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Foursquare is a location based social networking web site for mobile users who can check in at various places around the neighborhood and when your out exploring new places you can claim discounts, badges and loyalty points. It can surely make traveling around the city and hopping from one place to another fun and exciting. So, if you are not yet familiar with this app, read on to get familiar with Foursquare.

So this is how it works,first, you will have to download the mobile game application from foursquare. After downloading this app and installing it into your mobile phone, sign up and connect to your address book, Facebook and Twitter accounts. And voila! You are now ready to use or ‘check in’ to your Foursquare account.
After ‘checking in’, this app will use the GPS of your mobile phone to trace your whereabouts. Your friends using this app will know where you are. Likewise, you will also see if they have checked in recently and where they are. In addition, users of this app are given the privilege to share and view pieces of information on what to do and enjoy in a particular place.

You don’t need to worry about an unlisted place in Foursquare. All you have to do is add it to Foursquare yourself. As soon as you add it, it will be visible to you and to other users. This is a great way of free advertising for your business.

But of course, the fun doesn’t just stop there, you can compete with your friends for badges and be the ‘Mayor’ of the local place. Frequenting Foursquare will earn you badges and loyalty points. Obviously, you will start as a ‘Newbie’. Nevertheless, if you use Foursquare frequently, your loyalty points, as well as your badges, will increase.

On top of that, if you visit a particular place from time to time and ‘check in’ to Foursquare for every visit, you will have more badges and a bigger chance to be the ‘Mayor’ of that place. ‘Mayors’ are described as the most loyal visitor of the place. In other words, they have the most number of recorded visits to a place based on Foursquare statistics.

Becoming ‘Mayor’ also has its own rewards. If you become one for a business establishment, let’s say a salon or a café, business owners just might reward you with exclusive deals. How good is that!
For business owner, you can easily arrange for an exclusive deal with your customers who use Foursquare. This deal will encourage customers to visit your establishment frequently. For example, you can set up a deal with customers who have visited your place on the 3rd occasion for a free cup of coffee or a 10% coupon. But the great thing about Foursquare is that it let’s business owners choose which Foursquare level you want to reward your customers.

Furthermore, since users can share information with their Foursquare accounts, your business will certainly have free advertisements from loyal customers. This is undoubtedly an effective and powerful promotion as recommendation from one friend to another is the best form of obtaining new business. Likewise, you can also promote your establishment by sharing about your current deals and events.

Foursquare also offers users, particularly business owners, to view their statistics and monitor the number of people taking advantage of their exclusive offers and deals and ‘checking’ in to their establishments. This mobile application surely offers both customers and business owners a win-win situation. In fact, since its launch in October 2009, it has already gathered more than four million users.

With mobile users increasing rapidly this number will continue to grow as more and more people are discovering this app and its benefits on a daily basis. So if you need free advertising for your business what are you waiting for go get your xmas shoppers!

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Your business needs powerful networks and one of them is to create a LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn is predominately accustomed for businesses and business professionals. It is a business orientated social networking site, which enables your LinkedIn profile become accessible with like minded professionals like yourselves and to network with one another.  The site is also used as a networking tool to find connections for candidates looking for jobs, industry experts and creating business opportunities and partners. After being launched in May 2008, LinkedIn follows behind Facebook and Youtube with over 80 million members in over 200 countries across the globe, with tens of thousands of new members joining each day.

As you build your LinkedIn network, you’ll gain exposure to connections which would otherwise be difficult to access in the off line world. If you are a business owner, you can create both a business and personal profile. As a business, you can then begin to create a network by connecting with trusted friends or colleagues. These individuals will equally have their own network of trusted professionals, which you will then gain access to, hence creating a trusted networking circle.

Having a LinkedIn profile allows you to join various groups related to almost any field, you can utilize your business expertise by creating your own group or contributing to an existing group. Once becoming a member, the secret is to provide a valuable and genuine contribution to the group. If you answer enough questions which are beneficial to others, this will help build up your credibility in your business sector and can open up networking opportunities, which would be difficult to come by in the off line world.

 Top 5 List to Get the Most from Your LinkedIn Profile

Welcome Strategy –Make new comers feel welcome by reaching out and sending a personalized message. This is like breaking the ice in the offline world and makes your second interaction more meaningful.

2. Offer Assistance- If asked a question, always give more than expected to that person. They will be grateful and remember you.

3. Referrals- If you identify two members in your network that can benefit from one another, introduce the two. (Remember your reputation is at stake, so make sure your referral is genuine)

4. Become friends with the group leader. If your business sector already has a group, you can help build your credibility by reaching out to the group leader by volunteering group assistance. This helps you leverage credibility from the group leader and begins branding you as an expert in the eyes of the other members.

5. Feedback- Providing feedback is a valuable method to gain visibility from other LinkedIn members .It’s a great way to sell without a sales pitch if your information is beneficial and you can recommend a genuine solution. LinkedIn members will visit your LinkedIn profile wanting to know more

Remember to actively build your network and add your offline contacts to your LinkedIn profile after every meeting as networking is critical to your business evolving.

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Google’s new +1 feature was one of SMX Advanced Seattle most engaging sessions and, as a speaker, I have received a wide variety of feedback and questions. It seems this feature has fomented a great deal of speculation and inquiry. Here is a bit more food for thought.

Like vs. Google +1: What Are The Main Differences?

As Google product manager Daniel Dulitz mentioned, Google +1 is an annotation system which reinforces the interactions between organic and paid results, web pages, and your Google contacts.

That being said, your Google contacts are not necessarily your friends… and, you need to have a Google account to fully utilize the +1 feature. As a result, Google +1 acts as a collective rating system helping results be more trustworthy, but not adding the social infrastructure.

While Google’s +1 feature does draw upon a user specific network, it does not have the same social connotations of Facebook’s network. The +1 feature does function as a validity creating mechanism but does not contribute to the same social infrastructure that accompanies Facebook.

The Facebook Like is different in practice on several levels. Any website that is liked on a Bing search result is propagated into Facebook and vice versa. This means that something liked in Facebook will be shown on Bing despite any user interaction with the search platform.

This gives Bing/Facebook two avenues in which likes can be accrued as well as two ways to view the information. Additionally, Bing’s system is already privy to a year’s worth of information stemming from Facebook Like data giving Bing/Facebook a significant jump over Google.

Bing also brings forth popular pages based on global anonymous Facebook Like data – meaning that some anonymous Likes show even though searchers are not connected to Facebook, and makes it easier to go to Facebook after seeing a search result to have a “conversation” about that search query.

Note that you need a Facebook account to be able to see all these interactions; but unlike Google +1, you can create a Facebook account using any kind of email address.

Impact On Organic & Paid Search Rankings

Google +1 does influence search results, Google has said. It may also indirectly affect CTR, as it’s built to draw users in and encourage clicking.

In paid search, Google +1 will impact at least three Quality Score ranking factors over time: historical CTR, the quality of a landing page and account history.

As Bing Sr. product manager Duane Forrester explained at the Yahoo! Search and Bing customer forum, the Facebook Like button does not alter search results either, at least not generally. However, it does alter personalized results.

What Does This Mean For Search Marketers?

Bing’s market share could grow thanks to Facebook integration into the Bing search results because the Like button for websites has been available for more than a year, while the +1 button for websites was released just a couple of weeks ago. This should help Bing leverage the Facebook Like button as the Like button is already implemented across the web.

The truly personalized way Bing is starting to leverage Facebook data is promising from a search experience perspective. It could make lots of searchers – especially those with an intense Facebook activity – switch from Google to Bing.

For these two reasons and because it’s early days and it’s all about speculation right now, I would not be surprised if Bing gained some market share thanks to this integration with Facebook, especially if the Bing search engine becomes a bigger part of the Facebook user interface.

Social Search Is A SEM Game Changer

Google collects (by far) the most search queries, IP addresses, web history, and so on. Theoretically, Google should be able to determine every user profile based on search queries and web history. These queries somehow express interest, intentions, age, gender, and lots of other attributes and potentially make sense if they are well categorized.

If Google succeeds to convert all these queries to an audience-based database, and then leverage this for advertising purposes, Google could offer some ultra-targeted options without an actual social network behind it.

On the other hand, since Facebook does not directly collect queries (yet), but rather user profiles, Bing then needs to make the link between user profiles and search queries to serve the right ads, which seems to be more accurate and targeted.

While some web users might find personalized results invasive (like those ads related to the content of your personal emails in Gmail) there is no doubt search marketers already are looking forward to targeting searchers not only based on geo/language/device (that is so 2010)  but also based on more granular demographic targeting settings, such as gender, age, marital status, etc.. as well as interest.

The question is not if, but when is it going to happen?

 

Whenever it is going to happen, advertisers should definitely implement the Like and +1 button onto their websites in order to be part of this significant shift in the SEO/SEM space.

In regards to the question: “I already have plenty of buttons (Facebook Like, MySpace, email, Tweet, Follow, etc…) don’t you think all these buttons are going to become a usability issue at some point?”