The Head of lettuce Blog

Beware of Twitter Vomit

Posted in Training,Twitter by headoflettuce on November 11, 2010

It’s funny, the more and more people you follow on twitter the more and more challenging it becomes to “pay attention”. You just can’t do it if you don’t use some kind of twitter monitor like Tweetdeck , Hootsuite, Seesmic, or any others of the like, one of my favorites right now is SocialOomph because it makes it easy to engage those looking to engage me. The funny thing is I actively use them all to stay on top of new advances so I can share the best option for each specific client, but I digress, let’s get back to the Twitter Vomit, which I notice taking up complete columns of updates, especially in the am. What is Twitter Vomit?

Twitter Vomit, has been brought up by others and the definition that I thought sums it up is:

Twitter vomit: What happens when people sign on to Twitter and spew forth 5 or more tweets in a row. These guys typically leave their mark (so to speak) then they’re not heard from for the rest of the day. “Whoa, did you see all the twitter vomit from @lerickson today? Jeeze.”

Clipped from “Twitter vomit” and other observations.
Posted by: leeerickson on: November 7, 2009

When you see someone post a bunch of self-serving tweets in a short amount of time, watch your feet, because the vomit is a spewing. The lesson should be obvious, but appears it is not. Rather then load up your twitter shotgun blasting your followers, try “dripping” your post out throughout the day. Sure you have a message you are trying to get out, but most people will begin tuning you out, or running from the stench.

Have you ever had that conversation with someone who talks with such ferocity that you can not get a word it? You find yourself screaming in your head “Shut up….Shut up….for the sake of all that is good, please Shut up!!! and they keep going on, well you don’t want to be that person. BTW if you’re not sure what I am talking about, bad news, you might be that person:(

The Key to avoiding being guilty of Twitter Vomit? Remember that social media is an interactive platform, not a radio broadcast, it is a conversation. God gave you one mouth and two ears so that you may listen twice as much as you talk. Only by showing others that you care, and are interested in them, will they show interest in you.

Avoid Twitter vomit, call on the Head of Lettuce Media team to help you maximize your twitter presence while being twitter friendly:)

We are not an Advertising agency

Posted in Strategy,The Head of Lettuce,Twitter by headoflettuce on October 27, 2010

I know I know, I went and thought I would increase my number of blog posts, and here it has been almost a month since my last post #fail. What can I say, the doctors kids are usually the last to see the doctor:)

All I can say is what a busy month it has been. The Head of Lettuce has been shot out of a cannon and is accelerating to light speed, we are working on some amazing business alliances, products and services.

This month a common theme kept coming up in conversations and that is, We are not an advertising agency and we are not a PR firm, nor are they a Social Media company. Advertising agencies are specialist in broadcast messaging, one way messaging like tv, print and radio. PR agencies help you develop the message you would like out there. Social Media companies like us, well we help you enter the conversation about your brand, the key word being conversation.

Social Media companies, at least the good ones like us :), work the different mediums and understand that there is a two-way conversation going on. They understand the etiquette and will translate it into understandable bite size pieces so that you will too. Weather or not you have time to do what is necessary is another issue, and that is where we come in. We have the experts who can do it for you, and if you have special needs outside of our staffs ability, we bring in the expert right for your needs.

One of my biggest pet peeves are the people entering into social media, representing themselves as an “expert” or even a practitioner, and yet they publicly make mistake after mistake. I’ve seen companies and individuals claim to help people with social media, and all they do is broadcast, broadcast and broadcast some more. How can you spot these impostors? simple, try to engage them, mention them, tweet them, see if they answer, see how long it takes. Have them explain social media to you, and trust your gut.

We offer free sit downs with any business considering out help, and more importantly offer no pressure, if we are right for you, you will know. One of my favorite sayings is “If you have a product worth selling, it will sell itself”.

Can Twitter tell what kind of Lover you are?

Posted in Twitter by headoflettuce on September 29, 2010

Ok, even I am laughing after writing that title, and I will warn you now, there is nothing scientific in here, and no research was done as I am happily married, but I had this thought this morning as I continue to see people on twitter who seem to be so self engrossed that they have no idea what anyone else on twitter is doing or saying, even when we address them. I then had a brain fart which made me think what these people might be like as lovers…that’s right, I went there:) Are they so self-absorbed with their twitter masturbation that they pay no attention to the needs of others and feel that they are entitled to all the attention? Have you ever had a conversation with someone where you are screaming in your head “WILL YOU SHUT UP AND LISTEN TO ME FOR A SECOND”. I see these self-absorbed tweeters as the partner who just lies there in bed waiting for you to do everything…#fail&frustration. I haven’t made parallels for the other types of tweeters, so feel free to add your thoughts, please keep them pg 🙂

I am always concerned when watching my account numbers grow as I want to make sure I engage anyone reaching out to me, does that make me needy, I don’t think so, i think it makes me a person concerned about your experience as much as my own.

What about people pimping their business non-stop all day with links? or those following everyone, but with no one following them back. Curious to hear your thoughts on this, don’t be afraid to have fun with this.

Swarm, Herd and Mob behavior in Social Media?

Posted in Facebook,Strategy,Twitter by headoflettuce on September 23, 2010

For a few weeks now I have obsessed over the applications of Swarm, herd and Mob behavior and how they might apply to social media, and I believe there is something there worth striving to understand. I believe that how people behave online might follow these theories.

Swarm behaviour or Swarm Intelligence discusses how working together the group is smarter and stronger than the individual. This is demonstrated by insect swarms, where the individual insect is not intelligent, but collectively they can carry out some pretty amazing/destructive things. I believe that swarming can be one of the causes of topics trending on twitter.

In April of this year we saw a swarm with the creation of #4SQDAY. Consider only 3 weeks before 4/16/2010 no one ever thought of a “Foursquare Day” see the story here. With 4SQDAY we saw an idea’s inception that was shared with a core group via twitter, that group then then focused their attention on getting this idea “out there” and the collective bit on it. We then saw this idea grow in 3 weeks to 250 cities throwing parties in at least 35 countries. Don’t find this impressive, try planning just 10 parties in ten cities in 3 weeks.

Herd behavior discusses how individuals act in a similar pattern to those around them, much like a flock of birds. This Herd behavior can be seen in the stock market where individuals look to see how others are acting, and without thinking about it, mimic their behavior. On Twitter, herd behavior would be one probable cause of people re-tweeting trending topics, causing them to continue to trend. “It’s what everyone is doing”.

Mob behavior however discusses people being motivated to act in a fashion outside of their character, because they are swept up in the moment with others demonstrating that behavior, this is accountable for why people buy impulse items when they see others buying those items, even if they never intended to buy those items. On Twitter, mob behavior may be an explanation for people who jump on board attacking a company or brand online. Today while researching a company that I am meeting with next week I noticed that they were promoting a “big announcement”; after the announcement I noticed a quick mob joined in after the first negative remark, people jumped in on the company, and my guess is that some of those people only jumped in, because they saw others doing it.

The question now, which I hope to investigate and find out, is can behaviors such as these be artificially created, can they be focused, once focused, can they be dispersed or redirected in a new direction. I am looking for any and all ideas on this, so please chime in. If you have any examples of any of these behaviors, add them as a comment. I hope to have a follow-up to this article, including what I learn.

For the love of all that is good, please stop Tweeting

Posted in Twitter by headoflettuce on September 21, 2010

Today I was witnessing some tweets from people who just don’t get Twitter. I don’t follow you so I can get your daily plug, a link to an identical post on Facebook or what amounts to spam. I want to interact, I want you to engage me, I want you to acknowledge when I tweet you. Lisa Barone discusses two points in her blog post 6 Ways to Lose Customers, Credibility & Friends On Social Media under ignoring your audience and auto spam; great article in general.

While I am discussing the things I hate on twitter, I found another article by Naren Ubi that hits a bunch of my pet peeves, Top ten tweeter-types you must NOT follow on twitter with the biggest pet peeve of all being people who do not interact. Why be on social media if you are not going to be social, no matter what you think, you are not that interesting.

This is not spam me please, nor is it “I worship the ground you work on and will just sit here waiting for every word you tweet”. Be Social! If you are worried that I might be talking about you, read the articles, and if you are the one, change you habits. 🙂

Prospecting using Twitter

Posted in Strategy,Training,Twitter by headoflettuce on September 17, 2010

As a Realtor from the 90’s I remember cold calling, I hated it, but I did it because I knew it produced business. Today I push those I coach to “Cold Call” using Twitter, ok it’s not really cold calling but it is a form of prospecting. First thing you need to do as a business is identify your target audience. If you are a doctor, you might target other doctors, or even attorneys who refer accident victims to doctors. Consider who your customers are as well as who might refer you to customers, now you have your targets.

Step 1 A great first step in prospecting is Twellow. This site lets you search by area and “business” (provided the person filled in a profile) not everyone has done a profile there, but their searching functions seem to work great even for those not registered with them.

I usually recommend geographic area around where you would like people, and some descriptive of who you are looking for. i.e. Doctors in the Tampa area. Now read through the results following those who you think match the criteria you came up with for your target market. I would consider listing them under prospects (as a private list).

Another great way to prospect is take a look at who one of your contemporaries is following. With both of you sharing simular goals, you should find that they have some of your targets on the list of people they follow. Also consider who else might be looking to follow the same target market as you, in the case of a doctor, you might look to see who the local hospital or medical associations are following, and follow those same people.

My recommendation is to try and add 5 a day, 25 a week, this number might vary depending on your target audience, but set a goal for each week, and hit it.

Step 2 Basic Twitter psychology seems to dictate that when someone follows you, you stop and look to see who it is, and often you follow them back. By following your target market, you are making your first call for them to follow you back. Not everyone will follow you back, especially if they feel there is no benefit to following you. If they do not follow you back , un-follow them on your next Thin down Thursday, but do add them to a private prospect list.

Step 3 Set your Twitter reader to show you a column of prospects; now look for authentic opportunities to engage them. Notice I said engage and not sell, if you sell them they will run. Again think of prospecting; if following them is like a cold call, engaging them is like “farming” it takes more than one post card, you need to hit someone 5-7 times before they really notice you, this could take a few days or a few weeks depending on their volume of tweets. You do not want to come off as that creepy stalker who comments on everything they say, pace yourself. Eventually you will find that if they have noticed you and you have not turned them off, they will eventually follow you, now you can follow them back.

Step 4 Now that we have a Follow and Follow back relationship, keep looking to engage like you did in step 3, but also start tweeting information that your target audience will find useful. Share links of articles you find useful, post links to your own blog articles, RT (Re-tweet) useful information that your Tweeps are sharing with their followers (you), as not all your followers follow the same people you do. Keep in mind all these contacts should be public @Tweets and not DM Conversations, as this will show others that you are active and engaging on twitter.

All these “light” touches help you keep top of mind awareness with your followers, and as a result, when they have need of your product or service, you should be first person on their list of people to talk to.

Social Media & Tonality

Posted in Blogging,Facebook,Strategy,Training,Twitter by headoflettuce on September 16, 2010

I bet most of you don’t think about how many ways what you said can be read, well you need to when taking spoken sarcasm and translating it to text.

I learned when I was at that my direct communication approach could often be misinterpreted as hostile or sarcastic. Over time I learned to master the tone in my writing, so that if ever there was a question, it was because I was trying to keep someone on their toes, and motivate them with a double meaning message.  This is OK on rare occasion, but if you speak “double tone” (to me: meaning the same passage can be read with more than one tone of emotion) all the time, you will be taxing your readers and friends much more than most people can stand.

I believe this affects people less practiced at written communication; almost any social media with updates. Think about it, until the last few years with all the social media coming out of the wood work, how much written communication was used by the average person. Sure there was e-mail, but you are given much more room to try to convey the emotion behind the writing in an e-mail, however when you are limiting yourself to 140 characters, how can someone know when you are being sarcastic?

Twitter Maintenance; how to tune up your account

Posted in Strategy,Training,Twitter by headoflettuce on September 15, 2010

I was again thinking of those newer to twitter, and those who might not have learned how to better manage their twitter accounts and wanted to share some tips that so many take for granted.

Know your numbers, and how they affect you. Looking at an accounts profile page you will see; Following, Followers, Listed & Tweets. These four numbers can give you a lot of insight about an account, keep in mind what they might say about you. If the account is following a larger percentage then those following it, the account is either newer or the person just keeps adding people without making any connection to those people they added. While this ratio is not a kiss of death, it does make people wonder why so few are following you.

You can use a tool like Twitter Karma which shows you who you follow that is not following you back and visa-versa. My recommendation is that you take the people who don’t follow you and place them on a list, this will allow you to continue to follow them without actually following them. One such list I set up for myself is Study of Social Media , this list allows me to follow people I feel I might benefit from listening to, who chose not to follow me back as well as those I follow who follow me back.

Usually these people who do not follow you back will show a large number for Followers but a small number for those they follow. I translate this as someone who has a lot of self-worth, but sees little value in connecting with others (entertainers usually fall in this category), list them if you wish to listen to them, but I see no reason to follow someone who is not willing to meet you half way. This is where “Listed” can come in handy, click on it and see what kind of lists others have put this person on. If they appear on some good lists, list them, if not, move on. Ultimately a good balance should be struck between those you follow and those following you. Lastly look at the number of tweets on the account, if someone is following a bunch of people and have very few following them with a large volume of tweets, chances are they are just tweeting promotional stuff.

Another great tool that I love is Twit Cleaner which not only breaks down your list but also analyzes their behavior on twitter using the numbers…

as well as how you look to others.

With any tool, you need to know that the possibility of errors exists, I have not caught one yet, but they do help you in trim the fat from your account and warrant a try. My recommendation is pick one day a week, for me it is ThinDownThursday #TdT. I dedicate time to go through and fine tune my following list.

I don’t think it is bad if you follow a lot of people and have a lot follow you, as long as you are looking to see what you can share with others and what they can share with you. I follow people by assigning them into a list that makes sense to me, and I use an app like Tweetdeck, Seesmic or Hootsuite to monitor my lists.  Here is how my Tweetdeck looks, notice how I have a list to make it easy for me to look at different conversations that I wish to follow.

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A Story about the value of “Brand Management” in social media

Posted in Cute Tech Stories,The Head of Lettuce,Training by headoflettuce on August 27, 2010

So many businesses ask why they need to get involved in Social Media, and I usually am able to explain it simply for them, well now I have a great story to make the point clearer.

My wife has an 2004 Acura TL, and we recently took it to a local Honda dealership which cost me over $400 after the warranty did not cover some of the items involved in the air conditioner, and the dealerships techs broke a part taking it off (#Craptacular), so I did what so many customers do in that situation, I vented on Twitter. Well the local Acura dealership’s twitter account chimed in, “Bring it here next time”. Well what they did not know was that I have been waiting for over 6 months to hear back from them, Acura, about the dash literally splitting at the seams where the airbag is. I responded to their tweet telling them this, and they never said boo back, which really disappointed me, because the guys in the service area usually bend over backwards to make your experience pleasant. When I went by there today for them to photograph the dash, I mentioned this story to them, thinking to myself, there is a conversation going on about your brand right now, do you have someone competent representing you? Do you know when your brand in mentioned? They dictate how the conversation goes based on their ability to meet customer needs.

This is a great lesson for so many businesses; be involved in the conversation about your brand; acknowledging customers is only part of the equation, you need to continue the conversation when they engage you, otherwise you’re ignoring them, and no one likes to be ignored; you can’t control what they say but you can re-frame it and address it. The fact is you can’t please everyone, but like a customer service rep who remains pleasant and apologetic with a line of people behind the person complaining, people realize when as a company, you are doing everything you can.

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New to Twitter?

Posted in The Head of Lettuce,Training,Twitter by headoflettuce on August 17, 2010

Last week when working with a new client that I am coaching in social media integration, we focused on Twitter, and I was reminded of my first home buying experience. I was in real estate for a few years, but always worked on the seller side, and never went to a closing (in NY the attorneys handle the closing details). Everyone involved seemed to forget it was my first time buying a house, and going through the buyer side to closing, as a result assumptions were made and I was frustrated and made uncomfortable. I realized the need for a buyer training program that assumed they knew nothing and that held their hand through the process and created one that was very popular…flash forward.

This week I read three good twitter articles (see below) that made me want to share my experiance.

Many of us who use Twitter regularly have a hard time remembering  what it was like to not have an idea. People new to twitter don’t know what we know, and we need to assume they know even less then we did, or they would have jumped in sooner. With that in mind I wanted to share a few things we discussed after setting up the initial account. First, Do fill in your profile, as more experienced tweeters will not follow you if they can’t tell what you are about.  Now mind you newbies who might be reading this, this is not an all inclusive, but instead, the tip of the iceberg of things to consider.

You need to figure out who you want to follow, and you should keep in mind why you want to follow them, and why they might want to follow you back. Check and see who you might already know on Twitter; Twitter makes this easy as it will search your Gmail, Yahoo, Linkedin and AOL accounts to see who you might already know using twitter.

You can also search by interests on Twitter or search by names. After adding the easy to find, your friends, now it is time to look to other resources.  TweepML is a great tool to look for lists that might already have groups assembled that you might wish to follow, I was introduced to this by @WhoisGregg back when we were working on the first Foursquare day and it was new to me, I did learn that when you sign in at the bottom of a list the app will automatically follow everyone who is checked on the list, so read carefully before you accidentally follow a list of several hundred. In addition to the importance of a profile filled in,  it is helpful to announce yourself, and let people know you are new, seasoned tweeters are much more forgiving of blunders when you are new, and will even offer advice when asked…ok sometimes when not asked also:)

Search on Twitter Search for keywords that will guide you to people tweeting on topics that you like. I also like to use Twellow as it gives you the ability to search for businesses and individuals that you might wish to develop a relationship with by categories or area. Last week we were searching for doctors in Florida, and guess what, we found them. Keep in mind most people will look at you following them and wonder why, answer that in your initial tweets and in your profile. i.e. I focus on new technologies and social media, so it should not be rocket science to individuals who study social media why I am following them. The bonus is that hopefully they will follow you back. Do create lists within Twitter to help you better manage the people you follow. I recommend: Friends, People I’ve met, prospects (might want to make this or other lists private) and what ever other groups you might need. You can add people to a list without following them, you might choose to demote those with thousands of followers who don’t follow you back to a list, I have a Media list of people I don’t expect to follow me back. BTW you can follow other people’s public lists, so look and see what lists your friends have.

When you start out, if people see you following a bunch of people and only a few following you back, not to mention very few tweets, they are going to look at you a little skeptical as this could easily look like a spam account, so try to be active showing your real, and discuss being new and wanting to learn from others in the medium the proper etiquette as well as what to do and not do.

When someone follows you, follow them back, you could dm (direct message) if you wish, but it is not a big deal if you don’t. Just make sure if you do, it looks authentic from you to them, and DO NOT PLUG your business. If people think you are only their to sell them, they will un-follow you fast. My favorite is when real estate agents ask if the can help me with my housing needs on their first DM, Unfollow.

Make sure you look at these articles; The Lemonade Stand Approach…Twitter for Home Based Business50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business, and Treat Your Social Media Contacts Like You Would A Third Date.

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