The Founder of Twitter Retweeted My Work, and this is what Happened…

I've been a user and a fan of Twitter since I got introduced to the service back in 2008. So working closely with Twitter to get the Twitter Buy Button integrated with Fanatics was already excited. But getting a retweet from the original brain behind he service is not something I could have imagined. Let alone dreamed!

Last week, for the NBA draft, we prepared 4 tweets for 5 of the first round draft teams to have the shirt of the player who was just drafted being featured in the tweet. Within the tweet, you could buy the shirt right there, with no click out to a different website, check out right there! As Twitter is going to behave more and more like a platform, these integrations will happen more and more within the tweet. As long as we can scale volume in the items sold, I'm happy testing this out!

Here is a screenshot of the buy button integration in the tweet, working at the Twitter platform. With below the original tweet as embedded into WordPress, as the buy button does not work outside of some of the walled garden of Twitter!


Fanatics Tweet for NBA Draft Lakers jersey with buy button

Shoptwits as e-commerce on Twitter

I have a soft spot for Twitter e-commerce, since I've been walking around with ideas in my head from the moment I bought the domain Inspired by the quick launch, and early success of, I bought the domain with the intend to build a shopping application on top of Twitter. Back then I was still working for eBay, so e-commerce was running through my veins.

I dropped the ideas, and stopped working on it as I was too busy with family, friends and new work at Airbnb. But I never got the concept of real-time commerce on Twitter out of my head!

Pretty Cool

And what do you think, the current (interim-)CEO of Twitter takes "notice" of our attempts to build a new service on their platform, and retweets one of our tweets with the buy button integration. I never would have thought I would be so happy with the action of the man who thought out this awesome service I've been using for the last couple of years, and has been taking the world by storm... at least the breaking news section of media!

Jack Dorsey retweeted our tweet for NBA Draft



The outcome of the campaign wasn't that great yet!  It does show the opportunity to get much higher engagement on tweets that are retweeted by famous and broadly followed accounts. The other 3 tweets got single digit engagement, where the Lakers jersey tweet engagement shot up as soon as Jack shared it.

Couple of things we learned

  1. The product is still rather new for the Twitter community,
  2. The NBA draft players might not have a big following within the fan base of the team they were drafted in
  3. There was substantial twitter activity during the draft process, which easily pushes our tweets down the stream really fast

Next time we will try with a more general product, see what kind of volume we can get out of it.Our strategy to test out the new feature on Twitter was probably not the right one, since we picked a product and a difficult event. Combined with Twitter advertising, targeting the right audience, we could have done better! I foresee Twitter having a real successful product feature, which for e-commerce players is a welcome new channel.

I'm a big believer in the potential for e-commerce on Twitter, hence my early thoughts buying the domain and constantly thinking how to develop a product around this. T-Commerce will take off, where I expect sports to play a big role. When your team wins, buying a jersey or championship tshirt is just one tweet away!

Twitter Engagement Testing > Are you using images for maximum impact?

Based on a post from MG Siegler, in which he describes the practice of posting images with text on Twitter, I wondered how my tweets with embedded images did in terms of engagement. A quick check with Twitter analytics gave me two interesting data points of last week tweets; One tweet got a massive engagement rate according to Twitter analytics. Normal tweets I post most of the time get around than 3-4% engagement rates, outliers are scoring up to 10%! This one got a whopping 17.5% in the first 24 hours!
Tweet with crazy engagement
A couple of things...
  1. The tweet was posted on a Sunday, as I shaved my head that day, this might have limited the number of people who saw my tweet! Overall, the number of impressions this tweet got was around 40% lower than tweets I post during the work week.
  2. It had an embedded picture of my freshly shaved head, however the picture was cropped as it was showing a criminal in it. A large number of the engagements came from people who clicked to see the full image
  3. The engagement could be higher than my average, just because I have a lot of followers who know me. Shaving my head was a first, so it could be the engagement was just off the charts because they wanted to see my bald head.
  4. All of the engagements were organic. I did not pay for any of the engagements.
Funny enough, a tweet from a week later, during Stormageddon here in San Francisco, actually received almost as high engagement as shaved head tweet. This one was a picture from Sharknado, a couple of sharks swimming in the basement of a shopping center. Obviously this was a test to see what kind of engagement I could score on said tweet. Pff what do you think, sharks swimming in the streets of San Francisco...
Testing engagement on Image tweet
With these detailed Twitter analytics, it's becoming easier to start optimizing for engagement on your tweets. More visuals, less boring content!Twitter Engagement Testing > Are you using images for maximum impact?
Let me know what your engagement looks like on your tweets, would love to hear!

In Post Tweet Buttons; Top or Bottom

I always wondered when people are inclined to share my posts here with their followers on Twitter. Is that right after the first paragraph or is it after reading the whole piece. Now, I don't believe my writing is that inspiring that a lot of people would share it instantly, but a little test is easy to set up. So, with the post I published last Friday, Will you Work for Free, I conducted a little test. In the post there are two twitter buttons placed within the content. One right after the first paragraph, the second after the whole post. As you can configure the Twitter button manually here, you can get creative. Both of these have different text which would be tweeted out. Check this out, here you see the screenshots of the first and the second twitter button in the post:

testing in content Twitter buttons - after 1st paragraph
testing in content Twitter buttons - after full post
Now, off to the results. What works better, a Twitter button right up there after the 1st paragraph, or one after the full post?
Apparently, for my style of writing, my audience and the length of the post, I'm better off by relying on people to share the post with their Twitter followers right after the first paragraph than the whole post. 8 people shared the post using the first Twitter button, while only 5 people used the twitter button at the bottom of the page to share it. (see screenshots below)


So these results are far from what you could expect on any blog post, however, it might give you an idea on how to test how likely your audience is willing to share your content with their followers. If you don't test your way into a viral factor sharing, why you keep trying to publish content..?

Genius Marketing: This is How You Launch A Book Successfully

Two years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at SMX Sydney. I happily accepted as I had never been in Australia. On my trip to Down Under, I had the opportunity to get to know some of the other international speakers more closely. I already had met Marty Weintraub before, and had seen him speak multiple times, which is always a treat. But on the trip to Sydney Australia, Marty and I exchanged some of the most interesting conversations and grew closer. Now fast forward to today, I welcome any opportunity to catch up with Marty over breakfast to discuss the latest ideas we have on Online Marketing.

While reading Marty's first book: Killer Facebook Ads: Master Cutting-Edge Facebook Advertising Techniques (Amazon Link), I added another dimension to my experience. You see, I've seen Marty speak at multiple occasions, which helped me simulate his way of presenting the whole book in my head while I read it. I finished the book in no time, at Weintraub speed.

For his second book; The Complete Social Media Community Manager's Guide: Essential Tools and Tactics for Business Success (Amazon link), Marty partnered with the talented and awesome Lauren Litwinka. I was completely blown away by the fact I was mentioned in their list of 72 Must-Follow Online Marketeers in the book. Wow, look at the people on this list, what great company to be in with. For easy following of these folks on Twitter, I created a public list which you can find here. (I've added Lauren and Marty as well to this list, as they more than deserve to be on their own list of Geniuses, follow them both @Aimclear & @Beebow)

Did you find your name on this list, retweet here:

72 Must Follow Online Marketing Geniuses by Marty Weintraub & Lauren Litwinka

Instantly you see the advantage of having a long name. I'm stretching over two lines in the list. Apart from being a great honor to be mentioned here, I also see the value of the list as a marketing tool. To drive awareness and sales for a book at the launch must be quite a challenge. But what if you have a list of people who are happy to promote your book for you? Now that will make a difference...

I'm not saying you should write a book and include a list of people just to put them to work and help you creating buzz for your book. I'm sure Marty and Lauren have learned a great deal from all of the people on this list, I know I have!

The Complete Social Media Community Manager's Guide

A little over a year ago, Laura interviewed me just before I was speaking at SMX West.

Please share on Twitter:


Community managers are the linchpins of today's social media marketing campaigns, and The Complete Social Media Community Manager's Guide is your ultimate guide on how to do the job effectively, efficiently, and profitably. This detailed, step-by-step road map shows you how to cultivate, convert, and manage all of your social media communities and gives you a running start with downloadable, ready-to-use tools and templates.
Published by: Sybex
Date Published: 01/22/2013
Edition: 1 edition
ISBN: 1118466853
Available in: Paperback

Happy for a ReTweet

Sometimes you can make people happy with a simple Tweet or Retweet. It's so easy, but oh what a joy. Case in point;

So, since I got the Slashdot Twitter account set up in my Tweetdeck, a second later the following tweet made him happy:

Always fun..

And Happy Dance

When You Control the Mail, You Control.. Information!

The best of Twitter in your inbox

Can Twitter Become the Newman of the Internet?

Parts of Twitters Master plan has been unveiled today, Twitter has become a data driven company, vastly becoming one of the middlemen  of the Interwebs. With the weekly email delivery of the Best of Twitter, is showing how content can be discovered through sharing by your social circle or the people you value.

The Value of Twitter Sharing

More than ever, it will be important to grow the number of people following you, grow the number of content pieces you can share, grow the real connections and interactions with your network on Twitter and grow the sharing of your content through your friends. Twitter has changed as of now, as it has become more than an activity and social news stream. Twitter has become a Direct Marketing company, curating the best content tailored to you personally!

If you want more traffic from social sharing, it has just became even more important for you to focus on sharing through Twitter and get connected! Create viral content which is easily shared on Twitter, and you will get distribution for free into the Inbox of your followers and their network!

Twitter Data Building Blocks

A number of building blocks have been in the works to make this happen for Twitter.

Data. First off is the large amount of data, behavioral; social and click data, Twitter has at their fingertips to play around with. As someone with some experience working with large datasets, and how data can learn how to make better decisions, I can only dream what you would be able to do with more than the firehose data the Twitter data science team has to play with.

Short URL's. Now that all URL's are shortened through Twitter's own short URL,, clickstream data is recorded whenever you click on a shared link. This is one of the most important building blocks for a data driven company. At least Twitter knows which links you click on, who shared these, and how thee URL's spread throughout your network. See also this article on Twitter's short URL's from TNW where I gave my input to focus on the data stream Twitter would be able to capture.

Tweetdeck. The broadly used Twitter client was Twitters first lab environment to try out some of the new features on the core website. Twitter short URL's were first introduced on Tweetdeck, and I bet it is a tool for Twitter to connect twitter accounts which are managed by one person.

Social Sharing FTW

With Google supposedly incorporating more social signals in their algorithm, getting your content shared through social media is one nice side effect of using Twitter. However, the direct traffic from social sharing sites can be a large first advantage to go after. And now you have a third; Direct Mail through Twitter.

With the large data set, and extreme analytics, you can only imagine how these content recommendations delivered in your inbox can get better through learning from your behavior. What Subject line made you open the email, which link did you clicked on and did the friends displayed under the link had any impact on your clicking behavior.

Nice side effect for Twitter: You will spread the Tweets again, which will generate more pageviews and more sharing on their network. Slowly Twitter is becoming the toll man of the Internet... At least one of the toll men. And like Newman said; When you control the mail, you control.. Information!


Twitter Short URL’s Conquer Techmeme

After the full roll out of the short URL's on Twitter last week, the preferred Twitter shorter URL's are now conquering Techmeme as the target page of an article featured on the Tech News aggregator. See the earlier post on TheNextWeb: Twitter Just Got the Respect it Deserves and on this blog: Why Twitter is Brilliant

Twitter short URL's on Techmeme

This does mean the social signals which will be captured by the Google Toolbar, the Chrome browser and any other way click stream data is being captured by the Google, will be of an advantage for the domain, which is 301 redirected to Twitter.
Also, some people might copy paste the short URL from Techmeme on their own site, which will bring a huge advantage to Twitter. More data to capture.

Interesting how this will develop...

Why Twitters is Brilliant

Yesterday I spend some time on Skype with Zee from to give my perspective on his article. He needed an SEO perspective on the Twitter Short URL roll out, and what it would mean. You can read his article here: Twitter Just Got the Respect it Deserves. The conversation was brief, as Zee was anxious to post the article. (Thanks Zee for giving me the chance to give my opinion. Ping me anytime... :))

After a while I was thinking a little bid more what the increase in Twitter referrals would mean for organizations, Social Media marketeers, Twitter and the whole eco-system. I thought of a number of more reasons why this change will impact the perception of Twitter as a powerhouse in Social Media. This is a brilliant move from Twitter, as they will gain in the perception of how influential Twitter actually is, speed of feature development on partner sites, and increased attention from social media marketing teams. Let me explain...

Twitter Just Became the Toll Man of Social Media Referrals

Remember the episode of Seinfeld ‘The Lip Reader’ in which Jerry is dating a deaf woman who is skilled in the art of understanding what people say through lip reading. Newman wants to ‘borrow’ her for a small task. Jerry refuses, and Newman throws in one of his evil predictions:

When you control the mail, you control.. information !!

What has this to do with Twitter becoming the Toll Man of Social Media? Simple, Twitter will control the information flow of the links that are spread over one of the most popular social media websites breaking the news in real-time. Before this change, other URL shortners were controlling the traffic, now Twitter will be able to control every short URL which goes through their system.

There is even an added SEO benefit for Twitter here. If anybody uses the short URL on their website, the page rank will first flow to the domain, after which it gets redirected to the destination site using a 301-redirect. However, Twitter does control all these url's, which could be re-purposed and redirected to their own domain, as soon as the target url goes dead!

What is the ROI on Social Media

The move from Twitter to use their own URL shortner is allowing every website owner to track better how Twitter is contributing to the total traffic referrals. Tracking where your users coming from is essential to understand how effective any marketing campaign really is.

In my last job, working for the very large e-commerce website eBay, there were many occasions any marketing program would need to submit estimated ROI numbers to secure the budgets. Loads of times there were more marketing programs submitted than there was budget available. Any smart organization would make decisions on budget allocation based on maximizing ROI of their investment, and eBay was no-different.

So, when you cannot even track what the return on investment was for a Twitter social media campaign, the teams would not even be able to secure the budget needed to kick off the campaign.

Every Social Media Marketing team is trying to defend their investments, campaigns or budgets, especially when the economy is going south. It’s hard to justify any budget for a Twitter campaign, if you are not able to proof there is incremental traffic, conversion or revenue coming out of the investment.

But now, with the increased insights of the Twitter referrals, the social media marketing teams will be able to point out how much incremental traffic was driven through the Twitter campaign, and what the ROI is on the budgets invested. The changes are a big win for any social media marketing team fighting for to proof their effectiveness, especially those in large corporation with a lot of processes and red tape.

Feature development on large websites

This argument is along the same lines as the previous one, however it’s got more to do with the actual product development needed for feature enhancements on large websites. With the increased insights of how Twitter is contributing to business growth, more product features focused on deep Twitter integration might make the priority list of the product roadmaps.

A deeper Twitter integration will benefit Twitter in a big way, as the team at Titter will get their hands on more data to play with, more feedback from other product teams on their API’s, and probably more ideas on what features Twitter would need to develop to grow further.


I’m sure you can come up with more reasons why this move from Twitter is a big thing, and where Twitter and others can benefit from the increased insights of how Twitter drives traffic to your websites, who is the influential person spreading your links on Twitter, and how much incremental traffic your Twitter social media campaign has brought to your business. I wold love to hear your thoughts, where the comments are open for feedback.

Me, I’m diving the rest of the day into the analytics of the sites I’m responsible for, and will send out a number of updates to my team with the new insights. It’s going to be a busy, but fun second half of the year...

Instant Twitter Feedback

Twitter can be very helpful in a world where SEO SERP’s are changing based on location, personal preferences or keyword search sequence. If you have a question, you can get Instant Twitter Feedback if you simple ask your question on Twitter.

I was very surprised to learn today, when I did a search for Black Hole SEO, that this site was ranking on the first page on At least for me it was ranking on #3…

Black Hole SEO SERP

As I was logged in, and was using my usual browser, Firefox, I quickly launched Chrome and did another search on This time, my post about Black Hole SEO was not ranking on #3, but lower on the page. Still the post was ranking on the first page of Google.

Instant Twitter Feedback Needed?

...Twitter to the Rescue...

As I had been Tweeting all day, I quickly fired a request on Twitter, with the hope more people could confirm what i was seeing:

Can anybody check if they see my blog: on P1 for this query:

And within minutes I had positive sightings from all around the US and the rest of the world. I got instant feedback on my question, where friends checked my request, and saw my blog post ranking on the first page for Black Hole SEO:

@Yoast: @TheNextCorner i do, but logged in and see your +1 (update;

@Basvandenbeld: @TheNextCorner its on 3 here (update;

@Neyne: @TheNextCorner yeah at #7 (update;

@KeriMorgret: @TheNextCorner number seven for me on an iPhone. (update;

@ToniCarr: @TheNextCorner #3 on the android tablet. Also shows that you shared it. (update;

@Jcolman: @TheNextCorner It was #3 for me. I +1'ed it, tho, so expect the "Colman Bump" to move you down to #4 reeeeeal soon. (update; Google profile)

@Olafdepolaf: @TheNextCorner check. Op plek 7 (update; linkedin profile)

Twitter Real Time Q&A

Through Twitter, you can get answers on questions in almost real time. But what is more interesting is that you can use this feedback also for more purposes. Like:

  • User testing. Does your website work in a different browser or Operating setting
  • Stimulate searches. If you rank high on a keyword, why not stimulate people to search for it
  • New RSS subscribers. When your followers don’t know you write a blog, they might start reading you on a regular basis.
  • And maybe more…

Anyways, it was fun for me to do a little experiment this afternoon to get Instant Twitter Feedback, and I thank the feedback givers with a simple link.. :)

Drinking Coffee out of the Fail Whale

A couple of weeks ago I tweeted:

Tweet supporting the artist of the fail whale

I just ordered a customized #FailWhale coffee mug at through @YiyingLu supporting the artist is key!

Yiying Lu is the artist which created the picture of the Fail Whale, which became a well known pop culture phenomenon on the Internet due to the fact the Twitter team chose this drawing as the standard picture for when Twitter was down or over capacity.

I ordered a Coffee mug through the website of Yiying at Zazzle, which probably has an affiliate link attached. At least I hope so for her :). Yesterday, I got my package with my personalized Coffee Mug:

fail whale coffee mug

personalized coffee mug TheNextCorner