Hello again; Well, I hate to interrupt the posts about my past, but I thought I should share some of the recent challenges from my life while they are still clear in my mind and could be of some help to other bloggers. As many of you know I am always trying to improve myself, the business, or the websites. This week I learned about adding google business pages, included my first click to tweet, and came up with a work around for sharing to group boards on Pinterest.
Click to tweet step by step
I’m going to start with click to tweet because I had the most success with it. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this service, it is a way to offer your readers the option to tweet a predetermined snippet of text by clicking a button in the middle of your blog post. I did it last week for the first time. My effort wasn’t perfect, but I learned enough that I feel comfortable sharing my process in hopes it will make it easier for others.
If you want to see my finished example, you can go to last week’s post. Look for the please tweet this link about half way down. A couple of people used it, and one of them was kind enough to mention it in the comments section. So, I know it worked.
First, you have to come up with some text that you want your visitors to tweet. It can’t be an overly long statement because you still have to comply with twitter’s 140 character limit for tweets. I recommend you go to your twitter page to try out your text to make sure it will work. And as my friend Harleena said, be sure to include a hashtag so you can see all your tweets. Naturally, you won’t post the tweet, but you can see if it meets the character limit.
Next, you want to go to http://clicktotweet.com and copy your text phrase into the box where it says message you would like tweeted. and then press generate new link. And this is where I got confused. And I imagine I wasn’t the only one.
There are two options copy link or embed link. I tried using both of these methods. Copying the html code to my blog post worked but I could tell it wasn’t quite right. And after sending a screen shot to my friend Adrienne Smith, I found out for sure I had not done it right. She sent me the link code for my chosen phrase. I love Adrienne, and I appreciate her doing this especially on a sunday. But she either left something out, or I misunderstood her instructions. I did finally figure it out.
What you want to do is press the preview link. When you do that, you will get a screen from twitter as if you are posting the tweet. And if you go to the address bar at this point, you will find a really long url with your text as part of it separated by percent signs. You want to copy and paste that url into your post. Or if you are a html code type person, then you use that url in a link statement with click this as the linked text.
So, you created your text, ran it through click to tweet, grabbed the url from there, and added it to your blog post. You are good to go now. So, to conclude I thought I would add an example.
My text will be “If a blind man can use click to tweet, why aren’t you using it too?#mistermidway ”
Here is the url that was generated when I clicked test link. https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=If+a+blind+man+can+use+click+to+tweet%2C+then+why+aren%27t+you+using+it+too%3F+%23mistermidway+http%3A%2F%2Fctt.ec%2F5bel0%2B&source=clicktotweet
And here is the result.
If a blind man can use click to tweet, then why aren’t you using it too? Please tweet this?
If you click that link, you will notice a url is included in my tweet. Now, I don’t know of a way to get the url for a post until after its live, so there ar two ways you could get this done. One would be to leave the click to tweet phrase out until after you press publish and then add it in later. However, I decided to include the click to tweet with my site url and then repeat the process with the post url after pressing publish. I will have to track to see if the extra effort is worth it. I will let you know what I find out. If you try adding url’s to them, then please let me know how well they work for you. But just imagine how many people will be automatically sharing your site or post link. The more compelling the text, the higher the number of shares you should receive.
Credit where credit is due
I can’t continue this post without giving credit to three people who have done earlier posts on this subject. I don’t know who did it first, but I will mention them in the order that makes sense to me. The first time I heard about using click to tweet was in a post written last year by Adrienne Smith. In there she referenced a post by Ana Hoffman but mentioned that Ana’s version might be a little more difficult. And then while checking google, I found a post about this from Lorraine Reguly. After reading all of them, I determined that Adrienne’s method was the simplest. And its hers along with a couple steps added that I am sharing here.
A happy accident
Next, I want to talk about creating a google business page. I didn’t start out to do this. I don’t honestly know when or how I did it. All I know is somehow I did, and last week I ended up on my google business page for mister midway instead of my main google plus profile page. I thought I had lost all the people in my circles. I will admit to doing the chicken little and asking people online how to get them all back. 🙂 I finally realized where I was. But I was only able to get back to my main profile by clicking the link from my website. But google business pages are something I’m thinking more of us should do. I mean we are all wanting to establish our brand or expand it. And while a google url is nice you are pretty much limited to your name. A google plus business page can have any name you want to give to it. You can even have separate pages for each location of a business. I now have two such pages one for mister midway and the other for the blind blogger.
Your business pages can have all the same types of information and links as your main profile. And you can participate in all the same activities through them such as sharing content, adding people to circles, and doing google hangouts. I may have gotten here accidentally, but now that I am here; I plan to take advantage of my mistake. I am gradually moving people from circles in my main profile to circles on one or the other of the business pages. When someone adds me to their circle, I am selecting the page to add them to based on which I think they are most likely to be interested in. For a while it will mean having duplicate posts. But I figure I can manage this by staggering them. I hear there is even a term for it. They call it time zone posting. The goal is to share posts with groups of people who are most likely to want to read them and then leave a comment or share with their friends. It will mean more work, but I hope it will also mean better results from future google plus shares.
Sharing posts to Pinterest group boards
A while back I wrote a post about my experience using Pinterest. For the most part what I wrote is still working. The one area where I have had trouble is in posting to group boards. I love supporting my friends by sharing their posts or videos. I will often share content on my main board as well as on several group boards. This used to be simple. I would click the board I wanted, click add a pin, select add from computer or add from a website, add the description, and click pin. However, Pinterest recently started upgrading their system. Now, when sharing a pin using a website url it doesn’t automatically select the right boards. Instead it uses the board of my most recent pin. And there is no easy way to select a different board using my current version of the apple operating system.
I could upgrade to mavric. The cost is minimal, but I cringe every time I think of doing it myself. I worry about all the images, documents, videos, and email addresses I have stored on my laptop. My plan is to wait until I can upgrade to a new solid state hard drive and then have the geniuses at the apple store do a clean install on it and then move all my existing software and data over to it for me. I know this makes me a whoos but its how I feel about it. 🙂
So, I had to find a work around. Here is what I am doing for the time being. I am mentioning it because I am hoping my friends will help make it easier for me to share their posts on Pinterest. As long as I use pin from computer Pinterest will automatically post the pin to the board I have selected. But that means having an image on my laptop. In order to do that, I will have to find a photo from your post or blog and temporarily copy it to my computer. Once I am through posting, I will delete it. Now, I know images are people’s property, so I don’t know how many people will be comfortable with me doing this. But if you do want your posts pinned, and you don’t mind me borrowing an image to do so; then here is what I need. I need for people to include an alt text tag on their images so I can find them and know something about what the image is. And if you could let me know by email or some accompanying text on your site that it is okay to share the image under certain circumstances that would be greatly appreciated.
It seems like more often than not that my most frequent road blocks come from using social media sites with a screen reader. Its not that these sites are any less accessible than average, but these sites are changed more often. To give an example it would be like rearranging the furniture in your house daily even though you know you have a blind or elderly person living with you who depends on the couch, chairs, end tables, etc being where they were yesterday. 🙂 Each time a site changes you have to find new tricks for accessing the same information. And occasionally there will be an update that there is no work around for. In these cases you simply have to ask for help or wait until the site’s designers make their next round of improvements. This recently happened when google changed the look of their circles and made them where a screen reader user cannot tell which circle they are adding to, deleting from, or switching to. I hope people don’t take this as simple complaining. I just thought that since this post is all about using social media that maybe people would want me to share some of why I wrote the post.
Sharing is caring
I want to thank you for reading my posts. I have been humbled by the response to the new blog. I have also been surprised by how many people appreciate my honest open posts. So, if you also like this one; then I hope you will leave a comment and or share it with your friends, family, or coworkers. I can’t offer people the links they would get from a comment luv enabled blog. I plan to install that wonderful plug in on the site, but I want to relocate it to a self hosted word press site first. I do plan to continue visiting the blogs of commenters and reading at least one post and leaving a comments as my way of showing my appreciation.
I love hearing from my readers. So, if you have a question or just want to get to know me; please drop me a line through the contact form. Your questions may lead to a post. For example a couple of friends have asked about me sharing how I compose my posts. I plan to address that soon. Thanks again for supporting me in my journey. Take care out there, Max