Hector The Connector's Social Media Marketing Predictions for Next Year and Beyond

By Hector Cisneros

English: Infographic on how Social Media are b...
English: Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It’s almost 2013 and what a wild year it’s been. We had people predicting the end of the world. A wild and woolly presidential election and Social Media has ushered in so many changes that you have to step back just to try to get the big picture. Speaking of big, last year I predicted growth and lots of it. I made several predictions about specific big time players and I was right 100% of the time. This year things are wilder than ever. If you use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube or Pintrest, you are going to want to read this blog. So let’s get started with the connectors Social Media Marketing Predictions’ for 2013.

The End of Conventional Advertising as We Knew it Would Be

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One of the first Color TV cameras at the Oklah...
One of the first Color TV cameras at the Oklahoma History Center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Hector Cisneros

With the Mayan Prophecy of 12/21/12 only days away, I thought we would take the time to talk about how the Internet has already changed the world as we knew it.  In fact, when it comes to life as we know it is irrevocably altered, there isn't much that can hold a candle to the World Wide Web.  Think about it, the Internet is less than a quarter of a century old, yet it has infiltrated every facet of humanity, from telecommunications to computers, from newspapers to books to televisions, from yellow pages to the postal service. Even automobiles and medical devices connect to the web.

Is Google Calling? Or is it Someone Else?

English: Google Logo officially released on Ma...
English: Google Logo officially released on
May 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Carl Weiss & Hector Cisneros

Recently our company was approached by one of our clients who held in his hand a printout of a form letter he had been spammed with that read as follows:
 I recently visited your websitewww.abc123xyz.com”,  during a routine survey of sites which may be capable of higher search engine performance through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Efficient SEO brings an increase in online sales or leads. I hope this information may be of use to you, if not then I apologies for any inconvenience caused.
So, here's a summary of my findings on your site:

Social Media and Keeping Up with the Joneses (The Competition!)

By Hector Cisneros

Massive Change
Massive Change (Photo credit: Steve Rhodes)
The marketing world we live in today is a far cry from the one our parents grew up in during the 50’s and 60’s. TV, News Paper, Yellow Pages and Radio have hardly changed their format since their inception. In contrast, the internet is a rapidly evolving medium. If you look at all the marketing segme
nts of the Internet, Social Media is the most volatile. In fact, more rapid changes are coming to LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. The last 12 months showed massive changes. The past four months have seen a slew of new features, many updated or upgraded elements and there does not seem to be an end in sight! How will these social media changes affect your businesses' social standing? Will it mean additional changes in how you manage your social media? Are you going to have to join other networks? Read this week's blog post and listen in to our weekly radio show and learn why you need to keep up with the Joneses, (your competition) to win with social media.

Tablet Wars - Choosing Your Battles is What it Takes to Win the War

By Carl Weiss

Microsoft Surface Tablet
Microsoft Surface Tablet (Photo credit: methodshop.com)
If you are thinking about buying a tablet PC, you should be aware that there are now many variations of the device that was first brought to the world by Apple Computer on April 3, 2010.  It’s hard to believe that in less than three years the tablet PC market has exploded to the point that there are tablets galore being manufactured by everyone from Acer to Vizio.  As a result it is getting more and more difficult to decide which tablet is right for you.

Seven Secrets of Social Media Magnets

anthony earnshaw - seven secret alphabets - abc
anthony earnshaw - seven secret alphabets - abc (Photo credit: uair01)

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By Hector Cisneros

Every year I look back and try to put in words the social media principle I have discovered over the last seven years. I call these principles the seven secrets of social media magnets because using these secrets produces magnetic positive results. In other words, using these principles draws followers to you in a way that is good for them and for you. My secrets don’t use trickery or black hat techniques to game the system. Conversely I pride myself on using universal principles and techniques that provide real value to both the audience and the player alike. So read on and enjoy the seven secrets of social media magnets.

Making Social Media Work for Your Business

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By Carl Weiss

Are you looking to for a cost effective way to grow your business?  Do you want to break the demoralizing cycle of cold-call, sales pitch and call-back, while attracting the attention, respect and recogn
Social Networks Hype Cycle
Social Networks Hype Cycle (Photo credit: fredcavazza)
ition of prospects and clients the world over?

The good news is that accomplishing this task is easier than you might think.  What I’m talking about is using social networking as a business tool.  When it comes to social networking, there are two schools:
1.      Registering with a social network
2.      Using a social network

For the most part, many small business owners fall into the first category.  This means that while they are enrolled in such networks as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others, they rarely feed the nets.  Unless you are willing to post to your networks on a daily basis, you will attain little or no advantage for your business from either prospects or clients.  Add to that the fact that if the amount of followers in your account is in the tens or even hundreds, then you are short sheeting yourself when it comes to being able to tap into the power of social networking.  This is due to that fact that if you create a post, only ten percent of your followers are likely to read it and only ten percent of those who read it are likely to act on it.  This means that in order to get into the game you need to create a base of followers in the thousands.  The way you do this is by providing consistent and compelling content.

What Social Networking is Not

Bearing in mind that most social networks are less than five years old, there has been a certain learning curve in order to employ this medium for promotional purposes.  Some online marketers assume
Social Networking
Social Networking (Photo credit: .hj barraza)
the correct way to feed the social nets is to send out ad copy.  This couldn’t be further from the truth. While social media is possibly the world’s most powerful form or word of mouth marketing, the last thing that your online following wants to receive is ad copy.  Face it, Americans are bombarded practically 24/7 with advertisements.  From the moment they wake up to the moment their head hits the pillow at night, they have ads come at them from every direction.  As a result, people start to tune out ads.  So this is not the best way to engage and grow a following online.

What Social Networking Can Be

Social Network - Copertina
Social Network - Copertina (Photo credit: marcomassarotto)
Social networking can be one of the best ways of convincing the masses to do business with you.  For the most part, these tools are some of the most cost effective advertising vehicles known to modern man, since they cost little or even nothing to use.  But the secret to employing this technology successfully is to entice your audience with useful, time saving, or entertaining information that relates to your business.  Rather than hammering away at your prospects with a full frontal sales assault as you would with traditional advertising, by embracing social networking, you can achieve better long term results by offering valuable tips, news, updates and information. You can also embed or link such things as podcasts and videos to your posts which
This tactic can do two things for you:

1.      Demonstrate to the prospect your knowledge of the subject, which is a good way to increase your credibility and decrease a prospects buying hesitation.

2.      Create an atmosphere of mutual interest and trust through which an ongoing rapport can be created and mined.

Get this formula right and not only will you convert more prospects into leads and sales, but you will also sell more to your existing customers and keep them loyal for longer periods.  Plus, consistent social networking can greatly enhance your website's standings in the search engines and you have two powerful reasons to start social networking for business.

If you would like to find more articles like this type in your key phrase in the search box at the top left of this blog. If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, families and co-works. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment sections below.  If you would like a free copy of our book, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century", fill out the form below.

Since 1995, Carl Weiss has been helping clients succeed online.  He owns and operates several online marketing businesses, including Working the Web to Win and Jacksonville Video Production. He also co-hosts the weekly radio show, "Working the Web to Win," every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern on BlogTalkRadio.com.

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Why You Should Be Gaga for Google+

By Carl Weiss

English: Google plus one
English: Google plus one (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It has been called everything from an online ghost town to one of the best social networks ever invented for small businesses.  But there is one thing that neither pundits nor detractors can deny.  That is, Google+ is the only social network in the world directly operated by the world’s most popular search engine.

Social Equity - Businesses Use it, Here’s How to Get Some

Courtesy of  www.nrpa.org

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By Hector Cisneros

Most people know what equity is. For a business it's the net difference between the assets and liabilities a company has. We've also heard of sweat equity, where a person does a portion or all of the work when fixing up their home, business or other project. So then, what is social equity? In the word-of-mouth world, social equity refers to the notion, which people often feel a need to reciprocate for help received. It’s when they believe they were befriended by someone and have the feeling of indebtedness.  It’s a psychological debt that they feel they need to return the favor.  You’ve heard people say “I owe you one,” right?  

Google’s Secret Ranking System - Harder for You, More Profits for Them

Mario 13 / 157,000,000
Mario 13 / 157,000,000 (Photo credit: Quasimondo)

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By Hector Cisneros

Anyone that advertises on the internet today is aware that Google has changed it's search ranking algorithms several times this year. In April many website owners found that they had suddenly lost their page one ranking. Many fell off the first four pages altogether. Google’s Penguin and Panda updates altered search so that you could no longer get page one position with black hat techniques alone. Google announced that they were doing this because they want page listing to be decided based on the value provided by the page’s content, not by gaming the system with technical tricks. Google wants a true popularity contest based on good content.

Their new algorithms make it much harder to use black hat tricks to get on page one. Keyword relevance, content relevance plus timely and consistency are now king. Positive feedback and social media usage now denote "more meaningful value." What this all means to the average business owner is that it’s much harder to get on page one than ever before.

Praise the Borg and Pass the Ammunition

By Carl Weiss

Alice Krige as the Borg Queen in First Contact
Alice Krige as the Borg Queen in First Contact (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In a take right out of one of those late night sci-fi movies the race is currently on to determine who is going to conquer the world first: autonomous robots or cybernetically enhanced humans.  If you have been paying any attention to the newsfeeds recently, there have been a number of articles and videos that have clearly demonstrated that a major shift in the way we look at and deal with technology is now under way.

When most people think about robots today, they either get a picture in their heads of the industrial automatons that now assemble things like cars and vacuum cleaners, or they think of mama’s little helper the Roomba.  But what most folks don’t appreciate is that everyone from Google to the Dept. of Defense is on the verge of creating robotic systems that are capable of doing everything from fighting fires to driving on California’s interstates with little or no input or oversight from anyone.

Is Too Much Technology Bad for Business?

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Tim Berners-Lee: The World Wide Web - Opportun...
Tim Berners-Lee: The World Wide Web -
Opportunity, Challenge, Responsibility
(Photo credit: Fräulein Schiller)

By Carl Weiss

Having worked the web professionally since 1995, I can remember a time when we weren't so hardwired to technology.  Sure a lot of the elements of online life that we take for granted today were already in vogue back then, like Apple vs PC, inkjet printers, zines (the forerunner of blogs), and even cellphones had already made the scene.  The chief difference between then and now was the way in which the public viewed the wired world.  Back then going online was more of a convenience than a way of life.  While some people (particularly the young) were addicted to certain aspects of technology, more teenagers were hooked on video games then the Internet in 95.

Working the Web - Is There a Cyber Attack in Your Future?

Windows Firewall
Windows Firewall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Carl Weiss

When your head hits the pillow at night, do you fall asleep feeling secure that your online data, your identity and your financials are safe?  Do you feel bulletproof behind your Windows Firewall and Norton Antivirus?  Are you in the habit of downloading freeware on your PC and free apps on your Smartphone?  Do you use public wifi hotspots such as coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and airports? 

If your answer to any of the above was “Yes” then I have news for you.   It isn’t a matter of if you are going to be hacked, cracked or cyber attacked.  It’s just a matter of when.  Because the habits exposed above are an invitation for hackers and cyber criminals to gain access to your most sensitive information, hijack your computer and Smartphone and in short turn your life into a living hell where your identity, your financial data and intellectual property can be bought and sold like a commodity.

Are Online Hitchhikers Taking Your Computer for a Ride?

The Hitch-Hiker
The Hitch-Hiker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Carl Weiss

Nobody likes freeloaders, particularly on their computer.  The problem is every time you upload a free game or trial program you can also upload other applets and toolbars that you don’t necessarily want.  Not only do these unwanted hitchhikers take up valuable space on your computer, but they can also cause conflicts with other programs, slowing down or even causing your system to crash.  Below are a number of ways to clean up and speed up your system.

Touch Marketing – How to Win the Day & Get the Girl

By Carl Weiss
Whenever I speak before a group, one of the first questions I ask is, “Why create a website?”  While the responses are varied, the only correct one for business owners, large or small is, “To make money.”  Having been professionally engaged in Internet marketing since 1995, I can tell you that accomplishing this task is no easy matter.  Where in years gone by business owners merely had to create an optimized website in order to cash in online, today they need to busy themselves with an entire armada of online marketing, such as blogging, social networking and video.  All this just to get featured on page one of search engines like Google.  But what most business people do not know is that having a page one position will do you little good if you don’t have a systematic way with dealing with responses created by your website.  By system, I mean a comprehensive method of sorting, selecting and feeding prospects and clients the information they need to either make an initial purchase, or come back for more.

The Ghost Says Boo!

By Carl Weiss

How to Connect Your Youtube and Google Plus!
How to Connect Your Youtube and Google Plus! (Photo credit: brianDhawkins)
Less than a month after media pundits declared that Google+ was nothing more than a virtual ghost town, Google fired back claiming it has more than 100 million active users.  While this number still pales in comparison with Facebook's reported 955 million user base, this is still nothing to sneeze about.  In fact, for a number of small business owners G+ is the go to site when it comes to doing business online.  Let me count the ways.

In the first place, G+ was not created in a vacuum.  It was designed by looking at the other social nets and taking the best and leaving the rest.  It was also built from the ground up to be able to integrate such things as photos, video and other multimedia components into your posts with ease.  No more cutting and pasting links.  Some of the other features that I find useful:

Battle of the Browsers - Internet Dominance and Why Your Choice Matters!

Most used web browser in country or dependency...
Most used web browser in country or dependency
 as of July 2011, according to Statcounter: Blue:
Microsoft Internet Explorer Orange: Mozilla Firefox
Green: Google Chrome Red: Opera (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hector Cisneros

The Internet is an ever-changing landscape that creates long term revolutions in the way we think, act, work and play. Every so often a milestone takes place that has great significance. A very recent change that took place was that Google Chrome displaced the Internet Explore as the number one browser in the world. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer held the reins for 4+ years. Now a Microsoft rival and Internet corporate giant has taken the lead. In this article I will tell you why this is an important milestone in our lives. I will also share with you some of the features which I believe explain why Chrome is now number one and why the Internet Explorer has fallen behind. Read on and learn why we are in the Google Chrome era.

Does WWW mean, What’s Wrong with my Website?

By Carl Weiss

So many websites. So little space. With Google owning more than eighty percent of the search market and more than a quarter billion websites currently vying for position, is it any w
English: www,domain,internet,web,net
www,domain,internet,web,net (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
onder that so many small businesses are having difficulty gaining exposure online? What many people do not understand is not only is the web getting ever more crowded, but it has undergone a sea change in the past few years that has fundamentally changed the benchmarks that search engine spiders look for in order to determine who gets on page one. In last week’s blog, I explored the new face of search engine marketing and what website owners need to do in order to generate Page One results.

Six Cardinal Rules for Success in Social Media Marketing

By Hector Cisneros

You've heard everyone talking about how powerful social media is for marketing your business. How if you're not using it to market your business you're is stuck in the 80's. So you go out and create a Face Book page, open a LinkedIn account, start tweeting on twitter, build a Blog and start looking at You Tube. Now what do you do?

You're told by a friend to post snippets about your businesses and create a blog post about things you know, (although you're not sure what a blog is). You start to share information on various sites in the evening and before you know it. Bam, you're spending dozens of hours a week and getting nothing to show for your efforts. You say to yourself, what a pain in the neck social media marketing is!

Working the Web Just Got Easier

By Carl Weiss

Everyone knows that Google is the most popular search engine in the world, dominating more than 80% of the search market. As such, businesses large and small move heaven and earth in search of the elusive goal of being on page one. The problem is that with more than 240 million websites online and an additional 130,000 sites being spawned daily, trying to obtain and maintain page one results is harder than ever. Today’s marketing experts in the know approach Google with its favorite food, SEM (a.k.a. Search Engine Multimedia Marketing). So today’s blog is intended to show you what it takes to please the 800 lb. gorilla in the room named Google.

Seven Valuable Benefits Social Networks Provide and Social Media Marketers Covet

Social Network - Copertina 

(Photo credit:marcomassarotto

By Hector Cisneros

Today I was asked the most important question encompassing the subject of Social networks and social media marketing. The question I was asked is; What is the value of social media marketing, that is what are the benefits of social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Although these social networks are diverse in nature, they have common values both to subscribers and business people alike. That’s right, even though these networks operate in very different ways, their users often have very different motivations, different backgrounds and personal needs. They all provide these seven values to all that use them. Read on and find out why social networks and social media marketing is changing the face of the internet from what we know to what it will become.

Working the Web: The Lowdown on Local SEO

By Carl Weiss
Courtesy of Flickr

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a bit like the Air Force in World War II.  It was great when it came to carpet bombing cities.  But it was woefully inadequate when it came to discriminating individual targets.  The phenomenon of SEO is a lot like that.  Type in keywords like Jacksonville Video Production or Jacksonville Boat Club and the companies that pop up on Page One of Google are listed based upon their overall SEO score. 

While this works out fine for video production companies and boat clubs, where customers are prepared to drive clear across town to get the best deal, it doesn’t work so well for businesses (such as Auto Repair, Dry Cleaners or Pizza Parlors) that draw their customers from a smaller geographic area.  Although Google sometimes displays a map of the surrounding area where you can select businesses close to home, it has been proven that search engines have a built-in bias that favors firms located close to the city center. A recent article by Search Engine Journal pointed out:

Working the Web: Making Sense of Online Marketing

Marketing Viral
Marketing Viral (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Hector Cisneros

Have you ever entered a conversation about marketing and became instantly perplexed by the terminology being bantered around? Did you get confused trying to follow the how, what, when, and where in the marketing plan? At the end of the conversation, did it seem like an epic tale spoken in Greek? If this is where you are with regards to internet marketing then this article is for you. This article is part of a series that is designed to cover basic terminology and actionable elements, as well as give specific steps for developing your own marketing plan.

Cyber Security Shuffle

Courtesy of www.pbs.org

By Carl Weiss

If you’re like most people, you probably only react to cyber security matters when your computer is so infected with malware that it refuses to function. This is what IT professionals refer to as locking the barn door after the horse has bolted. In today's wired world, what you have to consider is that everything from your PC to your smartphone is subject to attack by hackers who are out to sell your personal information, steal your financial data and do much more than mischief. What many people don't realize is that this problem is so serious that even governments are having problems dealing with it.

Will Web TV Change the World as You Know It?

When it comes to the Internet, there are a number of sites and technologies that have truly been game changers.  When Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994, he started an etail revolution that would eventually put the fear of God into brick and mortar retailers. In 1995, eBay was founded, which would change the face of auctioning forever. Then on September 4th of the following year, a pair of enterprising Stanford University students named Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google, the search engine that would later go onto dominate web search.    

Along the way, technologies came and went.  Online empires (such as Netscape) rose and fell.  It wasn’t until February of 2005 that three former PayPal employees named Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim started YouTube.com.  A little more than a year later, on October 9, 2006, it was announced that the company would be purchased by Google for $1.65 billion in stock. And the rest is history.

What Every Business Owner Needs to Know About Online Marketing

By Carl Weiss
Courtesy of  b2b-marketingblog.activeconversion.com

In 2009, $155 billion was spent on local advertising in the US. Yet only seven percent of that figure was spent online. Market trend projections predict that 50% of local advertising revenue will be spent online within the next 7 years. That means that $77 billion will leave traditional advertising venues. Recent advances in online advertising such as online coupons will only serve to accelerate this trend.

You may have read the recent news item, "Groupon rejected Google’s $6 billion acquisition offer." According to Chicago Breaking Business and Bloomberg, Groupon decided that it was better off on its own.

What many people did not read was the fact that Google reported revenues of $6.77 billion in the first quarter of 2010, representing a 23% increase over first quarter 2009 revenues of $5.51 billion.