I'm B.L. Ochman, digital strategist, GooglePlus Helpouts coach, YouTube Channel Creator, president of whatsnextonline.com and publisher of What's Next Blog. I've been helping blue chip companies incorporate new media into their marketing mix since 1996.

I'm CEO of Maximum-Plus.com Events & Training for Google+ Success, serving leading brands, associations and agencies.

I contribute to Ad Age Digital Next, Social Media Today and others. On Twitter, I'm @whatsnext. Find me on Google+

I'm co-founder of the pet lovers' site and blog, Pawfun.com - where you can use favorite photos of your pets to create and send free Pawfun photo e-cards.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How Lawyers are Using Google+ Hangouts and why you should too

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This post originally appeared in Jurispage Blog

If you’re serious about online visibility, you need to pay attention to Google+ and the tools it provides. Many lawyers are already taking advantage of the tools provided by Google+ and they are gaining a competitive advantage.

While Facebook and Twitter content is not indexed in Google search, content created in Google+ and on YouTube – which is integrated into Google+ Hangouts – is not only indexed, it is prominently featured in search results.

Lawyers who populate their YouTube channels with videos created in Google+ events featuring Hangouts have a distinct search advantage. It is 50 times easier to reach page one of Google with a video than it is with a web page (Forrester) Google has an index just for videos and what matters is the metadata – the way the content is search optimized because Google can’t see what is in your video.

If you think Google search is important to your practice, you should be adding Google+ and especially Google+ Hangouts, to your comprehensive marketing plan.

Here are some lawyers you might want to follow and some G+ commununities you might want to explore:
Tina Willis a practicing personal injury lawyer, with more than 10,000 followers, runs Legally Speaking, G+ Hangout on Air Show

Jeffrey Lapin is a personal injury lawyer in Nebraska who has more than 33K followers

Kevin O’Keefe of LexBlog, legal marketing firm, is a long-time blogger who has 2,300 followers on Google+ where he mostly re-posts content from his blog.

• Personal injury attorney Michael Ehline has more than 18,000 followers and runs a Hangout show called Circle of Legal Trust

Gordon Firemark, intellectual property/entertainment lawyer, is using HOAs in a popular series of live broadcasts

James Novak is an Arizona-based criminal defense lawyer with approximately 1,500 followers about whose “About” section features stellar reviews of his work. He posts to Google+ daily, and approximately 500 people actively share his content about legal matters. He is proof that what counts on Google+ is engagement and original content.

There are several active Google+ communities for lawyers including:

Lawyers on G+ Community – 6500+ members

National Trial Lawyers

Lawyers & Law 4300 members

There’s even a Legal Humor Community with nearly 1000 members where Damon Chetson recently share this one:

Google+ and Hangouts are great free tools that you can use in your practice to increase your exposure, boost your visibility in search results, and bring in more paying clients in the process. Learn more about Google+ and Hangouts for Lawyers by checking out our webinar on Hangouts for Attorneys on Wed, Aug 27 at 1:30 PM EDT.

BL-G+WIZ-headshotB.L. is CEO of Maximum-Plus.com – Events & Training for Google+ Success, serving leading brands, associations and agencies. As a digital strategist, GooglePlus Helpouts coach, YouTube Channel Creator, President of whatsnextonline.com, and publisher of What’s Next Blog, she’s been helping blue chip companies incorporate new media into their marketing mix since 1996. B.L. contributes to Ad Age Digital Next, Social Media Today and others and has spoken at more than 25 marketing conferences. Follow B.L. on Google+ or Twitter.

BL Ochman | August 26, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ooops! ISIS Wallet: Re-branding needed by AmEx, Chase, Wells Fargo, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T

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What’s in a name? A lot when the name is ISIS.

AmEx, Chase and Wells Fargo, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon’s mobile wallet app is, unfortunately, sharing a name with the terrorist group ISIS.

ISIS LoveNow you can pay for goods and services with ISIS, says the web page, Pay With ISIS. The app is available for iPhone and Android.

The ISIS app takes your money, not your life. But, if ever there was an ill-advised name for a product, ISIS may be the worst yet.

While the connection to the terrorist organization was not predictable, the inappropriateness of big American brands using the name ISIS for commerce grows by the hour.
Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 7.32.31 PM

ISIS Wallet

To use ISIS to spend your money, the website explains, you’ll need a Compatible phone with Near Field Communication, an enhanced SIM card with secure element—designed to store and protect your payment information.

The ISIS app was launched in Nov 2013, in a joint venture with the three wireless carriers. The mobile wallet is compatible with contactless point-of-sale terminals at retailers across the country, including Toys R Us, Jamba Juice, and Coca-Cola vending machines. ISIS app users get special offers from nearby merchants and add loyalty, membership and rewards cards in their Isis Wallet.

You set up an American Express Serve® Account that you can add money to with your preferred credit card, debit card or U.S. bank account. Then you add a participating American Express®, Chase®‡, or Wells Fargo®§ credit card and get all the same perks and protection from your card issuer.

All the companies involved ought to put their heads together right this minute and re-name their venture.

Hat Tip to Scott Silverstine

BL-G+WIZ-headshotB.L. is CEO of Maximum-Plus.com – Events & Training for Google+ Success, serving leading brands, associations and agencies. As a digital strategist, GooglePlus Helpouts coach, YouTube Channel Creator, President of whatsnextonline.com, and publisher of What’s Next Blog, she’s been helping blue chip companies incorporate new media into their marketing mix since 1996. B.L. contributes to Ad Age Digital Next, Social Media Today and others and has spoken at more than 25 marketing conferences. Follow B.L. on Google+ or Twitter.

BL Ochman | | Permanent Link | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

[VIDEO] Ferguson Protests, Cyber Attacks & an Aroused Horse

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Beyond Social Media Show # 61

David Erickson and I discussed the role of social media in news coverage of Ferguson protests; the danger of cyber attacks; an aroused horse who photobombed a conservative Congressman’s fund raiser, and much more on episode 61 of the Beyond Social Media Show. The video is time-stamped so you can jump directly to any segment.

Subscribe to Beyond Social Media Show YouTube Channel

BS Media Show 61

Worst Digital Cases

Best Digital Cases

Shiny New Stuff


The Daily Numbers


David Erickson
e-Strategy Blog
e-Strategy Trends

B.L. Ochman
Google Plus
Maximum-Plus Workshops for Google Plus Success
What’s Next Blog

BL Ochman | August 24, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Live Dog Elected Mayor, Limbaugh Lies (again), Edelman PR #FAIL

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Beyond Social Media Show, Episode 60

B.L. goes solo this week in a 15-minute broadcast of Beyond Social Media Show. Dave will be back next week.

Worst Digital Cases

  • IRS Hunts My Dead Dog (Beware!)
    It’s a known scam and it’s bilked people out of more than $5 million!
    The caller, who had a heavy Indian accent, threatened in several messages on my answering machine, that he was from the “Criminal investigation unit of the IRS. You are the prime suspect in a criminal offense of tax fraud”

    Do not ignore this message, he said, or the police will arrest you and your spouse. My dog, despite his many attempts to find a mate, was single. The detective I spoke to said “It’s a growing problem. Just keep hanging up on them.”

  • Projects

  • WEBINAR: Why lawyers need to pay attention to – and learn to use – Google+ Hangouts

    I’ve teamed up with Jurispage.com, specialists in marketing for attorneys, to present a 30-minute webinar (no charge and open to all) on Wed, Aug 27 at 1:30 ppm EDT, to explain how Google+, combined with a comprehensive marketing plan, will give you a competitive advantage.

    The webinar launches our new Hangout-based video interviews for attorneys.

  • webinar-google-hangouts-cover

    Best Digital Cases

    BS Media #60

    Shiny New Stuff

    BL Ochman | August 18, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    10 ways your business can (should) use Google+ Hangouts

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    Hangouts-Logo By far the most exciting and feature-rich free tools provided by Google+ are Hangout Video Calls and Hangouts on Air.

    Here are 10 ways to use them in your business.

    1- Paid consulting: Hangouts on Air can be public or private, paid or free. If you’re using a HOA for consulting, you send the link to join the Hangout when you receive payment. Only those people who have the link to the video, which will be on YouTube as private, can watch the video.

    2- Create video content from interviews conducted in Hangouts and post them on your website, blog, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter streams, in email, and in playlists on your YouTube channel

    3- Meetings – Hangouts on Air allow you to include presentations, screen shares, and a variety of collaborative tools live, in real-time with up to 9 other people who can be included in the filmstrip. There is no limit to the number who can watch and ask questions via Comment Tracker during a live meeting.

    4- Customer service – Hangouts are a great way to provide one-to-one customer service and a great alternative to chains of emails and attachments.

    5- Product demonstrations – You can use multiple cameras and locations in a Hangout on Air to demonstrate products and take questions from viewers. The Showcase app for Hangouts also lets you take orders from within a Hangout.

    6- Mobile hangouts from live events – while you can’t start a Hangout on Air from a mobile device (yet) you can use a mobile device to join a Hangout, allowing you to broadcast from an event.

    7- Online courses – Hangouts, recorded and made available via YouTube, are tailor-made for teaching and interaction with students. You also can use them to hold Office Hours when students can rotate in and out of a Hangout filmstrip to ask questions.

    8- Press conference – Hangouts are ideal for press events, and are being used by The White House, NASA, and many businesses. The Showcase app, which allows inclusion of documents, presentations, spread sheets and links to websites and videos, is the next step in interactive press events.

    9- Job interviews – Hangout video calls or Hangouts on Air provide a simple way to interview job candidates, have them meet staff members, and answer their questions about the position.

    10- Webinars – Hangouts on Air are a feature-rich replacement for GoToMeeting, Adobe Connect and other expensive webinar platforms. Those companies are surely shaking in their boots right now.

    If you’re not already using Hangouts, here’s what you need to know:
    There are 2 kinds of Hangouts:

    • Hangout/Video Calls – private video chats on desktop or mobile for up to 10 people. Can be initiated via Gmail or Google+, Chrome extension. All you need to use them is a quick download of the Hangout https://www.google.com/hangouts/

    These cannot be recorded and can only be joined by those who are invited.

    • Hangouts on Air (HOAs) are secure live broadcasts with up to 10 participants, broadcast live in HD and viewed on Google+ or YouTube from desktop or any connected device. They can be public or private, paid or free. They can be embedded in a website or blog, live or as a video replay.
    • HOAs are automatically recorded to your connected YouTube channel where they can be edited, branded and search optimized.

    You must have a Google+ profile in order to be part of the video, but you do not need to have a Gmail account.


    Anyone can watch a HOA on YouTube or your website or blog, but they cannot be a guest in the broadcast or ask questions in real-time without a Google+ account.

    Hangouts – which can be public or private, free or paid — offer important opportunities to expand your visibility, credibility and engagement with current and potential customers and referral sources. The features Hangouts provide make them a valuable alternative to expensive webinar services.

    Hangouts are fully integrated into all Google services, from Google search to YouTube, Gmail, Pay-per-click, Analytics, Google Drive, Google Play, Google Wallet and more. Therefore, all Google services can be incorporated into Hangouts on Air.

    The SEO advantage- Google search does not index Twitter or Facebook content, but it does index, and favor Google+ and YouTube content. This makes establishing a presence on Google+ important for your firm’s search visibility.

    You have the opportunity, in the early days of Google+, to gain traction and establish your reputation as someone trustworthy and sharp.

    - Google to reward users of Google+ Hangouts & YouTube Live Events with more prominent search placement
    - New Google+ Showcase app adds game-changing business value to Hangouts on Air
    - 6 Great Examples of G+ Business Hangouts on Air: from career counseling to Chinese classes
    - Best Custom Video Backdrop for Google+ Hangouts, YouTube Videos

    B.L. Ochman is CEO of Maximum-Plus.com which produces live events via Google+ Hangouts and YouTube streaming, and coaches businesses on how to use Google+. She publishes What’s Next Blog and is co-host of the award-winning Beyond Social Media Show, broadcast live, via Google+ Hangout, every Saturday at 12:30 pm EDT.

    BL Ochman | August 8, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Hangouts’ Showcase app, Plagiarist Fired, Robots, Pot, Turds & Trust

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    Beyond Social Media Show, Episode 58

    Co-hosts B.L. Ochman & David Erickson discussed the week’s worst & best digital examples during episode 58 of THE BEYOND SOCIAL MEDIA SHOW on Saturday, August 2.

    We demonstrated how the just-released Showcase app (BETA) works in Google+ Hangouts. It can be used to share content, make sales and much more during a live Hangout on Air or Live-streamed YouTube event.

    Worst Digital Cases

    Best Digital Cases

    Shiny New Stuff

    The Daily Numbers

    Survey: Trust in Sponsored Content Read More…

    BL Ochman | August 2, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    How to view a Hangout that features the new Showcase app BETA

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    Showcase App

    To explain how the video will work in episode 58 of The Beyond Social Media Show on Saturday, Aug 2 at 12:30 PM EDT, I made this quick video to demonstrate how you can interact with the new Showcase app that we’ll feature during the show.

    PLEASE NOTE: If you want to watch the video and interact with Showcase but you don’t want to leave comments on the event page in real-time, you don’t need to do anything but click on the Start link to watch the video!

    The new Showcase app is a BETA that lets you see and interact with live links within the video. It’s only been out a few days, and it’ll go through some changes before it’s released in an updated version.

    So, yup, the steps are a little clunky at the moment, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it when you try it.

    BL Ochman | | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    New Google+ Showcase app adds game-changing business value to Hangouts on Air

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    Google has added an interactive, commerce-ready app called Showcase to Google+ Hangouts on Air to greatly amp up the business value of integrating Hangouts into digital strategy.

    The just-launched new feature (shown in the image below) is Showcase app, which Google says “allows creators to direct users to websites, merchandise, YouTube videos and Google Play content right from a Hangout on Air (HOA). This is a great way to help viewers discover additional content relevant to your live broadcast, plus build a Google+ following and deepen your audience interactions”

    Among the game-changing features of the Showcase app:

  • viewers can make a purchase, sign up and pay for a service or event, buy a book or other merchandise during a live Hangout event.
  • after the live broadcast, the content cards will continue to be live on the playback versions of the event.
  • The video, including the Showcase cards, can be embedded in a blog, website or landing page, and purchases can be made from within it at any time.
  • The cost of the Hangout? The cost of the Showcase app? Zero. Nada. Nothing. But yes, there’s a learning curve and you’ll save time, money and a whole bunch of aggravation by hiring me to coach you on how it’s done.

    showcase test

    When you use Showcase – which has a steep learning curve – viewers of the HOA are able to click on any of the links (which Google calls “cards”) you have pre-loaded. The content opens in a new tab, while the live Hangout event continues in the other window.

    What that means: during a live HOA event, seen either in a Google+ event page or streaming live on YouTube, you now have the ability to send viewers to sites where they can make purchases – providing that there is a payment mechanism like Google Wallet or PayPal on that site. You can send them directly to landing pages, websites, blogs or Google Play and they can buy products, sign up for newsletters, register and pay for webinars, books, subscriptions, etc.

    HOA Additions-July 2014

    The second new thing that has been added to Google+ event pages is the notation that you can “Broadcast Free”
    As always, Google’s language is clunky and kind of strange. What they are saying is that the cost of broadcasting Hangouts via Google+ and YouTube is nothing. Nada. No money involved. At least for now….

    See also: Google to reward users of Google+ Hangouts and YouTube Live Events with more prominent search placement

    BL Ochman | July 29, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Google to reward users of Google+ Hangouts & YouTube Live Events with more prominent search placement

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    For those who want to believe (hello TechCrunch) that Google+ is going away: think again! Here’s a very clear indication that Google+ is continuing to gain traction in the Google ecosystem.

    Google+ is continuing to add features and Google search will soon reward users of Hangouts and YouTube Live Events with more prominent search placement.

    The latest: a new feature is rolling out that rewards those who master the use of Google+ Hangouts on Air and live event planning via a connected YouTube channel with higher search results. That means that the planet’s two largest search engines, Google and YouTube, will highlight content created in Google+.

    Google is creating searchable listing guides for Google+ Hangouts and YouTube Live Events and connecting them with Google search.

    Google+ and YouTube live events will be featured prominently in search results, which will include a “Watch event live” button that takes you directly to the event. For example: as Google noted in their official announcement, “if an author is answering questions about their latest book in a Hangout on Air, you can search the author’s name to find and watch the event.”

    Hangout Search Results

    That prominent search placement won’t be a paid feature. It’ll be a semantic search result, generated from Google+ Hangouts connected to YouTube Channels. It’ll show up in search results approximately three hours before a scheduled live event. Before then, the events will be listed on both Google+ and YouTube’s new directories.

    There’ll be two directories that will be featured in Google search results:
    1- Hangouts on Air schedule/directory for Google+ members who want to watch on Google+ event pages or on YouTube.

    If you have a gmail account you can participate live in a Hangout during the event via the Event Page by either joining the Hangout as an invited guest, or by asking questions in real time via Comment Tracker while the event is live.

    You also can watch a Hangout on YouTube from your desktop or any mobile device without having a gmail account or Google+ profile.

    HOA Listings1

    2. A YouTube live-streamed event directory with listings in categories for upcoming live-streamed events in Sports, News, Politics, Music, etc. as well as for Hangouts on Air.
    * It shows events that are currently live and ones that are scheduled. You can set a reminder for the upcoming Hangouts and you’ll get an email reminder as well as a notification in your Google+ account.

    HOA Listings on YouTube

    Here’s how this works with The Beyond Social Media Show that I co-host every Saturday at 12:30 pm EDT on Google+.

    * We set up an event page in Google+ several days before the show.
    * We include a description and a preview video, which is created in and linked to our YouTube channel.
    * We send out invitations to the Circles of people who follow us and they respond Yes, No or Maybe to the invitation. If they say Yes or Maybe, our Show is automatically added to their Google calendar. They will be reminded about the event via email, Google+ notifications and their Calendar.
    * At the time of the event, they can watch live on the event page or on our YouTube channel.
    * The video that is part of the event is listed on our YouTube channel as a scheduled event and viewers have the option of setting a reminder that will notify them of the event as described above.

    When I set up the Google+ event page for the weekly Hangout on Air broadcast of The Beyond Social Media Show, I include search tags and search optimized content and title, all of which are featured our YouTube channel.

    People who say “yes” or “maybe” to our show invites are reminded to watch, and can see it within Google+ or on YouTube.

    Event Page

    Please also note: very soon, no plugin will be required to use Hangouts or Hangouts on Air with Chrome. Google said that “beginning in the next couple of weeks, you will be able to launch Hangouts in Chrome without having to download and install a plugin. Just click to start the Hangout, allow Hangouts to use your camera and microphone, and you’ll be good to go!”
    * You will still need a Google+ Profile to set up live events that include Hangouts that can be watched within G+ event pages or communities.

    Is there a learning curve? You bet! And if you’re ready to learn, I can teach you how. You can reach me at 917-566-5855 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

    is CEO of Maximum-Plus.com, where she produces online events via Google+ and YouTube. You’ll also find her online at:
    - Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and The Beyond Social Media Show

    BL Ochman | July 22, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    [VIDEO] Comcast’s terrible customer service goes viral (again)

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    Comcast Bad Service

    On episode 56 of The Beyond Social Media Show, we discussed the worst social media case of the week: Comcast’s customer service. It’s so awful that it’s gone viral – again!

    This week, a hapless Comcast rep spent 12 minutes refusing to cancel a customer’s service. The customer recorded the call and, since then, more than 4 million people have listened to the tape.

    The rep’s performance topped even the infamous 2006 viral incident when a Comcast rep fell asleep on customer’s couch while waiting on hold to talk to his own company.

    Comcast is only #6 on the most hated customer service list. That means there are 5 others hated even more – with Time-Warner Cable at the top of the list (no suprise there)

    Could Comcast, or any big company do better? Is it possible to provide great customer service on a huge scale? Ask Zappos, or LL Bean.

    B.L. OCHMAN is CEO of Maximum-Plus.com, where she produces online events via Google+ and YouTube. You’ll also find her online at:
    - Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and The Beyond Social Media Show

    BL Ochman | July 20, 2014 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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