The emergence of social media has truly revolutionised the way internet marketers do in their respective businesses. If we are to rewind to the time when facebook and twitter were not yet in existence, small and large businesses were actually doing the traditional advertising campaigns. It might be a lot slower compared to the present advertising capabilities brought by social media, but that was fair one and the public receive information without having them fooled or manipulated.

 Social Media as Form of Advertising

Today, most business owners are beginning to utilise the power of social media in making their businesses put into the limelight. It is even safe to deduce that all existing companies who know how social media work to their benefits made fan pages where people can like or follow. The potentials for companies to earn a wide audience have pushed business owners to incorporate facebook and twitter badges on their sites.   At first, we can say that these actions of marketers point to a single purpose and that is to shape public opinion. With their respective fan pages where they gained thousand likes and thousand followers, it would appear that many people trust their companies or the brands they are trying to market.

 The Dark Side of Social Media

But here is the other side of the coin, some business owners are now resorting to fool the public by manipulating the number of likes and followers for their brands or companies. This is done by sponsoring people to create different social media accounts such as in facebook or twitter and make them like or follow the page. The controversial part is these facebook like or twitter follow stuffs have been made job posts in various online job freelancing platforms. If we are to analyse these moves, these guys are simply making fun of the credibility of the social media by trying to manipulate their company’s credibility.

 What Matters Most

Basically, there is more about the social media than just relying in the number of likes or followers you get to your page. And it’s one of the things that are overlooked by these business owners. They think that by getting thousands and thousands of likes or followers, they will gain the trust of the public just like every business marketer wishes to. But, they are wrong. Though the number of likes or followers can be a factor to build confidence among the public, the best weapon to win the heart of the public is through content sharing through posts, discussions, and forums where close interactions between the company and the clients are empowered. If business owners only invest in the quantity of likes and followers without building an interactive environment with their clients, then their efforts to pay for people to like and follow their pages will only be futile.

Until there has not been proof that the number of likes and followers has a value to search engine optimisation, then it would be better if these business owners would implement the proven SEO techniques to gain a broad audience where their products or services can be seen to the maximum.

 

From the very beginning Google and Facebook have been on separate leagues from each other, recent events however have shown that the two internet giants have been steadily and slowly going into each other’s realm. With the success of Facebook in the world of Social media it was able to gather millions of users prompting a lot of online marketers to utilise such social media platforms to use such platforms to conduct online marketing and advertising processes. The viability of the social media platform in advertising and online marketing has influenced many to shift their online marketing strategies in order to capture a larger audience base.

Google’s Actions

Google, having seen the viability of having a social media platform, launched their social media platform dubbed as Google+. The features of Google+ are almost the same as that of Facebook, however, several months after its launch it still has to gain its own users base. With this move from Google, they have diverted from their own realm and have stepped into the realm that Facebook is currently dominating. For now we still have to see if Google+, its social media platform, will be able to surpass the current social media giant, Facebook.

Facebook’s Actions

Recently, Facebook has announced that they will improve their search engine functionality within the social media platform, in order to help users locate anything they want over the internet through the social media network. This project prompted the deployment of Facebook engineers in order to put the plan into a reality with a former Google engineer Lars Rasmussen at the helm. This, move from Facebook is also a move to divert from their own realm going to the realm of Google which is the search engine.

Conclusion

Based from the ventures of Google and Facebook it is clear that they are diverting or going on separate ways where the end line would be a meeting within their own realms. Facebook going into the realm of Google while Google going into the realm of Facebook. This is something for every SEO companies or SEO consultants to think about.

 

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: March 7, 2012 2:10 pm

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Google has recently announced the release of their new product, the Google play. This is believed to be Google’s response into the growing popularity and need for multimedia, education and entertainment applications. It could be remembered that Apple’s Apps Store gained popularity along with the release of its different products such as the iPhone, iTouch and the iPad. The app store from Apple is a virtual store where Apple users can download different applications where some of which are for educational, multimedia and entertainment purposes. On top of that Apple also has the iTunes where users can purchase or download for free the music they want to listen to.

This popularity and growing clamour for music downloads, e-book, multimedia and entertainment application downloads has increased exponentially along with the popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices. This is the reason why a lot of companies have been going into the music and application download bandwagon. The latest is Google’s very own download store dubbed as Google play. According to Google, Google Play will allow users to download music, ebooks and they will also be able to rent movies. Google play is the combination of Google Books, Google Music and its Android Market.

This move of Google bolsters their support to their Android market, ever since Google entered the mobile market and competed with Apple, the former have already made initial moves in order for them to compete. Along with this is the acquisition of a mobile advertising company which is said to increase Google’s advertising presence in the mobile platform. Aside from that Google also entered the mobile market by providing Android powered smartphones where the Android market, an application market similar to Apps Store, started.

With Google play, the search engine giant hopes to drive more sales to their company as compared to the Apps Store of Apple, this is evident by the fact that just last year Android smartphones sales rose above Apples iPhone. This new product from Google may also give interest in the field of search engine optimisation or online marketing.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: March 1, 2012 2:51 pm

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Today March 1, 2012 Google rolls out its new privacy policy a change being monitored by SEO companies, SEO consultants and users as well. Over the past weeks when Google first announced that they will be changing their privacy policy, a lot of users have been buzzing over the internet on the possible ill-effects of this policy change. According to Google the privacy policy change was made necessary in order to benefit the user as well as advertisers as it will increase the relevance on the ads being displayed based on the data gathered from the user. A lot of skeptics however have been circulating information that is inclined to show that Google’s privacy policy change would put a user’s privacy in jeopardy. With so many talks about the intrusion to privacy by Facebook it is no wonder that a lot of people would actually interpret a privacy policy change as something that would expose them rather than protect them. However, there is always two sides of a coin and to better understand the issue both sides must be heard and prior to deciding both sides should be analysed.

According to some people Google’s new policy will allow the search engine giant to gather more information from the user since it will consolidate the social media aspect and the search engine aspect of the Google services. According to Google on the other hand this is not true as they will only gather the information that is supplied by the user the only change that could be seen here is on the expansion on how Google would use such gathered information.

Since Google has an expanded right in using the user information gathered, Google is free to distribute emails and other information to third parties for a price. According to Google, as incorporated in their privacy policy the company would never sell nor distribute whatever data was gathered from their system, rather they would use the data gathered to improve user experience and to display targeted ads.

These statements by Google would dispel the cloud of doubts that a lot of users may be experiencing especially today that Google has launched or implemented their new privacy policy.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: February 28, 2012 1:55 pm

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This coming March 1, 2012, Google is going to roll out its new privacy terms and conditions or its privacy policy. The Google privacy policy in a nutshell is the consolidation of all data gathered across all Google products under one account. This means that if you have several accounts in different Google products, say Gmail and Youtube and even the social media Google plus, the data gathered from you in those two products will be combined into one, data such as profile data and even IP addresses may be gathered by Google. According to Google this change in the policy is to increase quality user experience and for Google to display relevant targeted Google ads rather than the irrelevant unrelated advertisements. For some this move by Google may be a good thing for some it may be dangerous, some users claim that the privacy of a user may be compromised by this new privacy policy from Google. For those who think that Google may alienate their privacy the following are some simple steps for you to take in order to protect such privacy.

1. Browse in private – every web browser has their own private browsing option, for some browsers it is the incognito mode. With private browsing your browser will not retain any data pertaining to searches, browsed websites, it would even remove the browser history in order to protect your privacy.

2. Deactivate your Google Web Data History – the Google web data history stores your searches and the websites that you have visited, this is different from your web browser history as the data is stored online. You can choose to deactivate this in order for Google not to gather cookies from your browser and that your searches may not be stored online. To disable the Web Data History login to your Google account and go to your Account Settings from there you could empty or choose to deactivate such feature.

3. Clear Your Browser History – of course we know that browsers can store data as to the different sites that you have visited including site cookies, passwords and usernames. To prevent “accidental” display of these data online you have to clear your browser history regularly. Make sure that you do this on a regular basis if you do not want your privacy to be exposed.

These steps would help you in making sure that your privacy is protected, in an extreme case of course you can choose to close your account with Google or not register with them at all, however, for users of Google they could attest to the fact that up to this point their privacy have been protected and we still believe that Google will not compromise the privacy of their bread and butter, the only time when users are compromised is when accounts are hacked by unscrupulous people. Whatever the privacy changes may be one thing is clear no company would like to injure or compromise the safety and security of its clients and in this case it would be Google’s millions of users.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:29 am

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When Google released their Google Panda algorithm a lot of companies that are marketing their business online including SEO Companies and SEO consultants have been affected. We saw a lot of websites that were previously in page one of Google and later on finding themselves to be at page 2 or a lower search engine results page ranking. Google Panda took the search game by surprise as many large online companies suffered the algorithm change. Of course a drop in the search engine results page ranking would also mean a drop in revenue as competitors may have taken the higher rank. This is why a lot of SEO companies and SEO consultants scrambled to fix their implemented SEO campaign, and in doing so several truths about the Google Panda was revealed thus opening the doors to improving SEO techniques as well as introducing new ones. The following are some techniques that may help you in your campaign restoring or ranking high in Google after the Panda Algorithm update:

  1. Focus on Traffic Source Diversity – although Google is one of your target search engine where you aim to gain your website’s traffic from it is imperative to diversify your traffic sources. Take into consideration gaining traffic from social media networks, blog sites, forums and social bookmarks. This strategy is necessary in order for your website to still take in traffic after an algorithm change by  the search engines especially that of Google.
  2. Incorporate a Social Media Campaign – Google has released its own social media the Google +, they also released Google’s version of the “like” button known as plus one and incorporating social media promotion as well as integrating plus one buttons in your website would be beneficial as such are considered to be ranking factors for Google’s new algorithm. Apart from that, promoting your website via Twitter, Facebook, Google + and other social media networks would assure you that you will be promoting your site to real people targeting specific niches and capturing your desired audience.
  3. Content Must be Fresh and of High Quality – first we must define what is “fresh” and “high quality”. A fresh content is something that is current, therefore there is a need to regularly post to your website of in order to make your websites content to be fresh. High quality on the other hand means that your content must be unique, well-written, must be grammatically correct, of correct spelling and of course it must be informative. This means therefore that your content must be regularly posted on to your website as well as it must be a content that is written for the reader and not the search engine this means the content should be informative, relevant, original and worth reading.

Indeed Google has redefined the world of search, by making the contents of a website to be as close to relevant as possible or accurately relevant, we might see the end of poor, generated and unoriginal content, making the role of content developers for websites to be a lot more important.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: February 19, 2012 12:38 pm

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With the need to incorporate fresh content into every website for the Search engines to recognise your website in terms of ranking. The incorporation of fresh content is especially being looked upon by Google because of their Panda Algorithm. Google Panda focuses on the quality of content in every website on top of that Google has also introduced Google freshness algorithm which focuses on the currency or freshness of the content incorporated in every website. Since freshness of content is also a ranking factor the need to incorporate new contents in your website on a regular basis is imperative. This incorporation of new content could only be achieved by creating a blog writing page for your website. Blogging allows you to incorporate fresh and informative content in your website thus satisfying the Google freshness ranking factor requirement. To make your blog page an effective ranking factor it should be able to acquire traffic and engage your potential audience, the following are some of the steps that SEO companies and SEO consultants are taking in order to increase traffic on their blog page.

  1. Develop Your Content To be Informative and Shareable – when writing your blog post think of topics that would give information to your readers, make your content to be valuable enough that people would look for such content. On top of that you should make your content to be worth sharing, remember; through social media your content could easily gain traffic through a share button.
  2. Blog Posts Should Be SEO Savvy – although you are writing a blog post where sometimes posts are opinionated, you should not forget that your goal is to gain traffic for your website, this is why it is still important to make your posts to be SEO-friendly, that is by incorporating as much as possible your targeted keywords.
  3. Use Social Media Networks to Share Your Blog Posts – social media networks such as Google +, Facebook and Twitters are great tools for your to gain traffic for your blog site, share every post in your blog via these social media networks in order to possibly gain more readers and that will help in increasing your blog traffic.

Blogs are becoming an essential part of every website, may it be a website for service or e-commerce fresh contents are actually required by search engines for your website to be ranked. To boost your ranking and traffic you should also focus your SEO and Social Media Strategies to your blog posts. Just remember that every blog posts must be unique and of high quality.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: February 15, 2012 2:40 pm

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One of the questions that online entrepreneurs would be asking is whether or not to include their business in Google’s social media platform, the Google plus (Google +)? This type of question has been lingering in the minds of both website owners and SEO companies because of the fact that there are doubts whether Google plus can match up with the popularity of Facebook. It is no doubt that Facebook was able to help online entrepreneurs increase their website or online revenue upon making their site available with Facebook. Google tried to compete with Facebook by creating their own social media network, Google Plus, where features of such social media platform could be seen as something that may resemble some of Facebook’s feature, an example of which is the Facebook like button which has a Google counterpart known as Plus one.

Before we get ahead of ourselves let us try to answer the initial question, should we create a business page for Google plus? The following are some answers that may help you in deciding:

1. Yes, because you can be a pioneer in Google Plus – notice how a lot of businesses have become very popular in Facebook because they were the first to create such business page? Well that may also be true for Google Plus, since this social media platform is relatively new you can build your business and expand your reach as Google Plus would also gain its popularity.

2. Yes, because people are looking for alternative – not all people are Facebook loyalists, sometimes people get bored with routine and would search for something new, yes, the popularity of Facebook may be through the roof right now, but expect people to be looking for alternatives especially if things does not go their way, like the privacy issues perhaps?

3. Yes, because social media activity is a ranking factor – gaining a lot of “likes” and “plus ones” would now mean something beneficial to your search engine optimisation efforts, if you are marketing your website via SEO then you would really need those “likes” and “plus ones” because Google deemed those as ranking factors and are beneficial to your SEO efforts.

You might see that the inclination of this article is towards registering your business with Google plus, why not? It is free anyway, and depending on how things would turn out you will still be at the winning end.

 

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: January 30, 2012 9:29 am

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As different as social media marketing sounds and is to other marketing efforts, they are still a part of your whole marketing strategy and should be treated that way.

Even though the methods used for social media are completely different to that of PPC, they still aim for the same results. This is why social media should be seen as part of the team, as opposed to the only way.

Social media should be used tactfully to achieve these objectives:

-          To achieve targets that cannot be accomplished by other marketing methods.

-          Increase access to your target audience.

-          Make your business more available to a brand new audience.

-          Turning potential clients into converting sales.

-          Improving experience for existing customers.

 

Conclusion

It’s vital that you remember social media is another form of marketing. It is not its own individual field of marketing. Although it can be used to achieve many different goals, it generally is used to achieve a higher amount of sales. However, social media campaigns can be aimed at strengthening the relationship between customer and company.

Whatever you are using Twitter management techniques to achieve, you must remember that you can use your other marketing campaigns, such as SEO to help benefit your marketing campaign. If you use web design strategies to help visually optimise your social media profiles, ontop of your other marketing techniques, then you are sure to see a better return on your social media efforts.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:04 am

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Selling is one of the most important things when it comes to a business. Without it, there would be no incoming money, thus no funds for campaigns such as social media. Your social media agency can use the audience that has been acquired to sell to, but there is a fine line between what is ok and will result in sales, however a too aggressive approach will result in negative feedback and maybe even a loss of following.

What Not To Do

First off, it’s important to know what not to do. Social media, is a social environment which is built around friend ships and conversations. Your audience do not want to log on and be sold to constantly, if you do this, then it is likely that you will lose their interest because you have annoyed them etc.

Techniques

The first and probably the most beneficial is promotional codes or discounts. Everyone loves a bargain and are more likely to purchase when money is being saved. Exclusive social media vouchers are great, it makes your followers feel “exclusive” but it’s also a great way to measure how many people are using the social media voucher code. Using voucher codes is most likely the best method  to sell on social media, it is not direct and if anything can be seen as a nicety online.

Sending links to new or old products is also a good way to get sales, although not as good as voucher codes. If links to products are constantly posted out and make the majority of your content, then it is likely that your followers are getting annoyed with the constant stream of sales and will begin to ignore them. Getting the balance is crucial.

Contests are similar to voucher codes. They can be posted about all day long, however it does not necessarily convert to a sale; it will help establish a following but not an instant sale because these followers would be interested in receiving your product for free. This can however convert into a sale organically or with the help of a voucher code.

Conclusion

Selling on social media is difficult and is a completely different tactic to SEO or even web design. Social networking sales are very laidback and are more of an “the offer is on the table” situation, where the follower does not feel pressured into purchasing anything but is aware of the products and offers available.

 

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