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5 Ways to Avoid Embarrassing Moments on Social Media (via Jeff Bullas)

This past weekend I had some friends over. We watched some TV, drank some wine, and then something strange happened.5 Ways to Avoid Embarrassing Moments on Social Media

The conversation tapered off… I looked around, and everyone had pulled out their smart device of choice and was checking Facebook. The conversation started again when everyone realized that one mutual friend, in particular, had posted some nonsense that was part insight, part proverb, but mostly annoying.

We all agreed that this friend needed to stop posting inanities or he would be hidden, or worse, defriended. This of course led to a discussion of a new form of etiquette, “social media etiquette,” and some of the stuff was so good, I had to get out a pen and paper and start on this post. Here are 5 ways to avoid social awkwardness and having those embarrassing moments on social media.

1. The Comment vs. the Like

One of my friends gave this amusing anecdote. His friend posted “What’s Worse than burnt toast?”

to which my friend replied:

“No toast at all?”

Innocent enough, but what he failed to predict was that, for the rest of the day, his phone was going to be pinging with push notifications about burnt toast, and what is really worse than burnt toast (no butter was a suggestion).

Use the “Like” button

If you want to contribute to a conversation, but don’t want to be inundated with everyone’s comments pushing to your smartphone, consider the simple “like.” Perfect for announcements of an engagement or a photo of someone’s newborn baby.

Socially Awkward:

You like that someone’s grandmother has died. Also, liking your own status.

2. Unfriend or Filter?

The person who was posting inanities that seem to only be interesting in a group setting with plenty of wine is at risk of being filtered, but no one was willing to unfriend…

Socially Awkward:

Unfriending as a form of hiding from your newsfeed. Unfriending is really insulting. It’s not as simple as “I don’t care about what they have to say, I’ll just unfriend them.” If you want to be able to look that person in the eye at work, or in your social life, you are much better off just filtering them out of your home timeline, put them on a limited view, a restricted list. Unfriending should be saved as a last resort.

3. The Wink ; )

I had a friend on Facebook for whom we had to stage a “Facebook Intervention” because she could not get the hang of the smile vs the wink. She would post “just had a quiet dinner at home with my boyfriend. ;) ” or “On my way to work ;) ”

Socially Awkward:

Inappropriate winking. The wink is reserved for a “tongue in cheek” implication. If you just want to add some cheer to your posts or your tweets, use a smile :) .

4. Hashtags on Facebook

Hashtags don’t link on Facebook. They work on Twitter and Instagram, but not on Facebook.

Socially Awkward: 

Hashtagging on Facebook. If you post to your Facebook page with a hashtag, know that it’s just going to look like a tic-tac-toe symbol to your friends and fans, and those unfamiliar with Twitter may not even understand what it is.

5. Social Philosopher

Some people us social media as their way to abstractly comment on their lives and the world. I’m sure everyone reading this article has at least one friend or is following someone who fits in this category. This is an actual post by someone on Facebook:

Socially Awkward:

“Too much information” posts. Being dark and deep is fine, but broadcasting it stream of conscious style to your fans or followers? That’s a little awkward. What are your friends supposed to say to that? Are you even expecting a response? Would “liking” it be appropriate? What about a retweet? Social media has taken down barriers for sure, but think long and hard about how much you want to voluntarily share with people!

Oct 1
INFOGRAPHIC: Social Media’s Biggest Screw-Ups (via Mashable)

INFOGRAPHIC: Social Media’s Biggest Screw-Ups (via Mashable)

3 Reasons why marketers should be excited by Twitter’s new brand tools (via Social Fresh)

In case you missed it, Twitter recently announced a number of long-awaited improvements to its advertising platform for marketers using the site’s promoted services, including the ability to choose which tweet you promote and reporting of follower growth.

Manually selecting a Promoted Tweet is just what it says, now you can pick exactly which Tweets you want to go out, allowing for a much deeper integration of paid media in any brand’s Twitter strategy.

The follower growth chart (available for Promoted Accounts) gives a snapshot of your Twitter audience growth over time and includes paid and unpaid followers.

So what’s the big deal?

There are three reasons why this is important for the Twittersphere as a whole.

1. Brands asked for more and Twitter listened

When Twitter’s ad platform was first announced many marketers cried foul claiming that Twitter didn’t do enough to provide analytics for its business users, and there was a lack of relevance to promoted tweets.

Users now can now check existing engagement and demographic stats against their follower growth. The update doesn’t turn the Twitter backend into anything like SimplyMeasured, Radian6 or the like, but it’s not that bad. The important thing is people asked, and Twitter eventually delivered. Now if only they could figure out that developer thing…

2. Keeping up with the Joneses

Facebook has been pushing their fairly robust system of advertising dashboards and products for quite a bit longer than Twitter has.

As we see Twitter move into the mainstream as a widely adopted channel for communication, they needed to figure out some way to continue to bring comparable value to their advertisers like the big blue elephant in the room (which many would argue has its own set of issues).

3. The Hashtag Explosion

If you haven’t noticed, hashtags are pretty popular on Twitter. From bringing people together in Twitter Chats to being used as slang or inside jokes, the hashtag is used by nearly every demographic group on the site.

As we have seen with NASCAR Pages and the Olympics in London this year, Twitter is promoting the use of hashtags to connect individuals with one another be it on TV, at sporting events, or just locally to brand positive momentum in their own town. (See #ilovejax)

For a better example, look no further than the X-Factor!

According to Twitter’s Blog:

The show’s new lineup of judges, including Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid, have embarked on a race to see who is America’s favorite “The X Factor” judge based upon who can get their hashtag trending first.

Britney Spears – @BritneySpears – #ItsBritney
Demi Lovato – @ddlovato – #QueenD
Simon Cowell – @SimonCowell – #MrNiceGuy
L.A. Reid – @LA_Reid – #ImEpic

Twitter Self Serve Ads Keep Growing

With the rollout of Twitter’s self-serve ad platform in March, brands large and small have been using the promoted tweets and promoted accounts products to help grow engagement, drive traffic to promoted URLs, and mainly, get more followers on Twitter.

Have you tried out Twitter advertising yet? We would love to hear some success stories in the comments, and you can always check out our Crowdsourced Twitter Marketing eBook for more tips and tricks for marketing on Twitter.

Twitter CEO: Apple is Our Mentor, Facebook Our Opponent (via Mashable)

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, fresh from a day of smartphone Twitter app releases, said Tuesday night that his company saw Apple as a “mentor” to Twitter.

“Apple is in many ways a mentor company for us,” Costolo told PBS interviewer Charlie Rose. He said the companies had “a great relationship.” Facebook, by contrast, got this chilly description: “We’re very different companies.”

Facebook was pursuing symmetric networks, Costolo said, but Twitter saw the world as asymmetric. They were fundamentally opposed, and competed for ad dollars.

He also spoke of Twitter needing to have control over its own user experience. This was on the day that Twitter unified its experience across iPhone, iPad and the website (and produced an Android app that seemed to us more of an afterthought).

“We’ll see how it evolves,” was Costolo’s judgment of Android. (He also said Twitter saw itself primarily as a mobile company — taken together, an implicit endorsement of the iOS platform.)

This year has seen Twitter abruptly shut off API access to an increasing number of companies. It has also seen Twitter deeply integrate into Apple’s Mountain Lion and iOS 6 systems — ahead of Facebook integration.

The interview gave us a lot of context on how Twitter sees itself, and what developers who depend on the company can expect. Costolo clearly stated he wanted a large ecosystem (just as Apple has), but hinted at one that was very strictly and centrally controlled (much like Apple’s).

What does this mean for the future of Twitter? Will Apple become ever more integrated, and vice-versa? Give us your predictions in the comments.

Everything You Need to Know About the New Twitter (via Mashable)


Twitter rolled out on Tuesday a series of design updates aimed to add more personality to member pages. Photos have been brought to the forefront and room has been made for Facebook Timeline-like cover images.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo first unveiled the updates during morning news program The Today Show — an unlikely stage for a tech company that is continually introducing new features and designs. Since the announcement was coupled with a short segment about Twitter’s growth and success, it was likely part of an effort to introduce the platform to a greater audience not yet using the site.

SEE ALSO: How to Change Your Twitter Header Image

“Today’s changes are all about bringing that personality forward. More media forward, more photos forward,” Costolo said on the show. “So it’s much easier to see these media experiences and flip through them.”

The company also announced new apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices.

Here’s a rundown of what you need to know about the news:

Behind the Header Photo

Member profile photos have been moved from the top left to a spot in the center of the page. Users can upload a long horizontal “header” image that resembles the cover photo concept currently used on Facebook and Google+. Existing profile pictures are embedded in the center of the header.

Twitter-Design-Profile-Lance

“The page itself has been reoriented to play up other visuals as well: Your avatar is no longer tucked in the corner, but will display front and center,” Twitter said in a statement. “The photo stream, too, has been moved up, and will now be accessible on the apps.”

How to Add a Header

First, visit your profile — the page that’s labeled “Me,” not your homepage — either on Twitter.com or via your mobile app. To add a header photo, visit Twitter.com/Settings/Design and select a photo from your existing library or port in a new one. To upload a header photo from a mobile app, visit to the “Me” tab, click the settings button (gear), tap “Edit profile” and then “Header.”

Note: After selecting a picture, you’ll need to scale it to size. The original image size can’t surpass 1252×626 pixels (with a max file size of five megabytes) and anything less than 640 pixels won’t look great.

App Upgrades

The iPhone app looks similar to what we’ve seen in the past, particularly in regards to the news feed and navigation. The “Me” section has been optimized for a header photo, however.

Meanwhile, the iPad app received a whole new user interface. In addition to highlighting a header photo and giving uploaded photos a bigger display area, you no longer have to swipe to reveal the sidebar. It also gives greater prominence to media — images now appear full-screen and links show up within the tweets when expanded. The company called the iPad app more than just an upgrade.

“We’ve rebuilt the app from the ground up to make it fast, beautiful and easy to use,” Twitter said in a statement.

Twitter also noted that the news represents “our mobile-first strategy.”

User Reaction

Mashable conducted a poll after the news was announced to gauge user feedback, and 47% said they loved the emphasis on photos and the new header. About 27% said cover pictures are “so 2011,” while 25% said they were indifferent.

Header Inspiration

While you think about how you want your new header to look, check out our gallery of early adopters.

What Brands Need Know About the ‘Social Media Honeycomb’ (via Business Insider)

Big brands like McDonald’s have learned the hard way that social media has incredible power to shape a company’s reputation.

A team of researchers at Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University recently published a paper on social media strategy for companies, and put together this handy chart: 

Social media honeycomb

Jan Kietzmann

Some of their key findings:

  • Identity: People share personal information freely on some social media, but care how it’s used by other parties. Different networks are distinct in how they approach these preferences, which companies need to keep in mind. 
  • Conversations: The pace of a conversation is much faster on Twitter than that on a series blog posts, which means that the tone can quickly change. Firms need to be conscious about when and how they engage, and when a response is expected or appropriate.
  • Reputation: Social media platforms allow users to identify each others’ standing and reputation, by for example, followers on Twitter or YouTube views. Companies may want metrics that measure the quality in addition to the quantity of engagement.

At the end of the day, companies cannot completely control the conversation. We’ve entered an era where consumers have more control than ever before — which means that companies need to be more transparent than ever.

Sep 9

Flying Social: How Virgin America’s First-Class Marketing Fuels Brand Awareness (via Mashable)

For those of you who have flown Virgin America, you know that its interpretation of “coach” is very “uncoach.” The cabin is illuminated with purple lights, the safety video is actually entertaining (and informative), beverage and food service is non-invasive and you can chat with fellow fliers via your personal touchscreen TV. It’s a snazzy airline, but beyond that, it has fully embraced technology and social media, going so far as to name one of its planes a hashtag, the#nerdbird.

Mashable spoke with Abby Lundardini, Virgin America’s director of communications, and Jill Fletcher, the airline’s social media manager, about why the brand is so social, how social has contributed to the company’s success and what innovative social media campaigns made the biggest impression.

Read More


INFOGRAPHIC:  How Are People Using Twitter? (via Mashable)

INFOGRAPHIC:  How Are People Using Twitter? (via Mashable)

courtenaybird:

Twitter by the numbers 
Wow — 81% of users follow less than 100 people? 

Twitter by the numbers

courtenaybird:

Twitter by the numbers 

Wow — 81% of users follow less than 100 people? 

Twitter by the numbers

New Twitter Analytics Tool Helps You Decide Whom To Follow (via Mashable)

Twtrland is a new service that converts Twitter streams into detailed profiles to try and make it easier to decide whom to follow.

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(Source: Mashable)