Tag Archive: Twitter


So, your business is on a tight marketing budget and you want to leverage Social Media.  Know going in that it is comparable to entering the bear cave with a club and flashlight.  Neither will help, you need better tools.

Where to start?  Well, that actually depends on your goals and strategy.  Techsnoop is here to tell you where not to start.  Don’t buy Twitter followers or Facebook Likes.  These are bogus accounts set up by spammers with automated tools and they do not give you credibility.  The entire point of social media is to establish yourself as reliable and trustworthy in your field.  Having spammers on your accounts opens up your followers and fans to spammers as they now can access them.

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Branding is a complex process that involves a number of people and trial and error.  However if you are a small business start up you likely do not have funds to hire professional branding firms or to undertake extensive market research.

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Techsnoop has moved!

Find all the new Techsnoop’s Helper news, tutorials, reviews and Freebies at www.techsnoopshelper.com.  Don’t miss out, go now and bookmark the site and sign up to get the updates.  Users will be redirected to the new site after next week.  In the meantime, check out the latest post below.

If you are a freelance designer or small business, time is premium and you may not have time to make every little detail of your web site or social media pages.  Techsnoop is here to help with a list of free icon downloads that will spice up your pages with a professional look with no extra effort on your part.   Read More…

Techsnoop just participated in the Chase/LivingSocial grant challenge.  This event was entirely social media driven in that all entrants had to receive a number of votes from Facebook users to get to the review process.  The event was also a great way to evaluate the power and response of the various social media platforms.

Techsnoop utilized four platforms in total; Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and WordPress blog to request votes.  Although evaluation was not the intent of the challenge, Techsnoop can unequivocally state that Twitter was hands down, the most effective venue.  Facebook reached more people, but the responders were 80% Twitter users.  And not all respondents were followers, the entire Twitter community joined in to help boost businesses they had never heard of into the voting process.

What does this mean for your business?  Well, if you have a message or product you need action on, Twitter is clearly the platform to utilize.  Facebook and Google+ users seem to just cruise content without taking action.  Blog readers may not review the post in a timely fashion.  But Twitter is an immediate, actionable platform where users tend to act on requests and information.

Perhaps it is the very brevity of the messages that drives the rush to act, or maybe it is that posts fly by so quickly that users know they cannot come back to the post later.  Whatever the reason, if your business needs action, use Twitter to get the word out.

Take it from Techsnoop, Tweeps Rock.

Major thanks to those who voted for us so far in the Mission: Small Business challenge;

@FederalGear, PeekabooPictures.Com, Alan Bouda@WildAls, @CowAndLizard, REAL DEAL@REALDEAL7786, Webics Web Design, FamilyMint, Dr. Quinn Weight Loss, Rock Me! Made with love in the USA.  These businesses are using the power of Social Media to improve the economy and their community.  If you haven’t voted yet in this program, please go to Mission: Small Business, sign in with your Facebook login and vote for small business today.

Search by your state and vote for anyone who has less than 250 votes.  While you’re at it, stop by DKemp Designs and vote for us.  Let’s leverage Social Media to change our communities.

Thanks, Techsnoop.

Twitter UnfollowEvery Social Media platform has its own rules and accepted practices.  Some of these are spelled out by the platform owners, but some norms are developed over time by the users.  Once developed, accepted behavior is rewarded by followers and unacceptable behavior gets you labeled annoying or a spammer.

Techsnoop has recently noted a disturbing trend on Twitter.  The practice of users following a large number of people, then unfollowing them after they follow back.  This seems to be especially true of some small businesses.

Techsnoop has no objection to people or companies not following back when they are followed.  Some followers may not fit into your niche or strategy.  Unfollowing as a means to clean up your feed is also acceptable.  If you don’t engage with some followers you may want to add others that you will engage with.  But following someone just for a follow, then unfollowing them after they follow you is just rude.  If you want new followers, either post interesting content that will get retweeted and gather followers, or be prepared to follow those you engage with a follow first through the long term.

There are several ways to grow your Twitter audience.

  • Have strong and engaging content or offer freebies that others will want to stay up to date with.
  • Buy followers from one of the many, many services on Twitter.  This can backfire as most of the “purchased” followers will not have engaging content and will not care about yours.  Anyone selling their follows is probably not the quality engagement you need.
  • Build steady growth of quality followers by offering engaging content, being interested in those who follow you and seeking out others on Twitter who have the same or compatible interests.

This last method will not gain you 10,000 followers in one week, but your followers will be better quality and engage with you on a higher level.  Slow and steady is also more time consuming, but like anything worth having, is worth the rewards.

Please, please don’t follow/unfollow to gather users.  Not only is it rude, if you gain a reputation for this behavior, it can ruin your Social Cred.

Surf Nicely.

If you have not heard, LinkedIn was recently hacked and some passwords were posted on a hacker site.  LinkedIn has responded very well, but this is an opportunity to take the time to change all of your social networking passwords.  Additionally, download AVG Linkscanner, a free software that alerts you if a link you click on is a potential threat.

To make your password more secure;

  • Use something you have not used in the past
  • Use a combination of letters and numbers
  • Use a capital letter
  • Use one special character if allowed
  • Don’t share your passwords.
  • Don’t use your name or children or spouse names.

Online security is vital.  One small intrusion can create problems from your computer being used to route spam to depleting your life savings.

Make changing passwords part of your spring cleaning routine.  Or, use daylight savings time changes to cue you to update passwords.  Have one type of password for low level sites such as Facebook and Twitter and a much more complicated password system for online banking or personal information sites.

Surf Safely!

Techsnoop

Small Business Tips

small businessEntrepreneurship is a great way to increase lifestyle flexibility, stabilize or supplement your income or just change careers.  There are many ways to get started in your own business and it is best to try a home based business or a cubicle rental if you are short of start up funds.

Be ready to work long hours to get started so prepare some frozen meals ahead of time so you won’t waste money on fast food or get run down from eating junk food.  If you are choosing a field where you have little experience but lots of interest, go back to school first.  A one or two year certificate program and an internship can gain you experience, credentials and contacts.

Networking is key in starting a business.  New businesses will have a small marketing budget so key in on trade shows and other events where you can hand out materials face to face.  People will be more likely to utilize a new business from someone they have met and liked.  Use Social Media.  Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can all be great free marketing essentials.  If you don’t understand how to use them, network with those who can show you.

Here are some top business markets for up and coming entrepreneurs.  Some may offer franchise opportunities if you have some money to invest.  Only put your money into well investigated franchises.  Also, make sure your market area is not saturated with this particular business type.

Finally, get ready to succeed.  This is harder than it seems.  Many business owners don’t know what to do when the money starts rolling in.  Have a reinvestment plan, a growth structure and, if you plan to retire from this business, a sell out or phase out plan so that you don’t leave your loyal customers high and dry.

2012 The Year of #SmallBusiness

stars in galaxyBusiness competition for customers is at a premium today, so it’s critical to stay on the cutting edge of new trends and technologies, except one.  There is a huge trend toward using texting slang and atrocious grammar when posting on business related sites and blogs.  As small business owners, putting on a polished on-line appearance can create opportunities and increase the respect we receive as a group.  One of the primary attractions of freelance work is the ability to work in sweats or jeans, but no one on-line needs to know how casual your dress is.  Projecting  an on-line persona that is pin-striped suit sharp every day makes your business look larger and more globally oriented.

I was inspired to write this post after reading several months of painful statements on major social networking sites.  Many requests for work seem as though they are made by 13 year olds to their friends.  Browse some of the posts and comments on LinkedIn by people seeking jobs or freelance work.  The websites and portfolios of these individuals show their talent, but their communication skills are below high school level.

As small business owners (freelancers this means you), let’s make a group commitment to always use proper grammar and spelling in all business posts.  This means on your business Facebook page, business Twitter page and any other sites where you refer to your business, seek referrals or post as your business.  Use all the tools at your disposal; Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com, spell check, and if necessary, translation tools from Google and Yahoo for other languages.

Reach for the stars in 2012.

Micro CruzOK, so Techsnoop took the plunge and bought a tablet. Being on a budget, I choose the Velocity Micro Cruz 7″ Tablet. It was a great bargain on Black Friday. So, was it worth it?
Portability; the Micro Cruz comes with a cover, adapter and stand. A great set of accessories that make it easy to take around and use. While not the lightest it could be, it is comfortable to carry. After learning to customize it, I like it and will use happily until I can upgrade.

  • Handling; the 7″ size makes it large enough to view comfortably and just small enough to handle with one hand, barely. If I could change one thing, it would be slicing a little thinness down.
  • OS; the Micro Cruz uses modified Android 2.2 which blocks the download of apps from the Android Market. A serious handicap for the average user. However there are workarounds for the advanced tech-geek. I don’t know what caused Velocity to handicap their otherwise nice equipment with this drawback. It seriously detracts from the functionality of the device and nearly caused me to return it.
  • Uses; As an eReader, A++. Text is clear and crisp and it displays pictures well also. Photos; a great photo display, accurate color resolution.
  • Support; customer support is friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.
  • Battery life; Absolutely astounding. Had it on for a full day’s use of retrieving e-mail, tweeting and occasional reading and the charge lasted over 9 hours. Streaming from YouTube for over 2 hours with no problem.

Cons: slow processor, limited on-board memory, kind of heavy and thick.  Touch screen is not very responsive, takes multiple taps until you get the pressure correct. Has several glitches that occur when trying to customize.  Manual is not as thorough as it should be, but is well written and easy to follow.

In summary, if you are an advanced Geek on a budget who wants to plunge into the tablet era, go ahead.  Know that you will need to upgrade in the near future, but this is a great device to get started on.  If you are a casual user looking for a beefy eReader, this might suit you.  You’ll probably need some help from customer service to get up to speed.

Novice; unless you have a Geek friend on standby, don’t try this.  You’ll get frustrated and the money saved will not be worth it.
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