Here are a few tips on how to use social media for personal or business use and I put a light touch on SEO, but first…
I’ve been messing around with social media since around January/February 2009, around the time a US Airways Airbus A320 , had lost power in the engines and made an emergency water landing in the Hudson River.
A chap named Janis Krums was in the same location going on a ferry towards New Jersey When as the plane was landing he took aphoto with his Smart Phone of the partially submerged plane in the Hudson River. He transfered the imiges to his Twitter account, he then completely forgot this when he leant assitance and the rescue of the A320 airliners passengers.
There was so many image views of the crash that the story crashed the TwitPic servers That’s the app that allows Twitter account holders to send pics and updates using the limit of 140 characters with their Twitter updates or ‘tweets,’ as they are known.
This plane crash incident also brought forth some very thought-provoking “sparks” into this new media platform as opposed to the old new media communication.
That is when I first opened an account with Twitter. I have a non-business username, and my busines name was @ospreypools. (Which has since changed It wasn’t till later that year when (and not out of choice) I began building my business website, which then lead into content writing and onto the “ever changing SEO.” Since 2008, my pool business wasn’t doing so well as expected despite the govenrment declaring the UK was on the road to recovery the swimming pool business was up and down with sporadic leads coming in, and then, until last year 2014, when after the worst winter storms on record, took their toll on the business, the work was scarcer than last year, I decided it was time to place the pool business on the back burner for a while, and concentrate on something I really do enjoy doing which is social media, the website designing and the “Mystic SEO”.
As with anything to do with the web I realised that this social media stuff, the website designing, and the SEO is all one heck of a steep learning curve, and these are all related to each part one way or the other, and there’s no way in the world other people or even I can understand all of it!
However through the past 7 years I’ve picked up a few tips and realised several others and I’d like to impart some of this gained knowledge to those of you who are perhaps new to social media.
A quick glance over the subject “SEO”(Search Engine Optimisation)
This is mainly for website owners that are trying to get to the top pages of Google or Bing’s search results page.
This SEO stuff is another bemusing thing that businesses try to get their heads around for their websites, but as soon as you think you’ve cracked it, and your on the first page; bosh! It has been moved back down again and only Google and Bing know the secret to the mystical SEO, and Google has recently released a new algorithm called “Pigeon” so the goal posts move again (All for the good of seach results), and needless to say, much depends on content so the clue is there!
So that is the short brush over about SEO.
On with the social media thingy!
First off, keep it simple, don’t rush it, and remember this ‘social media’ stuff is new. Twitter for example has only been going since March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and Google+ since June 2011, so it’s not that long ago!
So here are some of the Do’s and Don’ts in Social media (It is not rocket science and you don’t need to buy books as most of the information is all there on the Internet when you research it on Bing or Google)
Shall we start with some of the “Do’s!”
- Do begin with joining some social media websites, (Obviously). It cost nothing but your time. My social media websites are Twitter • Facebook • Pinterest • LinkedIn • Digg • Google+ • Stumbleupon and a few others!
- Do choose the social media sites you are most comfortable using. Some love FB (Facebook) while others prefer Twitter and so on!
- Do write your profile on each social media website (But also see the Don’ts below).
- Do a quick read up on each social media site. Revise a few times to get the gist of the website as you’ll never take all the information in one go, unless you are a smart Alec like me!
- Do get yourself a WordPress blog (wordpress.org not wordpress.com) Integrate the WordPress blog into your website, for example my blog is: www.ospreypools.co.uk/blog and http//:spinningwebdesigns.com/blog Notice the “/blog” at the end of the website address? Either the host of your website can do this automatically or you or your webmaster will have to do it for you as it can get complicated to install.
- If you use the WordPress.com blog you cannot integrate this into your own website. It is separate to your website and your site will come after e.g. It will look something like this: http//:www.wordpress.com/your-website.
- Do write articles, but not about selling something, it’s a turn off write about the subject/subjects you’re into and occasionally off topic, like I have with this article, which has nothing at all to do with my profession.
- Do leave your website link at the bottom and link to one or two other websites, and let them know you have linked to their website. (They may ask you to stop the link)
And now the “Dont’s!” about social media.
- Don’t divulge to much personal information about yourself or anyone when filling out your public profile. You do not know who is reading it. So keep it basic; give a bit of bio about yourself, i.e. I keep chickens and live in London…
- Don’t tell anyone, and do not type your passwords or other personal information to any social media site or website if you don’t know them. There are plenty of rogue websites out there only to eager to relieve you of your personal details and more. So just be on your guard.
- As above! Don’t click on links in theses social media websites if you’re not sure of them. It is far better to use Google, Bing, Yahoo, or other reputable search engines to find what you want to search for. Some links are very bad and can cause all sorts of problems including again stealing your passwords.
- Don’t if at all possible overkill with the sell! sell! push push pushing of your wares goods products and sevices… It is and can be a turnoff. It’s not easy to do this because you want to announce to the world what you do or have to sell, but if all you do is “Tweet” about your products or services you will not have many people following or looking in on your website.
- By all means say something or tweet about what you do, what you are doing and what you’ve done, along with some images. but if you offer to supply a service or goods it’s a bit of a balancing act where as I mentioned this can be a turnoff to other users. If you’ve nothing interesting to say or offer except to tweet, “buy my products now! (Unless you know there is a strong demand for your products). And buy my services today. the tweet message will be a waste of time.
- It is better to post or tweet something along the lines of (Say like myself a swimming pool installer)
Example” A Twitter Tweet (or it can be Facebook post)
Remember 140 characters only and include ones from the links and images.
Not quite selling the service and the new liner product (plug (; ) However it is more likely to draw attention to your business than just posting a sales pitch “Get your bananas here” 2/6d a llb (Old pounds shillings and pence.)
- This is where writing articles about your subjects what you’ve done etc. should attract traffic to you. However it is not a problem when you occasionally push your products onto the stage but don’t overcook it.
- Don’t spam others (This is more or less the same as above) You can get your account suspended or even a ban. So don’t spam.
You’ll never get through all popular social media sites; it’s just too much and too many to do, so just choose a favourite 1 or 2 (or more if you can manage it). Use the other social media websites that you don’t use Pinterest too often to submit your articles. Talking of managing, use a social media manager like Tweet-Deck (Which is free to use) Hootsuite (Not sure if this is free) or something similar. (I’ve been brought up on TweetDeck even though it plays up now and then (I’m loathed to change)
Social media sites that I mostly use are LinkedIn Twitter, FB, and squeezing in Google+
Social media sites I should use more often is Google+ Pinterest MySpace Stumble-upon Digg and a few others…
It takes time to learn so don’t rush it.
I hope this helps I’ve never looked at books but that’s not to say there aren’t some good ones out there, I just Googled the info (occasionally).
By the way when using social media; as well as connecting with people in the UK, you can communicate with people all over the world.
John Cox TnISPE(Cert)
In the 70’s I came to live in Swansea from West London (Notting Hill), I then worked in Cardiff and the Bristol areas and now I live in Monmouthshire. Nowadays I still occasionally dabble with swimming pools but my heart is in social media | website designing and SEO.