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Don’t delete your Google+ profile just yet

delete-google-plus-app

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the future of Google+. A quick Google search of “Google+ is dead” nets several articles debating the future of the social network. 

The headlines read:

• “Google+ Is Walking Dead.”
• “Is Google+ Really Walking Dead?”
• “Google+ Isn’t Dead. It’s Just In A Coma And On Life Support.”
• “Google+ Isn’t Dead. Long Live Google +!”

In 2011, when I got an “invite” to join the new exclusive social network, I was excited about the possibilities. Would it replace Facebook as the social network du jour? Would Google finally launch a successful social media platform (R.I.P. Google Buzz)? I was disappointed when, within a few short months, Google+ seemed to lose its luster.

Speculators have been hemming and hawing over Google+’s longevity since just after its launch, but those questions increased last month when Vic Gundotra, head of Google+ social efforts,announced that he was leaving the company

To add to the PR firestorm, TechCrunch published an article citing a “source” that claims that “Google+ will no longer be considered a product, but a platform—essentially ending its competition with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.” Google denied the claims.

Regardless, you don’t want to delete your Google+ profiles just yet. Though the future of the social network isn’t clear, it still provides a number of benefits for brands:

SEO: Google is a search engine, so it makes sense that Google+ provides significant SEOadvantages. Google+ content itself—meaning content you post to your page—can rank in search results in instances where your website may not. Google+ also allows for near-instant indexing, whereas simply putting up new content and waiting it out usually takes a few days.

According to Forbes: “Linking your Google+ page to your content via Google Authorship markup will cause the headshot and stats from your Google+ profile to show up in Google’s search results pages next to content you have written. This includes your profile picture displaying within search results next to your content, which has been shown to draw user’s eyes and significantly improve click-through rates.”

Further, when someone follows you on Google+, it is much more likely that your content will appear higher in their search results. When other Google+ users give a link multiple +1s, the pages shoot up in the search rankings.

No “pay to play”: Facebook has more active users than Google+, but with the latest change to its algorithm, Facebook has recently become “pay to play,” which means it’s difficult for posts to gain traction unless the page owner pays money to “boost” them. This means that “free” Facebook marketing may no longer a viable way for businesses to reach consumers.

High-quality visits: According to a recent report from Shareaholic, Google+ actually has the second-highest social media post-click engagement. YouTube took the No. 1 spot, and Facebook is down at No. 5. So although Google+ drives fewer referrals compared against its competitors, it turns out the traffic it does drive is actually quite high on the quality scale. Google+ users spend more than three minutes diving into links shared by their circles, view 2.45 pages during each visit, and bounce only 50.63 percent of the time.

For these reasons alone, we recommend that brands include Google+ as one part of a comprehensive social media strategy. 

What are your thoughts on Google+? Is it dead, alive, or maybe just sick? Please join the debate in the comments. 

Source:prdaily.com

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What ever happened to the ‘press’ part of ‘press release’?

press-release-typewriter

Do you agree with that statement? 

Perhaps it’s a bit severe, but upon reviewing how press releases have changed over the years, this once crucial PR tool could be considered to be in critical condition.

The concept of the press release dates back over 100 years. Although social media has contributed to a change in how they’re used, most press releases stopped containing news for the audience for whom they’re intended—journalists—well before we were tweeting and posting them.

It’s safe to say that this traditional communication tool has evolved into a content marketing device used by marketers, advertisers, and social media specialists, not just by the media relations team.

Press release 2.0

The press release has splintered into a variety of formats to serve wide-ranging audiences and purposes: 

• Traditional releases announce real news;

• Marketing-driven releases chronicle everyday company and brand developments; 

• Online releases specifically influence SEO.

Marketers are even writing releases with customers—not journalists—as the intended target audience. We refer to these as “marketing releases.” This newer breed of releases has driven a significant change in how release text is crafted. Many press releases are now written like actual articles, pseudo impartial, crafted to be read by specific customers. 

In these cases we are basically eliminating the “middleman”—the journalist—delivering directly to end users our messages, exactly as we want them read. By doing this under the façade of a “press release,” the information often appears more official, timely, and credible.

We must say that along with new “interpretations” of the press release there has been a lot of creativity, transforming a once serious, respected and important tool in the land of public relations into personal lettersextremely long Facebook posts, and even cartoons.

Pushing the envelope

So where do the liberties taken stop? How far can people push a press release? Here are examples of releases that are complete embarrassments:

“Moms, are you closet alcoholics who can’t wait till the kids are gone to booze it up?”:This is actively encouraging women already depressed about their kids going off to college to abuse alcohol, while trying to promote a new cocktail. What could go wrong with that? We hope this tequila company—to remain unnamed here—has a good crisis communications plan.

Action Automotive—Auto Repair Eugene—(541) 686-0191: Why, when, and where would a headline that reads like a phone book be news or even appropriate for a press release? Giving the benefit of the doubt, maybe they have a new phone number? But no, this release is about aerospace engineers and technicians working together at a local repair shop. Confusing, huh?

BDD Corporation Plans To Utilize Twitter Research: How credible is this? There’s no news, no explanation, and no relevant information, yet this was issued by “BDD Marketing and Management, a breakout company with a fully customizable menu of business options to fit every need.” How can a breakout company issue a press release about a “plan?” Our team is planning to win the lottery—maybe we should issue a release?

Klein Honda reveals its huge inventory of Honda certified vehicles for its customers:First of all, what gives them the right to say Klein Honda is “the preferred Honda Dealer in Seattle area”—do they have data to back this up? Clearly they’re looking to sell extra inventory, so maybe they should have tied the headline to something timely, such as the economy, or even something fluffy, like Father’s Day.

We’ve accepted that press releases come in different flavors and serve many purposes, but please remember that well-written press releases are far from dead. When developed strategically, their opportunities, appeal, and benefits are expanding along with the groups of various influencers and consumers who rely on them for relevant information. Please be smart about it, though, and don’t abuse a tool that’s been a staple in our field since the beginning. 

Source:prdaily.com

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Brief Facebook outage leads to Twitter commentary

facebook-outage-something-went-wrong-error-message

For the second time this year, Facebook experienced a brief outage Thursday morning. People who tried to log in throughout the world saw this message: “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.”

According to most reports, the outage lasted about half an hour, affecting Facebook’s plug-ins as well as Facebook itself. Facebook hasn’t given a reason for why the outage occurred, but it did offer this statement to CNET:

Earlier this morning, we experienced an issue that prevented people from posting to Facebook for a brief period of time. We resolved the issue quickly, and we are now back to 100 percent. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

For proof of the inconvenience it caused, one need look no further than Twitter.

Source:prdaily.com

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Myths about how people share content online

“People share more content on the weekends because they have more free time.”

“Millennials share more brand content than any other generation.”

These statements are lies.

OK, maybe “lies” is harsh. They’re myths about how people share content on the Internet.

An infographic from RadiumOne sets these and other myths straight. A few of them are below. Do any sound familiar to you?

Myth: Engagement peaks on the weekend when Internet users have more free time.

Fact: People engage with shared content 49 percent more on weekdays. They click on sports content four times more on Mondays and Tuesdays, and food content 10 times more on Thursdays.

Myth: Millennials share brand content more than other generations.

Fact: Actually, millennials are the least likely generation to share brands’ content. Those between the ages of 55 and 64 engage with brand content the most.

Myth: It doesn’t matter when you post a shortened URL; its lifespan will always be the same.

Fact: Shortened URLs have longer lifespans when you post them later in the week. If you share a link on Thursday (rather than, say, a Monday), it’s more likely that users will still click that link many days after you shared it.

There are more myths making the rounds. Learn what they are here:

Social_Sharing_Myths_Infographic

 

Source:prdaily.com/

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Increase your press release’s visibility up to 5,000 percent

​Do you include photos or videos in your press releases?

If you do, keep it up. If you don’t, your press releases aren’t performing nearly as well as they could.

PR Newswire recently analyzed all of the press releases in its system—more than 1 million—and discovered that press releases with visual elements receive significantly more views than text-only press releases.

You don’t need to include that many visuals to see a difference, either:

• A text release with just one visual element sees a 92 percent increase in visibility. 

• A text release with more than one visual element sees a 552 percent increase in visibility. 

• A multimedia release with links to campaign microsites sees a 5,092 percent increase in visibility.

But despite all of this, PR Newswire found that almost 90 percent (86 percent) of press releases don’t include visuals. Get on that, PR pros.

Take a look at this infographic for more: 

PR-Newswire-press-releases-multimedia-infographic

Source:prdaily.com

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