About Jon Clark

http://www.jon-lee-clark.com

Jon Clark is an Internet Marketing Consultant, Entrepreneur and current editor of the California Apartment Blog. Jon loves coffee, sports and NY. You can follow him on Twitter @jonleeclark or circle him on Google+.

Posts by Jon Clark:

Facebook Metrics and Its Impact on  Your Marketing Efforts

Facebook Metrics and Its Impact on Your Marketing Efforts

Measuring results is an essential part of all marketing strategies. Yes, ALL—including Facebook marketing. Just because Facebook is a social site meant for engaging your target market rather than selling your products doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t measure its impact on your overall marketing efforts. How will you know if your Facebook activities are worth the effort unless you measure results?

Now, when it comes to measuring results on Facebook, most marketers focus only on two stats: Page Likes and Post Reach. We’re not saying these stats are unimportant, but you may be amiss in focusing so closely on them to the exclusion of other important Facebook metrics. Note that Facebook provides some valuable data on Facebook Insights, but you may have to dig deep to find some truly valuable information.

Digging within Export Files

Before moving on to a discussion on the Facebook metrics you should be keeping your eyes on, let us first discuss the basic steps on finding these metrics. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to the Admin panel of your Facebook page and then click on Insights.
  2. Click on Export Data at the upper right corner of the page.
  3. A dialog box will pop out, asking you what you want to export. On the Select Export portion, choose New.
  4. Choose dates based on the period you wish to check.
  5. On the Select Data Type portion, choose Page Level Data.
  6. Click on Download.
  7. Go through the process again, this time, choosing Post Level Data.

Now you know how to get the most important data from Facebook Insights. So, what are the metrics we were talking about earlier when we told you to look for more than just Page Likes and Post Reach? Read on to find out.

1. Fans Reached

The funny thing about this particular metric is that so many online marketers talk about it, but only few actually understand what it is. Simply put, this metric represents the number of fans (people who have Liked your page) who have seen a particular post on your Facebook Page. This is important because it shows you the direct views of your fans on your page and not from an indirect source such as a friend’s comment, like, or share.

What makes this organic search metric so important? Well, if nothing else, it gives you an idea as to which of your content people find appealing. It also shows you just how much appeal your content has to your target audience. The more fans you reach directly with your content, the healthier your Facebook page is.

You can find this metric on post level data you download, following the steps outlined earlier. To be specific, it is listed under “Lifetime post reach by people who like your Page.”

2. Organic Reach

This metric represents the number of Facebook users, whether they have liked your page or not, who have seen a particular post on your page. Again, this metric shows you only the number of direct views of posts on your page, excluding views of posts from comments, likes, and shares. The only difference between this and the first metric is the fact that it includes views from people who haven’t liked your page, but only accessed it to check your posts.

This metric is important because it shows you how appealing your content is to Facebook users in general. A comparison between this and the first metric will also show you if people are able to find your content even without being fans of your page. If the difference between fan reach and organic reach isn’t that big, then you may have to find ways of improving organic visibility.

This metric is easier to find than the first because it is located right on the Facebook Insights interface. All you need to do is go to Insights, scroll down to the list of posts, click on Reach for the post you want to check, and then move the cursor over the bar chart marked “Organic.” If you’re logged into your page, you can even see the statistics directly below each post.

Organic reach shows you how appealing your content is to your Facebook audience.

3. Users Engaged

As you probably know by now, engagement is an essential part of social media marketing. This particular metric shows you how the content that reached fans and users resonates with them. Note that an engaged fan is someone who has liked your page and clicked anywhere within a post such that a story about that post is generated. The key here is a story being generated as a result of fan action.

The number of fans who have engaged with a particular post can be found in Column W of your downloaded export file, under the label “Lifetime people who have liked your page and engaged with your post.”

Other than fans, it’s also important to check user engagement in general, just as it was important to check both fan reach and organic reach. Right beside the data for organic reach, you’ll find the data for engaged users.

Engagement is important because it’s never enough just to get your content seen by as many people as possible. You should also make sure your content interest, and this may be measured only by measuring engagement. When you compare the number of people reached with the number of people engaged with a particular post, you’ll see how effective your content is in generating interest.

4. Post Consumption

This metric is ignored for the most part, but it is actually quite useful. Post consumption refers to any clicks on a particular post on your page, regardless of whether it generates a story or not. This includes likes, shares, comments, clicks on links, viewing of videos, clicks on photos, expansion of comments and descriptions, and any other action that involves clicking on your post. To put it simply, one click is counted as one consumption.

The good thing about this metric is that, unlike the Users Engaged metric, Facebook breaks this down into the different types of consumption or click. It therefore gives you a deeper understanding of how people respond to your content.

You can find data on this metric in Columns O and P of your post level data report. Column O shows the number of consumers, while Column P shows the number of consumption.

5. Link Clicks

Some people also refer to this metric as the click-through rate. It represents the number of people who clicked any link in your post. This is one of the different types of consumption measured by the previously discussed metric.

Why is it important for you to know how many people clicked on links in your post? Well, one of the main goals of your posts on social networking sites is to drive traffic to your company website, right? If a hundred people saw your post and engaged with it in some way, but did not click your link, can you really say that post was 100% successful? I would think not. Think of your link click metric as the last step in gauging the quality of your content. It is something you definitely need to keep an eye on.

There are basically two ways for you to check this metric. First, you could go to the Page Insights Interface and then click on Engaged Users. The data will then be presented to you in a pie chart. Second, you could check the post level data report. The second and third tabs show the different types of consumption, including link clicks.

6. Positive Feedback

There is one statistic on Facebook that has been there for some time, but has recently been renamed and buried deep within the page level data report. When you first view the page level data report, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed by the size of the file and the number of tabs it has. As long as you know where to look, though, you can get some very valuable information from this report.

Among the valuable information we’re talking about is positive feedback. It is important for you to measure positive feedback because it tells you how many people have something good to say about your business. At the very least, it shows you how many people have started to spread the word about your brand. One of the goals of most businesses that market their brand on Facebook is to extend their reach for free. The number of positive feedback will show whether you have successfully achieved this goal or not.

Positive feedback tells you how many people have something good to say or are spreading the word about your business.

Check out the last seven tabs on the report. The six tabs that come before the final tab all deal with positive feedback. To be specific, these tabs show you the following:

  • Daily positive feedback by type
  • Weekly positive feedback by type
  • 28 days positive feedback by type

Three tabs are dedicated to feedback from users and three tabs are dedicated to total count. The data includes comments, shares, and likes from users as they interact on your Facebook page. Although the presentation of data has been changed such that it no longer shows you the number of comments, likes, and shares individually, it’s still a good way for you to gauge the overall impact you have on your target audience on Facebook.

7. Negative Feedback

You can’t expect all of the feedback on your Facebook page to be positive. The old adage that you can’t please everybody holds true to this day, maybe because the saying, “nobody’s perfect” is true as well. Where Facebook metrics are concerned, negative feedback refers to any negative action taken by a fan on your content. This may include hiding a post, clicking the link to hide all of your future posts, unliking your page, or even reporting your content as spam.

This metric is important because it tells you how many fans did not like the content you provide. They were already your fans, and now you’re losing them! This tells you that you need to review your content and maybe even your entire Facebook marketing strategy to find out how you can eliminate or at least minimize negative feedback.

EdgeRank is another factor that makes this metric important. If you haven’t heard of EdgeRank (that’s highly unlikely, but still…), it’s a Facebook algorithm that dictates which posts they display on the News Feed and how high a particular post is ranked. If the number of negative feedback on your posts is high, you’ll have little chance of getting exposure through EdgeRank and that chance becomes less and less the longer your negative feedback metric remains high.

Considering this, you need to check the number of people reached by a particular post and then compare that to the number of negative feedback on that post. Check the percentage of negative feedback your posts get. Try to keep the percentage as near to zero as possible.

To find this metric, you need to go to the Insights interface and click on Engaged Users. At the bottom of the window, you’ll see how many people gave negative feedback. If you want to check the specifics of the negative feedback (how many unliked your page, how many hid a post, etc.), you’ll have to check the page level data report.

Other than Facebook Insights, you may also measure the success of your Facebook marketing strategy with tools like Google Analytics or HubSpot Marketing Analytics. Among the things you can check with these tools are the traffic driven from your Facebook page to your website, the leads that you’re getting from Facebook, and the new customers you’re getting from your Facebook marketing activities.

For the most part, though, it’s still advisable for you to start with the free data you can get from within Facebook Insights. The metrics discussed above and the data you get in checking those metrics should help you arrive at well-informed business decisions that’ll enable you to maximize the results of your marketing efforts on Facebook.

Inking a Facebook Page Using PageInk

Inking a Facebook Page Using PageInk

PageInk is a Facebook page creation tool that a business might use to create a Facebook page to help promote its business online. As such, the term isn’t used in a way that is self-descriptive of its true meaning. It seems to imply ink printed on a page. However, if you were to think of the printing of business advertising on a page of paper, then—perhaps—the term seems to make sense.

A Business Facebook Page

A Facebook business advertisement that links back to the business’s Facebook page is more productive than one that links back to a website. The reasons behind this finding are unclear. Facebook users might be more comfortable and familiar with a Facebook page than they are with a website.

For the most part, a website is static and unchanging. A Facebook page is intended to provide a means for interaction between you (and your business), and customers and potential customers. Facebook users are accustomed to seeing a page change over time. They like seeing status and photo updates.

Putting Ink on a Facebook Page

An analogy could be made between the appearance of a printed page and that of a Facebook page. In a manner of speaking, the purpose of a Facebook page creation tool is to put some colorful ink in the form of colors, graphics, and photos and some written ink in the form of statuses and blogs on your business’s Facebook page. Of course, the word “ink” is used in the sense that the page is colorful and graphical, not in the sense that it is literally ink on a page. The idea is to create a page that is colorful, pleasing to the eye, attractive, and informative. One way of describing a Facebook page creation tool is to say that it is a page inking tool.

A page inking tool makes it easy for you or one of your artistically gifted employees to create and modify an eye-pleasing Facebook page. Some of the features you might want to incorporate into your page are described as follows:

  • If your business has theme colors, you will want to use them on your page. You will want to use other colors too so that your page isn’t uniformly colored throughout. Good places to use theme colors would be around your business’s name, logo, short-descriptive catch phrase, and representative photograph.
  • This tool has a drag-and-drop capability. You can select a photo with your mouse, move it where it needs to go, and release it. Photos and graphics can be easily moved around in the same way.
  • You also want brief and accurate descriptions to go along with your photos. You have an inside perspective of what they mean. Your Facebook fans do not. Writing a brief description conveys the meaning and relevance of the photo.
Copying Your Competitor The Facebook Way

Copying Your Competitor The Facebook Way

Good artists copy, great artists steal. This pithy quote holds true in this fast-paced, technologically-driven world of ours. More and more businesses are succumbing to the addictive habit of ‘borrowing’ the work of their competitors. At the moment, what is on everyone’s lips is Facebook and its acquired appetite for Twitter’s features. Facebook has just rolled out the ‘trending topics’ and ‘hash tags’ features synonymous with Twitter. Although Facebook is likely be vilified by the Twitter faithful, it is more likely that the dust will settle sooner rather than later. This is because Facebook represents great artists. So this is how to copy the Facebook way.

Keep Up Or Stay Ahead of Competition

Although Facebook is the largest social media site on the planet boasting of over 1 billion active users, Twitter with its 200 million active users remains a competition to reckon with. Facebook is constantly looking on it rear view mirror to look at who is catching up. It then figures out what gives its competitors their competitive advantage and tries to imitate or innovate. The former option is often the most appealing one.

Understand What Makes Your Competitors Tick

In the chess game, if black copies exactly what white is doing, black is doomed to finish last. That is the thing about blindly copying what your competitor does. Facebook has figured out that social media users love to be on the know about what is being talked about across the world thanks to the popular trending topics feature on Twitter. The trending topic feature of Facebook will be similar to that of Twitter except that it won’t track trending topics based on hash tags. Instead, trending topics will be tracked based users’ posts. So much for a different approach!

Final Word on Copying Competition

Copying competition is often a contentious issue that the advertising campaigns of most organizations fail to address sufficiently. Businesses should aim to protect their ideas and brands from imitation. However, copycats will always be on the prowl. Copying does work when employed expertly like Facebook, why not copy then?

The Bright Future of Mobile Advertising

The Bright Future of Mobile Advertising

Twitter has just acquired MoPub with a consideration in the region of $350 million in stock changing hands. I know; another growth strategy by the giant social media networks. While it may be so at least going by the rumors that Twitter is set to file for an IPO before the end of next year, this is big news in the mobile advertising world.

Win-Win Situation for the Parties Involved

In any acquisition, it is important to lay out the benefits that the parent or acquiring company can bring to the acquired business unit and whether they are likely to add or destroy value. MoPub is a mobile-focused advertising company. Its main capabilities that Twitter doesn’t have is that it has and ad exchange and a real-time bidding ad server. Twitter on the other hand already has a stable and working mobile network offering that is expected to contribute a huge portion of the projected $1 billion revenue in 2014. MoPub founders get to relish at the exchange of $18.5 million MoPub equity for $350 million Twitter private equity and Twitter gets to benefit from the unique capabilities of MoPub. The real victors however, are all the people involved in the mobile advertising world.

Mobile Advertising As It Is

Mobile advertising has often been criticized by both advertisers and the ‘victims’ of advertising for its targeting or lack of it. This translated to poor return on investment for advertisers and to frustrations to users who were tortured by the drudgery that is looking at adverts that are not targeted. This is all set to change for the better as ads posted to users of Twitter on the mobile devices will depend on users’ previous web or mobile usage history.

Focused Mobile Advertising

The fact that more and more people are accessing the Internet and more importantly social media networks through their mobile devices explains the attention that mobile advertising is being given at the moment. Just like any other form of marketing, mobile advertising’s power comes from its audience-the users of mobile devices. This lot is not easy to please. Focused mobile advertising is a start. Twitter has a reputation for being a game changer. It is poised to revolutionize its already burgeoning mobile advertising network by targeting users based on their previous web and mobile usage history as well as their location. This is thanks to its MoPub acquisition. Advertisers and users alike should be looking at this deal with a smile on their faces.

Leveraging Facebook Page Image Galleries for Business

If you have any experience in sales, you know that allowing people to look at a product is a big part of persuading them to buy. In fact, one of the things that have made Internet commerce so successful is that people can look at products repeatedly without driving down to a store to do it. This sets up a scenario where the potential customer is in a no pressure situation and can look over the product as much as they want without somebody harping on them to go ahead and buy. You can use this on Facebook to great advantage.

Facebook Images

Images Need a Point

Look at some of the pages set up by businesses and you’ll see that some of the images they include are useless. They might have a picture of their storefront, a picture of some of their employees doing something that looks like fun and so forth. These might help to humanize the business a little bit, but it doesn’t really sell anything directly.

When you post an image to your page, make sure that there’s some sort of a point to it. For example, if you are launching a new product, post pictures of it so that you can entice people to buy. There is another way that you can utilize this strategy to great effect.

Check Other Venues

If you’ve shopped on Amazon.com recently, you’ve probably noticed that users can upload images of products and add them to the description, if they are approved by Amazon itself. One of the things you might want to do is look at your product as it is featured on sites like Amazon and see what images of that product are currently in use. Post different images of the product on your Facebook page.

This gives people a reason to check out your page, as they will be able to look at the product in a different light. It’s also extremely inexpensive to do this and, once you have the picture up there, it can keep paying off indefinitely.

The same applies to videos and other types of content. Take a look at how your product is represented on other pages and use your Facebook page to fill in the blanks for customers who may be interested in that product. If someone is online shopping for one of your products, there’s a good chance that they’re going to check out your Facebook page at some point. This provides you with an opportunity to make an impression.

People Pictures

There is room for pictures of your employees on your Facebook page. You should be creative about this, however. Generic snapshots of your employees standing in front of a piece of machinery or similar content really doesn’t offer your Facebook fans anything of substance.

Consider giving your fans a little peek into how your products are produced. For example, imagine that your company sells guitars. You could post pictures of the luthiers working on the guitars and that might make a big impression on the people who are interested in your products. They’ll actually be able to see people putting your products together and the care that goes into that process.

If you want to feature a lot of images, WordPress themes allow you to include them on your site very easily. You can also use these themes with other social networking sites, such as Flickr, and draw your image stream directly from them. One of the advantages of having your own domain is that you can be a bit more casual about images and include a whole lot of them for people to browse through, simply because the venue is a bit slower moving than Facebook.

About author

Anny Solway is a dedicated writer at ThemeFuse – a leader in the Premium WordPress Themes area. She likes to discover new ideas about internet marketing, social media and blogging.

Using Facebook Hashtags For Business Promotion

Hashtags have been all the rage on Twitter for years, but Facebook recently introduced them.  While the use is similar to that of Twitter, there are some stark differences.  These are used so that people can see a newsfeed full of posts related to that specific tag.  It is a way for people to condense a newsfeed into exactly what they are looking for in terms of topic, product, business and other specific things.

Expand Your Reach

If you are using hashtags, those looking at posts within your topic will be able to see your posts.  This helps people to find you.  You can get to people who have an interest in niche topics.  For example, if your business is gardening and you specialize in certain plants or flowers, use a hashtag for these.  Those looking for these plants, tips on planting and growth or a place to get advice can head to the hashtag and find your business.

Building Your Brand

You can create a hashtag that is exclusive to your brand or business.  Just make sure to do your research and make sure that no one else is using this specific hashtag.  You will likely have to be quite unique to find something not already in use.  However, keep in mind that this hashtag must also describe your brand.  So, if you are a garden center or gardener, stick with something related to this.  You can get creative and use plant names or something similar, but it should be related to what you do.

When you are posting things with your new hashtag, make sure that the posts have value.  Things like sales pitches and posts not related to your business will not be shared very often.  Offer something valuable in each post (this does not mean a coupon or promotion) and make sure it is something that people will want to share with their friends.

Special Promotional Tags

If you post the occasional promotion on your Facebook page, create a special hashtag for this specific promotion.  Every promotion you do should have its own hashtag.  If you post this promotion on other platforms, like Google+ or Twitter, use the same hashtag.  You want people to share your post and hashtag to get the word out about your promotion.  You can also include some popular, pre-existing hashtags that fit with your promotion to help people to find it.  Just make sure these tags truly fit well and do not overuse them. This will also help you in getting more likes to your pages.

To Use Or Not to Use

Hashtags are still very new on Facebook and not everyone likes them.  Because of this, you need to be careful not to annoy your loyal fans.  When you are posting, there is no need to always have a hashtag.  Only use them when they are relevant.  You also do not want to stuff your posts with hashtags.  One or two is usually enough.  You just want to get your posts seen.  You do not, however, want to turn off the people already faithfully reading them.

Chris Spencer loves using social media as a marketing tool and writes blog posts to help others learn to do the same.

How To Stay Safe On Facebook

How To Stay Safe On Facebook

Every day, an average of 250,000 new users join Facebook.  Almost all of these people join to keep up with friends and family.  However, it is inevitable that a select few do use the social media platform for malicious reasons.  It is important to stay safe when you are using social media.  Safety is something everyone should keep in mind and not just kids.

Personal Information

Personal information should stay personal.  Your phone, address and date of birth are things only your friends and family should know.  You do not need millions of people on Facebook being able to access this type of stuff.  You never know if someone will use it to track you down or steal your identity.  Unfortunately, one of the downsides of technology is that everyone needs to be a little paranoid.  This will help to keep you safe as you navigate the waters of the worldwide web.

Be Careful With Photographs

You want to make sure that only your friends and family can see your pictures.  This is especially true with pictures of children.  Some people use children’s photos for reasons most people cannot comprehend.  There have also been instances of companies finding good family photos to use for commercial purposes without that family’s consent.

You also want to keep other types of photos off of Facebook.  A good rule of thumb to have is that if you would not show the photos at a job interview, keep them off of Facebook.  You do not want pictures of you drinking, doing something illegal or partying to be seen by potential employers or others that could use them against you.  Keep it clean and think for a minute before posting a photo in your photo albums or on your wall.

Nothing on Facebook is Private

You can set your privacy settings to the max, but if someone really wants to see what is on your profile, there are ways to see it.  Keep this in mind when you are posting anything.  Keep all information you do not want everyone to know off of Facebook.  Things like personal drama, compromising photos and identifying information should stay off of social media.  Your privacy settings are also important if you’re running a fanpage that’s linked to your personal profile or if you plan to buy Facebook fans or likes and increase the traffic to your profiles.

Your Location

While adding your city seems harmless, it can put you in a dangerous predicament.  If you must list your location, simply list your state only.  If someone wants to find you, it will be a lot more difficult if they only know the state that you live in.  You should also refrain from posting things that could indicate where you live.  Posting something about going to Wal-Mart is fine because this store is all throughout the United States.  However, posting things about a local cafe or bakery can lead someone right to your town or neighborhood.

You also want to refrain from posting things that mean your house is empty.  For example, save the vacation photos until you are already home from vacation.  You never want people to know when you will be away from home.  While your friends likely will not rob your home, others may take advantage of the fact that your house is empty.

Chris Spencer loves to use Facebook for marketing and enjoys writing about Facebook for personal and business use. 

Using Facebook as a Launch Pad for Your Business in Social Media

Using Facebook as a Launch Pad for Your Business in Social Media

Facebook can do a great deal for any business provided you put effort into maintaining your profile. Many who have negative experiences using social media for promoting a business fail from lack of effort. You can’t simply provide a few posts of information and expect visitors to flood your website or physical location. Like anything business related, social media success will be determined by your effort. Facebook can be a powerful tool if utilized properly.

1. Privacy

Never use your personal profile in order to promote your business. There is nothing wrong with “liking” your own business page, but your customers and clients don’t care if your family reunion is delayed a week due to a rain storm. Your business profile should always be different than your personal one if you intend on attracting fans and patrons. It’s easy to set up a business page in Facebook and is it’s free to do so. In fact you can start with step 1 here.

2. Website

There are a variety of widgets and HTML coding that you can add to your website in order to create a cross promotion. Whether you are using WordPress, Joomla, or coded the website yourself, you can add the Facebook widget in order to promote your business. By adding the controls for liking and sharing pages on your website, you can further promote your business on Facebook from those who find the content worthy.

3. Local Advertising

Once your business page is developed, Facebook allows you to create advertisements that can be created using a variety of criteria. Based on personal profiles and the information of users, your advertisements can be focused on local groups of people tailored to the kind of business you conduct. As an added feature, Facebook will even show you how many users can potentially see your advertisement based on your location and target audience.

4. Inter-connectivity

One of the most appealing features of Facebook is the ability to link it to so many other social media platforms. Because of its popularity, you are able to connect social sites such as YouTube and Pinterest to your business page to further expand your promotional capabilities. However, you want to spend equal time developing those profiles as well if you want to succeed with social media marketing. For instance; any time you create a new image in Pinterest, it will be displayed in your Facebook profile as they could be connected depending on your settings.

5. Word-of-Mouth

One of the most powerful forms of advertising for any company is that from word-of-mouth. A business can be greatly affected by the experiences of previous customers and how they relate that experience to friends and family. Facebook takes that aspect to a higher level. If someone “Likes” a business in Facebook, all of his or her friends and family could see it – promoting additional interest. If anyone views that person’s profile they can see what he or she likes. It can start a snow-ball affect to create fans of your business.

Facebook can be more than just an area to chat with friends and family or play games. It can be a powerful tool for marketing purposes for the business as long as you put effort into the experience. Don’t assume that you will be instantly popular with the masses. Even the most successful of businesses had to develop the following they have today.

Author Bio:

Ken Myers is the founder of  http://www.longhornleads.com/ & has learned over the years the importance of focusing on what the customer is looking for and literally serving it to them. He doesn’t try to create a need, instead he tries to satisfy the existing demand for information on products and services.

Promote Your Business Through OrangeSoda social Media Marketing

Social media sites continue to grow throughout the United States and the World. There are too many advantages of social media to go through and identify each one; however, one of the biggest advantages of social media from a business perspective is the ability to advertise for relatively cheap. OrangSoda social media marketing professionals have the ability to promote various products or services in an effective manner via the most popular social media sites. One important aspect to advertising is the ability to deliver a message to the target audience in such a way that will motivate the consumer to act. Utilizing social media appropriately may not only save you money but ultimately help you earn money.

Best of Blogs

Blogs are basically a source for people to be able to record or log the events of their life onto a website that will allow family and friends stay informed of various activities. Many businesses and organizations are taking advantage of blogs and using them as a source to advertise promotions or deals that are happening within the company. A well designed, and up to date blog can allure consumers to consistently view the specific website. Although a blog may not be as effective as radio or television advertising, it does provide a great alternative to attracting a wide audience through pictures, video clips, and other information related to the company.

Fantastic Facebook

Facebook is among the most popular and well known forms of social media. It seems as though everyone from little kids to retired senior citizens have a Facebook account and consistently views their own profiles. Utilizing the popularity of Facebook to promote a specific product or service is a great way to gain publicity. Creating a profile or page for an organization or company is relatively easy and is a great advertising opportunity. Anything from a private sale to a nationwide organization should utilize the capabilities that this social media site has to offer.

Magnificent Marketing

The advances of social media have brought the art of marketing to an entirely new level. Computer literacy is a must in the marketing world and will only become more technologically focused in the near future. Business owners that are struggling to develop a strong marketing mix need to consider the possibilities that will come with OrangeSoda social media marketing. Marketing professionals understand how to design a profile or page in such a way that will be easy for those who visit the page to identify the benefits or a product or service. Developing a product or service and making it an affordable price that will still create a profit is only half the battle. Proper promotion is the step of the marketing mix that will attract a target audience to the product, thus leading to growth and ultimate success. The most popular social media sites will continue to compete with one another to create better and more effective ways to stay connected with family and friends; this form of competition will benefit those who use social media as a medium of promotion.

How Far Can The Law Control Social Media?

The open nature of the Internet makes it a bewildering place for newcomers. Back in 2009, security breaches and illegal activities led computer giant IBM to state “that the Internet has finally taken on the characteristics of the Wild West where no one is to be trusted.”

What are law enforcement agencies dealing with?

Just like the Wild West, criminals have found the Internet a perfect vehicle for committing all manner of crimes. These techniques have often existed for centuries, but the Internet offers a new way of finding and exploiting victims.

Here are the top three issues facing US lawmakers regarding the Internet.

1. Fraud, theft and criminal damage

Email has given fraudsters unprecedented access to more victims than ever before. With the click of a button, they can send thousands of emails designed to trick people into revealing personal details that can then be used for identity theft, bank fraud or extortion.

Computer viruses are regarded almost as an operational hazard of owning a computer. But they are designed to damage your computer, steal your data and cause general havoc. The offline equivalents would be stealing and criminal damage, which are clearly illegal; and the same goes for computer viruses.

Finally, there are hackers, people who deliberately try to break into computer systems. Again, the intention is usually to steal data, money, or to cause malicious damage.

2. Pornography

The US Government runs an agency dedicated to protecting children from Internet predators. The FBI works to identify and arrest paedophiles, as well as tracking and breaking child pornography rings.

There are also issues surrounding other “adult” pornography, which frequently breaches US publishing laws. Of a lower priority, the Police are still duty bound to investigate crimes reported to them.

3. Crimes against the person

Many people believe that the Internet is the ultimate forum for “free speech”. But some abuse the privilege making statements which are defamatory, slanderous or which breach hate speech laws.

Sometimes these personal attacks are apparently motiveless, leading to an online behaviour known as “trolling“. Police report that rates of cyberbullying increased by 400% between 2007 and 2011, for instance.

As crime prevention minister Jeremy Browne said in an interview, “What is illegal offline is illegal online. People should not be able to use social media to post anonymous abusive or threatening comments without facing any consequences.”

What is the problem?

As more and more of our daily interactions shift to online channels, the police face an increasingly difficult task maintaining law and order. Among the many hurdles they face are:

Technology

Internet and computer technologies continue to develop at an incredible rate. However, the police have neither the time nor the resources to stay on top of every new development.

The creation of laws to prosecute new crimes also takes time often several years. Until the law is passed, Police are often powerless to take proper action until the damage has been done and the criminal has long gone.

Anonymity

Users of chatrooms, forums and social media are afforded some level of anonymity, making it hard for police to unmask the perpetrators of online crime. Electronic detective work can usually identify online criminals in the end, but the process is slow and time-consuming.

There is an added element of difficulty when the crime has taken place on a website that operates from countries outside the US. In this instance, the police generally have to rely on the goodwill of the website operator to get the information they need to proceed to prosecution, which is not always forthcoming.

Bureaucracy

Solving crime can be a painstaking process at the best of times. However, cybercrime often requires liaison between different police forces and departments, the courts and Internet service providers. These third parties often operate their own bureaucracies, making it even harder to bring a case to resolution. Some are even deliberately obstructive because their operating ideologies are distinctly anti-police.

International law

When the crime takes place using a service from another country, issues of jurisdiction can further confuse matters. If a British person is cyberbullied by an American on a website run from Russia, there are three different national laws in effect. Even more confusingly, what is illegal here in the US may be perfectly legal in Russia, making a successful prosecution very difficult, if not unlikely.

Public sentiment

Despite the many potential problems presented by criminals on the Internet, proposals to prevent criminal activity are often opposed. Plans for an opt-out pornography filter (which would have required US internet users to register, or access to adult material would be blocked automatically) were overturned in 2012 following a vigorous campaign suggesting that such a filter was against freedom of speech laws.

Any proposed law which is believed to potentially limit online activities tends to come under similar pressure, making it very difficult to effectively limit loopholes exploited by criminals.

What can we expect in future?

Although the justice system is struggling to keep up with cybercrime, there is no suggestion it has given up. In the future we can expect to see:

More prosecutions

The surge in online defamation complaints to police has generated a similar increase in prosecutions. There is not yet any sign of a slow-down in reports, either.

As cybercrime becomes more common, police are dedicating more time and resources to detecting it. Specialist officers have the skills and expertise required to successfully prosecute more cybercrime cases than ever before.

More civil cases

Where undesirable activities online fall outside criminal law, people are still free to launch civil cases. The recent Twitter case involving a high profile politician being incorrectly named as a paedophile has resulted in dozens of people being sued for libel.

The number of similar cases will undoubtedly rise as people continue to seek damages for untrue or hurtful allegations that are posted on other social media sites.

New laws

The scams and tricks used by cybercriminals are constantly evolving. The United States legal system will also have to adapt to face these new challenges with relevant and updated legislation.

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke unveiled new plans to exclude websites from prosecution where their users were guilty of libel if they pass on the troll’s identity. Should the website choose to protect the troll’s identity, the operator will be held responsible for hosting the libelous material. This plan should become law within the coming months.

Because of the global nature of the Internet, there will also be increasing cooperation between nation states, particularly those who are members of the European Union. The Budapest Convention encourages a joined-up approach to tackling and prosecuting international crime, and the membership continues to grow.

So the Internet will always remain lawless?

Currently the law seems relatively powerless to combat cybercrime effectively. While it is true that the police are always playing catch-up with cybercriminals, they are actively working to increase protection for the public by dedicating more resources to tackling them.

The legal system is also trying to increase protection for the public, but the creation of legislation is a slow and arduous process. However, there is a clear intention to tackle and prevent crime across government.

So can the law effectively police the Internet? Arguably, the answer has to be ‘yes’, because we already have laws to address many of the crimes committed online. Just as hackers will try and steal your bank account details on the Internet, so too will a pickpocket in the high street. The law does not completely prevent crime, but it does give the victim an avenue of redress.

The best advice for staying safe online remains use your common sense. Do this, and you stand a very good chance of staying out of the grasp of dedicated criminals while using the Internet.