Thursday, September 17, 2015

Four Twitter Tips you need to know.

When I first joined Twitter I was utterly clueless. Being a dude, I didn't bother reading any instructions, I just stumbled around, enthralled with figuring out the how whole thing worked.

After a few weeks, I remembered, oh yeah. I have a book (Alphabet Success) that I'm trying to sell. Only then did I start to consider these four points, and it was some time later that I actually put them in place. Even now, I make changes as I see what is, and isn't, working.

If I'd been a bit more deliberate from the start, I'd have covered much more territory, much faster. So, here's four things I wished I had done when I started on Twitter.

1. Have clarity of purpose, and use that to define your approach. 

I wanted to sell my book, but I didn't translate that into my approach. Instead I was like a guy walking around New York City with a handful of books and shouting at people that went by.

Not very targeted. I also didn't spend enough time establishing any kind of expertise, didn't really follow people who were in my "space" initially. In short, I did nearly everything wrong. The good news? It can be fixed. Your purpose should define who you follow, and what you tweet.

If you're a cooking expert looking to gain recognition, you probably don't need to be tweeting sport quotes all day. While you need to put a bit of yourself out there, it's good to have a dominant theme for people to recognize. As an example. You're a cooking expert. So tweet some nice looking dishes with links to recipes used to create them. Tweet quotes from famous chefs.

You could also share helpful kitchen tips you've learned over the years. Follow other people who have similar interests, and retweet their content when you think it would be helpful to your audience. It's not super complicated, but focus matters.

2. Brand Yourself! 

There has been plenty written about the idea of personal branding. With good reason, if you're going to have a chance to stand out online, you need to sell your brand. That needs to be very recognizable.

My absolutely biggest tip? Be narrow. Very narrow. You're an expert in management of assisted living facilities in Florida. Something like that. It's much easier to have focused content, and establish a reputation in a narrow area.

When I started, my profile was a hodge podge of things. It wasn't especially clear who I was or what I did. Because I made the mistake that so many people do. I wanted to appeal to a broad audience. So in the end, I appealed to no one.

Now my profile is very clear. I'm the CEO of - and there are commonly searched hashtags as well as a link to our home page.

This lets people figure out quite a lot without ever asking me a single question. That's what you want. No ambiguity.

PS - after proofreading this, I added #SMM (Social Media Marketing) to my profile. Refinement is forever.

3. Let your content follow your focus.

If you're serious about Twitter, you'll find that you need to have longer content to support it. Sure people love an account with great shareable content. But some of it you want to direct people to your own blog, YouTube channel, or where it is you consider "home base".

That content should have a relationship to your stated focus on Twitter. Then the people who followed you on to Twitter, will in turn follow you to your blog, which will mean they'll get to know you better. You'll deepen the relationship.

Take this blog for instance. It's tips for users of Twitter. Not Facebook, Not Pinterest. For the moment, we're 100% Twitter, since that's what does. It makes it easier for me to write, and easy for people to recommend. since there is one overall topic.

It's a part of my strategy, and I stay focused on the same topic between the two places. It's not the only thing I discuss, but it's the one place I consistently go deep.

In addition, I ask people to sign up for our mailing list when they show up to read here (you likely noticed). Not so I can bludgeon them with spam, but so if I have something I think they'll find valuable I can share it with them. It's a way to stay in touch and build a relationship.

4. Post consistently and frequently.

When I first arrived on Twitter I shared when I had time. That made for slow progress. I wasn't tweeting much, and so it was very much hit or miss for me. Things progressed slowly.

People have to be able to notice you on Twitter to begin to care. So you need to make some NOISE!

Then I learned about scheduling, and so I used a tool that allowed me to schedule in advance. This was a substantial improvement. I was able to be much more consistent and post more content. The following grew a bit more steadily.

Since this was working pretty well, I would upload a couple hundred tweets at a time in order to keep the information flowing. Now we were getting somewhere. But volume was picking up, and now there were more and more people to reply to and thank.

Finally, I was bogged down trying to keep track of my different content databases, and when they had last been tweeted. Plus thanking people for mentioning or retweeting me was getting out of hand. It took ages to figure out.

Then I launched what was the beginning of Back then it didn't have a name, it was just my own personal toy. But I sure did see an uptick in activity. I highly recommend you try it. It's a free tool and it'll save you time while getting you results.
Why? Because I was able to consistently post to Twitter. If you showed up, it was only a matter of minutes before you ran into something I tweeted. That captured attention and helped me grow in ways I couldn't have imagined beforehand.

Don't do things the hard way. Take the time to do these things now, so you'll get momentum quicker.

Having some engagement makes Twitter a lot more interesting. I hope these four tips will help you get the results you are looking for.

If you have further questions, please contact me at

Friday, September 11, 2015

Seven steps to massively build your following on Twitter.

Have you ever planned a party? The kind that gets talked about for years?

The tactic for getting followers fast is kind of similar.

If you invite people to a party who are quiet and come on their own, it's not going to be much of an event. There's nothing wrong with those sorts of people. But they aren't the catalyst that makes for an epic event.

You want the kind of people that bring twenty other people with them, and are sharing details about the address on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They're noisy, and they make things happen.

To find people like that I followed people who retweeted other people's content that was similar to my own. You don't just want followers. You want evangelists. 

Honestly, in the early days I was pretty obnoxious about it. I followed people like a certifiable nut case. I was on a mission. But if you want it to work, you've got to work it.

I'm going to give you exactly what worked for me. Please take note:

1) Follow people who recently retweeted something. We're talking about within fifteen to twenty minutes. They're likely still online and will follow you back. Sound a little OCD? Maybe, but it works.

2) Pay attention to what they retweeted. If you'd never tweet something like that? Don't waste your time and your valuable follows. You want the maximum effect.

3) Don't be an impatient goofball. Give people AT LEAST three days to reciprocate. And don't let me find out that you later unfollow your followers. Completely uncool. Loyalty matters.

4) Occasionally, someone will get upset. If you want to grow a following you are probably going to annoy a few people. They'll ask something like  "Why are you following me?" My response was always, "Because you retweeted a quote I liked. I thought we might have common interests." Beyond that, don't waste a lot of time with it. There's too many great people to focus on the party poopers.

5. Be generous. Retweet other people that you follow. Show that you're happy to be helpful. That is an amazingly powerful way to make lasting friends and build a following.

6. Post enough content for people to retweet. That's how I ended up starting I wanted to have quotes going out around the clock. That gives people a chance to notice you. Check it out. It sure has worked for me.

7. Interact with people. It's called social media for a reason. So be social! The people you have followed will comment on a post, or ask a question. Take the time to respond.

Bonus Tip:  Have fun. It shows when people are upbeat on Twitter. Grumpiness isn't especially attractive. Smile. Enjoy it. There are tons of cool people on Twitter.

Oh yeah! Please share this article!

That's it folks. Here's to rapid growth.

Please let me know how it works out for you.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Why Tweet Quotes?

If you're wondering why so many people tweet quotes, it's because they are a shorthand way to tell people a little about ourselves. The quotes we select say something about us, and how we view the world.

A second, and equally important reason, is that they are super easy to share. Everything the person needs to know in order to make the decision to retweet your quote is right there in front of them.

If you tweet blog posts, people tend to stop short. If you haven't read the post, and don't know it's quality, you may not want to risk sharing something that could be embarrassing or at a minimum, simply not interesting.

Thus, quotes make a great way to create a shorthand connection with your audience. Pick them carefully and take the time to create some graphics using or Good graphics generate more engagement.

You can also download jukeboxes of picture quotes for free from, my automated tweeting site. Check it out.

Happy Tweeting!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Eggs are for omelets.

This is a very basic tip, but it gets overlooked by new people and then they wonder why their engagement on Twitter is so poor.

Don't be an egg. Get rid of that basic profile image.

Too shy? Well, post a pic of your cat, or your dog. Use someone else's cat or dog. Maybe a bird?

You're honestly best served by putting your own photo up. People like to see other people.

You'll get more engagement, and find the experience of Twitter to be much more rewarding.

All by getting rid of that silly egg.

Just go to "Edit Profile" as shown below, and follow the instructions.

It's very simple and very effective.

Try it out, and let me know how it goes.

Happy Tweeting!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Flash Tip! - Getting Your Photos Right in Twitter

Hi there,

Social media sure has a bunch of different rules and standards. Throw in a few opinions and it really gets confusing.

But one thing is absolutely certain. If you're going to post photos on Twitter, formatting them at the right size can spell the difference between getting engagement, and getting ignored.

Twitter prefers images that are 1024x512.

It will accept other photos too. But there is a problem with using the wrong size.

Often part of your image will be obscured depending on how the image is automatically cropped (resized) by Twitter.

Using the wrong image size can have some less than pleasing results, like this:

The problem is that the quote is obscured from the vision of the reader. To expect people to click on your image to decide if they like it? That's a long shot.

Plus the "tweeter" didn't include anything in the text section either. In my view, a completely wasted effort.

Since you're spending time creating the image anyhow, why not format it to the proper size and get the desired effect?

Look at the difference below:

The image conveys its entire message with no user input. They have one decision: share or not?

Sizing your photo properly isn't a guarantee of sharing. But doing it wrong pretty much guarantees it won't be.

Stack the odds in your favor. When creating your Twitter images, use the 1024x512 size.

Good luck.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Seven Rules of Social Media and why wet floors are always dangerous...

Along the way to getting over 212K Twitter followers and over 9k connections on LinkedIn, there have inevitably been questions like "How did you do it?" 

Well, in the interest of answering that question, en masse, here are seven rules to building a large audience.

Rule One - Follow your followers! 

Accept all those who reach out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc.

No matter how important you are, you're not more important than others. 

There's some perception that by having a big following and just a few that you follow, you've become a social media badass. I'd say it's more like jackass. Get over yourself. Follow people back. 

Rule Two - The "best time to post" is anytime a potential client is online.  

Yes, there are statistics that support that at certain times you'll get more engagement.

Yes, you should use that data, but don't become a slave to it.  

Remember: clients aren't statistics, social media isn't a Super Bowl ad, and it's harder to catch fish when everyone is on the lake.

If you get a client out of a tweet or an update, it's a win. Maybe your new client had insomnia, maybe they were on Twitter while on business on a different time zone. Who cares. Be willing to spread out your updates, and catch clients when and where they are.

The cost of an update is close to zero. So if you post one at the "wrong" time, it's not like you wasted a lot of money. Be willing to keep content flowing out. Some people will warn you that it's too much. For the record, I post over 100 tweets a day, and usually multiple updates on all platforms daily. My followings continue to grow rapidly.

When it's the best time for you to update is probably pretty darn close to the same time for the other people in your market. This means your update is vying for attention with many other people's updates. You may have a better chance of getting attention when others are more quiet. 

Rule Three - Don't Compare Yourself to Others

It's lovely to have a bunch of followers, especially if they are engaged in what you are doing. 

But it doesn't happen overnight. It takes patience, and effort. You need to provide something that people find it worthwhile tuning into. 

Nothing makes the journey less pleasurable than spending a bunch of time comparing yourself to other people. And, in many ways, nothing is more pointless.

There are people on Twitter, like James Altucher that have a lot less followers than me, but kill me in terms of actual, actionable influence. So, the numbers aren't the only story.

Have a solid message, be consistent, focus on quality and the rest will happen over time. The quality of your connections are much more important than the quantity.

Rule Four - Don't use hashtags unless they're relevant.

#Some #people #seem to #think that #more #hashtags are #better. 

Wrong! They're hard to read, and if they're not likely to be searched upon, they're a waste of time. 

My one exception to the rule is when I use them as a kind of "context" indicator. Like #kidding or one of my Twitter favorites #FunAlarm. But in that case, they're always at the end anyhow, and only used in special circumstances. 

Hashtags are a tool. Use them as one. But crowding your updates with them is pointless.

Rule Five - Don't Engage with Trolls

If you spend any amount of time on social media, you're going to encounter a troll. 

Someone who is sufficiently miserable to want to share it with the world. 

No matter how pointed or personal the attack, let it go. They don't hate you. They hate themselves.

"That tweet makes no sense", "What a stupid update". "You're a fraud". I've heard so many that I've lost count. 

They sometimes seem like they are talking to you, but usually not. They just want attention, to engage their anger with someone. 

There is no upside to engaging. You're not going to change them, and getting into an online debate is rarely pretty. 

Let it go. You'll save lot's of time and aggravation.  Devote that to pleasant people. 

Rule Six - If the content isn't yours, show where you got it. 

This one makes me kind of crazy. People so often seem to think: "If I pass this as mine, I'll be a star". Well, not really.

If people notice it, you seem like a complete goofball. Really. It's a big world out there, but not as big as some might think. Many people recognize other people's content. 

More importantly, being someone who gives attribution makes you much more likely to get engagement from the people whose content you share. That's the whole reason to do social, and the way you build alliances with people. 

Share your sources and you'll make progress much faster than people who pretend they found everything on their own.

Rule Seven - Have fun. Be yourself. This isn't brain surgery. 

There are elements of social media which warrant thoughtfulness and caution. Because once you put something out, it's not so easy to get it back.

But please, please, please remember, try to have some fun. Be yourself. You are different from anyone else in the world. The more you hide that fact, the less you seem different from others, which is makes it harder for people to decide to engage with you.

Don't just show your brag photos. Show some goofy photos as well.  Like the one above illustrating why wet floors are always dangerous.

We actually took "Earnie the Eagle" on a road trip as a gag. Important stuff.

What you think is funny may not always resonate with people. You may think that a rubber chicken being referred to as an eagle is dumb. But some people will laugh, and it shows a side of me that's not so serious, and maybe a little at odds with being a "business guy". 

Whatever it is that works for you, it'll make being on social media more enjoyable. No matter what happens, having fun is always a good thing.

In Summary:

These seven rules aren't the only ones but they will help you build a following. You'll need to post great content, engage with your audience, and a bunch of other things. But these seven are important elements. Plus, you now have a better appreciation for the danger of wet floors. Use that information wisely. 

One more Rule: 

If you want to get the most from your social media efforts, I highly recommend free Twitter tool -  it automates your posts and gives you access to top flight content. It was designed by me for my own use, but is now available to the public. Did I mention that it's free? Sign up today. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Five affordable social media tools to save you time, and money!

Looking back over the last couple of years, one thing I wish I'd read about earlier in my time on social media was a good article about affordable tools to help me be more productive.

So, let me save you a couple of years. Here's the post I wish I'd have read back then.

The following tools are used by me daily. They're my social media bread and butter.

These tools help me run my account @alphabetsuccess and it's over 200,000 followers. As well as helping me keep my Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts in top form.

Tweet Jukebox:

No surprise here. As the founder of the company, I developed it for my use, so I naturally find it handy. But I'm pretty sure, you'll have the same experience.

By allowing you to put your content into jukeboxes that post at regular frequencies, you save a ton of time posting on Twitter. It allows you to recycle content, as you'll find most of your followers haven't seen it before.

In addition, Tweet Jukebox has a store where you can plug into the content of Influencers as well as our staff. This also saves a huge amount of time. If you're a content creator or curator, it's a tremendous opportunity to get your thoughts in front of a much larger audience.

The program can also, at your option, automatically send thank you tweets to the top 50 people who interacted with you over the past week. A massively popular way to recognize the folks who take the time to notice your tweets!

The program is free, and a paid version will be arriving in the fall for $9.99 per month.

You can find us at


If you've spent much time on social media at all, you'll know the importance of images in getting a message across. Images get far more engagement than mere text. If, for instance, you want people to read your blog post, an enticing image which ties to the post is substantially more effective than even a catchy text reference to the blog. 

That's where Canva comes in. They have a wide range of image building tools that you can use for free. Best of all, you don't need to be a graphics artist to use the product. They've done most of the heavy lifting through good software design and existing templates.

The best way to learn the product is to use it. You won't have to worry about the price as there are a wide range of functions available for free. Try it out at


This is a super handy tool that is, interestingly enough, not that well known. It stands for "If This Then That". As the name implies, it allows you to create rules for automatically posting to a social network. And for the less ambitious there are a ton of already created formulas you can use to help in your social media efforts

For example, I use it for posting Instagram photos as a natural photo on Twitter. This is a nice way to share content in a way that  people enjoy more than having to click on your Instagram link.

There are a ton of other ways to use it, plus you can create many of your own. It's FREE, and simple. Why not give it a try. You'll find it at


If you have any volume of followers at all on Twitter or Instagram, trying to keep up with who is following and unfollowing can become a bit of a nightmare. CrowdFire helps take care of that.

This app is a part of every day for me. I follow back people who followed me, and I unfollow the folks who vanished.

I personally preferred their old interface, but the new one is OK, and you can still access the old one, for now anyhow.

This program in a fairly powerful version costs $9.99 per month. It's been worth every dime for me. There is a free version, but frankly it is rather limited.

See for yourself at


Some folks can manage Instagram from their mobile phone. Now that I have over 5,000 followers on that platform it gets hard to keep up with everything. Thankfully, Iconosquare allows me to manage my account from a desktop (Instagram's desktop is beyond weak)

Another program that gets me through the trenches. Iconosquare is very valuable in helping keep one of the most powerful platforms in social media moving forward.

Iconosquare is free, and that's something most folks will find especially attractive.

Have a look at

Not Breaking the Budget:

There you have it. Even at the upper end of the potential spending on these five, you'd be under $20 per month and have some extremely powerful social media technology at your fingertips.

Many other tools exist, but these are the five that I used en route to 200,000 followers and a Klout score of 85. Not a bad run for less than twenty four months on social media.

If you have any questions, you can contact me at

Thursday, May 21, 2015

An app launched by laziness.

In the winter of 2013, I was in my Cape Town apartment struggling to keep tweeting, pulling together more tweets into spreadsheets and loading them into a very popular social media tool. 

A thought came into my head. Something like: "This sucks!"

While I loved Twitter then, and still do today, the need to constantly schedule more content was a serious time sink. 

Not to mention a task completely devoid of value. There is nothing about scheduling a tweet that does anything for your followers. They don't care how much time it takes you to do it.

They do care about the quality of the tweets. Something you have decidedly less time to focus on when you're always feeding the tweet stream.

Scheduling also takes away from time interacting with people, which is pretty much the core of social media. If your communication is one way, you're missing the point. 

So I asked myself; What if you could create a database of evergreen content and automate the scheduling piece? My guess was yes. So I contacted an old friend of mine, Leonard Sixt in the USA. We're worked together off and I since he was my boss when I graduated university and we were selling custom software.

After a brief discussion, he agreed to build something to help me with this problem. At the time, I hadn't given much thought to whether anyone else might need something similar. My thoughts were occupied with trying to market my book, Alphabet Success, to the world.

As time passed the program got more and more refined. In turn, the cost of development kept going up and up. My toy was getting expensive. We'd never have thought much more about it until finally people started asking what I was using the keep the tweets flowing.

So in February of 2015 we quietly pushed the system out into the marketplace. As luck would have it, the response has been delightfully positive. Maybe not everyone loves it, but there are enough people signing up that it actually seems like it will be a business.

Of course, there are no guarantees, so we'll keep trying to make it better and more appealing to our customers, both current and prospective. 

If you haven't already, please check it out at - and then get yourself a hammock. 

Have an awesome day!