Ello is a new social network that has literally exploded onto the social networking scene. It’s in private beta right now, so you’ll need in Invite from someone to get an account. Think Facebook and Twitter combined into one social media network–without all of the ads, retweets, and “likes”. And there’s no algorithm behind their newsfeed or timeline. If someone you’re following or “friends” with posts or says “ello”, then you’ll see it in your feed. [Read more…]
Thanks, Facebook. Thanks a lot. Thanks for showing breaking news (from a local news station near me) TWO DAYS after the event happened. No, not minutes or even a few hours after the breaking news event happened, but TWO DAYS after the news station posted it to Facebook.
Above, you’ll see the screen capture of what just appeared in my Facebook newsfeed, I use the term ‘newsfeed’ only because that’s what they call it–not that it’s an actual newsfeed in the actual sense of the word. This “breaking news” event, was posted by CBS DFW (a local tv news station that I’ve ‘liked’ on Facebook) on Friday, August 22nd. But Facebook chooses to actually show it to me, in my Facebook newsfeed, roughly 2 days after it occurred. [Read more…]
Last week, I was speaking at the ClickZ Live Toronto conference, and Kirstine Stewart, head of Twitter Canada, was one of the keynote speakers. According to Ms. Stewart, no Twitter accounts of employees are Verified accounts. Not even the CEO’s account.
I actually find this kind of odd. It seems to me that if you were someone who is officially representing Twitter, your account should be a Verified Account. I would want to know that the person tweeting at that account is, in fact, acting in an official capacity and not actually some ‘imposter’ so to speak. Well, in fact, no employee Twitter Accounts are verified accounts. [Read more…]
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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”?
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.
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.
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!
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!”
Twitter has banned the widespread practice of auto following other Twitter users, as well as bulk following Twitter users. If you’re following users in an automated fashion in any way, you had better stop it right now. Or risk losing your Twitter account. I have seen a lot of users who are following the exact number of people who are following them: and it’s obvious that those users are doing it in some sort of automated fashion, using a tool to do it. Again, stop using those apps to auto follow people back, or risk losing your Twitter account entirely.
Sylvain Carle, a Twitter developer, announced this important change on the Twitter developer blog on July 3rd. It was kind of ‘buried’ in his update, which also included another terms of service policy change, which is the fact that “hosting datasets of raw Tweets for download is prohibited”.
So, what does this mean? This means that you cannot auto follow people or use an app or website to follow people in bulk.
What should you go do right now to make sure that your Twitter account is compliant with the new Terms of Service (TOS)? Here is what I would do RIGHT NOW to make sure your Twitter account isn’t suspended:
1. Log into Twitter.
2. Go to your Twitter Settings:
3. Go to the Applications settings.
4. Review all of the Twitter apps that you have authorized. If you have ANY apps that you’ve authorized that does anything that’s automated and following people in any automated fashion, revoke access to that app.
While you’re at it, for security purposes, I would also consider revoking access to any app that you know you haven’t used in a few months. No need to keep it around and give it access to your Twitter account. I personally found a few that I just don’t need or use anymore.
Twitter updated the “rules of the road” so to speak, on July 2nd. You may want to read the Twitter Automation Rules and Best Practices.
If you are familiar with Pinterest, and Tumblr, then you know how much fun it can be to create a topical board filled with pictures, articles, and videos to share with family and friends. Each new picture that you find can be a source of amusement, and introspection. Plus, its a great way to discover other wonderful things on the internet. Combine the above with the ability to link those pictures to a website, and you have a marketers dream come true. Being able to easily create business related social media content that goes viral is a great way to put money in your pocket, and your brand on the lips of every consumer that you reach. What would be even better is to have a web 2.0 platform that brings together some of the best features of Pinterest and Tumblr together in one place which is what So.Cl does.
So.Cl (pronounced “social”) is a social sharing network currently in beta that was launched December 4, 2012 as an experiment by Microsoft FUSE Labs to provide a social media platform for students to share content with others. One of the key ingredients about this site that would be of great interest to internet marketers is that the pictures on each post can be linked directly to another website instead of another page on So.Cl. This helps to make it much easier to drive traffic to a website, and also helps to make it easier to track whether or not a website has attractive content or not. You can create several different posts with each post pulling content from the same place making it rather simple to check which pieces of content on your website are most popular.
Getting setup on So.Cl is pretty simple. You can either sign up with your Facebook ID, or a present Microsoft Windows ID. Once you click on the sign up link, you will be asked if you wish to give either app access to your information. After accepting the terms and conditions in the new pop up window, you are then taken to the main page that displays layouts for the other newly created accounts. From here you click on the box at the top of the page to type in a topic that you would like to create posts under. You are then transported to a page where you can formulate the collage that will be your post. At this point, you can choose to use the name of your topic as your post, or you can pick something else – it is entirely up to you. This is where you can let your creative side shine!
Once you have the title of the post set up, you can add in pictures to decorate the post. The pictures can be pulled from almost any source (except Facebook), and will be linked to the website that you pull the pictures from. The same holds true for websites, and videos. This is one of the most attractive features of this social network that makes it perfect for internet marketing. Here is an example of a post that you can create on this website: I Love My Little Baby – http://www.so.cl/#/posts?i=1o3a.ktrfNRfFxlEf
So.Cl has great potential for being an incredible marketing tool for businesses both large and small. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
• The pictures that you use for your post will be linked to whatever source they are taken from. It is best to load up several pictures on your website before pulling pictures for a post – minimum of five. Catalog websites are perfect for this sort of thing since they tend to be overloaded with pictures of products.
• Be sure to choose pictures, and videos that represent your brand in a positive light. It would be wise to avoid media that could easily be deemed as controversial (unless generating controversy is your goal).
• This product is still being beta tested, so if there is a feature that you think the website should have, be sure to send a message to the webmaster of the site.
• Combining this site with Pinterest would make for a strong marketing combination.
• Making comments on other posts will help to drive traffic to your posts on So.Cl.
With some imagination, So.Cl can be a great way to drive traffic to your website, or videos. The key is combining social media platforms together with this website in order to get the most reach to your potential audience. Using this site for spam would be a waste of time since, like Pinterest and Tumblr, people are only going to look at your pictures, and videos if they find them interesting, or attractive. Choosing pictures, and videos that people would find appealing, and would be willing to share with family and friends is one of the easiest ways to get your posts to go viral. Long story short, even as a beta experiment So.Cl has great potential to help Microsoft become a major player in the game of social media.
I recently sat down with the folks at eMarketing group, the makers of the Virtual Contact Twitter app. The following are notes from our discussions.
Virtual Contact takes all the functionalities one would expect from the Twitter platform and takes them a step further.
With Virtual Contact, Twitter is literally pushed beyond its limits and turns into the tool of choice for those who are active on multiple networks.
Here are some of the perks it offers:
— Manage multiple Twitter accounts simultaneously
— Manage automatic tweets (automatic-messages)
— Shorten your URLs
— Publish images and videos
— Send direct messages through Twitter’s internal messenger service
— Available on 4 different platforms for your convenience:
– Blackberry PLAYBOOK
– Apple iPad
– ANDROID TABLETS
As Virtual Contact is new on the market, twitter is the first client we’ve decided to take above and beyond in this fashion but as the world of social media grows, other platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and others are in the works.
BlackBerry App World ™ gave Virtual Contact a top rating of 4.5/5 stars and thousands have since become satisfied users of our application.
Here are some reviews from satisfied customers:
— “I have tried a few of the others, but this one is powerful yet really easy to use.”
— “Very nice twitter client with good features and multi-account support.”
— “about time we got a decent twitter client.”
— “Can’t complain about a free twitter app that gives you all this functionality Twitter as well as managing multiple accounts at the same time. Also has auto messaging which is good for business! I’m happy with it so far. Thanks for making it free too…”
How did we come up with this idea? Our initial goal was to design tools to help make life easier for active Internet users such as the self-starting Web entrepreneurs, bloggers and journalists.
Through our research, the conclusion reached was a simple one: the users of our software are in the best position to convey us their needs and expectations as to what our software should be.
So, we’ve listened and we’re inviting you to take part in a very interesting experiment: we’re developing a Web 2.0-style program and we’re inviting you to give us your suggestions, comments and critics through Twitter and Facebook.
As we improve the software, your feedback will guide us and help us adjust and develop its functionalities for future updates. You’ll have front row seats to see our work taking place.
This is a golden opportunity for you to have your voice heard and get customized solutions to your problems…And it’s as easy as following us on Facebook or Twitter.
You can also find reviews of virtual contact in crackberry.com at:
You can also look us up at
So if you need your twitter to work as fast and efficiently as you do, give us a try, you get all the advantages mentioned above, you’ll play a role in improving the overall program for all of us and best of all, it’s free !
By Chris McKillon
I have been using the Facebook Blackberry app ‘Chit Chat’ on my Blackberry Curve 8520 for a while now and thought it was about time to write a full review of it. I am quite a heavy Facebook user, and the main reason I decided to install the Chit Chat application on my Blackberry was because I wanted to be able to chat to all my Facebook contacts that are signed in to Facebook chat, but during times when I wasn’t using a computer – such as when I am out in the park walking my dog, on the bus into town, or if I am ever stuck in a boring waiting room and there are no interesting magazines to read.
Before I go on too much further, I should mention here that I am also a somewhat experienced user of the Windows Facebook desktop version of Chit Chat – I have had that version installed on my laptop now for a good few months before I using Chit Chat for Blackberry for the first time, so I was surprised at how different it looked from the Windows PC version. Unlike Chit Chat for Windows, which is a pale blue colour and looks very similar to MSN chat in its appearance, the Facebook Chat Blackberry version is a very nice bright green colour.
I am not saying this like it’s a bad thing, though. In fact, in some ways I would say that the Blackberry version of Chit Chat is even easier to use and better-looking than the PC version.
The first thing that will happen when you install and run Chit Chat on your Blackberry is that it will ask you for your Facebook username and password – this can be confusing, and if you haven’t already set up a Facebook username (not to be confused with your email address login!) then you will need to do so before you can use Chit Chat. It is not hard to do, and if you haven’t already done it there will be instructions provided to help you get set up. In fact the only thing that I found really hard at this point was reading the absolutely tiny text when you log in! From there on in though it’s all pretty straightforward.
Once logged in, Chit Chat will take you to a simple green screen which displays a list of all your signed in Facebook buddies. I am on Facebook quite a lot so my list is rather big (!) but it was easy to scroll up and down it using the trackball on my Blackberry to see who was online. I noticed that it added new contacts at the bottom of the list, not by alphabetised surname or anything, but I suppose this makes more sense because this way you can easily check if anyone new has signed in.
As I work irregular hours compared to a lot of my friends (who are in 9-5 office jobs) it was good to be able to chat to them from out and about on my blackberry (while they’re stuck indoors!). The chat window was very easy and straightforward to use, and if you want, a notification noise will play for each new message you receive. I prefer to have my phone silent but it is not difficult to set this up, you just go into the preferences.
I have tried Chit Chat both outdoors and at home and found that it is as quick to use as on a PC. There doesn’t seem to be any noticeable lag between messages and some of my friends were even surprised when I told them I was outdoors. I also found it was easy and straightforward to have more than one chat running at the same time.
When you are done using Chit Chat, it’s also very easy to close down (unlike some other Blackberry apps I could mention!). To log out, you simply press the button next to the central trackball and it will give you the option to log out, or to run Chit Chat quietly in the background, which I also like to do sometimes so I can be surprised by a chat message later on when I’m bored.
Chit Chat does run down your Blackberry life a little, however it’s got no more impact really than most games I’ve played on my Blackberry. In summary, if you would like to be able to chat to all your Facebook chat buddies, but are not always able to access a computer then I would totally recommend Chit Chat for Facebook Blackberry as a cheap and easy way of keeping in touch with them.
I’ve always been a fan of Twitter, even before Twitter became popular. It seems as though I’ve been on Twitter forever, just call me an early adopter. It looks like we are finally getting a much-needed upgrade to the Twitter web interface, which is really just a new small option. You can now add images to your Tweets, right from the web interface.
Take a look at the screen capture above. You can now click on the little camera icon on the left side of the Tweet box and upload an image. Then, when you tweet, your tweet will include an image link to the photo or screen capture that you have uploaded. It’s hosted on pic.twitter.com for you.
When your tweet is posted, here is what it looks like:
As you can see, I went ahead and used that image as an example, and actually tweeted about it on Twitter to see exactly what it looks like.
When you use an image in your tweet, I do have a few recommendations:
– Make sure that the image isn’t too small, as people do like to see larger photos rather than thumbnails. I personally like to resize my photos or screen captures anywhere between 300 width and about 1000 width max.
– I have not checked on the file size yet, but I would imagine that your photo from your 14 megapixel camera is probably going to be too large to tweet. You might want to resize it first. Besides, it may just take too long to upload it.
– When you add a tweet, keep in mind that a link to the photo URL is going to be added automatically to your Tweet. So, you may want to keep the text in your Tweet a bit shorter than usual.
As I mentioned above, it appears that the photo is being hosted on http://pic.twitter.com. However, if you mouseover the URL and watch the actual link and where you’re taken, it goes to http://t.co and then to your actual Tweet, with the larger image. It just doesn’t make sense that Twitter would add a URL that’s then a redirect that then redirects back to twitter.com. That’s too many redirects!
Take a look at what happens when you go to your pic.twitter.com image URL:
URL = http://pic.twitter.com/JSDYArO
UAG = Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:5.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/5.0
REQ = GET ; VER = 1.1 ; FMT = AUTO
GET /JSDYArO HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:5.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/5.0
• Finding host IP address…
• Host IP address = 184.108.40.206
• Finding TCP protocol…
• Binding to local socket…
• Connecting to host…
• Sending request…
• Waiting for response…
At least they’re using a 301 Permanent Redirect to do the redirect over to your Twitter status URL.
On a sidenote, it does not look like any images or photos are being indexed on http://pic.twitter.com (yet) in Google’s search engine.
Update August 4, 2011 If you have been reading and following this blog post, you may be interested in what I’ve uncovered. Although something appears to be posted from within Google+, it’s actually coming from Google Buzz, and that has a Google+ Plus URL. So, I am pretty convinced at this point that Google+ posts are not being indexed, only Google+ Profiles. Google Buzz posts are getting indexed, and they show up with a Google+ URL, so it’s confusing. But I am going back to my original theory here, that Google has stopped indexing Google+ posts. [Read more…]
Marketing on Google+ can be a very rewarding, and cost effective venture for those with a limited marketing budget since Google+ is currently a very popular site amongst tech savvy people, such as myself. However, caution must be exercised so that your marketing efforts do not meet with a less than happy end. Here is how to market your personal brand on Google+ Plus.
To start off with, Google+ frowns upon using a name other than a person’s name for your Google+ page (this action may even get your account suspended which in turn may affect other Google products associated with your Gmail address). Therefore, the best businesses to market on Google+ are those where YOU are the product, or you are branding yourself as the lead of the business. Here are some businesses that would do well with marketing on Google+:
— Gurus / Experts
— Businesses Where YOU Are The Product Or Brand
Essentially, any business where you are branding yourself, or ones where you want people to think about your business whenever they see you would be just right. It should also be noted that Google+ works extremely well for those who wish to market themselves as an expert in a field (such as internet marketing, construction, health and fitness, etc.). With Google+ being a social network, it would only be logical that you talk about or discuss your business on your profile page. As long as your marketing efforts appear to be a natural extension of what you would do in real life everything should work out just fine. For an excellent example of “marketing without the appearance of marketing” check out Chris Pirillo’s Google+ profile page. There are many topics that could be covered when talking about marketing on Google+. In order to avoid information overload, this blog post will focus on using pictures in your profile, and in your photo gallery.
Whenever someone checks out your profile picture on your Google+ profile page, there should be two things they should be able to get from looking at it – what kind of image you project in real life, and how you want to position yourself, and your business in society. In regards to image, you want your picture to convey the kind of person people would meet when they stop by to visit you at your business. For example, lets imagine that we have three different consultants: a marketing consultant, an internet marketing consultant, and an investment advisor. For the marketing consultant, the picture that they would use should show that the consultant is sincere about their business without appearing too serious or dogmatic. However, since a marketing consultant has to work to stay on the cutting edge of the marketing industry, the profile picture should also reflect a spirit of innovation. In order to show an innovative side, the consultant could hold up an unusual marketing product that people would want to know more about. The overall look would be something that catches the eye without going overboard.
The internet marketing consultant, on the other hand, would take a slightly different approach in regards to choosing their profile picture. The overall message their profile picture needs to convey would be “I can help you make your business a huge success on the internet”. An unusual background image might work well, or a thought provoking background setting showing where a potential client could end up if they followed the advice of the internet marketing consultant. Some profile pictue ideas for the internet marketing consultant would be: the consultant shown sitting in a lawn chair on the beach at a lavish resort, or behind the wheel of an expensive automobile, or perhaps standing on the patio of an exquisite mansion, and so forth.
For the investment advisor, the picture should convey trust. The words on the profile page will help to describe what the consultant can do for their clients, but the picture, at a glance, should instill a feeling of honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness without being boring. The profile picture is definitely important, but what is also almost equally important are the pictures in your photo gallery.
Even though you’ll mostly be using your Google+ profile to promote your business, you will still need pictures in your photo gallery to help give people a REASON to visit your profile (unless they already know you). With Google+ you can choose which pictures are displayed at the top of your profile, which will be helpful in giving you something that people can make comments on. In regards to what type of pictures to use in your photo gallery, let’s look back at our three fictious examples. For the marketing consultant, it would probably be best to use pictures of ads that the marketing consultant either created, or ads that have been very successful regardless of who put them together. In the description, the marketing consultant can describe what makes that particular ad effective or not effective, or perhaps a funny caption or annecdote.
The internet marketing consultant would want to add some interesting and / or funny pictures to their Google+ photo gallery, but this would also be a great time to put in some useful diagrams. For instance, a chart explaining the latest evolution of the online marketing sales funnel which shows how consumers use the internet to research, and ultimately choose which businesses they do business with would be a great picture to add to the internet marketing consultant’s photo gallery.
The investment consultant could put up charts, and graphs to show where the stock market will be within the next 10 years, return rates for basic investments, or even a simple graph showing how much money someone could have made if they had made a $10,000 investment at 20, 30, or 60 years old. Also, since the investment consultant is wanting to convey a feeling of trust, integrity, and stability, it might be wise to put up a few family photos as well. Professionally done group family photos tend to create an aura of stability – even if that is not actually true in real life.
Once the pictures have been uploaded to the Google+ photo gallery, you can start posting links to your pictures as status updates using headings to make it all look natural. For example, using the “$10,000 investment over time” picture as an example, a link to the picture could be posted in the investment consultant’s status bar with a headline that reads “If only people realized how much money they could have saved up if they started saving earlier…”. Also, creating status updates will make it much easier for others to know what kind of content you have available on your profile, and hopefully entice them to make comments on your pictures. The comments made by those people will be available for viewing by the people in their circles, who will also make comments. All of these comments will eventually lead to driving more traffic to your profile. As illustrated in the above scenario, a very strong domino effect can easily be created by simply posting pictures, and making mentions of those pictures in your status updates.
You can also post links to pictures from other websites in your status box to accomplish the same thing. They do not have to be pictures directly related to what you do. If you can find something thought provoking or controversial, that will work as well. Just be sure it is something that you wouldn’t mind being associated with (remember: Google+ may be a social network, but its still a social network run by Google – the world’s largest search engine at the present time).
The general idea with pictures on your profile is that they should get your point across without having to spend a lot of time explaining them, even on the pictures that are in your gallery. People should be able to understand why you have that picture there with or without the short summary. With that being said, controversial pictures should be mainly used to draw attention to your profile, and therefore should just be picture links shared in your status updates. Use other less provocative pictures within your photo gallery to build and support your branding. This, of course, does not apply to you if the business image that you want to project is a controversial one. Either way, use your photo gallery to house pictures that directly reflect your business. Remember: the cute puppy in the window gets the people into your store, but what actual things your store has to offer should be the main topic of conversation.
If done right, you can drive tons of highly targeted traffic to your profile with just a few simple pictures, and status updates. Just keep in mind – a picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure that the pictures that you choose to utilize in your marketing efforts say the right things about you, and your business.
Disclaimer: Please note: If your Google+ account is suspended for ANY reason, it may adversely affect your other Google related products (ex: your corresponding Youtube account could also get suspended).
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 Google +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+
Already an established and trusted leader in helping retailers effectively expand their reach to Facebook Platform, comparison search engine SortPrice.com has rolled out an updated version of its Store Application for Facebook that adds even more features to a tool that is already used by more than 1,500 merchants nationwide.
SortPrice was one of the first companies to offer e-commerce solutions on Facebook. SortPrice launched the Merchant Application in October 2008 and have since built Facebook stores for more than 1,500 retailers of every size and scope. Along the way, the application has received numerous glowing reviews in the media, putting SortPrice squarely on the leading edge of the social media integration movement taking place in the e-commerce industry.
Version 2.0 builds on that success and offers retailers even more customization options designed to help them build a Facebook presence that is more consistent with their existing websites, along with some new features that spur interaction and fan-building on Facebook.
SortPrice’s Store Application 2.0 takes all of the great features that have helped it become one of the industry’s most popular and successful ‘F-commerce’ resources and adds a host of new customization options that can take a retailer’s Facebook presence to a whole new level. What’s more, since the application is still a free add-on for any retailer that lists products on SortPrice.com, it’s also the most cost-effective resource out there.
“At this point, selling on Facebook has evolved from an option to a must for any retailer that’s serious about the success of their business,” said Asaf Klibansky, SortPrice.com co-founder and CTO. “Version 2.0 reflects that shift in priorities and gives a retailer even more ways to build a comprehensive, interactive Facebook store that will not just increase traffic and interaction but deliver actual sales as well.”
The host of customization choices that SortPrice added to Version 2.0 is designed to help retailers build a Facebook presence that is more consistent with their existing websites. These enhancements, all accessible through the application’s merchant management console, give a merchant the ability to:
• Add customized banners, colors and splash pages to their storefronts;
• Tailor the layout of the actual store, either by moving particular components such as popular products or recently viewed products or enabling/disabling those same components however they wish;
• Customize product categories so they match up with those on their retail site;
• Include personalized footers in the form of links, banners, certifications, contact information or simple text to the bottom of the application
Also new to the application is a feature that allows merchants to list two products from their Facebook store side-by-side and solicit feedback from their followers on which one they prefer or would rather buy, bringing all the fun of traditional comparison shopping right to a merchant’s Facebook Page. The application now also features a dedicated section where retailers can spotlight their most popular products, which is ideal for special sales and promotions.
Version 2.0 also coincides with Facebook’s recent coding change from FBML to IFrames, which makes the site’s Like buttons more universal than ever. Along with faster page loads and a smoother overall experience, merchants will be able to see just how many Likes they’re getting on both their Facebook store and their website as well, making it easier to track how people are interacting with their listings and products.
Since introducing the original Merchant Application in October 2008, SortPrice.com has built Facebook stores for more than 1500 national retailers of every and those merchants collectively posted more than $3.78 billion worth of merchandise on their Facebook stores in 2010. For a full list of SortPrice’s retail partners and more information on Version 2.0, please contact us.
SortPrice.com, founded in 2004, has grown into one of the internet’s most popular shopping search engines. With advanced search technology and a simple interface, the site features millions of products from thousands of merchants nationwide.
Google today has officially agreed to settle charges by the United States Federal Trade Commission that Google used “deceptive tactics” and “violated its own privacy promises to consumers” when Google launched their social network called Google Buzz, in 2010.
The Federal Trade Commission alleges that the practices Google employed violated the FTC Act. The proposed settlement bars Google from “future privacy misrepresentations, requires it to implement a comprehensive privacy program, and calls for regular, independent privacy audits for the next 20 years.”
According to the FTC, this is the “first time an FTC settlement order has required a company to implement a comprehensive privacy program to protect the privacy of consumers’ information. In addition, this is the first time the FTC has alleged violations of the substantive privacy requirements of the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework, which provides a method for U.S. companies to transfer personal data lawfully from the European Union to the United States.”
Here is more information from the FTC that explains what Google did:
According to the FTC complaint, Google launched its Buzz social network through its Gmail web-based email product. Although Google led Gmail users to believe that they could choose whether or not they wanted to join the network, the options for declining or leaving the social network were ineffective. For users who joined the Buzz network, the controls for limiting the sharing of their personal information were confusing and difficult to find, the agency alleged.
On the day Buzz was launched, Gmail users got a message announcing the new service and were given two options: “Sweet! Check out Buzz,” and “Nah, go to my inbox.” However, the FTC complaint alleged that some Gmail users who clicked on “Nah…” were nonetheless enrolled in certain features of the Google Buzz social network. For those Gmail users who clicked on “Sweet!,” the FTC alleges that they were not adequately informed that the identity of individuals they emailed most frequently would be made public by default. Google also offered a “Turn Off Buzz” option that did not fully remove the user from the social network.
In response to the Buzz launch, Google received thousands of complaints from consumers who were concerned about public disclosure of their email contacts which included, in some cases, ex-spouses, patients, students, employers, or competitors. According to the FTC complaint, Google made certain changes to the Buzz product in response to those complaints.
The agency also alleges that by offering options like “Nah, go to my inbox,” and “Turn Off Buzz,” Google misrepresented that consumers who clicked on these options would not be enrolled in Buzz. In fact, they were enrolled in certain features of Buzz.
The complaint further alleges that a screen that asked consumers enrolling in Buzz, “How do you want to appear to others?” indicated that consumers could exercise control over what personal information would be made public. The FTC charged that Google failed to disclose adequately that consumers’ frequent email contacts would become public by default.
Finally, the agency alleges that Google misrepresented that it was treating personal information from the European Union in accordance with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor privacy framework. The framework is a voluntary program administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce in consultation with the European Commission. To participate, a company must self-certify annually to the Department of Commerce that it complies with a defined set of privacy principles. The complaint alleges that Google’s assertion that it adhered to the Safe Harbor principles was false because the company failed to give consumers notice and choice before using their information for a purpose different from that for which it was collected.
Finding reviews of different places can be very helpful for people in general. Especially when its something new that they are trying out for the first time, such as a restaurant, or a mechanic. You can easily search Google to find reviews for different places, but the results are not always useful for your situation. For example, if you were to search for “italian restaurant reviews new york” you may find some really in-depth restaurant reviews for several places in New York that are too far away from you to be practical. Google Hotpot is a website that is specifically tied to Google that allows you to search for ratings of places in your local area saving you lots of time, and energy.
Google created Google Hotpot, because some of the programmers and developers at Google noticed that over 20% of the searches conducted on Google have a local intent. While that doesn’t seem like much, when you have millions of searches on your search engine being conducted on a daily basis, 20% is a rather large number. Ratings can be made on Google maps, an Android phone, or the Google Hotpot tool. Most people have already seen the ratings on Google Maps, but have never known how they got there (well, now you know).
After you sign into your Google account, you can go to http://www.google.com/hotpot/ to set up your Hotpot account, complete with a nickname, and photo (if you wish). This product actually walks you through how to set up your account which makes the site much more useful. Once you’re in, you can start searching. You best bet is to type in what you are looking for along with the zip code of your area (ex: takeout 74813 ; zoo 90216, etc.). From there you will be shown some recommendations for that area. If you see a place that you have already been to, you can give it a rating, and share some information about your experience. As you use the site, the algorithm adapts, and you get new recommendations depending on ratings that you’ve given to various places. You can also bring in your friends by clicking on the Friends tab to send them an email inviting them to join you on Google Hotpot.
Whether or not this will be a game changer is highly questionable since Google is getting into the rating places arena so late (sites like Yelp already have a very strong system in place for getting people to use their site to rate locations). Also, in order to use Google Hotpot, you have to login with your Google account info, and then go through the setup process for your Hotpot account in order to just browse the site. With most other review sites you can just jump right in. Yelp, for example, gave me general search results for my area without having to type in a zip code to start. Plus, the different categories, and download link for the Yelp app are all shown towards the top of the site so I didn’t have to scroll down to find anything.
With that being said, since Google Hotpot is directly tied to other Google products, such as Google Maps, it could easily be used to help you rank higher in the Google search results IF you have a brick and mortar business. Also, as a side note, it would be very wise to claim your spot on Google Places, because if Google Hotpot does take off, those who are already set up on Google Places will be the ones to benefit the most from the start. Another way to easily boost your standings in Google Maps is by having people give you a good review on Google Hotpot which can lead to your business listing being displayed higher up for searches involving reviews.
Overall, Google Hotpot has potential, but just how much potential is rather difficult to determine at this point. It will greatly depend on how agressively Google Hotpot is marketed, along with whether or not Google makes the Hotpot website much more readily accessible (i.e. ditch the login when browsing the site).
Update: Links in this post have been removed, as they weren’t working at last check. November 16, 2014.