BuzzRocket's Blog

Google + for Brands

A hundred days after Google + gave brands the boot, they are welcoming businesses back with open arms. Today Google launched Google + Pages, allowing brands to establish their own pages to market their goods and services to its 40 million users. While Facebook boasts more than 700 million users, brands may be reaching a more captive, less saturated audience on Google +. Unlike Facebook, Google + Pages can add users to their circles, but only if the user adds the page first.

I just set up our company page (add treadsocial to your Circle … you won’t regret) and it was just like setting up a regular Google + profile. The only things I found confusing were:

  1. 1. Switching between my Profile and the company Page.
  2. Managing photos is terrible.
  3. I’m unclear as to whether or not you can create a branded url.

Should be interesting to see how this all pans out. Personally, I love Google +, but the thought of managing yet another page for another brand is giving me a headache. How do you think Google + Pages will impact brands online?

Social Media Week LA #SMWLA

Social Media Week Los Angeles (SMWLA) is part of an international, multi-city event “connecting people, content and conversations around emerging trends in social and mobile media.” SMWLA kicked off this morning with a welcome from Michael Terpin, city host of SMWLA, and founder/CEO of SocialRadius followed by  a keynote address from Robert Tercek, President, General Creativity and host, THIS WEEK IN MEDIA.

Tercek offered a great overview on social media’s impact on all of our lives, whether you have a Facebook account or not. It’s true. How we receive, process and delivered information has been completely revolutionized by social networks.

I, for one, am looking forward to hitting several events all week and getting actual FACE-TO-FACE time with like-minded people! I’m also hoping to be inspired and learn more, more, more.

Click here for the schedule of events. If you aren’t located in one of the hosts cities, no worries. You can stream the sessions from your computer.

And stay tuned for more updates from BuzzRocket!

Facebook changes … again. We can’t keep up!

It’s difficult for us to keep up with the ever-evolving Facebook functionalities … and we’re the experts! It seems every time you blink, Facebook has changed the way the behemoth social site works.

Earlier this year, Facebook announced a partnership with Skype and major changes in Chat, adding the ability to video chat (Has anyone actually done this???). We’ve seen Check-Ins enhanced with Bing maps, more accurate, branded location-based pages. We’ve seen Deals bite the dust.

And last week we saw a few major changes to the way you receive updates on your wall. Perhaps most interesting is the new Subscribe feature. People can now (if you allow them) follow your updates – a la Twitter follows. Gone are the days of waiting for Pete Cashmore to finally accept my friend request. Now I can see his updates and even post on his wall. As a subscriber, you can select which types of updates you want to follow. As a publisher, your public updates can only be subscribed to, and you must elect to have this ability – it’s not an automatic feature.

Facebook also launched Smart Lists, self created lists that make it easier to manage your friends lists. For marketers, these Smart Lists function much like the Page Lists that were recently added to the left navigation on the Newsfeed page. The Smart Lists are automatically updated, making your Newsfeed a one-stop shop for updates across your Facebook account. This feature also allows the user to organize friends as “Close Friends” or “Acquaintances,” making their newsfeed more relevant. Users can also share stories with select groups within his or her Friend Lists, which allows for a little more privacy. All of this should also allow for better friend suggestions to help Facebook users build a better network.

We’re not sure what this will mean for brands on Facebook, if any of this will effect the algorithm brands are forced to deal with to stay relevant on the social giant. But by the time we figure that out, all of the aforementioned new bells and whistles will be obsolete.

By Gretchen Schneider, Principal, Interactive Marketing at treadsocial. Gretchen lives and breathes all things social media. Based in Los Angeles, she oversees the interactive division for treadsocial, working with brands and personalities to strategically market themselves in an integrated, engaging manner online.

“A Better Twitter”

Sadly, I’m not one of the lucky people with access to the dramatically revamped Twitter, but boy do I feel like a kid before Christmas. I truly cannot wait.

Twitter has announced “A Better Twitter,” the biggest change to its interface in a long time … years.  Leaving its comfort zone of 140 characters, the newly re-engineered Twitter will be providing “an easier, faster and richer experience.”

Lucky us! This means several tantalizing features, including new design with a cleaner timeline and a right-hand side bar, where tweets you click on open and can be seen with images, video and more. New Twitter will support embedded images and videos thanks to partnerships with Dailybooth, DeviantArt, Etsy, Flickr,, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, Twitvid, USTREAM, Vimeo, Yfrog and YouTube.

Also cool? Discover-related content. Soon (if not now), when you click on a tweet, additional info related to the author or subject appears.

These new changes, slated to roll out over the next several weeks, are going to mean incredible things for brands on Twitter. For years, Facebook has reigned supreme in social media marketing. Aside from boasting more than 500 million users (Twitter has just under 150 million users), Facebook has allowed users to post pictures, video, notes and events, whereas Twitter has just offered links to such things.

Now, brands on Twitter will be able to offer more engaging messages, with embedded images and video. In short, brands will be able to tell their stories with more encompassing content.

It will be interesting to see if Twitter’s new offerings attract even more users. It also will be exciting to see how marketers use the new features to interact with consumers, and which of them are successful. Already our heads are spinning. Yours?

Brands Insignificant on Twitter, But They Don’t Have to Be

AdAge recently ran a story titled “Study: Most Brands Still Irrelevant on Twitter,” which covered the latest report from digital marketing agency 360i. For brands and marketers, some of 360i’s findings could be, well, scary. According to the report, an astounding 94 percent of tweets analyzed were personal updates – conversations between friends, information about what users are doing: “drinking a skinny latte @Starbucks!” And 360i’s findings show that more than 90 percent of tweets come from consumers, of that only 12 percent of consumer brands mention a brand.

While this news could be frightening to all the marketers out there who spend countless hours blasting out branded tweets to no avail, this should be seen as an opportunity.

The study also shows that 92 percent of users have unprotected accounts, which makes their profiles and tweets public, allowing anyone to monitor their conversations. A marketers dream.

The study also finds that Twitter is a conversational platform with more than 40 percent of all tweets starting with @, meaning they are directed at someone. Marketers are still talking TO people and not WITH people. Twitter reports more than 100 users that log 65 million tweets a day. 360i points out that Twitter reports 190 million site visitors per month, showing that an enormous amount of people are coming to Twitter to read content, and not conversing.

As BuzzRocket wrote in a previous blog, keep the “social” in social media. A significant factor in running a successful social media campaign is to keep your online activities very conversational.

360i summed it up nicely in their report, “The real value for marketers who participate in Twitter is in creating an ongoing dialogue with consumers that enables brands to become a more meaningful part of people’s everyday lives.”

Social Media offers deeper dialogue

And the numbers keep growing. Facebook has 450 million users globally, with millions more being added each week. And according to Hitwise, for the week ending March 20, 2010, Facebook is still edging out Google in the US to become the most visited website for the second week running. (Thirty percent of the top 10 visited sites are social networks.)

While social media’s level of popularity may be an all-time high it’s more than just a fad. It’s a new way of communicating. For companies, it’s a way to take their brands to new audiences and engage customers. For years, consumers have been spoken to, now, thanks to social media, conversation is a two-way street, allowing companies to encourage a deeper dialogue with their customers.

It’s important to remember the “social” element in social media. Audiences choose to follow you and in turn, read what you have to say, but they also have the chance to respond. Be ready for praise…and criticism. But don’t be deterred. This is an invaluable tool for promotion, thought leadership, feedback and reputation management.

Brands are more powerful online

Facebook recently announced it has 400 million active users and more than 20 million people become fans of Facebook Fan Pages each day.  And while Twitter is seeing a leveling off, its users post more than 50 million tweets per day, an average of 600 tweets per second.

Clearly these social networks are not to be ignored. And according to a new study, consumers who engage with brands on Facebook and Twitter are much more likely to recommend and purchase those brands because of their online involvement.

In a recent study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies, which included more than 1,500 consumers, researchers found that 60 percent of Facebook fans and 79 percent of Twitter followers were more likely to recommend those brands after becoming a fan or follower. Equally impressive, 50 percent of Facebook fans and 37 percent of Twitter followers were more likely to purchase the brands they follow on social networks.

Also of interest, when asked the question “What does it say about a brand if they are not involved with sites like Facebook or Twitter?” consumers responded with the following:

  1. “It’s EXPECTED that a company have some digital face – whether it’s on FB or Twitter I don’t know – but they need a strong electronic presence or you doubt their relevance in today’s marketplace.” Female 50-54
  2. “Either they are not interested in the demographic that frequents Facebook and Twitter or they are unaware of the opportunity to get more exposure in a more interactive method.” Male 35-39
  3. “It shows they are not really with it or in tune with the new ways to communicate with customers.” Female 18-24.
  4. “If they’re not on Facebook or Twitter, then they aren’t in touch with the “electronic” people.”  Female 55-59

Click here to learn more about the CMB Consumer Pulse findings.

She wrote what? (Grammar Series – Part 1)

You’re wondering why people aren’t taking you seriously around the office. You show up on time, meet deadlines, have great ideas, dress professionally…so, what’s the deal? It could be that last update you posted on your LinkedIn page: “I’d like to thank every one for there hard work…Your the best team ever!” Yikes. Not only do you look like an idiot for those grammatical errors, but so does the company you have listed as your employer.

With more and more people professionally communicating via social networks (most without the crutch of spell check), it’s important to review a few common spelling/grammar errors. We’re trying to keep it simple with the following format: Word. Usage. Example. If you’d like specific definitions, please visit Merriam Webster Online.

There, their, they’re
There: PLACE. Example: Put the file over there. EXCLAMATION. Example: There you go!
Their: POSSESSION. Example: That file is theirs.
They’re: CONTRACTION of “They are.” Example: They’re proud of the file.
“They’re putting that file of theirs over there.” Get it?

It’s, its
It’s: CONTRACTION of “It is” or “it has.” Example: It’s a gorgeous day.
Its: POSSESSION. Examples: Every dog has its day. That dog dropped its bone.

Then, than
Then: TIME. Example: Don has a meeting with Rick at 11 then they are going to lunch.
Than: COMPARISION. Example: I’d rather meet in my office than yours.

Yours, your’s
Yours: POSSESSION. Example: My pen is broken; can I use yours?
Your’s: DOESN’T EXIST! Stop using it immediately.

There are many more errors we could name, but this post can only go so long, so consider this “Part 1” of a grammar series.

%d bloggers like this: