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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Search Engines Versus Social Media

Years ago, when search engines started taking over, print and television advertising started to become second nature. Droves of people started heading online and marketing departments began to shift their efforts and advertising dollars toward the web. I was one of those people who searched on Google, Yahoo or Dogpile for everything I needed. Reading a newspaper became very inefficient. Waiting for television news became old.

Today we have shifted again. I have noticed that for many of my decisions, I am now listening to the buzz of social media and social networks. When it comes to Twitter, it is the "quick biz buzz" and it is right up my alley. Life is busy, time is limited... so if you present something to me that has better results in less time... I AM IN!

Crowdsourcing rules! In a theology class I took in college, we once dissected a biblical verse that stated "In a multitude of counselors, there is wisdom." When we are looking at things that are directly connected or totally disconnected from our lives, sometimes we gain partiality and prejudice. When we ask others, sometimes dozens, hundreds or thousands of others; we are able to balance our information out and get a clearer understanding followed by a fair conclusion. Social networking and media creates the perfect scene for this.

When searching for information, a search engine may be a great place to begin; but when it comes to suggestions without the big sales approach and hype; social media and networking will be my best resource. When I am making a business decision, I am not looking for a bunch of companies to all tell me they have the best product or superior service. We all know how to toot our own horn. I am not looking for whoever won the SEO and keyword battle to get on the 1st page of the search engines. On the other hand, I am not looking for a social networked media clique that is programmed to all say the same thing and point me in the same direction, because their paycheck depends on it. Too robotic for me. I want individual ideas, opinions, and experience from a variety of random sources to be able to make the best possible decision.

I want true Networked Social Media!! Don't You???

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Social Media Has Been Around Forever

What is social media anyway? It is being sociable, making connections, and expressing your media. Your media may be your company, faith, idea, non-profit cause, opinion, etc. When we go to a get-together, meet people, and pass or ask for a business card... that is social media. When we meet someone face to face and share a vision to conquer world hunger; that is social media. When a few moms get together and plan a birthday party, gather names and numbers, and start inviting; this is social media.

The slight difference nowadays is that the Internet has become the best resource for communication and information... and in turn has become the key platform to promote our Social Media for whatever the niche is. We connect with people online, and have them at our fingertips should we wish to invite them to a function, promote our services, or share some ideas. Instead of wasting time calling people, leaving messages, people calling us back, leaving us messages, and countless hours trying to round up interest; we have sites like Facebook where we can make an event with all of the information online, send out invites in moments, and get responses on their timing.

Social Media is not something anyone should be scared of. All of us have been doing it for years, in one way or another. Adding the Internet to the equation is different, but it is a simple learning process with the right people guiding you in the proper direction.

A client recently told me about how excited he was to be in the Internet Social Media world, and how simple it is with good instructions. I try my best to make it easy for anyone to understand. Everyone needs to be connected and I enjoy helping people learn how to make those connections.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Not Showing Up In Twitter Search? Here is a quick solution!

Is your Twitter account somehow not showing up in the people or search results? Many businesses and people have this same problem for one reason or another.

Sometimes Twitter does not index your account and it will not show. Sometimes you are removed from search for violating the Terms of Service. Other times people may block you; sometimes for the right and other times for the wrong reasons. When someone is annoying you with too many tweets, the right thing to do is simply unfollow them. When a tweeter is sending inappropriate tweets that are negative to most of us as a whole (nudity, spam, etc), blocking them may be the solution. Some people have abused the blocking function and using it to hurt great accounts that are competitive toward their niche.

For some legitimate businesses and Twitter accounts, not showing up in the search results is very frustrating. This has been a problem for awhile now, and it does not seem to be on the list of priorities for Twitter to fix or deal with. They have a few threads online which are more of a sound board to give people room to complain, but no hope of it being corrected.

This can happen to anyone on Twitter. Some never showed up in the search results, while others were showing fine and then one day disappeared. Nobody is immune to this happening! Recently when I was at a local Chamber event (in Asheville NC), they had a Twitter hashtag feed up on a screen so people could tweet while the discussion was going on and all of us could follow comments. One of the main networking tweeters in the Asheville community was not even showing in the feed. Sad, but it happens.

*I have come up with a quick and pretty easy solution to fix this until Twitter does.

1. Use or create a new backup email address to create another Twitter account and Friendfeed account all under the same new email and under the new Twitter name. (*Make sure you use your new Twitter account info when establishing this Friendfeed account). This account is not for following or followers, but to simply show up in the search results. You will probably want to add all of your main account details to these backup accounts as well. Maybe even just add a "2" to the end of your new Twitter name. So if you are "@vvvggttoo" on Twitter, now you are also "@vvvggttoo2". (I am just using an example with an account name that is not currently taken)

2. Next, in Friendfeed under the "Settings" tab, then clicking on “Add/Edit” on the line that says “Services” and add your New and Original Twitter account into here.

3. Then go up to "Tools" in Friendfeed and feed your original Twitter posts to your new account on Twitter. You do this by clicking on the “Post to Twitter” button; I click “Link to Source”, and then go to the “Post Entries From” and check the Twitter box associated with your Original account only (so your new account will post only whatever the original account tweets). Click “Save Changes” and you are done!

Your followers will see the tweets from your main account, and the search will pick up the tweets from your new backup account.

This should take about 15 minutes to set up and wham!! Your tweets will show up in the Twitter search.

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