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Facebook is undoubtedly the face of social networking websites now. However, many people are bored of the same already and get irritated with all the changes brought too often. So, are you looking for an alternative now? Well, through this article, I’ll present not one, but 3 alternatives to you:

Family HQ

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This social networking website is dedicated to your family. This openly focuses on the concept of narrowcasting. If you are not sure, what narrowcasting means, it is exactly the opposite of broadcasting.

With Family HQ, you can send information to a small group only. The message is touted as something important for each of the members of the group. The privacy policies are hefty and the website kind of focuses on your own virtual castle. Family HQ makes an awesome way for you to stay connected with people on a more personal level.

Couple

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As the name suggests, Couple is perfect for you if you have a romantic partner. This comes as a mobile app for you. You can share pictures with your loved ones, schedule dates on a shared calendar as well. It is possible to create lists and memos too.

You and your lover can share a ThumbKiss through this app as well. You need to press your thumb against the phone screen; therefore, a thumbprint will appear in a relative location on the device of your partner. If the partner presses thumb right at the same part of the phone, it creates a technologically tender moment among the loved ones.

Path

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This covers not only the loved ones, but close friends as well. This is again a mobile app and is quite similar to Facebook; however, the intended audience is more intimate to you. There are no distractions as experienced in Facebook. I loved how the app is described by the developers – it’s a personal journal of yours.

Right in the first article, I discussed how to build a strong follower base. The Part II will focus more on being an active Twitter user.

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Importance of Being an Active Twitter User

It’s important to show that you are serious about your business and to show that through Twitter, you need a really active Twitter account. By active, I don’t mean that you need to pour tweets every second (If you try this way, you will be held liable for spamming Twitter and will actually drive the followers away). However, important tweets being sent out 12-15 times throughout a day – is something that I will call more realistic.

There are plenty of Twitter scheduling tools available online and most of them are free. You can schedule which tweet to be published when on advance, some of these tools also make automated tweets from RSS feeds. It’s good to use a mix of manual or automated tweets.

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Newbies often ask whether they should directly link their site through the tweets or not! The answer depends on the situation to be honest. If you find the tweet to be extremely close to a subject you have covered in your website, always feel free to link. However, if it’s not, don’t just link to get some juice. Such unrelated links will actually penalize you.

Don’t forget to add the website link in your Twitter profile though. From my personal experience, it’s not always about the number of links to your website. If you publish quality tweets, your followers will automatically be interested in your website and visit the same. There’s another advantage of publishing good tweets. Good tweets are almost always retweeted and hence, your Twitter profile and in turn your business, get some additional exposure.

Twitter definitely gets huge amount of traffic. If you are wise and good with promotional tactics, you can easily drive a huge portion of this traffic to your small business and ultimately make profit out of the same. Well, things are not that easy as it sounds and you need to use a good strategy to make things work:

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Follow Related People

You need to make a targeted follower base. To build a follower base, we often start following people and expect them to follow us back. It’s a good strategy unless you follow just anybody. You want targeted traffic and hence, you should follow people related to your business only. For an example, if you are selling a product related to weight loss, start by browsing through the top Twitter profiles that talk about weight loss. Such profiles generally have huge number of followers. Now, you need to start following the followers of those top profiles. For this purpose, you can use an automated robot (The iMacros ones work pretty well), otherwise, you can do it manually as well (Following around 200 people does not take more than 5-7 minutes).

You should never overdo things. Remember, there is a certain follower limit in Twitter and you should always respect that. After you follow 2000 users, Twitter will sort of put a suspension on you on following other people. Once you reach a decent follower count yourself, the same will be lifted though. Twitter has some sort of ratio to determine this, but, there is no official data shown in their site on the same.

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I generally follow this simple method to never hit the following suspension mark. After following a person, I give him 7 days to follow me back. If he doesn’t, I stop following him. Simple enough, isn’t it?

Well, the sphere is tiny to cover the entire topic in a single article. I’ll come back with a Part II soon.

Everyone uses social networking sites in search of traffic boost to the website and with the growing user base of Pinterest, there is no reason for you not to join the Pinterest bandwagon. If you are not aware of Pinterest, this is an image sharing site with a twist. Here, you can share your images as pins and put them under relevant category through the boards available. You can create a new board of your own as well. If your images are liked by other users, those will be repined by them. If you are able to generate good enough repins and comments for your image, it may end up on the popular page, thereby generating huge traffic for the same.

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What images To Choose?

Probably, a controversial image will help you get immediate recognition. However, the same can get flagged pretty fast as well, thereby resulting your account to get banned. Rather, you should go for high resolution images that either are funny or have a feel-good factor with it (It is important to have copyright over the same of use a free licensed image). If you are running out of ideas, check out the popular page and you should understand what images work the most. Some even directly save the images found on the popular page and share those through their account. Though some of the re-uploaded images on the popular page can still end up there again, on the longer run, this trick won’t yield desired results.

How to Drive Traffic to Your Website?

While pinning an image, you can add a link to the same. That’s where you need to link to your website. Now, your website should not be linked in every single image you publish, that’ll end up your account being flagged. If your image becomes popular, traffic will automatically be driven towards your website, no matter whether the linked image in particular has got popular or not.

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There are lots of marketing techniques when it comes to Pinterest and we’ll discuss more elaborately in some other article. If you have any experience on using Pinterest for driving traffic to your website, please share your experiences through the comments feature.

For a regular Twitter user, it’s very important to take notice of the useful Twitter tools and today, I will discuss one that works absolutely fine. The one that I am going to discuss today can track every single analytics related to Twitter. Well, the name is Twitonomy and it is a must for efficient management of your Twitter account.

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In a Nutshell

This powerful tool helps you to analyze your Twitter account, but, if you wish, you can actually analyze accounts of others as well. Before you start using it, you need to login and verify your Twitter account through the app though.

Basics of Twitonomy

Once you have logged in to your Twitonomy account, you will see various tabs such as Mentions & RTs, Dashboard, Following, Profile, Followers and Lists. The dashboard has your entire Twitter related stream, apart from that; you can add a user to your list or do a search as well. You can actually drag and drop items in the Dashboard tab, which makes it pretty flexible. Needless to say, while viewing the streams, you can also open a new window right from Twitonomy and send replies, retweets or mark any tweet as favorite.

Under the profile tab, you will find lots of relevant information regarding your followers, people you follow, tweets you make etc. There are lots of charts available as well, however, I didn’t like the fact that the time range cannot be changed.

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Under the Mentions & RTs tab, you will get data on who mentioned you and which of your tweets were retweeted and by whom.

The Following and Followers tabs work similarly, as you can get information on the activities of these people. This makes a great way for you to find the most influential followers you have or the most reputed one among the people you are following.

The Lists tab has all of your lists mentioned and you can easily add or delete users from those.

I loved Twitonomy, because it is simple to use and works wonderfully for managing your Twitter account. Don’t forget to share your thoughts below.

Twitter has now set its footsteps on the video sharing niche, with launch of its latest app named as Vine. Rumors were strong for the last few days already of Twitter releasing a video sharing app and now with Vine; you can create videos as well. The app is only available for iOS devices for the time being; however, it will soon be available in other platforms as well, as confirmed by the Twitter officials.

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Just like the 140 character limit for tweets, the videos created through Vine are pretty small too. A video created through Vine can be at maximum 6 seconds long. This ensures that the videos are to the point, without much of fluff. The app is capable of recording sound as well.

Creating the video is very simple with Vine. You just need to hold your finger on the screen to start recording and then move the same away for stopping recording. You can stop as many times as you wish and hence, you may end up with a continuous 6 second long video or a number of short clips. Vine stops recording video as soon as you move your finger away and hence, there is no editing process involved with Vine.

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After the video is created, the same is auto embedded in Tweets, similar to the Twitter supported image sharing service. The video can be played on Twitter website or the mobile app both. However, I have seen that the videos loop on Twitter’s desktop version, unlike the mobile application.

The videos can be shared through Facebook as well. If you don’t have an account on either Facebook or Twitter, even then you can share the videos in the Vine networking, a social network on its own.

Vine looks cool. It is not an awesome application, but is simple enough to make its users happy. I hope it soon gets some upgrades and be available for other platforms not run through iOS.

back up your tweets

Twitter only lets you store your last 3200 tweets. If you are a regular user, that number may sound pretty little to you. If you haven’t reached your 3200th tweet yet, it’s best to use any of the apps listed below and back up all your tweets to access those anytime you wish. The best part is that none of the apps listed below takes more than a few minutes to complete the Twitter backup.

Backupify

back up your tweets

This can not only backup your Twitter account, but other two renowned social networking accounts as well. You will need to sign up for a free account with Backupify and then allow it to access your Twitter account, to start the backup process. After the backup is complete, you’ll see a green icon in your Backupify account. You can schedule the backup to run once every day. If you want to import the backups, you need to create a ticket with customer support team and they will email you the same.

Twissues

back up your tweets

You need to connect twissues to your Twitter account and authorize the same. Then, Twissues will gather and archive all of your tweets. You can not only view your older tweets from Twissues website, but search through the list as well. You can see the global trends from the right sidebar and make Tweets private accordingly.

TweetBackup

back up your tweets

This is still in BETA version, but works pretty smooth. You can create a new account or sign up through Twitter. It will start taking backup of your account automatically and you can download the list in Excel, CSV or TEXT format after the process is complete.

These are not the only 3 tools available that helps you to take a backup of your Twitter account. But, I find these 3 to be the best. If you feel that some other app works better, please share the name with the visitors and me through the comments feature.

Twitter is definitely the biggest micro-blogging platform and people from all over the world use it for broadcasting certain information or messaging others. Now days, people are using it even for hosting photo galleries. With all these features already in place, many are asking for a sharing feature to be available via Twitter so that one can tweet certain attachments and those can be shared among users.

Pigeon Carrier

Thanks to Pigeon Carrier, a new Firefox add-on and Google Chrome extension, you can now share files right from Twitter. This combines the features of DropBox and Twitter. You can upload a file to DropBox and then through Twitter share that with whomever you want to.

Using Pigeon Carrier

First of all, create a new DropBox account or use an already existing one. During your first usage of Pigeon Carrier with Twitter, you will be asked to authorize the app in your Twitter account.

Pigeon Carrier

If you have done this correctly, you should see a new “Add Attachment” button right to the tweet button. Clicking on the button, you can easily upload an attachment from your system. Once the upload is complete, you have to confirm the attachment and you can then send out the tweet. Others will be able to click the attachment and download that file.

Whatever files you attach through a tweet will be stored in your DropBox account’s Pigeon Carrier specific folder.

Pigeon Carrier

What happens to users who don’t have Pigeon Carrier?

Well, they won’t be able to see either “Add Attachment” button while tweeting or the “Attachment” link in a sent tweet. It’s best to tweet the direct download link to that file via Twitter if you need to share anything with people without Pigeon Carrier.

The extension is extremely easy to use and it basically streamlines the file sharing process. I loved using it, if you have used it as well, please share your thoughts through the comments section.

Facebook apps definitely provide a great way for all to pass some leisure time in the most prominent social networking site. Some of these are funny, some are based on your favourite sports, some predict different events of your life and some are even official apps of your favourite websites. However, you can see some spammy viral apps posting random stuffs on your timeline as well. Such posts are annoying and you’ll definitely like to get rid of such apps at the first place. This guide will help you to remove and report apps as necessary and help you keep your Facebook profile clean.

Facebook apps

Customizing Your Privacy Settings

Under the privacy settings part of your Facebook profile, you will get the option of editing the settings of “Ads, Apps and Websites.” Here, you can control what sort of information the different Facebook apps visited by your friends can fetch from your personal profile. A good option will be to uncheck most of the boxes for better safety.

Deleting the Unnecessary Apps

On the left pane of your Facebook homepage, you will see a link to the App Center. Go to my apps from there and you will see all the Facebook apps that you use or may have used in past being listed over there. You can either manually review all the apps or sort those by last used option and delete the ones that you haven’t used in the recent past.

Clear Your Timeline

When you see an app posting unnecessary stuffs on your Facebook timeline, just mark it as spam and the social networking giant will take care of the rest. If you don’t want to mark it spam right away, you can just hide the update from your timeline as well.

Facebook apps

Block App Requests

Aren’t all these app requests troublesome to manage? Rather than manually deleting the app requests one by one, you can easily mark to never receive an app request from a person and things will become easier for you.

The steps mentioned in the article as easy to follow, however, if you face any problem, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me through the comments feature available.