Tweets Get Wider Exposure

Earlier this year, Twitter struck a deal with Google to make its 140-character Tweets searchable via the Google search engine. At this time, Google is stating that Tweets will only appear in mobile searches, not desktop searches.

gootweet

This is good news for Twitter users, especially for users who are promoting products or services on Twitter. Potentially, if someone searches a key word in your Tweet, the Tweet could show up in Google’s search engine with the benefit of broadening your exposure. At least that is what the experts are saying will happen.

My experience so far has been a little different. What I have seen is that Tweets are not showing up in search results unless I specifically search a person’s name or handle they are using on Twitter, if I search using a hashtag, or if I include Tweet in my search words.
Recently when I searched my name “Sarah Bolme” in Google on my desktop computer, my Twitter account was the third result. When I searched the same thing on my Smart phone, the very first result was not only my Twitter account but it included my most recent Tweet. Interestingly, my Google+ account did not show up in either search.

While the concept of Tweets showing up in search engine results sounds good and may eventually garner some folks more exposure, in my personal use of Google search engine thus far, I have not yet seen this benefit being played out. In truth, I am seeing very few Tweets in mobile search engine results.

I am curious if you have had the same or a different experience.

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Don’t Get Comfortable

I am finding that technology takes a lot of time. It takes time to learn new things. That is what is happening with the websites I use on a regular basis; they keep changing forcing me to learn new things.

For example, Twitter has changed its layout three times in the past two years. WordPress (where I host this blog) has changed its layout twice recently. Many of these changes frustrate me. For instance, I keep having difficulty finding my Dashboard on WordPress’ new sign-in redesign.

Just when I get used to the way a website works, the people who run the website go and change everything. My only hope is that this constant learning will prevent me from having Alzheimer’s.

Facebook is another website that frequently changes things up. Just when I get used to the “new” way they are doing things, they go and change it again.

Facebook is making another new change to their Business Pages at the end of this month. Be prepared.

First, Facebook rolled out the new “Timeline” on all Personal Profiles. Now, they are applying these “Timelines” to Business Pages at the end of this month.

The negative: With this change, businesses can no longer have a default landing tab. In other words, those “Welcome” pages that were not the Business Page’s wall will no longer be available.

The positive: The new Business Page design on Facebook allows for a “header” photo on the page to show off your business. I like this better than the multiple tiny pictures currently listed across the top of Business pages. Another new feature with the new page design is that people will be able to message you directly via your Business page.

If you want to learn more about the new Facebook Business Page design that rolls out the end of this month, you can take a short online course prepared by Facebook at http://www.learnfacebookpages.com/.

Fortunately, Facebook is still free to use and a great way to connect with both customers and potential customers.

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Twyndication

Have you heard of Twyndication?

Twyndication is a service that allows authors to take content from a book and break it into bite-sized pieces that can be tweeted. The service then gets these tweets out into the Twitter time-lines for thousands of Twitter users.

This bite-sized Twitter content is geared to hook people into getting more information or learning more about your story, hence, creating an interest in your book. Twyndication’s goal is to help you gain more exposure for your books via Twitter.

The service has both a free and a paid component. Watch this video to learn more.

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Do You Use Hashtags?

A friend of mine owns an art gallery. She often seeks my input on marketing ideas. Over the past year, I have encouraged her to use social media to connect with her customers and expose herself to potential new customers.

Being in the 50+ age category, my friend has been slow to embrace the use of social media. She often wonders whether it is just a waste of her time.

I recently taught my friend the importance of using hashtags on Twitter. For those of you that don’t yet know what a hashtag is, the official definition from Twitter states: “The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.”

Twitter users place hashtags in their tweets to maximize exposure for the tweet. The hashtag symbol (#) is placed before relevant keywords. This allows the tweet to be categorized to show more easily in a Twitter search. It also allows the tweet to be made available to those people who follow trending conversations on Twitter by watching the tweets with a specific hashtag.

Many Twitter users follow hashtag specific conversations. For example, as a publisher, you might want to watch what is being said on the #publishing trend. Two websites that allow Twitter users to track twitter conversations by hashtag in real-time are Monitter and Twitterfall. Twitter users can also find out which hashtags are getting the most attention at Hashtags.org. This website provides a handy hour-by-hour graph on any hashtag usage.

The other day my gallery-owner friend called me all excited. She reported that a gentleman had contacted her studio to purchase a painting. When she asked him where he had found out about the painting and her gallery, the man replied that he had seen it on the #fineart hashtag on Twitter. My friend now had proof positive that effectively using social media can actually bring her new clients.

If you have not yet incorporated hashtags into your Twitter strategy, I recommend that you start today.

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Social Media Success

One of the clients I provide social media services for recently met a gentleman who was new in her field of business. This gentleman had started a Facebook page for his business and was bragging to her how “successful” he had been with his Facebook page.

My client sent me a link to the gentleman’s Facebook page. After looking at his page, I asked my client what was meant by “successful?”

Was he referring to the number of people who “liked” his business page? Was he referring to the number of posts he made to his wall each day? Was he talking about the types of messages he posted? Was he referring to the number of comments he received to those posts? Or, did he mean that he had increased sales as a result of his Facebook page?

My client did not know the answer, but knew that she wanted to increase the number of fans on her Facebook page. By the way, the gentleman who was having such “great” success on Facebook only had 25 more fans than my client.

Attracting fans on your Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking site is only the beginning of social media success. The key challenge in social media success is keeping those fans interested and engaged and turning them into advocates for what you are selling or offering.

Cone, a social media marketing agency, recently conducted a survey to find out what social media users expect from businesses that they follow. Here is some of what they found out:

  • 77 percent wanted to be offered a discount or coupon for services and products
  • 46 percent wanted customer service
  • 28 percent wanted to be entertained

What the survey found was that what people were not looking for was equally relevant. The top two reasons social media users said they stopped following businesses online tied at 58 percent. These two reasons were businesses sending out too many messages and businesses acting irresponsibly. A close second, at 53 percent, complained that the content posted by the business was irrelevant.

So, if you want to be successful with your social media efforts, keep in mind that too much content or the wrong kind of content will drive consumers away. Post a couple times a day (peak usage times for Facebook are 11am, 3pm, and 8pm on weekdays) and keep your content relevant to your products. In essence, don’t overdo it.

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