How Many Times Are You Going To Follow Me?

There is something rather comical going on in my Twitter account. I began following a particular last year because they were a client of a friend of mine. I never really paid a whole lot of attention to their status updates because after a while the updates started to not be relevant to what she’s doing (or claims to be doing) in her business venture – absolutely NOTHING personal being tweeted, nothing about what’s going on with the business, a few re-tweets here and there and very little interaction. The Facebook pages for this person aren’t any better.

Anyway, I must admit I haven’t given my Twitter follower list a whole lot of attention this past year, so I’m still “technically” following this person’s Twitter account. Several months ago I started getting notifications that this person was following me – a couple of times a month. It was kind of funny at first and became somewhat of a private joke between me and a couple of other VAs who knew what was going on (the same thing was happening to them – from the same Twitter account). Then the notices started coming closer together. This past week I’ve gotten a notice that this person is following me on Twitter EVERY DAY.

So, what’s the moral of this story? Auto-follows bite. I’ll admit that I did do the “auto-follow” thing for a few weeks but I quickly discovered I was following a lot of people who did a whole lot of tweeting about a whole lot of crap. So I promptly turned off my auto-following.

Do you have any funny Twitter follow stories?

Twitter Verified Accounts

You may or may not have noticed that some of your favorite Twitter Celebrities have a nifty new icon on their profiles that “verifies” that are the real deal.

How to identify a verified account:

* The ‘Verified Account’ badge will appear in the top-right portion of a user’s profile page just above the name, location and bio.
* It will always have a badge followed by the words ‘Verified Account’. (This is clickable and as of this writing it points to http://twitter.com/help/verified)
* If the verified account badge appears anywhere else on a user’s profile page (e.g. in the avatar or the background) it is not a verified account
* The verified account badge will also appear next to usernames in the Find People section
* The verified account badge will have the same color as shown above even if users customize the background of their profile page or change the color in the sidebar
* See what a verified account looks like!

More information about Verified Accounts.

My mother discovered Twitter

So, my mother discovered Twitter yesterday. I got an email in my personal account saying someone wanted to follow my “protected” Twitter account. (I do not “use” this account, I only use it for testing Twitter backgrounds I create for my clients.) So, after a brief bio check, and a phone call to confirm my suspicions, I discover it was my mother…who had no idea what the heck she was doing. After a while on the phone with her explaining what Twitter was and how she (as a non-business person) could use it, I realized I REALLY needed to get on the stick and write that “easy to understand” Twitter ebook I’d been pondering for a while. So, that is my goal for this week…finish my Twitter ebook.

10 Most Extraordinary Twitter Updates

I would like to share an excerpt from a post I was reading on Mashable today…

Twitter updates are used to communicate everything from birthday wishes to political opinions. But there are some special, shining cases where the status update has been used to do some extraordinary things, from marriage proposals to breaking news, and much more.

The following are 10 of the most extraordinary and creative uses of Twitter updates. These amazing updates have made the news, pushed the boundaries of what the status update can do, and have even fundamentally changed people’s lives.

Read the whole story 10 Most Extraordinary Twitter Updates.

My Request for Creating Custom Twitter Backgrounds

I’ve been using Twitter for a while now, and also use it for my clients and I started doing custom backgrounds in Photoshop several months ago. I tend to think of custom backgrounds in 3 categories: good, boring, and frustrating.

The good backgrounds are the ones that are creative or have good contact information AND are optimized for smaller screens. Let’s face it, how many of us use laptops and are using 15″ (or smaller) screens?

The boring backgrounds are the plain standard backgrounds that you choose from in Twitter.

The frustrating backgrounds are the ones where the Tweeple are TRYING to have a good background, but because they have little or no concept of how the viewer’s screen size affects how their background looks to the viewer, half their information gets cut off by the bottom of the screen, the Twitter box or the right side of the screen. What if I DO want to connect with you on Facebook, LinkedIn or call you? I can’t because your information is chopped off and you potentially lost a valuable connection.

Here are MY suggestions for optimizing the viewability of your Twitter background:

  • Don’t put anything important on the right side. Keep that for the “pretty” stuff because unless I’m viewing it on a 21″ monitor I probably won’t see it anyway.
  • Keep the information on the left side no farther than about 130-150 pixels from the left edge (even less if you can swing it). Up to 150 pixels from the left is still visible on my husband’s 15″ laptop.
  • Keep the information on the left side no farther down than about 550 pixels from the top edge (again, even less if you can swing it).

I can not even begin to tell you how frustrating it is for me (even on my 17″ widescreen laptop) when I can’t see the contact information.  You are much more likely to have someone visit a web site, send you an email, connect with you on other social networks, etc. if they can see the information right on their screen.  We are pretty lazy as a society (yes, I’m part of that society), and we don’t want to have to click on your web site link in your bio area (You DO have a web site or other information link on your Twitter profile don’t you?  That’s a whole other can of worms.) and search around your web site to find how to contact you.

So, bottom line, if you are creating your own Twitter background (or having someone do it for you), please check to see what it looks like on at least as small a monitor as a 15″

Here is a resource I found very helpful when I don’t remember the dimensions (which is more often than I care to admit). Croncast

Happy Tweeting!

Social Media Marketing Efforts Should Not Equal Advertising

I am not an “auto follower” on Twitter – I check out the profiles and web sites of people/businesses who follow me before deciding whether or not to follow them back. I recently was checking the profiles of the Twitter users who recently followed me to see if I wanted to reciprocate the follow. One of the first things I noticed about one of my new followers was their two word bio – not very enticing. The second thing I noticed is that every single one of their Tweets had the link to their web site in it…EVERY ONE. Obviously this business did not get the memo about rule number one of social media marketing – It’s not about advertising, it’s about building relationships with your target audience. Needless to say, they did not earn my follow.