G+ Social Project to Challenge Facebook

G+ vs Facebook

Google’s new attempt at social networking comes in the form of Google+ and its aims seem to include improving on areas where Facebook falls behind, by moving away from ‘technologically restrictive’ methods of social media and ‘rigid services’. The elephant in the room is obviously Facebook, which still holds the medal for social network giant, and many of Google+ attributes appear to pick up on elements that aren’t easily available via Facebook in both an attempt to differentiate and improve.

One of the main issues users seem to have with Facebook is the openness with sharing your information – so your co-workers and your mum gets to see the raucous late night photos that you really only want to share with your mates. Sure you could start a group but doesn’t that seem like a lot of work? G+ ‘Circles’ supposedly allows you to limit your status updates to specific groups of people. The G+ on this feature is that not everyone you are linked to online is a “friend” and you should be able to classify and segregate between classmates, your boss, acquaintances, best buddies and your Great-Auntie Nora. There is also a group messaging service named, rather cutely, ‘Huddle’. Users can instantly upload photos from mobile phones, as you can with Facebook, and the feature ‘Sparks’ lets you share and find online content that fits with your interests.

Google’s previous attempts at social media, dating back to 2009, have thus far been unsuccessful, including Buzz and Wave, but G+ is, in these early days, creating a bit of a stir. “I think Facebook is going to have to up its game,” says Charlene Li of the Altimeter Group.

So far, Google+ is in “field trial” mode, only accessible by invitation. There is no official full launch date, so it does seem as if this really is a ‘project’ from Google as opposed to a full on confrontation with the big FB… Watch this space to see if it sticks!

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

Internet Marketing from 2010 to 2011

Google new year 2011

Happy 2011 to you all! Most of us UK worker bees are back at our desks today – we hope you had a wonderful New Year and are as excited as we are about the coming year. 2011 has a lot to offer in the world of internet marketing, SEO and social media, and we are looking forward to another great year!

The growth and development of online marketing has been vast over the past few years, with smart phones, the iPad, mobile marketing, social media, viral marketing and the insane growth of internet and social networking use. (For an idea of what’s coming next, have a look at Trendwatching.com’s Crucial Consumer Trends for 2011.)

Here are some of our favourite 2010 stats:

Facebook grew by 1/3 in 2010

Facebook grew by over 30% last year, now boasting 500 million users

Google new year 2011

Top Google search terms were dominated by social media, with users looking for Facebook, YouTube and MySpace. The social network giant Facebook nabbed over 3% of all searches in 2010.

most powerful tweets of 2010

For a handy Twitter roundup (and so I don’t have to go and research it all), check out the Most Powerful Tweets of 2010

Best blogs of 2010

I love Time’s Best Blogs of 2010 list, which shows that no matter how much information we have access to for free on the internet, most of us are still going to end up looking at humorous sites like CakeWrecks, Sh*t My Kids Ruined and The Oatmeal for cheap laughs. And if we’re not doing that, we’re searching for the next must-have technology or the coolest designs. Interesting also is that TechCrunch is voted ‘essential’ and Mashable ‘overrated’ this year.

Top YouTube videos 2010

The most watched YouTube videos revolved around music, parodies and humour (albeit annoying oranges saying “Whazzzzup!”). A representation for social media marketing took number 5 with The Old Spice Man, but my favourite has to be OK Go’s video for This Too Shall Pass:

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

Social Media Strategies – Why Should I Have One?

Social Media Strategy

Social Media Strategy

Well… it’s the next big thing, doncha know? It really is. Social media is currently unavoidable and is causing a storm in the marketing world. You can either stay in the dark ages or you can get with the times, and judging by the very real and impressive results some companies are getting, we would recommend the latter.

But there’s no point jumping on the bandwagon in a keeping up with the Jones’ kind of way. One of the reasons many strategies fail is because a company gets impatient, doesn’t take the time to think objectively about what they want to achieve and how they intend on doing it, then quickly lose focus when they don’t get the results they expect. Others become a little too obsessed with their Twitter interactions and forget about the actual work… As Buddha suggests, “Take the middle path.”

A good social media strategy requires a lot of thought and planning – you need to think about your goals, you need to include your entire company when embarking on this relatively new route to market, you need to prepare content and set aside time to put your aims into practice.

Because we all like a good list of top tips, let’s put it like this:

#1 – Social media is a MASSIVE opportunity for building your brand. Massive. MaHOOsive. Imagine a whole network of people orbiting around your business, getting included in the processes and feedback of your ideas, providing free advertising for you through the phenomenon of word-of-mouth, making your company into a familiar brand. Now, it won’t always work like this, but the opportunity is there. You can make a dent in your visibility and increase the stretch of your marketing campaign’s arms by reaching the largest amount of customers possible through the various platforms of social media – a reach that is incomparable to what you have been doing before.

#2 – Social media has a place for everyone. Where do you belong? Well try out Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Reddit, Del.icio.us, Scribd or a gazillion more of the social media platforms out there. Have a good browse, there are many subject specific niche sites which may focus your results more effectively, such as Hugg (ahhh) for environmental issues, Kirsty for fashion and design, Sphinn for search and interactive marketers, Tweako for guides and tutorials and Autospies for, you guessed it, everything automotive. And there is a ton more if you just look – some are not very well publicised, some are not very active, but hey, it’s up to you to find the best forum for your content.

#3 – Social media is a cheaper alternative to traditional advertising. It takes narry a penny to set up accounts for email, a blog, or any of the sites listed in #2. It takes man power and man hours to manage, but very little, if anything, to maintain. There are tools to help things work more smoothly and integrate all your different areas of networking which charge for services, but it is possible to run a social media campaign for next to nothing. You are reaching your targeted demographic (and beyond) for the price of your broadband…

#4 – Social media allows you to see what your clients are saying about you. It’s no secret that posting certain opinions on social media sites has got people into trouble with bosses, spouses, friends and the law, but a bit of honesty is extremely healthy for marketing. People hang up the minute they realise there’s a market researcher calling, yet they’ll freely publicise their opinions on products and services online. In fact, most people jump at the chance to give their two pennies’ worth. As long as you respond to bad feedback in a productive and professional way, you can use this information to increase your offerings based on cold hard facts, and end up giving your customers exactly what they want.

#5 – Social media makes us all equal. Social media has a great levelling power. If you’re a little local business, trying to branch out into the big bad world of the web – great, you can achieve much wider popularity than just advertising in your home town, doing what you do best, providing great personalised services. If you’re a fat cat company, struggling with a public face like a blank wall – great, you can interact with your customers on a personal level, make yourselves accessible and friendly and show the world you’re not just a corporate suit. The fact that everyone from your little niece to your doddery granny is getting online and getting involved with social media means that everyone has a voice, and everyone has an opportunity to be friends. Ah, isn’t that nice? Now go sell yourself.

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

Facebook looking to step up a gear!

Facebook seems to be targeting high profile individuals to add value to its advertising revenues. We have a strong feeling that Facebook will soon be an even better place to generate business as they have snagged yet another executive from Google. Grady Burnett, who led Google’s AdWords business to great success is the latest to move over to the global social networking site.

Over the past year we have seen a large increase in clients utilising Facebook’s ad space. So the big question is when will Google look at trying to obtain shares again? Microsoft currently have an interest of 1.6 per cent stake which sounds small but when you consider the company has an estimated value of $3 billion, it sounds like more of a good deal….

Moving forward we can see Facebook becoming a strong alliance for search companies like us to help our clients generate new business opportunities. It’s certainly one we’ll be keeping our eye on.