For a few months now, I’ve been putting a lot more of my time into learning and understanding online marketing, specifically on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve come to learn a lot about both networking sites by reading online blogs about social media marketing as well as doing a bit of my own trial and error. Because I’ve done more of my trial and error on Twitter lately, I figured I’d write a quick post about how not to be annoying on Twitter.

annoying twitter 1) Don’t always try to sell yourself or your product – This is easily the thing I find most annoying about some of the people and businesses I follow on Twitter. They’re always trying to sell me on something. They never post any quality tips or hints about their product and each of their posts links to some type of online marketing strategy.

2) Don’t have all of your tweets auto-posted – A person or business who auto-posts all their tweets from their blog or Facebook couldn’t be more boring. Just tweet after tweet of links moving me to their blog or Facebook. If I wanted to get info from their blog or Facebook I’d follow their blog or Facebook.

3) Don’t tweet so much – I can’t stand logging into my Twitter account and having my timeline bombarded with 10 of the last 15 tweets from the same person. I understand that most Twitter users are following over 100 people, but I’m only following 15 and when you post 10 tweets in and hour, that’s basically all I see.

4) Tweet once in awhile – The opposite of what I just posted. I hate it when I follow someone who seems like they’re tweeting useful tweets and then all of the sudden it just stops. In the last week alone I’ve gone to follow certain people and then I realize they haven’t posted a tweet since 2010.

5) Don’t get too personal – I understand that many people create Twitter accounts for themselves and not businesses, but even then I don’t really need to know about your personal life. It’s great that you went out and drank 15 tequila shots on Saturday night, but that’s not something you should be tweeting to a mass audience. Especially if you run your own business.

So what annoys you on Twitter? Fill in a comment below and let me know!

As if Facebook, Twitter and social coupon buying sites weren’t enough, Google goes ahead and tries to release ANOTHER social networking site! As most tech people on the web know, Google has failed several times trying to release their own social networking site (see Orkut, Wave & Buzz), however this time they may have nailed it. Most of the stories I’ve read on Google’s new social network Google+ (or are we calling it Google Plus), have been positive. Most of the users who were lucky enough to be invited to early trials have also stated mostly positive reviews. About a week ago, I was invited by a friend of mine to try Google Plus for myself and see if I agreed with the early reviews of the new social network.

Now that I’ve had a week or so to use Google+, I figured I could give my early take on the functionality and user interface of the site. Before I go on, I want to mention that the site is still in BETA and most of the functions are very, very raw. I’ve seen a lot of comments on blogs stating the problems with the site already. People seem to forget that it’s barely a month old.

Google+ After a week, my first impression is very similar to most other tech blogs around the world – Google seems to have finally gotten it right. If you already have a Google account, your Google Plus account integrates very smoothly with that. You barely even know it’s there. Once you’re on the inside, you start to understand why Google has been tinkering with a different user interface for their search, it fits in perfectly with Google Plus. Profiles and the “stream” or news feed, function very similarly to Facebook. The major difference in usability comes when you add your friends. Google has called this Circles. You can now add different friends to different circles and when you make a post, you can decide which of those circles gets to see it. This is easily the most talked about and interesting function so far. The other new advancement as far as social networking goes is being able to video chat with your friends. While Facebook is just adding this feature now, Google+ already has it. It’s called Hangouts and you have the option of video chatting with more than one person at a time. Some of the other interesting features include; +1, simple photo upload and Sparks, which takes you to news around the world you may be interested in.

There are plenty of other functions and tidbits about Google+ I could talk about, but since the site is still in BETA, I’d rather post another more full review in the coming months. My initial take on Google Plus is a very positive one. It has a lonnnng way to go before we can ever even speak about it overtaking Facebook or Twitter, but it seems the big G is finally on the right track.

*Anyone who may be interested in giving Google Plus a try, please get in touch with me. I have 8 invites that I have no problem sharing with fellow web designers, social marketers!

One of the first things I tell my clients when we’re in initial discussions for the development of their websites is that they need to create a social presence as well. They need to create a Facebook business page as well as sign up for a Twitter account. When it comes to Facebook business pages, there are several things you can change to brand your page and make it stick out above the competition. The most noticeable thing you can do is create a banner-type profile image. When used to their full potential, they can make any large or small business stand out above the rest.

Chancemy facebook profile images are if you’ve visited a Facebook business page, you’ve seen the type of image I’m talking about. For example, if you visit my Windsor Web Design page, you can see the exact type of profile image I’m talking about. These images have a maximum size of 180px width by 540px height. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve viewed a page that only had an image the size of a business card, which had text that couldn’t be read once it was uploaded to Facebook. These types of large profile images allow you to add just about anything you want including; services offered, location, contact info and even examples of past work.

I use Adobe Photoshop when creating my Facebook business page profile images. I usually start with a blank canvas of 180 x 540 and depending on how much information my clients may want, I sometimes take the height down to 400 or 500px. If you decide to create your profile image yourself, be sure to brand it with the same type of colors and fonts as your web page or logo. Also be sure to add contact info, services offered and a slogan if you have one.

Adding a large profile image to your Facebook business page is an easy and affordable way to show Facebook users that you’re serious about your Facebook page. It’s also a great way for you to tell people a little about your small business without having to create a wall post which could eventually get buried at the bottom of your page.

If you’re unsure about creating the image yourself, feel free to contact me. I’ve done several of these types of banner images before and I could get one done for you within a day or two at a very affordable rate.

I was doing my every weekend visit to Yahoo’s technology news section this past weekend and I came across an article written by Business Insider writer Nicholas Carlson about how Twitter had “Troubles.” Feel free to check out this link to the article (it will open in a new tab/page). Basically Mr. Carlson writes about how Twitter may not be the social networking giant many people thinks it is. He outlines how of the 200 million members Twitter has, only 20 million are regular active users. He also discusses how there has been a lot of turmoil at top of the company.

broken twitter logo

This got me thinking about how I feel about Twitter. I’ve only been on the social networking site for about 3 months now and in all honest, it’s not what I expected at all. I had heard of Twitter about two years ago before I finally signed up to check it out myself back in January. I delayed signing up because I thought to myself “what’s the point?” Then I had meetings and discussions with a few web design friends as well as online marketers who swore that Twitter was the next big thing in online marketing. I figured since I wanted to get my name out there as a freelance web designer, I may as well give it a try. I post usually 2 or 3 tweets a day, mostly about web design and a few about pop culture and sports. So far I have 34 followers and I’m following 13.

My problem with Twitter is I really don’t think it’s the online marketing giant that people make it out to be. As the article by Mr. Carlson mentions, I find that people are more about writing on Twitter than reading. The only people who get followed by enough people to get online marketing done are mainstream celebs or athletes who tweet about the same nothingness regular people do.

Of the 13 people I follow, I probably only really care about 6 or 7 of them. The others I only follow because they follow me. I find that to be another annoyance. Even though I have 34 followers now, I’d guess that over 60 different people have followed me at one time or another. The problem is, they only followed me so I would follow them back. Once I didn’t, they stopped following.

justin bieberAs far as the Twitter search function goes, that’s another joke. A simple search for tweets about “Windsor Ontario” was filled with 70% escort spam, 20% Justin Bieber fans hoping he’d come to Windsor and 10% quality posts. Pretty weak numbers if you ask me.

I’m sure there are people who still think Twitter is great for online marketing for both large and small businesses, but I just don’t see it. You’d probably have to follow 1000 people just to get 700 to follow you back. You’d also have to be a tweet freak posting 10+ tweets a day. I just don’t have time for that.

I’ll continue using Twitter because I have made 1 or 2 quality connections in the past 3 months and there are the odd trends that catch my eye, however for the foreseeable future I’m going to say Twitter isn’t nearly what I expected.

*Update – Facebook recently changed how to make your profile pictures private. Information on how to do this is located directly below.*

  • Step 1: Login to your Facebook account and click your Profile picture.
  • Step 2: Below your name in the top right corner, you’ll see a tiny globe next to the date. Click it.
  • Step 3: Change the privacy from “Public” to “Friends”

Now only your Friends will be able to view the full version of your profile photo.

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Facebook profile picture privacy, try saying that five times fast! I was on Facebook earlier today sifting through a few of my friends profiles and a few profiles of people I was about to friend request when I noticed that many, many, many profiles have the entire collection of their profile pictures available for public viewing. Facebook made a privacy change over a year ago which changed many things. One of those changes was the privacy of the profile photos. If you didn’t select a certain checkbox, all of the profile pictures you’ve ever had can be viewed by anyone who stumbles upon your profile. I’m sure many of you don’t really mind having your profile pictures out there, but for those of you who do, here’s how to make Facebook profile picture private.

  • Step 1: Login to your Facebook page and go to Account > Privacy Settings.
  • Step 2: Find the link titled Customize settings and click it.
  • Step 3: Find the link titled Edit album privacy for existing photos and click it.
  • Step 4: Find the album titled Profile Pictures and change the setting to Friends Only and that’s it!

Now, only your friends can view your profile pictures and your Facebook page is a bit more secure!

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