Tag Archives: Google

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400 social media for business tips

Following the publication of my latest collection of 100 social media for business tips you can now learn about LinkedIn as well as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. All individual tips are tweetable so please share on Twitter and across your social networks if you like a particular tip. Thank you.

Please let me know in the Comments below which social network I should provide 100 tips for next; Pinterest or Instagram perhaps?

100 Facebook Tips from Intranet Future


Social Media News snippets: 18 June-1 July

Below is a look at the last fortnight’s Social Media News, focussing on improvements to social networks that you can use to help grow your business. For help and training on increasing sales, boosting visits to your website and improving customer services, please get in touch to arrange an appointment or book me for a phone call.

Facebook launch new mobile apps - New apps for managing business Pages are now available from the Apple App (iPhone only) and Google Play stores. Named Facebook Pages Manager (aka Pages) the new apps do what they say on the tin but are not even better. A smarter cleaner look and easier access to Admin functions and Insights. Best of all is the ability to edit posts. If you want to make managing your Page easier I’d recommend downloading. Up next - an iPad Facebook Manager app?

Facebook Ads now to be more engaging - Facebook are introducing a new design for their ads on the right hand side in the coming weeks with larger dimensions for the image but now with the same proportions as the News Feed ad image. This means that the same image size can now be used for both with 1200 x 627 pixels recommended. In early tests, Facebook have seen increased engagement of up to 3 times more from people seeing the new design. This is another move by Facebook to make Ads work well for both businesses and users.

Google+ steps back from search result integration - In a blow for Google+ users, Google have announced that the profile photo of authors (those with Google authorship set up) and number of people in their Circles will no longer be displayed in Google Search results against posts they have authored. The author’s byline will still be displayed. This was an important benefit of a Google+ profile. John Mueller, an analyst at the firm states, “…removing the image leaves searchers acting in a “similar” fashion”, so it seems that consistency is the aim of what is sure to be an unpopular change amongst authors and bloggers.

Receive notifications when you’re near a venue you’ve pinned - Android users with the latest Pinterest app (download here) for their phone or wearable can now receive a push notification when they are near a venue they’ve pinned. Handy for planning your holiday or trip to a town or city you haven’t visited before. Just pin the venues you might want to visit to receive notifications on your device when you’re near them. You can then use Google Maps to reach your destination.

Obtain and post new content Daily - Buffer has launched a new app called Daily that present suggestions for you to easily post and tweet. It’s being pitched as ‘Tinder for content’ - swipe left not to post and swipe right to post. Essentially, Buffer have taken their recent ‘suggested content’ feature and turned it into an app. At the moment it’s only available from the Apple Store 


Social Media News snippets: 10-17 June

Below is a look at last week’s Social Media news, focussing on improvements to social networks that you can use to help grow your business. For help and training on increasing sales and improving customer services, please get in touch to arrange an appointment or book me for a phone call.

Google launch My Business - Google have launched a new product called My Business which attempts to bring Google+ Pages and Google Places (Local) under one roof. When you access your Google+ Page you should be upgraded to the new My Business dashboard (see below) which makes for easier management. From a customer’s point of view Google say, “Google My Business connects you directly with customers, whether they’re looking for you on Search, Maps or Google+”. Not sure why they haven’t included Google Now (personalised search on Android phones) in the pitch though, especially given that there’s a My Business Android app.

Google introduce a ‘right to be forgotten process’ - Following a landmark EU court ruling earlier, which gave people the “right to be forgotten”, Google has launched a service to allow Europeans to ask for personal data to be removed from their search results. If a request if granted links to irrelevant and outdated data will be erased. The search giant is currently receiving and processing around 10,000 requests per day and balancing  “privacy rights of the individual with the public’s right to know and distribute information”.

Facebook improve embedded posts - I’m a huge fan of embedded social media posts and Facebook have this week made improvements to design, load times and added the ability to customise the size of the post. Here are 10 ways to use Facebook embedded posts. Copying a leaf from Twitter’s playbook, Facebook have also now positioned photos above text.

Official World Cup hashtags - The official hashtags for the 2014 World Cup are #WorldCup and #Brazil2014 and #3Lions is the hashtag chosen by @England’s fans. Twitter has also introduced hashflags as used below by @shakira.

You can follow matches via the teams hashflags eg tonight’s Brazil vs Mexico game is #BRAvsMEX.


#TrumpetTuesday hashtag campaign

The #TrumpetTuesday hashtag campaign was started on Tuesday 8 April with the aim of promoting quality businesses. The idea is to tag a business, give a reason why you are recommending them and add the hashtag. The campaign runs every Tuesday on Twitter and Google+ and gives consumers and business people the opportunity to shout about good service or quality products and services they’ve enjoyed. The outcomes should be greater awareness and more sales for businesses and an increased number of satisfied customers.

From 9am-5pm on launch day on Twitter, #TrumpetTuesday was mentioned in 109 tweets by 57 people and there were a total of 49 retweets. 75,915 accounts were reached, meaning that if you tweeted or were recommended your tweet could potentially have been seen by over 75,000 people. In fact, the number of times #TrumpetTuesday tweets could have been seen was 16,203, so there’s a fair chance close to 75,000 people would have seen at the hashtag.

If you’d like to get involved go to Twitter or Google+ then:

1) Mention/tag a business
2) Give a reason why you are recommending them
3) Use #TrumpetTuesday

Have you received any leads or done any business as a result of #TrumpetTuesday? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like help on raising awareness for your business, organisation or charity using hashtags on Twitter or Google+ please book a call or email me.


Google+ for business tips

There’s an increasing interest in using Google+ for business so here are ten tips taken from my 100 Google+ tips which I’ve just updated.

1) Google+ is great for your improving your website search ranking. Get involved!

2) A Hangout is a Google+ video conference/broadcast. Use Hangouts to communicate with clients and to collaborate with colleagues.

3) You can broadcast live video and record using Hangouts on Air. Great for training, product launches and announcements.

4) Share your posts and photos even if intended recipients are not on Google+. Add email addresses in Share field.

5) Put words in asterisks to make them *bold*.

6) If you make a mistake you can edit your post after sharing. Hover over top right of post title then select Edit.

7) You can automatically upload all your photos to Google+ as you take them from your Android phone.

8) As you might expect the Search on Google+ is top notch. Use it to find people, companies and content to follow and engage with.

9) Google+ supports hashtags so use them for events and to follow and join into conversations.

10) You can Embed any public post on your website or blog. Just select the down arrow then ‘Embed post’.

If you’re local to Cheltenham, you can learn more at my Google+ for Business workshop on 6 May 2014. 


Is Google+ a cult?

Google+ is a strange beast. Is it a social network, a collection of all Google’s services or is it a cult? The truth is probably that it’s a mixture of all three. If you choked on your cornflakes when you read the word cult then read on, where I’ll demonstrate it might not be such an outrageous suggestion. Let’s look at this cult checklist from Janja Lalich, Ph.D. & Michael D. Langone, Ph.D. and see how Google+ stacks up.

The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity). Yes. Google sees itself as special as evidenced with this quote from its ‘What we believe’ statement, “We see being great at something as a starting point, not an endpoint.”  It is on a mission to “to facilitate access to information for the entire world, and in every language.”

The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society. Yes. Evidenced by Google’s stance on tax avoidance which is in conflict with wider society.

The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations). Yes. CEO Larry Page is at the top of the pyramid although he is accountable to shareholders.

‪The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion. Yes. Want to upload or comment on a YouTube video, send a Gmail or write a post on Blogger? Then you’ll be ‘persuaded’ to join Google+.‪

The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members. Yes. Google are so keen to recruit new members that membership is a requirement even for unrelated Google services. Eg commenting on YouTube videos. (See more examples above).

The group is preoccupied with making money. Yes. Google makes over a $100 million dollars per day. To boost this revenue Google has just announced they are selling the ability to turn Google+ posts into advertisements.

‪Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities. Yes. Google have linked up their services under Google+ and continue to do so to encourage you to remain ‘on Google’. Google+ coach Ronnie Pincer posted on Google+ on 12 May 2013 that he spends “approx 10+ hours 6 days (maybe 7) a week.”

‪Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members. Yes. (See above).

‪The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group. No, although there indeed some Google+ zealots eg Ronnie Pincer (see above).

The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities). No.

‪Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group. No.

The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law. No.

‪Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished. No.

‪Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s). No.

‪The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth). No.

So out of 15 items on the checklist, Google+ makes a match in more than half of them with a Yes against 8 of the points. Perhaps the idea of Google+ being a cult is not that far fetched after all.

What do you think? Let me know in the Comments below. 


Google+ Communities launched

Last week Google+ Communities were launched as a replacement for Google Groups. Members of Google+ can set up Communities around their interests and hobbies. They’re  Google’s equivalent of Facebook’s Groups and could be an alternative for Facebook’s Pages too.

But with Facebook Groups doing a good job - read my guide here - do we really need them? Google have put some effort into the design and features and Communities integrate nicely with the overall Google experience. As well as offering equivalent functionality to Facebook Groups, Communities have several unique features and a number of advantages:

  • Discover Communities feature
  • Invitation of several people at once using Circles
  • Set up of Google Hangouts
  • Adding text to photos
  • Better and easier search
  • Set up of categories within the Community
  • Posting from Google+ Page to Community
  • Sharing with your Community from +1 button

Both Facebook Groups and Google+ Communities can be public or private. If a Community is public, posts will also be broadcast into the member’s stream giving extra exposure to the Community and its content.

One disadvantage of both Google+ Communities and Facebook Groups is the inability to switch off invites. Like me, you’ve probably had a number of invites to Communities over the last few days. It would be helpful to have an option to switch these off or better still just to receive suggestions at a frequency of one’s choosing.

Have you joined any Google+ Communities or will you be setting one up? Let me know in the comments below.


Google revamps Local reviews

Earlier this year in May, Google announced the replacement of Google Places with Google+ Local; part of its strategy to bring together Google products with Google+ at their centre.

Google+ Local is integrated with other Google services, including Google Search and Google Maps. If you use Search or Maps to find a business venue, Google+ Local page results will be displayed.

As an owner of a business venue you should check your Local page to ensure it’s up to date and has transitioned correctly from Google Places. If you’ve not yet claimed your Local page you should do so by selecting the Manage this page button on the right hand side. As a user, you can search for specific places or browse through various categories of listings such as restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels.

Rather than the potentially confusing 1-5 scale Google have introduced a ‘poor, fair, good, very good or excellent’ rating system for each business listed. This is then converted into a score out of 30 for the business. The numerical scores originally came from Zagat, which was bought by Google. It would also help if the overall score out of 30 was converted to text rather than a number and perhaps this could be a future improvement.

Once you’ve added a rating you’re then prompted to share to your Circles (your Google+ network).

Another improvement is that the reviews made are now listed on profiles thus providing extra exposure for the business.

To learn more about Google+ and Google+ Local and how it can help your business book onto one of my Cheltenham Google+ Masterclasses.


Google launches custom URLs

It was a surprise at the launch of Google+ in June 20111 when Google announced they had no intention of providing custom URLs aka personalised web addresses. A custom URL is a short, easy to remember web address that links directly to  a Profile or Page on Google+. Google was out of step with other social networks in this regard. For example, a list of my Facebook Page, Twitter profile, Pinterest account and Google+ Page looks like this:

It’s easy to spot the odd one out.

Thankfully they’ve changed their minds on custom URLs and the ability to customise web addresses for both Profiles and Pages is coming soon. For instance, Toyota can now use google.com/+toyota to direct people to their Page showcasing their vehicles. As with Facebook Profiles and Pages, custom URLs make it easier for people to find your presence on Google+.

At the moment, Google are introducing custom URLs to a limited number of verified Profiles and Pages and there is no timescale for a general rollout. However, it’s great news that they’ll be available soon.


Share your updates with anyone on Google+

Unlike Facebook or Twitter where you can only to communicate to members of the respective networks, Google+ allows you to send updates to anyone with an email address. As well as posting to  individuals or Circles you can message a person at their email address.

Recipients of such emails can read the message they are sent and are also invited to join Google+. You can post to Circles and to email addresses simultaneously; for example, you could send a message to a Prospects Circle together with one or more email addresses.

You can also add people who aren’t on Google+ to Circles by adding their email addresses. When you post an email address to a Circle you’ll be asked if you want to email your update in the same way as if you’d shared directly to their email address.

For more tips on Google+ view my 100 Google+ tips or book onto an upcoming workshop in Cheltenham.

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