Category Archives for Social Media

Google Plus Pages for your Business

Google Plus Create Page

Create your Google+ Page

Have you created your Google+ Page yet for your business? Last week, Google finally opened the Google Plus network to Businesses and Brands, spurring what Mashable termed the “Wild West”. It’s certainly been a land grab, similar to the Facebook username frenzy a while back, brands and businesses are busy reserving their names and creating pages.

Should you create a Google+ page for your business? Well, yes, of course you should. Just like you should be staking out your business name or brand real estate on twitter and Facebook, you should be doing the same on Google+. It’s a no brainer. Now whether you should put any more effort into the page – that remains to be seen. Opinions are mixed, Slate states Google+ is dead, but yet a recent Wired article predicts Google Plus Pages will beat Facebook and Twitter. What do I think? I think you can’t ignore Google+, at least not completely. Just think about it, do you really think that the Google search algorithm will completely ignore activity on its own social network? Putting aside Google’s emphasis on favoring “trusted” content, just look at the clues. Do searches while logged in and note the “shares” and also note the new +1 stats in Analytics and draw your own conclusions.

One thing I gave some thought to was whether to create the page under a different Google account than my personal account. If you are a larger company, you shouldn’t have your page created from one of your employee’s personal accounts – there is no way to add additional admins for now. However since I was creating a page for my blog, in the end I decided the bother of administrating a separate account was not worth any benefit in keeping my personal page separate from the business page. However this is something to consider BEFORE creating your page.

So I created a page for Webenso. And I’m sure I will be posting on it. You should consider doing the same.

A Quick Tour of Google+ (Plus) – Video

Google launched it’s much discussed social network recently, Google+ (Google Plus). It has been the subject of much discussion. Some saying it will crush Facebooks, others saying Facebook has too much market lead for Google+ to be much of a factor. And still others lamenting that there is yet another “inbox” to now check.

It’s been hard to get into Google+, it helps if you have an invite, but often you will get the “at capacity” message, that seems to be getting better and I got in yesterday.

Here’s a video I did that is a quick tour of the Google+ network.

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Many options to choose from: Adding Facebook Fan Page buttons to your website

Now that I have a rudimentary Facebook Fan Page set up I wanted to setup a way for people to get from my site to my fan page and Like it.  I thought this would be a 15 minute task, but I got mired in confusion and sidetracked. I would love it if Facebook experts would comment on this post because I still don’t feel I’ve mastered this topic at all.

“Like” and “Like”Facebook Like Button

I wasn’t looking to implement a way for people to Like my posts.  That’s already there, although I need to make it more visible.   What Like usually means is that a link to the post is posted to your wall and shared with your Facebook friends.   Some websites have also made it so that clicking on Like means that you are actually “Liking” their fan page.  On the one hand this is what I wanted as feature, but on the other hand I think using the Like button for this can be misleading, as you might be thinking you are Liking an article but are actually Liking the fan page which is unfortunately not straightforward to undo. So I was looking for a similar concept but wanted it to be clear to the user what was happening.

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Add Your Blog to Facebook

Want to have your blog posts automatically show up on your Facebook page? There’s more than one way to do it but here’s a simple way that doesn’t require installation of any 3rd party application and uses the existing Notes application.
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Adding an opt-in box to your Facebook page

FacebookUPDATED POST. A while back I wrote about adding an opt-in box to Facebook. It makes a lot of sense for most businesses. Most likely you have more activity and conversation on your Facebook fan page than on your website, so it’s a great place to have people opt into your list.

In the post I walked you step-by-step in creating a FBML page and placing the opt-in code on the page. It worked great, until Facebook did a major upgrade and deprecated FBML. You can no longer use FBML as of March 11, 2011. If you already have FBML pages they will work for “a while”. But that meant my post was out of date. So here’s the new version of the post.

So what’s the new way to do this? Let’s understand what Facebook did first. Facebook did away with FBML which you used to code directly on Facebook pages, but instead greatly expanded the ability to pull in functionality via the apps concept. Essentially you can run code that is hosted on your own servers and use Facebook to present your own tailored pages via iframes. It’s a nice concept and much more flexible than what was available before. This is a huge boon for businesses that have web development resources. They build cool stuff, deploy it on their servers and then pull it into their Facebook pages by registering it as an app.

But where does that leave the small business who struggles just to keep their basic business website updated? Kind of in the cold.

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Using Pagemodo to Build a Facebook Page

You’ve probably (or maybe seen their Facebook ads) heard of pagemodo, a service to help you build your Facebook page. Today I decided to take it for a test drive.

First a clarification, a Facebook Fan page is actually a number of pages (or tabs), the most familiar being your Wall, so what pagemodo will build for you is a new “tab” for your Facebook page. For example you might want to create a landing page to welcome new fans to your Facebook page, this is a good candidate for a pagemodo created page. You will still need to create your actual page in Facebook before pagemodo installs the “page” you built, however pagemodo detects this and directs you over to Facebook to do this prior to installation.

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Facebook Fan Pages Changes, a Massive Update

facebookLast week Facebook rolled out another major change, but this time it was to Facebook Fan Pages. It’s a massive change. What page admins noticed first, was that posts to the wall are no longer organized chronologically but by “popularity”. This change was intended to serve the interests of the page visitors by putting the most “interesting” posts first, but to me at least it gives the page a squirmy kind of feel as the posts keep jumping around and scrolling down to find a post you saw before is not always fruitful.

But this is just the Tip of the Iceberg:

There is a lot in this Facebook Fan Page update. Here are some of the highlights:

  • New look and feel that is aligned with personal pages – photos on top, and tabs converted to links on the left
  • Split personality – You can now interact with Facebook either as a human OR YOUR PAGE. This is pretty interesting. So when you comment on sometime else’s wall you can do it as your page, which means they get to your fan page not your personal profile when they click on the link.
  • Fan page “opt in” – You can set up your pages (what used to be tabs) to “reveal” themselves when a visitor likes your Fan page.
  • No more FBML, instead for custom pages you have to use iFrames. What happens with existing FBML, I don’t know, I guess we will find out on March 11, 2011 when all fan pages are upgraded.
  • Your profile picture can be bigger: 180 pixels by 540 pixels. Many Facebooks Fashionistas are using the larger space to have a more of a “branded” graphic on their fan page

With the reveal functionality (and the continued support of changing the default landing tab) I expect to see Facebook Fan Pages start looking more like landing pages. The call to action will be to “opt in” either with the like button or an via email opt-in.

Want more info? Here’s the official Facebook announcement.

Cha, Cha, Changes! First Facebook now Meetup

meetupDo you use Meetup? It’s a great way to connect to people locally with similar interests like yours. I belong to several meetup groups, including one that meets at live music shows and another that is a networking group. And I just joined a blogging group.

Meetup just rolled out some drastic changes, particularly to the group pages. Similar to the angst over the new Facebook profile, people are not happy. It’s quite different. It seemed to have disrupted some layouts (each organizer can customize the look of their page). I’ve gotten email from an organizer apologizing for the extra email. The popups asking you to tweet your RSVP (why would I want to tweet about an Valentine event more than 2 weeks away – now?) are intrusive. Per this announcement, the changes are to encourage more participation from members.

Here’s a pointer to a video that announces the changes…. however the video starts out interviewing some meetup groups in NYC so there is a lot of minutes to sit through.

Another use for Facebook fan pages

There are some creative uses of Facebook fan pages out there. Ann Evanston has one called BloggerMonday where 10 blogs are submitted every week and everyone comments on them. Now here’s another that is being used to create a marketplace as an alternative to eBay.

It started as a whim of Bonnie, who is behind the breyerhorsecollectors Facebook fan page. “Why don’t we have a Black Friday sale here on this Facebook page? It turned into a big success, so much so that they are doing it again. Sellers upload photos in into albums of their Breyer Horse Models they want to trade and sell and then post a link to that album to the wall page.

Now the question, how to monetize something like this?

Block Facebook ads?

Today on a facebook event invite page, I saw complaints about “creepy flat tummy ads” on the invite page. Another peep complained about a “holistic wellness” ad. On the same page, I saw four (yes 4) ads: 1) A business opportunity called “Own Your Own ATM”, 2) an ad offering college students as “IT interns”, 3) “Soothing music selected by Eckhart Tolle” and ummm, this is embarrassing: 4) “60% off a Brazilian Wax”. Well you now know what gender I am.

And that’s the point, Facebook ads are targeted to your profile, your interests, the links you post, the stuff you like. If you haven’t already, take a look at the Facebook ad interface, you can customize it quite a bit, age ranges, geography etc. Facebook is betting that access to these sorts of demographics will make it the advertiser of choice. However the jury is still out. Some people report great success with Facebook ads, some don’t. It’s very niche dependent.

And yes, you can remove / block Facebook ads. There are a number of solutions available as the blocking code has to be installed into your browser. So it depends on what browser you use.

Here are a few to check out:

Note with the current major Facebook update rolling out, these might not work with the “new facebook”. You might need to wait until the authors catch up.

Let me know how it works out. I haven’t installed any of them yet.