Good-Bye to another social media: Google+ to close down

Yes, even the “big” dominant media like Google recognize when it’s time to let go.
Hard to believe that it was only 7 years ago when Google decided to challenge all the social networking sites by launching its Google+.

If you are still active with Google+ you will have a few months to make your last postings before the social network is closed down. Google claims it will close in August 2019, but to be safe, I recommend quitting sooner than later.

So why did this giant company decide to call it quits? Several reasons. For one, Google+ had issues with its privacy bug. Hundreds of thousands of users had their data exposed to third-party developers back in March. But like Facebook, Google would not report the problem immediately because they didn’t want to bring attention to any regulatory scrutiny that could damage their reputation.

If you want to believe Google’s reason, they saw a big drop in usage and engagement, saying, and I quote “90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds”. Yeah, that’s another good reason!

From various sources I’ve read, it is safe to say that Google+ and +1 buttons will have no impact on rankings going forward. I hope that means Google Search will no longer look to see if your business was an active user and we can finally be ranked by our social networking, postings, podcasts, backlinks, etc.

Another reason you should feel ok, Google has admitted that today they do not use personalization in search. What that says is Google+ would show your personal assets, photos, emails, etc. that were based on your Google+ account directly in the search results. If you recall, Google suggested that searchers take their social conversations to Google+. It was a way Google was trying to drive more conversations to their social network.

With all the pressure Google put on social network users to post on their network, the more people rejected being told they had to do this or their rankings could be affected. Some businesses caved in, others chose to not be bullied. Another example you might remember. Google My Business. That name was replaced by Google Places, which later was replaced by Google+. Do you see how Google was trying to manipulate us?

Maybe this should be a lesson that all businesses can learn from. Don’t force something to work when the market isn’t buying your product or service. Look around and see how to better serve customers than make them want what you offer.

Get a “Tune-Up” of your social networks to see how they can be more effective for your business. Give George Carson a call.

Get National Publicity for Your Company

How difficult can it be to send a press release to the Wall Street Journal, or get your company featured on a national TV news show, like Diane Sawyer? Actually, it is very difficult. Sending the release alone is easy. Getting the reporters to take serious notice of what you sent, that’s difficult. And harder yet, is to make your company be newsworthy in their eyes.

National and Local Publicity

Getting any reporters attention requires relationships. A good public relations agency has developed strong relationships with the media. This doesn’t happen overnight. Unless you have a world changing product, or a unique service, it may be a challenge to just get any media to listen to what you have to say. With all the world politics today, disasters, and 3rd world revolutions, getting your 15 minutes of fame may not be as easy as you expect. PR Clients tend to believe they have the best product, best story, or the best new widget and the world needs to know this. Well, as true as this might be, if the presentation to the media isn’t as exciting, then you just lost that pr opportunity.

Packaging (presenting) your story is critical, as is the timing. Putting fluff into your release or story is not a good idea. Keep the facts real, keep the information short and don’t SELL your story using sales pitch language. Remember, reporters are people. They do not want to be sold to or told that you are the greatest at what you do. Explain why your product or service will help others, or solve a specific problem. That is just one way to get the attention of the media.

If you want to get local publicity, you need to do the same thing as a national publicity story. A good local publicity agency will have a good relationship with the local media, and they will know how to package your story to the selected reporters that best meets your pr marketing strategy.

Learn more about getting national or local publicity from Carson Marketing, Inc. Call for a NO COST consultation meeting to discuss how your company can be in the news. Contact George Carson at 949-477-9400.

Are you willing to pay to meet friends? Twitter may think so.

We are entering another level in the world of cyberspace and social networking. Jut a few years ago chat rooms were the craze, and then came the social networks like MySpace and Facebook, and the business networks likesocial media, social networing Linkedin. Now they are trying to make money on these successful sites. So why not Twitter? Yes, the overnight successful social network is thinking people are willing to pay to meet friends. Would you pay? At present it’s free. But for how long? An article in web pro news discusses this topic further.

There are still other social networks that are free. And new ones are entering the crowded market, such as (still in beta). So how do these social sites profit from an industry that is hungry to meet others? Place banner ads on the sites? Collect the personal data and sell it to prospects? Or begin membership clubs to keep from all the commercials and banners?

I am not sure what the answer is, or if there is going to be an answer that meets what people will be willing to accept. Only time will tell. In today’s rapid pace of social media, we can only wait and see.

I thought this short blog will help my pr clients and “friends” in the publicity industry, as well as publicity professionals are informed about the latest direction for social networks. If you are a pr client, or publicity firm that needs help in developing a social visible network, then give me a call. I’ll be willing to guide you in the direction to take your business to the next level. Good luck, George Carson.

Social Media Gets Bigger With Yahoo

Here we go again! Another attempt at social media, but this time it is one of the giant Internet companies, Yahoo. It is not well known, but Yahoo did an attempt at social media called Mash. It “crashed andsocial media networks failed” on September 29, 2008. This shows you that just because you have a fat piggy bank with unlimited resources, you can fail. To be effective with your pr marketing strategies you need to know this.

Unlike Google who used “Blogging” to get social with it’s “Follow this Blog” link, Yahoo tried being another Facebook, or MySpace. Now Yahoo has learned a lesson and has re-invented itself in terms of social and blogging. This time Yahooo  is claiming to be more of a social destination. According Stoneham, who says the following about the new yahoo social direction:

I want to make it clear that this new profile is not intended to be a new social destination on Yahoo!. Rather, our plan is to integrate “social” as a central dimension into the services you use every day. For example, if you’re on Yahoo! Messenger 9.0, you’re already seeing Yahoo! Buzz, Mybloglog, and Twitter updates as part of your friends’ status messages. Soon you’ll see social capabilities added elsewhere across Yahoo!, beginning with places where you start your day. The new homepage we’re testing will soon have an application that lets you stay up to date with what your friends are doing across the Web. And Yahoo! Mail will be delivering a smarter inbox, displaying emails from your most important connections first.

Developing a pr marketing strategy for your pr clients, or if you are a pr client, don’t feel these attempts are showing a crowded market for social networks. I still feel the industry is growing and maturing. Yes, there will be fallouts, and that in turn builds a stronger understanding of where the next level of social networks is going. In my opinion, it is going to be more “business” related. There will always be consumer sides to social, but the business community is hungry for this as well, but on a mature level. So keep your pr marketing strategies in touch with the changes and keep an eye open for new social BUSINESS networks, it is only a matter of time, and the time is not far off.

Start using Web Marketing as a publicity tool

Web Marketing may not be new to pr marketing people, or web developers, but pr clients do not truly understand the power it has. For example, it takes weeks sometimes months to get a press release published, or even an article in a trade or consumer magazine. When you use web marketing correctly, your publicity efforts can happen within days, sometimes hours!

It is important if you are a pr client to not forge ahead and start calling your publicity agency to do web marketing. That’s not their strength. What you need to do is have your pr marketing strategy team web marketingdevelop a solid web marketing campaign that targets your specific audience. If you do not know how to implement a web marketing campaign, who do you call? Web designers are not likely to know or want to do this. Your publicity agency isn’t prepared to create online campaigns; they are best at submitting traditional media. It is best to contact a company that knows what and how to get your company noticed.

Web Marketing is more than sending out press releases to online newswire services. It is a complete program that analyzes your web site and does more than optimize it. Knowing the language on each page that has links to those sites and pages within your site is critical in optimizing a site. Keywords are not the big thing anymore. You can include them, but keywords or key phrases alone will not get you noticed. What about buying adwords? I prefer to not do this. Yes, we would consider buying some adwords for clients that really can afford it, we prefer to use specially designed programs at Carson Marketing, Inc. to include a vast array of elements. These may include the optimizing I just mentioned, marketing to social networks, writing blogs, to publicity releases, links with credible sites that are ranked high, to an on-going publicity program for online media. These are just a few examples to let you know that web marketing isn’t the simple task of sending a bunch of press releases to the online media. It’s time to get noticed so that you survive this slow time in order to be on top of the competition. Let us show you how without burning a whole in your wallet. Call us at 949-477-9400.

Publicity Professionals Know How Important Social Networking Is, Or Do They?

Are professional publicity firms and their staff really using social networks for their pr clients? Or are the pr clients telling their publicity professionals and pr agencies to look into getting more involved with social networking. If you are a publicity professional, you will say yes. Ask a pr client, and you might get a complex answer, or just plain “no”.

If you have a pr marketing strategy plan, or a publicity plan, then include marketing to the social networks. It is more than asocial networking group of kids connecting. There are a bunch of different networks on the Internet today. If you recall from my article titled “Social Media keeps growing…” you will learn about the different types of networks. Including those that reach seniors.

Today I read an article, front page of the business section, in the LA Times. It was all about MySpace and how it is now keeping up with Facebook. At one point Facebook took the lead with the social networks. Now, the owners of MySpace, News Corp, has hired hundreds of programmers who speak to this audience to create a slew of new features to compete with Facebook. Good article. In more than just how the two are competing. It is telling publicity professionals that social networking is a mainstay and you need to make your pr marketing strategies part of the overall campaign for pr clients.

It doesn’t matter if you are a local publicity company in Orange County, or a national publicity agency, you need social media networking. I spoke about other types of business networking such as linkedIn. These are geared to business professionals, but soon you will start seeing “business networks” similar to MySpace where companies of all sizes will share their thoughts, strategies, and business philosophy. So get going and get into social media networks. Not sure how to do that? Then give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400. He can get you noticed!

Do You Know How To Create A Publicity Plan?

If you are a pr client, or an ad agency, or even a publicity person, these tips can help you organize yourself to create a solid publicity plan. Although these may seem basic, they are the key essentials for any publicity plan.

For PR Clients, you need to have your key personnel in the marketing and sales departments become part of this process. For all pr agency staff, take notes; maybe even compare a recent pr plan you had prepared to compare it to this checklist.

First, you need to:  SET GOALS and OBJECTIVES.

Sounds easy, but this is the core to most failures of a publicity campaign. For example the goals and objectives should be something that can be achieved with a good plan, rather than a “wish list”. If you are a food company, or a retail store, it would be to “increase traffic and sales”. Other goals and objectives could be to “generate awareness to the brand(s), or to the name”.  Write at least three of the goals and objectives that are most needed at your company, or for your pr client.

Keep in mind that the publicity campaign should be part of your overall marketing plan. You need to work with marketing in order to see how your publicity plan can fit with the marketing initiatives.

When writing the publicity plan you should include these OBJECTIVES:

• Target Audience (identify them, even B2B companies have a target audience)

• Tactics (what are the means of media, such as TV, radio, newspapers, internet social networks, etc) Some of the best pr tactics to use are News Releases, Media Press Kits, Articles, News Conference, etc. It is very important that one person be the main contact at the company. This assigned individual needs to be available, and be knowledgeable of the products, or services you are promoting in the campaign.

• Timing (when are you planning to implement the publicity campaign) if this is about a special event or specific launch of a new product, then timing is critical and you need to plan well in advance.

• Measurement (have a process to measure the results) you can monitor the publicity campaign throughout the duration of the campaign. For example, how many interviews have been conducted? How many stories, or releases have been published, or placed in the different media–broadcast, print, Internet.

Each of these areas can be detailed and explained further. But my goal and objective for this blog is to get you started in the right direction. You can build upon these parts as needed. If you are a pr client or a publicity person that needs help in creating a publicity campaign, then give Carson Marketing a call. We can help your publicity campaign reach the goals and objectives set forth.

Understanding Web 2.0, part two

This is a second part to the Understanding Web 2.0 series.

You may not always agree with the different perspectives, or the tips given about how to better make use of Web 2.0, but at least I feel this is giving your mind the opportunity to see a different side.

Make sure you review the first series so that you know what we are talking media networks The social media, Web 2.0 as commonly referred to needs to have pr clients, pr agencies and all marketing experts “change their mindsets” on how to improve their marketing. Let’s jump forward to a few more of the 12 steps by Larry Weber.

4. Target behavior. Traditionally, marketers did this by demographics. This is still the practice, because we have been taught that media is bought in that manner. The new marketing changes this pr marketing strategy. The web actually can map the behavior more closely. You can track a visitor’s behavior by the amount of time they spend on a page. Social Web will do much more and provide a lot of informative details about the visitor. Customers are more open on these sites, letting you know what they like, how often they visit a place, or purchase the kinds of items they want. The old strategy was too much a one-to-one targeting. Now we need to see the behavior, know that the individual visits four or five different types of sites. These factors paint a better behavior picture and opens up a new marketing strategy.

I am not going in any specific order that Mr. Weber wrote, so if you want to view all the 12 steps now, you can do so by clicking here.

5. Invert your strategy. For all those pr marketing strategy people, and marketing strategy people, listen to this. Traditionally you worked from the top down. Now it is to be from the bottom up. Companies should test ideas and products, and let the strategy bubble up from there, rather than trickling down from top management. For example, using Social Web you can test quickly, and learn from those results. You can ask questions as to what the customer would pay, where to find the product, etc. This should be part of an overall marketing strategy, such as in the automotive or soft drink industry that relies heavily on traditional marketing strategies. Using Social Web can open your marketing eyes and help build a strong pr marketing strategy.

I’ll point out more of the 12 steps in another blog. So for now, do your homework. Start thinking non-traditionally and get into the social network. When you want results and are not sure how to building a solid pr marketing strategy, give George Carson a call. Carson Marketing can make things happen for you.

Web Sites. Build it and they will come!

Everyone wants a successful web site. But if you build one without a pr marketing strategy plan that includes web marketing and optimization, they won’t come!

pr clients and pr marketing web sitesMany factors determine if a web site is search engine friendly. For example, optimizing meta tags, title pages, text in the body of the site (each page is important), the url, alt tags, among many other things.

If you are a pr client, or a B2B company in today’s competitive Internet business world, you should include social networks. These may include Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and many others.

A PR marketing strategy campaign for a web site should include inbound links, site submission to directories and search engines submission. If you want to outpace the competition, then social media and blogging need to be part of the overall media mix.

Ok, let’s get back to being “user friendly” and “search friendly”. Your site might look good, but is it designed for the crawling of search engines? Make sure you have the following:

1- Use text that is rich in content. Use the keywords and title that are in your source codes. Don’t have a home page that is an “only registered’ page without text.
2- Develop a domain name that says what you do. It is getting more difficult to create a domain name that isn’t already taken. But there are creative solutions to that problem. If you face this issue, give us a call. We can suggest alternate domains that will work for you.
3- Keep the site simple. A lot of content is ok, but if the site has too many pages deep to get to a specific area, then it will turn off customers, as well as SEO’s.
4- Design the site for users. Although SEO’s do not read images, or videos, you can still build a good site with these and have good content. A poorly created site is a sure way of not getting recognized by search engines as well as users.

Those are some of the basic rules to follow. Now all you need is traffic. Be sure to read many of our other tips and topics that can help you achieve your goal. Or contact us for a free, one-hour session on how to build a solid web site.

Marketers Discover Web 2.0

Wow, stop the presses, finally the marketing B2B people are discovering something new…Web 2.0! Well, not to make these slow learners feel bad, but Web 2.0 has been around awhile. It just seemsWeb 2.0 marketing funny how this is big news in publications like BtoB magazine. I like the publication; they are only telling what is happening to the companies who are finally getting smart.

Ok, so what is Web 2.0? It is the new medium of Blogs, RSS feeds, Podcasts, Videocasts, Social Networks, and more.

These are all the pr strategies and publicity tips I have been preaching for over a year to marketers. I guess I was just too excited at the time to not realize that other PR Clients, and local Orange County Publicity firms were not ready to implement these new pr marketing tools. Why, because they just did not appreciate the value it was offering. Now that the “news” is out, will there be over saturation? No. Just means that you need to be smarter, one step ahead of the competition. You need to have a savvy pr marketing professional, like Carson PR, on your side. I’m not bragging, ok, maybe a little, but it needs to be said that if you can’t see the trends or ignore them, then you as a pr client or publicity agency or even an advertising agency, will fall behind. And in this industry, falling behind isn’t that easy to get caught up.

If you have been reading my blogs for a while, then you know that we mentioned all the social networks long before they became “superbrands”. Places like Facebook, once only a college school network, now is a major competitor to MySpace. There are other social networks that pr clients and pr marketing agencies should consider in their overall marketing strategies. If you have been keeping up with these trends, it is now the podcasts, and videocastings that are becoming the “new” social media. These forms of communication are helping small companies as well as talented artists get recognized and become successful. If your a pr client, or have a publicity agency, give George Carson a call to learn how to be part of this growing media. Then maybe, just maybe, you will be the superbrand that others are trying to imitate.