Facebook

Rumor Mill: Facebook to File for IPO Next Week

The long-awaited tech IPO of the year — perhaps of the decade — is on. According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook will file its paperwork for an Initial Public Offering this coming Wednesday. As you might expect, the Wall Street Journal’s source remains unnamed, however, The Journal has a track record for breaking such stories that is hard to dispute.

The social network is expected to be the largest tech IPO in history – topping out at an estimated $10 billion. To put that into perspective, Google’s 2005 IPO didn’t even reach the $2 billion mark.

There seem to be a number of signals pointing to an IPO in the near future – with one of the strongest signals being Facebook’s halted trading in secondary markets for three days earlier this week.

What are your expectations for Facebook finally going IPO? Will it bring about negative or positive change for the company? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

5 Tips for Optimizing Your Facebook Ad Campaigns

Advertising on Facebook is an excellent way to reach a large number of consumers.  Facebook ads offer a cost effective marketing option that every business should consider.  As more people join Facebook every day, the opportunity to reach millions of consumers continues to grow for every business.  In order to increase the success you have when advertising on Facebook, you will need to optimize your campaigns so that you get the best results.  Here are a few tips to help you optimize your Facebook ad campaigns.

Test Several Headlines

Your headline is an important aspect of your Facebook ad.  The headline is the first thing a user will see and will determine whether or not the rest of the ad is read.  If you do not have a compelling headline, you could be missing out numerous sales as your Facebook ads go unnoticed.  When optimizing your headlines, come up with several different options and your ads using a different headline one at a time.  Track the number of clicks you receive with each headline to determine which one is the most effective.

Include Images

Including images with your Facebook ads is a great way to improve their effectiveness.  When creating Facebook ads that contain images, you will want to split test the effectiveness of each image as well.  By tracking the results of each image, you will be able to see which one is the most effective image to use in your ad.

Try Changing your Ad Copy

Your ad copy is the most important aspect of your Facebook ads.  Without quality, attention grabbing ad copy, you will not obtain the results you are capable of.  Try getting into the mindset of your target audience when writing your ad copy to help improve your Facebook ad results.  If you are selling a product, list the benefits associated with your product.  Whenever you make a change to your ad copy, you will want to track the results to see if the new copy is outperforming your previous ads.  By keeping records of every ad copy that you use, you will easily be able to see which Facebook ads you are currently running are the most effective.

Find Your Target Audience

Understanding your target audience is vital when looking to run a successful Facebook ad campaign.  Doing a bit of market research before you start an ad campaign will help you see who your target audience is.  Once you have this information, you will want to filter your Facebook ads to only appear for your target audience, ensuring that you do not waste money showing your ads to people who are not interested in your product or service.

Track Conversions

To fully optimize your Facebook ads, you will want to track all of your conversions.  Understanding where your conversions are coming from will help you determine which Facebook ads are the most effective.  If a specific ad is generating a lot of clicks but not many conversions, this ad is just costing you money and can be removed for your active campaign.  It is important that you only run ads that generate conversions, so that you can receive the highest ROI possible with your Facebook ad campaign.

Nic is a social media expert, specializing in Facebook advertising as part of his clients web marketing campaigns. With social media becoming a great avenue for marketing your business, it’s also important to optimize and test in the same way that you would with a traditional CPM or CPC campaign to get the best from your spend.

Facebook Chat Emoticons: The :Putnam: Code Still Works

If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent a lot of time on Facebook Chat. Invariably, everyone gets tired of walls of text. Or, your sentiment might be heavier with a picture. So, looking for a way to spruce up your Facebook chats? I’ve compiled a list of all of the Facebook emoticons that can be used within the chat feature. Simply use the keyboard to put in the letters/numbers/symbols and when you send the message, the emoticon will appear! You may want to keep this list secret, everyone will want to know how to have a penguin show up in the chat window.

You may be curious about the :Putnam: face. Well I have the answer! Chris Putnam was an engineer for Facebook, and his face adorned one of the first login pages of Facebook.

I can only assume he thought it would be funny to program himself into the site. The :Putnam: code still works, and by this time I’m sure everyone at Facebook HQ is aware of it and have elected to keep it as a funny joke. And I’m sure Putnam himself is enjoying the fame!

Use his face and all the others to impress and befuddle your friends! There are a lot of Facebook emoticons, which ones are your favorites?

Senior Citizens and Social Media – Are Seniors Using Facebook?

We naturally think of social media as the province of the young and hip. Our stereotypical image of a new-media-savvy person is young, spectacled, and nerdy, clad in sneakers and T-shirt, with a tattoo or three and an occasional piercing, slurping Red Bulls and munching junk snacks while hiding his lingering acne. Older people, we assume, lack the technological awareness and sophistication necessary to use social media and, their neural circuits having fossilized in the electronic Stone Age, and their ability to learn new tricks suffering from the drawbacks proverbially applying to old dogs. According to an article in MediaBadger, we would in many cases and ways be wrong, and those wanting to market to seniors should not ignore social media.

Here are some of the findings from the study:

  • The first users of the Internet back in the 1990s were in their 40s and older. That’s primarily because the cost of computers in those days was much higher than it is today, and there were no portable options, so older people with higher and more stable incomes were the ones likely to be using it. Those same early Internet users have graduated to social media as they have emerged into being.
  • The reasons why seniors (or “silver surfers” as the study quaintly terms them) engage in social media may be slightly different than for younger users. The biggest single reason is to stay in touch with friends and family, followed by pursuit of hobbies, with services, vacationing, and shopping filling the next three categories. Seniors still tend to be less trusting than younger people of online shopping and banking.
  • A study of which social media outlets are used by age group shows that seniors are more likely to use Facebook, on-line forums, and photo sharing services than they are other outlets. Seniors are less likely than younger people to post videos on YouTube and similar outlets, but quite likely to view on-line videos.
  • Seniors are late adopters of changing social media and less likely than younger people to learn new media that are difficult or complex. They quickly develop habits of use (or already have them by now) and are resistant to change. They love to comment online about current events, politics, or most other subjects and tend to have strong opinions. Then tend to prefer simple and easy to learn tools that interface easily with services and methods they are already used to using.

There are, in short, many differences between older social media users and younger ones. Just the same, this is not a demographic that Facebook marketers should ignore, nor are social media something that should be ignored by companies that routinely serve an older clientele.

While seniors are becoming more internet savvy, they are still at risk for online scams.  If you are a senior citizen or have a family member who is, a background check for all new friend requests may be a good idea.

7 Facebook Tweaks and Updates for a Better Experience

Facebook is the biggest single social site out there. It seems that almost everyone who can access a computer has a Facebook page, as this social network has become a worldwide phenomenon.

Everyone and their grandparents are using Facebook, and almost all of these folks are either bemoaning changes that Facebook has made or they are looking for ways that they can make their Facebook user experience even better. There are a lot of ways that you can tweak Facebook to make it better for you.

Here are just 7 Facebook tweaks you can try:

1.) Hide the right sidebar

The right sidebar seems to be the most hated of the newer Facebook features. It shrinks down the viewable screen size, and the mini-newsfeed next to the big newsfeed just seems like a bit too much. You can easily hide this feature with a tiny tweak. At the bottom of the sidebar to the right there is a small button with an arrow; clicking that allows you to hide the sidebar away.

2.) Don’t clog up the newsfeed with game updates

Facebook gaming is one of the great things about Facebook, and it attracts a lot of new users to the site. As you play, your friends’ newsfeed and their walls may start to get stopped up with news of your achievements and announcements that you have begun to play Farkle. To stop this, in the Account settings you can set custom settings for all of your apps including settings so that no one but you gets these announcements.

3.) Stop Facebook emails

If you use your smartphone to access Facebook, you probably get notifications when you get a friend request, a new comment on a status update or more. It starts to get annoying when you get hit with an SMS message and an email about the same thing. It is easy to turn this off. You can go to your notification settings and turn off any text and email announcements you want.

4.) Get new stories in your newsfeed

Facebook’s new default is to show the top stories first. If a topic turns out to be hot, every time you visit the page it will end up at the top of the queue, which can get pretty boring. To get new content to the top of your newsfeed, click on the little arrow that is skewed a little to the left above where your newsfeed starts. Here you can select to see recent stories first. Remember, you may have to do this on more than one occasion; this Facebook tweak isn’t permanent.

5.) Find out how your profile looks to other people

When you look at your profile, there is a button labeled “view as” to the top left. After you click on that button, enter the name of a Facebook friend, and you will see your page as it appears to them. This is a great tweak to use to see if you might accidentally be oversharing. This can also help you to see if a spammer or errant app are sharing things to your wall.

6.) Get the word out

You have important things to say, and it seems like Facebook is just the place to say them. However, you want to let more people than just your friends have a listen. Tweak your Facebook to allow subscriptions. With subscriptions other folks are able to see your updates and leave comments, but they aren’t allowed to see all of your private personal information that your actual Friends have access to. To set up subscriptions, go to your profile, click on “subscriptions” from the left sidebar and go from there.

7.) Keep your location secret

Many people don’t like location-based services like check-in because they don’t want to tell the world that you aren’t at home. Some just don’t want the whole world knowing where they are at any given second. You can change your settings so that well intentioned friends who check in are unable to check you in as well. To tweak this and other tagging features, just go to your privacy settings and select “how tags work.”

This article is provided by Kevin Moor who writes for different sites, one of which provides information on the perfect uninstaller.

Top 10 Best Games on Facebook: Farmville, Bejeweled Blitz and More

There are a lot of people on Facebook; folks are almost shocked when they learn that someone they know doesn’t have an account. People do everything on Facebook from share things that are important to them, connect with old friends, plan events and play games.

Facebook is rife with games, some of which aren’t just games anymore by pop culture sensations. There are a lot of games, and some of the titles available via this social site are absolute gems. Other games are downright lousy.

With so many gaming options to choose from on this social site, how does one know which games to play. While trial and error can work, Facebook gamers will end up wasting a lot of time trying out absolutely abysmal titles and probably ending up with a few malicious apps invading their system in the process.

There are several places where you can find information on the best games that Facebook has to offer, and this is just one such spot.

Here are 10 of the best games on Facebook that you will most likely love.

1.) Bejeweled Blitz

This 60 second gem swapping melee is one of the most popular games in the world. Easy to play and highly addictive, gameplay continues to stay challenging overtime. Comparing scores with your friends can give players a competitive spirit, and new bonuses and special gems give gamers just another reason to keep coming back.

2.) FarmVille

There are many imitators and many games modeled after this one, but FarmVille is the original. Tending to crops doesn’t sound like that much fun, but this game is huge. Easy to play and fun, the social aspect where your friends can assist you with tasks and look in on your crops makes it a perfect fit for Facebook.

3.) Texas Hold’em Poker

This is one of the top games on Facebook and the top poker game in the world. Texas Hold’em Poker has become a phenomenon, with folks all over the world watching it in their living rooms and playing in their kitchens, so it only makes sense that you can now play from your desktop too.

4.) CityVille

This top game is used monthly by about 49 million people, making it the most played game on Facebook. As the name suggests, it has a lot in common with FarmVille, except now instead of harvesting crops and building a farm, you have an urban center to struggle with.

5.) The Sims Social

The Sims and the other Sim games that have come before it have been much loved games for about two decades, so it is no surprise that there is now a version of Facebook. Not as comprehensive as one of their off Facebook games, this social version lets you play with your friends for free.

6.) Words With Friends

This poplar Scrabble-like game became a mobile sensation as an app for the iPhone and iPad. Now available on multiple mobile platforms, it is also on Facebook. The game is fully integrated so you can play on Facebook or your mobile app against people on Facebook or on their phones. It is a terribly fun and addictive game for all ages.

7.) Tetris Battle

Tetris has been a top, much loved videogame title since the 1980s. Once a big name for console systems, this addictive puzzle game has popped up in several places online. It only makes sense that it has found a home on Facebook.

8.) Slotomania

People love to gamble, and when they can’t gamble, they love to play games that make it feel like gambling. You don’t have to be an adult to get into the fun of this popular Facebook game.

9.) Cafè World

As television chefs have turned into super celebrities, more and more people daydream about opening restaurants. Now instead of just daydreaming, they can do it virtually with this extremely popular game.

10.) Empires & Allies

This fun game lets you build up your own forces and secure your own territory. You do get to work with your friends, however, to defeat the Dark Alliance, which seems just social enough to be ideal for Facebook and a good time for you.

What are your favorite games on Facebook?

This article is written by Kevin Moor, who also writes for trojanremovers.net, a site emphasizing trojan remover reviews.

Facebook Updates: Page Insights, FBML, Negative Feedback and More

I wanted to send along some of the latest Facebook updates shared by one of our reps.

An interesting development (or least news to me) is the Negative Feedback Stat for Insights. This is not a sentiment analysis, as is stated below, but appears to be a 2.0 version of unsubscribes and unLikes for individual posts. I am not seeing this in the Insights dashboard or exported file for any pages yet – please leave a comment below if you have, otherwise, this is likely in a beta rollout.

With that said, here are some of the more interesting and upcoming Facebook updates.

  • FBML Apps and non-HTTPS will stop working on January 1, 2012
    • As previously messaged, Facebook will be fully transitioning to iFrames and secure browsing via HTTPS. iFrames are Facebook’s new framework for serving content on canvas pages and Page tabs
  • Facebook Page Insights
    • A new Page Insights eLearning module can be found here: http://www.learnpageinsights.com/
    • With the launch of the new Page Insights, we’ll slowly be deprecating the old PI. Page admins will see warnings in the old Insights informing them of this upcoming change. Data will continue to be available through the old Insights for 1 month, with all data deleted and access to the old Insights removed on February 15, 2012
  • Negative Feedback Stat
    • Facebook now show admins the number of unique users that gave negative feedback on a Page post so that they better understand which posts resonate with their audience. Please note this is not sentiment analysis.
    • Negative feedback is a unique count of people who hid the post or reported it as spam in their News Feed.
  • IO Advertisers can now boost any post from any Page
    • IO clients can now create Facebook ads from any post made on any Page, even if they don’t own the Page. The ability to boost any post creates new opportunities for a advertisers, especially those who use celebrity or athlete endorsements. It can be used to support product/ movie launches, product promotions or events, and general brand awareness campaigns. (example, a film studio can boost Page posts by a featured actor who posts a trailer for an upcoming film)
    • This feature is only availabie through IO for Premium and Marketplace, and not in self serve or the API
  • Facebook Studio Awards: December 31st deadline approaching
    • Enter your best campaigns by clicking the “Submit Your Work” button at: http://facebook-studio.com

Have you come across any Facebook or Page updates that I missed above? Please share them in the comments!

Should Employers Be Able to Fire an Employee for Facebook Activity?

We all have been warned of the dangers and risks of offending Facebook material—specifically posting questionable photos and statuses online. We have been told many times that employers are frequently doing a full background check, which includes looking into profiles via social media. With this added personal material viewable, it has raised a lot of questions about what is okay for employers to look at and base their decisions off of, when concerning employment. Is it okay for employers to make a decision to not hire someone based on personal information not conveyed directly to them, but seen on a social networking site? Further, should an employer be able to fire someone who is already working for them based off what they have found online?

In my opinion, I think the best way to avoid having this dilemma altogether is to maintain private settings, be friends with only people you actually know, and most importantly, do not post anything you would ever be uncomfortable having your mom, grandmother, or employer see. These, in what I consider, common sense steps are an important way to avoid ever having any type of this conflict.

However, if following these steps still raises an issue in employment, I think it is important to consider the content that was considered offending, in order to evaluate if the Facebook activity is valid enough to have a person miss a job opportunity or get fired. For me, I think that anything that is posted online should be automatically assumed to be in the public. Thus, if you choose to post pictures of you partying or write statuses defaming someone, assume that it will be seen. That being said, it is time to consider the evaluations that employers are making when judging such material.

For an employer to fire someone based on Facebook activity actually seems OK to me, but only if it affects the company, itself. For example, if an employee has been posting private company information or defaming the company itself, I think it is not out of line for a company to fire that employee. However, if a company sees images or text that they do not agree with; however, it does not affect the company or the employer’s representation of him or the employees at the company, I think there should not be an issue. Of course, anything illegal (whether affecting the company or not) is always grounds for firing.

Again, all of this is very avoidable by taking action of what you do post online. Evaluate your priorities. If keeping your job is near the top of the list, you should be doing everything necessary to make sure you don’t lose that job, which includes keeping that bad work day rant to yourself rather than spilling it on your Facebook status.

Author By-Line
Karen Stephenson is a regular Facebook user and has done development work for different companies in social media. She promotes many websites such as Find UK Phone Numbers, a website which helps people find different company service telephone numbers in the UK.

Alternative Ways to Incorporate Facebook Into Your Blog or Website

One could argue a “Facebook Like” is the new “link” for SEO. One could also say the total of  “Likes” and comments is a measure of important or influence depending on the source. One thing we do know, however, is engagements such as a “Like” influences Edgerank and can catapult your content into the ever-important newsfeed of your subscribers. Below you’ll find some creative ways to capture additional Likes and comments for your content and increase the opportunities of capturing more social traffic to your website.

Add a Facebook Like Button at Bottom of Each Page

Have you ever visited a website and noticed a l ittle toolbar at the bottom of the site with a Like button in it? That little toolbar is called the Wibiya toolbar, and it gives people lots of options for your readers to connect. For example, they can Like your Facebook Page, see your stream, make a comment on your Facebook Page right from your website and, most importantly, Like your content. The Wibiya Toolbar is definitely a new way to increase engagement and Likes on your website.

Leverage WordPress Commenting Plugins

You might have heard about the Facebook Commenting system available for blogging technologies. Traditionally, I wouldn’t have recommended this as an option for two primary reasons:

  1. People need to sign into their Facebook account to leave a comment
  2. When people leave comments, the content is stored within the Facebook database… not on your site

Enter a solution: Livefyre – which is currently being used as Only Facebook’s comment solution.

  1. Livefyre allows users to login to leave a comment with either Facebook or an e-mail address
  2. This comment plugin allows users to tag their Facebook friends within the comments, post easily to Facebook and, most importantly, keep the contents of the comment on your site … not on Facebook’s database.

One thing is for sure, social media is here to stay. By leveraging these tips along with traditional tactics, Facebook will serve you up some fantastic traffic. How about you? How do you use Facebook on your site?