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July 2011

Wajam Adds Google+ Social Search

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Wajam, a browser extension that lets you access your friends’ knowledge when you need it, has added Google+ to its social search. Before, you could see results from your Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Now you can add to that list your Google+ circles.

Here’s what you can do as of today with Wajam and Google+ as listed on their blog:

  • Connect your Google+ profile to Wajam and store the links that your friends have shared
  • View Google+ content directly in your favorite search engine like Google or Bing
  • View relevant search results wherever you go online, such as popular sites like Amazon, Wikipedia, TripAdvisor with the Wajam Everywhere tool bar.

You can now see  posts, links, photos and videos that your Google+ circles share and right when you need it. To start using Google+ social search, simply connect your Google+ account here.

 

Facebook Rolls Out Facebook for Business

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There’s a lot of buzz right now around the fact that your business cannot have a Google+ profile. Businesses left and right have seen their Google+ profiles shut down. It’s not that they’re never going to allow businesses to have a profile page (that would be dumb), they’re just still working out all of the details of what it would look like exactly.

How do you get your business name out there when doing a Google search then? Facebook has the answer. They’ve rolled out Facebook for Business, which shows you how to use Pages, Ads and Stories to get the word out and increase your business presence on the web.

The tagline says “Learn how to grow your business with Facebook’s powerful marketing tools”. Here are a few of the key points and how it works:

  • Build a presence by creating a page, claiming your place and making your website social by adding special features like the “Like” button.
  • Engage your community by joining the conversation, building relationships and gaining valuable insights about your audience
  • Get the word out with ads and sponsored stories

Overall this seems like a great addition to Facebook and I plan on digging in a little more to see how I can improve on what I already have set up with them. If people can’t find you and don’t know about you, what’s the point?

What are your first impressions of Facebook for Business?

Use Your LinkedIn Profile as Your Resume with New “Apply with LinkedIn” Button

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LinkedIn has launched a new “Apply with LinkedIn” button on their job listing pages. It allows job seekers to apply for a job using their LinkedIn profile as their resume. They say the new feature is “the future of job applications”.

Some companies who are the first to debut this new feature include Netflix, TripIt, Photobucket and over a thousand other well-known names.

They’ve made it very easy for companies to use this feature, as well as for job hunters to apply. You simply click the “Apply with LinkedIn” button and walk through the steps. They’ll show you any professional connections you may already have within the company, which will in turn give you better chances of getting your foot in the door. If you don’t have any direct connections within the company, LinkedIn will also let you know if there’s a relationship where one of your contacts can introduce you to someone.

We all know one of the best ways to get a job is via a referral. I hear that’s how the big guys at Google hire their employees. You need to know someone to get somewhere in the company.

There are several other features, according to the official LinkedIn blog, which will help you with your job seeking.

Do you see this changing the way companies hire? It seems social media may be a good way to get a job, as well as lose a job.

Are Mom Bloggers Worthy of Marketing Dollars and Here to Stay?

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Some predict mom bloggers are here to stay, while others say their demise is coming soon. I was just reading an interesting article on MomCrunch about why mom bloggers aren’t going anywhere.

As mom blogging exploded, the question “are they worthy of marketing dollars?” was raised. Here’s what MomCrunch has to say about that:

Mom bloggers have been leaders in the blogosphere, early adopters and creating change. The birth of new social media platforms has not weakened our blogs and reach. Instead, we have embraced the new platforms and they have increased our value.

In this feature I posted last week, it shows that moms are listening to brands and those companies know it. The report showed “that both mom bloggers and mommy “status updaters” are vital in terms of marketing and outreach programs”.

MomCrunch ends the article by saying for mom bloggers who can’t “succeed within changing trends, then yes, there may be some troubled times”. I agree. For moms who treat blogging as a business, who act professionally, who get out from behind their computers and engage with brands and other bloggers, then yes, I can see them sticking around for a very long time.

Where do you see the future of both mom bloggers and dad bloggers heading?

“Social Intelligence” Searches Social Media History for Employers

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Criminal background checks and credit reports aren’t the only way employers can research potential employees anymore. A new year old start-up company, Social Intelligence, now scrapes the internet for anything a prospective employee has said or done within the past 7 years. Long gone are the days where your social life and job life didn’t mix.

This new way of researching a potential employee is definitely raising eyebrows when it comes to security questions. But according to Max Drucker, chief executive of the company, they are only finding what is publicly available online. The Federal Trade Commission has determined that the company is in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

What kinds of information is the company finding that would cause a person not to be hired? A little bit of everything it seems. From nude photos and racist remarks to someone searching OxyContin on Craigslist.

Here are some interesting numbers: “75 percent of recruiters are required by their companies to do online research of candidates. And 70 percent of recruiters in the United States report that they have rejected candidates because of information online”.

What does this all mean? Since it looks like employers researching a potential employee online is not in any way illegal, it means you should be careful what you put out there if you are looking for a job or plan to do so within the next 7 years. It also means that hiring people is harder than ever. Employers have to decide what’s important and what’s not important when they are looking at potential candidates for the job at hand.

What do you think about Social Intelligence and what they do for employers? Do you think it crosses the line between work and our personal lives?

Source: NY Times

Image: SXC

The Secret Facebook iPad App

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TechCrunch revealed the Facebook iPad app, which sort of seems like a secret at the moment. It’s hidden inside the code for Facebook‘s iPhone app, which possibly means it’s not really supposed to be for public use yet.

Well, now that everyone seems to be reporting on it, it seems the “secret” is out and Facebook might want to work out a few of the bugs.

Back in 2010, at a Facebook event when Mark Zuckerburg was asked about an app for the iPad he said, “the iPad’s not mobile… it’s a computer”. It seems he’s changed his tune and realized it’s about time to release one, well kind of.

After talking to a source, TechCrunch has been told that this is indeed the app Facebook was planning to launch for the iPad. You can see tons of pictures here and a tutorial of how to install it here.

Some of the bugs that have been reported are Facebook pages crashing and improper text placements.

For those who have been able to play around with the app, they say they’ll definitely use it over the full website and cannot wait for it to officially launch.

Have you installed the Facebook iPad app and if so, what do you think?

 

The New Media Trust Manifesto

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Is this what your employee acts like online? How does that look for your brand?

In the new media world, everything is constantly changing. Sometimes, I feel that in the few hours it takes to write a post, my idea is already out of date. I have strong opinions, but I am never surprised when my opinions change. It’s not a matter of being unable to stand for something; it’s a matter of working in a wonderful, surprising, exciting industry that moves at a crazy pace and makes me all giddy to learn new things.

I say all of this because I want to talk to you about what I’m calling The New Media Trust Manifesto. Manifestos are usually long, grand statements of personal beliefs, often taking years to write and edit, but today this is not the case. I’m calling it a manifesto not because of it’s length, but because it is something that I so strongly believe that I think it will hold true not just tomorrow or next month or even next year. I think that if I live to be 500 years old, this will still be true. This isn’t a claim I make lightly, given my feelings that the new media world is constantly evolving and you have to evolve with it to survive.

The New Media Trust Manifesto is actually pretty simple and can be summarized in a single sentence: Hire the new media professionals you trust, not the ones who are the best for the job on paper.

I’ve written for several blogs over the years (not including the blogs I’ve run or am running myself). Some, like here at the BlogWorld blog, come attached with tons of freedom to choose my own topics and state my own opinions. Other clients give me a step by step list of what they want covered, when they want it covered, and how they want it covered. In every single case, without exception, the results are directly proportionate to the freedom I’ve given.

You might be thinking about hiring a new media professional to run your company’s Twitter account or become one of your bloggers or create ebooks for you. While the thought of giving complete control to someone else might make you shudder a little, having that trust is super important. It’s 100% better to hire someone you trust than someone who looks good on paper.

On paper, I’m not always the best candidate for every job. I’m relatively young and already have a lot on my plate. While I do think I’m a good writer, I’m also a horrible self-editor; proofreading is definitely not my forte and I don’t always catch even typo. I’m not an SEO expert. I’m not a social media expert.

Yet I can promise you this: I will always do the best job I can and I will go out of your way to represent your company well.

This isn’t about hiring me. I’m just using myself as an example. When you’re hiring a new media worker, that’s what you want – someone you can trust to represent your brand, even if they aren’t perfect. Joe Blogger who is an SEO expert and has a million Twitter followers might seem like the perfect candidate for the job, but ask yourself this: do you have to worry about him embarrassing your company? Does his personality fit your brand?

Story time: recently, one of my friends voiced an opinion about a company on Twitter. He didn’t say the company was bad or anything; he simply stated that he wasn’t personally a fan of their products, even though he thinks that others should check them out. In my opinion, that’s actually a good tweet – no product will be right for everyone, but you should be proud if someone who doesn’t like what you produce still thinks it’s high-quality enough to recommend to others who might have different tastes.

Unfortunately, their brand representative didn’t see it that way. He unfollowed my friend, but not only that – he publically announced on Twitter through his personal account AND the company account that he was unfollowing him. I was stunned when I saw that tweet. How utterly embarrassing for the company to have an employee that would overreact like that on Twitter.

Similarly, every year at conferences, there are a lot of people who misrepresent their employers by going out and partying hard. We talked about this on #BWEchat a few weeks ago, actually. If you want to have a few drinks, that’s fine. If you work for yourself and want to get wasted, go for it – you’re representing your own brand and you have the right to do that. But if someone is sponsoring you to be there and you’re dancing on the bar? How embarrassing for that company. Unless you’re representing a liquor company maybe!

And the fact of the matter is this: often times, I think “shame on *company name* for hiring that person” not “shame on that person.”

As a business who is hiring a new media professional, you have lots of tools available to help you determine whether or not you can trust a new employee as a brand representative. Check out their Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ profile. Look at the pictures they’ve posted online. Read their personal blog.

If you do some research on me, for example, you’ll find that I’m not by any means timid about voicing my opinions. You’ll also notice that I curse on personal sites/accounts but not when I’m writing for clients, that my hair has pink streaks, and I don’t own a business suit. If you were considering hiring me, these are all factors to take into consideration. For some companies, these things will be positive and for others they will be negative. That’s okay. All I’m saying is that it’s about more than asking for a sample of my writing to see if I’m a competent blogger.

I’d even take this a step farther and say that new media trust needs to extend to every single person you hire, whether they’re managing your Facebook page or doing tasks unrelated to social media. Everyone has the ability to have personal social media accounts, and most do; don’t act surprised if they mention your company. People talk about their jobs online all the time, and while I don’t think it is fair for you to require employees to only say positive things about you when they’re using their personal accounts, there’s a difference between voicing a negative opinion and embarrassing the company.

A good rule of thumb is this: pretend that you had a major company secret that you were announcing next week. Do you trust every single employee you’ve hired to know that secret today?

Another question to ask yourself: Do you trust your employees enough to send them to dinner with a potential investor?

The New Media Trust Manifesto is about hiring people who are an extension of you. Companies that don’t run the risk of hiring people who have the potential of being PR nightmares. Skills can be taught. Tact and maturity are things you either have or you do not.

Did the Oslo Bombing Show Google+ as a Good Source for Breaking News?

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The vehicle bomb that went off today (Friday, July 22nd) in Oslo, Norway was the first “test” you could say as to whether or not Google+ is a good source for breaking news. It wasn’t that long ago that I wrote how social media was quickly becoming the leading way to communicate during national disasters. At the time of that writing, I was referring to Twitter and Facebook, but we can now add Google+ to the list.

The ability to create a feed is how Google+ can be used effectively for breaking news, similar to Twitter. Google+ user , made a list of people to follow to get your updates on the bombing. And then he asked his followers to add other Google+ contacts in the comments who were reporting from the location. He was able to update with live streaming links and comments as he received more info.

There are still flaws when it comes to using Google+ for breaking news and communication during events such as the Oslo bombings, but being as new as it is and already being seen as a news source, says a lot.

Is the Secret to Twitter Success Link Sharing?

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When it comes to using Facebook to promote your business or blog, it seems pretty straightforward as to how exactly to use it. Sure, there are always things we can learn to help boost our Facebook fan numbers and interaction with them, but as far as structure goes, it’s pretty simple.

Just look at what the grocery store chain Publix was able to do with their Facebook page and how well organized it is. You know exactly what’s there for you when you arrive.

But what about Twitter? What’s the secret to Twitter success? According to this article, it’s link sharing. The article is rather long, but basically what it’s saying is that we have the same basic tool – 140 characters – but it’s exactly how you use those that counts.

A few interesting studies have been published lately that all seem to point to the same conclusion – the secret to Twitter success is driving links.

This infographic from Get Satisfaction shows the top reasons why people follow brands. For Twitter, it shows the third reason is interesting or entertaining content – so link sharing.


The article sums up Twitter success as seeing what works best for you. Do you get better results when you do one link a day, link to a video, say something before the link that grabs your followers’ attention?

What do you use Twitter for the most? Getting information, entertainment, interacting with your followers and do you think link sharing is the key to Twitter success?

Friday Findings – July 22, 2011

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Friday Findings is a weekly series where I show some link love and bring you interesting stories from around the web. From social media news and viral videos, to news on technology and more.

Google+ To Challenge Facebook for Game Developers With Lower Fees [REPORT] – News of Google’s new gaming platform has hit the web. Reportedly, Google will host games on its own servers, which could make the games faster.

Google Plus Best Practices: Trey Ratcliff, Artist – Google+ isn’t just for the techies. Artist Trey Ratcliff says it’s become his main social platform.

Google+ reached 10m users in 16 days. Want to know how long it took Facebook and Twitter? – It took Google+ 16 days to reach 10 million and Facebook over 2 years. What about Twitter and LinkedIn?

How Much is that Facebook Fan Worth Anyway? – See what one company says the average value of a Facebook fan is. Is it zero? This author says so, until you can monetize on them.

How to Fix Facebook’s New Broken Chat System (YES!) -Are you confused with Facebook’s new chat system? One guy came up with a fix to take friends who are offline, off the list.

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