The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Content

topsy search

For your online marketing to perform at its best, there’s a ton of stuff you need to do. Track your social metrics, connect with influencers and curate awesome content to name just three.

Fortunately, this needn’t be as much of a headache as it sounds. Especially when you’ve got Topsy to hand.

Topsy is the Swiss Army Knife of Twitter. You can use it to check your social stats, hook up with influencers, find some of the best content online, and much more.

Here are 4 ways you can use Topsy like a pro.

1. Check Your Blog’s Performance

Want to see how your content is performing on Twitter? Twitter’s own tools only allow you to do this in a limited way. That’s because when you run a Twitter search for your website, it only shows the latest tweets linking to your site. And you have to run a separate search for each page you want to check the performance of.

With Topsy, you can check the Twitter performance of your whole site with a single search.

You do this using the search term site:yoursite.com. For example, we’d search for site:lorirtaylor.com.

When you do, you’ll see a result like this:

TOPSY IMAGE 1

It includes:

  • The total number of tweets for a specified time period (1 hour, 1 day, 7 days, 30 days, or a custom range)
  • A list of your top trending tweets
  • A chart showing your Twitter performance

What’s the best way to use this information?

First, you can track your performance over time. Check your stats each week, and note them down. That way, you’ll see whether your Twitter shares are going up or sliding down.

Second, you can compare how you’re doing with other sites in your niche. Just search for one of your competitors to see how many social shares they’re getting.

Talking of beating your competitors, you can also…

2. Get Ideas for Top Performing Content

Topsy shows you which of your blog posts are the top performing on social media. When you see which of your content performs the best, you can create more content like that.

Now for a sneaky tip. If you’re stuck for ideas of what to write about, you can also run a Topsy search for your competitors’ blogs. Then you’ll see which of their content is top performing. Of course you should never copy, but you can use this as inspiration for your own blog.

Getting ideas for content isn’t the only way you can use Topsy to keep your social schedule full. You can also use it to…

3. Curate Top Notch Content in Your Niche

Need help filling up your Twitter feed? Then run Topsy searches for relevant terms in your niche.

For example, we might run a Topsy search for “social media marketing”, like this:

Topsy Image 2

You’ll see the most popular articles on social media marketing over the past 8 hours. Again, you can choose a period of time for your search to cover (1 day, 7 days, 30 days or a custom range).

How does this help?

  • You can add the content you discover to your Twitter feed – and other social media feeds.

You can also use it to come up with your own content ideas (as in point 2, above):

  • You can riff off the articles you discover when you’re coming up with new ideas, because you know the topics of the articles are popular.
  • You can check out the articles and write a response. By joining a popular conversation, you’re putting yourself in the firing line for traffic.
  • You can quickly find the most popular new stories in your niche. Then you can provide your own angle on each story on your blog.

Finally, you can use Topsy’s analytics tool to compare the relative popularity of different areas in your niche.

For example, we ran a search for “social media marketing”, “content marketing” and “blogging” and found that they all have a similar level of popularity on social media:

Topsy Image 3

4. Discover Your Influential Fans

Getting in touch with the right influencers can have a huge impact on your business.

That’s because influencers have a big following and people listen to what they say.

You’re probably aware of some of the influencers in your niche. But the fact that you’re aware of them could mean they’re not the best influencers to know? Why? Because the more widely known they are, the less likely they are to have time to help you.

Instead, the best influencers to know are those who are already on your side. How do you discover these?

Run a search for a recent article you’ve published to your blog. Use the URL link to the article, rather than the article title. It’s best to choose an article that you know had a lot of social shares.

For example, we ran a search to our article 25 Social Media Tips from the World’s 5 Biggest Power Users (What Do They Know that You Don’t?).

Once you’ve run the search, you’ll see the option to select “All Tweets” or “Influential Only”. Yup, we’re interested in the influential tweets. So go ahead and click “Influential Only”.

You’ll end up with something like this:

Topsy Image 4

These are influencers who have already shared your content. So if you’re looking for people to connect with and ask for help from, you can’t go far wrong starting with these.

Over to You

Have you ever used Topsy to run a pro search? What did you discover? Let us know your Topsy tips and hacks in the comments section, below.

More RetweetsYou want to engage as many people as possible on Twitter.

The more people who see your Tweets, the quick you’ll grow your base of followers.

How can you get your Tweets out there? By having them retweeted.

It’s up to your followers to decide whether or not they’ll retweet you. But that doesn’t mean getting retweeted is out of your hands.

There are simple strategies you can follow to better your chances of being retweeted.

Ready to get stuck in? Then here goes.

1. Keep Your Tweets Short (70-110 characters)

A full tweet is 140 characters, but you shouldn’t use up all this space. The ideal length for tweets is between 70 and 110 characters. Why’s that? Because shorter tweets give space for others to retweet you, and add their own comments to your tweet.

2. Remember Your PVQs

Get the acronym “PVQ” stuck in your head, and you’ll get more engagement. What’s PVQ? Photos, Videos and Quotes.

Twitter researched its own users and looked at the types of tweets that got the most retweets.

Photos got 35% more retweets than average.

Videos had a 28% boost compared to the average.

And quotes were 19% more likely to retweeted compared to the average.

So…. PVQs. Got it?

3. Add a Hashtag

Hashtags aren’t quite as powerful as photos, videos and quotes, but they do give your tweets a better chance of being shared.

The same research by Twitter found that hashtags are 16% more likely to be shared.

4. Find the Best Time of Day to Tweet

Time of Day to TweetThe optimal time for tweeting depends on when your audience is online (there’s even something to be said for tweeting during quiet times, so you stand out more).

Think about your target audience when deciding what time to tweet. Then test, test, test to see the times of day when you get the most engagement.

Also check out our infographic of the best and worst times to post on social media.

5. Ask for Retweets

When Dan Zarella included the phrase “Please ReTweet” in his tweets, he found that 51% of tweets were retweeted.

Without this phrase, just 12% of tweets were retweeted.

Want people to share your tweets? Then ask them to do it. They’ll happily oblige.

Over to You

What strategies do you use to get more retweets on Twitter? Share your tips in the comments section, below.

Unusual Twitter Uses

We all know that Twitter can help grow your business, connect with influencers and fill your sales funnel.

But there’s way more you do on Twitter. How you can use Twitter to get ahead is only limited by your imagination.

Check out these tips to get your brain buzzing.

1. Sneak Into Conferences

Ever been to a conference where you could share your thoughts on Twitter? It’s a growing trend. Academics have latched onto this and realized they can sneak into conferences through the back door by following the conference Twitter feed.

People will usually Tweet conference highlights, so you’ll get the best stuff without spending the time or money attending.

Academic Meghan Duffy explains how she started attending conferences via Twitter:

This summer, because I was moving to Michigan, I wasn’t able to make it to either Evolution or ESA. I was, however, able to follow along with both meetings, by following tweets with the conference hashtags (#evol2012 and #esa2012). Following the tweets from Rosie Redfield’s plenary at Evolution was a particular highlight.

You can do this with business conferences too. All you need to do is find out the conference hashtag, and look out for prolific tweeters who are attending the conference.

Tip from: Meghan Duffy.

2. Ask Anything – And Get Quick Answers from Real People

Google may be the king of search, but that doesn’t mean it will always serve up the answer you need.

When it’s a real person you need help from, Twitter is ideal. Adam Zeis writes:

Twitter is also an amazing tool for getting quick answers to pretty much any questions you may have. I’ve used it for help when making a purchase (choosing between two items), getting opinions on certain topics and settling disputes with friends. Depending on the amount of followers you have, you can easily ask nearly anything and you will instantly receive an answer.

It beats out searching the web for results in many cases, and often nets you answers you wouldn’t be able to find by simply searching.

Tip from Adam Zeis.

3. Connect With Study Buddies

Need to swot up on a new topic? Twitter is a fantastic learning tool. You can find help and support from other learners who are digging into the same subject as you.

Medical student Brittany Chan explains how she began using Twitter as a study booster:

I started using Twitter as a way to waste time when I needed a break from studying. Then something crazy happened. Twitter transformed from a major distraction to a valuable study tool. I began to tweet questions to fellow med students about concepts I didn’t understand, and they responded. Other students would tweet their confusions, and I’d attempt to explain the mechanism of a drug or the purpose of the alanine cycle. Many times, several others would chime in to augment our collective understanding or ask additional questions.

Chan also uses Twitter to keep herself updated on the latest research in her field:

As a medical student and future pediatrician, I follow accounts of official medical associations, such as the AAP (@AmerAcadPeds) and AAMC (@AAMCToday), leading medical journals, including JAMA (@JAMA_current) and The Lancet (@TheLancet), as well as several different kinds of physicians who frequently tweet interesting new articles.

Tips via: Brittany Chan.

4. Discover Job Opportunities – Before They’re Advertised

We’ve written before about how Twitter is great at helping you find hidden opportunities.

You can also use Twitter to discover jobs before they’re even advertised as available. Follow the employees at a business you’d like to join, and you’ll get to see the inner workings of the company.

In an article on using Twitter for job hunting, Simon Caine explains he does this:

I found following existing employees (particularly recruitment officers) much more helpful than following the company’s Twitter account. Individuals are much more likely to respond. Plus it may help you stay one step ahead of the rest of the job market: they’ll often tweet if they’re changing jobs, which let’s you know there’s a vacancy.

I found lots of companies had a list called “staff” where you can find the employees, but you can also search by users’ bios using Google. I’d recommend following the list itself. It saves time and has the advantage that whenever a new member of staff joins the company you will get their tweets automatically (once they’ve been added to the list).

Tip via Simon Caine.

5. Find New Ways of Thinking

Twitter isn’t only great for getting your questions answered. It’s also handy if you want to challenge yourself by answering questions.

Denise Graveline explains how she finds this helpful:

Sometimes, the best way to see something anew is to be questioned about it by someone who’s genuinely curious and doesn’t know you well. My followers on Twitter ask me all sorts of questions–about my blog, about public speaking, about social media, about food and travel and playing guitar–that prompt me to think with care about what I do. It’s a great playback machine.

The free plug-in InboxQ lets you search for questions in your niche.

Tip via Denise Graveline.

Over to You

Do you use Twitter in any out-of-the-box ways? Let us know about them in the comments, below.