Keeping up with Facebook Pages

world of facebook

In the past few years most businesses have created Facebook brand page. In the recent past, one popular way to use these pages was to create a landing page as a way to force new visitors through a “fan gate”, which provided an opportunity to display some branding, messaging and get them to “like” the page. That tactic worked great for a while, but as many of you know, Facebook is always changing. With he rollout of timeline Facebook discontinued our ability to send traffic directly to these “cool” landing pages. All visitiors are now sent directly to the timeline. This resulted in a 53% decline in visits to tabs. That’s right, those tabs that you spent time and resources creating are less than half as effective as they were last year!

Facebook is Constently Changing
Timeline isn’t the only thing Facebook has changed. They are always adjusting, iterating and trying to improve user experience, and of course find ways for Facebook to make more money. We’ll go over a few major changes and things to pay attention to here:

Focus on the Content
The one thing that hasn’t really changed much is the importance of keeping your page updated with good quality content. Creating regular posts that inform, entertain and engage your fans remains the number one activity that you should focus on with Facebook. After all, on the web content is still king.
What Facebook has changed is how they displays these updates.

Fighting against Edgerank
Facebook uses an algorithm called edgerank to score your updates. The more likes, comments and shares your posts get on a regular basis, the higher edgerank score you have, and the more people will see them. For example, if I am following a brand’s page and like or comment on their posts frequently, their posts will be rated higher in my news feed. The higher your edgerank, the higher reach your posts will have. Conversely, if you are getting very few likes & comments your posts will have a low edgerank score, and will be stuck way down in people’s news feeds, where thay probably won’t see it.

A way around EdgeRank?
In the past if you wanted to increase exposure to your facebook page, you would buy facebook ads. These ads are sold on a pay per click (PPC) basis and would be delivered using highly targeted demographics from facebook’s users. This system worked pretty well (and still does).

Sponsored Stories
The newest way that’s becoming a “go-to” tactic for promoting your page is using Facebook’s sponsored stories feature. Instead of being banished to the side of the page like ads, stories are in the news feed. Another key difference is that sponsored stories come from friends who have somehow engaged with a page. Maybe it’s because the messages are integrated into our friends updates, but whatever the reason, data shows that sponsored stories work!

Try these tactics on your Facebook page and let us know how they worked, but don’t wait too long, who knows how long it will be before Facebook changes things once again!

Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

Photo by: csaila

As for the iPads… my kids are 2, 5 and 7 and the moment either of the older one’s get their hands on an ipad that’s the last we hear from them.  That is, unless they are fighting over whose turn it is to play a game.  Angry birds, Smurf’s, racing games, puzzle, games, unicorn games.. The kids love them, and they suck up their attention.  The kids aren’t the only ones, the main culprit for the adults was Facebook, and I’m one of the guilty parties. We may have been closer to our facebook friends, but while were interacting with them we’re not interacting with out family members sitting besides us on the couch. And this is the problem for me.

When Did the Isolation Begin?

The walkman first became popular when I was in high school. Back then it was the radio or a cassette tape, (not mp3’s). After seeing a few of my friend’s with walkman’s my first impression (after the initial coolness) was, “how selfish”.  This was surly not everyone’s reaction, but I couldn’t help feeling cheated and jealous of my friend sitting next to me, jamming to some unknown tune, while I was forced to look-on, un-engaged and un-entertained. Later I got my own walkman and that feeling was erased, but my initial reaction was valid. This new device was creating a separation between the walkman user and the the rest of the world.  Flash forward to the present, our held-held devices not only play music anymore, they do about 100 other things as well. the amount of time and the amount of isolation we experience from those around us has grown exponentially. 

Because of technology we can have, and maintain relationships with thousands of people online through platforms like facebook and twitter, but is it robbing time from our friends and families?   Through our mobile devices we can be engaged and entertained every waking moment of our lives, but how do we balance this with being engaged with those who share proximity and a “flesh-and-bones” relationship with us? This may be one of the great challenges of our generation.

Who Do We Trust?

Any business owner can tell you that word of mouth (also known as a referral) is the best way to get business. As marketers word of mouth is the type of interaction we strive to offer online. We want interactions with our brands to be relevant, honest and within the context of the existing conversation. Social media platforms like Facebook provide a perfect platform where friends, trust and brands all come together. As marketers our goal should be to find a way for to put our brand in a position to be spoken about in real, “organic” ways on social media platforms.

From Word of Mouth to “World of Mouth”

In Eric Qualman’s 2010 book Socialnomics, he talks about how putting word of mouth onto social networks amplifies it reach exponentially. We may have a conversation at a party with three or four people, but an online conversation on Facebook could potentially reach much much more. For example, If I post a recommendation on Facebook and a friend comments, all of my friends and his friends can see the conversation. So if we each have 300 friends, that’s, 600 people! for each new comment or “like” all of the new commentators friends can see it as well. Those numbers can get really big very quickly!
It is worth mentioning that word of mouth is much more powerful (as all interactions are) face to face. There is some dilution of trust in the online world. But what more effective way is there to leverage the power of word of mouth to reach large groups of people?


LinkedIn Updates to Some Familiar looking Features

When I logged into LinkedIn’s group section today I was greeted with a message announcing that LinkedIn groups have been updated.
When I clicked on on the prompt I was greeted with the following screen:

One thing that I’ve noticed lately is that the more social media sites evolve, the more they look the same!
For example, the Like button (via Facebook) is one of the features LinkedIn has included in their upgrade. This is a quick and easy way for people to show that they read and agree with a post without having to write a comment.

Comments, likes, shares
; these are the of currency social media.  Social media sites like Linkedin are always trying to make user interfaces easier as well as making “the hurdle” to give approval to “things” (discussions, posts, etc..) lower, thereby encouraging more interactions or engagements. That is the same reason why Facebook changed becoming a “fan” of a page to “likes” a page. It’s much easier thing to say you like a brand  than it is to say that you are a fan of the same brand- lower hurdle, and less commitment.

The next notable thing about LinkedIn’s changes is under “Member info and Activity”. (see snapshot above) This is a feature that lets you find out more about a person by hovering over their profile. This neat little pop-up style box was first seen in WordPress blogs where you could hover over hyperlinks and get a glimpse of the linked site. Twitter implemented this feature a few months ago, allowing you to follow (or mention, or block) people without leaving your current page.
Most recently, Facebook rolled out the pop-up/hover feature just two days ago. If you hover over people’s names it will allow you to request to be a friend, or comment. Similarly hovering over brands and organizations will allow you to “like” them along with showing you who among your friends likes it as well. 

Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook, as well as numerous other sites are consistently looking for ways to make the user experience better. After all, they want you to join and continue coming back day after day. They have all tried several  improvements that didn’t work, so when one network sees a feature or protocol that works on another, it’s not long until they claim it for their own. Over time these features become “best practices” and industry standards, allowing users of one site to become familiar with the interface on others sites. In the end this makes the overall user experience better and more comfortable for all!

For more information on the new group features on Linkedin try this link:

How We Connect

I'm no sociologist, but I know that humans are social animals. It's a fact that in thousands of years of human history most people tended to live in small villages, towns or some other type of community. I can imagine that growing up and living in these communities people got to know each other pretty well. They talked on a regular basis,  worked together, laughed together, disagreed together and in general, were a part of each others everyday lives. 

Then the 20th century came and things started to change. With the industrial revolution came mass-produced items, then came the dawn of the automobile. The car made it much easier to commute farther distances and to live farther away from the community or town centers. And that’s just what they did. Mass-produced food and products distributed to local stores allowed us to be further away from food sources. In the 1950’s  Mass produced communities were developed and people were firmly divided into their neat little boxes.The developments in technology and industry brought us to this place.

Next Mass media- Radio, and then television allowed us to be connected to people and events throughout the nation and eventually across the globe. So now you could watch things happening and feel like you were actually there. However this new “connector” was lacking  one important way, there is no interaction. All messages sent via Radio or Television are implicitly one-way. You can talk, yell, or curse at your TV, (like I sometimes do when watching a good ball game) but our cries all falls on deaf ears. The one thing these devices did do was to get us off of our front porches, away from our town centers, and communities  and plant us firmly on our living room sofa!

Ah, but there is one break-though device, that came out of this era of technology, the telephone, was and perhaps still is the single most powerful and immediate way to connect with those who are far away. But here the connection was with individuals–  friends and family.

There are group and conference calls, but they are rare, and often just for business.  The telephone helped individual connections to be strengthened, but what about the "community"?

Next, comes the PC, the personal computer. Did this help to strengthen our sense of community? Well certainly not at first.

like the TV, it planted us firmly on our butt's, but now we're not hanging out on the sofa with the family anymore. No, we’re off on the other room by ourselves. Not a great way to foster a social life, or a sense of community.

But wait, a glimmer of hope! email and the internet comes along and opens our computers up to the world.  We can email individuals and even groups of people.

A quote by a twentieth century scientist states: "The Internet is the single most important development in the history of human communication since the invention of the human language" The human language allowed us to communicate with others near us, the internet enables to communicate with those around the globe.

Next AOL introduces us to the idea of chat. Not only can we chat one on one, but we can join a chartroom, or even an online forum to discuss ideas.Ok, so what if it's just a bunch of guys who want discuss Star Trek, This is the kind of thing that I'm talking about. Forums were a break through because they represent the coming together of people to discuss common ideas and interests.

Chat is a break though because it has immediacy, meaning it happens (more or less) in real time.  But it's Still missing one important factor, Mass Adoption.

So now we are in the era of “Web 2.0” along with it comes new ideas and new ways to interact. Web 2.0 is defined as “The second generation of the World Wide Web, especially the movement away from static webpages to dynamic and shareable content and social networking” (

I believe that humans are drawn together by common interests, conversations and the exchange of ideas. We were together in communities for so many thousands of years that social interactions are engrained in out psyches. Technology has worked to separate us for over a hundred years, and now, like water seeking it level,  we are beginning to find more significant ways to use it to bring us together.

Facebook now has over 400 million users, 60% of these people logon every day! That's Mass adoption. If I want to see what my cousin in New York is up to I visit Facebook, If I want to look up my best friend from Kindergarden I go to facebook. If I want to send a message to my 70 year old uncle… you get the idea.

Many people haven’t haven't use twitter, but it brought about one important change in online communication: immediacy, conversations, and the exchange of ideas take place among large groups of people, all in real time.  Think about one big chat room for the whole world.
If you want to keep in tune with what's happening right now across the world, you can find out on Twitter.

Another type of technology that has great applications are location based networks, including the rapidly growing foursquare. Foursquare knows where we are at any given moment, using GPS tracking all through mobile phones. Ok, so maybe it's scary that people can know where you are at any given moment, but this is the type of technology, once fully developed, will help bring us together.

As more and more people join social networks it's like the walls around them are dropping away. We can not only connect to people in our town or city. But we can connect with people globally over issues that connect us.New innovations are announced daily and right behind them, new applications and ways to use these technologies.

So how do we connect?

Nothing beats face to face contact, but if we must be in our own separate spaces, connecting through technology isn’t a bad substitute, and it getting better all of the time.

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