Why using TrueTwit makes you look like a True Twit

If you are a TrueTwit user, please don’t take this post personally.  You might be new to Twitter and you might think that you need some kind of validation service for your account to protect you from unwanted followers but you really don’t.

TrueTwit promises three things to its users; spam avoidance, follower management and follower verification.  If you use a Twitter validation service, like TrueTwit, ALL of your new followers will be sent a validation request by direct message.  They then have to complete a CAPTCHA form and you are sent an email confirming they are a TrueTwit-validated human!captcha

Here’s what TrueTwit aims to do and why we don’t think it is a great idea:

  • Avoid Twitter spam – Twitter is an open social platform and one-way relationships are possible. If your account is public there is nothing stopping a bored individual or spambot from sending ‘spam’ messages to your account. You can’t really stop this.  TrueTwit doesn’t do anything to prevent this because it can’t. Plus, it isn’t only bots that send spam, real people spam too and they find filling in a CAPTCHA form easy!  If you get spam messages you can, through Twitter itself ,block the user, or block the user and report them for spam, report them as annoying or report the user as abusive (in violation of the Twitter Rules).
  • Save time managing your followers – The truth is, TrueTwit actually makes you look unsociable.  It can put people off following you and prevent you from growing your following.  It might save you time managing followers because people who might have followed you otherwise are PUT OFF following you, because they have to go through a validation process!
  • Verify people from robots – These days, most computers and programs can figure out CAPTCHA.  There are some clever bots out there!

So if TrueTwit doesn’t do any of the things it promises to do, what does it actually do?

First Impressions last

If the first contact someone receives from you is this:

@blahblahblah uses TrueTwit validation. To validate click here: http://truetwit.com/vy303452218

What do you think is their first impression of you?

TrueTwit can come across as alienating and rude.  Some people won’t click through to validate and some people will think that you don’t really know what you’re doing on Twitter.  You can also look like a spammer yourself.   How many messages on Twitter do you avoid like the plague?  We never click on the dodgy-looking link, do we?

Twitter is all about sharing

What we love about Twitter is that anyone can find and follow you.  People will choose to follow you because they are interested in what you might have to say.  If when they click to follow you and they get a DM asking you to validate yourself, do you think they’re interested enough at that stage to bother?  If your business or brand relies relies upon or is trying to create open communication you should think twice about placing this kind of roadblock between you and your audience.

In Summary:  Please don’t used TrueTwit, especially for business accounts, it makes you look like a bit of a Twit.

 

Sharing your location on Twitter

If you add your location to your tweets using a mobile app, you attach your specific location to your tweets. When you tweet from twitter.com, you can choose to attach a more general location like a city name.  We find local cities and towns in the UK don’t come up though. The site just offers London normally if that’s where you are, or you can add / be in Scotland or Wales!  If you want to be more specific it’s best to be using an app or mobile.

Tweeting your location allows your followers to see where you are, gives you location-specific ‘trends’ and you’ll also get commercial tweets tailored to your location, which can mean more great local offers.

As described before in our blog on Local Marketing Tips, marketing and selling can often be linked with local connections, so sharing where you are, where you’re going or where you’ve been could be that last connection that gets you that business meeting, or a sale that you might not otherwise have got. It might even mean a new supplier or a special offer finding you too.

As with most social media sites and apps etc, you can amend your privacy in the settings, under ‘Security and Privacy’. Even if you opt-in for ‘tweet location’, you can still turn your location on or off before each tweet so it only shares where you are when you want it to.  You can also delete all the previously stored location information. You might want to do this is you’ve moved your office or moved house so you stop getting irrelevant information and ads.

Shared locations become really powerful for businesses when they’re used to search out people, connections and prospects via the Twitter Advanced Search facility, or on Hootsuite’s location search.  Following others who share their location could bring you more business and certainly get you leads.

So, we would advise having the facility on and deciding tweet by tweet if you want to share your current location.

 

If you’re local, you can come and meet our team at the ‘Tweetup’ on 8th October, from 7.15pm at Matthew’s Yard, Croydon. These are monthly social meet-ups. See our Events page!

Facebook Messenger App

I’m not sure why there has been a sudden flurry of scepticism about the Facebook Messenger Android app while I’ve been away (only for a few days) as it isn’t exactly new, it originally launched in 2011!

At Dot-Social we’re all on iOS and want the latest version of most things to keep us all up-to-date.  I personally believe Facebook make changes to enhance what we do, to keep us all on there!  The difference is that the Android version of the app is having to play by Google’s rules and declare all it’s capabilities which, when spelt out, seem quite alarming and possibly intrusive, using all kinds of data from your mobile.

This article from Mashable helps with the detail of what people are concerned about and should help decide whether you should be worried. It’s aptly named, Don’t Freak Out About the Facebook Messenger App.

Facebook’s own blog on this, Why is the Messenger app requesting permission to access features on my Android phone or tablet? explains why they need the permissions stated.  Even if you don’t really understand it all, you can get the gist.

You’ll see in the first blog post that they advise these permissions already applied to Facebook’s main app, and many of them are standard for social media apps like this anyway. It was in April this year when they split the app and started rolling it out.  The app reduces the different ways in which Facebook has to handle messages in its standard app and, “It would be too cumbersome to add to the standard app.”

In very basic terms, within Facebook if you want to send someone a picture from your android mobile, you’ll need to have given the messenger app permission to access your photos.  However, if you still don’t want to use the Messenger app, you can still access Facebook messages by accessing the site through a mobile browser.  You can then access and respond to your messages without using the Messenger app.

New changes to Facebook rules – HURRAY!

Facebook like, dislike image

Facebook like, dislike image

As a user, I was extremely pleased to read about the new Facebook Platform Policy (7 Aug, fully effective on 5 Nov 2014) stopping Pages apps requiring you to like a Page in order to enter competitions etc.  Like-gating, as it’s known, is now prohibited by policy.

What is it?

It’s when competitions and promotions require you enter by following their request of liking their Page.

However, there are many Pages not following the rules that already apply to promotions and offers.  This could be due to lack of knowledge and understanding, blatantly ignoring them or attempting to get hundreds of likes.  The latter doesn’t particularly help your marketing because if the person doesn’t really ‘like’ your Page, they with either unlike it or remain dormant, limiting the reach of your posts.  Remember it’s about quality not quantity.  You want an engaged audience, not huge figures of uninterested people on your Page.  After 5 November even if an existing app requests a Page like, it will be disabled by Facebook (in effect) and not count whether the entrant has or hasn’t liked the Page!  For a new app, we believe this is in effect already (from 7 Aug 2014) and some have 90 days to comply.

There have always been strict rules around competitions on Facebook.  To summaries these:

  • you must show all the terms, rules and eligibility to enter etc
  • must include an acknowledgement that it is not associated with Facebook
  • not request use of personal timelines (e.g. ‘Share on your Timeline to enter’ is not allowed)

See the rules in full in the Facebook Pages Terms.

Hands up if you are surprised by these rules?  There are plenty who don’t abide by them!

Another interesting rule that you may not have heard of is that third-party advertisements on Pages are prohibited, without Facebook’s prior permission.

The new rules that sparked this post applies to apps.  ‘You must not incentivise people to use social plugins or to like a Page.   This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page.   It remains acceptable to incentivise people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.’   Read this and about the changes to Games apps here under Changes to Platform Policy .

So, in theory, we should see a lot less of the ‘Like our Page to enter’ competitions in our personal timelines.

As a Page owner if you have created a campaign or social strategy based on incentivising page likes through apps you may find have work to do!  But, in the long run, you will find other actions, probably more effective ones, to ask your audience to do, to replace that one.

The controversy over this is move by Facebook is really interesting. See the comments under the Facebook Blog, and Socially Staked.

When you consider how many Pages each individual has liked, narrowing down who sees what has got to mean users only really do click to like, in the future, those pages that you are really interested in, not just because they want to enter a competition.

We think this is a good move. What do you think?

 

 

Local social marketing tips

Because us Dot Social ladies come from Croydon, we know people who work or worked at Nestle and/or have a connection with Nestle because they used to have their UK Headquarters here and were the main private employer in Croydon.   They’re now down the road near Gatwick.  The Nestle building is part of the Croydon skyline, literally, and they lit up the Wellesley Road building at night with coloured lights.  They’re an American giant, but we have an indirect connection with them because they are local.

As online marketeers, we know the best way to gain positive attention is to provide great content and be a source of information relevant to our audience.  The problem is that nearly everybody (well, anyone with any sense!) is doing it.  This means even your best content may get lost in the crowd.

A very good way to stand out, especially if you have a local base, or connection with a particular area is by focusing your efforts locally.  Remember the saying, ‘Think globally, act locally‘.   Think about the big picture but if you’re starting out or a small business, you need to start small, and local.

Consider marketing yourself to smaller groups rather than targeting larger ones.  You can do this by joining discussions in local LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Groups, in smaller local Google Communities, or even at smaller business networking events.

People who know you are local are far more likely to read your posts and respond to them, connect with you and remember you if they feel that local connection.   We explained this at our recent Social Media workshop, that it can fall right down to the specific area in a town if you are a small, local business.  London is a big place, as-is Surrey, so although you might be intending to market to a global audience, if you are based in Guildford or Bermondsey, then say so.   Name the particular place and people will think of a connection with it, and it is that that makes it feel more personal and memorable.

With the corporate world and big businesses being seen sometimes in a negative light now and people turning to look out the bespoke, small, local business you’ll find, like us, a lot of people would rather do business with a local business than a big global corporate.  We see this all the time with requests on Social Media for recommendations for anything from a local plumber that needs to be local to a web designer, who doesn’t.

By the way, we can produce beautiful WordPress websites ourselves, but we don’t do plumbing – well, not yet!!

So don’t forget to talk about your specific location, your connection with places and also where you’re heading or where you’ve been.  Mention this on your social media channels as well as looking out suitable places to share your content with people online in smaller localised groups.   Think about your business according to both local and global considerations.

We organise Tweetups, which are a social gathering in Croydon. If you’d like to come to one and/or meet us, see the next dates and any of our other events on our Events Page.

Using LinkedIn for Business

Last night Ania presented and Wendy attended the Purley Business Association meeting.

We were invited to speak on how business users can benefit from being on and actively using LinkedIn to grow their network.  In short, Ania’s presentation explained the benefits of being on LinkedIn for credibility, a detailed showcase of your work and experience, a way to connect and interact, SEO and more.  She explained the process of adding/completing your profile, adding your Company, making up-dates and joining Groups.

One of the main benefits of LinkedIn is being able to see connections of your connections and ask for introductions.  You can also join, collaborate with and share experiences with like-minded people in Groups.  You will also get exposure to other LinkedIn members outside of your connections that you might want to make contact with.  You can easily find local, industry specific and even topic-specific groups and, if not, start your own and invite others to join your group for discussions.

You can either use the search box at the top of any page by selecting Groups from the drop down menu, or go to Interests at the top of your Home page and select Groups from there.

Don’t just be a stalker though!  Join in with the discussions or start your own within the groups. That gets you visibility and credibility if you are able to provide useful insights/information in your field.

There are some limits on Groups and you can see the details here on the LinkedIn Group Help Page.

There was a good vibe about the Purley Business Association group so if you’re local to Purley you’ll find a mix of local business people at these meetings that are FREE to attend on your first or second visit, with speakers on business topics and networking, then they encourage you to become a member of the Association.

 There was great interest in our FREE Social Media workshop for Purley Festival week, on 25th June.  That will be on Social Media Strategy and Improving Your Online Profiles, from 9.45am -11am at Christ Church, Purley meeting rooms.  Email Wendy@dot-social.co.uk asap to register for your place as there’s only a few places left.

 

Connect with us on LinkedIn at Dot Social, Ania Wilk-Lawton, Stephanie Darkes and Wendy Ager.

 

 

 

 

3 Ways to integrate Social Media into your website

 

We regularly see people using Social Media platforms, sometimes really well, but without any real integration into their overall online strategy, connecting one with another and to their website.  Yes, we’ve clicked through to have a look!!

That’s what’s good about Social Media.  People interested in you, your business and what you’re saying WILL sometimes follow the links on your Social Media posts or profiles to find out more about you!  What about the other way round.  When they come to your website, can they find, follow and interact with you socially?

Here’s how you can integrate social media into your website relatively easily.

1.  Add follow buttons.  So they can connect with you, keep in touch or just watch what you’re doing.

2.  Add Share buttons.  So they can share with their contacts what you are posting about.

3.  Show your streams.  So they can see easily what else you are posting on your social media channels.

You can get buttons from each of the social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+.  If you aren’t able to do this yourself, ask your website  developer to do this for you!

There are many sites, separate to the social media networks themselves offering to make all the buttons for you. FREE! For instance, you could try AddThis or Social Button Maker.

Social Media Examiner show here, how to ‘Customize your Share buttons‘.

If you want to create streams (showing the current posts/conversations going on on your Social Media channels) then you might consider creating them individually through the social media platforms themselves again, or try Social Stream Widget.com.   You could even have a whole page of your website dedicated to all your social media platform streams with RebelMouse.

Making it easy for your visitors to connect, share and engage with you on Social Media can only make it work for you quicker, easier and better for you.

You can share this post using the buttons below, or connect with us using the buttons on the top of this page!

 

 

 

What can people see on your Facebook Page?

Facebook Page Privacy jpg

When you’re logged into your own business or community Page on Facebook it’s good to keep in mind that you can probably see more than people who are viewing or have Liked your page can see.  There are also a few things you may not be able to see that others can eg a comment that’s been made private between friends about your page.

You can see all the posts on your page, even ones that have been ‘hidden’ but a visitor won’t see them.

Unless you’ve changed the settings, people will also see Other People’s posts to your page, and interactions THEIR friends have had with your page and who of their friends have Liked your page. If you want to change this you can either ‘Require your approval for others posts to your page’ or turn of the Recent Posts By Others box – See how to here!

If you have need to, you can remove someone from you page, or go further and BAN them! See more on that here.  You can also add a profanities filter or even ban the use of particular words!

You can set country and age restrictions of people who see/like your page, decide if you want people to tag photos and all sorts in Edit Settings and even make your page more visible.

At the top of your Page, click Edit Page then Select Edit Settings

Go and have a look NOW and see if you want to add/change anything on your Facebook Page!

 

We’re Dot Social on Facebook.  There we share our blogs and other useful marketing and social media tips. We are @Dotsocialise on Twitter, if you’d like to connect with us individually on Twitter, we are @AniaWL, @StephanieDarkes and I’m @WendyAnnAger.

 

 

 

Post photos from your phone straight a Facebook Album

 

UPDATE – you CAN now post photos from your mobile into albums using the Facebook Pages app- Hurray!!

This came up whilst we were talking at Croydon’s Meanwhile Use marketing day.   I explained that posting photos is great and to do it from your mobile is easy and can create buzz for projects, but to remember to go and upload them into albums on your Page later with dates, descriptions, tags etc and then you can link to those albums and share them etc.   Otherwise they all just sit in ‘mobile uploads’ and that’s a massive mess!

However, I don’t think a lot of people know that, for your personal profile, you can actually add to an Album or even Create an Album on your phone.

After selecting ‘Share a Photo’ on your timeline and selecting them, click the icon underneath (below!) and you can add to an Album or create a new Album.

  • Choose an album

Alternatively, on the iPhone Facebook App, from anywhere just go to ‘More’ then scroll down until you see ‘Photos’ and in there you can upload like you do from your PC.

Both give you the options to add a description, location, people-tagging and privacy alterations as normal.

The only thing we’ve noticed you can’t do is Edit the Album to do things like re-order the photos like you can from your PC.

So, there’s no need to re-upload to organise your photos into Albums.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be available for Pages Apps yet, but for personal use it’s great.

We hope you find our Blog useful and if you’d like more tips from us please do connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Blogging for Business – Tips

Blogging for business can be about sharing useful insights, tips, an overview of your expertise or views on your industry news and products that will help your audience and give them reason to engage with you.  To get them into your marketing funnel you want it to mean they want to link up with you by following you, subscribing, or looking for more information about what your business offers.   A well-written blog is no good on it’s own though.

To engage people you need to make it easy to read, provide ways to find out more information on the topic, either from you or elsewhere.  Great pictures, video or info graphics to help show visually what you’re talking about will really enhance your message.    

Everyone is short of time, so be careful with the length of your blog posts and videos.  When it comes to the writing, remember to cut, cut cut!  That means cut out ALL the words that are unnecessary and anywhere where you are repeating the same message.  When it comes to visuals, make sure they’re relevant, engaging and attractive.   Video should be short and either a summarised or entertaining version or addition to your blog. 

Don’t forget to make it easy for your readers to follow you on their preferred platform.  Share your Blogs regularly yourself on other platforms too.  Actively suggest people subscribe or follow your blog, so they’ll get notified when you write a new post.

Most importantly, as with all marketing, be consistent.  Keep going.  There’s nothing worse than going to a website or connecting with someone because you liked their Blog and then they stop writing it, for no apparent reason!

If you’re still not sure you can do this.  Here’s 5 reasons to blog for your business on Social Media Examiner.

We write blogs on all kinds of social media, marketing and online news and about what’s going on in and around Croydon.  Subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out posts, or connect with us using the buttons below.

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