A Clear View: The Clearpoint Agency Blog

10 Pointers on Writing and Distributing Extraordinary Press Releases

Posted on May 06, 2013

At Clearpoint Agency we think daily about writing press releases that not only convey the news, but communicate what our clients and products are all about.  The press release is critical to the entire PR program because it serves as the hub for so many forms of communications – emails to clients, social media, blog topics, website content and more.

Here are 10 tips we recommend if you want to write and distribute press releases that are exceptional!

1. Write a clear and compelling headline – no more than 22 words
Always put the company or product name in the headline. If you are using a newswire service (which we recommend you do – see tip #9) they will require that you identify the company or brand in the headline as well.

Make the headline interesting – search the web for ideas on how others have announced a new client, product or version.  Use your research to make your headline straightforward and interesting to your target audiences.

Typewriter Latest News

2. Optimize your headline
Search engines rely heavily on page titles when determining rankings. Your press release’s headline is probably the single most important factor in press release optimization. Search engines don’t understand a play on words, so your headline should be straightforward and use the same language someone would use to search. Make sure you include your most important keywords/phrases. To be indexed in Google News, your headline should be between 2 and 22 words. Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) often limit titles displayed to about 67 characters, so your most important news should be in the first 67 letters and spaces of your headline.

3. Don’t forget a subheadline
The subheadline is another opportunity for you to tell the audience how important your news is or highlight benefits to key audiences. Just try not to repeat words from the headline or communicate the same exact concept in the subheadline. Give it some thought.

The subheadline can also help with SEO. While the subheadline will not be included in the title tag and therefore has a less significant role in press release SEO, its early placement in the body of the release makes it a great place to incorporate additional keywords not included in your (less than 22-word) headline.

4. The lead is important
When writing the lead paragraph remember the inverted pyramid, which calls for most of the facts of a press release be contained at the beginning. The lead paragraph succinctly includes the who, what, when, where and how of the story. If the reader were only to read the lead of a good press release, they would have a clear idea of your news. You can expound on the details in subsequent paragraphs of the press release.

5. Link early in your release
Hyperlinks are critical to SEO and press release optimization. Links help search engines associate the content of a release to other sites, which helps the release’s ranking. As with using keywords, linking is most effective in the first few paragraphs, where search engine spiders focus the most.

6. Avoid clichés like the plague (pun intended)
Basically a cliché is something that has become too familiar, overly used or commonplace. The use of common expressions instead of more creative, compelling phrases to communicate an idea is the true mark of an amateur writer.

7. Don’t use weak quotes
Really no quote should start with “We are so (fill in the blank with pleased, excited, honored, etc.) Get creative and maximize the power of the quote.  Use quotes to inject opinion and color into the press release.  Include a benefit statement or address the pain that the audience is experiencing and how the news solves the challenge.  Quotes are valuable real estate – don’t waste the opportunity.    You don’t want the CEO or other executives to seem as if they are going on and on.  Keep it tight and conversational. Also, here’s your chance to be promotional and insert some of the company’s key messages and/or services.

8. Add rich media to your releases
Readers love to see links to videos and images so they can learn more about your company and product. Google and the other major search engines love content with rich media (images, video and audio) too. Optimize your images by ensuring they have clear file names that describe the image and even incorporate a keyword (“ProductName.jpg” rather than a file name “Image_1234_v1.jpg”). Include a descriptive caption for any multimedia asset you distribute. Don’t forget to include your logo with your release (some wire services charge extra for this), as it is the image most likely to come up if someone searches directly for your brand name.

9. Use a newswire service if you can afford it
The newswire service will distribute your news to third-party sites, which is very good for SEO, and typically distributes to news rooms and bloggers across the country (depending on the wire and circuits you choose).  And an added bonus: the editors at the newswires who review the press releases before they are distributed over the wire are typically very good at catching mistakes and typos!
Also email your press release to key media contacts along with a CUSTOM pitch that tells them why the news is so important. Don’t “spam” editors, journalist and bloggers with emails that start with “Dear editor.” Instead personalize your note to them and offer a little information they might not get from the press release alone.  Here’s another hint: read a few of the journalists’ articles before you contact them to be sure they would even be interested in the topic of your announcement.

Email the press release to your staff, customers, partners and investors.  It’s astounding how often we think of getting news out to complete strangers before the people who care the most about the news.

10. Hire a PR firm if you don’t have the capability – it’s worth it!
If you are uncertain of your press release writing capabilities or simply unsure what the news angle should be (that’s a hint that it should contain an angle) then hire a PR firm to assist.  The good firms will ask you a lot of questions, and do their homework before they start developing press releases for you. And it’s worth it. PR is more than a press release or getting pickup of your announcements – it’s a long term strategy that will raise your visibility and strengthen your credibility, with the press release as the core.

This post was contributed by Bonnie Shaw, Clearpoint Agency President

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10 Steps to Getting Paid for Your Marketing Materials

Posted on February 19, 2013

In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. So here are 10 steps to getting paid for your marketing materials. Have a tenacious idea for a blog post? Let us know!

How often have you heard yourself say the same sound bites when speaking to and advising clients, colleagues, prospects, and other audiences?Marketing_small

Imagine generating money directly and indirectly from those sound bites, those pearls of wisdom that effortlessly trip off your tongue, ideas that seem so basic to you yet are crucial and eye-opening to people around you. It is completely possible to do all that – in a tips booklet. Here’s how.

1. Capture your information tidbits immediately. Recording them on paper or electronically lets you grab them as they surface. Raw format is fine, jogging your thinking to refine later.

2. Let some time pass after most gems bubble up. Rarely does everything come up in that two hours on Thursday afternoon. You may get most out in one sit-down, but even more later.

3. Refine and organize the tips. Your tips usually go into categories. Editing for grammar, consistency, clarity, and flow happens later.

 4. Include contact details. Your readers may want more from you beyond the basics. Making it easy to connect with you helps them and you. A brief “backgrounder” section identifies your qualifications.

5. Hire a graphic designer so your words look good. The finished printed product is a 3½” x 8½” tips booklet. The designer’s output is a PDF. You can sell and/or strategically give it away.

6. Send the PDF to a printing company. A first printing of 100-1,000 copies provides samples to hand out and inventory to sell. It minimizes angst over a missed typo or valuable tip, fixed in the next print run.

7. Think of who can use the booklet to promote their product, service, or cause. Your list grows as you ponder it. Your contacts are your clients (current and past), prospects, colleagues, vendors, audiences, and even friends.

8. Consider corporations, associations, publications, and groups appropriate for your topic. There are more prospects than you realize. Some prospects prefer printed copies. Others want to review the PDF.

9. Realize large-quantity buyers promote you while promoting themselves. Many bulk buyers want your contact details added to theirs. A sample booklet or PDF and cover letter with ways to increase their sales starts it all.

10. Expand your customer base and your checking account. You now reach a larger audience than you can single-handedly, thanks to your large-quantity booklet buyers. They pay you to market you as they distribute your booklet with their marketing message.

Those sound bites you have said for years now help your buyers, their clients, and your business. You get paid directly for your information product. You also get paid indirectly by generating new client sales from your booklet’s promotional activities. Yes, you are getting paid for your marketing materials, directly and indirectly from a single activity. Keep those sound bites coming as they improve your bottom line.

081412 Paulette EnsignThis post was contributed by Paulette Ensign. Paulette is an author and speaker who has sold well over a million copies of her own tips booklet and its content in four languages and various formats without spending a penny on advertising. Paulette and her company have helped thousands of people, worldwide, create solo-authored and collaborative co-authored tips booklets since 1991. Contact Tips Products International at 858-481-0890, San Diego, CA, or www.tipsbooklets.com; www.CollectionOfExperts.com; www.AssociationBooklets.com

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10 Tips to Nail Your Media Interview

Posted on November 22, 2012

In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. From “10 Social Marketing Tips You May Have Missed” to “10 Reasons to Blog,” we’ll brighten your appreciation for all things 10. Have a tenacious idea? Let us know!

1. Prepare ahead of time: this is the most important step so you can accommodate both the reporter’s and your own goals. Review background on the reporter and previous articles, understand the topic, and know the reporter’s audience. Then identify your objectives, and know the key messages you want to cover. Many times, your PR team can provide this information to you.

2. Be human and approachable: be energetic, smile (even on the phone), and display a confident, yet approachable attitude. And remember to be honest, and by that I mean, provide honest information, but be honestly yourself and don’t be afraid to show your personality.

3. Avoid clichés and overused concepts: in your answers, avoid clichés such as “burning issue” and “tip of the iceberg,” as well as over-used phrases such as “innovative solutions,” and “we have no competition.” Be original and creative. Skip the fluff and get to the truth of what you’re trying to say about your company, products or services.

4. Don’t go off the record: nothing is ever “off the record.” If you don’t want something printed, don’t say it. If a reporter finds something interesting, they will find a way to use it.

5. Be credible and relevant: during the interview, provide information that relates to the reporter’s audience and to your customer’s needs. Use statistics to support your statements when appropriate. In addition, quote an industry guru or third-party report to add credibility to your messages. To make the interview interesting, use simple analogies or comparisons that people will understand easily. For example, “The Internet is like electricity. Customers do not care how it works; they just want to be able to plug into it and use it.”

6. Make friends with brevity: make your points quickly and concisely. At Clearpoint Agency, we always recommend giving the short answer first, then filling in with additional detail if the journalist asks. Remember reporters are interested in the five Ws and one H—who, what, where, when, why and how. So answer accordingly, then go beyond those to address the reader’s question of “What does this mean to me?” Personal and customer experiences can illustrate your main points and help the audience relate to a real world example.

7. Use bridging: bridging is a conversation control method that allows you to move from one subject to another. It incorporates briefly answering a reporter’s question and then following that response with your specific messages that relate.

8. Use flagging: this conversation method is used to highlight your most important messages by calling out and emphasizing their importance. For example, say, “The three most important things to keep in mind are….”

9. Incorporate images: a picture is worth a thousand words. Whether it’s a company photo related to the topic, an appropriate chart or graph, or even a headshot of you, an image will make the content more interesting, so reporters may give you more space or better placement.

10. Rely on your best tool: remember, a good PR agency just might be your best tool to nail media interviews. We know the reporters, the audiences, your key messages, and the best ways to prepare, train and support you.

This post was contributed by Alexia Haynes, Clearpoint Agency Senior Account Executive and Bonnie Shaw, Clearpoint Agency President

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Get Busy Blogging: 10 Reasons to Blog

Posted on September 27, 2012

In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. From “10 Social Marketing Tips You May Have Missed” to “10 Reasons to Blog,” we’ll brighten your appreciation for all things 10. Have a tenacious idea? Let us know!

Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, you want to consider a blog. Blogging is a great marketing tool that along with social media will increase your online presence and enhance your company’s brand. Here are 10 reasons why you should use blogging to target your audience in a meaningful and creative way. Succesful blog

1. Become an expert. Remember, by running a business you already are an expert in certain areas. Stick to writing on topics you are already comfortable with and have knowledge about. This way you can define your niche, provide insightful information and become an expert in the area.

2. Share with the world. Okay, you’ve already found your niche and want to share your ideas and opinions with your readers. Even better, you can promote your company’s culture and tell your customers about the latest fundraisers you’ve had or fun holiday parties you’ve attended. Another big component is providing tips to your current and potential customers.

3. Expand your social media channels/platforms. Hosting a blog doesn’t require being tech savvy or knowing HTML code. There are free user-friendly platforms like WordPress and Blogger that will let you do that without knowing HTML code. They offer themes that allow you to customize your blog to best fit your company’s brand. Consider adding your blog to your website to make it easy for customers to find and boost SEO.

4. Cross promote your brand. Having multiple social media channels will help enhance your brand. With an established blog, you can’t miss on sharing your new posts via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms you use. Cross promotion is important because using several social media channels will help you reach the most audience. Keep in mind that depending on demographics and other factors, certain audiences may have preferences to a particular social media channel.

5. Interact with your audience. Your readers and followers will be interested in the insight you provide on your blog and it is likely they will comment on your posts. Responding to these comments is a great way to interact with your audience, be it customers, employees or partners. This will make your blog more human and will eventually enhance your brand even more.

6. Measure results. As any other social media channel, blogging platforms provide an analytics section where you can browse the traffic and views you get as well as search terms, click throughs and so on. This is a good way to experiment with keywords and include more terms that will lead users to your blog, or even better, to your company website.

7. Educate your audience. Let’s say you are launching a tech-heavy product or offering specialty services that need a deeper explanation. Writing a blog on it will be a great way to educate your customers on the specs and details of your products and services. You can use it almost as an FAQ, but in a narrative form.

8. Attend special (VIP and invitation-only) events. Once you have a solid following and a good online influence, you could receive perks like invitations to fun private events, pre-opening parties, or even speaking opportunities. Attend these events to further promote your brand.

9. Increase your Klout score. There has been a lot said about the Klout score, but it still remains the main indicator that calculates your overall social media influence. Writing a blog will definitely help increase your Klout score and make you a specialist in the topics you want to be known for. In fact, some those special events mentioned above require a Klout of 45 or higher.

10. Show diversity. Don’t think that the blog is another responsibility for the marketing manager. To keep it fresh and current you will need to post entries often. Here is where your resources come in place. Once you have your topic schedule, ask different employees to help you depending on their background and expertise.

This post was contributed by Antonia Genov, Clearpoint Agency Account Coordinator

 

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10 Steps to Rock Social Media

Posted on August 31, 2012

In recognition of Clearpoint Agency’s 10 year anniversary, our content will be featuring posts all year long about the number 10. From “10 Social Marketing Tips You May Have Missed” to “10 Reasons to Blog,” we’ll brighten your appreciation for all things 10. Have a tenacious idea? Let us know!

Social media has changed the landscape of business; it has altered the way companies and customers interact with each other. It’s important to remember that social media is not your ticket to a quick sale, or an excuse to intrude on personal space. It is about cultivating a relationship with your customers and building brand loyalty.

1. Set-up your hub. This is the place you want customers to go to view products or services and make a purchasing decision. It could be your website, blog or newsletter for example. Driving traffic to your hub via links will help convert fans and followers into customers, and will increase your search engine rankings. Every inbound link to a website informs Google that others are checking out the site, and demonstrates that it offers good content.

2. Choose your social media platform(s). Some of the most popular ones are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. Choose the social network where you are most likely to reach your customers. Be where they are! Set realistic goals on how many social networks you can handle, because an inactive profile can actually do more harm to your reputation than not having one at all.

3. Identify your activity goals on social media. Know the outcomes you would like to receive from being on a social network, so you can take strategic steps toward achieving those goals. For example are you looking to gain valuable feedback on your products, receive more engagement on your posts, get more customer referrals, or build a community for support and customer service.

4. Determine brand positioning. Before you start promoting your business online, decide what messages you want to communicate to your fans. Are you tech savvy? Community focused? Earth friendly? Are you a financial services company that offers a better way of doing business? Find ways to weave in what your company is about. Customizing the Facebook cover image or Twitter background is a great place to start.

5. Research your target market. It all starts with research. Before you start engaging fans, you need to find out what their needs and desires are. Don’t be afraid to visit a competitor’s page for inspiration and note what types of posts are (or are not) getting engagement.

6. Make a calendar. Decide the types of posts you want to make and how many posts you will have each day/week/month. This requires a little extra work up front, but will save a lot of time in the long run and keep you focused and consistent. If you find your activity level is becoming too time-consuming, consider signing up for a social media management system or seek out a PR agency to manage social media for you.

7. Create your own content. It’s nice to share others’ content, but it’s best to share your own. That way YOUR key messages, differentiators and personality are being communicated with YOUR audience. When creating content, make it visual, concise and deliver it in a human voice.

8. Don’t wait for others. Start the engagement. When you a make a post, think, “Who can I mention or tag in this?” This is a way to gently alert someone that your post involves them. Keep in mind that this works both ways, if someone kindly mentions or tags you, comment back.

9. Promote your channel. Just like a new product on the market, promotions are necessary to let people know what exists out there. If you have a new social media profile, let people know! Embed feeds on your website or blog, add icons to your promotional collateral, and add links to your email signature and regular newsletters. If on Facebook, you may want to think about running targeted ads to help build your community.

10. Measure results. Go beyond likes and followers. Those are just numbers. Keep track of how well your posts are engaging others. Have your links been shared, pictures commented on, or polls voted on? Bitly.com is a free tool that shortens long links and measures how many times the link has been clicked. Google Analytics is another free tool that can be easily embedded into your webpage or blog to measure traffic. After you have discovered new insights, make adjustments to your strategies where needed.

Now you are ready to engage your customers and spread the word about your company. Clearpoint Agency regularly provides expert social media support to our clients, so if you feel overwhelmed, check out our social media page for ways we can help you.

This post was contributed by Rachel Hutman, Clearpoint Agency Account Executive

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Stop With ALL the Words: 11 Tips on How to Write for Today’s Busy Reader

Posted on July 19, 2012


We don’t need to tell you that it’s a competitive marketplace just to get a few shares and likes these days.  According to an infographic put out by Digital Buzz the average daily online activity involves:  294 billion emails, two million blog posts, 864,000 hours of uploaded video, and 35 million apps downloaded… and that’s just a snippet.

As a result of the many digital distractions, people are skimming for information that is digestible, valuable, and easy to fit into their already busy lives. So, if you’re a blogger or web content manager, here are a few quick tips on how to write for today’s internet user:

  1. Stick to the facts – cut out the fat already. Leave the opinions and long winded examples for your next dinner party.
  2. Bullet point or list – make the most important points bolded so they stand out quickly.
  3. Use images/ videos  – not only can an image replace a 1000 words, but it helps break up the text and can add substance.
  4. Use social share buttons – if you make it easy, people will share.
  5. Stick to one topic – not only will this help you to spread out your content ideas, but people like their information in small spoonfuls these days.  Sticking to one topic won’t overwhelm your readers.
  6. Use links – linking within can keep viewers on your site, and also save you from veering off subject with explanation.
  7. Pull out quotes – and pull your reader in.
  8. Think quality over quantity – we tend to share everything on the internet, but that doesn’t mean everything should be.  Before you write, ask is this relevant to my industry and will my readers find this of value?
  9. Be unique with your titles – titles are the first thing people see in the search engines, so you’ll want to grab their attention then. *Tip: Use numbers in your titles to signify a list of short, valuable tips to your readers.
  10. Use a conversational tone – the internet is all about building a human connection with your readers and fans. Do you actually read the “Terms of Service” agreement?  We thought so.
  11. Think keywords – if you’ve got a great article, make sure people can find it. Use Google’s keyword tool to find the right keyword phrases to implement into your text and title.

Remember, we are a society that tweets in 140 characters so be fast. How did we do? Does anyone think this post was too long?

This post was contributed by Morgan Ketterman, Clearpoint Agency Account Coordinator

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The Nitty Gritty on Facebook Promotions

Posted on June 30, 2012

A lot of our clients come to us for help growing their Facebook pages. They’re frustrated their pages aren’t growing organically and they ask us for guidance on attracting quality followers. One of our first steps is to look at their messaging and make sure they are speaking with a clear voice. Social media is not something to be thrown to a summer intern, as tempting as it might be. We research what they have been doing and then look for creative ways to increase their Facebook followers and reach influencers.

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One of the ways we do this is by running a promotion or sweepstakes on Facebook. Through sweepstakes we increased one client’s followers by more than 40%. The sweepstakes should not be thrown together haphazardly. It needs to be planned thoughtfully and based on quantifiable research. What are you trying to promote? What is your end goal? You should have a reasonable goal in place that makes sense for your product. Look at prior promotions and compare results to them when determining ROI.

Facebook Promotions Dos and Don’ts:

  • Do read Facebook’s general terms that dictate how to run a promotion on the site.
  • Don’t notify winners via Facebook – it’s against Facebook terms.
  • Do run through apps on Facebook, more on that here.
  • Don’t make it a requirement to “like” a page to enter a sweepstakes.
  • Do determine if your program is promotional. If you are not sure if you are running a promotion, re-read the rules. The short answer is: if you are selecting a winner, you are running a promotion.
  • Don’t use Facebook features or functionalities as a way of voting.
  • Do run targeted Facebook pay-per-click ads to direct people to your giveaway. It’s a cost effective way of gaining new followers.

Confused yet? Don’t be. Facebook doesn’t want any liability or involvement in your promotion, so as long as you follow their rules you’ll be fine. Or you could always hire a PR firm and let them handle all this for you. Just sayn’.

This post was contributed by Rachel Hutman, Clearpoint Agency Account Executive

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I Know Your Blog is Offsite… But What Am I?

Posted on April 03, 2012

We occasionally get questions from our clients about whether their company blog should be on their corporate site or off. We’d like to discuss the pros and cons of both options, and provide a little insight into what most companies are doing.

It seems that so far, most companies house their blog on the corporate website, but there are certainly pros and cons to both options. The majority of companies are also using a development platform such as WordPress or Blogger. Customization is expensive!

 

 

Onsite blog

A blog set up directly on your business’ website
Example: www.company.com/blog

Pros:

  • Increase traffic to the main site, increasing Alexa rank
  • Increases indexing of your website by search engines, which is especially valuable if site content is not updated frequently
  • If blog is shared, tagged, linked to, etc. via social media, the website reaps the benefits
  • Keeps your audience up to date

Cons:

  • Harder to implement if custom building on site (and not using a development platform like WordPress or Blogger)
  • Website might include restrictions on length of post, etc.
  • Might lower the rank of other more important pages

Offsite blog

A blog set up on its own domain that links back to your business’ website.
Example: www.companyblog.com

Pros:

  • Your business brand has two properties online
  • Gives you two domains to rank twice for your keywords in search engines
  • Easy and quick to install, especially if using WordPress or Blogger
  • Very quality links back to main site
  • Greater flexibility with design and coding
  • Offsite is best if your blog will contain content that is unrelated or only slightly related to your main website

Cons:

  • May take longer to draw traffic to the main site
  • It can get more popular than the main site on search engines
  • Could look less professional than an onsite blog
  • Less control (based on the development platform — WordPress, Blogger, etc.)
  • If blog is shared, tagged, linked to, etc. via social media, the development platform reaps the benefits, not your corporate website

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Whole Other Option
Why yes, there is a THIRD option! You can have your cake and eat it too. If you have a prolific company (or awesome PR agency), you can have two blogs – one onsite and one offsite. This is a great option as it literally gives you all of the benefits, increased traffic on your site, high quality inbound links, multiple domain properties, etc.

Our research shows that in this event, it is best NOT to duplicate your content. That will just annoy people and search engines. Consider keeping company news on the onsite blog , and letting the offsite blog be a little more exciting. It could be commentary on the industry or opinion (food is delicious, banking is exciting, robots are fascinating!) anything that relates to the brand but is just a little beyond corporate news. This is a great example of a win-win.

So what about you? Which would you choose? Anyone daring enough to do both? The right answer depends on each company’s situation, and we’ve had clients successfully do both onsite and offsite blogs.Of course, blogs are like our babies, and we think they’re all beautiful. Just get blogging!

This post was contributed by Alexia Haynes, Clearpoint Agency Senior Account Executive

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Like Higher Search Results? Like GOOGLE+

Posted on March 01, 2012

Google+ is here to stay, so it’s time you figure out if it’s right for you or your clients. Google+ helps with organic Google search results, and Google.com attracts over 1 billion unique visitors per month, making it the web’s most visited website. It has a lot of similarities to facebook fan pages, but it also has features Mark Zuckerburg would kill for. The similarities are that you can customize your profile with a logo, link back to your website and get page updates via email. Example of sample Google+ page here:

The big difference between Google+ and facebook is the targeting of information. Targeting means that your followers can be sorted into groups (called circles), so information can be shared with only certain groups of followers/circles.


FEATURES –
• TARGETING via “circles”— You can choose to share information via circles or public. Circles info is only shared with people in that circle. If they aren’t in your circle, then they can’t see it. “Public” is visible to anyone who’s added you to a circle, as well as on your public profile.
• PROFILE VISIBILITY — Choose visibility settings for specific profile sections. Profile information can be made public, private or in-between.
• MEASUREMENT — Google+ allows us to measure how your page is doing, and learn more on how your followers’ interactions affect your business and brand. Google+ also offers ways to improve the page.
EXTRA INFO –
• Google recommends directing customers to your Google+ page with a Google+ badge on website. This also extends organic search in Google results.
• Sparks is a great feature that is similar to Google Reader, except it brings content automatically based on user interests. Google+ will provide content to related articles, videos, photos, etc. based on the keywords that you search, or in this case ‘spark’
• The Hangout feature in Google+ are virtual rooms where people can video chat with people in their circles.
• Instant Upload lets you snap a photo on your Android phone and it’s automatically uploaded to Google+, but is unfortunately not available for iPhone users.
• Public profiles can decide if they want to be indexed by search engines. This helps you be as visible as you want to be.
ADMIN –
• Anyone can follow a page and put a page into their own circle – there is no way to stop people from following your company or adding your company to their own circle. However, these people can only see information the company wants them to see. So when the company makes updates, they choose if they want them to be public, meaning anyone can see, or make them private – only to certain circles. The private information and subsequent comments are protected within that circle.
• Pages choose what page followers go into what circles. So when they update information they can choose which groups of people or circles will be given the updated information. They can also view their page from each of those circles to confirm that the correct information is there.
• You can also lock a comment so it cannot be shared or commented on. When you lock a post, people you’ve shared your post with will no longer be able to re-share it with others.
• You can also disable comments.
• You receive an email of new comments and are notified of new activity on your page by a red box by your name – that looks like this :

FINDING PEOPLE-
• You can add people easily by name if they are on Google+. If they aren’t, you can put in their email to add them and they get an invitation to join. They can choose to join Google+ or have page updates via email inbox.
• When updates are sent out – the page chooses if they want to send info to people outside Google+.
Google+ does provide some valuable features that facebook just can’t match, yet. True, not a ton of people are on Google+ so far, but give it time. Google isn’t going anywhere and if you need the ability to target information, than Google+ is probably what you’ve been waiting for.

This post was contributed by Rachel Hutman, Clearpoint Agency Account Executive

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Pinterest – the Latest Social Media Buzz Broken Down

Posted on January 12, 2012

Pinterest is the latest social media platform that is being hyped as the next big thing. Is it really? Well, you be the judge. It does have some cool features which we’ll break down for you. Pinterest enables users to share photo content in theme-based image collections. Of course, users can upload photos, videos and other content, but the twist is that they can “repin” images of anything they find interesting, enabling them to connect similar tastes visually. You can have as many categories as you like, but some of the most popular ones are: bridal wish lists, recipe books, home décor, fashion photography and travel.

Pinterest board

From a business perspective, consumer brands can benefit from Pinterest because they can target their fans and ambassadors directly through fresh and relevant content. Such successful examples are Whole Foods and Nordstrom.

If you like staying on top of the social media game and have a visual consumer product, you probably should start “pinning”! One sticking point is that unlike other social media platforms, you need an invitation to join Pinterest. If you need an invitation, why not ask Clearpoint Agency and make your life easier? Don’t wait for weeks or even months to get on this hot social media site if you’re ready to start “pinning” and promoting your brand on Pinterest.com.

This post was contributed by Rachel Hutman, Clearpoint Agency Account Executive

Posted in Blog, Branding, Marketing, Pinterest, Public Relations, Social Media | Leave a comment

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