Category Archives: Social Networking

A Marketing Miracle? Facebook’s New Publisher Controls in Beta

Thanks to the pressure put on Facebook by the advances of Twitter we the people are receiving a better service. Twitter reigns as the thought sharing, micro-blogging mecca, where Facebook provides the end-all be-all network, aggregating all of ones personal sharing and media. Twitter’s success comes about through its simplistic model of sharing and communicating, today Facebook released a beta feature that may set a new standard for Twitter’s content sharing model and groupings.

New publisher controls were released in beta today on Facebook. The new publisher controls provide various grouping options to sharing content and dispersing it as widely or privately as desired.
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Status updates can now be viewed not only by those in your social network but also by those who aren’t. Perhaps most importantly, Google, Bing and every other search engine that indexes Facebook pages and profiles will now display shared content at the desire of publishers. “The privacy settings that you implement for each story will also carry over to the stream.get API call.” It seems quite apparent from a marketing standpoint that the avenue this creates to spread branded content and awareness is very beneficial, granted that it is quality content being dispersed.

For brands, twitter brought about an avenue where companies could add value and depth to their identity by not only positioning themselves in a business segment, but by providing links, ideals and thoughts that brought forth a personality with whom consumers could interact and relate. Facebook is beginning to reach a stage where brands can better connect with not only there friends or fans, but reach out to a broader audience and introduce themselves through personified content sharing. In my opinion this is a milestone feature release for Facebook.

Read more on AllFacebook or AdAge

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Filed under Facebook, Marketing, Social Networking, Twitter, Uncategorized

Vanity URLs Offered on Facebook

Around 1:00pm today facebook announced that they will be offering users the ability to select vanity
URLs for their profiles and pages they administer. If you are unfamiliar, an example of a vanity URL is http://facebook.com/edieter, rather than the current long tail URLs that everyone possesses; http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/profile.php?id=10213726&ref=profile. There is significance behind this announcement seeing that the inclusion of vanity URLs will make common named users more identifiable within search engines, greatly increase the ease of sharing facebook profiles or page links, and add a personal element to facebook URLs. Currently a number of networks offer vanity URLs such as twitter, myspace, ilike, etc. Until this coming Saturday, facebook has only experimented with a limited number of vanity URLs for notable brands and publications.

Starting on June 13th @ 12:01 am EDT facebook will allow users to claim their URLs. By visiting http://facebook.com/username, users will have the ability to select their URLs by simply following the instructions. Also, facebook will be including a note on everyone’s homepage prompting them to follow the instructions:

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Facebook usernames will be available in basic text forms, and you can only choose a single username for your profile and for each of the Pages that you administer. Your username must be at least five characters in length and only include alphanumeric characters (A-Z, 0-9), or a period or full stop (“.”).”

Be forewarned that once you select a URL it is with you for life, no rewrites, retries or complaint submissions. Our recommendation would be to stay in and bring the party to you this coming Friday or show up to the festivities fashionably awesome with your new URL, because if there is a URL out there that you’re dying to have it probably won’t be available Saturday morning.

Find more information about the vanity URLs on the facebook blog

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Filed under Facebook, Social Networking

Twitter Insights on a #Follow Friday

2118463691_4cf2e7c6a1So for those reluctant souls who still think that twitter is a waste of time for social networking junkies with nothing better to do, I’m here to tell you otherwise. By now your boss has probably said “who knows what this twitter thing is & how can we use it to make sales?” or you’ve seen Rick Sanchez on CNN referring to his twitter stream throughout the show.

Well, those example are a small portion of understanding twitter. The value in twitter for me lies within the ability to network with a vast number professionals and it also serves as a valuable two-way communication channel between brands and loyalist consumers. The way CNN has incorporated twitter into their daily routine and involved the people’s voice is doing exceptional things for society’s confidence in the news they are served. It amplifies their passion to get involved and the adds a mediator type position to the news casting, presenting a less biased platform, all coming solely from incorporating twitter into Rick Sanchez’s show on CNN. I could go on about how Oprah, Ellen, Comcast, & even United Airlines are using twitter & adding value to their brands, sincerely connecting with consumers and presenting a valued opportunity for consumers to voice themselves in the brands, personalities, and services they consume.

While there’s no mystery as to why companies and brands should learn to use twitter effectively and creatively, if you’re a college student wondering “why the hell would I waste my time with status updates when I can do it on my facebook,” here’s why. While facebook may be a better place to sport pictures of you and your friends taking 5 beers down the beer bong with Ralphie the school mascot, its not going to connect you with employers you need to get a job at a desired firm or company. Facebook provides some opportunity for brands to connect and it comes through the form of fan pages, groups, and applications. Twitter‘s simplicity on the other hand, the same thing that make people think its worthless, make it a networking super model for getting your foot in the door. Building a twitter presence and educating your followers with valued content and thoughtful insights will be more apt to get you recognized amongst a group of interviewees than a fun-filled facebook profile.

All in all, my suggestion to businesses looking to connect and aspiring professionals looking for networking, twitter is a must have and must understand. Using and understanding social tools as more than staying in touch with friends has value in all professions, sometimes it just takes a creative approach to make it work.

Photo: Martin Kingsley

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10.5 Ways To Explode Your Blog Traffic

1. Submit Your Blog – Submit your blog to Google Here

Use Feed Burner to submit your blog Here

2. RSS Feeds – Make sure you have an RSS feed that is easy to subscribe to. But instead of saying something boring like “subscribe here”, say something that people will understand more easily like “get up to the minute news via your email or RSS here”. (Don’t know what an RSS feed is? Figure it out. Search for it on Google. It is central to blogging)

3. Create Irresistible Headlines – One of the great things about starting a blog is that it teaches you how to write good copy. And all good copywriters know the most important thing is a great headline. Look at sites like Digg and see what the popular headlines look like.

Ex. Shoot the ball like Michael Jordan

How NOT to make a left turn

Why what you are doing is not good enough

4. Lists – People on the internet go crazy for lists. Create a top ten list and you will see a surge in traffic. If a third of your posts are lists you will do well.

Ex. Top 10 Ways To Explode Your Blog Traffic

Top 5 Reasons Why I Could Steal Your Girlfriend

Top 7 Reasons Why Mindy’s Class Doesn’t Suck

5. Go Beyond Text in your Posts. – Every post should have a picture incorporated with it. To find pictures that you can use freely without copyright stuff attached go to Flickr.com. Then click on explore near the bottom. Then up top on the explore drag down box go to creative commons. The top result says attribution license only, click where it says see more. Then you can do a search within this category. All of these pictures you can use on your blog and you just have to put a little thing under the picture that says who the photographer is. This is what big time bloggers do.

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5.5 Have posts with video in them –  Use the camera on your computer to do a blog post. People pay way more attention to video. Or feel like being lazy. Search for a relevant Youtube video. It is super easy to put a Youtube video into your blog.

6. Core Posts – It is important to have at least two or three really well thought out researched articles in your blog. While most blog posts don’t have to be long at all, these posts should be at least 4-5 paragraphs. They should contain unique content that you can’t find other places.

7. Comment on Other Blogs – One great and easy way to drive traffic to your blog is to comment on other blogs. Say something insightful on ten blogs a week. Your name will link to your blog and the readers will click on it and check out your blog.

8. Submit Your Articles to Social Media Sites – Become familiar with Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and Delicious. It will drive lots of traffic for you.

9. Linking to Past Posts – In your new blog posts, link to some previous posts that you have written, especially your core posts.

10. Be Patient & Relentless – Unless you are the owner of Ford, thousands of people are not going to instantly come to your blog. Develop a voice, create some great content and continue at it. It will take time and dedication to build up a following of thousands of people. But once you do it, it will be well worth it. Not only can you make money off of it, but you can become an influencer in your field.

fireworks1photo cred: Tony George

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Filed under blog, Marketing, New media, Social Networking, Strategy

Friday is for Followers: Why and How to #followfriday

There are many ways people go about gaining new followers on twitter, but Follow Friday is one that stands out from the rest in my opinion. There’s no app. or bot involved that compiles a list of people to follow based upon your characteristics, posts, interests or otherwise. Follow Friday is a method that is driven by real, sincere human activity in a Twitter landscape that is lead by development through links, apps., and  bots. Despite the fact that it sounds like an elementary game played amongst the same kids playing Duck-Duck-GOOSE at recess, Follow Friday has brought a valuable human aspect to the means by which people find valuable additions to their stream. Essentially, I look at the elements at play here when you @ somebody and realize that its an incredibly valuable networking tool. You could compare it to taking someone’s business card and dispersing it across the most densely populated, CEO ridden regions of the globe. OK, maybe that’s a bit of an extreme comparison, but Follow Friday definitely gets your work recognized, if you stand out from the crowd, and builds an awareness you wouldn’t otherwise get. So, we should all thank @micah for pioneering the people driven concept.

Certainly some of you have heard of Follow Friday or been using it for a bit now, but if you haven’t, here you go. Pretty simple. #followfriday is the Hashtag that is used to search for suggestions on who to follow (http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23followfriday). If you are unfamiliar with Hashtags they are simply identifiers for topics being discussed or tweeted, add a # in front of a word to make it a topic. #followfriday is a way to introduce people to one another and provide suggestions of tweeps you think add value to your stream. When you want to participate in Follow Friday all you do is find the people you’d like to recommend to others and add the hashtag #followfriday so that others can see the suggestions in the search stream: EX: Want to follow some real G’s from Movement: #followfriday @movements @znerold @Dieter13

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BuzzGain Sets the New Standard

Yesterday was the initial public beta launch of the long awaited BuzzGain. Founded by Mukund Mohan and co-founded by Brian Solis the program is intended to help companies analyze and understand online communities. Not only does the program help small business, entrepreneurs, and even corporations understand these communities it takes it a step further to find the influencers within these social mediums. BuzzGain sets itself apart by providing users the ability to see conversations pertaining to their brand. Its quite simple to see the benefits of such access; build a better brand based on input from your most passionate consumers and directly connect with your influencers.

This all-in-one, do-it-yourself solution to online buzz tracking is currently being exercised by Lenovo and SAP, now that the public beta version has launched its widely available to the online community. Through the simple “listen” dashboard users can narrow in on content and conversation pertaining to their specific search inquiry. There are over 140 social networking properties within BuzzGain which users have the ability to monitor, anything from micro-blogging to podcasting. Once you find what appears to be an influencer BuzzGain gives you the ability to dig deeper about the individual and find characteristics such as geographic location, twitter followers, twitter updates, blog posts, alexa rankings, etc.

The pricing of the program is quite reasonable compared to the price of PR or hiring out-of-house. $99/month for small businesses and up to $1,000/month for corps. netting $1 billion +. If you’re an online business looking to find your voices online this is an amazing tool. Talk around the blogosphere is that the beta version of BuzzGain has just standard glitches such as slow results for some searches and shows “problem loading” for just a few inquiries, beyond those couple of issues this program looks to be the next benchmark in extracting from online social activity revolving around brands.

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Check out the product demo video at BuzzGain under Solutions.

Also read more at Chris Brogan and Mashable

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Filed under Analytics, Buzz Marketing, Social media, Social Networking

When All Else Fails – Facebook as a Legal Platform

Typically when we login to our social networks we receive light hearted messages from friends, networking requests from professionals, or status updates from followers, unfortunately this women wasn’t greeted with the type of content you look forward to.

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In the BBC today there was an article about a woman and her husband who had defaulted on a home loan and ironically fell out of reach with the lawyers trying to notify them that their home was to be repossessed. As it is necessary to notify the defendant before repossession the Australian lawyer thought outside the box in his attempts to track down the couple.

After confirming the defendant’s facebook profile matched the individual they were attempting to contact, an Australian Supreme Court granted permission to use the social networking site as a means to contact the couple as long as the lawyer made the message private. This is the first time in Australia that a social network has been considered a legitimate forum through which to serve legally binding papers. (Read the whole article: Legal Papers Served Via Facebook)

It’s quite interesting to see the development of social networks beyond simply a personal branding space or strategic marketing forum. Much like companies such as Comcast or Dell have been using networks such as twitter for customer service, we could see a vast number of law firms expanding to serve clients via online social networks, somewhat eliminating the barriers of geographic location. Another interesting factor is not simply the networks themselves, but the developmental technologies that have allowed these online spaces to become the most viable means of communication for many individuals. With the introduction of mobile web and 3 G networks there’s been a transformation in how people connect, whether it’s friend to friend or lawyer to client, a simple phone call may not be the best option anymore.

Photo Cred: P. C. Loadletter


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Filed under Legal, Social media, Social Networking