Category Archives: Social Media
Difference Between +1 and G+ (Google Plus)

Google released their +1 feature and then very soon after released their social media product, Google+, which is commonly being called G+.

This has caused a little confusion for some people when trying to differentiate between G+ and +1.

I hate to compare Google+ and +1 to Facebook because with Google’s powerful search integration and the feature differences they’re not the same to me but it gives me a good way to explain the differences that are familiar to anyone who has used Facebook.

Google+ / Google Plus / G+ is a social network like Facebook is a social network. You have a profile, you can add people and share photos, status updates, etc.

+1 / Google +1 is similar to the Facebook “like” button that you click when you like something someone has posted and is often seen on websites, blogs, etc. Please note, this is not “subscribing” to anything as when you “like” a Facebook Page, it is only giving a +1 to the item you click on.

Thus, a very simplified explanation of G+ and +1:

G+ = social network

+1 = a way to show you like or endorse something

I began writing this and found myself wanting to go more in-depth in my explanation with Google’s new releases but that is not what this post is about so, if you want more information send me your Google account e-mail to my e-mail address below and I’ll send you an invitation to G+ (it’s still in beta) and you can check it out for yourself…

and, if you found this post helpful, you can give me a +1 !

Donna Winter .:. donna[at]totera[dot]com
Marketing and Project Development Coordinator
Totera Web Systems

Custom Usernames on Facebook Pages

Facebook allows you to choose a username for your Page when you have 25 or more people who have “Liked” it (“Likers” were formerly called “Fans”).

A “username” is the end portion of the URL (link) that people can use to find your Page. The username you choose will appear at the end of the URL like this:

It’s helpful for people searching for your business on Facebook or in a search engine (Google, Bing, etc), or for SEO if you use keywords for your username. Thus, you can use your business name such as “bobbinsgalore” or you can use related keywords such as “sewingsupplies.” Continue Reading →

Social Media Marketing for 2010 and Beyond

Now that a new decade is dawning, it is a great time to review your marketing efforts. What worked, what didn’t and what’s changed? The biggest transformation Totera has observed in marketing has been the explosive growth of social media.

Powerful tools such as Facebook, Blogs, and Twitter are changing the way millions of people connect and exchange information. For the first time in its history, Facebook was the most visited website in the United States on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 2009—beating even Amazon, Yahoo, and Google.

Marketing giants are re-evaluating their traditional marketing strategies. Pepsi is ending a 23-year tradition of running expensive ads in the Super Bowl. This year they are instead focusing on online advertising–including a $20 million social media marketing campaign.

You don’t have to spend millions to see the benefits of social media marketing. We have many clients that have taken advantage of free or low-cost mediums to share information, generate traffic, and communicate with their audience in ways not possible a few years ago. Among our favorite examples:

Organic Seed Alliance – Twitter

This Port Townsend Non-Profit uses the power of Twitter to instantly receive information from over 100 sources, and has sent more than 140 messages to their growing list of 250 followers.

Great Bear Charters – Facebook

This self-proclaimed ‘low-tech’ company uses the power of Facebook to communicate with customers and generate interest in their charter sailing business. In 2009, their Facebook page quickly became a gathering place for 165 fans to share photos, stories and reviews for the world to see.

Rain Coast Guides – Blog

Jim loves fly-fishing. He’d rather be taking people fishing on the Olympic Peninsula than working on his website. With the help of Quick Blogcast software Jim quickly posts photos and stories from the wilderness. His popular “Fly-Fishing Report” keeps subscribers up to date with conditions, locations, and recommendations that engage and entertain both existing and potential customers.

Want more success stories of how social media marketing has helped our customers? Contact us, we have plenty. And while we’re at it, let’s discuss how web 2.0 can benefit your organization in the coming year.

Congratulations on the progress you’ve made, and we look forward to working with you in 2010!

*originally posted 01/04/2010

Ways to Use Twitter volume II: Seesmic and TweetDeck for Power Users

To avoid the suspense: Seesmic Desktop has won my heart.

To be honest: TweetDeck rocks, too.

The differences between TweetDeck and Seesmic are so minor that it is down to personal aesthetic preference and some minor functionality.  The two seem to be in a friendly competition to see who can add the greatest features and functionality as quickly as possible.  TweetDeck founder Iain Dodsworth (left) and Seesmic founder Loic Le Meur (right) even made a prank video claiming TweetDeck had been acquired by Seesmic:

TweetDeck holds the number one spot when it comes to applications used to manage Twitter accounts.  Seesmic was not even in the top ten last month.

And, rapidly adding functionality they are; Jennifer Van Grove wrote a great article last month comparing TweetDeck and Seesmic but it is already obsolete as both have been adding and updating their product by leaps and bounds in the weeks since the article’s release.

Both desktop applications run on Adobe Air, allow you to manage multiple Twitter accounts, manage one Facebook account and give you control over tweeting, following, retweeting, favoriting, searching, the list goes on…from any or all of the accounts you manage.

TweetDeck currently has the one up for iPhone integration.  It has an app that you can sync to your accounts and thus run it seamlessly from your PC or Mac and your iPhone.  But, wait!  Seesmic released its very own iPhone app at Tech Crunch’s Real-Time Stream and CrunchUp on July 10th and it will be only a matter of time before all iPhone users have access.

So, why have I chosen Seesmic as my personal account manager over TweetDeck?  I’ve been told I cannot simply reply, “I love their raccoons.”  Although, they are damn cute. What makes Seesmic work for me is the user interface.

You can make it as small as a single column or have a single “home” column with one detached column that has a scroll bar so you can move back and forth between all of your accounts, search columns, groups and any other column topic you’ve created, or, you can have it set up to have all columns in one window to scroll through (TweetDeck has only this option, but you can resize the window).  You can also drag and drop columns if you want them in a different position. Finally, Seesmic has a “home” column that lists the tweets and status updates of all of the Twitter users and Facebook friends all of my accounts are following.

There you have it; it’s a matter of personal preference.  If you are a power Twitter user and need a desktop application this is what I hope you get out of this:

1. It is worth your time to try out the various applications available to find exactly what you need.

2. TweetDeck and Seesmic are listening to their users and adding functionality to suit our needs.

3. Raccoons are cool.

Donna WinterProject Development and Marketing Coordinator

*originally posted 07/24/2009

Ways to Use Twitter volume I: Browser add ons

If you don’t know what Twitter is stop reading now and switch to this post Twitter Wave.  I was hoping to get through all of the various Twitter tools, apps, add ons, etc in one week but that was a goofy, goofy dream (although I AM a goddess).  I believe I’ve seen about 10 new Twitter tools introduced just since I began on Monday and I’ve realized this will have to be a multi-part report.

Browser add on honesty part one:  I use Mozilla FireFox.  Internet Explorer 8 does have add on capability and you can find many of the same and some new Twitter browser add ons for IE8 here: The end result is the same, I just prefer FireFox.

The good news is, I’ve found you can add and remove the tools easily and every single one of them works with your Twitter username and password.

I am running Friendbar, TwitterBar, InstantTweets, Twitbin, TwitterFox, TwitKit, Yoonoo and I’m going to include ShareThis, although it isn’t a reader/feeder or Twitter-exclusive app.

I did not include a couple of add ons that allow you to tweet more than 140 characters, i.e. Twitzer.  Call me a purist but if you don’t want to microblog, then get a real blog.

Toolbar Twitter posts only:

InstantTweets and TwitterBar post directly from your browser address bar to your Twitter account. These add ons would only be for posting what you’re looking at on the Internet (the page you’re on) directly to your Twitter account. There is no friend feed.

Toolbar Twitter (and Facebook) interactivity:

Friendbar is a fun add on.  It does not manage multiple Twitter accounts but you can share to both Twitter and Facebook and it is pretty slick-looking in your toolbar.  You have various size, color and rotation options. Here’s what is looks like installed:

Sidebar Twitter interactivity:

TwitKit is Twitter-only.  There is nothing wrong with it.  Its menu and icons are very user-friendly and for someone just using a single account it’s doable.

Twitbin has great features and, I think the average user would understand the menu and icons fairly easily.  It seems more functional that TwitKit.  That is my opinion, though, and I’ve learned from experience that usability is in the mouse of the beholder.

Yoonoo is loaded with overwhelming functionality (even for the goddess)! I have to admit that Yoonoo as a Twitter tool alone has the most versatility.  It rocks…until you realize you can add every freakin’ social app you’ve ever signed up for.  Want people bugging you everytime you open your browser window?  MySpace, Facebook, GoogleTalk, Windows Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Twitter…*imagine goddess overwhelmsion here* If you want, and can handle this type of mass interactivity, Yoonoo is really all-inclusive.

Basic Twitter interactivity:

TwitterFox is my favorite so far for easy to use interactivity in your browser for posting and receiving your Twitter account information. If you have a single Twitter account and just want to post to and receive information from Twitter, this is the least invasive and user-friendly add on I’ve found.  It is a small icon in the bottom right of the FireFox browser and it pops up new friend Tweets and you can click the icon and open an area to Tweet from.


I have been a ShareThis addict for several months now.  I have added the icon to my browser and all you have to do is click it, decide where you want to share the information from the URL (website page) you are on.

I recommend having ShareThis no matter what Twitter add on or app you use.  My personal preference for Twitter tools is not a browser add on, but I manage a plethora of Twitter accounts and need “down and dirty” functionality and I need access whether I have a browser window open or not.

My next edition will be about desktop apps.  Feel free to research for yourself.  The biggies are Seesmic and Tweetdeck.

Donna Winter

Project Development and Marketing Coordinator

Totera Web Systems

*originally posted 06/26/2009

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