24 de mayo de 2011

Location-Based Services: Foursquare vs. Facebook Places

Ask any marketer about trends for 2011 and you’ll undoubtedly hear the phrase “location-based services.” However, among Foursquare, Facebook Places, SCVNGR, Gowalla and many others, marketers have a lot to choose from.
In this article we’ll cover the two major players—Foursquare and Facebook Places—and see how they stack up.

What are location-based services?

Location-based services allow users to connect with others based on their current locations. In most cases, people use their smartphones (iPhone, Android, Blackberry) to “check in” to businesses like restaurants, bars and stores they visit. These locations are then broadcasted to their online friends.
Many of these services also have a gaming component, allowing members to compete against one another or to collect rewards (like online badges) for their activities.
foursquare badges
Foursquare offers badges that are unlocked as an incentive for checking in at local venues and events.
So why do marketers love location-based tools so much?
A few reasons:

#1: Free word of mouth

Because each check-in is broadcasted to a user’s friends, there’s natural word of mouth advertising that occurs through the site. Marketers’ theory is that if users see their friends check in to a location, they may be more likely to visit.

#2: Reviews

Most location-based tools allow users to write reviews of the places they frequent. These reviews are then shared with other users who check in to those locations. This can have a real impact (either positive or negative) for businesses hoping to be discovered by new customers.

#3: Specials

Sites like Foursquare and Facebook Places allow businesses to run specials that are unlocked by users who check in to their locations. For example, a pizza place could create a special that gives free breadsticks to customers who check in five times. These specials encourage frequency, first-time visits and competition among customers. More on this later.
Now let’s compare the two major players—Facebook Places and Foursquare.

Users

In 2010, Foursquare announced that it had more than 6.5 million members worldwide.
Facebook, on the other hand, said that as of October 2010 (just two months after its launch), more than 30 million had tried its Places service.
It’s unclear how many of these users can be considered active versus simply setting up accounts. But based on download volumes, it’s clear that Facebook made a big splash upon its launch.

Activity

In 2010, Foursquare claimed that its users checked in to locations more than 380 million times.
Facebook has not yet released its Places check-in numbers.
But Business Insider (2010) recently ran a one-month comparison between the two services, looking at the difference in total check-ins at several popular NYC restaurants.
foursquare vs facebook
Business Insider found that five times as many users checked in on Foursquare than Facebook during a one-month period at a NYC restaurant.
Foursquare overwhelmingly dominated in the experiment, with 5x (or more) the number of check-ins in some cases. It’s unclear if these numbers apply to all businesses in all cities, but Foursquare users appear to be far more active than Facebook Places users.

Deal Options

As mentioned, both Foursquare and Facebook Places encourage businesses to create specials that reward users for checking in to their locations. But options for these specials vary slightly per site.
For example, as part of its “Charity Deals,” Facebook lets businesses donate a certain amount of money per check-in. This type of special is not currently available through Foursquare.
subway
Subway recently offered a Charity Deal on Facebook, offering $.10 per check-in to promote heart health.

deals
Using Facebook Places Deals, businesses can choose to offer one of four types of deals and can set restrictions on date, time and availability of the deal.
Foursquare, on the other hand, allows businesses to run what’s known as “Mayor” specials. These deals reward the individual who has checked in the most to a location.
Foursquare is also in the midst of expanding their check-in deal options for businesses to better compete with Facebook, so you’ll begin to see a lot of overlap between the two.

Reach

One of Facebook’s key advantages over Foursquare is its large, built-in network of users (600 million+ of them!). And because Facebook launched long before Foursquare, many of its users had time to build up their own networks of friends.
In fact, the average Facebook user is connected to 130 friends. This means that on average, each Facebook Places check-in has the potential to be seen by 130 of a user’s Facebook friends.
Foursquare users appear to have much smaller networks, and thus a much smaller reach. The site doesn’t appear to disclose data about the size of its average user’s network. But anecdotally, it’s hard to find many users with more than 50 friends, meaning that each check-in may be seen by just a small group of users.

Quality of Reach

The majority of Facebook users are connected to their intimate social networks—friends, family, co-workers, etc.—while many Foursquare users are connected to those they’ve never met (e.g., Twitter followers).
From a word-of-mouth standpoint, it can therefore be argued that Facebook check-ins are more valuable than those spread strictly through Foursquare. It’s the difference between telling your best friend where you’re hanging out versus telling a complete stranger. Your best friends are going to be far more likely to trust your recommendations.
facebook check-in
Facebook check-ins are published on the user's wall and unlike Foursquare, Facebook Places allows users to tag a friend in their check-in.

foursquare check-in
Foursquare offers the option to post check-ins to users' Facebook walls and Twitter feeds.
Please note that Foursquare users are able to share their locations to Facebook and Twitter, but very few choose to do so.

Tips

Let’s look at five tips on how you can begin capitalizing on one or both location-based services:

#1: Set goals

Looking to increase foot traffic? Want to see your regulars visiting more often? Before you launch your first Foursquare or Places special, be sure you’ve defined what you’re trying to accomplish. This will help you to better analyze your results and adjust your campaigns as needed.

#2: Educate yourself

As with most social media tactics, it’s important that you first understand the tools from a user’s perspective. Doing so will give you better insight into how and why your customers are using these tools, and may give you insight into what your competition is doing.

#3: Learn from others

Sometimes the best ideas can come from the least expected places. So before launching into a large location-based campaign, make sure you know what others are doing out there. Take a look at your competition, obviously. But also venture outside of your industry. You never know when you’re going to stumble across the idea that kicks your brain into high gear.

#4: Be creative

The biggest mistake you could make in launching a special would be to do something that’s already being done. Find something that’s going to make people turn their heads. Something that makes them say “Huh?” And, most importantly, something they’re going to tell their friends about. If you’re not excited about your deal, they probably won’t be either.

#5: Promote, promote, promote

Once you’ve launched a promotion through Foursquare, Places or any other location-based network, make sure you get the word out. These technologies are still relatively new for most consumers, so there’s a certain level of education that has to go into making these things successful. So upon launching, make sure you have in-store signage to promote your special. Send out an email blast with information on how to use the sites. And if your special is unique enough, send information out to local bloggers and media.
There’s no cost associated with setting up a profile on Facebook Places or Foursquare, so if you’re looking to launch a location-based promotion, there’s no harm in giving both a try to see which service generates more buzz and drives traffic to your business. Just consider the above tips before you launch your campaign.

 Editor: Alex Rojas writes articles related with technology, social media and marketing. Sponsored by Costa Rica Hotels, Motor de reservas en linea and Travel to Costa Rica     

23 de mayo de 2011

Infographic: The 5 types of annoying Facebook users

While this infographic from the blog Endless Origami is geared more for the high school and college set, it does highlight some classic social media archetypes.

The self promoter, for instance—I’m sure you don’t know any of those.

Facebook users

 Editor: Alex Rojas writes articles related with technology, social media and marketing. Sponsored by Costa Rica Hotels, Motor de reservas en linea and Travel to Costa Rica   

20 de mayo de 2011

6 alternatives to sending a press release

It's my firm belief that list-building services—while making reporter list-building extremely easy—have also created a generation of lazy PR professionals.

Sure, it's nice to pull a minty fresh list out of that database. That’s the easy part. Now it's your skill and creativity that will get your news in front of those reporters.

Yes, I said creativity.

Arguably, the worst part of being a PR Professional is facing that list, breaking it down, and digging in to pitch those reporters. But the most important thing is not writing the press release and blasting it out. First, you have to back up and say:

“What is my message, and who would appreciate hearing it?”

If you have to, go ahead and write the press release. It might help you organize your thoughts and develop your key message. But don’t send it!

Challenge yourself never to send another standard press release again. (Unless, of course, someone specifically asks for one. Or your client forces you to write one.)

Instead, here are alternatives that you should be using instead of a press release.

1. Pitch email. More than 90 percent of reporters claim they want to receive pitches via email. Given that you're already emailing, just put your pitch in the form of a story, with bullet points emphasizing the most important details you want the reporter to know. Here is the key to a successful pitch email:

Google the reporter's name. After ensuring that she still writes for the news outlet, click on one of her recent articles. Make sure it is within the same genre as your pitch. In other words, if you are pitching a health-care story, make sure she covers health care.
Write a one-paragraph personalized intro for every email you send. “I read your series on health-care abuses in the nursing home industry…” Show some interest in the reporter's work.
The remaining portion of the email can be the same for every reporter. This is your brief opportunity to capture the reporter's interest with your pitch. Make it short, and make it interesting.
Write a subject line that gets attention and describes your pitch. “For your information” is not a good subject line.

2. Make a website posting (preferably a blog post).
If your client has a newsroom or a blog, post your pitch material in the form of a Web article or blog post. Use story-telling language, not a standard press release format. Tag the post with keywords, and link to the company's website or to other information, if possible. You can start a new blog on Posterous in less than 15 minutes.

3. Send a Tweet. Turn your key idea into a tweet. With a little practice, you'll be a pro at getting your message across in one or two tweets. Ideally, it would be great to send these messages to a reporter as a direct message, but if all else fails, go ahead and say: @JeffZeleny, did you know that the most outstanding pork tenderloin sandwich in Des Moines is at Smitty’s?” (Of course, you'll want to come up with your own tweet material.) If the reporter does not respond, follow up with an email pitch.

4. Send a Facebook message. I'm friendly with a lot of local reporters on Facebook, but not so many national reporters. Even if you're not friends with a reporter on Facebook, you can still send them a message. Attach a link or photo if you have one.

5. Pick up the phone. Sometimes a quick conversation to gauge a reporter's interest can save you a lot of time, especially when it seems as though a reporter is no longer covering that beat. If you keep your call brief and courteous, the reporter will be happy to point you in the right direction. If they don't answer or are on deadline, follow up with a pitch email.

6. Offer to meet a reporter for coffee if you're both in the same city. Sometimes reporters are looking for any excuse they can to get out of the newsroom for a while.

This post really is not geared specifically for pitching bloggers. But my advice is never to send a blogger a press release. Bloggers are not traditional journalists. They aren't used to receiving press releases. Most don't use them at all.

Amber Naslund covers that sentiment well here.

Plain and simple press releases are just too formal. The quotes are absurd and aren't even used in most newspaper stories. I've never seen a blogger regurgitate a press release, especially not the made-up gobbelty-gook quotes.

PR pros have this incredible opportunity to be content creators instead of “content suggesters.” Unless your client is absolutely hounding you to get in The Wall Street Journal, spend your time and energy telling your own story on your own website. Then use social media to build an audience (including media).

My favorite example of this is Blendtec.

The company—which makes blenders—created its own videos, posted them on its website, and used social media to tell the world. No boring news releases allowed.

I wish I could hand Blendtec a stack of press releases to blend.

A version of this story first appeared on the blog Public Relations Princess.

 Editor: Alex Rojas writes articles related with technology, social media and marketing. Sponsored by Costa Rica Hotels, Motor de reservas en linea and Travel to Costa Rica     

19 de mayo de 2011

10 incredibly useful Facebook search tips and tools for PR pros

Time is a valuable resource. So, let me put this post in context, quickly.

Facebook = important.

How people use it = important.

Tips and tools to do that = useful.

Here are 10 Facebook resources for PR pros:

1. Greplin.com. This social search engine enables you to search by keyword and by platform channel. For example, search “COMMS corner” on Facebook and any mentions will pop up in the search results. This is very handy for both planning and measurement purposes.

2. 48ers.com. This is similar to Greplin in that it delivers results by social channel (includes Facebook, Twitter, Buzz, Digg and Delicious).

3. Samepoint.com. This is another option worth considering, because it includes all the major social networks and attempts to provide you with some sentient analysis. It’s not perfect, but it is handy.

4. Bing.com/social.
Bing Social Search is one of the only ways you can thoroughly access Facebook data. The shared links option is also a great way to see what is hot in real time.

5. Digitalinspiration.com/tools/facebook-search.html.
This site enables you to search for vanity Facebook URLs to see if they are available or not. Very useful!

6. Youropenbook.org.
Originally intended to expose how easily your status updates can be accessed, this site is actually a great tool for marketers and communicators, too. Type your keyword, choose to split by males and females, and you'll get some handy results.

7. Kurrently.com.
I used this one before I discovered Greplin. It's OK, but now I have a new favorite.

8. ArchivedBook.com. This is more of a personal tool than a professional one, but it is still useful. The site provides your complete wall comment history in chronological order (and your friends' historical data, too).

9. FacePinch.com.
This is a real-time Facebook search engine that provides insights into trending topics, popular likes, and more.

10. Folowen.com. A handy tool that’s not only for Facebook, but also for all the major social networks. It enables you to search for the properties relating to a specific person or organization.

There are are couple of other search engines tools that aren't specifically Facebook-related resources, but do help reduce the noise out there.

One option is blekko.comwatch the video explaining it if only for a giggle—which will have you saying the word “slashtags” a lot. The site does have merit and is potentially a worthy alternative to Google for narrowing search results by preference.

The other search engine is Joongel.com, which can break down a search by nearly every channel or platform you can imagine. It's a little on the ugly side, but worth keeping in your toolbox.

Fuente: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/10_incredibly_useful_Facebook_search_tips_and_tool_7494.aspx

 Editor: Alex Rojas writes articles related with technology, social media and marketing. Sponsored by Costa Rica Hotels, Motor de reservas en linea and Travel to Costa Rica    

18 de mayo de 2011

Information from TripAdvisor's Master Class

Picture 6 This afternoon I attended the TripAdvisor Master Class in San Diego and wanted to share some information that I found useful.

Brian Payea, Head of Industry Relations at TripAdvisor kicked off the event and shared some great stats, many of which I hadn't seen before. Some to note:

  • According to Forrester, 49% of people won't book with a property that has no reviews.

  • The vast majority of reviews on TripAdvisor are positive. The average is 3.9. As of October, 2010 the breakdown of stars is:  1 star - 9% 2 stars - 8% 3 stars - 11% 4 stars - 27% 5 stars - 45%

  • ~10% of TripAdvisor's traffic comes from mobile, mostly in the form of people surfing during the weekend or at night, when they're not in front of their computers.

  • Properties with more than 20 photos get 150% more engagement.

  • Today, only 7% of hotels are responding to reviews even though 71% of people say that seeing a management response is important. 79% of people also say that seeing a response to a negative review is reassuring. (Forrester)

  • When deciding between 2 hotels, 65% of people say that seeing a management response would sway them to book with the responding hotel. (Forrester)

  • But be careful in how you respond. Aggressively worded management responses will do more harm than good according to 60% of the people. (Forrester)

  • There are 15,000 TripAdvisor widgets and badges on the Web. TripAdvisor also has a Nearby Widget which shows the highest rated restaurants and attractions near a hotel.

Daniel Edward Craig, former Opus GM and author and hotel consultant amused the crowd with a GM's view of management responses. He urged hotels to respond to reviews in 48 hours, proofread all responses and have the response come from the GM. For more information on Daniel's view of management responses, please review this hosted best practices Webinar from our April event. He also urged hoteliers to formalize their reputation management process. (We will be conducting a Webinar with Daniel on creating a reputation management progam in May.)

At the end, the Q and A session unearthed some great information from Brian Payea.

Q. What should you do if you get a low score, but a glowing review?
A. Hotels should report a problem with the review through the owner's center and explain the issue. The review will be pulled and the traveler will be alerted. Often, the traveler will resubmit after fixing the score.

Q. How does TripAdvisor figure out the Popularity Index Ranking?
A There is a secret sauce but the primary factor is reviews and if you focus on getting great reviews the rest will follow. He also noted that links back to the hotel across the Web also impact the ranking. He made it a point to note that buying a business listing won't help, nor will writing management responses to reviews. In addition, he noted that old reviews don't impact the ranking.

Q. Why do positive reviews vanish?
A. There was a bug late last year but it should be fixed.

 Editor: Alex Rojas writes articles related with technology, social media and marketing. Sponsored by Costa Rica Hotels, Motor de reservas en linea and Travel to Costa Rica    

17 de mayo de 2011

Information from TripAdvisor's Master Class

Picture 6 This afternoon I attended the TripAdvisor Master Class in San Diego and wanted to share some information that I found useful.

Brian Payea, Head of Industry Relations at TripAdvisor kicked off the event and shared some great stats, many of which I hadn't seen before. Some to note:

  • According to Forrester, 49% of people won't book with a property that has no reviews.

  • The vast majority of reviews on TripAdvisor are positive. The average is 3.9. As of October, 2010 the breakdown of stars is:  1 star - 9% 2 stars - 8% 3 stars - 11% 4 stars - 27% 5 stars - 45%

  • ~10% of TripAdvisor's traffic comes from mobile, mostly in the form of people surfing during the weekend or at night, when they're not in front of their computers.

  • Properties with more than 20 photos get 150% more engagement.

  • Today, only 7% of hotels are responding to reviews even though 71% of people say that seeing a management response is important. 79% of people also say that seeing a response to a negative review is reassuring. (Forrester)

  • When deciding between 2 hotels, 65% of people say that seeing a management response would sway them to book with the responding hotel. (Forrester)

  • But be careful in how you respond. Aggressively worded management responses will do more harm than good according to 60% of the people. (Forrester)

  • There are 15,000 TripAdvisor widgets and badges on the Web. TripAdvisor also has a Nearby Widget which shows the highest rated restaurants and attractions near a hotel.

Daniel Edward Craig, former Opus GM and author and hotel consultant amused the crowd with a GM's view of management responses. He urged hotels to respond to reviews in 48 hours, proofread all responses and have the response come from the GM. For more information on Daniel's view of management responses, please review this hosted best practices Webinar from our April event. He also urged hoteliers to formalize their reputation management process. (We will be conducting a Webinar with Daniel on creating a reputation management progam in May.)

At the end, the Q and A session unearthed some great information from Brian Payea.

Q. What should you do if you get a low score, but a glowing review?
A. Hotels should report a problem with the review through the owner's center and explain the issue. The review will be pulled and the traveler will be alerted. Often, the traveler will resubmit after fixing the score.

Q. How does TripAdvisor figure out the Popularity Index Ranking?
A There is a secret sauce but the primary factor is reviews and if you focus on getting great reviews the rest will follow. He also noted that links back to the hotel across the Web also impact the ranking. He made it a point to note that buying a business listing won't help, nor will writing management responses to reviews. In addition, he noted that old reviews don't impact the ranking.

Q. Why do positive reviews vanish?
A. There was a bug late last year but it should be fixed.

 Editor: Alex Rojas writes articles related with technology, social media and marketing. Sponsored by Costa Rica Hotels, Motor de reservas en linea and Travel to Costa Rica    

11 de mayo de 2011

New Info on TripAdvisor Algorithm that Drives Popularity Index

Picture 4
Update: April 29 - Please note that Kevin Carter of TripAdvisor has reached out to advise me that some of the information in the French article isn't totally accurate so please know that some of the factors he mentions below might not be correct. Please also see Kevin's comment below.
Clients are always asking how TripAdvisor determines the hotel rankings on the TripAdvisor Popularity Index. I have written on the topic before based on information that I have pulled from multiple sources, but I just read an interview (in French) with Guillaume Thevenot, who manages hotel relationships in Northern Europe for TripAdvisor, that provides more detail.
In the article, he includes the following items that affect ranking:
  1. "Freshness" - A recent review will carry more weight than an older review (We knew this.)
  2. Whether other users found reviews about the property 'helpful' (Didn't know this!)
  3. The profile of the review author - Long-standing TripAdvisor members carry more weight (We didn't know this!)
Very helpful! Now we can add these items to other factors that have been mentioned before, including:
  1. Number of reviews
  2. Quality of reviews (Ratings)
  3. Other content on the Web
Does anyone have more info? Please share below.
Source: http://blog.revinate.com/

Editor: Alex Rojas writes articles related with technology, social media and marketing. Sponsored by Costa Rica Hotels, Motor de reservas en linea and Travel to Costa Rica     

Full SEO Guide for a Website SEO Project

This is a SEO guide (search engine optimisation) showing how an SEO campaign should be approached and undertaken, from start to finish. If you are wanting individual SEO tips, e.g. Keyword analysis, link building and on-site SEO then check out our menu links on the right.

    Keyword Research

  • Keywords are the words or group or words that will relate to the searches typed into a search engine by users. For example, if you have a drainage website for the York region then your keywords may be “York Drain Unblocking”, “Drain Services York” and “Blocked Drains York” – as this is what a person trying to find a site relating to this might type into Google.
  • Figure out your keywords for each page. Your home page usually has the main keywords you want to really focus on, bit don’t forget to make a list of keywords for each page of your site.
  • You can use many free checkers and generators to help find keywords for your site. When deciding keywords you must weigh up how much work you would have to put in (optimising your site for that keyword), compared with changing your keyword to maybe a less competitive one that you can optimise for and see results faster.

    Competition Analysis

  • Your competition are the websites that appear on page 1 of a Google search results page for your keywords. Research involves looking at these sites and seeing what they have done to get themselves on page 1. Use the free tools out there to do this (Firefox extensions like SEO Quake are great for this, along with META analysers, etc – see Free SEO Tools).
  • Once you have found the main competition see how many links are going to their domain (or page if a specific product on a website not relating to the theme, i.e. Whey Protein being sold on amazon). The best way to find backlinks is to do a Yahoo search and exclude the domain of the site you are searching (there are loads of backlink checkers that show the links from the website domain you are searching for). On yahoo type:linkdomain:www.example.com -www.example.com…..replacing “example.com” with the site you are querying the link amount for. (Don’t bother trying this on Google – it gives only a small percentage of the actual amount and Bing has disabled this feature).
  • What other keywords have your competition optimised for? Keyword research ties in with competition research in that you can get a great list of keywords from looking on the competitions pages for frequent phrases (again use a meta analyser).
  • Keep in mind that the first page of Google for many keywords will have listings on sites like Wikipedia, government sites and possibly major players like Amazon and Ebay. For the majority of people there is not much point trying to look at the links to these sites (the number will be vast).
  • So after your competition research you should know: The top competitors (know your enemy), the link quantity you are aiming for (one-way links from relevant, quality sites to yours are weighted highly by search engines) and the keywords you competitors have optimised for in their content, META and Title’s and images/links.

    Current On-Site Status

  • How well is your site search engine optimised? Do a review of your website using our On Site SEO Techniques Checklist.
  • Look at the site structure and the content – do they conform to all the points on the seo checklist?

    Current Off-Site Status

  • Current indexed status? How many of your site’s pages are indexed by Google, Yahoo and Bing? Use the following command in a search engine to see the number of indexed pages:site:www.example.com…replacing “example.com” with your websites domain.
  • Current rankings? Where does your site rank on a search in Google, Yahoo and Bing (remember to check both local and .com search engines. Also a local site like google.co.uk will give the option for “World-wide Search” and “UK Search” – World-Wide is used most but check both!)?
  • How many links do you have to your site? Use the Yahoo linkdomain query to find out. How do these compare to the competition?
  • How is your social media? Do you have any forum posts, external blogs, social networking pages (Facebook Page, Twitter Page, etc). Remember social media is the new web (Web 2.0) – people no longer want to just look at a page of content – they want to interact with it and other users on the subject matter. Link all these media’s back to your site!

SEO Guide Stage 2 – Strategy and Planning

    What SEO type things should I do?

  • From your research determine the on-site and off-site areas you can change, improve and work on.

    Calculate Timescales and Costs

  • Internal optimisation or employing an agency or contractor costs money. Work your costs out and create time-scales that you can realistically stick to. We all want a good return on investment!

    Will You Get Enough Return On Investment?

  • In almost every case = yes!
  • In the long run great SEO should increase visitors to your site and if you have followed our advise on display marketing and conversion optimisation then hopefully your sales should also increase. More sales = more profit = good ROI!

SEO Guide Stage 3 – Implementation of SEO Techniques

    On-Site SEO

  • Using the research you did with the On Site SEO Techniques Checklist, find the areas of your site that need improvement and fix them. The basic techniques give your site a good grounding for users to view the site with no errors and in a fast and well presented manner. Search engine spiders can crawl the site easily and effectively giving you the best chance to get your content indexed well.
  • Use section 2 of the on Site SEO techniques checklist to optimise your content, title’s, META, internal links and images for the keywords for each page. Please remember – keywords are not site wide – they should be uniquely thought out for each page.

    Off-Site SEO

  • From your research you should know the links to your site and the amount you aim to get (by viewing the links to the competitors). Now is the implementation. A link building campaign is essential to ranking high for any competitive keyword. See our link building campaign guide for more info.

SEO Guide Step 4 – Continuing SEO

Link Building

Link building is the process of having another website or just a single webpage linking to your site from theirs. This can be from owners websites, forums, social networking sites and any other webpage that has a link to your own.
  • One-way links – The best – Having Site A linking to Site B. Google and other search engines generally rate these higher these days, therefore they rate you higher.
  • Reciprocal links – Having Site A link to Site B and Site B to Site A (2-way linking). Still beneficial as the search engines won’t ignore these links and also they serve to increase user traffic.
  • 3-way links – Site A links to Site B. Site B links to Site C. Site C links to Site A.
Link building only helps in terms of search engine rankings, when the link is from a relevant content website that is thought of well by the search engine. We can tell how the other website is thought of via their own ranking position on Google, the Pagerank of the website and also the amount of external links on the webpage (less is better).
A good link building campaign usually takes 6-12 months initially, depending on the keyword completion. Social media helps with link building as natural links will occur from your interesting, fresh and unique blog posts that are shared on social networks.
Link building also creates more “gateways” into your website, as users can find you from other websites as well as the search engines. The more links we create, the more gateways into your website.

Link Monitoring

  • From your research

    Optimising New Content

  • From your research

    Social Media Marketing

    SMM stands for Social Media Marketing and is the way we use social media websites to market to the “New Internet”, commonly referred to as WEB 2.0.Social Media Optimisation There are many elements to social media (not just facebook), which we discuss below. In the past few years social media has turned the web upside down. What really matters is that Social Media is here to stay, and it has the power to literally make or break a business. Just think of this; Facebook has over 300 million users. That’s 300 million people all using 1 site! This is something your business needs to tap into! When implemented properly, and with a flare for excellent content writing, a social media campaign can result in massive exposure, higher website traffic and and new natural links to improve those all important search engine results page rankings.

    Blog and Forum Posting

  • From your research

    Keeping your Site W3C Validated

  • From your research
 Editor: Alex Rojas writes articles related with technology, social media and marketing. Sponsored by Costa Rica Hotels, Motor de reservas en linea and Travel to Costa Rica    

    9 de mayo de 2011

    7 de mayo de 2011

    How to Conduct Market Research with Facebook Surveys

    The survey is the most widely used method for collecting data in market research today, and Facebook makes it easy for you to survey your customers. Facebook surveys can be useful marketing tools for assessing proposed products, testing advertising campaigns, and engaging your fan base to keep them coming back to your Facebook page.
    image0.jpg
    Your goal in conducting a survey is to get as many completed surveys as possible. The number of completed surveys that many studies aim for is 100 or more. Any fewer than that is sometimes considered statistically invalid.
    Of course, the response rate on your survey depends on the content that you include in it, as well as how you conduct it. The following basics can help you create a successful Facebook survey:
    • Keep your survey short. When drafting your survey, brainstorm as many questions as you can to be sure that you cover all the bases. Then review the questions and determine the essential ones for your goals. Keep only these essential questions and as few additional questions as possible.
      There is an inverse relationship between the number of questions in your survey and the number of complete surveys you will receive, so the shorter the survey the better!
    • Write down the expected outcome. This trick is critical for helping you decide whether a question is essential. Try to write the expected press release headline, such as “Nine out of ten dentists prefer Crest to any other toothpaste.” It not only helps you qualify the question for inclusion in the survey, but also gives you a frame of reference to understand how well you know the audience.
    • Start with your best question. If you’re going to get some incomplete survey data, then be sure you get your best question answered up front; don’t save it until the end of the survey. In addition, starting with your most interesting question draws in the survey takers and captures their interest.
    • Don’t sound like a survey. Don’t make questions overly complicated. Use simple words and straightforward questions.
    • Keep the choices to a minimum. Offer no more than five choices per question. Whether you are ranking an attribute from not important to highly important or presenting five multiple-choice options, try to keep the number of choices down so that your completed survey rate goes up!

    Read more: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-conduct-market-research-with-facebook-surve.html#ixzz1LMBskKLj

    Editor: Alex Rojas writes articles related with technology, social media and marketing. Sponsored by Costa Rica Hotels, Motor de reservas en linea and Travel to Costa Rica    

    6 de mayo de 2011

    9 Top Companies That Provide Facebook Page Management Tools

    Facebook has been building out its Pages product for businesses, brands, and celebrities since last year — and as the site has boomed to well over 300 million people, Pages have become an increasingly important way for any organization to reach users. Sensing opportunity, a number of companies have been starting up or expanding to provide services for Page owners.
    Pages, as opposed to personal profiles, are designed for public conversations between fans and celebrities, companies, non-profits or other people and organizations. The companies that develop products for Pages generally tend to provide a customizable suite of services, including engaging applications like polls and quizzes, moderation tools, and analytics. Conceptually, this is an extension of the online marketing products industry that serves web sites, and similar in some ways to the range of products that have also been coming out for microblogging service Twitter.
    Below, we’ve provided brief descriptions of 9 top page services companies, including the specific types of services they provide. Please note that neither the list of companies nor the services they provide are complete. This is rather a snapshot of what we’re seeing in the industry now. Here are the companies, in alphabetical order:
    Buddy Media

    Buddy MediaBuddy Media was originally focused on creating a loyalty program called Acebucks, then became an application developer and advertising network, then followed the growth of pages by creating a platform that offers a range of services to brands, listed below. It now has 40 people in New York, and it has raised $8 million to date from a who’s-who lineup of social web investors. Features include custom pages, custom apps, and custom Facebook Connect integration, Twitter monitoring, targeted Facebook advertising campaigns and analytics. It was worked with a large and diverse group of well-known brands including: New England Patriots, Starwood Hotels, Busch, Fox News and Reebok. More recently, the company launched a custom page for the Twilight series that includes polls and virtual gifts.
    Context Optional
    Context Optional Social network application development and social media strategy_ Facebook Applications, Facebook Pages, Facebook Connect, and the iPhoneIn business since 2006, San Francisco-based Context Optional has a long list of big clients, and competes with Buddy Media in many areas. Clients include Travel ChannelPalm, Smart.fm, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Miller and Absolut. The company has developed some of the formative branded apps and app-page integrations on Facebook. It recently launched a new set of tools for page moderation late last month. Other features include custom apps and Connect integration, targeted Facebook advertising campaigns, apps for the iPhone and other platforms, brand monitoring services for Facebook and Twitter, and analytics.
    Fan Appz

    Fan AppzFan Appz has been a bit quieter than some of the other companies on our list, but also makes a suite of applications for page owners. These include an app for making a top 5 list, another for making polls, and a third for making quizzes. Page owners can add any of these apps within their page interfaces, via Facebook’s admin settings; celebrities like basketball player Rajon Rondo and comedian George Lopez, as well as the movie New York, I Love You. It has raised an undisclosed amount of money from undisclosed investors.
    Involver

    Complete Brand Marketing on Facebook | InvolverSan Francisco-based Involver focuses on building custom applications for big brands, with a range of multimedia, polls, and other features. In April, it announced a deal to sell content in branded apps in pages for Us Weekly and a range of other media publications. Last year, it has raised $1.44 million in a first round of funding from angel investors. It has also running surveys, polls, and other features with clients like Domino’s.

    LiveWorld

    Social Networking and Community Solutions — LiveWorldAlready an established provider of community and moderation tools for major brands on the web, the San Jose, Calif. company only moved on to Facebook a few weeks ago. It offers a forums app, a question-and-answer app and a third app that solicits users ideas; the company also provides a range of moderation, analytics and consulting services. While it works with eBay and many other top companies on the web, its first and so far only announced Facebook customer is Campbell’s Soup.
    theKBuzz
    thekBuzzBased in Glendale, New York, the company has traditionally focused more generally on word-of-mouth marketing, including consulting services. On Facebook, it offers a range of services for large and small clients. One set of features is called theFaceLift, and as the name suggests, comes with a long list of detailed features for anyone just starting a page, like customized apps. Additional services include daily page monitoring and monthly reports about things like responses to content and fan acquisition. A long list of clients ranges from             1-800-Flowers begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            1-800-Flowers      end_of_the_skype_highlighting       to Uno Chicago Grill to Queens Chamber of Commerce.

    Vitrue

    Vitrue We make brands socialThe Atlanta, Georgia company has a few different sets of software services, some of which also integrate in to Twitter. One is called the “Social Relationship Manager” and it includes ways to customize Pages, plan a schedule of marketing efforts on the page, as well as measure and moderate Page activity. Another, the recently-launched “Fan Management System,” lets a large organization create and manage sets of federated pages for local parts of the business; it includes both a central administrative tool and a customizable interface for individual pages. And, the company has free-standing applications designed for pages, including polls, quizzes, email sign-ups, and more. Clients include Ford, AT&T, MTV, and recently this interesting Yoplait fundraiser. It has raised a total of $12.2 million in funding from venture investors as well as Comcast.
    Votigo
    Video Contest, Video Contests, Photo contests, online promotionsFocused on making viral photo and video contests for social media in general, this Lafayette, Calif. company provides a range of customizable features for these contests on Facebook. Pages owners can create custom apps, add the app to their pages, upload their own videos, moderate comments and track usage with an analytics feature. Clients have included Simmons Beautyrest and Kohl’s. The company has raised $1.27 million from Headwaters Holdings.
    Wildfire

    Interactive Promotions for Brand Marketing by Wildfire Promotion Builder | Wildfire Interactive, Inc.This small Palo Alto, Calif. company focuses on building customized promotion apps for brands, including sweepstakes, contests, coupons, giveaways, and more. Back in 2008 its founders were running a travel adventure company at the time, and were looking for a better way to promote the company on Facebook — them solving their own problem led to creating this company, the story goes. The company was an fbFunder Facebook incubator winner earlier this year, and has been used extensively by Facebook itself to offer app and promotional contests. Other clients include Pepsi and Red Bull.
    Learn more about building your brand and growing your audience with Facebook Marketing Service Provider Directory, and the rest of our comprehensive guide to marketing on Facebook. The Facebook Marketing Bible is available at FacebookMarketingBible.com

    Fuente: http://www.insidefacebook.com/2009/11/30/9-top-companies-that-provide-facebook-page-management-tools/

     Editor: Alex Rojas writes articles related with technology, social media and marketing. Sponsored by Costa Rica Hotels, Motor de reservas en linea and Travel to Costa Rica   

    5 de mayo de 2011

    7 Facebook Don’ts That People Do Anyway

    Facebook can bring you hours of news, resourceful information and laughs galore.  There are those of you however, who need to wear a string around your finger to remind you of the don’ts on the popular social networking site.  Just because you’re given a forum in which to express yourself doesn’t mean you have to abuse the power. Can I get an “Amen?”

    Just like everything else, there are some rules and regulations that you’ll need to follow while you’re on Facebook, take a look-see:

    Don’t Forget To Post A Profile Picture Of Yourself

    So even your chin has tripled over the years, or you might be in dire need of a few kegs of botox, or you’ve morphed into a Ma or Pa Kettle toothless lookalike, no matter what’s the excuse you’ll need to pick a pic, get it airbrushed, then download it onto your Facebook page pronto.  By not putting up a profile pic of yourself you’re automatically deemed a ‘fright’ by default!

    Don’t Nag

    I’m sure you’ll get a few boo-hoos from a handful of friends when you ask them to support your trichotillomania cause.  But please know, that for the most part, people don’t want you flooding their inboxes with ’causes.’  Understand, far too many people are just indifferent and your trying to rekindle some facet of empathy is a ‘lost cause!’

    Don’t Be A Promiscuous Friender

    In other words, don’t be a Facebook whore!  Just picture yourself getting a ‘friend’ request from someone who you don’t, or barely know.  How many times have you pinched your nose, closed your eyes, winced, then hit that ’allow’ button to let that unwelcomed person into your arena of friends?  Horrible feeling, isn’t it?  So why inflict that kind of pain and discomfort on someone else!  Besides, why would you want a gaggle of intruders hogging up your news feed?

    Don’t Invite Folks To An Event If They’re Out-Of-Towners

    Why would you bother to send out invites for folks to see you toot your horn at the local dive on the very same day of the gig, if they live in Alaska and you live in Vermont?

    Don’t Post Anything That You’ll Live To Regret

    Totally avoid posting pictures or status updates that will live in infamy.  Words to live by…if you can’t write something with a Sharpie then don’t write it, the same concept applies to Facebook.  Get your common-sense filter into gear before you post anything that can come back and kick you right in the butt.  And word to the wise…don’t even think about drunk posting, knock yourself out with some contraption before you do.

    Don’t Post Boring Status Updates

    Who cares that your cat Tabitha died five years ago and you still put flowers on her grave once a month.  Why would you profess your undying love all over your Facebook page for a guy you dated only twice, ten years ago, who drop-kicked you to the curb?
    Do you really think your ‘friends’ need to know every single detail about those monthly festering cystic pimples that you get on your face with every menstrual cycle?

    Don’t Humiliate Any Of Your Friends

    Don’t post a picture of your cousin Fred who is all hugged up with your co-worker Jenyne, when he has a wife at home, who is your Facebook friend!  Think twice about possibly getting a ‘friend’ fired, divorced or even excommunicated!  Friends, don’t get friends into hot water!
    Are you guilty of committing any of these don’ts?

    fuente: http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-donts-2011-05

    Editor: Alex Rojas writes articles related with technology, social media and marketing. Sponsored by Costa Rica Hotels, Motor de reservas en linea and Travel to Costa Rica   

    4 de mayo de 2011

    How To Manage A Facebook Wall In Any Situation

    Do you ever find yourself at a loss about how to respond to wall posts?

    Well, Buddy Media has the answers for you in a report called “How Do I Respond To That? the Definitive Guide To Facebook Publishing And Moderation?”
    At first glance it seems like a lot of common-sense advice you might have already learned from general customer service experience, but then you see important reminders like this one:
    Managing user-generated content on the Facebook wall is a full-time job. If your guard is down for as little as 24 hours, you might end up with an unmanageable queue of messages that need responding to.
    That includes weekends, evenings and holidays: People are on Facebook around the clock and year round, and it’s unrealistic to expect them to confine their complaints or other comments to conventional business hours.

    Complaints

    Buddy Media recommends that you try to anticipate possible complaints and plan a response strategy ahead of time, so that you can reply as quickly as possible to any gripes posted on your wall.
    The sooner you can react to a complaint, the greater the chance you’ll pre-empt follow up complainers that will make the issue look much worse than it really is. You want to avoid having to respond to multiple posters complaining at the same time, as they will all feed off each other and possibly spread misinformation.
    Don’t make the mistake of replying to complaints selectively — many admins and brand managers try to avoid the more controversial posts thinking it will be more diplomatic. The “we won’t dignify that with a response” attitude backfires online. Respond to every single gripe, because any unanswered party could interpret your nonresponse as an added insult and proceed to blow up.
    Buddy Media recommends that you address each complainer by name when you respond. Offer a humble and apologetic explanation that resolves the problem. Supply links to relevant information. Also, try follow up with the complainant, either directly or right on the wall — the latter will look really good to everyone else — within 24 hours if possible.

    Spread Positivity

    Buddy Media says that it’s just as important to respond to positive posts as negative ones. Compliments by users don’t just show up on your own wall, but also appear on the poster’s news feed and that of their friends. Every time you respond to a post, that also goes out to everyone’s news feed.
    So try to come out with an affirmative reply to every nice thing that goes up on your wall — let people know you are listening. Again, address each poster by name, and use language that reinforces positive feelings about your brand. Try to engage the happy posters so they reply in kind with more positivity, further populating people’s news feeds with goodness.

    Requests For Information

    Buddy Media calls this area of communication a no-brainer, only because you probably have the answer to the user’s posts right at your fingertips. So all you need to do is try to move quickly with the response so you look attentive.
    The consultancy says you ought to think of these requests and your answers as a bonding exercise, a way to make the fan feel like he or she is a part of things upon receiving the answers. Make sure you address everyone by their name and use a friendly yet respectful conversational style.
    The only way you can mess this area up is if you accidentally supply misinformation. But even if that happens, you can rectify that by apologizing for the mistake and offering the correct data. Then follow up later to make sure the person has what he or she needs.

    Guidance And Advice

    Some people request information that requires an answer not as readily available to you — maybe it calls for a more involved response, or even some opinion. What this poster needs is advice and guidance. Play your cards right and these conversations can yield the positivity that Buddy Media recommends you promote.
    This takes more thought and consideration –plus a reassuring and complimentary tone. It might call for a telephone follow-up that you can suggest by giving out your phone number to the person on the wall or via a direct message.
    Be mindful of potential legal issues here. Make sure your answers to these questions protect you from litigation. Consult your company’s attorney for some stock information about different scenarios, and also check with the lawyer about topics that come up anew.

    Diffusing Frustration With Technology

    People can get frustrated with even the best technology, and if more than one customer service representative gets involved in trying to help someone with these issues, frustrations can mount instead of subside.
    The best way to contend with these situations is to have responses prepared ahead of time. Anticipate likely technology challenges and prepare answers to questions ahead of time. And that should include a list of resources with additional information on the subject.

    Managing Conversation Threads

    Some conversations are easier to manage than others, and if you’ve got several of them going at once, well, it gets hard. So make sure you have enough staffing helping you manage it all. If you don’t, you’ll risk missing something that could become a headache.
    You have to prioritize when managing multiple conversations. Don’t move so quickly that you make mistakes, especially because you’re going to face a mix of positive and negative posts. You’ll want to respond to the negative posts first with personalized and complimentary statements. When confronted with postings that are inflammatory, derogatory or profane, go ahead and delete the post. Consider also blocking the poster so he or she doesn’t come back to post more negativity.

    Keeping Negativity And Profanity At Bay

    Create a written policy about what types of posts you don’t want to receive, and place it prominently on your wall or page — that ought to reduce negativity and profanity a great deal.
    If you’re still getting negative and profane posts, and it seems like not enough positive ones are coming your way, ask friends to help out by posting something nice on your wall to start a positive thread.
    Know that you don’t have to let everyone comment on your wall — that’s why the link for blocking a user is there. Don’t feel guilty about using it. You can now reinstate people who you’ve previously blocked, so you could even tell someone you’re blocking that he or she can come back later.
    Readers, how often do you see Facebook page conversations needing intervention by admins and not getting it in time to do damage control?

    Editor: Alex Rojas writes articles related with technology, social media and marketing. Sponsored by Costa Rica Hotels, Motor de reservas en linea and Travel to Costa Rica  

    3 de mayo de 2011

    5 Facebook Privacy Tips You Need To Know Now

    In honor of national Data Privacy Day, we’ve decided to list some of the most important things that users should know about Facebook Privacy. We’ve covered the topic extensively over the past couple years (including our new Facebook privacy guide), but there’s never a bad time to remind people of how to protect themselves online. In this article you will learn some of the most useful ways to protect yourself on Facebook and some of our most important guides.

    Facebook’s Granular Privacy Settings

    Granular Facebook SettingsFacebook uses a system called “granular privacy settings” to give Facebook users complete control of their information. The way that the system is supposed to work is that users can control the visibility of anything they publish on the site. While there is ongoing debate about certain information which is not completely private, there are plenty of settings users can use to limit the visibility of their content. As pictured to the right, the basis of Facebook privacy is five core settings that you will see throughout the site:
    1. Everyone – Everyone literally means everyone. This content will be visible to everybody on the internet. While companies and organizations want their content to be completely public, a lot of users prefer to have their content restricted. By selecting everyone you will have no restrictions on your information or content.
    2. Friends and Networks – This setting will only be visible if you are part of a university or professional organization. If you are not a member of a specific network, this will not be visible. By selecting this option, your information will be only be visible to your friends and members of the networks that you are part of. If you are not a member of a network, there’s no need to worry about this option.
    3. Friends of Friends – I’m not sure why you would want to select this option, however some users want to restrict content to a partially restricted network. While not everybody will be able to see your information, anything to decide to apply this setting to will be visible to your friends and all of their friends.
    4. Only Friends – This setting is pretty straight-forward. Any user that is your friend will be able to see the content you are selecting this for.
    5. Custom – Want to manually select individual friends that can view your information? By using the custom option, you will be able to select individual friends that can and cannot see your information.
    You can now go through the privacy settings area on Facebook and you will be able to apply these settings to any of your personal information.

    Understanding Friend Lists

    Friend Lists IconWhile we previously published a guide to Facebook friend lists, we thought it would be useful to remind users about friend lists. While only a fraction of users take advantage of friend lists, the feature is extremely useful when trying to separate your various social or affiliation groups. For example, you may have work contacts, family members, and close friends all connected to you on Facebook. As we previously wrote:
    The purpose is to easily group your friends, set custom profile settings based on your connection, and to be able to more effectively browse the site.
    There are two primary places to view your friend lists: the homepage and the friends page. By default, Facebook applies any networks you belong to as friend lists. They then allow you to create your own lists. In the image to the right, you can see a few of the friend lists I created for myself. The “American” list was automatically generated by Facebook and displays all of my friends who attended American University. I created a list “AllFacebook” to signify that I met the user through this blog. Members of that list are then limited to accessing specific contact information (I don’t want someone I met on my blog to know my home address).
    I grew up in Arlington, Virginia. As such, I have a number of friends that I went to elementary, middle, and high school with. I have grouped these individuals into the “Arlington People” list. I have relatively unrestricted privacy settings for members of this list as I am personally close to the majority of them. If you want to take the time to configure your own friend lists, definitely check out our friend lists guide.

    Protect The Content You Publish

    Facebook Publisher Privacy
    Whether it’s the photos, videos, or status updates that you publish, you have the ability to control the visibility of all that content. While we go into extreme detail in our new Facebook privacy guide about protecting your content, it’s important to highlight the publisher privacy settings. Any content that you publish via the Facebook publisher (pictured above) has privacy settings applied to them using the granular settings highlighted earlier.
    For many users this has become “Everyone” by default so it’s important to take note of this setting with every piece of content you publish. You can also configure the settings for photos and videos you are tagged in via the profile privacy settings page. We’ll avoid going into too much detail here as it has been explained for the most part but if you want more information about restricting the visibility of the content you publish, check out our new Facebook privacy guide or one of the articles listed below.

    Make Your Contact Information Private

    One of the most important things to protect is your contact information. Your phone numbers, email addresses, and even home addresses can be stored and used for malicious purposes. If you want to protect yourself on Facebook, limiting the visibility of your personal contact information is probably the single most important thing you need to do. There are two places to control your the visibility of your contact information: the contact privacy settings page and the info tab of your personal profile.
    From the contact privacy page, you can customize the contact settings as much as you’d like. I would tend to restrict those individuals you don’t know well from viewing your contact information. Facebook has a default “Limited Profile” list (as pictured below), however you may have other custom friend lists you’d like to apply. I’ll let you determine who you’d like to limit your information to.
    -Contact Privacy Settings Image-
    A best practice that I use is to not store your home address on Facebook. Also restrict those people you don’t know from viewing your email address and phone numbers. If you modify your privacy settings from the info tab of your personal profile, you will be able to select privacy settings for every contact item (pictured below). This gives you complete control of your information.
    -Contact Information Screenshot-

    Fuente: http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-privacy-tips-2010-01
    Editor: Alex Rojas writes articles related with technology, social media and marketing. Sponsored by Costa Rica Hotels, Motor de reservas en linea and Travel to Costa Rica 

    2 de mayo de 2011

    Twitter tips

    Despite the success of Twitter (which has just turned five years old), it can be a struggle to initially get to grips with it. Starting from nothing, creating a following can be a challenge. But it's worth the effort - it's estimated that there are around 200 million Twitter users, pumping out around 65 million tweets a day. Here are some tips to help you join the conversation.

    Short tweets, short username

    Twitter isn't called micro-blogging for nothing. 140 measly characters are all you get to express yourself. Where this especially becomes a challenge is when you create tweets which you want people to retweet - to spread the word. You have to leave room for your own username in the RT (retweet) as well as the tweet itself. Common sense, then, says that it's best to choose a short username - and then keep your tweets tightly worded, with as many characters left over as you can. It also helps if you leave enough space for others to comment: quite a challenge.

    Find your community, grow your followers

    Twitter is all about connecting with like-minded people. But how do you find them? As in life, Twitter seems to naturally create its own communities. If you look at the followers of someone who is similar to you, or a company similar to yours, you'll see that the majority of people following share the same interests and are talking about the same things. So, think about following your customers, partners, vendors, suppliers, industry experts - and then check out their followers.

    Converse, don't broadcast

    A great mistake made by many people who use Twitter is to use it as a means to broadcast special offers, new products and services. This is a big turn-off for most people. It's called social networking for a reason - because it's social! It's also one of the big advantages of Twitter: a leaflet doesn't let you hold a conversation, but Twitter does. A leaflet doesn't let you create a relationship, but Twitter does. You don't have to sit on Twitter all day, but when you do make an effort to converse. You'll be surprised what the conversations can deliver. Be interested in what your followers have to say.

    Be a good citizen

    Twitter isn't a place to be angry or nasty - that's not going to endear you to anyone. It's important to be a good citizen, especially when part of your use of Twitter is to promote yourself. So, keep it light, support others, chat positively. If you do have a downer on it, making fun of something works better than tearing it apart. Yes, there are people on Twitter who make a career from aggression and some of them have big followings - but does that fit with your brand?

    Mix business and pleasure

    Some of the big corporates really struggle to 'get' Twitter. The reason for this is that they have corporate communications guidelines and policies; everything has to be 'on brand' and 'on topic'. That's pretty much the opposite of Twitter - where it pays to be the real you. Certainly, within your own personal guidelines of behaviour, but you nonetheless. It's a mixture that works well - a chat over coffee in the morning, then later on perhaps a little product push.

    Get more followers

    It's what everyone wants. Without followers, you feel like you're stuck in the kitchen at a party. But how do you get them? Top rule: be interesting. No one will follow if you're dull (note the above suggestions about being yourself and mixing business with pleasure). Be lively, topical and join in - start following people and then comment on their tweets. Let the conversations roll. Look for potential interesting followers among the people you're following - but don't follow too many each day. If you're following many more people than are following you, it looks off-putting. You can also use the search box to find followers (it's at the top of the page next to the Twitter logo) - key in relevant search words and find people/companies who share your interests.

    Spend time on your Twitter profile

    Your Twitter profile is where people go to check you out. Like tweets, you don't have much room to express yourself - 160 characters to be precise, along with a few short fields such as your name, location, website and image. Consider your profile to be like your elevator pitch: you get in a lift, and a potential (famous) employer is inside. You have 30 seconds to say what you do. Except, with Twitter, it's more like 10 seconds. Spend time making sure that your profile says exactly what you need it to, quickly and possibly with a little humour. Make sure your profile contains keywords that will attract followers - people who will be interested in what you do.

    Tweet regularly

    You don't have to tweet all day long but you do need to tweet most days. If someone looks over your profile, and you've not tweeted in a week or more, it looks as though you're not active; not worth following. It's a good thing to get into a Twitter routine, perhaps setting aside a few minutes several times a day - when you have a break perhaps. Of course, Twitter is global - you may need to respond to tweets at different times of the day, although if you don't they'll still be waiting for you when you get up the next day. Post your own tweets. Ask questions of your followers. Respond to questions and tweets - and retweet the tweets of others when they are interesting.

    Make sure people know you're on Twitter

    Promote your Twitter profile when you're offline too. Make sure there's a link to your Twitter account on your website. Put your Twitter ID on your business cards and in your e-mail signature, and, if you use them, on your brochures. When you meet people, ask if they're on Twitter, get their IDs and follow them.

    Recycle your tweets

    Your followers aren't going to see everything you tweet the first time and new followers won't see tweets that are a few days old. Don't keep rerunning and rerunning your tweets, but do make sure you repeat messages that are of value, rework, recycle - keep people updated on stories and developments from older tweets.


    Editor: Alex Rojas writes articles related with technology, social media and marketing. Sponsored by Costa Rica Hotels, Motor de reservas en linea and Travel to Costa Rica 

    1 de mayo de 2011

    Facebook Updates Groups: What’s New

    Facebook announced Monday updates to its Group feature that aim to make the platform a better place to share content within small networks.
    Since private photo sharing platform Path and a host of group messaging companies have highlighted the importance of sharing within small groups, it seems Facebook is taking selective sharing more seriously as well.
    In October, one month before Path launched, Facebook unveiled a new Groups feature that creates shared spaces where members can participate in communal group chats, email lists, document sharing and photo tagging.
    Now the platform is improving this feature, as well as launching a “Send” button that creates a more specific sharing alternative to the all-friends “Like” button.
    You can expect to see these updates on Group pages starting Monday.
    • Admin Control: The Group admin now has an option to maintain new member approval power.
    • Questions: You can now use Facebook’s new poll-like Questions feature within groups.
    • Photo Albums: Members of Groups can already share photos with each other easily. Now they can share entire albums the same way.
    • Group Search: Like Gmail, you can now search through the posts in a Facebook Group to easily find content. This feature will roll out slowly throughout the next week.

    What do you think of Facebook’s new Group features?

    Fuente: http://mashable.com/2011/04/25/facebook-updates-groups/

    Editor: Alex Rojas writes articles related with technology, social media and marketing. Sponsored by Costa Rica Hotels, Motor de reservas en linea and Travel to Costa Rica