Tweet Some Love, Gain Some Respect

We all have them in our lives. A babysitter that’s always available when you really need a night out. A loyal friend who’s willing to interrupt her day to hear your latest crisis over coffee. A lifelong customer who loves your business’ story. A super fan who engages with and shares your content more than you do. People who just make your world turn a little easier. Now there’s a cool, new way to thank them.

Starbucks continues to embrace the digital realm and social media by partnering with Twitter to introduce tweet-a-coffee. After quickly connecting your Starbucks and Twitter accounts, you can easily send your loyal friend, awesome customer or super fan a $5 eGift card. Seriously, it’s that easy.

As a business owner, I immediately thought of some priceless opportunities for brands. Giveways? You no longer need to retrieve a winner’s physical address to mail swag, just a Twitter handle. Thanking loyal fans (and customers)? It’s easy on your end but is appreciated by the recipient. Your fans and customers will enjoy being publicly recognized for their loyalty, contribution to your digital marketing efforts and fabulous ideas. In turn, your business receives positive PR and the warm, fuzzy feeling associated with being good corporate citizens. And don’t forget about acknowledging employees!

I had to try this new service, so I tweeted a coffee to one of Clearly Conveyed Communications‘s super fans, Lance Wyllie. Lance is always willing to engage in thoughtful conversation, add insightful comments to discussions (on the blog and Twitter) and is so generous with sharing others’ information.

The process couldn’t have been easier. After quickly connecting my Starbucks and Twitter accounts, I sent a personalized message to @tweetacoffee to @LanceWyllie (as seen above). Starbucks’ @Tweetacoffee account immediately tweeted Lance a clickable link to redeem his eGift card (which can be scanned from your smartphone or printed out). On the back end, Starbucks sent me a receipt confirming my purchase and separately emailed me when Lance viewed the gift. A seamless process.

It’s always exciting when a new tool becomes available to add to your marketing mix. Just remember: tweet some love, gain some respect.

How can you or your business utilize tweet-a-coffee?

Who would you tweet-a-coffee to?

Tweets from my (@jaimeshine) Twitter feed
Tweet-a-Coffee video courtesy of Starbucks

An espresso addict (and Starbucks fan),
Jaime

p.s. As an espresso addict, it’s hard for me to fathom people who don’t drink espresso or coffee. Rest assured, Starbucks offers tea, fruit juices, water, fresh bakery items, delicious breakfast sandwiches and oatmeal, among other favorites, for all of you non-coffee folks out there. 

p.s.s. To help spread the word, Starbucks is giving a $5 eGift card to the first 100,000 people who participate in the tweet-a-coffee program before 11/06/13 and fund the purchase with a Visa card. Full details here.

Coffee lover or not, connect with me… 
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What’s in a social media profile? Everything.

Social media is still all the rage, even as it has moved from a trend to a more mainstream marketing activity. (Of course, there’s still those who snub their nose, but they’ll come around.) But many people still overlook one of the most important aspects — the profile.

What’s in a social media profile? Everything.

 First of all, the profile picture. This is your first step to legitimacy. It’s hard to take an egg head (Twitter) or empty silhouette (LinkedIn) seriously. Not photogenic? Neither am I, but you need a good head shot. With today’s technology that’s easier to obtain than ever. Some will disagree, but I see nothing wrong with cropping a candid shot or using a personal picture if it projects the image you want to project. Yes, you can use your company’s logo, but it’s nice to put a face with a name and help humanize the cold, digital world.

@jaimeshine Twitter bio

Contact information. It amazes me how often people leave contact information blank. Aren’t we on social media to be social? That means people need to be able to contact you to continue conversations, discuss projects or  partner on an initiative. Plus, there’s other benefits. Fully completed contact information helps give your brand legitimacy (there’s that word again!) and addresses allow users to check in at (and promote) your business.

pinterest.com/jaimeshine

The profile. This is your chance to shine. Think of it as your elevator speech in 160 characters or less. OK, that rule applies to Twitter, but keep it in mind for all of your social networks. Our attention spans aren’t much these days, so you need to be able to capture someone’s attention (in a positive way) before they jump to another profile or task.

Who are you? What do you do? Show your personality. Unless you just invented something that no one else on Earth has, you have competition. Why should a user follow, become a fan or connect with you (or your business)?

This is where the magic happens. Show people who you are. Intrigue them enough to follow, like, connect, befriend. Spark an interest that makes them want to reach out and say hello. Your profile can be a great conversation starter if done right.

@jaimeshine on Instagram

Update: My Instagram handle is now @jaimeshine for consistency.

While I do strive for some consistency across platforms, I also recognize the unique traits of each platform. I want my personality to shine. As a small business owner, I want clients, prospects, fans and followers to know who’s behind the Clearly Conveyed Communications banner, so they can connect with a real person. That’s why I’ve made the decision to keep some accounts under my name and utilize them for work and play. I believe in transparency, and this is the best way for me to maximize my resources.

Yes, my personality’s a little offbeat. Hence, my not hesitating to use my current profile picture on Pinterest (and Google+) in a plaid fedora or my favorite one, which is on Instagram (yes, that’s me after a cold weather run).

Clearly Conveyed Communications on FacebookLast but not least, the cover photo. More social networks have followed Facebook’s lead and maximized the cover photo on your profile. This is a chance to powerfully convey your or your company’s brand visually. Ask impartial friends or family members to take a look at your photo. What does it portray to them? Make sure you utilize a photo that displays well in the frame provided and follows the platform’s policies. The last thing you want is to have your profile or page pulled down because you’re violating terms. (Remember, it may be your content, but you don’t own your Facebook page. Facebook does.)

Your turn…

What do you focus on in a profile?

Do your profiles accurately represent you or your company?

Do you use the same pictures and profiles across your social network or different ones?

The pictures above link to some of my profiles, and you can see the remaining ones below. I’d love your feedback! Let me know what you like and what you don’t. (No worries, I’m not easily offended.) Seriously, I would love to hear your input.

In exchange, I’d be happy to take a look at your profiles too. Leave them in the comments below or say hi on a social network.

Let’s get social!
Jaime

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