Social Media Marketing, Twitter Marketing



11 Essential Rules for Powerful Twitter Marketing

Twitter is changing. The cute bird has gone public, introduced self service advertising and is verging on visual.

I remember when I joined in 2008, that the rules of engagement were just about fun and frivolity. It was a playground for social media enthusiasts that were exploring and pushing the boundaries. It was about having conversations with people all over the world. That still happens.

There were only 4 million people on the platform when I began and using it for marketing was not considered. We were all just playing. Today with mass media embracing it for TV, real time breaking news, distributing content and viral marketing the bird has muscled up.

With its increased maturity the rules have become clearer and its marketing power obvious. Here are some essential rules for Powerful twitter marketing to increase brand awareness, leads and sales.

#1. Perfect the Twitter profile

This one is often underestimated. When people check out your Twitter account and profile they will only give you a few seconds when checking out your profile. They must know at a glance what your brand is about whether that is a corporate or personal brand. Here are a couple of examples.

Content Marketing Institute is all about content and events. Their profile makes that obvious.

10 Rules You Must Follow for Powerful Twitter Marketing A personal brand will need to display not only what they do but provide some social proof. Here my good friend Mark Schaefer tells you what he does and adds the “credibility factor” of a successful author.

10 Rules You Must Follow for Powerful Twitter Marketing

Now there is no “perfect Twitter profile but make sure that it is sending the right message quickly. It can even be your brand elevator pitch!

#2. Link to your online platform

Social media (and Twitter) is not an island and ensuring that your social networks and blogs are interlinked is key. Many people will check out your blog or website before following. They will be checking out your online credibility.

So make sure you have that link.

#3. Create tempting Twitter headlines

Just check your Twitter stream and your will see “the good the bad and the ugly “when it comes to headlines. Just take a moment to see which Twitter headlines you want to click on.

What do you see?

So think about your Twitter headline before tweeting because it will make a difference. Studies have shown that you can increase your conversion rate on a link by 73% if you use a compelling headline.

#4.Use visual tweets

Visual tweets were not even imagined when Twitter started. But the introduction of tweets that display in the stream without having to click have some distinct advantages.

These include the following increases in activity according to some initial research from Buffer:

  • Tweets with images received 89% more favourites
  • Tweets with images received 18% more clicks than those without
  • Tweets with images received 150% more retweets

Now that doesn’t mean that every tweet should be visual but work out ways to incorporate that into  your tweeting habits.

Twitter pic at my desk while early morning writing

#5. Tweet with hash tags

The hash tag was an idea that was invented for Twitter. It started in 2007 by Chris Messina to tag topics of interest on the microblogging network. He posted the alleged first post on Twitter to include what would become the “hashtag”:

How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp? ”

The first high profile use of the hashtag was in the 2007 California fires by Nate Ritter with #sandiegofire.

The use of the # hashtag has now spread to the other social networks including Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and even Facebook. It allows you to both find and see tweets that are relevant to a topic and group them in one place. Here is how it can be used viewed on the tool Hootsuite for seeing tweets about #contentmarketing.

Hashtags content marketingHashtags are a powerful way to direct your tweets to people looking for that topic. It is more an art than a science and can be likened to “Herding Cats“.

#6. Automate the tweets

Automation was and is sometimes seen as a threat to the free world by social media purists. They view social networks as only to be used for conversations and not marketing. The truth is that you cannot do “social at scale” for marketing if you don’t use some form of automation. A couple of tools for bloggers that I have found essential is Twitterfeed and also a low cost monthly subscription platform Socialoomph – Professional Edition.

For corporate social media marketing you will need to consider using platforms from Hubspot and Marketo for small to medium businesses up to Enterprise level software such as Sprinklr and Adobe if you are a larger corporation.

The principle I have found to work for me is “automate the content distribution but not the conversation” This will keep you real but also efficient.

#7. Grow your Twitter tribe

Continuing to work at building your Twitter followers. One of the keys to this is using the principle of reciprocation. Actively follow people and they will feel a certain obligation to follow you back. The success of this is then linked to a few factors such as having a link to your website or blog which should display great content , exhibits credibility and shows social proof. If you look substantial and popular then people are more likely to follow back

Just like email you will have the equivalent of “un-subscribe” it’s called “un-follow”. It happens all the time, so if you lose a few followers here and there, don’t break into tears. Just continue to focus producing the best content you can for your followers.

#8. Target “your” audience

Now, I made a lot of mistakes along the way and one of them was following anyone who had a Twitter heartbeat. During my social media adolescence I followed large Twitter users who had nothing to do with my target market or topic.

Using the Twitter tool (paid version) I can follow followers of other bloggers in my niche(s). For me that includes blogging, social media, digital and content marketing, These are qualified groups of followers. The principle of reciprocation does the rest. Some follow you back!

#9. @Mention others

The tactic of using @mentions when tweeting their content means they will notice you in their stream. Here are some I can notice right now! I share about 25 bloggers content on a consistent basis and the @mention is always used when sharing their valuable content.

How to get noticed on Twitter

This can lead to being able to connect and network. It is also an affirmation that you appreciate the content.


Engagement is a term that is often overused, often to its detriment on social media. What it really means is that you thank people (when you can), share their content, have conversations and in general just have some personable fun. It will surprise you to where it will lead.

Even friendships on the other side of the world.

I remember one with Amy Howell that emerged from a very funny online and sometimes bizarre conversation that we had on Twitter 4 years ago. She ended up introducing me as a Keynote speaker with that story when I spoke in Knoxville in the USA last year.

One challenge you will find as you grow your follower network into the thousands is keeping up the personal engagement. I am still working on that.

#11. Persist

Organic Twitter marketing success doesn’t happen overnight. Sure you can pay for Twitter advertising to accelerate the process. But the seduction of earning your follower base rather than pulling out the credit card  is one of the attractions of social media for me.

So persist with growing your followers, engaging with others and distributing their and your content on a consistent basis and the results will show up!


Why Advertisers Should Use CPA Bidding on Facebook


Facebook Introduces CPA

Stephen Darori on Facebook Technology


Until now, advertisers on Facebook have only been able to bid on campaigns on either a CPC or CPM basis. While this has been an effective way for businesses and brands to bid for ads, there is no guarantee that clicks and impressions actually lead to conversions. To capture more performance marketing spend, Facebook is introducing a new option to bid on a cost-per-action (CPA) basis.

CPA bidding is available today on a global basis through Facebook Ads’ API, and according to Marketing Land will soon be available in the Power Editor and Ads Manager. Currently, marketers are able to do CPA bidding on three types of ads or actions:

  • Page Likes
  • Offer Claims
  • Link Opens/Clicks (specific click-throughs [e.g., to a product profile page] the marketer wants)

This new option to bid on a CPA basis will operate as a maximum bid, but as with all CPA bidding, advertisers may…

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tumblr llcw71K5md1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Nike Billboard in NYC

Yesterday you said tomorrow

tumblr lln5jqiRBI1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Kill Bill Billboard in NYC – Bloody Mess

tumblr lln5opCDu71qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug Outdoor Advertising

tumblr llnx22X4Vw1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Sony PSP Transparant Billboard Advertising

tumblr lm60gmbhB81qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
McDonald’s free coffee promotion.

tumblr lmdzgyOBji1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Mondo Pasta Boat Advertising

tumblr lnguymJuNy1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
The first ever plant billboard. Coca-Cola and WWF have unveiled a new 60-by-60-foot billboard in the Philippines that’s covered in Fukien tea plants, which absorb air pollution.

tumblr ln8kcvEQIL1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Allstate Insurance: Marina Tower

tumblr ln2yfzDmT41qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Powerhouse Gym Outdoor Ad

tumblr ln2xmoqdLG1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Oltimer Restaurants – Special Poster for “Oldtimer”, a big Austrian chain for motorway rest stops

Why is Ad Blocking Suddenly so Popular? + [INFOGRAPHIC]


Ad blocking has existed for several years now, but has been adopted by millions of Internet users in the past several months. There were only 120,000 ad blocking users in January 2010, and in the past few months, ad blocking has increased by over a million users every month, which we tracked through the Chrome and Firefox webstores. This is a much higher rate than ever before. Why is this happening? Why now?


Let’s try to isolate all our variables in this ad-blocking equation. We have:


a) the actual ads (quality and type)

Have ads changed much over the past several years? It seems to me that ads have remained constant, with some sites presenting obtrusive, loud and animated ads, while other sites present more conservative ads. With the exception of video ads, which are relatively new, the spectrum of online advertising has not changed much. So, a change in the actual ads must not be a cause of the rise in ad blocking.

b) internet users

Have the Internet users changed over the past two or three years? There are two possible ways that Internet users changed. Either they have become fed up with the same old advertising. Or, they have seen so much Internet content, that they now feel entitled to ad-free content. Most likely, both of these are causes.

c) browsers and web-stores

Many internet users are migrating to Google Chrome from Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Now, Chrome has over 35% of the browser market share (Source:StatCounter). Chrome has a super-effective web-store, with thousands of extensions available. More people are installing extensions now than ever before, and this inevitably leads to an increase in ad-blocking users.

d) ad-blocking technology

Has ad-blocking technology changed? AdBlock still blocks ads, as usual. But in order for AdBlock to have gained momentum, it needed to reach a critical mass. AdBlock technology is based on rules, which allowed it to become more effective as more users installed it (network effect). Only then, it provided enough value for its end-users, which then lead to a huge rise in downloads.

The result:


Many people seem to have a strong opinion on this subject matter; what’s yours?



P.S. Check out to recover revenue from ad-blocking users on your site! Anti-AdBlock is here.

5 Top Tips for Content Marketing Success


5 Top Tips for Content Marketing Success

5 Top Tips for Content Marketing Success

The power of online marketing on a social web has only scratched the surface of its full potential.

This year smart marketers will stop using content as a bullhorn and start using it as a platform for building engaged communities. Customers will no longer be seen simply as a source of revenue, but instead as a near endless stream of research, innovation, and sales.

This transition will mean targeted communities that are smaller and more social than the mass media audiences of the past will succeed like never before. Therefore, content will have to be focused, refined, interactive, shareable, and (most importantly) involve the audience in the creation process.

To get you ready for these important changes, here are five top tips for content marketing success:

#1. Bring the Customers Inside

Customers want businesses to solve their problems and are willing participants in that value creation process… if given the chance. Unfortunately, much of what we call “social” media marketing has hardly lived up to its name.

The key will be to move beyond the mass marketing mentality of “us vs. them.”

By empowering your customers to become part of your business processes you’ll get a great low-cost source of research & innovation.

There’s also no greater sales force in the world than a satisfied customer. And while this was once an added bonus for marketers, it’s quickly becoming a necessity. Customers increasingly vet their purchasing decisions through social networks before even considering a company’s traditional marketing.

Some things to try:

  • Ask for customer input on new projects you’re working on.
  • Allow customers to tell their own stories through co-created content (see below).
  • Create incentives (social and financial) for customers to become evangelists of your business.
  • Make sure to show that you are actually using the feedback you receive.

#2.  Focus, Focus, Focus

In the mass marketing era, half of the advertising was wasted but we just don’t know which half.

The Internet has created an ultra-segmented marketplace, which allows smart marketers to create specialized content that solves specific problems.

To be successful, your content has to be focused on a well-defined niche audience. Take the time to map out exactly who you are targeting by developing a detailed profile of your audience, including demographics, psychographics, and a thorough understanding of how they negotiate their social space.

#3. Get Organized

Most people classify content by format (blog, video, Tweet, etc.), often leading to repetitiveness and a sense by your audience that you’re shouting at them (rather than talking with them).

Why don’t you try a different framework, one that will give you a much clearer look at the role each piece of content plays in driving interaction within your community.

When you are planning out your editorial calendar, separate content into one of three categories, defined by how that piece of content was created:

  • Original content – This is material created directly by you. It should address a specific customer need – be that information, instruction, humor, motivation, etc. Use it as a way to highlight your expertise, make yourself useful, and build trust with your audience.
  • Co-created content – Created together with others. In particular, you should target influencers within the niche who can help build your authority. Examples of this are guest posts like this one, a webinar highlighting the successes of your top customers, or a podcast with someone who has expertise that complements your own.
  • Curated content – Created by others but useful in some way to your audience. This includes stuff like retweets or emailing your list with a useful report that was created by another organization.

Reframing your thinking in this way will force you to always keep in mind the business purpose behind everything you create and share.

#4. Get Emotional

In his awesome book Contagious, Wharton professor Jonah Berger showed us that one of the key reasons people share content online is because it arouses a person’s emotion.

Content has to go beyond just being useful; it has to be unforgettable. Rather than trying to churn out quantity, take the time to figure out what kind of emotions move your audience.

In doing so, it’s important to remember that not all emotion is created equal. In his research, Berger identifies that certain kinds of emotions – those that get people “aroused” like awe, passion, and anger – are much more likely to drive shares than those that make people feel toned down – like sadness, relaxation, or contentment.

Ultimately, don’t be afraid to rock the boat a bit, because what gets one person excited might turn another one away. As long as you are exciting the right people (and treating everyone well in the process), it’s ok to let some people go.

#5. Respect the Numbers but Don’t be a Machine

There are so many tools out there that allow you to use data to paint a picture of your social landscape. So many in fact that it can turn into a hindrance if you’re not careful.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely crucial to analyze and optimize, but all the data in the world won’t do you a bit of good if you don’t understand people.

And one of the most important things to understand about people is that they change. Often. Data can be an important tool for measuring these changes – it can help you test assumptions and sometimes provide a needed reality check. But it’s no replacement for digging in and becoming part of your customer community.

So, make the effort to really get to know your customers. Instead of just mass emailings and webinars, take time to have individual conversations. Understand what people are struggling with and you’ll have a near endless stream of ideas for new content to create.

The Big Picture

The world of marketing is changing, and I would argue it’s for the better. By harnessing the power of community, businesses are ending the awful competition between buyer and seller, replacing it with a much healthier process of mutual value creation.

In 2014 the kind of guesswork that has long been the way marketers figure out what their audience wants will be replaced by actually getting to know the customers themselves. By talking with them instead of at them, we can start to create a new way of doing business, one that helps bring people together to solve the problems of our day.

You now have the framework to get started. Use it to go out and build yourself a dynamic, engaged, and profitable community in 2014.

Guest author: Jake Parent has been building communities for more than a decade. His site Learn To Be Heard teaches marketers and entrepreneurs how to use blogging and other social media to transform an audience of static listeners into a dynamic group of engaged participants. 



Want to learn how to make your blog and content a success with social media marketing?

My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.

It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.

I also reveal the tactics I used to grow my Twitter followers to over 185,000.

Download and read it now.




Top Digital Marketing Trends in 2014


Top Digital Marketing Trends in 2014

digital marketing laptop Top Digital Marketing Trends in 20142013 will be known as the year organizations began embracing different tactics for digital marketing in a big way. It will also be known as the year of the biggest social media changes:Twitter’s IPO announcement, Google andFacebook’s algorithm updates, and the list goes on. This trend of disrupting the digital marketing arena will continue into 2014 and beyond. Here is a roundup of what we predict in 2014 for the digital marketing industry:

Content continues to be king

Social Media Today reported that 78% of CMO’s believe custom content is the future of marketing. Most marketers have embraced and accepted content as a major resource in their efforts. Along with this, there has been an influx of content discovery apps which support the growth trend: Flipboard, Pulse, and Fancy (to name a few). If you’re not dedicating budget towards content development, it may be time to consider doing so!

Growth of video marketing

It goes without saying that videos have the ability to convey a message that is ten times more powerful than text content. Kony 2012 was proof that great video content has the potential of becoming an overnight viral success. Also, with apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Vine, videos are being created, viewed and shared on mobile devices. Facebook has also introduced and enhanced their mobile ads platform. Combined with the mobile potential, we predict that video marketing will grow even more in 2014.

Social media diversification

2013 has been the year of social media growth. We will continue to see this trend in the coming year. 93% of marketers already say they use social media for business, but in 2013 we also saw a surge in popularity of new networks like Pinterest, Vine and Instagram – and have become a part of everyday life. These networks are carving a unique niche for themselves, which means that businesses will continue to use different platforms to build their brands and connect with consumers.