New Google Stream Layout and What’s Hot

A super quick tutorial to show you how to go from the new, multi-column stream layout back to the single column on desktop. The stream is now responsive, so ordinarily it adjusts to accommodate your device. #io12 #responsivedesign #newstream #googleplustips


Google Plus: The Definitive Getting Started Guide


Why Google+

Google Plus has the reputation as being the social network you love to hate.  It has been called a “Ghost Town”, “The Dead Zone”, and a host of other less than flattering (and far less than accurate)  names.  Numerous theories abound as to why there are so many G+ haters, but my best guess is that people don’t like change.  Most are comfortable on Facebook.  They are vaguely apathetic.  They do not want to leave their comfort zone.  Google+ can wait.

I challenge the thinking that Google+ is not a priority.  In fact, I believe it should be your #1 priority and here is why:

1. Google Plus Is Not a “Facebook Killer”

To start with, the “either or” mentality is shortsighted   Google has known from the start that they do not need to be a replacement for Facebook, they simply need to be an alternative.  Google+ is a completely unique space with unique features that you cannot find anywhere else.  It is the best of the social graph rolled up into one far, far reaching network.

2. Google Knows What You Are Looking For

The King of Search is fully aware of what people want, what they need.  They have spent the past 10+ years analyzing what people search for, the results they favor, and more importantly  market trends.

3.  Google+ Brings People Together

Google understand people and their innate desire to be surrounded by like-minded individuals.  More importantly, Google created three tools to do so quickly and easily:

  1. Circles –  Similar to Twitter lists, but fast, easy and visual.
  2. Communities – Similar to Facebook Groups, but better organized and with respect for our privacy.  Read all about communities here.
  3. Hangouts – Video chat rooms with Skype calling functionality.  Plus, it’s free, can be recorded and/or broadcast live.

To see the rest of this Google Plus Getting Started Guide, please visit our website: 

Servant Leadership: What I Learned About Community From #SMMW13


Disclaimer: This article is not my usual “how to” or step by step guide to this, that and the other. Further, it contains material that may not be suitable for all audiences (I used the “J” word).


A growing theme in the social media sphere is that less is more.  Or as Michael Stelzner puts it, “Small is the new large”.  Fewer followers that are active participants are far more valuable that a massive following that remains silent.  I will expand on that concept to say that you don’t really need followers at all.  You need advocates, ambassadors… evangelists.

Evangelists are the ones who will go out and spread the word about your brand in a way that you cannot.  According to a new report by Forrester Research, 70% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family as compared to only 10% for advertising.  It only makes sense that you want to excite your community and motivate them to go out and spread your message.

When I think of someone who knew how to inspire, rally, motivate, I think of Jesus.

Whether you are like me and believe that Jesus is God, or you simply think he was a great teacher or perhaps you think he was complete nutcase who got what he deserved in the end, one thing we all can agree on is that he knew how to cultivate a strong and loyal following. He was influential in the truest sense of the word…and he didn’t need to flash his Klout score to prove it.

More importantly, he did it organically. Granted pay per click didn’t exactly exist 2000 years ago, but, again, this is Jesus. He could have appeared in the clouds, spoken in a really loud voice & boom! Instant followers.  But he didn’t. He chose to do the work and create relationships.

Read the full post on our website:

New Pinterest Analytics Tools


Pinterest announced a new analytic tool, giving site owners a peek into how people are interacting with content that is pinned from their verified website.  The various options give a broad overview that allows users to track pinning activity, learn what pinners like and see  analytics.

Site owners can get useful information such as how many people have pinned items from their site, total impressions, reach on the network, and most useful in my opinion, referral traffic back to their site.  This is a complete list with definitions of items you can view when you click on theSite Metrics tab.


  • Pins – the daily average number of pins from your website.
  • Pinners –  the daily average number of people who pinned from your website.
  • Repins – the daily average number of times pins from your website were repinned on Pinterest.
  • Repinners – the daily average number of people who repinned your pins.
  • Impressions – the daily average number of times your pins appeared in the main feed, in search results, or on on boards.
  • Reach – the daily average number of people who saw your pins on Pinterest.
  • Clicks – the daily average number of clicks to your website that came from Pinterest.
  • Visitors – the daily average number of people who visited your website from Pinterest.

Read the rest of the article on our website: or go to our sister site:

Top 3 Social Media Automation Tools

Why Use Social Media Automation Tools?

There is no substitute for genuine, authentic interaction with your audience.  That being said, you cannot be all things to all people, just like you cannot be on all platforms at all times.  Nor do you need to be.   The right tool at the right time in the right place frees up some of your precious time, enabling you to actually engage MORE.

I. Most of us know the value of putting a face to the name. That is why we put personal profile photos on business accounts.  It is important to build your brand awareness, but people want to talk to people, not brands.  That is what makes social media, well, social.   Another means of personalizing your business presence is to let your personality shine through. Let your customers and potential customers know that there is a real human being typing out all those witticisms.  However, that doesn’t mean you need to be permanently attached to your keyboard.  Your audience knows you do more than simply chat on Facebook and Twitter.  They expect you to be doing more.  That is where selective automation comes in.

II. Automation allows you to stagger posts at times when you may not be personally available but your customer is.  You have to sleep, right?  Whether you run a mom and pop business or a multi-national corporation, you need to regularly connect and share with your audience.  You also need to keep them updated about your brand.   Judicious use of social media tools enables you to share your message AND have meaningful conversations about it.

Now that we have established how useful social media automation tools can be, let’s dive into our personal favorites.  There are literally thousands of tools out there.  Some good, some not so good and some downright useless.  How do you know which ones are right for you?  Right for your target market?  Right for the social networks you use most?

Over the years, the last year being the most plentiful when it comes to new and innovative tools, we have tried countless offerings.  We have weeded through the junk and come up with our top three social media automation tools…and the best part:  All three of our favorite tools are absolutely free.   They all do have paid versions, but for most small businesses, free will do the job just fine.


We will start with my personal favorite and the one I simply cannot do without.  In fact, I shudder at the thought:  Buffer.

via Top 3 Social Media Automation Tools – – Social Media For Small Businesses.

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