When in doubt, Google This

GoogleThis

Looking to understand more about social media marketing, search engine optimization, blogging, digital public relations, Google and more? We’ve got the inside scoop on Google This, the latest release from Derek Mehraban (our boss!) and Richard T. Cole. The book highlights all you need to know to create a successful digital marketing campaign on all social media platforms. Regardless of your job title, this book supplies the information and needed resources to help you reach your goals in the world of digital media.

Google This gives readers the information they need to navigate and create profitable results on the unclear paths of social media. Topics covered range from creating new content for blogs that already exist, or starting and developing your own to building communities of interest with consumers from other audiences. Google This is written in easy-to-understand language to help master the main social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

Google This helps you understand how social media is continuously changing and affecting marketing for your business–proven by the explained Google and Yahoo! search rankings in Google Analytics. Bottom line, Google This is a great resource for anyone looking to expand their efforts in digital marketing with positive and profitable results. We’ve got a copy on our desks for any quick digital marketing questions, get yours now too!

For great resources from the book, check out the Google This blog here: http://googlethisbook.tumblr.com/

Social Media: A Love-and-Hate Relationship

You probably have heard this phrase before: “Before you love anyone, you need to love yourself.” Guess what? This applies to social media, too!

Let me explain. Social media can be very chaotic, frustrating and overwhelming for many business that are trying to implement a marketing plan, but let’s be honest here–love or hate it, social media is not going anywhere. On the contrary, it’s growing on a global level. This dynamic segment in the advertising industry is always polishing and innovating existing technology. Changes are constantly happening, and they’re happening fast!

Photo by Dean Meyers

Photo by Dean Meyers

What are you going to do? Give up? Deny it? We most certainly hope not!

The challenge for everyone is to stay on top of everything that is happening in social media. Although changes can be tough, they are inevitable. How we embrace these changes is what matters, but many times you cannot do it alone. You might feel pressured to be present in all social networks and platforms, but the good news is you don’t have to be, and we are here to help you every step of the way.

A digital marketing agency can help your business develop a strategic and effective presence online. Because no two businesses are alike, we want to create a plan that will achieve your unique goals. We will tap into your strengths and fix your weaknesses. The last thing we want you to do is waste your time and resources by investing in a marketing strategy that will not support your objectives.

Our strategic plan is based on four key elements:

  1. Our clients’ goals
  2. Our clients’ needs
  3. Our clients’ culture
  4. Our clients’ values

If we cannot create a balance of these elements, we are not doing it right. Like relationships, we need to listen in order to have a clear understanding about each other. We hope that you will allow us to help you create a love relationship with social media. Let our team of experts guide you through this dynamic industry and help you find the best way to love social media without forgetting who you are as a company.

–João Mattos

Mixed Feelings on the New Facebook Graph Search

Facebook has revealed its latest attempt to stay ahead of the game with what it calls its “Graph Search” feature. After much criticism regarding its current search engine, the company has finally decided to improve its strategy. Although the initial news of the development came with much excitement, there are always skeptics who will have something to say.


The new search method comes with many benefits for big brands, small businesses, and the average Facebook user. Very specific searches like “Friends that live in New York” will produce answers. You can even submit multiple searches at once. For example “Friends that live in NY” followed by “that like Sushi” will narrow it down even further. This provides Facebook users with more tailored results based on their needs.

While media and marketing analysts commend Facebook on their innovation, they predict that the hype will not last long enough to provide the company with significant results, monetarily or otherwise. Many critique the new search method by saying that Facebook is too late in the game with this improvement. Users are already too comfortable with their current search tactics, like Google, and they will continue to go about their regular ways even after the Facebook Graph Search is implemented.

It will be interesting to see how Facebook rolls out this advancement and more so how the social media world reacts to the change. There are always those critics who say the company has lost its “mojo” and is trying anything and everything to stay relevant. What many skeptics may fail to remember is that Facebook is one of biggest pioneers in the social media movement and if they want to innovate their search methods, they most definitely have that right.

Personally, were all very excited here at our social media agency for this latest Facebook development and eager to test it out!

photo credit: AJC1 via photopin cc

What Does X Equal?

TEDxDetroit, a local variation of the popular TED conference and talks, took place this past October at the GEM Theatre in downtown Detroit. The day was full of great ideas and great presentations about the great things people are doing to make a difference in their community.

Take Tom Nardone, for example – he’s a pumpkin carving artist, (which is cool in and of itself), but he organized something called the “Mower Gang“, a group of people who get together to mow the grass at Detroit’s abandoned parks and repair some of the equipment, or Andy Diordosi. who saw a huge gap in Detroit’s public transit service. He wanted to fix it, so he founded the Detroit Bus Company to fill in where the SMART system and the People Mover might not reach.

The day was filled with a positive spirit, an overwhelming energy, and optimism for the future of Detroit and Michigan, and this video was made to capture that for you:

Ingenex Digital Marketing was on hand at the event volunteering to do all of the social media agency-type work, but this video was a sort-of collaborative effort. The music was courtesy of one of the day’s performing bands, I Love Lighting Bugs. Photos were courtesy of some fantastic event attendees - Erin O’Neill,  Brandon Ross, Carter Sherline, Derek Mehraban, Jay Singleton, and Robin Maghielse, and the event itself was possible thanks to a major part by Charlie Wolborg, the organizer of TEDxDetroit.

2012: Social Media’s Lacking Role on Black Friday

 

 

With many shops opening as early as 8 p.m. this past Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday did not have its same traditional role, as waking up at dire hours of the morning to get the best deals for one’s holiday needs. Online shopping goes away from this traditional Black Friday role, as well, but this past Thanksgiving and Black Friday online sales were both up significantly  at 17 % and 21%.

Having many retailers marketing on social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter now, one would assume traffic from such sites would have aided to these high numbers, but in reality this year traffic to retail pages via their social media sites was down sharply. Traffic via social media sites was down by 35% from last year. Looking for instance at Twitter, which drove zero traffic to retail sites as opposed to 0.02%  last year. This does not look too optimistic especially with growing user-bases on both Twitter and Facebook. These numbers need to get better; social media marketing agencies have their work cut out for them if social media sites are going to be a means of getting to users and the users in return acting on it.

Facebook’s New Privacy Policy

The night before Thanksgiving at around midnight Eastern Standard Time, Facebook sent out a notice regarding changes to its privacy policy, or as they like to call it, “Data Use Policy”. There are three main changes to the policy that are important to understand if you are going to be using the site:

  1. You are not going to be allowed to vote on policy changes anymore.
  2. Now, Facebook is allowed to share “information with affiliates”. Basically, Facebook will now be able to build unified profiles of users with information from all companies that it owns, like Instgram. Those drunken Thanksgiving Eve photos that you Instagrammed? Facebook can now use them to build a more complete profile of you and use that information to create an external ad network. 
  3. Additionally, Facebook is altering the way private messages function. They are in the process of changing your ability to block users from sending you private messages. Facebook wants to have filters for managing messages as opposed to the “Who can send you Facebook message” setting. Some are concerned that this will leave users with unwanted spam-like messages. 

You may have noticed a lengthy status update written in legalese cluttering your Facebook news feed for the past few days. As a response to these new privacy changes, many users have been posting a “copyright protection notice” as their Facebook status updates. This is not the first time a status like this has gone viral. However, nobody seems to realize that this is not effective on Facebook. The user agreement is the only binding legal contract between Facebook and user. If you are concerned about copyright, the best way to protect your work is to not post anything that you would not be willing to share with Facebook and its affiliate companies. If you are a business present on the social networking site, be sure to consult with a reputable social media agency for best practices. 

Be Approved & Be Known Online

 

Due to social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter. Users feel more comfortable to get free everything from free music, news, and communication with celebrities. Well what is also a plus about social media sites is you can get approval by your followers and friends, even if it is not in real time. Sometimes telling a joke does not get the laughs you want when you are hanging out with friends, but when you post it online it creates an uproar. Jeff Bercovici of Forbes Magazine calls this ‘virtuebragging’. People lately have been doing it with Hurricane Sandy and the Presidential Election, but you can do it about anything from a funny joke to a silly picture to share information you think is interesting and simultaneously get approval. This is a great positive about social media sites since you can influence others to see your ideas.

Social media agencies can definitely use this tactic to get the word about their clients in creative ways. ‘Virtuebragging’ definitely can go viral and get a message out, which is great tool personally and professionally. It can engage friends and it can engage one’s clients.

Marketing via Instagram

Personally, I love reading how brands interact with their customers, and there’s tons of ways to do so with all of the social networks people are on these days, but one I never would have thought of?

You probably know what Instagram is, but if not, it is a photo-sharing mobile app that allows you to put vintage filters and effects on your photos. You can follow others, gain followers, “like” photos, and even hashtag them, making them searchable, just like hashtagging tweets. There are a few companies that are capitalizing on the uniqueness and flexibility of Instagram and using it for their marketing and branding, but letting users make it their own.

Tiffany & Co.
Last year, Tiffany’s launched an Instagram campaign that has the bonus of gaining three new filters for following them – Tiffany’s blue, peach, and black and white. This campaign also calls for users to post pictures of themselves with their significant other, tagged with the hashtag #TrueLovePictures.  Tiffany & Co has also set up a website that gives a live-updating website called True Love in Pictures that shows a selection of pictures from Instagram. Not only is this allowing Tiffany & Co. fans to take part in the experience, but it always gives them relevant content.

Comodo
A Latin American restaurant in NYC’s Soho, Comodo, has made the dining experience a social one, too, by inviting diners to take photos of their meals (as Instagrammers are wont to do) and tag it with #ComodoMenu, allowing their guests to “see” dishes and help them decide what they want, and seeing what their friends recommend.

There are a few other companies taking the relatively untouched marketing territory of Instagram, but a social media agency could do a lot to engage fans of a brand by making it interactive and letting fans engage creatively like this.

Peter Gabriel Remakes “Sledgehammer”… via Facebook

Peter Gabriel’s video for his hit song “Sledgehammer” came out in 1986, but to this date, MTV says it is the most-played video on the station, and was awarded the #4 slot in their list of “100 Greatest Music Videos of All Time”, in addition to winning tons of other awards and accolades.

Now, Peter Gabriel is remaking it – this time, with the help of Facebook. A tab on Gabriel’s Facebook fan page allows users to choose a scene, upload a video, or vote on existing entries. The idea is rather fascinating, especially given how big this video was (and is, I suppose!).

The contest is called “Grab Your Sledgehammer”, and is being done to celebrate the release of the 25th anniversary edition of Gabriel’s So album.

Personally, I love when artists allow for this kind of fan engagement, much with Ellie Goulding’s G+ Hangout album signing. This not only allows for artists to interact with fans easily, but will also introduce a younger generation of fans to artists like Peter Gabriel (and Genesis, by extension). Plus, it’s fun! It allows your fans to show their creativity and encourages them to interact with an entity or brand. These are the kind of campaigns that social media marketing companies should be striving to build! They’re interactive and fun to do, and people seem to get a lot out of the ability to be creative.

 

Red Bull Stratos Breaks Records, Including A YouTube One

I don’t know if you watched Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking freefall to Earth this weekend, but I did, and what an incredible achievement. If you really didn’t know what happened, he jumped out of a capsule 24 miles above Roswell, NM, broke the sound barrier, and free-fell for 9 minutes before landing on his feet safely in the New Mexico desert. The jump itself is an incredible achievement that broke three world records, but there’s one record he broke that had almost nothing to do with the flight and fall itself: Most Simultaenous YouTube viewers.

The entire event was live-streamed on YouTube, and notably, did not have a television broadcast in the United States. The livestream broke YouTube records, attracting 8 million viewers and a record number of comments. I know I watched live on YouTube.

The magnitude of this event is huge in the world of social media. With this event, it seems like YouTube has been able to completely unseat television. I know my grandparents were glued to their television during the moon landing just as I was glued to YouTube 43 years later. The implication is huge: Our social media sites are starting to replace traditional pathways of consuming media. For instance, I don’t remember the last time I watched anything on cable, but I’ve been watching Modern Family regularly on Hulu+.

I think this means that in the very near future, the advertising firm you see in a show like Mad Men will be completely replaced by social media marketing companies. Magazine ads and TV commercials are being gradually replaced by Tweets and YouTube commercials. It’s been happening gradually and consistently over the past few years, but the realization that Red Bull eschewed a TV broadcast (at least in the US) to go for YouTube exclusivity was a glimpse at a very-near future, and it was astounding.