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Recommend our next employee and we’ll thank you with an iPad 3.

Upstream have some great new clients on board – which means we’re looking to recruit a Social Media Manager, and fast.

As digital marketers and SEO experts, we’re natural networkers. So we know that you know someone who could be perfect for the role. If they are based in Brighton – or willing to be based here – and have a few years’ experience in a similar role, we’d like to hear from them.

As an incentive to ‘pass the message on’ we are offering a shiny new iPad to anyone who recommends a contact we go on to employ. So spread the word and be sure to remind your contacts to tell us they heard about the role from you.

Details of the Social Media Manager role can be found here: http://www.upstreamconnections.com/careers-social-media-manager.html

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You will use Google+!

It’s all change in local search

So as you may have seen this morning, Google Places has come to an abrupt end. Well that is what the major outlets would have you believe, but from what I have seen, it has finally evolved into something that will be of more use to both businesses and customers alike; in the form of Google+ Local Pages. These listings are not dissimilar to Facebook Places and as such, they integrate straight into the Google+ profile of the business. But wait I hear you cry, most businesses aren’t on Google+, and you are not wrong, they’re not but they will be now if they have any sense!

Was that the main point of the entire process? Making sure that people are using Google+? I think we can take a educated guess and agree that it will have been a major factor in the change. But for now, we will overlook the shameless attempt to grow users and look at what it can actually do for you.

So what?

Well, basically all Google+ Local Pages are now completely indexed. Yep there is going to be a serious amount of SEO value up for grabs with these Pages and you’re going to need to make the most of it. It will be interesting to see the different approaches to Google+ Local Pages and what works the best. For now it is a guessing game and we will have to wait and see how strict Google are with spam and low quality listings.

Another very interesting development is making the whole thing mobile and changing the review system to Zagat, the reviews will become far more detailed with a ranking system up to 30 and split between different categories. It should make for a far better user experience. As they are now indexed, it makes sense that the more reviews there are, the more SEO value the page has. Google’s obsession with freshness plays into the hands of the involved user.

You are also now able to see what reviews your friends have left in a very similar way to Foursquare. The change is so large, it needs to be covered by 2 videos, check them out below.



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What now for Social Media?

Congratulations on getting social media noticed

Social media has had a fantastic year, the industry is becoming mainstream and everyone wants to get involved. This is potentially fantastic news for businesses and consumers alike however there is a downside to the increased attention social media has gained.

For the past few years, advocates of social have said time and time again that success lies with simple engagement and until recently, I would have to agree. But as with every industry, as soon as everyone catches on to an innovative and different idea, it just becomes the norm. This is the age old problem of supply and demand, there is a limited amount of supply (attention given by users) and an ever increasing amount of demand (demand for user attention) basically between everyone involved in social media, we have completely saturated the market.

So what does that actually mean? Well basically it means our job has just become a whole lot harder, it’s time to move away from the very basic strategies that most companies have applied and start differentiating ourselves, not just from our competitors, but from every other corporate voice. You need to think about what you and your business are going to do that will make you stand out from the growing amount of social media noise.

What can you learn from KLM?

One company that has done just that is KLM, yes they are a huge company with a massive budget but that doesn’t actually affect what they did and how they did it. Their basic idea was to reward their customers by giving them small gifts, nothing major but it makes a big difference to that person’s day. Customers were identified from tweets and Foursquare checkins, the team then did a little background research on the customer and what they might like and they gave them the gifts. Enough from me, just watch the video.

So what have they just achieved? Over 1,000,000 impressions, great content for their YouTube channel and some very happy customers. Now what would that kind of return normally cost your business? I would be very surprised if you could get that kind of response using anything other than social media and a small amount of investment and time.

It’s not just for those with a big budget!

But what about the smaller companies, what can you do? Well think about what you can offer and how you can offer it, if for example you own a small independent coffee shop, why not monitor the online conversation among your existing followers and if someone is having a bad day, just offer them a coffee on the house. What has that cost you? £1-£2 and what will you get? A tweet, a happy customer, the chance to put a smile on someone’s face and a great brand image, not bad ROI if you ask me.

Get thinking, be different, things are getting harder but if you wait until everyone else is doing it then you’re late to the party and you’re going to have to do far more. The earlier you make the move, the cheaper it is going to be. What’s the worst that can happen if you do it now?

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