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5 Fast Tips for Going Multilingual on Twitter

This guest post is by Christian Arno of Lingo24.

With just 140 characters you can reach a global audience. Hardly a newsflash, I know, but think about it. Followers around the world can give your blog the kind of exposure you could only have dreamed about in the past, everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires. People eagerly await your posts on every continent. Tell me that doesn’t sound good!

Of course, going global on Twitter means embracing other languages. The English language only stretches so far. But building a multilingual presence on Twitter doesn’t have to be difficult.

When it comes down to it, whether you are representing a company or going solo, Twitter is a great way to attract a global audience to your blog. Get it right by following a few guidelines.

Target, aim, tweet

Like most things in life, it helps to have a strategy. Don’t be misled by how easy it is to fire off tweets. Sure, you could machine-translate your next message into umpteen languages and hit the Tweet button. If you want to destroy your reputation, that is.

Instead, think back to your overall marketing plan and where the non-English speaking countries fit your blogging strategy. Which markets are key for you? Your stats for other online content can be revealing here. Where do you need to build a presence, and where should you be improving your reach?

After all, why waste time tweeting in Russian if you are aiming to build your blog readership in South America? When you stop aiming for the whole world, it becomes a whole lot easier to be relevant to the people who matter.

Do your Twitter research

Not all countries and languages are represented equally on Twitter. The impact of your multilingual tweets will in part depend on how actively each language is used. For example, Arabic is the fastest-growing Twitter language, according to a Semiocast study. The same statistics show the rapid rise of Spanish and Dutch. When it comes to the most used languages, Japanese and Portuguese lead the pack. Malay and Korean speakers are also sending their share of the millions of tweets sent each day.

Reach out to these markets and your exposure can skyrocket.

Take care with translations

Unless you are tweeting about what you ate for lunch, resist the lure of instant translation tools. Producing accurate foreign language content can be tricky. You need to strike the right tone (not too stuffy, but avoiding offending anyone) as well as choosing just the right words. Add in the restriction of 140 characters (which gives you even less to play with in some languages than in English) and it becomes an art. Native speaker input is invaluable here.

Follow the right people

Your focus shouldn’t only be on who your followers are, but on who you are following. Stay tuned to the tweets of the big influencers in your overseas markets. These can range from celebrities to the leaders and popular bloggers in your own particular field. Re-tweeting the right people can build your own reputation for having your finger on the pulse.

Stay relevant

Finally, keep your tweets relevant. That means different accounts for each language, so that your followers don’t have to sift through unfamiliar languages. (They will probably just unfollow you instead.) And stay culturally aware. Some topics will offend in particular countries, others will simply be of no interest.

What you stand to gain

Fact: Twitter is a big player on the global social media scene. For over a year now, 70% of Twitter traffic has come from outside the US. If you can tap into the non-English speaking sectors of this international traffic, your exposure will increase dramatically.

Those fast-growing languages mentioned earlier give you a chance to get in early on up and coming markets. On the other hand, countries such as Japan lead the field in terms of posting activity, with more accounts actively posting messages than either the US or the UK.

Actively involved users mean a better chance of re-tweets. If you write something people want to share, you can end up with them doing local marketing for you. For free. It doesn’t get much better than that.

You also have a chance to tap into multiple consumer pools around the globe without leaving your seat. Being part of their conversations lets you monitor what they are saying: about your blog as a whole or your latest post, about other bloggers, about wants, desires and frustrations. Think how valuable that can be.

Twitter brings that information and that potential army of followers to you. But you can’t close the deal without being willing to send those 140 character tweets in other languages. Make the effort, and you’ll probably wonder what took you so long.

Christian Arno is the founder of Lingo24, a top translation service in the USA. Launched in 2001, Lingo24 now has over 170 employees spanning three continents and clients in over sixty countries. In the past twelve months, they have translated over forty million words for businesses in every industry sector, including the likes of MTV, World Bank and American Express. Follow Lingo24 on Twitter: @Lingo24.

How to Lose Followers and Alienate People

This guest post is by Lianne Froggatt of Yes Gifts, UK.

Managing an unsuccessful social media profile is a time-consuming task that requires your undivided attention and dedication. Encouraging so much animosity around your profiles takes time, patience and, most of all, an incessant desire to anger every person who ever had the misfortune to hit that Follow button.

So, do you want to make your customers and friends hate your every status update? Look no further!

Lose followers and alienate people on Twitter

  • Tweet in batches of six or seven when 140 characters just isn’t enough.
  • Tweet quotes from philosophers—you can rebrand yourself as a genius! Sophie’s World will do if you don’t know of any actual philosophers.
  • Tell people about your miserable breakup. It shows the world you have a heart.
  • Retweet profound quotes from celebrities. This will make you seem both cool and smart—a double-win.
  • Make sure to reply to anyone who tweets about you or your work with a friendly “Thanks for sharing!”
  • Tweet in different languages. This will show how linguistically diverse you are.
  • Retweet ten things in a row. It will show your followers you really care about what they have to say.
  • Make offensive jokes. You want to appear edgy—this will give you an extra dimension.
  • Use an animated avatar. This totally makes you stand out from the crowd. So 2012!
  • Follow people with “#teamfollowback” in their bio. Another valuable follower guaranteed!
  • Say goodnight to your followers. And good morning. And Happy Tuesday.
  • Name and shame people that unfollow you. Your other followers won’t dare to cross you.
  • Reply to tweets by major celebs. Onlookers will think you are actually friends with them! Sneaky.
  • Tweet your favourite song lyrics. You may attract other fans!

Lose followers and alienate people on Facebook

  • Hook up your Twitter feed to your Facebook account, and every time you tweet, this will be posted as a Facebook status update. This ensures everyone, everywhere constantly know what’s going on in your life.
  • Like every status you post. People will be more inclined to pay attention to your witty nature.
  • Encourage as many likes as possible without considering their relevance to anyone; it’s quantity not quality that matters!
  • Post ambiguous status updates. This will make you seem aloof and intriguing—after all, who can refrain from commenting on a sad face? Attention guaranteed!
  • Never keep your statuses brief and to the point. If people don’t know the whole story how can you possible achieve those all-important likes? (Unless you are posting an elusive ambiguous status—in that case, short is fine.)
  • Post all the time! Remember, if it’s not on Facebook, it didn’t happen, so everything from you breakfast to your bowel movements must be documented … and quickly.
  • POST IN CAPITAL LETTERS. THIS IS EYE-CATCHING AND IN NO WAY LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING.
  • Tag every horrendous photo you find. Whether this be your friends, or your clients at conferences, everyone loves to have their comedy “ugly” shots broadcast to the world.
  • Show that you care. If a friend changes their relationship status to single, post reassuring comments like, “It’s okay babe, he wasn’t good enough for you anyway.”
  • Don’t use your real name—this way, only people who are in the know can find you on Facebook. To be totally hip and groovy, use a comedic pseudonym.
  • Use plenty of apps that post updates direct to your timeline. They will allow you to show off your achievements to the world in all their glory: how far you ran, how much weight you lost, how many Number 1 singles from the 80s you can name, how many cows you own on FarmVille…
  • Sign up for automated sharing on music websites like Spotify: this way, every song you ever listen to will be shared with the world. Uber-cool.

Lose followers and alienate people on Pinterest

  • Only post pictures of your own products. These are your boards, they should all be about you.
  • Make sure your followers’ boards are filled with your pins by having a half an hour pinning blitz. Every day.
  • Don’t participate in the Pinterest community. People will surely find you due to your fabulous pinning abilities.
  • Only ever repin images from others’ boards. You will be seen as engaged and interesting and it alleviates the bother of having to find unique content yourself. Phew.
  • If you do pin your own content, just get stuff from Google images. It’s easy to find and it doesn’t matter where it came from.
  • Target all your pins at men. It’s a male-dominated platform, right?
  • Pin lots of infographics. Most “normal” people haven’t heard of them yet, so you will definitely be considered cutting-edge by pinning every infographic you have ever seen.
  • Make sure the infographics you pin are very long, enabling you to take up at least half of your followers’ pages as they scroll down in an attempt to get past it. Ultimate exposure!
  • Your Pinterest boards must look full at all times, and that’s about the quantity of images you have up there. Don’t get overly concerned with quality.
  • Never credit anyone for anything that you pin. That’s definitely not an issue on Pinterest.
  • Get involved with every argument you see on pins. This is the time to let your opinion shine, and even if you are the 100th commenter, you can be sure that people are desperate to hear your insightful opinion.

So there you have it, the ultimate way to make your social media marketing a horrifying failure.

I am always looking for new ways to lose friends and/or followers, so if you have any other suggestions, please post them in the comments below.

N.B. Just to reiterate, in no way do I actually advocate this advice. In fact stop. Reverse it. There you go!

Lianne Froggatt is Digital Communications Manager at Yes Gifts, UK promotional products specialist. She would love any feedback, advice or comments, you might have so find her on Twitter @LianneCai, hopefully not following her own advice!

How to Add Your YouTube Videos to Pinterest

This guest post is by Krizia of CreateProfitableVideos.com.

So you’ve started using Pinterest to promote your blog. Congratulations!

When I started using Pinterest to promote my business, at first I was just happy uploading cool-looking photos. But after a few days, I realized that unless I established a clear strategy for my Pinterest activities, I’d be wasting a lot of time and I wouldn’t be able to delegate this social media activity to my assistant.

The reality is that Pinterest is a phenomenal tool for retailers, but if you’re a blogger or content marketer who uses words more than pictures, generating buzz using Pinterest may not be as easy.

From my experience, Pinterest can be a colossal waste of time. I mean it takes time to source all these photos on the Internet, and you also need to write descriptions for each of the photos you upload, and you also need to make sure you optimize everything you do to ensure the traffic comes back to your site.

But once I realized I could promote my YouTube videos on Pinterest, everything changed!

I’ve spent a lot of time, effort and energy building my YouTube channels and I’ve made sure each video we upload is optimized and takes viewers to a page where they can sign up to be added to my blog’s mailing list. Pinterest lets me capitalize on all that work, through a different medium. It’s become one of my favourite social media platforms to share videos from all four of my YouTube channels.

Adding your YouTube videos to Pinterest is quite easy, but if you’ve never done it before, I’ll share a few key points that will take the guess work out of the equation for you! Here are ten quick steps to getting your YouTube videos onto Pinterest.

1. Make sure you have an active YouTube channel

Pinterest is already set up to easily and quickly fetch videos from YouTube, but to use the functionality, you’ll need to have your own YouTube channel to make this work.

2. Make sure your videos are branded

Pinterest users don’t need to leave Pinterest to view YouTube videos. Once you click on any video link, it automatically opens inside the Pinterest platform. This is why branding your videos is so important.

By “branding” I mean that you should always have a branded intro and outro to your videos, and you should also make sure that you add an image watermark or a URL to make it easy for people to work out where the video comes from, and to click through to your blog.

3. Create a Pinterest board specifically for your YouTube channel

When you’re naming your board, make sure you take search engine optimization into consideration. Pinterest can bring you traffic from both inside its own community and from Google. That said, you’ll need to take the time to do a bit of research to find out which are the most appropriate keywords you should use.

4. Grab your YouTube embedded link

To crop your video into Pinterest, you’ll need to fetch your embedded link from YouTube. Right below your YouTube video, you’ll find a Share button. Click on that, and you’ll automatically see a dropdown box that contains a link.

A word of caution: there are two types of YouTube embedded links. There’s a shorter one (which is the first one you see), and a long link (which is hidden). Pinterest will reject the short link because the system sees it as spam. You’ll need to fetch the longer link.

The Share link

5. Upload a new pin

In order to add a new video to Pinterest, you’ll first need to add a new pin, then copy your YouTube embedded link into the Add a pin box, like so:

Uploading a new pin 1

Uploading a new pin 2

6. Select the appropriate board

Remember in point #3 I suggested you create a board specifically for your YouTube videos? Well, once you’ve uploaded your video, you need to select the board you want your video featured on.

7. Add a description

You have 500 characters with which to describe your video. Make sure the copy is inviting, and that it includes a number of keywords related to your blog.

Adding a description

8. Add a link to your blog or squeeze page

You should also add the complete URL for your blog or squeeze page to the description box. This won’t just give your blog a backlink from a trusted source, it’s also a great way to make it easy for people to easily get to your blog or squeeze page.

By making all links active from the description box, Pinterest makes it easy for you to build a strong community of loyal followers!

9. Automatic sharing on Facebook

If you sign into your Pinterest account (the same holds true if you sign in using your Twitter account), all of your updates will automatically be added to your Facebook personal profile. Pinterest has systemized sharing content from their platform to other social media platforms, which, again, makes our lives easier!

10. Rinse and repeat

Now that you’ve added your first YouTube video to Pinterest, make sure you keep up a consistent flow. My assistant ads one new video each week to my Pinterest account.

Here, we’ve talked about uploading YouTube videos to Pinterest, but you can also upload videos from Vimeo and pretty much any other video directory.

There are a few undeniable advantages to adding video to your Pinterest account:

  1. Your YouTube videos get a backlink from a trusted source, which helps increase the ranking of your entire channel.
  2. Your video appears in three different locations on Pinterest: on your board, on the Pinterest homepage where all your followers can immediately see it, and also on the Videos page on Pinterest.
  3. If you log into your Pinterest account via your Facebook or Twitter account, your new uploads are automatically shared on your personal Facebook account or your Twitter account!

Of course the best advantage of them all is the fact that you get to expose your content to new followers easily and simply!

Pinterest is just like any other social media platform: you need to go in with clear objectives, and you need to make sure your messages target the audience you want to attract.

That’s exactly why I love Pinterest’s automatic integration with YouTube—my videos act as a screening process for my business. Allowing potential clients to qualify themselves is a brilliant time-saver for me.

Pinterest users who land on your videos will know very quickly if your message resonates with them and from your YouTube channel they can make their way to your blog, site, or squeeze page.

Are you using video on Pinterest? How’s it working out? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Krizia (aka Miss K), is an Entrepreneur, Video Marketing Strategist, Video Show Host, Video Blogger, Speaker and International Author! Krizia launched http://www.CreateProfitableVideos.com to help entrepreneurs create AMAZING and IMPACTFUL video messages and discover How to Use video to Attract MORE Clients, Sales and Profits!

Traffic Technique 5: Social Media

We all agree that social media networks offer a number of benefits to bloggers. We can build a following on these sites, make new friends and connections, and share, collaborate, and interact in real time.

Social media: a tug of war

Image courtesy stock.xchng tam_oliver

This is great—and there’s no doubting that sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, and SoundCloud offer us a real opportunity to connect.

Yet in terms of traffic, many of us struggle.

Getting traffic through social media might seem like it’s about getting users to share your content. But that challenge in itself raises all kinds of issues:

  • titles, images, calls to action, and presentation
  • targeting
  • how you respond to social network visitors
  • what social search could, to should, mean to you
  • your involvement and presence on these networks.
    • We’ve discussed many of these issues in detail on the blog, so today I’m interested in going a bit deeper with the discussion and looking at social media at a more fundamental level.

      Where will you share?

      We all know about shiny object syndrome, and have felt the temptation to join the latest social network simply because everyone else seems to be getting on board. This is definitely a case of reactionary blogging—simply doing something because we don’t want to be left behind the mainstream. It’s usually not the best way to go.

      Thinking about your audiences—that is, your current audience and your desired audience—and where they hang out online is the best way to choose the social networks where you’ll have a presence. But that’s not the only thing to look at.

      We also need to consider where we can best dedicate our time and how much we can take on. It’s all too easy to be overwhelmed, but I know that the more I focus my efforts, the better off I am.

      So before you launch yourself onto the nest social media platform, consider whether you’ll reach your target audiences in that space. If not, it might be best to hold off until you feel it’s worth your while.

      What will you share?

      This seems like a fairly basic question. What will you share? Well, your content, right?

      That might be fine in most cases, but if you find your audience on a particular network represents a particular subsegment of your desires readership, perhaps you’ll shape your updates—and the content you share—specifically to them.

      The idea of a social network being a mass communication medium through which we update our followers on everything we blog may change as the shape of social networking changes from mass networks to niche networks.

      So perhaps we should be prepared—by experimenting and trialling this for ourselves, starting now—to shape the information you share specifically to your following on a given network.

      This will likely affect the traffic our social media updates generate in and of themselves, as well as the traffic they generate through resharing.

      How will you share it?

      There’s good old, tried and tested, low-budget organic social sharing: creating an update (text, images, and/or video) and sharing it through the social networks of your choice.

      But now we’re seeing a bounty of other sharing options flood onto the market:

      These tactics can of course be used individually, but if you have a strong following and presence on a particular network, you might look at using them together, in a sort of campaign-style approach to gaining traffic.

      In any case, it’s safe to say that you no longer have to slog it out updating your status with lonely links: there are plenty of tools that can help you get more bang for your buck when it comes to sharing—and gain more traffic and, ultimately, build your audience as a result.

      That said, since they began, social networks have been important points of connection—so sharing all the time, rather than balancing those efforts with other forms of engagement (like responding to the work of others, curating broader information for your followers, making genuine connections and helping others out, and so on), is a fast track to failure.

      In this way, social media really does mirror real life. While social networks are great places to share, if your sharing is to be effective, it must be tempered by true engagement and a genuine interest in others.

      How will you manage the traffic?

      So, let’s say your social media efforts have been successful and your latest update is sending masses of traffic to your site. This is great news! If, that is, you’re prepared.

      Momekh recently pointed out the benefits that can be gained by building targeted landing pages for your social network visitors. He did this through the his network bio, but if you target your content—and share it—to certain specific networks (rather than blanketing all networks with the same update), you can take his advice a step further.

      This can be a great way to build upon the engagement you’ve established through your persona on a given network, and use that to make people feel at home on your blog. Why not create an article targeted right at your Pinterest followers—something that speaks to them directly, and includes a call to action for them to join or subscribe to your site? Then, share it on that network, with a targeted, specifically Pinterest-y update, and see what happens.

      The results of this kind of targeted communication might just surprise you.

      Of course, there are other techniques you can try. As you may have seen, sometimes I’ll include hashtags in posts and their titles, to encourage and frame a discussion about them on Twitter. I’ve found this a really great way to help readers to connect off the site, in a different forum.

      If those posts are shared, they can also help people who are new to ProBlogger get a feel for our community in a forum with which they’re familiar and comfortable. And once they start to feel an affinity with my brand, they’re probably more likely to at least follow the ProBlogger Twitter account, if not bookmark the blog or subscribe to the RSS feed.

      Do you track the results of your social media efforts? I’m intrigued to hear how you’re handling the task of generating traffic through social media—and what you do with it once it gets to your blog. Share your expertise with us below.

Turn Twitter Followers into Blog Subscribers in 2 Steps

This guest post is by Momekh of LifeETC.

Too many interesting people out their are not using Twitter effectively. They may be using it to make solid connections, which is great, but they are not using it to directly build their own communities.

I propose a little experiment. It won’t take much of your time, as you’ll see. The benefits, on the other hand, can be significant.

Here are the assumptions:

  • You have your own blog (home base, as Michael Hyatt calls it) and a Twitter account. In all probabilities, your Twitter bio includes the web address of your site.
  • You understand that the purpose of both your blog and your Twitter account is to add to your platform and community. You are “community minded.”

Now for this experiment to work, I suggest that you make the following quick changes as you read them. The steps—two in total—are easy to do. And if you have any difficulties, you can always ask in the comments section.

Ready?

First, a reminder

Following people on Twitter is like voting. It’s almost a nudge, to tell the person that you find him or her interesting and relevant.

So take this idea a step further. Start following people who are following your person of interest.

Find someone interesting in your niche? Start following that person’s followers. These people are your prospects. They are the perfect candidates for your community.

Although there is plenty of great advice available on how to use Twitter, this post will help you convert the traffic coming from Twitter into subscribers for your community.

Now, it is time to make those quick changes we talked about.

Step 1: Update your Twitter bio

You are what you say you are. This is especially true if your bio is the first—and in many cases, the only—thing your prospects see before they come to your blog.

You want your Twitter bio to do two things, in this order:

  1. Make it truthful and relevant: You do not want to make it sound “cool” if what you include is untrue. Being honest has more benefits than the obvious ones. The prospect should be able to tell from your bio exactly what you do.

    Note that there is usually a difference between what you tweet about and what you do. The bio should be about what you do, so the prospect can see what your community and blog are all about. This helps them decide if you are relevant to them.

  2. Now, incorporate a call to action: Rephrase your message. Work on it. Test it out. It will be awesome if you can use it to introduce your website address. For example, see my Twitter bio—I ask users a question in the end, and then give them the website address as the answer to that question.

Step 2: Create a Twitter landing page

So far, your prospect has read your bio and your message resonates with her. The bio is clear, relevant, and even invites her to check out your site.

The prospect clicks … and sees your blog’s front page in all its glory.

That’s just wrong! I tested this out. I first changed just my bio, and sent interested Twitter followers to my blog’s homepage.

I saw an increase in traffic coming from Twitter. But there was no noticeable increase in my blog community (in terms of subscriber figures). I thought, “Well, people come and check out the blog, and don’t find it relevant, so they don’t subscribe.” And I’m cool with that—I don’t want people joining the community for the wrong reasons.

But then I thought that maybe I was looking at it the wrong way. The front page of my blog is, well, like a front page of a blog! It’s generic by design.

But someone coming from Twitter is already in a certain state of mind, a step into the “funnel” we could say. This means I can present the message of my blog to the prospect in a more meaningful way. Landing pages anyone!?

While writing your Twitter landing page, keep the following things in mind:

  • You are addressing your Twitter followers, so be as specific and personal as you can be. I start my page with “Heyya to my Twitter friends.” We already know the frame of reference for the people coming to that page, so use that information to better communicate with them.
  • As you present the central theme of your blog, make a call to action. I invite the prospect to further check out the blog content and to subscribe. There is ample research to show that a clear call to action works, so use it to your advantage.

There are tons of articles out there on how to write a landing page. That’s not necessarily a good thing. I knew I could easily fall prey to information overload, so I quickly wrote a new page, just keeping the two basic ideas above in mind, and deliberately forgetting everything else.

Writing a new page in WordPress is easier than stealing candy from a kid (not that I’d know). I gave it a page slug of “t”, and changed my blog address on my Twitter bio to reflect the change. My new Twitter landing page was live.

Now, that’s not a very elegant technical solution, as the coders amongst us would use a redirect to direct visitors from that link to the landing page. But I am no coder, nor elegant. So I just slapped the page together, put it on my Twitter bio and sat back.

I immediately started seeing an increase in signups.

Do you use any specific mechanisms to convert your Twitter followers into community members? Have any tips of your own that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments.

Momekh is a “professional adventurer” and wants to help you attain financial freedom. He writes about creative self employment and wholesome living at his blog LifeETC. You can also follow @momekh on Twitter.

The 10 Rules of Social Media Engagement

This guest post is by Matthew Turner of Turndog Millionaire.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a set of universal social media rules?

The internet is full of social media wisdom, but what if we had 10 rules of engagement?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a writer of some kind. Whether you’re a blogger or author, social media has become a large part of our lives. The options are vast, but how do you stand out from the ever-growing crowd?

The 10 rules of social media engagement

The following tips are adapted from my ebook, How To Build An Author House.

Reading this post won’t turn you into a superhero, nor will you wake up tomorrow with 100,000 new Twitter followers. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not one of those guys.

What this post does offer is some tips to help you become a social media rock star.

1. Engage first, sell second

The clue is in the name … social media. Your first instinct might be to tweet about your book, but what good does this do?

When did you last buy a product because someone Tweeted about it?

These days, we buy from those we trust. This takes time to develop, so engage first and sell second.

2. Be consistent

If you’re a celebrity this doesn’t apply to you. You’ll be able to share a Facebook message about that muffin you just ate and receive 2,043 likes. The rest of us need to keep it relevant.

People like consistency. If they know you as that girl who shares great financial advice, keep giving them what they want. You can mix it up from time to time, but make sure you’re being consistent overall.

3. Be regular

We’re all guilty of it: we start with vigour before getting lazy.

This is social media suicide.

If you open a Youtube account, comment on 30 videos a day, and upload daily, people will begin to take notice. If, after a month you stop, guess what? People will forget who you are.

Once again, it comes down to consistency. Be regular and be consistent.

4. Look beyond your own nose

It’s not always about you. If someone follows you on Google+ they want to know what you’re doing. By all means share your stories and spread the love. Don’t, however, think you’re the centre of the universe.

Have you ever been to a networking event where someone only talks about himself? Do you want to be that guy?

5. Reply to everything

If you have 100,000 Linkedin connections, this is bad advice. Assuming you aren’t Darren Rowse, though, you should try to reply to everything you can.

If it’s spam, by all means press Delete. If it has value, make sure you reply and keep the conversation going. We’re forever sewing seeds.

6. Search, don’t wait to be found

Again, if you’re a celebrity, this doesn’t really apply. You can sit back as a million people follow you. Most of us, however, need to search, but don’t worry, it’s quite fun.

Search for conversations that interest you. These are the people you want to meet. Go find them and make some new friends!

7. Be patient

Instant social media success is hard to find. You might upload amazing images to Instagram, but don’t be surprised if it takes a few months before people take notice.

The truth is, most people are wary. They see people like you all the time disappear after a few months. Be patient and earn your stripes. It will be worth it.

8. Spend time on it

One thing I discuss often is finding the right platform for yourself. Social media is a demanding mistress. If you think you can get a way with a mere fling, think again.

Join every platform at your own peril. To get the most out of social media you need to put in the hours. Picking the right channels is key. You want time to blog, too, after all.

9. Be your brand

Chances are you’ve built a platform. This means you have a brand. This means you have responsibilities to upkeep. Represent your brand as often as you can.

Again, consistency is important. Provide a message that spreads across platforms and you’ll do just fine.

10. Remember to sell

We began this journey with the warning of selling too soon. However, don’t forget to ask the darn question. Whether it’s a book you’re selling or a blog you need people to visit, make sure you plug yourself from time to time.

It’s about finding a balance between sharing your own world, and sharing other people’s. Being social is the first step, but we all have bills to pay.

Like I say, these rules of engagement won’t guarantee you an instant hit, but they will point you down the right path. Social media can help, but only if you use it properly.

Do you follow these rules of social media engagement? Has social media propelled you in front of new readers? Share your own stories below.

Matthew Turner (aka Turndog Millionaire) is an Author of both Fiction & Non-Fiction. Part of his life includes helping fellow Writers Build an Author Platform & Brand Story. You can find out more about him by visiting his Website or downloading his Free Ebook How To Build An Author Houses.

Use Social Currency Systems to Grow Your Blog

This guest post is by Nathan Kash of Electric Blogging.

Whether you’re new to online business or you consider yourself a seasoned professional, you recognize the fact that a good promotion strategy can go a long way in generating income for your business. Companies across the world spend millions, sometimes billions (in the case of companies like Heineken) on marketing, which shows just how important it is.

Now, in the days of social media, more and more companies are adopting social promotion strategies to reach a wider audience. Some have even gone as far as to launch their businesses wholly through social means, as did Dollar Shave Club, whose YouTube video became a viral sensation and put them on the map.

More recently, social currency systems have been developed that can add to your overall social marketing strategy. These tools have the potential to drive millions of customers to your site in a relatively short period of time.

What are social currency systems?

Social currency systems are online systems that allow readers to pay for products and services (usually ebooks, reports, and digital courses) using the value of their social network.

In other words, these products cost users the price of a social share.

Social currency in action

There are a few social currency systems available. Here are two of the most commonly used.

Pay With a Tweet

Pay With a Tweet is one of the first services to implement social currency, and it was built by Innovative Thunder.

As the name suggests, this system lets you “pay” for a product with a tweet.

For a customer to get access to a product, they click a button that takes them to a Twitter page. There they tweet the required message to their followers. Next, they’re automatically taken to a download page where they can claim the product in question. Pay With a Tweet has added functionality for Facebook, too.

Here’s how the call to action appears:
Pay With a Tweet

Popshop

Popshop is a new service by SYZYGY that claims to be “Pay With a Tweet on steroids.” Rather than just using Twitter as a sharing medium, it has functionality for other social networks like LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, and Google+.

It’s a free, one-page, customizable WordPress popup shop theme that also features Facebook page integration. Here’s how it looks:

Popshop

If you don’t share the deal before you click the Get This Offer button, you see this message:

Popshop message

This ensures that the content gets shared before the users get access to the product.

Why social currency works

Social currency systems are being used more widely by bloggers and site owners, since they work so well. But why?

They appeal to our inner cheapskate

The majority of people have an inner cheapskate. Whenever you choose to buy something, you always have the urge to go for the cheaper option. That’s just how our brains work.

Social currency systems have the same effect. The desire for a product is further increased by mentioning the price that the product should cost and explaining that, instead, you’re offering it for a far lower price—just a share! It’s a common but effective marketing tactic.

They provide a sense of value

This works hand-in-hand with my first point. People are not as drawn to things that are completely free as they are drawn to things that are “practically” free.

When you give your offer a price, no matter how small, it creates a sense of value. Something completely free seems less attractive because most of the time, it’s perceived as being of low quality.

Excellent promotion benefits

Social currency systems can be used by businesses to successfully promote launches and events.

A good strategy for ebook authors, for example, would be to release a “free” report or mini-ebook as a teaser for their final product. In return, they get shares and are able to create a buzz amongst millions of potential customers.

This tactic can also be used by bloggers to make blog posts and videos go viral, and this also drives traffic to their respective sites.

Other ways to use social currency systems

  • Authors can use them to sell excerpts to promote books.
  • Freelancers and job hunters can use them to sell work samples and access to portfolios or resumes.
  • Internet marketers can use them to sell free reports to create a buzz for upcoming webinars.
  • Speakers can use them to sell mini-courses for the promotion of workshops.
  • Consumer brands can use them to sell commercials to make them go viral.
  • Service providers and use them to sell basic versions of services, as a way to promote premium packages.
  • Musicians can use them to sell music demos and singles for upcoming albums.

All in all, social currency systems are underused but have enormous potential not only for promotion, but also for traffic and income generation.

Is social currency for you?

Social currency is gaining momentum. Have you used it already, perhaps to buy something, if not to sell it? Have you tried other social currency systems? Do you think you could use social currency to build buzz around your blog?

Tell us in the comments. We all love to learn.

Nathan Kash (@electricblogger) is a professional blogger who runs Electric Blogging where you can discover methods of traffic generation, writing excellent content, social media utilization and how to blog effectively. He also gives blogging tips to newbie bloggers and seasoned professionals.

When Building a Significant Social Media Following May Not Work

This guest post is by J. Steve Miller of Sell More Books!.

I studied the right books and attended the right seminars. I gave my strategy time. Yet, few followed my blog and I could trace scant book sales (my main reason for blogging) to my social media efforts. Could it be—dare I suggest—that building a social media following simply wasn’t the best use of my time, given my unique passions, strengths, subject matter, and goals?

Failing at social media

Image used with permission

Gathering a following works marvelously for some. But is there proof that it can work for everyone in every industry?

I think I’ve identified twelve such scenarios. Consider these three.

1. When time is limited

Like most debut authors, Danny Kofke has a day job and a family. To market his book, he wakes up early to use these precious minutes emailing media to suggest interviews. He links them to his one-page, static (no regular posts) blog, which functions as a press page, highlighting his past interviews, including USA Today and CNN. Readers and viewers can spread the word through their own social networks.

It works for Danny, given his personality, his topic (personal finance for school teachers) and his limitations. For Danny, pursuing a following would consume too much time.

J.R.R. Tolkien taught full-time and wrote after putting his children to bed. Had social media existed in his time, and if he spent that time on Facebook and Twitter, could he have written Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit?

2. When another marketing approach may work better

I know a restaurant owner who outsells all his fellow franchises. His secret? He spends hours away from the restaurant each day, building relationships with local businesses to promote his catering services. 

Imagine that his marketing time is limited to two hours. Could we tell him with any degree of certainty that he’d be better off spending those hours trying to build a following on social media? If so, based upon what evidence?

3. When your social media following will not likely be your customers

An agent urges her debut mystery writer to build a social media following with a blog. Her topic? Something to do with writing. Her competition? Thousands of writers competing for the same audience. Her challenges?

  • Who wants to follow a writer who’s not already successful?
  • Would her followers more likely be mystery readers (her target), or mystery writers?

So perhaps your dismal results don’t mean you’re a social media moron. Maybe people in your industry simply don’t want regular insights, or your target audience doesn’t tend to follow social media, or you don’t relish the research required to become a true thought leader.

Alternative social media approaches

If building a following isn’t working for you, consider a few of the principles that guide my personal book marketing strategy.

Consider quality over quantity

Sometimes I wonder if “the next big thing” just might be, well, “small.” Some gurus are cutting back, using Twitter and Facebook to connect with only their most valuable contacts—those they truly enjoy and learn from. In your case, could 150 significant Facebook friends trump 1,000 Facebook contacts who blabber incessantly about meaningless trivialities?

Let others praise you, rather than praise yourself

A Gallup study of over 17,000 social media users found that people don’t typically buy our products when we’re doing the selling. Instead, they trust independent experts and customer reviews. I find niche forums and offer free books for review, so that my Amazon pages are persuasive and the resulting fans can spread the word through their social networks.  

Go where people already gather, rather than gather a crowd around yourself

Shiv Singh, social media guru for PepsiCo, considers the holy grail of social influence marketing to be identifying and harnessing the influencers in your field. For my personal finance book, I found the top 200 personal finance blogs and offered a free book for review and another for a giveaway. My sales increased 300%, and the tactic was both cost- and time-effective.

Consider your strengths and passions, rather than assuming you can replicate any marketing scheme

A Gallup study of over two million people in the workplace suggested that we’re typically miscast in our roles. Instead, we should identify and concentrate on our strengths. If your strengths and passions incline you to blogging, Facebook and Twitter, you may do well building followings there. But if it’s a chore that you endure solely to sell your products, don’t be surprised if you make little impact. Choose methods that fit your unique passions and strengths.

Ideas? Objections? Experiences? Please interact with me below!

This is a guest post by J. Steve Miller, author of Sell More Books! and Social Media Frenzy:Consider These Alternative Social Media Strategies. He is president of Legacy Educational Resources, offering character and life skills resources to teachers and schools.

Set Up Social Media to Give You Great Post Ideas

This guest post is by Douglas Lim of The 10 Habits of Highly Effective Social Media Marketing People.

Finding articles and ideas for blog posts is an important skill for bloggers to master—and one that can now be leveraged through the power of social media.

High-quality content is tweeted, liked, bookmarked, and shared around. That’s why social media is fantastic for sourcing great content: we know even before we look at it that it’s probably of high quality, since people are sharing it with their friends and followers.

Spend just five minutes setting up your networks of choice to send you great content, and you’ll have no trouble translating and leveraging that inspiration to create your own blog post ideas.

Twitter

One of the nice features of Twitter is that it gives us the ability to create Lists of Twitter accounts.

For example, you can create a List, call it whatever you want, and then add to it all the Twitter accounts that tweet about a particular topic. It could be thought leaders in your field, or it may list brands that regularly write about your topic.

When you load that List in Twitter, you’ll only see tweets from thosepeople—it’s a perfectly curated suite of informationon your topic. Even better, Twitter allows you to subscribe to other people’s Lists. So you can get the benefits of someone else’s work—look especially to the Lists of thought leaders in your field, who know other people who provide great information.

Twitter lists

To create a List, simply go to your Twitter homepage and click on the head-shot icon as in the image below. To complete your List, follow the prompts as directed.


Facebook

Facebook is another fantastic social network for sourcing great content. Similar to Twitter, you can create an Interest list and include Fan pages in it. Then, you can view that list and only see page updates from Fan pages you’ve included.

Many brands are now on Facebook, so you can source some great information. To create an Interest list, go to your Facebook home page, and on the bottom-left side click on Add interests, as in the screenshot below.

Add interests on Facebook

Next, click on Create List and follow the steps to create your curated list.

Facebook list

Google+

Google+ also allows you to curate social content through its Circles. On Google+ you can create a Circle (of friends, colleagues, thought leaders, etc.), adding Google+ profiles and brand pages to that circle. Then, when you need inspiration for a post, go to the Google+ home screen, and choose only to view a certain Circle by selecting that Circle’s tab.

Google+ circles

LinkedIn

This is one of my favourite places to hang out and access great content. If you navigate to your LinkedIn home page, you can click on “See all Top Headlines for You” as in the screen shot below.

LinkedIn headlines

Here, you can customize your news according to what you want to read. You can follow industries such as Accounting or Entertainment, or sources such as CNN. LinkedIn will also send you email containing content from these various sources.

The great thing about these top news stories is that they are also tailored to you on the basis of what your connections, industry peers, and the wider professional audience are reading and sharing on LinkedIn. I have found that, with LinkedIn, you get a different spin on the content that’s shared, because most of your connections on LinkedIn will be professionals. This means you can find some real gems that you would not normally have found through Twitter and Facebook, which tend to have broader market appeal. I highly recommend LinkedIn.

Pinterest

At the time of writing, Pinterest doesn’t offer filtering of boards. But what you can do is set up a separate account, search for your blog’s topic, and subscribe to their boards through that account. Then you can view all their pins in a focused way.

Paper.li

This is a really fun way of tying all of the networks we’ve just talked about together. Paper.li is great for pulling in content from Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, as well as YouTube and your RSS feeds. Paper.li displays all your selected content in a newspaper-style format; you can also find other people’s papers and subscribe to them.

Curating inspiration

There’s lots of great content that’s constantly being shared on each of the different social media channels. This information will hopefully assist you with sourcing and organising this information so you can curate and share the most relevant content with your followers—and get great inspiration for posts on your blog. Best of all, it’ll only take you a few minutes to set up!

If you have any suggestions or other great curating tips and ideas, do share them below in the comments section.

Douglas Lim is a social media marketing and search engine optimization evangelist. He is also passionate about business and owns his own web design company servicing thousands of clients. Douglas regularly writes about these topics on his blog at The 10 Habits of Highly Effective Social Media Marketing People. Alternatively you can find him living on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn or Facebook.