Category Archives: Social Media

More Politicians Are Embracing the Web

Nancy McCord
Nancy McCord – Point of View for Today.

Donald Trump, love him or hate him, he has masterfully used social media to his benefit and forever changed the way politicians relate to the electorate.

But, not only are politicians moving to Twitter and Facebook as they seek votes, but some are even embracing Google AdWords to try to drive traffic to their election websites.

Glitzy websites with donate now buttons or click here to sign up for our email updates are standard fare for judges, congressmen, senators, and of course our presidential candidates. Never before have we seen a politician use Twitter to his ultimate benefit as Trump has. Rapid firing off tweets that carry his special brand of candor, make it clear that no ghost writer is writing Trump’s tweets. They are “All The Donald”.

Not every politician wants the high profile and electorate exchange that Trump has embraced, and not every politician has the sass and bad boy demeanor that Trump has embodied online, but for The Donald, it is certainly working.

For others in the political landscape using Google AdWords allows for strong, very targeted exposure that increases the chance that voters will see the message that they want to share and not the message of PACs or of that of other candidates. That’s especially important when negative campaigning is being used.

We are currently running one AdWords program for a Circuit Judge in a Midwest state and expect to see more politicians move onto the Web and into Google AdWords in the months to come.

Find out more about our AdWords credentials and services today.

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Our Kids Need to Know Not to Overshare Online

Nancy McCord
Nancy McCord – Point of View for Today.

In our new world of no-privacy, we as parents need to be vigilant to let our kids know how to live.

We recently had a family crisis with one of our children. The very first thing my husband and I did was to Google the kids’ names involved. Interestingly enough even teens will have things online about themselves and allow others to follow a media trail.

From something inappropriate shared publically on Twitter to social media networks that are not “locked down” from prying eyes, our kids run the risk of over-exposure in our digital world. And this trail lasts forever. Youthful indiscretions, something said in anger online may come back to hurt your children with others, in relationships, and even in a future job.

I routinely Google my own kids to assure that the social media sites that they “live” on are not totally public; even for my college age kids.  I want to make sure that phone numbers, addresses and even full names and personal information is not overshared online. For my older kids I look to make sure that the sites they used are locked down so images do not get picked up by Google and returned in search results.

It is particularly important for parents, when kids first start using social media, to make sure they discuss privacy and personally review sharing settings on their accounts. Just as equally parents should review with teens and college age kids the difficulties they may run into with pictures and party scenes when they go to get a job.

It’s a very different world now for our kids than when you and I were growing up. We need to work together to keep all the children we care about safe and protected online.

 

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As Search Shrinks, Social Grows

Man having an idea!
Mobile has shaken the world of search.

As a void is created in search by the changes that the mobile web has brought about, social media is filling the gap by becoming the “go to” location for reviews and personal recommendation.

Is Search (As We Know It) Dying” is an excellent point of view and a great read for today.  As the author notes, social media icons like Facebook are deep into development for the next generation of search and mobile use. One of the biggest pushes are for artificial intelligence and personalized assistants; keeping users tied in and connected.

Take into account activity on social networks, where queries like “I am visiting London, England next week, what have you done or loved that I should make sure to put on my to do list?” are commonplace and readily answered by friends, family and acquaintances.

Although users have loved, then hated, and now appear to love again social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, I am seeing more businesses and consultants feel that it is now time to get serious about establishing and keeping a presence on these social media sites.

Courtney Danyel (the author of the aforementioned article) puts it all succinctly in this ending comment, “In the long run, brands and businesses focusing the majority of their energy on optimizing for search will face the inevitability of stunted reach and growth.” I could not agree more.

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Social Media and Images

Pros and Cons Sign
Should You Add Image to Social Media Updates?

For several of our key clients we are testing out if adding images to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ posts increases customer engagement. With a visual statement winning out over just pure text, we wanted to find out if adding images to tweets and Facebook posts enhanced engagement?

For Facebook, if you insert an image versus letting Facebook simply import an image from the page content that you link to, you get two things.

  1. A larger image will appear on your Facebook page.
  2. You get to select the image versus only being able to select an image that appears on a page you link to. So you get greater control.

For Twitter, if you insert an image, get ready to re-write your post to that by the time the link is shrunk and the image URL is shrunk as well you have about ten to twelve words of text. That means you’d better have something great to say or you are just making your page look pretty.

This is what I have found out so far:

  1. Having images in Facebook and Twitter updates does make your pages on Facebook.com and Twitter.com look nicer.
  2. But, do images translate into more engagement – so far the answer is no.
  3. What gets engagement is still what you write and not necessarily not even what you link to and not the image you insert.

So content is still king, but having images does make your page look more appealing visually. My recommendation is where meaningful add an image like twice a week on Facebook and every several tweets on Twitter, but I would not recommend putting images into every update. Instead make your updates interesting and you’ll get a higher level of engagement.

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Images in Social Media Using HootSuite – Lessons Learned

Learn From Our Mistakes How to Add Images Fast to Social Media
Learn From Our Experience How to Add Images Fast to Social Media.

Our clients are asking for images in their social media posts. Sounds easy right, but not so fast. Here’s what I’ve learned and wanted to share it with you.

For HootSuite users it is easy to add an image to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+. You just open the writing panel, click the paperclip and then browse to the image you want to save. But what about when you are doing bulk loading and scheduling using a spreadsheet or when you are wanting images in Twitter?

Bulk Loading
You cannot add an image using the bulk load spreadsheet method in HootSuite. So if you want images, you will have to bulk load your updates and then manually go to each social media account and edit your post manually and add your image. Not so simple, but not so hard either.

Twitter
For Twitter, your content will need to be only about 10 to 15 words and if you have a link to shrink, know that the link will take up character space and so will the image. We are trying to stick with about 10 words or so.

You still have to do the manual upload of images and may need to rewrite or edit your post to have it once the image is in to be within character count.

Notes
All images you add to Facebook have to be under 5 mb.  A good rule of thumb is that an image compressed for the web and no bigger than 600 pixels wide with a resolution of 175 dpi will meet this 5 mb criteria.

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Astria Fireplaces and Innovative Hearth Products Redeemed

Nancy McCord
Nancy McCord – has had her family’s Christmas stolen by Astria Fireplaces

In my ongoing review of Astria Fireplaces made by Innovative Hearth Products this week, I wanted to post an update.

Here is the note I sent yesterday to staff at Astria Fireplaces:

“The bank has just informed us they will not move our construction loan to a regular loan until the house is 100% complete. This is now a very big issue for us. My husband and I have still not heard anything from the district manager. We must move forward with something. We are living in a temporary apartment and want to be moved in to our new home! I am going to the Fireplace store today (Glover – who bought these two items from Astria) to start looking for alternatives, all of which now really puts us in a bind to find an alternative and get shipping at the last minute.”
“Needless to say, I am very unhappy. Communication is key to resolving problems and all it would have taken would be to say “yes these are really and truly going into production and you will have them on xx date” or “no, we are going to have a delay again and we expect them really to be out of production in xx date in 2016″. How hard can that be to be truthful?”
“To not be able to close on our new custom home over two fireplaces that have been on order since 8/26/15 is just unthinkable. I know that our 2 fireplace order may be small based on your overall business – but clearly this is a case in point of vey poor customer service that should be reviewed by management. How can dealers sell your products and how can consumers buy them when they are hostages to a lack of information and truthfulness?”
“I would very much appreciate your regional sales manager’s or US sales manager’s email so that I can plead my case for information.”
Shortly after sending that note I finally got a phone call from the Astria Fireplace District Manager and it was a good thing as it appears that Astria had pulled the product we have ordered to retool it. But they had not communicated this to customers or dealers. We are getting one of the first fireplaces put into production after product changes to improve the natural beauty of the flames, installation improvements, and improved serviceability.
The lesson learned is that communication is key! Fires can be put out quickly and easily with just a little personal touch whether it is a phone call, email, or quick Facebook response.
Remember when it’s online, the world is watching the exchange – make it work for you!
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