Posts Tagged: Facebook

Social Network Changes – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

This new regular monthly blog post will recap and explain some of the functionality changes taking place in the big social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube.

Facebook Changes

1. Scheduled Posts

 Social Network Changes   Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

One of the best things to happen on Facebook for people who manage Facebook pages is the scheduling function that allows you to schedule your Tweets.  You can post Tweets in the past (anywhere on your timeline) or up to 6 months in the future. To schedule a post, click on the  Social Network Changes   Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn clock icon and enter the year, month, date and time you want your post to appear on.  Once you have schedule your post, you can view and change it by clicking on “Use Activity Log” in the <Edit Settings> of your page.  Whilst this is a great addition to Facebook for pages, there are a coupole of downsides: 1) You can only post in increments of 5 minutes 2) You can’t really edit the post itself once it is scheduled, you can edit when you want it to appear but not the content.

 

 Social Network Changes   Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

2. Activity Log for Profiles

Similar to the Activity Log for Pages, Facebook recently added an Activity Log for your personal page too.  Social Network Changes   Facebook, Twitter and LinkedInClick on this to see everything you have shared from today back to when you first started using Facebook.   According to Facebook:

You can do different things with the stories that appear in your activity log, depending on what the story is and where it came from.  You can adjust the privacy or delete anything you post on Facebook. If the story came from someone else (like when a friend writes on your timeline or tags you in a photo), you’ll be able to review who can see it. You can also control whether stories show on your timeline. On some stories, like posts from apps, you can report the post as spam, turn off publishing from the app or remove the app from your timeline altogether.

 Twitter Changes

Twitter IMage Social Network Changes   Facebook, Twitter and LinkedInTwitter recently announced a slew of changes to how their API can be used.  For most users this will mean very little at least in the short term but for Third Party Apps that build on Twitter this is huge.   Read more about the changes on the Twitter blog. Considering how cumbersome the vanilla Twitter can be and the fact that that most power users need to use third party tools to make their Twitter experience manageable, the company needs to be careful to not shoot itself in the foot on this one but the good news is that there will be more control over Third Party apps that are potentially dangerous and more rules put in place to police this.

 

LinkedIn Changes

LinkedIn pages 280x385 Social Network Changes   Facebook, Twitter and LinkedInWe manage a number of LinkedIn pages for clients and to be honest the interface and capabilities of company pages on LinkedIn has been a bit of a let down for us, which is why we’re excited about upcoming changes to LinkedIn pages announced in their blog on September 6th.   The changes are currently being rolled out to the big players (Philips, HP and Dell are among them), you can take a look at an example on Hubspot’s page.

For users this will mean that it will be easier to find what you are looking for on a company’s page, company updates will be front and centre and company pages will now be available for iPhone, Android and iPad (not before time as LinkedIn has been sorely lacking in this area).

The changes are rolling out over the next few months and too be honest, they are long overdue.  Company Pages look like a dog’s breakfast right now and leave a lot to be desired.  We’re hoping that more functionality such as the ability to schedule updates and to interact with both followers and other companies will be coming too.

 

An Introduction to Internet Advertising

With online ad spending hitting new highs, Internet advertising is becoming one of the key tools that companies use to attract attention for their product or service online  and online ads are beginning to eclipse traditional advertising.

History

IMG 0001 620x946 An Introduction to Internet AdvertisingHardly a new concept is it?  Advertising has been used ever since mass production became possible well over a century ago  as a means to influence an audience with the intention of getting them to buy your product or service.  You just need to read Claude Hopkin’s 1923 book on the topic called Scientific Advertising to understand the importance advertising has had from a business perspective for the last century (and many of his points still apply today).

Recently however traditional media advertising (TV, newspaper, billboards etc) has faced a tough challenges with readership and viewer numbers plummeting, savvy audiences becoming desensitized to traditional advertising techniques and with the rise of alternative ways to influence target audiences (such as social media).

One of the saving graces for advertising is the ability to use the Internet to advertise online.  Online advertising has a few advantages over traditional advertising:

  • Less Expensive
  • Highly Targeted
  • East To Track Effectiveness

There are a number of different forms of online advertising, each with its own pros and cons.

Search Based Ads

wrd An Introduction to Internet AdvertisingUsually associated with search engine  results ads like Google Adwords and one of the most commonly used forms on online advertising, search based ads are predominantly text based and appear as sponsored or paid ads when people search for a particular phrase or keyword online.With search ads you pay or bid on an ad appearing to a searcher (impressions) or when someone clicks on the ad (pay per click).    These ads are highly targeted because they appear only to the people who enter pertinent related keywords.  If you have a new website this is a great way to get noticed by the major search engines, and really useful if you are going after new audiences.  The key to being successful using these ads is to use very specific key terms that you know potential clients will use and to make the most of them in the ad text.

Banner Ads

Banner ads (or web banners), are for the most part, rectangular image ads that appear on another organisation’s website.  Pop on over the Entrepreneurial Woman’s website and you will see an example of a banner as right at the top of the pagbanner ad 280x44 An Introduction to Internet Advertisinge. One important consideration with banner advertising is that you should only post your ads on sites that are related to your product or service or that attract your target audience.  Banner ad costs can vary according to the traffic the site gets and can be on a pay per click basis or on a time based (i.e. monthly) fee basis.

Email Ads

Not to be overlooked, more people use email on a regular basis than use any other online tools.  Having a regular opt-in marketing newsletter should be part of every company’s online advertising strategy to promote its products or services.  Email advertising can also include buying placements in the newsletters of related companies.

Network Advertising

Advertising networks companies make it easier for organisations  to advertise on related sites.  Google Adwords  is an example of a tool that facilitate network advertising  and this is a growing area with companies like Tribal Fusion acting as facilitators between publishers of high trafficked content and organisations looking to advertise to their large audiences.

Pop Up Ads

Those annoying ads that pop up on your screen unexpectedly and won’t go away.  Spare your audience and don’t use them.

Online Classifieds

Just like traditional classifieds, online ads on classifieds sites are used for the most part by the general public to buy or sell and by companies that target consumers.  Craigslist and Kijiji are just 2 examples of online classifieds – they are easy to set up and free to use but before you do consider if this is appropriate to your brand.

Social Network AdvertisingCapture An Introduction to Internet Advertising

Many of the major social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter allow you to advertise and these social ads are the fastest growing form of online advertising.  The biggest benefit of advertising using social networks is that your ads can be aimed at a very highly targeted audience and you can get started with just a few dollars per day to test the waters.

Online advertising tools make it easy for companies to use adverts to reach their audience online and can be a huge driver of targeted traffic to your website.   If you are considering your online advertising strategy and would like more information about our services please contact us.

Related posts:

The Future of Digital Advertising, iAds and Promoted Tweets

The Future of Advertising

Create a Custom iFrame Tab for your Facebook Page

Recently, Facebook updated their business pages and in the process they replaced FBML with iFrames for creating custom tabs. This means that instead of using FBML to create custom content on your page, you will now need to create a custom application and use an iFrame. Basically, an iFrame allows you to use content across different web domains through code which tells the website browser to request content from a different location. This enables you to display content from one webpage on another website, such as embedding a youtube video or flickr photo on your Facebook business page. IFrames are a bit more complicated than FBML, but we’ll walk you through the basic steps below.

 

1. Create the webpage you will be integrating with your Facebook page and upload it to your web server – making sure that the page will fit within the 520px wide size limit of Facebook. The iframe application that you will be creating will pull this content from your web server directly to Facebook.

2. Go to the Facebook Developers site to begin creating your application. Click ‘set up new app’ in the upper left-hand corner. This will take you to a screen that looks like the one below:

Create application Create a Custom iFrame Tab for your Facebook Page

Fill in your application name – it’s easiest to make this the name of the custom tab you are creating, and click ‘create app’.

3. Now that you have created your app, you will be taken to the About Tab for your application. There are many options with your new application, but for basic custom tabs, our one recommendation is to change the icon. This way an icon of your choosing will show up on your page navigation bar under your page profile picture, instead of the default iframes icon. For best results, make sure the photo you upload is 16px x 16px.

4. Next, click ‘facebook integration’ on the upper left-hand side of the page.

facebook integration Create a Custom iFrame Tab for your Facebook Page

These next steps are the most important in creating your custom iframes tab. It is where the integration happens between your webpage and Facebook. You will see a screen that looks like this:

canvas page Create a Custom iFrame Tab for your Facebook Page

5. Canvas URL: This is the url where the file you wish to integrate is located – remember to include ‘http://’. However, do not include the actual name of the file here. In other words, fill in everything but the name of your iframe file, instead the URL must have a trailing slash at the end. For example, if you webpage is hosted at http://www.mysite.com/webpage, only include http://www.mysite.com/. (You will fill in the name of the iframe file in a later field).

6. Secure Canvas URL: Re-enter the same URL as above, this time using ‘https://’ instead of ‘http://’.

7. Canvas Type: select iframe.

8. Iframe Size: Select ‘auto-resize’. This ensures that your webpage will fit neatly onto your Facebook page without users have to scroll left to right and up/down.

9. Tab Name: This is the name of your tab, such as ‘Welcome’ or ‘About’, you are limited to 16 characters here.

10. Tab URL: This is the name of the file you wish to integrate with Facebook. It is what you didn’t include in the above ‘canvas url’ field. For example, if your webpage is hosted at http://www.mysite.com/webpage, only include ‘webpage’ here.

11. Save your changes. You have created your first Facebook application!

12. The next step is adding your new application to your page. The screen you should see now includes the information on your new application. Do not submit your application, unless you want everyone to be able to add your custom iframe to their page through the Facebook Application Directory. Instead, click ‘application profile page’.

application profile page Create a Custom iFrame Tab for your Facebook Page

From here, you will be taken to an empty business page. On the left side under the profile image, click ‘add to my page’ and, if you have multiple business pages, click the appropriate one.

add to my page Create a Custom iFrame Tab for your Facebook Page

13. Go to the page you just added your application to, and hit refresh. Your new custom tab will appear in the list under your business page’s profile picture. Done!

You can make your custom tab the default landing page by going to ‘edit page’ and clicking ‘manage permissions’ on the left hand list. From here, use the drop down menu to choose your new application in the default landing tab field.

default landing tab3 Create a Custom iFrame Tab for your Facebook Page

As you can see, iframes are a bit trickier than FBML. If you are looking for more guidance or have any questions, contact us at Out-Smarts Marketing.

A Guide to the New Facebook Pages

Facebook recently updated their business pages, and the changes are overwhelmingly positive for page administrators. Many of the issues with business pages have been rectified with these new changes, and the new pages more align with the look and feel of personal profiles, making for a more streamlined user experience on Facebook.

On March 10th all Facebook pages will permanently switch over to the new pages. Currently, administrators can preview the new profile or choose to opt-in to the new profile. Why not upgrade early? You only live once! Besides, you’ll have to make the change in a few days, you might as well have the new page features figured out before then and be ahead of the curve.

Page ungrade button A Guide to the New Facebook Pages

Once you’ve clicked to upgrade your profile, here are some of the new features you will find:

Tabs have migrated:

Your tabs have moved from the bar at the top of page to below your page’s profile picture on the left hand side. This change aligns with recent personal profile changes and promotes a seamless user interface.

Photo Strip:

Similar to tabs now being placed on the left hand side to mirror personal profiles, there is now a photo strip at the top of pages. These highly visible photos can be used strategically by your business to promote your brand and engage fans of your page. They are also easily customizable, so you can hand pick which pictures appear in this strip. If you upload many photos, you can frequently change the photos that appear there to give repeat visitors an ever-changing visual on your page or, ­­­with a spare half hour, you can create an eye-catching montage such as the one below.

photo strip2 A Guide to the New Facebook Pages

Your page now operates as a ‘person’:

You now have the option to switch back as forth between using Facebook as yourself, or as your page. For example, now I can post as ‘Out-Smarts’ on other walls as opposed to only being able to post as ‘Corrie Scott’. Furthermore, if you are using Facebook as your page, you now have a newsfeed customized to your page which you click ‘home’, and you have the ability to ‘like’ other pages as your brand. You can find the option to use Facebook as your page under ‘account’ as seen below or, if you go to your business page, you will find the option to ‘use facebook as your page’ on the right hand side under the ‘edit page’ button. You can return to using Facebook as yourself by following the same steps. This is a very handy feature as it allows you to post as your page on other walls, whereas, in the past you were only able to post as yourself.

account A Guide to the New Facebook Pages

Post as yourself on your page:

The opposite of above. In the past, I could only post to the Outsmarts page as ‘Outsmarts’, but now I have the option to post as ‘Corrie Scott’. To post as yourself on your page, click ‘edit page’, then ‘your settings’ on the left hand list, and uncheck the button called ‘posting preferences’. Click ‘save changes’ and now you can post to your page as yourself.

Receive notifications from your page:

You now receive email notifications about your page in the same way you receive notifications for your personal profile. If your page receives significant activity and the notifications are cluttering up your email, you have the option to turn off email so that you only see notifications when logged into Facebook as your brand. To turn off email notifications click to edit your page, click on ‘your settings’ and uncheck the box that says ‘email notifications’.

Featured likes and featured page owners:

‘Featured likes’ are simply a name change – this used to be ‘favorite pages’. Featured page owners allows you to showcase the administrators of your brand’s page. This allows you to further humanize your brand – if you want to connect yourself personally to your business page. To add either of these features to your page you need to again click to edit your page, this time click on ‘Featured’ and click to add either option.

Featured option1 A Guide to the New Facebook Pages

Changes to your wall:

You can choose whether to show posts by just your brand, or allow fans to post to your wall as well – much like before. However, posts will no longer appear chronologically on your pages wall. Instead, posts now appear according to a ‘relevancy algorithm’ where posts that have had the most interaction will now appear at the top of your page. To see posts in chronological order you can click on ‘admin view’ under the ‘wall’ tab now located on the left under the page profile picture. Admins also have the option of deleting spam or inappropriate posts which will be filed under ‘Hidden Posts’ – you can always unhide these posts at a later time if you wish.

No more static FBML:

As of March 10th, Facebook no longer supports static FBML tabs. They will continue to support any custom tabs already created with FBML, but all new tabs must be developed using iFrames.

‘Suggest a page’:

This feature is no longer available for fans of your page. From now on only admins can suggest a page to their friends, instead fans can now ‘share’ a page. This is similar to the way users share other content on the site, and is Facebook’s attempt to be consistent across their entire site.

 

Connecting Your Social Media Accounts

Many businesses would like to have a strong social media presence, but are put off by the sheer number of social networks available. It’s easy to get overwhelmed but remember, you don’t have to be on all social networking sites. In fact, being on sites that don’t directly speak to your target audience, or on sites that your target audience doesn’t frequently visit, can be detrimental to your business, and a waste of your valuable time.

A good place to start when entering the realm of social media is with the heavy hitters; Facebook, Twitter, YouTube for video content, and your business blog. If this list still seems overwhelming, don’t despair! There’s a way to connect all these social networking sites so you’re not spending half your day posting the same YouTube link to all your different followers.

It is best to set up Facebook as your hub when connecting all your different social networking sites. This is because Facebook has a huge amount of applications that have been developed for all sorts of social networking related purposes. All you have to do is go to the Facebook Application Directory and search for the appropriate application, chances are it’s there in the directory. Next up, how to connect your blog, Twitter, and Youtube accounts to Facebook.

Blog:

Connecting your blog to Facebook means that each time you update your blog it automatically posts to your Facebook page’s wall, as well as archiving in the ‘notes’ tab of your page. The process for linking your blog isn’t obvious when looking at your Facebook page, but it’s well worth the search. To begin, click on ‘edit’ below your page’s profile picture. Next, click on ‘Apps’ in the list on the left hand side of the screen. Once there, find the Notes application and click ‘Go to App’. Now, on the left hand side of the screen you should see ‘Edit import settings’ as the very last option. Click this. You should now see a screen that looks like the photo below.

Blog pic Connecting Your Social Media Accounts

From here, enter the url of your blog and click ‘start importing’. Your blog is now auto posting to your Facebook page.

Twitter:

To connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts, log into your business’ Twitter account, then open a separate tab and go here. Find your business page, click ‘link to Twitter’ and follow the directions.

Twitter pic Connecting Your Social Media Accounts

Youtube:

Using the Cueler application, you can connect your Youtube and Facebook accounts so that videos posted to your Youtube channel automatically post to your Facebook page as well. To do this, click here, and then click ‘install’. This will bring you to a screen that looks like this:

Youtube pic Connecting Your Social Media Accounts

Choose the page you want to add the application to, and follow the directions to automatically post Youtube videos to a new Youtube tab on your Facebook page.

Following the above steps will help reduce the amount of time it takes to update your social media accounts. However, don’t forget to manually update your accounts as well. A mix of manual updates and auto posting allows you to save time, but also ensure that your business maintains a humanistic and approachable presence online. Also, if people follow your business across multiple social networking channels, taking the time to manually post, along with auto posting, ensures they won’t continuously see the exact same content numerous times.

We can help:

If you are interested in connecting your social media accounts and are looking for more guidance, contact us at Out-Smarts Marketing – we provide social media and internet marketing planning services to help you achieve your online goals.

 

Getting Started on Facebook

A business page is the business equivalent to a personal profile, and has a few advantages over the alternative of setting up a Facebook group for your company, although both have their strong points. Our previous post, Facebook for Business: Groups or Pages discusses the merits of both options, and you can always have both a group and a page for your company. However, between the two options, a Facebook page is probably the best way for a business to have a presence on Facebook.

A good analogy for pages vs. groups is to think of a Facebook page as a separate entity that is your business, whereas a Facebook group more closely resembles a club for your business. In other words, pages focus more on a business, whereas groups focus more on a shared interest in that business. With a page, updates and notices are seen as coming from the page itself, the names of the administrators are not listed, and your personal Facebook profile is not linked to the page which allows you to maintain personal privacy. With a group, you can control who joins your group, administrators are listed, your personal profile is linked to the page, updates come directly from you, and there is a 5000 member limit (no such limit exists for pages).

There are also a number of other features that are exclusive to Facebook pages. One key difference is that, unlike groups, a page is indexed by external search engines and shows up very high in Google search results. Pages also have the ability to add an application, which allows you to customize your page, show more content, and adopt a cohesive online presence. You can either use Static FBML to create your own customized tabs, or browse the Facebook Application Directory for a complete list of all the Facebook applications that can be added to pages. For the above reasons, a page not only appears more professional but also allows for much greater flexibility and room to grow as your customer base expands.

How to Create A Facebook Page:

Creating a Facebook business page is a simple process, just click here and choose whether you are a local business, brand, product, or organization, or an artist, band, or public figure. It is obvious which user type should pick the last category; however, it can be harder to pick between the first two. You should select local business if you strictly sell your product or services locally, and plan to continue this way in the future. For all other businesses, you should select brand, product, or organization. Also, if you chose local business, the template for the page is set up as if you are a brick and mortar business, whereas the brand, product, or organization choice gives you less restrictive info tab options for inputting your information. Choose carefully because once you have selected a category, you cannot change it without deleting your page and starting from scratch!

Once you have chosen your category, name your page, i.e. the name of your business, accept the terms, and click Create Official Page. Done! Again, name your business carefully. You cannot change it once youve created your page.

New FB business page Getting Started on Facebook

Now, fill out your new business page with all of your business information, in the same way that you would a personal profile. Finally, once youve completely filled in your profile, promote your new Facebook page and begin to grow your following. There are a number of ways to do this including, providing great content, targeting advertisements towards your target customers, and using Facebook suggestions to suggest your page to people who may be interested.

Remember to install Facebook Insights so you can track and measure your success using important metrics such as the number of fans added/lost per day, total fans, number of reviews, page views, unique views, photo views, video and audio plays, as well as total interactions. Also, dont forget to add your location details, hours of operation, and phone number to the information section so customers can find you offline as well, and remember to regularly update your page with new content to keep your customers engaged.

If you would like more information on Facebook pages, or need help creating one for your business, Out-Smarts Marketing can help – we provide social networking training and consulting services to help you use social media tools effectively. Contact us now to find out more.

How Facebook Can Benefit Your Business

By now everyone has heard of the social networking service, Facebook. The company isnt all that old – it launched in February 2004, and quickly grew into an internet sensation that currently has more than 500 million active users.

Facebook Buttons 11 2  How Facebook Can Benefit Your BusinessThe population of Facebook, if it were a country, would be 3rd in the world after China and India. Those 500 million users spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook, and 250 million active users log on to Facebook any given day.

Smart companies are learning how to harness the power of Facebook – with its vast amounts of information regarding consumer preferences, trends, and like/dislikes, it has never been this easy to reach your target market. However, we recognize that Facebook can be very intimidating for businesses used to operating in the traditional marketing realm of TV advertisements, newspapers and magazines, or radio announcements.

The following information will not only demystify some of the questions surrounding using Facebook for professional purposes but also prove that Facebook is an invaluable and increasingly essential part of a growing business.

How Facebook can help you build your business:

1. Branding

Continue to build brand awareness for your business and create a unified presence across the internet by creating a Facebook profile that uses your company logo and biography. Static FBML also allows you to create customized Facebook tabs. This creates a cohesive image and solidifies your brand in peoples minds.

2. Customer Engagement

Making your business available on a medium that your customers are already using regularly can only increase exposure and engagement. This is a great place to offer special deals, contests and promotions to current customers and to entice new ones to interact with your business.

3. Reputation Management

Facebook is about real people, which means real opinions. This shouldnt scare you off, but rather be seen as an opportunity to grow. If a customer is expressing displeasure at some product or aspect of your company, it should be seen as an opportunity to engage with them and rectify the problem in an open and transparent way. Remember, negative feedback isnt necessarily bad feedback if it allows your company to grow and gain a reputation for quickly solving customer complaints and problems.

4. Customer Feedback

Similar to reputation management, Facebook allows you to have a conversation with your customers by asking questions and responding to replies in a comfortable, non-threatening environment.

5. New Customers and Retention

Potential customers you may not have considered will be able to find and interact with your business online. Facebook also helps you stay connected with the customers you already have, and show them your appreciation for their business through communicating and providing great content.

6. Drive Web Traffic

Facebook shows up very high in Google search results because of the sheer number of people searching for, and interacting with, the social networking site every day. Your business on Facebook will also show up very high in Google search results which is where most people first look when researching a product or business. You can also drive traffic to your official website, or business blog, by including a link on your profile page which encourages fans to explore your business outside of Facebook as well.

7. Research Competitors and Business Leads

Other businesses are also on Facebook including competitors and potential allies. Its easy to view competitors profiles to see who their customers are and how they engage customers with content. This can give you tips to improve your profile. Facebook can also generate new business leads by exposing your business to other companies that may be interested in collaborating with you and vice versa.

8. Viral Marketing

The very nature of Facebook is viral. People see a comment or story they like, and they share it with their friends. Harness this power by providing exciting and engaging content to your customers and they will share it with their friends, who will share it with their friends, and so forth. Essentially, let your customers help promote your business!

9. Humanize Your Business

People like to buy from other people, and having a profile where you post company photos and interact with customers in a friendly way makes your business more approachable than a professional website. Facebook is also an excellent medium for content marketing because it engages customers with your business and entices them to share your information with their friends.

10. Targeted Advertising

Paid advertisements can be targeted to specific demographic targets and consumer preferences. Results can be easily tracked through Facebook Insights so you know exactly how effective your advertisements have been.

If you are interested in using Facebook for business purposes, but still a bit wary about tackling it by yourself, Out-Smarts Marketing can help – we provide social networking training and consulting services to help you use social media tools effectively. Contact us now to find out more.

Social Media Round Up

As always there has been a lot going on in the social media arena in the past week. This is a summary of the major (and minor!) developments.

Facebook Questions

On July 28th Facebook announced that it was going to launch Facebook Questions. The tool is set to allow you to Facebook Questions Social Media Round Upcrowdsource the collective intelligence of the 500 million and growing Facebook user base to ask questions and get answers. Set to compete with tools like Ask, Yahoo Answers and Answerbag, you will be able to ask any question and hopefully get the right answer practically instantaneously. The functionality isn’t live yet and is only available to a small number of beta testers but to find out more you can read this Mashable post about the 5 Ways Facebook Questions can be improved.

Google Wave

Google waved bye bye to its Wave product which was launched late last year. At the time there was much clamoring to get on the communication and collaboration tool which was supposed to allow people to easily work together online. Unfortunately, Wave didn’t really catch on and today it is no more. In typical Google fashion though, it would appear that they are turning the failure to their advantage. On a positive note Google yesterday announced that business can now respond to reviews on Google Places. Not before time.

Twitter Fail

The Twitter fail whale was omnipresent for much of the afternoon which twitter fail whale Social Media Round Upprompted diehards to take to Facebook to voice their complaints and comments and to vent to relieve their anxiety withdrawal. This leads me to conclude that the Reuters article in today’s Washington Post highlighting a study that found that social media is costing businesses in the UK billions in lost productivity, could in fact be true across the Twitter world! Twitter is back up much to the disapointment of businesses in North America who saw productivity peak in the last few hours.

Concerned about Facebook Privacy?

Privacy and Social Networking

An article in today’s Vancouver Sun raises the Facebook privacy issue again: the article discusses the increase in bogus online identities and points out that many business individuals are steering clear of Facebook as a result.

Every time Facebook makes changes, like those we mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, the inevitable wave of hysteria follows. Whilst privacy is undoubtedly an issue, it shouldn’t be a reason to avoid social networks completely. Given that 400 million people (and counting) use Facebook, if you are in a professional role where building your network is part of what you do, then it is simply foolish to ignore Facebook completely.

How To Mitigate Facebook Privacy Concerns

Privacy is indeed a concern, as is identity theft, but if you take a few simple precautions when social networking you can really help limit the risk of these eventualities actually transpiring. What better a time then to review some simply steps you can take to mitigate these concerns:

1. Use the privacy settings (in Facebook click on settings at the top right hand side of your screen then privacy) to make sure that your personal information such as date of birth, home address, email etc are not there for all the world to see – dont want to encourage identity thieves or spammers do we?

2. Off the Wall – dont use peoples wall to communicate personal information or communications. If it is longer than a couple of sentences take it to Facebook email.

4125713768 2fba7c4cf4 Concerned about Facebook Privacy?

3. Remember that the first thing recruiters do these days is to check out candidates on Facebook. If you intend on ever applying for another job you should be cognizant of this. Boasting about your drinking prowess to the world will not land you that coveted job. Always do the granny test, be careful of what you post and again use the privacy settings accordingly.

4. Be authentic – upload a profile picture so that people can see that its really you – or what you look like after all these years, as the case may be.

5. Be selective about who you add and which pages you like. Dont add every TD&H who invites you and remember what mother said about strangers! Seriously though, being selective about who you connect with gives you more control if safety is a concern: this is not about quantity – it is about quality.

6. Never Buy Friends or Followers – never use sites that promise you thousands of new followers or views. There is always a catch. (Thanks to the a forementioned Sun article for that one!).

7. Be respectful and dont use profanities too much – you never know when someones kid is watching over there shoulder (take it from me – this happens a lot!).

8. Be true to who you are. Transparency is key to effective social media participation. Dont try to present yourself as something or someone you are not. Imagine how embarrassing it will be when someone crawls out of the woodwork and points out the truth – to everyone.

9. Say It - If it is not worth saying out loud, it is not worth saying on line. This is a good mantra to bear in mind when considering your status updates.

10. Block Em – If someone is rude to you in comments or on your wall, you can block them. Again go to settings, privacy and scroll down to Block List to do so.

11. Applications – you should be aware that most of the games and applications on Facebook are from third party companies you know nothing about and are often set up for the simple purpose of collecting you marketing info. Once you add the application, they have access to your information. Be wary of which applications you add and again use the privacy settings to control this.

Thanks to Tailor Ransom for the great Flickr image!

Facebook Updates – May 2010

Facebook is changing – again. Here is a resume of recent Facebook changes – to keep you abreast of the latest developments with the popular social network.

Facebook Fans

Alas, Facebook Fans are no more. You can no longer become a “Fan” of a Facebook Page but you can “Like” one. Instead of the “Become a Fan” button you now click its replacement, the “Like” Like FB 120x131 Facebook Updates   May 2010button Facebook Like Facebook Updates   May 2010 if you like a Page and want to tell the world.

Overall functionality remains the same and apart from the wording, the only difference is that you will see a breakdown of which of your friends “Like” a page as well as the overall “Like” count. Apparently people are more likely to “Like” something than become a “Fan” of it.

There has been some controversy over the fact that your profile image appears in the “Like” section of a Page without consent so perhaps people will be less likely to “Like” than to “Fan” after all – only time will tell.

Facebook Events

events1 Facebook Updates   May 2010Facebook this week announced that it was making it easier to post events. You will still be able to create events as before by clicking on the tab on the right hand of your profile but in addition to this you will be able to quickly create events on the right hand side panel too. To do so, click on “What are you planning” on the “Events” panel on the right to quickly begin entering information about your event and to invite your friends.

Facebook Insights

Insights1 Facebook Updates   May 2010

insights21 Facebook Updates   May 2010

Facebook Analytics

Facebook Insights allow you to track the effectiveness of your Facebook page. If you have a Page already, you might have noticed that a few weeks back you started getting a weekly email “Your Weekly Facebook Page Update” informing you the number of fans, wall posts and visits to your page. Click on the link to view the the data in more detail. You can also do this in Facebook by going to any page you manage and clicking “insights” (below information on the left hand side panel). You can view graphs showing interactions,posts, reviews and so on as well as gaining valuable analytics on demographics such as sex and geography.

This is perhaps the most important change to Facebook recently as it allows you to determine whether your page is effective and to allow you to ascertain what can be done to improve it. You can even export the data to CSV for further analysis if you so choose.

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Recent Facebook Changes