Monday, January 4, 2010

Search Engine Optimization: Twitter

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of driving quality traffic to your website from search engines. Typically, this is done internally on websites. But with sites like Etsy, the control of HOW traffic finds you is SLIGHTLY out of your hands. You need to go to external sites to help direct your website to the search engines. With this and future blog posts, I'm going to show you how I do this. Please keep in mind, what works for me MIGHT not necessarily work for you.

Twitter is a social networking sites that allows its users to send and read text-based posts, known as tweets, with 140 characters or less. Otherwise known as micro-blogging, it's not just about announcing what you're doing personally at the moment. It also serves as an extremely useful tool for those looking to market their business and grow their network. In all simplicity, it's FREE publicity.

Twitter is not a typical SEO tool. What is does is build relationships, networks, and communicates...the core of social media. By reaching out to others in your niche, as well as bloggers and other indivduals, you allow you and your business to be seen by a more broad spectrum. It's all about frequency and reach!

Using Twitter properly to benefit your business is about mixing up your daily activities and your business activities. You don't have to devote a lot of time to Twitter each day, just a few moments throughout the day will do just fine. I typically tweet a small amount in the morning, throughout the day when I'm popping on the computer to list/relist/renew on Etsy, and in the evening. I average less than 2 dozen tweets a day. Which, honestly, is really nothing.

There are certain tools that will allow you to use Twitter with much more ease. There are thousands out there, but frankly I don't have the time to figure them all out.

I use TweetDeck whenever I can. I use Twitter's webpage as my last resort. TweetDeck is wonderful in that it organizes information much more easily than the web version. You can automatically see tweets as they are posted (no refreshing the page), messages directed to you (@'s), DM's (Direct Messages), and many other things. The best thing is that it is all on one screen! It also allows you to tweet directly to Facebook too...another plus for those looking to save time!

Download TweetDeck by clicking on the photo above

To gain followers in the start, I used Twubble. You do need a small amount of friends first to really start using this tool well. It's simple...hit the "Find Some Friends!" button, and low-and-behold, there are some friends for you to follow! It's as simple as that! I try to follow about 100 new people a week. Be careful about following more than that as most people will think that you are just trying to gain followers to spam them. If they are interested in getting followers, they will follow you in return. It's good Twitter Karma ;-)

Click the Twubble picture above to get new followers

Want to know if those people that you followed via Twubble are following you in return? I use Friend or Follow. Just input your Twitter name and there they are...easy peasy! If after a week, those people that you followed via Twubble, or any other Twitter feature, are not following you...unfollow them. Just click on their avatar to do so.

Just click on the funky birdie to go to Friend or Follow

OK, so now you have all these followers, right? Well, what do you do with them you ask! Remember the Twitter etiquette:

1. Remember that Twitter is a conversation. If you have followers, they are going to see what you write. What you write is a reflection of you and your business. On the same note, make sure you pick an avatar that is appropriate. I've deleted many a follower that had an avatar with boobies or badonkadonk's hangin' out!

2. Ask questions. Don't act like a know-it-all.

3. You have 140 characters. Use it wisely.

4. Quality vs. quantity.

5. Post links to interesting articles, information, news stories. Even the best Tweets do this every day. Don't believe me, check out Guy Kawasaki's profile. If you don't know who he is, then you haven't been around Twitter long enough.

6. It's proper etiquette to follow someone that follows you. Also, don't be offended if someone unfollows you. Don't hesitate to unfollow someone that offends you.

7. Be up front about your Twitter aspirations. Again, if someone doesn't like what you have to say or why they are there, don't be offended if someone unfollows you.

8. Be personal, but to a point. Just like any social networking site, Twitter can humanize you in the eyes of your followers. Those followers might thus want to do business with you based upon that human interaction you have had.

9. Reciprocate gracefully. Be interesting, honest, and unselfish. Retweet (RT) those posts that you think are interesting and they might in turn RT your tweets. Don't make it look like a chore though. Also reply to tweets that are interesting in topic.

10. Don't automaticaly direct message your new followers. While you may think this is a way to get your new followers your business information, it is typically a way for you to get immediately unfollowed. If they want to know about you, they'll check out your profile. And they'll read your tweets. They'll find your business that way.

11. Don't be a Twitter addict. Personally, if your avatar is all that fills my screen, it's going to annoy the begeebers out of me. And most likely will get you unfollowed. Followers want to hear about your life. Not that your life is ONLY Twitter.

Now obviously there are a thousand things I haven't approached with this SEO Twitter thing. But frankly, you're not going to read a blog post that long. So go sign up for Twitter. Want a friend? I'll GLADLY follow you!

Click the Twitter Button above to follow me. I'll tweet you later ;-)

3 comments: said...

Sea, great post for twitter newbiew and a good reminder for those of us who have been at it awhile!

laura evans/photography said...

looking forward to the next installment! good stuff chica.

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