Google Maps, FourSquare, Twitter and Google Search on a map of AdelaideGet your business on the map by taking advantage of local events with Twitter.

Adelaide is a happening place this time of year. We’ve already had the Fringe Festival, Tour Down Under, the Adelaide Festival, Soundwave, Womadelaide, Adelaide Food & Wine Festival, and there are many more events to come. Such events often draw many tourists from interstate and overseas and these visitors can benefit from your goods and services, if they are aware of you.

Be a part of the conversation

Even though your business may not be directly involved in these events you can still jump in and participate on social media as a neighbourhood authority. Your own local knowledge can benefit others who are wanting to find information about the area. Mingling with others online who are talking about the event raises awareness of your goods and services with these visitors and introduces them to your business.

Twitter: backbone of the social web

Twitter is one of, if not the, most used platforms in conjunction with events and is often used as the backbone to other services. Many of the major social networks such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and GooglePlus have integrated Twitter as a means of sharing their information with the public.

Keeping an eye on Twitter and interacting with others there during an event can provide great commercial opportunities for local business.

FourSquare, the world’s most popular location sharing app and regarded as the “location layer of the internet”, recently united with Twitter to enable users to include their location in their tweets.

Earlier this year in February, Twitter also renewed a partnership with Google allowing the search engine giant access to it’s API, or ‘firehose’ of real-time activity on Twitter. Your tweets are now indexed by Google immediately after they are posted on Twitter and show up in Google search results.

This recent union of location and search with Twitter is terrific news for businesses that are using Twitter!

Hashtags: the cross-platform unifier

The simple concept of a keyword beginning with a pound sign was invented by Twitter user Chris Messina eight years ago. Hashtags have now become ubiquitous on the web, and even stretching outside of the internet appearing on television programs, commercials and news broadcasts.

Other platforms such as Facebook, GooglePlus, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, etc, and new comers Meerkat & Periscope have taken up the hashtag function and built it into their systems. A great benefit of this is that these clickable keywords retain their functionality across multiple platforms. The hashtags used in a post to Instagram, for example, will still function as links to related content when that post is shared to Twitter.

One detail you need to be aware of though is that some characters are not supported by certain platforms. As a general rule of thumb, it is best to avoid using +, !, $, %, -, ^, &, or * in your hashtags.

Finding the most relevant Twitter hashtags

Use the search function on Twitter to search for the event name. You’ll see in the search results some of the hashtags that are being used in relation to the event. If you are using the Twitter mobile app you can save the searches of these commonly used hashtags to make it easier to switch between hashtags.

screenshot of Hashtagify results

Using Hashtagify to find the top 10 Hashtags being used at an event.

There are also a range of online tools that can be utelised to find the appropriate hashtags, here are just a few:

  • Hashtagify – find the best hashtags to reach your audience – and it is completely free.
  • RiteTag – RiteTag provides you a set of tools to maximize your return on hashtags.
  • Hashtags.org – Organising the world’s hashtags.
  • Tagboard – uses hashtags to collect public social media within seconds of being posted.
  • Keyhole – a real-time hashtag tracker for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  • TweetReach – Find out who else is tweeting that hashtag…and much more.

Getting Involved

Before the event see if you can locate those who will be attending, whether they be participants or punters. If you’re not comfortable tweeting to them directly, you can get their attention by retweeting or favouriting one or two of their tweets, or by following them. Reaching out and making these connections with them prior to the event will establish a level of trust and familiarity.

In the build up to the event, search for relevant people who are actively sharing information related to the event, consider following them and sharing their content with your audience.

During the event search for activity on Twitter using search terms and hashtags, find photos and retweet or favourite them and reply to the person who took the photo. To make these retweets most useful to others, I usually like to add my own short comment or hashtag to propel the tweet further.

Your business can provide a free service for an event by curating others’ content. Instead of sharing single YouTube videos as you find them, compile them into a playlist and share that to those who are following the event. Create a Twitter list of accounts that are involved in the event and share that to Twitter with the appropriate hashtags to create a richer experience for others who are following the event.

If you have a website consider creating an event page, with an embedded YouTube playlist or photo slide show, a custom Google Map, or a Twitter feed based on hashtags related to the event. By curating this sort of event-related content you are adding value and providing a free service to others. Each time you share that event page with the community you are also bringing visitors to your website and promoting your business as a result.

A screen shot of the SA Wine page on Vintuitive.

A page of curated content to provide a free service to others can attract visitors to your website.

Some examples of this sort of curation can be viewed here on Vintuitive on the following pages: Adelaide Cello Festival, Eye on Adelaide, South Australia Wine, Free Wifi Access in Adelaide.

When to tweet about yourself?

How you work your self-promotional tweets into the stream can be tricky without sounding too spammy and should always ensure that your tweets are relevant to the discussion. A general rule is to talk about the event and share event related tweets from others about 70% of the time and include relevant information about your own business about 30% of the time.

You can search out tweets from people looking for services that you offer in the area and respond to them. Twitter’s advanced search is useful for this task as you can hone your search with fine grained controls, or you can use one of the many third party tools as suggested above.

Putting a village on the map

A couple of months ago the 2015 World Alpine Ski Racing Championships was held in Vail, Colorado. Over 100,000 fans and spectators turned up to experience the renowned sporting event.

Nearby in the Vail Valley is a town called Eagle, which covers about 2.4 square miles and has a population of about 6,500 and 135 businesses.

I worked with a team of GooglePlus consultants that helped sixteen of these local businesses in Eagle “get on the Google Map” so they could be found easily in local searches, and thereby take advantage of this global event happening right next door.

A case study that documents the process and conclusions can be found here: Local Businesses on Google Maps – A Case Study.

Are you on Twitter?

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    Are you wondering if your old iPad 2 will run the latest operating system from Apple, iOS 8.2?
    I stopped upgrading my iPad 2 at iOS 7.1 fearing that the iPad 2’s hardware was not up to running the more modern versions of iOS as they became more demanding. After reading that iOS 8.2 was running smoothly for many others who had an iPad 2, and not finding many negative reviews, I went and did it, I updated.

    I’m very surprised by how well iOS 8.2 does run so I wanted to tell all of you who have an old iPad to try it out. Here’s a video demonstrating how there is no lag or delay when using iOS 8.2 on the iPad 2:

    Don’t hesitate go and update now!

    Do you like my Australian accent in the video and would like to give your iPad an Aussie accent? Check this video with Sarah Lane featuring a tip from Vintuitive on iPad Today!

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      Keep Calm, Keep Cool Adelaide

      Keep Calm Keep Cool posterThe year has commenced with a scorching start! Today in Adelaide it will reach 42 degrees and will remain in the 40s most of the day, even until as late as 6pm!

      How to stay cool

      The hot weather can make some people very lethargic, others get uptight and agitated. In either case it’s not easy to work in such conditions. It’s important on these hot days to take measures to keep the fluids up and stay cool. Your health and wellbeing are integral to getting your work done. Dehydration and over heating is a very real threat to your heath and can result in cramps, heat exhaustion or even heatstroke. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home or office there are other methods to keep calm and remain cool and in control. SA Health has some good tips of dealing with extreme heat on days like these and you can find their Guide to coping and staying healthy in the heat online.

      Here’s a tip I picked up while in Queensland – the Frozen Towel Technique:
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        iCloud logo with bandit maskHere’s another scam email that arrived in my inbox this morning, this time attempting to gain access to my Apple iCloud account.

        You may recall the news sensation from August when a large number of nude photos of celebrities were taken from their iCloud accounts and posted publicly online. It turned out that these images were obtained by hackers using a targeted attack to extract account information, that is, their Apple ID and password.

        As we’ve seen in similar incidents, these types of email phishing attempts are often launched from non-western countries and as such, almost always contain incorrect grammar or spelling mistakes that give the game away.
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          This Paypal email scam is another dangerous one that relies on your instant emotional reaction. If you have a PayPal account you are probably accustomed to receiving this sort of email each time you use your account to purchase something online.

          PayPal email screenshot

          Hovering over the “click here” link reveals it will not be sent to PayPal but some other address

          First impressions count

          The thought process that quickly runs through your head after receiving an email like this is usually something like the following:
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            rwnd on the iPhone6Move aside Vine and Instagram, RWND is a fun new free app from Melbourne startup Zarfo that is taking the world by storm.

            Ain’t nobody got time for that!

            Instagram has the capacity to record 15 seconds of video, Vine has 6 seconds but the kids, their attention spans are getting shorter every day. RWND allows you to record a maximum of 2 seconds of video and then plays it back in reverse to create a video that has a total duration of 4 seconds. This simple rewind effect, combined with everyday life activities is recipe for some often hilarious outcomes.

            If you find yourself only watching half an Instagram or Vine video before flicking to the next video then RWND is the app for you.

            RWND Top Three of the Week

            The RWND Top Three is a weekly series of video promotions run by Vintuitive that highlights the top three RWND submissions from the week and is published on YouTube, Instagram and Vine.

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              iApple MailWatch out for more scam emails. Here’s one I received this morning pretending to be from Apple.

              You’ll need to update your apple account

              It appears I have been logged out of my apple account and to get back in I need to update my account. Hmmm…my “apple” account? I think they mean my “Apple” account.

              Lets have a closer look at the contents of the email:


              Contents of the Apple Scam Email

              Don’t take the bait! Hover first

              The unsuspecting recipient of this email would click on the ‘Update Now’ link, be taken to the scammer’s website, which probably looks identical to the Apple website, and enter their Apple ID and password.

              By hovering the mouse cursor over the “Update now” link we can determine where the link would take us without actually clicking it. Doing so on this email reveals that the link doesn’t lead to www.apple.com. Instead, our browser would load up the intruder’s domain – www.gaminges.com, and to a javascript (“js”) folder. Potentially nasty.

              contents of the fake email from Apple

              Hovering over the link pops up the destination URL.

              Identifying the sender

              We can also determine who the sender is. Just click on the little downward pointing arrow to the right of the sender’s name and a drop down menu appears. And look at that – the sender’s domain is not apple.com but iapple.com.

              identifying the sender

              Note that the domain of the sender is iapple.com

              Dear Costumer, please update your account informations.

              Though I do enjoy dressing up occasionally, I don’t think that is what the author of this email intended. Nor did they realise that the plural of “information” is… “information”.

              Definition of a costumer

              Be on the lookout for emails like this arriving in your inbox. One day these scammers will learn proper grammar, making it less obvious.

              Always remember though, don’t click on links without hovering over them to check them out first.

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