This Week in Marketing | Content, Google+, Communities

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Early Hippy Hangout


What happened in marketing this week?

On Episode 78 of the #RayBunch Show:

We welcomed Martin Shervington to the #RayBunch on Tuesday.

Martin dragged me into my first hangout over three years ago. In the same way that social media formed a bridge to your past relationships, the ability to meet and connect with people across the globe took thant up a level.

When Communities came along the following year, it changed the dynamic of the Google+ streams. People hung out in these virtual rec rooms. 

Communities began popping up like dandelions. 

While it only takes a few clicks of the mouse to create a Community, it takes patience and strong management and leadership skills to nurture one to success.

Google+ isn’t a ghost town, but there are many neighbourhoods with abandoned buildings and sagebrush.

Martin Shervington RayBunch

Plus Your Business isn’t one of those.

Created by our guest, Martin Shervington, it a dynamic community that has become a resource for many on Google+.

We invited Martin to join the #RayBunch this week to discuss the changing landscape of Google+ and Communities.

“I love Google+. I love the tools. I love what we’re doing. I am challenging the assumptions that many of us are making around the utilization.”


Mark is challenging these assumptions by:

1.  stating flat-out that the social aspect of Google+ is not its main benefit. Google My Business (Local) and mobile is.

2. restructuring restructuring what he is doing with Communities.

While the Plus Your Business Community will continue to be a Public one, it will be more a resource than a “content distribution” destination.

To tap into the reach of more than 17,000 members, you will need to join the paid Community Martin has created: The Plus Your Business Academy.

“We need better business models for the community, and communities.”


Plus Your Business Academy


In Mark’s own words:

The business model for this community was not finely tuned, and I was spending my time-serving without feeling a lot of reward for a few months (note, this was a feeling, if not a fact)

Since the launch of The Academy in summer 2014 I decided to build the business on the ethos of ‘How can I help?’, and this meant to help just about anyone.

As such we launched with an option – you could either pay $1650 for Levels 2 and 3 courses (six weeks and 12 weeks) or you could contribute 50 hours of time.

I love the broader Google+ community, and my role in it. And want to do my best to keep the positive vibes flowing, every day.

In order to do this I’ve needed to pull back attention to serve paying customers much more, which is why The Academy is only for paying customers and the main community is only for Questions for non-paying members, not for distribution of content.

We also need to be AWESOME.

To be awesome we need to pay the bills, and be surrounded by those we love.Click To Tweet


How has the culture on Google+ changed over the last almost 4 years?

…and how should we approach the platform differently?

The early days were all about public hangouts. It was like no one ever locked their doors. We were all welcome to come along and sit on each other’s porches.

Consequently a lot of random connections were made. With the introduction of Communities and private hangouts and the better management of Circles, serendipity has waned. Streams are filtered.

The culture isn’t the same.

“System changes drive cultural change.”


What should a business be on Google+?

Local and mobile.

Google Search gold is to be found in “LOCAL”; make sure you’re on the map and getting reviews.

Stop trying to sell Google+. Do what’s important to be found then be awesome and let them discover the greatness of the platform.

“Google’s attention is connecting people to the right information at the right time.”

It’s all about the search.

Watch the full video here for more information and insight.


Google Plus News

As mentioned last week, the big hubbub on G+ this week is the launch of Collections.

There’s been a lot of “how to” posts and choosing one was difficult.

I choose Dustin Stout’s –  Google+ Collections: A new way to curate your digital life.

Dustin covers the basics but because he also is very attuned to design and this being a very “Pinterest” like product.

I like his enthusiasm for the design elements.


Google plus Collections
Just what are Google+ Collections?

Collections are a way of grouping your posts by topic.

That way, instead of scrolling past Martin Shervington’s “Caturday” posts to get to the meatier stuff (like surfing photos), you can choose to follow his Business – connecting the dots! Collection.


Content Marketing


One of the best Content Marketing posts I came across this week is this one by David Amerland8 Basic Rules for Content Marketing


8 Basic Rules for Content Marketing


What I particularly like about this article is placing content marketing in a holistic context.

For far too long, we’ve isolated the digital space from the real world.

The digital space reflects real world experiences.

It may seem ironic, but the more you mirror your IRL networking and marketing practices on the internet, the more success you’ll have with it.

To show how Google Search works, David uses the example of citation on research papers.

Google wants links to be like academic citations, similar to the ones you might find at the bottom of a professor’s research paper:


These types of citations are generally given to the papers by other people whom the professor leveraged in their research. Nobody paid to get these placements, and it worked on a pure merit system.

You could figure out which research papers were the most important by seeing which ones got referenced the most, and which ones were referenced in the most important papers.

This is the basic concept of how the link graph is supposed to work.


Stuff You Should Read

Social Media Demographics to Inform a Better Segmentation Strategy

by Michael Patterson for Sprout Social.

Social Media Demographics to Inform a Better Segmentation Strategy


One of the most important parts of building your social marketing strategy is to select which platforms to engage your audience on.

It’s easy to be biased by your own preferences but the adage that “be where your clients are” is true.

According to this exhaustive look at various platform demographics, there’s a good chance they’re on Facebook.

But big data is often misleading.

It’s not always how many are on the platform, but “who” are.


George Orwell’s Writing Advice


George Orwell’s Writing Advice


As fast as technological changes flows, we understandably forget that there are human “staples” that remain constant: the need for nourishment, social interaction and communication.

Eric Arthur Blair, better known as George Orwell valued succinctness over verbosity.

Here are a few “Orwellian” rules of writing:

  1. “never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.”
  2. never use a long word where a short one will do. Don’t use your writing as a means to showcase your intellect and your expansive vocabulary.
  3. “If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.”
  4. “never use the passive where you can use the active.” Using the active gives a story a sense of urgency and action.

As I’ve confessed before, I have a problem with passive voice. (I told you.)

To help me out, I use a free online editor called: Hemingwayapp.

You just open the page, paste in your text and it will highlight grammatical and spelling mistakes.


HOA of the Week

Chatting about Collections

Chatting about Google Plus Collections

If you want to learn more about “Collections”, here is an interesting chat with martin shervington, Ronnie Bincer, Travis Taylor  and Mary Stovall

Have you created a Google+ Collection yet?

If so, drop the link in the comments and share it.


That’s it for this week.

Drop me a line and let me know what else you’d like to see in this newsletter.

If you’re free on Tuesday for lunch, join the #RayBunch at 12:15 pm ET.


About Ray Hiltz

Thanks for dropping by. I'm the Director of Digital Marketing for My background in business includes non-profit (performing arts), restaurants and Promotions. Having moved on from my own strategic consulting company, I now write about what interests me. So in this blog, you may read about my thoughts on marketing, health issues and business culture. You can follow me on Twitter @rayhiltz or @image24Call

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