Facebook Timeline Is Now Part of Facebook Pages

1 03 2012

Today was the big day that Facebook rolled out its Timeline for all of its Facebook pages. Not sure how to set this up with a nice long cover photo? You can try it yourself or have the team at Access Social Media set up a great looking page for you. Contact us at 248-535-7090.

In the meantime, here’s a great article on the changeover by Angela West at PC World:

Facebook today introduced a major revamp for business pages that gives you more control over the look and feel of your company’s page. The new page layout helps you interact more easily with your Facebook fans, enabling enhanced graphics, the capability to feature posts, and private messages with fans.

Most Facebook users are familiar with the new Timeline layout. Not only does it organize status updates onto a timeline, making it easy to call up a Facebook user’s posts by month and year, but the Facebook experience becomes much more visual, with larger and more clearly displayed photos.

Here are the key features, and how to get your company ready for the Facebook-wide rollout on March 30.

Red Bull's Facebook page, with Timeline Red Bull’s Facebook page, with TimelineUpload New Cover and Profile Photos

To get started with the new design, upload a cover photo to showcase your brand. If you have the budget, hire a graphic designer to do something special. Facebook states that the ideal size is 851 by 315 pixels if you want to give it a go yourself. Just click on “Add a Cover” near the top-left of your Facebook page, and choose “Upload Photo”.

The profile photo is the smaller image that appears beside all of your status updates, as a box within your larger cover photo. This is an ideal spot for a logo (as in Red Bull’s example, above), about 180 by 180 pixels. If you already have a page, your existing profile picture will be here, but you may want to move or resize it. To change the profile photo, hover your mouse over it and click “Edit Profile Picture”.

View the New ‘About’ Section

The Activity Log brings more control to what's posted on your page.The Activity Log brings more control to what’s posted on your page.The section that used to be buried in the “Info” tab on your company page is now front and center along its very top, so consider rewriting it to show it off. Keep it short and to the point; think mission statement rather than an entire company biography.

Control How Posts Are Displayed

With Timeline, you can pin a post to the top of your Facebook page for up to seven days to highlight popular or relevant content. You can also change post dates, which will help you bump up posts that you want to keep at the top of the page.

You can “star” a post to feature it more prominently, increasing the size of the post to take up the full width of your Facebook page. This means you want to pay a little more attention to photos that may end up on your Facebook page; you’ll want to take them at a minimum width of 851 pixels so they can be featured as part of a “starred” post without pixelating.

Add Company Milestones

The new Admin Panel organizes notifications, messages and stats in one place. The new Admin Panel organizes notifications, messages and stats in one place.You’ll be able to create company milestones on your Timeline, which gives you an easy way to translate company history to Facebook. You can also feature events like new store openings and product launches.

Control Posts on the Activity Log

Facebook’s new Activity Log will let you manage your posts. This administration panel lets you hide and reveal posts, “star” posts to feature them, and change post dates.

Admin Panel Shows Stats and Activity

The new Admin Panel features private messages from Facebook users to your company, which removes complex customer issues and complaints from your public Facebook wall and puts them in your inbox, where they belong.

The Notifications tab keeps your notifications about likes and comments in one place, which will allow most company page admins to turn off the notifications filling up their email inboxes.

Friend Activity is posted near the top of the company page. Friend Activity is posted near the top of the company page.Insights is Facebook’s own analytics tool, which tells you who’s talking about your company page through “Talking About This,” and how many people the conversations are reaching through “Reach”. While Insights isn’t new, its integration with the Admin Panel makes it more accessible.

Track Friend Activity

When people visit your page, they’ll be able to see their friends’ interactions with your company near the top of your company page. This gives a more personal feel to those visiting your page, and builds trust in your brand. The only downside is that a negative mention from a visitor’s Facebook friend is also likely to show up here.

When to Take Action

All business pages will be upgraded to the new layout automatically on March 30. To see what your new page will look like, click the preview button at the top of your current company page. If you like it already, you can publish your page right now rather than waiting a month.

You'll see this preview banner across the top of your pre-Timeline company page when you're logged in. You’ll see this preview banner across the top of your pre-Timeline company page when you’re logged in.What I Would Change

Companies should be most concerned about the Friend Activity. While it’s a great feature if everyone is speaking in glowing terms about your company, negative comments have a way of bubbling to the top faster than positive ones. If a company is concerned about reputation management, it should have the option of turning off Friend Activity. And if it were up to me, I’d roll in the Activity Log to the Admin Panel rather than having two separate consoles to manage my page.

Other than these minor gripes, the new changes are definitely an improvement to the company and user experience on Facebook.

Facebook Also Updates Advertising and Offers

Meanwhile, Facebook announced it will feature Premium Ads and Sponsored Stories on the mobile newsfeed as well as the Facebook logout page. They will also be introducing Offers, a free way for businesses to share promotions directly from their company Facebook Page.

Angela West is on Facebook far more often than she should be, but at least 5 percent of the time is work-related. She’s written for big insurance companies, small wildlife control businesses, gourmet food chains, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @angelawest and Facebook.

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How to Monitor Your Twitter Feed

22 02 2012

One of the best ways to know if Twitter and other social networks are working for you is to monitor your social media activity on a regular basis. Most of the monitoring tools are free and Dream Grow social media has done a great job of reviewing 48 social media monitoring tools. They have divided them into two groups. Group A are the services that Priit Kalas of Dream Grow uses regularly and Group B includes social media monitoring tools that he doesn’t use regularly but could be of interest to you.

Group A

seesmic 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Seesmic

Twitter account: seesmic
Seesmic is a suite of social media management and collaboration tools that provide everything to build their brands online. Seesmic has applications on every platform, including mobile, and a marketplace of third-party plugins. Seesmic gives you social media monitoring, updating and engaging in real time.

hootsuit 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
HootSuite

Twitter account: HootSuite
Monitor and post to multiple social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. Create custom reports from over 30 individual report modules to share with clients and colleagues. Track brand sentiment, follower growth, plus incorporate Facebook Insights and Google analytics. Draft and schedule messages to send at a time your audience is most likely to be online. HootSuite has the dashboard for your iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Android.

postrank 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
PostRank

Twitter account: postrank
Postrank has two tools. The PostRank Analytics (https://analytics.postrank.com/) gives you insight about your sites engagement scores and. Social engagement analytics covers over 20 of the top social networks. Find out who are your influencers, which content drives engagement, what posts are most impostant. And the best part is that you can also monitor your comperirors. You can connect PostRank with your Google Analytics to get even better results. PostRanks top ranked content (http://www.postrank.com/main) helps you to find most important blogs on any topic, use it to monitor your competition

socialmention 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Social Mention

Twitter account: socialmention
Social Mention is a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user generated content into a single stream of information. It allows you to track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors over one hundred social media sites.

socialpointer 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
SocialPointer

Twitter account: socialpointer
SocialPointer is a real-time social media marketing platform for marketing agencies and individuals, It enables them to track, monitor and respond in real-time to relevant social mentions and user conversation. SocialPointer lets you monitor, listen, respond and engage.

socialseek 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
SocialSeek

Twitter account: socialseek
Get all the latest tweets, news, videos, photos, and more on any topic you want in one place. There’s a Socialseek site for everything and you can even make your own. I found some of the news sources other tools missed.

twazzup 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Twazzup

Twitter account: twazzup
Twazzup is real-time news platform. It allows you to filter the news out of live Twitter content. It’s useful for understanding who are the influencers on a given topic and what are to trending sources.

twittercounter 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
TwitterCounter

Twitter account: Twitter
Twitter Counter is the number one site to track your Twitter stats. Twitter Counter provides statistics of Twitter usage and tracks over 14 million users. Twitter Counter also offers a variety of widgets and buttons that people can add to their blogs, websites or social network profiles to show recent Twitter visitors and number of followers.

wildfire monitor 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Wildfire Social Media Monitor

Twitter account: wildfireapp
Measure your performance. Glean insights about the growth of your social media fanbase on the leading social networks. With daily tracking, you have visibility into growth trends small and large. Gauge your social media success against others in your industry by comparing your follower bases across the leading social networks. Alert system will inform you of meaningful trends and activity that’s relevant to your social presence.

Group B

addictomatic 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Addictomatic

Twitter account: addictomatic
Addictomatic searches the best live sites on the web for the latest news, blog posts, videos and images. It’s a tool to keep up with the hottest topics, perform ego searches and get info on what’s up, what’s now or what other people are feeding on. You can personalize your results dashboard and keep coming back to your personalized results dashboard for that search. News pages provide the latest headlines on topics such as entertainment, politics, shopping, sports and more.

blogpulse 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Blogpulse

Twitter account: blogpulse
BlogPulse is an automated trend discovery system for blogs. BlogPulse applies machine-learning and natural-language processing techniques to discover trends in the world of blogs. Different searches include basic, advanced, trend, URL and conversation tracker.

boardreader 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Boardreader

Twitter account: boardreader
BoardReader allows users to search multiple message boards simultaneously, allowing users to share information in a truly global sense. Boardreader is focused on creating the largest repository of searchable information for our users. Users can find answers to their questions from others who share similar interests. Our goal is to allow our users to search the “human to human” discussions that exist on the Internet.

boardtracker 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Boardtracker

Twitter account: BoardTracker
Discover the influencers, monitor and protect your brand and reputation, find and engage your customers and critics. BoardTracker is a forum search engine, message tracking and instant alerts system designed to provide relevant information while ensuring you never miss an important forum thread no matter where or when it is posted.

cotweet 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
CoTweet

Twitter account: cotweet
Free version is for individuals and organizations that manage a small number of Twitter accounts and need only basic features to engage and manage their conversations. Free version includes scheduling, conversation history, email notifications containing your latest mentions, team collaboration tools and access to Twitter follower profiles.

facebook 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Facebook Search

Twitter account: facebook
Facebook search is notoriously bad and will not find much, but if you have nothing else to do then give it a shot. It relies heavily on your social graph so the results you get may not be meaningful for your target audience.

google alerts 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Google Alerts

Twitter account: Google
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (blogs, news, etc.) based on your searches. Enter the topic you wish to monitor, then click preview to see the type of results you’ll receive. Some handy uses of Google Alerts include: monitoring a developing news story and keeping current on a competitor or industry.

google blog search 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Google Blog Search

Twitter account: Google
Whether you’re looking for Harry Potter reviews, political commentary, summer salad recipes or anything else, Blog Search enables you to find out what people are saying on any subject of your choice. Your results include all blogs. The blog index is continually updated, so you’ll always get the most accurate and up-to-date results.

google trends 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Google Trends

Twitter account: gtrendz
Trends allows you to compare search terms and websites. With Google Trends you can get insights into the traffic and geographic visitation patterns of websites or keywords. You can compare data for up to five websites and view related sites and top searches for each one.

howsociable 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
HowSociable

Twitter account: howsociable
Free monitoring tool for measuring your brands or keywords using 32 social networking sites. HowSociable provides a simple way for you to begin measuring your brand’s visibility on the social web.

icerocket 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Icerocket

Twitter account: icerocket
Blog Tools, create your own Trend Graphs with the IceRocket Trend Tool. Enter keywords to see mentions trended over time. Trend Tool, enter items to see mentions trended over time. Enter up to five queries under Trend Terms. Type in the label you would like associated with each query under Display Labels. Search tool for blogs, web, Twitter, Facebook, news, and images.

klout 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Klout

Twitter account: klout
Klout’s mission is to help every individual understand and leverage their influence. Klout measures influence in Twitter to find the people the world listens to. It analyzes content to identify the top influencers.

mentionmap 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Mentionmap

Twitter account: asterisqdataviz
Explore your Twitter network. Discover which people interact the most and what they’re talking about. It’s also a great way to find relevant people to follow. The visualization runs right in your browser and displays data from Twitter. Mentionmap loads user’s tweets and finds the people and hashtags they talked about the most. In this data visualization, mentions become connections and discussions between multiple users emerge as clusters.

monitter 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Monitter

Twitter account: monitter
It’s a twitter monitor, it lets you monitor the twitter world for a set of keywords and watch what people are saying. Just type three words into the three search boxes and within seconds you’ll start seeing relevant tweets streaming live.

nutshellmail 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
NutShellMail

Twitter account: NutshellMail
NutshellMail lets you organize, monitor, and interact with all your social networks from a consolidated email digest delivered directly to your favorite inbox on a schedule that you choose. Nutshellmail supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Ning.

omgili 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Omgili

Twitter account: omgili
Omgili Buzz Graphs let you measure and compare the Buzz of any term. The Buzz is the percentage of the term out of the total number of discussions Omgili covered on a specific date.

quarkbase 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Quarkbase

Twitter account: quarkbase
You can find out how good a site is, get comprehensive website details, discover competitors and analyze them. One can call Quarkbase ‘whois on steroids’ or ‘imdb for websites’, which provides detailed website information like people, traffic, similar sites, social comments, description, social popularity and much more.

samepoint 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Samepoint

Twitter account: samepoint
SamePoint.com tracks millions of conversations, taking place across in blogs and social media sites. SamePoint converts discussions into web pages, or permalinks, and organizes them within a tag cloud. SamePoint can serve as the nexus where the conversations meet, providing a single place for all discussions on a specific topic.

sharedcount 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
SharedCount

Twitter account: yahelc
Track your shares, likes, tweets, and more. Enter a web address of a page and find out how much it has been shared in different social networking and bookmarking sites. Currently includes Facebook, Twitter, Digg, LinkedIn, Google Buzz and StumbleUpon.

socialoomph 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
SocialOomph

Twitter account: socialoomph
Schedule tweets, track keywords, extended Twitter profiles, save and reuse drafts, view @mentions and retweets, purge your DM inbox, personal status feed — your own tweet engine, unlimited accounts.

steprep 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
StepRep

Twitter account: steprep
StepRep provides an overview of the conversations people are having about your business online. Anytime your business is mentioned, anywhere on the web, you’ll hear about it. Sources are scanned continuously to bring you the most complete and up-to-date data on how your business is perceived. The data is broken down and analyzed in reports that can help you target your marketing and increase your online customer engagement.

surchur 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Surchur

Twitter account: surchur
Surchur is the ultimate dashboard to right now. The surchmeter shows you how popular a keyword is on different sources: surchur, blogs and twitter.

technorati 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Technorati Blogsearch

Twitter account: technorati
Search Technorati and note the authority and rank of the blogs listed in the results. Authority measures the site’s standing and influence in the blogosphere. Rank shows what position this authority gives the site. It is not a very good tool for lesser known blogs as it misses a lot of great sites.

tinker 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Tinker

Twitter account: tinker
Tinker helps you stay on top of your favorite events by showing you the latest buzz from Twitter and across the social web. Create or follow an event stream by choosing a keyword. An event could be anything: the Oscars, a new iPhone release, a movie premiere, a book launch, or a Superbowl party. Tinker also lets you search for the top news, topics and places people are talking about.

tiptop 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
TipTop

Twitter account: twittiptop
TipTop Search is a Twitter-based search engine that helps you discover the best and most current advice, opinions, answers for any search, and also real people to directly engage and share experiences with. A search on any topic reveals people’s emotions and experiences about it, as well as other concepts that they are discussing in connection with the original search.

topsy 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Topsy

Twitter account: topsy
Topsy is a real-time search engine. Topsy indexes and ranks search results based upon the most influential conversations millions of people are having every day about each specific term, topic, page or domain. Topsy’s algorithms identify influencers for any searchable criteria, using these influence calculations to rank results. It displays results for related terms and articles, trending topics, identifies experts (influencers) and shows you trackback pages for everything in its index.

trendistic 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Trendistic (formerly Twist)

Twitter account: trendistic
Trendistic allows you to track trends on Twitter, similarly to what Google Trends does for Google searches. It gathers tweets as they are posted, filters redundant ones and compiles the rest into one-hour intervals. This way, it shows how the frequency of one to four-word phrases fluctuate over time. The result is a visualization of what’s popular Twitter users. You can enter a phrase in the search box to see how its frequency varies over time, or several different topics separated by commas to see how they relate: try comparing “skype” and “microsoft”(http://trendistic.com/skype/microsoft), to see how powerful it can be.

tweetbeep 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
TweetBeep

Twitter account: tweetbeep
Keep track of conversations that mention you, your products, your company, anything, with hourly updates. You can keep track of who’s tweeting your website or blog, even if they use a shortened URL, Great for online reputation management, catching all your @replies and @mentions.

tweetpsych 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
TweetPsych

Twitter account: TweetPsych
TweetPsych uses linguistic analysis algorithms (RID and LIWC) to build a psychological profile of a person based on the content of their tweets. The service analyzes your last 1000 tweets. It works best on accounts that are operated by a single user and use Twitter in a conversational manner, rather than simply a content distribution platform. Created by Dan Zarrella.

tweetreach 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
TweetReach

Twitter account: tweetreachapp
TweetReach measures the impact of social media conversations. Use it to understand how many people were reached by tweets about a topic on Twitter.

twendz 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Twendz

Twitter account: waggeneredstrom
The twendz Twitter-mining Web application uses the power of Twitter Search, highlighting conversation themes and sentiment of the tweets that talk about topics you are interested in. Using the twendz application gives a glimpse into what’s on people’s minds and their emotional reaction. Mining Twitter conversations alerts you to brewing trends, conversation topics and points of view.

twitalyzer 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Twitalyzer

Twitter account: Twitalyzer
Analytics for social relationships. Twitalyzer knows who is in your social network and where they live, allowing you to be more targeted in your outreach efforts. Twitalyzer provides Twitter’s most robust benchmark reporting, ranking Twitter users ten different ways. Authored by Eric T. Peterson author and blogger.

twitrratr 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Twitrratr

Twitter account: twitrratr
Twitrratr built a list of positive keywords and a list of negative keywords. It searches Twitter for a keyword and the results are cross-referenced against adjective lists, then displayed accordingly.

twitter grader 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Twitter Grader

Twitter account: grader
Twitter Grader lets you check the power of your Twitter profile compared to millions of other users that have been graded. Just enter your Twitter username and you’ll get an instant grade and report. It looks at a variety of factors including the number of followers, power of those followers and the level to which you are engaging the community.

twitter search 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Twitter Search

Twitter account: twitter
Use Twitter Search if you need to find out what’s happening in the world beyond your personal timeline. Twitter Search lets you search, filter, and otherwise interact with the volumes of news and information being transmitted to Twitter every second. Twitter Search helps you filter all the real-time information coursing through our service. Advanced Search allows you to create your queries using many advanced operators.

twitter stream graphs 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Twitter StreamGraphs

Twitter account: JeffClark
A StreamGraph is shown for the latest 1000 tweets which contain the search word. You can also enter a Twitter ID preceded by the ‘@’ symbol to see the latest tweets from that user.

twitturly 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
Twitturly

Twitter account: twitturly
Twitturly tracks the URLs flying around the Twitterverse and provides a real-time view of what people are talking about on Twitter. When someone tweets a URL, Twitturly applies it as a vote for that URL. The more votes a URL has in the last 24 hours, the higher it ranks on Twitturly’s Top100.

whathashtag 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
WhatHashtag

Twitter account: whathashtag
WhatHashtag is service that allows you to find the most used Twitter hashtags for the keywords you enter. Search for the keyword and you will automatically get the most popular hashtags used worldwide to discuss your topic. The result retrieves the last 1.000 tweets related to your keyword, and orders hashtags by frequency of use. Using WhatHashtag you will gain visibility when tweeting your opinions, being read beyond your followers in the most effective way.

whounfollowedme 48 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
WhoUnfollowedMe

Twitter account: whounfollowedme
Who.unfollowed.me is a service that helps you track your unfollowers, in real time, without waiting for a DM, or email. It allows you to check your unfollowers on your schedule, every 15 minutes, without waiting for an email or a direct message.





Google Drive to Compete with DropBox

9 02 2012

At Access Computer we have many of our clients using DropBox for file transfers. However, all that might change in the next couple week’s as Google releases the much awaited Google Drive. Here’s a great article in the Next Web by Matt Brian:

 

Google is reportedly close to launching its long awaited cloud storage service Drive, delivering a personal file-synchronisation platform that will allow users to store and copy files between computers and mobile devices.

The Wall Street Journal cites sources familiar with the matter, which state that Drive will facilitate the storing of photos, documents and videos on Google’s servers, allowing them to instantly share them with other people.

Google Drive is tipped to launch in the ‘coming weeks or months’ and is expected to be free for most users and businesses. As with Dropbox, Google is likely to introduce a paid storage option for users that wish to store large amounts of files.

Google already allows users to upgrade their Gmail and Picasa storage, so it would likely incorporate the same structure into its new Drive service. Prices start at $5 for 20GB, so it would be inexpensive for users if the search giant was to adhere to the same strategy.

In November, we reported that Google was starting to introduce references to its cloud storage service inside Google Docs, which could be unlocked to enable a “Download Google Drive” option within the website itself.

The option looked to only be available to users with the correct privileges, suggesting it could be an option for Google employees, but highlighted an option that could possibly initiate the download of an application that would sync their entire Google Docs archive to their new Google Drive account or vice versa – when it launched.

Google is tipped to launch mobile applications and a desktop app, keeping files synchronised between devices. Whether iOS and Windows Phone users will be able to utilise the service on their smartphones and tablets remains to be seen, for Google to achieve mass-penetration, it almost certainly has to do so.





How Facebook Can Strengthen Your Website

8 02 2012

Awesome article by John Haydon (Twitter: @johnhaydon) on using Facebook to increase engagement on your website. Here’s what John has to say:

If you want to increase pages views and site engagement, it’s critical that you create a more social experience when people visit your website.

For example, when people view an article from your blog, they can see which of their friends have already read that article. They also can share content on your site with their Facebook friends.

Gigya published data showing that Web users spend 50 percent more time on websites that use Facebook social plug-ins. They also view twice as many pages.

Use social plug-ins to increase engagement

time spent How Facebook Social Plugins Increase Engagement On Your Nonprofits Website

View your website as a fishing net. Web visitors either keep swimming on by your site or get caught in your net.

As you can see in the bar graph above, users spend most of their time commenting, which,according to Giya, “allows them to share opinions on content and interact with other users – including those from their social graph.”

This makes sense when you remember that people are busier today than ever before, but still want to converse with their friends on topics they care about.

Increase page views with social plug-ins

page views How Facebook Social Plugins Increase Engagement On Your Nonprofits Website

They also found that page views more than doubled for sites that use social plug-ins. Again, commenting and sharing were the two biggest activities.

What does all this mean for your website?

The more pages people view on your site, the more chances you have to convert them into an email subscriber or donor.

View your website as a fishing net. Web visitors either keep swimming on by your site or get caught in your net — subscribe to your email newsletter, etc. Social plug-ins encourage these fish to swim around a bit more, giving you more chances at catching them!

Which Facebook social plug-ins should you use?

Putting your organization’s goals aside for a moment, and viewing the data above, it’s safe to say that you should at least be implementing Facebook’s Like Button andComments plug-in. For instance:

  • Like Button: When a user clicks the Like button, a news story publishes to his or her News Feed, and this story includes a link back to the content on your site. If your site offers a lot of content that users can like individually (such as in a blog), you’ll invariably increase referral traffic from Facebook to your site.
  • Comments: This plug-in allows you to add a comment box to your website content so that Facebook users can enter their comments, which can automatically be published to their Facebook News Feed. These republished comments also include a link back to the comments on your site.

Facebook has excellent tutorials on installing these plug-ins, and if you use WordPress, all you need is to install a few plug-ins. The plugins I use are Facebook Like and Send andDisqus for comments (users can log in with Twitter or Google in addition to Facebook).





What Is Pinterest and Why Is Everyone Talking About It?

1 02 2012

No, we don’t think Pinterest is going to be as successful as Facebook, but as Facebook’s IPO filing is only hours away it makes sense to look at this up-and-coming social networking site called Pinterest. More popular with women, Pinterest is quickly gaining in popularity and 2012 could be its year.

In her StartUpNation article, “Are you Pinterest-ed?”, Rachel Blaufeld explains the attraction to Pinterest.com:

Last summer, I was working with a client and she was bubbling over with excitement about Pinterest. While 6 months ago, Pinterest was relatively unknown to many people, as of last month it is now a TOP 10 social media network. That’s right – TOP 10. Pinterest is basically a visual bulletin board of what ‘pinners’ like… Users create ‘boards’ for individual categories (ex: home storage, yummy foods, books, cool products, funky restaurants) and ‘pin’ pictures of related items to the board. The pin then links to the original site where the photo was pinned from, so anyone interested can find the item/place/recipe/etc on the web. The possibilities are limitless. Think of a virtual thumbtack holding a picture of that latest and greatest item you adore to a web page so everyone that follows you can see that you give this item 2 thumbs up. Other users and followers can ‘repin’ your photos to their boards creating a snowball effect. Heavy influencers, who share their pins, which in turn results in their pins getting repinned and repinned, creating a spiraling effect and rush for particular items on the web.

Are you getting the picture, here? Yes, Pinterest is wildly fun, but the larger picture is that if products/places of business are being pinned/promoted/repinned, this can have a huge effect on start up businesses and products!

I asked, Rieva Lesonsky, former Editorial Director at Entrepreneur Magazine and current CEO of Grow Biz Media (and who recently followed me on Pinterest) for her take on Pinterest and Start Up Businesses. Rieva just started exploring Pinterest, and her thoughts are:

Retailers (both online and store owners) and restaurant owners could really benefit from Pinterest. Retailers should create boards featuring new products, sale items, special promotions and trends. Make sure you embed a link to your store’s location. Restaurant owners can pin specials, new menu items, and even share recipes.

The key though (which I truthfully have not conquered) is to remember this is social media. Don’t just pin your own goods, feature products from other places. You don’t want to promote a competitor, but a retailer could pin from a store in another state or country. Both retailers and restaurant owners could pin like-minded items from magazines.

Thanks to Rieva, and I agree with her last thought very strongly. Social media is about engaging, so do not make your pinning all about ME, ME, ME…but, promote someone in your referral network, another business in another state, or complementary products. For example, if you produce golf balls, endorsing gold clubs would be a natural choice.

Just like other social media networks have evolved from something very social and fun to a viable business tool, Pinterest lends itself really well to this.

If you want to learn more about actually using Pinterest, and the ins and outs of ‘pinning’ and ‘repinning,’ watch this:





Vizio’s New PCs

9 01 2012

VIZIO announced today an innovative line of five premium personal computers designed to turn the PC market upside down and accommodate the entertainment needs and wants demanded by consumers. Set to launch with Windows 7 in spring 2012, the elegantly designed PCs will provide an entertainment experience only VIZIO can deliver, complete with top notch 2.1 audio and video quality. The personal computing line consists of two all-in-one computers, two thin + light notebooks and one notebook. VIZIO’s line was developed to raise the bar in personal and home entertainment while also keeping powerful performance at the forefront.


Much like its entrance into the HDTV category nearly a decade ago, VIZIO believes it has identified a need in the PC world for a device that addresses a recent change in consumer behavior. Growing popularity in video streaming services has resulted in the need for personal computers that can stream content for a family movie night and put together an important business presentation the following day. The VIZIO PCs address this change by meeting both the entertainment and productivity demands.

VIZIO PCs will be a continued progression of the VIZIO Internet Apps (V.I.A.) Ecosystem, which provides a seamless, cohesive entertainment experience across multiple screens. As the V.I.A. experience spans across the brand’s HDTVs, Blu-Ray players, tablets and more, today’s announcement represents a natural extension of the experience over to the PC as well. Together with Windows, VIZIO’s PCs will deliver power, mobility and familiar ease of use, ensuring a fast, fluid and immersive user experience that distinguishes them from devices that function and those that are truly entertaining.

“PCs are often associated with productivity and the workplace, routinely lacking the excitement that would be expected with what and how consumers want to use their PCs today – as an extension of their entertainment experience,” said Matt McRae, Chief Technology Officer. “VIZIO wanted to change that. Our new line of VIZIO PCs are truly high quality and consumer focused, delivering enhanced multimedia capabilities while upholding our high standards of performance, style and design.”

Complete with high-performance hardware, the VIZIO PCs boast a clean system image optimized by Microsoft and an elegant industrial design incorporating authentic, high-quality materials that is sure to turn heads both on-the-go and in the living room. Known for HDTVs that boast stunning high-definition pictures, VIZIO engineered its new line of PCs to meet the same high-quality standards.

Always committed to pushing the envelope, VIZIO believes their groundbreaking PCs will alter the way consumers view computing. With entertainment at the heart of the VIZIO PCs, users will find that consuming content will be just as desirable as on their HDTV. With an already high demand for devices that are able to multitask between work and play, the consumer’s choices are limited. VIZIO accepted the challenge and has elegantly bridged both worlds to provide a Windows-based PC that offers a rich entertainment experience alongside tools needed for getting work done.

“We’re excited to see VIZIO enter the PC market and the positive impact they will have on the Windows ecosystem,” said Steven Guggenheimer, CVP OEM Division, Microsoft. “With their expertise in providing connected entertainment experiences and an innovative go-to-market approach, we look forward to working with VIZIO to bring premium consumer PCs to market.”

VIZIO anticipates its entry into the PC category will challenge consumers to expect more from their computers – enabling them to play as hard as they work. Discover more at www.vizio.com/ces#computers.





Twitter Etiquette

4 01 2012

DeDe Watson lays out the Top Ten Twitter No-No’s:

Many people are just starting out in Social Media and have not had time to get acquainted with some of the most important rules and etiquette of Social Media. We think that when we join Twitter, we are going to have an EXPLOSION in business only to find out there is no easy way to do so. Twitter is simply a social media platform designed to give you the opportunity to gain visibility and make connections.

I have been involved with Social Media for about 4 years and am never surprised at what new spam and bad manners appear before me. There are obvious things that most people with common sense know is not allowed but there are also others that fall into those grey areas.

This is my top 10 list of things you do should not do on Twitter:

1.  Creating Drama on Twitter. Whether this ensues from becoming argumentative, or complaining about your life. Twitter is not for sharing your personal woes or becoming combative with other followers. Keep this offline as it will gain you a bad reputation and holds no positive value.

2.  Using Profanity in your profile or tweets. There really is no reason to use raunchy language unless you are trying to attract the same quality followers.

3.  Continually asking someone to follow you. There are many reasons that someone is not following you. Firstly, are you following them? I have had many people asking me for a follow that are not following me. What makes them so special? Also, perhaps they only follow those in their niche. If they are not following you, give them support by tweeting them and possibly they will recognize your value.

4.  Retweeting without checking out the list of people included in that tweet. Have you looked at their profile? Are they someone you would follow or want others to see you tweeting about? Be careful who you tweet!

5.  Being careless about whether you are direct messaging or tweeting. Be sure you are paying attention or you may tweet information that you are trying to keep private. It is not always possible to reverse what you have tweeted.

6.  Tweeting the same people too much. What is too much? If they stop responding, you will know. Some people love lots of attention and some are turned off by repetitive tweeting.

7.  Tweeting that you will have to unfollow them if they don’t follow you. It is their choice NOT to follow you. Sometimes they have overlooked you inadvertently and more often they just don’t want to follow you. Tweeting their content and building a relationship with them will gain their attention.

8   Over use of hashtags. It is so annoying to look at someone’s profile and see only hashtags with little description and no website address posted. Quality and content attract attention! Show everyone that you are someone they should follow and you will gain respect and followers! You should also not make your entire tweet a message of hashtags ##!

9   Overdosing in self-promotion. I tell people every day that succeeding on Twitter is about 80-90% promoting and supporting others and the rest you can allow for tweeting about your business. Too much about YOU becomes a negative and people will stop listening!

10  Don’t tweet your every move throughout the day. People really don’t care about your daily habits and lifestyle. Are you Kim Kardashian?? Okay, now you get my point. Keep it real, simple and professional! It is great to be friendly. Have a sense of humor, enthusiasm and passion in your tweets!