Facebook Has More Changes Up Their Sleeve

Facebook LogoHold on to your hats! In keeping with their unspoken tradition of changing something every 3 weeks [my words, not theirs], according to TechCrunch, Facebook has more changes up their sleeve. Some of the changes expected to be announced Thursday include a photo feed, music feed, larger post images, and larger ad images.

You can view the entire TechCrunch post about the upcoming Facebook changes changes at this link.

Social Sharing Plugins for WordPress

I wanted to share this blog post from Website Magazine with you. It’s several top plugins for letting your readers share your content on social media & other sites. My personal tip: don’t go overboard…only use ONE at a time.

http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2013/01/09/social-sharing-plugins-for-the-wordpress-experience.aspx

A Rant About Social Media Marketing By A Social Media Marketer

I recently started a conversation on two of my “local” LinkedIn groups about what type of networking people are actually doing. (The metropolitan area group has over 1,200 group members, the state area group has over 3,600 members.) I had no hidden agenda, wasn’t trying to push my services on anyone or tout an upcoming seminar. I posed some questions to those in the group (and then made an attempt to answer them myself to get the conversation rolling. Here is what I asked:

What type of networking are you actually doing? Are you a member of a business group (Chamber, BNI, etc.) and do you actually attend functions, and if so, how often? Do you tend to only talk to people you already know at these functions or do you introduce yourself, etc.? Do you only network online? What do you expect to get out of your networking efforts?

In the two weeks since I posted, I have gotten no response in the smaller group and responses from five members of the larger group. I’ve been pleased with that response considering what LinkedIn has turned into of late. Which leads me to my rant…

One of the responding posts ended with “See what can happen when you ask for a discussion?” That got me to thinking – probably a little too much because I ended up thinking about what social networking is supposed to be versus what it has become. Here is a bit of one of my replies after the “see what can happen” reply:

Yes, I do see what happens when I ask for a discussion…I got a discussion, which is what I was looking for. … I have gotten SO SICK of seeing all the “spam” and marketing crap on the groups here on LinkedIn that I wanted an ACTUAL discussion.

LinkedIn was supposed to be a “professional” social network to share ideas and make connections, but it’s gotten so clogged up with people using it like an RSS feed for their blog posts, Twitter updates, & Facebook posts that it’s anything BUT professional. I was VERY glad to see Twitter/LinkedIn cut ties, but you can still “cross post” using tools like HootSuite & others. Groups used to be the place on LinkedIn where you could go to do some actual sharing of knowledge and ideas without getting hit by a barrage of sales posts, webinar notifications, and article postings, but the usefulness of the groups has long since gone. LinkedIn tried to create separate places for “promotions” and job postings, but the vast majority of users still post their job listings & upcoming classes for this that or the other right in the discussion area. So, I’m sure there are multitudes of others like me who no longer get the same enjoyment out of LinkedIn they used to.

Social networks are no longer for “networking”. As soon as one starts to get even slightly popular the marketers start coming out of the woodwork and trying to figure out how to “leverage” it to market to to their customers. (They have already started trying to take over Pinterest.) I realize this might sound strange from someone who DOES social media marketing. Honestly, I’m starting to re-think that side of my business because I’m getting so disgusted with how others are abusing it. Used properly, social media CAN help with your business marketing, but way too many people just jump on the bandwagon without understanding it and end up using it improperly, which just leaves most consumers completely frustrated with the constant stream of “fluff” information. It’s like going to a cocktail party and ending up in line at the bar with the annoying person who won’t shut up about their product or service and won’t let you get a word in edgewise to ask a question or say what line of business you are in. You might smile & nod, but you really don’t want to be there, you’d much rather be standing with the group of people over by the fireplace who are having an actual conversation about something they are all interested in.

Are you getting fed up with social media? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Location-Based Marketing: Foursquare + Businesses

Location-Based Marketing: Foursquare + Businesses

View more presentations from Kristen Vang

Facebook Ticker Privacy

With Facebook getting ready to make the Timeline mandatory for all users soon, I’ve notice status updates about the news ticker on the right making the rounds again. Almost all the “requests” I’ve seen in status updates are bunk. What they are requesting you do will not do a darn thing to YOUR privacy settings. Your privacy settings work the same as they did before, providing you used them in the first place.

If you do not want YOUR activity showing up on anyone but your friends’ tickers, stop using the “Friends of friends” setting. This is what is broadcasting so widely. Also, you have NO control over your friends’ security settings. If you comment on a status/photo/link your friend has set to public or friends of friends, then your comments/likes on that status/photo/link WILL show up on THEIR friends’ tickers as well as your friends’ tickers. Asking YOUR FRIENDS to unsubscribe from your comments & likes that will ONLY remove the activity from that particular friend’s ticker.

If you want to ask your friends to do something that will help stop/limit the ticker information, use this blurb:

“If you don’t want your actions broadcast to everyone via the ticker/News Feed please set your privacy to “Friends” and ask your friends to do the same.  Pass it on.”

The hard part is getting your friends to do it. Not all will. Some people want their status updates to be available to friends of friends or to be public. Whatever their reasons are for this is their business. If you don’t want someone else to see your comment, the only way to make sure that doesn’t happen is to NOT COMMENT. I’m one of those people who are essentially an open book. I don’t care who sees 98% of the stuff I put out there. My personal theory is if you don’t want anyone to see it, then DO NOT put it ANYWHERE on the ‘Net – period.

 

Thanks to SophosLabs’ blog post “Facebook’s ticker privacy scare, and what you should do about it” for some of this information. http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/09/26/facebook-ticker-privacy-scare/

My Experiment With Unfollowing on Twitter

I don’t give my Twitter account the attention is deserves, but at the beginning of October I embarked on an experiment with my Twitter account. I used Twit Cleaner (it’s free) to go through the list of accounts I was following on Twitter.

Before I get into how my experiment turned out, here is a breakdown of why I liked this particular tool.

  • It breaks accounts down into categories:
    • Dodgy - spam phrases, @ spamming, duplicate links, duplicate tweets, app spam, advertising networks etc
    • Absent - No updates in a month, fewer than 10 tweets, deleted & suspended accounts.
    • Repetitive - High numbers of duplicate tweets or links
    • Flooding - So high volume you can’t see anyone else
    • Non-Responsive - No interaction, those that follow back < 10%, streams that are all feeds (facebook, twitterfeed etc)
    • Little New Content - Retweeting lots or just posting quotes
    • Not Very Interesting - People who talk about themselves a lot, or aren’t followed back very much
  • YOU choose who you want to unfollow from the report it generates. It does not automatically unfollow accounts. This is important because there are most likely people you want to continue following for one reason or another that may be lumped into one of these categories. (Celebrities, family members, “real life” friends, etc.)
  • It does not unfollow everyone at one time – is spaces the unfollows out over several hours – or days depending on how many accounts you’ve chosen to unfollow. This is important because Twitter may suspend your account if you do an excessive amount of anything in a short amount of time.
  • It does not use your Twitter password to access your account – it uses OAuth to access your account.
  • You can go choose a few (or a lot) of accounts to unfollow and go back to the report later and choose more. You don’t have to do it all at one sitting.
Now, what were the results of my experiment? Well, they were a little surprising to me. I truly expected a mass exodus of followers, but I was surprised.
Beginning numbers:
  • Following: 1,632
  • Followers: 2,030
On day 6 after a week of weeding through the various accounts on the list and choosing literally hundreds to unfollow, here were my final numbers.
  • Following: 923
  • Followers: 2,009
That’s right, I only lost 21 followers in that time.
Have you done a similar unfollow on your Twitter account? What were your results?

Keeping Your Gmail Google+ Connections When Setting Up a New Google+ Using a Google Apps Profile

Are you looking forward to being able to use Google+ with your Google Apps account? Do you already have a large collection of people in the Circles on the Google+ account you set up with your Gmail or other email address you’d like to “move” to the new Google+ account? Here’s a relatively easy way to do that.

When you set up your new Google+ account, add your “old” account to one of your Circles. If your “old” account is locked up tight and doesn’t share Circle information with the public or people in your circles, make sure to change the privacy settings for Circles set to AT LEAST share circle connections with your NEW profile.

To share one of your circles:

  1. Click on the circles icon  at the top of the page.
  2. Select the circle that you’d like to share.
  3. Click Share, which appears in the center of your circle.
  4. (Optional) Enter a comment to go along with the message that has been prepopulated.
  5. Choose who you want to share with.
  6. Click Share.

When you share a circle, you share a list of the people who are in that circle at that time. The name of the circle isn’t revealed. Sharing a circle is a great way to help out other people who may want to create a circle with the same people. For instance, if you already have a circle of sandboarders, you can share this circle with others who may be interested in the same type of people.

Then, in your NEW profile, visit your OLD profile’s page & click the View All link to see who are in your old Circles. This doesn’t tell you WHICH Circles, but at a minimum it lets you add them to a generic Circle that you can sort through later.

I hope that makes your move to Google+ with your Apps account a little easier!

Public Speaking and Murphy’s Law

I would like to thank the Lexington Chapter of the South Carolina Medical Group Management Association for inviting me to speak at their meeting today. I, like a large percentage of people, have glossophobia – or, in plain English, a fear of public speaking. This is, however, one of my fears I am willing to address head-on, repeatedly if necessary. (I guess when it comes right down to it, there aren’t many “real fears” I have that I’m not willing to address head-on after a bit of thought…but that’s not important right now.) I’ve had this for as long as I can remember. I was probably ridiculed by classmates in elementary school or something, who knows.

Anyway, moving on … I am re-branding my social media services, so I had ordered updated business cards a week or so ago (complete with a QR code on the back) & had been tracking them on-line for the past couple of days, crossing my fingers they would arrive by this morning. When I left at 11 AM they still had not arrived.

I check the Google Map directions on how to get there (about 35 minutes away). Looks easy enough. Um, apparently not when Murphy’s Law rear’s it’s ugly head. I took the wrong exit.

I had my PowerPoint all done up & ready to go. I get there & the laptop they use for their A/V setup is a Mac. Not that big a deal since the PowerPoint file is totally compatible and will work fine. They have a “clicker” to advance the slides – cool. Oh, but wait … Murphy’s Law strikes once again. I open my presentation & it becomes glaringly obvious that I’m TOTALLY unfamiliar with the way the speaker’s notes area looks on the Mac. Since I couldn’t see half my notes (even with fiddling with the computer during the presentation) I ended up “wingin’ it” most of the way. I’m sure that was painfully obvious to the attendees.

My husband and I have a family cell phone plan & share minutes. A totally paltry 550 minutes for the two of us to share. We are such big phone users that we currently have 3,758 rollover minutes. (Did you catch the sarcasm there?) So, as you can see, my phone rarely rings. Even when it does it’s usually my husband. Since he was at home with my youngest today (not unusual for him, so it’s not like he’d need “advice”) and I was only going to be away from the house for about 2 hours he had no reason to call me unless there was an ambulance or fire truck involved somehow. Murphy’s Law, yet again. My phone rang 3 times in 5 minutes during my presentation! Yeah, I should have turned the ringer completely off, but you know, my phone almost never rings, so I really didn’t think about it. (Oh, and by the way, yes, I’m THAT person who has that Geico “world’s most annoying ringtone”. I just can’t help myself…I’m quirky like that. A ringity-ding-ding-dingy-dong!)

So, I’m driving home … I took another wrong exit.

And those cool new business cards … they were sitting on my kitchen counter when I got home from the presentation.

Buy, hey, at least I didn’t throw up! ;-)

Questions About the Facebook Subscribe Feature? Here Are Some Answers

Many people have expressed concern and confusion this week about the Facebook Subscribe feature. Most of this is because they simply do not understand what it is all about AND how to control it. Below are some of the more popular questions about the feature and links directly to the Facebook answer to that question. Enjoy … and let me know if you have any additional questions.

What’s the difference between subscribing to someone and adding a friend?
You should only add someone as a friend when you know them personally. If you don’t know someone personally but want to hear what they have to say, subscribing is a good option. When you subscribe to someone, you’ll only be able to see their public updates.

Why am I subscribed to Most Updates for all of my friends?
By default, you are already subscribed to MOST updates for all of your friends. You can adjust the types of updated you get from each person via the Subscribed button on their profile. To adjust this for a specific friend in your News Feed, hover your mouse over the Subscribed button on the friend’s profile. Decide how many updates you’d like to see in your News Feed from that friend as well as the type of updates you’d like to see.

How can I start getting subscribers?

  1. Go to your profile and click Subscriptions on the left side of the page, under your profile picture. (When the new “Timeline” profiles roll out, the Subscriptions button will be under your “cover” picture.)
  2. Click “Allow Subscribers” at the top of this tab.
  3. After you click “Allow Subscribers,” your settings appear. From here, you can edit who can comment on your public posts and when you’re notified about new subscribers.

You can also go to https://www.facebook.com/about/subscriptions to start allowing people to subscribe to your public updates.

How do I manage my settings for subscribers?
After you click Allow Subscribers, your settings will appear (see the Edit Settings button on your Subscribers tab). From there, you can edit your comment and notifications settings. To update these settings later:

  1. From your profile, click the Subscribers link on the left menu
  2. Click the Edit Settings button in the top right
  • Subscribers: Click “On” to allow people outside of your friends to subscribe to your public updates.
  • Comments: Click “On” to allow people outside of your friends of friends to comment on your public updates.
  • Notifications: Choose when you’d like to be notified when someone new subscribes to your public updates. Choose “No One” if you never want to be notified of new subscribers. If you’d like notifications about new subscribers, decide between notifications about Anyone or only Friends of Friends.

Please note that when you hide or decline a friend request, that person can still subscribe to your public updates if you have allowed subscribers. If you want to allow subscribers, but do not want a particular person to subscribe to you, see the “How do I block someone from subscribing to me?” question farther down the page.

Why doesn’t everyone have a Subscribe button on their profile?
If you don’t see the Subscribe button on someone’s profile, it means that they haven’t allowed people to subscribe to their public updates. You’ll see the Subscribed button at the top of your friends’ profiles by default (even if you haven’t allowed people to subscribe to you). This means is you already get your friend’s updates in your News Feed.

Where can I see whose public updates I’m subscribed to?
From your profile, click the Subscriptions link on the left of the page, under your profile picture. You’ll see the people you’re subscribed to there. (When the new “Timeline” profiles roll out, the Subscriptions button will be under your “cover” picture.)

How do I unsubscribe from someone?
There are a couple ways to unsubscribe from someone:

  • Go to that person’s profile. From there, hover your mouse over the Subscribed button on their profile and click Unsubscribe.
  • You can also unsubscribe by clicking the report link next to a post you see in your News Feed and choosing Unsubscribe.

After you unsubscribe, the Subscribe button on the top of their profile will reappear as an option. You can also adjust the types of posts from someone you see. Hover your mouse over the Subscribe button on their profile to customize what types of posts you see from them.

How do I see who is subscribed to me?
If you’ve allowed subscribers, you can see the people who have subscribed to you by clicking the Subscribers on the left side of your profile (under your Cover picture when the new Timeline profiles are implemented).
Friend Subscribers: Friends are subscribed to you by default, this means they may see your posts in News Feed.
Public Subscribers: These are people you’re not friends with who subscribe to your public updates. When you allow anyone to subscribe to your public updates, you’ll get to choose notification settings. If you do not edit your settings, you will only receive notifications when friends of friends become your subscribers.  If you don’t want a specific person to subscribe to you, or want to disconnect from a specific subscriber, you can block them at any time. 

How do I post public updates to my subscribers?
When you’re about to post something to your profile, set your in-line privacy control for the post as public. This will share your update with your subscribers and allow anyone to view the post.

Who can comment on my public updates?
If you decide to allow subscribers, by default friends of your friends (including people you’re subscribed to) can comment on your updates. You also have the option of allowing anyone to comment on your updates. To change who can comment on your public posts,

  1. Click Subscribers from the left side of your profile
  2. Click the top right Edit Settings button
  3. Choose On as your Comments setting

Should I create a Page or allow subscribers to get my public updates?
If your goal is to represent your business, brand, or product on Facebook, create a Page. Pages let you engage with people on Facebook, and offer tools (like multiple admin features and insights) that help you manage and track engagement. If your goal is to share updates from your personal profile with a broader audience, allowing subscribers is a good option. When you allow subscribers, anyone can subscribe and get your public updates in News Feed, even if you’re not friends on Facebook. You can have an unlimited amount of subscribers, and subscribe to as many as 5000 people. (You can have 5000 friends on your profile. At this point I am still researching whether it it 5000 TOTAL – INCLUDING your friends or if it’s 5000 friends and 5000 additional subscribes. My gut is that it’s 5000 total since you are subscribed to your friends by default.)

Can I allow only some people to subscribe to my public updates?
No. When you allow people to subscribe to your public posts, anyone you haven’t blocked can subscribe to you and see your public updates in their News Feed. You will receive notifications when friends of friends subscribe to you unless you edit your notification settings for subscriptions.

How do I block someone from subscribing to me?
If you don’t want a specific person to subscribe to you, you’ll need to block them from your account.

How do I turn off Subscribe?
Not everyone has allowed subscribers. If you have turned this on already, you can decide to change your mind and no longer allow subscribers.

  1. From your profile, click the Subscribers link on the left side menu
  2. Click the Edit Settings button on the right
  3. Next to the Subscribers setting, choose to turn subscribers Off

Can I move people who like my Page to be my subscribers instead?
We plan to make this functionality available in the near future. Please be aware that when this becomes available: 

  • Your Page will be deleted when you migrate
  • All the content on your Page—like apps, updates, photos — will be deleted

Adding New Facebook Apps – Step By Step

Here is a great tutorial on adding (and controlling) the new Facebook apps when they launch (they already have for some).

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