Let’s Bring Social Back to Social Media

Let’s Bring Social Back to Social Media!

There I said it.  I have to admit.  I don’t spend nearly as much time on social media as I used to and the main reason plain and simple is because there’s just too much “noise”.  No matter which social platform you choose, if you view the main feed, it’s like surfing through the channels on the radio or cable tv and not finding anything you like.    Another reason was because it just wasn’t the same as it was back when social media was “new and shiny”.    I remember when I could log into Twitter and be able to tweet “Hi” and at least a dozen people would tweet “Hi” back and it didn’t matter if you were following one another.   People were online,  starting conversations, and getting to know each other because social media was so new, we didn’t think to advertise businesses.  There was no agenda.   Nothing  was automated, the fake “bot” accounts had not been invented.

That’s when I decided to write this post “Let’s Bring Social Back to Social Media” and do even more to change the way I interact on my social platforms. The attempts I made to interact as I did in the past have not had success.

Please do not misunderstand or get me wrong, I’m not saying I have never scheduled tweets or any other social media posts.  There is definitely a need for scheduled posts to make best use of your time. Noone can be online 24/7.   But… and there is a big  BUT.  Every post should not be automated, especially if you are expecting responses of any kind from potential or existing customers.  In my opinion – social media should not be like radio or television.  It is a two-way communication medium.   It is NOT solely for advertising as many people and businesses use it which is in my opinion why there is so much noise.

Sure – you can get around the noise of Twitter and other platforms if you know how.

In my effort of  Let’s Bring Social Back to Social Media I am creating a list on Twitter called “Live Tweets Only”.   The purpose of this list is to add members who will tweet back when I say “Hi” without having to @theirhandle.  I’m hoping by creating this list, it will bring back a little bit of the social interaction that has been replaced by the automated tweets.  Do you think it will help? Do you have any more suggestions to bring social back to social media?

 

Four Things You May Not Know About LinkedIn

LinkedIn

Four Things You May Not Know About LinkedIn

LinkedIn, like many other social platforms has been making updates to the way its algorithms and the way it presents user profiles. Like many other social platforms, LinkedIn doesn’t exactly announce how those updates will affect your profile if you decide to make updates. Below are a few things I discovered as I tweaked my account the past couple of weeks.

linkedin public profile

1) Unattached Recommendations: In the past, if you had a recommendation attached to a particular job description and decided to eliminate that position, you could save that recommendation and attach it to another position. This was convenient for consultants or people who owned their own businesses as they reorganized their profiles.  Now, if you removed a job description, any recommendations attached to that job description also goes away.

2) More Company Pages: Chances are, your previous employer has created their own company page on LinkedIn. If this is the case, you will want to update your previous employment section and link it to their company page link.  Instead of just text, your profile will show your previous employer’s company logo on your profile with a link back to their company page.

3) You can customize your public profile: Regardless of who sees your profile while logged in on LinkedIn (connections, network, etc…) you can pick and choose who sees your profile on the web (who is not logged into LinkedIn) – which doesn’t really make sense to me.  If you want your profile to have limited or full exposure, you have to make changes in multiple locations. You get to this option by managing your public profile settings; (see image below) and you can see by the figure included to the right which items you can choose to share with the public. manage linkedin public profile

4) You can’t block people from viewing your profile on LinkedIn: For Instance, if you want your profile to remain public on Facebook or Twitter, you can block a user who is stalking you, spamming you, etc… On LinkedIn you can’t do this. You can report someone who is spamming you, but you can’t block someone who, let’s say views your profile every day, yet is not a connection.  You basically have 3 choices on LinkedIn. You can allow your connections, your network or everyone to view your profile.   This can prove problematic if you want people to reach out and connect if you’ve had to reduce your profile to connections only.

So how are you supposed to keep up with these updates LinkedIn makes?  Well, one way is to subscribe to my blog, because as I notice things are different, or if someone asks me a question I will write a blog post or record a video and post it on YouTube.  LinkedIn also has a blog and a Facebook fan page, however – I have not found them to be overly helpful.  When I have asked for assistance, they are slow to respond.  Another way to keep up-to-date on what’s going on with LinkedIn is to follow @LoriRuff on Twitter or connect to Lori Ruff on LinkedIn.  She’s probably best known as the LinkedIn Diva and if you have any questions regarding LinkedIn, she can answer them.

I have noticed other changes – have you?  Which ones do you find to be the most problematic?  Did you find this post helpful?  If you have a problem or question you would like answered, feel free to post it here or on my fan page.

Social Media Security – Best Practices

social media security

You may ask yourself why you need to worry about Social Media Security

Let me fill you in on the back story.  A former colleague contacted me and asked me if I personally knew a mutual contact on LinkedIn.  Apparently this mutual contact had scammed her out of some money.  I told her I did not, as I am connected to a few thousand contacts and do not know all of them personally.   Since this is an issue so many have to deal with, I thought this post would be appropriate.  Here is a checklist of best practices you can do to make your social media security more secure.

1) Use a separate e-mail address for your social media accounts:  i.e. linkedin@yourdomain.com  or twitter@yourdomain.com  then have each forwarded to your main account.  If you do not have the luxury of multiple e-mail accounts you can do something along the lines of  yourname_socialmedia@yourdomain.com.  This was beneficial for me about a year ago, in that I received an e-mail from my Linkedin e-mail  account from “PayPal”.  Someone on the other end was trying to get money from me.  I immediately knew this was a scam because my PayPal e-mail is not my LinkedIn e-mail address.  Of course I immediately let PayPal know what was going on and forwarded them the e-mail.

2) Use a secure password: You want a MINIMUM of 8 characters, but I like to use 12 or more.  You also want a combination of letters, numbers and special characters.  You want a different password for every account.  I know this seems impossible, but you can use a naming convention.  Here is an example.  Tw1+2013!!  I spelled the first four letters of Twitter using a combination of letters, numbers and special characters, added the year and ended it with exclamation points.   As you can see, this password combination makes the social media security is pretty good.  If you want to see how your password stacks up – go to this password checker and check it out.  You might be surprised.

3) Change your passwords regularly.  I would say at least every 3 months – but if that’s too often for you, at least once a year MINIMUM.  I change mine every 3-6 months because I used to work in network security and I’m a bit more paranoid.

4) Use a social media management application:  I use HootSuite and Sprout Social, but there are others.  You can also use applications like Gremln or Smarsh.  This is beneficial if you have someone managing your social accounts.  This way, they only have limited access.

5) Take advantage additional authentication method:  Several social platforms will send a text to your cell phone and allow you to enter a code for verification.  If you are concerned about social media security, this is an added step worth taking.

6) Recognized Devices:  How many devices do you have?  How many do you use?  Facebook recognizes and remembers your devices, so it’s good to go into your settings and delete your old devices every few months.  I only have 3 devices, but according to Facebook, I have 17 since May of this year.  The thing is, I log into Facebook from a lot of different networks.

7) What is the URL? Sophisticated computer hackers can duplicate your social media accounts (as well as pretty much any other kind of account).   If you want to be on top of social media security, you definitely want to pay attention to the url.

8) This may seem obvious, but do NOT give your username and password to people you don’t know.  Even if they say they need it to get you more followers or to manage your account.  Have them with you when you are signed in, then let them act as you add them as an administrator, or set up a third party social media management tool like Hoot Suite.

9) No matter how much you WANT to, NEVER EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER did I say NEVER? But NEVER have your browser remember your passwords.  If your computer gets infected with a worm, or virus, or the latest mutation thereof, it could possibly take the passwords from your browser and save them to a server somewhere for someone to use.  Also – NEVER save your passwords to a file on your computer.

10) Keep your computer up to date with the latest patches, upgrades and antivirus software.  Social media security is just as much about maintenance as much as it is about awareness.

Do you have anything you would like to add to this list?  Have you had anything scary happen to you or a friend?  What do you think could have prevented it?

Pros and Cons of Hiring an Intern for Social Media

social media

Let’s face it.  social media is becoming more and more important in marketing your brand whether you are a brick and mortar business, an online business, a celebrity, a non-profit,  or something else altogether.  No matter which category you fall into, social media allows you to reach more of your target market for less marketing dollars than traditional marketing avenues.  If you haven’t started using social media yet, or have but have not been managing your accounts regularly, this post covers the pros and cons of hiring an intern to handle your social media accounts.

What are the pros and cons of hiring an intern for social media?

  1. Pro:  You can get an intern free or almost free.  Most interns are required to do internships as part of their college credit so you won’t have to pay the rate you would have to pay a professional.
  2. Pro:  Interns are usually more technically savvy.  Interns have been using the social platforms you want for years.  They probably have taken classes in many of the management platforms as well.
  3. Pro: Interns are not set in their ways.  Interns are usually younger and are open to new ideas (your way of doing things) whereas professionals usually have their own way of doing things.)

 

  1. Con:  Interns are only with you a short time.  Because interns are doing their internship for a class credit, they are only there a short time (unless you decide to hire them). If you decide not to hire them, you have to go through the process of training another intern.
  2. Con:  Interns may need to be closely monitored.  Although your intern may have years of experience on various social platforms, their experience is purely for personal and social reasons.  Their posts may contain inappropriate language, and represent your business or brand in a questionable or negative manner.  Unless closely monitored, they may spend the day tweeting with their friends instead of the tasks you’ve given them.
  3. Con:  Interns are not dedicated to your brand or company.  You put your blood sweat and tears into your company.  You would never do anything to tarnish your company’s name in any way shape or form.  Does your intern care if there’s a typographical error, or if they accidentally post a photo of them at a party drunk as a skunk to your account that should have been posted to their personal account? Very doubtful.
  4. Con:  Interns don’t know everything about your company.  The person representing your company through social media should know as much as possible about your company and your brand.  People will be asking questions about your products and services.  Exactly how much can you teach an intern in a limited amount of time about your company or your brand?
  5. Con:  Interns won’t monitor your social platforms 24/7.  This goes back to the intern not being dedicated to your company.  They are there for college credit and possibly a job down the road, but 24/7 monitoring is a lot to ask for someone who is probably not getting paid.

I’m sure you can think of more pros and cons of hiring an intern for social media.  Please be sure to share them!  If you haven’t started using social media as part of your marketing strategy start now.  Don’t take my word for it – read this post by Forbes.  If you don’t play, you can’t win.

Facebook Changes Default Privacy Settings for Users 13 – 17 So What?

facebook

Facebook Changes Default Privacy Settings

With all the cyber bullying we’ve been hearing about on the news – we have to wonder if this change is coming along a bit too late?  Or, is it a band-aid to patch a broken limb?  Facebook announced today teen accounts (ages 13 – 17) will default to the “friends” setting; the previous default was “friends of friends”.  Going forward they will be able to make changes back to “friends of friends” or “public”  but will be notified of the status of the post setting, reminding the teens the post is indeed public and will be seen by more than just their friends.

Facebook

 

If they choose to share the post publicly – they will see the post again.  O.K. – so Facebook becomes a nagging parent.  Do you think it will deter the teen from posting publicly or do you think it will entice the teen to get creative with their account?  Perhaps change their age?  Facebook does allow you to change your age (albeit a limited number of times).  I know if I were a rebellious teen – what I would do.

Will changing the default privacy settings on Facebook help protect teens from child trafficking? Pedophiles? Rapists? More importantly, other teens? Probably not.  Facebook even admits:

Teens are among the savviest people using social media, and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard. So, starting today, people aged 13 through 17 will also have the choice to post publicly on Facebook. 

As a parent, I have concerns and have to wonder why a 13 year old should even have a Facebook profile.  It was just yesterday (October 15) a 12 year old girl killed herself  because her ex-best friend (a 14 year old girl) and another 12 year old girl were arrested for cyber bullying.  How is Facebook’s change to the default privacy setting going to affect instances like this?

What do you think about Facebook’s changes to their default privacy settings for users 13 – 17?  Is it enough? I would love your opinion.