Wednesday, 27 May 2020

12 Major Twitter Fails You MUST Avoid!

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12 Major Twitter Fails You MUST Avoid!

Whether you're one of the millions now working from home, whether you'll soon be embarking on this new experience, whether you're looking forward to it or not, many people are facing the prospect of having to work from home remotely for the first time; joining the many who already have embarked upon this new way of working.

I've been working from home on and off for quite a few years now and since 2018 I've been working from home on a full-time basis.

During that time, I've picked up a few tips which might help you when you're thrown into the deep end of remote working.

For regular tips and advice on remote working and social media make sure you follow me on Twitter @remoteworkworld


Do you run a corporate or business Twitter account?

Do you try to make the most of the micro-blogging platform?

Do you try and emulate some of the "techniques" that you see others doing?

Have you picked up bad habits when it comes to using Twitter?

What do you mean you don't know?

In that case STOP!

Before you tweet another post, please take some time to read the following...

In the meantime, here's my list of "12 Major Twitter Fails You MUST Avoid!".

12 Major Twitter Fails You Must Avoid!

1) Automatic Direct Message And Plug Of Your Business When Someone Follows You.

You've set up an automatic direct message service to DM people as soon as they follow you.

Well done!

You think that this will save you time and is great for promotion...

You must be feeling very clever and you probably think that you're the only person who won't misuse this feature.


Experienced social media marketers on Twitter will immediately know that you're not being genuine and that the direct message they've received from you your bot has been set up as a lazy replacement for real 

interaction and engagement.

Compounding this fail with you incorporating a plug for your services / business / website / Instagram account / Facebook account... ad nauseam... in your direct message is even worse!

Can't you wait to engage and interact with your followers before you move in with your blatant plug of your business or service?

Be genuine and you'll gain more followers and avoid unfollowers when they receive your "spam" automated DM or message.

2) Automatic Follow-Back When Someone Follows You

This is similar to #1 above and it smacks totally of automation and


Are you really sure that you want to automatically follow back any dubious Twitter accounts which may slip through the net?

Don't forget that you're judged by the company you keep...

... which means that who you follow is more important than who follows you.

3) Follow Friday

This meme thankfully somewhat fizzled out years ago, however there are still quite a few business and corporate Twitter accounts who insist on using this stupid meme...

... every...
... single...

... Friday.

Not only is this childish, but everyone who follows this person will then be notified any time someone replies or retweets this message in which you were included.

Of course, you can adjust your Twitter settings whereby you can switch off notifications from people you don't follow, but you really need that set to monitor Tweets about your company.

So, all day on a Friday while you're trying to work, your Twitter notifications constantly chunder away whenever another person reacts to your followee's #FF or #FollowFriday

Totally avoid the #FF #FollowFriday meme.

4) Mixing Your Personal Tweets With Your Business Tweets

I want to know about your company and your services.

I want to read great content which applies to your company and your services.

I want to read useful information from you which can help me.

I don't want to read you tweeting to a friend about the game you're going to this coming weekend.

I don't want to read about you ranting to another tweeter about the movie you saw last night.

I don't care in the slightest as to what you're going to eat for lunch at your desk.

Get the point?

The least you could do is set yourself up with a personal Twitter account; you know the type, the one with a profile which includes a flimsy disclaimer that your personal account doesn't reflect the views of your company.

Having personal conversations on Twitter in the wide-open space of your timeline gives the impression that you're an unprofessional narcissist... 

"Look at me everyone!"

Alternatively, keep your personal tweets and rants as direct messages to your friends and associates.

But then again, don't you have enough work to do other than mix personal tweets with business tweets?

5) Overdoing The Hashtags

OK, so you've read somewhere that you need to include appropriate hashtags with your tweets, however when your hashtags take up more text in your tweet than the actual useful content or message, you're really showing yourself up as a total novice
on Twitter...

... regardless of how long you've been using it.

Once again, your followers want to read your content, as much of it as you can possibly fit into a tweet.

Cramming as many hashtags into your tweets shows your desperation to get your tweet noticed and also shows your inexperience of using Twitter.

6) Not Using The Appropriate Grammar

"Yay dudes, check out our epic deals on our financial services and stuff

on our website" isn't what you would expect from a corporate Twitter account.

Trying to be "hip" or "street" when your brand doesn't reflect that is a totally unprofessional approach to marketing.

Alternatively, try to sound corporate when you're running a "hip" or "street" account is a fail too.

7) Failing To Add Images

Tweets with images are more likely to be read than those without.

The least you can do is add images, or better still, a video.

Do you add images to your offline promotions and publicity?

Of course you do.


What's the difference?

It's a cliché but it's true, "... a picture is worth a thousand words..."

8) Pimping Your Other Social Media Platforms

There's a reason people follow you on Twitter; usually a good reason, so why use your Twitter account to constantly pimp your other social media accounts... whether you're posting the same content there or not?

Which of your social media platforms do you prefer?


Then why send people to your other social medial accounts?

Isn't your Twitter account working well enough? Is that why you're desperate to get more eyeballs on all of your social media platforms?

Now this may be asking a lot from you, but haven't you considered improving your engagement on Twitter instead of sending your followers elsewhere with the faint hope that they'll get your message there instead?

You should be using your business or corporate social media accounts as a funnel by which you direct prospective customers to your main sales and service site and not play ping-pong with them from one social media site to another.

9) Typos

If you want your followers to take you seriously on your corporate and business Twitter account, then the least you can do is to take the effort to present yourself in a professional manner.

Do you fill your print ads, your press releases, your customer correspondence, or your shingle outside your business premises with typos?


... then why take less care with your Twitter account which many people regard as your store front?

10) Jumping Onto The Trending Bandwagon

A major event has just happened and it's trending on Twitter.

You'd be surprised at the number of corporate and business twitter accounts who use this opportunity to sell their wares.

Tempted to promote your car insurance service when a major pile-up has occurred on the major highway and it's trending on Twitter?

Tempted to plug your airline service when an aircraft crash is trending on Twitter?

Tempted to pimp your mental health services when a Twitter trend line relates to a celeb's suicide?

Think twice... Tweet once!

11) Spamming

As mentioned above, people follow you on Twitter for a specific reason and more than likely, that reason isn't for them to receive your self-promotion.

When you send your followers unsolicited tweets or unsolicited direct messages plugging your business or services, you're spamming.

That's right... read that again... you're spamming...

.. and nobody likes spammers.

All it takes is a couple of people to report you to Twitter for spamming and you could quite easily have your account suspended...

...and you know...

... it would serve you right.

Instead, (and this might be going out on a limb for you...) you could engage with your followers and build up a relationship whereby you gain your prospective customers' trust and they come to you instead for your services instead of you going to them with your spam.

Let's face it, if you must lower yourself to unsolicited DMs and messages spamming your followers, then you obviously don't have much faith in your product or service to sell itself, do you?

12) Not Engaging

Sorry to disappoint you, but simply tweeting out great content isn't

enough if you want to build up a relationship with your prospective customers.

If that's all you do why don't you just simply put out daily press releases, that way you can totally avoid having to engage with any of your prospective customers.

Likes, retweets, answering queries, dealing with complaints, engaging in meaningful conversations relating to your existing and prospective customers' needs will help build your brand and more importantly... your reputation!


So, there you are, 12 Major Twitter Fails You Must Avoid!

Do you agree with the list?

Do you disagree with the list?

Do you have your own Twitter fails which you would have liked to see in this list?

Feel free to leave a comment!

Oh, and while you're at it, do feel free to follow this blog!

Until next time, take care and thank you for taking the time to read this blog post!

© remoteworkworld -

© Al Zooks

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

30 Top Tips For Using Microsoft Word

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Download the ebook version now from the right sidebar or from the end of this blog post.

So, you're working from home for the first time.

The work is fine, but you find that you can't call upon the services of the resident techie geek in your office with all your usual, "How do I do this... how do I do that?" queries as you regularly do when in the office with your colleagues.

If you do find yourself struggling with the tech side of working from home, as you now realise how much you depended upon the support of others back in the office, then I suggest that you use this time working from home to improve your tech skills.


For 2 reasons.

1) You now have the time.
2) The last thing your furloughed techie geek colleague needs right now is you picking their brains while they can't work.

This is where I come in.

So, without further ado, I present to you: - 30 Top Tips For Using Microsoft Word

1) Working On Multiple Documents

I usually have more than one document open in Word.

If you're used to working on multiple documents, here are a selection of shortcuts with which you can switch from document to document.
Press CTRL+F6 on the keyboard to toggle between Word's open windows.

Hold down the ALT key on the keyboard and press the TAB key once (while keeping the ALT key pressed down). 

This brings up an overlay with icons for all your open windows. 
Keep pressing the TAB key until you're at your desired document then let go of the keys.

2) Talking Of Shortcuts

You'd be surprised to know just how many
shortcuts Word makes available to you.
To see the entire list of shortcuts on offer...

Start a new blank document.

Navigate to the View tab.

Click Macros > View Macros

Change the dropdown for the macros location to "Word Commands."

Select "ListCommands" in the macro name field.

Click Run

Click OK.


You're welcome.

3) Quickly Insert Links Into A Document.

At the moment, you're probably inserting links by highlighting the text, then either selecting "insert" from the ribbon, or right-clicking to add your required link.

Here's another way, a quicker way and I think a better way... 

Highlight the text that you want to linkify and then press CTRL+K

4) Autocorrect Options

Not happy with how autocorrect applies changes to your document?

Then customise it.

Go to FILE > OPTIONS > PROOFING > AUTOCORRECT OPTIONS and select or deselect your requirements.

5) Set Up Your Own Default Font.

I prefer Arial to all other fonts when using Word and like many people I have set this up as my default.

Now this technique can vary from version to version of Word, however, the basic way to set your default font is to click FORMAT > FONT, select the attributes you want, and then click DEFAULT.

6) Find Any Word You Want Easily And Quickly.

Do your mouse a favour and give it a rest when searching for a word or phrase.

Simply type CTRL+F and your mouse will thank you for it.

7) Replace Given Words Or Phrases Within A Document

While on the subject of searching for words or phrases throughout a document, there may be times when you need to quickly replace certain text with another word or phrase.

Similar to the technique in number 6 above; this time it's CTRL+H

8) Protect Your Document

While using Word when working from home it's
more than likely that you're working on an important document as opposed to typing a letter to your dear old Auntie Aggie.

With that in mind it's important to ensure that you're taking the appropriate steps to protect your files.

Click FILE > INFO to see the selections of document protection on offer.

One warning, do NOT forget your password when encrypting your documents.

When using document protections, ensure that you carefully read the comment message to ensure what exactly you are protecting; whether it's the opening of a document or the editing of a document.

Read the above sentence again.

9) Proofreading Help
I don't know about you, but I find proofreading a chore.

To say that I dislike it is an understatement. I would much rather hear my document being read out aloud to me as I can then hear any mistake in the document far easier than having to read it.

With that in mind I simply get Word to read out my document for me.

Simply click on Review and then select Read Aloud.

You can also highlight sections of text for Word to read back to you.

10) Inserting Objects Into Word

Here's your chance to take your Word skills to
another level.

Word allows you to insert objects easily into your page.

Select INSERT > OBJECT and from the dialogue box you can then choose what to add.

Want to add a PDF to your document?


Add it.

Want to add an Excel spreadsheet to your document?


Add it!

11) General Selection Of Text.

Try these techniques for moving around your document and selecting sections.

To select an entire sentence, simply go to the beginning, hold SHIFT and press END.

You can vary this by being at the end of a sentence, hold down SHIFT and press HOME

Go to anywhere in your document and hold down SHIFT and CTRL and then press your arrow keys.

This way you can select whole words easily as well as selecting entire paragraphs.

You can also incorporate "delete" with these actions as well as applying formatting and so on.

You'll also find it easier to move around your document with this following technique.

Click anywhere within your document, hold down the CTRL key and now press your left and right arrow keys.

This enables you to move one word at a time through your document.

To select a single word in your document, click twice rapidly on the given word.

To select an entire paragraph, click 3 times rapidly within the paragraph,

To select a single sentence, hold down the CTRL key and then click anywhere in the sentence.

No need to backspace for ages deleting words character by character. Simply hold down CTRL while backspacing.

You'll find that most of these techniques will work in most text editors even Notepad.

12) Displaying Hidden Characters

Working on a complicated document which
incorporates different formats, columns and various styles can be a real pain.

In cases like this you really do need to see the invisible characters which are applying the different actions and styles within your document.

To make visible all your document's formatting such as tabs, spaces, soft returns, hard returns and so on, press CTRL-SHIFT+8 in Windows or Command+8 on a Mac.

13) Changing Capitalisations The Easy Way

Changing the capitalisation of any given text with a click of a button is easy.

Simply highlight a selection of your required text and click on the "Aa" icon on your Home tab to change your text between all upper case, all lowercase and other options,

Another easier way is to select your text and then hold down the SHIFT key and then press F3.

14) Word To HTML Or PDF

Need your document in an HTML or PDF

Worry not as it's easy to convert your Word document to a variety of formats, including PDF or HTML file.

When you SAVE AS a file, you'll see a SAVE AS TYPE drop-down menu, which will provide various options when saving your file using the SAVE AS command.

One tip I would give you with regards to saving as HTML is that I wouldn't rely on Word to give you a nice clean coding which you can pass off as your own as Word can include some superfluous coding.

15) Auto Update Time And Date.

I like this one. I like it a lot.

I have various documents which I use time and time again, whereby I only need to change a part of the whole file. 

Some of these documents require date / time within it and I want this date to automatically update each time I open the document.

To do this is simple.

Select the INSERT tab, select the DATE & TIME option and a pop-up window will present itself from which you can select from various date / time options.

When you have chosen your format, make sure that you also tick the "Update Automatically" box.

This will ensure that the date within that document will be updated each and every time you open that document.

16) Add Text Anywhere Within Your Document

Simply double-click anywhere within your
document and you can then add text there.

17) Not Everyone Is Up To Date

It's worth bearing in mind that not everyone has the latest version of Microsoft, so make sure that when you're saving your document you select a version which is compatible with older versions of the program.

I usually select the 97-2003 version as a default.

Yes, there are people whose versions go back that far.

18) From The First To The Last

Need to quickly navigate to the top of your long
document? Hold down CTRL and press HOME.

Need to quickly navigate to the end of your document? Hold down CTRL and press END.

19) Add A Calculator To Word

I like spreadsheets but I don't like calculators.


No idea.

However, occasionally there are times when I need to calculate something while I'm working on a Word document and so on my quick access toolbar, I have the Word calculator.

First, I suggest that you add the calculator to your quick access toolbar by doing the following:

Select FILE > OPTIONS > QUICK ACCESS TOOLBAR and from the drop-down option select ALL COMMANDS..

From the list find CALCULATE and then click on ADD to move it to your QUICK ACCESS TOOLBAR column. 

Click on OK to return to your document.

Once back on your document, you'll see a greyish blue circle residing on your quick access toolbar.

To use it, simply type a math equation into your document, for example


Highlight it and you'll notice that the small circle has changed colour. Take a peek down at the bottom left of your screen within the Word program and you'll see the answer to the equation.

Once again, you're welcome.

20) Random Text Generator

Need to add some random text to play around
with some formatting?

Simply type the following:


Replace the P with the number of paragraphs you require and L with the number of sentences you require.

When you're ready, click at the end of the equation and press Enter to generate your text.

21) Format Painter

Here's another one I like very much.

Let's say you have a sentence which is in Times New Roman, bold, Italic and in a custom colour. You have another sentence in nice clear Arial, however you want to apply all the formatting from your fancy sentence to your Arial font sentence.

First select a part of your fancy sentence by highlighting it, next click on the Format Painter brush and then simply click and highlight the word, paragraph, or sentence you want to apply that formatting to.

Should you have various other sentences to which you want to apply that formatting, in that case double click onto your Format Painter brush and apply that formatting to various sentences, paragraphs or words.

Once finished press the ESCAPE key.

22) Normal.dotm Template

Not wanting to get too technical, but your default settings for your documents when you start a new one is all held in a file called normal.dotm ( on older versions)

Occasionally for whatever reason, this file can become corrupted.

My advice?


Make a copy of this file, perhaps by adding a suffix "2" to the copy.

Should your become corrupted, just delete it. Make a copy of your normal2.dotm, rename the copy to normal.dotm and you should be fine.

23) Quick Thesaurus

Need the thesaurus quickly to check a word?
Can't remember where the icon is?

No problem.

Double click the word to select it and then hold down SHIFT and press F7.

24) Hide White Space With A Double-Click.

There may be occasions when you want to view
your document in print layout, meaning that you need to see your document as it would look on the page. In this case you need to hide the gap between pages in your document.

To do this, simply double-click on any gap between any of your document's pages.

To bring the gaps back, just double-click on the thin line where your gaps were originally.

25) Customise Your Quick Access Toolbar


It has my most often used commands sitting nicely together which I have, er,,, quick access to.

To set up your own Quick Access toolbar, go to FILE > OPTIONS >QUICK ACCESS TOOLBAR and then select from either the Popular Commands, or by selecting the drop-down menu, you can select from All Commands.

26) Eliminate Unwanted Formatting

Tackling a multitude of unwanted formatting
within a document you're editing can sometimes be a real headache... not anymore.

To clear formatting from a selection of text, simply highlight the section and then hold down CTRL and the SPACEBAR.

Far quicker than highlighting and clicking on the icon with the letter A and eraser on the home tab.

27) Adding Selected Text To The Spike

Think of this as a "multiple cut followed by a single paste.

To use it, simply select your text by highlighting and holding down the CTRL key and pressing F3.

Repeat this a often as required,

Once you have cut all the text, click in the part of your document to where you want to paste all the text and this time press CTRL+SHIFT+F3.

28) Faster Formatting Of Font Size

Here's an easy way of changing font size.

Highlight your require text selection then while holding down the CTRL key, press the ] key (the one under the curly bracket). Press ] irepeatedly to change the font size.

Now do the same, but this time press the [ key to reduce font size.

29) Repeat

You've just highlighted a selection of text and made it bold.

Now you want to do the same to another selection of text.

This time however instead of selecting bold, simply hold down CTRL and press Y
CTRL and Y is the shortcut for repeating your last command.

30) Your Best Friend

Remember, CTRL+Z is your best friend.

In case you didn't know, this undoes the last command.

Say for example you've just accidentally deleted a section of document, before you do anything else, simply hold down CTRL and press the Z key.


Well there you have it, my 30 Top Tips for using Microsoft Word

If you're embarking on remote working from home, then I sincerely hope that you find this blog post useful.

What are YOUR best tips for using Microsoft Word?

Let me know and feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks for reading!

© Al Zooks 2020