Some of you know that I run an online marketing business. Through the course of my business, I am often asked how a ministry can attract more Twitter followers. Well, there are lots of ways to attract followers, but one of the most important is having a properly set up account and profile. Believe it or not, there’s a chance your Twitter profile may actually be turning people off from following you.
With that in mind, I created this step by step video for creating a new Twitter account and profile. It starts with creating an account (basic stuff for many of you) and includes things like the correct way to word your bio, the right type of picture to use, and the best settings to choose. It really DOES make a difference and should help you get more of those follows and follow-backs you’ve been looking for.
Below is a list of the iPhone apps I use most. It’s not the sexiest list, but they’re full of real-world use. Enjoy!
Daily Tracker – I use this app to track just about everything, from my personal devos to exercise and spending. It’s great for those who are trying to get more disciplined.
Dictionary.com – I like to know what words mean. Does that make me a nerd? Maybe, but at least I can look them up in style with a massively helpful app.
Dropbox – Sharing files among devices doesn’t get much easier. The cool thing about Dropbox is that you can read word processor files and pdfs without needing a seperate reader. I keep a few sermons in my Dropbox just in case.
Ego – I like to keep an eye on my clients’ (and my own) social media properties and this little app lets me do it all in one place.
Evernote – Because the best ideas come at the worst times, this app lets me jot down and organize mine while syncing them between devices. From sermons to blog posts, they usually start with an Evernote.
Facebook – If you’re not using this one, you’re either not on Facebook or you don’t have an iPhone/iPod Touch.
Google Search – This should come pre-installed. On almost a daily basis, I’ll do a quick voice search to answer whatever nagging question is on my mind, like “How old is Bob Barker?”
Hipstamatic – Rather than adding retro effects after the fact, this app turns your phone into a vintage toy camera. Swap out lenses and film types to get some massively cool effects. You can even order paper prints online.
Lose It – After years of trying to drop that last 10 lbs, Lose It helped me finally do it. Plug in your goals and it will give you a calorie allowance. Keep track and you’re on your way. I use it to maintain weight now.
MobileRSS Free – There are prettier RSS readers out there, but I like this one for it’s ability to sync with my Google Reader account. You can also Tweet or email your favorite posts.
Netflix – If you have Netflix, you HAVE to use this app. Stream anything from their instant library right to your phone. I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of nights watching episodes of MST3K while laying in bed.
Olive Tree Bible Reader – There are more popular Bible readers out there, but I like Olive Tree for it’s simplicity and ease of use. Also, you can purchase books so that you don’t have to be online to read them.
Pandora – Create a radio station that plays only your favorite music and listen for free. What’s there not to like? This is the kind of thing car stereo aux inputs were made for!
PolyTune – By far the best guitar tuner for the iPhone. If you’re a guitar player, you know how bad it stinks when you need a tuner and there’s not one to be found. Now you can always have one on you.
Skype – I have to spend LOTS of time on the phone, with many calls going well over an hour or two. Skype lets me talk away without using a single cell phone minute. A must have for keeping those mobile phone bills low.
Todo – Nothing really glamorous here. A task list app that syncs with my iCal task list.
TuneIn Radio – The absolute best radio app I’ve ever seen! Tune in to broadcast stations from all over the world AND online stations. Bookmark them for easy access. You can even record shows to listen to later.
Twittelator Pro – Hands down the best Twitter client I’ve ever used (and I’ve tried a LOT!) Upload to Twitpic/Twitvid, manage multiple accounts, follow lists, shrink urls, translate foreign tweets, and more.
WhitePages – Find people and business, get directions, etc. You can even do a reverse phone number lookup to see who called you, but didn’t leave a message.
Yelp – A great way to find restaurants, shops, etc. nearby. Read reviews to see what others think before going in. Also has a social media component for sharing your own opinions and experiences.
What are the iPhone/iPod touch apps you use most? Share some of your favs in the comment section below!
This is my friend Shelby. She frequently visits the shelter I help at. I met her there last Christmas when my family and I went to go help serve Christmas dinner. She usually wears sunglasses and a cute hat. I’ll join her towards the end of lunch and she’ll tell me what the squirrels say when she drinks her coffee in the park. She also shares about her daughter in New Mexico, her kittens, and the life she once knew a long time ago.
Yesterday, she approached me and asked if I would pray for her. She said she was on day 5 of her “new life”. She couldn’t tell me what her new life was all about or what it entailed but she knew that she needed a new life and that she couldn’t live it without a little help. I was honored to sit next to her and say a prayer.
I have to admit, I wonder why she asked me. We’ve never really talked about faith before. Most of the time I just sit and listen. When I’m not sitting with her, I’m usually helping participants fill out assistance forms or hauling bags of dog food for our pet assistance program. It’s not like I wear a t-shirt that says “Licensed Minister” and I know she’s never read my blog.
The only conclusion I can make is that maybe all that sitting, listening, smiling, and serving has made an impression that no amount of preaching, shoulder patting, scripture quoting, or advice giving could ever make.
Whatever the reason, I’m glad she asked me to pray and I’m still praying that her “new life” continues on to day 6, day 7, 8, 9, 10 and keeps on going.
I know this post doesn’t really fit that great here at my blog site, but I was hoping that this would be a blessing for both of us.
Last year, I took a huge, stretchy step of faith and decided to become a tent maker. After 17 years of full-time ministry, I started my own business, and continued to speak, write, take missions trips, etc, without receiving a weekly paycheck. I know that sounds backwards. Most people work a job outside of ministry until they can go “full-time” at a church or something. It’s an experiment I wanted to conduct and the results aren’t in yet.
The business happens to be a media/marketing business. We build web sites, create graphics, videos, etc for churches, ministries, and small businesses. We also build blogs, which leads us to this opportunity…
I would like to set up a first class blog for you for free. One with a real address like www.yourname.com instead of www.yourname.blogger.com. One built with a premium theme that you can customize and make your own. And I’d like to give you a super cool email address with your own url in it instead of that old gmail address. What will this cost you? NOTHING! Just pay your hosting fee ($10 a month) and you’ve just stepped in to Awesome Bloggerville.
Why? Because your monthly hosting fee helps me to keep leading prayer experiences, keep preaching, and keep taking equipment to Irish church planters, that’s why. It’s a blessing to me and my family AND a blessing to you because you get a premium blog setup for free.
So here’s how it works. We’ll take care of your domain name (how about jesusisawesome.com?), give you two email addresses, build the required database, install WordPress on our servers, and hook you up with one of the best themes available. It’s the same theme I use (without the wood background and other customizations I’ve made). Then you take it, add your own personal touches to it, and blog like the wind!
It’s a super great opportunity to upgrade to a first class blog site AND support a cool ministry! Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, email address, phone number, and current web site (if any), and I’ll contact you to get started. You’ll be glad you did!
Thanks so much!!
I almost forgot! Please consider hitting that Tweet button on the left. It would be great if LOTS of people knew about this opportunity. Thanks in advance!
I have come to really like Twitter. So much so that I have to tell myself to take a break once in a while so that I can get something done. Twitter levels the playing field and allows anyone to share what’s on their mind or what they’re doing. It’s a great way to extend your ministry, bless others, and create connections.
Where Facebook is about affiliation (who you know or have known) Twitter for me has become about affinity (what do we have in common?) I really like finding others with common interests and passions and following each other.
That said, unless you’re a major public figure, you’re probably finding followers the way most people do; by searching for like-minded individuals, following them, and see if you get a follow back. If you do, you’ve made a connection. Good day!
So let’s say you’re trying to expand your Twitter community and you’re having trouble getting people to follow you back. Here are some reasons why this might be happening:
1. A user name that’s difficult to understand. Zboy1509YO might mean something to you, but it doesn’t do a thing for me. Try keeping your user name as close to your real name or organization’s name as possible.
2. No picture. The Twitter bird is cute but I don’t want to see that graphic all up and down my time line. Use a picture of YOU. I’m interested in connecting with other people, not their dog, car, or favorite beverage.
3. Incomplete bio. I’m going to let you in on a secret. I like to follow people back who share my same interests and affinities. If I see that you’ve followed me, I’m going to check your bio to see if you’re someone I’d like to follow back. Add a link to your blog (not your sales presentation) there. If there’s no information there, I’m going to assume we have nothing in common and not follow you back. The key is to make me work as little as possible to find out if you’re someone I would like to follow back.
4. A protected profile. Sometimes I like to read a few of your tweets before I decide whether or not to follow you back. You send me a follow. I click on your name to see your Twitter profile and I see a padlock. “Tweets are protected.” How do I know you have anything interesting to say? I’m not taking any chances on a protected profile. No follow back!
5. All of your tweets include a link. If I see links on all of your tweets, chances are I won’t even read them to see if they’re interesting. When 100% of your tweets are links to your web site, chances are you’re only interested in driving traffic or selling something. I’m in it for interaction and community, not to read 140 character commercials every few minutes. With that said, I do follow those links when posted by people who have other things to share too.
6. You’re building a fan club. One of the worst Twitter travesties I’ve seen is when people thin out the number of people they’re following to cause a greater gap in their followers to following ratio. Look, if you’re a major celebrity, it’s understandable to have 100,000 followers and only be following 25. The sad thing is that I’ve seen people in ministry drop followers to appear more popular (or something). It’s one thing to unfollow others who aren’t following you back but come on! Unfollowing people who are following you because you want a Twitter ego boost? Shame! Twitter is about connection and community, not about building up your fan base. Ministers should be especially aware of this. So, if you unfollow me, don’t expect me to keep following you back.
The key is to represent yourself with clarity and, as I said earlier, make it as easy as possible for people to discover if you’re the kind of person they’d like to follow back. It’s about affinity and community, a really cool thing in this day and age. Keep building your community (not your fan club) and we’re in for a great time together.
What are some things that cause YOU not to follow back?
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