Questioning Quora

Do you use Quora? Should you use Quora? As we begin the new year, I felt like it makes sense to set aside some time each week to take a look at technology that is new, generating interest, or represents a step forward in the online world.

In the last couple weeks Quora has become the trendy pick as a breakout site for 2011. Traffic increased tremendously in December but then more than doubled again in early January per information released on Quora this week from Quora engineer Albert Sheu.

The bigger question is why? What will Quora do for users that can’t be addressed elsewhere? Will it provide a larger or more credible source of information than Twitter for most users? It’s been a mixed reaction so far with responses all over the board. It has even been hot enough to spawn a spoof site Cwora.

Why your blog should have a Facebook & Twitter account.

Twitter Facebook

We all have email, yet our inboxes are often overloaded. RSS is great, but some are letting RSS take a back seat as they are to busy on social networks.

Where is everyone? They seem to be on Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter and Facebook are two of the fastest growing sites on the internet which makes them two of the biggest networks that your blog should be promoting its content.

The easiest way to do that is to set up your blog with its own Twitter profile and Facebook page.

One of the biggest reasons is for branding. Most people know that protecting the brand is very important. You own the domain, you have the legal rights to the name, so why don’t you have the Twitter profile and Facebook page too? The last thing you want is to try to register your brand only to find out someone has already taken it.

How To Get Your Blog Content Shared More – More Tweets. More Likes.

As more and more people join Twitter, Facebook and other social networks, bloggers are increasingly trying to get their content shared and it in-front of more people. And why wouldn’t they? A post is perceived as higher quality when it’s coming from a friends than from anywhere else.

So how can you increase the social reach and shareability of your posts? Here are a few tips:

Create good content.

Thumbs Up - Good ContentFirst and foremost it’s about good content. No one likes the same content they can find everywhere else, or content that is self-indulgent.

Create unique content that informs, educates and/or entertains. Be different, be you, be successful.

Add media.

Blog Post MediaText is great, but pictures are what most people will notice first. Add compelling graphics and/or videos to compliment your content. Try to create, or find, media that will act as a magnet and pull people in.

Get All Interactive Social Sharing Buttons In One WordPress Plugin

Social DrinksSocial sharing buttons have evolved a lot over the past few years. We went from basic text links to images, and now we have interactive buttons. That’s all great except it can be a pain to add them all to your blog and get them to display nicely.

That’s where ShareDaddy comes in. Automattic, WordPress’ parent company, has created a single plugin that integrates all the major sharing buttons. There is no need to install multiple plugins, mess with template code, or worry about the buttons not lining up right in your theme.

ShareDaddy Supports:

  • Faecbook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Email
  • Print

It’s configurable to so you can:

  • Show only the buttons you want.
  • Drag and drop the order of the buttons.

Twitter Marketing Tips: Twitter Chats & 8 Marketing & PR Chats to Follow

There are many tactics companies can implement as part of a smart Twitter Marketing strategy. Growing the initial following is important as is providing the budding community you’re building with something of value to keep coming back and to spread the good word to their networks. One such tactic that offers value and brings people together is the Twitter chat.  I’ve been involved with about 5 or 6 different Twitter chats as a guest and they are a unique experience. In this post I’ll share my observations about what seems to work, some logistics and a few examples of some well-run Twitter chats for the marketing and PR verticals.

5 Steps to Build a Twitter Marketing Strategy

Twitter MarketingSo you want to succeed with Twitter eh? Before you run off and chase shiny butterflies and little blue birds, take a seat and collect yourself. Then read the following tips on creating a potential Twitter marketing strategy that will help you become more productive and successful using Twitter for business.

First things first. Who are you trying to connect with?

1. Describe your target audience on Twitter.  If you’re not an active participant on Twitter, then research. Do the homework and write it down, including Twitter handles of actual target users. If you’ve been able to go so far as develop a persona that represents your customers that spend time on Twitter or social media sites in general, that’s even better.

The first step in scoring is knowing all about the goal.

Thought Leadership on Social Media Strategy

With more businesses realizing the power of digital channels to nurture relationships, rally fans and build customer affinity, opportunity abounds for savvy professionals.

But with execution all over the board how should those who are new get started?

To answer that question, we posted thoughts from a variety of marketing and web professionals on social media strategy before tactics.

It’s an ongoing debate, but the consensus among the marketing and PR crowd is clear:  strategy before tactics is the logical approach for businesses to take when engaging in social media.

Sarah Evans provides a clever analogy:

3 Tools to Help You Share Microcontent Online

Over the last few years, the concept of microblogging has gone from zero to hero. Just a few short years ago, the terms “microblogging” and “microcontent” were known only to early adopters.  These days, the only thing “micro” about microblogging and status updates is character count. Consider a few recent statistics:

  • There are nearly 40,000 Tweets a minute, according to TweeSpeed
  • Last year, Tweets grew 1,400%, while traffic to grew around 1,100%
  • More than 60 million Facebook status updates are posted every day

When it comes to microblogging sites, customers and prospects are either there, or those that influence them are. Microblogging can take on a life of its own – with users making connections, developing relationships and publishing content all from within.

Google: The Social Media Company

Over the last few years, the popularity of social channels – for professionals, teens, grandmas and everyone in between – has skyrocketed. Consider the recent numbers:

  • Twitter experienced an annual growth in 2009 of 1,382%
  • Facebook now boasts 400 million active users
  • Every minute, 20 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube

Between blog posts, Facebook status updates, tweets, videos and every other piece of social content published, there’s a whole lot of information floating around out there.

Enter the latest social media player, Google.

Google’s latest activities, acquisitions and features all point to the fact that the search giant no longer has a close eye on web 2.0; it’s already there.

Here are 5 ways Google is now becoming a dominant social media player:

5 Social Media Tips for Ecommerce Marketing

If you run an ecommerce business, chances are your customers – regardless of their age, gender or economic status – are active on social networks and social media sharing sites.

Just consider the statistics from social media monitoring site Pingdom:

  • Males and females almost equally use social sites (47% vs. 53%)
  • 61% of Facebook users are middle aged or older, with the average age being 37
  • 18- to 24-year-olds don’t dominate any particular social networking site; they’re spread out all over

The bottom line: If you aren’t discovering which in social networking channels your customers spend time and include them in your ecommerce marketing mix, you’re probably  missing out on building relationships, community and increasing new customer acquisition through online word of mouth.

10 Twitter Management Tools You Can’t Live Without

Twitter ToolsWithout a doubt, one of the most popular shiny new objects of many social media marketing programs is Twitter. There are Twitter books, Twitter conferences, Twitter blogs and numerous articles devoted to Twitter marketing.  Unfortunately, there’s not enough time left over after reading all the promises of marketing nirvana from using Twitter to actually implement recommendations.

Fortunately, social media masterminds at companies like Seesmic, TweetDeck and HootSuite — to name a few — have developed tools to make our Tweeting lives easier. Or at least more efficient.  We use such tools here at @toprank to grow own Twitter presence as well as for clients on a daily basis and have learned quite a bit about Twitter best practices and which tools work best.

5 Ingredients for a Perfect Twitter Marketing Recipe

After reading Lee’s post earlier this week on how to source content on Twitter, I started to think about the homemade guacamole I made for the football playoff games last weekend. Stick with me here.

With my guacamole, I carefully strategize on the right mix of each ingredient to achieve the perfect flavor and consistency.

Not enough lemon and lime juice, and the avocados brown too quickly.

Too much garlic salt, and the guacamole gets a pungent taste.

Twitter as a marketing tool is much the same way.

Too much product pushing and self-inflation, and your followers head for the hills in droves.

Too little interaction and communication, and your followers forget you exist altogether.