Posts Tagged ‘Google’

postheadericon The New Google Social Media: “Plus” or Minus

Well, it’s official.  Google has finally rolled out their new social media platform, Google Plus.  In a blatant attempt at coveting the mass market appeal that Facebook has been garnering since its inception 7 years ago, we now see Google trying to get into the social media game.  The platform, while still in its infancy, was started with nothing less than a full throttle exposure by Google, utilizing every aspect of its web presence to reinforce the potential uses and powers of the new social media outlet.  The three most powerful features, or perhaps most important when it comes to search engine optimization and web marketing, are the social media pages, the “+1” button, and the search engine integration.

Social Media Page

From a glance, Google Plus has all the basic features you would expect with social media these days.  There is a place for basic information, your profile, photos of you, contact information, and a space to say how you are doing (the basic equivalent of Facebook status or a Twitter tweet).  There is one minor difference in that when you are messaged, you are actually emailed (using your gmail account, of course), instead of the message being stored somewhere else.  In addition, you are able to easily search for people to add t your circle of friends based on pasty emails or using Google’s own search engine.  The biggest difference is the addition of the Google Plus Circles, which is how Google organizes your friends and family.  Facebook has similar organizational groups, but Google actually forces you to put all of your friends in a specific circle (even if it is called “Friends”) which would differentiate them from your family, coworkers, etc.  This could be very useful for when you want to share something that perhaps you don’t want your family or your boss to see, but other than that it doesn’t really add much that I can see yet.

+1

I mentioned in a previous post about the new +1 buttons that we are adding to all of our SEO clients pages.  The Google equivalent of a “Like” button, these buttons which are coded into the page help to both track who and how many people like a particular website, but also helps to bring inbound links into the page which increases the rankings of the site in search engines.  The biggest difference that I see between the way that Facebook did this and the way that Google is doing this is where the inbound links are going to be found.  For Facebook, this is was in a post made on the wall of the person that clicked the “like” button.  Whereas in Google, this is actually a separate tab, next to photos and basic info, that lists all the pages that particular person has +1’d.  The pages are listed in reverse chronological order so the first thing you see will be the person’s latest interest.

Search Engine Integration

Google’s new platform already proves that it has a significant amount of power behind it.  However, the real power behind the new social media platform is the integration with everything else that Google is already offering.  Google’s approach to business seems to be, if we can do 1 thing extremely well, we can probably do everything extremely well.  Oddly enough, they seem to be right for the most part.  From their original search engine to their power email solution, an internet browser, a smartphone operating system, and now its social media platform, there seems to be no end to what Google will do.  What makes it better is that everything is integrated.  On Google’s website now, you will see the +You button (which changes “You” to your first name when you are logged in) next to the web search bar.  From within the platform, you can use gmail to send messages, Picassa to share photos, and the search engine to find friends, and this is the tip of the iceberg for what I am sure Google will do.  This would make the new platform a very powerful tool in the internet marketing world, where social media has become the way businesses build reputation and create buzz about the company.  At the moment, it seems more geared towards individuals, but it is only a matter of time before Google branches out to businesses like Facebook has done.

What do you think?

We want to know you’re opinion about the changing social media environment and how Google Plus compares to Facebook.  Keeping in mind that it is still in beta and has not been finished yet (as if Facebook is ever actually finished either), what do our readers think?  Gives us a rating, 1-5, so we can find out how many people are using it and how they like it so far?

postheadericon 2011 Internet Marketing Trend Watch

So the year is already almost over, and whew, how fast it came and went right? At the end of the year it’s only natural for people to become motivated and inspired to do things differently in the New Year that’s vastly approaching, and that even includes business marketing strategies. 2011 seems pretty promising with new digital marketing trends for brands to adopt in an effort to increase their performance and of course ultimately their ROI. Why don’t we just take a peek into some of the predicted trends that could possibly take over and maybe even change the way we use the internet to advertise, sell, and purchase?

  • The whole “engaging with your customers” revolution has begun, and I love that this is going to be more sought after by businesses. I’ve always been able to appreciate a company who actually shows interest in their customers and don’t just only see dollar signs. You can expect to see companies reaching out to consumers whether it is through social media, follow up phone calls and cards. When it comes down to it, it really does make a difference on whether your customer will remain loyal to your company or not. Often times consumers can become emotionally attached to a brand, and as we’ve mentioned before customers look for [other than the product and service quality] reliability and honesty when choosing a business to represent their needs.
  • Expect to also see an increase in mobile device use for advertising, email marketing, purchasing and many other web marketing tactics. We’ve already seen a glimpse into the evolution of the mobile phone with their apps for everything you can think of, but with accessibility to the World Wide Web and social media through your device, it’s only made it somewhat easier for companies to come up with new and innovative ways to market their target audiences on the go. This is not only smart but convenient.
  • Micro-blogging and blogging isn’t dead yet especially with sites like Facebook and Twitter who will continue to rule over every other social site, I’m sure. I think we can confirm now more than ever that social media isn’t going anywhere, so I’m expecting to see more social platforms develop and groundbreaking enhancements for how we use these social networks and how effective they can be from a business perspective. I do hope to see more companies [especially smaller ones] to join the social media world that already haven’t. These sources are not only outlets that will help company heads the opportunity to interact and engage with their customers but it’s also a creative outlet for businesses to win over consumers and promote their brand’s identity through their own management.
  • Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing will only continue to take over the web with new search improvements to make our search life more convenient and beneficial. In a constant battle to top each other and win over users, we can expect some changes that will probably merge with social media so that web users will eventually only need to go to one site to get their social fix and do some retail research all at the same time. Not to mention optimization of performance, conversion rates, and search engines with the integration of various online tools.
  • Prepare to also see a change in buying trends, consumers will research and shop online a whole lot more, especially during the holiday seasons. People are starting to realize that it’s no point in waking up at dawn just to be at a store to hopefully get the product you want. While it helps to physically be in front of that product or meet face to face with a consultant, new online approaches to these same factors have made it simpler and a lot more tempting to just sit in the comfort of your own home, on your own time and shop without long lines, traffic and to avoid stepping out in inclement weather conditions even. Just the click of a mouse will soon be able to handle everyone’s shopping desires. Imagine that!

While these are only a handful of trends, these are perhaps the heavy hitters and most important of the laundry list. It’s inevitable that there will be many digital marketing changes so it’s safe to say that we should expect more companies to jump on the bandwagon and reap the benefits of the endless opportunities the internet world has to offer for both the company and the consumer. I foresee a whole lot more convenience, creativity, and effort in the digital marketing realm. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited to see what happens next!