Something about that just doesn't resonate with me as a technology professional. Cardboard?
Google Cardboard
Should I be seen in public with this, OK very cool? Maybe this is to help us connect with some of that special alone time, with your cat of course. Really, I just can't see myself keeping these very handy, next to the sunglasses? I have issues with forgetting my sunglasses so this could be a problem here as well. Or, they could be one of those items that gets lost (flattened) in the bottom of a miscellaneous drawer, or the dog gets a good chew out of them… No, they will be one of those nostalgic items I can pull out in 5 years to show off to my techie friends, like an artifact. See, I'm so cool, I still have a pair of these (original only used twice). Of course I will have to dig to find one of those "phones" and oh yeah, a video to watch? For sure it will bring big bucks on eBay, stock up!

It's the latest and the greatest roll out from Google no actually, Youtube Red. Have you heard? Time to check in on this and get your cardboard. It's what we have all been waiting for, Youtube Red. Although, Google glass sounds more futuristic. What do you think?

More and more people look to search engines, social media, product reviews and other technologies to make informed purchasing decisions. As consumers, we no longer have to rely on slick marketing to influence our choices. As business owners, engaging in reviews & social media, is now a part of the "new age" of marketing and customer service we live in.

Why is it important to respond to reviews and engage in social media? A review is the beginning of a dialogue. Increasingly, customers are sharing their experiences online. If a business truly wants to understand how customers perceive their products & services, and influence perceptions in the market place, engaging in social media & reviews, is a must.

A company can learn from listening to customer reviews. Often a common complaint or common compliment will be revealed. This enables management to take appropriate action or reward departments that are doing a good job.

Reviews can be seen as part of customer service. By providing responses to reviews, the customer will experience the same kind of prompt and engaging attention often promised when beginning the customer journey. This is especially true for reviews that include an element of complaining. Responding to this type of review shows that your company cares. Not only will you demonstrate that your company cares about the customer but that you care about how your company is being perceived. Responding to the customer voice is a part of customer service and maintaining your company reputation. 

Managing social media and customer reviews can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are tools available to help with this. Review and social media alerts can be set up through 3rd part tools. These alerts enable the business representative to respond or engage with online comments almost immediately. If you're interested in setting your business up with social media management tools, please contact me.

Social media, it’s all about connecting with friends, colleges and like minded people online. There are some basic symbols that are used within #socialmedia content that help people connect and engage an audience.  Here is a simple explanation of using the most common social media symbols that will help social engagement: the # hashtag, the + symbol and the @ symbol. 

The #Hashtag Symbol. When adding a # hashtag in front of a relevant topic words, keywords or phrase, such as #socialmedia, allows  posts that are about social media to be categorized for this topic. This results in posts having an increased search-ability for topics or key-phrases  proceeded with a hashtag. Additionally, clicking on  hash-tagged phrase within a post, shows you all other posts that include that hash-tagged phrase or topic. When a # hash-tagged keyword or phrase becomes popular, they often become part of trending topics. Hashtags are supported by Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Google+. Consequently, hashtags are the most recognize and used symbol in social media.  Hashtags help people share a topic, they do not direct the message to a specific group or person. 

Hashtags on Instagram ,Tumblr & Pinterest work slightly differently. Including #hashtag in the image caption, allows the picture to be included on a page of all pictures using that #hashtag in addition to increasing the search-ability. Once the post has been made, tapping on the #hashtag allows the page to open with all the related images. Tumblr works similar to this with a few more setting options available, see Tumblr tagging rules here.  Pinterest basically follows the same rule but hashtags are not part of their search feature. It is advisable to use # hashtags on Pinterest that are more specific or used for branding. Hashtags that are too general don’t bring up a very desirable result, as their search doesn’t recognize the # symbol.

Using the @ symbol on Facebook and Twitter posts.  When using the @ symbol before a person’s username or page on FB & Twitter, directs the post to that person or page. The person or organization will then receive an email or notification. Writing a person’s name in a Facebook post “tags” that person and they will receive an email that they have been tagged. 

Using the + symbol on a Google + post. Using the + sign before a person’s name on Google + works just like the @ symbol on FB or Twitter. The person or group will be notified of their mention in the post. Google also has communities, participating in these communities will help you “spread the word” and keep you in the loop for your desired interest. 

If you have further insights on using these basic social communication tools, please comment and share your thoughts.

Here are a few links to recognized hashtags, and .
Lightbox Ads are a high impact ad experience allowing you to embed stunning ad content such as: video, catalog or a game into an ad unit. Ad then expands into almost a full-screen view, while background dims out. 

Strengthen brand-to-customer relationship by engaging the customer with your content. Advertiser pays thru cost-per-engagement (CPE) pricing, only pay when user becomes involved with ad.

POST Ads - Unbelievable! 
I see this as the ultimate in advertising. Turn your Google + post into a display ad. People can join a Hangout On Air, comment, follow your brand, or give +1 right from an ad.

See Catalog Lightbox Demo

I found this to be a very useful tip regarding remarketing to your customer email list on Facebook. Thanks to  +Matthew Weltz  for posting this in the Google Partners Community. See more details about creating a Custom Audience List in Facebook here.
You can segment your email lists for a specific relevant audience for the post to be promoted. Promoting to a relevant audience engages the viewer, and they are more inclined to like your page.