Posts Tagged ‘Ann Smarty’
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which would be an awkward and uncomfortable place from which to do search engine optimization work), you’re probably aware that the two most important things to know about link building in the post-Panda world are that 1) backlinks are still very important for ranking, and 2) traditional link-building methods (or at least many of them) are no longer effective. In its efforts to combat webspam, Google now ignores or even penalizes “unnatural” link profiles.
So what types of links should you avoid? What kinds of links are still (or now) the most valuable? How can you get more high-quality links? What tools are most helpful in link building efforts?
Find the answers to those questions and more here in almost two dozen of the best link-building guides and tool reviews of the past year.
Link Building Guides, Techniques and Tips
Six Degrees Of SEO Bacon & B2B Link Building Q&A by Search Engine Land
Debra Mastaler answers seminar questions posed to her and Scott Fasser of Optify on b2b link building tactics, such as “Q: Is submitting press releases as a method for link building efficient? A: Press releases, if submitted properly, are an effective way to build short term links and to syndicate news and content…Having a plan for syndicating on a regular basis – no less than monthly is the best strategy. Optimizing the release for the focus keywords and submitted with the right service is a good strategy – especially when combined with an on-going PR effort to build excitement for news and participate in reviews, stories and roundups.”
Link Building From Scratch by Search Engine Watch
Julie Joyce details 16 different kinds of links along with the pros and cons of pursuing each, ranging from the easy-to-get-but-not-worth-much (e.g., directory links) to the challenging-but-valuable (infographics and widget links).
Observing that “Despite what most SEOs will tell you, it’s not easy to create outstanding content that people will want to link to,” Jon Cooper provides “10 fantastic examples of link bait and what makes them so spectacular,” such as Thomson’s Evolution of Music, “a visualization of how music has traveled over the past 200 years…Why was it successful?…The two main reasons it was successful are the quality of the visualization and the social share buttons on the page. Making it easy to share gets the page in front of more eyes, and more eyes means more links.” Jon didn’t say these examples were easy, just extraordinary.
The End of Link Building as We’ve Known and Loved it by Search Engine Watch
Frequent best-of honoree Eric Enge notes that traditional link-building methods (even white-hat tactics) simply don’t work as well as they used to in the old world of search engine algorithms, and offers eight recommendations for tactics to create a valuable groundswell of spontaneous links, among them blogging, engaging in social media, writing news releases, advertising on targeted sites…in short, using a web presence optimization framework approach.
Noting that authoritative links still play a highly significant role in ranking, the brilliant Neil Patel supplies 10 rules for attracting such links, such as writing content that attracts editorial links; creating a desirable (and original) image library; writing columns or guest posts; and knowing what kinds of sites to avoid for link building.
13 Unconventional Link Building Strategies by Search Engine Journal
Need more than 10 rules? Here, Sujan Patel (Neil’s cousin) lists 13 more tips (with surprisingly little overlap to Neil’s list) including asking your local library to link to you as a reference; setting up speaking gigs; and interviewing experts in your field.
How to Avoid an Unnatural Links Penalty by AboutUs
Kristina Weis explains plainly and concisely how Google evaluates “unnatural” links, the specific types of links to avoid (paid, sitewide, blog networks), and some common backlink-checking tools (another is Backlink Watch).
Noting that Google’s efforts to deindex “overoptimized” websites are likely to penalize many legitimate sites as well as spammy site, Modesto Siotos provides detailed instructions for a more technical audience on how to check your “backlink risk,” the tools required, and remedial actions to take if it appears your site could be at risk of a Google penalty.
Preparing for Link Armageddon by Search Engine Journal
Jeff Bedford laments Google’s decision to deindex several major blog networks, which particularly impacted blogs that relied heavily on syndication networks for inbound links. He then outlines several tactics for replacing those links, from tradition PR to social relationship building, forums and guest blogging.
Linking Strategies: The Complete Guide by Coconut Headphones
***** 5 STARS
Ted Ives offers an outstanding guide to link building, with tactics organized into five main categories: Highly Effective (e.g., produce great content, optimize news releases, ask partners for links); Worth Considering (coupons, commenting); Hard to Get Right; Wildcard Approaches (such as infographics); and Black Hat (best to avoid).
The Noob Guide to Link Building by SEOmoz
***** 5 STARS
Once you’ve absorbed Ted’s post above, Michael King serves up another long, detailed, and excellent (though also misnamed; true noobs will be lost, and this post has value for SEOs well beyond the noob stage) six-month link building plan, starting with quick hits like social profiles and select directories and moving along through ego bait, guest posts and event publicity.
8 Link Building Tips – Whiteboard Friday by SEOmoz
Paddy Moogan presents eight link-building tips in eight minutes. My favorite: “Go to Meetup.com and search for the word ‘blogger’ and refine the results by your area, and you’ll find local bloggers meeting up in the same place. So you may find music bloggers, design bloggers, fashion bloggers. Instead of emailing all of those people, just go to the event. Go and meet them, say hello, buy them a drink, go and have dinner. It’s a much better way of building a relationship than just firing (out) a bunch of emails.”
Quality Links & Quality Content: Linchpins of Your SEO Strategy by Search Engine Watch
Christian Arno discusses what constitutes a “quality link” (site relevance and trust) and how to go about getting more of them (PR, guest posts, social media, and other web presence optimization tactics), as well as consistently producing quality, link-worthy content.
Link Building Strategies That Will Work in 2013 by PPC for Hire
Jon Clark outlines half a dozen “Penguin-safe” link-building strategies, such as making the most of internal site links, posting on industry-specific forums, and linking out: “Whenever you come across a blog or site relevant to your niche, participate in the conversation with the author and other readers via comments. Leave fresh, useful and informative comments and create a backlink to your website.”
Rand Fishkin pontificates on “the egress of old link building practices and the ingress of new (old) link earning strategies that will help your site stay relevant in the SERPs and drive your traffic with a better user experience,” concluding that while certain “old school” link-building tactics may still have some value, content marketing will be the most important practice going forward.
SEO Link Building Q&A with an Ex-Google Webspam Team Member by Search Engine Journal
Jason DeMers interviews Andre Weyher, a former member of the webspam team at Google, about backlinking do’s and don’ts. Among the answers: on how Penguin determines which domains to penalize, “The most obvious element that it focuses on is ranking due to a large amount of bad quality backlinks but it also takes into account spammy on-page techniques like keyword stuffing and over-optimization of tags and internal links;” on how identifies bad neighborhoods, “Search engines rely on website fingerprinting to identify clusters of ownership. If a particular website is relying on techniques that are not abiding the guidelines, it’s likely that the other sites owned by the same person are doing the same;” and regarding misconceptions about bad links, “Some of the biggest misconceptions that I have seen out there include ‘directories are altogether bad’ or ‘anything that is below a certain PR is considered spammy by Google.’”
131 (Legitimate) Link Building Strategies by Search Engine Watch
Julie Joyce (again) compiles a huge list of link-building tactics and tips, divided into categories including basic techniques, content-based tactics, b2b-specific tips, pointers for guest posting, and practices to avoid (such as spammy links or those unlikely to drive any traffic).
How to Get Rid of Unwanted Backlinks by Search Engine Watch
Noting that, due to Google’s Penguin update, “for many websites (and a lot of business models that involve selling 50,000 links for $10) the sky is falling. Websites that have built an unnatural looking backlink profile using a strategy of aggressive exact match anchor text usage are setting off Google’s spam alarm,” Jennifer Van Iderstyne explains how to identify and rid yourself of “bad” backlinks, and lists some of her favorite backlink research tools.
17 Tools to Analyze Your Links by Practical eCommerce
Sig Ueland reviews 17 tools for analyzing a site’s backlink profile, ranging from “dedicated link identifiers, full search-engine-optimization suites, and link tools for search engines,”, free and paid. The list includes both popular tools like Majestic SEO and Open Site Explorer as well as lesser-known alternatives like Ahrefs.
Five Killer Link-building Tools by SitePoint
Writing that “As far as link-building tools go, there are two main sorts: those that help with the data and analysis side of things, and those that focus more on speeding up the process of building relationships with other site owners” but “knowing which tools to pick from the wide variety available can be tricky,” Christina Fusano recommends a handful of excellent and proven tools, including BuzzStream and Raven Tools.
Steven Musil reports on Google’s disavow links tool, designed to enable webmasters to remove links they believe might be hurting their search rankings. Of course, it’s not always obvious what constitutes a “bad” link, and if good links are accidentally deleted, it’s a time-consuming process to get them reinstated. Still, this is a vital tool—when all else fails.
4 Tools Breaking Your Backlinks into Categories by Internet Marketing Ninjas
The awesome Ann Smarty reviews four tools for categorizing backlinks in various ways, such as by source type (e.g., news site, blog, directory), topic (general, computers, fashion) and placement (footer, site-wide, image, comment), which can be very helpful in executing a web presence optimization strategy. The good news is that all of these tools can provide some valuable filtering and insights; the bad news is none yet provide a high level of comprehensiveness and accuracy.
79 Link Building Resources for 2012 by KISSmetrics
If you just can’t enough link building information, Kristi Hines here provides links to 79 more link-building resources ranging from “Thought Pieces on Post-Penguin Link Building” and types of links to avoid to the top link-building tools and blogs.
As the fourth-largest social network, and the fastest growing in 2012, Twitter has emerged as a serious platform for business professionals to share breaking news, promote thought-leadership content, and engage with customers, prospects, peers and industry influencers.
As noted here in a preliminary summary of the best Twitter articles and posts of 2012 last fall, “Twitterers collectively post a billion tweets every three days. 62% of the Fortune 500 companies have at least one Twitter account, and the average Fortune 100 firm maintains 10 separate Twitter handles to support different product lines, divisions, functional areas and geographic regions.”
How can you grow and maintain an active, relevant Twitter following? Spend your time more productively there? Most effectively use Twitter advertising? Get retweeted more often? And among the expanding universe of third-party Twitter tools out there, which are most worth checking out?
Find the answers to those questions and many others here in 20 of the best Twitter guides, tools and reviews of 2012.
Twitter Tips and Guides
9 tips for managing Twitter in just 20 minutes a day by Nashville Business Journal
Writing that “One of the chief complaints I hear from business owners about Twitter is that they don’t have time for it,” Laura Click offers recommendations for more efficient Twitter account management, such as setting up searches to track specific brands or topics, using tools like Twellow and Listorious to find new potential followers, and using automation tools to pre-schedule selected tweets (just be careful not to over-do social media automation).
Corey Eridon walks readers through the process of setting up the “new” Twitter profile page (okay, it’s been a few months now but a lot of Twitterers still haven’t done it) to add a larger header image, then highlights some creative examples from various media outlets, brands and organizations.
50+ Creative Twitter Headers for Your Inspiration by Social @ Blogging Tracker
Writing that “Twitter has officially joined the ‘visual’ club by allowing users to create a personalized Twitter header to boost their brand visibility,” Wong Ching Ya shares more than 50 examples of creative Twitter headers for creating brand awareness, expressing one’s interests and personality, showcasing a portfolio, publicizing an event and other purposes.
Shea Bennett reveals the most common reasons that Twitterers unfollow others on the social network, including “too much self-promotion (48 percent), posting spam (47 percent), being uninteresting (43 percent) and too much repetition (29 percent),” as well as the top reason for unfollowing.
How the New Twitter Search Will Change the Way Brands Tweet by Ignite Social Media
Win Pratt offers details on how Twitter’s enhanced search functionality works (“Twitter will now also take your search query and give you options for similar search terms. For instance, if I search for ‘Social Media Strategy,’ it might suggest that another good search option is ‘Social Media Agency.’ This can be very handy when trying to discover new content or follow a trending topic”) and how brands are likely to respond to this through targeted use of hashtags and keywords.
Two new features for self-service advertisers by Twitter Advertising Blog
Andrew Chang outlines how new features in Twitter help advertisers track audience growth over time ( a feature which should arguably be available to all Twitter users but is reserved for advertisers currently) and select specific tweets for promotion.
6 Tips to Get Retweeted More Often by Search Engine Journal
Astutely noting that “there is a little of that grinning six-year-old in us all” when we get retweeted, frequent best-of honoree Ann Smarty offers half a dozen tips for making it happen more often, from learning the right times for tweeting to mentioning your more influential Twitter followers.
8 Twitter chats you should check out today! by Creative Ramblings
Want to showcase your expertise and grow your following on Twitter? Cendrine Marrouat advises participating in Twitter chat, and reviews eight popular social media-related chats hosted by Twitter rock stars like @Atomic_Reach, @MackCollier and @prsarahevans. For those (like me) who have trouble making it to scheduled chats and are interested in the “human side of business,” another one to check out is #TChat, an ongoing virtual chat hosted by @TalentCulture.
Twitter Cards: How Savvy Marketers Get More Out Of Twitter by Marketing Land
For those who really want to get their geek on, John Lincoln provides an explanation of what Twitter cards are (they “make it possible for you to attach media experiences to Tweets that link to your content. Simply add a few lines of HTML to your webpages, and users who Tweet links to your content will have a ‘card’ added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers”), how to implement them, and a few “common” examples.
Optimizing Twitter for Lead Generation by Marketo B2B Marketing and Sales Blog
Jason Miller details three specific strategies for generating leads on Twitter, including messaging: “do not use Twitter to only promote your company…if you never contribute to the conversations taking place, if you never offer something personal or fun or funny, you are missing the prime opportunity unique to Twitter…as with anything, a little self promotion is good for business but if your entire tweet history is only about you and your company, you’ve got it wrong.”
Twitter to be ‘hero’ social media channel for media brands in 2013 by The Wall Blog
James Matheson outlines 13 social and online trends for 2013, beginning the list with “Twitter is only going to get bigger…The head of social at the FT (Financial Times) described it as the ‘hero’ social media channel for next year. In a world where media brands are competing for attention, Twitter is the strongest channel for media brands to focus on for people’s discovery of news and information.”
6 Awesome Twitter Tools for Brands by DreamGrow Social Media
Jeff Gross reviews half a dozen of the “elite of Twitter tools,” from Commun.it (which “makes it really easy to see who you are interacting with, who is mentioning your brand and to determine the potential leaders and influencers: the tool suggests you which people you should follow, as well as the inactive members to unfollow”) to Twylah (a service that helps you create awesome looking websites and widgets out of your tweets”).
21 Amazing Twitter Tools for Brand Visibility and Time Management by Social @ Blogging Tracker
Wong Ching Ya (again) provides illustrated reviews of nearly two dozen “wonderful time-saver tools that (help) regularly in making full use of tweets shared and received,” including TwitFlink for managing your Twitter stream, Embedly (link destination previews) and Hashtracking (Twitter chat capture and stats).
10 Tools for Managing Twitter Engagement by Practical eCommerce
Paul Chaney serves up reviews of 10 tools designed to “to keep up with followers, steer clear of spam, or know if your Twitter engagement is paying off in ways that are meaningful to your business,” such as TweetReach, Twellow, SocialBro and Twitalyzer, which “provides a range of metrics including influence rank (shown as a percentage), social relationships with other Twitter users, and topics and communities where the Twitter user is most actively engaged.”
Free Tools to Archive Twitter Search results by DoFollow.Net
A primer on using Google Reader, Google Docs or HootSuite to back up your Twitter archives.
7 Tools For Monitoring The Effectiveness Of Your Tweets by SocialMouths
Noting that “By monitoring what happens to your important tweets you can begin to understand what works and what doesn’t work and make improvements,” Ian Cleary reviews seven tools that “are useful for monitoring the effectiveness of your tweets,” including Tweetreach, Monitter, and Tweeteffect, which “displays your recent tweets and shows if you got new followers or lost followers around the time of the tweet.”
Hashtag Discovery Tools by LunaMetrics
Dan Wilkerson spotlights tools “that can help your brand discover hashtags and conversations that fit your message and values,” including Hashonomy.com (“This site also allows you to search for terms and see popular links shared on twitter related to your search along with their related hashtags underneath. This can be useful both for searching for tags for your own content and for competitive analysis”) and Tweetreach.
Getting Started With HootSuite by Social Media Sun
Sandy Stachowiak serves up a detailed, illustrated review that explains “the features that made me a HootSuite fan,” with step-by-step guidance on setup; navigation; tweets and posts; and details about features like scheduling, approvals and RSS feeds; as well as acknowledgement of the tool’s limitations and issues.
Social Recruiting – The Ultimate Twitter Strategy Tool by Social-Hire
Tony Restell presents a detailed review of TweetLevel, which he calls “the ultimate Twitter strategy tool” for its ability to report on user influence within a specific context (i.e., celebrities like Oprah don’t just automatically get the highest scores), as well as to offer “insights into the type of Twitter user they are so that you can focus your attentions where they will be most beneficial.”
Your Twitter Archive by Twitter Blog
Mollie Vandor explains in this concise but helpful post how to “download your Twitter archive, so you’ll get all your Tweets (including Retweets) going back to the beginning. Once you have your Twitter archive, you can view your Tweets by month, or search your archive to find Tweets with certain words, phrases, hashtags or @usernames. You can even engage with your old Tweets just as you would with current ones.”
As noted in 33 (of the) Best Social Media Guides, Tips and Resources of 2012 So Far, posted here a few months ago, social media marketing adoption is now so widespread there’s little further question of “if” or “when” in the minds of most marketers–but many “how” and “what” questions still remain.
How can marketers make more productive use of their time on social networking sites? What’s the best time of day to post updates on Twitter or Facebook? How can you make sure your company’s social media policy doesn’t run afoul of employment law? What under-utilized site has been called a “social media powerhouse,” and which highly popular social bookmarking site is frequently overlooked by marketers? How can you measure (or can you measure) social media ROI?
Find the answers to those questions and many more here in almost two dozen of the best social media guides, tips, tools, insights and rants of 2012.
Social Media Marketing Guides and Tips
The brilliant Gini Dietrich reports on research showing that marketers commonly choose the wrong time of day to post and engage on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as to send emails. While the study was fairly small, the findings are consistent with other sources indicating that they key to better social media results may lie in better timing of updates rather than just more of them.
12 Essential Social Media Cheat Sheets by Mashable
Tools guru-ess Ann Smarty shares a dozen helpful “cheat sheets,” which “are basically infographics that can give a user a simple rundown of various features and how to use them.” The collection here provides guidance on getting the most out of Google+, Facebook and Twitter, as well as network-specific spam definitions and keyboard shortcuts.
Fortune 500 CEOs Don’t Get Social Media! [Research] by Heidi Cohen
Quoting research showing that “70% of the Fortune 500 CEOs have no presence on social media networks…Two thirds of CEOs on Facebook have less than 100 friends and over a quarter of CEOs on LinkedIn have 1 or 0 connections,” the always insightful Heidi Cohen suggests three reasons why CEOs fear social media (such as liability concerns) and three ways they could actually leverage it instead (such as setting an example for employees: “An active CEO encourages others to engage and shows public support for social media activity that helps build brand and customer relationships over time”).
How your brand is abusing social networks by iMedia Connection
***** 5 STARS
In this must-read post for social media strategists, Rob Rose explains in his own often provocative and always entertaining manner how brands are commonly misusing social media by treating it as another marketing channel, the dangers of that approach, and why each social network should instead be utilized according to its own unique personality and etiquette. “Marketers are the nerdy freshman at the cool kids’ senior party. Say the wrong thing — or say it in the wrong way — and risk getting ridiculed and bounced out. Come with a case of beer and some great conversation, and you just might be a hit. But even then, you are only one mistake away from a viral case of #Fail…make no mistake, this is challenging — and it’s not an even playing field. It used to be that marketers could simply avoid being “salesy” on their social channels, and the world would be OK…But as social marketing becomes increasingly business driven — and content strategies converge in the paid, owned, and earned (POE) models — simply using social channels to engage and entertain is no longer quite as simple…it’s no longer good enough to want to show up to the party with a case of beer. Now, you’ve got to find a way to pay for it as well.”
Beyond the Basics: 30 Fresh Social Media Tips for 2012 by KISSmetrics
Frequent best-of honoree Kristi Hines provides an outstanding list of general social media tips (e.g., “Cross promote your social profiles. Look for opportunities to add links from one social profile to others. Google+, for example, allows you to link to as many of your other social profiles as you choose”) as well as specific suggestions for getting the most out of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Slideshare: The B2B Social Media Powerhouse by Heidi Cohen
Noting that “Slideshare receives 60 million visitors per month. More importantly, these visitors tend to be highly influential business people seeking to engage with relevant content,” Heidi Cohen (again) serves up 10 actionable Slideshare marketing tactics, from knowing your target audience on the site to using hashtags, optimizing your presentation’s title and tracking results.
Five Ways Social is Shaping your B2B Customers by LinkedIn Today
David Edelman shares a presentation from McKinsey’s Lareina Yee on the Social Enterprise, which includes five ways social is shaping B2B customers, among them “DIY prospecting” (where customers conduct significant research before ever entering the sales cycle), peer influence, and “click to compare”–conditioned to price transparency in their consumer lives, B2B buyers are coming to expect it from business product and service vendors as well.
3 ways to stop wasting time on social media by iMedia Connection
Drew Hubbard outlines three social media management practices that will “free you up to do more of what really matters in social media — respond and engage.” Even more helpfully, he lists tools that will assist with each practice. For example, useful tools for keeping a collaborative calendar include Google Calendar, Outlook, Basecamp and ZOHO.
The 5 Best Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Traffic to Your Website by WindMill Networking
Guest blogger Lilach Bullock shares a handful of tips for increasing web traffic from social media, including being active and engaged (“The one thing that most business owners using social media don’t do is listen”) and making influential links (“identify a list of key influential people in your industry and engage with them. If you are genuine in your praise they will naturally want to find out about you too”).
7 Sources of Inspiration for Writing Sizzling Social Media Posts by Rebekah Radice
Writing that “Unless you are a natural born writer with exceptional skills, running out of content ideas is inevitable,” Rebekah Radice offers tips for finding topic inspiration such as through social media (Facebook groups, LinkedIn questions, Twitter trending topics), books and other industry-related publications, and (when all else fails) re-purposing your own older content.
Social Media ROI Measurement Guides
Social Media: ROI Possible by SlideShare
In this presentation originally delivered at SES San Francisco, the delightful Angie Schottmuller explains why social media seems like it should be easy, but isn’t. She notes that “social media” is far more than Twitter, blogs and Facebook, now encompassing “social listening,” content curation, crowdfunding, social gaming, social CRM and more. She shares the three reasons that social media ROI measurement is rare, then presents a plan to address each obstacle.
If the presentation alone doesn’t supply quite enough detail for you, check out Social Media ROI: How To Define a Strategic Plan, Angie’s guest post further exploring the same topic on Search Engine Watch.
6 Expert Tips for Measuring Social Media ROI by OMI Blog
Megan Leap share half a dozen tips on social media ROI measurement from Nichole Kelly, author of How to Measure Social Media: A Step-By-Step Guide to Developing and Assessing Social Media ROI. such as “Social media interactions take place on the web, which is inherently more measurable than offline channels like print, TV and Radio. Measuring social media is actually really easy and most marketers have the tools they need. They just need to start using them a different way.”
Social Media Tools
5 Tools to Simplify Social Media Monitoring Tasks by Link-Assistant.Com Blog
Ann Smarty (again) reviews a handlful of helpful social media monitoring tools, including a couple of familiar names (SproutSocial, HootSuite), a couple of less familiar options (such as Cyfe), and even shows how the free Google Reader tool can be used for basic brand- or keyword-monitoring.
The Top 5 Social Media Managing Tools by Social Media Today
Jen Eisenberg present highlights of five social media management tools, including not just popular applications like HootSuite but also newer, lesser-known tools such as RebelMouse and Flavors.me, which she calls “a hidden treasure…You can pull your photos, updates, videos, music and more from 35 different web services, one of the most of any social media aggregators.”
Social media tools for the smart agency by iMedia Connection
Scott Fiaschetti reviews seven tools for social media monitoring and management, ranging from relatively simple and inexpensive (uberVu) to more sophisticated offerings like Adaptly, “a platform for execution and optimization of social campaigns across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, and YouTube.
Social Media Cheat Sheet for Image Dimensions by The Landlord Blog
How large should your cover photo be on Facebook? What about a story image or shared Facebook video? How many pixels of your Twitter background image are visible to most users? What are the correct dimensions for a cover photo on Google+? Find the ideal / required dimensions for all of these uses and many others in this highly bookmarkable infographic.
24 Must-Have Social Media Marketing Tools by Social Media Examiner
***** 5 STARS
Cindy King compiles two dozen recommendations from social media pros on their favorite tools, from Commun.it (which Shelly Lucas says helps her to “build and nurture relationships with supporters, influencers and potential customers on Twitter”) to AgoraPulse (which according to Aaron Kahlow “provides everything your Facebook Page will ever need”).
Writing Social Media Policies
Eight Ways Your Employee Social-Media Policy May Violate Federal Law by Ad Age Digital
Every marketing manager knows that his/her company needs a social media policy for employees, right? Actually, no—as of mid-2012, only about 40% of companies had such policies in place. Even worse, according to Brian Heidelberger, is that it’s quite possible “most all of our current social media policies are illegal.” According to rules established by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a social media policy likely runs afoul of the law if it prohibits or restricts “friending” other employees, posting about the company, talking about coworkers, talking to the press, or using social media sites while at work.
Your Social Media Policies by iMedia Connection
Lee Schneider outlines nine key points to keep in mind when creating a social media policy, among them “support individuality but stay on message…Many company accounts have multiple posters. Encourage them to let their voice come through, but also make it clear that they are posting for the brand and what the brand stands for,” encourage dialogue but never argue on the Internet, and don’t delete complaints (but do respond to them humbly, helpfully and publicly).
Reddit Marketing Tips
6 Ways to Use Reddit to Grow Your Business by Social Media Examiner
I know—Reddit? A site whose home page is frequently dominated with stories that have headlines like “How I respond whenever a girl thinks I’m cool” and “Extremely Scary Ghost Elevator Prank in Brazil” hardly seems like a promising venue for professional marketers, but don’t write off the second-most popular bookmarking site on the web until you’ve read Ben Beck’s discussion of half a dozen popular business-oriented communities there.
Reddit Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC] by e-Strategy Trends
David Erickson shares the Reddit Marketing Field Guide infographic, which provides stats about Reddit use (2.5 billion monthly page views), the typical Redditor (18-34 years old, geeky, liberal and male), and tips on adding content that will get shared (spamming will get you nowhere). Despite its high traffic, Reddit isn’t appropriate for every marketer; but if this is your target market, then this is your helpful infographic.
YouTube Marketing Tactics
6 lessons in launching a branded YouTube channel by iMedia Connection
Michael Estrin shares tips from several agency professionals on how brands can get the most out of their YouTube channels, from starting with a strategy and plan through keeping your audience engaged. In the end, success comes down to “picking what is achievable for your brand and matching realistic key performance indicators to them.”
The ultimate guide to video marketing on YouTube by iMedia Connection
***** 5 STARS
Reporting that “global internet video traffic will make up 54 percent of all consumer internet traffic in 2016 — up from 51 percent in 2011″ and “Video offers greater retention and recall — up to five times greater than the written word,” Kent Lewis provides an exhaustive guide to everything from video marketing best practices and optimization essentials to YouTube advertising and video sitemaps.
SEO is a blend of art and science. The “art” side relies on knowledge, intuition and creativity. The “science” side can be made more effective and more efficient by using tools like the ones highlighted here—enabling SEO practitioners to focus more on the art part.
Need to analyze the optimization status of an existing website? Identify promising keywords? Analyze competitors’ backlinking strategies? Evaluate the impact of social media activities on search results? Create XML sitemaps for multiple search engines?
You’ll find tools to aid with all of those tasks and more in this collection of useful and cool SEO tools.
SEO Analysis and Reporting Tools
2 Free Tools to Find and Analyze SERP Dominators (for Competitor Research) by Search Engine Journal
Frequent best-of honoree Ann Smarty reviews WhoICompete and Andrew Griffiths’ search marketing tool, two tools that, in her words, “let you generate the list of domains that get ranked high for several related search queries (we call them ‘SERP dominators’)”–in other words, the companies that are successfully utilizing web presence optimization (WPO) around these search phrases.
8 Cool Free SEO Website Tools by Abnormal Marketing
Fiona McEachran looks at eight helpful free SEO toos, ranging from the widely used (e.g., HubSpot, Alexa, and Backlink Watch, which is one of my favorites) to the lesser-known but interesting like iWebTool—a suite of tools including a Backlink Checker, Google PageRank Prediction and Keyword Density Checker—and Best SEO Tools, another intriguing suite.
5 Free Web SEO Analysis Tools by Blogging News Technology
What’s In Your SEO Toolbox? by SEO Book
***** 5 STARS
Writing that “From a cost and time standpoint I’ve found it really helpful to pick a core set of tools and stick with them rather than bouncing around to get an extra feature or two,” Eric Covino reviews his favorites in this outstanding post. He helpfully divides his list of tools, most of which are market leaders, into five categories: keyword research, on-page criteria, rank checkers, competitive link research tools, and link monitoring tools.
Tools every SEO specialist and marketer should use by iMedia Connection
Jason Hennessey offers mini-reviews of half-a-dozen useful SEO tools, including Majestic SEO, Raven Tools and SEMRush. This is a solid list for newbies, but experienced SEO professionals and digital marketers will likely already be using these (or their own favorite alternatives).
Challenges in Automated Traffic Reporting by The Daily SEO Blog
Benjamin Estes examines five tools for monitoring and reporting on organic traffic data, from the most basic (Google Analytics) through some more exotic options like Geckoboard and GinzaMetrics. He summarizes the capabilities, pros and cons of each tool, but doesn’t declare a “winner” as each client’s requirements are, after all, somewhat different.
The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Chrome SEO Extensions by Search Engine Journal
In this concise and easy to digest post, Benjamin Beck serves up quick, bullet-point reviews of “good” SEO extensions for Chrome (among them: the SEO MOZ Bar, Buffer App and Check My Links) as well as “bad” and “ugly” extensions that either aren’t particularly useful or well-designed.
Review: Bruce Clay’s Latest SEOToolSet by Coconut Headphones
Ted Ives extols the virtues of Bruce Clay’s SEOToolSet, which includes tools for working through the SEO process in six main areas: keyword strategy, linking strategy, architecture best practices, content optimization, traffic analysis and monetization (determining click value). Ted’s conclusion: “Bruce’s product is very broad and comprehensive and covers more bases…(than) other tools…and is well worth trying out.”
A Complete Review of Wordtracker’s Link Builder by SEO Book
Eric Covino (again) provides a thoughtful comprehensive review, this time of Wordtracker’s Link Builder tool. He steps through the process of setting up a campaign, researching competitor link profiles, link analysis, finding contacts, reporting, and using the Firefox extension. Eric closes the post with a helpful summary of the features he likes as well as areas he feels could be improved upon.
Why Optify Got Down To SEO Basics by MediaPost SearchBlog
Laurie Sullivan reports on the Basic edition of Optify, a tool designed to help marketers and business owners not only “understand SEO, but also how social media influences search engine query results.” The tool offers some nice features, such as keyword suggestions and a one-click tracking plugin for WordPress, but it’s not clear if it covers all of the bases of WPO as well as an something like gShift Labs.
This free Windows-based tool generates XML sitemaps for Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Keyword Research Tools
12 Popular Keyword Organization Tips & Tools by SEO Book
6 Free Steps to Practical SEM Keyword Development by Target Marketing Magazine
Michel Leconte explains how to develop target keyword lists for SEO and SEM using common, popular tools like Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Instant and Alexa, and concludes, “How do you know when you have not spent enough time doing keyword identification? Chances are that if you don’t need to develop any new content and/or re-organize your website to fuel and align with the strategy at the end of this process, you’re missing something.”
In just a few short years, Twitter has transformed from an odd little sort of public IM service where people posted what they just ate for lunch or what their cat was doing at the moment into one of the big four social networks and a significant channel for news, PR & marketing, politics and more. It has enabled revolutions in real life as well as in digital marketing.
Twitter’s 200 million users collectively tap out a billion tweets per week. Nearly 3/4 of active Twitter users are bloggers. More than 80% of U.S. governors, senators and congressional representatives use it, as do 87 of the Billboard Top 100 musicians. Twitter users are twice as likely to purchase from companies they follow than are Facebook users.
So how can marketers and PR professionals use Twitter more effectively? What’s the best way to build a quality, relevant Twitter following? Of the hundreds of third party Twitter tools out there, which are really worth utilizing? How can Twitter to used to support SEO efforts?
Discover the answers to those questions and many more here in 45 of the best guides to Twitter tips, tools and tactics of the past year.
Twitter Tips, Tactics and Techniques
40 Examples Of Creatively Designed Twitter Backgrounds by Tripwire Magazine
Got a boring Twitter background and need some inspiration to help you liven it up? Dustin Betonio here presents 40 “awesome and creatively designed Twitter backgrounds which use various and innovative illustrations to create a visually attractive and appealing look to their profiles” to get your creativity kick-started.
25 Suggestions For How To Use Twitter by Dave Fleet
Dave offers “25 ideas for ways you can get value out of Twitter, with a mix of business and personal focus,” such as meeting new people, staying on top of the news, influencing the influencers, and re-purposing content.
10 Twitter Features You Might Be Missing by GigaOM
Top 7 Ways to Save Time on Twitter by OPEN Forum
Noting that the top barrier to increased business use of social media is a lack of time and resources, Leyl Master Black shares “seven Twitter tricks from the pros that allow you to spend less time on the mechanics and more time engaging.”
20 Guidelines for Twitter Success by Global Copywriting
Sarah Mitchell presents 20 tips for success on Twitter, divided into four categories: Always Try To (e.g., answer every mention), Never Fail To (e.g., say “thank you”), Things NOT To Do, and “Keep in Mind.”
The Ultimate Guide to Twitter Marketing by Copyblogger
Curating the curator here, as Gabrielle Conde links to and summarizes 100 educational posts about Twitter, covering the gamut from setting up a Twitter account to using hashtags to marketing and prospecting strategies, from authors like Marian Schembari, Michael Brenner and the ebullient Diana Adams.
12 Most Stimulating Twitter Chats by The 12 Most
If you’ve never sat in on a Twitter chat, it’s quite an experience. If you have, you understand the metaphorical meaning of “drinking from a fire hose.” Think of those people-talking-over-each-other Sunday morning political talk shows and multiply it by a large number. In some cases, a very large number. Among the 12 best Twitter chats chosen here by Daniel Newman are Blogchat, hosted by Mack Collier; GetRealChat, moderated by the exuberant Pam Moore; and LeadershipChat, hosted by my fellow Lebronian Lisa Petrilli and Steve Woodruff.
The Right Way to Build Brand(s) via Twitter by iMedia Connection
David Sonn recommends a strategy combining a corporate Twitter account with accounts from key executives and other (properly trained) key individuals within a company to maximize credibility, interaction and business impact.
55 Tips to Get Retweeted on Twitter by ZoomFactor
The awesome Pam Moore supplies an extensive list of tips for getting retweeted more frequently and consistently, such as using your real picture, knowing your audience, knowing Twitter lingo, and making people laugh, cry, or learn something.
The Hidden Guide to Using Twitter Effectively by KISSmetrics
***** 5 STARS
The delightful Kristi Hines digs deep into Twitter, explaining how to do things like deleting a “Recent Image,” create customized RSS feeds from Twitter, use Twitter’s Advanced Search, search Twitter results using Google, get the most out of your Twitter bio and more.
Twitter: Marketers Still Struggling To Understand Social Channel by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Laurie Sullivan summarizes a report from Forrester Research outlining the challenges and opportunities marketers face in using Twitter effectively. One key finding: “Forrester analysts believe it’s not only the 1 billion tweets that matter, but rather the 6.2% of online adults creating 80% of the influence from impressions. The research firm calls these users Mass Connectors…Along with Mass Mavens—representing 13.8% of online adults creating 80% of the posts, comments, rating—they are small in number, but strong in power when it comes to influencing others.”
Twitter’s New Look and Feel
Jolie O’Dell summarizes the changes in Twitter’s new interface, such as the “new Activity tab, which shows all the non-tweet activity from people you follow. You can see new follows from your friends, friends’ retweets and their favorites.” Overall, the UI is an improvement—with the exception of losing the ability to see how many lists a person is on. Hopefully, Twitter listens to user feedback and restores that feature.
David Foster summarizes Twitter’s design changes and new capabilities, including four-tab navigation and the ability to embed tweets on any website.
Twitter and SEO
The Tweet Effect: How Twitter Affects Rankings by The Daily SEO Blog
In this somewhat long-winded but thoroughly researched post, John Doherty describes a number of experiments he ran to determine the effect of Tweets on a page or blog post ranking. The conclusion? Even a single tweet helps a page or post get indexed more quickly, though it has little effect on rankings. Retweets from relevant and highly influential Twitters, however, can have a significant impact on ranking.
7 Key Ways to Optimize Twitter for Search by HubSpot Blog
Anum Hussain details seven techniques for optimizing your Twitter presence for search, among them, “Don’t completely believe the “nofollow” warning…both Google and Bing (have) confirmed that tweeted links are in fact a signal for a search engine’s organic and news rankings,” create a special list of Twitter keywords, and use 1-2 core keyword phrases in your bio.
Finding Twitter Followers and Interesting Twitterers to Follow
How To: Get More Qualified Followers on Twitter by Social Media Today
Tracy Gold suggests eight tactics for increasing your Twitter following the right way—gradually building a relevant group of followers by using best practices such as hashtags, retweets and replies, as well as creating and adding followers to lists.
How to Find Twitter People that Don’t Suck by Soshable
JD Rucker presents a series of steps, starting with defining your goals on Twitter, to help find quality people to follow on Twitter. Each section is divided into guidelines for personal accounts and for business.
How to Get More Followers on Twitter by Graywolf’s SEO Blog
Michael Gray lays out an effective seven-step fan for gradually building a relevant Twitter following, starting with “raiding” the accounts of competitive and complementary Twitter accounts and using tools like Raven Event Tracking and manageflitter.
Twitter for B2B Marketing
5 Ways Twitter Can Be Leveraged for B2B Search Engine Marketing by Search Engine Watch
9 Twitter Tips for B2B Marketing Success by Modern B2B Blogs
Maria Pergolino shares nine tips for B2B marketing success on Twitter, such as sharing the workload for the corporate Twitter account among several people, sharing valuable content, and using Twitter tools (see below) to maximize productivity.
Twitter for PR and Media Pros
9 easy steps to add Twitter to your PR mix by ragan.com
The illustrious Anne Deeter Gallaher lays out a nine-step path to Twitter expertise for PR professionals, including using TweetDeck to follow multiple topics of interest simultaneously.
4 Ways to Build Your Influence on Twitter by Laura Kinoshita
When building influence on Twitter, start by following 10-20 people with modest follower counts (which makes it easier for you to stand out) who are connected to a key influencer in your market, then gradually build an influencer map for your industry.
Twitter Launches Twitter for Newsrooms by BizCloud
A review of the Twitter for Newsrooms guide, designed to “help reporters get the most out of the micro-blogging service. The guide contains valuable resources that will educate journalists and media organizations on how to best leverage various Twitter tools for finding sources, publishing their stories, and also for promoting their content.” Something PR professionals may want to take a look at as well.
Though his English is a bit spotty, Richard Darell provides helpful reviews of eight tools corporate recruiters can use to evaluate potential hires (and the rest of can use to evaluate anyone) on Twitter, including Retweet Radar and Twitalyzer.
These Two Twitter Clients Are The Best Conversation Agents for Digital Marketers by iMedia Connection
Noting that “88% of small businesses and 74% of midsized organizations now use Twitter as their social media application of choice. However, marketers do have a preference when choosing their conversation agent,” Courtney Wiley reviews her two favorite Twitter clients.
15 Useful Twitter Tools for B2B Social Media by Social Media B2B
Frequent best-of contributor Adam Holden-Bache reviews 15 helpful tools for managing Twitter, including Twtpoll for polling, Tweetreach to see how far your tweets travel, and Backtweets for better Twitter search.
The Top Ten Twitter Statistics and Analytics Tools by Dead Dinosaur
Two Great Twitter Visualization Tools: Twiangulate & MentionMap by Affiliate Marketing Blog
Geno Prussakov reviews two helpful tools for finding relevant new Twitter followers. Twiangulate, which looks very cool, lets you “see the biggest (or the most influential) followers of any two or three Twitter users, as well as mutual followers and mutual friends, compare lists, and do much more,” according to Geno.
5 Great Twitter Track Tools to Organize Followers by Search Engine Journal
Noting that unlike other social networking sites, Twitter is an “open-format chat setting that invites communication and connections with anyone who happens by. This is why you might need a little extra something to help keep track of all of your followers,” Ann Smarty reviews five helpful tools to help accomplish that task.
Leo Widrich outlines the features of 10 popular Twitter tools (including his own Buffer App for scheduling tweets) as well as what makes each one “killer.”
Twitter Noise Reduction: The Twit Cleaner by Social Marketing Forum
Jim Ducharme review Twit Cleaner, a handy tool to help keep your tweet stream clean by identifying people you follow who are Dodgy (spam phrases, @ spamming, duplicate links etc.), Absent (o updates in a month, or fewer than 10 tweets), Repetitive (igh numbers of duplicate tweets or links) or guilty of other Twitter sins. You can also have the tool evaluate your own behavior to make sure you aren’t crossing any lines.
6 Ways To Monitor Your Brand On Twitter by OPEN Forum
Organize Your Twitter Following with Formulists by Business2Community
Kristi Hines explains the features of Formulists, “a service that will allow you to create customized Twitter lists and automatically update those lists with new followers that fit your specifications”—ideal for organizing large numbers of Twitter followers without manually picking through all of your followers.
Angela West looks at how Twitter analytics (based on their acquisition of BackType) work and the key benefits they provide to business users.
The 11 Twitter Tools and Apps I Use Every Day in 2011 by Business2Community
14 Twitter Tools for Enterprise Business by Sprout Insights
In a slightly different twist, Susan Gunelius presents 14 useful Twitter tools based on the function that would benefit from them (Marketing and Customer Service, Human Resources, and Communications and Networking).
10 Tools to Significantly Increase Your Twitter Efficiency by arkarthick.com
Guest poster Leo Widrich details his top ten tools for Twitterers to “check out to step up your Twitter game and significantly increase your efficiency,” including Twinbow, Buffer, Tweriod and PeerIndex.
Twitter Facts and Stats
Twitter Growth Skyrockets, Settles Privacy Case With FTC by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Laurie Sullivan reports on some interesting Twitter statistics, such as that Twitter users now collectively post about one billion tweets per week, and mobile use has increased 182% in the past year.
Twitter Stats that will 100% get you tweeting by Carvill Creative
Michelle Carvill amplifies some stats to win over Twitter skeptics, among them: there are 200,000,000 registered Twitter users,with 450,000 new accounts created each day. There are 1.6 billion Twitter search queries every day. The majority of twitter users are between the ages of 30 and 49. And 67% of users are likely to recommend a brand they follow to others.
Big Brands Tested On Twitter Effectiveness by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Mark Walsh reports on an experiment by a digital agency “not to see whether corporate Twitter hands could answer tough questions, but to find out if they would engage in a conversation at all.” Among the findings: of the Fortune 50 companies in the study, 16 apparently don’t have corporate Twitter account. of the remaining 34, 23 responded to the test tweets, with GM, UPS and Best Buy responding most quickly.
Guest author Shannon Downey extols the virtues of Twitter for enabling Tweetups and shares some interesting stats showing that brand followers on Twitter are roughly twice as likely as brand fans on Facebook to purchase a brand after following, and 50% more likely to recommend it.
Twitter’s Changing Complexion by iMedia Connection
Daniel Flamberg shares some fascinating intelligence on Twitter users, such as that:
- • 72% of active Twitter users are bloggers
- • 61% write at least 1 product review per month
- • 56% write articles for third-party sites
Twitter By The Numbers: Are You Listening to 100 Million Voices? by B2B Marketing Insider
Michael Brenner makes the business case for using Twitter, answers some common questions about the network and shares a selection of stats like: 84% of U.S. state governors, 82% of U.S. congressional representatives and 83% of senators use Twitter. 87% of Billboard’s top 100 musicians are there. And more than half of all Twitter users log in daily.