Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Google Acquires Wildfire To Offer Social Media Marketing Services

Google has gotten into the social media marketing business with the acquisition of Wildfire.
The company has been around for about four years, and has managed to grow to 400 employees and 16,000 customers. Its social media brand management services have been used by companies like Virgin, Cirque du Soleil, Gilt Group and Spotify.

“The ultimate goal is better and fresher content, and more meaningful interactions,” says Google’s Jason Miller. “People today can make their voices heard in ways that were previously impossible, and Wildfire helps businesses uphold their end of the conversation (or spark a new one).”

“In a complex and changing landscape, businesses want to manage and measure these efforts in an integrated way,” he adds. “We’ve been working towards this end for some time. For example, Google Analytics helps businesses measure the contribution of hundreds of social sites; our Admeld service has helped to serve ads in Facebook developers’ social apps; and our DoubleClick platform enables clients to run and measure ads across social websites. On Google+, brands use services like Vitrue, Buddy Media and others to manage their pages, with many more to come.”

Read the full story here


Facebook Unleashes Powerful Marketing Tool: Page Post Targeting By Age, Gender, and More

By Josh Constine at TechCrunch
Today Facebook begins the roll out of “Page Post Targeting Enhanced” allowing Pages to target their posts to segments of fans with certain genders, ages, and other characteristics so they can tailor market messages to specific audiences. For example, a business could tell teens they’ve got “swag” while telling adults they’re “reputable”.

Until now, Facebook Pages could only target posts to fans of certain locations and languages, but the social network just told some admins that the new targeting options are opening to a select number of Pages today and will roll out to all Pages over the next few weeks. The tool could make Pages even more useful to marketers and convince them to pay for ads to buy additional fans.

The news comes from a member of a closed Facebook group for social marketers, who wrote that he received the following info from Facebook:
“Page Post Targeting Enhanced
Today, we will start rolling out an enhanced version of Page Post Targeting to a small percentage of Page Admins. Over the next few weeks, this will become available to all pages.  With this new feature, Pages can now target their posts to certain fans in the news feed who meet specific criteria such as age, gender, location, language, etc.
All content will still remain on the Page since this is the only way to allow friends of engaged fans who don’t meet the targeting criteria to see viral stories (i.e. David likes a post.. )”
We’re waiting for more details from Facebook about exactly which other characteristics will be targetable, such as work history, home town, or most importantly, interests / Likes.

Page Post Targeting Enhanced will let Pages publish different content to different fans, or word their marketing messages differently to maximize relevance. For example, Ford could target posts about economical hybrids to 20-year olds while pushing discounts on SUVs to 40-year olds.

That could translate into more traffic and awareness driven, and lead marketers to become even more dependent on Facebook.

Buffer Launches Robust Real-Time Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Analytics – For Free

By Lauren Dugan at Media Bistro:
There’s so much more to social media than just writing catchy tweets and sending them out. You’ve got to time your updates, balance your interactions with content, and – perhaps most importantly – track your results.

This tracking just became a whole lot easier with a new update from one of our favorite Twitter scheduling tools. Buffer has launched a robust suite of analytics products for their Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn scheduling, so you can now track who clicked, who retweeted and who interacted with your content.

Analytics are at the core of any good social media marketing campaign. They ensure that your efforts are measured and that you repeat successes and minimize failures more often.
Buffer’s new analytics products closes the loop in your content sharing process, incorporating your content discovery, scheduling and now tracking.
The most powerful aspect of Buffer’s analytics for Twitter users is the upgraded stats you’ll see connected to every tweet and link you send out. Now, you’ll be able to monitor, in real time the number of clicks, retweets, mentions, reach and favorites that each tweet receives, all tracked for you for free.

Here’s a glimpse into what the upgraded Twitter analytics dashboard looks like:

And clicking on the tweet itself brings you to a page of the Twitter users who are most active in engaging with your content, so you can thank them, follow them, or just build up a digital Rolodex of your biggest influencers.

Buffer analytics can help you answer the question “Why did this content perform well?” It joins a long list of recent additions to the Buffer product, including an iPad app, the ability to schedule tweets right from and Google Reader integration, which makes Buffer a tool to try if you haven’t yet.

Microsoft Tries to Take on Gmail With

By at AllThingsD
Microsoft has been making the same case for a while.
Very little about Web-based email has changed since the arrival of Gmail, and it is time for something better. It’s the case Microsoft made several years ago when it overhauled Hotmail, and the same one it made when it offered a significant update to Hotmail.

That said, Hotmail is still seen by many as decidedly unhip, particularly in the U.S. Rather than attempt to give Hotmail another face-lift, Microsoft is introducing an all-new Web service, to be dubbed

“We decided it was time for a new email service,” Microsoft’s Brian Hall told AllThingsD.
Under the hood, many of the features of are carried over from the latest iterations of Hotmail. The biggest change to the service is the appearance of the inbox, which now looks much more like a desktop program, with fewer and smaller ads.

For now, Hotmail and will coexist, but over time, will become Microsoft’s only Web mail service, with Hotmail’s users transitioned to the new service.
“We will move all Hotmail users, just because it is a hell of a lot better,” Hall said.
However, the first goal, Hall said, is for to attract tens of millions of new users — folks like young people and tech enthusiasts who haven’t been joining Hotmail in recent years.
There were a variety of issues with Hotmail, Hall said, ranging from its stodgy brand perception to the fact that it had lots of in-your-face banner advertisements.
“People weren’t satisfied, and with good reason,” Hall said. The ads, he noted, “weren’t creepy, like Gmail, but they were distracting.” features some advertising in the main inbox, as well as in messages from unknown senders. When a message comes from a known contact, the small ad space on the right hand side is replaced instead with contact information, as well as context-specific ways to engage with that person. With a Facebook contact, for example, users can see their latest status update and reply.

Another feature of is its unified contact system, bringing together all the information one has about a person, whether from Microsoft or a third-party service like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
New users can get an e-mail address, while existing account owners can transfer their account while keeping their existing or address.
In a future release, Hall said, will also get the ability to make Skype video calls directly from within the inbox.

Hall declined to say what Microsoft’s expectations are for adoption of, but said the company is building the service to work for a billion or more customers.
“Our expectations are pretty high as far as people liking it,” he said.

Read the full story here Now Recommending When to Buy and What to Buy

By Tricia Duryee at AllThingsD:, which tells consumers whether the price of products will rise or fall, is now also helping consumers to decide what products to buy.

The new feature, called Decide Score, analyzes ratings and reviews from across the Web, to provide a score on a scale from 1 to 100 for a variety of products, from consumer electronics to vacuums to outdoor grills.

Think of it as Consumer Reports, except that that the results are driven by data and not people.
“We are stripping out the bias to return a subjective data-driven score,” said Mike Fridgen, CEO of “More and more people are going directly to Amazon to begin their search, but the problem is, they don’t give you a clear idea what the best products are.”

To get the scores, the company sifts through more than 200 terabytes of data, including two million user reviews from online retailers, such as Amazon and Best Buy, as well as 7,000 professional opinions from online reviewers. The service launches in beta today for more than 22,000 consumer electronics and appliances across 16 categories.

The technology that goes into the product was built by the Seattle-based company, which is the brainchild of the folks behind, which helped predict whether it was the right time to buy an airline ticket, or if a price drop was coming. Farecast was purchased by Microsoft three years ago for $115 million, and is now Bing Travel.

In a demonstration, Fridgen showed me how a TV set on Amazon can have great reviews, but only gets an average review on Decide. From there, Decide recommends that other TVs that have better scores and are cheaper. The problem with Amazon is that “it’s one source, and it’s only user reviews, which doesn’t tell the whole story,” he said. “We’re looking at experts and user reviews. There’s all types of bias in sources, and Amazon regularly has higher scores.”

However, getting consumers to change their behavior from starting their shopping experience on Amazon to starting their search on Decide will be a difficult one. ”No doubt about it, that will be a challenge for us,” he said.

When consumers do go to Decide first, Fridgen said that people do follow its recommendations, and are three times more likely to click through and purchase. Third parties that are using Decide’s content, like, are seeing positive metrics, as well.
Right now, the company makes money from affiliate fees when people click through and make a purchase, but Fridgen says they’ve been more focused on making a good product. Over the past year, Decide has made more than seven million recommendations, and has saved consumers $75 million. Its mobile app has been downloaded more than 100,000 times.

Facebook Is Rolling Out ‘Save it later’ Feature

Facebook has begun introducing an Instapaper-style ‘save it later’ feature which has already been rolled out to a selected batch of iPad and iPhone users, according to an iMore report.
We haven’t seen the feature ‘in the wild’ but its premise is pretty straight forward. As the name suggests, Facebook’s selected lab rats can stash stories in a ‘saved’ folder simply by pressing and holding them from within the mobile app, or mobile Web site.

The saved folder has been added the favorites section main user menu, where it sits below ‘friends’, ‘news feed’ and other well used links. Privacy is a huge issue or Facebook users but the feature keeps all saved links and stories private to users.

Facebook hasn’t announced the feature but the company, which regularly tinkers with new additions in closed tests, is bringing the feature to the desktop and (presumably also) other mobile devices as The Verge reports.
the verge Facebook is rolling out an Instapaper style save it later feature
Although it won’t trouble the likes of Instapaper and Pocket in its early form, if it is able to push out beyond Facebook’s social network — as a number of Facebook features have — then it could be an interesting one to watch.

Read the full story here

Monday, 30 July 2012

INFOGRAPHIC: The Google Yourself Challenge

Forget egosurfing for a second and ask yourself, how much can people learn about you by simply Googling you? The idea behind the Google Yourself Challenge is: friends, relatives, recruiters, hiring managers, and even strangers may be searching for you on the web, Google yourself first and control what people can learn about you online. 

Here are some statistics on who is looking for your data:
  • 81% of millennials Google or Facebook their date before going out
  • 79% of recuiters and hiring managers screen applicants by information available online
  • 86% of hiring managers have rejected someone based on information available online
  • 7 in 10 internet users search online for information about others 
Anyway, I thought you might like taking a look and possibly sharing the infographic on Sociable 360 for your readers to take the challenge as well. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with feedback or any questions you have. 
This Infographic is published by

The Google Yourself Challenge

Which Social Platform Really Drives the Most Traffic?

By Chris Cayer at Social Media Today
An old story showed that StumbleUpon was driving more traffic than Facebook in January of 2011, and we wondered two things about that - firstly, is it still true, and secondly what would that mean for internet marketing and social media experts who stake their companies social media results on traffic from just Facebook and Twitter?

So we went back to the source of the original data, for an update for the last 12 months:

Social Media Traffic Trends 2012

StatCounter Global Stats - Social Media Market Share
In this graph it clearly shows that Facebook has regained domination for traffic driving over StumbleUpon, in fact, StumbleUpon seems to have dropped off quite dramatically this past year, but despite that fact, it still comes in as the number two traffic driver in social media well ahead of Twitter and edging out both Youtube and Pinterest. With the tremendous buzz that Pinterest has been generating over the past few months and the fact that it was recently recognized that Pinterest drives up to 4x as much retail buying traffic as Facebook, the fact that StumbleUpon still drives more traffic than Pinterest is a big deal.

Then you look to YouTube, arguably the world's largest search engine, and it comes inbelow StumbleUpon as well, but just a hair ahead of Pinterest for the third place spot in real traffic driving among the major social media.

In fifth place, then, we have a big drop to Reddit that has managed a slow but fairly steady climb up in the ranks of both traffic driving and credibility among major social media. And now dropping to 6th place is Twitter. Digg seems to be producing consistent if sub-par results compared to the sum of other networks, but is still a player in the market as a standalone service.

But the big surprise is how much traffic businesses that are only concentrating on Facebook and Twitter are missing out on.

Considering that the volume of traffic on Twitter empowered things like The Arab Spring, since Reddit now has surpassed it for traffic generation, businesses, governments, and organizations that ignore it do so at their peril.
And that really is true of all of these top 7 social networks - they each have tremendous influence over huge numbers of highly engaged users, and this graph clearly shows what some of us have been saying all along, which is unless you are paying attention to more than Facebook and Twitter, your social media strategy is horrifically flawed.

StumbleUpon in 2011 was far more powerful at driving traffic than Facebook, now Facebook is the more powerful of the two, but those roles can reverse again just as quickly as users change their minds about where they want to spend their time. With Facebook's recent stock declines and underperforming advertising revenues, it would not be surprising to see StumbleUpon or any of the others leap up and wrestle the number one spot away from Facebook again next year, so basing your strategy on the thought that Facebook is King might not be the best idea for managing your overall social media brand.

That's not to say I think Facebook is going away, but these year-on-year statistics prove you can't count on any one social network to be your 'silver bullet' for social media traffic generation any more, and you truly need a much broader social media strategy that recognizes that social traffic is social and behaves in social patterns. It's a little fickle and moves sometimes in very sudden and powerful directions and any business that is looking to engage them needs to be engaged where they are, not the other way around.

Google Adds Google+ Hangouts to Gmail

Google’s popular video chat tool, Google+ Hangouts, is coming to Gmail. The company will be gradually rolling out the upgrade to all Gmail users beginning on Tuesday.

Hangouts in Gmail are aimed at the day-to-day interactions that usually happen over email. The new feature will replace Google’s existing video chat.

Located in the same sidebar as the chat list, Gmail users will be able to access Hangouts straight from their inboxes instead of having to jump over to Google+.

That said, “if you and the person you’re chatting with also use Google+, you’ll get even more from the Hangouts experience,” wrote Google product manager Fred Brewin in a blog post. “You’ll be able to video chat with up to nine people at once, watch YouTube videos together, collaborate on Google documents and share your screen. Plus, Hangouts has a bunch of fun effects that you can try out…because any conversation is better when you’re wearing a virtual mustache or pirate hat.”

Read the full story here

Everything You Need to Know About Foursquare’s New Merchant Tools

By Lauren Drell at Mashable:
Last week, Foursquare announced a slew of new merchant tools that give business owners more power than ever before to communicate with their customers through the location-based platform. Before, business owners could claim their venues, set up a special and let the platform take it from there — it was more of a passive marketing tool. The new additions make Foursquare‘s local updates far more dynamic, and they leverage location-based marketing in a more targeted way than Facebook and Twitter. The revamp has several parts:

  • Updates — Share photos, specials and news to nearby customers, a la tweets or Facebook status updates
  • Specials — Create and manage Foursquare specials (no change here, aside from a sleeker interface)
  • Dashboard — See stats about who checked in, and how your venue traffic changes from month to month
  • Tools — Manage your business’ presence on Foursquare, including adding new managers and editing your venues.
Below, we give you skinny on what you need to know and how to take advantage of the platform.


Creating an Update

Local updates let business owners who’ve claimed their venues send updates about their business to their “best customers” when they’re nearby. Your “best customers” are determined by how often they check in, how recently they’ve checked in and whether they’ve liked your venue on Foursquare. Whether someone is nearby is determined via GPS, and it might be one mile in a dense city, or up to 10 miles in more rural areas, where people have cars. Note that these updates target people who’ve already interacted with your brand on Foursquare, so it’s more of a tool to build loyalty and continue the conversation with existing customers than a way to acquire new ones. However, on Wednesday, Foursquare announced promoted updates, its first paid product. These ads target users whose friends frequently stop by, who have added your venue to one of their Foursquare lists or who are often visiting similar venues in that neighborhood, so that’s where brands can communicate directly with customers. Like regular updates, these ads won’t come through as push notifications; they’ll be found in the “Explore” tab.

Regardless of whether they’re paid or free updates, good update topics include: new menu items, upcoming events, specials, discounts and a fresh batch or new shipment of product. Think about the kind of things your frequent customers would want to know about, and use updates to lure them to your storefront.

So, here’s how you send an update.

Step 1. Log in to Foursquare; you’ll be logged in as an individual, but you need to use Foursquare as the business to have admin access. In the upper right hand corner, click your name, then in the dropdown, click “Use Foursquare as [business].” Then click “Updates” in the blue nav bar.

First, in the dropdown menu, decide which venues you’d like the update to target. You can do one venue or all venues. The beauty of using all venues is that you can use updates to cross-market. So if someone who frequents your New York shop happens to be near your Chicago shop, your updates will appear in his feed when he’s nearby (so long as the update applies to that shop), driving him to that location.
After you select your venue, type the update, select a photo and, if it makes sense, add a special. A few specs to keep in mind:
  • Text can be up to 160 characters, including a clickable URL.
  • Photos can be JPG, GIF or PNG and should be 720×540 pixels and less than 2 MB. Any narrower than 720 pixels, and the image will be grainy; pulling Instagrams, which are 612px, won’t work here.
  • Landscape-oriented images work best
If your loyalty special grants customers a free cupcake every fifth check-in, a great update would have text along the lines of, “Loyalty is sweet! Every fifth check-in nabs you a free cupcake!” along with a photo of cupcakes and the special, which will pop up when you click “Attach special.” Click send.

Updates don’t come through as push notifications. They will show when people view your location, in your loyal customers’ “friends” feed (alongside tips, check-ins and likes), and after people check in. Any photos that are part of a check-in will populate in your business’ Foursquare page. In the app, updates look like this:


Location Page

Foursquare is paving the way for profile pages. The new feature, which can be seen at, has all the trappings of profile pages, hinting at future paid features. Each page has a bio, banner image, a collage of likers, photos, tips, recent updates and lists.

To optimize Foursquare, support local businesses by leaving tips around town — these tips populate sort of like a Facebook wall, and comprise much of the content users see, with hyperlinks to the tipster’s page, so you could actually drive traffic to your own page by being supportive of other businesses. It’s a win-win, and the same goes for lists.
Your banner image should be 860×130 pixels, less than 250KB and in GIF, JPG or PNG format. In your profile, you can also add up to three links, in addition to your Twitter handle.


Stats Dashboard

The dashboard lets you view check-in statistic on a venue-by-venue basir, or as a company. Spotting trends and lulls can help you optimize your updates and specials to drive foot traffic to your business. Business owners can see total check-ins, unique customers, people who like your venue and people who like your updates. Clicking “View Report” pulls up day-by-day stats for a deeper dive into the Foursquare — and by proxy, buying habits — of your customers. You can see how many check-ins get pushed to Twitter and Facebook, as well as the number of first-time customers. CSV exports of this data will be available soon, for the number crunchers out there. Foursquare also plans to roll out news feeds of a business’ top visitors and demographics, helping business owners establish richer relationships with their patrons.

Opera Says Mobile Users Double To 200M, And That Facebook Dominates In Africa

By Ingrid Lunden at TechCrunch:
The buzz about a possible acquisition by Facebook has almost completely died down, but Opera today released an update on the state of its business that nevertheless highlights how its own strategic direction is closely following that of its rumored suitor.

The combined number of active users of Opera’s mobile Internet browsers has now topped 200 million, nearly double the figure a year ago, with pageviews more than doubling to 115 billion.

And just as Facebook highlighted in its earnings call last week that emerging markets and mobile use were a key part of its advertising story, Opera in its State of the Mobile Web report has also zeroed in on how well it’s been performing in one emerging market in particular: Africa, where Opera’s figures reveal that Facebook is, by far, the most popular site in the region.

Last week, during Facebook’s Q2 earnings call, COO Sheryl Sandberg made a specific reference to mobile usage in emerging markets and how it relates to Facebook’s developments on the advertising front, specifically around mobile advertising. “We recently enabled our advertisers to buy us exclusively in mobile News Feed. We’re seeing strong interest, particularly from our clients, who know mobile is critical to reaching new customers, especially in emerging markets,” she said.

Coincidentally, Oslo, Norway-based Opera, too, is focusing in on mobile growth in emerging markets — perhaps, like Facebook, a response to addressing those places that still have a lot of room to grow in comparison to more developed countries where adoption is slowing down.

With much of the mobile use in Africa still based on feature phones, Opera’s Mini browser (which works on both feature phones and smartphones) is taking the lead, with 36 countries on the continent more than doubling their use of feature phone-friendly browser. Opera has published a pretty cool interactive map of the continent that gives you a look at Opera stats combined with those of the country in general.

Among the individual country highlights: Opera notes that Libya, post revolution, has grown the most of any country in the region in terms of users, pageviews and data consumption, respectively 323,267% for users; 1,886,839% for pageviews and 1,498,984% for data usage.

Another politically troubled country, Côte d’Ivoire, also showed strong growth. Opera Mini users there were up by 600%, with pageviews up 744% and data use up 760%. This is in a country with a population of 16 million, where mobile penetration is at 15 million, and land line penetration at a tiny 230,000. That underscores just how important mobile is there.

In general, higher growth rates for pageviews and data use, compared to users of Opera mini, are a mark of better engagement. Opera notes that this is the bigger trend across all of the continent. “Across Africa, data growth seems to outpace page-view growth. This fact suggests that Africans are browsing larger pages and most likely, using richer, more advanced websites,” the company writes. It so happens that data use and pageview increases also provide a boost to Opera’s mobile ads business.

And guess what the top domain is in almost all of the continent?
It’s Facebook. In fact, the only three countries where Opera doesn’t list as the top domain are Algeria, Angola and Guinea, where Google has the edge.

Read the full story here


Sunday, 29 July 2012

INFOGRAPHIC: Social Media Checklist For Businesses

By Shea Bennett at Media Bistro:
Social media has a pretty steep learning curve, and when you’re a brand using these tools for the first time the wealth of information in how to best leverage platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest, as well as blogs and video, can be overwhelming.
This is especially true for marketing. Where do you begin?

Thankfully, help is at hand, courtesy of this infographic from The Whole Brain Group, which provides a handy, printable, social media checklist for businesses. While the tips and recommendations here are not hard and fast – few things are in the very art-meets-science world of social marketing – it’s a good place to start for companies of all sizes who have heard great things about social networking but don’t know where to start.

Social Media Checklist For Businesses

How To Measure SEO - 5 Ways

By   at ClickZ:
If I was using search engine optimization as a key component of my marketing today - which I am - I would make damn sure I know how to track success.

Because SEO is harder, it's also more expensive than ever.

If you plan to use cheap links and content outsourced to third-world countries, you are living in a fantasy world of search engine optimization.

There are many ways to measure SEO but using ranking reports is not one way.

Have you looked at Google recently? With video results, image results, and social results all being injected into the search engine results pages (SERPs), how are you going to judge success based on a ranking report?

In the last 30 days, here are my rankings (with clicks) for the phrase "google plus local" from Google Webmaster Tools:

Position in
search results
 6 to 10 21
 5 6
 4 35
 2 60
 1 70
 3 35
 2nd page  < 10
 3rd page+< 10

Which position would you show your boss?
I'm fairly confident that I am somewhere between position 1 and 10 (except when I'm on page 2 or 3).

Look, I still run these reports. Old habits die hard. But I do really wish they would die. Positioning reports are meaningless, ego-driven search babble.
You Want Results! 

You aren't trying to rank well for your health. You are trying to get some sort of action. The action is what you need to be tracking. Ranking is just a means to an end.

The end results could be things like getting people to:
  • Engage with your site.
  • Sign up for your newsletter.
  • Buy something.
  • Fill out your online form.
  • Call you.
You get the idea, right? Track the thing you want them to do.
Here are five ways to measure SEO.

No. 1: Segment, filter, and compare.
Google Analytics is your friend when it comes to measuring success.
Get comfortable with segmenting your traffic using the built-in advanced segmenting reports in Google Analytics. First, segment on your "non-paid search traffic."


Then compare your non-paid search traffic with another time period. My favorite time comparison is year-over-year. That way you are filtering out seasonality. If your stats don't go back a full year, then compare what you can. This month compared to last month is better than nothing.


Finally, filter out as much of your branded phrases as possible. Anybody can rank for their company name (with various key phrases attached to it) and product names. Use the filter tool to get rid of all that branded stuff when you are in the "Search/Organic" area of Google Analytics. Like this:

This report is going to do wonders at telling you what you need to know. You will get a valuable snapshot of how you are doing overall for non-branded organic search.


No. 2: Hang out at Google Webmaster Tools.
I love this information. It's crazy fun. What you are interested in is currently under "Traffic/Search Queries."

You can also create a filter here to exclude branded phrases and you can also star phrases so you can easily come back to those.


This data shows you impressions and clicks in interesting ways. Unfortunately, you can't compare search query data to another time period in Google Webmaster Tools. But that leads me to:

No. 3: Integrate Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics data.
Use the "Search Engine Optimization" data by linking your Webmaster Tools data into your Google Analytics data.
That in itself is something I see very few companies having done before they come to us. The data is useful and special. You definitely want to link this data together.
But if you have already done that, perhaps you haven't used the explorer tool within this tool:


You can find this report by clicking on the three-circle icon on the right side of the screen after selecting "Queries" within the "Search Engine Optimization" section of Google Analytics.

You can slice and dice this data in all kinds of visually telling ways. There is a "play" button that lets you watch your top key phrases dynamically move in average ranking, impressions, or clicks over a specific time period. This is an interesting comparison within itself. It also lets you appreciate the fluidity of rankings for particular phrases.

No. 4: Use goals within Google Analytics.
Hopefully by now you have inserted some goals into Google Analytics. You probably are looking at things like how many people have filled out a form, using events to track downloads of PDF files, and more. But how closely are you looking at your goals from a segmented perspective?
The easiest way to do that is with the "Goal Flow" report:


Within the Goal Flow report, you can segment your traffic by non-paid search traffic and then you can look at that traffic by keyword.

It gives a really interesting comparison when you look at the data from one period of time compared to another period of time.

No. 5: Show the big picture.
Executives don't want to micromanage SEO. They want to see the big picture: Is SEO working for us?

For this kind of report I recommend a simple high-level custom report that shows all organic visits, comparing one time period to another time period. And then showing total goal completions and goal values. You want to give each type of goal a monetary value because not all goals are created equal. The report will look like this:


This shows organic results across a wide array of search engines.
If your numbers are going up, you should be able to show your CEO this and that will be that.

have worked my butt off this year for creating good keyword-rich content on our site. This report shows the results. No positioning report needed. Who cares what the rankings are? What I'm doing is working.
If you would like that custom report for Google Analytics, click here.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

The Beginners Guide To Socialcam

By at Mashable

The Beginner’s Guide to Socialcam

1. Getting Started
First, you'll need to download Socialcam's mobile app. You can also create an account at, but since you'll be using your smartphone to take and upload videos, you may as well start there.

Once you have the app, registration is simple. You just need to decide how you'd like to sign up: through Facebook, Twitter or email.

If you'd like to get the most social experience out of the platform, you'll probably want to choose Facebook. Don't worry -- you can set privacy controls later.

2. Connect With Others
Right off the bat, Socialcam suggests users to follow. You can pick and choose through your personal network and featured users, or you can hit Follow All for a quick path to engagement.

3. Videos Tab
The Videos tab acts as a sort of news feed, where you can navigate between various tasks.

Sort through your feed of friends' videos, edit your profile, toggle between your social settings and manage general settings.

On your personal profile, you can see your own video feed, who you're following, who's following you, any comments users have left on your video and any tags.

4. Popular Tab
The Popular tab shows videos that have gained traction recently, based on views and likes. Here you can check out what other Socialcam users are into.

5. Trends
From the Popular tab, you can also see trending topics, similar to Twitter.

6. Friends Tab
The Friends tab is pretty self-explanatory. You can view users that you follow, users that follow you and find friends also using the platform.

7. Find Friends
From your smartphone, you can invite friends to Socialcam and search for friends using the app through Facebook, Twitter and a general search bar.

8. Activity Tab
The Activity tab acts a lot like Facebook's Activity Log. In the Yours section, a list accumulates your actions, such as comments, likes and views. The All section includes the same for the accounts you follow.

9. Camera Mode
If you tap the red record button, you reach the most important part of Socialcam: the camera itself. See the next slide for more details on how to optimize your video.

If you've already recorded a video on your phone and you'd just like to upload it to the app, tap Library to browse for it and select it.

10. Touchscreen Commands
Once you access camera mode, use your finger to manipulate the camera in order to create the perfect video.

Swipe your finger left or right to choose a filter, tap a section of the screen to focus, and pinch the screen to zoom in and out.

11. Filters
The filters Socialcam offers are very Instagram-esque, but they're obviously geared more toward filming rather than static images.

The available filters are:

  • Kodak: Vintage, burnt edges, shifting screen

  • Grunge: Gray-washed screen, white streaks

  • Watercolor: Reddish tint, water stains near edges, dark splotches

  • Action: Very rich color enhancement

  • Bokeh: Out-of-focus points of light

  • Blueprint: Blue tint, orange-brown splotches

  • 1971: Soft edges, bluish-green tint

  • Noire: Soft edges, black and white, grainy image

  • Bleach: White border, low saturation

  • Electronica: Solid colors turn black, edges of objects are highlighted in multiple colors

  • Rouge: Black and white, except for red color scheme

  • 1970s: Vintage film quality, moving streaks and white spots

And, of course, you can always choose "No Filter."

12. Titling and Privacy Settings
Hit the record button again to stop filming. Now you can title your project and decide whether you want it to be available to all Socialcam users, visible only to your followers or people you share with directly, or private.

13. Preview
Before you publish your video, you can preview it to make sure it's exactly what you want others to see.

14. Themes and Music
If you're not satisfied with just a filter, you can also add a theme (style choices that include opening text) or background music.

Nine available themes:

  • News: News channel-like banner with your name and video title

  • Classic: Similar to the opening titles of films

  • Celebrate: Video appears on a postcard/invitation next to party favors

  • Journal: Video appears in a phone next to writing journal

  • Casual: Video title appears in casual handwriting font

  • Travel: Includes date and location in opening shot

  • Reporter: Similar to the News theme, your name and video title will appear as if it's being typed onto the screen

  • MTV: Video title, your name and date will appear in lower-left corner, as if in a music video

  • Ticker: Title, name and date scroll once across the bottom of the screen

  • Fifteen available songs:

    • Love: Mellow guitar and background cello

    • Street: A mix of strings, drums and vocals leading to a hip-hop feel

    • Action: Electronic sounds, drums and fast tempo

    • Country: Nylon guitar with a bit of twang

    • Deep: A simple piano tune with plenty of minor chords

    • March: Parade-style drums and horns, almost with a swing feel

    • Wonder: Slow, solemn electric guitar

    • Club: Electronic, dance-inducing trance music

    • Happy: Drums, guitar and keyboards for a delighted feel

    • Breezy: Wind and guitars that sound harp-like and whimsical

    • Time: Guitar and soft cymbals reminiscent of '70s acoustic rock

    • City: Lots of bass, drums and electronic distortion

    • Guitar: Electric guitar rock

    • Orchestra: A soft symphony

    • Rhythm: Electronic keyboards, drums, soulful vocals

15. Tagging and Sharing
After you choose a theme, pick a song and hit Save, you're prompted to tag friends in your video (this is optional).

You can also add email addresses to share your video directly, or you can post it on six social networks: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Dropbox, Posterous and Tumblr.

16. Editing After Going Live
If you'd like to make a few changes after you've already published your video to your feed, not to worry. You can change the title, alter the privacy settings or delete the video altogether.

In the same menu, you can also vote for your video to make it to the Popular tab, though it will require more votes to actually make it there.

17. General Settings
In the Settings menu, you can change your account settings (profile picture, name, email, etc.), social settings (showing your actions on Facebook or Twitter) and push notifications.

This is also where you can change your overall privacy settings. You can manually approve follow requests, ask the platform to automatically approve Facebook friends or automatically accept all followers.

To automatically share your videos to the six available sites, configure your accounts in this menu, too.

Last but not least, your videos will automatically save onto your phone's internal memory. You can turn that feature off in Settings.

18. Featured Bio
If you get seven of your friends to sign up for a Socialcam account and integrate Facebook, you can get a featured bio.

Featured bios are short descriptions that appear under usernames and on profiles, and they're usually reserved for featured users.

19. Facebook on the Web
When you completely integrate Socialcam with your Facebook account, you'll be able to see videos from the users you follow in your Facebook news feed, alongside your friends' other updates.

20. Socialcam on the Web
The web counterpart to the Socialcam app allows you to view videos on a bigger screen, though you can't upload your own videos directly through the site. You can also access your feed, popular videos and general settings.

One of the more interesting things the site version offers that the app doesn't is the Leaderboard. Here, you can view the most-followed users and brands using Socialcam.

To participate in the digital age requires a certain kind of visual thinking. Whether creating a snazzy website layout, capturing artsy pics with Instagram or even choosing the perfect Facebook cover photo, interesting images and videos enhance social engagement .
Social video sharing platforms, such as YouTube, Viddy and Socialcam, have recognized (and propagated) this shift away from plain text. Users can express their personalities and interests in videos and share them with friends and followers.

Socialcam has specifically worked to streamline mobile video sharing. Spun from in March 2011, the quick and easy platform allows you to upload and customize videos that you capture with your smartphone (iPhone and Android). Plus, it doesn’t have a time limit like Viddy’s 15-second cap. You can add filters, themes and music, and it’s simple to integrate your multiple social media accounts.

Autodesk, a company known for its 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, bought Socialcam earlier in July for $60 million, thus acquiring its 54.7 million monthly active users.
If you’re looking to see what all the buzz is about, we put together a simple guide in the gallery above, outlining everything you need to know. All you’ll need is your smartphone and some creativity.

Note: Socialcam’s Android app hasn’t been updated for about a year. The iPhone and Android apps vary as far as layout goes, but the functions are similar. The user experience is much smoother for iPhone users.