Are You Keeping Up With Facebook?

February 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Posted in Facebook | Leave a comment
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Are you keeping up with all the social media changes? It seems like every day there is something new happening on Facebook.  Are you keeping up? Are you using any of the new apps? Or are you overwhelmed by the whole thing?

Here is a bit of the hottest news on Facebook in the last week or so….

Last week I noticed a lot of people were getting excited about Instant Personalization. We are always worried about our privacy being violated when we are using social sharing sites and this new feature seems to have pushed some buttons with people. This is a feature that was actually released last April. Instant Personalization is merely a way for your personal information (age, gender, name etc) to be utilized by partner sites to give you a more personal experience. When you visit one of those sites, you will be notified and you will be given an option not to have a personal experience on the site. No problemo. Your data can not be used for any other purpose or shared with any other site.

One of the fastest growing apps is Badoo. Essentially it is a dating app. It is an app to find single people in your area. So spruce up your profile photo! Facebook is one of the fastest growing sites to meet new people! Is this an app you would try?

Over three million people now use the app Causes. This app allows  individuals to mobilize their network of friends to grow lasting social and political movements. You can start your own cause and inspire your friends to action or you can join an existing cause. It is another great way to get the word out on issues that you are passionate about.

Are you familiar with EdgeRank? If you ‘like’ a number of fan pages you will find that your news feed has quickly filled up with posts from all the pages you like and you are missing some of the posts from your actual friends. EdgeRank helps you manage your news feed so you can see what is important to you. EdgeRank Checker is a new tool for those people who manage fan pages so you can measure your level of fan engagement on any given day or even over a large span of time. Have a look at this blog post by Mari Smith to see how to use it.

This is just Facebook news. There is a lot happening on all the social media sites every day. And there are new social media site popping up all the time. I will try to keep on top of them and report on the highlights.

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New Facebook App Makes Browsing Photos Easier

January 11, 2011 at 9:58 am | Posted in Facebook | Leave a comment
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A company called Pixable is launching a new Facebook app that will change the way the social network’s members browse photos online.

The free app allows users to see all of their friend’s photos without jumping from profile to profile, browse photos by categories such as “most popular,” and get updates when specific friends add or are tagged in new photos.

As apps for sharing photos multiply and photographers upload their snapshots in record numbers, the move to create an organized way to rank and share photos could be a smart one. Have a look at how many friends you have and how many photos there are in total. You might not want to see all of your friends photos but do you wonder if you are missing out on some good ones? Being able to organize them all to view the ones you want to see can help you to stay more connected. Making your Facebook connections a little less shallow and a little more meaningful is part of what this app is all about.

Pixable says it’s attempting to fill the same niche in the online photo world that Google and Yahoo filled on the web when the number of web pages started to become overwhelming.

Two or three years ago there weren’t that many photos online, but now all of those photos are being uploaded. You have a way to access them through your social graph, but it is impossible to keep track of all of them.

Plans for customizable categories would also make browsing friends’ photos of “weddings” or “men under age 25″ possible. At which point, we think, there’s potential for it to become a really important resource in any photo lover’s arsenal.

So tell me, is this something you would use?

Social Media – It’s Just One Tool In Your Marketing Toolbox

January 9, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Posted in Social Media | Leave a comment
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I keep hearing about how great Social Media is and how it is the fastest growing advertising tool. Ya, I think that is probably true. In my experience the use to these tools is growing among business users and consumers. They are fun tools to use, not very expensive and they can be really effective. But what are the real numbers?  I did a non-scientific quickie search of Google to see what stats are out there. Here is a bunch of fun facts I found on the web:

  • 70% of respondents indicated that a company’s social media influences their purchase decisions;
  • 30% of respondents indicated they regularly pay a higher price for products active on social media over competitors who are not;
  • More than 700,000 local businesses have active Pages on Facebook;
  • Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web;
  • The number-one advantage of Social Media marketing (by a long shot) is generating exposure for the business, indicated by 85% of all marketers, followed by increasing traffic (63%) and building new business partnerships (56%);
  • Social Media outsourcing underemployed: Only 14% of businesses are outsourcing any aspect of their social media marketing;
  • Facebook claims that 50% of active users log into the site each day. This would mean at least 175m users every 24 hours;
  • What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook…

So what does this mean to your business? It means: “Ahhhh!!! HURRY!!!! Get on Facebook!!” Ok, no it doesn’t. Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, You Tube etc are really cool marketing tools. Billboards are also really cool marketing tools. Some have lights and moving parts that are super cool. Just because something is cool and has lights does not mean that you should be spending your advertising dollars on it. If you think it does then I have a flashlight to sell you.

Social Media sites are great ways to find your consumer and target your ads to them. If I sell ladies shoes to 18 – 30 year old trend setters, I can advertise to those women specifically within 20 km of my store. I will only pay for the ads that these women click on. I can also create a Facebook page and try to reach them without spending money – only time. There are some really effective ways of reaching this specific target market using Social Media. And it does not need to be expensive.

But what if I sell widgets? And my widgets are only used by select gadget manufacturers. Should I take out a bunch of Facebook ads? No. If the consumer of your product is not on Facebook or Twitter then you don’t need to be there. Like any other marketing tool you want to think about where your customer is and then advertise to them on that platform.

But, what if I sell a specific kind of green widget that is only used by certain gadget makers. My problem is that many gadget makers use only blue widgets. I’d really like the gadget makers to realize that they can sell more of their gadgets if they contained my special green widget. In this case I might be able to utilize some Social Media tools to target the consumers who purchase gadgets. I want to get them to request green ones! Now I am not using Social Media to advertise a product I am using it to build my brand and change a mindset of the consumer.

As with any form of marketing your best bet is to figure out who your customer is, think about what you hope to achieve and research the best tools to reach that consumer and meet your goals. Social Media tools might help but they are only one set of tools in your marketing toolbox.

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