Google+ for Businesses and Brands: What You Need to Know

By Lisa Chatroop, Social Media Assassin

Google+ debuted with much fanfare on June 28th and skyrocketed to 20 million users within its first three weeks, making it the fastest-growing social network of all time. This past month, Google finally rolled out Google+ for businesses. Although it may seem like just another social networking site (many liken it to a hybrid of Facebook and Twitter), there are several unique features Google+ has that allow brands to reach out to their customers in new and unique ways.

Content is Key – and Searchable!
Unlike Twitter, Google+ has a high tolerance for longer original content – meaning that you aren’t just limited to 140 characters. Additionally, unlike Facebook, the ability to use hashtags on Google+ allows brands to create keyword-rich content that is searchable within the site.

Google+ also has a unique feature called Sparks, which is a bit of a hybrid of Google Reader and Google Alerts - in other words, it’s a way for you to read the latest news (like Reader), but it filters the results in the manner of Alerts. Additionally, the search function on Google+ not only allows businesses to track what is being said about their brand, but also allows users (read: potential customers) to find content that appeals to them. In other words, These features make it easier for brands and potential customers to find each other via search terms.

Those that are looking to post a lot of original written content on Google+ (authors, media outlets, and the like) will appreciate the Author Tags feature. This allows content to be permanently tagged with the source data, meaning that even if the material gets picked up by news aggregators, authors can rest assured that the content will still be properly attributed.

Get into the Niche
One unique feature of Google+ is the ability to segment your audience into various groups via Circles. This feature allows brands to send messages that are relevant to each specific Circle they’ve created, thereby allowing them to focus their promotional efforts to a very specific niche. For example, a store with a wide variety of offerings like Wal-Mart might want to promote a sale on Revlon lipstick. Circles would allow them to target that message to women within a certain demographic while avoiding broadcasting the message to disinterested parties, (i.e. men that are only interested in Wal-Mart’s selection of hunting gear). These targeted interest groups cut down on promotional clutter, and we envision this feature resulting in less “unlikes” due to irrelevant postings. 

Hangouts: A New Way to Interact with Your Audience
Although it may seem like just another way for friends and family to stay in touch, many brands are already doing some creative things with the Hangouts feature on Google+. For example, the Black Eyed Peas did a backstage Hangout at a recent concert in NYC.

Members of the media are also using this feature to their advantage – NBC affiliate KOMU-TV recently used Hangouts to give their viewers a behind-the-scenes look at what happens during a live newscast. For brands that aren’t in the entertainment industry, we envision Google+ Hangouts to be an interesting outlet for real-time customer service, live tutorials, meeting/event coverage and more.

SEO Searchable
As one would expect from a Google product, having a presence on Google+ can positively affect your visibility in Google search. First and foremost, all content on Google+ is picked up by Google search and business profiles do show up in search as well. Second, Direct Connect allows users to go directly to your page by searching “+” and your username in Google. For example, to visit Pepsi’s Google+ page, one would enter +Pepsi to be directly connected to their page without the hassle of searching within the website and sorting through irrelevant pages.

Measuring Your Success on Google+

As social media managers, we live and breathe the analytics we receive on the accounts we manage. Fortunately, Google+ syncs with Google Analytics to produce real-time analytical data. Additionally, the Ripples feature on Google+ (think “ripple effect”) offers a visual layout of how your content has spread. Not only is Ripples an interesting way to see how your content has spread, but it’s also an excellent way to help identify brand influencers.

How to Integrate Google+ Into Your Social Media Strategy
First and foremost, snag your identity now. Even if you don’t plan on utilizing your Google+ page just yet, you’ll want to secure your name before someone else does. Second, take the time to learn the platform. Take a look at some brands and public figures that are already wildly popular on Google+ and ask yourself what makes them so. A few of our favorites are Burberry, The Muppets, and Pete Cashmore. Finally, as with any other social media outlet, you’ll want to be tactical, thoughtful, establish a goal and understand exactly how and why people are using the site. The early adopters of Google+ are a savvy bunch – you’ll want to put your best foot forward and establish a dynamic presence.


We were recently proud (and exhilarated) contributing sponsors of Chicago’s TechWeek - a week-long festival, conference and expo that celebrated technology, web and interactive communities. (Follow the #techwk hashtag for continued conversation surrounding tech in the midwest and around the United States.)

Katy Lynch, founder of SocialKaty, was interviewed by HyperLocalLive at TechWeek. Watch how she answers questions about the concept behind the “social media assassins,” ninjas and why she chose Chicago as her hub.


We were recently proud (and exhilarated) contributing sponsors of Chicago’s TechWeek - a week-long festival, conference and expo that celebrated technology, web and interactive communities. (Follow the #techwk hashtag for continued conversation surrounding tech in the midwest and around the United States.)

Katy Lynch, founder of SocialKaty, was interviewed by HyperLocalLive at TechWeek. Watch how she answers questions about the concept behind the “social media assassins,” ninjas and why she chose Chicago as her hub.

Growing Social Media Marketing Firm, SocialKaty, Inc. Secures Series A Funding From Chicago-based Lightbank


Media Contact:

Nicole Minadeo

(312) 768-4744


CHICAGO – SocialKaty, Inc., a Chicago-based social media marketing company that leverages technology to manage online communities for businesses, announced today it has secured Series A funding from technology investment firm Lightbank.

Founded in 2010, SocialKaty is on pace to double in size by the end of 2012, as more businesses seek assistance implementing cross-platform social media strategies. The investment from Lightbank will allow the company to continue to meet growing demand for corporate and non-profit clients that include nationwide consumer packaged goods companies, restaurant chains and retailers.

“SocialKaty provides unique social media marketing services which are undeniably becoming an integral part of every business,” said Lightbank partner Paul Lee. “The SocialKaty team is made up of the kind of people we want to get behind and we are looking forward to partnering with them to continue their success.”

SocialKaty co-founders Craig Ulliott and Katy Lynch created the concept after working together at Where I’ve Been – a company Ulliott started in 2007, funded by Lightbank, and acquired by TripAdvisor (NASDAQ: TRIP). Lessons learned from managing Where I’ve Been’s 10 million users provided a foundation to launch their own agency focused on growing companies through social media channels. SocialKaty relies on custom management tools to monitor brands, interact with online communities and deliver strategic insight to improve click-through and conversion rates.

"This investment from Lightbank allows our team to accelerate growth into new markets in need of scalable online marketing solutions,” said Ulliot. “Our typical package is about half the cost of hiring a full-time community manager, and with actual measurable results it’s a no-brainer for our clients.”

Since launching, SocialKaty has built a team of experienced community managers who have designed and implemented hundreds of creative campaigns to increase fans and followers, raise brand awareness and drive the bottom line for their national and international clients.

“As the need for social media has grown over the last two years, SocialKaty has helped a variety of Chicago-based companies. Now we’re expanding outside Chicago with clients on both coasts and even internationally,” said Lynch. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to work with Lightbank to grow our service offering, especially as we continue to sign up new clients every few weeks and hire staff to keep up.”


About SocialKaty
Founded in August 2010, SocialKaty is a Chicago-based social media marketing company that leverages technology to manage online communities for small to mid-size businesses. We are a team of highly skilled Community Managers that execute and maintain campaigns that spread awareness through conversation to targeted audiences and ultimately accelerate business growth. SocialKaty’s services include day-to-day management of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and blogs for brands as well as social advertising, social contests, design and development. For more information, visit SocialKaty at www.socialkaty.com | Twitter: @socialkaty | Facebook: www.facebook.com/socialkaty


Katy from SocialKaty gives tips to brands who hope to use social media channels to promote St. Patrick’s Day deals.

Check it out!

Techweek plans 3-day event in Cuba

Techweek plans 3-day event in Cuba
By Amina Elahi
Blue Sky
contact the reporter Cuba Caribbean

Is Cuba ready for Techweek?
Techweek will host an abbreviated private conference in Havana in
December, its first step toward expanding to international cities, CEO
Katy Lynch ⇒ said Wednesday.

If successful, the Dec. 1-3 event could place Techweek among the first
Chicago companies to have a business presence in the Caribbean nation
since the U.S. announced in December that it would ease longstanding
travel and trade restrictions with Cuba.

Lynch said Techweek was interested in Cuba as part of its expansion into
new cities because her company saw the country as “on the verge of a
technology revolution.”

But John Kavulich, president of the New York-based U.S.-Cuba Trade and
Economic Council, a nonprofit that provides economic and commercial
information about Cuba, said it is a poor country that is not interested
in paying for the technological overhaul it would require for many
American companies to do business there.

Cuban leaders are lowering Internet costs and creating access to Wi-Fi
for some Cubans but do not see things such as widespread broadband and
cheap Internet access as necessities, he said.

If attendees were to participate “with the belief that they will return
with a contract to do something for money, a commercial contract, then
they should stay home,” Kavulich said.

Lynch acknowledged that Cuba’s weak infrastructure and limited broadband
make it a nation more in need of a technological revolution than one
able to create one.

“The reason why we are going specifically is although we understand
these challenges, there’s opportunity,” Lynch said.

Some U.S. companies, including Netflix and Airbnb, are already operating
in Cuba

The Havana event will take a different form than the weeklong festival
and conferences Techweek already runs in six U.S. cities. Techweek aims
to send 60 U.S. CEOs, who must apply to the program and have all the
proper paperwork, to exchange ideas with Cuban businesspeople, policy
experts and ministry officials. Lynch said this model could work for
future Techweek expansions but that the company has no specific plans yet.

Lynch said Techweek is working with the nonprofit Florida Keys TREE
Institute, an ecological charity with ties to Cuba, which will recruit
Cubans to attend the private event. She said Techweek is in charge of
getting the U.S. CEOs there.

The three-day, two-night trip will feature panels and presentations, as
well as opportunities for the visitors from the U.S. to experience Cuban
culture, Lynch said.

“There’s curiosity there, right?” Lynch said. “I think a lot of tech
leaders know that travel is open to Americans; I think there are a lot
of tech leaders that are looking at Cuba to expand there.”

Techweek’s annual Chicago event is in progress, with the conference
taking place at Merchandise Mart on Thursday and Friday. In May, the
company announced the creation of an investment fund called the 100
Cities Fund, named for the number of companies in which it hopes to host
events. It plans to add another six American cities to its roster in
2016 and 2017.

Email: aelahi@tribpub.com

Source: Techweek plans 3-day event in Cuba - Chicago Tribune -

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Some Texas Counties Withholding Same-Sex Marriage Licenses, by Ally Mutnick
Three days after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide, some Texas county clerks are refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Wow. Katie Lang just up and decided she would ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling, because it’s against her religion. Sorry babe, that’s illegal. TUMBLR USERS! I don’t usually do this, but could you please email Katie Lang and her boss and anyone else who’s above her and let them know that this is illegal and won’t be stood for?

She is directly violating the 14th Amendment; equal rights to ALL citizens. 

She says she doesn’t care if she gets sued, but that’s probably because taxpayers will be paying for the lawsuit. Lucky her; violating the law and then the rest of us have to pay for it.

Here’s her Hood County profile https://www.co.hood.tx.us/index.aspx?nid=211

And Katie Lang’s emaill! klang@co.hood.tx.us

Also here’s San Jacinto County Clerk Dawn Wright’s phone number:  936-653-2324 (she is also is refusing to issue same sex marriage licenses)

This is the most important one though. The US Department of Justice email form. Email Loretta Lynch, the US Attorney General and let her know that these people are violating the Supreme Court ruling:http://www.justice.gov/doj/your-message-department-justice

To top this all off, Alabama Supreme Court has stopped their state from issuing same sex marriage licenses altogether. This is HUGE! 

The only way we can change this is if we the citizens of the United States put a voice to it, a very loud voice that speaks EQUAL RIGHTS for all. 


Welcome to the world Between Fiction and Reality, where the person next to you on your bus ride from school can be a dragon in disguise, who you might have read about once or twice from the inside of a book.

This group circles around fictional people and creatures that, during strange circumstances, ends up being transferred from their own fictional world into our own as real, living humans.

Confused, lost and without any knowledge whatsoever they wander among us as they try their best to adapt to a world that is neither familiar with magic, marvelous kingdoms, vampires or other strange creatures.

We accept both canon and OCs!

We have:

  • Monthly events
  • Monthly tasks for development
  • AU weeks where you are open to discover your character in a whole new way
  • Friendly and accepting members

Accepting Wednesday and Saturday



“If you can hear this then you are in terrible danger”
Featuring: The 3rd Doctor and Jo Grant, performed by Katy Manning and Damian Lynch as Benjamin Chikoto
Stand alone? : Yes
Marks out of 10: 9.5/10
*Jump on point*

Summary of the plot
The TARDIS has landed in a very dark destination. The Doctor is gone and Jo Grant exits the TARDIS only to find him in some sort of coma. As she wonders around she soon realizes that there may be something lurking in the darkness, the reality of which is so much more sinister than it first appears.

Jonathan Morris has created an eerie and atmospheric two part companion chronicle, which quickly becomes skin crawling creepy. It’s a full cast drama rather than a narrated one, however with the Doctor temporarily out of the picture it pretty much consists of Jo Grant talking to herself about her surroundings at first. Therefore the idea of having Jo record the events on the TARDIS log was a very good idea. Old research bases with experiments gone terribly wrong always make for a good ghost story and the concepts in this one are some of the best I’ve heard on big finish.

I’ve never listened to Katy Manning on audio before but it became clear to me as I did just how talented at voice acting she is. The way she delivers the lines and changes her voice is spot on.
Jo Grant may not be the brightest crayon in the pack but my god is she one of the bravest.

Buy it here