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Free Facebook Beacon – Upsell Your Lodging

Facebook BeaconFacebook is offering free beacons to small business owners that have Facebook Business Pages. It is an extension of services rolled out in January called Place Tips. Originally tested in New York, it is now offered out across the U.S.

Place Tips, sends a signal to a person’s mobile device when they get within a certain proximity. Offers, photos and information are then pushed to people when they are nearby. All the lodging owner needs to do is have the beacon placed conspicuously nearby.

Messages like ‘welcome’ or your ‘chance to upgrade’ could feasibly pop up as they walk in the door. It will be interesting to see what the range of this bluetooth device is. Wouldn’t it be cool, if it could pop up when people are looking for rooms nearby, too? There’s lots of potential here. Just imagine!

Place Tips features information about your business like:

  • Welcome notes and photos
  • Prompts to like your Facebook Page and check in
  • Posts from your Facebook Page
  • Their friends’ recommendations about your placeFacebook Beacon Packaging

Though you can’t advertise through Place Tips yet, that will likely follow soon. Facebook claims to be able to target to specific markets better than anyone else. This product seems to support that effort even more.

The Facebook beacon was designed by Facebook and independently manufactured. Though not expensive to produce and distribute, it is interesting that Facebook chose not to pass those costs along. Watch for Twitter to start with ‘beacon marketing’, too, as they have made an investment in that direction. It’s only a matter of time before everyone jumps on this new trend.

Interested in receiving a free Facebook beacon? Just login to Facebook, go to this Free Facebook Beacon Link and request one. You may request one beacon for each of your physical locations. If you have a restaurant or your property is spread out, you might want to request a few. Who knows how long this free offer will last.

News For Hotels that use Facebook – 10 Steps to Algorithm Recovery

Train window with text who is seeing your postsResorts, inns and hotels that use Facebook- I have a question for you? Have you noticed a drop in your Facebook interactions lately? It is getting more and more difficult to get seen in social media and in the searches for free. Why would that be, you ask? Facebook has again changed what they display in the feeds of their users, now showing only about 20% of the potential 1500 stories potentially available to Facebook users.

As Facebook steps up their efforts to monetize (aka make more money), opportunities for organic (free) exposure are scarce. It is becoming vital that lodging professionals understand and take the steps that more fully engage your audiences and appease the Facebook algorithms. Sounds a bit ominous, doesn’t it?

Here’s the latest steps on what you can do –and some you shouldn’t do.

1- Tell your story well. Be sure that your online presence is complete and accurate.

2- Create posts that are interesting and relevant to your lodging property. They should be based on things your guests would be interested in seeing. Ask yourself if your audience (past and potential guests) would like to see it and hopefully share with others?

3- Watch your Facebook Insights page. Track what type of posts have been working well, are getting lots of likes, shares, views, etc. and repeat. Note the time of day your users are engaging with your page.Facebook Insights

4- Make your Facebook posts count by sharing exclusive content users won’t find anywhere else. Publicize flash sales, special discounts, contests, etc.

5- Here’s where it gets a little tricky… Run a campaign that crosses over a few of your best channels. Create a campaign (think- online game or promotion) that has various features of the campaign using several networks. For example- A brand-based treasure hunt requiring a user to find a post in Facebook, a certain tweet in Twitter and a photo on your Pinterest page or Instragram would engage your audience and be hit with the Facebook behind-the-scenes wizards.

6- Get comfortable and strategic on using hashtags across all networks.

7-Use more photos and videos. One of the most popular mediums online is the use of photos. Hoteliers are lucky that they have the opportunity to visually present their properties with imagery. Take advantage of this, it’s your secret to success.

8- Link your social media channels as often as you can. Share your Google+ link on Facebook and vice versa. Doing this will increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ability. Do what you can to bring all of those channels back to your website, where potential guests will browse your website and hopefully book a reservation.

9- Ask your guests to ‘like’ your Facebook Page when they are at your hotel, via an email promotion or other ‘non-Facebook’ methods where their all powerful algorithms cannot see you (yes, it’s still possible).

10- Never spam. What is spam for Facebook anyway, you ask? Facebook considers any ‘direct call to action’ spam. For example, Facebook posts that say ‘like us’ or ‘share our page’ are considered spammy.

As Facebook is probably the best avenue for connecting online with your past and potential guests, it is still important to maintain a daily presence on the network. BUT it’s time to step up your game. Be sure to create value, represent your brand well and engage with your guests!

Travel Planning With Facebook

FB-Graph

Watch out TripAdvisor, travel planning with Facebook might just catch on. Their new Graph Search, is a little known tool that could come in handy for your next trip. You can add a search like “Friends that have traveled to Chicago, Ill” and receive a whole page of suggestions based on your friends’ travels. I just did ‘the test’ and I was actually surprised how accurate it was for well-known places in Chicago. It was also easy to see some of my favorite people that have gone to places I’ve either been or might want to go. My next step might be to ask them for more details. Yes, it could work.

Though this of course was Facebook’s intention, after a cursory look at Facebook, I had discounted it as having no real merit. Until I read this article by Darren Craig where he suggests that Facebook has a chance to take over TripAdvisor. His article shares some good examples of how Graph can be used and he also has some tips for hoteliers. I’ve shared those tips below:

Facebook is one of the most targeted platforms for marketing so here are some tips to add to your online strategy to enhance your business on Graph Search…. (You do have a Facebook page don’t you?) :

1 – Ensure your Facebook page isn’t a “ghost”

People will ‘Check-in’ to the first page that matches your business name, whether it’s your official one or not.  Claim any unofficial pages, and merge them with your real one – you may be missing out on more Likes than you realise.

2 – Reward ‘Check-ins’

Check-ins to your business indicates someone physically visited you and checked in to let their friends know.  This check in contributes to your engagement scores on Facebook.  You can encourage check-ins with small notices in the room, arrival cards, or provide offers like discounted drinks if guests ‘check-in’ on Facebook.  If you think of traditional online searches, where everyone was rushing to get backlinks to their website to increase their ranking, a check-in is almost an equivalent in Facebook terms – every little helps.

3 – Encourage Facebook Reviews

Hopefully you already request reviews on sites like TripAdvisor on your post visit follow up emails.  Existing links in your emails could be switched to encourage Facebook reviews for a period of time.  Online you need to meet your guests where they hang out, so you could offer a variety of review sites like Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor and others, or split test them to see which ones gets the most traction, or highlight the one you need more reviews on.

4 – Get Some Facebook Love

Looking after your guests in the real world should always be your priority.  If you’ve done this well, your recent guests should be your best ambassador.  Don’t forget to request a ‘Like’ in follow up communications, or in a booking thank you email.  If a guest ‘Likes’ you pre-arrival, it gives them the option of finding out more about your offerings before they arrive.  You could also ask guests to share and tag any photographs they have of your business.
Remember those earlier search examples?  If you get guests Liking your Facebook page, this is how their friends could find out about you in the future.

5 – Don’t Forget the Locals

Your local guests may be your most regular visitors if you have a great restaurant, spa or golf course, therefore could be your most engaged Facebook users.  Advertising to people who like your page, or to a custom audience of emails extracted from your mailing system (such as a member’s list) is likely to be the cheapest form of paid advertising you will ever get.  You can use this to fill up that spa, or empty dining tables or even advertise discount coupons if required.

This is one more recent example that reinforces the importance for hospitality professionals to keep a balanced social game in play. One cannot afford to focus only on TripAdvisor and later find that your guests are moving to new methods of getting and sharing pre-travel information. With the new happenings at Google, I’d suggest keeping them in the mix as well. Thanks for playing…

 

Facebook Business Page Rollout – version 2014

Facebook is once again updating their interface. This time it’s for their Business Listings. This updated Facebook Business Page Rollout will include many things that affect Independent Lodging Properties.

Facebook Biz Page -new 2014

New Facebook Business Page style – 2014

Here’s a short summary…

  1. Sometime soon when you log in, you will be ‘invited’ to join the waitlist.
  2. Later you will be ‘welcomed’ in with an Update Now button.
  3. You will notice that custom tabs have moved into the ‘More’ drop down, effectively burying your custom links like Email signups, and ‘Book Now’ buttons.
  4. The Admin panel will have a new look and some new features.
  5. Pre-scheduling is now done under the Activity Tab.
  6. Reviews cannot be removed as in the past.
  7. Highlighting Posts will no longer stretch them across your page.
  8. The first picture in photo albums is how the ‘featured image’ by default.
  9. Photo sizing in albums has changed dramatically. Once sizes are determined you will find them here. More explanation & detail is found below in the excerpt.

    PYK Facebook example

    ‘Old Style’ Facebook Business Page for Posada Yum Kin Hotel, Tulum, Mexico – 2014

  10. The Banner style has changed. It is smaller vertically and the name of your property will now lay on top of your banner image squeezing things even more and covering your image in specific areas.

You can read it directly from Facebook here.

Facebook says the key new features are:

  • Updated Page timeline design
  • Easier Access to key admin tools
  • Ability to Watch Pages

Utlimately, Facebook users will be the judge. Users include you and your future guests. While Facebook is obviously stepping up it’s monitization efforts, it’s important that they do not continue to send hoteliers away or cause them to minimize their exposure on Facebook. There many reasons to potentially do this; one of them being the building presence of Google and their entrance into the OTA space. 

One of my favorite blogs is Heather Turner’s Chef Forfeng’s Weblog. Heather a chef and consultant to B&Bs, is a key advisor on issues relating to restaurants and B&Bs. Below is the link to her entire blog and below that are some excerpts, I’d like to share on the upcoming changes.

When your page has the option to convert, you will see this (below) the first time you login. BEFORE you click update now for Fans, take a look and see if you have any tabs that are really important to you FIRST! (more on this in few screenshots down)

FB2

Heather on Albums…

Albums sizes are 518 X 518 (pixels)

  1. The other major change is photo sizing. If you post photos on your business wall, the new sizing is approximate 415W X 557H for vertical photos and 555W X 308H for horizontal photos. Sizes are approximate because I had to use a photo snipper, I could not find where the actual size is listed yet, (but this is close to what it will be).

Photos posted on your business wall are going to become somewhat smaller on the internal page viewer of someone’s feed. The sizing becomes 511H X 344W for vertical photos and 320W X 437H for horizontal photos*

I’ll correct the sizes when the official sizes are made public.

Because of the new photo size changes, where it previously was better to post horizontal photos, it now may be beneficial to try more verticals, as it’s taking up more visual timeline space or even albums in groups of 4 photos.  Albums 518 X 518 (pixels)  gives you more advertising eyes on space then single pictures now.

Heather on the Banner..

The biggest annoyance B&Bs will probably have is the new banner layout, Like, Follow, etc and the name of the business now overlays the banner itself, If you have a long description it brings the text up even further.
Essentially you’re losing almost ½ of the banner in terms of visual usage and if you have text in there now currently, you will have to revisit what it looks like when it converts. It also appears that the square avatar image has moved over very slightly more to the left hand side.

New Facebook Business Page changes Bed and Breakfasts should be aware of.

Make The Most of Your Hotel Facebook Page

Drastically increase reservations by making the most of your Hotel Facebook Page. Using a few of these ‘secrets’, focus your Facebook Page efforts to relate better with potential guests and ultimately produce more bookings.Travel Leisure Facebook Post Times

  • Use Facebook’s new timeline for businesses to get better exposure, more interaction and increased bookings
  • Add an Online Booking Engine to directly and easily convert FB visitors into reservations
  • Use some age-old marketing tactics to grab attention. What worked well for you offline? Convert that type of promo into an online Facebook version.
  • Learn when to post and how to track your progress

Still not convinced that time spent on Facebook is worthwhile? Or that you are doing it right?

Here are some facts about posting:

  • Brands that post one or two times per day see 19% higher interaction rates
  • Pages that post more than seven times per week actually see a 25% decrease in interaction rates
  • Interaction rates for weekends posts are 14.5% higher that  ones done during on weekday s, yet only 14% of posts are published on weekends.
  • Posting at night gives 14% better results than during the day.

Yes, you really can get bookings from Facebook! These steps are just a few of the things you can do to make the most of your Facebook Page. Just like any promotional channel, the more you put into it the more you will get out. Unlike a simple ‘promotional channel’ however this social media network allows you to let your potential guest get to know you better. Interaction is the key. Yes, it takes a bit of time, but by engaging with guests before check-in you are setting their expectations and providing valuable information to them for their stay. Think of it as your virtual Front Desk.

Using Facebook is an affordable and vital way of getting new business. We can help you navigate (and ROCK!) these steps. We’ll show you how to begin to actually book business on Facebook and automate many of your social media functions. What are you waiting for? Are you doing these steps well enough to actually see the pay off? Let’s get to work and make this a solid part of your marketing mix.

Sources: Linchpin SEO

Is Your Hotel Facebook Nearby Ready?

Facebook Nearby is picking up momentum. It raises some important questions for hoteliers.

  1. Does your hotel have a Facebook Page optimized for business?
  2. Can people ‘check-in’ to your hotel on Facebook?
  3. How important are guest reviews to your business?
  4. Do you actively manage your reviews? And seek new ones?
  5. Will Facebook ‘Nearby’ be able to pick up your location?
  6. Is your site mobile ready?

Below are a couple of excerpts on a post from Revinate (via Are Morch) on new features from Facebook that will be vital for hotels.

“What Hotels & Restaurants Should Know About Facebook Nearby Upgrade

Photo (1)Yesterday, Facebook announced upgrades to their mobile application’s Nearby functionality for both the iPhone and Android. This upgrade now positions Facebook’s mobile app much closer to Foursquare’s recent local recommendation terrain, as users can search and find local businesses to visit, based on their proximity, by name or category. In addition to enhancing the application’s local discovery functions, Facebook’s Nearby also now comes with a 5 star ratings system for local businesses that is noticeably comparable to both Yelp‘s 5 point scale as well as Foursquare’s recent 10 point rating system.”

“Action Items for Hotels & Restaurants

PhotoWith about one out of four Facebook users worldwide tagging at least one of their posts each month by location, the now two-year old ability to share your mobile check-in with others has clearly reached a critical mass. With half of Nearby visits coming from mobile users, Facebook has additionally overhauled the Places Pages design for mobile as well, which means more changes to pay attention to that have direct hospitality implications. Accordingly, here are some action items to tick off when conducting your audit of your hotel or restaurant’s Facebook Places page.

  1. Update Your About SectionFor hotels, this section must include all of your basic information (phone number, physical address, email address, description of your property and general facility information) as well as the all important website link. Be sure that this website link direct users to your mobilly-optimized website so that you don’t miss the opportunity to capture more mobile traffic to your site. For restaurants, the same basic information from above applies, as well as ensuring hours of operation, price range, specialties, attire, services, and payment options are all up-to-date. While these categories do not differ from your desktop-accessible Facebook Business Page, they’re important to review as the likelihood of receiving a positive rating may be contingent on these basic pieces of information.
  2. Update Your CategoryThis may sound self-explanatory, but particularly in the case of restauranteurs, categorizing your business can have a huge impact on the foot-traffic your dining establishment may receive. With over 20 subcategory options to choose from, make sure you’re accurately representing the restaurant cuisine experience so not to disappoint the customer.
  3. Encourage Ratings & Reviews: As is the case with every social media and online reputation management practice, the best way to generate more interest in your business is simply by asking. Don’t shy away from encouraging your consumers to like, check into, rate, and recommend your place. Like Yelp, these ratings can have a significant impact on the consumer’s likelihood to visit your establishment, as they are prominently displayed directly on the landing page of the business listing.

If you find your hotel or restaurant is on Facebook Nearby but has not been merged with your brand’s Facebook Business Page, OR is simply not showing up on Nearby at all, do not fear! To remedy this dilemma, Facebook offers a great couple of resources to help assist with this issue.”

Click here to read the full article at Revinate.

 

Life is a Balancing Act

It’s been a little over a week since returning from Mexico where Chris from Design4Real.net and I worked at Posada Yum Kin Hotel in Tulum, Mexico on a fun little website update. It feels like a lifetime ago and in some ways it has been for me. This is kind of a weird story for me to write and you’ll find that it is unlike my other posts, being personal in nature. The lesson is simple, life is a balancing act.balancing act

For those of us engaging in social media promotion the pressure is on to openly share so many details of our lives, so we can better ‘connect’ with our community. How do we do that and remain true to ourselves? How do we reserve any element of privacy? I’m not a ‘dramatic’ person, how can I keep life’s speedbumps from sounding overly dramatic if I write about it online? Increasingly, we are challenged with what to ‘share’ and what to keep private. Recently, the Zuckerberg’s (of Facebook) faced this challenge on their honeymoon. As a case in point, I am facing this challenge now, as I decide how and what to communicate. My goal? To keep it balanced.

Many of you have been asking about our trip and, for that, I think this little ‘news’ report will be helpful, mainly because I won’t have to retell the story several times which suits me just fine. This post started as a ‘live’ case study about our business project, but on this trip it became, oh, so much more personal.

We had a great time working hard and getting things done. Read about our week at Keeping Your Website Real. But, this story on findng the ‘balance’ actually begins as we headed on our way home. Little did I know that while we were getting things done on our ‘to do’ list and spending a little time at the beach that I had something BIG working against me.

Unknowingly, in the weeks before going to Mexico, I had contracted a bacterial infection. As spring brings in allergies, I believed I was just battling a recurring eye-allergy. Using over-the-counter-meds, I thought it was under control and put the whole matter to the back of my mind.

While we were in Tulum and as we became more active, I became very dehydrated. I struggled to keep up with our quick pace, but just put it off to our irregular schedule. As we traveled home, I was so thirsty; I drank anything I could get my hands on. Since I was dehydrated, I sought out highly caloric beverages with lots of electrolytes, etc. As we had started our travel day at about 2:30am, I believed that I merely had jet lag and dehydration and, once home, would feel better quickly. After I got home, I proceeded to sleep for about 24-48 hours straight through. Lucky for me, mom and my hubby, Tom, took matters into their hands and insisted that I go to the doctor.

What the doc found was 1- the infection, 2- dehydration, and 3- a life-changing diagnosis of Diabetes. Drinking the ‘rehydrating’ beverages had driven my blood sugar levels as high as 636. That’s close to the point of having some serious damage and I can tell you first hand that I have never felt so disoriented and simple-minded. Long story short, it took 4 agonizing days in the hospital to rehydrate and get my blood sugar count in line. Now, it has been another 4 days just to learn how to balance my blood levels.

On the Beach

I was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis, which my doctor tells me means that my body had some type of virus in the last month or two and signaled to my brain that something was wrong. My body ‘killed’ off the ability for my pancreas to create insulin. I understand I am now termed a ‘Type 1 1/2 diabetic’ and will probably need insulin the rest of my life to balance my blood sugar levels.

As everyone says, “this is a life-changing event”. I’m hearing that refrain a lot these days. I feel caught between two country music songs. Toby Keith’s “It’s about me”, set against the track of Tim McGraw’s “My next 30 years”. It’ll take a bit of time to find my ‘new normal’, but I’m getting there.

Things I took for granted, the automatic adjustment of my blood sugars, now require routine monitoring and adjustment. Learning to balance things better. That’s my goal. Sometimes it’s your health, sometimes it’s your relationships -both on and offline. In the end, taking the time to balance it all out, will be for the better.

Life is indeed a balancing act.

 

 

Word-Of-Mouth Marketing Online –Equals Healthy Sales

Small and medium-sized business owners, you know how vital it is to the health of your business that you make a great impression with all of your customers, who then, of course, tell their friends. Plain and simple that’s word-of-mouth advertising. Undeniably, it’s the best way of introducing your business to potential new customers and bringing in new sales. Customers as advocates, what could be better than that? Maybe multiplying that advantage? Take your word-of-mouth techniques online and you can do just that. Quite simply, you will then have created the essence of inbound marketing and social media dynamics. Big words, simple idea –word-of-mouth –brought online. Online, we call it building a community.

Taking aspects of your word-of-mouth marketing online can be relatively easy and can be gained steadily over time, just like your brick and mortar-earned client base.

'Word of Mouth' photo (c) 2007, Paull Young - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/The same rules prevail.

  1. Pay attention to what your customer is telling you,
  2. Know what they will tell others, and
  3. Always- appreciate their comments and their business.

Keep these guidelines in mind when putting your business… out there. Need some help sorting this all out?

Here are 5 easy tips to help you get started online.

Do your online networks work together and support each other?

You’ve chosen the online networks you want your business to network with: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and others. You’ve created a website –set it up to become your basecamp. Now, are they integrated? Is the “Like” button on your web page? Is your web address on your Facebook page? There is usually simple code to insert, or a plug-in to be added.

Can people find you? Remember- Location, location, location!

Where does your page rank? If you have a physical location, when people search for you, do Google maps appear? At the top of the page? And is the location correct? These are all things you can adjust yourself by going into Google maps, Yahoo maps, etc.

Time-management

Don’t let this defeat you! There is a lot of information to track.  BUT, there are some great little ‘helpers’ for social media management, tools like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, and Ping.fm. These are free services that pride themselves on ease of use and allow you to track and update all your networks at once. Looking for something more robust? Depending on what you need, I have some ideas on that. Drop me an email.

Inbound marketing does not work best in a vacuum

Macy's QR Code imageAdd a little Outbound Marketing to your online mix. Integrating your brick and mortar word-of-mouth techniques with your online presence can be as easy as holding a drawing with business cards for a free meal or service. If you are sending postcards, have an offer on the card that pulls clients into your website for something like a contest, free reward or valuable info. Add these to your database for opt-in email marketing, find them on Facebook, or run a text campaign to their cell phones. Cutting edge promotions, most recently, have integrated QR codes into promotions, effectively making use of smartphone technology.

SEO, keywords and Links = Results

Keywords and link building are essential to building an online presence. One of the first things to do is to be sure you have the relevant keywords listed in your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Do you have a business that you partner with? Ask them to link to your site and in return you should link to theirs. It’s powerful stuff for getting better search results and getting the Big Boys to notice (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) your site.

There is a much more to bringing your successful word-of-mouth strategies online, but give me a call and we’ll chat about things you can do right away to advance your word-of-mouth presence and ensure healthy sales.

Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their visibility online.

In addition to building dynamic and affordable websites, we integrate inbound marketing techniques into each business’ current marketing plan and utilize digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

Wisconsin’s Herb Kohl on Monopoly-Busting Google

This just in…
Herb Kohl’s office released this press release yesterday. Below are excerpts from his Opening Statement Of U.S. Senator Herb Kohl For The Of Hearing, “The Power Of Google: Serving Consumers Or Threatening Competition?”

Herb Kohls Senate Webpage image

“The basic premise of Google at its founding was that it would build an unbiased search engine — that consumers would see the most relevant search result first, and that the search results would not be influenced by the web page’s commercial relationship with Google. Its goal was to get the user off Google’s home page and on to the websites it lists as soon as possible. As Google’s co-founder and current CEO Larry Page said in 2004, “We want you to come to Google and quickly find what you want. Then we’re happy to send you to the other sites. In fact, that’s the point.”

However, as Internet search has become a major channel of e-commerce, Google has grown ever more dominant and powerful, and it appears its mission may have changed. For the last five years or so, Google has been on an acquisition binge, acquiring dozens of Internet-related businesses, culminating most recently with its proposed acquisitions of Motorola Mobility and Zagats. It now owns numerous Internet businesses, including in health, finance, travel, and product comparison. This has transformed Google from a mere search engine into a major Internet conglomerate. And these acquisitions raise a very fundamental question — is it possible for Google to be both an unbiased search engine and at the same time own a vast portfolio of web-based products and services? Does Google’s transformation create an inherent conflict of interest which threatens to stifle competition?

In the last few years, Internet businesses that compete with Google’s new products and services have complained that Google is now behaving in a way contrary to free and fair competition. They allege that Google is trying to leverage its dominance in Internet search into key areas of Internet commerce where it stands to capture from its competitors billions of dollars in advertising revenue. Rather than fairly presenting search results, these critics claim that Google has begun to subtlety bias its search results in favor of its own services. This conduct has the potential to substantially harm competition for commerce on the Internet, and retard innovation by companies that fear the market power of Google.

Antitrust scrutiny is not about picking winners and losers, but is about fostering a fully competitive environment so that consumers can fairly pick winners and losers. As more and more of our commerce moves to the Internet, it should be the highest priority of antitrust policymakers that the Internet remains a bastion of open and free competition as it has been since its founding. We need to protect the ability of the next Google to emerge, the next great website or application being developed in a garage in Silicon Valley or Madison, Wisconsin.”

I’m glad our legislators are looking into this subject. I’ve long thought that Google is the ‘new Walmart’, but I’ve been hesistant to say anything. (Google controls my SEO). As you know, I’m always on the side of small and medium-sized businesses. I think Mr. Kohl, once again, has taken the lead on a difficult, but timely subject. What do you think?

I Plus-one’d That Story, The New Verb

I’m predicting ‘plus one’ will become 2011’s new noun-to-verb crossover.  A few years ago, it was ‘I googled it’. Today, it’s +1 –as a verb. Pretty soon you’ll be hearing, “I read that and ‘plus one’d’ it.”

What is the new Google +1?

It is sort of like the Facebook ‘Like’ button, but with a few little Googly quirks. Instead of ‘Liking’ a page while you are browsing on that page, Google +1 allows you to tag it right from your browser window. It’s the old location, location, location again. Google seems to have just one-upped Facebook.Google Plus SocialEnergizer.com

Here is what a browser window looks like after you’ve joined Google+. It shows an enticing little ‘+1’ icon.

What will this mean? Will it be better?

Is your Google Plus One following you?

Besides being Google Plus’ new best friend, +1 is Google’s next step in perfecting their search algorithms. They’ve switched it up by having users direct the search engine in an interactive way. When a person is searching on a given set of search terms and chooses, say, the fifth page link instead of one on the first page, Google will ‘learn’ that someone thinks that the link on that page is more relevant. The long-term result will be that the Google search engine gets ever smarter, becoming more attuned to the person searching, and learning each individual’s nuances.

Here is a short video overview:

Plus one – your new business assistant

+1 is a cross between a bookmarking service and a search engine tuned to everything you’ve ever looked at –or ‘plus one’d’. Social media networking and closer interactions will come into play, as users find sites and information that their friends recommend. As +1 subtly permeates into everything you do and integrates with all your tools, plus one will become much more important than the “Like” button possibly ever could.

As Google fine-tunes their search engines to interconnect much like an assistant to the humanmind, you can see where they are going with that. Google has begun to dub experts in certain areas as having better search leverage or what is known as online klout. For example, a professional skater’s +1 would rank higher than a person that merely watches the sport.

And finally, Google, of course, is likely to favor Google. What does that mean? It’s an attempt by Google of essentially bringing SEO in-house. Instead of letting webmasters and SEO professionals stuff their sites with Google-friendly terms Google will now have a closer, more direct relationship with each searcher. This may effectively cut SEO professionals out and become far less important to rankings. It’s been reported, that +1 ranked sites are receiving remarkably better SEO rankings. This, in turn, has caused a stir of adaptation in the online business world.

Has this article been helpful? Let me know in the comment section below, or better yet. Plus one my post below!

Just can’t get enough? Here are a few more links:

Google Plus One – How will it impact SEO? – Affilorama discusses some of the reasons SEO strategies are changing.

How To Get A Google+ Vanity Url – Google+ profiles come with lengthy, numeric urls. Using this tool makes it possible to create a shortcut.

50 Random Thoughts On Google+ — Chris Brogan writes up 50 random thoughts on the new social platform.

Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their visibility online.

In addition to building dynamic and affordable websites, we integrate inbound marketing techniques into each business’ current marketing plan and utilize digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

Give us a call today!