Category Archives: Google+

10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

2013 is coming to an end, therefore it’s time to analyze, evaluate and make changes going into the New Year.  We all make resolutions about, health, wealth and happiness so why not include changing our employment situation. This is especially the case if you are one of the 71% that hate their jobs.

When I wrote the article, 71% of people hate their job; I was astounded by the response to the article.  I was more surprised that there were so many people that were unhappy with their employment situation.

Sometimes people can feel stuck in a situation due to a variety of reasons and they become very reluctant to make a move, so they just grin and bear it.  It seems that there are up to 71% of the population that are willing to grin and bear it.

Guess what people, we are moving into a new year so NOW is the perfect time to make changes in your life.  More people need to be a part of the 29% that LOVE their job instead of the 71% that hate it.

We are now living in a very digital world, so now we need to look at new ways in which we can gain the edge in competing for jobs. If you are a Digital Marketer, you may find yourself consulting, working for an organization or both.  Sometimes as digital marketers, we do not effectively market OURSELVES as a BRAND and that is very important.

If you are in a more traditional industry, chances are you are NOT marketing yourself as a BRAND either.  In this increasingly digital world, all people that are looking for new opportunities should start to see themselves as brands so that they can compete in this tough job market. Most people are using some type of social media recreationally. So, if you are involved with social media even socially, these ten tips will be perfect for your 2014 strategy for grabbing your dream job.

Whether you are a digital marketer or just someone looking for a new career path, it is imperative that you see beyond your present situation and come up with a creative way to change your career path.  The first step is visualizing yourself, not as JUST a person trying to get a job, but as a brand. It is very important that you think of yourself as a BRAND and you should market yourself accordingly.

A huge part of viewing and marketing yourself as a brand, is maintaining a very visual digital marketing footprint separate from the brands that you work with, if you are a digital marketer.  It is GREAT to work in this ever-growing digital marketing industry but as digital marketers we must maintain our own digital marketing persona totally separate from the organizations that employ us or that we consult with.  So, it is very important that we continue to develop and grow our own individual personal brand and digital footprint.

If you are NOT a digital marketer you should start to incorporate some branding content into your personal profiles. It is very important that all people see themselves as marketers, if only to market oneself to the world in seeking a new or better career path.  It is more important than ever to utilize social channels for career advancement in addition to traditional résumés and this is primarily due to the growing importance of our digital footprint.

I’ve read on numerous occasions that traditional resumes are very close to becoming irrelevant because our entire digital presence is available online for all to see.  More and more recruiters are utilizing the digital presence of employment candidates to get a better feel for potential employees before they even read resumes.  This is one of the reasons that we must make sure that we have a positive and flattering digital footprint and that we continue to develop our own personal brand.

Use Social Media To Improve Your Job Search
Use Social Media To Improve Your Job Search  produced by Gumtree

There are pluses and minuses to having your entire online persona for all to see. The biggest plus is that you are always visible; the biggest minus is that you’re always visible. LOL. This is the primary reason that we must be aware, more than ever about the types of content that we display on our digital marketing channels. So it is imperative that we have a strong personal brand and a positive digital footprint. Take a look at the ten steps below, to help develop your personal brand:

Anise Smith logo

Anise Smith logo

1.  Logo: Create a logo for your brand. My brand is Anise Smith, so the first thing I did when I started to develop my brand almost five years ago was to have my name created in logo form.  If you are creating a new logo make sure you have it created in 3 different formats.  Have your logo created in EPS format, which allows it to be duplicated for print and web, PNG for use when you need a transparent background AND jpg for general use.

2.  Uniform Branded Look: You should have a consistent branded look across all of your social media channels.  So create your Facebook cover, Twitter layout and other digital collateral with the same branded look.

Create A Uniform Branded Look On Social Media

Create A Uniform Branded Look On Social Media

3.  Facebook: CLEAN up your Facebook profile! I have seen some things in my daily virtual travels that would definitely be viewed as negative. If you want to promote a positive personal brand YOU MUST start with presenting a positive Facebook image.

I am connected to my father, teenage son and many family members on Facebook, so I only share information that I would share with them offline.  This is a great way to mentally keep your content clean and shareable. Don’t post information that you wouldn’t share with your grandparents, parents or children. If you wouldn’t yell it across the dinner table during a family meal, DON’T post it on Facebook. PERIOD!

Before you hit the POST button, think about how an employer would view your post. If there’s even a question of how your post would be viewed by employers or just followers in general, DON’T hit POST.  Better yet, picture your grandma peering over your shoulder while you’re writing your post. If grandma wouldn’t approve, don’t post.

Facebook is a huge part of branding yourself and you should use it wisely. Assume that ALL potential employers will check your Facebook profile, because they probably will. So it is best that you put your best foot forward starting here.  After you clean up your profile, showcase yourself. This may involve loosening some of your privacy settings to showcase certain areas of your profile.

  • Make a cover photo that showcases your talent. Facebook covers are 851 × 316.
  • Add your employment history, in the work and education section.
  • If you attended college, utilize the education section to add information about your school.
  • Use the project area to add the projects that you’ve worked.
  • Facebook just added a section for professional skills; add your skills in this section.
  • Don’t forget to use the contact us section to add your website, blogs and social media channels.

Facebook can be utilized almost as a resume if you add the right content and if you are a little creative.

Branding Yourself Using Facebook

Branding Yourself Using Facebook

4.  Twitter:  This is a great avenue to showcase your knowledge and to present yourself as an expert in your area, which is very important in creating a brand for yourself. Having a great Twitter profile allows you to make amazing connections while building followers organically, both of which are crucial to your personal brand.  So make sure you are utilizing this channel and showcasing your capabilities to your followers and potential followers.  If you are unfamiliar with Twitter start practicing keeping your verbiage short, because you only have 140 characters to make your point. So, you must use them wisely. To get started check out these easy steps:

  • Create a header for your Twitter layout, it should be no larger than 1252 × 626.
  • Create a Twitter background with your contact information. Twitter backgrounds are 1920 × 1200.
  • Display a presentable image of yourself.
  • Add a descriptive; yet brief bio using 140 characters.

The importance of Twitter cannot be overlooked in the process of branding yourself. Studies have shown that recruiters from the top employers in the country, are using Twitter as a way to recruit top talent. YOU want to be considered the top talent and you want to be noticed by these recruiters.  So Twitter is essential!

5.  Google+: There has always been some controversy about the importance of this platform. I’m not exactly sure why, since it is a GOOGLE platform. Most know that Google is pretty darn awesome.  So, needless to say I’ve been a fan since the Beta release! Another reason to get acclimated to Google +, Facebook has been losing a bit of steam recently so it is very important that you create a profile on Google+. Additionally content shared on Google+ shows up in search results. Enough said!

*Note* You can schedule your posts for Google+ and other social channels.  I’ve used a few but I find that, Buffer is the best scheduling platform available.

6.  Blog: I am really partial to WordPress but the most important thing is that you have a blog, which you contribute to regularly. So, select the platform that you are most comfortable with. [Wordpress, WordPress, WordPress, hmm, did I suggest WordPress?] A blog allows you to present yourself as an expert in your field utilizing your own content AND it allows you to provide this content to your social media channels.

Additionally you can create a page on your blog for your online resume. A web version of your resume allows you the convenience of sending a link quickly from pc, tablet OR mobile device directly to anyone that is interested.

Also, make sure that your blog is viewable by way of mobile device. So many people are mobile that it’s almost mandatory that your blog be viewable by mobile device.  This also offers you the unique opportunity to respond to emails from recruiters and send a resume link right from your mobile device, within seconds. WINNING!

7.  Triberr: If you have a blog YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST be a part of Triberr. If you are not familiar with Triberr, you need to become familiar quickly.  Triberr is THE BEST platform to utilize if you want to get exposure for your blog. This platform is second to none!

So, Triberr in a nutshell: It’s a platform that allows exposure of your blog through mutual sharing of content.  As a part of Triberr you would join tribes of interest. After joining the tribe(s) you would then connect the RSS feed of your blog to the Tribe. This allows your tribe mates to share your blog content to their Twitter followers.  Additionally all of your tribemates will have their blog RSS feed attached so that you can share their blog content with your Twitter followers.

The Triberr platform allows you to multiply the reach of your blog through the mutual sharing of content. This platform is Google Juice for blogs and if you have a blog you need to be a part of Triberr, period. Check out Welcome to Triberr and the Guide To Getting Started With Triberr.

8.  LinkedIn: Is probably the most important step you can take to meet contacts, extend your network and place yourself in the faces of recruiters searching for your expertise! Make sure you have a presence on Linkedin, make the proper connections, get endorsements, join groups and totally embrace this platform.

MOST companies in search of top talent will be actively involved with LinkenIn, so make sure you have a GREAT profile and keep it updated.

  • Use keywords in your headline and through out your profile.
  • Use an appropriate profile photo.
  • Complete your entire profile.
  • Add slideshows, links and blog posts to display your skills.
  • Share professional content that is relevant to careers or your industry.
  • Monitor your profile because you can see who has been checking you out. If you have a visit from a person of interest, visit their profile. They will now know that you have visited their profile and this may allow you to spark up a conversation.
  • Follow companies that you have an interest in because you may be able to connect with people of interest at that company.

Linkedin is one of your most valuable resources you can utilize, if you want to change your employment situation.

9.  YouTube: Videos are a GREAT way to showcase your talents. So create a 2 Minute video to showcase your capabilities.

  • Add keywords to any and all videos that you create because this will help Google to index your videos.
  • Add your video to your website or blog.
  • Share your video on your social media channels.
  • Add your video to your LinkedIn profile.

10.  BrandYourself.com: Allows you to monitor your digital footprint as it displays on Google.  You will get a report if any of your digital marketing channels have gone up or have fallen down in ranking.   This service is GREAT because it allows you to see how your brand is displayed on Google according to rank and it is FREE!

BrandYourself.com

BrandYourself.com

Are you currently utilizing any of these platforms to brand yourself? Are you using different channels? Let me know!  As usual, I welcome any comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be found on Google+, Facebook and Twitter, circle me and/or follow me.

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#GooglePlus, #SocialSearch And Why You’re SCREWED If You’re Not Taking It Seriously

Google Plus IS Social Search

 

I was a HUGE fan of Google Plus from its initial introduction and I was one of the many people within my social circle that jumped on board immediately.  We were all a part of the original beta testers and were immediately impressed with this platform.  In the earlier stages of Google plus, there were many that were of the “either or” mentality about social media, either they leave Facebook or try Google Plus. Even with so many doubting the importance of Google plus, there were many within my social circles that knew that Google was on to something.  Many, like myself are still of that mindset.

 

I had a discussion over a year ago, with a recreational Facebook user that argued how irrelevant Google Plus was and how it would remain so because HE felt as if Facebook would always rule. As a recreational social media user that shared pictures on Facebook two or three times and would log on every 3 months or so, how could he recognize the importance of a platform beyond his own minimal recreational use.  I won’t even go into why anyone NOT living under a rock in Narnia with centaurs would ever minimize a Google platform. With the exception of a few platforms, Google has been known to turn dust into gold.

English: Google+ wordmark

Although I have always been excited about the possibilities of Google Plus I never thought of it as a platform for casual users. I always thought of Google plus and its extraordinary capabilities for business owners and digital marketers. Honestly I never pictured a person like Mr. Recreational user pounding away and connecting on Google plus. However I did think of digital marketers like myself and other likeminded marketers in my social circles utilizing this as a huge platform to boost their exposure and their clients’ exposure in ways that we have never seen before, even with Facebook.

I am not comparing it to Facebook beyond placing in into the category of Social Media platform.  I’m not minimizing Facebook in anyway, because who could ever minimize a platform that really was a pioneer in the sharing and oversharing world that we live in today. Facebook literally changed HOW we communicate, how much we communicate and even extended into the workplace changing the marketing and advertising fabric of practically EVERY organization in business.  Facebook could NEVER be minimized because they really changed the world and our views of communication and sharing information.

Although Facebook boasts over one billion active users Google plus has the power of the biggest search engine in the world behind it, Google. This is what separates Google plus, as a social media platform, from Facebook. Google is so darn huge that we don’t even use the phrase search engine anymore.  I don’t search, I FREAKIN’ Google. I haven’t searched something since back in the 90’s when those now obscure search engines like; Looksmart, Infoseek and AskJeeves were around. WE ALL FREAKIN’ GOOGLE NOW, we DO NOT search.

Google in all of it’s greatness has been “on to something” since the introduction of Google Plus and they have, in their own Google Greatness kind of way molded this platform into a platform that shouldn’t be ignored.  There have been many subtle changes to Google and Google plus since they pushed the social search platform out to the masses.

Initially Google plus wasn’t much to look at with its small narrow banner and boring look, but the layout has been tweaked a few times to create a much better-looking page. The last few tweaks consisted of the banner change and a full layout change.

There were outward changes to the Google plus platform but most of the changes were behind the scenes with Google and very gradual. These are the changes that will benefit businesses most.

  • The integration of all Google Services
  • Uniform sign on
  • Personalized search results
  • Google places merging into Google Local
  • Blogger ability to be shared easily on Google+ Pages
  • Blogger becoming a much more relevant blogging platform
  • Google+ and team up with Zagat
  • Finally, the push toward social search


In essence there has almost been a full integration of all Google Services with Google Plus at most and at the very least these services greatly compliment Google plus.  Any way you look at it, the integration of these services with Google plus creates an avenue in which shared information meets search. SOCIAL SEARCH.

Social Search is something that Wajam tried but never was able to move forward as successfully as Google will. Also Facebook tried to play the social search game with Bing. We all know how that worked out. Besides there really cool TV commercials, no one really gives a poop about Bing because they are really kinda’ sorta’ irrelevant in the search game. Or I should say in the Google Domination Game.

Google plus is the platform, now that it is merging all of the Google services, will be a pioneer and will dominate Social Search. An avenue where social results will play a role in search results. Oh wait, that’s happening now.

Take a look at the graphic below of an image that I posted to Google plus that displayed in Google search results, for a company that I represent in the digital marketing space.

 

THIS is Social Search, THIS is Google plus

THIS is Social Search, THIS is Google plus

 

THIS is Social Search, THIS is Google plus and THIS is why you are seriously cheating yourself if you do not have your company page on Google Plus.

If you have any comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent you can reach me on Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook. Circle Me and Follow me!

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Google+ For Business: Why You MUST Take It Serious [Infographic]

GoogleSocialSearch

 

It is not secret that I believe that Google+ is pretty awesome.  I also think that it could seriously ROCK for business, because after all it’s a Google product so why wouldn’t it.  If we just think about the movement that Google has made in pushing this platform we have to acknowledged that it will in fact be a force to be reckoned with soon.

 

I think the biggest issue with Google+ is that there are so many tech focused people on there and they can sometimes come across as a bit obnoxious and overbearing. At least this is some of the opinions that I have gained from traditional and recreational users.  Google+ got it’s initial following from the very tech focused with its beta release and it has yet to see an influx of recreational users. I believe this is primarily due to the snooty air that people have gained from its current users. I personally have NOT experienced this but I have heard this by so many users that I can not dismiss it.

 

As business owners, lets disregard the snooty peeps and tackle this platform! REALLY! The first thing that must be done is NOT to view it as a Facebook replacement, it’s really NOT!  It is, however a strong push toward Social Search and this is beyond HUGE for business.   So even if we opt not to place a strong focus on this platform, we should develop a bit of a presence there and most importantly, we MUST add the option for readers to +1 our content. 

 

Take a look at the infographic below to give you a few additional reasons to use Google+

 

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What You NEED To Know About The HISTORY OF The Google Algorithm [Infographic]

Google Algorithm

Google is pretty awesome, we all know it! One of the reasons that they are so awesome is the vast amount of improvements and changes that they undergo on a regular basis. Although lots of changes are looked at as a positive thing some meet more dialogue than others and that it changes to the the infamous Google Algorithm.  This is primarily because of the importance of websites to a persons business and any change to the algorithm can result in huge changes to website traffic.   Take a look at the Infographic below to see the entire history of the Google Algorithm Change.

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#Google Panda, Everything You EVER Wanted To Know [Infographic]

GooglePanda

I have been talking about Google and their move to Social Search with their push of Google+.    A huge part of their strategy involves Google Panda, so take a look at the Infographic below so you gain a better understanding of the Google Strategy.

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Man Up! #Google+ And #SocialSearch IS HAPPENING..So Sink or Swim

SocialSearch

 

Everyone is Blah..blah…blah-ing about Google+, the push toward Social Search and what it will mean to them. Well, guess what? It’s about to happen so stop complaining and get ready. Yeah, Facebook and Twitter are both crying. Boo-hoo for them, they have been dominating Social Media for quite a while.   Seriously did either of those companies think that Google + would NOT have an answer for their domination? It is Google after all, and that is exactly why Google rocks and why they command so much respect. Facebook & Twitter, do you want some CHEESE with that Whine?

 

In the meantime people,  it’s time to prep and stop blah..blah..blahing about another platform. Get over it and prep your business, prep your clients businesses and change your state of mind. You are tech savvy or your would be somewhere making a cold call from your landline phone NOT on social media bitching about working with another platform.

 

Man up, get on Google plus, make your profile, connect with some people, share some great content and make your impact on Social Search. This is a historical time in technology, embrace it, wallow in it and most importantly enjoy it. Use this as an opportunity to be a part of game changing history.

 

Nothing else.

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#Google+ is #SocialSearch, do you LIKE The +1 Button? You’d BETTER….

like Google Plus

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Google+ and I believe that it is a serious game changer.  Although there are many that would argue that Google+ is just for a bunch of social media folks that are puffed up on their own importance. Not my words.  Personally, I don’t see it that way, I do however see it as another platform to engage with a different demographic of people.

All social media platforms have different demographics of followers and Google+ is no different. I think that it is somewhat misunderstood because the platform opened and a lot of the early adopter social media people were the first to arrive. Well that is what social media & Internet Marketing focused people do, especially early adopters.  Well due to the influx of early adopters I believe Google+ has recieve a bit of a bad rap for being the snooty, social elitist platform.

Even if there is a view that this platform is for the social media elite, if you are in business why would you not want to tap that demographic? Also most importantly demographics of any platform are constantly growing and changing with technology.  As a business person it is wise NOT to rule out any avenue of business and engagement.

English: Google+ wordmark

Since we now know that Google+ is really about to put a spin on the game of social media and search, wouldn’t it be an opportune time to tap that additional demographic, expand our horizons and go ahead and hit that +1 more. Better yet, live dangerously and hit it a few times, then throw caution to the wind and add it to your WordPress site.

No need to fight the power :-) on this one Google+ is about to rock your technological world, it’s best to be prepared. So I advise learning to LIKE the +1.

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#Facebook And #Google Plus It’s NOT Either OR, Do BOTH!

FacebookandGooglePlus

I am a proud lover of all thing Google, so Google+ is no exception because they are always on their A Game. It is also very exciting to see that they’ve finally reach the goal of getting a Social Media platform right, finally.  Kudos to Google because they continue to rock.  I believe that Google+ will be no different than the other platforms that they have excelled at over the past few years.

English: Google+ wordmark

 

There has been so much bru-ha-ha about Google + as a platform since its release and even more now with the huge Google move toward Social Search.  The people with negative views of Google+ are mostly users that are recreational social media users that use social media primarily for entertainment. Most of the people that are huge Google+ fans are people that use the platform for business purposes as they see the value beyond just the recreational use.

 

Although most people that use social media for business purposes are Pro Google+ there have been quite a few that are really NOT warm and fuzzy about the platform. This is just something that I do not understand. These users are somehow under the misconception that they should chose between Google+ and Facebook? Again, something I do not understand.  Why chose?

Google+ and Facebook are totally different platforms and the demographics of my follower are so very different on these platforms as they are on my other social media channels. My Twitter followers are different than my Pinterest followers, my Facebook Page followers are different than my Twitter followers and so on and so forth.

 

If nothing else we should all, as business owners be willing to explore Google+ if only to tap another demographic in which to expose our businesses and services. This is of course in efforts to gain more business, increase sales, make more cha-ching.  So why chose, go with both platforms. Whatever happened to the saying there’s no such thing as bad publicity? Therefore, look at venturing into Google+ as an additional area in which to extend brand recognition.

 

Ok, have at it….

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#Google+ Just WENT #SocialSearch: You’d Better Reach OUT and Grasp This Platform

GooglePlus

I have been speaking of the newness of Social Media as we know it now, all of the Social Media Channels that we should be using and how we should be rocking our blogs .  These are definitely channels that all business owner should have been using for a while and that we should be comfortable with by now. However we all do know that  its not the case because there are still many companies that have not reached out to grasp this new and exiting age of social media.  You all know the companies that I speak of, the ones that are still heavily depended on their fax machines, the companies that are still using AOL and that have absolutely no social media presence .

Not all companies have been totally lax in their grasp of technologies, some are a bit more up to speed on things. There are plenty of companies that have been utilizing SEO strategies and doing quite well.  Well now here comes the kicker, companies that are using SEO exlusively and companies that are not using social media or SEO at all, are about to have the rug pulled out from under them in the form of Google+

I know there is a huge back and forth about Google+ and its importance, blah, blah, blah..Google just changed the game for Internet Marketing, SEO and Social Media with the integration of Social Media by way of Google+ into search.  This is a game changer for those that are social media savvy, heavily involved with technology and SEO masters.  So those that are not, are beyond being behind the eight ball.  The introduction of Social Search by way of Google+  has turned the Digital Divide into a Grand Canyon sized Chasm. I predicted this last year with the introduction of Google+, in my post Google+ IS Social Search. 

The Game has changed, so I’d advise grabbing your thinking caps and putting them on folks.  There is an even steeper curve to climb now, some will conquer it and some will be collateral damage. Either way, please know that the Game has Changed.

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2012: How New Media Works, THE 12 Social Media Platforms Explained

2012
I was having a discussion with Michael Q Todd about Social Media and platforms that are really rocking. It was a very informal, laid back but very informative discussion but these 12 platforms that have been rockin’ for me. After working to get my social media strategy where I want it, this is what i’ve come up with.

12 Platforms you should check out for 2012:  

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Facebook 

There are a lot of people that have issues with Facebook for whatever reason. STOP TRIPPIN’ people! Yeah I said it. Facebook, love it or hate it but they have around 800 million users and they are still growing. This is HUGE for your ability to build your brand. It’s not really about love or hate, frankly it’s about business, brand exposure and Cha-ching!

Facebook has now created an option to Subscribe. This is HUGE for people that use their personal Facebook page for networking, like me. This allows people that follow you on other channels to follow you on your Facebook personal page without becoming your friend. Remember if you opt to allow people to subscribe to your updates, remember to provide some information that would appeal to them and use the public option to post.

Facebook is a driving force behind social media and if you are smart you will take advantage of this to propel your brand. The new revamped Facebook Timeline with ability to offer people the opportunity to subscribe to your updates is HUGE for your brand. Add the power of the Facebook Business Page and that makes a power combination.

When you scoff at Facebook, think about which comparable platforms offer you the ability to reach up to 800 million people.  So if you have jumped off the Facebook bandwagon, I suggest jumping back on. 800 million people, there’s nothing to think about, just do it.
Twitter  

Twitter offers a HUGE opportunity to reach out to an unlimited amount of people, with 140 characters.  Things to keep in mind, don’t spam, don’t shove your marketing message and or sales pitch down the throats of your followers. They don’t care what your selling. REALLY. Twitter is about sharing content that is of value to your followers, NOT about you, your message and what you’re selling. The plus is that providing great content and valuable information will put you in a position to be viewed as an authority within your subject area. This will increase your chances of turning followers into potential clients, clients and or people to collaborate with.  Twitter is HUGE, use it.

Google +

Is the new kid on the block and is really being minimized by many. This is a platform that should be taken serious if nothing more than realizing that Google RAWKS. The Internet would NOT be the same if Google wasn’t a huge player. Google+ is not just a social media platform but a Game changer.  Google + will change the Internet as we know it like they did with the introduction of Google and the domination of the Internet since then. Google will take every platform that they own or that they plan to own and add it to Google+ to make it ROCK. BELIEVE IT! Google+ is the Game changer because it is the beginning of Social Search. Grab a Google+ Page for your business as well. Pay attention peeps.

Scoop.it

Curation is a huge part of the future of the Internet, primarily because there is an abundance or over abundance of information floating about on the millions of social media channels. People are quite literally overwhelmed by the amount of information that is being chucked at them. Curationallows the curator to compile topics of interest by weeding through the information, finding what’s of relevance to their demographic of followers and supply that information to their followers. This is what Scoop.it is all about and you need to check it out.

Image representing Tumblr as depicted in Crunc...

Tumblr

Is an extremely social media oriented blogging platform that is easy to share, easy to follow and extremely popular. I use my Tumblr account everyday. Tumblr is great for supplying small segments of information, pictures and quotes to people that are interested in grabbing quick information.

WordPress

Is one of the most powerful blogging platforms available now. I am a reformed WordPress basher that really didn’t get the big hoopla about WordPress until I used it myself. I was using Posterous as my primary blog platform of choice, they changed their format and IMHO Jumped the Shark. So, I was almost forced to look at the only blogging platform that I hadn’t tried  and that was WordPress.  I like the functionality of the free platform and I really REALLY love the self hosted WordPress.org option.  Since WordPress added the option to subscribe for most of the blogs, they are now the best in my book.  I use the Free format for everyday, uncomplicated blogging and the self hosted format for my more involved blogging needs.

StumbleUpon

Image representing StumbleUpon as depicted in ...

Is one of the most underutilized and underused formats in the social media game. Stumbleupon will give some serious juice to your content. I have included it as a sharing option on my blogs, I’ve added it to my Chrome Plugin and I Stumble every blog that I +1 and share. Use it!

Commun.it

Is one of the BEST Twitter management tools that I’ve ever used. I am usually not one for Twitter management tools;  However, I really LOVE Commun.it.  This platforms helps you to focus on people that are your most engaged members, supporters and influences. That’s huge because it allows you to know who is really in touch with your brand so you can actively engage with them. This is “For The Win” for creating an active and engaged Twitter following.  Commun.it also gives you an indication of those that have unfollowed you and those that you should consider unfollowing based on lack of engagement. This is a must in your arsenal for 2012. It is still in Beta and by invite only so if you want, grab INVITES

Empire Avenue

Is first and foremost a great way to meet some really AMAZING people, not just any people but the Social Media Elite ( my opinion) There are so many people in technology and social media related fields playing this social media stock market game.

What’s good about Empire Avenue is that it numerically rates your social media activity by  platform and assigns a dividend (div) amount based on how engaging your content is. The dividend is payed out daily to people that buy your shares, sort of like dividends in real stock market.

You can register as an individual or as a company. After you register, connect your social media channels and watch your share price and divs go up. There is a big drive to buy n00bs, because players have an opportunity to buy shares at a low price.

This game is not for the faint of heart. If you content sucks, your divs will suck and people unload your shares. The good thing is that share price and divs can give you an indication of things in your social media strategy that you may need to work on.  What’s more important than the gaming aspect, is that Empire Avenue offers players the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the most amazing, tech savvy people that they will ever meet.   Join, then chase down the Facebook Groups, Social Empire, Team Zen,  XBar and Eav Winners. Join the groups, learn the game and meet the amazing people behind the game.

Twyla

I am still learning a lot about Twyla but this is one of the platforms that I will be using more. One of the HUGE things about Twyla that I like is the POWER TWEET. It allows you to create the most powerful tweet ever.  Twylah is still in Beta so you have to ask for invites.

Pinterest

Is Image driven Google juice. It is the “New” Hot Social Media Platform, although I hear it’s been around for a while. Either way everyone is jumping on it, primarily because people really love pics and that is the driving force behind Pinterest. It allows you to grab pics from online sources, Flickr, Urls and uploaded images and add to your boards. People can then share those images by repinning them. You can also embed the images, which is really cool. I just started using this and I really like it.

Triberr 

Is the ultimate source of Blog Juice! One of the things about blogging is the ability to get your content out there, shared, Tweeted etc. You can have the greatest blog out in the world with the most wonderful content but if no one reads it,  the content is almost irrelevant. Triberr is the key  to getting readers for your blog content.

Triberr allows a user to create a Tribe and add members to their tribe. All tribe members can add an RSS of their blog which then gives the tribe members an opportunity to share  this content with their Twitter followers.  This is huge for brand awareness, blog traffic, subscribers and potentially for meeting clients and collaborators.

When a person is invited to a Tribe they can then create a new Tribe of their own and invite members. Triberr is still in beta so you will need an invite, which are not really spread around like other Beta platforms. This is primarily because to offer an invite to Triberr is inviting that person into your Tribe.

The key to being successful with Triberr is being very selective about who you invite to your Tribe and careful about Tribes that you join. I find that it is best to have similar and or complementary content as the people in your Tribe.  Also, make sure any Tribe that you join have members that are willing to share your content with their Twitter followers as you are willing to share with yours. I’ve learned these things the hard way so I am very selective about Tribes that I join.  If you join a Tribe that does not meet your expectations there, just bounce. I would, I have and would do so again.

OK, those are my 12 things for 2012. Rock on!

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