Hop On The Google+ (Google Plus) Train in 2014

google-plus-trainI’ve been meaning to do a post on the benefits of Google+ for a while now. If you haven’t joined Google Plus yet… it’s time to join! Right now it’s pretty easy to grow a following with the current features. This mostly has to do with Circle Sharing and the ease of adding an entire circle of people (about 500 people) in 2 clicks. I’ve found that it’s easier growing a following nationally & globally, but local is a little more difficult. If you are trying to target locally the network will still yield a lot of SEO/search benefits for you.

Recently +Michael Q Todd did a post on Why you must move from Facebook to Google+

He covers:

  • Advertising
  • Organization Tools / Extensions / Stats
  • Reaction / Engagement
  • SEO
  • Hangouts
  • Circle Sharing
  • Embedded Posts
  • & Blog Comments

You can take a look at his post here: http://www.michaelqtodd.com/move-facebook-googleplus, as I will be trying to avoid going over the same information.

Ease of growing a following

As I mentioned above, you can add 500 people in 2 clicks on Google Plus.

There is a 5,000 person following limit (people you can follow, there’s no limit on how many can follow you)… which I was able to hit pretty quickly from repeating this process. You will run into daily limits & sometimes I had to wait a couple weeks after adding a circle before I was able to add another one. During that time you can spend time engaging on content & getting to know people.

Next you will want to find some influencers on the network that create public shared circles that get a lot of shares. A lot of the big influencers create a new circle on a weekly basis. You can also do an internal search on Google Plus to find some of them too. I usually search #Circle, #Circles, #SharedCircles. Usually there will be instructions on the original circle post on how to be included for the next one. Mostly this involves giving the post a +1, share, comment, & add the circle if possible.

Some users with a weekly circle are +Michael Q Todd, +Scott Buehler, +Billy Funk, +Plus Mastermind, +Shawn Manaher, & +Daniel Stock. Take a look at their circles below & engage with them for a chance to be in their future versions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEO Benefits from Social Search

Searches in Google now have Google Plus posts integrated within them. This means that the more people that are following me… the more exposure that ALL of my G+ posts are getting. If someone is following me, then searches in Google, and I have a post related to the search… then my post is going to come up very high in the results.  So even with a very small following you can still be getting ahead of other people by posting content with keywords you want to be found for… that will pay off in the short term & long term.

Google has been playing around with being able to search Hashtags as well. I’ve seen it on and off in the search over the last few months. It’s currently not on there but I’m sure it will be eventually.

GIFS

You can post GIFS on Google Plus! It’s unbelievable that Twitter & Facebook do not have this feature yet. You can do a work around on Facebook with GIPHY but that’s a pain… and no one sees your posts on Facebook anymore anyway, so it’s a double waste of time. Tumblr & Google+ are the best places for GIFS, except on Google+ you don’t have to worry about seeing a giant weiner pop up in every search.

 

Giant Pictures

If you to get even more exposure on a post from time to time… you can post giant images. I’ve only done this twice so far and one of the image sizes I posted was 1600 x 1200. You will have to play around with it to get the sizing down.

 

giant-google-plus-image

Google Authorship

If you are creating any content on any website… you will want Google Authorship setup. There are plenty of posts you can find on reasons why you need this set up & you can do a search for “Google Authorship” and find plenty of posts about it. +Scott Buehler has a great post with all of the resources you need to set it up. That post is below.

YouTube Integration

YouTube is the second largest search engine globally & there’s already been recent changes to integrate it further with Google+. One of these changes is having a check box with “Also share on Google+” on every video. When you do comment that way…  your comment on that video ends up on your profile and in other people’s stream showing you commented on it.

youtube-comments-google-plus

Mobile

The G+ mobile app is pretty good. More importantly… it’s consistently getting better with every update. Even GIFS work on mobile and the way it’s set up is great! One downside is that you can’t view or do much with shared circles on the mobile app, at least I haven’t been able to. That will change soon though. Aside from that I am able to be logged into multiple Google accounts and manage one page in the app at the same time which is fantastic!

Google-Plus-Mobile

There are MANY other reasons to get on Google Plus. Get on the network and see for yourself! If you have been on the network for a while or are just beginning and would like to see some quick growth, then I recommend taking a look at http://www.plusmastermind.com. That Mastermind course is just about to launch & run by +Scott Buehler & +Billy Funk.

plus-mastermind

 

Are you new to G+ or have you been on the network for a while? How has your experience been so far? Feel free to comment & ask questions below!

 

3 Social Media Tools For Small Business 2013

Social Media Tools For Small Business 2013There are so many Social Media platforms out there now.. and even more 3rd party programs/tools to help manage them.  I’ve spent hours upon hours over the last couple of years trying new social media management tools as well as the social networks themselves. It’s not that easy to find ones that are affordable that can do everything you want them to.

Often I find one only has a couple of the features and not nearly all of the ones that I am looking for. Unless you can afford to spend $300, even 500$+ a month on really expensive ones, then take a look below at some more affordable programs that I have narrowed it down to.  I’ve recently cancelled Hootsuite & OnlyWire.com to try out some of these other ones.

3 Social Media Tools For Small Business 2013

1.) Sendible –  Social Media Management,  Publishing, Scheduling,  Automation,  & More

  • Publishing options include Subject/Title, Photos/files (photos post great and not as a link they have to open), Ability To add YouTube videos, tags, and Scheduling. 
  • Groups – You can group together different services and send out a message to the group you created (So I have groups for messages that go to platforms that have hashtags and ones that don’t)
  • It actually has all of the options for Facebook such as Post A Question, Post a Coupon, upload photos to albums, and that helps save a bunch of time.
  • Google + pages, YouTube (post to youtube as well) , Instagram (like, comment, share options in feed), slideshare, and much more.
  • Brand & Keyword Monitoring & Monitor Yelp Reviews
  • Quick Reports and Custom Reports (including best times to post, engagement probability, clicks, and volume)
  • Automation (RSS, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) SMS & Email Automation
  • Text Message Campaigns (not the cheapest but not too expensive either)
  • Priority Inbox (combines mentions, messages, and notifications from social networks to respond to)
  • Affordable Pricing (See Images In Gallery)
  • Assign Messages To Team Members
  • Bookmark Extension To Easily Find Content To Schedule & Post

[nggallery id=62]

2.) Circloscope – Google Plus Uncircle Tool

circloscope

  • Chrome Extension, simple, and works 
  • Automatically will detect all of the people that aren’t circling you back and you can uncircle them all in one click
  • Can choose specific circles or people to uncircle
  • CHEAP! One time charge of 5$
  • Fast response, you just buy it and email the developer and he sets it up for you

Circloscope premium in Chrome webstore: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/circloscope-premium/mechgkelogghhgmpmbpofjijifdppppl

chrome extension
Circloscope Page on Google+: https://plus.google.com/109096245971703802400

Developer Profile on Google+ (Ehsan Ahmadi Gharacheh): https://plus.google.com/115932955064831083806

3.)  Simply Measured – Reports, Analytics, & Data Collections

  • Free Reports – They have free report options as long as you send out a Tweet/Post for them
  • Blog Performance reports, Social Reports, Influencer Reports, Traffic Source Analysis, & a bunch more.
  • Great for employers, clients, & campaigns to see what is working the best.

I have a call scheduled with Simply Measured this week so get in touch at the end of the week if you would like to know more about it.

Click Here To See The Report In Your Web Browser: http://bit.ly/11POtag

[nggallery id=63]
 

 

 Onlywire & Hootsuite Updates

onlywireI recently stopped using Hootsuite & Onlywire to test these other ones out. Here’s the email I sent back to OnlyWire.com in regards to my cancellation:

Issues I experienced: 

  • Very shortly after I hooked up two different onlywire accounts with the google logins, both gmail accounts were giving your account may be in danger, change your password errors. That happened shortly after the first post went out in onlywire on two different accounts for different businesses.
  • The RSS option is decent but it turns the links into onlywire links which is not good for social media. People won’t click on those links and know it’s automated.
  • The onlywire plugin once installed (on two different sites) was better but still didn’t get a lot of clicks. Both sites were slowed down tremendously by the onlywire plugin and posts wouldn’t show up for 1-2 hours at times.
  • Both the RSS/wordpress plugin should have the ability to put a tag (s) into the posts so when it goes to sites with hashtags they can be categorized and get more clicks (google plus and twitter for sure)
  • If I do one blog post a day then it will only give me 25 days of the month to post to the services before the limit fills up. On my northsandiego.org site when it’s active there are 3-6 new posts a day so that doesn’t go very far and I would be forced to upgrade if I wanted all of the posts to go out
  • A lot of the services had issues connecting on both OnlyWire accounts. Google connection issues, reddit, and there were a handful of the services that you couldn’t even sign up for anymore so I ended up wasting a good hour or two setting those services and running into all sorts of errors till i figured out they just don’t work at all
onlywireWhat I would change
  • Do one plan for like 10 a month and another for 20 a month. The 15-20$ a month plan could be unlimited messages
  • Fix the WordPress plugin, I could be wrong but i think what’s causing the slow issue is before the WordPress post goes out, it goes out to all of the Onlywire services which take time, so if the plugin was switched to have the post go live first then do that, it will be a lot better
  • Don’t put the services on there if they don’t work
  • Fix the links for the RSS

The OnlyWire Customer Service team was quick to respond though and if they make changes in the future I will take another look into it.

hootsuiteHootsuite I still recommend (especially since it’s free for up to 5 accounts) and may return to it in the future. If they add Google+ Personal Pages I will upgrade again. But let’s dive into the list of a couple programs I am currently using.

I will always be looking into others to see what combination will work best. If you have any you are using that you want to add just put them in the comments!

If you are looking to get on board with the huge growth of video then send me an email at Matt@mediacurb.com or fill the form out below. I am currently doing video ranking work (so they show up in Search Engines).

[gravityform id=”5″ name=”Interested In Video Marketing?”]

 

 

Using StumbleUpon For Writer’s Block

StumbleUpon LogoWe all face the dreaded writer’s block, especially those who are trying to provide fresh original content on a daily and weekly basis. This comes up quite often for myself and I’ve found that StumbleUpon can help get a few sparks going to start the fire.

StumbeUpon is becoming one of my favorite ways to find articles. It’s idea is quite simple in that you sign up, pick your interests, and then hit the “Stumble” button and you will get a random article based on the interests you chose. All of the articles that come up are ones that have been submitted or “Stumbled” into existence on the network.

You don’t always have to provide fresh original content that rolls of the top of your head. Content curation is always an option when you run into writer’s block or even if you don’t have writer’s block it’s always a great way to provide readers with material. You can find an article (which is what stumbleupon is for) and then provide your opinions/expertise on that article and link to it so your readers can view the article in full. This can be done in a matter of 5-10 minutes.

Either way whether you curate the content or just use it to get some ideas going it’s worth taking a look at if you aren’t signed up.

Here is the method I use for WordPress:

  1. Keep hitting the Stumble button until I find an article I find worth sharing (sometimes it’s just a funny article)
  2. Highlight the text that I would like to share from the article
  3. Hit the “Press This” Button I have in my toolbar that every WordPress site comes with (click here to go to the Press This post)
  4. Save as draft
  5. Open up WordPress, write my little piece on the article and post it! Done

A couple of other uses:

  • Submitting articles to StumbleUpon. Install the Stumble share button on your posts or go to http://www.stumbleupon.com/submit. I spent a good couple of hours submitted quite a lot of pages, posts, and whatever I could off of this site and within about 4-5 days there were over 500 hits that came from StumbleUpon…. So I HIGHLY recommend doing this.
  • Finding great content to share through Social Media. You can really find some great articles by people that don’t have the resources to show up everywhere on the internet. This is also good because they get exposure to their content but also it won’t be the same exact thing that 2 thousand people shared that day.

Have you used StumbleUpon before? How much traffic does it bring in for you? Or if you have any other resources you use to overcome writer’s block please share in the comments.

stumble upon

Enhanced by Zemanta

Local Twitter Search Tips

We are going to go into some Twitter Tips by using the advanced search option, Hootsuite, and a little trick on Bing to find tweets in a specific area. This social platform is great for so many uses! You can use it to strictly follow news and interesting articles to be able to sit down and get caught up right away, get weather / local / global news, participate in conversations or start your own using # tags (hashtags), customer service, retention, advertising (we will have a post soon on the advertising options), prospecting, sales, contests, keeping up with friends, and much much more! If you don’t have an account we suggest you make one and start tweeting! First lets start with the video and then there will be step by step instructions for each demonstrated….

Twitter Advanced Search

This is a very useful Twitter tip that has been around for quite some time.

1.) You can get to it by going to search.twitter.com or twitter.com/search. You do not need to be logged into an account for this feature and tip.

2.) You will see the screen that says “See what’s happening right now” and there will be a search bar, trends, and you can click operators or advanced search.

3.) If you are going to type your search into the bar then we highly suggest you read through the operators. All you have to do is click operators and it will show you. You can get very specific with these searches. A great one we highly recommend for finding local Twitter followers is the Near: san diego within: 25mi and of course just replace whatever city or area you would like and the mile radius.

Using the Twitter operators to help with search results.

4.) Now go ahead and click on the Advanced Search option. Within the Twitter advanced search option it really allows you to combine all of those operators in a very easy way. There are just columns to place words, exact phrases, people options, and that same Near option we showed you on step three you can use here by simply typing in the city name. This is a fantastic tool to use for finding your clients and it can narrow it down as much as anyone would ask for. Play around with it and see how it will help you. If you get stuck send us an email through the contact form and we will help you.

That’s it for the Twitter Advanced Search. Now lets move onto creepy Bing tip to help you find local users.

Bing Twitter Maps

Here’s a short step by step to utilize Bing Twitter Maps:

1.) Go to http://bing.com/maps

2.) Click on Map Apps under the search bar

3.) Scroll down close to the bottom middle and click Twitter Maps

4.) Now you will have a Timeline and Search option available. The timeline shows you tweets from users in the area you have on the map. So if you have the whole world showing it will show tweets from around the world.

5.)You can click the Search option and enter in the location, keywords, and people. Also it gives an option to only see people with photos. You can also just use the map and scroll/zoom in on the area you want to see and it will automatically show you all of the tweets from there. This is another great tip to help you find users in any area (assuming they have their location setting on :p).

Hootsuite  Streams For Twitter

We are not going to delve too much into the Hootsuite program on this post. We will have future posts that go into how to use it. Most likely in the next week or two we will go through the basics. Hootsuite is a great tool to use to manage social media accounts and schedule posts. You can also respond in the dashboard very easily. They have a Hootsuite university option and the regular upgraded account to let you connect multiple accounts is only $9.99 a month. But for this specific tip we are just going to show you how to make the keyword stream to help streamline your Twitter advanced searches.

1.) Get into your Hootsuite dashboard and click on the twitter profile stream you want to use. It normally adds a stream for you after you link your social media accounts by default. If not add a stream and click your account.

2.) Now you are going to want to click the “+Add Stream” option within the dashboard. That will pull up a little window. Then click the keyword option.

3.) Once you get to the keyword section you can add up to 3 keywords or phrases. You can use the @mattmassaro symbol to see anytime that @whatevernameyouchoose gets mentioned on twitter. You can also use # hash tags and so on. Then just hit the Create Stream button once you are done.

4.) That’s it you are all done with this Twitter advanced search option tip. You can see your stream in your dashboard now.

That’s it we are all done! The first two options for the tips, especially the advanced twitter search option is a great place to start. If you can learn that one it will help out and you can really engage follows in your area. If you feel this is overwhelming stay tuned in the very near future and follow our account @mattmassaro on Twitter. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Adding Facebook Recommendations Bar To Your Website

I kept seeing a nice Recommendations bar pop up on websites. After attending an SEO/Wordpress meeting and keeping up with how internal links and time spent on the site helps with SEO I decided to get this going last night. I looked into it further and it was actually ran by Facebook. It seems there are a couple of different ways to have this on your site.  I went with the easiest one I could which is not by Facebook. I will give you a step by step on how to add it the way I did. Please note this is for WordPress only.

Adding Facebook Recommendations Bar To Your Website:

1.) Install/Download the Plugin. If you search for it in WordPress it’s “Facebook Recommendations Bar” By Alex Moss. Here is the link to the plugin as well http://3doordigital.com/wordpress/plugins/facebook-recommendations-bar/

2.) Now you will need to create an actual Facebook App. Log in to Facebook and go to https://developers.facebook.com/apps

3.) Click Create New

4.) Type in the name of your app. The one I did for this site I just called it North san diego. The namespace is the URL friendly version so I did north-san-diego. Fill those 2 out and hit continue.

facebookrecommendationsbar3

5.) Now you will be brought to the different options for your app. Put in the domain name under App Domains. I just hit “news” for the category and left the sandbox mode disabled.

 

 facebookrecommendationsbar4

6.) Below there are different options for your app. All I did was entered the URL of the website in the “Website with facebook login” and under the “mobile web” section. Then hit save changes at the bottom. Note** I did mess around with some of the other settings and it gave me errors when I tried it. So I just stuck with the easiest way to get it to work. With the plugin in this post all you need is the App ID #.

 

 facebook recommendations bar 5

7.) Now go back into WordPress and open up the Facebook Recommendations Bar settings.

8.) Enter in your Facebook App ID #

9.) I left the Enable FBML checked. Then you just have a couple of options. I checked posts/pages. I kept the Verb the same. Read time will be how long the visitor to that page is on there before the pop up box comes up. I changed it to 15 seconds but you can change it to whatever you would like. Then the number of recommendations I left it at 2.

 

 facebookrecommendationsbarwordpressarticles

10.) That’s it! Just go to a page/post on your site and it should work. Mine does interfere with the Wibiya Social Share Bar across the bottom. I believe if you use the plugin that Facebook has itself you are able to customize manually where the box goes. I will write another post if I end up doing it that way.

 

 facebookrecommendationsbardone

 

The bar itself is pretty cool. You can like the post right off of the bar. I will see what happens with it and what articles it recommends to me and some of the other bloggers on the site. I will write a follow up post with information about that. Happy Blogging!

 

Usernames Part 2 & Google Search

A few days ago I was talking to Kimberly Reynolds  (Savvy Media Marketing ) about a Facebook app posting without knowing it would. It had me thinking about how much information is out there for people to see and what information companies have of yours. I have thought about this in the past and accepted it a while ago. All of my information is out there on the internet and if someone really wants to find out about me they will be able to. The thought process for me was “Well if it’s out there I might as well control what people see” and that is where the social media profiles come in.

 

 

People will Google your name for all sorts of reasons. You may have potential clients that want to look into you to see more information. A potential employer will most likely Google you and look through your online presence. People constantly Google for dating, especially online dating before the first meeting. Someone may Google you that you used to know and is trying to get back in touch with you. There’s all sorts of reasons. I constantly Google myself to see what is showing up. I also looked how many hits my name gets a month (only about 250). However a good portion of the searches on the first 3 pages are my profile, websites, or blog posts are mine. Anyone else named Matt Massaro would have to spend some serious hours to get up to being able to compete. I also know that my last name would be extremely difficult to rank due to a WWE famous model named Ashley Massaro.

Now of course this can be applicable to business as well. Making sure your business name shows up is crucial, regardless of what kind of business you are in. When I”m out and about someone might just hear the company name and Google it later to get in touch. I’ve worked for a company in the past and have beengooglelogo sitting down with a client who did a Google search and the business was no where to be found. That can be quite embarrassing. A tool I use is Google Alerts. You can set Google Alerts up to search Google for the keywords that you pick and I have it set up to search every day. So around midnight every day I see new results for the business name or my name etc. It’s a GREAT way to see when your website blog posts index on Google.

Now I used Tor for the search examples in the pictures below. Tor is a browser that you can download here: https://www.torproject.org/. It’s an anonymous way to browse the internet. The military use it, media, and all sorts of other organizations. To give you a heads up if you do use it, it is pretty slow. I used it for this example to get complete organic results, without being logged into Google, and making sure all history was cleared. My personal Facebook page is not on there… I just recently checked and the settings had my profile being hid from search engines. I don’t ever remember setting it like that. I did a couple searches over a couple weeks and noticed it wasn’t there and had to change the settings.

googlefirstpage

googlesecondpage

googlethirdpagegoogletorbrowser

 

 

 

 

 

Recently Google announced they will be integrating your Gmail results into search. I highly recommend you get all of your Google profiles up to date as well as Pinterest.

Here’s a few suggestions:

  • On the emails you send out now I would start putting keywords in the title and the first 2-3 sentences.
  • Also make sure that your Google+ profile and pages are up to date. Google is slowly releasing usernames for those.
  • YouTube is another Google product that you should make sure is optimized with keywords (both the videos and the channel).
  •  Make sure your Pinterest profile up to date. I recently read on a Facebook post that they boards on Pinterest are going to start indexing better on Google. Make sure your board names, pins, and descriptions have keywords. Pinterest was on the first page up above for my profile. I’m also seeing about 5-10 emails a day about people signing up for Pinterest all of the sudden.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

 

googlelogoFuture Post: I’m still working and playing around with some of the Google Author features. Once I have it figured out I will give you a thorough post on it.