Social Media Tips

How Does Twitter Help My Website?


Clients always ask me two things when it comes to Twitter:

  • Can I have Twitter on my website? and
  • How does Twitter actually help my website?

Twitter (along with Facebook) are the two must have social media these days for your website.  You can add YouTube or Linkedin or Instagram as well as a number of other social media outlets.  These can be very valuable in reaching targeted audiences for a specific purpose. But Twitter and Facebook are the two giants with the biggest potential for social media reach and a good way to help build up traffic to your site.

A Twitter account is fairly straight forward to set up. Maintaining Twitter so that it pays off for you comes in two flavors: manual tweets (which are time consuming) and hooking up your website updates to automatically post to Twitter.  I recommend clients do a hybrid of the two.

How does Twitter actually help my website?

The payoff of using Twitter in combination with your website comes in both the directional flow of the information and the way you can measure your objectives.   I wrote a blog post about how important it is that you control your information and not let social media control it.  Make your social media work for you: its easy to post directly to Facebook or Twitter – but that doesn’t get those people to your web site to read your article or buy your book or product or sign up for your newsletter.  So post to Twitter from your website. That way, you have a greater chance of getting that Call To Action button clicked.   You can also better track your website’s analytics performance this way.

Even better, Twitter has its own internal metrics that allow you to measure useful objectives like…

  • Brand awareness
  • Audience reach
  • Customer engagement
  • Brand sentiment
  • Traffic: Social media to website
  • Event awareness

How can you do that?  A very helpful article by Lauren Dugan from Social Times tells us that these metrics can be seen from the following:

  • Account growth
  • Retweets
  • Favorites
  • Replies
  • Mentions
  • Clicks on URLs (traffic)
  • Clicks on your Profile
  • Clicks on #HashTags

Even better, you can access many of these analytics right from within Twitter itself.  Take a look…










There are also paid analytics options for twitter but this will get you started!

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MelanieHow Does Twitter Help My Website?
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Will Linkedin Finally Challenge University ePortfolios For Students?


I’ve decided to focus on a little Back-To-School social media with this post of the SOS blog.   So this is for all you parents and students out there.

As of September 12, Linkedin has just updated their TOS (Terms of Service) with what appears to be  an interesting challenge to the lifetime aspect of the university ePortfolio site.  Their new User Agreement now states the following:

We are updating our User Agreement to make LinkedIn available to students 13 years and older, depending on country. Smart, ambitious students are already thinking about their futures when they step foot into high school – where they want to go to college, what they want to study, where they want to live and work. We want to encourage these students to leverage the insights and connections of the millions of successful professionals on LinkedIn, so they can make the most informed decisions and start their careers off right. (Eric Heath, LinkedIn Blog)

They are calling this new feature University Pages.  And promising:

… we are providing a new way for schools, students, and alumni to connect, communicate, and explore unique insights about the full range of career possibilities – wherever your educational starting point may be.

Basically, students can check schools out on Linkedin using University Pages and start their networking with University representatives and future classmates before they even meet them face to face.  Below is a sample page:


So while University Pages is not ePortfolio replacement,  it is a big inducement for students to further focus on developing their Linkedin accounts in connection with the networking advantage of University Pages.  What seems to be the unique challenge now to universities espousing ePortfolios is  that Linkedin  has beat them to the punch on a unified global system for pre-university students that actually has the capability to do what ePortfolios have been promising: to allow a student a way to collect and house a student’s artifacts that will  follow them throughout their scholastic career and into the job market for a lifetime.  Its likely that Linkedin won’t stop with the current interface features that highlight work artifacts  and could easily expand its capabilities to support students.

Linkedin has also implemented some extra security and privacy features to protect user that are under the age of 18:

  • Minors will have different default settings to protect certain sections from public view
  • Minors will have select service for trouble tickets
  • Minors will have easy access to LinkedIN’s Safety Center and Family Center support

If you are a student or a parent with a student in school, University Pages are  definitely worth a looksee as Linkedin is here to stay for awhile.  As of June 2013,  Linkedin reports more than 225 million acquired users according to Wikipedia.

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Facebook Click-jacking: Look Before You Click!

FacebookWe’ve discussed a number of ways that you can be hacked on Facebook in a previous post. There’s a another way called click-jacking that’s making the rounds on Facebook and we’re going to focus on that today.

How and where is it happening?

Usually, this sort of click-jacking scenario happens via a wall post on Facebook.  And the hacker’s intent is to get you to click on a fraudulent comment that looks like it will lead you to a legitimate Facebook post/page but then redirects you to a fraud page where you will be tempted to give up some sensitive information about yourself, ie, login credentials, credit card information, etc.   The hackers can have dummy accounts that link to malicious blog posts.

What kinds of disguised content should you be on the look out for?

  • Posts disguised to look like breaking news or latest news
  • Posts disguised as a chance to see exclusive clips or photos
  • Posts disguised as promotionals for products  or contests

How can you avoid this threat?

Keep in mind that everything that shows up in your news-feed is NOT benign.  This is where you will most likely see these types of malicious posts.  Be wary of clicking on links that just “show up” as a recommended page.  These could be originating through dummy accounts.  Avoid clicking on links in comments unless you know and trust the person making the comment.

Make sure that you monitor your social media contacts and be prudent about restricting them to people you know.  Facebook allows you to control to a certain extent what shows up in your feed.  Restricting it to close (trusted) friends can help avoid some of the exposure.

Make sure you access Facebook with an https:// protocal.  And think seriously about using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to browse your social media sites.

If you want to be aware of the latest world news, updates and entertainment news, bookmark legitimate sites and instead of relying solely on clicking social media links for news.  Subscribe to their site updates at the source.  Use social media to signal to you that there maybe news you need to check at the trusted source.   Use caution about clicking on social media links that are from new pages or unknown content posters.

As a last resort, you may decide to make your Facebook profile private, thus restricting the flow of information you may get.

All of the above suggestions have their upsides and downsides and you will need to decide what works best for you.  Use social media with some reasonable caution and always look before you click!

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MelanieFacebook Click-jacking: Look Before You Click!
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Google + for Business + Your Business


Recently I had a client ask how Google+ works.  Its true.  More people are looking at the advantages of Google+ in addition to Facebook.  And the great thing about setting up  a Google+ business page  is that it is very similar to the way you set up a Facebook page but the audience you get is as loyal to Google+ as Facebook fans are to Facebook.  So as a business owner, you’ll want to take advantage of that.

Getting started is a bit different with Google+  because everything revolves around Gmail, of course.   So step one…

1) Set up a business gmail account

Yes, you may already have a personal gmail account, but I would encourage you to start new with an email focused on your business brand.  This makes it easier to keep things tidy from your personal Google+ profile.  So go to Google Accounts and create your business brand account.  Don’t forget to import your contacts into this new account.  Since Google+ uses “Circles”  rather than friends like on Facebook, when you start to promote your page, you’ll want to have some people  all ready to share with in your Circles.

2) Create your business page

Once your business gmail is created, its time to head to the Google+ Create Google+ Page and follow the page creation wizard.   First, Pick a Category.


Second,  you’ll want to add your information.


3) Brand your business page

The third step in the wizard allows you to customize your profile with your brand picture and tag line.

4) Promote your business page

Now its time to tell your circles.  This is where Google+ allows you to post to the people in your circles about your new page.  The more Google contacts you have the easier this will be to get started on.  The more  you post and the more people see your posts, they’ll have the opportunity to add you to their circles.

That’s all there is to it!  Well, at least to setting up your page.  We’ll talk more about posting to support your business goals and increase your traffic in a future post.

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MelanieGoogle + for Business + Your Business
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How To Add A Photo or Image on Twitter

Some of you are wondering (now that Twitter doesn’t want your to use a lot of third party clients to upload your photos) how you upload a photo to Twitter. Well here’s how…

  1. Begin a new Tweet on
  2. Click on the camera icon.
  3. Locate the image you want to upload on your computer when prompted.
  4. After you select an image, you’ll see the image thumbnail and the camera icon highlighted in blue at the bottom of the Tweet box.
  5. Type your message and click Tweet.
  6. If you uploaded the wrong image or changed your mind, just click the x in the thumbnail or next to the filename to delete the current image.
  7. That’s it! You did it!
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MelanieHow To Add A Photo or Image on Twitter
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Take Control of YOUR Information

Image Source: Sneakers, film,

Image Source: Sneakers, film, 1992

There’s a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it’s not about who’s got the most bullets. It’s about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think… it’s all about the information!

– Cosmo, film-Sneakers, 1992

Yes, it is all about the information these days.  From the Garden of Eden with its ‘Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’ to our ‘Information Age’,  we crave ‘the information’.  And now we’ve learned how to mine more of it, do it faster, and manipulate it to our advantage.

This is especially true of Social Media information.   Companies have the right (and do) collect and sell your information — if we give it to them.   Social Media like Google + and Facebook make their revenue off it and you and I look at ads through their interfaces aimed specifically at our likes that we’ve freely told them about when we ‘Like’ business pages or comment to our friends about where we went to eat or what we bought.  We log on and we post….

And we post and we post.  And Facebook and Google get all that information… FOR FREE, well, for free from us.  We don’t directly receive any payment for what we post.  What we post doesn’t lead back to our website (if we  have one ).  It stays right there on Facebook or Google or any of the other popular social media.  Facebook even allows you to download everything you’ve posted and they state in their TOS  (Terms of Service) that you and I  “…own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. ”  Except that you can’t control the fact that Facebook reserves the right to use that information as a marketing asset to be sold to those willing to pay for it.  That’s the deal we’re all pretty much aware of…we just tend to forget it when we’re on Facebook and enjoying the fun of sharing with our friends.  So what is my point?

My point is this: It’s your information and you should at least take control of it to the extent that you can choose the privacy settings you want as a personal policy.  But there’s something you can do that gives you even more control — change the directional flow of your information.  Instead of posting directly to Facebook or Google + all the time, why not start posting your thoughts through your own blog from your website and then post that to Facebook or Google+?  Only then do you start controlling where the traffic flow goes:  from your website >> to social media >> and back to your website again instead of letting it sit on social media doing other businesses a lot of benefit.

Why not ask us here at Switched-On-Sites how we can help you take control of YOUR information and redirect your social media traffic to benefit you and your site!

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MelanieTake Control of YOUR Information
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