How to Get More Followers on Twitter

Engagement is the key behind every social media strategy. Give me 100 engaging followers on Twitter any day over 10,000 followers who do not engage at all. So today I’m going to show you some of my biggest tips on how to grow your Twitter following based on this principle. The reason why I mention this is because there are a huge amount of services out there where you can buy followers. Do not do this! Sure it makes your Twitter profile look good, but at the end of the day these followers won’t engage with your tweets. Remember the more engagement you get through retweets and mentions, the more followers you will gain both in the short term and long term!

So let’s jump straight in. Here are some of Twitter tips:

Follow Follow Follow and Learn and Do the Basics Perfect

When I first joined Twitter I have to admit that I was extremely annoyed at the low signal to noise ratio. There were and still are heaps of spammy Twitter accounts out there. As a result, I pick and choose which Twitter accounts to follow. What do I base this on? Two things – first thing is whether they have filled out a bio that makes them sound like a real person or brand. So make sure you fill out your bio well, be descriptive and include your website address if you have one. Secondly, I look at the profile picture and whether it is a real life looking image. Not just some good looking guy or girl. Do the same and upload a real image of yourself or your business logo.  These are the very basics on getting more followers.

Follow and Be Followed –
(Thats why i call it  as Follow – Follow – Follow)

This is the oldest follower acquisition strategy around. The basic etiquette behind Twitter is that if you follow someone, they will follow you back otherwise it becomes a one way conversation. However, this isn’t a rule so you don’t have to do this, but many people on Twitter still follow this principle. We are going to use this to our advantage. So the first tip is to follow some people! As a result, you will start to gain followers. Moreover, find a couple of popular Twitter accounts in your niche and then start to follow their followers. For example, if you sell golf products search for a golf related Twitter account. Similar to my previous post where I talk about how to target your Facebook ads, you are in effect creating a targeted Twitter following.

If you’re completely new to Twitter, I would start off doing this manually. Aim to follow around 100-200 people per day and space it out. Don’t try to do it all at once. If you attempt to follow too many people in a short period of time, it will raise a red flag and Twitter will lock you out for a period of time. There is software out there (which a lot of people do use) to build up their Twitter following by automating the above process. This software includes TweetAdder, TweetBuddy and TweetAttacks. However, word of caution I would not recommend using these software tools as Twitter is now suing them for spamming. You run the danger of having your account banned by Twitter so just be very careful if you do decide to take the risk.

Retweeting and Mentions

Another great way to get new followers is to have your followers retweet your content or to mention your handle in their tweet which then gets tweeted to their entire list of followers. These tweets can then be retweeted by one of their followers and so on and so forth. This is where the viral nature really kicks in. But to get people to retweet you is a different story which I’ll cover in another post about content curation. But for now, just aim to provide useful and relevant content for your niche.

Twitter Contests

Twitter contests are relatively simple to implement and are great for growing your following. The basic idea behind a Twitter contest is to get people to follow you and then to tweet about the contest in order to win a prize. Make sure this prize is worthwhile by offering something of value. If the prize resonates as something people want and must have, the whole contest will go viral. Imagine winning a brand new Apple MacBook for about 1 minute worth of work.

witter Directories

Another great way of getting more followers is to join a Twitter directory such as Twellow and WeFollow. These directories allow users to search for Twitter accounts to follow based on different categories. Add yourself to these directories.

Paid Tweets and Promoted Accounts

Whilst on Twitter, you may have noticed promoted trends, promoted accounts and promoted tweets as seen below: This is Twitter’s version of paid advertising. I haven’t tried this yet although I’m keen to give it a go. But these promoted accounts are popping up all over the place on Twitter. Check out the Twitter business page if you would like to find out more. The great thing about promoted accounts is that Twitter also provides you with analytics.

Another version of paid advertising on Twitter is to actually contact the owners of Twitter accounts in your niche with large followings and pay them to promote your tweets. With Paypal it’s actually quite easy to do monetary transfers to anyone in the world so you could negotiate a rate with the Twitter account owner.

Well there you have it, some of my tips on how to grow a large Twitter following. Have you got any other tips? Would love to hear them via the comment section below.

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Interview Tips for Students and Professionals

tips-for-successful-interview

tips-for-successful-interview

The most toughest thing for a graduate is attending the interview. This is the common factor in all young generation, that even though they are good in taking up interviews, due to some factors, ends up unsuccessful. Some people do have the phobia of not getting successful though they are well prepared, this makes them loose confidence and ends up negatively.

There few things, if one exercise these things properly and perfectly, things and life can be made easy. Below are few tips which can make you confident, understand about interview and might lead you towards your great carrier and success.

1. Dress Code

Dressing up yourself to the occasion is one factor which counts a lot. Unlearned, without ironed, clumsy dresses, casual wears are always not preferred for interviews. One need to look professional from his wears, off course dress is the first impression which is created, it will directly reflect you character, anyone can be easily judged by his wears, either he is professional or not. So Dressing up yourself to the occasion is one most important thing. Good to wear professional wears, preferable business suit, polished shoes , tie (if required), the impression should be you should look neat and professional,  is always perfect.

 2. Consider the occasion as one of the major events of your life.

You need to consider your interviews as one of the important occasion of your life and prepare yourself for it. Ignorance or getting casual about always has less chance of making it. So give importance to the occasion, which itself makes you prepared to the occasion.

important-ocasion

important-ocasion

 3. Do the Homework Properly

Its important to prepare yourself for the interview, always a good practice to talk to yourself about you or talk to a friend about you, take feedback about your communications, in case of drawback or lacking, workout on it, make sure before taking it up, you are 100% prepared for it.

Home-work

Home-work

 4. Tell About yourself

If you have done the home work perfectly, don’t hesitate to tell about yourself in front of the interviewer, tell him who you are, from where you are, your strengths and weakness, your hobbies, your likes dislikes and most importantly your quality skills which makes you a desirable candidate for the interview. Making eye contact tells people you are sincere, confident and trustworthy.

Be-Confident

Be-Confident

Practice common courtesy.
“Yes, sir,” and “Yes, ma’am” are appropriate unless you are instructed otherwise. Don’t interrupt. Shake hands. Pull out those manners and use them.

Maintain good posture.
Stand up straight, walk tall and sit up straight in your chair. Nothing says, “I’m a lazy, apathetic student,” like a slouch. You’re not a lazy, apathetic student and you don’t want people to mistake you for one.

 5. Make Them realize your are the only option

Its important to show yourself as best choice in the industry to choose, before taking up, need to do some practices like

  1. Visit the company website
  2. Collect all the information about the company
  3. Collect information about the profile you are applied for
  4. Make a good analysis and presentation on above collected information

This way it helps you to understand company better and also you can easily put up about yourself to the employer, in what best ways you can be useful and advantageous to the company.

you are the Best!!!

you are the Best!!!

6.Pay Attention to the Employers questions and Talks

Its important to be a good listener, some time it happens in anxiousness you might get a bit uneasy and may get deviated from the talk, so its important to listen carefully. And also when you are talking to them be careful about words. As far as possible use polite and impressive words, don’t be negative for any reason in front of the interviewer.

pay-attention

pay-attention

 7. Be Confident – do not get Over confident.

While talking be confident about what you are talking, don’t involve yourself into a never ending talks, avoid messing up yourself into a debate which puts a bad impression. Justify about answers in a professional manner. While getting confident it is also important, not get over confident also.

 8. Questions

One more important thing is whenever it is needed do make yourself clear by asking questions, which shows your good communicator. Ask them intelligently, which should show and impress the interviewer about your intelligence. On the same note, avoid getting stupid by asking stupid questions.

ask-questions

ask-questions

 9. Follow up

followup

followup

This is the last and important tip, do follow up your calls and procedures of interviews, otherwise sometimes it might happen even though you are shortlisted, due to lack of proper communication you might not get a chance to go to next level, so its important to establish a decent medium of communication from which you get posted and updated about the process, emails, telephonic calls can help you . Send a thank you email addressed to the interviewers. It does not have to be long, but it should be grammatically correct. Thank the interviewer for their time and reiterate that you are interested in the opportunity. You might not have felt it, but you were also evaluating the company and interviewing them, so let them know you are still interested.

get-hired

get-hired

How to Improve Efficiency at Work Place

Job Satisfaction is one of the vital key for the successful delivery of given task in most of the jobs. Companies can expect wonders from employees, when they are completely satisfied company roles assigned and given tasks. This helps in improving efficiency at work place, apart from this there are few more factors which can help to improve efficiency at work place.

Improve Efficiency at Work Place

Improve Efficiency at Work Place

1. Make a habit Writing your daily schedule. A list makes it impossible to forget tasks.

2. Always Filter you e-mails with proper filtering methods. Learn to discard  and remove unimportant e-mails, not only spam. Learn to set your priorities (including the most important mails) straight and then set priorities

idea-plan-action improves work and efficiency

idea-plan-action improves work and efficiency

3. People do have the habit checking personnel mails when they login to their shifts, Don’t check your personal e-mail in the morning. It’s so nice to waste time reading all the jokes, interesting articles and videos sent by your friends… till you realize you have lost about an hour… Do it during the break (lunchtime) and this way you can also relax a little. And answer to all those messages after finishing the program.

Improve-Efficiency-at-Work-Place

4. Ignore sites with jokes, sport news and blogs. They only serve to make you waste some more precious time. In many companies, the IT service restricts your web access if you spend too much time on it.

5. Now a days the humor of mobiles has increased, people have the habit of geting themselves regularly on calls during work hours for personnel issues, its good if one Limits the duration of personal phone calls while at work. Telling your friend what you did yesterday after you got home from work is definitely not an emergency.

6. Always keep a bottle of water on your desk. If every 30 minutes you go get some water, there’s the risk of starting some long ‘discussions’ around the same habit of yours: never wasting any change of killing time.

do-not-kill-time

do-not-kill-time-unnecessarily

7. If you have to ask something or talk with your colleagues, establish short breaks for this. If all the time you interrupt your work to ask, laugh, talk with the others…at the end of the day you’ll realize you haven’t worked at all.

8. Use your headphones. This way, you’ll be ‘immune’ to all the background noise made by typing, phones ringing, printers, and to improving your knowledge with valuable information like how your colleague’s cat is feeling lately, when she had the last menstruation. But, watch out: songs with too many lyrics can distract your attention. That’s why jazz or chill out music genres are recommended. In the end, from time to time you can also pause the music.

use of head phones

Head phones at work makes life easy for others

9. Close programs you do not use: many open applications will make searching for those you need at a certain moment much more difficult, plus: they eat a lot of RAM, which slows down your computer.

Motivate-others

Motivate-others

10. You may get bored of doing the same long tasks. Work for one hour on a certain task, then continue with another, especially if you have no urgent task to finish. Keep your self motivated as far as possible, do motivate others, create a friendly environment surrounding you.

Pintrest – http://pinterest.com


Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

Wiki Says”

Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, ‘re-pin’ images to their own collections and/or ‘like’ photos. Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting” via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing. Founded by Ben Silbermann, of West Des Moines, Iowa, the site is managed by Cold Brew Labs and funded by a small group of entrepreneurs and inventors. It is one of the “fastest growing social services in the world.”

Usage

Pinterest users can upload, save, sort and manage images, known as pins, and other media content (ie. videos) through collections known as pinboards. Pinboards are generally themed so that pins can easily be organized, categorized and discovered by other users. Pinterest acts as a personalized media platform, whereby your own content as well as anyone else’s uploaded pins can be browsed on the main page. Users can then save their favourite pins to one of their own boards using the “Pin It” button. Content can also be found outside of Pinterest and similarly uploaded to a board via the “Pin It” button which can be downloaded to the bookmark bar on a web browser.

There are several ways to register a new Pinterest account. Potential users can either receive an invitation from a friend already registered, or request an invitation directly from the Pinterest website. An account can also be created and accessed by linking Pinterest to a Facebook or Twitter profile. When a user re-posts or “re-pins” an image to their own board, they have the option of notifying their Facebook and Twitter followers; this feature can be managed on the settings page. Users that choose to log into Pinterest via Facebook must currently be using Facebook’s “Timeline” format.

On the main Pinterest page, a “pin feed” appears, displaying the chronological activity from the pinterest boards that a user follows. When browsing for new boards and relevant pins, users can visit a “Tastemakers” page that recommend pinboards with content similar to previous pins saved by a user. For both guests and Pinterest users, there are currently four main sections to browse: everything, videos, popular and gifts. These subcategories provide an organized system of browsing, which helps fellow users to connect and share interests.

Quick links to Pinterest include the “pin it” button that can be added to the bookmark bar of a web browser, “Follow me” and “Pin it” buttons added to personal website or blog page, and the Pinterest iPhone application available through the App Store.

The website has proven especially popular among women. The most popular categories on Pinterest that got the most popular pins are food & drink, DIY & crafts, and women’s apparel.

In March of 2012, law enforcement is using Pinterest to reach new audiences beginning with the Kansas City Police Department in Missouri.

Pinboards can be used by educators to plan lessons. Teachers can pin sites for later referral. Students can pin and organize sources and collaborate on projects.

Pinterest has played a role in the 2012 US Presidential Election. The wives of both candidates created accounts. Ann Romney debuted her Pinterest account in March and First Lady Michele Obama announced hers in June.

What Can You Do with Pinterest?

Redecorate your Home!

Joy uses Pinterest to save decorating ideas for her new home in LA. She saves patterns, furniture, and accessories that catch her eye.

Plan a Wedding!

Divya and Ben use Pinterest to plan their wedding. Their Moms can leave comments about the dresses, flowers, and ties they pin up.

Find your Style!

Tim uses Pinterest to share his personal style. He pins clothing, shoes and accessories he finds while browsing stores and fashion blogs.

Save your Inspirations!

Sha uses Pinterest to save design inspirations for his job. He can reference inspiring design work to share with his team at Trulia.

Save Your Recipes!

Jessica uses Pinterest to discover new gluten free recipes. She always has a collection of tasty appetizers and desserts she can cook when she’s hungry and looking for ideas.

Pinterest Mission

Is to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests.

Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites.

Social media itself is a catch-all term for sites that may provide radically different social actions. For instance, Twitter is a social site designed to let people share short messages or “updates” with others. Facebook, in contrast is a full-blown social networking site that allows for sharing updates, photos, joining events and a variety of other activities.

Why would a search marketer — or a site about search engines — care about social media? The two are very closely related.

Social media often feeds into the discovery of new content such as news stories, and “discovery” is a search activity. Social media can also help build links that in turn support into SEO efforts. Many people also perform searches at social media sites to find social media content. The articles from Search Engine Land below give some more background on all of this:

Look at 10 great ways you can begin to leverage social media for your marketing efforts.
(Contents Copied from http://mashable.com/2009/10/28/small-business-marketing/ )

1. Facebook

facebook

 

 

 

Facebook offers exceptional, low cost marketing opportunities for small business. Facebook now has over 300 million users, and while that seems like an outrageous number for small businesses to be targeting, Facebook offers a very powerful platform on which to build a presence. If you’re not already active on Facebook; you should get started right away.

Basic Strategy: If you haven’t signed up for Facebook yet, you absolutely should as soon as possible. Once you’ve signed up, you should also consider securing your company’s username. Be aware, however, that if you reserve your company name for your personal account, you won’t be able to use it for your Business Fan Page (more on those in the Advanced Strategy), so you may want to create a Page before registering your company’s name. Fan Pages have special rules regarding usernames, which you can read here.

You should do one other thing: search for your competitors and evaluate their Facebook presence. What types of Pages have they built? How many fans or “friends” do they have? Spend 15 minutes (per competitor) looking at their posts, photos and/or videos to understand how they’re using Facebook.

Advanced Strategy: You may already have a personal Facebook account, but how do you extend that presence for your business? You have several options. You can register a Business Account – which is designed for a very simple presence on Facebook. There are many limitations on such accounts (read the FAQ here), however, so you’ll most likely prefer to have a Business Fan Page. A Business Fan Page lets you create a page where customers or fans of your business can register as a “fan” — expanding the presence of your business (because your updates will also flow to their pages). You might also want to consider running hyper-local ads on Facebook.

2. Twitter

 

twitter 

 

 

Twitter has grown tremendously over the past year. For some small businesses, it offers an incredible marketing platform. BusinessWeek’s recent profile of 20 ways businesses use Twitter might give you some ideas about how you can leverage Twitter for your business.

Basic Strategy: If you haven’t signed up on Twitter yet, you should sign up today and reserve an account in the name of your business. While you might ultimately tweet in your own name, you’ll want to have the option to tweet from a business account. More importantly, you don’t want your competitors to register your business name. Twitter has put together a simple guide to help you understand what Twitter can do for business. You can also check out Mashable’s Twitter Guide.

Next, you should spend 15-30 minutes on Twitter’s homepage, doing basic searches to become familiar with the type of content available on the service. For example, if you are operating a small gift basket business, do some searches for various terms and phrases such as “gift basket,” “gifts,” “gift basket business,” etc. You should also search for the names of your competitors to see whether they’re on Twitter and if they are, how they’re using it. And don’t forget to search for your small business name – your customers may already be talking about you! Once you become comfortable with the content that’s already available and how your competitors are using Twitter, you can begin thinking about a strategy for how you’ll leverage Twitter for your business.

Advanced Strategy: To truly leverage Twitter, you’ll want to learn and use a few more advanced tools. This includes desktop and mobile Twitter clients like TweetDeckSeesmic, and Tweetie. Desktop clients give you more flexibility and more control over your Twitter strategy than you’ll have on the Twitter website. Among other things, you’ll be able to pre-define searches (so that you can monitor certain keywords, including your business name) and group people you follow so that you can minimize the noise and focus on the real content. You might also consider using a web tool like Twitterfall, which will allow you to define (and color-code) various custom searches that you can review from time to time, and also to follow trending topics. For example, I use Twitterfall to identify helpful graphic design and industrial design resources to share with the crowdSPRING community.

3. Company Blog

 

personal-blog 

 

 

Although there’s more attention focused today on social networks than on company blogs, blogs continue to offer great value for small businesses.

Basic Strategy: At a minimum, you should consider reserving a domain name for your blog – if you don’t already have a custom domain for your business. If you’re comfortable enough to set up your own blog, that’s generally the best way to proceed – although this requires a bit more technical knowledge (many hosting providers offer a 1 step easy setup for blogs that will automatically install WordPress for you). You can also setup a blog directly at WordPress.com (it’s easier to do, but you don’t have full control over everything that you would on your own site).

One easy alternative is to set up a simple blog at Posterous – a place to post stories, photos, videos, MP3s, and files. There are pluses and minuses to all of these options – you should take some time to compare them and do what makes sense for your business. I caution you only about spreading yourself too thin.

Advanced Strategy: Now that you’ve decided to start or improve your small business blog, how do you build an audience for it? It all starts with great content. Decide on a focus for your blog, and write awesome content that people will enjoy. For example, some months ago at my company, we decided that we wanted to write more about small business issues, so we’ve been writing original posts focusing on issues affecting small businesses. Think about your expertise and more importantly, think about the things that you’re interested in writing about. A blog requires a long term investment of time (and resources), and you don’t want to be stuck writing about things that bore you.

You’ll also want to consider how you can make it easier for your readers to help promote your content. For example, install helpful plug-ins, such as a TweetMeme button, which makes it easy for people to retweet your posts on Twitter. Don’t be afraid to experiment with plugins to add to the functionality of your blog, but keep it simple. You want to keep the blog focused, and easy for your readers to use.

4. LinkedIn

 

linkedin 

 

 

LinkedIn is a business oriented social network for professionals, and it’s huge, with nearly 50 million users from over 200 countries.

Basic Strategy: Once again, you’ll want to at least reserve your business name (or your personal name) so that others can’t use it. Similar to the way you might start exploring Facebook and Twitter, you should look around on LinkedIn to see how your competitors are using the service. You might also look up your customers and connect with them.

Advanced Strategy: LinkedIn has some powerful features that most people don’t use. For example, you can encourage your customers, clients or vendors to give you a “recommendation” on your profile. Recommendations are useful because they’ll make you and your business more credible with new customers. If you’re a roofer, for example, ask your customers to recommend you after a successful job. You’ll find such recommendations useful – particularly since your LinkedIn profile will come up high in search engine results. I recommend that you read Chris Brogan’s post from last year discussing the elements of a good LinkedIn recommendation.

Another strategy involves the many subject matter groups on LinkedIn. Find some groups that have a connection to your small business and become involved in the conversations. Answer questions when you can, and help to establish yourself as knowledgeable about specific topics related to your business. There are many small business and general marketing groups that will be very useful resources for you, and if there isn’t a group that interests you, consider starting one.

5. Participate On Other Blogs

 

disqus-comment 

 

 

It might seem counter-intuitive for you to spend your valuable time by participating in discussions on other people’s blogs, but the payoff can be very valuable. Remember that it takes time to build a reputation and establish your credibility, and you can’t always expect everyone to come to you. Sometimes, you have to go out and build your own credibility and reputation.

Basic Strategy: Identify 2-3 blogs in your industry, or those that focus on small business, and get into the habit of regularly reading the content and participating in the discussions. Whenever you can, try to add value by sharing a personal story about what has/has not worked for you. Get to know the writers – they’ll be valuable contacts for you. One strategy for identifying good blogs is to use Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop, which is a directory of popular blogs across many different subject areas. For example, for blogs focused on crafts, you might follow this page on Alltop. If you want to participate in blogs focusing on small business issues, you might start at Technorati’s list of the Top 100 Small Business blogs.

Advanced Strategy: Once you’ve spent some time on other blogs and have participated in discussions, you’ll find that you’ve built a level of credibility and trust, based on your participation. You should consider reaching out to the blog owners and asking whether they’d allow you to guest post an article on their blog (kind of like this post). This is a nice way for you to get in front of a bigger audience, and many blog owners will invite guests to post from time to time. Agree on a topic in advance and provide a draft of your post sufficiently in advance of the publication date to give them an opportunity to review.

Alternatively, ask if they would consider guest posting on your blog. Since you’re looking to attract more readers (and more potential customers), either option works well for that purpose. Don’t worry so much about going after the A-list blogs right away. There are many excellent blogs and it might take a bit of time to build your reputation to such a level that you’ll have opportunities to post in the top blogs. That doesn’t mean you should wait, though – make opportunities for yourself and offer to guest write whenever you can find a new audience. I recommend you read How To Guest Post To Promote Your Blog from blogging expert Darren Rowse.

6. Mobile Social Networks and other Local Strategies

 

foursquare 

 

 

Yelp publishes millions of reviews about local businesses. Foursquare is a combination city-guide, friend finder and competitive game. It allows users to “check in” by cell phone at a local venue and announce this via other social networks such as Twitter.

Basic Strategy: Yelp, Foursquare, and other mobile social networks can be powerful marketing channels for small businesses. You should at the very least register accounts on the popular services and get to know them. If you have a restaurant or a retail store, for example, you’ll want to get to know Yelp pretty well. You can set up a business account on Yelp (no cost), which will let you answer questions about your business, track how many Yelp users view your business page, add information about your business, and announce special promotions. Similarly, you’ll want to sign up with Foursquare to take advantage of local advertising opportunities. Using Foursquare, you’ll be able to push promotions to potential customers who’re in the vicinity of your business.

You should also consider other local strategies. For example, you can add your business to Google Maps, or update your listing to include additional details. You can do the same on Bing.

Advanced Strategy: If you believe that your business can truly benefit from a presence on Yelp, Foursquare, or similar networks, you’ll want to do more than just register accounts with those services. For example, Yelp allows you to include a website URL for your business. Nearly all sites will let you upload photos to your profile, and photos will make your profile more trustworthy.

You can also proactively use Yelp and other similar services to promote your business. Ask your customers, friends and family who have used your services for a review on Yelp. You can encourage reviews by running promotions or discounts – offering free appetizers, for example, to a customer who will write a review about their meal at your restaurant (or to one who already wrote a review), or a small discount to a customer who hires you for carpentry work and mentions that they found you through Yelp.

Similarly, you can find ways to promote your business using Foursquare and similar networks. If you have a TV display in your store connected to a computer, you can display the people who are checking in. You can offer specials or discounts to the person who visits your location the most (this is similar to frequent buyer cards that many businesses have used for years).

Don’t forget to also consider how you can improve your use of other basic local strategies. For example, many small business websites are optimized for specific keywords or subject areas, but are rarely optimized for local searches. If you have a gift basket business, you’ll want to be sure that users searching for gift baskets in your geographic area will find you.

7. Comments and Conversations About Your Company

 

google-analytics 

 

 

Whether or not you are a party to the conversations, people will talk about your company. How do you monitor and, when appropriate, join those discussions?

Basic Strategy: There are five simple steps you can take today to begin paying attention to conversations about your business.

First, set up Google Alerts. Google Alerts are free email updates from Google search results about any topic you’re interested in tracking. For example, I track, among other alerts, the names of our competitors, the name of our company, and certain other terms I believe are important to my business. Anytime Google adds something to its index that mentions my company or the other terms I’m tracking, I receive an immediate email notification with a link to that item. Alerts can be set up for web, blog, news, video, or groups searches.

Second, review the results in your web analytics data. At my company, we use Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free tool from Google that provides detailed and very useful information about your website traffic and the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. When we run social media campaigns, we’ll often attach tracking tags to those campaigns so that we can properly monitor them in Google Analytics. This is important because without such data it will be nearly impossible for you to evaluate the success of your social media marketing efforts. But analytics are important for another reason: they’ll tell you which sites are sending traffic to your site.

Third, search Facebook. In August, Facebook rolled out a real-time search engine (the search box is on the top right of any Facebook page). One effective way to take advantage of Facebook search is to search for your company’s name to see who is talking about your company and what they’re saying. In several months, you’ll be able to search Facebook updates directly from Bing, which will be integrating Facebook public updates into Bing’s search results.

Fourth, search Twitter. You currently can search Twitter for real-time results (if you’re not logged in, just go to Twitter’s homepage). One easy way to monitor conversations about your company is to search for your company’s name. You can also currently do this on Bing, which is indexing Twitter updates. Very soon, you’ll also be able to search Twitter updates (and other social media content) via Google’s Social Search (Social Search was rolled out to Google Labs recently, as an experimental product). You can also use Twitter clients like TweetDeck or Seesmic to save searches and monitor in real-time whenever someone uses a specific word or phrase in a tweet.

Finally, take advantage of services that will, similar to Google Alerts, push data to you. I use and likeBackType, which is a real-time search engine that indexes online conversations in thousands of blogs and social networks. I use BackType primarily to keep up with conversations in blogs. Every day, I receive emails from BackType with links to comments that include the keywords I’m monitoring. Without these alerts, I would be unable to monitor so many blogs, and my ability to respond to posts about my company would be very limited.

Advanced Strategy: If you’re having trouble keeping track of your various search strategies, you should consolidate your efforts and leverage one of the many applications that will help you monitor the social web. I have not personally used these services, but they appear to be held in high esteem by knowledgeable people who have. For example, truVOICE provides keyword monitoring of the social web with an emphasis on blogs and forums, while Radian6 pulls in a lot of information from the social web, analyzes it, and provides consumer sentiment ratings for your brand. A good resource to learn about paid social media monitoring tools is Mashable’s post Top 10 Reputation Tracking Tools Worth Paying For.

In addition to monitoring, you’ll need to decide how, when, and where you’ll engage in conversations. It’ll be very difficult for you to engage in conversations everywhere, so you should spend some time learning the various networks and deciding where you should focus your efforts. Looking at your website analytics data — if you own an online business — will help a great deal because it’ll help you to better understand where your traffic is coming from. If much of your traffic originates from Twitter and Facebook, for example, you’ll want to spend more time on those services.

8. Multimedia

 

youtube 

 

 

Multimedia (video, photos, audio) is a bit more complicated for many small businesses to execute, but can provide excellent social media marketing opportunities.

Basic Strategy: YouTube has been constantly evolving and adding features that make it an attractive social site for small businesses. Although you don’t have to produce videos to participate on YouTube, you should consider whether simple videos can help your marketing efforts. For example, if you’re already posting videos to your blog, you can upload them to YouTube to reach a broader audience, and embed the video content in your blog posts. YouTube has also been adding more comprehensive activity updates for its users and has made pretty powerful analytics tools available so that you can evaluate the effectiveness of your video content.

Similarly, you could start a Flickr account for your business and post photos of your customers or your products (or both). Flickr offers a place where people can share photos with others, but also has discussion groups, many focused on local markets, that offer additional opportunities for you to market your business. You can also consider setting up your own Internet radio talk show using BlogTalkRadio, which is another way to use multimedia to speak directly to your customers. Get creative with it — own a restaurant? Start a call-in show for people to ask cooking questions. Are you a piano teacher? Perhaps you could start a show to talk about classical music.

Advanced Strategy: Advanced strategies using multimedia are complicated and typically benefit from using experienced consultants. One effective way to leverage video, for example, is to create content that has the potential to become viral. While I don’t believe you can set out to make a viral video (an incredible amount of luck is typically involved), there are a number of things you can typically do to build awareness about your small business using viral video (these strategies are beyond the scope of this post). Once you’ve created good content, you’ll want to distribute it using as many social networks as you can.

When you consider how you can leverage social networks, think about whether each network provides an audience or a technology solution (or both). For example, YouTube provides both a huge audience and a solution for uploading video files. Flickr can also provide both an audience and a technology solution, but not for every business. While your customers might not be on Flickr, you can still use Flickr as a place to store and tag your photos, and then distribute those photos to other social networks where you prefer to invest more time and effort.

9. Maintain Brand Consistency

 

namechk 

 

 

We’ve discussed only a small handful of social networks. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of others, and new ones spring up every day. That means that your customers will have many different ways to find you. But they won’t find you if your brand is scattered across social networks using different usernames and profiles. Let’s review some strategies for making sure that your brand is consistent across social networks.

Basic Strategy: Usernames and user profiles are already showing up in search results. Do a search for your company’s name on Google right now — if you also have a Twitter account with the same name, odds are pretty good that the Twitter account will appear very high in the search results. This means that having a consistent username across the various social networks is very important. At a minimum, if you haven’t registered your company name on the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), you should do that today. For many small businesses, their user accounts on social networks will be the highest ranked pages in search results.

You should also evaluate your email and web presence strategies. For example, are you using a Gmail email address when you can very easily be using a custom email address with your company name as your domain? Compare: restaurantname@gmail.com with john@restaurantname.com — which looks more professional? Similarly, are you hosting your blog at WordPress.com instead of on your own custom domain? Little details can make a difference.

Advanced Strategy: Things get a bit more complicated when you consider that there are many different social networks, and it’s tough to predict which of them will become popular and which will fail. Use a service such asnamechk or KnowEm to see whether your username is available on dozens of popular social networks and if it’s not, to see which username could be registered across all social networks.

Maintaining name consistency is important, but isn’t enough by itself. You’ll also want to make sure that your brand speaks with a common “voice” across the social networks. This may be easier said than done. Social networks differ in significant ways from one another and present unique challenges for interacting with customers and potential customers on those networks.

Speaking with a common “voice” doesn’t mean that only one person should execute your company’s social media marketing strategy, but it does mean that everyone who speaks on behalf of your company in social media reflects your brand in a consistent way. I recommend you read Shel Israel’s recently published book “Twitterville,” for excellent tips and stories focusing on how large and small businesses can develop a consistent voice in social media.

10. Leverage Combinations of Social Media Tools

One of the best ways for small businesses to leverage social media marketing is to use various social networks in combination with each other.

Basic Strategy: At a minimum, you should do several things today to cross-market across the various social networks you’re most likely already using. Here are three suggestions:

Firstconnect your Twitter account to Facebook so that your tweets will appear in your public updates on Facebook. This will let you leverage your time on Twitter to also update your Facebook fans.

Secondconnect your LinkedIn profile to your WordPress blog. LinkedIn allows you to publish, in your profile, synopses of the most recent blog posts on your blog. This application will automatically update your LinkedIn profile with your most recent blog posts.

Third, integrate Twitter tools into your blog. I like and use the TweetMeme retweet button on my blogs to make it easier for users to tweet about the blog posts. I also use the ShareThis tool to enable readers to quickly share content on multiple social networks.

Advanced Strategy: Advanced strategies require careful planning/execution and appropriate tools. In nearly all cases, your goal is to maximize the value of your content. For example, if you’re posting videos on YouTube orVimeo, you can blog about those videos on your company’s blog. Then, you can tweet about the blog posts on Twitter (which I assume is integrated with your Facebook account). This way, you’ve taken one piece of content and found a way to leverage it across multiple social networks.

You’ll also want to consider ways that you can optimize the distribution to multiple social networks at the same time. Leverage tools to help you do this. For example, Ping.fm lets you update multiple social networks all in one go. Keep in mind that not all social networks will make sense for every business. Learn which networks are best for your business and find ways to leverage combinations of those networks to make your marketing more effective.

Conclusion

Social media marketing can be a phenomenal marketing channel for small businesses. I hope that the strategies I’ve outlined above provide a starting point for you to explore how you can leverage social media marketing for your small business.

And if you have additional resources to share or other helpful advice that’s worked for your small business (or thoughts about things to avoid), please take a minute and leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you.

How to Get More Leads on Twitter

Here are one of the 7 possible ways from which you can increase your leads and loads on Twitter

  1. Add a Hot Link to Improve the Bio section of your profile
  2. Create a custom About Page
  3. Search for tweets that are “requesting recommendations”
  4. Rotate your Twitter Profile Picture, Bio and Profile Design –
  5. Keep your posts short enough to retweet
  6. Post Genuine Follow Friday #FF Tweets
  7. It’s a PARTY on Twitter

 

1.  Add a Hot Link to Improve the Bio section of your profile

Everyone knows that Twitter gives you a space to add your website URL; however, not everyone knows that you can now add a second link in the 160 characters of your “Bio”.

Since you can now add a second link, it is time to be strategic.  Create a shortened link that sends people to your Free Opt-In webpage.  This way you can directly generate leads from Twitter.

To add the Hot Link, first click on the person icon (next to the blue quill icon) in the top right hand corner of the Twitter page.  Next, choose “View my profile page”.  Then, click on the gray and black “edit your profile” button in the top right hand corner.  In the bio section, you can now include a link.

It is best to include a short link since you only have 160 characters.

2.  Create a custom About Page

Where Twitter allows you to add your website address in your profile, you want to be more strategic than simply adding your homepage URL.

Instead, it is in your best interest to create a custom landing page on your website for your Twitter followers.  Then, when a follower clicks on your website link, they will discover that you’ve created a page just for them.

This shows that you have taken the time to customize their experience on your website and immediately improves your “know, like, trust factor”.

Additionally, when you welcome them to your website (on the customized page) you have another opportunity to tell them about a relevant free offer.  Since they just came from Twitter, be sure to explain why someone who is Twitter-savvy would want your free offer. Personalizing can go a long way in building leads!

3.  Search for tweets that are “requesting recommendations”

I’m sure you’ve probably seen a few “requesting recommendation” tweets since you began your journey on Twitter.  There are always people looking for recommendations on who to hire for this project or that.

Now, you can see if anyone is requesting recommendations in your field by using the Advanced Search feature on Twitter.  See picture below.

Advanced Search How To Get More Leads on Twitter

Two fields you want to be sure to fill in are: “All of these words”, and “Written In”.  You may be tempted to fill in “near this place” however, unless it is absolutely necessary, don’t.  The search will exclude more than you might want when you narrow the location beyond language.

Then, when you find someone on Twitter looking for a recommendation in your field, it is time to introduce yourself.  For example you might say, “@namehere I would love to help out your friend.  I have a lot of great Social Media programs that he/she might like.”

4.  Rotate your Twitter Profile Picture, Bio and Profile Design –

By rotating your Twitter profile picture, bio and design, you better express yourself to your followers.  As long as there is a common thread throughout each of your designs, your followers will come to know more about you.  This again increases your “know, like and trust factor.”

Likewise, it peaks people’s curiosity.  They are more likely to click through to your profile page on Twitter and see what you have going on there, if you change it frequently.  Otherwise, they will only see your tweets in their newsfeed.

The more frequently followers visit your profile page; the more likely they are to join one of your lists and become a true lead.

5.  Keep your posts short enough to retweet

Having your tweets retweeted is a key way to get in front of more potential followers and leads.  Thus, it is in your best interest to make it easy for your current followers to retweet you.

Ideally, keep your tweets between 100-120 characters because this allows your followers the opportunity to add their own reaction when they retweet your tweet.  A followers reaction AND a retweet is like an endorsement or testimonial because the follower is in effect saying “hey I like this tweet so much I’m going to retweet it AND tell you why.”  A reason why is powerful! More people will sit up and pay attention!

6. Post Genuine Follow Friday #FF Tweets

It can be tempting to mention 10 tweeps in one #FF tweet.  But, this helps no one, nor does it feel personal.

Rather, pick one or two followers that you engage with on Twitter and share why you find their connection valuable.   They are more likely to retweet your #FF mention of them and recommend you to others.

7. It’s a PARTY on Twitter

As you build a community on Twitter, host an 30min to hour-long Twitter party.  This can be especially useful if you have a product launch, or new series coming up.

To set up a Twitter party, decide upon a short and relative #hashtag that “partiers” can use to communicate with you.

50 Blog directories to join – Back links and traffic for your blog

Links is often difficult and hard to come by.

Blog directories offer best way in which you can list your blog and get a back links immediately. Giving you exposure, perhaps some traffic to your Blog and a back link as well, isn’t that sounds perfect.

Some are pay blog directories, some offer reciprocal link exchanges, others are free.

The PageRank for the blog directory is on the right of the listing.

BTW, The first in the list in my own blog directory for the blogging community. Obviously I mentioned it first because I would like you to join. It’s new, it’s small and it’s free. But with your help it will grow. Oh, and the links back to your siteare “do follow”. Yeah offcourse!!! i forgot to mention do add it to your blog along with my blog after following my Blog. Mutual understanding makes us to think better, Act better, live better and offcourse more importantly GROW – so lets make a mutual understanding and share and follow each other.

So if anything else please join my blog directory.

  1. https://rajbgm.wordpress.com/3
  2. http://www.integralwebsolutions.co.za/Blog_Directory.aspx 3
  3. http://dmoz.org/Computers/Internet/On_the_Web/Weblogs/ 6
  4. http://www.blogcatalog.com/ 7
  5. http://blogflux.com/ 7
  6. http://blogs.botw.org/ 6
  7. http://www.geekyspeaky.com/links/ 5
  8. http://www.blogarama.com/ 7
  9. http://www.blogrankings.com/ 7
  10. http://www.blogtoplist.com/ 6
  11. http://www.bloggernity.com/ 6
  12. http://www.bloggeries.com/ 6
  13. http://www.bloghub.com/ 7
  14. http://www.lsblogs.com/ 6
  15. http://www.blog-search.com/ 6
  16. http://www.britblog.com/ 6
  17. http://www.globeofblogs.com/ 6
  18. http://www.bloguniverse.com/ 6
  19. http://www.top100bloggers.com/ 6
  20. http://www.getblogs.com/ 7
  21. http://www.delightfulblogs.com/ 6
  22. http://portal.eatonweb.com/ 7
  23. http://www.readablog.com/default.aspx 5
  24. http://www.iblogbusiness.com/ 5
  25. http://www.bloglisting.com/ 5
  26. http://www.blogdup.com/ 5
  27. http://sportsblogs.org/ 6
  28. http://blogannounce.info/ 5
  29. http://www.blog-directory.org/index.php 6
  30. http://www.sarthak.net/blogz/index.php 5
  31. http://www.blogtagstic.com/ 5
  32. http://www.industry-blogs.com/ 5
  33. http://www.kmax.ws/bloglinks.htm 5
  34. http://www.blogs-collection.com/ 5
  35. http://www.blogbunch.com/ 4
  36. http://www.photoblogdirectory.net/ 5
  37. http://blogsforsmallbusiness.com/directory/ 5
  38. http://www.bloghints.com/ 4
  39. http://www.highclassblogs.com/ 5
  40. http://emarketingblogs.com/listings/index.shtml 5
  41. http://www.bestblogs.org/ 5
  42. http://www.blogdust.com/blog-directory/ 4
  43. http://www.chinabloglist.org/ 5
  44. http://www.blogadr.com/ 4
  45. http://directory.etalkinghead.com/ 5
  46. http://www.biggerblogger.com/ 4
  47. http://www.blogscholar.com/component/ 5
  48. http://www.blogpoint.com/ 4
  49. http://www.blogsrating.com/ 4
  50. http://www.blogdir.co.uk/ 4
  51. http://www.quickblogdirectory.com/ 4