I've been looking at a few different tools for mapping social media presence in the real world. I suspect this could be a useful tool for business, but perhaps not quite yet: while local trends were rolled out in early 2010, there's a lack of location-aware applications that utilise maps and twitter trends that have any other purpose for general use.
Looking at Trendsmap today, I noticed something glaringly out of place in Australia.
Queenslanders don't tweet.
While Joomla's core article system is reasonably robust and the introduction of template overrides made it possible to more easily theme elements of Joomla that were previously untouchable, K2 takes both theming and editing to the next level.
Designers have much greater control of each 'view' of content presentation and editors have less to worry about when publishing articles.
It's a win-win situation for aesthetics and usability.
I get it. Twitter's a big deal in social marketing circles. I've come to love it and use it extensively - I get it. It's a great tool for spontaneous communication, for finding interesting people with awesome things to say.
It's not hard to build a following. You can have ten thousand followers in no time - or so the long pages of flashy text that are direct-tweeted into my inbox tell me.
But are those followers worth having? Will they enhance your reputation? And who to follow? All these questions and more, answered in my 7 Rules for gaining quality followers on Twitter:
While this isn't strictly a Joomla tip, it's certainly something that has helped me more easily track the volume of traffic that comes from specific posts I make on forums and social media sites.
One of the reasons I find this necessary is that I'm very active on multiple forums and often reference my own blog posts when helping others. While it's easy enough to see that a certain amount of traffic is coming from one of these forums, it can be a little tougher to get an idea of which specific discussions are generating interest.
So I use a very simple trick and append my URLs with an identifier. For example, in a recent post on the K2 community forums, in a discussion about tagging, I used my own blog as an example. The URL I gave them was http://thinksync.com.au/blog?utm_source=SBF&utm_medium=forum&utm_campaign=tagging.
I generated this URL by using the Google URL Builder.
Now in Google Analytics, I can look in my campaign view and see 'tagging' appended to any traffic that arrives at my site from that post.
This is great intelligence, helping me to determine which topics are popular and worth spending time on for future posts.
There's a common misconception that many (if not most) online marketers or site owners fall into when attempting to drive business to their website.
Traffic volume is essentially meaningless.
Some so-called AdWords 'Gurus' are the worst of the lot when it comes to overestimating the value of traffic. (don't get me wrong, there are real AdWords gurus)
It isn't helped by the fact that AdWords itself focuses on a CPC (cost per click) payment method. Many internet marketers are concerned predominantly about either the CPC or the CPM (cost per thousand impressions of each ad) of their campaigns.
Both of these methods are about determining value, but taken alone they fail to give an accurate picture about the true value of your traffic.
Let's look at how your campaign could be getting more bang for its buck.
A recent poll on Mashable purported to show that users prefer real books to e-books.
Looking at the poll, it's pretty clear: people overwhelmingly prefer real books to e-books.
However, if you take more than quick glance, it reveals its lack of depth. The question had three choices: prefer books, prefer e-books or happy with both.
On the face of it, those seem like valid questions - so what's missing?
One of the biggest failings many small businesses fall into with Search Engine Marketing is overestimating their name recognition, what could be called 'brand awareness'.
If you have a small business (let's call it "Tom's Bike Parts") in an area with even a reasonable-size population, you can rest assured that no-one knows who you are. That's not to say you won't have a loyal group of customers - you will. That's not to say that the regular foot traffic won't be aware that there's a bike store along their daily route - they might be.
But, except for that group of loyal customers, no-one knows your name.
So why are all your marketing efforts directed at people who are already your customers?
At the start of this month, we reported on the ongoing rise of social media among baby boomers in Australia. Now it's time to look at local search and the benefits for Aussie business.
According to the latest Comscore search report, 10.29 billion online searches were conducted in the US alone in June 2010. Fortunately, Comscore also includes some choice snippets regarding local and mobile search, incredibly relevant data for real-world businesses.
Given that the population of Australians online is roughly 5% of the US, it's possible for us to extrapolate what this means for local businesses.
I'll give you the short version: local search is on the rise. If you own a local business you need to start making use of local search now.
Following up on my last post, I was lucky enough to get a chance to exchange a few emails with Andrew Wilkins, the proprietor of St Pete Brasserie, the restaurant 'saved by social media'.
An affable restauranteur, he was very forthcoming via email, more than willing to share a few of the secrets that brought his business back from the brink.
If you're a small business owner, this advice goes to the core of social media engagement.
This is the kind of story we like to hear.
Andrew Wilkins, the owner of a Florida restaurant has credited Twitter with saving his business.
According to this 13 News story, Wilkins posted on the business' Facebook page that the restaurant was in trouble. Not only did the ensuing patronage allow Wilkins to continue operating, but he needed to reopen a long disused dining room to cope with the influx.
It's a fantastic story, Social Media saves the day. What makes this tale special, however, is that it's not the norm. Businesses all over the globe are attempting to use social media to grow their business without this level of success.
So what did Wilkins do right?