5 Reasons Information Travels and How to Increase Your Reach

Blair Semenoff

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So many people get caught up into broadcasting about themselves they never take into consideration if anyone is really listening. Getting more friends, followers or connections isn’t an accurate measurement of your reach or influence. (PS: Looking at Twitter followers is for your ego, looking at how many TwitterLists you have is closer to reality.)

To accurately gauge if people are listening to you, you MUST be measuring your analytics. Other quick ways to see if anyone is listing to you is to count your retweets, ask questions or start group conversations to see if anyone responds, or even send out a TwitPic to see how many hits you get.

Despite contrary belief, the value of your content is NOT the most important factor to whether or not your blog post or article will get any views. The main reason your article gains traction on the web is WHERE the content is coming from and WHO is involved in circulating the content. That’s why writing guests posts on established blogs is the fastest way to get yourself noticed and gain credibility.
“It doesn’t matter how many followers you have if they aren’t listening. Build friends not followers.”

The 5 Reasons Content Travels (In Order!)

Source: To be a reputable source, it requires (years of) quality and consistency. Whenever possible, acknowledge the source when sharing content. Retweet tweets with two or preferably more @usernames while leaving 12 to 15 characters for additional retweets. This is how you make friends and increase the probability of others retweeting you and your posts.

Example: 4 Ways Women Stunt Their Careers Unintentionally (HarvardBiz) http://t.co/0iDAaNRa OR RT @HarvardBiz 4 Ways Women Stunt Their Careers Unintentionally http://t.co/0iDAaNRa

Headline & Typography: Headlines are what sells newspapers. Hitting keywords is what gets you found in search. In terms of typography, you’ll notice NYTimes, HarvardBiz, Mashable and myself, just to name a few, make the tweets look like a headline. When you compare our method to others in the search engine, you’ll know why. Using #Hashtags is a whole lesson in itself.

Timing: As they say, “Timing is everything!” This is where analytics really come into play. Don’t just look at them; learn how to read them and then incorporate improvement. People are creatures of habit, so take that into account. Also, look at the frequency of “Keywords” in social search engines, looking for slow moving keywords and being involved in trends.

Presentation of Content: Don’t piss people off! Remove all pop-ups, including the mailing list pop-ups. Also, if the first thing people see when they open your blog is a banner ad followed by a blog title and then more advertisements, you’re degrading your brand. This alters the reader’s perception of you and makes you look desperate for money. Either you’re creating a brand or just trying to make pitiful ad dollars off your site. Pick one. The design aspect is another lesson in itself.

Value of Content: DON’T LIE! If you say your link has 25 photos, then don’t send them to your “landing page” (that’s generating pitiful ad revenue) with five photos followed by a link to the remaining 20. Don’t regurgitate what’s trending. I see so many social media “experts” duplicating what Mashable is talking about. Remember, information is like history and it repeats itself. Grab a calendar, put some thought into it and YOU create the next trend!

Topics: Social Media

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