Why 2009 is THE Year for Social Media!

istock_000006187283xsmallBy: Carrie Hill

How many of you tried to take advantage of Staples.com’s free version of Quickbooks Pro 09 yesterday? I got my copy – first thing in the morning, but my dad tried in the afternoon and they were sold out. What happened? Well, I think Social Media happened, and that’s a lesson in Why you need Social Media in 2009.

There’s a reason this post went hot at Sphinn and why I’ve seen it “ReTweeted” quite a few times in my Twitter stream. As someone who works in an agency – we’ve hit the wall a few times on getting the executive office AND clients on board with Social Media. Todd Malicoat was right – we’re pitching it wrong.

Spy on Your Competitor’s Google Ranking with Exactfactor

When I was first approached to take a look at Exactfactor’s Google ranking tool, I pretty much yawned. Fortunately for them, news gets quiet around Christmas time, so I decided to take a look.

While it’s pretty much what I expected–yet another tool that alerts you to a change in your Google ranking–it did have a few nice touches.

I liked that I could specifically compare my Google ranking with my biggest competitor’s. Even better, I could set up an email alert that informs me if I ever overtake my competitor for a keyword we are both targeting.

If you’re looking to break yourself from that "I must check my Google rankings constantly" habit, then check out Exactfactor’s free service.

Why I’m Giving Twitter Grader’s “State of the Twittersphere” a B+

Thanks to the high number of people that use HubSpot’s Twitter Grader tool, the company is able to provide us with the first "State of the Twittersphere" report.

Analyzing 600,000 Twitter profiles should provide enough valuable data on how we use Twitter–although keep reading for my concern on this–and the main findings include:

  • Twitter is dominated by newer users – 70% of Twitter users joined in 2008
  • An estimated 5-10 thousand new accounts are opened per day
  • 35% of Twitter users have 10 or fewer followers
  • 9% of Twitter users follow no one at all
  • There is a strong correlation between the number of followers you have and the number of people you follow

Should You Avoid the “Scoble-Dilemma?”

Michael Arrington questioning Robert Scoble about his “addiction” to Twitter and Friendfeed wouldn’t normally be headline news here at Marketing Pilgrim, but I think it opens up a good debate.

First, the backstory. Arrington’s open letter post to Scoble reads, in part:

What is the cost of this addiction? Well, I’ll put his family life aside, that’s his business. But his blog has clearly suffered. He now posts only a few times a week, sometimes sporadically writing multiple posts in a day but often skipping 3-4 days in between. A year ago, Robert wrote multiple posts, every day. I used to read his blog daily, now I visit once a week.

Scoble takes it in his stride, providing some good self-analysis of what he’s gained and lost by focusing his efforts away from his blog.

Google Image Search Rolls Out Search by Style

Over the last few months, Google has rolled out several changes to their image search. First, they released the ability to limit search results to images only containing faces. Next, they released the ability to only search for photo images, which limits images results to images that contain photographic elements.

On Friday, Google released yet another update to their image search engine. Users are now able to filter results to clip art or line images. Here is an example of what this search feature looks like:

Google Image Search

I love the direction that Google image search has taken. Giving users choices like this is really setting them apart from competitors. When are the other search engines going to start taking initiative and rolling out new features of their own?

Mozilla’s Relationship with Google Gets “Complicated”

When the company that supplies 88% of your revenue, launches a competing product, labeling the situation as "complicated" is a bit of an understatement, wouldn’t you say?

"Complicated" is the word chosen by Mozilla’s CEO to describe Google’s foray into the web browser business.

"We have a fine and reasonable relationship," John Lilly, Mozilla’s CEO, said in an interview last week. "But I’d be lying if I said that things weren’t more complicated than they used to be."

With Google Chrome now out of beta, and Mozilla’s Firefox already battling Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for market share, the last thing Mozilla needs is this double threat. A threat to its market share, and its revenue.

Of course, Mozilla needn’t worry. Google will simply make the claim that it’s not a competitor–then quietly gobble up all that Mozilla has.

Merry Christmas Googlers! Here’s a Bribe to Stop Using Your iPhone

If you’re Google, how do you subtly tell your thousands of employees that they should abandon their iPhone and instead use the company’s–lesser–Android phone?

How about dishing out HTC Dream Android phones to employees as Christmas presents? That’s exactly what Google appears to have done:

We’ve never developed anything like the Android software before, so this represented a unique opportunity to celebrate that achievement," a Google spokesperson told ZDNet.com.au today.

Apart from spreading Christmas cheer, having all the employees using the phone would help make Android better, the spokesperson continued. "Giving the Dream phone to Googlers also allows us to once again dog food a product and make it even better."

Is this a fabulous gift–that Googlers will love–or, just an attempt to force iPhone lovers to make the switch? ;-)