The Diverse Paths for Google+ and Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Facebook is a social networking site that is trying to diversify into other applications (Poke, Messenger, Camera, etc), while Google+ is trying to integrate into the already existing array of Google Apps. CIO has a great article on the differences in the two company’s future direction:

Yet these two sites are embracing opposite strategies for the future. Specifically, Facebook is an integrated social network that is trying to become many different products, and Google offers many different products that it’s trying to integrate into a single social network.

The reason for such opposing strategies is that the problems, constraints and opportunities for each company are completely different. Why Facebook and Google+ Are Headed in Opposite Directions by Mike Elgan

While the article goes into some great reasons that Facebook and Google+ have different paths, I think that one missed point is why Facebook has been losing active users — not only because teens have been leaving and new teens have not been signing up, but also because Facebook has started more aggressively controlling what you see in your newsfeed — much of which feels like ads.

As my colleague Earl Lear pointed out:

I think what irritates me the most about Facebook is the fact that I personally clicked the ‘Like’ button on her page so that I could keep up with her, and read the content that she posts on a regular basis.  However, Facebook has determined that I really didn’t mean to ‘Like’ her content and has chosen to silence her in my newsfeed.  The motivation here is clearly to raise the revenue at Facebook by forcing people into paying for ads but aren’t they taking away from my experience to achieve their goals and thus lowering the level of satisfaction with their product?

I guess the question is, if you liked a page, do you expect to see updates from that page?  Maybe Facebook should have distinguished between Like and Subscribe earlier so they wouldn’t have to guess what content people want to see.

While people often aren’t keen on the amount of data Google collects about them, they’ve typically been pretty open and truthful about what they’re doing — they even provide good measurement tools for both AdWords and Analytics so you can see what’s going on with your websites.

Will this openness serve Google+ in the future?  Will Facebook’s past gaffs cause problems?  What do you think?

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Relationships are Key to B2B Online Marketing in 2014

over coffee

over coffee (Photo credit: lanuiop)

B2B marketing, whether online or off, is all about relationships. With longer sales cycles, and often, larger purchase amounts, it’s the relationship that a customer has with a business that really determines whether or not they’ll make the sale.  This also means that how the customer thinks and feels about the B2B company is vital to understand, throughout the relationship — especially in customer service after the purchase.  eMagine has a good article on B2B online marketing tactics for 2014: The B2B Online Marketing Quick Checklist for 2014, and while they mention Facebook and LinkedIn, I think that social media marketing has to be one of the top tactics for any B2B company in 2014 — and that means finding the social networks that make sense for your particular business (which may mean publication or association social networks or even creating your own).  Also vital to the success of any social media marketing efforts are being able to track customers throughout the sales cycle — which means a CRM that can be tied to social networks and campaigns and can find customers who are on social networks to know what they’re saying.

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Twitter’s Promoted Tweets Going Mobile

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

It was just a matter of time before Twitter increased the amount of ads in its feed and applications. Twitter announced on Monday that mobile users would start to see promoted tweets right in their timelines. Promoted Tweets are a way for advertisers to get themselves in front of more Twitter users, and a way for Twitter to make money. This change is not surprising now that Twitter has public stockholders to please.  It’s common knowledge that ads that are set apart tend to be ignored, so putting Promoted Tweets right in the feed is a way to increase the performance of those ads.

 

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Using Hastags on Facebook May Kill Your Content

facebook engancha

facebook engancha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Twitter, hashtags help spread news and link conversations.  On Google+, hashtags help group together related content.  On Facebook, hashtags kill your content?  According to a study by EdgeRank, when hashtags are used by businesses on status messages, both engagement and virality drop significantly.  While this may be related to the posts that are being tagged, it seems to me that this is really a problem with Facebook’s hashtag system.  Unlike Google+ and Twitter, hashtags are not easy to use or browse on Facebook — they also seem disruptive in the news feed — like you’ve just posted a Twitter post without bothering to modify it for Facebook.

Social Times has more analysis:

EdgeRank analyzed 35,000 posts from 500 business pages over the month of July this year. They were shocked by the results. At best, the hashtags had no impact, and at worst, the presence of a hashtag reduced the reach of the posts. Contrast this with Twitter, one of the first sites to use hashtags effectively, 70 percent of brands saw retweets increase with the use of hashtags. Facebook Hashtags Aren’t Very Effective, Study Says by Kimberlee Morrison

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Learn About Your Customer Through Social Listening

Listen with heart

Listen with heart (Photo credit: Leonard John Matthews)

One of the most amazing aspects of social media is the ability to listen directly to your customers to find out their needs and wants. Unfortunately, this is not done by many companies. Instead they rather either spend lots of money on expensive surveys and market research, or avoid it altogether. There’s nothing wrong with spending on surveys and market research, but avoiding information that is right in front of you is a big mistake. [Read more...]

How to Optimize Your Twitter Process

Twitter seems pretty self-explanatory.  You have something to say, and you tweet it.  But, really, for business, there’s some work that can be done to optimize your Twitter process so that it becomes an effective marketing tool and helps you connect with your customers in a meaningful way.  This presentation by Erica McGillivray is a great way to get started:

Will People Rate Businesses on Facebook?

FACEBOOK LIKE

FACEBOOK LIKE (Photo credit: owenwbrown)

Facebook has been testing a new feature that displays star ratings (out of five possible) on business pages.  Obviously a star rating system isn’t a new innovation — it’s widely used on eCommerce sites.  Will people spend the time to rate businesses more than just a thumbs up (like)?  Or will this turn into another situation where businesses have to beg for ratings (or pay for them) in order to be seen as favorable? This sort of rating also seems to make more sense when you’re in the midst of doing business with a company, which rarely happens on Facebook.  What do you think?

Facebook is apparently testing displaying star ratings, out of a possible five in total, on Pages on the desktop version of its site, according to a reliable tip received by TechCrunch this morning. Screenshots and live testing show that Facebook has turned on the star rating display for at least a small subsection of users, providing information to network users that goes beyond the somewhat sentiment-deprived basic Like. A Like Is Not Enough: Facebook Tests Star Ratings Displayed On Pages by Darrell Etherington

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20 Inspiring (Mildly Edited) Historical Quotes About SEO & Social

English: Col. Theodore Roosevelt. Crop of Imag...

Theodore Roosevelt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Great philosophers, writers, politicians, comedians, and darts commentators throughout the years have been quoted over and over again, their words of wisdom resonate as we strive to improve our very being.

But what if they’d have been around today, in the era of online marketing, Google, Twitter, and Facebook? What may they have said or written instead?

We’ll never know for sure, but we can take a guess at what Shakespeare, FDR, Bacon, Marx and others may have said…

- 20 Inspiring (Mildly Edited) Historical Quotes About SEO & Social by Simon Heseltine

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Facebook Basics to Boost Your Business

Come In We're Open

Come In We’re Open (Photo credit: tidefan)

Is your small business using Facebook yet? If not, you’re missing out. According to the Pew Internet and American Life study, Facebook is by far the most popular social network in the U.S., used by 72 percent of all internet users. Here are the basics you need to know to get started. [...]

[D]ecide what you want to accomplish with Facebook. Maybe you want to get more visitors to your webstore, expose your business to new prospects who have never bought from you, or reward loyal customers by offering them deals and discounts. Your goals will determine what you do on Facebook.

- Facebook Basics to Boost Your Business by PBC

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4 Best Practices for Social Advertising

fallen trees

fallen trees (Photo credit: theharv58)

If a tree falls in the forest, it’s debatable that anyone hears it. When your ad fails on Facebook, though, there’s no confusion. It was a dud.

A lack of interaction tells the tale. Clearly you paid good money to expose lots of people to this particular piece of content, but most gave it little mind.

That doesn’t have to be the case. There are people who do nothing but study the performance of social advertising all day. We talked to some and gleaned a few insights. If you want to run an ad with a halfway decent chance of getting a social lift, check out these pro tips.

- 4 Best Practices for Social Advertising by Todd Wasserman

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