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How to Increase Google+ Engagement and Stay Ahead Of Your Competitors

Google+ is growing in popularity since last year as comScore’s recent survey on social media engagement proves it. It’s time you start paying heed to your Google+ account than ever before!

Recently Facebook and Twitter, the two ubiquitous social media platforms that redefined online engagement, celebrated their 10th and 7th birthdays respectively. There’s no competition with Google+ as far as social media presence and reach of the two platforms are concerned. However, Google’s very own social network is fast expanding its present user base and more importantly has found a place among the Top 5 social media networks, as seen from recent studies on user engagement, conducted by reputed data firms in the first quarter of this year.

Why Google+ is needed for your social media entourage? Among many other things we have zeroed in 7 reasons why you should have a Google+ account to enhance your personal/ business branding -

  • It’s a Google product so you can vouch on its functionality and trustworthiness
  • It helps improve your Google Authorship. That’s true!
  • Google’s web crawlers crawl Google+ pages and accounts making them rank high on SERPs. Hence you can have a better web page rank for your Blog or company site with a Google verified G+ page.
  • Connect with niche groups via communities, more close-knit conversations enable you to link up with relevant connections
  • Hangouts are wonderful ways to establish yourself/ brand as opinion or thought leaders in your domain
  • No Advertisement model initiated so far  in G+ (unlike Facebook) to generate paid reach
  • Hashtags “#” work just like Twitter and isn’t a flop-show like Facebook


I could have added a dozen other to the list, but to cut the long story short, here’s a detailed look into how you can use Google+ to increase your social media engagement.

For more tips, tricks and news from the world of digital marketing stay connected to ITS blog.

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Pinterest the Silent Crusader Is Testing GIFs Secretly

There’s a hush-hush going on in the social media circuit that Pinterest is testing animated GIFs. The little birdy from Twitter chirped this ‘supposedly’ undercover development taking place at the Pinterest labs yesterday. Now you might wonder why’s all this secrecy and what’s it all about? Well, to cut to the chase, let me tell you that Pinterest unlike its big brothers – Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter has never been vocal about their in-house experiments and only those developments which pass the conformity test from its highest management gets due approval to go public. But then what happened now? Let me explain.

GIFs are social engagement boosters

It is for this reason particularly that Pinterest has turned their attention towards GIFs and will soon make the facility available to users to pin and share animated GIF images on their boards. Social media scientists are of the view that Pinterest has taken cue from Google Plus – Google’s very own social networking site that didn’t perform well as compared to Facebook in spite of huge expectations. They noted that since Google Plus allow GIF images and that a majority of the highest viewed, shared and talked about posts in G+ are GIF animated images, Pinterest is simply trying to invest on the same and bite on to Google Plus’s growing supremacy in the GIF domain.

How animated GIFs will work on Pinterest?

Now, that’s a million dollar question given that no one is pretty sure on that. But as of now the word which has come out is that, the animated GIF feature would be available only to some select pinners. Once a user uploads an animated GIF image on to a pin board, they can play or pause the animation at their sweet will. All they have to do is control their action by clicking on a tiny play button at the lower left-hand corner of each image.

pinterest gets gifs

A Pinterest spokesman was heard saying that they (Pinterest) are always trying to enhance the usability of their platform so that people can pin and share things they love as well as discover new things along the way. Animated GIFs are no doubt going to add dynamism to the already vibrant Pinterest platform.

What to Expect in coming Days

Expect the unexpected! Well that’s what social media is; you can never predict when a new trend will catch up with the social media population. Take for example the curious case of the GIFs. Even a year back GIFs were just an image format and now animated GIFs are ruling the popularity charts in Google Plus. Major brands are drawn to this trend so much so that even Verizon has introduced an animated GIF image as their profile banner moving with the trend. So expect outstanding developments in Pinterest in the coming days.

2 New Facebook Features That You Simply Couldn’t Miss

News Flash! Just when you thought you have mastered the Facebook landscape, Mark Zuckerberg’s team has come up with yet another surprise! Facebook has introduced some ‘cool’ new features to pep up your online experience. And this time, “it’s going to make your time on Facebook ‘more’ fun”, a spokesperson from their Menlo Park HQ remarked.

So, What’s The BIG News?

First up, Facebook has introduced the ‘EDIT’ option for users. Now you can ‘EDIT’ your Facebook posts after you publish them. “Previously you had to delete your post, lose all your Likes and Comments, and re-post to edit something on your timeline.” But not anymore!

How Do I Know Whether This Feature Is ‘ON’?

Simple, go to your timeline. Select any of your previously published posts. Click on the small ‘down arrow’ symbol on the top right of the published post, to open a drop-down menu. Select ‘Edit’ from the available options and start editing the text. For reference consult the image below.

 Facebook blog image

You can also – Change Date, Add Location, Highlight your post, Hide your post from the Timeline, Delete or Embed your post in your blog or webpage.

Now, about the second update. But first tell me, what would you do to find out, in one place, what your college buddies or colleagues or business rivals have posted on their timelines, liked or commented on Facebook in the last week, the last month or the month before and so on? You would say “I’ll click open their profile and scan their walls and activity feed. Yes, but won’t that be an arduous task? Sure thing!

What if you search on Facebook “posts by my colleagues from august” and whoa, all of their Facebook activity from August shows up! Yes, that’s what the second feature is all about. It’s called “Post Search” an extension of the earlier introduced “Graph Search”. Facebook announced its launch on September 30. This new feature will roll out progressively, first in the United States and then the rest of the world in the coming weeks!

 Facebook images

Need more info on that? Check out details from the Facebook Newsroom Click Here

So which of these two updates are you really impressed with? Let us know in the comments below.

Stay updated on news, views and analysis from the world of Social Media. Stay connected to ITS Blog.

Facebook for Every Phone – Is it for real?

Want to check your Facebook newsfeed from your ‘not-so-smart’ cellphone? Nay! Wish to update your FB status from your “primitive” non-smartphone? Not Possible! Upload a photograph to your Facebook album and chat with your Facebook buddies from your good ‘ol cell phone? Impossible! Yes, if somebody said you that you ‘cannot’ enjoy Facebook from your basic mobile phone, unless you have a superior version of mobile handset (a smartphone, so to speak of) with the capability of downloading Facebook  app,  this would have sounded logical. But NOT anymore! The researchers and developers at Facebook labs is all set to launch an application that’s going to enable ‘every’ mobile phone user in this planet access Facebook irrespective of the type of handset they use.

facebook for every phone

Startled! You should be. In a few weeks from now, Facebook plans to announce the results of the first phase of this outstanding initiative, which they’ve named ‘Facebook for Every Phone’. According to a recent Pew study, 1 in 8 of its billion strong users access the social networking site every day using 3,000+ models of different feature phones across the world. In spite of this mammoth usage statistics, there are millions of mobile phone users who cannot access Facebook from their mobile phones, since they do not have devices that support the Facebook app. In other words, in order to tap into this huge potential user base and bring them to Facebook family, the Menlo Park based tech giant is planning to go forward with this project, head on. They say it’s their next big step in adding a billion more users to their active user base. The target market for this new project is going to be India, Brazil and Africa, a Facebook insider said, where most mobile handset manufacturers are cashing in by selling cheaper handsets (less than 20 USD) and the market is huge for such handsets.

As a part of this initiative, Facebook has recently offered USD 70 million to acquire Snaptu, an app developed by an Israeli company, which enables primitive cellphones to access a primitive version of Facebook. As per latest news, the deal is in motion. Experts believe that this could be a direct indication of how determined Facebook is to make this project successful.

Industry insiders say that with the upcoming announcement Facebook will roll out its new ‘lighter’ version of the app. ‘Facebook Lite’ as some prefer to name it, will be the first-of-its-kind mobile application that would work smoothly even on mobile devices with slower data speed, while maintaining all basic features of the Facebook experience viz the newsfeed, chat and photos options, which are available over feature phones (smartphones), only that with a lower resolution. According to grapevine, Facebook wants to steal the show by adding Instagram style filters for photos and also adding chat sticker emoticons in FB chats for users of “Facebook Lite” version, to make it quickly popular.

What do you think of this new feature? Would you be interested to use “Facebook Lite” from your good ‘ol cellphone or would you rather prefer to buy a feature phone and enjoy Facebook the way you do on your pc? Let us know.

Till next time stay connected to ITS blog.

How To Create ‘Perfect 10’ Posts on Social Media Sites

Okay, you may have heard the proverb that “early bird gets the worm”. The same goes with social media marketing. “You got to be up on your toes at all times” and never let an opportunity slip by! Contribute, Share and Re-Share ‘value’ information with your target audience; this will help establish your brand’s superiority over time. But, in all practicality, it’s almost next to impossible for businesses to monitor their own social media initiatives (regular posts and tweets, photo and video shares, comments received and replies to comments, et al) round the clock. That’s where an SMM (social media marketing) executive steps in.

Marketing is an umbrella term comprising several sub-types, each suited for a particular medium, e.g. direct marketing, precision marketing, and shotgun marketing and so on. Marketing through social media sites is altogether, a different ball game! Social networking sites are the most talked about medium at present. Owing to huge mass participation, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, have emerged as the numero uno platform for marketers to pitch for sales. However, an over emphasis on ‘selling’ rather than ‘sharing’ (which is the original purpose of a social networking site) results in gaining only short-lived achievements for companies. So, what’s the solution?

Social Media Marketing gurus opine that firstly, you need to fine tune your social initiative. Start with planning your posts/tweets and then go about scheduling them at times when there’s maximum traffic on your social accounts. Further, you need to keep a tab on comments received on your social posts, the number of times your posts/tweets are shared across the social web, and you also need to reply to these as quickly as possible, or else your audience might feel ‘left out’ and move elsewhere. No doubt, applying all of these would help you get traction out of your social initiatives. However, questions remain – what differentiate a good post from a bad one? What makes a post go viral? Or, for that matter, is there a formula for creating a ‘perfect 10’ post that would click with your target audience?

While the first two questions have no surefire solutions, there can actually be an easy way to create ‘almost’ perfect 10 posts for your social media activities. Take a look at the infographic below to learn more…

How To Create ‘Perfect 10’ Posts on Social Media Sites

If you have learnt something new from this post, share it with your buddies. Remember, the greatest mantra for success in social media – “Sharing is Caring”. Stay connected to ITS Blog.