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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Why Every Business Needs Google Plus

google-Plus-iconSocial media websites the likes of Friendster and Myspace were once all the rage. Today it’s Facebook and tomorrow there will probably be another social media giant. There’s an obvious pattern here. Adoption rates skyrocket in one social media website. Then, a new website becomes the next “in” place to be and new users move to a new location.  We at JHG Media believe Google+ is critical to any online brand management.

So, is Facebook on its way out? It might be when you view the amazing growth of Google+. Registered users from the end of 2012 to the end of 2013 went from 435 million to 1.15 billion. That number puts Google+ in a second-place position behind Facebook, which sits at the top with 1.23 billion registered users. Will Google+ overtake the number one position? It might. Read on. 

 

Why You or Your Marketing Team Should Double Down On Google+

Marketers who use Google Plus are now given a boost in how Google rates search engine results. If there are 100 active engagement followers on your Google+ page, your search engine ranking results of your website can see a boost of 14 positions. Such a change could place your website onto the first page for your niche.

The reason this is possible is that a year ago, Google has combined Google+ into its entire family of services. Google Local and Google Search, along with Google+, Gmail, Blogger and Youtube are all one complete group; in other words, one login for everything.

There’s something else. When you own a Google Plus profile, you can claim authorship on copy produced by you. You’re the author and no matter where your material is placed, Google now recognizes you as the original author. What does that mean? Well, as original content, Google places a higher relevance on your “original” text.

What’s more, you can link to your content from your Google+ profile, thereby allowing an easy flow to your entire original content when someone Googles your name. With these links, your credibility grows, your exposure expands and your search engine rankings increase.

 

Google’s Circles Add Another Marketing Factor

The “circle” concept in Google Plus lets a marketer create groups constructed from the type of relationship you have with each person. Circles can be generated in a varying medley of possibilities in Google+, thereby allowing you to send messages to each group or to all of your circles together. 

The reverse is possible, in that you can get updates from selected contacts, in order to get a better understanding of your audience. Add G-mail into the picture and you can blast a Google+ post to circle contacts via an e-mail.

Google+ Circles

 

Business Connections and Google+ Go Hand-in-Hand

Google Plus is a better connection to the business community than Twitter or Facebook. It contains easier methods for placing important messages to your audience. What’s amusing is that there aren’t too many experts spouting the business virtues of Google+. Yet, it seems as though everyone agrees that Google+ is an important social media platform. If that’s the case, there’s a real urgency that you use Google+ in your social media marketing strategy.

Posted by: Joel Canter

Online Reputation Management – How to Handle Reviews

reviewsThe practice of writing fake reviews to drown out negative comments is not only a shady Online Reputation Management (ORM) tactic, but it’s proving to be illegal. As a general practice, ORM should never involve misleading the public. Better strategies are outlined below.

Practices for Squelching Fake Reviews

ORM is now a $5 billion industry and amounts to as much as two-thirds of the work for some law firms. There’s a reason. Online reviews are trusted by 70 percent of those who read them. So, there’s an effort to pack online properties with illegitimate reviews and to write libelous statements about past employers, service companies, acquaintances, or significant others.

This is large enough of a problem that state attorneys general, big companies, the news media and even Google are jumping into legal efforts to help beat back fake comments written online. A number of tactics are available to stomp out fake reviews, such as writing blog posts, creating branded web properties in social media, crafting business and individual profiles for LinkedIn, Google Plus, Facebook, etc. and creating press releases, blogs and columns about your business.

 

One ORM expert wonders what exactly constitutes spam related to profile links to Google. He suggests to continue creating quality content, which is linked to supplementary trustworthy websites as a tactic to significant ORM conclusions. And, Google suggests “behaving in a way that is genuinely worthy of a good reputation.”  […read more]

 

War on Fake Yelp Reviews

After setting up a fake yogurt store in Brooklyn, the New York Attorney General’s Office fined 19 companies, who paid writers to create bogus reviews to counterbalance harmful online comments. As much as 20 percent of online reviews are phony, says the director of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Advertising Practices Division. Yelp, a business review website, sued a San Diego law firm in August for writing fake reviews on their site

 

YelpFake reviews hurt sites like Yelp, since “90 percent of respondents said their buying decisions were influenced by positive online reviews, and 86 percent were influenced by negative reviews.” One tactic for contradicting fake reviews is to never trust any single opinion and, instead, gauge opinions from several reviews. […read more]

 

The owner of the law firm, Julian McMillan, says Yelp is trying to get even for his small claims dispute with them over ads he bought on their website. McMillan says, “They’re an Internet bully and they abused their dominant Internet position for advertising contracts.”

 

Yelp says that they’re going after anyone who misleads shoppers by posting simulated reviews. Yelp wants over $25,000 for failure to adhere to their contract and a deliberate meddling with contractual relations. McMillan says he’s too busy to “hop on websites and goof around.” [… read more]

 

Since ORM is a serious business, “goofing around” should never enter into the picture. The lesson learned from these three examples is that with due diligence and best practices, any individual or business can benefit from online reputation management.

Posted by: Joel Canter

Online Branding – How to Get Noticed

Online BrandingSeveral activities make online branding a success. It’s not only where you perform your branding, but how you do the job that measures the accomplishment of your branding effort. Below are a number of things to remember while you launch your brand online. 

Be Creative With Your Online Marketing

There are three elements to an effective online branding strategy and they are:

  1. Knowing who you want to target with your brand.
  2. Presenting a benefit to all of your online visitors.
  3. Developing an online personality.

Information should only be placed on your site if it has a definite task and that job is to make sure it grabs the attention of the type of customer you’re targeting. When your customer is paying attention, you then can demonstrate that you have something that benefits him or her. You can show off your qualifications, list awards, or indicate superior points when compared to competitors. A tone needs to be set in your online promotional efforts so that your customers regard your online efforts as an old friend.

Then, online marketing efforts should be compared with brochures, information sheets and business letters to ensure that the same brand efforts permeate throughout your business promotions. What you once used might be outdated, making it time to say “goodbye” to outdated material.

The next step is to check your results by tracking click-throughs, online sales and the growth of your market share, all features that can be tracked online. If your brand isn’t working, changes should be made to get it right. 

JHG MediaMake Sure Facebook is Part of Your Online Branding 

One mistake that shouldn’t be made by any online marketing agency is to ignore Facebook. If you think Facebook is a frivolous website for kids, think again. It’s number one when you’re involved with social media marketing.

Sure, it’s critical to build business sites in LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. But, you should never forget Facebook. One main reason is that social connections inevitably wander through Facebook. Plus, it’s well used. In a comScore 2013 report, the share of time spent on social networking sites was 83 percent for Facebook and 5.7 percent for the next largest social media competitor, Tumblr. Pinterest is next with a meager 1.9 percent, followed by Twitter at 1.7 percent and LinkedIn with 1.4 percent.

Facebook’s participants equal a billion users worldwide. You just can’t ignore the size of that audience. A key to its success is sharing, which matches nicely with moving your brand into the hands of new customers. Facebook users interact with friends, post status updates and write about their daily lives. When your brand furnishes them with their needs, you gain an audience for your business, which seeks you out.

The numbers say it all. When you want your brand to harness some energy, you need to have a presence on Facebook. Once you know how customers use this social media giant, you’re on your way to successful online branding. 

Shape Your Online Branding Strategies Wisely

When you understand what online branding is, you realize that it can drive paying customers to your business by instilling faith in your customers, showing prominence in the marketplace and developing relationships with targeted future customers online. It takes time to implement effective online branding. Here are some ideas that help get the process going.

  • Place your brand in as many social media websites as you can maintain on a regular basis. Also, use as many forms of online communication as possible (see the next idea).
  • youtubeUtilize video branding. YouTube is an excellent media for displaying your brand in video form. With over a billion YouTube users, video branding on this site equals a great potential for future customers to not only see you, but also your unique message. Plus, it equates to increased visits to your website, or other social media sites with your presence. The key to developing videos that hawk your brand on YouTube is to create them in such a way that they really speak to your target customer base. Originality, humor and distinctiveness are all traits to strive for when making a brand video. Online videos are best when they’re short and immediately grab the main points of your brand. Drop the time down to under two minutes. Include important brand properties, such as your business, your product and the benefits they give your customers.
  • Create a slide presentation. Photographic slides can be viewed online or downloaded for future reference. This is a perfect medium for guidelines, which offer help to your customers. Another possibility with slide shows is that they can be used by other authors who link to them, thereby boosting traffic to your website. Again, originality helps in making slides. You want eye-catching images that grab the attention of the customers you’re trying to pursue. Think about those people who write about the topic you’re using for your brand. Talk to those writers online and give them permission to use your slideshow in their writing efforts.
  • Make sure you include the best social websites that offer free publicity to target customers. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are four of the bigger social media sites. Contribute your brand to social media groups in ways that publicize your brand. Boost website visitation by branding in diverse social media networks. Improve online branding efforts by placing a constant brand on social media sites.
  • Distribute material related to your brand regularly. Consistency is imperative for effective social media branding, since it amplifies trust in your brand and your company.
  • Share knowledge in online discussion groups and while you’re sharing, make sure you add links to your website to amplify traffic to it.
  • Add useful information in an active online community. You can boost traffic to your own website and gather trust in your brand.
  • Add question and answers to online sites, such as Quora and Yahoo Answers, as a method of moving traffic to your website.

An online marketing agency, such as JHG Media, can assist you in implementing your online branding efforts to put your message everywhere online in order to substantiate an online reputation, increase trust in your brand and transform social media participants into solid, paying customers for your business.

Posted by: Joel Canter

Why Every Business Needs Google Plus

google-Plus-iconSocial media websites the likes of Friendster and Myspace were once all the rage. Today it’s Facebook and tomorrow there will probably be another social media giant. There’s an obvious pattern here. Adoption rates skyrocket in one social media website. Then, a new website becomes the next “in” place to be and new users move to a new location.  We at JHG Media believe Google+ is critical to any online brand management.

So, is Facebook on its way out? It might be when you view the amazing growth of Google+. Registered users from the end of 2012 to the end of 2013 went from 435 million to 1.15 billion. That number puts Google+ in a second-place position behind Facebook, which sits at the top with 1.23 billion registered users. Will Google+ overtake the number one position? It might. Read on. 

 

Why You or Your Marketing Team Should Double Down On Google+

Marketers who use Google Plus are now given a boost in how Google rates search engine results. If there are 100 active engagement followers on your Google+ page, your search engine ranking results of your website can see a boost of 14 positions. Such a change could place your website onto the first page for your niche.

The reason this is possible is that a year ago, Google has combined Google+ into its entire family of services. Google Local and Google Search, along with Google+, Gmail, Blogger and Youtube are all one complete group; in other words, one login for everything.

There’s something else. When you own a Google Plus profile, you can claim authorship on copy produced by you. You’re the author and no matter where your material is placed, Google now recognizes you as the original author. What does that mean? Well, as original content, Google places a higher relevance on your “original” text.

What’s more, you can link to your content from your Google+ profile, thereby allowing an easy flow to your entire original content when someone Googles your name. With these links, your credibility grows, your exposure expands and your search engine rankings increase.

 

Google’s Circles Add Another Marketing Factor

The “circle” concept in Google Plus lets a marketer create groups constructed from the type of relationship you have with each person. Circles can be generated in a varying medley of possibilities in Google+, thereby allowing you to send messages to each group or to all of your circles together. 

The reverse is possible, in that you can get updates from selected contacts, in order to get a better understanding of your audience. Add G-mail into the picture and you can blast a Google+ post to circle contacts via an e-mail.

Google+ Circles

 

Business Connections and Google+ Go Hand-in-Hand

Google Plus is a better connection to the business community than Twitter or Facebook. It contains easier methods for placing important messages to your audience. What’s amusing is that there aren’t too many experts spouting the business virtues of Google+. Yet, it seems as though everyone agrees that Google+ is an important social media platform. If that’s the case, there’s a real urgency that you use Google+ in your social media marketing strategy.

Posted by: Joel Canter

Online Reputation Management – How to Handle Reviews

reviewsThe practice of writing fake reviews to drown out negative comments is not only a shady Online Reputation Management (ORM) tactic, but it’s proving to be illegal. As a general practice, ORM should never involve misleading the public. Better strategies are outlined below.

Practices for Squelching Fake Reviews

ORM is now a $5 billion industry and amounts to as much as two-thirds of the work for some law firms. There’s a reason. Online reviews are trusted by 70 percent of those who read them. So, there’s an effort to pack online properties with illegitimate reviews and to write libelous statements about past employers, service companies, acquaintances, or significant others.

This is large enough of a problem that state attorneys general, big companies, the news media and even Google are jumping into legal efforts to help beat back fake comments written online. A number of tactics are available to stomp out fake reviews, such as writing blog posts, creating branded web properties in social media, crafting business and individual profiles for LinkedIn, Google Plus, Facebook, etc. and creating press releases, blogs and columns about your business.

 

One ORM expert wonders what exactly constitutes spam related to profile links to Google. He suggests to continue creating quality content, which is linked to supplementary trustworthy websites as a tactic to significant ORM conclusions. And, Google suggests “behaving in a way that is genuinely worthy of a good reputation.”  […read more]

 

War on Fake Yelp Reviews

After setting up a fake yogurt store in Brooklyn, the New York Attorney General’s Office fined 19 companies, who paid writers to create bogus reviews to counterbalance harmful online comments. As much as 20 percent of online reviews are phony, says the director of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Advertising Practices Division. Yelp, a business review website, sued a San Diego law firm in August for writing fake reviews on their site

 

YelpFake reviews hurt sites like Yelp, since “90 percent of respondents said their buying decisions were influenced by positive online reviews, and 86 percent were influenced by negative reviews.” One tactic for contradicting fake reviews is to never trust any single opinion and, instead, gauge opinions from several reviews. […read more]

 

The owner of the law firm, Julian McMillan, says Yelp is trying to get even for his small claims dispute with them over ads he bought on their website. McMillan says, “They’re an Internet bully and they abused their dominant Internet position for advertising contracts.”

 

Yelp says that they’re going after anyone who misleads shoppers by posting simulated reviews. Yelp wants over $25,000 for failure to adhere to their contract and a deliberate meddling with contractual relations. McMillan says he’s too busy to “hop on websites and goof around.” [… read more]

 

Since ORM is a serious business, “goofing around” should never enter into the picture. The lesson learned from these three examples is that with due diligence and best practices, any individual or business can benefit from online reputation management.

Posted by: Joel Canter

Online Branding – How to Get Noticed

Online BrandingSeveral activities make online branding a success. It’s not only where you perform your branding, but how you do the job that measures the accomplishment of your branding effort. Below are a number of things to remember while you launch your brand online. 

Be Creative With Your Online Marketing

There are three elements to an effective online branding strategy and they are:

  1. Knowing who you want to target with your brand.
  2. Presenting a benefit to all of your online visitors.
  3. Developing an online personality.

Information should only be placed on your site if it has a definite task and that job is to make sure it grabs the attention of the type of customer you’re targeting. When your customer is paying attention, you then can demonstrate that you have something that benefits him or her. You can show off your qualifications, list awards, or indicate superior points when compared to competitors. A tone needs to be set in your online promotional efforts so that your customers regard your online efforts as an old friend.

Then, online marketing efforts should be compared with brochures, information sheets and business letters to ensure that the same brand efforts permeate throughout your business promotions. What you once used might be outdated, making it time to say “goodbye” to outdated material.

The next step is to check your results by tracking click-throughs, online sales and the growth of your market share, all features that can be tracked online. If your brand isn’t working, changes should be made to get it right. 

JHG MediaMake Sure Facebook is Part of Your Online Branding 

One mistake that shouldn’t be made by any online marketing agency is to ignore Facebook. If you think Facebook is a frivolous website for kids, think again. It’s number one when you’re involved with social media marketing.

Sure, it’s critical to build business sites in LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. But, you should never forget Facebook. One main reason is that social connections inevitably wander through Facebook. Plus, it’s well used. In a comScore 2013 report, the share of time spent on social networking sites was 83 percent for Facebook and 5.7 percent for the next largest social media competitor, Tumblr. Pinterest is next with a meager 1.9 percent, followed by Twitter at 1.7 percent and LinkedIn with 1.4 percent.

Facebook’s participants equal a billion users worldwide. You just can’t ignore the size of that audience. A key to its success is sharing, which matches nicely with moving your brand into the hands of new customers. Facebook users interact with friends, post status updates and write about their daily lives. When your brand furnishes them with their needs, you gain an audience for your business, which seeks you out.

The numbers say it all. When you want your brand to harness some energy, you need to have a presence on Facebook. Once you know how customers use this social media giant, you’re on your way to successful online branding. 

Shape Your Online Branding Strategies Wisely

When you understand what online branding is, you realize that it can drive paying customers to your business by instilling faith in your customers, showing prominence in the marketplace and developing relationships with targeted future customers online. It takes time to implement effective online branding. Here are some ideas that help get the process going.

  • Place your brand in as many social media websites as you can maintain on a regular basis. Also, use as many forms of online communication as possible (see the next idea).
  • youtubeUtilize video branding. YouTube is an excellent media for displaying your brand in video form. With over a billion YouTube users, video branding on this site equals a great potential for future customers to not only see you, but also your unique message. Plus, it equates to increased visits to your website, or other social media sites with your presence. The key to developing videos that hawk your brand on YouTube is to create them in such a way that they really speak to your target customer base. Originality, humor and distinctiveness are all traits to strive for when making a brand video. Online videos are best when they’re short and immediately grab the main points of your brand. Drop the time down to under two minutes. Include important brand properties, such as your business, your product and the benefits they give your customers.
  • Create a slide presentation. Photographic slides can be viewed online or downloaded for future reference. This is a perfect medium for guidelines, which offer help to your customers. Another possibility with slide shows is that they can be used by other authors who link to them, thereby boosting traffic to your website. Again, originality helps in making slides. You want eye-catching images that grab the attention of the customers you’re trying to pursue. Think about those people who write about the topic you’re using for your brand. Talk to those writers online and give them permission to use your slideshow in their writing efforts.
  • Make sure you include the best social websites that offer free publicity to target customers. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are four of the bigger social media sites. Contribute your brand to social media groups in ways that publicize your brand. Boost website visitation by branding in diverse social media networks. Improve online branding efforts by placing a constant brand on social media sites.
  • Distribute material related to your brand regularly. Consistency is imperative for effective social media branding, since it amplifies trust in your brand and your company.
  • Share knowledge in online discussion groups and while you’re sharing, make sure you add links to your website to amplify traffic to it.
  • Add useful information in an active online community. You can boost traffic to your own website and gather trust in your brand.
  • Add question and answers to online sites, such as Quora and Yahoo Answers, as a method of moving traffic to your website.

An online marketing agency, such as JHG Media, can assist you in implementing your online branding efforts to put your message everywhere online in order to substantiate an online reputation, increase trust in your brand and transform social media participants into solid, paying customers for your business.

Posted by: Joel Canter