Tag Archive for Twitter

I can do it, why should I hire someone?

Social media is easy. Everyone is doing it. So why should I spend money to have someone run social media for my business?

As a social media expert, I can give you many reasons why you should leave your social media campaigns, posting and monitoring to someone skilled in this field. But instead, let’s talk about it from a business standpoint.

  1. Time is money. The amount of time you spend running your social media accounts and campaigns is time better spent on actually running your business. If you think you can’t afford to pay an expert, compare the amount of time you spend on social media to the amount of time you spend on more urgent income-producing business matters.
  2. Social media is always changing. It’s challenging to keep up with all of the social media changes. We all know Facebook is always changing its guidelines and new functions, plus factor in keeping up with all of the other social network sites and it’s nearly impossible to do while you’re running your business.
  3. Know the tricks of the trade. Maybe tricks is a strong word, but do you know proper social media etiquette? Can you post too frequently? Do you know the best times to post? Do you know which type of posts get the most likes and shares? Do you know how to tag on Facebook? Hashtag on Twitter? How is your monitoring being done? It’s not to say you can’t do your research, but most business owners don’t have the time or can’t afford to make this a priority.

I also often hear “I have an intern to do it.” Interns are great resources, don’t get me wrong. My intern is often a life saver. But I would never allow her to post content that hasn’t been approved. Not because she isn’t an intelligent young woman, but ultimately it’s my business. Whatever is posted is my responsibility. Who wants to have to deal with a tweet that could possibly get them sued? Or a Facebook post that violates terms of a contract or organizational guidelines of your field?

So when it comes to running your social media as professionally and effectively as you run your business, leave it to an expert.

How to Date a Social Media Professional

Dating can be difficult, especially if you’re stuck to your iPhone and iPad 24/7. After reading PR Daily’s “How to date a PR professional” article the other day, we got to thinking. Dating one of us may be even more challenging, because many of us have a journalism or public relations background before you even add Twitter streams, Facebook updates and geolocation-based applications.

So here are five things you need to know before dating a social media professional:

Hold on, let me tweet

The first thing you need to know when you’re going to date one of us is, well, we have to take a second to tweet, check in on Foursquare and update our status on Facebook. It doesn’t matter if the hostess is still seating us at the restaurant or our significant other is asking a question. Hey we aren’t egotistical. We don’t genuinely think everyone cares what we are doing and where we are at all times. But since are in the social media know, we feel obligated. Plus, what would our clients think if we didn’t?

We know what you are talking about

By you, we mean everyone. We will constantly surf the web, flip through our Flipboard app and check the latest trends on Twitter to keep up with the latest news. Whether it is a breaking headline or a funny article, we want to be the first to read it and share with others. We’re always looking for good content, whether it is for our personal use or for a client. Even if it is 1 a.m. and we are in bed with our iPad.

We can’t turn it off

Since we don’t really clock in and clock out for work, we find it hard to shut down completely. If a client emails us and wants something posted right away, we do it. If someone comments on a Facebook page we manage, we respond. That means that we are constantly connected. There is no set schedule, which may make it hard for us to ensure you that our dinner date will be at 7:00 p.m. sharp. On the flip side, we can usually take work wherever we go.

 We can’t believe you said that

We are avid writers by nature. We can’t stand grammatical errors. We take copy editing to a whole new level. If you use it’s instead of its or their instead of they’re, we have to use severe restraint not to comment on your post. We also won’t retweet what you said, even if it’s hysterical. We just can’t excuse those typos, and please don’t blame the 140-character limit.

We mind our manners (usually)

We may take our phones out at some of the most inappropriate times, but we’re not trying to be rude or ignore you. It’s our job. And in case you were wondering, we aren’t texting our friends while you’re talking to us, well not all the time! We are actually working. Social media doesn’t just happen by itself.#justsayin

The Art of Instagram

It has been a little over a year since Instagram has come out, and if you haven’t used it yet, you probably have heard of it. iPhone users reap the benefits of this cool photo app. Before you take a photo, you can select a filter to take a picture through, or you can add the filter after you take the photo. Either way, photos automatically look retro, hip and cool. You can instantly appear to be a fantastic foodie by taking an Instagram photo of your delicious dinner, or share your travels with a stylish take, by taking filtered photo of the city skyline.

Users can follow others, like other photos and add captions to their photos that are uploaded. Share them on Tumblr, with your Instagram followers, Twitter followers and Facebook friends. Another big feature would be the fact that you can use hashtags and search new topics.

Photographers have even been drawn to the iPhone app. Many are gaining followers quickly, showing off their work and becoming well known. Companies have also taken advantage of this visually gratifying opportunity by showing off their brand. Taking pictures of new products and listing a description and where it is available makes it quite easy for purchase.

The choice of filters range from a black and white look called “Inkwell”, to a retro look called “1977.” The app has become so popular that even Facebook tried to buy them out. After a rejection, Facebook even plans to come out with its own filters. There are other apps available for Android that are similar, like RetroCam, but they haven’t caught on quite like Instagram has with millions of users. Instagram has created a new social platform based on a simple idea – photo sharing. With that and a little extra edge through the use of filters, Instagram has become quite the trend.

Check out the Instagram blog to see many beautiful photos uploaded by users: blog.instagram.com.

Which Brand Page is Best for Business?

Twitter has stepped up to the plate and launched a whole new redesign. Following shortly after its newly added Activity Tab, the new design has been announced and it will include brand pages. Google+ announced its launch of brand pages this fall hoping to bring the social network back to life. Facebook fan pages still hold strong for businesses currently. The question is… is Twitter is a contender?

Its new design has been compared to Facebook, or maybe even MySpace. In our example, we have Pepsi. Pepsi currently has about 500,000 followers on Twitter, nearly 7 million likes on Facebook, but only 20,000 have added Pepsi to their Google + circles and 2,000 have +1ed the company.

The new design allows brands to have a larger header space for logos. They also allow brands to promote certain tweets to in a separate div on the side. This can be beneficial because people often want to see other, real people and what they have to say, more than just company promotions. If social media has taught us anything, it has taught us the power of word of mouth. To break things down even more, Twitter has broken up tabs into “Home,” “@Connect” and “#Discover.” This could be a little more self-explanatory to all those who have found themselves hesitant and overwhelmed by Twitter.

It will be interesting to see that if Twitter’s new design will bring over any strictly-Facebook users. It looks as if Twitter is much more multimedia friendly, in that you can see videos and images without leaving a page, or having it slide over to an expanded view.

Which brand page will be best for business? Facebook remains in the lead, with Pepsi frequently being named one of the top brands. But it will be interesting to watch how Twitter’s brand pages unfold, not just for big companies, but eventually for small businesses too.

Did you really follow them?!?!

Twitter has made a change that many tweeps did not like… the new Activity Tab. Shortly after it went live late last week, users were quick to hashtag their rants. Just search the #activity or #activitytab hashtag, and you’ll see plenty of users complaining about the change.

Users are already comparing the change with Facebook’s news feed. With the new activity tab, it’s hard to follow a large amount of people without others noticing anymore. This can be a little aggravating if you’re trying to get your follower count up by following a lot of others. Also, if you followed the entire cast of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and you really didn’t want to ruin your intellectual reputation.

The upside of this is that you can make it a useful tool in order to find other interesting people to follow. Others can also see if you favorite a tweet. This is a plus if you never kept track to see if others were favoriting your tweets before.

On Monday night, Twitter removed the activity tab, sending users into a rejoicing, confused, yet temporary frenzy.

The activity tab has returned for some users, and they are not very happy. Some profiles have yet to see it appear again, but you should be on the look out for it. Twitter, you released the new feature to a select amount of users, then released it to everyone, then retracted, then put it back out there again? Whew.

We have a hunch, that just like with Facebook, people will eventually get over it and adapt to the change. (As long as it stays, or, comes back?) Changes in social media don’t usually receive the most positive feedback right away. Yet, changes are inevitable in this constantly adapting world of social networking platforms.

If you don’t already, you can always follow @Support in order to get the latest updates on Twitter functions.

Got Klout?

If you haven’t heard of Klout already, it is a system that gathers all of your social media interactions together and calculates a score. This score, from 1 to 100, is taken by how much you influence others.

Klout had some changes recently that have social media networkers in a flutter. Suddenly user’s scores dropped in the past two weeks. The changes to offer a “more accurate, transparent klout” have people questioning whether or not the formula actually can form your social media presence correctly. The configuration is supposed to be derived by the number of people you influence, how influential they are and how much you influence them. There seems to be a mistake in the new algorithm. The mistake lies in definition.

John McTigue, in a B2C article, explains that Klout is defining quality and quantity. Klout says that its algorithm is about quality of influence, not quantity. How do you judge that? But really, it is about quantity because you are judged by your interactions with people that are highly influential to others. It can be confusing. We know.

Here’s the best way we can think of explaining it: If you tweet Ashton Kutcher, and you just so happen to get a tweet back from him, your score should jump. This is because  of how influential he (with over 8 million followers) is to so many others. The problem is, what does that tweet say and how do you judge the quality of it?

So should you let your Klout score bother you? Some are because they think it will affect their potential job opportunities. We think that Klout had the right idea originally, wandering into a new territory that is, you can say, “influential” to the social media world. It’s certainly not something that is going to disappear, but it something that will evolve.

With so many people focusing on the numbers game in social media, we still insist offering quality content over quantity. Never ignore people who are truly interested in conversations with you (no matter what their Klout is.) And don’t worry so much about the Ashton Kutcher’s of the Twitterverse (unless of course you want to!)

Thanks for the follow, now BUY MY PRODUCT!

If you’re an active Twitter user, you should be familiar with direct messages. You may also be familiar with auto DMs. There is a setting with social media dashboards where you can send out automatic DMs when you have new followers. With this, we say to be careful. Whatever you do, DO NOT send out auto DMs with direct links to your products or any type of sales pitch.

Preferably, we say, don’t use automatic DMs at all. If you are really interested with connecting with that new follower, you should start an engaging conversation with them. Either that, or they will interact with you if they choose.

Automatic DMs generalize everyone who took the time to follow you. They may have started following you because you sent out a funny tweet. They may have seen you have the same interests, or that you’re in the same career field. Either way, if they took that time to click “follow,” you can take the time to DM them personally if you feel it’s necessary.

If you have a very active account, where there are too many followers to handle you don’t need to say “thanks for the follow” separately to each one of them. Scan your list, filter through the real, personal profiles versus the not so real. There are often “naughty” or fake profiles on Twitter that follow people at random and have zero tweets, or links to spam and viruses.


Once you have done this, choose the profiles that you find interesting. Start an interaction with them by responding to one of their tweets or retweeting them. Saying thank you is always nice, but when you’re saying thanks to everyone, it looks as if you are putting everyone in the same category. Or you could wind up filling your timeline with too many thank yous and not enough content and actual interaction that you become almost as bad as the person who auto DMs.

Did You Just Hashtag me on Facebook?

From your boss to your 14-year-old niece, almost everyone is on Facebook and/or Twitter. And since they all speak the language, the question is do you? It’s important to know the dos and don’ts of posting on social networks. And even if you think you know them, sometimes we could all use a refresher course.

Don’t

Use hashtags on Facebook
There is no point to using a hashtag on Facebook. It may look “trendy,” but there is no way for friends to follow that topic via Facebook. Our suggestion would be to not connect your Twitter and Facebook updates through social media dashboards

 

 

 

 

 

This example brings us to another don’t.

Use social media under the influence

You may find yourself checking your notifications the next day to see that you, in fact, did post that inappropriate picture of yourself dancing on a table last night. Your boss will then know why you were late that morning.

Post a ton of useless content

By useless content we mean excessive amounts of links to your favorite YouTube videos, using your status box as a journal entry including every detail of your day, or publishing a plethora of updates about your crops in Farmville.

Spam your friends

It isn’t always in your control, but try to avoid any suspicious looking links or messages from friends on your wall. If you think it seems fishy, don’t click it. Report any suspicious messages you see or mark them as spam.

Share your personal problems

There is such a thing as too much information. Think of it this way, if you wouldn’t want it on the headline of a newspaper, you probably shouldn’t post it.

Oversell

Avoid communicating with new followers or fans right away with links to buy your new product. You wouldn’t ask a new acquaintance at a social gathering to buy your product right away, so don’t do it online.

Do

Use hashtags on Twitter

Hashtags that are related to your tweet’s topic are useful (e.g. #health). This can create a trend for others to follow. It can also be a topic that is already trending. If it is, others can find your tweet once they start following that particular subject.

Post multimedia every once in a while

No one wants to read just text all of the time. Adding mobile uploads or videos to something that you know your audience will find interesting is always a great way to get feedback.

Share your accomplishments

If you just won a prestigious award, or simply baked a beautiful cake that day, that is something that your audience will like to see.

Ask questions

Asking your audience questions gets them communicating with you and interacting with your page. Be sure if you do ask questions, respond to their answers so that your audience feels like their feedback is valued.

Share good content

This is one of the most important keys to social media. Whether it is your personal account or your business profile, sharing good content is vital. If it is your personal account, share an interesting article or a funny story. If it is your business account, share quick facts or tips about your business, how it can benefit others and related materials.