4 Social Media Tasks You Should Never Automate

4 social media tasks you should never automate

If you want to do it right, social media management takes a lot of time. So much so that it’s now some peoples’ full-time job. But not everyone has the budget to hire a social media manager or coordinator; enter Social Media Automation Tools. Programs like Buffer, Social Oomph, Hootsuite and many, many more all promise to make your social media management easier, more seamless and less time-consuming. However, it’s vital to not automate everything. In this blog, we’ll break down 4 social media tasks you should never automate and why.

Social media is still social, and nobody likes to talk to a robot when it comes to developing relationships (or talking in general). Some things still need to be done in real time, by a real human. Here are some social media tasks that should be done by humans, not automation. (more…)

How To Make “Post To Page” More Visible On Your Facebook Page

Say your goodbyes: it’s now impossible to make “post by others” show on your Facebook business page timeline. We have a super popular post about how to make that possible, but it dates from a few years, and Facebook business pages have changed a lot since then.

However, we still receive questions and comments about why the advice in that post doesn’t work anymore; it’s because you simply cannot do it anymore. The new Facebook business page has a completely different structure. (more…)

How To Get Free Followers To Your Small Business Twitter Account

You have a new business Twitter profile and you’d like to get more followers. You want followers who will actually pay attention to your tweets and who are part of a relevant audience, be that locally or within a certain sphere of industry. You’d like more followers, and for free…

Free Followers – Without Spamming or Cheating?


Free Followers – That aren’t in distant regions or irrelevant as a target market?

Yes. (more…)

Plan for a Positive Brand Reputation Online

press conference

Plan like you have never planned before

People have many ways to complain about your business online and all of them are public. When you hear the term brand reputation what do you think of? I think of press releases, press conferences, special appearances, and interviews. This is what’s referred to as traditional public relations. Now that the Internet is the majority of people’s first interaction with a company it is important to create an online brand reputation plan. And plan like you’ve never planned before. The main goal of online brand reputation is to ensure that only positive results about your business show up in the search engines.

Optimize your positive materials

SEO or search engine optimization for brand reputation management involves improving the keywords and tagging of your company’s published materials. This will put a focus on your positive materials by pushing them to the top of the search engine results.

Content Creation for Brand Reputation

Creating positive content such as blog posts, social media profiles and websites and pairing it with SEO should overcome any negative comments or posts. I should mention here that you want all of these tactics to be proactive and you always want to be sure to create only content that is true. The key is to be transparent and approachable.

Traditional Tactics with a Modern Twist

The third tactic is to promote the positive things your business is doing in the community by submitting online press releases. Just like submitting a press release to a traditional media outlet, you would want the press release to go to an authoritative source. This could be a credible online newspaper, television station, or a government supported website just to name a few. Of course, what is considered authoritative will depend on what your business does or the type of product it sells.

The ethics of it all

Ethical practices around online brand reputation are still being discussed and worked out. As I mentioned before, you want to make sure that any content you are putting on the World Wide Web about your company is honest. The public needs to be able to have the choice to view what they want. On top of that, your company needs to deal with these negative comments on an interactive level. This could be as simple as responding to the customer’s complaint and offering ways to resolve it. With careful planning and positive interaction with customers, your company should be able to maintain an excellent online presence.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

5 Bad Social Media Habits You Should Give Up

Lent is a 40-day period during which practicing Catholics give up something–usally a bad habit like smoking or drinking–to commemorate Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the desert.

But it’s not just good for individuals. As business owners doing internet marketing, we can also develop bad social media habits. Want to give up something for Lent? Start by these less than desirable things we do on Facebook and Twitter.                                                                                                                                                                               

1. Stop shilling on Facebook​

Facebook may seem like a great place to promote or sell your services, but doing so insistently (or “shilling”) will only drive followers away.    Remember the social media mantra “People connect with people” and start behaving like a person instead of a business. Share  employees’ good news. Post pictures of your office. Ask interesting questions. You can even find ways to present a new product or service  without making it look like an advertisement.

2. Stop Retweeting

Although retweeting can help spread a piece of content, a timeline that is filled with only retweets is not very attractive to new followers. Again, “people connect with people”, and followers want to connect with a real person who has thoughts and emotions. Use Twitter to spread your brand’s personality around, not other people’s. And if you absolutely must retweet that piece, add a personal comment to it.

3. Move one-on-one conversations away from Facebook comments

This happens more often than you think, especially in customer relations. People are not interested in reading about how you’re going to solve a client’s problem. Whenever a Facebook comment risks pulling you into a long conversation, provide a contact email to move it to a more private space. Fans will thank you for it.

4. Stop using so many hashtags

Sure, hastags are useful to put a tweet in context, especially during major events. However, hashtagging every word from your tweet not only makes it unreadable, but it also makes you look like you can’t formulate a coherent thought. Also, it’s totally unethical to use popular hashtags that are unrelated to your business for promotion purposes. People pick up on it… and then pick on you.

5. Stop pre-programming your social media updates

Sure, it might seem useful to program Facebook and Twitter updates ahead of time, but you end up looking really insensitive if something major happens. On the other hand, taking advantage of timely events (as long as they’re not tragic) to promote your products or services can work really well! Follow Oreo’s example and tweet appropriately!

So, which of these bad habits are you willing to give up for Lent? Share your thoughts with us!

New Social Network: Vine

No, we’re not talking about a new wine-related social network (although that would be awesome), but rather a new video-based app now owned by Twitter called Vine. It’s all the rage these days, with celebrities like Tyra Banks and Emmy Rossum posting Vines on their Twitter feeds.

Here’s a quick Vine I made especially for this occasion:



1. What does it do?

Vine is super simple: you take a 6-second video that the app posts as a video loop on Twitter and on Vine feeds. The video is looped automatically.

2. How does it work?

You start by downloading the app on your iPhone. There’s a simple tutorial in the app to show you how to make a video–it works by the touch of your finger.

After making your video, you can share it with your social networks.

3. Where can I share the videos?

The Twitter integration makes it easy to share the videos directly with your followers on Twitter. The app also connects to Facebook so you care share it with your fans as well. If you embed your Twitter feed on your website, you’ll also be able to share your videos that way.

4. How can I use it?

Vine can be useful for your internet marketing in a variety of ways. It gives you an opportunity to be creative and show your business from a fun, creative angle. You can take a funny video of the staff or show how your product works.

6 seconds doesn’t seem like much, but if you watch other people’s videos, you’ll see that you can fit in a lot of content in these few seconds. The advantage: you can make an impact before your audience’s attention span fades. And the best videos? People will watch them over and over again.

Think of Vine as a video version of Twitter: conciseness and originality are key. As with any new social network, it’ll take a while to unlock its full potential, but Vine’s popularity is growing so quickly that it can’t be ignored for very long.

The New LinkedIn Profile: Visual, Graphic and Easier to Share

I don't know about you, but I am a visual person—especially when it comes to connecting with people. So, the fact that LinkedIn has edited the layout of the personal profile to create a more visual design is definitely a plus in my books. The announcement, made by LinkedIn in mid-October, will also see more graphic visuals that will make them easier to understand and see where possible connections exist. For instance, you will be able to see a visual presentation showing which companies your connections work for (perhaps one of them is your dream company!).

Status updates will also have more prominent real estate on the page, which will encourage us to share more (which is, after all, the power of LinkedIn). The experience section will also display in a more interactive way to make it easier for connections to read and for us to edit. P.S. The mobile app for iPhone and Android has been updated (13 Nov) to include the ability to add a new headline, recent skills or a new position.

Here's an example of the new profile layout from LinkedIn's blog:

LinkedIn Profile

So, just as we are navigating our way around the new company pages that were rolled out in September 2012, we now get to switch (or divide) our focus onto our personal page as well. The good news, as I understand it, is that the personal page changes will be introduced more gradually over the next few months. If you are eager, you can request an invitation to have your page updated to the new layout by visiting the LinkedIn sample profile page.

Let us know what you think about the new profile layout and how you will use it to tell your professional story, share more with your connections and discover new people and opportunities.

4 Easy Ways to Improve Your Google+ Business Page

If you haven’t yet created a Google+ page for your business or brand, now is the time to hop on board. With over 250 million users and counting, Google+ is another great way for your company to connect with customers and the fans who love you.


4 Sneaky Facebook Settings You Need to Fix Right Now

As you’ve probably heard by now, Facebook quietly pulled an email switcheroo. They disabled your primary email address and replaced it with an @facebook.com address, which you probably never even knew you had.

The world is outraged at this unforeseen (and unannounced event), but it’s really the least of your worries. Facebook is full of unwanted default settings that threaten your privacy and your peace of mind.


6 Ways to Find Great Social Media Content

There’s no doubt that social media is a valuable marketing tool. It’s free. It’s fun. It has incredible reach. But it also has to be maintained. It’s not enough to sign up for a few social media accounts and call it a day—you have to regularly update them with interesting news, photos and tidbits. It can be tough to keep up the conversation, but there are plenty of easy ways to keep the social media content flowing.


8 Silly Grammar Mistakes That Are Killing Your Blog

The worst piece of writing advice I ever received? Write like you talk.

If you’ve ever eavesdropped on a conversation, you know that our verbal culture is an editor’s worst nightmare. Saturated with rotten grammar, half-baked ideas and a disturbing amount of likes, ums and y’knows, human speech isn’t exactly made for readability.


Survey Reveals Scary Truth About Facebook Friends

It’s safe to share with friends of friends, right? I mean, you kinda know them. They’re the people you were introduced to at your girlfriend’s birthday party, or the ones you met in passing at the mall. It’s only 2 degrees of separation, so why not let them see all your photos?


Superbowl XLVI Gets First-Ever Social Media Command Center

Superbowl XLVI has a Social Media Command Center. Seriously. While you’re tossing back chicken wings and yelling at the television screen, a team of 50 will be monitoring the digital field from the comfort of their 2,300 square foot space in downtown Indianapolis.


Mapping the World with Twitter and Flickr

Remember those light pollution—err… I mean those Earth at Night—maps that were so popular in the late 1990s? Well, it’s time to move on. Eric Fischer, Google programmer and digital map aficionado, has created something that will delight even the techiest of tech-lovers. Bye bye city lights, hello geotagged tweets and Flickr photos.


Invitation To This Is My Jam Beta: What Is YOUR Jam?

There’s a glut of online music streaming services battling for your social timeline. Spotify, Grooveshark, Last.fm and Rdio all exist to annoy your Facebook and Twitter friends with the latest tune you listened to and what you think everyone else needs to hear. It’s like cranking tunes in your bedroom as a teenager, except the echo-chamber is the entire online world. What’s better than indiscriminately forcing your musical taste on your drinking buddies, high school aged cousins and accountant uncle?


Facebook Finally Launches Timeline

After months of wondering if it would ever show its face in public, Facebook timeline has finally arrived! It’s not official—you have to go here to get it—but if you upgrade now you’ll have 7 days to test it out before it goes live on your profile.


Kicked off Facebook: Why These 4 People Got the Boot

If British police get their way, rioting hooligans will soon be banned from using social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry Messenger. Senior officers met with each individual company following last summer’s riots to learn how perps use the networks to stir up trouble, and to find a way to ban them for violating the networks’ terms and conditions.


Setting up your Google+ Brand Page

Google’s social network is ready for business. And while Google+ is still getting off the ground, word on the street is that Google+ Pages will soon trump those of the other, more popular social networks. Simply put, Google+ has the most to offer your business. So why not jump the boat and get your presence established on Google’s social network now?


Why I Love Twitter’s 140 Character Limit

I believe good things come in 140-character packages. In a single tweet, you can argue your case, share good news or link to something awesome. You can tell the world about your new toothbrush, your new product or your new daughter. You can even spam your friends with inspirational quotes, which they love.


The Schools That Rule the Web

Recent studies prove it: increased engage,ent between educators and students cia email and social media has a positive effect on learning. Check out this infographic to see the schools that rule the web.


4 Ways to Squash Silly Facebook Rumours

Facebook rumours. No, I’m not talking about Microsoft buying Facebook or Mark Zuckerberg’s pregnant girlfriend. I’m talking about those pesky, illogical rumours that spread faster than the truth. The ones that abuse caps lock, exclamation points and common sense.


Facebook f8: Zuck-Dawg Announces Even Bigger Changes

If you hate the new Facebook changes right now, you’re really going to hate what Mark Zuckerberg announced this morning at the annual f8 conference in San Francisco. The Facebook that you know and love will be gone, and those irritating minor changes will be here to stay—plus many, many before. Basically, Facebook is getting an overhaul that coincides with a shift from user growth to user engagement. The last five years have been focused on signing people up and getting connections in place, and now that Facebook has half a billion users, the only thing left to do is get those users to share more.


Should Teachers Be Allowed to Friend Their Students?

Missouri’s newest law—the “Facebook Law”—has caused an uproar among teachers, students and others who believe it violates their freedom of speech and association.

Why? The law forbids teachers and students from befriending each other on Facebook. That’s not the law’s only concern—it also touches on things like background checks for anyone having contact with a student and reporting alleged sexual misconduct within 24 hours—but the social media aspect is naturally the only thing people are making a fuss about.


Facebook Has More Pluses Than Google+

Who’s the most popular person on Google+ right now? Mark Zuckerberg. Believe it or not, his numbers beat out Google CEO Larry Page and company co-founder Sergey Brin, probably due to the media circus surrounding his sign up. But as Zuckerberg told tech blogger Robert Scobie, “Why are people so surprised that I’d have a Google account?”


How to Celebrate Social Media Day 2011

Social Media Day 2011 is tomorrow! Now in its second year, this global event celebrates our connected world and gives people a chance to socialize with their online communities offline.


Stikky Media Wins Social Media Campaign of the Year!

With content from our interactive media division, northStudio360, we were recently the proud winners of Social Media Campaign of the Year, presented by Social Media Camp. The award, dubbed a “Westie,” was judged on creativity, sociability and results. Here’s how it went down:


While Lipdubs Reach New Heights of Awesomeness, Flash Mobs Wreak Havoc

In the past couple of years, the popularity of lipdubs has skyrocketed, especially with university students. Last fall, UVic created an epic lipdub video inspired by another UVic, located in Spain.

But UBC has taken lipdubs to a new level. Their 10 minute video has gone where no lipdub has gone before—underwater—and features a unicorn, scuba divers and the first successful Old Spice parody I’ve ever seen.


Esperanza Spalding Wins Grammy, #TeamBieber Can’t Belieb It

There’s a retweet swirling around Twitter that says the Grammys lost 17 billion+ views after Esperaza Spalding won over the Biebs. Hmm.

With a world population of about 6,775,235,741, that would mean each person would have to love Bieber with 250% of their heart. And even with herds of dedicated Bieberites running wild on this planet, I’m pretty sure that’s impossible.


Foursquare Helps Tourism, but DMO’s Aren’t Checking In

Foursquare has over 6 million users and over 381 million check-ins, but very few DMO’s are using the using the geo-location service to boost tourism. Explore Chicago was the first to really get involved with Foursquare, and since then, only a handful of DMO’s have joined.


Ground Shaking? Drop, Cover, Twitter.

I’ve gotten used to the blasting over at the Uptown construction site, so when I felt a big rumble at 8:30 this morning, I completely ignored it. But while I quietly ate my oatmeal, Twitter lit up with earthquake-fueled chatter.


Super Bowl XLV Social Media Helps Newbies Understand Football, Fit in at Parties

I have a confession: Superbowl XLV is 3 days away and I don’t know which teams are playing. I didn’t know last year either, but I attempted to hide my indifference by bringing a hideous football cake to the party. Unfortunately, it was so over-iced and under-baked that only one person tried it. So instead of passing myself off as a quiet fan with amazing baking skills, I became “the girl who brought the cake.

And I still never figured out who was playing.


Social Media on the Front Lines in Egypt

Even though Egypt is in the midst of an Internet and SMS blackout, the rest of the world is glued to the web, watching. Protesters and journalists have found ways around these roadblocks and are using social media to inform and organize.

Following #jan25 or #egypt on Twitter produces an amazing amount of results. By the time you read the first few, you’re already five hundred tweets behind. Many protesters are posting via proxy server, and some journalists are even using landlines to phone tweets back to their headquarters.


Victoria Rides The Google Transit Bus

Last week, BC Transit rolled out a new trip planning tool, Google Transit, for its Greater Victoria schedule. Although it’s a pilot project, users have access to the entire system and its bus stop locations, route numbers, departure times, arrivals, trip lengths and walking routes.


Why You Should Follow Airlines on Twitter

Over the past year, a few high-profile incidents thrust airlines into the spotlight. Scandalous highlights include Kevin Smith being kicked of a Southwest Airlines flight for being “too fat”, Air Canada breaking a young boy’s wheelchair and a Twitter hoax about JetBlue and American Airlines flying doctors to Haiti for free.


The Top 7 Facebook Archetypes

Here’s a little magic trick. Take a look at your Facebook friends list, then take a look at the personality types below. Now, divvy them up into categories. Amazing, isn’t it? Whether you have 100 friends or 1000, each one has their own freaky niche. Do you fall in to any of these categories? Are there any that we’ve missed?


Social Media Statistics for Hostel Travelers and Backpackers

Traveling with a tiny budget doesn’t mean you have to resort to a tiny vacation. More than ever, budget travelers are tapping into the wealth of online travel information to find the best promotions and the most current information. And by foregoing brand name hotel chains, they have even more cash for activities, food and those irresistible last minute deals.


Small Town Tourism, Big Social Media

Facebook might be the third largest country in the world, but it still feels like Facebookville, population 620. For the kid whose mother read about his weekend shenanigans on Facebook, it’s a bad thing. For small towns, it’s a blessing.


You Might be Dead, but Your Online Accounts Sure Aren’t

I’m a virtual pack rat. Every personal email I receive is transferred into a categorized folder and never looked at again. There are thousands and thousands of emails, and like most pack rats, I can’t explain why I keep them. The emails wouldn’t ruin my life if made public, but they do contain a wealth of embarrassing personal information.

If I wanted someone else to know every thought my friends and I have had for the past 12 years, I’d print off my emails and stuff them under my mattress. But they’re password protected, so when I die, my inbox will die with me.

Or will it?


Social Media and the Tourism Industry Statistics

Note: These stats are from 2011. For more up-to-date numbers, check out our most recent blog post, 2012 Social Media and Tourism Industry Statistics.

Travel and tourism marketing isn't the one-sided method it used to be–today's travelers are relying more than ever on word of mouth. In response, the tourism and hospitality industry is turning to social media to promote its services and to engage customers in a more personal way. Next year, almost two-thirds of travel companies plan to increase their social media marketing budgets. Here's why:


Social Media Done Right – Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone's Facebook page
Note: Updated September 2018

I was first introduced to Rosetta Stone three years ago after it was recommended to me when I wanted to learn Danish in preparation for moving to Copenhagen. I was really impressed by the product and recently decided to purchase the program again to learn Greek – a language I have wanted to learn since I was a kid.

Rosetta Stone is the world’s #1 language learning software and they’ve also developed an equally amazing social media presence. They have over 2,600,000 Facebook followers, just over 90k Twitter followers and users are so engaged they often start their own discussions. So how do they do it?

They have a good base product
In order to survive in the social media world, you need the goods to back it up. Rosetta Stone’s former chief exec, Tom Adams, said it best in an interview with the Washington Post: “Set out to teach first and change people’s capabilities and then look around at technologies like speech recognition, social networking, casual gaming, all of these different things.”

Like he said, Rosetta Stone’s proven teaching methods are only enhanced by its social media presence.

Brand Consistency
A lot of companies seem to forget their social media is part of their professional appearance. Call me a snob, but if a company’s Facebook page is full of spelling and grammar mistakes, I’m out. The same goes for multiple opinions—even if there are dozens of people contributing, they all need to send out the same message. I don’t mean they all have to regurgitate the company philosophy like a bunch of robots, but they do all have to work toward a common goal.

Rosetta Stone has a set of guidelines that ensures employees are interacting correctly, and that quality standards continue through their social media departments. This might make them sound stuffy, but the result is the exact opposite. Instead of only allowing a single “Customer Success Representative” to speak for the company online, we see other employees engaging in interesting, useful conversations. They come across as well-spoken and professional, but they’re real people.

Social Media is an Extension of Their Product
Rather than simply providing a place where users learn about the product, Rosetta Stone took a social approach to language learning and created an environment where users actually learn the product.

It would be easy for Rosetta Stone to post a “word of the day” and a few grammar tips on Twitter, but that’s not their product, and it’s not engaging. By nature, language is social and Rosetta Stone knows it.

To enhance their education, they’ve created online communities where users chat live with native speakers and interact and play games with other learners. They have a photo booth where you appear in a foreign land and have your photo automatically transferred to Facebook. On Twitter, Rosetta Stone answers questions, offers words of encouragement and even hosts chat sessions that ease students’ nerves. On Facebook, users discuss everything from technical issues to language suggestions to who’s studying what and why.

Last week on their Facebook page, they posted a picture of an orange square and asked their audience, “how would you describe this colour in the language you’re learning?” At the time of writing, the question had 96 responses in a vast array of languages. This is a perfect example of how Rosetta Stone uses their social media presence to not only engage their audience, but supply the community support to language learners to fall back on.

They Write Back to You
It might sound simple, but Rosetta Stone actually responds to comments, both good and bad. And they’re speedy. One guy posted a negative experience, and within the day Rosetta Stone sent him a private message and he publicly posted how the issue was resolved.
Rosetta Stone even actively participates in a Facebook discussion devoted entirely to “What don’t you like about Rosetta Stone.”

Although accepting and taking responsibility is something Rosetta Stone does very, very well, they don’t take over conversations. A lot of people have mixed feelings about buying the program, but rather than pushing their product, Rosetta Stone lets other customers take the lead. More often than not, a simple recommendation squashes all doubts.

In response to Rosetta Stone’s “What time is it in the country whose language you’re learning” questions, a user asked all Rosetta Stone Employees: “What language are you learning and why?” Almost 15 employees responded, all with personal, human answers that made me want to be their friend. If that’s not social media engagement, then I don’t know what is.


Facebook Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Chances are you have a Facebook profile. Chances are even better that, if you have an account, you check it once a day. But do you really know Facebook? The infographic Facebook: Facts You Probably Didn't Know provides a bit of Facebook re-education.


NHL Hockey Players Using Social Media

With the 2009-2010 NHL (National Hockey League) regular season beginning tonight and Stikky Media being located in Canada, hockey is all the buzz today. It’s a fresh new season and everyone has big plans for their club. I thought a hockey post with a Social Media twist would suit todays mood. Businesses and teenagers are not the only people embracing the Social Revolution. You can find your favorite hockey players on Twitter, Facebook, Team and Personal Blogs, and all over the internet. And you can find every team on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and pretty much anywhere else you can imagine on the internet.


10 Comedians Worth Following on Twitter

Most have heard of Twitter by now, and that it is revolutionizing the way businesses operate. When it comes to finding alternate ways to connect to your potential clients or customers, Twitter can be a huge boost for traffic and branding. Aside from all that, Twitter also serves as a unique tool to have a glance into the lives of celebrities, comedians, and people from other countries. Here are 10 comedians you should follow on Twitter.


Top Twitter Tools

New to Twitter? There are a number great third party application that can be used to make your Twitter experience better. We have listed the best ones below.


The Gigya Socialize Module for Drupal

The Gigya Socialize module for the Drupal Content Management System has just been released in BETA. Gigya is a widget distribution network that provides all kinds of useful widgets for Social integration as well as tools for widget developers. Gigya Socialize is a widget developed to allow users to connect, share, and promote via different social media websites. The Gigya Socialize module for Drupal provides an API aggregate authentication and social API’s from a number of different Social Media platforms.

Traditional Media Turns to Social Media

I was surprised and very pleased to read the front page of the business section of todays Times Colonist newspaper based out of Victoria British Columbia. The title "Social networking boosts bottom line" brought a smile to my face. The subtitle "Blogs pay off by enhancing websites and communicating with customers" just made me more excited. It’s great to know that old media is recognizing the upside to new media. More and more these days the two are coming together and people are embracing the web and all it has to offer.

10 Reasons People Prefer Facebook to Twitter

Here at Stikky we like to use any kind of Social Media tool we can get our hands on and we encourage our clients and friends to do so as well. But we have run in to a lot of people comparing the two heaviest hitters in the game right now. Here is our list of the "10 Reasons People Prefer Facebook to Twitter".


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