If terms like URL shortener or RT are unclear to you, then you may be missing the next major trend in social media. The last major trend which is still active is Twitter where, as Collective Thoughts suggested you can create your own Social Bites – (which are) Like Sound Bites But Different
We are all used to “Sound Bites” – a short few seconds of words which are normally taken out of context to create sensational headlines. Few people realise that speech writers have for years worked on developing speeches to include a couple of perfect “sound bites” for use by others. Of course while some social media is audio based we are much more likely to rely on humble text to create a “social bite”.
What Is A Social Bite? – A social bite is a short piece of text to describe an article, post or idea which is easy to understand and easy to distribute through viral networks. A social bite must still carry the post’s message and goal but in a way that quickly impacts with users. The Perfect Social Bite has two parts, the hook and the line.
The hook are the words within the message – the thing to grab attention. This is doubly important as the hook will have no context once it has left the site. For example a hook is unlikely to reference the site so must be compelling, so that someone would visit the page without knowing where they were going. The line is simply the url, sometimes this will be the page url but more likely to conserve space a url shortening service would be used. This compounds the need for a good hook as the only other potential reference to the site will be hidden.
Done well, social bites can be very effective, so the Twitter stream now seems to have more social bites than mere status messages as in ( … off to feed the dog. 🙂 )
If you are unaware of ReTweeting, then this is the next big buzz item in the Twitter world.
A ReTweet is based upon the word Tweet. Tweet is slang used in Twitter that means whatever message you post up on Twitter is considered a Tweet. Hence a ReTweet is a Tweet that is re-copied that begins with either a RT or ReTweet.
Techchrunch wrote a post on how ReTweets are viewed as a proxy for Authority in the Twitter world. This means that the more Retweets you gain from other Twitter users based on the article you have written or have found and submitted to the Twitter world, will prove that you are an Authoritative expert in Twitter.
Your tweeting efforts therefore should be focused on creating social bites that will receive the maximum retreats. That is where the choice of URL shortening can be important.. Lee Odden did a fine survey and review of URL shorteners and covered the following URL shorteners:
- twurl.nl (aka tweetburner)
- snipurl.com (aka Snurl Snipr Sn.im)
- ad.vu (aka adjix)
He found that cli.gs was the most used and certainly it has many fine features including powerful analytics. One of its most useful features is that it can be used in a plugin by Joe Dolson (WP to Twitter) that automatically creates a tweet when a WordPress post is published.
One URL shortener that was not included was that created by Digg. It has received some adverse reactions since it puts the original post within an iFrame that is part of the Digg online presence.
Another one that is just now in beta might appear to be similar in ‘framing’ the original post. However I go along with Pallab in saying that su.pr from StumbleUpon is Awesome.
Like Digg, su.pr also frames the contents of the target webpage and displays floating toolbars which is what make su.pr so awesome. The sidebar automatically highlights other popular content from your website(s) and encourages the reader to further explore. Not only that, su.pr also provides the option to retweet your message, and share the link on Facebook. Other options include the standard thumbs up and thumbs down buttons and option to stumble through the URL submitter’s favourites.
That ReTweet (RT) option is highly visible in the top right corner and should maximize the chances of getting even more RTs. If you want to see what it looks like just check out the URL in the following social bite.
StumbleUpon is one of the more effective social media in bringing website visitor traffic, so this URL shortener should be a most useful complement.