Guest blogger, Emma Firth gives her monthly Social Media Round-up…
Hello, and welcome to my guest blog looking at the changes affecting small businesses, in particular, that the main social networks have made in May.
After a raft of changes in April, May has been seen another handful of new announcements from the ever-evolving social media giant.
Have you ever wondered how effective your activities on Twitter and Facebook are? You get Retweeted and followed and People comment on your activities on Facebook and Like what you do…But, have you ever wondered how to measure your levels of engagement? Do you know how much influence you have?
One way to measure your influence is Kred. If you haven’t used Kred yet, I suggest you pop over and have look at it. Once you have connected with your Twitter and Facebook accounts it will give you two scores on an emblem that will look similar to mine.
The second score which they call the Outreach level is a measure of how generous you are on Social Media and is measured out of 12.
So what do these scores mean and how are they measured? The nice thing about Kred is that they actually tell you.
Kred defines Influence as the ability to inspire action and measures the following:
You get points for each action and points increase your Influence Score. When you have a low score you don’t need that many points to increase your score. When you have a high score you will need a gazillion points (okay, not technically) to increase your score.
So what does your influence score mean?
Kred did a breakdown of the scores at the end of 2011. (Since the scores are accumulative I suspect that there may be a few more people at the top end of the scale now, but I will go with the figures that are published.)
If you register with Kred today, they will look at the last 1000 days of Twitter, but only start adding actions on Facebook when you connect your account, so obviously, the longer you are registered with the more your points will accumulate.
Remember: There is no point trying to game the system to get a higher score, you need to keep your business objectives for using Social Media, top of mind. Social Media needs to be working for your business or you are wasting your time.
I really like this measure because this shows how active and generous you are towards other people. This is one score that you can control and having a higher score shows that you are willing to build up relationships with other people on Social Media:
You get points on Twitter for:
You get points oh Facebook for:
So what does your outreach score mean?
You can accumulate points quite quickly at the bottom, so unless you are new to Twitter, a score of 4 or less shows that you are predominantly using Social Media to broadcast rather than to interact. I hope you are not in this category! If you have just started using Twitter and just connected your Facebook Account, you will be pleasantly surprised how quickly your score will increase if you interact with others.
As with the Influence score, the higher your score, the more points you will need to move to the next level. At the moment, the highest score you can achieve is 12. Kred doesn’t give any indication of how many people are at each level, but I am going to suggest that you want to be a 6 or higher.
There is a lot more to Kred, but this is just an introduction. If you want to find out more about their scoring system it can be found here: Kred rules It is worth having a look to see how you measure on Engagement and Influence. Let me know if you found this useful in the comments below.
Have you been wondering why your number of followers drop? Do you take it personally when people unfollow you? Why do you lose followers on Twitter? While it may be something you are doing, there is a good chance that you will get a certain number of unfollows every week, no matter what you do. It is time to stop worrying about fluctuations in your follower count. But, first check that you are not being antisocial on Twitter.
Are you putting off people from following you?
Check that you are not doing any of the following:
If you are using Twitter to promote your business, you do NOT want to protect your Tweets. The benefit of using Twitter is that people who don’t know about you already can find you. If you protect your tweets only the people who you choose will be able to see your Tweets. You have to approve each follow request manually. Protected tweets can’t be Retweeted or found in Twitter or Google search. You can’t also @reply people you haven’t approved because they will not see your Tweets and you can’t share a link to your Tweets.
How to check if you have protected your tweets
Your account will have locked symbol next to your account. If you go to your settings page, check your options for your account to make sure you haven’t ticked the Tweet Privacy box.
Some people use a Twitter validation service like TrueTwit to verify that their followers are real. It means instead of simply clicking a button to follow someone you get a DM (Direct Message) to say that you need to validate your account.
It may seem like a good idea to ask followers to prove they are human by filling in a Captcha form, but here are some reasons NOT to do it.
Many businesses think they have a Twitter account because their web guy set one up for them, they have a link to it from their website and wonder why nobody is following them. Small businesses fall into the trap because they don’t understand that Twitter involves communicating and being active on Twitter. I would suggest that if you have an inactive account for your business that it might be better not to have one. It doesn’t reflect well on your business having a dusty Twitter account and it is unlikely that anyone will follow it.
Would you follow an Egg with no bio filled in? Thought not. Make sure your bio show a true reflection of who you are and that you are not putting your customers off. Read Twitter tip: Is your Twitter bio attracting customers?
Most people don’t like being sold to and a Twitter account with only links suggests automation and an account that is merely broadcasting rather than willing to communicate with people. If you are inactive on Twitter, but have set up:
there is a good chance that you are putting potential followers off.
This behaviour suggests arrogance to a lot of Twitter people, they think that you expect people to find your tweets interesting but you are not willing to find people to follow people. If you are wondering why no one is following you, but you haven’t followed anyone for a while then I suggest you look for people to follow now.
Tip: The quickest way to get followers is to follow interesting people first.
If you’re following a large number of people but not many people are following you back it suggests spammy activity. If you are in this situation, spend some time engaging with people you are already following. It is also useful to use a tool like ManageFlitter to help you unfollow some accounts you might have followed too eagerly when you started out on Twitter.
Generally it is better to have more people following you than people you follow, it suggests that you have more influence, but when you are starting out you will have a higher follow to follower ratio. Twitter allows you to follow 2000 people before it imposes a 10% follow to follower ratio. Read Have you followed 2000 people on Twitter and can’t follow any more? for more details.
If you follow a large number of people and have a large number of followers, there is a chance your potential followers might feel that you won’t be interested in engaging with them.
Have you added your:
Twitter account to your website or blog?
Have you told your customers that you have a Twitter account?
It is surprising how many people keep their Twitter account a secret!
You can’t make people follow you but you can give people a great reason to follow you by having a friendly picture, interesting bio and engaging Tweets.
Let me know what behaviour stops you from following on Twitter in the comments below, thank you.
Have you gone to the trouble of writing content for your blog and you are active on Twitter, but nobody seems to be retweeting your blog posts on Twitter?
There may be a number of reasons for it, but have you consider this:
You might be unwittingly saboutaging your blog.
Here are simple things to check and tips to make your blog posts easier to Retweet.
Have a twitter button
or two and….
….have these in prominent position.
It may sound blatantly obvious, but do you know how many blog posts I have been on that don’t have them? Or have tiny ones hidden away? If I have to spend ages searching for a Twitter button to share your content, guess what? Unless you are an exceptional nice person and I really like you, I am just not going to bother! Very few people will go to the bother of copying the URL, going to Twitter, rewriting your headline, pasting your URL and then posting it. Have you missed out because people didn’t know how to share your content? Or that you want them to share it?
Action: Make sure you have a Twitter button on each blog post
Twitter creates buttons for you providing you with the HTML code for your website, you can find them here: Twitter Buttons
If you have a WordPress blog it is very easy to add a plugin such as Sexy Bookmarks and Social Share which allow you to share across a variety of Social Media sites or single buttons like WP Tweet Button
And don’t forget that you can ask people to share your content at the end of your blog post.
If your headline was your only clue, would you know what your blog post was about? Think of your headline as your sales pitch to get people to read your blog. If your headline doesn’t attract interest, you are not going to get readers popping over, even if your blog post is worthy of the Booker Prize. Your potential readers will see your headline with a link, if they were looking for the content you have written, would they know to click on the link from Twitter?
Are you giving your headline enough thought?
If you have a very long headline, it doesn’t allow much room for adding a comment or retweeting it. On Twitter you have a 140 characters space, but ideally you should never use more than 120 characters if you want to get retweeted. Your link should take up about 20 characters which leaves you 100 characters. Take off another 20 (depending on the length of your Twitter name to add something like “via @NickyKriel” which leaves your 80 characters and that is without adding your own comment or call to action. Do you see where I’m going with this?
Keep your Headlines long enough to get your message across, but short enough to be shared.
So many times I have gone to retweet someone’s post and the Twitter box has more than 140 characters, or only includes a link so I have to edit the box for them. Common mistakes seem to be:
Sometimes the setting for the button will have change after you originally set it up because it has been updated with a new version of the plugin or perhaps you didn’t know how to configure it correctly in the first place.
Here how to change it.
If you use WordPress for your blog, the configuration settings for the button could be in three different places depending on the plugin.
Look for the Twitter options for Configuration. Below is an example of my configuration for Shareaholic’s Sexy Bookmarks. Do not panic if you don’t know HTML, they should give you examples of what it should look like.
Make sure that it contains your title and a short link as well as your Twitter name. You want to see if people have retweeted your post so that you can thank them and engage with them. If you don’t have your Twitter name, the only way you would know who has retweeted the post is by doing a search on Twitter by your post title or your blog name.
Try sharing your post using your Twitter button and see how it looks to your readers.
For some reason the URL Shortener that I had chosen wasn’t working on mine so I changed it. It is always worth checking!
There are a lot of poorly written, rambling and egocentric blogs out there. Make sure you are not one of them!
Continuously look at ways of improving your writing skills and find the content that your audience is interested in reading. My blog posts have improved over time through practising, I get more readers each month and I get business from my blog and that has only come with a more focused approach.
My top tip: Write for your reader as though they are in front of you and hearing your words.
For more tips on how to get Retweeted, read Twitter: 5 Ways to get you Retweeted
Do you have any more tips for making blog posts easy to Retweet? It would be lovely if you share them in the comments below. And don’t forget to retweet this blog post if you found it useful 😉
When you set up your Twitter Profile, how much thought did you put into your bio? Maybe you filled in a few words and thought you would come back to it later? When was the last time you looked at what your Twitter profile says about you and your business?
Here’s why you need to put a bit of thought when you write your Twitter bio:
Did you know that your bio appears in Google searches? Search Engines will search for keywords within your bio. How many of your keywords (or keyword phrases) for your business are in your bio at the moment?
People use keywords when they are looking for people to follow on Twitter. Twitter will suggest tweets and people that are relevant to the search. Are you likely to found in Twitter for your keywords?
Remember: Use words that people are likely to use when they are searching for your service or product rather than industry jargon.
Twitter recommends people to followed based not only on who you follow and are following, but also by the words used in your bio. How will Twitter know unless you use the right words.
Unless you are a celebrity or a household name, people will not follow people without a bio. You need to give people a reason to follow you and what you say in your bio will make the difference whether people follow you back or not.
Here’s some other things that may be stopping people
Your Twitter bio should encourage the right people to follow you and also include your keywords.
What type of bio encourages you to follow someone on Twitter?
Apparently over 40% of the people I follow are “Dodgy“. If I am following you, there is a good chance that you are showing antisocial behaviour on Twitter. Did you know that you might be appearing on someone’s Twitter list to be cleaned up?
One of the questions people ask me is:
“How do I stop Twitter being so noisy?”
They have enthusiastically followed people and then get overwhelmed with the number of spam like tweets in their feed. A bit of housekeeping is useful and there are tools that can help you do this. One of the tools that has recently caught my attention is Twit Cleaner.
Twitter doesn’t like mass unfollowing because it is used by spammers who will follow people just to get a follow back and then unfollow them automatically.
Caution: The dodgy behaviour is just Si Dawson’s (@SiDawson) opinion, it doesn’t make it the truth. Use his report as a guide.
Let me know if you would like some more housekeeping tips for Twitter, thank you.
Have you ever embedded a tweet into your blog? I don’t mean a screen shot of a tweet. I mean a live tweet that you can respond to.
It is very easy to do.
Do you know anyone with a Twitter phobia? nickykriel.com/twitter-course Guildford Twitter Course 25/7
— Nicky Kriel (@NickyKriel) July 4, 2012
You can now interact with this tweet, try it out for yourself.
I was inspired to write this after looking at a website where owner suggested that her customers tweet her.
I thought an embedded tweet could work very nicely on a contact page.
Do you any creative ideas for how an embedded tweet could work for you?
I have ranted about automated DM’s on Twitter before in the following post: Twitter: Why I hate automated DMs! I have now found a very easy solution to stop the bulk of the automated DMs.
Most of the automated DMs come from SocialOomph.
(TweetAdder used to be a big source of automated DMs – I believe that Twitter and TweetAdder are currently involved in a lawsuit over spam. The amount of automated DMs seems to have dropped since the lawsuit.)
To opt out of receiving direct messages from SocialOomph is very straight forward.
Very straight forward and far easier than getting irritated by automated DMs.
Let me know if you found this Twitter tip useful.
Some people seem to think this is awful, but I think it is a good thing and here’s why:
If you want to broadcast the same content to both LinkedIn and Twitter, you still can by:
What do you think about LinkedIn’s announcement? Did you use to have your Twitter feeding automatically into LinkedIn? Love to hear your viewpoint in the comments below.