Tuesday, January 27, 2009

5 Tips To Optimize Your Twitter Bio

I really think that people overlook the importance of their Twitter bio. There is real opportunity to leverage the information within your bio to gain additional followers. I have provided my top five tips to optimize your Twitter bio.

1. Provide a descriptive one line bio. What I like to do is to look at some of my followers and see who they are following. When in the followers list you can hover over the user name and a pop up will come up with that particular user's bio. If your bio is not filled out or is not very descriptive, you maybe missing out on potential followers. You have 160 characters, use them all.

2. Add a profile picture. If your Twitter account is not being used for corporate branding, add a picture of yourself. One Twit recently stated that when he asked his followers why they followed him, they came back and said it was because of his smiling profile picture. People want to connect with people and not avatars. The worst thing you can do is to not add a profile picture.

3. Use your real name. This is really important on two fronts. One is for reputation management, especially if your name IS your brand. Also if you are representing a brand, having a name behind the brand will allow people to connect with the company on a more personal level.

4. Fill out your location. Just do not put "Amongst the strawberry fields". There are plenty of opportunities to connect with other local Twits for possible offline networking.

5. Place the URL to your current blog, personal site or business. If you do not currently have any one of those, then link to one of your other social network profiles (i.e. LinkedIn). This will allow people to find out more about you, your business, or your interests.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Twestival - Tweetup For A Good Cause

Twestival is an organized event that will be held in over 100 cities around the world on February 12, 2009 to help raise money and awareness for charity:water. charity:water is an organization that is trying to provide clean drinking water to schools in developing nations. Twestival was conceived in September to bring together local Twitter communities, enjoy entertainment, and have a few drinks while raising money for this cause. They are still looking for additional host cities so visit their site to learn more about this worth while event.

Twit or Not - Choose Your Friends Most Boring Tweets

Twit or Not is a take off of the popular Hot or Not application. Twit or Not allows "you to choose which of your friends tweets are the most boring, resulting in a real-time chart of the most boring users on Twitter". The site provides a list of the top 100 most boring Twits. Some of the notable at the time of this post are @timoreilly #16, @mashable #26, @twitter #45, @mrtweet #57, and @twitterific #96. It doesn't look too hard to get on this list. The top "boring Twit" only has 24 points and it drops off pretty quickly after that.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Twitter Stats by Hitwise

Hitwise released a new report, Twitter Catches Up To Digg. The report states that Twitter has surpassed Digg in market share of visits for the first time. Here are some other interesting stats on Twitter:

Age of visitors to Twitter (2009)
  • Age 18-24 7.39%
  • Age 25-34 44.64%
  • Age 35-44 14.04%
  • Age 45-54 13.90%
  • Age 55+ 20.03%

Top 5 website referrals

  1. Google - 9.23%
  2. Facebook - 8.82%
  3. MySpace - 7.56%
  4. Gmail - 6.24%
  5. Yahoo Mail - 6.05%

The report notes that there is a significant amount of traffic coming from Twitter Apps that are not measured in this report. You can read my previous post about the impact of Twitter Apps on your Analytics.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

CurseBird - Real Time Swearing on Twitter

Want to know which curse word is the most used on Twitter in the last seven days? Well CurseBird has your answer. CurseBird provides the top ten curse words being used on Twitter. You can also see the Twitter stream of the latest curse words people are using in their Tweets. I scored "Lame of 100" where I had zero swears. You can see my cursebird score .

TwitterFriends - Twitter Statistics Tool

Are you a stats freak? TwitterFriends takes statistical analysis to Twitter. I really like the Statistics section of the site. It provides some insightful information on your Twitter behavior and your network's behavior.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tracking Your Traffic From Twitter

While reading a blog post this weekend on tracking referral data from Twitter I came across a fascinating and eye opening stat about Twitter. The post pointed me to @TweetStats, a third-party site that provides stats on the top ten Twitter Apps. In their data they show that 50% of traffic comes from Twitter Apps. Some have even said that upwards of 80% of traffic comes from Twitter Apps.

The thing to note is that you may be receiving more traffic from Twitter then you realize. Since any traffic coming from a Twitter App will be shown as direct traffic in your analytics program. If you are using Google Analytics, you can overcome this by adding tracking parameters to your URL strings.

Friday, January 16, 2009

New URL Expand Feature in Twitter

Just noticed that it has been awhile since I last posted. Been really busy launching our new corporate site. Anyways, today I was doing some research for one of my clients by using search.twitter.com. I just notice that there is a new "expand" link next to all of the URLs within the search results. When you hit "expand" it allows you to see the full destination URL (up to a certain number of characters). Not sure when this feature will reach the Twitter account pages.

Friday, January 09, 2009

TwitterHat - Alternative Twitter Advertising

Have you been trying to figure out how to advertise on Twitter or make a few bucks off of Twitter ads? Well TwitterHat provides an alternative advertising avenue for the Twitter user. In short, TwitterHat is a short URL service. The twist is that they overlay the landing page with an advertising banner across it. You can see an example here.

TwitterHat allows bloggers to join their advertising network for a flat monthly fee. They will provide impressions and click data in their monthly service. There are no fees posted, but I imagine that there is a low entry cost. Probably worth testing out.

For the Twitter user, you can earn reward points for sending people to one of your Twittered links. As a Twitter users you will not become rich overnight. It takes 1000 visits to get a $10 gift card.

Twibs - Twitter Business Directory

Twibs is a directory of businesses on Twitter. It is a fairly new site with only 1,200 businesses listed on it. Currently the business directory allows you to search alphabetically or by category tags. It looks as if the directory is categorizing each business via keywords in the bio. It is simple to get added to the Twibs business directory, just send them a status update. The directory listing will also provide a DoFollow back link to your twitter profile.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

How To Value a Twitter Account

Are you considering selling your Twitter account? Well I have not seen one on eBay just yet. But an interesting question was posed by @BrentCsutoras, an Internet Marketing consultant. He asked, "If you could... What would you pay for a Top 100 Twitter account with over 14,000 followers?".

This posed an interesting dilemma. There has not been any precedence set on this that I am aware of. I know a while back someone sold the rights to advertise on their Twitter background on eBay.

How should one determine the value of a Twitter account? Using Twitterholic as your gauge as to whether or not the account is deemed "authoritative" could be a good start. But I see flaws in Twitterholic, no offense to @gavin and @alexrudoff. Take the number one spot for example, @barackobama. Now Barack has over 165K followers and he is following 170K, but has not posted a Tweet in over 60 days. Should we still consider Barack an active influential user of Twitter?

Should we just go by the shear number of Followers? Probably not. I think that the ratio of Followers to Following should be a benchmark. You would even have to weigh the Followers as well. Somewhat similar to authoritative back links. Some Followers have more credibility then others.

Should the number of ReTweets a person receives be a factor as well. Retweetrank and Most ReTweeted could be incorporated into the mix.

Finally, is there really a market for reselling your Twitter account? What are your thoughts?

Tweetbacks - Trackbacks from Twitter

@danzarrella, a self-proclaimed viral and social marketing scientist, created a new Wordpress plugin called Tweetbacks. Tweetbacks acts in the same way as a traditional trackback, but just displays the Tweets about a specific blog post. The code is pretty lightweight and easy to install (one line of JavaScript). You can see Tweetbacks in action on his site. Dan has some other cool free tools on his blog, so definitely go there and poke around.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Retweetrank - See How Many Times You Have Been Retweeted

Retweetrank allows you to find who is producing the most interesting content that is being retweeted on Twitter. Retweetrank provides a list of the top 50 Twitter accounts that are being retweeted. This site also allows you to search on your own Twitter user name to see who is retweeting your content. Retweetrank rankings are based on the number of retweets (including RT of RT), but there is no given time frame provide.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Top Domains Used on Twitter

Interesting post over on the Cligs blog, Analysis of Linking Patterns on Twitter. Cligs, an URL shortening service, performed some analysis on the top domains used on Twitter by analyzing over 10.2 million tweets that contained over 2 million links. They provide a breakdown of the Top 50 domains as well as the top URL shorteners used on Twitter.

You also might want to read the nice write up, The Only 3 URL Shortening Services You Should Consider Using, on WebChicklets.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Twitter Phishing Scam Alert

There is a current phishing scam going on targeting Twitter users. Be aware of direct messages or direct message email notifications with links to the redirected URL. Read more on the official Twitter blog about it and what happens if you have been duped and are now locked out of your Twitter account.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Twitter Cookbook

Mike Tremoulet (@coffeemike) had an idea to create a cookbook based on contributions from fellow Twitters. As an aspiring chef, he noticed that his friends were talking about upcoming holiday feasts and wanted to see just what they were all going to eat. Based on this he asked his followers to send him recipes. Within ten days Mike had created The Twitter Cookbook (PDF). Another interesting use for Twitter. 

You may also want o check out http://twitter.com/cookbook. Recipes given in 140 characters or less that serves three to four people. 

Twoogie - For True Doogie Howser Fans

Came across this fun site called Twoogie. Now if you are a fan of Doogie Howser, MD then this site is a must visit. The creators emulate Doogie Howser's IBM PS/2, the computer where he typed in his journal entries on the show. Basically it allows you to type your 140 character message on the IBM PS/2, just like Doogie did, and post it to Twitter.  Nothing else to the site.