With Twitter’s active user numbers struggling to keep up with other social media channels, it was inevitable that some pretty dramatic changes would be made.
Not surprisingly, Twitter has changed the types of content that will be counted in the 140 character limit.
This change was announced earlier in the year, but has only recently been activated.
From now on, the following won’t be included in the 140 character limit –
@names in replies
media attachments (jpegs or movies)
What does this mean?
When replying to tweets @names will no longer be included in the 140 character limit. This will make conversations (especially with users who have longer usernames) much easier.
A URL generated from attaching media files (jpeg or movies) also won’t be included in the 140 character limit. This will make it easier to add pictures and videos to tweets. Tweets that include media will have better reach and engagement than those without. URLs that are typed into a tweet will still count towards the 140 character limit.
Twitter will automatically include the retweet button on your own tweets. This will make it easier to quote retweet yourself.
The way tweets are displayed is also changing. From now on @names, URLs and media will be displayed outside of the actual tweet area, leaving more space for you to compose and view your 140 character tweets.
In short this means it will be easier to –
Have better conversations and interactions
Compose tweets without having to constantly cut characters
Include media in your tweets
Quote retweet yourself
To find out more about Twitter and social media, check out my Guide – The Secrets of Social Media Strategy.
Before writing content for your website or blog, it’s important to understand which key words and phrases you want to be found on. This article covers how key word research will help you to get found on Google
Key word research is the activity that you undertake to determine what exactly you need to rank on.
When you’ve established a good set of key words and phrases, you can then ensure that they regularly feature in your content.
The following 3 step approach is a great way to ensure that you focus on powerful key words and phrases –
1. Understand your Core Idea and Values
If you haven’t already done so, creating a Core Idea and a set of Values is essential.
Your Core Idea explains –
Exactly why your business or product exists.
Core Values help to communicate –
What your business or product stands for?
The style, personality and tone of your brand?
What makes your business or product different?
2. Develop a short list of potential key words and phrases
The key words and phrases on your short list will depend on your business or product, target audience and industry sector, but could focus around –
Descriptors and Features
Geography or Location
Try to approach this from the point of view of potential customers.
This is often an ‘interesting’ exercise – how you refer to your business or product can often be different to how your potential customers do.
3. Use tools to refine your search
Your short list of possible key words and phrases should be explored and tested using tools such as Google Trends and Google Adwords Keyword Planner.
Other tools are available, but most include some kind of subscription.
It’s also worth searching on (or Googling) your actual key words and phrases and reviewing the search results.
The goal here should be to refine your short list and establish a final list of key words and phrases.
It’s difficult to say exactly how many key words and phrases you should use. Obviously the more you have, then the more time you need to implement and monitor them.
Key word research should be an ongoing process. Your list should naturally evolve as you continue to test and measure.
When you have created your list, the next step is to ensure that they regularly feature in content throughout your website and blog.
To find out more about key words and search engine optimisation, check out my guide – SEO – How to optimise your website and get found on Google.
Pinterest is one of the fastest growing websites – hitting 10 million unique visitors faster than other social media channels. This post considers how to maximise the power of Pinterest to sell more product online
It’s a fantastic channel to target both business and consumer markets.
42% of online women use Pinterest and 34% of users are aged between 18 and 29.
If your business sells products, then here’s why you should be active on Pinterest –
It’s very simple to set and use (it can become very addictive).
User interaction and engagement is high.
Pinterest drives traffic to your website or blog.
Links to your website and blog will support your inbound marketing strategy.
It’s easy to integrate with your website, blog and other social media channels.
Video can now be added to your Pinterest boards.
The data, metrics and statistics are easy to monitor and understand.
The best thing about Pinterest is the ease of conversion –
The number of clicks that a user needs to make from initially discovering a product to actually purchasing is less than other social media channels.
Importantly – the route to purchase is simple and direct!
Research also suggests that Pinterest users spend more money than other social media channel users.
Pinterest is more ‘content based’ than ‘timeline based’ which means that your pins will have a longer shelf life. So if another users likes what they see, it’s easy for them to discover and repin more of the same.
Unfortunately due to the rise and popularity of Instagram, Pinterest sometimes gets forgotten about.
I always recommend that people selling products should use Pinterest! Especially if your market is 18 – 35 year old females!
To find out more about Pinterest, check out my Guide – The Secrets of Social Media Strategy.
Back links are links to your own website from other external websites. They’re important because Google assumes that a website with good quality back links is trustworthy and relevant.
There are many organic ways to build back links to your website without needing to dabble in the mysterious dark arts of seo.
Getting back links to your website from other reputable websites is a great way to boost your seo strategy and get found on Google.
Other benefits include – free advertising, long term (or even permanent) promotion, raising general awareness and increased brand recognition.
Here are 12 great ways to generate back links –
1. List your website on appropriate local business directories.
2. Build relationships with relevant bloggers – ask to be featured or even to guest blog.
3. Submit your website to blog posts or forums asking for comments or feedback.
4. Bookmark your blog posts on social bookmarking sites such as Reddit, StumbleUpon or Digg.
5. Update your social media profiles to include links to your website or blog pages.
6. Share your blog posts or web pages on social media.
7. Include links to your website or blog on social media posts.
8. Submit content or posts to content sharing platforms such as Medium.
9. Add your website or blog to your JustGiving page.
10. Create and share infographics on social media and other relevant directories.
11. Exchange back links for back links (tread carefully with this one).
12. If you have more than one domain name, make sure they link to each other.
Search engine optimisation strategy often involves implementing lots of individual tactics that work together to contribute towards positive results.
Back links should be viewed as a tactic within the overall long term strategy and not as a quick fix.
To find out more about search engine optimisation, check out my guide – SEO – How to optimise your website and get found on Google.