Category Archives: social media networking

Start a Blog for Yourself or Business: Top 10 Basics You Should Know!

Have a blog for yourself was the first thing I talked about when I started this blog. But it seems that I have never really specifically introduce how to start a blog…so in this article, I want to make it more in details. It is easier than you imagine, but there are still some basic knowledge you have to keep in mind.

1.  The Name of your Blog, and the Tagline

No matter you are a person or you will write for a business,  think of the name and tagline carefully before you start. Because it is hard for you to go back to revise it, and the most important is, the TAGLINE will be indexed by the search engine.

2. What to Blog?

The whole social media network is Share, Share and Share. Blog is a way to show yourself, and your product, so if you want to go viral, you need audience who would like to Share your content. “Content is the King”, as I always say. Blog something you are good at and interested in, so that you could at least write something worthy of share. If you love Fashion, love cooking, love traveling, love to watch Movies…go ahead and blog them!

3. Blogging Software

Find a blogging software which is easy to use. There are millions of blog website out there,but I personally suggest that you should find the one which suits your content most. Like in fashion blogosphere, most fashionistas prefer to blog through Blogger than WordPress…

4. URL

An important element to customize your blog.  You can also use it with your company’s domain together.

5. Layout

Simple and Easy is what I high recommend. You can always put beautiful images that reflect your topic, but the layout should still be clear. There are some blogs show up with awful text colors and crazy background, which won’t attract people to read.

6.  Links and Social Media pluggins.

Besides those basic SEO skills that I wrote in the last blog article, never ever forget building Links and add Social media pluggins to your blog. They are the keys for your blog to be exposed and shared.

7. Categorize your blog articles.

Never ignore the function of TAGs, while never ignore Categories. Categorize your blog articles, and you are very welcome to multi-categorize them. For example, this article I am writing can be categorized as Social Media Blog, while also Social Media Marketing…

8. Track your audience.

Most blogging software help you track where and how do your clicks come from. You can always found a clear chart on your dashboard to get to know your audience.

9. Comment Trackback

It is up to the author if they want people to comment on blogs…even though there are so much spam nowadays, it will never be wrong if you keep your comment open to audience, especially when you are blogging for your business…because you need to communicate with your consumers/potential consumers.  And be sure to trackback comments, so you will be notified when you audience reply to your message—-this means a great start of a conversation directly with your fans/consumers.

 

10. Comment on other blogs.

Another best way to attract audience and to run your blog better. You can start to comment on others’ blog even before your blog officially launched. Making friends with bloggers, knowing what they have been up to. Involve other blogs and bloggers are the best start to participate the online community.

 

 

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How to Get More Twitter Followers?

We always say that we need to Communicate with our customers when running a business today, since the whole world enters Social Media Era. And everything we do needs to be networked.

If you want a success in your business, you need to first make success in your related social media platform. Because now it is the time that customers take actions. All you need to do is to listen to them and communicate with them.

But how?

Twitter is the most important and popular platform to talk to your customers and fans directly. But if you have no followers, you have no one to talk to. So I will give you some tips on how to attract more twitter fans based on my own experiences.

1.  Start to follow people.  

It seems easy, but you have to keep in mind that “people” here means those twitter user who might probably be interested in your products. You can not follow people blindly, you need to focus on twitter user who have the same interest as your business do.

For example, If you are running a fashion site for online shopping, you have to find people who love fashion while love online shopping. You can find them by searching keywords through twitter’s searching bar.

2. Talk to people who you are following. 

Read their tweets and reply them friendly. You can give them compliment, answer their questions…you need to make them feel that you are a friend of them online. Care about their daily lives, give them best advice when they need help by “Mentioning” them or “Retweeting” them. Then they will begin to notice you, follow you back, and want to know you.

And trust me, twitter users love to follow people who talk to them, if you love communication, lots of people will find you and will start t0 follow you.

3. Unfollow people who don’t follow you back in time.

You need to unfollow people who don’t follow you back. Solely spend your times on people who deserve your time. 

4. Tweet more High-quality Tweets.

Tweet information that are not “nonsense”. You followers would like to know what is going on with your business, what is the hottest trend in your feild, what is the story behind…they don’t want to know how many burgers you eat today and why you hate the girl who lives next door!

5. Follow your related industries and retweet useful information from them.

If you are a movie studio, you can retweet tweets from movie companies on new movie previews; if you are a restaurant manager, you can reweet tweets from healthy tips on “green recipe” etc. Make your twitter as a information source.

 

 

 

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How to “check-in” properly without annoying others

I know this is annoying, when you open your facebook page, the whole page is about check-ins from your friends. “Foursqure” is becoming a more and more popular app. To some extent, check-in information is positive for local business. On one hand,  Restaurants and bars could read people’s tips and improve their qualities, on the other hand, the”check-in” is completing the addresses, it helps local facilities are more easy to be found.

Hereby I will give some advice on how to “check-in” properly without annoying others:

  1. Don’t connect your foursquare or other location check-in accounts with facebook or twitter. As we all know that facebook and twitter have already become the first platforms for people to obtain news. Thus, it will be very annoying if all your personal activities are shown on facebook and twitter, except your best friends, no one would really like to know this.
  2.  Don’t check –in every single time, just check-in in some really interesting places. Every one wants to be cool if they check in cool places, but not every time you need to tell people, especially when you check in at 7pm every day to announce the whole world that you have arrived at your sweet home.
  3. Want to win the badges? Then don’t be that blind ! There are some badges with the winning of the continuely five check in, thus, a lot of uses deem that they more they check in, they more badges they will win. However,  that is not the way to win badges. If you want to win badges, please check online to see in what conditions you can win them, some of them lies on the first time you check on board, some of them on the time when you check in in the mid of the night etc. Thus, don’t bother your friends in a crazily check-in ways 😉

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How Social Media Helps in PR

PR is short for public relations.  Briefly speaking, public relation is an action of pomotion. PR agencies help companies build their favorable public images. When social media hasn’t become a part of our lives, PR is more likely focus on traditional media. But now, things changes. PR is is closely connected with social media, tradtional media is  no longer the main platform for building public images.

Today I want to make two points on how Social Media has helped PR:

1. Social Media helps you to find out where is your main audience. Though facebook and twitter are the most popular social network sites, there are still some different sites with different group of audience, which depends on countries, ages etc. The most simple way is trysocial media metrics tools to test where lies the biggest audience. A good research needs to be done, and the social media’s landscape in specific region needs to be considered.

For example, twitter is not the main social media network sites in Chinese speaking countries: including China, Taiwa, Hongkong, since they are more interested in using Sina Weibo. Thus, when thining of promotions in these areas, Sina Weibo should be a platform to be concerned.

2. Social Media helps PR agency talk with customers directly, which could lead PR agency to change their marketing plan on time after listening to customers. Social media is a channel for communications, not a marketing tactic. No matter how many fans you have , no matter the number is one million or one billion, you cannot ignore them. Social media helps you listen to them and let them take the actions. If PR agency communicate with customers more often, they will know more about what this market demand, and a better promotion plan will be built.

In a nutshell, social media could boast the efforts for PR agency. PR agency should start to research on how to make good use of it.

 

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How Chinese Weibo has Changed China

Weibo is the chinese name for “Micro blog”, which was born two years ago, but now has already reached millions of users. Because of the strict censorship in China, the birth of weibo is the same as the birth of “Xiaonei”, “kaixin”, which fills the vacancy of international social network sites like “facebook ” “twitter” in China. However, with the development of Weibo, Chinese internet has indeed brought lots of changes to Chinese social media landscape so far.

Social network is a highly free sharing network, which has never been real built in China. Chinese government keeps eyes on all tweets that Chinese tweeted in Chinese weibo. It has happened many times that “sensitive” tweets were deleted by the Sina weibo authority. Compare with the press freedom of Twitter, Weibo’s topic limitations are ridiculous, nevertheless, Chinese netizens are deeply impacted by the development of social media.

1. Chinese realizes that social media could be a first platform for them to receive news. Everyone can be a reporter through social media and the existence of traditional media in China (which is highly censored by Chinese authorities) is not highly trustful anymore.

2. “Sharism” is an important concept to be realized. “Sharism” is connected closely with the work “collective intelligence”, there are people from different careers in Weibo, politicians and celebrities might lead normal netizens to some different worldviews. Weibo is becoming the most popular site for chinese netizens to share knowledge, especially on current society news. With only 140 characters limit, Chinese people are so happy to discover a land that could spread the word. After the happening of Chinese train accident in the spring of 2011, Weibo even begins to own the “political” features: lots of Chinese netizens start to believe that the more they share, the better society will be.

3. Social Media could help business. Social media online campaign is still quite new for Chinese people. And in fact the online campaign has really set up yet, but it is still easy to see that a lot of companies are beginning to use weibo to communicate with their audience. A lot of business people are beginning to use weibo to do advertisement for their productions. Chinese market is becoming more and more active and colorful.

When I first came to Netherlands, every time my Chinese friends ask me what is my major, it is always tough for me to explain what is New Media. Once I mention the name of social media, they will wonder that why social media needs to be studied. But now, there are more and more people begin to do take part in the research of social media, a lot of companies in China begin to have social media department for their online marketings.

Although social media in China is still under an un-freedom environment, with the development of social media and the increasing realization of people, I hope the “free” day will come soon.

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A Basic Social Media Plan for Fashion Industry

Social Media is impacting every industry including Fashion.  Social media sites are becoming an important platform for fashion brands to not only communicate with customers, but also promote business directly.

Facebook and Twitter are the most popular social plugins that can be found through fashion industry websites, and they have even become the first place to show their new trend . Thus, how to make use of facebook and twitter is essential for fashion labels to make social media plan at first.

1. Set up an official account for your fashion lable in both Facebook and Twitter. As the most popular social network sites, they can attract most customers amongst all. Fluently statue update is a must. Daily statues must include all information that your potential customers might interested in. For example: the start of sale, new pieces for new season, special offer etc.

2.Put  “Like” button in a proper place. “Like” button is a connection to your network. Your friends can see what you like and then this “like” will possibly spread amongst your friends, and your friends’ friends. For fashion companies it is good if “like” appears in the homepage of wesbite, however, I deem that it is better if it could be shown up below specific pieces. Therefore, it is more likely to promote productions.

3. Online competition and “Tag”. If an online competition is successful enough, it will double the number of fans. The most vital element for a successful online competition relies on bonus and creativity, one thing bare in mind is that trying to involve as many fans as you can. Topic like “what am i wearing today” is always interesting for fashion lovers. Let your fans wear your pieces, upload pictures, and then tag them. Give some bonus or vouchers for the fan who receive most votes from others.

Besides these three basic actions,  Mutual Communication should not be forgotten. When you have no idea what to update,  just communicate with your fans online. Read their replies and trying to respond, especially when they ask you something, please give an answer. Asking some questions online is also a good choice, it will encourage  your followers and fans take part in.

For social media plans these are the most basic ways. Different companies must have different marketing plans depending on different customers and goals. Social media is the best place for you to know your audience. It is always easier said than done, so before making an online marketing plan, you still have to do much research.

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Social Media Relationship

Although online social network sites exist virtually, the relationship amongst people in this social network are not virtual, since we all use real names to communicate and share through social media platform. There is always a debate on the social media relationship, some people are wondering if it is true that relationship through social media network could help people to increase their real relationship. According to some relevant research, most people think in fact the social media relationship is just a bubble thing.

However, there is indeed something people are concern about when using social media. Especially after we begin to be friends with people we dont really know but need to be tied with. If you are friends with business partners or your boss, you will begin to care about your personal life, making sure that only proper pictures be uploaded and tagged. No matter how tough a day you have spent in the office, blaming it though facebook and twitter needs to be considered again and again.

It is also claimed that social media is becoming a testing tool for employers to check on their applicants. They can easily discover how their applicants really are through their personal profile, online statues and friends. This is also a problem that GOOGLE+ tries to figure out, so they have the circle function to help netizens protect their personal informations.

Social media relationship is different than that in reality. Communication in reality is always face to face, or through telephones in which way you can always hear each other’s voice. But on social media it is all about information deliveries. To some extend, a birthday wish on friend’s wall could really make them feel good, however, some research shows that the number of real close friends through social media is no more than 5.

Besides, social media is changing the relationship. You cannot help campare yourselves with others since every time you log in social media sites, since all information are about your friends. Of course there will come some pressure, no matter for job compare or life compare, especially while you are in a hard situation. At the same time, if you are critical or rude on social media, which might damage your brand and how people view you.

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 Guide to Win Social Media Online Contest (Day 29)

There are so many online contests going on nowadays, and Facebook is the main platform for people to “Like”. Generally the online contest is more about winning votes. And the contest  which Mr.D participated two weeks ago continues, until now we have won 80+ votes, definitely on the  first place amongst all competitors.

This is a nice result we would like see, not only for the VIP party tickets we will receive as the winner, but also for “winning an online contest on social media”.

Hereby I would like to share my methods with you, they are short, easy, but very useful.

  1. Personal E-mails and Messages. I have to admit that people who receive your mail and messages will probably consider it is a spam, and they won’t take any actions on that. So the best way is try not to make your mails look like a spam. A lot of spam letters start with “hey dear could you please…”, and you have to avoid this beginning. Just calm down, take a deep breath, and write a sincerely clearly and persuasive letter. Make sure your friends will listen to you and help you win.
  2. Bonus. There is no one in the world dislikes bonus. Though I didn’t point this out on Mr.D’s contest, but it really works. If you are a company which has enough money to offer  some free gifts, please do this. In fact you don’t have to make every one get something, you can set limited number of big prize for random people. And for netizens, only a “click” really makes a good deal.
  3. Make use of your network.  We all know that in order to win an online contest, first thing we should start from our network. At least there are some basic things we should do:  posting on your walls, creating an events to gather all of your friends do the voting, talking to your friends who is online, tweet your contest…
  4. Buy Votes.  There are some people online who sell votes. I am not sure about the price, but if this voting is really extremely important to you, you can do it, why not? If they can make you win!
  5. Facebook platform. There are some interesting groups in facebook like “50 likes or votes” , “contests exchange votes/likes“, you can post the your contest and ask for more people to vote for you. But remember, before you are waiting for more votes, please be an active voter yourself. Go to people’s contest on this page and vote for them, after voting, tell them you are done!
Plus, there are still more ways to use for online contest. You can always choose the best way that you like. But there are two things I wan you to know:
  1. Don’t believe in forum so much. I have tried some alleged forums, but too bad that no one responded me. I think probably is because it is not that convenient for people to move from current forum to another social media site, besides, the discussion in one forum always changes so fast, maybe only ten minutes later, no one could notice your contest anymore.
  2. Don’t leave comments on your own contest. Facebook is really good at tracking your footprints. No matter there are how many people vote for you, once you leave a comments, all of them will get a notification from Facebook, which could be annoying to some extend. It could leads to an “unlike”  result.
Related articles:
How to win an online voted based contest:
How to run a successful social media contest:
Where to get contest votes:

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Privacy of Social Network? (Day 28)

Recently, the Chinese social network is getting quite interesting.The Chinese Twitter (Weibo) exposed some private issues on political sides.

For example, a local officer who talked with his lover through his account got caught by the policemen, and things turned out that he was corrupted. Meanwhile, a young lady who claimed that she was a daughter of the CEO of Chinese Red Cross while uploaded a lot of pictures of luxuries on her Weibo page. Since it caught public’s attention, relevant government departments began to investigate this person and it turned out that the whole Chinese Red Cross organization is even corrupted.

This is so true but sad. The true side is that finally China has something could be talked about on social network issues, the sad side is that China has a terrible corruption situation while the privacy of social network needs to be thought about.

In fact, I am good at spying someone on Facebook. Though for the first time when I registered Facebook, I was hesitated that do I really have to put my real name on this site? Will there be something bad happen if my profile was public like this? However, it seems that no one really cares, since real names and information could help us to find our friends and keep our relationship in our circles.

There are some privacy settings on social media account for sure, and Facebook is claimed as the safest social media sites. However, there are still some problems like you can know a person by looking at his friend list.

Netizens could always make them as private as they can: block the wall, make no one see the profiles etc. But with the development of social network site itself, sometimes the site could not help itself to spread the word. One day I made a new friend on a party, the next day we added each other on Facebook. Then on his wall, Facebook stated: “XXX and Cici are now friends after attending XXX party”… I was embarrassed, hoping no one could see this.

However, facebook and twitter are two different social media network sites. On twitter we don’t have to use our real name and know all information about our friends, instead we can only receive information from people we want to know. But on Twitter, every one could get information from you even they are not your followers.

Privacy is a question that I have no idea how to answer , since I have lots of doubts myself. But social media helps you know a person more to some extend. By watching picture albums, I can see how many places this person has been, by watching his statues, I can see what his life is going recently. Social media shortens our distance.

Is it possible that Facebook could help a policeman catch the criminal? Is it possible that my boss could fire me just because a drunk face? Sometimes I even feel I am living out of this world is I don’t log on Facebook even for a day.

Related articles:

Privacy 2.0

http://www.economist.com/node/15350984

A bill of privacy right for social network users

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/05/bill-privacy-rights-social-network-users

Privacy and security issues in social network

http://www.fastcompany.com/articles/2008/10/social-networking-security.html

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Facebook “Likes” and Twitter “Follows” (Day 24)

Social media networking has already become an indivisible part of our daily lives. I cannot help wondering what ways did bloggers use to advertise themselves a few year ago when Facebook and Twitter were not widely used.  With an increasing popularity, nowadays, Facebook “Like” and Twitter “Follow” buttons are a”MUST” for bloggers to promote blogs. Besides bloggers, organizations, hotels, clubs, big companies etc. are aslo seriously relying on these two small buttons to connect with fans.

Maybe for us, normal netizens, “like” and “follow” is just a “click” , but in fact they are very important for companies. There is a big power behind buttons. The number of how many “likes” and how many “follows”could demonstrate what interests are in audience. And a big audience makes a company easily to beat their competitors.

Social network is a global network, Facebook and Twitter could even be treated as the biggest online traffic booster. And there is indeed some investigations going on on the traffic data of social media. It is said that there are 22% more pages for Facebook users to browse, and the traffic increase more than 3 times trough Facebook buttons.

One day after attending a party with awesome music, I liked the page of this party organization on Facebook, then continually I began to receive new parties from this organizations. Since it is always fun to hang out with friends in the weekend for wonderful parties, I am never tired of receiving news feed from them. Thus, I think the “like” and “follow” buttons are in fact positive for both sides: companies and fans.

Not only companies could earn merits, but it is also convenient for fans to get their interested information. Companies can know more about their audience, audience can be better informed. The “Likes” follows the rule of development of social media : social and easy. Plus, humans like giving kudos.(for more information, please read here)

We also say that internet is a virtual world, however, “likes” and “follows” are virtual “kudos” but not virtual relationships. “Followers”  stands a real relationship between you and your followers, and it all about real people and real relations. Remember what did Gary say before? We must interact with our followers and we have to talk to them.

“Followers” are real people.  Besides the fact that some of them are “follow psychos”, most of them are showing their interests, and hope you could follow them back.  There are some methods on what to do with Twitter followers, and I think am really bad at it.

Some people are looking down on the important side of “followers” as me, but it turns out that keeping relationship with followers is important for online promotion, otherwise no one will care about you anymore. I do believe that the communication with followers also means a lot for the social media marketing too. Keep updating and asking questions could help keeping followers informed and let them participate in a small social network.

“Likes” and “Follows” goes viral.

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