What is Microblogging?

Michael asked:

What is microblogging and is it important? Is this something I should be doing for my new small business?

Microblogging, quite simply, are short posts made on mediums such as Twitter and even Reddit. Instead of writing a full-on blog post, as I’m doing here, you’re posting a sentence or two to sum something up that you need to say – often including a link for more information. Many people also classify forum posts in this category, but I don’t.

Is microblogging important to your small business? Likely. Having a presence on Twitter, Pinterest and even Reddit (depending on your intended audience) can be crucial to your success. You’ll need to (obviously) know your target audience, know what they’re looking for and then talk to them. Don’t ever just throw out links or messages you think will go viral. Your customers don’t care about that crap. They want you to talk to them – interact with them – ask them questions and give them answers. They want to know you’re THERE… accessible to their needs. This builds brand loyalty and word-of-mouth (by consumers who trust you and your product or service) is invaluable.

How many different microblogging sites do all of YOU belong to, and how do you use them?

What is Microblogging?

How Important is Social Media to a Business?

HyderPotter asked:

Should social media be at the top of the list for companies who sell things?

I don’t know about “top of the list” for any type of company. But… social media definitely needs to be a priority.

Companies obviously need a great product or service and amazing customer service. Those things have to be the main focus. Once they’re in place, you have to buckle down on marketing. Any good marketing plan these days involve social media.

Don’t do what too many businesses do: throw links at your customers. Yes, they want to see products and sales. They want to know what you’re up to. But more than that, they want you to TALK TO THEM. Seriously. Interact with your customers and it will build into an actual community based around your business. Don’t talk AT them… talk WITH them. Answer questions. Pose questions. Share a funny story or video. Interact with fun comments. Like things they’ve said and ReTweet when you can. Don’t just paste a bunch of crap and then ignore the streams until the next day.

Don’t panic over Facebook’s algorithms, either. You’ll never get it right. It’s hard work. Just focus on the things I mentioned, and your social presence will grow.

What about everyone else? What tips do you have?

How Important is Social Media to a Business?

What Should You Look for in a Web Host?

Matthew asked:

What are some good features to look for when selecting a new web hosting service?

There are a lot of different things that people find important. Some only care about cost. Others feel that uptime is crucial. There are a few things that you should look at, though:

  • Uptime – Does the company have sites that crash often? Also, how quickly do they resolve issues?
  • Addons – Many companies offer freebies when you “subscribe” to a hosting plan. What are these addons? Are they even useful to you?
  • Customer Service – Do your questions regarding pricing get answered quickly? How good are the reps at finding the answers you need – no matter the question? Do they answer professionally, or do they treat people rudely?
  • Technical Service – Even more importantly, do issues get fixed quickly and properly – even little things? Are issues explained to you? Are glitches brought to your attention?

I’m sure I’m missing several points to consider. This is where all of you come in: what do you look for when choosing a web host?

Photo credit to Funny Pics

What Do You Look for in a Web Host?

How Do You Manage Your Time?

WickedZen asked:

I am a full time student, and aspiring writer, with a family. For some time now I have used Sunbird to keep track of my schedule, specifically my tasks (assignments, tests, projects, etc) as a student. I review and update this schedule dozens of times during a day. Recently my main laptop died, cause unknown and is on its way to be checked out. I had to switch to using my old, backup laptop. I was able to pull out my hard drive and get the data, including my schedule, onto my backup. If I had been unable to do so, I would have been in serious trouble rebuilding my schedule and keeping up with everything.

Any suggestions for task/schedule management software that I can sync between different computer(s) and a tablet, as well as online but with an offline feature if I ever cant access online?

Honestly? Google’s calendar may be your best option. Once you fill out your calendar, you can easily sync it to a number of different places, including to your computer. Having this easily available via your phone or other mobile device is great – along with the fact that you can have it open right on your desktop while working and set it to give you reminder notifications.

I do know some people that use their phone’s built-in task reminder/scheduler to handle things such as appointments for them, as well.

What about everyone out there? What would you suggest? What are you using to keep track of everything in your busy life?

How Do You Manage Your Time?

What Does It Mean to Be Sponsored?

SolidSafety asked:

What does being sponsored mean? I know that it can help you but don’t know how and what it does. I know that a lot of people are being sponsored on YouTube or their websites. What’s this all about?

Being sponsored means that a company believes in you and what you’re doing and wants to help. In some cases, it just means that you have something a company wants: lots of exposure.

Company X may have a product that best fits the audience you have on YouTube and your website(s). You have a fairly good-sized following, so they approach you and offer to sponsor you in exchange for promotion – a video, a link in an article or even a social media status. The benefit you receive could be money or product(s) – it depends on the company and your needs.

Company Y may see that you’re hosting a meetup or conference in the near future. The person there may completely believe in the message you’re trying to bring to your audience, and so the company decides to be a partner – they give money to the event in exchange for branding of some type during it. The company wants to be associated with whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish in this case.

What other questions do you have about sponsorship? If you feel you have a great audience, a new perspective or something unique to say, don’t hesitate to reach out to companies to inquire about potential sponsorships!

What Does it Mean to be Sponsored?