Hector The Connector's Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2013 and Beyound

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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 being 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.  
If anything, the changes to society has been increasing exponentially since the advent of the Internet.  Where it used to take days to disseminate information before the Internet, now it takes mere seconds.  Where people used to be able to enjoy their privacy, that too is being quickly eroded as marketers and governments can follow most of us in real-time due to the web.  

So when it comes to answering the big questions such as “Is the world as we know it coming to an end?” you are about twenty years too late. In this blog we will explore some of these changes that have occurred and will look forward at the tidal wave of change that is headed our way. So let us explore the end of the advertising world as we once knew it.

Are Newspapers the Canary Signaling the Downfall of Big Monopolies?

First on my list is the downfall of the old media monopolies. I’m talking about the big newspapers, TV networks, the Ma Bell Babes, radio conglomerates and the like. High-speed communications via smart phones and tablets connected to the internet have had a huge impact on consumer habits. News used to be gathered by reporters in the field. Now reports come into the newsroom from Bystanders taking pictures and sending them to the news services.

Today your morning drive traffic updates came from cell phone users and internet connected web cams placed throughout the city. Instead of reading the morning paper, people now read news on tablets and smart phones. Unlike television which has regularly scheduled news shows, news on the web is breaking live within seconds of an event taking place. In fact, many events are being recorded live and streamed in. Tonight your just as likely to watch TV on the web as you would on the Regular networks. As a matter of fact about 20% of the population simultaneously are on the web when watching regular TV.

Bye Bye Scheduled Air Time - Hello On Demand

Gone are the days where you had to wait for the evening news or the time for your favorite show to air. Now the web offers 24/7 access to videos on demand. Google YouTube, Netflix and Hulu are the new online on demand monopolies as the old boy TV networks scramble to build their infrastructure to compete.

Auckland 2004 Yellow Pages books
Auckland 2004 Yellow Pages books (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Death of the Yellow Pages Dinosaur; is Radio Next?

The Yellow Pages has all but fallen off the map after being relegated to near door stop duties amongst other things. Radio is a little more resilient but it’s not immune. Currently most cars do not have internet service integrated into them but that is changing. Within the next five years it will be a standard feature in newer cars, tied in via the cell phone networks. Internet radio stations like Pandora, Live 365 and BlogTalkRadio will start to have an impact simply because they will provide customized content on demand. A driver will have a choice of what music, news or talk shows they want to hear. They will be able to do this in real time, choosing what, when and where they want to hear over their internet stations.

The days where TV stations could charge whatever they wanted are gone. News Paper and yellow pages will soon be dinosaurs scratching to survive extinction. Even regular tel

ephone and postal service have undergone huge changes.

Say Goodbye to the Old Bosses - Say Hello to the  New Ones! The telephone monopolies now share their positions with the cell phone companies and other third party players offering Voice Over IP phone service (VOIP). Products like Magic Jack and Vonage have put a big dent in the armor plating at ATT and the others Baby Bells.

Even the postal service has undergone dramatic changes. The US Postal Service has to keep scaling back because of the reduction in mailed letters and documents. Its cost keeps going up because they now mainly have to handle packages and of course they have unions to contend with.  Email has grown to huge proportions and is now the defacto way that most of modern society communicates. The Growth of texting has had a huge influence on the  way many people converse. Text messages often get read when emails are ignored and cell calls are relegated to voice mail. It’s become such a problem that Texting while driving is now responsible for thousands of car crashes every year.

Google 貼牌冰箱(Google Refrigerator)
Google 貼牌冰箱(Google Refrigerator) (Photo credit: Aray Chen)
Beware of the 800 lb. Gorilla (a.k.a., Google)

Even online advertising has changed forever. All these changes have had a huge impact on how and what search engines retrieve when we enter a key word search. Google now controls 81% of all internet searches essentially making a new monopoly. In 2012, Google as made lots of changes to its online model. Google has changed its search engine so that it can evaluate social media posts, tweets, videos, blogs and yes the content on your website. However only 25% of what Google is looking for is on your website. The rest is off-page items like backlinks, social posts, videos and blogs. Today quality content is king, and if you’re producing a lot of quality content then your website/s (aka internet properties) will be king too.

Unless civilization actually does come to an end on the 21st of December 2012, advertising as we use to know it is on its way out.  This is good news for businesses because Internet advertising offers many benefits that TV, Radio, News Paper and Yellow pages could never provide. The old media giants could never provide accurate viewer numbers. Nor could they provide real interaction with their audiences. Internet advertising on the other hand provides tracking in and interaction with your audience in spades. You can measure visits, clicks, views, engagement, form fills, downloads, forwards, chats, referrals and many other statistics. For some products it can provide fulfillment with very little or no cost.

Yes, the Internet has changed the world, as we once knew it. I was born in the 50s and have nostalgic feelings about how TV, newspaper, radio and Yellow Pages. I am amazed today at how they once ruled most our everyday marketing lives. I know now that those days are gone forever and what we have today has the potential to be so much better. I hope you have enjoyed this discussion and that my perspective was useful if not entertaining. If you liked this article, leave us a note. If you have a different opinion, share that with us also.  Working the Web to Win wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukah and a Happy New Year.

That’s my opinion, I would love to hear yours.

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.

Hector Cisneros is COO and director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web To Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”

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Is Google Calling? Or is it Someone Else?

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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:

- Your Google Page rank is 0/10
- You have 0/10 back-links
- Your website has 0/15 pages indexed

I'm going somewhere with all this... I wanted to do my homework and research your website because I want to show you that I have applied some research to your website before contacting you with my proposal. We are in the business of offering 3 benefits for your website:

1) Diagnosing and fixing all issues with your website
2) Ranking your site to the top of the search results
3) Significantly increasing your online revenue levels.

Let me know if you would like to further information by email or we could schedule a call.

I look forward to your feedback

Now we provide positioning reports to our clients on a monthly basis and we meet with them frequently to discuss what is working and what challenges we have. We try very hard to educate our clients, but despite our efforts, we find clients can still be deceived.

Case in point is our client's reaction to this spam letter.  They asked us if there was any validity to the information in this spam letter, even though they could easily check to see if they website was showing up in Google search. All they had to do was key in the search terms they wanted to do well in and see for themselves!

We went on to point out that not only was the email a form letter, it failed to point out the following very important items:

1.      The sites world ranking is irrelevant! Only keyword ranking is important for search!
Reality isn't always real
Reality isn't always real (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2.      The message did not mention any “keywords” that you would be ranked for.

3.      Any reference to where the firm that sent the message was located.

4.      The method or methods they intended to employ to rectify the situation.

5.      What they discussed was on page SEO and did not mention off page Search Engine Marketing.

6.      They also did not mention that SEO only accounts for 25% of the search ranking and that Search Engine Marketing thru blogs and the Social Nets accounts for the other 75%.

7.      In this instant the spam letter just used a bunch of lies to make the client question reality! Their website was listed at the top of Page One for Google Organic Search for no fewer than Seven keyword phrases. They actually had as many as three listings on each page!!! In other words, they are on page one of Google search for 7 different organic keyword search phrases! They already own page one!

Here's what Google has to say about hiring & SEO vendor. 

The crux of the matter was that whoever sent the spam that caused our client to go into a panic attack did not care that their message was not only inflammatory, but that it was entirely a lie.  They were simply Phishing for a response, any response from which to gain a toehold in order to try to get a prospect to fork over a credit card number.  And far from being surprised at these tactics, I myself am routinely bombarded with email and phone calls from sales reps purportedly from Google who want to make me aware that my site is not on page one.  Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

Google Does Not Have a Sales Force

Google Search Coupon: 1 FREE Google Search
Google Search Coupon: 1 FREE Google Search (Photo credit: Bramus!)
What most people are unaware of is the fact that Google is not behind any of these messages and/or calls simply due to the fact that they have no outbound sales force.  What they do is work with digital media agencies like ours.  In fact they have a certification system for agencies wishing to offer Adwords pay-per-click advertising to their clients.  But as far as organic ranking to which Google makes not one slim dime, the company does not offer assistance at any price, other than YouTube videos designed to let you know what Google wants in terms of content, back links and the like.  The fact of the matter is that Google guards how it ranks website and keywords for organic results. They do this to keep companies from being able to dominate organic search. Therefore any sales rep claiming to be from Google is at best a bald-faced liar and at worst an online criminal looking to do you harm.

What Every Business Needs to Know About Search Engine Optimization

If you go back to the year 2000, all that the search engines looked at in order to tell how sites ranked was contained on-site.  Face it, back in 2000 there were no such things as blogs, social networks and streaming video.  Heck, it could take a minute or more to get graphics to load properly if you were using a dial-up account.  So all the search engine spiders had to look at was your website.  Well, we’ve come a long way baby. Today, only 25% of what the search engines look at is contained on-site.  The majority of SEO criteria consist of such things as backlinks, blog posts, social posts, and videos.  Not only do the spiders look to see whether these items are present, they also determine the relevance and the quality of posts. This along with frequency, whether or not the posts  have been commented on and if they have been re-posted to the social sites. These make up the bulk of the important factors in.  What this means is that it isn’t enough to sport the logos for Twitter, Facebook and Google+ on your site, you also need to feed them on a regular basis.

What SEO Means Today

Google search page on the 40th anniversary of ...
Google search page on the 40th anniversary of ''The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here are the facts you need to contend with.  There are more than 320 million websites online today, with another 130,000 new sites entering the fray daily.  And every one of them wants to be on page one.  In order to have any kind of chance to win with the odds stacked against you, website owners need to consider the following:

·         Content is king.  The days of “Set it and forget it” are over.  If you want to get into the game, you need to blog on at least a weekly basis and you need to post to the social networks on at least a daily basis.
·         The Internet has become a multimedia broadcast network.  If the only thing your website has to offer is prose, you aren’t going to be taken seriously by either the Google Bots or your intended audience.  You need to add podcasts and/or videos to your site on at least a monthly basis.  (Weekly is even better.)
·         Your blogs need to be more than extended tweets.  If you don’t provide the readers with valuable articles to engage them, why would they read your blog at all, much less tweet or re-post it?
·         You also must ally yourself with other bloggers and social media publishers if you hope to generate any kind of audience online.  The last thing you want to wind up doing is spending time and money building a billboard in the desert.

In short, if you want to get off the bench and into the game, you need to make online content creation a priority.  This means either feeding the system yourself, or hiring either an individual or an agency to do the work for you.  Just bear in mind that outsourcing a job that requires weekly blogging, daily social posts, monthly backlink building and video/podcast production is not going to come cheap.  Anyone telling you they can get you on Google page 1 for $99.95 per month is just going to take your hundred bucks a month for as long as you would care to pay it.  A minimum of $1,000.00 per month is a more realistic figure, unless you are going to do at least some of the work yourself.

Top 10 Questions to ask Any SEO Firm

Even spending a $1,000 a month doesn’t mean that you are going to jump onto page one overnight if ever.  If you are considering hiring the task out, here are ten questions you need to ask.

1.      Where is your company located and how long have you been doing SEO?  (Ask for their phone number and business address.)
2.      What are your fees and what will I get for the money?
3.      Does this fee include copywriting of blogs and social posts? What else does it include? (backlinks, videos)
English: seo block
English: seo block (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4.      Can you provide me with references for current clients? (Do you have any video testimonials?)
5.      What kind of performance guarantees do you offer and can I get them in writing?
6.      How long is the contract and how long will it take to get my business on page one?
7.      What happens if you fail to deliver results? What is your guarantee!
8.      How do you determine the best keywords for my business?
9.      What kind of reports will I receive and how often will I receive them?
10.  Whom do I call if I have any questions or needs during the time you are in my employ?

If any company that wants to work to optimize your site can’t tell you precisely what it is that you will be getting for your money and they can’t provide you with the phone numbers and address for at least 5 satisfied current clients, then they do not deserve your consideration.  Also be wary of offshore firms since it is nearly impossible to get any kind of refund should they fail to deliver the goods.  Also beware of long term contracts of one year or more. Many automatically renew and they put the onus on you to continue paying without any appreciable quid pro quo in terms of results with the SEO provider.

The bottom line is that if you are serious about maximizing your online results then you only have three possible options. Number one: you are willing to invest the time to get the job done right on your own. This mean spending lots of time creating and posting lots of content.  This will take a huge amount of time and effort on your part. Number two: You are willing to do part of the work yourself and outsource the rest. Or number three: you outsource all the work to a reputable firm that has all the tools necessary to complete the task. All three will allow you too can reap the rewards that come with having organic page one search engine visibility.  If you’re outsourcing, just remember this. You are hiring a technician, not a magician and results won’t be instantaneous, it should take one to three months for your pages to show up.  If they aren’t, then you need to choose a different firm.

So the next time you get a call or an email from someone purportedly associated with Google, hit them with the first few questions in the list above and see how often you get a legitimate response. I’ll bet that 99 times out of 100 they will either say we don’t work for Google or they will just hang up. Either way you are now armed with the necessary knowledge to find a legitimate firms that can help you get the job done right.

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.

Hector Cisneros is COO and director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web To Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”

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

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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.