Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How to Attract More Followers?

You Are Finally on Twitter.Now What?

1. Get listed How is it that some people have two million followers, and you have only two? Well, they are probably famous (sorry) and wound up on Twitter's "suggested user" list. The list encourages new users to follow the likes of Ashton Kutcher (3.9 million followers) and JetBlue (1.4 million). Faced with charges of favoritism, Twitter now allows anyone to create a list -- say, business owners in Cleveland -- which makes it easier for the hoi polloi to get noticed.

2. Follow others Don't underestimate the power of vanity. When you follow people, they get an e-mail alert with a link to your Twitter page. Some, pleased with this development, will follow you back. But use caution: If you follow too many people, you will look like a self-promoter, and they will be less likely to reciprocate.

3. Talk to people Twitter replies are public, which means that when you engage others in conversation, people will see you for the thought-provoking person you are. How to do this gracefully? Look for users with common interests and then send them a message. And if someone tries to talk to you, talk back.

4. Retweet Can't figure out what to say? The lazy approach is to simply repeat -- rather, retweet -- interesting messages. Find one, copy the message, and send it to your followers with a reference to the original author. (Do this by typing RT and then the @ symbol followed directly by the person's username.) The author will often pay you back with a reply. And your retweet might just get retweeted -- which is confusing, but good.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How to Use Facebook and Twitter Without the Internet in SANDY

As Hurricane Sandy makes its way up the Eastern Seaboard, many are without electricity. Without power you could lose your access to Internet via Wi-Fi and, potentially, access to mobile networks. If that happens, how can you still post on Facebook and Twitter to let your friends and family know that everything is fine? Or ask for help?
You can use good-old text messages.
To tweet, first you need to enable your mobile phone on, so do it now while you can. Go to your Twitter homepage, then to “Settings” and then “Mobile.” Insert your cellphone number under “Activate Twitter text messaging,” and then you’ll have to text “GO” to the number 40404.
Once you’ve done that, you should receive a text message telling you that your phone is now activated. You should also see new settings on the webpage that allow you to enable or disable text notifications.
Now, to tweet, just write a text and send it to 40404.
To find out more about how to use other Twitter functionalities without an Internet connection, check Twitter’sofficial guide.
If you’re more of a Facebook fan, worry not. You can update your status via SMS as well and the social network also gives you the ability to subscribe to your friends’ updates and even use Facebook chat. Again, to access these functionalities, you first need to link your mobile phone to your Facebook account.
Log into and go to your “Account Settings,” which you can find under the arrow next to your name on the top bar. Then go to “Mobile,” introduce your number and click on “Activate Text Messaging.” You’ll have to select your country and your carrier. Once you’ve done that, follow the instructions on the screen and text the letter “F” to the number 32665.
Finally, you will receive a confirmation number on your phone. Insert that number on the page. You should then receive a text message that will confirm that your phone is activated.
Now, to update your status, you simply have to write it in a text and send it to 32665.

Monday, October 29, 2012

For Startups, Timing Trends Really Does Matter - Except When It Doesn't

Now is the best time in history to start your own business. But depending on what kind of company you’re building, you have to figure out if your idea is poised to capture a trend - or doomed to miss one and face a much tougher road to success.
To learn about the impact of properly timing a trend - or of missing one - we asked 8 successful young entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) for their experiences. And we also got their advice on how to perfectly time your business:

1. Missed Opportunities Open New Doors

It was 2011 when we started building a platform for social media. By then, Buddy Media had already raised over $90 million, Wildfire announced that they had over 10,000 customers, and companies like Vitrue and Involver were the industry titans. Some potential investors told us we were late to the party. However, in hindsight, and especially in light of all of the recent acquisitions of the aforementioned, I believe we had a core advantage to really plug into the “second wave” of social, which has the potential to be even more disruptive than the first. We were able to speak to people who were already using a social media platform and figure out what needs still weren’t being met. By staying small and nimble, we were able to quickly adapt to the rapidly changing landscape of social media. Abby RossBlueye Creative

2. Revisit Past Failures

There’s no lack of ideas that were “before their time.” Many business models that failed in the early 2000s are now incredibly successful because now, the timing is right, the technology is here, and it’s easier than ever before to achieve scale. As an example, my company SitePoint tried selling eBooks back in 2000 and no one bought into it. It was a complete and utter disaster and forced us to print and ship physical books – which sold like hot cakes. The reason is simple, people were still getting used to the idea of shopping online, and paying for digital goods was still a foreign concept to many. Fast forward a few years, with the iTunes revolution, Kindle and iPad, and all of a sudden, eBook sales are trending sharply upward every year. Matt MickiewiczFlippa and 99designs

3. Some Ideas Transcend Timing & Trends

Timing is everything – if your idea is reliant on time. If you want to create a flash valuation or raise a certain amount of money quickly, then it’s of utmost importance. And it’s important for tech in general. But I believe that there are other ideas – rooted in timeless truths – that are not restricted to a certain epoch or Zeitgeist. If your idea is rooted in one of these things, then timing is far less important. If you’re a social entrepreneur fighting for human dignity in a particular area, for example, then it’s less critical whether you start today or tomorrow. My personal view is that I want to be involved with an organization that I believe will be important a thousand years from now. If I find an idea worthy of that standard, then I know it’s rooted in something essential. Luke BurgisActivPrayer

4. Timing Boosts Your Success Potential

Bad Idea + Wrong Time = Biggest Failure Ever. Bad Idea + Right Time = Total Failure. Good Idea + Wrong Time = Likely Failure. Good Idea + Right Time = Best Chance of Success. Timing is essential. A business can come to market before people are truly ready or after too many market leaders have established footing for you to truly get through the door, but in the end, I still think that a phenomenal idea that is well-executed can survive average or even poor timing. For example, last year, I would have said that the app Path was too late to the social media market, but the company has executed the business in such an amazing way that it no longer matters that it followed Twitter and Facebook. Path scratches an itch that those networks don’t, and it does it so well that it is growing like crazy. Shaun KingHopeMob

5. Start Your Own Trend

Timing is not everything. Some people get lucky but, over time, it is the ones who adhere to proven principles and have enough self-knowledge that continuously succeed. Trends come and go; change is constant. So, to paraphrase Gandhi, be the change you wish to see in the world. Great companies start trends and make movements – they don’t follow others, nor are they solely motivated by their greed to take advantage of fickle market whims. Believe in your own ideas, test your ideas, accept that you’re going to fail sometimes – or maybe a lot at first – and do it all in your own authentic style. Too often we focus on trying to “getting it right” within the context of others' point of view. Rather, we should strive to get it right within our own perspective. Matthew AckersonPetoVera

6. Overnight Successes Don’t Exist

It often takes longer than you expect for an idea to catch on. What that means is that when you’re working on an idea and worried that it’s “too early,” you need to be patient. Grow slowly and conserve cash until the market is truly ready. Many of the best companies start out when only the earliest of adopters are ready for it; with the patience and dedication of learning from those customers, they become prepared for the bigger opportunity that eventually exists. The challenge is keeping your finances tight during that time and seizing every opportunity to grow and learn from the market. Then what you may have been working on for years will suddenly seem like it has the “perfect timing.” - Jason EvanishGreenhorn Connect

7. Timing Sure Does Help

I wouldnít say that timing is everything, but it certainly helps. I launched Money Crashers at the height of the recession and that certainly was to my benefit in the beginning. This is the way I look at it: If you launch a business based on a fading trend, youíre unlikely to succeed. For example, if you're looking to start a small business based on the “daily deal website” business model, you may not have much luck. Some daily deal sites still exist, but many are struggling today. On the other hand, if you come up with a product or service that meets a need people didnít know they had, you can create your own market trend. One example of this is a website called Gradsave. With this website, you can create a way for family and friends to contribute to your child’s 529 plan. Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

8. Don’t Depend On Timing

If you’re depending on timing to ensure that your company is going to make money, you probably don’t have a sustainable business model on your hands. Timing may help, in terms of getting ahead of the competition, but you need to be sure that you’ve got something that can do well even if the timing gets screwed up. There are exceptions, of course, but personally, I wouldn’t want to run a business that is dependent on catching the wave of a particular fad. It’s just not going to provide long-term growth. Thursday BramHyper Modern Consulting
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently published #FixYoungAmerica: How to Rebuild Our Economy and Put Young Americans Back to Work (for Good), a book of 30+ proven solutions to help end youth unemployment.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Why Are Indians So Entrepreneurial In The U.S.?

Why Are Indians So Entrepreneurial In The U.S.?
A recent study exposed an alarming trend in the tech industry. Immigrant entrepreneurs, who in recent years have launched half the startups in Silicon Valley, are founding drastically fewer companies. Except for one group: Indians. What makes entrepreneurs from India so different?
The startup study was sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation and conducted byVivek Wadhwa, who’s the director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University. His data showed that the number of immigrant-founded startups in Silicon Valley has fallen from 52.4% to 43.9% since 2005, a drop that Wadhwa calls “shocking.”

Indian Startups Buck The Trend

But another statistic surprised Wadhwa as well: the number of startups founded by Indians is actually climbing. Against the decline in immigrant-founded startups - and our ever more xenophobic immigration policy - Indians are still launching startups.
“The data showed that Indians are defying gravity and starting more companies,” Wadhwa says. “The number of Indian startups went up from 26% to 33% of all immigrant startups.”
The immigrant founders surveyed in Wadhwa’s study hail from 60 different countries - but a full third of them are from India. What gives? Why are entrepreneurs from the subcontinent such overachievers?
Wadhwa says one reason is that Indian entrepreneurs have a very strong support network here in the U.S. Thirty years ago, when Indians began building momentum in Silicon Valley, that first generation of successful startup founders worked hard to help those who followed. They built organizations and created a U.S. ecosystem of successful Indian entrepreneurs - and, crucially, angel funders - to accelerate newcomers.
“It was a very conscious effort put in place by several dozen successful entrepreneurs,” Wadhwa says.

Indian Startups Are Cool

Another factor is the societal value placed on entrepreneurial endeavor. Indian kids think it’s cool to start companies. They don’t grow up aspiring to be the next Justin Bieber. They want to be the next Sabeer Bhatia.
The founder of Hotmail. “He’s a rock star in India,” Wadhwa says.
How did that happen? Wadhwa gives a brief history lesson. Just a few decades ago India was going nowhere. “The economy was stagnant, India was known as a country of beggars and snake charmers,” Wadhwa says. “Pessimism abounded. India was basically a loser of a country. Suddenly you had these people coming to Silicon Valley making extraordinary amounts of money. This caught the attention of people back home. The media was shocked that Indians could be so successful. Kids started dreaming of coming to Silicon Valley and creating companies like Hotmail.”
So OK. That’s how the Indian community pulled itself to success in Silicon Valley. What’s with other immigrant communities? Why haven’t they done the same?

Can Other Immigrants Emulate The Indians?

Wadhwa thinks Indians benefit from their heritage, which suits them better than many other immigrants to making it in America. They speak English. They come from a democratic society. More than that, they have a serious independent streak.
“Just like here, Indians are free to speak out against the government,” Wadhwa says. “There is a history of breaking the rules, just like here. Culturally, Americans and Indians are similar and that gives Indians a big advantage when they come to America because they fit right in.”
Compare that to the Chinese experience, he suggests. “In China you’re terrified of authority, you dare not speak out against the government because you’ll be taken away the next day. There is a culture shock from that perspective - people who come from authoritative regimes are afraid of defying authority. But to be an entrepreneur you need to defy authority, you need to break all the rules, you need to take a risk.”

The Indians Are Going Home

Now, a lot of Indian entrepreneurs are taking their risks back home. Although his recent study shows Indians are still starting a lot of companies in Silicon Valley, lately Wadhwa has noticed a change. U.S. immigration and employment laws have grown so unfriendly that even the indefatigable Indians are getting discouraged.
“The tide has turned,” Wadhwa says. “Many people could not get their visas to stay here after they graduated from U.S. schools so they went back to India to start their companies, taking their values, experience and education with them. Taking their money with them.”
Result: the tech startup culture in India is booming. Yes, ours is too. But for how long? Wadhwa wonders.
“We’re exporting our prosperity,” he says. “Even though Indian entrepreneurs have had tremendous success here, their numbers could be even stronger. We could have tens of thousands more startups.”
Instead, the top Indian graduates from U.S. universities are going back to the sub-continent. “Gladly returning home,” Wadhwa says. “Every year I see this more and more. There is a gradual but noticeable change in attitude. Many don’t even think of staying.”

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Please Don’t Remain Seated

Chances are you’re reading this from the comfort of your office chair or possibly using a tablet and relaxing in a comforter. How much time do you spend sitting everyday? Think about it realistically and come up with an answer. If you’re an entrepreneur that works at home or even in an office, chair time adds up quickly. Add in a car commute and time on the couch, and you’re looking at over ten hours a day. Could you be healthier and more productive if you spent a little more time on your feet?

Too Much Sitting is Bad for Your Health

Recent studies suggest that excessive sitting is detrimental to your health and is even correlated with a shortened lifespan. Modern workers suffer from more back pain and body aches than workers in the past who performed physical, manual labor. Our bodies are made to be active, so it only makes sense that they would not be in optimal condition by sitting a life away. At the same time, remaining stationary for too long can dull even the sharpest mind and diminish productivity. Try getting out of the chair to improve your health and even increase your efficiency.

Stand and Deliver

Nobody says you have to do all your work seated from a desk. You can still type from a computer while you’re standing. Even Ernest Hemingway wrote from a standing desk. Some people are even doubling down and working on a treadmill desk or from a stationary bicycle. This seems a little extreme. You don’t want to sweat all over your keyboard, but performing at least half your day’s work on your feet will keep you active and alert. Brainstorming sessions and idea generation can get a helpful boost by having team members on their feet demonstrating some physicality.

Walk it Off

If you become overwhelmed by a challenge, consider going for a walk, preferably in a park or outdoor area, but even just through the office building. A short (or long) walk, especially outdoors, can actually alter your brain chemistry and allow you to approach a challenge from a different perspective. You can compel your brain to get ahead of your work. When you return, you’ll be excited to pour out the ideas you’ve been generating.


Likewise, getting in some vigorous exercise can be a powerful motivator for your workday. If you make your own schedule, consider working out for an hour in the middle of your day instead of at the end. You’ll be rewarded with a rush of endorphins that will give you new, relaxed energy to power the rest of your day. Treat your body and your mind to a run in the park, a session in the gym, or some racquetball with a colleague.

Naps of Power

Let us not forget the ultimate extension of sitting, lying down. A power nap is a dual-edged blade. Some people find them extremely helpful and function better with a six-hour sleep period combined with a 20-minute nap later in the day. Others find naps disorienting and counterproductive. Experiment with your schedule to find ways of improving your motivation and efficiency.
As an entrepreneur, you’re determined to take control of your life and your business. Don’t limit yourself to your office chair.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Google App Engine Has Major Service Disruption As Dropbox and Tumblr Also Suffer

Google App Engine is down with a major service disruption affecting thousands of customers around the world that use the platform-as-a-service.
The Google  Engine team posted the following update:
At approximately 7:30am Pacific time this morning, Google began experiencing slow performance and dropped connections from one of the components of App Engine.  The symptoms that service users would experience include slow response and an inability to connect to services.  We currently show that a majority of App Engine users and services are affected.  Google engineering teams are investigating a number of options for restoring service as quickly as possible, and we will provide another update as information changes, or within 60 minutes.
Dropbox and Tumblr also reported outages, pointing to a potential much larger issue across the web.
On Hacker News, comments on the outage point to the Internet Traffic Report, which shows significant packet loss in the past 24 hours as well as traffic disruptions. The Next Web has a good chronicle of the issues facing the different services.
Nimsoft reports the outage is affecting users around the world, with particular issues in Europe. France is pretty much out entirely. In South America, Chile is entirely down. The United States and Canada are hovering around 70% performance.
Here’s the status page from Google:

The Winning Strategies of Facebook Marketing

You’ve made the plunge and decided to start investing some time marketing on Facebook. Why wouldn’t you? Millions of users communicating directly with one another certainly creates opportunities for word of mouth to spread. Start by asking yourself exactly what you hope to achieve with your marketing efforts. Publicity? Maybe a group of users beginning a fan page?

Remember What Facebook Is

We’ve all seen the movie. Facebook was created by an awkward college kid who wasn’t blond enough to make the rowing team in order to have a forum for Harvard students to socialize. Of course, it’s come a long way, but during its genesis there was no real idea for monetization. Facebook is about erasing boundaries between communication gaps. Remember this foundation as you formulate your marketing strategies. You want to use the medium to reflect your message.

Remember What It Isn’t

Just because it’s relatively new and impressive doesn’t make it revolutionary. In fact, Facebook is an extension of improved means of communication over the centuries. Like the printing press centuries before, and the television several decades ago, new technologies bring a sudden rush of information to a rapid influx of people. And just like television, there is plenty of room for marketing. Don’t make the mistake of rejecting Facebook as “unmarketable.”

Build a Reputation

Instead, focus on positioning yourself as somebody who people want to associate with. Somebody is the key word here. Don’t become something with your Facebook marketing. You are a real person representing your company. Build and maintain an appealing, informative, and entertaining page, and provide content that people will appreciate. As always, quality content is key when it comes to success. Get noticed, get liked, and get on the wall.


Facebook users want to talk to you. Give them what they want. Answer questions directly if they’re appropriate and you have enough time. Join dialogues and be social. After all, Facebook is a social network. As your reputation grows, build up others around you. Cross-promote with other Facebook users offering relevant information. Share your opinions. Don’t forget to offer something enticing during your communication. A discount, a special offer, a free month on a membership site. Give users a call to action they’re excited about enough to share with their friends.

Be Creative With Your Content

Don’t be afraid to be a little silly. People are logging on to Facebook to check on the photos of a friend on vacation or share a recipe for brownies. In this environment, being entertaining is often your best bet. You can win people over with information that is helpful and life-enhancing even it’s a little dry. But by offering fun, you’ll be targeting Facebook users more directly. Don’t neglect the power of audio and video when it comes to any of your marketing efforts. Search engines are adapting to this type of content. Besides, can you imagine watching a television commercial consisting only of screens of text?

Facebook is an Appetizer

It’s a multi-million dollar appetizer, sure. But it’s still an appetizer to the main course of your website. Your Facebook page is a forum for fans and curious, potential fans to congregate, have fun, and discuss. You’re there to be helpful, learn, and also have fun and discuss. Your Facebook page should leave people wanting more. Your real website should leave them full and satisfied.

Organize and Monitor

Understand your vision before you begin your marketing efforts. Organize and chart your financial and time investments. Make sure to observe your Facebook page regularly and monitor your activity. Tweak as necessary until you start to notice results.
Facebook can sometimes seem intimidating or even invulnerable to marketing. In fact, it’s a perfect opportunity to capitalize on a massive forum for communication. What gets your attention on Facebook? Let us know. @KamalFaridi

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Twitter Marketing Strategy in 5 Simple Steps

Twitter is a social network, as you probably know this very well. However, it is not used only for the social purposes – for chatting, making friendships and expressing your opinion, what’s more, nowadays it has found its use in the world of marketing as well. In fact, Twitter is very convenient for presenting your products or services and for attracting a lot of new customers. However, you cannot just go around and brag about your products – you must build up a good strategy that will make your business as lucrative as possible and here are five steps to a successful strategy.
First of all, you should know who you are trying to get to. So, describe the target audience, of course, on Twitter and if you are not actively participating on this network than it would be wise for you if you had a person who would represent your customers and who would spend a lot of time on the social network. Of course, you should decide what your goal is and then give the best description possible.
The next thing is knowing exactly what you expect from taking part in this kind of marketing. Surely, it is not the number of followers you have. In fact, the point is not to have thousands and thousands of followers who will just – follow your tweets. It is about who the people that follow you actually are and it is very important to form a network of people that does not have to be large, but that will be effective enough for your business.
Further on, Twitter actually servers you as a communication tool where you can be in touch with your customers, employees, candidates and even journalists – with whomever you wish or need to be connected. Thus, twitter will help you create different synergies that will help your business flow. For instance, you may connect with your bloggers and journalists for the sake of PR management.
Now, when you have understood the first three points, what follows is that tactics that you should develop. Of course, your page should be designed to fit your aims and it should be attractive enough, but without exaggeration. Your tweets should also cover a wide range of subject matter, but still remain within the same theme that you have already set when you decided who your target audience is.
Finally, monitoring and measuring is very important. Some of the parameters that your measurement should include are the number of tweets that have been published, new users, traffic from the web page of the brand, the lists that include the account and connections with the users that are targeted.
All in all, these are some main points and in building up your strategy and you should think very carefully before you start. Find out what your target audience is, create a well-designed account, follow it and work on improving it as much as you can and your business will become more profitable.

Twitter Marketing Tactics

Once you have decided to start promoting your products and services via Twitter social network as well, you should be aware of some specific details such as what your target audience is and what your goal is. Of course, you should also have a good plan of hoe it all is going to work. But when you have sorted all that out and when you have made you Twitter account, what follows is a good tactics. This article will present you with some advice on tactics that would work well no matter what your target audience or your goals are.
First of all, you should definitely find yourself a person who will follow your users on Twitter and do some research on Twitter as well. Of course, you should also keep track of what is going on, but you cannot always be present due to many other obligations that you have around the company. So, hiring a special person to this job would make it much easier.
Further on, you should also connect to some other social networks such as different blogs or YouTube or you can even create a fun page on Facebook. This will drive a lot more traffic. Another good connection would be with some high-quality resources and the morning ones are recommended.
Scheduling Twitter events weekly or monthly where one of your company’s employees would host a chat and ask and answer questions related to your offers would be of a great use not only to you, but to your customers as well. This would certainly give you a good reputation of a professional company that cares about its customers’ needs.
Another useful thing would be posting a link to your Twitter account along with your website link wherever it gets posted. Now, you should also find a sophisticated way to draw some answers from your followers and then use them in the blog posts.
Of course, there will be different segments of your target audience. What you should do is create a list of followers for each segment and then ask them to recommend people that belong to their segment. In this way you can gain more followers and probably more customers.
You may also use FollowFriday, which is one of Twitter tools, to keep track of the followers who retweet most and who in that way present your brand to new people.
To sum up, these are some pieces of advice that will come in handy once you decide to spread the word about your company’s brand and your products and services via Twitter social network as well. All of these might seem like tiny details to you, but details are the pieces that make the whole picture, so bear that in mind. Hopefully, you will use the advice wisely and make your business even more lucrative. Twitter will surely be of help once you develop a good strategy and even better tactics to present your offers and to make your own online community of customers.

What is Twitter marketing?

Today, when we live in the world where modern technology has introduced so many different opportunities that we have never even dreamed of, we have become almost incapable of living without it. It has eased many aspects of life and now it has found its way in the world of marketing as well. Not only are there different online networks and programs specialized for it, but there are also many other online tools that are not specifically designed for marketing, but that still have a potential to be used in such purposes.
One of the not marketing-specified tools that were just mentioned is actually Twitter – a social network. Since it represents a large community of connected and in many ways interrelated people, it is a very convenient place to promote your company and your brand and whatever products or services you have to offer. All you need to do is make a Twitter account for your brand and you can get started.
However, once you create the account, you should know what to do next for you cannot just say that your company sells this or that or that it provides such and such services and then say that they are very good and that is why people should buy them. That is certainly not the way. What you need to do is make a plan of how you will present your company and your offers. Your plan should include a well built strategy and good tactics that would present your company in the best light and yet not be too prominent in a way that would be negative and cause counter effect with the audience.
Twitter also offers a lot of helpful tools that can aid you in tracking the traffic, your followers, their tweets and similar stuff that will enable you to get the whole picture of the state of your business. In this way you can find out how your brand is rated, what the followers think about it, whether your customers are satisfied or not and many other useful information that will help you make proper adjustments if necessary. The benefit of using Twitter marketing is also that you can interact with your customers. This is a very important aspect of trading and it makes it possible for you to establish a kind of firm relationship with the customers and ensure your trading with them. This will keep both parties happy and satisfied and consequently, it will bring you a lot more profit.
To conclude with, using social network such as Twitter to aid the development of your business can be a very lucrative undertaking. Of course, in order for it to pay off and be profitable, you need to develop your plan very carefully and build up a good strategy and tactics. Since you will be in touch with your customers and their needs with the help of Twitter, you will also be able to constantly work on improving your business and trading. 

Michelle Obama and Ann Romney: Social Media Breakdown 2012

Social media has played a huge role in this year’s presidential campaign, not just representing the candidates themselves, but also their biggest supporters: their wives. And Michelle Obama and Ann Romney are no exception.
Traditionally, candidates’ wives have supported their husbands by reaching women voters and humanizing the candidates by highlighting their life outside of the campaign. In the age of social media, the channels for broadcasting these messages are new, but the voice is very similar to first ladies and aspiring first ladies we’ve seen in the past. Social media’s wide reach makes their messages even more prominent and even showcases these remarkable women’s personal accomplishments more than we’ve seen in past campaigns.
To give you a view of each wife’s social media efforts, we’ve compiled the following breakdown of activity from their social channels with compiled screenshots and various social media examples from around the web. Take a look at how both Michelle Obama and Ann Romney have capitalized on the potential of campaigning in the social world.

Social Stats

Here’s the lowdown on the networks both women use and the followings they have. You’ll notice that although Michelle Obama has many more followers in the networks, Ann Romney is relatively new when it comes to social media and hasn’t had as much time to build up a comparable following.

Michelle Obama

  • 547 tweets
  • This account is run by #Obama2012 campaign staff. Tweets from the First Lady are signed -mo.
  • 8.4 million Likes
  • Doesn’t seem to update personally
  • 53 pins
  • Boards:
    • People who inspire me
    • Recipe ideas
    • Around the White House
    • Great memories
    • Family

Ann Romney

  • 59 tweets
  • This account is run by Ann, herself
  • Updates personal – first person
  • 167 pins
  • Boards:
    • July 4th Recipes
    • Crafts / DIY
    • Things I Love
    • Patriotic
    • Inspiration
    • Family
    • Recipes
    • Campaign
    • Books Worth Reading

Supporting Her Husband

As mentioned above, the candidates’ wives are some of their largest supporters and their social networks provide a unique viewpoint. Both Michelle Obama and Ann Romney do an excellent job of supporting their husbands, not only by advocating for votes and donations, but also backing their respective platforms.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Facebook - I've Got His Back
Michelle Obama Facebook - Fair Pay, Women's Health Care

Michelle Obama Twitter - Early Voting

Ann Romney

Ann Romney - Blogher
Ann Romney Facebook - Energey Independence
Ann Romney Twitter - Man of Character

Celebrating Family

During the campaign, the both Michelle and Ann use their social networks to remind followers that their lives encompass more than politics. These women are mothers as well, and through sentimental photos that show the other roles of their husbands, the wives humanize their husbands in a way that the candidate might not be able accomplish on his own.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Pinterest - Children's Futures
Michelle Obama Facebook - First Lady Speech

Ann Romney

Ann Romney Pinterest - Easter Eggs
Ann Romney Pinterest - Papa

Reaching out to Women Voters

The spouses each have the ability to relate to women voters in a way that their husbands cannot. They often reach out to women voters individually and promote their events through their social networks.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Facebook - Women for Obama

Ann Romney

Ann Romney Facebook - Women-owned Businesses

Milestones on Timeline

Both wives have utilized their timelines to show important events. This allows followers a glimpse into the lives of these women.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Facebook - Early Voting

Ann Romney

Ann Romney - Tampa Republican National Convention

Personal Causes

It’s not all about the campaign trail for these women, it’s also about reaching out to people and donating their personal time to raise awareness for causes each fervently believes in. Ann is known for her support for breast cancer research and Michelle is known for promoting a healthy active lifestyle through her organization, Get Moving.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Pinterest - Biggest Loser

Ann Romney

Ann Romney Facebook - Breast Cancer

Key Takeaways

Both Ann Romney and Michelle Obama’s social media channels demonstrate the time and effort each puts into their husbands campaign, as well as reinforcing their goals. The campaign then becomes visible through another set of eyes and followers are able to see facets of the candidate, which may not be readily visible in the news. The audience is also privy to the lives of these women, and are able to connect to the candidates in a way that may have not been otherwise possible.

Monday, October 22, 2012

6 Ways Young Treps Can Make Time for a Vacation

When was the last time you took a vacation? For many young entrepreneurs, the answer is probably, “That's a joke, right?” But you just might want to rethink your aversion to time off.
To run a successful company, you’ll need to be there, of course. But you’ll often need to also take time to clear your head or even distance yourself from the business in order to think about how to grow more effectively. Plus, it’s good for you. Working long hours without taking time off to renew yourself can beat up your immune system, making you vulnerable to any mal-intentioned germ that comes along. It's much nicer to take a vacation and enjoy yourself than spend time recovering from not taking enough care of yourself.
In the end, time off can be just as vital — if not more so — as actually running the show. Here are six ways that even uber-busy start-up entrepreneurs can make a vacation work:
  • 1. Take a tax deductible vacation. Attend a conference on a topic related to your business. Spending time with other professionals in your field can be incredibly energizing. You can learn something, deduct the cost and skip enough sessions to make a vacation out of it too. Or if there's a company, supplier or customer based in a potential vacation spot, include a visit, giving the tax folks a rationale for deducting some or the entire trip.
  • 2. Take a short vacation. Start with a three-day weekend — or even the July 4th Holiday. Place an automatic response on your email, turn off your cell phone and let yourself have most of the day with no work on your plate. Even if you stay home, you can take in a movie or hit that new restaurant everyone's talking about. Consider a trip to some place of interest within a half-day's drive.
  • 3. Take a family vacation. How long has it been since you saw Uncle Bob, Aunt Geneva or your brother in grad school? Take a few days and visit them. They'll want to hear about what you're up to, and they'll probably feed and house you — all except your brother, of course. You can relax and not spend too much money beyond transportation.
  • 4. Take a road trip. Pack a cooler, grab a map or GPS and cruise the back roads around your home. Pick a destination but get there slowly. Stay in cheap local motels, B&B's or camp out. Time in the car will be good thinking time. You can stop anywhere you want, for as long as you want.
  • 5. Stay connected to your business. With smart phones and wifi all over, you don't have to lose touch with your business or your customers. Designate an hour every day to checking messages and emails. Then turn your phone off and enjoy your vacation. After all, you earned it.
  • 6. Start slow. Does even a three-day weekend seem like too much right now? How about an hour? How about an afternoon? Take a walk, go to the gym or see a movie. Think about doing something you haven't done in a long time — or ever. Visit the best park in your community and walk through the woods. Even if it's only for a short time, you're giving yourself the sense of what a vacation can do for you. It may give you an incentive to take more time for a real vacation soon.
Remember, one of the reasons why you chose to be an entrepreneur is so that you could be in control of your own life. If you let your business take all of your time and energy, you will soon lose sight of one of the best reasons for being an entrepreneur, the ability to fit your business to your lifestyle. Even as you grow your business, a vacation can be an excellent reminder of the good life you're working toward.