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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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May 17, 2013

Thinks Out Loud Episode 27: The Future of Search

May 17, 2013 | By | 2 Comments

Focus

Headlines

The full Google I/O Keynote is available here:

And here’s the Verge’s “supercut”:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using a Shure SM57 microphone
through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 12m 58s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google’s killing Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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January 23, 2013

The One Thing You Don't Want to Change in 2013

January 23, 2013 | By | One Comment

What not to changeHere’s a tip you won’t often get: Don’t change what you’re doing.

You’re probably asking, “What is he talking about? Isn’t trying new things, learning from your mistakes, and moving from test to test a core part of digital marketing?”

Yes, it is.

And you should do that.

But you should focus your attention on the biggest areas of growth for your business. So forget Facebook’s Graph Search for a moment (if you’ve even started to think about it). Don’t worry about “what’s next.” At least not yet.

It’s more important that you pay attention first to the biggest opportunities out there. And until you’ve mastered those, don’t get distracted by items that won’t move the needle much.

So what’s the biggest area of focus? Search, generally, and Google specifically.

I’ve mentioned before that more people own mobile phones than own toothbrushes. Well, Google is feeling the pinch from that change. The company has noted that it thinks of itself as a mobile first company (I think you should do the same). They’re moving that way because, as they acknowledge, their search advertising business has taken a hit due to the growth of mobile search.

That would scare the hell out of most companies. I know it would scare me.

Of course, Google’s not most companies.

For one thing, let’s not forget that Google owns a mobile operating system (which, in itself should tell you something about where Big G thinks the market is moving). They also make a popular browser (Chrome) available for desktop and most mobile platforms (I’m running it on my iPhone, for example).

For another, no one’s better positioned to take the lead from Google in mobile search. At least not yet, anyway. The big players to watch are, for the moment, Apple (Siri), Facebook (Graph Search), and Yelp. Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, and scores of small app providers lurk just over the horizon, potentially stealing search share from Google and threatening their business model. But Chrome is available (and very popular) on competing mobile platforms. And their new voice search is extraordinary, putting Siri to shame.

Finally, Google+ continues to pick up share, particularly among thought-leaders and influencers. Facebook’s Graph Search, by contrast, isn’t available to most users yet and remains an unknown. While it’s no secret I haven’t been the biggest fan of Google+, there’s no question Google+ benefits your content marketing and that you likely should use it, whether you want to or not.

In content marketing, mobile, and social, Big G remains at the center of the universe. Which means Google should remain at the center of your digital marketing strategy for 2013, too. Changes are coming in the marketplace. There’s no doubt about it. But most of those changes will continue to depend on your content, linked to and shared by your potential customers and the people who influence them. And while it’s still true that Google worries about its brand first, the customers it attracts help you grow yours.

So, do the right thing for your brand and your business:

But while you do that, remember that it’s Google’s world and we just live in it. And until that changes, don’t change what you’re doing to work well in that world.

Interested in more? Sign up for our free newsletter and get more information on how to build your social, local, mobile marketing strategy.


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Tim Peter

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December 19, 2012

Why Google+ Matters to Your Content Marketing

December 19, 2012 | By | No Comments

Whats up with gplusAfter putting together the list of the most shared posts in 2012 the other and trying to figure out what that says about 2013, I noticed a weird pattern. It seems that you shared the same posts most often across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn… but not Google+.

In fact, 4 posts from last year were very popular on Google+, but almost nowhere else in terms of social sharing. First, here’s the posts:

  1. Why You Have To Use Google+. Whether You Want To Or Not.
  2. Where Are Social and Mobile Heading? 8 Things to Know.
  3. Why Content Matters for Your Marketing.
  4. What You Can Learn from Apple’s Maps Mess.

OK… why the discrepancy? What does the popularity of these posts on Google+ tell you about marketing your content on Google’s social site (or anywhere else for that matter)?

Well, the first one’s easy. It’s not a big surprise that content about Google+ would be popular on that network, now is it?

But what about the other three? Each talks about something different: social/moblie trends, content marketing, product management (though each falls broadly into digital marketing).

What do those three (or four) have in common?

I actually think the answer is hidden in the question. I think the three are popular on Google+ because… they’re popular on Google+. Now hang in there for a second and I’ll explain what I mean.

Twitter and Facebook are two of the most popular sites on the Web, drawing hundreds of millions of users every day. Supposedly, so does Google+. LinkedIn attracts a very different crowd, consisting almost entirely of business users. But when I use these sites, or watch others use them, I see very different behaviors among their users.

Twitter and Facebook attract “general” users, people just going about their ordinary day-to-day lives. LinkedIn, to a lesser degree, does the same (albeit professional types). Many consumers seem to segment their lives, using Twitter and/or Facebook to keep up to date with “real” friends and LinkedIn for keeping in touch with business associates.

But Google+ seems to attract a different type of crowd altogether. Instead of communities of friends, family or colleagues, Google+ seems to be more about communities of interest. Its users share and discuss content they find interesting, educational or enlightening (not that there aren’t “I can haz cheezburger,” LOLcats-type posts on Google+, too).

So my theory is that the people on Google+ are different than the folks on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. The content that gets shared there does so because it appeals to a different audience than the more “general purpose” Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn triumvirate.

At least, that’s what I think.

What about you? Am I missing something obvious? Is there more to this than meets the eye? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to drop me an email or leave a comment about what you think is happening here.

Oh… if you’re interested in 2013 trends register for my upcoming Biznology Webinar: “It’s All E-commerce: How the Social, Local, Mobile Web Affects Sales Online and Offline.” It should be worth sharing with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.


If you can help those dealing with the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy, please visit the American Red Cross.

Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

Tim Peter

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October 25, 2012

Thinks Out Loud Episode 7: Should You Still Like Facebook?

October 25, 2012 | By | No Comments

Should You Still Like Facebook?Headlines:

Tip:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using a Shure SM57 microphone
through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 10m 13s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed or download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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October 10, 2012

When Google+ is a Minus

October 10, 2012 | By | One Comment

Google Plus LogoI’ve talked before about why Google+ is not a blog and what to do when your blogger leaves your organization. Well, MarketingLand reports the WNBA’s (defending champion and playoff-bound) Lynx learned some hard lessons in both these areas. As MarketingLand notes:

“…their verified Google+ page with more than 30,000 fans disappeared.

It turns out that even though the Minnesota Lynx had multiple page managers, the Google+ user that set up the account left the organization. The email of the user was out of the Lynx’s system (Google+ was not available for Google Apps until 4 months post-launch,) giving the Lynx no options for bringing the account back.”

Um… whoops.

The article continues:

“Hopefully this will shed some light on an obvious problem area for Google+. What’s most concerning is how easily this prominent professional team lost a verified Google+ page over an email address and the ‘start over’ advice provided. If it can happen to them, it can happen to you — check the account tied to your page and be cautious with all those tied to it.”

I’ve softened my original stance on Google+ and now believe you should have a Google+ page for your business. But, as I noted in my original linked posts, make sure you learn from the Lynx and have the right steps in place to make sure your followers don’t follow your employees out the door.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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