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Beanstalk's Internet Marketing Blog

At Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization we know that knowledge is power. That's the reason we started this Internet marketing blog back in 2005. We know that the better informed our visitors are, the better the decisions they will make for their websites and their online businesses. We hope you enjoy your stay and find the news, tips and ideas contained within this blog useful.


March 2, 2012

Beanstalk Minecraft 1.2 Contest

UPDATE: Contest has been EXTENDED until May 31st 2012 in order to give all participants a chance to finish their masterpieces.

As I mention on the blog yesterday, Minecraft 1.2x has been released, and today they are already at 1.2.3 (gee that’s easy!) after fixing some bugs.

Announcing:

Beanstalk's Minecraft 1.2 Contest

Minecraft Map Making Competition

  • First Prize: Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) tablet + Minecraft PE installed (~$300 value)!
  • Top 5 entries will be featured!
  • SMP, CMP, CSP, or SSP!
  • The Beanstalk map contest runs until May 31st, 2012
UPDATE: While we finalize map-upload options, if you want to submit a map for us to download please use this link so we know to send your submissions to the right folks. Thanks!

 

We really play a lot of Minecraft here and we have always wanted a 3d fly-by of a Beanstalk.

It wouldn’t be too hard to make something in SketchUp or pay someone to make something in 3DS or Blender, but it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun or as cool as doing it in Minecraft.

The problem we had was the man with the $50 to give away really felt that there should be a castle at the top of the Beanstalk, way above the clouds, for a ‘Jack’ to explore.

Up until recently there were only hacks/mods to make Minecraft maps above 128 z levels.

Now with Minecraft 1.2x and it’s Anvil format maps that issue is moot. Now there’s LOTS of vertical space to make the beanstalk, and a giant size castle!

The end result would be something like this without the limits that were in place when this video was made:

Personally I’d like to go for a giant beanstalk with a hollow interior, sort of twisting as it gets taller and more slender at the top. I’d also want to try and make something giant sized that works.. Like a light cube that’s built so that it still lights up when you hit a giant switch? Or a giant wood+wool version of a bed with a real bed placed just dead center so it looks right and is still functional?

Maps can be submitted from creative or survival, and it can be a multi-player or single player map, they just can’t require texture packs or mods to be scored. So you could fire up a server, invite a few friends, and raffle off the prize amongst yourselves, it’s up to you.

Maps submitted are ours, so you can’t send in a link to a server or a video, we want maps we can load up and test in-game. We might even offer the maps for download, but we’d have to confirm there’s zero ‘Easter eggs’ obviously.

For fairness we’ll pick the top 5 maps just to make sure we have some ‘say’ but the #1 map will be selected by voting (most of us are huge gamers/nerds so anyone can submit, anyone can vote).

I am trying to get something set aside as prizes for the top 5 (on top of the winner prize), but right now it’s up in the air and the only thing we can offer the runners-up is your name in print and your mapping skills featured/recognized on-line.

Beanstalk 1.2 Demo Map

This map was made for explaining the contest and as a summary of the changes in the 1.2 release.

Sadly we’re also busy SEOs and we can’t be doing keyword research while we’re building maps so I have to push this out ‘as-is’ and hope it’s still handy as a reference and gives folks some ideas, like how to get up a vertical shaft quickly.

Beanstalk 1.2 Demo Map Download
Beanstalk 1.2 Demo Map Download (DX version)
(DX version has 2 very large Menger sponges, and is very CPU intense. This ClearLightstone texture pack has a special ‘Menger’ Gold Brick texture.)

NOTE: Due to the differences between the weekly builds and the release versions, this map has some unusual lighting features that are not currently easy to re-produce.

This was especially difficult for me when I was making the ‘Beanstalk’ sign in the distance and only some blocks leak light. Once the lighting glitches are consistent I’ll re-visit that sign idea and animate it.;)

Up for entering? You can do so here.

SEO news blog post by @ 3:14 pm


 

 

February 9, 2012

Are multiple rel=authors worth it?

Recently Google+ made it a lot easier for content authors to indicate the sites they publish to. Here’s a short clip showing that new easier process:

So that’s now told Google+ that you are an author for the sites you’ve listed. It also adds a backlink on your Google+ Profile page back to your site.

At this point, once Google has parsed the changes, and updated it’s caches, you’ll start to see author credits on articles with the same name and email address. While the Google help docs ‘suggest’ you have a matching email address published with each post, it’s clearly not a requirement.

So after this update you could start to see ‘published by you’ when doing searches on Google for posts you’ve made but what’s to stop anyone from claiming they wrote something on-line?

The other half of this process is creating a ‘rel=”author”‘ or ‘rel=”publisher”‘ link on the content pages on your blog/web site.

In the case of Beanstalk’s Blog, all posts get the same rel=”publisher” link, it looks like this (you can see it in ‘view-source’):

<link href="https://plus.google.com/115481870286209043075" rel="publisher" />

That makes Google see our blog posts as ‘published’ by our Google+ Profile, which is a bit ‘lazy’, but the process to add that code was very easy (and we blogged about it here) compared to the task of tagging each post with a custom link.

The truth is that there has to be some ‘ranking signal’ for multiple authors, and there should be a quality/trust grade based on the profiles of the authors. So what is that ‘factor’ that ‘has’ to be hiding in the ranking code? Great question!

Since we’ve already spent some time with Google+ and a single author source we intend to run some tests and prove out the value or lack of it. Our plans are to report on both the difficulty of applying the right tags to the proper posts, and then value of that effort. If anyone reading along has some good suggestions for the test process please drop us a comment via the main contact form.

Where’s Bart?

Chia Bart is retired for now. I need to find a decent webcam and then I’ll re-do him with some time-lapse for added thrills and joy. In the meantime we’re looking at offering the readers a really unique chance at interacting with the blog:

Each month we will be posting some macro images. Each one will be a challenge to figure out and we’ll take guesses on stuff ‘material’ ‘location’ ‘object’ etc.. and then we will rate the guesses based on how close they are. Technically, even if we had one guess like: “The picture for week 2 looks like glass”, that could win!

The best guess will get recognition on our blog and we’ll announce the best guess each month on Twitter as well.

This is the Macro image for Week two of FebruaryFebruary Macro 2 – If you think you know what this is, or where this is, send us your best guess via Twitter or G+

SEO news blog post by @ 12:14 pm


 

 

February 1, 2012

Which Social Site Do I Use? Part 4: Social Media Terminology

the thinkerThis is the last in our series of "Which Social Sites Do I Use?" In Part 3, we discussed how to link your social sites together to maximize their effectiveness. In this last installment we will cover some commonly used terminology to help get started in the world of social media.

Twitter Tweets/RT & Mentions:

  • A tweet is simply a message posted on Twitter. While all agree on usage of tweet as a noun, people disagree on whether you "tweet" or "twitter" as a verb.
  • RT stands for retweet: Users add RT in a tweet if they are reposting something from another person’s tweet.
  • A mention is any Twitter update that contains @username anywhere in the body of the Tweet; this means that replies are also considered mentions.

Google +1 Button, Circles & Sparks:

  • The +1 Button: Each time you click +1, you’re adding to the batch of sites that you are attaching to your online profile. You’ll find your full list of +1′s in a special tab on your public Google profile. You can show your +1′s tab to the world or choose to hide it.
  • Circles: You share different things with different people. But sharing the right stuff with the right people shouldn’t be a hassle. Circles make it easy to put your friends from Saturday night in one circle, your parents in another, and your boss in a circle by himself, just like real life.
  • Hangouts: Bumping into friends while you’re out is one of the best parts of going out and about. With Hangouts, spontaneity hits the web. Whether you’re home in your pajamas or hitting the streets with your mobile phone, video hangouts let you bring up to 9 people into your world. It’s the next best thing to everyone being there.
  • Sparks: Google Spark would start on a single idea. Then, this idea would grow from collaborators’ comments, likes, and other ideas branching from this "spark". There would be connections, more connections and collaborating, and soon, a whole tree of ideas and support. A web of ideas revolving around a single motion, a single vision, linked by tags, keywords, and web links.

Facebook Likes & Recommends:

  • The Like Button lets a user share your content with friends on Facebook. When the user clicks the Like button on your site, a story appears in the user’s friends’ News Feed with a link back to your website. People are more accustomed and more familiar with this term. It is considered a more subtle action, and some people might feel less hesitant about liking something (rather than recommending it).
  • Recommend Button is a considered a stronger action than a "Like" and usually works well for negative (but interesting) content such as news stories. Followers may be more compelled to click a recommended link in their feed though some people may feel less compelled to make such strong action as a "recommendation" There is a perception that you would only recommend something that you firmly agree with or feel confident about recommending. Recommend also places a larger snippet in the Facebook news feed.

Take-Aways:

  • Don’t rely only on Social Networking. Use it in conjunction with a well developed, multi-tiered approach with might include traditional advertising.
  • Be willing to commit a significant amount of time, stay engaged and offer quality content.
  • Social media is about building up relationships online and instilling trust in your brand.
  • Engage with a deep understanding of your long-term business goals and mission statement and integrate them as part of an overall marketing strategy.
  • Put Social Buttons only to the most important networks on your site. Don’t overwhelm your visitors with too many.

Social media and networking is responsible for the biggest revolution in marketing and is undoubtedly responsible for the changing face of modern business networking. Staying engaged with your followers through social media allows businesses to stay closely connected with contacts, followers and customers in ways that traditional advertising and marketing could not.

Any business that is not fully engaged in social media is missing out on a increased customer base, increased sales and the potential for unparalleled growth.

SEO news blog post by @ 10:26 am


 

 

January 24, 2012

Focus on the profit

In the first minute of the offical ‘hard hitting’ video called ‘Focus on the user’ they stab at the heart of the Google+ social search issue:
They do a search for ‘cooking
Then they click on the ‘most relevant cooking result within Google+
Afterwards they compare that with a search for ‘Jamie Oliver‘ and complain:

cooking‘ isn’t very relevant to the latest info from ‘Jamie Oliver

Twitter and Facebook wimper about Google+ social search

Don’t believe me that they did this? Go watch it again, they actually want us to feel outrage that ‘cooking’ doesn’t link us to the most relevant info for ‘Jamie Oliver’.

The authors of the plugin fully admit that they are getting the results info from Google itself, and just don’t want to say the words “Google is simple showcasing it’s services” instead they want to make it out to be a matter of ‘evil’ and ‘holding back’. If they didn’t at multiple times in the video slip up and show how you can still get the top results without using their plugin I’d say they had a case.

As much as there is to roll my eyes at, from an SEO standpoint, everything about focusontehuser.org is brilliant. The back-links must be pouring in, and I saw a very clever ‘click here to get your results to show’ link in the video that could be a real profit mill for them (their marklet’s broken right now or I’d investigate).

Don’t get me wrong, I know this scripting project was backed by Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace (it’s still going), so it already had some deep pockets, but in my opinion, it looks like the devs had some deeper ‘evil’ ideas?

While we are still on the ‘Google+ Social is Evil’ topic, the changes to support nicknames, pseudonyms, and maiden names is apparently done and now you can socialize however you wish on Google+. A more ‘evil’ company would have stuck to the original, and far more profitable design which requires valid names and serious privacy commitment.

To read more about the new Google+ naming policy put out on Monday just hop on over to Bradley Horowitz’s Google+ page.

I know this is the part where I slap up a picture of Chia Bart’s amazing growth and progress.. but someone decided to help him out and drain his water tray so he’s really wilted right now and I’m trying to get some life back into him. Perhaps I’ll do an update after lunch if he perks up? :)

Bart sprang back a fair bit, had to zoom to see the wilt!

SEO news blog post by @ 11:23 am


 

 

January 23, 2012

Which Social Sites Should I Use? Part 3: Linking Social Accounts

This is the third installment of my blog series on using social media to promote your brand or business. The first two parts are here:

Now that you know how to setup your social accounts and who the main social players are, it is time to tie all of your accounts together.

TwitterFeed

TwitterFeed is a program that allows you to syndicate several RSS or Atom feeds and sends them directly to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook (and a few others) This allows you to produce a steady stream of content to your social sites that will help to increase your level of activity. You will also want to check each social platform you use to see if you can like other social sites you are using.

the thinker

  • Use only high PageRank news feeds from reputable sites. Ensure that the feeds are not coming from your competition as they will invariably contain promotions which may lure your readers away. Stay focused on relevant news topics to keep your readers engaged.
  • Include your company’s blog feed into TwitterFeed. This is the best way to not only keep your followers tuned in to current news about your industry, but enables you to send out specific, content designed to convert your followers into customers.

Most social platforms allow you to spread your updates across other networks which can lead to syndication loops. An example would be syndicate your TwitterFeeds to Facebook and Twitter and then inadvertently telling Facebook (or LinkedIn, etc.) to send status updates into Twitter.

Because the RSS feed comes into Facebook as a status update, you get the same RSS going to back to Twitter. This can have the unwanted effect of you being penalized for distributing duplicate content which can severally affect your site’s search engine rankings.

The real secret to success with social media is to stay actively engaged with your audience on a consistent basis. The more you participate, the greater the reward will be. You should consider spending at least a few days per week engaging, responding and generally participating in all of the networks you are connected with. The real "trick" to social media is to be consistently involved with your community by sharing content, Tweeting (and retweeting), commenting on other posts and producing high quality, relevant content for your followers to share.

Klout.com

It is one thing to stay actively engaged across your social networks, but how do you measure success? Indicators for measuring your success may include the number of contacts and followers you have, the increase in conversions, or the number of likes or retweets your posts are getting.

If you are wondering about your progress once you step in to the social world, you can use a web utility like Klout.com to follow your progress. The Klout Score measures influence based on your ability to drive action. Every time you create content or engage you influence others. The Klout Score uses data from a variety of social networks in order to measure:

  • True Reach: How many people you influence.
  • Amplification: How much you influence them.
  • Network Impact: The influence of your network.

TIPS

  • It is important to keep your public and private networks separate and distinct. Do not use your personal Facebook page to promote your business. Create a separate, personal space where you can chat with grandma and put up those pictures from your "crazy weekend."
  • Choose a marketing representative or individual from your company that does not mind having a public profile linked to your business account and that you feel will portray your company in the best light.
  • Build up your marketing representative’s online persona by following only legitimate, valuable businesses and people. It is of vital importance to aim for quality or quantity.
  • Avoid promotional networks on Twitter such as #TeamFollowBack and similar groups that attempt to lure you in to following them in return for gaining followers from them. These may have a short time gain, but if you cannot vouch for the validity of each and every member of this network you may find yourself associated with those that do not share your ethics or personal values. It is also an attempt to game the system which will inevitably lead to several penalties.
  • Once you have a solid, well-developed persona, complete social profiles and have gained a some followers, you can create a business page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php ) and Google+ (http://www.google.com/+/business/ ) and consider getting involved in a few secondary social networks.
  • Ensure that your website keeps your viewers socially engaged with social media button that readily allow them to share, like and otherwise spread your content.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:19 am


 

 

January 13, 2012

EPIC FTC Madness

Happy Friday the 13th!

You know that look your pets give you when you are vacuuming?

No not this look:

Scared dog

More like the ‘I will eat you if you get any closer’ look.. ?

That was the look on my face as I read reports today that the Electronic Privacy Information Center has formally requested that the FTC investigate Google’s new social search features for anti-competitive nature and privacy violations.

So what this did is prove? In my personal opinion it proves that someone at EPIC is either a complete fool or funded by Facebook. Here’s why it’s so amazing:

If I want to ‘violate privacy’ in the eyes of EPIC I’d do an image search (on any search engine) for ‘teen mirror facebook’ and I’d get a slew of images teens have taken of themselves in front of a mirror and posted to Facebook. That’s all I’d have to do, and by EPIC’s standards I’ve ‘violated privacy rights’ by getting access to these pictures which are marked ‘public’ on Facebook. This would be no different from me choosing to see search results from my Google+ interests.

If I wanted to make my browser anti-competitive in the eyes of EPIC I’d go into my search settings and I’d add a modifier for my search engine URLs that would add ‘facebook’ as a verbatim keyword that must be in every search result. By clicking those options I’ve now set my browser up for a big fall and stern letters should be written to the FTC immediately to urge them to spend millions of dollars investigating these horrible anti-competitive atrocities. Again, this is no different from me deciding to specifically look at Google+ results when searching.

Heck now that I’ve pointed out that browser software has pre-meditated options to allow anti-competitive behaviour, I guess EPIC will be writing letters to the FTC demanding to have the browser manufacturers investigated to put a stop to people having access to features which allow them to choose a particular service over another.

If my hair wasn’t so short I think I’d be pulling it all out right now in dismay over such examples of non-thought. Perhaps I’ll go trim Chia Bart instead, he’s almost getting ‘shaggy’ now.

If I took even more pictures we could animate Bart!

SEO news blog post by @ 12:39 pm


 

 

January 11, 2012

SEO Effects of Social Search

Yesterday we covered the hot topic of Google’s social search from a very ‘news’ perspective. If you haven’t watched the tour video take a minute and hit play on the video below.

The truth is that Google is rolling this new search functionality piecemeal just in the same way as most of the recent features. So if I try to explore the option from my work account I get no offers and I’d have to cheat to go play with it right now.

However, on my personal account the option comes right up and my personal account has a smaller social circle than my work account so it seems to me that it’s just a work-in-progress at the moment.

A visit to the Google Inside Search site gives us a bit more confirmation:

If you aren’t seeing the features of Search plus Your World, don’t worry, we’re rolling them out over the next few days.

.. so if you’re not getting the option to try it out, it should come along soon!

Here’s a ‘hands on’ example of ‘Search plus Your World’ for a phrase I personally talk about a lot, ‘minecraft’:

Demonstration of Search plus Your World using the phrase 'minecraft'.

The first thing that occurs to me is that Danny talks about Minecraft WAY more than anyone else, but the second thing that gets my interest is that there’s nothing in the results that I wouldn’t have read or couldn’t get from poking my head into Google+.

Going back to that video from Google that we linked earlier, I have to admit this looks like a very over-hyped feature where 90% of the interesting parts of the video aren’t things we can do with the new search feature. This almost feels like a Microsoft product that was invented by marketers as something to market with zero user interest?

Well that’s my opinion dealt with, but what about SEO factors of this new feature?

A ton of questions come to mind that need to be answered, here’s a few :

  • Who stands to gain from these types of searches?
  • What sites will be negatively impacted?
  • What should websites be doing to take advantage of this new feature?

The first one’s easy, Google, and particularly, Google+ will gain the most from this new search behaviour. Google has always wanted you to find what you want within their domain/services, and limiting your search to a Google owned property, selling it as a great feature, works so well for Google’s overall goals. If you don’t believe that Google wants to keep you inside their services, as you use Google products challenge yourself to consider ‘What more could Google do to keep me inside their networks?’ and I think you’ll start seeing all the efforts they are making to give you what you want instantly vs. leaving Google to visit an external site.

Social media sites that were getting a lot of commercial traffic/advertising will be the hardest hit by this move. If a client came to me and said “We’re on all the big sites, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Squidoo, etc.. but we haven’t bothered with Google+.” I would be forced to assume they were Australian with such an opposite approach. The same thing would follow with campaign strategies where a company looking at time spent vs. returns would be silly to start a social media campaign anywhere but on Google+ first.

If you have a website that isn’t already following the guidelines for linking between Google+ and your site, you need to start there and then work on building up followers. Ideally you want people talking about your products/services more than your competition so I’d strongly urge someone within your company to engage in Google+ social media efforts on a weekly basis if not more. While it’s pointless to have infinite reach and zero relevance, you also want to be very ‘friendly’ doing whatever it takes to get people to take enough interest in your company pages to follow, +1, add to circles, etc..

In fact the last bit of advice will be a recurring theme for early 2012 where we will be looking at super organic ways to get your product/services out to relevant sections of the internet.

A good example would be a product that is easy to find on-line, but very technical/tricky to work with. Selling the product puts you in the same group as everyone else selling that product, but offering expertise on that product will raise your profile quickly while generating interest/informing potential clients. If you can get links from grateful recipients the effort will pay for itself, and the people you come in contact with are very likely to draw in more clients due to the way that social media is sharing business leads via friend connections.

Typical of Spring, the sooner you plant this ‘social seed’ the sooner it will grow into something that can support your on-line efforts.

Speaking of growing, Chia Bart is getting a little leafy already!

Chia Bart is sprouting nicely.Bart’s beans are sprouting!

SEO news blog post by @ 3:17 pm


 

 

January 10, 2012

Getting Intimate with Google Personal Search

In a further effort to make search results more relevant to it users, Google will begin to provide more personalized search results for users of the fledgling Google+ social networking service. The new service will draw search results by drawing on the photos, news and comments posted from within the Google+ network and should be rolled out in the next few days.

Amit Singhal

A new service called "Search, Plus Your World" will display users own content from Google+, along with posts from friends, said Amit Singhal, who focuses on improving information retrieval at Mountain View, California-based Google. If someone searched for a dog, for instance, pictures of friends’ dogs might show up first in their search results.

"At Google, we always want to return the most comprehensive and relevant answers to your questions, and many times those answers are in the open public Web, but many times those answers are in your own personal content," Singhal said. "This is the first time we’re bringing personal content right into the results page."

Other changes to the Google search include a new feature called “Profiles in Search” which will include an auto complete function that will display links to your friends (from Google+) accounts while typing in queries in to the search box on Google. The new service will also offer suggestions of people to follow. This information will be drawn from Google+ accounts or from Google’s photo-sharing service, Picasa.

Despite its best efforts, Google still struggles to compete with the social media giant Facebook. As of October 2010, Google had 40 million users, compared to the 800 million Facebook users.

SEO news blog post by @ 10:22 am

Categories:Google,Google+

 

 

January 9, 2012

Which Social Sites Should I Use? Part 2: Breakdown of the “Big 5″

Continued from Part 1 of “Which Social Sites Should I Use?“:

Once you have established a strong following across these main five sites, you can consider participating in a few niche social sites based upon your industry, services or geographical location. The social properties you employ define your overall social persona. Subsidiary aspects of social media can be realized in terms of company branding, building company legitimacy and trust, and online reputation management.

Breakdown of "The Big 5"

Facebook

the thinker

Traditionally, Facebook was typically best for personal relationships and getting reacquainted with friends and acquaintances. You can also use it for work colleagues with whom you have personal relationships.

With the advent of Facebook Pages, businesses can now separate their personal and business faces into different "pages" You can think of this as a Yellow Pages advert promoting your business. It gives your viewers a chance to see some of your products and get to know a little about your company and their online social presence.

You can build Groups and add Events to further engage your followers. The success of a Page is based upon the number of "Likes" from visitors it receives. It is important to have a strong and reputable personal profile that will be connected to the Business Page to act as an administrator.

Facebook is best for "private networks" but is useful to generate an online business presence

LinkedIn

This is the most popular site for maintaining your professional business networks. You can search and connect with former work colleagues, business partners and network with people that you may not know but may be in a related industry.

Different sections of the site allow for employee recruitment in order to facilitate the hiring of your next employee. This is a particularly great feature as people in your business network may be able to personally recommend an individual in your industry. You can list current promotions and have colleagues or clients recommend you which helps to build a more credible profile.

LinkedIn is your "professional network"

Twitter

Twitter is a micro-blogging platform as it only allows for posts (or tweets”) limited to 140 characters. Although Twitter is not a website in the sense that Facebook or LinkedIn is, it is starting to adopt similar functionality. Recent additions of pictures, follower suggestions and groups seem to indicate that Twitter may be moving toward more of a destination site, rather than only a platform.

Twitter allows you to connect with a much broader group of people. Because you can follow someone that does not necessarily follow you back, connections can be one-way or two-way and allow you to broadcast status updates, links, etc without needing to have an involved conversation. However, those businesses that do pro-actively engage their followers find that Twitter is an effective medium for connecting with a large number of people and organizations without the formality of a "friend request".

Twitter is for your "public network"

Google+

Google+ is considered the company’s fourth foray into social networking. The New York Times have declared it as Google’s biggest attempt to rival the social network of Facebook, which had over 800 million users in 2011.

Google+ integrates social platforms such as Google Profiles and Google Buzz and introduces new services called Circles, Hangouts and Sparks. Google+ is currently available as a web site and is reported to be available soon as a desktop application. It is already available as a mobile application.

Google+ is best for advertising your business, as well as for public and private interactions

YouTube

Created by three former members of PayPal and launched in 2005, YouTube offers a site for users to upload, view and share videos. Traditionally, YouTube did not seem to be advantageous to online business promotion and was considered a personal social site. Increasingly the video platform has become a standard medium for the promotion a business. By creating a YouTube account, users are able to create a public "channel" where owners can upload video files showcasing products and offer promotional information.

Remember that the larger your social network, the more time that will be involved to maintain it. Stick with the main 5 (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+) and choose only a few from the specialty niche oriented social groups. It is always best not to spread yourself too thin. It is better to have a closely formed network with a good number of quality followers than it is to have a larger network spread over many social sites that you are not engaged with.

You need to link accounts together to increase their effectiveness. Linking can become a bit complicated if you are dealing with many social sites. You may want to create a text document that shows where your feeds are being syndicated to (see example).

YouTube is akin to a "television audience"

In Part 3, we will discuss Linking Your Social Accounts

SEO news blog post by @ 10:56 am


 

 

January 4, 2012

Which Social Sites Should I Use? Part 1: An Introduction to Social Media

Initiates to the world of social media all inevitably ask the same question: “How do I know which social media sites to use?” Choosing the right set of social sites to promote your business can seem a daunting task if you are unfamiliar to social media. As ever-increasing numbers of social networks add themselves to the mix, it becomes increasingly overwhelming determining which sites to use and to know which will be best for promoting your company.

the thinker

There are very few businesses that would not benefit from an online social presence. Any business that is not actively engaged in the promotion of their business, products or services online today is truly missing out on opportunities for their company. Often the reluctance to embrace social media is from an emotional reaction based on an inadequate understanding of social media and what it can do to transform their business.

Social media can be thought of as an online equivalent to more traditional promotions and advertising. In the past, the most common mediums used to promote your business were magazine and newspaper advertisements, television commercials, radio adverts and billboards. To engage is specific niche markets you might have placed an ad in a technical journal directly related to your industry.
The modern equivalents of traditional marketing would be in the form of (but not limited to) tweets, articles, blog posts, press releases, viral marketing and video marketing.

In many ways social media has allowed marketers to streamline the advertising process. Niche social sites that are geared specifically towards your industry make it much easier to connect with others in a specific industry.

Although a plethora of social sites abound on the Internet, the main players in the social media world today are considered to be Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube. These are currently the most widely used social sites today and should be considered a staple of any fledgling social marketing campaign.

In Part 2 of "Which Social Sites Should I Use?" we take a look at the top 5 players in the world of social media that you be should be paying attention to and using in 2012.

SEO news blog post by @ 9:54 am


 

 

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