Pinterest, C'mon Guys Get a Grip

Look, before you start running around the place with your knickers on your head screaming about how Pinterest is going to solve all online marketing problems known to mankind, I suggest you take a deep breath and consider a few things.

Maybe it’s the young, cool and froody crowd over at Mashmumble who are whipping up the frenzy over what is a generic system like Pinterest.

Pinterest is fantastic if your niche is visually stimulating, such as cat calenders, kitchen taps, motorbike paintwork, bathroom tiles etc. And I have a few friends who are really working Pinterest to their own advantage who happen to be in these niches. I myself have, ahem, a few accounts that focus on certain niches.

As far as I can see, it has the same flavour as Stumbleupon, Flickr etc. of course it’s not exactly the same. But if you found that these types of systems did not work for you in the past, I doubt it’s worth a look in.

There is no social media system which everyone should be a member of. I am a member of all I can be, but then this is my job. I can’t advise clients if I don’t join and try to game these systems to my own advantage.

6 months ago, G+ was the next big thing, as far as I can tell it’s definitely not. It shows some interesting aspects, but it’s not captured enough critical mass for it to be a Facebook killer.

If there are two social media systems to use it’s Twitter and Facebook. But they are no longer new and exciting and so maybe not worth the Maserati raving about them. Twitter and Facebook are established enough to easily work out if they are for you. With Pinterest, unless you are a social media professional or a middle aged women making cupcakes, I would look at all the social media systems that are on offer and chose the one that benefits you the most.

Not Really a Top Ten Tips on How to Make Money Online with G+

I remember when Twitter started and I was following/being followed by about 200-300. The signal to noise ratio was very high. Because you couldn’t add pictures/video/music into the stream there was little distraction.

Things were focussed on the the business of SEO and Social Media Manipulation. All good stuff. Of course the “drinking coffee” Tweets started to seep in and things increasingly got tedious and banal.

But then an interesting thing happened to Twitter, normal people started to join it. The BBC and other mainstream media organisations came to the party. And it became a powerful tool for a marketer.

Looking at my G+ stream right now, there are pictures of cars, funny videos, reviews on TV shows and so forth. Very little of what I really want, which is SEO and social media and other media stuff. Now, you could say just create a circle and blah blah blah. Problem is, it’s not the people I need to separate, it’s the topics of the posts.

I am sure there are people have a lot of time on their hands to be able to tweak and learn a new social media system. I’m trying to be polite about this, but there seems to be a lot of “look at me I’m a first mover” kinda business going on.

If your business is built around telling me what social media tool to use in exchange for piles of cash, then it makes a lot of sense to be here.

But, I look at my stream in G+ and just see a bunch of distraction and just like Twitter can be, it’s a bit banal, a bit childish and a bit crap. Sorry if this offends, but my job is to write what I think, not to give borderline personality types the warm fuzzies.

I have my Google Reader, I have Twitter, I have Facebook, I have Google Alerts, I have Linked in, I have email. I very much doubt I will miss something if I don’t squat on G+ as client work ends up being late (as it mostly does, but that’s another story).

There is a big bag of reason to be on G+ and check it out. But if it does not fit my strategy it ends up being a big bag of wank. I think there are reasons to keep tabs on the system as these things tend to morph into something that wasn’t initially expected. But the idea of sitting here, eating carrot cake and ingesting the stream of G+ leaves me a bit queasy. Much better to go and read my copy of the Guardian which I bought in a pique of righteous indignation whilst tutting at the piles of unsold copies of the Sun.

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+ 1 button marketing

Will Google +1 Result in the End of Small Business Online?

It’s very simple.

Either Google +1 will affect the search engine results or it will not.

What if it does?

Will the frenetic dash that Digital Media Agencies mean that they then resell their networks to Corporate big gits to help crush the small independent, just as they have on the high street?

A little emotive perhaps.

But what does Google say?

When your ad is shared, Google notes its final landing page URL. When the same URL appears in an organic search listing, the organic listing will include the same personal annotations as would an ad.

Similarly, if a user +1’s one of your organic listings, ads with the same final landing page URL will include the same personal annotations, increasing the chance of your ads getting noticed.

+1’s (whatever their source — organic search, ads, or +1 buttons on publisher sites) is a signal that affects organic search ranking, but +1’s do not change quality scores for ads and ad ranking

How will the +1 button affect my organic search listings?

I had to read it a few times before it sunk in.

Rankings are not going to be affected. It’s just that some hairy seo/social-media-manipulator is going to have their mug next to the search results. As long as you are logged into Google and you circle/follow/adore the hairy seo/social-media-manipulator who has taken the valuable seconds of his existence to +1 it.

My point is this. Is the potential buyer of a cordless power drill, when searching for a Makita 18v going to see and then be influenced by the hairy seo/social-media-manipulator? Or is it going to only other hairy seo/social-media-manipulators who see the results.

I think the latter.

As a commercial persuasion proposition, the Google +1 button will be mostly worthless. The majority of the human effort going into the +1 will stay in the goldfish bowl which the hairy seo/social-media-manipulator lives.

Sometimes the hairy seo/social-media-manipulator does stuff not because it’s going to be of great benefit to the client, but because they have something to sell and the I-don’t-want-to-be-left-behind part of the brain gets excited.

People mistake influence in the hairy seo/social-media-manipulator bubble with an increase in wealth.

I’m not anti social media/social signals/crowd sourcing etc. far from it. But, most of what you hear about it these days is garbage, people need to sell books, fill conferences and get endorsed by the latest over invested fad and so desire has to be created.

It’s as if a food is being sold to hungry people which only increases their hunger.

Stop eating the empty calories.

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Twitter – Follower of 10

There is a new Twitter movement out there, it’s called “Follower of 10

It simply means reducing the people you follow on Twitter to 10 people.

The point is to increase the signal, decrease the noise.

It’s not for everyone, everyone has their own social media strategy.

I’m taking up this challenge, it’s difficult as I get the feeling I’m missing out or am unable to influence a useful connection. But, there are so many more efficient ways to stay connected. Also, if you are worried that someone will de-follow you simply because you de-follow them, then their follow is probably worth less than you think.

This is not a hippy dippy movement to keep things real and fruity, rather it’s a time management thing.

Increase the signal, decrease the noise.

Where is PRWSocial?

There is a “PR & Social Media In Practice” on today.

I noticed it in my twitter feed, #PRWSocial, which is fine. But then I went to Google and did the search thing and had to wade through a bunch of twitter nonsense before I could get to the meat, which was the offical PRWSocial page.

Which is here if you are looking.

The point is they failed to optimise for the tweet tag before they launched.

Why is this important?

Well, if you have a bunch of PR people yammering on about social media whilst their fingers are leaving grease marks on their iPhones from the canapes tweeting about the conference, you need for people who stumble across the tweet stream to be able to bang the hashtag into Google and get to the page that tells you what it’s all about.

PR people must find it tricky to tweet from their iPhones, what with their wrists being weighed down by those really heavy Rolex watches ;)

So in future guys, know that social media must be integrated into your entire online marketing strategy and that includes SEO.

It’s the same if you are going to build a digital camera review blog, you must integrate to maximise the effect.

It’s interesting how the PR industry is so slow to really take advantage of social media. Meanwhile, it is the SEO professional who is the true master of this domain.