Tag Archives: Tweets

Fie on FOMO

Fie on FOMO

I was having coffee with a new acquaintance down the street last week and realized our conversation was a little disjointed. Then I saw she was texting under the table while she was telling me about her job hunting adventures. Idly, I wondered what couldn’t wait.

You see things like that a lot these days. And it’s not just rude stuff. It’s dangerous, too, like texting while driving. Has the electronic revolution turned on us?

Not too long ago, electronic messaging of various kinds was a valuable tool. Now it seems to be more of a demanding taskmaster. So many of us are just too busy with our iPads, iPhones, messages and email to stay connected to real life. Or even common sense. Last week I was posting on Facebook and I realized I was responding to a man I don’t even know.


Maybe there’s another branch to the problem. Chatting, in person, with a friend the other day, I was startled when she told me she’d gone to a dinner for the Humane Society. I know she doesn’t really like animals, so I asked why she went. “Well, I might meet a new man, a new business prospect … and maybe I was supposed to be there”.

Maybe we think we have to be everywhere these days, in touch with all the latest news, grasping at every straw of an opportunity, meeting everyone we need to meet and all it has to happen right away. It might make us feel very productive, but what we’re really doing is disconnecting from the people and things we really value.

Last week I was so busy tweeting, posting, and writing articles that I forgot a good friend’s birthday, and that never happened before.

The condition even has an acronym – FOMO – and I don’t know if it can be cured. FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out.  We frantically attend events we don’t care about, send out dozens of happy birthday messages on Facebook, and respond to hundreds of tweets from people we barely know.

Maybe you can give it a try with me? Lets try Paring On Down. Here are some ways to do it.

  1. Slim down your calendar. See what you’re doing that can be eliminated. Do you want to attend another association lunch? If not, cancel it. If you have ten telephone meetings, maybe half can be done by email.
  2. Spend less time on Social Media. If you are on Facebook on Twitter, decide to allot certain hours each day to them. Maybe after work for an hour, or before work, but not checking them all day long.
  3. Develop a strategy to receive fewer emails. I unsubscribe to newsletters, promotions and LinkedIn groups each week. Figure out a way to delete emails from all your electronic devices.
  4. Don’t use texting like email. Texting, for me, is almost an immediate response mechanism for a timely meeting. I feel compelled to answer texts, and they draw my attention away from work.

I figure if you take the Challenge with me, we might free up a few hours a day. Imagine what we can do with that time. I can finish the book I’m writing. I can clean out my closet. Take the art course I’ve been considering, and probably write more blog posts here and on Forbes.com.

What will you do with the extra time? Please let me know and comment below. We can do this together. We’ll be the POD People.



Marketing: Five lessons from my recent American Airlines misery

Marketing: Five lessons from my recent American Airlines misery

Last week’s post (and subsequent Tweets) elicited responses from some nice people at American Airlines, one of whom is a VP at American Eagle.

They refunded our airfares (we never did get to our final destination) and, all in all, were very pleasant in resolving a lot of my concerns. It took them a while.

Lesson 1: Handle complainers fairly and promptly and you’ll probably get them back as customers, happier customers.

Along the way, a lot of my blog and Twitter friends tweeted and emailed about their AA problems. I hope the airline, at least for its own sake, does its best to help them out. If I owned AA, I’d get helpful people online and on the phone immediately.

The problems I heard about (as well as my own problems) rarely had anything to do with bad weather or mechanical problems. We’re all grownups and we know that stuff happens. The problem is always the way a company handles customers’ issues. It’s a lot like the bigger problem politicians always seem to create after they’re caught doing something stupid. The inevitable dissembling, outright lying and tap dancing for the media – the spin – cause more problems than the original offense.

Lesson 2: Tell the truth.

I was talking to a west coast friend last night. His name is Dwain and he’s an online whiz. He suggested that maybe American Airlines shouldn’t even be involved in social media. They’re not dedicating enough resources to it. He might be right; as near as I can tell, AA has two people working on Twitter and, apparently, neither works on weekends. Again, if I owned the company, I’d have more people, with some company clout, ready, able and, most of all, willing to help customers solve their problems.

Lesson 3: Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.
Above all, don’t do what AT&T does – threaten customers who have problems. I found this unbelievably ham-handed and so will you: econsultancy.com

Lesson 4: They’re your customers for crying out loud. Treat them badly and they’ll tell two friends who’ll each tell two friends, and sooner or later one or more of them will eventually tell the whole world … which they can do just by typing a few words and hitting “Post”.

On my AA debacle-trip, I was traveling with a friend. Neither of us racks up hundreds of thousands of miles in the air every year but we do fly a lot, perhaps 40 flights a year between us. Nobody in the Chicago airport the night the debacle went down, seemed to understand that we, and probably a lot of our fellow passengers, represented significant business – and that’s not counting all the people we influence.

Lesson 5: Know you’re customer. Get gate people and phone people to look us up and react accordingly. Treating everyone fairly is a good idea; treating really good customers fairly is a great idea.

How do you think American Airlines and companies like them should handle the complaints they get – given their tiny social media presence? Please let me know, because maybe we can help them and ourselves.

I Tweet therefore I am.

I Tweet therefore I am.

I went to a Gilda’s Club luncheon yesterday with about 150 other women, only three of whom I knew. We were all there to help Gilda’s Club raise money to support people living with cancer.

It was a lot fun for a good cause but I was mildly distracted by an odd thought that kept recurring throughout the afternoon: This is a lot like Twitter. It hit me just after we got there. Some people had bought whole tables so, of course, we couldn’t sit at them. I joined a table with mostly strangers. It was like Twitter only with Twitter, my computer is the table.

I like to meet lots of people.

Just as with Twitter, I talked to some people I know but mostly I looked forward to meeting the people I’d never met before. On Twitter, I follow new people all the time as long as they aren’t spammers, bots or think frequent cussing is cool. A friend tells me you’re cool on Twitter only if you follow few and have thousands who follow you. With me, it’s the more the merrier. Recently I had a party in my apartment with about 60 people for dinner.

You never know when you’re meeting a prospect.

Occasionally one of those all-business types will ask “Why do you waste your time with all these people if your objective is to build your business?” They’d never understand my real reason so I usually tell them some version of a true story I blogged about a while back – selling a fully loaded Ford Explorer to a blind man: Who would think you could sell a car to a blind man?

The idea of course is that you never really know. It’s why I follow and enjoy people like @aviationartlife. If you build a network of friends, good things just happen. Or not.

Reciprocating and “giving first” works.

I get a kick out of retweeting interesting or useful information so that people can enjoy it or use it, too. And I always thank the people who Retweet my comments. It’s Twitter courtesy.

Marketing is my passion.

Many of my tweets are about my business: marketing, branding, getting measurable results for programs. So when I read a great article in a marketing magazine, I find it online and then provide a link to it. Last week I mentioned a Harvard Business Review article and one of my followers said I was stretching him out of his “comfort zone”. Made me laugh.

People come from Twitter into my “real” world.

I get to know some of my Twitter friends so well that they begin to mail me information about themselves or their companies. Then they call to make an appointment to visit. Joe Blumenfeld of @JoeBees vitamins, and a few weeks ago @theflaggagency ‘s Chuck Flagg dropped by on the way to a cruise.

(Chuck Flagg pictured on the left, Joe Blumenstein on the right.)

So like Gilda’s Club, Twitter can help people do great things. Sometimes it’s that huge protest in Egypt, sometimes it’s as ephemeral as reading celebrity Tweets. Most of all it is a place to begin relationships with lots of people who just might someday become friends for no reason at all, except that they like you! ?

What is your Twitter philosophy?

So, I gave up smoking and candy….but Twitter? No!

So, I gave up smoking and candy….but Twitter? No!


I missed it when I was in Vancouver a few weeks ago, because my iPhone service was “iffy” and my tweetdeck was very slow. Why…I ask myself into the night?

Well, if you ask my “real life” friend @amyafrica she’d say that all my followers are wackos anyway, so why even read their tweets.

If you ask my friend @anierenberg, she’ll say the only way to network is in person, not on social media. I do notice lately though when we talk on Sunday nights that there is a tweet tweet sound in the background…so she may be adapting.


I like Twitter for several reasons:
1. I can follow people that I might never have access to in life (or it would be hard to meet them). For example, recently I contacted @marcishimoff who wrote the book, Happy For No Reason. I thought she might write an article for one of our client’s on-line newsletters. So, I tweeted on over to Marci and asked, and she said we could talk about it. Bingo!

2. Learning from the Twitter leaders is interesting, and recently I was sent from Twitter to @chrisbrogan ‘s blog, where he talked about a great book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He said that it was about how the author talks about the stories of our lives and how when he got off the couch and started moving that his whole story changes.
I bought the book right away on amazon.com .

3. When I need help, I start tweeting about my problem on Twitter and someone always comes to the rescue in minutes. So, when my new television set couldn’t be set up with the Best Buy guys on Comcast…I marched over to my tweetdeck and in about 30 seconds, I heard from Frank Eliason of @comcastcares and they talked the installers through the process.
Last week I struggles with my new iMac, and people from Best Buy jumped in and told me right away to return it to the store (as there is no cure for vertical color lines on your monitor).


4. And, then I make friends on Twitter I’d never meet in life. @joebees was talking about taking a run and mentioned the loop in Aventura….right outside my apartment. I started talking to him, and he came to visit my office laden with great bee pollen vitamins for us all.


@tlmaurer and I are always exchanging funny chat during the day. She was sad about my computer and eventually told me I should write a rap song about my problems with Apple and put it on YouTube. We’ve been back and forth writing rhyming lyrics ever since.

@relevance , my friend Ted always gives me advice on my latest challenge and @Ernieschell told me about visiting the Barnes Foundation Museum a few weeks back before it moved the collection. I did and it was great.

So, I guess I enjoy Twitter, because it helps me in my life, and my work and introduces me to all kinds of great people….and it improves my luck. So many people have asked me to speak at their meetings, because I’m always giving my latest marketing tips on Twitter.


So, just try it for two months. It is not about who is eating a ham sandwich any more.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about some Twitter Marketing Strategies we’re testing for clients. Stay tuned.