Tag Archives: Google+

Speak Up Google!

26 Mar

This article by J.C. Kendall was originally published on his company’s website, TekPersona. Reprinted with his permission.

Image Provided by TekPersona

Think back a moment: all the way to Sept 30, 1997.  Do you remember what happened?

On that early morning, a few employees of Microsoft took a huge metal version of the Internet Explorer Logo, placed it on the front lawn of the Netscape headquarters in Mountain View, and took enough pictures of it there to make sure that nobody in media would be without a shot of their own for their stories.

That day was the launch date of IE4.0, and the date when the fate of Netscape was decided forever.  We would win, and they would lose.  We had a demonstrably better browser, and it was free.  Game over.  We shoved our arms down their throat, and cut of their oxygen until they died.  That is BUSINESS.

That was the end game, not the beginning.  For the past two years, Microsoft had made a point of taking their medicine over every actual deficiency with versions 1 through 3 of IE, they made sure that not a single untruth or exaggeration about the product was unchallenged.

The media at that time was in love with Marc Andreessen, the kid fresh from College who was going to take down those big bullies in Redmond.  (Sound familiar?)  To the Silicon Valley press, it was as if Andreessen’s flatulence was of the fragrance of Strawberries.  The media had their story, and they were sticking to it.

That meant that everything Microsoft did in combating Netscape was treated with hostility unlike anything we had ever seen before in Redmond.  For Microsoft to be competing with the little Mountain View startup from (admittedly) behind, meant that we were to some, trying to take the food out of the mouths of Netscape infants and feed it to our wolves, or Steve Ballmer.

The fact is, Internet Explorer 3.0 was also a better browser than Netscape‚Äôs version, but the media would not say so, even in the face of unassailable evidence.¬†¬†It was faster, it was more secure, had more features, and did I mention FREE? The technical media decided that Free was a bad thing, if it meant that Andreessen and Netscape would not slay the Dragon of the Pacific Northwest.¬†¬†It was ‚Äúunfair‚ÄĚ, it was ‚Äúpredatory‚ÄĚ and to many it was ‚Äúillegal‚ÄĚ.

No matter that thousands of Small-to-Medium businesses benefitted from being able to use a state-of-the-art Browser without undertaking another hit to their bottom lines.  We were evil, and that is all that mattered to the Tech Media.

In the areas where the media was unfair, we went after them with a vengeance, made them print retractions, explain themselves, and their testing methodologies to the point where it was easier for the Media to simply tell the truth about our product, than for them to have anyone from Building 22 pick up the phone and throw down on them.

As you know, the Technical Media‚Äôs favorite whipping boy¬†at the moment¬†is Google +, which by any measure is a fantastic product, with the fastest adoption rate of any web site in the history of the Internet.¬†However, if you read or listen to Tech Media, Google + is a ‚ÄúGhost town‚ÄĚ, a ‚Äúfailure‚ÄĚ, and a place where almost nothing of interest is happening.¬†The media is not only pushing these stories weekly, by quoting nobody but each other, they are ramping up their zeal against Google with blatant lies and falsehoods,¬†mis-quotes, exaggerations and more.

Google’s response?

Crickets.

I have been imploring Google for weeks now to answer the Media with a series of FACTS about their product to combat the meme that is beginning to take hold.  “Google + is a loser, and if you use it, it means you are a loser too. “  Once this idea is firmly established, it will not matter what Google does, the product will never reach its potential.

Microsoft set the stage where upon the release of IE 4.0, that the media had no choice but to be honest and admit that Netscape had been surpassed by a free product. Market share of browser usage shifted almost overnight, and by the end of the year, the writing was on the wall for the boys in Mountain View who said they were going to bury us.  (We never forgot that).

Google need not get into any fights, they only need correct the inaccuracies and let the media know that they will hold them to account.  Once that happens, they will have no choice but to tell the truth and the truth is clear.  Google + rocks, and is the single best Social Media platform for both individuals and businesses alike. Those are simple facts. Why would Google not want to say so?  Why would Google not want to point out what happened to the user base at Skype when G+ members discovered Hangouts?

Why has Google not spoken to businesses like mine that are literally saving hundreds of dollars per month from the combination of Google + Hangouts and Google Voice for their corporate communications?  Where is the [insert expletive here:] case study, Google?

At this rate, without Google changing course,  there will come a point where Google + cannot get good enough to combat the perception that it is a failure in the marketplace, and that its users are a only bunch of geeks and early adopters who buy nothing but computer games.

It is time, Google to respect your users, and the businesses that reside on this forum, by not allowing the Media to poison your well of users into undesirable market segments.  You need to tell the Media who we are, and you need to tell them why we love and use your product. So far, your efforts in this regard have been anemic to the point of meaningless.  I do business here.  I bring my clients here.  How about showing us some appreciation, by defending our reasons for being here?

I am not suggesting that at some point, you might want to put a giant Google + Logo on the front steps over at Facebook.  Nevertheless, if you ever do, I can give you the phone number to a shipping company familiar with such activities.

Netscape thought we were childish with the logo stunt, but to that, I say ‚ÄúIf you done it, it¬†aint¬†braggin.‚ÄĚ

Go Get Um, Google!

(disclaimer: I am in no way endorsing the Internet Explorer Browser of today, which due to lack of competition has suffered greatly.  I love and use Chrome, because Chrome just rocks.  )

Social Media Tulsa Conference 2012

13 Mar

March 15th and 16th, this Thursday and Friday, is the second annual Social Media Tulsa Conference! I am so excited to get to attend AND live plus it! Here some basic intro information and what sessions I am most excited for!

What is Social Media Tulsa?

Social Media Tulsa (or #SMTulsa) started as a monthly meetup group (which it still is!) and has grown into a website, social media accounts, a support and ideas network, a digital Chamber of Commerce of sorts, AND a conference!

The conference will be at the downtown¬†Tulsa Hyatt¬†and start with registration at 9 am Thursday with the keynote following at 10 am. It’s a nonstop partying classroom all that day and the next! There will be a blogger’s lounge, keynotes, breakout sessions, a showing of Twittamentary, a Tweetup, and as many Google+ Hangouts as I can squeeze in!

What’s exciting?

Mandy Vavrinak

My friend Mandy Vavrinak will be talking about the Relevance Revolution on Thursday right after lunch. We use people’s opinions and experiences as time saving mechanism all the time. Now, that advice is filtered through social media–and it went global! But I’m sure Mandy will have more interesting things to say about it. ūüôā

Next on the list is Who Let the Dogs Out? or Social Pets at 1 on Friday. Why? Because I’m a dog person. ūüôā

TillmanSkates.com

And then I’m torn because overlapping the amazing rollerblading dog is a Pinterest support group, which just sounds like too much fun! Any ideas on how to do both?

What will you be adding to the event?

I will be live plussing as many sessions as I can attend and type out notes for!

I will be doing as many Google+ Hangouts as time allows. I want to introduce Plussers to Tulsa and Tulsans to Google+!

Circle me on Google+ and let me know you want in the #SMTulsa circle in order to catch all this goodness!

Wow! What should I do now?

You should register for the conference on EventBrite and support the amazing sponsors who make this possible! You should also send karma to Cheryl Lawson who asked me to live plus the conference!

This year’s sponsors include Party Aficionado, Cherry Street Studios, Social Media Examiner, Captured Charms Photography, Tulsa Humane Society, Focus Consulting, Kalvin Kleen Mobile Marketing, MyMedLab, Tulsa Food Guy, Skinny Scoop, Apartment Guide, Other World Computing, Vocus, Summerside Vineyards, Natural Balance Pet Food, and Concord Keystone.

Embrace the Taboo: Pricing

10 Mar

Photo by Soham_Pablo

Money is a taboo in our culture. We’ve all been told, don’t ever be the first to bring up money in the hiring process. We say that there are three things not to be discussed in polite company, but money is possibly the worst. You really shouldn’t talk about money with your date either. So you definitely shouldn’t ask me how much Magic Bottle Marketing’s social media services is going to cost your business, right? WRONG!

I won’t try to¬†explain¬†why¬†people think you shouldn’t talk about money, because I have no idea. I always want to see the figures up front. I can tell you why that is!

  • Money is often the deciding factor. I can either work for that amount or I can’t. I have this much money to spend, so I can either afford it or I can’t. I am already doing two volunteer projects so I simply don’t have the time for a pro bono job. These are cut and dry decisions that rest on number. I would rather know that number sooner rather than later.
  • It tells me a lot about who I am talking to. How much someone is asking for or willing to pay tells me how much they know about the market, the product in question, what type of project they’re doing, how serious and¬†committed¬†they are, etc, etc…
  • It saves me and them a lot of time. If I don’t like what I find out in the above two bullet points I want to know that right away so I don’t waste anyone’s time discussing a project that will never be.

So how much does social media for local businesses from Magic Bottle Marketing cost?

My pricing is similar to a restaurant’s pricing–pick two sides and an entree for $10 set-up. Your choices are…

Sides

  • LinkedIn company page
  • Facebook business page
  • Twitter

Entrees

  • Google+ company page
  • Pinterest

Appetizers

  • FourSquare venue
  • Google Places setup
  • 1 Google Adwords campaign
  • 1 Facebook ad campaign
  • FourSquare special setup

Appetizers are a one-time only fee—$50 for each. Obviously, campaigns and specials can be purchased multiple times. Your first two sides are $100 each per month, but the third is just $50 per month. Entrees are $150 per month. You can get a combo dinner (two sides and an entree) for $300 per month.

What are you paying for?

You are mostly paying for content creation and expert knowledge of how each platform can be customized to your business and its goals. Thus, sites whose content requires more time and effort (Google+ and Pinterest) cost more. Services that are a one-time only creation (campaigns and specials) cost less.

Pricing is something I thought about for months before I even bought the domain magicbottlemarketing.com. After surveying the local industry, I decided that my market niche would be affordable, customized content creation for social media for businesses. That niche was empty. Most businesses right here in Claremore either have no social media presence at all, are struggling to manage it on their own, or are being overcharged for setup only, content poor, non-customized social media accounts. And none of my competitors list their pricing up front.

You have better options! Please drop me a line at anna@magicbottlemarketing.com or give me a ring on my cell at 918-933-2303 and let’s get your business on the path to social success that’s affordable!

Antisocial Type?

7 Mar

Comic by Toothpaste for Dinner

This blog was prompted by three different conversations I had with local business owners today. All together they swirled into this question.

Are there businesses that SHOULDN’T use social media?

Short answer: no! Social media is flexible and can be adopted to any business need!

Personal answer: I personally wouldn’t contract with any company that isn’t safe for children or any doctor’s office. There are too many legal pitfalls in those two industries for them to be worth the risk with my limited legal knowledge.

So why do some business owners think their business wouldn’t benefit from social media? Here’s 5 misconceptions about social media that makes them think this.

1. Social media is only teens.

Where I run into this misconception most is in churches. ¬†I approach them saying “Social media is simply a digitization of what you’re already doing with your members and community. It’s just another communication tool.” and they forward me to the youth pastor. Hello? Did you hear what I just said? Churches aren’t the only ones tainted with this heresy. It’s amusing to me to have people with a question about social media turn to me automatically not knowing that the middle-aged people standing around with me have smarter phones and more experience than I with anything technological or social.

What’s the truth? How about these stats? The average age of a social networker is 37.¬†On Twitter and Facebook, minors are less than 15% of the sites’ users.

2. Social media is only women.

This perception is harder to pick up on. It shows up mor ein conversations and assumptions. I see it when people are surprised when my male marketing colleagues do more than SEO or when an automotive repair businessman tells me that hair saloons would benefit more from social media than his store. I’ve heard the term “chatty Cathy” applied to the social media profession.

How does this assumption hold up? Well, all of the major social networks do have more women than men users, but only slightly. It’s not more than 10% gap on Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn leans more toward men. Pinterest stands out in that it has the largest gender gap, heavily favoring the ladies. However,¬†¬†not even that site is devoid of men!

3. Social media is only geeks.

So I should only use it if I’m selling comic¬†collectibles¬†or app development, right? Wrong! Who is the most followed person Google+? +Britney Spears. Is that geek behavior? Please, don’t insult us!

4. Social media is only Facebook, which we all hate.

I know I talk about Facebook a lot on this blog. That’s because that’s where most of my clients’ customers are. However, I’m not recommending a Facebook diet to anyone! And I know anytime anything changes the slightest bit on Facebook your stream fills up with wailing and weeping. It’s hard to take it seriously though when no one leaves. They can’t possibly all hate it as much as they say.

Let’s assume for a moment that you just cannot stand the idea of your business being on Facebook or you have been granted the divine insight needed to know that Facebook would not help your business in the slightest. You still have Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, and WordPress to pick from!

5. Social media is only procrastination.

Sounds like a personal problem to me. ūüėČ

If anything this misconception is just another reason to hire Magic Bottle Marketing. If social media is distracting to you and decreases your productivity, let me do it for you!

Refining Your Message

16 Feb

Communicating a message effectively is both an art and science. What do art and science have in¬†common? They both take a lot of repetition to perfect and they both progress faster with feedback! Tuesday, I edited my ‘About‘ and ‘Services‘ pages. I’m CCing it here so I can get your feedback through comments.

About

Magic Bottle Marketing provides social media management and consulting services for local Green Country businesses. Social media is like a magic bottle that conveys your message to your customers faster, cheaper, and more effectively than traditional means. It combines three types of sales leads‚Äďadvertising, returning ¬†customers, and referals‚ÄĒinto one powerful medium.

Photo by Joel Chan

Anna Bavido founded Magic Bottle Marketing in 2011 out of a passion for her community and her own social media addictions, errr‚Ķ experience. She has lived in Claremore since 2001 and graduated from Rogers State University in 2009 with a bachelor‚Äôs of science in social sciences. When she‚Äôs not teaching businesses to be sociable she is invovled in politics, family, karate, social media, and Jesus‚Äďbut not necessarily in that order. Her favorite social network is¬†Google+.

Services

Magic Bottle Marketing approaches each client every day with 3 mottos.

  1. Give the client the biggest bang for their buck.
  2. The right tool for the right job.
  3. Track performance.

The first one is an attitude of gratefulness and responsibility for clients. You don’t have to give me business and I take the fact that you did very seriously. For more explanation, see Corporate Gratitude. Second, is a messaging approach that leverages the right social networks in the right way for clients’ goals and targeted customers. This is further explained in Social Media and Angry Birds. Third, I look back as often as I look forward. If I don’t know what I did before and how well it worked, I won’t know what to do next. I blogged about this some in the post Reflections.

With this mindset, I provide tiered contract management services for the following social media platforms‚Äď

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Foursquare
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Google Adwords
  • WordPress

Service packages are customized to each client and start as low as $200/month. Discounts are available for churches, charities, and other nonprofits. Call Anna at 918-933-2303 or drop her a line at anna@magicbottlemarketing.com to find out how Magic Bottle Marketing can best help your business!

Dreaming Social

27 Jan

Three of my family members are looking at some new business ventures. One of them is even under construction as we speak! Being the social media addict that I am, I’m already dreaming up ways that internet technology and social media can be of assistance to their efforts. I very much want this blog to be practical and hands-on. Blogs extolling the virtues of social media are a dime-a-dozen, after all. So, here are some futuristic case studies, if such a phrase is legitimate. ūüėČ

Business Scenario #1: Taco Stand

My uncle, Fred Sutherland, is in the last stages of being released from the Texas State Prison System on parole. It’s a scary economic world for us all right now, but ex-cons have a much worse time of it than the rest of us do. A long story short is that he has a business plan ready to implement for several food wagons (he’s currently looking at tacos and burgers). He wants to target the downtown professional on lunch break, the construction crews that do not have their own transportation while on site. The plan is to be able to hit two or three key locations in a day at their specific lunch/supper rush.

Possible Social Media/Technology for Business Scenario #1

FourSquare: I’m recommending to Fred that he create a FourSquare account for each food wagon. I would like to see original quirky names. Each FourSquare account would build a strong local network of friends for each of its stops. Through push notifications and ‘Nearby’ features a lot of the daily promotional work will be ‘outsourced’ to FourSquare. Bonus: when a new location or stop is added for a wagon Fred can use Forecast (posted about previously) to plan an opening splash.

Text Club: The most obvious use of a texting group is to broadcast specials and locations, but you could do a lot beyond that. Customers could text orders and then receive a text when the order is ready. Which brings us to…

Payment: Square. The vendor pricing is quite competitive with traditional card payment methods. And you can’t beat the wow factor. ūüėČ

It’s going to take my superior communication skills to present this to Fred. Social media wasn’t even thought of when he was last in the business world. I’ll let y’all know how it goes!

Business Scenario #2: Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

My brother’s father-in-law (what do I call him? Father-in-law once removed? 2nd Father-in-law?), Bob Kulp, is a seasoned business owner and¬†entrepreneur¬†(It runs deep in his family) and his latest project is the conversion of traditional gasoline vehicles so that they run off of natural gas, which is significantly cleaner and cheaper than gasoline. He is in the process of building a CNG filling station on his property. He is avidly promoting CNG ¬†and fleet conversion across Wisconsin.

Possible Social Media/Technology for Business Scenario #2

App: the best sales pitch is to show someone the money and I find the easiest way to track money is through an app. A CNG app could track

  • mileage¬†of CNG vehicle and how much less pollution it exhausts
  • how much saved per gas purchase compared to gasoline prices in the area
  • how close you are to paying off conversion cost with lower fuel costs and better gas mileage. Once conversion is paid for this converts to a pure savings number.
  • how close you are to a CNG filling station

Each of these tracking should allow for sharing the positive numbers to social networks. “Aliya has saved $326 so far with Kulp Energy Solutions!” followed by a link.

Bob is already quite active on social networks, both personally and professionally, so just go observe and learn.

Business Scenario #3: Local Sports Scene

My brother Ethan has noticed that there is one sport that gets a lot of attention nationally that has a local scene in the Tulsa area who is ignored by all local media. I can’t tell you which one because you might capitalize on this idea before he gets to. ::glare:: don’t even think about it!

Possible Social Media/Technology for Business Scenario #3

He is first going to build an online reputation of an expert in the sport. Once that is established he wants to leverage it to get radio spots. All of this is a little hazy because some of it requires equipment investments that he does not currently have the money for. Any angel investors out there?

Twitter: He should live-tweet national events in this sport. He should also host a weekly TweetChat (which I described to him as a “twat on Chitter’ just the other day. How¬†embarrassing.) on the sport.

Google+: He should do hangouts from local events and do hangout interviews with the athletes on Google+. He could also broadcast hangouts from the teams’ gyms with multiple interviews.

Blog: Predictions, commentary, reviews, interviews, etc.. of each local event.

Podcast: live broadcasting from local events that are also being broadcasted on television (which might restrict Hangouts). This will be the easiest part to convert to radio.

Many of these require portable wifi or 4G internet, a laptop or tablet with a good web camera, an external mic (maybe 2?), and access to cable television. With that high financial threshold this venture might take some time to happen, but I’m confident Ethan can make it a success!