Feb 21

Facebook Rolls Out Timelines for Pages

If you’ve spent more than a couple of minutes on Facebook, you know how much they like to change things to keep it fresh and, hopefully, relevant to users. You also know that every once in a while, Facebook rolls out a major change which generally starts with individual user profiles and eventually encompasses business pages.

It’s that time again.

Late last year, Facebook rolled out “Timeline” which was a major overhaul of user profiles which included a large “cover photo” to express yourself, and a chronologically-ordered list of your posts and Facebook activity. On February 29th, industry experts expect that Facebook will introduce “Timelines for Business” at their inaugural marketers conference. As all such major Facebook changes have, this new format is expected to roll out first to a few major beta partners, and then eventually to all business users.

Will you be ready for the change? If you’re already a NetWeave customer, you are. We’ll handle the transition for you seamlessly and at no extra charge. If you’re not part of the NetWeave family yet, now might be a good time to join us.

In any case, you’ll need to be sure you have a good cover photo and profile picture ready to go no doubt.  And, if you make use of custom tabs, chances are good you’re going to encounter at least a width change, so be ready for that.  While no official announcements have been made yet, here is an educated guess at the new format by German social house 247Grad.  So, what do you think? Are you ready?

Timeline for Pages Mock-Up

Permanent link to this article: http://netweaveonline.com/2012/02/facebook-rolls-out-timelines-for-pages/

Feb 13

Social Media for Job Hunters

Tonight we got to speak to the students of ITT Tech in Bradenton about using social media as part of a job hunt. We thought we’d blog some resources here that they – and anyone else looking for a job – can use in their quest.

Situational Awareness

Employers are checking social media on applicants and interviewees, and they’re doing so in record numbers.  It’s naive not to consider these facts in your job hunt:

Job Searching Infographic

Rule #1 – Do No Harm

Even if you don’t want to actively use social media to aid in your job hunt, at least don’t give a potential employer a reason NOT to hire you!  Do the basic work of doing a Google search on yourself to see what comes up – if anything negative does appear, visit the site and see if the content can be removed either by you or via a respectful request.  If not, you have some work to do creating enough positive material on the web to naturally push that negative material off the front page at least.  The two main things Google searches for are how many sites link to the site in question, and how new the content is.  Creating active, healthy, positive social media profiles on several services can naturally put you at the top of the search heap since there will be lots of back links and the content will be fresh.

Also, go through your existing social media accounts and sanitize them by looking for pictures or posts they may be misinterpreted (or in some cases accurately, but negatively interpreted) and deleting them.

Leverage Your Assets

To really beat your competition, follow some advice by real employers on how to effectively use social media in a job hunt. Remember, no matter what field you trained in, the field you’re going into is sales. Unless you are in one of a very few rare professions, you are going to need other people to succeed, and that means you have to sell them on you, your ideas and your capabilities. Approach your job hunt that way and conduct it like a professional.

Permanent link to this article: http://netweaveonline.com/2012/02/social-media-for-job-hunters/

Jan 30

Beware the Apps

The flood of new Facebook “Lifestyle” apps began last week, expanding the “frictionless sharing” that Facebook has touted ever since last year’s F8 conference, and which it debuted in the limelight with notables like the Washington Post Reader and Spotify. Now is the rush of new verbs, and you can see what people are not only reading and listening to, but what their eating, watching and visiting.

If you’re not familiar with frictionless sharing, though, keep in mind:  As anyone who has ever tried to start a fire with two sticks can tell you, sometimes friction is a good thing. In the old, frictiony world fo Facebook, an application had to interrupt you every time it wanted to share something on your profile.  Interruptive, yes, but at least you knew what was going out and when.  In the teflon-coated world of frictionless sharing though, these new applications will ask you once, and only once, if you want to share.  After you say yes, anything you do with that application can and likely will be shared!

It's the gift that keeps on giving!

Been using Washington Post Reader for a while? Don’t be surprised if your friend stops you in the hall and asks why you were reading that expose on squirrel extortion rings last night. Indulging some guilty pleasures on Spotify? You are likely to be judged by a jury of your peers.  You didn’t just share the one article or song you read or listened to the first time, but every single one of them since then also.

To restrict who sees what, or to remove the apps altogether, go to the pulldown arrow in the upper right corner of your home page and select “Account Settings.”

On the subsequent screen, click “Apps.”

Finally, select “Edit” for the app in question and change your settings.

You can thank us later.

Permanent link to this article: http://netweaveonline.com/2012/01/beware-the-apps/

Oct 19

Cunard Catching Social Media Flak for Messing with Tradition

"Captain! PR Iceberg, right ahead!!!"

Among those with a mind for the tradition of the sea and the golden age of ocean liners, Cunard conjures up majestic images of stately ships and impeccably British service. Cruise conglomerate Carnival Corporation, who bought the Cunard brand in 1998, found out this week just how attached its fans were to that imagery when they announced that, after 171 years of registering its ships in the United Kingdom, Cunard Line would re-flag its entire fleet — Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth — in Bermuda. Starting at the end of this month, “Hamilton” (instead of “Southampton”) will be emblazoned across the stern of each ship.

The change, ostensibly, will be in order to perform weddings for passengers. There is big money, it seems, in having Captains marry passengers while at sea, but the practice is illegal in Great Britain. Changing the ships’ registry would also mean that the crew would not be subject to Britain’s more stringent employment laws either. As a British territory, though, Bermuda could give the ship high dollar benefits without losing the ship’s “British-ness.” Win-win scenario, right?

As Cunard fans were quick to point out on the company’s Facebook page, not so much.

Comments having been pouring in all day, ranging from disappointment and surprise (“Rolan Powell: Are you kidding me? Change your registry just for weddings??? This would be the financial iceberg of 2012, steer away now! Stay British!“) to rage (“Robert Ellerington Parr: 19/10/11 THE DAY YOU DIED CUNARD!!“). Not one post of support for the move from anyone willing to speak up on the page.

So what’s an embattled cruise line to do?

To their credit, Cunard is attempting to address the issue head-on, with a statement via their FB page. The post has even garnered a couple of likes, though one post couldn’t possibly swing the overwhelming negative sentiment of the fans.

In an increasingly competitive economy, no one can realistically fault the company for trying to be more competitive, but when you have a brand with image and history, you must tread lightly.  Social media now gives a stage to those who feel passionate about your brand, whether that works in your favor or not, and it is vitally important to be aware of it at a time when things are in flux. Kudos to Cunard for listening and trying to respond, but every step they make in the next few days will be on a very public stage – here’s hoping they don’t stumble.

How would you have gone about it?  What should Cunard do from here on out?

Permanent link to this article: http://netweaveonline.com/2011/10/cunard-catching-social-media-flak-for-messing-with-tradition/

Oct 10

Facebook Resources

Today we’re talking Facebook for business with our friends at the US Swim School Association. So we’re putting up a few helpful resources for those kind folks and everyone else who could use a tip or two. First off, some basics like difference between Profiles and Pages:

For more on just how big Facebook has gotten, see Brian Solis’ recent blog post with helpful charts. Also, here’s a great article on HubSpot of 30 Facebook tips, most of which we covered in the workshop. Folks also wanted to know the best ways to gain fans and engage them. We covered a few in class, but here are some more ideas… and a few more.

Cheat Sheet

We threw a lot of facts and figures at people today, but thankfully our friends at DreamGrow have captured those all in one handy cheat sheet:

Even now these numbers are racing to obsolescence. Note the massive change is status length that was rolled out on September 21! Here’s our original post on that 9/21 wave of changes.

Helping people find you

One of the techniques we didn’t get to talk about for increasing your visibility is tagging others in your posts.  Remember, Pages can’t tag Profiles, but they can and should tag other Pages.  But only do it when it contributes to the conversation! You wouldn’t run around plastering flyers for your business on other businesses’ doors would you? And if you would, please stay out of social media.  If you need to remember how to tag:

You can also post on other Pages when you are “using Facebook as page”, but again, only when it contributes to the conversation! You can also increase visibility of your page by sharing:

Another great way to get quality connections is by using Facebook Ads. Find these quickly by clicking on “Edit Page” and then “Resources.”  Also on the Resources tab is a link for sending invitations to your email list!

More Resources

Things move pretty fast on Facebook, and tomorrow there will be more changes no doubt.  A good place to keep up with changes, and to find out new services and trends are blogs.  Check out Mashable,  Tech Crunch and Social Media Examiner for a start.

There are also tons of third-party apps you can add to your page to do things like add a custom tab (try iFrames for PagesLujure or Lujure Express) or run a contest or sweepstakes (try Wildfire). There is even a way you can check your page’s Edge Rank.

Finally, to help on the creative side, try istockphoto or Dreamstime for stock photos and clip art or even FreePlay Music for royalty free music to go with your videos and slide shows.

As we find good or more current articles to add on here, we’ll keep this up to date, so please check back soon and often. And for those of you that had the dedication to read all the way to the end, we reward you with a copy of our Tuesday General Session presentation on Social Media for business which you can find in intro presentation 1011.

UPDATE: Here’s a good article on the new Facebook insights we looked at in class.

Permanent link to this article: http://netweaveonline.com/2011/10/facebook-sizes-cheat-sheet/

Oct 06

LinkedIn Announces Company Pages!

LinkedIn introduced Company Profiles a while back, but until today they were simply repositories for “about us” type information – you really couldn’t do any proactive communications as a company.  Status updates were reserved for personal profiles.

Today that all changed.

Today, LinkedIn rolled out Company Pages, a way for administrators to finally publish status updates from the company. This will be important for a company’s presence on LinkedIn as now the communications possibilities more closely mirror Facebook, and now non-employees will have more incentive to actually follow a company on LinkedIn.  As LinkedIn said in an email to subscribers today:

What can you do with Status Updates?

  • Post updates directly from your company overview page.
  • Share company announcements, product releases, promotions, and other news.
  • Engage directly with your followers and possibly their entire network.
  • Optimize the conversation by seeing which updates are most engaging.

See how easy it is to start the conversation. Watch our tips video.

So without further ado, we give you their tips video:

So what will you do with this new functionality?

Permanent link to this article: http://netweaveonline.com/2011/10/linkedin-announces-company-pages/

Sep 22

Announcements from Facebook’s F8 Conference

If you thought the changes released early morning Wednesday were big, you should hear what Facebook announced today!  As Ben Parr from Mashable said yesterday, “Facebook’s goal is to become the social layer that supports, powers and connects every single piece of the web, no matter who or what it is or where it lives.” And those ambitions are clear in the announcements from F8. After a quick and somewhat amusing intro from Andy Samberg playing Mark Zuckerberg (“Zuck Dawg!”), we got down to brass tacks.

You WISH this was a real new feature!

Here’s a quick summary:

Uncle Zuck gave some background for the announcements first.  He shared with us that last month, they had half a billion people on Facebook online on one day! He said that the five years up to now has been about getting everyone connected, and that the next era would be defined by apps and the experience now possible with so many people signed up.

Timeline

The Profile is at the center of FB development – people feel intense ownership of their profile.  FB wants to make your profile the best place to share things on the Internet. Also, people have spent years curating the stories of their life, but there was no way to go back and capture/share that past material. Timeline will be the story of your life, all your stories, all your apps, and a new way to express who you are. In the upper right of your profile will be all your years on Facebook as a quick reference.  You’ll get a “cover photo” at the top to express yourself.  There will also be “visual tiles” for accessing your apps.  Timeline will also be optimized for mobile.

Why, Uncle Zuck, how bloggy of you.

Everything you’ve shared recently will still be there, just like your wall, but as you go backward in time, Timeline will start to summarize your FB activity so you don’t get inundated with minutia over time. However, everything will be stored, and you can access them by hovering over a series of dots running down the center of the timeline as points in time. You can even go back and fill in points in time by adding things to the timeline after the fact. You can also sort your Timeline by type of content.

Revisionist history for the win!

Timelines are a new aesthetic for Facebook, including a cover pic that enables you to share a new photo anytime that speaks to who you are. You can also share photos as “major events” and they will expand to the width of your Timeline.  You have complete control over everything on your Timeline – you can change privacy or visibility of any event.

Being with a girl is a major event for Zuckerberg

Apps return to Profiles

Previously, people added boxes to their profiles and they added so many it became unwieldy.  So now Facebook has rethought this and designed a new ability to use Apps to add stories to your Timeline. Reports are now a way to roll-up a summary of your activity using a single app, and these can be added to your Timeline.

Apps can be added to your Timeline like they could be before, but you can also add apps as you discover them on your friends pages by just hovering over the app and completing a newly streamlined permissions screen.

Thank God this will be easier!

There is now a completely new class of Open Graph Apps in this iteration of the Social Graph. You’ll get Gestures – rather than “liking a movie” you can “Watch” a movie, “Hike” a trail, “Read a book” etc. There will be a new class of media apps and “lifestyle” apps that will summarize fashion, food, hobbies, etc.

The new Ticker displays “lightweight” activity such as liking things, watching movies, reading books, etc. so that it does not fill up your News Feed when your friends do this kind of sharing.  Lightweight activities will no longer show up in your News Feed.

I want to stand in front of a PowerPoint slide that big someday

There will be a type of Open Graph to add activity to your Timeline via “frictionless experiences” which automatically assign any app activity to your timeline and your friends’ Tickers, but not so that it will hit friends’ News Feeds and you will not have to be prompted to share while you are in the middle of using the app.  Once you approve the sharing of an app when you first authorize an app, you’ll never have to be prompted again.

You will also be able to discover things from your friends using “real-time serendipity” because you will be able to see what your friends are doing on an app in real time – you can even sync up with friends as in listening to a song with someone on Spotify.  You can join in from activity that you see on the Ticker and jump in.  But if there is a larger experience or trend who are liking something, or sharing playlists, or something like that, it will show in your News Feed so you don’t miss it. You can also spot trends, like what music does your friend like or what movies they watch by viewing patterns in your friends’ activity feed. You can click on music in someone’s activity and listen to it right there.  Also, you can see who has done the same from you, so you can see if you have turned someone on to a song, artist, movie, etc.

A list of all the media partners that have drunk the Zucker-Aid

Zuck introduced a huge partnerships with Spotify that will make all this music sharing possible, Hulu for sharing video, Netflix for video & movies. In these apps, you’ll see who’s doing what and will be prompted to join in or want to watch, read or listen to it too.  This is a huge potential way of changing how we discover news, shows, music, etc. for ourselves. You will even be able to see games that your friends are playing along with a screen shot of what’s going on in the game right now.

Major partners in the Lifestyle sharing apps category. We suppose the smaller companies will write "Alternate Lifestyle" apps.

Also shared, since it is a Developer’s conference, Facebook’s CTO addressed HOW to make these new class of apps.  Since most of you aren’t developers, we’ll spare you.

When do we get it?!

Timeline’s beta starts now – developers will start using it today, and others can sign up for it and get it rolled out over the next few weeks.  The Open Graph apps will start rolling out first with media apps right away, and lifestlye apps will roll out after the Open Graph sees wider use.

Permanent link to this article: http://netweaveonline.com/2011/09/announcements-from-facebooks-f8-conference/

Sep 21

Your Guide to Recent Facebook Changes

So far, for each of the following Facebook changes announced on their blog, about 20, 000 people have posted responses complaining about the changes.  That sounds like a lot until I tell you that 748,980,000 people didn’t complain.  In other words, it’s this all over again.

So what are the changes? Let me explain… no, there is too much. Let me sum up:

1. Top Stories and Most Recent now in one News Feed

Facebook’s own blog summed up this change nicely: “When you visit Facebook, you should see the things you’re most interested in…” So they are trying to make sure you do by ditching the old Two-Option News Feed, which made you choose either Top Stories (popular stuff in order of popularity) or Most Recent (chronological order).

That is SO yesterday…

Replacing it is a single News Feed which shows you both Top News and Recent stories.  Which you see where depends on when you last checked Facebook. If you haven’t been on in a while, you see Top Stories because you may miss something important by virtue of not scrolling through all of your friends’ posts since you last logged on. If you have been on recently you see Recent Stories since you haven’t missed anything important and there are not that many posts for you to wade through.

Don't be afraid - you still get to see everything.

If you haven’t visited Facebook for a while, the first things you’ll see are top photos and statuses posted while you’ve been away. They’re marked with an easy-to-spot blue corner.

Don't you feel hipper already?

If you check Facebook more frequently, you’ll see the most recent stories first. Photos will also be bigger and easier to enjoy while you’re scrolling through.

Hey look, photos just got a butt-load better too. Literally a butt-load. It's a technical term.

2. Ticker becomes official

The ticker is a live-feed area that sticks to the upper right corner of the screen and gives you a running play-by-play of what is happening literally right now.  Facebook has been playing around with the Ticker in various forms for a while now on a small scale, but now it is rolling out to everyone.  Click on anything in ticker to see the full story and chime in – without losing your place.  Seeing it move in real time is a little distracting and more than a little creepy if you think about it too long.  But we predict like all other Facebook changes people will hate it for two weeks, and then be unable to remember Facebook without it afterward.

I be creepin' on your Ticker, yo.

3. The Subscribe Button

The Subscribe button allows you to set just how much you want to hear from a person. In fact, Facebook will now allow you to subscribeto someone even if you’re not friends (or let others subscribe to you). The latter only works with posts set to public. You’re already getting your friends’ posts in News Feed. With the Subscribed button, you can choose how much you see from them:

  • All updates: Everything your friend posts
  • Most updates: The amount you’d normally see
  • Important updates only: Just highlights, like a new job or move

You can also decide what types of updates you see. For example, you could see just photos from one friend, no stories about games from another, and nothing at all from someone else.  You set it by visiting the person’t profile and hovering ove the Subscribe button.

No one wants to admit that Facebook can figure this stuff out for us... but they totally can.

Don’t want to set each one of your friends individually? Well, by default, all of your friends have been set to “Most Updates” which covers the majority of what you’re interested in.  You can then just reset the firends from whom you want All Posts or those from whom you want Only Important.  You can also use…

4.  The New Friend Button with Smart Lists

Now whenever you friend someone – or if you hover over the Friend Button on their profile – you have a few options you didn’t before. At the top of the list, you can easily set someone to “Close Friend” or only an “Acquaintance.” The former will automatically set their Subscription button to “All Posts” and the latter automatically sets it to “Only Important.” Also, you will receive a notification when someone in your Close Friends list makes an update so you are sure not to miss it.

Don't kid yourself, you are one smelly sock from moving to the acquaintance list.

Also, Facebook has anticipated (correctly in my case) that the hardest part of Friends List (or Google+ Circles for that matter) is that you have to curate the lists. So now, you’ll see smart lists that create themselves and stay up-to-date based on profile info your friends have in common with you–like your work, school, family and city. Facebook analyzes your work history, school, family and location to determine who will be added to your Smart List.

Yes, I went to California State University, Fullerton. You want fries with that?

You will also see the Friend and Subscribe buttons also work from the user’s hovercard when you mouse over their profile pic or name.

5. “Profile” disappears

The old right-hand corner trifecta “Home,” “Profile” and “Account” have parted ways.  Instead of Profile, you now have a small thumbnail and name of the user you’re logged in as – that should make things clearer when you are using Facebook as a Page.  Also, the “Account” has been replaced by a simple down arrow so you can access all your account, privacy and logout settings.

Yes, I know the ferret has more hair than I do.

6. Last but not least…

There are several smaller updates that are also rolling out:

  • You no longer need 25 likes on a business page in order to grab a custom URL
  • There is now a “Friend Activity” feed on business pages so that people can see how their friends interact with your page.
  • Facebook will try to not choke your inbox by emailing you a daily summary of the “less important” notifications instead of individual ones. If it makes you feel more alive to have a full inbox, you can change it back to individual emails on the notifications page .
  • Posts or comments in another language prompt the appearance of a “translate” button.
  • Posts that have been shared will now include a link you can follow to see who has shared them.
  • You can now post birthday wishes to peoples’ walls without ever leaving your home page. Just click the birthday’s link in the upper right, and watch the magic:

Now if only it would type for me.

If there are more updates forthcoming, we’ll update this post, so check back frequently.

Permanent link to this article: http://netweaveonline.com/2011/09/your-guide-to-recent-facebook-changes/

Sep 13

Facebook and LinkedIn Resources

I recently spoke with a business group on the merits of Facebook and LinkedIn for business use.  Since our chat was all too brief, I wanted to place some resources on our website for attendees to refer to when they needed to know more. It occurred to me everyone may like to see such a list, so I decided we should do it as a blog post, and here it is.

At a Glance

For folks who know little to nothing about either or both services, LinkedIn and Facebook can look confusingly similar, but although they both constantly vie for each other’s customers, they both have their strong and weak points that make them the right tool for some, though maybe not others. Here’s the breakdown:

By the Numbers

Facebook is by far the 800-pound gorilla of social media. They have over 750 million members worldwide and over 200 million in the US. Over 80% of adult Americans under age 35 have Facebook accounts, and even 30% of those over age 55 do. Almost half of Facebook’s users log in every day, and half of those do so on a mobile device.  They also stay on Facebook for an average of 25 minutes/session! A new study also indicates that 57% of those who connect to a brand on Facebook do so for special offers.

By contrast, LinkedIn is still down around the 100 million member range worldwide, but the population of members on LinkedIn is overwhelmingly older and more affluent than the average Facebook user. Minorities are also significantly underrepresented on LinkedIn:

Takeaway: Know where your audience is before you decide a platform is wrong or right for your company. 

Getting more information:

Beginners hungry for more information on social media and permission-based marketing should check out the following resources:

Permanent link to this article: http://netweaveonline.com/2011/09/facebook-and-linkedin-resources/

Sep 10

Is Facebook one-upping Google+ Circles?

One of the things I’ve heard the Google+ fanbois go on about is how cool Circles are: you can actually group your friends and share content (or not) by those groups – why doesn’t Facebook do that?!

The answer, of course, is that they do… and have since 2007.

The problem with Facebook’s Friends Lists, though, is that they are notoriously hard to use and obscurely placed on the site so that only persistent power users ever find or use them. That was okay with Facebook, apparently, until the competition arrived and showed them up.

Facebook appears set to leapfrog Google+ now with a feature called “Smart Lists” which is in testing with a small group of users. According to Inside Facebook, Smart Lists will group friends by characteristics that they have in common and will keep themselves up to date. Provided the functionality is accurate, this would be even easier than Circles since you wouldn’t even have to keep things updated, bringing Friends Lists from worst to first on the features list.

How close this functionality is to the street is anyone’s guess at this point, but the test is a step in the right direction. If this is the kind of improvement competition brings on though, we hope Google+ will be around for a long time!

Permanent link to this article: http://netweaveonline.com/2011/09/is-facebook-one-upping-google-circles/

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