Tag Archives: Google

Should Google+ Focus on Enterprise Collaboration Instead?

This week, a social media contact of mine tweeted a message saying that “Google+ is a ghost town.” I will admit Enterprise Collaboration Google+that I use Google+  less frequently than other social media platforms, simply because most of my contacts are already on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. However, I do admire the platform for its intuitiveness and have read reviews from popular social media evangelists like Guy Kawasaki praising the platform for providing “a religious experience.” So, I have not yet ruled it out as a contender in the B2C social media universe.

Still, I think Google+ is missing out on a huge opportunity to capitalize on the enterprise market. An article written yesterday by Kim Davis on InternetEvolution.com suggested that many conversations and moments of deep engagement on Google+ happen in private – via hangouts and circles that not everyone else can see. Ironically, that is exactly what major corporations are seeking for their internal social networking platforms, as they work to foster internal and partner cloud collaboration – partly because their employees demand it and partly because that is the way that people now expect to work with each other. And you can’t do that on Facebook.

There are a number of enterprise products emerging in the market that offer custom-built social networking platforms for businesses. And Since Google+ is struggling to steal eyeballs in the consumer space from Facebook, they could consider this alternative. What would make Google+ even better than competitor enterprise social networking platforms is its potential to integrate with Google Docs, Picasa and Google Drive – creating a seamless team collaboration platform.

Google+ could be making a boat load of money from selling platform customization and per user logins via a private B2B tool. But will they? Can they turn their focus away from trying to eat Facebook’s lunch? What do you think? Please share your opinion in the comment section below.

Disclosure – I worked at Google in advertising sales prior to starting my own blog/company.

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Could word-of-mouth web traffic referrals eclipse search referrals?

A few weeks ago, a report from Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney claimed that Facebook usage has eclipsed Google for the first time ever. A summary of that reportphoto illustrate networking - tin cans with a string on Techvibes indicated that “people spend over 41 billion minutes on Facebook every month in the U.S. alone—Google clocks in at just under 40 billion.”

While this report doesn’t mean that Facebook is going to outperform Google in terms of advertising sales revenue any time soon (read my article from last week on the future of online display advertising), it does raise a very important question:

Could word-of-mouth traffic referrals one day eclipse search referrals as the #1 traffic generating source for all websites?

If enough people are referring links to web pages on a daily basis, could their combined recommendations on sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Quora, etc. collectively amount to more referrals than search results on Google alone?

Twitter recently reported that the company now has over 100 million active users. As usage of that platform, plus Facebook and other social media sites continue to climb, the idea definitely seems plausible in the not too distant future. Why else would Google be so focused on making Google+ a success?

I am not implying that search referrals will ever go away – it is too ingrained in our online behaviour not to seek information via search engines. However, as people become comfortable sharing and trusting information online, a new source of traffic generation will become increasingly important. Why? Because consumers will always trust referrals from their close friends and family over ads or computer-generated results online.

Facebook is already the leading traffic source for news websites – who spend less and less money on Search Engine Marketing (SEM) due to the high Cost-Per-Click (CPC). However, retailers and other performance-focused (CPC) advertisers invest more in search because many people research products online prior to purchase. Still, a recommendation from a friend about a product will almost always trump an online ad.

This is definitely going to be an interesting trend to watch in the next few years. Please share your thoughts on how you think it will all play out?

Image source: iStockphoto.com

My 2011 Wish List for Canadian Digital Media Entrepreneurs

wishlist_imageIt seems that everyone in the blogosphere right now either has a “re-cap” list of 2010 stories or a 2011 “predictions” list published. Since I have a serious case of the “FOMS” (a fear of missing something), I thought I’d add my own personal wish list blog to the mix. Starting my own business has been a serious learning process over the past few months.

While I’m slowly starting to navigate how to make a digital media focused start-up work in Canada, I thought I’d share my wish list for products and services that could make my life easier in 2011. I’m sure that there are other start-ups and entrepreneurs out there in the digital media space who share my sentiment and can provide additional requests.

(1) Small business pricing on digital media measurement and analysis tools like comScore and Hitwise in Canada

While there are many free tools out there like Google Analytics, Google Ad Planner and Alexa, I find it perplexing that small businesses are not able to access the industry-standard tools like comScore and Hitwise to help them properly position and sell companies in the marketplace. It would be amazing if some of the standard measurement companies developed a small business pricing model to help us to run our businesses like a larger company.  Perhaps a pricing model of a quarterly cost for a limited number of data pulls would suffice?

(2) Small business discounts for conferences and events

If you are a small business, coughing up $500 to $1000 to attend one conference is a hefty price to pay.  Again, perhaps larger conferences could have a “start-up” price that is similar to student pricing to attend larger conferences?  Industry events are essential to help smaller businesses to network and learn to fuel their growth.

(3) Increased promotion of digital media start-ups in Canada and more forums to help them interact and share best-practices

Start-ups like Sprouter and TechVibes do a great job of promoting Canadian digital start-ups and work to unite the Canadian technology community.  I’d love to see additional movement towards promoting and uniting Canadian digital media companies in 2011.  Having recently sat in on some meetings with a few female-targeted digital media start-ups in the past few months, I definitely see an opportunity for uniting Canadian female-targeted digital media companies to help them cross-promote each others’ sites and products.  I’m sure that there are other like-minded start-ups who could benefit from cross-promotion with each other as well.

Please share your thoughts on what could help make the lives of Canadian digital media entrepreneurs better in 2011?