Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Twitter Etiquette

Twitter "Do's and Don'ts"

Following up from our previous Blog on the basics of Twitter, this Blog post is designed to give you some more information as to the etiquette of Tweeting.  Some essential do’s and don’ts, and to just provide a few helpful hints and tips, so without further ado please read on…..

There are no rules or regulations with regards to Twitter, but you may find the following points helpful to bear in mind when Tweeting. 

  • Ensure you fill in your profile and biography so your followers can know more about you. It doesn’t have to be too much detail, but enough for your followers to know you are a real person.
  • Make sure you have an avatar.  There is nothing worse than having the ‘egg’ avatar.  Either use your own picture as your profile or your Business Logo
  • We already mentioned that each Tweet has a limit of 140 characters.  This in itself is a task – to be able to join in the conversation and make sense without rambling or just one word Tweets.
  • Avoid using punctuation in your username. Typing punctuation on mobile devices is difficult.
  • Don’t overthink your Tweets – say what you think or what you are doing
  • Try to have a mixture of Tweets.  This is especially important if you are using Twittter to promote your website/product.  Your followers will not just want to see the same Tweet of what you are selling or product you are offering.  Ensure you have a mix of ‘promotional tweets’ and more ‘personal’ tweets.
  • Try to ensure Tweets are longer that one word so your followers can understand you
  • Listen to what is being said on Twitter
  • Respond to Twitter followers when you can and join in the conversation.
  • Update your status at least once a day
  • Whenever you're referencing another Twitter user, use his name with an @ sign in the front so that the user can see that you mentioned him and so that other users see who you're talking about.
  • Hashtags on Twitter are key to give context to updates that may not make sense otherwise.
  • Be careful if you are auto Tweeting from another website.  For example if you are add a Pin to Pinterest you can Tweet this pin.  This is a great tool for cross social networking but just make sure your Tweets aren’t simply all posted from other websites and in the same format.
  • Never ever Tweet if you are cross or angry!  We all say things sometimes in the heat of the moment, but do not do this on Twitter!
  • Don't share information that you might regret making public.
  • When you first sign up and before you start tweeting regularly, don't follow hundreds of people. If you follow someone, she checks out your profile to see whether she wants to follow you back; if she sees that you've tweeted once or twice and you're following hundreds of people, she may think you're just a spam account.
  • Start slowly, following people you know and who know you. Then, as you start tweeting regularly, follow more people based on your interests.
  • Don't send an update when a direct message is more appropriate — when the update is meaningless to anyone except one person, for example. If the person doesn't follow you, you can send an update that contains her name, asking her to contact you over another medium.
  • Don't feel the need to thank everyone publicly for following you. It's a nice thing to do, but not always necessary, and some users even find it irksome.
  • Don't think that Twitter success has anything to do with your follower count.
  • Schedule Tweets - If you are not around to be able to tweet regularly (and to be honest none of us are!), then using a third party software will help:
    • Hootsuite - 
    • Tweetdeck - 
    • Twuffer -
Hopefully you will find these "Do's and Don'ts" helpful!  But the most important thing is to join in the conversation and get Tweeting!

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Twitter - a basic guide

So what is all the fuss about Twitter?  If you're a Twitter novice then hopefully this Blog will be of some use to you! It is not designed as a complete guide to Twitter, but just to give you a few tips about the basics!  

In simple terms Twitter is just one giant conversation!  It is just like sitting with a group of friends and all joining in the conversation.  Essentially when you send a Tweet you are speaking to everyone in the whole group and everyone can hear what you say.

Twitter may seem a little daunting at first to inexperienced users with lots of terminology such as Tweeting, Retweeting and Following, not to mention using the @ and # symbols!!  But have no fear it is really easy to use and get to grips with!

The basics of Twitter:
1.       Using the @ symbol to Tweet
By placing @ symbol in front of a username you can tag another user in a Tweet.  As an example:
@colacreations @TheCrystalLady are all taking part in #craftfest

2.       Retweet
You can easily share a Tweet from another user by clicking Retweet (also known as

3.       Reply
The reply function can be used in several ways.  

Use the “Reply” button to publicly reply to a particular comment to a single user.  Your comment will be seen by the person it is directed to and also everyone who is following that person.  Click on a Tweet that you want to reply to. A reply example may look as follows:

@colacreations Are you taking part in #craftfest?

If you sent the reply then everyone who is following Colacreations and yourself you will see the message (followers must be following both you and @ColaCreations to see this message)

You can also add other users when replying to a Tweet that weren't on the original Tweet.  to do this use the “Reply” button as normal and add any relevant users.  An example may be as follows:
I’m taking part in #craftfest with @thecrystallady @DaisyChainGift @kkmaries40

4.       Direct Messages (also referred to as DM)
A private message can be sent directly to a user on Twitter who is already following you.  This is like sending someone an email or a message - no one else will be able to see these messages.  To send a direct message click on the Users profile to get to their page.  Right click on the gear box that is displayed towards the top right of the page and select Send a Direct Message

5.       Hash Tags (#)
In most simple terms the # is used to mark keywords or topics.  If you click on a # it will show you all the other tweets associated with that keyword/topic.  This is really important as it allows everyone to track what everyone else is saying about a topic.  As an example:
@Colacreations has a #craftfest stall - have you? #craftbiz #handmade

If you clicked on #craftfest you would then see all the other Tweets that had used the #craftfest

6.       Trending
Trending # are simply those # that are being used by a lot of users.  

7.       Following and Followers
A follower is someone who follows you on Twitter and sees your updates on their home feed (Your home timeline displays a stream of Tweets from accounts you have chosen to follow on Twitter).  Quite simply by Following a user you will then be able to see the Tweets they send.  Followers are users that are following you and they will be able to view your Tweets.

Send your first Tweet!
Now you know the basics of the lingo it’s time to start Tweeting! You will see the below symbols appear at the bottom of each Tweet.  So from left to right: Reply, Retweet, Favourite, Tweet Activity, Drop down to show additional Functions.

We have already mentioned the Reply and Retweet buttons.  The heart (favourite) button simply allows you to Like/favourite individual Tweets.

The Tweet activity will show you the activity of that particular Tweet, so information such as how many RT and Likes it has had.  It also goes in to a bit more depth with information such as impressions and engagements.  You would also be able to select the option to promote this particular Tweet (this would be at an extra cost).  I am only touching on these points as this Blog is designed to discuss the basics!

If you click on the far right symbol (three dots) you will see a drop down menu which shows additional functions.  Below shows further actions available.  Again I will not go in to too much detail but the majority of it is self explanatory.

Just on an aside note, you will notice that the buttons on Tweets that have been RT will appear slightly differently.  They will appear as 

and the drop down appears as

  • Now your account is all set up and you know the Twitter basics it is time to start Tweeting!  To send a Tweet login to your Twitter account and click on the Tweet button

Alternatively right click on profile of someone you follow and right click on the gear box that appears towards the top right of the page and next to the Following button and select “Tweet to @”

  •  Your Tweet can be no longer that 140 characters long. If you go over this limit then Twitter will highlight the number of characters you are over and will also highlight the characters in red.  As an example below you can see the message is over by 23 characters.  

The 140 characters will include any @ and #.  

  • If you click on one of the usernames in a Tweet you will automatically go to that person’s Twitter page. This easily gives you the opportunity to follow that person.
  • It’s up to you how many times a day you Tweet.  You can Tweet as much as you like, but a word of warning - remember Twitter is a giant conversation, so like any conversation no one will want to hear a second by second drill down of everything you are doing. You want to say something that is interesting, helpful or just entertaining - what would you say in a normal face to face conversation?  Try not to overthink it! Ultimately you are developing a reputation with your followers so make sure you are adding something to the conversation.  You may find Followers stop following you if you send a Tweet every few minutes updating what you are doing!
  • Just remember there are no rules to Tweeting - and this is the beauty of it.  But of course as with any social networking be careful not to provide too much personal information - such as “I’m going away on holiday next week so my house will be empty” - for obvious reasons!
  •  Shortening links
If you want to add a URL to your Tweet then it is advisable to shorten it - this isn’t necessary but actually makes the Tweet easier to read.   For example the below Tweet shows a full URL

@colacreations @TheCrystalLady @DaisyChainGift @kkmaries40 - have you booked your #craftfest stall yet? Book your stall here -

There is a really easy way to shorten the links and by using a  URL shortener the Tweet will appear much shorter.  Visit a site such as (enter the URL on the relevant box and you will find a shortened URL).  The below Tweet shows a shortened URL

@colacreations @TheCrystalLady @DaisyChainGift @kkmaries40 - have you booked your #craftfest stall yet? Book your stall here -

  • Adding a Photo
You can add a photograph to any Tweet. To add a photo simply click on the camera icon that appears underneath the Tweet you are writing.  There is a file size limit of 3MB for any photographs.Once again there is no rule about how many photographs to Tweet but it is best practice to have a mixture of Tweets with and without photographs

As I have mentioned this Blog is designed to give a really simple basic overview of Twitter and should be enough to get goingt. There are lots more functionalities and capabilities such as adding location to Tweets, asking Polls and lots more.

You can’t go too far wrong with Twitter and the best way to learn is starting Tweeting.  Just remember to have fun and enjoy Tweeting and RT with your Followers.  Also don’t forget everyone started out on Twitter as a novice at some point!

So, what are you waiting for? Get Tweeting #soeasy #loveTweeting 

Monday, 14 March 2016

Pinterest Etiquette

Following on from our previous Blogs about Pinterest Essentials and Pinterest Lingo,  we hope you have been busy pinning!  This final Blog about Pinterest is  to provide are a few pointers on Pinterest etiquette:

  • Try to be imaginative with your boards.  Think about all topics that relate to your interests. Don’t just fill your boards with adverts and promotions.
  • Connect and engage with your followers like you do on Facebook and Twitter, and ensure you regularly look at the content they are repining.
  • Take a bit of time setting up your profile.  Ensure it has links to your Twitter page and website and well as a short bio
  • Make sure all pins include the right caption and information and ensure the description for each {Pin includes keywords and hashtags.
  • Don’t leave descriptions blank or just leave your website URL as this has an impact on how ‘searchable’ your Pin is.  If the description of your Pin has a few hashtags it will easily found.  If the description is blank or just has your website url it can reflect badly on your brand.
  • Repin all you want but always give credit to the owner of the content. If you did not create the content/image, do not imply that it is yours.  Editing the source link is definitely a Pinterest no-no.
  • Include price tags: pinterest users aren’t just looking for creative inspiration, they may be ready to buy.  Make sure you include a price tag in the pins you create or repin.  Apparnetly Pinterst pins with prices get 36% more likes than those without.
  • Find popular Group Boards – using popular Pinterest group boards is a great way to reach more people to get repins, followers and traffic.  PinGroupie is an easy to use and free tool that finds group boards.
  • Do comment on other’s Pins but don’t post spammy comments and link to your website in comments.  Leave something constructive and helpful; you’ll find if your comments are genuine then you will be a more effective Pinner
  • Make sure you pin regularly throughout the week if possible.  Don’t just pin once in a while as all you will be doing is flooding your Followers’ feeds.  This is likely to annoy others and end up with less followers
  •  Pin at different times throughout the day 9am, noon, 3pm, 6pm, and 9pm for starters and notice the days & times you get the best engagement from your followers.  You can then start to regularly pin at those times.
  • Make sure you share your own content, but don’t just share your own content! It’s all about moderation – try to follow the 60/40 rule.  Pin 60% of content from other sources/followers/boards and 40% of your own content
  • Make sure you create new boards but don’t create a board unless you can pin at least 5 items to it. If you can’t initially find 5 pins for your new board, you probably won’t use it anyway, and empty boards do not attract followers.
  • Finally make sure you have fun! Pinning is addictive……….

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Pinterest Essentials!

Some of you may (or may not have read)  our previous Blog which gave an initial introduction to Pinterest and all the lingo (if you missed it then you can find it here).  This Blog is following on and designed to give you some helpful pointers about the basics of adding pins, boards, repining and the Pinterest etiquette.

So first things first (we are assuming you have already set up your Pinterest account and ready to log on. If you need help setting up a Pinterest account then have a look at the official Pinterest help section

When you first log in to Pinterest, you’ll see your home feed—it’s a collection of Pins from the people, boards and topics you follow, as well as a few Promoted Pins and Pins that have been picked for you based on your interests.
If you click on your Avatar (profile picture) you will then be taken to your main Pinterest page.  From here you will see the following tabs:

1. How to add a pin

There are several ways you can add a Pin, either directly from your Pinterest account or by using a ‘Pin it’ browser button.

Adding a pin from your Pinterest account:
From your Pinterest homepage click on the Pins tab and click ‘Add Pin’. 
From the screen that pops up you'll be able to add a pin by pasting in the URL of a website or by uploading a photo from your hard drive.
If you select the web then enter the URL of your pin.  If you select your device, then choose an image from your device.
You will then be asked to select an image that you want to Pin. 
Select the image.             
Choose which board to add the pin to and write a description of the image you are pinning.
If you want to add your pin to a new board, you can create one directly from the drop down menu as well.

Adding a Pin using a ‘Pin It’ button
The ‘Pin It’ button is something that you will need to download in order for it to appear on your bookmark bar.  You can find details how to do this here.
If you click the ‘Pin It’ button from the website you are reading then this is the URL that will be Pinned.  Follow the same process to select the image add a description and add the pin to a board

2. How to Create a New Board

To create a new board on your account, go to your homepage and ensure you are on the boards tab (this is the default), click the "Add +" button. 
Give your board a descriptive name so your followers know what types of pins they'll find on it.
The category options are set by Pinterest, so select whichever is closest or choose "other" for those wildcard boards.
Select whether you want the board to be Secret or not.  Only you or anyone that you invite will be able to see your Secret Board.  Secret Pins or boards will not appear in your home feed, in the search function or anywhere else around Pinterest.
Finally invite collaborators to your board. This means that they will have the ability to add pins (and other pinners) to the shared board. They won't, however, be able to edit the title or the category of the board.

3. Repin from Your Feed

Your feed appears when you first login to Pinterest.  If someone you're following has added a pin that you like, you can save it to one of your boards as well. Simply hover over the image on Pinterest and three buttons will appear—repin, send and like. To add that pin to one of your boards, click Pin It and follow the same steps you would to add a pin.

4. Repin from another Board

If you are looking for something in particular, then you can use the search function.  This will then bring up anything that matches your search.  To repin, simply hover over the image, click repin and add to one of your boards.

5. Like and Comment

You can Like and Comment on a Pin without having to repin it to one of your own boards.  The original pinner will be able to see that you've liked it, but it won't be added to the feed of pins that your followers see. (If you do want to see the pins you've liked, you can do so via the link on your profile page.)
You can also add comments to your pins or your followers' pins by clicking on the pin and adding a comment in the section below. Just remember to keep opinions civil and criticisms constructive.

6. Send

If you see a Pin you like that you would like to directly share with one of your followers’ then click on the Send button.

So what are you waiting for?  Start pinning!

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Pinterest - what's is all about?

Pinterest is essentially exactly what it sounds like – it is a bookmarking social network site - one giant pin board full of pictures that may be of interest and that can be shared with the rest of the online community (Pins of Interest = Pinterest).
If you are completely new to Pinterest then we have written a quick guide on the terminology you may see on Pinterest.

Pinterest lingo:

1. Pin – this is a post (or bookmark) that you share on Pinterest.  It is similar to a Tweet or Facebook post but is an image.
2. Board – this is where collections of Pins are grouped together by the same topic or theme. 
3. Follower – this is an account on Pinterest that has chosen to follow you, your Pins, or a particular board on your account (similar to Followers on Twitter).
4. Following – if you follow another Pinterest account then you will have all of that user’s Pins on all of their boards shown to you in real-time on Pinterest on your Timeline stream. You would follow an account if you are interested in their Pins.
You can follow individual Boards if you just want to see a user’s pins to specific boards
You can unfollow Boards and pins at any time: they will not be notified
5. Repin – this is the same idea as a Reteeet on Twitter.  A Repin is simply when you share someone else’s Pin.  When you repin an image the link will still go back to the original source no matter how many times it is repined
6. Like – this is the same concept as a Like used on Facebook.  A like will show the user who Pinned the post that you Like it but it will not appear on your own board like a repin does.

So this is the basic terminology of Pinterest!  We’ll be back again with another Blog to give a few more pointers on using Pinterest and how to get the best out of it!

It goes without saying that if you could give us some feedback on this Blog such as if it is helpful (or not), or if you have any questions or want to know more about a certain aspect of Pinterest then please let us know!