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Category Archives: Social Media

LinkedIn is a great platform to market your business.

LinkedIn is a great platform to market your business.

 

LinkedIn offers a very attractive target group, with a high income and twice the average buying power.

In addition, LinkedIn users are open for business: “A full 50 percent of B2B buyers use LinkedIn when making purchasing decisions. With 76 percent preferring to use recommendations from their professional networks, the site is essentially ‘built for social selling’.” – Hootsuite

So make sure your company gets found on LinkedIn.

On top of it go the extra mile to proactively get your business out there:

 

Publish VAC = Value Added Content

Share your content expertise by creating relevant posts. Be careful about actually publishing on LinkedIn Pulse, always keep your content on your own platform and link to it.

 

Cross-Pollinate: Connect with other social media

LinkedIn is well integrated with other social media. Simply ensure all the boxes are ticked to cross-publish your content to / from other social networks.

 

Engage with Groups

You can only join 50 groups, so choose wisely. Participate actively in LinkedIn Groups by posting relevant content and commenting. Create a company branded group for exposure of your business.

 

Use your professional headline as a status update

LinkedIn calls the text under your name on your profile your professional headline. It is by default displayed with your LinkedIn Profile Card. In addition, every time you update your headline, your entire network gets notified. So utilise this space to announce company updates or offer special deals, give-aways and links to more info.

 

Cold Message

Use LinkedIn’s advanced search to find prospects. Keep in mind it’s about making meaningful connections so set a strict filter to get good results. Remember the search terms, so you can find these potential customers again in future. Draft the invitation message carefully: Be clear what the mutual benefit is of connecting.

 

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LinkedIn - Connect to Opportunity

LinkedIn – Connect to Opportunity

 

LinkedIn is the de facto tool for professional networking.

So basically think of LinkedIn as a networking do:

 

Make an Impression

Just like you’d dress to impress at a networking event, ensure your web presence looks neat: Optimise your branding for the LinkedIn image sizes. Adapt your corporate copy for the LinkedIn professional business tone.

 

Introduce Yourself

Complete Your Personal Profile.

This is your online resume, so make sure there are no gaps. The more you complete it, the better the chances for your profile to pop up in search results.

 

Present Your Business

Fill in Your Company Page.

Viewers of your LinkedIn profile can click on the companies you work/ed for. Filling out your company profile ensures they can find the information they’re looking for. They can also follow your company page to receive updates.

 

Pitch Your Products

Create a Showcase Page.

Feature a special product or service and put it in the spotlight. You can post updates and get followers just like on your company page. You can also monitor your showcase page’s analytics and learn which product or what content proves more successful.

 

Connect

Just like you would exchange business cards at a networking event, connect with potential prospects on LinkedIn. Send them an invitation which is relevant, so they accept. Start by connecting to people in your existing network such as your school alumni or work colleagues.

 

Follow Up

LinkedIn recently improved the messaging experience to have professional conversations without having to change to another page. Now it’s even easier to break the ice. Just make sure you write your message compelling enough, so it actually gets read.

 

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“His debugging skills are exceptional.”

 

Ever published a post and only afterwards thought of a real cool intro snippet? Or posted a headline you thought was a fun pun on words until you realised you didn’t mean that kind of fun?

 

Luckily, in the digital world, all you got to do is update your site and nobody will even know you made that faux pas, right?

 

Wrong!

 

Your site was probably cached and even though you updated the original version the cached version remains the same.

 

It might eventually get updated, but if it’s urgent to erase the previous version, you need to debug:

 

 

How to debug your web page url

 

When you share a link on social media, it reads the meta tags and combines them into a nice post mainly consisting of title, description, image.

 

To force update this content you need to manually ask the social media site to fetch the new information and replace the old version.

 

Simply enter the link and hit the button:

Facebook Debugger: http://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug

Google Data Testing Tool: www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets

Twitter Cards Validator: https://cards-dev.twitter.com/validator

 

Social Debug gives you a nice overview of how your posts will fare across the main social media sites.

 

Iframely gives you more insight into the code of the meta tags.

 

 

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WordPress is doing a great job at offering resources to make their blogs and websites accessible.

WordPress is doing a great job at providing resources to make their blogs and websites accessible.

 

Why WordPress?

WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the web, at more than 60 million websites. WordPress is an open source project and is free to use. Its content management system is user-friendly and with thousands of plugins  and widgets and themes capable to do anything.

 

Make WordPress Accessible

In addition, WordPress offers great resources for accessibility:

Search WordPress themes with the tag ‘accessibility’: Click ‘Accessibility Ready’ under ‘Features’.

Install the WordPress plugin for accessibility which helps with a variety of common accessibility problems in WordPress themes.

You can also get actively involved and contribute to the WordPress Accessibility Handbook.

 

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If you see this: '#' and remember 'number sign', then this article is for you. :)

If you see this: ‘#’ and remember ‘number sign’, then this article is for you. 🙂

A hashtag is a way to categorise your content on social media.

Just like in a supermarket where you have all sweets in one place, if you hashtag your content with #sweets, you can also find everything relating in one place, e.g.: https://twitter.com/hashtag/sweets.

And just like in the supermarket, the lure of #sweets can be abused:
Even the Oxford dictionary warns in their definition of hashtag:
“Spammers often broadcast tweets with popular hashtags even if the tweet has nothing to do with them.”

As social media are all about interaction, hashtags are a way to enter the conversation online: By tagging your content with a certain keyword / motto or phrase you give others interested in this topic the chance to read your opinion and respond to it.

Most social media platforms support hashtags, so they’re worthwhile exploring for Content Marketing purposes.

But make sure you follow Best Practices for hashtags to avoid a hashtag PR disaster such as #Susanalbumparty. 😉

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Blog name and social media handle go hand in hand - Find me: @TrulyJuly :)

Blog name and social media handle go hand in hand – Find me: @TrulyJuly 🙂

 

Your social media handle is your virtual nickname. You can make it up of your own name, or you can modify it to represent your internet identity, like your username.

Your social media handle becomes important when you want to be found on the internet, e.g. as a business, brand or product name.

 

Purpose

Identity: To be recognised immediately as the official brand in order to achieve consistency with image and online presence.

Security: Owning the official social media presence prevents fraudulent imposters.

SEO: Search results improve with a consistent social media presence.

Findability: With a consistent social media handle the audience can guess and find the brand on other channels and platforms.

Reach: Keeping the social media handle consistent makes it easy for others to mention / link to / tag the brand, which increases reach.

 

Best Practices


It is advisable to agree on one consistent social media handle
, as per Pamorama ‘Find and Reserve Your Social Media Name’:

“A consistent social media identity across the Web is crucial for brands. Whether you’re trying to develop your company’s personality or your own, having many different names creates confusion and dilutes the impact of all of your social media marketing activities.”


It is advisable to secure your social media handle across all social media
, as per Bicycle Theory ‘What’s Your Handle? Protecting Your Brand’s Name Online’:

“The key advantage to this tactic is that it enables people to find your brand easier.

Securing your name first also protects your brand by making it harder for others to use it.”


It is advisable to reserve that social media handle before anyone else does
, as per Social Marketing Writing ‘6 Tips to Choosing the Perfect Twitter Name’:

“Try and get in there early and try your best to find the best Twitter name you can. If you’re thinking about a new Twitter name for you or your company – stop thinking about it and start acting. Each day 460,000 people sign up for a new account. This means about 319 people sign up for an account every minute. So your favourite name could be gone any second now – find and reserve your favourite Twitter name as soon as you can.”


It is advisable to have a short social media handle, especially on Twitter
, as per For Dummies ‘How to Choose a Good Twitter Username’:

“Use a short Twitter username. Tweets are only 140 characters, so when people are replying to you, if you have a longer name, you leave them less room for message content. Twitter limits your username to just 15 characters for this very reason.”


It is advisable to not use strange symbols, especially on mobile social networks, in your social media handle
, as per ITeachBlogging ‘What’s in a Twitter Name? Everything that You Can Fit into It’:

“Avoid numbers, strange characters or underscore. These items are more difficult for all us smart phone users out there and they are just awkward.”


It is advisable to consider upper and lower case combinations in your social media handle
, as per The Legal Hokey-Pokey ‘Make your Social Media personal!’:

“When you consider a Twitter handle, remember the handle is case sensitive.  So use case to your advantage!  If your handle was @robertespinozaesq, it might be more easily read if you wrote @RobertEspinozaEsq.”

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'Like & Win' is a popular Facebook competition to attract followers. If you want to run one, read the resources below to ensure you do it right.

‘Like & Win’ is a popular Facebook competition to attract followers. If you want to run one, read the resources below to ensure you do it right.

Everyone’s on Facebook and everyone knows running a competition attracts attention.

However, there are legal implications that many Facebook users are not aware of.

This can potentially cost you your carefully crafted Facebook page, as Facebook can – without any warning – shut you down, if you’re in breach of their Terms & Conditions.

So I researched how to run a Facebook competition. As I see many prize draws on Facebook are in breach, I urge you to read these resources to make sure you do it right:

 

-Overview-

I. South African Law

  1. South African Consumer Protection Act – most relevant sections from the original
  2. Consumer Protection Guide for Lawyers – a summary of the rules by the Law Society of South Africa
  3. Consumer Protection Act June 2010 – a summary on promotional competitions by BDO

II. Facebook Law

  1. Facebook Pages Terms – restrictions of competitions on their platform
  2. New Facebook Contest and Promotion Rules: What You Need to Know – insider tip by Social Media Examiner
  3. How to Run a Competition on Your Facebook Business Page – a handy overview by Hallam Internet
  4. How to run a (legal) Facebook competition – a sample for release of liability by Blaze Digital

 

-Detail-

I. South African Law

 

1. South African Consumer Protection Act:

Promotional competitions, Section 36.

(3) The promoter of a promotional competition—

  • must not require any consideration to be paid by or on behalf of any participant in the promotional competition, other than the reasonable costs of posting or otherwise transmitting an entry form or device;
  • must not award a prize in a competition to—
  • a winner of the competition if it is unlawful to supply those goods or services to that prize winner, but this subparagraph does not preclude awarding a prize to a person merely because that person’s right to possess or use the prize is or may be restricted or regulated by, or is otherwise subject to, any public regulation; or
  • any person who is—

(aa) a director, member, partner, employee or agent of, or consultant to the promoter or any other person who directly or indirectly controls or is controlled by, the promoter; or

(bb) a supplier of goods or services in connection with that competition;

and

  • must—
  • prepare competition rules before the beginning of the competition;
  • make the competition rules available to the Commission and to any participant, on request and without cost; and
  • retain a copy of the competition rules for the prescribed period after the end of the competition.

(5) An offer to participate in a promotional competition must clearly state—

  • the benefit or competition to which the offer relates;
  • the steps required by a person to accept the offer or to participate in the competition;
  • the basis on which the results of the competition will be determined;
  • the closing date for the competition;
  • the medium through or by which the results of the competition will be made known; and
  • any person from whom, any place where, and any date and time on or at which—
  • a person may obtain a copy of the competition rules; and
  • a successful participant may receive any prize.

(6) The requirements of subsection (5) may be satisfied either—

  • directly on any medium through which a person participates in a promotional competition;
  • on a document accompanying any medium contemplated in paragraph (a); or
  • in any advertisement that—
  • is published during the time and throughout the area in which the promotional competition is conducted; and
  • draws attention to and is clearly associated with the promotional competition.

(7) The right to participate in a promotional competition is fully vested in a person immediately upon—

  • complying with any conditions that are required to earn that right; and
  • acquiring possession or control of the medium, if any, through which a person may participate in that promotional competition.

(8) The right to any benefit or right conferred on a person as a result of that person’s participation in a promotional competition is fully vested immediately upon the determination of the results of the competition.

(9) A right contemplated in subsection (7) or (8) must not be—

  • made subject to any further condition; or
  • contingent upon a person—
  • paying any consideration to the promoter for the prize; or
  • satisfying any further requirements other than those stipulated in terms of subsection (5).

(11) The Minister may prescribe—

  • a monetary threshold for the purpose of excluding competitions with low value prizes from the definition of ‘‘promotional competition’’;
  • minimum standards and forms for keeping records associated with promotional competitions; and
  • audit and reporting requirements in respect of promotional competitions

 

2. Consumer Protection Guide for Lawyers

Page 59: Any document disclosing a promotional offer must clearly state the following:

  • The nature of the prize, reward, gift, free good or service, price reduction or
  • concession, enhancement if quantity or quality of goods or services;
  • The goods or services to which the offer relates;
  • What the prospective consumer must do in order to accept the promotional offer;
  • The details of the person from whom or the place where the consumer may receive
  • the benefit advertised in the promotional offer.

Page 63: An offer to participate in a promotional competition must be in writing and must state:

  • Benefit of the competition
  • Steps to take in order to participate in the competition
  • Basis upon which the results of the competition will be determined
  • The maximum number of potential participants and the odds of winning the competition
  • How participants will be informed of the results
  • How, when and where the successful participant may collect the prize

 

3. Consumer Protection Act June 2010

Page 9: Promotional competitions

Promotional competition means any competition, game, scheme, arrangement, system, plan or device for distributing prizes by lot or chance if the competition is conducted in the ordinary course of business for the purpose of promoting a producer, distributor, supplier or the sale of any goods or services.

The promoter of a promotional competition must not require any consideration to be paid by a participant other than reasonable costs of posting or otherwise transmitting an entry form or device. The promoter must also not award a prize if it is unlawful to supply those goods or services to that prize winner but does not preclude awarding a prize to a person because that person’s right to possess or use the prize might be regulated or restricted. Rules for the competition must be prepared before the competition commences and those rules must be available on request without cost. Any person who is a director, member, partner, employee, agent or consultant of the promoter or a supplier of the goods or services in connection with that competition may not participate in the competition.

 

II. Facebook Law

 

1. Facebook restrictions of competitions on their platform

E. Promotions

  1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:
    a. The official rules;
    b. Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
    c. Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)
  2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
    a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
    b. Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
  3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).
  1. We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.

For more info read what Facebook Page administrators need to know and Facebook Promotion Guidelines.

 

2. New Facebook Contest and Promotion Rules: What You Need to Know

Note that you can “encourage” people to share your post or contest, but you can’t require it for entry.

 

3. How to Run a Competition on Your Facebook Business Page

According to Facebook’s own post, the updates rules mean that:

You can:

Ask people to LIKE a post to enter

Ask people to COMMENT on a post to enter

Ask people to PRIVATE MESSAGE the page to enter

Ask people to POST on YOUR page to enter

You cannot:

Ask people to SHARE to enter

Ask people to INVITE to enter

Ask people to TAG themselves in content they are not depicted in to enter

These are the basic rules to abide by – but as is to be expected from Facebook there are some more terms and conditions you need to know about.

 

4. How to run a (legal) Facebook competition

Facebook requires a complete release of liability by each entrant. – Sample copy:

By entering and participating, entrant agrees to hold harmless, defend and indemnify Facebook from and against any and all claims, demands, liability, damages or causes of action (however named or described), losses, costs or expenses, with respect to or arising out of or related to (i) entrant’s participation in the Sweepstake, or (ii) entrant’s participation in any Prize related activities, acceptance of a Prize and/or use or misuse of a Prize (including, without limitation, any property loss, damage, personal injury or death caused to any person(s).

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.

 

Written on 24/02/2015.

Validated on 05/11/2015.

Please double check for latest updates, as Social Media are constantly changing.

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