Category Archives: Social Media/Networking

How to Monitor Your Brand Online Without Breaking the Bank

Image representing Google Alerts as depicted i...

Image via CrunchBase

Nowadays, what’s being said about you online is just as important as what’s being said offline. But because cyberspace is a vast, endless black hole, managing your online reputation may seem like an impossibly daunting task.

Thankfully, there are a number of tools—free tools—that can help you monitor your brand.

Google Alerts is one key free tool. By setting up these alerts, you can elect to be notified each time a particular keyword, such as your name or brand name, or phrase are mentioned online. These notifications can be as often as you like, including weekly, daily or “as it happens.”

Twitter search, which is being heralded as one of the best real-time search apps ever, is also another great tool. So what you’re not on Twitter; that doesn’t mean that folks on Twitter aren’t talking about you anyway.  Make sure you know what’s being said about you. In 2010, Twitter reached 50 million tweets per day. In 2009, that number was half, at 27 million. Judging by its history, Twitter’s “tweets per day” is doubling each year. This year, there’s likely to be more than 75 million tweets per day—If your brand isn’t mentioned once in 75 million tweets each day, you’ve got bigger problems than this article will solve.

Social Mention is a relatively new tool and, according to its homepage, it’s like Google Alerts, except it focuses specifically on social media, such as blogs, microblogs and bookmarking tools. But what makes this tool particularly useful is the fact that it even searches the comments’ section and images for your key phrases and brand names. And you can even select the language. It can’t get any better than that. 

Use these free tools to stay on top of your online reputation—respond to negative comments when necessary and rectify bad situations. If nothing else, consider it free market research. Now what are you waiting for? Get started today!


Are celebrities TOO accessible with social media?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Visit a gossip blog any day of the week and you are bound to come across a story about a celebrity attacking a non-celebrity or fellow celebrity via America’s favorite microblogging site, Twitter. Back in the day, there was an air of mystique surrounding celebrities. But these days, with Twitter, Facebook and other access-granted social tools, the curtains have come down.

This new approach to communicating with celebrities begs the question: Are celebrities too accessible?

Of course, as a publicist, I am all for establishing a positive with the public by almost any means necessary. And with Twitter and other social media tools, this is easier now than ever. But it’s also easier to sever those relationships with just one wrong tweet.

Not only is it easy to damage these relationships with a tweet gone wrong, but again, with that air of mystique no longer there, are fans losing respect for celebrities? It’s human nature to place celebrities on pedestals because of their seemingly unattainable nature, but if we know every move a celebrity makes–from when he/she wakes up to what they eat for breakfast to how a spouse made them mad and more–are we bound to lose our fascination for them? These days anyone can be a so-called celebrity and if everyone is a celebrity, then no one is really a celebrity. Get it?

What do you think? Should celebrities lay off the tweets or should they keep ’em coming?

Using social media to grow your business

Check out the video below on Bryan Elliott, founder of Linked OC, a social networking site that was developed specifically for Orange County, Calif. residents and businesses. In the video, produced by the Social Media Examiner, Elliott talks about how LinkedOC keeps people connected at the local level, how buyers can find sellers and how building networks is not a new concept.

Bryan Elliot from Michael A. Stelzner on Vimeo.

Minorities among Twitter’s biggest users

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

A recently released Pew Internet & American Life survey proves that social media is a particularly popular communication method within the minority community. The study is the first Pew Research study that focuses exclusively on Twitter users.

According to the results, African American and Hispanic Internet users are more than twice (13 and 18% respectively) as likely to use Twitter as white Americans (5%). Other key points:

  • Urban residents are roughly twice as likely to use Twitter as rural dwellers.
  • 18 – 29 year-olds are twice as likely (14%) to use Twitter than 30 – 49 year-olds (7%).
  • Twitter is equally popular in households with incomes of less than $30,000, as it is in households making $50,000 – $74,999.

Launched just four years ago, Twitter has quickly become the world’s leading microblogging site, with more than 190 million users. For the complete Pew Research report, click here.

Social media engagement 101 for fashion designers

fashion photography

Image via Wikipedia

Social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare, offer unprecedented opportunities for fashion designers to connect with potential customers. But before you jump right in, check out this list of  best practices to ensure that you are maximizing your social media efforts while maintaining your brand’s image.

  • Map out an editorial calendar. This is a great planning tool for your social media communications. Focus on delivering timely, relevant topics. For instance, your December calendar items may include posting tips on what to wear for the holidays, fabulous New Year’s party clothes, etc. Regardless of what you choose to include in your editorial calendar, its contents should support your brand’s offline activities.
  • Communicate with your customers and potential customers when they are most likely listening. According to a study released by social media management company Vitrues, social networks are more active during the week with spikes around 11 a.m., 3 p.m. ET. Facebook activity reaches its peak on Wednesdays around 3 p.m.  With this in mind, avoid waiting until Saturday night to post messages.
  • Give your “fans” and “friends” a reason to spread the word about your clothing line. Social networking is built on the premise of sharing; therefore, give them something to re-post and re-tweet. Post free shipping offers, discounts on select pieces in your line–provide things that are likely to go viral. The average Facebook user has 130 friends; imagine the scores of potential customers you will be able to reach if just 10% of your brand advocates were to repost.
  • Moderate your page. Keep in mind that moderation does not mean babysitting. Allow the conversation to happen organically, only interjecting when absolutely necessary. For instance, if a spammer uses your social networking profile to post solicitous advertisements, delete their comments and block them, if possible.
  • Engage your audience. The biggest mistake that many clothing lines make is to talk “at” their audiences. Don’t just bombard them with messages about your designs; listen to what they have to say by using surveys, polls and quizzes. Ask them to submit photos wearing your designs. There are countless ways to engage your audience.

Again, social media is a great opportunity to communicate directly with consumers and position your clothing line in a favorable light. But don’t mess it up. Keep these best practices in mind for the best results for your fashion brand.

Urban Ladies Who Lunch Fall Networking Breakfast

Guests at Inaugural Urban Ladies Who Lunch EventTomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 4, women of color from around Chicago–ranging from corporate executives to aspiring entrepreneurs–will gather at Grady’s Grille in Homewood, Ill., 9 – 11 a.m., for the Urban Ladies Who Lunch Fall Networking Breakfast Event.

If you missed the first one, you don’t want to miss this one. Guest speakers include:

  • Ayanna Black, a freelance parenting, marriage, technology blogger and web developer, is a married Chicago native and mom of triplets. After graduating with a degree in Computer Studies from St. Xavier University-Chicago, Ayanna worked in corporate America building relationships and contacts to jump-start her business.  In 2008, Ayanna took a leap of faith and pursued her web development and blogging career full-time after the birth of her beautiful triplets.  Ayanna is the owner of and, which spotlights mothers with multiples (site under development). Ayanna has built websites for organizations such as: Project Brotherhood, featured on Black in America II; Publicity Stunt, Inc; New Day Ministries International and others.  Ayanna has also contributed to blogs such as: and  Ayanna and her husband will also be featured in Ebony magazine chronicling their experience with the triplets.


  •  Carrie Lowe, tax professional, began her career with Jackson Hewitt Tax Service in 2002. She is the current CEO and owner of Chicago Tax House, Inc, a Chicago-based tax services business, with two locations: 458 E. 75th Street and 2227 E. 71st Street. Carrie graduated from Chicago State University with a Bachelor of Science and is currently pursuing an MBA/MPH at Loyola University. Carrie is also an “Enrolled Agent,” which provides her with the authority to negotiate taxpayer debt with the IRS.

Guest will also receive swag bags with gifts from a number of contributors, including Black Enterprise Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Diversity MBA, Smokin’ Joes Hot Sauces, Got Beef, singer Eric Ashby and more.

Individually, we are intelligent, beautiful, successful black women. Collectively, we are a powerful movement.

To RSVP, please email Miko Franklin at By attending the Urban Ladies Who Lunch Fall Networking Breakfast attendee gives Urban Ladies Who Lunch, Miko Franklin, Publicity Stunt Inc and its affiliates/contractors, permission to use attendee’s voice and image in any such archival or promotional recording, photograph or streaming activity.

30 days to a stronger Twitter presence

Twitter logo initial

Image via Wikipedia

Just two short weeks ago, I embarked on a journey to learn more about Twitter, the microblogging phenomenon. As a public relations and marketing professional, there’s no way I could justify not knowing how to take full advantage of this free tool for my clients. And so my experiment began—although I am only halfway through this month-long experiment, I thought I’d report on what I’ve learned thus far:


Early on in my experiment, I learned that Tweeters love interacting with other followers. The very essence of social media is sharing, or being social. So instead of passively listening as I had done in the past—which is very important, by the way—I jumped into the conversation and began interacting with my followers and those that I am following as well.

Become a Resource

Not only did I interact, but I provided useful resources. How did I know these resources were helpful? During the listening phase of my experiment, I was able to learn a little bit more about my fellow Tweeters. They loved this and responded favorably.

So far, I have had 69 interactions and a 30% increase in Twitter followers. This is major for me, considering that I had absolutely no interactions in the 30 days prior to beginning this experiment. At the onset, I had 99 followers and now have 128. The increase may seem small compared to those with thousands of followers, but followers who aren’t in your target audience don’t mean a thing. Fortunately, all 29 of my new followers are networking contacts or potential new business that have directly reached out to me since becoming “followers.”

As you can see, the experiment is going great. My only regret is not taking advantage of Twitter sooner.

Now what are you waiting for? Follow me @PublicityStunt. See you there.

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