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Google+ for Business

   With over 40 million users (and still growing), google+ most likely has some fans of your brand on it – fans that (up til now) you might only connect with on that other social network (which we trust you’re already doing with a facebook page for your business). That’s about to change though, as google+ pages for business opened for business yesterday and the google+ badge for businesses will start appearing across the web, spreading as did the now ubiquitous “Follow Us” facebook icons and the +1 sharing button

Wondering if google+ will be the next Buzz or Wave? All indicators are that google is playing for keeps on this one, and if one thing will make google+ stick, it will be widespread adoption by businesses. Google+ should have an edge on facebook pages (at least initially) in some respects, such as the ability to group your page’s followers into smaller Circles, and even chat with them in video Hangouts (up to 9 at a time). The most interesting long-term aspect of google+ pages will be the upcoming integration with google AdWords paid search. You may have already noticed that there’s an option in AdWords Display Ads to overlay a +1 button for people to like your ad, and the option to add a Social Extension to your campaigns. This latter will tally all the +1’s of your ad, your site, your page and your search results (clearly google has embraced “bigger is better” math here), and allow people to view all of the recommendations for your brand in aggregate.

To add another layer to it, google’s Direct Connect goes live today, rolling out on select websites. This feature lets people enter ‘+’ followed by the name of your page in Google search to get directly to your Google+ page: try it for one of the brands that  already have google+ pages: NY TimesABC NewsDell. Certainly easier than finding your favorite brand’s facebook page. We’re looking forward to integrating google+ badges with the full suite of social sharing buttons, and then kicking back and watching the show in analytics.

Timing your Facebook Posts

We all know about the idea of timing your email newsletter send to times when people are more likely to open the message and respond.   With your emailing list you have only a certain amount of “permission equity” that allows you to send messages to your recipients and, since you don’t want to over send to your list, you want to time your message in a way that gets you the most leverage.

Well, the same is true for Facebook posts.   I’ve been looking for some information that will help me determine the best time to post on Facebook.   I found an infographic that hits the middle of the bullseye on this front.   It shows information on Facebook Shares by Day, Facebook Shares by Hour and it has a graph of the ratio of posts-per-day and Facebook Likes.   Eureka!

http://www.webpronews.com/facebook-posting-infographic

 

Let me know if this information is useful to you.

Get Out of the Import/Export Business

Many of the businesses we work with here at Timberline Interactive (and CommerceV3) use email service providers (ESP) like Bronto to send out their email marketing campaigns. The last thing any time-strapped creative director or marketing manager needs is to spend time exporting subscribers from their store, and uploading them to an ESP… And rightly so: their time is better spent creating better emails, more refined target segments, and everything else that makes their email marketing channel a success.

So we cut out the middleman, and leveraged Bronto’s sophisticated API to be able to directly import new subscribers from anywhere on your CommerceV3 site: checkout, catalog request pages, “my account” member signup forms, and (of course) your standard email newsletter signup. Any information collected on the pages can be brought over to the subscriber’s record in Bronto, allowing you to take advantage of Bronto’s segmentation capabilities by geotargeting, signup source and whatever other relevant segments you might conjure up (now that you’re not spending all of your time exporting/importing csv files).

Ready to streamline your website’s integration with your ESP? If you’re on the CommerceV3 platform and working with Bronto or another ESP, contact us here at Timberline Interactive, and we’ll discuss what what your integration options are.

Adwords Position Reporting

It’s no secret that those paid search ads at the top of google search results get the most attention and the most clicks. Eye-tracking heatmap studies have long identified this “golden triangle” as the area where online shoppers focus.

If you’ve ever wondered just how big a difference there is between and average AdWords position in the top yellow box (typically 1-3) or down right side (usually 4 or more), now you can find out.  The new segmenting option in AdWords allows you quantify just how big a difference placement can make. Top vs. Side stats can be readily accessed inside AdWords:

Select the Campaign, Ad groups, Ads or Keywords tab
Click the Segment button in the toolbar above your data
Select Top vs. side from the drop-down – you’ll see the results in rows beneath each of your ads.

New position reporting in Adwords

We’ve seen top ad placement clickthrough rates over 10 times greater than right side placements. Suddenly, that slightly higher bid seems a lot more appealing, doesn’t it? It’s certainly worth examining your data, and looking at ways to optimize your bidding and take advantage of top placements. With a significant lift in clickthroughs, those higher bids may pay for themselves before you know it.