Posts Tagged ‘social media platforms’

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 Time Names Mark Zuckerberg “Person of the Year”

Mark Zuckerberg is no doubt the most powerful person in social media and the most interesting person of 2010, or at least that’s what Time magazine thinks. This year they bestowed 26 year old former Harvard student and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with the honor of being named Person of the Year. With the release of the highly successful movie “The Social Network”, which is based on Zuckerberg and his controversial journey to create the social site, and after Facebook reached its 500 million members mark this past summer, I agree with Time magazine.

I think it’s safe to say that things haven’t been the same since Zuckerberg introduced us all to Facebook, and then naturally came the beginning of a beautiful digital and social revolution. With the overwhelmingly positive and socially addictive outcome of Facebook, you still can’t help but to ask, “Where would the internet world be if we didn’t’ have Facebook, or any social media platforms for that matter”?

Six years ago Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, an addictive and socially influential social networking site from his college dorm room. Of course then it was titled “The Facebook”. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 6 or 7 years, you have seen and heard about Facebook when you turn on the TV, listen to the radio, open a newspaper and of course search the web. And even those of you out there that have yet to obtain an account with the most popular social media site [Must I remind you about its 500 plus million members?] to date, it’s a pretty good chance you still know all about the site and its influence on our generation.

While some of us may have their own reasons to agree or disagree with Time’s choice to make Mark Zuckerberg “Person of the Year”, the magazine shares with its readers their exact reason and motivation for honoring him with the title:

“For connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them (something that has never been done before); for creating a new system of exchanging information that has become both indispensable and sometimes a little scary; and finally, for changing how we all live our lives in ways that are innovative and even optimistic, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is TIME’s 2010 Person of the Year.”

With such a popular site of close to 600 million “friends” who share their life experiences and most cherished moments like births, deaths, photos, breakups and even make ups, it’s no doubt that Facebook has transitioned from a simple social site built for us to connect with others to becoming a lifestyle for so many. It is the second most visited site worldwide [Behind Google] and users spend over 700 billion minutes per month visiting the site! See what I mean by it being “addictive”?

And in case any of you were wondering just how successful Zuckerberg has become after the launch of his monster of a creation, we’ll put it to you in dollar terms, his personal fortune has soared to 6.9 billion this year and the company itself is worth $23 billion! Not too bad Mr. Zuckerberg, not too bad at all.

Do you agree with Time magazine’s decision?

postheadericon Social Media Wins During Election Season

While social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter don’t actually replace traditional voting methods and polling, you can’t deny how paramount its impact can be during election season. During the political race, Americans use methods of social media to “Like” a political candidate, create a fan page, and share or update information regarding the elections. Arguably this can be seen as the modern approach to the tradition of posting a sign out on their front yard in an effort to promote and support their preferred candidate.

Social media platforms are an imperative source for getting people to get out and vote, especially for our younger generation of voters. By interacting with their members, Facebook gets involved by asking if a user has voted and for those that haven’t or need to find a location to vote there’s a tool that can inform them on the closest voting poll in their area. FourSquare also offers an application for users to share with their community of members that they’ve voted and can receive a limited edition “I Voted” badge for it. Site users can also find their nearest poll in the location finder on the “I Voted” app page. I can expect to see more of these apps created throughout the social media world and naturally, enhancements to these features will follow, once again making social media a great asset to its users.

Social media is not only great for the voters, or soon –to-be voters, but also for the candidates too. Besides the fact that you can get a feel for  the most popular candidate through social media measurements and online polls , these platforms provide a more accessible voice to a candidate’s loyal voters and those they are trying to convince. Not to mention, sites like Facebook and Twitter allow you to micro-target, which means you can narrow your target audience search down to age, city and state of residence, race, etc. This can be very convenient for a political campaign when a candidate wants to target certain demographics they may be lacking support from.

A candidate can also do quick and convenient damage control through social sites after a slip-up or mishap they are afraid may make national news. Social platforms provide that outlet for politicians to try and clean up a mess and hopefully get their side of the story out there while connecting to their supporters and even those who may scrutinize. This is where they can show their true self, express themselves on a more personal level with the world, and conveniently maintain some kind of management over the public’s opinion.

Below are some Facebook stats that will give you an idea on the impact social media can have on a political campaign and even public perception.

Facebook Ratings: Election 2010

Ranking political candidates by their fan counts

Overall | Senate | House | Governors

Overall – Fans

1,458,165
Democratic Fans
51,632
Independent Fans
3,482,253
Republican Fans

Senate – Facebook Ratings

10
Democratic States
26
Republican States

House – Facebook Ratings (featured races)

64
Democratic Districts
127
Republican Districts

Governors – Facebook Ratings

13
Democratic States
23
Republican States

Top Candidates by Fan Count


Type State Candidate Fans Daily Growth
Senate AZ John McCain (R) 716,958 722(0.10%)
Governor AZ Jan Brewer (R) 345,425 554(0.16%)
Governor CA Meg Whitman (R) 207,818 1219(0.59%)
Governor TX Bill White (D) 153,391 369(0.24%)
House MN6 Michele Bachman (R) 139,603 709(0.51%)
Senate FL Marco Rubio (R) 134,822 2173(1.64%)
Senate SC Jim DeMint (R) 122,664 913(0.75%)
Senate NV Sharron Angle (R) 108,811 306(0.28%)
Governor CA Jerry Brown (D) 98,573 1248(1.28%)
Senate KY Rand Paul (R) 85,858 980(1.15%)

Source:  Facebook Ratings- Election 2010

postheadericon Facebook Marries Social Media and Email?

On the heels of the announcement that Facebook recently made about their integration with email and social media, many are wondering how effective this can be for their business. If you think about it, social media and email make up about one-third of total internet utilization, so why not join forces with each other to create a more convenient way to stay on top of both social media platforms?

This week Facebook announced the launch of their new email messaging service and I’m sure this sounds like heaven for many advertisers and marketers. According to the Facebook promo video, “…the new messaging system is designed to capture all forms of communication with a single person in one place”. So could this really mean that the time has come for Gmail to vanish? Well apparently some  theorize this and even label this new Facebook service the “Gmail Killer”. Uh Oh.

Check out the Facebook prom video here!

Now after watching that, how you do feel about this new collaboration? It seems pretty smart, possibly effective and definitely convenient. Could Facebook be on to something here? Only time will tell, but I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point within the next decade we had only one endlessly accessible platform where we can communicate with each other, and maybe even without the help of a computer.  Either way, I predict that with sites like Facebook and Twitter, the next chapter in the evolution of technology will definitely be a game changer for users, marketers, and businesses around the globe. Even possibly with just one click of a button. Now that’s a thought.