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Online monitoring using Google Alerts

For monitoring what’s going on in your industry online and topics of interest, what people are taking about or saying about you and your business, this is such an easy and simple way to get this information regularly without any fuss.

A Google Alert generates search engine results, based on a search you request, and sends it to you by email.   This means you can keep up with what is new about a topic, company, industry and see what is being shared online about you and your business without having to go actively searching for it.    You can use this information to make sure you don’t miss anything being posted about you and/or your business, to create new content or comment on new developments in your field, or just share new or interesting information on your social media channels.

It’s VERY simple to do, just go to Google Alerts.  You can decide how often you want to be notified, what language, region and which type of results you get in ‘Sources’.   If you leave it to Automatic you’ll get a mixture though, if you prefer a particular format you can select to receive news, web, video, blogs etc.

It even gives you some Alert Suggestions and a preview of the kind of content you will be getting depending on your search terms, so you can change or improve what you are wanting to receive before you confirm the alert.  You can select how often you receive them too.  We suggest you set some up and alter then alter them to suit until you start receiving exactly what you’re looking for.

It’s such an eady and simple way of improving your online presence and knowledge.  Just try it out at Google Alerts, and if you really need full step-by-step instructions find them here at WikiHow.

 

To keep up with us at Dot Social, if you’re local to Croydon you could meet us at one of our events, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

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!

Reframing the same content to post it again

Reposting the same information on your social media channels will get you more exposure.  However, the best way to do this is to reframe the content to suit your audience.   For example, change the header, slant or tile describing the post, blog or article to entice different people to click to read or share your information.    According to Buffer’s blog, “9 Best Social Media and Content Marketing Tips from Buffer (see No 4)  they can get double or triple the amount of engagement by highlighting different elements of the content when they repost it!

That’s pretty amazing.  So, don’t forget to keep re-posting and reframing your content, mixed in with interacting with others on your social media as always of course.

Here’s an example of how we’ve done it for you to see how you could do this too.  These are Tweets about one of our other Blog posts:

How to see ALL the activity on your Facebook page – good to know !”

“A Facebook blog – how to see all the activity on your page in one go – by

“This is really helpful, a way to see ALL activity on your Facebook page – NEW blog by Wendy. It also works on

The example by Buffer was using Facebook and explains how they also use imagery to create more ways to repost the same content and increase engagement as well.

If this blog post was helpful to you please comment, and follow and ReTweet for us @DotSocialise.

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?

 

 

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.

 

 

 

10 easy ideas to post on your Social Media

A lot of people we meet who aren’t yet using Social Media or haven’t fully integrated it into their marketing plans ask us what they should post on their Social Media channels.

There are literally hundreds of things you can post about but for some simple outgoing post suggestions for your social media, see below.   We recommend the 80/20 rule i.e. 80% sharing useful information and content and engaging with your audience and just 20% directed to your business.

1.  Promotional offers for your products/services

2. How your product/services solve your customers’ problems or help them

3. Comparisions of yours to other similar products/services

4. Reviews of your products/services or testimonials/case studies

5. Best of, top sellers or customers’ favourites

6. Your USP

7.  What you’re working on right now

9.  Industry news

10. Share photos or video of your people doing their work or using your products

We’ll post some more suggestions in the future, but hopefully these will give you some inspiration if you’re struggling with what to talk about.  Don’t forget, we’re very social and happy to join you in conversation, especially on Twitter, so do follow us @DotSocialise and

Wendy Ager @WendyAnnAger

Stephanie Darkes @StephanieDarkes

Ania Wilk-Lawton @AniaWL

Why and how to use Twitter Lists

Lists are extremely useful.  You can group people together in Twitter lists so that you can go and just see those people’s Tweets.  It’s also useful because you don’t have to follow the people you put into Lists and so you don’t have to follow them but still get to see their Tweets.  It’s another way of seeing people’s Tweets if and when you want to and you don’t have to be following them.   You can have 1000 different lists and put 5000 people in any of them, one or more.

You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. 

To create your own list,  go to the gear icon drop down menu in the top right navigation bar or from profile page just click on Lists.   That’s where you go to look at Tweets by people you’ve put in Lists and manage your lists etc.  

To add Tweeters to your lists, click the gear icon by the the Users profile and you’ll see ‘Add to List’.  

Whether to keep your Lists public or private is up to you.  If you have a bunch of confidential clients, influencers and competitors you want to ‘watch’ what they’re Tweeting about then you’ll probably want to make those private.   If you’re making a good list of contacts in one field or location that others might want to follow we’d suggest you make them Public, and that you name them clearly and positively and you’ll get other people following your lists.   

To follow other people’s lists, from their Profile click on Lists and subscribe.

 

For more on detail and help with Lists try Twitter’s “I’m having trouble with lists” information in the Help Centre.

Blocking Online Adverts – Is this good or bad?

Ever since installing AdBlock Plus to Chrome, and enjoying being able to happily watch WHAT I WANT on YouTube without being forced to watch adverts first, I’ve been wondering what effect this will have on the future of online advertising.   According to this Forbes post, Use of Ad-blocking is on the rise, the use of ad blocking is growing at a rate of 43% per year.

 

 

So, I’ve done a little research here’s what I found.

Where initially Adblock Plus would block all advertising, it now apparently has a whitelist of selected sites and services whose ads are allowed through the filter.  These do seem reasonable to me if you read about what they class as non-intrusive ‘acceptable ads‘.  

Obviously, it is controversial, as detailed by Dave Lee, BBC Technology News – Is it ethical to block adverts online? 

I had a look through the The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB)*, report mentioned (OK, so I didn’t read it all in depth – it’s extremely lengthy!) and found the following points make their case fairly clear. 

Below are extracts from the White Paper: Consumers driving the digital uptake – The economic value of online advertising-based services for consumers.

 P13 Point 4. Primary Research:  “…current ad-financed services generate significant value for the average Internet user, being an order of magnitude higher than what the same user would be willing to pay for eliminating the related disturbance of advertising and privacy issues.”

 P 14 Point 4.2: “Free ad-funded services generate the bulk of this consumer services surplus, highlighting the significant value of the ad-based revenue model for consumers.”

 P24 Point 5 : “the value obtained from using Web services remains six times larger than what users are willing to spend to avoid such disturbance. This means that the current ecosystem works quite well and that caution must be exercised in challenging the current system because of the risk of creating other imbalances.”

What this report seems to suggest/confirm is that Advertising basically helps pay for all the free stuff we get while using the internet, and the detriment is far, far, way out-weighed by the benefits.

So now I’m all for acceptable and non-intrusive ads, in order to keep a lot of what we use on the internet free.  

What do you think about blocking adverts and the future of online advertising? Comment below:

 

 *FYI The IAB is a UK-based trade association for online and mobile advertisers.