Facebook Takes on Google with Graph Search

Introducing Graph SearchEver since I started using Facebook, I’ve never found their search function very useful.  Results were never exactly what I was looking for, and my attempts at locating useful information left me empty-handed.  I always looked to Google to find exactly what I was looking for.  Despite the recent article outlining a great Facebook search “trick” earlier this week (see Facebook Introduces ‘Graph Search’, but this Search Secret Already Helps Marketers), Facebook really had no handle on search.

Now, that all changes.

What is Graph Search?

Graph Search allows users to search for anything connected with them through their “social graph”.  This new search tool basically searches through everything you have ever done on Facebook, and everything your friends have done and shared publicly, and answers your search requests with that information.  Facebook is going to give you the exact information that it thinks you want, based upon your connections within the site.

For example, if you search Google for restaurants, you will get many pages of restaurants that may or may not fit what you are looking for.  Search Facebook for “restaurants my friends like” and you will get very specific results, based upon your friends “likes” and comments.  Based upon the theory that we “trust” our friends on Facebook, these results will more likely result in a purchase, or a visit.

This is great for business.

If you are a small business with an optimized Facebook page, and lots of connections, Graph Search will customize results to the individuals that are searching based upon their connections, and not any SEO tricks and not based upon the popularity of your site.

More importantly, as research has shown, consumers are 71% more likely to choose a product or service when a friend recommends it to them within social media (see Consumers 71 percent more likely to buy based on social media referrals).  Word of mouth marketing is alive and well!  Remember, people do business with people that they know, like, and trust.  And, if a Facebook friend has used, recommended, or “liked” a business, there is an inherent level of trust in that recommendation.  And, that is the information that will be served through Graph Search.

In addition, businesses with a physical location may benefit most from Graph Search.  Especially if they encourage people to “check in” to the location.  This will provide Facebook more information to provide your friends searching for similar businesses.

In order for graph search to meet its full potential Facebook business page users will need to make sure that their information is complete, including the address, and make sure that the category your page is in is the correct one for your business.  You don’t want your jewelry company being listed as a non-profit, now do you?  The more information you provide on your business page, the more accurate the search results will be.  In addition, the more people that check-in or “like” your page, the more likely it will show up when searched for.

How do I get Graph Search?

Right now, it is only in beta, but you can apply for Graph Search by signing up for an invite.  I signed up two days ago, and received my Graph Search today!

So, are you impressed?  Does this fill a need you had?  Will you use it?  Let’s discuss it in the comments!

 

Resources:

Introducting Graph Search

Facebook Graph Search: The Experts Speak

Is This The Facebook Search We’ve Been Waiting For?

Facebook Graph Search: 10 Things You Need To Know About The Social Network’s Big Announcement

How Graph Search can help users see the world through different lenses

How Facebook’s Graph Search Impacts Small Businesses

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

Digital Media and Business: The Case for Regulation

(be warned this is not a short read and the good stuff is at the bottom)

Digital Media Social Media Regulation and CertificationIf you follow anything just about anywhere the subject somehow always turns to the economy, and it should. Money makes the world go around and it’s the basis for our capitalist society. The confusion comes in when we try to figure out what has happened or is happening. It’s simple: the everyday individual has become as powerful as major media, has found ways to be as influential as any politician, can walk away from most jobs and compete with their former employer in many cases with better customer service at a far lower cost.

Unemployment in the United States is around 8% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but many argue that the number could be closer to 30% because it doesn’t take into account those that are underemployed, or are no longer reporting looking for employment or their benefits expired.

What Happened?

The Digital Age arguably has a much longer history then the .com revolution, but this was the turning point that corporations and leadership in the United States missed, or just underestimated. The introduction of the web into the homes of American consumers began the shift in how we consume content. The development of search engines like Google redefined how we learn, in fact Education institutions at all levels still struggle with combating things like plagiarism and balancing the traditional book i.e. encyclopedia vs. the web i.e. Wikipedia. The Social Media revolution changed how we communicate and the mobile rush changed the speed at which we access and share content.

Digital Media’s Effect on the Business and the Economy

There is a battle going on between wisdom and knowledge and the business is coming out as the loser. There are a lot of reasons one can point to the current economic crisis, and the effect it has had on business in the United States. While some point to the greed on Wall Street from Home Loans, or Student Loans, they may not be why we can’t recover.

Education & Digital Media

Today’s youth faces an interesting choice, go to college and spend $40k – $120k and then learn how to use Digital Communications, or start as an intern for a digital company or startup and give 4 years of ups and downs and come out with a skill set that is more attractive than a college degree. In fact in many cases it will flat out provide the knowledge, skills and ability to put another agency or business out of business.

The ability to understand how to build a user, social and search – friendly website is already a major advantage, and take into account that using tools like WordPress and CopyBlogger could help you launch the framework you’ll need to get started for less than a week’s work and a few hundred dollars, it’s no wonder self-employment is on the rise (according to U.S. SBA). Take that to the next level and think about professional development, as a solopreneur you need to learn, set a pattern or “Read, Write and Share” and now you have a learning plan that can in many ways be more effective than traditional education. This also becomes the content, or story of you and your business, arguably the key component to marketing and business in the Digital Age.

Wisdom vs. Knowledge

Wisdom is a process, it takes experience and relationships to really acquire the skill set that gives you the ability to make long-term decisions. Wisdom is the value  that seasoned professionals and some corporations bring to the table, they tend to provide stable long-term solutions through an understanding of the bigger picture.

Knowledge is simply information, it has become nearly limitless and requires little effort to acquire, in many cases provided simply through a solution phrase “Google It”. Knowledge allows many to know more than the individual or corporation next to them by simply spending time to consume content.

A traditional corporation still moves like an iceberg, even if they bring in young talent, that individual is shaped and conforms to the hierarchy and becomes developmentally limited because of the structure they must adhere to. While in many cases they provide long-term solutions that are time-tested and proven, they also suffer for that practice. Time-Tested and Proven is the practice of pre-Digital Age business and is the reason why newspapers nearly went extinct. Once you consider the traditional models overhead for their employees, it’s no wonder you shake your head and try to figure out why their profits are down and their prices are up.

The solopreneur was stuck having to decide, work 9-5 for $60k a year (before taxes) likely with a commute or work at your own pace in a manner that fits you for $40 – $120k with taxes subject to your expenses (S Corp). The solopreneur lives in their community, can operate with significantly less overhead and pivots to solutions as they are introduced to the market. This means the business owner can get the website that was presented to him for $10k for $2k and in many cases will have someone who has a stronger relationship and understanding of that business and the community it serves. After all, why would they work for you, if they can work for themselves and do it for less with more freedom.

Starting to understand the wisdom vs. knowledge analogy?

This is at the heart of the current issue facing the United States economy, the balance between the two is swinging at the far ends of both, after all the best talent isn’t going to come to work for a corporation for less than what they can make for themselves and that’s not even giving consideration to the ego and freedom of being an independent business owner. The issue they face of “lack of corporate support” is vanishing in some industries like marketing as companies like Google and Constant Contact have now built entire service systems around training independent agencies and consultants, in many cases better than larger agencies can. This is nothing new to companies like AVON, Amway and Lia Sophia who have built their entire business model on helping independent business owners be the best trained service agents the world has to offer in their industry.   

How can the United States fix the economy is they don’t understand the change Digital has had on business? Policies that have been initiated by traditional models don’t fit when the middle market talent is rewarded by competing with the corporations they would have gone to work for. Now take into account laws and restrictions for some industries that just don’t fit into things like mobile and social marketing and you have a big issue facing the future of business in the United States, who regulates this?

The Case for Regulation

I hate to say it, but business is suffering from the two extremes; First there is the inflated expenses from a corporation product or service that is caused by unorganized management, poor execution and in most cases unneeded overhead. It doesn’t seem to get better when that product or service comes from an independent consultants who in many cases means well but can’t provide the actual solution their offering.

What’s worse? Is it the $10k for a website that really should be priced at $2k – $5k that prevents a business from spending money in other ways to make use of that tool to generate new business, made even worse by the those that can’t come up with that investment. Perhaps it’s a website at $2k – $5k that doesn’t have the branding and structure to build new business, missing the simple basics like digital call to actions, social and search integration and other data and lead capture features. In either case the business on the purchasing side is facing an issue that prevents their business from seeing digital success.

It leaves the digital industry in flux as corporations and agencies have been as guilty for selling junk solutions to offset their losses on traditional products as those overnight solopreneurs and consultants that are offering budget solutions that don’t work either.

In the end, digital media is a necessity of business. If business owners don’t find ways to incorporate digital strategies into their product offerings, services and brand story they’re not going to be in business for long. In many cases, without a digital strategy most businesses will never reach their full potential. If these business owners don’t know how to tell a legitimate provider from a scarlet corporation or consultant it too will destroy their business. It’s not just consultants and agencies either, it can be a standalone service, something like say Groupon?

We have regulations and oversight for Insurance, Healthcare, Telecommunications, Banking and so on. It’s time someone stepped in and set a standard for the bare minimum before you can represent the service for sale to a business or a consumer. It shouldn’t restrict competition and creativity, but it should set a standard for minimum practices to represent yourself as a provider in the industry and to think I haven’t even touched the issue of individuals or companies teaching or offering training in it. It’s scary when in most cases they themselves clearly don’t know what they are doing with it and have no professional development experience or training with education learning objectives or adult learning practices.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

E-Mail Marketing – The First Social Network

Email -- The First Social NetworkE-mail has been around since before the dawn of the internet.  That’s right, in the early 1970’s, the Federal Government was sending messages through the United States Department of Defense network, which handled over 30 million messages per month.

As we began to move more onto the information super-highway, services like Compuserve, Prodigy, and America On-Line began to proliferate, making it incredibly easy for everyone to have an e-mail address.  In fact, at the height of AOL’s dominance, they had over 30 million members worldwide (they only serve about 2.9 million subscribers, as of October 2012).  In contrast, Facebook has over 1 billion members, as of September 2012.

What made e-mail so “social” was the ease at which your messages could be forwarded to your entire address book.  If you wanted to share with friends and family, all you had to do was hit the “forward” button, and they were all able to participate in the discussion.

Fast forward to today, and most businesses are marketing through e-mail, but that doesn’t mean that they are “doing it right.”  Just using this “social network” isn’t enough.  We need to ensure that our e-mail marketing is accomplishing its goals of increased business, increased lead generation, and increased market share.  The big question, then, is what are some best practices in e-mail marketing?

Best Practices

1. Write compelling Subject Lines

  • Keep it short and simple and incorporate the benefit of opening the e-mail.

2. Set your objective and then choose the appropriate frequency

  • Are you trying to promote, inform, or relate to your audience?

3. Call your audience to action

  • You are sending the e-mail for a reason.  Make sure they know it.

4. Make sure they recognize the “From” address

  • They may know your company name, but not yours.  Make sure the email comes from someone they “know.”

5. Keep your main message and call to action “above the fold”

  • This is “news speak” for making sure that the important information is seen without scrolling the message.

6. Be mindful of mobile devices

  • Statistics say that 38% of email is opened on a mobile device and only 33% is opened on a desktop, so make sure the fonts and images will look good on your recipients mobile devices.

7.  Make sure to use alt-text for your logo and pictures

  • This is text that describes the pictures and logos should images be turned-off on your web browser, smart phone or e-mail client.  That way your recipient knows what should be in the image’s place.

In addition to the tips above, always make sure that you are abiding by the “Can-Spam Act”, which requires the following:

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information;
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines;
  3. Tell recipients where you are located;
  4. Honor opt-out requests;
  5. There needs to be a relationship between the sender and receiver.

If you follow these best practices and requirements, then your e-mail marketing is on the right track to continuing the social nature of e-mail marketing.

What subject lines to you find work the best? The worst?  Do you feel that you get too much e-mail?  Sound off in the comments below.

 

Resources:

Wikipedia – Email

Wikipedia – AOL

Constant Contact – The Value of E-Mail Marketing Video

9 Email Marketing Best Practices to generate More Leads

CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business

Constant Contact

AWeber

MailChimp

Mobile email usage statistics

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

“How to Be Awesome” – Scott Stratten of Unmarketing

“How to Be Awesome” – Scott Stratten of Unmarketing on Marketing Made Simple TV

In this show (Maximize the view for optimal viewing), with a great white paper offer from Find New Customers (http://www.findnewcustomers.com) Scott Stratten of Unmarketing, (http://www.unmarketing.com) shares key tips from his Book of Business Awesome.

Here’s what you will learn in this show.

  1. Why companies aren’t awesome – people are.
  2. A great example of awesomeness.
  3. Common mistakes made by companies in social media.

We thank Scott for appearing on the show. Check out Scott’s new book, The Book of Business Awesome/The Book of Business UnAwesome. Amazon has an unbelievably low price on this great book!

Marketing Made Simple TV premieres every Thursday at noon ET at Marketing Made Simple TV (http://www.marketingmadesimple.tv) and at many syndication sites, including Digital Ethos, Social Media Today, Business2Community, and CMO.com. This enables the show to reach a potential audience of over 1,000,000 people each week. Companies who wish to reach this massive audience should visit Sponsorship/Advertising Opportunities on Marketing Made Simple TV or just send an email to host at marketingmadesimple.tv.

About Jeff Ogden

Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is the President of the B2B lead generation consultancyFind New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies dramatically improve revenue results by transforming the way they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or sending an email to sales at findnewcustomers.com.

Engaging the B2B Buyer with a Digital Strategy

Jacqui Kearns of D&B on Marketing Made Simple TV

Engaging B2B Buyers w Jacqui Kearns of D&B on Marketing Made Simple TV

Join VP of Digital Marketing, Jacqui Kearns as she shares tips on creating a digital strategy to engage B2B buyers on Marketing Made Simple TV. (http://www.marketingmadesimple.tv) Click the full screen button for optimal viewing experience. This show is sponsored by Hoovers, a Dun and Bradstreet company and includes an offer of 200 free leads. Click the button in the show to accept this great offer.

Engaging B2B buyers should be built upon 3 foundational elements.

You will learn how to use these three:

  1. How to integrate online and offline advertising, inc radio and calls to action.
  2. Why search engine marketing matters inc long tail
  3. Leveraging non-paid channels and understanding buyers.4) How to leverage technology like Eloqua (http:www.eloqua.com) to engage buyers.

Marketing Made Simple TV is produced by Find New Customers and hosted by Jeff Ogden, President of Find New Customers.

Marketing Made Simple TV is sponsored by Avitage, DigitalEthos, Communication Strategy Group, and Watchtoo and publishes a new show every Thursday at noon ET at Marketing Made Simple TV and all of our syndication sites. Tune in each week to learn from the very best!

About Jeff Ogden

Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is the President of the B2B lead generation consultancyFind New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies dramatically improve revenue results by transforming the way they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or sending an email to sales at findnewcustomers.com.

Constant Contact: eMail Marketing [INTERNSHIP]

Constant contact is an online marketing company that allows you to stay connected with your customers all around the world. With the world rapidly moving their marketing towards the web, constant contact is a great way to anticipate new customers. They offer their services primarily to small businesses, membership associations, and nonprofit organizations. Constant contact is known for their dependable email marketing. Their main goal is to help their customers find new customers, drive repeat business, and generate referrals.

Email marketing is basically sending email messages with a purpose of attracting new customers, or enhancing the relationships with current customers. Email marketing through constant contact is a great reliable way for your company to grow. With features that allow you to have a professional look, constant contact’s email marketing is more effective than regular email. No technical skills are required to create a professional looking email because constant contact offers over 400 templates to choose from. Creating newsletters are simple and fast so you can send them much more frequently than paper ones.

In order to effectively get your prospectors to respond, differentiate your data base and create smaller customer lists based on their shared interests. After you’ve done that, send them relevant information that pertains to them. This will get more of a chance for them to actually act upon your emails. The emails you send are easy to forward so if you target your audience and their interested, there’s no doubt they’ll click the forward button. This will get you referrals much more easily and allow your company to grow.

A cool feature constant contact’s email marketing offers is tracking and reporting. After you send an email you are able to see who read, clicked, or forwarded your email. This allows you to understand what the people you’re trying to contact are really interested about. You can then go back and tailor your content the best possible way for your targeted audience.

Besides the email templates constant contact offers, they also offer list management and free coaching. List management is a tool that allows you to organize and grow your contact list by combing multiple lists and segmenting them based on an audience with common interests. This is a much easier way to send out a mass email because the lists are already narrowed down to a targeted audience. If you’re having trouble with email marketing through constant contact, they offer free personal coaching and support at anytime. They present webinars, guides, and podcasts to go further in detail about email marketing and how it can boost your businesses customer service.

Constant contact is the new marketing success formula that helps create and grow customer relationships in today’s socially connected world. It’s an easy reliable way for your business to keep a strong communication line. If you use constant contact’s email marketing the right way, your customers will share your emails with their networks therefore making your business grow.

Sources:

http://www.constantcontact.com/index.jsp

http://landing.constantcontact.com/goog-grow-with-email-marketing-ad?utm_id=GOO-100846&cc=GOO-100846&gclid=CPXIgL3ZybMCFQOf4AodzQMA7A

http://www.constantcontact.com/email-marketing/what-is-email-marketing/index.jsp

http://www.constantcontact.com/about-constant-contact/index.jsp

The content in this article is part of Digital Ethos’s Digital Media Education in the Higher Education Internship Program, the content was created by @KaylaMarzo, a Student at Suffolk County Community college, intern at Digital Ethos.

About Digital Media Education Internship

Digital Media Education Internship Program is an outreach initiative for Digital Ethos.

Devon Edwards and Phil Sharp on Digital Business Hour

 

Devon Edwards

Served more than 15 years in the Armed Forces and upon retiring from Military went to Film school. Attended and graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Film. Worked as an Assistant Editor on 2 Independent Feature films: “Blessed and Cursed” ( DVD at Wal-Mart, Red Box, On Demand, and Netflix), “Dreams” (currently in market with Major Production Companies). Worked on several Chicagoland Chevy Commercials, Concerts, DVD recordings of artists such as Phil Tarver, Chris Searcy, Vicky Yohe, Mali Music, etc. Currently pursuing MFA at DePaul University in Cinema Productions. Lastly, but certainly not least is that I am launching own Film Company “Inspire-Films” Coming Soon.

Phil Sharp

A recent study from researchers at Wharton, Yale and Harvard suggests that when you’re pressed for time, a great way to be more productive is to help others. Yet, when you’re busy, lending a helping hand is often low on your priority list.
That’s why Good Deed Time was created.
Every week our members are emailed one specific good deed to accomplish. With all of us focused on accomplishing the same good deed, we’re bound to make people smile, make a difference in the world, and make ourselves more productive.

Quick facts:

-We have spent absolutely no money promoting the site. All sign ups have come through social media channels, community powered sites, and word of mouth.

-So far we’ve send letters and packages to a young girl with leukemia, sent supplies to the Atlanta Humane Society, and wrote letters of thanks to military families.

Why B2B Marketers Need to Act More Like B2C Marketers

Paul Dunay on Marketing Made Simple TV

In this show, sponsored by Eloqua (with a great content offer of the Real World Marketing Syllabus by Aberdeen. Download it with this link or the button in the show), Paul Dunay, VP of Global Marketing at Maxymizer, shares five ways B2B Marketers need to start acting more like B2C Marketers (Click the link to read Paul’s article at BtoBOnline.com.) in this interview with Jeff Ogden of Find New Customers. Here are the five things in B2B marketing that needs to emulate B2C Marketing.

  1. B2B website design is outdated. Needs to be designed for people, and not companies. (Case in point, when Find New Customers slashed words on its home page from 550 down to just 28, registrations of the flagship white paper, How to Find New Customers shot up by 500%! It works!)
  2. Start testing, seriously. Marketing needs a serious focus on testing
  3. Treat your content like a category. Get rid of the Resources tab and re-organize your content in approaches for people.
  4. Employ deeper search and sort capabilities.
  5. Allow product reviews. Welcome interaction with people. Let them share comments, like Amazon reviews.

We thank Paul for appearing on the show. You can follow him at @pauldunay on Twitter. And we also thank our other sponsors – Avitage (Great video content marketing firm), Communication Strategy Group (Brandtelling), Digital Ethos (non-profit marketing education) and Watchitoo (streaming media conferencing and the show platform.)

About Jeff Ogden

Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is the President of the B2B lead generation consultancyFind New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies dramatically improve revenue results by transforming the way they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or sending an email to sales at findnewcustomers.com.

Marc Ensign on Digital Business Hour


Marc EnsignMarc is an Internet Marketing geek specializing in search engine optimization, social media and digital design. His approach to success in search engine optimization and social media is based on embracing the rules as opposed to finding the temporary holes. While everyone else is looking for the easy way out, his methodology is based on putting in the work up front and building sustainable success. Matt Cutts from Google publicly called his strategy “solid” while those that he has worked with have actually benefited from the recent Google algorhythm updates. Marc has a blog where he writes a lot of nifty stuff around Internet Marketing, although he has been known to sneak something in there about his previous time spent as a professional musician. He used to be a fairly successful musician a few years ago…He performed on Broadway, recorded an album with R. Kelly and wrote a bunch of books. In everything Marc does, he tries to keep the language pretty geek-free to make sure that everyone can benefit from what he is speaking about.

The Path to Better Marketing Results: Laura Patterson and Julie Schwartz

Just Add Data | The Path to Better Marketing Results – Laura Patterson and Julie Schwartz on Marketing Made Simple TV

Welcome to Marketing Made Simple TV in High Definition!

ITSMA research shows that marketing organizations that leverage data in their strategic and tactical decision making have a business performance advantage. Data-savvy organizations are better able to improve their average time to revenue and decrease their sales costs per order dollar. But what does it take to be data-savvy?

Join show host Jeff Ogden with Laura Patterson of VisionEdge Marketing (https://www.visionedgemarketing.com/) and Julie Schwartz Senior Vice President, Research and Thought Leadership, ITSMA for a fascinating chat about the results of a study of B2B marketers.

You will gain insight into how you and your peers use marketing data, metrics, and analytics to inform marketing decisions, predict buyer behavior, improve marketing performance, and forecast trends.

Download the Revenue Performance Management – Demystified guide from Eloqua at http://bit.ly/RPMDemist or click the button in the show.

We thank Laura and Julie for appearing on this show, as well as sponsors such as Avitage, Digital Ethos, Communication Strategy Group and Eloqua. Marketing Made Simple TV premieres a new show every Thursday at noon ET/9am PT.

Love the show? Then we invite you to join the Marketing Made Simple TV Fan Club.

About Jeff Ogden

Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is the President of the B2B lead generation consultancyFind New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies dramatically improve revenue results by transforming the way they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or sending an email to sales at findnewcustomers.com.

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