This weeks cool tool is a really handy app for promoting an event on Twitter.   It’s easy to set up and you can have a homepage for your event, linked to your Twitter account in minutes.

There’s lots of great features including the ability to link the Twitter idents of event organisers and sponsors, adding your event #tag and encouraging those who RSVP to share the event via Twitter.   I really like that it makes it easy for people to help share your event without too much effort.

To test it I set up a Twtvite for our up-coming KLCK Bloggers meetup in May.  You can view the event page here.

Here’s how to set it up.  On the Twtvite website click ‘Create an Event’

Next enter the information about your event.  You’ll need to add your Twitter account, the event title and a short tweetable explanation. Underneath add a more detailed explanation.  You can also choose a customised url (web address) for the page.  I chose www.twtvite.com/klckmay2012

The next step is to add event organisers and sponsors via their Twitter accounts, these are displayed on the event page so it’s a great way for people to find out a bit more about the people behind the event.  It’s also a great way to showcase sponsors.

Next add venue details and date and time.  Try and add a full address for your venue as Twtvite will add a map to your page.

You also have the option to add free or paid tickets for the event.

Before you publish your page you have the option to add a banner image and a photo or a video to it.  This isn’t essential and if you skip this step the big grey panels disappear when you activate it.

Once you’re happy with your design click ‘Activate’ at the top of the page and your event will go live.  You’ll be prompted to tweet it straight away.

Here’s what the finished event page looks like

I really like this as a quick and easy solution for spreading the word about your event.  If you set up an event using Twtvite I’d love to see it so do leave your links and comments below.

Hat tip to @Jangles for alerting me to this great app.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Facbook IPO again this week, Google+ have finally launched a share button but I’m not going to talk about either of those things.  Here’s my top social media reads of the week.

Tweeting the French election results in code

The French presidential election is in full swing and Sarkosy seems to have taken a bit of a battering.  I’m not too familiar with the French political system  but it seems that election law forbids anyone reporting the results before an official announcement.  Of course Twitter users decided to ignore these rules and started tweeting results in code, using terms such as ‘Flan’ and ‘Tomato’ to signify candidates. A great way to rebel!  Here’s a full story in The Guardian.

Facebook change the size of profile pictures for business pages

Around the time that Google+ launched their re-design Facebook quietly changed the size and positioning of profile pictures on Facebook Timeline profile pages, this week it implemented the change on business pages too.  The alignment of the newly sized profile image is slightly different on business pages to profiles but the size is the same.  This has meant that anyone with a really cool integrated cover and profile image, like the Pizza Hut one featured here has had to quickly re-design.  If you’d like to have a go at creating a an integrated image and have Photoshop or another image manipulation programme the geniuses at HyperArts have created a downloadable Photoshop template to help you.  You can get it here.

How to make Infographics

I blame Pinterest… well actually even before Pinterest was the big thing I’d got a bit tired of Infographics, now the online world seems to be flooded with them.  Some are brilliant some are not so great.  However it can’t be denied that the pairing of easy to consume data with a network like Pinterest means they can generate phenomenal traffic.  If you’ve ever fancied creating your own there are lots of apps out there to help.  This great post from Write On Track tells you all the basics and shows you some tools that might help you out.

How to measure your social media success for free

Measurement of your social media campaign is an essential part of everything you do within social media.  If you don’t know if your efforts are working it can be easy to get disheartened. If you measure you will discover what works and what doesn’t work.  It will help you see the results of your efforts and keep you motivated. demonstrates some simple techniques to help you meaure. Here’s a brilliant post from Social Media Examiner that shows you how to measure using free tools.  I’d recommend bookmarking it as it’s something you will want to return to over and over again.

The problem with engagement

I’ve talked about this a lot. Engagement is becoming the most important part of what we do on social media. There are lots of things you can do to encourage people to engage with you but getting obsessed with your talking about stat, or the number of @ replies you have can be just as bad as counting the number of Likes or followers you have.  Why?  Well unless you are engaging with your target market all the engagement in the world won’t help you reach your business goals.  So have we all gone engagement mad?  Are we all scrambling so hard for likes, comments & mentions that we are forgetting our key messages and business goals.  This week I’ve read two articles that suggest just that.  This one from the brilliant Brian Solis and an easier to read but less in-depth look from Jason Falls.

Facebook EdgeRank explained

What is EdgeRank?

Here’s a scary fact. Only 16% of your Facebook Likes see your content appear on their newsfeeds.  Why is this? It’s all down to an algorithm called EdgeRank, this scores every piece of content you post according to three main factors. The higher the EdgeRank the more likely it is to make it to the newsfeed. It’s this EdgeRank that is driving the engagement frenzy I talked about in the last paragraph.  Here’s a fantastic post from EdgeRank Checker that delves a bit deeper into the algorithm.

Google+ tactics used by the blogging pros

There are probably lots of reasons you’ve either not bothered with Google+ or that you have given up on it.  One of the biggest barriers for many has been trying to define a strategy that is different to what you do elsewhere. These tips from ProBlogger could essentially be used on any social network but they might inspire you to rethink Google+.

And a special mention goes to…

This is link number 8 but I couldn’t sign off without mentioning this brilliant project from Christina at CG Online Marketing. Here’s her latest post and videos about Irish Dogs For The Disabled.

And from Spiderworking.com this week

Add a YouTube tab to your Facebook page


I’ve not been video blogging for Spiderworking.com for a while. Instead I’ve been working with TweakYourBiz TV to interview some social media heroes and innovators.  I’ve also had my flip cam out creating videos for Blog Awards Ireland. I have noticed though that a lot of people who visit my Facebook page have been hitting the video tab. It’s great that these videos are finding a new audience but I was also very aware that the videos uploaded directly to Facebook were a bit dated, the most recent video blogs have been uploaded exclusively to YouTube and linked to Faceobok. This weeks cool tool shows you how you can add a YouTube tab to your Facebook page.

How to be delightful

Do you reward the most active people on your social media channels?  What do you do to inspire your brand advocates to share more of your content or refer you more?  I recently received a bottle of champagne for tweeting a lot at a conference and it inspired me to think about how this sort of reward could be translated to small business. Read more here.

How to be successful on Facebook

Many businesses feel they hit a brick wall with their Facebook marketing.  In this post I wrote for the Sage Ireland blog I share some of my tips for success, tips that I hope might help you get over the first few hurdles.

Delight Your Brand Ambassadors

A bottle of Champagne arrived in the post for me recently. I was delighted, it was unexpected and of course Champagne just makes you feel happy.  Here’s how and why it happened and how being delightful could benefit your company.

Last month, as regular readers might know, I attended Social Media World Forum in London.  I will always Tweet at a conference like this, firstly I know there is information on the day that I will want to share with my followers because it is useful, secondly I get to meet people at the event itself. I am always aware however that I might be flooding the Twitter stream with my tweets so try and hold back, only sharing the very best information.  The event was great, I met lots of new people both in person and on Twitter and I learnt loads too.

A few days after my return I got a Tweet from one of the event sponsors Synthesio saying that as I’d Tweeted so much they were going to send me some Champagne, could I DM my address.  I was sure once they found out I was based in Ireland they would change their mind but a week or so later the Champagne arrived in the post along with a really handy little book  ’The Quick Start Guide To Social Media Monitoring’ (pictured above).

Surprising people like this is a great way to build brand ambassadors, you can be sure every time I see the Synthesio logo now I’m going to remember the champagne and how nice it was to get such a surprise.  I’ve even looked into what the company do, at the conference I was aware of their branding but didn’t look any closer. Now I know the next time a client is looking for paid brand monitoring their name will make it onto my recommended list.

How can you be delightful?

So how can you be delightful? Take a look at the most engaged users on your social media channels, why not treat them to something? Don’t make it a competition, don’t even announce it in advance, surprise them and reward them for their loyalty.  A discount voucher isn’t enough, it should be something tangible.  If you sell a product you could send them a sample and ask for their feedback, if it’s a service can you offer them a short consultation for free.  If you want to be really delightful why not research your influencers a bit further.  You can find out quite a lot from a Facebook profile or by reading a few tweets. Try to discover what they’re in to and reward them with something that matches those interests. If they are a reader buy them a book from the genre they are interested in, if they are a wine lover find a great bottle that they will love, if they are a foodie  an artisan food product would go down a storm.

The result will be a very happy person who will have an even stronger connection to your brand and will talk about you even more pushing your brand awareness and encouraging more referrals.

Have you ever delighted your customers? Have you ever been delighted by a spontaneous gift from a comapny?  I’d love to hear your stories.

I used to upload all my videocasts both to Facebook and Youbube but changed strategy towards the end of last year.  The reason? I have found the inbuilt Facebook video app frustrating.  It can take ages to upload videos and then they seem to disappear only to re-appear a day or two later. It was this that pushed my decision to upload to YouTube only and link to it from my Facebook page.  The videos can still be watched directly on Facebook and I’ve cut the time it takes to load by half.

The disadvantage is that those who visited my Facebook page and wanted to watch videos from the archive could only access those I’d posted directly to Facebook.  The video tab displayed the old ones but the new ones, linked from YouTube were not easy to find.  YouTube for Pages from Involver solves this problem by allowing you to add a YouTube tab to your Facebook page.  Here’s how it works.

Follow this link and choose which of the Facebook pages you manage that you want to add your YouTube tab to.  You will need to give the application some permissions to access your Facebook account & you will need to provide some basic information to Involver if this is the first time you have  installed one of their apps.

Next add your YouTube username and choose some options for your page.  Do you want to include videos you favourite as well as those you upload?  Do you want to allow comments? Do you want to display related videos?  Most importantly do you want to allow the app to autopost your uploads to your Facebook Timeline?  I don’t recommend this option as posting manually allows you to add your own blurb and encourage more interaction.

YouTube for Facebook Pages

Once you have saved your changes here a YouTube tab will be added to your page.  The good news is that this app is fully optimised for Timeline and occupies the full tab width.  Here’s what mine looks like.

A massive hat tip to this excellent post from www.wchingya.com for  helping me discover this handy app.

If you add a YouTube tab to your page I’d love to see it so do leave your links below.  Also let me know if you have any problems installing it.

The Facebook acquisition of Instagram still seems to be dominating the social media headlines this week, mini blogging platform Tumblr have launched advertising on their dashboards but neither of these make it into my social 7.  Instead we look at a great Pinterest case study, the story of a Facebook page that was taken down for running rule breaking competitions and some great Linkedin tips.

Klout Brand Squads

Klout Brand Squad
Red Bulls ‘Brand Squad’ page on Klout

 

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you will know I’m a bit cynical about Klout, in some respects it does look like a great way to identify influencers but there have been some huge privacy concerns and it also seems that it often marks someone as influential about a topic that the user has no interest in.  However I do sometimes get persuaded to look again.  There are some great examples of Klout encouraging advocates in Brian Solis’s ‘The End Of Business As Usual’ that I found quite compelling.  This week Klout announced brand pages that will display the most influential people associated with a brand and offer perks to influencers.  If you are on Klout you probably received an email about it showcasing the Red Bull page. I can see this being a great tool for large companies to reward their most ardent fans, I also see it as a great research tool for smaller businesses that share a target market with some of those using the ‘Brand Squads’. Read more about the new pages on Silicon Republic.

Twitter hijacks #creepingsharia

creeping sharia
#creepingsharia mocks far right extremist EDL on Twitter

 

Idiotic UK far right group the EDL learnt a thing or two about Twitter this week. Their leader tweeted in disgust at a Mosque being included on the Twitter home page (it was in fact the Taj Mahal) and appended his tweet with the hash tag #creepingsharia. Thankfully Twitter reacted by doing what it does best, it hijacked the tag making a mockery of the original post. Below is one of my favourite tweets.  The tag is still going strong too.  The story even made it into The New York Times.

Facebook competitions – how one man had his page deleted twice

I posted this on Facebook today and it got a huge reaction.  I always advise clients to abide by the Facebook promotional guidelines when running a competition but it can be hard when we see so many others breaking the rules.  Very often people think that it’s OK because everyone else is doing it.  This post shows one example of why  breaking the rules can result in you loosing your page and all the people connected to it.

What? How? Why Instagram?

As I mentioned above Instagram is still the big news this week due to the Facebook buyout.  Lots of new people have become aware of the photo sharing social network for the first time and downloading it. But onece you’ve got it what do you do next?  This article is a brilliant quick start guide for new users. It takes everything that I had to work out over time and puts it in simple terms, in short I wish I had read this before I started! If you’ve just got Instagram read it and have fun.

Harrods on Pinterest

Harrods on Pinterest
Sample mood board for Harrods Jubilee window competition

 

Pinterest persists in being one of the most topics talked about in social media and this is by far the most clever marketing campaign I’ve seen yet from a brand.  Harrods are giving users the opportunity to inspire the design of the Knightsbridge stores Jubilee window.  Pinners just need to create a mood board and submit it to be in with the chance to win a trip to London to see the window unveiled.  Not a fantastic prize, I’m guessing there will be more to it that just a visit to the store !  For more on this competition and details on how to enter click here.

Cool Pinterest Hack

Staying on the topic of Pinterest this application looks pretty cool, it was submitted to appear in my weekly roundup by one of the Spiderworking.com Facebook community.  It allows you to create boards from one single photo.  Great examples but it’s definitely weighted too much in favour of dogs at the moment. I’m off to create a cat one!

25 Tips For LinkedIn

I often feel LinkedIn gets overlooked by many.  It doesn’t have the pizazz of Facebook, the cool of Twitter or the incentives of Google+.  It is however a hugely powerful tool, I know I get probably more concrete leads from it than any other social network.  It’s also a fantastic research tool that can help you reach exactly who you need to in an organisation.  If you’re still struggling on getting started this article is full of tips to help you build a valuable following.

And from Spiderworking.com this week

Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest

OK so I might not be using the network that much yet but I do seem a little obsessed don’t I?  This week’s Monday cool tool was a neat little app that allows you to change data into pinnable images. Pinstamatic uses notes, quotes, location info, screen grabs to create the pins. More here.

4 Examples of brands engaging influencers using user generated content

Getting influencers on board with your brand is key to any social media strategy, some will come by themselves if you create the right content to attract and engage them, others you may need to be more clever to attract.  These four case studies show brands that are reaching out further to find people who will talk about them online.

Blog Awards Ireland Meets TweakYourBiz TV

I’m lucky enough to be organising the Blog Awards Ireland this year with Beatrice Whelan from Sage Ireland and Lorna Sixsmith from Write On Track.  Lorna and myself went to Dublin at the weekend to meet Greg Fry from TweakYourBiz TV.  Here’s what happened.

Don’t forget to share any great social media links you find during the week either as a comment on this blog post or on the Spiderworking.com Facebook page.

 

If you’ve been using social media for business for some time you will start to recognise specific people who contribute to your posts, discussions & tweets the most. They start to become the core of your community and will recommend you, your pages and your services to others they know.  These are your ‘Brand Advocates’.  This is a hugely powerful group of people and gathering a strong group is essential for increasing the reach of your message.  How can you nurture these people? How can you encourage them to share more?  Here are four recent examples of businesses using user generated curation or content to engage with and create new advocates.

@Ireland Twitter Account

WorldIrish.com launched a very clever initiative giving people the opportunity to curate the @Ireland Twitter account for a week. It’s totally up to the curator to decide what to post.  As I’m typing this the current curator is Jonathan Lynn whose day job involves curating and promoting street art.  As you can imagine there has been much talk about street art on the page this week.

The aim of the project according to the World Irish Website is:

…@Ireland is based around the idea that a single voice cannot represent a country. By sharing peoples’ experiences and lives with the world, project curators WorldIrish believe @Ireland can help to further connect Ireland to the world and the world to Ireland.

You can view the tweets from previous curator on the WorldIrish website.  I have my hand hovering over the send button on an email applying to be a curator… I’ll keep you informed if I do decide to go for it.

ProBlogger

Another country, this time using user generated content to promote itself is Australia but this time it’s being pushed out by ProBlogger.  I love the story behind this one.  Darren Rowse, from ProBlogger decided that there were very few products he’d be happy to promote via his extensive social media channels and blog. One of those oh his list was his home, Austrailia.  With this promotion he’s managing to fulfil that wish.  I first saw it pop up on Google+.

The competition will bring 10 bloggers on an all expenses paid trip to The Great Barrier reef.  In return the winners will be expected to blog about their experiences.  Sadly the deadline for entries on this one has passed.  Those that did enter had to submit their ideas on how they would approach the task as well as submitting links to their own blogs and social media sites.  It’s clear they won’t just be selecting the winners on audience size but also on their ideas and how the experience will relate specifically to their readers.

The rules of entry will ensure that they get the best 10 bloggers with the biggest influence to participate in the project. By throwing the net wide and by running it as a competition rather than just researching influential bloggers in the field ProBlogger has already created a buzz around the project, many readers, myself included will be following the stories of the winners avidly.

Irish Rail Blogger

It’s fantastic to see Ireland in the European Soccer finals this year.  I doubt many of the people planning to attend have looked further than an aeroplane for getting there, however you can get there by train and Irish rail have come up with an excellent way to promote this service by engaging bloggers and potential bloggers.

The winner will travel over-ground via InterRail , get accommodation on a fan campsite in Ponza, have tickets to the three group games and receive €1,000 spending money.  A great budget holiday that is bound to attract the student and the all important Millenial generation.  Winners will be expected to produce daily blog posts in return.

To be in with a chance of winning applicants are asked to submit a sample blog post covering a journey they’ve taken or a sporting event they’ve attended.

The good news is that there is still time to enter this one, the deadline is Friday 27th April at 5pm. Details here.

Getting to the Euro’s is going to be a big stretch for a lot of people this year and the news has been full of the huge prices of flights and hotel accommodation. This competition should draw attention to the budget options that I’m sure will attract many of the people who otherwise could not have attended.

A-Wear

Engaging your audience this way and encouraging brand advocates is not a new thing.  Clothing chain store A-Wear have always been very smart at bringing their audience on board and as I started to read about the ProBlogger and Irish Rail blogging competitions I was reminded of a promotion from A-Wear and the Electric Picnic a couple of years ago.  They recruited bloggers via their Facebook page, narrowed it down to a few finalists, styled them in A-Wear clothes and asked their community to vote on a winner.

This competition was hugely engaging to watch on social media, appealed exactly to their target market and although it only produced one blog entry as far as I can work out, it definitely created a buzz around the brand as well as sending customers into the store to pick up their gear for the festival.

Have you seen any clever ways that brands have engaged their communities?

 

One of the reasons I don’t use Pinterest much is because I’m not working in a hugely visual industry.  After a while people will tire of looking at infographics and book covers and although it’s a great bookmarking tool I worry about the copyright of the images I pin.  Pinterest is pretty and I don’t want to spoil this with lots of dodgy social media stock photos.

Pinstamatic is a cool tool that allows you to turn all sorts of data into visual Pinterest posts.  You can screen grab a website, turn a quote into an image, make notes, share a Spotify song, link to a location.. and more. (see examples below).

On some levels this really works, it’s allowing us to create visual content from our data, making them pinable. However some of the tools make quite ugly visuals. For example the ‘notes’ feature isn’t very pretty, not only will this wreck the beauty of Pinterest but if it’s not visually interesting you won’t get re-pins or comments. People notice quirky and interesting images, the notes just look plain.

I do like the way quotes look, you can change their style and appearance, I also like the way it pins a Twitter account.  It’s going to be a valuable tool and is in it’s infancy, I’m sure the posts will become more aesthetically pleasing in the future and it is going to be very useful for those of us not working in a hugely visual space but who love Pinterest.

Would you use a tool like Pinstamatic or are you a Pinterest purist?  I’d love to discuss it in the comments below.

This week Google+ announced then implemented a redesign and Facebook bought Instagram for 1 billion dollars.  I’ve also found some great stuff on Facebook from the Oatmeal, how Google+ can be used in education and why Americans hate social media promotions.

Faceboook buys Instagram

Earlier in the week it was announced that Facebook had bought Instagram, the cool mobile photo sharing social network,  for a huge sum of money.  The announcement was met with a mass exodus of the ‘cool set’ from the network and a mass influx of Facebook users that were hearing about it for the first time. I have to admit that part of me was a bit sad to see one of my favourite niche networks being swallowed up and I’m still wondering what this will mean… will Instagram change? How will it fit into Facebook? According to this article from Laughing Squid Facebook is planning to retain it in it’s existing form.  I hope that’s true.

Google+ redesign

On Wednesday Google+ announced that they were about to launch their redesign… and they didn’t hang around.  By the time I logged in on Thursday morning everything had changed.  Part of me expected the backlash that you experience every time Facebook upgrades.  To a certain extent this did happen, people weren’t happy with the amount of white… unused space on the site (although this seems to have been resolved) and  a number of satirical posts popped up about what could be done with the space.   In general it seems to have gone down quite well, it is pretty intuitive and it took me less than 5 minutes to find my way around. At the moment it seems like G+ fans are more forgiving than Facebook users.  For more on the redesign and the #usesforwhitespace meme that has sprung up with it read this article on Yahoo news.

Americans Hate Social Media Promotions

I’ve heard it declared over and over again ‘email is dead’.  The truth is it’s not as the study highlighted on Convince & Convert’s blog shows. Most Americans still prefer to get their marketing messages via email.  On Facebook, Twitter and other social networks we need to act more like human beings and be careful not to force our offers and deals down our communities throats.  Although email can be highly effective I’ve seen other studies claiming that the main reason people ‘Like’ a page on Facebook is for special offers so I’d be cautious about abandoning posting your offers completely.

Three clever ways to market using Pinterest

The buzz around Pinterest hasn’t calmed down, it seems to be getting bigger by the minute and there is some conjecture that suggests that the reason that Facebook bought Instagram was to compete with it.  Lots of businesses are still struggling to find their feet. These three clever examples on Social Times could give you some inspiration.

Smart on Twitter

This is one marketing campaign that ignores almost every single rule in the book as far as Twitter goes. But it’s brilliant!  The campaign from Smart Argentina is an interactive work of art, it’s so clever it makes me laugh. I note they have just returned to regular tweeting so if you can’t see something amazing when you click this link I’ve included a video of the effect below.

 

How teachers and students can use Google+

Google+ is not just another Facebook, it opens up lots of new opportunities for communication and the benefits of this are wide ranging. The way circles work mean that there is room for collaboration between business partners and employees and the opportunity to use it in education.  This post shows some clever ways that it can be utilised both by teachers and students.

How to get Facebook Likes (or not)

This post from the Oatmeal made me laugh so much today I had to bump a news story to include it.  A wonderful satire on the worst practices for getting someone to Like your facebook page. If you are doing any of these consider yourself told!

 

And from Spiderworking.com this week

Google Maps for Facebook

After seeing numerous problems with Facebook recognising addresses correctly I started looking for  solution. Adding a Google Map Tab to your page solves the problem of bad mapping, it also allows you to add additional contact information or directions. I reviewed the app this week.

All Social Networks are the same

I’ve been working away on a few new networks recently. I’m still plugging away at Google+, I’ve an interest in pinterest and more than ever I’m messing around with Instagram.  I’ve noticed that although they are all very different there are some rules of thumb that can help you succeed no matte what network you are using.  Here’s some of them on my blog.

Have I missed anything?  If you’ve read a great article this week do leave your links below and I’ll include the best in next weeks roundup.  Have a great weekend.

 

One of the first videocasts I made was called ‘treat every social network differently’.  Now I find myself writing a post entitled ‘All Social Networks The Same’.  Have I had a change of heart?  No, the original post was about automation and the danger of linking your tweets to your Facebook and Linkedin account.  I still strongly believe you need to understand each network and post accordingly but as I wade through the mass of new networks trying to see how they work I’ve discovered that there are some key ways that they are all the same, some rules of thumb that can help you be successful with any social media tool.  Once you have got to grips with these it’s just a case of learning the mechanics of the networks you choose to use.  Here’s the tips that I believe will keep you on track:

Be yourself

When we go to school we are encouraged to write in a certain style, we much conform to this to pass exams but if we treat our social networks the same way our posts look stale.  It’s hard to break the habit but always try to write the way you speak. Let your personality break through in all your posts.  Look at what you are writing and then look at it again, does it look to straight, does it look like a person wrote it or does it look like a line from an essay at school?

It’s worth putting a bit of time in to defining your brand persona, think about your tone of voice, how you want to be perceived and tailor your posts to fit that.  Your tone of voice will be slightly different depending on the network, on Facebook and Twitter you might want to be more ‘fluffy’ on Linkedin you need to be more restrained, however your persona should be consistent on all networks.  For examples of brand persona here’s a great article from How To Branding.

Ask questions

Social media is ‘social’ it’s part of the name.  We often hear people being criticised for broadcasting their message and I think I’ve often assumed this means them broadcasting sales posts.  However broadcasting could just mean throwing up a link without asking for conversation.  If you put a link up on Facebook, Google+ or anywhere, don’t explain why and don’t encourage others to contribute you are neglecting the ‘social’.  Always try and think about why you are sharing content and ask for opinions or a simple ‘do you agree?’ As we’ve seen with Facebook recently, interactions are becoming the most important part of what we do there.  Getting conversation helps us know that someone is listening, it can inform us further, it can help us get to know our communities and identify brand advocates, it will encourage people to talk about you. It’s too important a priority to ignore

Be generous – curate

If you are generous and share information from others or links to websites other than your own, people will begin to see you as a resource for great content. Curating good content can take a while but once you have a system in place it becomes less of a chore and more of a resource for yourself.  By curating you are also reading and finding the best content online, you are educating yourself whilst discovering.  It also helps you build relationships.  If you share content from another Facebook page, Google+ account, Tweeter you are endorsing them, you are making them aware of your presence and you are taking the first step towards getting to know them better.

Be conversational

A lot of social networks can seem stale, you might set up your profile and share some content but find that no one is responding to you.  In order to encourage more people to interact with you, to like your page, to circle you, to follow your Pinterest board you need to go out there and like, share and most importantly comment on posts from other users.  Whether it’s an opinion on a shared article or a bit of fluffy conversation this is relationship building in action.  Remember you are social networking, you are meeting people, finding out about them, finding common interests.  It’s exactly the same as networking in real life but social media allows you to widen your base to include the whole world rather than just who is available in your local area.

Be authentic

Lying in social media or exaggerating a claim can land you in hot water.  By putting something dishonest out on the internet you amplify the danger of being caught out. If you are caught you run the risk of being pulled apart by social users who feel cheated.  You should always strive to be authentic, by this I don’t mean you should share everything about your life but what you do share should be real.  For example if you put your name on an account it should be you updating it.  If it isn’t you should make it clear that someone else does this for you.

And there’s more!  I know I haven’t covered all bases here.  Is there a hard and fast rule for social networking that you use? And of course with all hard and fast rules there are exceptions.  Do you know of any?  Leave your ideas below.

**Update – for those of you who can’t get this to work I’ve found a fix for Facebook maps and another solution – Click here to read more**

Over the last few weeks I’ve had a number of people contact me with problems about the Places app on Facebook.  When you input your exact address Facebook is supposed to add you to the map.  The problem is it’s not very accurate.  One person with a premises in Limerick ended up in Belgium on the Facebook map!  One solution to this problem is to add a Google Map Tab to your Facebook page.  This allows you to locate your business and add some information underneath.  You could use this for directions to your venue or to display opening times.  Although it’s not adjusted to Timeline width yet I think this offers a pretty good solution to the problem.

To install the app click here.

You will need to give the app basic permissions for your Facebook profile page. Once you have done this you can add it to your page.

Once added click on your new tab, then click edit at the top of the page to add your address and change the info displayed underneath.

I added Google Map Tab to my test page, this is what it looks like.

Have you had problem with Facebook places showing you in a different location to where you are?  How have you resolved this? I’d love to hear any solutions you’ve found as I know it’s an issue that will persist.