Author: local-admin

Today: After a Decade of Twitter

Ten years ago, Twitter was developed for real-time conversations/messaging to be used internally by employees at a podcasting company called Odeo. Today this micro-blogging social network has an average of 320 million Monthly Active Users and continues to change the way we communicate.

Recently, Twitter has made several attempts to bring in new users and retain existing ones by introducing features such as “Moments,” promoted tweets, embedded video feeds, and animated gifs. The rumor is that this is Twitter’s reaction to refresh the social network after reporting a decline in Monthly Active Users last quarter. My feeling is that Twitter’s Monthly Active Users will always “eb and flow” because people use Twitter in the moment, for specific moments. (Example: Attending a conference, Watching a popular TV series or the SuperBowl, Following a political debate, or they are happy/upset about a company’s service/product.)

Common Twitter Problems

Twitter has a higher learning curve when compared to other social networks. Most people I consult with have tried Twitter, but give up thinking it is going to be just like Facebook, only 140 characters or less. They just couldn’t catch on saying things like, “Who am I supposed to follow? How can I keep up with the fast-paced timeline? When I tweet, is anyone listening? What is a hashtag?” Since this reaction was so common among our clients, we began hosting FREE Twitter Classes at SocialCompass to answer a lot of these questions for individuals and business owners because we feel so strongly that Twitter, when used properly, is a valuable tool for ANYONE.

Read on for some quick tips (below) on how to better utilize Twitter today.

Personal Use of Twitter

My own love for Twitter borders on unhealthy which is probably no surprise given my career as a Digital Marketing Consultant. It’s the first thing I look at in the morning and the last before I go to bed. Time is valuable and you really can’t get the news faster or as direct on any other social media platform. Fast is actually an understatement! In some of my presentations I mention an incident in 2011 when a 5.9 earthquake hit near Richmond, Virginia. It was reported that New York residents read about the quake on Twitter 30 seconds BEFORE they felt the quake themselves. Now that’s fast!

Personally, I spend 75% of my time in the app getting news on everything from politics to technology AND 25% of my time posting a mix of personal and professional content by engaging at a conference, during my favorite TV show/sporting event or joining a live Twitter Chat about social media marketing. Twitter is also one of the few places where anyone can connect and get direct access to industry influencers, entrepreneurs, political figures, celebrities, journalists and most prominent figures in society.

TIP: Try Twitter’s new ‘Moments’ feature as an even quicker way to find the top news right now, this moment.

Twitter for Business

For all you business owners and managers out there, it is important to know that as a business on Twitter you are setting certain expectations and have to be prepared to respond in real-time or close to it. Any business that is on Twitter has to be prepared for customers messaging questions (and even complaints) to them with the expectation of a response at least within the same day. That being said, when actively managed, Twitter becomes a great customer service portal for your business and provides an opportunity to provide assistance to anyone on Twitter that messages you directly or simply mentioned specific keywords relevant to your business that you have prepared your team to monitor. Mastering Twitter Advanced Search can also help a business seek out potential customers to provide assistance in an existing conversation or start a new conversation even if they don’t @Mention or message your business directly. All tweets are public, therefore searchable. (Example: If you own a pizzeria, you can use Twitter Advanced search to look for anyone near or in Brunswick, Georgia that tweets “Where’s the best pizza?” or a combination of two words “love” and “pizza” in order to reply to them with your offerings.)

Quick Twitter Tips
First, you just have to let go of the idea that you’ll be able to read every tweet (post) in your Twitter feed. Then utilize these 3 tips on how to maximize your use of Twitter.

• Activate Twitter’s Best Tweets timeline setting which is buried in your account settings to increase relevant tweets in your feed. You must go into Settings > Account > Timeline personalization, then flip the switch to “Show me the best tweets first”. The tweets are chosen based on their popularity and what you may have “liked” in the past. (Similar to what we are used to on Facebook)
• Another buried feature – Twitter Lists allow you to organize accounts you follow in themed categories, like travel, work, influencers in my industry or cooking. Use these lists at times when you are in the mood for a specific category of content rather than swiping through tweets from every account you follow.
• Master Twitter Advanced Search – Go to once logged in to Twitter. You will be able to search tweets and Twitter accounts that use specific hashtags, keywords and even narrow down your search by location. You can also search and follow big brands on Twitter to reach out with customer service/product issues. @DeltaAssist, @HiltonSuggests, and @AppleSupport are a few Twitter accounts created by big brands specifically for customer service issues. Tweet them and you may be surprised by the results!

Happy Tweeting and Happy 10th Birthday Twitter!

What are your thoughts on Twitter? How do you use it in your personal/business life? I encourage you to continue this Twitter discussion and share with us in a comment.

Facebook Fan Quality vs. Quantity

Remember when the “Facebook Fraud” YouTube video came out last February stating that Facebook is full of spam and Facebook advertising only invites fake fans (a.k.a spam)? The creator of that video got only one thing right: Yes, there are fake accounts/fans on Facebook from countries known for having click farms. If this is the first you’re hearing about click farms and false Facebook fans, I’m sorry. Click farms are a form of spam, and spam works its way into every facet of the world wide web, including email, blog comments, online promotions/contests, “bait and switch” websites, and even social networks. Some of you are even guilty of contributing to spam on Facebook without even knowing it. How can you know?

Ask Yourself These Questions
  • Are you buying fans just to have a higher fan base than your competition?
  • Are you forcing content and marketing messages onto your fan base with boosted posts in an effort to increase engagement?
  • Do you place excessive text on graphics on organic posts in order to be heard?
  • Do you complain that Facebook is decreasing your page’s organic reach?

If you answered “yes” to any or all of the above questions, you’re guilty of adding to spam and acquiring fans without a solid strategy, shouting at fans or boosting posts to increase engagement, complaining about the decrease of Facebook’s organic reach and repeating the same cycle over again.

How to Avoid Spamming
  1. Identify the purpose of your page and the specific audience you want to reach.
  2. Keep your posts short and encourage two-way conversations with your fans.
  3. Use real-life images, not stock images, whenever possible. (Be real.)
  4. Minimize the use of text on images (less than 20 percent of an image should contain text).
  5. Keep marketing/promotional content to a minimum (less than 20 percent of total content).
  6. Create a Facebook marketing strategy before investing in Facebook ads.

Before you even create a Facebook fan page (business page), there should be a strategy behind growing a fan base and posting content. Let’s use the previously mentioned example of the experiment conducted on the “Facebook Fraud” YouTube video that declares Facebook full of spam. This experiment did not have a strategy that defined the page’s purpose, acquired quality fans or created quality content. Providing a legitimate case study for businesses by creating an incomplete page (about kittens) with no valuable content and promoting it worldwide to Facebook users that simply “like” kittens is not a relevant use of Facebook advertising. This example, instead, was set up to fail from the start by offering an incomplete page about a  broad topic that was obviously not real, leaving only fake fans and click farms to “like” the page.

Quality Versus Quantity

Ask yourself this about your Facebook fan page: Does the content you post create value for a specific audience and warrant engagement from that audience? I ask in order to stress the importance of quality over quantity when it comes to creating content and building a fan base. When you start a page with a clear purpose and a strategy in place to reach a specific audience, you’ll have a better chance of minimizing spam and maintaining a relevant fan base through targeted Facebook advertising. Quality content attracts quality fans, and Facebook advertising, when used properly, is a great way to grow your fan base. [link to blog #2] Discover the many ad types available on Facebook Ads Manager and Power Editor.

Facebook Ad Targeting
This ad targets “Americans interested in traveling to Cuba who have used a travel app in the past month.” Very specific!

On the other hand, if you’ve created your Facebook page with no strategy and focused on the reverse approach, quantity over quality, in order to have more fans than your competition, then I have bad news: You have most likely already compromised the quality of your fan base and your content, resulting in a lower-than-average engagement rate that will lead you to pay to promote your content more often for greater reach.

What do I mean by “compromised the quality of your fan base”? Facebook uses the demographics of your existing fan base when promoting your posts. Therefore, if you’ve built a low-quality fan base, some Facebook ad types (such as boosted posts) will continue to promote to similar low-quality fans. Your spam problem will compound over time. Instead of building a Facebook page with a solid foundation, you’ve created a money pit. [Link to Blog #1]Learn how to check if your Facebook audience has been compromised and how to repair any damage that has been done.

Broadly Targeted Facebook Ad
This boosted post targets only “people in the United States,” which is too broad to reach a relevant audience.


Yes, the days of a free ride on Facebook are over. The company is a publicly traded corporation with shareholders, so it’s no surprise that they want to increase profits. But keep in mind, Facebook is also a powerful marketing database that, when used properly, can grow your business and build a loyal following.

Stop thinking of Facebook as a free marketing service and begin to think of it as a way to engage, provide value and help your customers and potential customers—no matter the size of your fan base. Reassess your business and overall marketing strategy to see how Facebook fits. If you don’t already have a marketing strategy, start there. Think of each social media network as a tool in your  marketing tool box. Like any tool, they perform best when used properly for their intended purpose.

What about click farms and spam? Well, spam is everywhere online and not going to disappear. If you’re online, you’re susceptible to it. (There’s spam on Twitter, too, and I’m sure there will probably be a YouTube video about that someday.) But don’t jump off any social media ship just because of spam. Instead, direct your focus and use each social network properly to ensure that your focus is quality over quantity.