Five Twitter Tips Part 5

It’s been too long since I’ve posted some Twitter tips, but I’m trying to get back into a weekly, or bi-weekly, post. Hope some of these are useful for you.

Twitter-banner-Fred-van-Schie-site

1. Link up your Instagram and Twitter
I don’t think you should feed your Instagram updates to Twitter every single time. 1-2 out of every 5 Instagram photos can go to your Twitter, if the text is short enough (max. 120 characters) and the tagged accounts have the same username on both platforms.
Even if you don’t feed Instagram to Twitter, which would the best option, other might do so. And if they do you want to make sure that if they tag you on Instagram, that the tag translates to Twitter. So if their friends so the tweet they can click on your username and look you up, and possibly follow you.
To link your Instagram account to Twitter open the Instagram app on your phone, click on the “wheel” in the upper right corner, and then click “Share Settings”. If you already are logged into the Twitter app on your phone, you can select the Twitter account. Otherwise you’d have to log in to Twitter and approve the setup.

(*If you have more then 9 Twitter accounts on your phone it only shows the last 9 accounts you have added to your phone. If the account you want to link is above the first 9 delete that account of the Twitter app and add it again.)

Ps. Even if you don’t have the same username on Twitter and Instagram you can link the accounts. If people then tag you on Instagram, it will automatically translate into the Twitter username once it gets posted on Twitter. I’m all about having the same username on ALL platforms, especially on Twitter and Instagram. It looks way better, it’s easier for people to find you (and know it’s you), and in the end it’s a huge part of your branding in 2013!

2. Don’t end a tweet with a URL if you also include an image.
When you add an image to a tweet (including an Instagram post), Twitter turns it into a URL at the end of the tweet. If you want to also include a(nother) URL in your tweet, it’s best to not end the tweet with that URL, as it would display 2 URLs in a row. Looks confusing for people, and they might only click on one of the URLs. If you really want/need to include a URL in the tweet, it’s best to put the URL earlier in the tweet. If needed you can always put 1 or more hashtags after the URL. That way both URLs aren’t right next to each other.

photo

Or, especially if you’re trying to promote an event/product with a flyer, or post a YouTube/Vimeo video, focus on that and aim to have people interact and share that, rather then trying to have them do multiple things. You only have a few seconds of someone’s attention most of the time, so make the most of it. Realize what the goal of the tweet is….

3. Fill in your profile
A lot of times when I look up a person or brand on Twitter, they don’t really display any info. I understand in some cases you want to stay low-key, but then you might be in the wrong place anyway….
You have 160 characters for your bio, and make sure you put in a website URL where people can found out more information. If people take the time to look you up, make it worth their time. If your profile has no info, what does that say about you?

Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 7.46.54 AM

4. Upload a header
As most people look at Twitter from a mobile device (60%), I’m not to worried about the background image. It’s also hard to size it correctly since everyone has a different size screen.
The Twitter header, which was introduced in the fall of 2012, can be seen on both mobile and desktop, and you should upload one.
To upload a header just log in to your Twitter account on a computer. Once you are logged in hoover your mouse over your profile picture (you have that right?) and then click “EDIT”. The original image size for the Twitter header cannot exceed 1252×626 pixels (with a max file size of 5MB). Twitter does not specify a minimum size, but anything smaller than 640 pixels-wide will appear poor quality.

mob-twitter
On mobile the header is shown separate. Swipe the profile picture to the left and you can see the header with the profile information.(On a desktop it’s all displayed at once)

5. Don’t link Twitter to Facebook
Different platforms, different languages. Twitter has a max of 140 characters (or 120 + an image), hashtags don’t work on Facebook (yet), and each platform has a different audience. And if you tag someone on Twitter, that tag won’t translate to Facebook. And tagging others is the best way to get seen by more people.
Go to facebook.com/Twitter to unlink your Twitter to Facebook feed. Spent 1 extra minute to update Twitter and Facebook (and Instagram) separate and increase the reach of each post. Unless you don’t want as many people as possible to see, and share, your updates….
I see a lot of brands post on Instagram and then feed that to their Twitter and Facebook page. Not only do all 3 platforms display the same content (boring), but most of the time they also display a broken message. And don’t tell me you don’t have 1-2 extra minutes to tell the world about your amazing content….

Hope these tips are useful. Let me know if you have any questions. Email me at fred@fredvanschie.com or hit me up on Twitter or Instagram @fredvanschie.
Hope to be back next week!

Five Facebook Tips #3

Another Friday so that means some more Facebook tips.
Here are 5 more for this week.

1. Tag other brands and people when you can
When you tag another brand (or person), your post shows up on their wall. So if you’re fan page only has a small amount of fans it’s a great way to expose your brand to new fans. Make sure to do this right and don’t just tag to tag (spam!). Also tag them withing the sentence you’re writing, not at the end of your text by itself.
To tag another brand/person just type the “@” sign followed by the name of the brand/person you want to tag. Make sure you tag the right one since a lot of brands (and pro skateboarders) have fake pages.
Tagging is also an easy way to show the brands that you’re doing your job. Let’s say you run a skateshop and you just received new Toy Machine boards. By telling your fan base about this shipment (with a photo or link), and tagging Toy Machine, the people at Toy Machine will be thankful that you’re promoting their products. And since you are making your consumers aware of this you are gonna drive traffic (and sales!) to your store.


* Example of the Metro skateshop Facebook page tagging Venture trucks

2. Keep the text short, but not too short
Twitter only allows you 160 tokens (140 with a photo or link), which sometimes might not be enough to trigger someone to click the link or photo. I know I’d always like to type more.
I keep repeating myself (already), but less is more. My general rule with a Facebook post, when I post a photo or link, is to write maximum 2 lines of text. Try to stay away from just typing text! Get a photo or a link in your post.

3. Don’t send people to your blog in every post
Interaction happens on Facebook, like it or not. Sending people to your blog for every update you do won’t help. People don’t like to leave Facebook, so post the YouTube/Vimeo video on Facebook (and blog!), post the product (photo) on Facebook (and blog!) and ask questions and respond to them (interaction!) on Facebook. People know that they can go to your site anytime to look at product, your teamriders, contact info etc. Your website should be treated more as a homebase. People can always go back weeks or months later to find stuff on your blog. It’s easier to look stuff up than on Facebook.
Websites are becoming less important since people don’t really surf the web on their smartphone, so adapt to that. As a brand or shop you’re fine with doing 2-5 blog updates a week. But you should be posting on your Facebook page 2-5 times per 24 hours!

4. Stop posting mostly product
Don’t treat your Facebook page like a boring product page. Again, it’s less about your brand and more about the interaction. You want to create an emotional connection with your (future) consumer.
Asking your fans about their favorite pizza or plans for the weekend will get more interaction than most product posts. It also shows that you actually care about what your fans have to say. And caring is more than half the battle. Try it out and you’ll see.

5. Re-post good content
Some people might disagree with this but I think it’s totally fine to post a good video multiple times in the first 48-72 hours. Pretty much all your fans will see your updates in their newsfeed (and not on your page), so it’s only visible for a few hours, if that.
The average person has in between 200-300 friends, so their feed is filled with updates from their friends and (fan) pages they like. So if you post something in the morning and someone checks their Facebook feed in the afternoon, it’s most likely he or she won’t see your update.
You can post a video even after a few weeks, and it will still be seen by new people. The people that have already seen it might give it a like since they loved the video when they saw it the first time. This comment or like will show up on their feed so all their friends might be triggered to watch it too, and possible comment, like or even share it. The more people see your video the better right?
I was doing this with a lot of the Theotis Beasley sponsor me reviews on the Altamont Facebook page last year quite a bit, and every time I would post it I was amazed how many comments and likes it got, even after re-posting it for the third time after a few days it was posted for the first time.

Questions or comments? Drop ‘em below!
Or shoot me an email at fred@fredvanschie.com.

Also check out “Five Facebook Tips #2” from last week.

Five Instagram Tips Part 1

Instagram came and conquered 2011. If you haven’t heard of it by now, it’s basicly a mix between Twitter and Hipstamatic. Snap a photo, add a filter (optional), add some text (optional) and upload it to the feed.

While the app only works on the iPhone (and iPad & iPod touch) it went from 1 million to 15 million users in 2011. Can’t thank the homie Steve Clare enough for the skype call in February of last year and telling me I needed to join in. My first insta photo was a photo of that skype call….

A lot of people in the skateboard industry (riders, employees, shops) joined the madness in 2011 and surely but slowly brands are seeing the value too. Along with Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is the social media platform where your brand needs to be present.

Here are some tips and tricks for using Instagram, both on a personal and on a brand level.

1. Sync your username to Twitter (and all other social media)
I’m all about syncing all your usernames, but since a lot of people feed their Instagram into Twitter it’s very important for you, and your brand, to make sure both usernames are the same. This also allows people to respond to an instagram post on your twitter. Even though I’m all about the iPhone there is a huge amount of people on Twitter that use a different mobile device. And ‘currently’ Twitter has 100 million active users, Instagram has 15 million (Jan 1, 2012).

2. Use your hashtags wisely
The world famous pound (#) key is slowly loosing it’s meaning to the hashtag. When you post a photo about skateboarding, just write (hashtag) “#skateboarding” instead. Once you post the insta photo you can click on the hashtag and see all the photos that people have posted with the same hashtag. It’s a great way to find people with similar interests. And others can find you too.
I’m all about using the hashtag, and the “at symbol” (@) in the actual caption, so it reads like a normal sentence. E.g. “Loving my new @zeroskateboards deck, #skateboarding rules!”
And please don’t use more than 3 hashtags that make sense in the caption. Using 10 lame hashtags to gain more followers is making you look very desperate! (#iphoneography, #instagram, #popularpage, #follow, #followback, #swag, etc)

3. Don’t clog the feed
One of the main themes for social media in 2012 is LESS IS MORE, and Instagram is no exception to that trend. I recently tried to post no more than 3-4 photos a day. Your life, or brand, is no doubt way cooler than mine, and I’m not being sarcastic here. Even though I keep unfollowing (and follow) people that clog my feed (“cloggers”), less is more. Good content will attract people, but too much of anything…. You know the rest.

4. Size your photo right
When taking a photo on your iPhone hold the phone up straight, no landscape photos for instagram please. (It’s pretty much the same for every blog out there.) The black bar on the top and bottom doesn’t help the look of the photo. One out of 5, or maybe even 10, can be a product shot (plug), but just have your designer size it up right. I normally size the product images to 900×900, then email the photo to myself, save it on my iPhone, and then upload it to Instagram. A minimal effort that makes it look that much better. And I’m an amateur!

5. Promote your Instagram
After I got on Instagram in February 2011, and saw that most of the Altamont teamriders where on it too, it was time to start an Altamont Instagram and start promoting it. While most not so social media people in the office asked me if “Instagram was gonna be the new Facebook”, I went ahead and worked with Altamont designer Tristan Ellis on a flyer. Right before I was gonna post it on various Altamont social platforms Patrick O’Dell walked into the office. I asked him if he wanted to start an Instagram account, so we could include him on the flyer, and he did….
I remember running into Figgy a few days later and he was all hyped that he gained a couple hundred followers in a few days. Yup, it’s really that easy.

* I ran the Altamont Instagram from April 2011 til early December 2011
** DGK took it to another level with their Instagram ad in the Transworld Skateboarding (Dec 2011)

Questions or comments? Drop a comment below!