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In little over a decade, social media has risen from something that is not on the radar to an important part of a business’ plans. It is a cost effective and fairly easy way to get your message out to your existing and potential customers. Facebook is still the dominate player but there are several other social media platforms including Google+, that should become an important part of your social media campaign. There are many reasons to spend time on your Google+ page or to hire a social media company to do it for you. The 5 most important reasons are:

1.       It is Google. Google is far and away the dominate player in the search market. They have the resources and abilities to make Google+ important.

2.       Google+ is one of the biggest and fastest growing social media platforms.
It is ranked 5th in the number of unique monthly visitors, behind only: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. It has approximately 120,000,000 unique visitors a month. 

3.       Google+ pages show up in search results. Not only can your Google+ page show up independently in a search it can also show up at the bottom of your page description in search results. Items that you post on your Google+ page can also show up in search results.

4.       Search Results. There have been many studies done and some say that there is a strong correlation between Google+ signals like +1 and number of followers and some say that there is little effect. One thing is certain, social signals will become more and more important to SEO (search engine optimization).

5.       Reviews. A Google+ page is a great place to get positive reviews. Your reviews can show up at the bottom of your pages search results, assuring searchers that yours is a well thought of business. Good reviews can also improve your local search placement.

Chicago Social Media Marketers offers inexpensive and effective social media campaigns for small businesses, individuals and not for profit organizations.   

 
 
One of the surest signs of spring in Chicago is the return of boats to the harbors.  Delight is taken as the first boat is spotted in one of Chicago's many lakefront harbors.  How do they get there you may ask.  Most boats travel from storage yards to the lakefront via the Chicago River.  This requires the lifting of each of Chicago's 27 movable bridges.
"The lifting of Chicago's iconic movable river bridges is a local rite of spring, marking the beginning of the boating season," said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein. 
Bridges along the Chicago River will lift to allow boat access on Wednesdays and Saturdays from April 18 – June 27, 2015.  The bridge lifting begins at the Chicago Yacht Yard at S. Ashland Avenue and the river and continues to Lake Shore Drive.  The bridges are raised one after the other.  Each lift takes an average of 8-12 minutes given an absence of traffic and mechanical difficulties.
While bridge lifts are based on boat traffic, the scheduled starting time for Wednesdays is 9:30am and 8:00am for Saturdays.  
If you have ever wondered what it is like to go on a boat run this article and slideshow will help you experience this annual event.
 
 
Free fan experiences will abound in this years 80th NFL draft in Chicago.  The draft itself will take place downtown in the historical Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, expanding outside to adjacent parks.  

From April 30- May 2, 2015, Chicago will enjoy three days of celebrating football, football and more football.  From "Selection Square" to "Draft Town" there is much too see and do,  Here is our 'readers digest' listing of events.  

Here is the break-down of the rounds:

Round 1: April 30:  See the prospects walk down a red carpet on Michigan Avenue as they head into the Auditorium Theater.
Round 2: 32 former NFL players will be in attendance for both Rounds 2 and 3. 
Round 3: Selections announced May 1, 2015.
Rounds 4-7: Players will be announced outside at an area called "Selection Square" as well as in other outdoor locations throughout the country.

What is "Selection Square"?
It has been slated as being the epicenter of the draft.  It will be located across from the Auditorium Theater in Congress Park.  It will feature 32 tables, each representing an NFL team.  It is from these tables that the draft picks will be made. 

What is "Draft Town"?
Draft Town is a 900,000-square foot celebration of the NFL Draft in Grant Park.  It will include, among other things, music, food, player appearances and autographs, flag football competitions, draft prospect visits, shopping and concessions.  As with all public events, security at Draft Town dictates a list of prohibited items.  This three-day event will culminate with a concert on Saturday night. 

What is Free?
  • Selection Square will be free.  There will be a small area of reserved seating.
  • Draft Town is free.
  • Viewing of interviews with draft picks in attendance in Selection Square.
  • Opportunity to take photos on stage at the Auditorium Theater.
  • Light Show at Buckingham Fountain - Our famous fountain will be lit up with the colors of the team that is currently on the clock during the first two nights.

There are only a limited number of tickets available for the Auditorium Theater and Selection Square. More information on how to secure tickets will be available soon.

The choosechicago.com official Schedule of Events 
Before the event follow @NFL and #NFLDraft or visit NFL.com/DraftTown.
During the event, tag your posts and photos with #DraftTown,
Can't make it to the Draft?  You can watch it on ESPN/ESPN2

And as always...take public transportation if you can!
CTA
METRA
 
 
A sure sign of summer in Chicago is when Buckingham Fountain is turned on for the season.

After a long cold winter, our beloved lakefront icon will officially open Saturday May 9th at 6pm.  The Chicago Park District’s “Switch on Summer” event begins at 4pm.

The Clarence F. Buckingham Memorial Fountain officially opened to the public on May 26, 1927.  It was presented to the city of Chicago by Kate Buckingham in memory of her late brother Clarence.  A centerpiece of Grant Park, this is one of the largest fountains in the world.

Buckingham Fountain was manually operated by two engineers, each working twelve-hour shifts until 1980.  It is now fully computerized and equipped with 3 pumps and 134 jets including a center jet that shoots water 150 feet into the air.  Locals often use this impressive column of water to determine wind strength and direction.

Also automated is the evening light show.  Beginning at dusk, this popular summer display occurs every hour on the hour and lasts for 20 minutes.

While the fountain was inspired by the Latona Basin at Versailles, France, it is certainly most familiar to visitors for its appearance in the opening of the very American TV show ‘Married with Children’.

 

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