Thursday, 27 September 2012


Hard to believe it’s been 14 years since the inception of everyone’s favorite search engine.  Happy Birthday, Google!    

There are very few of us on the planet who have not, at one time or another – or every day, for that matter – used Google to find information, to get driving directions or to self-diagnose by plugging in our symptoms (my doctor just loves it when I do that!).  Personally speaking, I’d be lying if I said that Google isn’t a part of my everyday life.  We use it at home, we use it at work – we even use it as a verb!  Want to know about something – just ‘Google’ it!

Think for a moment how much easier life is with Google in it.  Want to see movie listings?  You no longer have to run out and buy a newspaper.  Want a recipe for German chocolate cake?  Look no further than your keyboard.  Want to translate a paragraph quickly from English to French?  Google Translate is arguably one of the coolest things on the planet!  Heck, I once received a comment on one of my blogs in Russian and, of course, had no idea what it said until I – yup, Google Translated it (now I’m making up my own verbs).

This morning, I Googled Google to research some background information.  Here’s what I found out:
 - From Wikipedia: 

“The company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while both attended Stanford University. Together, Brin and Page own about 16 percent of the company's stake. Google was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 4, 1998, and its initial public offering followed on August 19, 2004. The company's mission statement from the outset was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" and the company's unofficial slogan is “Don’t be evil”.  In 2006, the company moved to its current headquarters in Mountain View, California.”

And, did you know that Page and Brin named their project “Google” because Google is a play on the word "googol," or the "mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros”?   Cool stuff!

So, how are the Google team celebrating the 14th birthday of their phenomenon?  From Google’s Official Blog:

“As Google turns 14 this month, we’re celebrating this creative spirit and officially launching Google for Entrepreneurs, the umbrella for our several dozen programs and partnerships around the world that support startups and entrepreneurs.” 

All the best, guys!  And, Happy Birthday to you, Google!!

Friday, 14 September 2012


When using Facebook for business, strategy is everything.  The timing of your posts is relevant, what you post is relevant and how you post is relevant.  Sure, it’s okay to post here and there about the frivolities of life, even when posting for business purposes.  But, it’s also important to remember that your Facebook business page and its posts represent the identity of your business.  And, the end game of your strategy on Facebook is to generate productivity.   So, what’s the most important thing a Facebook post can do?  Provide a call to action, of course! 

Here are some tips on how to create an effective call to action within your posts:

1.  Outline the Benefits – In order for someone to complete a call to action, they should be given the incentive and the benefits to doing so.  Make it clear what your audience will get out of completing the call to action – for example, will your product or service solve a problem?  If so, identify that problem and display how your service or product can serve as a specific remedy.

2.  Don’t be a Bore – This one’s a no-brainer, but mention-worthy just the same.  Ensure that your posts are engaging and interesting to people.  You want to grab their attention and entice them to use your services and products.  So, make your posts fun to read!  And, it’s never a bad idea to add some visual stimulation – include photos wherever possible.  They can exponentially complement your posts.

3.  Keep it Encouraging and Optimistic – As with anything you post on Facebook, the idea again is to try to engage and even entertain.  Your posts should excite and inspire people to want to use your CTA (call to action).  Positive feelings will encourage users to share your posts!  More sharing = greater virality.

4.  Ask a Direct Question – An under-utilized tool when creating Facebook posts, asking questions encourages participation and engagement of your Facebook community.  People will be more inclined to respond by clicking a link or by commenting when asked a direct question – something that they really want to answer.  You can also ask a question that can be answered ‘yes’ when people ‘Like’ it.

5. Be Sure to Include a Link – Not each and every Facebook post requires a link, however, a post with a call to action should contain one (unless the only call to action you’re looking for is a ‘Like’ or a comment.  When your purpose is to direct people to other content, a link is definitely in order.

6.  Sweeten the Deal – There’s nothing like a little extra incentive to encourage people to complete a call to action.  You could, for example, offer a discount on your products or services; you could offer a free token gift (a T-shirt or a water bottle emblazoned with your logo would do).  People are generally more likely to respond when there’s something in it for them.

7.  Follow Through – Okay, so your call to action is effective and people are responding.  Now what happens?  It’s absolutely imperative that the rest of the process be as well laid out as the call to action itself.  The single most important thing to remember is to keep it relatively simple.  You don’t want to make people jump through hoops – don’t ask them to provide any more information than is necessary and don’t make it difficult to navigate once they’re there!

Your calls to action are one of the most vital components within your social media marketing strategy.  When created correctly within your Facebook posts, they can be a very effective means of maintaining a primary objective:  generating business for you!