Thursday 7 July 2011

Are you frustrating your family?

Here is a question I have been asked several times recently:

"I have started to use my Facebook and Twitter accounts for entering competitions, but my family and  non-comping friends keep complaining to me about my constant retweets and status updates, saying I am filling up their timelines with things they don't want to read. What can I do about it?"

On Twitter, one thing you can do is to open a separate account and just use it for comping. Remember to chat with your comping friends as well on that account, because if you do nothing but retweet, your account might get filtered out of Twitter search for being "poor quality" so the promoters wouldn't see your entries. A good guideline is to have at least 1 in 10of your tweets a chat tweet rather then  a competition tweet. Twitter WILL allow you to have two accounts, provided you don't tweet the same thing on  both. If you run two (or more) accounts both for comping and tweet things to both accounts, you may find that one or both of them gets suspended.

But what if you are happy with your Twitter account as it is and don't want the hassle of juggling two accounts? Well, tell the people who don't like to see your retweets how to get rid of them! What they need to do is to go to YOUR twitter page - not  their own - and below your picture at the top, they will see the "Following" button, and beside it a drop down menu with a head and shoulders icon on it. If they click on this button, and  select "turn off retweets" it will stop any retweets that you make from appearing in their own timeline. So they can still follow you and chat to you -but they will no longer be  annoyed by all your comping retweets. Job done!

The two account answer won't work for Facebook, because in theory you are not allowed to hold more than one Facebook account. Some people DO, though, and if you want to try it as  a solution it might help - but make sure you keep precious information such as  photos stored elsewhere because if Facebook ever decides to clamp down on multiple accounts, you could lose both accounts completely.

However once again, there is a way of letting your family stop seeing your comp entries. Unfortunately on Facebook it means they will not see anything you write, unless either they visit your wall or you write on theirs. But if they are happy to keep in touch by checking your page rather than waiting for your updates to appear on theirs, it's an ideal solution. What they need to do is wait until an update from you appears on their page, then click on the little cross that appears on the top right of it and select "Hide all by....(your name)". That way they won't see  any of your competition entries but you are still friends, can still visit each other's pages, can still message each other and can still use Facebook chat.

I hope my tips today will save a lot of family arguments!

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