With the rise of social media usage during the last decade, it would be a surprise if more companies were not utilizing their reach and potential to gain a business edge.

You’ve got Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, FourSquare, and Google+ to name a few where your business information and latest projects should be published for millions of people to see.

But, how do you properly manage the variety of social media platforms to your full potential?

One method would be to create a spreadsheet with your social media accounts and update the sheet daily for the dates you’ve posted something. Another is to set a daily Outlook or Gmail calendar reminder to post something across all accounts.

Hootsuite platform interfaceOr (pay attention here) you can sign up for a FREE Hootsuite account. Hootsuite is a social media management system that allows you link or network other social media platforms into its interface.

Hootsuite’s interface takes the form of a dashboard allowing you to see multiple streams simultaneously. This is particularly useful if you are a serial entrepreneur and want to quickly post across all accounts. Each individual stream then allows you to select the social media accounts you’d like to post to, add a photo or video, and walah, you’re done!

To recap, Hootsuite makes it easy to post across multiple social media accounts simultaneously, reaching potentially millions of followers in seconds. Having multiple streams set up allows for quick easy transition between companies which is especially useful if you are a serial entrepreneur.

How You Can Use Google Tools to Rock SEO

Changing and evolving with the continually “shifting” face of SEO is something we all have to do as SEO specialists. Google and other search engines are always improving their search results to bring us a higher level of quality.

Nowadays, Google and other search engines are putting an extremely high emphasis on the quality of the content, how it can benefit people, and doing away with nonsensical spam and other jargon from the search results.

But that’s not all that’s changing. If you really want to be part of the SEO business, “staying on top” of how the SEO industry changes is absolutely critical to the overall success of your SEO campaigns.

There’s tons of tools available to help us analyze and formulate our SEO campaigns.

Google Tools Help Us Analyze Everything About SEO

Track and analyze data with the help of tools from Google.

Just as Google is on a mission to stomp out spam, they’re also making headway in providing statistics and analysis tools we can use to revolutionize the way we perform online business!

It’s truly an exciting time to be part of the Internet, and everyone with an Internet connection gets to witness what the Internet and a computer’s mathematical capabilities are truly capable of.

Below are some exciting statistical tools that have already been released. And of course, there will be more tools like this released in the near future, bigger and better than the ones we currently have!

Google Knowledge Graph – This tool is taking SEO to the next level. Instead of continuing on the current path of keyword based search matches, Knowledge Graph is helping us to move past that, and now into semantic based, or to put it simpler, “relating to in logic”, based searches.

Knowledge Graph is using entity mapping, commonly called Entity Recognition and Disambiguation (ERD). This technology advancement allows Google to understand how certain topics and keywords are “intertwined”, and how they relate to each other.

Thus, Google now displays these “linked” subject results, based on how they’re connected in the big scheme of things, so that we can have better search results listings based upon what’s actually happening and how things are related to each other.

Google Analytics – This is a great tool we can all use to see how our websites are performing. The information you get from Google Analytics allows you to see many things about your website. You can gather this data to then analyze your current SEO efforts and what you can do to improve them.

Google Correlate – This Google tool allows you to see how search trends have changed over time. Google creates an informative graph that displays how many people have searched for an inputted search term over the course of time.

There’s also many other Google Tools you can use to get a better idea of how to formulate a better SEO plan. Knowing how to use the information and graphs that the various Google tools display is key to proper SEO campaign development.

Social Media: A Review

Ten years ago, if you would have mentioned the term “social media” to an Internet friend, they would have had no idea what you meant. But in the year 2014, nearly everyone with an Internet connection has heard of sites like Facebook, adding momentum and force to the social media advertising trend.

Social media is big business, and financial figures state that social media is scheduled to generate 11 billion dollars in total revenue by the year 2017! In 2013, social media made a total of 6.1 billion.

So, you can see how social media is poised to become an incredible force in online advertising in the very near years to come, and why you should seriously consider incorporating a social media marketing strategy for your business.

Social media keywords on pieces of paper all cut up on a table.

A Brief History Of The Most Popular Social Media Sites

StumbleUpon – Founded in November 2002 by Garrett Camp and a few other associates, as of April 2012, StumbleUpon now has more than 25 million registered users.

Facebook – Founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is the undisputed king of social media. As of March 2013, Facebook has a total of 1.11 billion active users, globally.

LinkedIn – Founded in December of 2002, LinkedIn boasts a total of 259 million users across more than 200 countries as of June 2013.

YouTube – Launched by three former Paypal employees in the year 2005, YouTube is now one of the most popular video sharing / social media comment sites ever. YouTube was purchased by Google for 1.65 billion dollars in 2006.

Tumblr – Founded by David Karp in the year 2007, this social media site is home to 205.9 million blogs.

Foursquare – This local search and discovery network site was launched in 2009 by Naveen Selvadurai and Dennis Crowley. As of 2014, it has 45 million registered users.

Twitter – Founded in 2006 by Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, and Biz Stone, as of 2014 Twitter now has over 500 million users. 271 million of these are “active” users.

Google+ – Launched in 2011 by Google and open to everyone, as of 2013 there are 540 million active, registered users.

Some Interesting Facts About Social Media You Might Not Know

  • 60% of Google+ users log in at least once a day to check on their accounts.
  • 23% of Facebook users check their accounts multiple times, 5+ times per day.
  • 2 new members join the LinkedIn network every second!
  • A total of 58 million tweets are sent every day!
  • The Google +1 button is used 5 billion times daily!

How The Future Of Social Media Is Shaping The Face Of Modern Business

Individuals connected throughout the world via social media.

Sharing information and what you like is what social media sites are all about. Google allows us to +1 a site, and show the world how much we appreciate a specific page. Facebook allows us to “Like” a page, and thusly increase Internet awareness of a specific page or site.

Additionally, we can leave comments on social media pages that contain helpful insight, allowing social media business owners to improve the quality of the products and services they offer.

Social media pages are also highly capable of going “viral”, which happens because of a chain reaction of events.

First, a social media page will post an original and unique piece of content.

Second, it becomes popular because of the valuable, unique, funny, or otherwise noteworthy characteristic of the content.

Third, the popularity of the unique content is shared with friends and acquaintances until many thousands of people visit and agree that the content is noteworthy enough to share. And it’s at that point, that a social media page has officially gone, “viral”.

With sites like Facebook having over a billion registered users, there’s no stopping social media and how it’s scheduled to play a part in fostering business. Social media sites are wonderful for allowing any Internet user to share pages they find valuable and to spread the word about content they find beneficial.

SEO has always been a constantly changing system of how to get sites ranked highest. A lot has changed in the SEO world in the last 10 months, and in this article, we’re going to give you a quick overview of Google changes, as well as other more general SEO changes, and how they affect the ranking of sites.

HTTPS/SSL Update – August 6, 2014

Google 2014 Algorithm Changes HTTPS update

Google is now giving sites that use Secure Socket Layer protection a bit of a ranking boost. For now, it’s only a very lightweight ranking signal, and is trumped highly by overall quality of content. However, this is a ranking signal that may gain more ranking weight in the future, so be sure to keep an eye on it.

Panda. 4.0/4.1 Release – September 23, 2014

2014 SEO Changes Panda 4.1

Google Panda 4.1 – Image Courtesy of SearchMetrics.com

The steady succession of Panda updates rolled out by Google have done a great job of preventing low quality sites from gaining a high rank position. In the Panda 4.0 update, which affects an additional 7.5% of site queries, Google is doing everything in its power to ensure that content quality reigns supreme.
Over the course of the Panda updates, low quality content sites with nothing or very little to offer were systematically eliminated. Also, the Panda 4.0/4.1 updates put an emphasis on the inclusion of mobile optimization and friendliness.

End Of Author Photos/Authorship Details In Google Search – June 28, 2014

2014 SEO Changes

When inputting keywords and phrases into the Google search engine, until just recently you’d be inundated with facial snapshots of the documents author. Many people reported being actually “put off” by the facial snapshots, and wanted something done about it.

Google “stepped up to the plate” and eliminated the facial snapshots entirely, so that now only the authors name is shown next to the article hyperlink. This eliminated a lot of “queezy” feelings Google users had about using the Google search engine in particular.

Additionally, through yet another update, any authorship details whatsoever have now been eliminated as well. Now when you do a Google search, you’ll no longer see authorship markup details attached to the SERP links.

Pigeon Update – July 24, 2014

Pigeon flying through air.

This algorithm update affects local search positions and rankings. Local searches are especially popular with Google, and through the Pigeon update(s), Google comes closer to offering more highly refined, more highly targeted, and more accurate local search experiences.

Distance and location ranking parameters have been improved through this update.

“Top Heavy” Algorithm Update – February 6, 2014

Google is always looking for ways to improve user experience with their search engine. With the “Top Heavy” Algorithm update, sites heavy with ads within the top fold of the page will have their ranking positions penalized.

Also, if advertisements are deemed by the Google algorithm to be “too distracting”, this will also take away from the overall ranking of the site.

General SEO Changes

Social Media Ranking Signals

Social media has continued to gain popularity as a way to add ranking potential to sites. Through using social media ranking signals such as Facebook and LinkedIn promotion, sites can use the high PR ranking of Facebook to get their sites higher in the SERP’s.

Mobile SEO Popularity

instagurublog-featured

Nearly everyone out there now has a smartphone that’s capable of browsing the web. SEO has thusly started to include mobile optimization strategies as part of the overall makeup of general SEO ranking. This is new for 2014, and throughout the new year of 2015, we’ll be seeing a MAJOR increase in using mobile ranking signals as a way to stay high in the SERPS. Definitely stay tuned to this new change and plan to adopt strategies that implement this new SEO change.

Link Baiting Strategies

This is a highly popular way of gaining links to your site. Through link baiting strategies, a webmaster puts out a high quality piece of content, and thereby uses this as “bait” to get other webmasters to link to it.
The higher quality the content used as “link bait”, the better the chances of gaining more quality links to your site and achieving a higher SERP position.

Long Tail Keyword Dynamics

Optimizing your site in accordance with long tail keyword dynamics is VERY popular. Ranking for a high competition single keyword is exceedingly difficult to rank for. Thusly, webmasters are optimizing their sites for long tail keyword searches that are not only easier to rank for, but also offer more targeted results that result in higher conversion rates too.

It’s no secret that social media has grown to become a necessity in any online marketing strategy. Whether a brand wants to drive attention to its company, product or professional services, social media is a well-known, cost-effective way of attracting positive attention (in most cases). On the other hand, without following the specific protocol of social media branding, the careless use of these platforms can damage a business in a matter of days.

Within the past few years, social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have become widely recognized as powerful tools for communication, both in the B2C and B2B industries. And whether you are aware of it or not, your prospective employers, partners, customers and competitors could be viewing your posts at any moment. With this in mind, it’s important to maintain best practices so that your social media strategy effectively supports your business goals and best showcases your brand’s personality, and on multiple channels.

On these newly crowded channels, it can be difficult for consumers and brands alike to separate the wheat from the chaff. We’ve assembled two examples of brands who have their social media game on lock. Read on to find out how you can cut through the competition and reach your fans like never before:

Old Spice Makes the Comeback of All Comebacks

old spice smell like a man social media campaign

At the end of 2009, Old Spice was an aging brand. Their customers were old; their reputation was old…and they were in danger. Obviously, a reboot was in order. And what a reboot it was!

During the Super Bowl of 2010, Old Spice launched their “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, featuring former NFL player Isaiah Mustafa. Mustafa talks to the “ladies of the audience,” trying to convince them to buy Old Spice for their man while staring directly into the camera. It was a hit, racking up 26 million views on YouTube.

If Old Spice had stopped there, it would have just been a great online commercial. But what followed five months later was pure social media genius: Mr. Old Spice, as Mustafa was now called, jumped onto Twitter to answer questions from fans—in real time, via YouTube.

When selecting who to answer, the Old Spice Social Media team had a novel and crucial approach: they selected fans not only on the potential of their questions, but also selected them based on their influence on social media. Thus, when they interacted with a fan, they could be sure that his or her response would get maximum coverage.

The influence-filtering approach, combined with the real-time nature of the campaign, left fans sitting at the edge of their seats. It was a recipe for success that boosted Old Spice to its status as the number-one branded channel on YouTube. Numbers later showed that it drove sales, too: Old Spice reported that sales doubled in the month following the campaign.

The bottom line: by responding to their fans according to influence, Old Spice was able to combine high production values with spontaneity and still count on having an impact.

We All Scream for Fourth Meal!

Of all the fast food restaurants, who knew that Taco Bell would be the one to conquer social media? It’s true! The company’s flippant, irreverent, yet ultimately best-friendy tone turned out to be perfectly suited to social media marketing, particularly for speaking to that ever-elusive generation: the coveted millennials.

Using a sassy mix of English and Spanish, Taco Bell encouraged its fans, followers, and subscribers to “Live Más” and “Think outside the bun.” But that was just the beginning. What really sets Taco Bell apart from their competition is their commitment to two-way, fun, and productive communication.

Screen capture of Facebook post from lady on Taco Bell's page asking for a poster.

One 17-year-old fan posted a request to their Facebook wall: “will you send me a poster of my favorite burrito?” To her surprise, Taco Bell not only agreed, but one-upped her. They sent her a giant poster taller than she was, they liked and commented on her Instagram feed with the acronym “BFFAE,” Best Friends Forever And Ever.

Screen capture of Instagram photo and comments of girl with Taco Bell poster.

The bottom line: Taco Bell treats every interaction with a customer on social media as a chance to create a fan.

Thinking Outside the Box with Social Media

Consumers today crave honesty and authenticity from their brands. The definition of professionality is changing; it’s no longer enough to be polite and respectful. Today, brands are expected to be funny and candid as well. In their own ways, Taco Bell and Old Spice have each managed to mix humor, authenticity, and just the right amount of silliness to achieve a perfectly balance social media presence.

There are a lot of social media platforms out there and realistically unless you are a huge national brand your chances of dominating them all for your niche is slim to none which is why many businesses focus on just a few at a time. Many people discredit Google+ as a flop and don’t see much value in spending time there. But with that attitude you could be missing out on a huge opportunity, here’s why.

Google Authorship

Since Google dominates the search engines it makes sense that having a presence on Google+ can help boost your SEO efforts. If you have a Google+ account you can register your blog posts with Google Authorship and increase your exposure in search engine results. Your results will stand out with a photo of you and link to your Google+ profile.

Free E-Mail Marketing

shutterstock_121560805-updated

Who doesn’t love some subtle (and free!) marketing? As a little bonus, anyone you e-mail that happens to be using a Gmail account will see a small ad to the left of the message with a direct link to follow you on Google+. You can also use a lot of Google’s integrated features like Google Hangouts to interact with users. This doesn’t reach all of your audience but it’s free, so who’s complaining?

Less Competition

There are more Google+ users than you might think (around 540 million active users) and they generally spend less time on Google+ than they do on Facebook, but you know what that means – less competition! With less noise and fewer hands in the air waving for attention you have a better chance at being seen and interacting with potential customers. The regular users of Google+ tend to be more business and professional related so know your audience and be visible where they hang out!

Ready to get started on Google+? Start by adding eBizUniverse to your circles.