How Google Helpouts Can Grow Your Leads and Your Business

social media toolsDo you share your expertise online?

Have you heard about Google Helpouts?

Imagine having the ability to generate leads and make money with your existing expertise, but on Google’s dime.

In this article, I explore Google Helpouts and how you can take advantage of this emerging tool to position yourself as an expert.

What Are Google Helpouts?

Google has taken their incredibly popular Hangouts technology and wrapped it in a shell that opens a whole new service channel for small business owners and consultants.

Back in November 2013, Google quietly rolled out Helpouts. This is a new marketplace to connect people who need help with those who can provide assistance, over live video.

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Why We Fail to Create and What You Can Do to Fix It

social media viewpoints Have you got a great idea on your to-do list, but it’s been there for a while?

Is there a podcast, article or video you’d love to create, but for some reason you haven’t?

If so, you aren’t alone.

Most of us struggle bridging the gap between our desire to be creative and the act of actually creating something.

Keep reading as I explore the roots of why we don’t create and to discover what you can do to make stuff happen.

You Shouldn’t Do That…

I remember the day I submitted a draft of a paper that shared my best tips. My editor asked, “Are you sure you want to do this?” With that simple question I let doubt creep in.

More recently I was reviewing feedback from a presentation I gave. Of all the positive reviews, the one that struck a blow at my confidence went something like this, “You don’t really need to keynote your own event.”

social-media-marketing-world-keynote

Preparing for my keynote at Social Media Marketing World 2013.

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11 Social Media Marketing Predictions to Watch for 2014

social media viewpointsAre you wondering what changes and trends are coming to social media marketing in 2014?

In 2013, we saw some big changes.

Major platforms made serious strides toward monetization and there was a massive rise in visual marketing.

To find out what the new year may have in store for social marketers, we asked 11 social media pros what they think is coming our way.

Here’s what they had to say.

And if you’re curious, here were the 2013 predictions.

#1: The Resurgence of Advertorial

jay-baer

Jay Baer

Several trends and technologies will reach maturity in 2014 spawning considerable disruption in social media, but I believe native advertising and sponsorship will have the greatest impact. It’s a back-to-the-future scenario.

advertorial-future

The future of marketing looks much like its past. Image source: iStockphoto

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What Marketers Need to Know About the New FTC Disclosures

social media viewpointsAre you confused about the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) disclosure rules and how they relate to your social media activities?

Do you want to know more about what you need to disclose and how to make disclosures on social media to comply with U.S. consumer laws?

In March of this year, the United States Federal Trade Commission released the first update to the .com Disclosures guide.

Here’s a look at the key points in this update relevant to social media marketers today.

cover of disclosure guide

Read the .com Disclosures guide for full details.

The Environment Has Changed

First, it’s important to understand the environment in which this guide was published.

With the first release in 2000, the .com Disclosures guide was an attempt to narrow the gray area of how marketing and advertising worked on the Internet so companies could maintain compliance with consumer protection laws.

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21 Social Media Predictions for 2013 From the Pros

social media viewpointsAre you wondering what 2013 might look like for social media marketing?

If the changes seen in 2012 are an indicator, there will be a lot more change in 2013.

To get a grip on what the near future may look like, we tapped the knowledge of 21 social media pros.

Here’s what they had to say.

And if you’re curious, here were the 2012 predictions.

#1: Ecommerce and Social Media Grow Together

Viveka Von Rosen

Viveka Von Rosen

I don’t know about the world in general, but I am fascinated with the movement of ecommerce and predict that it will continue to trend in 2013.

When I asked my personal ecommerce expert Gideon Lask (CEO and founder of BuyaPowa), he said one huge trend in ecommerce will be the continued empowerment of the consumer.

“No one telling the shopper what to buy, when to shop and how much to pay. Too many retailers are failing by not realizing that consumers want to do it on their terms. Time to give them the key to the car. Empower them and you’ll win loyalty.”

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Top 10 Small Business Facebook Pages: 2012 Winners!

social media viewpointsSmall businesses can stand out in a big way with Facebook.

If you’re looking for some creative examples of Facebook pages from the small guys, look no further!

More than 1,800 nominations came in from our contest. These represent over 500 small businesses.

Our panel of Facebook experts carefully reviewed the nominees and finalists, analyzing their landing pages, engagement, reader involvement and creative use of promotions (among other things).

None of these businesses have huge budgets, yet they all have achieved amazing success. The following are the winners of Social Media Examiner’s Top 10 Small Business Facebook Pages for 2012:

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Win Free Tickets: Blogging Fundamentals for Business

***UPDATE: Congratulations to our winners! Stacie Walker won 2 tickets for her winning comment and Phil Mendelowitz won 1 ticket in the Twitter contest.

Want to win a free ticket to the largest online blogging workshop for businesses?

Social Media Examiner founder Michael Stelzner will be teaching a step-by-step course to help your business thrive with blogging.

And we’ve come up with a fun way to get you involved.

First, what is this event?

Blogging Fundamentals for Business is an online workshop that will empower you as a marketer and business owner to attract quality prospects, elevate your industry prominence and improve your sales with blogging.

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5 Reasons You Should Measure Social Media Return on Investment

social media viewpointsAre you wondering if measuring social media return on investment (ROI) is important?

Do you cringe when you think about putting together another report?

You aren’t alone. But times are changing for social media and these reasons will show you why it’s time to get serious about measuring your results.

Do I Really Need to Measure ROI?

Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room. Is ROI the right measure of success for social media?

There are many who would argue that a financial return doesn’t show the true value of social media for the organization. I would agree that ROI doesn’t paint the full picture.

However, the bottom line is that executives and business owners sleep, eat, and breathe ROI. It has been the measure of success since the beginning of their careers and while we can jump up and down and tell them it isn’t a complete picture, they aren’t going to believe it until they see it.

Therefore, it’s time to get serious about ROI, but that doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice other types of metrics that help to round out the story. You need both and this is why.

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Win Free Tickets to Content Marketing World 2012

social media viewpoints*UPDATE: Congratulations to the winners of our free ticket giveaway: Christy Rucker won the written entry and Rachael Seda won the Twitter contest.*

Want to win a free ticket to the largest content marketing event on the planet?

Our friends at the Content Marketing Institute have put together an amazing event taking place in Columbus, Ohio this year.  And they’ve agreed to let us give away two tickets to this special event.

First, what is this event?

Content Marketing World 2012 is the largest in-person conference dedicated to helping marketers and business owners master content marketing.  This year’s conference takes place September 4-6, 2012 at the Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio (just outside the Ohio State University campus).

Hundreds of businesses have already signed up, including Level 3, Google, SAS, IBM, Majestic Steel, Nationwide, Deloitte, UBM, Caterpillar, Cisco Systems, CME Group, University of Phoenix and many other leading small and large brands.

Over 70 (yes, that’s right… 70) of the world’s most respected content marketing and social media experts will share their strategies with you.

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