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No Purpose in Twitter

I Now Understand My Purpose for Twitter

I Now Understand My Purpose for Twitter

Is that how you feel? At one time, I had the same feeling. Didn’t see what the big deal was. If I wanted to say something I wanted more than 140 characters to work with. But as anyone that works in website design, I had to at least explore something that was so popular and has such a large audience. Was I missing something? Unfortunately, I must admit I was missing something. But I am man enough to fess up and admit my error.

After trying Twitter recently (follow us at http://Twitter.com/foundbydesign), I have found that Twitter has a lot to offer, and it all depends on what you are seeking. For my own purposes, Twitter was never going to be purely social. I don’t sit around wondering what exactly my friends are doing at this exact moment. In too many ways, that can just be TMI! No, my focus was on communication, greater exposure and SEO for my own website. I wanted to be able to communicate with current clients, prospective clients and maybe other associates within my field. I also wanted to gain further exposure to new groups of people and to pick up additional links to my website for SEO purposes. And what I have found is that Twitter has met these needs very well!

Communication using Twitter is rather easy. Yes, you are limited to 140 characters, but you can easily create a full on article on your website and link back to it from your Twitter account. But it is also great for quick announcements, updates and answering simple questions. I have used Twitter to announce our new Free Wordpress Themes we have made available for Wordpress self-hosted users. It seems to be a simple way to just quickly update people on what’s what.

Gaining greater exposure for your website is something I hoped for, but wasn’t sure if I’d see. As of this article’s posting, I am only up to 134 followers, but I already have an audience I would not have had any other way. Sure, some of the followers are there only to get me to follow them, but there are a number of people that are following my “tweets” that are in a greater position to shed light on my corner of the web… so that spurs me on to create great content! Besides, with the exposure of Twitter, we have already seen great response to the downloads of our free Wordpress themes, primarily promoted using Twitter!

One thing I did not know going in was that Twitter add a “nofollow” tag to each of your “tweets” so you do not get any real credit for links, particularly with Google. So as far as SEO went, I was beginning to think that maybe this would be a place I did not see anything. Wrong! Twitter’s “tweets” are also broadcast using RSS feeds and are then republished on a number of services which do provide links back to your website. Using my Google alerts, I just found that TweetMeMe.com was aggregating my Twitter items and providing dofollow links back to my individual URLs within my site that I was linking to! How cool! I am sure there are more like this, and look forward to getting future alerts!

In summary, it appears that Twitter may yet be a great tool to use for the promotion of a website. Whether its building a social following or simply to have another place to post your articles to, you will most likely find a positive outcome to using Twitter. I have found Twitter to be useful for communication, website exposure and greater optimization using links. What have you found Twitter to be useful for?

Written Sep 28, 2009 by Ed Nailor

Category: SEO
Permalink: http://foundbydesign.com/seo/no-purpose-in-twitter/
Short URL: http://bit.ly/RgNdS

Comments

  1. James says:

    I find myself connecting with product and service which I otherwise would have never gone looking for…

    Twitter has proven to be a real eye opener for me… I’ve always hated social networks which were more inline with a dating service or a high school reunion like facebook…

    Twitter has some professional merit…

  2. Ed Nailor says:

    @James: I agree with you on the other social networks, but they are beginning to be more valuable to business. Now that they seem to all be merging information… who knows what will become of that.
    The biggest issue I have ever had with Facebook and LinkedIn is that unless you are a member, you don’t really get to see anything. So its like a Member’s Only club, and I gave that jacket up YEARS ago!
    Of course, I do have accounts with both, I must admit. I have not really focused on them, so maybe if I find the time, I will see value there as well. Twitter has surprised me!

  3. John Slater says:

    At one point in time, perhaps 6 months ago I also did not think that twitter could help improve my web site traffic without placing an untold burden on my already precious time.

    How wrong I was! I gained many ideas through twitter on content and how people “see” my site with an unbiased view.

    Go Twitter.

  4. Peter says:

    I can see how in some industries its going to have value, but how do you apply it to all?

  5. BBT Banking says:

    I haven’t used Twitter up until this point, but you make some good arguments for it. For me, I have enough on my plate trying to keep up with feeds and such already.

    As to the comments about Facebook being “members only”, that is why I like it. I don’t want people I don’t know having personal details about me (other than what I put in the public realm). Facebook allows you to lock out people you don’t trust.

    cd :O)

  6. Matthew Lehn says:

    Although on a personal basis, I feel Twitter is a big waste of time, on the business end, I have found it to be somewhat useful. For instance, our company publishes newsletters on a periodic basis and through Twitter (and our business page on Facebook), we have other companies offering us stories, press releases, and product announcements for placement into the newsletter. This allows for minimal work on our end, saving us time and money. Directly, I don’t see it as a big SEO benefit, though. Indirectly (through word of mouth and 3rd party websites, RSS feeds, etc), I would say it does seem to have some benefit SEO-wise.

  7. Ed Nailor says:

    @Peter: Life itself is a social network. We all like to be part of something. So no matter what business you are in, having a way to make your business more social isn’t a bad thing. I would guess you could add Twitter to just about any business. How exactly I think would depend more on what you want to get from it, as it seems to offer a tremendous range of value.

  8. Ed Nailor says:

    @Matthew: I can see a newsletter business getting a lot of benefit from Twitter. That’s pretty interesting!

    @BTT Banking: There is a limit as to just how social one can be. I think the success is to target the one(s) you want and focus on creating a good network. And while I understand the privacy issue on Facebook, using it for business purposes seems rather limiting since a lot of the meat of your profile is hidden. (Again, I could be wrong on that)

    @John: Very much how I was too. Funny how sometimes just trying things can make a big difference!

  9. Hi Ed, Thanks for the article. A few things I have found: 1) I have seen Twitter results show up in Google searches. 2) Although links in the post are no follow I think the link on your profile page is a follow link. Correct me if I am wrong please. 3) Yes, it does take a lot of time. I recommend giving it at least a year if not two and then giving it a good hard look to see if it is working for you. In other words just like SEO work for the long term benefits.

  10. S. Sharp says:

    Hi Ed - just got done reading the forum post over at WPW and now am on your site - also just followed you on twitter. So - I think this alone might be a good reason to tweet, no?

    I agree with you , it took me a while to see a purpose in twitter and when I finally started doing it I got it! I tend to stay more personal in my posts and also tweet links to new blog posts and/or new services. I think it is an essential marketing tool, especially if you have an online store.

    Also gained some new clients from twitter, but most of all it helps me establish a relationship with potential customers and experts in my industry and to find out what they like, don’t like and what I should maybe change in my service offerings and/or the way I do business online.

    I think Twitter is here to stay.

  11. Apostolos says:

    I have found Twitter to be useful for communication, website exposure and greater optimization using links.

    I totally agree with the above phrase and think that twitter is going to be more usefull as many people find ways to better communicate
    Apostolos

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