Facebook Launches Replies for Pages. Comments, Replies, Oh My.

Facebook has rolled out a new feature called Replies. It allows page admins to reply directly to a comment instead of posting a comment.

How did it work before

When you had a super busy thread you had to reply to a comment with a comment. This would be further down the thread and it was never readily apparent whom you were responding to.

How it works now

Now you have the ability to reply directly to the comment similar to what you see on blogs. We like to call them “conversation threads”.  The most active comments will rise to the top of the discussion and comments marked as spam are moved to the bottom.

According to Facebook replies will make it easier to respond to people who have commented on your page. You can reply to a specific comment by clicking Reply under someone else’s comment. The replies are shown blew the comment, so it’s clear who’s responding to which comment.

When will you have it?

Currently you have the option to turn this feature on, you should see a notification when you visit your Facebook page. It will be turned out automatically for pages and profiles with more than 10,000 followers on Monday. It will be turned on for all pages by July 10.

What do you think of the new feature?

 

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Get More Likes on Facebook. Is it Worth Paying For?

Facebook Likes. We want ’em. We need ’em. We pay for ’em.

I noticed a recent feature on Facebook asking page admins if they would like to get more likes. If you admin a page you’ll find it on the left hand side. It replaces the section that showed the most recent person to like your page.  [UPDATE] Promoting your Page from the admin panel is only available to Pages with locations and a profile picture. [/UPDATE]

Similar to promoted posts, it’s Facebook’s way of making the advertising process easier to start. Page admins don’t have to fuss with the Facebook Advertising Dashboard or the hassle of creating an actual campaign.

Let’s take a look at how it works.

 

Facebook gives you the option of setting a daily budget between $5 – $100 per day (image right). To the right of the price is an estimate of how many likes the page should get. As you can see a $100 per day should net you between 43-391 likes per day. Your mileage may vary depending on your page and it’s existing fan base.

Where do the Ads Show?

Your ads will start showing in the new feed or on the right side of Facebook with a link that encourages them to like your page. They ads may appear on mobile or desktop and run until you end the promotion.

What Type of Ads?

People will start seeing ads in their news feeds or on the right side of Facebook with a link that encourages them to like your Page. These ads may appear on mobile or desktop and will run until you stop your promotion.

Who Sees my Ad?

Your pages ad can be targeted to people located near your business. You can choose from your business’s city, state or country.

 

I’m thinking this will prompt me to write a post about targeting ads on Facebook. I’ll also post some results as we’re testing the feature now (see bottom photo)

Have you noticed this new advertising option on Facebook? What do you think is it worth it?

 

 

 

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10 Things Business Should Know About Twitter (2013 Edition)

Twitter has been around for 7 years now. It’s weird to say “I remember when” when it comes to something like Twitter. As different as it is today from it’s original concept, Twitter has changed the way many of us communicate and share information.

In honor of Twitter’s 7th Birthday here are 10 Things Business Should Know About Twitter (2013) Edition:

1.  Twitter sees 400 million tweets per day (2012 saw 340 million)  Source

2.  55% of Twitter users are female   Source

3.  36 minutes is the average amount of time spent on Twitter   Source

4.  Twitter has 500 million registered users. 140 million are in the US.  Source

5.  28% of African American use Twitter. 13% use Twitter daily (technically 2 stats but…)  Source

6.  16% of Internet users say they use Twitter  Source

7.  Mobile users are 78% more likely to Retweet a brand  Source

8.  1 in 3 Twitter users tweet about TV  Source

9.  3 out of 10 people watch a TV show after discovering it on Twitter  Source

10.  39% of users exposed to a retailers tweet made a purchase  Source

I joined Twitter in December of 2008 as @3sixteenweb (now @bjstrawter). My life has never been the same. Here is my first tweet:

Do you remember what your first tweet was?

Facebook for Business: Customizing Your Page

Now that you having a basic understanding of a Facebook page vs. a Personal Profile, it’s time to look at customizing your page.

Facebook gives you the ability to:

  • Add custom apps
  • Customize App Photos
  • Add a Cover Photo
  • Change your profile picture
  • Change the information in your About section
Custom Apps and Custom App Photos

There are plenty of tutorials on adding custom apps, do a Google search and you’ll certainly find a plethora of selections. Adding a custom app for Twitter or blogs posts is fairly straight forward so we won’t cover that here. You do however have the ability to swap out the default image for apps. You can also swap app positions.

1.  Hover over the app

2.  Click on the pencil at the top right

3.  Select “Edit Settings”

4.  Select “Change” on Custom Tab Image

5. Upload new Image

6. Give Custom Tab a Name

7.  Save (all done!)

 

Cover Photos

 

The default size for cover photos is 399 pixels wide. Your image at minimum needs to be this size. The dimensions for cover photos are 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall. You’ll may also get better quality by using a PNG file.

If your image is smaller than the dimensions listed it will get stretched to the appropriate size which can have an effect on quality.  You’ll also have the option of re-positioning photos if they are larger than the default size.

1. Go to your page

2. Hover over your cover

3. Click the pencil at the bottom righ of your cover

4. Pick on of the options from the pop-up menu

5. Save your changes

 

Profile Photo 

 

Profile photo’s are important not just because it’s the first thing that visitors see, it’s also what show’s in the newsfeed every time you make a new post. Make sure you adjust your design accordingly. Profile photo dimensions are 160 pixels by 160 pixels.

 

Customizing the About Section  Under your Profile Picture

You can edit the about section anytime you like, however, you cannot choose what fields are displayed there. It varies depending on what type of page (category) you have. An example would be a restaurant will show price range, address and phone number while an musicians page shows the About field of the Page’s basic information.

 

 

 

Facebook for Business: Facebook Page vs. Personal Profile

When getting started with Facebook for business it’s important to understand the difference between a Facebook page vs. Personal Profiles.

Some business either from lack of understanding or purposefully create personal profiles for their business. Creating a personal profile for a business is against the Facebook terms of service.

Personal timelines:

[o_list][li]Timelines are for individual, non-commercial use. [/li] [li]Timelines represent individual people and must be held under an individual name. [/li] [li]You can follow Timelines to see public updates of people you’re interested in but aren’t friends with.[/li] [/o_list]

 

Facebook Pages:

[o_list][li]Pages look similar to personal timelines, but they offer unique tools for connecting people to a topic you care about, like a business, brand, organization or celebrity. [/li] [li]Pages are managed by admins who have personal timelines[/li] [li]Pages are not separate Facebook accounts and do not have separate login information from your timeline.[/li] [li]Pages provide insights to help admins understand how people are interacting with the Page. [/li] [li]You can like a Page to see updates in your news feed about brands you care about.[/li] [/o_list]

 

What’s the Big Deal?

Opting for Personal Profile vs. a Facebook page may quickly allow you to garner friends, but be warned, Facebook has been known to completely delete profiles that are against the Facebook Term of Service. You’ll lose all of your pictures, posts, and friends in the process. All the hard work is gone. We know this to be true because it happened to a client prior to coming on board with us. 3,000+ friends gone.

Why do people do it?

Building a following isn’t easy. By using a personal profile companies send out mass friend request. It’s an attempt to get around the need to run ads or actually engage to build a page.

I’m Guilty What do I Need to Do?

First things first, you admitted it. Now you can go about making things right.  You’ll need to convert your personal page to a Facebook page. Facebook will transfer your current profile picture and add all your friends and followers as people who like your page. You account username will become the username of the page. You’ll have the option to create a new page name if you like.

No other content (images, videos, etc) will be carried over, so make sure you download your Facebook history. From here you’ll be able to rebuild your page (contact us if you need help doing this).

Beware, once you convert your personal account to a Facebook you cannot reverse it. So it’s extremely important that you remember to download your history.

I’m Creating my First Page. Where do I go?

You want to start out right by visiting the Create a Page section on Facebook.

 

 

 

Non-Profit Marketing: Going Digital is now Free

Good news for non-profits. Google Apps, the cloud based productivity suite (think Microsoft Office) from Google. What can you do with Google Apps? The list is long:

Email: Get custom email address using your domain
Calendar: Schedule meetings, share calendars, meeting reminders
Drive: Store documents online, share them, access from anywhere
Docs: Create and share documents in real-time
Sheets: Spreadsheets with real-time editing and charts
Slides: Presentations with the ability to embed videos and real-time sharing

Profit Vs. Nonprofit

For a traditional business you would be looking at $5 per user, per month or $50 for the year. If you have a large non-profit organization, getting this for free could save you hundreds per year. Plus, you no longer need to update software year after year. Google Apps are automatically updated at no charge to your non-profit.

Cut the tether
An issue with many non-profits is the ability to pivot on the fly. Google Apps allows you to do this by cutting the tether to your desk. With mobile, iPhone and Android apps, you now have the ability to work from anywhere. Changes you make on your home computer will look exactly the same when you log-in at your work computer.

Time saver
Work in real-time with your staff. Does this sound familiar? You create a Word document. You email it your boss. Your boss makes corrections then emails it back. You make the changes. Email…you get the point. With Google Docs you can edit in real-time with multiple people having the document open at the same time. In fact you can do this with spreadsheets and presentations as well.

Regardless of where you are, you can do this in real-time. Including different countries.

A change of heart
Google at one point only offered the free version of Google Apps for Nonprofits to those nonprofits with less than 3,000 users. Now, regardless of size you are eligible.


To get started visit Google for nonprofits. We’ve assisted our clients in setting up their accounts with minimal down-time. Google does an excellent job of walking you through.

Description from Google: Google Apps is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps you and your team connect and get work done from anywhere on any device. It’s simple to setup, use and manage, allowing you to work smarter and focus on what really matters.

How To Get your RSS Feeds from Google Reader

Your favorite RSS feed reader is going goodbye and you’ve found a Google Reader alternative, now you need to get your data to make a smooth transition.

Here is a step by step guide along with a nifty video (I guess I really do sound like that).

Step 1 Log in to Google Takout

Step 2 Select “Choose Services”

Step 3 Select Google Reader

 

Step 4 Click on “Create archive” to export your subscriptions as a ZIP file

Step 5 Download your Archive

That’s it! It really is pretty simple once you realize where you need to go. You can also do this directly from Google Reader as well.  Here are the steps:

Step 1 Login to Google Reader

Step 2 Click on the settings gear on the upper right hand side (under your picture)

Step 3 Choose “Import/Export”

Step 4 Click on “Download your data through Takeout”

Follow the steps at the beginning of the post after getting to takeout. Here is the video, just in case:

Photo Credit

Netvibes. The Google Reader Alternative and How to Transition

If you’re a frequent user of Google Reader you’ve probably heard by now that Google is killing off Google Reader effective July 1, 2013.  I won’t use this platform to discuss the merits of Google Reader (it’s awesome) or how important it is (very) to what I do. I won’t even list a bunch alternatives (someone already has).

I will give you the alternative to Google Reader, one that I had long forgotten about. Netvibes.

What is it?

Netvibes was founded in 2005 and has around 4 million active users. They’ve branded themselves as a dashboard, think iGoogle. It’s a dynamic workspace where you can add modules (apps/widgets) that provide information.  A default dashboard looks like this:

Netvibes is free and gives you the ability to see your feed in two different ways. The widget view can be shuffled and re-organized to infinity. If you don’t care for the dashboard look you have the reader view that is similar to what you would see in Google Reader.

Netvibes Reader View

 

 

 

 

 

Netvibes Widget View

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Netvibes you have the ability to integrate any enterprise or web app on to your dashboards. Easily add Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or Search Content.

Adding Feeds

Adding feeds is as simple as entering a website address. Netvibes will do the rest.

 

 

 

Transitioning

If you’re coming from Google Reader, there’s an easy way to import all your existing feeds into Netvibes.

  • Log in to Google Takout
  • Click on “Create archive” to export your subscriptions as a ZIP file
  • Unzip the saved file to your desktop
  • Go to Netvibes, click on “Add content” then “OPML: Import”, “Choose File” and select the “subscriptions.XML” file you just unzipped
  • Click on “Import”

 
Expect a few hiccups as they are seeing a sudden increase of signups. I created my account back in 2009 and event that was slowed to a halt yesterday following the announcement from Google. Be patient, this is a solid alternative that I think you’ll enjoy.

Have you found other alternatives to Google Reader?

Visit Netvibes
 

 Image and Content Source

What Happens on The Internet in 60 Seconds

The internet is a big, wonderful place with content to consume at every turn. Some days it can be overwhelming trying to wrap your head around the information thrown at us. We thought it would be cool to share just how much happens in the span of a minute on the internet. Below you’ll find a nifty infographic from Go-Globe. These numbers are from early 2012 so I’m certain they’re are adjustments here and there, but you get the point.

    • 50 New blogs created
    • 70 Domains registered
    • 600 Youtube videos uploaded
    • 13,000 iPhone applications dowloaded
    • 20,000 posts on Tumblr
    • 1,600 reads on Scribd
    • 90,000 tweets
    • 320 new Twitter accounts
    • 6,600 New photos uploaed to Flickr
    • 79,364 Facebook wall posts
    • 510,040 Facebook comments
    • 694,445 Google searches

60
Infographic by- Shanghai Web Designers

Photo Source

Foursquare creates Michigan “City Pages”

Foursquare continues to roll out the updates. First they updated the mobile app, now they’ve added Foursquare City Pages. Using data from the 3 billion check ins Foursquare has created “city pages” for hundreds of cities worldwide. Locally they’ve created city pages for:

Categories

The pages are well put together, listing the top rated places broken down by categories of Food, Nightlife, Things to Do, and Top Sights and Landmarks. Each section is then broken down further into types of restaurants (American, Breweries) or bar (lounges, dive).

Specials and Events

Another added feature is a list of places with Foursquare specials. At a glance you see what business are offering specials in your area. Events are nicely listed underneath and it looks as if there is some integration with 3rd party software here as well.

It looks as if Foursquare is building off it’s Best of Guide from 2012. You may remember seeing the page for the Metro Detroit Area.

Not sure what the plans are for mobile as the page doesn’t seem to be optimized (responsive) for different screen sizes. In the meantime it’s perfect for travelers and first time visitors to the cities listed.

What do you think of the new pages?

 

 

How Facebook News Feeds Changes Affect Business Pages

With Facebook’s announcement of changes to the New Feed, the first question we heard in meetings was “how will this affect our page?”

Our response? Great question.

As of right now, thanks to the infograph from ShortStack, here are a few changes you can expect for your business page.

1. Sharing will be important. A feature called spotlight will showcase your Page’s most shared posts.
2. Profile and Cover photos. Whenever someone new likes your Page, your profile image and cover photo will show in the new feed. Good opportunities here. But don’t over do it with the text in your cover “photo”. Please.
3.  You’re kind of hidden.There will be a “following” feed for fans to access news from Pages they like. FYI average Facebook users will rarely use this feature which already exists now. Expect engagement to drop a bit.
4.  App integration will show larger complete images of what your fans like.

While this is a pretty short list, we’ll be sure to keep you updated as we get our hands on the updated News Feed.

You can download the PDF here at Short Stack.

 

 

Supersonic. Foursquare adds tap and hold check-in

With it’s latest update Foursquare has added tap and hold check-ins to allow users to quickly check-in. With each update Foursquare looks to be working towards simplifying the check in process so you can get back to your date or night out with friends.

How it works

When you tap the check in button and see a list of places, just press and hold the place you’re at. You’ll see a green bar glide across the top of the screen and that’s it, you’re checked in. How cool is that? The instant check in.

TIP: You can also long press the blue button at the top of the screen when the app opens.

What about Photos?

For those who are a bit old-fashioned you still have the ability to check in the old way. Nothing changes here, add a photo, some text, tag your friends.

I like how Foursquare is making it easier to check in. The new feature is a great example of increasing the quality of user experience by reducing the number of steps the user is required to complete a goal.

Source: Foursquare