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November 13th, 2013

2013Nov13_Facebook_CSecurity, both offline and online, should be something that is top of mind for business owners and managers, especially when it comes to interactive platforms like Facebook. While social media sites do generally have the user's best interest in mind, the developers of these systems do introduce changes from time-to-time. Recently, Facebook announced that they will be eliminating a security feature and this could cause some confusion.

If you have logged into Facebook recently, you may have seen a notice at the top of the News Feed page informing you that, "In a few days we'll [Facebook] be removing an old Facebook setting called "Who can look up your Timeline by name." Seeing this message could create a bit of confusion as to whether it is a big deal to take real notice of or not.

What did this setting do?

In previous versions of Facebook, starting from when Timeline was introduced, you could type in individual or company names to bring up their Facebook Timeline. This security setting allowed you to set who could find your Timeline if they entered your name.

Why is Facebook removing it?

Before the more recent changes to Facebook, such as the introduction of the new search feature, the only way to find Facebook users was to search for them. Now, users can be found in numerous ways and the most obvious is by using the new Graph Search (Facebook's new Search Bar).

Because of the numerous ways to find profiles, and the related security settings, Facebook has announced that they will remove this security setting largely because it is redundant. It should be noted that Facebook isn't removing the ability to search for users by name, just the setting that controlled who could see your Timeline.

What will happen now?

The biggest change is that now anyone will be able to look up your name and find and view your Timeline on Facebook.

Should I be worried about the removal of this privacy setting?

For businesses, this change is actually a positive one. All users will be able to find your Facebook Page, which is something you want. You are still in control as to who can see individual posts and updates. In general, your Page will continue to be visible, but the chances of seeing increased visits solely due to this development are pretty slim.

That being said, any change to the security settings on Facebook mark a good time to conduct an audit of your Page and Timeline. Log into your Page and press the Lock icon in the top-right. Take a look at security settings, including who can see what content. For many businesses, this should be public - as long as the content posted on the Page is aimed at being openly viewed.

If you are posting pictures or updates that you only want a select group to see, be sure to set the security settings when you create posts. This can be done by pressing the arrow beside Post. It is a good idea to look through your Timeline and ensure posts, updates, Likes, shares, etc. are shared with the appropriate people. You can do this by pressing on the cog in the top left and selecting Account Settings followed by Privacy and Activity Log beside Review all your posts and things you're tagged in.

Looking to learn more about the role of Facebook in your business? Contact us today to see how we can help.


Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Facebook
August 20th, 2013

Facebook_Aug19_CMarketing and brand management is an important business process, one which has been influenced heavily by social media platforms like Facebook. While some companies and users find it easy to use, it can be mystifying and downright scary to others. In an effort to help businesses get more out of the platform, Facebook has recently launched a business specific page.

Below overview of the new Facebook for Business hub.

What exactly is Facebook for Business?

This new site, run by Facebook, is dedicated to businesses of all sizes and industries. According to Facebook, the company has been simplifying the way businesses advertise on the site and that's really what this site hinges on - a streamlined way to advertise on the social media platform.

But according to Facebook, the site isn't just for advertising. The company sees it as a platform that, "Will grow into the central destination for news, information and inspiration that marketers can use to drive business results with Facebook." The site is live now and will continue to grow over the coming months.

The site has some interesting features that all business and marketers will find useful. Here are four of the more important ones.

Facebook Basics

If you are new to Facebook or are looking to learn more about how to establish your presence on it, the Facebook Basics page has some excellent information. From this page, you can actually begin the setup process for your business's Facebook Page and learn more about identifying your audience, how to create content, use Facebook's Page Insights and even the basics of advertising with Facebook.

This page is actually a sub-page of the Get Started tab which has information on how Facebook can help your business reach different goals like drive traffic to the website, launch a new product, build awareness, etc. Exploring each category will bring up a wide variety of options and tips that could prove useful, ultimately helping you get more out of this platform.

All marketing solutions in one place

Any business that has a Facebook Page knows that there are numerous ways to market or advertise using Facebook. From paid sidebar ads to paid promotion of content, Facebook's ads are a little tough to suss out. The new page groups all of the advertising options that the company offers into one section.

The page also provides more information on how the different ads work, the different types of ads and how they can best be used and even provides help with creating ads. This is definitely a page business owners can benefit from. Check it out here.

Success stories

One of the best ways to learn and succeed with Facebook is to look at how other companies have successfully used the platform. The Success Stories section has a wealth of case studies from a variety of industries and locations that provide information on how other companies are using Facebook.

Viewing this section could give you some interesting ideas for content, how to approach customers, link placement and even Page setup. You can filter Success Stories by region, industry, product, location and even goal. The interesting thing is, the stories don't focus on all large companies and instead showcase companies of all sizes. Checking out the database could be an interesting exercise.

News

A common reason many companies and people list as to why they are successful is that they keep up with what is going on around them. Because the world of social media is always evolving with many new features and changes introduced on a regular basis, it can be tough to keep on top of social media as a whole.

The News section of the site provides a localized site for all news related to Facebook. You can filter the news according to your business size to get relevant news and updates.

Overall, the new Facebook for Business page is a valuable tool for businesses and marketers in charge of Facebook Pages. There is a wealth of insight and examples that could really help every user leverage the platform in new ways and possibly grow their brand and business. Check the page out here and if you would like to learn more about how Facebook can integrate into your existing systems, contact us today.


Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Facebook
February 5th, 2013

Social media has become so mainstream that many people now use platforms like Facebook as their main form of communication. Often users will even check if a company has a Facebook page before searching the Internet. With the ever-expanding number of users, the company's developers are constantly introducing new features to make the platform better. The latest announced feature will bring with it some pretty big changes to the way the service is used.

This new feature is called Graph Search, and with its introduction comes a number of new ways one can use Facebook.

What exactly is Graph Search? The idea of Graph Search is that it provides users with a new way to search the Internet. Now, you won't be using it like you would other search engines - to find websites - instead you will use it to find people, pictures, posts, information, etc., already published on Facebook. This feature integrates with Open Graph - a feature that allows users to share pictures, music, videos, etc., with the public.

If you enter a search query that Facebook can't find results for within the platform, it will return results from Bing (Microsoft's search engine). This is an interesting move, mainly because of Bing's lower usage rates compared with Google. Then again, Google does have Google+ - an impending major competitor of Facebook. And knowing Google, they would use Facebook's information, something Facebook probably doesn't want.

What is the main focus of this feature? Bing search results aside, Graph Search focuses on four main areas: People, Pictures, Locations and Interests/Likes. It takes these four focuses and combines them into a near limitless amount of search possibilities. Want to find small business owners, who like Office 365, in San Diego, in California? What about: Friends of friends who like Windows 8 and are looking for work? This will be possible.

Graph Search essentially turns Facebook into a powerful recruiting tool, an incredible specific targeted marketing tool, a great way to find new friends, and more. Upon its release, it will be available for finding information related to the four focuses, but you can be sure that highly advanced marketing and advertising tools that use this feature aren't too far behind.

How do I prepare for it? There's no doubt that this could give small businesses a large boost, both in terms of presence and marketing power. This will also likely make having a Facebook profile essential if you want to be considered to have any form of valuable Internet presence at all. But, with every up there must be a down. If you don't have content, or have incorrect information on your profile, you will be either glossed over or could see your online reputation falter. Here are five things you can do to get ready for the switch:

  1. Confirm business details - Go through your profile and ensure your contact details are up-to-date and accurate. This includes your address, email, operating hours, etc. Any spelling mistakes and people will likely miss you in search results.
  2. Confirm your classification - When you signed up for a Facebook Page you were asked to pick an industry your business operates in. It would be a good idea to check this and ensure you are in the right industry classification. This can be done by: Going to the Admin Panel, selecting Edit Page followed by Update Information.
  3. Get some content ready - Content, especially pictures, likes and shares, are about to become very important. So, go find some interesting images, articles and Facebook pages and share or like them. Just be careful what you like, because this could be used against you.
  4. Check existing content - Perform a profile audit to check and see if there are any posts that can be considered as inappropriate, offensive, or implicate you in any negative manner. Use your best judgement: If you think it's a little controversial, or could be construed to be negative, then you're better off unliking it, or deleting the post.
  5. Optimize SEO - When the masses start using Graph Search, there's a high chance that many Facebook power users will no longer switch over to Google to conduct a search. They will likely just do this from Facebook. If you haven't been conducting any Search Engine Optimization, now may be the time to start.
There is no official release date, as of the writing of this article, for Graph Search. However, you can head over to Facebook's Graph Search page and sign up for the Beta test. If you have any questions about optimizing your Facebook profile for the switch, please contact us today.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Facebook
January 8th, 2013

Facebook can be a terrific marketing tool for your company. With a solid and active profile, you could see your brand grow and with it an increase in customers. The problem is, many companies set up a profile but don't bother to track how their efforts are doing. Are you one of these companies? If yes, you can get a glimpse into how well your Facebook page and content is doing through the use of powerful analytical tools provided by Facebook.

Here's three basic points on using Facebook analytics to help figure out what content is working and what isn't, and make your social media campaign even more effective.

Gain some content insight with Insights Facebook's built-in analytical tool - Facebook Insights - is a powerful way to keep track of how well your content is doing. Insights is available for free to Facebook Page administrators and can be accessed by pressing the Settings cog - located in the top-right of the window - and selecting View Insights.

Among other things, Insights allows you to view your content's Reach, Engaged Users and Talking About numbers. Reach is how many people have seen your posts; Engaged Users is the number of users who have clicked on your links, and Talking About is the number of users who have shared or liked your posts.

Looking at these three numbers will give you a pretty good indication of what your followers like and don't like. You can also compare the results from different types of content which will give you a great overview of what type of content your customers like.

To take it one step further, Insights also allows you to view activity by day. So, if you notice a picture or article got a lot of likes on a Saturday, this may be a good day to post similar content.

Get to know your audience Insights doesn't just provide information about your content, you can also get a snapshot of your audience by tracking data too, such as the average user age clicking the "Like" button and where they clicked the button - on your page, through a plugin, etc. If you notice that the majority of your users are older, it may not be a good idea to use slang commonly used by younger users.

The information Insights provides about your audience can help you gain a clearer picture on the type of content you should be creating to reach the intended audience. Furthermore, if you notice that a lot of likes or shares are coming from a website, or your blog, it may be a good idea to make the button more prominent or easier to find.

Take Facebook Advertising out for a spin Once you have mastered Insights and know the type of targeted content you need to develop, why not try Facebook Advertising? This service allows you to target your content and posts to specific demographics in the hopes of increasing your brand's exposure.

While this is a pay-service, you can choose to sponsor stories - these show up on the right-hand side of the page - or promote posts - these show content to users who have already liked your page. Both of these options allow you to set the demographic indicators which will place the ad in front of the users you want to target.

It's important to not go too overboard however, as you could over-reach your brand and end up alienating potential customers. It's a better idea to start small and continuously track how things are going. If something doesn't work, you haven't wasted thousands of dollars and can go back to the drawing board.

If you would like to learn more about Facebook Insights and how they can help your business reach the audience you want, why not give us a shout, we're here to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Facebook
December 11th, 2012

With the heavy adoption of social media users have started to share information they usually wouldn't and some go so far as to literally divulge everything. It's kind of weird that on one hand we are happy for others to know so much and on the other, we demand information privacy too. This is especially true with Facebook, and users have recently been posting a warning notice on their walls. Many users have been wondering if this message is legitimate or not.

The most recent letter popping up on user's walls is a copyright notice. You've probably seen it and been curious enough, or enraged enough to share it. The problem is: it's completely fake and 100% unenforceable.

The letter, which looks and reads something like this: "In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, graphics, comics, paintings, photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner (sic: Berne) Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!

Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws. By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook's direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished (sic: punishable) by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).

Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates…"

If it sounds legitimate it must be, right? Wrong! Here's something you should know about this post:

  • The Berne Convention: This is at least a real act, and it focuses on international copyrights related to literary and artistic works. The problem is that it was established in 1886, almost 100 years before the Internet. Therefore, anything in relation to the Internet (read: Facebook) isn't covered by this act.
  • Legal language: There is some legal language, or at least legal sounding jargon, in this post. For example: 'By the present communiqué'. Communiqué is the French word for statement, it has no legal bearing whatsoever. The thing with legal language is that just because it's included doesn't mean the post is legally binding. Also, if this was a legal message, the '!' wouldn't be used.
  • Rome Statute: We're not sure why the Rome Statute is mentioned here, as it covers mainly International crimes such as genocide and other serious war crimes. Last we checked, Facebook hasn't been hauled to The Hague and put on trial for genocide or other serious crimes against humanity.
So, this post and many like it are useless. There is an important underlying issue however: Who owns the data, pictures, movies, etc. you post on Facebook? The answer: You do. According to Facebook's Terms of Service you own any content you produce and put/share on Facebook, and have complete control over how it's shared.

Caveat Emptor There is a catch though. According to Facebook's Terms of Service, "For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it." Essentially Facebook can do whatever it likes with your photos and videos, and you are mostly powerless to stop them.

What can we do? This policy sounds a lot worse than it really is, Facebook has publicaly said that they don't use/sell user's images or videos. The issue to many is that Facebook can use your content, and that's what has experts so nervous. At this time, there isn't much you can do, if you're really uncomfortable with this policy, you could delete your pictures, or not post any to begin with. Another option is to contact Facebook's customer service and ask them about potentially putting an opt-out clause on image and video content which allows you to determine if they can use your images or not. Who knows, if enough people do this, then Facebook may integrate it.

When it comes down to it, if you see posts like the one above, it always pays to do a quick search on the Internet to check the facts. If you'd like to learn more about Facebook and how it can help your company, please contact us.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Facebook
September 11th, 2012

Companies that are successful have great customer service, and employ social media sites like Facebook to help build brands and connect with customers on a more personal level. The problem some businesses have is taking superior physical customer service and translating it to social media, with comments or posts sometimes coming across as rude.

Here are seven social media etiquette tips you should be following to keep a well respected Facebook profile.

  1. No ranting and raving. Remember that your Facebook profile represents your company. If you post negative rants about other products or gasp customers, you can be sure that you’ll destroy your image post-haste.
  2. No over-sharing. Sharing is good, sharing too much is bad. Customers and social media fans don’t need to know every time you’ve restocked the vending machine. You should try to keep sharing to pertinent information, or updates that customers will find useful. Also be sure to not post every single little bit of news as the more you share, the closer you get to spam.
  3. Cut back the quotes. Quotes used sparingly can really help customers and followers relate to the brand and the company. Some companies capitalize on this and use a quote for nearly everything. To much of a good thing is definitely at play here. You should really leave this for marketing campaigns, not day-to-day social media.
  4. Size doesn’t matter. Stop comparing how many friends/followers/etc. you have to other companies. If you have a new profile, you will have fewer friends than other companies. You should instead focus on providing quality content and working on fostering relationships with existing and prospective clients and friends. If done correctly, your friend count will grow naturally, over time.
  5. Use terms properly. Every industry and company uses acronyms, we love them. The only problem is, your friends on Facebook may not know what they mean. It’s best to either spell out words then provide the acronym, or not use them at all. The reason for this is because fancy speak may turn off customers.
  6. Social media isn’t turnkey. With social media, like Facebook, you can’t just establish a profile, put some content on it and expect people to follow you. You need to provide updates, or information on a regular basis. Most companies post at least once every two weeks, or every week, but you should post when you have relevant information.
  7. Watch what you share. Before you share anything, you should ask yourself if it’s what your customers want to see, would like to see and would share. If it’s in any way rude, inflammatory, negative or less than true, delete it.
Social media isn’t always easy for companies, one wrong post and an online reputation can be damaged. However, if you create original content and interact with your friends/followers/customers you will see success. If you feel that you could use a little help with your Facebook profile or other social media efforts, please get in touch with us.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Facebook
August 16th, 2012

Social networks are “in” at the moment, it’s hard to find someone without an account with at least one service. The most popular is Facebook, and it's even gone so far as to completely disrupt modern marketing and branding procedures for organizations of all sizes. With this popularity, scammers are taking advantage of the system and trying to trick people into giving away their credit card and private information.

The scam is a virus that injects itself into your Facebook page and flashes messages asking you to donate to a children’s charity. If you click donate, you will be asked for your credit card, CVV - the number on the back of your card - billing address and name.

What’s special about this scam? The first thing to note is that while this scam poses as a children’s charity, there are currently no children's charities that ask for money directly through Facebook. There is another unique aspect to this scam, it tailors the message to the predominant language of some local areas including: English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and German.

Each version of the message is tailored to take advantage of popular charities in the related countries. For example, in the US and Canada, it asks users to donate to disadvantaged children in Haiti. It also takes advantage of local URLs that make it appear more legitimate. To date the domain names used are: hopeforthepoorchildren.org, fundcauses.com, lwbspain.blogspot.ca, and childfund.de.

If you or your employees have seen a message like this, it’s best to logoff the network and conduct a virus scan. To prevent something like this from happening, never give out your credit details over Facebook, especially if you’re asked for them in a pop up window. If you suspect a message or an action is spam you can also report it to Facebook Security. For ways you can utilize Facebook in your company, while still remaining secure, please contact us.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Facebook
July 10th, 2012

901 million. That’s the number of people and businesses that have Facebook profiles. It’s obvious that Facebook is an important and influential medium that’s practically unchallenged. Any user is well aware that Facebook likes to change things around, much to the chagrin of more than a few. Recently Facebook made a change that could affect companies.

On the normal Facebook profile, before the recent change, when a user clicked About to find more information about a company, how to contact them for example, they would be presented with an email address for the company. That’s changed, now your primary email address presented will be username@facebook.com.

This is a potential problem for companies that rely on their Facebook profile to encourage users to contact them directly. If the user does want to email, they only have access to the Facebook email address, which sends messages to the Messages centre (located the the top left of the Facebook window) of the profile. Hardly ideal.

The upside to this is that the change of email address hasn’t resulted in a new set of security rules, or made any changes to security. Also, Facebook isn’t forcing users to keep their Facebook email address as their primary contact, they can still set which email address to use as their primary by:

  1. Logging in to Facebook, and viewing their Timeline profile (clicking on your username from the main screen.)
  2. Clicking About followed by Edit under the Contact Info field.
  3. Selecting the blue upside-down triangle beside their email address. Note: the “no” sign means the email address won’t show up on your Timeline.
  4. Selecting Shown on Timeline for the email they want shown, or Hidden from Timeline for the address they don’t want shown.
  5. Pressing Save.
While some users are making a mountain out of a molehill on this issue, it’s important to be aware of this and if you would prefer your primary contact email to not be the Facebook email, change it. If you’d like to learn more about using Facebook in your business, please contact us.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Facebook
June 13th, 2012

Promotion. To small businesses this means spreading the word and driving interest about products, services or the company itself. Traditionally this was done by placing ads in local newspapers and on the radio, tv or the Internet. Facebook has changed all that and is now one of the top ways to promote. A new feature has been added that makes it even easier to run a promotion campaign on Facebook.

The feature is called “Promote” and aims to give businesses a way to increase the reach of their posts. Think of it as a simplification process: instead of having to go through the ad dashboard to create an ad, it can now be done with one click.

The idea behind the promote button is to turn posts on your Page into ads that show up on a user’s News Feed - the area where posts are viewed - instead of in the ad bar, which is located on the right hand side of the page. This will, in theory, help your promotion or information reach more users while making marketing and advertising easier.

When you create a post, you can press the Promote button, located at the bottom of the post window. A pop-up window will appear giving you options. As this is a form of paid advertising, you pay to reach a guaranteed number of users. When you enter an amount to pay, (USD 5.00 is the lowest amount), you’ll be given the approximate number of fans the post will reach. You’ll also be able to target demographically and geographically. The post will be promoted for three days.

Once the promotion campaign has started, you’ll be able to view how effective the promotion is by going to your Page timeline and hovering over the numbers at the bottom of the promoted post. You’ll also be able to see how many users the post has reached, and how they viewed it. A useful tool to tell if the Promote feature is actually working.

At this time, the Promote feature is available for Page owners located in the US with more than 400 followers, and should be rolled out to all Page owners in the near future. If you’d like to learn more about the Promote feature, or other ways you can utilize Facebook as a marketing tool, please contact us.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Facebook
May 21st, 2012

What’s the most visited website? If you said catvideos.com aka YouTube, you’re close. Facebook was actually the most visited website in 2011, not really shocking when you think about all the people and businesses that use it. One of the underutilized features of Facebook, Groups, now gives members the ability to upload files to share with others in the group.

With the update, there’ll be a new files tab added to a group’s page. Members will be able to upload and share files with all members in the group. When you click on the publication box, you’ll now have the option of uploading a file to share with the group. You’ll be able to upload files up to a maximum of 25 megabytes in size. The majority of file types can be uploaded, however, music files won’t be allowed.

Groups can currently create and edit documents within the Group page, although these documents can’t be exported to a word processor or be printed. The new feature covers this hole but does not allow online editing at this time. To edit a file, users will have to download it to edit it and reupload it when they’re done. The edited file won’t replace the old version, allowing for reversal of changes if need be.

Will Facebook be the death of cloud collaboration services like Dropbox? It’s too early to tell, but, it does provide Facebook users with an enclosed sharing solution that all users will have access to. If you’d like to learn more about ways you can use Facebook in your organization, please contact us.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Facebook