Monthly Archives: January 2010

How Twitter got us on CNN and Oprah

We won an award for creating short tech content on for our Twitter accout—The Shorty Awards competition was covered by The New York Times, The BBC, AdAge, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, MediaBistro and many others.

Sarah went to accept the $1,000 Knight Foundation award at the Awards ceremony. After unexpectedly getting a hug and kiss from Rick Sanchez of CNN (and getting her picture in CNN’s technology section, see bottom pic) a few weeks ago, last night a friend wrote to tell us we’d also been on Oprah.

Sure enough, at the opening of Oprah’s show about Twitter, they showed Sarah’s Twitter account to millions of people. Here’s a screenshot from the video of the show:

…and here’s the picture CNN used of Sarah (at far left, holding up a plaque for a photographer):

More recently CNN has shared more than one of our tweets onscreen, even praising us for providing useful information. We try! :)

Why do some people use “via” instead of “RT?” for retweeting?

Here are some of the most common reasons people use “via” instead of “RT” for retweeting. Be sure to also read the “Retweet Glossary, Syntax and Punctuation.”

“I use ‘RT’ when I need to do a direct quote and the statement wouldn’t make any sense if the reader thought it was coming from me. (E.g., ‘RT @lessallan ‘A new version or website is up. Go check it out!’) But I use ‘via’ when I’m just sort of passing along information. (E.g., ‘Tweetie for Mac is available. Go download it! (via @lessallan)’.) In summary, ‘(via)’ is like citing a source, RT is a direct quote.” Source

“Some people use ‘via’ … meaning that they just found out about it from this person, and they’re not necessarily quoting them.” Source

“We use via … to reword a tweet (maybe even a link) into our own tweet with our own input into what we think about it, but giving some of the credit to the original poster of the material.” Source

“… ‘via’ on the other hand is used when you want to add your own context to some existing tweet while attributing it to the original author.” Source

“Via is very useful when you want to … simplify the original tweet.” Source

“The use of via is clearly giving credit to the original Tweeter. But, most importantly, I get to convey this information in my own words.

“Tips for using ‘via @’ … contribut(e) in your own words something relevant to the content…” Source

“… use “via” to simplify and highlight the original tweet. Particularly when passing on inspirational quotes.” Source

“… use via if rewording the tweet …” Source

Some people complain of fatigue from seeing “RT” in front of so many tweets, and claim to skip them without reading. Using “via” at the end is therefore also a way to put the information first and the credit/attribution last, as is more common in non-tweet forms of writing. Also, some apps automatically use via without an option to choose (credit: @rslaats) as via has been growing in popularity. This automatically allows for comments but best would be to offer users a choice.

Originally published at:

How to Start Your Own Social Media Management Business

  • Businesses don’t like to think that their competition are doing something they aren’t so play on that fact. And under Promise & Over Deliver!
  • Ask for referral businesses from a happy client “Do you know of anyone else who could benefit from this service”

What is SMM?

  • social media is not another avenue to blast customers with advertising or spam;
  • social media aims first for connection, then attention;
  • social media managers seek to connect with their clients’ customers in a professional yet personalized and genuine way
  • once connections are established, social media managers can then offer customized assistance, information and incentives informed by those ongoing social media interactions

What you do:

  • provide first tier social media customer support for clients;
  • monitor social media sites for occurrences of their company’s or clients’ brand names in order to address customer service issues as they arise;
  • engage the public on behalf of their companies or clients, interacting with users and personifying their company’s or clients’ business values and customer service philosophies

What you offer:

  • consulting services analyze company’s current social media presence and offer recommendations for ways to improve their marketing
  • create and implement a new social media marketing campaign for businesses who either don’t have a social media presence at all or need improvement
  • offer evaluation tools that would effectively measure a new marketing campaign

What your day will be like:

  • check networks
  • monitor and record any comments and follow up on any message board threads your company has an interest in
  • search for individuals and businesses to follow and become fans of
  • market your own business
  • market on different industry websites and in publications
  • coordinate staff efforts and check their progress.

How to charge

  • $70/hour to get started, but generally charged as a flat fee
  • $500 per month per client common intro level, more for more
  • most will pick a package when presented with some options. Basic, Standard & Premium packages. If they want more they have to pay extra or go up to the next package its as simple as that! Also have “Bolt On” options to packages eventually
  • charge a retroactive monthly fee per client per social networking site; for example,
  • $100 per month to maintain a client’s Twitter profile, $100 per month to post to a client’s blog, and $100 per month to post to Facebook on behalf of a client.
  • These monthly charges need to be further broken down into detailed descriptions of the type and amount of activity provided per month, per social networking site; for example, that monthly Twitter fee of $100 would cover 100 tweets per month.

Look like an expert to land big clients

Example companies ► ► ►

Companies that train ► ►

Interview with a Social Media Manager from this blog

from :

Offer a Free Social Media “Health Check”.

This technique opened lots of doors for me. Promote the service through your Social Media platforms and in the networking events. You can use free online tools to give the business a percentage score (Use sites like Kloutand tools offered by Hubspot) Just by offering this free analysis and highlighting areas where the business can improve in SM platforms will give you an ”in” to get the Social Media Management work.

Put on a local Seminar/Webinar!!!

Make the first one a Free Social Media in Business seminar and invite businesses from your locality. I used this technique to offer some good, usable content for them to take away but also to show how much is involved and why they would be better off OUTSOURCING to you!

I had 30 local businesses at my first one (I held it in a local coffee shop at no charge because the guy would sell lots more coffee and cake than usual) You can use these seminars to showcase your knowledge and expertise in your field, win Social Media Management and Consulting jobs and (my favourite SM income stream by far) sell tickets to your paid seminars. These paid seminars could be on a variety of different subjects e.g. LinkedIn Success, Using Facebook as a Small Business, Social Media for Legal industry etc. I charge $150 (£89) per delegate for my half day courses. It’s a great way to top up your income. The content I use for our seminars is available at Get Pro Social

Partner up with PR & Digital Marketing Companies.

I have gotten some of my best clients by partnering up wit other local Digital Marketing Companies. Contact some local SEO, Media Buying, PR and Web design companies. These companies would already have clients that need Social Media Management. Offer to provide your service on a “White Label” basis i.e. working under the name of that company. The quote that stuck in my head from an SEO company that outsource to us was “You scratch an itch for us”. Go out and scratch the Social Media itch for some companies.




charge a one‐time flat fee to create accounts for clients that don’t
already have accounts on the sites you’ll be handling. If you have graphic design
experience, you can also charge a flat fee for creating custom Twitter and blog
backgrounds. If you have HTML experience, you can also create a custom Welcome
tab for your clients’ Facebook Fan Pages. For all such account creation and custom
work, you need to define how much an hour of your time is worth, then estimate
how many hours it will take you to create the accounts and graphics you need and
code your custom pages to come up with a total, one‐time set up fee.

Once the meeting is scheduled, make sure you are fully prepared by researching the
company and its history, its client base, etc. But if you’ve been successful in
scheduling the meeting, chances are good that you will convert that lead into a
client. Company owners that are willing to meet with you to discuss social media
obviously understand that social media can be of value to their businesses, or they wouldn’t take time out of their schedules for your meeting

the selling point of social media is not to increase sales by 200% in five
days—if this is the pitch you’re giving potential clients, you will never be able to
deliver on those promises. Rather, make sure your lead understands that the
primary goal of social media for small businesses should be increased connection to
their current and potential customers. Any sales increase resulting from social
media should be considered the icing on the cake, at least in the beginning stages of
social media activity.

Bring several copies of your standard service contract, customized with your lead’s
contact information, with you to the meeting
( sells boilerplate contracts). When
hammering out an agreement to provide SMM services, you must agree upon a
procedure for handling customer feedback via social media networks. Your job as a
social media manager is to accurately and responsibly represent your clients’ values
to their online clientele or potential clientele, and to adeptly handle any issues
raised by customers via social media. Make sure you include some language
describing a basic procedure for handling customer feedback in the contract. You
can make and initial any changes to this procedure, fee schedules or service
offerings right there at the conference table, then pass it around for signatures.
Ideally, you will leave the meeting with a signed contract in hand, but if a client
needs time to reflect before committing, make sure you follow up within a few days
of the meeting.