Email

The Google Network

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The Google network is a great way to engage with audiences across the internet. It consists of both
the Search Network and the Display Network.

Search Network: Includes other search engines such as AOL as well as Google.

Display Network: Made up of a number of different websites which are owned by Google i.e.
YouTube and sites which specifically relate to Google such as Gmail.

The Google network makes up thousands of sites which display targeted AdWords. AdWord
campaigns are placed in the Google network by default. However it is possible to opt out of either
network by changing the settings.

Key things to know:

– If you are displaying a keyword – targeted ad, it can be placed across both the search and display network pages. Google uses search- engine- targeting to match keywords that users search for on search engines.

– Google display network pages use contextual targeting to match keywords to web page content, otherwise known as ‘automatic placements’.

-‘Placement-targeted’ ads can only appear on pages in the display network. It works by
choosing a specific audience and site to direct your ad at, otherwise known as ‘managed
placements’. The keywords and placements will combine efforts and work together to
determine the best position for the ad.

-Ads are displayed on Google based on their relevancy.

-Ads that are fully text based can appear on both search pages and on display network pages.

-Ads that feature images or videos can only appear on Display network pages.

Display Network Placements – Where do they go?

Search network ads are shown on pages related to the keywords related to the ad. These ads
appear alongside, above or below the search results and are specific to that particular search query.
Display network placements work differently.

‘Managed placements’ are ads which are placed separately for increased control. There is also the
added option of excluding certain placements for which you don’t want to run ads.

For more information on The Google Network contact us today on 08433 832 732

5 Great Things About Google+

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Google.

Even if you’ve never used the internet before, you’ve almost certainly heard of it. Like ‘Hoovering’ became a verb for vacuum-cleaning, so ‘Google it’ is now what you say when you’re suggesting that someone search for something online, much to the chagrin of Yahoo and Bing, who would probably advise otherwise.

But for all of Google’s online dominance, Facebook has emerged as the most popular site on the web – indeed a huge positive for those wishing to embrace Social Media is that Facebook and Twitter are so huge that searches on Google include individual posts in real-time from these sites, expanding the SEO benefits of using these sites enormously.

Google, in the past, has tried and notably failed to become more ‘social’. It’s ‘Chrome’ browser is fantastic, its Gmail service innovative and second to none, and it’s iGoogle homepage is clever if not fully embraced.

However ‘Buzz’, and ‘Wave’ – its last attempts at Social Media, much like my weekend BBQ, failed to catch fire.

Google Plus | Matt Davis MediaEnter Google+. Now in my experience, anything with a + after it, is usually great. Sky+ : life changing. Nike+ : Genius. Lost+ : Better than the original.

And Google+, thankfully, is no different.

Here are five things that make it GREAT.

1. If you’re lucky enough to get a Google+ invite (which I was :-)), and you have a Google account (ie a gmail address) then it’s brilliantly easy to sign up.  Once you’re signed in with your Google account, click the link in your email, and you’re ready to go. Confirm your name, add your gender and optionally change your profile picture, accept the terms, and Join!

Google Plus | Matt Davis Media

2. Circles.

Google+ is built around Circles. Circles are Google’s version of  friend lists, and work by dividing your network into sub-networks of  ‘like’ interests. For example – I tend to share more Social Media related items with my Twitter followers, and more personal stuff with my Facebook friends. I therefore follow a wide range of relevant industry profiles in Twitter lists. In Google+, I can instead add family to a ‘Family’ circle, friends to a ‘Friends’ circle, Social Media experts into a ‘Social Media’ circle and so on. But if my brother happens to like Social Media too, I could add him to my ‘Social Media’ and ‘Family’ circles.

Initially it takes a bit of effort, but Google has worked to make it fun. You can select those people you want to add  and drag them down to the relevant circle, and their name cards will be bundled together with a paperclip to emphasise what you’re doing. Facebook has had lists for some time now, but few people use it since it takes several clicks per friend you want to add. With Google+, a couple clicks is all it takes to add as many friends as you like to circles.

Best of all, once you have established your circles, you can add new friends to lists in just one click. This is more similar to Twitter following than Facebook friends, since you are able to add anyone to your circles, whether they’ve added you or not. However, if they’re private and mostly share updates with their private circles, you won’t see / hear from them very often.

3. The Stream

Now that you’ve added some friends and colleagues to your Google+ circles, it’s time to start sharing. Just like every other social network, Google+ is designed for you to share what you’re doing with others. This aspect is very similar to Facebook in that you can upload pictures, videos and links directly to your updates. You can also add your location, which is turned on by default in the mobile web app. A key aspect is that you can choose to share your update only with certain circles, with all of your circles, with extended circles (all of your circles and all of your friends’ circles), or with the the whole world – the choice is yours.

The main page, (The Stream), will show posts from others, with pictures, videos, link previews, and comments. You can click 1+ to show you like a post, or you can share public and semi-public posts with your own network. New posts and comments show up automatically in near-realtime. Posts are bumped back to the top of your list whenever new comments are added to them, but if you’re tired of seeing a particular update, you can simply choose to mute the post using a drop-down menu. You can also navigate through the posts in your stream with standard Google keyboard shortcuts.

A nice feature is that you can edit your posts and comments anytime after you’ve left them. How often do you supply an update with a mistake on Facebook or Twitter only to have to delete it?With Google+, that’s a thing of the past. Although this can of course potentially change the context of any longer conversations…

Similar to @replies on Facebook and Twitter, adding @ before someone’s name lets you select their name from a list and link to them in the comment

4. Hangouts

A unique feature of Google+ is Hangouts – group audio and video chats where you can bring your friends together even if you live around the world.

Once you’ve installed the relevant plug-ins (takes moments), you can start a new Hangout and invite your circles or individual friends to join in. Or, you can jump into another Hangout that’s already going on. Before you jump in, Google+ gives you a quick preview of how you look in the video if you have a webcam turned on, and shows you who’s already chatting.

Once you’re logged in, Google Hangouts will let others in the chat know that you’re there. You’ll see a large video of the chatter currently talking on the top, and smaller thumbnail videos of everyone else underneath. Hangouts does a great job at recognizing who’s currently talking, and it automatically switches the top video when others start talking. Or, if you only want to see one video feed, click on the thumbnail to only see that video in the larger view.

Yes it’s similar to Skype, but in my opinion much more intuitive and better looking too. There are a few functionality issues to be ironed out, but that’s why we’re still in the test phase!

Alternately, if you prefer text chat, Google+ includes the original Google Talk text chat that you’ve likely already used in Gmail. You can chat with your existing Gmail contacts even if they’re not on Google+, even while you’re talking in a Google Hangout in another window. This gives you the best of both worlds. Full voice, video, and text chat with groups in Hangouts, or one-on-one text chat right in your Stream just like you’re used to in Facebook.

5. Sparks

Yet another unique feature in Google+ is Sparks. Sometimes it can be hard to keep up with certain niche topics you’re interested in, so Google built Sparks to give you automatic updates about the things you love. Just enter a topic, and Sparks will bring you highlights from it right to your account. It’s essentially Google Alerts but in a stream on your social media site – great for me.

There’s a little way to go but the initial signs are that Google has really thought this one through and are determined to get it right no matter what. Is it a Facebook Killer? Probably not just yet, but in the way that it integrates with your existing email, calendar and of course your search engine, it’s going to give it a run for it’s money.

For business users though – nothing to really report as yet – but it’s still early days…

Do You Need To Measure Social Media ROI? I Don’t Think So…

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Matt Davis Media | Pound SignOne of the questions that I get asked a lot is:

“What is the return on investment from Social Media?”

Now in cases where a Social Media campaign is being implemented by a business itself, by existing personnel for example, the only real cost is time, and it does take time and dedication to implement a Social Media campaign effectively. There may be a small cost to train the relevant member of staff initially.

But in my case it’s different, as my clients are paying me directly to manage their Social Media platforms for them, and as with most things that you pay for, you expect to see some kind of return.

In my opinion however, there are different forms of return and these all need to be taken into account.

Matt Davis Media | Solar SystemFirstly, before implementing a Social Media campaign, you need to know what you’re aiming to achieve from it. I think that primarily your main aim through using Social Media is to drive people to your existing ‘main’ website. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, think of your website as the ‘Sun’ in the middle, and of your Social Media platforms as ‘planets’ orbiting around it.

Professor Brian Cox I ain’t but hopefully you get the picture!

Secondly, I genuinely believe that at some point in the near future, businesses will have little choice but to use Social Media in one form or another to communicate with their clients / potential clients. Whether that’s because Facebook becomes the default way to log into the majority of websites (giving you one portal for all the websites you use – handy?) or that Facebook messaging becomes the ‘new email’ I’m not sure, but sooner rather than later it will have an even bigger part to play than it already does, in much the same way the the second version of the internet overtook the first version.

Also, your competitors are most likely using Social Media. The vast majority of your customers are too. So unless you want to play catch-up later on, it’s a good idea to be there now.

Lastly, a question. What’s the return on investment of a receptionist? Or a secretary? I would view Social Media much the same way. Social Media is doing a job for you. It’s increasing your online presence, enhancing your online reputation, boosting the chances of your business being found by the search engines, allowing you to hear what your customers are saying about you, allow potential customers to see actual examples of how you treat your customers and clients… and that’s not even scratching the surface.

Recent studies are now showing that Return On Engagement is a more effective way of measuring the success of your Social Media output. Please let me know your thoughts too!

Email: Alive and Kicking… For Now At Least

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Ah email, our old friend.

The home of:

FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: THIS WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH LOL

And of course, the classic:

$11m UGANDAN LOTTERY WINNER – CONGRATULATIONS!

With the hotly anticipated improved Facebook message application being gradually implemented, many experts are predicting the beginning of the end for email as we know it.

People are moving more towards wanting everything in one place, and Facebook makes perfect sense for this as the majority of people that you know are (or will eventually be) on Facebook, as are an ever-increasing number of businesses.

With the advent of Facebook Places, you will easily be able to see where your friends are, and even if they are online before emailing them, creating a fully interactive messaging system that would leave Outlook looking like an ancient relic.

However, don’t write email off just yet, it still has a large part to play in how we communicate and how we do business – in particular, how we engage with our clients and customers.

Here are five ways that email remains vital:

1)       You can drive people to your website. In my last blog post I talked about the importance of not only having a website, but also in what you use to get people to look at it. A regular email update is one way of doing this, which also leads me onto…

2)       You can incentivize people to engage with you using social media. A simple ‘Follow Us On Facebook’ button is great. However a competition that incentivizes all new Twitter /Facebook followers can be really effective. A client I have recently worked with gave away a fabulous prize to one of their Twitter followers once they had reached 1000. They went from 800 to 1000 in no time at all. Using email to encourage your clients to follow you can be just as effective.

3)       Get your blog out there! Email the opening paragraph of your most recent blog to your clients and encourage them to ‘click here’ to read the rest – this is much more interesting to your clients than a ‘newsletter’ heading and drives traffic to your blog / website to boot.

4)         Even better – you can take your website to the people! A decent email template can contain much of the same links that you already have on your website navigation – you just need to provide fresh content as the main ‘story’.

5)       It’s better to be in touch than not to be. Many of your customers are used to being contacted by email, and while the ultimate switch to Social Media is a gradual transition, email remains a tried and tested way of communicating, and if you can link to Social Media platforms and your website at the same time you can have the best of all worlds!

So are you sending regular updates to your customers? How do you inform your clients of promotions or special offers? How do you drive people to your website? Drop me a line and let me know… an email is fine 🙂

matt@thebrightclick.co.uk 

Why Social Media Is More Important Than Your Website

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Last week I opened my door to find a peculiar yellow book on my doorstep. I picked it up, looked at it, and dropped it straight into my recycling bin without a second thought. A bit harsh perhaps, but my house is cluttered enough as it is without adding more to it with stuff I don’t need.

I then switched the TV on to be met with an advert, where a man called Day V Lately (who on earth came up with that?!) is looking for his own album in a bunch of record shops, quite possibly using this yellow book to do so, before retreating to the internet, where using the web version of this yellow book he manages to find the album in a split second, problem solved.

I felt slightly confused by this – a company produces a book that lands on your doorstep, and then puts out an advert effectively saying that this book doesn’t work any more, use the internet instead!

The fact is that this book is a LOT smaller than it used to be. And rightly so, these days, it’s considered essential for a business to have a website – if you have a business, you have a website. But how do you drive people to your site? SEO is the obvious answer, it costs money but is hugely effective when done properly. But even then, is your website dynamic?

By this I mean is it enough just to have a website, box ticked? The kind of site that people will only visit once, as the information never changes? And even if you do change the information from time to time, how do you keep your customers up to date without bombarding them?

The answer is simple – Social Media.

Yes it’s important to have a good-looking, informative website, and it should be kept up to date. But with a Facebook Business Page you can keep your customers updated in real-time – they can see a daily snippet of information about your business in their news feed – information that will take them seconds to read, but will keep your business on their radar.

I didn’t stay up to watch the Superbowl the other night, but during the famous advertising slots the majority of the major brands were directing their customers to Facebook rather than their own respective websites! Why? Because that’s where their customers are – all in one place, so that’s where they, the businesses, need to be too.

It’s a brilliant tool for advertising special offers, staff changes, opening and closing times, seasonal hours – it’s easier than ever to engage with and communicate with your customers.

And, even more crucially, it’s easy for your customers to communicate with you too. If your customer has a gripe, they can tell you about it publicly. And you can tell the world how great your customer service is by dealing with it publicly too. I currently know of a few cases in terms of local businesses where simple Google searches lead to negative reviews that are sitting untouched for everyone to see. Being pro-active on Social Media platforms would most likely prevent this from happening, but on the occasions that it did, would enable the chance to be able to put things right quickly.

The above is just one example of how Social Media can improve your business and drive goodwill as well as revenue.

If you want to know more, or have any comments then please write on my wall at www.facebook.com/mattdavismedia and I’ll show you how it can work!