How Much Confidential Info Do You Share On Social Media?

How Much Confidential Info Do You Share On Social Media?

How Much Confidential Info Do You Share On Social Media?

Recently, I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing happen. When you work in the social media realm, people expect certain things. They expect you to share. And yet, although some of my best friends knew about the terrible event, I did not share it widely.

Connection Does Not Always Equal Friendship

Connection Does Not Always Equal Friendship

Connection Does Not Always Equal Friendship

Being “friends” on Facebook does not mean that someone is truly friends, despite the saying that a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met. If you are squinting at someone’s image, wondering where you met them (or if you met them at all), maybe it’s time to cut them loose if Facebook is your “safe place.”

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Being a Private Person

Are you a private person? Now, I’m not necessarily talking about being an introvert because that’s different. But are you private in your communications online? Would you be ready to share something and then have a relative stranger come up and say “oh, hey, I heard that you fell off the roof while on vacation!” If not, then you might consider not sharing that tidbit, although it’s easy to forget that 100s or 1000s of people could potentially see what you post.

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How to Decide What to Share

Here are a few questions you could ask yourself before you share something:

  • Will this hurt me later?
  • Will this expose a friend?
  • Will sharing this get back to the person I’m sharing about?
  • Could this have any negative impacts?

And here are 9 things you should never share on Facebook, from Post Planner.

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Where to Share

Certain people have places that are more private than others on social media. For instance, I consider Twitter to be the most filled with strangers of all of my platforms. Yours could be Facebook. Or LinkedIn. At any rate, there’s a hierarchy of places for all of us. I might share something in a closed Facebook group before I share it on Twitter.

Some would say that you could share more safely on Twitter, since it doesn’t ask you to share your own or your friends’ information as much. See Facebook vs Twittter: Privacy Issues.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Social Sharing

There are many good aspects of sharing. For instance, you could share a picture that you want all your friends to see. It beats emailing it to everyone! And you can create an album on Facebook or a secret board on Pinterest for those images. By the way, here are Ten Ways to Be Social, from the archive.

The Bad and the Ugly

There are also many, many ways to fail on social media. For instance:

What’s Something You’d Never Share?

I promise not to tell! Leave me a comment. Thank you.

How to Catapult Your Tweets Farther? Use a Powerful Hashtag!

How to Catapult Your Tweets Farther? Use a Powerful Hashtag!

How to Catapult Your Tweets Farther? Use a Powerful Hashtag!

What if I told you there was a free way to give your tweet wings, and let it travel farther and last longer? Would you want to join that club? I know would! Hashtags have entered popular culture these days, with TV shows, baseball teams, and just about everyone using them to organize searches. If you’ve never used a hashtag before, you might want to check out the basics.

Hashtags are Easy

Hashtags are Easy

Hashtags are Easy

Here’s the skinny: Tweets with hashtags receive twice the engagement of tweets without hashtags. So if you’re considering whether to hashtag or not, that should help you make up your mind! Not only will people follow others who use similar hashtags (for instance, I have #startups in my Twitter profile, and many startups find me that way), but you can reach out to those with the same hashtags as you. Win-win!

Use One or Two: More is Not Better!

Use One or Two: More is Not Better!

Use One or Two: More is Not Better!

If you use too many hashtags, your engagement will go down. One or two hashtags is fine. More than that, and a tweet is looked upon as spammy.

#203K Hashtag for Mortgage Loans via Hashtagify

#203K Hashtag for Mortgage Loans via Hashtagify

Neat Tools to Help with Hashtags

  • Hashtagify – tells you hashtags related to your hashtags. For instance, if you’re a loan broker, and wanted to use the hashtag #203K, you could see what other hashtags you could use along with that hashtag.
  • TweetReach – tells you how far your hashtag has traveled. For instance, I use it during my tweet chat, #DigiBlogChat, and then tell everyone the numbers during the chat (and later on Facebook as well). If you don’t know what a tweet chat is, you might want to check out this post on 101 tips for success with tweet chats.
  • Hashtags.org – tells you what hashtags are trending on Twitter right now. So theoretically, you could catch a trend before it gets big and ride the wave all the way in.

Hashtags As Snark

Hashtags used to be used to sort, group, and categorize tweets. But then one day, not too long ago, people started using hashtags to self-identify, and add an Element of Snark to posts. Now people are using “air hashtags,” and according to some, ruining the English language. So if the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems doesn’t get your metadata all up in a knot, then you might like using hashtags in a snarky manner. #JustTryingToKeepItFun

Click Through

One very effective way to use a hashtag is to see who else is using it. For instance, if you’re using a location-based hashtag, click on it and see who else is nearby! For instance, this weekend is the inauguration. Heck, you could even go to Top Hashtags (dot com), type “inauguration” and see what the top hashtags are if you’re going. Or use the hashtag of your city, county, or state, and see who else is out there.

How Do You Hashtag?

Do you use hashtags? Or do you think they’re ruining the English language? Leave me a comment! And thank you.

 

 

How to Engage on Social Media: Twitter

How to engage on social media: Twitter

How to engage on social media: Twitter

There is a bias in the business world against Twitter that I don’t comprehend. To me it is the friendliest and easiest place to engage in of all the platforms. Of course, that’s once you understand a few things about Twitter. The blog post you’re reading right now is part of How to Engage on Social Media: The Complete Guide.

Create Moments

Create Moments

Creating Moments on Twitter

Creating Moments on Twitter

Creating Moments

A relatively new addition to Twitter is called Moments. You can create your own Moments or look at other people’s moments. Anyone can create a moment. From Twitter Home ==>>Go to Moments ==>> Click Create Moments (upper right corner). Upload your own photos or add tweets — I called mine San Francisco Lights. Choose your tweets or photos, choose a cover and title and publish! It took me about 15 minutes.

The Number One Mistake People Make on Twitter

The Number One Mistake People Make on Twitter

The Number One Mistake People Make on Twitter

Don’t start your tweet with the “@” sign if you want everyone to see it. Add a “.” in front of the “@” sign so that everyone can see it. Yes, that issue’s been around forever. If you need to know more, head over to Gary Vee’s slideshare (it’s only a minute, trust me!).

Leave Some Space

Leave Some Space

Leave Some Space

Don’t use up all 140 characters. Use something like 100-130 if you want retweets. Your real estate is limited.

Add images for more retweets.

Add images for more retweets.

Add Images for more Retweets

Images and videos are gaining momentum on Twitter. In fact, you’ll get 313% more engagement if you tweet with images, according to Twitter. So do use images for more engagement.

Audience

Audience

Audience

According to Pew Research

Some 23% of online adults currently use Twitter, a statistically significant increase compared with the 18% who did so in August 2013. Twitter is particularly popular among those under 50 and the college-educated.

Is that your demographic? If so, then you’re in the right place.

The Language

The Language

The Language

Twitter is the land of hashtags (not too many–one or two is fine!), and abbreviations. Also, emojis are popular on Twitter. Here are some abbreviations.

@ sign = a user’s name. For instance, I’m @Carol_Stephen on Twitter.

RT = Retweet. Means you’re repeating something and giving credit to that person as well.

OH = Overhead.

MT = Modified tweet. Sometimes you have to remove/change a tweet and this is how you alert people that you’ve changed it.

# = hashtag. Hashtags help you organize your tweets. For instance, #cheese will organize tweets about cheese.

Hashtags

Hashtags

Hashtags

Don’t be afraid to use hashtags, especially if the hashtag can help others see the content of a tweet. A hashtag helps others to identify a tweet. For instance, if you’re tweeting about an article on autism, you could add #asd (autism spectrum disorder) to the tweet. If you’re tweeting about an event, you can add the hashtag event, such as #wcoc (WordCamp Orange County). Some brands have their own hashtags. For instance, the San Francisco Giants use #sfgiants and if you tag your tweet that way, you may be featured or retweeted by the Giants!

Emojis

Emojis

Emojis

If you’re on mobile, which most people are now, you have access to many emojis. Hearts and smiley faces can let people know the feeling behind a tweet, in case there’s any doubt–or if you want to add more sentiment.

Formality

Formality

Formality

Twitter is one of the most easygoing, informal of all platforms. Think of it as a backyard bbq. It’s easy to talk to people, and there’s a laidback feeling to it.

How to Engage?

How to Engage?

How to Engage?

Say hello to people. If you’re just getting started, this is the easiest way to begin. Above is one real example. You can start with asking about the weather, telling people to have a nice weekend, and so on.  Notice that my tweet begins with the “@” sign. So only those who follow both @ToyotaEquipment and myself will see that tweet. @ToyotaEquipment’s reply to me starts with text, so that tweet is more public. See the difference?

Here are a few other ideas:

  • Ask a new follower a question about their profile.
  • Ask someone you’re connected with for advice for a topic they’re an expert at.
  • Comment on someone else’s tweet and retweet it.
  • Tell others to follow someone whose account you enjoy.
  • Introduce two people who have something in common.
Lists

Lists

Lists

Once you have found a few people who like to engage, you can add them to a list. Here’s a post about using lists on Twitter. For instance, you could create a list called Engagers or Friendly People.

Sharing

Sharing

Sharing

How much of your personal life will you share on Twitter? It’s a good idea to decide beforehand. My rules are to avoid sex, politics, and disasters. And when I’ve broken my own rules, I’ve had to pay. For instance, during the divisive election recently, I wrote about politics and lost followers. If you have to talk about something divisive, you may want to set up a separate account for that. As a business, I’d avoid those topics, though.

Tagging

Tagging

Tagging

Just because you can tag, doesn’t mean you should tag. If a conversation doesn’t really involve someone else, for the love of all that is holy, please remove them! It’s like being on a long bench of people and everyone between you and the person you’re talking to has to listen. Don’t force everyone to listen. On the other hand, if the people are actively involved in a conversation, then yes, keep adding them!

How Do You Engage on Twitter?

Leave me a comment! And of course send me a tweet!

Social Media: Spotlight on the Speed of Change

Social Media: Spotlight on the Speed of Change

Social Media: Spotlight on the Speed of Change

People have complained about information overload since, well, since there were people. And I suspect that before homo sapiens, cro magnon man (and woman!) were also complaining about too much change.  Now that social media is here, change is happening faster than ever.

Insta-Updates

Insta-Updates

Insta-Updates

With the advent of social media, we can find out about our relatives’ health, life changes, and new pets instantaneously. And even if we don’t want to know, we hear about political opinions. By the way, here’s a fun piece about the latest election: Albert Einstein and the Menace of the November Election. Even on Instagram, which is the best place for introverts, in my opinion, people are yelling–YELLING!–about politics lately. Ugh.

Eustress

Eustress

Eustress

Change produces stress, and there are some types of stress that are in the Good Camp. Promotions at work, getting a seven-letter Bingo in Scrabble, or learning that you won the Lottery could be in this category.  As Elizabeth Scott outlines in When Stress is Good for You,  you don’t need to worry about all kinds of stress. Acute stress is particularly harmful. We humans like some things to remain stable, and not to have shifting sands under our feet.

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram--Oh, My!

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram–Oh, My!

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram–Oh, My!

Just as all kinds of stress are not alike, not all social media platforms are created equal. Let me explain. Twitter moves fast and can catch you off-guard with its constantly moving articles, memes, and newsy tidbits. Facebook can be a rabbit hole of articles about cats who think they’re dogs (and dogs who think they’re cats!), and people ranting about every possible first-world problem.  The videos and sponsored posts can move quickly as well. If you want a more peaceful social media experience, Pinterest and Instagram are much quieter–without tons of ads or newsy posts screaming at you to pay attention.

Reframing Information Overload

There are a million rabbit holes and tasks that call out to us. There are parties and business events. And there is that little voice that says “you should…”. For myself, deciding what I could do versus what I should do makes all the difference. Did you know that there’s an Information Overload Awareness Day (October 18)? And an Information Overload Research Group?

silence photo

Meditation and Quiet Time

Everyone needs some time to completely withdraw from the world, whether that’s through meditation, yoga, or simply quiet time in the car. For all you introverts out there, here’s Six Facts About Introverts and Social Media That Will Impress Your Friends.

silence photo

How Do You Manage the Speed of Change?

Do you withdraw from the world or does being involved and “on” 24/7 excite and exhilarate you? Leave me a comment! And thank you.

 

 

Albert Einstein and the Hidden Menace of the November Election

Albert Einstein and the Hidden Menace of the November Election

Albert Einstein and the Hidden Menace of the November Election

A couple of weeks ago we brought Nikola Tesla back from the dead to answer some questions about the iPhone 7. This time, we’re bringing the ghost of Albert Einstein back to help us out because we’ve become very stupid and we could use some help.

queen england photo

Great Britain and the Queen

Let’s get one thing straight, right off the bat. In case you were wondering, the Queen has NOT asked us to write in her name on November’s Ballot and restore British Rule. It’s in Snopes. Although the Brits are happy that we’ve become so silly that it might distract the world from Brexit.

On Having Only Two Choices

Since Einstein is here for only a short amount of time, let’s ask him what he thinks.

Us: So, do you mind if we call you Al?

Einstein: Please, go right ahead.

Us: Do you think we might need other choices for this president?

Al: As a human being, one has been endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what exists.

Us: We thought so, too.

He Who Must Not Be Named

Us: So, Al, do you think that the Republican candidate is a little bit like He Who Must Not Be Named from Harry Potter?

Al: Nationalism is an infantile sickness. It is the measles of the human race.

Us: We’re putting you down as a yes.

Al: Ok.

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The Future of Education

Us: So, Al, If He Who Must Not Be Named wins the election, does that mean that any and all education is doomed?

Al: The aim of education must be the training of independently acting and thinking individuals who, however, see in the service to the community their highest life problem.

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The Unnamed One and Twitter

If He Who Must Not Be Named uses Twitter for his rants, does that mean that Twitter is somehow diminished?

Al: “The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.

Us: Ok, but did you see Jon Stewart turn his Twitter rant with him into a stand-up routine?

Al: That was funny.

Us: So we should vote wisely this November?

Al: Ayup.

How Should We Vote, Then?

Us: So, any advice on how we should vote in the election?

Al: A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future.

Us: Are you saying “Don’t worry, be happy?”

Al: Never underestimate the stupidity of the American electorate.

Us: Gotcha.

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There You Have it!

If the smartest man, er–ghost, ever can’t sway your vote, who can? Leave me a comment about the election and how you’re managing to stay sane.

 

Need the Best Twitter Followers? Focus on Awesome Quality!

Need the Best Twitter Followers? Focus on Awesome Quality!

Need the Best Twitter Followers? Focus on Awesome Quality!

One of the top ten questions I hear from new users on Twitter: how will I attract influencers to my new account? If you want the best followers, then your focus must be on the best quality content, find the best accounts to follow or list, and have a highly focused strategy.

Here are a few basics.

Know Your Audience

Know Your Audience

Know Your Audience

Someone was talking to me the other day and said to me that the chocolate I was buying was a “chick magnet.” Putting the dumb sexist comment aside, why would I be interested in a “chick magnet”? Now, had he been talking to one of his guy friends over a beer, that comment might be more appropriate. Maybe. Same goes for what you write: make sure it’s something your audience would want to know.

Share Great Content

Share Great Content

Share Great Content

If you’re creating your own content, fantastic! As Clement Lim says, creating quality content keeps your audience coming back for more. If you show your audience something valuable or solve a problem for them, they’ll keep coming back. And the same is true with the tweets you choose.

My audience wants to know how to save time. So something like Social Media in 60 Minutes a Day could help my them, if I’ve been listening carefully. And my clients always say they want to spend less time doing their social media.

Use Search and Save Your Searches

Use Search and Save Your Searches ©johnmoneypenny.com

Use Search and Save Your Searches

You can save your searches in Twitter, whether they’re for a hashtag, a keyword, or a combination. On desktop, search in the top search bar, then go to More Options–>>Save This Search.

Advanced Search

Advanced Search

Advanced Search

Did you know you can search for a topic, such as “Social Media” and then choose whether there’s an associated emotion with it? For the positive emotion, that would be a little smiley face “:)”. You can also search within a certain geographic area if you’re a brick and mortar. Use those saved searches to find people tweeting about what you’re interested in.

Create Lists!

Create Lists!

Create Lists!

If you get more than a couple of hundred followers, you will go insane if you don’t have lists! Find the best accounts and list them. For instance, you could create a list of locals, people who retweet you, or friends. Check in on them occasionally, especially when you’re looking for good content to retweet. You will save a ton of time, I promise!

Engage in Tweet Chats!

Engage in Tweet Chats!

Engage in Tweet Chats

People who want to engage come to tweetchats. Find one that includes topics that interest you. You’ll find new followers, the time passes quickly, and as a by-product, you’ll also find new friends. At least that’s what happened to me. If you don’t know how, here’s how to participate in a tweet chat.

How Do You Find Good Accounts to Follow?

Tell me your secret ways. I promise I won’t tell anyone! Pinkie swear!

 

Donald Trump’s Prison in the Depths of Social Media Hell

Donald Trump's Prison in the Depths of Social Media Hell

Donald Trump’s Prison in the Depths of Social Media Hell

Many news articles about Donald Trump describe remarks so horrendous that his PR team later tries to rewrite what he says, explaining how his remarks were “taken out of context” or that he was “joking.” When the news is horribly negative, (and it usually is), then it was “meant as a joke.” And then social media, controlled as it is by the “liberals,” takes the negative comment and makes it worse. If I were on Donald Trump’s social media team, I’d be worried about having to continually reframe The Donald’s words.

Has Social Media Helped or Hindered Trump's Slide?

Has Social Media Helped or Hindered Trump’s Slide?

Has Social Media Helped or Hindered Trump’s Slide?

Like many others have postulated, it seems that The Donald may never have had any intention of being president. His comments are so envenomed that it’s unfathomable that he could ever really win. The Huffington Post has even suggested that Clinton take a break from campaigning, as doing nothing could help her win. And recently, Michael Moore, who just last week said that Donald Trump would probably win the presidency, now says that Trump “never actually wanted to win the presidency.” How has social media helped or hindered Trump’s rapid decline?

Mistakes Are Magnified on Social Media

Mistakes Are Magnified on Social Media

Mistakes Are Magnified on Social Media

At one time, maybe as recently as ten years ago, some of the things a candidate said could go unnoticed. The microphone wasn’t always on, as it were, and nothing would happen if a candidate made a faux pas. But now, with everyone having a cell phone, Facebook, and Twitter, any misstep is sure to spread faster than the Zika virus. So the magnification of any mistake can make the error look far worse than it actually is.

Google Trends: Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

Google Trends: Donald Trump and Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

Trump and Google Search

Although the number of Google searches might not indicate where the Donald ranks, it’s still interesting. As recently as March of 2016, the New York Times indicated that “Google Searches Point to a Strong Showing for Donald Trump.” Near the end of July, 2016, the Huffington Post reported that the search term “Donald Trump treason” showed a spike. And then there’s this interesting article about Trump responding to video claiming that Google skewed search results to be more pro-Hillary. And if any publicity is good publicity, then Trump is getting his fair share of Google searches. Although a search on “Donald Trump treason” which was recently trending doesn’t seem to bode well.

Twitter Fails

Twitter Fails

Twitter Fails

On the Twitter front, Forbes recently published an article about  Trump’s Twitter account, “We all know that Mr. Trump’s use of Twitter rivals the Kardashians’. He has amassed over 10.7 million followers and sent over 32,000 tweets.” By any account, that’s a huge number of tweets. But is Trump’s presence on Twitter helping him when many of his tweets show such negativity?

Big Data and Tweets

Big Data and Tweets

Big Data and Tweets

To me the most interesting article about Trump and social media is this one that covers Trump’s tweets. Read the text analysis from the data scientist David Robinson, who does a comparison of the data from two different phones (Android vs. iPhone). And he claims that only some of the tweets, those from the Android, are from the Donald himself. And those tend to be the angrier ones.

Fascinating stuff.

David Robinson goes on to say: “Trump’s Android account uses about 40-80% more words related to disgust, sadness, fear, anger, and other “negative” sentiments than the iPhone account does.”

From the Horse’s Mouth

Trump complains on Twitter that newspapers can say whatever they want:

Sadly for Trump, when he tries to outwit his detractors, he seems to always lose. He may have so many followers because people want to see him stick his foot in it. And then threaten to sue. See the excellent article Top Trumps: Seven of The Donald’s biggest Twitter fails, including a few tweets of Trump defending his hair. Seriously? Yes.

Meanwhile, on Instagram

Over on Instagram, Trump has been waging a campaign ad trying to target Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky debacle. His campaign tries to insinuate that Hilary Clinton doesn’t protect women. Wired Magazine says that Trump is “winning” on Instagram by being himself, “But here and there you see the often unsavory linchpins of his campaign: the bullying, the bravado, and the bull crap. It’s unfiltered, every bit as sophomoric and occasionally vulgar as his rallies and tweets.”  Of course, that was back in March. Now it’s August.

Maybe it’s true, as Liz Krokin says in the Observer that Tech Companies Apple, Twitter, Google and Instagram Collude to Defeat Trump. Still, could any of Trump’s detractors do any worse damage than Trump has to himself?

Your Turn

What do you think? Is the deck stacked against Donald Trump? Or is he spiraling out of control all on his own? Leave me a comment! And thank you.

 

Trump on Instagram

 

 

 

How to Avoid Bad News on Social Media and Keep Your Sanity

How to Avoid Bad News on Social Media and Keep Your Sanity

How to Avoid Bad News on Social Media and Keep Your Sanity

Those of you on social media know that being there too much can almost make you have ADHD. Here a squirrel, there a squirrel, everywhere a squirrel squirrel. Am I right? Oh, look! A squirrel! Seriously, though, how do you keep the omnipresent bad news at bay? Here are some ideas.

beach night photo

Use Lists

Vigorously maintain your lists in Twitter. Do not enter the mainstream every day, for that way madness lies. Clip unwanted accounts in your lists, like you would trim the unwanted branches of your beloved shrubberies. Chop out those on your lists with tweets you don’t like, and look for others you do like. You may want to take a deeper dive into using lists.

Hide Posts

Yes, you can hide posts in Facebook. You are not obligated to follow everyone’s sad, crazy story of how they were once beholden to the circus, forced to eat Spam, or nearly drowned that one time in Buenos Aires. Really. For some clues on when to do what, here’s a post about how to unfollow a friend without unfriending.

Unfollow

Sometimes you need to unfollow people. If they always post bad news, if they badmouth others, if they sell sell sell! Those are good reasons to unfollow. You may have others. Also, if they haven’t posted since 1999, that’s a good reason, too. Why are you following them? And here is one of my favorite posts from friend Bridget Willard about your “safe place” on social media.

light shadow photo

Get Outside

We all need a break from social media. Take a break every hour, two hours, or whenever you need it. Don’t follow someone else’s rules. Take a day or a weekend off. Heck, take a week off if you can! When you return, everything will look fresh.

Post Less, Curate More

Maybe you could simply post less, but better stuff. Some accounts seem to post everything they find, rather than what’s perfect for their audience. If you curate, only the very best will get through your filter.

 light shadow photo

Focus on the Good News

There are some places that publish good news. Here are some of the best:

light shadow photo

How Do You Avoid the Bad News?

Do you have the skin of a rhino? Does bad news roll off you like water off a duck? Leave me a comment! I’d love to know!

 

Five Quick Ways to Boost Your Social Media Listening

Five Quick Ways to Boost Your Social Media Listening

Five Quick Ways to Boost Your Social Media Listening

People are always complaining about the amount of noise there is on social media. Clients want to know how to cut through the tremendous ruckus and hear the good stuff. Here are some surefire ways to listen better.

Twitter Lists for the Win

My number one piece of advice for new clients is to set up lists on Twitter. You can make them secret or public, but either way a list is how you can follow many people and listen to the best ones. For a deeper dive, here’s my post about lists for the power user.

Google Alerts

Did you know that you could set up a Google alert for any keyword you like and then add it to a column in Hootsuite? Each Google Alert has an RSS feed. So for instance, if you have a Google Alert for your own name, you can add that. You could set one up for all the people in your startup so you can monitor who’s talking about you. Then put them into columns using HootSuite Syndicator.

 downtown night photo

Facebook Groups

You can have different groups on Facebook. That is, you can create groups of friends, people who are restricted, or those you’d like to see less of in your newsfeed. It’s already built into Facebook. So if your coworker is meddlesome, put him in a group other than “friends.”

Personal Hashtags

You can create your own hashtag by typing a pound sign (#) in front of any word. Use it to organize a search or any time you want to be found. Make sure your content matches your hashtag. For instance, my chat on Twitter is #DigiBlogChat. For a deeper dive into hashtags, read the excellent The Only Hashtag Guide You’ll Ever Need.

 farming photo

Pinterest Guided Search

If you’re on Pinterest, use the guided search. You can pin from the feed, but a better way is to use the guided search. Listen to what people are pinning on a particular topic relevant to your business. Start with the highest-level (for instance, a hair dresser might search on “short hair,” then let Pinterest guide your search.

baseball photo

Local Search by Keyword

If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, you could search by hashtag to see what people in your area are saying. For instance #SF or #SanFrancisco. I search on #SantaCruz in Twitter quite a bit. Then retweet, repost, or comment on those posts. Brainstorm other keywords your ideal audience might be using.

Make Listening a Habit

Julian Treasure, in his wonderful TED Talk about listening better, recommends trying to listen to different channels to deepen one’s connection to the world around us. If you have a chance to listen to his video, please do.

 

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