Tag Archives: Twitter

The Inference Of Our Words and Social Media Posts

woman posting to social media from mobile phoneThe inference of our words and social media posts can either push your brand forward, or come back to bite you. A recent co-post by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Sharon Day caught the ire of the social media communities, particularly Twitter. At first, the post seemed fairly harmless, but the inference of the language is what led to a Twitter firestorm.

Take a look at this excerpt from a national news outlet via mobile phone: (insert screen capture here, please click to expand):

twitter mobile post by RNC

Twitter mobile post by screen capture, courtesy Fox News article.

One would like to infer that Priebus and Day were not referring to the new president-elect as a new “king”. Unfortunately, what else could possibly be understood from these words?

Words have meaning. We’re taught this as children when it comes to name-calling of others. We’re also taught that “names will never hurt me”. That’s a pretty good visual of conflicting views, don’t you think?

Oh, no? “What does this have to do with business?”, you might ask. More than you think.

What Your Meant vs. What Was Assumed

We all know what the word assume means. In this post, we could assume that both Prieibus and Day meant the birth of the Christian Son of God, Jesus. It also could mean literally what the post says – that the president-elect is a new king in America. Yet, the scope and meaning may have been lost or confused because: 1) it was rolled into a political post from political leaders; 2) other than wishing Americans a Merry Christmas and the presumptive meaning of renewed faith for the season and the incoming president-elect, the meaning of the post is not entirely clear, leading to assumptions that may not be entirely accurate.

Think back on our recent presidential election cycle. Go back to the name-calling by both presidential candidates. One intended to separate himself from his competitors. While this purpose was accomplished, the unintended consequence was the assumption, by many people, he will continue this sort of langugage as president — not a great way to gain allies.

The other, while trying to accomplish the same, also had the unintended consequence of isolating and separating herself from about half the voting population and inferring they were “bad people”. Not the best way to get people on your side.

From this post, could political adversaries conclude that the election means we now have a new king rather than president? Yes, it could — and apparently, they did just that. The bigger questions: 1) is that what you truly meant to say; 2) why wasn’t your message written more clearly; and 3) how does this message relate to your brand?

Now, think of your own messages and posts for and about your business. What could your competitors conclude? What will your intended target market and audience conclude? Was this your intention — what you meant to have happen?

Watch Your Langugage!

Before you hit the Post or Publish button on your next status update or blog article, stop and read your words again.

  1. Is the language appropriate to the topic or your audience? Could you have chosen words that clearly stated what you meant vs. choosing words that make you seem important or educated? Will your audience have to look up any of the words you’re using in a dictionary?
  2. Is the message appropriate to the topic or your audience?
  3. Will your message attract or isolate readers? Was this reaction deliberate? If not, how will your audience reach a more informed understanding?

  4. How does this message relate to your brand? If it doesn’t, why are you posting it? Is your brand experimenting with a new direction to capture a new audience? Are you venting a frustration or celebrating a victory of a situation that your brand did not participate in directly?

Your intentions for your posts and articles should match your brand’s mission and vision statements. Choose your words wisely, lest you get “caught up in the moment” and post something you may regret later.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Image courtesy of a Fox News article.

Connect your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles strategically

LinkedIn, TwitterYes, you saw the headline correctly! You can now link your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles! AmSpirit Business Connections founder and president Frank Agin posted this Networking Rx link earlier today:

“Want to cut your social media work in half? Simple! Link your Twitter account with your LinkedIn profile. This will share your updates on LinkedIn with your Twitter profile automatically.”

Here’s how you can link these profiles:

  1. Make sure you are signed in to both your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
  2. On LinkedIn, click on the pull-down arrow next to your name in the upper-right-hand corner and select Settings.
  3. Select the link Manage Your Twitter Settings.
  4. LinkedIn: Profile, Manage Your Twitter Settings

  5. Click to add or remove a Twitter account, and have your Twitter account displayed on your profile.
  6. When done, click the blue Save Settings button.

LinkedIn: Profile, Manage Twitter Settings

Your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts are now connected! As you post to your Twitter account, your Tweets will show up in your Home feed, as well as your connections’ Home feeds.

Here’s the strategy:

You can choose to only show Tweets with the #in hashtag. This means you can make strategic Twitter posts or shares to your LinkedIn network instead of all Tweets, personal or not. This is particularly beneficial to those who are very active on Twitter. Why? LinkedIn is a very professional environment that, until recently, was not very accepting of Twitter lingo and shortening of posts. The new #in hashtag allows you to strategically post or share content you feel is truly beneficial to your LinkedIn network.

If you’re ready to step up your social media strategy or would like to learn how to view this new hashtag, contact me to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

A very special thank-you to Frank Agin for his generous and timely post. Click the link to learn more about AmSpirit Business Connections.

Social Media Tools Review

Using Twubs & tchat to view Twitter hashtags

Each Friday will be dedicated to a review of some of the social media tools available. The review will include an overview of each tool, pros and cons, and Visibly Media’s official recommendation.

Twubs logotchat logo

This week’s article is about two internet Twitter tools, Twubs and tChat. Both platforms support Twitter users by allowing users to follow a particular hashtag. This is particularly helpful when it comes to following Twitter chats. Let me explain a bit about these chats, so the cart doesn’t come before the horse.

Twitter chats are online discussions that occur in near-real-time on a specific day and time. A hashtag is created by the chat organizer for the users to follow the conversations. Examples of such hashtags are #linkedinchat , #mediachat and #blogchat . Platforms have been created to help users follow a particular conversation in a single browser window.

Twubs search barTwubs is one such online platform. It’s very easy to use and you don’t need to create an account first: go to the home page, type in a hashtag word or phrase (no spaces) in the search bar, and hit the Enter key. The browser window will display the conversations surrounding this particular hashtag. From inside this window, you can post, reply, re-Tweet, and favorite a Tweet. The upside is being able to view all tweets around a certain hashtag. The drawbacks I encountered were two-fold: 1) the refresh rate wasn’t as fast as I would prefer, and at some points it was stalled (I was using Google Chrome at the time); 2) to speed up the refresh rate I had to log in with my Twitter ID (not a big deal), but I wasn’t fond of allowing the application to post Tweets for me or update my profile.

tchat search bartChat is another online platform that allows users to follow Twitter hashtags. Go to the home page, enter a hashtag, and click the “Start Chatting” button. The functionality is the same as Twubs with 3 differences: 1) you can sign up via Twitter and it will not ask to post on your behalf; 2) the refresh rate is much faster; and 3) the icons for reply, re-Tweet, quote, or favorite are larger and darker, much easier to see.

Professional recommendation: tChat is the winner for simplicity and ease of use. I may try using Twubs in other browser platforms (or on a Macintosh, I use PC/Windows at VM) and see how it responds, but so far this test didn’t leave a good impression.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Hashtags Are Not Spaghetti!

Hashtags thrown against the wall.Hashtags are the newest “idea” to hit Facebook. It has worked well for Twitter veterans; Twitter has been using hashtags since August 2007. The concept is to use a hashtag or two so marketers, bloggers and business owners can follow engagement and interactions easier.

You can, and should, create a hashtag for just about anything you want to track. Want to promote a holiday special or just announce a new product or service? Create a hashtag to capture comments (and complaints). Starting a new online chat? Make a hashtag. If your company is hosting an event in real life for many people (i.e., networking, holiday party, etc.), create a hashtag so people can see who is attending, chat and upload pictures, and generally network using the hashtag.

Unfortunately, what this has resulted in for Facebook is some users creating and listing as many hashtags as possible for a singular post. One post I read had 9 hashtags! I ask you, seriously: How does listing 9 hashtags for your Facebook post help you be found using strategic visibility?

The answer is in your purpose. Hashtags are not spaghetti. Rather than throwing them out into the social media world to see what sticks, you should perform a bit of due diligence first. Here are 7 tips for better hashtag use:

Facebook search box

  • Be intentional. If you want to create a hashtag and aren’t sure if one has already been borne, type in the hashtag you want into Facebook’s search box. You can also conduct at search on hashtags.org. This website will also show you what is trending and allow you to track the hashtags you are using.
  • Be responsible. Look for a hashtag before creating one. If it has been created, see what is being said around the hashtag. Don’t hijack a hashtag and assume your conversations are “right” or more important. Make sure the conversations are relating to what you want to talk about.
  • Be strategic. You can use generic hashtags such as #Facebook or #Twitter to get into a general stream of conversation. This is great for promotion, as long as you remember to check out the hashtag first and see what the conversations are surrounding the hashtag.
  • Be creative. If the hashtag you want to use is taken, try adding your company’s initials or an event date with it and see if it’s available. If so, post it on #Twitter and #Facebook for your followers.
  • Be reasonable. The more hashtags you use, the more you have to check. Use one, no more than two, hashtags for your event or promotion.
  • Be measured. Monitor the progress and conversations surrounding your hashtag. Use an online tool such as Twubs or tchat to see the active stream and respond in real time when people post to it.
  • Be found. Let your audience know about the hashtag as soon and as often as possible. Write up a blog article about it. Post to your #LinkedIn company page, Twitter and Facebook accounts. Make a short video and tie in to your website or blog.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Twitter Background Do’s And Don’t’s

Twitter logoThe background of your Twitter page is just as important for telling the world what you do as your profile page. Depending on a monitor’s resolution size (and the curiosity of the viewer who likes to right-click on the background to view it), this is a good place to keep your branding together and tell a short story.

At least, that’s what one should expect to see.

Sadly, there are still companies that don’t take the time to truly craft a good background that continues their branding. In some cases, it’s “good enough” to use the templated backgrounds offered by Twitter because “the color is close”, “I just wanted to get it done”, or “I don’t know what size the background is supposed to be.” Fiddlesticks! Keep your branding message clear!

Here’s a few Twitter background do’s and don’t’s:

  • Do Color. Let’s talk color for a moment. If you don’t have the software to create a custom background, using your company’s colors is the easiest way to go. I recommend downloading a program called ColorCop. This program allows you to eyedrop the color from your company’s logo and get the six-digit hex code needed by Twitter for your background color. Enter this 6-digit hex code from ColorCop into the design section of your Twitter page. TIP: Pay close attention to the Link color as well.
  • Size. Size does matter. Using your photo editing software (i.e., Photoshop, Gimp, etc.), set the background size to 1600 pixels wide and 1200 pixels tall. This will cover most desktop and laptop screen resolutions. For larger screens, try 2560 pixels wide and 1600 pixels tall. Also, keep in mind Twitter accepts file sizes up to 2MB.
  • Tiled Or Not? One word: Not. Tiled refers to a repeating image. Most business owners opt to use their logo and tile the image; this not only looks amateurish, it’s also very annoying. Very few templates or designs actually look decent tiled. TIP: Stay with a singular image and use color (or a color fade) to complement the image.
  • Do Sidebar. This is particularly necessary if you have a business page. An image alone doesn’t always capture your story. On the background you’ve created in your photo editing program, make a new layer and set the sidebar size to 225 pixels wide and 700 pixels tall, and about 10 pixels away from the left edge. TIP: The sidebar is saved as part of your image, so any links you list won’t be active. Keep your text brief.
  • Do Images. Use your own photos. Don’t have any yet? Get a camera (preferably with a USB connection) and take some. You can buy photos from online sites such as iStock.com to save time, but change them out to your own as quickly as possible. The online photo companies embed computer code within the photos; search bots and spiders find these codes and report to the company what site is using them. If you haven’t renewed the purchase in the past 12 months, you may be subject to a fine. Always use your own images whenever possible.

Be found, be visible, and be branded.