Tag Archives: Social Media

Archive Social Media

How to get 1,000s of followers on Twitter: Befriend Kanye West

A Twitter user experienced Twitter meltdown last month as a result of being followed by rap star Kanye West.


Kanye only decided to join Twitter last month, and has already amassed over a million followers. Getting to grips with the service, he posted a Twitpic of his diamond tooth. In response, Coventry Based Steven Holmes – who tweets as ste_101 – asked him whether he used Colgate or polish to clean them.

Kanye immediately followed Steven back – the only person at that point that Kanye decided to follow.

From that point, Mr Holmes has been swamped with messages to such an extent that his Twitter account went into ‘melt down’.

Commenting on how he had managed to catch the attention of Kanye, Mr Holmes tweeted

“I just told a joke. Humour is the key” and “I guess a witty joke was all it took”.

Apparently Holmes has had a lot of abuse from others, which he has then tweeted about. Kanye urged him to “Tweet strong young man, tweet strong”.

For his part Kanye described Holmes as “the chosen one”.

And what is Kanye up to on Twitter? Well here’s something he posted last Saturday:  “Being nice is the s**t … working on being a doper person #ITSAPROCESS”.

Pearls of wisdom there.

So now you. Forget all the advice we give you about marketing your site online. All you need to do to boost your follower numbers is to catch the attention of a celebrity…

Had any success hob-nobbing with the stars? Leave us a comment below.

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Archive

Are you getting the message?

In the mid ’90s, early adopters started to rave about – and then get obsessed with – a fantastic new way to communicate. It was like sending a letter, but the letter went from your computer to another one. Email had arrived.

The problem with email, of course, was that whilst you could send your entire letter instantly, you couldn’t guarantee that it was read instantly. It might sit on the recipient’s computer for days, without being read responded to. So whilst email saved the hassle of envelopes and stamps, in many cases the process of communication was no faster.

Although it existed before, around the year 2,000 another form of communication arrived on the scene, called instant messaging (IM). With IM what you were writing was instantly viewed by the recipient, and was instantly responded to. It really was like a conversation that was written down. It was widely tipped to replace e-mail and to become the default way to communicate online. Microsoft’s MSN Messenger was the best known, but there were many alternatives including Skype.

But according to a recent survey, it seems that we Brits have fallen out of love with IM. Back in 2007, 14% of time online was spent on IM. This has now fallen to just 5%. By contrast, email continues to thrive -it represents fully 75% of way we communicate online.

So what’s happened to IM?

Its immediate, its novel, and its straightforward – why don’t we like it anymore?

Here’s a few of my thoughts. To start with, use of IM was usually carried out in our leisure time, and is a social activity. And these days there are so many other interesting social activities we can do online. Aside from Facebook, Twitter, Myspace etc., many websites also have a social and interactive element to them. We’ve only go so much spare time

Next, IM is mainly a one-to-one communication tool. These days communicating online through social media is often more about one-to-many. You want to give someone a message, but you also don’t mind that message being public.

Also, IM has lost its novelty. When new crazes get adopted, it’s often because it’s an exciting new thing to do. After a while the novelty wears off, and we are no longer attracted by the innovation.

And last of all, maybe one weakness of IM is that it is, well, instant. If someone sends you a message on IM, you’re almost obligated to stop what you’re doing and respond to them. Many people like to respond in their own time, and don’t want to be hassled.

Do you use IM? Are you less interested than you used to be? Do you think it will survive as a way to communicate? Leave us a comment below.

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Digital Marketing Social Media

We now like Social Networking more than we like Searching

Data from UK online monitoring firm Hitwise has revealed that for the first time we are visiting social networking websites more than search engines. In May 2010, visits to social networks made up 11.88% of the total, compared to 11.33% to search engines.

Here’s the graph, reproduced from Hitwise:

Of the social networking sites, Facebook makes up 55% of visits, the biggest by a long way.

YouTube takes up 2nd place, followed by Twitter in 3rd. Again, here’s the info direct from Hitwise:


Facebook still lags well behind Google as the most popular website. but whilst Google market share is broadly static, Facebook in on the rise.

Here’s another graph from Hitwise:

You know what I’m going to say don’t you?!

This highlights the increasing importance of using Social Networking websites to find new visitors for your site. Make sure you Integrate your website with Facebook and Twitter. Add a Twitter feed to your website. And of course you can now add a Facebook ‘like’ button to your website too.

Have you had good success reaching out to new visitors from social networks? Has this been on the rise? Leave us a comment below.

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Digital Marketing Social Media

Have you Googled yourself?

To ‘Google Yourself‘ – to search on Google using your name – can be an interesting way to find out where and how you’re mentioned on different websites. In the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) Google can reveal just how much it knows about you. It’s hardly a daily activity, but most of us will admit having done it at one time or another.

A survey by Microsoft published last week revealed that just a third of Brits had Googled themselves.

That’s in contrast to other European counties such as Germany (59%) and France (56%).

The survey – into online reputations – also revealed that even if you’re not Googlng yourself, recruiters certainly are.

Checking you out

Human resources personnel are increasingly using search engines to find information about individual job candidates. In the survey, 79% of people investigating candidates for jobs are using Google to find out more about them. And they act on the information they find: 70% say that reject candidates based on the information they find.

And they don’t just check you out using search engines, they use Facebook and other social media and photo sharing sites too. Surprisingly, all recruiters use these sites to a greater extent than professional and business networking sites.

Makes you think twice about putting those photos from the weekend up on Facebook doesn’t it?!

Control your online reputation

As we’ve discussed before, controlling your online reputation is an important activity for website owners especially. On a personal level, you can use a personal Google profile to dominate searches for your name.

And you can use a listing in Google local business center to make it easy deliver location information, and specific offers, right from either Google or Google Maps.

If you’re getting more serious, then make sure you get good reviews to boost your online reputation.

And you can always use your official business Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts to control the SERPs for your company and your name.

Have you considered employing someone and then checked them out online? Or have experienced being ‘examined’ on Facebook or any other social sites? Leave us a comment below.

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Social Media

Have you got the Google BUZZ?

The Internet is awash with rumour, chatter, and excitement. Buzz, in other words. And its a specific type of Buzz: Google Buzz.

Yesterday marked the official launch of Google’s latest attempt to muscle in on the Social Media revolution, Google Buzz. It seems the search engine and self appointed keeper of the Internet feels that the likes of Twitter and Facebook are leaving it behind.

Google Tries Again

Google have tried social media before. There’s Google Chat, Orkut, Picasa, Social Search and of course the damps squib that was Google Wave. None of these have really hit the money.

Google Buzz is an expansion of Google’s Gmail service. It allows users to post status updates (similar to Twitter and Facebook), share content, and read friends’ posts. The service is automatically hooked into a few photo sharing services. It is also slotted into Google maps, so you can see where people in your follower list actually are.

Google have placed Buzz inside Gmail since that service is already used by around 170 million people.

My experience of Buzz

Only 1% of current Gmail users have been allowed a trial of the service. I’m lucky enough to be part of that 1%, so here’s what I found:

The link to Buzz sits just below the Inbox link. You’re automatically following and followed by people who you regularly send and receive email with. Open conversations scroll down the page in a way similar to Google Wave. You can post replies specifically @ a users gmail address, or to all followers.

It’s quite cool the way Picasa and other photo sharing services are fully integrated. You get access to the high res versions of images without leaving the page.

You can also see when people you follow make comments on other websites, as long as they are signed in to their Google account when they do it. The system also links up with your Google profile.

Google Buzz product manager Todd Jackson said that it was “an entirely new world in Gmail”.

Here’s a video that describes it a bit better than I can:

Whatever your thoughts about Buzz, it does mean that the ‘social web’ is becoming increasingly important. And as a website owner this is yet another opportunity to use the social web to reach out to new potential visitors.

Make sure you add social bookmarking buttons on your website, allowing your visitors to share your content.

Integrate your WebEden website with Facebook and Twitter, try to send updates to Facebook and Twitter,  and invite people in your social sphere to become a member of your website.

Add your Twitter feed to your website so that users can interact with you on that platform too.

Anyone else got the Buzz? Do you think that this catapults Google into the social media space? Any other ways to integrate your WebEden website with the social web? Leave us a comment below.

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Digital Marketing

Congratulations: You are good at marketing your website online

Here’s some good news: when it comes to Internet marketing British businesses are ahead of the rest.

A recent survey by the AT Institute of online marketing and website traffic has shown that UK businesses are considerably more successful at it than our European counterparts.

The Institute compared levels of investment in online marketing across several European countries. They then looked at the source of visitors to business websites, and whether they came as a consequence of that marketing or for other reasons.

And the good news is that each pound spent by a UK business in driving traffic to their website goes a lot further than it does on the continent.

The study uncovered the fact that online marketing by UK businesses accounted for in excess of 50% of visits to those business websites.

This figure was way in excess of all others including France, Germany and Spain.

If you want to drive more visitors to your website then there is plenty of useful information on this blog that can show you how.

If you want to push your website high on Google, then make sure you get to grips with our Search Engine Optimisation Guide.

If you want to use Social Media, Twitter and Facebook to drive new website visitors then take a look at our Social Media channel. You can of course always integrate your WebEden website with both Facebook and Twitter.

If you’re planning on creating a media story then why not take a look at how to write a perfect press release.

Of course, once you get traffic on your website, the next thing is to turn visitors in our customers. This article will show you 10 essentials for every business website.

Any comments please leave them below.

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How to

How to Develop a Social Networking Policy: 14 questions you need to answer

Today we’ve got another Guest Blog by Alison Cross from AlisonCross4Webs.co.uk. Its all about how to develop a Social Networking Policy for your business. Over to Alison.

Last week we had a (cue Mrs Merton) heated debate about whether or not its OK to use Social Networking websites at work. There’s no doubt that some businesses lose money because employees are spending time on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, blogs and Twitter. On the other hand, some actually benefit from employee involvement in Social Networking.

Time Wasting or Money Making?

These sites CAN be enormous spinning vortexes of wasted time and energy, but they can also provide a brand new channel through which your target audience can access your goods and services.

Today more than ever it is important that companies are seen to be part of the discussion about their own goods and services. To stay out of the discussion suggests that your customers’ opinions don’t count. Who needs that kind of reputation?!

It requires courage to join the discussion because you won’t be able to control the comments, but to be seen to be listening to clients’ comments and opinions can help your business/brand enormously.

Developing a Social Networking Policy

But – before you create your Facebook account, jumping into the social networking waters for business purposes without some kind of plan is to court death by drowning in Tweets!  Having a plan – a flexible, regularly updated plan – will help you turn social networking from a Business Suck to a Business Success.

If you have many employees, this would be a task for your Human Resources Department (Personnel!).  However, if you are only a small business with a handful of employees and no distinct HR Department, designing that policy is going to fall on your shoulders.

This post is aimed at YOU, the small business who needs to get a grip on those man hours lost by employees adrift in cyberspace and busy doing the work that YOU are paying them for.

I don’t recommend creating your Social Networking policy without consulting your employees in some way.  It’s such a fast-developing area, they may be more clued up than you! Listen to their input fairly.  You never know, it might just result in a truly inspired business presence on the networking sites!

I envisage that there are two types of employee here:

A)    The employee whose job remit is to be the public face of your business on Social Networking platforms.
B)    The employee who’s just faffing around on company time.

14 questions you need to answer in order to develop your social networking policy:

1.   Goal – what is it that you want to achieve with your involvement in social
networking?

2.    How will you quantify your business’s success in social networking?

3.    Will it be a project with a time limit or an ongoing involvement?

4 .   To which social networking platforms are you directing your efforts and why have you chosen them?  E.g. – is there any evidence that being present will have a positive influence on your business/customer interface?

5.    Which employees are working as your official social networking staff?

6.    On what basis are they acting on your behalf?
Are they working as a team (anonymously involved under business name)?
Are they to be recognised as named individuals?
How will your logo/brand be used?

7.    What kind of communication is permitted? Eg – Product information on Facebook? Discount vouchers on Twitter? Personal comments?

8.    What kind of communication is not permitted? Eg – disparaging the company or a client?

9.    When is communication permitted (for type 1 and type 2 employees it will probably be different – if you are taking social networking seriously as a business tool). For type 2, only after certain specified tasks carried out?

10.    What are the consequences for breaching the communication rules?  Verbal warnings, written warnings, instant dismissal?

11.    Will there be different consequences depending on the level of position within the company? Is it more serious if your Director of Finance is found slagging off the CEO’s dinner party in his blog than the junior store-keeper blogging the same gossip?

12.    Do these regulations apply solely within business hours?

13.    Consider the consequences of possible identity fraud on these sites. Do you know what to do if someone steals your logo/details and sets up as YOU?

14.     Bullying – your bullying policy may need to be extended to cover cyber-bullying.  The tragic results of sustained bullying on networking sites are well-documented in the press. Make sure your company/school has a policy in place.

This list of questions is not by any means exhausted, but should be able to get you started in formulating your own policy.

What else would you add to a social networking policy for your business?

About Alison Cross
Alison Cross lives on the Isle of Bute where she has built over a dozen websites using our software. She also helps people use Twitter to market their business. For more info or advice about social media or web design, visit her website alisoncross4webs.co.uk.

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Digital Marketing

How to take control of the Search Engine Results page for your brand searches

In wednesdays post we discussed the problem of negative comments and feedback featuring in the Search Engine Results page when people search for your company or website. Today we’ll show you how control the SERP so these comments are pushed to the bottom of the page, or even onto page 2.

You would expect your website to show up in the top position when people search for it. But what about the other 9 positions on the page, the ones where negative reviews or forum comments might show up? You can’t control them can you? Well actually you can.

Social Media pages

To start with, your social media pages have a good chance of being in the top positions. A search for WebEden will show our Twitter, Facebook and Youtube pages within these results. This means that not only can you have control of the top position, but you can probably show position 2 and 3 and maybe even 4. And since your social media pages should be full of the good will of your social networks, they show off your website in the best light possible.

Get good Reviews

As we’ve mentioned previously, It’s important for every small business to make sure they get good reviews, and to have a social media strategy. You first need to find the websites where reviews of your website are relevant. You can usually do this with a quick search in google for ‘your market + reviews’. Once you’ve compiled a list of websites where reviews could be posted, you need to start getting them! The easiest way to do this is when your website visitors or customers give you positive feedback, ask them to leave a review on one of the reviews website on your list.

Here’s a list of good, general reviews websites.

pricegrabber.co.uk
reviewcentre.com
shopzilla.co.uk
ciao.co.uk
dealtime.co.uk
truste-marketing.co.uk
webuser.co.uk
maxxsave.co.uk
dooyoo.co.uk
resellerratings.com

Respond to bad comments on Forums

OK, this won’t actually stop the bad comments show up in the Search Engine Results page. But if you take time to get involved in a forum where someone is moaning about you, it means that you are addressing their problems in a very public way. This shows great customer service, and anyone taking the time to read beyond the initial gripe will be impressed at your desire to solve problems. Other people on the forum might also give you respect, and let the original complainer know that they have been won over, It might well turn a bad situation into a good one.

Take control of your Google Local Business listing

As we’ve discussed before, a Google local business listing provides a great opportunity to be found for searches relevant to your business on Google maps. Google local business listings can also show up in the SERPs, particularly where a place name is specified. So this is another opportunity to control the SERPs.

Take control of your website profile pages

There are lots of websites out there that automatically create a static page that claims to ‘analyse’ your website. The page contains a small amount of information, usually obtained from the domain whois record, all about your website. This usually includes the website name, a small screen grab, the name on the whois register, and an assessment of the amount of traffic your website has.

These pages are usually created to attract traffic from search engines, since they are usually covered with Google ads. But they also give you the opportunity to take control and edit the information they hold about you, to keep it up to date. Due to the structure of these websites, they often appear in the SERPs for your brand searches. By taking control and editing yours, you are again controlling another result in the SERP.

Here are the best known of these directory pages

aboutus.org
valuatemysite.com
quantcast.com
websiteoutlook.com
weeviews.com
statbrain.com

Could you get a Wikipedia page?

Due to the power of the Wikipedia website, a Wikipedia page all about your business might be an option. This isn’t an easy one though. To start with, in order to qualify your business needs to pass the notability guidelines

And since a Wikipedia article can be edited by anyone, the page needs constant monitoring  to check that no-one as added anything negative.

So a Wikipedia page might be an option for some but not all.

Finally

The worst thing that can happen when people search for you is for them to read a bad review, before they’ve even visited your website. By taking control of the whole SERPs for your brand you can push these reviews to the bottom of the page, or even page 2, where no-one is going to see them.

Of course there’s a positive side too. By controlling lots of the SERPs for your brand searches, you have a real opportunity to show your website and company off in the best light possible.

Try setting up a few of these options and see how they get into the SERP. And then leave us a comment below.

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Archive Social Media

My, haven’t you grown! And look what you can do now!

The latest UM ‘Power to the People’ study has revealed that the number of people now online has hit 625million. Of these, nearly two thirds have joined a Social Networking site such as Facebook, Twitter or Myspace.

The growth of social media has been of particular focus to the study. The study questioned 22,729 internet users in 38 countries, which makes it the largest global analysis of social media usage.

It shows that not only are people using social networking sites more and more, but they are using them to do far more things. Users are more likely to use social networks to blog, upload photos & videos and to use their widgets too.

In terms of specifics: 76% of social networkers upload photos; 33.1% now upload videos;  29.1% now write a blog; and 34% install widgets on their profile page.

“Social media is a very fast evolving landscape and one that’s taking an increasingly important role in consumers’ digital lives”, said Glen Parker, research director at UM EMEA.

What does this mean when you’re building a website with WebEden? At the very least, it shows the potential power of people’s online social networks to recommend websites and products. The latest WebEden release allows you to integrate your website with both Facebook and Twitter; invite people to become ‘members’ of your website’; and to update your status from your WebEden website. These call all help you start to harness the power of social networks, in order to drive visitors to your website.

Who has so far had success integrating their site with their social networks? Leave us a comment below.

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Social Media

Older people take to Social Networking

Here’s a story that might surprise the marketing people: despite social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter being aimed at ‘young things’, a recent study has shown that it is the older generation who are adopting social media at the fastest rate.

Research from online measurement company comScore has shown that people over 55 are more likely to spend their time on Facebook than visit a travel, business or technology website.

In May, almost 70% of those over 55 visited Facebook, Myspace or Twitter.

That being said, these figures still lag behind a younger demographic: 89% of 25 to 34 year olds spending time catching up with friends on social networking websites.

Social Networking for older people is more than just a passing fad, or a quick glance: the average 55 and over spends 3.7 hours per month on Facebook.

Mike Read, MD of comScore Europe said:  “There continues to be a misconception that social networking is the preserve of the young. While those under 35 years old are certainly the more prevalent users, there is both a sizeable and heavily engaged audience of those 35 and older as well”.

What does this mean if you’re building a website that targets this demographic? Well to start with, you might want to consider advertising on Facebook. Facebook has a self serve advertising program that allows you to reach people based on not just their age, but their gender and interest group too.

Mike Read confirms the idea: “Advertising on social networking sites has a better chance of reaching these older demographics than site categories such as business and finance, which is a critical insight that might be lost for those trying to optimise their campaign against target audience segments.”

We’ll be showing you how to advertise on Facebook in an upcoming tutorial.

The second is that this should encourage you to get to grips with the new social networking tools available within WebEden. We’ve made it really easy for you to reach out and market to people in your social networks; invite them to become members of your site; and update Facebook from your WebEden website.

Even if you thought you are targeting people ‘who wouldn’t be into that social networking thing’, this research indicates you might be wrong.

Is social networking trans-generational?  Are you using your social networks to create interest in your website? Leave us a comment below.

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