Category: Social Media Marketing

5 Reasons Google+ Could Win the Social Enterprise Battle

| March 10, 2012 | Comments (0)

Article by Balakrishna Narasimhan who leads solution marketing for Appirio, a cloud solution provider that helps enterprises adopt, connect and extend cloud platforms such as salesforce.com, Google and Workday. Follow him on Twitter: @bnara75

Last Thursday, Google announced that Google+ will be available for Google Apps users. This means that the millions of people using Google Apps for their businesses will now have access to the Google+ social collaboration platform.

With Google+’s unique features for search, selective sharing and rich communication, it offers consumers a very different user experience than the established social networks. For individuals, Google+ has quickly become a great place to build your interest graph — that is, find the latest content and people related to topics you’re interested in.

 

SEE ALSO: Google+: The Complete Guide

 

With its seamless integration with Google Apps, Google+ promises a very different type of social enterprise experience. In fact, Google+ has five unique advantages over other social business platforms.


1. Smart Integration With Existing Google Apps


Google+ is fully integrated with Google Apps. As a user, you don’t need a new login — it’s just another tab like mail, calendar, docs or video. Most business users spend their day in mail or calendar, so a tool that’s easily accessible from the daily workflow has advantages over third-party software.

Thinking a bit ahead of where the product is, the possibilities that are opened up by the integration with Google Apps are pretty exciting. You can imagine “+1” buttons and rich collaboration across sites, docs, spreadsheets, presentations, blogs, videos, photos and more. Or imagine working within a doc and starting a hangout with collaborators while sharing your screen. For companies using Google Apps, taking advantage of these features would require no additional software, logins or changes in behavior.


2. Google+ Already Knows a Lot About You


Because of its tight integration with Google Apps, Google+ could take advantage of what it already knows about each business user, including whom they email, how often and how recently, as well as the topics they write about and search for. Google+ is in a position to help an enterprise user not only quickly build out his internal circles, but also discover those outside the company who are talking about the same topics or industry. If Google chooses to pursue this, it would make a great tool to help each user build out broad interest-based professional networks.


3. Google+ Is Uniquely Positioned to Help You Find and Share Interesting Content


 

 

Nobody has a better index of what’s on the web than Google. So nobody is better positioned to help you find interesting content and people from both inside and outside your company. Google+ Sparks let you follow the latest from the web on topics you’re interested in, and one can imagine something similar within your domain. Internal Sparks could let you quickly find content and experts within your company on work-related topics you’re most interested in.


4. Google+ Integrates Public and Private Sharing


Unlike other social enterprise platforms, which keep most shared content behind company walls, Google+ integrates public and private sharing. When I’m using Google+, I can decide for each post whether I want to share it with my colleagues, my clients, or certain subsets of either category. Also, because a number of websites have already embedded +1 buttons, it’s easy to “like” content from across the web and share it with targeted groups.


5. Android Phones Sync Easily With the Entire Apps Suite


Finally, an Android mobile phone brings this complete integration to users on the go. Activating Android handsets with your company’s Google Apps account brings all this productive and social functionality to the palm of your employees’ hands. And the wide variety of devices and carriers means greater flexibility.

 

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The Google+ Project… look out Facebook!

| March 6, 2012 | Comments (0)

Google has finally unveiled Google+, the company’s ultra top secret social overlay that turns the entire Google search engine platform into one giant social network! Pretty cool…

Google+, which began rolling out in a very limited fashion yesterday (Tuesday, June 28th), is the culmination of a year-long project led by Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president of social. The project has been delayed several times but is now finally being unveiled is Google’s answer to Facebook.

The search giant’s new social project will be omnipresent on its platform, thanks to a complete redesign of the navigation bar. The familiar gray strip at the top of every Google page will turn black, and come with several new options for accessing your Google+ profile, viewing notifications and instantly sharing content. The notification system is similar to how Facebook handles notifications, complete with a red number that increases with each additional notice.

To learn more, see videos of the various components of the Google+ Project, go here.

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Also, check out some of my other posts!
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How to be successful with Facebook Advertising

| March 6, 2012 | Comments (0)

Why Facebook? It’s quite simple… they have the most traffic! More than Google if you didn’t already know.

n this post I’m not going to write a lot because I’m attaching a lot of the content for you to download. Cheat sheets and everything you need to know to get going. Of course, call me if you have any challenges or want to outsource this. That’s what we do!

P.S. I have a lot more instructional information I am willing to send you, just give me a call or email me if you get through all of what’s attached and are ready for more!

 

Facebook Advertising Cheat Sheet.pdf Download this file

 

Getting Started Handouts.pdf Download this file

 

Module-1 Targeting Handouts.pdf Download this file

 

Module-2 Ad Creation Handouts.pdf Download this file

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Growing Your Business With the Internet and Social Media

| March 2, 2012 | Comments (1)

Social media and well designed blogs are a key part to any inbound marketing strategy.

Here are 6 ways they help grow your business:

  1. Quick to Start. You could launch a Facebook page today or get a blog going in a few days. Facebook is free. Posterous.com, WordPress.com and many other hosted blog platforms are free and easy to start and use.
  2. Low Cost. You can get started in social media and blogging for very little or no money. They are among the most cost-effective methods of reaching your audience.  With a minimal investment of ~$500, you can outsource the building of a custom blog site for your business! Affordable Internet Marketing can be accomplished!
  3. Instant Interactivity. Both blogs and social media can give you nearly instant market feedback – good or bad. We get all kinds of feedback through the comments on our blog; people also leave reviews and other comments for us on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media channels.
  4. It’s the Search Engines, Silly. Surveys indicate that 90% or more of people begin their purchasing process in search engines. Blogs and social media make it more likely that your prospects will find you online when they search. I’m still amazed at how many businesses still don’t have a web or blog site. Nearly every professional (like attorneys, doctors, financial planners, insurance agents, etc) should have a blog site where they can demonstrate their expertise to prospective clients!
  5. Inbound Marketing.  We’re big fans of inbound marketing at Think Big Enterprises… after all, you found our site, right? Outbound marketing is telemarketing, direct mail, email blasts to cold prospects or lists you purchase, TV and newspaper print ads – all the things that buyers (like you) block out and throw the cold shoulder to.  Social media strategies and blog sites are necessary inbound marketing tools.
  6. First Mover Advantage. For blogs and social media, there is an advantage to moving first. If you don’t jump into the conversation, your competitors will (if they have not already, and they likely have) and then you’re fighting an uphill battle to become influential in these online conversations. Start now to claim that first-mover advantage. Don’t keep waiting… social media is NOT going away! Facebook is continuing to develop into a business tool. You may not like it or “be into it” but you can find someone on your team (or outsource to us) these tasks to build your business!
  7. Automate It. I’m a huge proponent of automating as much of my business as possible. Some tasks and relationships cannot be automated. However, most business owners are shocked at how much of their business process/processes can be automated, at least in part. The more you automate, the more predictability you inject into your business and the more money you can save. Money and time saved = greater efficiency. Greater efficiency = greater profitability and more time for you to spend doing what you love to do. Social media marketing can be automated in large part and it can be outsourced.

How are you using social media today? Are you using it?  Learn how you can build a successful inbound marketing strategy that combines social media, blogging, lead conversion, and marketing analytics.  Social media is an affordable internet marketing strategy! Really, for a couple hundred dollars per month you can at least get the conversation going and nurture it monthly with your customers and prospects!

Get a complimentary Inbound Marketing Assessment from Think Big Enterprises. Just use this link to fill out our marketing assessment form and we’ll contact you and give you an hour or so of our time to help answer questions and try to give you ideas and strategies to use to build your business.

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Social Networking Success for Busy People…

| February 2, 2012 | Comments (0)

One thing I really, really get excited about is efficiency opportunity. You know, those cool times when you see a real, bona fide opportunity to increase your efficiency in business and life. I’m going to share one of these opportunities with you… it’s simple, go check out www.posterous.com – love it. I input my facebook, twitter, flickr, youtube account info ahead of time, add a post of any kind (blog, text, video, audio) to posterous account and posterous automatically sends same to all my social accounts. One to many efficiency. Very nice. My posterous site: lanehouk.posterous.com – Have fun with it!

Oh and by the way, Posterous makes it so easy to add a new blog post… all you have to do is email your new post to [email protected] and Posterous knows it’s you by your email address so they automatically create the new post for you, publish it on your Posterous page and submit the same  post to all of your Social Network sites! That is awesome. Best of all, it’s FREE folks.

By the way… I found one video on YouTube that was short and shows how you can use Posterous to be more efficient!

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6 Tips for Using Promoted Tweets to Boost Your Brand’s Visibility

| January 31, 2012 | Comments (0)

Editors Note: As always and as will always be… great content is the key to everything. Users, viewers and readers still search for and long for great content. You just cannot ever get away from that if you want to have success online or in Twitter-world for that matter. Twitter is a great platform to get short snippets out to your audience to catch their attention so make sure you focus on the exact wording of your hashtag and title!

Article by Ron Schott – SearchEngineWatch.com

Twitter now has 100 million active users generating some 200 million tweets and 1.6 billion search queries every day. Despite the promise of reaching such a massive, highly-engaged audience, many advertisers have struggled to find the best way to connect with Twitter users.

Brands have had success using Twitter to distribute coupons and special offers – gaining followers on the lookout for deals – but have stumbled when it comes to building brand reach and engagement on the network.

Promoted Tweets are ordinary Tweets purchased by advertisers who want to reach a wider group of users or to spark engagement among their existing followers – and they are an effective way to use Twitter for brand marketing.

All Promoted Tweets are first displayed as regular Tweets to the people following an account, but advertisers can then promote these Tweets to spark additional conversation – paying for them to show up at the top of relevant search results pages, in users’ timelines the Promoted Tweet is relevant to that user, in Promoted Trend search results, and other places. Though these tweets are clearly labeled as “promoted”, in every other respect, these Tweets are just like all the other 200 million tweets generated every day on Twitter; they can be retweeted, replied to, forwarded, and more.

Getting Promoted Tweets right takes a bit of finesse. Twitter users are a savvy bunch, and they will ignore Promoted Tweets if they are too salesy, pushy, or out of sync with their interests. Here are six proven tips to use Promoted Tweets to boost your brand’s visibility among Twitters millions of users.

1. Promote Great Content

Make sure the content you’re promoting is engaging and interesting; think informational or inspirational, not salesy. Remember, a Promoted Tweet is only the beginning of a long engagement conversation. You’ll need to continue tweeting great, shareable content via both regular and Promoted Tweets, so your followers continue to get frequent updates on your messages and promotions.

One great thing about Twitter is you can use your 140 characters to promote longer-form content via links. Why not offer your followers – and the wider Twitter community via Promoted Tweets – access to free white papers, blog posts, webinars, exclusive video content, games, contests, deals, and more.

2. Keep Watch

Check in on your Promoted Tweets regularly. As your Promoted Tweet campaigns are running, make sure to analyze the impact in real-time using Twitter’s campaign tools.

Marketers shouldn’t just set the Promoted Tweet and forget about it; instead, shift the main messages of your Promoted Tweets on the fly, as you see in real-time what’s working and what’s not to generate clicks and traffic. Run A/B tests to see exactly how you should tweak copy or update landing pages.

3. One is Good, Six is Better

Twitter recommends using up to six tweets in a rotation for your Promoted Tweet campaigns – all aimed at one specific landing page. Having six different tweets to play with means you can tweak messaging and give additional info about your campaign or offering when you can’t it all into just 140 characters.

Having multiple tweets also enables you to craft an ongoing story over the course of the campaign – adding new messages every few hours or each day. Don’t forget to test the copy of these tweets.

4. Own the Hashtag

Promoted Tweets are a great way to introduce a new hashtag you intend to use either for an event, new product, or new brand campaign. Introduce and use the new hashtag in all your Promoted Tweets. Remember, creative and interesting content is what gets shared – but an added bonus is your new hashtag will get shared along with this pass-along.

5. Study Up

Before you blast out a Promoted Tweet campaign, make sure you understand the basics of Twitter. Use it for awhile before paying for Promoted Tweets, learn Twitter etiquette, and see what type of content resonates with your followers.

After you have the lay of the land on Twitter, you can then experiment with Promoted Tweets at the right times and with the right messages. For example, if you launch Promoted Tweets during a time where traffic levels and conversation are at extremely high volumes – such as right after a huge news story – your Promoted Tweets will get lost in the shuffle.

Research upcoming events that could impact traffic to Twitter in your area of influence. You can ride the wave of certain conversations, but you can also create a bigger impact when overall activity is muted.

6. Think Twice Before Jumping on a Topic

While jumping onto memes and hot topics can be an easy way to get attention for your Tweets, think twice before jumping on these bandwagons. A conversation storm can easily take a turn for the worst – and your brand would then be in the middle of the fallout.

There’s a fine line between being clever and being a headline (not the good kind). Make sure you’re on the right side of that line by carefully considering all the potential consequences of jumping onto a trending topic.

Summary

Twitter is a unique universe where instant conversation fuels millions of large and small chatterstorms among millions of users every day. By carefully using Promoted Tweets, marketers can be a part of the Twitter conversation and spark deeper engagement with their brands. But before you rush out and buy tons of Promoted Tweets, make sure you know Twitter 101 and have mastered the simple tips above.

Think Big Enterprises, LLC http://blog.affordableinternetmarketing.org/6-tips-for-using-promoted-tweets-to-boost-you

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Facebook Drives 44 Percent Of Social Networking Connections Online

| January 12, 2012 | Comments (0)

So the question is… is Google+ the new Facebook?

There may be many ways to answer that question… one of them should be in terms of statistics on sharing in the social context and category, the answer would be appear to be “no, not yet.”  But Google+ is growing fast and even re-organizing how they page rank based on social footprints and whatnot. 

If you are still wondering why Google is pushing so hard with its new product Buzz, it is because it wants in on the social traffic scene, not just search traffic. For many sites on the Web, social traffic coming through Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace is beginning to rival, and in some cases overtake, search traffic as the single biggest source of traffic. This traffic comes from shared links, photos, and videos that have been shared on these social networks. By its own numbers, 5 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook every week.

What isn’t easily appreciated is the extent to which such social sharing is tied to different identity and authentication platforms across the Web. If you can log into a site easily using your Facebook or Twitter account, it is easier to broadcast links from that site to your friends.

To get a sense of which services on the Web drive the most sharing, I asked Gigya for some stats. Gigya powers sharing widgets on more than 5,000 content sites, including ABC.com. NBA.com, PGA.com, Answers.com, and Reuters but small businesses and professionals can look elsewhere… Gigya wants something in the $20k range just to get going using their products but plenty of social sharing widgets and plugins about for free or for very small amounts (ie. under $100).

Consumers can click a share button on these enabled sites and send an article link, photo, or video via a menu of different services including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, and AOL. Over the past 30 days, people have shared almost a million items over the Gigya network alone. Facebook and Twitter dominate with about three quarters of all shared items between them. Here is how the services break down (note that these are relative numbers):

Distribution of shared items via social networks
Facebook: 44%
Twitter: 29%
Yahoo:18%
MySpace:9%

It makes sense, people prefer to broadcast links rather than share them one at a time via email, even compared to a broadcast email to a larger group of friends, colleagues, etc. Although Yahoo makes a strong third-place showing, when it comes to authentication, simply using your existing username and password to log into another site, Facebook is still the most popular via Facebook Connect, but only just barely. Google via Gmail and Yahoo are almost equally popular, at least on certain types of sites where people are just reading for themselves like news sites. On entertainment sites where people are more likely to share content, Facebook Connect makes up the majority of logins.

So Facebook and Twitter are still #1 and #2 in the world of social sharing, at least it would appear that way and it seems quite logical and plausible that this would be the case. But make no mistake, Google+ is coming and if the latest report from Paul Allen, founder of Ancestry.com and independent Google+ statist, are accurate, then the Google+ user-base now stands at 18 million and counting. Facebook on the other hand claims to have 750 million active users or about 732 million if the 18 million users mentioned migrated to Google+.

In recent polls conducted by The Christian Post, more than 40 percent of 10,000 people stated that they believe Google+ would dethrone Facebook as the biggest social network while the other 40 percent believed that Google+ and Facebook would co-exist.

Author Info: Lane A. Houk is an Internet Marketing and SEO Expert whose cutting-edge SEO strategies  and website development expertise can dramatically increase your results! If having a highly SEO optimized WordPress blog or web site is something you’re interested in learning more about, check out Affordable Internet Marketing for more details

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Why Social Media is worth your time as a business owner

| December 31, 2011 | Comments (0)
Social-media

Forget the endless speculation about whether and how and how much money social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn can make.
The key question is: Can they show you the money?

 

The answer appears to be yes, according to a new report. One in three business owners say that social media helps them to close business. That
percentage may yet improve – 74 percent of small business owners who were early adopters, and have been using social media for years, say it’s
helped them close business, according to the 2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, which surveyed 1,898 small business owners.
What’s more, a resounding 85 percent of those surveyed say that the platform has created buzz for their businesses. (For the record, 91 percent of all
respondents use social media.)

 

Other benefits (in the order in which they ranked): The medium increases web traffic and opens opportunities to build new partnerships. More than
half of respondants said social media generates good sales leads. And a couple of fringe benefit: Some three-quarters (73 percent) reported a
significant rise in search engine rankings, which feeds exposure. Nearly half (48 percent) said social media reduced their overall marketing expenses
(up from 35 percent in the 2009 survey). Marketing expert Michael Stelzner, founder of SocialMediaExaminer.com, put together the report.

 

The median age of respondents was 40 to 49, and the respondent pool was 60 percent female. More than half (56 percent) said they currently devote
six hours or more per week to social media, and 30 percent spend upwards of 11 hours. A hardcore 12.5 percent are spending more than 20 hours per
week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The report breaks down the use of tools among business owners who are new to social media, those who’ve been doing it for a few months, and those
who’ve used it for years. Twitter is tops for the second two groups, although newcomers are more likely to opt for Facebook. The numbers: 80
percent of newbies are using Facebook, 71 percent are on Twitter, 67 percent are on LinkedIn, and 49 percent are blogging. Of the long-term users:
96 percent are on Twitter, 91 percent use Facebook, and 89 percent are LinkedIn, and 86 percent blog. 

If you’re still sorting out your social media options, consider these two trends the report suggests: MySpace may not be worth your time, with a
whopping 80 percent of those surveyed said they have no plans to use it or will reduce their efforts. And plain old blogs were the top choice (81
percent of those surveyed) for where marketers planned to spend more time.

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PostRank.com purchased by Google and why you should pay attention

| December 23, 2011 | Comments (0)
What is PostRank? From their site directly, “PostRank is a scoring system developed by PostRank (formerly AideRSS) to rank any kind of online content, such as RSS feed items, blog posts, articles, or news stories. PostRank is based on social engagement, which refers to how interesting or relevant people have found an item or category to be. Examples of engagement include writing a blog post in response to someone else, bookmarking an article, leaving a comment on a blog, or clicking a link to read a news item.

PostRank Simplified Process

PostRank measures engagement by analyzing the types and frequency of an audience’s interaction with online content. An item’s PostRank score represents how interesting and relevant people have found it to be. The more interesting or relevant an item is, the more work they will do to share or respond to that item so interactions that require more effort are weighted higher.

PostRank scoring is based on analysis of the “5 Cs” of engagement: creating, critiquing, chatting, collecting, and clicking. By collecting interaction engagement_metrics in these categories the overall engagement score is calculated and the PostRank value is determined.”

In early June 2011, Google purchased PostRank.com. With this acquisition, Google has gained a resource to better understand the social web, and that resource can be applied to great impact in several of Google’s key social arenas. It’s fairly common knowledge that Google is deliberately going social. Since Google’s first attempt into the social arena (aka, the failure that was Buzz), the company has been attempting to implement social features. However, if one thing is certain, it’s that Google is totally committed to changing its inferior position when it comes to the social web scene. They even went so far as tying the bonuses of all Googlers to the company’s success in social if that gives you any insight into their level of commitment to social media and the dogged determination to not let Facebook continue its total domination in this arena.

So to the punchline… why should you care about this and pay attention to what is happening. If you have kept up on what’s happening, Google recently announced it’s beta release (limited field trial as they call it) of the Google+ Project.

 

They also released their Panda algorithmic update in February and the global update to all US sites in April. A big part of this update and future updates is a larger and larger level of importance being placed on social media content in SEO and SERP’s.

 

I am already working on a separate article/post regarding these updates and changes so stay tuned but we can safely say that Google’s purchase of PageRank has a lot do do with giving us insight on where Google is going and thus, where anyone who operates a website or blog site, needs to go with their focus and attention.

Also, check out some of my other posts!

Affordable Internet Marketing through Automation Strategies!

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The 5 Main Marketing Problems

| December 17, 2011 | Comments (0)

These are the five main marketing problems that many small businesses suffer from today.

  1. Their marketing message is confusing or missing.
  2. Their marketing delivery is inconsistent (ie. highly irregular, not weekly at a bare minimum).
  3. Their customer/client database is disconnected from their marketing.
  4. They are not standing out in organic search results and social networks online.
  5. Marketing feels too time consuming, frustrating or expensive to them (ie. they don’t see an ROI in it for them so it’s an expense, not an investment of their time and money).

Statistically, 80% of all small business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals suffer from at least 2 of these problems in their business. Many see all 5 problems in their business.

If you’re tired of not getting the results you want, we can help solve this for you once and for all. These problems have solutions; and these solutions don’t have to break the bank. In fact, you really can’t afford NOT to solve any one or all of these problems!

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