The Evolution of Follow Friday on Twitter

followfriday

What is Follow Friday?

When I first started using Twitter back in 2007, Follow Friday wasn’t even around.  In fact, it wasn’t until January 2009, a blogger named Michah Baldwin obsessed with the idea that people wouldn’t know who to follow unless he recommended them.

courtesy of #mashable
courtesy of #mashable

The idea of  Follow Friday is genius.  Recommending your followers to follow someone you follow, or are friends with, converse with on Twitter recommending someone else they know and follow.   Back when it was originally started, people would recommend just a few people on that Follow Friday until the next week.  People would actually get followed.

The problem now however, is we have people doing #followfriday recommendations in bulk loading so many names in one tweet there is no room for the actual recommendation.  Sometimes the people being recommended are not actual people at all, but bot accounts!

Twitter bot account

This bot account was relatively easy to spot.  It still had the egg for the avatar, has zero followers and is following zero people and does not have the bio filled out.  Some bot accounts have avatars, followers and bios.  This is why it is so important to tweet back and forth with people BEFORE recommending them on #followfriday or any other day for that matter.

Let’s say you want to would like to participate in Follow Friday, but find individual  recommendations too cumbersome.  You have other options.  Here are a few tips:

  • If you follow people you know and trust who give great Follow Friday shout outs.  You can RT those and favorite to use at a later date.
  • HootSuite has the bulk upload option using Excel.

Hootsuite bulk upload

 

The initial file setup will take some time, but once you have it set up, all you need to do is change the dates.  I recommend spacing your tweets 30 minutes apart.  Each tweet will also need to be unique.  Hootsuite does not allow duplicate posts.  I also like to copy and save several files not just for #followfriday, but also  to use on any day so I can recommend many more people and vary the message.  I always use the #follow hashtag.  Don’t forget to save the file as the .csv file format (comma delimited).

  • Another option is to use a third party application call Bundlepost.  Bundlepost uses this same format, but in a more user-friendly format.  You can check it out with a 30-day free trial.

So, when you see all those #followfriday posts in your stream, don’t go running to Facebook… at least not until you post your own #followfriday tweets for your tweetfriends.

What do you think about #followfriday? Do you follow people when you see someone recommended?

Why you should configure your LinkedIn profile

Why configure your LinkedIn profile?

I was recently asked how to block someone from a LinkedIn account.  I researched LinkedIn and while I was unable to technically “block” someone from an account, I did find ways to change your privacy settings by configuring my LinkedIn profile to make it more difficult for someone to be “stalked” once you have disconnected from them.  If you want to be more private on LinkedIn, here are the steps you may want to follow:

Step 1

Click on your image, or your avatar you have uploaded into LinkedIn in the top right hand corner and select Privacy and Settings  You will probably have to enter your password even though you are already logged in.

how to linkedin image 1

 

Step 2: 

Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.  This LinkedIn feature notifies all of your connections all of your activity.  If you are in the process of tweaking your profile, I would recommend turning this feature off.  If you don’t want people to know what you are doing, leave the activity broadcasts in the off position.

linkedin-image-2

Step 3

Select who can see your activity feed:

Who do you want to see your LinkedIn activity feed?  Everyone? Your network? Your connections? Or only yourself?  You may ask – what’s the difference between your LinkedIn network and your connections?  Your connections are people who are actually connected to – 1st degree connections.  Your network are people who are 2nd & 3rd degree connections.  If you want to be private, you will want this setting to be only yourself.

linkedin-image-2a

Step 4

Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.  You can choose to show your LinkedIn profile, be somewhat anonymous or completely anonymous.  The purpose of social media is to make connections and network, so for me, I don’t personally understand why you would would remain anonymous, but that’s me.  If you want to be completely anonymous – this is where you would make this change.  If you view someone else’s profile they will not know who viewed their profile.

linkedin-image-4

 

Step 5

Show/hide “viewers of this profile also viewed” box.   You can see the example below that belongs to Carly Alyssa Thorne – “People Also Viewed”.  She has this feature turned on.  If you do not have this feature turned on – this box would not show.

linkedin-image-3a

 

When this box is checked – this is an example of what they will see.  You can see by looking at the example below, Carly shares her activity.  She is connected to Lori Wilk, and was endorsed by Alexandar Alexandrov.   She also shared a blog post.

linkedin-image-5

We’re going to skip over who can see your connections and go straight to

Step 6 Change your profile photo and visibility

I think this is probably the most important LinkedIn feature.  Your LinkedIn profile photo is your first impression to the business social media network.  You should take this opportunity to use a professional quality photo.  I would highly recommend NOT using a poor quality photo, NOT using a company logo, NOT using a photo where you cannot clearly see your face or that does not represent you in a professional manner.  This photo needs to instill trust and professionalism.  This photo needs to be welcoming without being inappropriate or overtly sexual.  This photo needs to be current.

And finally – in answering the question of the person who was trying to block the individual who was being a “stalker”.  Since she had disconnected from that person, all she needs to do now, is change her settings to show her profile only to people she is connected to.

Don’t forget to SAVE each time you make changes to your LinkedIn profile.

linkedin-image-7

 

I hope these instructions help you with any problems or questions you may have been experiencing.  Remember, if you have any questions in the future… just post them on my Facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/YourSocialMediaMogul

 

How to Manage Your LinkedIn Skills Endorsements

linkedin skills endorsements

LinkedIn Skills Endorsements hit the scene back in September 2012

Many people were not fans and by the looks of it, some are still fighting them by not participating.  How do you make the best of LinkedIn Skills Endorsements?

  1. List your skills.  You can add and manage your skills in the Skills & Expertise section of your profile when it is in edit mode.  Pick at least ten.  LinkedIn will give you variations of the same skill so setting your skills can take a while.  For instance, I was offered several endorsement opportunities with the words Social Media  so I took advantage by listing all that were applicable. You don’t have to ask for the Skills Endorsements to receive them and depending on your settings, you will get an e-mail notification when you receive one.
  2. Hide skills you don’t want to show.  This is something many people don’t realize you can do.  It’s beneficial to hide skills for a few reasons.  Perhaps someone gave you an endorsement for a skill you don’t believe applies to you.  Perhaps you are looking for a job and you want your endorsements to be focused on the skills necessary for the job you are interviewing for.  Perhaps you want more endorsements on skills at the bottom of your list.  Here’s a quick video to show you exactly how:
  3. According to LinkedIn’s overview,  you can only give or receive endorsements to and from your 1st degree connections. This brings up the age old argument between those who have thousands of 1st degree connections and those who only connect with those whom they personally know and trust.  It is easy to assume those with thousands of 1st degree connections will more than likely get more skills endorsements than those who do not.   The more people you’re connected to, the greater your reach and the more possibilities you have to get help reaching out to a potential employer, client or consultant.  Please do not misunderstand, I’m not saying to go out and connect with every person on LinkedIn, I’m just pointing out the likelihood of the number of endorsements you could receive in relation to the number of 1st degree connections you have.
  4. It’s a good idea to reciprocate skills endorsements.  If someone went to the trouble to endorse you for skills you listed, or even for some skills you have but forgot to list, why not reciprocate?   Let’s say you’ve reciprocated to the point there are no more opportunities to endorse them for a skill.  How do you interact with them to stay in their news feed then?  All you need to do is look at the Activity  box right below their photo.  This box will show what this person has been up to on LinkedIn (if they have their settings to show this information), click See More.  If they have shared blog posts or commented on items, you can interact with someone this way as well.  This is also a good opportunity to meet in person for coffee or to network.

So, for a quick recap of managing your LinkedIn skills endorsements: List the skills you want, hide the ones you don’t want to show, connect to more people if you want more endorsements and reciprocate.

Do you have any LinkedIn skills endorsements tips?

 

 

Twitter Shortcuts You Won’t Want to Live Without.

twitter shortcuts by Knikkolette

Do you use Twitter shortcuts?

If you use Twitter’s interface, there are several shortcuts (pressing 2 keys to give the the same action as a series of mouse-clicks) you will wonder why you haven’t been using them before now.  These are especially beneficial if you do some actions more than others, for instance; if you use your “Favorites” (tweets marked as Favorites to be used or referred to at later dates)  a LOT, G + F will take you straight to your Favorites page.  They are also good to know if you can’t remember where some of these menu items are.  For instance, if you can’t remember where Twitter keeps their “lists” feature, all you need to do is type G + L.

Viewing the Twitter shortcut cheat-sheets below, you can see some of them are pretty intuitive while others may take using a few times to get them memorized.  You can refer back to this cheat sheet any time; just favorite this page or download the images.

Twitter shortcuts by your social media mogul

In addition to the twitter shortcuts shown above, you can see a few more available with the image displayed below.

twitter shortcuts  keyboard

There’s one more quick trick I’d like to add that isn’t really a shortcut – but may save you some time.  If you ever share your tweets, and want a Twitter link for a specific post, here’s a very short video to show you exactly how to do that.

Did you find these shortcuts useful?  Do you have any favorite Twitter shortcuts or tips you would like to share? I’d like to know!

 

 

Comments on Social Media: Do You have a Real Opinion?

do you have an opinion

social media no opinionThere are a LOT of blogs and online publications today and as a social media professional, it seems I am always hearing and reading if we don’t have anything positive to say, we shouldn’t say or write anything at all.  Being raised by the golden rule, I get it.  However, there are also times, when a difference of opinion or a conflicting point of view makes for interesting conversation or for no other reason our right as Americans to free speech.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love being around positive people.  In my opinion, the comment section on blogs, and social platforms are meant for feedback, critiques, conversations, etc.

It seems lately, I have been reading more and more blogs where if the content is questionable, or controversial, there are no comments, or if there are, the comments are “great job”.   Are these individuals really reading the posts? Are they just posting something in the comments section for the SEO juice?  Or are they a bunch of zombie-minded Stepford wives of the internet posting happy thoughts because they don’t want to hurt their social media friends’ feelings?

It’s not just on blogs.  It’s also on social platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter.  Has everyone has had the Kool-Aid?   A good portion of the social media population appears to be conforming to the “I’m going to be positive all the time” mentality to the point if they don’t have anything positive to say, they say nothing.

I like to ask questions, get people’s opinions and many times  all I get is a “like”.  Why is that?  Are they too busy to comment?  What’s your opinion? I really would like to know!