Twitter #FF’s , (Don’t do it.)

#FF's Dont do it.

#FF (Don’t do it)

I’m writing this post late on Thursday evening, and my thoughts are already turning to one of my tasks for tomorrow morning – sending out my #ff mentions. But, then that got me thinking…is this just another social media ‘ritual’ that started out as a good way to ‘recommend’ people and is now just a way of clogging up our timelines.

I have been guilty of sending out #ff mentions religiously but as of today I will no longer be doing that.

Instead, I am going to make my #ff mentions real and more meaningful. So rather than compose a tweet with a list of @users I am going to select a few and take time to make the tweet count.

Take a look at the examples below…what one stands out most to you?

#ff My great friend and mentor @goshensai and an awesome trance vocalist

#ff @joebloggs @joebloggs1 @joebloggs2 @etc @etc 

So, before you go into the #ff mode,

Stop, choose some special followers and send a meaningful mention.

What are your thoughts on Twitter #FF’s, do you do them or not? Let’s hear your thoughts.

Our Guest Blogger is
Tim Thomson
Manager at Vine Conference Centre
www.vineconference.co.uk

I want to stand on a platform with regard to this matter.

bridging the gap

Choosing a platform

During the time of election fever and the stance of many politicians and the media flooding our households, Internet and newspapers with all the spin and comments of election contenders, it occurred to me that many of them are launching the election campaigns on a platform of one thing or the other. If it isn’t the NHS it is migration and immigrants.

It got me a thinking

It started me thinking of what is the platform I stand on with regard to my business and how it operates and runs and then to take it into the techie world, what Social Media and Internet platforms do I use to get the message flooding to my customers and potential customers worldwide.

Platforms there are so many

It is the case that there are so many platforms, as with the election there are so many stand points that people take and you don’t know at times which one to believe, so we base our beliefs and decisions on past experience and their record if they have done the job before. When I set my company up I knew I did it out of passion. I wanted a company that had a drive and passion for what it did and did it well and honestly. So that was my initial platform if you like, I then structured the offering my company had around this. My testimonials from clients were my gauge as to whether I was achieving this each and every time. Then learning and tweaking happens. No one is perfect and it is the driving force behind our actions that should be considered.

So honesty, integrity and doing the best job as promised was my platforms and I hope I have achieved them as often as possible.

The other thing I did as an organisation was start to business network, before I even setup as a company I attended some networking groups to find out what business was saying about the climate and how they were getting on. I wasn’t setting up blind as they say. This paid off and I have continued to business network to this day. It is a great place to bounce ideas around, meet great people and pick up so much information and ideas.

What about online platforms?

With regard to online platforms, I have always been as you can imagine, the company is called IT Turning Point, very aware of what technology is doing and where it is taking us. The Internet has been with us for years and introduced so many changes in the way organisations and customers operate that it has dragged some organisations into the 21st century screaming and kicking.

The key of course is to decide your best and most appropriate route to market and then target the majority of your efforts there. This of course sometimes takes more than one attempt to get it right and is what I like to call a toe in the water scenario. We try and see if it works and tweak and try again until we hit the sweet spot. I decided early on to have a website and had it up and getting found before the official company launch, so when I launched people had a shop window to visit.

This of course was mentioned on all emails and literature to drive traffic in that direction. The site was optimised at the time for the search engines and we were off.

Social media was my next area of consideration and what should I do here and which platform would be best for me to use. I did the following and it has worked for me over the years.

My company was primarily B2B so LinkedIn to me was essential and getting my profile up to 100% as it was at the time and then making good honest connections with potential customers, existing customers and other companies and contractors that might be useful for me to touch base with and bounce ideas around. A company LinkedIn page was setup as well as my profile and maintaining it and promoting it became a goal.

For more awareness of brand name and getting me more widely known quicker I also thought that Facebook would be a great place to have a business page. So off I went on my next platform and got that page up and running and started to gain likes and awareness.

Remember, I am always aware of where technology is trying to take us and I launched a Twitter account at the same time to take advantage of the profile raising for my brand name.

In the corner of my eye I was always reading techie articles about search engine Optimisation and how you can get found online to make sure my efforts where not all in vain. This kept me informed that Google the main and most popular search engine was changing what it calls it’s algorithm that checks the Internet to find you and me and was placing more emphasis on Social Media activity and content. So this means and still does today that you need your website optimised, but you also need to be active in the realm of social media. You need to have link popularity, which means people are coming to your site from various locations and landing there and then leaving to go to other locations from your site.

Other social media platforms are out there, Google+, Kiltr, Pinterest and Instagram. It was now a case of deciding which platforms I felt I could benefit from and manage easily.

Again tools were there for the managing and these have helped immensely. Such as Hootesuit, highly recommended and there are others.

Email newsletters were the next thing I had always ran since setting up and had made a decision that a monthly newsletter would be the thing. So to this day we send out a monthly newsletter to a database of people who have signed up for it. Again there are laws about spamming people.

Have we reached our goal?

No, is the easy answer, we are always looking at tweaking and changing what we do and managing it differently and we do use other mediums to get the message out there, such as PR articles to business press, etc. We also run an online blog about technology amongst other things.

All these various platforms have meant that we have been able to vary our offering and develop it over the time the company has been running and as long as we keep to the company platforms of honesty, integrity and doing the best job as promised then we will keep it up.

I hope this helps, let me know your thoughts on the whole area of platforms, online or offline.

Innovative Marketing

training and consultancy

Just a quick one my friends, but we were so tickled by this that we thought it is definately worth sharing.

How to target the Advertising agents with a new track by a dance artist using new technology and having a retro look? That was the question here and we think they have done a great job. Absolutely fantistic idea and the use of technology and old Vinyl just blows you away.

Enjoy the video my friends and admire the innovation.

Might go and rake out my vinyl records now and dust them down…………….

It’s Friday, Suspend those thoughts!

twitterThought I would jot this down for any of you who have had a similar or might have a similar experience in the near future.

Let me explain what happened and the tile will become clear.

It was Friday like any other, well in fact it was a slightly busier Friday than most others and it meant that my timescales for my Friday routine would be changed drastically.

I have started the day by getting up earlier than normal and attending the launch of a new Business newspaper in Fife and a chance to meet and network with new people and of course some old associations were re-established. I then visited a company within the business centre, where the launch had taken place, about some business we were doing together and finally met a young entrepreneur for a coffee and catch-up about where he was and what he was embarking on now. Always and exciting meeting and very inspiring.

Social media wise this had meant that I had not done any of my Follow Fridays yet or even tweeted about the launch I had attended. Once back at the office I proceeded to open up Hootsuite and get down to the social media business of the day. I had lots of thoughts and wanted them out there.

Hootsuite on my mobile had registered an error when I tried to tweet from @itturningpoint earlier. I thought it might be my signal strength at the time and now that I was back at my desk and on the land based Internet I could get this done.

I duly opened up Hootsuite and went to it to find that I had a message pop up on the screen to say  that my Twitter account had been suspended……………What?

I then went and logged into Twitter in my browser and found that indeed my Twitter account was suspended. I had received no email or earlier notice of this event and the screen did not even explain why this was the case. I had no idea at all why I was suspended and for how long or how to get out of this situation.

I clicked on various links in Twitter and found a form you can fill in to ask for it to be reviewed and I did. I simply put Why? In the subject line and then asked why and how this can be reversed in the main body of the form. I submitted this and within a few minutes received an automatic email that told me I had been suspended and that the account would be deleted. No further details as to why.

There was a small sentence at the bottom however that said if you disagree with this decision please reply to this email and say you disagree and that we should not suspend and delete your account and we will review it again.

Obviously I diligently did this and then just had to wait.

In the meantime I had contacted Pauline at Floriizel Media and asked if she had come across this before and what were the ways out of this. Pauline suggested all the things she had experienced and I explained what I had already done. Between us we thought that was all we could do and the wait was on to see if Twitter would reinstate the account. Pauline also noted that another account I had @Invitebiznet was also suspended. Now I was feeling victimised.

You guessed it I had to go through the same procedure for that Twitter account and wait and hope that Twitter would reinstate it. I had Googled in the meantime to see if there was a surge of accounts being suspended and maybe Twitter had a problem out there and was trying to keep it quiet. I found nothing significant.

I waited and checked occasionally; nothing.

Then on Saturday I checked during the day and as if by magic both accounts were back up and running as if nothing had happened. No email of explanation, so I am as much in the dark as I was at the beginning. There are loads of articles on Google about how not to get suspended, but I have been doing nothing out of the ordinary and felt that I had broken no rules as far as I was aware.

The lack of explanation from Twitter I think is the most alarming thing and shows a complete lack of customer care and service.

So be aware and I guess keep pestering until they put it right again. Of course, unless you are breaking the rules, then simply stop.

Ian Thomson
Founder/Senior Trainer/Consultant
IT Turning Point
www.itturningpoint.com