Facebook

Facebook Updates

by Christi on September 14, 2011

Recently Facebook has been making some changes. Last week we discussed changes for local businesses. A lot of the other changes involve moving privacy controls inline so they are more easily accessible. Honestly, a lot of what has been done is just moving things around and changing some of the language. Facebook says, “these details relate to the controls and settings you use to manage who can see your posts. Nothing has changed about who can see what you’ve already posted and no one new can see a post today who couldn’t before.” The details some of the changes are outlined in this article from Facebook.

Some time ago, I posted step-by-step instructions for creating lists. If you haven’t been using lists, you need to check out this feature and use it. It is a great tool for people who use Facebook to communicate with different types of people such as friends, family and business acquaintances. Lists aren’t new, but they can be difficult to manage.

This week, Facebook has been making some changes to friends lists. Here is a list of improvements to the friends lists:

  • Smart lists – You’ll see smart lists that create themselves and stay up-to-date based on profile info your friends have in common with you–like your work, school, family and city.
  • Close Friends and Acquaintances lists – You can see your best friends’ photos and posts in one place, and see less from people you’re not as close to.
  • Better suggestions – You can add the right friends to your lists without a lot of effort.

Also new is what Facebook is doing with notifications. They have been testing cutting down on notifications. They say this feature is for very active users of Facebook. In an email from Facebook, they say:

We’re trying out a new feature to reduce the amount of email you receive from Facebook. Starting today, we are turning off most individual email notifications and instead, we’ll send you a summary only if there are popular stories you may have missed.
You can turn individual emails back on and restore all your original settings at any time.

Page owners who want to engage in conversations with their fans may want to continue receiving notifications of posts to their page. To continue receiving notification at the time of the post, page owners will need to turn this back on. To do this, you can go to account -> account settings -> notifications (on the left side of the page). Uncheck the email frequency box.

facebook notificationsThen go to notifications and turn them on and off as desired. Turning this feature off will also affect how you receive notifications about your profile as well so you be sure to look at all of the settings.

Happy Facebooking! If you want to learn more about how to use Facebook for your business, download the Facebook for Business 101 eBook and don’t forget to subscribe to the Wharton Internet Marketing blog to get updates to what is going on with Facebook, as well as information about how to use Facebook and other social media and internet opportunities to grow your business!

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Facebook Page Admins Are All Equal!

by Christi on September 6, 2011

Facebook Page AdminThis morning, Mashable published an article that discusses how Facebook page admins can hijack the pages from the original owners. We have talked about this before with the strong caution of “Be careful who you appoint as admin.” As far as I know, this has always been the case. Whoever creates the page can add other admins who can then delete them as the admin. What I didn’t realize is that the Facebook FAQ’s erroneously state that the original creator cannot be removed as admin.

I have mixed feelings about the deleting of the page creator as an admin issue. I create many Facebook pages for businesses. That is one of the services that we offer. We create specialty landing pages and can even post status updates for companies who need that type of service. When I provide this service, I always add the business owner as an admin. I make sure that any other admins that are added are ones that the business owner trusts to not hijack the page or do other damage to the brand. Also, if something were to happen to me, someone else needs to be able to take over. They also need to be able to remove me as an admin if they choose. Makes sense.

On the other hand, let’s say that the page creator is the actual business owner. The business owner appoints an employee to keep the page up to date. The employee leaves for one reason or another and decides to delete the business owner as the admin. In that case, it is not good that the employee is able to hijack the page. This happens all the time and, unfortunately, Facebook is not great at helping these issues get solved.

Another issue is that once someone is an admin, they can assign other admins, ones that you may not approve. I have seen this happen to a friend. She assigned someone she thought was a friend to be an admin. That “friend” then assigned someone else as an admin. That additional admin hijacked her page.

Obviously, there are two sides to this argument, and the arguments on both sides are good ones. I think you have to go back to using common sense. Do your due diligence on knowing who you can trust. One suggestion was to have everyone who is an admin (including the original creator) be required to sign in with a company email. The thought behind that is that you can always go back to the email and get access to the page. However, if you are using a social media consultant, such as me, I sign in with my own email and have over 50 pages that I administer. By signing in as myself, I am able to access all of the pages under that one account.

Fortunately, I have been doing this a while and have built a strong trust reputation. I am always glad for businesses to check out what work I have done. In fact, I think they would be crazy if they didn’t do a little research. This is a tough call for Facebook. What do you think?

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Facebook LocalLast week, Facebook rolled out some new updates. I will be doing a post that goes into detail about the updates; but this morning, I’m thinking about local businesses and how they are using Facebook. If you are a local business who is using a ‘profile’ for your business where you have “friends” instead of a ‘page’ where people “like” you, this post is for you. If you are a local business who is using a page where people “like” you, check back here for a post on the updates that effect you.

Okay, for all of you who still insist on using a profile for your business instead of a page, did you know that, in addition to being in violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service, you are also missing out on some great functionality that is only available to local businesses that are using Facebook pages? Let’s look at some of them:

  1. Local businesses get a map so people can easily locate their business.
  2. Local businesses can let people “check in” to their business and get special Facebook deals. They can see the deal before they check in and get instructions about how to redeem the deal (right on their mobile device) once they have checked in. This makes it so much easier and more fun to interact with your customers.
  3. Local businesses have a “recommendation” function so their customers can write recommendations about you and your products.
  4. All pages for businesses (local or otherwise) get Facebook insights so you have an analytics tool to help you measure your campaigns and effectiveness.
  5. Pages have access to “apps” where they can set up all kinds of things, such as special pages to welcome their fans, forms where people can sign up for your newsletter, you have a tab for a page advertising your latest sale. There are apps for a lot of great functions and with an iframe app, you can set up just about any type of custom tab you want.
  6. There are social plugins you can use to invite people to ‘like’ you from your website, your blog or any other online place that you own.
  7. You aren’t at risk of being closed down for violating Facebook’s Terms of Service.
  8. There is no limit on the number of fans or likes you can have. A profile is limited to 5,000 friends.
  9. You don’t have to send and accept invitations to be friends for a page. Anyone can like you whether they have a Facebook account or not or whether they are signed in to Facebook or not.
  10. All content posted on your Facebook page gets indexed by Google.

Okay, so do you really still want to keep using that profile instead of a page? What is holding you back? Facebook has given you a tool that is easy to use to convert your profile to a page.

Don’t miss out. Get the most out of Facebook that you can for your local business! Still scared, contact us and we can help you!




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Overnight Success!

by Christi on July 22, 2011

overnight successThat is what we all want, isn’t it? To be an overnight success. It is true of most businesses, but unfortunately, it is not very realistic. I’ve seen it happen over and over. Someone comes to a seminar or class and learns about how to use social media or how to use a blog to grow their online business. When they leave, they are very enthusiastic. They get started and do okay for a while, and then they just kind of let it go. They don’t stick to it long enough to get enough momentum to take them to the next level. They give up.

Remember, that every blog article you write, every post on your Facebook page, every tweet is out there, getting picked up by search engines and giving you that many more chances to be found by people who are looking for you. Consistency and commitment are key. It can be compared to working out your body. It takes a little time to build muscle and endurance. It won’t happen if you don’t stick with it. And the good results can be lost when you give up. There is just no easy way around it. In order to succeed, you have to put in the work.

However, unlike working out your body, you can actually pay someone to do your inbound marketing. You can pay someone to write blog articles and engage on social media. Either way you do it, someone has to be making the effort on your behalf in a consistent, regular way.

If you have gotten started with blogging and social media, don’t give up! It takes time, but it can reap great results when done right. If you need help, contact me at [email protected]. I would love to discuss how we can work together to grow your business!

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Will Google+ Replace Facebook?

by Joe B on July 21, 2011

Google plusWe’ve been asked this question a thousand times in the last month. And I believe the simple answer is “no”. The reason being is that I don’t think that they are competing in the same space.

Google+ is information oriented, while Facebook is relationship oriented. Nothing happens on the “Profile” side of Facebook until two people agree to have a relationship (i.e. friend each other). Now the “Pages” side of Facebook is different, but the heart of
Facebook is the Profile. Google+ is more like Twitter where you can “follow” someone without their permission. But Google+ doesn’t have many of the restrictions that Twitter has (e.g. number of characters, rich media, etc.).

Because of its informational nature, Google+ may be more effective for businesses, especially SEO purposes. But its ultimate success will, of course, depend upon how many users it gets. The latest estimates are between 10 and 18 million users.

Do you use Google+? If so, what do you like or not like about it?




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Facebook Makes It Easier To Promote Pages

by Joe B on July 19, 2011

Facebook recently made it easier for Page Administrators to promote their Pages. Page Admins can now send their friends invites to Like their Page that appear as notifications, and not in the Recommended Pages sidebar module. This should result in a higher conversion rate since these invites generate both Facebook and email notifications, making them much more noticeable than appearing in the Recommended Pages sidebar.

Page Admins will now see an Invite Friends link in the right-hand admin panel when viewing their Page. When that link is clicked, they will see a multi-friend selector that will allow them to search for and select friends for invites. Selected friends will receive notifications on Facebook that display the name and photo of the friend who sent the invite. Selected friends, whose account notification setting permit, will receive email notifications. The selected friends are then required to click through to the Page where they can then decide whether to Like it.

One idea to help increase your Page’s number of Fans is to have several Admins with diverse friend lists send out invites.

Facebook seems to change the way they allow us to promote our Pages about every 6 to 12 months. So who knows if this is the last iteration they will come up with. My suggestion is to take full advantage of it while we can.

Let us know what you think.

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What Is Your Social ROI?

by Christi on July 13, 2011

social media revolutionI am speaking to the Mid America Monument Builders Association Convention this weekend about social media marketing. I’m told by the association’s president that they are slow adopters of social media. A couple of points that they might find interesting are included in a video that I will be using at the beginning of the first presentation:

  • The ROI of social media is that your business will still exist in 5 years!
  • 34% of bloggers post opinions about products and brands and those opinions show up in search results.
  • People care more about how their social graph (their Facebook friends, Twitter followers/followees, etc.) ranks products than how Google ranks them.
  • 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations, while only 14% trust advertisements.
  • 98% of people skip TV ads.
  • We no longer search for the news, the news finds us.
  • We will no longer search for products and services, they will find us via social media!

Typically, in the morning, I open e-mail, read local and national news online and then get the other news that I may have missed from my friends on Facebook. It is a great source for local news and then I get to see what my friends think about the news as well. I have learned about new products, new businesses. I have asked local friends on Facebook if they know where I can find a product locally.

How about you? Are you part of the revolution? Here is the video that I will be using. What do you think?

Facebook for Business 101 eBook

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Social Networking Through Social Media

by Joe B on June 21, 2011

social networkingEver heard someone say they don’t like social media- Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? Have you heard them say, “I don’t know enough people to be a part of those groups” or “I don’t know what to talk about”? Well, what they don’t understand about social media is that it’s like a big networking party 24/7. You start with one or two connections and go from there.

You’ve heard the saying that it’s not what you know, but whom you know, or whom you know who knows whom. And that’s what networking is all about- getting to know people and getting introduced to the people they know. People don’t do business with businesses, they do business with people. And they like doing business with people they have something in common with such as a friend or business associate.

When you are in need of a new product or service, isn’t the first thing you do is try to think of someone you know who can provide you with that product or service? And if you mention to a friend that you are looking for that product/service and they suggest someone who can provide it, aren’t you likely to at least contact that someone to see if they can provide what you need? That’s what social networking through social media is all about.

We have gotten numerous opportunities for our business from social media. People have contacted us because:

  • they were friends or connections on Facebook or LinkedIn,
  • they were a friend of  a friend or a connection of a connection on Facebook or LinkedIn,
  • they saw that they went to the same high school/college as we did,
  • they grew up in the same city as we did.

In other words, we were somehow connected. And while not all of these opportunities came to fruition, many did; and we did get an opportunity that we probably would not have gotten without social media.

So the next time you think all of this social media talk is just hype, remember there are people using it to get business. But it does require effort on your part. Just like any networking meeting, if you stand in the corner by yourself and don’t engage, you won’t make any connections. After all, the first word in “social media” is social.

Let us know how social media has benefited your business.
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Facebook Marketing – Are You Human?

by Christi on June 20, 2011

not humanSocial media has given us ways to connect and network in ways that are just incredible. Social media marketing is on the rise, and more and more people are connecting with businesses through social media. However, sometimes with social media, you can lose your human element. The human element is what makes people want to do business with you in the first place. People don’t do business with businesses, they do business with people! Let’s look at a few examples of not having the human element.

I am reminded of a lady at a Facebook seminar I attended telling us that she didn’t want a personal profile – she just wanted a business page where she could post her specials. She didn’t want to have to interact with anyone, and she didn’t want anyone to get to know her personally. She really misses the whole point of social media. She actually saw the value of Facebook and it’s potential for reaching a lot of people, she just didn’t want them to know who she was.

Recently, I commented to a business owner about something that I had posted on my Facebook wall that he might find interesting. He told me that he never looks at anyone else’s profile or even his own news feed – he just looks at his own profile and his own business page. He will interact if someone interacts with him first, but he doesn’t actively go out and show interest in them. He is also missing the point of social media. It’s all about him.

One business man uses his Facebook profile and page to broadcast all about his business. When you look at his profile, you don’t see anything about him just his business. Everything revolves around business. I happen to know this man personally and know that he is an avid gardener and loves cooking. Even though I understand that he is a business owner, adding a little bit of personal information would really help people connect to him as a person.

All of the people in the examples are very nice people who are friendly people to do business with. They actually are interested in other people and care about their customers. I know that about them because I know them personally. They don’t show what great people they are on Facebook. They just haven’t transferred their human element to social media.

Facebook is a great marketing tool because it gives you the opportunity to reach more people. The important thing to keep in mind is not that you just reach them but that you actively interact as someone who is interested them. You have to interact as someone who is human.

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The Power of Facebook

by Christi on May 6, 2011

The Power of FacebookFloods, tornadoes and storms – all of these have been going on in our area and in many areas of the Country recently. Where have people been turning to get information? Facebook! Facebook is where you can find out if your friends and family are safe. It is where people post pictures and pass along news of road closings and cleanup efforts.

I saw postings asking if someone had freezer space available because their power was off. I saw people asking for volunteers to help with cleanup efforts. Many who were without power were posting status updates from their mobile phones.

Facebook has really connected people and helped them stay connected. That is a lot of power! As business people, we have a powerful opportunity here. No, I’m not suggesting taking advantage of people when they are down. I’m talking about getting involved and helping when you can. Not for what it can do for your business, but because you are a part of your community and you care.

Caring about your community and keeping in touch with those in it through Facebook is a great way to be involved. And by the way, showing that you care does have a positive impact on your business.

What do you think?

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