Showing posts with label Social Networking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Social Networking. Show all posts

Monday, June 15, 2015

Social media advice for mediators, coaches and facilitators: Why give a tweet?

Social media advice for mediators, coaches and facilitators: Why give a tweet?


The importance of twitter

Did you know that some peoples’ relationships are completely initiated and developed on twitter? As a mediator, conflict coach or facilitator, this is significant. If you want to reach new markets and develop and retain existing clients, you should consider whether your social media strategy includes twitter. If you do not have a twitter presence, what does this mean for potential clients using this platform who are in need? Will they be able to reach you if they require divorce mediation services? Will you be available to receive their messages if they prefer tweets to traditional email messages?

This blog is meant to discuss the use of twitter for conflict resolution experts as a compliment to our Best Business Ideas: Social Media Networking for Mediators.

Tweeting terms:


A tweet is “a posting made on the social media website Twitter” and “a very short message posted on the Twitter website: the message may include text, keywords, mentions of specific users, links to websites, and links to images or videos on a website” (


Also known as an RT, a retweet is a “repost or forward (a message posted by another user).” Below, you may see the message by Mary Anne @mediator2family which has been retweeted (which is indented in a smaller box below the message by @Mediate2Go).

Twitter Handle:

A twitter handle is a personal identifier on the twitter site, which also acts as a username. You can ‘mention’ someone in a tweet by using their handle (i.e. @mediate2go), so they are notified of your mention. The tweet will also show up in their live feed. Below, you will see the twitter handle of mediate2go. Also note that the twitter handle becomes one’s twitter page address:


A hashtag “is a type of label or metadata tag used on social network and microblogging services which makes it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content” (Wikipedia). Below, you can see the term #freshstart, which was a popular theme at the time, so anyone searching on twitter for #freshstart may see this tweet in association with the term #freshstart.

Twitter feed:
A twitter feed is ”An ongoing stream of Twitter messages (tweets)” (PC Mag). When you log into twitter, you will see this stream of messages appear. They are tweets from people you follow, and others that might have other shared interests, or advertisements. Below, you will see different types of twitter feeds that you can select, including top tweets, video tweets and more.

Twitter is different from other social media sites

Twitter is a medium to have live conversation with others. Keep in mind thata  tweet’s lifetime is 18-20 minutes, unlike more static posts on facebook. A tweet can still be seen on your twitter page, but it only remains ‘active’ and on the twitter feed 20 minutes or so.

The twitter equation

Ideally, you should be posting one thematic tweet, 4 or 5 times a day. The structure of the tweet should be the 1) Headline, the link 2) Link and 3) 3 Hashtags (#). Although it might be challenging to find sufficient amounts of compelling and appropriate content for your twitter account, the number of posts can significantly increase your reach.

Content in your post

Avoid common mistakes in developing and sharing your twitter content.

Avoid the following
  • Too much direct promotion: (ie. buy this service). Some say this type of content should only be posted in 1 tweet out of every 10 tweets.
  • Mixing your personal and brand identity: Set up separate twitter accounts, and distance your personal from your professional identity, or risk alienating your followers and looking unprofessional. Still be personable, so people can identify with your brand/company.
  • Letting the trend guide you: Use trends to inspire you in your twitter content and headline, but only if you can connect it seamlessly with your message
  • Tweeting without a schedule or plan: You should set up a yearly schedule of dates to keep in mind to share content so that you don’t miss important events that provide rich content (i.e. international conflict resolution day).

Mediators, coaches and facilitators, try the following when you tweet:

  • See what’s trending: Check what is trending during the day, and use the #’s you see. Also, keep track of useful “Retweet Bait” like #FF – #FollowFriday, #FridayFeeling, or #TBT – Throw back Thursday. These can be used in your twitter equation to maximize the spread of your message. 
  • Post blog materials: If you are looking for inspiration, tweet a blog link, shorten it with or within your Google account. Feel free to go back and promote previously posted blogs to new audiences. 
  • Thank new followers: with a unique message or question to add further content to your twitter feed, and show potential followers that you would be an ideal twitter friend in the future. 
  • Use photos or graphics: Share photos twitter, but remember they are only live for 20 minutes, so don’t take too much time or spend too many resources in developing these.

Followers – who to follow and who to avoid

You can follow people to have their content appear in your twitter feed. It’s also a way to get them interested your business. When you follow them, they will get a notification stating as much. Watch out, some people might follow you, and then once you have followed them back, they will unfollow you. This is a sneaky way for them to build their list of followers. This means that that you might be following someone who isn’t interested in your tweets.

Here are some things to avoid when it comes to followers.

  • Following the wrong people: People who are not your target clients should not be followed, unless you have some other type of strategic business reason for doing so.
  • Paying for followers: If you have a social media budget, use this to hire someone to do regular posts.

Here are some things to try when it comes to followers:

  • Keep it local: Connect with local community members, businesses and community groups on twitter, so that they see your name out there. Engage with them on local issues so you that look like an available expert.

View twitter as a tool to build relationships like you would in person.

Here are some principles to keep in mind when you tweet:

  • Build Relationships: Even if twitter is the only platform for some of these new relationships, try to consider them as important as in-person professional relationships. You might meet these practitioners in person one day
  • Consistent identity: Choose three characteristics that your ideal clients look for in a mediator, coach or facilitator, then brainstorm ways that you can tweet to emphasize or demonstrate this aspect of your brand identity (i.e. if you deal with condo disputes, then post about condo-related regulations, court decisions related to condo disputes, news stories on condos and condo associations to show that you are active in the community and that you are an expert).
  • Use a mediation-based tweeting philosophy: build trust with more communication, and develop collaborative and friendly relationships with others as you would in the ‘real’ world.
  • Help other people connect: Do your best to be a ‘connector’. Reply to other people’s tweets and mention interested third parties as they might return the favour one day.
  • Quality Circle/community of practice: Use twitter as a quality circle or community of practice to discuss issues you face in difficult mediation, coaching and facilitation cases to get feedback and ideas.

Conclusion – Social media advice for mediators, coaches and facilitators: Why give a tweet?

Twitter can be intimidating, especially if you are unfamiliar with how it works. You might not even see the value in developing a twitter-based identity. Hopefully, we provided you with some thought provoking and inspiring reasons to try twitter, and practical tools to build and maintain a successful mediation services, coaching services and facilitation practice with social media. If you don’t have enough time to develop content, hire a student who wants to become a mediator, coach or facilitator. Lots of people are looking for mediation jobs, so ask for help today.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Best Business Ideas - Social Networking for Mediators

Best business ideas for 2015 - Social Networking for Mediators

What every mediator and conflict coach needs to know about social media networking.

1. Build bridges with social networking

Instead of simply sharing your opinion on your social networking accounts, start discussions to create engagement. You should build relationships with new colleagues and potential clients, similar to what we do on Facebook, Twitter, and our blog. . Remember, younger generations might have relationships that are completely based online. Young people are potential future clients in need. Don't be scared of competition. We are all promoting the field of mediation for the benefit of clients in need. Mediation is still underused as an alternative.

2. On the clock

Business social media is on time. To maximize your social networking efforts, launch your posts based on your audience’s usual engagement time - specific to the platform.  MediaBistro says that in general, you should post on Facebook weekdays between 6-8am, or 2-5pm, on Twitter on weekends between 1-3pm,   between 9am-11am, and on your blog Monday, Friday and Saturday at 11am. Again, this depends on your specific audience. Check on each site for information or sign up for a program such as Hootsuite.

3. Create alliances and cross-promote with new networks

Start to share with colleagues and promote with others in the field to improve reciprocation. Connect with new communities in complimentary fields. Don’t just think about your usual client base. Start to think about other communities that might benefit from your services. The more you “Retweet” or post about others, the more likely they are to do the same. Also share some private messages with them to build the relationship further. See the next section connecting in new ways.

4. Boost impact of each post

To improve search-ability and connect with new clients, use the @ symbol to share your post with particular organizations, communities and users; flagging them of your new and relevant social networking content. Use the # symbol in order to emphasize a popular theme. Search for trends on each platform and use the same words with a # symbol in front in order to get your ideas picked up by others searching for the same theme. Trend searches on Twitter are particularly useful.

5. Schedule social networking

In order to optimize your social networking outreach, make a calendar and set up reminders so that you have content ready to post, on the right platform, at the right time. This is essential to ensure a successful business social media strategy. This will also help you boost each social networking post.

6. Get noticed with your social networking ideas

People connect with powerful images, so share other user’s images or make your own. Social networking is competitive, so you need to stand out as much as you can. Be sure to add a comment with each image you post.

7. Ask for help from a social networking pro

Recruit a student from a local college or university with an interest in conflict resolution to write blogs and take care of your social networking outreach. They learn something through researching subject matter, and you have someone with the know-how, posting for your practice to improve your business. The younger generations uses social media networking as part of their daily life, so it comes naturally to them. 

8. Get the social networking app

Start using social media applications on your phone, so that when you have an idea, you can tweet about it immediately. Although you must take into account optimal timing, this is still a great way to start and respond to discussions right away. Social media networking will start to become part of your daily routine, and you will also be able to keep track of current trends in the field. For example, instead of doing nothing at a bus stop, you can post your best conflict resolution ideas.

9. Consistency over quantity

Don’t spread yourself too thin. Choose one or two social networking platforms and focus on them to maximize your Search Engine Optimization. Don’t leave inactive accounts online, or it will hurt your search engine optimization. Don’t feel bad about letting it go, if you realize you have ran out of time to give it the attention it needs. You should be posting new material each week.

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