Twitter to extend the 140 character limit on DM this July

twitter-dm-limitThe social media giant seem to be introducing new features lately. Few months back, they introduced a new feature who allows you see how many people viewed your tweet. Apparently, that helps you in tracking which of your tweets perform better and got viewed by more people alongside number of shares.

Twitter says it will extend the character limit on Direct Messages (DM) to more than 140 characters on July 15, 2015. This was announced via the twitter community developers page. It’s not yet clear how many characters it will be extended to but let’s just keep our fingers crossed.

Please note, this change will only affect DMs on Twitter while tweets still remains at 140 characters. We are hoping something better comes in that regards too.

Twitter is really getting to implement the fact that we need more than 140 words to express a little of our mind and that sounds pretty cool and encouraging.

Following this development, developers are urged to update their apps with the new APIs, Update their GET requests so they will be able to receive the full length of DM text and also adjust their app UI to accommodate longer DM text so that the new feature can work as expected on every platform.

3 Most Commonly Asked Twitter Questions in Nigeria

imageSome Nigerians still have no clue of what Twitter is all about, asking questions like, “What is Twitter?”

But for those who have a basic understanding of Twitter and are trying to utilize their Twitter account to its fullest potential, these are the three most common questions I’m asked.

1. Who should I follow on Twitter?

That is an important question. We often focus so much on growing our own followers that we don’t think about who we should be following. I break this down into three categories:

* Follow people you enjoy interacting with. As an individual, this might be your friends and family. As a brand or business this might be some of your best clients, industry leaders or networking partners.

* People you want to follow you. This can be targeted followers, prospective clients or anyone that you want to form a relationship with. Over 25% of the people you follow will follow you back, and if you are targeted in who you follow, you can get that to be over 50%. If you want someone to follow you, follow them first and send a tweet to interact with them.  Note though that following people to get them to follow you is not a strategy you can apply in bulk. I suggest following no more than 50 people in a given day, and always make sure there are more people following you than people you are following.

* People that provide value to you. For an individual, this can be a wide range of news accounts, humorous accounts, or anything that interests you. For a businesses, this can be accounts that tweet industry information, news about your local community, or your competitors accounts so that you can see what content they are broadcasting.

* These are all the accounts that may add some fun or education to your day, but that you may not actually engage with outside of occasionally retweeting their content.  For most people that follow me, they’d put me in this third category. They follow me for my tweets about social media. I would say roughly half of my followers are people I follow who fit into this category because of their content value, but not necessarily people I engage with or seek to build a relationship with.

2. What Should I Tweet About?

You are what you Tweet. What you tweet sets the tone for who you are, whether you’re an individual or a brand.  People will often follow you and engage with you based off of your content.  I basically suggest the 80/20 rule with 20-25% of your content being about yourself, and 75-80% being about others.

Here is a rough guide of what I would suggest tweeting about:

* 20-25% of your Tweets should be about yourself or your brand. These can be self-promoting. If you’re a brand or company, don’t be afraid to sell a little. Share your blog. Share links to your website. Talk about your specials or company news. The rest of your content will be about other things or people, this is your 20-25% to talk about yourself.

* 20-25% should be about your industry. This is your chance to do two things: Present yourself as an authority in your field of expertise.  And second, attract a targeted and engaging audience by tweeting about your industry.

* 20-30% should be retweeting and replying to other tweets. The reality is that most the relationships and engaging that happens via Twitter will have to be initiated by you. Reply to tweets. Retweet tweets. This is how relationships start to form.

* 20-25% Tweet about what you and your target audience are interested in. This can be similar to section two, tweeting about your industry. But try to add some humor, local news, and fun.  You only have so many people who are interested or looking for tweets about your field of expertise. When you open up to tweeting about more subjects, you open up to a larger potential audience.

3. How Often Should I Tweet:

Whether you are an individual or a business, you need to be tweeting 5+ times per day, and I suggest 15 per day.  As a Social Media Marketer, I see no exceptions to this. You simply can’t get out of Twitter when you want to unless you Tweet a minimum of 5 tweets per day.

There are only two objections I typically get to people fighting back on the 5+ tweets per day suggestion.

* One, is from people who tell me they fear that their audience will unfollow or tune them out if they tweet too often.  The stats just don’t show this to be a valid concern. This is not Facebook.  If you happen to lose a follower or two because you are tweeting 5+ times per day, I assure you that you’ll gain way more than you lose, and the one or two you might lose will not be followers that add value anyway.

* The other objection is that people do not think they can come up with 5 things to tweet every day.  This is a valid concern. You don’t want to tweet bad content just for the sake of getting content out. You also don’t want to tweet the same content on too frequent of a basis.

This is where you will want to look for tools to help you create content, like utilizing Google Alerts, or signing up for a content aggregator like Bundle Post. If you’re a business, and you don’t have someone dedicated to taking time each day to create 5+ tweets per day, it is time to consider bringing on a third-party to help.
What questions do you have about Twitter? What confuses you? What is your business struggling with on Twitter?

Leave a comment with your questions and we will do our best to help.

 

How to Use #Hashtags to Grow Your Business on Twitter

twitter_harshtagsHashtags make your tweets more searchable within Twitter, which leads to more followers.  However, using hashtags and learning how to use them effectively is important for building your business, growing your targeted followers, and increasing the reach and lifespan of your tweets.

* Using Hashtags makes your tweets more searchable online, which leads to new followers.

It grab the attention of your followers, which leads to more engagement. They are are vital to growing your Twitter audience. People search for various topics using hashtags, and if you have value to add to that topic, your usage of hashtags will attract new followers.

* Using hashtags grabs the attention of your followers.

Using hashtags is vital to making sure your followers see your tweets.  When people log into Twitter, or whatever app they use for Twitter, they will have hundreds or thousands of tweets to scroll through. A follower only has a fraction of a second to decide whether to pause and read your tweet, or to continue scrolling through their Twitter feed. Using a hashtag can ensure your tweet will grab their attention and lead to more followers reading your tweets; more followers reading your tweets will lead to more engagement, and engagement is a key to success on twitter.

Most people have these three questions about Twitter hashtags:

1. How many hashtags should I use, and how often should I use hashtags?

The first thing I want to stress is to not go buck wild with your hashtag usage. Twitter is not Instagram. Using more than three hashtags will have diminishing returns.   Never use more than three hashtags. Not every tweet needs a hashtag, but I would encourage you to try and use between one and three hashtags with most of your tweets.

2. What should I hashtag?

This is where most people go wrong.  Don’t think about which words within your tweet stand out to you or are most important to you. Instead, think about your target audience.  What words might they search for? Hashtag those words.  What words might grab your targeted followers attention? Hashtag those words. I also encourage you to research what words are most searched within your industry and hashtag those words several times per day.  Occasionally, it is okay to hashtag something just to add humor.

3. Where, within a tweet, should I put a hashtag?

There are two ways to implement tweets into a tweet. One way is to hashtag words that are within your content. The second way is to add hashtags at the end of a tweet. It is acceptable and effective to do either, or to do both.

INEC Nigeria: Voters Education, What You Need To Know

Voters_education1

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was established by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to among other things organize elections into various political offices in the country.

Steps On How To Vote

VOTING
• Voting will take place on a date to be determined by the INEC.

ACCREDITATION
• Polling units will be open from 8 am.
• Polling units will open at 8 am for Accreditation and close at 12 noon.
• Voting starts 12:30 pm.
• You must vote in the same Polling Unit you completed your Voter Registration.

THE VOTER- WHO IS HE/SHE?
• S/He is a Nigerian citizen.
• S/He is 18 years and above.
• S/He has registered in the constituency where he intends to vote.
• S/He possesses a registration card obtained during voters’ registration.

HOW VOTER CAN VERIFY REGISTRATION
• A voter is expected to check the register of voters to ascertain that his name is included.
• That his name was correctly spelt and written.
• This is done when the register is displayed for inspection.

PERSONS WHO CANNOT VOTE
• The following persons cannot vote at election.
• All persons below the age of 18 years.
• All non-Nigerians.
• All persons who did not register as voters.
• All persons who do not hold a voter registration card.
• All persons whose names are not in the voters register.

WHERE TO VOTE
• Voting takes place at polling stations/units.
• A voter is expected to cast his vote at the polling unit where his name is on the voter  register.
• A voter is expected to identfy his polling station where his name is on the voter register.
• A polling unit nearest to the residence of the voter.

HOW TO VOTE:
• Voting will be by Open Secret Ballot System.
• Your vote is secret because no one will see which candidate you choose.
• You will mark your ballot behind a polling screen secretly.
• Apply your finger print only in one circle/space which corresponds to the candidate of your choice.

PROCEDURE: PREPARING FOR VOTING:
• The Presiding Officer (PO) shall:
• Explain the voting procedure to the voters.
• Invite all voters accreditated to form a single queue.
• Where culture does not allow men and women to mingle in a queue, separate queues are created for men and women.
• The PO shall count loudly the number of accredited voters in the queue, and record the number.

COMMENCEMENT OF VOTING:
• At the commencement of voting, the PO shall:
• Invite the voters on queue to approach the poll clerk (PC) in an orderly manner.
• On presentation of voter’s card, the PC shall:
• Check appropriate cuticle thumbnail of voter and when he is satisfied that the person has been duly accredited.
• Tick the voters’ register on the right hand side of voter’s name.
• Indicating that he has voted.
• Apply indelible ink on the cuticle of the voter’s appropriate thumbnail.
• The Poll Assistant (PA) shall apply ink to the next finger of the respective hand
• Voters who have no Right/Left hand, the PA shall:
• Apply the ink to the corresponding toes of the voter’s Right/Left foot.
• Voters have neither fingers nor toes:
• Ink shall be applied on the corresponding toes of the persons assisting them.

ISSUANCE OF BALLOT PAPER AND VOTING:
• The voter shall present himself to the Polling official (PO).
• The PO  shall stamp and sign the back of ballot paper.
• Fold the ballot paper vertically with the printed side inwards.
• Issue the signed, stamped ballot paper to the voter.
• The voter moves to the voting cuticle.
• Mark the ballot paper in the space provided beside the party logo of the voters’ choice
• Fold the ballot paper.
• Deposit the marked ballot paper into the ballot box.
• Marking of ballot paper by voter must be done in secret.
• Depositing the ballot paper in the ballot box in open view of all persons present.
• Only one voter at a time to the voting cubicle.

OFFENCES ON ELECTION DAY:
PART VIII SC. 129 (1) states that:
1. No person shall on the date an election is held do any of the following acts or things in a polling unit or within a distance of 300 metres of a polling unit-
(a) Canvass for votes;
(b) Solicit for the vote of any voter
(c) Persuade any voter not to vote for any particular candidate;
(d) Persuade any voter not to vote at any election;
(e) Shout slogans concerning the election;
(f) Be in possession of any offensive weapon or wear any dress or have any facial or other decoration which in any event is calculated to intimidate voters;
(g) Exhibit, wear or tender any notice, symbol photograph or party card referring to the election;
(h) Use any vehicle bearing the colour or symbol of a political party by any means whatever;
(i) Loiter without lawful excuse after voting or after being refused to vote;
(j) Snatch or destroy any election materials; and
(k) Blare siren
“Any person who contravens any of the provisions of this section commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N100,000 or imprisonment for 6 months for every such offence”.

Guidelines for Transfer of Registered Voters

A Nigerian has the right to live in any part of the country. An important part of voter registration is that an eligible person is advised to register at a centre nearest to him or her within the Ward  in which he or she resides. This is to make it easy for the voter to access the polling unit and vote on election day.

However, a person who relocated to another place, outside the constituency in which he registered cannot vote in his new location unless he transfers his registration. Section 13 of the Electoral Act 2010 as Amended provides for Transfer of Registered Voters.

Procedure for Transfer:

Step 1- The person who intends to transfer his registration will write an application to  INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner of the State  where he is currently residing.

Step 2- The applicant will attach his voters card to the application.

Step 3- The applicant must apply to the Resident Electoral Commissioner not later than 30 days before the date of an election in the constituency where he is residing.

Step 4- The Resident Electoral Commissioner will direct the Electoral Officer of the applicants Local Government Area to enter his name  in the transferred voters list.

Step 5- The Electoral Officer will assign the applicant to a polling unit in his constituency.

Step 6- The Electoral Officer will issue the applicant with a new voters card

Step 7- The Electoral officer will retrieve the applicants previous voters card.

Step 8- He will then send a copy of the entry to the Electoral officer of the constituency where the person whose name has been so entered was originally registered.

Step 9- Upon receipt of this entry, that Electoral Officer shall delete the name from his voters list.

Note- Apart from  State Headquarters Offices of INEC, applicants can also submit their applications at the INEC Office in their Local Government Areas. The applications will be forwarded to the Resident Electoral Commissioner for necessary action.

Replacement of lost or Damaged Voters Cards

A valid voters register with each voter having a voters card is a must to ensure that elections are free and fair.A person must possess a voters card in order to be accredited and allowed to vote during an election. The card identifies the voter. Thus the voters name can be checked easily by the Presiding Officer or his Assistant.

It is therefore important that a person keeps his voters card safely, to prevent loss or damage.

However, if a person losses his card or if it is damaged, the Independent National Electoral Commission can replace them.

The procedure for replacement of lost or damaged voters cards is as follows:-

  •  The voter shall apply in person to the Electoral Officer or any other officer duly authorized for that purpose by the Resident Electoral Commissioner.
  •  The application shall be at least 30 days before an election
  •  The applicant shall state the circumstances of the loss or damage
  •  The, he shall be issued with another copy of his original voters card.
  •   The word “DUPLICATE” will be marked or printed on it clearly.
  •  The date of issue will also be printed on the new  voters card.

Election Offenses and Penalties

  • Election is a process in which people vote to choose a person or group of people to hold an official position.
  • Election offence is a crime that breaks electoral laws and requires a particular punishment.
  • Penalty is a punishment that is given to someone for doing something which is against a law or rule.
  • Every registrant with a valid voter’s card is eligible to vote.
  • However, there are rules guiding the electoral process and anyone who violates these rules is liable on conviction to be penalized. For a full listing of penalty please click here >> ELECTION OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

INEC Citizens Contact Center (ICCC)

The INEC Citizens Contact Centre (ICCC) is a Situation Room that operates daily. For now, it will open between 9am and 5pm. Later on, the Centre will scale up to round-the-clock (i.e. 24-hour) service.

The Centre can be accessed through telephone lines, Facebook, Twitter and INEC’s website.

INEC HOTLINES

GLO: 09050858629, 09050858675, 09050858649

ETISALAT:  08180958715, 08180958717, 08180958709

AIRTEL:  09025038466, 07086945927, 08120183063

MTN: 07062896047, 08105119010, 08146697603

TWITTER: @InecNigeria

FACEBOOKwww.facebook.com/InecNigeria

WEBSTE: www.inecnigeria.org

 

How to Increase Your Website Traffic To Make Profit

Web TrafficWe all need web traffic to make profit in our business.  The trouble is, we often get stuck running the paces on the same old traffic strategies again. It’s good to think creatively and get outside your own box time to time, so here’s a quick list of 9 ways to get more website traffic. You can use all the methods below to run your website successfully.

1. Add your website to your email signature.

This one is surprisingly missed by a lot of people. You might be sending out dozens, even hundreds of emails every day. Just imagine how many people read your emails and could potentially click through to view your website, some special offer, etc.

2. Promote your blog on social media.

Today, this is one of the fastest ways to get more website traffic. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google Plus are all brimming with opportunities. This is where the vast majority of people spend their time online. Go scoop up some of that action!

3. Invest time in your SEO strategy.

SEO is still alive and well. The stakes are higher and the name of the game today is quality, not quantity. Spend time each month improving your SEO performance, tracking your rankings, and growing your natural search engine traffic.

4. Drive traffic to your site from YouTube.

Every YouTube video you create and upload represents a long-term video marketing presence that can last for years to come. Include a link to your website in the video description and/or in the video itself to drive more people away from YouTube and over to your site itself.

5. Do more email marketing.

Building a list of contacts? You should be. And you should be sending them email messages periodically driving them back to some page on your website — even if only to share your blog posts and other valuable content.

6. Blog frequently.

Speaking of blog posts, blogging is the most important long-term traffic builder. Blogging frequently (several times per week at least) is still hands-down the best way to create more traction in search engines and more buzz on social media websites. Just do it!

7. Send out direct mail postcards and sales letters.

Have you experimented with offline-to-online marketing strategies yet? This is an excellent way to boost up your online engagement. Today’s physical postal mailbox is a ghost-town compared to the email inbox. That means fewer competitors and more opportunities for you.

8. Build guest blogging relationships.

Guest Blogging is an excellent way to build your influence, authority, and credibility. It’s also a great way to drive consistent streams of traffic back to your own website.

9. Pay for clicks.

Last but certainly not least, you can always pay for clicks using tools like Google Adwords. There is a bit of a learning curve if you expect to get a reasonable return on your investment, but it’s time and money well spent if you do it right.

What other strategies do you have for getting more website traffic? Leave your comment below.