Social Media Tricks You Maybe Didn't Know

| Friday, June 7, 2013

Today's Tune: Naive

So I'm a social media manager, and every once in a while I like to share a few of my tips/tricks for playing with social media. This post is mostly from the standpoint of an individual (like, say, an author) who's interested in building up their personal brand and generally interacting with social media.

Which brings me to my first point: social media is essentially pointless unless you're either 1) willing to invest the time to use it and have fun with it and enjoy yourself, or 2) famous. Famous people can basically post "haha my dog hiccuped" once a month and still have an immense following. If you are not famous, you have to put in more effort than that, and hopefully like what you're doing in the meantime.

Seriously, if you're going into social media rolling your eyes and acting like it's useless, it will be useless for you. Guaranteed. You have to be willing to participate.

Anyway. Blah blah blah, you've heard all that before. You're here for the tricks you maybe didn't know. Seasoned social media users and marketers will likely know all this stuff already, but they're a few fun "hidden" (not really) secrets that'll help you make better use of your social media.

Embed Tweets!

Did you know you can actually embed a tweet (complete with reply, retweet, favorite, and follow buttons) into your website, blog posts, or anywhere else that supports the HTML? It's true. Check it out.

This is super easy to do, eliminates the need to screenshot tweets for blog posts, and has the added benefit of making it easy for people to follow you or interact with your tweet. I wouldn't try to cram TOO many into a single blog post, but it's a handy trick. Here's how to do it.

Select a tweet, click the "More" link, then select "Embed Tweet."

Copy the provided code and paste it in the appropriate place. Easy-peasy.

This is a great way to share some of your favorite tweets (by you or others) and give that funny quip some extra life. Also share important messages and maybe attract some new Twitter followers with your cleverness.

Twitter Advanced Search

Did you know Twitter has an Advanced Search? It does. You may be thinking "big deal," but it can be a pretty handy tool for finding specific sorts of users. Like, say, users who live near you or are making positive comments about your book. I don't advise using it to be a creepy spamming asshat, but it's a good free tool for locating other users to who might be interested in you or your books/business/whatever. A lot of paid social media management programs have a search feature to help you target specific kinds of users or topics, but if you're willing to spend some extra time doing it yourself, the option's there.

Use a Management Tool

Platforms like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck also offer plenty of free services for individuals on social media. There are dozens of similar services. Pick the one you like best. They'll help you manage everything from one location AND you can set up searches so you can always keep tabs on who's mentioning you (or your book/business) and other relevant topics. They'll also allow you to insert pictures, shorten links, and schedule posts for pre-set times, which can be handy.

A few things: I don't recommend sharing the exact same post on all of your channels because BORING and they don't all work the same way. It's fine to pre-schedule stuff, but make sure you check in for responses so it's not like you're posting and running. People like to INTERACT with you.

Learn to set up search streams in whatever platform you use. I have searches set up to show me any tweets with "Sinkhorn" (because I have a pretty unique last name and most of the Sinkhorn mentions are me *toots horn*) and "maybegenius," which catches anyone who posts a link from my blog even if I'm not mentioned. You could do searches for your name, your books, or anything else that's relevant to you. Then you can respond (or not) or follow (or not). Just don't be a creeper.

Tumblr Only Checks Your First Five Tags

When you list out a whole bunch of tags on your Tumblr posts, you're not going to show up in search for all of those terms. Tumblr only picks up the first five. So if you want to actually show up in the site's search for certain terms, make sure you pick your first five carefully. Tags meant for users who use Tumblr Savior to block certain tags can go after those first five and should still work.

Also: you only show up in search for tags if you are the ORIGINAL POSTER. When you reblog stuff, you can tag it for your own blog's organization and your readers' convenience, but you won't be in search. Only original content goes in search.

Trim Dead or Spam Accounts with ManageFlitter

Every once in a while, it's a good idea to prune your following numbers on Twitter. ManageFlitter lets you know which accounts aren't following you back, haven't posted in over 30 days, or have been flagged as spam accounts. Use this client to unfollow those accounts from one convenient place without sifting through everything individually.

DON'T over do this, as unfollowing a huge chunk of people may make Twitter make note of your account as a potential spammer. If you stick to following or unfollowing 200 or so people per day, you'll be fine. It's unlikely you'd need to do more than that anyway.

Use Tweetchat to Follow Twitter Chats More Easily

It's unlikely this one is news to you, but if you participate in weekly chats like #yalitchat, this site will let you follow the conversation much better. Just sign in to Tweetchat and input the tag you'd like to follow. All of the tweets show up in one place and update automatically, AND you can respond right there. It even adds the tag for you automatically so you don't have to worry about it.

Download Jing

This one really has nothing to do with social media at all, it just makes it really easy to screencapture things. It's a really handy tool because there's NO MORE PRINT SCREEN AND CROPPING. Plus you can add text and arrows and stuff, which is handy for tutorials like this one. So download Jing. It's free. You're welcome.

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