Like many of my posts, this topic may be obvious to some, but unfortunately, based on the literally tens of messages I have personally received this week alone, it is far from obvious to others. Ask yourself why you are using social media. Why are you on Twitter? (You’re not? Then you have other problems you need to work out.) Why have you started using Google+? (You haven’t? See above.) Pinterest? Instagram? Foursquare? Why do you use any of these platforms? Really, ask yourself that question.
OK, this is just getting ridiculous and I waited long enough to write this post. Technology moves fast, I get it, but there’s fast, and then there’s the pace at which the world of social media has been moving over the past few months.
This post is going to be a little different. Over the past two years, ever since I joined Twitter (Follow me here), I, along with many people I know, have had a lot of questions about the micro blogging service. I have tried to cover the topic from all possible angles, and when I am asked about Twitter, I generally send the person asking an email with a whole long list of links to posts I have written.
If you are like most people, you have never heard of Gary Vaynerchuk, but if you are like most geeks, he is an idol. The guy took a wine store and made it into a $50 million a year business. You know how when you want to go work out or for a jog, you make yourself a playlist that always has the song “The Eye of The Tiger”? Yea, well the below video is the “The Eye of the Tiger” of online video. This is what I watch when I need inspiration.
If you know anything about SEO, you know that it’s all about relevancy. Succeeding in SEO means following the best SEO practices and increasing link popularity in order to “persuade” the search engine bots that your site is truly relevant to a given set of keywords. While a small fraction of SEO projects involve fixing the technical kinks on a site that would otherwise get rankings, most campaigns are about manipulating the bots and gaming the algorithm into associating your site with your keywords.
There are plenty of articles online about how to promote your business through social media, but there don’t seem to be too many on how to promote a content website with Facebook and Twitter. Of course, some of the advice is relevant to both businesses and content websites but a lot of the ideas for businesses are just not relevant for content sites. Since I focus most of my efforts these days on promoting content, I have put together a list of tips which are useful for getting as many as people as possible to a website.
When discussing Twitter and social media in general, the conversation always ends with the same sentence “Social media is 90% common sense”. In regard to that, I compare the use of Twitter to SEO. I know there is a lot of material out there when it comes to optimizing a website for search engines, but common sense dictates that if you want people to come across your site on Google, you will use attractive keywords and titles in your article. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to insert links to other articles of yours and place them on relevant words as anchor text. Like I said, a lot of common sense.
This blog post started out completely differently. I woke up this morning and naturally logged into Twitter to see what news I missed while I was sleeping. I was surprised to discover what I thought was a new feature on Twitter.com, a new popup when I hover my mouse over a shortened link or a person’s name. Twitter has been working hard on implementing new features over the past few months, some more successful than others, and I thought this was just another new functionality to add to the collection.
One of the most common questions people have asked me about Twitter (besides of course “why do I care what you’re doing?”) is how on earth I follow so many people. The question is a valid one since at a following count of over 4,000 people and counting, it is not humanly possible to read every tweet, every thought, or every link that those people share. The basic premise of following people on Twitter is that you are at least somewhat interested in what they have to say, so the question of how I follow them all is a good one.
While the buzz surrounding social media is growing, so is the number of people who just don’t get it. In fact, I come across tens of people daily that use Twitter and have a significant following but are totally clueless about maximizing it. They make mistake after mistake and see none of the results social media can bring. Let me emphasize that there is no one way to use social media “properly”, everyone uses it differently, that is part of the very essence of social tools. However, if these people are annoying their audience with spam-like tweets and causing people to unfollow, it is safe to say they are doing it “wrong”.
As I was reading an article written by a friend and fellow blogger, Kfir Pravda, entitled “What Companies Are Missing in Social Media Marketing”, I started to think about Twitter, social media, and whether all the hype was really justified. My conclusion, as I am sure you know by now, was that yes, social media can be an amazingly effective tool and can assist you in reaching a wider and more relevant audience then any other tool; IF USED CORRECTLY.