Archive for the ‘ Social Media ’ Category

My Twitter Follow Back Strategy: Top Reasons Why I Won’t Follow You Back

I’m really generous about following people back on Twitter. I’d guess I probably follow back over 90% of the people who follow me. I use Tweetdeck and organize everyone I follow into groups, so even though I follow 896 people, I probably only closely follow about 100 users that fit in to one of the following categories:

TweetDeck

  1. All Friends – This is the category where everyone shows, and I largely ignore it. I do glimpse at it, and sometimes tweets catch my eyes and occasionally I may even move a user into one of my other categories if I find them interesting enough.
  2. Friends – These are people I know in real life. Family, friends, classmates, etc.
  3. Colleagues – These are the people I work with. I work at a digital marketing company of about 500 people, and certainly not everyone is on twitter, but a good percentage are due to the nature of our work and I’ve tried to locate and follow as many of them as I can. There are some really great quality tweets in this category.
  4. Favs – These are my favorite users that don’t fit in to one of the other categories. Ad gossip (yeah you @agencyspy), companies and businesses, thought leaders in digital and seo, local people, etc. Kind of a catch-all for things I find interesting…

So given the nature of how I treat “All Users”, I don’t mind following people back as I know I’ll probably never read their tweets. So what will cause me to not follow someone back?

  1. You tweet about politics too much or exclusively. You can’t make a valid political argument in 160 characters or less. Issues are too complicated to be reduced down to this, and you’re not going to change anyone’s mind in one sentence fragement. I especially can’t stand the #tcot people (apparently anyone can nominate themselves a Top Conservative On Twitter – kind of like calling yourself a social media expert, IMO), because they tend to be rather extermist and one-sided in their thoughts.
  2. You are a spammer. When I get a notice that you’re following me, I look at your tweets. If you tweet the same thing over and over again, to the same link, you’re spam. Goodbye. spammer
  3. You have only been on Twitter for <1 week or only have a few tweets total. You probably fall in to the spam category. That one bit.ly link you have (coincidentally, your most recent tweet), is probably to porn. Not interested. Extra spammy points if the avatar is a good looking woman.
  4. You tweet what you eat. Everyone always talks about how they’re not interested in joining twitter because they don’t care about the mundane details of your life / what you’re eating at the moment. Agreed, that stuff sucks – but you don’t have to avoid Twitter altogether, just these people. No follow for you.
  5. You post a link about “get 1,000 followers instantly at _____.com”. Those sites are really spammy and malicious, and often they hijack your twitter account and send out tweets like that. Definitely not interested.
  6. You tweet at people (excusively). I’m not big into having conversations via twitter, as they’re much better channels (i.e AIM, Gchat, or the telephone) to have a much more enlightening and expedient conversation, but if you’ve never once interacted with your followers and simply just shout messages at them all day long, you kind of suck at Twitter and I don’t want to be associated with you.
  7. You tweet A LOT. Like once every 10 minutes or more. Your tweets are so close together that I wonder how you can type so fast. You have issues. I think you’re wierd. Leave me alone.

There’s probably a bunch I’m missing, but I’ll update this later when I think of them.  What are your pet peeves / reasons for not following back? Like I said earlier, my standards on who I follow back are pretty liberal – what are yours like? Do you have a follow-back strategy?

“Social Media Experts” Are Really Only Experts at Cliche

HanselSoHotRightNow
I saw a great post over on Conversational Marketing today called 10 Questions to Evaluate a Social Media Expert. It is a really funny, yet pretty useful blog post about all of the social media hacks out there that call themselves Social Media Experts (or Gurus). Calling yourself a Social Media Expert / Guru is like being Hansel from Zoolander – so hot right now. I’ve been meaning to do a similar post, so thanks Ian for inspiring this post – I encourage you to click the link and read his wonderfully sarcastic (yet amazingly insightful) post as well.

Here’s my list of warning signs that a person you are talking to isn’t really a social media expert:

  1. They call themselves a Social Media Expert or Social Media Guru. Seriously, that is total lame-sauce. If you really were an Expert or Guru (btw, Guru…seriously? Are we Harry Potter?), you wouldn’t have to tell us that you were one, we’d already know. Go cast social media spells at Hogwarts with your twitter buddies, I’m going to stay away from anyone who claims to be an expert in anything.
  2. They mention Twitter in the first 10 seconds, or talk about Twitter for over 25% of the conversation on Social Media. Twitter isn’t social media. Twitter is a media channel that works in some applications, and doesn’t in others. Twitter is not the end-all, be-all strategy for success on the internet.
  3. They call it “Social Media” over and over without explaining their definition of what that means. First of all, “social media” is a complete bullshit term. I challenge you to find me an example of online media that isn’t social in some aspect. The only thing I can think of is an old-school, Web 1.0 web page that is basically a flyer or brochure published on the web with no ability to interact with the site. If so, there are so few of these sites any more it would be easier to identify the anti-social media on the web. However, I’m okay with using this term, but you have to define it first. You can define the term however broadly or narrowly you want, but you need to define it otherwise you’ll never really make sense – everyone thinks a different thing when they hear the phrase social media.
  4. You say the phrase ‘so-and-so really gets it’ when referring to using social media effectively. AHHH! At least you’re consistent in your use of cliches. -1 additional point if you then talk about Zappos and Dell on Twitter…yes, anyone with a pulse and internet connection already knows this – they made money using social media – whoopee! Apparently you’re the one who doesn’t “get it” if that’s the best, most creative example you can give us.
  5. They see Social Media as a one size fits all strategy. It’s not. Each company has different goals and objectives, and what works for one client really well might work awful for another one. If it were as simple as applying a process over-and-over, there wouldn’t be a need for “social media experts,” as everyone could just do it yourself. You need someone who can understand the pros and cons and make thoughtful approaches to connect with customers and partners. Sometimes that means not doing any social media at all (gasp!) – some companies really do work best under the radar (besides Halliburton).
  6. They tweet, facebook, blog, digg, etc. more than 20 hours a day. You must really think you’re important if you feel the need to share your thoughts every 15 minutes from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed. Perhaps this explains how you’re so narcissistic as to call yourself a social media expert in the first place. News update, Hoss – if you don’t have a life outside of your social networks, then that’s scary. If you really have all that time to update your social networks 24/7, then do you have any time leftover to focus on your clients? If you have such little human interaction in your life, are you really the right person to help drive my brand? No, and No.
  7. You talk about twitter the whole time. Again, enough with the Twitter. We get it. It’s so hot right now.  Well, so was AOL 8 years ago. What’s your point? There always be a bigger, better thing right around the corner. You have to think long-term. If you focus your entire advertising around one channel, and that channel then slowly diminishes in importance (MySpace, anyone?), then what do you do?

Anyway, go check out the post at Conversational Marketing. Here are my favorite quotes:

If you know more than 5 people, chances are you now know someone who declares themselves a social media expert. How can you tell if someone’s claim of expertise is legit? Here’s my quick quiz. Ask each question and take the appropriate action:

3: What is social media?

“Blogging and Twitter and stuff”. Excuse yourself for a bathroom break and don’t come back.

“A trendy term to describe a new kind of mass media”. Totally acceptable.
4: What’s a social media campaign?

“Voting something to the front page of Digg using my proxy server and 35 computers”. Flee the scene, and get to a minimum safe distance as soon as possible.

“I have this great software that will put a link to your site on 21,000 forums and 10,000 blogs…”. Push them down the garbage chute. Don’t be seen with them in public.

7: How do you build an audience?

“I auto-follow 20,000 people on Twitter”. If you’re OK with it, kick them in the groin for me. If not, nod politely and move on.

“I follow interesting, relevant people on Twitter, comment on relevant blog posts and try to get into the conversation”. Home run. Try not to weep with joy.

10: How does social media impact SEO?

“It builds relationships that turn into links later”. HIRE THEM NOW.

Read more: http://www.conversationmarketing.com/2009/07/10-questions-for-social-media-experts.htm#ixzz0M2bHZrRh

MySpace still makes more ad money than Facebook!?

I’m a bit suprised by this, because I thought MySpace was pretty much dead – but apparently, they make more ad revenue than the more popular (and more user friendly) social networking site Facebook. Take a look at traffic for each site:

Compete shows ~122,000 unique visitors for Facebook last month but only about ~61,000 unique visitors for MySpace – so Facebook has double the visitors!

Yet, according to a new report on social media by eMarketer, Facebook isn’t expected to suprass MySpace in ad revenue until 2011 – still a solid two years away!

Penelope Haller-Roshon

What gives!? In my humble (and possibly misinformed) opinion, Facebook has a generally more wealthy, educated crowd than MySpace – the type of people who are more likely to spend money on products being advertised. When Facebook first launched (ahh, the good old days!), it was only open to Ivy League colleges (Zuck was a Harvard elitist, apparently), then it was opened to other top colleges that weren’t quite Ivys but still pretty darn good (yay, Northwestern), and then they opened the floodgates for 12 year olds, grandparents, and anyone else with an email address, even my dog Penelope!

The quickest growing demographic on Facebook is now older users, who also would presumably have more money to spend on the products being advertised. Here’s an interesting chart of Facebook Demographics during the first half of 2009:

My only guess is that these estimates by eMarketer are on the (very) conservative side – and that Facebook will beat out MySpace much quicker than 2011. If I were a betting man (and I am), I’d put my money on this occurring MUCH sooner – the demographics and growth of Facebook are too hard to ignore…and MySpace is a more or less a sinking ship! With Facebook ad revenue growing and MySpace ad revenue likely to shrink, it seems like the perfect storm. And with all the rage of Twitter these days (and Facebook redesigning to imitate it), MySpace gets less attention and new users, putting the nail in the coffin.

Update: Laurel Papworth’s “The Business of Being Social” blog has a great post on this topic that supposes MySpace still holds a commanding lead over Facebook for ad revenue because of the Google / Myspace ad deal that generates $2.17 per user for MySpace, as well as MySpace’s event planning services like product/album launches and etc. I bet she’s right, but I still wonder what is taking Facebook so long to find a way to arrange an even sweeter deal than MySpace, given their more favorable demographics, growth, and traffic. I know Facebook has their own ad channel as opposed to using an established channel like MySpace does with Google, which should mean more profit in the long run, but even then…c’mon guys! Quit poking each other and get on it 😉 Thanks for the linkback, Laurel!

Automatically Update your Facebook Status through Twitter without being Annoying

Selective-Facebook-Status

I’ve been using a new Facebook application called Selective Twitter Status that is a pretty smart solution, I think. Many users automate their facebook status to update anytime they tweet. The problem with this is that a lot of Twitter users send tons of tweets per day. In Twitter, this is totally normal and socially acceptable. In Facebook, if you’re updating multiple times a day, it can get annoying…very annoying.

While some of your Facebook friends might actually care about what you’re tweeting, chances are you have some Facebook friends who don’t: the person who lived down the hall from you Freshman year, your (extended) family members, coworkers, neighbors, your sibling’s significant other, etc. These are people you still want to stay in touch with on a basic level and be able to see where they are living and what they are up to these days, but you probably don’t need nor want to have daily updates as to what articles they are reading, what they are thinking/doing at the moment, etc. – and they feel the same way, it’s just TMI.

Enter Selective Twitter Status – it will automatically update your Facebook status based on your tweets, like a number of other automated twitter/facebook apps, but this one will only update facebook with the tweets you decide. Simply put #fb at the end of your tweet, or you can even modify the settings so you can put #fb anywhere in the tweet. And voila, only update Facebook with tweets you think all of your friends would be interested in.

Facebook-Selective-Status

The use of the hashtag #fb here isn’t technically a proper use of hashtags, but it’s not really a big deal. The more popular hashtag for Facebook would be #Facebook anyway, and I really think hashtags are a dying pheonmenos, as explained in this interesting article over at Search Engine Journal: The Slow Death of Twitter Hashtags.

Another nice feature is the link in each update to follow you on twitter – since so many people are now hopping on the Twitter bandwagon, but have already been on Facebook for a while, this provides an easy avenue for them to find you and connect via Twitter.

So check it out, let me know what you think!

Recommended WordPress Widget: Social Media Page

Social Media Plugin for WordPress

Social Media Plugin for WordPress

I haven’t fiddled around with my blog design as much as I’d have liked to, but here is one plug-in I highly recommend: Social Media Page.

As seen on my side bar where it says “Connect with Me,” this widget offers a clean looking format for listing all of my social networking profiles. These are direct, SEO-friendly links along with little logos to look a little more professional then just the standard WordPress “Links” section.

The plug-in is super easy to use and even helps you find the URLs of your public profiles in case you don’t already know them. In my case, it also reminded me to go ahead and update some of those profiles as they hadn’t been touched in years. Once I had all of my URLs selected I just had to go into the WordPress Admin – Appearance – Widgets and have the widget show in my sidebar.

Anyway, just a quick post, but go check it out. And since I’m all for giving link love, here is a link to the author’s personal website, Philip Norton.

Facebook Vanity URLs now Live!

Here’s what you need to know about the new Facebook Usernames:

Go to http://www.facebook.com/username and reserve your username right now!. Your username will then become the subfolder on facebook.com where your page is stored. For instance, my username is “nickroshon” and my new URL is http://www.facebook.com/nickroshon

Hurry up and grab something if you haven’t already, but here are a few tips on picking your custom Facebook vanity URL:

The dot doesn’t matter: if you choose nick.roshon or nickroshon, it still goes to the same place. Much like Gmail, Facebook will ignore the period between words and treat the two as the same. You can go to http://www.facebook.com/nickroshon and http://www.facebook.com/nick.roshon and they both take you to the same place, so in essence I got 2 vanity URLs from Facebook today.

Facebook pages are different: If you are a page, and not just a personal user, you can only reserve your username/vanity URL if you created your fan page by May 31, 2009 and have at least 1,000 followers. The rest of you will get your shot in July.

Get a Unique Username: If you want http://www.facebook.com/awesome, it’s still available. However, http://www.facebook.com/nick is already taken 🙁 and so is http://www.facebook.com/likeaboss

Don’t pick something stupid: It is permanent, and at the time of writing Facebook offers no method of changing your username / vanity URL, so you’re stuck with whatever you chose. So in 10 years, when no one has any clue what “likeaboss” really means, you’ll feel like an idiot.

Avoid Trademarks: If you pick a brand name or trademarked term as your username/vanity URL, the owner of that trademark can appeal it on Facebook and you will be stripped of it, so don’t go out there grabbing something you know you don’t deserve.

Username Squatting: If you want to create a bunch of dummy accounts to reserve other user accounts, you are too late. Right now, the ability to reserve a username is only available to Facebook profiles created before June 9, 2009, as I’m told by @ledet. That means I can’t go and create a second Facebook profile to grab http://www.facebook.com/nicholasroshon 🙁

301 Redirect: Your old URL, i.e. http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Roshon/2401203 will now automatically redirect to your new URL. It is a 301 permanent redirect as I confirmed via Web Sniffer, which is what you want in order to pass along the link juice correctly.

Leave me comments with your thoughts, questions, comments, concerns, and snide remarks!

DandyID: Centralize your social profiles

I recently heard of DandyID on Twitter and setup an account today to test it out. My initial thoughts: pretty cool!

Here is a link to my DandyID social media profile. I got a score of 81 and Gold Status (based on how many networks I use relative to other DandyID users) – I’m not sure if that certifies me as geeky or popular (or a popular geek), but I’ll take any awards I can get 🙂

DandyID describes itself as:

DandyID lets you easily collect all of your online profiles in one convenient place and allows people to discover the real verified you across the web.

To me, its basically a *free* page that I can configure to show all of my social networks in one central location. For a fee ($4.99/month) you can upgrade to the pro account and get additional features.

The catch?

From an SEO perspective, all of the links on your DandyID profile page don’t actually link directly to your profile page on another network (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Instead, they link to a subpage on DandyId.org which uses a 302 temporary redirect to the social media profile URL that you were intending to link to. For instance, the link to my facebook account links to: http://www.dandyid.org/id/nickroshon/facebook instead of directly to: http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Roshon/2401203. A 302 temporary redirect means that the page on dandyid.org/id/nick… has been temporarily moved to a new page (located on facebook.com) but still permanently resides at the original location (dandyid.org…) and that Google and other search engines should give all credit and “link juice” to DandyID, not the facebook domain where the page actually resides. So, although my page looks like there are 18 links pointing to my various social media accounts, its really 18 links to DandyID.org (in the eyes of the search engines, anyway).

I was a little bummed to find that I can’t harvest this as a free source for outbound links to my various social media profiles that I’m trying to get to rank better in Google (I knew it had to be too good to be true). Sure, I don’t own any of the domains I want to link to anyway, but for businesses or individuals that want their Facebook profile (or other social network profile) to rank on the first page when you google their brand/business name, you need links pointing to them, and the links on DandyID unfortunately won’t help that goal as long as they are a 302 redirect.

Enjoying the personal access to strangers only Twitter can provide, I pinged DandyID with my complaint:
twitter-me-at-dandyid

I was very pleased to get a prompt response from the official DandyID Twitter Account as well:
twitter-dandyid-at-me

Good news! In my tweet I was complaining specifically about the WordPress plug-in also using 302 redirects, but my DandyID profile page uses them as well. I’d totally be willing to pay a small (albeit very small) yearly fee to get some analytics and use this page as a “link farm” for all of my social media profiles, passing along link authority to my pages on their respective domains.

That being said, I think this is definitely a service to try out, and I know I’ll be watching them as they build out the service further and continue to enhance their offerings! If this service does catch on and become more mainstream, then maybe I would want my DandyID.org profile page to rank at the top of Google for my name. Like my title says, it does centralize everything – so from a users perspective, if you want to find me on the most popular social networks, this would be a very useful page. This service is especially useful for people who don’t have their own website/blog like this one that can use a plug-in like the Social Media Page plug-in found in my sidebar (which gives nice, direct links without any messy redirects). Until then, the Pro account doesn’t seem like something I’d want to spend the money on until there are more users on it.

In the end, I’d highly recommend you check it out and sign up. It’s free, it’s unique, and it provides a cool service. My dream scenario that it could also be a link farm for social media profiles is probably asking a bit much anyway, as most sites would just nofollow the links to begin with 🙂

And a final word: like any other social media / networking site, you’ve trusted yet another domain with some personal data, so don’t link to anything you don’t want the whole world to see. This is common sense, but can’t be repeated enough, as you hear about this kind of stuff all of the time: Check out Cisco Fatty if you don’t know what I mean!

UPDATE Wow, that was quick. One day after my tweet and DandyID now uses 301 redirects for Pro account users! And they hooked me up with one! I’ll give a follow-up review of the Pro features sometime soon. SO AWESOME!

Claiming my blog on Technorati

Technorati Profile

Register your blog on Technorati and claim it by posting a string of code they give you (can be put anywhere on the front page of your blog and removed after the claim is complete – mine is above). Technorati is basically a directory of blogs that is updated in real time, so if you claim your blog Technorati it will update their directory every time you post. This differs from Google in that it places a higher emphasis on the “freshness” (or how recent) the post is, although “authority” (or importance, as Google would call it) is definitely an important factor as well. I probably won’t get much traffic through Technorati, but I may get some, and since this is 100% free it doesn’t hurt to try!

Update: Also go here to have Technorati automatically ping your site for updates: http://technorati.com/ping/

Register now to protect your internet identity

When you google your name what happens?   If you’re lucky enough to have a relatively uncommon name, your facebook, linkedin, or twitter accounts are likely to come up on the first page assuming you are using your real name.  These sites all have a lot of authority on google and are useful to searchers looking to find out more about you – this makes sense.

With that in mind, there are other slightly less popular social networking sites that you should register with to protect your name – even if you don’t plan on using them.  It’s free to register and could prevent you a major headache down the road.

Click here to check your social networking username availablity

I didn’t sign up for EVERY one, but I grabbed a few of the bigger ones anyway, and it actually kind of got me hooked on Flickr.  Speaking of, check me out on Flickr and add me as a contact!

Funny though, that site seems to be missing AIM and Gmail (but does include Yahoo!) but by now I’m guessing you’ve already checked those.

Anyway, just a friendly tip for anyone that is creating a blog in order to promote themselves, protect their online identity, or even bury a negative story off of the first page of Google by building new content to replace it, go grab your social networking sites now before its too late.