Browsing articles in "Social Media"

5 Industries That Should Use Pinterest

Jan 18, 2012   //   by Kaila Strong   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  24 Comments

I have a new addiction – Pinterest. I’m so addicted to pinning I’m recruiting friends and family members. It’s bad. Real bad. I’ve even started thinking of ways brands can use the site. Yikes!

Over the past few days I’ve done a bit of research for an upcoming post on SearchEngineWatch.com, brainstorming ideas on how brands can use Pinterest. In the end I found there are 5 or so industries that hands down should be using Pinterest for some of their social media marketing efforts. Whether it’s to help sell products or services, this new social networking site can be put to good use. Let’s examine these 5 industries.

Wedding

When I first started exploring the site a few months ago my immediate thought was – wow this would be a great site for someone planning a wedding and that’s exactly what I’m using it for. My baby sister is getting married soon and as the maid-of-honor it’s my duty to keep her up on all the hip wedding trends, but when you live 1,000+ miles away that can be difficult. That’s where Pinterest comes in. She and I share our ideas on a board and look to other boards for ideas. Simple and painless – well sort of. This whole wedding planning thing is stressful!

Creating inspiration boards to establish your wedding style is all the rage. Imagine as a wedding dress designer, photographer, jewelry designer, event planner, caterer, baker, etc… using the site for something similar but to cater to your customer or prospects needs. Brides can repin your pins, click through to your website and purchase your products or services. Anyone in the wedding industry really should consider using Pinterest.

Arts & Crafts

If you’re in the business of selling handmade items or art then Pinterest is perfect for you! Similar to Etsy, Pinterest allows users to browse products in their gift category section. Upload your wares and start selling – but not through the Pinterest site. You’ll need your own storefront or Etsy shop in order to accept payments and deal with those details. Pinterest is just a way to showcase your talents and let others see the products you want to sell. Simply add “$” to the Pin description and Pinterest will place your content in the gift category, along with a nice banner illustrating the price of your item. It’s that easy!

Fashion

The fashion industry is ripe with competition which makes it all the more important to have your style stand out. If you’re a clothing designer, stylist, clothing buyer, personal shopper, style editor or fashion blogger then Pinterest is perfect for you! The site allows you to show off your style in a clean and elegant way, which in turn can help you sell your own services or products. Connect with others that have similar styles and position yourself for opportunities to collaborate with others.

Travel & Hospitality

The travel and hospitality industry relies heavily on appearance. With Pinterest travel agents can set the mood for your next excursion by creating vacation inspiration boards full of fabulous pictures from the area or highlighting activities you can do when you get there. Additionally, a hotel could create similar inspiration boards, enticing web visitors to plan their next vacation. A spa might have photos of the area, activities around town, lodging and of course photos of spa services. It’s all about telling a story and Pinterest can help you do that if you’re in the travel & hospitality industry.

Real Estate

Last but certainly not least is the real estate industry. Selling a property takes a lot of effort, so why not make it easier on yourself by pinning photos of a featured real estate property? Take it a few steps further and pin photos of the area, the local school, areas of interest around town, community areas, or even pictures of possible upgrades the prospective homeowner can make to the home. Help to create a sense of what the home will look like after they’ve purchased it and prospective buyers can start to see themselves actually living there.

Well that makes 5 industries that should be using Pinterest. Have more to suggest to our readers? Add to the comments below!

Kaila Strong

Kaila Strong is an avid tweeter (@cliquekaila), and marketer in the Phoenix area.

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How to Find Your Site Mentions on Social Networks

Dec 23, 2011   //   by Kristi Hines   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  12 Comments

Are you ever curiuos about your standings on social networks? See things like who has been sharing your content, how many shares / votes it has received, and more with the following URLs or Google search queries. Just replace domain.com with your domain!

Twitter

There are two ways you can see your tweets on Twitter. The first is to perform a real time search on Twitter itself using the following URL (be sure to use the dropdown to see All tweets). Use the Save this search button to save it to your Twitter profile or create a column for this search in HootSuite / Tweetdeck.

https://twitter.com/search?q=%domain.com%22

The second is to use Topsy.com, which will show you the tweet count next to results from your domain. Change the time range to see tweets from the past hour to all time, and click on the tweet count of a particular post will let you see who has tweeted it.

http://topsy.com/s?q=domain.com

Facebook

Facebook search is a bit trickier – using their search bar, you will only get results when someone has typed your domain.com in the comment of their share, and only within the last 30 days. If you want to see a sampling of who is sharing your posts, try the following on Google.

site:facebook.com inurl:posts “domain.com”

Google+

When you search using Google+, you will get mentions of links from your domain that have been shared as well as anyone who has mentioned your domain in their comments.

https://plus.google.com/s/domain.com/posts

Topsy also has a search that will show the number of times a post has been shared on Google+. Just like the Twitter results, you can change the time range to see tweets from the past hour to all time, and click on the tweet count of a particular post will let you see who has tweeted it.

http://plus.topsy.com/s/domain.com

LinkedIn

You can search domain mentions on LinkedIn using the following URL. While it might not be that exciting because a lot of people feed their Twitter into their LinkedIn profile, the nice part is you can use the left side options to see people who tweet your content by location, company, industry, connections, and more. It may actually be a great way to meet new people that you can connect with – just check the box next to 3rd + Everyone under Network!

http://www.linkedin.com/signal/?type=updates&keywords=domain.com

YouTube

If you’ve tagged a lot of your videos with your link, these will come up as well. But I did find that if you search for your domain, you might find some people who have mentioned or referenced it in their videos.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=”domain.com”

StumbleUpon

There were two ways to find out which pages from your site have been stumbled. The first was the long way which will allow you to use the Stumble button to go through pages from your domain on the StumbleUpon network, one by one. When I last tried this, I got a message that SU was “testing” some new feature and it didn’t work like it was supposed to. Not sure if that is a temporary thing or not.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/to/stumble/stumblethru:domain.com

As a substitute, you can use this Google search instead.

site:www.stumbleupon.com/url/domain.com/

Delicious

This URL will show you the pages from your domain that have been bookmarked by users on Delicious, the number of times each page has been saved, and the tags / descriptions that people have added.

http://delicious.com/search?p=domain.com

Digg

This URL will show you any pages dugg from your domain, including vote counts.

http://digg.com/search?q=site:domain.com

Reddit

The results may not always be pleasant with this network, but using this URL will help you find any mentions of your domain on Reddit.

http://www.reddit.com/domain/domain.com/

BizSugar

BizSugar is a great network for business news, so if your site has great business content, it may have ended up here. See which pages have been sugared using this URL!

http://www.bizsugar.com/search/domain.com

Pinterest

Pinterest is the latest and greatest social bookmarking site that allows you to create vision boards with images on the web (hint: you should optimize for it). This URL will let you see if any photos from your domain have been pinned by Pinterest users.

http://pinterest.com/source/domain.com/

Do you keep up with your site mentions on social media or bookmarking networks? What other ones do you follow?

Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Don't miss her Web Domination Review on Kikolani. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!

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Optimizing the New YouTube Channel Design

Dec 16, 2011   //   by Kristi Hines   //   Social Media  //  22 Comments

Back in October, I wrote an article on optimizing your social media profiles for SEO which included a detailed look at YouTube channels. And of course, here we are in December and YouTube has completely revamped their channel design. If you haven’t been to your channel recently, I’d suggest you go take a look at it now as it has all changed.

Before:

After:

Here are some highlights as to what you need to go in and modify.

Featured Videos

The first thing I noticed right away was my set featured video was nowhere to be found, and the channel was displaying my latest videos in the order they were uploaded. So if you’re like me and you want that featured video back, be sure to go in and set it. Click on the Edit button above the top video on your channel.

Use the dropdown to select whether your featured video is in Uploaded videos, Favorite videos, or a custom playlist. Then uncheck the box for Most Recent Video in Featured Set to see all of your videos in the category you chose. Click on the video you want as featured and then click Apply.

Playlist

Beneath your featured video is a playlist, usually set to your most recent uploads or another playlist. Click on the Edit button above this playlist to choose what you want displayed.

Select the playlist (Uploaded videos, Favorite videos, or a custom playlist) you want displayed below your featured video and then click Apply.

About You and Your Links

To edit your channel’s information, click on the Edit button in the right sidebar above the About You text.

The downside to the new changes is that there is no longer any customizable field that counts as the meta description for your channel and your links are no longer dofollow. The upside is you can include more links on your channel to your website, social profiles, etc. While they may not have SEO value, they are in a great position to be clicked upon by visitors to your channel.

Beneath your links are additional fields about you as the user, your hometown, occupation, companies, schools, and interests. The most important area to fill out is the top About box and your links as the rest of the information will be hidden unless someone clicks on the more link.

Featured Playlists and Channels

Underneath your information and links are two areas where you can highlight your featured playlists and featured channels (or links to other YouTube channels). Click on the Edit button above each section to set these in the order you prefer.

Have you updated your YouTube channel? Do you love it or hate it? Please share your thoughts on the new design in the comments!

Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Don't miss her Web Domination Review on Kikolani. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!

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How to Manage an Effective Social Media Campaign

Dec 12, 2011   //   by Daniela Baker   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  3 Comments

Social media marketing can be a daunting task which takes time away from other important responsibilities. This is especially the case for small business owners who don’t have the staffing power to fully maximize the benefits of social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In. Buzz, etc.) with regard to their online marketing strategy.  Such benefits include increased brand awareness, networking, customer interaction which can turn leads into sales.

  1. Formulate a strategy. According to Diana Huff, a leading Internet Marketing expert, there are strategies that small business owners can implement that will help them manage their social media campaigns effectively and save time.

Before interacting on Facebook or Twitter, know why you wish to maintain a presence on each site. Without a strategy you will not be able to market your product or service effectively.  The following are some key questions to ask as your create your online strategy:

  • What is your company’s marketing objective?
  • What results do you wish to achieve?
  • How will success be measured?
  • Who on your team will be responsible for monitoring your firm’s online presence and interacting with prospects and customers?
  • How much time will this employee be able to devote exclusively to social media?
  • Which of the platforms are best for your business?
  1. Start slowly with one platform. Many small business owners mistakenly believe that they must jump into all social media platforms at one time. This is simply not the case. You can start with any of the sites and once comfortable on that site, build a presence on the others. It is also fine to elect not to participate in some sites at all. What is most important is that you develop a consistent presence on those sites you do choose to use.   It does not good to develop a page or profile, post a couple of comments and then disappear.  It takes time to develop a following but well worth the effort once you recognize the viral effect of online marketing. 
  2. Set a social media schedule. Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 hour Work Week, includes much discussion on how to manage email overload. One of his suggestions is to simply stop checking it 50 times per day. The same advice can be followed with regard to social media.  Schedule a set period of time each day when you will post a question for your Facebook fans, post a comment to your LinkedIn group, check your Google feed, or post and article to your company blog. As per Diana Huff, setting aside as little as 30 minutes twice per week should suffice for carrying out each of these tasks. Grouping your social media time in this way lessens the anxiety associated with building a social media presence. 
  3. Use tools to help manage multiple platforms. If you have several employees posting to the sites or if you are an Internet marketer with several accounts, it helps to use such tools as HootSuite or TweekDeck. These tools shorten your URL and eliminate the need to log in and out to multiple platforms
  4. Outsource if necessary. While there is much discussion on the ethics of ghost-blogging, it is a fact that many small companies are not able to manage their social media campaigns effectively while trying to grow their business. In light of this, hiring ghostwriters is a smart move when trying to balance the competing needs of your firm.  

An effective social media campaign is managed in the same way as any marketing effort: with a strategy in place based on your business model and objectives.

Daniela Baker

Daniela Baker is a social media advocate with the credit card comparison website CreditDonkey. For more ways on using social media for success, visit her team's blog. Remember, following the above suggestions will help you derive the most benefit from your social media efforts so you find it to be a rewarding (and profitable) experience.

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Facebook Share vs. Facebook Like Button

Dec 9, 2011   //   by Kristi Hines   //   Social Media  //  27 Comments

Sure, the Facebook Share button is no longer officially available from Facebook. But that doesn’t stop sites from finding the code and using it. The question is – why are people (like myself) still using it and how does it affect your actual “like” count?

Customizing Shares with the Facebook Share Button

The main reason I still use the Facebook Share button on my blog over the Facebook Like button is for the way it works. When you click on the Facebook Share button, you will get the chance to do the following.

Facebook Share Button

  • Change the privacy of your shared post to Public, Friends, Custom, or only to be shown to specific lists.
  • Post the share on your own timeline, on a friend’s timeline, in a group, on your page, or in a private message.
  • Add a comment on why you are sharing the post.
  • Change the thumbnail to one you like the best.
  • Click on the title and description of the link and edit it to suit your needs.

When you click on the Facebook Like button, however, you only get the chance to add a comment.

Facebook Like Button

It will then automatically show up on your Timeline as a public post with the thumbnail Facebook chooses and the default title and description.

The tradeoff with using the Facebook Share button over the Like button is that the people who don’t care how the post appears on their profile might be miffed at the fact they need to take the extra steps to customizing the post before it goes on their profile. You can satisfy everyone’s needs by placing both buttons on your website, but then you have less room to add other social sharing buttons. Since I have mine in a neat row at the top of posts, I would have to trade off my LinkedIn, Google+, or Buffer button.

Counting Shares vs. Likes

The next question about the Facebook Share button is what the difference is when counting shares vs. likes. I had the same question, so I used the links.getStats console for Facebook developers which you can only use if you have developed an app on Facebook. I only use the Share button on my blog posts, so I got the stats for one of my most popular Facebook posts on the new Timeline profile.

Facebook link.getStats Share and Like Count

It shows the total count of Facebook shares as 467, Likes as 294, and comments as 276. Whenever I plug my post’s URL into the Like button code box, I get a total of 1,037 likes.

Facebook Like Count

This means that whenever someone shares, likes or comments on your post on Facebook that it all will be totaled up as likes toward your post!

Getting the Code

Before adding the Facebook Share button, I will give you this disclaimer – although it is working now, it might not be for long since Facebook has redirected the page for their Share button to the Like button. If you choose to use it until it stops functioning, you can do so by placing the following code into your website’s template.

<a name="fb_share" type="button_count" href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php">Share</a><script src="http://static.ak.fbcdn.net/connect.php/js/FB.Share" type="text/javascript">

If you want the code for the Facebook Like button instead, you can get it via the configuration tool on the Like button plugins page.

Do you use the Facebook Share or Facebook Like button? Which one do you prefer using when going to someone else’s site? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Don't miss her Web Domination Review on Kikolani. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!

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Why Are People Following You on Twitter

Dec 2, 2011   //   by Kristi Hines   //   Social Media  //  2 Comments

In a post by Christina Reed entitled Thoughts of a Concerned Tweeter over on Smart Boy Designs, the author raised the point of “Why aren’t more people on Twitter asking the question, ‘what made you follow me?’ This is crucial information.”

This led me to remember some steps I had seen on how to find out the answer to this question by analyzing Twitter lists you have been added to using Excel and Wordle by both Rick Galan and Ari Herzog.

The following are updated directions for creating a Wordle using Excel 2010 and Open Office Calc 3.3.

Copying Your Twitter Lists

Twitter Lists Listed Count

  1. Go to your Twitter profile and click on the number Listed to see the Twitter lists in which people have added you.
  2. Keep scrolling to the bottom until you can either get them all to display. This might take awhile if you’re on a lot of lists, and you might run into a message that “loading seems to be taking awhile” – when you click Try Again, it will start loading more lists. When you reach the end, you’ll see a Back to Top link.
  3. Once you have all of your lists loaded, highlight them all and copy.

Highlighted Twitter Lists

Compiling Your Twitter Lists in Microsoft Office Excel 2010

Twitter Lists Pasted in Excel

  1. Create a new Excel document.
  2. Go to Paste > Paste Special > Text to paste the information without any formatting, pictures, etc.
  3. Go to the Data tab > Text to Columns. In the Convert to Text Columns Wizard, choose Delimited as the file type then click Next. Check Other under Delimiters and enter a / in the box then click Next. Then on the next screen, check Finish.
  4. Delete Column A.
  5. Delete Columns B through E.
  6. Scroll through and make sure there is at least 1 – 2 blank rows between each list name. Sometimes people will include a / in their list description and anything after that will still be in the spreadsheet – just delete those when you come across them (I had about 15 out of 2,000+ lists).
  7. Save your spreadsheet.
  8. Scroll down to the last item in Column A and highlight everything in Column A from the first row to the last. Press F5 and in the Go To screen, click the Special button. Under Select, choose Blanks and click Ok. Once the blanks are highlighted, go to the Home tab > Delete > Delete Cells and Shift Cells Up.
  9. Now you should have approximately the same number of rows as you do Twitter lists (I ended up with 2,035 rows for my 2,071 lists).
  10. Use the Find & Replace option to replace dashes (-) with a blank space ( ). This will take the Twitter default of adding dashes between words out to make a better keyword phrase (social media instead of social-media).

Twitter Lists Edited in Excel

Compiling Your Twitter Lists in Open Office Calc 3.3

  1. Create a new Calc document.
  2. Go to Paste Special > Unformatted Text.
  3. In the Text Import screen under Separator Options > Separated By, check Other, enter a / in the box, and click Ok.
  4. Delete Column A.
  5. Delete Columns B through E.
  6. Scroll through and make sure there is at least 1 – 2 blank rows between each list name. Sometimes people will include a / in their list description and anything after that will still be in the spreadsheet – just delete those when you come across them (I had about 15 out of 1,900+ lists).
  7. Save your spreadsheet.
  8. Scroll down to the last item in Column A and highlight everything in Column A from the first row to the last. Under the Data menu, select Sort > and then Sort by the first item in Column A and Ascending then click Ok.
  9. Now you should have approximately the same number of rows as you do Twitter lists.
  10. Use the Find & Replace option to replace dashes (-) with a blank space ( ). This will take the Twitter default of adding dashes between words out to make a better keyword phrase (social media instead of social-media).

Creating Your Wordle

Creating a Wordle

  1. Copy all of your keywords into the Wordle.net “Paste in a bunch of text” box and click Go.
  2. Allow Java to run if your browser gives you the prompt.
  3. Under Layout, change the Maximum Words to 50 and use the Mostly Horizontal layout.
  4. Under Color, change the color palette to something easy to read (I’m a fan of Shooting Star).
  5. under Font, change the font to something easy to read (I’m a fan of Coolvetica).
  6. From here, you will need to take a screenshot of your Wordle, then edit that screenshot to just show the actual Wordle. I use the free version of Jing (Mac or Windows), but you can use whatever method you normally do to take screenshots and size them appropriately. You can also zoom in using your browser to get a bigger shot than the default displayed size at 100%.

Why People Follow @kikolani

Here’s the Wordle result from my Twitter lists! Click on it to see the full size.

Wordle Results for Twitter Lists

Now I can see that people add me to their Twitter lists for blogging, social media, marketing, SEO, business, tech, experts, writers, influencers, and friends.

Once you’ve created your Wordle, you can use it in any way you please – on your blog, business cards, t-shirts, etc. as per Wordle’s terms of use for images produced by their applet.

Have you tried this out? What were your top keywords in Twitter lists? Be sure to share in the comments!

Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Don't miss her Web Domination Review on Kikolani. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!

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Ramping Up During the Holidays – Marketing on Foursquare

Nov 9, 2011   //   by Kaila Strong   //   internet marketing, Social Media  //  No Comments

There are so many marketing options available for brands that it’s especially hard during the holidays to decide where your efforts should go. After reading a blog post on B2B marketing on Foursquare I thought about options for any brands that might be looking to use Foursquare this holiday season. With a bit of creativity there are many things you try out this holiday season.

Offer a Special
Increased foot traffic in malls or shopping plazas can mean more people near your business. By offering a special on Foursquare you stand a chance of having someone within range of your business visit your location, check in, share their location with friends, and of course possibly purchasing something to get the discount.

It’s surprising to see that so many businesses offer specials to their customers through varies medias but don’t put that same exact special on Foursquare. During this time of year especially, specials and discounts can get more traffic into your doors. It doesn’t take much to set up on Foursquare and to let your staff know about the special.

Make One-On-One Connections
If someone is checking into your business shouldn’t you say thank you? Having someone on staff monitor check-ins at your location during the holidays can help give an added personal feel to the experience at your business for a customer. Try welcoming them while at the store, offering assistance, or asking how their experience was.

Don’t Forget the Mayor
Have a few regular customers battling it out to become mayor of your establishment? Continue the battle across multiple platforms and create a contest over the holidays on Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook. This can help spark others to get in on the game, coming back to your establishment often. Have a leader board posted at your location and keep tally. Aren’t in the mood for a game? Simply offer a discount to the mayor and thank them for their patronage – few businesses do it.

Holiday Markets
Craft and art fairs, bizarres, and holiday markets are all great places to sell your wares during the holidays. Monitoring the users who check into the event and directing them to your booth is easy to do through the use of Foursquare and other social media platforms. But why stop there? Try connecting with people before they go to the event by setting up a search on Twitter, or connecting with them afterwards too. Use this opportunity to help build your client base to take you through the new year.

Offer After-Holiday Discounts
By setting up a Twitter search of all the mentions of your brand name or store on Twitter, you can be notified when someone checks into your store or mentions your brand (even if they aren’t using Foursquare). Not only should you thank them for checking in but offer them a discount code (via DM) for the next time they stop in. You have the possibility of turning that one time sale or one time visit into more. Don’t forget – it’s not just about Black Friday deals. Customers are likely to appreciate a non-black Friday deal too, so get them to come back into your store after the holiday rush.

B2B
Discussed in the post I mentioned previously, B2B marketing can be done using Foursquare quite easily. Most of the suggestions offered will require businesses to allow their employees to use social media. Limiting employee social media usage is a trend that has been decreasing over recent years. A recent “Robert Half Technology” study shows social media permitted in the workplace for business purposes becoming more common. If you happen to be in a B2B market and allow your employees to use social media try out this suggestion to use Foursquare to market your brand.

Events - Foursquare can help you promote holiday and company events, and pre-buzz through other social channels can help as well. Igniting conversation about your brands activities, involvement in the community, or camaraderie  can sometimes boost sales. If you are hosting a holiday party set up an event and have your staff tweet, Facebook, and check-in on Foursquare. Encourage them to take pictures too.

These are just a few of the ways you can use Foursquare this holiday season. Have more to add? Feel free – in the comments below!

*Update*

Andy at SmartBlogs.com wrote a great post about how to use Foursquare for word-of-mouth campaigns. Check it out! 

Kaila Strong

Kaila Strong is an avid tweeter (@cliquekaila), and marketer in the Phoenix area.

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Why you shouldn’t Give Up on Google Plus Yet

Nov 2, 2011   //   by Oliver Spencer   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  14 Comments

In just shy of a month, Google Plus had created a community 25 Million strong. In all of the hysteria of selective invites and profile creation, Google had created one of the fastest growing website in the illustrious albeit short history of the internet.  There were those who saw the meteoric rise as a sign that the writing was on the wall for Facebook and its flimsy definition of privacy.

However, that hasn’t exactly been the reality. The reason for the initial buzz falling flat should be all too familiar to Google. Last time, however, they were the beneficiary of the phenomenon. The easy recent comparison would be Microsoft launching Bing with ad budget in the millions. Google was able to stand pat and watch the well-funded upstart try to chip away at the empire that it had amassed. Not that the reminder is needed but Google remains king of the search.

With all that being said, there is great functionality to Google Plus, features that have yet to be widely discovered by the general public and could give Plus staying power.

  • Focused Sharing: Plus allows the sharing of content to select circles, you could say social media via scalpel. You can share works articles with your colleagues or post your weekend plans with friends, you have the tools to choose the intimacy of your networking. This comes in handy when you don’t want coworkers or parents to see your updates. Intimacy is vital to Plus and could very well be the differentiator between Facebook and Plus in the long run.
  • Authentic Social Experience: Facebook has become a true place of business, with pages and likes becoming a focus of most modern marketing strategies. If businesses begin to lessen the social experience, there is a chance that more and more users could seek out a new network the way that they left MySpace en masse.
  • Google Integration: One advantage that Google has over Facebook is that there are numerous reasons that the internet population is already using some Google functionality.  Gmail, for example, has built a base over the course of seven years. Switching between Gmail, Google Docs and Google searches will create a more seamless internet experience.

If Plus can foster the feeling of genuine connection that is being seemingly drained from Facebook, it stands a great chance of rivaling the current king of social networking and not becoming victim to the crash after a sugar rush.

Oliver Spencer

Oliver Spencer works at The Department of Marketing a Raleigh Web Design and Internet Marketing company

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Google Plus. Yawn.

Nov 1, 2011   //   by Chris Help   //   Google, SEO Blog, Social Media  //  14 Comments

Caution: The opinions in the following blog post represent my own as a guest blogger—not necessarily Search Engine Marketing Group’s or Gerald Weber’s. Just sayin’…

Okay, I’ve got to get something off my chest here. It’s been building and building and if I don’t scream it from the mountain tops, my chest is going to explode. So here it is. Are you ready.

GO TO HELL, GOOGLE PLUS!

Wow. There. I said it. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Who cares. Big deal, so you hate it. You’re a Facebook groupie. Or a Twitter Tweeter. Or whatever. Big deal, join the club.”

Ah, but see, it’s different for me. Why? Because I’m busy trying to pull my foot out of my mouth. Not sure what I’m talking about? Checkout this post I made on my blog a few months back, in which I said that Google Plus was basically going to murder Facebook.

Yeah. Whoops.

Here’s the deal. I wanted Google Plus to be our savior. You know, the one to topple the world system (i.e. Facebook) and bring revolution to the social media world. I prayed that it was true. I hoped with everything within me. In fact, I wanted it to be the case so badly that I wrote a post daring people to argue otherwise with me.

But here I am, a few months later, barely even blinking when I see my Google Plus notifications box pop up. Why? Here’s what I’ve narrowed it down to:

  • My friends aren’t into it. Well, a couple of them maybe. But most of the updates I’m reading are from people I barely know. And quite frankly, I could care less what most of them have to say.
  • People keep adding me and I have no clue who they are. Not sure what the deal is, but I sear the last million people to put me in their circles—I don’t know them. No clue at all. And let’s face it, I don’t really feel like getting to know them.
  • I’m in too deep with the other social networks. My worst fear. I’m too tied into Facebook and Twitter to quit. I’m an addict. Sad, yet so true.

Now, am I saying Google Plus won’t beat them out in the end? Not necessarily. When you compare Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus you can definitely put together a solid argument in Google Pluses favor. But as for now, as for me…sorry Google Plus. I just don’t have the time or the patience.

Chris Help

Chris HELP started his own copywriting agency, HELP! Copy and Design, a few years back as a sort of side project to showcase his passions. But what ended up happening is it snowballed into full-fledged thriving business. So whether you need press releases, SEO articles, or good old fashioned high-conversion copy--he's ready, willing, and more than able.

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Yo Sushi – Don’t Yo Care About Yo Customers?

Oct 17, 2011   //   by Amy Fowler   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  21 Comments

Business and Social Media – How Not to Manage Your Campaign

Up until recently, Yo Sushi was one of my favourite restaurants. Yes, I know, there’s better Sushi out there, but I live in Nottingham and as it goes, we’re pretty limited in choice when it comes to Japanese fare.

Unfortunately, as the dedicated Yo Sushi lover I am, I made the mistake of being roped in by Yo’s ‘Super Sumo Sunday’ all-you-can-eat deal.

I’ve always been a sucker for all-you-can-eat restaurants yet this time; I was well and truly suckered.

Yo Sushi charges £18.50 a head for their ‘Super Sumo Sunday’ deal. Sounds pretty reasonable at first, when you consider how quickly the cost of those little coloured plates adds up.

Yet this deal comes with rules. You have to finish everything on your plate (fair enough, I hate waste too), you have two hours in which to ‘enjoy the deal’ and most importantly – you can’t make orders.

So, you are stuck with what’s on the belt. And on this occasion; it wasn’t much.

Seriously, if I ever see edamame beans or fish stick rolls again it will be too soon.

Granted, you were allowed to make ‘requests’ for food to appear on the belt but seeing as I was made to feel like a naughty child for doing so, I instead waited patiently for something new and interesting to roll round.

And guess what – it didn’t. Those two hours can pass surprisingly quickly when you’re splitting your time between staring at the belt; just in-case you might miss something good, and checking the clock to see how long you have left to actually grab and eat something good.

And these tense two hours came in at just over £40 for two, with a drink each, for an evening meal on a Sunday.

Now – I’ll get to the point.

Following Yo Sushi boasting about the continuation of Super Sumo Sunday’s on their Facebook page, I took the opportunity to air my views.

I posted a not entirely impolite summary of my experience and waited patiently for their response.

 

 

And waited, and waited.

Yo Sushi kindly took the time to respond to another ‘fan’ who had posted excitedly about the opening of a new branch. They even addressed her by name. Yet I went ignored.

 

 

Yet shortly after, I wasn’t the only person expressing my dissatisfaction. Others had joined in too, so I posted again.

 

 

 

Finally, I got a response. And I must say; I wasn’t pleased.

 

 

 

Apparently they ‘appreciate my thoughts and feedback’; yet they don’t acknowledge me as a person and they don’t mention my complaint.

In fact, this is one of the most corporate, impersonal and simply insincere attempts at social media I’ve seen yet.

Anyone who knows anything about social media knows that when you place your company in the ‘social sphere’ you are setting yourself up for both good and bad publicity.

And thus, you have to handle this publicity properly.

Speak to the dishevelled customer as an individual. Demonstrate that you care about their complaint and want to ensure the company resolves the issue for the future.

Up until this point, I had always quite admired Yo’s social efforts. Yet this is the first time I have seen them tested. And they failed – badly.

I won’t lie – I did have a slight hope that my complaint might lead to the offer of a free meal. I had of course wasted over £40 on some of the cheapest food they have available.

Yet what I wanted most was a response that made it clear Yo Sushi genuinely took my complaint on board and would take steps to ensure their Super Sumo Sunday deals were more satisfactory in future.

But I got neither.

Instead, they have not only ensured that myself and my friends will never take Yo Sushi up on the offer of this ‘deal’ again, but they have left me with a sour taste in my mouth and an uneasy feeling towards Yo Sushi in general.

Businesses take note; Yo Sushi’s handling of this matter has lost them a regular customer.

Remember that this is the digital age, and people won’t just be talking about you down the local pub with friends.

It’s a tough world out there and when you want to succeed in business, it’s not purely about profit – it’s about pleasing your customers too.

And I’m sorry to say, but right now, Yo Sushi is not pleasing this one.

Yo Sushi –Yo clearly don’t care about yo customers.

Amy Fowler

This article was written by Amy Fowler; a marketing executive at Boom Online Marketing. Boom are a UK based online marketing company who offer services in SEO, social media, PPC, email marketing and conversion rate optimisation.

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