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    Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus: New Features & Updates You Need to Know

    Last updated 2 years ago

    In the past few weeks, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ have all announced numerous updates as the so-called “social media wars” heat up. Having trouble keeping up with all the updates? Here’s a quick rundown of what’s been happening on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ lately.

    Twitter

    • Automatic Twitter Link Shortening: The site began automatically shortening all links with 20 or more characters to its native t.co link shortener, which could impact other shortening services like bit.ly.
    • Twitter Image Sharing: All users can now upload photos directly to Twitter.com using a camera icon under their “What’s Happening” box. After clicking the box, you can select an image and preview it before you send it out, and the picture itself is displayed under the URL pic.twitter.com.
    • Tweet To Box on Profile Pages: Twitter profile pages are getting a new addition in the form of a “Tweet to” box to enable you to directly tweet someone from their Twitter profile page instead of having to tweet from the home page.

    • Merging @mentions and Retweets Tabs to Create @username Tab: Twitter announced it will be creating a @username tab for each account which will not only display mentions of your user name but also new follower alerts, native Twitter re-tweets, and a notification when someone favorites one of your tweets. This feature may not be enabled on all accounts.
    • Creating Activity Tab: The site is also creating an activity tab to display favorites, retweets, and follow activity of the people you follow on Twitter so you can more easily discover new people and ideas, though the feature may not yet be displayed on all accounts.

    Facebook

    • “Posted About” Status Update Groupings: Facebook has started grouping status updates about similar topics, then linking the grouping to a Facebook page about the topic. For example, if four of your Facebook connections post about Google, your feed would show their updates together with a summary that linked to Google’s Facebook page.
    • Updated Chat Sidebar: Facebook’s new chat sidebar, which is positioned from the top to the bottom of your browser window, is now sorted by people you interact with most listed at the top of your “people online” list.
    • Displaying Old Status Updates: For users who have been using the site for some time, Facebook may begin showing you your old status updates from the same day years ago while you are browsing your photo albums.
    • Mobile App Updates: For the mobile version of Facebook, the site launched the ability to report bullying or harassment and to change your password.   
    • Launch of Messenger Phone App: Facebook launched a new standalone messaging and communications app for iPhone and Android, which you can use to send text messages to anyone in your phone’s contact list as well as your Facebook friends. You will be able to see these messages from the Messenger app as well as your web-based version of Facebook.

    Google+

    • Google+ Posts Surface in Social Search: As reported in eWeek, Google’s Social Search is integrating Google+ posts into Search Engine Results Pages for users who are logged into their Google account, personalizing the search experience. That means content that your Google+ contacts have shared will enhance your search experience.
    • Google+ Gets Games: In a much-hyped move, the site added games, directly challenging the Facebook game ecosystem by offering game developers lower fees in a move to appeal to game developers and build their user base
    • Google Books Integration: Now, users who use Google Books can +1 and share their books on Google+, adding a social experience into the Google Books project.

    The big players in the social media space continue to enhance their features in order to attract more users – and keep them active on their sites. What do you think of some of these latest features and enhancements? How are you using these sites – for personal networking and for promoting your business online? Share your thoughts in a comment!

    Meet the Author
    Tiffany Monhollon is the lead blogger for ReachCast, a web presence optimization services helping business owners connect with local consumers online. Connect with Tiffany on Twitter and Google+.

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    Steal these YouTube Title Words to Get More Video Views

    Last updated 2 years ago

    The title of your YouTube video is one of the first things people  – and search engines – look at before they click to see if your content looks interesting or relevant to them. To optimize your video for search and entice more users to click on your video, it’s critical to have a title that’s both engaging and to-the-point, so that both search engines and people can tell what it’s about.  So, how do you go about writing a great title for your YouTube video? Here are a few words we think will help you get more views on your videos.

    Your Keywords – Of course, the easiest way to optimize your videos for search and get more views is to include your primary keywords in the beginning of your title. One simple way to do this is to write a title that includes your target keyword followed by a colon or dash, then the rest of your title, like in the video, “Growing Tomatoes: Try these Gardening Tips.” If you need help coming up with keywords, you can try YouTube’s keyword tool to get ideas.

     “How to” or “Tutorial” - Just like you create helpful content for your blog or social media pages, you should post videos that provide helpful information to your audience. That doesn’t mean that your topic or instructions themselves have to be complex.  But including the words “how to” or “tutorial” in your title shows your audience you are providing them valuable information and not just a sales pitch. For example, ReachCast client Mervis Diamond Importers shares how-to tips on everything from insuring your jewelry to picking out an engagement ring. 

     “Video” – Many searches for videos on search engines often include the word “video” to specify what the searcher is looking for. So using the word “video” in your title can increase your video’s relevancy when someone searches specifically for a video. So, if you have an instructional video about unclogging a drain, the title “How to Unclog a Drain Video” could help your video rank higher on search engines since it’s more relevant to the search query.

     “Testimonial” or “Review” – Potential customers researching your business will be interested in seeing what other customers have to say about your business, products. and  services. So posting customer testimonial or product review videos on your YouTube channel is a great way to share your current customers’ experiences with your prospects. To get more online reputation benefit from your videos, don’t forget to include your brand nameand location, if your business name is popular in your title, so your videos will show up when your business name is searched.  For instance, testimonial videos in the format “Business Name Review” can help your videos rank for those keywords on search engines and help consumers researching your company know the videos are relevant to their interests. Another approach is using the term “Video Testimonial”, like ReachCast client Atlanta ENT Sinus & Allergy has done, to combine two tactics in a single title.   

    “Amazing”, “Awesome”, “Expert” – These descriptive words may not be your SEO’s best friend, but they can help you increase the number of views you get on your video. Pairing descriptive words with keywords in your title content, such as “Expert Gardening Tips” or “Amazing Kitchen Remodel” shows that you are excited about your content – and gets your viewers excited about it too.

     “Tips” or “DIY” - Similar to how you can title your “how-to” videos, creating titles that tell your audience you have practical information they can use to complete a task or project will help your videos get more views on YouTube.  Not only are words like “tips” short and catchy, but they also quickly convey the benefit to the viewer. Plus, combining them with your target keywords, like the video “Growing Tomatoes: Try These Gardening Tips” did, lets your audience know exactly what your video is about so they’ll be more inclined to click on it.  

    Have you tried any of these formulas for your video titles? What words are you using to boost search engine optimization and views for your videos? 

     Tamara Weintraub helps equip small business owners with information about local online advertising, social media marketing, and more as a blogger for ReachCast and ReachLocal.

     

    Google Plus To Fuel Real-Time Search

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Google, which recently ended its contract with Twitter to help power its real-time search function and subsequently suspended real-time search, is working to bring back the service by using data from Google+ and other services.  Google Fellow Amit Singhal shared these plans at a recent panel about search moderated by Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan.

    Real-time search is essentially a tool for users to find out what people are saying about a specific search term at any given moment. Prior to Google temporarily shutting down real-time search, when a user chose to search in real time, the results of that search type would display tweets and messages like public Facebook posts about a keyword in real time.

    Now that Google is starting to incorporate Google+ results into real-time search, this gives even more weight to Google+’s potential for business marketing. Google+, which had 25 million visitors within its first month, is also growing quickly, boasting about 20 million users since its June 28 launch. Some experts say that the site’s integration into other Google products such as Gmail is contributing to its success.

    Further adding to the popularity of Google+ is its potential to be a powerful marketing channel. With the integration of Google+ posts into other products such as real-time search and social search through the +1 button, Google+ is poised to be a valuable tool, not only for social optimization, but for search optimization as well.

    That’s why now is an important time to begin using a personal Google+ profile to promote your business online and stay posted on the company’s plans to launch pages for business.

    To learn more about Google search straight from keepers of the search engine’s algorithm – Amit Singhal, Ben Gomes and Matt Cutts – you can view the panel this news originated from on YouTube:

    Have you used real-time search to find out what people are posting online at any given moment? What do you think about Google incorporating Google+ posts into their different products?

    Like this? Read these!

    About the Author
    Tiffany Monhollon writes about social media, marketing, and local business success as the lead blogger for ReachCast, a service that helps local business owners develop their web presence. You can connect with her on Google+.

    Mobile Search Growth and What it Means for Local Business [Stats]

    Last updated 2 years ago

    According to new research from comScore, on the State of Local Business Search, search on mobile phones is growing. The study found that 22% of U.S. mobile phone users searched on their phone in January 2011. That’s an 8% increase from the 16% who reported searching via mobile in January 2010.

    Not only are more people searching from their mobile phone, the frequency of mobile search is increasing, too. The report found that of those conducting a search on their mobile device, 27% reported searching at least once a week, 43% reported searching 1-3 times per month, and 20% reported searching almost every day. According to the report, 73% of users are conducting search via a browser on their phone, and 56% conduct search using an app.

    Further, 33% of mobile users are accessing local content, demonstrating that the rise of local search is not only for desktop users. One of the most popular types of information that users are looking for is maps.

    When it comes to marketing your local business online, this research underscores the importance of two key things:

    1) Having a mobile friendly site for your business so it can show up in local search.
    2) Optimizing your business’s Google Places page so that it will rank well in Google maps search.

    Do you have a mobile optimized site for your business? Is your Google Places page optimized? Let us know your thoughts about mobile search for local businesses in a comment!

     About the Author
    Tiffany Monhollon writes about social media, marketing, and local business success as the lead blogger for ReachCast, a service that helps local business owners develop their web presence. You can connect with her on Google+.

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    Talking with ReachCast: How Do I Respond to Negative Online Reviews?

    Last updated 2 years ago

    What do you do when someone leaves a complaint or negative review about your business online? How you respond not only says a lot about your business, it can also affect how other people who read the reviews perceive your company, ultimately affecting the bottom line. In this edition of Talking with ReachCast, we discuss a three-step process for dealing with negative reviews:

    1. Preparing to leave the response
    2. Crafting the right response
    3. Following up

    Has your business ever received a negative review online? Did you find it in a timely manner? Did you know how to respond? Leave your thoughts about negative reviews in a comment!

    Read More About Online Reputation Management & Reviews

    About the Author
    Tiffany Monhollon writes about social media, marketing, and local business success as the lead blogger for ReachCast, a service that helps local business owners develop their web presence. You can connect with her on Google+.

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