Posts Tagged ‘content’

So what’s the typical Twitter users that one comes across nowadays?

There are newbies, who are trying to figure their way around. So they are in transition in a way.

Then there are the other ‘veterans’. Most of these are on Twitter for a purpose. To largely be able to promote something or the other. Their services or some product or some brand. And they have come to the conclusion that the way to get there, is simply by having as large a follower base as you can.

And so we have people following, and getting followed by tens of thousands of people.

And they figure that when they send out their spams or their blog links or their status messages, their various followers are interested, and would catch it and that is their Twitter success.

Or like telemarketers, they figure that on a large base, a small percentage hit rate, still counts, and that’s the way to go.

But really is that the right way to use Twitter?

Let’s think for a moment, from the average Twitter user’s point of view. Chances are that she also has hundreds of people that she follows and gets tons of updates as a result. She is not watching her Twitter feed whole day long. Even if she has clients set up, she really “looks” at the feed, few times a day. At the rate at which tweets come in, I am sure she is not going back to see all the tweets that she missed between her consecutive Twitter sessions. So she is likely seeing only those which are active and fresh at the point of time.

And in those, if something appeals to her, she reads, takes action and others she lets go.

So for those other Twitter users, who had sent their tweets in between her sessions, and who counted her as amongst their thousands of followers, she was a waste. She did not read their tweets, and did not react to them!

Twitter used in this manner, then is a complete hit-or-miss situation.

For a tool that is so amazingly simple to use, that is so popular, can it’s utility be left to sheer chance, in this manner? There’s got to be a better way.

And sure enough. Enough serious and real knowledge gurus have been using the medium with a lot of understanding and foresight.

They ensure that their tweets are all relevant and good 140 character bits, which would actually be of interest to their followers. They ensure that the content is good. They don’t spam you with links, they don’t aggressively pitch you their wares. They don’t update each time they’re having coffee. In short, they don’t overburden their followers. They ensure that their tweets are made to count, and are worthwhile for their followers.

When done consistently and repeatedly, they make a reputation for themselves. And then if an average user is following them, even if she has infrequent Twitter sessions, she will look out for their updates. And pause to read, or click a link posted by them. Over time, she will eagerly await updates from them.

NOW, the sphere of Twitter influence has been established.

This is the way that a Twitter account needs to be built and used.

And here is where, the core point is same for Twitter as it is for web pages (and search engines), viz. that good content counts!

To summarize my two point formula for success on Twitter:

1. Don’t run after creating large number of followers. It is important to have a focused follower list, one that is typically your “target group” for whatever it is that you are trying to achieve. If others come on board, and they don’t react to your tweets and then leave, so be it. Don’t be obsessed with the number. Seek quality of followers rather than just quantity.

2. Good content works here too. If you give useful tweets, which are not just re-tweets or links being passed on, but your knowledge being shared, that will be valuable to your followers. Develop credibility on the basis of your content. Then your followers will watch out for your updates and you will truly have a sphere of influence via Twitter!

As many SEOs that you interact with, so many strategies you will get, for getting your page on top of search rankings! Likewise, the latest “how to” is all about using Twitter for influence.

My own thoughts on both of these come to a common base.

Good, relevant content!

Let’s take search engines first.

In the increasingly competitive and changing world of search engines, the real game for the search engines is to give you, the searcher, 10 perfect results. So if you search for “Java”, the search engine should not give you a mix of programming language, coffee and an Asian island, but rather, the search engine must KNOW what you want to see, and accordingly, deliver all 10 results that you want. That indeed, is the goal that search engines must be working towards. And they are getting better at doing so.

This is called “personalisation of search”.  Catering to you – the individual searcher.

As soon as this gets more and more real, what happens to SEO? To a large extent, it goes for a toss! Especially that part of search that focuses on getting you high SERPs or Search Engine Ranking Positions. BECAUSE there will be nothing like “positions”!! At least not universal ones.

So if we extend the same simplistic example, and find three different people searching for the same word, “Java”, they are quite likely to see entire different sets of results, based on amongst other things, a) their location, b) their previous searches, c) their ‘history’ of other things done, sites accessed, etc. If different people are going to see different sets of results, for the same search phrase, then there is nothing like a SERP. So that’s what I meant by SEO going for a toss, in a way.

So what will be the strategy for website owners to reach their target markets, via the search engine route?

The critical factor here is “target market”. So far, in the world of SERPs, if you got on to the top rankings, you would reach your target market, and then, you will reach others as well. You may not mind, but your site will be wasted for those others!

Now, in the upcoming age (and I don’t know how far we are from truly personalized search results) of personalized search, you will need to be satisfied with your target market. And once you know your target market, and what they would want from you (on the subject of your website), if you make sure that you get GOOD, RELEVANT CONTENT for this target group, it will already include the right keywords, it will get popular and others will link back to you, and in short, you will rank up in the search engine results for those phrases, when searched for, by your target market.

This strategy will work now, in the days when SERPs are still valid, and it will work later too, when they are less relevant.

“Don’t try to be something for all of the people, better to be everything for some of the people!!”

There is a similar strategy for Twitter, and I will share the same in a following post.