Top 10 Twitter Tutorials on YouTube

We all know that YouTube is a treasure trove of entertainment, with endless hours of Justin Bieber crooning to tweens and cats playing the piano. But it’s also a terrific resource for learning — there are helpful how-tos about a wide range of topics that do a great job of breaking down complex subjects into visuals that are easy to understand. Users have posted thousands of tutorials ranging from animal care to everyone’s favorite microblogging tool, Twitter.

Whether you want to get your mom started on Twitter or want the scoop on some of Twitter’s best desktop apps and how to use Twitter for brand building, these YouTube videos will keep you entertained while educating you about various aspects of the Twitterverse.

1. Twitter in Plain English

This quick, no-nonsense introduction is a great starting point.

2. Getting Started With Twitter

A simple step by step tutorial on how to create your Twitter account, add friends, and get started tweeting.

3. Twitter Lists in a Nutshell

A quick looks at the “Lists’ feature and how to use it to your advantage.

4. Top Twitter Tools Exposed and Explained

An introduction to the top Twitter tools and how to use them in conjunction with each other to get the most out of Twitter for personal or business use.

5. How to Create an Attractive Twitter Profile

How to  make your Twitter profile page highly attractive and gain more followers.

6. Finding Followers

This easy Twitter tutorial explains several ways to find people to follow on Twitter.

7. How to Tweet From Any Cell Phone

This video shows you how to update Twitter from your cell phone using text messaging. This method doesn’t require any additional apps and works on any phone, but standard text messaging rates apply.

8. How to Use Twitter for Business

Have you signed up for Twitter but found yourself at a loss about what to do with it? This video series will help jumpstart your efforts.

9. Twitter and Brand Building

How to use Twitter effectively for building customer relationships and brand reputation.

10. 5 Business Benefits of Twitter Even if Your Customers Aren’t Using It Yet

How to get value out of the platform before your customers even join.

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12 Reasons to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business

Social media is fast becoming an essential part part the marketing mix for brands. Companies are increasingly using social tools to monitor conversations about their products, competitors, and industry, and engaging with their customers to build strong relationships. According Forrester Research’s most recent Interactive Marketing Forecast, social media marketing will grow at an annual rate of 34% -– faster than any other form of online marketing and double the average growth rate of 17% for all online mediums:

And new research from Access Markets International Partners shows that almost 70% of small and medium businesses actively use social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote themselves. But simply posting what your CEO had for lunch isn’t going to help much with your branding efforts — it’s important to strategically use social media tools to increase exposure and reach your target audience.

Here are 12 compelling reasons to use social media to help grow your business:

1. Own your brand’s social presence: If you don’t create official channels online, it’s only a matter of time before your fans do it for you and create their own profiles and communities around your brand. It’s important to claim your brand name across all the major social media platforms. Here are two sites that will help you do this:

  • KnowEm: KnowEm has the highest number of sites (over 350) available for checking username availability. Simply by entering your desired username, you’ll be able to find out instantly if it’s still available. KnowEm also offers paid plans, from just signing up and registering you at 150 sites, to a full-featured plan which also fills in all profile details, complete with pictures, at 100 to 300 different networking sites.
  • namechk: Covering 72 major social networking sites, namechk is simple, fast, and easy to use. If your desired username or vanity URL is still available, you simply click through each one to claim it. If your brand isn’t consistent across the Web, namechk can help you by determining which usernames are still available on a number of the most popular sites.

2. Look like you “get it”: Your target audience is becoming more shrewd about leveraging social media sites as an integral part of their daily lives. If you want to appear relevant and in-step with the latest advances in technology, your potential customers will want to see you on these sites as well. If you don’t have a presence, you appear as if you’re not very savvy.

3. Brand recognition: You need to go where your customers are, and they are increasingly spending a great deal of time on social networking sites. Using social media enables your company to reach a huge number of potential customers. Getting your name out there is incredibly important — studies suggest that people need to hear a company’s name at least seven times before they trust and respect it enough to become a customer.

4. Take your message directly to consumers: Social media tools enable you to directly engage consumers in conversation. Be sure to build trust by adding value to the community consistently over time.

5. Increase your search engine rankings: Social media profiles (especially those on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) frequently rank highly with major search engines. Creating keyword-rich profiles around your brand name can help generate traffic for your both your social-networking sites and your company’s Web site.

6. SEO benefits: Many social media bookmarking sites use NOFOLLOW tags that limit the outbound link value of posts made on their sites, but there are still many leading sites that allow DOFOLLOW tags — including Friendfeed, Digg, and Mixx. You can also benefit from posting to bookmarking sites that use NOFOLLOW tags if people read your posts and link back to your Web site.

7. Social media content is now integrated with search results: Search engines like Google and Bing are increasingly indexing and ranking posts and other information from social networks. Videos from popular sites like YouTube can also be optimized for indexing by the major search engines.

8. Brand monitoring: Having a social media presence gives you a better understanding of what current and potential customers are saying about your products and services. If you actively monitor social conversations, you have the opportunity to correct false or inaccurate information about your brand and address negative comments before they take on a life of their own.

9. Generate site traffic: You can create additional traffic if you regularly post updates on social networks that link back to your Web site. Social media bookmarking tools like Digg, Reddit, and Stumbleupon can also generate additional traffic to your site if you create frequent articles and blog posts.

10. Find new customers through your friends: You shouldn’t neglect your personal social media accounts as potential avenues to promote the activities of your business. Posting regular updates relating to your business and activities can remind your friends about what your company does and influence them to use your services or make referrals.

11. Find new customers through your company profile: Your company profile is a great opportunity for you to post regular updates on your activities and about important news and trends in your industry. This will attract the attention of new customers interested in your industry and increase your reputation as an expert in your field. It’s important to post regularly if you want to increase your followers or fans and convert them to potential leads.

12. Niche marketing: Social media enables you to reach very specific subsets of people based on their personal preferences and interests. You can create unique social media profiles to target these audiences or create strategies based on addressing individual interests.

Are you using social media to grow your business? Please share your experiences!

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How Fortune 100 Companies are Leveraging Social Media [Infographic]

Burson-Martseller, a leading global public relations and communications firm,  recently released a report detailing how the Fortune 100 companies are using social platforms. The study, called “The Global Social Media Check-Up”, found that 79% use at least one of the four top social media platforms:

  • 65% have active accounts on Twitter
  • 54% have a Facebook fan page
  • 50% have a YouTube channel
  • 33% have a corporate blog

Flowtown has created a terrific infographic that tells the visual story of these findings and illustrates how the largest corporations are using the social-media engagement model:

And here’s the SlideShare presentation that Burson-Martseller created based on its study results:

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Social Media: A Cheat Sheet [Infographic]

Are you new to social media? Are you unsure about how to engage your audience via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the rest? Here’s a handy infographic that doubles as a roadmap of the social Web. Created for by 97th Floor, it analyzes the top social media sites in the U.S. and tells you how each one stacks up in terms of:

  • Customer communication
  • Brand exposure
  • Ability to drive traffic to your site
  • SEO

Overall, YouTube and Digg post the best results, although YouTube falters in the traffic area and Digg isn’t a great tool for customer communication. This guide doesn’t address the mechanics of how involved you need to be with each site when you launch a new campaign, or how aggressive — in general, it’s important to tread lightly with your messaging because over-marketing in the social sphere can backfire quickly.

The image below has been scaled. You can click on it to see a slightly larger version and download the full-screen PDF.

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Social Media: Everybody’s Doing It, But For Different Reasons [Charts]

While the demographics of the average social media user mirror the average U.S. adult (i.e., everyone’s socializing online in some way), a recent Retail Advertising and Marketing Association survey conducted by BIGresearch shows types of social media use vary greatly by age and gender. The survey, “Social Media: An Inside Look at the People Who Use It”, compares U.S. users on the social Web to the average American adult. But even with all the Twitter chitchat, Facebook fan groups, and blogs to be followed, consumers believe face-to-face communication is the most powerful.

Here are some interesting graphs from the report — mouse over them to see the underlying details:

View the full research report (PDF)

View the raw research data comparing social media users to U.S. adults 18+ (PDF)

View the raw research data comparing all social media user demographics (PDF)

Takeaways from the report:

  • 70% of social media users between the ages of 18-34 regularly use Facebook more than other sites such as MySpace, Twitter, and
  • 72% of social media users say that after an online search, they communicate with others about a product or service with face-to-face communication
  • More people who use social media prefer to give advice about a product or service rather than receive it
  • Social media users are more likely to use other new media compared to adults 18+
  • 71% of female social media users regularly use Facebook, compared to 61% of males
  • More men than women prefer to communicate with others via a cell phone conversation after searching for a product or service online

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Pope to Priests: Thou Shalt Blog

You know the old marketing adage: Go where your customers are.

Pope Benedict XVI has apparently taken this to heart. In anticipation of the church’s 44th World Communications Day on May 16th, he has issued a statement, The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in a Digital World: New Media at the Service of the Word. In it, he urges priests to use social media for outreach in conjunction with their traditional means of communication. The Pope feels that it’s urgent and necessary to be online, where so many people spend their time — especially young people, a key target demographic for the Church.

Priests stand at the threshold of a new era: As new technologies create deeper forms of relationship across greater distances, they are called to respond pastorally by putting the media ever more effectively at the service of the Word. The spread of multimedia communications and its rich ‘menu of options’ might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the Web, or to see it only as a space to be filled. Yet priests can rightly be expected to be present in the world of digital communications as faithful witnesses to the Gospel, exercising their proper role as leaders of communities which increasingly express themselves with the different “voices” provided by the digital marketplace. Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs, websites) which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization and catechesis.

The Pope obviously knows his social media.

His comments dovetail with the Vatican’s effort in recent years to establish a larger online presence. The Holy See created a YouTube channel last year, offering video and audio clips of Pope Benedict’s addresses, along with news about the pontiff. The recently launched Pope2you portal offers an iPhone app, a Facebook app, Papal videos, and a link to the YouTube channel. The Vatican was on the bleeding edge when it created its own Web site 14 years ago, with access to the Vatican Museums and Vatican Secret Archives; there’s even a section in Latin for classical language buffs. The Catholic News Service, which is affiliated with the Vatican, is no technical slouch either — it has its own Facebook page, featuring news stories, notes, and blogs, with over 3,000 fans.

As CEO of the Catholic Church, the Pope knows the importance of guidelines. He’s clear to his followers about how he wants them to use social media and the message he wants them to communicate:

The increased availability of the new technologies demands greater responsibility… Using new communication technologies, priests can introduce people to the life of the Church and help our contemporaries to discover the face of Christ. They will best achieve this aim if they learn, from the time of their formation, how to use these technologies in a competent and appropriate way, shaped by sound theological insights and reflecting a strong priestly spirituality grounded in constant dialogue with the Lord… In this way the Word can traverse the many crossroads created by the intersection of all the different “highways” that form “cyberspace”.

Regardless of your religious convictions, it’s hard to deny how impressive it is that the 82-year-old leader ‘gets’ social media. It will interesting to see how many priests follow his lead.

Pope Benedict’s call to action is valuable advice for businesses, too. If he thinks that Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and blogging are good ways to spread his message, maybe these tools can help your company. If your firm’s leaders don’t see the value in developing a social media strategy, you can point to His Holiness’s commitment to the social Web as a branding and communication tool.

(Photo: / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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