Facebook Declares Sponsored Stories Their Primary Ad Unit

Traditionally, Facebook has been reluctant to fill up its social content feeds and streams with ads. However, they have rolled out Sponsored Stories for ad units. This new option will open up a viable new ad inventory that can include placements on the home page.

Facebook’s Platform for Marketers

Although Facebook is just past it’s 8 year mark since launch, it is still a rather new platform on which marketers can share their message, products or services.  Until recently, the method for spreading that message was the same as usual, create your message and share it with your most targeted audience. This seems to have left the medium and the message itself, out of sync. Expected results ensued. Most folks do not sign onto Facebook to be advertised to, or to look for places to purchase items of interests. Those who used conversion tracking were given a clear picture, the standard Facebook ads did not work. Shortly afterwards, social metrics were introduced in place of conversion tracking.

Many believe that if marketers can learn how to leverage the unique opportunity offered by Sponsored Stories, that they can thrive on Facebook.

Facebook’s Social Content Streams

While Facebook has traditionally be averse to filling their social content stream with ads, they recently began offering their Sponsored Stories ad units in the fully site wide ticker that includes real-time social activities and stories. The thoughts behind the benefits are that this will open up a valuable new ad inventory that includes placements on the users home page. So while they do remain as paid ads, the Sponsored Stories actually display your ad in a friends or your page users’ “Likes” which avoids the less invasive and annoying standard ads.

There may be the unintentional side effect that some viewers and users are not expecting advertisements to escape the confines of the lowly right sidebar, but in general, so far, the ads have proven to be quite effective for social advertising. Current ad units allow brands to purchase additional exposure, however, beginning in August, Facebook began blending the Sponsored Stories in with things like the game apps friends are using, or specific content they are following using other canvas apps.

How Do I Use Sponsored Ads to My Advantage?

There are several ways that marketers can take advantage of the ad units offered in Sponsored Stories. This includes several ad types where marketers or small business owners with Facebook pages can select from the type of ad that works best for their product or services.

Marketers will now be able to customize Facebook ads to their specific needs with only a few basic restrictions. The ad content must still complete with Facebook guidelines. Any images must be properly sized and formatted, and ad text must be 90 characters or fewer.

The marketer will get to target the perimeters that will determine the overall reach of the standard ad. With zero perimeters set that would mean that all of Facebook’s almost 1 billion users could see it. However, that would also be a phenomenal waste of money when highly detained perimeters can be set to target the exact demographics that are relevant to your product. The ad can be targeted so specifically that marketers can choose settings that will enable their ad to reach anywhere from 1 user to the over 850 million now on Facebook.

The 6 Types of Facebook Sponsored Stories

There are six different types of Sponsored Story ads to choose from.

Page Like Story

Page like ads are those where a user has “Liked” your page directly from the box on your website or from Facebook.

Page Post Like Story

This is where one of your fans has “Liked” one of your post in the past seven days.

App Used and Game Played Story

This means someone has played your game or used your app at least twice for a minimum of ten minutes in the past month.

App Share Story

This means that someone has shared a story from your app in the past seven days.

Check-In Story

A check-in story is where a user checked-in or claimed a deal in the last seven days at one of the Facebook claimed places.

Domain Story

A domain story means that a user shared a piece of content from your website using the Share button, shared a piece of your content using the “Like” button, or pasted a link to your site in their status window, in the last seven days.


@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education (dbmei.com). Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.


Revolution of Social Data [Infographics]

Marketing has evolved from mass media to social media, broadcasting to curating and now demographic data to social data. What is social data and why is it important to marketers? Social data is anything and everything collected from social network profiles and behaviors i.e. logins, sharing, gender, interests, age, etc…

Companies understand the value in social media. According to the Social Media 2012 Industry Report by Social Media Examiner, a significant 83% of marketers believe that social media is important to their business. Companies work hard socializing and driving traffic to their websites. However, what most companies don’t realize is that they can unearth the vast amount of data contained in the online social footprints that their consumers leave behind. Utilizing this data to maximize marketing output and increase ROI is called Social Data Strategy.

The following diagram illustrates the role that social data plays in the marketing strategy process.

Download a PDF version of the above Infographics.

With the right tools to collect, analyze and take action; social consumer intelligence can have an impactful effect on businesses. It might inspire a new product, help with the messaging of a radio campaign or simply help communicate to customers in a more meaningful way. See more examples in my blog 4 Examples of Driving Marketing Strategies with Social Login Analytics.

Andreas Weigend, Professor at Stanford University and former Chief Scientist at Amazon identifies this time as a Revolution of Social Data because it “fundamentally alters the relationship between buyers and sellers” forcing marketers to think differently. At the foundation of a social data strategy, Weigend states that a marketer must:

  1. Address each customer as an individual, not as a target.
  2. Design campaigns to encourage social sharing.
  3. Recognize how social data influences decision making, everything from how to create and sell products to how you acquire and lose customers.

The social data era is upon us! How will you leverage it?

Your turn! Do you see social data playing a role in your marketing decision-making?


Lanoba provides easy registration for website users by giving them the option to log in to your website via their existing social network accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, among others. Lanoba captures permission-based profile & behavioral data, then aggregates, stores and presents it in powerful analytics helping drive ROI through targeted marketing campaigns. Follow Lanoba on Twitter @lanoba.


I’d Like to Buy a Friend for $25.00, Pat

Sounds like a line from Wheel of Fortune.  Buying vowels to increase the likelihood that you will solve the puzzle. And it definitely works.  After all, the more letters you had, the more likely you were to solve the puzzle.

But, does this work in social media?  Will you increase the likelihood of selling more products or services if you purchase your fans and followers?  Unfortunately, I’m not sure there is a definite answer to this.  I am sure it is a morally grey area (and not permitted by Twitter’s Terms of Service).

By purchasing fans or followers, you will increase your reach.  You will also offer the perception that you are “bigger” or more “popular” than you actually are.  But is this a bad thing?

On May 17th, an article by Bill Rundle appeared in Ragan’s PR Daily entitled, “PR Pro:  I Bought Twitter Followers” and I began to wonder of the validity to the theory that we are only as good as the number of followers/fans that we have.  The author did just that.  He began a new twitter account to accompany a new blog he had begun.  In the beginning, he was having trouble gaining traction, as he was only attracting friends to follow and he was stuck at 30 for some time.  He then decided to run an experiment whereby he would purchase 2,000 followers to see if this increased the number of followers he could attract.  After all, he admits (as do I) to looking at people’s follower count before deciding to follow them.

As his experiment went on, his following increased, he had perceived credibility.  But, isn’t social media about building based upon word of mouth?  Were these newly acquired followers really helping him spread his influence?  Maybe.  Since people were now following him based upon his perceived value, he was increasing his reach.

So, is it a bad thing to be perceived as bigger than you are?  I was speaking with a potential client today about just that very thing.  Except we were talking about registrations.  Doesn’t it look better if lots of people are registered for an event?  It makes that event seem like something you would be crazy to miss.

Buying fans and followers will accomplish the same thing.  But, they won’t be engaged fans and followers.  They will be just a number.  And, as an aside, according to Mr. Rundle, Twitter removed the followers he bought after the story appeared.

So, should you buy fans and followers?  I don’t believe so.  It takes hard work to build a business, and it takes hard work to build a following.  A following of people who believe in what you do, and are willing to help you spread your message.  Honestly, and without concern for their own benefit.

It takes time to build the trust we need to succeed in a social economy.  And, you can’t buy trust.

Have you purchased fans or followers?  Was it worth it?  Would you consider it?  What do you think of it?


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.


The Hard Truth about Facebook: Why the Facebook IPO looks like a Bad Investment

  • Facebook Does Not Produce any Content
  • Facebook May be Maxed Out!
  • Facebook Lacks Innovation
  • Facebook Does Not Replace a Conversation!

Facebook DOES NOT Produce Any Content!

We have been told time and time again, “Content is King”. As an avid digital user, I have found this to be absolutely true. You may be hard pressed to find many who disagree. If this holds true, then Facebook is the biggest flakey investment you can make, in fact, it shouldn’t even survive much longer.

Facebook capitalized on technology – it was a place for people to come to connect and learn. This was at a time when content was still struggling to make its way to digital avenues. In fact, iTunes was in its infancy and did not even hit the top spot until 2008. This gave Facebook the edge as The Place to interact and learn. Think about content producers like the NY Times, they too, were late to the digital era.

What is Facebook and how does it generate revenue?

Users that create content! Every time you participate in Facebook you give them content. This was a fair tradeoff in 2008, perhaps even in 2011, but times are changing. If 2012 is the year of content, then Facebook may be in trouble. While there is likely not going to be a wild withdraw from Facebook at this moment, trust me when I say content providers are starting to see the value in limiting their content and perhaps even withdrawing future content from social sites like Facebook.

If the NY Times stops posting on Facebook, the NY Times will still have increases in readers and perhaps an increase in viewers. It’s arguable about whether or not the NY Times has made a terrible error in posting anything to Facebook. If I know that I count on the NY Times for my “content” but also know that I have the NY Times in my Newsfeed on Facebook, than I am much less likely to visit the NY Times app, website or open the email because I am counting on seeing the NY Times content on my stream. In fact, I even get a small preview that will likely let me know what the “content” is about and so there is no reason to visit the NYTimes.com or their app on my iPad. This is arguably a terrible business model for the NY Times!

The same can be said about entertainment – TV shows, Movies and Artists (i.e. musicians) that get little or nothing for producing “content” for Facebook. Why should Britney Spears keep placing “content” on Facebook? It’s not like Britney Spears needs 910 Million people to be introduced to her, does she? In fact even if only half of her “likes” turned into paid subscriptions at $1, she would have a entirely new revenue stream just based on the “content” already being produced.

Facebook May be Maxed Out!

We all know there is a peak in every business and venture but at 900 million how much further can you really grow? In fact, by recent number indications, Facebook may already be slowing down. Getting 900 million to pay attention to you is one thing, getting them to stay is another. As a Facebook user I admit I already spend a massive amount of time on Twitter and LinkedIn in comparison to Facebook. When Pinterest came out I gave up more of my Facebook time, not the other two!

Why are other Social Sites stronger then Facebook? They have a niche! Facebook has tried to be all things to all users and that’s gotten them lost! LinkedIn is where we go to do business and professional networking, Twitter is the top choice for news and chatting – after all you’ve never heard of a FacebookUp have you? Ever attended a virtual conversation on Facebook? In fact, Facebook completely dropped the ball when GooglePlus captured the world’s attention with Hangout! When you try to be everything to everybody you end up being no use to anyone, that’s Facebook’s grim future right now.

Note: Google may be the exception (Search and Social Come Together)

Facebook Lacks innovation

Let’s face it, when you fail to innovate you tend to open the door and show yourself out, Facebook showed early signs of that when Twitter was released. That was arguably the start of Facebook’s Why didn’t we think of that? Well lets copy it or better yet buy it!

The list goes on and on, Facebook got its status updates from Twitters innovation, Facebook Places developed from FourSquare and GoWalla, which was such a failure that later they bought GoWalla. Google Plus quickly trumped them with Video Chat and so Facebook tried to copy it. Once Facebook realized that Google was way too big and they could never compete with the inbound marketing of the search Giant, we then had a short lived Bing/Facebook Social Search integration. You love Google Video Ads, well Facebook copied that too. Fan of being able to Pin It! so is Facebook. If you really love the fact that a picture is worth a thousand words, then that’s the equivalent of a billion dollars as that’s what Instagram was acquired for, by Facebook!

We could talk about the business model, but after all the news about retailers flocking to Facebook pages and then running away clearly it’s not a primary place for business, no matter how many times they try to tell you it is.

Facebook is clearly over extended and in complete chaos with its inability to innovate beyond its checkbook. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have value in marketing and advertising, after all 900 million emails is a safe list, just one that might not be quite as valuable as we have been lead to believe.

Facebook Does Not Replace a Conversation!

 It is possible that in the near future society  will hinder Facebook forever, a status update is not a conversation. Networking, Learning and Communications are greatly hindered by the existence of Facebook and its just a matter of time before our nation and communities around the globe shun Facebook as a major contributor to health issues and conflict. Facebook has little if any reality in it, it is a place for people to share what they choose, trying to showcase themselves, their family and their lives in the best light possible even if it is the furthest thing from the truth.

One might enjoy the idea that grandparents can see their grandchildren through the curation of an edited and extremely biased feed, the truth however could range from basic struggles to life threatening abuse that fails to get discovered from a lack of real world contact.

If you’re a friend, family member or loved one, I hope you don’t mistake the value of real life contact with the purpose of a feed. I most especially hope it’s not at the cost of a future or a life.

The Balanced Truth

While I spent most of the time looking at a few of the issues that will impact Facebook’s survival, I don’t want to be unfair. Facebook is a great tool, but it’s just that, a tool! Facebook has connected people like never before, contributed to the free dissemination of information and pioneered Social Media into the revolution of digital communications. However, it’s just software.

Facebook cannot replace real life communications or the desperate need we have for them as part of our existence. No child will be born because of Facebook, no war will be stopped, no product will be manufactured by it, and no business will grow simply because they were on Facebook.

Children come from physical contact, wars are averted through communication that requires we hear, see, touch and smell each other. Facebook is not going to get on the assembly line and build your Ford, stove or Mobile Phone. Facebook will not report the news, and ask the tough questions. Facebook will not repair your roof or rescue you during an emergency. Facebook will not raise a child, nurture them, inspire them and provide for them. No business will be successful because they got on Facebook, that’s up to the entrepreneur, their vision, passion and hard work. 

I am taken in awe by Facebook’s Innovation to come to existence and serve a purpose, it has changed lives, some for better some for worse. Facebook has value and can be used as an effective tool, just not one that a reasonably educated and experienced person can see growing much further. Facebook has been a consumer of great ideas and innovative content, but that’s the problem, it consumes, it doesn’t create.


@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education (dbmei.com). Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.


***Disclaimer, The article is meant to share the opinion of the author based on availble informations and data, it is not an investment tool.***

Using Social Media for Brand Awareness

Cost-effective and powerful, social media is changing the way companies network. That’s because many businesses today are finding that connections made on sites like Facebook, Twitter and blogs are allowing them to better communicate with customers, more effectively draw in new leads and, over all else according to a July 2010 survey, increase customer awareness of their brand.

How does this work? How can you leverage the power of social networks to expand your brand’s influence and reach? Check out these five practical ideas!

  • Know Your Brand. Before you can promote your brand, you need to have a solid understanding of what it is. Ask yourself what distinguishes you company from others, what you offer that no one else does, what makes you valuable. Then, find a way to promote those benefits across all your marketing materials, from your logo to your website to your Twitter profile, in order to communicate a strong sense of your brand.
  • Establish a Solid, Branded Web Presence. Your website is your single most important online branding tool, the place where all your other marketing tools will direct. With a strong Web presence, your company has a resource that means better search rankings for increased traffic, increased leads and higher conversion rates.
  • Go Where Your Audience Is. A big part of being able to effectively reach your audience is understanding who they are. Is your audience active on Pinterest? Instagram? Facebook? Go where they are and join their conversations in order to expose them to your brand—and to enhance your scope of influence, offer something that meets their needs, whether tips, answers or links to helpful resources.
  • Connect with Online Influencers. Identify the people in your industry who are most influential and work to build relationships with them. Follow them on Twitter, respond to their posts on blogs and Facebook, email them when you have something valuable to say. By connecting with these influencers, you help expand your company’s reach.
  • Keep at It. A strong social media presence isn’t built overnight—in order to develop a loyal following, you have to earn it. Be consistent about posting on your social profiles so that users come to trust and respect your contributions; if you don’t, you run the risk of harming your reputation rather than helping it. If you can’t keep up with a profile, it’s better not to start it.

What do you think—could social media be a game changer for your brand? Take advantage of these tips to watch your presence expand!


Shanna Mallon is a writer for Straight North, a leader among Chicago marketing firms. She writes for clients in various B2B industries, from merchant processing solutions to Kevlar welding gloves. Check out the Straight North blog! @straightnorth


Using Content Calendars

Content is king.  Everyone says so, going back to Bill Gates in 1996.  So, it must be true.  But how do you keep track of your content and when you are going to post to your blog and the various social media platforms that you engage with?

Content calendars.  That’s how.  A “content” or “editorial” calendar is just geek-speak for a schedule outlining what content will get posted when.  And for any blog, the time spent preparing a content calendar will make the process of writing and posting that much easier.

It’s not easy for small businesses to come up with ideas for blogging and posting to the various social networks.  It takes time and commitment to come up with ideas, goals, and solutions to share with your network, and a content calendar can help put all of this in order.

What are the benefits of preparing an editorial calendar?

  1. Planning.  An editorial calendar allows you to see the month at a glance and know what needs to be written when.  It makes it a necessity instead of a maybe.
  2. Structure.  Using an editorial calendar ensures that you will always be aware of when your posts are due and allows you to think ahead.
  3. Commitment.  Writing a blog and participating in social media are not “set-it and forget-it” projects.  They take time, energy, and commitment, and having an editorial calendar quantifies that commitment.  It tells you things need to get done on schedule.
  4. Themes.  An editorial calendar allows you to set-up your writing and posting schedule to cover consecutive topics, so that you aren’t just writing for the sake of writing.
  5. Variety.  A content calendar allows you an overview of what is published over a set period of time, and allows for variations in the medium.  Maybe it’s a blog post on Tuesday and a video on Thursday that reinforces the blog.  The calendar allows you to see the forest for the trees.

How do I create a content calendar?

All projects start with one thing – a goal.  In order to know where you are going, you need to have a roadmap for the trip.  You need to know where your efforts will take your clients and prospective clients.  After you have decided on your goal, you need to determine how often you will be posting and interacting.  If it’s a blog calendar, will you be posting daily?  Weekly?  What time of day works best for your audience?  Will you post in the morning, afternoon, or evening?  What do they expect?  Once you know the how and the when, you need to decide on the “what” of your publishing.  The best advice is to come up with themes for every week or month that you will be publishing.  Maybe this month you will speak about Facebook.  Next month, it’s GooglePlus.

Knowing your goals, your timing, and your themes in advance will take blogging from a chore to something that is done regularly, with specificity.

To make it even easier, there are many plug-ins available for various blogging platforms to help with this task, and I have listed some resources for them, below.  I have also recently found a company called DivvyHQ, the spreadsheet-free editorial calendar application, and they offer a free version to try out.  I have signed up, and will be giving them a run-through myself.

Are you using an editorial calendar?  Have you found it helpful?  Any other tips to offer?  Please make sure to share.


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.


What’s All The Plus About?

That’s Google Plus to you and I, and I had been wondering what all the fuss was about Google Plus.  Been wondering about it for about one year (I actually started my first Google Plus account the week it began).  It is only within the last few weeks that I have been seeing the benefits to yet another social network (insert exasperated sigh here). But it took reading two books by greater minds than mine to make me see the light.  But I digress…

Google Plus is Google’s response to Facebook and Twitter, in fact many people liken G+ (as Google Plus is called) to a combination of the two behemoths.  As of now, there are between 60 and 80 million users  (they expect to hit 400 million by the end of 2012), with approximately 86 % male (as opposed to Pinterest which is 84% female). It is comprised of mostly “techie” people and social media types (60% identify themselves as web developers or software engineers).  And businesses have been able to create pages for only about 6 months.

So, why engage in yet another social network?  That was my exact question.  What would I get from G+ that I couldn’t get from Facebook and Twitter?

The answer is actually quite simple.

Great conversations.  With great minds.

After reading both What the Plus! Google Plus for the Rest of Us (amazon affiliate link), by Guy Kawasaki and Google Plus for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything (amazon affiliate link) by Chris Brogan, my attitude immediately changed.  Guy’s book is a perfect primer on how to start using G+ and how to set up and optimize your profile, and how to use and engage on G+ to its fullest.  I don’t think you will get a better beginner book than this one.  And Brogan’s book is a great outline on how to better put G+ to use to grow your business.  After all, he has completely abandoned Facebook in favor of G+.

So, what do they suggest?  Glad you asked.

Setting up your profile for success

The first place to start with any new social network is your profile.  It is the world’s first introduction to you and your personality.  It is the first thing I look at before I decide to like, follow, or circle you.  It tells me who you are and what I can expect from you on this platform.  And the best way to start this is with a picture.  Not a picture of an egg (the default Twitter icon), and not a picture of your dog.  A picture of you.  A decent picture of you.  One from the shoulders up, so that if we meet at an event, there is already that feeling of familiarity. Even think about using a similar picture throughout your entire social presence, so that if I follow you on twitter, and we are friends on Facebook, I know you are you.

About You

The next most important aspect of a G+ profile is the “about” section.  This is where you tell people who you are, where you work, how to contact you, and allows you to list websites and blogs that you write for.  In addition, you are given the opportunity to provide a headline, which is what people will see when they hover over your name within G+.

The about section is your chance for personality.  If you are a “reformed attorney,” say it.  If you like pie, tell us.  But tell us all about you.  There is nothing worse than a profile that indicates “male” and nothing more.  That tells me there is either nothing about you worth sharing or you don’t trust us enough to share with us.  It tells me you didn’t care enough about participating in G+ to take the time to fill out who you are.

Circle The Wagons

The final step in setting up your profile is the “circling”. What, you ask, is circling?  It’s “liking” and following all rolled into one.  It’s G+’s way of organizing your friends.  You create circles, and these circles are private (unless you choose to share them).  You can create circles based upon interest, people to follow, or even have one circle for “haters” if you wanted.  Go crazy.  Have as many as you want and name them anything.

Once you create your circles, you just have to move someone to a circle and you are following them.  You will see all of their updates in your “stream”. There is no requirement that they circle you back, although they most probably will.

And now the perfection of circles — you can share updates with only the people in specific circles, and you can prevent those people from restarting the content, and even commenting.  Yes, you can have small group discussions, just with. Specific circles.  And only those people will see it.

For example, let’s say your entire family is on G, and you have them in a circle called, “Family”.  You can plan your holiday dinner, by just sharing with your family circle.  And everyone in the circle can participate in real time.

Need to see each other face to face?  There’s an app for that.  G+ has something called “Hangouts” which allows you to video chat with up to 10 people at a time.  I know, WOW, right?

So, stop reading, and set up your Google Plus profile today and start circling all those great minds.  And don’t be afraid to engage them.  Both Chris Brogan and Guy Kawasaki respond on Google plus themselves.

Feel free to circle me on GooglePlus.  Are you using GooglePlus?  Finding success?  Not “seeing” it?  Let’s talk.


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 Use Google + — A Quick Guide and Thoughts on Google Plus

Why Twitter is Better Than Facebook for Marketing Yourself as a Freelancer

Working as a freelance writer means a lot of self-promotion. Really, working as a freelance anything means a lot of self-promotion. It is up to yourself to get your name and work out there for the world to see. You are, in a sense, a business. Fortunately, in this day, social media gives you the perfect platform for all the free self-promoting you could ask for. I can’t imagine how hard it was to begin a freelance career before the Internet existed.

As a rule, I would say that I use Facebook more than Twitter for entertainment. When it comes to marketing myself, however, I find that Twitter is a far more valuable asset than Facebook. While it certainly is a matter of opinion, there are a few reasons why I believe this and stand firm in this belief.

One: Facebook is focused around friends and relationships with friends. Twitter is more focused around businesses, magazines, and marketing. I find it is now used more often and successfully as a marketing tool than a social tool. The group of people that you communicate with on Twitter is normally very different than the group of people on Facebook. Sure, there might be some common friends and relatives, but they are the outliers. People and businesses that you do not know can follow your tweets without asking permission, which makes you more accessible to the public; much more so than on Facebook.

Two: Hashtags. Using the most popular hashtags makes you very accessible. When any Twitter user searches for a certain #hashtag, your tweet can show up and gain you another #follower. Therefore, you are in control of how viewable you are by which hashtags you use. Facebook has no such function. You are mainly viewed only by your friends, which tend to be acquaintances and not owners of businesses that could use your freelance abilities.

Three: Twitter keeps you relevant. Rather than seeing a lot of updates about what was eaten for breakfast or how annoying The Bachelor was last night, the updates that are viewed on Twitter tend to be more relevant to professional life. For one, because you are following more businesses, magazines, and blogs that pertain to your field (most likely), you are keeping up-to-date on the news, which makes you more valuable. Second, when you tweet back to certain posts, it helps to build relationships with said tweeter. All in all, you are networking virtually; hence the term “Social Network”.

While I believe that both platforms (as well as many other social media platforms) should be utilized to market yourself, I think Twitter has the leg up in this domain. It makes you more accessible to potential employers, and it is easier to network with said potential employers. When it comes to freelancing, getting your name and work out there is what is important. Once it is out there, opportunities will roll in. Life really is all about connections.


Megan Campbell has a degree from Clemson University in Graphic Communications, and is currently living in Germany during a Gap Year abroad, working as an au pair and freelance writer. Her degree set her up for a great interest and knowledge of social media. You can find her on her blog, balancewithadashofcrazy, or contact her via email at meganecamp at gmail dot com. You can also find Megan on Twitter @abalancedcrazy


The Path Less Taken: Google+

We’ve all heard about Google+; but to be quite honest, Google’s social network seemed to fizzle out after its release. It’s certainly no Facebook or Twitter, but that hasn’t stopped several major marketers from switching gears lately to focus on Google+. But why? Not only is Google+ no Twitter and Facebook, but February reports showed that the average Google+ user spends a total of 3 minutes on the site monthly. This compared to Facebook’s 405 minute average and Pinterest’s and Tumbler’s 100 minute average demonstrates Google+’s deceptive shortcoming . However, the reason marketers are turning their attention to this social networking platform is because Google+ is imperative in the world of social media and SEO, and here’ why.

Social Web Experience

Google+ is so much more than a social network as it gives users something new: a complete social web experience. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Google+ implements all of the services of Google into its social network: we’re talking Google Voice, Google Shopping, location filtered Google Search Engine Results, Google Video, photo sharing, and the list goes on. Google+ isn’t just about connecting with friends, it’s about connecting with the world. And in that connection, users share their personal and commercial experiences with the world, offering market researchers huge opportunities. And because Google+ is more than a social network, it is attractive and convenient to users. According to Google-plus.com, this is evident by the fact that by January 2012 Google+ was boasting 90 million active users worldwide, making it the 4th largest social networking platform in the world; and of course, one must take into account that this success comes only 6 months after the social network’s beta version was released.

Impact on the World of SEO

Two things make Google+ more important in the world of SEO than any other social network. First, because sharing and endorsing commercial items is both convenient and appealing to users, they are driven to participate; they this by utilizing Google+’s “+1” button. Through this utilization, users not only share public endorsement of products, services, websites, and the like on Google+ and websites, but through Google’s search engine; user’s Google+ friend’s +1 recommendations, if relevant, show up in their Google searches. Not to mention that the +1 button has been implemented into all results on Google’s search engine result pages; this is a big deal considering that Google holds more than 66 percent of the search engine market share, according to searchengineland.com.

Second, because everywhere we look features the +1 button, this means something big to SEO. Think about it. Google operates the majority of the search engine market. Millions of people flock to Google to query searches every day. Google+ and Google+1s directly affect SEO. Google owns Google+. Therefore it isn’t a far leap to assume that Google will give Google+ more weight in its algorithms than other social networks. So, put quite bluntly, anyone hoping to utilize SEO is completely and hopelessly dependent on Google and its secret algorithms.


Amber Paley is a guest post and article writer bringing to us information on why many marketers are turning their attention to Google+. Outraged by the prevalence of elder abuse in the U.S., Amber spends much of her professional life writing educational articles to help those affected by elder abuse find a good nursing home abuse lawyer. Amber’s social profile can be found at http://about.me/amberpaley


Bottlenose Surfs the Stream for You

For many with large social networks, reading through social feeds can begin to require the same time and energy as any other full-time job. This social media overload can be frustrating to those who are dependent upon their social networks for industry news, communication with friends and colleagues, or research purposes. How do you separate the videos from the web links? How do you filter through the spam, jokes, and memes to find the information you need.

Bottlenose may be a serious competitor in an industry that is filled with similar tools. Bottlenose allows you to filter your Facebook and Twitter streams by a specific set of criteria.

Bottlenose Custom Stream Filtering

c/o http://www.vexite.com/

Bottlenose allows users to create their own custom streams by:

  • Media Types – Videos, Web links, Images
  • Mentions – Messages and their relevance to you and your industry
  • Popularity – Topics that have been made popular by user aggregation, retweets, and shares

Users can also select actions to add such as apps that will play sounds when the stream updates. Although actions are a bit limited at the moment, Bottlenose relays that they have many more action options coming soon.

Sonar Term Clouds

This may be one element that sets Bottlenose above and beyond its competition. When you use the single column view tab, you can click on or observe any stream topic and the Bottlenose sonar will display a term cloud. You can control your term cloud in a variety of ways.

  • Changing Time Periods
  • Changing Term Density
  • Toggling People, Messages, Hashtags, and Topics

Users can zoom on their term clouds to open it in a feed. Clicking on the users relative to your account can also show you terms that are associated with that person, or even just let you view their feed.

Although Bottlenose is clearly in its relatively early stages, it seems to be growing up to be a very functional and useful stream aggregation tool.


@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education (dbmei.com). Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.


Digital Media Monthly

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