10 Reasons Why You Should Use Twitter Read On »
By Safiyyah Lanier February 24, 2010

twitter-1The world seems to revolve around the Internet these days, making it vital for Web sites and businesses to get out there and make themselves known. It’s dog-eat-dog when it comes to Web marketing, so you’ll have to do whatever it takes to get to the top. One of the best ways of getting the word out about your business and/or Web site is to use social media networks like Twitter. Here are some reasons why you should use Twitter and how it can benefit you.

  1. Creating a Brand: As a company, your top goal is to create a brand that will sell the products and services you offer. Making consumers loyal to you is what keeps a business thriving. On Twitter, it doesn’t matter if you’re a startup or a small business that’s been in operation for ten years — anyone can build a brand. Your best bet is to create a personal account if your company isn’t well-known yet — people don’t like to talk to LOGOs; plus, a personal account will make you friendlier to Tweeters. Humanizing your business is always an effective route. By having your business up on Twitter puts you in the position to show the world that you are a part of the online community. You will become a social personality that will slowly but surely bring in more followers, who can eventually become loyal customers.
  2. Touching Base with Customers: Every business wants to be able to connect with their customers on a regular basis and Twitter lets you do just that. After branding, this should be your top priority. The reason Twitter is great for businesses is because it allows them to communicate with consumers directly. It’s like attending a worldwide party and being able to stand up in front of everyone and speak (and everyone actually listens). Those that are following you on Twitter will receive updates on your comments each time you post something up. You can also turn things around by keeping track of what your customers are tweeting. Getting to know them personally will help you to create a better brand and products/services that are more customer oriented. Also, make sure to reply back to customers as quickly as possible — they love that.
  3. Getting Feedback from Customers: After working with a few tweeters that you’re connected with, you will likely receive feedback about your companies services and/or products, and how they can be improved. Just make sure that you can take criticism because it can be used for your benefit. Listen to what your customers have to say and try your best to cater to their needs.
  4. Marketing for Free: Sounds too good to be true actually, but Twitter allows you to market your company without having to spend a pretty penny. You’ll be able to connect with potentially millions of people who in your eyes are potential sales. Marketing on Twitter is simple, whatever you post on your account will be seen by whoever looks into your profile and by those who are following you. In order to gain more followers, you should take the time to search around for people to connect with. Don’t become a spammer, be genuine and you will steadily build a group of followers. In most cases, tweeters will spread the word about a company they have enjoyed working with, which helps to increase followers and business for the company.
  5. Building Links and Traffic: Getting more traffic to your site can easily be done using Twitter as well. Once you’ve created a personal or strictly business persona on Twitter and have developed followers, you will find it very beneficial to post up links to your business Web site. It will help to bring in more visitors and if you create great content for the site, you will be well on your way to building quality links. Developing content that offers information that is valuable to readers will help to keep people coming back to your site. You will even find a great deal of conversions of visitors/readers to buyers. Consider posting up a link to have people follow you on Twitter. When people see that you have a Twitter account, it shows that you are more than just a LOGO. When they follow you they will receive updates about your offerings, which brings us to the next reason why you should use Twitter.
  6. Posting up Deals, Coupons and News: Everyone likes a great deal and as we all know, it’s a great way to bring in more buyers. By posting up coupon codes and special deals for products and services that you’re offering, it will catch the eye of many tweeters who could use your business. You can even make it a special deal for tweeters who are following you — that could help to get you more followers you can advertise to. Any company news that you would like to inform customers about can also be done through tweets. Keep customers and employees in the loop.
  7. Keeping an Eye on Competition: Unfortunately, you’re not the only business on Twitter who is looking to get some attention. Use it to your benefit — keep an eye on your competitors to see what they’re up to. Whenever they’re offering a deal, try to outdo them, but don’t get too competitive to the point where you’ll end up losing money. You can look at the tweets their customers are giving them — these could be good reviews or complaints. If you see someone having a problem with the competitor, tweet them and see if you can offer a “helping hand”.
  8. Increase Sales: Another great reason to use Twitter is to help increase the sales of your business. Since you’ll be receiving more attention than you probably ever have, you will receive the chance to sell more to more people.
  9. Networking: Tired of attending local networking events that seem to never work? Now, you can effectively network with companies and individuals that are more likely to help you bring in more customers. Connecting with like-minded people can help to increase peer recommendations and testimonials.
  10. Finding Prospects:You can use Twitter to find potential clients; you just simply type in keywords that are related to the services or products that you offer. You can then follow the users that pop up on the search results. Then begin tweeting about topics that are parallel to what you have to offer. Keep in mind that you should use direct messages or offline communications to keep prospects closed away from public channels.

Conclusion: Overall, using Twitter to boost your company’s or Web site’s visibility can be done with a few clicks of the mouse. Most of the work has already been done for you — all you have to do is make an account on Twitter and begin following and being followed. Make sure to stay active with tweeting to ensure that you build a reputable brand for your site or business.

Google Increases Twitter Traffic by 9 Percent Read On »
By Safiyyah Lanier

traffic-increaseBack in December, when Google launched its real-time search, it was predicted that Twitter was going to receive a big increase in traffic, which had previously declined after a peak in the summer of 2009. So far, it looks as though those predictions were true after all. According to comScore data, there has been a 9 percent increase of unique visitors to Twitter — between December of 2009 and January 2010. The all time high was reached in January, with 21.79 million unique Twitter visitors; this number is slightly above the 21.25 million that was recorded in July of 2009, by comScore. By the end of 2009 (December), the count for unique visitors was up by 3.1 percent, over November.

Twitter seems to have seen a great impact in the month of December, thanks to the December 7 launch of Google’s real time search. Then according to Experian Hitwise, the data suggests that it was Google that was the main source for the increase in traffic to Twitter. The amount of traffic that was coming from Google was increased by 9 percent, compared to the week ending December 5 and the week ending February 13; the count jumped from 12.8 percent to 14 percent in this time period. Hitwise too saw a 5 percent increase in market share of U.S. visitors within the same time period.

It seemed only natural that Google decided to launch Buzz (a supposed competitor of Twitter and an add-on for Gmail) after spending about $15 million for Twitter’s feed. Of course, Google wants to keep majority of the incoming traffic for its own network, where they’re able to deliver more ads to users.

On the other end, for Twitter, it seems that things are looking quite promising for them. So far, they are maintaining the U.S. share of visitors, while expanding globally and on the usage of its third-party application service via APIs. Compared to Google Buzz, Twitter offers its users more freedom to control as much as they want and how much personal info they want to share — it is an already established social media network, so the odds are against Google Buzz for a while. It will also be difficult to measure the impact of Google Buzz because it is embedded in Gmail.

Last month, Evan Williams, the co-founder of Twitter, made a comment about the usage of Twitter was decreasing, saying that the microblogging service was bigger than ever. At one point, Twitter’s traffic was on the verge of flatlining in the United Stated, with figures backing up what was being perceived. Then Williams created a tweet that said “across all metrics that matter, yesterday was Twitter’s highest usage day ever. (And today will be bigger)”. A lot of people were thinking the same thing, especially since the rush of people was dying down after the media rush died. But Twitter still has the tweeters that are using the site more and more and on different platforms.

It is believed that people are still going to be signing up on Twitter and using it over the long term because Twitter is just awesome (well, they offer a lot of great stuff). Just let Clark Shirky tell it, who stated that Twitter has more raw capabilities for users than anything since (the creation of) email. It would be difficult to wait out Twitter because it is lightweight and endlessly useful, getting better as more people begin to use it. Everyone is using it, she stated that brands and institutions are using it and that Twitter is becoming a place where important conversations are taking place.

The day the co-founder predicted that Twitter had a good day and that the next day would be even bigger shows great significance. Now, media organizations continue to use Twitter more and more, increasing the site’s traffic higher. It might not be as much as before or as high as Facebook, but it will indeed be bigger and better.

Since the broadening of Twitter’s demographic (towards 24 year olds and younger), things have been going very well for the site. It has also been growing for more mature markets within the U.K. and U.S. and other places around the world. Internationally, comScore showed that Twitter jumped up 8% in unique visitors (73.5 million in January from 65.2 million in December).

Facebook Zero and Google Buzz are also trying to get a nice share of the real-time market. Not sure what will happen with Buzz, but there are predictions that Facebook Zero may have great success, since a lot of big Facebook users and mobile owners are teens that also use Twitter (this could have an impact on Twitter’s site).

Let’s look at a quick comparison of Twitter, Facebook and Google Buzz:

Facebook: The users on this site have Twitter beat; they update their profiles over 60 million times daily, which would translate to a rate of 700 profiles per second. The stats for Facebook only show profile updates. The hundreds of other activities that are on Facebook aren’t counted at all. Comments to updates and “likes” to status updates are counted, but adding links, pictures, pages or joining groups counts as nothing.

Google: After launching Buzz, there was an average of 55 posts per second. These stats were released two days after the site’s launch, so by now it could have grown a whole lot more.

Twitter: The amount of tweets per day have grown to nearly 50 million, averaging 600 tweets per second. Although, it’s kind of difficult to see the true number of tweets since a tweet is considered to be an original message, comment, retweet or links that are being shared, so each time a comment is posted to a tweet, it is counted as a tweet.

Overall, it seems that Facebook is the winner when it comes to the amount of activity that takes place on their site. Runner up would be Twitter. It seems as though we’ll have to wait a couple of years to see how Google Buzz really compares to other social media sites.

How to Make Your Content Viral Read On »
By Safiyyah Lanier February 17, 2010

Now, that you have your website and/or blog up and running, getting visitors to come and come often is your next battle. In order to make your site one of the most visited and respected on the Web, you will need to create viral content. Creating viral content is a make or break situation. You’ll need to develop text that isn’t just filled with keywords, but that is filled with great quality. A lot of people make the mistake of creating content based solely on old SEO techniques. With link building, you will be able to create linkbait that will generate you more traffic than you can image — that’s if you do things the “write” way.

Creating Quality Linkbait

If you’re looking for your content to be viral, you will need to create content that is worthy of linking to. Whatever niche you’re in, you’ll need to know who your targeted audience is and write towards them. Now, there are a variety of ways that you can create linkbait — first off, you need to ask yourself, why people would want to link to your content. Are you sharing valuable information, newsworthy pieces or educational facts? Maybe you’re content is more entertainment based — no matter what niche you’re in, you’ll need to make it so that people must link to your site on their blogs and websites. The time you put into your blog is what will show through your posts. If you rush through it and it isn’t your best work — you won’t see any grave improvements. Low quality equals low traffic. Would you put links in your blog to poorly written or irrelevant content? Likely not.

Who Will Bite Your Bait?

Okay, so you’ve figured out what you want to write about on your site, but do you know your angle? General posts are good, but specialized posts are great. Who exactly are you writing for? If you can narrow down who your audience is and specifically target them, you will be able to draw them in easier. Those searching for the type of content you have will find you easily and are more likely to bite your bait. Having just keywords without carefully thought out content may get you views, but this isn’t your goal. Your goal is to bait in potential inbound links from a particular online population.

Your best bet is to get your links posted up on sites like Digg, Technorati and Reddit. A lot of people are able to spam their way up on these homepages, either through overloads of keywords and links, but if the site isn’t worthy enough it won’t receive any linking love. The amount of Diggs your post receives or how popular it becomes isn’t what you should base your success upon. Articles that have received a lot of hits doesn’t always receive good link volumes. There have been instances where articles that aren’t popular have received more linkbait and others that are popular that don’t receive one single inbound link.

Time Sensitive Content

If your focus is on delivering newsy articles, the shelf-life of the content is limited. Time sensitive pieces require quick creation, without sacrificing quality. Your best bet is to get on Digg or Reddit or any other social news media home page. Create content that is great and full of facts that has been properly researched. If your work isn’t credible or has wrong facts, you will soon gain a bad name for yourself, so make sure to search around for the facts before posting up. Also, the quicker you can post up newsworthy content, the more likely you will attract more link love. There are plenty of bloggers and site owners out there that are looking for breaking news and will link back to the sources they have found. If you can be one of the first, if not the first, then your chances are a whole lot higher.

There is even a chance that someone may see your post for the first time on a social media site and like it so much that they decide to follow your posts. With this in mind, make sure that you create all of your posts like it is your first. Don’t allow your content to deteriorate over the remainder of your posts because you could end up losing fans. Also, make sure that the sites you post your article to will do justice for you. Use social news sites for your newsworthy content and for your informational articles, you can use sites that offer a lot of posts within your niche; this way you know for sure the social media website already has the online population that you’re looking for. If you’re posting up academic material, Digg isn’t your best bet. Also, don’t just stick with your usual social media sites (Digg, Reddit, Netscape, Newsvine, Technorati, etc), try to branch out to others — the more the better.

Motivations for Linkbaiting

There are a couple of motivations that people have for content sharing. The top reason people share content is for self-expression. By allowing visitors to express themselves using social share buttons and comment threads, your audience is able to provide more engagement with your content. Viewers like to express their beliefs and interests related to posts, so if you can push this motivation, do so.

Another motivation for content sharing is to feed the need to feel like they are a part of something. Through communities, they are able to fulfill this desire — this is especially so if they are in a community that has a niche they are dominant in. Another reason to be more niche specific. One of the best motivations out there is for altruism. When a viewer sees content, such as a report that raises awareness about a community problem, sharing the content will make users feel like they’ve done the right thing for the cause.

Ten Strategies to Increase Links to Your Website Read On »
By Safiyyah Lanier February 12, 2010

Link BuildingThere are multiple reasons you could develop a website — it could be for business or personal purposes. So whether you’re looking to sell products, advertise services or create a social site that brings in revenue, you’ll need to increase website traffic. In order to do this, you’ll need to implement techniques that will help increase link building within your site. With link building, your website will connect with other sites that will help to bring in their traffic to your site — this means more visitors and potential profits.

Use Social Media Websites to Your Advantage

Just about everyone is a part of a social media website, such as Digg, Yahoo Buzz and Reddit. To quickly build links for your website, you’ll need to get on the front page of social media websites like Digg, Reddit, and Yahoo Buzz. There are plenty of social sites that you can use to gain visibility and increased traffic. The key is with your headline — if it is eye-catching, you should have no problem drawing in visitors. But in order for you to create an engaging headline, you need to know exactly who your audience is. Keep in mind that each social media site has different types of audiences — for instance on Myspace, your headline may need a different approach than your headline for Fark. Carefully study the demographic of these sites to ensure that you’re drawing in the right crowd.

Also, make sure to choose the keywords in your headline accordingly. Also, many headlines on sites like Digg require you to create a short description — this too should be carefully thought out and written. Many people look at just those two factors to determine whether your site is worth visiting. Some post the first paragraph of their web page for the description as a teaser, but you can create a specialized description if you want. If you decide to make a unique description, make sure to include keywords and make it appealing for the audience it is intended for. Also, make sure to create another username when submitting your content to social media sites because using your own name is usually frowned upon.

Building Links Naturally

It’s almost a given that family and friends will become members of your website or blog. You’d be surprised at how quickly the traffic to your site can build with networking. After adding your friends and family, you can have them recommend your site to people they know as well; then the chain continues. Soon you have second cousins and all of their friends reading your blog or browsing your site. If you have an account with Facebook, Myspace, Twitter or any other social networking site, post up your website link on there as well.

Gain Popularity with a Blog

Adding a blog to your site not only looks good to your visitors, but to Google as well. In fact, Google is in love with blogs. If you can keep your blog up to date with fresh content and include internal links, your Google search rankings will blow the roof. Having a blog is the easiest and quickest way to add new content to your website. When you get high Google ratings, your site will be placed higher on the search engine’s list when your keywords are entered into their system. This means more visibility and traffic for you. Maintaining a blog is simple with different platforms, such as WordPress and b2evolution. It’s a good idea to add one or more unique posts to your blog on a daily basis.

Link Up with Local Organizations

Consider joining your city’s chamber of commerce. This will give you the opportunity to network with other businesses and create links back to your website. Depending on the type of business you’re running will determine how well you will increase lead generation — you can enhance your chances by networking with other people and businesses in your city.

Non-Profit Organizations can be Profitable

There are tons of non-profit organizations in every city in every state in the U.S. Get to know some of them and see how you can help them out. If you’re good with building websites, offer to create one free of charge. Or if you have other talents they can possibly use, offer them in exchange for placing links on their websites.

Spread the Word with News Sites

Create relationships with news writers that can write a story about you and your business. It would be best to get connected with a writer that works for an online newspaper because they offer more exposure. You can also place link backs on your story or somewhere on the news site.

Link In…Link Out

You’re doing a lot of linking in, but how about linking out? With this technique, you are placing links to other relevant blogs within your site/blog. A lot of bloggers take note of who is placing their website links on sites and are likely to return link love. Sites like Technorati are especially known for showing gratitude to sites that post up their links. Now, this will take more than just¬† posting up a link anywhere in your blog. You will need to make a good headline and actually talk about the topic surrounding the link that you will be posting.

Using Emails for Networking

Create an email message that will grab readers’ attention. The content of your email should be juicy and flow easily, ensuring that majority of readers will read the entire letter. Your goal is to captivate, gain interest and create a need for action. These emails can be sent out to potential visitors and subscribers of your website.

Post as a Guess Blogger

Find websites and blogs that are within your niche and create posts as a guest. The purpose of creating these posts are to gain awareness of you and site — write something that is engaging and that will profile what you’re about. This will also give you an opportunity to link back to your website. It is important that the content you create is unique and very well written. Usually the back link is placed next to your byline.

Internet Directory Submissions

This is one of the top ways of link building. With this method, you are posting your blog posts and articles to business directories that are relevant to the niche of your website. You will have to fill out forms about you and your company, but take the time to do them thoroughly because the info will be used for your benefit.

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