#happypanda

If I could describe myself in three words, I believe it would be the following:

  1. goofy
  2. loyal
  3. good-sense-of-humor-having*

However, I’m afraid the stresses that come about from being a self-diagnosed workaholic that spreads herself too thin by attempting to also balance an unreasonably busy social life have slowly been turning me into less of the person one would expect to meet from the three descriptors listed above and more into a snarky, high-strung, debbie downer.

I don’t like that Amanda. I dislike it so much that I refer to myself in the third person when I am like that. It’s honestly not representative of me at all, so I can’t fathom it’s becoming a common perception of me, something one would describe me upon first meeting. It’s almost repulsive.

I’m also slowly making changes to combat it, too. One of these attempts, though it may seem silly, is a little hashtag I’ve been using more & more often. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll occasionally see that I use the tag #happypanda. It’s my excuse to share something positive, whether it’s the love I have for my city, or getting to spend time with those I love, even tweeting that it’s a pretty day.

Where’d this come from? The “panda” bit has has been a nickname used by various people throughout the years, especially my sister. But in the past six months or so this nickname has picked up steam with various people, including those I work with and new friends. From “Apanda” to “Panda Pants” it seems the panda nickname will never leave. And I’m absolutely fine with that. Nicknames are used to create a sense of belonging, sort of like an inside joke, or communicate a higher level of comfort between people. When people feel comfortable enough to call me a nickname of that sort, it makes me, well…happy.

In an effort to not only be happier, but communicate that I am, in fact, that goofy, good-sense-of-humor-having Amanda that I claim to be, I am making a conscious effort to show people this side of myself. #happypanda is just one attempt, but it’s a start.

*Don’t knock #3, if it has tons of hyphens it totally counts as one word.

Down with the Auto- Era

Back in September of last year I wrote a post explaining how people use Twitter in the worst ways possible. I normal prefer to provide constructive criticism to those seeking guidance in online media, but these 7 items are some that I consider rookie mistakes. My hopes were that once many had learned that each was a social media faux pas, they would learn from the mistakes and change their Twitter approaches for the better.

Twitter

These "no-nos" are a Twitter FAIL.

As one might expect, there are still many more people “doing Twitter” all wrong, and these individuals outnumber those who have really grasped the platform. Hey, I guess that’s why there are consultants like myself available to help train people in the social space for the better, right?*

At the time I wrote my “rant” post if you will, I figured that would be that, and I would continue blogging about better business and social media approaches. As I look through blogs, fan pages, and Twitter profiles all day long, I come up with inspiration for new posts and the time (I have the jam-packed moleskine to prove it), but there is one aspect of my Twitter post that I’ve been dying to revisit in order to elaborate on. Care to humor me with this?

Here’s the one point that still greatly irks me:

the obsession with the auto (insert Twitter verb here)

Why must we automate such actions as direct messages and follow-backs on Twitter? How does this make sense for anyone to do? When you allow for a computer or some automated service to take the reigns of your Twitter account, do you not see how you are devaluing your reputation on the web? Your professional reputation? If you can’t even take on the task of deciding which individuals you would like to follow, why do you even bother creating your own tweets? Why not just sign up for a service that creates what they deem “relevant tweets to your following” and believe me, those services exist.

Don't check that box - just don't.

I haven’t even gotten started on the auto-DM. I’m honestly afraid to go in full rant mode for this one, so I will keep this part brief: if you can’t tailor a direct message that is personal to the given Twitter user, don’t bother sending one at all. The whole point of taking the conversation from the public space on the newsfeed to the privacy between you and the other individual is to have a one-on-one conversation. When you opt to send ย someone a generic message, it essentially tells this person, whether new friend, client, or other, that you don’t care.

Twitter interactions already take place with at least two devices standing between individuals in a conversation, so there is no need to add even more to this equation. If you really want to build a following, and build relationships via this platform, then start abiding by the definition of the prefix auto- and do it yourself. Take your Twitter account back and let the automated systems continue being used by those not in the know.

How do you feel about the “auto- era”?

*Shameless self-promotion. I admit, it might’ve been too easy.

7 Ways You’re Doing it Wrong – on Twitter that is.

twitterI will be the first to admit that I am no expert when it comes to social media. I think it’s hard for anyone to claim that title for themselves. This field is so dynamic that each day we are all learning something new.

I can, however, tell you that I know some people have just got it allwrong. There are tweeps I see each and every day on my feed that are sending tweets that just irk me. So in my passive-aggressive manner I have decided to create a little list of what I just LOVE to see on Twitter everyday (please tell me the sarcasm is easy to sense here):

  1. People telling me how much money I can make if I sign up for their services.
  2. Users that link everything back to their website(s).
  3. People claiming to be experts on engagement, yet never actually talk to anyone else.
  4. Those that call themselves a “guru.” Todd Schnick said it before me, but it never hurts to remind everyone of this faux pas.
  5. An entire tweet stream filled with inspirational quotes rather than ever saying anything original.
  6. Auto DM me as soon as I follow them back – as MarketerMikeE says, Don’t Auto DM me, bro!
  7. People that still have the default cloud background. Okay, now I’m just being petty.

This list could go on & on. Twitter is such a valuable tool for creating and supporting an online presence. If you misuse it in one of the ways listed above, there is a good chance you are eliminating possibilities everyday of creating connections, and engaging in meaningful conversation. And if you’re in this for business reasons, you can be sure you’re turning away potential customers each time you do it.

So, I’ve listed my 7. What would you add to this list?

I Tweet, You Tweet.

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