Google+ Hangouts On Air for Everyone: This Week in Social Media

social media researchWelcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up-to-date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention.

What’s New This Week?

Google+ Hangouts On Air Now Available Worldwide: Google+ Hangouts On Air was launched last September to a limited number of broadcasters and is now rolling out to the rest of the world.  This means “you can now go live in front of a global audience.” Here’s a reminder of what you can do:

Facebook Announces The App Center: The App Center is a new place for people to find social apps. “For the over 900 million people that use Facebook, the App Center will become the new, central place to find great apps”

facebook app center

“Everything has an app detail page, which helps people see what makes an app unique and lets them install it before going to an app.”

What You Need To Know About Facebook’s IPO: Facebook’s initial public offering is expected to take place on May 18.

Discussion from our Networking Clubs: Thousands of social media marketers and small business owners are asking questions and helping others in our free Networking Clubs. Here are a few interesting discussions worth highlighting:

Google+ Notifications in Gmail Get More Interactive: You can now view, comment on and +1 Google+ notifications from your Gmail inbox. These updates will appear in your Google+ stream in real time and responses from others will appear in Gmail.

google+ notification in gmail.png

You can adjust which Google+ notifications you want emailed to your Gmail account via Google+ settings.

Google Offers Get Closer to Your Business: Android users in the U.S. can now find Google Offers from nearby businesses using the latest release of Google Maps. You will be able to “see all the Google Offers near you in list or map form, making it easy to get great deals from local businesses on the go.”

Twitter Tweaks the Tweet Design: “Now, when you hover over the newly redesigned tweet, you’ll always see options to reply, favorite or retweet in the lower-left corner against a grey background.”

tweet redesign

This design modification makes it easier to interact with others on Twitter.com.

Tumblr Introduces Storyboard: Storyboard is Tumblr’s “new hub for in-depth conversations with Tumblr’s creative community.”

 

Foursquare Adds a History Page: With the “new, fully searchable history page, you can easily jump to all your past check-ins from any month or year, and even filter them by who you were with, what type of place you were at, or which neighborhood, city, or country you were in.”

foursquare history page

Foursquare will be “adding more features like filtering by venue and adding tips or creating lists right from this history page.”

Groupon Rewards Launches Nationwide in the U.S.: “When you visit a participating Groupon Rewards merchant and use the credit card saved in your Groupon account, Rewards are unlocked after you’ve spent a certain amount predetermined by the business.”

groupon rewards

“Eliminating the hassles of check-ins, extra apps or punch cards, with Groupon Rewards you can automatically get benefits for things you already do.”

Here are a few useful social media tools worth noting:

WP Pinner: A WordPress plugin that lets you manage your Pinterest account. “With this plugin you can easily auto-pin WordPress postsschedule your pins throughout the day, auto-follow users to get noted and keep track of your account (CTR, clicks, likes, repins, reach, etc.).”

Lujure: An easy tool for businesses to customize Facebook fan pages.

lujure

Lujure is a simple, quick tool you can use, with no technology expertise at all, to customize your own Facebook page.

Curate Me: A tool to help you stay current, find good things to share and get content ideas.

curate me

Curate Me finds the best stories from your friends and the brilliant people you follow and delivers them straight to your inbox.

And don’t miss this:

Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Success Summit 2012  (online conference) just started. It’s not too late to join!

Join 27 social media experts at Social Media Examiner’s big online conference! Go here to learn more.

What social media news caught your interest this week? Please share your comments below.


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Help, My Google Places listing has someone else’s name and phone number, what can I do?

google places helpThe client with this Google Places problem was a Business Centre which rents out rooms.

How an erroneous Google Maps listing can be created

An outside contractor had run a course, during which a large number of social media profiles had been set up with the name and phone number of the training firm but the address of the Centre at which it was being held.

The result of all this information on authority sites was the generation of a Google Maps listing, which in turn led to the automatic creation of a Google Places page that listed the training company in a location where they do not actually have a physical base and potentially causing confusion with the listing of the actual owner.

Rectifying Google Places Problems

Dealing with Google Places is always tricky. We could just use the community edit facility to tell GP that the name and the phone number are incorrect and suggest alternatives but, as it is also showing on various other authority sites – Facebook and Foursquare for starters – the chances are that Google will keep rescraping the information and changing it back.

In other circumstances I would just say that we should both mark the business as permanently closed in the community edit but, because they have included the name of the training centre in the actual address, I am concerned that this might have a knock on effect on any listing for the Centre itself – Google is not always the most logical of machines.

As Linda Buquet suggests when you actually undertake an office or business move to another address, it is far better to mark the old address as permanently closed and then start again. The upshot of just trying to change the address is that Google will just keep scraping the old address from any of the thousands of listings that will still exist in a myriad of directories. Unless you want to spend the next few years dealing with duplicate entries, it is far better to mark it closed so that Google can update its records and, hopefully, ignore what it is seeing elsewhere on the web.

You then create a brand new listing and claim it in the usual way at your new address and undertake a citations campaign which will see the new Name, Address and Phone Number syndicated across the directory network.

Using the Community Edit to make changes to a Places listing on Google

Near the top of the main GP entry for a business, you will see the option to Edit this place. This takes you through to the community edit feature where you can report a problem with that listing.

You can click on the listed, Name, Address, Phone Number, website, categories and business hours and a box will appear allowing you to correct the information.

Further down is a list of check boxes which allows you to report other issues:
That the business is permanently closed
That this listing is a duplicate
That the Place does not exist or is private
Some photos, reviews or other details belong to a different place
or, for anything else, Other

So here is the best solution for this case: I suspect that you don’t have access to the dashboard for it, so what I suggest is that you claim it to your Google Places account. By doing this, Google needs to confirm that you are indeed based at that location so it will send out a verification postcard to the address which is listed. This postcard will contain a PIN number.

Once you have received this PIN, it can then be entered in the account dashboard and the listing can be suspended from Maps so it stops showing. Never delete it from your actual account as rogue listings have a habit of reappearing and you would then have to reclaim all over again.

If you’re really stuck, support from the Google Places team is much improved and there is much more information filtering down about how to deal with a variety of issues.

43 Facebook Pages Have Over a Million Fans and Other Interesting Facts [Infographic]

What has 4,177,653 Facebook followers, 245,839 Twitter followers, 1,018 YouTube subscribers, 294,467 Google+ fans, but only  67 followers on Pinterest? *

The answer is Amazon.com! Those combined numbers landed them in the number one slot on Campalyst’s Top 250 Internet Retailers on Social Media index.

The index is proof that not all social media is created equal and that’s a good lesson for everyone. Amazon is rocking Facebook, but there are more than 50 companies on the list that beat them on YouTube. As for Pinterest, no one is pulling astronomical numbers but several companies are created a nice little fanbase there.

The infographic Campalyst created to go with the index shows that nearly all 250 companies use Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube (90%). 67% are using Google+, which isn’t bad, but I have to wonder if they’re keeping them up or if they’re doing them any good. 61% are already on Pinterest and that’s kind of an elbow to the eye of Google+.

Facebook has the strongest social media pages thanks to their age (by social media standards, they’re the grandfather of the bunch) and their associated advertising options. Here’s another slice from the Campalyst infographic.

Overall, the Top 250 list is populated with companies you’d expect like Amazon, Staples, Walmart and Dell. But the list also has a few lesser known quantities that are making strides, like iHerb with 329 Pinterest followers (more than Kohl’s) and ThinkGeek with more than 44,000 YouTube subscribers.

If you’re a small business owner, don’t let these numbers get you down. These top companies have plenty of help when it comes to running to their social media channels. If you’re a company of ten or less, concentrate on building up Facebook and a second channel that speaks to your audience. There’s no sense driving yourself crazy trying to update Pinterest or YouTube if your customers don’t hang out there.

You can see the full Top 250 Internet Retailers on Social Media index and infographic when you visit Campalyst online.

*Data is based on numbers on the day the index was created and have changed since then.