Google Introduces Google+ Pages and Google+ Direct Connect

November 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Google+ Pages: Connect with all the things you care about”

That’s the title from Google’s official blog, and seems to be the motto surrounding the bigger picture for Google+. Today, Google introduced Google+ Pages for brands, bands, sports teams, companies and businesses with hopes of making Google+ become a little less boring.

Per Google:

“For you and me, this means we can now hang out live with the local bike shop, or discuss our wardrobe with a favorite clothing line, or follow a band on tour”

“For businesses and brands, Google+ pages help you connect with the customers and fans who love you.”

Check out some examples of Google+ Pages for Burberry, Toyota, Dallas Cowboys, and even The Muppets, in which Kermit and Miss Piggy will hold a live hangout with fans today at 4:30p.m.

While Google+ Pages will be helpful to big brands trying to increase their social media reach, it’s tough to see how these pages will catch on with the social, mobile, local trend.

Google is putting its faith on the hopes that customers and brands alike are a) already active on Google+ and b) will want to take part in “Hangouts” with their local bike shop, or add their favorite coffee shops to specific Circles.

Hard to imagine, at least for the short-term, seeing as Google+ has seen its traffic significantly drop since its September 20 public launch.

Additionally, Google has also introduced Google+ Direct Connect. This will allow you to search for a brand on Google, and have it immediately take you to their Google+ Page. For example, if you search +Pepsi in Google, it will automatically connect you to Pepsi’s Google+ Page.

But, why would local businesses want to take the time and resources to create another social channel, with little knowledge of the social ROI? Your Facebook page is going strong with 1500 Likes and you have over 1000 Followers on Twitter; what incentive do you, as a business, have to create another outlet and possibly dilute your brand’s social presence?

It will be interesting to see how Google+ Pages rank in regards to SEO on Google Search. Say for example, you are searching for your favorite local coffee spot or favorite bookstore and the first result, by default, is their Google+ Page — above their website, Facebook page and Twitter account. There’s an incentive to jump on the wagon.

Direct Message Lab provides a central platform , REACH v4,  for brands to effectively build, manage, and analyze their social, mobile and app-based marketing. For more information, check out www.directmessagelab.com, and follow us on Twitter, @dmlinfo.

Q: What’s a Fan Worth? A: What’s a Hen Weigh?

June 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

CFO: I don’t believe this social media business is giving us the results, we only have 1000 followers. Our competitors have 10,000

CMO: Yes, sir. You are correct. But of those 1000 followers, 40% are direct supporters of our brand, 10% are respected journalists or brand advocates who could benefit us, and 50% are those who enjoy our content.

So, what’s a fan or follower worth? Social ROI this, Facebook ROI that. It all seems to be a big  mystery when it comes to finding out the return on your social investment. Turns out, there is a way to gauge this.

According to a study done by Hitwise, it turns out every Facebook follower is equaled to 20 unique hits to a website per year. Individually this may seem low, but, span than across an entire year with those 1,000 fans, do a little quick math, and voila! You have an extra 20,000 unique site hits, just from your social media efforts.

Getting to be an established socialite takes some time and dedication. Content relevant to your industry or brand is vital, and you must take part in the conversation around your brand; respond to complaints, acknowledge those loyal to you. Here are some other ways to add followers, and to show your CFO that your social efforts are a good investment.

So, what’s a hen weigh?

About five pounds.

Direct Message Lab provides a central platform , REACH v4,  for brands to effectively build, manage, and analyze their social, mobile and app-based marketing. For more information, check out www.directmessagelab.com, and follow us on Twitter, @dmlinfo.

Is Using Groupon Similar To Bands Selling Out?

June 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Before you get all gung-ho, let me explain. I was into the punk scene back in the day. I’ve seen my fair share of bands sell out for the money involved. First, let me give a disclaimer; I’m all for people making money, especially doing something they love. But, what defines a sell out? Well, for one, a band sells out to a high-end record company for a larger sum of money than what their original record label can give them. This puts them in the hand of producers that have one thing in mind: ROI. The band’s music is stripped of its authenticity, and geared towards people who will eat it up on the radio, in the club, etc. While this is a great idea to gain exposure, gain new fans and in some cases become “superstars,” it more often than not upsets the fans that have been loyal to the band since they were underground.

So, is a business utilizing Groupon “selling out?” Yes and no, and depending on the business. First, let’s get Groupon’s business model out there. You make an agreement with Groupon to become a featured business. They then slash your prices by at least 50 percent. Groupon then promotes your restaurant and your deal and increases your customer base, but the kicker? They take 30-60 percent of your discounted price. So basically, your business with a Groupon deal will get 25% of the profits you would have originally got without the deal. Obviously, there is a B/E point in there that all businesses should have figured out before making the deal, but is this selling out?

Well, you immediately are thrown out into the public. You get a completely new wave of consumer, who is either a) interested in your discounted product or service and happened to stumble upon the deal or b) extremely price sensitive and only looking for the deal of the day, per se.

Which is it? Does it matter? If you utilize a social media mix with Groupon and get these customers to engage with your brand, then I would say, even if you break even you now are more secure once the Groupon deal expires. But look what you have done. You had a loyal base of customers who’ve stuck with your business, paying full price each day, and who genuinely enjoyed what you offered. Enter a new base, who upon first visit is getting deals that Mr. Loyal never dreamt of getting. Sure, Mr. Loyal can get them, too, but what happens to Mr. Loyal once the deal is over?

What happens to a band after they’ve sold out? Do the loyalists ever go back? Sure, they might buy the new CD, attend a (more expensive) concert and maybe even buy the Greatest Hits CD down the road. But do you think they will have that passion they once had? That passion that made them tell all of their friends, “Yo, you should check them out, I’m telling you.”? That’s for you to decide.

Direct Message Lab provides a central platform , REACH v4,  for brands to effectively build, manage, and analyze their social, mobile and app-based marketing. For more information, check out www.directmessagelab.com, and follow us on Twitter, @dmlinfo.

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