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Mesh, Inc. 
Digital Marketing Strategy
604 309 5700
kirk@meshinc.com 

MIX & MESH

Frequently or infrequently, we will share what we are working on, what we are thinking about, and a few things that we find transformative. 

Entries in google+ (2)

Wednesday
Feb082012

Social Media Explained

I saw this image this morning online and I thought it struck a great balance of mocking social media enthuiasts, as well as helping to give a few helpful tips on how you can use different social channels to communicate about your business.

I'm sure the names of each sound familiar: twitter, facebook, foursquare, instagram, youtube, linkedin, pinterest, lastfm, google+; but do you know what they are, and how to use them? Here's a short post on each:

Twitter.com - twitter is an amazing tool for connecting to others and sharing links and throughts. For some it's a stream of consious, many of their posts have a personal component, but are written with the knowledge that it's an open, public forum. Posts could inlclude "I'm eating a donut", "just nailed my first double-black run", "picked up my new Nike trainers today". Hashtags, literally the# symbol before a word, are used to add your tweet to part of a conversation, or to start one. I often add #northvancouver to my tweets if I'm talking about a locally relevant topic, or #canucks if I'm talking about a game. You can also send a direct message to someone who is following you by typing: d theirtwitterusername your message. And can add someone to a public message by typing: @stumullan really like your new shoes.

Facebook.com - Facebook is a more personal and semi-private tool. You create a personal account, connect with your friends, and then share messages of a more personal nature, or share photos. You can set your privacy settings so that your posts are only viewable by your friends, or friends-of-friends, and users typically share at a sligthly deeper level than twitter - such as "my Gran just died, keep me in your thoughts", or "seriously, I'm considering handing my kids back". For business use, Facebook is best understood as a place to share and link to posts, photos, topics and news that is relevant to your customers, but broader than just your product. People want to be in conversation, and appreciate your curation of interesting and relevant information. They don't want to feel 'sold' to.

Foursquare.com - a location-based tool where users can check-in to a location, such as a shop or entertainment venue. There are 'gaming' elements such as becoming the mayor of the venue if you have the most check-ins, or winning a badge. Some businesses have offered discount insentives to regular customers on Foursquare, but it's userbase in Vancouver seems fairly small.

Instagram - one of the best social photo sharing tools. You take a photo with your phone, edit it, and then post to Instagram (and twitter & facebook if you wish). You can connect with other instagram users, and can like their photos. Instagram is a great social tool, but it's business purpose is less clear, although they do have a guide for brands on their website..

Youtube.com - needs little explanation. You upload videos to youtube which are viewable online, and which you can embed in your website. It's a great place to publish instructional videos about your product or service, or how-to guides. It's also an excellent source of distration when you're low on energy in the afternoon!

Linkedin.com - a social network for business. Some people use Linkedin as their online resume. It's certainly a good place to connect with business colleagues, and some users try to promote their skills and services on the site by posting status updates or seeking recommendations.

Pinterest - an online pinboard where users can highlight ideas, photos or themes. It's very new and by invitation only. I'll comment more once I've tried it out.

Last FM - an online radio service where you can connect with your friends and share what you're listening to.

Google+ - Google's new social network that is designed to challenge Facebook and Twitter. Google+ integrates with your Google's Mail, Calendar and Documents services through a new Google Toolbar which appears at the top of your screen. Google+ is definitely a place where businesses should be represented as there is evidence that + posts are being preferred in Google search results. For now you can visit plus.google.com to create an account. You can create a page for your business once you're logged in as a personal Google+ user by going to http://www.google.com/+/business/

This is just an overview of the services shown in the photo. I will write more about how to use then when I'm next inspired.

 

Wednesday
Oct192011

Build your reputation as an expert online.

In June of this year Google announced that they would support the rel=”author” and rel=”me” markup. This simply means that they would now take this existing coding language and incorporate into their search results algorithm.

Google said:

“We know that great content comes from great authors, and we’re looking closely at ways this markup could help us highlight authors and rank search results.”

 You can read the full article here.

So why is this important for your business?

This change in methodology from Google and other search engines offers you the possibility of staking your claim as an expert in your field, and using your online activity, such as blog writing, and tweets to improve your website's search position. Now you can add code to your website that allows Google to correctly attribute articles you have authored, an can even include these article titles in search results below your name.

In order to implement the rel=”author” code you need to link your webpage to your Google Profile. If you haven't already created a Google profile you can do so at google.com by clicking in the sign-in button in the top right hand corner and signing up. You then need to add the piece of code to your webpage that contains the rel=”author” tag. Full instructions can be found here Claiming your content online using Google+.

Now that you've created the connection between Google and your website, now you have to get busy sharing your expert opinions. As with all online marketing, the most important thing is to provide value. Share advice, tips and ideas from your informed position that answer questions that potential clients have about your area of expertise.

Link to other professionals that you feel are adding value to the conversation, and continue to build a relationship with your audience without expecting a quick return. Allow yourself to be surprised by the outcomes when they happen, and maintain a generous frame of mind as you post online.