Brand love gets social with our expanded social media services

brand love gets social

Following our recent acquisitions, we’re very proud to announce our updated and extended social media services!

We’ve expanded our training workshops to include:

Introduction to Social Media – designed for decision makers who need to understand how social fits into their business and how to begin to create a SMART strategy to do so.

I’m on LinkedIn, But… – understand how to take your LinkedIn profile to the next level as a powerful networking tool.

Twitter 101 – learn to make best use of this powerful communication tool for your business.

Better Blogging – covering both technical how-to (using WordPress) and best practice content creation.

Facebook for Business – designed to enable you to utilise the world’s largest social network for real business benefit.

We’ve also launched 2 new services:

The Online Social Impact Audit provides a reference point to identify areas of improvement and forms the starting point for any social media campaign or strategy development.

Maximise the number of people who hear about and interact with your event, product or brand launch with our Social Media Event Amplification.

Our Social Media Management page has been updated to reflect changes to our offerings also.

just a line

We’re offering an Introduction to Social Media breakfast session for only £25+VAT.

Come and join us on the 26th October at 8am (for an 8:30 start) for some breakfast and an overview from our Social Media Strategist, Luke on:

  • Why social networking matters to your brand
  • An overview of the key sites
  • Some future trends to look out for

Call Steve on 01202 888192 to reserve your place.

If you’d like more information on any of our social media services, please call Luke in the office.

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Has Google found their place in Social Media with Google+?

After a long history of Social Media attempts, and their more recent, albeit low radar, endeavours in the form of Google Wave and Google Buzz, has Google finally put forward a contender in the seemingly unattainable competition with Social networking giant, Facebook?

The ‘invitation-only’ launch of Google+ has been widely hyped as the most promising competitor to Facebook for some time. In some ways it seems to have ‘borrowed’ a lot of the key aspects and features of Facebook’s functionality, however, it is hitting out at Facebook’s weaknesses too.

With an estimated 500 million plus users, privacy is an area on which Facebook has been criticised in the past, and Google are grabbing this opportunity to differentiate themselves with both hands. Although this alone will not be enough to sway the dedicated Facebook fans, reviews from the chosen few that were invited to try it, shows that Google+ has potential to, compete with at least, Facebook.

Another of the key differences that could push Google+ is the depth of integration available. At the moment, Google+ is linked to all other aspects of Google; accounts and Gmail for example. This integration will undoubtedly allow users to go about their daily online business without leaving the site, meaning a much longer contact time with the user, attractive to both Google+ and marketers.

Comparisons with Facebook

Facebook

Google+

Profiles: The users display page, on which ‘friends’
of the user can post messages, pictures and share content that they have
‘liked’.

Profiles: With your profile, you can manage the
information that people see — such as your bio, contact details, and links
to other sites about you or created by you.

Networks: Users can belong to more than one network;
these are usually the hometown or school/university/workplace networks.

Circles A functionality that allows you to group
your friends into individual circle/group. You can share different content
with different circles.

Chat: an integrated instant messaging service
with Facebook, where you can ‘chat’ to friends in private conversations.

Huddle: A type of group messaging. It turns different
conversations into one simple group chat, so everyone gets on the same page
all at once.

Photo Up loader: users can create photo albums by
uploading pictures from either their computer or smart phones.

Instant Uploads: The photos and videos from your mobile can be
shared instantly. You can take a photo and it uploads to your Picasa or
YouTube account and then you can share those photos and videos via Google+ to
specific “circles.”

Privacy: An area where Facebook is often
criticised, there are different levels of privacy which have to be manually
changed by the user. Otherwise the default level allows all Facebook users to
see your profile.

Privacy: You can assign different
visibility levels to most parts of your profile. The names of your circles
are never exposed to anyone else. You can confirm how your profile looks to a
specific person regardless of whether they’re in one of your circles.

Groups/Likes: there are thousands of groups
and pages, representing all interests and products you can think of, and
those you can’t!

Sparks: This feature lets you pick your interests and
then does what Google does the best, it gathers all relevant content from the
web for that topic and allows you to control which circle views what content.
It also connects you with people of similar interests.

Opportunities for brands

The main opportunity for brands on the new Google+ network, aside from wanting to be added to people’s circles, the equivalent of being ‘liked’ on Facebook or ‘followed’ on Twitter, is the ‘Sparks’ application. A user will list their likes and interests, and Google feeds them relevant information/products. The priority for brands will be to appear at the tops of these lists, whether this is through SEO linked to Google searches or interest optimization. This could give the opportunity for a new optimization market to develop, giving marketers another channel to consider.

Although business and ‘non-human’ pages are not currently part of Google+ being tested in the trial, it is something that they are looking to provide. Jeff Huber, Google VP of Local and Commerce, has indicated that Google+, at some point in the near future will include the option for business profile page. Here is his comment:
‘And pre-emptively answering a question — yes, we will have (smb) business profile pages on Google+. I can’t announce a launch date yet, but we want to make them *great*, and we’re coding as fast as we can.’
It is surprising that Google+ has not been more prepared for the wave of brands wanting to create profiles, as happened with Facebook and Twitter. Brands want to go where their customers are, and by not trailing the promised specialized business profiles, Google+ may have missed a trick.

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Facebook Privacy Settings: What’s Going On?

It’s everywhere, inescapable. In every news outlet, in every country of the world (sometimes as a front page story), Facebook privacy settings are changing once again. That fact in itself is practically a landmark in the importance of social networking sites, but that’s a different blog post.

So you may be thinking, as I’m sure quite a lot of Facebook’s almost 500 million registered users are, what exactly is going on?

Not so long ago Facebook changed their privacy settings to allow users granular access to their privacy settings, to control exactly who can see what, when, where and in what context. Personally I thought this was a marvelous idea, and the first thing I did was set everything to private. Job done, straightforward and spelled out for you there in black and white.

Unfortunately this spelled trouble for people who found the level of control to be overwhelming and confusing, and after a few privacy gaffes (including a few choice comments from Mark Zuckerberg himself) and millions of users threatening to delete or abandon their accounts, Facebook have caved to the pressure and are rolling out a simpler, one click approach to privacy controls. But what exactly does this mean?

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