Twitter & Stupid Internet Marketing Gurus

November 10, 2008


Twitter & Stupid Internet Marketing Gurus is a guest article by Tim Brownson. Tim is a professional life coach and you can find him at: A Daring Adventure Life Coaching.

Twitter is a great tool for growing your business. All you have to do is build up a large enough network of people following you, spread your word and sit back and wait for the cash to roll in. It’s a simple tactic and one that just can’t fail, or can it?

I don’t have as many people following me as some of the more hardcore Twitter users and there are several reasons.

I don’t automatically follow people that follow me. If you have a coffee shop in Belarus and like to chat about knitting and wrestling, it’s doubtful I’ll reciprocate. It’s not a judgment call on you as a person, I’m sure you’re lovely; it’s simply that my knit one purl one and half nelson days are long gone.

I tend to unfollow people if every post is a link and they seem incapable or unwilling to get involved in any discourse. I have enough links to follow thanks very much and any more is likely to further fry my frazzled brain.

I’m not famous and people love to follow famous people, even if they are only famous within the relative narrow confines of the blogosphere. Having said that, I do have an insatiable appetite for fame. I read about fame, yearn to be famous and realize that without fame my life is a meaningless travesty. I have one goal in life and that is to be more famous and better known than the Pope. It’s a tall order admittedly, but one I am quietly confident in achieving it by the end of next month.

To help me with my lofty goal I decided that enlisting the help of somebody that actually knows what they’re talking about when it comes to marketing would be a wise idea.

I trawled the web looking for small niche companies that specialized in online marketing and specifically social networking. Alas, it was all to no avail; I was simply overwhelmed as there were over 196 million such companies in Florida alone.

Then I thought ’Why not bring the mountain to Mohammed rather than the other way round.”

At the time I had about 330 people following me on Twitter and I knew for a fact that at least 20 of those were in the marketing industry and some were undoubtedly gurus. If you’re going to aim high get yourself a guru that’s what I say. I knew I couldn’t fail with Twitter because Twitter is simply dripping with gurus. Admittedly they tend to be self-proclaimed gurus, but beggars can’t be choosers.

I Twittered my desire and requested people respond to me via DM. I was a little concerned that I was going to have to turn down some people, but hey if world domination (in a life coaching sense of course, I have no plans to invade small countries) is my desire, I’ll have to break a few hearts along the way.

I blocked out an hour to research my respondents and make a decision to get things rolling. It was an interesting hour spent checking my e-mail, checking my e-mail connection, checking my eyesight and watching my message slide ever further backwards.

On the upside I didn’t have any tough decisions to make because nobody replied to me, even when I posted a second time

Could it be that everybody on Twitter is so busy with work that they just can’t deal with any more? That certainly would explain it, but it does tend to fly in the face of the troubled economic times we currently live in. Recession, what recession?

You could be mistaken for thinking that this was an isolated instance and everybody was just busy that day. Not so. Previously I had asked for help with YouTube marketing three times and Facebook once and got the same response

I’m a strange fish in so much as when I go on Twitter I read the posts. I know, I know, call me old fashioned, but I like that kind of stuff. I love to chat to people and build up relationships, but I’m starting to wonder if I’m in the minority.

It seems to me that many Twitterers are so busy shouting at each other and posting links, they haven’t got time to take a look around and see what’s going on. They’re missing opportunities in their haste to tell people not to miss the opportunity they have to offer.

I’m not at all sure what the logical conclusion to this is, or even if there is a logical conclusion. My hunch is that Twitter may be a victim of it’s own success in the not too distant future. As more and more people dive in seeing it as a chance to sell their product or service, rather than an opportunity to connect. The net result will be that more noise will created and less can be heard.

This is A Guest Article By Tim Brownson of A Daring Adventure Life Coaching


Related Twitter Reading On This Site


Barrack Obama - A Leader In Twitter Use

Is Blogging Dead And Will Twitter Replace It?
Twitter, SU, Digg and EC. Are These Four Social Networking Sites A Waste Of Time?

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Are You Lost In Social Networking? Add Your Twitter Username Here


Related Twitter Reading On Other Sites

Why Write When You Can Twitter?
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Tweets About Well Known Businesses On Twitter

Virgin Atlantic on Twitter: Virgin Atlantic Lounge, Narky Gate Staff And More.
Microsoft On Twitter: Gates Sells Another $23 Million Microsoft shares etc.
Google On Twitter: Just added some of the Google Labs features to my GMail. Love those peeps at Google, genius.
Carnival Cruise Line On Twitter: Maybe I’m a snob but the concept of Carnival Cruise line’s Great Gig in the Sea, Pink Floyd-themed cruise just irritates the hell out of me.
Apple On Twitter: The sad thing is, we’ll have to take what Apple give us and we’ll probably like it.
American Airlines on Twitter: Thrilled that American Airlines destroyed my luggage.
Starbucks On Twitter: Starbucks is becoming the Costco of coffee shops.
Norwich Union on Twitter: Norwich Union admits £11 million error.
Zales On Twitter: Zales - Extra 30% Off Clearance, Prices Reduced up to 70%.
McDonalds On Twitter: Confused! See Brit chefs on TV touting great food they cook. In the UK the food is terrible! They even make McDonalds taste nasty.

Barrack Obama - A Leader In Twitter Use

November 7, 2008


Barrack Obama was a leader in Twitter use, in the run up to the Presidential Election. And the results from his use of Twitter should inspire all business owners to consider Twitter use as part of their marketing strategy.

Barrack Obama’s Election Victory Message On Twitter

A few hours after the election results were in, Barrack Obama posted the following message on Twitter:

“We just made history. All of this happened because you gave your time, talent and passion. All of this happened because of you. Thanks”

Use Twitter The Smart Way Like Obama

Barrack has an astonishing 119,800 followers and he is following 123,811 people. It’s interesting to note that the folk who seem to do have mastered Twitter use, are the ones who follow more people than they have following them.

It’s really a no brainer. Twitter is a two way communication tool. You don’t just want to send messages out to the world. That’s too much like the advertising that many of us have grown to loathe. You want to see what people are saying about you and your business on Twitter. And you need to know what interests them and what captures their attention, if you hope to use Twitter as a marketing tool.


Twitter Use Gives A More Accurate Idea Of What Real People Are Thinking

In the final run up to the Presidential elections, I used social media, including Twitter and blogs, to see what people were saying. My husband stuck to traditional media - watching TV and reading the UK newspapers. And while I gained the impression that Barrack Obama was well ahead, he was certain that it was going to be close, but McCain was more likely to win.

This makes a lot of sense. Newspapers tend to be politically biased anyway. And reporters generally take into account the opinions of a tiny fraction of the population, whereas social media, like Twitter represents hundreds of thousands of users.

Traditional media seems to recognise the importance of Twitter and other social media. At the end of one piece of UK TV coverage, following the election, the presenter advised viewers to go over to the BBC website, to see what bloggers and ordinary people were saying about the election results.

Should You Use Twitter?

If you run a business, you’re a freelancer, or you want to promote anything on the Internet, you’d be mad not to use Twitter. It’s free to join and you can control the amount you use it.

Learning to use Twitter can be overwhelming initially. But you can pick things up by watching how others use Twitter. Also, Darren Rowse has just launched a new Twitter Tips blog, which will provide advice for new and existing Twitter users.

You can follow me on Twitter here: Cath Lawson Twitter.


Related Reading On This Site


Are You Lost In Social Networking? Add Your Twitter, SU etc. User Details Here
How I Used The Law Of Attraction To Win Problogger’s Twitter Competition
Will We Still Be Using Twitter? Social Media Sites Of The Future
Twitter, SU, Digg, EC: Is The Use Of These Social Network Sites A Waste Of Time


Related Resources Elsewhere

The Greatest Viral Marketing Idea Of All Time
Join Twitter
Barrack Obama Twitter User Profile
How To Use Twitter - Video
Twitterfeed: Feed Your Blog To Twitter
Twitter Reports 631% Surge In UK Users In First Year: Telegraph Report
Twitter Tools: Wordpress Plugin
How To Make The Most Of Twitter: The Guardian
If You Can’t Let Go - Twitter, The New York Times

Are These 4 Social Network Sites A Waste Of Time?

October 27, 2008


Being active on social network sites is going to be essential to your business in the future - according to the experts. Trouble is, social networking is time consuming. So how are you supposed to know which social network sites are worth joining and which ones suck?

I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t yet fully immersed myself in social networks. But I’ve tested out 4 & here’s my take. Don’t expect glowing reviews. When I launched this blog, I didn’t promise to “write nice”.


Entrecard

I really wanted to like this social network site. But I wasn’t expecting too much, as a lot of folk who are members of other social network sites I use, aren’t using this one.

Pros of Entrecard: If you use a really good ad that stands out, this system will probably help you create brand awareness. Also, the people who run this social network site are really helpful. They accidentally banned me, but they had the problem sorted out in hours.

Cons of Entrecard: If your idea of fun is mindlessly clicking from site to site, to get the hundreds of points required to advertise on low traffic sites, you might like it. The traffic quality is terrible - most folk are just clicking from one site to the next. I didn’t get much traffic from it at all and the bounce rates were higher than I’d experienced with any social network.

Cath’s Opinion

I wanted to like it - but it sucked. If you’re prepared to spend all day clicking on ads and your blog is quite new, it might bring you a bit of traffic. And it might make your blog seem popular. But Internet traffic that doesn’t hang round isn’t worth having. I give this social network site 1 out of 5.


StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon was the first of these four social network sites I tried. And I found it complicated at first, but once I got the hang of it, it was great.

StumbleUpon Pros: I got to network with some really nice people, we shared lots of interesting articles and photo’s. And I found stuff I’d never have managed to find using Google Search.

Also, StumbleUpon drove a nice amount of traffic to this site. The bounce rates were the lowest out of these four networks and quite a few visitors returned.

StumbleUpon Cons: StumbleUpon ban folk for voicing their opinion. Please don’t email me to ask me why I was banned - I get dozens of emails on this topic. You can read about it here: Are You Sick Of These StumbleUpon Freaks? and here: Is StumbleUpon Going Down The Tubes?

Cath’s Opinion

Had I not been banned from this social network site, I would have given it a 4 out of 5. But I spent a long time making great contacts on there and bookmarking some amazing stuff. And when I was banned that disappeared. So I give StumbleUpon 3 out of 5 and I expect the quality of the site to decline further if they continue to allow blackhat spammers to moderate the site.

Hot StumbleUpon Tip: If you want to learn how to use StumbleUpon to your advantage and drive a heap of traffic to your website or blog, without getting banned, Caroline Middlebrook runs a great StumbleUpon Traffic course.


Digg

I’ve tried to get into Digg for some time and I’m still struggling. Ok, so I might be struggling because I really haven’t bothered devoting much time to it. But to be honest, if I have the choice between cleaning the bathroom and playing on Digg, the bathroom usually wins - even though I hate cleaning.

Pros:
There’s some interesting articles on Digg - there’s also a lot of garbage. But if you’re heavily involved in this social network site, you might find your articles on the front page often and get a huge amount of traffic. Apparently, Leo of Zen Habits has had a lot of success with Digg.

Cons: Digg traffic seems to have a higher bounce rate than StumbleUpon. And I also found I was getting a lot of shouts from folk who wanted me to Digg their stuff all the time.

Cath’s Opinion

I probably added a lot of the wrong types of Digg user to begin with. Eventually, I did add friends who consistently Digg high quality stuff and I would recommend this approach, if you’re joining Digg yourself.

It’s no fun, when the same people are asking you to Digg every single bit of crap they wrote on a daily basis. Who is going to take your recommendations seriously when you’re just Digging dirt?

Twitter

I’ve been a member of Twitter for quite a while. At first I just didn’t get it, so I didn’t use this social networking site much. But I’m beginning to get used to it now. I probably don’t spend enough time on there to really get involved though.

Pros: Quite good for networking. Instead of just telling folk about great things you’ve read, you actually get to talk to them about other stuff too.

Cons:
It’s kind of difficult to have a meaningful conversation with the 140 characters that Twitter allows. Also, like the other social networking sites, some people abuse the system. And time differences can make it difficult to connect with some people.

Also, sometimes when I log on, everyone is talking about politics. While I can understand why the Americans are concerned about which idiot will be running their country next - surely there’s only so much that can be said about two politicians.


Cath’s Opinion

I’m going to carry on using Twitter and see how it goes. I can see the potential and I like the way it’s not all about article and photo passing. But I wouldn’t want to spend hours on end using it. I would recommend installing Twhirl, if you want to use Twitter - it makes it a whole lot easier.

Michael Martine seems to use Twitter a lot and he recommend Twhirl to me. I would recommend adding him as a friend, as he always has something interesting to say. You’re welcome to add me too - I like meeting new people to chat to.

So far, I would give Twitter a 4 out of 5. But that rating would go down if folk start spamming it too much - especially if they start charging others to promote their crap.

Which social network sites have you tried so far? Were your experiences similar to mine? Or do you think I’ve been way too harsh on some of these sites?

Related Reading

What Is Social Networking? And Do You Really Need To Know?
Social Network Sites Of The Future
Online Networking: Do I Hide From People Like You?
Are You Lost In Social Networking?
Social Networks v Content: Who Is King?

Related Resources On Other Sites

FaceBook Fatigue: People Tire Of Social Networks

Social Network Sites More Popular Than Porn
Social Networking Tools
Social Network Sites Reveal Class Divide

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