The Twitter Series: Build Links with the Help of Twitter

If you’re familiar with the versatility of social media, you know that Twitter is not only at the forefront of communication, but is also an extremely valuable resource. Do a simple search for something, anything, on Twitter. What do you get? Tons of links, news updates, inquiries; there are endless options. With all of the hustle and bustle of Twitter, it can be difficult to use the social network to your advantage. Usage is so widespread and related to so many different topics that you’ve really got to create a place for yourself targeting a specific industry. Remember, it’s not about gaining thousands upon thousands of followers if they’re not interested in what you have to offer. However, if you use Twitter the right way, it’s easy to get the business you’re looking for and the exposure that you need. Now, let’s get down to the business of link building on Twitter.

Generally, links on Twitter are nonfollowed and usually shortened by a shortener. If you’re smart, you can turn a tweet into a link from a highly trusted website. There are many people on Twitter who have a great deal of influence in very specific areas. If I’m promoting search engine optimization, I can quickly search Twitter to find the people who are posting similar ideas and reach out to them outside of Twitter. If I really want to build links with Twitter, it’s all about quality, not quantity. Say I post a search engine optimization article link on Twitter, and ten people re-tweet that posting. This may not seem like a lot, but I’ve got to look closer at these ten people. Upon looking at their profiles, I immediately see that they are all experts in their fields with plenty of overlapping followers interested in the same industry. Overall, it seems that I’ve found a loosely structured community who had shared news about the URL that I chose as a link.

As a result, one of the ten who re-tweeted my post may have linked my URL to his or her popular and reputable website. Thus, I have successfully and influentially built links. The wide world of Twitter can certainly be intimidating, and it’s easy to get distracted from your ultimate, business-driven goal. As long as you stay focused and steer clear of the follower frenzy, (this is NOT about getting as many followers as you can) you’ll be able to focus on creating a niche in your industry and using Twitter to your business advantage.

The Twitter Series: The Best Twitter Search Sites on the Web

If you’re living, breathing, and tweeting in the real world, you’re going to need real-time searches. Google has yet to employ the key of the real-time search, but there are plenty of credible search services willing to scan Twitter and other sites in real time. These search engines will find the latest, most current update from the real-time social web. I’ve spent lots of time looking at a multitude of sites that scan live-updating websites like Twitter and other sources in order to find the very best tools for every topic.

Let’s start by looking at Twitter’s own search service. True, it’s easy to use, shows clear results, and does a fairly good job of allowing the users to see their real-time results while acknowledging that users cannot actually be bothered to read every single real-time tweet as it goes flying by from one to the next. A counter is updated on the top of the page, notifying you that more twitters are constantly coming through in real-time that are related to your search, but you have to click a link to actually see these updates. Twitter Search is also very good at building more advanced queries and allows you to subscribe to an RSS feed to receive search results. However convenient all of these characteristics may prove to be, there’s no doubt that Twitter Search could be more considerably more helpful. Unfortunately, its search results are sorted only on a chronological basis. There is no means to indicate the most popular, most read, or most related tweets. Also, needless to say, Twitter’s search serves Twitter only. There are several services that do a better job than Twitter does, but I’ve narrowed it down to three.

* Twazzup

o Twazzup provides an excellent solution to the relevancy problem. Rather than altering the real-time Twitter search, Twazzup actually adds to them. The results of your search show up in the main column surrounded by, first, related words and hashtags at the top of the page. The expandable “Popular Tweets” sidebar is extremely useful in its display of tweets with your keyword that are most often linked to or retweeted. It also provides photos and popular links. Unfortunately, Twazzup searches only Twitter, (although we can accept this because it is a made-for Twitter service).

* Collecta

o Collecta is a great resource that scans Twitter and other live-updated sites, including main-stream media sites and their blogs, like CNN for example. It has a clean, easy to use interface, and it even lets you run multiple searches at one time. This tool is perfect for monitoring multiple topics every day. Collecta, however, does not have an advanced search builder.

* Scoopler

o Scoopler is more like Twazzup in its display of the real-time results and the tools in the form of sidebars that add to the results. Scoopler searches Twitter and other blogs, such as Digg, and is particularly helpful in picking up items with links. You can also keep three searches pegged to your page that make for quick access.

Social Networks Gone Green

There’s no hiding from the environmentally conscious trend that’s taking the world by storm. Environmental awareness has hit everyone from the residential stay-at-home mom to the big business CEO. Everyone wants a piece of the ‘saving the world’ pie. Mom and Dad are buying organic groceries, maybe even cutting down their carbon footprint and buying less meat every week. Businesses are trying to clean up their means of production and making certain that consumers take notice as soon as they do. From purchasing environment-friendly cleaning supplies to joining a social network made for the environmental activist, there’s always an opportunity to do the earth some good. Wait – a social network made for the environmental activist? Yes, the effort to go green is reaching as far as the world wide web. Check out these green social networks:

* BigCarrot

o BigCarrot is a site devoted to rewarding the world’s do-gooders. The whole scheme of the website is all about offering rewards to people who achieve goals concerned with the environment. If the best way you can think to make a difference is by offering 30 bucks to the first person who collects trash at the park by your house, then BigCarrot is the social network for you. It can be a little difficult to get around the site and create prizes, but its relatively easy to find friends in its active community. It’s worth a shot to win some prizes, as well.

* Carbonrally

o Carbonrally wants you to reduce carbon emissions by working with others who use the site. After signing up, each user creates his own personal challenge. To achieve your goal, you’ve got to find team members to help you. You can also sign up for challenges posted by other users. To meet your goals you’ve got to communicate with other team members, discuss the steps towards your goal that you’ve taken thus far, and discuss how the challenge could be improved. Fortunately, the challenges aren’t too difficult. An example of one would be taking your air conditioning down two degrees and maintaining that temperature for one week. The site will tell you the impact that each individual can make by doing this, as well as the impact that the whole group of people that signed up can make.

* Celsias

o The purpose of joining Celsias is to be a good user by raising your Celsias temperature from a beginning value of 0 degrees on up. You can raise your Celsias temperature by participating in green activity. You can do this by turning the air conditioning down, buying more vegetables and less meat, or using energy-efficient lightbulbs. It’s easy to follow and interact with other users as you discuss your strategies and encourage each other along the way.

* Change.org

o Change.org is a great place to start if you want to really make a difference. It encourages you to raise money for green iniatives and improve your ability to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle. You can also discuss a variety of topics with other users. You can make friends with the other users or just join causes. Change.org rates you on the amount of money you raise, the users you”ve recruited to your cause, and the steps that you’ve taken personally to go green.

* Creative Citizen

o Creative Citizen rates you based on “Greenage.” The higher your Greenage the more prominent you are in the community. This is done by engaging in activities that are better for the environment. Creative Citizen is fairly small yet, but the existing community is very involved.

* Green Voice

o On Green Voice, people can work together to start up grassroots projects. Individuals can create their own projects or sign on to ones previously started by other users. The site lets you use photos, videos, blogs, and other forums to get the word out about your campaign. It also provides you with access to petition templates and any other tools or resources that help you achieve your goals.

* HowYouEco

o On HowYouEco, you can build a profile and make friends as soon as you sign up. This website helps the environment by providing user reviews of green products, which has proven to be very useful. The site also has a Twitter-like update box for every profile so that you can share your going green ideas.

* Make Me Sustainable

o Make Me Sustainable is a website dedicated to making you aware of your own carbon footprint. You will first answer questions about your car and your home followed by questions about your lifestyle. Once you answer the questions, the site tells you what your impact on the environment is. You can make this information public to other users, become friends with them, and discuss ways to better your results.

With all these great opportunities for the internet-inclined, it’s possible for anyone to go green these days!