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.
Google Analytics Custom Dashborads
This is not new but rather a quick mention about Custom dashboards in Google analytics. 

I recommend checking out these pre-formatted dashboards hosted in the Analytics Solution Gallery. You can select from a variety of qualified dashboards that will show key marketing points, at a glance. Find dashboards that work for you and download them into your analytic view. Create your own custom dashboard and share if you would like.

Google My Business Tips and Details

Google My Business
For all that watched the recent Google Partners Connect event,  10-15-14. Fred Vallaeys spent a significant amount of time talking about the new Google My Business product which is what Google Places has become. I think we all know the significance of having this account. My partner Yext, sent me a white page about Google My Business that includes even more tips, tricks and details about this product. If you haven't seen this white page already you can see it here.