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SOCIAL Media - the Clue's in the Title

 

Recently I gained a new follower on Twitter so I checked it out (which I try to do for all new followers). I realised they were a marketing company boasting social media management for other companies. ‘Excellent’ I thought; ‘Let’s check them out and see what they're all about...’ oh dear. All automated, link after link, and no interaction at all! Well maybe this isn't how they use Twitter for their customers (or at least I hope not) but wouldn't you want your own Twitter to reflect your good use of it? I would!

 

The whole ideal of social media seems to have been lost on these 'so called' social media experts and companies. The word 'social' means just that. Letting people meet the personalities behind the flashy website and promise of wonderful marketing is the whole idea. People buy from people, not always from your online promises or superb web designs.

 

Don't get me wrong, I do auto-tweet some of my links for @WarwickTweetup, but a 100% auto feed of tweets? Erm… where's the social in that? The whole idea of Twitter is that it's interactive and conversational. I've achieved way more through conversations that led to other subjects than any other use of Twitter. Replying to questions can show your expertise in your chosen field and still help you get good SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). For instance, when I'm asked a question on Twitter I will try to respond with a link to our website if it answers their question well; like killing two Twitter birds with one stone!

 

I can see why these companies set up a robot feed of links. Posting links on Twitter is great for your SEO, and links from it are not only good for website profile building because it's so big, but also Google is now giving ‘social’ far greater clout in ranking, mainly because it's so fresh and relevant. Here's the trick though - do both!

 

Here's what we recommend you do to achieve a great blend of both these uses of Twitter.

 

1)   Use Tweetdeck, Hootsuite or other auto-posting platforms to share your news, links, offers and events with links to your website to read more about it.

 

2)   Use yourself for your time on Twitter to talk, share, refer and chat. This way you tick all the boxes. Always respond to auto posts though, because if you don't then you may miss a great connection or sale, and you also then slip into the trap of becoming that auto-posting Twitter robot that no one likes.

 

Imagine if you asked someone in a shop a question about their product and they ignored you? The same applies on social media.

 

So why is interaction as important for improving your profile on search engines as posting links to your site?

 

Of course getting people to click on your website is very important too, but Google are now focusing on @mentions and indeed any mentions of your company online, so lots of interaction is just as important. The more you're mentioned online (on and off Twitter) the more Google sees your brand or company, enabling your profile to grow. Google is ranking social interaction very highly, and although we are talking quite a lot of mentions to make any difference, you can potentially increase your ranking with a strong social media campaign. It is of course a little more complicated than just living on Twitter and being loved by all, and Google (like other search engines) changes the way they track and score your website constantly, but you get the idea.

 

I want a human not an autobot.Todd tweeting

 

Regular readers of this blog will know I'm passionate about the human interaction on Twitter and that I'm not a big fan of automation. Obviously time and lack of it will lead people to auto-post or even pay companies like my recent follower to do it for them.

 

My advice? Find a system that works for you - but make sure it's a true representation of you, your brand, or your company. If you're a quirky and unique company or person then your tweets should be. If you're a serious brand in a serious industry then this wouldn't work as well, so always make sure you know the style and direction of your campaign if you have outsourced it to someone else. You can set up a feed of automated links and news, but tweet and add conversation around it. This leaves you free to chat, which is great fun as well as brilliant for building a focused and targeted audience of followers, who will in turn become great ambassadors of you, your brand or company.

 

Social media isn't going away and it's becoming increasingly more obvious that companies simply must harness its power. If Google is regarding it as a good profile building tool then who are we to argue? But just ticking the Twitter box so you can say 'we're on Twitter' isn't enough. If it was, it wouldn't be so powerful would it?

 

Don't just tick the box, think outside it too! Be different, be interesting, be someone you would want to follow and see in your timeline. Always ask yourself:

 

"Would I follow me?"

 

Thanks for reading, and if you do need help with your Twitter or social media campaign just contact us. We have the passion and skills to help you achieve it yourself or even look after it properly for you!

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My name is Graham Todd and I’ve been immersed in social media for almost three years. I train, blog and manage social media for business.

Find me on Google+

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