Go Ask Your Father Became Go Ask Google, and Now, Go Ask Twitter

Growing up, if you wanted to know how far the sun was from the Earth you were told to either “Go ask your father” or maybe your family was fortunate enough to own that beautiful Encyclopedia Britannica set with the gold pages (Did your parents fall victim to the traveling encyclopedia salesmen?), and you were then told to “Go look it up.”

Google, Social Media for Business, Twitter for business, Social media management, Gina Schreck

The Family Treasure

When my kids came asking “How do heavy airplanes actually fly?”  I replied, “Let’s Google it.”  But today when I have questions that need answers FAST, like “What is the best wireless printer?”  “Who is using a great budgeting app?” or “What is the best Italian restaurant in Wichita, Kansas?”  I ask my Twitter network.  It is more reliable and easier to sift through than pages of EHOW or ANSWERS.YAHOO responses that are more like technical forums at times than simple answers.  Sometimes the answers that come up are paid advertisements based on the keywords I have typed in and I don’t trust them.

I’ve seen questions from my social network asking serious parenting questions that used to be answered by calling Mom, but today we put more trust in our Facebook friends and Twitter followers than even our parents.  Perhaps it’s kind of like “Polling the Audience” on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, where we can ask a question to thousands and see which answer we like the best or how many people say the same thing.

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Go Ask Twitter!

I read a recent statistic that said only 14% of people trust advertisements versus 78% trusting peer recommendations!  So if we are connecting to the right people, people we consider to be our peers, this is not only a powerful resource for us, but for organizations doing a great job building social relationships, it is a powerful marketing tool.  Brands and organizations must be IN the communities, building relationships, sharing expertise and answering questions…not just selling!

So the question is, “How do you get in these social circles?”  Well you can Google it, but I would bet you’d get a better response if you ask your Twitter and Facebook friends!


Spring Cleaning on Your Social Sites: Tackling Twitter

In the last post, I gave you 7 things to do that would get that Facebook profile (and PAGE) tidy and shining like the top of the Chrysler building, and now we are going to focus on your messy, over-crowded, Twitter nest!

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Messy and Overcrowded Twitter Nest

People always ask me, “How do you manage conversations when you are following thousands of people?” Well, first of all, I don’t talk to them all at once.  Sure we are all talking, but not necessarily to each other at the same time!  When someone contacts me with a question or mentions me in a tweet, I reply.  Not so difficult.  Secondly, I use tools that help me filter the information that I want and need to read.  I also use tools to cut the duds…many of them any way.

So take out the trimmers and get your gloves on, we’re going to do some more cleaning.  Here are 4 tips to get that nest in order!

  1. Turn off Twitter notifications that go to your email.
    You have enough information coming at you via email, Facebook notifications, tweets, LinkedIn mail, and voicemail, you don’t need duplicate messages to clean out.  When you first set up your Twitter account you may have wanted to know when someone new was following you or when someone sent you a direct message, but if you are now connected with hundreds…or thousands, you should be using a tool to manage your Twitter stream and you are checking in regularly (like email) so you can turn those notifications off!  Go to your SETTINGS (upper right corner of screen) and select NOTIFICATIONS.  I leave all of them UNCHECKED.
  2. Revisit your profile photo and bio.
    Since we are tidying up, let’s make sure your profile still suits you.  I see so many poorly written bios that I am surprised anyone connects with them at all. Get creative, show some personality, use at least one of your keywords and DON’T SPEAK IN 3rd PERSON!  Gina doesn’t like that, and neither does anyone else.  It’s just weird to write “Gina is a social media enthusiast.”  Okay, I will get off the soap box on that one.  Do you need to update your profile picture or crop it so people can see it.
  3. Create Lists
    When you feel overwhelmed by the amount of content that is coming through, know that information overload is simply, filter failure.  Filtering content is critical on Twitter because of the sheer number of tweets per second that go out.  Just because you are connected to someone on twitter doesn’t mean you will read everything they post.  Just like creating LISTS on Facebook becomes an important time saving tool, LISTS on TWITTER are even more important!  To keep your nest tidy, you want to think about the type of information you want to put into it.  There might be specific people that you want to read updates from, and there might be certain topics or keywords that you want to read, regardless of who tweets them out.  To group specific people you will need to create a few lists.  Go to your PROFILE page, in the left column, right below your picture you will see a LISTS link.  Start creating.  Some ideas might be BUSINESS FAVORITES, NEWS SOURCES, FUN TWEETS, or FRIENDS.  Now when you follow someone or discover someone is really interesting, put them in a list by going to their profile and, just to the right of the FOLLOW button, select the list icon to add them in.  You can also do this right from one of your third party tools like TweetDeck, Hootsuite, or others, if you are using one.The beauty in your lists comes when you are using a third party tool such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck (can you tell that I highly recommend you do this?).  These tools allow you to not only post your content to multiple platforms, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter and more, but you can FILTER your content here.  Create a column for each of your lists and you will pull from the Twitter stream that content you don’t want to miss.  You can also create a column from a keyword so you can monitor who is talking about a specific topic.
  4. Unfollowing the deadheads! Well not the GRATEFUL ones, but the non-conversationalist ones!
    Deadheads on Twitter, NonFollowers, Unfollow on Twitter, social media management

    Deadheads…but Grateful!

    The goal for most of us when we follow someone interesting, is that they will follow us back and engage in conversation.  After a while it is good to see who has left the Twitterverse, who has not followed you back or who dropped you from their list of people they follow.  Some may think this is strickly an ego move, to unfollow people who are not following you back, but it’s one way to keep your Twitter stream less cluttered.I like two tools to clean the nest out, ManageFlitter and JustUnfollow.  ManageFlitter is great because it allows you to see several categories: who is not following you, who has not tweeted in months, who never loaded a profile picture (usually indicating a spammer or someone who never really got going on Twitter), who over-tweets (Okay so I might show up on that list) and more.  JustUnfollow doesn’t break down all of those categories. It shows you the people you are following that are not following you back and it also shows you who is following you that you have ignored…I mean… that you have chosen not to follow back.  I certainly don’t follow every person back that follows me.  If they are an obvious spam account, porn account or those weird accounts that are following a thousand people but they never tweet, why would you follow them?  I like JustUnfollow for its clean and simple look and function.  Call me simple.

    If you use one of these two services at least every couple months, your account should stay nice and tidy.

I think our major cleaning here is finished, but  you might not want to remove the gloves and put away the cleaning products just yet.  You have spent so much time tidying your Facebook and Twitter accounts, that your house can probably use your attention!  Good luck.

If we can help you (with the social cleaning and organizing…you’re on your own for the house cleaning) in any way, don’t hesitate to give us a shout.  Once all the cleaning fumes die down, we will be coherent again!

Spring Cleaning on Your Social Sites: FACEBOOK

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Last weekend I decided it was time to clean my office.  Not just put away papers or bring coffee cups back into the kitchen, which I also did, but I mean, unplug every device and reroute plugs, shred stacks of old bills, dust under and around printers kind of cleaning.  I had so many cords woven under and around my desk, I was sure there would soon be a fire (at least I wouldn’t have to shred or file the paper!)  I had old files and empty binders that I was saving “just in case” that need for a used ugly, white binder would come up.  I had sticky notes that would have sent shivers down any professional organizers back piled up “to read later.”

I had been putting this off, but lately found that it was taking me longer to find things, and I was always trying to guess which plug I could safely unplug so I could fit in one more gadget!  Spending a couple hours cleaning can save you multiple hours of time.  This same principal applies to our social media platforms.  Let’s tackle one at a time, as not to overwhelm you.  Here are 7 tips to help you be more efficient and much more effective with your Facebook account.

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Let’s Get Cleaning


Cleaning Your Facebook Profile

  1. Go through Facebook contacts and put into lists (clean out unused Lists).
    Simply go up to ACCOUNT and EDIT FRIENDS (yea-too bad we can’t do this in real life!). Now you can CREATE A LIST or EDIT CURENT LISTS.  You can send content out to specific lists and most importantly, you can read updates JUST from a specific list when your time is limited–so create your lists accordingly.
  2. Unfriend people you never communicate with or that you do not know...It’s time.
    Yes, most of us have been guilty of “friending” someone just because we had 500 people in common with them, but if you have not engaged in conversation or learned anything new about the person…it’s time to break it off!  Go to their profile and look for the UNFRIEND link under their profile picture.  I know, some of you who are conflict avoiders will find this difficult, but it’s actually easier than sending a Dear John letter!
  3. Pick your fab five photos for your wall.
    Facebook showcases 5 of your most recently tagged or loaded pictures on the top of your profile page.  Some Facebook pages look like a random mess with photos of someone’s abdomen or the side of a building that you can’t make out.  Start by clearing out the UNDESIRABLES.  Click on the tiny X in the upper right corner of the photo.  It will ask you if you want to HIDE PHOTO–say YES.  This does not delete the picture.  It will still be in your photos tab or on the page of the person who tagged you in it, but it will not be displayed on your profile banner.  Now YOU decide which 5 photos you want representing YOU.  To keep those 5 up there, you will have to check regularly and HIDE any new tags that try and encroach on the space.
  4. Remove apps you are not using.
    This is both, good for cleaning up your page from looking like that of a 14 year old with quizzes and POKES all over it as well as for safety and security!  Third-party apps are allowed to use the Facebook platform, but they are not necessarily governed by Facebooks privacy policies.  Only use apps that you NEED and know are not malicious in nature.  Many people recently got snagged by the SEE WHO CAN SEE YOUR PROFILE app that once you log into, takes all of your contacts and spams them. Zynga (makers of Farmville, Words with Friends and many other games) is a reputable company–annoying at times–but reputable.  The random quizzes and guessing games may not be.  Go up to ACCOUNT, then PRIVACY SETTINGS, scroll to the bottom to find APPS & WEBSITES.  A list of apps that you have installed will display.  Delete the apps you are not using.
  5. Remove wall posts that are not serving your brand.
    Similar to the quizzes and games, some people will post things on your wall that just don’t represent your brand well.  You can remove any post or item that gets put on your profile.  Simply click on the X that displays to the right of the post (you have to hover over there to see it appear) and delete. This is for your WALL not your HOME page.  That page is news for your eyes only.  Your WALL is what others see when they search for you.
  6. File those Facebook photos and set privacy settings accordingly.
    This can be time consuming but very important.  Depending on the day and position of the planets, the easy method of moving photos on Facebook will work…. part of the time.  When you load a photo from your mobile device the default file is called…MOBILE UPLOADS.  Now to move them from MOBILE UPLOADS to a more organized filing system you have to either save them to your computer and then REUPLOAD into a file or occasionally it will work to OPEN THE PHOTO, refresh your browser, when the photo changes into the old Facebook view, look to the bottom for the EDIT PHOTO link which will allow you to MOVE it into another folder location!  I have had this NOT work, more often than it WORKS!  When you load photos from the UPLOAD tab on your PHOTOS link, you can decide where the photos should go.  You can set privacy settings on each photo ALBUM separate, allowing you to have a FAMILY PHOTOs album that only FAMILY MEMBERS (in your LISTS) can see, CRAZY FRIENDS photos that only “those friends” can see.
  7. Separate Personal and Business.
    Lastly, if you have been using your Facebook profile for business and you struggle with keeping personal and professional lives separate, perhaps this is the time to launch that Business PAGE.  Here is a post that explains the simple steps to get that going!

Now don’t you feel better?  Sure it took some time, but you won’t sneeze as often when you open up your Facebook account and you might even find yourself saving so much time that you will be ready to do some cleaning around that Twitter nest!  That post is next!

The tidy team at SynapseConnecting is always here to help you use today’s technology tools to build your business and manage your brand.  Please let us know if we can help you in any way.  We have loads of helpful content here on our website or you can give us a shout and we will bring our brooms and dusters to help you clean things up a bit!

What to Do to Raise those Affinity and Content Weight Scores on Facebook

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Get Those Grades Up

A few days ago I wrote about Facebook’s algorithm, or EdgeRank, that gives each of your page posts a score that determines how long it will stay in the newsfeed.  You may know what it is (if not be sure to go back and read KEEPING YOUR FACEBOOK POSTS ON TOP), but now let’s discuss what you can do to get those grades up!


Remember, Affinity Scores are based on the interaction between you and your fans.  If someone posts something on your page or comments on a post you wrote, be sure and thank them, agree with them or just post some additionally

Posting from a third-party application, such as TweetDeck, Hootsuite, or others will provide a lower score than posts placed directly on Facebook.  The reason behind this stems from gaming applications such as Farmville, Mafia Wars and those annoying, “Answer a Question about Your Friend” type apps.  Facebook didn’t want these apps to raise the EdgeRank of posts, so they lowered the score for ANY application…including third-party tools many use to post content across their social platforms.  Remember, Facebook would rather you go directly to their site so you can see all those lovely advertisements.

So as much as a pain as it seems, you can post your tweets and LinkedIn content from TweetDeck or Hootsuite but when it comes to Facebook, you are better off going directly to the page to post content, ask questions and reply to fans.

Using the new Questions tool gives you a nice Edge boost and YES that is technically an app, but it is a Facebook product so of course it gets preference!

Videos and Photos will give your post a higher score than a boring status update, so spruce up those status posts and add some secret sauce!  Remember a visual page will keep people engaged longer than one with just text posts…and YOUR PROFILE PICTURE doesn’t count as a visual…no matter how good looking you are!

So now it’s homework time. Take out that Big Chief notebook and your number 2 pencil to write your action plan to get your grades up this week.

Don’t forget to LIKE our Fun Geeky Facebook Page–it may not help your Affinity Score with Facebook, but it will give you a very high Affinity Score with US!

What questions or comments do you have?  We love to hear them and start the conversation!

Keep Your Facebook Posts on TOP of the Newsfeed: Understanding Edge Rank

Facebook for Business, Affinity Score, Newsfeed on Facebook, Newsfeed Optimization, Edge Rank, Gina Schreck

You spend a lot of time posting great content on Facebook only to check back the next day and find no one has LIKED or COMMENTED on them.  Before you throw your hands up in defeat (or your computer out the window out of frustration), you need to understand a few things about Facebook’s ranking algorithm.  You may be familiar with Search Engine Optimization, even if it is some mysterious and elusive target that Google continues to move making it harder for anyone to truly figure out.  Now we need to begin to understand the mysterious science of NEWSFEED OPTIMIZATION, otherwise called EDGE RANK.

Basically, Facebook ranks each of your posts and gives it a score.  If your score is higher than the score of the next person posting to the newsfeed of your fans, your post shows up above theirs.  If you have a lower score or the lowest score in the group, well, you are basically invisible.  Here are the 3 pieces to Facebook’s EDGE RANK:

    Basically, you are getting points for being LIKEABLE!  Facebook gives youpoints for the amount of interaction a particular person has with you.

    facebook affinity score, Edge Rank, Facebook pages, Facebook for business, Gina Schreck


    It gets a bit confusing here, but if person A comments and likes my posts frequently and I engage back commenting chatting and LOLing together, my posts are going to get a higher score for person A.  The same post going out to person B might get a lower score if he never comments or banters back and forth with me.  That same post will show up in different positions on each fan’s newsfeed because of this AFFINITY SCORE.

  2. CONTENT WEIGHT SCORE: The more others engage with your content the higher this score is…regardless of who comments or likes
    Edge Rank, Facebook for business, Gina Schreck, Social Media for business

    Clickity Click

    your post.  So if I post something and 50 people like or comment on it, this score is higher and it can help even make up for the affinity score if that was low.  So the more you can get folks to clickity click on that LIKE button, the better your score will be (I’ll share some ideas on how to do this on my next post!)

  3. TIME DECAY SCORE: This one is simply how long ago you posted your brilliant content.  You start out with a high time decay score and the more time passes, the lower your score gets…period!   For this reason I recommend posting 2-3 times a day.  Stagger the time to keep your Time Score from Decaying!
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Time is Decaying

If you need help making sense of all of this or you want a business translator for this new social media language, we can help! Loads of great content on our Facebook Page! Let us help you CONNECT to your world!