Quick Tip for Managing Multiple Instagram Accounts

Quick Tip for Managing Multiple Instagram Accounts

Because many of us are managing more than one Instagram accounts, at least one for personal and one for business, we have discovered that each account requires a separate e-mail address. And if your business has different locations, or different departments that need their own account, this becomes difficult in a hurry! This is also the case with Twitter accounts.

There are 2 easy ways to get around that problem by using the alias feature in a gmail account.

The first way is by using the alias address feature in your Gmail account. This will allow you to set up multiple e-mail addresses that will go to the same e-mail inbox. *The one caveat is that you’ll still only be able to sign up for a limited number of accounts via one device (i.e. desktop, laptop, tablet, etc.).

The first thing you’ll need is a gmail account. If you don’t have one, you can go to mail.google.com to set one up. If you already have a gmail account, you can use that.

As an example, I’ll use my TheSocialWebbClientCare@gmail.com account. (Hopefully, you have a gmail account with less letters!) And let’s say that I want to set up an Instagram account for a restaraunt called The Purple Cow. The Purple Cow has locations (in my imagination) in Newport Beach, Anaheim Hills and Laguna Seca and each will have their own Instagram account.

Because each Instagram account (and each Twitter account) requires a different e-mail address, we’ll use an alias address for each. I could use TheSocialWebbClientCare+CowNB@gmail.com for one and TheSocialWebbClientCare+CowAH@gmail.com for another and so on.

You can add whatever you want as the +as long as it’s after your usual gmail name and before the @gmail.com. You could just stop here and still recieve e-mail but it’s best to set this address up as an alias in your gmail account so that you can manage it better.

To set this up, go to your gmail account. Next go to settings and then Accounts and Import. Click on “Add anther email address you own”. In the second box, put your gmailaccount name (in my case, that would be “thesocialwebbclientcare” and then add +(whatever name you choose) and then @gmail.com. There should be no spaces (as you’ll see in the example below). The “Treat as an alias” box should be checked. Then click on “Next Step”.

 

How To Create Gmail Aliases

 

And that’s it! You can now use this address to sign up for a social account and still have all email come to one inbox.

The second way is by adding a dot (.) anywhere in the username and all emails address to that new alias will still reach your mailbox. For instance, if your original email address is TheSocialWebbClientCare@gmail.com, any emails sent to The.SocialWebbClientCare@gmail.com or TheSocial.WebbClientCare@gmail.com will land in your mailbox because Gmails ignores periods in the email username.  Of course, you need to be sure to keep track of which dot placement you used for each account.  And again, you can only sign up for so many Instagram or Twitter accounts per any one device.

I hope this helps.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

6 IFTTT Recipes To Save Time and Increase Effectiveness on Social Media

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As you know, social media management can eat up a big chunk of your business day even when you are mindful of your time.  So when there are tools available to help save you time, why wouldn’t you use them?

Here are 6 IFTTT recipes that will save time and increase your effectiveness on social media. They are very easy to set-up. (For more information on IFTTT see this article: IFTTT – Possibly My Favorite New Toy)

Images

When you post an image on Instagram, you can hit the Twitter share button to send it to Twitter. Doing it from the app causes it to appear as a link on Twitter and not an image. A better way to do this is to use the follwoing recipe that allows the image to appear as native on Twitter.  True images get more engagement.

picture of IFTTT recipe for sending Instagram photos to Twitter

Because some folks are noticing that some of their Instagram images are disappearing and some social media accounts are being hacked, it’s a good idea to keep a back-up of your Instagram images. If you use Dropbox, you can use this recipe to automatically save any image that you post to Instagram into your Dropbox. (Find that recipe here.) picture of recipe for IFTTT instagram to Dropbox

 

Automated Twitter List Building

Frankly, I think Twitter lists are a necessary evil.  They are time-consuming but necessary in order to quiet a lot of the noise on Twitter.  Here are 3 automated ways to build your lists.

The first is to build a Twitter list from a specific hashtag.  So for instance, let’s say that you are a participant in a weekly chat. You could use that hashtag (ex. #BufferChat) to build a list of all its participants.  You could also build a list of those attending a certain event by utilizing the event hashtag to build it.  (You can use this recipe more than once and you can find it here.)

 

 

picture of recipe for building a Twitter list from a hashtag

 

You could also build a list of people whose tweets you have favorited.  When I find someone that I want to remember but don’t have time right at that moment to add them to a particular list, I just favorite one of their tweets. This adds them to the “Tweets I’ve Favorited” list so that I can go back later and place them into a more suitable list. (Here’s the recipe for this action.)

picture of the recipe for adding a person to a lists of favorites

Another way to create a Twitter list is by adding users who @mention you.  If they have taken the time to mention you, you’ll want to keep them on your radar as a possible connection or conversation. (You’ll find this one here.)picture of recipe for add people who mention you to a Twitter list

Curating Content

Pocket is a great place to store articles to read later or to share with your audience.  This recipe will send the articles that you favorite on Pocket straight to Buffer to be sent to your social media platforms at an optimal time.  This is a huge time-saver! (There is a Chrome extension for Pocket so that whenever you find an article of interest on the web, you can save it in your Pocket. If you use Feedly to curate your content, you can send to Pocket from there, as well.) Here’s the recipe to do this.

IFTTT pocket fav to bufferThese are my favorites for use on social media. Do you have any favs of your own?  I’d love to hear about them.

Are You Protecting Your Social Media Investments From Hackers?

 

Are You Protecting Your Social Media Investments from Hackers?

Late last week the Instagram account of Base Body Babes was hacked and 765 carefully captioned images disappeared before their very eyes. The new “owner” of the account changed their name, deleted their images and began posting their own images with a kidnapped audience of 559,000 followers. They are not the only victims of hijacked Instagram accounts.

Fitness expert, Chalene Johnson had her Instagram account with over 400.000 followers hacked, as well. They were also in control of her Twitter account and literally began taunting her on it and telling her that they were now in contol. (There is much more to her story but the FBI is currently involved so much of it is not being shared yet.)

This is not just happening to those with large follower and fan bases. It is happening to small business owners, as well. These so-called “social engineers” are hacking accounts and extorting fees from the owners of accounts in exchange for transfer of ownership back to the original owner. They feel that small businesses will pay the fees and won’t go to the police. They also feel that small business owners don’t know enough about technology to be able to fix the problem themselves.  All these social engineers need is just ONE password to get into your e-mail account in order to be able to attack ALL your social media accounts.  You may feel confident about being secure because you think that you have a pretty safe and not likely-to-be-guessed password but that’s where you’re wrong. They’re not guessing passwords; they’re guessing answers to your security questions. They are able to guess these answers by watching your social media sites!

This is a crime that has reached epidemic proportions. Facebook reports that over 600,000 accounts are compromised EVERY day.  47% of Americans have had their personal information compromised.

Protecting your personal information is incredibly important but in this article, I’m only referring to your social media investments. How long and how much work has it taken you to grow your accounts? How much content do you have stored on your accounts (think about all those images on Instagram and/or Pinterest)? How many connections are made available to you by having these accounts and what would you do if they suddenly disappeared (This is one reason why having an e-mail list is so important)?

No one can be completely safe but there are things you can do to protect your investment. These items will take you some time to set up but they are worth the effort and time expenditure and may help to prevent the loss of years of work.

1. Update your software on ALL devices: your PC, your blog plug-ins, your tablet, your laptops, your Kindle or similar devices, your smart phones, etc.  Don’t forget to update the outdated devices that you have lying around to use as spares.

Adobe Flash is a very important one to consider. But do NOT update when the pop-up appears – it may be a scam and that may be exactly how you become vulnerable.  Go to their website to update and set up auto-updates.

“Update all of your apps! While some updates are improvements, most of the updates are security patches. Be sure to update as soon as available.

2. Get a password manager and install it on all devices.

A password manager is like an online wallet for your valuable information. Create a strong initial password for this one and you must remember your password to this application because it is not stored.

According to Wikipedia “Password managers usually store passwords encrypted, requiring the user to create a master password; a single, ideally very strong password which grants the user access to their entire password database. Some password managers store passwords on the user’s computer, whereas others store data in the cloud. While the core functionality of a password manager is to securely store large collections of passwords, many provide additional features such as form filling and password generation.

Password managers also have browser extensions for FireFox, Chrome and Safari.

DISABLE the auto-fill for passwords. Use your password manager’s browser extension instead.

Some to consider are LastPass, 1Password, KeepPass, and Roboform

*After you install your password manager, update all your passwords with unique passwords generated by your app.  Also, update your security questions with more unique passwords generated by your app because real answers to security questions increase your chances of being hacked!

3. If you have an iPhone 6 or above, set up the Apple fingerprint!  (Android will be adding this feature soon.)

4. Do not choose the “log in with your Facebook account” or “log in as Twitter” options. Be sure to log in using your password manager.

5. Take a look at your e-mail service. Is it as safe as it could be?  Perhaps Hotmail (is that even around anymore) or Yahoo are not the safest options. Gmail has 2 factor authentication so it is more reliable.

6. Check your cloud storage (iCloud, Dropbox, Evernote, etc.)  Cloud storage sites have an increasing number of hacks.

Enable 2-step authentication for these – require a code in addition to your password.

7. Phone – Turn off the apps you don’t need.

Apps are great but they are security risks. Delete the ones that you don’t need. (I am SO guilty of keeping too many apps on my phone. Deleting the unused ones has become a priority.)

8. Facebook and Twitter – sign up for 2-factor authentification.  (The one drawback for this is that if you ever change your phone number, it’s a hassle to have it changed, but probably less of a hassle than the things that would have to be done after a cyber hack.)

Instagram is very susceptible to being hacked so be sure to use your password manager when signing in.

9. Set up an IFTTT recipe to have your Instagram images automatically sent and saved in your Dropbox. You can find that here  You could also use Instaport to save all your Instagram images to your hard drive.

10. Check your Facebook privacy settings and determine what is the most amount of privacy you could opt for without damaging your social engagement and reach.

11. Consider using SocialSafe to back up your social media date. At $27.99 per year for 20 accounts, it’s extremely inexpensive and easy to manage.

12.  Messaging – Use a messaging service that supports encryption such as iMessage for Apple or What’s App for iOs, Android, Blackberry and Windows phone.

*Did you know?

On Apple: blue bubbles = iMessage which is encrypted and secure

                   green bubbles = SMS text which is not secure

I hope that you’ll take this threat to your social media investment seriously and begin to put some, if not all, of these precautions in place.  And if you have any other suggestions as to ways that we can all protect our online selves better, I’d love to hear.

*For further information, check out Chalene Johnson’s podcast series on how she was hacked and what she has learned.  iTunes: Chalene Johnson: Build Your Tribe – episodes from June 9, 12, 15, 17 and 19 of 2015.

 

 

IFTTT: The Best Way to Share Instagram Photos on Twitter

Graphic of the Instagram logo next to the Twitter logoImages receive much more engagement than text. We all know that to be true and studies have proven it to be true on all social platforms.

When you post a pic to Instagram, you have the option to then share it to Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr and/or Twitter. Sharing to Facebook works fairly well because Facebook owns Instagram. But when you share a photo to Twitter, it appears on your Twitter feed as a link, not a full image.  As you know, links require an additional click and folks may not want to take the time to click on the link to view your photo. Therefore, it’s important to put the image right in front of your followers’ faces. You  can do this by using an IFTTT recipe.

The one that I use was created by DJuiceman in July of 2013. 129,000 people are currently using this recipe. (This particular recipe will  automatically share every image you add to Instagram directly to your Twitter account, so if you don’t want all your images going to Twitter then be sure to select a different recipe. There are several available.) You can find them by going to IFTTT.com and searching for “Instagram to Twitter” recipes. (You’ll need to create an account in order to use the recipe but the recipe is free to use and easy to set up.)  You just select “add this recipe” and the app will walk you through the rest of the procedure.  If  you need more information on how to use IFTTT.com, see this post – http://onthewebbsocialmedia.com/ifttt-possibly-my-favorite-new-toy/.

Let me know how it works for you.

 

 

Meerkat and Periscope: A Comparison

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Both the Meerkat and Periscope apps are now a few months old (Meerkat was released at the end of February just in time to steal the show at the South by southwest event in Austin, Texas while Periscope was released at the end of March ) and both have been going strong.  Who will win the live-streaming battle for top player remains to be seen though.  There are pros and cons to each app.

Before I launch into a comparison, let’s answer the question What is Live-Streaming?

Live-streaming is simply streaming content live over the internet.  Live-streaming isn’t new but the ability to do it so easily by using one of these two apps is what is new.  There are so many ways that businesses and solo-preneurs can utilize these apps that it almost boggles the mind (more on that later)! Now for the comparison.

Meerkat

Meerkat was the first app to offer live-streaming to Twitter.  In fact, Twitter tried to buy it early on but was unsuccessful.

It has a clean and simple interface with only a few options available. (I’m sure that more will be added as the app develops.) Essentially you can sign in with Twitter and leave your profile alone. Your options are to search for people you’d like to follow or to see the leader board.  You can choose to automatically end a tweet with #meerkat… or not. You cannot also connect to your Facebook page. If you choose to do that, your scheduling and streaming will post to your page.

As with Periscope, your video stream appears on Twitter immediately.  When you watch a live-stream, you are able to comment and see comments from other people. You are also able to retweet. I like the comment thread on Meerkat because it takes up less space than on Periscope so you’ll able to see the presenter easier.  I also like that you can scroll back and see previous comments so you don’t lose track of the conversation.  (You cannot do that on Periscope.) You’ll also see the avatars of folks in the livestream going across the top of the stream. If you click on those thumbnails, you’ll be able to see their Twitter profiles but you can’t follow them from the app.

A great thing about Meerkat is that you have the option to schedule a broadcast in a 24 hour window and to add a featured image. Hashtags and keywords can be included. When a livestream is scheduled, the event will show up in the app feed and a tweet will be sent out. If a person subscribes to an upcoming stream, they will receive a notification from the app when the stream is live.

Another very positive feature is that a call-to-action with a live URL can be added to the end of a livestream.

One of the more negative aspects is that it’s difficult to find folks to follow. They do provide suggestions but if you’re trying to connect with folks that you are already connected to on Twitter, it’s a bit tedious.

Because Meerkat is gamification-based, there is a leaderboard. The way to move up on the leaderboard is to have more people watching, more minutes of streamed video and more comments than the person below you (rumor has it).  This keeps users (broadcasters) engaged and encourages them to broadcast more often. However, that could also be a negative because it takes so much time to get on the leaderboard – folks will run out of valuable things to say and their content might suffer. A positive is that this might also be another way to find people to follow. In fact, this was the method I first used.

A new development is that streamers AND viewers now get points for interactions.

When both apps first launched, there seemed to be some “haters” who loved to invade a livestream and leave negative comments. That seems to have diminished (in fact, I haven’t seen any for quite awhile). There  is the option to report a spammer or to report a livestream itself as inappropriate.

On Meerkat, you can’t watch a finished broadcast but you can save the recording to your phone. If it was your own broadcast, you would then have the ability to edit and use snippets of the stream in another context such as the Instagram 15 second feed.  * Brian Fanzo tells me that if you use the Katch app you can have it automatically recorded. @Katchapp says this: “Record Meerkats with one tweet! The #katch hashtag sends you an automagic YouTube link when the stream ends. (Processing time varies).”

Meerkat Positives

  • Can schedule a live-stream 24 hours ahead and have it “announced”
  • The gamification makes it a bit more interesting and easy to find folks who live-stream often
  • Can place a call-to-action at the end of a live-stream with a URL
  • Possibly a bit easier to use (good for newbie lurkers)
  • Can use the Katch app to auto-record and then be able to save to device

Meerkat Negatives

  • Difficult to connect with your Twitter connections
  • Live-stream is not available to be watched later unless you auto-record it with the Katch app
  • It has no floating hearts (I know, I know; some could care less.)

Periscope

Periscope is owned by Twitter so it has a few more options because of the api.

It is also fairly easy to use both as a viewer and as a broadcaster.

You sign in with your twitter account and your bio is loaded BUT… you can change it. And just this week, Periscope made the links in the bio clickable so be sure to add a link to your bio to where you’d most like your viewers to connect with you more.

You are able to find and follow  your twitter connections more easily but I have to say that in my case, certainly not all of them were within easy reach.  Apparently you can only follow 200 at a time, but every time you log out and log back in, you can follow 200 more. You can browse other viewers watching a stream though and easily add them to your follow list on the app. You can also see THEIR network and follow those folks too.

The thumbnails of the viewers are NOT shown across the top of the livestream as in Meerkat but when they comment, you will see their avatars in a color-shaded square on the left side of the screen. Comments are not pushed to Twitter.

One of the negatives of Periscope is that the comments take up a lot of room and can take away much of the visual. That could be a big detriment to some businesses depending upon what they are presenting. In Periscope, old comments cannot be retrieved which might be problematic for the presenter who is already busy trying to multi-task and not miss any comments.

Of course, one of my favorite parts of Periscope are the floating hearts on the right side of the livestream that signify the viewers giving love to the presenter. Viewers can do that by tapping on their screen and the color of their hearts are the same color as their avatar square. (I have not figured out how to actually select the color I want for my avatar square. If anyone finds a way to do that, let me know! I want pink or turquoise, of course.) One possibly negative side of this is that some broadcasters are begging for hearts (akin to begging for likes and follows_ – don’t do that.

One of the positives about Periscope is that livestreams are available to be seen for 24 hours so if you miss a live session, you have some time to catch it.  AND the livestreams are now available to be watched on the web! So if your phone battery dies (like mine often does), you can still watch on the web.

Another cool feature with Periscope is that you can have private live-streams.  In order to do this, the people that you’d like in your private livestream must follow you. You would then tap on the follower(s) that would want to include. Paid memberships, group chats or client meetings would be ways to  utilize this feature.

Like Meerkat, Periscope  has a reporting feature for those livestreams that are inappropriate.  You can also limit the ability to comment on your livestream to only those who follow you on Twitter.

Unlike Meerkat, you cannot pre-schedule a livestream (I bet that changes soon), nor can you leave a call-to-action at the end of your livestream (I bet that will change too but the ability to have a clickable link in your bio is good in the meantime.)

Periscope DOES provide post-stream statistics for the broadcasters though.

Wrap-Up

Periscope Positives:

  • Can find Twitter connections easily
  • Can have private broadcasts
  • Videos can be watched for 24 hours after live-stream finishes
  • Videos can be watched on the web
  • Links in Bios are clickable
  • Has post-stream statistics

Periscope Negatives

  • Does not allow scheduling
  • Does not allow a call-to-action at the end
  • Comments distract from the presenter

 

Why consider using Meerkat or Periscope?

You can easily connect with your audience in real-time!

We’ll discuss ways to utilize each of these apps in the second article of the series.

Have you tried either app? What are your thoughts?  Have I missed anything?

8 Annoying Twitter Habits To Break Right Now!

A blue bird with pink glasses in front of a white backgroundI love Twitter. It’s my favorite social media platform and I believe that almost every business should have a Twitter presence. But just like every other social media platform, it has its own share of annoyances.  Here are a few items that make me cringe.

Repeating Lists of Twitter Names For No Apparent Reason

Whenever I glance at my Twitter stream and find horrendous amounts of notifications, I know they are at it again.  “They” are a group of people who preface a tweet containing a list of tweeters with something such as “TY!” or “YAY!” or RT and then they retweet the whole thing multiple times in a day – as if this is going to help them acquire influential followers. It’s annoying and is just going to get them “muted”.

Retweeting or Favoriting Anything And Everything

Seriously, WHY would you retweet or favorite a notification from someone that said  “thank you for following” or “thank you for retweeting”.  Be selective. tweet original or useful content. Use your “favorites” category for exceptional compliments or even for items that you wish to revisit at a later date.  But let me ask you this: when is the last time you checked any of your Twitter connections’ “favorites”? Right… and they’re not checking yours either.

Tweeting Statistical Data From Third Party Applications

Most people are not that interested in how many new followers you received during the week or that such and such a person is now following you. Turn off the notification tweets in your third party apps.

Overuse of Hashtags

Less is more. 1 or 2 hashtags per tweet is sufficient.   Remember that a word without a hashtag will still show up in search results, so it’s not always necessary to hashtag it.  Do use hashtags when 2 or more words are strung together, for example, #socialmedia, or #biztips. Resist the urge to use hashtags in your bio.

Scheduling Auto-direct Messages to Thank New Followers

There are some who will disagree with this but most folks are annoyed with the large amount of automated direct messages they receive.  It’s difficult to be original when scheduling a thank you tweet that will go out to all followers. A better method is to send a quick “thank-you”  tweet or if you have the time,  craft a personal direct message.

Changing a Notification Tweet Into a Regular Tweet

Many years ago, Twitter showed all tweets, even if they were notifications from one person to another. As Twitter became more crowded, they did away with that feature in order to streamline the Twitter experience.

But then Gary Vaynerchuk used a promoted tweet and a Slideshare presentation to demonstrate that by placing a word or even a (.) before the @mention sign, a tweet would be seen by all followers again. This is GREAT… IF the information is worthy of being seen by all your followers.

Each and every follow does not need to see you thanking a person for a retweet or responding to a notification that is simply a conversation meant to take place between the two of you.

Your main goal is to provide good content and to be of service.

Linking Your Facebook and Twitter Accounts

Big mistake! Have you ever seen a tweet that looks something like this: fb.me/u964 ? Does it make any sense? No… therefore, it does not belong on your twitter stream. Facebook content doesn’t translate well to Twitter and Twitter content doesn’t translate well to Facebook. 

Airing Your Relationship Woes

Just. Don’t.

I know this is just a small list.  What Twitter practices annoy you?

Give Them Something to Talk About

a man and woman sharing secretsYou know that you’re supposed to be posting on social media at least a few times a day but have you ever stared blankly at your Twitter screen wondering what to write? Do you sigh in frustration about what to put on your Facebook business page? And then there’s Google+! 

Here are some different types of content that you can use to help create engagement. 

1. Motivational Quotes

Motivational quotes are always popular and studies have shown that quotes receive 22% more interaction on Twitter when compared to other post types. If you add them to an image, they will get even more engagement because Tweets with image links get 2X more engagement than those without and images on Facebook and Google+ work very well for engagement. 

2. Blog Posts or newsletter links

You’ll want to share links to your blog posts and once your newsletter has been in the hands of your subscribers, you may want to share the link to it, as well.  Many people choose to post their blog links automatically but I think it’s always best to preface the link with a hint of what it’s about and perhaps a call to action.

3.  Humor

We all need humor in our lives and we love to share things that might brighten other people’s days which is why humor works so well, especially on Facebook and Google+.  “Someecards” are popular, although sometimes difficult to find ones that can be shared in mixed audiences, if you know  what I mean.  I think we’re done with cat memes (thank goodness) but you can find other humorous items by creating interest lists on Facebook of pages where cute and funny content can be found. Remember that when sharing, it is proper etiquette to share directly, not by “saving an image” and resharing.  Also pay attention to whose content you are sharing. Some page names will do nothing for your reputation (you probably don’t want to be known for sharing “Boo F+ckem Hoo’s” humor).

4.  Company News

Sharing items about your company will help your fans and followers get to know you better and feel more connected with you.  If you have a brick and mortar business, share photos of your employees or business partners and customers or clients.  Or share your favorite new piece of office equipment and explain why you’re excited about it. If you create products, show part of the design process. If you’re holding a charity event or flying your team flag for the big game, share that too!

5.  Social Media Connection Information 

Cross promote your social media connections. For instance, share your instagram handle on Twitter, Facebook and Linked in; share your Twitter info on your Facebook page, etc.

Also share the link to your opt-in page at least once a day on Twitter and at least once a week or more on Facebook, Linked in, and Google+..

6.  Promotions

If you (or someone for whom you’re an affiliate) have a promotion going, by all means share that.

7.  Share you personality

Don’t forget to infuse some of your personality into your postings… yes, even on your business page.  For example, share your love of organic gardening, your pet’s antics, your favorite food (yes, it does matter what you had for lunch, because it’s human nature to be thinking of food), or the fact that it takes you 2 hours on Monday before you can focus (many of us can identify with that).

8. Ask questions

People enjoy answering questions and being helpful.  Ask questions that are easy to answer and that require more than a yes or no answer.  For some ideas, check out Post Planner.

There you have it. – several different categories of content to share.

Think of this list as a content sharing planner and try to choose one of each category each day.  Experts now say that is necessary to post on Facebook 6 times per day.  Although some argue against posting this often, studies have shown that because of the new algorithm, only one out of every 6 posts will be seen by any one person. Posting more often has shown increased engagement.

Certainly you used one or more of these.  What have you had the most success with?

 

Managing Fake Followers on Twitter

illustration of the Twitter bird on a white backgroundTwitter did away with the “auto-follow feature” last June, which is a good thing. It allows you to be more selective in who you follow back.  But how do you know who to follow back? Several people have asked me lately how to know if a Twitter user is real or not.

There’s not an exact way to know for certain, but here are some tips on how to find your fake followers.

  •   They have not replaced the egg with their photo or at least a logo.
  •   They have little or no tweets.
  •   They tweet nothing but quotes (this is a good way to find quotes, btw )
  •   They only retweet other tweeters without quoting them and have no tweets of their own
  •  Their Twitter bio promises to “get you 10,000 followers for just $10.00″ (or something similar)

 

Once you determine a follower is fake, you have the option to block them or report them if you’d like.  You can do this by using the dropdown menu that is located on the cog next to the follow button.  I don’t block these fake accounts unless they have questionable language in their profiles. If I’m not following them, I won’t be seeing their tweets anyway.

I recommend following anyone who is legitimate and who is even remotely linked to your niche. Others are more selective, but I’ve learned that you never know who is behind the Twitter handle and even if they may not need your services, their friend or family member might.

4 Ways to Manage Negative Social Media

abstract cartoon image of the word YIKESHave you ever posted  something on social media that seemed funny at the time, but with each and every response, it became LESS funny?  Well recently this happened to me and I felt like a complete social media failure.  I’m normally very careful about what I post on my social media platforms, even my own personal Facebook page, but I was tired and giddy and something caught me off-guard.

I made (what I thought to be) a humorous comment about a subject which I won’t go into because I don’t want to go THERE again. Let me just say that in addition to religion and politics, allergens and other sensitivities are now off-limits.

I also want to add this caveat: I worked as a registered nurse for many years and we have a somewhat skewed sense of humour. We have to have this or we won’t come out with our sanity intact.  Working with patients can be traumatic and heart-breaking.

Some agreed that my comment was funny. Others were not only offended but were outraged that I should say such a thing.  When people are passionate about something, worlds can collide.

Comments escalated to the point where my occupation, my credibility AND my “personhood” were called into question. Remember that commercial with the song “my dog’s better than your dog”? Well, this conversation quickly became “my condition is worse than your stupid condition.”

I explained my position and stated that I was done talking about the subject and then did not comment on it again. But some people then came to my defense and the conversation got even worse…replete with cuss words.  So I decided to delete the entire conversation.

It saddened me to have to delete it because I believe in free speech AND there was some good education in this thread (there was also some misinformation).  But I could see that the next comment was going to blow up in someone else’s face so I just thanked everyone for their comments and deleted the whole thing.  

Here are some additional ways to handle negative social media.

1. When you receive negative comments, it’s best to address the situation quickly and move on.  If your comment is on Twitter, that’s easier because of how fast Twitter moves.  On Facebook, the more who comment on the post, the more widespread the audience becomes. LinkedIN has only just begun to utilize comment threads so unless you post or receive a negative comment in a group, you’re pretty safe. And we all know that Google+ is a ghost town. KIDDING!

2. If you receive a negative comment on your BLOG, you can simply delete it or not approve it. But keep in mind that if you don’t address it in one way or another, the commenter may choose to leave their comments about you on someone else’s blog where you won’t have any control over them.

I find that the bigger the audience, the worse the comments become. I’m not quite sure why this happens but it does. Some people just love to argue. 

3. If you need to respond to negative feedback, keep your composure. Do not attack or use offensive language. Simply state your case and drop the subject. If an apology is needed on your part, then apologize. You might also offer to discuss the situation privately.  

4. If you need to delete the post or block a certain person, you have every right to do so. It’s your platform and as one person told me privately “you don’t need that negativity in your headspace”.  

I’ll be curious to see what comments end up here. 

 

Still Linking Your Facebook Posts to Twitter? Please Don’t.

comic-like drawing saying "HUH"I was watching Shark Tank the other night – the episode about the lacy boot socks. The company’s name is Grace and Lace and they have a wonderful story.  (And yes, I’ve already ordered some socks.)  :)

When asked how they began, Melissa, the founder of Grace and Lace, related to the sharks that they had not spent money on marketing and had simply used social media to gain exposure.

Many people believe that social media is free advertising (and  yes, it’s true that for the most part,  it can be used without spending actual dollars) but given the amount of time it takes to manage your social media accounts, find relevant content to curate, create your own content and respond to comments and questions, you can see that it is anything BUT free.

So we do what we can to try to decrease the amount of time spent on social media.  Tools like Buffer App, Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Tweetdeck help us to be more efficient but sometimes to the detriment of our efforts.  Each platform should really be kept separate. 

One short cut I’ve seen used is to link a company Facebook page to a Twitter account.  Don’t do it.  Some experts argue that it’s fine. I disagree.  Time and time again I see posts on Twitter that are clearly a forwarded Facebook post and make absolutely no sense.  They look something like this: “Arguing about a…..fb.me/XYZ7368″

 Twitter is a fast-moving platform and most folks are not going to click a link on a post that doesn’t really tell them anything about what they’re going to find once clicking the link. Not only that, it just looks sloppy.  Additionally, if you are writing a longer text post on Facebook, for instance a quote, you may end up with only half a quote on Twitter and no reference to who is being quoted… like this:  “Get out there and take action! If you wait for perfection, you will drive your self crazy while you sit on the sidelines wishing you…”  <~~where’s the rest of the post?

Another short cut is to do the opposite – link a Twitter page to automatically post to a Facebook page. This isn’t good either because many people on Facebook do not understand what RT (retweet) or #FF (Follow Friday) means. Before the advent of the use of hashtags on Facebook, it was even worse.  Again, it just looks sloppy.  However, if you do link from Twitter to Facebook personal page, you are now able to use the “edit” feature to remove the RT and the hashtags if you wish. Facebook business pages still do not have this feature.

Instagram is a bit different in that it can be shared to Twitter fairly well.  When sharing from Instagram, you will end up with an Instagram link but if you use one of the IFTTT (If This Then That) recipes, you can share the actually image – more about that here.  You would think that because Facebook now owns Instagram that images would be shared to Facebook  in the proper Facebook sizes but no such luck… they usually turn out too big and thus show only part of the image.

As I perused Grace and Lace’s use of Social Media, I noticed that they concentrate on Facebook and Instagram with a lesser use of Twitter.  Most of their Twitter stream is links from Instagram.  Thankfully they do NOT linked their Facebook page to their Twitter account and as they said on Shark Tank, it has worked well for them.  For a small business, which is not so small anymore… they are doing a wonderful job with their social media.

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You’re most welcome to use this article on your website, blog or in your e-zine if you include this entire blurb, without modification: If you liked this article by Shelley Webb, you’ll want to hop on over to www.OnTheWebbSocialMedia.com where you can find more articles, resources and social media strategies.  Shelley teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners how to bring their business into the on-line conversation.