Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Benefits of using Twitter Lists

Updated 2012 because Twitter changed things!

So you've gone a bit overboard and you are now following over 300 people, resulting in six tweets per minute - and maybe they're not always interesting all of the time.

The simplest split is to separate 'obligatory' follows from the truly interesting ones. Alternatively, you might want to follow competitors discretely. Everyone will have different ways of using lists.

One of the benefits of using lists is that you can be seen to be following but if you find the majority of tweets boring or irrelevant, just pop the interesting ones into a list and keep those tweets displayed in your browser, ignoring the others most of the time.

Conversely, private lists are useful for following accounts anonymously. You can add to a private list without publicly following.

Here's what to do to set up and populate lists:
  • from the cog drop-down menu, click on the Lists then Create List, give it a name, description if you want and choose private or public.
  • go to Following in the left menu panel, use the drop-down menu associated with each person to Add or Remove from Lists, click the list(s) and close the panel
  • you can do the same for your Followers, even if you are not following them, and this also applies when you browse through other Twitter users, for example with the search or 'who to follow' features.
  • remember to place new Follows into lists.
To use, from the cog drop-down menu, click on Lists and select the list you want to see tweets for.

If you are actively listing, say, SME support, small business owners may start following your list (as will small business consultants, of course).

You can also follow other peoples' public lists. This gives you the benefits while other people do all the work! For example, if you want to follow tweets from local restaurants and someone else is actively doing so, just follow their list.

Follow The BPc (UK) on Twitter.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Starting a Business Twitter Account (suggested guidelines)

Our business twitter name is @BPcUK, we follow twitter accounts that relate to clients, local businesses, similar small businesses and informative service sites, e.g. twitter, google, etc. You may want two twitter accounts - register another twitter account for personal use, to follow people with similar interests, perhaps the news and a few celebs. Each account can follow the other one, too.

The way people use twitter varies greatly. Some are in the numbers game - honestly, how can anyone following 1,000+ people read all their tweets?! If you opt for quality rather than quantity, you will be entertained or educated with the majority of tweets. In return, try to offer the same to those who elect to follow you.

Suggested Business Twitter Guidelines for Beginners
  • Starting out, follow as many people as you find who may be interested in your business and follow them, giving them the opportunity to discover you and follow you back
  • Be polite and follow back your followers - but don't be lazy, take a look at their accounts first and make a judgement call
  • Set up links from the company blog or facebook page to automatically tweet, to save your time for supplementary tweets
  • Try not to tweet too much all at once - 7 or 8 in quick succession tends to be irritating
  • Don't 'hard sell' by just advertising your product/service
  • Remember to add links to drive people to your website, as appropriate
  • RT (retweet) if you think your followers would appreciate it
  • Don't just retweet all the time - your followers want original content from you
  • Keep replies @ to a minimum because it can be annoying for others who only see part of a conversation; however, do interact with your followers when you can
  • Refine your 'following' list occasionally, perhaps monthly, adding more and perhaps dropping a few

There are extras, such as hashtags, follow-fridays, messages, lists, etc. once you've got to grips with the basics of Twitter.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

How to add a logo and signature on Live / Hotmail Emails

If you look for help on the internet, the results mostly provide instructions that are now out of date. The following worked today but before you begin, you need to locate your logo on the internet and copy the image URL. (You can do this by using right-click with your mouse and selecting 'Copy image URL'.)

  • In the upper-right corner of the Hotmail page, click 'Options'
    then click 'More options...'
  • Under 'Writing email' click 'Message font and signature'
  • Under 'Personal signature' select the 'Edit in HTML' option
  • Type in <img src=
    followed by the image url in quotes
    followed by >
HTML example:
  • Select 'Rich Text' to add wording, as required

Rich Text example:
  • Click on 'Save' and you're done.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

On the trail of Who's Who (Domain Registration)

In the 123-reg August newsletter came an announcement: "Heart Internet has joined our family of web hosting companies."

On 123-reg About Us page, it states: "We're an integral part of the Webfusion Ltd – one of the UK's biggest web hosts."

Clicking the Webfusion link provided takes us to ... "With its brands 123-reg, Webfusion, Host Europe, Heart Internet, dynamic-net AG, and Donhost, the Group has a strong market presence in the UK, US, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain." 'About Us' History tells us that founders Jonathan Brealey and Tim Beresford 'launched Webfusion' and developed '123-reg' before launching Heart Internet in 2004. What goes around comes around, it seems.

So what of Founders Abby Hardoon and Marcus Lauder had previously founded Host Europe PLC (Hardoon was CEO of Host Europe until PIPEX Communications Ltd bought it for £31 million in 2004) and launched "with a new team that has previously built ... brands such as 123-reg ... and Webfusion".

Will Daily be absorbed too or frozen out?