Friday, 25 January 2013

4 Ways to Make Google+ Work for Your Business

Google+, as both a social medium and a tool for S.E.O., offers a plethora of uses for business communication and for your marketing plan.    So here I will repeat the 4 most popular suggestions from Social Media Experts:  

1.  Use Circles to Network – Google+ Circles makes it easy to build industry networks of both ... blah blah blah

2.  Share Relevant & Engaging Content – Stand-out content is the backbone of social media blah blah blah....   and who will see and read the stuff?  as a busy business person, do you have time to write stuff that no one will probably read?

3.  Hangout! – One of the coolest features of Google+ is Hangouts.  You can use Hangouts to hold meetings, open forums, ... fun, cool, and no busy business person has time for this.  Teenagers at a shopping mall comes to mind!

4. Make friends, connect, dialogue  -- chat it up all afternoon why not!

By now  you will probably have figured out that I disagree with the other experts.  I am a big believer in Google + features for business at this point in time:  January 2013.  But here is how I see it.

  • Get a Google + account so that you can use Google Local and Google Places.  
  • Have a Google Places page for your company so that you can be found on Google Maps and in Google Searches.  
  • Google is the number one most used search engine  (beating competition by a factor of 10 at least).  You need to be found by Google.

Your business needs to be found by Google.  

So my real advise is:
1. Get a Google + account.  Fill in your profile as a business person and use those keywords.
2. Add people to your circles - anyone - so that you can be found.
3. Create a Google Places page for your business and fill it out completely including photos and videos.
4.  Garner Lots of Positive Reviews – Google is taking on TripAdvisor and Yellow Pages.  Best thing you can do for your SEO, to be found when someone searches Google or Google Maps, is to have good reviews here.  

And you're done!   Now get back to your real job!  

Friday, 18 January 2013


And, the Facebook vs. Google rivalry rages on:  First, Google implemented Google+ as a means of making itself more social (and removing itself from the solitary rank of “just a search engine”), in keeping with Facebook’s social networking status.  Then, this past Tuesday, Facebook (commonly known as the largest social network on the planet) implemented “Graph Search” as a means of making itself more useful in the “search” category (although not in the traditional sense – read on…).

The new Graph Search is what Facebook is calling its “third pillar” of service, standing alongside the already implemented News Feed and Timeline.  The concept behind Graph Search is that it allows Facebook users to effortlessly search their “friends’” photos, locations and interests.

But, does Google really have anything to fear?  Probably not.  Graph Search is not a traditional search engine, insofar as it doesn’t search the Web based on keywords.  Graph Search searches are more refined than that and what you’d be searching for on Graph Search would likely not be found on Google.  It’s more ‘friend’ or audience specific than that. In other words, most of the content you will be searching for isn’t public.

Facebook users can now conduct searches that are more personal or intimate, for example, if you want to know whether or not you should shell out twelve bucks to see a just released film, you can search how many of your ‘friends’ have seen and liked the movie.  You can search things like “photos of ‘friends’ taken in the 1970s” or, “’friends’ of ‘friends’ who are male, single and live in Toronto”.  You get the idea.

"Graph Search is a completely new way for people to get information on Facebook," Mark Zuckerberg said at a press conference at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park on Tuesday.  "Graph Search is a really big project. Eventually... we want to index all the posts and all of the content on Facebook. I thought it couldn't be done. This is just some really neat stuff. This is one of the coolest things we've done in a while."

It sounds like it’s all well and good for those who have been waiting for something useful to tap into the wealth of data supported by Facebook, but as with anything else Facebook does, Graph Search has its critics – most of whom are concerned about privacy issues.  Facebook, however, has been insistent that Graph Search will not compromise privacy, claiming that the search feature will not surface any information that is not already publicly available on Facebook. 

Facebook officials stated that, “We’ve built Graph Search with privacy in mind, and it respects the privacy and audience of each piece of content on Facebook.  It makes finding new things much easier, but you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook.”

So, I’ll look forward to giving Graph Search a try before I pass judgment.  As of right now, Graph Search is available to only a handful of users, but will be rolling out slowly over time.  What do you think?  Ready to give it a try?

Friday, 11 January 2013

5 Social Media New Year’s Resolutions that You Should Stick To

What you've undoubtedly come to realize over the past couple of years is that, when it comes to your business, making use of social media is an asset.  To what degree that’s true depends entirely on how much you've been thinking about and how much effort you've been putting into your social media marketing strategies.

Want to step it up a notch or two in 2013?  Here are a few tips that you can use as your Social Media New Year’s Resolutions:

1.  Vow to Post on a Regular Basis – I know it can seem daunting sometimes, with everything you have to do in your busy life, but, in order for your social media strategies to gain traction, it’s important to post on a regular basis.  If people are checking in and seeing the same, stale stuff that’s been sitting there for a month, they’re not going to be returning to your sites any time soon!

2. Make it a Point to be More Interesting & Innovative – Again, I know you’re in a time crunch, but it’s worth it to take a few moments every couple of days to do some research to come up with interesting and innovative content to post.  You don’t want to bore your followers to death. Check out industry newsletters, online news sites and entertainment sites. You'll find a whole wealth of information that you can comment on, respond to and link to.

3. Take Full Advantage of Social Media’s “Humanizing” Factor – Social media is a great way to humanize your brand or business.  People buy from people.  People use services that other people offer.  Your social media efforts should be targeted at making you and your business more personable, rather than at peddling your wares with ‘in your face’ marketing pushes.  On social media, be social!  Entertain & engage, and let people ‘like’ you.  Post content that will resonate with your audience.  The rest will follow!  Remember, it’s about the relationship, not the broadcast.

4. Monitor Your Efforts – If you’re not monitoring your social media endeavors, how will you know what’s working and what isn'tYou need to know what’s going on to respond and engage in conversations or manage a crisis. Tools from simple monitoring to social CRM and customer support will help you find new opportunities to engage consumers.  Social media monitoring tools combined with business metrics will lead to better understanding of the value of social interaction. 
5. Update Your Profiles – It has probably been awhile since you created your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.).  When was the last time you reviewed each profile to ensure that all your information is updated and current?  It might be a little early in the year for a Spring cleaning, but why not just call it a New Year Makeover?  Go over each of your profiles to ensure that everything is current – all contact information, photos, etc.  Go through your Facebook ‘friends’ list and clean house.  Ensure that you’re following all the right people on Twitter.  A little freshening up can go a long way!