Google Requires People to Use the Google+

Google+ Red Icon

Google is really pushing people to use Google+, whether you like it or not. According to today’s front-page Wall Street Journal article, this emphasis is coming from Chief Exec Larry Page himself.

I, for one, am not a big Google+ fan. I think the user experience feels, like a lot of other Google products, as if it were designed by engineers instead of people with an intuitive sense for how people interact. It’s very task oriented and not so people oriented and for a social networking site, that’s not very good.

Yes, I know that Google+ is having a tremendous impact on search results and yes, I recommend it as a content distribution destination for clients. But the user base is much, much lower than Facebook or Twitter and the engagement even lower.

My recommendation for fixing Google+ is for Google to get some people with real UI experience working on it. Simplify it. Make it a little more polished and elegant.

What do you think? Are you a Google+ fan or foe?

6 Social Media Tools Experts Use to Update Facebook Pages

 

Okay, I’ve been a bit remiss in blogging of late. Enough of that. I’m back with a vengeance. I’ve been using Instapaper (one of the tools I love) to archive a lot of material over the last six-months. So expect a flood of posts on a regular basis. First this from the always excellent KissMetrics Blog covering 6 Tools Social Media Experts Use to Update Facebook Pages.

If you’re like me, you’re overwhelmed not just keeping up with all the daily changes in social media and digital marketing but finding out about and learning to use a host of new tools to track engagement, conversations, influence…you name it. In a sense, we’ve become tool paralyzed.

That’s one of the reasons I haven’t been blogging as regularly over the last several months. I had become dependent on FireFox and all my bookmarks and add ons and when FireFox started to get real glitchy around six-months ago, my tools started failing me. I guess in a sea of constant change we look for any little bit of stability and having a set of “go to” digital tools makes one feel in control of a hopelessly out of control situation.

Enjoy!

Image searches ‘poisoned’ by cybercriminals

 

Saw this in New Scientist last night and it scared me because I search for a lot of images online. Holy cow, those hackers are nasty little dudes…kind of like digital weeds…or mosquitoes. Maybe someone should develop a malware for malware…a software that attacks any computer attacking yours. What do you think of that idea?

 

Optimizing LinkedIn

By popular request, my Optimizing LinkedIn presentation ready for downloading. I’ve been giving it for various groups and the feedback has been encouraging. One person told the group I presented to this morning that he’d been to numerous LinkedIn training sessions and mine was far and away the most practical and informative. That was good to hear because I always want to deliver helpful, relevant information, value and thought leadership.

Please let me know how I could improve this. It’s intentionally designed to be light on text as it’s given as a workshop presentation. Hubspot has a number of more detailed e-books and white papers to walk you through particulars. In addition, the LinkedIn learning center is a great place to lean more. Enjoy!

 

Winning at the Zero Moment of Truth

Google report on the Zero Moment of Truth

Jim Lecinski, managing director of U.S. Sales and Service for Google and all around good guy, has kindly given us permission to distribute his phenomenal report entitled Winning at the Zero Moment of Truth. The 73-page e-book documents the startling changes in consumer researching and buying behavior occurring as the internet, social networks and channels, content like user reviews, ratings and other consumer-generated content,  search engines and “always on” smart phones and other mobile devices converge to create a new kind of world where your brand is not what you say it is but what the consumer says it is.

In reality, the “internet of things” arrived a bit earlier than anticipated. It came in form of the Internet of US! It came about because of our iPhones, iPads, Androids and other smart, mobile devices, perpetually connected to the internet, broadcasting our likes and dislikes…our sharing, creating, commenting, reviewing and recommending. The hard cold truth for most brands is not that the technology is ahead of their marketing efforts…their customers are ahead of their marketing efforts!

Marketing model for the first moment of truth
Legacy Marketing Model: First Moment of Truth

In order to understand the Zero Moment, you have to understand the First Moment of Truth concept popularized by Procter & Gamble. It referred to the first place a brand had to win…when the consumer, stimulated by some kind of marketing communication or advertising like a TV spot, a coupon or a magazine ad stands in front of the product at the retail shelf and decides to put the brand in their shopping cart. The marketing model that goes along with this concept is simple: run creative advertising to get the consumer to be aware, to have interest, to go to a retail location and buy your product. A tremendous amount of time, money and effort has gone into perfecting this system.

graphic depiction of the zero moment of truth concept

What’s changed is huge critical moment now occurs between stimulus and shelf. It impacts every product or service category, whether it’s a considered good like a $40,000 automobile, a $2,500 HDTV or a $3 bottle of body wash. It has implications for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketers.

Consumers still may watch your TV spots or see you magazine ad. But they now immediately  grab their laptop or smart phone and search for reviews to see what others are saying about your product. They go to Facebook or Twitter and ask their friends if anyone has used the product and if so, what they think. They may go to YouTube and look for a vedeo of someone demoing the product…or making fun of it. Before they’ve even been able to go to the store, they have all the information they need and they’ve already made up their mind.

The Zero Moment of Truth describes this dominant role these connections, community and content are now playing in how we research, learn, search and ultimately find and buy products and services.

Jim sites several examples of zeros moments of truth in his report:

  • A busy mom in a minivan is looking up decongestants on her mobile phone as she waits to pick up her son from school.
  • An office manager at her desk, comparing laser printer prices and toner cartridge costs to determine which office supply store has the best price
  • A student in a cafe, scanning user ratings and reviews while looking up a cheap hotel in Barcelona.
  • A winter sports fan in a ski store, pulling out a mobile phone to watch video reviews of the latest snowboards
  • A young woman in a condo, searching the web for juicy details about a guy with whom she’s been set up on a blind date

Kim Kadlec, worldwide vice president of Global Marketing at Johnson & Johnson puts it this way in the report:

We’re entering an era of reciprocity. We now have to engage people in a way that’s useful or helpful to their lives. The consumers is looking to satisfy their needs, and we have to be there to help them with that. To put it another say: How can we exchange value instead of just sending a message?

That’s the question every marketer should be exploring and using to examine every piece of traditional advertising and marketing. Is it delivering value? Is it helping to answer the consumers need for information. Is is designed to engage and amplify across this environment filled with zero moments of truth. Something to think about.

User Generated Content: Amature Animation

Xtranormal Cartoon Creation

From this morning’s Wall Street Journal a fascinating look at a new user generated content trend: creating your own animated shorts. The democratization of content continues with digital creation tools like Xtranormal and GoAnimate that allow you to create your own versions of South Park or Family Guy-like cartoons, filled with your own version of social or work-related satire, then share on YouTube, Twitter and blogs. The barriers of self-expression and creativity keep dropping.

The Real Purpose of Social Media

The Real Purpose of Social Media

This is a long but excellent video by Dough Rushkoff, author of “Program or Be Programmed” (sorry, the video host won’t allow the video to be embedded). He makes a fundamental point toward the end of the video that social media is really about the value exchange between the participants in a distributed network. If brands want to have meaningful value in this exchange, they have to contribute value. You can do this with entertainment (hard) or you can do this with information (not so hard) but however you choose to do it, you have to be real. As Doug points out, “Nobody wants to talk about what the Keebler Elf is doing…unless he’s been caught having sex with the Pillsbury Doughboy” or something like this, is hilariously true.

6 Critically Undervalued Social Media Success Metrics | social media ROI | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert

I thought this was a really useful post from Jay Baer’s Convince and Convert blog on some simple social media metrics you can put into place right now.

I was particularly interested in Jay’s simple tutorial on how to create a Share of Voice report and the ready-to-go tools he made available to create a Share of Voice report. I intend to immediately incorporate this into our content marketing service delivery.

Thanks Jay for practicing what you preach. Another great example of how creating content creates fans that convert into customers.

 

Infographic: Most Content Sharing Occurs on Facebook

Mashable posted this cool infographic this morning based on research from the sharing widget AddThis. In 2010 Facebook grew as the number one destination on the web for sharing content, outpacing all other sites and sharing vehicles. Still, there’s lots of sharing going on, with a variety of tools used.

 

Infographic Showing How/Where Content is Being Shared

 

 

 

The Republic of Facebook Infographic

One more interesting graphic for today. Helps to visualize the power of Facebook.

Apps

There are 550,000+ apps that are used on Facebook. Seventy percent of users engage with apps each month. There are one million app developers. Zynga, the top app developer, made $250 million in 2009. Of that amount, $80-$150 million is estimated to be profit, more net profit than Facebook itself made.

The most popular Facebook apps are:

Zynga

Rock You!

Electric Arts

CrowdStar

Playdom

Causes

Slide

6 Waves

Topzy

iLike

MindJolt

RIM

Facebook Pages

There are 1,500,000 active Facebook pages. The average value per fan is $136.38. Extrapolating on that, many celebrity pages would be worth enormous sums:

Michael Jackson, with 13.3 million fans, would have a page worth $1.8 billion. Family Guy has 9.5 million fans for a worth of $1.3 billion. Lady Gaga and Barack Obama each have 9.1 million fans, worth $1.2 billion each. Vin Diesel has nine million fans, worth $1.1 billion. Starbucks has 8.2 million fans, worth $1.1 billion. South Park has 6.2 million fans for a worth of $845 million.

Popular Facebook pages include:

Barack Obama

Lady Gaga

Michael Jackson

Family Guy

Vin Diesel

Megan Fox

House

Twilight Saga

Starbucks

Users

There are 500,000,000+ users of Facebook. Of those, 200 million users use it daily for an average of 55 minutes a day. If those users were all working for $5 an hour instead of going on Facebook, they would collectively earn $916,000,000 a day.

Advertisers

In Q1 2010, 176 billion display ads were posted on Facebook, 16 percent of the display ad market. Facebook says its advertisers have quadrupled since 2009.

If Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populous in the world after China and India. Today’s valuation of Facebook is $7.9-$11 billion.

Original is here:
The Republic of Facebook Infographic