5 Ways To Be Better On Social Media

We all know that social media is here to stay. What those of us who actually look at what’s being said and shared on social media see is a lot of people making mistakes that should be fairly easy to overcome. I use “fairly” because all of it takes some action, and some of that action takes longer than others, and some is more risky than others. And yet, if done correctly, or with the proper frame of mind, it all helps greatly.

Picture-8
I make videos to help
my social media presence

With that said I’m giving 5 ways here, only because I’m hoping to keep it simple. It’s my intention in 2015 to talk more about social media theory, presence, networking and theory on this blog than anything else, and this is the first article of 2014, as I took a nice long break. So, here we go:

Gravatar – Gravatars have been out there for more than a decade now. Basically a gravatar is that little image that you see next to people’s blog comments; on other platforms it’s just called an image. Last April on a different blog I talked about 5 reasons you need a gravatar. The main reason is that your image helps people associate a face with the comment, and that identity is strong in making connections. People remember faces more than names, and images more than, well, nothing.

Promote others while promoting yourself – If I took the time to mention you while sharing something you did on this blog, would it make you feel pretty good? If so, think of how others might feel if you reference them here and there in your space, whether it’s on your blog or retweeting something they’ve shared on Twitter or just sharing something someone else has done on other social media platforms.

These don’t have to be famous people, and truthfully it’s probably better that it’s not them, at least most of the time. In that vein I’m going to promote a young man named William Haynes, who’s been putting together a wealth of topics on all sorts of both social media and being social in general that are pretty funny on his YouTube channel and deserves a bit more attention if you ask me. The kid makes me laugh. 🙂

Be present – If you want to be a presence via social media and be found by others who might need or enjoy what you have to share you actually have to be out there pressing the digital flesh.

Meet the Internet
Alex Eylar via Compfight

I have 4 blogs (actually 5 again) and try to make sure I have at least one article on 3 of them weekly. I’m on social media every day, even on days I’m traveling, for at least an hour. I try to mix it up among all the social media sites I’m on and I try to be engaging with people; I may not be famous yet but I have people sometimes surprised to hear from me because they think I’m big; all that and a bag of chips gets me on almost no lists, ever. lol Still, there’s nothing else like that in the world.

Don’t look curmudgeonly -Trust me, I understand now that I’m in my mid 50’s. Society feels like it’s changed so drastically. People use a lot of foul language, don’t seem to know anything about history, and are always flitting around onto the “next big thing” (still have no idea what Tsu is; not interested) while the big thing is still pretty viable. If I wanted to I could spend entire weeks hating on every single blog post I come across; how well do you think that would work for me?

We all have to be ready to step back and see what others are doing, evaluate them for ourselves, and then decide what we want to do or say. Having an informed opinion on something you don’t like is way better than hating something just because it’s not what you used to like. Of course if you only spend time hating things you’ll look like a jaded old person, even if you’re young. So find good in things as well; trust me, there’s a lot more good than bad.

Be willing to be confronted, but not condemned – So many people play it safe; sigh… There’s nothing wrong with being cautious because you’re afraid of saying the wrong thing. I’m of the opinion that if you’ve given something a lot of thought and have something to say, even if you know there will be someone out there who won’t like it, say it anyway if it’s honest.

You might not like the concept of political correctness but it’ll help you get your message across way better when you’re not constantly defending yourself from negatives messages that you generated. People like knowing that others aren’t afraid to have an opinion that’s well reasoned, and that just might be your unique selling proposition that helps you get fans and customers.
 

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10 Social Media/Networking Don’ts In 2 Minutes

I have a series of these posts where I believe, if you read well, you can polish off the post in about 2 minutes. I’m doing it this time because that previous post was so long. It was so long that I’m giving it an extra day as well, and I’m once again on an airplane as you read this.

D.A.R.E
Greg Nissen via Compfight

Once again these are my opinion, but I tend to believe that the majority of people who read these will agree with me. Those other folks… well, they just ain’t no good! 🙂 Here we go:

1. Don’t steal someone else’s stuff. Don’t plagiarize or use without attribution. That’s content or images.

2. Don’t be a nuisance. I could have said don’t spam but I wanted to reach a broader spectrum. Don’t overdo advertising, contacting people, etc.

3. Don’t be a troll. This is worse than being a nuisance because you’re probably just trying to cause trouble for no reason other than your own pleasure.

4. Don’t be too sensitive. Just because you feel you can identify with something doesn’t mean it’s for or about you.

5. Don’t wuss out on your morals or principles. I get it, peer pressure can be strong. Truth be told, standing up for your principles and the rights of others is a lot easier than living with guilt.

6. Don’t bully others. Sometimes you might feel like you have to call someone out. That’s fine, but know where and when to draw the line; words can kill.

7. Don’t ramble. If you have something to say just say it and move on. Don’t spend 10 minutes repeating one thing over and over, whether it’s blogging or on social media.

8. Don’t stalk. Yes, there are some attractive people out there, or some famous people you enjoy. Sometimes people go too far and they don’t know they’re doing it; self control is always a good thing.

9. Don’t forget you’re in public. How do you want people to perceive you? Always think of that before you say or put anything on the internet.

10. Don’t forget that once it’s out there, it’s out there forever. If you think you can do something stupid now & in 10 years it’ll be forgotten, please! Notice how fewer people are putting those drunken party photos of themselves on Facebook now?

If you couldn’t read this in 2 minutes… well, that’s on you. 🙂
 

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5 Ways You’re Messing Up On LinkedIn

Back in April I wrote my first true introductory post about LinkedIn, giving tips on how to use it effectively. Well, it seems that there’s still a lot of folks out there that are using it incorrectly. How do I know? If it’s irking other people then you’re messing it up in my opinion.


by Mattias via Flickr

Frankly, when it comes to your business the last thing you really want to be doing is getting on people’s nerves. Most of these things are minor, but why get irritate people to begin with I always say. So, here are 5 things one should either stop or start doing.

1. Stop going with the default message when reaching out to new people. Goodness, this was my #1 gripe in the last post and it’s at the top again. How hard is it to write something different, even if it’s just “I think we might be able to do some work together so I’d love to connect with you on LinkedIn”, or “I figure this is a good time to connect with each other here on LinkedIn”?

2. When reaching out to people you want to connect with, don’t lie about how you know them. I cringe when I get a connection message that says “so and so says you’re friends” when I have absolutely no idea who they are.

3. Why don’t you have a picture? Unless I personally know someone I refuse to connect with anyone that doesn’t have an image on LinkedIn. My thought is that you’re either trying to hide something or you don’t have enough knowledge to know how to upload a photograph. The idea of LinkedIn is business networking; why the heck wouldn’t you put up an image?

4. Say something in a group every once in awhile. I don’t belong to a bunch of groups but every group I belong to I participate in every once in awhile, sometimes even more then once in awhile. Sure, it’s free, but what’s the point in being in something you’re never going to do anything in? I called people out in one group that has around 1,600 members yet only 10 people ever talk; that’s just a shame.

5. Make your profile more dramatic than a straight up resume. You’re not auditing for a job, you’re hoping to get some kind of business out of it. If there’s a service or product you’d like to highlight, then do it there. It’s a great opportunity to do something a little different that you might not want to do on your website.
 

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The Fuss About Google+

Google+ is all the rage these days as the next big thing in social media. In their own way, they’ve tried to say they’re not a social networking site, but that’s like saying vanilla pudding isn’t pudding (okay, I might say that from time to time since I only like chocolate).

First let’s talk about what Google+ is, because so many people have different opinions. In a way it reminds me of Facebook when I first signed on. It’s fairly clean and crisp, probably too much for me. Most people who are there now either got there via an invite or have some kind of Google account other than just Gmail. Someone tried to send me an invite when I kind of didn’t care and then she told me about it, so all I did was pull up the link to the site, which is http://plus.google.com and it let me create an account.

When you get there, you’ll find that some people have probably already added you in some fashion to what are called “circles”. There are some default circles already such as Friends, Family and Acquaintances, and you’re allowed to create other circles. The purpose is to be able to categorize people so that you can then determine who you want to follow or contact specifically if you’re not in the mood to follow everyone. You can put people in more than one circle if you want to, something I might have to think about doing.

It also handles people you don’t know differently than Facebook. You can hide or block those people, or you can create a circle to put those people in if you so choose. I created a circle I call “Unsure Folks” until I can figure out if I know them or not. I’ve yet to determine if you can de-list those folks later on if you decide you don’t want them around, but I have learned that you can remove someone from any circle by dragging their image out of the circle and popping them into the netherworld.

Actually, saying that makes little sense until you’re actually on the site, but you can either drag people’s images to a circle and drag them back or you can hover over people’s images and this menu comes up giving you the option of putting them into a particular circle. By the way, people never know what circle you’ve put them in or whether you’ve put them in a circle to begin with.

Okay, enough of that; you can learn more from many other areas, including the little video I’ve put at the bottom. Even in the video, the guy begins by calling it “Facebook killer”. Let’s explore this and other things I’ve been hearing.

There are a lot of folks touting this thing as the social network that’s going to kill Facebook, Twitter, and possibly LinkedIn, since MySpace is pretty much dead. I’m not sure I agree, and I wish I could see what everyone else is seeing.

For instance, I still prefer Twitter because it’s so “instant”; Google+ isn’t quite there yet.

I’m not going to say I prefer Facebook but it’s a totally different animal. There are some groups on Facebook that have great interaction but many are fairly dead. People are saying group conversations on Google+ are much better but I think it depends on the group. For instance, there’s a group of Syracuse University folks who think this is the cat’s meow (I wonder where that phrase came from) but then they’re all talking amongst themselves and they already know each other so that works just fine.

For someone like me, though, well, I don’t already have a group of people that I automatically talk to. Right now the majority of people I’m connected to are you good folks that I blog with, but almost none of us have ever talked with each other directly, either on the phone or through video. This means we really don’t overly know each other personally. I’ve had a conversation or two here and there with some of you on Google+, but nothing like hundreds of ideas going on at the same time.

Also, the site has something it calls Sparks, and I thought it might be like the Facebook groups where, if you say you happen to like something, it pops you into a group with like minded people. Instead, if you put in a topic it pulls up news stories or blog links and such, pretty much like Google would do; there’s no discussion going on about it, so what’s the point? I can just go to Google News instead.

Finally I keep hearing about the business part of it and how it can improve business relations. I’m missing that as well. On LinkedIn you can find people based on what it is they do. You can’t do that on Google+; you have to know people’s names, or someone else who might be connected to them. There’s this feature called Hangout which is their version of a chat room, and after downloading a small bit of software you can talk either through video, audio, or a combination. You can only have 10 people in a room right now. I like how smoothly it all runs; I don’t like that you can’t invite individuals. To get around that you’d have to create a new circle and add certain people to it, and then delete the circle later on once you’re done with it. However, it’s hard to complain all that much about another free service.

Will this be the death of Facebook? I don’t see it, but one never knows about people. There are no games and no groups, and I think a lot of people like those things. Will it be the death of Twitter? I don’t think so once again because I think Twitter’s value is its speed of conveying information to a ton of people all at once; it’s not going to work the same way on Google+. Will it be the death of LinkedIn? Once again I don’t see it, since LinkedIn’s value is in connecting with only business people and allowing you to search for people who are in your industry or that you might be able to do business with; Google+ offers Google search and that’s it; I don’t feel that’ll get it done.

And that’s what I have to say right now. Of course as people leap to Google at break-neck speeds right now we all might find that people are looking for something a little different than what we have now. If it allowed more of a pick and choose I might like it better than I do now. It’s early yet; let’s see what it looks like six months from now.

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10 Things Not To Do On Twitter

Twitter is the fastest growing social networking site in the world today. As with most new technologies, rules for proper use are written on the fly, and Twitter rules are no different, except, in this case, the rules aren’t quite written, and it’s the users that make the rules.

There are ten things that many Twitter people do that are generally considered as bad manners. Some of those things are:

* Not having an image of some sort with your profile. Unless people know who you are, they’re reluctant to follow anyone without some kind of image to give people an idea of who they might be.

* Using a tiny.url as the link to your website. Hiding a link to your website makes people suspect that you have an ulterior motive in putting it there, and if people don’t trust you from the start, they won’t follow you.

* Writing about every single step of your day. No one is interested in following every second of anyone else’s life, yet that’s how some people participate on Twitter. If that person isn’t your friend, you’ll probably drop them because they’re taking up too much of your time and space when you have other people to follow.

* Only posting links or quotes and not talking to anyone. People love information, but we hate being ignored when we want to talk to someone. If a person has 30,000 people following them, or if they’re a celebrity, they might get a break, but for everyone else, if you don’t ever engage anyone openly, people will unfollow you pretty quickly.

* Posting the same links over and over. Many people are on Twitter only to market themselves. If someone is following you and sees that you only post the same content all the time, you can bet they’re going to drop you as soon as possible.

* Using a lot of bad language. This is the bane of modern existence, people forgetting how to be courteous in public, but being consistently bad mouthed will get people to drop you like a bad habit, even if they use bad language in their real lives.

* Following a lot of people but only having a few follow you. This is a big red flag for most Twitter users, because it’s the tactic employed by spammers. Though there are often these big pushes towards increasing one’s followers, it’s better to increase both in a more organic fashion.

* Not having any posts. If you never write anything, or almost never write anything, why would you expect people to follow you? Twitter is all about people interacting with each other, and if you’re not interacting, or you have one or two posts and they’re both talking about the latest product you’re marketing, you’ll never get any followers.

* Getting into an argument with another person. It can invariably happen to anyone, but it’s considered bad practice because the participants never know what they’re going to say, and at some point they might say something that offends a big number of people. It’s usually best to try to let it go as soon as possible.

* Saying something in the open that you’d never say in person. Last year, a reporter for the Chicago Sun Times wrote a negative post about too many fat people on the train he was on. Within an hour, he had been vilified worldwide, and many people had already sent letters to the newspaper demanding that he be fired. Back in January, another person lost a job he’d just been offered because he made a derogatory comment about taking the job without realizing that the person who offered him the job was following him on Twitter.

These are just some things that people need to think about when they’re going to participate on Twitter. Avoiding these ten things can make your Twitter experience a pleasant one.

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