How to Tweet When Sad News Breaks

We’ve had a lot of heartbreaking news stories in the past few years, and for many Twitter users that social network was the first place they heard about some of them. It can get emotional and a little overwhelming on Twitter as these tragedies unfold, and it’s a good time for your personal and company brand to make a positive impression and contribution to the conversation – and avoid a negative one.

If you want to hang on to your followers and sound like a real and thoughtful human (or a company ran by thoughtful humans), follow these tips for tweeting during a sad news event. Continue Reading…

Why Buying Social Followers is a Bad Idea

When many businesses start out using social media, they often focus on their number of Twitter followers, Facebook likes, etc. and desperately want to increase those numbers. That’s why “services” that offer hundreds of thousands of new “real” followers for $5 or $150 can look like a good idea. (Spoiler alert: They’re not.)

Increasing your number of followers – or reach – can be instrumental in making your social media marketing more effective.  But, having more followers only helps if those followers are real people. You want followers who will notice you in their stream and be interested in what you have to say and sell. Continue Reading…

Shortened URLs in Social Media: Pros and Cons

I received a great question from one of our customers at AboutUs: What is the best Twitter URL shortener?

As I dove into writing an answer, I took a step back and pondered whether it’s actually a good idea to use a URL shortener when posting in social media. After all, Twitter now has a built-in URL shortener, so you no longer get extra characters by using your own shortened URL when you want to include a link in your tweet.

Here are the pros and cons I came up with for posting shortened links in social media. Continue Reading…

Facebook Will Take Your Money to Game Their EdgeRank Algorithm

Yesterday I was amused by a post about how Facebook was testing paid post promotion in New Zealand.

I thought it was a bit crazy, but dismissed it as not all that important.  After all, the company was just testing paid post promotion, and I bet Facebook tests all sorts of things that never see the light of day outside the test market.

But I was wrong to dismiss Facebook’s paid post promotion. Today, as I was posting to the AboutUs Facebook page, I was introduced to the new “Promote” option that’s now been rolled out worldwide. Continue Reading…

How to Avoid an Unnatural Links Penalty

Editor’s note: The Unnatural Links update would later become known as Google’s Penguin update. Also, this post received 100+ comments when it was originally published on the now defunct

Google is constantly adjusting its search engine algorithm in an attempt to serve up the best websites and most relevant results to searchers.  They’re at it again, and this time it’s a doozy.

What’s being called the Unnatural Links update is rocking the SEO world.  In March 2012 people started receiving warnings from Google about “unnatural links” and then many of those sites’ rankings in search results have taken a nosedive.  Some sites have been de-indexed, which means their site’s pages no longer show up in Google at all. Continue Reading…