Google+ Communities: 5 Reasons You Should Care

Google+ finally has an answer to Facebook Groups. It’s called Google+ Communities. And while Google+ Communities aren’t unique and innovative like Google+ Hangouts, they just may be the feature that pushes Google+ beyond the “early adopters,” and into the mainstream of social media networks. My first reaction to the news about Google+ Communities was, “this sounds great, but really, do I need a reason to spend more time on social media?” Having played around in the new Google+ Communities, I’ve decided the result isn’t going to be more time spent, but rather time better spent. So, if you’re thinking Google+ Communities sound interesting, but you’re not sure you really have time to spend there, I encourage you to read on. There are at least 5 reasons you’ll want to rethink that position. What and Where Are Google+ Communities? I won’t give you a step-by-step “how to” on Google+ Communities here. Let’s just look at the basics so you can understand what they are. Then we’ll go into why you should care. Google+ Communities can be public or private. There are 2 types of public groups – one allows everyone to post and comment; the other allows only moderators to post, but everyone can comment. There are also 2 types of private groups – one that can be discovered through search, and one that is discoverable only to those who have the url. You can find your Google+ Communities by logging in to your Google+ profile and looking for the green icon on the left-hand side. It looks like this: When you click on the “Communities” icon, you’ll see thumbnails...

5 Content Marketing Strategies For Getting it All Done

Back in the day, you could get away with posting on your blog a couple of times a week, if you had a blog at all. And that was all the content your business had to produce. The rest could be done with landing pages, Google Adwords, and email marketing. But, things have changed, as things do. And now, more and more, doing business online is all about content. As an online business owner, you are a content marketer. Or at least you better be. You may be thinking content marketing is fine for others, but you’re using social media marketing to grow your business. Well, call it what makes you happy, but social media marketing is content marketing. Sure, you can tell people good morning, good night, and show them a picture of your dinner on social media. But if you want to build relationships that translate into money, you’re going to have to also give them quality, relevant information about your market. It’s not just about blogging. Your audience expects good content from you on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and yes, even Pinterest. And this is where the problem comes in. If you want people to get to know you, and if you want to keep them engaged, you’re going to need to be blogging at least twice a week, and posting on your social media networks daily. And then interacting with those who comment on your blog and social media networks. This quickly becomes a full time job, at least. So how do you keep up with your content marketing, and still have time for...

Content Curation: Scoop.it and Other Great Ways to Share

We’ve been talking about what content curation is, why you should be doing it, and how to set up your content curation machine. Today we’re going to wrap up the content curation discussion by talking about the best ways to share curated content with your audience. If you’ve been following along, you should be curating content from at least 3 different sources by now – Twitter Search, Google Alerts, and an RSS Reader. Now that you have all of this great information, how do you get it to your audience? Let’s look at three ways you can share. Manual Sharing on Social Media Sites Perhaps the most obvious option for sharing your curated content is to scroll through the results, copy the ones you like, and paste them into Hootsuite to send out to your various social media networks. This is doable, but suffers from disadvantages of being time consuming, not very organized, and having a limited reach. As fast as all of the social media network feeds move, you will be lucky if a good percentage of your audience sees the valuable information you’ve found for them if you are simply tweeting it out, or sharing it on other networks. This is not to say you shouldn’t use this method. Twitter especially is a place where people love to find good links. (In fact, you’re finding a lot there in your content curation!) But you shouldn’t rely on this method alone. You can also share your curated content on your blog. In fact, some blogs are made up of nothing but curated content. I don’t recommend this, however,...

Content Curation in 3 Easy Steps

Last time we talked about what content curation is, and why you should care. Now that you care, let’s talk about the easiest ways to curate content. I’m going to start with the easy ways because there are an ever-growing number of tools and services you can use to curate content. So it’s impossible to cover every potential place you could go or method you could use. The advantage to what I’m going to show you today is that (1) it’s easy, (2) it’s fast, and (3) it’s the entry level stuff that every online business owner should be doing. Before we get started on how to set up your content curation system, let’s review the “why” again real quick. Your purpose in curating content is to provide your audience with the best, most up-to-date, and highly relevant information on your market that there is. Your goal is to find the sources that have the best content already gathered. Unless you want to work full time at content curation – which of course you don’t – you’ve got to find the quickest way to get this done without compromising quality. You can get started with effective content curation in 3 easy steps.  Step 1: Twitter Search Twitter is a great place to curate content. There’s a lot of quality content there. The key to doing it effectively is to identify what keywords are relevant to your market. This requires having patience and playing around with it a little bit. Identify 2-3 keywords or keyword phrases and set them up as Twitter searches. Keep the 1-2 searches that are returning the...

What is Content Curation and Why You Should Care

Content curation is hugely important to your online business. And its importance will only continue to grow. When I talk with people about whether and how they are curating content, I find that many don’t understand how to curate content. And a good number of people don’t even know what content curation means. So today we’re going to start from the beginning and talk about the what and why of content curation. Then next time I’ll share with you some of the easiest and most effective methods of content curation. What is Content Curation? Content curation escapes any exact definition but I’ll give it a try. Content curation is the discovery, selection, organization and sharing of the best and most relevant content on any given topic. The content involved is usually articles, but can (and should) include videos, photos, infographics, and podcasts. Once the content is found, selected and organized, it can be shared in a variety of ways. Most commonly, curators share the content on their blog, in a their email newsletter, on social media networks, and/or in a virtual newspaper-type publication such as Paper.ly or Scoop.it. It is also worth mentioning what content curation is not, as there is a lot of that going on too. Putting someone else’s content on your blog, in whole or in part, without giving the original creator credit, is not curation. It’s stealing. Even publishing someone’s entire article on your site and giving them credit, without their permission, is not okay. Finally, just pulling together a bunch of links and publishing them is not good content curation. The point of content curation...

The Social Media Numbers Game: Is Bigger Really Better?

In much of life you may be judged by the company you keep, but in social media, you are judged by the numbers you keep.  The more fans, followers, and friends you have, the more successful you are deemed to be in social media.  The more connections you have and circles you are in, the greater number of people you are presumably influencing. Makes sense, right? Well, maybe. Sometimes the Numbers Lie One of the problems with focusing on your social media numbers is sometimes the numbers lie. It’s always possible to manipulate the numbers game. In fact, if you’ve been engaged in social media for any length of time at all, you’ve likely seen it done. You can buy 1,000 “targeted” Facebook fans for about $100-$200. Non-targeted fans are much cheaper. You can get 5000 Twitter followers for next to nothing. But, there are so many problems with these “too good to be true” answers to the social media numbers game. First of all, you will almost always be amazed to find that the people offering you these great deals have a couple of hundred fans/followers, at most. Which means they aren’t going to deliver you what they’ve promised either. Second, even if the promise is fulfilled, the engagement level of these new folks – yes, even the targeted ones – is going to be little to nothing. The payment is merely for following. You’ll be lucky if even a few of these new followers ever see your posts in their stream or news feed. People who are a fan of buying Facebook fans like to argue that no one will “Like”...