First, I’m going to answer the most commonly asked question by marketers who aren’t familiar with social networking. What is a hashtag? A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the UNIX hash symbol or more commonly known to others as the phone pound sign. The hashtag is used on certain social media for finding like phrases and/or words so people can easily find others with the same interests. The hashtag has become so popular that people also use it in phrases where it will never be used in social media and some people have even started to use it in normal sentences while speaking.
For this little exercise I’m going to just use either facebook or twitter as the example so you can familiarize yourself with why and how to use a hashtag.
Open either facebook or twitter and in the search field type #networkmarketing. Notice that it shows where other people have used the words network marketing in one big word with the hashtag. These might be great people to follow if you’re trying to learn more about the business side of network marketing or you’re looking for a product to buy or even people to prospect. Now type it without the hashtag. On twitter your results might be a little similar, but facebook goes a little crazy and adds tlds (top level domains) or other unwanted verbage to your text. By using the hashtag symbol both Twitter and Facebook know that you are using something specific.
It is also used by companies to promote products or to get a group of people together who are familiar with the phrase to start a trend. Phrases such as #LifeIsGood are used by people wanting to express how much fun their lives are. Sometimes people make up irrelevant ones that no one will ever search, but can be used to stress a point or be amusing.
The sky is the limit on what you can use for a hashtag. If you want to know what is popular on certain sites, you can find lists of popular hashtags:
For Instagram you can use: http://top-hashtags.com/instagram/
For Twitter, just look at the side bar of your twitter profile or visit http://www.hashtags.org/trending-on-twitter/
For facebook I haven’t found a reliable source because it just doesn’t seem that popular to hashtag your facebook items as of yet.
Should you use random hashtags that mean nothing to people? I guess it depends. If you’re trying to make a statement then I would say do it, but if you are trying to group like words together and your word or phrase is obscure then no one is going to find the keywords. Using hashtags is a growing trend that doesn’t seem like it is going to go away. If you are searching for prospects or customers it might benefit you to search for hashtags related to your products. People looking to lose weight might put #helpmeloseweight or #IAmSoFat just for fun. Search for #mlm or #NeedAJob to find more niche people. Get creative when searching.
Sharing images on Instagram is pretty easy, but too often people don’t find out all the features available to them. It seems they just upload the image, add the text, and then send. Why not use the most out of your Instagram? It’s easy to send your new image to the other networks. Make sure you are logged into twitter, facebook, tumblr, and the others and then before clicking on the right arrow to continue sending your picture to Instagram, scroll down and select these services and your picture will be automatically posted. Be aware, that if it is your first time using Instagram with the others you might see a delay while it attaches the accounts. This is normal.
When you click send your Instagram picture or video will be send to Instagram and whatever service you choose. It will also include a link back to your Instagram so others might follow you there.
If you want to learn more about networking with Instagram, check out this free training.
Do you ever wonder what social network you should use? I personally use all of them, but this little chart puts in perspective how busy the Internet is.
Click the image to open the interactive version (via http://pennystocks.la).
Ah, celebrities. They’re there to entertain us whether that’s their intention or not. Sure, many celebrities get their notoriety from making a great movie, song or other creative performance, and then there are those who make a splash due to their poor grammar and spelling on social networks.
Most of today’s celebrities can be found communicating with their fans through social platforms such as Twitter. And yes, Twitter does limit your characters to 140, so some creativity is needed in order to get your point across, but that doesn’t excuse poor grammar and spelling. The following are just some examples of what today’s stars are messing up on Twitter.
Due to the 140-character limit, many Twitter users remove letters from words in order to make it fit, and while it’s one way to get your point across, it’s another way to irritate people who prefer correct grammar. It’s unclear whether or not Ms. Alicia Keys removed the “e” from “be” to save character space, but she then added an “s” to the word “help”, which didn’t make grammatical sense.
Spelling and grammar is one thing, but context is another. Wayne Rooney has a tendency to talk about random topics in one tweet, and they’re all separated by periods, which makes the tweet sound chunky. In the following tweet, Rooney lets us know that he:
1. Had a great day today (although he misspelled day)
2. Is back home chilling out
3. Has a funny son
4. Is going to bed.
Thanks for breaking all that down for us in 140 characters or less, Mr. Rooney.
Master P is an example of Alicia Keys and Wayne Rooney combined. In his tweets, Master P has a tendency to misspell words, and he is also known to discuss a variety of topics in one tweet. Unlike Rooney, though, Master P doesn’t separate his thoughts with periods, but with commas. And in order to save space, he doesn’t add a space after the comma, so his entire tweet runs together. Adding his own errors, he is also notorious for writing his tweets in all capital letters (which is the Internet equivalent to yelling). At least that keeps him from forgetting to capitalize the beginning of a new sentence.
While all three of these celebrities are different, they’re all notorious for making grammatical and spelling mistakes in their tweets. Some people don’t believe that using proper grammar, spelling and punctuation is important on Twitter, but it is. When your tweets are grammatically correct, it not only allows others to understand you completely and accurately, but it also doesn’t make you look like a fool.
Poor writing is not a matter of personal style and fame does not give individuals a special license to degrade language. Many will tell you that as long as one is understood it is all well but we know that standards in language specifically grammatical rules exist for a reason and serve to deliver clarity in content.
Recently Grammarly.com conducted research to determine the grammatical competence of celebrities. To our surprise celebrities of hispanic background scored quite high delivering a good number of grammatically correct tweets. You can see a really fun grammar infographic here.
Some people simply don’t have a thorough grasp on proper grammar and spelling, and that’s okay. There are plenty of tools available to help check your spelling and grammar. Should we use a grammar checker for small pieces of text? Absolutely.
- License: Image author owned
- License: Image author owned
- License: Image author owned
Becky Daniels is a full time English teacher. In her spare time she enjoys blogging about writing, teaching, and gardening.
Twitter is one of the most popular social networks online, and it matters to your business. A lot. If you want to understand your clients’ needs, Twitter can help you. Right now, you’re probably scouring online reviews and analyzing them to gain new insight into what your clients think about your business. While reviews are helpful, Twitter can be even more so.
Limitations of Reviews
There are many limitations to the information you get from online reviews. In most cases, people only write online reviews when they have strong opinions. This means that you’re learning about your clients’ needs mostly from people who either love your business or hate it, and you’re hearing much less from the people in the middle with less extreme and more average viewpoints. Many times those reviews also exist with fairly little information on who posted the review, such as their demographics, other interests, etc.
Benefits of Twitter
Twitter, on the other hand, can offer you a lot more information than individual reviews can. The most obvious example would be if any Twitter users “mention” your business or products. There are lots of programs that can help you track certain mentions, terms, etc. When you identify those mentions, you have the ability to see the commenter’s entire Twitter history. From there, you can learn more about their interests, opinions, location, etc., which will give you even greater insight into their needs as your customer.
The other big thing that Twitter can do is help you identify trends among your clients’ and the rest of the world, too. With #hashtags, you can find what’s popular, as well as track all the tweets that pertain to a certain #hashtag you’re interested in. Most importantly, you can look for trends among your own followers. Those trends can give you very important information about them and their needs, even when they’re not talking about your business in particular. Those trends can provide very valuable information for your business on how to connect with your clients, as well as how to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to trends and new ideas.
On Twitter, you can also jump in on the conversations or start them. While you can respond to client reviews, it’s much less efficient. You can mention clients or direct message them. You can tweet out questions that would provide interesting answers from your clients, and encourage responses, especially with the use of a catchy #hashtag. A good, thought-provoking tweet could generate a much bigger and more insightful response than any one review could provide. You will be hearing from the average clients in addition to the more outspoken ones on Twitter.
If you’re not tracking the trends on Twitter, you need to start. Reviews are old news. While reviews definitely still matter, trends on Twitter are more helpful for gathering ideas that will appeal to your clients and improve your business for them.
Julie Myers is a social media manager and expert reviews tracker. She is currently teaching others about tracking new review alerts.
While you were so entranced by the terrorist act of two losers, CISPA passed the House. It still needs to head its way into the Senate, I’m sure. Was it intentional to do it then? I have no idea. I”m not big on conspiracy theories, but I can tell you that CISPA isn’t exactly all that it’s cracked up to be.
I’ve heard so many conflicting stories of what it is. I do know that if Congressman McClintock votes against it, then I probably wouldn’t like it either. I heard that it enforces companies to get your passwords for your social networking sites or they won’t hire you. WHAT? I’ll add the link to that later.
What I want are YOUR responses on how you think CISPA will affect you and your home business. Will it affect your social networking? Will it affect your personal life? Let’s open this up for discussion below. Any and all links you know about are welcome.
Here is more information on CISPA and the people who voted for/against the bill.
Twitter users hate SPAM. They loathe it. I mean why wouldn’t they? If you subscribe to a timeline and all you get is SPAM floating across the screen of your cellphone then why would you like it? You’ll miss valuable tweets from your friends and family. Unfortunately, people continue to do this and through very unscrupulous black hat methods as well. Sometimes a little SPAM is a good thing, but if you’re not careful you can get your account deleted or even worse your IP address blocked.
Personally, I don’t think a post or two a day is a problem. I’m okay with other people sending a tweet containing their article name and article link. What I don’t like are blind links where the user doesn’t tell me what the information is about. I also don’t like accounts where all they do is send the same or multiple links over and over again. These accounts I usually block almost immediately or at least unsubscribe from them.
There are people who create accounts simply to spam your account. They use bot traffic to find the hashtags you use or the keywords and then start flooding you with traffic in hopes that you see it. Now, some people claim to make tons of money doing this, but they also get their twitter accounts removed. They claim they can tons of users upfront and then send them tons of tweets. Why would anyone consider this a good thing? It might give them a few thousand dollars at first, but then it gives hardworking people like you and I a bad name. It makes all of us Internet marketing types look really, really bad even if we don’t do it.
With the support of complains, these accounts are usually removed quickly but not soon enough. Twitter does eventually ban the IP address of the spammer, but these unscrupulous people spoof their IP numbers through proxy servers so people can find out who they are. Twitter can’t possibly ban all the proxy servers as they go up on different IP addresses and are hard to find. Plus, when it is a good proxy service that helps hide your personal information so you aren’t hacked, I don’t think twitter is going to block these services.
Instead of making people angry, just build your list like a good marketer does and then your life and reputation will be successful.
It’s Easy to Use Pinterest to Market Your Blog
So you’re using Pinterest to market your blog and ideas, but people aren’t clicking on your blog links when looking at your pinned pics. What is the easiest way to get people to click without spamming your domain name across every single picture and getting your domain out there? Read more
OK I’m really late to the Pinterest game mainly because I always thought it was about pinning arts and crafts, but I was obviously so wrong. I decided to watch a Pinterest webinar today and even just within the short time of the webinar I learned so many new things about Pinterest.
What I wanted to try first was adding a YouTube video to Pinterest. Since barely any people ever pin videos I didn’t even know it was an option. I took a short peek during the webinar and figured out how to do it. It’s really easy, follow me here:
- Find the video on YouTube that you want to share and open its page.
- Click on the Share button.
- Click on Share This Video
- Copy the URL in the box under the Share This Video button
- Go to your Pinterest page and click on the + Add a Pin button
- Paste the YouTube link into the box under “Or find images to pin”
- Click on the Find Images button
- Your selected video will appear at the top of the window. Click on it to Pin it.
- In the new window choose a pin up board and enter a description then click Pin it
For more tips on how to use Pinterest for business, sign up for Devon’s Power of Pinning Webinar. I was really amazed at some of the ways people are using Pinterest and now I can truly see how people can us it to build a business empire.
If you are updating your twitter and facebook pages manually, then I’m going to tell you how you can update your pages automatically every time you release a blog post using twitter.
All but one plugin tool I’ve ever used has only updated 1 or 2 social networking sites and every time there is an update the plugin fails miserably. It is really frustrating to go back into the blog and update it every time the social networking sites make an update to find out your plugin doesn’t work.
Then I found SNAP, also known as Social Networks Auto Poster. SNAP was really easy to install as a plugin and for the social networking apps such twitter, tumblr, and facebook it was really easy to setup. They give very explicit instructions on how to create API keys and tokens to make your experience a lot easier.
Be careful when using the plugin. I’ve been known to update my Facebook page with my Twitter and tumblr accounts. Unfortunately, if you don’t pay attention you could end updating one social networking account and then update several others with the same post. Make sure that when you install this plugin that you stop all automatic social networking updates on other apps.
Also, even if you are sending your tweets automatically from your blog, you don’t want to make it your only contact with people. People get turned off by a lot of SPAM on twitter and they want you to be yourself. Let your blog update twitter and/or facebook once then you’re done. The rest of the time use twitter to update your status on life. Don’t use it as a sales tool. People want to know about you.