Solving the Google Algorithm

Apr 15 2015

google mobile post

With Google’s algorithm update less than a week away it’s important to know if your website is mobile friendly.  Google announced, starting April 21st, that it will rank sites higher for their mobile friendliness affecting search results.

Why Your Site Should Be Mobile Friendly

Over the past few years, most websites have seen the percentage of mobile traffic increase significantly in their overall web traffic.  In addition, Google has continued to be ranked as the number one search engine – and they want it to keep it that way.  To remain on top they want to guarantee their users will get relevant, high quality search results on their mobile devices.  Therefore Google is rewarding websites that are mobile friendly and will rank them higher than those that are not.

Mobile Friendly vs. Mobile Optimized vs. Mobile Responsive

There are a variety of ways in which your website can appear on a mobile device.  Although the terms mobile friendly, mobile optimized, and mobile responsive all sound similar they are very different.  Don’t make the mistake of assuming they are the same!

Mobile Friendly - A site that is correctly displayed between your desktop and mobile device.  It is designed to function normally between devices.

Mobile Optimized - A site that is a reformatted version of your website specifically designed for a mobile device.  It contains customized content and the layout is altered to appropriately fit your mobile device’s screen size.

Mobile Responsive - A site that is designed with one HTML code to be compatible with all devices, whether it’s a desktop, cell phone, or tablet.  The website will resize the same content to fit any screen.  All content is customized to be device specific under a single URL.

No matter how your website is configured, as long as it’s mobile friendly, Google will not penalize you.

Test Your Website

Not sure if your site is mobile friendly?  Take Google’s user friendly test that will analyze your URL and report if the page has a mobile friendly design.  Or simply Google yourself.  Use your mobile device to google search your website and if the gray “Mobile-friendly” label is underneath your site name, then you’re good to go!

If you still have questions about the impending Google algorithm, contact us today to learn more.

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Fun #Follow Fridays

Mar 14 2015

By now you are probably familiar with Follow Friday, or #FF, on Twitter. If not, the concept is simple. Every Friday Twitter users have the opportunity to send out tweets recommending interesting people or brands to their followers. It can be a great networking tool that is effortless and fun… when done the right way.

What Not To Do

As with all social media, your content should be intriguing and creative. The goal is to catch your followers’ attention. Many people make the mistake of just listing followers with a simple #FF. This is a definite no, no. It’s boring, can be easily overlooked, and doesn’t give your followers a reason to listen to your suggestion. Yes, you may have a bunch of people that you want to recommend but you don’t need to list them all in one tweet – spread it out! Either share a couple of people in different tweets or wait to recommend them over the next few weeks. I mean, after all, isn’t the whole point of Follow Friday to get people to actually want to follow who you are recommending?

What You Should Be Aiming For

It can be a little daunting trying to come up with an interesting way to phrase your tweet but the key is to be as creative as possible.  Always try to be descriptive and give your followers a reason to want to know more.  If words aren’t your strong suit then a great way to catch followers’ attention is to include a picture.  Adding visual content helps convey what you’re trying to say and makes your tweet stand out.  It doesn’t hurt to include a link either.  The combination of giving your followers a visual with a clickable link to learn more about who you’re recommending can be very intriguing.  Spark some curiosity and most likely people will start following your #FollowFriday suggestions.   Take these tweets for example:

to check out some awesome handmade funky jewelry made by septuagenarian Zoe

Happy ! Check out the beautiful & talented ‘s latest

B__gJ19UQAEP5yF

What all three of these tweets have in common is that they’re interesting.  They make much more of an impression than a tweet that plainly lists a bunch of people.  They create just enough interest to make you want to follow their #FF suggestion to see what they’re all about.

Now the real question… Who are you going to suggest this #FollowFriday? 

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Gibbons Digital At The Westchester Business Expo

Feb 27 2015

Looking for a way to improve your business and help your company gain an edge?

Westchester Business Expo LogoJoin us at the Westchester Business Expo on March 18th at the Hilton Westchester!  We are extremely proud to be participating in the leading business-to-business tradeshow in the Hudson Valley.  The expo offers a unique opportunity for one on one discussions that can lead to productive networking.  There will be over 180 vendors, including Gibbons Digital, showcasing their business and services.  The event is a great way to get ideas and find answers to expand your company’s business opportunities.  Check out  http://youtu.be/q7JMYup8uN4 for more information!

To register, visit www.westchesterny.org.

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New Facebook Advertising Format: Cinemagraphs

Feb 17 2015

Attention all advertisers!  Cinemagraphs are taking over.

It’s no secret that social media sites, like Facebook, and their advertisers have been looking for new and creative ways to catch their user’s attention.  According to AdWeek, Facebook is expected to be posting these GIF-like images everywhere.  A cinemagraph is a still image with a portion, or object, of the picture continuously moving.  For example, the glass of wine swirling in the image below.

Swirling Wine Cinemagraph

Creators, Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, have found people are very receptive to their technique.  These images are extremely unique and draw the viewer’s attention in as they come to life.  Major brands such as Coca-Cola, Christian Louboutin, and Tiffany & Co. have caught on and begun using cinemagraphs in their marketing campaigns.

Coca-Cola Cinemagraph

Due to all of the buzz, cinemagraphs are expected to cause a shift in online advertising and will most likely be used as an alternative to videos.  It’s hard enough catching a user’s attention as they scroll through their newsfeed let alone getting them to watch a whole video.  Cinemagraphs are the perfect compromise of image and video.

What do you think of cinemagraphs?  Would you use them in your advertising campaign?

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The Next Big Social Media Platforms: Business or Personal? Part 3

Nov 12 2014

By now you may have heard of Ello, the hottest new site trending in social media. Their slogan, “simple, beautiful & ad-free,” is both a sales pitch and a promise. What started as a private social network between friends and colleagues now has the online world scrutinizing its every move. While Ello will never be an advertising platform, there are many other social networks, which embrace advertising and grow larger everyday.

What is Ello, the new social media network

This is a part 3 of our series on emerging social media networks to look out for. To see the networks we’ve already covered, go to part 1 or part 2.

Path

 

Path social media networkPath is a platform with a focus on limiting your social network to people you actually socialize with, while sharing photos and messaging.

What makes it different: Path, in order to create a higher quality social network, limits the number of friends each user can have to 150. Users can update their stream by posting photos and tagging (or adding tags to) people, places and things. When they introduced a messaging service, they decided to maintain their dedication to privacy, and as such messages are deleted from their servers after 24 hours. You can also set an ‘ambient status’ to let friends know when you are in the area, in transit, low on battery, and more.

Business Savvy: It will be. Path is working on a Place Messaging service that ‘will enable Talk messaging between you and any local business. Make dinner reservations, book hair appointments, get prices, hours, and check in-store availability all without ever placing a phone call.’  There are other potential ways to use Path as a business. Any user can decide to make it a professional network with industry contacts and gossip. There is also an exclusivity aura to the whole platform – if a high-end brand can only have 150 top clients, surely they could use it for rare items or exclusive content.

 

WeChat

 

WeChat social media appWeChat, an app based social network, is the fastest growing social network in the world – with its primary markets in Asia Pacific. The network includes text messaging, broadcast messaging, walkie talkie messaging, moments photo sharing, friend radar, voice calling and video calling.

What makes it different: WeChat is often compared to WhatsApp, but what makes it different is its ability to do just about everything (in participating markets). It is a platform for gaming, banking and shopping on top of it’s messaging features – and boasts the ability to pay for vending machines or even book a dentist appointment. WeChat also targets a demographic that is happy to use multiple social media platforms for different groups of friends or purposes, and it does not aim to be the be all end all of social media platforms.

Business Savvy: While this app isn’t used to its full capabilities in North America yet, it has a promising future. It is definitely a network to keep an eye on. Their newly launched advertising platform in 2014 does not distribute ads through messaging, but rather at the bottom of business pages.

Whisper

 

Whisper Social media AppWhisper is an anonymous app where users confess their secrets via text over images. Users can respond to these whispers and receive messages either publicly or privately. Secrets can be found randomly or through geolocation.

What makes it different: Users love the anonymity and perceived scandal. Its most popular user base is college students, with micro-communities forming on different campuses.

Business Savvy: Initially, the app cost users $5.99 per month for users to upgrade to being able to send direct messages. Once Whisper opened this feature up to all users, they looked for other ways to monetize the network. The app now uses a keyword based advertising approach, targeting users through their search terms and keywords. Users enter the text of their confession, and then are offered images to use as a background. Advertisers can have their images suggested for secrets associated with specific search terms.

Think one of these platforms might be right for you business, but are unsure how to get it started? Contact Gibbons Digital Consultants today for an in-depth analysis of the future of your business.

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The Next Big Social Media Platforms: Business or Personal? Part 2

Oct 01 2014

This is part 2 of our series on emerging social media networks to look out for. To see part 1 go here.

You’ve heard millennials don’t care about Facebook anymore, but it’s still the most popular social networking site for Americans, even for users age 18-24. While Snapchat and instagram are the go-to networks for millenials, there are many other niche social networking sites that could prove a perfect fit for your business. Innovative business owners can use many of these platforms as marketing tools, while others are just for personal use.

We will be covering many of these networks over our next few blogs. Stay with us and find out what under appreciated social network is ready for your business.

Nextdoor

 Nextdoor, a hyper local social networking site for your neigborhoodNextdoor is all about making social networking hyper local. Ever wanted to know what is going on in your neighborhood without actually going outside? This is the social networking site for you.

What makes it different: Nextdoor verifies your address either through your phone number, credit or debit card or by sending you a postcard. The billing address for your phone and card must be your address for this to work. Once you are on the site you can join groups (neighborhood watch, book club, parents, etc.) and network with your neighbors who have common interests. Once you’re on the site you can post alerts, find a trustworthy babysitter, ask for help finding a lost pet, publicly thank a neighbor using the ‘Thank button,’ welcome new neighbors, add local recommendations or send urgent alerts out to the neighborhood.

Business Savvy: Because of the nature of this site, it is very tricky to find a legitimate business use for this platform. Our suggestion? Realtors need to use this social networking site to advertise their business and ensure they have a lock on the neighborhood when it comes to selling or renting homes.

 

Sportlobster

 Sportlobster, social networking for sports fans worldwideThe creators of Sportlobster have found their niche audience, and it is growing quickly. This is truly a world wide social networking platform.

What makes it different: Sports for the sports lover. Users can make predictions, read and write blogs, get breaking news, get live scores, results and standings, and connect with like-minded fans in ‘fanzones.’

Business Savvy: Brands, clubs and organizations are welcome to create profiles on Sportlobster the same way any enthusiast would. The site encourages businesses to ‘build genuine interactions with fans’.  We can see local sport apparel stores making a voice for themselves on this network, but so far no one seems to have cracked the code.

 

Shots

 Shots - Justin Bieber's social networking site for selfiesThis Justine Bieber backed social media platform is aimed at teenagers and pretty much exists to share selfies.

What makes it different: Users can only take photos using the front facing camera – you cannot upload a photo you perfected earlier. You can like people’s selfies. Shots does not have follower counts or allow people to comment on photos, in order to hinder cyber bullying. It does, however, allow users to message each other.

Business Savvy: We can’t see a practical application in the near future. While a lot has been written about the failure of this app, it did reach 2 million users this month. We’ll stay tuned, so you don’t have to.

 

Think one of these platforms might be right for you business, but are unsure how to get it started? Contact Gibbons Digital Consultants today for an in-depth analysis of the future of your business.

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The Next Big Social Media Platforms: Business or Personal? Part 1

Sep 07 2014

 

You’ve heard millennials don’t care about Facebook anymore, but it’s still the most popular social networking site for Americans, even for users age 18-24. While Snapchat has risen to number three amongst millennials, there are still other networks to keep an eye on. Innovative business owners can use many of these platforms as marketing tools, while others are just for personal use.

We will be covering many of these networks over our next few blogs. Stay with us and find out what under appreciated social network is ready for your business.

Snapchat

undiscovered social networks for your business presented by Gibbons Digital ConsultantsArguably the fastest rising site in popularity, snapchat allows the user to share photos or videos with friends or other users.

What makes it different: There is a time limit on the photos or videos. Once they have been seen, they are gone forever. In a world where the next big thing is only a tweet away, embrace the impermanence.

Business Savvy: Early business adopters used Snapchat to send out coupons (that had to be opened at the register before they disappeared) or debut new fashion lines. Keep in mind, the tone of your Snapchat marketing should be casual – think the opposite of LinkedIN.

Medium

undiscovered social network medium for your business from Gibbons Digital ConsultantsMedium is a new kind of blogging platform. Take it at its name – it isn’t for long blog posts. Medium gives you a great cover photo spot (use it wisely) and space for a ‘medium’ length blog post. Posts are associated with your twitter handle, as are comments.

What makes it different: Users can comment on the post and create a sort of footnote that you can then click and expand to see what others had to say and how the original author responded to the comment. Comments are private until you publish them, but can lead to great discussions on a subject.

Business Savvy: Absolutely! Not only does Medium provide simple and clear statistics and graphs for you, it also makes it very easy for readers to share content on Facebook and Twitter. Because every user is associated with their twitter handle, you can also find your readers on other sites.

We Heart It

undiscovered social networks for your businessWe Heart It at first seems like another Pinterest knockoff – but it has actually been around longer. It is an image heavy site where users can curate collections of everything they, well, heart! Users can search existing content or add their own.

What makes it different: At first glance, it’s practically the same as Pinterest. However, the little differences make themselves clear the more you use it. A cleaner more minimal layout makes the images pop, without descriptions (or wordy space for advertising) in the search results. Taste makers are also important – when you hit the information button, the first person to ‘heart’ the image is named. It is also far more popular with the coveted 18-24 demographic who see Pinterest as a place for moms.

Business Savvy: Not only can business create their own profiles and collections, like Old Navy having spots for their season collections, We Heart It now uses native advertising with sponsored posts. We can see this being a great space for any business that makes, curates or sells beautiful things. We heart it definitely skews towards image heavy marketing.

Think one of these platforms might be right for you business, but are unsure how to get it started? Contact Gibbons Digital Consultants today for an in-depth analysis of the future of your business.

 

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Don’t Just Browse Facebook, Curate Your Timeline

Jul 23 2014

You don't have to unfriend

 

 

 

 

 

Tired of Candy Crush requests? Don’t want to miss an update from your cousin who just had an adorable baby? You don’t need to understand the inner workings of Facebook’s algorithm, just follow these easy steps to take control of your news feed and leave the unfriend button as a last resort.

Choose Your Order

What: There are 2 modes you can choose from Facebook to reorder your timeline. The default is ‘Top Stories,’ but you can change it to ‘Most Recent.

How: Click the small arrow next to the words ‘News Feed’ under your profile picture on the top left and choose how you want to see updates.

Top Stories vs Most Recent

 

 

 

Pick Your Favorites

What: You can assign a friend as a ‘Close Friend’ to get more of their news in your timeline. To go a step beyond this, choose to get phone or email notifications when these friends post to Facebook.

How: Go to your friend’s Facebook profile and click the drop down menu on their cover photo that says ‘Friends’. This will allow you to add them to the ‘Close Friends’ and make sure you see more updates from them.

See more from your friends on your facebook timeline

 

 

 

List Them

What: By adding friends to certain lists (anything from coworkers to workout buddies) you can choose to check on their updates separately from your timeline.

How: On the left side of Facebook select the ‘Friends’ heading and start making lists. Once your lists are created (you can edit them anytime) you will be able to select that list anytime to see updates from that group of people. If you hover over a list you will see a settings wheel, click the wheel and add a list to ‘Favorites’ to easily access this list anytime from the top of your newsfeed.

Get Rid of Them

What: You can easily hide a post or unfollow someone without unfriending them.

How: When you see a post on your timeline, click the little grey arrow at the top right and choose ‘I don’t want to see this’ to get rid of a certain kind of post or ‘Unfollow Friend’ to keep a friend’s post out of your timeline. This also works to block game apps and certain advertisers.

Stop seeing updates from someone on facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take the Survey

What: Tell Facebook what you do and don’t want to see by taking a quick survey.

How: Click that little grey arrow again (on any post) and choose ‘Make News Feed Better’. There are 15 posts you will be shown and you have to rate how much you agree with the statement provided. It only takes a few minutes to use this Facebook provided system.

You can take the survey multiple times, but the best way to tell Facebook what you want to see on your timeline is by engaging with the content in your News Feed. The more you like, comment and share – the more Facebook knows what you want to see.

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To Boost, or not to Boost, that is the Question – Facebook Advertising 101

Jun 23 2014

Gibbons Digital Facebook Boost Westchester Social MediaIf you Google how to use Facebook post Booster you will find half the blogs will be a how-to and the other half will be write-ups on why you should never, ever Boost posts on Facebook. We’re here to tell you when Boosting can work for you.

The Facebook algorithm (that math and science behind what shows up on your News Feed and what doesn’t) may be considered the mystery of our generation to some, but with enough research and common sense you can start to see patterns emerge.

Facebook has revealed that any update posted by your page will only reach 3-5% of your fans. This means if you have 5000 fans, you will only reach 150 to 250 of them through organic (not paid for) reach.

Facebook gives you two options to expand the reach of that post – Promoted Posts or Ads and the Boost.

What are the Limitations of a Boosted Post?

Only target limited interests
Cannot target a device (desktop or mobile)
Only target by interests, or ‘fans plus friends of fans’ (instead of just fans)
Cannot use custom audience or conversion tracking
Only Boost one ad at a time

What Can I do with a Boosted Post?

Target location
Target gender
Target age
Target up to 10 interests
Target your fans and their friends
Choose your budget
Choose the duration
Access all this right on your Timeline

So why would you use Boost over Promoted Posts or Ads?

If you are targeting your existing fanbase, and you want to reach more than the 3-5%, then Boosting can be the perfect option. Say you are an author who has released a new book, or a store that is having a sale, or a software company who has released a new product – these are all things you want all your fans to know about. This can be a simple Boost to reach past organic limitations.

If you are a brick and mortar store or a company that offers services to a particular area, Boosting is a quick and easy way to promote yourself. You can choose local towns or cities and specific interests to Boost. If you are Boosting to increase your fanbase, targeting through Facebook’s more detailed post promotion is a better way to track your objective.

What does this mean for me?

If you are a newbie to Facebook paid advertising and have an update you want to go to fans and their friends, specific interests, or specific locations, Boosting is a quick and easy way to get the word out.

If you’re still unsure what is the right option for you, contact us today to learn how we can help you reach your Facebook goals.

 

Facebook’s FAQ on Boosting

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Current Trends in Social Media: Video and Images

Mar 18 2014

6718116-social-trends-concept-as-a-abstract-backgroundOne of the biggest trends in social media right now is using visual content to promote your brand through sites like Instagram, Vine, Pinterest and Tumblr. With the advent of Vine in early 2013 and the increasing brand adoption of Instagram and Tumblr, businesses have been leaning away from text and moving towards visual content. In fact, there is predicted to be a huge rise in visual content in 2014. Here are a few more reasons why you should incorporate visual content into your business’s social media marketing strategies!

Humanize the company – put a face to the name!
Sharing Instagram pictures or taking Vine videos of what your company and employees are really like will tell your audience more than any text posts ever will. They speak volumes about the character of the business and connect customers to the people that make up your company.

Visual content is another form of storytelling.
There’s a reason we don’t get up during the commercial breaks at the Super Bowl – the stories that the ads tell are so engaging that you form a connection to the brand. Visual content creates an opportunity for companies to bring their message to life in a whole new way. For example, your company could create a series of Vines about the fun things that go on in the office to keep customers engaged and coming back for more!

Show, don’t tell.
You can post and tweet about your new products all you want, but the customer can virtually experience the product’s awesome features if your next Instagram video shows it in use. Maybe you’ll have an exciting announcement to share with your audience. Instead of writing a long blog post, you could take a great shot and share it with little to no text – and still tell your audience just enough to keep their attention.

Shareability.
“If content is king, then distribution is queen,” says Jonathan Perelman of BuzzFeed. There’s an increasing call for brands to give consumers content to share. With high-quality content that tells a story, consumers will be more likely to share it, acting as digital word-of-mouth. When they press that “Share” button, they’re spreading your company’s story to new audiences and getting your name out there as a brand that person trusts.

Perfect for short attention spans.
These days, the average web user has such a short attention span that you need to produce something compelling and quick to process in order to catch their eye. Images are processed 60,000 times faster in the human brain than text, so users can quickly consume and recall your content as they’re scrolling through newsfeeds and timelines.

What are some great ways you’ve engaged your audience with visual content? Let us know in the comments below!

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