Snapchat Photos, Videos, Chat and Video Calls – Learn the Basics

Snapchat is a simple FREE app for iPhones, Android mobile devices that takes photos or videos for sharing with friends or associates.  The photos and videos include options to place a short ‘title’ of 31 characters on the screen for whomever you send your message to view as they see the photo or video.  The appeal of Snapchat is that it will disappear after a few seconds so it’s perfect to send quick message, photo or video.

Snapchat defaults to a camera or video capture of YOU from your front facing camera (the same side as your screen) but you can change it to capture photos and video of others with the rear camera by touching the small icon at the top right of the screen which will rotate from front to rear camera and back again each time you touch the icon.

Touch the top right icon to rotate to the rear camera

To take a photo simply touch and remove your finger from the circle at the bottom of the screen.  To take a video touch the circle and hold your finger on it while recording the video and remove your finger when done recording.  It also records audio so you can narrate your video, share a quick message or just say ‘hi’ along with the video message.

Touch the circle for a photo – Hold your finger on the circle to record a video

Once you have created your Snapchat masterpiece there are options to adjust how long the photo or video message may be viewed by touching the small number you will see in the lower left side of the screen.  If the number says 3 it means your message will be visable for 3 seconds, touch the number and select up to 10 seconds for the viewing of a photo while any video will play for the entire length of whatever you recorded.

Adjust viewing time allowed by touching the ‘number’ and save your Snap for later by selecting the ‘down arrow’ icon

Snapchat does not let you send photos or videos from your camera that were not taken through Snapchat.  There are 3rd party applications but most of those have been disabled or may get you kicked off Snapchat if they catch you using them so if you want to send a photo or video later you must record it and ‘Save your Snap’ in ‘Stories’ which also creates a folder on the camera specifically for Snapchat captures.

You can create a ‘Story’ by saving multiple Snaps then ‘add Snap to Story’ which enables users to view the Story for up to 24 hours. This is helpful for instructional videos for clients, How To messages and productivity outside of just sending fun Snaps to friends or family.

Save Snaps to create a Story with multiple photos or videos

The Chat feature in Snapchat is found by ‘swiping’ to the right (touch the screen with your finger and hold it down while moving it to the right) from the main screen then selecting the contact you want to send a message to.  Chat works similar to regular text messages including the option to add photos or video in the exact same method as you do for a regular Snap with the unique option to add a photo from your cell phone photo gallery.

Snapchat can be helpful for business communications although the majority of users are sharing thoughts, comments, amusing or random messages just for entertainment.  It’s worth installing the free app since Snapchat continues to grow and it’s one of the top used ‘social networks’ by the 30 and under Millennials age range.

Robert Dotcom Jackson

Internet Builders – Building BETTER Websites, SEO & Social Marketing Solutions

913-963-6792 Cell or Text

Find me on Snapchat – RobertDotcom

www.Facebook.com/RobertDotcomJackson 

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Google+ Social Network Releases Vanity URL’s for Pages and Profiles

It has been a LONG time coming but Google finally started releasing Google+ custom vanity URL’s for select pages and profiles.  Facebook users have had the ability to select a custom URL since 2008 but Google held back until late 2013.  Users and select pages will be notified when they login to Google+ with a message across the top of the page “Your page is preapproved for the custom URL…” as you can see on the image for theInternet Builder Consulting Websites, SEO & Social Marketing experts page.

Once you login to Google+ and see the notification the process is fast and simple.  The next screen will show you the custom URL to select for your page or profile which you can confirm or cancel.
Once you select the custom Google+ URL simply confirm the choice and you will have one of the first vanity Google+ URL’s in the country!  This permits better branding, faster access to pages and improved user experience…plus you can now list your Google+ profiles or pages on marketing materials!
If you have any questions or would like assistance in obtaining a custom Google+ URL for your company or profile contact the Internet Experts at www.InternetBuilderConsulting.com or call us at 816-842-7774
Robert ‘Dot Com’ Jackson
Internet & Technology Expert

Social Networking Benefits for SEO, Facebook and Google+

The best way to rank higher on a Search Engine is to build a BETTER website since SEO is not something you do ‘to’ a website it is how the website is built.  Strong valid content, proper META, TITLE and ALT Tags, formatting of pages and links all lead to higher rankings.  There are direct benefits from social networking since a key aspect of the Search Engine algorithms has always been ‘how many links from other sites go to your website’ and what is the value of those other sites.Facebook is still the leader online with 300 times more daily traffic than Google.  Google is attempting to draw some of the user base back with Google+ social network.  Google+ is built to be Search Engine friendly with the following key attributes:

  • Content is crawled nearly instantly (it IS Google) unlike Twitter and Facebook
  • Each post has a unique URL (the first 45-50 characters of the post are the title tag)
  • Google indexes the text of every post and creates hash tags based on top keywords
  • Any links to external websites are indexed and crawled which may lead to higher page rank
  • Posts that are shared, interacted with and +1’d are seen as more important
There seems to be a correlation between highly followed and interacted ‘Authors’ or ‘Pages’ with higher value for posts made from more popular profiles or pages.  This means that an author (profile) who posts links to external websites with strong well written text that receives multiple interactions is valued higher than posts made by other profiles with little to no interaction.
The image above shows how Google+ automatically pulls and displays the title of the post or page that was shared.  It also illustrates the ‘Likes’ and ‘shares noted in the numeric values (+20 people and 1 share on the left and +33 people and 4 shares on the right).  Google does not directly follow the links to external URL’s (website addresses) from posts but the people using Google+ do so so there is a benefit.
The key is interaction not just posts, the value comes from connections of the connections creating exponentially vast networks who see your information as each new person ‘+’ or shares your post.  Google owns Google+ so ALL content posted on Google+ is instantly indexed.  One study attributes Google+1’s as having a slightly higher value than Facebook interaction although it is .30 for +1’s and .27 for Facebook so it is a narrow margin.
Over the past few months we posted the same updates on multiple social networks to find Google+ had the fastest and widest rate of indexing and sharing posts on the Google Search Engine.  Facebook had a lower rate of indexing Google+ content but a higher rate of feeds from Facebook posts.  Twitter blocks Search Engines from indexing Tweets so Twitter has little to no SEO value.  Bing provides favoritism to Facebook since they have a mutual data sharing partnership which shows Facebook content ahead of Google+ content in most cases.  Google provides favoritism to Google+ because it is Google and it makes complete sense to list your company products ahead of the competition.
The top factor remains the quality of the web page or web site content which is where SEO is invaluable.  Building a proper website in the proper architecture with the proper content has always been the best way to rank higher on search engines.  The Internet Experts at Internet Builder Consulting have been teaching the values of Google+ for years and now the proof is in the SEO results!  If your company needs a better built website with SEO and Social Marketing for a complete solution contact the experts at Internet Builder Consulting today 816-842-7774
 
Robert ‘Dot Com’ Jackson

Internet & Technology Expert
Internet Builder Consulting – Building BETTER Websites, SEO and Social Marketing Solutions since 1995

Online Marketing, SEO and Social Marketing Requires Expertise, a Team and a Company to Succeed

A quick search on Google for ‘Social Marketing’ returns 859 MILLION (859,000,000) results because every unemployed, fired or lazy person who calls themselves a ‘Social Media Marketing Expert’ has a social networking page.  Social Marketing CANNOT be done by an unemployed person working from home, by a college intern or by anyone at the office.  The entire basis of ‘Social Networking’ is multiple connections over multiple interfaces by multiple people – it cannot and will not work with 1 or 2 people ‘posting’ about your company, product or service online.

When we first started marketing using Social Networks in 2008 we recognized the value in using social networks as a method of expanding reach online.  Years later there are hundreds of millions of people attempting to use ‘Social Marketing’ as a job title although there is no such job.  Social Marketing is simply a part of an overall Online Marketing strategy and only works as part of that strategy.  If a company hires someone to do ‘social marketing’ but does not have an effective website, a wide spread national network to interact, promote and create the ‘buzz’ required.

The way search engines interpret social networking data, posts, pages and profiles is the key.  A Facebook business page or profile that has posts and only a small amount of interaction has no value at all.  This means no search engine lists the information and nobody on the social network saw it except you and the person who posted it.  There are literally hundreds of thousands of companies being ripped off every day by dishonest incompetent people claiming to ‘Do Social Marketing’.  A great example of this is a local company (we blocked out the name to protect the company) who hired an unemployed x-convict who has a Social Butterfly Marketing Facebook Page and Blog claiming to ‘Do Social Marketing’.

She created a Google+ page and a Facebook page and posts photos of the business owner every few days and even a logo or an address once or twice.  This has ZERO benefit for the company, there has not been a single interaction, never and thus nobody saw any of this except the lady posting it from home.

Another thing to watch out for with the ‘work from home’ social marketing is that they have nothing to lose, no business to take to court, no reputation at risk and no standards of conduct.  If you hire one of the ‘work from home’ unemployed ‘social marketers’ and then choose to terminate services they  may choose to steal all of your accounts, spread lies and false information about your business and use what little skill they have to harass you.  No legitimate company or professional would ever do such a thing so do your research and look at EVERYTHING the people have posted and make sure they have a solid business reputation with an office, staff and other professionals to support you.
Your grandmother can setup Facebook and so can every high school kid or unemployed convict in America so make a choice in QUALITY and select a business with multiple experts, customer service and a reputation to uphold.  Contact Internet Builder Consulting or Social Marketing Builders for an social networking setup, training, social marketing or an expert consultation by our teams of experts and a business with 18 years of continued success at 816-842-7774 from 8AM to 8PM

Social Networking Studies in Successful Social Marketing Timing, Posts, Interaction & Reach

Social Networking has been around for years, it transformed from a place to catch up with old friends from college or find a new band to the top online marketing platform in less than 5 years.  There are several recent studies that cover a wide range of statistical data, use and success from all of the social networks.

  • Facebook is still King:  As of April 2013 Facebook has had over 120 BILLION Impressions where the longer posts were less read and less interacted with than shorter ones in the 100-119 character range.  Posts with Questions drove interaction up 10-20% as the chart below illustrates (on the left you see the character length and the red is posts with Questions while blue is posts Without Questions).
  • Timing is Everything – the KISSMetrics study found that the best time to post on Twitter for ReTweets is 5PM.  The best time to post on Facebook for the most Shares is 1PM.  The best number of times to Tweet on Twitter is 1-2 Tweets per hour while it is best to post an average of once every two days on Facebook.
  • A study by Bit.ly and Raka found the best time to post on Twitter for Clicks is 1-3PM while the best overall time for posts on Facebook to receive the most clicks is 3PM.  Forget about Tweeting anything important after 8PM or posting on Facebook after 3PM Friday
  • A third study by Argyle Social found the best time to post on both Facebook and Twitter is 9AM-7PM.  Tweets during the Weekday have 14% more interaction than on Weekends.  The last item is the most unusual since the study found posts on Facebook have 32% more interaction on Weekends than Weekdays.  Most other studies conflict with this finding the best times to post on Facebook are during the week.
  • 70% of Consumers Trust Recommendations on Brands from Friends:
    This is # 1 reason Facebook GraphSearch engine is going to change the way companies market online.  People like to work with, go where, be with and buy from others that they know and trust.  Facebook has more information about people than any other site on the Internet thus when someone searches for a “Pizza Place’ or ‘Real Estate Agent’ and Facebook shows them a list of pizza places friends like or real estate agents friends work with they are highly likely to use what friends did.
  • The average ‘Shelf Life’ of Social Networking Links or Posts is only 3 Hours.  A study by Bit.ly tracked user posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and direct on Bit.ly showing the most interaction happens within the first 60 minutes of a post.  The chart below shows the density or views/interactions on the left with the time/seconds across the bottom.
  • Women Spend 30% more time on Social Networking websites than men.  This study by ComScore is fairly well known although I would say I am the exception to the rule since I am on Social Networks 12+ hours a day!  Some social networking sites like Pinterest have a significantly higher rate of use by women over men while others like Twitter are closer to equal.
Statistically Social Networks are THE place to market no matter what age, gender, race or location you are targeting.  Social networks constitute over 20% of the total online time worldwide with more daily users on Facebook alone than ALL search engines combined.  The key is knowing how to setup, optimize, manage and obtain the most interaction.  If you would like an expert consultation on social networking, social media marketingsearch engine optimization or simply have a question Contact the Internet Experts at Internet Builder Consulting  online or Call us at 816-842-7774.

 

Social Marketing Optimization (SMO), Social Networking Optimization & Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The online marketing world changed when Facebook became the #1 destination on the Internet.  Somehow most of the marketing firms, ad agencies and website designers missed the boat.  Social Marketing is not a new ‘separate’ thing for companies to do, it is one of the main requirements for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) success.  Everyone optimizes for Google since Google has 67% of the entire search engine traffic but Facebook has 300 times more traffic than Google.

Facebook has unique insight into users that no other company can complete with.  By joining Facebook everyone must agree to the ‘Terms of Use’ which grants Facebook permission to use ALL of your data (both public and private) for marketing and analytics.  Facebook knows who your friends are, where you like to eat, what companies you ‘Like’, what locations your friends ‘Like’, what kind of music, movies, sports and other things that even your closest friends may not be aware of.

In 2010 Facebook partnered with Microsoft to integrate Bing as the search provider for users.  In 2013 Facebook turned itself into a search engine with the release of Facebook GraphSearch with additional content provided by Microsoft Bing.  Since Facebook has over a BILLION active users as of December 2012 the best place to reach someone online is now Facebook.  Google is competing with Facebook for traffic and users but still uses Facebook posts, interactions and content as the #1 ranking criteria when determining how high to list a website on the Google Search Engine.

This clearly outlines that Social Networking has been a key aspect of Search Engine Optimization since 2008 when the first cooperative data exchanges were introduced.  Social Networking is an art form similar to SEO in terms of how it needs to be setup, linked and optimized.  If social networks are setup incorrectly they will bring little to no benefit for a business, product or service.  Consider the example below setup for Distinctive Homes of Las Vegas where the Facebook page is listed #1 above ALL other builders when someone uses the new Facebook GraphSearch:

Based upon how the company Facebook page and content were setup and optimized they show up #1 above all the competition.  A Google+ profile and company page improves ranking on Google when setup and optimized properly.  Companies who are missing the key element of Search Engine Optimized Social Networking are missing out on more than 50% of potential reach online.  SEO and Social Marketing cannot be separated  they must be managed and maintained as part of an overall cohesive online marketing strategy to be successful.  The Facebook GraphSearch first searches Facebook for content related to what you type then displays content from Bing search engine.  The example below illustrates how a search for ‘Kansas City Pizza’ first shows the top result 11 of my immediate connections ‘Like’ followed by the most popular result, Grinders Pizza and then suggestions for additional terms based on location (Kansas City, Missouri or Kansas City, Kansas).

Adding a location to a search on Facebook is the same as adding a location to a search on any search engine.  People who just search for ‘Pizza’ may end up with results for pizza places all over the world while people who specify a location will end up with better results.  With the results above for ‘Kansas City pizza’ I could easily optimize any of the local pizza joints Facebook page to place them in the top few search results. The Social Marketing Optimization works for any business and dramatically improves rankings on search engines.  A search for ‘Websites, Search Engine Optimization’ on Facebook GraphSearch brings up our company website first along with several suggestions related to this based on the traffic, interaction and how well the page has been optimized.

The key successfully integrating SMO and SEO is understanding how both social networks and search engines organize, rank and display data.  Today the majority of links created TO websites are coming from Social Networks thus a website that is properly search engine optimized integrating social networking with social marketing optimized can easily have thousands upon thousands of active, high value links.  The example below shows how one of our company websites is ranked by Google at 162,656 active links!

A website is not complete without being optimized for search engines and social networks.  Search Engine Optimization is, in part, how a website is built and what content is placed within the website but the largest factor today on how well a website ranks is social networking.  A successful website will incorporate SEO, Social Marketing with Social Marketing Optimization (SMO) and a strong ongoing online marketing campaign.  Social Networking IS part of SEO and must be handled by the same experts who build the website, optimize the website and market the website for the best results.  Ongoing adjustments with the website and online marketing need to be made as social networks change, release new features and search engines adjust ranking algorithms.

Make sure the website firm you hire has a COMPLETE understanding of the Internet, SEO and Social Networks or you may end up wasting time and money on an incomplete solution.

Robert ‘Dot Com’ Jackson
Internet Builder Consulting – Building BETTER Websites, SEO and Social Marketing Solutions
816-842-7774  

An Analysis of Facebook Promotion and Marketing

Over the past few months since Facebook released the ‘Promote’ option for posts we have been studying it. The option is a one-click ‘Promote’ this link listed on each post for a simple $7 fee to ‘expand’ the post into a wider audience.  In terms of marketing this seems like a no-brainer since anyone can post an ad, article, news or information and reach more people without having to setup a pay per click account.  Initially the fee was $5 but once it proved to be a success the fee was raised to $7.

When anyone makes an update on a ‘Page’ or ‘Profile’ the option will show on the lower right side to ‘Promote’ this post with an estimated reach listed. We used this option to ‘Promote’ several posts from August 2012 to February 2013 and tracked the results.  Using Google Analytics, each post was tracked by the number of views and referrers it received naturally versus the ‘Promote’ option.

We expected the ‘Promote’ option to deliver a significantly higher return but were surprised when it was nearly the same as a regular post nearly every single time.  The ‘Promote’ option was used on the example below showed 331 views on the first ‘Promoted’ post while the second post had 296 views without any paid promotion.  There was a significant spike in views every time a post was shared on Facebook but the difference between a paid post and a normal one was usually around 10%.

The next thing we tried was posting the same link and information on other social networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.  The Twitter post has no noticeable difference in traffic over a normal day similar to a post made on Google+.  The LinkedIn post, without promotion had a significant spike in traffic as you can see in the chart below showing the 3 times a post was made on LinkedIn.  The increase in visits from LinkedIn were significant but only 10% of the total traffic delivered from Facebook on either a paid or normal post.
The idea of paid promotion or ‘Pay Per Click’ on Facebook may seem like an easy way to reach a wider audience but the results show it has no real value…yet.  In an earlier article I wrote about Facebook Pay Per Click (PPC) options we tested last year.  The PPC marketing on Facebook produced zero results over a 12 month study using multiple accounts.  If a company is looking for ‘Branding’ alone then Facebook PPC ads are a viable option but there are too many problems with the tracking, click fraud and service to be effective for most users today.  If your company needs a BETTER Website, SEO or Social Marketing be sure to contact the experts at Internet Builder Consulting and let us know how we can help!
Robert ‘Dot Com’ Jackson

Internet & Technology Expert

816-842-7774 Office