The 10 Essentials of Twitter Etiquette

Whether tweeting as yourself or from a brand account, there are certain guidelines—let’s call them rules of the road—by which we all must abide. When people don’t follow proper Twitter etiquette, we all cringe, it’s awkward, everyone feels deflated, and you just look unenlightened.

So here are 10 Twitter etiquette rules:

1. Always add value. This can’t be stressed enough. Everything you tweet should add value to your followers’ day. This rule applies especially to brands, but you should follow it in your personal tweets as well. We’ve come so far from the days when everyone made the joke that Twitter was just a collection of what people ate for breakfast. Don’t drag the platform back to those days—unless what you had for breakfast was truly remarkable, in which case there had better be a pic!

2. #Dont #Overuse #Hashtags #In #Your #Tweets #It #Looks #Ridiculous #Stick #To #Three #Or #Fewer #TwitterEtiquette Need we say more? No? Good, ‘cuz we’re out of space.

3. A follow-back is nice, but it’s not required. It’s not a bad idea to follow influential users and people who frequently retweet or comment on your post, but don’t feel that you have to followeveryone who follows you.

4. Don’t just tweet headlines and links. I realize it’s easier to just send out a headline of a relevant article with a link, but if you really want to add value, give your take on the article or pull out some interesting quote or nugget from it. The exception might be news organizations and publishing companies, but a good rule to follow is to go beyond the headline. Think of it like a shopping mall food court. Sure, the bourbon chicken is listed on the menu at the Chinese food kiosk, but it’s not until you try the sample that you really take notice.

5. The people you follow say something about you. This may be a personal thing, but I like to ensure that the people I follow are relevant and adding value. You’d be surprised—especially if you’ve been using the platform for some time—at how many of the people you follow add no value.SocialBro is a great tool to help you clean up your following list. Twitter frowns upon following/unfollowing en masse. What does this have to do with etiquette? If you’re invited to a dinner party with a plus-one, you’re going to want to make sure the person you bring is an engaging guest, not a total mess.

6. No manual retweets. If you manually put “RT” in your tweet and just copy/paste a person’s thoughts, you’re seen as stealing that user’s thunder. It’s a small thing, and some might disagree, but few will question the use of the handy retweet button. Do a quick search on “manual retweet” in Twitter, and watch the hatred spew forth.

7. No automatic DMs. I’m surprised that this is still done, but about once a month I’ll get a DM thanking me for the follow and claiming that he or she is excited to connect with me. Don’t need it. Come to think about it, no one should do anything automated on Twitter. (Please see next item.)

8. Avoid automation if possible. Scheduling tweets is tricky. It’s not the worst thing in the world, as long as the tweets still sound human and there’s someone to engage with people once the tweets are sent, but something about it just feels icky.

9. Avoid negativity. Criticism of a thing, a piece of media, or something inanimate is OK if you know what you’re talking about, but criticizing individuals opens a door that you don’t want to walk through in social media. Keep it positive, and you’ll never have a problem. Go negative, and not much good will happen.

10. If you have to write “spoiler alert,” maybe just don’t tweet it. Writing “spoiler alert” in a post almost guarantees that you’ll spoil something for someone.

So, there you have a batch of guidelines for you and your followers to follow. (That’s a hint, by the way: Please tweet the link to this article, adding a comment of your own, of course. Always add value.)

 

Read more: http://socialkik.com/

5 Social Media Rules Every Entrepreneur Should Know

1. Produce quality content.

If you want to make your mark on social media, first and foremost you should provide quality content. “Content is twofold,” says Mari Smith, a social-media marketing expert and author of The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using the Social Web (Wiley, 2011). “It’s generating your own, [being] a thought leader. The other element is what I call OPC — other people’s content — and not being afraid to share that.”

 

One man who successfully balances both elements is entrepreneur, investor and author Guy Kawasaki. “He’s a self-professed ‘firehose of content,’ ” says Smith. “He has a way of creating a nice blend of other people’s content as well as his own thoughts and opinions.” Not only that, but according to his Twitter bio, Kawasaki repeats every tweet four times in order to reach all time zones.

Quantity is not the same as quality, of course, but what is remarkable about Kawasaki, says Smith, is “his masterful ability to curate such volume. I could skim through his tweets and probably find a few things every day that I could pass on to my followers.”

2. Be open and engaging.

 

On social media, it’s important to be available to your audience, and few people exemplify that principle better, says Smith, than entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. “On Twitter, he does a lot of responding” to followers, she says. “He treats everybody as an equal, and he responds at an amazing velocity.”

What’s the upside of all this time-consuming engagement for Vaynerchuk? A loyal and devoted following for his business books and priceless visibility for his consulting business, VaynerMedia. “People love it,” Smith says. “If they get a response from Gary, even if it’s a smiley face, they’re like, “Oh my God, Gary tweeted back at me!'”

3. Focus on a specific niche.

 

On social media, you can either be a generalist — producing and curating a hodge-podge of content across many different disciplines — or you can choose to specialize in one or a few areas. Specialists tend to bend more ears than generalists, says Smith. “Social media is extremely noisy. You’ve got to be able to stand out,” she says, and the best way to do this is to own a particular subject.

Jessica Northey, founder of Tucson, Ariz.-based social-media marketing boutique Finger Candy Media, “owns” country music, says Smith. Northey hosts a live weekly Twitter chat and Google+ “twangout” for country-music fans. This year, Forbes ranked Northey at No. 3 on its list of the Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers. She has more than half a million followers on Twitter and more than 700,000 on Google+. “In my travels, if I came across anyone in the country-music arena, Jessica would be my choice” of someone to connect them with, Smith says.

4. Use social media to build your business, and vice versa.

 

For an entrepreneur, time spent on social media might seem like a distraction from the more important tasks central to running a business. Because it’s so time-intensive, you should back up your thought leadership on social media with a real profit-making enterprise. Chris Brogan, founder and chief executive of Human Business Works, a business-training company in Portland, Maine, is one example, says Smith. “He walks his talk. He speaks all over the world, and he consults with a lot of companies on social media.”

In other words, Brogan demonstrates his expertise in blog posts, uses social platforms to broadcast those posts and then uses the resulting visibility to market himself for speaking gigs, coaching sessions and more. These, in turn, increase his social media following. And it doesn’t hurt that he was able to carve out a place for himself by being an early adopter of social platforms, Smith says.

5. Embrace each social network’s unique culture.

 

Each social network has a “unique culture,” says Smith, and the best users embrace it rather than sharing identical content across platforms. Take Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, N.J. He relies mainly on Twitter, where he has more than 1.2 million followers, and Facebook, and uses each platform in a way that takes advantage of its native capabilities.

“On Twitter, I see him retweeting people, I see him thanking people and engaging with them,” Smith says. She also notes that Booker makes use of hashtags, a popular way of marking your tweets for a specific purpose or larger conversation.

On Facebook, by contrast, Booker posts less frequently. “You don’t want to bombard people on Facebook,” says Smith. He finds more elaborate ways to involve his community in his activities. For instance, he uploads albums of photos from various events where he has spoken.

Some power users maintain a presence on multiple networks, Smith says, but for most people two are enough. “Really you want to have Facebook and one other [platform] that you’re active on,” she says.

 

Read more: http://socialkik.com/

Business Growing Pains, How to Meet the Challenge.

Although there are many types of businesses, the challenges that growth can bring to each of them is surprisingly consistent. Knowing what these risks are, and facing them head on, can help to ensure ongoing success. Here are the core areas that should be addressed and monitored in order to ensure the health and productivity of your growing business:
Time management

Whether your business is a startup, a relatively new enterprise, or a veteran company, it is important that you clear your daily calendar of clutter that can be easily outsourced or digitized. You will also gain quality time to brainstorm creative, new ideas that can ignite even greater business expansion in the future. 
Review your business’ processes

The processes your business uses to facilitate mandatory functions—payroll, tax administration, employee benefits—and to manage growth—inventory, fulfillment, customer relationship management—obviously become more important as your business moves into expansion mode. 
Give up control

As business starts to expand, the entrepreneur must evolve from a multitasking, jack-of-all-trades mindset into a big-picture leader who inspires his or her team to meet and exceed the organization’s mission. Let your team do what they were hired to do and inspire them to ascend to even greater heights. 
 
Hire smart talent

Hiring the best talent requires a trained professional who will identify skills your ideal candidate must have. Unless such a professional is a part of your team, it is often a good idea to outsource the process to a firm that can fulfill your recruitment requirements.
Keep an eye on cash flow

A few tips that can improve your cash flow include:
  • Projecting your monthly sales and expenses
  • Collecting client payments as soon as possible
  • Paying invoices on the last day they are due
  • Setting up a cash reserve account
  • Learning how to decipher financial statements
  • Reconciling your monthly bank statements
Meet the demands of change successfully 
As your business develops, there is one constant challenge that you will need to confront: the element of change itself. The best way to ensure the continued growth of your business is to approach the demands that change brings from a strategic perspective. Addressing these challenges head on will ensure the health and productivity of your growing business for years to come. 
 

Twitter Makes Analytics Open to All Users, for Free

The days of relying on third-party tools to provide you with analytics for your Twitter marketing efforts are over. Twitter has opened its analytics dashboard to all users, free of charge. Simply sign into the Twitter Ads dashboard from your Twitter account, and click on Analytics at the top-left of the page.

 

The Timeline tab displays a graph of your user activity for the past month — the number of mentions, follows and unfollows you have received. Below this is a list of your recent tweets.

For each tweet, you’ll see how many favorites, retweets and replies it earned. Better still, the Timeline view also shows the number of times someone has clicked on each link embedded in your tweets — allowing precise measurement of responses to your marketing efforts. — TheNextWeb

Facebook implements clickable hashtags.
Better late than never: Facebook has finally brought clickable hashtags to its platform. Hashtags, which are used to organize conversations around a particular topic, are already in use on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. “Whether it’s talking about a favorite television show, cheering on a hometown sports team or engaging with friends during a breaking news event — people on Facebook connect with their friends about what’s taking place all over the world,” Facebook product manager Greg Lindley wrote in a company blog post. Lindley says Facebook will make use of the feature to give visibility to interesting conversations about public events and other topics. — The New York Times

Like Foursquare, Yelp now recommends nearby places.
Local businesses take note: Yelp has launched neighborhood recommendations, allowing users to find places nearby to dine and drink. Long known for its detailed information on, and customer reviews of, local businesses, Yelp is now following in Foursquare’s footsteps. “Imagine it’s noon and you’re hungry for lunch, but don’t want the same old ham n’ cheese from the corner deli,” Yelp product manager Travis Brooks wrote in a company blog post. “A quick visit to the Nearby page might bring up a highly rated spot around the corner that is known for their banh mi and has been reviewed by one of your Yelp friends.” The updated app, available now on iOS and soon on Android, makes suggestions based on your location, Yelp check-in and review history and other factors. — CNET

Google+ gets new features and better Android app. 
Android owners, rejoice: the updated Google+ app released this week has a new menu design and new features, including the ability to see a post’s number of reshares. The platform in general is seeing improvements as well, such as notification syncing across all devices. That way, you won’t have to click on the same notifications to dismiss them first in your mobile app and then in your web browser, or vice versa. Once will be enough. Another new feature is a notifications tray that separates new items from previously read items. That feature will be seen first on Android, and later on the Web version and iOS. — CNET

In ad campaign, Jell-O creates a new meaning for a popular, yet profane, hashtag. 
#FML is getting a makeover, thanks to Jello-O. The company is trying to change #FML’s profane meaning — it stands for a four-letter expletive plus “my life,” and is generally used for talking about terrible situations — to “Fun My Life.” The innovative ad campaign, which ends today, puts everyone who tweets the hashtag into a pool, from which some of them will be drawn as winners of “Fun My Life” prize packs. So far, there have been nearly 275,000 #FML tweets in the past 29 days. — Adweek

Read more:http://socialkik.com

How to Make the Most of YouTube’s New Redesign

responsive banner image that resizes to fit any screen, allowing brands to keep the same look and feel on all viewing platforms. The new design also gives brands the ability to embed social media links in the banner, build a customized video trailer to encourage new subscribers, and offers more control to steer visitors toward selected videos with new curated content lists.

The One Channel design has been in open beta since March, giving YouTube‘s one-million-plus partners three months to familiarize themselves with it. “We knew this was coming and redesigned our channel header,” says Steve Zimmerman of ThinkGeek, an online retailer of novelty products. “We see YouTube as a key part of our business strategy.” According to YouTube, optimized One Channel pages have driven a 20% increase of page views.

 

Here’s a look at three branding benefits of the new layout and how you can optimize your channel:

1. Create a trailer to reel in new visitors.
To encourage new channel subscribers, brands can now create a video trailer to showcase their company. The trailer sits at the top of the channel page and runs for about 30 seconds. It can be programmed to play exclusively for new viewers to encourage them to hit that red subscribe button.

Tech startup Ting, a wireless service provider that formed in 2012, has been quick to take advantage of it. “It was simple to create a trailer. This feature let us repurpose content we already had,” says Andrew Moore-Crispin, content development manager at Tucows, Ting’s parent company. Ting’s trailer combines clips from some of their how-to videos, unpacking how its products work and showcasing their logo graphics. Companies can easily build trailers using their existing library of YouTube videos by selecting a few and “clipping” them together within YouTube’s free video-editing suite. “It’s interesting to be able to present a new view on our YouTube channel, and a chance for us to say what our brand story is about,” says Moore-Crispin.

2. Design a new banner for consistency across platforms. 
The new banner feature allows for a cohesive brand look on mobile, TV and desktop. YouTube spokesman Matt McLernon says even established companies such as Walmart are investing in and updating their YouTube channels after the redesign to keep their branding unified. To enable consistency, a header graphic must be created that is optimally 2560 x 1440 pixels, and it will automatically adjust to fit different screen sizes. This is an important benefit for many small-business owners who are seeing a growing number of customers visit their websites on mobile devices.

“It took about a week for us to get the new assets,” says Moore-Crispin. “The channel banner needed to be more flexible, as it’ll be seen on everything from a cellphone to a colossal HDTV.” He followed the example of other channels that successfully made the switch, including Vice and Young Hollywood. What’s more, the new design enables businesses to include social media and merchandise links that are also available on any device with a browser.

3. Create customized playlists to connect with followers. 
YouTube now offers three types of curated playlists: related channels, interest lists and content playlists of your videos. The featured lists offer brands more control and the ability to select and arrange the content they want to highlight to channel visitors. “Grouping together interest lists such as Star Wars and Doctor Who for our fans is great and will hopefully optimize specific categories for us,” says Zimmerman. “We can also highlight our older videos.”

Using the channel lists function to showcase video footage from other YouTube channels can help reinforce a brand message and connect users to content they’ll enjoy. Alternately, a business may use the feature to call attention to additional channels that it manages. For example, Intel uses the channel list to highlight its foreign language YouTube channels.

To date, ThinkGeek’s video content has been viewed more than 77 million times, and Zimmerman hopes the new lists will create an immersive experience for visitors and increase time spent on the ThinkGeek channel. While he is confident the updates will help boost engagement, he says they haven’t yet seen a significant change. 

 

Read more: 

responsive banner image that resizes to fit any screen, allowing brands to keep the same look and feel on all viewing platforms. The new design also gives brands the ability to embed social media links in the banner, build a customized video trailer to encourage new subscribers, and offers more control to steer visitors toward selected videos with new curated content lists.

The One Channel design has been in open beta since March, giving YouTube’s one-million-plus partners three months to familiarize themselves with it. “We knew this was coming and redesigned our channel header,” says Steve Zimmerman of ThinkGeek, an online retailer of novelty products. “We see YouTube as a key part of our business strategy.” According to YouTube, optimized One Channel pages have driven a 20% increase of page views.

Here’s a look at three branding benefits of the new layout and how you can optimize your channel:

1. Create a trailer to reel in new visitors.
To encourage new channel subscribers, brands can now create a video trailer to showcase their company. The trailer sits at the top of the channel page and runs for about 30 seconds. It can be programmed to play exclusively for new viewers to encourage them to hit that red subscribe button.

Tech startup Ting, a wireless service provider that formed in 2012, has been quick to take advantage of it. “It was simple to create a trailer. This feature let us repurpose content we already had,” says Andrew Moore-Crispin, content development manager at Tucows, Ting’s parent company. Ting’s trailer combines clips from some of their how-to videos, unpacking how its products work and showcasing their logo graphics. Companies can easily build trailers using their existing library of YouTube videos by selecting a few and “clipping” them together within YouTube’s free video-editing suite. “It’s interesting to be able to present a new view on our YouTube channel, and a chance for us to say what our brand story is about,” says Moore-Crispin.

2. Design a new banner for consistency across platforms.
The new banner feature allows for a cohesive brand look on mobile, TV and desktop. YouTube spokesman Matt McLernon says even established companies such as Walmart are investing in and updating their YouTube channels after the redesign to keep their branding unified. To enable consistency, a header graphic must be created that is optimally 2560 x 1440 pixels, and it will automatically adjust to fit different screen sizes. This is an important benefit for many small-business owners who are seeing a growing number of customers visit their websites on mobile devices.

“It took about a week for us to get the new assets,” says Moore-Crispin. “The channel banner needed to be more flexible, as it’ll be seen on everything from a cellphone to a colossal HDTV.” He followed the example of other channels that successfully made the switch, including Vice and Young Hollywood. What’s more, the new design enables businesses to include social media and merchandise links that are also available on any device with a browser.

3. Create customized playlists to connect with followers.
YouTube now offers three types of curated playlists: related channels, interest lists and content playlists of your videos. The featured lists offer brands more control and the ability to select and arrange the content they want to highlight to channel visitors. “Grouping together interest lists such as Star Wars and Doctor Who for our fans is great and will hopefully optimize specific categories for us,” says Zimmerman. “We can also highlight our older videos.”

Using the channel lists function to showcase video footage from other YouTube channels can help reinforce a brand message and connect users to content they’ll enjoy. Alternately, a business may use the feature to call attention to additional channels that it manages. For example, Intel uses the channel list to highlight its foreign language YouTube channels.

To date, ThinkGeek’s video content has been viewed more than 77 million times, and Zimmerman hopes the new lists will create an immersive experience for visitors and increase time spent on the ThinkGeek channel. While he is confident the updates will help boost engagement, he says they haven’t yet seen a significant change.

 

Read more: http://socialkik.com/

Business Growing Pains, How to Meet the Challenge.

Although there are many types of businesses, the challenges that growth can bring to each of them is surprisingly consistent. Knowing what these risks are, and facing them head on, can help to ensure ongoing success. Here are the core areas that should be addressed and monitored in order to ensure the health and productivity of your growing business:

Time management

Whether your business is a startup, a relatively new enterprise, or a veteran company, it is important that you clear your daily calendar of clutter that can be easily outsourced or digitized. You will also gain quality time to brainstorm creative, new ideas that can ignite even greater business expansion in the future.

Review your business’ processes

The processes your business uses to facilitate mandatory functions—payroll, tax administration, employee benefits—and to manage growth—inventory, fulfillment, customer relationship management—obviously become more important as your business moves into expansion mode.

Give up control

As business starts to expand, the entrepreneur must evolve from a multitasking, jack-of-all-trades mindset into a big-picture leader who inspires his or her team to meet and exceed the organization’s mission. Let your team do what they were hired to do and inspire them to ascend to even greater heights.

Hire smart talent

Hiring the best talent requires a trained professional who will identify skills your ideal candidate must have. Unless such a professional is a part of your team, it is often a good idea to outsource the process to a firm that can fulfill your recruitment requirements.

Keep an eye on cash flow

A few tips that can improve your cash flow include:
Projecting your monthly sales and expenses
Collecting client payments as soon as possible
Paying invoices on the last day they are due
Setting up a cash reserve account
Learning how to decipher financial statements
Reconciling your monthly bank statements

Meet the demands of change successfully

As your business develops, there is one constant challenge that you will need to confront: the element of change itself. The best way to ensure the continued growth of your business is to approach the demands that change brings from a strategic perspective. Addressing these challenges head on will ensure the health and productivity of your growing business for years to come.

Learn More, Visit: http://socialkik.com/

Facebook to Simplify and Consolidate Its Ad Options

Facebook is dramatically scaling back the number of advertising options it offers to marketers. The social network plans to cut more than half of the 27 ad formats it currently offers and to combine the various types of sponsored stories — ads that appear in a user’s News Feed and resemble normal posts — into a single kind of ad.

Facebook is also doing away with the ecommerce aspect of Facebook Offers, a means for businesses to share discounts and other special deals with customers. In the future, businesses will only be able to advertise in-store deals, not promotions that would lead users away from Facebook to an online store.

These changes will be rolling out over the next six months, Facebook says. Once they do, advertisers will first be asked what purpose they want their ad to serve, rather than being confronted with a bewildering array of ad formats. “You are going to pick an objective. Based on that, we will show you a range of formats,” said Fidji Simo, Facebook’s product manager for ads. The goal, Facebook says, is to eliminate redundancies among its ad options and to make it easier for small- and medium-size businesses to advertise on its platform. — The New York Times

Twitter releases Vine for Android.
Since Vine was created in January, the six-second looping video tool has only been available to iOS users. Starting this week, Android users can also download the popular app, which includes features such as a zoom function that isn’t available in the iOS version. Twitter plans to continue updating the app with new features, such as a front-facing camera option and the ability to post Vines to Facebook. The company also has “exciting plans” for features that will be unique to the Android platform, Sara Haider, an Android engineer at Twitter, wrote in the announcement. — SocialTimes

Geo-targeted tweets may be better than search at driving sales.
When it comes to customers discovering your brand, at least one company thinks Twitter can be more useful than search engines. Andy Murray, a search marketing manager for tech giant Lenovo, says geo-targeted Twitter ads “can outperform search” when it comes to getting customers. A new Twitter case study details how Lenovo U.K. used two Twitter ad types — Promoted Accounts, to gain more followers, and Promoted Tweets, to increase visibility — to drive engagement and sales during a large consumer trade show. The strategy led to $27,000 in revenue from tweets, 2,576 new followers for @lenovo_uk and an almost 700 percent increase in mentions of the Lenovo brand. As Twitter continues to supercharge its ad efforts, Murray’s ringing endorsement is a sign of just how competitive Twitter might be. — VentureBeat

Pinterest adds search to pinboards.
Pinterest has added a long-overdue feature: the ability for users to search their own pinboards. Previously, a user had to scroll through what might be hundreds of pins to find, say, that one pair of pants he or she had bookmarked for purchase. Now users can do keyword searches to find them without scanning an entire pinboard. The feature is now available on the web app and will be coming to the mobile version soon. — AllThingsD

With ‘mayor vs. bear’ tweets, a Connecticut mayor scores a viral hit.
Mayor Mark Boughton spotted a black bear in a tree in his town of Danbury, Conn., and decided to live tweet what happened. His series of pun-filled tweets — “Please ‘bear’ with us as we work on the situation,” read one — went viral. Boughton is known locally for his odd, casual Twitter style. “Hey peeps, water main break on Well Ave,” he began a recent public service announcement. Business owners could take a lesson from Boughton’s Twitter personality to learn how to be more relatable — and funny — on social media. — 10,000 Words

 

Read more: http://socialkik.com/