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Social Media Is Revoloutionizing Customer Service

Social Media Is Revoloutionizing Customer Service

Are you among the 80 percent or the 20 percent? Eighty percent of brands reported they expected to be tapping into social media as a customer service tool by the end of 2012. If you’ve landed in the 20 percent, you could be missing out on millions of opportunities to connect with your consumers.

Take Comcast, for instance. By now nearly everyone’s heard about @comcastcares, which the company started in 2010 with the goal of providing easily accessible service and Q&A to consumers. Today, the @comcastcares Twitter handle has more than 45,000 followers. The picture doesn’t get much clearer than that: Consumers are increasingly expecting to have easy access to their brands, and they’re flocking to social media to do just that.

Despite Comcast’s success with Twitter, Facebook is actually leading the pack in terms of consumer-brand communications. Nearly half of respondents report being influenced most heavily in terms of buying decisions. And about one-third of consumers say they turn to Facebook brand pages when they have a product or service question. Are you missing out on millions of chances to connect with your audience? Learn more about why social is making such a huge impact on consumers. Check out our infographic below!

Social Media Customer Service

This infographic was made by ClickSoftware Field Workforce Management, the leading provider of field service and mobility workforce management.

The Brands You ‘Like’ on Facebook are Using You – Here’s How to Stop Them

How many hours a day do you spend on Facebook? The more time you spend, the more you’re interacting with your friends. While you’re there, you’re probably interacting with a few of your favorite brands and businesses, too. When you come across a good company, you might “like” it. Whatever purpose this serves for you – communicating with brand reps, getting special offers, showing off your interests to the world – it also serves a big purpose for the business itself. Now that you’ve liked them, you’ve officially become a brand rep yourself, whether you realize it or not.

Feeding Frenzy

When you like a business, your friends are notified in their newsfeeds. Hopefully you knew this already; if not, think about it the next time you want to show your support for the local strip club (“Hi, Mom!”). Businesses love getting your likes because it means their reach is automatically extended to your friends. Since your friends presumably trust you, they might be convinced to check out that business and come to like them, too. Every time you like one of their statuses or posts, they get the same benefit of their content appearing in your friends’ newsfeeds, too.

You’re the New Ad Rep

But it doesn’t stop there. You know the Facebook ads that come up on the right side of the page? Right underneath the ad, you can find out which of your friends likes that business already. When you like a business, your name is appearing underneath the ads that your friends see, too. It works like this: You like brand X. Your friend sees an ad for brand X. Facebook and brand X make sure your friend knows that you like brand X. Suddenly, you’ve become brand X’s newest advertising rep. They’re using you to get to your friends. They’re taking advantage of your like and using it to make you seem like a staunch advocate of their brand.

How to Sever Your Ties

Facebook’s privacy settings are notoriously lenient when it comes to the “privacy” part. Changing your settings is not easy or intuitive, but it can be done. You can change your settings so that your name does not appear on any Facebook ads, and your friends will no longer be continually reminded of which brands you like. Here are the steps to do this:

  1. Click on “Account Settings” in the dropdown menu in the upper right-hand corner of your Facebook page.
  2. Click on “Facebook Ads” on the left side of the page.
  3. Underneath the heading “Ads and friends,” Click on “Edit social ads setting.”
  4. At the bottom of the page find the dropdown menu next to “Pair my social actions with ads for,” and Click on “No one.”
  5. Click “Save Changes.”

After you follow those steps, the businesses you like will no longer be able to pimp you out in their ads on your friends’ pages, and your brand allegiances will be kept (a little) more private.

Lisa Hann writes articles addressing current marketing trends for www.seomap.com. Lisa has over ten years of experience in the field and loves to hear from her readers.

Facebook 2012 – The Latest on Everyone’s Favorite Social Network

The Latest on Facebook’s IPO, User Statistics and More

We’re already halfway through 2012, but for sure, we’ve all spent way too much time on Facebook in spite of resolutions that may have been made at the beginning of the year. There is simply something about Facebook that it hard to resist, even though there are a lot of things that can get annoying about it as well.

One cannot discount the story behind the founding of the world’s biggest social network. Even if you have not watched the movie or read the book, you surely have an inkling about its founder, Mark Zuckerberg and how he built Facebook.

On top of its origins, Facebook has simply become so big in such a short amount of time that anyone who has had some entrepreneurial aspirations would not be able to help but show admiration. Hate it or love it, there are lessons to be learned from the story that is Facebook.

Want to keep updated on the stats and other pieces of trivia about the social network that has a love-hate relationship with its users? Check out this infographic focusing on Facebook this 2012. Some tidbits:

  • There are 845 million MONTHLY active users. And that was during the making of the infographic. I am rather sure the number has gone up!
  • 2.5 million photos are uploaded daily
  • 20 minutes is spent per visit (on the average); do you spend just as much time per visit?

Read more about games, Zuckerberg himself, and money below.

2012 Facebook Statistics
2012 Facebook Stats

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Martine Kessler, just like everyone else, is always on Facebook. That is, if she’s not deep into her infographic design work. Aside from Facebook, you can also find her tweeting and writing for many other platforms.

Facebook Vs Pinterest: 5 Things We’ve Learned

Social media platforms have proved to be very useful within the world of business in recent years and it seems that every company worth their salt has a profile on at least one social media platform. Uses vary from brand awareness and search engine optimization to cultivating a forum style environment for communication with customers.

One brand doing very well on the social media front is online jewelery store Boticca. Their stunning products and loyal customer base have made for the natural building of popularity in their social media platform especially Facebook, with their 27,000 likes and Pinterest with their 700 followers.

With the aim of gaining a fuller understanding into their customers and how they act while using social media, Boticca took a sample of visitors to each site, (Facebook and Pinterest) and compared their habits.

Their infographic explains their findings. The ‘5 Things we have learned’ informative diagram gives insights into conversion rates, customer engagement, new users and sales.

 

Facebook Vs Pinterest: 5 Things We’ve Learned was researched and compiled by Boticca.

Facebook vs. Pinterest Marketing
Facebook vs. Pinterest – 5 Things We’ve Learned

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Facebook Buys Instagram for $1B – Recap

I know this is a bit behind but, in brief, the world’s biggest social network acquired the world’s biggest mobile social network on April 9, 2012.

This does not mean that Instagram’s platform will simply be absorbed into FB and disappear. Zuckerberg’s explanation:

“We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook…. That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently…. We will try to learn from Instagram’s experience to build similar features into our other products.”

One of the better POV’s on on why Facebook decided to buy Instagram came from the LA Times. One of my favorite lines:

“The San Francisco startup has just 13 employees. That works out to be $76 million per employee.”

Additional Resources on the Acquisition:

Mark Zuckerberg Announces it on his Timeline
https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10100318398827991

Facebook Press Release
http://newsroom.fb.com/Announcements/Facebook-to-Acquire-Instagram-141.aspx

Biz Week Coverage
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-04-09/facebook-snaps-up-instagram

Mashable Coverage
http://mashable.com/2012/04/09/facebook-instagram-buy/

Facebook [Next Generation] Open Graph Apps

Everyone has likely seen Spotify popping up in their News Feeds since last year, but Facebook continues to roll out new Open Graph apps – over 60 in just the last few weeks. With that in mind, I wanted to share a quick overview of how Open Graph apps are starting to (and can) be utilized.

Entertainment is the most robust category so far, with over 18 associated apps available. It is also important to note that Timeline, once optional, is now mandatory and is rumored to be available for businesses soon. With that in mind, OG apps should be developed with Timeline in mind to ensure the widest audience.

The general concept to embrace is frictionless sharing. Open Graph apps require users to allow continuous publishing permission and feature actions that can be automatically shared, rather than explicitly asking users to share individual actions (i.e. the Like button plugin).

A few high-level notes on who and what has rolled something out:

Brands:

  • Ford Mustang
  • Ford Grab-a-Badge (http://social.ford.com/grab-a-badge)
  • AutoTrader

Apps:

  • News – Washington Post, Yahoo! News, USA Today
  • Travel – Where I’ve Been, TripAdvisor
  • Giving – Causes
  • Food – Foodily, Foodspotting
  • Shopping & Fashion – Pinterest, LivingSocial (no Groupon!), GiftRocket
  • Fitness – MapMyFitness, RunKeeper
  • Entertainment – Hulu, TicketMaster, StubHub, DailyMotion,

Noticeably absent:

  • YouTube
  • Groupon

There is also a distinction to be make between how app activity appears in the News Feed/Ticker and users’ actual Timelines. In short, there are more aesthetic and functional options available now than ever before.

In terms of visibility, there are two algorithms at play in the News Feed: EdgeRank and Graph Rank. EdgeRank priority is mostly governed by an item’s affinity, weight and time, relevant to a user’s personal network. At this point, not much is known about the parameters for Graph Rank. In brief:

  1. EdgeRank dictates what “normal” status items appear in any given user’s feed.
  2. Graph Rank determines how Open Graph application activity is distributed.

Feel free to browse all 60 apps and watch some of FB’s ultra PR-friendly video overviews. Enjoy.

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.

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.