Category Archives: social media

Reviewing Reviews

reviewsYou can now review anything and everything via numerous other from Yelp to TripAdvisor to SiteJabber. Amazon has let you review books and products for years and even highlights the funniest ones.

Realistically a business can’t please all of the people all of the time; so what do you do with bad reviews? Last week two very contrasting cases turned up.

The Case of the Disgruntled Writer

A reader posted a one star review of a book on GoodReads, and referred to it as “wordy and pretentious”. Her review was short and focused on what she did not like, she did not make any mention of the author at all.

The author responded, something GoodReads specifically advises against, and asked for the reader to remove the review.

His wording made it clear he took the review personally including stating “if it’s your desire to hurt me financially and ruin my business, then it’s understandable why you would post such a harmful review.”

And it went downhill from there, with the author posting increasingly agressive responses (capitalised words are never a good sign), and other GoodReads readers piling in, and often giving the author more one star reviews (which was not fair, unless they had read and disliked the book). The author responds to many of their comments, with wordy responses, he adds quotes from other writers, and then quotes his own book.

It’s not a good look, and the author’s comments have now been deleted from GoodReads. His overall review rating has dropped, the incident has been shared all over social media, and I doubt that his tirade has drawn in any new readers. It’s a fail.

Breakfast of Journalists

coffeeAt the same time an example popped up in the Dutch media. A restaurant reviewer for a local newspaper went to Bagels & Beans, which is a chain of cafes in the Netherlands selling, you guessed it, bagels and coffee.  The writer gave the cafe a two star review and complained about the dry bagel, the two purposeless slices of orange on his plate, the eight “superfoods” in his yoghurt, the speed of service, the tea, the yoghurt and the decor. With all that I’m not sure why it got even two stars.

A review in a newspaper is arguably more significant than a review on a website. So how did Bagels & Beans respond? On Facebook with this (translated from Dutch);

We finally had someone in our cafe again, but it turned out to be a journalist. From Het Parool. He wasn’t here for fun, but because he had to write a review. And that was not positive. In fact the piece was so acidic that we recommend that you take antacids before you read it. But maybe we’re wrong, he’s obviously a professional. Maybe he does have a point.

So we thought: Why not ask people who definitely understand. Whose opinion is really important to us. Who’s that? You of course!

Let us know what you think of the “Parool Breakfast” and put your review here in the comments. These are the reviews we really want to have.

The 5 best reviews get 1 free Parool Ontbijtje! We will announce the winners on Friday 12 June.

As my colleague said “awesome way of responding to a bad review”. The responses on Facebook (in Dutch, sorry) have been positive. Apprecitative of the positive attitude of Bagels & Beans, the humour they’re showing, and their bagels. This is a win.

Training Advice

As it happens I spent time last week training a group of social media managers and digital marketers on, among other things, responding to negative comments on social media (not specifically reviews). In general our expert advice is do not react when it’s a fair opinion; as in the book review above. But we should also consider the option of responding with humour, and directly to your fans/followers. Done well it’s a win.

And for the record, the article about the Bagels & Beans reaction came from Het Parool, the same newspaper that published the bad review. Bravo to their editor, or as the Dutch would say “chapeau”.

Images: Smiley Face Cake Pops | FamilySweetery | CC BY-NC 2.0

Bagels & Beans promotional image

Repeated Social Media Fails

fail whaleIn a month where a “beach body ready” campaign hit the news in the UK with people taking to twitter to protest,  an ANZAC campaign went wrong in Australia and Baltimore erupted over every media outlet, not just the social ones, I spotted two social media fails that were not just stupid, they were repeats of earlier fails.

People make mistakes, I get it, I have a long list of my own mistakes that I’m not publishing. This is a reminder to pay attention to your social media posts, and to think before you post.

1 Bad Reaction

A burger bar owner lost his cool with a customer on Facebook. His rant is laden with insults, bizarre comparisons and swear words.

What did the customer do to deserve this?

She sent a private message saying that her son had had an upset stomach with vomiting following a meal at the burger bar. She finished her message with “Just wanted you to be aware. We thought the burgers were fantastic and know it’s probably a one-off”.

The reaction is about 20:1 in favour of the customer, with many commenters declaring they’ll never eat there.

We’ve seen this before, back in 2013 Amy’s Baking Company was visited by Gordon Ramsay in his show Kitchen Nightmares. The restaurant in question responded in flurry of furious facebook posts and it all went downhill from there. As Forbes later pointed out in their lessons on social media; Don’t Insult People. I’d go further; don’t tweet when you’re mad.

2 Fired Before you Start

A single mum landed a job at a daycare centre but before she could start the centre changed their decision and she’s out of a job. Why?

She complained online about hating working at daycare centres and she doesn’t like being around kids all the time. It didn’t take long for those comments to reach the day care centre, and they rescinded their offer.

This has happened before, famously a young woman tweeted;

ciscotweetShe learnt the hard way that companies monitor social media, that what you say on a social media channel is public – and permanent, and what you say could be damaging.

These incidents were all avoidable if the posters had thought through the impact of their words. A former colleague who was expert in digital security used to say that everything you put online is “public and permanent”. That means that the list of people who can see your post isn’t just the friends you tag; it’s your boss, future boss, future girl/boyfriend, brother, colleague, journalist, neighbour and your mum.

Think before you post.

Image: LEGO Twitter Fail Whale | Tveskov | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Internet Access as a Human Right

UNhumanrightsI am constantly connected, both at home and at work, often via multiple devices. And it’s not just my phone and laptop, increasingly service apps are online – I can control my apartment temperature  from the other side of the world via an app. Lots of services are online, I do all my banking online, I’ll do my tax return online soon. I’ll shop online, including for dinner delivered. At work I’m online all the time. My functional life is online – if wifi goes down I’m really stuck. So internet is hugely important. But is it a human right?

The original UN Declaration of Human Rights doesn’t mention the internet, but then it was written in the 1940s so that’s not surprising. However it does list a number of rights that are increasingly accessed via the internet, including the right to;

  • take part in the government of his country,
  • equal access to public service in his country.
  • work, to free choice of employment
  • education.
  • participate freely in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

These are all available online

It’s only a matter of time before these are available only via the internet. It’s such a clear trend that in 2011 the UN declared internet access a human right, noting;

The Special Rapporteur underscores the unique and transformative nature of the Internet not only to enable individuals to exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression, but also a range of other human rights, and to promote the progress of society as a whole.

But what action follows this declaration? How can governments ensure that access is fair? And what happens when fair access does not exist?

There are a lot of government and business initiatives to ensure universal access to the internet, although in many cases the individual would still need to provide the device;

  • Costa Rica, Greece, Spain, France, Finland and Estonia have taken legislative steps to enshrine internet access as a right in law.
  • India plans to roll out wifi to 2500 cities.
  • The UK government aims to turn thousands of public buildings into free wifi zones.
  • In the Netherlands network providers are finding ways to open use of customer hotspots.

But not all governments are doing so well. The Syrian regime seems to shut down the internet for hours or days at various times. China famously has “The Great Firewall“, which uses a range of blocking techniques to filter sites and content. And governments of democratic nations aren’t immune to the temptation to turn off internet access in times of crisis, as UK’s PM David Cameron showed during the London riots in 2011 (in this case it did not happen).

But even outside these extreme examples internet access remains very unequal. Jon Gosier, who has worked on some of the big issues of technology inequality, talks about how our thinking around technology as an improver of lives is flawed and asks the vital question – how do we include everyone?

There are a few organisations around the world working on ensuring full internet access, including A Human Right, which in 2012 campaigned to have a planned undersea cable moved 500km south so that it could serve the isolated island of St Helena. Their site and twitter feed appear somewhat moribund so it’s hard to judge real progress.

Alliance for Affordable Internet is a public-private partnership that works to provide affordable broadband and mobile access to the internet for everyone.

But the most interesting “bet” on securing global, universal access to the internet might come from the private sector. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX has a vision of creating a “space internet“. And Google have a mad idea involving balloons, called Project Loon, that might just work.

Image: Human Right | Zack Lee |  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Did you thank your Community Manager today?

#CMAD 3Today is Community Manager Appreciation Day, known by the hashtag #CMAD.

Why are community managers so important? Do they really deserve their own day?

Community managers are the people your customers first meet online, they are the ones;

  • solving the offbeat questions your customers ask with humour and good sense
  • building relationships with customers and other stakeholders through supporting discussions online
  • providing reputation management, particularly during a crisis
  • embodying your brand

“It’s more than posting cat videos” as one of our community managers put it. I believe the role is important as social media becomes the way our customers want to reach us. So important that I announced last week that we would do more this year to help our community managers build their knowledge in 2015. We’ve also created some little “thank you” messages for them to share online (as shown above). See if you can spot them on twitter.

Done well community management builds your company’s reputation, it doesn’t seem too much to ask to thank them once a year. Please take a moment to thank your community manager today.

 

Basics of Blogging

BlogA friend of mine is getting started with a really cool, and hugely challenging project around mental health. As part of that she wants to start a blog, so I came up with some suggestions and some resources to help her.

1 Choose a subject

Defining the subject gives you a focus, defining what you’ll work on. You should define the topic in a way that gives you plenty to write about and a potential audience, Amylynn Andrews gives some good tips on defining the scope of a blog.

Most importantly pick a subject you care about. You will need to read about it, think about it, write about it pretty much every day. Note, you don’t need to be an expert on day one, your blog can be part of the process of learning, it needs to be something you care about. If it’s not something you care about it will be really hard to sustain the habits necessary to create good blog posts.

2 Define your audience

Who are you writing for? What are their needs? What do you want them to take from your blog?

In my friend’s case she’s trying to help those fortunate enough to have no mental health issues understand what it’s like to live with mental health issues.

3 Name (and domain name)

The naming of things is a difficult matter. Most bloggers struggle with the naming of their blog, and Google gives 49 million suggestions on how to do it.

The perfect blog name should be;

  • memorable; use real words and keep it short
  • reflect what the blog is about; people seeing the name should have their interest triggered.
  • give you room to grow; if you define the name too narrowly sooner or later your blog posts won’t fit. I started writing this blog about new technologies, now I also write about leadership, but it still fits under “Change Meme” whereas it wouldn’t have under a more technology specific name.
  • have an available domain name; unless  your audience is country specific you will be hunting for a .com domain that works.

For more specifics on choosing a name, there’s a great post on Blog Clarity.

I run three blogs now, and the first two were renamed. It’s not that difficult to rename your blog in the early stages, but once  you start building an audience it becomes more difficult.

4 Platform

I use WordPress for all three blogs and I’m a huge fan. I find it easy to use (and it’s getting better), there’s enough variety of templates available in the free option for me, and when I’ve had questions I’ve found the answer on WP for Beginners or they’ve been answered very quickly via the forums.

But there are other tools out there; Blogger (from Google), Tumblr (often used by younger audience), Medium, and Exposure (great for image based blogs). Most give you a free option or a trial option. Play with them, find the one you can use the best.

WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr are more commonly used and may already have a bigger audience for re-sharing content, and of these Tumblr seems to promote sharing the most.

5 Connect

“If you build it they will come” might work in baseball, but it won’t work for your blog. Share your blog across other social media channels. It’s often possible to automate this, this blog gets tweeted automatically for example.

You can re-share your content, either to reach different timezones or in response to a specific event. But don’t be the guy on twitter who shares old content 90% of the time. Mix it up with fresh stuff.

As you develop your content you’ll need also build your audience – you want to reach the right people.  Here are four tips to get started;

  • follow back, if someone follows your blog or your twitter handle (etc) follow them back
  • look for bloggers/tweeters writing on a similar theme – follow them
  • respond to questions and comments on  your blog
  • comment and engage with others

For more sophisticated steps Mashable gives this list of 6 Tips for Building a High Quality Blog Following, and this interview with Syed Balkhi talks about how he built an audience by focusing on helping one user at a time.

6 Content plan

Think about what you will write, what subjects you will address and what format your posts will take. Social Media Examiner lists 12 types of blog posts, some subjects dictate the format, for others you get to choose.

Blogging takes time, so think of a couple of post formats that could be easily created or created ahead of time;

“Listicles”, those posts headed “10 things you didn’t know about…” always attract readers, but a site with only this could become a bit annoying.

Responding to a relevant news subject also works if you can say something interesting on time. This is known as Newsjacking. One of my most shared posts combines listicles and newsjacking; “5 Reasons Facebook Shouldn’t Come to Work“.

Use known events relevant to your field. I like to post something on Community Managers Day for example.

When I started I created a category of “Business Cliches“, which gives definitions for terms I heard used at work. These are also good when I’m a bit low on ideas for what to write, I keep a list of potential cliches for future use.

I create a spreadsheet of my planned content, it’s a permanent draft and I often move things around, or add to it in response to events. But I find it helpful to have a structure to work to, here’s some more advice on creating a structure for your content. Make it as simple or as complex as you need.

7 Images

Adding images to your posts adds to the appeal. I use either my own images or those from flickr that are available under a creative comments licence.

Make sure your file names and your Alt tags reflect the content, this will help your blog be found more easily. I confess I am a bit lazy at doing this.

8 Plan to write

TimePlan time to write.

This is absolutely key to sustaining a good blog.

How much time you need depends on how many posts and what type of posts you need according to your content plan. I usually spend Sunday morning writing, I try to have two posts ready to go, plus work on a few “drafts” that may or may not make it to publication. I currently have 22 posts in draft form, probably a third of those will be published.

Occasionally I’ll write an additional post responding to an event during the week, but that will be shorter and something I can publish quickly.

9 The Legal Stuff

Copyright; I publish under a creative commons licence, meaning I hold the copyright but give people permission to re-use my content as long as they credit me as the source. I try really hard to follow copyright law in terms of anything I do publish, and openly state that I’ll correct anything if I get it wrong.

Your employer’s view; If your blog is close to your professional life you should check with your compliance or media relations teams on publication of your thoughts.

I’ve been blogging for almost a decade now, it’s rewarding, fun, and a reputation builder in my profession. Plus – I like to think I’ve learnt a lot about professional writing.

Image: Blog / Christian Schnettelker/ CC BY 2.0

Inspiration for time image; Time / Sean McEntee / CC BY 2.0

 

 

 

5 Reasons Facebook Shouldn’t Come to Work

According to TNW Facebook wants to come to work. They’re working on something called “Facebook at Work“. Thinking about this from the perspective of a large company this seems a bad idea for all sorts of reasons; here are five.

1. Privacy; Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg famously said “Privacy is dead”. That doesn’t inspire me to put company sensitive information on their network.

2. Privacy; EU legislation is tougher in relation to privacy than the US. For example I cannot require anyone in my team to give me their twitter handle. I cannot use personnel data to search through social media to find more about our employees. Facebook claims this will be separate, but I can see employees creating a work specific account, defeating facebook’s goal of connecting everyone.

3. Privacy; I strongly suspect that using personal accounts to login to a work system won’t fly with the Works councils in many EU countries. They are very protective of the work-life balance of the employees.

4. Privacy; doing this means facebook acquires a whole lot of data on where people work that has not been shared.

5. Privacy; this set up means facebook acquires data on what your company is working on. Even if they can’t see inside the documents the activity levels give information. During the financial crisis reporters watched the windows of banks late at night to see if the press teams were active. This is the virtual equivalent.

Would you use a “facebook at work” in your company?

 

The Social Employee

socialemployeeThe Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work
Cheryl Burgess, Mark Burgess

The Social Employee goes beyond theory and discusses examples of social media success in detail. This book is packed with ideas.

Most of the easy to find articles and books on social media focus on the success of a social media campaign, it can be difficult to imagine how you could do something similar in your own company or industry. The reasons are often simply that your company is not organised to accomodate social practices, and your employees are not ready to be active in the social sphere on behalf of a company.

In The Social Employee the writers have spoken to some of the biggest companies who have made social work for them, often in the more challenging area of business-to-business. They look at how a company changed their organisation, activities and business culture to deliver business results.

The IBM example points to an expansive use of social media inside and outside the company; an enterprise social network, blogs, hackathons, adoption programme and digital jams. I believe the major reason for their success in an early decision to trust employees. This was backed up with good training and tools, but that act of trust makes a difference for employees.

Dell was an early adopter, and motivated by wanting to be closer to customers “We wanted to feel that customers were walking the hallways” according to Cory Edwards, Director, Social Media & Corporate Reputation at Dell. To do this it was essential to empower employees, and have built a comprehensive training programme for all employees to understand social media. This is seen as so important that CEO is active in the training programme community.

There are examples from Adobe, Cisco and SouthWest, with SouthWest being the most employee centric.

The final part of the book looks at steps a company should take in establishing themselves in social media effectively. There is a short discussion of tool for internal use but more time is spent on building communities, content strategy and building engagement and relationships with customers.

I found the company examples more useful than the theory or the analysis, it was really interesting to see how companies had evolved a presence in social media, and how much of that came out internal change. Challenging but effective.

Do you build satisfaction or happiness?

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 13.08.50Not all brands, not all industries, are able to use social media as a brand builder in the same way.

I see sweeping general statements in many books, blogs and articles about social media that make me cringe as a customer. The latest was “Customers seek identification with their brands”, do we? Maybe I’m weird but I don’t. Or rather I only identify with a tiny subset of the brands I use.

I can remember listening to a presentation by the Lego’s Global Social Media Director, Lars Silberbauer, talking about all the fun things they’ve done, and the way that customers are using lego in innovative ways. I looked longingly at the examples, and seriously doubted that the financial company I worked for could ever do this. I wrote then about two factors of social media motivation.

I likened it to Herzberg’s two factors of motivation, and came up with a simple diagram linking the factors to levels of engagement. I’ve been rethinking that a little, I think some brand are satisfaction builders and some are happiness builders. So which one are you?

Satisfaction builders

You are a satisfaction builder if when your products and services work correctly customers don’t talk about you, if something goes wrong they do – and everyone piles on.

For example, a bank customer might appreciate that their application for a loan of several thousand euros was approved quickly but not want to discuss it on facebook. But if they’re stuck at the supermarket unable to use their card for a transaction of 120 euro, a much smaller transaction, they have access to complain immediately via their mobile phone.

I put infrastructure (including mobile phone networks), financial services, public or government services and grocery staples into this category.

The brand is not part of the customers identity and customer stays due to high switching costs or apathy, rather than brand loyalty.

Happiness builders

You are a happiness builder if when your products and services work correctly customers talk about you, if something goes wrong they forgive you quickly and sometimes publicly. Other customers will support you during a crisis.

For example, everybody loves Lego. The most common complaint about Lego is the pain of standing on an abandoned piece, which is  usually told as a cute story. Even when Lego came in for stronger criticism around sexism in its minifigs or its advertising the criticism was focused on improving the company rather than outright anger. Even those campaigning for change seem to trust that Lego would find a good solution.

Fashion, personal grooming and leisure industries are in this category. For many people cars, computing, home accessories – some people really love their coffee machines – are also included.

Context Matters

Many companies will have some customers who see them as satisfiers and others who see them as happiness makers. They may also have customers who see them differently depending on the context.

My phone is well-loved and well-used, you can tell by the state of the cover. My mother doesn’t care about the phone she has; both phones are the same brand and almost the same model.

Computers are satisfiers for lots of people, but part of happiness and even personal brand for many (try saying you hate apple on certain forums).

Even an indvidual customer may say the brand differently depending on context. Mostly airlines are happiness for me, I associate them with holidays and seeing friends and family. If I travel for work they become more of a satisfier.

Of course a brand can move from happiness to satisfier during, for example, a crisis. Or from satisfier to happiness under positive circumstances, but a sustained shift in this direction will be challenging. It will require more than action in social media.

Look around your house for the brands you own – where are they on the spectrum? which ones do you seek out on social media?

Image; Smiley Egg Head / The Monnie / CC BY-SA 2.0

Twitter Basics; The whole series

I’ve been writing a series of blog posts on twitter basics, and figured I’d do the smart thing and compile them into one easy post, complete with dodgy drawings.

If you’d like the whole series in one document, I’ve done that too! Please go to scribd to download my Twitter Basics.

twitterbasics1_crop 3 Twitter Basics

Your profile, twitter conventions and who to follow.

twitterbasics2_crop 3 More Twitter Basics

Your tweets, building a following and twitter etiquette.

twitterbasics3_crop Twitter Basics; Tools

Using twitter, analysing twitter and managing your following. I’ve highlighted some of my favourite tools, but there are new tools every week.

twitterbasics4_crop Twitter Basics; Companies on Twitter

How companies can use twitter for business, some “do’s and don’ts”.

twitterbasics5a_crop2 Twitter Basics; Trolls, fakers, hackers and scams

The dark side of twitter; how to spot the fakers and scammers and what to do.

Twitter Basics; fakers, trolls, hackers and scams

twitterbasics5a_crop2As with any other community on or offline Twitter has its share of malevolent members. Some are merely irritating, some are more distressing and some pose a danger to your reputation.

In this post I’m going to talk about ways to spot some of the fakers, trolls, hackers and scammers, why they exist, and what you can do about them (if anything!)

Fakers

How to spot them

  • incomplete profile, or random statements (see image below)
  • “women in bikini” avatars
  • profile goes somewhere strange
  • ratio of followers to following is less than 1
  • repeat tweets of the same content
  • promises to get you more followers
Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 12.57.26
“The official twitter page for Victoria Beckham”? probably not.

Here are more signs that an account is fake, and some tools to help you test whether your followers are fake. Unfortunately the creation of these accounts is getting smarter, and the bots behind the accounts have got better at mimicking human behaviour, even twitter can’t always spot them.

Why they exist

The accounts are most likely spam accounts, if you check the profile and the tweets all links published connect to the same marketing site.

It’s possible to buy followers on Twitter, it goes against the terms and conditions of using Twitter, but it’s possible. There’s even a site dedicated to reviewing the various services on offer.

The services are sold as social media marketing; which makes no sense if you’re building an audience of bots. The other sales rationale is that it boosts your online credibility. Well, perhaps, temporarily. Companies doing this often follow genuine accounts in the hope of follow backs to increase their credibility.

What to do

There’s no real risk with these accounts, your follower count is higher and if you follow back your stream has some pointless posts in it. So you can just ignore the accounts. I don’t follow back if an account looks like a spam account. From time to time I use unfollowers.me to identify any fake accounts I follow, and then I unfollow them.

Trolls

How to spot them

An internet troll has been defined as “an abusive or obnoxious user who uses shock value to promote arguments and disharmony in online communities”. You can spot them by their consistently mean and abusive comments, and their failure to back down or apologise when called on it.

Why they exist

A failure of evolution? The online world reflects the offline world, there are nasty people offline, you can expect them to also be online. Where anonymity is possible online some trolls use it as a shield to hide behind while they post abuse. Some platforms and some subjects are more famous for attracting abusive comments.

What to do

You have five options;

1 Ignore; Trolls thrive on your outrage, if you don’t provide it there’s a chance they’ll go away.

2 Respond; You can respond, challenging the person. It’s unlikely to change their mind or elicit an apology. It’s more like to earn you further abuse and others may join in, escalating it in round after round of competitive abuse.

3 Block; Twitter offers the option to block users, this means you will no longer see their content including tweets those which @ your handle.

4 Report; You can also report users to Twitter if you think their behaviour is abusive or threatening. If you think a threat of violence is credible you should contact your local police. In the UK this has led to arrest and prosecution.

5 Submit to Public Shaming; collect screenshots of the offending tweets to Public Shaming. It seems to generate plenty of backlash in its efforts to name and shame those who troll, or abuse others.

Hackers

How to spot them

tweetdeckhack1The scary thing is you might not know until it’s too late, be alert to any strange activity on your account including multiple password resets.

A week or so ago I noticed two very strange tweets, supposedly retweets by me, containing a script which mentioned tweetdeck.

tweetdeckhack2I checked whether anyone else had seen this error and there were already a few tweets reporting a problem with tweetdeck, including one linking to a Mashable article. The good thing about sites like Mashable or Techcrunch is they will report real time on attacks and they have the expertise to analyse the problem and tell you what to do. At that point they were saying there’s been a hack on tweetdeck and advising users to logout. I did, reverting to using twitter through the twitter site, where I checked the tweetdeck twitter account. They were already reporting on the issue.

Why they exist

The hackers want to steal your money, your identity or destroy your reputation. Alternatively they want to blackmail you. Sometimes they want to cause damage a the company by stealing data, and you have the bad luck to hold an account there. Or they could be looking to blackmail a company.

What to do

What you can do comes down to prevention and staying alert.

Prevention; secure your accounts with strong passwords, use different passwords for each site, and use two factor authentication whenever possible. Here are more tips to protect yourself (although there’s debate on whether changing your password really does help).

Stay alert; follow the twitter accounts of the tools you use, if you have doubts check reliable sources such as Mashable, TechCrunch and NakedSecurity. If you are attacked your actions depend on the attack. In the example I gave above from tweetdeck the advice was to log out of everything, when returning Tweetdeck advised a password change.

Scams

How to spot them

There are the usual scams that promise easy money via work from home schemes, and there are those connected to phishing scams, there are those that spread malware.

They’ll often send you a tweet or a direct message with just a link, or they’ll make an outrageous claim in the tweet, “someone is spreading rumours about you” was around a couple of years ago.

Why they exist

The people behind them want to steal your money, your identity or destroy your reputation.

What to do

Don’t click on links in messages or DMs that you’re uncertain about. Don’t fill in any passwords ever unless the URL of the site in the top bar is what you expect, so https://twitter.com/ for twitter. There are more suggestions on protecting yourself here.

As for the hackers stay alert, pay attention to credible warnings.