Will Google+ Unseat Facebook on Social Media?

For the past several weeks I have been reading about this great new phenomenon called Google+. Almost all of the reviews are about how fantastic Google+ and particularly the concept of “Circles”. I begin to wonder if Google isn’t somehow greasing the wheels. Don’t get me wrong; I am not partial to either side of who is the better and who will come out on top. I just question motivations when about 99% of industry people come down on one side or another.

Me, I have my reservations when it comes to Google+ due to one serious flaw that became immediately obvious.  You can access Facebook at any time without having to do anything other than to sign in. Google on the other hand is tied to your Google account, which means that you need a Google account and gmail in order to have a Google+ account, and you must be signed in. That has several consequences.

First, I have a personal Google account and a business Google account. That means that if I am in my business account, which I usually am, I need to sign out and sign in to my personal account to see if anyone has said anything that I might want to know about. Facebook on the other hand I can just bookmark and go to without any fuss.

Second, this means that I have to have one service if I want another. In other words, no gmail, no Google+. I have to monitor another email account and all of the spam that it collects in order to “play” in the Google+ world. Alright, I already have a personal account, but I also do not like the fact that in order to check my personal account, I have to log out of my business account to do it. It would seem logical that Google would allow, or make available some way to tie these accounts together.

Third, having all of these pieces tied together on your dashboard means that Google is the one stop shop for people to gather all the information on the internet about you. At some point, someone will hack into Google and steal a few million identities. Then there will be havoc.

Finally, while businesses like to deal with large suppliers due to a perceived stability, individuals prefer to do business with smaller, more personalized businesses as there is the perception that they will receive that personalized service. Think about it. As an individual have you not encountered a company that all of a sudden you decide has gotten too big. All you can do is email them or leave a message. There is no one that you can speak to in order to get that one little, but critical piece of information without signing up for a service plan that will cost you more than the software. What is your immediate reaction? You look to see who can fulfill that need. You vow not to deal with that company again. Well, the way that Google is packaging their product now screams that “we are the giant!” “We want to own the internet!” I have seen several companies try similar things in other industries in my lifetime, and the result was always the same. They started to loose market share.

Just my opinion though.


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How do I participate, when corporate does their own thing?


Decorating Den Claudia of Naples Blog

Claudia and Joe Leah, owners of Decorating Den in Naples, wanted to take advantage of the power of social media marketing. As a franchise owner, they had a corporate website, but they also needed to create their own identity and market themselves on a personal level using social media.

The task was to create their identity, integrate social media in their web presence, and monitor their progress to continuously improve the performance of their web based marketing.

The goal was to capture the higher end look of Naples, keep the look consistent with the company website, and develop a platform that is easy to edit and add content to build searchability for search engine optimization.

A self hosted Word Press blog on Go Daddy was created as well as a template that utilized sharing on most social media platforms to make it easy for their visitors to share their information on their favorite social media outlets. We also added the live feed from Facebook to be in their web blog so it would welcome guests and show how many of their friends “Like” her page.

decdenclaudia facebook page

Decorating Den Claudia Facebook Page

The Facebook business page and Constant Contact  newsletter template were branded with the same style as their web blog. The hot buttons will go directly to the Web Blog, as well as sign people up for their newsletter.

We added a plug-in to the Facebook Page that would automatically add posts from the blog and post to the wall on Facebook. In addition, we created a feed called Wallpaper on the left navigation bar of Facebook that will gather all of her information from all platforms and nicely display all of her posts to give the viewer an easy read, and easy to find information.

Google Analytics were applied to the blog site, and  Facebook insights showed she had generated 1,229 post views from her

decdenclaudia facebook message views.

Stats on Facebook Posts

Facebook Page in the last 30 days. We looked to see what types of posts generate the most feed back, and which ones get the furthest reach.  See the example.

To ensure success, we established a Facebook Strategy guide geared to their business, as well as a blog calendar, to ensure completion of the blogs in a timely manner and with the thought of search engine optimization. All three are on the first page of searches in the first month. Claudia at Decorating Den is well on their way to success if they continue in that direction. Find out more at http://social-impact.com

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What to do with cute and cuddly?

The task at hand was to create an online world for Big Cypress Animal Clinic. Their strengths were long term clients, cuddly pets, a great kennel, and of course, a great history of animal care.

It was easy to see they had built a very close relationship with their clientele, so we built their web presence on that as well as a University of Florida color theme.

Big Cypress Animal Clinic

Big Cypress Animal Clinic Website

First, we created a basic website. On the top of the front page we created a photo gallery for bragging rights for their customers. That photo gallery links to a blog where people can submit their own pet pictures. The website itself is only one page, and all of the links were created to go to the blog so that it would be as easy as a Word document to edit the pages.

Time was a factor for Big Cypress Animal Clinic, so we created the blog site to automatically post to the Facebook page, and store all of their posts on Facebook, since that is the area that gets the most traffic.

We created a Facebook business page  that has a Welcome page that looks just like their front page of the website, along with

Big Cypress Animal Clinic Facebook Welcome Page

Big Cypress Animal Clinic Facebook Welcome Page

areas to sign up for their monthly e-newsletter. The newsletter is branded to match the website as well. It hit well, as from May 27 to June 12, we generated 2,433 post views, and 20 Feedbacks, all from only 40 “Likes” that had been acquired in a 30 day start-up.

In addition, the doctor has a pet television show, so we needed a place to host his videos. We created a You Tube channel for them that can entertain, educate, and be a resource for the future.

To ensure long term success, and a solid plan of action, we created a Blog Promotional Calendar that will tie all of their marketing efforts together in a unified plan.  Our next step is to develop QR Codes for all of their printed material.  Each QR Code will take the client to the specific page on Big Cypress’ website that pertains to the information on the printed material.

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I am a Brick and Mortar Store. Why should I be concerned about maximizing my internet presence and utilizing Social Media in my marketing mix?

Good question, and here is the answer. A recent article in Media Post talks about how online shoppers follow stores through Social Media. While the article speaks directly to e-commerce, there are some very interesting implications that you can see between the lines for the traditional brick and mortar store. As I am most familiar with the statistics of Collier County Florida I will use those numbers to emphasize my point. If you know the population of your area, you will easily be able to do the analysis for your area.

First, there are approximately 300,000 permanent, year round residents in Collier County, so in our instance here, we will just consider our visitors, of which we have a lot, icing for our cake. According to Facebook, as of February of 2011 there were 180,000 registered Facebook users within 50 miles of Naples, which would roughly correspond to Collier County.

According to the National Retail Federation, 42% of those who shop on line say that they at least occasionally “follow” a store on social media. Facebook says that over 56% of their users have clicked through to a retail site. So, here is the first piece. 56% of 180,000 equals 100,800 Facebook online shoppers in Collier County. Now we take 42% of the 100,800 to determine how many of these online Facebook shoppers follow a store. That comes out to 42,336 people who shop on line, are permanent residents of Collier County follow at least one store through social media.

Oh yes, you say, but these people will be buying online, so how does that effect my brick and mortar business? Well the study also found that, “these consumers are open to skipping stores’ sites entirely, with 35% saying they would be willing to make a purchase directly from Facebook.” Wait a minute. If 35% of them said they would make an online purchase, that means that 65% of them will be going to a brick and mortar business to make the purchase. That means that 42,336 X 65% = 27,518 of these Facebook users would rather buy from a local brick and mortar such as yourself.

What would you do with 27,518 customers? Are they worth pursuing? Is it at least worth finding out how best to reach them? Give us a call. We can help.

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How Do I Make That “Stuff” Work?

We spend a great deal of time discussing topics of online marketing: an online presence, integration of a Facebook business page, a website, blog site, electronic newsletters, etc.

The usual response? “I set up a Facebook account, or I just updated my website.” Of course, we say, “Great, let’s see how it’s working for you.”

Confused Cat On Online Marketing

Confused With ONline Marketing?

We’ll ask for statistics, look for how each online platform is generating traffic and response to each other. Most of this stuff is free, but we usually have to show them how to log into their account, and find the data and analyze it to show what their web presence is doing for them.

Their eyes generally get a little more serious, then they get a little bigger as we show them these free tools, and how their online world is performing. Usually, we demonstrate that their Facebook page is waaay under performing.  We show our own statistics, and the reach we are getting doing boring business to business stuff – usually with fewer “likes” and a shorter time frame to gather steam.

Next, we show them a strategy they can use to make their Facebook, blog (news) site, and their You Tube accounts all work together to assist them in generating traffic, and create a message that will cause people to share that message to reach way beyond their expectations.

What most businesses are missing is a strategy to make it all work. They’ve invested in some good tools, and those tools are largely under utilized.

Businesses get caught up in the “stuff” of their business, and forget the old age value of showing a benefit. Features don’t sell, the features tell the how. We look through their website and see that almost their entire content is filled with features.

How do you find that benefit to emphasize? It’s pretty easy, really. That benefit is provided by a customer who recently purchased their goods or services. What did they say when they made the purchase? What need were they trying to fill? That is the message to capture.

Capture it on video for You Tube, write a solution for the blog site, share both on the social media platforms. When people are telling the story of benefits, the “word of mouth” advertising takes care of itself.

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The dilema for social media?

BC Before Computer

In our business of optimizing our clients web presence we read a lot of material from a lot of sources about a lot of different aspects of internet marketing. Usually the articles are all about how their particular corner of the web is the most important. These two articles are different in that respect.

The first comes from Search Engine Land which normally talks about how search engine optimization is the most important aspect of your internet marketing, or how other aspects such as social media is a second fiddle. I found this article refreshing. It is all about facebook. While the title “By The Numbers: How Facebook Says Likes & Social Plugins Help Websites” would lead you to believe that the author is going to say bad things about Facebook, in fact, by the time you finish reading the article, you can not help but think, social media works. Some of the companies that have shown a significant return on their investment, Levi’s, American Eagle, Tea Collection, and Ticket Master, to mention just a few. What do these companies have in common? They are approaching social media from the right direction. What is the right direction? Call and tell us about your business and we can give you some ideas.

The second article comes from Media Post’s Search Insider. In this article  Janet Driscoll Miller speaks about the importance of Social Media in search. It reads like our basic playbook. It confirms all of the points that we keep bringing to our clients attention.

Social media is not a passing fad like the pet rock. It has become an integral part of every companies marketing strategy. If it is not an important part of your companies marketing, it should be. It is not a silver bullet that will solve all of your problems, but if done correctly, to use Russell’s phrase, “it can be like word of mouth on steroids.” Give us a call and let us look at your web presence. We would be happy to discuss what we see, both the good and the bad. We can give you some ideas to improve your presence. Everyone has felt it was well worth the time spent. http://social-impact.com


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Is it just me, or is the world of Social Media turning into Payton Place?

For those of you who are asking, “What is Payton Place,” it has nothing to do with Walter or Gary or even Peyton Manning. Ask your mother, or aunt. I am sure she will know, and you will probably understand why your dad told you he didn’t know, even though, just by looking at him, you knew he did.

Here is the latest gossip. It appears that Google, the quarterback of our local high school football team, was caught looking into the girls locker room and Facebook noticed. Now Facebook has “filled out” nicely in the last year or two, so all of the boys are trying to sneak a peak at her data. After all, boys will be boys.

Facebook was furious and felt violated, she decided to get her best girlfriend Burson-Marsteller, also known as the school gossip, to spread the word that Google was a total perv in the effort to smear his name to the point where no self respecting girl would ever date him again. Burson-Marsteller went all out with the campaign even getting stories written in, not only the school newspaper, but the village weekly. (The Washington Post, Politico, and The Huffington Post.)

Some of the more inquisitive kids in school thought that there was something a little odd as Burson-Marsteller wasn’t what you would refer to as a looker. So they did a little snooping around of their own and found out that Facebook was giving Burson-Marsteller a jelly donut every time she heard the rumor spread a little farther. This didn’t take a whole lot of detective work as everyone knew about Burson-Marsteller weakness for jelly donuts, and she had recently put on about 20 pounds, so everyone knew she was up to something.

Well at first Burson-Marsteller denied everything, but Facebook kind of flinched and admitted to the whole scheme and ran home crying.

On the way home, or so she says, apparently Facebook ran into Bing, the captain of the baseball team at the local college. Last night they were seen in the back seat of Bings Gate’s-Mobile up on Lovers Lane, and, from what I heard, it was not a conversation that they were having.

Is it true that Bing is really the evil MS with a comb-over?  Does Facebook care?

Tune in tomorrow for the next installment of “As the Social Media Turns!”

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