My Crazy Prediction?

In September 2008 I made a prediction, that email as we know it today will no longer exist in 10 years time.

Read The Death Of Email by 2018

Will I be proved to be a:
or Fool?

Time Remaining:


Featured Author on Business 2 Community

Disclaimer: The views expressed on stopthinksocial are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.
Strategic advice and experience on making the most of  being social in the workplace

Entries in engage (3)


Social Media Empowerment (#SWChat)

Thanks to everyone who took part in this weeks Social Workplace Twitter Chat event (#SWChat).

Social Media Empowerment

How can social media empower employees and what is the impact to the business and the employees themselves?

Event Statistics

  • No. of Tweets = 877
  • No. of Contributors = 80
  • Reach = 155,000
  • No. of impressions = 1,900,000


Full Transcript Report via @hashtracking

Questions Asked

Q1) In what way can Social Media empower employees?
Q2) "Social Media" is a term we should be using with employees to improve comms. & engagement. Agree / Disagree?
Q3) Is the understanding of Social Media now playing a key part in the hiring of new employees, regardless of the role?
Q4) In 140 charcters or less, has social Media empowered you more as an employee of your company and how?


Shared Reference Material


Useful #SWChat Links

Next Event | Schedule | Reminders | Archive | Advisors | Q&A | About


How NOT to get Twitter followers

My Twitter stream is an essential part of my business and my life (yes I have the S.A.D disease where there is no cure). I have put an extraordinary amount of time into identifying the right knowledge flows that are both inspirational and informative to me and my business.

Whilst building up my Twitter stream there were certain idiosyncrasies that instantly put me off following someone. I thought I would share these with you in the form of How NOT to get Twitter followers, as I am sure I am not alone here in my thoughts.

Disclaimer: These are based on using your Twitter account for business purposes not for personal use (though many of the idiosyncrasies would still come into effect for personal use too!)

How NOT to get Twitter Followers

1. Don't use your own Human Face as your Twitter Avatar

These are just some of the classic examples I came across:

  • Using your pet - People do business with people not with their pets. Am I really going to take you seriously if I am tweeting with Mr. Snuffles?
  • Adding funny clown hats and fake moustaches - Why on earth????
  • Using your company logo - unless you are a well established enterprise, then I would not recommend this. I am more likely to build a relationship with you when I see a human face than a nice company logo
  • Using the default Twitter Avatar - To me this shows you don't understand how social media or business works. Therefore I am unlikely to contact you....ever
  • Using a cartoon image - Hahahaha but I am not going to contact you...
  • Using a picture of your loved one or baby - Awww isn't that sweet....still not going to contact you.....
  • Using a provocative picture - Yes I may contact you but not for the reasons you would like me to....

2. Starting your Twitter Bio with Personal Stuff

Yes, you maybe a proud dad of two and a wonderful husband, but don't include that in your bio. Your Twitter bio has a limited number of characters - use it wisely to give a good impression of you and your business.

If you MUST add that info, add it at the end never at the beginning. I'm busy, I might only read the first 5 words of your bio before making a decision to follow you or not.

3. Having an Animated Twitter Avatar

If the thought is that you will stand out from the crowd, you succeeded. But not for the reasons you would like me to think. You want your tweets to stand out from the crowd not your Avatar!

(I saw one recently with a rotating head - WHY????)

4. Using Strange Twitter Names

Having Twitter names like "ILuvSocialMedia" or "Ifollowbaccc" is an immediate put off for me. I want a face and a name to do business with. Which leads me nicely on to my next idiosyncrasy...

5. Including Follow Back in your Twitter Bio

Adding "I'll follow you back" in your bio is a big no no. I don't want anyone to follow me back just because I follow them. I follow people because I hope they will be inspirational and informative in their tweets to me and I continue to follow when they do. I hope my followers think the same of me.

(btw If you are that desperate for friends, go down to your local pub and buy everyone a drink!)

6. Adding words like "Expert" and "Guru" to your Twitter Bio

Only other people can call you an expert or guru. If you include it in your bio it suggests you need convincing of the fact not others (bit of Sigmund Freud deep thinking here...)

7. Not Tweeting Regularly

If you don't tweet regularly you either have nothing to say or you don't understand social media. Either way why would I want you in my Twitter stream?

8. Tweeting about Personal Stuff

Some personal stuff is ok, it shows a human side to you and your business. But if you do it regularly I will unfollow you. My advice is to use Facebook for your personal stuff, or at the very least have a separate Twitter account for personal stuff so if people are interested they will follow your personal account.

9. Not Listening or Engaging with Others

If you are just constantly pushing out your own content and not listening to, or engaging with me then why would I continue to follow you? (see my previous post Twitter: Learn to listen and stand out from the crowd...)

10. Ignoring your Klout Score

Ok, this might be a contentious inclusion here whilst it is still in beta mode, but I believe Klout will play an influential role on Twitter when it comes to business (see Where there is an over-crowded market in what you and your business have to offer, what is going to make you stand out from the crowd?

Klout will show how other people perceive you and how influential you are when it comes to your area of expertise. This could be the deciding factor when all other things are equal.

Some Final Pearls of Wisdom

Remember, your Twitter account is just an extension of you and your business - a great social communication channel in a very public arena. Take Twitter seriously and treat the people that follow you with respect. Who knows where that next lead or opportunity will come from...


Twitter: Learn to listen and stand out from the crowd

I am becoming more and more frustrated with Twitter. Not the technology but how people use it.

We all have to stop using Twitter just to push out our own content and start using this social platform as a great opportunity to share the knowledge and engage in conversation with others. After all, social media is supposed to be about people! In short, let's learn to listen and stand out from the crowd...

Learn to listen and stand out from the Crowd

Let me give you an example.

I have a number of SEO specialists in my Twitter stream. They have been chosen because I believe they can add value to me and my followers. I want to be in a position to share their experience and knowledge to help foster future relationships.

Today I needed some SEO advice myself. I needed to know if cached pages in search engines had to be manually refreshed if I updated previous blog posts to improve key word optimisation.

So I put a shout out.

I received only one response referencing how they made lots of money off the internet (spam). I sent a similar message again an hour or so later and no responses.

In between these two tweets of mine, one of the SEO specialists in my stream tweeted:

Get FREE SEO services today

...and a few other SEO specialists also pushed out content advertising their services.

If any of these SEO specialists had engaged with me in conversation and responded to my question, who knows where that conversation may of led. Maybe an opportunity for business now or in the future, or at the very least I will remember them as being responsive and extremely helpful and pass on their details to others.

These are missed opportunities.

So here are my top 3 tips for businesses using Twitter:

1. Learn to listen

Your Twitter stream is a valuable commodity, chosen by you because you believe the people you are following can add value to you. Make the effort to listen. I would advise spending a minimum of 30% of your Twitter strategy listening to what others are saying.

2. Engage in conversation

As you begin to listen, start engaging in conversations. Build up a rapport with those you are following and make the time to read and comment on their content. Particularly look out for "shout out's" (people asking for help) and try to help them. If you cannot help them directly, do you know someone in your stream that might? If so, connect these people. This will earn you respect and a great contact to follow.

3. Share the knowledge

Remember the Pie Theorem in my last post:

For every piece of the knowledge pie to share, you will receive two slices in return

Don't be afraid to share your pearls of wisdom when engaging in conversation. This will also earn you respect and a reputation to be proud of, which could lead to potential future business opportunities. Good reputations take time to build but bad reputations can be earned very quickly and will spread throughout your network like wild fire.