Thursday, May 15, 2014

Coffee Chat 4.2 with S.K. Anthony: Our Facebook Issues

Hey, everyone! Amazingly enough, I'm waiting for S.K. to arrive instead of finding her in my kitchen already (or my bedroom, or at the door, or any number of places). I thought I'd look through some of our old Coffee Chats to see what we've covered, and realized we never finished our coverage of the Social Media monster. I've been wanting to talk more about it anyway, since I'm having some Facebook issues.

SK: Oh hey, Lynda! Goodness . . . how many bath towels do you own? I've been stuck in your laundry room all morning washing them for you. I got here extra early and didn't want to disturb you, since, umm . . . you didn't seem too happy about me waking you up last Thursday. Hang on; let me get us some coffee while you tell me what's bothering you this week. I know it isn't me. I've been a good girl . . . so far.

ER: Whatwhatwhatwhat . . . do you EVER sleep? [Sees a pile of fluffy towels.] Hmm, this may not be so bad. Thanks for washing the towels, man. I owe you . . . something . . . unless you’ve already come in and taken it.

SK: No, no . . . I took nothing. I even brought you some bacon to make up for eating all your goodies last time. Look out the window!

ER: [Makes the mistake of looking.] Is that—?

SK: You’re welcome.

ER: There is a live pig in my yard. A pig that is walking around. A pig. Walking. I . . . I just . . . uh . . . [Sighs.] Thank you.

SK: [Nodding vigorously.] Yep! You’re welcome.

ER: I’m not really sure I want to know where that pig came from. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t legal. Maybe we should just talk about something else, and deal with my bacon gift later.

Okay, here’s what’s bugging me today. You and I both have Facebook pages, right? I've gotta ask: Do you have much success with using it as a promotional platform? Because I have a moderate amount of "likes" on my Easy Reader Editing FB page, but it doesn't seem like a whole lot of people actually see my posts on there. I have better luck when I share my ERE posts as myself on my personal page.

SK: Define success. If by that you mean I get likes on my FB posts from my editor regularly, then yes. I'm very successful. If not then well . . . sadly no. I've had a range of 30 out of my 1,121 "likes" on my FB page "seeing" my post to over 5,000 . . . it depends on how many shares I get.

Recently Facebook made about thirty-hundred changes on its "page" features. And that's in the past year alone. Do not look up the real number, I'm exaggerating by like two numbers—otherwise I'm pretty sure I'm close. Anyway, since they went public, pages have suffered because the FB peeps are more business-oriented and are in for the money. If you and I want to make sure our "fans" see most of our posts then we have to pay up . . . umm, NO.

ER: I’m not into paying for advertising on a free social media site, especially one such as Facebook. I am one of those people who completely ignores the column with ads while skimming the page for posts of friends or family members, and I’m going to assume most people filter that type of thing without thinking about it consciously.

SK: In past years it used to be free, and I think everyone saw everything, which made it one of the best ways of keeping fans in the loop and helped with promotions. Now we have to pay and keep our fingers crossed it’s not fake "sees" we're getting. This last change (which I'm sure will change by midnight again) says: "A person has to be 'active' on your page a minimum of three times within any calendar month period. This means clicking 'like' on one of our pictures and/or posts, or just leaving a short comment. If a person is not active on your page, as listed above, after a month of no activity, their 'like' will be removed from your page. FB has decided they are not interested in your page!" (This I'm quoting from a message going around FB; I have no idea who the originator was.)

ER: That almost sounds like something I’d find on Snopes. We should have asked Raymond about that, since he’s faster than Google. I just don’t see why a person has to prove he’s active on a liked page to see that page’s posts. Really, if I liked it, doesn’t that imply I wish to see the posts? This is why I don’t do the “I’ll like yours if you like mine” swaps—I only click “like” on the pages I genuinely LIKE. And if people “like” a whole lot of pages, how are they supposed to remember to go looking for posts that aren’t showing up on their feed? It makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

AND . . . AND . . . I need more coffee. I use up all my caffeine intake at a faster rate when I get worked up like this.

SK: Okay let me get you some more coffee while I scream: EXACTLY!

I don't want FB to guess what it thinks I'm interested in. I want it to show me what I told it I'm interested in. Ugh. Anyway, and since I'm not paying nor is hardly anyone else, groups have become popular. Authors, readers, anyone who has some kind of following are creating groups and keeping their fans up to date that way . . . except now the word on the street is that FB has caught on to that. Now, they're also not showing the feed and group members have to go in the group, much like into pages, to see what is going on.

Twitter on the other hand . . . I guess its great. I don't utilize it to my advantage as much as I should. I love that you can add hashtags and anyone looking for something specific can find your tweets that way. If I was more active with readers and friends I might benefit better. Sigh. I'm just going to give up on FB and create my own community and whatnot on Google plus. It seems to be the next big thing . . . unless they start making us pay too. I’m feeling sad now. I feel like I’ll have to break up with FB soon. What do you think you’ll do?

ER: I really like FB for my personal stuff, but it’s not doing me any favors for my editing. As long as they don’t start charging me to have a business page, I’ll just keep it. I ignore the sad statistics they send me each week anyway—the ones that tell me how many people are NOT engaged with my posts.

SK: Mind if I finish off this coffee? [Sees the look on Lynda’s face.] Oh, okay, we’ll share the last of the coffee. Relax! Here eat this in the meantime. [Throws chocolate at Lynda.] By the way, I think your piggy is hungry. [Throws more chocolate at Lynda.] Thank goodness I found some chocolate in one of your socks. Pheww.

Now that we’re both calmed again, I’d like to rant one more time: And it’s not like we can come up with a plan on what to do with FB since they keep changing things. Also, what’s up with the new look? I guess I’m getting used to it but there was nothing wrong with it before. NOTHING. Well, except maybe fewer ads from them. Ugh. Social Media! Love to hate it and hate to love it.

ER: I think the ad column is wider, and the design is ticking me off because I just finished adapting to the other change they made a year ago. I’m slow like that.

I’m pretty happy for now, sticking with Coffee Chat and my Monday blog posts (which I should probably apologize for completely forgetting about this past Monday). I would like to ask our readers, though, which of the social media platforms works for them and why. I don’t have enough time in the day to put effort into something that’s not making me happy.



As always:

You can find S.K. Anthony in a number of places. She's on Twitter @SKathAnthony, her website is www.skanthony.com, her Facebook page is S Katherine Anthony, and on occasional occasions, she'll be right here with me, drinking coffee and laughing it up over our latest plans and schemes. And possibly even talking about books and writing. 



You can find me here. I'm always here.

49 comments:

  1. Still really glad I'm not on Facebook.

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    1. You're really not missing a thing. You can also be really glad you don't have living bacon running around your yard.

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    2. I'm still glad that I've connected with people I wouldn't have elsewhere, but that's on the personal FB section. The page? Yeah, not missing a thing.

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  2. FB has redesigned so you have to pay someone to promote your page either them or an ad agency. You can increase your "organic reach" (a load of hose manure) by "making your content more interesting" getting more people to visit it. But they have it set up so that no one sees it to like it or click through it. Neat huh. I have been using twitter more. It is a "referal" system. If I make a tweet about Lynda, it is seen by her followers (about 87) and my followers (about 157). If SK favorites it or retweets it her followers see it (about 1688) that is almost 2000 followers seeing that 1 tweet. If I hashtag it, it will be seen by anyone following that hash tag. As long as it has our handles, everytime it is retweeted it goes to our followers and anyone else listed plus the hashtags.
    Since I belong to several groups, anyone subscribing to those groups see my tweets. So that adds more reach. So that is Twitter: The Short Version. tweet, retweet, and hashtag. Shout outs are important. reply to other people's tweets. I developed a few business relationships that way.

    Whew, that short post turned into a long one.

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    1. FB did redesign and will continue redesigning until they lose us all . . . ugh. Anyway, yes Twitter is good for that except those 2000 total followers would have to be online just that second to see the tweet, unless of course they go to "stalk" our tweets or follow hashtags. In way of really meeting and chatting with people it's not as easy with Twitter, but that might be because I'm not on there often enough. Either way, I like and it has served me well for promos the few times I've used it for that purpose. :)

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    2. Yes and no, but I am surprised how many people respond immediately to tweets.

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    3. True! Many people are on it all day . . . or they have notifications on. I can't even imagine being connected 24/7. I would get no work done!

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    4. I've found that I can only follow a limited number of people on Twitter because I'm just not on there often enough to catch all the tweets in a timely manner. Some of the people I follow send out stuff fifty times a day, and they clog up my feed so much that it takes too long to sift through it. There are certain people whose retweets are turned off because of this.

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  3. I'm not on Facebook or Twitter. I've got my blog and I really enjoy doing that. I'm on Goodreads, but I know I don't take advantage of all it has to offer. That's something I want to rectify, hopefully this summer. :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

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    1. Madeline, they both have served their purpose when I've had to promote sales or giveaways in the past. For FB even if the "page" feature sucks the personal side works to get "friends" help share and whatnot. But blogging is great too, both Lynda and I love it. Goodreads? Lynda is all over that . . . I would get more involved if I had more time to swift through the drama on there before getting to use it wisely. If you learn great ways to use it over the summer, share with us! :D

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    2. They should make a Goodreads Soap Opera. OMG, I don't post there very often. Most of the people on there are pretty full of themselves. They claim to want to help people but then they hack people apart. Basically there are two main groups on goodreads, Arrogant asshats and whiney babies. Don't get me wrong there are quite a few good folks on there and a lot that want to make a difference but too many of the other kinds for me.

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    3. LOL Goodreads Soap Opera . . . sometimes I wish I had popcorn before I open that page!

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    4. Goodreads can certainly be a great community, and I will be the first to tell you I've made some great connections with nice people. I didn't go there with the intention of looking for clients, and I make a conscious effort to not self-promote there, because I like the relationship to come first. It can get ugly, and I'm not afraid to jump in to defend someone who's being treated unjustly, but I generally don't get involved. As an editor, though, I probably don't have as much to lose as an author, as far as jumping into the fray.

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    5. It is a great community. Like I said there are a lot of good people there. I avoid jumping into too many frays people tend to forget to be nice. And I buried the "Bad" J.T. a long time ago. He only comes out in my villains anymore

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  4. Hi, ladies,

    I'm right there with you. I was on Facebook for about a week. Deep suckage! Seriously, I don't care what you had for breakfast, and I don't want to see an iphone photo of your latest boo-boo. "One more useless experience," as Harrison Ford said of being dragged behind a car, but a very depressing one at that. It's no wonder to me that it's the biggest phenomenon since Wal Mart; it panders to the lowest common denominator, and boy, does it find them!

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    1. LOL It certainly isn't for everyone, Jack. :)

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    2. I've had a Facebook account for a few years as a personal thing to keep in touch with friends and widespread family, and I do like it for that. It's also an easy way for me to keep up with the authors I work with, since the chat area makes for a good "conference room."

      I am driven crazy, though, at the people who use it to tell about their latest bout of diarrhea, or to post yet another photo of dinner.

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  5. "Thirty-hundred." Love that.

    I never used FB for promotion. I was on there for a year and grew to consider it as being a huge waste of time. Who cares if so-and-so just brushed his teeth? I never looked back and don't miss it.

    Let me know when you roast the pig. I just love bacon!

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    1. Like all social media . . . they can all be a waste of time. But when you're looking for inexpensive ways of promoting you have to take the bad with the good, just ignore the annoyances and move on. It has worked for me so I can't bash it. The pages and ads now, though, grrr.

      Bacon = love!

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    2. I have a freezer full of pig right now, so the "fresh" bacon will just have to run around the yard, avoiding chickens for now. Come on over! I make a mean pasta carbonara. I'll post a picture of it on Facebook for you, lol.

      I agree with you, though: the use of FB for promotion really doesn't work well, unless you have a lot of friends who share your posts. So it boils down to the non-business end of things anyway.

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  6. Hi, Ladies,

    I'm really not too involved with Facebook. I prefer BLOGGING! Twitter can be fun as well to get the word out...

    Since I don't have my book out yet, I haven't set up an author page or anything like that on Facebook. Is it really worth the effort at this point? I'd like to know what you both think on this...

    Thanks...

    I'll drop back later for your response...

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    1. The "Page" I would say is not necessary, fans will not see your posts unless . . . well it depends on what FB wants at whatever point that is. But a personal "author" FB account where anyone of your fans can friend you is nice. Even if you don't post often it comes in handy once in a while and it makes them feel special you're connected in different medias.

      Is it necessary? Well, you have blogging and Twitter already so maybe not, but people are different and have their own preferences . . . at the very least you can share book news and links to your blog posts, even connect tweet feeds to FB and be "sociable" that way. I say: it wouldn't hurt. :)

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    2. Michael, I agree with SK on this. A personal author account would work much better for you, since the "friend" function works better than the "like" function for allowing people to see your posts.

      Blogging seems to be connecting me with a WHOLE lot more people overall. I think part of it is that blogging is all about the connections and relationships with the bloggers and readers. You can do that type of give & take with a personal (or personal author) FB page, but it all boils down to comments and replies. It wouldn't cost you anything, other than a bit of time, to have a FB page, and it does give you another avenue of releasing information. The "pay for promo" stuff, though? No way.

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  7. I have but almost I don't use really!
    I don't have time to read all the messages only I make time on time.
    And I never see if I have fun lol

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    1. It's not for everyone. Especially if you have no time. :)

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    2. Time (or lack of it) is probably the hugest factor for me, with any of the social media avenues I use. No time = no connection.

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  8. Hi humans, Lynda and S.K.,

    I finally figured out why you refer to yourself as "ER." I kept thinking why doesn't it have the initials "LD"?

    Now then, I read your coffee chat. Although, personally, I've never chatted to coffee. Sorry, that was me being um "pawdantic."

    A page on "Farcebook", "Fakebook", "Fartbook", or as I call it, "Farcebark!" I shall become an adoring fan. You lucky, lucky ladies!

    Of course, my um pawfile updates on that social "notworking" site are a vital must in your lives.


    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny :)

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    1. Hi Penny,

      She's using ER on purpose . . . she likes confusing her readers. Oh that Lynda, she's always up to no good. Or maybe that's me, hmm. Either way, social "notworking" sites are definitely part of the deal. That's if we want to engage readers that we are delusional enough to think care about us, ha!

      Farcebark used to be more pawsome, sadly now we have to suck it up (while venting here).

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    2. Hmm . . . one of us is typically up to no good, but I'm pretty sure it's not me. And as far as the ER thing goes, I like my readers to be as confused as I am, so that works for me. (And if you want to really be confused, go back and read all the Coffee Chats in order.)

      I've got to admit, the coffee doesn't always chat back at us, but when it does . . . look out. And now that I've found you on Farcebook, you're mine for life.

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  9. Sorry, Ya'll....I'm way late for today's Coffee Chat, and the dregs in the bottom of my cup were not interesting enough for a picture....reference ER's sad face bubbles...or a post worthy of Coffee Chatters time. Instead, I posted about growing up in the RETRO years where a pot of coffee was on the stove all day long and drinkers and chatters talked about the outrageous cost of gas at 50 cents a gallon. Another topic back then was the offensive and uncalled for language used in movies...specifically Clark Gable saying to Scarlet..."I don't give a damn". Gosh darn, wouldn't grandpa be shocked out of his overalls at Facebook , Twitter etc. etc. today? I am pretty Face-less on Facebook these days with more folks BLOCKED than viewed...including my Grandkids, and more posts X'ed w/"I don't want to see this #@%t". I thought about Twitter once...then decided NOPE when my non-social media husband asked if I was one of those TwitFaced Hashers. He has a non-social media definition of what a 'Twit' is, and hash...well you get the jest of it. Hope Ya'll had a nice Coffee Chat...I'll try and be here earlier next week.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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    1. Sue,

      You can do no wrong in our eyes. You're here and that's what matters. Just don't touch our coffee! Or chocolate! Or our bacon . . . ahem, Lynda's bacon. Being Face-less and a non-TwitFaced Hasher on the other hand, well, it's not for everyone, especially with all the changes. Thank goodness blogging is around though, huh?

      By the way, "I don't give a damn" who you have talk to about getting RETRO years gas prices back, but can you make it happen? Pretty please? :D

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    2. My husband is pretty proud of the fact that he does almost NO social media. He belongs to a couple of guitar forums and that's all. As the introvert of our household, he has little inclination to interact with people, even when they're standing in front of him, so FB would hold no appeal.

      Oh, and you're never too late for Coffee Chat! You may be too late for muffins or cinnamon buns, but we'll always make more coffee. And this week, I'm late for EVERYONE's blogs. I'm finally home all day today and plan on catching up on all I've missed since Monday.

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  10. Maybe just put the pig on a decorated float and have a parade. That's social. That's media. Sort of.

    FB lost its charm long ago. I pop in, but not like I did when I thought it might actually help my visibility as an author. I did get some marriage proposals, so that was interesting. My husband thought so, anyway.

    I'm more involved with blogging and doing face-to-face promotion these days. Maybe it's slower, but I find it more interesting and less stressful.

    May I join you for coffee one day? I make a mean omelet that is perfect with bacon.

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    1. You had us at omelet . . . I'm speaking for Lynda, but I'm sure she agrees. A good victim is a good victim no matter what, and with food you're perfect!

      Marriage proposals? Facebook wouldn't be charming without those, that's for sure! I'll probably try the pig on the decorated float over face to face promotion though, I'm way too shy for that. I know, I know. I'll have to suck it up eventually. Sigh.

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    2. I LOVE a parade! Actually (and seriously), my husband always says I *am* a parade. I would have replied to these comments earlier, but I've been running around my yard, trying to catch that pig for the float, and I'm tired. I sent the chickens after him.

      I love your experience with Facebook, Lee. I wonder what's wrong with me . . . I've only had normal stuff happen there. Maybe it's because I have pigs running around my yard, and a pig-less float just waiting for my parade to start. Oh, and I love omelets.

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  11. Someone who is pretty popular told me she quit blogging because everything is "about" Facebook now, as in "that's the place to be". My Facebook page is not the place to be. I seldom receive a comment on Facebook. I still think blogging is the place to be, with a dash of Twitter.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Blogging with a dash of Twitter . . . I think you've just shared the perfect formula, Janie! :D

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    2. Blogging IS the place to be. I would never quit blogging to be on Facebook only. Blogging is the little place of my own where I can put down my thoughts. Facebook is for posts longer than Twitter but shorter than a blog.

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  12. I am on Facebook, but don't use it too often.
    However, during the A to Z challenge, I posted my blog post to FB... every day. I'm not sure how effective that is...
    I have a separate facebook page under my blog title name, Writer-In-Transit. Once again, I don't know if that's a good move. It's just there, collecting "likes"...
    Maybe I need to merge the two. Not sure how to do it though?
    Conclusion? When it comes to social media, I'm mostly in the dark...
    Then there's Twitter... and Pinintrest... and LinkedIn... and who knows what's next...? *sighs* Mmmmm... *thinking* Whatpad? *frowns* Oh... yes... Wattpad. Have you heard of it?
    I prefer blogging.

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    1. I'm going to try out Google + more in-depth and that's it. I still like Facebook, but not for its "page" feature. Connections are great . . . even if we're not "sending" people to our blogs and whatnot.

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    2. Wow, Michelle. You have a lot going on. I always post my blog link to Twitter, a Goodreads blog post thread, Facebook, and Google+. It seems most of the bloggers I met during A to Z are good G+ users, so that works well.

      Looking at my traffic during A to Z, I got the most visits from my comments at other people's blogs, with G+ running a close second. Kind of proves out my theory about making the relationships first, and the rest falls in naturally.

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    3. Just to clarify... I'm not on Pinintrest... and my Wattpad account is quite stagnant. So there you have it. Not that much going on after all... LOL

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  13. I think it's all about finding out what works best. If, for some reason, paying to promote your page gave an ROI, it would be worth it--but I have a feeling it won't. That $$$ could better be spent on other promotional activities.

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    1. Well there are "experiments" that say even paying isn't worth it because supposedly FB gives fake likes and false statistic. "They" say it's bots and not real people so who knows? I would spend my time and money on other channels instead.

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    2. I think you're right, Stephanie. The ROI is most likely not worth the money spent, especially if the money is going toward promoting ONLY on FB. If you're spending $$ on promos, they should spread the word across a variety of areas.

      For what it's worth, I'd probably spend my money on chocolate. I'd feel great, and I wouldn't have any fewer clients than I do now.

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  14. Hi Lynda and SK - interesting conversation .. I need to get into FB perhaps, and Tweeting and the other bits of social medial this summer - so a good read .. thanks .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Cheers, Hilary! Happy Social Media-ing this summer! If you find any specific one that you love, come share with us at any time. We like to know these things so we can investigate lol

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    2. Facebook is fun, but don't count on it for huge returns, unless you're just looking to reconnect with people you already know.

      Keep us posted if you have success in any one area!

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I love comments, and will always answer them, partly because I like having the last word and partly because I just like getting to know the people who read my blog. (Note: if the post is more than a couple weeks old, your comment will automatically go into the "needs approval" folder, but I will still publish it and reply!)