Thursday, February 21, 2013

5 reasons to outsource your daily social media chores

Social media is time consuming. I know. I get up at five am most mornings!

Here's why outsourcing your social media chores is a good idea:

1. You'll get more from your social media presence or you can fire us. There are real benefits to be squeezed out of social media. Demand that they happen.

2. The social media world is changing fast. Social media consultants stay up to date with what's happening to make sure you do too.

3. We give you the facts through a monthly report, who's following, what they're engaging you about, what we will do the following month to build your presence. 

4. It's a way to control the cost. If you have valuable people creating blogs and posts are they doing their day job? Don't let social media slow you down.

5. Get results. The objective of a social media chores service should be to help you achieve yours.

Email me: with any questions on the social media "daily chores" service we provide.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Twitter Changes - The Moment of Truth

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase
Two big changes are coming up in the Twitter universe in the next month.

Twitter will start rating Tweets as "none", "low", or "medium", with a reserved "high" tag for unspecified future use. 

The "medium" entries will approximate to the "Top Tweets" results for searches on This will allow applications to filter content from otherwise noisy or high-volume feeds.

This change is from the 20th February 2013. The tagging allows Twitter to create separate high rated Tweet streams. I see nothing wrong in this, but I hope that they present any paid for high rated tweets in a separate section of the screen, perhaps a box to the right of the current stream, as Google do for paid ads.

I hope they don't go down the Facebook route of only allowing your followers to see some of your posts/Tweets, depending on how often they click on your links and other nebulous factors.

The second serious change is the introduction of Twitter v1.1 API from March 5th, when a limited Twitter 1.0 shut off will be tested. I expect 1.1 will be rolled out over the weeks/months following the 5th, should 1.1 run smoothly.

1.1 will impact people using various Twitter tools. Some tools will have limits placed on the number of calls, Tweets, follows etc, which it can make in an hour. Some services in the Twitter eco-system may stop working.

The next few months will be interesting for all of us who have been amazed at the democratic and open nature of Twitter.

Here's some scenarios for what the above could lead to:

#Tweetstreams-as-ads that are dominated by paid for content, leading to a reduction in the appeal of Twitter.

#Censorship-of-Tweets. The ability of Twitter to remove all low value or "political/anti-establishment" tweets. 

#Growth-stunting The elimination of free apps such as, which allows users to automate the process of Tweeting. These services may be replaced with higher cost services, which some SMEs, writers and other home workers won't be able to afford.  

The next few months will see the ground shifting for Twitter as it moves towards a stock market listing. 

English: Google+ wordmark
English: Google+ wordmark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I imagine the executives at LinkedIn and Google+ are hoping for a misstep from Twitter in the next few months, which will give a new lease of life to their offerings for small and medium businesses. Or will Twitter get it right and courses on Twitter SEO become the rage a few years from now?

Come back again to see my take on how these changes are bedding down.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Easy Guide to Using Keywords to Get your Blog Noticed

Key words is one of those dark arts that most people don't bother with in their blogs. We know there may be something in it, but have we got the time to get it right for every post?

Here are some simple things you can do to make keywords work for you as part of your strategy to get your blog or site noticed.

1. Think about a set of keywords that define what you provide. This can be tricky or easy depending on how straightforward what you do is. One way to think about this is what problem or problems you help people solve. If you can think of a few of these the keywords and phrases should flow more easily.

2. Use Google ToolWords to analyze key words or a site such as, where you can get free suggestions for keywords or where you can get a free keywords/phrases analysis of the top ranking site on Google for the keywords/phrases you have defined. I'd like to point that I have no commercial connnection to any of these services. Below is an image of the results from a search of the URL of the top ranking Google site that comes up when you put the search/key phrase "get your writing noticed" into Google. This is one of the topics I will be running courses on, so who ranks high on this search, and why, is of interest to me. As you can see the repetition of the key phrase in the text of the page is helping to raise this page in Google.

keywords being used to get a site noticed
How keywords got one site to Number One in Google

3. Don't use the above to put in too many references to your key phrases/words either. That can be spotted and loose you your position. Keep it natural, but make sure you have a few references to your words and phrases in your blog/site text each time you post.

4. Don't forget you can include key words and phrases in the page URL (if you have that option), the title, image alt text and description/caption, and headings and of course meta descriptions (if you have access to those) as well as the page copy. Including key words and phrases in titles and headings is particularly important, if you can do that naturally.

To me this can all be summarised as, understanding what your keywords are and then being aware that you can include them in your text and elsewhere in each post.

I can't say how far you will move up the rankings by using the above, but I have been told by someone who works for one of the largest online news sites in the world that this is what they are doing for every post.  

Good luck with getting your blog noticed by using keywords.

To support this site - over 60 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Power of Social Media to do good #2 A Better Life

English: Hosni Mubarak facing the Tunisian dom...
English: Hosni Mubarak facing the Tunisian domino effect Français : Hosni Moubarak faisant face à l'effet domino tunisien. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyone has heard about how social media helped bring about change in the Arab world over the past few years. But technology has been changing the way we are governed for a lot longer than that.
If you consider text messaging as social media then the overthrow in January 2001 of Philippine President Joseph Estrada, must go down as one of the first major political movements created by social media.
Loyalists in the Philippine Congress had voted to set aside evidence against Estrada. Within a few hours thousands of angry Filipinos held a demonstration in Manila. The demonstration was set up by text message and over the next few days a million people gathered to demonstrate in the capital city. By the end of January 2001 Estrada had resigned and the age of social media being used for political good had well and truly started. 
Now before I go on, I must say that I am no utopian when it comes to the impact of social media. I am well aware that social media is no more than a tool and that violently repressive regimes who are willing to murder their own citizens are not going to let any tool stand in their way.
And I also know that the final results on what will happen in the Arab world, as a result of the recent series of regime changing movements, is far from clear.
But despite all of that I am still a long term optimist. The invention of the printing press led to the mass distribution of the Bible, the Reformation and huge technological progress in the West and eventually throughout the world. Then the invention of television brought war into our living rooms and drove global peace movements.
Now social media allows us to talk directly to people all over the world. The people who wish to deny us our freedoms will have to work harder than ever to achieve their goals. 
Although there are critics of the impact of social media on the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia and Libya it is certainly true that social media, in particular Facebook and Twitter, allowed people to express their dissatisfaction in ways that wouldn’t have been possible previously.
For me, social media is also as much an instrument of change as radio was in the 2nd world war. It is a means of mass communication - a some-to-many communication system where about 10% of users create about 90% of the content.
As for creating social change, the facts are that during the week President Mubarak of Egypt resigned the number of tweets about political change increased ten fold in that country. This fact was taken from a study by a Professor Howard at the University of Washington.
In addition videos featuring protest and politics were watched over 5 million times and the amount of online content about the political situation increased dramatically at that time.
And at the time of the Tunisian revolution 20% of blogs were discussing the president, Ben Ali.
Waves of communication about social change spread throughout the region creating movements in a wide variety of Arab countries. Governments tried to crack down on social media in the region, but that seems only to have created a greater urge for information.
Now, it is true that we do not know how the new governments of Libya, Tunisia and Egypt will perform in the long run for their citizens, but to deny that social media acted as a communication tool, which aided change, seems wilfully blind to me.
Before this period despotic governments in Arab countries seemed immovable. Today many people in the region know that social change is possible. Social media helped to make that a reality.
But it is true that the hard work of demanding change still has to be done and it’s as dirty and murderously difficult as it ever was to effect social change in totalitarian societies. None of that can be argued with.
And communications media can equally be used to suppress dissent, and there are many examples of it, but social media is changing too, evolving as we speak. The cracks in the system may be constantly being papered over, but there are cracks when none previously existed. That is a step in the right direction.
I would certainly prefer to have cracks than none at all.
There were people who dismissed the printing press and its role in disseminating knowledge as neither as swift nor as complete as its proponents imagined, but the positive effects, over decades and centuries were real and unstoppable despite what the nay-sayers put forward.
One area of easy to identify impact, which I haven’t discussed so far, is the impact of social media on giving. One example of this is, a site which allows you to support causes you pick through social media. has 170 million members and has raised over $40 million dollars for member-defined causes. allows you to create your own “cause” project and to seek donations from your social media community.
Social media is being embraced by the charity sector. A survey in late 2011 revealed that 17% of US charities were investing $10,000 or more on social media services.
I expect the long term impact of social media to be significant and unstoppable in each of these areas. But we may not truly notice that impact for another ten years or more. I hope we all see the positive effects happen quickly. It will be the biggest change in communications in our lifetime. 
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To support this site - over 60 free posts so far on social media for you to explore - please buy one of my novels, The Istanbul Puzzle or The Jerusalem Puzzle or my guide to social media. And enjoy!

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