July 28, 2020 · Filed Under Social Media
· Comments Off on Potential Impact of President Trump’s Executive Order on Social Media
President Donald Trump has attempted to change the way in which social media operates with proposed rule changes in his Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship, initially revealed May 28th, 2020. He sought to remove liability protections from social media platform holders such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and countless others through an executive order that would strip protection granted via Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Since that time, after receiving criticism on Twitter, President Trump proceeded with this order as he petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to draft regulations. There is concern that the FCC regulating in this manner this could have a profound chilling effect on free speech across the internet as a whole.
Perceived Bias In Social Media
In the initially proposed change, Trump sought to give power to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to field any potential complaints of bias in social media. Typically the FTC is involved in matters of consumer protection. If the platform has been found to be biased through removal or censoring of content by the FTC, the complaint would then be moved to the FCC.
The FCC would then be given the opportunity to determine whether or not the social media platform in question should retain the legal protections of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which has allowed for their platforms to thrive without fear of litigation or censorship.
It is up for debate whether of not the FCC has the power or jurisdiction to rule on such matters. Typically, it focuses on telecom infrastructure, not content moderation. Under such guidance, the FCC would essentially be put in charge of moderating the comments section on the entirety of the internet.
Could This Mean Internet Regulation?
The internet has grown because of the ability to speak publicly without fear of censorship or viewpoint discrimination by the government. It gives a voice to the voiceless. Giving a government agency the ability to limit or control the speech of it’s citizens, or of a private corporation that is not bound by the first amendment sets a potentially dangerous precedent.
Regardless of President Trump’s executive order announcement, this will be debated. This order could potentially be overturned either by Congress or even by the Supreme Court. In the meantime, KnowEm will continue to monitor this situation. Social media allows us to help countless people and assist brands in protecting themselves. It has made it possible for us to engage with customers and users and regardless of the outcome in this matter, we will continue to do so.
September 25, 2018 · Filed Under KnowEm News
· Comments Off on Weight Watchers’ Rebranding Exposes a Common Username Dilemma
Weight Watchers announced yesterday that they would be re-branding themselves as WW. If you’ve seen any of the comments on Twitter in the past 24 hours I’m sure you’ve noticed the name change isn’t exactly being embraced by fans. Quite the opposite, in fact, as it’s quickly become the target of a barrage of humorous insults such as only the internet can deliver.
Whether or not Weight Watchers will be hurt or helped by the re-branding remains to be seen. But it brings to light a dilemma that a lot of new business startups face on social media, one which they often come to us with when choosing how to register their own unique brand names on social media. Specifically, what’s the best username length, and can we help with registering a really short username on social media these days (or, for that matter, a really long one)?
The short answer is, we probably can’t. While KnowEm’s database of all social networks has grown and shrunk each month over the years as we continually track the most popular social networks as well as new up and comers, one thing has remained constant. There are very few sites which will let you register a username with only 2 letters. The exact number is somewhere around 15% – but of course, good luck finding a 2-letter username that you want that is also still available! Most short names have already been taken on the older, more established sites. The same goes for longer names – many sites follow Twitter’s lead and impose a hard limit of 14 characters, so you can’t register a username of 15 or more letters or numbers (about 35% or so allow more than 15). This simply means brands have to get a little more creative when choosing a username – something we’re more than happy to assist with.
Since Weight Watchers is very well known and are just re-branding, they probably could have just kept their name @weightwatchers. But it appears they’ve chosen @ww_us as their new, shorter handle to align with the re-branding. I’m sure they didn’t have a choice for WW, because of course, many prime 2 letter username options like @ww are already taken! But appending an underscore and a geographic location to their 2 letter brand is a common, and very useful, technique when trying to lengthen the name to secure the same username on as many social networks as possible (adding INC or LLC is probably just as popular as adding a geographic location).
Perhaps the best lesson here for new startups concerned with their short brand name is the more proactive you are in registering your brand name sooner, the more success you’ll have in ensuring it’s consistency across as many social networks as possible. And as always, ask a few people just to make sure they don’t laugh at you before committing to a new name.
July 13, 2018 · Filed Under Announcements
· Comments Off on KnowEm Social Media Site Additions June, 2018
In all of our years of monitoring social media we have seen many sites come and go. We’ve seen the sudden appearance and rise of Instagram, the decline and complete redesign of Myspace, the flirtation and fascination with Ello, and those are just some of the larger names we’ve witnessed enter and change the social media landscape.
Whether you signed up for our services last week or 5 years ago, our goal has been to continue adding sites to our database so that your experience and resources are always growing and improving. In June, we proudly added many new social media platforms to our constantly growing list but we are going to draw attention to a few specific ones we feel offer a unique experience.
Smule – Smule is an exciting website and app that offers users the chance to take part in online karaoke. Sing your favorite songs from various genres including rock, hip hop, country, pop and several more. If you’re too nervous to sing, watch and enjoy as ordinary people deliver stunning renditions of some classic songs. Smule is a great new addition to KnowEm for lovers of all kinds of music!
beBee – Over the past 3 years, beBee has become an impressive platform for professional collaboration. With over 12 million users, you’re almost certain to find people in your market and that share your interests with whom to network. Share your content with millions of users and receive feedback and engage in discussion. If you’re looking for an exciting new way to engage with people online beBee is sure to provide you a unique and exciting platform to do this.
Unsplash – Boasting a collection of over 550,000 royalty free photos, Unsplash has a photo for every occasion. Whether you’re writing a blog about social media, bees, international travel or classic cars, you’ll find stunning and lush images generously donated by photographers throughout the world that you can use under a free public license. Sign up for your free account and start browsing for all of your photo needs. We’re really excited about this addition to our collection of sites.
For nearly 10 years, KnowEm has been helping people and brands protect themselves online from misuse of their names and trademarks. This is something that we are extremely proud of. Some clients have found themselves entangled in conflict that led them to using our services with a desired result of reclaiming and rehabilitating their reputations.
Given the current climate of the world and social media landscape it is more important than ever to choose your words wisely, both in public and in private. When a potentially dangerous situation arises, brands and those involved need to be very careful in their approaches in communication.
Jonathan Friedland, a senior spokesperson formerly employed by Netflix, was recently fired for his repeated use of racial slurs in meetings. Many were left to wonder why no action was taken after the first use of such vulgar language. Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, was put in a position where he needed to explain this. He wrote a memo for internal use at Netflix, which was released publicly.
A message in such a situation needs to be effective, but how do you craft such a response? No matter the platform, there are some qualities that are necessary. The message should be clear, contrite, empathetic and show a level of sincerity that accepts responsibility without deflecting or shifting the blame elsewhere. Hastings wrote:
I’ve made a decision to let go of Jonathan Friedland. Jonathan contributed greatly in many areas, but his descriptive use of the N-word on at least two occasions at work showed unacceptably low racial awareness and sensitivity, and is not in line with our values as a company.
Here, Hastings comes right out with the explanation, he does not try to hide or cover it up. Hastings has made it abundantly clear that the use of racial slurs will not be tolerated at Netflix. He continues:
The first incident was several months ago in a PR meeting about sensitive words. Several people afterwards told him how inappropriate and hurtful his use of the N-word was, and Jonathan apologised to those that had been in the meeting. We hoped this was an awful anomaly never to be repeated.
Three months later he spoke to a meeting of our Black Employees @ Netflix group and did not bring it up, which was understood by many in the meeting to mean he didn’t care and didn’t accept accountability for his words.
The second incident, which I only heard about this week, was a few days after the first incident; this time Jonathan said the N-word again to two of our Black employees in HR who were trying to help him deal with the original offense. The second incident confirmed a deep lack of understanding, and convinced me to let Jonathan go now.
In these paragraphs he admitted that he had exercised poor judgment in the past in regards to this now fired employee and his repeated use of racial slurs. Taking ownership of his flaws is crucial in the development of an effective statement. Hastings goes on to say:
As I reflect on this, at this first incident, I should have done more to use it as a learning moment for everyone at Netflix about how painful and ugly that word is, and that it should not be used. I realize that my privilege has made me intellectualize or otherwise minimize race issues like this. I need to set a better example by learning and listening more so I can be the leader we need.
Reed Hastings sees where he failed. He realizes he must change, improve and grow as a person and as someone in charge of a large company. Will Friedland learn from the situation? Maybe, maybe not but that is not for Hastings to comment on. It seems apparent that Hastings has learned and wants to be better and provide a safer environment for all of the employees under his watch as CEO of Netflix.
In the world of social media it is of the utmost importance that you always be genuine. Even in hard times, honesty is often appreciated. Own your mistakes, explain how you plan to prevent such events from occurring again and you may be able to get public opinion back on your side.
It is no secret that Google loves social media profiles, especially for brand-related “navigational” searches when it’s obvious that people are interested in your company. But that doesn’t mean your own profile is going to make the cut, not without some work.
Much of it comes down to competition. When you have so many reviews sites out there with your brand name in the title and a lot of people linking to them, it can be impossible for most to compete on that level. And while you may be getting mostly positive reviews on those sites, it’s not the safest strategy to let those pages rank higher than your own brand assets which you can basically control.
You have to get a bit more focused to up your clout on Google’s rank list. Luckily, there are some tried and true ways to do it.
Verify Your Social Media Accounts
A basic step not to miss, this is a very important one. Getting a verified business account on social media means that your social media presence is firmly tied to your brand, so fake and parody accounts don’t stand a chance to steal your identity.
Here’s a very thorough guide on social media profile verification that includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Pinterest.
You can also add the word “official” to your social media bios to sound even more reassuring.
Get People To Your Profiles
The first thing to do is to get people visiting and subscribing to your social profiles. The best way to do that is full social integration. You have to make it easy to get to those page. Place links on the top header of your site, and put in proper calls to action (CTAs) to subscribe to pages and share. Colorlib lists a few awesome plugins to make your job easier here.
Don’t miss other opportunities to grow your social media following. Your automated emails and your newsletters should invite people to subscribe too. Emails from any members of your company, other social profiles, or marketing materials should also have these links and CTAs.
You can add some more incentive for customers by offering special offer codes on your social profile. They don’t have to be exclusive; just knowing they will be shared from time to time is often enough to get people to hit that follow button.
You can use Cyfe to effective monitor your social media following grow across multiple social media accounts. It allows for a neat one-page view of numerous metrics you choose to monitor:
To properly point Google to your brand’s social media presence use structured data markup embedded in your public website. This guide gives a basic JSON-LD template for an organization to specify several social profiles. This will populate your social media profiles in your Google knowledge graph:
You can specify these types of social profiles:
- Google Plus
Make That Profile Drip With Branding
We all know the importance of proper branding, right? So why are so many companies failing at it on social media? Sure, we have our big names that do it right (Wendy’s on Twitter, Denny’s on Tumblr, GoPro on YouTube, Starbucks on Instagram, Threadless on Facebook, etc). But when it comes to smaller businesses making a go on the social web, branding is still a pretty lackluster category.
Each network has its own unique features for you to take advantage of. For Facebook you can create killer company highlight and description sections that really sell your brand to customers who might not know your background. There are also customizable tabs that let you add nearly any kind of content you want, including sales opportunities through checkout systems. This underlines the importance of business on that particular social network.
Twitter is not that great for that kind of thing, and neither are Instagram, Pinterest, or other visual platforms where content is image or video based. That is where tone branding is going to make a big difference in your campaigns. But even there you can use profile header images and even emojis to let your branding stand out.
Wendy’s is one of my favorite examples of tone branding on social media. If you put Wendy’s Twitter into the search you get some of their latest updates. They are not merely talking about their products or giving special offers. They are making jokes, interacting with other brands, and even insulting customers. They are appealing to a tone and image they want to cultivate, and the returns are massive.
Pakwired lists a few more examples and tips on how to properly interact on social media.
Basic SEO Common Sense
Now we get into the more boring part of the process, and that is your basic SEO optimization. These are the quick tips that are always good to use:
- Use exact-match usernames (your username should be exactly the same as your business name)
- Always complete the “Full Name” field: Stick to ONE version of your full name (no occasional middle name, no occasional short names: Pick your best-known name and stick to it everywhere)
- Enable custom (i.e. “Vanity“) URLs where possible (those help your profiles rank)
- Always complete “Description” (“About me”) field making sure you have at least 200 words of good original content there (Unless there’s a character limit). Write a different description each time mentioning your interests, areas of expertise, accomplishments, favorite books, etc. Original content helps your public profile rank higher. Use a duplicate content checkers to make sure your social media profile descriptions are original. PlagiarismCheck.org is my preferred duplicate content checker because it’s the easiest and the fastest:
- Interlink your profiles: Whenever possible, link to your other personal pages when creating a new profile; thus you both co-promote all your profile pages and give more information about yourself. This will encourage your new contacts to follow you on other social networks too!
More important considerations for higher search engine rankings of your profiles:
- Use lots of images. Every social media platform is visual these days, so you should be incorporating images into your account at every available opportunity, in whatever manner they allow. These images should be branded, high quality, relevant, and possessing basic metadata such as file names and copyright to help drive results.
- Update. A lot. No empty profiles will rank well in Google! I remember when social media was still in its infancy for business use, and the common advice was only to update every few days lest you annoy your followers. That is no longer how it works. Your profiles should be getting updated regularly, based on what media it is using. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and similar networks should have daily updates.
- Hashtags. This one is a no-brainer, right? Hashtags are powerful tools, and you should be spending a significant amount of effort in harnessing the perfect ones.
Do you have any other tips to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.
I have been working as a marketer for various brands (including my own) for almost a decade now. During that time I couldn’t count how many social profiles and pages I have either managed, or created and maintained. But it would have to be well into the hundreds, and currently I have dozens under my control in either full or part.
It is a big part of my livelihood, and I love it. Social media is a huge part of my life.
That being said, it is a very complicated balancing act. Every brand’s page has its own personality and tone. As the manager of that page, it is my job to maintain that tone for each one, while following the marketing strategy unique to the company and platform.
The more brands I am covering at any given time, the harder this can be.
In other words, I get the stress and challenges of managing multiple social media personas. Even if you are only managing a single brand, it can be difficult to keep your head above water and keep from making mistakes.
Here are some tips to help you.
Keep All Logins In One Place
This is probably my biggest tip because keeping track of login information for multiple accounts is the most frustrating part of social marketing for several pages. So having a password manager is pretty much a must, and features will dictate which one is best for you.
If you are going to be sharing passwords with multiple users or clients, and want to do so securely, I would recommend Passpack. You may have to shell out for the premium version if you have several people to share with, but it is cheap enough that it shouldn’t be a problem.
For a simple database with a master key, try KeePass. It is super bare bones, but a well maintained encryption password manager that is also open source. We should all be supporting open source projects whenever we can.
To get passwords, auto login, and device syncing, go with LastPass. It lets you quickly sign into any account, including multiple accounts on the same platform, and it is super easy to use.
Have The Right Platform For Keeping Track
If you are on a smaller budget, or you are paying for it out-of-pocket, you need an alternative. I would personally recommend Cyfe, which is a free all in one dashboard that allows you to create widgets for different purposes.
One of those is social media interaction and marketing. If you want more features, just pay for their premium, which costs just $19 per month ($14, if you pay for a year).
There are also a few social media managers that support multiple accounts. Here’s a good comparison of major players. There are also a few Firefox plugins I am using (Yes, I am still on Firefox!)
Never Try To Monitor Several Pages At Once
You may be thinking that you just have to carve out a period of time during your day to work on all social media profiles. So you will jump from one to another, making updates and speaking to followers, giving a little time to each. This is a big mistake, and one I – like many others – have learned the hard way.
It is really easy to accidentally post to the wrong account. Sometimes that is a minor issue, and one you catch quickly without anyone really noticing or caring. Other times it can be a PR disaster. For example, US Airways once had a marketer on their Twitter account post a pornographic image. They almost immediately deleted it, but the damage was done. It has become one of the most notorious mistakes in Twitter history.
Schedule specific blocks of time to work on each account, and give yourself a small break between those blocks to allow for you to get into the voice of each persona. It will help you match the tone of the brand better, and also reduce humiliating mistakes. DirJournal has a great guide on managing your time effectively for more organized social media marketing.
Consider What Network Is Really Important, and Prioritize It
Not every platform you market on is going to be that beneficial. For instance, one of my brand’s I work for has a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram account. Guess how many of those have ever successfully drawn in engagement? One… Twitter is the only one that is active, and the others have struggles for any results regardless of the campaigns myself and other marketers before me have tried.
Instead of managing all on the same level, I put 75% of my time and energy into Twitter. That is where their audience is, so that is where I go. I still manage the others, but I split the remaining 25% of effort among them, in order of use. Google+ and Pinterest get next to no love, so most of that remaining time is spent on Facebook and Instagram.
Don’t be afraid to let some pages fall to the wayside.
June 17, 2016 · Filed Under Branding
, Social Media
· Comments Off on How to Research Niche Questions for Better Reputation Management
Someone may be publicly asking questions about your brand at this very moment. Or someone asked it two weeks ago and got an answer (but not from you) and now this thread is ranking for your brand name.
Few people are buying from a company without trying to find the answers to their questions first… How reliable is your service? How fast is the delivery? What are the alternatives?
You should be there to answer those questions! Or better yet, all those questions should already be answered on your site for your potential customers not to have to search for the answers elsewhere.
The following research will be quite helpful in both of these scenarios:
- For competitor research (For you to be aware of their problems and to be able to avoid them or offer their clients better solutions)
- For your brand reputation trouble-shooting and monitoring
1. Research if Question-Related Google Features Appear for the Brand Name
Google is paying more and more attention to immediately guessing and answering users’ questions. Thus, they currently have two search features they are trying to accomplish :
- Featured instant answers: A box featuring an answer to the query showing above organic search results (More on that here).
- “People also ask”: Google is showing which questions users tend to type in the search box using the current query or before / after searching for that
Both features are worth looking into for competitor research and reputation management purposes.
The easiest way to do that is using SERPstat, a newer tool that has Google’s special features integrated into their keyword filters. Just type the brand name into their search field, navigate to “organic”, open the list of filters and select “Answers” and “Also ask” filters:
The search results will indicate queries triggering those chosen features with the icons:
From there, you can scroll through the brand-related search results checking the actual search featured elements to see which opportunity or challenge they pose for you or your competitor.
2. Research Which Brand-Related Questions Users Type into The Search Box
Google Suggest is your invaluable source of brand-related queries you need to be keeping an eye on:
Luckily there are tools that make finding and extracting question-related queries much easier. SERPstat does have that option too:
Another tool that makes this research huge fun by visualizing it is Answer The Public (Which I described here). Just type the brand name into their search box and the tool will find tons of questions containing that name:
Here, I am showing part of the visualization for you to easier see the beauty:
Now export these search results and start sorting them into “Create a FAQ page”, “Forward to the customer support team”, “Forward to the product development team”, etc.
Tip: There are lots of FAQ WordPress plugins which you can use to easily add a separate section covering all sorts of niche-related questions. Installing plugins is easy, so there’s nothing stopping you from moving forward with this idea immediately!
3. Monitor Brand-Related Questions on Social Media
Google queries only scratch the surface: Google and related tools record only most popular queries. User-generated content and real-time search will uncover more problems you should be handling.
Here are a few ideas:
1. Search and archive Tweets containing brand-related questions.
The search query to use:
“brand name” ? -infilter:links -http
? filters out tweets containing questions
-infilter:links -http excludes tweets containing links to only keep real conversations
Cyfe is a great way to create an archive of these search results to effectively collect them and use for customer service training or content inspiration.
Cyfe will start archiving tweets once you create a widget, so the earlier you do that, the older your archive will be.
Cyfe allows an unlimited number of widgets per dashboard, so you can monitor and archive questions around your brand as well as your competitors.
2. Bookmark and monitor niche-related reviews sites
In most niches there exist partially user-generated sites collecting user reviews and ratings. Examples:
- [In SaaS niche] G2Crowd and its FAQ section on the listed service page
- [In hosting niche] Sitegeek and its user q&a section on the listed hosting page
- [In traveling] TripAdvisor and its q&a section on the hotel or restaurant page
I cannot stress enough how important it is to monitor these sites and engage with the community. You need to be monitoring both your brand as well as your competitors!
Are you incorporating questions into your reputation management and competitor research? Please share your tips here!
A few days ago we had an interesting conversation on Facebook discussing what you should do (digitally-wise) once your baby is born. It started from this meme:
… and developed into us sharing what we (might) do to make our kid’s future career easier. The Internet has changed our personal careers paths dramatically: Most employees look for prospective interviewees’ web records even before setting up the actual meeting.
So can we help our kids with their personal reputation management?
One of the most obvious things to do once your spouse and you agree on the baby’s name is to register the exact-match domain (if possible) for your kid not to have to worry about it when he/she grows up.
But really how crazy should you go about securing your kid’s digital future?
Well, personal reputation management is huge nowadays, and conversely so is identity hijacking. If we can in any way help our children to own their online identities, why not?
After all, you have two obvious choices:
- Make sure your kid has a very wide-spread common first and last name (In this case, you don’t have to worry about your kid’s online reputation: There are hundreds of people sharing the same search results page) OR
- Make sure your kid’s name is more or less unique and when he / she grows up, they will be easy to get found in whatever search engine we are going to use then.
In the latter case, securing important domains and usernames may be a good idea actually.
Helping your kids control their web identities may be crucial for their future. Dan Gillmor has put it very well:
[We] are partly who others say we are. That’s a key reason why each of us needs to be one of the voices (preferably the most prominent) defining us. To the extent that they live public lives in any way – and like it or not, it’s getting harder not to be public in some way – tomorrow’s adults will need an online home that they control. They need an online home, a place where they tell the world who they are and what they’ve done, where they post their own work, or at least some of it.
What to Register
A domain is an investment and when you deal with kids, this investment is for at least 10-15 years to come.
Domains are not expensive nowadays but seriously, there’s no way you can register ALL of the variations. There are lots of them! And the list is going to be growing.
So which one to secure?
I suggest going with .com
I have no idea what the Internet is going to be in 15 years but I think .com domains will remain as common and popular as they are now or were 5 years ago.
If there is any other top level domains that fit particularly well, why not consider them as well. I’d register ann.smarty once .smarty becomes a top level domain, for example.
What to Do with That Domain
Keeping it registered is already very thoughtful of you but we know that sites are more valuable than domains.
There’s no reason to keep your kid’s domain stagnant. Installing WordPress and keeping it hosted is easy and cheap. Here’s one of the easiest guides on starting a simple blog: Your kid’s blog is just a couple of steps away.
Updating a blog is easy, you can even do it via email: So you can simply use it to collect photos and memories (Like that email address idea we started from. The difference is that hosting everything on your own sites means you actually own the collection).
What Else to Secure?
Owning your domain name is only one step. Today’s digital identity is spread across multiple social media platforms – owning all of those is also essential to better control your child’s identity.
Do we know which ones are there to stay in 10 or more years?
Will there be Twitter? – Hopefully yes!
Will there be Facebook? – It seems so…
Will there be Google Plus? – I wouldn’t count on that…
Will there be new ones? – Absolutely yes…
How to keep track of emerging social media platforms to register your kid’s name there?
Knowem has a cool service that lets you register your name on all imaginable social media platforms to secure them for your child. They also offer a subscription service that will continue to secure your name on 20 new and emerging social networks every month, so you never miss out on any new ones:
Have you ever thought about securing your children’s digital future? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
Here at Knowem we constantly research new social media sites for our customers. We add new ones every month, and sometimes we see sites that look exceptionally exciting and promising. Of course, some times it seems social networks can go down as quickly as they spring up – that’s why we’re always researching them. Today we present to you five niche social media sites that have done it right. We will take a cursory look at these sites, explaining their market niche and mention the types of features that keep customers happy and coming back for more. After you have a chance to read about them, we encourage you to visit these sites yourself and explore further.
If you enjoy music and and meeting new people, then Tastebuds.fm (http://tastebuds.fm) is for you. Their self described statement is “Tastebuds is the best place to meet fun new people through music”. They have definitely focused on their community and offer many features to reach out and bring people together.
When signed up and logged in, the main page is a stream of recent activity showing things like recent people to sign up, and a fun survey box with silly questions like “Do you believe the moon landings were faked?”. On your personal profile you can list musical and personal tastes, concerts and shows you have attended or plan on attending. You can also create posts, customize your profile cover, and upload pictures. Interestingly, they have incorporated a dating aspect to their site. Bringing people together the way they do makes sense, but it’s not focused on dating. There is a messaging center to reach out to specific members. A notification center makes it easy to keep track of the activities happening around the site. Facebook login integration makes it easy to get started.
Food lovers, look no further. Foodspotting.com (http://www.foodspotting.com) is everything food and is sure to get you salivating right away. Their homepage directs your attention to the three things food lovers need – finding dishes that interest you, sharing your dining experiences, and reviews by their community members.. The social aspect is limited to comments and reviews for particular menu items which is nice – all of the focus is on getting the dining experience you‘re looking for to satisfy your appetite.
The main focus of Foodspotting is to help you find restaurants with the menu you desire. The pictures that appear on the site are authentic user-generated content although some photos of dishes look so good you’d think a professional is behind the lens. Good food on a nice plate is sure to photograph well and Foodspotting proves this yet again. Finding food often brings you on an adventure with friends, so it’s noteworthy to mention they have mobile apps for the whole spectrum – iPhone, Android, Windows and even Blackberry.
Branded.me (http://branded.me) is all about telling the world about yourself and your talents. What are you all about? Answering this question for employers and fellow professionals can be tricky business when using your everyday social media accounts like Facebook, LinkedIn, and the like. Branded.me intendeds to empower you with a service that focuses heavily on your personal profile — that is the key feature. You want to bring people to your branded profile so they can learn about you, personally and professionally.
On Branded.me you get a feature-rich dashboard that allows you to get full control over your profile. Your profile reads like an advertisement for you and you can control every aspect of how it looks. To streamline leveraging your profile, they have Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn integration to import and find new contacts. While the service is free, they do offer a pro plan at a very reasonable $7 a month which gives you very nice benefits. Pro offers custom domains, email addresses, removal of the Branded identifiable design items, profile analytics, and unlimited support. If your image and your reputation as a professional can benefit from establishing an online profile for the others to see and understand all on one place, Branded.me might be for you.
A bonus feature of Branded is a free option to get an easy to share link with others in the form of your_name.branded.me. but you must hurry. Once your real name is taken, you’ll have to use an alternative name for the custom URL.
Finding work by exposing your reputation and skills online can be challenging. For those in the creative arts and media, sites like LinkedIn can leave you feeling overwhelmed. A better solution is to reach out to niche markets that by design focus on a particular subset of industry opportunities. This is where Stage32.com (https://www.stage32.com) excels. The site describes itself as “The world’s largest social network and educational hub for film, television & theater creatives.” and that is exactly right. Through Stage32.com you can network with fellow professionals, explore job opportunities, find educational and informative material and even get direct access to agents and producers. If you’re in the arts and entertainment field you should definitely be a member of the Stage32 community.
Once a member you create a profile that you want people to see to learn all about you and your talents. The whole idea is bringing together talented, passionate people into a tight sense of community to achieve success and common goals. There is a main page to bring you tons of content all in one place, so many features you just have to see it yourself to believe it. There is a marketplace for helpful products and services. Writers can pitch material. There is also a lounge section where you can write and read posts that get comments. To keep you up to date when on the go, they have apps for both Android and iPhone/iPad.
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why don’t I get paid for all this free content I keep giving Twitter, Medium and Facebook?” BubbleWS (http://www.bubblews.com) might be the site for you. They have a “Bank” which tracks how much money you’ve earned by sharing content on their network. Once you reach $50, you can presumably redeem the credits for cash withdrawal. According to their Learning Center, “You receive money in your Bank for each view, like, and comment on your posts. Due to variations in advertising rates from country to country, the rate is not the same for each view, like, or comment. It is adjusted based on your connection’s country of origin.”
It operates kind of like Twitter crossed with Pinterest – they have a feed, but it’s organized in grid-like fashion with images being pulled in from the profiles of the users posting updates. They have unique URLs for content posted and quite a few (over half a million) pages have been indexed by Google, so a cash payout is not the only benefit you can get by posting content on BubbleWS.
The following guest post comes to us from KnowEm client Gayle Rogers, the Director of Digital Marketing for Strong Automotive Merchandising. We love hearing about how our customers have used KnowEm’s Social Branding service for different purposes, and he offered to share this success story with us when using KnowEm as part of his Local SEO and SMO strategy.
Local search optimization is an often underappreciated part of the automotive digital marketing mix. You know it needs to be done, but you don’t give it the time and energy it deserves. Typically the work is focused on a few of the major players and at that point focus usually turns to more “exciting” tasks.
For a particular car dealer in Atlanta, we had already completed the basic local optimization tasks. Most of our work focused on content development for specific products, and we had great success with vehicle related searches. In fact organic traffic, year over year, had increased over 124%, but we were not efficient with general dealer searches. (i.e. “Acura Dealer Atlanta”). Going back and reviewing the opportunities, we discovered that we had only scratched the surface with local optimization.
We began to research other options for increased local search visibility. Our goal was to increase the scope of our efforts and still keep our white hats on. We believe it should always be your intention to leave the internet a better place than you found it. So, after clearing out the major and minor citations, we began to look for other options. Creating and optimizing social profiles appeared to be the next logical step.
Looking for a way to scale our efforts, we discovered KnowEm, which endeavored to be the ideal solution. Within two weeks, we began to see SERP gains for our targeted keywords. Within four weeks ranking for our primary keyword improved 15 positions and we saw an average increase of 3.6 positions in their overall Google ranking.
Since leveraging social profiles for this client we have seen a nearly 30% increase in organic traffic and a dramatic increase in our keyword impressions from webmaster tools. Additionally, Google has recognized 26% more links since activating this strategy.
We know a magic bullet for SERP increases doesn’t exist, and taking too much credit for success will only leave you with the blame when things take a down turn. But, we do learn something every day. If you have a brick and mortar, it is imperative that you focus on your local footprint, and taking the extra steps to create and optimize social profiles is an excellent tactic for increasing visibility in search.
About the Author:
For 15 years, Gayle Rogers has focused on building traditional and non-traditional advertising campaigns for the automotive industry, working with brands like Ford and Toyota. Now Gayle is Director of Digital Marketing at Strong Automotive Merchandising. He is a student of consumer behavior, dedicated to developing innovative digital strategies, increasing search visibility, targeted retail traffic and engagement for automotive dealers.
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