Facebook Takes on Google with Graph Search

Introducing Graph SearchEver since I started using Facebook, I’ve never found their search function very useful.  Results were never exactly what I was looking for, and my attempts at locating useful information left me empty-handed.  I always looked to Google to find exactly what I was looking for.  Despite the recent article outlining a great Facebook search “trick” earlier this week (see Facebook Introduces ‘Graph Search’, but this Search Secret Already Helps Marketers), Facebook really had no handle on search.

Now, that all changes.

What is Graph Search?

Graph Search allows users to search for anything connected with them through their “social graph”.  This new search tool basically searches through everything you have ever done on Facebook, and everything your friends have done and shared publicly, and answers your search requests with that information.  Facebook is going to give you the exact information that it thinks you want, based upon your connections within the site.

For example, if you search Google for restaurants, you will get many pages of restaurants that may or may not fit what you are looking for.  Search Facebook for “restaurants my friends like” and you will get very specific results, based upon your friends “likes” and comments.  Based upon the theory that we “trust” our friends on Facebook, these results will more likely result in a purchase, or a visit.

This is great for business.

If you are a small business with an optimized Facebook page, and lots of connections, Graph Search will customize results to the individuals that are searching based upon their connections, and not any SEO tricks and not based upon the popularity of your site.

More importantly, as research has shown, consumers are 71% more likely to choose a product or service when a friend recommends it to them within social media (see Consumers 71 percent more likely to buy based on social media referrals).  Word of mouth marketing is alive and well!  Remember, people do business with people that they know, like, and trust.  And, if a Facebook friend has used, recommended, or “liked” a business, there is an inherent level of trust in that recommendation.  And, that is the information that will be served through Graph Search.

In addition, businesses with a physical location may benefit most from Graph Search.  Especially if they encourage people to “check in” to the location.  This will provide Facebook more information to provide your friends searching for similar businesses.

In order for graph search to meet its full potential Facebook business page users will need to make sure that their information is complete, including the address, and make sure that the category your page is in is the correct one for your business.  You don’t want your jewelry company being listed as a non-profit, now do you?  The more information you provide on your business page, the more accurate the search results will be.  In addition, the more people that check-in or “like” your page, the more likely it will show up when searched for.

How do I get Graph Search?

Right now, it is only in beta, but you can apply for Graph Search by signing up for an invite.  I signed up two days ago, and received my Graph Search today!

So, are you impressed?  Does this fill a need you had?  Will you use it?  Let’s discuss it in the comments!

 

Resources:

Introducting Graph Search

Facebook Graph Search: The Experts Speak

Is This The Facebook Search We’ve Been Waiting For?

Facebook Graph Search: 10 Things You Need To Know About The Social Network’s Big Announcement

How Graph Search can help users see the world through different lenses

How Facebook’s Graph Search Impacts Small Businesses

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

TWITTER TAKES ON 2013

INTRODUCTION
It has been known for sometime that images enhance social media the way the talkies transformed the film industry. It was a long time coming but visual design finally caught up to social media. Or did social media finally wake up to visual design? That does not matter. What does matter is that they finally got together and their marriage is one that was made in heaven, for the most part.

@MariSmith twitter page © Mari Smith

@MariSmith twitter page © Mari Smith

@JoyLynskey twitter page © Joy Lynskey

@JoyLynskey twitter page © Joy Lynskey

Social media has embraced the visual and has been benefitting from it ever since. Facebook posts that contain images get a greater percentage of Likes and comments.

Statistic Number 1: “…photos on Facebook Pages received 53% more Likes than the average post.”
Statistic Number 2: “…photo posts attracted 104% more comments than the average post…”

Source: Hubspot Blog

Twitter page of @LamourSupreme

@LamourSupreme  twitter page © Lamour Supreme

@WildmanSteveBrill twitter page © Wildman Steve Brill

@WildmanBrill twitter page © Wildman Steve Brill

THE DUOS
Every major social media tool has a visual component:
• Facebook bought Instagram
• Google owns YouTube
• Yahoo flaunts flickr

Pinterest is social media’s grand dame having risen to fame and fortune faster than any other unit of the social media toolkit to date. So far it seems to have no desire to take a mate. It is doing quite well without one.

@FindandConvert twitter page © Find and Convert

@FindandConvert twitter page © Find and Convert

@CraigEYaris twitter page © Craig Yaris

@CraigEYaris twitter page © Craig Yaris

TWITTER TAKES A MATE
Well, Twitter has joined in. Twitter has the ability to connect Instagram images through tweeted URLs. Even better, it has developed a method for some serious customization of its pages. Twitter now allows its members to say, ‘Hey, this page is mine and no one else’s. I am cool. I am serious. I am funny. I am creative. I am unique.’

@ManOneLA twitter page © Man One

@ManOneLA twitter page © Man One

@AmyPorterfield twitter page © Amy Porterfield

@AmyPorterfield twitter page © Amy Porterfield

EASY AS ONE-TWO-THREE
It does not take very long to figure out how to create a completely customized page or one that is a combo of twitter template and original design. There are three components involved:
• the image
• the header
• the background

@BasilPuglisi twitter page © Basil C. Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi twitter page © Basil C. Puglisi

@MktngBytesMaven twitter page © Alison D Gilbert

@MktngBytesMaven twitter page © Alison D Gilbert

Twitter offers all kinds of templates, choices of color and pattern making for the background. In addition, one can take a custom image and tile or repeat it on the screen. In front of that, appears a vertical band containing one’s tweets and other information.

At the top of the band is the header. Twitter allows a very large image to be imported for this area but reduces it quite a bit when uploaded. In front of the header, appear one’s image, name, twitter name, a URL and mini-bio. A 180×180 facebook icon works fine for the image.

@TheEarthDiet twitter page © Liana Werner-Gray

@The EarthDiet twitter page © Liana Werner-Gray

@AlisonsArt twitter page © Alison Gilbert

@AlisonsArt twitter page © Alison Gilbert

CONCLUSION AND QUESTIONS
The results can be very creative and unique as witnessed by the samples displayed throughout this post. What do you think of them? I am eager to hear your thoughts:
• Do you think these samples are creative and unique?
• Do you think they are too much?
• Which one(s) do you like the most and the least?
• Do you have any other thoughts or comments about this post?

SOURCES
The Power of Images on Facebook
Five Reasons Why Twitter Background Is Really Important
Warning: Your Visual Message Is Just As Important
Visual Marketing Book
Twitter Headers and Covers

 

 

 

 

 

About Alison Gilbert

Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.

Top 10 Stories on Digital Ethos for 2012

Top 10 ListThis is it.  The last Saturday of 2012.  I’m not really sure where the year has gone, and I’m sure many of you feel the same way.  As I sit here and reflect on the year gone by, I realize there have been some great moments, as well as some real major disasters within the social media world.  And, there are plenty of lists categorizing these throughout the “interwebs”.  For those interested, I’ve included links to those lists in the resources, below.

But what about this site?  With a large day-to-day increase in visitors and subscribers to Digital Ethos, there may be things that have appeared throughout the year that you have missed, so I thought we would be remiss in not offering you a list of our top stories from the previous year.  So, without further ado, here are our top 10:

1.  Nine Steps to Becoming a Twitter Chat Pro – Have you heard of twitter chats?  Have you been “bitten” by them?  Then check out these 9 steps to becoming a pro.

2.  Beneficial Twitter Strategies — There are actually a few different strategies that seem to be working for businesses using Twitter as a marketing tool. A perfect running strategy can also be custom tailored to your own small business needs by combining a bit of knowledge on social media engagement with a handy tool or two.

3.  A Day at Google New York & Seth Godin – This is a great recap of a day spent at Google through their Google Engage for Agencies program, and a great opportunity to learn from Seth Godin.

4.  Social Media and Hurricane Sandy —  Everyone on the east coast will remember Hurricane Sandy, and the way it changed many of our lives.  Here is a great article on how social media played a part.

5.  More on Logo Design & Branding – This comment to blog post regarding company logos is a great history and discussion on logos and branding.

6.  Consistency is Key in Your Integrated Marketing Strategy —  So, you are “on” social media, but now what?  How do you succeed?  Consistency is the key.

7.  What Digital & Social Media Marketers Can Learn from Business Consultants —  Before even engaging in marketing and social media, you need to know your goals, and you need to find a consultant who believes your goals are important.

8.  Why You Should Be Using Twitter and 7 Random Benefits —  Twitter seems to be a hot topic this year, and this article is no different.  Why should you be on Twitter and what benefits will it bring?

9.  How Important is Response Time to Your Customers on Twitter and Facebook? – Businesses that claim to be active on social media also need to be responsive to posts by clients and potential clients.  But how important is that, and how quickly must you respond?

10.  Top 10 On-Line Social Media Resources (plus one more) – What list is complete without another top 10 list.  Check out these other great resources for social medial know-how.  You won’t be sorry!

So, there you have it.  The top 10 articles that have appeared on Digital Ethos throughout 2012.  Did you have a favorite that isn’t on the list?  Was there one article that really changed your thinking, tactics or plan?  Make sure to let us know!

And my wish for all of you, in 2013, is health, happiness, prosperity, and a very social new year!

Thank you for visiting in 2012!

 

Resources:

Top 10 Media Stories of 2012

Top 12 Social Media Stories of 2012

Top 12 Social Media Stories of 2012 – CIO

The Top 10 Social Media Stories that Shaped 2012

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

Facebook Changes Privacy – For the Better?

Facebook Banner PrivacyThis past Wednesday, Facebook unveiled changes to their privacy settings, and as usual, this has caused quite a stir amongst their 1 billion users.  But are these changes something we should worry about, or is Facebook making our privacy a bigger part of their plan?  Only time will tell.

For now, we are left with the changes that will be occurring over the next few weeks, as they roll out to their full membership.

And, what are the changes that we will see?

Most importantly, members will no longer be able to hide their profile from Facebook’s search function.  Until these changes take effect, users who didn’t want to be found via Facebook’s own search function had the opportunity to “hide” themselves, so that they would not come up when people searched on their names.  According to Facebook, this was not a feature that was well-known or used by a large percentage of people (“a single-digit percentage”), however it was available should people want the benefits of Facebook without being “found”.

Another change will be a refreshed Activity Log, which is where you can review all posts, comments, likes, and shares you’ve made since you joined Facebook.  Now, there will be more information about your personal data, photos and status updates spread across Facebook.  In addition, they are rolling out a new Request Removal Tool that will help you ask people that have uploaded photos of you to remove them.

In addition, Facebook will be providing information about content you have chosen to hide from your Timeline, and whether that information may still appear in other news feeds and searches.  This is especially helpful if you have shared something and later decide to remove it.  This new notice will show you who else may have shared the content, and where it is still visible.

The final change will be the context menus where privacy settings will live.  Currently, the settings are spread about several different menus, depending on what content you are looking to secure.  Going forward, the privacy settings will be called Privacy Shortcuts, and will be a single, organized menu where adjustments can be made.

All of these changes, except our ability to hide our profile, will make it easier to control what is seen and by whom.  And Facebook is taking an active role in helping us see where our content is visible, including pictures and videos.

What do you think of the changes?  Are they for the better?  Worse?  Does it matter?  Let’s talk.

 

Resources:

Facebook Changes Privacy Settings

Facebook Changes Privacy Controls, Forces Users to be Searchable

Here’s What the New Facebook Privacy Settings Will Look Like

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

LET ME TELL YOU A STORY

INTRODUCTION
Social media is all about telling stories. Technology continues to make it easier, faster and more appealing to tell, share and even re-share our stories. It has also become about telling our stories in both words and pictures. The bluebird sings the social media theme song, at right, ‘Let Me Tell You a Story’. 

a blue bird sings the social media story

A bluebird singing the social media song, ‘Let Me Tell You A Story’ from an image @ 123rf.com

VERBAL STORIES
Up until about a year ago, the story telling method was primarily verbal. Thanks to the meteoric rise in popularity of Pinterest, Instagram and other visual tools, it is clear that people want the option of using pictures, not just words, to tell and view things.

Look how dramatically facebook’s landscape has changed to include massive visual real estate. See the facebook timelines for business cover page at the end of this story.

VISUAL STORIES
The verbally based social media tools have known this for sometime. Google purchased YouTube. Yahoo purchased flickr. Facebook acquired Instagram and no one has been able to buy Pinterest.

It stands heads above most other social media, has done so in record time and is believed to be the first visual application to accomplish this. In addition, there is ground breaking news that the White House will start using Pinterest on December 17, 2012.

SOCIAL MEDIA APPS
Both verbal and visual apps have unique characteristics and value. Amongst the most popular are: • facebook • twitter • LinkedIn • WordPress • Google • Pinterest • YouTube • Instagram

WordPress sharing bar

Sharing  is  a click away.

STORY TELLING
Users have their preferences and loyalties for story telling and sharing. There are formulas for sharing stories that vary with users. As one becomes more proficient in the use of social media, these formulas develop into personal systems.

There is no one system that is the answer to sharing for everyone. But certain apps and combinations of them work well. In time, we each discover what fits our style. WordPress makes this very easy with their sharing button bar shown at left.

STORY SHARING
For example, let’s say a story is written in Word. It then can become a blog post in WordPress with still images, video and even audio. Once the story is written, it needs to be shared. Certain venues have proven to be most successful at this. In fact, in order to make sharing a breeze, sharing buttons are installed right on blog post pages.

Why is sharing so important? Sharing attracts attention, engages an audience, allows one to stay connected manually and automatically, fosters the development of  trusted relationships and ultimately can increase business or establish a personal, professional presence.

CONCLUSION
One may not be looking to provide a service or even a product in the traditional sense of business. Providing and sharing information is the essence of social media. Just think about how much we know, how easily we can learn and share things compared to a generation ago. It is all due to social media allowing us to tell our stories.

Do you have a story that you would like to share, one that social media has enhanced or caused to go viral? Would you like to share or comment about this blog post? Your comments, suggestions and feed back are all part of the story. Please share with us in the comments area. Thank you from the author.

The Social Media Marketing Graphic Design page

facebook’s new timelines for business has given tremendous opportunities for visual real estate as shown in the example here. ©http://www.MarketingBytes.biz and http://www.facebook.com/PageCoverMastery

 

SOURCES

Amy Porterfield’s FB Influence 2.0 Webinar

Bringing Your Marketing To Life Through Video by Dr. Marc and Charlie

Obama White House joins Pinterest


About Alison Gilbert

Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.

Pay With a Tweet – Buying with Influence

Pay with a tweetHappy Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  What if we could pay for our Black Friday purchases with a simple tweet (or a like)?

Although we can’t pay for our fancy new DVD player simply by tweeting, a new company aptly called “Pay with a Tweet” has started a new service where anyone who is trying to grow their reach can offer their products for the simple price of a tweet.  They call themselves the “first social payment system” where “people pay with the value of their social network.”

Their premise is very simple.  Simply create a “Pay Button” on their site, where you enter the name of the file to be downloaded, the location (they don’t host files), the tweet you want, and the shortened link to include with the tweet.  They provide the code for your new download button.  That’s it.  Then when someone tries to download your item, they first need to send the tweet you have prepared.  Nothing more.

And big brands are getting on board.  Kellogg’s used this service in a “Tweet Shop” Kellogg's Tweet Shop Menuto launch its latest Special K range of cracker crisps in Soho, London.  All you had to do is visit the store for your “free” package of chips, and tweet out that you were doing so.  They even displayed the tweets on their “tweet wall”.  Kellogg’s gets your influence, and you get products.  It seems like a “win-win” for everyone.

But, is it ethical?  This isn’t a question I could answer, but in my opinion, it is.  All you are asking people to do is tell their network that you received the item.  Although many people may feel that this is an implicit endorsement, it is no different than people following brands on Twitter or liking them on Facebook.  After all, by liking a brand on Facebook, we are telling our network (we have an average of 229 friends, according to Pew Research Center) that we trust that brand.  Is paying with a tweet any different?  And this may just be the perfect way for local musicians to get their new music to the ears of more people, or a great way for a new author to get his books into the hands of people he may never have been able to reach.

In the end, all we are doing is asking people to leverage their network to help.  And isn’t that what social media is all about?

What do you think of this new marketing tactic?  Will you give it a try?

 

Resources:

Pay with a Tweet

Brilliant. Kellogg’s Opens Pay-with-a-Tweet Pop-up Shop in Soho

Pay With a Tweet – Inc. Magazine

Is “Pay With a Tweet” an Ethical Marketing Practice?

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

Social Media and Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy Relief – “Overcome” – Live (Cover by Jason Aron)


INTRODUCTION
Social media plays pivotal roles in our lives. It resulted in the ‘Arab Spring’ bloodless revolution. In fact, social media has such power and potential influence that China has banned it. There is another venue called ‘renren’. But facebook, itself, is banned for fear of the uncensored information and communication it could offer the Chinese. Occupy Wall Street also kept the public aware of its activities through social media.

Arab Spring

Arab Spring takes to the streets © Kate Taylor

 SOCIAL MEDIA VERSUS THE NEWS
Social media can provide unlimited awareness to a situation or issue. On the other hand, televised news is limited. It cannot cover in detail what social media can. TV news has to move on to the next latest news. Social media can cover a topic in great detail as long as there is input and interest.

HURRICANE  SANDY
Social media has been invaluable in the case of Hurricane Sandy, the worst storm to ever hit parts of Long Island, NY. Facebook has become an invaluable tool resulting in a means of communication, spreading information and fundraising.

facebook page for a Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund

A facebook page, Long Beach Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund

 ACCESS
Ironically, the people with the least access to the Internet as a result of the storm are the ones who may benefit the most from social media. Those who have ventured into the devastated areas have been able to get information out so that help can come in from informing those outside of the devastated areas.

facebook page for Hurricane Sandy Relief for NJ

A facebook page, Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund

 FUNDRAISING
In doing so, these social media news reporters tell the stories and take the photos that document the destruction and the aftermath of the storm. There are now a myriad of facebook groups and pages that have sprung up from Hurricane Sandy. They inform the public about what has occurred. Facebook groups have become experience sharing and information reporting venues. Pages also function as information and donation ‘sites’.

Hurricane Sandy - Pictures from the Crowd

A facebook page, Hurricane Sandy – Pictures from the Crowd

 24/7
These facebook groups and pages are accessible 24/7. They are alive long after televised bytes pass on as yesterday’s news. Social media continues to be a source of support and assistance particularly to the residents of New York and New Jersey.

Scott and Ali_boarwalkTwo Long Beach veterans visit the remains of the
Long Beach NY boardwalk © Phil Jacobs

CONCLUSION

Social media is playing a crucial role in the recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Once again, social media is taking its place as a toolkit to record and access history.

SOURCES AND PAGE LINKS
Social Media’s Bloodless Revolution

Occupy Wall Street’s facebook page

Arab Spring really was social media revolution

China ban facebook, twitter, google and youtube

Renren, The Leading Real Name SNS in China

HelpMeDonate.org

Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, Long Beach NY

Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort Likely To Be Largest In U.S. Since Katrina

facebook event fundraiser

 

 

About Alison Gilbert

Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.

Playing the Facebook Edge Rank Game

Did you know that less than 1% of your Facebook fans will ever return to you wall? That means that if you have 1000 fans then on average only 10 of them will ever see your wall. In the All Facebook article, The 7 Biggest Fan Page Marketing Mistakes, Ben Carter reported this staggering statistic and that one of the biggest fan page mistakes is thinking that people return to your wall.

What does that mean for your fan page? It means that your fans are mostly engaging with you through the content that you post—the posts they see in their news feed, right next to their friends and family. The posts with the highest edge rank will be on the top of the feed, and stay there longer.

What is edge rank and why is it important? If people are mostly engaging with you through your content, it’s important to know a little something about Facebook’s edge rank. There is a lot about Facebook’s edge rank that is known, but to a lot of people it remains a mystery.

I recently shared a post by Mari Smith that reminded me of the importance of understanding edge rank. In that post she shared an incredibly useful infographic by Copypressed, along with a great point:

A well-designed and implemented Facebook marketing strategy based around content can yield tremendous ROI.”

You can see the full infographic and article here.

Edge rank determines whether your content is seen in a fan’s home feed and is comprised of three variables: affinity, weight and recency.

Affinity measures how often someone interacts with your page. The more history someone has with your page (past comments, likes or shares) the more your content will show up on their home feed. The dilemma for fan pages is that affinity is mostly a one-way street. Pages cannot post or comment on a fan’s wall, so in the case of fan pages affinity mostly comes from the fan (with the exception that is described below).

Weight measures the importance of a post—how much engagement it receives. Naturally some posts will get more of a reaction than others. Photos typically get the most engagement, next to videos and links, and regular status updates (just text) fall to the bottom of the weight scale.

Recency simply measures how long ago the post was made. Posts will typically fall off a feed after 1-3 days, depending upon how popular it is. The more popular a post is (weight), the longer it may stay in the feed. A post has a better chance of having a higher recency score the more recent the post was made.

How should edge rank inform your content? Even if you don’t know the mechanics of edge rank inside and out, you should always have quality content top of mind. With every post you have a unique opportunity to gain more fans, increase visibility, and convert fans into customers.

Pictures, pictures, pictures. You’ve heard it before but I cannot stress it enough. Now that everyone’s caught on to pictures on Facebook, it’s not enough to post just any picture. The picture should be compelling and relevant, but you also need to be strategic in how you post a photo. A carefully designed picture can turn a simple marketing message into something much more interesting that will yield a higher engagement rate, thus more weight.

Notice in the example below Hubspot has included a link into their website in the description of the photograph. This is a trick that is often overlooked. Normally one would think if they want to link into their website they make a link update. But link updates get lost in the home feed next to all the pictures people are posting.

Lighten up a little. If all you are posting are carefully crafted marketing messages, discounts and deals, and promotions, then your fans are going to get bored fast. People have affinity for a business page because they show their human side—they have a good personality and have unexpected characteristics. Post about your company culture or employees having fun, post photos of your dog, post a silly video just to make your fans laugh. People are drawn to people, not marketing messages.

Another way to boost your affinity score is to always “tag” fans when responding to their comments. Many fan page owners don’t know this little known feature on Facebook. If a fan makes a comment on your post, you can “@” tag their name while responding. This not only sends them a notification that you’ve tagged them, but it’s a great way to personalize the fan experience on your page.

Consistency is key. The best way to stay top of mind is to post consistently on Facebook. Your fans will forget about you quick if you don’t post on a regular basis. Posting regularly also prevents your content from expiring and increases your recency score. If you can’t commit to going on Facebook every day, then don’t be afraid to schedule posts on Facebook—with moderation. If you are going to schedule on Facebook, you may want to use the schedule option in Facebook, not from a 3rd party service. The Facebook schedule feature is that little clock icon in the bottom left of the update box. I know Hootsuite is the go-to social media management tool, but the main advantage to using the Facebook schedule feature is that any tags you use will be preserved.

Playing the Facebook edge rank game can seem a little overwhelming, but one of the keys to Facebook edge rank success is strategic posting and killer content. Sometimes even textbook edge rank needs a little boost. In my next post I’ll talk about how you can get that added boost using promoted posts.

Below you can follow all the people mentioned in this post:
Follow @BrianCarter

Follow @CopyPress

Follow @MariSmith

Follow @HubSpot

Sources:

About Gwen Woltz

Gwen Woltz is co-founder of Wahine Media, a social media agency in Hawaii that specializes in strategically building thriving and engaged online communities for businesses. Together with her business partner Karen Weikert, they are in the "trenches" of social media on a daily basis and have been on the frontline for companies in the healthcare, startup, higher education, hospitality, newspaper, music, and staffing industry. Gwen is a volunteer board member for Social Media Club Hawaii, was a finalist for Pacific Edge Magazine's Young Professional of the Year, and most recently was a speaker for Ignite Honolulu at Punahou School.

Back to Basics: Why Facebook? [Internship]

Facebook is an important utility in digital communications that helps people connect with friends, family, and coworkers. Facebook can also make networking a whole lot easier. Statistics show that in July 2012, there were 955 million monthly active users. Approximately 81% of the monthly active users are located outside of the United States and Canada.

 From the start of Facebook, the founders wanted it to be free for everyone. Facebook seems to be the dream place for a company or business to showcase their products, services, and links to their own website for no cost.  Facebook is a great way to brand your name or your company. It lets you share information via text, picture and video. The network also allows feedback on whatever you are offering. Nearly 80,000 sites are using Facebook Connect. By doing this, sites are making personal social graphs portable so they travel along online. It is said that one of the best ways to find a new job is through a friend. Therefore, keeping up with coworkers and the business through Facebook is very important.

Facebook gives you many different options to stay in touch and keep connected with your cliental and future clients. For example, if your company has a big event coming up, Facebook lets you share this by creating an event and setting it public. Since it is a public event, people on Facebook who aren’t even your friend or “fan” can see this and RSVP. Networking is also key. When you register for Facebook and start adding friends, your name, company or brand will be out there, which can create additional exposure and generate interest in connecting. By constantly updating on your page, it will keep your friends or fans connected and waiting for more. If you want the connection to be valuable then make sure what you are sharing is interesting and relevant. Facebook is busiest during the weekdays in the morning. Morning posts have a 37.9% more user engagement than afternoon posts, meaning if you post in the morning you are more likely to have more feedback than if you posted in the afternoon. If you are one of those people who are constantly on the go and can’t be glued to their computer, apps such as “HootSuite” and “Tweetdeck” allow you to schedule the release of messages.

With 955 million users, it shouldn’t even be a question to get involved with Facebook. Facebook can benefit you and your business tremendously. The fact that even other countries are close to surpassing the United States with active users is mind blowing. One would say that Facebook is the easiest way to network and get your businesses name out there. Facebook has made it very simple to organize and design your business page.

Sources

The content in this article is part of Digital Ethos’s Digital Media Education in the Higher Education Internship Program, the content was created by @KaylaMarzo, a Student at Suffolk County Community college, intern at Digital Ethos.

About Digital Media Education Internship

Digital Media Education Internship Program is an outreach initiative for Digital Ethos.

Too Much Sharing Going On – A Case Study

I share an office with my wife and as I was heading out for a meeting, I noticed she was tagging something in Diigo, a social bookmarking site which allows you to store articles with descriptions and tags for later retrieval. I inquired why she was still using Diigo, and not Evernote to keep track of all things important.  “I never learned to use Evernote,” she replied.  Simple enough reason.

This got me thinking about why we use certain tools to accomplish our on-line tasks. Be it Diigo instead of Evernote or TweetDeck instead of Hootsuite, what makes a person choose one tool over another?  Why do people not always choose the more highly rated or more efficient tool for the job?

Very often it comes down to time and effort.  My wife uses Diigo and TweetDeck because she doesn’t have time to learn a new tool, and TweetDeck got there first. It’s the tool that, today, requires no extra learning.  After all, social media isn’t her business.  While she’s using it for business, if one tool does the job, why look at another?

One of the things that we social media people have a hard time understanding is that not everybody embraces the available tools for connecting with the zeal that our community does.  When I probed my wife’s social media habits further and inquired whether she shared the articles she saved to Diigo, she said no.  No? “Why,” I asked her and her answer surprised me more than I expected.  Very calmly she replied, “There is too much sharing going on.”

Really???  Too much sharing?

She went on to explain that her business Diigo group only had a few followers, and that her intention was to reach a wider audience.  That is why she shares to Twitter and Facebook, and not to LinkedIn.  There was no real purpose to sharing to her Diigo group. In her mind, it was more efficient to send an email newsletter summarizing her favorites.

So, have we reached a limit to the amount of sharing we are going to tolerate?  After all, for small businesses, they can share to several social networks, including:

(check out the Big List of Social Bookmarking and Networking Sites on Squidoo)

 

So, how much is too much?  As you saw from the conversation with my wife, too much is going beyond Facebook and Twitter.  But, maybe your target audience is also on LinkedIn.  Then you have no choice but to be available there, as well.

The moral to the story is simple – share where you reach your audience.  Because, after all, you can’t share everything everywhere.  It’s just not possible.

Where are you sharing?  Where have you been most effective?

Social Bookmarking Sites explained:  Social bookmarking sites allow users to organize, manage and store any resources that they discover on-line.  It is like an on-line filing cabinet for everything internet.  They do work very similar to Evernote, in that you add websites to your account, and can tag them with keywords and descriptions, which are then searchable.  Evernote has an advantage, in that you can send items from your e-mail, desktop computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Sources:

 

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

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