How to opt out of Twitter adverts

Twitter is a medium to gather and share information. Some may think Twitter is a social network site and they are not wrong. I’d like to think it is a professional one, something like LinkedIn; but in a different way to some extent. 

The platform has introduced various functionalities to protect its users and most recently, even letting the tweep to control the Twitter adverts on their timeline. This is very important, because Twitter has monetised its services by advertising. Users can now opt out of Twitter adverts by going to the settings and scroll down to see:

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This box is ticked by default. If you untick the box, you won’t be seeing adverts on your timeline any more. 

One thing to remember is, by unticking this box you will still see promoted accounts and hashtags on the left hand side of your account unless you’re using apps or tools that allow you post tweets on Twitter.

Final words as a tweep, Twitter cares about its users’ privacy.

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How Twitter UK is handling crisis

The world we are living in is real, so is social media. Because conversations and people are real. No matter how we communicate our messages; they all happen in real time and by real people. It is wise to take people seriously, regardless of their background and gender.

Brands and organisations can no longer afford ignoring the conversations that are taking place online, in particular those threating people’s lives and dignity; no matter where they’re made and by whom. This is the hot water Twitter in the UK found itself in; and burning at the moment. This is certainly the last thing that the medium need before its IPO. I personally like Twitter and I am really sad to see my favourite platform is struggling to regain trust. Twitter could have saved itself time and effort if they didn’t ignore their users main safety concern in the first place.

Twitter is beyond another social media platform, it is an information and collaboration platform trusted by many news agencies, professionals and businesses throughout the world. The platform is being used by hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world just to be heard; which without Twitter it could be impossible.

Millions of people have called to boycott Twitter because they believe that Twitter doesn’t care about their dignity and the only thing the platform owners care about is to promote the business of Twitter.

Twitter made a revolution in modern communications and many, including traditional PR professionals adopted the medium to disseminate information and form meaningful conversations and relationship with people.

Despite such creativity and innovation, Twitter chose to go down the route of traditional PR. Unfortunately Twitter realised how frustrated people are quite late; despite the obvious fact that they are sitting on all information shared on their platform.

How people feel

There is a mix feeling out there about Twitter today; despite the public presence of Tony Wang, the General Manager at Twitter UK, and his decision to become the face of the company: perhaps to show some sense of responsibility and ownership of the situation. Tony Wang is hoping that he would be able to defuse the situation:

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Tony’s been tweeting from his own own personal Twitter account to direct everyone to Twitter blogposts; which is great but it can question the personality he’s trying to show the public. I really wish he didn’t tweet this:

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It is still good to see him tweeting and interacting with people; although it may put him on spot at some point:

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This may indicate that Twitter neglected their responsibilities up until this point in time. It is important to remember social media is a reality that one has to get it right first time. It is always better to revise intentions in the first place; as in far too many cases apologies can be seen as cover up. Simply because people are savvier than ever in our digital age; and more importantly because their feelings and emotions are involved.

This situation once again reminded us all about the importance of education and considering sociological and psychological factors upon making any decisions or statements that will have either direct or indirect impact on people. It is all about communication. Since ommunication is sophisticated, we need to spend time listening to each other in order to understand the concerns. Listening would simplify the process of identifying issues and spead up the tackling and issue management.

Finally

I wouldn’t encourage anyone to boycott Twitter; simply because it is a communication platform and great for genuine and decent debates with the right global panel on board. Boycotting Twitter means boycotting meaningful conversations; and that is going to be against our liberty. We need to find a solution, not causing more problems.

The great news is that Twitter has committed to regain the public trust while taking appropriate measures to build a better and safer future for its users.

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Socialbakers launch Vkontakte monitoring

#Facebook, Hashtag Facebook, #FB, social media, socialbakers, social bakersBusiness has always been and always will be about change. Change usually leads to success, if it is planned strategically and managed systematically. Change is dynamic in nature and requires flexibility and competent leadership. Successful businesses master change either in form of new products and services or improving the existing ones. One of the latest changes in the world of social business is introduction of hashtag by Facebook.

socialbakers, social media, facebook, Vkontakte, #facebook, #fb, Facebook hashtagFacebook has global presence but struggling to win one of the most lucrative markets, Russia. Facebook managed to penetrate in many markets including the Eastern Europe where local social networks gradually lost traffic and members to Facebook; apart from Russia’s VKontakte.

Jan Rezab, CEO of Socialbakers, believe “Facebook will never win in Russia”, because of VKontakte; simply because VKontakte “innovates faster”.

Socialbakers is known for its band monitoring and analytics services covering most popular social media channels as well as brands using those channels for their marketing communications purposes; but they never monitored VKontakte! Actually, they were secretly developing plans just to do that; monitor VKontakte.

socialbakers, social media, facebook, Vkontakte, #facebook, #fb, Facebook hashtagThree weeks today, possibly by 5th July 2013, Socialbakers will have social media data and analytics on VKontakte. This may not be a big thing for many brands operating outside the Eastern Europe but certainly a big thing for brands operating in that market as well as brands with presence in that region.

Where Waitrose stands in the horse meat fields

Some supermarkets in the UK have been caught by the Food Standards Agency for selling beef which in some cases contain up to 99% horse or pork DNA. Supermarkets obviously have suppliers which aren’t necessarily all from the UK. As a result of an internal investigation by the supermarkets, it appeared that the meat in question was supplied from countries like Poland and Romania, as well as the UK itself. It is a very hard time for all supermarkets as the public don’t know which supermarket they can trust. Supermarkets are in hot water, as well as their suppliers and all concerned have published apologies, however the British press and media picked up on a very important point; timing of apology.

Unfortunately not all supermarkets and suppliers in midst of this scandal acted swiftly. This lack of responsiveness left plenty of room for speculation; which made the situation even worse for themselves by losing consumer confidence and trust. On a different note, even some evidence showed pork DNA in Halal meals served in number of British prisons; and the government acted swiftly and immediately on that.

One supermarket didn’t need to apologise but felt they need to assure their customers that their beef is 100% beef; that supermarket is called Waitrose.

Waitrose are doing a good job on Twitter with regards to horse meat scandal. The supermarket has been giving assurance to all their customers. They don’t throw words at people; they give evidence for what they say and do this with confidence. In simple words, this is just great! They clearly communicate with their customers in-stores in simple and plain English, and they do this through their staff; what makes their words believable.  The supermarket also monitor all relevant conversations on Twitter and step in to further assure the public about their meat products.

To their credit, staff working at Waitrose are well trained and educated to give confidence and assurance to customers. Below is a conversation on Twitter about the confidence level of customers buying beef burger from Waitrose:

Social Media Supermarket Waitrose Horse Meat Retail Tesco Sainsbury

Although such conversations aren’t detrimental to Waitrose’s brand reputation, but Waitrose decided to step in to once again use the popular breaking news platform, Twitter, to assure everyone that they use 100% British beef from their very own selected farms:

Twitter Social Media Supermarket Waitrose Horse Meat Retail Tesco Sainsbury

Being responsive and professional at all times is key to any business; and Waitrose just did it well. This says a lot about their business ethos and clear communications planning. As it is clear above, Waitrose very systematically integrate offline and online messages with a single tone of voice. It seems Waitrose is amongst those businesses that fully understand and appreciate the power and value of content.

Social Care in plain English

Up until just three years ago, many major national and international brands believed Social Media is fad. Although they have been sceptical towards the new communication channels, they adopted the medium to monitor what’s being said about their brand. As more people are now talking about brands on Social Media and even and even take their customer service queries to the medium, brands are sure that Social Media is going to have life longer than email and even TV.

Latest studies show 26% of Brits complain about businesses by using Social Media and over 83% of those who complain, are unhappy with the response they receive. Brands have been taking every opportunity to market their products to people via Social Media but, customer care has been downplayed. Customer service is increasingly becoming important to both customers and businesses on channels like Twitter.

Social Media Twitter Customer Service Marketing Facebook LinkedIn Content Management Customer Care Social Networks social customer care How effective brands respond to customer queries on Twitter is the major contributing factor to their overall reliability and reputation. Businesses are striving these days to position as a social business; and customers of social businesses are social customers. Many companies tend to respond to customer queries based on Klout and or PeerIndex scores; something widely referred as ‘influence’ by those behind the algorithms. However, whether this will work in favour of brands’ reputation and customer satisfaction remains as an unanswered question.

Social customer care should be interpreted and assessed based on how customers and prospects are treated by brands; and how quickly and accurately their queries are dealt with by businesses on channels like Twitter. In social customer care, priority must be based on type of query not one’s “influential” score. So, brands have the responsibility of making the complicated simple for their customers.

Image from:getsatisfaction.com

You Can Afford Web Design Services

One of the main deterrents to a professional web presence is the perceived cost. Small businesses somehow have the notion that they cannot afford quality web design services, and so they forego them completely.

Many of these businesses are suffering unduly because they are missing out on customers that should rightfully be theirs. There is no substitute for a professional looking website in today’s visual world. Even a better product or a better known brand does not necessarily guarantee that your company will get the business.

Affordable web design, like all computer related technology, is getting less and less expensive as time goes on. The volume of work that web design companies are getting allows them to reduce their prices. Also, customers are demanding more and more work for less and less money, so there are market forces at work as well.

The truth is that web design is actually more affordable today than business stationery, brochure design and personalised printing when you consider all of the returns on investment that you get from web design. With web design, you pay for it once and it is there forever. Brochures and stationery run out, and you have to pay for them over and over again.

Anything that you put on the internet should be considered from a public relations basis as well as a marketing basis. The production costs of online marketing are much lower, and the staying power is indefinite. For instance, a video that you put on a video sharing website (which should be part of your web design, by the way) stays there for 24 hours a day, seven days a week advertising your business to everyone that you drive to that website. There is no offline medium which does this. You are always paying to rent an advertising space offline, even if that advertising space is your own shop front window.

You must also consider that commerce is invariably finding its way online. The new consumer, the young person that grew up on computers, actually prefers to be addressed by a business from this medium. The opportunity to access your younger demographic in this more immediate way cannot be overlooked. You must consider that when you are thinking of how you will allocate your marketing resources.

With all of these factors, web design should looking more and more affordable by the minute. Considering that you can get free work from University students for free, there is really no excuse for not having a professional web presence. There are also websites which specialise in hosting free website templates such as wordpress that are available for download. You can hire a pro designer to tweak these templates if you do not have the budget for a full design.

There are many different printing services throughout Australia which also offer affordable web design.  For printing in Adelaide, and web design services, visit your local printing company.

Back Up Your Data And Save Time

We have all been there before, you are working on a piece of work and you have not saved it before the computer crashes and you have lost all your work.  It is always important to back up your data. Here are some of the ways you can easily back up your data and save yourself a lot of time and headache:

Save on your PC/Mac

This may sound obvious but many people do not save when they are working on a document.  What is worse is if you download a file from the internet, start working on it and press save. You think you have saved it on your desktop or within your hard drive but for those pc users, you may have saved it into your temp folder and for those on Mac, it is on your downloads or documents folder.

Never save on your desktop

If you save on your desktop and your hard drive goes, you will not be able to retrieve the data.  By saving on your desktop, it makes the computer look very messy.  You should organize all your documents in folders, the desktop should not be one of them.

Email

Email documents to yourself is a good way to ensure you always have access to that piece of work you want without having to carry around your laptop or memory card.  It is also useful as a backup.  Gmail launched Google docs where you can upload your work and also share it with others should you so wish.

External hard drives

If your pc or Mac is running slow, it is best to backup all your data on an external harddrive which provides more space on the pc or Mac. But be careful about using the same external hard drive for both Mac and pc.  Some harddrives have been formatted to work with only Macs.  As soon as you plug it into a pc the pc will be unable to read the disc and the data will be lost.  There are lots of different types of hard drives, Apple sell a wide range starting at £60 ($90 AUD), but please ask them about Mac vs pc compatibility before you purchase one.

Offline backups

Lots of people back up their online data, but it is also important to have a copy of your important documents.  If you do not have a scanner at home, there are a number of printing companies that offer photocopying services for a small fee.  It is well worth having an offline version; you never know when you may need it.

There are many different printing services, companies such as Vistaprint have an head office in Barcelona but offices worldwide. Kall Kwik are a UK based printing company with franchises within the United Kingdom.  Snap have a printing business throughout  Australia. The east coast of Australia offer printing in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, while there are offices in South Australia and Western Australia as well.

Business Card Etiquette in Asia

If you are traveling to China, Japan, Korea and you do not have your business cards, you  better hurry up and order some or rebook your trip.  You cannot expect to do business in these countries without a business card. They will not take you seriously.  Going without business cards is like refusing to shake hands at a meeting, it can cause a lot of damage.

There are lots of places that offer business card printing.  Some will offer free business cards but this normally means poor quality which does not reflect well on you. Pay the little bit extra and get the printing company to design the artwork.  Ensure that it is on high quality paper, double sided with English on one and simplified Chinese on the other.

Once you have your own business cards, there is a certain etiquette you should follow in Asia:

1) You should present the card with two hands (where practical) like it is the most important thing in the world. Never stack your business cards and offer people to take them from you.  Do not toss them across the table.  You must exchange the cards one by one, standing up and present with the translated side up.

2) Make sure the business cards are in English and the language you are working in. If you are going to China, you must make sure you have the correct translation.  Traditional Chinese is only in Taiwan and exclusive areas of Hong Kong.

3) Highlight important areas about the company on the card such as the age of the company, your title and additional degrees, such as if you have a MBA or a distinction from a well known University.

4) When you receive a business card, do not put it straight into your wallet or worse your back pocket.  You must inspect it and read out the name on the card.  Make sure you spend at least one minute examining the business card and confirming the details with the person who just gave it to you. Do not write anything on the business card in their presence even if the person giving it to you has added  a new phone number or different email address.

5) Carry a special card wallet with you.  Put your own business cards on one side and put those that you receive on the other site.  This way you are keeping both business cards safe, they will not become damaged or dog-eared.  By keeping the business cards in a leather or special card case, it shows you value the cards and respect them.

It is always appropriate to give out your business card if done in the right way. Therefore do not feel awkward or doubt whether to give someone you have only met for a few minutes, your business card. Just make sure you have enough, you can never have too many! Before you head over to Asia, visit your local printing company. Australia does a lot of business in Asia, so if you are over there make sure you check out the best companies printing in Sydney, Melbourne and the other main cities in Australia.