How Do You Grow a Twitter Following?

You don’t need to buy a white paper or an e-book to understand how to grow your Twitter following, but you can benefit from some of my own tried and tested techniques that I will freely share in this post.

First let me share with you some statistics from client accounts showing their actual growth over time.

Client One: start=0, 8/13= 187 followers, 9/1=308 follower, 10/241 566 followers

Client Two: start=0, 8/13=89 followers, 9/1=220 followers, 10/21 371 followers

Client Three: start=0, 9/1=64 followers, 9/14=117 followers, 10/21=320 followers

To put this in perspective here is the traffic for a client account we started but did not provide services for in the same time period showing natural growth as a control.

Client A: start=0, 8/13=5 followers, 9/1=11 followers, 10/24=18 followers.

That’s a pretty big difference 303 to 547 followers versus 18 in the same time period.

So how do we do it? Here are my tips:

  1. Tweet a minimum of 5 times a day.
  2. Tweet 5 days a week.
  3. Schedule your tweets to start at 8:00 am and then space them out to about 4:00 pm.
  4. Include tips and trivia in your tweets as well as links.
  5. Become the authority in your area – share your knowledge.
  6. Interact a minimum of twice daily with followers of people you follow through direct messages or @’s
  7. Thank people for retweets.
  8. Send comments to others about their tweets – I really liked what you said about …
  9. Use bit.ly to track your clicks. Once you see that people do click what you link to you will know the value of the time you invest in Twitter.
  10. Get professional help if you don’t know what to do. We do provide Twitter services if you need them.
  11. Make sure you follow and unfollow anyone who follows or unfollow you using Social Oomph.
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Twitter Tweets to be Indexed by Bing and Google – Wow!

This is huge news for the world of search engine organic placement and inbound link creation if you did not understand these recent releases from both Bing and from Google.

First the background:

Bing is to index Twitter tweets and Facebook status updates:

http://kara.allthingsd.com/20091021/exclusive-guess-who-else-is-coming-to-dinner-twitter-microsoft-bing-deal-confirmed-but-so-is-facebook-bing/

Google is to indext Twitter tweets:

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/rt-google-tweets-and-updates-and-search.html

If you are not already using Twitter this is an excellent reason to start right away. Not only will this new decision by the search engines allow inclusion of the very freshest news and updates in their index via rabid Twitter users who want to tweet just about everything, but tweets with links will be indexed too.

At least the indexing of tweets and links appears to be in the offing at this early stage. Meaning specifically that if you link to your website in tweets, you may now be driving search traffic not just Twitter user traffic, you may build web authority, and may even now use tweets as entry points to your blog or website. Additionally if Google or Bing count the links as inbound links – WOW! Now we just don’t know for sure if the real SEO benefits mentioned will stay in the mix until tweets start to be indexed and we can really evaluate traffic and if the engines filter tweets in some way to prevent organic benefits, but the potential benefits of this announcement to tweeters is huge!

So if you are not involved in Twitter why take a change that one of the biggest new ways to drive search traffic to your site will pass you by? Build your base before there is a huge rush. Establish your account as an authority now and not a newbie that will be lost in the shuffle.

 Twitter is free but if you need professional help we have a nicely developed Twitter service program and a great track record in growing account followings. Check out our Twitter services to see if we would be a good match for your needs.

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How to Schedule Facebook Status Updates

Are you looking to schedule Facebook updates to keep your productivity in line and not have to be tied to a computer during the day and yet keep connected? Do you wish you could program your Facebook status updates when you have a really busy day so you don’t miss out on exposure. I’ve found out how to do this and wanted to share this great tip with you.

Here’s the process:

  1. Set up Selective Twitter application in Facebook
  2. Log into your Facebook account first.
    b. In a new browser screen add this URL: http://apps.facebookcom/selectivetwitter/
    c. You will be asked to enter your Twitter user name and approve access, please do so.
    d. If you would like your Facebook updates to appear on your fan pages, please click the tabs in the application to go to pages and then install the application as well as grant access.
  3. Set up an account at www.HootSuite.com Log in to HootSuite and write your Facebook status update. Schedule your micro post using the calendar function and then make sure to end your post with #fb.

That’s it, fast and simple your timed post gets sent to Facebook at the correct time.

Follow-up Note:

This last week the Twitter API was very flaky and I had a lot of trouble getting Selective Twitter to work, so I have found another simpler alternative that you may want to consider instead, it is called Social Tomorrow. With Social Tomorrow, you set up an account and then login to a web interface and type in and then schedule your Facebook Updates. It does not use the Twitter API and so is not subject to traffic overloads as your posts go right to Facebook. For our professional client needs this is actually a better fit for us than Selective Twitter.

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Google Voice Are You Ready For It?

I just received my invitation to join Google Voice and now my big decision is do I want to do so. Google Voice is a revolutionary way to tie all your phones together. You can read the Google Voice details here.  You should take a moment and watch the video.

In a nutshell a Google Voice number is a portable number that you then decide where the call is forwarded to. You can send a call to your home, number, to your office phone, to your home phone, or directly to voice mail. What is really great about the service is that you can assign which callers go where. With a Google Voice number even if your phone numbers change your Google Voice number doesn’t. You just update your profile with a new phone number for work, home or cell – which ever has changed.

Additionally you can use any of your phones to bridge to Google Voice and then call for free in the US and Canada making any of your phones tied to Google Voice now a toll free phone. You just call into your Google Voice account press 2 and then enter the number your want to phone and Google Voice connects the phone you are calling from to the phone number you want to talk to at no charge. Google Voice even helps you to select a phone number in your local area so calls in to use their free long distance service are really free.

For messages sent to your Google Voice voice mail account, Google Voice will even transcribe a message and send it to your computer if you desire. I have not tested out all the features yet, but it sure sounds like it could be a very interesting new platform for Google. I have no idea how they will monetize it, but certainly that will come. 

If you are currently using Google Voice drop me a note I’d be very interested in know what you think about this new program. If you want to try out Google Voice yourself,  just visit this link to get a Google Voice invitation.

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Refusing to Join the Social Networking Phenomena

Are you refusing to get a Facebook account? Do you think that Twitter is for people who have nothing better to do? The Washington Post print edition did an article last week on this new phenomena of young twenty to thirty somethings that literally refused to connect on Facebook. I found the article interesting reading and wanted to share my thoughts.

First in both cases the participants who refused to join their friends on Facebook either had a significant other keep tabs on Facebook for them or act as their “secretary” and also both said that they preferred “real face to face or phone to ear” interaction. Both mentioned that they were out of the loop with their friends. One missed important appointments for his band, the other missed auditions that the friends shared with each other on Facebook. Hmm, an interesting case study especially for the age of the individuals involved.

There are some who have decided to not join Facebook and purposely and rabidly declare that it is a waste of time. Usually the age of the individual is a factor on if they consider Facebook important. It is a real rarity to see a college student or for that matter really even and older high school student who is not using Facebook as an alternative to regular email.

Facebook is here to stay. In fact for many young people the email and chat function on Facebook now are their email and instant messaging programs. As for me, I think that Facebook is fun. It is a great way to stay connected with family and friends, and a wonderful way to deepen the interaction with colleagues and clients.

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Google the Webmasters Friend

Google with the improvements made in the webmaster control panel has rapidly become the webmasters best friend. So what are some of these improvements?

Well one of the first is to let you know if your website is spewing malware. In the spider section if you have a problem that Google has detected, they will now identify the page and the script embedded in your page that is causing the problem. Although this is not typically a problem for most websites, it can be a problem for blogs that have been hacked in some manner.

One of the next features that Google has added to the control panel is to allow you to identify and target the correct canonical address from within the control panel. With just one click you can let Google know if you prefer http:// or http://www in your links.

The HTML suggestions tab helps you to know and correct any duplicate meta title tags, short title tags, long title tags, and even non-informative title tags.

There is real value in verifying your website in the Google Webmaster Control panel, so if you are not set up, sign up for a free account today.

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