Monthly Archives: May 2012

Should You Repeat Some Tweets? I Do. Here’s Why:

If there’s important and popular information that’s helpful to people on Twitter, generally I repeat it within a day or so…even though some people are annoyed by the repeating.

I don’t earn anything by repeating tweets, and 99% of what I repeat is not written by me or anyone I work with.

So I’m not doing it to promote myself, my friends, or to earn money.

What I’ve found is that important, popular information gets just as much readership (and retweets/favs) when it’s repeated as it does the first time it’s sent out. Even if it’s repeated as much as three times (which I almost never do, but occasionally I will repeat something twice.)

Repeats Double, Triple or Quadruple Readership And Retweets/Favs

The statistics don’t lie: most people appreciate the repeats. If I send a really important and popular tweet out three times, it gets three times as much readership. That’s why many top users, such as Guy Kawasaki, repeat their tweets four times. That’s too much for me though. It seems to push the annoyance factor too far for the average user, even though stats show that each repeat gets as much activity as the previous ones when you send them out at different times.

I repeat tweets because it helps people, and people appreciate the information.

Why should I keep that information from people who obviously want it, and tweet something less important instead?

Instead, I choose to get the important information out to as many people as I can. I do this even though some people unfollow us because we repeat tweets.

However, as a courtesy to people, I label most repeats with a “r/t” (without the quotes) so you can avoid clicking on repeats. I started doing this years ago, because people were annoyed when they would click on a tweet they had already seen.

Also, some people asked me for the fastest way to go though our tweets and see only the most important ones. Just pull up our twitter feed and do a search (Ctrl-F) on the page for “r/t” (without the quotes).

Too Much Repeating, Or Just Enough?

So if some repeating is okay, the next question is, do I repeat too many tweets?

This is a harder question to answer. I would say that I probably do repeat too many, in that we would have quite a few more followers if we repeated less (or hid them and tried to make it less obvious).

But I would rather get important, useful information out to people that want it than worry about losing a few followers here or there.

Should you repeat your tweets?

Most people do repeat tweets about their business or things they themselves have written. Generally, my first repeat is 12 hours from the initial tweet: I want it as far as possible from reaching the same readership.

If the information is not particularly current or urgent however, I may wait a few days, while still keeping it at the opposite time of day from the initial tweet.

I also repeat really useful tweets about 6-9 months after the first tweet, if the information is still current and relevant.

How about you? Do you repeat your tweets? What do you think about people that do?

Lots of Changes At Twitter In May

Twitter’s made a bunch of changes recently. Here’s their latest update on what’s happening:

New things are always happening here at Twitter HQ. We’re growing at a rapid pace, and our commitment to simplicity, transparency, and reaching every person on the planet continues. We thought you might be interested in knowing about some of our most recent developments:
  • new weekly email that delivers the most interesting news and items you might have missed from the people you’re connected to on Twitter.
  • Now Twitter is in more languages than ever. Check for your preferred language and change your setting.
  • Download the latest Twitter mobile apps at twitter.com/download.
  • There’s more to Discover on Twitter.com – try out the new Discover tab.
In addition, we’ve made a number of updates to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
Here are some of the main changes to our Privacy Policy, with links for more information:
  • We’ve provided more details about the information we collect and how we use it to deliver our services and to improve Twitter. One example: our new tailored suggestions feature, which is based on your recent visits to websites that integrate Twitter buttons or widgets, is an experiment that we’re beginning to roll out to some users in a number of countries. Learn more here.
  • We’ve noted the many ways you can set your preferences to limit, modify or remove the information we collect. For example, we now support the Do Not Track (DNT) browser setting, which stops the collection of information used for tailored suggestions.
  • We’ve clarified the limited circumstances in which your information may be shared with others (for example, when you’ve given us permission to do so, or when the data itself is not private or personal). Importantly, our privacy policy is not intended to limit your rights to object to a third party’s request for your information.
In our Terms of Service, we’ve clarified how your relationship with Twitter works and made a number of small changes and formatting improvements, such as new headings for easy reference and updated descriptions of our services.
Take a moment to read our new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, and thanks for using Twitter.
The Twitter Team

Infographic: Spring 2012 Social Media User Statistics

User Activity Comparison Of Popular Social Networking Sites

Infographic by- GO-Gulf.com Web Design Company

Number of Users on Popular Social Networking Sites

Social Networking Sites Number of Users(in millions)
Facebook 901
Twitter 555
Google+ 170
Linkedin 150
Pinterest 11.7

Unique Monthly Visits on Top Social Networking Websites

Social Networking Sites Unique Monthly Visitors (in millions)
Facebook 7012.9
Twitter 182.1
Google+ 61.0
Linkedin 85.7
Pinterest 104.4

Male-Female Ratio

Social Networking Sites Male Female
Facebook 40% 60%
Twitter 43% 57%
Google+ 63% 37%
Linkedin 55% 45%
Pinterest 31.8% 68.2%

Time Spend by Average Social networking user per month

Social Networking Site Time Spend per month ( in Minutes)
Facebook 405
Twitter 21
Google+ 3
Linkedin 17
Pinterest 89

Age Demographics of Social Networking Users

Social Networking Site 13-17 18-25 26-34 35-44 45-54 55+
Facebook 11% 29% 23% 18% 12% 7%
Twitter 4% 13% 30% 27% 17% 9%
Google+ 9% 23% 35% 15% 11% 7%
Linkedin 0% 18.1% 31.2% 24.8% 15% 10.5%
Pinterest 3% 6% 28% 28% 25% 11%

Estimated User Worth of popular Social networking sites

Social Networking Sites Per User worth
Facebook $118
Twitter $71.43
Linkedin $71
Pinterest $28.09

Is Twitter Censoring Search Results? Will They Fix It?

Many people don’t use Twitter search, so Twitter has worked hard to get more “average” users to try it, particularly by putting various search results on the “Discover” tab.

But for those users that rely on and regularly use Twitter search, there is a problem: Twitter search doesn’t show all tweets by default.

The solution is to click “All” (instead of the default “Top”) to see all tweets. But now, Twitter does NOT even offer that option on the mobile website!

What do you call search results that don’t show MOST results? I call it broken:

Since mobile is the only access many people use when they connect to Twitter, is this censorship?

99% of Tweets Missing?

As one user pointed out, even a popular hashtag with 20 tweets every two minutes or so might only show just 20 tweets in the past several days—that’s hundreds of missing tweets Twitter won’t show you.

I get that Twitter is trying to simplify and popularize different features, but if I had a document where 99% of the words went missing because the software wanted to “simplify” it for me, I’d be pissed.

Twitter has made search work more like “Discover” where they want to find a few things that might interest you, and hide everything else. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they removed or further hid the “all” option from the main website and left it only available through the API, so that you had to use apps to access search results.

Censorship?

Twitter obviously doesn’t even want new mobile users to know that they can find all tweets, saying in effect “we have all the information, but you don’t need to know that most of it exists.”

So now that Twitter has just shown their willingness to hide most tweets, what if Twitter removes the “all” option from the main site and the API and it no longer exists in public anywhere?

Twitter is famously opposed to governments telling them to release private data about users, and always fights at the minimum to make such requests public. So Twitter fights governments on behalf of users. But if Twitter itself takes away our access to see all tweets, who can we complain to?

Greed?

Of course, Twitter will sell you access to all tweets through its partners. Could this mean Twitter will one day make viewing “all” tweets available only to people that pay?

When Google used to have a social media search option included all tweets, they were paying Twitter a lot for the privilege. And Twitter dropped their contract with Google as soon as they could, and have been opposed to reinstating it (with many different reasons given)

Selling access to tweets is already a big money-maker for Twitter (it used to be their main source of profit). Might they be planning to only make access all tweets available to Twitter partners, or through paid “premium” Twitter accounts?

The Value Of Search

Complete search results are disappearing right and left.

Google in fact followed Twitter’s lead, and made the “all” search results never come up by default. What you see in Google nowadays is something called “Search Plus Your World.” You have know what icon to click to see the old, complete search results.

Facebook uses what they call their “Edgerank algorithm” to hide many status updates from you. There is a whole industry built around teaching you how to get your Facebook status message to break through the algorithm so that more people will see it.

Access to complete and accurate information is getting harder and harder to come by, which, considering the potential of the internet to provide access to information, is amazing.

Part of the bright promise of the internet was access to information for the average person. But social media creates false rumors that spread like wildfire, clutters up our feeds with misleading and useless information, and now more and more won’t let us even search through all available information.

I’ll tell you frankly, I don’t like the direction things are heading.

Find out if you’re addicted to Twitter or Facebook

The journal Psychological Reports reported on a test designed to help determine if you’re addicted to your favorite social media site. It uses the ‘six core elements of addiction’ that doctors use to identify alcoholics and drug addicts.

People who are organised, ambitious and extroverted are less likely to be addicts, said psychologist Cecilie Schou Andreassen, who developed the Addiction Scale. But, users who go to bed late and get up late are more likely to be addicted, she said: having a ‘delayed sleep wake rhythm’ makes you more likely to be addicted.

While you shouldn’t take this test for someone else (people should only take it for themselves), I definitely forsee a lot of parents and significant others using this to try to determine if their child or significant other has a serious problem.

How to Test Yourself

Answer the each of the six statements below according to the following scale: 1 = Very rarely; 2 = Rarely; 3 = Sometimes; 4 = Often and 5 = Very often.

  1. You spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook/Twitter  or plan your use of Facebook/Twitter.
  2. You feel an urge to use Facebook or Twitter more and more.
  3. You use Facebook or Twitter in order to forget about personal problems.
  4. You have tried to cut down on the use of Facebook or Twitter without success.
  5. You become restless or troubled if you are prohibited from using Facebook or Twitter.
  6. You use Facebook or Twitter so much that it has had a negative impact on your job or studies.

Simply total how many times your answer was either “Often” (4) or “Very Often” (5). If you replied “Often” or “Very Often” a combined total of 4 or more times, then you could be addicted!

The Wrong Way To Connect On Twitter…and The Right Way.

Using Twitter to connect with others is one of the keys to success. But many people are very immature in how they try to connect.

Tweeting “follow me” or “please retweet this” to people you have no connection with is a typical bad example.

I’ve written about the right way to connect on Twitter here.

In short: Find people who have shared interests with that you feel good about supporting and help them achieve their missions. The more people that you help, the more people will help you.

But some people see how badly immature people try to connect on Twitter and misunderstand my advice that connecting is important.

Julie Ershadi recently posted this comment about my advice on making connections:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the advice in this post seems catered to a really specific audience, maybe people who are interested in using social media to network just for the sake of networking.

This post seems to de-emphasize the importance of the actual content you post on your Twitter feed — I know it doesn’t exist in a vacuum (I’ve read those advice columns too), but isn’t your own brand, your own product, your own content ultimately what matters most?

If you fill your gap by getting Ashton Kutcher to @ reply you five times, and then his followers click through to find a Twitter feed equivalent to the back-rubbing and boot-licking blather that numbs minds at networking conferences in garish hotels across the country, then what’s the point?

Julie’s concerns about content and immature motivations are both valid. This was my response:

Branding matters. Content matters. Absolutely. I’ve written about that elsewhere. I can’t cover all topics in each post. This post is about connections.

Just because there are people who try to connect for immature reasons in immature ways doesn’t mean that connecting itself is an immature activity.

The ways people connect cover a huge range. There are CEOs who connect with other CEOs and do multi-million dollar deals, and there are teenage girls who tweet to every boy celebrity an inanity of nearly impossible to understand emoticons and follow requests.

And no matter how hard someone tries, they won’t be able to “fill in the gap” by getting a celebrity to reply to (or retweet) them. That will pretty much NEVER work.

Yes, thousands of immature people try to get celebrities to follow and retweet them. But don’t worry about those immature people—most will grow up eventually. This post is written for the grown-ups.

Grown ups who chat with one another about issues that are of importance to them both rarely produce content that would be described as “back-rubbing and boot licking,” but there are certainly feeds like that out there.

Connections between grownups matter, and not enough people make a sincere effort to make those connections. Many of those that do have found it be the most powerful use of their time, so I felt it important to share their perspective.

Thanks for your focus, and helping me to clarify :-)

Infographic: What to Tweet—Are YOUR Tweets Worth Reading?

The authors of an academic paper covered by the Harvard Business Review asked respondents to rate 43,000 tweets as either:

  1. Worth Reading
  2. Not Worth Reading
  3. Just OK

The overall results:

The authors pointed out that

“…results suggest that users tolerate a large amount of less-desired content in their feeds. We find that users value information sharing and random thoughts above me-oriented or presence updates.”

Here’s an edited version of their original infographic summarizing the results (sample tweets are real, but users have been changed):

HT Marketing Savant

Nine Kinds Of Sites More Likely To Infect Your Computer Than Porn Websites

The April 2012 Internet Security Threat Report from Symantec [pdf] had some fascinating stats:

  1. Web based attacks increased by 36% with over 4,500 new attacks each day. ►Tweet this stat
  2. 403 million new variants of malware were created in 2011, a 41% increase of 2010. ►Tweet this stat
  3. SPAM volumes dropped by 13% in 2011 over rates in 2010. ►Tweet this stat
  4. 39% of malware attacks via email used a link to a web page. ►Tweet this stat
  5. Mobile vulnerabilities continued to rise, with 315 discovered in 2011. ►Tweet this stat

But most shocking of all was probably this chart:

That’s right, porn websites are barely even in the top ten most dangerous category. The theory is that they make money, so don’t need to use malware to make money, and they are very web savvy at keeping their sites free from infections.

How To Tell Google To Send You More Visitors WITHOUT A Lot Of Complicated SEO

Wouldn’t you like Google to start sending crowds of people to read your website?


Of course, by sharing your posts on social media, you’ve already taken one of the most important steps. For example, getting mentioned on Twitter does improve your ranking in Google search results.

But a lot of what you read on the topic of SEO is complicated and difficult. For example, it’s tough and time-consuming to get a lot of other people to link to your website, and do you really want to learn how Latent Dirichlet Allocation works?

Instead, here I’ve super-simplified some advanced techniques for writing blog posts that will help Google send more visitors your way (known as on-page SEO). (To see the full advanced video this is based on, I’ve included it at the end. Or for a transcript, go here.)

The basics of on-page SEO include things such as learning the words people use when searching for your topic (keyword research) and including those words in your title, first sentence and elsewhere. But there’s a lot more you can do, and it’s easy!

1. Too Much Hyper-Focus Is Bad

Ensure that you talk at least a little about things very closely related to your topic. If you talk about “Twitter” you should probably also talk about something like “tweets,” “social media,” “followers” or something similarly closely related at least once somewhere.

I don’t just mean use more synonyms. Just make sure that you expand at least a little on closely related topics once or twice. It makes it more plausible that this is a real human writing, rather than a machine generated page. If you want exact tips on what to talk about when writing a post, or to measure how well you’re doing, try this advanced optimization tool.

2. If You Wander Off, Make Sure You Come Back

Make sure that if you get off topic, or stop using words that related directly to your topic, that you at least get some of those words back into the middle and end of your document. If you start talking about one thing, and then appear to switch to another topic, Google may not be able to decide which topic you’re REALLY talking about.

So use words related to your topic in the title, first paragraph, somewhere in the middle, and near the end to help Google KNOW that your page is indeed about that topic.

3. Link To Good Stuff

Link to the best stuff you can find elsewhere on the web. When the New York Times starting doing that more on some pages, Google started sending more people to those pages. When I find a great post, I tweet it, and I consider whether I might want to say something about the topic myself. If I do, I always link to the great content.

Google in essence wants to reward pages that link to good stuff by sending more people to them.

4. Make Visitors Happy

If you expect people to do something (read to the end, click a link, register, stay on the page a long time) and they’re not doing that thing, fix the page or try something else. Google keeps track of how happy visitors are with a page and a website, and they get more clever all the time at figuring out how happy people are.

5. Be More Unique

A simple way to do this: add one more thing.

No media? Add an image or video. No analysis, analogies, related stories? Write in a little uniqueness. Of course, if you favor wordplay and clever titles, that will help, but it may make it a bit unclear what you’re talking about…so don’t overdo it!

Google rewards content that is more unique. The simplest (but not easiest) way to achieve this is to write really long posts, and so adding something to a shorter post is often helpful.

But one of the easiest ways to achieve this appears to be by using the occasional big word here and there (suitable for a more advanced reading level). So keep that thesarus site bookmarked! (But don’t overdo it—simple words are better for helping people understand your meaning.)

The advanced version of these advanced tips:

Wistia