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Making Sense of Internet Marketing

By Hector Cisneros
Have you ever entered a conversation about marketing and became instantly perplexed by the terminology being bantered around? Did you get confused trying to follow the how, what, when, and where in the marketing plan? At the end of the conversation, did it seem like an epic tale spoken in Greek? If this is where you are with regards to internet marketing then this article is for you. This article is part of a series that is designed to cover basic terminology and actionable elements, as well as give specific steps for developing your own marketing plan.

Part I: The basis of search engine marketing and social media.

This series will take you through all the internet marketing venues including; Landing page layout, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Blog/Article Marketing, Pay Per click Marketing, Email Marketing and Direct Mail Touch Marketing. It is meant for a business person new to internet marketing, but the techniques covered will work as well for the seasoned veteran. The series as a whole will tie all the elements together and provide you with a plan for internet marketing success. Stay tuned and tighten your belt because this will be one fun and productive ride into the world of internet marketing.

Marketing can be rendered in two ways

To start off, marketing can be implemented as a one-off advertising event or as a campaign. As a general rule, campaigns are longer term commitments that need to be planned out. By nature, campaigns in general produce far better results than one-off advertising purchases.
Campaigns are broken into two types: Strategic and tactical
Strategic refers to all the long term aspects of your overall campaign goals. They should align with your company’s unique selling propositions (USP), your mission statement and the principles your company follows. Tactical refers to shorter term goals, along with specific elements used as part of a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly campaign.

For example; You may have a long term objective to land 1,200 new monthly subscribers of your product/service in one year. Your tactical plan will include specific marketing elements (different type of advertising like Pay per click, Blogging, Social Media Contest) that will run on either a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or on an annual basis.

Annual agreement should always be part of a cohesive strategic campaign. Examples of these types of programs would be a Social Media Development campaign, (i.e. Growth to say 1,200 fans) or Search Engine page Ranking campaign, (i.e. Reach a page one position). These two items generally take some time to achieve. Trying to engage in this type of marketing as a short term proposition usually doesn’t work.

From a digital marketing perspective, organic efforts are usually set up as part of a long term campaign. For the most part your individual elements will be set up on a monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual basis, but the contracts themselves are usually annual. This is due to the fact that reaching long term goals usually take longer to achieve. An exception to this is pay per click which usually runs until your money runs out. We will talk more about this later.

Some of the marketing elements you chose may not seem to change much. For example; Social network development or Organic Search Engine marketing efforts are usually annual contracts. You would normally pay a monthly fee to a company that is providing some guaranteed growth or rank position, not running ads. However, if the companies you contract with are worth their salt, they will constantly change what they are doing in order to meet the growth targets or reach your page rank goals. Contrast this to individual pay per click ads running on Google or Facebook and you will notice you are managing (or having someone manage) specific tactical ads that are usually geared to taking advantage of event driven circumstances (seasonal or other promotion etc…). Pay per click ads usually have a shorter in duration play, have a finite run and a finite budget that may or may not last a year.

The promise of Pay Per Click

Now let’s define a few more terms that are bantered about. We’ll start with Pay Per click.  PPC as it is often referred to, means that you are running specific ads on one of the search engines, directories or social media sites. Typically Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook or LinkedIn. Each time someone clicks on your ad you are charged a fee based on the highest bid for the keyword. Winning the bid will trigger the appearance of your ad in a specific location. This will differ between the specific medium you choose (i.e. Google Search, Facebook etc.…) But with all of them the person that bids the most gets the best placement.

In many contracts some services charge for each view whether a person clicks on the ad or not, (aka pay per view). Generally you are charged per thousand views/exposures. In most cases PPC is better than PPV because you only pay for an actionable event. A click through to your site.
Search Engines Vs. Social Media

Before we get too far into PPC, let's define Search Engines and Social Media a bit more. Search mediums fall into two categories, search engines and directory listings. The primary search engines are Google (which has 81% of all search traffic), Yahoo, Bing and a few others. Secondary Search mediums include directories like Merchant Circle, City Search, Search Local and thousands of others. Today the line is becoming a little blurred as Social Networks have gotten so big that they also provide search services. Facebook has 900 million subscribers. Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ exceed a billion subscribers.

All social networks provide some form of search function and the top five also provide PPC, PPV and sponsored ads. A search on a Social net is different from a Search Engine search in that it’s targeting is based on a subscriber profile (which can include geographic, demographic and psycho graphic information listed in a person's profile) as opposed to keywords.
Social Networks defined

Now let’s define social media or more precisely social networks. A social network is a free subscription service that individuals and businesses join for their own reasons. Many individuals join to connect with family, friends and coworkers. Others have joined because it’s the new “in” thing to do. Many businesses join because they want to connect with prospects and clients to sell and support the products/services they offer.

As a rule, people join social networks for one of four reasons; to connect with others, find useful information, be entertained or learn interesting facts. Another important rule to remember is that nobody joins a social network to be sold to. Businesses on the other hand join because they want to sell and connect with prospects and clients! They want to sell to the millions of subscribers on these social nets. But rest assured that if you try a direct sales approach you will lose many of your fans.
Selling on social nets is done by word of mouth, testimonials, recommendations’ and a little bribery. Yes, you can run PPC and story ads and yes people will buy from those ads, but that’s not their primary reason for being there. If you ONLY run commercials, your fans will be turned off and may block you. The best way to sell anything on a social network is to let your happy customers become your raving fans. Let them tell your story and reward them for promoting your products or services. In my article called the “six cardinal rules for success in social media marketing”, I lay out six guiding principles worth following. If you're interested check it out. It will provide some useful insight into an approach that works.

Is Organic better than Paid?

Another term related to Search Engine and Social Media Marketing is the term Organic. Organic in search engine marketing refers to a company’s listing position that was reached based on that search engines criteria, (verses a paid position). For example; Google’s primary determining factor for organic position is being “Relevant, Current, and Useful.” Relevant means how well your content matched the keywords being searched.  Current means it is timely and fresh.  And content refers to information that is useful to the user. Ads are not very important item on the list!

Organic, when used in a Social Media circles usually referrals to natural growth of your connections (followers, fans and friends etc…). Natural growth means you did not buy or bribe the follower/fan by giving them gifts or holding contests.

However, the most important aspect of your social network growth is not whether it was achieved by organic means or by bribing them to follow with gifts. The most important factor is how loyal they are to you and your brand. As a rule, fans who follow you naturally are usually more loyal than those who were bribed.  But the difference in loyalty long term is based more on what you do with these fans once they are connected to you.

The last marketing element I want to discuss in this article is audience size. Market size is very important. The primary reason that TV, Radio, Newspaper and the Yellow pages dominated most of marketing for so many years is that they had the largest market share.
Today, traditional advertising mediums are all losing market share rapidly. The average person is moving into the digital age where TV, Radio, News Print and Yellow Pages are being transformed into their digital replacements. Google is the new Yellow Pages, YouTube, NetFlix, Hulu and others are becoming internet TV.  Many online newspapers and periodical subscriptions exceed their paper counterparts in size. Traditional advertising media were measured in cost per thousands and the maximum number for reach was in the millions. The Internet’s primary means of measurement is still cost per thousand but the reach is potentially billions!

This transformation is taking place because the internet is ultimately so much more personalized, convenient and user centric than traditional media ever was. As a medium for content the internet offers more choices, allows the individual to engage on their timeline and it gives them the ability to truly interact and communicate with the advertisers and their peers directly. This is something that traditional content mediums like TV, Radio and Print could never hope to match. On top of that, the digital world is truly global whereas conventional media was, (and still is) almost always regional at best. This new global reach also means that your market is now the whole world!

As a business owner it’s important to recognize the additional advantages that digital marketing provides over traditional media. One of the biggest problems with traditional media was it only offered minimal tracking capabilities. You could create a special tracking phone number or use a tracking code on a coupon, but for the most part it was much harder to attribute specific sales to specific ads. Conversely, digital marketing can track specific actions in many more ways. Clicks, views, requests, forwards, re-tweets, posts, comments, calls and more can all be tracked directly to an individual online ad. More importantly, prospects can be targeted geographically, demographically and psycho-graphically.

With the advent of email and social networks, your cost for staying in touch with both prospects and clients have plummeted. Engaging in meaningful communications and distributing information can now happen with the press of a button.

In this article we have explored many digital marketing elements. I defined and compared strategic and tactical perspectives. We defined, compared and explored the boundaries of Search Engines and Social Networks. We explored the difference between pay per click, and pay per view as it pertains to search engines and Social Media marketing. And last but not least we defined the importance of audience size and the transition from traditional advertising to the age of online marketing. Future articles in this series will explore the many aspects of online marketing. I hope you have enjoyed and learned from this article. If you have a different perspective, comment or thought, share them with us.
That’s my opinion, I look forward to reading yours.

Hector Cisneros is COO of W Squared Media Group, a prominent online marketing company based in Jacksonville, FL.  He is also co-host of Blog Talk Radio’s “Working the Web to Win,” which airs every Tuesday at 4pm Eastern.

Seven Valuable Benefits Social Networks Provide and Social Media Marketers Covet

Today I was asked the most important question encompassing the subject of Social networks and social media marketing. The question I was asked is; What is the value of social media marketing, that is what are the benefits of social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Although these social networks are diverse in nature, they have common values both to subscribers and business people alike. That’s right, even though these networks operate in very different ways, their users often have very different motivations, different backgrounds and personal needs. They all provide these seven values to all that use them. Read on and find out why social networks and social media marketing is changing the face of the internet from what we know to what it will become.

Social Network - Copertina
Social Network - Copertina (Photo credit: marcomassarotto)
In order for any commodity, service or phenomena to grow on the internet it must provide value.  These benefits must be based on un-changing principle for large scale growth to take place. Short term fancy fads will come and go, but massive growth the like that which has taken place on Facebook, Twitt
er, LinkedIn and Google+ are based on providing unique benefits to their subscribers. The dominance of Google is also based on the principle of providing massive amounts of value to its users. Any long term internet phenomena must also provide a monetary value for it to be self-sustaining.  If you want to prosper from the internet today you can’t ignore social networks. In fact, you need to insure that your efforts are in alignment with the benefits these networks provide and you must follow the principle that they are built on. The principle I am referring to can be stated like this; any endeavor or entity that provides massive value to large numbers of people will occupy massive amounts of human kind’s time. Now let us look at these benefits.

Benefit  #1, Your network's ability to help you build trust and credibility.
One of the main reasons people use social networks is because they are interacting with like-minded people. Indeed, they are interacting with family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances whom they know, like and trust. It’s the principle of trust that I believe is the most important factor. We live in a world were hyperbole if not outright lies are the norm. People want to interact with people they like, know and trus
t. It's part of our human nature. Social networks allow this to take place in a very democratic and dynamic way. You can organize friends, followers and connections into groups based on trust (amongst o
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 03:  (L-R) Comedians Jim ...
ther things) and you can immediately un-trust, block, de-friend, or disconnect anyone you feel is unworthy of your time and attention. On the flip side is you maintain behavior that is friendly, courteous and provide content that is deemed valuable, you become trustworthy. As someone who is deemed trustworthy, you now have their ear, eyes and time. Most importantly you also can use this trust to build your credibility vicariously through the eyes and ears of your social network connections. Again, Trust is a greatly valued commodity that is in high demand in the world today. Gain it and it opens many doors that no other method can provide.

Benefit  #2, Your network's ability to help you connect and influence others.
Klout Influence Score Analysis
Klout Influence Score Analysis (Photo credit: kristiewells)
Ask anyone what is the best form of advertising and they will usually say word of mouth marketing.  Social networking allows you to connect to massive numbers of people, (especially customers and prospects). This ability to connect with large numbers of people is powerful. Unlike other types of media which for the most part a
re unidirectional forms of communications. Social media allows you to directly speak to your social partners. I call them partners because they have as much power as you the seller does. Treat them right and they will sing your praises. Mistreat them and they will share your shortcomings faster than you can say bad reputation. Now using any social network is predicated on the fact that you have built one. What I mean here is that you have to build up a sufficient number of connections in order for your network to produce the results you want. Most people are familiar with the sales rule of ten. The rule that essentially states that you have to go through ten suspects to fine one prospect and you have to go through 10 prospects to find one who will like become a customer. Following this logic, the greater the number of people you connect with, the greater the chance of selling them something. Well your social network also works along these lines. However, I suggest that you view the numbers a little differently. If you only have 100 connections you probably only have 10 people who see your message because they are monitoring their social news stream. On the other hand if you have 10,000 people in your network you probably have 1000 people viewing your message at any point in time. Bigger is always better, especially if you have taken the time to grow your connections in an organic and a value proposition way. So the point I am making here is start growing your network, be committed to real, steady and organic growth. You can’t buy trust or loyalty. It has to be earned.

Benefit #3, Your network's ability to help you quickly disseminate a message to others.
If you have taken the time to build a decent size network, you’re now ready for benefit number three. Lightning fast message dissemination.  What is a decent size network you may ask? For me it
Viral Video Chart List
Viral Video Chart List (Photo credit: jjprojects)
is a minimum of 1000 connections. At 1000 connections at least 100 people are viewing your message within an hour’s time that it was posted. You will also have another 2 or 300 viewers before the day is out. Now imagine you have built a very large network of 25,000 connections. Your message would now command the eyes and ears of 2,500 people almost instantly. If you had 1 million plus connections like then Senator Barrack Obama had prior to being elected president you would have commanded the attention of 100,000 people immediately. You get the idea, the greater the number of connections in your network, the greater its potential to create an immediate wave of action. My message to you here is this. If you want to be able to generate immediate response to your marketing needs, you have to take the time to build a large network. By large I mean 10,000 plus connections. Do this and your message will be effective and will produce swift results. You still can’t violate your networks primary needs for trust and value so make sure your still delivery what you promised. Having said that, know that a bigger social network equals faster and more effective results.

Benefit #4, Your network's ability to support all your other advertising and marketing efforts.
One of the most amazing phenomena you see happening today is the massive migration of all media messages pointing at or emphasizing social media. You know what I’m talking about. Watch TV commercials, TV news, TV programs, and they are all telling you to connect with them on Twitter, Facebook or other social medium. Look at any magazine, newspaper or listen to any radio commercial. You can’t go more than a few pages or five minutes without hearing the words, “go to our social media page” or seeing a social media symbols in their ads. This is for very good reason. Social media provides
I Support Compliments
I Support Compliments (Photo credit: LexnGer)
the missing element that other advertising mediums have always been missing. Traditional advertising has always been unidirectional. A one way conversation where the commercials are speaking at you instead of speaking with you. What’s different is the fact that social media provides your side of the communications. So my message for you here is this. Social media can only improve your customers faith and interaction with your company. It gives your prospects and customers another and often better means for them to communicate with you. Ignore this fact and you risk alienating your prospects and customers. Not being accessible via the top social media networks is akin to not being in the yellow pages 20 years ago. I can assure you that your competition is well aware of this fact. If you ignore the importance of social media and how it can help all your other marketing efforts, that’s ok, but don’t ignore your competition.

Benefit #5, Your Social network's ability to provide you valuable feedback.
One of the most valuable aspects of any type of internet marketing is this. If you set it up properly it provides lots of feedback with respect to how well it is performing. You can measure any number of ty
Example 1. Optical feedback
Example 1. Optical feedback (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
pes of interactions including number of clicks, likes, comments, retweets, mentions, sign up, visits and much more. Conventional advertising does not offer such luxury unless you pay for special tracking phone numbers, require ads be brought in for redemption etc.…  Social media's ability to measure most aspects of user interaction is very valuable because it lets you know if your marketing is working. It provides this feedback very quickly. This immediate feedback allows you to change and or tweak your marketing message. It allows you to choose which message is best, to improve a specific message or just stop a program that is just not working. The best social media marketing agencies constantly monitor and tweak your message to produce the maximum growth or result. You hear the saying that feedback is the breakfast of champions, well it’s also a vital necessity for any marketing campaign that produces positive results. So the takeaway here is this. Make sure you require feedback reports showing exactly what your marketing efforts are producing. Most social networks have  many built in reports and the owner of the account has direct access to them. However if you never look at any of the reports, you're giving up one of the most valuable benefits that social media provides any business owner.

Benefit #6, Your networks’ ability to provide low cost direct & measurable marketing.
ROI Webinar
ROI Webinar (Photo credit: cambodia4kidsorg)
Another great benefit of the internet and especially social media marketing is its relative low cost. Almost all social networks are free to join, setup and use. In most cases the only thing you will be paying for is the creation of custom pages, backgrounds, forms, connection development, connection management and connect engagement. Even if you hire a company to manage all aspects of your social media, your overall monthly cost per network will normally not exceed $400 a month. As a general rule, the more accounts a company manages the lower your cost per account. This is not always true for other types of advertising. So with social media you not only save on setup and usage (which except for the labor is mostly free), you also have lower cost of ownership because building custom pages, and other types of commercial functions cost less on social networks. Now add to this the fact that you can also engage in pay per click/view marketing on many social media networks directly. This can be done for as little as .59 cents a click and you have a recipe for low cost advertising. As a matter of fact your cost per hour of labor for social media will be well below the cost of most other forms of advertising, period. So the take away here is this. Social media development and marketing is a very low cost alternative to most other types of marketing. Use it and save money.

Benefit #7, Your ability to build a social base for touch marketing.
The last benefit I want to talk about is that utilizing and building a social network is a great way to also develop your very own database of customers, prospects and clients. All you have to do is capture the information you have been given access to. This aspect of social media is often overlooked
Customer Touch Point Map
Customer Touch Point Map (Photo credit: Jen Beever)
by businesses engaged in social media marketing. The lowest cost type of advertising you can engage in is repeat marketing to your existing customers and prospect base. Direct email and newsletter marketing is a very low cost form of marketing.  On top of that you can also use this information for telemarketing and direct mail marketing, both very effective forms of marketing. This is especially true when you are marketing to your established network of customers and prospects. Do yourself a favor and don’t neglect this benefit of social media marketing. Use it and enjoy the benefits of many repeats and upgraded sales.

There you have it, seven core benefits that social networks provide and social media marketers covet. Whether you desire to grow a following of 5,000 or 5 million, sway public opinion, build positive buzz or you just want to sell your product to the millions on the internet, you know you can’t ignore social networks.  The growth of large social networks is changing the marketing landscape of the internet every day. This article provides the reader seven unchanging benefits that social networks provide. You can take advantage of these benefits to achieve business growth and obtain marketing goals. Learn these principles that these benefits are based on. Better yet align your strategies and techniques so they principles remain unbroken. Break these principles by ignoring social networks and you could be relegating your company to a dying breed that ignored rapid change in the pass. Besides, social media marketing can be some of the most cost effective marketing you can do today. Be patient, provide value, useful content and embrace the steady growth. If you do, you will enjoy the benefits while others are scratching their head trying to figure out what you’re doing right.

That’s my opinion, I want to hear yours. 

Hector Cisneros is the director of  Social Media Marketing at W Square Media Group,  a writer and author, has been an entrepreneur for more than 30 years, is a veteran of BNI for 19 years and was a BNI director for over five years. He is still an active BNI member and follows the philosophy of Givers Gain. He is the owner of several businesses in Jacksonville, Florida. He actively coaches business owners in the fine art of Online advertising, Business Networking and Word of Mouth marketing. He is a principle partner in W Squared Media Group and the president of Website Know How, Inc. a holding company for several of his business ventures that include online advertising, word of mouth marketing, real estate holdings, non-profit training/support, book publishing, health and wellness product sales and Adventure sports. Hector's new book 60 Seconds to success, teaches business owners how to get the most from word of mouth marketing by using great 60 second introductions. To learn more about Hector Cisneros, Social Media, Online Marketing or Word of Mouth Marketing visit Hector's profile on  Networkers Apprentice workshop or my book website at 

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Battle of the Browsers, Internet Dominance and Why Your Choice Matters!

The internet is an ever changing landscape the creates long term evolutions in the way we think, act, work and play. Every so often a milestone takes place that has great significance. A very recent change that took place was that Google Chrome displaced the Internet Explore as the number one browser in the world. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer held the reins for 14+ years. Now a Microsoft rival and Internet corporate giant has taken the lead. In this article I will tell you why this is an important milestone in our lives. I will also share with you some of the features which I believe explain why Chrome is now number one and why the Internet Explorer has fallen behind. Read on and learn why we are in the Google Chrome era.

Battle of the Browser Giants!
Browser-wars (Photo credit: _redheat)
I clearly remember Bill Gates stating that the Internet was a passing fad in its early years. Back then Netscape rose to the top of the browser wars even though you had to buy it. Microsoft was one of the first companies to offer its browser for free. This eventually led to the Internet Explorers 14 year reign as the dominant player. Microsoft accomplished this by giving away its browser as part of their operating system. It took Microsoft several years to displace Netscape because in the beginning it had an inferior product and free was not enough to make people give up Netscape. However once the Internet Explorer reached par on features the war was over. It's worth noting that Microsoft was sued for its monopolistic practices during this time frame. It lost that lawsuit and had to pay millions in fines. In the meantime, AOL (another corporate giant) buys Netscape and then dismantles it. Some believe AOL’s purchased Netscape to be used as a bargaining chip with Microsoft to reduce their dependency on the Internet Explorer. Regardless of the reason, AOL’s eventual dismantling of Netscape lead to the creation of the Mozilla project that has spawned Firefox and other web applications today. This all started in 1998.

Why is This Important?
It’s important because whoever “owns your eyes” as you use the internet directly affects how you use the internet itself. It’s also important because Chrome was born in this environment that year. Its heritage started with Netscape and in part, to the code from the Mozilla project.  A browser's functionality directly affects how a website will look and feel to the user. A programmer designs websites prim
eye of the beholder
eye of the beholder (Photo credit: limowreck666)
arily for whatever the dominant platform is at that point in time. Yes, they will tweak their website so they generally work with most browsers, but often they will have to make compromises to make sure the dominant platforms needs are met. It’s also important because whoever controls the majority of Internet properties also feed the majority of users what they see. So in essence, the general population is always in danger of being swayed (i.e. censored) by whomever the dominant player is. In the early days the dominant players were kept in check by somewhat of opposing forces. First it was Yahoo and Netscape, then it became the Internet Explorer and Yahoo, then Internet Explorer and Google and now, it’s just Google! I am not one of these conspiracy buff who thinks that every giant company on the planet is out to rule the world. I happen to like Google and Chrome. I am just pointing out that there is always a danger when one company controls most of any one aspects of our lives.

Why Chrome – What Propelled Them to The Top!
Chrome was launched as a free browser in September of 2008 (as a beta). It has steadily grown in features and maturity over the past14 years. Today, Chrome is still free, owns 31% of the worlds browser market (from and is the dominant player on the internet. Google is one of the largest corporation’s in the world and it owns Chrome. It’s not a coincidence that Chrome has finally reached the number one position. Its parent company Google, controls 81% of the search market (from and about a 1/3 of all internet traffic as a whole. Because Google owns so many high usage internet prope
Logo used from the start of the Chrome project...
Logo used from the start of the Chrome project until March 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
rties, it has been able to learn what a user wants and in turn, incorporate those features into its now dominant browser. It can also provide massive advertising to promote Chrome since it owns the huge portion of all internet destinations. Destinations like Google Search, YouTube, Picasa, Analytics, AdWords, AdSence and a lot more essentially make it easier for Google to get users to try Chrome. On top of that, Google has started selling Chrome only notebooks, (Chrome Books). These notebook use Chrome is the operating system, which makes them low cost and fast. Nevertheless, the real reason I think Chrome has become number one is that it provides more people with the features they want. It is fast, highly customizable and integrates well with many of Google’s internet properties. In addition, since Google controls most of the internet traffic, it makes sense that their browser would eventually become number one.

My Favorite Features and Benefits!
Google Chrome touts itself as being the fastest browser on the internet. Google also states that it is feature rich and very stable. I can verify that it is fast, but so are Firefox and several other browsers.  However when compared to the Internet Explorer, the prior browser leader, it feels really fast. Internet Explorer also takes a long time to start where Chrome's start-up time is fast. Google has concentrated on making sure it’s browsers performance is top notch. Therefore, when measuring a return on this feature, Chrome’s speed is very good and makes it a top performer. You will spend a lot less time waiting for your pages to download and you will get more done in less time.

Is it Feature Rich?
As far as being feature rich, it does meet this criterion too. However, I would give the edge to Firefox for having the most plug-in’s and add-on’s. Speaking of cool features that a browser can have, Chrome has several unique native features. The first one worth mentioning is voice recognition in Google search. That’s right. If you have a laptop, cell phone, or tablet with Google Chrome, you have voice search capabilities. The second feature is how Chrome has a lot of native support for all the other Google properties and applications. This list can be extensive and include YouTube, Google+, Google Play and m
A "Multiplier 400 Compact Sport" Gerber multi-tool, in the open position, with all tools partially opened. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
any more. If you go to the Google Chrome store, you will find many wonderful apps that will make your Chrome browser more powerful and friendly. Again, this is also true for Firefox and other browsers but some of the implementations are better on Chrome. For example, I love a Grammar/Spelling checker called Ginger. Ginger is available for many browsers, word processing and email client platforms. Ginger provides support for MS-Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. However, its spell checker integration in Gmail on Chrome is phenomenal. Don’t get me wrong, this plug-in works well with all the programs they support. Having used the pro version of Ginger in MS-Word for quite some time, I was impressed at how seamless Gingers spelling check works in Gmail (on Chrome verse Gmail on Firefox). On the other hand, many of the pro features are not yet available on Chrome (or Gmail on Chrome) so I am not ready to give up MS-Word yet.

How does Stability Compare?
The last items is stability. Chrome is very stable, especially if you are using relatively new hardware (3 years old or newer). It also helps to be using a newer 64 bit operating system like Windows 7 or Apple latest OS. Follow these rules and you will not be disappointed. However if you’re trying to hold on to Windows XP as your operating system you may be disappointed. I have seen XP  unexpectedly reboot
Peacekeeper Benchmark Comparison (Firefox 12 v...
Peacekeeper Benchmark Comparison (Firefox 12 vs Google Chrome 18) (Photo credit: Squidooer)
when using Chrome. Microsoft is generally phasing out all support for XP and I have not seen anything that has fixed this XP/Chrome stability issue. I have not had this problem as often with Firefox or Internet Explorer on Windows XP. I have also had very few Chrome issues with Windows Vista, again it is very stable except in the oldest of systems. The good news is that new computers are cheaper and faster than ever. With Quad core Windows 7 laptops being sold for less than $400, (including tax), there are few reasons to have to keep dealing with the limitations of old systems.

In summary, Chrome is currently the number one browser used worldwide, (with Firefox and IE not too far behind). As a website owner, it is important to note which browser platform dominates the market place. These browser platforms affect your design element choices, and the final look and feel of your website. Chrome is a fast, stable, powerful and customizable browser platform that is feature rich and mature. It is my opinion that it will continue to be a dominant player in the browser wars for many years to come. One reason for holding this belief is because it is owned by Google and Google is the dominant player on the internet stage. Download and try several browsers, especially Chrome. I know you will like the voice search feature. I also think you will like its speed, versatility and its ability to use third party and Google plug-ins. You may also, as I have, choose it to be your go to browser, for now and the immediate future.
That’s my opinion, I want to hear yours.

Hector Cisneros is the director of  Social Media Marketing at W Square Media Group,  a writer and author, has been an entrepreneur for more than 30 years, is a veteran of BNI for 19 years and was a BNI director for over five years. He is still an active BNI member and follows the philosophy of Givers Gain. He is the owner of several businesses in Jacksonville, Florida. He actively coaches business owners in the fine art of Online advertising, Business Networking and Word of Mouth marketing. He is a principle partner in W Squared Media Group and the president of Website Know How, Inc. a holding company for several of his business ventures that include online advertising, word of mouth marketing, real estate holdings, non-profit training/support, book publishing, health and wellness product sales and Adventure sports. Hector's new book 60 Seconds to success, teaches business owners how to get the most from word of mouth marketing by using great 60 second introductions. To learn more about Hector Cisneros, Social Media, Online Marketing or Word of Mouth Marketing visit Hector's profile on  Networkers Apprentice workshop or my book website at

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Six Clear Reasons why you should be using Social Media to build your Credibility

An Ad agency client asked me the other day to provide them the primary reason why their clients should use Social Media as part of their advertising mix. Specifically they were talking about Facebook, Twitter and Angieslist. The answer to this question is often confusing and misstated. This article provides six concise reasons why Social Media is so important today.  Reading this article will make it easy for the reader to see why Social Media has risen so quickly in advertising circles and it will help them prosper from using it.  Here are a few reasons why they should use Social Media as part of their marketing mix. 

1. Word of Mouth is Number One!
Word of Mouth - Visualized
Word of Mouth - Visualized (Photo credit: mvellandi)

Ask any business owner or advertising agent what’s the best form of advertising and they will say word of mouth. It's the number one way to build real credibility. When you run an ad it’s recognized as a commercial, and the average person believes that ads exaggerate and are deceptive. When a person mentions how great your product or service is, or how wonderful your installers were, it's a testimonial. Word of mouth is perceived as the absolute truth and is priceless! Social Networking is Word of Mouth on Steroids. Make sure your clients are posting testimonials on your social media pages.

2. Social Media provides a Huge Number of Potential Prospects!

1.4 Billion Reasons presentation.
1.4 Billion Reasons presentation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Facebook is the number two destination on the internet. It has almost a "billion" subscribers that cross all walks of life. Our local area has more than 500 thousand Facebook subscribers! If you added all the subscribers for Facebook, Twitter, (which has around 400 million) Google+, (which has around 300 million) Angieslist, YouTube (with 3 billion views a day) and LinkedIn (200 million business users), you would end up with a huge number of potential prospects. Of these services only Angieslist charges members to subscribe. This means that 98 percent of all Social Networks are basically free to use. Granted there is some overlap but the number of users would still be more than a billion people!

3. You can get Psycho-graphic as well as Demographic Information on your Target Market!

Facebook provides psycho-graphic and demographic profiles on its followers. To some extent you can target prospects on LinkedIn and Twitter with their profile information also.  Your ability to target subscribers via their profile is one of the main differences between a Social Media Pay Per Click programs and a Search Engine pay per click program. With a Search Engine, you are selecting a specific demographic. With Social Media you are targeting their personal profiles. Needless to say this is very powerful.  

A segment of a social network
A segment of a social network (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Also you can target someone via who they are connected to. When a person likes your page, their friends will see them listed as liking your page when your ad is running during your pay per click campaign. Thus your ad is displayed to matching profiles and appears as being endorsed by their friends at the same time. In other words their friends will appear to be providing a tacit endorsement of your product/service. Their friends will be perceived as saying that they like your products! This only occurs when you’re engaged in pay per click ad and or story ad campaigns.

4. Social Media Provides Real Client Engagement, no other Media does this so Well.

Social Media Brand Engagement Curve
Social Media Brand Engagement Curve (Photo credit: Intersection Consulting)

It's a great way to engage your clients and prospects. No other media has a way of directly communicating with clients. When a customer makes a comment on one of your posts, you can quickly speak directly to them by answering or commenting on their post. You can even see if they are online and invite them to chat with you. There are other chat and direct response services out there that can help provide this kind of interaction, but few are free to use and are not part of the built in culture of Social Networks.

5. Social Media Provides Back-link Support for your SEO Efforts

exchange-links (Photo credit: vaXzine)
Both Twitter and Google+ post provides backlinks that are current and relevant. Because these posts are current, they receive high rankings. On top of that, each post counts as separate backlinks! These links also rank high on search engines especially if they are recent and match the keywords of the search. This is also true to some extent for LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook. I have also seen review posts act in this way and I always encourage my clients to ask their customers to post recommendations and testimonials. LinkedIn actually has a special section dedicated to show casing recommendations. These recommendations are used extensively by LinkedIn users. Facebook has a slew of add on applets that allow users to connect with each other and make recommendations in somewhat different ways.

6. Using Social Media is a Great Way to Provide a Subtle Form of Touch Marketing

Atari Game 1980
There is no question that if you stay in contact with your clients on a regular basis with helpful tips and useful information they would learn to look forward to your communications with them. If you are providing useful, interesting, funny or entertaining messages via your post, clients and prospects will pay attention. This type of interaction builds trust over time. It will also allow you to sneak in an occasional subtle commercial without ruffling your follower’s feathers. After a short period of time you will be able to provide direct response mail offering your current specials without being added to the spam list. If you respect your follower’s time, interests and privacy by providing them with useful information that they care about, they will reward you by staying engaged with your company.

I don't want to oversimplify why Social Media marketing is so powerful. I also don't want to imply that it's easy, because it's very labor intensive. Having said this, its common knowledge that word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising there is. Social Networking is all about word of mouth. It's word of mouth with exponential growth and speed potential! When you say something about your product or service, it's perceived at best as hyperbole. On the other hand when a customer (and their friends) praises your product or service on a Social Network, it’s a testimonial. Because of the nature of Social Networks, that message can become viral very quickly, spreading a positive message, so fast that it makes face to face word of mouth marketing seem like watching grass grow. This also means that Social Media can be a double edge sword. It can make you look good and help close the deal or it can hurt your chances when you don't compare well against your competition.

In this article I have shared with you 6 potent reasons why you should be engaged in Social Media. It’s becoming a vital part of business marketing. The truth is this; even if you’re not using Social Media, your clients and prospects are, and they are talking about your product or service whether you know it or not. Social Media word of mouth can help or hurt you quickly. If you have no direct input, if you’re not engaged you are vulnerable! If you want to have any semblance of control, any ability to steer your message so that it is positive, have any perceived value as being useful, as being engaging and compelling, then you need to be engaged. Not using social media today is like being an ostrich with its head in the sand, just before the lion waltz’s in for dinner.

If you use these six principles in your advertising campaigns, your efforts will produce greater results and more positive long term effects. Ignore these principles and you will have to deal with the long term consequences of your inaction's. You will be left behind while your competition surges ahead and stakes a claim to your customers. Take advantage of Social Media marketing, it’s mostly free and there for the taking.

I have written several other articles covering how to use social Media effectively. See my syndicated articles covering social networking on Ezine magazine online. Especially read these three; #1, Success Secrets for Social Media Connecting, #2, Three Common Mistakes Business People Make When Using Social Media and #3, Six Cardinal Rules for Success in Social Media Marketing. Here is a link to my articles.
That’s my opinion I love to hear yours.

That’s my opinion I love to hear yours.

Hector Cisneros is the director of  Social Media Marketing at W Square Media Group, (,  a writer and author, has been an entrepreneur for more than 30 years, is a veteran of BNI for 19 years and was a BNI director for over five years. He is still an active BNI member and follows the philosophy of Givers Gain. He is the owner of several businesses in Jacksonville, Florida. He actively coaches business owners in the fine art of Online advertising, Business Networking and Word of Mouth marketing. He is a principle partner in W Squared Media Group and the president of Website Know How, Inc. a holding company for several of his business ventures that include online advertising, word of mouth marketing, real estate holdings, non-profit training/support, book publishing, health and wellness product sales and Adventure sports. Hector's new book 60 Seconds to success, teaches business owners how to get the most from word of mouth marketing by using great 60 second introductions. To learn more about Hector Cisneros, Social Media, Online Marketing or Word of Mouth Marketing visit Hector's profile on  Networkers Apprentice workshop or my book website at
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