Posts Tagged ‘google’

To Google+ or Not Google+, That is the Question

google+Google+ is a strange beast.

On one hand, it’s compelling because it is one of the largest social media networks and, as important, owned, of course, by Google.

On the other hand, it is hard for many brands to  understand what Google+ offers compared with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Yes, it is important to have a presence on Google+, but what should brands be doing other than posting content so it can be quickly indexed by Google?

For many brands, SEO is the biggest and perhaps the only reason to be on Google+.

Even though there may not seem to be many compelling reasons to  embrace Google+, it can’t be ignored or dismissed.

For now, Google+ may be the “ugly duckling” of the social media world, but who’s to say it won’t  become a beautiful swan?

For one, there are a lot of Google+ users – 360 million to be exact, although anyone who registers for a Google account is counted a Google+ user.

For brands, there are a few reasons to like and leverage Google+.

In addition to sharing content and having its indexed, Hangouts are a user-friendly ay to have digital discussions. You could argue  Hangouts are Google+’s killer app.

Google+ is also business-friendly. While Facebook and Twitter are popular with consumers, Google+ is, in many ways, a professional social network.

This could create a big opportunity for Google+ to carve out a distinct identify.

By catering to businesses, Google+ could stand out itself from Twitter and Facebook. It could be the place where brands do business, as well as connect and engage with consumers.

Let Twitter and Facebook be the hybrid business/personal social networks; Google+ will embrace the same approach as LinkedIn.

In many ways, Google+ is  work in progress. It has some good features but Google+ has to become more interesting if it wants to be a place where brands invest time and effort.

More: Check out this Search Engine Land post by Trond Lyngbø  that explains how Google+ fits into Google’s search strategy. Here is how he explains the connection:

“Google+ is an identity platform, with potential to deeply impact how we will experience social, local and mobile influences on search marketing.

People debating the importance of social media on search miss the critical point that Google+ is a source of social signals that Google can actually trust! It’s already hard to cheat, manipulate or spam Google+ with low-quality content, and as location data and check-in spam protection kick in, it’ll become almost impossible to game the network.

That’s how Google+1′s will affect rankings. A few years from now, a G+ presence will be indispensable to winning the search game.”

 

Will Hummingbird Affect Social Media?

Google HummingbirdBig news recently hit the digital world and it could have a major impact on how businesses operate online.

The news is focused on Hummingbird, the newest Google algorithm that will have a profound change how search works and what it takes to be ranked.

While it is important to understand from the perspective of the user, it’s just as important to grasp how this will affect social media.

Given its clout and dominance of the search market, Google has a huge influence on the digital ecosystem. Hummingbird is not just an update; it is an entirely new way of searching and returning results.

Why does this matter to social media?

Hummingbird understands and analyzes longtail searches (a search with more detail, usually, a question), and rewards fresh content more than ever before.

Social media is highly regarded by Google, so a strong social media presence can potentially help a brand rise up the organic search result rankings.

Here’s a good tip for digital marketers:

Use social media to answer questions that you think people will ask in a search where you want to appear.

This tactic will take a lot of thinking and strategy from digital marketers, and it will need the support of all departments. A blog or FAQ is a good place to house this information.

The important thing with social media is to make sure you are on top of the trends and changes, and with Google you always have to be on top of your game in order to be found.

 

 

 

The Mystery of Google+

How is Google+ doing?

It’s difficult to tell whether Google+ is oozing with untapped potential or whether it’s a social bust.

Many digital marketers are grappling with what to do with Google+.

On one hand, it would be easy to dismiss Google+ from the mix because it doesn’t appear to have much real momentum (and we’re talking about people and companies leveraging Google+ on a regular basis.)

But on the other hand, digital marketers also know it would be a mistake to ignore Google+ because it is, after all, owned by Google, the world’s leading search engine. To not use Google+ potentially means not have being part of the Google search empire.

Given the uncertainty about Google+, what’s a digital marketer to do?

The simple is answer is to establish a brand presence. It doesn’t have to be the most engaged or active presence but a brand should be on Google+.

When you think about it, it’s important to have social ground cover to be part of the Google empire, maintain a competitive edge, and have a head-start just in case Google+ takes off.

The challenge for many brands is trying to determine how much time to devote to Google+ when other social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn offer better results and engagement.

At the same time, there are also questions about how much a profile that a brand needs to give Google+ when it might not be popular with its customers.

For now, I would recommend brands allocate some attention to Google+ but not enough to take away from other social networks.

If and when Google+ starts to emerge as a way for brands to engage with consumers, then more time and investment can happen.

But, for now, Google+ is interesting but not compelling.

For insight into how marketers can take advantage of Google+, check out Kissmetrics’ 2013 marketing guide.

Social Media Outcry As Google Reader Gets Set To Shut Down

I’ve said this many times before, but I’ll say it again; when news hits the fastest way to learn about it is combing though social media.

Yesterday I was traveling and was in airports and on planes all day, so it wasn’t until I landed and opened Twitter that found out that Google announced yesterday that they were going to be shutting down Google Reader this summer. Google Reader, which launched in 2005 became one of the most used RSS readers by people around the world. Even many fancier RSS reader programs integrated with Google Reader to get their accounts and feeds from. I was upset about this news, but I wasn’t the only one.

This morning I took to MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, to take a quick look at some of the reactions around Google Reader. Just in the past few days there was almost 317,000 mentions of Google Reader. I found 7,823 blog posts, 2,388 online news articles, 5,223 forum postings and 301,551 tweets about it.

While this may not seem like a whole lot of reaction, it actually is compared to the amount of talk about Google Reader that was happening previously. When I looked at the mentions for Google Reader over the past seven days I found that there was virtually no talk of the RSS reader previous to yesterday’s announcement. But when the news hit, everyone started talking about it.

When I say everyone started talking about it, I mean it. A look at our geo-location heat map of where tweets were coming from about Google Reader shows that people all around the world had something to say about the sad news.

What were all of these people talking about? Well, many of them were talking about the news in general. Looking at our buzzgraph we can see words like “RSS” “feeds” and “shutting” down. Google said it was due to “declining” usage, but from the outcry we’ve seen it seems like a lot of people still rely on the service. Of course, when the news broke people also right away started to discuss “alternative” or “alternate” ways for people to read their RSS feeds.

A look at some of the popular phrases being used also shows that a lot of the talk is focused around the reporting of Google Reader being shut down. People are trying to get the word out (some thinking that this will hopefully lead Google to save it).

A look at the most RT’d tweets around the Google Reader news show the concern of people. Here I found people retweeting the news, talk about what to use instead, concern about current apps that rely on Google Reader, a petition to try and save it and of course people making jokes about the situation.

What do you think about the news? Are you upset about it as well?

We also want to know what you plan on using instead of Google Reader once it shuts down. Let us know in the comments.

Product Updates: Influencer Bio Searches, Google+ Fan Pages and More

Today we have some great product updates and a big announcement

In our continued pursuit of excellence here at Sysomos we have some exciting developments to share with you today. As usual with these emails, we have some great updates to both the MAP and Heartbeat software that we think you’re really going to enjoy. But first, we have something even more exciting to tell you about…

Sysomos is now officially a Twitter Certified Partner!

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Being a part of the Twitter Certified Partner Program solidifies the benefit we provide in helping businesses learn and act upon what their customers are saying on Twitter. Being part of this program allows us to take full advantage of the Twitter platform and innovate to solve business needs. Essentially this means that our products will be constantly improving to make sure you are getting the best possible information and insights from Twitter to do your job better.

 

And now, here’s our latest round of product updates:

  

Twitter Trends

With brands always looking for ways to benefit from real-time marketing, it’s important for them to know what’s going on and what people are talking about at all times. That’s why we’ve added a new section to both MAP and Heartbeat that shows you what is currently trending on Twitter. These trending topics can be viewed on a worldwide basis, by country or even as specific as major cities around the world. So whether you’re a global, national or local business, you can see what the people who matter to you are talking about.

In MAP, this feature can be found in the left-hand column of the dashboard. In Heartbeat you can find it on the right-hand column of the Twitter tab.

Updated Tutorial Videos

As part of a continued commitment to our clients, you will notice updates to the Help section of both Heartbeat and MAP. In the Heartbeat Help section you can find 11 new tutorial videos and 5 new downloadable cheat sheets. In MAP there are 11 new tutorial videos and 2 new downloadable cheat sheets. The look and layout of the help section in Heartbeat and training section in MAP has also changed to make it easier for you to find the information you are looking for. Continue to watch for more updates in the coming weeks!

 

Twitter Influencer Bio Search

Not everyone talks a lot about their work or interests on Twitter, but that doesn’t mean they’re not influential to others about those things. With our new Twitter Bio Search you can now search directly in people’s bios for ways they describe themselves.  The Bio Search also allows you to look for people with certain numbers of followers and apply country filters to your search. So now, you can find moms from Toronto with more than 500 followers, but less than 1000. Or you can find dentists in Chicago with over 5000 followers.

 

Analyze A Google+ Fan Page

With Google+ being the latest social network to get its feet underneath it, it’s important to know what’s happening with your company’s page. Now you can link your Google+ Fan Page directly into your Heartbeat so you can always know exactly what is going on. Just like Facebook and LinkedIn pages in Heartbeat, the addition of Google+ will show you the latest activity on your page, a buzzgraph of what’s being said and the overall sentiment of the page. If you’d like to attach your Google+ Fan Page to your Heartbeat, your account manager would be more than happy to help you do so.

Edit Email Alerts

We’ve made it easier to edit your email alerts that come from Heartbeat. The importance of things that you monitor can sometimes change from not important to very important, or from very important to not so important, so your update frequencies will need to change as well. Rather than starting from scratch on the alert, we’ve made it easy to go in and edit how and when you receive them. Simply go into the Email Subscriptions tab in your Settings and you can quickly change the settings to any of your email alerts.

New User Roles

As social media teams expand within companies, we’ve discovered a greater need for different roles and what they can do in Heartbeat. Because of this we’ve added two new roles that you can assign to people on your team; Supervisor and Director. These are in addition to the roles that already exist; User, Manager and Administrator. These changes can be made in the Manage Users section of Settings.

Should We Give Google+ More Love+?

Okay, you can admit it, you haven’t really checked out Google+ yet.

If you’re a digital marketer, then you might not be the only one.

Google+ arrived with a lot of buzz in June 2011, but it didn’t really resonate with North American audiences.

And while Google claims it has more than 340 million users, there are people such as Scott Stratten who claim this isn’t entirely accurate because it takes into account people logged into a Google account.

That said, 2013 might be the year for digital marketers to explore Google+ to learn how it might be able to enhance their brand’s digital presence and embrace new tools to share content and communicate.

Google+ does have some interesting features. These include Hangouts, which have become one of the service’s most popular features. And then there are the SEO benefits.

As a digital marketer it is your responsibility to devote some of your organization’s time to a resource that could help you better connect with your target audiences.

Maybe Google+ isn’t for you but it doesn’t mean it should be dismissed.

Do you use Google+? If so, what are the biggest benefits? What features do you use the most?

The Difference Between Search And Social Media Chatter

Well, the year is almost finished. That means it’s time for everyone and their mother to start releasing their “best of the year” lists. One of my favourites of these lists is the Zeitgeist that Google releases, which documents what the world searched for the most over the past year.

This list got released yesterday and had some interesting things in it. But I was most interested in the top 10 searches world-wide, which looked like this:

When I saw this list, it got me thinking about if social media chatter was reflective of what people also searched for. So using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics platform, I thought it would be interesting to compare the two.

I pulled up social media chatter for the top 5 world-wide searches and found that there was definitely differences. Just to note, when I did my search through social media I tried to keep my searches as close to how Google listed their top 5 searches. For example, when searching for the iPad 3 I only searched for variations of “iPad 3″ and not “new iPad” as it is sometimes referred to, or I searched for variations of “Hurricane Sandy” and not just “Sandy”.

The results that I found were quite different from Google’s. In fact, the only search that kept it’s same place between both lists was Diablo 3 in the fifth position. In my results Gangnam Style was the most talked about in social media out of the five, while it came in second on Google’s list. Here is the order of results as by social media chatter:

I then looked at the mentions of each of these search terms for when they were being mentioned. This also wielded some very interesting results. Whitney Houston was talked about the most on the day of her death in February and then trailed off throughout the year. The iPad 3 was getting a lot of talk leading up to the big announcement about its release and then continued to be talked about for a long time after it was released to the public. Possibly the most interesting in this chart is to see how Gangnam Style was talked about. Gangnam Style started to be noticed around the beginning of August but didn’t peak until September. It then seemed to have remained a popular topic all the way up to today.

Lastly, I broke the comparison down by channels. Again, I saw some interesting, but not so surprising results. Hurricane Sandy was talked about the most through online news articles as the media was all over this devastating story. Diablo 3 saw it’s most talk happening in forums as gamers are notorious for talking and sharing gaming tips and tricks through forums and message boards. Whitney Houston came out on top in blogs, while Gangnam Style was all the buzz on Twitter.

It turns out that each of Google’s most searched terms for the year were also popular topics to discuss in social media, but it appears that the two don’t match up. There were some big differences between the way Google’s top five and mine looked. It’s not easy to say exactly why that is, but my guess would be that people talk about what’s interesting at the time in social media, where as search is used more to find information about anything at any time.

Finally, I thought it would be interesting to take a bit of a closer look at each of these searches individually. Below you will find each of the five searches done individually. I provided the activity summary for each search, which shows how many times each term got mentioned and where, a popularity graph to show when throughout the year each term was being discussed and a word cloud so we can see what was being said about each term.

Whitney Houston

Gangnam Style

Hurricane Sandy

iPad 3

Diablo 3

What do you think about these results? Why do you think that social mentions and Google searches don’t match up? Let us know in the comments.

Does Google+ Just Need Time to Mature?

google+It’s easy to get signed onto Google+. Many people and brands are using Google Docs or the new Google Drive, and the social media service naturally comes with membership.

But if you’re like me, you’ve added a few friends, but then done little or nothing with them other than perhaps add them to Circles. There’s lots to do with other Google products but not much going on with Google+.

These thoughts are confirmed by a study by RJ Metrics, published in Fast Company. The real numbers are beyond grim. RJ Metrics chose a sample of 40,000 Google+ users and looked at their publicly available timelines.

The average post had less than one +1 (the equivalent of a Facebook like), less than one reply and less than one re-share. About 30% of users who made a public post never made a second one. Even those who make five posts have a 15% chance of not posting again.

Meanwhile, the metrics organization CircleCount says people in the U.S., India and Brazil are top users on the site. Students, developers, engineers, designer and photographers are frequent users.

While the signs seem to point to a decline, some social media watchers say Google+ simply needs to time to mature, and that it’s a well-designed site with lots of potential.

In any case, if you’re active on Google+, check out your analytics to see if your demographic is camping out there. You should be able to isolate your organic search referral traffic.

See what percentage of that traffic shows a referral of (not provided). This shows who found your site while logged into Google. Those people could be there to access documents or Gmail, but some might be on the social media spine.

And if they are there, they will see your postings, which won’t be surrounded by the noise of competitors.

Yes, Google+ is a quiet place, at least for now. But it’s still a player to keep your eye on, experiment with, test some content on it, and see where it goes long term.

The Social World Yodels Over Yahoo’s New CEO

Yesterday on the blog, Mark wrote about Yahoo’s new CEO Marissa Mayer. Our blog wasn’t the only one talking about the news either. In fact, the entire web seemed to be a buzz with what seems like good news for a company that hadn’t had too much good news lately. Since Mark already covered the basics of the Yahoo and Mayer story, the only thing left to do was to see what the masses are saying about it using our social media monitoring and analytics platform, MAP.

I first tried to do a search for just “Yahoo” since Monday of this week while keeping stories from yahoo.com out of the mix. This search brought in almost half a million results. There were 29,735 blog posts, 49,506 online news articles, 12,236 forum postings and 347,826 tweets. Turns out when I looked though the results that a lot of the content was stories being reposted from yahoo.com, so I had to narrow my search.

I then changed my sights to focus in on media that mentioned both Yahoo and Mayer (or her Twitter handle @marissamayer). This search landed me fewer, but much more accurate, results. This time I found 5,445 blog posts, 12,384 online news articles, 837 forum postings and 111,260 tweets.

It seems that the Yahoo and Mayer story intrigued people all over the world. A look at where all of these posts were coming from brought up a very large range of countries. The most talk about the new CEO came from within the United States (46.6%). However, since Yahoo is a site visited by people around the world there was significant talk from countries like the UK (6.2%), Germany (5.8%), Singapore (4.1%), and India (3.4%).

So what were people around the world actually saying about the news? A look at our buzzgraph and word cloud show a few of the key themes. One of the largest was “Google” as Mayer was with Google almost since it’s inception was played a key roll in some of their most popular products like “gmail”, maps and of course their search. “CEO” also shows up as a main part o the conversation. Of course part of that is due to everyone talking about Mayer becoming the new CEO. However, there also seemed to be a lot of talk about past CEOs that Yahoo had some issues with such as “Carol Bartz”, who was fired in September 2011, and “Scott Thompson”, who was ousted this past May after it was discovered that he had lied about his degrees on his resume. Both of their names also appeared prominently in my results. Not too much conversation seemed to appear about the future of Yahoo, but I’m sure that will come as the dust from this news settles.

Something interesting to note was the sentiment I found around the topic. While the news may be a positive step for Yahoo, the sentiment people were putting out about the news was almost split. 26% of the conversation had positive sentiment around it, but there was almost as much negative sentiment with 22%.

One last interesting thing to note from this search which seems to be happening more and more these days. Looking at the number of posts trended out over time shows how the new media landscape is changing how news like this spreads. The news of Mayer being appointed Yahoo’s new CEO was made public on Monday. We can see that the talk about this alos peaked on Twitter on Monday as people were quick to spread the news. However, the news didn’t peak on traditional online news outlets and blogs until the following day. Just an interesting tidbit I thought to include to show how Twitter, with it’s fast pace and ability to say things quickly and concisely, is changing the way the world finds it’s news.

Could Yahoo Finally be a Player?

Big news for Yahoo: the struggling search and content company has appointed former Google bigwig Marissa Mayer as its new CEO.

Mayer joined Google as a programmer in 1999, and she has been a key player in turning this once obscure search engine into an Internet powerhouse (she was VP of local and location services when she resigned earlier this week), as well as  that now combines social media attributes through Google+.

But back to Yahoo. The arrival of Mayer brings with it the possibility of revitalization, either through search, content or social media. In its last incarnation, the site was focused on e-commerce. What a mess!

Much of this mess is due to a revolving door of CEOs. Scott Thompson lasted just four months after it was revealed he had false information on his resume. When the Yahoo board found out he didn’t have a computer science degree as advertised, they booted him last May. There was a long string of short-term leaders before him.

With Yahoo groups and email addresses still lingering out there, and a whole lot of brand awareness, there is an audience out there who would embrace innovation and unique ways to chat and share via Yahoo. The social media world is always hungry for something new. A reinvention would be just fine.

While no one questions Mayer’s experience, some are quibbling over her ability to be a visionary for a company that has a big name but no meaningful focus. To some social media innovation via Yahoo, we say bring it on.