Amazon + Twitter = AmazonCart

amazoncart

Did you know that many authors love Twitter and many have a pretty large following on Twitter? Well Amazon has recently introduced a new feature called #AmazonCart which hopes to help authors (as well as other Amazon vendors) profit a bit more easily from their relationships on Twitter.

The point of AmazonCart is to help authors grow sales when they tweet about their books on Twitter.  Customers can add products they see on Twitter to their Amazon.com Shopping Carts without leaving Twitter.

Now, when you send a tweet that includes an Amazon.com product link (such as to your latest book), Twitter users who have connected their accounts to Amazon will be able to add the product directly to their Amazon.com Shopping Carts simply by replying to the tweet and adding “#AmazonCart.”

They will then receive a reply tweet and an email confirming the Cart add, and they can complete checkout on Amazon.com at their convenience.

Hopefully you may begin to see replies containing “#AmazonCart” to your tweets with Amazon.com product links. These replies can also give us a good idea of which followers are engaging with our tweets.

While all social media should be used first and foremost to build relationships with potential readers, it’s nice to see a feature like this which requires less work on the reader’s part to purchase our books on Amazon. Only time will tell if it “catches on” with readers.

What do you think about the new AmazonCart feature? Brilliant or a bust?

For more information about the feature, visit www.amazon.com/AmazonCart.

How To Use Social Media To Generate Blog Ideas

Using Social Media to Generate Blog Ideas

There are thousands upon thousands of blog owners online. As such, it can often be quite difficult for any one blog owner to stand out from their competitors. But if you want to get your head above the rest, you should begin by looking at your content.

The Importance of Unique Content

Fresh content will set you apart from your competition in two important ways. Firstly, it will interest and entertain your readers. Secondly, it will help to identify you as a thought leader in a particular field. Both of these things will drive traffic to your blog and ensure that your audience comes back for more.

Generating content ideas, however, can be tricky. This goes double if you are trying to generate unique ideas. So it’s important to utilise the resources you have on hand to help you come up with great topics for your blog. And of all the available online resources, social media is perhaps the best. So here are some ideas for how to generate content by using the two biggest social networks around.

Generating Content from Facebook

blog ideas from facebook

Facebook can be a great place to start collecting unique ideas for your blog. Millions of conversations happen every day on Facebook, and any number of these could contain interesting ideas that you could expand upon.

The key here is expansion. It’s no use to write a blog post that is simply about what people are saying on Facebook. The trick is to uncover why they are saying it, to whom, and why it is important. If the subject concerns a brand or current news story, even better. Tools such as Bottlenose can help us to widen our Facebook search, to determine the most popular conversations at any one time. And if you’re feeling stuck, you could even ask your Facebook friends to suggest ideas of their own.

Twitter Trends and Brands

get blog ideas using twitter

Twitter trends can be of enormous value for bloggers, especially if the trend at hand is controversial. Bloggers who can spot trends before they happen are the best placed to capitalise upon them, by blogging about them in real time as the trend takes hold, then tweeting links back to the blog post which also include the trend key phrase or hashtag.

Twitter, like Facebook, is also a great place where a blogger can interact with brands. Upcoming products, giveaways or brand news can all be utilised by social media-savvy bloggers to generate content that will be of interest, not only to their own following, but to the brand’s following as well.

Consistency vs. Quality

Whilst it’s important to have consistent blog content, it’s also important that your blog posts be consistent. Unless you blog regularly, visitors won’t know when to check your site for new content. Ultimately, this will cause a decrease in your readership and less flow to your website, if you are also a web owner.

Posting consistent content which is also high in quality is a daunting challenge for even the most experienced of blog owners. It can often feel like a full time job simply to stay on top of your content production. But there are resources which make this task much easier. Using a content calendar, for example, will help you to plan content well in advance of its publish date, and will also provide a space in which you can collect and organize creative ideas as they come to you.

Guest Post

How To Create Facebook & Twitter Sharing Links (With HTML)

There are a few plugins and programs for creating sharing buttons for Facebook and Twitter on your blog, but you are limited in placement. Sometimes it’s just better to learn a little old school html code, so that you can ask for the share anywhere on your site — especially in the middle of juicy article! I recently did this with a new page I was creating and found that it was rather simple to do. So as usual, I’m sharing:)

Adding A Twitter Sharing Link

1. First thing I want you to recognize is that you are creating an html link. So if you know anything about making a basic link, you know that you have to open it with <a href= and you have to close it with </a>. That goes for any link.

2. When creating your Twitter link, you’ll simply be adding some code that creates the share function and automatically opens Twitter, creates text for the tweet, the link url itself, and the sharing text. So using the example below, you will see that the code <a href=”http://twitter.com/share?text= . This code will be used for any Twitter share link. What comes after it is the text you see in the actual Tweet, separated by %20 which creates spaces in your tweet. Next comes the url of the page you’re sharing. Last is the text that will appear on your web page.

<a href=”http://twitter.com/share?text=How%20To%20Create%20A%20Twitter%20Share%20Link%20On%20Your%20
Website&url=http://www.lisaangelettieblog.com/facebook-twitter-sharing-links“>Share This on Twitter</a>

Looks Like This: Share This on Twitter

twitter-share-link

Adding A Facebook Sharing Link

Facebook is even simpler because you don’t have to add all that code (%20) to add spaces. All you need to do is to make sure you have the sharing code and the link (url) to the page that you’re sharing, and Facebook will automatically open up a share box. It’s pretty cool.

<a href=”http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://www.lisaangelettieblog.com/facebook-twitter-sharing-links“>Share This Link on Facebook</a>

Looks Like This: Share This On Facebook

Facebook share link

Put this tutorial and action by clicking on the “share” links and share this tutorial with others. Questions? Ask me over on Facebook or leave a comment below. I love to help!

*Special Thx Social Source Commons Blog

5 Social Media Myths You Can’t Afford To Believe In!

social media mythsI was recently at a conference for very high level corporate women executives and entrepreneurs where I attended a social media breakout session. While I didn’t learn anything new personally, it was really interesting to see just how much other people didn’t know. So based on the questions of many of those executives and entrepreneurs, here were five assumptions that many of them made about social media which could be killing your business (and made me cringe!).

Myth #1 – Social Media Takes Entirely Too Much Time

This is what people use to think about blogging years ago (laugh! laugh!). So here’s the thing…anything new seems to take time away from whatever else you were doing to market your business and build your brand. Just like blogging though, social media is a part of the web that is here to stay. The players may change (MySpace to Facebook, etc.), but the game remains the same. Social influence matters. So you have to decide first to do social media, make the time for it in your marketing plan, and make sure to leverage the hell out of it! There is no reason that you should be sitting online or on your phone all day engaging in social media when there are so many automation tools out there to help spread your content effortlessly. Can it all be automated? No. The key is to finding a balance on what should be automated and what shouldn’t.

Myth #2 – I’m Too Far Behind My Competitors

Ugh! I bought into this myth pretty early on with Twitter. By the time I decided to take Twitter seriously, several of my major competitors were way ahead of me in terms of followers and engagement. It’s also a problem if you are in a niche with major brands as your competitors, but guess what? You have to start somewhere. One step at a time. If you have a list, make sure to continuously encourage them to reach out to you on social media. If you are a solopreneur, more than likely, your list members and followers would love to reach out to you personally. So eliminate that via contact forms, etc. and ask them to engage you via your Facebook Page. There’s also a lot of tools out there that you can use to give people access to content if they pay with a “tweet”. You could try Pay With A Tweet for that. It’s free.

Myth #3 – Social Media Doesn’t Result In Sales Or Help My Business

I’m really baffled by this one, but many of the women believed this which I found utterly amazing. As far as brand awareness, social media works much like advertising but better because there is real social engagement about the product in real-time. An ad runs on television in hopes that it will keep the product or service in the minds of people going to make a purchase. Same holds true for social media. The constant engagement keeps the product or services’s brand in the minds of people who may make a future investment in it AND there is the added benefit of social proof. If 10 people online say that they love the taste of the new Pepsi Next on Facebook, then that has more value to me than simply just a commercial for the product.

And how about customer service? There are big brands like Virgin America who use Twitter and Facebook as their main customer service hubs. *Experts estimate that this saves Virgin about 13 million dollars in customer service expenses.

Myth #4 – There’s Too Much Chatter & Not Enough Substance On Social Media

Okay, it’s true. There are people who are out there talking about their fingernail polish and what they ate for breakfast! Plus all the social media experts are out there telling us that we have to build relationships on social media. Connect with people. Have conversations. Be real. Be transparent. But let’s be honest here, we are all in business, but we are all human beings as well. Here is another area in social media where you have to find a balance. People must feel that they know, like and trust you to make an investment in you. So if one of your members is having a 25th wedding anniversary and posts it in social media, then like it. Comment on it. People will notice that you are paying attention. People will connect with you on a personal level. As you do this, you also must balance this with posts and comments on what you’re doing in your business. A blog post you published. A video you just posted to YouTube. An aha moment. A good news announcement.

After Google, Facebook is my number #2 referral of traffic to my website. That’s nothing to sneeze at! So people are able to cut through the mindless chatter and connect with relevant messages. My traffic is proof of that and I bet you’ll see it too when you start using social media regularly.

Myth #5 – My Clients Don’t Use Social Media

I was in a room with many women who have corporate backgrounds and haven’t quite yet embraced the idea that this “new” marketing strategy is effective or even used by their customers but here’s a little enlightenment if you believe in the same: *the average internet user spends about 5 hours online each week on social networks,  LinkedIn is the world’s largest business network and is used by over 161 million users, 11 new Twitter accounts are created every second, and 1 out of 8 minutes online is spent on Facebook. If none of these people are your customers or clients then I’d be very surprised.

I’m sure I’ve missed something. What social media myths have you run into when working with clients? I’d love to hear about them.

*SearchEngineNews

How To Automatically Retweet Your Favorite Twitter Follower’s Tweets In 60 Seconds (or less!)

“Attract New Strategic Alliances & Thank Your Existing Parnters When You Retweet Their Content To Your Community. Best thing is — it’s all on autopilot. Doesn’t look spammy. And you can accomplish it all in 60 seconds or less:)”

It’s really more important than ever to get social media “right”. One of the ways that you can use social media to your advantage, is to use it to build an inner circle of friends a.k.a. circle of influence who support you and your business and vice-versa.

This isn’t the average social media user we’re talking about. This is typically someone who you have identified as having a strong social media presence, someone who loves what you do and wants to genuinely support you on your journey, and someone who you feel the same about.

Once you’ve identified these people (and this is an going activity), there are going to be some folks who always have something good to share on Twitter and you’ll want to “retweet” that type of stuff because you like their content AND it will help strengthen your alliance with them. When they see that you are supporting them, they will more than likely do the same for you.

For those people ONLY, I like to set up the automatic retweet feature. Now don’t worry, you don’t have to retweet everything that they post, because that would be annoying and spammy looking. But with this quick trick I’m going to show you, you can be very specific about what you retweet from each person who choose to do this for. I’ve chosen to shoot a short video tutorial to show you how I set this up.

Resources:
1. Obviously you will need your own Twitter account
2. You need the Twitter handles of the people you want to retweet
3. The tool that I use to set all this up is TweetAdder.

While I do love free resources like Hootsuite, Tweetadder is a paid but very affordable social media tool that works on both PCs and Macs which I absolutely love. I’ve been using them for at least a year, I’m pretty sure longer though. I haven’t found a free tool that will allow me to do what I’m showing you today, and Tweetadder keeps the software updated regularly and there have been no issues between them and Twitter (like API stuff).

Watch the quick 5 minute tutorial below and set up your retweets in seconds!

Social Media Metrics: Reality Check!

How Are You Doing In Social Media Circles — REALLY?

It’s been an increasingly significant way for search engines like Google to measure the “importance” and “relevance” of your website and your brand. What is it? Your social media reach.

When making a decision about how to rank your content in the search engines, companies like Google are taking in account the reach of your brand in social media circles. These sites may include: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, StumbleUpon, etc.

A question you may want to ask yourself is: Has your blog accumulated Tweets, Facebook Shares, Google +1s or Stumbles? This is a great indicator of how your site has been promoted by you and shared by others. Very important for the long-term success of any website in today’s marketplace.

Hey it’s a tough concept for many of us solo professionals. I mean who has the time to spend on social media when we have businesses to run? But like it or not, the reality is that social media is here to stay and if we “work it” it will work just as hard for us in return.

A great way to check out your social media reach is to go to a site such as: SocialMention.com, plug in your site’s url and take a look at how you score.

social mention

Scoring will include factors such as strength (a calculation based on how often you’re mentioned in social media), sentiment (ratio of mentions that are positive to negative), passion is (likelihood that folks talking about your brand will probably continue to do so), and reach is the measure of your range of influence (# of authors divided by mentions).

While this is the not the end all, be all of influence — a look into this site can give you a picture of how you’re doing in social media and what you can do better.

It can also help you identify social media heavyweights in your niche that would be a good idea to connect with. So don’t be scared! Go get your free social media analysis and feel free to share your results:)

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