If you have hired freelancers, or inside employees, to manage your Twitter account, you can now go back to see your Twitter archive. Consider this a brand new way to monitor your Twitter account, especially as it pertains to accountability.
Twitter moves quickly. And there’s no real digital way to monitor your tweets before they are posted. That’s why it could be important for you to go back and take a look at your Twitter archive, a new service feature the microblogging service recently rolled out.
Another reason you might want to access your Twitter archive is if you are being sued. If you end up in litigation, your Twitter archive could prove a valuable asset during the discovery phase of your lawsuit. It could actually help you win the case.
Besides holding your Twitter posters accountable, you can also detect other business problems with your Twitter archive. Have you handled a lot of customer complaints through Twitter? Maybe you have a deeper systemic customer service problem. Have a large majority of your sales or website traffic come from Twitter? Your archive could help you see what you are doing right on Twitter that you can then use on other social networks.
Your Twitter archive may not be the most important asset you have, but it can prove valuable in some situations.
Facebook has introduced its answer to Yelp and Foursquare, and in a certain sense Google Places and Bing Local, with a product called Facebook Nearby. This is a feature available to Android and iOS users.
Facebook Nearby looks to be a way for users to see what businesses are in the local vicinity while on the go. Are you looking for a restaurant? Use Facebook Nearby. Need a roadside emergency service? Use Facebook Nearby. How about a party planner? Facebook Nearby.
I haven’t used the service – yet – but it looks useful. Or course, it combines two of the fastest growing segments of online marketing – social and mobile.
Facebook Nearby Is Local Marketing At Its Finest
I like the idea behind Facebook Nearby. You’re already on Facebook every day anyway, socializing friends, hamming it up with fans, etc. So why not give you one more reason to stay there? Facebook Nearby gives you a reason to connect on your smartphone – and stay connected.
Local online marketing is often forgotten outside the realm of SEO, but Facebook Nearby bridges that gap, and it does it in a big way.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook Nearby works like this:
Similar to how it ranks stories in the news feed, Nearby looks at a ton of signals to determine what to show you first, including friends who’ve Liked a business, checked in, left a short text recommendation, or given the Place a star rating.
So what it looks like is, you don’t have to register to be listed in Facebook Nearby, but you do need to have some interaction with your brand. This is just one more reason to have a Facebook page.
A few days ago Google announced quite a few new improvements to Google+. Most of them have to do with Android, Hangouts, and Events.
Here’s a quick run down:
- On-the-go profile editing
- Easier content authoring for mobile phones
- Mobile notifications
- Increased Community involvement via mobile phones and tablets
- Full-size backups for your photos
- 360-degree photo panoramas
- Inline photo swiping with iOS
- Pan-zoom-scale effect through an iPhone app
- Specific-guest messaging for Events
- The ability to see who has opened your Event invitations
- Low-bandwidth capability to interact through Hangouts
- Easier duplication of events
- Video feed expansion for single-participant Hangouts
- Conversation cards for iOS with expanded features
- Animated GIFs, screen lock widget, and Google Now birthday reminders for the Android
- and Google Play and App Store mobile apps
From a mobile user perspective, these improvements will ensure a better experience with Google+ all around. From a marketing perspective, it makes for an easier way to connect with your audience through Google+ via mobile. That’s whether you are using mobile, your audience are on mobile, or both.
Google seems committed to maintaining Google+ and improving it for the long term. I expect that to get a lot better over time. The new Communities feature is being used widely and a lot of people (and companies) are getting a lot of mileage out the new features. You can too.
If you’re a user of Google+, then you’ll be excited to know that Google has added a new feature to its social network: Communities.
Communities were just introduced yesterday and already some communities have nearly 10,000 members. This is a great way to drum up some interest in your topic. You can join a community or start one.
For instance, if you want to network with others who are avidly interested in marriage counseling – maybe they’re counselors or maybe they need counseling – then you can look for a community related to counseling by entering “counseling” in the search box above the list of communities present, or you can just start your own community. Either way, and you can achieve your goal in minutes.
After you start your own community, you can then promote the community to your stream. If you have circled people who are already interested in your topic, they’ll see the community and can join.
I’m anxious to see how communities do in the search engines. I think they’ll do well. Each post should be optimizable the same way that forum posts are. And if you create a community with your brand name or a keyword related to your brand name, then it should be searchable in Google’s index.
Google+ Communities are another great way to get some search engine optimized content out there related to your business.
When Google introduced Google Chrome, it was a challenge to Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. And when Google brought us Google+, it was a direct assault upon Facebook’s social media juggernaut. Well, Firefox and Facebook have teamed up to fire back.
With Facebook Messenger for Firefox, Firefox users can chat with their Facebook friends any time and from any page on the Web. That’s a powerful feature. Google can’t top that.
The war has been brewing for well over a year now – since Google+ hit the airwaves. The war is starting to look like the Apple-Microsoft battle that’s been going on for 20+ years now. This time it’s between Google and Facebook, with Firefox serving as a more-than-adept Facebook sidekick.
The problem that Google has in this battle is it doesn’t have a sidekick. Google is the giant that goes it alone. And they seem to like it that way.
It remains to be seen whether Facebook Messenger for Firefox will convert IE users to Firefox or encourage Facebook fanatics to download the application, but if it does catch on, then what’s next? How will Firefox improve the social app? Will users be able to have hangouts akin to Google+ Hangouts within the Firefox browser – right from any page on the web? If so, that will be a major game changer.
The one thing I’m afraid of is that Internet marketing could become a walled city where you are forced to either go with the Google model or the Facebook model. I’d hate to see that kind of cyber segregation. Wouldn’t you?
If you own a small business and you’ve been wondering how you can take your business online to Pinterest, your prayers have now been answered. In other words, you can now set up a business account on one of the fastest growing social networks online.
Pinterest is highly visual. You can pin your favorite photos and that has the potential to drive new customers to your business website. Not only can you pin photos, but you can also pin videos.
And you can share, re-pin, and like the photos and videos posted by other users.
Until now, Pinterest has encouraged individuals to use its services. They’ve only tolerated business users. Recently, however, Pinterest has set up a business subdomain and now allows businesses to set up brand pages, allowing them to convert their current accounts if they have them. I highly recommend that you do this.
If you are a business currently using Pinterest, it would be a good move to convert your account to a business brand page. If you are not on Pinterest and you have a lot of images on your site, or videos, then I’d encourage you to join Pinterest and start pinning.
Don’t delay. The future of your marketing plan starts right now.
54% of the top brands are now using Instagram, but what is that? In short, it’s a photo sharing app for your smartphone. But what can you do with it?
Several small business owners share what they do with Instagram, but the question is this: Is it for you?
Like all social media, what you get out of Instagram is directly related to what you put into it. You don’t have to spend all day taking photos and sharing them to make it work for you. I think it will be more rewarding if you use Instagram in conjunction with other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.
The key to any social network, and that includes Instagram, is to integrate it into your overall online marketing plan.
Rather than use Instagram to push your brand on unsuspecting consumers, why not just use it to highlight key aspects of your business once or twice a day – or, once or twice a week even? You don’t have to make a big splash to be effective. All you have to do is be consistent.
Instagram, like Pinterest, Photobucket, and Flickr, allows you to share important news and events about your business in a graphic way, and images can often be more powerful than words. Just be smart in how you incorporate it into your business. Think it through and it can work for you.
Google+, of all the social networks, has more notification triggers that allow you to connect with other users. They’re all easy to use, and I’d say that the social service owned by the largest search engine is adding more notification triggers every day.
Here are 15 Google+ notification triggers, hence 15 reasons to use Google+:
- Share a post with another G+ user – Simply sharing a post with someone will notify them that they are on your mind.
- Mention them in a post – Type “+” and the user’s name with no break in between. They’ll be notified that they’ve been mentioned in a post.
- Share a post, be in a circle – If you’re in a circle that someone is following and you share a post, then they’ll be notified.
- Comment on a post they created.
- Add them to a circle – Simply adding someone to one of your circles will notify them that you are interested in them.
- Comment on a post they’ve commented on – If a post is really popular, you’ll get a lot of notifications. I sometimes mute posts because it just gets to be too much.
- Tag someone in a photo – Upload a photo and tag them.
- Tag one of their photos – If someone else uploads a photo and you add a tag to it, they’ll be notified.
- Suggest new people to add to their circles – The equivalent to an online handshake.
- Suggest a profile photo for them.
- Start a conversation with them – Type “+” and their name with no break and start a conversation.
- Send them an invitation to an event – Events are one of the latest features to be added to Google+, and they’re growing in popularity.
- Comment on a photo they’ve commented on.
- Comment on a photo they are tagged in or that they tagged.
- Perform any activity on an event they created.
Now think about how you can use these 15 notification triggers on Google+ to market your business more effectively.
Last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that there are now 1 billion people on Facebook. 1 billion. That’s 1/7th of the world’s population. And it continues to grow.
As more and more people come online, the number of people using Facebook will also grow. There are an estimated 2.5 billion people online around the world right now. So 1/5th of that number are also using Facebook. That’s a big pool of people that could potentially see your Facebook page or interact with you in some way through Facebook.
Is it any wonder then that brand pages are as popular as they are? If you’ve wondered why big brands are taking to Facebook, there’s your clue. There are a lot of potential customers there.
But that’s true for Mom & Pop as much as it is for McDonald’s or any of the world’s largest brand names. Put your business online and give it a Facebook presence. This is the future of marketing.
But it’s not enough to simply add a Facebook page. What you really want to do is market that page, and there’s more to it than simply joining Facebook and building a brand page. Link to your page from your blog or website. Promote your page through other social media outlets. If you do any paid advertising, then drive traffic to your page through Google AdWords or Facebook’s own paid advertising model.
People are looking at brand pages. Don’t let them down.
Would you believe me if I said that Pinterest drives more traffic to websites than Yahoo! and Bing? According to this article, it’s true. Pinterest trails only Google and Facebook in terms of outside referrers according to numbers tracked by Shareaholic.
So, does that mean you should be using Pinterest? Not necessarily.
The test for using a social media website for your marketing initiatives should not be how much traffic it generates for other marketers. After all, what works for one company may not work for yours.
The most important thing to consider when deciding whether to use a particular social media network for marketing is the demographic make-up of its user base. Is there a significant number of your target audience using that social media site? Are they likely to find your content on Pinterest interesting and useful? If the answer is “yes” to both of those questions, then go ahead and use Pinterest.
Of course, you can ask those questions of any social media website and substitute “Pinterest” with the name of that website.
Pinterest is a great social network. It can be very effective for marketing purposes, but it isn’t for everyone. Before you jump in and start Pinteresting, take some time to determine whether or not you can get the proper mileage from pinning your images.
Last Friday, Facebook announced that you can see the searches you’re making. You can also remove your searches, they say. That’s all nice, but why are they tracking them?
Like everything else Facebook does, this new thing is going to be rolled out “over the next few weeks.” In other words, starting “today” (i.e. last Friday), you can see your searches and delete them, but you won’t be able to do that until Facebook actually allows you to do that by adding the Search option under your Activity Log. That will happen at Facebook’s discretion, of course.
Here’s the question: Why is Facebook even tracking your searches? So far, I have met very few people who think Facebook’s search feature is even that good.
Frank Reed at Marketing Pilgrim thinks it’s because Facebook is planning to create a search engine and allowing its users to view and delete their searches prior to making that announcement would ease the shock to privacy advocates. That’s a reasonable suggestion, but does it hold water?
Since Facebook has commented in the past that a search engine could be in the works, I don’t think he’s too far off the mark. If Facebook had a search engine, would you use it? Would you attempt to optimize your content for Facebook search?
It is becoming increasingly more important to have a multi-dimensional approach to using social media. Strictly posting about your company or brand or using social media for SEO purposes isn’t enough. There are other ways to use social media and grow your business, including:
- Holding contests
- Solicit feedback on new product lines
- Monitor brand mentions
- Organize events
- Handle customer service issues
Only 46% of small businesses are using social media for customer service.
I agree with those who say that you are not as followable on social media if all you do is promote self-centered posts. Posting about your new product offerings or listing your products and services might be of interest to some followers, but if that is the extent of your posting, then it will wear out quickly. You can round out your social media by posting more third-party news sources, tackling customer service issues, and polling your customers to see what other products they might have an interest in. You can even go so far as to plan and schedule special events.
There’s no limit to what you can do with social media. I encourage you to branch out and get more diverse with your interactions on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
What are the top three uses for social media among marketers? According to one report, the top three uses for social media are:
- Brand Awareness
- Marketing Campaign
- Content Marketing
These are interesting responses (to a survey question), but what is even more interesting is the breakdown between agency client responses and marketing agencies. It breaks down like this:
- Brand awareness: 64% clients; 61% agencies
- Marketing campaign: 44% clients; 37% agencies
- Content marketing: 37% clients; 38% agencies
The overwhelming category for social media marketing is as a brand awareness channel. A full 20% of clients consider social media a brand awareness channel over anything else while 24% of agencies do so. That’s a pretty big margin.
Another observation regarding brand awareness and social media as marketing campaigns is that more clients see it this way than agencies. Agencies don’t start outweighing client responses until we get to the content marketing category. Then everything below that — customer service, retention, and sales — is weighted more toward agencies.
The third observation is that both agencies and clients each see the hierarchy of importance for social media as the same right down the line, with one notable exception: Agencies see social media as content marketing as slightly more important than social media for marketing campaigns (by 1%).
So what does all this mean?
To me, the categories are not altogether distinctive. Brand awareness and marketing go hand-in-hand. Furthermore, content marketing and marketing campaigns (particularly online marketing) are not inseparable. It seems to me that social media can be all of these, and should be.
When it comes to marketing your business through social media, define your end goals first. Then, strive to meet them through consistency.
I signed into my Klout account and saw this message:
We’ve improved the Klout Score to continue giving you the most accurate and transparent influence measurement online. As of today, your Klout Score and history will reflect these upgrades. Here’s what’s new…
After clicking the Next button, Klout informed me that they are now using more sources to measure influence, including Wikipedia, LinkedIn, and +K (they weren’t already using +K?).
This video tells us that Klout is now using more than 400 signals from 7 networks and more than 12 billion inputs per day. That’s impressive. But does it accurately measure influence?
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Klout’s latest update is what they are calling Moments. Moments is a lot like Facebook’s Timeline except that it’s a mash-up of what Klout considers your most important updates from the networks it monitors. Unfortunately, not everyone has Moments yet. A message tells me that all users will be upgraded this week.
Klout still has not started monitoring Quora, Posterous, Yelp, Disqus, bit.ly, and several other networks. These networks have been in the Coming Soon category for quite some time.
So, back to accurate measures. Does Klout accurately measure your influence? It depends on what you mean by influence. The Klout model is still largely a mystery. Some people rely on it religiously while others hardly pay it any mind. Personally, I think Klout has a long way to go. It’s getting better, but I wouldn’t rely on it alone as a strong measure of influence. Consult it, but don’t take it as social media gospel.
Are you tired of social media How To posts that start off by telling you to write a killer profile? What else are you going to do? Of course you’re going to add a profile to your account. That’s what you do when you join a social media site. You tell people who you are. It’s a no-brainer, not some flash of brilliance.
One article I read gave a list of ten things to make your Twitter account stand out. In a nutshell, here‘s the sage advice:
- Set up a professional profile (As opposed to an unprofessional one?)
- Stand out from the crowd (You mean, like, tweet in your underwear?)
- Indirect mention (Because influencers are so oblique)
- Ask for help (You know you need it)
- Help others (They need it too)
- Listen (To the sound of silence?)
- Be consistent (Why not? Inconsistency is sooooo bad.)
- Participate in Twitter chats (Not a bad idea, actually)
- Use hashtags (Yep, I agree with that one)
- Retweet your followers for influencers (Because influencing the influencers is the most important thing)
There’s actually some pretty good advice in there, and that’s the problem. It’s the same old advice that “Twitter experts” have been giving for five years. Nothing new, really.
So I’d like to give you the down and dirty How To Twitter advice you won’t get anywhere else. It’s a one-step process. You don’t have to memorize 10 dos or don’ts. All you have to know is ONE thing:
You won’t get any better social media advice than that.
Much has been said about blogging, even blogging as SEO. But are you aware that blogging also has a social component?
It’s true. In fact, blogging can be and should be your gateway to social media. Here’s how to make that happen.
First, remember that if you don’t produce content of some kind, then the only thing you’ll have to share is what someone else produces. Engaging with friends and fans online is good and sharing information that they will find valuable is good even if it is someone else’s content, but don’t neglect yourself. Share your own content too.
Create content as often as possible. Your blog gains search engine traction with every blog post. Searchers who find your blog via a search engines are on social media too.
Social media reinforces your content and your SEO.
By adding social media icons to your blog, you tell your readers that you are using the up-to-date marketing tactics online and that you are not self-enclosed. You are an outwardly-focused blogger. They’ll respect that a lot more.
The way to blog today is to create great content that people want to read, then push it out to social media. Go and find your readers, then bring them into your sphere of influence.
Quora is on a big leap forward. Three huge announcements this year could put the Q&A website on the fast track to greatness. Those three announcements are:
Each of these announcements alone would be a nice feather in the cap. Together, they could spell a huge leap forward for the social Q&A site.
Quora is a place where experts go to answer questions posed by members of the community. Answers tend to be long and detailed. The best answers get voted to the top. Quite often, answers elicit a robust conversation in the comments below the answer.
More money will allow Quora to put some marketing muscle behind it. While it is one of the best and most popular Q&A sites online, it still hasn’t reached mainstream status the way Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest have. $50 million could help that along.
The ability for bloggers to embed quotes from Quora will also go a long way to give Quora more time in the spotlight. Not only can bloggers more easily share content on Quora, but Quora will gain the benefit of inbound links from bloggers who are doing that. That spells more exposure for Quora.
Finally, whilst Bing is still not top dog in search, the search engine does have a respectable share of the search market. Users that are logged into Bing can see what their Facebook friends are posting on Quora. Again, that’s more exposure for the site.
Will Quora jump to No. 1 status among social media sites? Not likely. But I can see Quora entering mainstream consciousness some time next year if these kinds of developments keep happening.
Two of the most powerful Internet marketing tactics long term are social media and e-mail marketing. They are even more powerful when you combine them. Here are 6 ways to combine your e-mail and social media marketing to make them work better together more effectively:
- Create a special offers landing page for your newsletter subscribers, then promote that offer on your social media accounts. Link to your landing page from your newsletter, but link to your newsletter opt-in page from your social media accounts.
- Add social media icons to your newsletter articles and encourage your newsletter readers to share your content on their social networks.
- Provide links to your social media profiles in your newsletter and invite your newsletter readers to connect with you on your social networks.
- Build a brand page on social networks like Google+ and Facebook. Be sure to include a newsletter opt-in on your brand page.
- Provide newsletter snippets on your Facebook sharing streams and link back to your newsletter in them.
- Pin your newsletters on Pinterest.
If you sync your social media and e-mail marketing efforts you will find that you’ll gain more followers on social media and get more newsletter subscribers. Your business will grow faster and your marketing will be more effective overall.
Custom URLs are the way to go. If at all possible, if a social network or web property offers you a custom URL, take it. And I mean, if you can get it before someone else does, hop on it FAST.
Google+ is the latest social network to offer custom URLs. Unfortunately, they’re not available for everyone just yet. But when Google finally announces that anyone can have the custom URL of their dreams, you should get there as fast as you can to get yours. Especially if you have a common name like John Smith.
The great thing about custom URLs is that they are custom. There is only one. No one else can have the URL that you have and you can brand it so that it enhances the benefit you get from participating in a social network.
Facebook has had custom URLs for three years now. If you search for someone by name on Facebook and they have a custom URL, you are more likely to find the person you are looking for. The person who owns the username URL on Facebook has a bigger benefit from everyone else using Facebook with the same name. Google+ is soon to share that benefit.
So, the Google+ benefit is about to get better. And what are those benefits?
- Better SEO
- Reputation management
- Social networking tied to search engine marketing
- Unlimited personal power
Google+ is about to get better. Don’t stay away from it for too much longer.
Something I see more and more content publishers and online marketers discussing is social publishing optimization. That’s a fancy phrase for knowing the best time to publish your content.
To be honest, I’m a bit skeptical of these approaches.
First, the best that one can hope for is to obtain a statistical analysis of readers’ online reading habits. If, for instance, you ascertain that 65% of your readers read your blog on Thursday afternoon between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. EST, does that mean that is when you should publish? Or, maybe you should publish one hour before that time window begins?
Here’s the problem: By scheduling your social media posts for that “optimal” time you are forgetting the other 35% of your readers. I don’t think that’s wise.
Keep in mind that the nature of digital notifications, whether through RSS or social media, is that they allow readers to experience the content they want to experience when they want to experience it.
In other words, your Facebook fans can star you and/or Subscribe to your content and therefore read your posts when they want to read them. The same goes for your Twitter followers. Your RSS subscribers can read your blog at their convenience.
Granted, some users may not be able to effectively use the tools to determine your priority in their streams and on their walls, but do you think that will change when you post at the optimal time?
I’m not saying you shouldn’t measure your responses. Nor am I saying that attempting to measure when your content is being read is a waste of time. I am saying it’s not voodoo. Be wary of anyone who tells you that the optimal time to post your content is on a specific day at a specific time. You could be cutting off your nose to spite your face.