Last week, I spent the day with the edSocialMedia in Annapolis, MD helping a group of independent school professionals dive into the act of social sharing. Throughout the day, the seven teams scurried around in an effort to shoot and post video, send tweets, pin photos, write blog posts and more. The workshop was designed to simulate a day in the life of a social media creator — running around collecting and capturing as many juicy morsels of activity so they can promote and share it with their fans and followers. By the end of the day, those who had started out proclaiming themselves social media novices, were noticeably more confident in their abilities.
Using smartphones, iPads and laptops to upload, edit and post their media, the day also proved as a lesson in usability testing. Throughout the day I kept a list of bugs, issues and roadblocks encountered across devices. It was striking the limitations that existed from one device to another using the same app, proving that it’s not simply enough to know and understand the types of social media platforms — you must also account for glitches along the way.
To help others who may encounter the same issues we did, I’ve outlined what we discovered. Some of them are probably bugs that will get fixed in the next update — reinforcing the importance of not just charging your devices, but syncing them so you can benefit from the newest download, as well. Other issues are just quirks of the developers who may not have imagined the different ways users planned to engage with the app.
As any of these issues become fixed or work-arounds are discovered we’ll aim to update them accordingly.
- Issue: Editing your profile from iPad app
- Description: When setting up or editing your LinkedIn profile it’s best to do so from your desktop or smartphone. The iPad app currently doesn’t provide the ability to update your profile.
- Temporary fix: If you are on the go and need to edit, you will have to log in to the LinkedIn website via your device’s mobile browser to do so.
- Issue: Searching for groups and pages from mobile app
- Description: Though you can easily accept invitations to join groups and company pages from your iPad or smartphone, you are unable to search for groups or pages to join.
- Temporary fix: To search for a group or company page on the go, you will have to log into the LinkedIn website from your device’s mobile browser.
- Issue: Editing video using the iPad app
- Description: YouTube now provides advanced editing capabilities, eliminating the need for expensive or complicated third party editing software. However, using the iPad YouTube app the ability to edit from within the app is unavailable.
- Temporary Fix: At the bottom of the YouTube app is a blue text “Desktop”, if you select it, it will send you to the desktop YouTube site and you will be able to use the Video Manager to edit videos.
- Issue: Character Count hard to see on iPad app
- Description: Using the iPad Twitter app, it hard to see the character count while typing your Tweet. There isn’t a way to hide the keyboard to see your tweet before you hit send.
- Temporary Fix: This seems to be a result of an unfavorable app update. It could get fixed in future update, however, if this really bothers you perhaps it’s time to Tweet from another Twitter app — possibly TweetDeck, Echofon or Hootsuite.
- Issue: Unable to Tweet photo/image from email
- Description: If you have not yet upgraded your desktop to Mountain Lion (10.8) OS you are unable to share directly from browsers and apps on your Apple desktop. From iPhone and iPad, using iOS 5, users can share images from within email.
- Temporary fix: upgrade to Mountain Lion (can be done through App store for $19.99)
- Issue: video posted to FB cannot be download
- Description: If you’re looking to combine previously uploaded videos into YouTube video editor by downloading videos on Facebook, think again.
- Temporary Fix: Save videos into file sharing app like DropBox or Box so you can access videos no matter where you are and from mobile devices.
These are just the bugs we noticed, if you have your own, please share with us. Additionally, if you have solutions to any of the issues listed above, we encourage your to share.
Don’t let these issues slow you down, however. Your job as a social media manager requires some experimentation and troubleshooting. Yet, it is important to keep in mind that any issues you experience are not necessarily user error — mobile apps develop rapidly and updates are always being released to improve functionality. In fact, many apps offer an opportunity for you to provide feedback directly to the developers.
Workshops and labs are a great reminder to those of us no longer in the classroom that active use and testing are among the best ways to keep up-to-date with the latest and greatest apps and platform functionality.
Thank you, edSocialMedia for the opportunity to participate, engage and learn from the Lab participants.