Peer through the cloud of spammers and cat jokes and you'll find a remarkable pulse behind the social web that is changing the world.
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Started a blog some months ago and are yet to receive a comment? That is a bad situation indeed and I can tell from experience that it is very frustrating.
Dave Pinnington's insight:
Started a blog some months ago and are yet to receive a comment? That is a bad situation indeed and I can tell from experience that it is very frustrating. Getting comments on your articles is a sure sign that you are going in the right direction, since it indicates that you have made an impression on your readers. While it is always great to see positive feedback on your work, even criticism is far better than not getting a single remark.
So let’s get to the point – what to do in order to encourage comments? Aside from quality content, which is a must here and in every aspect of blogging, there are some guidelines to follow if you want to get more feedback on your work. Below I will try to explain some effective techniques for doing just that, so be sure to stick with me!Let People Know you Want Comments
Instead of being shy and just waiting for comments to start rolling, why not ask for them? Although it is exactly as simple as it sounds, many bloggers never care to apply that approach. Adding a few lines at the end of your article, asking your readers to share their thoughts, is just enough to get you a boost in the number of comments. It works for me, it should work for you as well. Combining that technique with the one below can do miracles.Engage by Posing a Question
Another similar way for getting more comments is to pose a question in your closing paragraph. That is a method, which has proved its effectiveness over time. After starting to utilize it, I definitely saw a lot more interaction. So be sure to leave one or two thought-provoking questions, of course making sure that they are well related to the topic.
Read more on how to end your blog posts: “The End: 4 Solid Strategies for Concluding Your Next Blog Post”Always Reply to Comments
The feeling of writing a 200 word long comment and not getting a reply is definitely not a pleasant one. Even though getting interaction is among the main goals in blogging, these days a lot of bloggers don’t have the habit of adding a follow-up. Leaving unanswered questions is unprofessional and a sure sign that you don’t really care about your readers. Remember that by responding, you are building relationships as well. Those can prove a turning stone for the success of your blog, therefore I advice you to take five minutes of your time (it is not that time-consuming, is it?) and write a reply. Check out Tristan Higbee’s point of view on why you should reply to comments!Give Something in Return
You might get kinda confused here – you are giving value, what else there is to reward commentators with? A straight-forward answer – backlinks. Everyone is trying to get their hands on those nowadays. By turning your blog into a dofollow one, search engines will count links in the comments section as backlinks, resulting in higher rankings in search results for commentators’ websites.
In order to go dofollow, you need to scan through the blog’s template and remove rel=’nofollow’ code snippets. Check out a tutorial for doing it in Blogspot – “ How to Make Blogger Blog Do-Follow”. Fortunately for WordPress users, a simple plug-in is all that’s needed – Dofollow Plug-in. Turning your blog dofollow is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways for drawing in more commentators. You also get the chance of submitting your blog to dofollow only directories. The one I’m using isFollowlist and it is a good traffic source.
Consider installing the CommentLuv plug-in, which gives commentators another link, pointing to their latest article. This blog is both dofollow and has CommentLuv enabled, so you get maximum benefit from commenting here. Be sure to do so!Make Commenting Easy
Always make sure that leaving comments on your blog can be done by a five-year old. That is the area of your blog where simplicity counts the most. No matter how compelling your content and how good your widgets are, don’t expect seeing any comments if finding the comment box, filling in the required information and posting it takes like half an hour. Blogspot blogs have a lot of problems in that aspect, but luckily there’s a solution. IntenseDebate is a great comment system and installing it is real ease.Give Commentators Higher Exposure
Using widgets can help you improve a lot of aspects on your blog and things aren’t much different when it comes to getting more comments. Top commentators widget for example is a great tool that can be a good motivator for visitors to leave a comment. I will also be implementing it on this blog soon. Adding a widget, showing the latest comments is yet another good idea, getting implemented by more and more blogs.
Applying those techniques is almost sure to get you more comments. They are not time-consuming so I advice you to start working on them right away. If you have more effective techniques, feel free to share them below!
Kathryn and Apryl provide an extremely practical overview of how to go about strategizing and implementing social media marketing for your business covering each of the major platforms and including advice from many experts. It is the perfect companion to Marsha’s book and will allow the reader to painlessly begin planning and “doing” even for those that might know nothing about social media marketing before reading it.
Dave Pinnington's insight:
A nice list of books for you to get through..
There are millions of blogs scattered over the Internet and if you've done your research then you know how many you have to compete with. The one thing that
Dave Pinnington's insight:
There are millions of blogs scattered over the Internet and if you’ve done your research then you know how many you have to compete with. The one thing that most bloggers forget is this: Most of your readers are not bloggers, which means they don’t understand how they work. Set your blog apart from competitors by making sure you understand the four characteristics of a user-friendly blog or website.
Loading time: The average readers doesn’t have the patience to sit there and wait for your site to load. Some even think that if it doesn’t instantly appear there’s a problem. Whether they impatient or ill-informed doesn’t matter. If it takes too long for your blog to load they’re going to go somewhere else.
Easy to navigate: Most of your readers have no clue what an archives is or how to search it. They don’t know that blog content usually rolls to the bottom as new content is added. They don’t know that you have a contact page so they can send you an email. They don’t know the difference between blog post categories and pages.
Assume that every reader who visits your blog has never been on a blog before. Make sure all your navigation links are prominently displayed and working. Explain what they are and what they lead to. “Visit this page to read more about me.” “Subscribe by placing your email address in this form. Your privacy is guaranteed.” “Click on the Training Tips category to see all my recent blog posts about housebreaking your puppy.”
Easy navigation also means getting rid of all the clutter that’s preventing your readers from finding those important navigation links. If those ad banners aren’t generating any income, get rid of them so your readers can see more of your real content.
Your presentation counts: So many bloggers assume that their readers will understand industry jargon, or they already know the basic steps to do something and they’re here to learn the nuances.
Again, you have to blog with the assumption that everyone who visits your blog is a beginner. Don’t just toss those industry terms around, explain what they mean. Don’t start in the middle of a project, start at the very beginning for those readers who need all the information.
If you’re afraid your more advanced readers will get bored and leave, then break up your blog posts and link out to more detailed information for those readers who need it.
Search engine optimization: Writing for your readers is your first priority but you also need to focus on search engine optimization. Most of your readers are going to find your content via an organic search, either through their favorite search engine or by using the search box on your blog.
Make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for by focusing on keywords and staying on-topic. Instead of focusing on several keywords and writing a post that rambles on and on, write several shorter posts and get to the point.
The reality is that creating that content is just part of the work of optimizing your on-line assets and by just publishing you have only started. Making it easy for people to share your content is now vital and essential.
Dave Pinnington's insight:
Creating a website and an on-line presence for your brand was an easy decision a decade ago. All you had to do was get a website company to design and develop your website add a few lines of text for each page and then “set and forget”. The static website was the status quo and content very rarely changed.
Fast forward to today and websites are dynamic and interactive on-line brand portals where you need to actively optimize for search engines so potential customers will find you with key words and phrases.
You need to respond to comments on the corporate blog and engage with your customers on your other web properties such as Facebook and Twitter.
White papers need to be created and published and eBooks are the norm especially in knowledge industries.
Embedded on-line videos are now considered as a standard feature of a website and a corporate branded YouTube channel is becoming essential in your content marketing strategy.
So content needs to be added regularly in a variety of media formats. Brands are becoming publishers.
Content Needs Marketing
The reality is that creating that content is just part of the work of optimizing your on-line assets and by just publishing you have only just started and the real work now has to be done….marketing your content and sharing it should be part of that marketing strategy!
Lee Odden of the Top Rank Blog has created this diagram that reflects the content marketing trilogy that highlights activities and media that should be an essential part of the mix of optimizing your on-line brand.
The three essential keys to marketing your content is optimizing your on-line properties for discovery through search, social and email. Providing a variety of multi-media content that caters to the viewing and reading preferences for your audience and finally make it easy to share.
How to Make Sharing Easy
I don’t know how many times I go to a website or blog and want to share the content but the website design makes it hard to share. There are no “Tweet”, LinkedIn or Facebook “share” buttons to make it a no brainer for me to share it with my followers, fans and connections.
Some recent research reveals the impact and importance of adding a few buttons to your blog.
Brightedge conducted a detailed social share analysis of 4 million randomly sample tweets and discovered that sites that had adopted the “Tweet” button drove almost 7 times more link mentions(sharing) on average than sites that did not have the button.
This one simple feature has the potential to put your content sharing on steroids and accelerate brand discovery.
Top Brands are Ignoring Optimization for Sharing
The research also discovered that nearly half of the top 10,000 websites do not have social sharing plugins.
If this is the case for the top websites and blogs I would suggest that the smaller companies and organisations participation rate on including sharing buttons would be significantly lower.
When I added a “Tweet” button to my blog the increase in content sharing and traffic was significant and instantaneous.
In a lot of cases uploading a social plugin and including a “Tweet” button on your blog is a 5-10 minute exercise especially if you have a WordPress blog.
Twitter loves me, Twitter loves me not.
Getting found and heard on Twitter isn’t as easy as the early days. Back then you could hang out and easily meet people at what was referred to as the largest online cocktail party.
Today you can still mix and mingle with top influencers, but the party is getting bigger and the saturation level is getting murkier. Twopchart’s latest figures, and countdown chart, show Twitter growing at a rate of around 11 accounts per second and reaching 500 million registered users this month.
Why is Twitter winning the social media race as the “go to” platform for breaking news and influencing others whether you are a top tier journalist, celebrity, brand or personality?
Simplicity and Visibility
Twitter’s popularity rose out of its simplicity. It’s notoriously the first platform to break news, share news and indexes faster than Google. In this world of uber connectivity, being simple and being first is key to influence and attracting.
Twitter is also winning in visibility.
“Many of my clients get up to 26 percent of new traffic to websites or blogs from Twitter alone, particularly in the BtoB market,” said SES Twitter expert panelist Tracy Falke, owner of social branding agency.
How can a brand best optimize with the times and stay in the tweet game without losing time and money? Let us count the ways...in fact there are so many way in the form of strategies, best practices, tools, apps and platforms that this will be the first of a series of Search Engine Watch posts dedicated to Twitter optimization.
Keep it Real
Make sure you mix real personality and a real voice to your tweets and avoid being a robotic-like Twitter messenger (a.k.a., spammer). Don't be afraid to mix a couple few human tweets in with your business related tweets. In order to be engaging and interactive like the social media best practices call for, there is an entertainment factor when it comes to Twitter.
“If you’re going to join the conversation on Twitter, one of the most important things to remember is to keep it real,” Falke said. “Talk about your favorite band or throw in a comment about something outside of business like yoga, something that shows you are real.”
Optimizing the Twitter Profile
Optimizing your profile seems like a no-brainer, but it a social media shocker to see how many brands large and small skip some of these important strategies to rise above the competition. If you're still using the default egg as your image, it’s time to invest into some serious social media makeovers or a boot camp.
Examining the Twitter profile from an SEO perspective, Kristi Hines, expert social media blogger of Kikolani, shares this advice for getting the basics right in the social media profile:
SEO Title – Your Name (username) on Twitter: Your name under the Profile Settings and your username are the title tags for your profile. Keywords in your username are worthwhile if still available.
Profile Image – Filename and Your Name as ALT Tag: When it comes to your profile image, be sure to optimize it with a branded image and also by using your name as the filename. Twitter will automatically use your name under the Profile Settings as the ALT tag for your profile image as well.
Keywords in Your Bio: Your Twitter bio information is key and it is important to front load your bio with strategic keywords. Services like Klout pull your Twitter bio information as your Klout profile description. FollowerWonk, Formulists, and other Twitter search engines use keywords in your bio in search results when people are looking for similar tweeps to follow. You can also include a hashtag, link or another Twitter handle if applicable.
Dissecting the semantics of a tweet gives us some blueprint for a best practice, but keep in mind this isn't a one-size-fits-all deal. Keep it real and get in your own groove. This is the order for a best practice:
Headline or phrase
Hashtag - using hashtags that large influencers use will get you noticed by people in those niche circles
The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet. For best practices with hashtags, follow these expert tips:
No more than three hashtags per tweet.
Avoid starting a tweet with a hashtag, this gives a robotic and spammy impression.
Find hashtags by performing a keyword search just like you would Google, use the ones that move fastest and seem to best fit your topic area.
Hashtag caution: Too many hyperlinks (hashtags) will actually devalue the tweet.
“I am not a huge fan of using hashtags to attract clicks, but if done carefully you can get your carefully crafted clickbait in front of people who are monitoring or searching for them. I wouldn't sacrifice the quality of a good tweet headline for hashtags though,” advises SES Twitter panelist Paul Madden.
The act of forwarding another user's tweet to all of your followers; how you retweet is an important part of your Twitter strategy.
If you are using the RT button on Twitter, just hitting the RT is reserved for high level influences.
Cutting and pasting the Tweet into the Tweet box and the semantics of RT = Headline, link, hashtag, RT @______, your comment
Your own comment or headline, your own content, link via @twitterID you are sourcing
How to get indexed by Google: RT a very popular tweet that you want your name to be associated with
Ask for it!
“If you make sure that any Twitter account you are involved with is fully engaged with people in a community or niche then you will attract retweets naturally, if you are perceived as a trusted friend then also don't be afraid to ask via DM for a retweet too,” Madden said.
If you track your Twitter progress using Google Analytics it lets you see important CEO metrics such as referring traffic to a website or blog. Bitly can also be used on a single account and multiple client accounts and has a Chrome extension that lets you shorten, share, and track links with your bitly account, right from your browser!
Favorites, represented by a small star icon next to a tweet, are most commonly used when users like a tweet and wish to save it for later. For example, when someone tweets something nice about you, your brand, service, etc., mark it as a favorite so it is always saved to in your Twitter history. Otherwise it gets pushed into Twitter's vast, annoying to search archives and eventually becomes virtually impossible to trace.
An interesting article by Pam Moore...
Do you spend your day begging for retweets? Are you “that guy” or “that girl” that everyone avoids on Twitter and Facebook?
I never thought I would be one to write a post on this topic. However, I am being asked numerous times a day by people I don’t know to share their content. I also often get asked why I don’t retweet tweets or share blog posts if I so choose not to.
So, I figured it was a good time to provide a quick summary of my philosophy of retweeting and sharing content.
The purpose of this post is not to explain or provide details of how I tweet in general. For details on such, please check out the following two posts as well as our upcoming “Twitter in a Nutshell” course as reference if interested.
How I Tweet in a Nut Shell – 55 Behaviors of a Twitter Nut 55 Tips to Get Retweeted on TwitterTwitter in a Nut Shell Training Program
Key criteria for selecting the content I share.
RelevantOffers benefit to audienceUnique perspectiveNot already written or said by a million others in the same way.TimelyAccurateFrom a trusted sourceData sources are backed up and cited.
10 Reasons Why I Don’t Retweet You & Your Content
1. I don’t know you.
2. Your blog stinks.
Your share buttons don’t work.Your Twitter share button doesn’t include the title.Your Twitter share button doesn’t include your Twitter handle by default. Unless I REALLY like your content, the chances of me looking up your Twitter handle are slim.Blog is hard to readFonts are too light or too small or both.Too many ads and pop-ups.There are links to websites that pop-up virus warnings. I have literally had people ask me to retweet content where this happens.If I do click thru to your blog, it does nothing for me.
3. Your Content Stinks. Attributes of stinky content:
It’s all about you.Offers little value for my audience.Your content is is a rant with no purpose but to start an argument.You don’t speak from authority.Source of your data isn’t documented.Too much sellling, not enough content.It’s already been done…a million times.It's overdone.Your grammar stinks.It’s simply poorly written.It offers no unique perspective.You’re overselling via your blog titles. You’re selling your post as “the latest top 5, amazing super fabulous, never been heard before social media tips.” Yet there are numerous blog posts on each one of them on all of our blogs all dating back to two or three years ago.
4. It’s me, not You!
Been there, done that! Your content is something I already shared in depth in past days, weeks or months. My community is updated on this and could honestly be tired of hearing about such a topic. Yours offers nothing new or interesting so there is no reason to share.Your content and style simply doesn’t gel with me and my audience.Your content is over political in nature.Your content is about a very negative event or topic which I simply choose not to share.Your content goes against my core values or beliefs.Your content is simply off topic for me and my audience. Don’t get me wrong here. I share some funky content and definitely like to shake the pot when it comes to unique and exciting content.I’m on a different roll. It could be I have set aside a block of time to engage and “be social” with my online friends. Sharing posts or content may not be on the agenda at the moment you send me the request begging for a retweet, sorry.I like your content, however I need to add my 2 cents to it because I don’t really agree with it. My followers already know I don’t agree with it and they will question why I tweeted it. I often share these kinds of posts but only if I have time to edit the tweet title and usually leave a comment. If there is no room on the tweet to add a few words then the chances of these posts getting tweeted on a busy day are close to zero.
5. The only time you talk to me is when you want me to share your content.
6. You make it hard to share your tweet!
Too many characters.Poor title.Too many hashtags.URL has issues.
7. You are still using the default Twitter egg avatar.
8. You are boring.
9. You tweet the same stuff every day.
10. You are too stuck on your influence score and only talk to people who have a high influence score.
Don’t Just “Do Social” or “Be Social” be Socially Relevant!
If you are having to beg for retweets and are spending half of your day worrying about how you are going to get people to retweet your content you are focused on the wrong objective. Instead, focus on getting in the head of your audience and figuring out how you can offer them the most relevant value possible. If you focus on good content the retweets will come. The shares and readership will come. Your business will eventually succeed if you are truly solving your customers problems. Trust me, it works!
What You Say?
How do you decide what to share and not share? Do you have a content plan for your audience? Are you guilty of begging for tweets and retweets?
While digital marketing solutions and social media projects became the center of attention in pharmaceutical communication recently, it is also important to notice the growing popularity of everything mobile. Below is a list of reasons why pharma companies should invest considerable time and energy into developing effective, creative health-related mobile applications. Click on the link for more information
Enterprise gamification designers/marketers face a very unique set of challenges. We must advocate for the concept and win budget. We must launch and deploy the technology successfully, usually within extremely condensed timelines. This article is a good starting point if you're looking at introducing gamification to your brand.
We live in an era where there are apps for anything and everything. This is due to the fact that an increasing number of users utilize their mobiles to perform their daily tasks such as shopping, paying bills etc. They are always on the lookout for apps which can help them in their routine. Thus, if you are thinking of promoting your brand, developing mobile apps is the best option for you.However, there are certain points which you must consider before you develop an app. Some of them are listed below in the form of do’s and don’ts of developing a mobile app for your brand.
1. Don’t simply market, make it useful too
Don’t turn your mobile app into an out and out marketing campaign. If marketing your brand is your sole objective, then a mobile app is not the right medium. This is due to the fact that users don’t fuss over brand names when they download or use an app. What they look for instead, are the functionalities in the application. They want their apps to be interactive and useful. Thus, you must provide maximum utility in your mobile apps
2. Don’t mix app with websites
You may have a great website which is doing great business online. But it is not a wise decision to put all the features of your websites in the mobile apps; what works or worked for website, will not work for mobile apps.
All users want their apps to be simple and easy to use. Any given day, they will prefer an app that has a simple interface and easy navigation over a complex app with too many elements stuffed into it. Therefore, target some very specific features in your app and do away with unnecessary elements to give them an easy to use app.
3. Do focus on the end-user
Understand your end- users and try to know what appeals to them. This will make your app popular among them. For this purpose, you may conduct an in-depth research and know what kind of tasks the users want their apps to perform or what problems they encounter in similar kind of apps. After this, concentrate on developing user-centric apps which will reap maximum benefits in the long run.
4. Do take care of the mobile platform
Do remember the fact that a mobile setting is completely different than that of desktop or laptop. Mobile devices have slower processors, limited screen space, touch screen or tiny keypads etc. Thus, don’t make an app that uses up huge memory space. Avoid cluttering the interface with unnecessary elements and focus on a few but effective features.
5. Don’t foray into the game zone just like that
It is risky to develop a game app without knowing its pros and cons. A game is a game, nothing more. People play games for fun and forget about everything else. What is the guarantee that they will notice your brand? Not only that, but there also a tough competition from companies, who are exclusively into mobile game app development.
6. Do aim to be the best
There is no place for mediocrity if you want your app to outshine a million other apps present in the market. If you want your app to be the best, make sure that your app development process and planning is flawless. Be creative and develop unique apps that will do the talking for you irrespective of the category of apps you are aiming at.
Follow these essential do’s and don’ts to develop the perfect mobile apps for your brand and rake in maximum profits for your business.
As well as taking a look at the two news sites' responses to the EU directive, I've been asking Malcolm Coles, Product Director, digital at Trinity Mirror Group, about the Mirror's approach.
How the Mirror and FT are informing customers about cookies
Rather than asking customers to opt-in, it assumes consent for setting cookies if users close the window, unless they have already disabled them.
Mirror Online has a smaller pop-up which appears towards the bottom right of the page:
The pop up informs visitors about cookies, and tells users that, by continuing to use the website having seen the messge, this means they're OK with cookies.
This goes along with the ICO's own advice in its guidance document:
...you could set a cookie and infer consent from the fact that the user has seen a clear notice and actively indicated that they are comfortable with cookies by clicking through and using the site. This is an option that relies on the user being aware that the consequence of using the site is the setting of cookies.
Both sites link to further detailed information on the kinds of information which is stored and used, and what it is used for. Here's the FT's version:
Both tell users how they can disable cookies using their browser settings, rather than taking the BT approach and allowing users to opt-in and out of certain types of cookies using a slider tool.
I asked Malcolm Coles from Trinity Mirror about the thinking behind the Mirror's approach:
Why did the Mirror decide on this particular cookie solution?
The problem is that, even now, it's not clear what compliance with the law looks like - the main test is clearly going to be what enforcement action the ICO takes.
So we've looked for a solution that gives clear information and control to the consumer, but without ruining the experience of using our websites. Remember that Trinity Mirror has hundreds of different sites with different combinations of cookies.
I'm comfortable that we've achieved a balance that's legal - and that we're among the frontrunners in the industries we work in in terms of putting consumers in control.
Do you think the solution, including the further info on cookies used, conforms with the spirit of the directive?
Do you expect many users to look into the cookie info provided?
No, not really. In the course of deciding what to do, I've uncovered a lot of information about what cookies are used on my own computer.
A lot of it has surprised me, but none of it has motivated me to turn off a single cookie. Other people will think differently so it's important they can act accordingly, and we give them a way to do that via our extensive list of links to controls on cookies.
But I think it's a poor law. There's no education about it (so it's irrelevant to consumers) and it imposes a significant burden on businesses without any sort of clarity abut practical implementation.
Since the ICO has said it will adopt a light approach to enforcement, do you see any reason to strictly comply (meaning interruptive pop-ups and the ability to reject cookies on site)?
I don’t think the law requires interruptive pop ups, it requires informed consent, and that's not the same as an interruption. But we want our sites to be legal.
To ensure we are, we list many ways users can directly control cookies, even if not directly on our site. I think you'll find we go a lot further than many sites, such as the government sites that have decided not to implement the law in time.
What is the business risk if users reject cookies on the Mirror site?
Users will get less relevant ads if they reject cookies and we can't track how people use our sites. Ultimately websites will get less relevant.
I imagine if lots of people reject cookies aimed at improving the quality of sites, you'll start getting popups saying "this website is crap unless you accept cookies. Click here to proceed". I think we're a long way off worrying about that though!
Do you blog?
Looking for exciting new tools to simplify the blogging experience? If so, keep reading.
We decided to get the scoop on today’s hottest blogging tools.
We asked 22 pros to share their favorite new finds. Here they are…#1: InboxQ
Mitt Ray @MittRay
A great blogging tool I discovered a few months ago is InboxQ. I like it because it helps me come up with better blog topics. This tool helps you find questions people are asking on Twitter.
InboxQ lets you create campaigns with different keywords. Usually the best thing to do is to create campaigns with keywords from topics you specialize in. So when someone asks a question with those keywords, you will be updated about it and you can answer the question.
You can work on these questions and come up with better blog topics in your area of specialty. For example, I have two campaigns: one on white papers with keywords likewhite paper, whitepaper, etc., and the other on social media with keywords like social media, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.
When people type in questions with these keywords, I get an update. If I find them interesting and I think my audience will like them too, I write blog posts based on those questions.
Use InboxQ to find the questions people are asking on Twitter.
Mitt Ray, founder of Social Marketing Writing, author.#2: Content Idea Generator
Rich Brooks @TheRichBrooks
The Content Idea Generator (v2) is a Google Doc that willautomatically find news and related stories for your blog from a variety of sources… everything from Google News to Reddit, from tweets to public Facebook updates and more.
While this tool works just as well for podcasts, email newsletters and YouTube videos, I’ve been using it for generating new ideas for blog content.
You can get started here.
Use the Content Idea Generator to get ideas for your blog posts.
Rich Brooks, president of Flyte New Media.#3: Diigo
Michael Stelzner @Mike_Stelzner
For the blogger who is seeking a cool way to keep track of interesting articles for later blog posts, check out Diigo.
This cool tool allows you to highlight and store interesting content for quick retrieval down the road. You can even embed notes to your saved content. It supports mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad and Android.
Michael Stelzner, founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner.#4: Disqus
Leo Widrich @LeoWid
The most powerful blogging tool I have discovered recently isDisqus 2012. It is the new version of Disqus and I am absolutely blown away.
It helps me to really create an awesome community around our blog. You can up-vote and down-vote comments, see recurring commenters and have much better threading than in the old version.
Plus, everything is in real time and it feels as if the post and comments are much better connected with each other. One last point I love is that you can show related articles at the bottom of the post and see top commenters at a glance.
Use the latest version of Disqus to grow your community.
Leo Widrich, co-founder of BufferApp.com.#5: Flickr
Heidi Cohen @HeidiCohen
Photographs are eye-candy that helps attract attention and lures readers into your content to find out more. While incorporating your own photographs into your blog posts is optimal, you don’t always have an appropriate image available.
Flickr, the granddaddy of photo-sharing sites is highly effective for this purpose.
Unlike other options such as Google Images, Flickr’s advanced search enables bloggers to find images with creative commons that allow commercial use. It’s recommended that you check the rights before selecting an image, and some can be altered and some can’t.
Also, always respect other people’s intellectual property by including a photo credit with a link to their Flickr page or whatever they’ve requested.
Use Flickr to find the right photo to attract attention in blog posts.
Flickr’s Advanced Search closeup of creative commons. Here’s what you need to check off!
Heidi Cohen, actionable marketing expert, president of Riverside Marketing Strategies.#6: Focus Booster
Jason Miller @JasonMillerCA
Focus Booster is a tool that many bloggers use to increase writing productivity.
I’m the first to admit that I have an incredibly short attention span. My creativity thrives in short spurts of activity with frequent breaks. With Focus Booster I can concentrate on writing and turning ideas into blogs.
The app is based on the Pomodoro technique, which recommends you break up your work time into 25-minute chunks separated by 5-minute breaks to improve mental agility.
The essential aim of the technique and this app is to reduce the impact of internal and external interruptions on focus and flow. The immediate benefit is to block out common distractions to productivity, such as constantly checking your email and social accounts.
Although the Pomodoro technique recommends 25-minute intervals, you may need to experiment to discover your optimal session length.
Use Focus Booster to improve your blogging productivity.
Jason Miller, social media manager at Marketo, regular contributor to the Modern B2B Marketing Blog.#7: Google+ Circles
Mike Delgado @MikeDelgado
I use Google+ circles to brainstorm and store blog post ideas.
I have a circle called “Blog Ideas” that I use to store articles, media or blurbs for future blog posts. Nobody is in that circle, so I’m not bothering anyone with my random thoughts.
It’s just a way for me to easily store ideas and quickly find them later since all the content is indexed.
Create a Google+ circle to store blog post ideas.
Mike Delgado, author of circled.us, social media community manager at Experian.#8: IFTTT
Paul Colligan @Colligan
On occasion, we post something on Twitter that I’d like replicated on my blog. Sure, one can post wherever he or she wants, but this is the Internet and automation is almost always awesome.
IFTTT is a (free) web service that lets you connect “Channels” (their terminology) together so that if something specific happens, IFTTT can produce another desired result on another connected Channel. As a result, I can tweet and blog at the same time if I want to.
In the video below, I demonstrate how IFTTT is set up so that if I tweet something with the hashtag “#CT” (an abbreviation for the term “content timeline”), IFTTT will automatically publish that tweet to my blog. This requires no special software, so I can effectively “blog via Twitter” using any Twitter client (including Siri).
It should be noted that you have to give IFTTT access to any Channel you want it to interact with and the security implications should be examined accordingly.
Paul Colligan, expert in content creation and podcasting.#9: Alltop
Jim Belosic @shortstackjim
Alltop collects headlines of the latest stories from the best sites and blogs.
We write about Facebook and this is a frequently evolving platform. Although big changes—like the recent implementation of the Timeline design—are easy to catch, it’s news of small feature upgrades and updated restrictions that can fly under the radar.
Using Alltop means we don’t have to jump from one social media news site to the next. This aggregated news site provides insight and inspiration on the topics we like to address on our blog. And ultimately, it keeps us and our readers in-the-know and current with important Facebook trends and practices.
Use Alltop to stay up-to-date on the news that matters most to your business.
Jim Belosic, CEO and co-founder of ShortStack.#10: Digg Digg
Brian Honigman @BrianHonigman
My favorite blogging tool has to be Digg Digg. It’s a wonderful combination of robust sharing with simple implementation almost any blog owner can figure out how to install.
The plugin allows you to add the social sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn and more, in any combination.
Now there’s no need to download a plugin for every social network’s sharing buttons, when you can download one plugin that has everything needed to make your blog content as shareable as possible.
My favorite feature of the tool is that it can be displayed however you want: horizontally, vertically, static or even move alongside the page with your readers. This gives your audience the option to share your content on their favorite social networks.
Did I mention it’s also free? It’s the best way to get your content seen by the masses with the least amount of overhead.
Use Digg Digg to share your content.
Brian Honigman, digital marketing manager at Marc Ecko Enterprises.#11: Instagram
Chris Garrett @ChrisGarrett
Use Instagram pictures to draw readers into your blog posts.
I have been using Instagram a lot in combination with Flickr to provide images for my articles. Most people know that having an eye-catching picture helps draw people into your article, but it is difficult to have your pictures stand out and provide the appropriate impact.
Using Instagram on my phone allows me to quickly and easily take a nice-looking photograph, which I then upload to my Flickr library. This integration with Flickr and Facebook makes it easy to grab a photograph, with the added advantage that Instagram creates images with a square shape that works nicely in a blog post, and a small download size, perfect for use on the web.
A lot of people laugh at the more extreme use of the Instagram filters, but used lightly they can add even more pop to your pictures that really lift them from the norm.
Use Instagram pictures to add visual 'pop' to your blog posts.
Chris Garrett, founder of Authority Blogger, VP of educational content at Copyblogger Media.#12: Markup.io
Don Power @DonPower
As the editor of a multi-author blog, I have to provide a lot of feedback to my writers. The browser extension Markup.io allows me to make a complete, static copy of an article before I make any edits to it. I then send a URL to my writers where they can see that unedited copy, and compare it to the edited version I save in WordPress.
It’s a great way for writers to see before-and-after versions of their articles so that they know exactly what I’ve changed. You can also include additional markup like highlights, arrows and text boxes for even more detailed feedback to your writers.
Use Markup.io to track edits to your articles.
Don Power, managing editor of Sprout Social Insights, professional speaker, social media consultant.#13: MarsEdit
Stephanie Sammons @StephSammons
MarsEdit is a tool that is available as an application in the Mac app store. I learned about this tool in Michael Hyatt’s book Platform, which by the way is a must-read for any blogger out there.
MarsEdit is a desktop blog editor that you actually purchase and install on your Mac (the app costs $39.99). MarsEdit allows you towrite your blog posts without touching your browser. This prevents you from being tempted to jump into email, Twitter or browsing the web. There are no distractions! You can simply FOCUS on completing a post.
Have you ever lost your post edits online when working inside of your blog dashboard? It has happened to me too many times to count and it won’t happen again with MarsEdit. Additionally I don’t have to deal with a clunky interface.
MarsEdit works with WordPress, Tumblr and more!
Use MarsEdit to focus on writing your blog post.
Stephanie Sammons, founder and CEO of Wired Advisor.#14: OmmWriter
Jeff Korhan @JeffKorhan
OmmWriter is a text editor that combines a simple, yet artful, interface of attractive backgrounds and captivating audio with intentionally limited features that together encourage one thing—writing well.
There is a magnetic quality about OmmWriter that makes it easy tosustain the writing process until you find the shape of your article. After that, editing and inserting tags and media are a snap.
OmmWriter is a free application that is now available as an iPad app or in an upgraded version for a small fee.
OmmWriter is a powerful tool that I find invaluable for staying fully engaged within the writing process.
Jeff Korhan, professional speaker, consultant, columnist on new media and small business marketing.#15: Optin Skin
Andrea Vahl @AndreaVahl
Optin Skin is a plugin that allows you to add an opt-in to your email list or a special offer to the bottom of every blog post. You can really customize it to have your own personal look and feel and they have a lot of premade templates. It only took me a few minutes to get this up and running.
When people get to the bottom of my article they get a little reminder to sign up for my free report and get blog updates via email.
Use Optin Skin to create an opt-in box like this at the end of your blog posts.
Many studies have shown that people ignore the sidebar, so when you are putting your opt-in right in line with your blog post, you can get people on your email listwho may have missed the sidebar opt-in.
The other thing I like about the Optin Skin plugin is that you get stats on which posts are encouraging people to sign up, how many signups a day you get from the plugin and you can get even fancier and split-test your messages. Good stuff!
Optin Skin gives you stats to track the people opting in.
Andrea Vahl, community manager for Social Media Examiner, social media coach, speaker and strategist.#16: Photo Pin
Debbie Hemley @dhemley
Photo Pin’s photos are free and come from creative commons. The tool makes it very simple to search creative commons photos, shows you a preview of the photo and then provides you with the option to download the image in multiple sizes.
One of the greatest features is that Photo Pin gives you the attribution link (in HTML) so that you can add it to the HTML editor of your blogging software.
For example, I recently used this photo of a woman at a computer.
Use Photo Pin to find pictures to use with a creative commons license like this one.
After downloading the image, I copied and pasted the following attribution code onto the HTML editor of my WordPress blog:
When the page is previewed, you can see what the formatting and links will look like:
Debbie Hemley, social media consultant, blogger.#17: Podcasting
Marcus Sheridan @TheSalesLion
I recently discovered the power of podcasting to use in conjunction with my blog.
The beauty of podcasting is that it allows bloggers to form deeper relationships with many of their regular readers, as the process of listening to a podcast is very different than that of reading a blog article.
For example, I recently had a listener tell me, “Hey Marcus, I wanted to thank you for keeping me company on my way to work the other day, it made the drive go by so much faster.”
Now obviously I was not physically “with” this person on his way to work, but rather with him in the sense that he was listening to my voice from a podcast episode.
Hearing statements like this since starting the podcast has helped me realize that it’s an incredibly intimate tool to use in conjunction with regular textual blogging, and many of your readers will naturally want to “listen” to you if they already enjoy “reading” you.
Marcus Sheridan, thought leader, social media speaker.#18: PopSurvey
Tim Gray @tngray99
One of the most important aspects of successful blogging is engaging your audience and understanding their interests.
While creating original, relevant content is a great way to start, most business owners need help to figure out what their potential audience is talking about.
PopSurvey is a great tool that helps develop these insights while engendering a greater level of engagement for any blog. PopSurvey enables you to easily create and embed surveys into your blog to help you better understand your audience and customers. The tool also provides custom reports to evaluate your audience’s responses.
A free version allows you to conduct two surveys per month and collect up to 100 responses. The premium, unlimited version is $24 per month.
PopSurvey enables you to easily create and embed surveys into your blog.
Tim Gray, social media strategist with Blue Mountain Media.#19: Storify
Ben Pickering @bpicks
Storify is a great way to curate articles and opinions on any given topic or capture reactions to an event in real time.
Storify can help illustrate a point with third-party content and comments or help bring to life an event by pulling in activity from the news stream or Twitterverse.
We used Storify on our blog at Strutta to share news and tweets during a conference.
Use Storify to curate real-time news like this example at a recent conference.
Ben Pickering, CEO of Strutta.#20: Trello
AJ Kumar @ajkumar
Trello is a free project management alternative to Basecamp.
It’s intuitive to use, and it’s great for breaking down overarching client accounts and projects into smaller, actionable tasks.
It’s also a good option for bloggers working with remote employees, as the delegation features the program offers are simply outstanding.
Use Trello to manage your blogging tasks.
AJ Kumar, co-founder of Single Grain.#21: WordPress
Eugen Oprea @EugenOprea
When I think of my favorite blogging tool, one word comes to my mind: WordPress. I consider WordPress the best investment a business can make to help promote its products and services.
WordPress is the best content foundation for your online marketing efforts.
It integrates well with all of the other tools you’ll need to promote your business.
Use WordPress as your blogging platform.
Eugen Oprea, online entrepreneur, blogger.
Louise Julig @ThoughtsHappen
My favorite blogging tool is the full-screen editing mode in WordPress.
It clears the screen so I can concentrate on just the creative part of writing without thinking about the formatting, categories, tags, etc. It’s like a clean slate for my ideas.
Louise Julig, Social Media Examiner’s case study writer, freelance writer.#22: WordPress App for iPad
Sara Hawkins @saving4someday
WordPress app for iPad (and iPhone) allows me to use my time waiting in a productive way.
Even if it’s just getting down titles or adding to a post I have in draft, the WordPress app makes blogging on the go very easy.
It makes consistent blogging easier.
Use the WordPress app for iPad to use your time on the go.
Sara Hawkins, lawyer, blogger.
Dave Pinnington's insight:
A lovely article on writing tips.
Blogging is all about sharing your thoughts on the subjects you are passionate about. Telling a story however is much easier than having to write one. You might be the best story teller out there, you might be able to get people listening to what you have to say, but that doesn’t make you a good writer. You really need a ton of different ingredients in order to form an article that receives a lot of positive feedback and one that makes people want to share it.
In today’s article I decided to share nine of the writing tips that are helping me create articles that people pay attention to. Read below to see which they are:
Let’s assume it’s a cold Sunday morning, you have just finished the cup of coffee and all in all it promises to be quite a boring day. You are not in your top writing mood, but since there’s nothing to do, you decide to write an article for your blog. Or let’s try a slightly different scenario – writer’s block has struck upon you, you haven’t posted since like three weeks and you desperately want fresh content. Hence you finally decide to publish something no matter what, just to “fill in that gap”.
I will have to disappoint some of you by saying “No, it isn’t”. I have actually done it some months ago with an article I published. It doesn’t matter which one it was, but the fact is that the article was and it still is one of the worst performing here on my blog. The traffic figures that post brought were slim to say the least.
The morale of the story is if you don’t actually have a good point to make, don’t jump into writing even if you haven’t done so in a while. One bad article won’t be the end of your blog (as I explained in that post), but there’s no need to publish one on purpose, is it? On the other hand most of your readers won’t even notice if you don’t publish an article.Talent and It’s Role in Writing
Something that’s often being discussed is lack of talent for writing. In most cases the ones talking about talent are folks, willing to start a blog but afraid that their writing sucks. Quite frankly, I’m not a believer of the “talent theory”. Definitely not saying there isn’t such thing as talent. It does exist but the role it plays is rather insignificant. People are putting far more weight on talent as a decisive factor for being successful at something.
You don’t just happen to write a few lines one day to discover that your writing stands out. That’s just not how things work in real life. Being good at all of the structuring and grammar rules and being able to forge compelling content requires…Practice - It’s All about it!
A good practice is one that is performed day in and day out. In order to improve your skills, you need to turn that practice into a habit. It doesn’t matter how much time you will spend as long as you are writing something every day.
More on the writing everyday topic:
Practicing is most definitely a must if you want to improve your writing skills. Being able to come up with quality work though requires one more thing. Reading that is. The two always go together.
You can’t just write on a topic without having read a ton of information on that very same topic first. Of course reading is not all about knowing the latest trends in your field. You should not confine yourself to stuff, closely related to your niche. Read literature, read poetry. The more you read, the easier it will be to keep yourself motivated and inspired to write.Don’t Consider Length a Decisive Factor
When it comes to writing tips, length is a frequently discussed topic. Some believe it to be an important factor while for others it simply doesn’t matter. I’m definitely more inclined to agree with the latter group of people.
So my advice is to cut as much of the fluff as you can and write only what is important i.e. what the reader will actually find useful. I have always believed that presenting the information in an easy-to-understand and straight-to-the-point way is what matters. Of course there is no problem in going beyond 1000 words as long as you have a good reason for doing so. Check out my post on article length for more information!Learn and Apply New Words
It is not a secret that a good percentage of bloggers, freelance writers, etc. are not English native speakers. That most certainly makes things a bit difficult. I know that from experience, since my mother tongue is very different from the English language.
Anyway the point is that no matter what your native language is, having a diverse English vocabulary is a must. The first thing you need is what I talked about in an above paragraph, which is reading. Reading alone is not all there is though. Whenever you happen to come across a word you haven’t heard of before, don’t just skip it. Instead use a thesaurus to look up for synonyms and find the word’s meaning. The most important thing from that point on is to actually start using the new-learned word. That is pretty much how improving your vocabulary works.Don’t Rush Into Editing
The transition from writing to editing the finished post also plays a role. You must always leave the article for a couple of hours before moving on to editing. Judging from the dozens of errors I’m coming across, many newbie bloggers seem to neglect that one. The reason behind that tactic is simple. When you leave the article and come back to read it, you start looking more from reader’s perspective. That way spotting errors is far easier. For more information see editing tips!Reading out Loud Helps
So now you pretty much have the finished article in your hands. The only thing left before clicking “Publish” is to start working on the third stage. Editing that is. One of the best ways for doing an effective editing work on your soon-to-be great post is by reading it out loud. That is a technique I actually began applying just some weeks ago and one that proved very effective.
Often when editing, finding poorly structured sentences, unsuitable words or just ideas that don’t sound like they should be there, is a daunting task. However if you start reading and rereading in a loud voice, finding all of the small and not so small errors becomes almost a piece of cake. When you hear something that doesn’t sound right, you instantly realize it, while that’s not always the case with just reading it. In the end you get the job done faster while being almost (you can never be 100% certain, especially when it comes to editing) certain you haven’t left any errors unfixed.Be Willing to Accept Criticism
Criticism – I bet most of you hate being criticized. No one likes to hear someone, telling him how wrong he is. As a matter of fact however, criticism can significantly help you improve your writing. After all the ones criticizing you are often the folks that have given the most in-depth read to your article. Although you’d surely like to reply back to them with a bit of hatred, more often than not what critics say are well grounded words. It is in your best interest to just listen and learn your lesson. See dealing with criticism!
In my Marketing Predictions post from last year, I did not break any new ground when I predicted that 2012 would be all about social, content and mobile.
Dave Pinnington's insight:
A great article from Forbes looking making brands look differently at how it should use content.
In my Marketing Predictions post from last year, I did not break any new ground when I predicted that 2012 would be all about social, content and mobile.
I predicted that we would see increased buzz talking about how to become a social business, how to execute content strategy and how to create a more mobile-optimized digital experience for our customers.
I’m pretty happy to see that I wasn’t too far off. I believe that our progress has been too slow but I think I got the topics right.
Where did I fall short? I predicted more CMOs would move to change the marketing mindset from one of promoting products to one of creating valuable customer-focused content. Outside of the very few consumer marketing examples like the CocaCola Journey, I’m not sure I got that one right.
So read on to hear what I think is in store for marketing in 2013…Marketing Predictions: Content Marketing Matures
Content marketing has become a huge buzzword in marketing lately as people have mastered the mechanics of social media channels but are finding that they aren’t seeing any results. Why? Because you cannot SPAM people on Twitter or Facebook and generate leads or new customers.
Marketers are beginning to understand that the road to success in the social business world is paved with valuable content that customers want.The “Marketing Equals Promotion” Paradigm Has To Break
As the brave content marketing souls seek to build new content supply chains and content curation models, this is causing one very large problem for the marketing organization: our leaders are asking us to sell, sell, sell.
The concept that marketing and product promotion are synonymous is being challenged by the results of overly-promotional social media content and traditional push marketing efforts.
Email, telemarketing, really any over-promotion on digital channels is causing a backlash as people ignore ads, opt out of emails and watch you throw your marketing dollars out the door.Taking The Brand Out Of The Story
Content Marketing and Social Business strategy is forcing marketers to come to the realization that we need to take our product and our brand out of the story.
We have to provide value. We have to be interesting, human and trustworthy. We have to answer customer questions without the backhanded used-car salesmen pitch at the end. Customers are looking for what’s in it for them and they are highly skeptical of brands looking out only for themselves.Branded Content Hubs Publishing Unbranded Content
Because of these trends, leading marketers are creating an environment that allows their customers, employees and partner ecosystems to tell stories. They are not creating branded content they are enabling content that is unbranded or personally branded such as thought leadership, personal stories, or points of view on the topics people are interested in vs. the products companies want to sell.
In 2013, many more brands will seek to become publishers. The smart ones will create branded hubs of content centered around customer content. The rest will see the trend and create content factories of promotional branded content that simply prolongs the slow agonizing death of the static, traditional, corporate website.Personal Branding and Social Business Thought Leaders
I think we will continue to see the rise of the personal brand, brand evangelists and thought leaders as formal roles within companies.
I also hope that content marketing and social business initiatives reach well outside of marketing and across the social business.
This may have some downsides: I think this will see us continue to create more content and put the pressure on us content marketers to start to focus more on quality.New Roles Emerge: Content Strategist, Data Scientist, Social Business Manager
My biggest prediction for 2013 in marketing is that organizations will begin to address the gap between the way our customers seek information during the buying process and the gaps in the information we marketers provide.
This will create a greater need for new roles to be created in many more companies. Roles such as Content Strategist, Chief Content Officer, Data Scientists (in marketing) and Social Business Managers (Marketers spreading into other departments like sales and customer support).
These roles will help companies to bridge the gaps and address the changing buyer journey.
I have something to share with you, something that will take your Twitter bio to a whole new level! This is something many aren’t doing and it’s not being shared openly. I call it: Twitter bio optimization.
In my previous post about Twitter SEO Tips I mentioned that your Twitter bio is a space for your keywords, acting the same way as your meta tags do on your website. This doesn’t necessarily help you rank higher in search engines, however it will definitely add value to your Twitter bio.
Get Ready To Optimize Your Twitter Bio
Before we start, I want to show you how my Twitter bio previously looked like before I optimized my profile:
As you can see, my Twitter bio was pretty much standard; it described me in a nutshell as well as having some keywords.
I decided to go down the route of optimizing my Twitter bio; to really take advantage of what Twitter has provided. So I began my Twitter experimentation and my results were as followed:
Adding Hashtags to Your Twitter Bio
You can add hashtags to your Twitter bio just like you would do in your tweets. Not many are aware of this but this is good if you want to associate yourself with popular hashtags/trends.
When you click on the hashtags in your Twitter bio, you will be taken to the Twitter search like you would do with hashtags that are in your tweets. One thing to bear in mind is that your newly optimized ‘hashtagged’ Twitter bio will not help your profile appear in the Twitter search, like your tweets do.
Adding URLs in Your Twitter Bio
Yes you can! Do you know what this means? It means you can have more than one URL on your Twitter profile by utilizing the space of your Twitter bio. Not many are aware of this. So you can promote your other websites or social profiles, such as your Facebook and Linkedin profiles. All you have to do is add your URL without any HTML and Twitter will automatically turn the text into an active link.
Adding @mentions in Your Twitter Bio
Yes, this is something you can also do. This is perfect when you want to promote another Twitter account that you have or are associated with. You can also building your own little ‘link exchange circle’ with other Twitter users, just like some websites do with each other. Remember that you only have room for 160 characters.
Note: You can’t use HTML in your bio as Twitter will remove any HTML tags you attempt to insert.
Don’t Spam Your Twitter Bio, it’s Ugly!
Remember folks, don’t over do it and get too excited! Do everything in moderation. If you try and hashtag every single keyword in your bio, or put loads of weblinks, one after another, then it will look too spammy. No one likes a spam-looking Twitter profile. In fact, some people will find it difficult to read.
The whole point of the Twitter bio is to tell the world what you’re about.
Remember: you only have space for 160 characters so it is vital to only put what you really need.
Alternating Your Twitter Bio On A Regular Basis
If you want to take your Twitter bio space to a whole new level, then perhaps you can try and change your bio on a daily or weekly basis. For instance every Friday you can have #FollowFriday, (or #FF) in your Twitter bio where you put your top tweeps of the week.
Another way of utilizing the space is to make deals with partners to promote their sites or Twitter profiles for a day/week/month etc and have them promoting you, or even charge people for the space to promote them
If you have a hashtag, which you want to promote then take advantage of using your Twitter bio for maximum exposure. If other Twitter users find your hashtag relevant then most likely they will also use that hashtag. Before you know it, your hashtag may become a popular trending keyword.
Finally, you can also put special offers or competitions if you have regular followers visiting your profile. Your Twitter bio becomes like a ‘sticky’ tweet.
Twitter Bio Optimization Summary
Your Twitter profile bio is a place where people look to see what you do, so utilize this space effectively. Have a look at my Twitter bio (it’s nothing special but just to get you started) and do bear in mind that you have to optimize your profile depending on what you are trying to achieve.
Dave Pinnington's insight:
Twitter bio is so important in setting up your own social media brand... this article provide a very useful view of how to optimise your..
Is Social Media Marketing Effective?
That’s the question being asked as more and more businesses are investing in increasing amounts of social media marketing.
With no standard means of measurement, there’s a wide variety of goals and metrics used to define the ROI of social strategies.
Fortunately, this enlightening Infographic, developed by MDG Advertising, helps clear up the confusion by outlining the objectives, benefits and factors that affect the success of social media marketing.
By MDG Advertising. http://bit.ly/RrFGzx
A Long Island-based startup has very publicly picked a fight with Facebook, penning a bitter goodbye note on the site that charges 80% of the clicks it paid for in ads were from bots.Though the company — Limited Run — had only 400 or so fans when the note went up on Monday, the spat became national news. Tom Mango, co-founder of the company, which hosts stores for labels, designers and artists, said the entry got picked up by Hacker News, which led to press reports elsewhere. The notoriety by the incident may be the small business equivalent to General Motors’s decision to pull its ads from Facebook in May. The allegation is especially damaging since it comes after a BBC probe also found Facebook was teeming with fake spam accounts.
In the post, Limited Run announced the reasoning behind its decision to delete its Facebook Page in “the next couple of weeks.” The company reasoned that it was getting charged for clicks that were not coming from actual users. “Facebook was charging us for clicks, yet we could only verify about 20% of them actually showing up on our site,” the post reads. The company then tried other analytics software and found it couldn’t verify more than 15%-20% of clicks. So, Limited Run made its own software.
After that, the company contacted Facebook, but didn’t hear back. Meanwhile, the company wanted to change its name from “Limited Pressing” to the current Limited Run. A Facebook rep, however, told them that the company would do so only if Limited Run agreed to pay $2,000 or more in advertising per month, leading Limited Run to write, “This is why we need to delete this page and move away from Facebook. They’re scumbags and we just don’t have the patience for scumbags.”
A Facebook rep says that the company is investigating the matter. As for the name change: “There seems to be some sort of miscommunication. We do not charge Pages to have their names changed. Our team is reaching out about this now.” Mango says that a Facebook rep got back to the company after the matter became public and offered to change the name to Limited Run. Mango said thanks but no thanks.
Ironically, Limited Run got more marketing from picking a fight with Facebook than it would have by buying ads. However, Mango says there was nothing calculated about his actions. For instance, if he knew the matter would be reported so widely, he probably wouldn’t have called Facebook “scumbags.” Mango is similarly philosophic about Limited Run’s newfound fame. “I haven’t Googled us, but I’m sure what comes up now is this Facebook thing,” he says, adding that the company still plans to delete its Facebook Page. “We don’t want this to drag on. We want to move on from this. We don’t want them to be linking to this forever.”
Here’s a great infographic designed to help business owners and marketers know the impact that mobile is having on commerce today.
Some interesting insights:
Nokia remains the number one handset manufacturerSamsung is the leading smartphone hardwear vendorAndroid OS runs on half of all smartphones shipped worldwideGoogle is the top US mobile ad network in revenues71% of smartphone users will immediately do a mobile search after seeing an captive advertisement
Basic Community Newsletter TIps
Some of these will be more unpopular than others
1) Remove all the images. Most browsers block these now. They also take up valuable space. Test it for yourself, your click rate will be higher once they’re removed.
2) Limited yourself to 3 – 5 stories. If you don’t have 3 really interesting things that have happened in the community that week, don’t send it (instead spend the time initiating interesting things in the community).
3) Make every story something members can click on in the community to participate. The goal of the newspaper is to provoke action. People should click to participate in something that's happening in the community.
4) Mention the names of members in every story. People will open it to see if they or people they know have been featured.
5) Only write about things that have happened in the community. Anything else is boring.
6) Keep it very short. If your community newsletter is longer than 250 words - that's too long.
7) Remove one word in every three. You can do this. Trust me.
8) Change the subject line every week. Don’t make it repetitive. Don’t train your audience to ignore it.
9) Send it from a named person. Don't send it from the community name. not the community name. We’re used to ignoring e-mails from organizations.
10) Benchmark the open rates (people interested enough to open the e-mail) and (click-through rates). Open rates tells you whether the ‘from’ and ‘subject line’ were good enough (and whether previous e-mails didn’t disappoint). Click-through rates tells you whether the stories were relevant enough. Tweak and test. Use A/B testing.
11) Encourage replies. At the end of the e-mail, encourage members to ‘reply’ and submit their favorite stories for next week’s edition.
Community newsletters is an area with a lot of scope for improvement.
There’s a line in the chorus of Nicki Minaj’s song “Starships,” where she sings “hands up and touch the sky.”
I know this for two reasons:
#1 because it’s on the radio all the time, and
#2 because everytime Nicki Minaj sings that line my three-year-old dutifully throws her hands up. In fact if I don’t at least throw one obligatory hand up – she yells at me. ”Hands up, Dad! HANDS UP!”
It occurred to me that some people treat infographics like my three-year old treats “Starships.”
If there are beautifully presented pictures, the information informing them is rarely questioned, just as my daughter dutifully obliges any call for raised hands.
One recent infographic illustrated this point quite well. It was a generated by Boticca.com, describing the buying behaviors of customers referred from Pinterest and Facebook. They had a large sample size (100,000) and made some very bold assertions about an increased value of Pinterest versus Facebook for ecommerce.
The problem with this is that this is simply one case study. While 100,000 people surveyed is impressive, repeating the same action 100,000 times proves the validity of an action in a single circumstance, and not it’s applicability to any other situation.
Consider this infographic that I created.
It shows that there is a much higher amount of sharing being done on Twitter than on Facebook.
What I’ve shown are simply the results for one post, but if I did a survey of 50,000 posts, the numbers would be equally disparate.
What isn’t reflected in those numbers is that I am part of the Triberr community, which allows bloggers to cross-promote each others’ posts on Twitter.
I also spend more time on Twitter than on any other social network, so even though the data supporting the infographic is limited to the results of one post, if I replicated it 100,000 times, it would continue to return similar results.
If you take a recent post on Erin Feldman’s blog (Erin is a frequent contributor to Waxing UnLyrical), the percentage of shares from Facebook and Google Plus are equal to each other, with Twitter as a smaller proportion of the whole than share of my posts.
Does this negate what I say is true about my blog? No. What it says is: what’s true for my apples isn’t true for Erin’s oranges.
What do we understand about the Bottica results?
We understand that they have a presence on Facebook and a presence on Pinterest.
We understand that based upon the customers referred from either platform, they get better results from Pinterest.
But what conclusion should we draw about Pinterest’s value versus Facebook’s? Simply that Bottica has more success with one versus the other.
Anyone who makes the leap in logic to try and apply Bottica’s results to anything except Bottica’s sites is a little irresponsible. Anyone who believes those assertions is a little gullible.
How do you like those apples? (Just don’t try to apply them to your oranges.)
Many B2B companies have been successful at generating leads from LinkedIn, but there are features of a company page that B2B marketers are just not aware of. Most B2B companies have company pages on LinkedIn where they include a keyword-stuffed paragraph or two of marketing-speak. It also shows the employees who work at the company. This is the most basic option for LinkedIn.
1. Products and Services
The first thing that you need to do is enable the Products and Services function of the company page and begin adding products and services. This is where the action happens on the company page. Recommendations aren’t given for companies. They are given for products. Several of the follow lead generating suggestions are based on areas in the product and services tab. Note that you can be flexible with the definition of what a product is. If you have a compelling ebook that is appropriate for a LinkedIn audience, add that as a product. You can direct visitors to a download page with a lead form to receive the ebook.
2. Free Banners
Want to test some new creative ideas? Want to test some landing pages? LinkedIn gives you three free banner ads at the top of the products and services page. Create images that are 640×220 pixels, upload them to your page and add a unique URL, preferably to a landing page, and you have free ads. All you need to do now is make sure you are directing traffic to your LinkedIn products and services page.
3. Personal Contacts
Prospects don’t always like filling out contact forms because they never know who is going to contact them, but what if you could show them real people, with pictures and everything, that they could connect to for more information. This personalization of contact can be set by product, so consider adding people who have a high enough profile in your business or who have a title that makes sense for the contact. This can be viewed by some prospects as a purely “for more information” request about the product or service, so product managers can be a good fit, but these are leads. Clicking on this link is someone raising their hand and expressing interest.
4. Video with Call to Action
Each product and service entry has a space to link to a YouTube video, which appears embedded on the page. Video is another way to tell the story of your products. There are many ways to include calls-to-action in a YouTube video, which should be considered for the ones on your LinkedIn page. Everything you do on this page should provide enough information for prospects to decide that your products and services should be in the consideration phase of their buying process. You need to make it easy for them to take the next step and become a lead.
5. Status Updates
Companies can share status updates with those following the company. This is different than sharing information on your personal profile. You should have a content plan for sharing on your company profile. Share a mix of third party articles, company blog posts, links to ebooks and webinars, employee information and other content appropriate for your LinkedIn audience. Cross promote LinkedIn groups and events to continue to build your audience across LinkedIn. The main thing to do for lead gen is to make sure you are providing compelling offers with calls-to-action so prospects can become leads for your B2B company.