Guest Post: Twitter Tools For Business and Building Links

Happy Monday! Hope you all enjoy this guest blog post by Tom Shivers of Capture Commerce:

Feast on some tools, apps and ideas to help you get in the Twitter game and build quality traffic and links to your site.

TweetBeep.com – Manage your online Twitter reputation. Alerts will be emailed to you whenever a Twitter user Tweets about your business, name, or domain. You select the alert criteria and what to watch for. This is great for a business that is concerned about branding, online identity and quickly responding to customers.

Twollo.com allows you to find and follow Twitterers with similar interests automatically. When you create an account there, you will see an empty box with “Twitterers talking about:” above it. I’m interested in Twitterers talking about organic search engine rank, so I submit that interest and Twollo then finds people interested in SEO and follows them for me through my Twitter account. Many of these people see we have similar interests and follow me as well.

SocialOomph.com (formerly Tweetlater) is a Twitter post scheduler among other things. It is easy to use, allows you to Tweet ahead, and lets you select a posting schedule by day and time. You can also setup several interesting features/tools:

* Automatically send a welcome message to new followers.
* Automatically follow people (new followers) who follow me from this point forward.
* Auto unfollow those who unfollow you.

Bit.ly allows you to shorten, share and track your links to save space when you tweet them. The tracking feature displays the number of clicks on each shortened URL you have setup.

How do I get links to my website? First, I must clarify that tweeting a link to your website is not the same thing as link building, it simply allows your followers to click through to your site. Some day Google may modify it’s algo to account for these tweet links but for now, there’s no evidence that Google does.

You often see blog posts with a “Tweet This Post” link on the page, asking people to pass this on to others. This is easy to add to any good content on your site: videos, reports, product comparisons, research, articles, etc. Use this tool to build relationships.

Twitter directories categorize users according to interest/topic and some list users from most followers to least. You can register for free and follow some of the most popular Twitterers. Within your account, you can show your recent tweets and there’s a place for a link to your website. Most profile pages are indexed by Google:

* Twellow.com
* Tweetfind.com
* Twitr.org

In some businesses it can make sense to have several Twitter accounts – one for the business and one for each executive.

Everything I’ve mentioned here actually contributes to building good quality links to your website and the most important one is honing your target audience or followers so they benefit first. If your followers benefit from your Tweets, they will pay you back with retweets, more followers, and links. You also want to “listen to” the issues and questions in your marketplace, so you can provide appropriate answers. Sometimes Twitter is the first place you get wind of what’s coming.

Twitter is another avenue to build real relationships with other professionals. These relationships then can be a source of info, business leads, web traffic and links to your site.

By the way, you can follow me on Twitter too, http://twitter.com/capturecommerce

So, a Little Bird Told You About Content Marketing…

Webinar Overview
So, I got to hear Joe Pulizzi of Vertical Measures speak today in a Search Marketing Now webcast. Content marketing and link building can be confusing to people as there are certain things to keep in mind:

  • Keep your customers in mind. As Joe put it, don’t just talk about yourself. After all, people aren’t searching for a marketing pitch! They want answers.
  • Marketers are becoming publishers but many are doing a bad job. Their main problem is they have a difficult time separating self-promotion with their ability to provide useful content.
  • The secret to success is not really a secret at all. Most marketers will tell you the key to success is to be an expert in your niche and to dedicate content to customers.

These tips are a lot easier said than done – especially with the third point. So, what are some ways you can be more innovative with your content marketing? Joe provides a list of ideas to “steal”!

Steal These Ideas

  1. Create as much content as possible relating to your niche
  2. Incorporate a helpful video series
  3. Use Twitter as a channel for providing tips
  4. Develop a web or mobile application that is educational and helps solve problems
  5. Share a series on SlideShare

The Big Idea About Link Building

Don’t mix link building with lead generation!

Here’s a good starting point: find a handful of top blogs in your industry. Read them, stay up to date and comment to build a presence. Like I said before, these things aren’t really secrets. The real secret is how to keep consistent and measure your progress.

What’s Your Link Building Focus?

When it comes to link building do you have a particular focus or do you have a diversified plan? Blogs, directories, paid links, reciprocal links – there are so many options!

Pay Attention to Nofollow Links
Did you know that many popular blogs and even Google Sites apply the nofollow feature to links? This prevents spammers and link abuse. Basically, nofollow links tells the search engine crawlers to not count your link. It doesn’t mean that you should avoid nofollow links all together though. These sites are still a great place to be social and join in on the conversation.

Different Types of Directories
Every directory is not the same! The most popular ones are dmoz and ipl2. Generally speaking (and thanks to Rand Fishkin) there are 3 types of directories that you can submit to:

  1. Specific directories that are categorized by topics or industry. (ThomasNet is the most popular for industrial suppliers.)
  2. Local directories are helpful and you can find them through your local chamber of commerce or other online neighborhood resource.
  3. Generic directories. You’ve probably come across worlds-best-internet-director-1000 or something similar. Again, targeted directories are more preferred than these kinds.

Other Sources for Links

  • Social bookmarking
  • Press releases sites
  • Niche forums or communities
  • Review sites
  • Social media profiles