Posts Tagged ‘Twitter social media’
Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google +, have recently begun to affect what comes up in your search engine results. The problem is not that people don’t understand that social media affects SEO, but how it affects SEO. Google released Google Social Search tool back in October 2009 and made it available to all users in January 2010. This tool basically allows you to find articles written by people you know and trust, the same basic concept as following someone on Twitter. What people really want to know is; how much does social media news really affect search engine results?
Back in December of 2010 Google’s Matt Cutts stated, “I filmed a video back in May 2010 where I said that we didn’t use ‘social’ as a signal, and at the time, we did not use that as a signal, but now, we’re taping this in December 2010, and we are using that as a signal.” Social media has fit its way into SEO and has started to alter traditional organic search results. If you are logged into your Google + while searching for something on Google, your search results will be different than if you were not logged into a Google account. If one of your friends has a web content that is related to the topic you are searching for, then Google gives that web page higher placement on SERPs. Google and Bing have both admitted that they look at their users’ social authority when making search engine ranking decisions.
Social media can influence search results depending on the number of times an author’s content is shared on a social networking site. If you are not connected with any social media sites, do not fret because there are steps that you can take to change this. To get more traffic through social media, you first want to build a presence on a social media site and stay up to date with your followers. Optimize your website for social media sharing, for example if you are based in WordPress you can install the Sharebar plugin to enable sharing. Lastly, you are going to want to constantly encourage your followers/views to share your content through other social media tools. Just because social media is booming doesn’t mean that traditional SEO is irrelevant. There will always be that group of people that don’t prefer social media sites, so traffic for non-social media site users will not completely diminish, but realize that traditional SEO is beginning dwindle, so changing with the times is not a bad idea.
For more information on this topic visit: Quicksprout.com
Twitter has just announced that they have acquired Bagcheck, a new fun way to talk about and share what’s inside our “bags” with our Twitter followers. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but a warm welcome is put out to Sam Pullara to the Twitter engineering team! Mr. Pullara is the CTO and co-founder of Bagcheck.
Bagcheck is an innovative way to share and discover what’s inside your “bag.” Now you may be wondering what exactly characterizes a bag. In a broad sense, the startup refers to any sort of curated list or collection as a bag. As you can see to the right, people can post bags of backpacking essentials or coffee-making gear to what their favorite apps and accessories are.
The brains behind Bagcheck found their inspiration by simply wanting to expand their discussion of the products they love to use with the rest of the social networking world. It provides people with a place to share their “bags” of items they feel most passionate about with others who may share the same interests – whether it’s photography, cooking, computing, or sports.
Bagcheck still remains in service online for all those who already have accounts. Therefore, the content already created in current users bags will still remain with the same URLs. However, soon enough things may change so Bagcheck has made it quick and simple for current users to export your bags anywhere you like. Your bags will be wrapped into a set of HTML and JSON files that you may then save or post to other social networking platforms.
On behalf of Bagcheck, they’d like to take the opportunity to show appreciation for all the people involved in creating bags and sharing their passions with others throughout the site thus far. They hope you’ll continue to do so. Happy Bagging!
A recently released report by Marketing Charts titled “State of Inbound Marketing Report” from HubSpot, reveals a growing trend of brands focusing their energy and funding on “inbound” marketing versus “outbound.” Outbound techniques have long been employed and still constitute the majority of marketing techniques, but that is beginning to change. Last year’s numbers indicated brands were beginning to rely more on inbound marketing techniques to generate leads; this year the outbound marketing budgets contracted further, closing the gap between the two opposing approaches.
What’s the Difference between Inbound and Outbound?
So what exactly constitutes an inbound approach versus an outbound approach? And what techniques are brands turning to? Essentially, an outbound approach is that where a marketer pushes his message out to the masses whereas an inbound approach is designed to pull in people who are already looking for your product or service. HubSpot classified these techniques based on how important they were perceived by the company, and also allowed for multiple responses in order to account for brands that place value in more than one technique. From their data, we see that popular and time-tested outbound techniques, such as direct mail and telemarketing, contracted 1% and 6% respectively, only generating 10% of leads each. Trade shows remained flat at 10% importance among respondents, meaning outbound techniques are preferred by less than 1/3 of brands.
Meanwhile, inbound techniques have become increasingly important to brands. Paid search and AdWords were the only inbound methods that fell in importance, now at 22%. However, social media, company blogs, and SEO methods have all increased in importance to brands, with social media and SEO methods important to 60% and 59% of companies, respectively. Company blogs were claimed to be important to 49% of the survey’s respondents.
Follow the Money, Inbound Marketing Budgets on the Rise
But let’s get down to the bottom-line: company budgets. When asked whether budgets for inbound marketing strategies increased or decreased for the year 2010, 51% of respondents claimed their budget had increased, with an additional 37% claiming it had remained constant. This means that 88% of American companies have maintained a healthy budget for inbound techniques, such as social media and SEO marketing strategies. Furthermore, of the companies that claimed to have a lower budget for inbound marketing campaigns, 92% claimed that the economy, not performance, was the reason for the decrease.
Specifically, social media campaigns returned high confidence numbers from brands, with four in 10 companies overall acquiring customers from major social networks. Businesses are increasingly placing their confidence in inbound marketing strategies, believing social media and SEO to be the two most important channels in gaining leads and bolstering their brand image.
Long the subject of speculation and prediction, the world’s most active micro blog, Twitter, announced major changes to their social network in an attempt to position their network as a profitable enterprise. Twitter Feeds will no longer be free of the influence of the almighty dollar as Twitter unveiled its new Promoted Tweets function, which is basically Adwords for Twitter, and TweetUp, the latest development out of Idealab which is a search engine and bidding marketplace that works in collusion with Twitter.
Twitter offers advertising partners top post
On the Twitter blog, the company enumerated specific expectations of the advent of Promoted Tweets. Advertising partners can bid for keywords to ensure their tweets reach the top of the pile once a certain keyword is searched for, much akin to the Google Adwords model. Twitter lined up commercial partners to start using Promoted Tweets that include Starbucks, Virgin America, Best Buy, Red Bull and Bravo, and offers as example that Starbucks Tweets will always turn up first for a Twitter search for the term “coffee,” provided Starbucks continues to bid on the term.
Twitter emphasizes that they are only in the first phase of their Promoted Tweets program and insists that the promotional aspect of the tweet placement does not mean a decay of quality. Promoted Tweets, according to Twitter, must meet a higher standard than your average tweet, resonating with users and garnering retweets to maintain its placement as a top tweet.
TweetUp seeks to establish bidding marketplace
TweetUp is a bit more complicated than Twitter’s Promoted Tweets as it utilizes an algorithm taking into account a tweet’s author, number of followers, influence score, number of retweets, along with the user’s bid for their tweet. Keywords will cost 1 cent per impression; however, if a tweet does not meet the aforementioned qualifications, there is no bid high enough to launch it to the top of the feed (like an Adwords quality score).
All in all, major changes lie ahead for the social network taking its first steps toward monetization; however, Twitter promises the integrity of its network will be maintained, if not emboldened, as the white noise of real time updates won’t hide relevant tweets in the shuffle.
If you’ve ever wondered what makes something go viral, hopefully this blog post will uncover some of these hidden characteristics. Last Friday, viral scientist and author of The Social Media Marketing Book, Dan Zarrella, gave a webinar on The Science of ReTweets. He collected over 100,000,000 retweets and observed almost every element possible within its 140 characters. He looked at everything from word choice to punctuation to the time of day – all in his quest to discover what makes something “retweetable.” In the end, he came up with a collection of tips and tricks to make your tweets go viral.
1. Use the most retweetable words
Of the millions of tweets in his database, Zarrella identified 20 words or phrases that are more retweeted than others. These include (in order): ‘you,’ ‘twitter,’ ‘please,’ ‘retweets,’ ‘post,’ ‘blog,’ ‘social,’ ‘free,’ ‘media,’ ‘help,’ ‘please retweet,’ ‘great,’ ‘social media,’ ‘10,’ ‘follow,’ ‘how to,’ ‘top,’ ‘blog post,’ ‘check out,’ and ‘new blog post.’
While it’s unsurprising that the most retweeted words are those relating to Twitter or social media, it’s interesting to see that the phrase “top 10” makes the top 20. Zarrella explained that people, on average, like to see “chunked content” or readings that are easy to skim and digest. Seeing words such as “top 10” or even “how to” are signals to people that the link is easily readable and, therefore, sharable.
2. Avoid the least retweetable words
Here’s some words you should probably avoid using in your next tweet (also in order): ‘game,’ ‘going,’ ‘haha,’ ‘lol,’ ‘but,’ ‘watching,’ ‘work,’ ‘home,’ ‘night,’ ‘bed,’ ‘well,’ ‘sleep,’ ‘gonna,’ ‘hey,’ ‘tomorrow,’ ‘tired,’ ‘some,’ ‘back,’ ‘bored,’ and ‘listening.’ In other words, don’t be boring! Ask someone why they’re not on Twitter and you might hear: “why would I want to know when you’re eating breakfast?” Well now there’s proof of the unattractiveness of these status updates.
3. Include a link in your tweet
It’s hard for something newsworthy and sharable to be self-contained within only 140 characters. That’s why the most retweetable tweets include a link to something interesting. Also, the use of URL shorteners (especially bit.ly) leaves enough room in the tweet for others to add a short comment. Don’t miss this opportunity. Link to the story and keep it short!
4. Tweet the news
Another unsurprising tip, but important nonetheless. Breaking news, in particular, is one of the most sharable types of content. And again, guess what’s not sharable: small talk.
5. Use longer and more unique words
The average tweet has about 1.58 syllables per word, while retweets have 1.62 syllables. Also, retweets often contain words that are uncommon in average tweets. In other words, be unique and interesting in your choice of words and you’ll be the social butterfly of the Twitter Party.
6. Use colons, not semicolons.
In general, Zarrella proved that tweets with more punctuation are more retweetable. While you would think that the opposite would be true given the focus on rationing your characters, it turns out proper punctuation is a more attractive characteristic. And the use of colons makes for great “Headline: Sub-headline” news stories. Semicolons, interestingly, actually make it less likely for you to be retweeted—perhaps given the ambiguous nature of when to use it properly.
7. Write entertainment tweets for women, opinion tweets for men.
This tip is actually more dependent on your particular audience. But if you’re unsure what kind of content your followers would be willing to share and you skew a particular gender, use this rule of thumb.
8. Avoid the self-reference
Even though Twitter previously asked its users to share “What’s on your mind,” it turns out that the self-referential tweets are the least retweetable. In fact, this goes for every sensory experience that just involves you. Instead, your tweets should focus on social experiences, focusing more on “we” instead of “me”
9. Time your tweet for Friday 4-5pm EST
Like every good comedian knows, timing is everything. And it’s no different in the world of twitter. Zarrella identified that people are more likely to share another tweet on a Friday and anytime from late afternoon to evening. But the sweet spot is definitely from 4-5pm EST.
10. Ask for it!
They always say the simplest solution is the correct one, but on Twitter this is especially true. Adding “please retweet” to your next tweet makes it 5x more likely to be retweeted! (Just remember to use this tip sparingly since it can become a bit annoying).
So Why Should I Care About Retweets?
It may seem a bit geeky to focus so much attention on just one of Twitter’s features, but in reality, learning to craft better tweets can have a great impact on your bottom line. The more your message is retweeted, the more other followers will notice you. And the more followers you gain, the more traffic you can convert on your website! Even more, learning the rules to go viral on Twitter can help shed light on other ways to make your other content more viral. So with that said, I’d like to craft the perfect tweet given our tips on retweets:
“Please Retweet: Top 10 Ways to Write Retweetable Tweets on Twitter!”
A new study detailing the likelihood of referrals and purchases from Facebook fans and Twitter followers has revealed, perhaps unsurprisingly so, that fans and followers are a brand’s best friends. The study explains that 60% of Facebook fans and a whopping 79% of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend a brand or brands after becoming a fan or follower. Furthermore 51% of Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers are more likely to purchase products or services offered by a brand after becoming a fan or follower.
New meaning to “brand loyalty”
Skeptics of the lasting impact or advantage of a brand maintaining its presence on Facebook or Twitter may insert their feet into their mouths now. The simple act of clicking “become a fan” or “follow” is likely not the sole reason these brand loyalists are recommending or purchasing from a brand. Still, the regular interaction with and updates from their brand of choice remain influential in their decisions to recommend or purchase. In some ways, a person’s news feed is the ultimate location to stage a marketing campaign, as updates are mixed between posts from a user’s friends, subliminally asserting that this brand itself is a friend.
The end of the email era?
If critics still need convincing, they need only look at the frequency with which Facebook users are logging onto the social network. The raw numbers of daily log-ins were detailed in a previous post, but they, nonetheless, indicate that almost half of Facebook’s user-verse (universe reference, anyone?) logs in each day, most times more than once, ensuring that an update or promotion is not left unnoticed. Furthermore, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal announced the “End of the Email Era,” positing Facebook messages had replaced emails, citing a study by Prompt Communications. In the study, 96% of respondents claimed to use Facebook messages as a means of communication, with only 91% of respondents admitting the same for email.
Just like video killed the radio star, Facebook messages have killed the email. Armed with the knowledge that radio remains a viable means of mass communication, we know that death is not quite as final as the Buggles suggested. Nonetheless, as medium replaces medium, the broad encompassing tool of email has been edged out in sheer usage by its cousin, the Facebook message. The question remains over the qualitative differences between these media, as almost certainly deeper conversations and more information can be exchanged via email than Facebook message. That being said, it is becoming increasingly clear, given the frequency with which the social network is utilized by everyday people and the inherent loyalty of fans and followers, that social networks are and will remain a crucial arena for marketing campaigns.
The techies and gadget enthusiasts the world over waited with bated breath for Steve Job’s State of the Union address to shareholders last week. Not because he offered any solutions for the growing deficit, the wars in the Middle East, or health care reform. But unlike President Obama’s competing speech, Jobs delivered a Holy Grail of sorts in the form of the iPad.
Technically speaking, the iPad is an iTouch that has been drawn and stretched 7Xs larger. Resembling more a tablet than a hand-held device, the iPad retains the same web-surfing capabilities and the space to store songs, podcasts, and videos of its ancestors. The expansion of the screen however adds the option of reading texts and e-books loaded onto the device, the very feature that casts Amazon’s Kindle as hell bound, since they’ll soon begin open competition for the same consumers.
So if it is the day of reckoning, who’s headed where?
The introduction of the iPad begs the question of who exactly will Jobs be saving? Long in need of a savior in the Internet age, newspapers and magazines have been quick to predict massive overhaul of their operating procedures and u-turns in their revenue graphs. News corporations dream of potential readers – and in light of several major papers beginning to charge for their service, subscribers – landing on their website after seeing a tweet or post on Twitter or Facebook.
But this gets to the heart of the matter – as the iPad stands in between its smart phone and netbook cousins, it undoubtedly will be only positive for social networking sites. Apple’s newest product couples a larger screen than the iPhone with more portability than laptops. This will make it easier to read on-screen material ranging from e-books to news feeds or tweeted links on Facebook and Twitter. The fact that the iPad is less cumbersome will encourage owners to check-in on these networks more frequently than on their netbooks. The result: people will be spending more time, more often on social networking sites. Beyond pop-up ads and mandatory videos, social media networks promise to be a major player in the future of effective marketing, especially with the advent of the iPad.
At the start of the new decade, many are questioning what lies ahead for social media networking sites. Twitter remains the target of skeptics who point to stagnant membership and mock the micro-blogging mecca. Simultaneously, tweeters and commentators have come to the site’s defense, alleging Twitter is here to stay.
Skeptics point to mediocre 2009 in numbers
While the latest social media network reported a small bump in membership in December, its end of the year numbers were a staggering 24% less than June 2009. Ironically, while Twitter was featured more and more frequently in cable news broadcasts – and stood at the center of the Iran election coverage in June – the network hemorrhaged members. Twitter’s growth problem has thus become a billion dollar question: how can the social network grow? Some analysts are pointing to the immeasurability of new Twitter members, as an increasing proportion of members are tweeting from mobile devices and via apps, which were not captured in the statistics. Others claim Twitter has not yet reached a critical mass, like Facebook already has, encouraging potential members to join to keep track of everyone else they know.
Twitter makes sharing information simple
Yet, Twitter remains extremely popular and has been put to great use recently in light of the earthquake in Haiti, as tweeters are sharing thoughts, needs, websites for charity, and prayers through the social network. New York Times media reporter, David Carr, remains optimistic about the future of Twitter. In his article titled “Why Twitter Will Endure,” Carr argues that Twitter allows for the consumption of a massive array of information. Yes, people tweet about their choice of cereal, but they are also sharing news articles, videos, blogs, and discussion boards where responses are not limited to 140 characters or less. As Steven Johnson, another journalist and technology commentator for TIME, observes, “the history of the Internet suggests that there have been cool Web sites that go in and out of fashion and then there have been open standards that become plumbing. Twitter is looking more and more like plumbing, and plumbing is eternal.”
In case you didn’t know, we’re in tough economic times. These economic conditions have drastically cut budgets across the nation and world, leaving meager allowances for marketing and advertising in its wake.
Nonetheless, expectations for 2010 remain optimistic. In a new study released yesterday, StrongMail reveals nine out of ten business executives plan to maintain or increase their marketing budgets. Execs aren’t thinking conventionally for the new decade either, instead the survey’s respondents indicated they were open to marketing strategies that utilize the Internet and maximize their dollar. Next year, 69 and 59 percent of business executives anticipate increasing their email and social media marketing, respectively. Another 42 percent claimed they expect to spend more on search engine initiatives, such as SEO and PPC. The survey’s results indicate a migration to internet marketing tactics, as advertising and direct mailing initiatives are expected by less than 30 percent of execs.
Furthermore, the study showed a desire among business executives to combine the tested and proven tactics of emailing potential customers with social media. Execs did not, however, demonstrate uniform confidence about how they would go about implementing such strategies in the upcoming year. Instead, one out of five executives claimed they had no idea where to begin. With more businesses seeking to establish an online presence in hopes of finding cheaper alternatives to conventional advertising, it is certain that social media marketing and search engine initiatives will play integral roles in the year 2010.
Twitter, like all other social platforms can be used effectively for marketing a brand but you need to know the basics and follow the rules of the community if you want to succeed. There are some great basic tips for building a following on Twitter and natually like anything esle, the more visibility you have to your profile, the more doors it can open. The foundation of all of this though is that you must start by respecting the community and adding value. Here some tips to help you get started:
- Create a good profile: Treat your profile like you would on any other social platform. The more robust your profile is the more likely people will be to follow you. They need to see value in following you and the first step towards building that trust is through your profile. There are many great tools to use when customizing your page. The more information you have laid out of a creative way, the more enticing it will be for people to follow you. Keep this in mind because in a bit we will talk about driving traffic to your profile page.
- Inegrate your brand or blog into your profile: This is done when customizing your page.
- Start following people: Natually the first thing you need to do is start following people. Find peole that are relevant to your interests and people that have strong followings themselves. Once you gather a good list of people you are following you can send them direct messages and ask them to follow you. Include a small value proposition and tell them why you want them to follow you.
- Follow people that follow you: This falls under the category of Twitter etiquette. The general rule is that you should follow people that follow you. Later you can go through and orgainze your lists for optimial value and impact.
- Offer value: When people start following you they will not want to just see blatant promotions and obvious commercial offeerings. Like any other social network you need to engage in discussions and offer advice, tips, value, and just simply be engaged in what people are Tweeting about.
- Two way attention is important: This is the part that takes some time. You really should try to be conversational with people that you follow and that are following you.
- Drive traffic to your profile page: It doesn’t really matter what you Tweet or how you use Twitter. It is more about who you are. Once you have a nicely customized profile page start sending traffic to it. You can do this through email signatures, blogs, running contests, using Twitter as a customer service tool, etc. There are many creative ways to do this just like you would drive traffic to any web page.
Things to keep in mind:
- You can only follow up to 2000 people until you yourself have 2000 followers. Then you can follow more people.
- There are great tools out there that can help you optimize your efforts, espcially if you are using Twitter as a social media marketing platform.
- Socialtoo.com: this is a tool that is set up to send customized messages to people once they start following you.
- TwitterKarma.com: this tool helps you orgainze your following and people you follow. You can view all the people that you follow but that do not follow you back. If they are not following you and did not respond to any direct messages then you can “mass” unfollow them and open up more room for following new people.
- TweetDeck.com: this tool acts like a master control panel where you can manage your entire Twitter account. Twitter is coming out with their own version soon.
Using Twitter for social media marketing:
All the same principles apply. For example, a social media Internet marketing company would set up a profile for a client and then start driving traffic to that profile through many channels including their own website (the client’s). They would build a following and start offering great value to the community. Gradually the Internet marketing company would include some special offers, or maybe run contests or other creative promotional offerings. The better the follow is the more responses you will get. Like all online marketing efforts the message must be consistent and good landing pages should be used to optimize conversions.