Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Facebook and FTC Reach Privacy Settlement

Some of us can now stop complaining about Facebook's privacy issues.

It didn't took Mark Zuckerberg to arrange a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission too long compared to the recent NBA lockout talks. Facebook was being accused by the FTC in an eight-count complaint where Facebook has misled users regarding the security of their personal information. The social network enabled sensitive user information to be used by advertisers and software developers in order to track potential customers. However, Facebook fell short in asking permission about sharing user details without legal consent.

Mark Zuckerberg and his social network have defied odds after he created "The Facebook" in 2004 in his dorm room like issues with the Winklevoss twins and Eduardo Saverin. But the recent FTC charges humbled Zuckerberg and posted a blog post admitting that Facebook made a bunch of mistakes. "Overall, I think we have a good history of providing transparency and control over who can see your information. That said, I’m the first to admit that we’ve made a bunch of mistakes. In particular, I think that a small number of high profile mistakes, like Beacon four years ago and poor execution as we transitioned our privacy model two years ago, have often overshadowed much of the good work we’ve done." Zuckerberg said.

In order to settle privacy complaints, Facebook has agreed to submit annual goverment audits of privacy practices for the next 20 years. Facebook now suggests a process called "opting in" before making changes to their privacy controls and sharing their information. Facebook will be fined $16,000 for every violation per FTC order. Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the FTC, thinks Facebook is making a good move in making a commitment to privacy without compromising valuable user information. “Facebook is obligated to keep the promises about privacy that it makes to its hundreds of millions of users,” Leibowitz said. “Facebook’s innovation does not have to come at the expense of consumer privacy. The FTC action will ensure it will not.”

The Facebook-FTC settlement also marks a new phase. It enables social networks to establish more firm ground rules about privacy issues in order to justify using private user info to monetize its free service through advertising. This isn't new for social media enthusiasts because it's apparent that a free service like Facebook or Twitter needs to monetize their service by selling user information to sell to third parties. We all know that social media usage has increased every year which has urged brands and marketers to leverage valuable and private consumer information from social media networks for their campaigns.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Use Media from Past Events to Promote Future Events - Tuesday Tip

It is important to document your happenings in some way. Whether you are recording with an HD video camera or just snapping some photos with a digital camera, photos and videos from your past events and promotions can help draw people in for future happenings.

Promote New Events with Old Events

What does that mean? Well, chances are you have had your "Family Night" or "1/2 Price Wings" in the past. If you have taken pictures or even recorded any videos you can use that media to promote the event the next time you have it. For instance, the video you shot during 1/2 Price Wings night of everyone watching the game and easting and drinking is perfect for showing off what it is like at your event.

Media Sharing

The next time you hold the same event, you can embed that video in the event you create and anyone who views the event can get a quick glimpse of exactly what it will be like. Seeing other people there, participating at your event will create excitement and help draw first time visitors in.

Use Media Sharing Sites

Taking advantage of sites like Flickr, YouTube and Vimeo can help you in a variety of ways. First, they give you a reliable, easy and flexible place to store your media. Plus, most media sharing sites are free. With your videos on YouTube, you can easily embed them anywhere you want, add more videos and create a strong presence on the world's leading video sharing site.

The media sharing sites can also help you with your search engine optimization. Having a video on YouTube called "Atlanta's Best Wings" can help drive your organization up ranking on that keyword.

Easily Share and Promote

YouTube videos are shared, sent and viewed by people all over the world. Having a stronger rich media presence on the web can help spread your organization. Additionally, it gives you more interactive and rich elements to use when promoting your happenings. Your YouTube video from the last time you held your event can easily be embedded onto any event in Squareberry, giving your events rich content to drive viewers into your real world location.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

5 Ways to Enhance Online PR (Aside from Boasting a High Klout Score)

More businesses are realizing that leveraging social media strategies is essential to increase PR, why? Because the level of social behavior of consumers tend to evolve. It's obvious that social networks and platforms are increasing in use and of great importance as well. So for businesses to entice and capture their target niche, they need to put a premium on online PR rather than spending too much on traditional media. After all, Facebook has become a destination-location for both merchants and consumers. The social network has turned into a marketplace of sorts. And for every social network, influence means power.

But if you are a B2C business, is your Klout score enough to present yourself as "influential"?

Someone can be influential online but not offline. Klout is simply a measure of social media influence, but seriously, is it a true measure of influence? For instance, a CEO of a company has a low Klout score because he's busy in the real world sealing deals, the guy doesn't have time to engage with users on Twitter or Facebook. Does this mean he's not influential in his industry? A fine example of this is Michael Dell Klout score of 64 against Justin Bieber's 100.

So how can businesses increase PR without even boasting their Klout score or even registering on Klout?

Here are some simple ways on how businesses can enhance online PR:

Capitalize on Original Content

Nothing beats original content nowadays. While content curation is practical and easy for busy entrepreneurs, Google Panda is always updating which means curating content is either a good thing or a bad thing: the good - you build PR through backlinking, the bad - you risk yourself of being considered a content spammer. Always keep in mind that the more original recipe you use in your content, the more chances it could be shared. Original content is more appreciated by the social web through shares and retweets.

Be Geographically Competitive

Get online to get offline! It's easier to manage a social media outreach campaign for small and medium enterprises. It all starts by making local listings because Google now puts a premium on local search. Local markers pointing to your Facebook page, Twitter account, and Google+ page doesn't only increase your SEO, but makes it easy for a customer to know the location of your physical store. Always remember that you don't exist if you're not on the map! Be sure to have a detailed snippet of your business in every map listing like in Google Places. Increased local SEO means a boost for your online PR.

Ratings and Reviews Rule

Think buying fans is a good idea to increase PR? Think again. It's better to pitch bloggers a PR to write a review for the product or service your business offer. But you can also put up a listing on Google Places or Bing Local so you can begin to build reviews from satisfied patrons on these pages. Start the ball rolling by asking loyal customers to give you a review, and before you know it a snowball of a review will turn into an avalanche of reviews. Reviews and ratings increase online PR while catapulting your site to the top of local SERPs. You're hitiing two birds with one stone using such.

Organize Communities Using Social Media Dashboards

Organizing your communities on your Facebook page, Twitter, and LinkedIn is important especially when you feed them the most relevant and latest content. Social dashboards such as Hootsuite and Squareberry have proven their worth by minimizing the clutter in your weekly social media campaign.

A more organized weekly itinerary enables your social media team to carefully track which content is most shared, the best time to post a blog entry, and the time engagement is high or low. Sorting out your content is important as well, always ascertain which content is appropriate to feed your Facebook fans and the ones to be shared on LinkedIn.

Make Social Media Integration Work for Your Business

It's obvious that social networks want each other's piece of pie to grow their own userbase. But for businesses, it's an opportunity to come up with a polished social media integration plan. A business can make social media integration work to their advantage, the first step is placing your other social media URLs on your Facebook page which you could also apply to your Twitter account, LinkedIn page, and Google+ page.

Not enough users circling back on your G+ page? Why not tweet your followers to circle you on Google+, or better yet, ask your Facebook fans to check out your Google+ page. Besides, your users should have Gmail accounts that makes it easier for them to be acquainted with Google+ features.
Original Source:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Google+ Officially Now on Klout

Does Google+'s inclusion in Klout's ranking system increases the value of Google's social network?

Klout allowed users to add their Google+ account to their dashboard a couple of weeks ago after Google's social network released the Google+ API. Yesterday, Klout announced that Google+ is now officially part of its social influence measurement system with its Google+ scoring model.

Users who are active Google+ users will saw their Klout scores increase. Klout says its basis for measuring influence on Google+ is the rate of engagement public posts receive. Users who aren't on Google+ or simply don't want to include their G+ accounts to their Klout dashboard won't be penalized, but it wouldn't hurt to improve your Klout score by establishing a presence on Google+ and to increase visibility in social search as well.

According to Klout's blog, they are measuring influence of Google+ users who connected their accounts to Klout. Klout also says that 62% of users are active and their engagement levels on G+ will be the basis of their scores. Arguably, the king of Google+ is MySpace founder Tom Anderson who saw his Klout score increase from 64 to 77. But what's interesting is that ordinary users like nature photographer Tamara Pruessner is gaining some social media mileage that saw her score catapult from 11 to 67.

This only shows that users with low scores saw an increase by being active in Google's social network, but Google+ skeptics will dismiss that G+ being part of Klout computation is not necessary yet due to the fact that it only has 40 million users in tow. Here's a summary of Klout's announcement:

  • Active Google+ users on Klout will see an average Score increase of 2.177.

  • Active Google+ users tend to also be active on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Google+ allows for close interactions like Facebook, while retaining the ability to share widely like Twitter.

  • Users who see a big jump in score from Google+ generate a lot of discussion and engagement with focused, high-quality content.

  • My Take

    Whether it’s Facebook or Google+ that your including in your Klout dashboard, a Klout score is a mere number to a customer. What I’ve noticed about the whole Klout issue that’s been trending for weeks now is that Klout has made social engagement a popularity contest and an ego-booster for some Internet marketers and social media strategists. It doesn’t matter if you keep or delete that Klout account of yours, an ordinary Internet user will not bother to research what Klout is. The real clout score can only be achieved on how a business can successfully integrate relevant social media platforms and make it work in synergy to generate leads. And now, with Google+ joining the Klout mix, will we finally see the value that Google+ can give to businesses?
    Original source:

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Tuesday Tip - Run 'Daily Deals'

    "Daily Deals" are the hottest thing since... well since the last hottest thing.

    They are everywhere. From the industry leaders like Groupon and Living Social to retailers and travel sites. Special deals with huge money saving opportunities are very popular. Local businesses need to take advantage of this trend an capitalize on consumer demand for these kinds of deals.

    Run Special Daily Coupon Promotions

    Running your own daily deals is easy! With social media, local businesses have the power to instantly and effectively reach numerous people. Your followers will also spread your deals across social networks, via email and more. Your Daily Deal can spread around your local area quickly and help drive people into your real world location.

    Of course, you do not have to run one every day. It all depends on your business and market. For instance if you are a restaurant, you may want to run Daily Deals Monday - Thursday to help drive more traffic on those non-weekend days. You could run a coupon promotion that says: 50% Off One Hamburger - Today Only.

    A coupon with "Today Only" and a large percentage off is eye catching. It gives a sense of real savings and it has a sense of urgency. These kind of coupon promotions can help drive real world traffic.

    Mobile and Social Media Coupons

    Beyond social media, it is important to be communicating to mobile devices. Your daily deal promotions should be optimized for mobile devices and reach people no matter where they are. Mobile users are often already out-of-home and looking for places to go.

    Squareberry's coupon promotions feature makes this easy. You can schedule promotions far in advance and watch as automated reminders about these promotions are sent across social media, email, SMS and more. Your daily promotions are also displayed on interactive website widgets and calendars. Learn more about coupon promotions here >

    Original Source:

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    Exposed: How Facebook Tracks Users

    We all know what Facebook's biggest asset is: user data. And now, it has been divulged how it uses personal information.

    Facebook officials have now revealed how the social network utilizes user information. Byron Acohido of USA Today wrote a piece on how Facebook uses user data such as browsing behavior and online search habits. Areas like sexual orientations, political views, and religion are some issues about users that can be utilized to turn them into potential customers. Ad targeting platforms, business propositions, and user information all generate a synergy of opportunity for Facebook.

    Some of the social network's officials engineering manager Gregg Stefancik, spokesman Andrew Noyes, and corporate spokesman Barry Schnitt were interviewed by Byron Acohido. They told USA Today that Facebook uses accumulated data through cookies which happen to improve plugins and security. They also acknowledged that they were able to produce a running log of web pages of its userbase every 90 days.

    According to Facebook’s engineering director Arturo Bejar, "The company relies on tracking cookie technologies similar to the controversial systems used by Google, Adobe, Microsoft, Yahoo and others in the online advertising industry." This means that user data is vital to sustain online commerce, and online tracking enhances online commerce in a significant way. Check out this infographic about Facebook's cookie tracking technique.

    Do you still feel secure about the information you share on Facebook? Is this the payoff of using a social network for free?

    Original Source:

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Of Kutchers and Klouts

    On March 21, 2006, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (@jack) sent the first tweet to invite others onto the service.

    On November 10, 2011, Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) wrote a controversial tweet that might have shut down the concept of personal branding.

    Kutcher saw a headline about Penn State football coach Joe Paterno getting the boot and tweeted about the controversial issue and defended Paterno, saying "How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste." Thing is, Kutcher didn't seem to read all the details because one of Paterno's assistants had 40 counts of sexual abuse of children and didn't report it to authorities.

    Suddenly...Flash Mobs!

    He deleted the tweet after 30 minutes and said, ": “As an advocate in the fight against child sexual exploitation, I could not be more remorseful for all involved in the Penn St. case.”

    Bad move, Ashton. Haven't you heard of people taking screenshots?

    After that came a barrage of tweets calling the King of Twitterland an idiot amongst other insults (which are not related to his lousy acting). As with any other influencer on a social network, Kutcher's Twitter reach of 8 million will react to any tweet he releases. Flash mobs will surface and douse you with negative feedback if you made a tiny mistake about a tweet, especially when you're a celebrity. Worse, those 8 million users might have retweeted Kutcher's tweet to make a snowball into an avalanche.

    Kutcherfication: Ashton Turns Over His Twitter Account

    Kutcher turned over his Twitter account to his team at Katalyst Media. He says they can properly manage his Twitter account's content. On his blog he said:

    "A collection of over 8 million followers is not to be taken for granted. I feel responsible for delivering an informed opinion and not spreading gossip or rumors through my twitter feed. While I feel that running this feed myself gives me a closer relationship to my friends and fans I've come to realize that it has grown into more that a fun tool to communicate with people. While I will continue to express myself through @Aplusk I'm going to turn the management of the feed over to my team at Katalyst Media to ensure the quality of it's content."

    Clearly, Mr. Kutcher is chickening out and running away from his responsibility to his 8 million followers. It's a quick escape from a lemon-y mistake that he could've been turned into lemonade. After all, Kutcher's clout made some players in the Valley notice and took time to discuss business with him.

    But now, he's turning away from the very people who made him king of the world's best micro-blogging service. He's turning away from the simple yet challenging responsibility of being a purveyor of substantial and genuine information. All of this because people are bashing him for his misinformed tweet. FYI, Kutcher is actually a mover of social good like #Malaria and movements to stop child trafficking.

    Why your Klout Score Can't Save you from Lemons

    Ok. We all know it's the not first time that Ashton Kutcher made social boo-boo using his Twitter account. While Kutcher has a "social responsibility" to his millions of followers, he's not a PR expert or anything for that matter. But Ashton Kutcher is a brand himself, and should be aware of that but he sees his Twitter as more of a communication tool than a podium for both substantial opinions or insipid tweets. It only shows a person's Klout is not commensurate to a brand or celebrity's ability to make lemonade out of lemons.

    Personal branding junkies such as social media experts and digital marketers should learn from Dell Hell that lead Dell to put a premium on social monitoring. Personal branding through meticulous content management and apt user engagement makes a difference in your online PR. Always keep in mind that a mere Klout score of 90 is not enough to make your online PR always shimmering or squeaky-clean to your target niche. Come to think of it, Kutcher could have just apologized for the mess instead of instantly deleting his controversial tweet.

    What do you think? Was it a good move for Ashton Kutcher to turn over his Twitter account to his Katalyst team for better Twitter management? Does your company have strategies for reputation management?

    Original source:

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Tuesday Tip - Events + Promos that Encourage Bringing More People

    Events and Promotions can drive more people into your real world location. It is important, even in the digital world, to show that you have fun and interesting things happening in the REAL WORLD. After all, your end goal is to get people to come to your organization's real world location. You need to find ways to drive real world traffic through your marketing communications.

    A great way to do this is by creating events and promotions that call for groups to stop by or encourage individuals to bring friends with them.

    Real World Events and Promotions

    Events are great. Events with a lot of attendees are better! You want your events to draw as many people as possible. A great way to maximize this is by encouraging people to come in groups. For instance, if you are hosting a "Trivia Night" you may want to tell people ahead of time to form teams or encourage their friends to come and cheer them on. Instead of one or two people coming that night, you may get a group of 5 or 6.

    Mobile Coupons

    With coupon promotions, it is great to run specials that require more than one customer. For instance: "Buy One, Get One 40% Off". Now your coupon is driving in a pair, not just an individual. But, there is no reason to stop with pairs. You can publish coupon promotions like: "30% Drinks for Parties of 5 or More".

    Mobile Marketing

    Mobile Marketing is essential to driving in groups. During social nights, friends are out looking for places to go and things to do. In many cases, where they end up is not determined until right before.

    Mobile devices allow followers to see you on social media, email, SMS and more. Your events and promotions need to be communicated on mobile devices. Mobile coupons are a great way to drive people straight to your location with the intent of spending money. Events show there is something to do at your organization's location. Followers easily share your happenings with friends and family as they plan where and when they are going next.

    Communicating your events and promotions on mobile devices is essential to driving groups into your location.

    Original Source:

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Google+ Didn't Forget About Twitter

    Google+ Pages for businesses were unveiled early this week and all the talk was about how the search giant's social network will fare against Facebook fan pages. A number of global brands and local businesses already have their Google+ Pages up. The most notable features to Google+ Pages for businesses is the Direct Connect function that enables businesses to be easily found using a [+] upon typing a brand's name. Social media pundits simply dismissed that Google+ Pages aren't replacing Facebook fan pages yet. Yes, 800 million users vs. 40 million users can really spark a heated debate regarding the value a social network gives to businesses.

    So is Google just launching a social network for the sake of having one? A lot of talk about Google+ vs. Facebook really suggests that the latter is a direct competitor to Google's social network. But wait, Google+ didn't forget about Twitter as well. We all know that content fuels the Web and without user-generated content social networks will be a desolate place. Google being the content connoisseur that it is, will also try to grab some of Twitter's userbase comprised of brands and journalists.

    Can Google+ be an Effective CRM Tool?

    While Twitter has been a great CRM tool for businesses. The growth of the micro-blogging giant is either a good thing or a bad thing: millions of users equals a slow system. And oh, Twitter Fail Whale! Don't get me wrong, Twitter is an excellent tool for monitoring and user engagement which is why Dell's customer service is a success. Michael Dell actually thinks that the Hangouts feature is a great CRM tool!

    Twitter might be a decent monitoring tool for customer complaints and suggestions, but seriously, 140 characters aren't enough to attend to a customer's complaint. This is where Google Apps come into play which can help businesses directly address an issue when someone complains about them on Google+. Customers always want a good conversation. It makes the CRM approach more personal yet professional. But in order to realize this, Google+ should consider opening their API for third-party apps.

    Google+ for Enhanced Advertising?

    Social platforms need to monetize their services through paid social ads. Social networks are free and they materialize from their biggest asset - user information. Twitter just launched Promoted Tweets a few weeks ago which inserts ads to the tweets of influencers and celebrities. I wrote in a previous post that trends are more influential than social ads. because trends are more viral. Would you rather advertise your brand or have people talk about it?

    While Twitter wants to make money out of its service, Google wants its users to make money for themselves. As businesses embrace a more social approach to increase brand awareness and increase ROI, so aside from Google+ Pages for businesses, Google launched "Why These Ads" to improve a local business' visibility in the SERPs. if you’ re having a vacation in Italy and then you searching for pizza, don’t expect Papa John’s or Pizza Hut to appear on the results. The best pizza resto within the area will be likely to appear.

    Photo via Google

    Coupled with enhanced regionalized ad targeting, Google+ Pages for businesses will not only increase SEO for local businesses but improve user engagement as well. A business' Google+ Page can be link to their website URLs and AdWords account. When those URLs receive +1s, it will accrue to the business which will increase the numbers.

    A Big Boost for News Publishers

    There's a reason why Google launched hashtag support and real-time analytics. The search giant also released the Stand-Out tag for news organizations and blogs to highlight their best feature stories. Google wants Google+ Pages to be integrated with websites. This will make content more relevant and fresh especially for news publishers and journalists.

    Twitter only shows the last 5 days of tweets and won't pinpoint where the article originated. Google+ makes convenient for news organization to spread a news feature using "What's Hot" feature. Aside from that, the Ripple feature enables users to view where a content originated from and how it has been shared. It can be a great addition to Google Real-Time Analytics in order to measure a particular content's virality. Google knows the value of making the latest content available to everyone and organizing content is what Google does best.

    What's in Store For The Ordinary User?

    People join social networks because they want to share content. Businesses establish their presence on a social network to feed content and merit user-generated content. Both merchants and customers will benefit from what Google+ can offer in terms of content-sharing. For instance, that bakeshop downtown shares a photo of a freshly-baked apple pie, I bet followers of their Google+ Page will +1 and share the pic to their network. A simple pic may not instantly drive flash mobs to the bakeshop to get a piece of that pie but the bakeshop makes people aware about their pastries. Google+ improves businesses' brand awareness and online presence.

    Speaking of pies, what does Google own? Gmail, Picasa, and YouTube. It's a cross-platform that businesses can leverage from. Google is a buffet where you can mix and match a service to improve your business. Twitter just sealed a deal with Mozilla that makes Twitter one of the default search options on the new Firefox 8 browser. Twitter is doing a Facebook here, remember when Facebook wanted users to have FB mail as their email? Twitter is not search engine and should stick with what it does best.

    For Google+, it has a long way to go before people realize the great function it offers. Some experts say that it doesn't have enough users to create value for brands and businesses. It doesn't have 800 million users like Facebook does nor it has a 300 million userbase like Twitter's, but Google is a search engine. And Facebook and Twitter are mere sites. The Web runs on content. Google+ ensures that social search will takes its place but it should continue to grow. With each new feature, Google+ hopes it will add more to its current 40 million userbase.

    Original Source:

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    New Social Media Publishing Settings

    Squareberry is launching a new way to configure your social account publishing settings!

    Squareberry sends automated reminders about your upcoming events and promotions to social media channels. In the past, the settings for publishing these reminders were handles per social account. Now, Squareberry is offering greater flexibility and control. Publishing settings are now handled per category - with the ability to customize settings for each of your social accounts with every category.

    Social Media Publishing Settings

    Your category "Family Fun" could be set to publish on the Day Of for Facebook, and 2 days before and the Day Of on your Twitter account, while your "Live Music" category could publish 1 Day Before on Twitter and on the Day Of on Facebook. These social media publishing settings can easily be adjusted at any time.

    All existing accounts have been migrated to use these new publishing settings.

    This flexibility came straight from use feedback and requests. We appreciate all feedback and feature requests and encourage you to submit yours. Visit our Forum.

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    Why Google+ Business Pages Could Overwhelm Facebook Fan Pages

    Google just launched Google+ for brands and businesses. The much-anticipated release of Google+ pages for brands has been discussed for months and how it might be better than Facebook fan pages for businesses, celebrities, and organizations. From your local laundry shop to that pizza restaurant downtown, Google+ Pages will help users connect by establishing a firm relationship between merchants and customers.

    Aside from enhancing local businesses, Google+ Pages will help people connect with their favorite sports teams, news organizations, and games like Angry Birds, Fox News, and Chicago Bulls. Google+ brand pages will carry a tiny square icon that suggests that it's a Page instead of an ordinary Google+ profile. Google+ Pages are now available worldwide to all international and local brands. But can Google+ Pages measure up against Facebook's Pages?

    I've compiled a list on how Google+ Brand Pages could trample Facebook Fan Pages:

    Search Engines Enhance Social Networks

    It's not everyday that a search engine builds a social network. Google+ Pages will have the edge in terms of SEO. As Google supercharges its ranking algorithm, expect Google+ Pages to be on the top of the SERPs. But Google is all about social business and not just social networking. If you want to bring relatives and friends together then you build a social network, BUT if you want to entice customers then you establish a social network backed up by the world's largest search engine!

    Enhanced Local SEO

    It's obvious that local businesses can leverage social media more than a multi-national brand does. And as Google makes its search algorithm more "regionalized", there's a great opportunity for local merchants to be noticed by customers. If you type "pizza" the best pizza restaurant located downtown will be on the top 5 results. Google+ Pages will enhance how local business owners do their SEO and it will be more convenient for them.

    Instantized Content

    People don't really backread their feeds on Facebook just to read news. They search for it! and having a newsfeed ticker on the side doesn't really quench their thirst for content. Users want instant content! Google+ Brand Pages are connected directly to the SERPs. The good thing about it is that Google just tweaked it's search algorithm to provide relevant and fresh results about trending news and recurring events. Aside from that Google+ makes use of hashtags already that whenever clicked it yields search results of the topic.

    Google Offers and Google Places

    Facebook Deals and Facebook Places are now irrelevant. Google Offers are gradually making it's way through local merchants in every key city in the country. With Google+ Pages, businesses can easily offer deals and discounts to loyal patrons and potential customers. Aside from that, customers can easily know where a store is located with the help of Google Places. I'm looking forward on how Google+ Brand Pages will be integrated with Google Wallet as well. It also helps that Android users are increasing and we all know that Google puts a premium on mobile usage.

    The Game Changer: Direct Connect

    We live in a world of instant connection. Some people use Google more than their toothbrush. Users are always researching for products, services, and brands. Google's Direct Connect feature will turn every query into meaningful relationships for customers and merchants. When searching for a brand, simply add a [+] to a brand or celebrity so Google can show a brand's Google+ Page. Google+ Pages for Businesses is significant for Google+. Google is the most-used search engine in the planet and owns majority of searches. Google+ is not only connecting a person to another, Google+ now shows the value of connecting customers and businesses.

    Tuesday Tip - Snag and Share

    Social Media is built for sharing. The networks connect people and places with ideas and happenings. Your organization needs and wants to be part of the conversation and sharing. In most cases, this means publishing original content about your organization. But, sharing ideas, events, and messages from relative and interesting sources is another great way to utilize Social Media. Remember, what is important is that people stay connected with you (for any reason).

    Social Media Sharing

    Sharing interesting information gives your followers stronger reasons to keep following you. You become more than just an organization or person, you become a source for useful and/or interesting information and ideas. Let's say you are a restaurant with a music theme. You could snag the category "Rock n Roll Star Birthdays" and show off the birthdays of legends of Rock N Roll. You can publish these as reminders on social media and more. You are now becoming a source for interesting music information that is appreciated by your followers.

    This kind of interesting and fun content can help your organization spread virally. People will turn around and Retweet and share your information to their friends and followers. It can help you gain more followers and reach more people. It also shws you have fresh content and gives your followers a bit of a change from your normal events, promotions and messages.

    Snag and Share


    Snagging is a Squareberry feature which allows you to grab categories of events and promotions to display, organize and publish in your account. You can grab a holiday calendar, your favorite football team's schedule or even a category showing off the national "Food Days". Snagging makes it easy to add a lot of content to your planner quickly and with little effort. In a matter of minutes you can build a full calendar of interesting events and dates.

    Original Source:

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Google+ Launches Pages

    Go to Google and search "+Pepsi" - you will immediately be taken to Pepsi's page on Google+. This is an interetsing new feature which enhances Google Search, allowing people to easily jump to an official page on Google+.

    Google is now offering Google+ Pages to anything and any organization. They are designed to allow brands, products and local businesses to have a voice on Google+ and connect with their customers. Pages can even host Hangouts, allowing businesses to connect face to face with their customers. Google is sure to release more enhancements to their pages, including localization and more media/application options.

    Here is an article from AdAge about the new pages:

    You can also see the official blog post from Google here:

    The Squareberry Team is excited to integrate with more platforms and we feel Google+ is a great opportunity for Squareberry to take advantage of. Please stay tuned for updates on Squareberry integration with Google+, as well as other leading social media platforms.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Klout Standards: Do Customers Even Care?

    Klout has been the reigning industry standard in the ever-sporadic social media sphere for 3 years already. It has become a standard for measuring social influence and reach. And just like any social analytics platform, Klout has rolled out changes last month in order to determine new categories in measuring social media influence. For web-savvy netizens, a person's Klout score is a validation of how his social media accounts are reaching people and how they influence the users that they reach, but for customers who don't really care about how many followers they have on Twitter or fans on Facebook, your Klout grade is a mere number. Why? Because most people don't really have a firm idea about social influence measurement and scoring.

    Like any social media tool, Klout thinks their recent changes will improve the service amidst the violent uproar by users who saw their scores plummet. It's understood when people get upset whenever their numbers are reduced, but with Klout it's a bit irrational. Last week, people were dousing Klout with a gamut of complaints regarding their scores when in fact they don't really know what goes into their Klout score. How can you be seriously disappointed when your Klout score is reduced but you don't even know how your score is really computed? The same goes with how Google doesn't really divulge how it's algorithm works. That is why SEO specialists keep trying to nail the search giant's algorithm.

    Some of you might agree that a Klout score is simply feeding a person's ego online. A mere validation that you belong to the "who's who" in social media circles if your Klout score is high. No wonder Klout has been answering tons of queries and complaints regarding scores. So are the changes in Klout scoring crucial in reaching your target niche and turning users into potential customers?

    If you have great content on your Tumblr blog which are being reblogged by other Tumblr bloggers but you don't even share your posts on Twitter or Facebook, then you reach people through Tumblr alone even if you don't have enough retweets or shares. Should your Klout score be as high with those who tweet their blog post instead? Or for instance, you tweet your blog post which is retweeted by 10 followers that have at least 20 followers each. On the other hand, you share the blog post on Facebook as well and is shared by 5 of your friends that has at least 4k friends to share it with. Can you easily pinpoint which social account is better in terms reaching potential customers whenever you share your content? The idea here is that not every social media account is really significant to one's Klout score. If your reach isn’t as influential as your other social media account then a drop in your Klout score shouldn’t come as a surprise.

    Social influence measurement is a bit tricky, it's like acupuncture or astrology which doesn't have any firm scientific claims to prove it's validity and feasibility. You can't turn people into instant customers if they are clueless about something. And it doesn't really help educating people about something that keeps on changing. Even if it's the most widely-used social analytics tool in the planet today.

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Tuesday Tip - Scheduled "Real Time" Messages

    Social Media is all about NOW! People want to find out what is happening, what is being discussed and who is doing what. With more and more people using app friendly smart phones, the world has become even more instant.

    Scheduled Social Media Messages

    While you may be planning your social communications far in advance, it does not mean that things can not sound current and spontaneous. It's all about what you say and how you say it. For instance, a message sent by a restaurant may read: "Things are going great at our weekend brunch, you still have time to stop on in. Brunch is served for two more hours. Stop by!" This message could have been scheduled two months in advance to go out precisely at 11:00 AM on a Sunday morning.
    Scheduled Social Media Message
    Anyone seeing the message would think it was written that Sunday by someone at the restaurant, when in fact it was planned and scheduled far in advance. This message, of course, coincides with a real world happening that is taking place at the restaurant. Its wording is in real time and it has a call to action. People who see the message no exactly what is going on and what they can do.

    Social Media + Mobile

    These "real time" messages are perfect for social media audiences who are constantly looking to be updated with new and current information. In the world of smart phones, Facebook and Twitter mobile usage is huge. You can reach people who are already out of their homes looking for places to eat and shop or activities to participate in.
    "Real time" messages give the sense thats someone is there. There is activity and life at your location. People want to go places that are actively. Drive them in with your scheduled social media messages.
    With Squareberry, they may have seen an automated reminder about your event or promotion days before. They knew about it but for some reason had not gone. Your real time message can drive it home and drive them in to your location.