|In this week's issue:
The Popular-Effect - The Key to Sharing
Flashback to high school: everyone wanted to be popular and what was “trendy” was what everyone else was doing. Sound like something else you know?
Social media is a lot like high school – everyone wants to be a part of the “in” crowd and included in what’s trending. Peer pressure is important. Luckily—at least, for those of us who never succeeded at popularity in high school—there is a whole world of tools and tactics you can utilize to ensure your brand’s content is shared.
To start, an easy (but often overlooked) way to encourage sharing on your blog content is to embed a “Tweet This” or Facebook “Share” button into each blog post that also displays the number of times the post is shared. Every major blogging platform (Wordpress, Blogger, Typepad, Tumblr, etc.) has some version of this, enabling user to embedding the code into posts. Or, visit the Twitter blog to get more information on the Twitter button and grab the code there.
Visualize the conversation
Social media conversation visualizers like Monitter are an easy way to keep an eye on social media chatter about topics that are important to you or your brand. Monitter allows users to search up to three terms simultaneously and see the tweets come in real-time—the same as if you were to set up a search in TweetDeck, for example. Other conversation visualizers like Twitter StreamGraph take a design-oriented approach to showing Twitter chatter over a period of time (similar to an infographic, which we discussed a few weeks ago). It also highlights key terms that appear in most tweets relevant to your search term.
Once you know what types of conversations you’re looking for, you can use these conversations to your brand’s advantage. For example, MTV created a customized “Twitter tracker” during the VMAs to capture all of the tweets about the show, rank the trending topics, and keep track of the most active time periods during the evening. MTV shared this with viewers through an external website, which increased popularity and chatter even more.
Of course, not every company has the resources to go as big as MTV did with its shareable Twitter tracker – but there are still a number of ways to use the knowledge you’ve gleaned from your conversation visualization:
Watch for heavily-used keywords and make sure you’re using the most popular ones in your content.
Participate in blog conversations going on relevant to your topic and link back to your content.
Incorporate relevant, common hashtags into your tweets to make the content easily searchable and categorized.
Sharing is caring
Making it easy for users to share your content is the key to getting your news featured on aggregator or community sites like Digg, Delicious and techmeme. Bloggers and brands have seen hits spike more than 400,000 in a 24-hour period, just by being featured on this site. Users of these sharing platforms are dedicated and enjoy paroling the Web for the day’s most interesting news—all the more reason to make sure the content you’re putting out there is seen! Each of these sites also has a share button much like the “Tweet This” and Facebook “Share” buttons that can also be embedded into Web content.
Alright, it’s time to get to sharing on behalf of your brand!
Back in April we covered the New York installation of the travelling Twitter show, the 140 Character Conference. Since then, Jeff Pulver continued to spread the word about real-time web as a life source not just another technology tool. Pulver outdid himself, once again, at the Boston event on September 14 - bringing the who’s who of social media from the US together with some seasoned Boston favorites like brand guru, Chris Brogan, Boston.com editor, Dave Beard, and daddy blogger, C.C. Chapman.
On Hypertext: Highlights from 140 Characters Conference Boston
Text 100’s Kim Karelis attended the event and provides insight, key takeaways and summaries of some of her favorite presentations here.
Tool Time: Pictr This
When you joined Twitter, did you spend a good 20 minutes trying to crop a decent photo for your profile avatar? Or what about when you started blogging - did you spend more time trying to salvage your logo’s resolution than you did writing your first post? Well, a solution that’ll save you time is here.
mypictr is a free picture resizing service, which allows you to easily create a custom profile avatar for LinkedIn, Skype, YouTube, etc. The best part is that you don’t need to install any programs, plug-ins or software. Users can simply upload a picture of choice, resize it online and download it from the mypictr server.By using mypictr, you can avoid the hassle of manually trying to crop a new profile picture to a specific width and height every time you join a new social network. mypictr even provides a drop-down list of social networks and automatically fills in the size that the picture will need to be for that site. Your brand should always have a professional and correctly sized photo for their social network sites. There’s nothing worse than a stretched out picture or logo as the first thing you see when visiting a brand’s Facebook page.
So next time you need to upload a photo any social network profile, skip purchasing expensive photo software or trying to crop the photos yourself and use the simple and free mypcitr.