Friday, September 25, 2009

Does Twitter Make Sense To You?



To Tweet Or Not To Tweet?


In today’s electronic age, create a mouse trap and expect a thousand ways to improve or monetize it.

Twitter is like the Pipe Piper playing a tune of sweet, melodious music while millions follow; it’s a free mouse trap. Thousands have started spin off businesses based on Twitter existence.

Yes, the Piper’s music is attracting what appears to be little mindless creatures each, with one primary goal; to be followed. Most promise to follow back, anyone that follows them. A select few are followed by the thousands; they follow only a few or none at all.

To the uninitiated all the following seems senseless. Twitter can easily be discounted by the neophyte internet user as a waste of time because it’s simple and easy to use. The skeptic’s obvious question is; Why follow little pictures with short bios and constant chatter responding to “what are you doing right now?” Who really cares what anyone is doing? Hmmm Do you?

And while here. How many people can any one person really follow? If you are familiar with Twitter you have seen the numbers, 23,000, 50,000 almost unrealistic. Now how does that work? Believe it or not there is a method to all the madness.

The reality is that Twitter is a marketer’s dream.

Twitter is a social media network, basically a network where anyone can enter a user name and password, access the network , meet and choose who to follow, i.e. get access to their tweets. It is a micro blog much like this blog but with a 140 character limit.

Some tweeters take the Twitter leading question literally. Their tweets are all about when they go to the bathroom, eat a sandwich, brush their teeth or leave for work. In other words too much information that has led to quite a few examples of tweets getting people in trouble.

The more professional tweeters tend to stick within their niche or area of specialty. Although there is a growing controversy about whether one should only follow people with like interest to learn and share from like minded tweets or just follow anyone because the world is really made up of everyone.

Please note that it's not advisable to follow people indiscriminately, even Twitter will eventually limit your ability to follow in relations to how many people are following you back. Twitter has set a 10% follow ratio, ideally the number of people you follow should be on par with the number following you.

If for example you are using Twitter to market. By just following marketers and getting ideas from them if you ever wanted to market on Twitter; who will you market to?



By now you are probably starting to realize that having a large following does give you more reach as a business person, entrepreneurs of even a large corporation. Your markets are the millions of tweeters who are responding to the question; ” What are you doing right now?”

It is totally amazing to see the number of immediate visitors to websites within a matter of minutes when a well crafted tweet is posted. This is even better than any pay per click program; it’s instant and free.

The trick with Twitter is that the more followers you have and people you have following the higher the possibility that your tweets will meet with eyeballs that you follow or is following you. There is a guarantee that not every eyeball will click, but the chances are higher.

Keeping in mind that not all the followers are sitting at their computer with the live twitter stream flowing; the tweet window is very small. The more followers you have the more exposure your idea or link will get and potentially more visitors will mean more income for you and your business.




There are a number of free services to build your following on Twitter but I have found that is free, simple and effective his here.

Follow me on Twitter here


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Let's Get Personal. How Do You Use It?


Are You Computer and Internet Literate?

To speed your success, twice a day form a clear mental picture for two minutes of the one thing you want; and tell yourself it's already yours. Imagine it is.


Know what I just realized? The Internet has changed people, where before it was the other way around. Most people are unaware that computer literacy comes in degrees of understanding.

Not because you can booth up, use MS Word, PowerPoint or Excel means that you are computer literate. Today a computer can be a useless machine without an Internet connection. My family is a perfect example of the stages of computer and Internet literacy.

I offer my 80 year old Mum as a statistic. Her curiosity about the computer finally bubbled over and she asked to use my laptop for a bit. Of course I obliged, turned it on and left her to explore, told her to do whatever she wanted.

Forty five minutes later I saw her intently staring at the screen. A little concerned, I peered at the screen myself. You would not imagine what had her so engrossed?

Pictures. On the screen, a strikingly beautiful picture of a white waterfall gushing over a lush green background. Excitedly she blurted out “there are so many beautiful flowers, sceneries”.

My thought was “wow, imagine spending so much time looking at those pictures, I remembered the pictures I spent my time looking at; phew!! Never flowers”. I was witnessing the first stage of computer literacy.

My brother is the next example of a more advance stage of computer/internet literacy. He’s a school counselor with the Ministry of Education, ex school teacher, his internet literacy skills is, as he says, “Based on choice”.

He accesses the internet, reads the local daily news, research topics of interest and that’s it. He refuses to respond to email messages, (has an address but rarely checks) swears that he will never get on Facebook although mysteriously he has a profile there that I’m almost sure he did not post. He is at a stage where he can certainly argue that he is Internet literate.

I hope you are getting, from what I’m relating, that computer and Internet literacy…(for want of a better term internet literacy; meaning knowledge of and maneuverability on the Internet) are two totally different kettles of fish.

My sister, a career high school teacher still doing it, prides herself on her ability to transform any doting weak student into a rising academic star. She is on a completely different stage of computer literacy and at another level of Internet literacy.

She owns a PC and a laptop and has been using the computer for quite a number of years. A few weeks ago she called me with frustration evident in her tone. She asked “How do I cut and paste on this thing”?

Now this stage of computer literacy is what many people experience. She uses the internet on a daily basis, emails, Facebook, Yahoo IM and Skype. She did tell me that she had trouble getting to my blog so I sent her the link. She lost some points on maneuverability with me.



Now I left the best for last. As many of you may know I’m a entrepreneur, one who for a long time held down various marketing and sales positions. At one point in my life I worked 7 days a week for over 13 years on as a commissioned sales representative. I loved it, at the time. I always lived by the credo that my destiny must always be in my hands. That’s another story for another time.

I'm one of the people I wrote about in my last post. Ones who loved the job but could not wait to leave it behind. One day I did, I jumped off the cliff with a firm handshake, swearing never to look back.

I never did, not in a way that I longed to be back, I'll never forget it because I acquired a lot of very useful skills and had some fun memories of those times. That was eight years ago and since then I have relied on my experience and resourcefulness to maintain a decent standard of living.

My experience on the Internet dates back quite a few years. I used the Internet to generate leads for big ticket items, automobiles, houses. It was only one way to make contact with prospects to offer them our products. In fact I have not stopped doing that.

Although I have made some money directly online it never was anything significant. A couple of years ago, after I returned to Trinidad I began to consume information on Internet Marketing. I didn’t know it at the time but that’s when I became a part of the social media network.

Initially, I had a Facebook account with 4 friends. I remember that Facebook kept reminding me that I have to get over 20 friends before I would get on their search engines. In 2008 I started paying attention to my Facebook account. And at the beginning of this year I began to focus on Twitter.

Things have changed dramatically in the last 12 months. I have been more active online building a presence, meeting lots of new people all over the world and becoming quite attached to some.

I have met quite a few great people. Least great online because I never met them face to face. I now have established Caribbean related groups in Linkedin Caribbean Basin Intelligence, Plaxo Caribbean Basin Intelligence and Facebook Guerilla Marketing. I revved up my connections so that now, over the three networks, I have about 5000 global connections.



With so many, I know I may never communicate with a lot of them again but I do know that if I had a question to ask about a country, if I wanted a unique recipe from another country or even if I wanted to know something about the region, the people or anything else, I have someone I could ask; at my finger tips. Ok, so why am I telling you all this?

Well what I’m getting at is why it is important that you pay attention and learn everything you can about social media. The people who understand social media today are the thought leaders of tomorrow. Social media has enormous potential for education, addressing social issues, causes, international issues, global business and e-commerce.

On the social media field you can decide to be a spectator or a player. Your choice.

Enough for today. The next post will explain how you can get involved in this revolution.



Friday, September 18, 2009

Do You Know Why Are You Here, Right Now, Reading This?



We Are All Motivated By Selfishness But We All Love People


You must take action now that will move you towards your goals. Develop a sense of urgency in your life. -Les Brown


Most internet users, and this may include you, view the internet as an electronic connection to endless free information… for the most part they are right. It is certainly the largest man made reservoir of information on any topic, issue or idea under the sun. That’s when it was an infant gooing and gaaing.

But the Internet is no longer a child, it has grown up. The teenager has become social.

Originally, the Internet was primarily designed to share information, emails, then pictures and later small files. For most, email was an electronic marvel and dialup was the most available and annoying connection. Searching for free information drove hordes to the Internet, then Google was born.

Now you can “google” anything and get spot-on results. The more Google was able to give searchers what they wanted in a search, their popularity grew and everyone clicked on google to find free information.

Soon Goolge was offering Gmail, adwords and adsense and a suit of other online income generating services. Now “to google” is accepted as a verb in the English language.

To cut to the point, goolge is now a multimillion dollar company because it gave the people what they wanted. And why is this important to you?

Well, to be honest it may not be. God did such a terrific job of designing the world and it’s people that he made us all different.

He made some of us entrepreneurs with a fire in our hearts to become more successful. He made us so ambitious that we would only stop if and when illness or death stepped in, we love the trill of the hunt that much.

Mind you, we are willing to work, risk failures, love, money, time and sometimes even passion for a dream. But we never lose the passion to be independent. But there is a bold contradiction herre, except for a small percentage the majority of really true-to-heart entrepreneurs have regular jobs.

Most driving passion is to find a way out of a job. They usually dislike their bosses, co-workers and even themselves for not being more educated, courageous or lucky enough. They hate going day after day and they suffer silently, some not so silently.

There are quite a few who love their jobs but it’s only a step away from the next stone. The really adventurous employees; jump ship the minute things don’t suit their fancy.



These dissatisfied and temporarily satisfied people are the ones that are drawn to the internet seeking a better opportunity but…

Let’s not forget the millions who are totally unconcerned about any opportunity. They love their jobs and are resigned to resign from it when the time comes. These people know themselves, all these grandiose dollar sign means nothing to them they in fact cannot believe that other people get attracted to such nonsense.

As they see it, the only way their financial position will change is if they win the lottery or inherit an unknown fortune. For them the Internet is a place to get information or maybe visit and become a member of a site like Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed other than that’ it’s a nuisance.

They are on there because everybody; family, friends, neighbors and co-workers are on there. Most have a bare bones understanding about anything other than sending emails and now they are on social networks.

Facebook the company just announced they have reached a milestone of over 300,000,000 visitors with over 50 million daily users.

Impressive numbers of people keeping old connections, chatting occasionally, sharing tons of Facebook apps, and showing how they feel about the world by joining a kazillion causes. They may also belong to Youtube, Twitter, Linkedin and Flikester, orkut and they all have an identity on one or on many one of the social network site they choose.

Where do you fit in?

To be continued: The next post explains how I ended up here writing to you and why I think these social network sites are a Godsend for entrepreneurs and the world at large.



Tuesday, September 15, 2009

WARNING Be Careful About Taking The H1N1 Vaccine

You decide based on facts, knowing could save your life or the life of a child. Share this with your family and friends and the rest of the world. How does this make you feel?




Sunday, September 13, 2009

I Only Put My Birth Date There Because It Was Required



It is lovely, when I forget all birthdays, including my own, to find that somebody remembers me. - Ellen Glasgow

I want to publicly say THANK YOU to all my friends all over the world for expressing Happy Birthday wishes to me by way of electronic cards, comments, emails,IMs and posts on social media sites.

THANKS TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU.

Each greeting brought a smile to my face. A few were a little surprising, not of the greeting itself but surprised at the people who sent it. The surprise was that they took the time, even if it was a couple seconds, to send a greeting.

OK, I know, it does not take long but believe me I have seen many notices too and ignored them. I tell myself I’m too busy; but if I was, what am I doing on the site?

So for everyone who sad HAPPY BIRTHDAY, I say THANK YOU AGAIN.

Today I am, (snicker, if you don’t know, well…). One of life’s strange contradictions, children use fractions to tell their ages by the time they are teens they add a couple of years around forty they minus a couple and over fifty everybody gets quiet. Life is funny,you gotta love it.

To be perfectly tony instead of frank with you, I’m the kinda person who enjoy every day, I look at it as a time to grow, to know, to be, to give back and give thanks for health and well being. Over the years I have skillfully caught and deflected many of life’s curve balls and have gotten pretty good at it. I think I can call myself a happy person even though I still have wants I do know that I'am not perfect. I see my birthday as a measurement of the years I’m here but it’s only one day in a continuum.

This year, I give thanks for BEING, for meeting and communicating with people who I may never meet in my life but who have touched me in a special way with their communication and even their non-communication. ( I do believe strongly in the NLP concept that people cannot not communicate. It may appear one way but it never is).

Your wishes have taught me a valuable lesson. From now on I will stop and wish everyone I see whose birthday is coming up HAPPY BIRTHDAY. It might be you.

Thanks again everyone.

Tony

P.S. The next post I will share with you why I think it's important that as a small business or a marketer understand social media. In the meanwhile we are still seeking JV partners willing to become certified to teach others how to get Social Traffic

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Social Media: Use It To Market Or Be Marketed To

The Games Have Begun, Are You A Player or Spectator?

"One person with a belief is equal to a force of ninety-nine who have only interests."~ John Stuart Mill

Whether you know it or not, you are an integral part of the electronic social media revolution. As an entrepreneur, small business or even a large corporation your most compelling question now should be: How do I coordinate the use of social media like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to maximize my business exposure and reap the obvious benefits?

Thought leaders are using social media platforms for essential business functions like public relations, customer service, brand loyalty, collaborating, networking and believe it or not customer acquisition. For example, one of the hottest trends on twitter today is “I wish”.

Modified to create a hash tag, “#iwish” (in tweetspeak means; I wish for this, that or anything in the world) it has no other meaning on Twitter. There are tweets all over the twittersphere drawing eyeballs to Stevie Wonder’s original hit titled under “I Wish” and to the corporate gaming giant, Nukoda, makers of the new “I wish” gaming device.



Makes you go hmmm, wonder if people like JayZ and famous illusionist Darren Brown are using these high tech devices, they certainly know all about them. The point here is that social media is driving traffic to business and people who prior to being involved lived in their own stratosphere of what’s important to their world. Now they can actually participate in global universal consciousness. Entrepreneurs and businesses can, if they know how, tap into specific keywords to drive social traffic to their sites and blogs.

Many internet savvy entrepreneurs and businesses are just becoming aware of a new concept called “Social Traffic”. The term made popular by a ebook with the same name written by Simon U Ford a genius who understands social media. This is adding a new dimension on the internet. Learning to use the internet was like primary school, it is time to move up to high school and start building a foundation that will establish your online or offline business with the free social media tools available. Things are changing and we need to recognize that change.



Finally the world now has a universal social consciousness barometer that measures what’s important to the majority of people on the internet in real time, as it is being articulated.

Like I said before, whether you know it or not, you are an integral part of an intellectual consciousness revolution. You can continue to be a spoke in the wheel or a part of the hub, use social media to easily and quickly propel your online or offline business into notoriety.

Find out more about social media here for more on Using Social Media

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The One Thing Most Entreprenuers Forget



That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well. -Abraham Lincoln

As entrepreneurs we are often fascinated by innovative products or services that only lacks the right person to make it a success. Usually, our due diligence confirms our initial gut feelings and shortly after we are in investment mode.

Relax, before you commit yourself and your resources, you must know the one thing that most entrepreneurs consistently ignores and which consistently comes back to bite them in the,..



Our intrinsic nature as human beings makes us focus of whatever we become enthused about. Products and services can and do make a true entrepreneur so enthusiastic that it sometimes fuddles their thinking. So much so that they ignore one of the most crucial aspects of marketing their product or service,

It is one of the leading causes of business failure. A simple question but the answer is vitally important:

Who will pay for this product or service?

In other words, who are your prospects? Target market? Can you describe them? It’s never EVERYBODY, never. In any market there is only a segment of the potential consumers who will take a second glance your product or service,

Reduce that segment by the numbers that your competition will attract your product or service shrinks even more. Whether your market is business to business or business to consumer your primary and I think one of your most important task is knowing your customer.

This information is so critical that in some cases it is more important than being well versed in all the specific attributes of a product/service. You may not need to know all the attributes, if you do not have a specific target market and no one responds to your offers. It should be a written description of the characteristics of the potential prospects, people with faces that you can communicate with.

The task involves first knowing the who, then finding the most appropriate medium for communications. So you must...

1. Develop a profile of your prospect: This will help you to eliminate suspects and create real prospects. Start with your current customers/clients. What are their demographics? Where do they gather? What is the best way to approach them? Answers that require research, surveys and testing.

2. Develop all communication to speak to the prospect you describe, speak to them in the words they understand in your sales copy, your ads on or offline. Most importantly, develop and convey a unique selling proposition that differentiates your business from the rest of the players in the market.

Its not what you do but how you do what you do that makes the difference. Before you commit to anything consider the target market. It’s the only way to create life time customers and income from your business.

Begin the process by writing a description of your average prospect and you will have a solid foundations upon which to build your business. Nobody goes into business thinking that it will last for six months a year or two, a business is a long term venture. Build your foundation by having a specific detailed description of your customer and watch your business increase tenfold.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"What the F**K is Social Media: One Year Later"


Did the chicken come before the egg here? Social media has slowly evolved into a marketing resource and social global network.

There are over 45 popular social media sites the most popular being Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, Linkedin, and a host of others too numerous to mention here. The point is that if you have been on the net for any length of time you belong to at least one of these networks and probably more. You are a part of the social media network. How could anyone say you don't understand its potential?

This textual video put out by SlideShare gives you ample reason to pay attention to the awesome potential of social media. (Use arrows to move slides forward). There are implications for every business in the world. Pay attention to the numbers. Watch the video then click the link below to begin learning how social traffic can exponentially increase your business exposure, reach and potential.



Get involved in social media, learn about Social Traffic.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

3 Myths That Keep Millions Of Businesses Offline


“Stubborn and ardent clinging to one's opinion is the best proof of stupidity”

Well, duh, it’s expensive. It’s generally accepted in the business world that developing a website requires a significant investment. Add that to the fact that most traditional business people cannot see how a web presence could improve their business profits or operations and you will understand why millions of business people around the world think websites are useless.

This is not phenomenon that occurs solely with developing countries. Even in more developed countries like the United States. Canada and Europe there are still literally thousands, if not millions, of business people who resist taking their businesses online. As internet users grow in numbers these businesses are surely being left behind. For example, take a look at population trends for internet usage of the top 20 countries in the world.




The differences in countries vary and can be accounted for primarily by population and the ease of access to the internet. Online, people are experiencing the evolution and development of social media Web 2.0 and now Web 3.0, while millions of offline businesses in every country operate exclusively offline.

The emergence of social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube have made it possible for some offline businesses to access prospects globally and locally. In most cases, the encounters are accidental because for the most part the meeting was not as a result of a coordinated strategy.

Most are not aware of the possibility of formulating a social media strategy. Thus, the reason for the emergence of sites and individuals who provide instructions on how to capitalize on the various social media platforms. One such site that is about to be launched is Social Traffic where you can learn how to use social media to build businesses both off line and online. See Social Traffic.


For more click here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

3 Things I Disagreed With In The 2009 Trinidad & Tobago National Awards Ceremony

"Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment."

As happens on every Independence day, outstanding Trinidad and Tobago nationals are recognized for their unintended contributions to the improvement of our small but great nation.

This year's 2009 Awards ceremony was funny but not laughable. I totally disagreed with a couple of the Excellence Awards handed out. Ok maybe, I should let it rest because there is nothing to be done about it now. And I know some would think that I'm not patriotic but it's exactly why I take my position. I'm not squeamish about an unpopular positions.

First, I don’t think that a fighter, a boxing champion, should have been awarded the highest award in the land. Don’t get me wrong, I loved her, and shedded a little tear when she met her untimely demise but what message does it send to our youths? Ah, is it suggesting that our youths take example and maybe box or fight their way to the pinnacle of our society's recognition? Maybe not but...

Her posthumous award did nothing more than provide an example of another bureaucratic insensitive decision. There are more than one living sports personality who could have been honored. Of course, she should have been recognized but…

My second disagreement was with the awards was the one given to a mature housewife who single handedly reversed a potentially violent situation by overpowering an armed perpetrator. I think that what she did was very courageous, reactive and in my opinion she did a very stupid thing.

It may have saved her life and she was extremely fortunate that she survived that attack. However, in the interest of her own safety and the safety of the hundreds of potential victims her "heroic "act should not have been held up as an example for anyone to follow. Her attacker has not yet been convicted of a crime and with our criminal justice system the way it is who knows.

Maybe, I’m wrong, and maybe she did something that anyone in the same situation should think of doing?

My final observation and perhaps the most controversial is that there were too very few awards to people of East Indian descent, (3 out of 21 is not enough).

Frankly, this is the only reason I paid attention to the National Awards Ceremony. Jack Warner, a local magnate and politician had made a public request before the ceremony, that more attention be paid to the contributions of the East Indian community.

Now, let me go on record by saying that I hardly ever agree with him but this one time I did. East Indians have contributed and are still contributing in every sphere of life in Trinidad and Tobago and should be recognized for their contributions. Awards are not cash, it's a token that could mean the world not only to the recipient but to the people that person represents, 60 seconds of national attention. Nothing would have been lost by sharing the accolades.

Now if I was an East Indian, I could be accused of being selfish and maybe even racist but fortunately, I'm only human and innately sensitive to institutionalized "stupidness".

Thanks to blogging I'm able to say; I disagree.


How about you, do you agree or disagree?

Do you feel passionate about what's happening with crime in this country? Go here and sign the petition. here

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