Posts Tagged ‘social networking sites’
One year, and now 250 million registered users later, we can say happy first birthday to one of the newest social media platforms, Google+. In light of Google’s celebration, they announced two major updates: Google+ Events and Google+ for tablets. Let’s dig a little deeper into what these updates entail to determine if Google+ looks like it’s going to continue its rising popularity.
Google+ Events: Google is striving to capture and save all the important highlights of an event, before, during and after the event occurs. This methodology is brought about due to Google’s perspective of our lives today stating, “In life we plan, we party and we keep in touch. Software should make all of this more awesome, and that’s exactly our aim with Google+ Events.”
So what exactly is Google+ Events all about? You can click the photo to the right to see a short introduction video but to start, the application has the ability to stay in sync with your Google calendar. This means you will never forget about dinner at Aunt Mary’s on Wednesday night, or little Drew’s baseball banquet Sunday night. When creating an event, you can also attach cinemagraphic themes (like a baseball picture), a personalized video greeting from YouTube, and even unique animations to make the invite fun to receive. Internet marketers should take advantage of this creative opportunity when making an invite for their company’s next event.
Now it’s time to go to the event, and enter “Party Mode” as Google+ calls it. You will receive a notification when the event starts, and then be asked if you wish to enable Party Mode. When this is turned on, you will see any photos other invitees upload, in real-time. Once the event has ended, you can go back to the event page and upload even more photos you may not have gotten to yet. The best part about this is that everyone can reminisce and relive the good memories of the event by seeing everyone’s photos in one place. Google even allows you to browse the photos by popularity, photographer, or who’s tagged. This is great for social media marketers when advertising for a company’s next big event. What better way to engage with your customers then having them upload photos live from the event for all invited to see.
Google+ For Tablets: Google reported that, “More people now use Google+ from a mobile device than a desktop computer, and today’s tablet release will quicken this trend.” With the Google+ application for tablets a user will see a beautiful stream that organizes content based by popularity, type and orientation. There is also a “lean back” Hangout option that is designed for couch or common room chats. With crisper text, easily-tappable actions and fuller photos, Google has truly designed this application to work at its fullest potential for Android users. Google also stated that the update for iPad’s will shortly be released. What do you think of Google+’s updates, will they fare against the social media ring leader, Facebook?
We are always in search of new and good places to go; and many of us look towards friends, family and other trustworthy sources to seek out that perfect place to eat or shop. To ease this search, Google has recently teamed with Zagat to give its users not only recommendations from friends, but a key rating of places nationwide with various categorical breakdowns. With this roll-out, there is no longer Google Places; in order to use the application you will have to log into your Google+ account and click the Local tab on the left sidebar. Here is where the internet marketing strategy comes into play because Google is now forcing users to create a Google+ account in order to use the local search application.
Once on the Google+ Local page, you can begin searching for whatever type of location you’re feeling like visiting or wanting to know more information about. Being born and raised in New York, I wanted to find some Italian style pizza and here is what came up:
As soon as you begin typing in the search bar, popular queries will begin to emerge, and once searched several locations in your designated area will be displayed. At a glance, you will see photos, a Zagat score and summary, along with reviews from other Google+ users (displaying those you are connected with first), and even useful information such as store hours and address. Zagat is able to make their reviews based on user-written submissions and surveys. Social media marketing can be enhanced here by encouraging users of your business to write reviews, which is now easy to do with the little pencil option in the top right corner of each location. A sign located on the users’ way out of your business reading, “Hey! We know you liked your meal, but let us know how much you loved it and why on Google+ Local,” and then implementing a QR code to the destination would be most beneficial to your business.
Google+ Local has an app on the Android market and will soon release one for iOS devices. It is integrated with other products you search for regularly, and therefore will display the same information when looking for a place on Search or Maps. We’re wondering if this new application will drive you to create a Google+ page and be more active on the social network.
With so many social platforms now on the popularity rise, how do we know which one will offer our brand the most engagement? Some may say Facebook due to its 901 million users, or maybe Pinterest for its lucrative, exponential growth in just a few months. But when you have a platform that gives users the ability to watch footage ranging from a music video to one of America’s funniest home videos, YouTube can definitely stir up a lot of attention. Social media marketing has grown tremendously in just the past year, so let’s dig a little deeper as to how internet marketers can utilize YouTube specifically for marketing their brand.
Produced by TechWelkin, the infographic below informs us of the latest YouTube facts and statistics. Here are some key takeaways I have derived:
- YouTube is the 3rd most viewed website after Google (#1) and Facebook (#2)
- More than 1 trillion views took place in 2011 (that’s 140 views for each person on earth!)
- The equivalent of 500 years of YouTube videos are watched every day on Facebook
- 700 YouTube videos are also shared on Twitter every minute
- Each week 100 million people either like, share, or comment on YouTube
- More than 50% of videos are rated/commented upon by the users
Based on these statistics we can conclude that YouTube has the ability to create awareness about a brand/topic on a global platform. Therefore, it is vital that your company create a YouTube channel and post videos that are both informational and more importantly, as entertaining as you can make them. In a world where three billion hours of video are watched monthly, we can no longer ignore that YouTube could be the next best way to advertise over television ads. What do you think about the popularity of YouTube and how is your business using the platform to market your products/services to consumers?
We should all be familiar with the professional networking site, LinkedIn, as our go to for recruiting and company inquiries. For many years it was one of the only social networking platforms that really catered to the job search market (eliminating photo sharing and status updates like its biggest competitors in the social world, Facebook and Twitter). Two years ago, Facebook decided to up its competition level in the job search industry and launched its own professional network, BranchOut.
At 25 million registered users, BranchOut allows aspiring internet marketers to see which of their Facebook friends (or friends of friends) are working at specific companies. The application will directly connect you with your pre-existing Facebook graphs. It will pull your basic info and profile info (education history, location and work history) along with your friends’ profile info (education histories, locations and work histories) upon download. This allows you to save time by not having to build your professional network one person at a time, something you must do on LinkedIn.
BranchOut works and looks much like its biggest competitor, LinkedIn, in that it allows you to browse over 3 million jobs and 20,000 internships. Online marketing companies can also use the network for sales and recruiting through its RecruiterConnect tool (which works like LinkedIn Recruiter). I decided to download the app and take a look for myself; here is what the platform looks like (from my profile view):
As you can see BranchOut allows the following:
- Ability to search for people, companies, or titles in the search bar
- Find connections at top companies
- Gives a live feed of what your friends are up to regarding their work/education history
- Allows you to see where your friends work, and if there are any open positions (and how many)
- Post jobs to BranchOut network and to your Facebook page
After some exploring I think the most useful part of the platform is when you click on a company it will show you a list of inside connections. Here are the people who work there that may somehow have a connection to you; if you hover over their picture icon it will state whether they are a direct friend (1st degree) or a friend of a friend (2nd degree). You can use the Message button shown in the pop-up dialog box to acquire any further information you may want to know about the company before applying.
BranchOut still has a ways to go to catch up to LinkedIn’s 150 million registered users, but with a database of 850 million on Facebook, I see this platform experiencing exponential growth in the near future. Has anyone else given the new professional networking platform a shot; if so, what are your opinions?
It is no secret that social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have grabbed the attention of millions of consumers when it comes to the social scene. This is why event marketers and planners should be considering the viral networks in order to spread word of mouth and create buzz about their next big event. An online marketing firm can benefit from the platforms to announce their upcoming events in hopes to acquire a bigger reach and awareness about your company and its events. Follow these three easy steps and be on your way to publicizing your next big event through social media marketing.
1. #HashtagSwag – Create a Universal Buzz Word
It is important that consumers can connect with your event and find information about it easily and quick. This is why internet marketers should brainstorm for an overall hashtag, about 10 characters or less, that can be used to advertise the event in a unique, yet specific way. Take a look at what hashtags are trending now on Twitter to get a better perspective on what types of words/phrases grab people’s attention.
In terms of event marketing, speakers will love to reference the hashtag for it gives them a real-time feedback loop. A universal hashtag about your event will also give those unable to attend the opportunity to follow along with announcements and get involved on a virtual basis. Be sure to remind your audience about the hashtag you plan to promote before, during, and after the event. This is very important because you will need many tweets using the hashtag in order to gain virality; therefore consider including your hashtag on all print and online editions of any advertisements about your event.
2. Publicly Display Your Virtual Attraction
In order to keep people involved online while at your event, you must bring the online attraction to the event through use of Twitter walls, for example. Setting up Twitter walls throughout your event will allow attendees to see all those online who are interacting with the event in a virtual way, while enticing them to join in on the online conversation as well.
If your event is small, consider setting up a virtual welcome near the registration center that encourages attendees to check in through social media platforms, like Facebook and Foursquare, using your designated universal hashtag. Once they see their name displayed on the big screen they will be more inclined to stay involved and keep tweeting about the event.
3. Create a Central Online Location For Social Content
Those who are interested in your event should have a location that is easy to get to of where they can find all the social media information about your event. For example, consider creating an event page on your company’s website about upcoming events, with a tab that directs interested attendees to all your social media platforms. Be sure to include your preferred hashtag associated with the event here along with direct links to your Twitter account, Facebook page, Google+ profile, YouTube channel, etc. Consider putting a link to this page during the registration process for the event so you can drive consumers to your social media sites early on.
After reading these three easy tips, do you plan to utilize social media in order to gain awareness about your upcoming big event and hopefully create interest for more people to attend?
Long-awaited photography application Instagram is now available for Android users via download from Google Play. The app, previously exclusive to iPhone users for free, hit 27 million users last month. That number is pretty impressive as it was only available to IOS users until now. The application allows you to apply professional edits to your photos taken with your phone, and upload them onto Instagram’s network. The photos may also be shared on Facebook and Twitter. Instagram is considered a social networking app because it allows you to follow your friend’s photo streams and “heart” each others photos. The fast growing user base is an exciting opportunity for online marketing companies, and many of us are asking how Instagram can be a part of your company’s social media marketing strategy. Below are a few ways companies are taking advantage.
- Image Marketing- Instagram allows you to share your client’s story through vivid pictures. In the age of translucency and openness, consumers now expect to be included in the operations of their favorite companies. What better way to show your customers what goes on behind the scenes than a company Instagram page. Check out how some early adopters such as Starbucks, Redbull, and Tiffany & Co. are using the app for their campaigns.
- Share the Process- Every company goes through a process for their products/services, ranging from procurement to factory operations or even food preparations for a restaurant. Let your customers know the process behind your customers favorite products or services.
- Brand Management- The old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is none truer in today’s world. By sharing what pictures represent your brand, you can make a lasting impact on your brand’s image. Show your customers what your brand is all about through dynamic pictures.
Now that the app is available to android users, expect not only a boom in the growth of its user base, but also companies to quickly jump onto this bandwagon. Currently Android and IOS combine for 110 million users in the US alone. The app has a real chance of hitting 100million users by the end of the year, a task that took Facebook four years to accomplish. Do you think Instagram is a valuable marketing tool for your company?
In a recent study conducted by Simply Measured, brands who have switched to Facebook’s new Timeline have increased their brand engagement by an average of 46%. The new feature was introduced to all brands last month with the purpose of showcasing a brand’s stories and identities. Bear in mind that the study was done with a sample size of only 15 brands across various industries. The result of the study showed that all brands except three (AT&T, Target, Old Spice) showed a percent increase in engagement, with Livestrong, Toyota, and The Humane Society achieving the largest increase.
Data was measured before and after February 29, 2012 (official date Timeline was introduced to all brand pages). The graph above shows the average increase of all 15 brands before and after the launch. Fan engagement is shown as a 14% increase, indicating an increase in “likes” of those specific brands. Perhaps the more interesting find is that average engagement per post increased an average of 46%, indicating that fans are interacting more with the content and engaging more with the brand. This is likely due to Timeline’s simple and intuitive layout. The new layout makes it easier to watch videos, check photos, view status updates, and engage with the cover photo.
Social media marketers need to take advantage of this feature and capitalize for their brands. The graph below shows the different levels of engagement by post type. Since the launch of Timeline, photos increased by 53 percent, videos by 49 percent.
Timeline allows your brand to tell a unique story. With the ability to backdate posts, you can share your company’s entire history with your audience. We here at Internet Marketing Inc have already jumped on the Facebook Timeline band wagon. Please share with us your reactions to the change. Has Timeline made your brand more engaging to your fans?
With courtesy to Online MBA, internet marketing companies everywhere should take note and analyze the infographic below in order to better understand where we stand now in terms of social media and which platforms offer the greatest opportunity. Did you know that over 66% of all adult online users are connected to one or more social media platforms? Internet marketers should be taking advantage of the most popular social media sites by using them as a channel to find and reach the most targeted audience. By gaining better insight as to who exactly is using these platforms, we can decipher which sites will be most effective at reaching our target audience through use of advertising campaigns.
The infographic below breaks down users of the most popular social media sites based on gender, age, education, and household income. Facebook being the leader of social media, comes in with 845 million active users; most of which possessing some college education and a household income of $50,000-$99,999. This platform would be useful to use if you have a product/service that is somewhat costly and appeals to the older, intelligent generation. Twitter, with 127 million active users, obtains most of their tweeters from a mobile device; therefore make sure your website is mobile friendly. Google+ is definitely a platform mostly used by the college grad (age 0-24), predominately male figures who are single and looking for friends. If you have a product/service surfaced around online dating, Google+ would be a good place to advertise. It is also noted at the end of the infographic that most Americans use social media sites to stay in touch with friends. Although web marketing companies like to use the sites as a gateway into our targeted audience, remember too much promotional content could backfire.
Via: Online MBA Resource
The infographic provides lots of good insights as to who the most typical user of the social media platform is and why they are using it. Let us know what you think and how you will be utilizing such networking sites.
With all the buzz on the newest social media platform, Pinterest, internet marketers everywhere should be paying close attention to which sites are grabbing the most attention and bringing in the biggest ROI. So which picture-sharing addicting platform is in the closest running against Pinterest? The answer is not necessarily in a platform, but a mobile app, Instagram. Not available to Android users, Instagram has still managed to quickly become the most-popular mobile image-sharing application available. At more than 15 million users with 500 million photos uploaded since its launch on October 6, 2010, Instagram could be your next in to get consumers attention.
Although Pinterest can help your brand in many ways (see earlier blog post) Instagram is a place internet advertising companies can actually create content and share photos. Here are a few ways in which your company can be taking advantage of the image-sharing app:
Show Your Brand’s Personality – Once you get used to how Instagram works, you will notice how easy it is to share perfectly edited images of your brand’s product. Rather than just posting photos of your products, mix in images that really showcase your brand’s personality by posting photos of real consumers with your brand, for example.
Link To Twitter/Facebook – Instagram is savvy enough to give you the option of uploading your images via Twitter and/or Facebook with every share. Be sure to connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts to your Instagram account in order to drive the most traffic with your images.
Consistent Posting – Since many users of Instagram will spend quite a bit of their time in the app, it’s usually in large increments 2-3 times a day. They may not be scrolling through their entire feed of images therefore you want to keep up with regular posting at niche times of the day: morning commute, lunch hour, and evening commute.
“Like” Your Fans – Since Instagram integrates a similar function like the Facebook “like” button, be a friend of your fans and like their photos that you see as representation of your brand. This will cause them to be more apt to pay more attention to the images you post and share with their friends. Also, be sure to utilize the ease of the comment section for each image and reply back to any user comments.
Keep Up With Trending – Brands can use social media platforms to let consumers know that they want them to share photos revolving around a designated topic (for example: #March). When users then upload images, they can attach that hashtag or even your Instagram username (for example: @InternetMktgInc) to get their photos into the entry pool. This is a great way to drive traffic because users will be more inclined to hashtag your brand if they see many other users doing the same. And you can always follow the submissions by pointing an RSS reader to: http://instagr.am/tags/[hashtag name]/feed/recent.rss (no “#” before the hashtag name).
Now that we all know how to utilize Pinterest and Instagram, which image-uploading platform will your brand try to conquer? Share with us your thoughts and opinions in the comment section.
Watchout Twitter, LinkedIn has just launched its “follow” company button. LinkedIn’s goal is to make it easier for consumers to stay up to date with their favorite companies, seek job opportunities, or watch competitors and industry trends. According to Hani Durzy, LinkedIn‘s director of corporate communications, “The Follow Company button makes it easy for the more than two million brands with LinkedIn company pages to attract new followers and engage with them socially in a uniquely professional context.”
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages LinkedIn has over Twitter or Facebook is the legitimacy and professionalism of the website. Instead of mixing business with pleasure, which is what both Twitter and Facebook Brand Pages try to accomplish, LinkedIn focuses strictly on industry news and trends. To the right is a snippet from Internet Marketing Inc’s LinkedIn homepage.
LinkedIn Follow Box
The follow box appears at the right of every company’s LinkedIn home page. In addition to the follow box, LinkedIn has also provided a code generator so users have the ability to add a follow button to their own webpages. To follow a company, simply click on the Follow Company button and, as long as you are logged onto LinkedIn, you will automatically “follow” the company. If you are not logged on, a box will appear asking for your LinkedIn login information. Just type those in and you will automatically begin to follow the company. So far only a handful of companies have implemented their own follow button on their websites, but you can expect a quick turnaround in the next couple of months. From an analytics perspective, search engine optimization agencies will be able to use the follow button as another indicator for tracking and analytics.
By following relevant companies, you can essentially turn your LinkedIn homepage to an industry related newsfeed and keep up with real time updates and trends. Please tell us your opinions on LinkedIn’s new follow button. What companies or industries do you keep an eye on?