Google Me, Gimme a Buzz, or a Wave – just NOTICE ME!

google me

google me

Oooh, shock horror, there’s been a leak! Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, tweeted this little nugget on Saturday night…

“Ok, umm, huge rumor: Google to launch facebook competitor very soon “Google Me”, very credible source”

…which then got retweeted to oblivion and prompted a flurry of speculation over a new attempt by Google to take on the twin social networking giants of Facebook and Twitter, perhaps as a reaction to Facebook’s intention to launch a new Open Graph Search Engine – a real contender to rival Google’s pole position in the online world. FB founder, Mark Zuckerberg has predicted the distinct possibility of Facebook’s user population hitting 1 billion once it has hooked in those pesky avoiders in Japan and Russia (China is on its way, apparently, despite government bans, with an estimated 92% of Chinese ‘netizens’ using social media).

Remember Google Wave? Orkut? Buzz? Hmm, us neither. At least, the endeavors have yet to take off in quite the same all-encompassing manner that Facebook or Twitter have. Oh sure, I have a Buzz account, but, ahem, no one else I know does. So who am I meant to network with? For me, at least, it’s no more enticing than the Yahoo! mail prompts that ask repeatedly, “what are you doing right now?” – gosh, just leave me alone, I’m trying to check my mail here, you big clingy, desperate stalker…

TechCrunch suggests – though admittedly a “lame” approach, – that cloning is the way to go for Google. For example, email platforms are fairly indistinguishable, but the main contenders still enjoy their own crowds of popularity – therefore Google should swallow some pride and just work on a well-working, uncomplicated clone of Facebook. I have to (rather heatedly) disagree.

Let’s think about this: people use Facebook or Twitter for very different reasons; because of a general (sometimes inexplicable) personal preference of the platform, because they provide different networking services, host different communities, invoke different types of interaction and communication. And though we might hold both types of account, we generally spend more time on one than the other, or, more interestingly, network with different friends/contacts depending on each platform. We stick to these preferences like glue. No matter what Facebook does (privacy issues, anyone?), they are not losing users. Twitter similarly has legions of loyal – utterly loyal – followers whose addiction is fully-grown, and they are not likely to switch to a new idea just because it’s similar.

What Google needs to do is find some distinction of their own – not Facebook, not Twitter, but a 3rd way to network, some way that will intrigue users of all types of social media networks. Clones don’t work – there are a shedload of them out there already being ignored (bye bye MySpace, see ya Ning, adios indenti.ca…). I think with the hindsight of Wave and Buzz we’ve seen that just having a big ol’ ‘G’ behind you does not a success make.

How about some innovation? How about tapping into the Google psyche and automatically creating a “Google Me” profile upon registration, based on Google search results for personal information, interests and keywords. Who hasn’t Googled themselves? Who wouldn’t like to see their own bizarre Google World, which they can then adjust, adapt, add to and customise? What about web cam chat incorporation? What about integrating apps so users can play pong together, send photos to each other, synchronise their GoogleMaps while organising a meet up… Feel free to poach, by the way.

Think about what is most annoying about Facebook or Twitter and IMPROVE it. I get peeved with Facebook for the inability to add html naturally within a post or page, not being able to truly customise your profile with images and video besides embedding them within your wall (I do realise there are apps that let you do this, but the average FB user won’t bother, and so many apps drive you mad with their inconsistency and bugs). I get annoyed with Twitter when I lose track of conversations, constantly clicking between profiles to see what’s been going on. It has a smugness that grates after a while (unless you’re a dyed in the wool Twit, in which case you’re in the clique that is laughing at me while I fall behind on the current trends…), its search is annoyingly crap and I know many people who have given up at the first hurdle because they find it too difficult to get the hang of.

Either side of the Google fence are those who agree with making the most of G’s different services, and those who don’t. My opinion (while I’ve got you here): yes, offer the option to link to email and other Google services if you want to, but personally, my problem with the whole thing (take Buzz for example) is that it’s based in too dull a format – too clinical, too much like a work-intranet – if Google want to make a worthwhile social media site, they need to break away from their Gmail style and wow us with something a little more visually interesting. Facebook’s reign will end. Twitter’s whale will beach, eventually. But Google will still be there… surely?

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

Google Analytics Alerts

google analytics alerts

google analytics alerts

Here at Ikroh we LOVE Google Analytics and seeing as we’re Google Analytics authorised consultants, we felt the need to talk about the newish “Intelligence” section. 

There are a bunch of new functions, including the Daily Alerts feature, which comes in incredibly handy as it can send you emails whenever something peaks. To set this up, click on Google Analytics -> your site -> Intelligence -> Daily Alerts -> Create a Custom Alert.

Google Analytics is designed to constantly monitor all traffic throughout your website. At any given moment that your chosen important information happens, an alert within your intelligence reports will automatically be relayed back to you. The Google Intelligence System will define individual sectors and always keep you updated. If your bounce rate was to rise or fall, an alert will also be raised for you to check over and make adjustments. It’s not always easy to keep tabs on every little area within your website and its performance, but by using this tool, every alert could be significant to handling your business more simply, ensuring you’re not missing any important information.

Together with Analytics Intelligence is an algorithm which detects any fluctuation in your site’s traffic. These notifications will give you a clear insight to the changes required within your site to make it more beneficial. Simple – listen to intelligence.

When using the navigation system to view your reports you will see three different possibilities: daily alerts, weekly alerts and monthly alerts. From these you can see exact information on what has been happening within your website on three different timeframes.

A fantastic feature within this service is the ability to customise your options. For example, if you are most interested in producing results from a specific country or town, you can do this from using the selection: Manage Intelligence Alerts. You can also set up more than one customised alert at a time. This can really benefit online business as you will be able to see information from specific targeted areas.

When you first start out using this tool, setting up your own alerts can be a little confusing until you understand how the system works. If this is the case, try starting with one of the available templates on the Manage Intelligence Alerts page. Click copy, then simply rename the alert to what best suits your requirements.

Just the same with automatic alerts, it will always be most effective to try all custom alerts out with your own data. Sign in, or create your own account to try it with your website and you will soon see that with practice, massively beneficial results will be not too far away.

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

Facebook Advertising 101

Ikroh on facebook

Ikroh on facebook

Using Facebook Ad creates an advert to appear in a small box in the right sidebar of Facebook pages, displaying information, promotions, an image and a link to your chosen destination.

facebook advertising

Setting up a Facebook Ad is quick and simple to do, working on either a Cost Per Click (CPC) or Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) basis by bidding on keywords. Using the personal preferences most Facebook users have provided when setting up an account, advertisers can choose from a range of options to target their ads specifically to as direct or broad audience as they like.

These ads are run daily, according to the model you have chosen, and are set within a maximum daily budget – so you will never overspend accidentally. Facebook is used by a staggering 500 million people worldwide, so the audience potential in this medium is pretty high, whatever your targeted demographic.

Ads are comprised of a destination URL (which can be your Facebook page itself, your website or blog, or any landing page you choose), a title (25 characters max), the ad’s body text (135 characters max) and an image. Facebook make it as easy as possibly by making suggestions for content and images via the link provided.

facebook advertising

You are then able to configure your targeted area and audience, by location (country/city), age (you are even able to target people on their birthdays), gender, marital status/sexuality, language, likes and interests, education and work information, and by existing contacts and friends on Facebook. You are given a running total of the reach of your ad, depending on your chosen demographic.

facebook advertising

facebook advertising

Your ‘Campaigns and Pricing’ options include currency, country and time zone, campaign name, maximum daily budget, specific date scheduling or continuous distribution, and a choice between CPM or CPC, including your maximum bid. Facebook also make suggestions for budgets and costs, and give an example of estimated impressions or clicks per day for each price. Organise and manage this aspect according to your budget, aims and analysis of your marketing campaign. An SEO company like Ikroh can be invaluable in helping with this if you are unsure what you are doing.

facebook advertising

You are able to review your ad at this point, and ensure that all links, images and information are fully working and correct. Advertisements must comply with the Facebook ad guidelines.

Payment options are via Visa or Mastercard credit/debit card or PayPal and billing is daily. You have access to conversion tracking and analytics of your ads. “Facebook Insights”allows you to see the actual results of your campaign, as opposed to just your targeted audience. You can use this to analyse and adapt your ads to make them most effective. Facebook ads can also be tracked with Google Analytics.

Adverts can be used in a variety of ways:

  • To drive traffic to your Facebook page and increase the amount of ‘fans’ or ‘likes’ for that page (a ‘like’ button is included in the ad for ease of use, and the user’s actions are documented on their profile wall for doing so).
  • To drive traffic to your website or a targeted landing page.
  • To publicise a promotion, new product or service (i.e. a temporary campaign as opposed to a long-running one)
  • To increase awareness of a brand or service.
  • To hold a competition or poll.

The social nature of Facebook means that it is most useful for strengthening brand reputation and awareness, building a steady, loyal group of fans and customers around your page or profile, which in turn will increase your authority and presence. Hard-sell ads are not necessarily the way to go – the basis of social media is the exchange of information and is not consumer-driven. Providing interesting information, fun competitions, games and promotions is a better way to generate interest in your Facebook page – and in turn, your company. Users of Facebook groups and fan pages want to be part of something that engages and amuses them, and the most successful business pages on Facebook do just that. Facebook’s own case studies can be found here.

ROI is variable, dependent on the targeted audience and nature of the product or business and ad itself. The formula relies on testing and adapting accordingly, making changes as you see results to optimise the success of this type of advertising. Ikroh can help with all aspects of online marketing, also provide management in advertising on other social media platforms such as Twitter and Spotify, as well as Blog Marketing, SEO and PPC.

Check the Ikroh blog for more Advertising 101 posts, including Spotify and Twitter in the following weeks…..

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

“Ikroh Loves…” Cultured Mario, Excessive Screenage and Tweety Stats

We’re fully into <shh, don’t jinx it> summer now. Feeling a lot of worldly love for the sunshine, bbqs, wearing flip flops – oh – you’re stuck inside, working? Sorry. If you’re chained to your computer, this week’s selection of “Ikroh Loves…” might cheer you up.

There are lot of these banging around YouTube, but this one’s a doozy. The thinking man’s soundtrack accompaniment:

And if you don’t have time to play Mario all day (ahem), then how about making work a little more pleasant with one of these opulent work station configurations, catalogued by Web Design Ledger?

Ever wondered what life was like before Twitter? What percentage of tweets are pointless babble? The peak days of the week for RTs, spamming and genuine conversation? You HAVE? Oh, well then this will be perfect for you – here’s hubspot’s Ultimate List of 100 Twitter Statistics. Knock yourself out:

Have a splendid week, from Ikroh.

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

New Head of Social Media Marketing at Ikroh SEO

social media marketing

social media marketing

Ikroh are proud to announce they have recently taken on Jo Gatford as their new Head of Social Media Marketing, to help them provide this important service to all their clients. Ikroh are now able to set up and maintain a company presence across various social media platforms, working in conjunction with clients’ SEO and PPC campaigns, increasing visibility via content distribution and gaining critical insights into what customers feel about their company.

The current ‘trend’ of using social media for marketing purposes has proved to be more than just a fad. Instead, it is a whole new approach to reaching target audiences and interacting personally; gaining honest feedback, increasing a business’ network and strengthening a brand. Social Media Marketing has become a powerful tool for online marketing if used thoughtfully and effectively.

Having a website is no longer enough. Most businesses now run a blog alongside their main site, which can provide more personal information and opinions, as well as serving as a great forum for announcements, achievements and promoting new products. In addition to this, it can be beneficial to branch out to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, to distribute content and news on article sharing and bookmarking sites, to broadcast multimedia on YouTube, Flickr or Picasa, advertise and promote services and more…

The best kind of recommendation comes from word-of-mouth communication between friends, colleagues – people whose opinions we respect and trust. But, with a web full of a million different options and alternatives, as consumers, we are supposed to take a business’ word that they are reputable and worth their own hype. Visibility and transparency are the keys to success in this situation. Social media allows a company to connect with customers on a personal level and build a community around their brand, increasing awareness, site traffic and encouraging trust in their products and services.

Ikroh creates tailor-made Social Media Marketing strategies for clients, working in conjunction with their existing marketing campaigns, making analyses and adaptations where appropriate and maintaining and developing an online presence that will increase profitability. As always, Ikroh works closely with clients in a personal, friendly, sincere way and its Social Media Marketing department is there to help with any queries or issues along the way.

Social media is not something to be ignored. It’s steadily embedding itself into the online and offline marketing world, and it’s here to stay. Get on top of the game and let Ikroh.com design you a Social Media Marketing Strategy that will make your business a force to be reckoned with.

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About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.