By Shai Coggins, Social Media Manager and Strategist at Vervely.comThis is the first post of a new series offering technology tips and tricks to help you work more efficiently and get the most out of IT.Have you ever wondered how people use Twitter and still stay productive at work and in life? How is that even possible?Believe it or not, all you need to do is use the right tools and develop the right habits.
What are the best tools for using Twitter more productively? There are several tools available to make the time you spend on social media channels like Twitter more efficient and effective. Examples include the native Twitter app for Windows, Tweetdeck and HootSuite. Although it may seem overwhelming to learn yet another tool, don't let that thought stop you from downloading one of these apps for your computer or mobile device. The apps are relatively easy to learn, and, once you get the hang of it, you'll find that it makes your Twitter usage a lot more manageable. Once you've downloaded and installed your Twitter app of choice, follow these three steps:1. Log-in and authenticate your account on your Twitter app. Just follow the prompts and you'll be set-up in no time. 2. Create Twitter Lists. Even if you end up following thousands of people, lists help you keep in touch with and follow your most important contacts and accounts. Public lists can be viewed and subscribed to by anyone, while private lists are only for your personal benefit.You can create lists for all sorts of different reasons. For example, "Close Friends" (personal friends on Twitter), "Great Thought Leaders on…" (experts in a subject you're interested in, like nonprofit leaders) or "Work-related Tweeps" (people and accounts you follow due to your professional role).3. Set-up Twitter Streams. Most of the time, the app will pre-load basic Twitter streams, such as your newsfeed, replies, sent Tweets and direct messages. If you don't have them pre-loaded, or you want to add more streams, just follow the prompts. Get the basics set-up, then add new streams of interest. For example, you can add your lists, hash tags to follow or search terms you wish to monitor. By setting up these streams, it's easier for you to follow specific topics and people of interest. Once you have these three things set-up, your usage of Twitter will already improve a lot. The next thing to do is develop the right habits for productive Tweeting.What are the top 3 habits of productive Twitter users?1. Have at least one goal for your daily Twitter usage. It doesn't matter what that one goal might be: "Find a useful article for work" or "Share at least one useful Tweet a day" or "Connect with one Twitter contact by re-tweeting (RTing), answering one of their questions, commenting on one of their posts or just say “hello". Once you've completed that goal for the day, congratulations! If you want to do more, then those extra tweets are a bonus.2. Spend time developing your Twitter streams. Many new Twitter users are not sure what the purpose of Twitter is and often get overwhelmed with all the random information in their newsfeed. When you set up Twitter streams in areas of interest, you'll immediately see the difference between random Twitter usage and purposeful Twitter usage. Take time to develop your lists and figure out the best hash tags to follow, so you'll be able to use Twitter much more productively. 3. Use 'down time' as Twitter scanning time. Install your Twitter app on your mobile device to easily use some of your 'down time' to catch up on your well-planned Twitter streams. Scan your streams while commuting on the bus or train, in-between meetings or while queuing at the bank or post office. By using some of your down time on Twitter, you’ll be able to succeed in accomplishing your daily Twitter usage goal. Now you are set – Happy Tweeting!If you are already an experienced Twitter user, please share the different tools and habits make your Twitter use more productive. And, for those of you just getting started or re-committing yourself to the Twittersphere, I’d love to hear how these tips help you in the future.
Last week over 80 nonprofit representatives in Christchurch and Wellington, New Zealand joined Microsoft for "Social Media for Social Good" workshops. World-renowned blogger and best-selling author Heather Mansfield delivered the training, showcasing the best social media strategies to build awareness and increase fundraising for nonprofit causes and activities.
Heather Mansfield, Nonprofit Tech for Good with Belinda Gorman, Microsoft New Zealand
The day included best practices from Twitter, Facebook and demonstrations using Windows 8 photo app Fotor and Windows 8 photo app Phototastic . Attendees enjoyed the events immensely, tweeting throughout and very engaged with questions and comments.
To read more about the event, take a look at the summary at Microsoft’s Corporate Citizenship page on Storify by clicking this link here.
We hope you'll join us for future Microsoft's Technology for Good events in your city. To find out more about upcoming events, please subscribe to our Tech4Good e-newsletter here.
Join us for this FREE webinar on Youth & Tech, Thursday, 12 December 2013, at 12:00 PM (Singapore time).
Young people today live in an uber-connected world. Whether it’s texting on a mobile phone, using a computer at school or gaming with friends, technology is inextricably woven into young people’s lives. For nonprofits to remain relevant in their programming, services or advocacy targeting youth, technology is a crucial component in the mix.
The content of this webinar will provide nonprofit staff with stories and ideas about how technology can be incorporated into programming or services targeting youth, and how technology can further help nonprofits achieve organisational goals.
About the panelists:
Arsenio Alegre is the Chief Executive Officer of WorkVentures in Australia. He has extensive international experience in financial and business management, having worked in several countries throughout Asia and Europe as a Senior Finance Executive for American Express. While in the UK, Arsenio volunteered his time to the Prince’s Trust and came to WorkVenturesthrough a desire to work for an organisation with a similar mission. He is a Certified Practising Accountant and his qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree in Business, Master of Business Administration and various Executive Development courses. Arsenio is also a board member of Social Ventures Australia.
Gianisse Marie Adamantopoulos, also known as ‘Gigi’, is a student at De La Salle University and combines her passion for music and technology by reaching out to other young, like-minded music enthusiasts in the Philippines. She aspires to introduce young people to the latest software, online materials and social media as an alternate avenue to realise their talents and achieve theirmusical ambitions. An avid musician, Gigi enjoys creating her own music in her free time.
John-Son Oei is founder and CEO of EPIC Collaborative, a nonprofit that enables people to make positive, lasting change in their communities by providing safe and secure homes. The EPIC Homes team developed an online platform to collect, organise and manage information on EPIC's volunteers, donations, indigenous homeowners and other resources. John-Son is a member of Innovate for Good, a Microsoft YouthSpark programme that encourages young people to work collaboratively and use technology to improve their communities.
We look forward to having you join us for this FREE webinar on Thursday, 12 December 2013, at 12:00 PM (Singapore time).
By Aude Breteau, Marketing and Communications Manager, Microsoft SingaporeIt is satisfying and heart-warming to be able to directly benefit those who are less fortunate. I would have to say this is how many of us at Microsoft Singapore feel each year when we participate in the annual President’s Challenge, as we reflect on the ways we can help those who are more vulnerable or less privileged.
A team explains the inspiration behind their mascot design to President Tony Tan Keng Yam
This year, our fundraising event, The President’s Challenge Ultimate Telematch, was held on 25 October at Nanyang Polytechnic. The ‘competition’ had Microsoft colleagues, their families and over 30 beneficiaries from beneficiary organisations forming five teams of 12 to 16 members to complete four challenges.We have been working with Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) and RSVP, The Organisation of Senior Volunteers for years as part of the President’s Challenge, so it was a hoot to compete against each other! All of us were a little thrown off by the last challenge that asked us to design a mascot for the President’s Challenge on the spot, but there is nothing a little creativity, some watermelon, balloons and ice-cream sticks cannot solve….We are really pleased to have been able to raise over SGD330,500 this year, and that the work we love—technology—can help reduce and eliminate barriers for people with disabilities. Since 2006, Microsoft has contributed a total of SGD1.9 million in cash and software to SPD, and over SGD730,000 to RSVP, with the funds going towards providing technology training for more than 1,900 people with disabilities and 15,476 seniors. More than 250 people with disabilities have undergone vocational training and 37 of them have found employment so far. Over 116 seniors subsequently found jobs in IT-related fields.
Managing Director of Microsoft Singapore Jessica Tan (left) and Area Vice President of Asia Pacific Cesar Cernuda (right) present the cheque to President Tony Tan Keng Yam
This reminds me of what an optimistic young man named Tan Jian Hao (SPD beneficiary and first-year Engineering Informatics student at Nanyang Polytechnic) told my colleague Jocelyn at the event: “Life is like a marathon. Do not give up.”
From teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to the founder of a nonprofit, Akhtar Badshah is now the Senior Director of Global Community Affairs at Microsoft Corporation where he administers the company’s global community investment and employee programs. He was recently in Malaysia to share his views on business innovation and entrepreneurship at the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES). In this interview with The Leadernomics Show, Akhtar talks about Citizenship and how individuals as well corporations who are interested in making positive social change and giving back to society, can get involved in doing social good.
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