Google Ripples Shows You How and When a Post Went Viral

I have written about this before, but I have to say, that I really like the Google Ripples feature of Google Plus. It shows you exactly how, when, and where a post on Google Plus went viral, and exactly who did the sharing to make it do so. Not only can you see when the post went viral, but you can actually see who shared the post and who did the resharing of the post. You can see exactly who the influencer is and, ideally get them to post. They’re exactly the ones who you want to connect with.

Let’s take, for example, the post I did today on Google+, the post that obviously hit many people’s hearts. It’s these types of posts that make people take notice. But let’s look first at the Google Ripples for the post.

Google_Ripples - 2013-11-14_16_57_40

If you see a post that you want to examine, for example, one that obviously has a lot of shares and +1s, you can click first on the date and time of the post. That will bring you directly to the post, on another web page by itself.

googleplus-dateandtime

If you click on the time, in this case 2:37pm, you will be brought to the page.

If you mouseover the post itself you will see a dropdown menu on the top right of the post. That allows you to see the Ripples of the post, and you can then explore the Google Ripples from there. Take another look at the Ripples screen shot I posted at the top of this post. You’ll see that in the middle, I was the one who made the post. Then, from there, you will see all of the people who +1d and shared the post.

You can zoom into the Ripples to see who did the sharing. At this point, you may want to click on certain people who were able to get others to share the post. Those are the influencers here. So, in this case, you would want to add me because of my network of people on Google+. Turns out that you would also want to add other people here, such as those in the larger circles who had their posts then reshared again.

My tip? Browse the What’s Hot page on Google+ and look at the influencers. Those people who got people so share their posts. Add those influencers and follow them. Share their posts. Comment on their posts. Be the first to comment on their posts.

That, my friend, will eventually make you an influencer.

Tweet Drip Makes It Easy to Maximize Your Time Spent in Drip Marketing

Time is money – especially if you are an entrepreneur. When it comes to online marketing for your business, one of the best ways to maximize your time (and thus, your money) is to automate as much of your online customer communications as possible. WordPress users commonly schedule blogs to post at future dates, and services like Constant Contact and MailChimp are used by businesses of all sizes to plan email marketing campaigns. There are lots of ways you can capitalize on these “drip marketing” techniques.

drip marketig campaign

Tweet Drip
Tweet Drip is a social media drip marketing campaign tool that allows you to write a whole bunch of direct messages at once, and schedule them to send to your Twitter followers at set future times. It’s a great way to stay engaged with your Twitter-using customer base without having to log on and write direct messages every single day – it frees up your precious time so you can handle other important tasks on a daily basis. With three levels of membership, Tweet Drip has a plan that will work perfectly for your needs.

Be Cautious With Automated Responses
All three Tweet Drip membership levels offer automated follower engagement, so every re-tweet and reply will automatically be answered with an acknowledgement. There are differing opinions on the use of auto responses. They can be a fantastic tool for follower engagement and retention, but only when they are used correctly. Here are a few tips for ensuring the success of your drip tweets and auto response campaigns:

• Automated responses should not be too generic. If your followers feel like they are communicating with a robot instead of a human being who is interested in pleasing his customers, they may feel alienated and will be more likely to un-follow you (and stop being your customer).
• Update your automated responses to offer something timely and useful to your followers – like a link to your latest blog post.
• Don’t leave all of the follower engagement to Tweet Drip. At least take a moment to write a reply to direct messages from followers. When you gain a new follower, send them an @message to simply say hello. Some of your follower interaction must be personal.
• Occasionally run a search on Twitter for your product or company. People might mention you without using the @ symbol, and the only way to find those mentions is by searching for them. If the tweet is positive, be sure to thank users for those tweets. If the tweet is negative, engage the user by asking for the reason for their opinion, but don’t block them.

Tweet Drip is an affordable and valuable drip social marketing tool if it’s used with care. Take the time to set it up correctly, schedule tweets to post on a regular basis, make occasional tweaks to your auto responses, and pay some personal attention to your followers, and you will increase your number of Twitter followers and your available time.

4 Social Media Halloween Costumes for 2013

Okay, it’s October 2013, and there isn’t a huge amount of time left before Halloween will be here. There are tons of office Halloween parties coming, and then there’s the opportunity to go trick or treating with your kids for Halloween. So, you had better start thinking about what you’re going to be for Halloween this year.

Here are my favorite social media Halloween costumes for 2013:

First, there’s Pinterest:

pinterest halloween costume

Next, there’s Google Plus:

google plus halloween costume

And, of course, Facebook:

facebook halloween costume

And, lastly, the Twitter Halloween costume:

twitter Halloween costume

How To See Analytics on Google+ Posts

Whenever you make a post on the Google+ social network, or you share something, it is always helpful to see how your post did or how it is doing. You want to see if the post you made was useful to others in your Google+ circles.

Google+ does not really give you specific analytics per se, they don’t give you a page where you can see a list of posts and how they did (at least not yet). Facebook does have statistics for your Facebook posts, and it is helpful to see that–especially for your Facebook Business page.

There are, though, currently a few different ways to see how well your Google+ post performed, though.

You can look at any Google+ post’s Google Ripples and get a significant amount of information from Ripples.

Let’s look at the analytics or stats for one of my recent posts on Google+ and see the information that we can get from it.

In the top right of each post you’ll see an “Options Menu” that allows you to view the Ripples for that post. Take a look at what the Ripples page looks like:

view google ripples

You can see the number of public shares and the number of total shares. What’s interesting to note that on this post there were more private shares (about 300) than public shares. I believe all shares are initially set to private, the default. So many of these users who shared this photo were most likely new users (I’m assuming) because they probably don’t know how to make their shares public.

You can easily see the influencers in the “cloud” at the top and zoom in to see (or add) influencers to your circles. You can then see how many there were at the bottom, along with other statistics like the average chain length and average shares per hour.

One bonus, though, is that you can see the actual number of page views (or views) of an image or photo if that was included in your Google+ post. It’s kind of hidden at the bottom of the page: click on the actual photo or image and you’ll see a separate web page. Then, look at the bottom and you’ll see the number of views:

google plus views

If your Google+ post included a URL, and you want people to leave Google+ and go to your web site, then you’ll need to use your own analytics such as Google Analytics to see how many people came from Google+ and clicked on through to your web site.

Don’t forget to add me on Google+.

Read What I’ve Written About Google+
How to Create a Google+ Page For Your Business
How to Get Your Google+ Posts Indexed in Google
Google Buys Illegal +.com Domain Name
Google Stops Indexing Google+ Posts
World’s Largest Googe+1 Button
Why You Should Use Google+
How to Remove Circle Counts on Google+
How to Promote Your Personal Brand on Google+
Are Google+ and +1 Changing Web Marketing?
How to Increase Your Followers on Google+
Google Halts Image Saving On Their Social Network
Study Google Ripples to See Why Posts Go Hot

25+ Social Media Tasks You Shouldn’t Forget

Social Media Tasks

Top Dog Social Media has put together a great list of 25+ social media tasks that social media professionals never forget when they’re doing social media marketing. Take a look at their infographic below. (Click to enlarge it).

social media tasks for pros

There are daily tasks and weekly tasks on the list that you need to do on LinkedIn, Facebook, and on Twitter. For example:

On LinkedIn:
– Share a status update with relevant business content daily.
– Check notifications and respond to actions and InMails daily.
– Post a new blog post in relevant LinkedIn groups weekly.

For Twitter:
– Post original tweets daily.
– Engage with minimum of five targeted people/businesses daily.
– List people that you want to watch – prospects, influencers, competitors weekly.

For Facebook:
– Respond to all new comments and messages daily.
– Post daily post to Facebook in the morning, daily.
– Check Facebook Insights to see the best performing posts weekly.

These are just a few, you can find the whole entire checklist on their blog post here. Awesome stuff, I tell you. Awesome stuff.

Google Plus Algorithm Still Needs Work

Google+ is a great social network–and integrating certain features such as Google Authorship with Google’s organic search results is a great move. But, from what I’m seeing today, the algorithm that Google+ uses for the feed/timeline could use some work. More specifically, how Google’s internal system determines “What’s Hot” needs a lot of work.

Let me show you what I mean. When you go to the “What’s Hot” drop-down menu, you’re supposed to see “what’s hot” and trending on Google+. You can get to it as shown below:

google plus whats hot

Hint: I usually frequent the “What’s Hot” on Google+ for several reasons:
- you learn what it takes to “go hot” on Google+
- you can comment on the hot items, which helps your personal branding and visibility
- you can share ‘what’s hot’ with others who may not have seen the item before, most likely resulting in you getting +1s and comments on that item.

But, today, when I went to the “What’s Hot” feature on Google+, scrolling down I see this:

google plus algorithm example

You may need to click on the screen shot above to see it in a larger format.

Really!?! Google? Can’t your Google+ algorithm at least figure out that two separate people are sharing the SAME EXACT ITEM, and can’t your internal algorithm figure out that it’s probably not a good idea to show the same exact item at the same time on your What’s Hot feed? Obviously someone posted this first–so it’s only logical for me to expect that you would pick the first one. And then just not show the same item again?

You would think that this is fairly simple to figure out. But apparently not.
But something as simple as not showing the same exact item in one feed should have been already taken care of by the algorithm.

Does this mean that if I have something that I want to share, and it’s actually possible for me to technically get that item to show as being “hot” on the Google+ social network not only once, but twice, or what about three times? If someone knew exactly what it takes to get something to “go hot”, then it appears that Google’s algorithm for determining this could be “gamed” so to speak.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like Google+, I have been a fan since just about day one. In fact, I have written a lot about Google Plus. If you are not on Google+ yet, and not going there at least once a week (I recommend at least once a day), then you’re missing out.

But when items suddenly start to appear more than once in the “What’s Hot” feed, it appears that Google’s algorithm for determining “What’s Hot” is not what it’s supposed be doing: taking care of these types of issues.

Do you think the Google+ algorithm can be ‘gamed”?

When to Post on Social Media Networks

As you probably know, I am very active on just about all of the social media networks. I post often, share often, am very active. Probably more active than 90 percent of my social media and search engine optimization colleagues. I have been for years. In fact, it’s been at least 10 years that I’ve been sharing, commenting, and posting on social media and social bookmarking sites. What I have learned over the past 10 plus years doing this, is that there are optimal times to post on social media sites and there are times when you don’t want to post. If you post or share at certain times, your post won’t be seen, no matter how many followers or friends that you have. So, when is the best time to post on social media networks? There’s a great infographic out that details all of this for you.

best time to post on social media

So, basically, if you plan your day right, and you are doing any posting and promoting of items that you want to get seen, then this is how your day should look:

7:00am post to LinkedIn
9:00am post to Google +
1:00pm post to Facebook
2:00pm post to Twitter
3:00pm post to Pinterest

Kind of makes sense to me, as there are times when people go on LinkedIn, which is before and after work. Then, while they are at work using Google, people are looking at Google+. After lunch, people check their Facebook and Twitter. Then, after work they are unhappy with their job. So, they go back onto LinkedIn. Then, after 8:00pm people are hanging out on Pinterest.

If you were promoting a certain blog post, or article, for example, then you could set up “reminders” such as a Microsoft Outlook appointment to post at a certain time on a certain social network. Especially if there is a certain day that you’re launching a new product, posting a new blog post, or whatever.

This original graphic was originally posted on Google+ where I saw it first. The original article is here.

Rebekah Radice had this to say on her Google+ post:
“Use social media to ask questions, build buzz and get the conversation around your personal brand started!

Here’s how:

1. Pick your network – you don’t have to be everywhere and everything to everyone!
2. Choose the best times to post – This varies dependent on channel, so pay attention to your analytics and know when to share your very best content.
3. Know your “WHY” – Know why you are using social media to market your business and what your end goal is.
4. Know Your Audience – Understand the needs of your audience and what information they’re looking for. Social media is about meeting their needs in real time!”

Why Hashtags are Spam #hashtags

Hashtags are spam that need to go away. According to reports that have hit the mainstream media lately, Facebook has just (finally) gotten #hashtags. Facebook tends to be a “late adopter” of a lot of technology and features, so you know that when Facebook “finally” gets a feature such as hashtags, the feature is on its way out. But I digress.

hashtag cloud

So, why are hashtags spam? Hashtags turn into legitimate Tweets and Posts on social media sites because the user decides which #hashtags to use in their post or tweet. When you insert a hashtag, you’re adding a keyword or keyword phrase in order to categorize it. While a very small percentage of hashtags are totally appropriate, we are now in a situation where hashtags are abused so much that they’ve become a form of spam. Take a look at the following recent screen capture for #paydayloan on Twitter. There are plenty of people who have tweeted on Twitter who are not using that hashtag for legitimate purposes.

payday loan hashtag

I recall a having a conversation a while back with a very prominent representative from Google. You probably know the one. He told me Google’s stance on hashtags: “Hashtags are spam”. Plain and simple. (I regret that I am unable to find my actual notes from the date and time of when this occurred, but it makes sense to me, based on “search” and the whole history of how keywords are used on the web.)

The problem is that the end user, the person creating the content (or the tweet, the post, etc.) on the social network is deciding which #hashtag to use on their content. And when the end user decides what is an appropriate keyword (or hashtag) to use on their content, all heck breaks loose and it’s opened up for abuse.

Do you remember the meta keywords tag that was so prominently used by the search engines back in the 1990s? Well, I do, since I was actively practicing search engine optimization back then. I remember that the title tag was important, but also the meta keywords tag was important, as well. You could literally decide which keywords were appropriate for your web page, and put them in there. And the search engines would take those keywords into account when crawling and ranking your web site.

But, by 2001, the meta keywords tag became so abused that it wasn’t really that helpful anymore. And search engines got much more sophisticated. They didn’t need to use anything that allowed the web site owner to decide how to categorize their web page. The search engines could figure out what a web page was about, so there was no need for the meta keywords tag anymore. And, it got so abused that it’s now really a deprecated meta tag. I don’t recommend that anyone use that keyword tag on their web pages anymore. It’s just a form of spam if you do.

I spoke to a highly respected Search Engine Optimization Expert, Chris Silver Smith, about hashtags and how they relate to the meta keywords tag. Here is what he had to say:

Bill, I believe you’re right. However, that was because relatively few people had been using them, and of the usage, a large amount was a bit spammy. I think they could change perspective if the general populace used them more. I think usage is rising, so this could happen. Facebook’s adoption could help, or maybe not. Meanwhile, I use pretty sparingly.

Well, I’ve seen uses that I don’t consider spam — when groups want to associate Tweets with one another, when people are discussing events, when it makes sense for updates to be associated with a common thread. Those aren’t all spam – intentioned.

In fact, Meta Keywords were not all spam, in cases where people used them ethically and properly. It was promptly abused, so it was ruined by people associating pages with completely inappropriate keywords…

I agree with Mr. Silver Smith. There are situations where it’s very legitimate to use a hashtag. In fact, right now, as I look at Twitter, the #smx hashtag is trending. That’s why there are so many people at a search engine conference who are tweeting furiously about the conference, all adding the hashtag of #smx to their tweets on Twitter. But, that is a rare case. Technical professionals using a hashtag for a conference or even a Tweet Chat on Twitter is very helpful.

When hashtags like #smx show up in the Twitter Trending topics, it is legitimate–because it’s from a conference of search marketing professionals. And when hashtags show up many of them are legitimate, like the hashtags for #USOpen, as shown below:

twitter trending topics

But when you you get hashtags that are trending, or hashtags that are popular keywords, you tend to get all sorts of spam, like this:

hashtag spam

The problem now is that hashtags are being abused. And they are being so abused now that hashtags are now spam.

So, consider the fact that hashtags are the “meta keywords tag” of the 2010s, and will soon become totally useless, because they’ve been abused so much. Furthermore, many people that I have spoken to recently just ignore hashtags anyway. They really don’t mean anything anymore. Perhaps that is exactly why Facebook has decided to finally adopt hashtags?