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Big Demands for Brands

Well into the age of the internet, the demands that people place on brands are now more apparent than ever. People have instant access to information all over the world, all the time, and now in their pocket. For the entrepreneur, this creates a huge obstacle, but also creates an opportunity. On one hand, web presence is something that must be constantly attended to. Companies have to stay up-to-date and connect with their customers and be consistent through multiple mediums over the web. If a company fails to do this, the results could be incredibly destructive, especially for young companies. Here are a few stats to back this up:

–          46% of people say that a website’s design is the number one criterion discerning the credibility of a company

–          More than 90% of buying decisions are influenced by visual factors

–          B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms

These stats are just a few from an info graphic posted on mashable.com. The constant access to your brand may seem like a lot of pressure, and it is. But, it creates an opportunity to show customers more about your company and why they should choose you over the sea of competitors. In fact, the emotional gratification that customers feel when choosing certain brands is among the top reasons for brand loyalty. Social media paired with a friendly and helpful customer experience can help a brand to connect with the customers quickly and easily.

To boil it down, I think you have to simply ask yourself, “How does this brand’s internet presence improve my life?” Does it provide an aesthetic, easy-to-understand layout? Is there content that I find relevant and interesting? Is there some way where I can give my feedback and feel like I’ve been heard? These are critical questions that any internet entrepreneur should be asking themselves, because the brands that will be gaining loyalty and advocacy are the ones that are serving their customer’s constant needs and beyond.

Don’t believe me? Check out some of the info graphic for yourself here.

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So you “pin” things?

There has been a lot of recent buzz about Pinterest. Founded by some big names in social media it has really taken off with around 2 million daily users as tracked by their Facebook page (link). Getting its name from a combination of the words interest and pin (their expression of repost, retweet, or reblogg), Pintrest looks to have created a nice niche and is working on filling it.

Why is Pinterest so good? First off, it has really set off a new trend of discovery vs search. You can only find what you are looking for on Google.com if you know the right keywords. For discovery, you want a broad array of topics that better allows for rabbit trails and freeform browsing. Pinterest gives that. Someone looking for a new recipe (Because the cookbook is dead) might realize that they don’t really want to cook when confronted with a great craft idea. It can all on the same board.

Pinterest has developed a community of discovery and sharing. It has a very light and open feel and its five columns filled with easily digested content makes it feel like there is always something more to see just beyond the page break. With their easy and standardized (as opposed to tumblr) format, it is easy for users to spend hours browsing, commenting, and repining, cake decorations, hair styles, inspirational quotes, and cute outfits.

Now, if you are a guy, you might be thinking that Pinterest sounds very slanted to the female gender. You would be right. Around  97% of Pinterest’s users are female (link). But, there are still boards (link) that are geared towards things that typically interest men. Later in this week I will be posting about Gentlemint and the way that it is attempting to compete with Pintrest as well as some internet entrepreneurship principles that they have applied and what the future might hold for these discovery sites.

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Facebook’s Invincibility: Why Google+ Will Never Take Over Social Networking

Do you have your own social media network page? Of course you do. It has been the craze of the millennium and billions sign on to use these websites everyday. Facebook.com has been the most popular social media over the past few years; however, on June 28th, 2011 Google Inc. launched their version of social media called Google+. Immediately a buzz surrounded the social media globe as many suspected that with the entrance of corporate powerhouse (Google) into social networking that it would soon over take Facebook as the leader in Social Media. Now over six months in to their campaign, Google+ still sits behind in the rankings compared to #1 Facebook and I believe (along with others) that is exactly where Google+ will remain for a long time.

Google is entering into the social media game a little too late. This is not like when Facebook overtook MySpace as number 1. Why? Well when Facebook entered into the battle over number 1 with MySpace, Zuckerberg took information management to the next level which MySpace simply did not have the vision to do. The change Facebook made compared to MySpace was huge, but the proposed ideas Google+ are making are simply not “BIG” enough to smite Facebook. Google+ will never gain enough respect to surpass Facebook because Google Inc. will always be seen as the search engine corporation. In marketing terms (as taught by the great Dr. Powell) “It is better to be first than to be better.” This means that since Facebook was the first at enhancing and mastering information sharing they will always be the go-to network even if someone can better their ideas (much like people believe Google+ has done).

Still don’t believe me? Here’s a quote form the Kanzuru Blog called “Why Google+ Will Never Surpass Facebook – Sorry Google Shareholders, it is not the next Facebook Killer” or as seen on technorati.com  under the title “Why Google+ is not the Facebook it Thinks it is.” The article says, “People will always see Google as just that: Google. Google is merely about information and passing information from one person to the next, from one point to another. This is all about marketing 101 – branding.” The article continues by going on to say, “Google is an information or “search for information” brand, not a social networking brand. Google+ does not have all of the quirks that made Google, “Google” when it came into the business of transferring information. Google was in and of the same – it was it’s brand but it was also it’s action, and it’s essence.” Though Google is a huge corporation and undoubtedly has created some of best innovations of the 21st century, it will never become the number 1 social media network it wants to become. Mainly, because Facebook is just better.

Here’s the link to the Kanzuru Blog that I used my quotes from:

http://onekanzuru.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/why-google-will-never-surpass-facebook-sorry-google-shareholders-it-is-not-the-next-facebook-killer/

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Challenges of Starting a new website Part 2 (solution)

In my previous Post Challenges of Starting a new website Part 1.  I talked about my new website My Weekend Trip Planner and how difficult it is to get your website discovered.  It is very difficult to get that initial traffic to the sight especially because SEO is really hurt by the fact that the site is so new. It is important to build the traffic to your site at least initially through other sources then just search engine.  These ways can be things like word or mouth or paid advertisements.  One of the ways I have found that works the best is social media.  Social media is extremely important especially for discovering a website.  You need to use social media to create a buzz for example on My Weekend Trip Planner when I launched the site I changed my status on Facebook to announce the launch of my new site.  I also tweeted it.  I received 30 visits from that in 4 hours.  This is perfect example of you can use social media to tell people about your site hopefully they will then tell their friends and the result can be viral.  This will then increase the likely hood people liking to you and before you know have a powerful website.

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cbnet Twitter Widget: Great Twitter WordPress Plugin

Twitter is an extremely powerful social media tool.  It allows you to connect to your audience and interact with them.  I found a great plugin in WordPress that really allows your Twitter account to be integrated to your website.  It is called cbnet Twitter Widget.  It is a really sleek looking plugin that extremely customizable and allows people to see what your Twitter profile looks like and what they would be following.  I use my twitter account to mainly let people know when I have written an article.  This let people see exactly what  they would be signing up for.  Here is a picture of what the plugin would look like on my website:

Written by Ford Jordan
FordJordan.com | SEO, Web Design, Sports, and Business

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