Monthly Archives: May 2009

Twitter Strategies for Finding Your Peeps

You can follow a maximum of 2000 people on twitter before the infamous Twitter wall blocks you from following more people until about 1800 people follow you back.  Once you acquire 1801 followers, Twitter allows you to begin following others again.  Your twitter followers to following ratio, however, will need to stay at approximately 10% or you’ll get a message telling you that you can’t follow new people at this time.  So how does one go about acquiring new followers?  You acquire followers by following others and by posting interesting tweets or retweeting useful information you get from others.  So skip the posts about your breakfast unless you’re looking for social interactions about everyday life or yummy meals.  Post about your passion and people who share that passion will follow you.


Here are a couple of ideas that I hope will help you find your twitter peeps.

1.  Follow Your Followers:  Set up an autofollow using or  I use and like it alot.  I set my account to autofollow anyone who follows me and to unfollow anyone who unfollows me.  If you’ve been on twitter for awhile, you may want to purchase the $5.00 option that let’s you catch up and follow everyone who has followed you.  You can also use  It’s a bit cumbersome but kind of interesting to find out exactly who isn’t following you back or to make sure you’re following everyone who follows you.  The site features thumbnail photo/avatars and you can sort based on account age, last tweet, number of followers etc.

2.  Twitter Search: You can use use to find new people to follow.  Go there and enter your name in the search window to see everyone who mentions your name in any way.  Then you can follow them.  Try the same search with your @(insertyourtwittername) and see who has retweeted you, commented on your posts and in general already tried to engage you.  Follow them.

3.  Twitter Yellow Pages: Try  Set up an account with Twellow and register yourself under several keywords that describe your interests and business.  This will help others find you.  Then, while logged in, search for keywords that describe people you want to reach.  For example, I’m interested in publishing and social media, so I search those words.  You’ll come up with a list of people who have self-described themselves with the keywords you searched.  You’ll be able to follow them by clicking the “follow” button on the left under their avatar or picture.  In my opinion this is the most productive following tool and I recommend it highly.

4.  Finding Twitter Groups:  Another very useful directory is  Be sure to list yourself there and follow people in popular tags. is a site that allows you to follow packs in your desired business or geographic area. and are self explanatory and worth a look.

5.  People Who Follow People: ♫Are they the luckiest people in the world?  Seriously, this technique is useful but not foolproof.  The idea is to head to the profile of someone influential in the business or social arena that interests you.  If you love wine that would be @GaryVee.  You follow Gary Vaynerchuk and then look at his follower list and follow them.  You can’t be sure that all of these people will be interested in wine, however.  Some will be people not, but you’ll surely come up with many, many folks who share your passion.

6.  People Who Engage:  View the account of some big name, high profile Twitter types like @chrisbrogan or @Ev and observe people with whom they engage or chat.  Follow them.  You can find a list of people with the most followers at

7.  Hashtags: Take a look at the trending topic hashtags on the right side of your twitter page and click one or two that interest you.  Follow the people who are engaging in the discussion.  Every Friday, people will recommend other people using the #FollowFriday hashtag.  This is a good source of people to follow as they’ve been recommended by others.

This is by no means a complete list of search strategies.  Here are a few more to add to your list:

I’d love to hear about your favorites so I can pass them on to others.


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Filed under social media, Twitter

Brand: Kathie Lee Gifford

Kathie Lee Gifford, Today Show co-host and author of a new book  Just When I Thought I’d Dropped My Last Egg: Life and Other Calamities (Ballentine Hardcover) was the guest speaker at the New York City Women’s Media Group luncheon Monday, May 18th.   

She had some very insightful thoughts on branding.  I suspect she doesn’t think of herself as a brand, but because my business is brand communications and marketing, I heard her talk through that filter and found that she exemplifies what I consider to be some of the most essential elements necessary for a strong brand: aspiration, inspiration and motivation.  I’d like to share a few quotes from her talk as illustration.

“You can have it all but not all at once.” This is Kathie Lee’s aspirational brand promise.  It tells her audience that she (and they) can live rich and fulfilling lives but there are some sacrifices which must be made along the way in terms of timing.  Kathie Lee shares stories of Broadway opportunities left behind when her children were very young and of new Broadway offers coming to her at a better time in her family life.  She talks about her decision to co-host the fourth hour of The Today Show, which some might view as a lesser spotlight than her position on Regis and Kathie Lee, but which was a very creative and rewarding new opportunity for her.  Her brand promise tells the consumer/viewer that Kathie Lee believes in going after your dreams, fully understanding and evaluating the personal “cost.”  Aspirational Brand promises resonate with the intended core audience and tell them that their aspirations are available to them – at some point in their lives.  This promise is spot on brand messaging for Kathie Lee’s intended audience.

“At my age, I’m delighted to be anywhere…”  Kathie Lee uses mild self mockery and humor as a way to identify with her core audience.  Here she tells her audience that she’s been through a lot in her life, as have they, and she understands their lives.   She also told the audience that she’s the oldest host on the Today Show other than Willard Scott.  An inspirational brand message tells the consumer that the brand is “just like her.” This brand understands that her audience is looking to her for inspiration and wants to know that even if it’s a struggle, success is possible – even later in life.

“My career is how I make my living.  It is not my whole life.”  This is Brand Kathie Lee’s Mission Statement and provides motivation for the viewer.  This gives her audience insight into what to expect from her.  She will talk about her husband and children.  She will make public appearance choices based on that mision.  She will moderate or alter her public life accordingly.  This motivational statement tells the viewer that by associating with Brand Kathie Lee, their lifestyle choices are not just validated but celebrated.  Her brand promises to provide information and entertainment which will always be guided by her Mission Statement.  They can trust and value her brand and “consume” it with confidence.  She motivates her audience to trust her and therefore, the information she presents to them.

Overall, Brand Kathie Lee’s core messages are clear and  she presents herself as sincere, funny, dedicated to family, creative and spiritual.  This says “I have a wonderful career but I have a life outside of work.  Family life is more important to me than my life in the public eye.” This brand promise tells her audience who she is and invites key emotional identifyers to join her.  She expertly positions her brand for clarity and her ideal audience can find her easily.

Which other celebrities do you think are managing their brand successfully?  Why? 

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Filed under Personal Branding, Uncategorized

Pssst! Twitter Demystified for Newbies!

Unless you’ve been living in a cave or just emerged from a year-long biosphere experiment, you’re aware of the hype over Twitter and the scramble to figure out either how you can use it to grow your business or how you can ignore it and still not be left behind.  Well, you can’t ignore it or you will be left behind so let’s look at some very simple ways you can enhance your business strategy with Twitter and maybe even enjoy yourself in the process.

According to internet guru Pete Cashmore’s website,  an estimated 6 million people in the United States have registered Twitter accounts.  The research firm eMarketer estimates that this number will double by the end of 2009 to more than 12 million and by 2010 will reach more than 18 million users. 

Yikes, you’re thinking. “How can my brand or business stand out in the sheer volume of noise of six million people tweeting?”  A better question might be “What do I know that others might also want to know?”

OK, here’s the secret.  Twitter is just a conversation.  You have conversations everyday.  Talk to people on Twitter just as you would were he/she to come into your bricks and mortar store: honestly, personably, helpfully and knowledgably. 

  1. Share:  Twitter is a conversation.  Talk to people the way you would if you met them socially in person.  If every time you met a potential client or customer you launched into a sales pitch, people would go out of their way to avoid you.  But if you developed a reputation for being an engaging, interesting person who generously shares his or her experience with everyone-no strings attached-people would be delight to see you and introduce you to their friends and family.   It’s the same concept in Twitter.  A realtor who Tweets about community affairs, house maintenance tips, great contractors, good sales and special events in the neighborhoods they serve will be considered a resource to people who might not be in the market to buy or sell a home.  However, that realtor will be forefront in their minds when a friend is looking to relocate or a family member moves.
  2. Listen: Conversation is a two-way street.  Let’s think again about the similarities between a virtual client interaction and a physical one.  If you’re selling jewelry and a potential client walk into your store, you’ll most likely ask them “How can I help you today?”  Once you hear that they’re looking for a graduation present, you won’t try to show them engagement rings.  In social media, you’ll do the same thing.  Tweet about the things you know and the things you care about.  Then listen to others and engage in conversations.  Think of Twitter as a virtual backyard barbeque.  You’ve got a burger in one hand and a soda in the other and you’re talking to some new “neighbors.”  You tell them a little about yourself and then you listen as they tell you a little about themselves.  When you hear that they are looking for a gymnastics class for their 7 year old, you introduce them to another neighbor, whose child takes gymnastics.  They remember you as a great conversationalist, a good listener and a well-connected and helpful neighbor.  Next time they need advice, perhaps the name of a good family doctor, you come through again.  Ultimately you become a trusted source and when the time comes that they or someone they know needs the service you provide, they will recommend you.  On Twitter someone might ask you what hashtags mean or what in the world a Retweet is.  Listen to the conversation and provide value to build a strong social media reputation.
  3. Communicate: Be clear with yourself and others about why you tweet.  If you’re using Twitter to grow your business, make sure people can identify what it is you offer.  Start with your Twitter name.  @Jailbird might not be a great name for an auto dealership but @DriveSmart might be.  In many cases, it might be best to use your actual name as your Twitter name.  This signals to others on Twitter that your updates will reflect your values and your reputation. Use your twitter profile bio to tell people something about yourself.  Include your website link so interested parties can contact you or at least survey your offerings.  Customize your twitter background with visual clues as to who you are, what you do and what people might expect from following you.  Think of Twitter as an online business card. 
  4. Be authentic:  You cannot be all things to all people.  Be yourself and engage in the conversations that interest you.  Retweet (repeat other people Tweets) things you see on Twitter that you found helpful or intriguing.  Act as a filter for your Twitter Followers by participating in conversations that mean something to you and letting the other pass you by.   In this way you amplify your interests and muffle the noise created by six million plus people “speaking” all at once.

Don’t be intimidated by Twitter.  Jump right in and join the conversation.  It can be the biggest social mixer you’ve ever attended, with literally millions of fascinating people waiting, real time, to talk to you.  You can follow me on Twitter at @BrandYou.  I’m interested in your experiences with Twitter and other social media.  I would love to share what I’ve learned with you and I’m looking forward to meeting you there.


Filed under social media