Twitter Customer Care

Does it really matter how much your virtual stock is selling for on Empire Avenue? Who has the biggest fan base on Facebook? the most followers on Twitter?

Sure, if you are connecting with more people, chances are more people may be taking note of your business, what you are doing. My youngest calls followers, friends “stalkers”.

Some “game” the system. At one time, and still going on, are those who follow a bunch of people, week later, dump those who don’t reciprocate, follow more. Or go around on endorsing a whole bunch of blogs which they’re never even read, looking for ea brownie points?

I realize some people just don’t get social media. In truth, your time and resources only stretch so far. And with anything, it is all about how you use the tools. Yet, for any business, no matter how big or small, it is important not to ignore your brand on social media. Today I’m using Twitter as an example.

How much time does it take to set up a twitter account? couple minutes
How long does does it take to search twitter with your brand name? Another minute or 2? Of course if you’re quite popular and you check in several times a day, it may take a little longer. But how much time and $ does it take to do market research and gather the public’s opinion the old fashioned way?

My son, @creationix was impatiently awaiting the arrival of a new computer. Now Tim has been obsessed with technology since . . . Hmmm. Can’t ever remember him not. I mean, this is the kid, that as an infant, would sit in his crib and dismantle it, carried around a purse as a toddler packed full of tools, who I rushed to the ER for stitches after he climbed up the back of a rocking chair trying to reach the Commodore 64? (or was it the old Bally?). Never the less, he was impatiently awaiting the arrival of his new computer. And when it didn’t arrive as expected, he was bemoaning the fact on twitter.

twitter fedex

A sharp FedEx employee picked up on the complaints, offered to help, looked up the shipment, called the FedEx driver, and let my son know when he could expect his package, apologizing for any inconvenience. Soon Tim was happily setting up his new system.

Kudo’s to @FedExLaSheila. Instead of a an unhappy customer, complaining to his friends and family, or worse yet, waiting on the phone to talk to customer service, you have real time interaction, smoothing out a problem quickly. And those who saw the complaint, also saw how quickly the issue was resolved via twitter.

So bottom line, it may not matter so much the number of followers, fans you have, your virtual stock price; but how you interact with your customer base is priceless.

Adding Tweet This Plugin to WordPress

I created a video to show some friends how to add a tweet this button to their blog posts (on wordpress). Tweet this adds a button to the bottom of your posts, making it easy for your readers to tweet what you say. It can be set to shorten the url’s, add facebook, digg, stumble upon, plurk etc buttons.

There are many, many twitter tools, some of which are wordpress plugins. Plugins add functionality to your website. I think they are very cool. Only add and activate plugins which you want to use on your website. Sometimes a plugin may have a conflict with another plugin. So I prefer adding one new plugin at a time, making sure my wordpress website still works, etc. Some plugins, too many plugins may slow down the load time of your site. Have the plugins you use serve a purpose.

Twitter Plugins for WordPress

Auto Tweet Your Posts

Adding Tweet This Plugin to a WordPress Blog (and you can do the same thing to add other plugins–a fun thing to do).

Using Social Media for Job Search

Image by SashaW

You mean you can use Facebook for more than playing games with friends?

What is Twitter?

Is it worth the time you spend online?

Should I become active in various groups and forums?

What is the value of social media?

These are all questions I’ve been asked. I love social media, it is of great value to me. I’m always looking for more business. I mean, who doesn’t want their business to grow? Let’s say you are looking for a graphic designer to quickly do a project for you. You want someone who is available right now who will do a great job for a reasonable price. Ask your friends on Twitter, LinkedIn, Ryze, etc. Who do they do who does graphic design? They pass on your message to their friends, who do the same. Within the hour recommendations come in along with introductions. In just a few hours the job is complete, money exchanged. A win for both sides.

But what if you aren’t self-employed? Can you find a job, employed by someone else through social media? Yes, it does work. Connections are important along with being visible.

Here are a couple examples from this past month. I started to look for local groups to connect on twitter. Pleasantly surprised to see local job offerings posted on Twitter, and I often retweet. One came through that looked perfect for my 15 year old daughter. They were looking for ushers at the Perot theater. Now my daughter has a very busy schedule with school, swim, driver’s ed, etc. Her schedule doesn’t fit a normal job. However, this one you choose the nights you can work. I responded to the tweet, and received an application in my email. My daughter printed it out, got reference letters from a couple of teachers and sent it all in. Within the week, she had the perfect job for her all because her mom was watching the local Twitter Tweets.

My son is a top-notch programmer. Ruby is one of his favorite languages, so he hangs out in the local Ruby online groups.
He set up a LinkedIn profile which works much like a resume with references. He set up a GitHub page (social media for open source programmers) to share his open source programs with others. He got a call from a company wanting him to come in for an interview:

“But I’m not looking for a job.”
“We want to talk to you anyway.”
“I don’t want to commute downtown.”
“Neither do we, we have an office near you.”
“You wouldn’t work around my classes.”
“Yes we will, come in for an interview”

So he did. Much of the interview was the company finding out what it would take for him to want to work for him. They’d already done their research through the Ruby group, his LinkedIn profile, and GitHub. Within an hour after the interview he had an email with an acceptable job offer.

Not all jobs are found through social media. This summer one of my sons needed a summer job. He’d put in an application and wait for a call. Surely they’d call him back soon. He go out and put in a few more applications and wait. I told him that
wasn’t working, you can’t just wait around a expect a job to show up because you need one. We talked about what his ideal summer
job would be. He decided he wanted to do yard work, but didn’t know who was hiring. I said call and ask, better than driving
around and applying everywhere. He went online, searching for local lawn care/landscaping companies and within a couple of hours
had an appointment with one that afternoon, and started work.

Now if my programmer son was looking on twitter local to me, he’d have never found his new job. My daughter would never have found hers by hanging out in the DFW Ruby group. Not likely to find a job with a Texarkana yard crew by looking among the DFW Ruby people either. Heck, lawn crews spend little time online during the busy growing season. Spend time where your preferred employer would hang out.

My tips for finding a job online:

      Use social media to show off your expertise, participate, be sure and fill out your profile.
      Be in the right places, go where those looking for your expertise would hang out.
      Let others know you are looking for a job or more business, have them keep their eyes open for you.
      Check local listings unless you are wanting to move, then check listings for your desired location.
      Be creative. Smile. Enjoy life.

Update:My programmer son has been hanging out with the nodejs programmers,developing code. One evening he wrote his own code to create his own blog, tutorials on using nodejs which were in short supply. We talked about his unique blog, how to make money with it. He wanted it a tutorial only, allowing others to provide content too. Consensus was if he got the traffic, there’d be a way to make money with it.

Within 2 weeks he had job offers in his email. Soon after speaking engagements. His blog was talked about in his niche, many tweets and links from top blogs in his field. Thousands of readers, quickly jumping to a PR5 site, further proving content is king. He was contacted by a publishing company to write a book, as a known expert in his field. When the time came to find a new job, he let his online connections know and several companies contacted him within hours.

Social media can and does work!

Hello Ike

Galveston Sea Wall
Galveston Sea Wall

Quite windy, rain off and on, son, his wife and my grandson visiting, enjoying their company. via Twitter – 3:37pm

Stepping outside, enjoying the wind via Twitter – 4:32pm

Saying hello to ike wondering how far the trees can bend before they snap. . . via Twitter – 6:39pm

Crack, There went a tree across the street, missed the houses and cars thankfully #ike texarkana. via Twitter – 7:06pm

Getting dark outside quickly. via Twitter – 7:23pm

And then I lost my internet, silence for over 2 hours, apology to friends who were worried, hoping I’d only lost power. (Actually it was both our universal backup battery and router on the blink). Another crack and more broken trees.

Ike packed quite a punch, seemed to go on and on. Considering the size of the thing, I guess it would take a while to move on through the area. And I don’t doubt it strengthened heading on into Arkansas because the last little bit was a whammy. You’d think it’d be weakening on the tail end, but not so.

My son, his wife and their little boy were visiting, made a wise decision to to travel back to Dallas that evening. Ike took up the whole interstate between here and there.

Friday, Texarkana went crazy, Walmart parking lot looked like Christmas season. Everyone inside stocking up. Long lines at the gas station and prices had jumped. Some stations were empty. Soon they all were empty. One of my friends was stranded in Hope, Arkansas, she couldn’t get gas there either.

Now I love storms, just not the damage they cause. I love the way it feels when a storm comes in. You can smell the rain, the wind blowing in your face, everything feels so alive, the clouds, the lightshow in the sky. Don’t mind a few sprinkles. But times like this I’m very happy that I don’t live on the coast (although I wouldn’t mind it rest of the time.)

I called friends in close by, to check on how they were doing. Many were without power, but had their cell phones turned on or their old corded phones plugged in. Inside the kids played games while my grandson slept through the first half of Ike. But Ike went on and on, naps don’t last forever.

Envied Angela her blackberry she was twittering from, checking her home from her cell. Yes, if I’d have set up text messages and twitter on my phone, I could have continued to give updates even if my power and internet went down. Learned that if you checked #ike on twitter’s search engine, you’d get constant storm updates

We made it through, so nice to see sunshine the next morning. Fences down all over the neighborhood. Chain saws cleaning up the felled trees and branches. We had a pickup load of downed branches from Gustav to which we added Ike’s. When it dries up we’ll take them all over to the recycling center to get chopped up into compost.

Thankful that things were not worse, and as much as I was tempted, I did not run around the block during the storm, dodging falling tree branches, but stayed close to the porch or safely inside.

Feel free to add your storm story to the comments or add the link to yours.

Auto-Tweet Your Posts

Feed Your Blog to Twitter
Feed Your Blog to Twitter

Anything that saves me time and helps me keep up (somewhat) with all these social media trends is a good thing.

One thing I like about twitter is that I can feed my tweets to Facebook, and feed my blog’s feed to twitter. Anytime I create a new post it goes straight to twitter then Facebook. More links to my blog, and those friends and followers who hang out there are informed of my new posts. Auto-tweets.

There are several wordpress plugins that work with twitter. I don’t know which work best, but feel free to share you favorite twitter tools and plugins. If you want your tweets to show up on your blog, check out the twittertools plugin and other twitter tools.

I am using, a very simply way to feed your rss feeds to twitter. I signed up for twitter and facebook same day. Two places I kept putting off investigating. To my surprise there was a twitter ap in the left side of facebook, so I filled it in and happy days, my tweets were now on face book.

Twitterfeed, “. . .feed your blog to twitter.”