Using Twitter to Drive Value to Your Business

Driving value into a business is what every business owner and/or leader needs to accomplish. Using Twitter, along with a common-sense marketing plan, can drive value to any business. Twitter is currently being used effectively by various sizes and types of businesses to connect with customers, build brand, advertise and increase sales – and you can too.

As with any type of marketing or communications (marComm), using Twitter should be done with planning and rigor. However, it can still be fun, creative and impulsive. Using the following elements in this simple equation will provide a solid foundation and set you free to tweet.

(Plan + Content) + Brand x Consistency (Followers x RT2) = Value

I’m not a math major, so the equation might not make perfect sense. However, let’s focus on the elements which make the equation work. This article will help you understand the basics of each element and how they drive value into your business.

Plan:  As part of your marComm plan, develop a high-level plan that drives goals and provides a strategy for communicating with Twitter. Simply state a goal to gain 500 Twitter followers and convert  5% of them monthly is a good start.

You will also need to develop a tactical plan of weekly and daily Twitter activity of when you will communicate and when you will market to your followers. Tools like HootSuite can help schedule tweets so you can keep working!

Content: Any marComm plan is only as strong as the content that you deliver.  Not everyone can film, edit and soundtrack a video that rivals professionally produced media, but you can still produce quality content that is in line with your followers’ expectations.

Good content can be as simple as your opinions and thoughts (based on your plan) or as complex as multiple media streams (photo, video, animation, illustration). Following industry thought leaders and reTweeting (RT) their comments, as well as your replies, is another good way to provide valuable content to your followers.

Brand: Brand is simply a relationship that is based on a set of expectations that drive a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over others with similar features and benefits. So, like any other relationship you have via social media, your Twitter followers should easily get an idea of ‘Who you are’ and ‘What you do’ so they can begin to understand ‘What you can do together’ and ultimately, make a purchasing decision.

Businesses that do not establish and reinforce their brand in marketing and communications, usually struggle to keep long-term followers. Establishing a strong brand is essential to drive value to your business.

Consistency: Before stepping too far out into the social world, you need a consistent voice and brand personality. The best way to develop your voice is to practice tweeting in smaller social venues (church, alumni group, friends, etc) not associated with your industry.

Driving consistency doesn’t mean all your content is similar, but rather it feels like it is coming from the same entity (person, business, organization, etc). Without consistency, your followers may feel as though they are developing a relationship with someone who has multiple personalities.

Followers: Quality trumps the quantity of followers every time. In Twitter, find people who post frequently in your industry, then follow and re-tweet (RT) their content if it fits inside your content strategy. Then, build a relationship with these ‘thought leaders’ and drive value back to them.

You can also use Twitter’s search function to find people and businesses in your industry. When they show up multiple times, follow them. To keep a high-functioning list, block and remove all spammers and content that is not ‘on your brand’.

Value: Follow your plan and deliver good content. Stay on brand and be consistent. Follow the right people and build your list. Including these elements will drive value to your business and leave more time for focusing on your real job.

Richard Whitney,
IUPUC Student

Works Cited

“How to Use twitter for Business” by Jill Duffy  |  |  April 16, 2013

“How to Use twitter for Business and Marketing” by Charlene Kingston  |  |  April 10, 2013

“10 Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Twitter” by Aaron Lee  |  |  2013

How Technology is Impacting Information Gathering & Storing – Is This the End of Traditional Libraries, Bookstores, and Newspapers

What is a library? Merriam-Webster says that a library is a place in which literary, musical, artistic, or reference materials (as books, manuscripts, recordings, or films) are kept for use but not for sale, which is very true. Libraries do loan out books, manuscripts, films and so on to patrons on a daily basis, but that is not all a library does. They are centers of knowledge and learning and do more than just loan out books. They can serve as a place for people to escape from the world or to receive help for a problem they may be having. And at the backbone of every library is its librarians and library assistants. They are the people that help the patrons access all the knowledge that is held in a library. They do everything from helping you find a book to helping someone file for unemployment. Libraries are not just places for books anymore, they are a place that people can go to use the computer if they don’t have one or a safe place for teens to hang out while they wait on their parents to get off work. That’s how libraries have changed so far. They have gone from just loaning out books and movies to helping entire communities adapt to a more digital age.
In today’s world, we use computers, tablets, and smart phones to do the majority of our reading and studying, and some would say that because of this, libraries might go extinct. But I say nay! I believe that libraries will evolve and adapt to this age of smart devices. There are a couple cases of libraries already doing just that. A brand new library just opened up in Bexar County, Texas and it is an all-digital library named the BiblioTech. Another example is in Washington, D.C. where the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library’s Digital Commons has outdone itself in what could very well be the future of libraries. So what is the difference between these new digital libraries and the traditional ones? Well for one, these new digital libraries do not have to wait to get new material. If someone comes in with a request for a book, they can just add the book to the collection immediately rather than order a copy and wait for it to come in. Also, you don’t have to worry about returning books on time. Once your rental period ends on the book you downloaded, it just stops. No need to worry about those silly fines ever again. These digital libraries may eventually become the norm, but probably not for a while. Believe it or not, there are still many books that are not online, one example would be school text books.
Libraries are a great part of our culture and they help many different people in a myriad of ways. In this ever changing world we live in I believe that they can adapt and possibly even evolve into something that may be extraordinary.

Works Cited
Cottrell, Megan. “Paperless Libraries.” American Libraries Magazine. American Libraries Magazine, Sept.-Oct. 2013. Web. 17 Sept. 2013.
Peterson, Andrea. “The Digital Age Is Forcing Libraries to Change. Here’s What That Looks Like.” The Washington Post, 7 Aug. 2013. Web. 17 Sept. 2013.
Webster, Noah. “Library.” Def. 1. New Collegiate Dictionary. A Merriam-Webster. Springfield, MA: G. & C. Merriam, 1953. Web. .

Should Cursive Writing Be Taught in Schools?

As of right now, 41 states do not require cursive writing to be a part of their curriculum (“5 Reasons Cursive Writing”). That is far too many states in my opinion. There are many reasons as to why cursive is important and necessary to teach in elementary school.

Since Technology has increased drastically, many people think that teaching cursive writing is a waste of time. However, cursive motivates the brain. When writing in this form it improves the dynamic interplay of the left and right cerebral hemispheres, assists in creating neural pathways, and improves mental effectiveness (Hatfield).

Cursive uses different hand muscles and activates different parts of the brain that neither typing nor printing can do. For a more beneficial way to further the development of motor skills, children should be between the ages of 7 and 8 (“5 Reasons Cursive Writing”). Teaching children repetition by encouraging the force needing to be applied to the pencil and paper, positioning the pencil on the paper at the right angle, and motor planning to form writing each letter smoothly from the left to right creates physical and special awareness to write. Repetition also creates neural foundation of sensory skills to perform everyday tasks such as tying shoes, picking up objects, reacting, buttoning, and note-taking (Hatfield).

By learning cursive, it gives children the opportunity to better understand and know the alphabet. If they are only taught English in one form, print, then they only get that one chance of learning and memorizing the alphabet. It also gives a clear understanding of how letters are formed and that can also improve on printing as well (“5 Reasons Cursive Writing”).

Some children write sloppy in print that it is hard to determine where one word ends and another begins. However, cursive requires children to write from left to right so letters join together in correct sequence, which makes it easier to read. In cursive, it allows the child to see words as a whole, instead of separate letters, and makes it easier to check for spelling. After repetition of the use of cursive, the hand acknowledges the spelling patterns through movements that are repeated in spelling (Hatfield).

If schools take away cursive writing, students will not be able to read or write important documents. Many of the historical documents are written in cursive. Some of these documents are translated into print online but there are still some that are not. Without knowing cursive, children will miss out on our history and even read important letters from grandparents or great-grandparents. The older generation use cursive daily and if kids do not learn how to read it then they will miss out on certain things (Hatfield).

Cursive writing is a unique form of writing that can only be read by those who have been taught to write it. Using this form of writing is how we sign our own important documents such as checks, contracts, opening bank accounts, etc. With that being said, there are many important reasons why cursive should be a requirement to be taught in schools.

By Taylor Seaborn, Business Major – IUPUC

Works Cited

“5 Reasons Cursive Writing Should be Taught in School | Concordia University – Portland online.” Concordia University’s Online Education                           Degrees | Online Masters in Education. Web. 12 Sept. 2013.

Hatfield, Iris. “Teaching Cursive Handwriting Tips Cursive Workbooks .”Teaching Cursive Handwriting Tips Cursive Workbooks Penmanship .                           Memoria Press, n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2013.