How To Make Hashtags Work For Social Media

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

On the list of the great rewards of social networking is its capability to reach a huge crowd while spending minimal costs. Making use of the famous hashtag notation (especially for Twitter and Instagram), you are able to spread your products and services across the globe, and reap the benefits of well-liked trends.

A hashtag must be short and simple to recall
Crafting a hashtag that is too unique or special could be risky. As much as possible, come up with a hashtag that is brief and straightforward so it can easily be remembered.

Long hashtags are at risk of getting misspelled and forgotten. Additionally, with the 140 character limit of every Twitter post, longer hashtags only consume needless space. Simple abbreviations frequently are very effective.

A hashtag must be unique and relevant at the same time
The primary goal of using a hashtag is to bring online users to your social media page.

Picking a general hashtag that may gain large numbers of results will lower the probability of getting your desired volume of traffic.

It may only just make your posts wander off in the search results. You must make sure that your hashtags are only sufficiently unique to be able to avoid too few results.Печать

A hashtag must be searched first prior to using it
Even though you are confident that you have put together the ideal hashtag, it is still crucial to look for that hashtag prior to applying it.

This is the only way to make certain that you will not get classified with any messages that you are not related to. An example of a hashtag disaster was when a certain company used the hashtag “#notguilty” to express how their customers’ felt after eating their product.

However, this Twitter update was published during a popular person’s murder trial. The hashtag #notguilty became a trend, but for an entirely different cause.

Hashtags serve an excellent purpose which improves your chances of reaching a wider audience. Make sure that you know how to utilize them well.

(Image Source: iCLIPART)

Why Social Networking Is Important For Any Business

by Jeremy Miller, Technician
If you are not currently using social media for your business then chances are that you have fallen behind your competitors.

Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+ are great platforms to promote brand awareness, communicate with existing and potential customers, as well as attract new leads.

Up to a quarter of developed nation’s Internet traffic is used on social media and networks. It is free to sign up and use all of these social networks. Why wouldn’t you want to address this market?

Social media sites can help you establish your online presence. Statistics show that over 70% of people trust ads on social networks from friends, while only 10% of people trust advertisements from websites.

Social media is more than just getting your name out there; it establishes trust and lasting relationships with new and existing clients. You can keep in touch in a personal manner, update services that you offer, and offer discounts and coupons on your social sites.

Social networks work like word-of-mouth, but more reliably. Your friends and followers can easily share your content with as many people as they want without interrupting their daily lives.

This is important because if it is a hassle to view your advertising it could be considered a nuisance instead of a promotion.

Instead everyone will check their social sites and see a post from their friend to check out your business. They are already in the mood for reviewing messages, so this is not an inconvenience to read.

Now before you start making a profile on every social site, first consider what you want to get out of social networking. Most businesses could get a Twitter account to share basically anything instantly.

Twitter is great for marketing and reaching many people instantly. Since Twitter is available easily from any smart phone, it is basically like texting all of your followers at once. Your followers can then retweet or share anything that you post.

Facebook is also very popular. It is a publicly trusted location and it performs really well in Google’s search index. This means that if you are having trouble with getting your website to the top results in Google, Facebook can help. Your company’s Facebook page should not take too long to reach the top results if someone is searching for your business.

Each social network is different and attracts different crowds. This can be seen in the usage statistics for each network. This can help you determine which social networks would be best for you to reach your desired audience.

When starting out you want to start slowly. Do not join every social network you can find. It would be best to join Twitter and Facebook at first. Determine who is going to manage the social sites. Then once you have some followers post some polls or special offers to attract more followers.

Once your followers start posting to your page, read their posts and answer them. This will add a lot of value to your business.

You can begin posting articles related to your business to encourage people to spend more time reading your content. Some things to keep in mind would be to not post too often or you may be considered a spammer.

Once you have become familiar with social networks you can expand to other social networks such as Google+ or Pinterest. The most important rule of all is to be patient; you may not see results overnight. However, if you provide quality content, service, and interactions on your social sites you will be successful.

If you would like help determining where you should start or need any help with your existing social networks, give us a call.

Social Media Tips For Non Profit Managers

In the world of non-profit organizations it is not rare for just one person to get assigned the social media duties for the whole company.

They may also have dozens of other demands to deal with that have nothing to do with public relations so they will probably need all the help they can get to be able to come up with fresh content week in and week out.

One good tip is to use Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to offer a first look at an upcoming event or newsletter, introduce a staff member, share photographs of volunteers as they are working and ask a trivia question, the answer to which will shed light on your company’s particular cause.

Other good tips include connecting a news story that is currently trending in your non-profit work, sharing a client’s words of gratitude, sharing a success story, thanking a staff member or volunteer, or sharing a photograph that was taken at a special event.

If you take a specific approach on a regular basis, the audience will start looking forward to what is coming next.

Twitter Writing Tips

Writing on Twitter is by necessity an exercise in brevity, and it may surprise you to find out that B2B marketing can actually be quite effective even when you can use a maximum of only 120 characters.

Here is an important tip: just stick to the facts. Long titles may be SEO friendly, but more than likely they will just get lost on Twitter, where they simply do not work. Titles need to be short, to the point and appealing.

On Twitter it is not a bad thing to be familiar; messages with a famous quote, a hit song or a piece of pop culture often resonate.

Tweets that carry with them some kind of positive connotation will give your message extra impact.

This does not mean, however, that you can just copy text outright, so exercise some discretion.

Being timely is also important on Twitter. You are writing for a real-time audience, and any message needs to be in tandem with the current interests of your followers. Remember, he who hesitates on Twitter is truly lost.

Steps To Secure Your Social Media Strategy

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Keeping your internal network secure is one of the top jobs of IT consultants like Tech Experts. You don’t want confidential company or client data to show up on the web.

But what happens when you start marketing your company on social media sites? How do you keep your company secure?

In general, cyber criminals aren’t stupid. They troll sites like Facebook and Twitter, looking to take advantage of useful information employees naively post.

A policy that educates your employees on the “Do’s and dont’s” of social media posting can save your company an enourmous amount of aggravation.

Here are a few steps to include in a social media policy to ensure social media is conducted in a secure manner. It’s important to have a solid policy if you want to ensure that your network and data remain safe from potential social media threats.

Watch where you click
Almost all social media postings contain links to other content. This is the sweet spot hackers are targeting. They place innocuous links to virus and spyware programs, or even worse, hijacked accounts of your friends and business associates.

You should tell employees involved in your social media efforts not to click on any suspicious links. If they receive links from friends that seem uncharacteristic, it’s a good idea to not click on them.

Update privacy settings
Social media sites constantly update and change security settings on their networks, leading to unexpected exposure of information you might not want indexed on the web. It’s a good idea to ensure that all of your profile information is private, and that you regularly review your privacy settings.

Don’t share personal information
This might seem obvious to you, but there are still unsuspecting users out there who share too much of their personal information on social sites. Remember, social media is all about being social. Pretty much everything you share can be viewed by others. The last thing you want is an identity thief accessing your contact information and other personal data.

Log in using HTTPS
HTTPS is a web protocol that ensures the data sent between your computer and a web site is secure and encrypted. Many social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus support HTTPS, and you should ensure that you use it.

To use HTTPS, you simply put an S at the end of the usual http address in the URL bar of your browser. I.e., will open a more secure version of Facebook. By using HTTPS you can eliminate Man-in-the-Middle attacks and other similar types of phishing.

They key thing to remember: If you don’t know them, they aren’t your friend. You’ll be miles ahead if you treat social media interactions like you do real life interactions. You wouldn’t offer a stranger your cell phone number or home address until you knew them well. The same precautions apply to your social media accounts.

Timely Tips For Social Networking Safety

Social networking websites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live Spaces are services people can use to connect with others to share information like photos, videos, and personal messages.

As the popularity of these social sites grows, so do the risks of using them. Hackers, spammers, virus writers, identity thieves, and other criminals follow the traffic.

Read these tips to help protect yourself when you use social networks.

Be wary of links
Use caution when you click links that you receive in messages from your friends on your social website. Treat links in messages on these sites as you would links in email messages.

Post judiciously
Know what you’ve posted about yourself. A common way that hackers break into financial or other accounts is by clicking the “Forgot your password?” link on the account login page.

To break into your account, they search for the answers to your security questions, such as your birthday, home town, high school class, or mother’s middle name. If the site allows, make up your own password questions, and don’t draw them from material anyone could find with a quick search.

Watch out for a friend’s hacked email
Don’t trust that a message is really from who it says it’s from. Hackers can break into accounts and send messages that look like they’re from your friends, but aren’t. If you suspect that a message is fraudulent, use an alternate method to contact your friend to find out. This includes invitations to join new social networks. For more information, see Scammers exploit Facebook friendships.

Protect your address book
To avoid giving away email addresses of your friends, do not allow social networking services to scan your email address book.

When you join a new social network, you might receive an offer to enter your email address and password to find out if your contacts are on the network. The site might use this information to send email messages to everyone in your contact list or even everyone you’ve ever sent an email message to with that email address.

Don’t friend everyone
Be selective about who you accept as a friend on a social network. Identity thieves might create fake profiles in order to get information from you.

Choose your social network carefully. Evaluate the site that you plan to use and make sure you understand the privacy policy. Find out if the site monitors content that people post. You will be providing personal information to this website, so use the same criteria that you would to select a site where you enter your credit card.

Posting is permanent
Assume that everything you put on a social networking site is permanent. Even if you can delete your account, anyone on the Internet can easily print photos or text or save images and videos to a computer. And don’t forget, Google caches!

Avoid apps and games
Be careful about installing extras on your site. Many social networking sites allow you to download third-party applications that let you do more with your personal page. Criminals sometimes use these applications to steal your personal information.

To download and use third-party applications safely, take the same safety precautions that you take with any other program or file you download from the web.

Social Media For Your Business: Three Quick Tips

Social media is all the rage – we’ve written about it here, and you’re certainly hearing about it on the news and in your email.

Here are some quick tips to get the most out of three of the most popular services.

LinkedIn Can Help Grow Your Business
LinkedIn has more than 150 million registered users, which is a lot of opportunities for those who wish to use the professional social media site to help them grow their business.

The real worth of LinkedIn for businesses is to be able to connect on a one-to-one basis with other business professionals.

Many of the connections you make on the site can end up not only introducing you to partners and business influencers but potentially also referring your business to possible new customers.

Having a personal LinkedIn profile is often viewed as a digital business card or a form of online resume.

While using it as such is a good place to start, it can be taken much further to help you build a powerful presence online in order to help encourage more business opportunities and is an excellent way of both attracting and managing your business connections.

Using Twitter
Twitter is one of the fastest and best methods of amplifying the message, product and services of a business or an individual in all the social media available in the twenty-first century.
The first thing you need before launching your business on Twitter is a strategy.

Review your marketing and business goals, and don’t make this preliminary step too complicated.

Think about how your business can benefit from social media and how the industry that you are in is using it as a whole. The great majority of the time, social media will be able to fit into your digital marketing efforts.

Some things that you need to think about include what you intend to use Twitter for. Are you using it for customer research or for branding? Are you using it in order to reach a specific segment or target, for customer support, or just to raise awareness?

Another question you need to answer is whether you will be able to come up with enough relevant content to make it worthwhile.

Optimize Your Profile on Pinterest
Your B2B business may by now have created a presence on the popular and ever-growing Pinterest.

This site has achieved incredible growth, which is very hard to overlook when it comes to the potential for B2B marketers to engage with both existing and prospective clientele.
There are some ways in which you can optimize your profile on this site, however.

The About area is the keyword description of your page as it will appear in search results, should someone search for your page.

The image you use needs to be consistent with the profile graphic or avatar you use on your firm’s other social profiles for the purpose of easy recognition, though you also need to keep in mind how the image will look on your followers’ Pinterest streams.

The Social Linking area, if done correctly, can be a great source of content for your other profiles.

Decide whether you want to manually or automatically publish your pins to your Facebook or Twitter pages.

The Hide setting should be turned off so others can find your profile and pins when searching and search engines can index your activity.

Are You Ready To Meet Your Social Match?

Whether MagnetU catches on to quite the same extent as social media sites such as Facebook remains to be seen, but for many, the appeal of being alerted every time they are in the vicinity of someone who has the same “social desires” as they do will undoubtedly be enormous.

MagnetU describes itself as the first real-world street network; essentially this little device acts as “a bridge between your online digital life and the real world” by broadcasting your social media profile to everyone around you. Whether you are looking for the perfect love match, want to meet people with similar hobbies or are more interested in making business contacts, all you need to do is go to, fill in your social desires, and then sign in to Facebook, Twitter and other social network sites to receive alerts each time a “compatible” individual passes nearby.

You can even change which particular social desire you wear at any given time so that you can look for your soul mate while you’re out socializing and a potential business partner when you’re at a business conference.

Although critics of MagnetU point out that machines are notoriously bad at people-matching and suggest that society already faces enough distractions from social media without this addition, it could just turn out to be another one of those technological necessities that we can’t do without, if only because everyone else is using it!

Twitter 101: A Beginner’s Guide To Tweeting Responsibly

Thanks to Charlie Sheen, everyone is talking about Twitter. Whether you love him or hate him, you have to admire his uncanny social networking skills and ability to generate some buzz.

In a nutshell, Twitter is a social media oriented microblogging site. A typical Twitter update – known as a “tweet” – might provide a quick update on what you’re doing or request help with a problem. All in 140 characters or less.

That’s “micro-blogging.” You can send updates from your PC, a cell phone, PDAs, tablets. How can Twitter be useful and how to sign up?

Twitter for fun and family
To use Twitter in your personal life…Keep your friends and family updated on your life when you don’t have the time or inclination to call or e-mail. You might tweet, “We arrived home safely from our trip” or “the car’s running again. It was just a fuse.”

Real life tweet: A passenger on a plane that skidded off a Denver runway last winter used his cell phone to tweet about the event moments after it occurred.

His friends never had to worry about his safety, because they got his tweet and learned that he was unharmed before the incident was reported in the media.

Arrange social activities, even at the last minute. Rather than place dozens of calls to find someone who is free, send out a single tweet. This tweet might read, “I’m going fishing. Anyone want to join me?”

Real life tweet: Basketball Star Shaquille O’Neal used Twitter to inform his friends and fans that he was sitting down to dinner alone in Phoenix. A pair of local basketball fans drove to the diner and hung out with him.

Solicit opinions, advice or assistance on short notice. You could tweet, “Can anyone suggest a good place for dinner in Albany?” or “My car broke down in Portland. Can anyone recommend a good mechanic?”

Twitter for business
To use Twitter in your professional life… Keep colleagues and clients up-to-date about schedules and plans. You could tweet, “Any customer expecting a service call today will receive one by 5:00 p.m. despite the snow” or “My flight was delayed. Can someone stand in for me at this afternoon’s meeting?”

Search for tweets about your company, industry, or products written by other Twitter users, and then provide fast feedback.

A plumber might offer responses to plumbing-related questions to build goodwill with customers. A manufacturer might respond to a complaint about a product with troubleshooting tips, turning negative buzz about the company’s customer service.

For example, cable company Comcast has a customer service employee monitor Twitter for mentions of Comcast and respond quickly.

The website TweetBeep ( and Twitter’s own search page ( can help find relevant tweets.

Show clients and potential clients the person behind the business. Customers are more likely to trust you if they believe that they know you and like you as a person.

To build this human connection, tweet about your hobbies, your charitable work, or your company’s softball game, in addition to your business and products.

How to sign up
Twitter is easy to use. Visit, click “Get Started-Join!” and follow the simple directions. E-mail a link to your twitter web page to keep friends, family, colleagues and clients posted on your life or business.

You can find people to follow by clicking on “Find people” from your Twitter home page.

Warning: Click “setting” then check the box by “Protect my updates” on your Twitter account page if you want to maintain control over who reads your tweets.

Leave this unchecked only if you do not expect to share sensitive information and would like to reach strangers as well as friends.

Always be careful. If you are going to be out of town for a few weeks, you may not want to tweet about that everyone can read your posts.

You can also choose to receive tweets from individuals on your cell phone. Though Twitter is free, your service provider may charge you when you send or receive messages from your phone depending on your plan.

Smart Social Media Skills Can Improve Sales Efforts

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

The old saying goes, “Information is power.” In sales, that’s more true than ever. Fortunately, the Internet has made researching prospective clients and preparing for your next sales appointment quick and easy.

When preparing for a sales call, you can browse to a prospect’s website to research their business, search for other key decision makers, and review recent company news.

Search engines can help you find additional information, such as recent hires, number of employees, and general information about the prospect’s industry. But, Internet searches only go so far. As more companies take advantage of social media, researching prospects on social media sites is a great way to learn more about your prospect.

FaceBook ( is the undisputed king of social media. More than a half-billion people have FaceBook accounts, and fifty percent of FaceBook’s active users log in every day.

If you’re selling, there’s a good chance your prospect’s company (and potential buyer) have FaceBook pages where you’ll find a wealth of information about their business.

People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on FaceBook – if you’re not actively using FaceBook to prospect (and market your company), you’re definitely missing some sales.

Awareness of Twitter ( has exploded from 5% of Americans in 2008 to 87% in 2010, and business use has never been higher.

Twitter’s search function allows you to find mentions of your potential client’s company and key decision makers, and the site’s people search feature helps you find users who list your prospect in their bio.

Following these Twitter accounts can help you stay abreast of the latest company news and help you gather deeper insights into what your prospect is working on and what it important to them.

Social networks
LinkedIn ( remains the number one business to business social network, where professionals sign up to connect with other business people and industry veterans.

Reviewing a company’s LinkedIn profile can tell you about other employees that work for your prospect, and how you might be connected to them.

You’ll also find information that will help you relate to your prospect – where they went to school, other positions they’ve held, and even hobbies they enjoy.

News alerts
You’re already searching a prospects company name, buyers’ names, and industry information before you go on your first sales appointment, so staying on top of updated prospect information will give you the leg up on winning business long term.

All of the popular search engines offer a free news alert service (,, that will send updated web and news content to your Inbox.

It’s also a good idea to set up alerts on your prospect’s competitors, executives and key decision makers.

These updates can give you additional reasons to contact prospects and clients, and give you additional insight into what is happening behind the scenes.

Bringing it all together
Web based CRM sites such as SalesForce ( will help you keep track of multiple prospects, deadlines and milestones.

SalesForce includes direct links to both FaceBook and Twitter to help you monitor clients and prospects in real time.

Be sure to build out your database to track both business and personal data about your prospects and decision makers. The wealth of information available on the Internet makes it easy for a sales professional (or company owner) to go into a call well prepared.

The best things? Since not all salespeople take the time to leverage web research and social media tools, doing your homework can help you set yourself apart from the competition and improve your sales performance.