Just joined the community. Besides consistency and writing engaging content, what would be some of your suggestions for the top 3 things needed to be successful in social media marketing? I'd love to hear some feedback on original ideas, etc. What do you think?
Charly Tate's profile photoCustom Graphics Plus's profile photo
Thank you!
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Zbra Studios

• Sales / Marketing  - 
Google +Post ads are going to be a game changer.

Now available to business pages with over 1,000 followers, +Post ads are looking awesome. They were first tested on a limited basis back in December with brands like +Toyota USA, and it looks like they had some pretty solid results. Google's reporting that Toyota saw 50% higher engagement than the industry average for rich media ads, and I can't say I'm surprised.

See, unlike Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn ads, Google isn't clogging its social network with these ads (thank goodness). Instead, it's pushing the ads out to websites in the Google Display Network (which includes over 2 million sites).

Not only that, but these aren't your typical image/headline/blurb ads. Instead, they're essentially embedded Google+ posts - which means you can introduce a whole new audience to your Google+ presence. When you think about how awesome a good Google+ post can be, you start to realize the kind of creative potential this is offering marketers.

The only bummer is that anyone with under 1,000 fans can't use it yet - and that includes us. Considering I've been toying around with a few test campaigns using LinkedIn and Facebook ads to do exactly this - promote a Google+ post - I'm really eager to try this out.

Why this is a game changer
- Incredible flexibility and creative potential for ads, utilizing the Google+ post features.
- Gives businesses the opportunity to extend their reach beyond their current Google+ circles and communities.
- Allows brands to speak directly with their audience, for better and worse.
- Gives any businesses on the fence about Google+ another push to finally join the party and create a page.
- Similarly, adds incentive for businesses who already have a Google+ page to revisit their Google+ social media strategy in order to start making progress toward that 1,000 follower entry level.

Really, the thing I'm the most excited about here is the potential this has to change the face of the marketing landscape, by bringing consumers directly into the discussion.

You can read my article in full here:

Pin the image (you know, if you want):

I also urge you to check out +Mark Traphagen's post on the topic. It seems Mark and I were writing about this at the same time, and I'm pleased to say it seems we're on the same page about a number of things here. He makes some excellent points I didn't touch on, like how these ads can add social proof, since - as an embedded post - it shows how many times the article has been plussed or shared already.

Read Mark's article here:

h/t to +Strategy Internet Marketing for posting about this update in the SMP Community, and tipping me off!

What do you think about +Post ads? Are you as excited about their potential as I am? Do you disagree with anything I've written? Let me know in the comments!
Chris Steele's profile photoTracy Wisneski's profile photoEugene Liang's profile photoNomster's profile photo
Great article and I very much appreciated the commentary. I'm excited for the +Post ads, and for the options they're bringing to the table for businesses. Its a continuing trend Google is encouraging, of organic marketing, and options for authenticity, and the possible rewarding of authenticity, in a corner of society that's historically done anything but.
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Charles Wilson

• Sales / Marketing  - 

LinkedIn is touted as the #1 business social media developer.  I can see a huge potential for businesses to connect and expanding through free and premium memberships.

It is also a great opportunity to waste a bunch of time posting a lot of stuff in someone elses' groups and then getting SWAMed by a competitor, someone that does not like your information. etc.  Once this happens, you have to have your permissions reset by every other group manager to get back in.

I suggest starting your own private groups on your individual topics and post what you want in your own discussions.  If someone new applies, check their profile before approving.   Recruiters can be set to post to JOBS automatically -  if you allow them in at all.

 Once you have your own groups established, set them at the front of the line for easier identification.  Now you can go look for other groups to join.  Having a good profile lets a good manger see whom he is letting in.  If you find a group with bunch of troublemakers along with some good people, establish a connection with the good ones and invite them over to your group(s).  Check their profiles also, especially if you are a business.  Avoiding competitors is a great way to avoid trouble as I have heard that they can result in you getting kicked out of a group, especially if they are the manager. Before joining a group, check the  manager's profile and make sure they are not a hot competitor as I have heard this has leads to others getting SWAMed.
Charles Wilson's profile photoCedric Jackson's profile photoZbra Studios's profile photo
Gary - thanks for input.  I just used the caps as a topic heading, similar to a LinkedIn discussion, to help identify the topic.  I didn't know about the * tip.    Looking for a photo, may take one with my webcam later, never really done much with  my profile since I am retired.

The one reason I put this in a sales category was to help  people using LinkedIn as a sales tool for their business, to avoid a bunch of frustration like those in guest groups all over the help forum and Internet with the same problems and complaints.  If you really want to control your sales media on LinkedIn, it's best building up your own groups as primary, watch who you  let in and then go to guest groups later.   If you make friends with good group, offer to share your group in each others groups.  Don't try that without asking first or you may get SAWEed.   LinkedIn only has a place for links so make them count in the main discussion heading where they will lead to something with more information.  You can add more in your own comments for additional information.

As far as a social media strategy, Google+ offers a business many more additional sales  and connectivity opportunities with one account, like gmail, drive, voice, phone, video chat and a host of other features over LinkedIn.  This can be extremely helpful with small business or those starting out small.  In addition, there is no time limit to edit post or comments like LinkedIn.  Like Facebook, if you or your post get deleted or blocked from a group, it's still yours on your profile and not gone forever,like LinkedIn.
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How to do B2B Social Media Well, Courtesy of Maersk Line

How do you make the most of social media as a B2B company? Often the most obvious social media opportunities lie within the B2C sphere, however, with the right approach, those operating in the B2B market can see success. I could take a up numerous pixels giving you my thoughts on how to be successful in B2B social media, but it's far more interesting to explore a real-life case.

Incase you haven't heard of Maersk Line, they move cargo across the globe, mainly via container ship. They dominate the market and their brand is familiar to millions. When you have such a strong market position, it can be easy to get complacent about marketing and communications, but Maersk certainly haven't rested on their laurels. Lets take a look at their activity, its not all perfect but is still one of the top B2B examples I've seen.

Base content

Maersk have made a real commitment to blogging. Visit their UK site and the homepage has a panel that leads to their 'expert blogs'. They've got six employees blogging, covering a number of categories that aim to educate, inspire and inform. A number of the posts are clearly aimed to attract search traffic from businesses that may be looking to use their services, but this is a sensible approach as long as there's a balance (they also have customer case-studies). They also bring their people to front, adding a human touch to such a huge corporation. Over on their .com site, they've got another blog running, which does have some different content to the offering, this is a typical approach for a company based in so many territories. Overall, their integration of social media into their sites is very good.

Producing regular content gives Maersk a great basis for their social media activity, the quality of it is high (they could perhaps use more imagery in blog posts) and when you look at their social media activity, it goes down well with their audience. Let's move onto their social media platforms...

Social Media

Maersk are currently running six social media platforms - Facebook, Twitter, G+, Instagram, LinkedIn and Sina Weibo. They also have presences on flickr, Youtube and Vimeo, but I struggle to class them as social networks. Maersk started a social media listening phase in 2011 and have since been implementing their strategy -  you can read more about this here. Time to have a look at some of their platforms:


Facebook can be a very tough play for B2B companies, but Maersk are making a very good fist of it. Can you guess how many fans they have? 1.1 million at the time of writing. Not bad. Yes, a portion of that may have been bought, however, people are hanging around.  We all know it's not about the size, but what you do with it right? They post most days, and levels of post engagement are strong, with an average of 100 shares per post and over 25 comments. Post likes regularly stretch past the 1000 mark. When comparing that to their number of fans, it may seem small, but Facebook organic reach is still on the slide, and these engagement levels wouldn't suggest to me that they're boosting posts, so I think Maersk can be happy with their progress. Their updates are very centred around the business, and it wouldn't do them any harm to consider curating some relevant content from other sources, but their Page is far from a ghost-town, which shows that their audience is appreciating their work. A true Facebook B2B success story.


The image-led world of Instagram isn't necessarily a natural place for a B2B brand to play, however, if you have great imagery, then success can be forthcoming. Instagram is predominately an awareness and engagement platform - you can't add hyperlinks, which means click-through to content and site pages isn't possible. This doesn't mean that people don't interact with a brand on Instagram and then head off to search for more info, but we can't gauge that. Maersk have embraced the engagement route and their Instagram account is doing very well. 

The three images below have an average of 805 likes (the real currency on Instagram) and attract user comments and questions. Unfortunately, questions are often left unanswered, tut-tut. Their mix of images is strong, and importantly isn't just a mirror image of images they post on Facebook or Twitter. Maersk are achieving awareness and engagement - soft metrics, but they key aspects of Instagram.


110,000 people follow Maersk Line on Twitter, and their tweets attract a lot of RTs, especially their imagery. There's little evidence of dialogue with users and the fact that they only follow 380 people back could suggest they're not focussing on building relationships via Twitter. This is shame as large numbers of people are clearly paying attention. Twitter is a very time-consuming  platform, and it may be the case that Maersk are unable to give it the time it requires alongside their other platforms. I'd suggest they find they time, as their potential for Twitter success via outreach and active engagement is strong. Their Twitter use gets pass marks, just!


Their page has over 63,000 followers and is a strong example of making the most of LinkedIn's company pages. They keep it related to their business and industry, with informative news and updates. Posts often receive over 60 likes, with a lower level of comments. Having a LinkedIn presence is becoming more and more important for B2B businesses, and LinkedIn have invested a lot in improving them over the past year.

But is it working?

Maersk are doing a good job with their social media efforts, but I can only make an assessment from what I can see on the surface. Does it generate leads and sales for them? Their 'why social media?' page states 'To summarise, our main goal is to use social media to get closer to our customers' and evidence would suggest that they're certainly getting closer to the general public, whether a large proportion of that audience is their customer-base is again, hard for me to tell. With their goal in mind, it may be the case that they aren't seeking leads and eventually sales via social media, but I've yet to meet a business who doesn't have at least some desire for revenue from social. Their #wintermearsk campaign generated 150 leads, which is a huge amount in their industry.

This was one campaign, and the fact that they had social media platforms in place with sizeable audiences will have helped to amplify the success of this work, starting from scratch would have likely been a much harder play. It's so important to build a relevant audience that can act as a basis for success, you'll struggle to make any campaign impact otherwise, without paying through the nose.

There we go, a good job by the container giants, I'll be keeping an eye on how they progress their social media work over the coming months. Do you have a great social media B2B example? Please do share below!

To read the original post, please see here - includes an example of +Maersk Line video and some handy links.
Mike McGrail's profile photoWeal Media's profile photo
Looking forward to it +Mike McGrail. :)
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Andrij Harasewych

• Sales / Marketing  - 
Have you been over to the Creative Social Media community yet?
This Ad May Blow Your Mind.
Hair-Raising Subway Ad Blows Away the Competition. Okay, had enough puns? Fine. This clever outdoor ad found in Sweden uses a few well placed sensors to detect movement of the train, allowing this 2D advertisement to really jump out at people.
Aarti Jaiswal's profile photoKaaustubh Varadkar's profile photoJaideep Chakravarty's profile photoSwapnil Chawan's profile photo
+Jerry Mac look at these digital ads! 
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Mark Durney

• Sales / Marketing  - 
Marketing often requires creative storytelling. What better way to use Instagram than by telling a story through photos? AMEX is doing just that and has attracted 1000 new followers and 6000 more likes with its Instagram campaign about Charles Frost, an old ad exec. +Andrij Harasewych I think it's time that we add a category for #Instagram under the themes to select below!
Robert Bowen's profile photoKaty Elle Blake's profile photoaditya pandit's profile photoLaura Monroe's profile photo
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Social Media Strategy G+ Community Top Posts 01/26/14 to 02/01/14
Based on the Community's engagement, these were the week's Top Posts from the Social Media Strategy Google+ Community (January 26 to February 01, 2014).

Think About How Brands Are Leveraging Social Media
By: +Kevin Park.

5 Reasons a Social Media Strategy Without Content Marketing will Fail
By: +Kunle Campbell.

How To Get Your First 500 Twitter Followers
By: +Marko Saric.

Everything You Need to Know About +HootSuite
By: +Gary Crawshaw.

How Budweiser Creatively Integrated Super Bowl Ad With Social
By: +Jessica Smith.

Be Vulnerable
By: +Eric Enge.

The Best Wordpress SEO Article I Have Seen
By: +Bill Gassett.

Capitalize On The Growing Popularity of Pinterest
By: +Social Annex, Inc..

CTA for Growing An Email List
By: +Lindsey Weintraub.

Social Media Marketing is Painstakingly Slow
By: +Mike McGrail.

Last Week's Top Tips:

#socialmediatips   #socialmediastrategy   #tipsandtricks
WP-Activ's profile photoVirtual Wingspan's profile photoWeal Media's profile photoAlexander Becheru's profile photo
Thank you to everyone who took the time to +1, share and/or comment on this post. And (of course) a BIG thank you to all our contributors. #thankyou
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Mark Durney

• Sales / Marketing  - 
Ajax, the cleaning company, is running a clever #social  campaign that plays on the idea that it kills 99.9% of germs by offering an app that will clean your Facebook and Twitter accounts of unwanted likes and bots. It's pretty unique to see a branded app, similar to a Twitblock or SocialBro that provides users with added value in exchange for their social data. As brands attempt to better leverage social campaigns, it's clear that the more value they provide users, then the more data users will be willing to provide in exchange.
Thilak Rao's profile photoInternet Dreams (Samuel Pustea)'s profile photo
For all you know, there might be some third party API which provides spam data from social profiles, this might merely be a frontend. 

I haven't had a look at the app, just speculating
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Social Media Strategy G+ Community Top Posts Jan. 18-25 2014
Based on the Community's engagement, these were the week's Top Posts from the Social Media Strategy Google+ Community (January 18-25, 2014).

Social Media Sizing Chart For G+, Twitter & FB
By: +Gary Crawshaw.

Using Social Media to Drive Links to Your Site
By: +Eric Enge.

A List of The Top 85 Social Media Analytics Tools
By: +Jessica Davis.

A Guide to The Psychology of Colors in Marketing
By: +Nigel Ohrum.

The Healthy Brand: Taking Your Brand From Good to GREAT
By: +Lindsey Weintraub.

 *Are You Underestimating The Importance of Hashtags?*
By: +James Rhodes.

How To UNSEND an Email in Gmail
By: +Kristoffer Howes.

Is Facebook Like an Infectious Disease? Will it Lose 80% of Its Users?
By: +Michael Rupert.

10 Excellent Plugins And Tools For SEO in 2014
By: +Bill Gassett.

Don't Try Too Hard To Be a 'Cheeky' Social Brand
By: +Mike McGrail.

#socialmediatips   #socialmediastrategy   #tipsandadvice
Sherry Nouraini's profile photoChris P King's profile photoMichael Rupert's profile photoGary Crawshaw's profile photo
Thanks +Weal Media for including me in the list. I was very pleased with the discussion!
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Nigel Ohrum

• Sales / Marketing  - 
Like +Douglas Karr, i'm a sucker for a good infographic. This Guide to the Psychology of Colors in Marketing by Best Psychology Degrees is quite inclusive. I like the marketing tie-in, history lesson, and gender breakdown of various colors. Pin-worthy.

Full-sized infographic:
SEO Richmond Lifestyle Secure LLC's profile photoStefano Oletto's profile photoSandy Jacolow's profile photoLinda Childress's profile photo
Great post, thanks +Nigel Ohrum  We often forget visual is a key component in attracting attention, letting people see content or read a post.  A catchy title or headline is also an important piece to help getting noticed.
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Has anyone tried selling or marketing through social media SMS or direct messaging?

I was reading this article about using WhatsApp for marketing efforts,and I was wondering how professionals have tried these kinds of tactics.  50 billion messages are sent each day on #whatsapp , so the platform is already engaging.  And people already use Facebook and Twitter for these types of efforts.  The article even suggests using messaging for relationship building.  This could be a good tactic for lead generation.  Any opinions or experiences?
abdul kalam.j's profile photoRpink Church's profile photo
ya its real
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Wade Harman

• Sales / Marketing  - 
The Strategy of Your Words in Social
We can push people away or attract people towards us by the simple interaction of a few choice words.  

There's power in what you say to people and it can have a very positive or negative affect on how people view you in social media.  Are you holding yourself to a high standard?

This post also shows you the fact that you don't have to have a conversation with someone for them to hear your words.  Be careful and conduct yourself in a way that can always lead to positive relationships online.
Relationship marketing comes through the power of your words and what you say. One simple sentence can push people away from you or toward you!
Rebekah Klochkoff's profile photoFlora Violet's profile photoSteve Hanke's profile photoWade Harman's profile photo
+Kristoffer Howes again, I couldn't have put it any better.  We're in an age where we're going to have to put a little more effort into the whole thing if we want to start seeing results that aren't so much quick as they are deep and involved.

People these days want a quick fix.  That can be done, but you have to think in terms of "Do I only want to be fed for a day or a lifetime?"
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3 Ingredients of Successful Social Media Marketing
Although many businesses are embracing social media, some are unsure about how to participate. Here are 3 important ingredients of a successful SMM recipe.

1. Be Consistent.

To be consistent in your online marketing, it will take significant effort to generate the kind of content your audience craves. Just as it takes a strong commitment to be a good friend or partner IRL, you can expect that building and maintaining meaningful relationships with your Internet audience will take ongoing dedication, perseverance and a daily responsibility.

How can you become more consistent?

> Routine.
> Organization.
> Meaningful Friendships.
> Flexibility.

2. Be Relevant.

In order to appeal to your audience you must be relevant. This means delivering suitable information that is consistent with their established values interests and/or needs. The posts, images, videos and other branded content that is presented to them must address one or more of their daily struggles or successes. Focus your communications on conveying a well-thought-out message that your target audience can closely relate to, and given its relevancy, will deeply appreciate.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Relevance is the state of being closely connected or appropriate to the matter in hand.

How can you become more relevant?

> Be Authentic.
> Achieve Mastery.
> Be Empathetic.
> Take Action.

3. Be Remarkable.

The truth be told, every one of your competitors has a marketing message to communicate. In order for your message to be noticeable, you must determine and capitalize on what is truly remarkable about your business, product and/or service. Making the effort to highlight the notable qualities of your business/brand, will clearly demonstrate what is strikingly appealing about you, and will significantly differentiate your message from that of your competition. Give your audience a good reason to talk about you.

How can you become more remarkable?

> Be at or beyond "the edge" of your industry.
> Do not try to please everyone.
> Be the first do something and do it the best.
> Reinvent and reinvest in yourself.

Learn more:

#socialmediacontent   #recipeforsuccess   #socialmediastrategy
Veon Szu khaw's profile photoGiancarlo Lauriano's profile photoWeal Media's profile photoThomas Phemius's profile photo
+Harris Social Media LLC perseverance, sticktoitiveness <- consistent? What makes a great Chef? Among other things, consistently creating remarkable dishes. We are in no way suggesting that this is the Holy Grail. But, at the bare-minimum, businesses/brands must consistently post relevant content and whenever possible be remarkable. By definition, remarkable simply means to inspire a remark, much like you and Jeff have done here. Or, a +1 or re-share. All we are suggesting is that businesses/brands (like ourselves) should make every effort to consistently post content that is relevant to their audience, in such a manner that inspires the audience to comment, +1 (RT or Like) and/or share. In doing that, relationships are built, leads are generated and (eventually) sales are made.
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Why Social Commerce is the Next Social Media Frontier
(Via +Roojoom)

Read more here:,656/why-social-commerce-is-the-next-social-media-frontier,5790#/introduction

"Social commerce sites are becoming a common way of shopping online as a form of social media marketing. These online shopping sites use technology to bring the social interactions found in physical malls and stores to online shopping.

There are group shopping sites that you can get a great price on items if a certain number of people have purchased the deal. Some social commerce sites deal specifically in certain niches that bring like-minded people together to discuss and shop that adds more to the experience than just purchasing an item. On most social commerce sites you can leave recommendations to assist other shoppers in making their purchasing decisions."

More in this  #Roojoom  :
- Social Commerce Types and Statistics
- 5 Social Commerce Sites that Influencers will Love
- Social Commerce Big Data not being effectively used by retailers
- Infographic: The importance of social media in e-commerce
- Should you forgo the traditional webstore and sell exclusively on mobile or social networks?

#socialcommerce     #socialmedia   
D.Sign Studios's profile photoRon Sela's profile photoBenny Hutagalung's profile photoBogdan Fiedur's profile photo
Hi +Bogdan Fiedur , it is an interesting approach and comparison.  Social Commerce is also centered around recommendations and social signals such as using wisdom of the crowd when making purchasing decisions. 
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15 Marketing Lessons From Mad Men's Don Draper
Get advice from Don Draper, the Creative Director and Partner at the Sterling Cooper & Partners ad agency, in the AMC television series Mad Men.

Despite his outward cynicism and arrogance, Draper is portrayed as having a strict code of personal ethics, insisting on honesty and chivalry in his subordinates. In 2009, Ask Men named the fictional Draper the most influential man in the world, ahead of real-life figures.

Here are 15 lessons marketing professionals and entrepreneurs can learn from Don Draper's Mad Men character.

1. Say more with less. Try to get your point across in 3 words. Be brief, concise and straight to the point.

2. Know your worth. Know the value you offer to colleagues and clients.

3. Change the conversation. If you do not like what’s being said, make your own contribution.

4. Sell the experience, not the product. Look beyond the physical aspects of what you are promoting. Dig deep to connect on an emotional level with your audience.

5. Understand your market. Not just market research. You must know, understand and anticipate the fundamental needs of your clients.

6. Don’t be afraid to go against the majority. Do not be influenced by the beliefs or actions of others. Stand up for what you believe in. This is where your passion lies.

7. Don’t try to do everything yourself. You do not have to be involved in every aspect of a job. Being able to delegate is an important skill for business owners to have.

8. Surround yourself with talented people. Involving yourself with people who show talent and initiative, significantly increases your chances of succeeding.

9. Dress the part. Dress appropriately for the occasion. Over dressing can be just as bad as under dressing.

10. Earn respect. Do not expect that people will respect you. Respect must be earned.

11. You don’t have to be loud to make your presence felt. Be known for what you do, not what you say.

12. Don’t kill yourself over one client. "The day you sign a client is the day you start losing one."

13. Don’t follow others blindly. Do not go through your whole life waiting on others to tell you what to do. Those who choose to sit around and wait for instruction, are not likely to make it very far.

14. Know the difference between what you want, and what people expect of you. Do not waste your life trying to live up to the expectations of others. Also see number 6.

15. An Old Fashioned is the drink of choice. Mix bourbon whiskey, Angostura bitters, water, sugar, maraschino cherry and orange. Don’t order a cranberry juice.

Read more:

h/t: +Joy Riley Westcott Properties.

#madmenstyle   #marketingadvice   #businessadvice

image credit:
Jeramy Knickerbocker's profile photoRoss McKay's profile photoDaniel Rule's profile photoSolar VPS's profile photo
This is excellent. Do not have to take this word for word, but something motivational about watching Don Draper the Ad Man "when he is working." Not the other stuff!
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Social Media Marketing is Painstakingly Slow

I've been doing work with social media for years now, and we are now at a place where social media has never been more time-consuming and resource heavy.

What's changed?

Well, first and foremost, there are many more platforms to choose from - sure there have always been options outside of the original key players (Facebook and Twitter), but I feel we're now at a stage where a number of platforms offer truly valuable outcomes for marketing and communications activity. The thing is, that you can't just do the same things across all platforms - you need to create different content and have different ideas for each. The social web has never been more visual, and that creates a headache in itself! Let me take a look at a number of platforms and illustrate the time-drag issues...


This may well be the mother of all time-sucks! Setting up a Pinterest board and populating it with decent images takes a long-time! You not only need the images in the first place, but you have to write a board description, and one for each image too. You then have to tag each image, as without those, you're drastically reducing the potential for eyeballs on your images. One of they key premises of Pinterest is that you pin images from other sources (either within Pinterest or externally) to boards you've created, which is a great form of content curation,  however it's also a time consuming practice! Using a 'pin it' browser extension can speed this up.

This is a long post folks, so if you'd like to read more about G+. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and why they take so much time, then you can do so here -

How do you effciently mange your social media activity?
Anthony Mcloughlin's profile photoMike McGrail's profile photoFabio Ferretti's profile photoBlog Plus Tweet's profile photo
Yes, it can be frustrating, particularly if you're building a presence on several social networking sites. It can feel like you're just going nowhere, or even going backwards no matter how much time you put in.

But I've found eventually you get some real momentum and the benefits start to kick in. On a couple of my Twitter accounts I've finally gotten to this point. My followings grow slowly but surely, regardless of whether I follow anyone, and I get a constant trickle of website clicks off the profiles. And every time I tweet blog posts I get some visits, from 5 to 20, sometimes many more. Not huge but consistent and heartening.

This has taken a couple of years, though. So I can see why some people see it as a waste of time and just give up. 
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Ranking Solutions

• Sales / Marketing  - 
Hi all, we've been looking for social media courses as we need to send two people on one. The problem is that there are so many out there, on site, off site, part time, full time and it's difficult to know which courses are the real deal and which are just going to take the money for little information. So we thought we'd turn to social media to ask about a social media course. We were wondering if anyone knew of a reputable course (link?) that focuses on overall social strategies, driving engagement, localised marketing/targeting, social advertising platforms and with a particular focus on social media for small to medium businesses. Can anyone point us in the right direction?
DISRUPT Media, LLC's profile photoAndrij Harasewych's profile photo
Might be an idea to get them lurking in some of these communities. So much of social media is keeping up to date with the latest changes and right here is a good place to be kept in the know.
Another starting point is Gary Vaynerchuk's "Jab, Jab, Jab.." book. There's some great stuff in there about creating good content and giving something to your fans.
We also recommend subscribing to the Hubspot news letters and keep an eye out for any webinars. We've learned a lot just by watching those.
So maybe do what +Andrij Harasewych suggests and start learning through the free channels before committing to anything else.
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Nigel Ohrum

• Sales / Marketing  - 
Great small biz email marketing case study from +Kristina Allen who created a Facebook Giveaway to collect emails w/ the help of +ShortStack.

Very interesting how the auto-email responder open rate increased upon reducing the discount rate from 40% to 20%. "If it seems too goo to be true... people won't open your email." Good read.
Steve Alfano's profile photo
Good share.
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Heather Leigh

• Sales / Marketing  - 
Well, this is a little disconcerting for those of us who use social media for marketing! I use email, too, however; perhaps the takeaway is that while social media is fantastic for lead-building and customer engagement (let's be honest, email isn't competing in the same league in those arenas), the ol' inbox might be the best way to close a deal. Your thoughts and experiences?
Jeya sathya kumar Vellaichamy's profile photoGerald Morrison's profile photoData-fyed's profile photoSayeed Hosein's profile photo
I like to use email because the people on my list have asked to be there and they are interested in what I offer.  Facebook,  Pinterest and such are good for attracting new people to sign up for emails.  
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Kristoffer Howes

• Sales / Marketing  - 
Jumpin' Jellyfish, That Was a Jelly Good Question
Launched in early January 2014, Jelly is a new app from the co-inventor and co-founder of Twitter- +Biz Stone. So as to avoid any confusion, the app's homepage sends an immediate signal to visitors and highlighting the motivation of the app- Let’s help each other.

It would seem that Jelly is not a social network in the traditional sense. Users do not have a profile, and (at the moment) people cannot follow other users. It is simply a means of asking questions and getting help from others.

Here is how it works:

Users take a picture that accompanies a question, and then the user's Twitter and Facebook networks (linked through Jelly) answer the question. Pretty simple.

Here are the problems, so far:

In order for brands/businesses to discover a question related to their products/services, it is necessary to sit and read through every question their network has posted. Regrettably, at the moment you cannot search within Jelly and there is no hash tag use either. This makes it incredibly difficult for Jelly's users to identify and focus on questions that may be of interest to them. Furthermore, it makes it a very manual task to locate queries that your business has the expertise to answer. Because of this, businesses/brands will struggle to make an impact. 

For Jelly to work effectively as a marketing tool, users will have to work diligently to identify and engage with people who want to receive helpful answers. Moreover, these questions should be clearly related to the brand/business' products or services. As a businesses, there must be a good intentions for answering questions, and not just getting involved for the sake of adding another social outlet to the marketing mix.

Lowes, the American DIY giant, has been an early adopter of social media, and is one of the first major brands to embrace Jelly. Although Lowes clearly missed the opportunity to include a product or services link in their response (image below), the company did capitalize on an opportunity to engage motivated consumers.

h/t: +Mike McGrail.

#jelly   #bizstone   #newsocialmedia
Kay Kulkarni's profile photoMike McGrail's profile photo
+Kay Kulkarni thanks for your two cents. We've actually had a private chat and all is good in the community hood. I think if look at my past posts here, people seem to get value from them, so I'll continue to put my work here, but I'll change the way I present it. You stay classy. 
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