Salesforce is Making a Momentous Push into Advertising

At SalesForce’s recent Dreamforce Convention, they announced they will be partnering with Google Analytics and combining their data pools. This will allow marketers to have access to stats from both platforms. This is the first time that Google Analytics will be deeply integrated into a CRM system. This allows SalesForce to move into advertising by being able to offer consumers the option to purchase ads based on how users respond to email, SMS, and push notifications.

Read More

Whoa Google, Those are Some Big Promises

Google just let out a teaser video and we don’t know what to think. It’s a little ominous if you ask me. The ad sheds no light on what kind of phone this is going to be. But, after some simple Google browsing, I was able to determine Oct. 4 marks the release date for the new Google Pixel 2. Check out Google’s recent video ad below.

Read More

AdWords Universal App Campaigns Outplace App-Install Campaigns

Universal App Campaigns

Thanks to Google AdWords, driving mobile app downloads is easier than ever. Originally the only option on AdWords for an app campaign was their manual app-install campaigns. With the launch of their Universal App Campaigns (UAC) two years ago, things have become even more a breeze. Now, AdWords is moving all app-install ads under the UAC umbrella, putting Google in the driver’s seat.

Read More

Highest Ever CPC Costs

CPC

The rules of supply and demand are pretty simple, as demand goes up supply goes down and costs go up. This principal effects CPC and search advertising. It seems like marketers feel some sort of pressure to get their ads to the top of search results today. The pressure to be at the top has increased CPC to the highest it’s ever been, and it’s only forecast to keep rising.

Read More

Don’t Open This Google Doc Invite From Your Gmail

Gmail

When my co-worker forwarded me an email with a strange link that said “Open in Docs” I was intrigued. The link took me to a screen that asked me to log into my account and then proceeded to ask for permission to “read, send, delete, and manage your email” and also to “manage your contacts”. Ha! Why would I ever allow someone to manage my gmail? I deleted it immediately, but some people proceeded with allowing the phisher to have access. The link has been spread across the internet, affecting more than a million people.

Read More

Google VP Announces News That Google+ Is Splitting Into 2 New Products: Photos & Streams

On June 28, 2011, Google launched their social network product – Google+. The Internet went crazy. Rumors flew around about needing to whip up a Google+ profile for your business because Google would, in turn, rank you higher. That may or may not have happened – but most likely did. Now, March of 2015, Google+ is changing again. And, the Internet, once again, has gone a little crazy. Fun fact: search volume for the keyword “Google+” is up 122%, month over month! So, with that, here’s the scoop:

The announcement

Follow StrataBlue on Google+ today!This week, Google announced that it was revamping its Google+ product, splitting the once all-inclusive social media platform into Hangouts, Streams and Photos. Soon after, many news outlets pounced on this news, proclaiming the end of a maligned platform that never saw as much use as Facebook or Twitter.

The thing is, Google+ isn’t going away. It might be called something else, but for those that still like posting updates and interacting with others socially will still be able to do so through Streams. Google may retool this area, as the concept of Circles and so on was never something that caught on with a majority of users.

Those that use Google Hangouts for chats, conference calls and video interaction will still be able to do so. Hangouts, in particular, is a strong component of the overall experience, as the free features it provides rival the paid experiences of many rivals like Skype, GoToMeeting, Lync, or even FaceTime.

Those that love the Photos feature of Google+ for automatically syncing photos from mobile and desktop, organizing them for you and allowing you to find them easily — that will still work too. I’ve tried a lot of photo backup solutions, and I still gravitate back toward Photos, because it integrates seamlessly with Android phones as if it were a native, offline photos app.

Using Google+ for social posting will still be important…

For those that want to get their message to the widest possible audience, streaming content on Google+ will still be important. Often, a public Google+ update will get a more favorable Google search listing than a comparable public Facebook post (and Twitter is only now going back to being re-indexed by Google). Many apps like Flipboard and HTC’s BlinkFeed still aggregate content from Google+, along with the other social networks, and I don’t expect that to change after the split.

Bottom line: Google+ got a bad rap, but whatever part of the social media network you still liked using will carry over — it’ll just be rebranded and might work a little differently. But, as with everything else Google has done, we will first complain, then adapt, and begin to find effective ways to leverage their changes.

Follow StrataBue on Google+

The digital marketing team at StrataBlue will also adapt and learn about ways to leverage Google’s new version of their social network(s). Feel free to drop us line if you want to talk – click here to fill out an online form now. Or, stay connected with us by following our own Google+ page! Click the image below to connect!

Follow us on Google+ to learn more.

How Social Media Changed The Way Presidents Disseminate Information

With millions and millions of social followers, POTUS can disseminate information a lot easier.

So a little fact about myself before I dive into this blog – I love the TV show The West Wing. Yes, I know, it stopped airing in 2005 but Netflix is like a drug. I’m not super political and as a quick disclaimer, this blog post will also not be political. With President’s Day occurring earlier this week, I felt it would be appropriate to talk about how the Internet and social media changed the ways in which the President and his staff disseminate information.

Read More

No Time Like the Right Time: A Guide to Social Media Posting

If your social media campaign goals involve wanting your organic posts to be seen by the largest possible audience, then timing is everything. So what are the dead zones and prime times for posting to social media profiles?

Social Posting Times StrataBlue

Below is a general guide to the best social media posting times for optimum reach, along with dead zones to avoid when getting your content out through various social media platforms. Note: This information applies to the time of day for your audience, assuming the majority of your audience is in the same timezone as you.

Facebook

Prime Times: 6 to 8 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., 3 to 9 p.m.

Dead Zone: 10 p.m.-4 a.m.

Note:

  • Here you are sure to catch the early birds, lunchtime crowds and the night owls.
  • The worst time to post is on weekends before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m.

Twitter

Prime Times: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Dead Zones:  8 p.m. to 9 a.m.

Note:

  • Avoid posting after 4 p.m. on Friday—many people have already checked out for the weekend.
  • Interestingly, according to Dan Zarrella’s research, Twitter engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends. So while you may not receive a lot of engagement on a Friday night, be sure to schedule posts to go out on Saturday and Sunday to see how your audience responds.

Pinterest

Prime Times: 2 to 4 p.m., 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Dead Zones:  1 a.m. to 7 a.m., 5 to 7 p.m.

Note:

  • Peak time is Saturday mornings.
  • Weekends are the best days to post.

LinkedIn

Prime Times: 7 to 9 a.m., 5-6 p.m.

Dead Zones: 10 p.m. to  6 a.m.

Note:

  • Keep in mind LinkedIn is a professional network, so it is acceptable for your audience to be active on the network during business hours.
  • Best days include: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Instagram

Prime Times: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Dead Zones:  6 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Note:

  • Sunday is the best day to post.

Google+

Prime Time: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Dead Zones: 6 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Note:

  • Unlike other platforms, avoid posting in the evening.
  • The peak time is during work hours.

Keep in Mind

When it comes down to it, knowing when your brands’ fans and followers are most active on social media is key. You can learn what these times are through Facebook Insights or most social media analytics programs. You can also get a feel for what is the best time to post for your brand depending on when you get the most engagement on posts. When narrowing down your optimal times for posting, also keep in mind the demographics of your audience.

As a last piece of advice, think of what your audiences’ “downtimes” are and play off of that. Get their attention in the morning on their way to work and while they are checking their emails. Catch them during lunch time, and of course, anything after rush hour is fair game.

What times have you found work best for your social media accounts? What advice do you have for posting times? Leave your comments below!

Google URL Builder: It’s the Journey AND the Destination

So you’ve got Google Analytics set up on your website, and you know where people are going once they get there. But how do you determine where they’re coming from, out of all the potential sources?

Enter Google URL Builder. By using this simple, free tool from Google, you generate a string of tags which can be sent back to Google Analytics for tracking. The tags get added to the root URL so that you can later determine from where clicks originated — be it from social media, your blog, e-mail campaigns and even online advertising. Consistent use of this analytics code will enable you to track custom campaigns and determine a customer or potential customer’s entry point to your site, whether he or she converts into a paying customer, how long the customer spends on your site, where they exit from and so on.

The web address where you can access this free link-building tool is difficult to remember, so the best thing to do is Google “Google URL Builder” and click on the first search result that comes up.

Google URL Builder: It’s the Journey AND the Destination
It seems daunting, but these fields are easy to understand.

There are many UTM parameter fields to fill out to generate the correct tags that get added to your URL, so let’s get started:

Step 1: Enter the URL of your website.

This step is going to change each time depending on what part of your website you are linking to, whether it be a specific product, blog post or offer.

Step 2: Fill in the fields below.

Campaign Source

This is where the link comes from. If it’s an e-mail newsletter, put in “newsletter.” If it’s a Facebook ad campaign, put in “Facebook.” Be sure to stay consistent with word choice and case sensitivity so that future campaigns don’t get lost if you want them categorized the same.

Campaign Medium

How is the link carried from the source to the destination? If the source is newsletter, the medium is “email.” If the source is Facebook, the medium could be “social media.” Medium is broader than source.

Campaign Term

This one’s optional and only used in PPC ads. Enter in the keywords that you’re paying for as part of a Google AdWords ad campaign(s).

Campaign Content

This one’s also optional, but can be used in any form of online advertising. If you’re running AB testing in your ads, put something in here to distinguish ads from each other that have the same destination URL.

Campaign Name

What’s the purpose in directing people from the source to the destination? Is it to promote a specific product, service, webinar, etc? Put the name of your custom campaign here. You may often have multiple different URLs built with the same campaign name, depending on where you’re promoting it.

Click Submit when you’re done, and your URL will now have a ? with a string of numbers and letters after it. Copy and paste this URL and use it in your campaign in place of the root URL on its own. As you get more familiar with URL Builder, you may even be able to generate code on your own, without having to use the building tool.

Tracking the campaign in Google Analytics

After you’ve generated a URL and pasted it where it needs to go, take some time for the visits to populate, then head to Google Analytics and log in.

Once you’re in your account, click Acquisition, then Campaigns. You’ll see your Campaign Name listed and can see analytics for the entire campaign. Click on the campaign name, and you can see analytics further broken down by Source and Medium, separated by a slash.

Google URL Builder: It’s the Journey AND the Destination
You can click on a campaign to see things broken down by source and medium.

If you have more than one source or medium listed, you can click on each one and see analytics from specific sources and mediums. That way, you can compare how Facebook, Twitter and e-mail are doing in delivering people to the same location as part of the same campaign.

Using Google URL Builder and tracking code is an exceptionally useful way to keep an eye on how effective your organic and paid campaigns are doing, and whether you need to make any adjustments as you go. It’s also a great way to organize campaigns in Google Analytics so the data can be analyzed more effectively.

Five Basic Steps to Google Plus for Businesses

More than 150 million users use Google Plus every day and it’s your businesses’ time to jump on the Google Plus train to increase SEO rankings. You’ve created a Google Plus Business Profile… now what? Below I’ve highlighted five simple steps to get you started on your newest social platform.

1. Complete Your Profile – It may seem like an obvious suggestion, but simply completing your Google+ Business Profile with strong keywords will help you appear higher in SEO results. Take time to create a custom graphic for your cover photo and update your avatar to your logo or something recognizable for consumers.

2. Join Communities – Search, join and repeat. While your business may be a newbie to the Google+ game, there are several businesses and individuals with common interests out there interacting and sharing content with “Communities.” Communities are a great way to read up on your industry’s news, engage with brands and users and share stories on your page. (More on that in Point 5). Eventually, you’ll be invited to communities and you can create communities with a specific focus.

Communities

3. Circles are for People – Just like you “friend” or “follow” folks on Facebook and Twitter, Google Circles are meant to follow people. After searching for friends, business colleagues, influencers and so on in the search bar, you can categorize them by creating specific “Circles.” Consider the Circles as a way to organize people by topics. You can also tag people in your Google+ posts. (More on that in Point 5).

4. Use Hashtags – Why? Because it helps reach target audiences. Different content marketers have different opinions on integrating hashtags into sentences or waiting to hashtag them at the end of a sentence or paragraph. Bottom line, including hashtags helps to increase search terms.

5. Give Credit Where It’s Due – Relating back to Point 2 and 3, there are three basic principles to follow when using Google+:

  • The +1 option is a way of indicating you like the post. When you are in communities or on a specific business or user’s page, +1 content you like and share a quick comment in the “Add a comment…” section. Sure, brands will appreciate your +1, but they’ll be flattered if you share your opinion on their content in the comment section.
  • The right arrow is a way to share content from other business or user’s pages on your Google+ page. Add your own sentence about why you are sharing the content or why it appealed to you.
  • Finally, don’t forget to mention users when you +1 or share their content. Similar to Twitter and using the “@” symbol, Google+ uses the “+” symbol. (Hence, Google+). You can tag users from your Circles and Communities.

Does your business not have the time to manage another social platform like Google+? Let us take care of the work! Reach out to me on Twitter at @whatupTUT or e-mail me at [email protected]. Better yet, be sure to add StrataBlue’s Google+ page to your circles!