Tag Archive | "Controversy"

Google + Usage Still Growing

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Google + Usage Still Growing


When searching for the best ways to advertise online, social media is one of the most popular choices of many marketers today. Google +, the new social networking service launched by Google, has seen some controversy when it first started out, as many believed that it would be a dud, just like some of Google’s other failed products. But it has turned out that the new service by Google may indeed have a chance at really gaining some ground.

 

Google has recently released new figures about their usage statistics. According to information contained in a news update, Google + now boasts 400 million users who have created an account on the service. However, this doesn’t mean that all of these are users that actively visit the service. There are still many that have just created an account out of curiosity, and maybe uploaded a few photos or linked up with some friends, but who don’t pay too much attention to the service.

 

The total amount of active users, is actually closer to 100 million. Still not bad for such a recent service and definitely a potential for marketers and small business owners. If we count those that just used the “social layer”, such as clicking on a +1 link on the web, or mobile users who +1 an app that they’ve seen, the number would increase to 150 million.

 

Another important number is the growth. When statistics were released in July, it was reported than traffic to Google + has grown by more than 65%. Again, this shows that internet users have an interest in Google +.

 

Marketers and advertisers need to recognize this and consider whether Google + should be part of their overall social networking strategy. The best way to go about things right now is to try using the platform for your business and see what kinds of results you will get. You can compare the performance of using Google + versus some of the other social networks. But as always, you should keep ahead of any new developments and statistics that are released about social networking usage. Because it is those who take advantage of new opportunities quickly that often end up among the winners, as they were the first to see new sources of traffic and exposure for their brand.

 

So far, usage statistics for Facebook have remained quite stable and there is still clear indication that it is used by a large number of internet users. In fact, as we have seen in a previous post, over 85% of young adults in the United States have a Facebook account and the site also remains popular among the older generation as well.

 

So far, Google has also made good efforts to keep interest in Google + going, thanks to the redesign of some portions of the user interface, as well as by encouraging webmasters to include +1 buttons on their websites which allows the user to share a site that they’ve seen with their friends.

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Who Uses Which Social Networking Site?

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Who Uses Which Social Networking Site?


One of the basics of a successful online advertising campaign is that you have to target the right people. Social media sites are rapidly becoming a part of the marketing channels used by both small and large businesses. Many advertisers would like to have a more accurate picture of what people use which social network. A survey recently done by the Pew Research Center has given a bit of insight on this topic, which could help marketers choose which social network they will prioritize in their marketing campaigns:

 

LinkedIn

 

The “business” social network, it is reported that 20% of all internet users surveyed use it. The majority of users are college graduates or higher and have a higher than average annual income. In fact, 58% of LinkedIn users report having an annual income of $50 000 per year or higher. With LinkedIn, the higher the annual income of an individual, the most likely they are to have an account on the social network. This isn’t too surprising, as it is a site used by professionals such as lawyers, accountants and business managers.

 

Pineterest

 

A relatively new site that is already showing some potential, despite a bit of controversy about them removing affiliate links and replacing them with their own. Usage is more popular among the younger crowd of 18-29 year olds. The majority of Pinterest users have attended some college or are college graduates. One thing that is interesting about Pinterest is that it’s a lot more popular with women than with men. In fact, the study shows that 20% of women who use the internet also visit Pinterest on a regular basis, compared to just 5% of men. This would make it an option worth looking at for marketers who sell products that are mainly targeted at a female audience.

 

Facebook

 

The most popular social network to date, which has a variety of internet users on it. 67% of internet users report having a Facebook account. Slightly more popular among women with 70% using it, as opposed to 63% of men.

 

Another interesting element of Facebook is the age distribution. 83% of internet users between 18 and 29 years of age report having an account on Facebook, 72% of 30-49 year olds to, 56% of 50-64 year olds and 40% of those aged 65 and over have one. Out of all the social networking services, Facebook is the one that is the most popular among the older crowd.

 

Regarding annual income, the demographic that uses Facebook the most (75%) are those with an annual income between $30 000 and $50 000 per year.

 

While these figures are interesting for marketers as they give a bit of insight on who uses each social network, they are obviously not the only thing that marketers should look at when they plan an advertising campaign. In order to be successful, marketers need to design their ads well, plus run some tests to see which ad copies are able to generate the most responses from users.

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Facebook Coming Down on Fake Likes

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Facebook Coming Down on Fake Likes


The amount of likes that a Facebook page receives is definitely the biggest way to determine its popularity with its targeted audience. There are plenty of ways to get more Facebook likes on your page, such as by including social media buttons on your main websites and blog, or including a link to your Facebook fan pages with the emails that you send. But there has been some controversy surrounding Facebook likes recently, which affected some corporate, as well as political pages.

 

The issue of fake Facebook likes has existed for quite a long time, but it seems that it’s only recently that it was given a good amount of attention by the social network. Facebook has released an update on their blog on August 31st saying that they are taking action to remove likes that are deemed to be fake. However, the numbers don’t seem to be too dramatic. The update states that less than 1% of the likes for any particular page will be affected.

 

This includes likes that were purchased, generated by malware, as well as those that were generated by users who were deceived into liking a page. The latter category is one that has been often discussed in online marketing circles. Certain video sharing sites were using scripts that would force a user to like the page before they could have access to the videos. This goes against the basic concept of the Facebook likes, which are meant to be given only once a user has seen a certain page and found the content to be worthy of being included on their page and shared with their friends. Other ways of deceiving users was creating fake contests or giveaways, where users were promised non existent prizes if they liked a certain page. Of course, the prizes never came and very often the pages were then used to send spam messages onto the users news feeds.

 

Many online marketing experts aren’t too surprised by this recent move by Facebook. It comes a few weeks after many major advertisers have questioned whether advertising on Facebook truly brings them any benefits for their business or brand. There has also been the issue of fake accounts being used to like various pages, or friend random people only to send them spam messages. It appears that Facebook is simply trying to clean up its service by removing elements that create a bad experience for the user, in addition to lowering the perceived value of the social network to its advertisers.

 

But this recent action isn’t really likely to have any impact on most people who use Facebook as part of their social media marketing strategy. You should just stay away from any services that promise to give you thousands of likes from “real” users in exchange for payment. Very often, these likes are generated by malicious means and even if the users were real people, chances are that they wouldn’t have any actual interest in your page.

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Some of Facebook’s Biggest Changes in 2012

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Some of Facebook’s Biggest Changes in 2012


This year, Facebook has made a great deal of changes to the way its social networking site works. Many of these changes have a good impact on those who use the site for marketing purposes. While the social network itself may have evolved, the main principles behind social media marketing seem to remain unchanged for now. It’s just that it’s now easier and more convenient for marketers to connect with their audience and share information. Here are some of the most noticeable changes we’ve seen and some that we’re expecting.

 

Timeline for marketers. The adoption of the timeline design for profiles has been met with quite a lot of controversy when it was announced in 2011. Some users didn’t mind it, while many others resisted the change believing that the old design was better. But just like many other Facebook changes, people have eventually come to get used to it and accepted it. The Timeline is responsible for changing the way in which people interact with the social network. It has also had some positive effects on businesses that use the site for marketing. Some studies suggest that since the Timeline was introduced, brands receive over 40 percent more engagement for each post that they make.

 

The “Want” Button. Currently, we have the ever present “Like” button on Facebook. But there are many rumors that are now circulating in online marketing circles that Facebook may be planning to launch a “Want” button. As some of you may have guessed by now, this type of feature would be most beneficial for e-commerce site owners. Having a Want button can be useful when it comes to seeing just how many people are interested in what you have to offer them. If it was available when you launch new products and inform your Facebook fans, the Want button could generate a lot more interest for your new additions. However, it should be known that this feature is, for now, little more than a rumor. It is not yet known when, if at all, Facebook will make it available and whether this feature will be available to all marketers on the site, or only to a select group at the beginning. Perhaps marketers would have to pay to get the ability to have a Want button? But the real answers might be coming soon, perhaps in a few months.

 

Scheduled Page Posts. This isn’t anything revolutionary, but it does make things more convenient for marketers. You may be planning to release a new product soon and want the Facebook page post to be displayed as soon as it becomes available. Now with the ability to schedule your posts, you can opt to have them displayed at a pre determined date and time. That way, you will never be late in making your announcements to your fans.

 

There are still a few more changes we will look at. Check back tomorrow for some more information about them.

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Social Media Site Satisfaction: What About Google + ?

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Social Media Site Satisfaction: What About Google + ?


Previously, we’ve looked at the American Customer Satisfaction Index details for social networking giant Facebook. The conclusion is that even if it is the most widely used social networking service currently online, this doesn’t mean that its users love the service, as they have complaints about some areas of it. But still, numbers show that the majority of people who have a Facebook account aren’t planning on closing it or moving their main social activities to another network, mainly because there isn’t any serious competition… yet.

 

But what about Google + ? The social network from Google has seen its share of controversy and many would argue that they were off to a rather rocky start. Whether or not marketers should use Google + at all has been a topic of rather intense debate around online marketing circles, but right now it has finally been settled. Small business owners and online marketers seem to agree that presence on Google + has a lot of advantages that outweigh the negative issues about the service, most notably better exposure to consumers in certain markets, as well as the potential for better results in SEO, as this is after all a Google service and Google is the biggest search engine.

 

Now that we know how marketers perceive the service, why don’t we find out how the individual users liked it? The results would surprise many. On the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Google + got the best grade out of all the networks. It beat Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Linked In by a relatively wide margin. Google + got a score of 78. Pinterest got 68, Twitter got 64, Linked In 63 and Facebook 61. The Index measures responses from customers of these networks based on various user experience factors. Google’s score shows quite a few things;

 

First, it’s obviously not perfect, but at least it’s much better than the competition and surprisingly a whole lot better than Facebook. Since individual consumers seem to love Google +, marketers need to immediately take this into consideration and take appropriate action. For those who haven’t yet joined the service, it just takes a few minutes to set up an account for your business. There is very little for you to lose and a whole lot to gain. Setting up a basic profile, with details and maybe a few pictures can be done in less than 15 minutes. For those who have an account, but it’s mainly just a placeholder, now would be the time to get things going on Google +. Upload some more content. Put up a few posts, or maybe photos related to your business. Share links and articles that are relevant to your industry. Remember, it doesn’t have to be completely new stuff, all you need to do is to link to content already on your site if you want to.

 

But what makes Google + so well received in the public opinion? We will take a more detailed look tomorrow.

 

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Establishing Your Blog as an Authority in Your Niche

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Establishing Your Blog as an Authority in Your Niche


If you want your blog to become popular, you may have heard that it would need to become an authority in its niche. Many bloggers and online marketers wonder how this could be accomplished. The steps to take are relatively straightforward, however they will take time to complete fully. Here’s what you can do to put your blog on the road to being a respected site in its niche:

  • Create Quality Content for Your Blog

There’s really no way around this one. Your blog, in order to be viewed as an authority and respected by both readers and search engines, must have something interesting for the readers in it. This means that the content must be original and likely to appeal to your audience. Don’t just repeat what others have said, especially if you post on topics such as news. If you post about something that’s been in the news lately, for example the controversy surrounding the SOPA act in the United States at the moment, users will want to read something original about it and not just a rewrite of what the major press outlets have said. Add information from different sources. Add your own opinion, as well as the opinions of others. Include graphics, images and videos when it becomes necessary.

  • Participate in Niche Communities

Discussion forums, other blogs, social media pages, etc. are all great places where you can get some exposure for your blog. Include a link to your blog in your profile. Include a link to your blog in your forum signature. Share your blog posts with others when others whenever possible. People who are already interested in your niche are more likely to visit your blog and follow it if they find the content to be useful and interesting to them.

  • Make References to Previous Blog Posts and Link to Other Posts as Well

Make references to other posts in your blog when appropriate. This will increase readership of your other blog pages with your visitors and can also have some very good benefits when it comes to search engine optimization. Readers are more likely to come back to your blog if they find that it provides a complete explanation of the topics covered by having links to posts that are related to the current one that they’re reading.

Linking to and referencing other blogs is also recommended. While it may seem counter productive to send traffic to other websites without making any direct profit from it, remember that this is a blog and not a landing page for a product that you’re selling. In the blogging community, it is frequent for bloggers to link, quote and reference contents on other blogs and websites. It all comes down to sharing. Other blog owners frequently look at where their traffic is coming from and they’re likely to check out your blog too. This will give you opportunities to have your content shared and possibly even get you links on blogs and related niche websites too.

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