast in Austin. Looking forward to chatting it up…after coffee of course”

And finally, I submit the tweet that got me thinking about writing this blog post:

10/7/08 darylcognito: @epodcaster it would be interesting if you podcasted or blogged about those events.

There is no doubt that each one of those tweets could easily be it’s own blog post. Tweeting about these events is certainly easy and can be done on the fly. Whereas a blog post takes a more concentrated effort. Given that I’m becoming more of a mobile tweeter, blogging does take a back seat.

However, Daryl makes a good point. It would be interesting to podcast or blog these events. While a tweet does give a glimpse of what is going on, it doesn’t really get into the meat of the event. I’ll compare it to eating an hors d’oeuvre at a fancy restaurant when what you really wanted was a big fat juicy burger. Sure it’s still food, but nowhere near as satisfying.

The solution? It’s a good thing to expand beyond the 140 character limit of Twitter. As a matter of fact it’s a great thing. The challenge will be for me to recognize those blog worthy tweets. Feel free to chime in, like my Canadian friend Daryl did, to let me know if I’ve missed the obvious post.

Cheers!

What I’m talking about 2008-10-07

  • @SACynic: Heehee! Leave it to you to come up with a non-smelling salts version of the coffee whiffer. #
  • @jchutchins: I hear you. Thankfully I’ve delegated dishes to the kids. #
  • @darylcognito: Go for it! Push through and see what interesting and surprising things happen. #
  • @doctorlinguist: I like milk with my cereal, chocolate cake and donut. Yeah, I’m craving sweets right now. #
  • I’ve got to make it to Austin for the Social Media Breakfast by 7:30am. Means I’ll need to get to sleep at a reasonable hour. Wish me luck. #
  • @SheilaS: I agree. You, my dear, are one of a kind 🙂 #
  • @PreppyDude: Thanks, I know I’ll need it. #
  • Good Morning! Getting myself ready for today’s Social Media Breakfast in Austin. Looking forward to chatting it up…after coffee of course #
  • Finally made it to Rudy’s BBQ for the Social Media Breakfast. Took 2 hours to get here. Morning traffic fail. #
  • “social media will become part of the employee workflow” Social Media breakfast Austin #
  • PreppyDude: your good traffic karma did work. No accidents on the road. Just regular old morning traffic. 🙂 #
  • @darylcognito: there have been a lot of great events happening lately. Lots of folks who are passionate about SM & doing really cool things #
  • “we are early into Social Media” Peter Kim #
  • @Shaine: it was great chatting about Social Media initiatives in the RGV. #
  • on my way to hang with @doingmedia at Coworking LaTaza. #
  • @danieljohnsonjr: AMEN! It’s all about ownership. Own your destiny, own your responsibility, own your problems and own your success. #
  • Feeling a twinge of fatigue after a late night and super early morning for #SMB Austin. Well worth it though. #
  • @TDefren: Tru dat. #

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What I’m talking about 2008-10-06

  • Finally got a chance to watch IronMan without interruptions. Pretty good. I’m looking forward part 2. #
  • Uploading pics from last nights Social media Club Mixer. We really had a great time. Thanks Chris & Kristie! #
  • @Enlighten_Up: Great post on the SMC Mixer last night. BTW, since John and I are married we spell our last name the same (2 R’s & 1 T) 😉 #
  • Just finished uploading the latest Morning BrewCast. The Coffee Gals are back with show #53. http://morningbrewcast.com/blog #
  • Now I bid you kind Twitterfolks a good and blessed night. Sweet Dreams! I’ll see you in a few hours. #
  • @mdeleon & @shaine: Heehee! Thanks for the MBC love guys. 🙂 #
  • North Carolina 281, completely blocked off, South bound of 281. Block off at Hildebrand, helicopters flying ove… http://tinyurl.com/4v5dw4 #
  • @cliffordsound: Congrats on finishing the MS150 bike ride this past weekend. That’s quite and accomplishment. #
  • Interesting how the effects of the economy trickle down to average person. Not just in the cost of goods, but the availability of services #
  • @stacyharp: I don’t know if it’s better, but I use Google Reader. I believe @sheilas is a fan of FeedDemon. #
  • @shaine: Ha! What a hoot. I’ll bet that was not the original intended purpose for Britekite, but what a great way to be able to track gigs. #
  • @shaine: You always do cool stuff for me. I do recommend folks take the time to recommend folks on LinkedIn. #
  • We’re hearing that folks are interested in the Coffee Whiff Machine from Morning BrewCast #53 http://morningbrewcast.com/blog #

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What I’m talking about 2008-10-05

  • basking in the SMC Austin & San Antonio Mixer afterglow. Great time and phenominal conversation. #
  • Kudos to @pandaran and @conniereece for coordinating the fun. Also a hat tip to @mdeleon for suggesting our meeting spot Tres Hermanas. #
  • Good morning. Think I might go over to visit my sister this morning. A little coffee and kolache with our conversation. #

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