An Insightful Study Reveals How to Get More Retweets on Twitter

Always wondering what to do to increase retweets on Twitter? While Twitter may limit your verbal diarrhea to 140 characters, there are other ways of shouting your message out to consumers to get them to sit up and take notice. Dan Zarrella, a social-media strategist at HubSpot’s conducted a study based on an examination of about 500,000 random, public tweets. His study by shows what makes people want to read your story and accumulate retweets on the popular microblogging website.

What the study says :

1. Pictures increase retweets on Twitter

The study deduces that photos and images increase retweets on Twitter more than text updates. Zarella’s findings have revealed that tweets that contain pictures and uploaded using pic.Twitter.com links are 94% more likely to be retweeted than those without links. Due to the fact that the photos that are embedded with pic.Twitter.com show up directly in the Twitter stream, Twitter users simply need to click on the tweet if they want to see images.

But there is a catch. Just because you have a picture on Twitter, it doesn’t mean that it absolutely WILL get retweeted. Not all images are considered equal. Tweeting a photo from Instagram or Facebook doesn’t increase the likelihood of getting a retweet. On the contrary, according to the study, when a tweet comprises a link to an Instagram picture, it is 42% less likely to be retweeted than a tweet that does not have an Instagram link. This likelihood turns to 47% where Facebook is concerned.

Earlier, Twitter users could embed Instagram photos into their tweets directly, but since December 2012, the video and photo-sharing service has changed its functionality. Now only a link appears and when users click it, they are redirected to view it directly on Instagram.

2. The positive impact of hashtags and quotation marks

Zarrella has found that when 2 characters are present in tweets they are more likely to be retweeted. These characters are hashtags and quotation marks.

When you include one or more hashtags in a tweet, its chances of being retweeted are increased by 55%. This is due to the fact that hashtags allow a wider audience to access your tweets. The good Twitter practice entails the use of 3 or fewer hashtags in a tweet. Any more would make it difficult to read.

When you include quotation marks in a tweet, its chances of being retweeted are 30% more likely than those tweets that do not contain quotes. It has been found that people love to share quotes on Twitter.

3. Polite Call-to- Actions make all the difference

On Twitter where every character counts, the words you use as calls-to-action really make a difference, according to Zarella. Here is what he found about CTA words.

  •  Words like “please help” and “please retweet” were on top of the CTA list and increased retweets by over 100%.
  • Manners are important, not just in real life but on Twitter too! Words like “please RT” and “please” made a difference.
  •  Words like “visit” that sound promotional made it to the bottom of the top phrases list.

7 Ways to Grab Eyeballs on Google

While getting listed on the first page of Google is an SEO dream come true, a generic listing won’t get you every single thing you desire. As yourself, what really makes your brand, business or service stand out from the rest? With the search engine competition as fierce as it is today, it is critical not to get left behind.

Here are some ways to get noticed on Google :

1. Have Relevant, Unique Page Titles

Page titles with at least 50-65 characters are excellent. The more the merrier, really. Consider the pixel width of your title tag, as many characters will not fit in words with wide letters. Anything with 70 characters or more will be ignored by Google and reported as a “Long title tag” error in Google Webmaster Tools. It is also important that your page title be relevant to your page topic. Localize your page and try to include your targeted key phrases in the beginning.

2. Create Search Engine Friendly URLs

Your domain name should ideally have your targeted keywords in it. But if it doesn’t don’t jump over backward to purchase an exact match domain name. Try to make your listing more relevant by using search engine friendly file names and permalink structures.

3. Add Calls-to-Action With Meta Descriptions

While your meta descriptions don’t really impact your rankings, it is a good way to encourage users to click your link over that of your competition. Mata tag descriptions should ideally range from 100 to 150 characters. Shorter or longer descriptions may lead to errors reported in Google Webmaster Tools. First, describe what the page about then asks the user to perform an action with the CTA you add.

4. Google Authorship

An effective way for your search result to stand out is Google authorship, especially if our brand lies in a niche space. SERPs are filled with all sorts of results if you Google anything SEO-related. But if your business revolved around something not very tech-savvy, your business would be the only one in the search results. It is easy to implement Google Authorship.

5. Google Local

It can be extremely beneficial to optimize your website, business, and brand for local. Tools likeGetListed.org. even let you review the accuracy of your business listings. Google understands more about your business when you claim your business listings and fill out your profile completely. Businesses that have more citations from high-quality websites tend to rank higher.

6. Personalized Annotations

People tend to trust something especially when it comes from someone they know. Personalized annotations, therefore, display the people who have already +1′d a blog post or a webpage. The likelihood of these annotations showing up in search results can be increased by adding a +1 button as well as a Google+ badge on your page.

7. Google Reviews

Google reviews are another great way to increase your local search rankings. Asking for a Google review as a vital part of your process in an effort to get noticed on Google.

How to Get More Followers on Twitter

Firstly, it should never be the ultimate goal of any brand or business only to get more followers on Twitter. What is more important that sheer numbers is the quality of your followers. That being said, having a battalion of followers on Twitter who engage with you have been every brand and business’ dream. So what can one do to get more followers on Twitter?

Here are some tips and tricks everyone can use to get more followers on Twitter :

  • Guest Blog

    While many people view guest blogging as more of an SEO manoeuvre as it is known to be a super way to build backlinks, it can help you get more followers on Twitter. If your blog contain valuable, informative, engaging content, your readers will be hungry for more and will most likely end up following you on your brand’s social media profile. Your content will also be more likely to be shared on your users’ network, therefore raising awareness among a larger group of followers.

    Make it easy for your fans to locate you by adding media handles in your bio. This allows you to get the most out of your guest blogging initiative. While you must include both your LinkedIn profile and Twitter handle on your bio, a Twitter handle adds more appeal.

  • Host Webinars

    Webinars are a great way to get more followers on Twitter. Not only can you use Twitter to promote your webinar to your followers, you can also ask them to retweet your webinar in order to spread the word. This will lead to more people discovering you and a better turnout. Encouraging your attendees live tweet while your event is on will increase your reach and engagement, which will eventually lead to you being exposed to a wider audience.

  • Speak at a Conference

    When you speak at a conference, you can turn an offline tactic into an online success. The people that attend your conference are the same people you would want following you on Twitter. You can make it easy for them to follow you by including your Twitter handle in your bio as well as in your presentation, on each slide. You can also ask your audience to live tweet your presentation which will increase your reach and help you build relationships.

  • @Reply

    @Reply is a great way to increase your followers on Twitter. When you reply to someone’s tweet, it takes the form of something more ‘personal’ and helps you stand out among the din on Twitter. But be sure that your reply is engaging enough to spark a social conversation. Instead of just making a statement, why not ask a question to perpetuate the conversation. Adding value to a conversation will lead to a response, and maybe even a follow. The reciprocal engagement that is sure to take place is more important than the single follow as it will increase your reach and followers on Twitter.

Arm Yourself With High-Quality Content In Five Simple Steps

Creating original, engaging, relevant and creative content is vital to hook your target audience. Your business needs to offer something to your audience that they find hard to resist and of much value. Your content should leave your target audience with an urge to interact with it, like it, share it, and tweet about it. Businesses must move into content marketing by using their articles, blog posts, and videos to enamor and hook audiences in an effort to drive more traffic and increase leads.

Here are five simple steps to arm yourself with engaging, contagious and compelling content that will make your audience sit up and take notice of you :

1. Get to know your audience well

Before you start devising content, you need to understand the consumer to whom it is targeted. It is important to know what makes your consumer ticks. Different kinds of people find different types of creative content appealing. Be sure that you know exactly who you are targeting in order to tailor-make your content to appeal to them from the word – go. Make sure all your content is edited so that no spelling mistakes or bad grammar taints your content and leads to your brand losing its credibility or its audience.

2. Make sure your content is compelling

While you are producing your creative content, avoid big blocks of content like the plague. People will view this as too text-heavy and will only skim the surface of the content in question. Worse still, they might even end up losing interest after the first few sentences. One way to avoid this is to keep using a lot of images to break the clutter of too much text. A great way to do this is to use five or six paragraphs of text per page which is appropriately interspersed with high-quality images.

3. Mix your media up

Creative content does not only refer to things that are textual in nature. High-quality content may also include videos, slideshows, playlists, photos, recipes and so much more that connects to your user and keeps them engaged across an assortment of formats.

4. Present your consumer with much more

If your creative content seems compelling enough, your target audience will be hungry for more. When you offer them the option to ‘read more’ or ‘sign up’ for more, share your content with others, or even give you feedback, you are taking your interaction to the next level.

5. Try not to pitch but present value not a instead

Some of the most creative content focuses on entertaining, educating and providing value to a consumer instead of hard-selling a product or service. User can see right through pointless content that has no value has been created only to boost SEO numbers. Instead of pitching your brand to them, why not identify how your audience can benefit from it and how you can captivate them.

Social Media Marketing Tools That Are Your Windows to the World

Social media fever is one the rise and there is no apparent cure in sight. As statistics show, there are more than 1.06 billion monthly active Facebook users, 200 million LinkedIn users and 200 million active Twitter users today. Social media management tools are a cost-efficient and timely way to promote a business. But a lot of small businesses are still turning a blind eye towards the potential of social media marketing. Thankfully, with the varied array of social media management tools in the market, that may on well on its way to changing.

1. Rankur

Rankur is a brand protection and online reputation management tool that offer reporting and online media monitoring with the use of a web crawler to identify conversations about your business that are taking place. There is a basic free package that one can use or a paid package with additional features such as monitoring of online reviews and reputation alerts.

2. HootSuite

HootSuite is a tool that is very popular among social media professionals and can track business mentions, manage multiple social networks, analyze traffic, as well as schedule messages. There is a free plan with which you can manage up to 5 profiles which includes services such as basic reports, message scheduling, and team collaboration. The paid packages offer additional features like Google analytics integration, unlimited profiles, unlimited RSS feed and more.

3. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a social media management tool that keep track of social media statistics as well as what your customers are saying by providing engagement and publishing tools. With Sprout, it is easy to send messages by scheduling and managing Instagrams, and LinkedIn notices, your business Tweets, and Facebook postings. Sprout Social is one of those providing publishing and engagement tools while keeping track of what customers are saying as well as social media stats.

4. Local Measure

Local Measure is a newly launched social media management tool that merges special media, local content, and mobile technology to provide an insight into real-time conversations that are taking place. This mobile app works by searching through social sites for things that might be interesting to potential consumers. Local Measure is said to be the very first geo-based social media management tool that has been created to allow small businesses to comprehend the real-time conversations consumers are having across social networks.

5. VerticalResponse

VerticalResponse integrates email into social media campaigns to offer a brilliant social media management tool. It has been designed mainly so that small businesses may include suggestions for content. Some small business owners may be intimidated by trying to find compelling, relevant information for their consumers. That is where VerticalResponse comes in. This application allows multi-week campaigns as well as single posts, which can be scheduled up to 30 days in advance. It is an economical choice for businesses everywhere.

What Makes a Post Go Viral?

The objective of any online marketing campaign is to ‘go viral’ and be passed on from consumer to prospective consumer. Viral content is a great way to spread the word about customer-focused, innovative brands the world over. While it is difficult to predict what content will go viral, there are certain features and parameters that every type of viral content follows. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can adapt the exact methodology to ensure your post goes viral, far from it actually. While all viral content does seem to have common facets, it is up to your brand or business to ensure that your content incorporates them. Ask yourself these questions.

Does your content address real-world problems?

Your viral content must have a real-world connect with users. It needs to be something they identify with. Cat hair on the furniture, missing socks, shopping for groceries, these are all issues almost all of us can relate to at a basic human level. The more relatable your content is to your user and how you depict these issues is what denotes whether or not you have managed to appease your audience.

Do you content make users ‘feel’ something?

It is critical to elicit emotion in your user. Studies have shown that content inducing emotions such as anger, awe, or anxiety are shared more often than others. Anger is said to be the most ‘viral’ emotion of them all. Having said that many brands try and stay away from eliciting anger in potential customers, so awe is a pretty safe second option.

Is your content worth a chuckle?

Most viral posts are shared a lot when they make people laugh. While many big brands don’t like to laugh at themselves or find it politically incorrect to laugh at other, the truth is that most unbranded content that may be offensive to some is eventually what gets shared the most.

Are you delivering your content appropriately and on time?

When and how you deliver your content are two vital factors in how viral it will be. These are also factors that are often ignored in the larger scheme of things. Find days of the week when your content will be in demand the most. It is also important to deliver your content in a manner that has the most impact on consumers and your brand and allows it to be shared with as less effort as possible. Most often, content is released via social media platforms such as YouTube, Pinterest and Facebook. Almost all the time, this content is visual in nature like video, images etc. which engages users more and heightens its ‘shareability’.

Does your content have the element of surprise?

A brand that is the very first to adopt a novel idea is often the one that will reap the majority of its benefits when the attention is focussed on them. Even though a second brand adopts that same strategy in a better, more engaging manner, it will still lose out to the first as it lacks the element of surprise. Therefore, try to find novel, original ideas to instill in your content, and more importantly, be original.

Infecting Consumers with Contagious Content in 6 Easy Steps

Coming up with creative content that is original, relevant and engaging can be a challenging affair. Not only does it need to appeal to your user base, it has to be irresistible to them. They should be left with no other option than to share it, like it, post it on their walls, retweet it and more. It is vital to go viral, and going viral means producing creative content that is contagious in nature.

Here are 6 elementary ways to create compelling, contagious content

1. Social Currency

Social currency refers to how your peers feel about a particular topic, idea, or brand. It is a direct intuitive look into the popularity of a business. People have conversations about things that make them look smarter and most informed. Basically, everyone likes to show off. Why not give your consumers something valuable to talk about which not only makes them look good, but you look good as well. As soon as they start to feel special and look good to their peers, they will start to share the creative content that had that effect on them. Game over.

2. Triggers

When we refer to triggers, we mean associating your product or idea to common occurrences in the daily lives of your consumer so your recall value is high. Triggers are known to impact human behaviour trends quite significantly. They shape what we talk about, the choices we make, as well as the brands we interact with. When you link your business or brand to prevalent triggers, you can lead to the success of your own initiatives.

3. Emotion

Before evoking emotion in your consumer, you need to first arouse them. There are certain emotions that may activate us while others leave us indifferent. Anger, humour and awe are some of the most common emotive arousals that have prompted people to share content.

4. Public

The use of colours, design elements, and logos leads to a product becoming more public and subsequently increases its visibility and brand recall. This results in product adoption and discussion among your consumers. Steve Jobs noticed that the Macintosh Apple used to face the user in earlier designs but was upside down for everyone else. We obviously know how that story ended.

5. Practical Value

The truth is that most people are looking for useful information to share. The most pertinent and relevant a piece of content is, the more likely it is to be shared on social media. Beauty tips, fashion finds, travel articles – all of these things get shared because of the practical value attached to it.

6. Storytelling

The broader narrative that surrounds this idea, topic or brand
If a brand or product is part of a larger narrative, people will start to talk about it. We use stories to make sense of things in the absence of facts.

Five Steps to Use Content Marketing To Convert Users to Customers

Content marketing isn’t a revolutionary new product and the best practices for acquiring leads haven’t really changed since the last few years. But its tactics have definitely been updated.

Here are some tactics that tech companies are using to use content marketing to convert users into customers

Step One: Blog to your heart’s content

Blogging place in the lead generation process has changed over the years. Blogging at the correct pace of quality information and blog posts is where your conversion happens. Blogs bring new visitors to your website, it disseminates information, it answers questions, and it educated users until they are ready to engage with your business.

Step Two: Explore the potential of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the hot, new way for buyers and prospects to get to know you. With a reach, an active user base of 200,000 million business people, including 5.5 million technology managers, and 2 million C-level executives, LinkedIn is a veritable goldmine waiting to be tapped into by IT marketers. Using social media for lead generation may be a new concept, but it is very likely that it will take the world by storm any day now. And it is evolving almost every single day.

Step Three: Use hooks, lures, and baits to collect contact information of potential consumers

Step 1 told you how to establish a foundation with users by offering them relevant, engaging content in the form of blogs. Step 2 informed you about the power of LinkedIn in connecting with prospective users and spreading awareness. Now that you have all these connections, it’s time to turn them into leads. To do that, you must take your relationship with them to another level by getting them to commit to you. That commitment refers to providing some basic information about themselves. One of the best ways to gather this information is to offer something free and valuable that they will want to avail of in return for the information you seek. Create a great giveaway or enhance an old one, design a landing page that promotes the giveaway, capture the information you seek, and use your blog or LinkedIn to drive people here.

Step Four: Manage your prospects

Over time, you will find that people will be more willing to have a conversation that could turn them into a potential customer. Successfully managing your prospects is a critical step in generating leads and is where your content shines through. While reports and white papers may still do the trick, and can offer specific solutions. Demos, case studies, free trials, videos, webinars, product sheets, are all things that work very well in managing your prospects.

Step Five: It’s sales time!

Now that you have cleverly hooked your prospect and built a relationship with them, it’s time for the sales team to take over.

Enjoy Better SEO with Simple Websites

Creating a website is a lot of fun and it is pretty easy to get carried away with ideas, content, applications, animations, forms, videos and all that awesome stuff. When it comes to customizing your site, there are too many options to mention, but the truth is that the simpler your digital presence the more SEO benefits it will have.

Why simpler websites have an edge

A simple website speaks to your user unlike anything else. An overpowering, cluttered website with too much going on may confuse or scare your consumer away. While conceptually, fancy video-based sites may be great, simple websites really have that much-needed edge, especially where SEO is concerned.

Why Simple Websites Have Better SEO Benefits

When your website is simple with no frills, there is just less to concern yourself with. You can then focus all your attention on SEO efforts and best practices to make things happen for your website. It is a fact that Google finds it simpler on a large scale, to crawl simpler websites. This makes it more SEO friendly. There are two main reasons that SEO prefers simple, plain Jane websites to their more the complicated counterparts. These are:

1. Google is a little behind on stuff

While it may be shocking or impossible to imagine Search Giant Google to be behind on anything other than maybe Justin Bieber’s new haircut, the truth is that Google is like a slightly tipsy dad on the dance floor of a wedding reception who is trying to fit in, but doesn’t know the latest moves. As it stands today, Google isn’t really up to date with all the latest design and display technology. Its ability to comprehend and then crawl through all these new things isn’t as quick as the rate at which technology is developing.

2. Google’s view of big brands

Google may make changes due to the fact that big brands are not earning rankings based on their popularity or because they are trying to figure a way around the system. When Google adjusts its algorithm, it is up to individual webmasters and developers to adapt to it. Case in point is Apple. Apple is one of the largest, most popular brands in the world. Today, it has a really good visibility on Google. But before all of this was true, Google was having a tough time crawling Apple’s website. This led to direct links to apps missing from Google SERPs. This move generated a lot of angst, especially among Apple executives. The issue has since then been fixed and all is well with the world again. However, it has sparked the ongoing debate of simple vs. complicated websites.

Designing a simple website doesn’t mean having to give up on fonts, colours, or graphics. Try not to take too many risks when it comes to the pages that are responsible for converting users to customers. You can use your creative judgment on your other pages.

Create Addictive Website Content with 5 Free Resources

Producing compelling creative content plays a very important part in appealing to your user base, keeping them hooked and building a lasting relationship with them. In order to create this content, you need resources like music, pictures, sound themes and more. It seems like there are only two choices for content creators, free but bad quality resources and expensive but high quality ones. But there are a few resources that you can tap into to get high quality, relevant content that is free from copyright issues of any kind.

1. WordPress Themes

The free themes of WordPress are a great help for someone who has minimal coding or designing know-how. There are tons of responsive designs to choose from which are even customizable to a certain level. These themes span a variety of styles and you are sure to find one that fits your tastes and the image of your business.

2. Pixlr

Pixlr is a free, browser-based photo editor that you can use to fix images that you have procured and would like to use. It is much more effective than image editing programs like Macintosh Preview or Microsoft Paint. Pixlr can be used to lighten, darken, tint, and crop images. You can also add layers, text, effects, borders, stickers and even touch up blemishes and correct red-eye. There are 3 versions of Pixlr in the market which varies based on difficulty level and control over edits and effects. Many have likened Pixlr to Photoshop, except it is a free version of an otherwise costly application.

3. Free Music Archive

With Free Music Archive, you can search by instrument, artist, genre, style, and music to find the right soundtrack for your promotional video or video blog. This application is very similar to Freesound, but it deals with arranged and composed music as opposed to sound effects.

4. Freesound.com

Freesound is a massive library of sounds effects and that you can use in a video blog, a company podcast or a promotional video. Sometimes it is a bit time-consuming to sift through. You need to register to use this application as well as to share sounds yourself. You can find a wide array of everyday sounds as well as professional and commercial sounds like musical compositions and more.

5. Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a blessing in disguise for creative content creators and bloggers who want to intersperse their text-heavy offerings with appropriate images. This free application is free to use copyright free. It can also be tweaked or edited to match your communication. All you need to ensure that the image you choose is copyright free is to check the two boxes underneath the search bar when you are looking for images. Some polite bloggers add a credit to the image at the end of their blog post.