Sean: One of the things that people asked was what’s the most important thing that they could do every day for their website to benefit their business online. This might sound like a self-serving sort of answer, but the thing that you can do is to blog or write about your own company in an ongoing fashion.
Content marketing is the cornerstone of modern search engine optimization. It also gives people a destination when you share things by social media. There has to be a destination behind even pay-per-click ads. There needs to be a compelling discussion at the destination that people reach, even when they click through on an ad. So content marketing is really the foundation of modern online marketing. Everything else, they’re basically founded on that.
So if I was to make a recommendation, I would recommend that you have and use a blog in your website. And there’s more than one way to do that. The blog mechanism can become your entire website or it can be in the background, and you can still derive benefit from it. Obviously there’s different price ranges for doing it in those different ways. I’m sorry if I’m being kind of general, but there’s no one size fits all sort of answer to this. We have to evaluate everybody’s individual situation.
The other thing that people wanted to talk about was Google+. Google+ is another social media platform, but it’s more than that. And I’m going to demonstrate a little bit of what Google+ can do. I’m not going to demonstrate all of its features because the features that are available on the Google+ app are fewer than are available on the desktop app. And so this, what the stream in Google+ looks like, it’s boxes that are full width or split up. Mine is very heavy with things that have to do with search engine optimization because I’m interested in that topic. But there’s also a reminder here to call my brother because it’s his birthday today. So I better . . .
Audience: We’ll sing. What’s his number?
Sean: I don’t know if I Ihave it in my phone. But you know, I have some other personal stuff in here. I like to cook and eat, so I’ve got some recipe things. One of the things about Google+ that really kind of sets it apart is the quality of the photos, and you can have actual full galleries behind this. This guy has an interesting thing where he posts beautiful pictures where he says, “I did not wake up in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.” But he posts a big, beautiful picture of it. Maybe he’s wishing.
Okay, so this all looks like a pretty standard social media sort of platform. And it is. Of course, everybody wants to know, oh, how do I tie this back to my business? How do I make this work? If I had to make a suggestion, it is social media, don’t let your first impulse be to tie it back to your work. I would say play around with it, and try the different features, and try to find out what’s fun. Use it as an enjoyment thing and think about it in a business sense later.
Audience: What about something that’s like Netflix?
Audience: I have Netflix and I was just going to cancel it. $7.99 a month.
Sean: Okay, I’m not sure what you’re talking about but we’ll address that later. Okay. So in the upper left-hand corner there’s a little toolbar and you can see that you can search here. And so it’s possible to search for things that you’re interested in, but it’s also possible to use hashtags, which are a web-wide convention that denotes that a keyword follows this. So I did a little bit of searching and I’m searching for the hashtag of diamonds.
Because we have a member who’s interested in that, and I wanted to see what it brings up. And so this is one of the things that completely separates Google+ from Facebook. The search in Facebook is a joke. It’s practically useless. And that includes photos. You can post a photo up there and good luck finding it again. Thankfully, you have good organizational skills and it’s a library and a gallery that you created and live with well. If not, good luck in finding it.
So another thing is that the quality of what’s being posted on Google+ is just like an order of a magnitude better. I don’t know why it is. I don’t know if it’s self-selecting. But there is just a, here’s an interesting one. This might actually make it to the Ballards Blogger, maybe Facebook, as a post: Swiss Company Turns Cremated Human Remains into Diamonds.
Audience: What? What?
Sean: I mean, if it’s carbon, it’s carbon, right? You know? And so, that’s just a very curious little thing, but you can wear a loved one on your finger.
Audience: Wear a loved one on your finger. I draw the line.
Sean: So this is something that we already published this article about this to their Facebook page, or it’s going up today or tomorrow, about these cocktail rings at the Grammy’s. There was a bunch of coverage about that. There’s just a lot of beautiful jewelry up here. This is not just your standard, average kind of jewelry that people are posting up here.
And so I think that the overall quality level is very interesting. And you can see here in the upper right there’s a rotating reference to the keywords that are associated with this, using hashtags: yellow diamonds, canary diamonds, and nature.
So that’s using hashtags to find things that you’re interested in. And then you can follow these people if you’re interested in seeing more posts from them.
Audience: Is it following like Twitter?
Sean: What’s that?
Audience: Is it following like Twitter?
Sean: Well, actually it’s called circling. You add them to a circle, and so it’s possible to add them to your circle. It is in essence following, but it has its own name on every platform. So the other thing that it’s good for is communities. These are my communities, and obviously they’re very specific to me. But here’s suggested communities down here and this is where you can find some interesting things. Obviously, it’s very tech-heavy because that’s what I have up there so far. But there’s some more personal ones. Famous quotes; that could be interesting. Things about Android phones; that could be of use to some people.
But it’s possible then to also search for communities. So let’s search for independent jewelers, just to stay with our theme. And so here are some different communities from around. So what this is saying is that there is an opportunity here. There’s very few independent jewelers. But I happen to know that Glenn and Guy are members of a nationwide organization that has hundreds if not thousands of members in it, so maybe at some point in the future they will have.
And so it can become like a private, special group where the membership is controlled and you don’t publicize it. Or you can have aspects that are publicized and you can share it with select people, have discussions. Google+ can be looked at as like a long-form blogging tool. It can hold many more characters than Twitter, more than Facebook.
And so another thing that I wanted to demonstrate but I can’t demonstrate is Hangouts. Hangouts are interesting because it is a video chat area where you can speak to up to ten people at the same time. We use this on a weekly basis, almost daily, because my business partner, Joe, is in Kentucky. And so we gather around the iPad and call him up, and he’s on his computer, and we can have business meetings and talk about project management and production. It’s two-way voice and video, and that’s very definitely useful.
So that’s actually a separate app in the iPad environment. This menu bar is much bigger in the desktop environment and contains Google Local. So if I go to my profile and I click on Reviews here, you can see that I created a review for Gil. This is something that I had told Gil I would do a while ago, but I waited until today. But I have five reviews here. And let me see. How do I get to them all? Oh, here it comes.
Two minutes? Okay. Well, there’s one more topic that I wanted to get to. This is obviously, there’s much more to cover here. The other topic is, Chris Wensen suggested, and I thought it was a great idea, that we have another get-together involving reviewing each others’ businesses online, which makes a big difference. So if anyone is interested in reviewing each others’ businesses online, Chris and I are going to kind of spearhead this thing and what it will involve of course is everybody is well-wishing, “Yeah, yeah.
That’s a great idea. We’ll do it.” Well, what’s going to happen is Chris and I will organize a little time we can all get together and we’ll try to keep it all organized and working in an ongoing fashion so that we can review each others’ businesses online. So if you’re interested in that, you can come up to Chris or I after the meeting and talk about it and we’ll get it together. You had a question?
Audience: Is that for Google or for Yelp?
Sean: It’ll be for whatever platform you prefer. There won’t be any limit.
Audience: With Yelp you have to be very careful because so you don’t get inundated with emails.
Sean: Right. Right. I would like to demonstrate a Hangout. This is a picture I took out my front door; it was a beautiful morning. But go back here. Okay. So photos are a thing that Google+ handles really well. Like I was saying before, there’s some pictures of my mom when she was visiting. She wanted me to take some pictures. There’s a picture of Don. We’re celebrating his birthday. There’s supposed to be more than one candle on there. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what happened.
But like I was saying before, one of the things about Google is that the search is vastly superior. So notice this. These are things that were brought up with the keyword of fish in my own photos. Look at this one. This is an article that I took a picture of to send to another client. And it only mentions the word fish, down here, in the last sentence. It’s read a picture. It has read this picture and looked at the content and included it. And look here: It figured out that this was a fishing boat.
This is a picture from my trip to Ireland. This is one of the harbors there. It’s an island. There’s lots of harbors. There’s lots of fishing boats. This is where the fish and chips comes from.
Audience: The most important thing, of course.
Sean: But Google recognized that this was, now this is a strange little fish that my son caught. We were trying to figure out what the heck is that thing. It’s an odd little fish. But that’s from searching fish. If I go to my circles, then it brings up pictures that my friends may have posted. People that are my friends. And look, there’s a lot of amazing stuff there.
Audience: So Sean . . .
Sean: Yes, sir.
Audience: When you posted those pictures, do you tag them with hashtag fish or it’s just . . .
Sean: I think that yes, that particular gallery was part of something that was labeled. So in that case, its job was easy. But I would have to go back and look at my gallery in order to tell you which one. It’s way back there. It’s from Catalina. Okay, well here’s something. Here’s another interesting, let me go back here. Events. Oops. We’ve already been to communities, thank you.
Events: It’s possible to create and invite people to events. I chose this picture just to represent the event. This was an experiment that I did. But my family took a group trip to Catalina. My entire family is not as tech-obsessed as I am. So only three of us actually say they went, but actually there was a huge group of people. It’s possible to add photos to an event. We could have created an event for today. I could have taken pictures with my phone. They would automatically be backed up here and I could put them into galleries. It’s possible to curate your own events.
Audience: Good job, buddy.
Sean: Okay. Well, if you guys have any questions, I think I’m done, but I’d be happy to talk to you about any of this stuff and how you might be able to use this for your business if that makes sense, at a future date. Thank you.
Check out my website, open-interactive.com, for samples of my work or give me a call at 949.722.6119.