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Last night's debate

Twitter lesson: The art of making your articles go viral using social media tools

By Joy A. Kennelly

I see this happening a lot which is why I decided to share some tips on what makes an article go viral and how to facilitate it happening more effectively. 

There are quite a few social media platforms that allow you to schedule your tweets ahead of time with new ones coming out daily. I prefer Hootsuite because it's been the most user friendly and has the largest scope, although have to admit, the pop-ups asking me to upgrade every. single. time. I check in to use it becomes a little annoying after awhile. There should be an opt out button.:)

However, overall, they're a very dynamic program. Others I have seen include Tweet Deck, but I didn't like that one because you had to download it on to your desktop the last time I tried it. I like a service I don't have to download.

Not only can you schedule your tweets weeks and months in advance with either service, it automatically shortens the url you post using a select coding process which you're able to track to see how many people are opening what you're sharing.

So, I've given you two programs to check out and they have videos on their sites which will explain further how to utilize their programs, or contact a sales rep for an even more guided tour.

That wasn't really what I wanted to discuss however. 

Here's what people don't realize is needed to truly make their articles go viral and spread online. You have to make it as easy as possible to share them first of all. When I go to a website and hit the share button, I want my Twitter account to receive the title of the article, a short link to the article itself and space to add a comment or if someone RT (retweets) my post, space then too.

Brevity is key on Twitter and especially when you're sharing information. I happen to read very fast and can scan a Twitter feed very quickly to see what is important, what are the trending topics, what is the zeitgeist of the day, but not everyone has the time or ability to do this.

Make it easy for your reader. You want to give them the title of the article, a shortened link to the actual article, perhaps add your Twitter handle ie via @GoalGalsLA (my newest Twitter account - follow me!:) But don't take over the entire Tweet!

Share This is rather an effective tool I've seen used a lot, but I haven't personally applied it since I'm not technical, just marketing savvy. Also, AddThis is very popular. I'm actually going to upgrade my blog sharing capabilities after this week because it's time.

I know it's hard to grasp everything in social media when you're first starting out because it's constantly changing and evolving. I happen to love that fact about Technology myself, but admit, I get frustrated too because I often need help applying what I know works simply because I find Typepad a little difficult to maneuver on my own too. I'm always reaching out to their customer support for help when I can't figure something out. 

So I get it. You may be at that level too, but whoever you're working with should be able to address these issues for you and there's always customer service on the actual social media platform sharing tool too. I find too, when I let the information simmer awhile sometimes it makes more sense when I come back to it and am not stressing so hard to understand a new topic.

Basically, put yourself in the shoes of the person reading whatever you're trying to get across. Make it simple, interesting, provocative, and tell the reader why they need to read your article. I can't say it enough. Include the title, a shortened url, and space for comments and RTing.

NEVER say - Check out my article and then link to your generic website leaving the reader to guess which is the important article you want them to read. People don't have the time to guess and if this is done consistently, Twitter followers will discount what you have to say because it's the same link over and over again.

BORING! 

Twitter  is for those with short attention spans. Catch 'em! Be personal, yet appropriate. Be funny, yet pertinent. Be truthful. Be engaging. Be grateful. Be generous. 

I think I'm going to create a presentation on this because it seems to be a real hole in the dialog about Twitter. That's all for now. Gotta run. 

As soon as I get back, I plan to write-up all my latest events. It just takes longer than I have right now and wanted to express this asap!:) 

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