As a pioneer in this social media advertising space, I have been planning this article for a long time. Now I will paint for you a picture of what is to come, and how exactly things will change for you and for all of us:
- Linkedin.com - I just received a notice yesterday that the all new linkedin.com with its new recommendation/endorsement feature has gone over 200,000 active members – this doesn’t sound like much by today standards unless you know the rest of the story. It was just Founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. As of January 2013, LinkedIn reports more than 200 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories. Linkedin.com’s original business model was outdated out of the shoot: it was about matchmaking between HR professionals and their clients, with paid upgrades for employers and job seekers. However, after pulling out some stops that were hindering connections and business networking between members, the revamped linkedin.com is fast-becoming the reputation and ratings site for businesses and professional employees and consultants. If you look at my “top 5%” profile (http://linkedin.com/in/searchengineplacementguru/) and scroll down to the recommendations you will see that this amount of credibility would be impossible to fake, and hard to duplicate for anybody in the B2B arena. If you are not participating in Linkedin.com groups specifically, you are missing a very important opportunity to manage your professional reputation, a practice that has become a very mainstream necessity. Linkedin, in my opinion, is now a must for business.
- Facebook.com - The world winner of the personal social networks category, it is Facebook (not MySpace, My Yahoo, or any others of the failed attempts at capturing the users) that we are all on, with our families, our friends, everybody we know…the battle that was won here is sheer numbers: you can reach a large portion of everyone in the world on Facebook. Facebook has won the battle and will remain the dominant force for personal networking – they have done a wonderful job of protecting peoples ability to have the privacy they desire, and still became the largest social network. I have been using the new Facebook groups feature lately, with some success. However, one malicious competitor can anonymously slander you here, removing your ability to connect for 30 days, and this stifles usability for business purposes. The contact management tools here are still more slanted towards protecting privacy that networking, and will continue to be so. Facebook is important for managing contacts with actual friends and family, and it will continue to be so. Facebook can be good for businesses who target consumers, but still has usability issues like the one I mentioned here with conflicts between business friendliness and the protection of the privacy of it’s members. Specifically, creating geographically specific groups has worked very well for us – everyone is already on Facebook; by making it possible for them to post notifications, invitations, and events from their phone to a group, and with us taking that local content and making it searchable on a geographically specific blog, we have had great success in building these very active groups – for instance: Our huge Los Angeles group, Our Coos Bay Social Network (The key here is the value statement for participating – exposure on our blogs - and the spam-free human moderation)
- Google+ - the communities have really taken off here (https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities) – we are in some topic-specific global ones (for instance:
1909 membersUpdated 9:54 AM2845 members
These already have thousands of members in them barely one month after launch. Google+ will succeed in becoming the business-to-business social networking platform. The layout, contact management tools, Google drive (Google docs), integration with Gmail.com and importance for authorship rankings – in my opinion the creation of localized Google+ groups – one for each location and purpose – is the biggest online influence gold rush of our time!
- Content aggregation, bookmarking, digg.com, dzone.com, Yahoo contributor network (formerly AC) etc… there are several clear winners here, and some where the jury is still out. I have found that since the acquisition of AC (associatedcontent.com) by Yahoo, my traffic to my published articles has dropped dramatically. Digg.com has changed and has no categories nor profiles anymore – although stuff still gets indexed quickly if you “digg” it. I have recently been approached and I signed-off on being a dzone.com “MVB” – they are obviously trying to stay relevant in this constantly changing market as a content aggregation site, and I am of course always happy to have the authority link. There are always many technology or brand specific sites; for instance, groups.drupal.org is a must for Drupal programmers, and there is lots of work for them there. I was removed by ActiveRain.com, a community mainly of real estate agents and vendors, due to my harsh criticism of how their offerings often cause a Realtor to out-rank his personal website for searches for his proper name and town with a page populated by all his competitive peers!
- Lead generators (IE Realtor.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, yellow pages..) the real estate, hospitality, and now legal and medical industries are so dominated by these behemoths in local search that it is almost impossible for the vendors not to do business with them. Compounding the problem is Google ongoing experiments trying to figure out what to do with ever-increasing free Google places listings cluttering up organic search rankings and S.R.P.’s (search results pages). It is not hard to see that something will need to change as the maps finally become completely populated. I think that it is highly likely that individual rankings will eventually be trumped by regional and topic specific maps build-outs, further enhancing the usefulness of the search results. As this “organic” content increases, the lead generators will surely be gradually replaced by it.
Sooo, with so many options, where should you start?
This is not as complicated an answer as you would come to expect: what YOU need to do is specific to YOU:
- Content – you must be a content producer of some kind to reach an audience, unless you have deep enough pockets and enough expertise to compete in PPC and other paid advertising models competitively. This content can be simply about your town, or on topic, like how-to articles within your industry. Whomever your intended audience is, there is content that they consume, which you can provide to them through search, social networks, articles, blogs, video (youtube.com), news… if you cannot produce it, pay somebody who can, then spread it around.
- Cumulative audience building – armed with content, you can now create online resources; a well optimized blog, video, a Google+ community, a LinkedIn group, a Facebook groups and brand page, news, classifieds, events, announcements ..think of your self as a niche publisher for just your intended audience.
- Solicit help from somebody who already has an audience – for instance, my partner, Lisa Brando already is connected to most of the events planners, mechanical bull rentals, murder mystery parties, casino night party vendors – because she has had the vision to maintain that audience for many years at corporateventchannel.com, and more recently as one of the top 10% at linkedin, and our events blogger using our tools all over the web; I (Israel Rothman) have a huge audience mainly of real estate professionals, business professionals, and entrepreneurs - I have my own opt-in PHPList email list of nearly 124,000 people who read my twice monthly mailing of the number one “B2B home business” publication according to Google, the B2BHomeBusinessNetworkNews. I am top influence in over 40 linkedin groups with an audience of over 3,000,000. I also have Facebook groups that are geographically specific in over 100 locations; and these groups quickly become THE largest social networks in their towns ( example http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&rlz=&q=coos+bay+social+network)
- Do all the above, forever, cumulatively to build your own audience, reach, and value statement within your area or niche. Do it now!
We can launch it all for you, groups and all, for 90 days, then you can take it over: Your uplog.org blog launch can cost as little as $300 (play-2-Pay after that); or, you can build your own advertising power-team of related businesses spending as little as $100 each per month, in which case I will issue a 100% guarantee of market dominance! Initial consultation is free – 805-827-2450
original article is here