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  I’m hoping by creating this list, it will bring back a little bit of the social interaction that has been replaced by the automated tweets.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.

Five Quick Facts About Google Hummingbird

google hummingbird

I’m sure you are asking yourself: Isn’t there more to Google Hummingbird than five tips?

Well of course there is!  I just happen to find it is much easier to read and retain information small bits at a time.  So let’s get started shall we?

Fact Number 1

If you’ve read anything about Google Hummingbird, you’ve heard the buzzwords Conversational Search.  Without getting too technical, what this basically means is Google is using the small microphone icon in the search box.  When you click on that microphone (assuming you have configured your computer correctly) you can verbally ask what you are searching for and Google will display your question in the search box.  What you may or may not know is Google Hummingbird is using Knowledge Graph for that query.

Fact Number 2

This is something you may have noticed with the release of Google Hummingbird, but may not have made the connection.  People have been writing longer blog posts.  This is where I have a problem, because I have a tendency to write short posts.  The content is still what I would consider value-added, however according to Google Hummingbird for good SEO the best length for a blog post would be between 550 – 1000 words.  What this means for you – if you have a typical content rich blog, you should be good.  If you have one of those sites that skims the first sentence or worse yet, just the title of a great blog with a link back to their blog so you can cash in on ads – Google Hummingbird is gonna cramp your style.

Fact Number 3

The more pages of original content you have on your site the more opportunity you have for search engines to find you.  Please note, you should NOT duplicate pages and only change a few words.  If you curate content from other pages, be sure to mix it up.  If you did bullets, change to numbers and change the order.  If you had a post with Top Ten, split the post in half.

Fact Number 4

Are keywords going away?  In a word, no.  In fact, not only are keywords still being used, what are also being taken advantage of to a greater extent are long tail keywords.

“Google Hummingbird will take a search engine query using long-tailed keywords and try to decipher the context of the question rather than chase the specific keywords within the question. The goal is to provide results that actually answer the question.”  source: Entrepreneur.com

Fact Number 5

Simple How-To’s rank higher than technical jargon.  If your niche is posting educational material, keep the terminology simple and easy to search.  According to Search Engine Journal, the term “How-To” doesn’t even take an advanced algorithm, so why not use “How to build a better mouse trap” instead of “Construct a mousetrap that is better than the one you have.”
So let’s recap:

  1. Google Hummingbird uses Conversational Search.
  2. Your post should be between 550 and 1000 characters long.
  3. Multiple pages of original content is good for search engines.
  4. Keywords are not going away and Long Tail Keywords are playing a bigger part than ever.
  5. Simple How-To’s rank higher than technical jargon.

Did you find this post useful?  Do you have anything you would like to add?  Do you have more questions about Google Hummingbird?  Be sure at let me know!

 

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.