How to Identify "The Next Big Thing"?

How to Identify "The Next Big Thing"?

And No, WWE fans! I am not talking about Brock Lesnar here.

I am talking about identifying the next big thing in technology. Here's how you identify it:
  • When people tell you that they will NEVER (that's the keyword) use a particular piece of technology, then that's the next big thing .
  • When people tell you, "It's so stupid. I don't see the point of it. Why would anyone use this? I just don't understand why so many people are using it?" (Did you or someone you know say this about Twitter?) Then, that's the next big thing.

The Next Big Thing is never usually accepted right away. There is always resistance, followed by reluctance and then acceptance. It always takes time before the "New" becomes the "Norm". This however can gain you an unfair advantage if you can identify the next big thing and accept it early on. What are some of the advantages?
  • You can make bank (read big money) by investing in it early on.
  • If you are a marketer, you can use it to sell much before your competitors figure how to use 'it'. (By the way, did you know that marketers ruin everything that is good? More about it some other day in some other post).
  • Or, you can simply use it to improve your life (like a computer or a cell phone).

Still don't believe me? Okay! Let's go through some examples.

When Facebook  first came out, did you or many other people you know say, "I am never getting a Facebook account. What's the whole point?" ... Are you ... on Facebook today? NO! Other people who said they never going to be on Facebook are on as well? You don't say!

In the late 90's cell phones became available for mass market. Do you know anybody who said, "I am not going to get one. Why would I want people to be able to contact me 24/7?" Do you happen to own a cell phone today?

Did you have a teenager in mid-2000's? Did you refuse to ever communicate to them via text messages? What is your primary way of communicating with your teenager today?

When laptops came out, people said ... Why would I want to carry my computer everywhere I go? Do you still own a desktop today?

Let's go back about a 100 years. When cars were first produced for the mass market, do you know what people said? That's stupid. Why would anybody buy a car? My horse and buggy work just fine. What would you have said to that horse and buggy person?

Learning to identify the opportunities before anyone else does can do wonders for you. A few weeks ago, I heard someone talk excitedly about a new phone application called Snapchat. The person she was talking to said, "Why? I don't see a point of message disappearing within seconds." You know what went through my mind?

Here's the kicker. Yesterday, I saw an article that said, Facebook offered by buy Snapchat for a $3 billion all-cash offer. Snapchat politely declined that offer because their 23-year old CEO believes much bigger and better offers are in store.

What kind of things are you saying 'No' to? What things, you said No to in past and accepted later on, become "The Next Big Thing"?

Until next time, be happy! Don't worry!

- Mayur

How to Get New Facebook Fans?

Facebook is a great way to connect with your customers, build relationships, promote sales, etc. But, if you don't have any fans, its difficult to do any of those things.

Just because you built it, does not mean they will come.

Facebook is not Google. People don't go on Facebook and say, "Hmm, let's see what business can I 'like' today?" That's just not how it works. You need to build awareness among your current and future customers. You need to tell them, "Hey, we have a Facebook page. Won't you come Like it?"

So, How do you Invite people to like your Facebook Page?

There are multiple ways to accomplish this task.
  1. Invite your existing 'sphere of influence' - your friends and family.
  2. Add a 'Like' box on your website.
  3. Add a 'Like' box on your About Us page.
  4. Add a 'Like' box on your 'Thank you' page.
  5. Ask people to Like your Facebook page with videos
  6. Ask your Twitter followers to Like your Facebook page.
  7. Use Facebook Ads to Invite 'Targeted' audience to Like your Facebook page.
Invite your existing 'Sphere of Influence' - your friends and family

Your friends and family know you, like you and trust you. When you first start a Facebook page, send all of them an invitation through Facebook to Like your page. Some of them are bound to "LIKE" your page. This helps strangers like your page in future. How? It provides social-proof. We humans trust people more than we trust corporations. So, when a stranger stumbles upon your page, he will see you already have likes. His/Her mind thinks, "If these people like it, maybe I will too."

Add a 'Like' box on your website.

A 'Like' box allows visitors on your website to LIKE your Facebook page without leaving your website. This is fantastic. For years, people spent thousands of dollars on SEO. When Social Networking first became hot, companies started putting Facebook icon on their homepages and linked that icon to their Facebook page. In other words, Your customers found you through Google (read YOUR SEO efforts) and then you immediately sent them to Facebook (for FREE). No wonder Facebook grew so rapidly. Companies around the world financed it's SEO.

A 'Like' box lets you have all the advantages of Facebook and still keep your customers on your website. If your site is hosted on WordPress, it has plugins you can install and get this up and running in no time. If your site is NOT hosted on WordPress, you can go to

Oh, almost forgot ... When you add a Like box on your Facebook page, choose the option to display profile pictures of other people who have already liked your page. It provides social proof to new visitors.

Add a 'Like' box on your About Us page.

This one is a no-brainer. Think about it. If people are looking at your About Us page, they are obviously interested in your business and want to find out more about who you are. These are "Hot Leads". Why not take advantage of this and ask them to like your Facebook page as well?

Add a 'Like' box on your Thank You page.

If your audience on About Us page were "hot", the people on your Thank you page are "burning". Wait, what's a Thank You page? Do you have a mechanism to capture your visitor's email address through a form or a free offer? In almost all cases, when a user fills out a form on a website, they get redirected to a Thank You page.

Audience on your Thank you page have WILLINGLY given you their information. They already like you. Now, get them to like your Facebook page as well.

Ask People to Like your Facebook Page with Videos.

There are many individuals and companies who create videos to build and expand their business. Do you have a call to action at the end of your videos? I'd say, "Wonderful" if you answered the last question in affirmative. If not, this is another opportunity to ask your audience to Like your Facebook page. Let them know that doing so will allow them to keep up with the latest updates of your business or get exclusive discounts on your products and services.

Ask your Twitter followers to Like your Facebook page.

Again, these people are "burning" leads. If people are already following you on Twitter, why not ask them to follow you on Facebook as well? Many will oblige. Leverage different platforms to build communities on them.

Use Facebook Ads to Invite Targeted Audience to Like your Facebook page.

Until now, all the above strategies can be applied for FREE. This one costs money but could be more effective than any of the above if done correctly.

Facebook now allows you to target audience groups of your choice. For example, if you are a motorcycle repair shop, you can create a Ad of Facebook and target all people who "Like" Harley Davidson page AND live in your zip code. When people click on your Ad, it will bring them to your Facebook page and they can LIKE your page.

I hope these strategies help and you get a lot of Facebook Fans! You can Like my Facebook page at


Helping is the New Selling!

Helping is the new Selling

Jay Baer (Twitter: @JayBaer ) often says that the difference between helping and selling is just two letters. He's right, HP and SL. In today's world, these two letters make monumental difference when it comes to your sales figures and customer retention. When you are selling, you are pretty much yelling in your consumers' ears. It just doesn't work anymore. We have gotten really good at blocking all the unwanted noise (regardless of what form it is in ... banner ads, videos, posters, etc.). Helping is where the future lies.

Did you know that B2B consumers make up 70% of their mind whether to purchase a product or not before they call a salesperson? People don't need selling and convincing from a salesperson today. The Web and Social Media does that for them. They only need the salesperson to help them purchase the product and make the transaction as easy and painless as possible.

So, how do you find people to help?

Twitter is one of the best ways to find people to help. Twitter Search ( is a fantastic for that. If you are a CPA, search for terms like "looking for an accountant", "need to do taxes", "tax software", etc. Put yourself in your clients shoes and think what would they tweet? Then use those phrases to begin your search with.

Gary Vaynerchuk (Twitter: @GaryVee) recently wrote an article titled, "13 Tweets a Real Estate Agent Should Have Answered, Not Me". In there, he shows you how to break through the noise and find people to help.

Hilton is another great example. Through their Twitter account (@HiltonHHonors), Hilton helps people with all kinds of things. If someone is looking for a job in a new city, they refer job sites to them. If someone is looking for a place to eat, they give out recommendations.

How does helping people help ME sell and make money?

Believe it or not, but psychology states that if you help people or make their life easier in someway, they look for ways to repay your kindness. Hilton's philosophy is that, everyone rents hotel rooms every now and then. If Hilton continues helping people, then one day when people are looking for a hotel to stay a night or two, Hilton will be the first thing that comes to their mind. In other words, Hilton is occupying a share of its customers' mind-space by helping them.

Jay Baer calls this YOUTILITY. In fact, he has written a whole NY-Times Bestseller about this - "YOUTILITY - Why Smart Marketing is about Help, not hype ". The idea is rather than customers hunting for "utilities" to solve their questions and problems, YOU become that "Youtility" for them. It's marketing turned upside-down. Rather than inviting customers to your business, take your business to your customers.

Youtility gives the brand that extra edge that allows it to ultimately sell more by "selling" less. - Jay Baer

Big brands have the ability to spend millions of dollars to get big results. It's a tad-bit difficult for Small business owners like you and me to shell out millions for a 30-second Superbowl Ad. So, we turn to the next big thing, social media. But, some business owners are having a difficult time figuring out how to generate new business with social media as well. Hopefully, not anymore. Find people to help and help them with their needs.

With all my heart, I believe it's the secret to winning in social media.

Now, a question for you

What do you think? Is helping really the new selling? Or is it just a hype that will die down until something new comes around? Post your answers in the comments below.

How to Invite the World to Build your Business?

How to invite the world to build your business?

I recently read a story about how WordPress became so successful because of it's open-source concept. WordPress wasn't the first blogging software to arrive in the market but it quickly became the #1 choice of bloggers because of the plugins, themes and widgets available through it. How did they do it? They invited the world to help them build and grow WordPress. They turned WordPress into an open-source software so that anyone who knew how to code, build plugins, widgets and themes could contribute to it.

WordPress wasn't the first company to open their software to the world and won't be the last. But, my questions after reading the article were, are there other businesses outside of the technology/software space using this concept? Could this concept be applied to mom-and-pop stores? What about small consulting practices? How can they do it? How can a small business with limited resources invite the entire world to build its business?

Idea # 1:  Build an "Idea" forum / site.

How it works:
Build an "Idea" forum / site where people can suggest ideas for your business. The ideas can include a new product/service idea, lead generation idea, marketing idea, customer service idea, anything really.

Tell everybody you know (customers who walks through your door, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, email subscribers, friends, family, anybody else) about your idea blog and how they can contribute to it. Evaluate each idea that comes in and use the ones that you can to grow your business. You might even find great ideas that don't apply to your business currently. Store them for future use.

Starbucks did this a few years ago. They build a site called "My Starbucks Idea" and received thousands of great ideas that they could use.

Idea # 2:  Turn haters into heroes.

How it works:
When a customer gives you negative feedback on a public platform, smile. Acknowledge your mistake and fix it. Once fixed, invite the customer back for another experience and give them a world-class service. They will love you to death, not because you turned things around but because you listened to their input and considered it valuable.

Next, turn that customer into a "hero that helped your business". Write a great blog post, create a YouTube video, share the story with the media by telling how that customer helped you fix the mistake. Make the customer a hero. You will be surprised to find how many other customers will come to you with new ideas or send new business that will take your business to the next level.

Idea # 3:  Build a social media campaign and give discounts for "Collective effort"

How it works:
Create a social media campaign and say if you get X number of likes / shares / tweets / re-tweets, etc. then you will give away a Y% of discount. Tell everyone you know about this campaign and let people share it with their friends and families. It could work something like this:

1,000 New likes = 10% discount.
2,000 New likes = 20% discount.
3,000 New likes = 30% discount.

It is important that you set a time limit as to when the campaign ends and Likes after your selected time limit will not be counted. Announce the results, and send everyone who liked the page a "special discount code" to use with their next purchase.

I hope these ideas help you growing your business and help you invite the world to build your business.

Do you have any ideas for small businesses to grow their business? Or, have you seen a small business execute a phenomenal idea? If so, please share them with others. Growth happens at exponential speed when people decide to help people unselfishly.

Growth happens at exponential speed when people decide to help people unselfishly.

Thank You,

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How to Fail and Succeed with Social Media?


There are two components that dictate our failure or success with pretty much anything in life - our thought process and our actions provided we have the ability to execute. Success happens when our thought process and actions align with our goals. Needless to say, failure happens when our thought process and actions do not align with our goals.

Success happens when our thought process and actions align with our goals.

In this blog post, we will explore what kind of thought process and actions result into failure or success when it comes to social media.

How to Fail in Social Media?

Thought process that leads to social media failure

  • Social media is something we do only because our boss asked us to.
  • Social media is something we do only because our customers asked us to.
  • I have so much to do already, how am I going to find time to create new content?
  • It's always better to get on new social networks, especially the ones gaining popularity.

Actions that lead to social media failure

  • Abandoning social media accounts
  • Not engaging in conversations
  • Creating new content once-in-a-blue-moon
  • Creating useless content
  • Every status update is a sales pitch
  • Not measuring metrics
Now that we know how to fail in social media, let's find out what we can do to succeed.

How to Succeed in Social Media?

Thought process that leads to social media success

  • I should leverage social media to get more out of my existing sales, marketing, customer service and business development strategies.
  • If I delegate some of my tasks, I will have time to create content.
  • Look at all the content I have from my brochures, seminars, articles and website. I can recycle it in different formats and feed it to my social networks.
  • I need to identify which social media network will let me share my story in a great way. This way, I can spend the majority of my "social media" time on it, growing my following.
  • Everyone is talking about this new social media network. I wonder how effectively can I tell my story on it? How can I test it's suitability to my goals quickly and inexpensively?
  • How can I measure my ROI effectively to figure out what works and what does not work?

Actions that lead to social media success

  • Regularly updating social media accounts with relevant, helpful content created by you and others.
  • Engaging into conversations.
  • Reaching out to other so you can create conversations with them.
  • Sending marketing messages only once in a while.
  • Tracking and measuring all social media efforts to learn where to improve.
  • Building a large following on a single social network and then leveraging it to build other networks.
  • Integrating social media on website / blog. (Read my post on 5 Levels of Social Media Integration for ideas)

Most importantly, you need to like social media to succeed at it. If you don't like it, you won't believe it in and it will become a chore that will be abandoned quickly.

Actions are always driven by thought process. If you find yourself thinking like the points listed in the "failure" section, I hope you get determined to change your thought-process. If you find yourself thinking like the points listed in the "success" section, Congratulations! I hope many great things come your way.

And lastly, what would you add to or remove from the lists above?

Have a great day,

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How to Legally use your Competitor’s Marketing Budget to meet your Online Goals

How to legally use your competitor's marketing budget to meet your online goals

In this post, we will cover the following items:
  • Funniest joke you will hear today
  • How to observe your competitors?
  • How to analyze your findings?
  • Using best identified practices to grow your business


Funniest joke you will hear today

A young man is riding the subway in NYC. About two stops later, a young woman boards the subway and sits next to him. He looks at her, smiles and says, "You look a lot like my wife." The young woman gives him a stern look and then slaps him across the face real hard.

The young man holding his red cheek says, "Habits match too."

Hope you enjoyed that! Now to the meat and potatoes of this post. Shall we?

When I say using your competitor’s marketing budget, I don’t mean sending them invoices for the money you spend on your marketing. Far from it, actually! What I’m saying is observe their marketing efforts closely. Then use that learning to improve your marketing and generate better results for you. This is especially helpful if you have tried a bunch of things on your own without any successful results.

How to observe your competitors?

Identify your top 1-3 competitors and subscribe to their social media channels. Look at everything they post and take copious notes. Some things you want to look at are:

Blog Posts:
  • Blog titles. Are you compelled to open them when you first read it?
  • Length of their blog posts.
  • How good is their content? Do you want to read the entire post or close the browser half-way through?
  • What kind of content do they post? Text? Podcasts? Presentations? Infographics? Videos?
  • How do they begin and end their post?
  • How many comments do their posts get on average?
  • Do they post the links to their blog post on other social media channels?
  • If you want to really drill down, you can look at the relativity of the picture posted along with the post, font type face & font size (is it easy to read or a strain to your eye?), what keywords could be used find this post, how often do they use those keywords in the body of the post, etc.

  • Is their Facebook page branded? Do they have a profile picture and cover photo that match their website?
  • How is their description written?
  • How often do they post on Facebook?
  • What kind of content do they mostly post? Text, pictures, infographics or videos?
  • What is their content posed as? Questions, statements or links?
  • If links, are they from their site or other sites around the web?
  • Which posts get the most engagement (likes, comments & shares)?
  • Not all their posts will get good engagement. Look at why some of their posts get lot of engagement and some don’t?
  • Are they using Facebook applications? Which ones?
  • Are they encouraging people to follow them on Twitter and other social media channels?
  • How many people like their Facebook page?

  • Is their channel branded? Do they have a profile picture, header background and a custom page background?
  • What do they tweet about?
  • How often do they tweet?
  • Do they engage in a lot of conversations or a few?
  • What are some of the things they write in Twitter conversations?
  • Do they host Twitter chats?
  • How many followers do they have?

  • Is their channel branded?
  • What kind of videos do they post? Marketing messages type? Educational?
  • Are the videos interesting to watch?
  • What is the average length of the videos?
  • Have any of their videos received lot of views? Why do you think that is?
  • How many people have subscribed to their channel?

This is just the beginning. But, I’m sure you get the picture. Once you collect all your data, it’s time to analyze it.

How to analyze your findings?

  • Identify what is currently working for them.
  • Can you replicate these things in your business?
  • Can you improve upon these things?
  • If you were to do something differently, what would it be?
  • Identify what is not working for them?
  • Are they not working for any specific reason? Can you improve upon them and make them work for you?

Using best identified practices to grow your business

Done with your analysis? Let’s get into action and put everything you learnt into practice. You will definitely see a difference in your results much faster than you would have otherwise.
I understand this exercise requires a lot of work. But, it is also going to save you tremendous amount of time and money in the long run. Think about it. Companies like GE, Coke, Ford, etc. are spending millions of dollars, thousands of man-power hours and many other great resources to come up with a social media strategy that works for them. All you have to do is subscribe to their channels, find out what is working for them and implement it to grow your business. It’s a simple and effective way to legally use your competitors marketing budget to meet your online goals.

Social media has leveled the playing field where the small guy has just as much advantage as the big guy. Winning in marketing is not about budgets anymore. Companies with most user engagement will win regardless of budget size.

I know I missed writing on some other large platforms notably LinkedIn and Pinterest. But, that’s where you come in. IF YOU ARE ON LinkedIn and/or Pinterest, write how you are using those sites in the comment section of this post (see below). This way, we all can learn from each other.

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Mayur Gudka's 10 Ways to Effectively Use Twitter for Business

In this blog post, we will talk about the following things:
  • The 80/20 Rule
  • 10 ways to effectively use Twitter for business

The 80/20 Rule

If you are familiar with this rule, feel free to skip to the next section.

The 80/20 rule is also known as the Pareto Principle. In mid-late 1800's an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto noticed that 80% of the wealth in the country was controlled by 20% of the population. At first he found it strange, so he researched to find it the concept held true for all other countries as well. His findings were consistent throughout Europe. In his research, he also found that the 80/20 rule held true for other things in life (besides wealth). 80% of work is performed by 20% of people in a company. 80% of results are generated by 20% of activities. 80% of movie awards are won by 20% of people. You get the point.

My intent in this blog is to identify the 20% of Twitter activities that will generate 80% of results for your business.

10 Ways to Effectively Use Twitter for Business

In order to understand the effective Twitter activities I believe it is important to know and understand the ineffective activities that generate the minimal results. The following are activities that are eating up 80% of your time and producing 20% of intended results.
  • Quest for a "perfect" Twitter profile.
  • You follow other people daily with the hopes of them following you back. If they don't reciprocate to your "follow", you un-follow them.
  • You post motivational quotes quite often
  • You have a link to your Twitter account tucked away in some corner of your website.
  • You tweets only include content from your website or content of interest to you.
  • You post like a corporation instead of a human. In other words, your tweets have a personality of a rock.
Now that we have established the list of activities you should not be spending your time on, let's see what activities you should be focusing on. The following list of activities (in no specific order) will help you generate far better results on Twitter:
  1. Converse. Build relationships by posting meaningful comments on other people's tweets. If you don't think you can keep up with all your followers, create Twitter Lists and add it to the ones you really want to build great relationships with.
  2. When people mention you or ask you a question on Twitter, reply back. It's not only good etiquette but it will create some fans for you. Most people with sizable following don't reply to others comments or questions. When you do, they will actually go, "Wow! S/He replied back. That's awesome!"
  3. Share great content that is of interest to your audience and not necessarily just you. For example, if you own a framing company, share content from around the web that will help people build lasting memories. Your followers will appreciate that.
  4. Let people know they can ask you any question about [your field of expertise].
  5. Stop auto following or auto un-following on Twitter. That's SPAM.
  6. Replace your profile picture from Twitter Egghead to a decent headshot of yourself.
  7. Add a sharing mechanism on all your blog posts and newsletters.
  8. Build custom pre-populated tweet buttons and spread them across your website. For example, if you have a special event or a news blurb you mention on a website, put a button next to it called "Tweet This". When people click on it, it should allow them to send a tweet about your event or news.
  9. Implement Social Logins for protected content. Basically, people can use their Twitter login to access the password-protected section of your site.
  10. Offer a Gift. When people follow you on Twitter, offer them some kind of a gift or a discount on your products and services.
Once completed, many of these activities don't have to be done again, and you will reap long term benefits from them. This allows you to spend more time in building great relationships. Implementing the above suggestions grow your Twitter following organically. Your tweets will be read, favorite and re-tweeted.

I hope the material in this post helps you get more out of Twitter and grow your following. If you loved this blog post, write a comment below and make sure to follow me on Twitter @mayurgudka. Who knows? You just might love my tweets. (Say that last line 3 times really fast).


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Why Businesses need to think like Media Companies?

Why Businesses need to think like Media Companies?

Let me tell you why I'm writing this blog post. I was reading a Forbes article on Social Media and it said  that 60% of small business owners say they haven't seen ANY return on investment from their engagement online. I wasn't sure I read it right, so I re-read it. The words apparently did not change. If everybody including yours truly is touting social media as a golden tool for finding new customers, reaching out to existing customers, building customer relationships and solving customer service problems then why are 60% of small business owners saying, "It's not working!" Something was not right. There had to be a major problem.

About eight years ago, I started a Network Marketing business for approximately $250. I failed miserably at that business. Why? I heard a speaker say this at a seminar I had attended a long time ago ... Most people fail at network marketing because it is very easy to start this business. It doesn't take much investment of time or money. Sadly, people operate it like a $250 business as well. Think about it. If you had invested $200,000 in opening a retail store, would you have worked your tail off to make sure you get your investment back and then some more? Of course you would! Then why would you not work a network marketing business with equal passion and enthusiasm? Because, it only took $250 to start the business. That's chump change for most people. The real problem here is not the start-up cost. It's the mindset. Both businesses have the potential to become million dollar businesses. But the secret lies in how you think about them. One took an investment of $200,000. For most people that's automatically a million dollar business. The other isn't. You know the reason why.

My apologies for beating this up so much, but I had to get the point across. The price of the tool is irrelevant. What matters is the future value that tool will provide for your business, and that depends on how effectively you use that tool.

As early as 10-15 years ago, if you wanted to get the word out about your new business or a new product or service, you would either go hire a media outlet to spread the word or you would write a press release and try to butter-up a journalist to get it printed in the newspaper. Good news is ... that was how things were done more than a decade ago (some companies still do that ... Ssshh!).

Today, with social media and search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing, businesses can pretty much reach a vast majority of their target audience without any significant investment or connections with media publicists. Businesses are well-aware of that. Despite that, 60% of business owners claim social media is worthless to them. Could it be that they are thinking about this in the wrong manner? It's possible. Just because social media sites allow accounts to be created for free, could businesses be discounting their real value? Again, it's quite possible. In my humble opinion, success rate will change when the mindset towards these tools will change.

Five years ago, social media was considered a novelty. People were not sure whether this would work or not. That's not the case today. It's proven that these tools work if you work the tools. If they have worked for other companies, why can't they work for you? Why can't you replicate their success? It just takes a different level of mindset and enthusiasm to make it work. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, your company blog, etc. have gone much farther ahead than just places where you post your daily happenings. These are massive global communities. They are broadcasting mediums and you need to use it in that manner. Build your own community within them. Engage with your community by educating them, entertaining them and empowering them with quality content. If you need social media tips, just Google it. There are more tips available than necessary.

Before you paid money to other media outlets to do advertising and marketing for you. Social media has now given you the power to do the same. Instead of money, it's asking for sweat equity. Will you give it? Your company is a media powerhouse. You simply need to realize it.

Until next time ...

- Mayur

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Improving your Social Presence through Twitter Chats

Improving your Social Presence through Twitter Chats
Today's post is written by our Guest blogger Kushaan Shah. Naturally, you're asking who's Kushaan and why should I read this? In his own words ...

Kushaan Shah is a 20-year-old business student at the University of Maryland and an aspiring analyst, consultant and entrepreneur. He is a systems thinker, problem solver, and thrives off learning from new people every day. His interests lie primarily at the intersection of business, social impact, and education and he enjoys exploring these topics through virtual conversations and stories. In his free time, he enjoys playing and watching  sports, taste testing new ethnic food, and freelance writing.

Written by Kushaan Shah

You have done the grunt work of establishing the vision of your business, now you have to spread the word and get people to know exactly who you are. Twitter, as of today, has more than 500 million users. It has become an ideal place for business marketing and in a few years will even become a standard for the brand of a business. For social media managers, this is intimidating and often overwhelming. How do you get to meet more like-minded people who will be interested in you on something as large as Twitter?

With the advent of the hash tag, you can now engage in innovative mode of conversation called a "Twitter Chat". Twitter Chats are scheduled chats where individuals gather around a particular subject and have a series of stimulating conversations. Let's say that you are a company interested in marketing education technology products. Your main market might be an enthusiastic, young teacher who is more than inclined to be an early adopter of innovative education technology. A quick Google search would lead you to find a schedule of education-related twitter chats, with education technology chats scheduled every Monday night at 8:00 pm. How do you participate in one? Simply search for "#edtechchat" at the aforementioned name and watch the conversation unfold. To contribute, simply sign all your tweets with "#edtechchat" so it can be found in the conversation.

Here are some reasons why participating in a Twitter chat would be helpful:

Find Influential Users:  Networking is all about building relationships and finding people who can help you grow professionally. With a Twitter chat around educational technology, you will find the most influential names in the field as they dish out some advice and respond to critical questions pertaining to the topic. Twitter chats are a good way to find people to follow that won't disappoint!

Spread the Word About Yourself:  If you participate constantly in a Twitter chat, others may find your ideas interesting and you will be treated with more followers. Now, when you tweet outside of a Twitter chat, your followers will see this as well. When people "retweet" your work, Twitter can be a domino effect of accessing untapped networks.

Learn:  Like any experience in life, Twitter chats can be golden learning opportunities. How do people feel about X? Why do people believe in X? Twitter chats are often littered with personal stories, quotes and experiences that contribute to a better understanding of a subject. If you want to become abreast in any field, Twitter chats are a great way to engage in conversations that will be meaningful.

Essentially, Twitter chats are like extracurricular activities. They are not required for participation. If you are new or relatively unknown on Twitter however, they can be a successful initiative for you to connect, market and learn with others. Want to try it out? Check out the "Leadership Chat" this upcoming Tuesday at 8:00 pm (#LeadershipChat) or search on Google on your own!

To learn more about Kushaan Shah, visit his blog at
You can also connect with him on Twitter @KushaanShah or simply send a note at

Enjoyed this article but still have questions about Twitter Chats? Pick Kushaan's brain by posting your questions and comments below.

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