Posts Tagged ‘Neal Schaffer’
By Cheryl Burgess, originally published on the Blue Focus Marketing Blog
In 2011, I teamed up with Tom Pick (@TomPick) and his Webbiquity blog to unveil the first annual #Nifty50 Awards. Our goal in designing these awards was to honor the top 50 women and top 50 men in social media. In that first year, we cast a wide net, honoring those whom we felt actively engaged as brand ambassadors on Twitter day in day out, exchanging valuable information, and just generally being good, helpful people. Last year, we narrowed our focus to honor the top 50 men and top 50 women engaging on Twitter on behalf of the tech sector.
This year, we wanted to target a specific group once again, and so we agreed to honor the top bloggers, authors, PR specialists, and journalists on Twitter. After reviewing all of your wonderful nominations over the summer, it’s now time to unveil the winners!
Now that Tom and I have compiled our lists, the word that keeps popping into my head is “community.” This isn’t just a list of 50 men who work in isolation; these are people who share strong social bonds with each other, who would be just as happy to celebrate the success of one of their colleagues as they would be for themselves. These thought leaders understand that the greatest product of a good idea is more good ideas, and it’s great to see that their generosity and thought leadership in online communities is being recognized.
I’m happy to say that I have had the privilege of experiencing this generosity firsthand. As we were writing our book The Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work – Success Lessons from IBM, AT&T, Dell, Cisco, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, and Domo on building a Social Culture (McGraw-Hill, August 2013) (@SocialEmployee) late last year and early this year, we were honored to receive excellent contributions from people like Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar), David Armano, (@Armano) David C. Edelman (@DavidEdelman), and Kevin Randall (@kevinbrandall) —just to name a few. These wonderful wordsmiths truly enlivened our own content, and we couldn’t be happier to see them make this list.
So without further ado, here are the 2013 #Nifty50 Men! Feel free to celebrate their achievement by dropping them a line on Twitter, and don’t forget to check out the Webbiquity blog for the 2013 #Nifty50 Women!
Vala Afshar @ValaAfshar
David Armano @armano
Jonathan Becher @jbecher
Sander Biehn @sanderbiehn
Michael Brenner @BrennerMichael
David Brier @davidbrier
Michael Brito @Britopian
Terry Brock @TerryBrock
Mark Burgess @mnburgess
Chris Carragher @cjcarragher
Dan Cristo @dancristo
Dino Dogan @dinodogan
Mike Edelhart @MikeEdelhart
David Edelman @davidedelman
Mark Fidelman @markfidelman
Sam Fiorella @samfiorella
Jez Frampton @jezframpton
Nis Frome @nisfrome
Sean Gardner @2morrowknight
Glen Gilmore @GlenGilmore
Andrew Grill @AndrewGrill
John Hagel @jhagel
Arik Hanson @arikhanson
Kent Huffman @KentHuffman
John L. Kennedy @johnlkennedy
Jure Klepic @jkcallas
Bryan Kramer @bryankramer
Simon Mainwaring @simonmainwaring
Billy Mitchell @billymitchell1
Jacob Morgan @jacobm
Tom Peters @tom_peters
Howard Pyle @howardpyle
Erik Qualman @equalman
Ajay Ramachandran @ajay
Andreas Ramos @Andreas_Ramos
Kevin Randall @KevinBrandall
Ron Ricci @RonRicciCisco
Tony Riches @tonyriches
Alex Romanovich @alexromanovich
Ted Rubin @TedRubin
Neal Schaffer @NealSchaffer
Dan Schawbel @DanSchawbel
Gary Schirr @ProfessorGary
Brian Slattery @BrianSlatts
Andy Smith @kabbenbock
Brian Solis @briansolis
Bill Strawderman @marketingbard
Todd Wilms @toddmwilms
Tony Zambito @TonyZambito
Cheryl Burgess (@ckburgess) CEO and CMO of Blue Focus Marketing, author of The Social Employee – How Great Companies Make Social Media Work, published by McGraw-Hill, in summer 2013. She is a social branding consultant with expertise in social business and social media. She is an expert blogger for AT&T Networking Exchange on social media. Proud to be an invited contributor to the Wharton FOA’s Advertising 2020 Project. Active Member of the Wharton Advertising 2020 Contributor Community.
She was awarded Wharton Future of Advertising’s MVP and praised as a “brilliant strategic thinker in the social media space.” Huffington Post honored her as one of 40 global women “Passionistas” for her “great business expertise and timeless blog posts.” Also, Huffington Post “Top 100 Business, Leadership and Technology Twitter Accounts You Must Follow.”
She was featured in Fast Company and Business Insider. Invited speaker on “Expanding Your Social Influence” at the AT&T Networking Leaders Academy Annual Conference. She is a four-time winner of the Twitter Shorty Award in Marketing [The New York Times hails this as the Oscar of Twitter], named Top 75 Twitter Women, 2012 Top 100 Branding Experts on Twitter, and a 100 Top Marketer on Twitter. Cheryl is a syndicated blogger. She is the co-founder of #Nifty50 Top Twitter Women and #Nifty50 Top Twitter Men. Google+
The use of social media and social networks for marketing has rapidly advanced in the past few years from the “should I do it?” stage to the “how do I do it?” level to the current “how do I measure and optimize social media marketing efforts?” phase.
You’ve seen the statistics on social media marketing: 93% of marketers use social media for business. 90% of Inc. 500 companies use at least one major social media platform. And 92% of small businesses say that social media is an effective marketing technology tool.
Yet most marketers still struggle with how to measure ROI from social media efforts, and with questions like: how we budget for social media programs? What are the best strategies for promoting social content (and which bad ideas should be avoided)? Which social media marketing tools are most useful? And how do we ultimately attract new customers through social media?
Find the answers to those questions and many others here in more than 20 of the best social media marketing guides, strategies, tips and tactics of 2013 thus far.
Social Media Marketing Guides, Strategies and Tactics
15 Strategies To Get More Shares For Your Content by Marketing Land
We’ve all had the experience: you produce a fantastic, thoroughly researched, though-provoking piece of content and…instead of sharing your wonderful piece, your network is busily sharing something just not as good. Argh! Why? Noting that “The secret of getting your content shared by more people isn’t always producing better stuff – sometimes it’s making better connections or just thinking a little differently,” Courtney Seiter shares 15 strategies for getting making your great content “go that extra mile,” such as forming alliances, joining communities and rewarding sharers.
Social Media Priorities – Where Should You Focus? by Social-Hire
Where should you focus your social media time and efforts? While acknowledging that the “audience you want to reach and your own professional goals will influence where your social media priorities for the coming year should lie,” Tony Restell nevertheless offers some concrete recommendations, like spending time on Google+ communities because of “the overlap between Google+ and Google search results.”
Jasmine Sandler suggests marketers take six key considerations into account when budgeting for 2013 (or 2014) social media marketing plans, among them social media content development (“Content takes professionalism in design, writing skills, video production, photography, webcast production, audio development, and more”) and social media management (“Social media management takes listening, research, staying on top of trends and influencers, and ongoing creative thinking. Social media management, even for SMB organizations, takes a full-time salary worth of work. Don’t skimp on this and expect a junior person to take it on and run it”).
The Truth About Social Media by Forbes
Writing that social media is “not about how many tasks you can tick off your to do list but about nurturing your following and making sure they feel valued…about creating community, relationships and loyalty”), Suw Charman-Anderson offers eight thought-provoking if sometimes painful observations, such as “being a writer doesn’t make you special” and “accept that you can’t be everywhere.”
Ellie Mirman advises marketers to ignore these 30 examples of social media “wisdom” that really isn’t, like “social media is the new SEO” (no, it’s a supplementary activity—and a valuable one—but not a replacement), “an intern can manage it all for you” (hmm, sounds like another post on social media marketing myths), and that you should “use a tool that autopublishes your posts to all social networks at once … to save time” (ach, no!).
How Small Businesses Can Use Social Media at Events by MyBeak Social Media
Guest blogger James Barnett offers helpful tips for using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and blogging to run PR campaigns at live events, for example, on Twitter: “Use hash tags (#) to stay on topic with trends and create a buzzword around your brand. Re-tweet positive PR and update followers daily during the event. Request a re-tweet and support other exhibitors if they are willing to do the same.”
Writing that, “Successful people believe they are adding value to your day, on and off social media,” TJ McCue details how social media pros use the tools effectively. Among their practices: they are genuine; they focus on quality over quantity; and they “believe in their network and leverage it.” They do not, however, send auto-DMs to all new followers or tweet what they had for lunch.
7 steps to rank your video higher on YouTube by iMedia Connection
Jon Whiting lists seven tips for improving video rank on YouTube. Beyond the obvious (keywords, title, description), he notes that “appearing higher than all the other videos targeted at the same keywords will depend on user engagement. This includes metrics like total number of views, likes, time spent watching, how many shares it gets etc. Try to encourage as many people as possible to view and like your video.” While this post isn’t an exhaustive guide to YouTube SEO, it’s a great start.
Social Media and the Sales Cycle by Marketing Wisdom for the 21st Century
Can social media help shorten b2b sales cycles? Perhaps, but here the insightful and engaging Margie Clayman skewers some of the arguments made on behalf of that premise. Prime example: “the argument that sending a message via LinkedIn thanking people for a meeting also seems to be a straw man argument. You don’t need to use LinkedIn to contact people you met with if you don’t want to. Email can work. Even better, send hand-written thank-you cards. That will really blow them away. It’s not a bad thing to use LinkedIn for post-meeting messages, but it’s not a convincing argument when debating whether social media can shorten the sales cycle.”
Executable Game Plan for Winning Ultimate Customers with Social Media by SocialSteve’s Blog
Steve Goldner lays out a practical action plan for moving “potential customers from interest to promoter step by step,” starting with gaining their attention (e.g., by determining and using they keywords your potential buyers use) and ending with nurturing advocates (when advocates “genuinely like you or your brand and what you deliver…you are now extending to the reach beyond your audience – to your audience’s audience”).
Expert’s Corner: How Manufacturers Are Harnessing Social Media by ThomasNet News
Mike Keating reports on how manufacturers are successfully using social media to increase awareness and sales, including blogs, YouTube, SlideShare, Quora, and most importantly, LinkedIn: “LinkedIn is the preferred social networking venue for B2B and B2G. You can reach out and connect with your clients (government or industry), define and demonstrate an area of expertise, develop a thought leadership position, and tie all your social networking back to your company website. Companies (including manufacturers) with an active social networking presence are growing much faster than those without one.”
Jim Dougherty highlights an infographic which illustrates that which is the “best” social network for your marketing efforts depends upon several factors such as your goals (Google+ and YouTube are great for SEO, Facebook and Twitter for driving traffic, LinkedIn and Pinterest for brand exposure), target audience demographics, and the skills at your disposal.
31 Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips Based On Research by Heidi Cohen
The prolific and insightful Heidi Cohen here culls more than 30 tips from Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, among them guest blogging, providing perks to brand advocates on social media, and answering “customer questions…Make a list of your customers’ top questions and respond to each one.”
Reporting that “while B2B social media spending increased 9.6% last year, the majority of B2B companies failed to integrate social media into their business practices,” the brilliant Wendy Marx offers guidance for how B2B vendors can improve the productivity of their online social activities, such as by carefully structuring a social media team, training employees, and establishing accountability.
Social Media Strategy: The Answer to the Top 5 Social Media Marketer Questions by Maximize Social Business
Neal Schaffer answers five common questions about social media marketing, including questions about the best social media management tools (see below), how to measure the ROI of social media marketing (see further below) and how to create a social media marketing strategy.
Writing that “People have an attention span of eight seconds, so it’s incumbent upon writers to make their content as accessible as possible,” Jim Dougherty (again) here presents an infographic that “offers some very pragmatic and practical tips” such as including images on Facebook posts, mentioning influencers in tweets to drive engagement, and tagging brands and people with the @ sign on Google+.
Social Media Tools and Reviews
50 Top Tools for Social Media Monitoring, Analytics, and Management by Pamorama
***** 5 STARS
Frequent best-of honoree Pam Dyer provides brief reviews of a wide range of free and fee-based social media tools, from Buffer (“An app that manages multiple Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts, with the ability to set a tweeting or updating schedule unique to each. Includes detailed analytics for all your posts”) to UberVU (“Keeps track of all the major social media platforms in real time and delivers opportunities for audience engagement”).
SlideShare Is The Biggest Opportunity In B2B Content Marketing by B2B Marketing Insider
Writing that “With more than 50 Million visitors per month and more than 100 million pageviews, SlideShare is one of the top websites in the world and should be a key focus of any B2B content marketing program. According to Comscore, SlideShare is used by business owners and business executives at a rate 5 times any other social network,” Michael Brenner explains how to create an effective SlideShare deck and links to some noteworthy examples.
Ian Anderson Gray reviews 10 vital social tools for managing and monitoring social media, including Feedly (one of the most popular alternatives to the now-defunct Google Reader), ManageFlitter (Twitter management), and Commun.it, which Ian calls a “social media relationship management tool.”
How To Calculate Social Media ROI
Social Media ROI: 14 Formulas to Measure Social Media Benefits by Search Engine Watch
***** 5 STARS
In what is possibly the best post ever about how to calculate the ROI of social media activities, Angie Schottmuller provides not just one or two but more than a dozen different formulas for tracking different types of return on investment, broken down into categories such as advertising value, content value, support value, and lead and sales value.
Social Media ROI: It’s Possible With These 7 Metrics by Kruse Control
Reporting that a MarketingChart study “reveals there’s a mismatch between marketing budget and effectiveness in key areas. Two are mass media and customer support, which are being overspent on versus their return on investment. Alternatively, email and social are being underspent on while they have a more effective ROI,” Kathi Kruse outlines a simple set of metrics for evaluating social media effectiveness, from “Engagement: number of likes, comments and shares” to value of sales closed.
Powered by legions of fans and armies of developers, WordPress has evolved from a humble blogging platform to a flexible, robust and ubiquitous CMS.
WordPress now powers one out of every six sites on the web, and half of all sites built on a content management system (CMS)—more than 60 million websites, including 45 of the Technorati Top 100 sites. (See below for sources.)
Nevertheless, it’s not perfect. So if WordPress is your platform of choice, how can you overcome or work around its shortcomings and quirks? Optimize the speed of your site? Extend it, socialize it, keep it secure, back it up, SEO it, and measure your results?
Find the answers to those questions and more here in 15 expert guides to WordPress tips, tricks and plugins.
WordPress Tips, Tactics and Facts
The Top 10 Most Infuriating Things about WordPress and How to Fix Them by jeffbullas.com
***** 5 STARS
A guest author on Jeff’s blog, the enigmatic “Jamil,” provides a remarkably helpful and even entertaining look at 10 top shortcomings of WordPress and how to avoid, overcome, or work around them. Even if some of the “fixes” aren’t particularly helpful (the recommended solution to plugin incompatibility is prayer, and the answer to the notoriously unhelpful default WordPress search functionality is “Get literally any other search bar”), you’ll lean a few new things here and enjoy doing it.
WordPress is the Emerging Monopoly in CMS #infographic by WordPress Hosting SEO
Just how popular is WordPress? According to Berrie Pelser, “Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power (their websites)…By March 2012, with about 72.4 million users for the content management system, the WordPress grew as the largest of its type on the planet. It provided hosting to more than 50% of the CMS users and more than 45% of the top 100 sites as rated by Technorati.” You’ll find those and many more such stats in this fascinating infographic.
Rachael Butts supplies a tutorial on how to use the Display Widgets plugin to “display different widgets on different pages, thus allowing you to have custom sidebars on your WordPress site.” She also offers tips for using the plugin, such as to customize the sidebar menu based on the page your visitor is viewing.
Custom Post Types – WordPress Evolves Closer to a Content Management System by Masterful Marketing
The engaging Debra Murphy explains what WordPress custom post types are and writes that “Theme developers can now use custom post types to create an array of content that can be edited through the visual editor and used anywhere on the site,” such as image galleries or product catalogs.
My Favorite Things to use with WordPress by SteamFeed
Rachael Butts (again) reviews eight of her favorite “things” to enhance WordPress, including the Woo Themes framework, Simpicity theme, Gravity Forms plugin for creating and managing forms, and MailChimp for email marketing.
How to Speed Up a WordPress Site
5 ways to speed up WordPress by Rainbow Fire
A handful of excellent tips for reducing your blog’s load time (and related user frustration), among them installing a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache (“using a caching plugin can prove a vital way to speed up WordPress by ensuring that only the first visitor to your page needs to go through the entire process. The plugin will save the data from this first visitor, and serve it directly to any subsequent visitors thus reducing the strain on your database and the user’s browser”).
4 Things to Speed Up Your WordPress Site by SteamFeed
Rachael Butts (once more) offers four quick tips for increasing WordPress speed, such as using a content delivery network (“CDN’s load your website from a local server, say one in England, so your website for this user would be very fast because it is not pulling from a server in the States”). If your visit volume justifies this, starter plans are surprisingly affordable.
Top WordPress Plugins and Reviews
7 Must Have Plugins For Starting A Blog by Geekless Tech
Garen Arnold recommends plugins to cover basic functions from commenting and social sharing to SEO and, for security, Backup Buddy: “Backup Buddy is a fantastic plugin which will allow you to backup your mSQL databases automatically…There are a lot of similar plugins that do the same; this one is paid but well worth the money.”
37 Top WordPress Security and SEO Social Media Plug-ins 2013 by WordPress Hosting SEO
Berrie Pelser (again) lists more than three dozen top security and SEO plugins for WordPress along with brief descriptions of each, including Digg Digg (“Add a floating bar with share buttons to your blog. Just like Mashable!”) and Simple Login Lockdown (“A simple way to prevent brute force login attemps on your WordPress installation”).
10 Time Saving WordPress Plugins by Brad S. Knutson
Brad Knutson serves up thoughtful reviews of “WordPress plugins that webmasters, developers and bloggers use to save time every day,” from the comment spam-squashing Akismet to Social by MailChimp, which very helpfully publishes “comments, retweets and replies as WordPress comments. When you share your post across multiple social media platforms, the conversation is often carried on in many different places. This plugin aggregates your conversations and keeps them in one place.”
30 Most Popular WordPress Plugins – infographic by WordPress Hosting SEO
Berrie Pelser (yet again) highlights a list of popular WordPress plugins, this time in infographic form. Among the recommendations here are the self-explanatory WP-DB-Backup and WP-Polls, as well as WPTouch, which “automatically transforms your WordPress website for mobile devices, complete with ajax loading articles and smooth effects.”
Mushfiqur Rahman reviews his top 10 must-have plugins for a new blog. Beyond a few obvious choices (Akismnet, SEO Yoast, Google SML Sitemaps), he also includes Broken Link Checker for automatically finding broken links, WP Mobile Detector for automatically detecing device type and serving up the proper display of your blog, and Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin.
The 17 Best WordPress Plugins for Social Media, SEO, and Better Visitor Engagement in 2013 by Maximize Social Business
Noting that “WordPress powers one of every 6 websites on the Internet, nearly 60 million in all, with 100,000 more popping up each day,” Neal Schaffer explains the importance of minimizing page load time and some tactics for increasing your site’s speed, then reviews his favorite social media and SEO plugins including JetPack Publicize, Scribe SEO and Social Author Bio, which provides “fully integrated Google Plus Authorship.”
15 Social Media WordPress Plugins for 2012 by iMediaConnection
Noemi Madrid reviews more than a dozen plugins for integrating your content with and sharing it on social platforms, including plugins specifically developed for interaction with Facebook, Google+, Flickr, Pinterest, Storify, YouTube, and even MySpace.
The Complete Set of Social Media Plugins for WordPress by Web Teacher
While this isn’t a “complete set,” guest author Tom Chu does serve up helpful reviews of half a dozen social media plugins ranging from Sociable and ShareThis for general social sharing to “deep integration” plugins like Social Metrics, which “displays your site’s social media performance statistics and gives them back to you in an intuitive way to help you to understand what you’re doing right and where you can improve.”
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.
Many 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 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
For 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
Once 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 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 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
Contradicting 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 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
Frequent 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
Contending 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 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 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
Again 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 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 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 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.
Danny 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.”
Austin 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
While 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.
Tom 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.”
Writing 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.”
Twitter isn’t just for the birds anymore. According to recent social media research, Twitter now has more than 165 million users, and is attracting nearly a million new users each day. 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.
Find the answers to those and many more questions here in more than two dozen of the best Twitter how-to guides, resources, tools and reviews of 2012 so far.
Twitter Tips for Newbies
A Beginner’s Guide to Twitter and the Twittersphere Culture by Creative Marketing Channel
Catherine Lockey helpfully walks new Twitterers through the process of getting started and building a following on Twitter, from opening an account and creating lists through DMs, retweets, hashtags, post frequency, following back and more.
Beginner Tips For Your Corporate Twitter Publishing Schedule by Social Fresh
Writing that “Twitter provides an opportunity to mix structure and spontaneity in your business communication,” Brad Shorr offers guidance on scheduling tweets without going overboard on automation, from picking the right scheduling platform to categorizing the content you want to tweet to using repetition (carefully).
How to Grow Your Twitter Following
4 Ways to Grow a Twitter Following That Matters by Social Media Examiner
To grow a relevant and productive following on Twitter, Rich Brooks recommends avoiding shady tactics and shows how to do it right, starting with creating a strong profile (including your real face, detailed bio and physical location) and using third-party tools and directories to find interesting people to follow, and progressing through promoting your Twitter account through other channels (your website, email signature, etc.).
10 Ways to Build Your Twitter Following Like Big Brands Do by iMedia Connection
Contending that “it doesn’t take a big team and millions of dollars to get attention on Twitter,” John Manoogian III recommends emulating 10 strategies used by big brands, such as polishing your image: “Customize your background with something that fits you. Use a large image or a tasteful pattern. Check out Themeleon or Pixelgirl Presents for ideas.” Also on his list: staying positive. “Big brands typically emphasize positive things and never go on a stream of consciousness rant. When necessary, present thoughtful criticism but keep it professional.”
WTF? Twitter Abbreviations
OMG! Over 40 Twitter Abbreviations You Should Know by Social Media Today
If you’ve spend any time on Twitter you know what an RT is, and you’ve perhaps responded to an amusing one with LOL or even LMAO, but are you familiar with MT, OH, OMW, SMH and HtH? If not, check out this big list of Twitter abbreviations from Tammy Kahn Fennell.
Top Twitter Abbreviations You Need to Know by Social Media Today
Want even more Twitter shorthand? Bliss Hanlin provides a list of about 140 (how appropriate) examples of Twitter shorthand ranging from the obscure (CX = correction) to the borrowed-from-the-military (SNAFU, FUBAR) to common hastags (#FF for follow Friday).
Tips for Twitter Brand Pages
4 Ways to Leverage Twitter’s New Brand Pages by iMedia Connection
David Clarke explains four ways that businesses can capitalize on Twitter brand pages, including enhanced customization, “turning Twitter into a more sustainable channel of its own. It’s easier to promote hashtags, Twitter chats and special promotions specific to the brand.”
Mart Prööm explains half a dozen things companies can do with Twitter brand pages, such as using calls to action and promoting limited time offers, and includes 12 examples of famous brand pages including Disney Pixar, Audi, Pepsi and Red Bull.
4 smart tactics for brands on Twitter by iMedia Connection
Jon Elvekrog details “four concrete strategies to use social advertising to deepen your brand impact on Twitter” for brands, among them getting your content “in front of connected fans. These Twitter users are active sharers — spreading ideas, offers, and messages among their own followers and people aligned with their interest graph. If you get your paid campaign in front of influencers, they’ll spread your messages for you — and bring them to many more people than you originally targeted.”
Noting that “first impressions matter. So if you’re trying to build a remarkable social media presence, you can bet that the look and feel of your brand pages in social media will make an impression on new visitors who know nothing or little about you,” Pamela Vaughan showcases examples of brand pages that visually capture the reader’s attention including Spotify, Target and Zipcar.
General Twitter Guides, Tips & Tactics
How To Build Your Professional Twitter Brand by Heidi Cohen
According to research cited by Heidi Cohen, “the most positively received tweets are asking your followers questions, sharing useful information, and letting people know you’ve just created new content…By contrast, the least liked tweets are those that let the world know what you’re doing and broad greetings with no added information.” Among her top 10 tips for building your Twitter brand: dress your Twitter profile for success, offer meaty Twitter content, and give digital shoutouts to colleagues and others.
How To Optimize Twitter: Be Real, Profiles, RT, Hashtags & More by Search Engine Watch
Noting that’s it’s getting tougher to stand out on Twitter now than it was in the less-crowded early days of the platform, Lisa Buyer provides several tips for brands and individuals, such as “keeping it real” (showing personality as well as business content), optimizing your profile (with specific best practices), and using hashtags carefully.
Rocking the A to Z of Twitter and Tweets by Resume Bear
***** 5 STARS
Shirley Williams creatively offers 26 Twitter tips alphabetically, from A (“Audience – Followers that connect with you because they believe you do interesting things and/or have interesting things to say”) to Z (“Zed Carpet – …Listerious is a great site to get acquainted with the Who’s who of Twitter by all kinds of categories”).
Secrets of Becoming a Pro B2B Tweeter by Social Media Today
Do you wonder how your Twitter presence looks to others? Kevin Jorgensen recommends using TwitCleaner (a recommendation I strongly endorse) to check your own Twitter profile for sins like excessively retweeting, too many links, too much self-promotion, too much use of automation and other sins. Then he provides several tips for improvement such as participating in Tweet chats and actually conversing with people.
The Top 10 Reasons You Need to Use Twitter Lists Now by Bad Redhead Media
Rachel Thompson offers 10 reasons for using Twitter lists, such as that you can use them to categorize up to 10,000 followers, they can help increase your Klout score, and “Lists are a perfect way to attract followers to your stream. People are flattered you’ve added them to a list. It means you care enough to take that extra step (which takes seconds). It’s like you invited them to an exclusive party.”
Tailoring Twitter: The ROI of Curating Content on Twitter by Successful Blog
Liz Strauss explains the benefits of curating content on Twitter and how to do it well, closing with “The ROI of curating content on twitter is the influence gained from incrementally staying in sync with the tools and the culture while still listening.”
Wondering what type of information, timing or tactics will garner the most retweets? Dan Zarella shares half a dozen research-based tips for maximizing pass-along on Twitter, including “Say Something New. When I compared the ‘commonness’ of certain words in retweets versus the ‘commonness’ of words contained in a random sampling of non-retweeted tweets, I found that retweets tend to contain much rarer words. People don’t want to retweet the same things that everyone else is saying, they want their tweets to stand out!”
Twitter Tool Reviews
4 Twitter Analytics Tools For Your Business by Social Fresh
Amy Moczynski provides helpful, detailed reviews of four tools for Twitter analytics: SocialBro (which she calls “the most comprehensive tool for analyzing Twitter data that I’ve found…after entering your Twitter log in information, prepare for your mind to be blown”), TweetStats, TwentyFeet and PostPost.
Want Guest Post Links? Find Them Via Twitter [TOOL] by The Daily SEO Blog
If you’re ready to get your geek on, this post from Ethan Lyon presents a tool and instructions for finding blog guest posting opportunities via Twitter. The tool pulls an RSS feed into “Google Docs, finds all of the t.co URLs, enlarges them, eliminates duplicates based on domain, and presents them in a nice package.” For the slightly less ambitious or technical, try Blogger LinkUp.
The Top 20 Twitter Clients being Used in 2012 by WindMill Networking
Neal Schaffer serves up brief reviews of the top tools for tweeting. Not surprisingly, HootSuite, Tweetdeck, and Twitter itself top the list. I would have expected Buffer to show up a bit higher than #13, though as Neal notes, it’s not strictly speaking a Twitter client but rather “a perfect complement to help you schedule your posting on Twitter.”
12 Most Clever Twitter Tools by 12 Most
The ebullient Peg Fitzpatrick reviews a dozen top Twitter tools for various functions, including Tweepi for cleaning up your Twitter following with following/unfollowing help, Formulists for organizing and managing your community through smart Twitter lists, and Twitalyzer for analyzing the Twitter influence of anyone on Twitter.
5 Best Analytics Tools for Twitter Search by DreamGrow Social Media
Tom Chu offers brief reviews of five Twitter analytics tools including The Archivist (“This tool works in just the way it sounds. You download the desktop app and it archives search results for you to go through later. The search will find as many results as possible, and then you poll those results without you having to monitor it”), Twitter Counter and What The Hashtag.
A Silver Lining In This Cloud by THINKing
Harry Hoover recommends using SocialBro to create word clouds revealing the terms that your friends and followers tweet about most frequently. “You might discover new topics with which to engage your friends and followers. Further, you can drill down by tags to find out specifically which friends or followers are talking about that word.” You can also use TweetCloud to see which terms you use most often.
More Twitter Tools
Per the website, Itweetlive’s “Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) search engine uses advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) and clustering tools to gather similar status updates, provide response suggestions based on real-time Twitter analytics, and measure engagement levels. In this way, we build a smart conversational tree that actually suggests the best statistical responses for status updates received in the future.” Basically, it lets you use statistical rules to talk “personally” to many people at once. Interesting concept.
A slick little low-cost tool that enables you to store up to 25 different search phrases for Twitter, identify potential followers / people to follow based on those searches, manage your follow/unfollow activity, and direct message any or all followers (up to Twitter’s daily limits).
A free or low-cost Twitter management tool that provides Twitter use statistics, weekly email digests, scheduled tweeting, conversation tracking, sorting of friends and followers, and an activity feed. Paid versions add features like bit.ly integration and the ability to manage up to 60 Twitter accounts.
The original hashtag wiki. Search for any phrase and see a collection of hashtags associated with it.
One Final Twitter Stat
Andres Silvaa shares an infographic from Klout which shows the expected half-life of a tweet based on the tweeter’s Klout score. For users with Klout scores under 40, activity tends to die off after 25 minutes and a handful of retweets, while those with scores of 75 and above can expect hundreds of retweets over three to six hours.