Four Easy Steps to Merge Your Company’s Google Plus Pages

Google Plus and other Google products are rapidly becoming reputable tools for digital marketing. Google Places for Business is a fantastic service that lists essential details about your company on the front page (name, location, contact, services, etc.). You can learn tips about starting up your Places for Business page in this Business 2 Community article. Google Plus is the platform best used for interaction between company and consumer. The site enables users to follow businesses, post on their pages and review their experiences.

photo credit: Bruce Clay, Inc via photopin cc

photo credit: Bruce Clay, Inc via photopin cc

Google lets users seamlessly integrate the two pages together for a smooth page that is packed full of features to improve Whenever businesses sign up for any Google service, however, they may not realize that they are automatically signed up for a Google Plus page. Signing up for multiple services under different emails results in the creation of multiple Plus pages. Outdated and duplicate pages can wreak havoc on your business by misdirecting potential customers to a previous location or giving them incorrect contact information.

Merging Google Plus pages is relatively simple. Following these steps will send you in the right direction to effectively listing your company through Google.

  • Visit Google Takeout

Make sure that you are logged into the old Plus page for your business, first! Takeout lets you archive all of your contacts, settings and other information into a compact file.

  • Archive Your Circles

Mouse over Google Plus Circles and expand the drop-down menu. Click the link that prompts you to transfer your information to another Google Plus account.

  • Enter Your Destination Page

The next page should prompt you to enter the email of the page where you would like to transfer your information. Log in to your destination account and initiate the data transfer. Takeout gives you a seven day waiting period before the transfer begins and you can no longer cancel the action. The actual transfer takes about 48-hours to complete. Once the transfer completes, the act cannot be undone.

  • Disable Google Plus for Your Old Page

Make sure that you are content with your new page’s contents. Sign in to your old page’s settings and at the page’s bottom, choose to disable Google Plus. People that followed your old profile are now followers of your up-to-date profile. Your old page will no longer show up on their profile, nor elsewhere when consumers search for your business! Takeout does not transfer posts and information from your old profile. This is typically irrelevant because the page is outdated, anyhow!

While these steps are meant to help a company with multiple listings on Google Plus, you can use them to combine multiple personal profiles as well! Check out Grovo.com for a step-by-step video to walk you through the process.

Gmail introduces tabs!

Keeping your e-mail organized is challenge for many people. Recently Gmail has create tabs that allows us to separate the emails in five different categories: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums.

The new navigation layout makes your inbox more functional based on the relevance of the content of your incoming message. This is how Gmail divided up its five tabs to make it easier for users to view and organized their emails using categories.

Meet the Five Tabs!

  1. Primary: In this tab you will receive messages from your family and friends, work and other  message that would not fit into the categories below.

  2. Social: This categories it is focused on the messages and notifications you might receive from other social platforms and networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

  3. Promotions: This tab is designed for you to receive offers, deals and other promotional materials that you have signed up for.

  4. Updates: In this tab you will get notifications such as bank statements and receipts.

  5. Forums: This tab is designed specifically for messages from discussion boards, online groups and mailing lists you have subscribed to. Since categories might not be relevant to every person, Gmail allows users to customize which tabs shows up on their dashboard by clicking on the “+” sign.

Directing E-mails

If you receive an update that might going to your Primary tab, don’t worry! It is possible to move emails from specific senders into the exactly tabs you want. To do this, you should right-click on an email located under the incorrect tab heading. Then you chose the “Move to tab” option, then pick the tab of your preference. A shortcut to this tip is to simply drag and drop the messages you want.

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Not ready for the change?

If for some reason you don’t like the layout and design, or you simply just want to use the old format, it is possible to revert back. All you need to do is click again the “+” icon to the right of the tab and uncheck every box (except the “Primary”) and you are done! If you want the tabs again, just click on “Settings” (gear icon) and select “Configure inbox”, it’s that simple!

Gmail_PlusSign
I still wish we could rename or create our own tabs, but I can’t deny that this new layout will make people’s lives much easier. So check out your current gmail account or create a gmail www.gmail.com. I hope you find these tips helpful and now you can make your e-mail a lot more organized and tailored to your needs.

Managing your Social Media Footprint in the Digital Age

In an ever competitive job market, your online presence is becoming an important part of the interviewing process. Employers aren’t necessarily trying to “dig up dirt” on you as much as they are trying to make sure you’re the right fit for the company. Dan Schawbel, author of “Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success,” told MSN News, “Over 90 percent of recruiters use social networks to review candidates’ backgrounds.”  It goes to show just how important your online reputation is. Follow these easy steps to make sure you’re marketing yourself correctly:

Photo by: Search Engine People Blog

Photo by: Search Engine People Blog

Google Yourself
Start out looking at what employers would see if they searched you. Google, Bing, Facebook, etc. search your name. It will give you a good feel for what kind of digital footprint you’re leaving behind, whether it be positive or negative. If you can’t find you, then chances are recruiters are going to have a tough time too. However, that’s not necessarily a good thing; you want to be found in search results, for positive reasons of course. Searching yourself will give you a look at how much work you have ahead of you to clean up your image and make yourself more searchable for all the right reasons.

Clean It Up
Delete inactive social media profiles. There’s probably no reason to keep that Myspace from middle school, completely stocked full with embarrassing pictures. Once you determine what profiles you want to keep, and you realize they aren’t as professional as you’d like them to be, you might have your hands full. One useful (and free) tool students can use is SimpleWash. This application looks through your Facebook and Twitter and shows you everything from photos, to things you’ve liked or tweeted that have questionable content. You can also search specific words for the app to scan through. After it finds everything, you can sift through and delete things you don’t want employers to see.

Facebook Privacy Settings
They may be a pain, but they are important to keep up-to-date on so what you don’t want people to see, stays private. Facebook’s Privacy Settings are often changing, so you need to keep up with it. There are a lot of handy features to manage your profile. One of my favorites, Timeline Review, allows you to approve or hide tagged photos or posts before they are seen on your timeline. Gone are the days where you have to worry about quickly untagging yourself from an unprofessional (or just flat out unattractive) photo your friend posted from a night out. If there is anything questionable, you have have the ability to decide what can be seen.

Twitter
There are a lot of ways you can use Twitter, however some of them are better than others when it comes to getting a job. It might seem funny to tweet from the bar, but it won’t seem that funny when you can’t find a job after graduation. If you lack the self-control that so many college kids do, consider protecting your tweets. People will request to follow you, giving you the control over who sees your tweets. If you have your tweets public, remember who your audience is. Have an objective and make sure your tweeting relevant information.

Be Smart and Think Before You Post
Once it’s on the internet, it’s out there for good. Don’t post something if you are unsure of how it may be received by the public. Try to stay away from anything controversial. You don’t know the beliefs and values of recruiters who may be looking at your profile, so don’t say anything that could potentially offend them. Refrain from posting about politics, religion or anything illegal. “Posting while emotional” is another trap some fall into. We all say things we regret when angry or upset, but don’t share it with your entire online community.

Manage Your Friends and Followers
We’ve all heard it before, but don’t accept friend or follower requests from people you don’t know. Know who you are connected to and what you’re sharing with them. You can classify your friends into groups and share content that is specifically for them. As you get older, you might want to go through and manage your friends and followers to make sure they’re still relevant connections.

It’s important to keep yourself professional, but that doesn’t mean you need to sound like a robot in the process. Be yourself! Employers want to see your personality and the positive accomplishments you’ve had. Sprucing up your social media profiles may seem like a daunting task, and it may take you a few days to look through all those pictures from your college years, but it will be well worth it when your profiles are recruiter ready.

Are you safe online?

Millions of Americans go online everyday and don’t realized how vulnerable their information can be due to the lack of security of some websites, an increasing number of phishing scams and the lack of control from their private settings.

Last year 12 millions Americans fell victim to the fraud and had their identities stolen. Today we are going to give a few quick tips on how to protect yourself from these cyber crimes. Social Media became one of the favorites “playground” for thieves and malicious virus to steal your personal information.

by FutUndBeidl

by FutUndBeidl

1. Passwords: When is the last time you changed your password? This is a very basic but important step to take but it is important change your password from time to time. Some websites allow you to see if the password you are entering is harder to crack, by stating if it is “strong” or “very strong”. Don’t make them simple like your pet’s name or “123”, but if the website allows you to include numbers, capital letter and symbols, do it! Make sure your password is “strong”, “very strong”; “very good” or “excellent”. Cyber thieves can easily identify your password if you ever made it public. On this note make sure the privacy settings on your social networks are well secure.

2. Emails: NEVER email your credit card number or Social Security number to anyone. Malicious hackers are always looking for this crucial information once they get into your account. Be very careful opening attachments and downloading files, even if you know the source.

3. Online banking: The same way you check your e-mail on a daily basis, you should monitor the activity of your debt and credit cards for any suspicious transactions. If you feel, that your account was compromised and you had your information stolen, contact your bank immediately. It is also recommended that online, you should use credit cards instead of debit cards, since debit cards do not have as a strong protection against fraud compared to credit. You also should contact your bank and ask if they have free software to protect your online banking.

4. Wireless connections: If you have a wireless router at home, make sure to make it secure by including a password, this way a third party won’t be able to access your signal connection. Some people also enable the encryption to scramble the information you send back and forth online.

To learn more about other steps you can take in case your information is stolen, click here. It is very important to share this information with your friends and family members as some of them might have your personal information stored in their computers as well. Keep an eye out and stay safe!

 

Lessons Learned at the National Advertising Conference

Photo by Rachel Keeton  Networking at big industry events, like the ADDY Awards, pays off.

Photo by Rachel Keeton.
Networking at big industry events, like the ADDY Awards, pays off.

This past week I had the opportunity to go to Admerica, the American Advertising Federation’s national advertising conference, in Phoenix, AZ. I was able to attend not only the Addy Awards Ceremony, but various forums, networking mixers and keynote speeches from the likes of Pete Cashmore (Mashable), Susan Credle and Lisa Cochrane (Leo Burnett/Allstate Insurance) and so many more. Being around some of the most creative, award winning industry professionals and ad agencies was an incredible, eye opening experience, especially as college student trying to get into the industry. It’s easy to get intimidated when you’re rubbing elbows with so many people who are “famous” in the advertising world, but you have to remember that these heavy hitters were once in the same position. Everyone I got a chance to network with was genuinely interested in what my future plans were and had great advice on how to get there.

The best advice the students received at the Admerica conference was from AOL’s Digital Prophet, David Shing, to “embrace change and take massive risks in your careers when you’re young.” He went on to tell the crowd about the pressure of figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life, and to instead start with what you don’t want to be doing. By simplifying a process like that, it allows you to spend more doing what you love. This advice is applicable across all industries, and should be something that students take to heart.

Students and young professionals need to remember to take advantage of networking events around them. College career services offices can sometimes be the best source of information on upcoming events, and they are always more than willing to help alumni. The old saying, “you reap what you sew” holds true when talking about networking. The effort you put into making new connections will pay off in the future, when you’ve graduated and are actively seeking a job. So get out there when you’re still young, and it’ll make the job hunt a lot easier when the time comes!

—Rachel Keeton

 

 

Building Your Customer Network

Business action and conduct are purposive: to solve problems (customer problems) and provide services, of course in a profitable way.  The sense of mystery regarding the future has always been a bother and slight annoyance for everyone, especially businesses.  Nobody knows if customers will suddenly drop in the near future or if the economy will suddenly go into recession.  Now with the existence of digital communications (content, media, behavior, and expectations), digital marketing has been created.  People now use multiple devices (all digital) such as smartphones, PCs, tablets, mp3, etc. to communicate contents such as apps, files, photos, music, and videos.  People are pursuing a digital lifestyle these days, thus businesses can tap into the psychology of their clients through digital marketing.  The future can be predicted due to the ability of tracking consumer-making decisions.  Due to this growth of a digital lifestyle, people leave behind their digital footprint that businesses follow to track and predict their behavior.  In order to track statistics related to consumer behavior, there must be a relationship between customers and businesses.  Through digital marketing, not only does a relationship form, but so does an interdependency between enterprise and consumer develop.  Marketers must study the customer decision journey, which has become increasingly digital.  Once businesses can see how consumers include certain brands and ditch others, they can adjust their company’s image to the liking of their customers.

Photo by thetaxhaven: thetaxhaven.posterous.com

The relationship between a business and its customer is no longer solely about the transaction; now customers become attached to their favorite brands and they try to advocate for them because they know there will be something in it for them ultimately.  When customers develop emotional and rational attachments to a brand, they become bonded and advocate, support, and protect that brand.  They know that they can score special deals, free offers, and even money for promoting their favorite brand.  They are also aware that if they keep their brands going then prices will be kept low.  Companies are obviously dependent on their clients, so they try very hard to keep their customers and to constantly attract more people who are similar to their steadfast clients.  There is most definitely a correlation between customer behavior and digital marketing efforts such as fantastic websites, personalized email campaigns, visually appealing graphics, social networking, photos/videos that give outsiders an inside look on what goes on behind the scenes.  The more energy businesses put into digital marketing, the more consumers will get excited and respond to the attention.

You should interview, say, at least 30 of your clients and find out how they feel about your company and it’s services.  Customers want to help you improve so that the products they receive from you are better.  Discover the fallacies about your company from your clients and others and then try to correct them.

Accumulate publicly attainable data on search activity of your company’s field and traffic patterns.  Use standard Google Analytics, Universal Analytics, Crazy Egg, Lyris HQ Agency Edition, WebTrends, SiteCatalyst.  You should track the number of people who use your site, comparing the number of visitors on each page, the number of visits by different users to see whether the same people keep returning to your site or if lots of people only visit once or twice.  It is also important to track your visitors with factors such as the country, state, city they’re from and what pages they look at while visiting your site.  Discover the keywords or phrases people typed into search engines like Google or Mozilla Firefox.  If that doesn’t give you enough information, buy additional data.

Ultimately, brands must find where their customers have discussions in order to learn what they think of the brand’s products.  Answer your customers’ questions and help them get what they need.  Listen to their suggestions and adjust accordingly in order to gain more advocates of your brand.

-Ariana Sauber

 

Why You Should Become a Blogger

So, you want to break into the field of digital media? It can take time, but a great way to gain experience while still in school or working in another field is to start blogging. Choose a specific topic to write about, but try to not keep it too narrow. Maybe you will write about a hobby or passion you have, or maybe it will be a blog about trends in social media, anything that excites you. Once you decide on a category, the next step is to chose a platform.

Photo Credit: CollegeDegrees360

There are many free platforms you can choose like WordPress, Blogger, or Tumblr. WordPress and Blogger are more traditional styles while Tumblr is more visually oriented. If your hobby is an outdoor hobby that can be accompanied my many photos, you may to use Tumblr. If your topic is more professionally orientated, Blogger or WordPress may be a better choice.

After that it is time to build up a community on Twitter. If you are not already on Twitter, set up an account. If you are, start following similar users and start reading their blogs, commenting, and retweeting and replying to their tweets. Think of similar bloggers as your allies, not your competition they may be your only audience for a while. Many seasoned Twitter experts  advocate for using your own name and having your profile picture be of yourself. It makes it more personal that way, people will be more likely to engage with a person, rather than an icon image.

Getting an audience takes patience and time, but does pay off. The trick is to publish often and regularly. Sometimes this is easier said than done. Once you are established, guest posts are a great way to get more exposure. I was lucky enough to land a guest post on a popular blog with a large readership and my post was re-syndicated on the PR Daily. This would have never happened if I published the same piece on my own blog.

So go ahead, let the world hear your voice speak with authority on a topic you know about. You may enjoy it even more than you though, and it might even land you a job.

Time to Apply for Your Summer Internship: Insiders Tips

The clock is ticking and if you are in college it is time to think about your summer placement. These days, the Internet makes it much easier for job seekers to find an internship or a permanent position. There are many websites with advertising jobs available to graduates and experienced candidates. However, if you are a student with no or very little experience it might be a real challenge to “get in”.

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Internship programs are designed to help students to find their place in the sun and obtain a vital professional experience in order to build a future career. However, getting an internship is not as easy as you may think it is.  Krysia Hepatica, a Master student at Michigan State University and an eco-friendly intern at Ingenex, shared her secret of getting a good internship position. “Network. If you are keen to find an internship at a digital marketing agency in Ann Arbor area, check out LA2M first and introduce yourself to Derek Mehraban – it might be a good start to your career”.

Once you’ve got an interview, there are some rules, basic procedures and most importantly – deadlines you have to meet in order to make it a successful one.   So first of all, be prepared. Emily Walsh, our Spring 2013 intern, thinks, “Research is a key to the successful interview.” If you are applying for an intern position at a digital marketing agency, for example, make sure you’ve visited the company’s website, as well as social networks and blogs. Prepare a list of questions you have to the interviewer. Questions may vary: some can be related to the research you’ve done (this way you will show your genuine interest at the company) and some can be position related (daily tasks, personal schedule, etc.). Do not afraid to ask questions! However, if you do, make sure they are well phrased and to the point.

Second of all, it is also very important to know how to talk through your skills. When talking about your skills, achievements and past experience make sure you include relevant examples. Don’t give a “cliche” speech – make your story unique and interesting to listen to.

And last but not least, make a positive first impression. Dress smart, be at least 5 minutes earlier for your interview, be yourself! Here is a great tip from one of our Spring 2013 interns, Ashlie Forchione: “Smile. Even if you’re nervous. Even if you think the interview isn’t going well. A smile can go a long way. Every interviewer wants to hire friendly, happy employees. A smile will set you apart and make you look and feel more confident as you proceed in any interview. Grumpy Cat is great for laughs, but no one wants to work with him.”

Good luck in your job search! Remember these tips and hopefully you won’t even need it!

It’s Flu Season: Steps to Protect Your Gadgets from Viruses


Most us of these days have a mobile phone, computer, or a tablet. For this flu season, protect yourself from the flu by protecting your gadgets. Here are steps to getting this accomplished.

 

Key Steps for ALL gadgets:

  1. Get the Flu Shot, if you haven’t yet. THIS IS ESSENTIAL.
  2. Clean your gadget at your home and work: Don’t use an alcohol-based cleaner. Spray the cleaner on a towel so it is just damp, not on the gadget directly. And turn off your computer.
  3.  Clean your desk regularly with a disinfecting wipes

Phones: Interesting fact: Phones have more germs than a toilet. Yuck! Clean your phone with a microfiber cloth and make sure to scrub it down. Don’t forget to get a screen protector.

Computers & Tablets:  Wipe them down daily with a disinfecting wipe, especially your keyboard and mouse.

 

For all of you working at social media marketing agencies and are on your gadgets constantly this flu season, these tips will do the trick.

Commute, Don’t Pollute

The most common tip for “being green” is to carpool or take some sort of public transit to work. There are lots of obvious benefits – saving gas (a savings of roughly 223 gallons per year, or $865 at Ann Arbor’s gas prices today – 3.88/gallon), paying less for car maintenance, and reducing your carbon footprint by 4800 pounds of CO2 per year! (Source: GreenPerl)

I’ve been greening up my commute since I began the eco-friendly internship, and so far, it’s been a pretty wonderful experience. Ann Arbor is very fortunate to have the Ann Arbor Transit Authority, the local bus system, which is, for a smaller city like ours, very thoughtfully planned, thorough, and easy to navigate. There are stops almost everywhere around Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, and you can go almost everywhere; both universities, both downtowns, and lots of shopping and recreation.

There are a few other benefits, too. I drive a lot to my other job, but I notice driving is stressful, especially around rush hour. When I take The Ride downtown, I don’t have to worry about fighting Ann Arbor rush hour traffic or the sometimes-confusing one-way streets, and where I can and can’t park.

And speaking of parking, not having to figure out where the cheapest parking is or how much it costs is a big plus. I’m told there is a $4-per-day lot somewhere, but if it happens to be out, I’d have to pay 1.50/hr in most of the lots, even more in the decks!

AATA lets me enjoy the commute to work (and have more time to beat Angry Birds…) instead of stressing out on my commute. Plus, it’s cheaper, and most importantly, greener.