Are You a Twitter Snob? Why I am not following you.

Sad how all these years later, this article is still very relevant. Sad.



The popular and much talked about micro-blogging site Twitter has received a lot of main stream publicity recently. Whether you have been on Twitter for years or just joined you may wonder why someone follows you on Twitter or why someone doesn’t reciprocate your following them. Well, I certainly have no clue, but below I have listed some criteria I look at to determine if I will follow someone.

Don’t have the default profile image.
Twitter Default Profile/Avatar

There is no faster turn off then to have your first impression be this lovely avatar. Don’t tell me you can’t find ONE decent picture of you. At least put something up, a logo or SOMETHING. Seth Godin (marketing guru) agrees on the importance of the profile picture in his article “The power of a tiny picture”.

Have a description of yourself or business.
You get a chance to tell me a little…

View original post 352 more words

Content is King in website marketing


For a long time now, most web folks have known that “Content is King”. What does that mean? Great content can get visitors to your website. Great content can keep people on your website. Great content gets people to link to your website. Great content can get search engines to rank you well. Keeping content fresh can help maintain your good search engine results (SERPs).

What do I mean by content?

The content I’m referring too can be text, products, photos, videos, social media, blogs, white papers, comments, polls, rankings and anything else that adds something to your website.

What makes content so important?

As a search engine optimization (SEO) geek I know, right after the very basics like meta information, the most important thing to consider in trying to rank high is content. The search engines love text, especially when it is relevant and supports the rest of the websites content. By relevant I mean, adding a chocolate chip cookie recipe to an architecture website probably won’t help your relevancy. Adding an article about computer aided design (CAD) might.

Google will tell you that one way to get better rankings on search engines is having quality inbound links to your site. You can hire a link building person to scour the web looking for opportunities, or you can develop content that someone might be interested in linking too. I hate the term but “Link Bait”, or creating content with the intent to encourage links, is a great way to increase where you rank in the SERPs.

Besides the search engines, believe it or not visitors to your site like good content. Using the example above, let’s say a visitor comes to your architecture website and the first page they come across is an article on chocolate chip cookies. The likelihood of the visitor staying on the site is low; the likelihood of them turning into a conversion is even lower. Alternately, if you have content the visitor is interested in, they are much more likely to stay or comeback.

Where can I get great content?

The biggest problem with great content is getting great content. Most companies don’t have the resources such as technical writers and content marketing specialist on staff. It can be expensive to generate and maintain content. In an article I came across on eConsultancy entitled, “Your company is awash with great content” they demonstrate all the resources companies can leverage. Below is an exert from that article listing resources you might not have thought of.

Hiding in powerpoint decks. Sales decks, investor presentations, process-focused slides…

Inside the heads of your people. Not just your smartest or most senior people; your front-line sales and support people too; and your product people.

In customer communications. Your customers are a prime source of Grade A content. Almost every interaction has at least the germ of a blog post.

In sales proposals. The things you use to get people to take out their checkbooks.

In promotional bumf. These days, marketers discount all those data sheets and product brochures and case studies as ‘old-school’ content. But there’s gold in those pdfs (if you’ve got the pan to swish it out).

In what other people say about your world. Journalists, bloggers, analysts and experts are all paid (in one way or another) to secrete content. Get your paper towels out.

In everyday working docs. Those banal process documents meeting reports, project summaries and status updates.

In emails. Your email store is absolutely packed with content ready to discover and unleash. In your In box and your Sent folder. Internal emails. External emails. Marketing emails. Viagra spam. (Okay, maybe not Viagra spam – although I did once write a post on it).

In your social channels. Stop tweeting and just listen to every one else’s tweets for a few hours. Dig under the self-promotional layer in every LinkedIn group. Peel back the social veneer of Facebook. Shine a light into the darker corners of YouTube, Slideshare and Pinterest.

What makes great content?

That is a difficult question to answer. The short of it is, it’s different for every website, company, market, etc. My suggestion is do your research. Figure out what your customers are reading, viewing, liking, retweeting and do more of that. Posting one article will not help, be consistent. Ask your sales people or heaven forbid, ask your customers what they might be interested in seeing. Having great, relevant content is not easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it.

How the Facebook Experience Has Changed Over the Years.

Facebook, then and now.
In the beginning:

Friend, friend, comment, post, post, block, comment, block, comment, post, block, block, comment, post, comment, block, block, unfriend.

And now:

Friend, comment, post, like, like, like, comment, like, like, like, like, comment, post, block, like, like, comment, post.

I like “Like” better then “Block” and “Unfriend” but Facebook would be a nightmare without the latter two. Enough said.

Bacon is Good, Good Customer Service and the Power of Twitter.

Bacon StripBacon is Good
Stick with me on this people. I love bacon. I am somewhat of a connesuir. I’ve tried all kinds of bacon from all over the world. My favorite bacon in the whole world is Niman Ranch Uncured Applewood Smoked Bacon. It is AWESOME. I put this bacon in recipes, render it down to cook with the fat and straight up eat it.

Bacon StripGood Customer Service
Several months ago my local everyday grocery store Publix stopped carrying the Niman Ranch bacon. I gave it a little while thinking maybe they were just out of stock every time I came through (it’s possible, it’s dang good bacon). Frantic for my bacon I searched stores all around this area, nothing. I visited their website, they don’t sell the bacon online. Finally, I came to the sad conclusion that I would be without my beloved bacon. In a last ditch effort I visited the Publix website and completed the online email form. I simply asked why I couldn’t get my bacon fix anymore. Sure enough, the very next afternoon I got a phone call from an associate manager of my local Publix. He told me that my the product had been discontinued through out the whole division. Noooo! After my meltdown he calmly explained that he could custom order the product just for me. The only down side he said was they would have to order a whole case. Me, I’m thinking, where’s the down side? Awesome right? In less then a day I was contact by the grocery store to my total satisfaction.

Niman Ranch BaconThe Power of Twitter
As I am known to do with events like had just occurred I rushed to pimp what had transpired. The quickest way I know how was to tweet it. I love getting great service and when I do I want everyone to know about it. I tweeted the following:

Yah Publix! One email about discontinued Niman Ranch Uncured Applewood Smoked Bacon (my fav) and they put in a custom order just for me.

To my surprise, more then my “followers” where watching. Less then an hour later I got this tweet from none other then Niman Ranch’s Twitter account:

@webaggression that’s great news! Let’s all start sending emails! 🙂

My emotional replay was next:

@Niman_Ranch Seriously, you have the best bacon I have ever had. I love it. I just wish I could order it on your website.

Fifteen minutes after my reply:

@webaggression Stay tuned! I’m working on it as we speak. You’ll be able 2 order the applewood smoked or the maple within the next 2 weeks.

Now I am SUPER PSYCHED! I have bacon coming at me in all directions. THAT is what good customer service is about and that is why, when done right, brands SHOULD be on social media. Oh, and by the way got this post from Niman Ranch today:

It’s offical! For all of you who have been patiently waiting, you can now purchase NR bacon online!

BOOM! I love it. Have you had any amazing customer service experiences like this? Share!

Social Media, “you ain’t all that”…and websites your not “and a bag of potato chips”.

The title is a stretch; I think I was looking for anyway to quote Dr. Evil. You are probably thinking, “what the heck is this idiot rambling about this time.” Put simply, social media and a great website are nothing without a great product and great customer service.

To start, I am a web designer and I use social media a lot for learning, networking and connecting with communities, friends and colleagues. I also understand people who don’t like social media or don’t understand it. I am not going to debate that here, I am just saying…so with that said on to Social Media and websites.

Many social media “gurus” and “experts” will tell you that if you don’t have a social media strategy, if you’re not on Twitter and Facebook, you’re missing out. Most web strategists and designers (like me;-) will tell you that if you don’t have a great website, if you’re not selling your product on the web you are missing out. For the most part I would tend to agree with both of these opinions. Most companies could benefit from a well thought out social media strategy. Yes, most companies should have a well put together site and if possible your products should be available for search and or purchase. I could take this tangent and talk about all the reason why, but instead I wanted to point out a company that doesn’t really do either, but that I LOVE!

Total Wines. If you are not fortunate enough to live near one then I am truly sorry for you. For you all, Total Wines is the Costco of wine shops. They literally have every bottle of wine ever made (okay may be I’m exaggerating a bit). The stores have a HUGE selection of wines, beers and most have liquors as well. Not only is the selection awesome, the prices are cheaper then Costco. Needless to say I think they have a great product.

Other then prices and selection, when you go into a Total Wines (or at least the ones I have been in) the staff are amazing. You never have a staff member walk away after eye contact like many other warehouse stores. When they engage they make sure that you find what you are looking for. Their customer service goes beyond the normal since all of their floor staff have intimate knowledge of the wines and can recommend based on your tastes and price range. Great customer services.

As far as I can tell Total Wines has no presence on social media. No Twitter followers, no Facebook friends or fans, no LinkedIn connections and no MySpace what ever they have. If you visit their website, uh..well…umm, well (sorry guys) it SUCKS. Put in a nicer way, it leaves me wanting more. No product search, no ecommerce, and heck the navigation doesn’t even work in all browsers. Guess what? I DON’T CARE. I still LOVE them.

I hope by now you see where I am going with this rant. I know what some of you are thinking (besides you just wasted 5 minute of your life you will never get back). Total Wines could improve their customer interaction by initiating a social media plan. They could increase sales by improve their web presence, for sure. My point is they don’t HAVE to.

So at least one company tells social media and websites to “talk to the hand because the face don’t want to hear it anymore”.

Spelling – A Lost Art?

I will be the first to admit that I am not what you would call a strong speller. It’s not that I can’t spell; it’s just that I am too lazy to sound out the word and spell it correctly (at least I admit it). With the advent of spell checking software and word processors I have become spoiled to no end. I wrote my first paper on a word processor that had a spell checker.

Now that cellular phone texting and micro-blogging applications like Twitter have become such commonly used communication tools for both individuals and businesses, has spelling gotten lost? Twitter has a spelling checker as does most of the software that are used to access them like TweetDeck. By limiting you to 140 or 160 characters (for text messaging) spelling many times goes out the door. In some cases you are forced to truncate your message by abbreviating words.

How important do you think spelling is in common communications or in business communications on social media? Are you less like to do business with a company that has misspelled or abbreviated words in their communications?

BTW if U want to B my BFFL U can CMB, THX and HAGD.

What’s your excuse for not connecting with your customers/clients?

connecting with your clients/customers

I was speaking with a colleague this week about a potential advertiser who wanted to secure “leads” as a part of the deal. My colleague told me that this company doesn’t use email or even have a fax machine. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? And just so you know, this isn’t some Mom and Pop, nickel and dime store. This is a large company with a presence throughout the northeast.

 So maybe that is the extreme example and just maybe I am the other extreme. I’ll admit that between, email, voicemail, text, cell phones (yes, that is plural), blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media, maybe I am a little overly connected. So where do you see yourself or your business?

 I am not going to go into how important it is to stay connected to your customer or client base. There are many, many people much smarter then I to preach those virtues. But given all these tools that are available (many of which are FREE) why not make yourself available to your clients/customers? You might be surprised how a phone call, an email, a follow, or “friend-ing” someone can create a connection that is so much better then an expensive print or web ad.

 I know that some feel social media isn’t for every company or person. If you don’t feel you have the time or resources, you’re best choice might be to stay away. Many would argue differently. At the very least, have real contact information on your website and reply to voice mail and email in a timely manner. Treat your customers and clients like you would like to be treated if not better.

 In these days of hyper-connectivity, what is your excuse for not connecting with your clients/customers?

Are You a Twitter Snob? Why I am not following you.


The popular and much talked about micro-blogging site Twitter has received a lot of main stream publicity recently. Whether you have been on Twitter for years or just joined you may wonder why someone follows you on Twitter or why someone doesn’t reciprocate your following them. Well, I certainly have no clue, but below I have listed some criteria I look at to determine if I will follow someone.

Don’t have the default profile image.
Twitter Default Profile/Avatar

There is no faster turn off then to have your first impression be this lovely avatar. Don’t tell me you can’t find ONE decent picture of you. At least put something up, a logo or SOMETHING. Seth Godin (marketing guru) agrees on the importance of the profile picture in his article “The power of a tiny picture”.

Have a description of yourself or business.
You get a chance to tell me a little about yourself or your business, so use it. Why should I follow you? What are your interests? What are you going to tweet about?

Have a link to something more about you.
Twitter provides the opportunity to link out to more information about you or your business. If you don’t have a blog, website use your Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr or YouTube space. Be sure to link to something that tells me more about you.

Be relevant, informative, funny or controversial in your tweets.
Finally, I look at your stream. What do you tweet about? Is it relevant to me? Can I learn from you?

Follow people back.
If I come to a profile of someone that has thousands of followers and only 5-10 that they are following, unless their content is REALLY relevant, I won’t follow them. More on why in the next point.

Join the conversation.
If I look at your stream and none of your tweets is an @reply (meaning you are replying to someone else’s tweet), chances are greater that I won’t follow you. In my humble opinion Twitter is about the conversation. If you try to make it all about you, you’re missing out on many opportunities, opinions and information.

Don’t rush it.
So many now are reading about Twitter and a rushing to get involved. I see it all the time, they are following the initial maximum 2000 people and have just a few followers. Their only tweet is, “Figuring out this Twitter thing”. Talk your time and follow people that you are going to want to listen to and converse with. Don’t follow everyone because you think they’ll follow you back. Twitter is not a popularity contest.

To sum up, the worst scenario: No profile picture, no description, no link, following 500+ with 12 followers (probably auto-follows) or 500+ and only following 12 and you have two tweets. This is just what I think, what do you look for?

Feel free to comment or elaborate on this blog or via my Twitter account @webaggression, if I don’t follow you back at least you’ll know why.

Newspapers are dead or dying, is email next?

If you are a fan of print magazines and newspapers you better get it while you can. Despite the many that are still clinging to print, it IS dying a slow death. Several discussions with colleagues have brought up an interesting thought, is email the next communication tool to die?

We all still us email, but will social media and network sites along with texting kill email? More and more business are jumping on board with social media (Twitter, Facebook), more and more adults are using text messaging to communicate. If you are in your 20’s or younger, you probably communicate exclusively through Facebook or MySpace and texting. So is it that inconceivable that email might be next on the extinction list?

 I am very interested in what you all think.

 Related articles:

Guilt by Social Network Associations

Guilty by Social Marketing or Networking

 Are we responsible for the content of the sites we link to, or the people we follow? I started thinking about this awhile back. I have a friend that is extremely conservative. This person regularly quotes and links to a blog that has some questionable content deeper in the site, specifically the use of many expletives. Now this doesn’t offend me personally and I would never judge someone based on them linking to other sites or even using expletives (goodness knows I have said a few myself), but it got me thinking. With word of mouth and social marketing and networking being so prevalent for business and individuals, how careful must you be who you are associated with? Who your “Friends” are? Who you “Follow”?

Alternately, I think everyone realizes the importance of their own comments and posts and how they not only reflect on you but your business. Do those comments reflect on those you link to?

During these last few days of the elections the political talk increased on the social network and micro-blogging sites like Twitter. Some people make no bones about the side of the aisle they sit, which is great; I have strong political opinions myself. Can expressing your personal political (or any other) opinions as a representative of your business effect your business? If I disagree with the opinions that one posts, am I less likely to do business with them?

I am asking a lot of questions, I know. For me, I don’t take links, blog posts, opinions that are broadcast on Twitter or any other web site personally. I don’t think (unless it was really offensive to me) that I would change my opinion of a business based on comments or posts by an individual. I suspect, however that many might.

What do you think?