Tag Archives: engagement

Website Traffic Boost using Google Maps and Local Guides

We’re all looking for ways to increase our website traffic or bring more eyes to our social pages. Let me tell you about a free, authentic and effective way of doing just that.

I received a really cool e-mail from Google this week, that told me that my photos had helped over 250K people on Google Maps (255,361 to be precise!).

Local Guides 250K Views for Free Website Traffic

How?

If you’re anything like me, you use Google for everything.  I regularly use: Search; Maps; YouTube; Gmail; Drive; G+; and, Translate. I actually just surprised myself at how much I rely on Google services.

Well…about a year ago I signed up as a Google Local Guide.

Google Local Guides are basically people who share their discoveries on Google Maps. This allows people to get more value from Google Maps by benefiting from the experience of others.  This could be a review of a local restaurant or a picture of your local beach.

So that’s good for Google, but what’s in it for you?

Well there are actually 5 different levels of guide (I’m a level 3).  A level 5 becomes a “Google Insider”, and gets to test new products before public release.  This Local Guides benefits page gives you a complete run down.

But personally, I’m not doing it for the Google benefits. I’m doing it because every picture I share carries my watermark and gives me free website traffic.  This image of The Shore in Edinburgh, Scotland has received 21, 445 views alone.

The Shore, Leith - More than 21,000 views providing Free Website Traffic

 

This image of Carson’s Pioneer Lookout in NSW, Australia has received 9,761 views.

Carsons Lookout Thunderbolts Way - More than 9,000 views providing Free Website Traffic

 

And this image of Murcia Cathedral in Spain has been viewed a whopping 39,363 times!

Murcia Cathedral - More than 39,000 views providing Free Website Traffic

It’s very important to keep your images relevant to the exact place on Google Maps that they are of (otherwise, I’m sure Google will remove them and you from Local Guides). However, it’s worth bearing in mind that as a landscape, cityscape, seascape photographer I’m much more interested in uploading those kinds of images. However, you’ll find that the local McDonalds is searched for on Google Maps much more than the places I like to photograph.  Food for thought?!

More importantly, the more accurate you are, the more relevant your image is to the person making the search on Google Maps. They are then far more likely to read your watermark (free advert) and visit your website.

Something that I haven’t done (yet), and also strongly advise, is that you also use your watermark to drive traffic to your various social media profiles.

I hope that boosts your website traffic or increases your followers on your social profiles.

Please click my social links, follow my page and say hi. You’ll then be first to know about my next blog.

 

Fraser 😉

Is My Content Good?

If you’re trying to grow a presence online, then you’ll be aware that social media is where it’s at.  Personally, I use: TSU; Instagram; G+; Facebook; YouTube; Pinterest; and recently even, Snapchat (username Goofy Surfer) (the order is my personal level of importance).

But is my content good?

This is the question that I (and you) should keep coming back to, and this is why you should always refer back to the data.

On TSU, there is a great Analytics tool that allows you to evaluate every post that you make. You should be using it! And the best thing…it doesn’t matter how many Friends or Followers you have.

I use a 10% rule. It’s simple. For every 10 people that see my post does 1 person like it?

Here’s a few examples:

This image has received 327 views and 51 likes (15.6%…good)

Contrasting Fortunes - Is my content good?
Contrasting Fortunes

This image however, has only had 29 views and 2 likes (6.9%…poor)

Flag of the UAE - Is my content good?
Flag of the UAE

This post, has had 2270 views and 199 likes (8.8%…ok, but great reach)

As your audience grows, you will notice 2 things.  First, some people will share your content regardless of whether or not they like it, just because you have a big audience (in the hope that you will do the same back).  DON’T! Or rather, only do if you genuinely do like their content. Otherwise, your agenda is clear and people see through it in seconds.

Second. The 10% target you’re aiming for is likely to become a little ambitious. As your content reaches a bigger audience, it is natural that not everyone it reaches will like it (although some will).

ALWAYS focus on the people with whom you’ve got a GENUINE relationship with. They are your biggest fans and your biggest supporters. They will help you because they want to, and you will help them because you want to.

You will also notice that something that gains good momentum on 1 social platform, will not necessarily gain it on another. When you see this, start varying what you do on that platform and see what works.

But keep analysing… IS MY CONTENT GOOD?

How much does a TSU Group earn?

The number 1 most important thing online is trust.

If you don’t trust a person, a company or in my case a TSU Group ‘owner’ (TSU speak…not mine!) you are never going to have genuine engagement.

Some of you may have wondered how much TSU groups earn. Maybe you’re thinking of setting up your own group?  So…

Q. How much does a TSU group earn?

A. There is not straight answer, as it obviously depends on how much effort you put in, how many members you have, how much discussion the group generates and how popular the content is.

However, there is one thing that’s fixed. The TSU Group economics. The 100% of monies generated by a group is divided up as follows.

  • 35% goes to the Content Creating Members (you)
  • 25% goes to the group Owner (me @goofysurfer)
  • 25% is split between the Non-Owner Admins
  • 10% goes to TSU
  • 5% goes to the affiliated Charity Partner (@Charity Water)

Q. What does this mean in dollars and cents?

A. It’s not always consistent, but it allows us to run the group competitions and give the weekly #picoftheweek prize over on the @FlowerPictures page. It also offers small (and I mean small) compensation to the admins who help make this possible, by kindly giving their time.

Transparency is good.

Thanks for being a member of the Flower Pictures TSU Group

 

Read more tips at:

Tip 1: How do you find the right people
Tip 2: Don’t be a Eucalyptus Head
Tip 3: Account Restrictions
Tip 4: How to invite Friends
Tip 5: Use Hashtags
Tip 6: Mention other TSU Users
Tip 7: Meaningful Engagement
Tip 8: Connect your Social Profiles
Tip 9: Spammers and Copyright Infringement
Tip 10: Who YOU should invite to TSU
Tip 11: Is Google finding your TSU posts?
Tip 12: How to get more followers on TSU?
Tip 13: TSU Invite Code
Tip 14: Is TSU a Pyramid Scheme?
Tip 15: Choose a Good Username

Choose a Good Username

This is a tip for TSU, but actually it applies everywhere.

If you’re going to have a public profile anywhere think very carefully about your username, because usually it can’t be changed, and you’re going to be stuck with it for a long time!

You certainly don’t want put in lots of effort to a profile, that later you may start again (or worse…give up completely), simply because you didn’t like your username.

 

Q. So what is a good username?

A. It should be

  • Memorable – this might simply be your own name if you intend to build a brand around yourself.
  • Easy to Spell – we all hate it when someone spells our name incorrectly, so maybe you could shorten it if yours is particularly difficult.
  • Say something about You – for example, I have 2 profiles on TSU. One is called Flower Pictures and the other is called Goofy Surfer. Both say something about me and my interests.
  • Consistent – do you have other online profiles?  If yes, then it’s good to keep a common username. That way, any goodwill you build up on another site may transfer to your new account.
  • Funny – however, only do funny if you can do funny!

 

Q. What isn’t a good username?

  1. Anything Rude or Offensive – unless you intend to have a rude or offensive page (and granted there are some that are successful), you will put off more people that you turn on.
  2. Random Numbers and Letters – Nothing says “I’m lazy” more than someone who can’t even be bothered to think up a title for themselves. No-one is motivated by this.
  3. Anything that tries to piggy-back on someone else’s success – Be original, be genuine, be yourself.  A username that is deliberately trying to use someone or something else’s identity in the hope that it will bring you success is doomed to failure from the start.

 

Sorry if you’ve just read this and thought “Damn, I wish I’d thought of this earlier”. This tip is really intended for people who have not yet signed up. However, hopefully you’ll find something interesting in my previous tips.

Read more tips at:

Tip 1: How do you find the right people
Tip 2: Don’t be a Eucalyptus Head
Tip 3: Account Restrictions
Tip 4: How to invite Friends
Tip 5: Use Hashtags
Tip 6: Mention other TSU Users
Tip 7: Meaningful Engagement
Tip 8: Connect your Social Profiles
Tip 9: Spammers and Copyright Infringement
Tip 10: Who YOU should invite to TSU
Tip 11: Is Google finding your TSU posts?
Tip 12: How to get more followers on TSU?
Tip 13: TSU Invite Code
Tip 14: Is TSU a Pyramid Scheme?

Is Google finding your TSU posts?

Q. Does it matter if Google finds your TSU posts?

A. Of course it does, and here’s why.

Let’s say that your hobby or profession is photography, and that macro photography is what interests you most. Let’s also say that you’ve joined TSU, and that the majority of your content is close-ups of insects. But…you really only post your images and a couple of hashtags, if you remember. It’s highly unlikely that Google is going to find your post.

Q. So what should I do differently?

  1. Always give your post a title. This should be relevant and not an attempt to spam (Google doesn’t like this, neither does TSU and neither should you).
  2. Always give your post a short description. This could be where you were, what camera you used, what the subject is, how long it took you to get the shot you wanted etc. etc.
  3. Always use at lease 2 or 3 (relevant) hashtags. i.e #caterpillar #insect

This will make it much more likely that your post will be ‘discovered’ on TSU and be indexed and found on Google.

Q. So what?

A. Well, if someone – who has possibly never heard of TSU – finds your post on Google (TSU posts are now Open Web and can be seen by non-members) and joins TSU as a result, they join under your shortcode.  They are then a child in your family tree network forever, and remember, TSU rewards both original content and those who grow the network.

Here’s something to try:

Open a new tab or web page. Go to TSU, but log out of your account. Go to Google and search for ‘YourUsername on TSU’.  Click on the link to your account.

You’ll be able to see all of your account but not interact without signing up.  So click on the link that says ‘Join’.

Have a look in the Referrer Shortcode field.  It is you!

Q. Can you summarise this?

A. Sure. Take a little more care and attention when you make your posts and gain TSU children without having to do anything!  Cool eh.

Please share to your favourite social network (buttons below).

Thanks 🙂

 

Read more tips at:

Tip 1: How do you find the right people
Tip 2: Don’t be a Eucalyptus Head
Tip 3: Account Restrictions
Tip 4: How to invite Friends
Tip 5: Use Hashtags
Tip 6: Mention other TSU Users
Tip 7: Meaningful Engagement
Tip 8: Connect your Social Profiles
Tip 9: Spammers and Copyright Infringement
Tip 10: Who YOU should invite to TSU

 

 

Who YOU should invite to TSU

Inviting other people to TSU is a good thing for 2 main reasons:

1. It allows you to connect with the people you already know on a great new social network, that recognises the value of #originalcontent.

2. You improve your own personal monetisation on TSU, as the ‘parent’ of the person you invited.

Q. But is it more than that, and can you work smarter?

A. Yes, and here’s why.

TSU have introduced functionality that notifies a ‘child’ when their ‘parent’ makes a post.  Let’s say Tom invites Anna to join TSU, and she does.  From then on, every time Tom makes a post Anna will receive a notification (this can be switched off in notification settings, but the default setting is on).

Q. So what…why is that important?

A. Well, let’s think about the people.  Imagine Tom is a photographer, and Anna is an editor at a magazine that Tom has always wanted to be published in.  Now, every time Anna logs in to TSU she receives a notification from Tom (if he’s made a post).  Tom will now be at the front of Anna’s mind the next time she has a job that he is suitable for.

Q. What does this mean for Tom?

A. Firstly, people do not sign up to TSU just because you tell them to. They sign up to TSU because you contact them personally and give them a list of reasons why you think TSU would be good for them. Sometimes they agree, sometimes they don’t, and this is fine.  If they don’t, you shouldn’t continue to pester them…you wouldn’t like it if someone did that to you!

Secondly, if Tom really wants to be seen as the go-to-guy by Anna, he now has a responsibility (to himself) to post quality content. Remember…Anna will see everything.

This will ultimately be good for Tom, good for Anna and good for TSU.

Q. What does this mean for you?

A. If you are using TSU purely for social reasons (i.e. to talk to friends and family) then invite your friends and family.

If you are using TSU for more commercial reasons, then think carefully about the people that you would like to see your content.

Please share to your favourite social network (buttons below).

Thanks 🙂

 

Read more tips at:

Tip 1: How do you find the right people
Tip 2: Don’t be a Eucalyptus Head
Tip 3: Account Restrictions
Tip 4: How to invite Friends
Tip 5: Use Hashtags
Tip 6: Mention other TSU Users
Tip 7: Meaningful Engagement
Tip 8: Connect your Social Profiles
Tip 9: Spammers and Copyright Infringement

Spammers and Copyright Infringement

Regardless of how good (or bad) you believe TSU to be, it – like other social networks – is always going to be open to misuse by people not using the service as it was intended.  Although spammers and copyright infringers are two different problems, they can be dealt with in much the same way.

Q. What is a spammer?

A. In the context of TSU, a spammer is likely to be a person that posts irrelevant, rude, repetitive comments on another person’s feed, for the purpose of personal gain.  You know the sort of thing “follow4follow”, “share4share”, “visitmywebsite” or even simply “like” 100 different times, with no thought given to what they are commenting on.

Usually this is done on pages with a large following in the hope that a lot of eyes will see the spam.  We’ve had a bit of it @flowerpictures.

Q. What is a copyright infringer?

A. These are people who use the work of another person without permission, with the view to personal gain.  i.e. copy/paste, screengrabs, removal of watermarks etc.

Q. So what can be done to stop this?

A. If you’ve inadvertently followed or been followed by a spammer, click on their profile.  Click the 3 little dots (under their username) and click ‘Block’. This will stop them being able to send you a message, write on your wall or comment on your posts.

If you notice that a post infringes your copyright, go to that post, click the 3 dots under the post and then ‘Report’.  You’ll then get a choice of options, including:

Inappropriate / Harassing me or a friend / Hate speech / Spam-Scam / Sexually explicit content / Violent or harmful behaviour /Drug use /Your intellectual property / Someone else’s intellectual property

Select the most appropriate and move on.  Do not get involved in an online argument if you can help it.

Q. Could TSU do more?

A. In my opinion, yes.  The one thing I’d like to see is a ‘right click’ ‘save as’ facility removed.  This is particularly relevant for those of us with visual content

Q. How can I ensure I’m not a spammer or a copyright infringer?

A. If you are genuine in your engagement with others, you are not a spammer…easy.  With regards copyright, if you are sharing from outside of TSU, then always make sure you have the permission of the content creator to do so.  If you are sharing from within TSU, just hit the share button and give the credit to the creator who’s content you value.  You might just form a friendship!

Please share to your favourite social network (buttons below).

Thanks 🙂

 

Read more tips at:

Tip 1: How do you find the right people
Tip 2: Don’t be a Eucalyptus Head
Tip 3: Account Restrictions
Tip 4: How to invite Friends
Tip 5: Use Hashtags
Tip 6: Mention other TSU Users
Tip 7: Meaningful Engagement
Tip 8: Connect your Social Profiles

Meaningful Engagement

Q. What is meaningful engagement?

A. To me, meaningful engagement is just communicating with someone when you actually have something worthwhile to say.

If you see someone’s post and the thought you have is ‘oh, that’s nice’, then click the Like button and move on.  Do not type ‘Like’, ‘Nice’ or spam your username in the comment field in the hope that it will raise your own profile.

Q. How to do it?

A. For example, if you are looking at the @flowerpictures page, and you see a particularly nice red rose, you might like to say why you like it.  i.e.  Is it the colour? Is it the composition? Is it the lighting? Is it the focus? etc.

Better still, engage directly with the photographer – by using their username in your comment – (i.e. @flowerpictures).  You might even have a question about the image.  Where was it taken?  What camera and lens did you use?

Q. Why should you do this?

A. Because, meaningful engagement creates meaningful relationships, which should be what everyone is looking for.  Let me give you an example.

I recently took part in a discussion on someone else’s page (because I was interested and it was fun).  That led to that person making a $3.00 donation to my page.  Now…that was nice of them, but it was certainly not expected, so I in turn donated it to @detroitwaterbrigade.

However, the result of all of that is that I have built a relationship with a stranger based on respect, and a deserving charity gets the benefit.  Can you get better than that?

Please share to your favourite social network (buttons below).

Thanks 🙂

 

Read more tips at:

Tip 1: How do you find the right people
Tip 2: Don’t be a Eucalyptus Head
Tip 3: Account Restrictions
Tip 4: How to invite Friends
Tip 5: Use Hashtags
Tip 6: Mention other TSU Users