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Social Networks in Turmoil Check Out Your Options!

Did Facebook make you angry this week? Are you afraid of Google becoming the Walmart of the Internet?

How dare they change things on what seems like a whim, right? Like Netflix, I think they forgot about the Number One Rule in Social Media. What is that rule, Mr. Zuckerberg? It’s about them, not you! I think you will soon be learning this lesson well… and very soon at that.

Facebook users were outraged this week when Facebook arbitrarily and seemingly without notice changed the Newsfeed, Privacy settings and Apps area. Get ready because there are more changes on the horizon. One is Facebook’s replacement for profiles called Timeline. Here you can share the entire story of your life. Really, do I want to do that? Did I ask for that?

After listening to this video, I’d just like to say one more time. Mr. Zuckerberg, It’s about us, not you!

I played around with some of the new features this week, like the lists for “Close Friends“. All I can say is it is clunky. After Facebook makes a few suggestions on “who” your close friends are you need to scroll through your friend lists, select a person, and then rescroll through the freind list again -each time. The competition has drag and drop. And for Timeline this is what the people at Mashable are saying about that.

Facebook Timeline Issues

Right after Timeline will come new features. Adding a music and media platform with Spotify, MOG & Rdio

Looks like Facebook wants to be your one-stop shop.

How do you feel?

1- Don’t like it, but you’ll get over it?

Here’s a post on how to adjust your “new” News Feed & Ticker

And here’s a post on adjusting your Apps and permissions

2- Don’t like it and you want to leave?

Here’s an article on exporting your stuff out of Facebook to a third party and then to Google+. (Read further options below before going to Google+).

Where can you go?

Up until now, the top choices have been MySpace, Zing, Friendsters.

Recently, Google has been working on Google+. Google+ has been plagued with criticism for it’s agonizingly, slow rollout. Why wait, everyone asked? Cunningly, I believe Google+ gauged its Grand-Launch-to-the Public for this long-planned “upgrade” by Facebook. Everyone knows that, historically, Facebook hasn’t managed its upgrades well. Industry insiders knew about the upgrades, but Facebook users were not really aware of it. Someone paying attention at Google+ probably read the writing on the wall and strategized on this opportunity. This timing just couldn’t be coincidence, could it?

That said, if you need some tips on trying Google+ out, here they are:

Google+ needed some momentum to experience a successful launch. Facebook’s changes presented Google+ the opportunity. This week many Facebook users are leaving to checkout Google+. It is a mass exodus to Google+.

BUT did you know Google is being looked at by Congress for Antitrust issues?

Here is a post about the antitrust issues featuring Wisconsin’s Herb Kohl.

Will you move just to get shut down and driven back to Facebook?

Did you know that very soon you will have a Third Choice?

Unthink

Yes, that’s right Unthink.com has what they claim are all the answers to Facebook’s and Google’s lack of respect for their users. In fact, Unthink won’t call you a user. They’ll call you an owner and here’s what they say about being an owner.

Unthink their idea of ownership - users

And here is a video that says it all on how Unthink plans to treat their new owners with a little parody on how Facebook users may have felt this week.

My question? When will Unthink be released and ready? I hope their rollout is not as slow as Google+’ was. These folks stand a chance and their marketing is in place. Watch for more on Unthink. Coming soon (I hope).

This has been Social Energizer’s Saturday Morning Post, a less business oriented, more personally related edition than our blog that is offered during the week. 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.

We invite you to comment and rate each blog, so we can ever improve our offerings to you. Are you venturing into online marketing? Give us a call!

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!

If Facebook Existed… A Mashup

Family and friends send some of the best material for the Saturday Morning’s Post to me. My niece, Heidi, in an email, initially sent this one. That’s how social media works, right? People you know, talking about things you find interesting –and then sharing it. I also find it interesting how many ways great Internet content is disseminated email, Facebook, You Tube. It’s countless!

To get started on this post, I wanted to make sure I was crediting the right source; I googled it. Here is what I found.

Google Search for If Facebook Existed years ago

After a bit of research, I discovered that the original author isn’t even listed in this search –wow. The original author of the first three works of creative-writing art is Coolmaterial.com, check out their website (after you read this post). And the WWII author appears to be Matthew Leeb of Collegehumor.com. And happily, the blogger with the best SEO on this topic is Vinnie V who credits his sources carefully.

BUT I also found that this very popular initial posting caused a wave of similar posts. Some are better than others, but here I have done a mashup of sorts and put all of the posts that I could find together. I think you could go on for days with similar “what if they said this back in the day” ideas. Could it possibly be a future creative-oriented game? Fun.

The Original

If Facebook existed yeara ago

Source: CoolMaterial.com

Then there was Part Two.

Cool Material -if facebook existed years ago -part 2

Source: CoolMaterial.com

Then, what if God were on Facebook?

What if God were on Facebook?

Source: CoolMaterial.com

What if these Countries were on Facebook during WWII?

OMG- WWII on Facebook Source: CollegeHumor.com

And finally, there is even a Facebook Page dedicated to this line of thought. Check it out on Facebook, of course. As you can see, once again, the wealth of the web runs deep. What did we ever do without it?

This has been Social Energizer’s Saturday Morning Post, a less business oriented, more personally related edition than our blog that is offered during the week. 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.

We invite you to comment and rate each blog, so we can ever improve our offerings to you. Are you venturing into online marketing? Give us a call!

The Perils of Working At Home

Hi Everybody!

Just a short little TGIF Friday Freebie for you today. I love working at home -most of the time. This morning was one of those times when you can’t help, but appreciate it, take the time to smell the roses and all that jazz. (Even though I do have five blogs that need to be written today.)

We have a family of Wild Turkeys living in our backyard. This is not really that uncommon in Appleton, WI (near Green Bay, WI), but it is funny when they come in to your birdfeeders -with their babies! They brought the whole family. What a shocker!

So anyway… my husband was working from home (don’t you just love 2011? for that) today, too, and he said “take a video”. So I did. Well, I couldn’t resist editing it a little bit, throwing a voiceover on it and posting it on You Tube and Facebook. Enjoy! I think it will help move that Friday along a little more quickly for all of you ‘brick n’ mortar’ working folks.

Caution: if you are a PETA person you may want to turn the sound off.

The Dark Side Of The Cloud

I am often asked what cloud computing is. Most people know the buzzwords: working in the cloud, move to the cloud, life in the cloud, etc. Technically speaking, Wikipedia says cloud-computing means using multiple server computers via a digital network, as though they were one computer. Cloud computing, like regular computing, can be broken up into three layers: infrastructure, platform and application. Each layer has it’s own issues in cloud computing. For the most part this blog discussion is about the application side of cloud computing –consumer and business applications, but the principles pertain to the other layers, too.Cloud application relationships

In plain terms, you can tell that you are dealing with cloud computing when you have access to applications and data from a network device (smartphones, iPods, laptops, etc.). Cloud computing differs from the classic client-server model by providing applications that are executed and managed via a web browser, without an installed software program required. Google docs and Facebook are examples of cloud apps that get used everyday worldwide without anyone giving it a second thought.

Still don’t get it? Here’s a great simple video explanation.

There is a Saleforce.com video that says their cloud computing solution does away with businesses needing to purchase and implement their own databases, office space, servers and business apps. They don’t have to hire the staff to support the infrastructure. They claim that businesses will experience lower costs, more scalability and offer better security. Indeed cloud computing is a great concept, similar in nature to the Internet itself, just more capitalized. It’s all about consumer power and the benefits of using shared resources and technology.

There is no doubt that cloud computing is the wave of the future. Stopping the growth of cloud computing would be like stopping Internet expansion. Cloud computing can provide some very solid benefits like: lower costs, increased reach, collaboration, easy and stable software updates, no capital expenses, and working remotely. But there is a dark lining to many cloud apps and I’ve found a few things people should be watching for when deciding which ones to choose. Here’s my list of things to consider.

1. Assess the software or service carefully and have ‘an exit plan’

I started a couple of years ago with a new free cloud-based service called iCyte. It’s a bookmarking site that allows you to annotate and organize your web searches. After about a year and a half into using this software, they started charging a monthly fee. I decided not to pay the fee, but found the best I could do to export my vast collection of data was to export it to a very messy .csv file (aka spreadsheet). Lesson learned. I don’t give up info, pictures, and/or even clicks until I find out if I can get that info OUT in a usable manner. Test it early.

2. Does it fit the scope of your business?

When I ‘tested’ Salesforce.com within a small business, I found that although it may have been a good solution for a medium-sized business that had database-knowledgeable staff ready to customize these apps, it was not as easy as they portrayed. Most small businesses would not have the know-how or man-hours needed to get Salesforce.com or many other cloud apps to work easily for them.

3. Sales guys never think about security

Although the sales guys may tell you that cloud computing is safer, the proof is in the news recently. From Citigroup to Sony, this article explains how, in fact, there is cause for great alarm and  describes the vulnerability of cloud computing.

4. How supporting is your support personnel?

Do they even have support personnel? Can you get a  REAL PERSON on the phone to help? One of the first things that I check before choosing a cloud computing vendor is who will be the support team and if it offers live support. Since I speak only American, then they need to, too. Simple as that. If they do not speak American English, as in the same syntax, slang, etc. then I know when I get frustrated with an issue that I will not be able to get my point across. I’ve tried and tried it and now it is simply –my choice.

5. Beware the ‘free trial’

After the ‘free trial’ is done, businesses that ‘tested it out’ find difficulty in recovering the info and getting it back in house. If it’s a one month or 3-month trial, BEWARE. The longer you use a trial, that you decide later is not worth it, the more time and data you have added to someone else’s software. I suggest, in the event of the trial not working out, that you first assess (see point #1) how you will export the info out of their site and back into your system OR run dual processes (work in both places) while you test their system.

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!

Top Five SXSW 2011 Videos

NASA at SXSWSXSW 2011 has wound down for this year, but they’ll be back next year and I plan to be there. SXSW has something for everyone, especially in social media or inbound marketing. So many of the heavy hitters are there that it makes ones head spin.

It has taken a bit of searching around, but I found several short videos that really share the SXSW experience. These are all worth watching –sometimes more than once. Let me know what you think. It’s almost like being there.

3, 2, 1, Twitter: The NASA Tweet up Shuttle Discovery Launch

Phylise Banner, from APUS, speaking on how people are using tweet-ups to gather for Shuttle Take-offs. Sounds like fun.

“Mario” – SXSW 2011 Film Bumper

This film bumper makes me feel like I can’t wait to see the movie, a grown-up tongue-in-cheek version of my favorite video game. Just a bit naughty.

Gary Vaynerchuck -Author, Wine Connoisseur, Explorer of all things Social Media

You can’t help but love Gary. Such passion! He epitomizes the energy born from social media. Three for the price of one here:

Keynote part1- http://bit.ly/i3lcej

Keynote part 2- http://bit.ly/fuGxSz

Keynote part3 – http://bit.ly/hOx9ac

More Gary Vaynerchuck –he was a busy boy

1-1 Interview part1- http://bit.ly/ffpS1K

1-1 Interview part 2- http://bit.ly/hlvWeg

Matt Mallenweg, WordPress/Automatic

Speaking on the growth of WordPress and next step P2. Matt says that, yes, WordPress has moved beyond a blog platform and is, in fact, a complete web platform. Yes, indeed.

Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their conversion rates by adding proven online marketing techniques to their marketing mix.

We do this by integrating inbound marketing techniques into each business’ current marketing plan and by utilizing digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

We invite you to comment and rate each blog, so we can ever improve our offerings to you.

Bluehost ad

TGIF Friday Freebie The iPhone iPad Touch and more

Hello everyone, I usually don’t post on Fridays, but I came across this cute story and I couldn’t resist. It doesn’t exactly fit into the Social Energizer social media plan, so I decided to make another category – TGIF Friday Freebies. A place for the real light stuff. Everyone needs ‘light’ by Friday.

I’m not able to cite the author on this, so let’s just say it’s from ‘Author Unknown’. It’s probably better that way.

It all began with an iPhone…

 

March was when my son celebrated his 15th birthday and I got him an iPhone.

Apple iPod

He just loved it. Who wouldn’t?

 

I celebrated my birthday in July and my wife made me

very happy when she bought me an iPad.

Apple iPad

 

My daughter’s birthday was in August so I got her an iPod Touch.

Apple iPod Touch

 

September came by so for my wife’s birthday I bought her an iRon.

iRon

 

It was around then that the fight started . . .

 

What my wife failed to recognize is that the iRon can be integrated into the home network with the iWash, iCook and iClean. This unfortunately activated the iNag app.

 

Which led me to the iHospital and iGet out Fr iDay.

_________________________________________

This article has been brought to you by SocialEnergizer.com

INBOUND MARKETING & MARKETING TECHNOLOGY OPTIMIZATION

Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their conversion rates by adding proven online marketing techniques to their marketing mix.

We do this by integrating inbound marketing techniques into each businesses’ current marketing plan and by utilizing digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

Please sign up to automatically receive our blog using the subscribe button. We invite you to comment and rate each blog, so we can ever improve our offerings to you.

Thanks for visiting! – Lynn

Online FREE, the new Tchochtke

Dog vs Man Danceoff

To view video, click on link below

Henry Ford once said, “The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.” In today’s inbound marketing terms, this could be the new Holy Grail. Business owners successful at providing the right balance of online FREE content and services are most likely to entice and solidify their customers. This strategy is called a pull strategy and means you are pulling customers, not pushing them to buy your product or service.

Yes, I said FREE content and services. Free, as in no cost. Zip, Zilch, Nada, No dinaro. You all know where I’m going with this, don’t you? Here’s my short list:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linked In
  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • YouTube
  • WordPress.com
  • Yelp
  • Webinars
  • e-books
  • surveys
  • data charts
  • content (blogs)
  • Farmville
  • Mafia Wars

You get the idea. In 2011 terms, they’re the new tchotchke.

We spend countless hours online; checking this, reading that, playing those favorite free games and watching dog-vs-man-danceoff.htm.

It’s easy to understand why WE do this, but why are THEY, a.k.a. businesses, doing it? Why is this happening? Why would businesses give it all away for free?

It’s all in the Pull Strategy

As businesses move from Old School marketing methods like advertising to Inbound Marketing there is a change from push to pull. Instead of pushing a message, social media can pull customers to your business. The heart of this new successful strategy focuses on understanding the behaviors of today’s consumer. The online world is being developed as a “warm and fuzzy” place where businesses offer free advice, content, services, and games; and come together in a sense of community. It is where people go first for consumer information, and increasingly where they make a purchase, and begin to advocate for a product, service, business, or brand they like.

This pull strategy proves to be much more effective than the traditional push approach. Why? Because who doesn’t like free stuff?

How about you? You can continue to receive this blog FREE by clicking on ‘By Email’ in the top right corner of this page and subscribing to the Social Energizer blog. Feedburner will have you decode a scrambled word and then click on a link they send to your email. That’s all there is to it.

First Steps to Successful Marketing on Facebook

Today, there are more than 500 million active users, 50% of these users log in daily. Every average user has 130 friends. People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook.

With those kinds of statistics Facebook is a natural for B2C businesses trying to build a loyal following: businesses like restaurants, hotels, sporting establishments, services and so forth.Social Media

Best of all: It’s free and easy.

Start your Facebook Personal Page

First step: you will need to establish your own personal page. The personal info you provide for this page is also your registration with Facebook for your business page, so you will only need to enter it one time. Often this is where someone worries about their privacy; don’t worry, you will (and should) adjust your privacy settings under your personal profile and restrict it so you limit who can view your personal page.  After that, you’re clear to create a business page.

Start a Facebook Business Page

Check out my free e-Book for step-by-step tips on starting your Facebook Business Page including screen examples of the Facebook personal page, business page and group page steps.

Start a Facebook Group

There is little to adjust for privacy on the business page; it’s open to all (except for age restrictions) and allows minimal control over how people interact with your page. If that lack of control bothers you, then maybe a facebook group is for you. It allows complete control of content, but is more effort for you to maintain.

Promote, promote promote!

All set up? Now, focus on promoting your business. Make frequent posts that are brief, upbeat and entice people to visit your business; or at least think about it more favorably. Understand your audience by developing your Online Persona. This helps you write posts that get attention and appeal to your fans.

Learn the power of reposting. This is one simple technique that is often overlooked. Ask a few of your most loyal customers (or friends and family) to repost your page or group on their walls by clicking the share feature. This starts a fan wave that exposes people to your business to whom  you do not have access.

Finally, use the new ‘Tell Your Fans’ feature that allows you to upload your contacts from your email or CRM program. This will allow the exposure of your site to grow.

Next issue? What would you like to hear more about?