Tag: social media

Twitter (once again)

How many followers do you have? Do you follow XYZ?

Twitter is getting more and more popular with the amount of followers getting more and more important. Often I get a lot of people following me because I write keyword rich. Examples are to tweet about the International Search Summit using keywords like “social media” or “SEO” and people start following you. There are tools out there that follow people automatically that write a certain keyword. You then decide whether you follow them back or not. Sometimes these are “random followers” and you are not sure which value they bring to you and you do not follow them back. However, it is polite in the twitter world to actually DO follow them back.

Now, people like Matt Cutts or Anthony Robins, they cannot follow everyone back. Because if they did, they would end up having millions of people they follow. They are like the “star amongst the tweeple” πŸ˜‰

Anyhow, I was writing about Twitter tools before and one that I really like to use on a regular basis is Friend or Follow. This tool shows you who is following you back, who is not and who is following you but you aren’t following them back. It is great to clear up the list of people you follow. An example would be that people follow you and then you follow them back. However, once you follow them back, they stop following you. Then you end up following more people than people following you and…your reputation, and ratio followers/following goes down.

twitter2

There are 2 more tools I want to mention:

1) Huitter – the mutuality tool allows to bulk un-follow everyone who does not follow you back. Drawback is that if you follow people like Matt Cutts or the BBC News or Times Online, you automatically un-follow them. So I don’t like that tool if you use Twitter to stay on top of developments around you.

2) Tweetlater – this tool is useful. It sends an automatic message to everyone that follows you, e.g. “Thanks for following me. Please visit my blog at https://www.volkerballueder.com.“. Also, it allows you to write a message now and tweet about it later, e.g. you can time your tweets up to a few hours. However, with an advanced (paid) version, you can also time delay tweets more. Useful for people who sit in Europe and like to tweet early UK time and then early US time. Also useful for spammers who like to re-tweet their messages over and over again. The latter aren’t very liked and I usually un-follow people that start tweeting the same messages over and over again.

That is my latest twitter update. Thanks folks and please RT this blog entry and follow me on @ballueder.

Cheers,
Volker

Viadeo – 2nd and last review

Ok, maybe I am rushing into things but I had another look at this Viadeo network I was writing about last week. And, I came to the conclusion to cancel my membership. Why?

You might remember my post about “how many web services do you need” back in September last year.

I still think that those are enough.

  • Facebook
  • Linkedin
  • Xing
  • Plaxo
  • I really don’t need another network that gets me connected to a “Trader from China”, “a couple in England with 2 connections”, “my friend who I have on Facebook and Linkedin” and a network that wants to charge me if I want to add a friend I have known for years.

    Sorry, it was good speaking to Viadeo in person and I like the idea of a local personal network. However, it just doesn’t work for me. I have my connections, I have 2 major networks and I have Facebook too. I think adding another service would just mean too much hassle, more emails and too much work. Instead of subscribing and using it properly, I would rather subscribe to Linkedin which I know brings value to me and I am still using it for free.

    Also, on that note. I got an invite from a friend to Likaholix. And, I have to say, this is another sharing side I canceled my membership. Not really using it. Sorry guys.

    Enough of bad news about new networks. Stick to what you know and what you know works. However, try new things and if you like them, use them and encourage others to use them. I tried but these 2 services just weren’t for me.

    Viadeo – first review

    Hello,

    After the summit last week I was asked by the guys from Viadeo to join the network. Their USP is to make sure that you can connect to local people in your city/country. At least that is how I understood it.

    There we go. I had a go and added my own company cb consulting to my profile. Since I am the only employee, which of course the system does not know, to suggest me to connect to other employees of cb consulting would not make sense. Never mind I thought, I put all my other work experience in. However, again, I found 1 match in my city and then mainly French “alternative contacts”. With the system being French I was not surprised.

    To find alumni from my university didn’t work either. All I got was a student at the university – not sure why someone from Aberdeen is actually coming up in the London network. Never mind, I now wanted to import my outlook contacts to see if anyone was there. But that is only possible by using Internet Explorer, not Firefox.

    Finally, I got the system to connect to my gmail account. After a few minutes I added about 1,250 contacts of which 14 were Viadeo members. Most of those were recruitment consultants and the other ones were part of my network at Linkedin and Xing. So there is no need to have an additional network for me really.

    As mentioned before, this is my first review. I will keep playing with the application but guess that I have more than enough contacts on other networks to add more and more social media playgrounds.

    What is your experience? What are your thoughts?

    Social Media Summit

    Good morning πŸ˜‰ I am just back from our International Search Summit focusing on Social Media. And, I have to say, it was a great event.

    I don’t really have to say that but thought that WebCertain put on a great summit with high calibre speakers. Let me re-cap:

    Anne Kennedy from Beyond Ink discussed Facebook once again. She highlighted some key facts and shows that Facebook is a global player for social media. However, do not forget there are some other local networks out there that take on market share and are bigger than Facebook. More about that later. Anne’s research is great and I had ongoing discussions with her afterwards on how to use Facebook with applications and then roll them out worldwide.

    Jenny Simpson spoke about Opportunities and Threats for Marketers through Twitter. She had a rather critical view on what Twitter is all about and how it can be used. I remember my first Twitter recap back in January. I understand why people like it, and I add new followers everyday. However, it could just be another hype and, as Jenny pointed out, do not put all your eggs in one basket, do not ONLY rely on Twitter. Surely the advantage is that Twitter offers real time search results and that people recommend things. And, if they are genuine, you get a new engagement with your clients (as a brand) and you are able to turn negative feedback into customer service and positive branding.

    The 2nd part of the Summit was about Opportunities for Bebo and AOL. It was a nice presentation to show how to integrate different products. Unfortunately, I didn’t take too much out of it. However, Regina Bustamante of Plaxo spoke about the right localisation and translation, the adoption of local culture to grow an international network. Plaxo is catching up on that and for a small company they have made a huge progress on their internationalisation efforts. I believe we will see more from them in the future. I have been using Plaxo for over 5 years and have to say that I might not see it so much as a social network (definition social network?) but more of “backup tool for my outlook”. However, a very very useful tool.

    Peter Crosby fromViadeo spoke about the approach they are taking. As a French company they created local networks in major countries: Germany, France, Spain, Italy, UK, Mexico, India….and they are growing. Connect on a local level is their idea, and I was encouraged to sign up for their network. We shall see, if I do – I will let you know what I think. Any incentives Peter πŸ˜‰

    Unfortunately I missed the panel debate but what followed in the afternoon was very interesting, particular for bloggers.
    Vasco Sommer-Nunes from Mokono, maybe better known for their blog.xy sites, e.g. Blogs in Germany, he pointed out how to monetise blogging. Followed by Sante who spoke about international blogging and later Massimo Burgio who spoke about Social Media Marketing and Blogging.

    Highlights, from my point of view were Alex Burmaster’s presentation on the key trends of riding the wave of social networking! Coming from Nielsen he presented data that was just amazing. You can download some reports on their website and I will posts links as I get them. However, one fact stuck out to me and that was that more and more older people, age 60+ are joining Facebook in the US. That means we will have a similar pattern in the UK soon, then across Europe. Brands should start thinking on how to cater for these demographics and start building applications. We already discussed first ideas!

    Then there was Tom Smith from Trendstream. His presentation can be found on Slideshare already. He spoke about the International Social Media Trends, warning about neglecting the amount of Chinese people in local networks that by far growing quicker than Facebook. So our Western answers on Facebook might not be able to be applied to the Asian Market. Similar things are true for Russia. So it is not all about Facebook (sorry Anne ;-)) but for brands a lot about “where to I find my target demographics in which country” – and the Chinese platform seems to make a profit too.

    Oscar Carreras spoke about what I would call “Inbound Marketing“. However, his Social Media Optimisation and his knowledge of SEO paired of the understanding on how to utilise social networks as well as using them to engage with your clients was very fascinating. His blog on International SEO picks up on these topics too.

    Last but not least was Martin Belam from the Guardian. Whilst there is a hot discussion on how publishers and newspapers can or cannot survive with more and more content being available for free, he pointed out ways on how to use social media to drive traffic to your site. Again, I believe that the overall topic of driving traffic is great but what do we do with the traffic once it is on our site?

    The overall summary for me is that we have our networks we use in the Western World, namely Plaxo, Linkedin, Facebook etc. and that we seem to neglect some international networks which we shouldn’t. Also, we see Twitter as a great way of broadcasting news and company information. Again, we drive traffic to our site but the conversion and the monetization of the traffic is still something we need to solve. As so often in the online world: we have the data, but we are not quite sure how to use it.

    Stay tuned.

    Inbound Marketing for SMEs and Start-Ups

    I read a fantastic article from Rand the other day on his blog of SEOmoz.

    Really interesting. I summarised it for myself as “Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools work but only up to a certain extend” and thought of myself about inbound marketing once again.

    So let me think about it. I am an SME, do not have a lot of brand awareness, or I am a start-up, just entering the market. What is it I have to do to get noticed?

    I would suggest that first of all you need brand awareness. This can be done by registering in various organisations, directories, adverts in industry specific magazines, PR and push your profile online on:

    Twitter: create a company profile, start following people and stay personal in order to create a “personal brand” people like to follow. Have something to say and add value with every “tweet”. Try to engage with the community and be “a friend”.
    Linkedin: create a corporate profile and make all your friends/connections aware of it. Add slide shows via Slideshare and show off the knowledge you have. Link your corporate blog to the profile too.
    Blog: having a corporate blog is great to engage with your consumers/clients and it is important that you keep it up to date. Do some keyword research and write all your articles keyword rich so that your blog shows up for the same keywords as your website. Your blog can link with the right anchor text to your website.
    Website – don’t be silly, I thought that was already done πŸ˜‰ – make sure you do basic SEO on it and make sure that you rank for the important keywords, do some link building and watch your competitors with google alerts and make sure you get alerts if someone places a link back to your site. Later on, do more link building and concentrate on high value links, e.g. from Universities or Government sites; also increase your keywords (keyword expansion).
    – Online PR: using both your blog and your PR agency, push your PR in as many channels as possible to get brand awareness.

    Wow, this only took 5 minutes to write up. Is that all?

    I believe that brand consistency is important. Think of a theme that you can tell your clients and prospects. Become a thought leader or a knowledgeable person that will bring new ideas and values to their everyday life. If you have a USP (unique selling point), then make use of that one before anyone else is coming after you. Create a seminar or webinar series and use email marketing, twitter and SEO, possibly a good PPC campaign, to drive traffic and attendees to the seminar. Price it affordable so that people won’t have to think twice if they want to attend or not.

    Now, why am I summarising a good inbound marketing strategy and what has this to do with Rand’s article. Rand writes in his article that the ROI from your twitter or blogs might only be low to moderate, whilst traditional SEO and web marketing, this could be affiliate, display ads, email marketing, is moderate to high. Of course it takes longer but in the long run, it is more effective.

    And, before I forget, don’t forget to measure it. Online marketing is measurable and therefore you need an analytics tool to track down where your visitors are coming from. If you don’t know, then it is time to find out and increase the spend on the channels that allow you for greater ROI!

    If you have any questions or would like an introductory meeting on how to create your marketing plan, please contact Volker from cb consulting London.

    Sunday Column (3)

    What a week. It went so quickly that I don’t believe it is Sunday again.

    After us renovating the hall last weekend, the dust was still settling all week. However, it is nice to see what we are capable of doing in the house and how we can improve our living space with little effort.

    Also, I am getting quite excited about my veggies and hope I can put them out in the garden soon. It is amazing how much they have grown already!

    On Tuesday I went to the Social Media World Forum in London. An interesting show and conference but we only went for a few hours to listen to some seminars. Social Media Marketing is still not the biggest part of Search or Online Marketing but a growing sector. With Twitter being ever so popular at the moment, Social Media is becoming more important for the marketing mix. But, will it ever be a part of the marketing that takes off on its own? We will see what 2009 brings.

    I keep reading the Razorfish Digital Outlook Report 2009. Ad Exchanges and Social Media are still the most interesting and the most to watch areas for 2009. Definitely something to watch out for in the future.

    On Thursday I flew Ryanair to Oslo. We had our International Search Summit there, the first one outside London. Btw Ryanair, the flight was not too bad. However, the 2 hours to Stansted Airport and then 2 hours from the airport to Oslo in a bus were annoying.

    The Summit however was great. What a great event. Good speakers, interesting discussions and good to see the Buzz in the Norwegian/Scandinavian Online and Digital Marketing world. Great to be connected here and we are all looking forward to the next event on the 14th of May in London.

    From Oslo we took off to the North to Norefjell, about 1.5 hours drive. Admittedly, I had to look at a map to see where I am, so here we go:


    View Larger Map

    Scary πŸ˜‰ I like Norway though. Not that I have seen too much, but the people are very friendly and the scenery is nice. And, we have snow here. Lots of snow. It is amazing. And, they can cope with it, not like in London, lol.

    Here is the view outside my window, early in the morning:

    snow-in-norjefell

    I was supposed to go skiing this morning but think I opt for the safer option, e.g. to go for a walk. Not that I do downhill skiing anyway, but cross country skiing would have been good. The place we are staying is great. a nice little flat with a fireplace, our own sauna and self catering – ideal for a group to chill out in the snow!

    What did I miss this week? Honestly, besides my wife who stayed at home, my cats. They have been cute lately and I have to say, they really grow on me. They are growing anyway but they get really pally at the moment. Hansel more than Gretel, she seems a little bit shy.

    My wife sent me this picture whilst I was away:

    hansel

    And, she sent me a picture of our baby – the latest scan. Everything seems to be ok with it. We cannot wait!

    baby-scan

    So, summa summarum, a really nice week. A tat busy but overall really nice. Have a great Sunday night, good to be back home, sitting on the couch and chilling. Let’s see what next week brings.

    Cheers
    Volker

    Twitter Twitter Tools

    Twitter seems to become more and more popular. And, you can check how well you are doing with that social media tool, too! Here is a list from justtweetit.

    Volker’s Twitter Profile

    The Twitter Grader by my friends from Hubspot puts me on rank 118,561 out of 1.2 m – not sure if that is good or not.

    Tweetstats shows you not only the amount of tweets, but your density per day and who you tweet to most. Very useful tool.

    Follow Cost is a tool that suggests how annoying it is to follow someone. I tweet on average about 4.1 times a day. So not too bad is it??

    Have you ever wondered who follows you back and who doesn’t? You add all those people and then no one follows you back? Test the FriendorFollow Application! Really disappointed that some of my friends do not follow me back πŸ™

    @davidsegal and I are competing for followers at the moment. So best tool to use is TwitterLeague. It really shows you how much popular I am, lol!

    And, ever wondered how much influence you have on Twitter? Try Twitter Influence. Very interesting to see how you compare. Similar to the Twitter Grader above really.

    Last but not least I tested the Tweet Wheel! At least I tried. But Twitter timed out. Too many requests per hour, lol ;-( But I will try again and then post the results.

    Hope you enjoy. Don’t forget to leave a comment if you like the tools or found better ones. Also, let me know how I compare, tweet it and follow me!

    Volker Ballueder

    How many web services do you need?

    My friend Don K posted an article on Facebook and I would like to share this article with you.

    It is about how many web services one person can use?

    I agree. Looking at myself:

    1. at least 2 email addresses I check privately
    2. 1 email at work
    3. Facebook
    4. Linkedin
    5. Xing
    6. Balamadana
    7. Search Food
    8. Volker’s blurb
    9. Plaxo

    And, if that was not enough, what about things like twitter or flickr. Should I or shouldn’t I? Do RSS Feed count? If so, add another 10 I read regularly and at least 10 on top occasionally. No wonder people complain about information overload. I of course forgot my personal homepage, too.

    Then, the question is, do homepages count as web services? Somewhat I think yes, because you would want to update it as it is a personal profile on the web, isn’t it?

    Be selective, I guess, is the way forward. Keep it simple. Focus on what you really need instead of trying to get as much information as possible.

    As an example. The other day I registered for ALL newsletters from an US online magazine, Media Post. Then I got 20 emails a day and now cut it down to the 3 most important newsletters. You have to be very selective – by the way, good newsletters they are.

    Let me know your views! Leave a comment.