Tag Archives: Twitter

We Are All Connected!

James Cameron, in an interview with Oprah, explained the meaning of the Na’vi greeting, “I see you,” from the movie Avatar.  He explained that the greeting means “I understand who you are.”

I think this is a common human desire, but sorely lacking in most business interactions.

In an effort to practice the Na’vi greeting,  I tried an experiment.  A few days prior to a recent networking event, I searched LinkedIn for the names of everyone who had responded with an RSVP and sent each one a note and request to be added to my network.  In a way, it was my way of saying to each one, “I see you,” or “I understand who you are.”  I read each one’s summary, and saw the friends we had in common.  I found it to be a much more beneficial event as a result.

So, the next time you go to a networking event to “see and be seen,”  think of the Na’vi greeting.  It should be, and can be, much more than an exchange of business cards!

I would love to know more about YOUR story!  How can I help you?

My name is Tom Burns, and I sell things essential to life as we know it!  We can connect at http://www.kimtag.com/nashvillesmart


The Search for Answers….

I blog every day.  The subject usually presents itself from an experience during the day, or perhaps as a result of a news story or event.  Each time something surfaces as the dominant thought of the day, I do a little research on the subject. I usually start with google or google scholar,  but that can take me in many different directions.  I often find myself following a variety of links and digging deeper into the given subject on wikipedia.    I may look at twitter or facebook to see if the subject is trending, and those sites can often lead me in still more directions.  I often end up on MSNBC or CNN.  The tragic event in Boston on Monday has certainly given me a lot of opportunity to search for answers.

I love the subject of anthropology.  I think it is human nature to want to know WHY

But the search for answers goes deeper today.  Our lives have become all about “immediacy.”  We have become so used to faster and faster service that anything  less is considered reason for complaint.  We are connected to the internet 24/7 by our smartphones and tablets, and soon our glasses will even give us all the information we need to navigate our daily lives!  But I would ask the question, “Are more answers necessarily good answers?”  Is the source reliable or is it opinion.  Going back to the horrible bombing event Monday, the major news channels have repeatedly released incorrect information, just to be corrected shortly by the FBI.  But as soon as these incorrect “facts” are released, everyone tweets them into the cloud, making it more and more difficult to discern fact from fiction.

Answers, whether fact or fiction, have a huge impact on our lives!  The economic opinions reported as “news” can have global impact the next day.  We pretend to be rational in our decision-making processes, but we act quite irrationally in reality.  The stock market is a perfect example!

What answers are you searching for today?

My name is Tom Burns.  I search for answers every day, both here on my blog, and at work.  I am a sales professional at A-1 Appliance, where I help people search for ways to make their home more comfortable with new kitchen appliances.  The answers are not always perfectly clear.  The result is based on the constraints of need, want, availability, cost, and available space.  Quite often the opinions of the home builder, general contractor, interior designer, or realtor enter into the equation.  It can get quite confusing…..but I love to help!

You can find lots of appliance answers at A-1 Appliance……and you can find me at www.kimtag.com/nashvillesmartphone1 (1)tom

You Are Influential…

Seriously, you are influential.  Unless you live in total isolation, your actions throughout the day have a ripple effect.  Do you ever think about the effect of your actions on others?

Take a minute and visualize every action and interaction you had today.  Who were you with and what were you doing?  Where did you go and why did you take that route?  Where were you when you woke up this morning?  Were you home alone or with someone?  Were you in a hotel somewhere on business?

Was your first contact with someone today in person or via phone or internet?  I’ve heard that the first thing many people do is check their facebook account or e-mail…..that’s what I do.  But a virtual connection can be influential too.  Were the first things you shared today positive or negative?  How far do you think those emotions traveled?  In our hyper-connected world, your actions could have impacted tens, hundreds, or even thousands of people!  Think about that the next time you hit the “share” button!

I suppose most of us follow a pretty set routine.  Did you stop somewhere on the way to work for breakfast or coffee?  Did you even acknowledge the person who took your order, much less smile or say hello?  Can you imagine how it feels to be virtually invisible ….unacknowledged ….all day long?  A friend that I deeply admire has a gift of engaging everyone he meets in conversation.  There is no such thing as a stranger in his life.  With incredible ease he introduces himself to the waiter at the coffee shop counter and calls them by name (he is observant and sees name tags).  I’ve observed the immediate smile when he addresses them by name….he certainly had an influence on that person’s life at that moment!

As you drove to work, were you a courteous driver, or aggressive?  How did your actions influence other commuters?  Did your driving elicit a “thank you”  or an angry “#^&@” response?

How was your voice today?  Did you smile or laugh while you were using the phone today?  Did you sound impatient or angry?  Would you have acted the same way in person, or is it OK to act like a jerk to someone you will never meet in real life?  Did your voice have influence?

Are you a parent?  How did you influence your children today?  On reflection, would you do anything differently?

Are you a writer….a blogger?  Do you really think that the only people influenced by your writing were those who commented?  I think your words could have traveled around the world twice and back again!  Your thoughts could have inspired someone to start a new career path.  Your words could have raised someone up from the depths of depression or brought hope where there was previously despair.

To very seriously paraphrase Newton’s Law….”for every action there is a reaction!”  (Sorry Mr. Newton….I’m just trying to make a point here).

I want to leave this thought with you today…..our actions have consequences!  We have a significant responsibility each day of our lives to be aware of our influence, and to use it for positive good.  After all, “What goes around, comes around!”

These positive thoughts brought to you by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….  Connect with me at http://www.kimtag.com/nashvillesmart

Are You Visible Or Invisible?

Can I trust you?  Who are you?  Where are you?  Who do you work for?  Where can I find out more about your product or service?  These are questions we are all asking!

And I’m asking you….”How do you answer these questions?”  How do you establish credibility and verify your identity?   This man is asking those questions:

I choose to be visible!  I believe people have come to expect transparency and visibility.  If you are invisible, then as far as they are concerned, you don’t exist!

Has privacy ceased to exist?  Of course not!  But the reality is that nearly everything we do is tracked, sold, used for marketing, or searched for by consumers.  People want to read our reviews, see what we like, share in what we know and do 24/7.

I’m reading Daniel Pink’s book “To Sell is Human.”   It’s a good read….I highly recommend it:bookcoverjpeg-e1354078407704I agree with his premise that we are all selling something!  And I believe that being a good salesperson means being visible!   So what will you choose?

Visible….or Invisible?  My name is Tom Burns!  You can find me at http://www.kimtag.com/nashvillesmart  I sell things essential to life as we know it….

The Incredible Value of Social Media

Some days a blog topic literally jumps onto the page and demands attention! Today it seems to be social media.  The very first e-mail I received today referred to a post on Linkedin titled 

The 1 Thing Every Business Executive Must Understand About Social Media

Quite an impressive story!  And the most incredible part of the story is how common this action has become!  Are you taking advantage of social media tools like this….both as a sender and a receiver?

As my day started with the first cup of coffee, I read breaking news from around the world to business developments in downtown Nashville.  How amazing that within a few minutes I was able to scan a significant number of stories from global sources, read more details about the topics of interest important to me, share a business post with someone at work, and follow news about the snowstorm in the northeast….in real time!!!

Throughout the day I had occasion to search for information using google, I continued to follow news of the #blizzard, and shared business news with my network.  I used “Twitterfeed” to share a variety of posts from various sources concerning kitchen appliances, and had “virtual conversations” with a variety of people on facebook and through e-mail.  And none of this would have been possible only a few short years ago!  Just think what the near future holds in store for us!

Tonight and tomorrow, many people in the northeast will depend on social media sources like facebook and twitter to search for help and to offer help.  Emergency crews will be notified, and families will be relieved to hear that sons and daughters are ok.  

I am finishing the day after reading an article asking if I am ready for facebook graph search.  The article made an important point…that in the digital age, we are all on display 24/7.  That goes for us as individuals and for our businesses.

So I will end this post with a question:  What message are you sending out today?  

Thoughts by Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….

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A Wandering (wondering?) Mind….

English: Infographic on how Social Media are b...

English: Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was driving down Interstate today when I saw an overhead sign that said   “TN LAW-NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING.”  I started thinking about when texting first started, so I drove home and googled it. I found out that it started a mere 20 years ago!

From that bit of research, I started thinking about the rise of social media.  Did you know that facebook started in 2004 and was released to the general public in September of 2006.  Linkedin started in 2003, followed by YouTube in 2005.  Twitter started in 2006.  It’s amazing to me that services we all use started so recently!

That line of thought led me to an article I found on Wikipedia concerning the impact of social media on business:



Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, exchange and comment contents among themselves in virtual communities and networks.[1] Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.[2] Furthermore, social media employ mobile and web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms via which individuals and communities share, cocreate, discuss, and modify user-generated content. It introduces substantial and pervasive changes to communication between organizations, communities and individuals[3]


  1. ^ Ahlqvist, Toni; Bäck, A., Halonen, M., Heinonen, S (2008). “Social media roadmaps exploring the futures triggered by social media”. VTT Tiedotteita – Valtion Teknillinen Tutkimuskeskus (2454): 13.
  2. ^ Kaplan Andreas M., Haenlein Michael, (2010), Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media, Business Horizons, Vol. 53, Issue 1 (page 61)
  3. a b c d e f g h i j H. Kietzmann, Jan; Kristopher Hermkens (2011). “Social media? Get serious! 
  1. Understanding the functional building blocks of social media”. Business Horizons 54: 241–251

The last line is the key thought….”It introduces substantial and pervasive changes to communication between organizations, communities and indivi
 The key words are “substantial” and “pervasive.”

This all led me think of the saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” This seems to describe social media pretty well.  We tend to use social media to share ideas with people who share our point of view.  This is all well and good, but….

But, there is a downside to this viewpoint.  It made me think about how polarized we are today on subjects such as politics, religion, gun control, education, healthcare, the economy, immigration, and on and on…..  I wonder if the “exchange of user generated content” is helping or hindering the solutions to the problems we all face today.  Is the power to change and control thought in the hands of a few or the many?   And is this power equal across all subject matter?  

What do you think?

By Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….




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Connections: The Key to Economic Recovery

Recently a friend of mine told me he had cancelled his facebook account because he was upset with their privacy controls.  I found this very hard to understand, because like me, he is a sales professional.  Meeting new people and spreading information about my products and services is key to my success.  I found this article that supports my point:


Social Media influences customer-buying habits


“It is no secret that the two main social media sites, Facebookand Twitter, are influencing not only the way we communicate and connect but make decisions. Is it possible that social media is transforming our decision-making and even information seeking abilities? Absolutely! According to Chadwick Martin Bailey, the author of a recent study in connection with iModerate Research Technologies, discovered that consumers are “67% more likely to buy from brands they follow on Twitter, and 51% more likely to buy from a brand they follow on Facebook.”  These facts and figures are important due to the implications for corporations and companies having an online presence.

Considering, companies that take the time to devote resources and attention to developing an online presence, especially a social media presence, will not only have a competitive edge but an ability to connect with the new social media generation and demographic. Research shows that now customers and potential customers are using the feedback on Facebook, via fan pages and wall posts, and the updates from Twitter about companies to make purchase decisions.  According to the same study and Mashable.com, “79% are more likely to recommend those that follow them on Twitter to a friend, and 60% more likely to do the same on Facebook.” So what’s that mean for Louisville area businesses?

This study reveals the vital importance of purchase decisions and influences from social media outlets. The study also revealed “perceptions among consumers that those brands not engaging in social media are out of touch.” As I have mentioned in previous stories, the Greater Louisville Area is a public relations and advertising hub. This collection of agencies brings many opportunities for business to seek professional consulting in social media utilization to improve company revenue and advertising. Many Louisville businesses have already taken advantage of these statistics found in this study-now the question becomes will you?”

When you are looking for a good restaurant, do you consult the Yellow Pages, or do you log onto foursquare?

When you are considering a purchase, of virtually ANYTHING, do you drive to various outlets or spend the day at the mall?  No, you google it.  Chances are very good that if your friends have recommendations, it will show up in google results.

When you have a question, do you ask a parent or trusted advisor, or do you post it on facebook?

Read any good books lately, or seen an amazing movie?  Where do you share it? Twitter, of course!

If you have had especially good service from a company or really like their products, do you Like their facebook page and share it?  Of course you do…..you’re looking for stuff to post on your wall, aren’t you?

I love to learn about new things, places, and products.  I want to hear about new movies and news events.  I want to read new business blogs, and learn new social media tactics. Where do I find these things?  FROM MY CONNECTIONS!!!  

I value your experience and knowledge!  You go places and see things that I don’t have time to see and do!  Keep posting…..because I’m reading!

You can connect with me on various social media sites at http

Remember….your connections are AWESOME!  Thank a friend, like their page, share their tweets, and tell us what YOU discovered today!

By Tom Burns, Seller of things essential to life as we know it….





Do You Want To Grow Your Business?

Do you want to grow your business? ….of course you do….dumb question!

The better question is….”HOW will you grow your business?”  Some associated questions come to mind:

What is your product or service and what is your competitive advantage?

How will you tell others about it efficiently and in a cost effective manner?

Can you tell me what your product or service is in such a compelling manner that it makes me want to know more?  Can you do it in 60 seconds???

What have you done lately to improve your sales skills?  Found a mentor?  Read any good books? Discovered any new tools?  Are you stuck in a rut?

I’m convinced that one of the best ways to answer these questions can be found in networking groups.  In a structured setting you can advertise your business, learn about other businesses, develop trust among your peers, practice your selling skills, and earn referrals from people you know and trust.

I urge you to find a networking group today and continue to grow your business….because the work is never done!

My group is The Business Referral Network-Belle Meade.  We would like to help you grow your business.  We meet every Tuesday morning from 7:30-8:30  at LePeep,  5133  Harding Pike, Nashville, TN. 37205.  For more information, contact me at tburns@a1appliance.com or visit our website at http://wwwfreebrn.com/

There are several chapters throughout the greater Nashville area.  We invite you to visit us soon!

Helpful Things You Can Learn RIGHT NOW!

Here are 7 sites I find extremely useful.  I hope you will check them out:

http://www.hyperalerts.no/  Get e-mail alerts of posts/comments on any facebook page.   I use this one every day!

http://www.gograblunch.com/  You can meet new and interesting people for lunch as often as you like.

http://www.twitbacks.com/  Create your OWN twitter backgrounds….and it’s FREE!

http://www.twilert.com/  Get e-mail alerts of tweets containing your brand, product, or service!  This one is REALLY useful!

http://www.likester.com/  Wondering what your friends like on facebook?  Wonder what’s trending globally?  Now you can find out!

http://twitterfeed.com/  Feed your blog to twitter, facebook, and more!  I particularly love this automated service!

http://www.plaxo.com/  This is a great on-line address book!

What sites do you use every day that you find most useful and would like to recommend to others?

Wondering how you can improve your opportunities for learning?  Here are a few tips:

First, join your local social media club.  Most cities have  an active group.  Just google “social media club (insert your city) to find your branch.  It’s free and will connect you with experts in multiple social media topics.

Next, be sure you are active and posting useful information on Google+, FacebookLinkedIn, and  Twitter,  to learn from the people you follow.

Join meetup groups.  Visit http://www.meetup.com to find interest groups meeting in your area.  One of my favorites in Nashville focuses on Google topics.     Visit http://www.meetup.com/Nashville-SEO-Group/ for some great information.  Ross Jones is the leader of this free group.  He is the owner of  http://2thetopdesign.com/  which is a website development company and much more.  Ross can help you get better google rankings and improve your business.

Start a blog.  Writing will help you clarify your thoughts.

Read something new daily.  Choose something outside of your field of expertise. It will expose you to new ideas and learning opportunities.  I enjoy reading Seth Godin’s blog http://sethgodin.typepad.com/ and I frequently download e-books.  Speaking of books….join a book club.  It will motivate you to read more critically when you know that you have to contribute to the discussion.

If you learn just ONE NEW THING every day, think what you can accomplish!  I challenge you to start today, and let me know if my suggestions were helpful.



Personal Branding

One of my co-workers found this video and shared it in our sales meeting this morning. I laughed all the way through it! And everyone else did too!

Then the fun started…. All day long my co-workers would say “Tom Burns” in a funny voice as they passed me on the sales floor. Some of them have android or iphones, so with “hand in pocket” they would be standing near me and press “play” on the video and I would start hearing my name!

Of course, as soon as the meeting ended I immediately posted the video to twitter, facebook, and linkedin, and e-mailed it to my family!

What a great way to help people remember you! Can you think of ways you might use such a video?