Twitter continues to confound and confuse, and many people I meet say “What is Twitter about? Well its about community, its about sharing, its about marketing and hey… it only allows 140 characters… but you can link people to a website or a blog.. you can play them some music.. you can show them some photos or a video… all in 140 characters… wow, are you confused yet. One thing I really like is that it brings back the art of the headline.. because you only have this small opportunity to grab their attention. My teenagers have a very short attention span, and hey I am not far behind… if you don’t get my interest in 3 to 4 seconds I move on…. The fact that Twitter is streaming past you, if you don’t grab it it passes you by.. this makes it more compelling and in the end … potentially a bit addictive, you keep asking .. what have I missed out on? … What was that?.. Was that worth checking out? Its immediacy is both frustrating and compelling.
Brian Clark is the founder of Copyblogger and co-founder of DIY Themes, creator of the innovative Thesis Theme for WordPress and reviews the the old art of writing headlines in the a Twittersphere . Get more from Brian on Twitter
1. “The Art of Writing Great Twitter Headlines” by Brian Clark
Twitter has become the place for sharing content links. If your content catches attention on Twitter and spreads, suddenly you’re getting significant traffic from people who may have never visited your site before.
But don’t forget to share other people’s quality content on Twitter. This helps you build up a Twitter audience that values your editorial judgment, which in turns helps you when you have something of your own to share.
In both cases, what you share on Twitter is not just about the actual value of the content. It’s also about whether the content gets viewed and appreciated in the first place.
Yep… the difference is in the headline. You’ve heard this before, right? Every time I tell people about the 80/20 Rule of Headlines, they seem shocked. Remember that one?
On average, 8 out of 10 people will read a headline, but only 2 out of 10 will go on to read the content. This is in a typical headline environment, such as a newspaper, magazine, or web page.
In an RSS reader or email inbox, the percentages are likely worse. The battle for attention intensifies due to the nature of the environment. Now, think about a Twitter stream.
People are scanning more ruthlessly than ever, looking for interesting tidbits. Your content link is competing with conversations, quips, and tantalizing revelations related to this morning’s breakfast cereal. Time to up your headline game. But first, let’s review the foundational elements of solid headline writing.
2. “7 Steps to Promote Your Business Using Twitter”, originally written on the Blog Startup Nation reviews how Twitter is a micro-blogging platform. It lets you update your status and lets the whole world know what you are up to. There are millions of Twitter-addicts all over the world, and the number of active users has increased by 900% in the past year. Companies can also use it to promote themselves.
Twitter isn’t just a cute way for keeping in instant touch with friends on mobile phones anymore. It has ramped up quickly to be the search engine of choice for some with its human driven results.
Applications galore allow you to find friends all over the world with similar interests and keep up with them in real time. Businesses can form instant direct relationships with their customer bases simply by signing up and using the service regularly, and according to the models Twitter is trying out, they will soon be able to advertise to the Twitter community as well. It has grown into a behemoth that is hard to get your hands around. In this blog is an alphabetized glossary for you so that you can just scan down the list and find the term that you are looking for, as well as a list of popular Twitter applications and instructions for incorporating Twitter into your website and blogs.
In recent months the popular story about Twitter has been that the service’s user base is growing at an incredible rate. With celebrities joining Twitter (including the all important Oprah and CNN and Ashton Kutcher‘s race to a million followers, it seems like microblogging is unstoppable, and it very well may be. Now, though, we’re starting to see that the free-form nature of the service may be hindering actual usage by all those new users.
We’re happy to announce that we’re releasing version two of our State of the Twittersphere report (you can check out last year’s version here). In it we’ve found some surprising things. Namely, that many of the accounts on Twitter aren’t actually using it all that much.
- 79.79% failed to provide a homepage URL
- 75.86% of users have not entered a bio in their profile
- 68.68% have not specified a location
- 55.50% are not following anyone
- 54.88% have never tweeted
- 52.71% have no followers
We also found that since Twitter has implemented a limit to the number of users an account can follow (a maximum of 2000 when the user has less than 2000 followers) there is a large number of users who are following exactly 2000 users, possibly indicating that many active users are intentionally trying to gain as many followers as possible to increase their reach.
The number of people visiting and using Twitter has nearly quadrupled over the past few months, and as more people sign up for the hot social networking service, it becomes more useful. Twitter is enabling everything from better customer service to easier job searches, and is being employed for some extraordinary home uses. Twitter can become infinitely more beneficial, though, if you use it to connect with people in your town.
Finding local Twitter users to connect with is great for networking, but also for getting relevant, real-time, local information about things like jobs, news, politics, weather, food, and more. Someone tweeting from London can’t help you find a good place to eat in New York City, and if you live in Chicago, tweets about the weather in Los Angeles won’t be very enlightening. Here are nine ways to locate Twitter users in your town to help you get the most out of Twitter.
On April 28, Darren Rowse publishes a guest post on his Twitip blog titled 11 Useful Twitter Tools That Don’t Require Your Password. One of the readers submits the post to a social network, and suddenly other users of that social network start “voting” on it. The story receives over 1,200 “votes,” and an avalanche of 50,000 visitors end up on Darren’s website.
You probably think that the social network that I mentioned is Digg, right? Well, it is not. I am talking about Twitter. The “votes” are tweets and retweets that contained a link to the story.
How do I know Twitter sent 50,000 visitors to that story? Because Bit.ly, the default URL shortener on Twitter, tracks the number of clicks that are sent to each URL
In reality the Bit.ly shortened URL could have been used in other places too, say email newsletters, which could mean that not all 50,000 visitors were coming from Twitter. But to compensate this, there is the fact that different Twitter applications use different shortening services. Some still use tinyurl.com, while others use is.gd and so on. This means that the Bit.ly tracked clicks are only part of all the clicks that came via Twitter, making the 50,000 visitors number reasonable, if not an underestimation.
Mind you that I didn’t spend too much time looking for a story that had received tens of thousands of visitors from Twitter. There are probably many more around, perhaps some with over 100,000 visitors referred from Twitter.
And the interesting thing is that this phenomenon is not limited to tech blogs, blogs that have the Tweetmeme widget or blogs where the author has a massive Twitter following. Just like with social bookmarking sites, Twitter is picking stories from websites that don’t even know what Twitter is, that don’t have a “Tweet This” link at the bottom of their articles, and it is sending a lot of traffic to them.
For example, last week MSNBC published an article inside its Discovery Channel column titled Nude, Mona Lisa-like painting surfaces. I don’t think that the author of the article tried to promote it on Twitter at all, and the site does not have any Twitter widgets or buttons. Yet Bit.ly shows that it got over 6,000 visitors from Twitter:
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has suggested that “Twitter’s a success for us when people stop talking about it,” perhaps particularly its business model (or lack thereof). Unfortunately, either it’s a success and I didn’t get the memo, or it still has room to improve. Assuming the latter, here are a few things that I’d gladly pay to have added to the Twitter service. The ability to lock in my user name. Facebook just launched personalized namespaces, but added the unnecessary drama of name-squatting. I was early enough to Twitter (and Facebook) that I got my preferred ‘handle’ on both (mjasay). Given the importance of having a consistent name/brand across services, however, I’d gladly pay for the right to lock in my preferred name. (Speaking of which, whoever it is that has “mjasay” on AIM, I’ll buy it from you.)
On Twitter you will have people “following” you, and you will be “following” others. “Following” is being updated every time a new post is added to one of your contacts’ profiles. Being followed is the same; every time you have something to add, all your “followers” will be updated. The more people that follow you, the more exposure your business will get. But it’s not about adding as many people as you can to your friends list. You need to be smart about building your follower base.
The problem is that many companies that try to market using Twitter don’t understand how this community works, and consequently their Twitter Marketing efforts don’t pay off.
To help you avert this fate, the following steps that are listed in this blog will guide you in understanding what to do and what not to do to give your company huge exposure using Twitter.