Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Flamberg’

24 of the Best Google+ Guides, Tips, Rants and Raves of 2012

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Will Google+ be a “Facebook killer” or just Google’s next failed social network? It’s certainly gaining traction, with over 500 million users now on board, already half of Facebook’s total. Then again, the average Facebook user spends nearly seven hours per month on the site—compared to just three minutes for the average Google+user.

Best Google+ Guides, Tips and Rants of 2012Many of this year’s best posts about Google’s newest social platform were written early in the year. Since then, though the user base has continued to grow, enthusiasm seems to have waned. While Marty Weintraub offers a more provocative metaphor below, it almost seems like Google+ is becoming the colonoscopy of social networks: everyone agrees it’s vitally important, but few people really want to talk about it or spend any more time on it than absolutely necessary.

“Ghost town” or not, many experts agree that Google+ is here to stay, and it’s valuable for b2b marketing, SEO, personal branding, and reputation management. So what makes Google+ special? What are the best practices for business use of the platform? How can an individual or organization most efficiently grow a following there? And will Google+ end Facebook’s domination of social networking—or will it “break the Internet”?

Find those answers and more here in two dozen of the best Google+ guides, tips, rants and raves of the past year.

Google+ Guides and Tips

5 Things Google+ Offers Brands That Facebook Doesn’t by Sprout Insights

Susan GuneliusSusan Gunelius outlines five social networking features unique to Google+, including circles (which enable you to “separate your customers from your colleagues and online influencers from your business partners”) and hangouts (which can be “used for things like small-group webinars, question and answer sessions, and more”).

Why brands will lose if they ignore Google+ by iMedia Connection

Though he calls Google+ a “half-baked invention,” Daniel Flamberg nevertheless advises that “savvy marketers should use Google+ these five ways,” including experimenting with hangouts, expanding social assets and audiences, and optimizing branded search: “Link owned digital assets to Google+. Use the +1 and encourage your followers to do the same. Plant +1 badges on all your assets to take advantage of the Direct Connect tool that automatically brings customers and prospects searching in your category to your page.”

6 Steps to Getting Started With Google+ by Social Media Examiner

Marc PitmanFor marketers who are either still on the fence about Google+ or just haven’t done much with it, Marc Pitman provides an excellent guide to the basics like filling up your links “While you’re editing your ‘about’ page, be sure to pay attention to the ‘other profiles’ section…(consider adding) links to other social media networks, links to your business sites (and) links to special pages on your website.”

The First 5 Things You Should Do With Your Google+ Business Page by WindMill Networking

Mark TraphagenOnce you’ve finished with Marc Pitman’s post above, Mark Traphagen presents a five-step process for taking your business presence on Google+ to the next level, starting with 1 four-item list on optimizing your page for SEO followed by upgraded the visual appearance of your page and filling your stream with quality content.

3 reasons Google+ is not a social network by iMedia Connection

Lauren FriedmanLauren Friedman explains why she thinks Google+ is not a social network but brands should be there anyway–for example, for SEO purposes: “The best way brands can take advantage of Google+ is to amp-up their SEO. Each time a user clicks the +1 button, it helps with that brand’s SEO and the content getting served to users above other content. Search results are personalized based on the +1s of those in your circles, and as a marketer, that changes the game. Search results are still based on Google’s proprietary algorithms, but sites with more +1s will appear to be more relevant and thus ranked higher.”

3 Successful Google+ Pages and Why They Work by Social Media Examiner

Lisa PeytonLisa Peyton highlights three examples of successful Google+ brand pages such as the NASA page, where “The active space and science community on Google+ may support speculation that platform users are mostly tech-savvy early adopters. This finding contradicts the fact that the TOP Google+ profile belongs to pop star Britney spears. However, her page garners less engagement based upon the number of followers than the top brands outlined in this article.”

Google+ for SEO? Don’t Focus on Your Brand Page! by B2B Digital Marketing

Eric WittlakeContradicting popular wisdom, Eric Wittlake argues that “Google+ Brand Pages are not the ticket to SEO success. In fact, if you focus your Google+ efforts on your new brand page, you will miss the most important search benefits of Google+.” He then outline three strategies he says are designed to improve search rank and traffic.

6 Reasons Why Adding Google+ to Your Web Presence & SEO Strategy is a Good Idea by iMedia Connection

Krista LaRiviereKrista LaRiviere of web presence optimization software vendor gShift Labs offers six reasons for brands to embrace Google+, among them fresh content (“Google+ is just one more place to publish your press releases, blogs, testimonials, case studies and news. The difference with Google+ is that your content, if found, will be listed at the top of Google personal results mixed in with traditional search results”) and the fact that Google+ produces social signals which factor into Google’s ranking algorithm.

32 Totally Free Google “Search Plus Your World” #SEO Resources by aimClear Blog
***** 5 STARS

Marty WeintraubFrequent best-of honoree Marty Weintraub compares Google+ to a dominatrix (it makes sense the way he writes it), offering short-term pleasure (search rank improvement) at the expense of long-term frustration. Still, he thinks it’s worth the effort to chase the temporary bump and so shares an excellent list of nearly three dozen how-to articles from writers like Lisa Barone, Matt McGee and Stephanie Cain.

Reputation Management: How Google+ Can Be Your Best Friend or Your Worst Enemy by Business2Community

Danny DeMicheleContending that “PageRank, Google’s ranking scoring system, is profoundly impacted by these (Google +1) votes,” Danny DeMichele provides a simple four-step process for using Google+ as part of a broader reputation (personal or brand) strategy.

20 Google+ Terms and Definitions You Need to Know by Sprout Insights

Susan Gunelius (again) presents helpful definitions of basic (e.g., “Chat: Using the Chat feature, you can notify people in your Google+ Circles that you’re online and available for an online chat from within Google+”) and advanced Google+ terms (such as “Data Liberation: Use this feature to download and backup the content in your Google+ Account, which is available through the Google+ Settings option [the gear icon in the upper-right corner of your screen when you’re logged into your Google+ account"]).

How Google’s +1 Button Affects SEO by Mashable

Keith KaplanKeith Kaplan explains that although “The +1 has an indirect effect on your site’s search rank. This does not mean the more +1’s a link has, the higher rank it achieves in traditional search results,” it can indirectly help with SEO by making a piece of content more likely to be clicked on and shared on other social networks—which does actually affect rank.

How to Effectively Create a Google+ Following of 10,000 Engaged Fans by Search Engine Watch

Eric SiuEric Siu shares advice from Fraser Cain, publisher of the Universe Today space and astronomy news website, on how to build, maintain and engage a large following on Google+. Eric contends that Fraser’s success, based on unique content and active network, belies the notion promoted by some (such as Austin Carr, below) that Google+ is a “ghost town.”

Build Your Google Plus Page Following with Topical Pages by WindMill Networking
***** 5 STARS

This tip from guest blogger Mark Traphagen (again) is almost too good to share. “What if you could create opt-in subscription lists on Google+? You can! Here’s the wonderful secret: you can create a Google+ page about virtually anything, including a topic. It doesn’t necessarily have to be connected with a brand name.” He then details a “simple strategy for using Pages to create opt-in subscription lists about specific topics.”

Quick Tricks to Make Your Google Plus Business Page Sparkle by ZD Design Blog

Donnie BryantAgain arguing against the “Google+ is a ghost town” thesis, Donnie Bryant here provides a handful of helpful tips for getting more performance out of a Google+ business page, from creating a short URL and maximizing the use of photos and video to encouraging sharing.

The Marketer’s Guide to Google Plus by KISSmetrics

Zach BulygoZach Bulygo offers a highly detailed and richly illustrated guide to marketing on Google+, from the basics of business page setup and getting a verified name to optimizing your tagline, use of photos. Google+ author tag and the +1 sharing button.

How to Use Google Plus for Personal Branding and Establishing Author Rank by WindMill Networking

Neal SchafferNeal Schaffer quotes Mark Traphagen (one last time), who calls Google+ a “powerhouse” because of its “tight integration into Google search. Google+ posts are easily indexed by Google search, and unlike tweets or Facebook posts, are treated much like regular web pages. That means a well-constructed G+ post (with a main keyword in the first sentence/title and a good amount of engagement) can rank well in Google search and, unlike other social media status posts, actually stay ranked for a long time,” and explains why Google authorship is important and how to set it up.

Google+ Rants and Raves

Google+ Is Going To Mess Up The Internet by ReadWrite

Jon MitchellJon Mitchell is not a fan of Google’s latest social network and isn’t afraid to say so. He writes, “Google tools used to enhance the Internet. But as Google ships ‘the Google part’ of its new Google+ identity, it’s breaking the Web it once helped build,” and then offers half a dozen specific reasons why.

“Don’t Be Evil” Tool — Backed By Facebook & Twitter — Shows Google’s “Search Plus Your World” Can Go Beyond Google+ by Search Engine Land

Danny SullivanDanny Sullivan details the use and results from the “Don’t be Evil” browser bookmarklet, stating that “The companies behind the tool feel Google’s hasn’t focused on what’s best for its users with Search Plus Your World. They have a good point. But the tool makes this point better than all the debates that have happened so far around Search Plus Your Word, because it shows what Google could have done to better serve searchers, if it had wanted to.” He also explains how some features of Google+ are part of the problem.

How Google+ Is Encircling Your Brand by MediaPost

Though he believes “Google+ is emerging as a great way for brands to connect directly with consumers,” Gavin O’Malley also notes that a disproportionate share of interaction is driven by a few aggressive, early adopting brands on the platform, and points out “Google+ still has less than 1/100th the number of total consumers interacting with the top 100 brands that Facebook has achieved.”

Exclusive: New Google+ Study Reveals Minimal Social Activity, Weak User Engagement by Fast Company

Austin CarrAustin Carr reports on the findings of a study which paints “very poor picture of the search giant’s social network–a picture of waning interest, weak user engagement, and minimal social activity.” Among te research findings from RJ Metrics, “Roughly 30% of users who make a public post never make a second one” and “Even after making five public posts, there is a 15% chance that a user will not post publicly again.” The author concludes that Google+ “might indeed just be a ‘virtual ghost town,’ as some have argued.”

Think You Don’t Need Google+ in Your Business? Think Again! by Rebekah Radice

Rebekah RadiceWhile acknowledging that Google+ has its shortcomings and that many marketers remain (not entirely unreasonably) skeptical about the platform, Rebekah Radice nevertheless offers half a dozen reasons to embrace Google’s social network, such as the circles and hangouts features and the B2B networking value.

With Google+ Communities, Google launches its own version of Facebook Groups by VentureBeat

Tom CheredarTom Cheredar explains how Google+ Communities work and how this capability compares with Facebook groups: “There are a few notable (notable differences between Google+ Communities and Facebook Groups), including the ability to start a Google Hangout video chat with the community and sharing things specifically with G+ communities from any +1 button. That’s pretty cool, and something that might actually attract people to use it over Facebook.”

Google+ becomes the world’s social platform…with Community by Relevanza

Steve HartWriting that “While Google announced Google+ reached 500 million users, the bigger announcement by far was the roll out of Google+ Communities,” Steve Hart explains what Communities are, how they work, what they can be used for, and why they are “a BFD.”

Post to Twitter

Best Twitter Tips, Tools and Tactics of 2011

Monday, January 9th, 2012

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

Dustin BetonioGot 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 FleetDave 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

Aliza ShermanAliza Sherman highlights 10 features of Twitter that not all users may be aware of–including a few that may be news even to power users–such a list of helpful Twitter keyboard shortcuts.

How We Increased Our Twitter Followers By 250% – Whiteboard Friday by SEOmoz

Jennifer Sable LopezCommunity manager Jen Lopez explains how SEOmoz increased its total Twitter followers by 250% to over 27,000 people. Hint: it helps to have a community manager.

Top 7 Ways to Save Time on Twitter by OPEN Forum

Leyl Master BlackNoting 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 MitchellSarah 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

Daniel NewmanIf 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 SonnDavid 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

Pam MooreThe 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

Kristi HinesThe 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 SullivanLaurie 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

Twitter gets new, Facebook-like feeds & features by DevBeat

Jolie O'DellJolie 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.

Twitter Just Announced Brand Pages and a Redesign – What are all the details and why does it look like Facebook? by iMedia Connection

Katelyn WatsonKatelyn Watson explains how Twitter’s recently announced brand pages work, what Twitter is aiming to accomplish with the redesign, and the benefits brand pages will provide to marketers.

Twitter Tuesday: Twitter’s New Changes – What You Could Expect by Hubze Blog

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

John DohertyIn 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 HussainAnum 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 GoldTracy 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 RuckerJD 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 GrayMichael 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

Derek EdmondDerek Edmond details five ways B2B marketers can use Twitter as one of their online marketing channels, such as for link building initiatives and brand monitoring.

9 Twitter Tips for B2B Marketing Success by Modern B2B Blogs

Maria PergolinoMaria 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

Anne Deeter GallaherThe 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

Laura KinoshitaWhen 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.

Twitter Tools

Headhunters Using Twitter – The New Productivity Check by Minervity

Richard DarellThough 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

Courtney WileyNoting 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

Adam Holden BacheFrequent 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

Chris NortonChris Norton sorts through the hundreds of Twitter measurement tools available and reviews his top 10 here, among them TweetStats and Twitterholic.

Two Great Twitter Visualization Tools: Twiangulate & MentionMap by Affiliate Marketing Blog

Geno PrussakovGeno 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

Ann SmartyNoting 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.

10 Twitter Tools to Increase Your Productivity by SloDive

Leo WidrichLeo 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 DucharmeJim 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

Heather AllardHeather Allard discusses six tools for monitoring brand conversations on Twitter, including Backtweets, Monitter and Sprout Social.

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.

How Twitter Web Analytics Will Help Your Business by PCWorld

Angela WestAngela 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

Neal SchafferNeal Schaffer recommends HootSuite, Buffer, tweetspinner, Triberr and other tools for functions like SEO and content curation among his favorites.

14 Twitter Tools for Enterprise Business by Sprout Insights

Susan GuneliusIn 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 CarvillMichelle 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.

Twitter: The Single-Greatest Relationship and Branding Tool by Bruce Clay

Shannon DowneyGuest 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 BrennerMichael 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.

Post to Twitter

Best Email Marketing Tips, Tactics and Metrics of 2010

Monday, February 21st, 2011

While social media is the flashy show horse of online marketing, email remains the solid workhorse. According to recent research, 92% of marketers consider email to be one of their “most important marketing tools” and 54% plan increased spending on it in the coming year. Email marketing remains one of the top spending priorities for online, after search and display advertising.

Best Email Marketing Tips of 2010Why? Well, unlike social media, email is virtually universal. While many corporations still ban or limit social media use within their walls, none ban email (they filter it for spam, but don’t block it completely). It’s direct, cost-efficient, and, done properly, still an effective channel for lead generation, nurturing and sales. And as some of the posts below show, when integrated with social media tools, email becomes even more powerful. For example, Helen Leggatt reports that “the inclusion of social media sharing buttons in email generated click-through rates around 30% higher than email sent with no sharing options.”

One key concern among email marketers is open rates; how can you craft subject lines that increase the odds recipients will open your email messages? How can you use email marketing most effectively and avoid overloading your recipients with information? How can you grow the size of your email marketing list? Avoid mistakes that will cost you readers? Integrate your email and social media marketing efforts to improve results through both channels? Find the answers to those questions and others here in more than two dozen of the best email marketing guides of the past year.

Email Marketing Tips and Tactics

3 items that should be in your 2010 email budget by BtoB Magazine

Karen J. Bannan reports that more than half of marketers plan increases in their email marketing budgets, while nearly two-thirds plan to spend more on digital marketing generally, and identifies three key spending areas to consider when allocating those budgets.

Use e-mail for what e-mail is best at! And therefore reduce the e-mail overload by ad tech Email

Pierre Khwanad laments that “we tend to use (email) all the time. E-mail is easy. It is quick. It costs virtually nothing (if we are only looking at the hard costs). In addition, we can say whatever we want in an e-mail and not get interrupted by someone else’s point of view,” and suggests using other communications methods such as instant messaging, phone calls, live meetings, web conferences, blogs and wikis in situations where those tools are really more appropriate and effective.Email Example from Inc Magazine

7 brands with bad-ass email programs by iMedia Connection

Though acknowledging that “There’s no global best practice that makes your campaign stats jump, no design layout that wins every time. It takes constant trying, tweaking, analyzing, and risk-taking,” Dylan Boyd highlights seven brands that he thinks do email right, such as National Geographic, Banana Republic and The Wall Street Journal.

10 E-Mail Commandments by iMedia Connection

Daniel Flamberg presents his ten commandments to make your brand and message stand out in the in box, like maintaining a clean list, limiting response options, and my favorite: “send less better.”

Add Google Analytics to Emails and Gain B2B Lead Generation Intelligence by Industrial Marketing Today

Achinta Mitra provides step-by-step instructions for integrating Google Analytics with standard ESP email tracking, which produces much richer data to help optimize conversion rates.

7 emails you should never send by iMedia Connection
***** 5 Stars
Carissa Newton brilliantly highlights several all-too-common email mistakes to avoid, including the “one size fits all” newsletter (just as with clothing, this usually, in reality, means “one size that fits none”), image-only emails, excessively long messages, and emails with no social media links.Harrods Email Example

30 Beautiful Email Newsletters Design For your Inspiration by Tripwire Magazine

Dustin Betonio shares 30 designs that are undeniably beautiful, though most rely too heavily on graphics (see the post above). A better approach may be a simpler newsletter design with a compelling hook to get the reader to click through to a more graphically-rich web page with similar but augmented content.

3 keys to optimizing the email experience by iMedia Connection

Brian Deagan identifies three key components for email marketing success, starting with picking an email service provider that incorporates device detection, can deliver messages in mobile-friendly format, and provides actionable analytics.

How to Grow Your Email Opt-In Subscriber List

3 Steps to Grow Your B2B E-mail List More Effectively by ClickZ

Noting that “B2B marketers say that their internal e-mail lists are seven times more effective at generating quality sales leads than third-party lists. However, most also say that their e-mail lists aren’t large enough to drive the volume of leads their sales organization needs,” Mike Hotz details three strategies—such as organic list building through trade shows, social media, QR codes and offline venues—for building a large and relevant house email list.

Internet Marketing for Beginners: Email marketing optimization 101 by MarketingSherpa Blog

David Kirkpatrick walks through a scientific formula for addressing the most challenging aspect of email marketing: building a qualified list. The key is to optimize the relevance and value of the incentive offered while minimizing friction (your target audience’s concerns about subscribing).

One Change, 73% More Subscribers by AWeber Communications

Amanda Gagnon explains how Walden University dramatically increased email subscriptions by simplifying its signup process and reduced the number of clicks required.

How to Increase Email Open Rates

10 Words That Will Make People Open Your Email by Freelance Copywriter’s Blog
***** 5 Stars
“The first thing your recipient will see (in your email message) is the sender’s name and subject line. So how do you make sure you pique his curiosity sufficiently to click on your email and open it?” Sally Ormond answers this question with 10 opening words and phrases to help grab your reader’s attention within a 40-character subject line.

290 Email Spam Trigger Words to Avoid by Mirna Bard
***** 5 Stars
Your emails can’t produce results if they never reach your recipients, and while there any many factors involved in deliverability, avoiding the use of “spam” trigger words is one key way to help your messages reach the inbox rather than the junk folder. This list of 290 spam trigger words to avoid contains both obvious (e.g., $$$, income from home, MLM) terms as well as less obvious words and phrases (cost, discount, compare, and trial).

New rules for sexy subject lines by iMedia Connection

Dylan Boyd (again) lays out the six key elements of a “sexy” email subject line (e.g., it sets the tone and aligns expectations), demonstrates his points with several very good real-world examples (and a few bad ones), and concludes with guidance on common subject-line mistakes to avoid.

How can marketers craft email subject lines that work? by BtoB Magazine

Noting that “as much as 40% of a recipient’s decision to open an email is based on the subject as well as the sender,” Craig Stouffer contends that copywriters need to spend considerable time and effort in tuning the subject line—and provides six questions to ask before starting to write that will help in crafting a compelling email message and subject line.

Email Marketing Research and StatsAverage Email Open Rates

2009 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study by XDXY eMarketing Tips

An interesting collection of email stats from a report by email marketing service provider Silverpop. The median open rate for marketing emails is 19.4%; the median click-through rate is 2.4%; and the average bounce rate is 5.5%. In all cases, however, email from senders in the top quintile (those using the best practices) significantly outperformed those in the bottom quintile.

Email Marketing Benchmarks for Small Business by MailChimp

Email marketing can be used in any industry of course, but the results can vary considerably. This excellent summary details how common email metrics vary across industries, for example: emails related to food (36.62%), photography (34.17%), video production (33.09%) or church (32.95%) have the highest open rates, while some of the lowest rates are found in subjects like entertainment (15.42%), arts/music (16.22%) and software (18.22%).

What Are the Benefits of Email-Social Media Integration? by eMarketer

In a recent study from Lyris, 34% of respondents “rated social media as the online marketing channel with the greatest positive effect when integrated with email, selected by 34%, compared with 29% who said web analytics and just 3% who said mobile marketing.” 54% said that integrating social media and email efforts made the overall results at least somewhat better. Facebook and Twitter are the social tools most commonly integrated with email campaigns.

Email and Social Media Integration Tips

The real definition of “social” email by iMedia Connection

Ben Ardito identifies the characteristics of social email and then explains how to capitalize on it by using email to share social content and encourage your recipients to pass it along.Social Media Sharing Icons

Email + social media buttons = increased CTRs by BizReport

Helen Leggatt reports on research showing that “the inclusion of social media sharing buttons in email generated click-through rates around 30% higher than email sent with no sharing options.” A Twitter button is the single most effective sharing option, but including multiple buttons generates the highest sharing rates.

What social media can teach us about email marketing by iMedia Connection

Ajay Goel believes email and social media will increasingly be used in an integrated, mutually supportive fashion, and offers five tips on how to use social media attributes to make email marketing more personable and effective.

Easy Ways to Socialize Your Email by Direct Magazine

Sherry Chiger offers seven suggestions for how to “leverage social media with email to increase audience reach, customer engagement and retention, and of course, revenue,” among them offering email subscribers coupons and discounts in exchange for following you on Facebook or other social media.

5 Ways To Combine Social Media And E-Mail Marketing To Double Your Online Impact by Business Insider

Gail Goodman notes that social media is timely and interactive, but also fleeting, while email is more intimate and archivable. She then details five considerations to keep in mind in order to maximize the impact of both channels, along with tactics like repurposing newsletter content in short snippets as social media messages.

7 tricks email can steal from social media by iMedia Connection

Ben Ardito offers seven tips for integrating email with social media (such as including customer reviews, and highlighting your people) “beyond simply adding links to your social media profiles or sending an email asking your subscribers to follow you on Twitter.”

Ten Lessons Social Media Marketers Can Learn from Email Marketers by Social Marketing Forum

J-P De Clerck details 10 characteristics shared by skilled email and social media marketers, such as relationship building, content sharing, trust earning and engagement.

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Five Expert Copywriting Tips

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Writing has always been a demanding vocation, but the challenge of producing copy that stands out and compels people to action in today’s environment of sensory overload is uniquely daunting. Sentences must be short. Ideas must be explicit. Prose must be lucid. Benefits must be explained in a clear and compelling manner using the language of the reader. Flowery copy and “corporate speak” are definitely out the window. Attention is a scarce commodity; you won’t get much of it, so use what you get as well as you can.

Five Expert Writing Tips for the WebBelow are five posts from outstanding writers that will help you write copy that gets found, read, and acted upon.

7 steps to writing killer sales copy by Mike Consol

In this guest post, Patrick Schwerdtfeger outlines the “Motivating Sales Sequence” sales process and how it relates to copy writing, starting with getting their attention (“The opening sentences need to jolt your readers to attention.”) and concluding with a call to action (“Be specific. Explain exactly what you want the reader to do.”).

How to Create Remarkable B2B Content by Savvy B2B Marketing

Stephanie Tilton shares a half-dozen ideas for developing content that stands out from the online clutter, such as showing how your product or service stacks up against the competition: “a majority of tech buyers want content comparing a vendor’s offering to the competition as they get further along in the buying cycle. Yet few companies put out competitive comparisons for public consumption…(many) organizations are averse to taking this step, but the problem is that your prospects are looking for this information. And if you don’t offer it but your competitors do, guess who’ll make the short list of potential vendors.”

SEO As a Copywriting Tool by iMedia Connection

Daniel Flamberg argues that far from being a straitjacket on the competitive process, incorporating SEO keyword research and knowledge into web copyrighting is essential and an opportunity missed if not employed; “Effective key words and phrases can be creative cues for other forms of branded customer engaging messaging. But too few creatives mine the insights from SEO analytics.”

25 SEO copywriting tips and content ideas you can implement today by Success Works

Heather Lloyd-Martin offers an excellent list of tips to keep handy when crafting search-optimized web copy.

How to write for the web: 23 useful rules by eConsultancy

Conceding that “rules are always there to be broken,” Chris Lake nevertheless proceeds to provide 23 rules—or guidelines if you prefer—for successful web writing, including writing the opening paragraph last, keeping sentences short, limiting yourself to one comma per sentence (helps you stick to the previous rule), and following the “wiggly left margin” rule.

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Best Twitter Guides, Tips and Tools of 2010

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Twitter came of age in 2010, growing at a scorching pace—from 75 million users at the beginning of the year to more than 190 million by the end of December. Twitter is used (officially) in 65 of the Fortune 100 companies, 63% of small to midsized businesses, and nearly half of all B2B enterprises.

Best Twitter Guides of 2010As adoption skyrockets, marketers are striving to optimize their use of the world’s most popular microblogging platform. And that leads to questions, like: What are the best ways to attract more (relevant) followers? What types of information are worth sharing, beyond blog posts? Which companies are really succeeding on Twitter, and how are they doing it? How can I get more retweets? What’s a Twitter chat, and how do I participate in one? Which are the most helpful third-party tools for Twitter?

Get the answers to these questions and more here in some of the best Twitter guides, tips and tools of the past year.

How to Get More Followers on Twitter

How to grow your Twitter following by iMedia Connection
***** 5 Stars
Based on research, Courtney Wiley reveals what type of content to tweet, when to tweet it, and the ideal frequency of tweeting to use in order to grow a Twitter following.

47 Twitter Power Users’ Secrets To Getting Many Followers by JobMob

A selection of the Twitterati share their advice—ranging from short snippets to fairly detailed guidelines—on how to grow your Twitter following. Robert Scobel, Dan Schawbel, Peter Shankman and many of the others are legit no doubt, though a few of the “power users” here are questionable. Still, lots of good advice.

How to Get More Twitter FollowersGet More Twitter Followers by Treating Your Profile Like a Landing Page by Social Times

Darko Johnson shows how to apply the principles of effective landing page design to your Twitter profile in order to increase the likelihood that people who see your profile will choose to follow you.

20 ways to increase the number of your followers on Twitter by Web SEO Analytics

Wisely warning against the use of automated programs or techniques, Vasilis Vryniotis offers 20 “white hat” best practices for increasing your Twitter following naturally, such as promoting your Twitter handle in online and offline locations (your blog, website, email signature and business cards), adding yourself to Twitter directories, and perhaps most important: mentioning and thanking the people who help you.

Why 150 Followers Is All You Really Need by TwiTip

Then again, do you really need more followers? Srinivas Rao uses the theory of Dunbar’s Number to argue that 150 followers is all one needs on Twitter. The author makes an intriguing case, but I’m not sure I buy it (particularly given that he follows over 1,300 people on Twitter).

How to Do Lots of Other Things on Twitter

16 bitchin’ commands and shortcuts for Twitter by eConsultancy

Want to quickly see the last tweet from a particular Twitterer? Or the most recent tweets mentioning that person? How about performing advanced searches on Twitter, like exact match, either/or, hyper-local (with x miles of…), or find questions you can answer? Chris Lake shows you how to do all of this and much more with these helpful Twitter shortcuts.

40 useful things you can share on Twitter besides blog posts by Social Media Today

Frequent best-of contributor Adam Vincenzini contends that “the more unusual and varied your stream is, the better—both for you and your followers.” And with that in mind, he lists more than three dozen types of items you can share on Twitter other that stuff from your RSS stream, such as a new app or tool (with a quick tweet review), an interesting hashtag or discussion, an interesting/relevant YouTube video or a link to a Twitter list you think is worth following.

7 Really Cool Things About the New Twitter by Social Media Today

Tia Peterson praises seven features of the new Twitter interface (such as the “Recently Listed” box, easy DM replies, and ability to send a tweet from any page) but also cites three areas that still need improvement.How Retweets Trail Off Over Time

How Many Times Do You Tweet Your Blog Post? by Ask Aaron Lee

Most bloggers tweet each of their posts only once. How many times should a post be tweeted? In this post, Aaron Lee and Guy Kawasaki recommend an ideal frequency, backed up with some highly logical reasoning. Spock would approve.

How Twitter increased my blog’s traffic by 300% in one week by MackCollier.com

Ever wonder exactly what impact Twitter can have on blog traffic? Mack Collier details an experiment he ran and shares the nitty gritty numbers and percentages, as well as the process he used, concluding “even if you only have 100 followers, you can still leverage Twitter as a tool to build your blog IF you are active on Twitter. Active interacting with others, engaging in conversations, and linking to valuable content.”

13 Twitter Tips for Increasing Engagement by Sazbean

Sarah Worsham lists helpful tips for increasing engagement and growing your following on Twitter, such as sharing and retweeting, asking questions, attending tweetups and using Twitter directories to find people in your industry.

Twitter success stories: Explaining the ROI of Twitter by {grow}

As Mark Schaefer explains, “There are MANY benefits to Twitter besides direct sales.  You might gain information, competitive intelligence, insight,  a new supplier or partner, publicity, brand awareness, an idea, customer insights, and yes, even a potential customer. And while all of these are great, most are intangible and difficult to display in an Excel spreadsheet! So why keep trying to do it?…When benefits are difficult to quantify, the best way to explain the value is through a story.”

8 Ways to Not Get ReTweeted by HubSpot Blog

Dan Zarrella uses extensive HubSpot research to show that practices like talking about yourself, dumbing down the readability of your tweets, eschewing links, and repeating the same things everyone else is saying are great ways to avoid being retweeted.

26 Twitter Tips for Enhancing Your Tweets by Social Media Examiner
***** 5 Stars
Debbie Hemley provides a highly creative A-Z list of practical tips for maximizing the business impact of your tweets, from Answers and Behind-the-Scenes info to utilizing YouTube and a Zippy Writing Style.

4 Rules for Marketing on Twitter by Practical eCommerce

Paul Chaney reveals the “unwritten” rules for earning influence on Twitter, for example: “Don’t Follow Just to Pitch. A distasteful trend has developed among newer Twitter users. For example, people are following me and when I respond in kind, their first tweets are frequently to pitch me on a website they want me to visit or a service they provide…If you want a formula for how marketing via Twitter and other social networks should work, it’s this: Connect > Converse > Convert.”

Calculating and Improving Your Twitter Click-through-Rate by SEOmoz

The brilliant but oblivious Rand Fishkin illustrates how to calculate your Twitter click-through rate (CTR) and notes some findings from his own experience: shorter tweets and those that are on-topic (whatever your primary topic is) tend to get retweeted more frequently. Somewhat surprisingly, Klout scores appear to have little correlation with retweet rates.

Twitter Dictionary | 35 Twitter Abbreviations by Bit Rebels

Primarily for Twitter newbies, Diana Adams defines nearly three dozen common Twitter / texting abbreviations such as DM (direct message), IRL (in real life) and Gr8 (self-explanatory).

Typecasting Twitter: 7 Top Uses by iMedia Connection

Noting that “Twenty nine percent, one in every three tweets yields some kind of reaction—comments, re-tweets or clicks. Ten percent prompt a reply to the original tweet. These are direct marketing nirvana numbers,” Daniel Flamberg dissects research to isolate the seven most common uses of Twitter.How to Follow a TweetChat

How to Participate in a Twitter Chat Session like #BlogChat or #AgChat by ag – a colorful adventure

For those who haven’t participated in a Twitter chat session before, Janice Person provides clear, step-by-step instructions for getting setup, using controls, and keeping up with the stream of conversation.

3 Absolutely Cool Twitter Search Tricks to Help You Save Money! by Sexy Social Media

In this helpful but brief post, Annie Wallace shares three clever Twitter search tricks you may not be aware of.

Best of 2010: 14 Ways Every Business Should Be Using Twitter by Inkling Media

Ken Mueller lists 14 practices businesses can adopt to optimize their benefit from Twitter, such as providing customer service, promoting events and monitoring competitors.

Twitter Tools

20 Top Twitter Monitoring and Analytics Tools by Pamorama

Pam Dyer serves up brief reviews of more useful Twitter tools including Twitscoop (trend-monitoring), TweetBuzzer (identifies popular brands on Twitter), Twitter Analyzer (kind of like Google Analytics for Twitter) and Tweeps (get stats that help you decide who to follow—or not—and find people you’d like to have following you).

How to Add a Tweet Button Anywhere by SitePoint

While there are several easy avenues to placing a Tweet button on a blog, Alyssa Gregory supplies simple instructions for adding Tweet buttons in other venues like emails, PDFs and Facebook pages.

11 Websites to Schedule Your Tweets Online for Free by TwiTip

Young Yang reviews free tools for scheduling tweets, like FutureTweets, HootSuite and SocialOomph. It’s important to remember that Twitter is a social platform, so your followers will expect interaction; if you’re busted relying too heavily on automated or pre-scheduled tweets, you will lose followers. However, these tools can be very helpful if used strategically and sparingly.

Tweetvolume

Type in any three words or phrases and compare how often each is tweeted about.TweetStats Twitter Statistics

5 Best Twitter Tools For Smarter Blogging by Smedio

Sridhar Ramunajam provides quick reviews of five helpful Twitter tools including dlvr.it for auto-publishing blog content to Twitter and TweetStats, which provides stats about your account (e.g., tweets per hour, tweets per month, tweet timeline) in graphical format.

Six Benefits to Using Twitter.com Instead of an App by TwiTip

Shannon Albert makes the case for using Twitter itself rather than a third-party app (e.g., HootSuite or TweetDeck) for interacting on Twitter: it’s faster, has no limits on Tweets per hour and lets you see other users’ custom backgrounds among other advantages.

Twitter Stats

All You Need to Know About Twitter in 2010 [Infographic] by Mediabistro

Lauren Dugan presents an infographic from Flowtown that reviews Twitter highlights of 2010, from Bill Gates setting up a Twitter account in January through celebrity digital death at year end.

Related Post

50 (of the) Best Twitter Guides, Stats, Tips and Tools of 2010 (So Far)

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