Tag Archives: Facebook

Exploring Settings

2 Jan

An occupational therapist who had worked as a freelancer specializing in corporate consulting once told me that the phrase she heard the most was “It adjusts?!” in a tone of incredulous surprise. She was a workmen’s comp and disability prevention strategy. CEOs would have her in to improve the working conditions for their employees expecting to be told to buy all new, customized office chairs with ergonomic keyboards and lattes attached. However, most of the time what the employees had was more than adequate if they had only explored its full range of features. In other words, she taught a lot of people how to change the height of their chair.

To turn occupational therapy into social media let me ask you

Have you explored every settings tab in every service you use?

I’m not going to walk you through every settings ever. Instead let’s focus on notifications on social media and how knowing a full-range of features can improve your experience.

A brother who shall remain anonymous missed an important email from me simply because he wasn’t checking his email, a confession pulled from him with many questions. With further probing I found out that he found his email overwhelming because there were so many notifications from Facebook. He didn’t know he even could change his notification settings. He basically said ‘It adjusts?!’

Did you know you could change notification settings for

  • specific apps
  • certain games
  • select groups
  • prioritize notifications from friends
  • Receive notifications via email or text
  • Have different settings on the web than in your mobile app

I’m not sure where I should put the question mark for the above list. How about here?

Also, let’s insert a funny comic about how social media constantly abuses our egos.

Ouch

Here’s some basic road map directions if any of the above bullets were a mystery to you.

From any page on Facebook click the drop down menu on ‘Account’ in the top right corner. 3rd link is ‘Account settings’. Stare at the ‘General Account Settings’ page that it brought you to for a bit and see if you recognize anything. Then remember that’s not what you came for and click on ‘Notifications’, the 3rd link in the left hand menu. Scroll past ‘Recent notifications’ to ‘All Notifications’. Click on a feature/application to expand what kind of notifications it sends you and edit to your heart’s content. Remember that even if you don’t receive an email notification you will still be notified of that action when you log into Facebook. In other words, your little red number will still count notifications the same.

My brother is just a personal user of social media. For business users I recommend a two-step approach to notifications.

  1. Receive email notifications about everything on every platform you use.
  2. Explore Gmail settings.

You don’t use Gmail? What’s wrong with you? You’ll get your own blog post later.

I'll show you!

I use notifications as record keeping. It’s a more constant service which makes it way better than trying to keep track of backing up all of my different social platforms who are all different pages when it comes to takeout options, server storage times, and rate-of-change of settings. Record keeping for you may not be as important as it is for someone like me who does it as a business, but it can’ t hurt.

So, how do I not drown in email every day? I use three Gmail tools–filters, search, and priority inbox.

Search is what first sold me on Gmail way back when I had a funky anonymous email handle like ‘TexasBlondie’. If you’re on the phone with Larry and need to refer your email conversations with him, don’t try to sift through your social media notifications to find it! That would be like hollering for someone in the crowded stadium instead of just calling their cell. Search for his email or the subject line!

Filters are way to have your email presorted and labelled. Open any notification email and on the right hand side click the magical drop down menu button ‘More’ (what an exciting word! More!) and click ‘Filter emails like this’. I won’t walk you through every step as Gmail is user-friendly, but I will give two tips. For notifications, check the box ‘Never mark as important’.  Also remember that notifications come from weird email addresses so using your ‘subject line’ and ‘contains the words’ options will probably be more effective.

Finally, train your priority inbox.

We hope it's a nice learning robot, not like Omnidroid

Priority inbox is customized to each user. If you don’t teach it as you go it won’t be useful to you. Filters are the best for teaching it big principles–never mark Facebook as important, always put sweethubby@gmail.com in priority box, etc.. For small tweaks use the yellow plus and minus signs inside each email. Kristen Lemons has a great explanation of this.

One last piece of advice. Before diving into setting set up emergency protocols. Have a friend come check on you in a few hours. Always tell someone you’re going in! Users have been known to get lost and never come back out! Of course, the more knowledgeable you are of settings the less dangerous it is. So stay updated!

 

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3-in-1 Package

14 Dec

Today’s post is my ever-evolving sales pitch. In person it is of course much shorter. Consider this back story. 😉

Sales leads come mostly in three forms: returning customers, referrals, and advertising. Social media is a package that allows you to do all three.

Photo by John Hagstrom

Everyone prefers the known and trusted to the unknown and unproven. This is why people keep returning to the same businesses. I know the milk at Swan Bro.’s Dairy to be of high quality, so I keep going back. Through my household consumning about a gallon of their milk a day (true story) I’ve developed a congenial relationship with the brothers themselves, their family members that also work there, and a few nonfamily clerks. When they put out a crate of tomatoes for sale I bought some even though I had never had their tomatoes. Gardening and dairy farming only look the same on Hallmark cards, so it’s not that skills translate (that analogy would involve me buying cheese from them.) It’s because I had a positive relationship with them and I interacted with them regularly, about every other day.

There aren’t very many stores, outside of gas stations and grocery stores, that people frequent as often as I do Swan’s Dairy. What if a company like RCP Print Solutions started offering a new product or service? I will probably not see whatever fine little sign they put up in their storefront, like I saw Swan’s tomatoes. However, if they have been maintaining our relationship on Facebook or Google+ by posting engaging content consistently, and put up a blurb there about their new product I will see it and quite possibly act on it.

We're Watching You

On Facebook and Twitter anytime I interact with a page my whole network sees it. When I like a business’ page on Facebook it appears in my profile—right after where I work and who I’m dating! Anyone can see who I’m following on Twitter. My relationship with that business becomes part of my online identity. Both of these social networks keep track of what I do and use it to recommend that account to my network. “Anna Bavido has liked this.” “You follow a user who follows Magic Bottle Marketing.” Social media digitizes and amplifies word-of-mouth.

Photo by InCase.

If you do decide to do advertising online social media allows you to target these by an incredible number of variables. Unlike an ad in the newspaper or TV your online ad is relevent to the viewers and what they’re looking at. You can target by city location, zip code, what other interests they have, what they’re Googling, what language they’re using, age, and gender. You can even exclude certain categories, such as people looking for DIY or people you’ve already reached. I will probably have multiple blogs about advertising online and socially. Consider this just the top of the fork! (Hebrew saying equivalent to the tip of the iceberg)

Best part to my Scottish heart? All of this is free at best or significantly cheaper than other means at worst!

Have I Mentioned You’re My Favorite?

8 Dec

Note: Blog title is a quote from the TV show ‘Reba‘.

Yesterday I talked about leveraging social platforms effectively by not treating them all the same. Here’s a quote from it.

     “I’m not going to dismiss the potential customers on any platform”

But I can’t deny it. Google+ is my favorite. Here’s some of the reasons…

  • Circles—the ultimate privacy answer

Before Google+ we had connections on Facebook that had to be mutually agreeable and once someone was your ‘friend’ they had access to everything on your profile. They have been adding ways around this with Lists, but it’s clunky and difficult even for me. Following someone on Twitter allows you to see all their posts, but it doesn’t require reciprocation on their part. Google+ circles gives us the best of both worlds. I know exactly whom I’m sharing every post with. I follow who I want to and I can group for both my own noise control and audience targetting. More on circles here.

  • Change we can understand!

Google+ is constantly improving, so things do change. Unlike Facebook or even Twitter’s recent addition of ‘Activity’ Tab, changes on Google+ feel like birthday presents or the pleasant surprise of your bathroom remodel being finished overnight. Why do people like changes on Google+ and hate them on Facebook? Because Google carefully explains how each change works and why they change it. Googel doesn’t try to fix what isn’t broken. Google also listens to feedback with these amazing things called ‘Community Managers’ who show up at every single +mention there is even on their evenings off! The entire process is teachable, transparent, and downright fun.

  • Search

It’s Google so I can’t say I’m really surprised. 😉

  • Clean interface

Perhaps my little brain is just easily befuddled, but I find Facebook and Twitter to be visually overwhelming. Google+ and Flickr have the best visual designs I have ever seen for a network. They’re convenient, quick, pleasing to the eye, and customizable.

  • No word limit

On Google+ there is no word limit anywhere—not in posts, not in comments, not in messages. Be as long-winded as you want! This was popular enough that Facebook recently had to increase their word limit, but they still didn’t get rid of it.

  • Automatic credit

On Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest I cringe at how little notice is given to whoever spilled their heart blood to write or photograph this piece of art we’re passing around everywhere. I don’t think people on those networks are disrespectful of authors and artists. I think the platform is set up so that it’s extremely difficult to track down the creator or to credit the creator. On Google+ if I write something you can share it and I am credited automatically. My name and profile are sealed to that post and the only way you can separate it is by copy and pasting. A truly determined thief is hard to stop, but most locks are to keep the honest people honest.

You might notice that I did not mention how amazing the people on Google+ are. They are absolutely wonderful, but they would be wonderful no matter where they were. I’m extremely grateful for Google+ connecting me with them, but Google doesn’t really deserve credit for their pure awesomeness.

There’s a lot more to Google+ such as sharing via email, Hangouts, SEO affects, messenger/huddle, not to mention the amazing Chrome extensions that are growing everyday. What I have mentioned is why I personally love Google+. What are your reasons?

Social Media and Angry Birds

8 Dec

I got hooked on Angry Birds when it became free to play in Google Chrome. After that it quickly ended up on my iPod Touch for offline playing. I am not a good player by any means, but I have learned a few tricks. One of these is to shoot each bird at the material it’s designed to destroy. Little blue guys are best for breaking up glass. The yellow bird can penetrate wood like no one else. The black explosive bird is ideal for leveling stone. In sociological and economic terms we would say that Angry Birds have specialization or division of labor. Remember reading about those concepts in school? It’s supposed to help set us humans apart from the animals, although bees have been doing it for a while.

This division of labor affects what type of innovations and tools come to be. We improve on what we already use. We solve problems we encounter and get inconvienced by. What one person invents to solve problem A is then used by the next person to solve problem A AND problems F and G that the inventer hadn’t gotten to yet.

Take a quantum leap here from slingshots, bees, and the wheel to social media platforms. Facebook started as a way for college students to connect (don’t believe quite everything in The Social Network). Twitter was born linked with ideas we now know as mobile and location-based. Google+ from its infancy has focused on resolving privacy issues that had left users of both Facebook and Buzz reeling. From those early days though each platform has grown way beyond whatever problem they were solving. Facebook is king of calendar socialization with Facebook Events. Twitter has become among many things a link farm and a chat service. Google+ is replacing blogs for some.

Imagine if in Angry Birds you threw every single bird at the exact same spot with equal force. I didn’t have the patience to try this method until I could progress no further, but I think we can all agree that your results would never be as good as if you used birds for what they’re good at. With that in mind, why would you ever publish the exact same post to all your social networks? For just a tiny bit more effort you can get much better results.

I might personally prefer one platform over another (Gladie here!), but I’m not going to dismiss the potential customers on any platform. If I’m going to do something I’m going to do it well. I learned the process, lingo, and community of each social network I provide professional services for. I do believe in a clear, cohesive message across all networks, but I always type out each post separately for each network. I use fewer emoticons on LinkedIn than I do on Facebook. I use relevant hashtags on Twitter. I try to include an image with Facebook posts, because Facebook’s algorithims favor images (this area of my Facebook page still needs some improvement). I post longer thoughts on Google+ than I would ever consider on any other platform. In fact, I’m considering cross-posting every entry here on Google+.

To sum up, a motto from my dad. “The right tool for the right job.” And if you wanted to know, I’m currently on the last game of Mine and Dine on Angry Birds. I hope to finish the world tonight!

Momentum

2 Dec

Which is easier?

–500 Facebook likes

–1,000 Facebook likes

Believe it or not, 500 likes on Facebook is harder. Put it another way, 0 to 500 is harder because you start at 0. 500 to 1,000 is easier because you have 500 individual networks on Facebook working for you. This is called momentum.

Let’s take the same concept and look at it in different mediums. Are you more likely to stop and watch a juggler on the street when there are 2 other people watching or when there are 10 people already there? Obviously, you’re more likely to stop and see what the crowd is looking at. If you’re cynical you could conclude that we are mindlessly following each other. I personally take a practical view of it. I’m increasing my productivity by using other people’s responses as a filter.

In a soapbox derby you can run faster than your box is going at the top of the hill. It might be tempting to jump out and start running. By the bottom of the hill though your friends in soap boxes will be zipping past you.

Conclusion: don’t give up on your social media just because your blog has no comments and your Facebook insights is one blue flat line. Gaining momentum takes time. Be patient!

Black Friday Uses of Social Media

26 Nov

When I was traveling for the holiday yesterday I made a list of all the ways social media can integrate with Black Friday beyond plastering ‘Like Us on Facebook!’ on every end cap. Here are the best ones.

  1. Give discount coupons to the first 10 or 25 people who check-in to your venue on Foursquare on Black Friday.
  2. Create a Foursquare event associated with your venue.
  3. Have an employee walk the line before the store opens with a tablet and ask people to log into their social network account to connect with you there. They’re in line, so they have nothing else to do.
  4. Ask customers to tweet or share on Facebook what deals they find. With proper link tracking you could even track which people have friends buy from that post and reward that customer.
  5. If there’s a particular sale item you’re promoting put a QR sticker on its display that functions like the Tweet and Like buttons on this post.
  6. Have a celebratory hangout with your customers on G+ while they’re in line.
  7. If you’re part of a chain or franchise have a Google+ hangout corner in each of your stores where people can step in front of the camera and say hello to customers in other locations.
  8. Ask customers to share to their social networks their total savings at your store. (actually, this would be good to have year round…)
  9. Before Black Friday crowdsource your specials through social media by putting up live voting or a poll that lets customers decide which items will be part of Black Friday sales.
  10. Have specials or deals that are only available to customers that have connected with you on social media. How is this different from sending your social customers a coupon code? It will be a physical spot in your store that will provoke your nonsocial customers to envy and then they will connect with you online!
  11. Remember to use appropriate hashtags on Twitter: #BlackFriday #BFDeals and so forth
  12. Make a Facebook event for Black Friday. Send each ‘attending’ RSVP a coupon code.
  13. Build a Google+ circle of Black Friday power shoppers nationwide and share that circle sometime earlier during the week.
  14. Build a Google+ circle of local businesses (your teammates, not your competitors) who are doing Black Friday sales and share it the Wednesday before.
  15. Try the same with Foursquare lists.
  16. Make your own Black Friday Twitter list and try to get on similar influential lists.
  17. Send a code to every customer who complains about the commercialism of Black Friday or who declares he’s doing Buy Nothing Day. If he uses it on Black Friday charge him 10% more and if he uses it after give him 10% off. 🙂
  18. The best way to discourage bad behavior is to crowd it out with encouragement of good behavior, right? Give everyone, employees and customers, +1 stickers to hand out to helpful employees and polite customers.

You get to come up with numbers 19 and 20 to round the list out!

Bookmark this post for next year!