Category Archives: Google

When Brands Fail To Remain Relevant, They RadioShack – Who’s Next?

Now that the buzz and media frenzy about the demise of RadioShack and the analysis of why by Wall Street and other experts  is beginning to subside, another consideration should be examined. What happens to brands that do not remain relevant, stop innovating and sit on their hind quarters? Well in short, they RadioShack…

When Brands Fail to Remain RelevantAre You Relevant?

On and offline businesses should be getting a clear message that remaining relevant through evolving with changing times is a must. The penalties for not doing so can be incredibly harsh as we have seen with many top brands in North America that became so massive and full bureaucracy that they could no longer move or even make decisions quickly when times changed. A reliance on their “brand” coupled with an expectation that their customers would remain loyal if they continued to do business and usual has resulted in many going the way of RadioShack.

Many have commented and speculated as to the reasons for RadioShack and other big brands falling, but the details all tend to simply boil down to not remaining relevant and changing with the times. We’ve seen very similar results with the likes of Palm, BlackBerry and even Kmart. Regardless of the industry, company size or product niche, brands and marketers must realize what their customers want, how their buying habits change and how marketing and delivery of products and services continually change.

Who’s Next?

We believe the next industry that we can expect to experience a significant shake up is in the content world. Now we bet you are thinking we mean online, and that will be part of it, but for this discussion we are referring to content providers, television and Hollywood.

Just like digital disrupted the music industry with the rise of the iPod and later online music services like Pandora and iHeartRadio, the cable and satellite space is going to be in real trouble. Visual content we normally think of for television, movie theaters and DVD players has been on a long transition toward streaming services via the likes of Netflix and others.

Now before you start thinking “duh, we know this”, it’s important that we take the discussion to a deeper level. Beyond the innovation of technology resulting in an advancement in relevance that Streaming Video providers are delivering to the market, there are a few other things that they are taking advantage of that might not be as obvious.

1) People hate their Cable Company – Maybe hate is too strong of a word, but most of us dislike Comcast and the like. We feel you have extorted from us for years, displayed horrible customer service and near zero concern for us as a customer. Your social media has highlighted these facts to many and your prices are not sustainable. Most of use want something better, that gives us control, without the $200+ monthly bill.

2) Content is becoming a Commodity – With the internet expanding in technology and access on a daily basis, we know how to get the content we want, without being tied to our television. Though we like our local content and special “shows”, we are tired of you controlling the content we have access to and when and how we can access it. Additionally, your technology is seemingly ancient and we want the latest, easiest to use and non-tethered options that fit our lifestyle.

3) On Demand Rules Consumption – The way we want to consume content is changing. We have increasingly busy and diverse work hours and responsibilities for career and home. We want access to content when it is convenient for us, not you.

These are just a few of the reasons that Comcast and the like are going to see a disruption in their monopoly businesses. Technology is advancing and driving down price, while increasing access, mobility and on demand capabilities today’s consumer wants. Innovation, service and care has all but disappeared in the space, while prices and restrictions continue to rise. Consumers are screaming for alternatives and the industry is only clamping down harder to retain their domination. This opens the door for massive market disruption.

Online Disruption As Well?

These similar constraints and concerns will ultimately disrupt online content consumption patterns as well. As consumers increasingly tire of Google and Facebook controlling the content they’re able to see and easily discover and marketer frustration is amplified for many connected reasons, a shakeup to the status quo is certainly going to come in short order. Consumers want the most recent relevant content in increasingly simplified ways and content marketers, brands and blogs need improved abilities to get in front of those consumers with their content. Do you see the similarities here? Another space rife for disruption.

How do you see relevance and innovation disrupting on and offline brands, marketers and consumers in the future?

 

 

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Filed under Brand, Content, customer service, Facebook, Google, marketers, Marketing, Social Media

New Chrome Extension Advances Social Media Content Curation

We know what you’re thinking… Why do you need yet ANOTHER browser plugin for your social media management, right? Well before you start thinking this is a “me too” social media curation extension for Chrome, think again. With the Bundlet, your content curation, scheduling and management for real-time discovered content, just got even more efficient!

Bundle Post Chrome ExtensionToday we are introducing a totally unique Chrome extension for social media content management, called the Bundlet. The Bundlet Chrome browser plugin makes your manual or RSS reader discovered content now integrated with the power, efficiency and effectiveness of your Bundle Post account.

The new Chrome extension expands your Bundle Post account beyond passive Feed Channel content aggregation and discovery, to also include real-time content discovery through your Chrome browser. You can now send content from any web page to either a Queue or a My Content folder inside Bundle Post, without needing to copy and paste anything. What’s more, the Bundlet is FREE for all active Bundle Post users.

But wait there’s more!

The new Bundlet Plugin features:

1) All New Content Queues: We have added a new section to Bundle Post called Queues. Think of Queue folders as something like a cross between My Content Folders and a manual Feed Channel. You can create Queue folders for specific clients, topics or social accounts, just like My Content Folders. As you come across great content you’d like to share in your Chrome browser, you can easily Queue that content into Bundle Post using the new Bundlet.

        Additional Queue Details:

• Don’t worry about needing to create Queue folders ahead of time inside of Bundle Post. If you come across content that needs its own Queue, you will be able to create Queue folders from the Bundlet itself, without having to be in your Bundle Post account.

• All Queue Folders can be accessed from the Export Table, just like Feed Channels and My Content folders, allowing you to quickly grab content and include them in exports.

• All Queue content will automatically sanitize from your folders as you schedule and export the posts. If you want specific posts to remain in a queue even though you export it, you will be able to flag content in the identical way you do with feed channel content. Flagged content will remain in queue folders until you either permanently delete it or unflag it prior to an export.

• Now sharing a piece of content multiple times is painless and easy. Even if you curate a post in real-time with Hootsuite, the Hootlet or Buffer, you often want to share it several other times, automatically hashtag it or rapidly schedule it with multiple other posts. The Bundlet plugin lets you do that very efficiently and effectively like no other browser extension can.

2) My Content Folder Integration: The Bundlet has also been integrated with your My Content Folder system within Bundle Post. You can build marketing posts quickly and easily from your company pages, sites and web content and move those posts to any My Content folder in the system. No more copy and paste! Simply navigate around the web to content that markets you or your clients products or services and turn those URLs into social media posts that you can infuse into your social media streams using Bundle Post.

3) RSS Feed Channels: Lastly, the Bundlet has also been integrated with the Feed Channel section of the system. You are now able to add a new RSS Feed Channel into Bundle Post right from your browser. Simply navigate to the actual RSS URL you want to add as a Feed Channel and click the Bundlet Chrome extension. You will be able to name and save the new Feed Channel without having to copy and paste the information into Bundle Post. Fast, easy and effective!

Here it is in action:

To Install The Chrome Extension and/or Start a Bundle Post account – Click Here

New Uses and Efficiencies:

We are so excited about the new Bundlet and the endless new content marketing and curation options it gives our users. We also wanted to share a scenario/new use that we are doing to get your creative juices flowing…

        Daily Exports

Bundle Post BundletOne of the last social media content management and curation challenges we had as a company was the real-time content we come across. Yes we use the Hootlet for scheduling it right then, but we do that tons of times everyday and all day long. Posts friends write, something we come across, someone asking you to help promote something, etc. Manually scheduling all those posts takes up more than an hour and a half of our time every single day. Time away from being effective or doing other important business functions. Add to all this that you often really need to share some of these posts several times over an extended period of time and I know you know what I am saying. There was no effective way to do all this.

What we have been doing is spending each day using the Bundlet to Queue content we come across and doing a daily export at the end of every day where we manage a queue, hashtag and schedule it for the next day in about 30 seconds!

We created a new schedule for every social network and named it Queue. These new schedules have posting times that are “in between” the regular posting times for each network.

We then export all Queued content for the  Twitter queue schedule in about 45 seconds. We flag the best of that for the Linkedin schedule and the best from that is flagged for our fanpage. All quickly and easily once per day! Is this making sense?

There are so many new uses for content curation and social media management with the new Bundlet extension and we can’t wait to hear from you on how you are using it to get even more efficient and better social media ROI!

To Install The Chrome Extension Click Here -or- Start a Bundle Post Account – Click Here

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Filed under App, Bundle Post, Bundlet, Chrome Extension, Content, Curation, Google, Marketing, Plugin, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI

Breaking News: Google Alerts Turns Back On RSS Support

Just as unexpectedly as Google turned off support for RSS Feeds of Alerts when they put an end to their Google Reader back in June, today it appears that they have turned them back on.

Google Alerts RSS

The Bundle Post has already tested the RSS Feed Channel function and they are working within the system. So for now, it appears that Google Alerts has turned back on RSS support for Alerts.

Login to your Google Alert account. Either create a new Alert and select the Feed option under the “Deliver To:” drop down, -or- go to your Manage Alerts page and edit a specific alert to change the Deliver To option.

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Filed under Alerts, Bundle Post, Content, Google, Social Media

Social Media Content Curation: Introducing Simplified Topical Feed Alerts

Bundle FeedToday we are releasing the first version of what we are calling Bundle Feeds. This new alert-like Feed Channel allows you to create new Feed Channels right inside of the Bundle Post system based on keywords or exact phrases, without needing to go out to Bing or other locations to create alert content topics.

Our team has been planing and designing a new content discovery system to integrate into Bundle Post for some time. With the decline and subsequent demise of Google RSS Alerts, coupled with the lack luster results of Bing Alerts or any other suitable replacement for Google Alerts, we decided to step up our work on this new feature.

How Do Bundle Feeds Work?

Once you create a Bundle Feed, the system will create a new feed channel that will source content on that specific phrase or keyword topics for you. The first version is in Beta and has a lot more functionality and options in development, but it is a giant first step toward where we are going with content discovery for our users. Bundle Feeds provide a totally unique option for discovering topical Feed Channel content within the system.

Content Curation DiscoveryVery Cool Function:

Our team has developed a very unique function with Bundle Feeds that allows you to test the results of your query several times before actually saving the new Feed Channel. This feature enables you to fine tune your query as you create it, ensuring you will get the content results you are looking for. Use the “Test It” button during the Bundle Feed creation process and review the results, make edits to the phrase or keywords and click Test It again, until you’re satisfied. (Max returned is 10 results)

To create a new Bundle Feed, follow these simple steps:

1) Click on the Feeds link from the Bundle Post navigation bar.

2) Click the “Create Bundle Feed – beta” link under the “Add Feed Channel” Option

3) Name your new Feed Channel.

4) If you don’t want the system to sanitize used content from this new Feed Channel, check the “Don’t sanitize this Bundle Feed” check box at the top. (for more on feed sanitizing, read the “Sanitizing Feeds” section)

5) Enter an Exact Phrase, Keywords or BOTH and press the “Test It” button.

6) When you are satisfied with your feed terms and the test results, click the “Submit” button to save the new Feed Channel to your feed page.

7) Bundle Feed Channels will be designated in your list of Feed Channels with a  icon, so you clearly know what content is coming from this feature.

That’s it! Your new Bundle Post Feed Channel will source new content for that topic multiple times per day and deliver the content into that new channel for you. From there you can use the content just like you would any other Feed Channel within the system.

Best Results:

Throughout our use and testing of the new beta Bundle Feed feature, we discovered that testing results and modifying your phrase and keywords before saving the new feed channel gets the best results. We recommend using the exact phrase field with a specific word or phrase first, then modify the results with the addition of keywords to niche it down to want you want.

* The more you niche your Phrase and Keywords, the less content you will get back over time, so ensure you have the proper balance.

Again, we want to reiterate that the new Bundle Feed feature is in Beta and we have a lot more work to do on it. We have seen some pretty great results already, so we decided to release it in Beta so our users have another great tool for topical content discovery within their social content management.

Give it a try and let us know what you think.

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Filed under Alerts, Bundle Post, Content, Curation, Google, Results, Social Aggregation, Social content management, Social Media, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Uncategorized

The Most Important Thing A Social Media Agency Can Do For Clients

So you’re a social media marketing agency and you are managing account for your clients, and you are wanting to take the results to the next level. You have set up the accounts, are regularly and frequently sharing valuable content in the various streams and are of course engaging and building relationships. Now you may even be asking yourself a few important questions like;

Social Media ResultsWhat is the most important thing you should be doing to maximize the reach for a client’s social media?

How do I implement it once I know?

Sound familiar? We thought so. We have been there. Previously to becoming a social media software company, we were a social media agency. We dealt with this question frequently and discovered that as it relates to retail client’s, there is one specific thing you can do to make a clients social media marketing more effective, more quickly. What is it?

Teach the client’s staff to understand and leverage their face-to-face contact with customers around social media.

Today’s consumers are incredibly connected online through social media, and an ever-increasing part of that connectivity is through mobile. Ensuring your client’s staff understands this and teaching them to recognize and utilize “in store” opportunities that further the overall social media marketing effort is essential. Using the staff to magnify and multiply the social media exposure is important for a comprehensive strategy that delivers.

Here are some key points to follow for best results:

1) Group Training –  If at all possible do a group training that brings all the staff that has consumer contact together in one place at one time. Be careful to only explain the basics of social media marketing, and not get into the deep details. You just want the group to have a decent understanding of it.

Going too deep into social media marketing will often cause the team to lose interest, get bored and take way too long. Keep it simple and short.

If your client location is not local to you, schedule a Google Hangout or Skype call with the client when they can have their staff together in a room for you to train all at once. Recording the training for use with new staff members can also be very helpful.

2) What You’re Doing – Be sure that the staff understands what the general strategy of the social media program is all about. They should know what you are doing for the client so they can answer basic questions when in a conversation with a visiting customer.

3) Spotting Customers – Teach the staff what to watch for when customers are in the store. Train them to keep an eye out for customers using or carrying smart phones and tablets, etc. If someone has a smart phone or tablet, they are likely a social media user.

Be sure that you cover the things likely to be asked of them about the client’s social media and give them some opening comments or questions they can use to bring it up. Things like:

– Are you guys on Facebook?

– Have you checked in on Foursquare?

– Are you following us on Twitter for our specials?

Prior to doing the staff training, work with the client to establish some kind of discount program for likes and follows, enabling the staff to incent customers to like the company page, follow and mention on Twitter, check in on Foursquare, etc. If the client is agreeable to the incentive program, be sure to have the details for the staff when you do the training.

4) Client SM Accounts – One of the most important things the staff must know off the top of their heads is what the client social media account names are. Make sure to go over all of the networks the client is on and the exact account names customers can use to find them.

Adding signs on the doors and at check out counters with the social media account names will not only aid staff in remembering, but also remind customers that the client is there.

5) Handouts – Prepare handouts with the bullet points that you covered in the meeting so they have something to reference once you leave.

6) Make It Personal for the Staff  **MOST Important**- If there was one thing we learned as an agency going through these steps with a client, was that making it personal and beneficial for the employees to do these things is imperative. In other words, have an answer for “what’s in it for them”.

Example: If the client is a restaurant, help the staff understand how they can make bigger tips by talking about social media with their customers. Give them examples of how they get bigger tips when they connect with customers about sports teams and how social media users are often even more fanatic than sports fans. Making the human connection with a customer about social media can result in bigger tips. If the client is some other kind of business, work with the client to create contests for the staff that enables them to win small bonuses or store credits, etc.

The point is, make it personal and beneficial for the staff to get on the social media marketing program.

Getting staff involved in the right ways with on site customers will make a significant impact on the overall social media marketing effort you are managing for them. If you do it properly, it will make your agency’s job much easier and the community growth, engagement and revenue results considerably larger and faster.

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Filed under Agency, Community, Facebook, Google, Marketing, Mobile, Results, Smart Phone, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Strategy, Twitter

Google Alert Feeds Unexpectedly Killed Along With Google Reader

Google Alert Feed ReplacementSo we have all known for some time that the Google Reader was going away. Sometime back Google announced that they were going to be shutting down their RSS reader altogether, however they never mentioned any changes that would directly affect Google Alerts. Nothing was ever so much as alluded to that Alert Feeds (which could be used in numerous other readers and applications) was going to be changed when reader was discontinues. Guess what? It was…

Here’s what you need to know about Google Alert Feeds:

1) Google is no longer allowing you to make any new Google Alerts with a deliver to option of Feed.

2) As of Monday July 1st, Google will change your existing Alerts saved with the deliver to option of “Feed”, to deliver to your email instead.

Google Alert Feeds Gone

3) Existing Google Alerts you have used to create Feed Channels inside Bundle Post will stop functioning on Monday July 1, 2013.

Shocked? We were too, but we want you to know that our development team has established a process for a suitable replacement for Google Alerts within Bundle Post. In an effort to ensure that Bundle Post users are able to have content discover and ingestion within an alert type, topical and keyword RSS format, the Bundle Post team has two solutions to announce. We will give all the details on how to create new Alert Feeds using a new source, as well as a hint at what we have been working on and will be releasing soon.

Google Alert Replacement for Feed Channels in Bundle Post:

Here is a brief instructional video on creating an alert via Bing. Be sure to continue reading after watching the video to get additional important details on what you need to do within Bundle Post. There are some pretty cool advantages to these new Bing alerts that we think you will like.

Important details about your existing Google Alert Feed Channels currently in Bundle Post:

1) They will stop ingesting new content at midnight on Monday July 1, 2013.

2) You will need to create new Alert Feeds to replace your existing Google Alert Feed Channels and then delete the old Google Alert Feed Channels within Bundle Post.

3) Non-Google Alert, RSS Feed Channels in Bundle Post are NOT affected by these changes. If you have Feed Channels in Bundle Post that you created from RSS feeds from specific websites, blogs or other sources that are not Google Alert, nothing will change on those Feed Channels.

4) If you have ANY difficulties working with the new alert function that replaces Google Alerts within Bundle Post, we urge you to click and contact support from your dashboard or at the bottom of any Bundle Post system pages. We are here to help.

Bundle Feeds coming soon:

We have already been working on some very cool technology to replace the need for Alerts. We will not be discussing the details, but let’s just say you will soon be able to create topical, keyword(s), phrase, web content Feed Channels right inside of Bundle Post, without needing alerts of any kind. Just a hint, but we can assure you there’s much more. We are expecting to release Bundle Feeds within the next four weeks, so stay tuned!

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Filed under Alerts, Bundle Post, Google, Uncategorized

Facebook Does More To Make Google Plus Viable Than Google Ever Could

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know I am no Google or Google Plus fan. I have repeatedly discussed my views on what can only amount to a failure on Google’s part to get in and actually dominate or at least become relevant in the mainstream social space.

This opinion is of course based on a premise. That Facebook doesn’t lose this on their own. What does that mean?  I believe this battle is Facebook’s to lose, rather than something Google has to win.

Let’s face it, neither of these two giants are consumer privacy friendly. Facebook however, has mastered the art of pissing their user base off by consistently overreaching their power and control of their users information, as well as keeping users off center by changing the rules, settings and functionality of privacy management.

1) Privacy Policy Changes

2) Making managing privacy settings near impossible to understand and stay on top of.

3) Changing users settings without their consent.

4) Most recently – Changing users profile content without their consent.

Really, this list could go on and on. If you are unaware of the recent blunder Facebook tried to do secretly to all of their users, see a great post by my friend @susie_parker called “Facebook Changed Your Email and Didn’t Even Tell You“.

Is it possible for Twitter to be the only social network managed by people that are at least smart enough to not piss off their user base? Sorry for the tangent…

I am completely amazed at how one of THE most prolific companies that has ever existed on this planet can continue to be so stupid. Is it stupidity or arrogance? Most likely it is a combination of both. Regardless of the medical issue or character flaw contained within this company’s leadership and displayed secretly in their board room, there is a significant outcome that is becoming more and more likely to surface.

Loss of market share to Google Plus.

Facebook is continually alienating its users, egregiously stepping on privacy and user information controls. I can’t think of too many other things Facebook could do to consistently hand Google and it’s mostly cricket filled network an upper hand in the social media battle.

I have a few suggestions for Mr. Zuckerburg and the Facebook board:

1) Stop messing with your users privacy.

2) Make privacy and user control a top priority in your business.

3) Deploy a focused campaign that builds trust with your user base that is based on actions, not words.

4) Quit making changes to your system (for at least a while) that frustrates and upsets your users.

5) Lay low – You already created a mess with your IPO and a ton of bad press as a result. Chill out, sit down, shut up and focus on 1-5 above.

Failure to take these common sense, immediate steps will even get this Google hater to start spending time on Google Plus, let alone the millions of other users that will someday soon, have had enough. You’re driving off a cliff Facebook. You might want to hit the breaks before it’s too late.

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Filed under Facebook, FAIL, Google, Google Plus, Social Media, Twitter