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Six simple ways to get more Twitter followers

October 14th, 2011 by Mike Driehorst

If you have a Twitter account, you no doubt have received a spammed DM or seen public spammy tweets promising quick and easy ways to get 10,000s of new followers overnight.

Amazing but true!

Well, the spammy part is true, at least.

I’m here to tell you the real secret magic formula for growing your Twitter network. So, sshhhh! Keep it a secret just between you and me, okay?

Follow other Twitter accounts. Most people will follow you back if you follow them. Look for people in your geographical area — like using NearbyTweets — or those who share professional and personal interests. WeFollow is a good tool for that, or simply Search Twitter. If you read blogs, more often than not, the author will have a link to his/her Twitter account.

Also, many business and brand accounts will follow you back if you follow them — at least the social and smart business Twitter accounts will. ;)

Be interesting. (I heard Guy Kawasaki say that once during a Webinar.) What that means is tweet links that others may like. If you have an observation, strange thought, or quip, tweet it out. For other tips from Kawasaki, see his blog.

@ people and brands you follow. That is, start a conversation or reply to questions or comments they tweet. That gets you noticed (if they are not following you already), and shows you are paying attention to them. Also, if you have a compliment for a company and its on Twitter, make sure you @ the company’s Twitter handle to ensure it will see it. Remember, a lot of social media is about the E.

Participate in Twitter chats. There are Twitter chats for many, if not most industries and interests on Twitter. They typically have a set hashtag and chat regularly. You can find them by searching Twitter for a key word or two. Ones I’ve joined in include #blogchat, started by Mack Collier; #HireFriday, started by Margo Rose; #MoparChat, started by @MoparUnlimited; and #Motorama, started by Berry Lowman.

Amplify others and participate in #FF. #FF is simply followFriday — when you give a public tweet-out to those you follow and encourage others to follow them as well. While some tweeple may just give a #FF and the Twitter handles, it helps to give a word or few about why the people you #FF are worth following. Also, retweet (a/k/a RT) others’ tweets you like. Help spread their good word, and you’ll be seen as someone who contributes to the greater Twitter community.

Make time to tweet. You don’t need to have your Twitter app, desktop tool or browser open 24-7 to be active on Twitter. If you use Twitter for personal reasons, check in 2-3 times a day — like morning, at lunch and while watching TV in the evening. It’s okay to skip a day, but try to be consistent. If you’re a business, you pretty much should have Twitter up whenever you’re working. It can be in the background but have it up, and set up searches related to your business. For business-related Twitter tips, see my past posts of using search for a Twitter community and Twitter tips for business.

Like most things in social media, it’s about being social — with a purpose — and it takes time. There are no quick and easy ways to get more followers.

So to quote the well-known Greek god of victory: Just do it.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Quotable Quotes: ‘Operationalizing’ Social Media

October 11th, 2011 by Mike Driehorst

What’s this? A blog post? Holy Toledo, Batman!

While I have been active in my Twitter, Facebook and select other platforms, it doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about or even planned to do more blogging. But, when it comes to family, the still relatively new job and other priorities in life, some things naturally take a back seat.

Still, I’ve missed blogging. I’ve always found it to be more therapeutic than self-promotional. The process of typing and thinking, editing and revising, and more typing is great at crystallizing my thoughts.

In addition, one’s network is great in offering different ways to look at things that also can help crystallize thoughts. For example:

@MikeDriehorst social media is new, sure, but I think it speaks to something else - operationalizing social is VERY hard.

-Chuck Hemann
at about 9:35 p.m ET Oct. 10, 2011 via Twitter

Check out Bettween for a look at the Twitter back and forth with Chuck.

“Doing” social media is easy. The tools are easy. If you’re reading this, you probably have at least one and likely more than one social media profile. But adding “marketing” to social media or getting involved in social media with any business-focused objective puts the “doing” in a whole new category and purpose.

And, the skills and experience needed for that level of business-focused “doing” are what all businesses and organizations interested in “doing” social media should seek. Don’t just look for someone who knows how to use the tools of social media.

Adding the operational perspective by Chuck calls in more than just seeking marketing objectives. It calls in things that we all know are needed but are not always top of mind. Aspects like internal education, processes and team coordination. These are activities I and many others do, and maybe take for granted or downplay their importance because they’re not outward, business-focused. In reality, they are no less important.

Posted in Twitter, Quotable quotes, Social Media-lessons, social media marketing | No Comments »

NOW…I can exhale

October 11th, 2010 by Mike Driehorst

Alternative headline I: Thanks to those companies I interviewed with during the past two years who didn’t hire me

Alt headline II: What a long, strange trip it’s been

I have had many headlines go through my head about this post — both insightful and snarky.

The short version of this post is that I just finished up my first week as editorial director for online media* for the Chrysler Group LLC, working in Auburn Hills, Mich. And I’m very blessed and thrilled beyond belief to be working with the company at this point in its history. I have a strong feeling that I’m joining the company near the start of an amazing rebirth of a company that has had some rough years of late.

Now for the longer version….

Since being laid off early afternoon Aug. 20, 2008, it’s been an amazing journey.

While I had several months of solid, consistent, dependable contract work during 2009, for the most part I felt like I was a hamster inside a clear plastic ball, running helter skelter in a gazillion different directions. Constantly scurrying pursing job opportunities, new contract work, fulfilling client obligations I did have, keeping track of unemployment and other aid (though my wife, Amy, did most of that heavy lifting), trying to stay visible in social media — trying to take care of my family — all while also trying to be a dad and a husband.

Not really feeling like I can breathe.

And, trying to remain faithful that it’ll all work out for the best in the end. It will be alright.

While not always easy, God knows what he’s doing. And it did.

So, while hoping I never have to go through this again, here’s a brief of what I learned. If you’re in a situation similar to what I was in, job-wise, I hope this is helpful.

  • Network. Network. Network. Nearly all of the work I did stemmed from relationships. Past co-workers and acquaintances making introductions and opening doors. People who were familiar with my work online. I still had to perform and prove myself but warm calls are a lot easier than cold calls.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out. From the early beginning, I made it a habit of regularly reaching out to other professionals in the area. Setting up a lunch or a coffee. While online media and networking is good, nothing beats developing a relationship face to face.
  • Pay it forward. Many, many times, I was helped by a referral or someone making a recommendation on my behalf. So in your constant look for opportunities — keep others’ needs in mind. Recommend others on LinkedIn without expecting a return. Give shout-outs to others when you can on Twitter, Facebook, your own blog, etc. Open the door and introduce your network to opportunities that are not right for you. Be their eyes and ears.
  • Stay in touch. Even if you don’t get that job or contract, keep the relationship going. Whenever you see news or items of interest to your network, send that info or link to them. Show that you are regularly thinking of them and their business. Show interest in helping them — and you’ll be kept top of mind. Good sources for interesting tidbits include MarketingCharts, eMarketer, Pew, MarketingVox.
  • Show off your wares. Blog. Put your resume and/or portfolio up on Docstoc.com or similar platform. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated and active.

And, most of all, have faith. Believe that, whatever happens, it all really will work out for the best. But, remember, whatever “it” is, it won’t just happen. You have to work towards it.

Even if it means you are scurrying around.

-Mike

*For some places you can find me online, in my new role, check the Chrysler Group LLC blog, Twitter account, Facebook or YouTube.

Posted in Perspective, social media marketing | 25 Comments »

Taking a test drive with the Ford Flex

July 9th, 2010 by Mike Driehorst

If you read my blog at least periodically, you know I hardly do product or any type of review. But, I am definitely open to suggestions (as evidenced by this post).

A couple or so weeks ago, Gwen Peake of Ford Motor Co. contacted me and asked if I wanted to drive a Ford Flex to NYC. Ford would pay for gas there and to fly me back. I love to drive — but, I thought, “Why just me?”

So, my wife, Amy, and I have turned it into a mini-vacation for the family. I’ve been to NYC many times previously for business but not with the family. The memories and time together would far out-value any added expense we’d incur.

When Ford delivered the Flex Wednesday morning, Ford Flex FordTestDrive-New Cumberland, W. Va.we were a few hours away from setting off on the great American family road trip later that afternoon. We stayed with my aunt and uncle in New Cumberland, W. Va., Wednesday night (image at right) before arriving in NYC around 5 p.m. Thursday. We are staying a couple nights at the apartment of a close friend of a friend of Amy’s in the Times Square area.

Let me start by saying what we typically drive — so you have some idea of what I’m comparing the Flex to, and my family-focused perspective for this review. I drive a 2001 Honda Odyssey and Amy drives a 2007 Kia Sedona. Both were bought with safety as a priority (we have four kids), as well as price. I grew up in a (mostly) Ford family and the car I previously drove was a Ford Escort — which I had for 14 years. My very first car was a used Ford Tempo.

Fortunately, I can’t personally talk of the Flex’s safety features (no accidents!), but it is rated very highly when it comes to safety.

Good, the Not-So-Good & the Final Judgement

As I said above, we left home in the “sparkly black” (as Amy called it) Ford Flex Wednesday afternoon. Our trip took us from the flat lands of northern Ohio, into the rolling hills of southeast Ohio, through the winding and climbing mountains of the Alleghenies, into eastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey, before hitting New York City.

Other than icy roads, the drive to NYC pretty much ran the gamut of American road conditions and terrain.

After driving some 11+ hours, the Flex definitely is a more comfortable ride and is quieter than the Ford Flex - Ford Test Drive - rear for front row console unit -   Mike Driehorstminivans we drive. Even the kids said the Flex is very comfortable. (I will post videos of their take on the Flex in the next day or so to my YouTube account.)

The Flex has good acceleration/pick up for highway driving, and is easy to drive in-town — whether that’s a bedroom  community like Bedford Township, Mich., or a world-class city like The Big Apple. The brakes are not overly sensitive, so your passengers won’t get jerked around every time you slow down.

Many of the convenience features are excellent, including:

  • giving you the average MPG (we had about 19.4 for the trip),
  • how many miles you have until your gas tank hits empty,
  • multiple ways to adjust the seat and pedals,
  • a roomy first row, console/storage unit, that also offers first and second row passengers plug in and comfort options (see picture at right), etc.

While we couldn’t take advantage of all the Microsoft SYNC features, we did plug in Amy’s iPod and the family enjoyed listening to everyone’s music during the trip. (She previously added the kids’ playlists to her iPod, plus added some of my CDs.)

I was a bit disappointed in not being able to test out some of the other features of the Flex. It seems like we have a basic package. I had hoped to have a refrigerated, second-row console unit and/or its navigation unit, at least.

The only other area in which the Ford Flex FordFlex-FordTestDrive-rear storage area-Mike Driehorstdisappointed me was the back storage (images at right). While the kids, and Amy and I had plenty of leg room and space - the Flex became crowded quickly when we packed our stuff in (even for a short trip like this). The back storage area quickly filled up with a small suitcase, a duffel bag and a stroller.

Our three oldest kids also brought along a backpack for any books, toys, etc. The backpacks had to go between the seats or in the leg room area. So, it was not easy getting in and out from the second and third row seats.

It seems like the Ford Flex would be ideal as a main family vehicle for a family with two children, when you could fold down the back row seats for the storage needed for a long trip. With three or more kids — like the Driehorst family with four — it doesn’t work as a trip/vacation vehicle.

For us, the Ford Flex would be a great secondary, in-town car.

So you know my $0.02 on the Ford Flex. If you have one or have driven one — what are YOUR thoughts?

-Mike

Posted in Product review, Ford, Flex, FordTestDrive | 7 Comments »

B2B social media? It’s all about communities

June 14th, 2010 by Mike Driehorst

A couple weeks ago, eMarketer had a nice report about B2B spending in social media. I don’t have a source but have heard and experienced that B2B is about 18 months behind B2C in trends, marketing tactics, etc.

To me, social media is still in its infancy, but it is approaching toddler-hood. Social media won’t be mainstream until it becomes an automatic consideration as part of annual marketing planning — just like advertising, PR, trade shows, etc., are now.

What caught my eye about the eMarketing B2B report is the graph here. eMarketer June 1, 2010, B2B social media spendingThree of the top four areas where B2B spent budget in 2009 were on community-focused platforms.

Common B2C tactics like blogger outreach, promotions and contests, coupons, attempts at viral videos, etc., do not work in the B2B world. How many plastics engineers have blogs? What about doctors — any big bloggers out there? Or, even purchasing managers — hhmmmm?

No.

What B2B professionals want is information, education and ways do their job better (tips, tricks, insight, how-to). If you are a B2B marketer or if you counsel B2B companies, keep these tips in mind:

  • Go where your audience is. Creating a blog has many benefits, but be ready for a long lead time before you see solid ROI. In the meantime, find the discussion board where your audience already is gathering, and participate by asking questions, and responding to threads to show your expertise. Consider creating a LinkedIn Group and initiate discussions — not just about you.
  • Discussion boards (as referenced above) are another great way to find and engage with your B2B audience. One of the forum-specific search engines I like is BoardReader.com.
  • Monitor social media — not just for your brand, but for key trends in your industry. It’s a cost effective way for real-time market research. It’s also good for product development and being pro-active in dealing with industry concerns by customers and prospects.
  • Use social media to smooth out the media relations process. That is, make your news sociable. Put your images on Flickr or Photobucket. Use YouTube for videos. Have a blog as your newsroom. The above will make it easier for the media you target to use your materials and your information will be more findable by your end audience.

While the hype and glamor of the consumer-focused social media world may be tempting, stay away from the bright lights. Instead, focus on your audience — and be an informational resource.*
-Mike

*If you’d like to brainstorm about how your company can be seen as a valuable resource — and build community — let me know.

Posted in Using Social Media-B2B, Communities, social media marketing | 3 Comments »

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