Daymond John, president of FUBU clothing and panelist on ABC’s “Shark Tank” will lecture to a group of Utah high school students on March 29. By utilizing the power of Google+, students will have the opportunity to engage via webcam with the entrepreneur. SEO.com will also present at the event about the need for small businesses to maintain a presence in social media.
“This lets students who would never get a personal interaction with Daymond John have one,” said Jeff McCauley, a business teacher at Davis High School in Kaysville, Utah.
“Shark Tank” gives budding entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of successful businesspeople. Contestants vie for the chance to make their dreams come true by securing funding for their business ambitions.
“I show the show to my class sometimes,” said McCauley, whose students are holding the event. “It’s pretty interesting having them point out the real-life situations I try to teach in my lessons.”
McCauley, who contacted John through Twitter to arrange the event, said his students can learn a lot from John, both as an entrepreneur and investor.
The Google+ webcam chat function, known as a hangout, has given McCauley the ability to bring big-name business professionals into the classroom via social media.
“Google+ is great because it’s easy and free,” he said. “I’ve held three classroom hangouts since the social network came out last year.”
SEO.com President Ash Buckles said a hangout on Google+ is a great way to discuss entrepreneurship between students and prominent entrepreneurs like John. It bridges the communication gap and exposes the next generation to social media tools and how to use them for business purposes. Google considers social activities like hangouts, +1 votes and written content when ranking search engine results, so each business benefits long after the initial hangout by archiving their brand’s content with more visible search rankings.
“Google+ is a free marketing tool,” said Buckles, an Internet marketing expert. “Where Facebook is used to connect with friends and share pictures, Google+ is heavily influencing how pages are ranked in Google. … Google is using social to better refine search. It’s using people’s preferences and social tendencies for making search results more relevant.”
He added that SEO.com is watching closely as teachers like McCauley train the next generation of entrepreneurs and social media marketers. SEO.com just launched a new program for small business owners and startup entrepreneurs who are hoping to improve where their websites rank in search results.
“Google and other search engines have dedicated a ton of real estate to small, local businesses,” said Bryan Phelps, a director of search engine optimization at SEO.com. “Our goal is to help push smaller companies to the top of the heap.”
He said businesses risk losing customers if they do not grasp how to market themselves on social media websites like Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Features like Circles on Google+ allow companies to target select audiences with products and services specifically created for them.
“That is a tool that you cannot find anywhere else,” said Darin Berntson, social media marketing manager for SEO.com.
The hangout with John will be recorded on Google+. Officials will place the recording on YouTube after the event