Category Archives: Google+

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8 Reasons Brands Shouldn’t Give Up on Google+

Get a group of social media pros together and it’s likely that if the subject of Google+ comes up, there will be a debate.

Some think Google+ is failed experiment. Others think it’s the best place to reach their customers compared to other social networks. Countless others in social media are just not sure how to proceed and have put off defining their Google+ strategy. And there’s just as much variety in what brands are doing on the platform as what they think about Google+.

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Google’s Fight For The Future Web And What It Means For Brands

This post originally appeared on Forbes.com on January 6, 2012.

Google+ doesn’t want to become Facebook.

Instead, Google is betting it can become the platform that powers the entire web itself.

The future Internet will not just be driven by social; all things “social” will be what users experience as the web. The release of Google+ is a tactical move in a larger war for this future web – one that Facebook is arguably currently winning. Google, however, is readying its battalions.

Google’s behemoth of a footprint includes the world’s most widely used search engine, a ubiquitous paid search and display platform, the largest video-sharing site in the U.S. and a store of robust, free tools that millions access daily. Google+ is the social glue that will pull the Google forces together to race to become the next Internet – one with social permeating from every action taken by users online. Those forces individually are impressive, but when fully integrated, give Google visibility, integration, and convenience that will be unrivaled. The potential integration of Google+ into Gmail, Google Docs, YouTube, Google Reader, and other user tools is ridiculously impressive. It’s a gathering storm that could take control of the future web.

Read the article in full at Forbes.com

6 Ways the New YouTube Design Could Affect Brands

youtubeThe slick new YouTube redesign rolled out to all users Thursday is a dramatic change for video viewers. For companies active in the social media space, it could mean big things for them, too.

What do the updates mean for companies using YouTube? Here are 6 possible ways how:

1.  Brands will need to think more strategically about their channel’s activity.
Channels just got more important, dominating the left-hand sidebar of the new Homepage feed. YouTube has shifted more more focus to this area. “The future of the YouTube experience has channels at the center of it,”  Margaret Stewart, director of User Experience at YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, Calif.  told Mashable. “It’s a container for all the world’s video, and it needs to be the best home for that.”

Users can watch any video and subscribe to the channel from that video instantly. Once subscribed, users see the latest activity from their channel subscriptions in a stream view, and new subscribers are also asked if they’d like to receive new video uploads via email. There are reverse-chronological updates of each subscribed channel view (an algorithmic feed for the default subscription view, according to TechCrunch), and users can now “pin” 10 channels to their YouTube home page. Check out the video below to see the tour.

Brands that want to have a greater impact on YouTube will need to publish regularly to stay top of mind. There will be a greater need to think strategically about how all their activity relates to the channel itself, versus thinking about videos individually. With this week’s announcement that YouTube Insights was replaced with the new YouTube Analytics, data about which videos drive subscriptions and audience retention can help shape that strategy on an ongoing basis.

New channel templates are available, and as Mashable reported, “Executives and designers at the company emphasize that this just the beginning of the redesign; more channel-focused changes and channel templates are coming soon.”

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Simplify Your Social Posting Plan: Do’s and Don’ts

For social media teams, time is at the heart of everything they do. Slow response times can mean the difference between a happy customer and an escalating situation. Timing posts to maximize interaction has become a hot topic, with several recent studies offering time-of-day tips for publishing. Editorial calendars for social media plan out time-sensitive posts about company-wide events and promotions are maintained. And as always, trying to keep up with the real-time nature of social media is a constant challenge.

Scheduling tools and social media management platforms have become much-needed resources for taking pressure off teams. Scheduling tweets, Facebook updates, and other posts in advance makes sure content reaches audiences at the optimal times and that audiences in multiple time zones don’t miss out on updates. Creating and pre-scheduling updates also frees up time to respond to customers and have one-on-one conversations on social platforms, writes Melissa Parrish in her new report, “Become Responsive through Push and Pull Social Media Marketing Strategies.” It’s among the key tactics to help improve overall responsiveness in social media.

Time-saving strategies that help social media practitioners do their jobs better are inherently good. But there are nuances to this process that can make the difference between saving time or reaching more customers and detracting from the connections you’re working to create. (more…)