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9 Ways to Lose Twitter Followers

March 30, 2011

It seems like common sense for some NOT to do these things, but others are blind to it. Not only will people unfollow you if you do some of the below, but you might even get your Twitter account suspended! Keep in mind, this is not Web 1.0, it’s 2.0, which allows interaction. It’s SOCIAL media, and you’re encouraged to tastefully engage your followers.

Here are 9 ways to lose followers:

  1. Don’t follow back – Who are YOU? @Oprah? @aplusk? @ladygaga?
  2. Churning – Mass unfollow 100s or 1,000s of followers at a time after just following them. Seriously? Read #1
  3. Don’t thank people for RTs – You might get the boot from your peeps after not appreciating their RTs!
  4. Never reply back – You dissed someone. Watch out for the ax.
  5. Use foul language – Epic fail!
  6. Post porn – Yikes! This is worse than #5!
  7. Change your avatar often – Too confusing. Bye, bye.
  8. Over tweeting –  The noise from your constant updates is killing everyone. Next!
  9. Send automated or unsolicited Direct Messages (DMs) – Can you say spam?

Are Twitterers Hijacking Social Media Sites?

December 24, 2010

Twitter is one of the most popular social media sites in the US, and there are plenty of third-party clients to enhance the Twitter experience. They allow you to simultaneously post updates on other sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. When Twitterers take advantage of this convenience, most don’t modify their tweets for the other sites, which makes for an “interesting” read. Some twitterers use the web client, and in order to multi-task they must add the hashtags #fb or #in, which indicates they are being concurrently updated on the corresponding sites as well.

Recently, I wrote the post The DOs and DONTs of Updating Your LinkedIn Status, and promoted it on Twitter. Immediately after I tweeted it, I received a response from a follower stating that she hardly looks at the LinkedIn updates now because they’re packed with ridiculous tweets. I though more about the response, then logged onto LinkedIn to check my stream. I usually check it via my mobile device because there’s an app for that, but this time I used my desktop. I noticed that 90% of the updates were sent through Twitter. Multi-tasking through these clients is convenient for users, but has allowed them to turn LinkedIn into a secondary Twitter feed.

Facebook gets updates from a mixed bag of social media sites, i.e. Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Flickr, etc., but most are original updates. I think this is because people spend more time on Facebook, as well as on Twitter, and will update from those sites. LinkedIn seems to be the site where people log in less often, post one update and leave, so it’s more efficient to update via Twitter. Twitterers have inundated the LinkedIn stream with retweets (RT) and hashtags (#). I knew something had gone awry when I saw #FF and #FollowFriday updates on LinkedIn and Facebook. I recently counted 30 consecutive tweets posted on LinkedIn within a 3 minute time period from the same connection. Twitter has a language and rhythm of its own. What happens on Twitter should stay on Twitter. It doesn’t translate well on other social media sites.

I admit, I use TweetDeck to update Twitter, and occasionally I use it for Facebook or LinkedIn. I try to keep those updates to a bare minimum, since I do appreciate going directly to Facebook and LinkedIn to read the current stream. Twitter is not for everyone, and twitterers should respect this. I’m sure this barrage of tweets are innocent and unintentional, but these Twitter multi-taskers are unfortunately, taking the joy out of the LinkedIn user experience, by changing the environment.

Depending on how many connections they have, and the percentage of them who are Twitter users, can make the difference in the overall experience with your stream. I am being bombarded by Twitter updates in my LinkedIn stream, as are many of my friends. However, being a twitterer, I understand the mentality and tolerate it. Some of my friends have almost abandoned LinkedIn because of this. So, are twitterers hijacking social media sites? YES, but mostly LinkedIn. What are your thoughts? Have you been hijacked, are you a hijacker, or have you never noticed since are you’re rarely logged in?

3 Quick SEO Tips for Some Social Networking Sites

October 29, 2010

Many know that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plays a key role in the page ranking of your sites. Ideally, everyone wants to be listed on the top of page one. The keywords that you use, along with the age of your site are major factors. But did you know that even the link structure of your social media profile page and your blog can effect your rankings?

1. The link structure for the social media sites Twitter is fine, because it ends with your name or username. But when you open a Facebook account, your profile page ends with a string of numbers, e.g. http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=123456789. When you give out your Facebook URL your name isn’t on it, so it makes it near impossible for people to remember it, but it also makes it hopeless for search engines to give this a high ranking when someone “googles” your name. This is easily fixed. You can quickly change that number to a username here. If your account is brand new, find at least 20 “Friends” before you attempt to make this change. Otherwise, Facebook will tell you that you need to verify your account by adding your cell phone number (which is only valid for U.S. numbers), and then it sends you a text message with a confirmation code. I’ve entered the code in the designated place, and Facebook told me for two different accounts that the code is invalid. I’ve tried this several times, and it never works, so save your time and efforts. After 20 friends and a few status updates, you should be able to proceed without a problem. You will be given a few options. Choose the name you prefer, but know that once you change it, it’s final. Afterwards, you’ll have a  web address like: http://facebook.com/john.doe or http://facebook.com/jdoe. This is easier to remember, and is better for page ranking than those random numbers.

2. If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog, you might notice numbers at the end of your post’s link. Of course, you’d prefer having the title of the post in the URL. Improve your SEO by changing this before you publish the post. Simply go to settings in your Dashboard and find Permalinks. Click on Custom Structure. Here you have a few options, but to keep it simple, my example will include the author’s name and name of the post. In the box I would type exactly: /%author%/%postname%/ You can also add %category% %year% %month% or %day%.

3. Your LinkedIn URL can be changed too include your full name. In the Edit Profile mode, click on edit to the right of your Public Profile URL. At the top of the next page click edit,  to the right of Your Public Profile URL. Now you can add whatever name you’d like to be known by, so your URL will look like http://www.linkedin.com/in/johndoe. When someone “googles” you, your LinkedIn profile will get a higher page ranking.

So if you’re wondering why your WordPress blog post has a lower ranking than you thought it would have, or why people can’t find you on Facebook by using search engines, now you know. You’ll see a higher ranking, and perhaps more traffic by making these minor adjustments.

 

12 Tips on How to Use Twitter as a Marketing Tool

October 12, 2010

Twitter is an amazing place to market yourself online. The thing is, you just can’t give a hard sell and expect the positive results you were hoping for. Twitter is a place where you have to socialize before doing business. Think of it as going on a golf outing. You greet the ones you know, introduce yourself to those you don’t, then exchange pleasantries before getting down to business. Next, listen to others speak, ask questions about them and their business, then talk about yourself and your business, and finally hand out a business card (online it’s your link) to those you have just met. Business is always saved for the end. For many, this comes more naturally in person, but how do you finesse this on online? How do you effectively market yourself on Twitter? Here are 12 tips to make it easier to use Twitter as a marketing tool.

1. Build Relationships – Start by greeting your Twitter followers using your personality. Some write Happy Monday (or whatever day of the week it is),  Hello Twitterworld, or a simple Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening to get started. This could lead to a response and be the beginning of a conversation. If not, watch your stream until a quote, original thought or link you like comes your way. Retweet it, and add a comment if you’d like. This could also lead to a response. If these two subtle ways don’t generate feedback, don’t be shy, just send a reply to someone who’s tweeting about something you like. The chances are higher you’ll hear back from them. If you find this person interesting or a potential customer, continue to engage them daily. You can eventually lead them to your Facebook Fan Page, blog or website where a soft or even hard sell is more appropriate. Keep in mind that followers would also appreciate you visiting their page, blog or site. You can form a marketing alliance and retweet each other’s links.

2. Add Value – The Twitter community loves to share information. The best way to be noticed is to add value by sharing your knowledge and wisdom with the community. As amazing as it would be to just post 5 tweets with links to your site(s), articles about you, and retweet praises about you, it’s too narcissistic for Twitter. A good way of adding value is to share a link to an article in your field that you’ve just read online, write an inspirational original thought or share a quote, retweet giveaways, contests and coupons, and then post links to your site/new blog post/Facebook update, etc. This strategy might also lead to more retweets. This helps a lot with your branding, but every tweet and retweet is getting your name out there, which helps in marketing yourself.

3. Self-promotion – Concentrate on engaging your followers, who are your potential customers/clients. Provide value by sharing information without giving away your secrets. Keep your links to no more than 25% of your total tweets. Marketing on Twitter is a balancing act, and should be more subtle than on other social networking sites or in the media. Remember, to successfully use Twitter as a marketing tool you need to engage, build relationships, and add value.

4. Hashtags – This symbol # is a hashtag, and it’s followed by a keyword. They help people more easily follow topics. Create your own hashtag using your company name, a word, or your catch phrase. This helps with branding, and keeping track of whenever anyone uses your #hashtag without retweeting you. Monitor how often it’s used, and what they’re saying about you with a search column in a Twitter client like HootSuite or TweetDeck.

5. Avatar – Your avatar helps brand you. It can be your personal portrait or a logo. Once you have decided what it’ll be, do NOT change it as I have seen a few people doing. It confuses people and weakens your brand.

6. Ask questions – This could lead to replies, that could prompt a multi-follower conversation. It could also be great market research tool used to poll your followers, in addition to offering customer service. You can ask opinions of new products or services. This could have a link to photo, video, or blog post where they can leave comments, which generates traffic to your site.

7. Contests – Have a contest giving away a product. A fantastic way to market a (new) product or service. It must be substantial enough to give value to community. The larger the value, the more buzz you’ll get. Followers could retweet your link for a week using a designated hashtag, and whoever retweets it most, wins. Traffic to your site should dramatically increase, making the prize will be worth it.

8. Auto DMs – Do NOT use automated delivery of direct messages as a marketing tool. Most consider it spam and might unfollow you, or even block you and report you as spam. This is a hard sell and is NOT desirable. Also, do not send a cold reply to a new follower with your link. This is just as bad. Always engage your followers before sharing your link.

9. Peak Hours – Like prime time television, Twitter has hours when more people are active. It’s best to time tweets to get the most views.  Ideal times, considering various times zones are 9 AM, 12 noon, 3 PM, 6 PM and 9 PM and midnight EST. Any time between half an hour plus and minus the times listed are also good times to tweet, and get your message out there. Also, consider sharing your tweets more than once a day, because often different people are on at different times. You will increase the number of people seeing your link.

10. Last tweets – Your last 3-4 tweets should be a mix of things like retweets, a motivational quote, an original thought, a reply and ending with a self-promoting link. They will be the FIRST tweets people see at the top of your profile page. Some may determine whether or not they’ll follow you based on these tweets. You don’t want to have negative tweets, bad language, or a string of self-promoting links as your last tweets if you don’t update often. Having your on link on top might prompt people to click on it to visit your site/blog/article, etc.

11. Lists – These can prove to be very beneficial for marketing purposes and don’t have to be public. You can list local people, those in your industry, potential customers, potential employees, etc. which makes it easier to know how to engage these groups.

12. Tweet Consistently – Now you know what to tweet about, and when to send them, but you have to do this regularly. If you tweet sporadically, you won’t make a large impact, especially if you have few followers (for a list of potential followers, see this post). If you tweet a lot but only twice a week, it’s only slightly effective. It’s best to tweet at least five days a week, including at least one weekend day, for at least 10 minutes. Think of it like watching a television commercial. If you see it once, you notice it, but if you see it consistently, you’ll remember it. In order for your marketing strategy to be successful, you need to be memorable.

Twitter VIP Spotlight: @AriaaJaeger

September 10, 2010

@AriaaJaeger is a joy to converse with on Twitter, but she is also very inspirational. She is well known for her #AriaaQuotes and #Araiaaisms, which she calls spiritual food for the soul, and many enjoy them in large doses!

Ariaa is a very positive person, so even if you don’t feel the need to be spiritually uplifted or generally inspired, her energy will draw you into some form of interaction.

As if that wouldn’t be enough, she’s a very talented vocalist, and you can enjoy her music on YouTube as you read her streams.

If you like to surround yourself with positive people, @AriaaJaeger is definitely someone to follow!

The Social Media Club – Membership Has It’s Advantages

August 17, 2010

The Social Media Club is an international community. It has grown from a dozen social media professionals meeting in Palto Alto, CA, to chapters in over 160 cities across the globe. Becoming a member has many advantages.

American psychologist Abraham Maslow wrote a paper titled  A Theory of Human Motivation. Maslow’s discusses a hierarchy of needs, and according to the third level humans want to feel a sense of belonging whether it comes from large or small groups. The Social Media Club certainly fits the bill. It brings your local social media friends together to mingle and pool resources, and it also gives you the opportunity to make new contacts. The new school social media online connections combined with the old school meet up, give you networking at it’s best.

The Social Media Club sometimes invites guest speakers to touch on subjects like how to increase your social media contacts organically, other times it could be a panel discussion on a topic like how businesses can take full advantage of social media opportunities or it could be purely a social meet and greet event. Members can make suggestions, and then the events are scheduled based on the needs of the local community.

So if you’re social media savvy, love an opportunity to learn more about social media topics, and want to gather with locals who share this interest, consider joining your regional chapter of the Social Media Club. Membership is free, the events are free (check with your chapter), and the networking is priceless. For my fellow New Jerseyans, there are three chapters: North Jersey, Princeton, and Red Bank. For the rest of you, please check here for your nearest chapter.

5 Twitter Tips For Newbies and Casual Users

August 16, 2010

Here are 5 Twitter tips to make your early days with the social media giant easier. Twitter allows you to microblog in 140 characters or less. Along with Facebook, Twitter is one of the most popular social media sites to date. There are many differences between the two, but in general, Twitter is like Facebook on steroids. Twitter is not like writing to your high school or college friends on Facebook, so many Twitter followers aren’t going to be interested in the trivial things happening in your life. You should provide value. Hopefully after reading this, you’ll have a better Twitter experience.

1. Twitter Basics – The first thing I suggest you do is to read the post 10 Tips on How to Become a Twitter VIP. It’s not about becoming Twitter royalty in the quantity of followers, but in the quality of your tweets. Also, your Twitter page is your business card, and this will guide you transforming it from the default settings. For the most traffic, send out tweets during a couple of the peak hours of 9 AM, 12 noon, 3 PM and 6 PM US eastern time, as well as those times in your time zone.

2. Twitter Clients – Consider using TweetDeck, HootSuite or Seesmic to filter through the Twitter noise. With these desktop and web-based clients (HootSuite calls itself a dashboard), you can add columns of groups to track streams of followers of a particular interest, similar to the lists of Twitter’s web client, only you can follow them simultaneously alongside your replies and direct messages (DMs) with a refresh rate as fast as every 10 seconds (watch out for your API though) . You can even send out scheduled tweets to keep a presence while away for the day, week, or month. This is perfect for sending out tweets during peak hours. If you have a Facebook or LinkedIn account it’s fine to use one of the above clients to update, but each one should be tailored for its targeted audience. TweetDeck, HootSuite and Seesmic also have mobile apps. By the way, there are many tools out there that give you statistics about your Twitter account, just be cautious to whom you give access to your account.

3. Twitter Collaboration – You can keep track of your favorite tweeps (Twitter peeps) with columns of groups or lists. Once you’ve built a rapport with a few people, you can retweet (RT or /via) each other’s personal tweets with links to one another’s blog posts, sites, Facebook or LinkedIn pages, etc. This is a great way to mutually get more traffic. I prefer the classic way of retweeting. If someone RTs your RT, you get mentioned. With the newer method, if someone RTs your RT, you don’t get mentioned, so no one sees that you are part of the chain. You essentially cheat yourself out of further exposure, and potential new followers.

4. Tweet Content – Give your followers top quality content to keep their interest. Don’t tweet about random things. Tweet mostly about subjects related to your field, which should be correlated with your Twitter handle. You can also share other subjects that you feel is relavent to your followers, i.e. trending topics. If people like it they’ll retweet it! You might also occasionally see the # sign in front of words, i.e. #FollowFriday, #TravelTuesday, #photo or #quote. These are called hashtags, and they help others search for tweets about these keywords, or follow those twittering about them. You should use at least one on a daily basis.

5. Twitter Etiquette – Manners translate the same way in any medium. Be respectful to others, and refrain from obscenities. Since your tweets are available for all to see, please keep conversations short for two reasons. First of all, time is money, and many people have work to do, so don’t take up too much of their time since they’d like to engage others as well. Second, Twitter is not for instant messaging. Your followers don’t want to read a multiple tweet conversation you’re having with one or more people. If you need to communicate for more than 3 tweets, send direct messages (DMs).