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Business Marketing

The Power of Twitter

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Twitter Popularity

Whoever thought the word Twitter would become a part of our Social Media marketing plan? I know I didn’t!

I’m really not a big Twitterer (is that a word). In the beginning, I struggled with the whole concept, it seemed it may be a passing fad and I sure didn’t need another social app to track. I have enough on my plate, so I dismissed it. Not totally, I just didn’t jump in with both feet or whole heartedly. Small talk has always been a challenge for me; to take all my thoughts and condense them to 140 charachters is really pushing the “small talk” envelope.

I’m still not entrenched in Twitter, as in, I don’t get involved with a whole lot of conversations. Maybe I should, I don’t know! I am starting to enjoy the ride, though, learning tidbits of information here and there and making a few friends. Not so long ago, the population at Twitter seemed to be mostly those in the real estate business. Recently, the population has exploded and there is a lot of conversation going on in the Twitterverse.

Twitter Local

A few months back I started searching for people in Indianapolis who use Twitter. Nothing against my real estate friends on Twitter; I was just curious about who was out there in my city using Twitter. It seemed to me, the people in my own backyard would be the ones who I would have a greater chance of meeting up with or doing business with. At first, there were just a few people here and there and just like blogging, many dropped off without a twit. Today, more and more locals are using Twitter and I have found some unique businesses out there.

A Few New Friends

I wrote about a few of the businesses on my blog, which I thought were interesting and of real value to the general population of my city. The first one I wrote about was, AroundIndy, a company whose website has an all inclusive listing of everything to do in Indianapolis. I also have a link to his blog from mine. I did this because I believe he offers a real value to the city. In return, he put a link to my site from his. I never expected such generosity.

I found a few more sites last week (from Twitter) which I wrote about. One of the business owners is also a VP of Rainmakers in our city and has invited me to be her guest at a Rainmakers meeting. Rainmakers is a local networking group, which I had planned on joining, so it was really coincidental that she is the VP of a local chapter. She in turn wrote an article on the Rainmakers blog about me, entitled, “Not a Rainmaker, but making rain”.

Now, I am not suggesting anyone go out and start writing about local companies for their own personal gain or recognition, because, we know that won’t work anyway. However, with a sincere interest in supporting your local companies and finding out what they offer, how they can benefit your clients, you may just find a friend or two.

Paula is team leader for The "Home to Indy" Team in Indianapolis . She is passionate about education and client care and believes an empowered client is better prepared to make good decisions for themselves. You'll find her online at Agent Genius,Twitter and sharing her insights about her local real estate market at Home To Indy.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Gretchen Faber

    November 6, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Hi Paula,
    Your idea is a great way to leverage Twitter and take it to a business-opportunity level. I’ve been using Twitter to make real estate friends around the US(and world)and as a learning resource.
    Now, though, I’ll use your idea and look for local Denver businesses I can highlight. It give me great blogging content for my local blog, and is a fabulous way to network.

  2. Gretchen Faber

    November 6, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    “gives” me…sorry!

  3. Richard Scheffrin

    November 6, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Yes, I can really see the power of Twitter in a business sense. We all love to give business to our “friends”, so to know that a potential business contact has two kids, a dog, and loves the Spurs is much better than a generic name on a business card. In addition, it’s also great as a consumer to know experts in any business and be able to shoot them a message when you have a question about their area of expertise. I get computer/technology questions everyday and love the idea of my knowledge being wanted.

  4. Chris Shouse

    November 6, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Paula,
    The more I work (play:)) with Twitter the more the possiblities come to light. I have meant to add some local business articles and you have inspired me to do so.
    Look at us this morning I found out what I need to know from you via Twitters DM. Its a wonderful tool

  5. DebOnTheWeb (AKA Deb Agliano)

    November 6, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Hi Paula,

    Twitter can definitely open up new avenues. I’ve been tweeting for awhile and also searched for people around my area (other than real estate agents) who were on Twitter. One of the people I found is the social media director of our local National Public Radio station. I ended up at WBUR on election night Twittering About The Election. Not only did it feel wonderful to be a part of such an important event, I met a great group of local social media mavens and we were videoed for a social media documentary, too.

    You never know where Twitter can take you!

  6. Mark Evans

    November 6, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    What’s great about Twitter is you can use it in a variety of different ways – be it personal, personal/business or business. I’m finding that Twitter is complementing and even replacing my RSS reader given the number of interesting links I discover from the people I follow.

  7. Mike Mueller

    November 6, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Paula – Twitter has an infinite possibility of prospecting ideas. Following the trail of crumbs left by hashtags (#NAR2008) and twitter searches for instance.

    Good stuff.
    Oh yeah – following #NotAtNAR2008 is a great idea as well ; )

  8. Paula Henry

    November 6, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Gretchen – I knew what you meant 😉 and don’t you wish the comment section had spell check? I’ve found some great local resources for small business, techies, blogs, and having fun meeting them online.

    Richard – the casual contact and conversation on Twitter does make it easy to get to know others.

  9. Paula Henry

    November 6, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Chris – Exactly! Knowing where to go for the info you need is right there on Twitter.
    Have fun with the local articles.

    Deb – How cool is that? Sounds like a lot of fun and meeting others you may never have met otherwise, is a bonus.

    Mark – Same here! I still have my RSS feed, but I learn alot from the poeple I follow on Twitter.

    Mike – I didn’t even think about the hash tags; I need to go login at #NotatNar2008. Twitter searches for specifics can lead you to hours of info.

  10. Nicole Boynton

    November 8, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    I love the idea of finding people locally to follow. My website is hyper-local to the area I know best so I would love to include local businesses in blogs and articles. Unfortunately, the search feature isn’t working on Twitter right now so I can’t find them…I am bummed

  11. Paula Henry

    November 13, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Nicole – I have also enjoyed connecting with the locals – it’s a nice break from talking real estate 🙂

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Business Marketing

Bite-sized retail: Macy’s plans to move out of malls

(BUSINESS MARKETING) While Macy’s shares have recently climbed, the department store chain is making a change in regards to big retail shopping malls.

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Macy's retail storefront, which may look different as they scale to smaller stores.

I was recently listening to a podcast on Barstool Sports, and was surprised to hear that their presenting sponsor was Macy’s. This struck me as odd considering the demographic for the show is women in their twenties to thirties, and Macy’s typically doesn’t cater to that crowd. Furthermore, department retail stores are becoming a bit antiquated as is.

The sponsorship made more sense once I learned that Macy’s is restructuring their operation, and now allowing their brand to go the way of the ghost. They feel that while malls will remain in operation, only the best (AKA the malls with the most foot traffic) will stand the test of changes in the shopping experience.

As we’ve seen a gigantic rise this year in online shopping, stores like Macy’s and JC Penney are working hard to keep themselves afloat. There is so much changing in brick and mortar retail that major shifts need to be made.

So, what is Macy’s proposing to do?

The upscale department store chain is going to be testing smaller stores in locations outside of major shopping malls. Bloomingdale’s stores will be doing the same. “We continue to believe that the best malls in the country will thrive,” CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC analysts. “However, we also know that Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have high potential [off]-mall and in smaller formats.”

While the pandemic assuredly plays a role in this, the need for change came even before the hit in March. Macy’s had announced in February their plans to close 125 stores in the next three years. This is in conjunction with Macy’s expansion of Macy’s Backstage, which offers more affordable options.

Gennette also stated that while those original plans are still in place, Macy’s has been closely monitoring the competition in the event that they need to adjust the store closure timeline. At the end of the second quarter, Macy’s had 771 stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.

Last week, Macy’s shares climbed 3 percent, after the retailer reported a more narrow loss than originally expected, along with stronger sales due to an uptick in their online business. So they’re already doing well in that regard. But will smaller stores be the change they need to survive?

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Business Marketing

Why you must nix MLM experience from your resume

(BUSINESS MARKETING) MLMs prey on people without much choice, but once you try to switch to something more stable, don’t use the MLM as experience.

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Discussing including MLM experience on a resume.

MLM experience… Is it worth keeping on your resume?

Are you or someone you know looking for a job after a stint in an MLM? Well, first off, congratulations for pursuing a real job that will provide a steady salary! But I also know that transition can be hard. The job market is already tight and if you don’t have much other work experience on your resume, is it worth trying to leverage your MLM experience?

The short answer? Heck no.

As Ask the Manager puts it, there’s a “strong stigma against [MLMs],” meaning your work experience might very well put a bad taste in the mouth of anyone looking through resumes. And looking past the sketchy products many offer, when nearly half of people in MLMs lose money and another quarter barely break even, it sure doesn’t paint you in a good light to be involved.

(Not to mention, many who do turn a profit only do so by recruiting more people, not actually by selling many products.)

“But I wouldn’t say I worked for an MLM,” you or your friend might say, “I was a small business owner!”

It’s a common selling point for MLMs, that often throw around pseudo-feminist feel good slang like “Boss Babe” or a “Momtrepreneur,” to tell women joining that they’re now business women! Except, as you might have guessed, that’s not actually the case, unless by “Boss Babe” you mean “Babe Who Goes Bankrupt or Tries to Bankrupt Her Friends.”

A more accurate title for the job you did at an MLM would be Sales Rep, because you have no stake in the creation of the product, or setting the prices, or any of the myriad of tasks that a real entrepreneur has to face.

Okay, that doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as “small business owner.” And I know it’s tempting to talk up your experience on a resume, but that can fall apart pretty quickly if you can’t actually speak to actual entrepreneur experience. It makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about…which is also not a good look for the job hunt.

That said… Depending on your situation, it might be difficult to leave any potential work experience off your resume. I get it. MLMs often target people who don’t have options for other work opportunities – and it’s possible you’re one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t have much else to put on paper.

In this case, you’ll want to do it carefully. Use the sales representative title (or something similar) and, if you’re like the roughly 50% of people who lose money from MLMs, highlight your soft skills. Did you do cold calls? Tailor events to the people who would be attending? Get creative, just make sure to do it within reason.

It’s not ideal to use your MLM experience on a resume, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Still, congratulations to you, or anyone you know, who has decided to pursue something that will actually help pay the bills.

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Business Marketing

This smart card manages employee spending with ease

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Clever credit cards make it easier for companies to set spending policies and help alleviate expense problems for both them and their employees.

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Spendesk showing off its company credit cards.

Company credit cards are a wonderful solution to managing business expenses. They work almost exactly like debit cards, which we all know how to use, am I right? It is the twenty-first century after all. Simply swipe, dip, or tap, and a transaction is complete.

However, keeping up with invoices and receipts is a nightmare. I know I’ve had my fair share of hunting down wrinkled pieces of paper after organizing work events. Filling out endless expense reports is tedious. Plus, the back and forth communication with the finance team to justify purchases can cause a headache on both ends.

Company credit cards make it easier for companies to keep track of who’s spending money and how much. However, they aren’t able to see final numbers until expense reports are submitted. This makes monitoring spending a challenge. Also, reviewing all the paperwork to reimburse employees is time-consuming.

But Spendesk is here to combat those downsides! This all-in-one corporate expense and spend management service provides a promising alternative to internal management. The French startup “combines spend approvals, company cards, and automated accounting into one refreshingly easy spend management solution.”

Their clever company cards are what companies and employees have all been waiting for! With increasing remote workforces, this new form of payment comes at just the right moment to help companies simplify their expenditures.

These smart cards remove limitations regular company cards have today. Spendesk’s employee debit cards offer companies options to monitor budgets, customize settings, and set specific authorizations. For instance, companies can set predefined budgets and spending category limitations on flights, hotels, restaurants, etc. Then they don’t have to worry about an employee taking advantage of their card by booking a first-class flight or eating at a high-end steakhouse.

All transactions are tracked in real time so finance and accounting can see purchases right as they happen. Increasing visibility is important, especially when your employee is working remotely.

And for employees, this new form of payment is more convenient and easier on the pocket. “These are smart employee company cards with built-in spending policies. Employees can pay for business expenses when they need to without ever having to spend their own money,” the company demonstrated in a company video.

Not having to dip into your checking account is a plus in my book! And for remote employees who just need to make a single purchase, Spendesk has single-use virtual debit cards, too.

Now, that’s a smart card!

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