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.

#1: More Wild West Shows to Come

The Internet (a.k.a., the Wild, Wild West), will continue with rapid changes ushered in by aggressive competition, and innovation pressed by the big four players (Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn). Further consolidation will take place as the furious big four buy up smaller players who either have profits for the taking or technologies that are needed. Blogging will continue to force changes in the publishing industry and usher in another revolution. Mobile will play a bigger role in social media as more people upgrade to smart phones, tablets and the like. Also we will start to see the effects of Smart TVs and other smart connected devices as old media (mainly TV) tries to merge social into its folds.

The social media industry will definitely see winners and losers, just like we saw in 2012. This year will see a continuation of the social nets cannibalizing each other for subscribers. What will make these numbers hard to measure is that when most people switch their allegiance to a different network they usually don’t undo their subscription from their old favorite. They just become more active on the new subscription. So the best way to measure these networks is to look at active users and time on the network. Now let’s look at the rest of individual elements of my predictions and also look at how I did last year.

Courtesy of digourideas.com
#2: Facebook gets a Facelift.  Last year I predicted that Facebook would show significant growth. At the
time of my prediction last year Facebook had reached 800 million subscribers. They reached approximately 1.2 billion by the end of 2012, a huge number by any standard. By year’s end we have seen their growth level off and I believe this will continue into 2013. I foresee them still growing but at a much slower rate. However Facebook will also show that it knows how to make money in the coming year as its revamped PPC model proves profitable for its advertisers.

#3: LinkedIn will Saunter Along to Success

Last year LinkedIn showed itself to be the turtle in the Social media race. Sure and steady was their watchword. They will continue to show steady growth and also add innovation in the arena of building credibility. I also foresee them adding additional tools for businesses in sales and for enhancing online networking.

#4: Google Will Become a Bigger Gorilla

Google will continue to consolidate its product line into Google+. This includes further integrating Search, YouTube, Picasa, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Local, Maps and their many other products. I predict Google will move to match all comers move for move as long as it helps them feed their advertising juggernaut. Look to see significant growth for Google+ and YouTube this year.

Blogging To The Bank
Blogging To The Bank (Photo credit: lawtonchiles)
#5: Blogging will continue to grow at a mind boggling pace! More and more businesses will continue to jump on the blogging bandwagon, further fueling its phenomenal growth rate. It will be adopted by more and more companies simply because Google keeps increasing its demands for useful content. This surge in blogging will also spur a huge growth in the book industry. The huge growth in content will find its way into eBooks at an
ever increasing rate. EBooks are becoming a central component of internet marketing. Also many are discovering the freedom they have as authors to publish their own material without the need for using established publishers. The only downfall to this growth is that most authors have no idea how to market their books and to get traction towards reaching the bestseller list. I foresee the number of eBooks doubling in the next two years if not sooner.

English: Red Pinterest logo
English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
#6: Pintrest Punches Through to the Next Level

lthough a relatively new comer to social media, Pintrest has caught the eye of the media industry (which depends heavily on visual media). I foresee Pintrest growing at an alarming rate, probably doubling or tripling in size by the end of 2013. It is a prime candidate as a buyout.  I foresee Google or one of the other top four players, (maybe even Microsoft) scooping them up to be a gem in their arsenal of internet properties.

 #7: YouTube will Dominate Views

Video will make huge strides in 2013. It will finally evolve from its caterpillar stage to that of the social butterfly it was meant to be. Google will further integrate YouTube so that people can easily subscribe and follow users by further integrating its services into Google Search and Google+. Google will also enhance and improve its PPC capabilities and also improve its management model so that advertisers can better track and move subscribers along on the purchasing path.

There you have it, my social media predictions for 2013. I have covered the important trends worth watching.  Massive change will continue to be the watchword. Take advantage of these changes and be willing to engage these trends with your internet and social media marketing. Never forget that social media is a two edged sword. Social Media, along with its subscribers, their opinions and their abilities to forward your message is far more powerful than any other form of advertising you can create. Let your follower’s enthusiasm for your products and services spread your message in an organic and viral way. Be prepared to create ads based on their testimonials and reap the rewards of their word of mouth responses. Don’t forget that providing poor or no service will also spread just as quickly. Be prepared to enhance social media support for those rare times when your company makes a mistake. This is a great way to satisfy unhappy customers and then to turn them into your raving fans.

That’s my opinion, I look forward to hearing 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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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!)

Listen to internet radio with workingthewebtowin on Blog Talk Radio

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.

So you might be asking who are the Joneses? In this article we are referring to your competitors. Rapid change in technology and software tools can make or break your social media standings. Not taking advantage of new features can leave your social media sites looking old school and unrefined. More importantly you will not be taking advantage of the opportunities available to your business. Let's look at a half dozen changes that have taken place in various social media platforms and how they have affected some businesses.

Facebook Changes Worth Noting

Illustration of Facebook mobile interface
Illustration of Facebook mobile interface
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Facebook biggest change for the year was the addition of Global Brand Pages. This allows a company to create a single URL, yet have it customized for each local market it services. Next is massive growth. Facebook started the year with a professed 900,000,000 subscribers and is now well over a billion. Facebook has changed how you interact and post to the news feed timeline and how you organize and pay attention to your friends. This is true both for personal accounts as well as Fan Pages. They have also revamped how Pay Per click and Pay per view is organized, reported and executed. They have even added mobile-only ads. This effects not only how you interpret your analytics it also effects how you use Facebook psychographics to drill down to your intended target market. Make sure you study Facebook’s tutorials for advertising and make sure any YouTube training videos you watch are current and that they reflect the new changes. Without understanding these changes your marketing will not produce like it once did. Facebook has plateaued in growth. Look to see its growth slow in 2013. 

Twitter Changes Worth Noting


Twitter has added "Tailored Trends," which is designed to notify a subscriber about trends in which users should be interested. This is based on your profile and what Twitter knows about you as a
 subscriber. Twitter has added more options to PPC and sponsored links this year. You can now target users by their interests as well. They have also changed their look and feel, added banner backgrounds and also allow subscribers to create a photo/video gallery. Twitter has shown massive growth this year, more than any other network. They have shown the greatest percentage of growth, from a mere 125,000,000 subscribers to 500,000,000 subscribers this year. I have also noticed an increase in their sensitivity to the number of follows you make per day. There sometimes seems to be no rhyme or reason to their limits. Just err on the side of caution when setting up a new account and spread out your follows throughout the day if you want to avoid being tagged as a spammer. Make sure you take advantage of the photo gallery and the new banners. It will improve your look and feel, increase your traffic, and help grow your following.

Google+ Changes Worth Noting

Google Plus Circles - Pros and Cons
Google Plus Circles - Pros and Cons
(Photo credit: Squidooer)

Google + has folded had several other Google properties and integrated a couple of new ones into the platform this year. The most important of these is merging Google Local, Google +1 and Google Invite, in to Google+. Google+ also upgraded free teleconferencing/screen sharing facility called Hangou
ts. In addition, you can now broadcast your hangout events to the world and record them straight to YouTube.  Google+ also updated/tweaked its brand pages format. This has improve the look and feel and the ease of use. Google+ subscribers have also grown in number. Their active user community is over 150,000,000 strong with 400,000,000+ total users. Continue to watch Google+ grow and add even more functionality in 2013. This is Google’s “MO” when it comes to dominating a market. Don’t ignore anything with the word Google in it. Make sure you take advantage of Google+ Hangouts and always add your post to Google+ if you want them to show up in the search engines.

LinkedIn Changes Worth Noting


Linked in has shown steady growth and has also added several new features. The most significant is the additional of Business Pages. LinkedIn’s B2B functionality has always been 
strong. It's widely used "Recommendations" feature has always been a favorite of its subscriber base. Now LinkedIn has added an active element to its recommendation section where LinkedIn actively invites your connections to recommend and endorse you. If you haven't given this a shot, you need to log in today. Make sure your best customers are providing you with recommendations and endorsements. This can pay big dividends and can be used as content for other network posts.

YouTube Changes Worth Noting


YouTube has grown to be the second most visited search engine in the world, only exceeded by Google Search itself. YouTube now receives 4 billion views a day! They have also refined the

pinterest logo
pinterest logo (Photo credit: UGL_UIUC)
back-end search features and refined their pay per click system. It is now tightly integrated with Google+ and they have also added a built-in video editor, so now you don’t even have to purchase third party video editing software. Look to see continued growth of YouTube subscribers, along with its use as a search engine, and as an important ranking factor in Google Search. Keep an eye out for further integration into Google+ and refinement of its PPC model next year. Take advantage of its current low cost pay per click rates. Soon the rates will start to climb as traffic and usage increases.

Other Changes Worth Noting


A new player that is showing promise is Pintrest. This social network is very effective for businesses that are visually oriented or that routinely use photos to sell their products. Graphic artists, photographers,
printers, sign companies, magazines and any business that relies on a picture being worth a thousand words loves this medium. Other networks worth mentioning are Tumblr and Reddit both of which have shown steady growth. Overall losers include Taringa, Digg, Bebo, Friendster and MySpace. All of which have shown a significant loss of subscribers and or market share.

There you have it, an overview of the rapidly occurring changes that make up the Social Media landscape today. What has happened over the last six months to a year is that the major players and wannabes have been dukeing it out to see who can provide the best platform for social media subscribers. Needless to say, all of the players in this arena are striving to be number one. This article has intended to keep you abreast of major changes that have taken place this year. The coming year promises to provide even more changes, so pay attention to what they are doing. Better yet, keep reading this blog and tune into our Working the Web to Win radio show every Tuesday at 4pm Eastern if you want to stay ahead of the curve.

That’s my opinion, I look forward to reading yours. 

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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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