Empowering the end user and those considering a career in digital media

Posts Tagged ‘Google

Building consumer trust location by location

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Location, location, location is the hot topic for 2010. Targeting by location enables you to build communities of customers, build customer loyalty, provide tailored offers or promotions and ultimately become more efficient and cost effective. We all know consumers trust those companies they have relationships with and those who are local, but some people find it difficult to build these relationships.

By interacting with your customers using social media it is possible to build loyalty and develop a better understanding of the needs of your audience. Segmenting these relationships by location enables you to hone the conversations you are having and make them more relevant to your customer’s needs. There are numerous platforms you can use to facilitate this, but there are some bases you should cover immediately:

When the digital atom bomb that is Google explodes into a new sector, it’s clear it’s time to sit up and take notice. Google has recently made several waves in the location arena, including the launch of Google Latitude, which tracks the location of searches and Google local search, which provides tailored search results based on your location. Google is also incorporating geotagging Google Buzz.

Twitter has become more sophisticated recently when it comes to geotagging. It is now possible to pull up location-based information from individual tweets on the microblogging website. Twitter also recently developed the facility to search and view trending facilities by location. There are some clever tools you can use to make it easier to build communities by location on Twitter, including TwellowHood, a directory enabling you to cross reference users by location and interest, TwitterLocal, which allows you to search by area, Nearby Tweets, does what it says on the tin and, gives trending data based on location.

iPhones, Blackberries and the evolution of the mobile have had a huge impact on both social media and location-based networking. There are numerous social networks now purely based on location, including Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, Brightkite and Yelp. With over half a million users, 1.4 million venues and 15.5 million ‘checkins’, Foursquare currently holds the crown as the most used location-based networking app.

Foursquare enables users to check in at different locations and compete to win points, badges and mayorships based on activity. Companies can make offers to users when they are nearby their business or organisation, offer special bonuses to the mayor and even create bespoke badges for customer to compete to win. Users can also leave reviews for their friends at different venues giving you great access to customer feedback.

Taking relationships out of social media into the real world should be your ultimate goal. Organised tweetups provide an opportunity to build on the communities you have grown online and have face-to-face time with your customers. If you’re not confident enough to organise your own tweetup, there will be existing tweetups taking place you can attend. gives you instant access to a list of tweetups going on in your area.

Before you start interacting with customers through social media portals it’s important you take a step back and review which portals are going to be right for your organisation based on where your customers are. Once you have determined your goals, you can then go on to build a presence. You should customise the portals to your needs and ensure you give compelling promotions and offers to your customers – but remember, the key to social media success is having conversations and building relationships first.

As your campaign grows, it’s imperative you track everything and be prepared to adapt as your customer base grows and changes. Be honest and transparent about your intentions at all times to ensure you retain consumer trust.

Lastly, don’t be put off by recent well publicised concerns about encouraging your customers to share their location. It’s important to apply some common sense and explain to anyone with concerns that they will not get robbed just because they share their location!


Written by sociauxanswers

March 30, 2010 at 10:26 am

Apple wins on quantity but Google leads with quality

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Yesterday, I wrote a tongue in cheek post about the launch of the giant iPhone – sorry, I mean iPad. I’m not going to pretend I wasn’t excited but that faded pretty fast. Aside from the stream of comedy sanitary towel analogies, the iPad left most feeling uninspired.

Yet still, it dominated the blogosphere, eclipsing a truly significant launch, Google Social Search.

At a time when we still feel the scars of a turbulent economy, trust and networks have never been so important. The ability to compare your searches with those of your friends, colleagues and business associates brings a warm feeling of reassurance.

It’s also pretty damn useful. The ability to cross-reference your search results with those in your social circle, gives more contextual and potentially accurate results.

Apple may have won the battle when you look at the buzz but Google will win the war based on a truly useful product offering.

Written by sociauxanswers

January 28, 2010 at 8:50 am

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Are url shorteners the new badge of cool?

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In the age of sharing, social media and real time, anything long and cumbersome slows us down. The ability to shorten urls to ease this process served a clear function which became a necessity thanks to the character limitations of Twitter.

Functional it may be. Smart, certainly. But, cool? Well apparently, it is now.

Today, both Google and Facebook have launched their own url shorteners, which will soon see our Twitter streams flooded with and Both are not currently available for wider consumer use but I’m sure this will be right around the corner.

This shows there’s clear business potential in url shortening and makes the fight a little bit funky.

I see the beginning of a new marketing avenue. Bespoke url shorteners developed by all the big brands. At the very least it would give a clearer indication of where the link is directing you – potentially increasing click through.

This is something that Coke experimented with, creating its own url shortening site – perhaps paving the way for others to follow.

For now, the question is, will you be going or

Written by sociauxanswers

December 14, 2009 at 10:50 pm

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My my Google, we have been busy!

Yesterday, I took a well deserved day off to catch up on some Christmas shopping. Presents acquired, I sat back on the sofa to catch up on the day’s digital developments. What a day to miss!

Google have been suspiciously quiet recently and at a talk at the Computer History Museum, they revealed what they’ve been up to.

For anyone else who spent the day emersed in tinsel, here’s a quick run down.

1. Google has gone real-time
This means real time search results will appear next to the standard serch results.

2. You can now search by location
Google knows where you live and will give you customised search results based on location. This now gets even more specific when you’re on your mobile.

3. Now you only need to take a photo
Google can analyse the photo, extract the text and give you tailored search results.

4. You can fire your translator
Soon, you will be able to speak in to your phone and Google will translate your voice in to your chosen language.

5. Google will walk your dog and do the washing up
Alright, maybe not. But it wouldn’t surprise me if this was their next announcement!

Written by sociauxanswers

December 8, 2009 at 8:26 am

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Is News International Revolutionalising Search?

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Guest blog from Saman Mansourpour, partner at TheAgency

The subject of our daily news digest, its ownership in the public domain and its value has long been up for debate. It’s no secret that news corporations from the BBC to News International have all struggled in the last decade to maintain control of their content, and effectively charge for it.

Clearly the Internet has offered us “free” access to news in real time, and various search engines like Yahoo, Google and now Bing have been able to point us all in the direction of the content we’re after. The announcement that News International were considering severing ties with Google, or that Microsoft had approached them to offer payment for search listings, depends on which papers you read.

However, only allowing their news group content to be searched through Bing surely puts the control firmly back into News Corporations hands. For some time, news agencies have been searching for a way to make profit from online portals. Finally charging for access to their news group content could be the missing revenue generator they’ve been looking for. Regardless of the online backlash currently circulating, it is unlikely there will be any negative implications on News International’s revenue streams.

More importantly how does this effect you and I. Outside the boardrooms of big business, we use search engines on a daily basis, and the challenge in this day and age is less about access, and more about aggregating the news that is relevant to us. So will this strategic move pave the way for more effective content filtering? If so, we could be seeing the start of a new era in search, one that operates more like a traditional library, ordered by subject matter. I for one think this might actually be one boardroom deal that benefits the general public, and brings a little more commercial realism to the intangible world of “free” information.

Written by sociauxanswers

November 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm

More of a Ripple than a Wave

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This week, Mashable wrote a post suggesting Google Wave is changing the news. Case studies like this get me excited but so far I haven’t been able to put Wave to the test. And those who claim to leave me feeling a little dubious.

Google’s chosen structure of launching it’s innovations through an invite system has worked in the past. When Gmail launched I was able to gloat to the straglers left with Hotmail, whilst experiencing it’s wealth of features.

With Wave, other than some hassle from invite chasers, I’m left feeling lonely and ultimately quite bored. Whilst I’m not quite ready to abandon Google, I do hope it reconsiders it’s strategy for future launches.

When the next Google bomb explodes into our lives, I don’t want to be waving goodbye.

Written by sociauxanswers

November 23, 2009 at 8:11 am

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I’ll be surfing the Twingly wave

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OK, so Google Wave has started sending invites today. Well, I didn’t get one – so I won’t be talking about that for a while!

However, today I had the opportunity to see a demo of something perhaps equally as exciting. Those clever Swedes at Twingly, known for the blog search facility, have developed a new product called Twingly Channels.

By aggregating news from blog posts and social media portals, Twingly Channels provides a window of clarity on the blogosphere, updated in real time.

Users can create channels on a chosen topic then choose search terms which feed content in a similar way to an RSS feed. Users can also post their own links (as in Digg) or comment on posts made be other users. Channels can then be shared with likeminded individuals or organisations who can sort by most popular or most recent content.

The implications for businesses could be significant as companies could use a channel to propel itself to a leader in its field – welcoming in the industry and hosting discussions.

Me, well you may know I’m a bit of a geek. What you may not know is I’m also an animal nut. My first channel will be for bunny hugging chicken kissers and I welcome you all to join.

Here are some screen shots so you can make up your own mind:

An example of a Twingly Channel - by popular content

An example of a Twingly Channel - most recent content

Written by sociauxanswers

October 1, 2009 at 4:33 pm