Posts in Category: Twitter

Hashtags 101

If you have ever used social media, you have most likely seen the “hashtag.”

hash·tag /ˈhaSHtag / noun: (On social media sites such as Twitter) a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic.

In 2009, the hashtag impacted society like an atom bomb, quickly changing the course of the modern language. Ever since Twitter strung together the disconnect of key words with the hashtag, people have been able to easily search for key words or phrases that would open up connections to other relating articles or tweets. People’s thoughts and opinions were soon connected into a web of hashtags

  • Hashtags can stand alone as their own sentence: #TGIF (thank God it’s Friday)
  • Hashtags can also be used to suggest emotion: #lol (laughing out loud)
  • Or sarcasm and humor: #sorrynotsorry

The symbol became so widely used, that in 2012 the American Dialect Society declared it Word of the Year. It became so overused by nearly everyone that it was officially declared comic (well, not officially…just satirized perfectly by Jimmy Fallon and his pal Justin Timberlake).

The hashtag has become so immersed in our culture that even brides make it their top priority to create the perfect wedding hashtag (i.e. #WeSaidIDoOnJune2, #SallyandSamTietheKnot). A personalized hashtag creates a folder of photos and updates about the topic or event.
Companies have also caught wind of the hashtag. It has quickly become a popular marketing tool and is now present in various media outlets. Television shows will hashtag character names, movies will hashtag titles and events, and restaurants will hashtag special offerings. The symbol can stand as a marketing/branding/PR technique to promote campaigns while also allowing followers to interact with the company by posting pictures or voicing their opinion. And while this phenomenon first took place on Twitter, other platforms like Facebook and Instagram have joined the hashtag conversation as well.

Greenville, SC, used hashtags as the cornerstone of their plan to elevate the perception of Greenville and highlight recent changes that have been made to the city. By encouraging the use of the hashtag #YeahThatGreenville in partnership with a website of the same name, they took the combined forces of Greenville fans and residents to spread the word that Greenville is hip, young, cool and the place that everyone wants to be.

Yeah That Greenville

Follow Friday: Autumn Thompson (Trust me, she rocks!)

Well it’s about time, right? I’ve been swamped lately, but thankfully, persuaded one very important person to come on full time with me on this crazy train that is Allison Development Group.  Some of you already know her, but I thought it would be fun to have you really get to know the newest addition to ADG with a little Q&A. I asked the questions and while some of her answers are clearly sucking up to me, I LOVE them!

Get to know (and follow!) Autumn Thompson:

1. Where are you from?  I was born in Miami, FL but moved to North Carolina when I was two. My parents were from the original hippy movement and they bought a farm to live off the land. OK, it was a commune. We moved to Hendersonville when I was 6 because they weren’t really good at the whole thing.

2. What is something about you that would surprise people? I’m married to my high school sweetheart (20 years).  I used to race motorcycles.  I had a street bike. I’ve run two marathons. I love to shoot. I’ve been in a mosh pit.  I love to fish. I watch Jersey Shore. I have a massive shoe collection. (She’s right about that last one; awesome shoes come through this office on a regular basis!)

3. What excites you most about working at ADG? I have always loved the entrepreneur spirit.  People who can take their dream and make it a reality is something to be admired.  Erica is the epitome of an entrepreneur and she loves helping others realize their business potential. I’m excited to work with her because she is wickedly smart and I hope some of her knowledge will rub off on me.

4. What scares the heck out of you about working at ADG? 🙂  Making a unfixable mistake. And the steep steps to the office can be tricky in heels.

5. What do you do in your free time?  Umm….what is free time? I’m working on my Master’s Degree.   Kidding….in my spare moments I enjoy reading.  But, with a seven year old who shares my love for books that usually means reading to her.  We just finished books about Amelia Earhart and the Wright Brothers.  See the theme?

6. If you could be doing anything at all with your life, what would it be?  I would own a beach resort. No shoes, no shirt, no problem.

7.  What is your new title here at ADG?Surprise: You’re creating your own!!!  I thought I was the Marketing Assistant, but I have moved up in the world! Chaos Tamer? (Yes! She nailed it!)

8. What is your favorite ‘tool’ on social media?  I love Hootsuite because I can look at so much at one time. (Um, she’s downplaying her role here a bit…she manages three different client accounts with that little owly thingy.)

9. Where can people find you on social media?  Twitter: @autumnmthompson;  Facebook: autumnmthompson; LinkedIn:  autumnthompson; and Pinterest.

10. Favorite music/playlist on Spotify?  I enjoy all music!  For work, the best playlist is the ‘80s.  I’m a huge Jimi Hendrix fan but save that for Friday afternoons.

And that, dear friends, is Autumn Thompson…Chaos Tamer here at ADG and someone you should get to know!  Rock on.




Is Social Media the Fertilizer for Your Business?

Tending my Garden in order to Grow My Business

I had the good fortune recently to attend Social Slam in Knoxville, TN – an amazing collection of Social Media, PR & Marketing A-Listers who have literally created the trails that they blaze.  These folks were all willing to share their insight, knowledge and enthusiasm with about 400 of us – all in various stages of our social media infancy and maturity. Over and again, these ‘trail blazers’ who obviously love what they do, were asked the equivalent of a magic bullet or formulaic equation in order to make the ‘business’ case for Social Media.

Not having been ‘at it’ long, I was happy to hear that the formula I’m using (i.e, a LOT of work) is pretty much it.

The Triberr Break Up: It’s Not You, It’s Me

Why my relationship with Triberr is coming to an end…

Or, “Why I love Dino Dogan, but not Triberr.”

If you’re not familiar with Triberr it is an invite only community of bloggers. Every time you publish a new post, everyone in your tribe “automagicly” (new word coined by Dino Dogan) tweets it to their followers. I’ve been a member of the tribe known as Anubis now for approximately 10 days.

The concept sounded really exciting for me, I love to be a ‘tester’, and so I thought I’d give it a try.  And this is the part where I explain why I love Dino…he (and his buddy Dan Cristo – that’s them right below)

Image shamelessly taken from the Triberr website

developed this program in an effort to give credit and highlight bloggers and their posts that rarely saw the light of day.  He wanted the rest of us to feel what it must feel like when you are Chris Brogan or Jay Baer or Brian Solis and anything that you post gets automatically retweeted without it ever being read, simply because of who you are. 

A Follow Friday & Small Business Marketing Moment: Online Contests that Work!

I won another contest!!!!  My husband is getting very excited at the prospects here, but I keep telling him, lotteries and casinos are just not my thing.  A contest where I get to test my knowledge and showcase my wit…now, there’s something I can get behind!

Today’s Small Business Marketing Moment is a shout out to Pouchee for their awesome product and their very fun, creative contest.  The pouchee is THE solution for women who want to not only stay organized and find what’s in their bags, it’s also a quick way to switch out purses without dumping the contents out on your bed to transfer over.  This innovative product is the brain child of one Anita Crook and is now sold worldwide and featured in women’s magazines routinely.  Pouchee was even featured on a recent episode of The Doctors (way to go, TK PR)!

I’ll be honest, I have not had much luck organizing online contests.  So when I come across one that really works, I like to share it.  Here’s a link to the video that I had to watch in order to be entered into the contest.  While you’re surfing, go follow them on Twitter or fan them on Facebook.

Now, watch my video and then get back here to tell me about other great online contest ideas!


My Fine Line

More and more, I feel like I’m walking a fine line that separates my online world from my offline world.  I am very much IN the present moment when it comes to my clients, their needs, and the world of small businesses and entrepreneurs.  I get what makes them tick.  I understand their bottom line.  And I really enjoy telling their story and making them shine.  (Oh my, was that a rhyme?)

2 different worlds

I am also very much IN the moment when it comes to my online world of Twitter, Facebook, blogging and just being ‘social’.  So much so, that it’s creeping into my day to day activities and horning in on my spare time.  I found a soul mate in that regard last night when I stumbled upon Antonia Harler’s most excellent post Are We Too Busy Tweeting To Care? As I told Antonia, I have an escape hatch when my twitter and online addictions become a bit much: my kids.  I wonder how engrossed I would be if my kids weren’t my escape hatch.

Klout, Schmout

Ok, I admit it.  I’m stumped.  I’ve got nothin’…sort of.  I need your help.  Help me understand what all the hoopla is regarding a little number called your Klout score.  It’s not even that big of a number.  It peaks at 100…  So why all the fuss?

I of course did a little research and found some truly logical (I’m a huge fan of logic) insight and perspectives from Trey Pennington (hi Trey, we’re neighbors! We should connect!).  He talks about increasing your score, as well as the importance of it in his blog post 4 Keys to Increasing Your Klout Score.  Even though I’m not 100% sold on the importance, I’m willing to be open and follow along. I also found Lisa Thorell to be another great resource for the Klout discussion.  She keeps a running list going on this very topic.  You can find the link on her Twitter profile page.

Do my clients know my Klout score? And if they did, would they care?

Number 46

Found on Flickr by Manohar Dasari

The answer to both: No and No.

Let’s Be Real Here

I’m going to let you in on a little secret…it’s my secret to winning clients and keeping them.  I keep it real. That’s it.  I do what I do best.  I don’t pretend to do other things that I don’t do.  And, as I venture into my ‘new media’ world, keeping it real means that my online personality matches my offline personality.

Really.  That’s it.  Obviously, I have to do what I do well or why hire me?  I’m fun to be around, sure.  But, you have to offer something of value (great discussion on that over at Spin Sucks) in order for someone to pay you.

OH Newark - Half Car On Roof

Image found on Flickr by scottamus

Being real in the social media world takes dedication and it takes commitment.  It is super easy for folks to portray themselves one way online and be completely different offline.  You know the type…the rainmakers of the online world. They pretend to know all and to have the magic when it comes to driving sales, traffic, or revenue to your door.

Kill Your Blog…Before it Kills Your Job Search

If you’re among the folks who follow my various social media accounts, you know that I’m looking for a Marketing Assistant.

I posted the job description on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and in various email lists that I have.  Since I need an assistant with social media experience, I thought why not go fishing where the fish are biting…it’s what you might call a ‘stocked’ pond.

Lots of people took the bait (stop me from continuing this fishing analogy, please).  I received numerous inquiries and very promising resumes.  Since I posted via social media, it’s a given that I’m going to take a peek at those accounts.  What I discovered is that these accounts…our online presence, really…have now become our Virtual Profile, our Brand.  

6 #TwitterTips 2 do 2Day!

If you’re an AdAge Power 150 member or have a Twitter profile that puts your follower count in the thousands, this post is not for you. If you are new to social media and Twitter in particular, this is especially for you!

Courtesy of Wikipedia

1. Please don’t send an Automated DM reply when I follow you. I appreciate a follow just as much as the next gal, but show me some love in another way. Retweet what I tweet , subscribe to my blog , like me on Facebook .
2. Use @ twitter handle! I love it that you want to give me (or your favorite restaurant or new social media BFF) a “shout out”, but if you don’t put the @ sign in front of my name, I may never know it. And perhaps most important reason of all…putting a @ twitter handle in your tweets is a great way to show appreciation (see #1). It can also start a conversation (especially with folks who don’t follow you, but you want them to anyway – hello Todd Defren ), and begin to build a stronger network…and isn’t that what this is all about?