How to Tweet When Sad News Breaks

We’ve had a lot of heartbreaking news stories in the past few years, and for many Twitter users that social network was the first place they heard about some of them. It can get emotional and a little overwhelming on Twitter as these tragedies unfold, and it’s a good time for your personal and company brand to make a positive impression and contribution to the conversation – and avoid a negative one.

If you want to hang on to your followers and sound like a real and thoughtful human (or a company ran by thoughtful humans), follow these tips for tweeting during a sad news event. Continue Reading…

Why Buying Social Followers is a Bad Idea

When many businesses start out using social media, they often focus on their number of Twitter followers, Facebook likes, etc. and desperately want to increase those numbers. That’s why “services” that offer hundreds of thousands of new “real” followers for $5 or $150 can look like a good idea. (Spoiler alert: They’re not.)

Increasing your number of followers – or reach – can be instrumental in making your social media marketing more effective.  But, having more followers only helps if those followers are real people. You want followers who will notice you in their stream and be interested in what you have to say and sell. Continue Reading…

Shortened URLs in Social Media: Pros and Cons

I received a great question from one of our customers at AboutUs: What is the best Twitter URL shortener?

As I dove into writing an answer, I took a step back and pondered whether it’s actually a good idea to use a URL shortener when posting in social media. After all, Twitter now has a built-in URL shortener, so you no longer get extra characters by using your own shortened URL when you want to include a link in your tweet.

Here are the pros and cons I came up with for posting shortened links in social media. Continue Reading…

Great Out-of-the-Way Litter Box Solution

We all love our cats, but their litter box is another story. We put up with the tracked cat litter, smell and eyesore because the cat box is one of the few downsides to owning a cat. (And I think it’s much better than picking up a dog’s warm droppings in the rain.)

Picture of cat door entrance to litter box

I’ve tried many things to make my cats’ litter box less annoying, and I was so impressed and inspired when I saw the handy work of one of my cat sitting clients. Their solution made the litter box as subtle and out of the way as possible. Continue Reading…

Why I May Unlike My Favorite Radio Station on Facebook

In the past year or so, my favorite radio station has really been stepping up their social presence on Facebook. They went from infrequent posts about concerts, music news and the like to something completely different.

The transformation started slow.  I started noticing – and liking – their Facebook posts featuring pictures of one of their DJ’s cats. Because I’m a cat lover, I didn’t notice or mind how off-topic they were. Continue Reading…

How to Avoid an Unnatural Links Penalty

Editor’s note: The Unnatural Links update would later become known as Google’s Penguin update. Also, this post received 100+ comments when it was originally published on the now defunct

Google is constantly adjusting its search engine algorithm in an attempt to serve up the best websites and most relevant results to searchers.  They’re at it again, and this time it’s a doozy.

What’s being called the Unnatural Links update is rocking the SEO world.  In March 2012 people started receiving warnings from Google about “unnatural links” and then many of those sites’ rankings in search results have taken a nosedive.  Some sites have been de-indexed, which means their site’s pages no longer show up in Google at all. Continue Reading…

Thumper’s Reviews of Glucosamine Treats for Cats

Because my cat Thumper is a bit overweight, a Maine Coon – a larger type of a cat – and 11 years old, our vet recommended I give her glucosamine treats to help her joints so she can be more active and comfortable. Obstacle #1 – It’s hard to find Glucosamine treats for cats in many pet stores. Obstacle #2 – It turns out Thumper is an even pickier eater than I ever realized.

Here are my – well, really Thumpers’ – reviews of the Glucosamine treats we’ve tried. I hope it helps some other “fluffy” kitties get what they need to feel better, and help you not waste money on ones your cat may not eat. Continue Reading…

Twitter only emailing about some @s to hide spam, annoy me

Any popular social network (or blog, wiki, etc.) is bound to become an attractive target to spammers.  People have come to expect spam in their email inbox, but spam can be surprising on a social site where you feel like you’re only talking to and visible to your friends.

What’s interesting to me is how social networks deal with try to hide spam.  In my last post, I talked about how Facebook hides messages from non-friends they think could be spam.  This gives Facebook a sense on non-spamminess at the cost of preventing social interactions from people you’re not connected to.

Now I’ve noticed that Twitter is doing something similar. Continue Reading…