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How do you promote your guides (if at all)?

How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 24, 2010 11:38AM
Having had a look at the comments about the [url=http://forums.simonseeks.com/phorum.php?read,11,102]webinar[/url], I've realised I've missed a trick or two when it comes to self-promotion. I've only just about dragged myself onto Facebook, and I'm working on starting a blog soon, but I hadn't really looked into using either to build traffic to my guides. I can imagine there's a fine line between being informative and annoying people?

So I was wondering - do you use blogs/forums/facebook, etc. to promote your guides? If so, what are your experiences? Is it working?
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 24, 2010 12:10PM
We promote travel guides through the Simonseeks Twitter account and it does direct extra traffic to the guides. There are a number of different ways to tweet about a guide which makes it less annoying for the people following you. For example if you took your 'Join the celebrations in Oslo' guide, here’s a few different ways to tweet about it:

1. Write a statement: 'Join the celebrations in Oslo for Norway’s national day: http://bit.ly/cHhnvD'
2. Ask a question to encourage interaction: 'Has anyone been to Oslo for Norway's national day? http://bit.ly/cHhnvD’
3. Use the search bar in twitter, for example you could search for Norway’s national day and find a list of people who are discussing this. You can then start conversations with people and add a link to your guide: ‘@sals2 its definitely worth visiting Oslo for Norway’s national day, read this guide to find out some more information: http://bit.ly/cHhnvD‘

These are just a few examples of how to use Twitter to promote your guide. As long as you spread out the tweets you send throughout the day you can tweet about the same guide. You’ll be reaching people in different time zones so you’ll be attracting different audiences.

Does anyone currently promote their own guides through their personal Twitter accounts or do you prefer using another method like facebook or blogs?
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 24, 2010 12:24PM
Thanks for the tips! Am beginning to realise that I need to develop a whole new set of social media skills here (*sigh*). About time I dragged myself into the 21st century, I suppose.
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 24, 2010 01:36PM
I tend not to use Facebook (purely because I find that it's more for casual things rather than promoting yourself as a brand) but do use Twitter - in fact before I knew about the official Simonseeks Twitter account I was sending tweets to Simon Nixon's personal account about my guides.

By including the term '@simonseeks' you'll also draw it to the attention of Sally and the others who run the Simonseeks Twitter, and if they like what they read in the guide they might retweet it to their followers. Often they'll have found it anyway and be about to tweet it, but it just pushes it in front of their eyes a little more.

What you can do is take an interesting part of your guides (for example, [url=http://www.simonseeks.com/travel-guides/sail-me-majestic-mull__166464]Jeanette's guide on Mull[/url] mentions that it's part of Balamory) then try and find a hook which will get people intrigued. 'Find out what's the story in Balamory', followed by the link to the guide will get people clicking through. Make it slightly zany - the sheer volume of tweets means that you're really struggling to make your voice heard and moreso than on Simonseeks itself, your title needs to be fun and stand out.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/2010 01:37PM by Chris Stokel-Walker.
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 24, 2010 03:23PM
Great advice Chris. When I tweeted about my guide (though I didn't put @Simonseeks - must learn) I went with "Shags galore on Mull: http://bit.ly/cvvByG. What? There were puffins too." A little naughty, but we had previously enjoyed the joke all week aboard the ship like sniggering teenagers! If it gets people clicking through...

By the way, have you all noticed that you can add your twitter name to your profile? When you do, a link will appear on your profile page for readers to click and auto-follow you. It's a cool feature and one I have to confess to not using very often. Again, I will learn.
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 24, 2010 03:28PM
While we’re on the subject, a couple of questions:

How do you go about getting more followers on Twitter?
Do you target people? If so, what kind (ie travel industry, other writers etc)?

When I first started using it, I was a news reporter who needed entertaining occasionally, therefore I seem to be following the who’s who of the news and comedy worlds...and a few friends and travel industry types.

I’m @jeanettescott79 by the way.
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 24, 2010 04:25PM
Quote
Jeanette Scott (Editor)
While we’re on the subject, a couple of questions:

How do you go about getting more followers on Twitter?
Do you target people? If so, what kind (ie travel industry, other writers etc)?

When I first started using it, I was a news reporter who needed entertaining occasionally, therefore I seem to be following the who’s who of the news and comedy worlds...and a few friends and travel industry types.

I’m @jeanettescott79 by the way.

I've found there's a strange Catch-22 in that the more people you follow, the more people likely to follow you. The problem comes when you end up following an awful lot of people and they don't follow back and you end up with skewed stats like I have on my Twitter account ([url=http://www.twitter.com/stokel]@stokel[/url]): following 337 people, with 172 followers. Generally Twitter users seem to like link sharing - so if you see something cool (like a Simonseeks guide), share it. You can also try engaging in conversation with people, but often if it's not someone you know (a celebrity for example) they'll ignore you.

I've tried to strike up conversation with India Knight and Matt Rudd (journalists both) and only got a reply back from Matt Rudd because I'd actually seen him while doing a piece around Newcastle (but didn't go up and talk to him, instead ran to Twitter to tell him I'd kept myself in check). It was massively throwaway, and he doesn't know me from Adam, so really it wasn't all that worthwhile but was fun.

Most of the people I'm following are comedians and journalists (like you Jeanette), but it's difficult - if you're not in either club, then it's very much a one-way relationship whereby they tweet at you (and their thousands of other followers) and don't listen to anything you have to say. Ultimately I'm using it to try and get a job somewhere, but no-one's come up with an offer yet!

I'm always keen to have more followers - as long as you like me retweeting funny things I've found and trying (and most likely failing) to be funny myself. [url=http://www.twitter.com/stokel]@stokel[/url]
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 25, 2010 09:03AM
My answer to the question is...not at all. I feel a lot in common with Beate here... what twenty first century? Thanks for useful advice though...must work on it.
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 25, 2010 09:37AM
Oh dear

I am totally out of my depth.confused smiley
I have told a few friends about my guides, but that's it!
I don't twitter, or tweet, except to myself in the garden and have no idea what bit.ly means.
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 25, 2010 10:47AM
You can often find me twittering too Kathy, and I don’t mean online either. Bit.ly is a web service that shortens a URL (web address) for you. As you’re limited to the amount of characters you can use with Twitter, shortening the URL to about 15 characters (instead of something like ...http://www.simonseeks.com...travel-guides...sail-me-majestic-mull__166464...etc) means you can pack more useful information into your tweet!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2010 10:48AM by Jeanette Scott (Editor).
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 25, 2010 10:51AM
By the way Sally, having problems posting a URL on here...I've noticed Bit.ly addresses have simply become (bit.ly) and Simonseeks addresses shorten to www.simonseeks.com. I know we can hyperlink addresses, but here I actually wanted to demonstrate how long a URL can be. Any ideas?
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 25, 2010 01:18PM
Following too many celebrities on Twitter has its own share of problems. Initially I was following only celebrities but then found myself in a position with no followers and too many tweets to handle. Tweeting is one of the best methods to spread your word. Simonseeks official tweet desk has started promoting all the guides published. ( I am @arif_kool)
I believe if all the writers at Simonseeks open an account with Twitter and follow each other and retweet each other's guide to their followers, this itself will drive enough traffic to the guide !smiling smiley
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 25, 2010 01:31PM
Some great tips! I'm not a tweeter, or haven't been. Have just opened an account (@jonniebigg) - now I'm off to play with it and see how much traffic I can generate...
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 25, 2010 04:54PM
I'm following suit, Jon. Will take me a while to get going, I think, but the first step is at least out of the way! (@beateor)
Thanks for all the advice, everyone!
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 25, 2010 11:07PM
It's amazing- there's a whole world out there I never conceived of! But thanks chaps, I'm shocked and stunned but game to give it a go! In my "spare" time when I'm not chatting to you lot- this is becoming addictive.spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 26, 2010 09:33AM
Quote

By the way Sally, having problems posting a URL on here...I've noticed Bit.ly addresses have simply become (bit.ly) and Simonseeks addresses shorten to www.simonseeks.com. I know we can hyperlink addresses, but here I actually wanted to demonstrate how long a URL can be. Any ideas?

Jeanette, I've just changed some of the settings so when you add a link it should now show the full URL.

Its good to see that some of you are giving Twitter a try, what do you think of it so far?
(My twitter username is @sals2)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/26/2010 09:34AM by Sally Rowland.
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 26, 2010 11:58AM
Twitter seems pretty good so far. I've been retweeted by Simonseeks and by Lyme Regis's tourist information office. And Lonely Planet is following me. I feel like a minor celebrity cool smiley It seems to be generating more traffic too.
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 26, 2010 10:25PM
After much head scratching I now have an account in bit.ly and have joined the league of twitters (@johanna_bradley). Couldn't seem to link up with Jonn or Beate, though I read your tweets Jonn- I shall have to be respectful when I address you from now on. Visited Chris' website too- talk about impressed! Somebody MUST give you a job soon. I'm still struggling a bit with what's appropriate by way of replies in Twitter. Bear with me please- I'll get there. Any more success stories? I'm off for a glass of wine thumbs up
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 27, 2010 12:43AM
Quote
Johanna Bradley
After much head scratching I now have an account in bit.ly and have joined the league of twitters (@johanna_bradley). Couldn't seem to link up with Jonn or Beate, though I read your tweets Jonn- I shall have to be respectful when I address you from now on. Visited Chris' website too- talk about impressed! Somebody MUST give you a job soon. I'm still struggling a bit with what's appropriate by way of replies in Twitter. Bear with me please- I'll get there. Any more success stories? I'm off for a glass of wine

Glad to see you've joined up to Twitter! Thanks for the comments on the website - I did it in the long summer last year so will hopefully be redesigning and updating it this summer (in the hopes that it does give me a job).

Will be adding the people from Simonseeks on Twitter tomorrow, so don't think that I'm not following people back! I just need to sort stuff out and sleep tonight.
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 27, 2010 02:21PM
Thank for all the advice about Twitter. I just ignored it when it became big, but I can see there is an advantage to taking part. All that I do now is use facebook and post my published guides there, tell family and friends and even other travellers that I meet on the road.

What about Google searches. How likely are our guides to come up on a Google search? This is how most people find things on the Internet. Does Simonseeks have built in technology to help our guides appear on Googles searches?
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 27, 2010 11:49PM
Good point

I just googled New York and after 10 pages I gave up. Simonseeks did not appear!
Kathy
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
May 28, 2010 08:12PM
Quote
Johanna Bradley
I read your tweets Jonn- I shall have to be respectful when I address you from now on.
Johanna Bradley Wrote:

smiling smiley I don't have a bit.ly account yet, so maybe I should respect you!
Anyway, I'm following you now. You do this by clicking on a tweeter's name (or just hovering over it) then clicking on the little cog. Happy tweeting! smiling bouncing smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2010 08:15PM by Jon Bigg.
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
June 10, 2010 12:28PM
It’s great to see most of you using Twitter now to promote your guides. Do any of you use Facebook to do the same? I know a few of you are already on Facebook (thanks for uploading one of your pictures yesterday Suzanne).

We’ve only just recently started to use the Simonseeks Facebook page to promote guides, create polls, post travel videos, ask questions etc and I was just wondering what you all thought of the Simonseeks Facebook page? What would you like to see more or less of? It would be great to get some feedback.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/simonseeks/117500623760?ref=ts#!/pages/simonseeks/117500623760?ref=ts

Thanks smiling smiley
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
June 10, 2010 12:41PM
This sound like I really am a caveman but I have watched this post about Twitter and Facebook and haven't a clue how it works. I can barely use a computer to be honest.

Can someone, either in a post or e-mail, help an old man with a step to step guide of how to get on Twitter and how it works?

Kevin
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
June 10, 2010 01:06PM
Hi Kevin,

The first step is to set up a Twitter account, visit the homepage: http://twitter.com/ and create an account.

Twitter is just a stream of instant information and it is great for reading information you are interested in. In order to get access to this information (called Tweets) you will need to start following some people, you can follow friends to find out what their up to, companies you have an interest in (like Simonseeks smiling smiley) and even celebrities. All you have to do is search for these people by typing in their full name or Twitter name in the search bar, then when you find who you are looking for just click follow and a green tick will appear.

Twitter is also great for you to give people updates about yourself e.g. you can tweet about your guides on Simonseeks. Tweets are only 140 characters so they are short and sweet, you can include links to pictures, articles or other websites.

You can also search for topics that you are interested in, in the search bar on your homepage (located in the right hand column). For example, if you wanted to say something about the BA strike you could search for that topic and a whole list of tweets would come up about the BA strike, you could then get into conversations with people about it and share your views.

This is only a list of basic things you can do with Twitter to get you started, I hope this all makes sense – I didn’t realise how hard it would be to explain! I’ve found a good article on how to get started on Twitter which will probably be more useful: http://www.twitip.com/10-easy-steps-for-twitter-beginners/

If you have any more questions about Twitter, just let me know!
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
June 10, 2010 01:12PM
Thanks Sally,

It's not my fault, I'm just getting old.
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
June 10, 2010 01:18PM
No problem Kevin, I hope it helps! I didn't get Twitter at all when I first joined but now I'm always on it (be warned its very addictive!)
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
June 11, 2010 01:34PM
The facebook page of Simonseeks looks good. It was nice to see the group photograph of the Simonseeks teamsmiling smiley

I will also add some pictures soon !
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
June 12, 2010 10:48AM
I post links on my twitter feed, facebook page and my blog to drive traffic to my posts

Will try to find some more correspondents from here to follow on twitter when I'm next on
Re: How do you promote your guides (if at all)?
June 15, 2010 12:33PM
Arif, I'm glad you liked the photograph of the Simonseeks team, although we've add a few more additions since that picture was taken!

Thanks for your comments about the Simonseeks Facebook page. Is there anything else you'd like to see us post about? Does anyone else have any feedback about our Facebook page?
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