Archive | February, 2011
Must Tweet Competently - The Anti-Social Media

On Social Media and Sickness

I spent the vast majority of my weekend, from Friday afternoon until 5 am this morning, either in bed or getting better acquainted with my toilet. There’s nothing like sickness to take some time away from social networks and strengthen the relationships you have with the plumbing fixtures in your home.

Sure, the relationship between me and my toilet may not have started online, but like all modern connections it went there. While I may not Facebook and poop, my attention is divided so much I just can’t give these things the attention they need. Thankfully, the inanimate objects of my house look past my social media obsessions and take care of me, even when the only thing I can think of through the blinding pain and weakness is I must write complete, intelligible sentences at all costs.

Must Tweet Competently - The Anti-Social Media

While I wish I could say I’m feeling 100%, I’m not. I’m just starting to catch up on things that are important: Twitter, Facebook, Quora, YouTube, LinkedIn, my friends, and my cat. I’ve got posts in the pipeline about Facebook, The Now Revolution by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund, and social media and society.

Fear not readers. I may have spewed all of the bile from my body this weekend, but my hatred for all things social did not leave with it.

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Sunday Shout Out! Argyle Social - The Anti-Social Media

Sunday Shout Out! Argyle Social

Sunday Shout Out! Argyle Social - The Anti-Social MediaI hate Tweetdeck, Hootsuite and other social media tools that break accounts down into thirty-some columns across. I can’t read them. Those tools work great for some people and their workflow, but for me, using them is like looking into the matrix. It’s just a bunch of messages flying by me in bland columns and I can’t separate what needs my attention.

That’s where Argyle Social steps in and makes my social media management a snap.

Argyle Social is a social media management, engagement, and measurement tool built in Durham, NC. It makes my social media management for Facebook and Twitter simple by breaking everything down those categories, and gives me a lot of firepower within those realms.

Publishing is the basics of Argyle. You plug in your account info and then you can start posting immediately. You can schedule and draft posts, and if you’re publishing a link, you can write multiple versions of the message with that link. It’s simple and makes sharing posts quick and easy.

Argyle also has a social inbox, capturing all your updates from multiple accounts on Facebook and Twitter. You can filter individual accounts, and flag messages that are really important. It keeps me focused on the messages I need to reply to, rather than the fifty messages going across Tweetdeck.

In Argyle, I not only have awesome tools to engage with my fans and followers on Twitter and Facebook, I also get insane tracking abilities. Combined with Google Analytics, Argyle provides a goldmine of data. This is truly where Argyle shines. If you’re a marketer with no idea where your social traffic and sales are coming from, Argyle will break it down for you. You can even set up goals so you know exactly what money you’re making from campaigns and individual tweets.

Here are the features I use most with Argyle that make my day easier:

  • RSS Import - Argyle has the ability to import my RSS feeds with a lot of variations. I can set it to post at different time intervals and different messages so I don’t have to worry about when it’s going out. Simple, effective, and makes my blogging life much easier.
  • Tie-in with Analytics - I use Google Analytics here on The Anti-Social Media, and Google and Argyle tell me anything and everything I need to know about my social campaigns. Who’s coming from where, if they’re making me money, if they have sacrificed their firstborn child for me. What more can I ask for (besides the second-born child)?
  • The API - I am not a technical person. I barely understand the mysteries of how my web properties are set up, let alone how complex web technologies like Twitter and Facebook work. So, if I love the API, you’re doing something very right. Argyle made their API usable and flexible enough that I was able to set it up as the default URL shortener on my iPhone. Now I track everything I share not only from my desktop, but also my phone. Just imagine if you have a bit of technical knowledge what you can pull off.

Is Argyle perfect? No way.

  • It can get messy - If you’re managing a lot of popular accounts, the engage inbox becomes a mess very quickly. You have to click one too many times to get to the individual accounts in the Engage feature. And if you’re posting a lot, finding an individual post can be a chore.
  • It can get technical - If you’re not good with analytics or don’t have someone who is, learning all the features and integrating them takes time. Time that could be spent making money.
  • Twitter search can’t show Argyle’s URLs - If you search Twitter to see who has posted your URL, it will pull up every tweet with the URL except for Argyle’s URL. This is pretty minor, and for all I know it’s Twitter’s problem, but it drives me nuts because it’s part of how I stalk track my audience.
  • It’s Facebook and Twitter only - I know these are the two biggest social networks, but LinkedIn and YouTube abilities would be amazing.
  • Argyle is expensive - Argyle starts at $150 a month. That’s $1,800 a year. You’ve got to make some serious cash from your social media to pay for it.

Argyle isn’t right for everyone. It’s for people who need to know if their tweets are making them money and can spend the money to find out. If you want to measure if what you’re doing is paying off and have the money to spend, Argyle will prove its worth quickly.

Disclosure: Argyle Social allowed me to use their software for free for the purpose of this review.

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Nothing to Blog About - Step 1 - Realization

The 4 Stages When You Have Nothing to Blog About

Blogger’s block is like writer’s block, but worse. Instead of losing the ability to string together coherent thoughts around a central thesis, you lose the ability to write about anything at all. No LOLCats, no double rainbows, and no Bieber fever. It’s like someone ripped out your brain and replaced it with flavorless chewed gum.

These are the steps that happen to me when I realize I have absolutely no idea what to blog about.

1. Realization of the Problem.

Nothing to Blog About - Step 1 - Realization

2. Distraction to try and find inspiration to solve the problem

Nothing to Blog About - Step 2 - Distraction

3. Despair that you just wasted three hours and if you’ll ever have a good idea to blog about once more.

Nothing to Blog About - Step 2 - Despair

4. Acceptance that if you don’t blog one day, the world will not end.

Nothing to Blog About - Step 4 - Acceptance

It’s just a blog. The world existed before blogs, and the world will exist after blogs. Get a guest blogger to fill in and give yourself a break every once in a while.

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28 Over Used Social Media Tips - The Anti-Social Media

28 Hot Tips on Giving Bland Social Media Tips

28 Over Used Social Media Tips - The Anti-Social MediaIf you read any of the major blogs on social media or blogging, you likely encounter the same group of tips about blogging and social media every week. These range from the practical, to the insane, and the just plain useless. We can do better than boring, rehashed tips.

Social media mastery does not come from one or two sentence hints, tips and pointers. It comes from knowing how people think, reacting to their conversations, and understanding the tools and mediums of conversation. People who break down the nuances of complex human interactions into quick tidbits of information are sociopaths in disguise.

So, I present my grand list of 28 tips on giving social media tips. If you see anything resembling this list: run away as fast as you can.

  1. Have a tip about using blog post titles that are creative and stand out. - Because the easiest thing in the world is to tell someone to be creative.
  2. Follow that tip with a bunch of formulaic post titles. - X Tips to make (insert superlative) Posts on (inset social network).
  3. Make your tips as vague and unspecific as possible. - You want readers to come back tomorrow, so give them the idea that if they keep coming back, or search your site for more, they will be able to fill in the details. Or even better, get them to pay for your ebook.
  4. Make your tips so generic they can be applied to anything - “Write compelling content. Tell stories. Engage. Connect.” These words are so bland and vague right now can be applied to your blog or your dog.
  5. Have a tip about giving your content personality - If we don’t tell people to write with personality, they all write like mindless robots who don’t make typos.
  6. Give your tips explanations - You’ve already boiled the point down, but some people are masochists and just want more.
  7. Don’t give your tips explanations
  8. Focus your tips on one subject - Readers apparently like organization, clarity, and digesting one thing at a time.
  9. Don’t focus your tips on one subject - Ok fine, just give out as many tips as you can under the guise of one subject.
  10. Have at least one tip about Twitter - Because Social Media folks love Twitter and talking about Twitter. This one will surely grab their attention.
  11. Have another one about Twitter - Just incase the other hint fails, keep this one as a back up.
  12. Have one tip about Facebook - Apparently there are 600 million people using this website that people may want to sell and talk to. Don’t ignore the opportunity to corrupt them.
  13. Have another tip about Facebook. - Really, 600 million people is a lot of people. One tip isn’t enough.
  14. Have at least one more Tip about Facebook - Just keep throwing Facebook tips out there. People use Facebook when they poop, so they’re looking for as much as they can about it.
  15. Have one tip about LinkedIn - Don’t forget the professionals. They need tips too. While the rest of us may behave like angry gorillas, we need them to employ us.
  16. Have a tip about some social network no one actually uses - A true social media guru evangelizes a network no one has heard of or cares about. Find that network and advocate for it, even when they ask you to stop after the network shut down.
  17. Tell people to put more share buttons on their site - Make your readers ignore good taste and design so they think their site is more social.
  18. Have one nugget about SEO - Because there’s nothing more fun than watching simpletons get confused with canonicalization and 301 redirects.
  19. Say something about success metrics - Say something about how to measure success, preferably with as many meaningless buzzwords as you possibly can.
  20. Talk about comments - Because everyone wants comments more than anything else. Just the mere mention of comments will stimulate comments.
  21. Talk about getting more comments - Comments on more comments? All I see is even more comments!
  22. Talk about getting better comments - A good comment is hard to find. Tell people who to force their readers to write better.
  23. Say something about proofreading - Because every blog is professional and one typo will ruin you forever because bloggers never make mistakes. Ever.
  24. Write about the importance and use of links - Say something about how links are important and show people you like them because people can’t figure this out on their own.
  25. Warn people about using too many links - You can’t have too much of a good thing.
  26. Say something about a call to action - Assume your readers are lazy imbeciles who can’t take actions on their own based on information given. Give them the way forward in bright neon lights.
  27. Tell people to end with a question - Having a complete thought while on a social network is too advanced for most people.
  28. End your tip post asking readers for their tips - This goes back to #21 #26, and #27. Give those readers a clear action to take.

So, what are your generic social media tips? Have any pointers on giving those little nuggets of insight?

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Facebook Sponsored Stories Spam - The Anti-Social Media

Why Facebook Users Aren’t Sponsored for Their Stories

When I was trying to think of a cooler, more user-friendly way to implement Facebook’s sponsored stories, I originally thought it be cool if users got paid when they were featured in sponsored stories. Even if it was just ten cents each time a user was featured feature, the money would slowly add up.

And then I realized every message on Facebook would turn into this:

Facebook Sponsored Stories Spam - The Anti-Social Media

Yeah, that’s exactly the update I want from my “friends.”

Can you come up with a more ridiculous spam update using major brand names? I want a preview of the crap I’m going to start seeing every day. There’s bonus points for each brand you use.

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Facebook Ads After Sponsored Stories - The Anti-Social Media

The Difference Between Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories

This is a Facebook ad:

Facebook Ads Before Sponsored Stories - The Anti-Social Media

This is a Facebook ad on Sponsored Stories:

Facebook Ads After Sponsored Stories - The Anti-Social Media

“Friends” don’t let “friends” become advertisements.

Just say “NO” to sponsored stories.

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