Marketing Tip #26 | 8 Easy Ways to Personalize Your Social Media Posts

8 Easy Ways to Personalize Social Media

We’re all human. We respond when we believe someone is reaching out to us personally. Especially in today’s mass email marketing and social media bulk posting, a message that speaks to an individual is rare – and usually appreciated.

Here are 8 easy ways you can personalize your social media posts and tweets:

  1. mention individuals – clients, potential clients, someone you met at a networking event, your lunch meeting
  2. post on a client’s page (or tweet using the client’s Twitter handle) to publicly thank them for their business
  3. post and tag photos from events and daily activities around your organization
  4. recognize volunteers and those in your network who have helped
  5. ask relevant questions – a client recently noted that she gets the most reactions and comments from her weekly “So, who’s ready for the weekend?” posts on Fridays
  6. conduct simple polls – Facebook Business Pages offer this option
  7. IMPORTANT: interact with online communities by commenting, liking, and retweeting others’ posts and tweets
  8. MOST IMPORTANTLY: respond to all posts and tweets from others that mention your organization with an acknowledgement comment as simple as “Thanks”, “Glad you enjoyed the session”, or” How can we help fix the situation?”
There you have it. Eight easy ways to personalize social media. Be sure to comment on the Reciprocate Facebook page and tell us your thoughts. Oh, and in case you’re wondering why we included the cute kitten in this post, it’s because the online world is obsessed with cats.  Just for fun check out this an infographic on Why We Love Cats So Much

Quick Guide to Twitter Terms for Newbies

Some say learning to use Twitter is like learning a foreign language because the “Twitterverse” uses unique terms and symbols. Below is a quick guide to twitter terms to introduce you to some of the words and symbols used.

One of the easiest ways to learn how to use Twitter is to observe how others are using the social network. Even if you don’t have a Twitter account, you can visit the Twitter search page and learn what others are saying on Twitter about the topic. This is also a great way to read what people are saying, in real-time, about a particular industry, product, or news event.

Print out the guide below to help you interpret what you see. Once you spend some time watching others tweet, you may be ready to jump in and join the fun. We’ll post our 12-step Twitter Strategies and Best Practices Guide soon. In the meantime, post your Twitter questions on the Reciprocate LLC Facebok page. Enjoy!

Quick Guide to Twitter Terms for Newbies

@ – use to call out usernames in Tweets. Use “@Username”

Avatar – profile picture

DM – “Direct Message” – private message. Use “d username” to specify the recipient

Fail Whale – Error seen when Twitter is overcapacity.

Favorite – click on the yellow star next to a message to mark it as one of your favorites

#FF – “Follow Friday” Used to suggest who others should follow on Fridays

Follow – subscribe to someone’s Tweets

Follower – someone who subscribes to your Tweets

Following – number of Twitter users you are following

Handle – Twitter user name. Your handle is

# – Hashtag – used to indicate keywords or topics. Provides a way to search for similar Tweets

HT or h/t – used to acknowledge the person who originally shared the content being tweeted

Lists – curated groups of Twitter users. Used to tie individuals into a group into your Twitter account

Listed – your Twitter account is included in a list created by another Twitter user

Mention – using the “@” followed by a Twitter user’s name as a “shout out”

OH – “Overheard”

Promoted Tweets – Tweets paid to appear higher in search results

Reply – public message. Begin Tweet with “@username” of person you are sending reply to

RT – Retweet – a Tweet forwarded by another user.  To send a Retweet to all your followers, use “RT”

Suspended Accounts – Twitter’s way of reducing spammy and inappropriate Tweets

ThirdParty Application – product created by a company other than Twitter and used to access Tweets and other Twitter data.

Timeline – real-time list of Tweets

Top Tweets – most popular Tweets; determined by Twitter

Trending – real-time list of most popular topics on Twitter, usually designated by a hashtag

Tweet – a message posted via Twitter. Also a verb: Tweet, Tweeting, Tweeted

Tweeter/Twitterer – someone who posts and reads Tweets

Unfollow – stop following someone on Twitter. Their Tweets will no longer show up in your home timeline.

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Marketing Tip #24 | The Generation Gap Influence: Finding Your Target Market on Social Media

You’ve hear it all the time. “You NEED to have a Facebook business page.”  “You NEED to get on Twitter.” “You NEED to be on Pinterest.” But do you really?

Here are 3 time-saving tips to finding your organization’s target market on social media:

TIME SAVING TIP #1:  Determine your target audience
The demographics of your target audience will help dictate where you should spend your online time and budget.  We’ve discussed the importance of defining your target audience in our Marketing Tip #22. If you don’t want to “waste” your time on social networking sites,  you must know who you are targeting before you decide which site to use for your organization.

TIME SAVING TIP #2: Determine the demographics of your target audience
One of the easiest ways to visualize your demographics is to create a mythological target customer. Then you can select the social media networks that will yield the most contact with your target audience.

TIME SAVING TIP#3: Determine where your target audience is online
Here are some interesting statistics from the website monitoring service, Pingdom, which recently released a study on social media user demographics, based on data from the Google Ad Planner Tool. While the Pingdom study covered 24 social networks, we’ll only highlight a few of the more well-know sites here.

  • 51% of all social network users are between the ages of 25 and 44.
  • Those 55 and older make up almost 10% of the social network users, while those under 25 make up just over 20%.
  • 55% of Twitter users are 35 or older.
  • The average Facebook user is 40.5 years old.
  • 71% of the 24 sites surveyed by Pingdom had more female users than male users. Only Quora, Reddit, Orkut, Github, Stack Overflow, Hacker News and Slashdot had more male users.

Pinterest is the most female-dominated site, with females making up almost 80% of its users.


The overall average age of social network users is 36.9 years. deviantART has the lowest average age at 28.6 years; LinkedIn has the oldest at 44.2 years.

Based on the data above, an organization marketing to senior males could make the decision NOT to spend their marketing time and money on a Twitter campaign while an organization marketing to 30-something females SHOULD consider Pinterest as a viable marketing tool.

Your organization, of course, will make its own decisions based on your unique products, services, industry, and desired outcomes. Spending a few minutes researching your target audience and its demographics before deciding which social media platform you NEED to be on will provide better results for your marketing time and resources.

Marketing On The Go | Using the iPhone 5 and Other Smartphones to your Advantage

How To Use iPhone and Android Smartphones To Your Advantage

Do you know the difference is between a smartphone and a regular cellphone? The difference is that smartphones have mobile operating systems inside, making them a closer relative of a computer than a phone. They have a mobile browser so you can surf the web on the go and most of them feature touchscreens.

And, as most of generation Y and Z would seem to believe, if you don’t have a smartphone you miss out on a lot. And it may be true to an extent.

But it isn’t just the internet access that makes the difference

The applications (also known as apps) that one may find available on both the Google Play market and the Apple app store can have a huge impact on how you use the internet, shop, dine, and even entertain yourself.

You may be asking “why do I care? I don’t care about checking Facebook on the go or playing games when I’m out and about.” And that is fine, from a personal standpoint. But as an organization that wants to get its message out to others, you may want to start thinking differently.

Things aren’t like they used to be

Now, 8-year-old children have their own cell phones, and any child without a gaming system, such as an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3, is left in the dust. And, if you aren’t on the internet, or more recently, if you haven’t gone mobile, you and your organization may get left in the dust too.

Most associations, businesses and nonprofit organizations now have a Facebook page and many have a Twitter account. And many are starting to go mobile.

Going mobile involves creating an app or sending texts to your customers. This is the first in a our Marketing on the Go series. In our next post, we’ll share how one major corporation is using mobile and what you can learn from them.

In the meantime, if you are ready to take your organization mobile and would like some help, comment below or send an email to info(at)  We’ll provide feedback about the best way to present your organization through a mobile approach from the perspective of your target market — whether they are generation X, Y, and Z — or baby boomers.

Marketing Tip #18 | 4 Ways to use Smartphone Marketing

4 Ways to use Smartphone Marketing

Smartphones can be used to reach customers in four primary ways:
  1. Applications
    • Custom Apps
    • Voting and polls
    • Location-based deals
    • Mobile donations
    • Text to win
    • Couponing
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
    • YouTube
  2. Mobile Web
    • Is your website mobile friendly?
  3. Advertising
    • Banner ads
    • Text Messaging
    • QR codes
  4. Phone calls – old-school technology or personal touch?

Want help sorting this out?

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( Unless of course, you’re reading this on your smartphone … then you’ll either need to borrow a friend’s phone call so you can scan the code or simply click here to send us an email)

This is the second in a series of tips on marketing to smartphone users. Read smartphone usage statistics here.

Promotion Idea: 31+ Unique March Holidays

You’ve mailed out discounts, offered repeat customers free services or products, and now you feel stuck. How do you reach new people and keep your current customers coming back? Relax. We have something you can try. Holidays.

You may be saying to yourself, “What? That doesn’t make sense!” But it does. Use traditional holidays or create new holidays to offer your customers coupons and discounts. Both can give customers a good ol’ laugh and you a reason to connect. The result? Customer satisfaction and business growth. Win. Win.

Here are some examples:

  • March 2 is National Dress in Blue Day. Give customers the ability to wear blue, snap a picture, and submit it for 5% off their next order.
  • The blues got you down? Try March 14 instead. Pi Day opens up the communication lines with your customers as you can share and swap pie recipes or offer “berry good deals.”
  • Don’t have a sweet tooth? Don’t fret! March 26 is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day. Use this to your advantage to create a holiday geared towards your industry or ask your customers what holiday they would create.

Here are some existing holidays to use as idea starters:

Month-long celebrations

Red Cross Month

Employee Spirit Month

International Ideas Month

National Frozen Food Month

Holiday Weeks

National Write a Letter of Appreciation Week (March 1-7)

Universal Women’s Week (March 8-14)

National Spring Fever Week (March 18-24)

Daily Holidays

1 – National Pig Day

2 – National Dress In Blue Day

3 – What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs? Day

4 – Cadbury Chocolates Birthday (debut 1824)

5 – Namesake Day

6 – Michalangelo’s Birthday (1475)

7 – National Be Heard Day

8 – Organize Your Home Office Day

9 – Panic Day

10 – First Telephone Message (Sent 1876)

11 – Daylight Savings

12 – Napping Day

13 – K-9 Veterans Day

14 – Pi Day

15 – Absolutely Incredible Kid Day

16 – Freedom of Information Day

17 – St. Patrick’s Day

18 – Awkward Moments Day

19 – Let’s Laugh Day

20 – First Day of Spring

21 – National Common Courtesy Day

22 – As Young As You Feel Day

23 – World Turtle Day

24 – National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

25 – Pecan Day

26 – Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

27 – Quirky Country Music Song Title Day

28 – Memorial Day

29 – National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day

30 – I am in Control Day

31 – Earth Hour – 8:30 PM

The possibilities created by using holidays as a marketing theme are endless. Turn each day into your own, and keep your customers coming back for more. Come back next month for some April holidays that will have you hopping to new heights!

Twitter: Phishing Attack

Twitter recently reset passwords on numerous users’ accounts. 

If you cannot log into your Twitter account, check your emails to see if you have received one from Twitter that looks like this:

If you received this email, you will not be able to log into your Twitter account without clicking on the emailed link.  Additional information may be found on the Twitter  help page.

As a precaution, Twitter users are advised to not share their Twitter password and account information with third party companies that offer to increase follower counts rapidly.

Twitter: Tweeting isn't just for the birds

Twitter: Tweeting isn’t just for the Birds

You, no doubt, have heard a lot of buzz about Twitter — especially from TV broadcasters and famous personalities, who seem enamoured with Twitter and it’s power for instant communication.  Twitter claims more than 150 million registered users with 300,000 new users every day!  According to The Huffington Report , an April 2010 study suggests that while most Americans are aware of Twitter, few are using it.  So, what’s in it for you?

Twitter Basics

Twitter is based on 140-character snippets of information called “tweets.”  Think of a tweet as a broadcast message. You need a Twitter account to send and receive tweets. The benefit of Twitter is its immediacy. The disadvantage of Twitter is the volume of tweets sent — averaging 55 million tweets a day. It’s not easy breaking through all that noise.

There is no subscription fee to join and you can set up a profile in a matter of minutes. Twitter is one of the more casual social networking sites — more like Facebook than LinkedIn.  It is used for both business and personal communications.

Setting up your account

  • Decide on the image you want to portray on Twitter.  Let your intended use be your guide.  Even though Twitter is less formal, if your intent is to use this account to promote your business, keep your Twitter image more professional.
  • Create a unique Twitter name or “handle.”
    While you could certainly use your real name, most Twitter users choose a name more representative of their personality or business. MNFamilyMatters is the Twitter handle for a Twin Cities based family law practice; ESQCoach is the handle for a web-based attorney marketing site; KarenEman is my Twitter handle.
  • Add a photo or graphic. Since I primarily use my Twitter account for business, I use my Gravatar – the photo I use on all my online profiles including Twitter and LinkedIn. You can use a company logo or even a graphic.
  • That’s all it takes to set up the very basics.   You can use the “Settings” tab to add details to your profile, including a web address, as well as design the look of your Twitter background.

Now what?

Now the fun begins.  You need to find people to “follow.” The social media networks are making it much easier to cross-connect. The easiest way to get started is to find connections from other social media networking sites and/or your email address contacts lists to see who you know that is using Twitter.  If you are on LinkedIn, add your new Twitter account to your LinkedIn profile.  When asked, “allow” Twitter to connect to your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn just added a “Tweets” section to their site that shows which of your LinkedIn connections are on Twitter and those that you are following.

Another easy way to find people to follow is to check out “lists.”  On my Twitter profile page, I have created multiple lists of Twitter users as a way to categorize them.  One list is made up of Tweeters who live in Minnesota; another includes those who tweet about Las Vegas deals (great if you are planning a trip); and another lists people who tweet about topics of interest to small businesses,

One caveat:  Don’t think of Twitter as too personal.  Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, it really doesn’t matter if you know the people that you are following or that are following you. You can follow politicians, CEOs, friends, family members, industry leaders, and individuals from across the globe — and they, in turn, can follow you.  That’s part of the fun!

Twitter: Tweeting isn't just for the birds

More info

If you are hesitant to set up a Twitter account, you can check it out first. Click on the image on the left to go directly to Twitter. Without signing up, you’ll be able to see, in real time, some of the people using Twitter as well as a collection of ” Top Tweets.” I look forward to having you follow Reciprocate LLC on Twitter.   RCE7FBKYKTWZ