Category Archives: Google+

Work and Social Media, Do you know the rules?

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I currently have a full time position where I work with social media all day long. While I only manage one brand, there is a lot of research that goes into finding good content to post, plan for the next week, and so on. That being said, I check Facebook about 10 times a day. While I don’t check it right when I wake up unless it is the weekend, I work with Facebook and am on it constantly. While I manage a separate page, all of the groups I monitor are linked to my personal page and in checking all of them periodically, I also check in on what my friends are doing for a couple of minutes here and there.

My company logs every site that we go on and I think it is completely ethical to do so. I know that I am being tracked because I am constantly coming across sites that are blocked while I am doing research and I know that is monitored. Ethically, I think that as long as it is acknowledged that they will be tracked it is fine. I think that while it should be common sense that everything can be tracked, I think it should be written down in an employee contract so that people really do understand the implications of what they are doing. Unfortunately, people still do not understand what they are doing when they are on social media at work.

I personally have my place of work show on my Facebook and LinkedIn page, however I am also very focused on not posting anything inappropriate on social media. I feel that I am my own brand and I am my own advocate and if I do not think it is in my best interest, I don’t post it. I don’t think posting something about having a busy day or a stressful day is a bad thing, however posting about being drunk or any kind of lewd behavior would make me think that it might just be easier to not attach anything to my profiles.

While I think that there are some policies that are more strict, I do think that there should be some kind concept of not allowing social media to overwhelm their work mainly because social media is a major distraction. While some people can handle it properly and only check things occasionally as a break, some people truly are addicted to checking and monitoring social media and it can create a really stagnant work environment where not a lot of things are getting done.

Google Me, Google You!

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My name is Amanda Scheffer Cavanagh, now after I got married. However, before that it was Amanda Rachel Scheffer. As a child of divorce I was able to choose which name I wanted and to me that made a difference, I have always been proud of my name and felt it was an intrinsic part of myself. I put my name into Google and this is what I found..

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 8.19.41 PMOnly one of those pictures is me, and only my new name was found to really be me. What?! I have used this name for 24 years of my life, and the first result I found that was actually related to me was on page 4 with a press release that a professor from Hofstra University had written about coverage of the Presidential Debate that took place there in 2008.

Now, I know that I wasn’t doing a lot in the public eye, but I was doing things and posting things and commenting, but apparently I just did not leave enough of an impact to be associated with my name.

Enter my decision to work in social media and learn about social media marketing from the University of Florida, and now my new identity makes me a lot easier to find! Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 8.19.22 PMThis is all me! This is a huge transformation in a short period of time. I only started posted blogs and commenting in August 2013, and by staying on top of things and continuously posting I have been able to grow something of a presence online. It is only starting, and it is pretty small, but I am very excited to see my name actually reflect who I am. I had learned a lot of Search Engine Optimization tips and posted about them here, and by using them over time I have been able to grow a slight presence. This to me is increasingly exciting and is a constant reminder that I need to be posting more, commenting more and connecting more. That is the point of social media, right? to be social. I am increasingly interested in growing my network and connecting with new people about social media and other interests of mine. I think that it is amazing how people all around the world can connect and reach out to each other through the internet and I love being a part of it.

When I searched for my email address, my new email address came up with nothing that was actually me, while my old one actually had a couple of relevant hits.

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 9.29.24 PMThe top link was when my friend lost her dog, and we were reaching out via various social media platforms if anyone picked her up and took her home. Just to let you know, that story has a happy ending and the dog did make it home. The other two links were from my undergraduate days of school and various work that I did with my professors. I find it interesting that more information came up from my email address with my maiden name than my current address. I don’t know why that is, other than I used my maiden name email address more frequently since my new one is only a year old.

Results of my First Survey!

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surveyWhen I first set out to make this survey, I was hoping for a LOT of engagement, interaction and people taking my survey. This is not what happened, at all. I shared this survey on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Between those three social media platforms, I have 1,500 connections. While there is some overlap, I can still safely say that I have 1,000 connections. I received 96 completed survey results. This is after friends of mine shared the survey as well, which brought the amount of people who saw my survey up to 2,500. This means that the amount of people who saw me or a friend of mine request survey results and completed the survey is 0.038%. WHAT?! While I knew that it would be hard to get people to take my survey, I really didn’t think it would be THIS hard. Especially since I was asking about social media, on various social media platforms.

Results:

Of the 96 people who took my survey, 21 were male and 75 were female

8% of people fell between 18-22 years old, 40% of people were between 23-27, 14% were between 28-32, 14% were between 33-37, 5% were between 38-42, 3% were between 43-47 and 16% were over the age of 48

60% had a Bachelor’s Degree, with 15% with a Master’s Degree and 13% only finished some college

77% of people did not have children, with 23% having children. Of that, 41% have only one child and 36% have 2 children

97% of people do use social media platforms, with 3% saying no they did not use social media platforms

Of the people who do use social media, 92% use their real names while 8% use fake names, when asked why a fake name would be used, the biggest response was that it was due to privacy concerns and not wanting their company to be able to find them on social media

When asked how please people are with the privacy level of the content an individual themselves places on social media, the results are: Screen Shot 2014-02-02 at 9.44.34 PM

I find this very interesting since so many people constantly complain when a new Facebook feature has been added that changes the privacy settings. The fact that only 21% of people are displeased in some way means that the people who get very upset about privacy and complain about it ad nauseam does not necessarily mean that they will partake in a survey.

So how often are people using various social media platforms?

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While I am not shocked that Facebook is used the most, I am a little more surprised that more people are not using Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Instagram. I knew that Myspace and Google+ would be a long shot, but I really thought that more people would use the other social media platforms more.

Put the social media platforms in the order of your preference

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I put this question in as a safeguard against lying. For instance, if all of a sudden Myspace had come up as the third or fourth preference I would know that people were not paying attention to what they were choosing as an option. However, I think that these results match the previous results very well, which means that people didn’t lie! I am excited about this since I was very nervous of whether or not people would be honest.

While I am thrilled that I got these results, I do realize a lot of mistakes that I made that I could fix in the future. I missed a lot of data gathering information when I did not ask more about age groups, education levels, or even offer more social media platforms. I completely forgot to include YouTube or Tumblr. I know there are a lot more social media platforms, but those two are pretty popular and should have been included. I think that learning to include more questions, as well as figuring out exactly what information I want would help me a lot so that I would really be able to pinpoint the information that I wanted to know. Let me know what you think!

Social Media Survey

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This week I worked on creating an online survey. Since I am focused on learning more about social media platforms, that was what I decided to focus on. I want to know more about why people choose to connect on various social media platforms. For instance, I use my Facebook to connect with people, my Pinterest to learn new things that I can buy or create, LinkedIn to grow a professional network, Instagram to see my friends pictures and to log my weight loss journey and my life, Google+ to connect with more people and Twitter to see what other people are talking about.

However, I know that not everyone uses their social media platforms the same way. Some people use them for completely different reasons and others don’t use some of them at all! That is why I would like to learn why people are using or not using various platforms. I also would like to learn how often people use the sites. I may think using a site “frequently” means using it daily, while the same wording may mean using it weekly to someone else. That is why I was careful to use intervals when asking how often people use the various sites.

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 5.42.56 PMI also asked people to put the social media platforms in the order of their preference so that I can have an idea of which ones are preferred. Another aspect of what I want to learn with this survey is how many people complete a survey. I made this survey fairly short, only 15 questions, but I think it will be interesting to see how many people just stop in the middle of the survey. I included two open-ended questions to see if that is what prompts people to exit.

I also made sure that I used various scales so that I could tell if people were actually paying attention to what they were choosing, or if they were just selecting things at random to quickly finish. I am hoping that people will be truthful, since it is a really quick and easy survey!

However, I know that not everyone will be, it is an unfortunate fact of survey results.

In the end I am hoping to learn a lot from my results, but the truth is that I have already learned a lot just making the survey! I had never made a survey before and it is a really difficult process. Thinking of the questions and how to word them is very complicated. Another problem I now realize is forgetting things. For instance I realize that I didn’t include YouTube, which is a social media platform. Well, you know what they say, hindsight is 20/20.

If you would like to take the survey to help me out, you can here.

Also, feel free to chime in below and let me know what you thought!!

Measuring Success

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measuring_successBefore this week I thought that any measure of interaction was a measure of success. To some extent, I still do. However, I now know that there are a lot of other tools that I can use to define success in order to truly gauge how I am doing when it comes to social media.

Peter Odryna talks about what the most important steps are for landing a client with social media research. One of the concepts that truly stayed with me is the idea of watching trends. I know that Twitter and other social media platforms will let you know what is trending, but I haven’t always known what to do with it. Now though I realize that you can use trends in two ways, one is to be able to jump in on the conversation and the other is to watch what is going on so you can monitor what is important to people and be able to do more research to know as much as you can about an important topic.

Why does keeping up with trends matter? Nils Mork Ulnes talks about how important analytics are when it comes to discovering what matters to potential customers and prospects in order to truly understand what they want to know about, hear about, and care about. When customers know that the businesses they are working with, it gives them a feeling of power and connection that not only has them connect back to the company, but excites them to share as well.

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I was so excited when Staples replied to me about a product I bought! I not only shared this with some other social media students, I talked about it in my own personal life as well. I shared it on Facebook and showed people what I bought, it was a really nice experience to have a company take notice of what I said and respond. I had reached out to a few other companies and had received nothing as a response, so this made a big impact with me. That is one of the reasons I believe paying attention to what is trending with people and potential customers is so important. Everyone has something to say and wants to feel as though their thoughts matter, just acknowledging them can have such a meaningful impact on who they decide to work with in the future.

So how do you use social media metrics to define and measure success? There are a lot of ways that you can look at different pieces of your own social media influence. Ian Cleary talks about 7 different ways to track links some are free, while others you need a membership to use. The only one that I have any kind of knowledge about is bit.ly. With bit.ly you can shorten extremely lengthy links so that you can fit them in your tweets. However, since you can also use bit.ly to see where your links were shared it makes sense to use them even when you don’t need to shorten the link for a character limit. This is one great way to determine how often your link is being shared and one which platform you are connecting the most on. This is a great way to monitor how you are doing and on which platforms you can use to engage more and which platforms you need to tweak your methods to get better engagement.

One thing I always like to keep in mind is that even though I am focusing on using social media, each platform is different. Something that works well on Twitter might need more of an in depth explanation on Facebook or Google+. Also, even though visuals should be used for better engagement on all platforms, what is posted on Instagram doesn’t always work with what is posted on Pinterest even though they are both visual platforms.

Another way to keep track of what is working and what isn’t is by using Klout. Ian Barker talks about how Klout measures influence across every platform that you link to it. It gives you a score from 1-100 that will vary depending on your current activity and engagement from other people. I do like Klout, but I recognize that it is only one measurement of influence. There are a lot and as I grow I know that I will have to use various tools in order to measure my own success.

So how do you measure your success? What tools do you use to track engagement?

Do you connect with followers differently on different platforms or do you use the same posts and information on every platform?

Facebook and Google+, What I Learned

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This week we looked at why Facebook and Google+ are both important. Here is some of what I learned:

Facebook has always been so easy for me to use, that I have taken it for granted. I have been using Facebook for personal reasons for a long time, and really enjoy it. I didn’t really think about what I was seeing on the newsfeed, I knew that if I didn’t want to see someone I could choose to “see less,” but other than that I thought all posts were equal. Boy was I wrong. Not only are all people or pages not equal on Facebook, but even the types of content that is shared is not equal as well. When it comes to Facebook you need engagement, in order to get seen. When you lose engagement, you lose affinity and weight which means no one will be liking or commenting which means it will drop out of their newsfeed. While I don’t have a problem with not always seeing things about people that I don’t want to engage with, that does mean I don’t see anything that goes on with them unless a lot of other people have already interacted with the post.

I do have a hard time maintaining my own business Facebook, part of it is laziness, and part of it is lack of ingenuity on my part. So many people mainly use Facebook for personal use, that I think people don’t just blindly “like” things, they think about whether they want to see it on their newsfeed. I definitely think that visuals get a lot more interaction than anything else. Yes, sometimes people will read a blog post and share it, but they are much more likely to comment on a picture they like. This is something I always need to keep in mind when trying to have my business page seen more often.

When Google+ first came out, I honestly thought it was a joke. I figured since Facebook was so popular it would never gain traction and it would die out. This class has taught me again that I was completely wrong. In fact, now I realize that even if I just think of SEO, I need to be on Google+ all the time posting and reacting to posts in order to create engagement. One of the ways that Google+ differs from Facebook is that when someone has you in their circle, even if they don’t engage with you, you will show up higher in search results. Which is the complete opposite of Facebook where you get penalized for lack of engagement. It really shows how important being a member of Google+ is.

I think people need to learn why they want to be on social media in order to really think about why Google+ benefits them. Some people only use social media to stay in touch with close friends and family, so they will stick with Facebook. However, for people who want to grow their influence, I can understand why Google+ is the way of the future. The truth is, people just need to be able to dedicate time to creating something a little different for each site. For instance I am much more personal on Facebook than I ever think I will be on Google+, but I recognize that in order to grow my business I need to grow my presence on ALL social media outlets and not just choose one or two. That means dedicating a lot of time and energy to keep my content fresh. However, since I want to work in social media, I recognize that this is something that needs to occur and welcome it, as soon as I figure out how to manage my time better.

Facebook or Google+, How Do You Choose?

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facebookvgoogleBefore these readings, I have been struggling with Google+, don’t get me wrong, I am still struggling but now I know why I need to make more of an effort with Google+. While my business page still isn’t doing well with Facebook, on a personal level, Facebook and I get along very well. I get to chat with all of my 700 friends, and keep up with what is going on in their lives, or so I thought. The truth is, when reading an article by Kurt Wagner, I learned that Facebook does not show you everything, it has an algorithm to show me what it thinks I will like the most or be most interested in.

At first I was highly disappointed, but the more I think about it, the more it makes a lot of sense. If I have over 700 friends on Facebook, am I really interested in what all of them are saying? The answer is no. Boonsri Dickinson explains the Social Graph very well, she says “In computer speak, when you “like” something through Facebook, it becomes an edge. The edge is the connection point between you and other people, places, or things.” Truthfully, this makes a lot of sense. These connections are what help people find others with the same interests. Shel Israel talks about how the Graph Search feature allows people to find people based on interests, photos, and places that are listed in their profile. The idea of being able to find more people means that people have to increase the information that they post on their profile if they would like more people to find them.

Screen Shot 2013-09-15 at 10.19.20 PMSo, how do you create more circles on Google+ and get more “likes” on Facebook? Believe it or not people recommend some of the same techniques. The first two recommended tips for engagement on Facebook from Broadsword Communications actually has been recommended for engagement on Google+ by Kim Garst as well. Both companies respond well visually. Kim recommends to use high quality graphics to make sure your photos always look great on the site. Broadsword talks about how having more visual content will help improve “likes” and “shares” which will create a better Edgerank with more people interacting with your page. When it comes to Google+ having nice visuals will assist people who are interested in your information and having you in their circles. Having high quality visuals enhances your content and catches more peoples eyes to get it seen more often.

Amy Porterfield talks about how not only having fun visuals will help a page, but also having a “call to action,” or asking for “likes” or “shares”. When I share fun visuals and quotes on Facebook I do notice that quotes in a visual format get shared more than a quote written in standard print format. This speaks true to what everyone has been talking about when it comes to visuals. This is something to keep in mind while also sharing content on Google+. Especially since as important as Facebook has been to people and businesses, Google+ is on the rise when it comes to importance. Steve Rayson talks about how Google+ content stays around for a long time and gives your profile page rank and comes up in search results. This in itself is huge and creates the ability for more people to find the content that you are posting. Part of the reason for this is that Google+ is Google. Brian Clark acknowledges the fact that Google has integrated all of their products into features of Google+, thereby creating a more integrated social platform. With that in mind, Google search results will help you find all the information you need while still creating a place where people can see what you post on Google+.

While I am more comfortable with using Facebook it is increasingly apparent that not only businesses, but people who want to be more influential online need to get more used to Google+. Which platform are you more comfortable with, Facebook or Google+? While you may be more comfortable with one or the other, do you see the importance of the other platform? How do you plan on using the information we read this week to increase social engagement?