5 Things All Hoteliers Should Know About Social Media

#1: Social media is not just about Facebook.

When I talk to the hoteliers about social media, the most common response is “Yes, I know Facebook.” But there is so much more to social media than “just” Facebook. There are many other platforms (Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, Orkut, Foursquare etc.) as well as tools that the businesses can use to steal the spotlight from the competitors. All in all, it is a complex world full of opportunities. 

#2: Social media is not just for teenagers.

 I hear this argument a lot and I bet many who don’t say it aloud think that. To that, I say “let’s talk statistics”. The average Facebook user is 38 year old (http://bit.ly/eelYwV), so definitely far from teenage years. In fact, only 11% of Facebook users are 13-17 years of age, which means that they are the smallest user group on Facebook (http://bit.ly/he6Oqo)! This difference is even more apparent on Twitter, where 13-17 year-olds comprise only 4% of the user base! In short, social media is anything but teenage playground.

#3: Don’t expect overnight miracles.

If you launch your campaign on Facebook, Twitter etc. and expect to hit the goldmine the next day, in 99.9% you will be disappointed. It takes time to get the word out, attract the right kind of people and get connected. You have to be patient and persistent.  If your campaign is working, you should start getting the first signs of success after couple weeks or months (increased bookings via social media, fuller restaurant during the dinner time etc.) and before you know it, you will have large, loyal audience that once didn’t know you existed. 

#4: Your front desk person or 17-year-old nephew can’t do the job.

Because of the budget constraints and misconception of social media, hoteliers often think that they can put their social media campaign in just about anybody’s hands. NOT TRUE. Your social media account is the face of your company. It is your first-hand connection with your past, present and future costumer, so it is extremely important that you make a good impression. Your nephew or front desk person may have a personal Facebook account or make a good impression on you, but this really doesn’t mean that they know what they are doing. Don’t put the face of your company in the hands of the amateur.

#5 Using social media for business and for personal use are 2 very different things.

“Facebook is a waste of time. Why would I spend hours reading what someone’s eating?” Whether it is or it isn’t a waste of your PERSONAL time is a question. However, from the BUSINESS point of view, it is definitely NOT a waste of time. I have seen what social media did for many hotels and I can tell you that it is well worth the investment. Even if you would never ever set up a Facebook profile for yourself, as a professional you can’t ignore this very powerful marketing tool. If you do, your company is missing out on a lot of opportunities (which translates to sales and profit).

Learn more about me: http://onlinefantastic.wordpress.com/about/

Connect with me:

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Hotels, Promote Your Social Media Accounts!

Are your hotel’s social media accounts promoted at the front desk, on room keys or feedback cards? Does your hotel’s website and blog have easily noticeable and clickable Facebook & Twitter logos?  

Surprisingly, most hotels fail to display their social media accounts correctly online and offline. Hard-to-find or nonexistent Facebook and Twitter logos on the website OR at the property are a norm.  I call this paradox “hide and seek”, because hotels basically hide the fact that they have social media accounts and make their customers dig this information up. 

Why is it such a big problem?? If you make it hard on your customers to find you on social media, most of them simply won’t. Therefore, you lose an access to your most valuable fans and followers. I say most valuable, because the guests who have stayed at your hotel before already established an emotional connection with you, so they are more likely to interact with your brand on-line than a person who has never visited your property. Now the best social media accounts have one thing in common – they show high level of fan engagement. This being said, you NEED your guests to find you on Facebook, Twitter etc.

In short, when you play ‘hide and seek’, your fan & follower base is slow to grow and level of engagement on your social media accounts is poor. You can also express what happens in a simple equation: lost connection = lost feedback = lost chance to build trust & loyalty = lost future business. Lesson to take from this? Make it easy – as easy as possible. Display it clearly everywhere you can think of (with reason, of course) – at the minimum, all the places on my checklist below.

Finally, let’s find out if your hotel is playing ‘hide and seek’ by going through my checklist!

If ANY answer to the questions below would be “NO”, your hotel is ‘guilty’:

-         Does your hotel have Facebook & Twitter logos on at least the main page of the website?

-         Does your website have the Facebook & Twitter plug-ins integrated?

-         Is FB & Twitter part of the e-mail signatures of your employees?

-         Do your e-newsletters contain links to your social media accounts?

-         If you have a blog, is your blog linked to your Facebook, Twitter etc.?

-         Do you promote your social media accounts at the property? I.e. Do your room keys, in-room  TV, front desk, feedback cards, receipts show the address to your Facebook, Twitter etc.?

Whether your hotel plays ‘hide and seek’ consciously or unconsciously, I urge you to change it -  stop hindering your social media strategy. When you decided to enter social media space, you took a unique opportunity to connect with your past, current and potential customers. Make it easy for them to find you and you will see an amazing progress in quality as well as quantity of your audience on social media.

Connect with me!

www.linkedin.com/in/luciehys 

www.twitter.com/onlinefantastic 

Top 5 Ways Hotels Can Find and Reach Luxury Consumers Through Social Media

 Luxury hotels are all over Facebook and Twitter these days. The mere existence on social media channels is, of course, not enough. Successful social media campaign is underlined by a sound strategy, part of which is finding and reaching the target market (in this case the luxury segment).

Here are the top 5 ways on how to find & reach the luxury consumers on social media:

 

#1: Twitter Lists Rule!

Twitter directory

 If you are one of those people who think Twitter doesn’t make sense, think twice. Twitter is the easiest social media platform for finding & reaching the travelers who love luxury. Thanks to Twitter directories like twellow (www.twellow.com), twibes (www.twibes.com) or listorious (www.listorious.com), you can search through many relevant tags, users & Twitter lists in seconds. Just type in luxury travel, luxury etc. to find a relevant list and then follow every user from that list (I now see some people disapprovingly shaking their heads, but following others is the fastest way to let Twitter users know that you exist on Twitter!). Those who follow you back give you a chance to establish a relationship – please notice I do not say sell to them. Talk to them, engage, have fun & they will love you and come to you next time they travel your way.

 

#2: World Meets on Facebook Fan Pages

  

There are plenty of luxury loving fans worldwide who breathe Facebook & travel. The best way to find them is to use Facebook search on your profile’s homepage. When you search for the relevant keywords (luxury, travel, luxury travel, luxury hotels etc.)., the results will contain people, groups, apps etc., but what you really want to focus on are Facebook fan pages. Become a fan of the relevant page that has a lot of people from your target market.  By doing so, you will be able to tag the other fan pages in your Facebook posts (by using @ + start typing the name of the fan page you want to tag), which will make your Facebook page appear on the fan page that you tagged. Yes, you can write straight on the wall of these fan pages (without tagging), but such method is often viewed as a spam, so most people will ignore it plus you are risking being reported for spamming.

 

#3: Think Competitors! 

 

Social media (especially Twitter) give you an easy access to your competitors’ clients – existing and potential. You can find out who they are, reach out to them, and ultimately turn them into your clients. Though Facebook will allow you to see the list of all people who are fans of your competitors, reaching out to them is very difficult. Therefore, focus on your competitors’ Twitter accounts instead. It is generally 2 steps process: find your competitors’ Twitter accounts (if they have one) & follow all their followers. The chances are many will follow you back since you offer similar services, which means a chance for you to interact with them, show them your value, and hopefully ‘steal’ the business from your competitors.

 

#4: Luxury Twitter Users! 

 

Find the Twitter users who tweet about luxury, travel or both (especially the influential ones) in Twitter directories (more in my point #1), follow them, interact with them, follow their followers, follow who they follow.  My faves include for example @LuxeTiffany (hotel inspector who is all about luxury travel: http://twitter.com/luxetiffany),  @LuxurHolidays (tourism guide to the luxury traveler that provides a comprehensive list of the best luxury hotels of the world: http://twitter.com/luxurholidays) or @LuxurySociety (informing the world’s leading luxury professionals: http://twitter.com/luxurysociety). For more see http://listorious.com/tags/luxury. 

 

#5: Blogs!

 

There are many blogs focusing on luxury consumers. You can find the popular ones easily by putting luxury travel blogs, luxury hotels blogs, luxury travel blogs etc. into Google or you can use blog directories (i.e. www.technorati.com).  Important part is to participate, which includes commenting on blog posts, getting featured in a blog post, or use paid ads if you want to splurge a little ;). Most often it will be the choice #1 – commenting on blog posts, in which case you need to make sure that your comments are relevant and that they include the link to your site. Some of the popular blogs you should know about are Vagablond (http://www.vagablond.com), journeyPod (http://journeyPod.com/) or Luxique (http://www.luxique.com/blog/).

 No matter what you do, remember that the value is not in your selling, but your sharing [quote by @Iconic88]. 

Feel free to add to my list in the comments and best of luck!

Let’s Connect!

www.linkedin.com/in/luciehys 

www.twitter.com/onlinefantastic 

 
 

How Twitter Can Benefit Your Hotel & Why Facebook Doesn’t Cut It!

There are many social media channels the hotels can use, but by far the most commonly used platforms are Twitter and Facebook. In most cases, hotels (mistakenly) put greater emphasis on Facebook and neglect Twitter. Very often hotels that have Facebook account don’t have a presence on Twitter, and if they do, the effort they put in Twitter is not anywhere close to the effort that’s made on Facebook.  

 After working on hotel social media campaigns day by day for a while, I can honestly tell you that it is a big mistake. Twitter and Facebook each have their own personalities and each platform brings completely different benefits to the table.

 

First Date on Twitter – Get Serious on Facebook!

To better understand each platform, let’s use the situation that we all are familiar with – personal relationships. Typically, before you let someone in your life, you want to know that they are worth it. You watch them, talk to them, test them out so to speak. Twitter lets consumers do just that. Once you get to know the person better and you want to have them in your life, you will want to deepen the ties between you, which is where Facebook comes in.

Consequently, if you want to make more people familiar with your brand, gain new customers or connect with people who are more private in nature, rely on your hotel’s Twitter account.

However, to engage and build a loyal relationship with your clients, use your Facebook account.

 As you can see, both platforms have completely different functions, so if you were to ask me which one your hotel should use, I would have to insist on both!

In this post, I will explain in greater detail why Twitter is not a waste of your resources and go over the biggest benefits Twitter can give you that Facebook cannot. 

Mysterious Twitter 

I say mysterious, because to most Twitter newcomers, Twitter is a confusing mess that doesn’t make sense. When I first encountered Twitter, I thought exactly the same thing. However, as I have seen people booking the hotels after interacting on Twitter and all the traffic Twitter brought to the hotels’ websites, I got to realize that Twitter was a very powerful marketing tool with advantages no other marketing channel had. 

  

3 Main Ways How Twitter Can Benefit Your Hotel & Why Facebook Doesn’t Cut It: 

 #1: The Easiest Way to Take Over Your Competitor’s Customers! 

There is nothing easier than looking up your competitors’ Twitter account and contacting/following their fans (or followers as they are called on Twitter).  Since you offer similar services to your competitors, the chances are most of their followers will be interested in what you have to offer, so they will follow you back. When they do, you have a shot to show what your hotel is about and if you are good enough, they may decide to go with you, not your competitor next time they need a hotel. 

Facebook doesn’t have such capability. You can look at the list of fans of your competitors, but good luck trying to connect with them.  

#2: The Easiest Way to Go Viral!   

Twitter is much more viral in nature than Facebook. Let’s illustrate it on example. Sheraton Maui recently sent out a message on Twitter: “Win a free trip to Hawaii!! Check out the Starwood Hawaii & SONY ‘Share Your Aloha’ photo contest here: http://bit.ly/atbAxV”  Since the account has about 2,000 followers, it means that 2,000 people could have potentially read this message. Let’s say 2 of Sheraton’s followers who each have 50,000 followers liked it and retweeted this message (meaning sent it to their followers). All of the sudden, we have additional 100,000 people who could have possibly read this message. Even though Facebook has a share button that allows fans to repost the brand’s message on the wall, it doesn’t happen all that often. Additionally, not many people on Facebook have 50,000 friends, so the impact of reposting on Facebook is way lower than on Twitter. Consequently, Twitter is generally much more effective in creating the buzz, getting the message across, and driving the traffic to your website, blog etc. than Facebook is! 

#3: The Easiest Way to Find & Reach New Customers 

Finding and reaching your target audience is a key to any sound marketing strategy. Twitter is the best tool out of all social media channels to precisely find the people you are looking for. You can look at thousands of Twitter lists that are relevant to your company as well as search the Twitter directories like Wefollow or Twellow for keywords. So for example, if you represent Hilton Chicago and your goals is to attract locals to eat at your restaurant, you could follow the people from the lists like “Chicago”, “Chicago-foodies”, “Chicago-hospitality” etc.  You could also find people on Twitter who tweet about food from Chicago area, look at the lists they are on, and follow their followers.  

One important principle to remember: if you want to be followed, follow others!  By following others, you are reaching out to them and letting them know you exist and want to connect. 

Even though you can find potential clients on Facebook via themed fan pages and groups, it is less precise and much more cumbersome. More importantly, reaching out to the people who are not fans of your brand yet is not an option on Facebook. 

There are more benefits to Twitter that I could go into (and feel free to point them out in comments), but those I mentioned above should be enough for you to realize that your hotel needs a SOLID Twitter presence! So if your hotel does not, I urge you to change that! 

  
Let’s Connect! 

www.linkedin.com/in/luciehys 

www.twitter.com/onlinefantastic 

www.facebook.com/travelfantastic 

Top 5 Social Media Tweeple Who Should Have Own Blog

All I want for Christmas is… for these top 5 Twitter stars to start blogging! ;-) They all are so interesting that 140-characters is way too little to get enough of them!

                        @LXLEE (http://twitter.com/LXLEE)

“Lovelee” social media star whose Twitter stream is full of great quotes, tech & social media tweets. He is a master conversationalist (and I heard a shopohalic too – shh) ;-)! Alex, skip the shopping & start blogging! :D

                  @Sung_H_Lee (http://twitter.com/sung_h_lee)

Smart, Sweet, Social media savyy – “lovelee” Sung! He has one of the most inspiring Twitter streams you can find on Twitter! His blog would be a great social media, tech, health mix. Sung, think about it! ;-)

@abdulmuhammad (http://twitter.com/abdulmuhammad

Unbelievably talented & innovative social media mover and shaker in a real life – would be really, really great if we all could get some more of him in the virtual one ;-)

                 @TrendyDC (http://twitter.com/TrendyDC)

Lifting tweeple’s spirits day by day with her inspiring quotes & social media tweets. Never enough of bloggers with such a positive attitude who would supply Smiles & Stress-relief & Social media info in one package! ;)

                     @thinkingfox (http://twitter.com/thinkingfox)

I am positive Rob’s blogs would be a nice European flavor addition to the social media “blogosphere”. Gotta put your iPhone to a good use – it is called blogging ;-) Might use @Mashable’s advice on how to turn your iPhone into a Blogging Machine: http://ht.ly/260ug ;-)

5 Tips to Tweet Your Way to Better Travel for Less

Whether you travel for work or for fun, Twitter can help you get more out of your travel for less. So buckle up, read and go ~ you can thank me later! ;-)

#1 Twitter travel tip: Follow the travel cream of Twitter.

You can find the heavy hitters in travel industry by searching Twitter directories like wefollow, twellow or listorious. My absolute favorites are @SuuperG, @gotsaga, @goplanit, @flipbooks & @earthXplorer ~ check them out!

#2 Twitter travel tip: Get the most out of hashtags

Search feature on Twitter is far from perfect, so the best bet to find relevant content is to utilize hashtags. Just click on search and type in # with the keyword that you are interested in. By the same token, make sure your tweets contain hashtags, so that your tweets are easier to find! Some of the most popular keywords in travel are #travel #traveltips #deals #free #vacation #hotels #dining #FL #Orlando etc. To get more targeted results, combine the hashtags like “#travel #deals” or “#hotels #Orlando”.

 #3 Twitter travel tip: Ask, Comment, Engage!!!

Let “Twitterverse” know you are going somewhere ahead of time. Let tweeple know what you are looking for. There are hotels, restaurants and other hospitality entities on Twitter who are eager to get your business, so if you speak up the chances are you may get a special deal or preferential treatment. If they won’t come up with it on their own, ask! If you have a special hotel/restaurant etc. in mind, go to their website and see if they have Twitter. If they do, tag them in your post (i.e. @hotelcalifornia) so that they for sure see your post. If you want to keep it “quiet” send a direct message, but be forewarned that many businesses don’t check their DMs, because of all the spam being sent there.

#4 Twitter travel tip: Create the “best-travel” list

Creating the list of your favorite tweeple who tweet about travel will help you stay organized. If you are a deal seeker, you may want to create travel-deal list and include all the tweeps who tweet about contests, coupons and other special promotions.

#5 Twitter travel tip: Follow the travel lists created by others

There are some great lists filled with travel wizards that other tweeters created. If it is a good list, it will most likely have many followers. How to find those? The easiest way is to go to http://www.listorious.com!

Hope this helps. You may now hit the Twitter road ;-)

Happy and safe travels, friends!

Yours XOXO Lucie
www.linkedin.com/in/luciehys 
www.twitter.com/onlinefantastic
www.facebook.com/travelfantastic

Tweet Your Way to a Better Job: Mind Your Profile!

Don’t have a job? Want a better job?  Twitter can help!!!

First and foremost, you need to have a profile that catches an eye and stimulates the brain.

You want people who look at your Twitter profile go “wow, this is good”. You want them to find your profile interesting, creative, and original, because better believe it – they will judge you on the basis of that. The recruiters and HR personnel can always use people who are interesting, creative, and original; however, if your profile screams boring, lazy, rude or dumb, you can be sure that not only you will not land a new job, you may even lose the one you do have. In other words, if you are putting yourself out in the open – and by having a public Twitter account you are doing exactly that – then tweet as if the boss (your current one or a potential one) was reading.

So if you are on the lookout for a new job, take a good look at your profile and ask yourself:

 Is your username “hireable”? If your username is “Sexy_Foxy”, “Lazy_Joe” or worse (you get the picture), go to: http://twitter.com/settings/account and change it right away to something that is easy to remember, yet tells who you are. If you are expert in medical field, be a “Medicine_Joe”; if you a travel expert, be a “travelwiz_Joe”. Anyway, you get my point.

Is it visually appealing? A plain background and no profile picture are a no-no. It reflects minimum effort, some may say laziness, no orientation to detail, messiness, whatever you call it – it is a big turn-off. If you are using a template for background that Twitter offers, dump it. You want to use your profile to show your uniqueness and point out why they should hire you and not anyone else. You want to show that you are willing to go the extra mile, that you are detail-oriented and that you are creative. 1-click on Twitter to change the background won’t cut it. The best way to “wow” people is to make Photoshop your best friend. There are many free customizable templates you can play with. Here are the sites you may want to look at: http://bit.ly/a9ArsX or http://bit.ly/d30Aax   or simply google “Custom Twitter backgrounds” and play around. If you are not too good with Photoshop or want a quick and easier solution, go to sites like http://www.freetwitterdesigner.com  where you can personalize already designed Twitter background.

One last point, the profile picture should be your best you. Not your car or cat, not you with your best friend or logo of your favorite beer. Connect the name with the face, so upload the best picture of your face you can find.  When you get compliments on the design of your Twitter profile, you know you have done a good job. Until then, don’t rest and keep working until you do (btw. your friends and family don’t count).  

Did you fill out all the information? Make sure your profile is complete. If you have a website or a blog, make sure you list it on your profile. You wouldn’t believe how many people overlook this, so go to: http://twitter.com/settings/profile and check if you are not one of them (btw. I have to thank @Twitter_Tips for bringing it to my attention :D)

Is the bio catchy?  Get a good use of the bio – it is a very powerful tool. Emphasize the qualities that employers are often after in your field that you have but many people don’t. Emphasize what makes you unique. Think like an employer. What would persuade you, as an employer, to hire you over the others? Be refreshing and focus on what you are bringing to the table for them & your followers.

Is the content clean? Very, very important point!! THINK BEFORE YOU TWEETThink as if your boss was reading, because he/she may!! If the potential employer scans your tweets, is he/she going to find grammar mistakes or profanities? If you are not sure, then better start discovering the “delete tweet button”. Also, keep in mind that your tweets show up on the top of the search engines, so anytime someone googles your name, your tweets show up. Oh and do yourself a favor and avoid discussing touchy topics like politics and such.

Does the content show your expertise? Do your tweets show that you know what you are talking about? Tweet interesting content from your area of interest and join a discussion with other like-minded tweeties to demonstrate your knowledge and show your value.

Last but not least a crucial question… Think hard. If you were the employer and saw your profile, would you hire yourself?

To sum this up, you want to stand out, but IN A GOOD WAY. This applies to the content and the visuals as well.  You want your profile to reflect who you are, but be professional at the same time.

Good luck tweeties and if you need help, hit me up!

Yours XOXO Lucie

www.linkedin.com/in/luciehys 

www.twitter.com/onlinefantastic

www.facebook.com/travelfantastic

The new name for happiness is Twitter!!!

Twitter makes me happy – it really does. It brings joy into my life every day and I especially appreciate its uplifting power during the rare occasions when I feel “lower than usual” (why to use the negative words like down ;-).  So stay tuned and tune yourself to happiness by using these tips on how Twitter can make you happy!

Create an energetic bio that will let your positive personality shine through!  With positive bio, you will almost feel obligated to stay positive. You will almost feel guilty to send out negative tweets, because your followers expect you to be positive! Trust me – I have it verified by experience :-) So check your bio and make it as positive as possible.

Find and follow people who are positive, inspiring and funny. The moods tend to be contagious and it works the same way in the virtual world too! So having optimistic and cheerful  tweeps in your stream can quickly make you optimistic and cheerful! How to find such people? The easiest way is to go to the Twitter directories like Listorious, WeFollow, Twellow etc. and look through the related categories (i.e. comedians, inspiration, funny people, comedy etc.).

Create your Happy list!  Put all the people who you find entertaining, inspiring and uplifting into one place – create a Happy list on Twitter! Then when you feel like you need some cheering up, it is easy for you to go through the tweets that can get you back in the right mood!  

Quotes work magic!  I love posting uplifting quotes and seeing them in my stream. The wise words often help us remember what really matters;  they make you think and reevaluate what you are going through, making you ultimately more at peace. Therefore, it is a good habit to tweet quotes about happiness and positive attitude as well as follow people who tweet inspiring quotes (there are many great tweeps who specialize in quotes, my favorite being @livetorque  and @lorimoreno to name a few).

Search for relevant hashtags ( #funny, #inspiring, #hilarious, #quote, #jokes and such)!  It is plain and simple – you can find great tweets by typing the relevant hashtag in Twitter search box. This will pull up many recent tweets that may amuse you and you can also find great tweeps to follow this way.

Engage in conversation!  Talking to your Twitter friends about why you are not in the mood will make you feel better. This applies to real life but it works in the virtual world as well! There are so many sweet  tweeps on Twitter who are encouraging and happy to help, so don’t be afraid to reach out to them!

Cheer someone else up!  If you don’t believe me, believe Mark Twain: “The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” There are many people on Twitter who could use some encouragement and support, so trying to help them out will in turn make you feel better too!

Twitter can help you be and stay happy. Give it a try! Next time you feel blue, remember my words and the blue bird called Twitter!  

If you need some more positive energy, connect with me!

Yours XOXO

Lucie

www.linkedin.com/in/luciehys

www.twitter.com/onlinefantastic

www.facebook.com/travelfantastic

Why to follow others on Twitter!

This is a common issue I see on Twitter – people DON’T WANT TO FOLLOW ANYONE BUT THEY WANT TO BE FOLLOWED. All those tweeple who are desperately trying to keep their “following” count as low as possible while increasing “followers” count inspired me to write this post, because they don’t realize several things that I think they should understand, which are THE BENEFITS OF FOLLOWING OTHERS.

When I entered the Twitter playground many Fridays ago, I was just like that – I naturally wanted people to follow me, but I rarely had desire to hit the “follow” button. I mostly worried about not being able to keep up with tweets of people that I didn’t want to miss, but I guess I also didn’t see the point of following others. Simply put, I didn’t understand.

So, if you (like I once did) identify with the statement: “I don’t get why I should follow others”, then I will explain to you why… And if you will listen and learn from it, then I guarantee you that you will be more Twit-successful and love Twitter more than ever!

FOLLOW OTHERS….

To let other people know you exist!  Twitterverse has millions of citizens, so unless you are the royalty here (like @justinbieber or @aplusk), nobody knows you live there. So how do you expect people to find you if they don’t know that you exist?  Exactly! Let people know who you are, why you are on Twitter and mostly where to find you. By following other people, you let them know that you exist, so that they can find you with one click. Plain and simple – that is how people like it. Yes, there will be people who will find you through Twitter directories (if you entered yourself into any like twibes, wefollow or twellow: btw. strongly encourage you to do that now!) and lists and other sources, but this requires digging and most people will not dig. Therefore, lesson #1 that all average Twitter Joes should burry in their minds forever is: in order to be followed, you need to follow.

I am not telling you to go out there and follow every “white-teeth-promiser”; I am telling you to find people in your area of interest (work, hobby etc.) and follow those who you think could teach you something and/or may find you worth following.

To become expert in your field!  When you follow more people from your area of interest, you get many more points-of-view and up-to-date news to keep you in the loop. Every tweetie brings his/her own spin to the game – different people tweet about different things and they have different approaches. So with more bright people in your sight, you can learn more than with just a few. (Tip: If you have trouble keeping up, start using lists to keep organized.)  

To expand your network!  If you follow more people, all of the sudden more people’s lives are visible to you. You learn about people who live in the same city, like the same things, work for your dream company, are looking for people with your skills… Following the right people can open the door to the possibilities you would not even hear about otherwise.  

There are so many interesting people on Twitter that you can learn from, who can help you achieve your goals and dreams, who are caring and just a great friends who you could hardly find in the real life. However, like in real life, it takes some action; you cannot sit around waiting for the things to happen on its own. You need to help your luck a little! So take the time to find the people who you find interesting and inspiring and extend your hand (don’t be afraid to push that follow button, retweet, and talk to them).

Once you do, you will know exactly what I was talking about, and mostly, you will find the capabilities of Twitter you have never even thought of.  All in all, you will love Twitter more than ever!

Twitter Heavy Hitters Under Microscope

I am sure that when most of us started playing with Twitter, we all followed the same pattern of thinking. Oh, lets follow @ijustine, @adventuregirl and all those other famous tweeple everybody is talking about and everybody is following. You are thinking that when you follow them, retweet them continuously, strike the conversation for the 100th time without a response, you will perhaps one day get some sign of gratitude or at least respect. Oh, boy, I am laughing at myself for ever thinking that way.

So, the first thing to realize here (if you have not yet) is that to them you really do not matter. In fact, they couldn’t care less for an average Joe with few hundred or thousands of followers. So if you are still secretly praying that they will retweet you or tag you, I strongly recommend wasting your time on other, more realistic things ;)  The celebs of Twitterverse hardly ever interact with others – to be clearer, they rarely follow back, retweet or respond. They are masters of self-promotion, so self is pretty much what is Twitterverse about to them

Worse, their tweeting pretty much defies all the “Good Twitter Citizen rules” like adding value or not tweeting about what you had for lunch. From time to time I get lost and start scanning their tweets and I just can’t help myself but wonder how did these people get so many followers (besides the famous real-life actors and such, which is pretty much self-explanatory)!  To better explain, scan with me @ijustine ‘s profile… “Agh.. I’ve had a headache since yesterday… Go away!!!! Maybe I need some candy.” Really, bringing value, socializing, being a good Twitter citizen? Yeah, right!

So here I get to the climax of my blog post and I finally get to ask a question that I have been dying to find an answer to: how heavy hitters like @adventuregirl or @ijustine with “breakfast, lunch, dinner” kind of tweets got more than 1 million followers??? 

To sum this up, I only follow the heavy hitters who I can’t imagine Twitter without (which is very few, but yeah, @mashable is one of them because of his social media fortune-telling skills 8-))

Seriously, don’t waste your time and energy on hypnotizing heavy hitters and expecting anything back – it is simply not happening. 

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