Posts tagged with ‘facebook’

iPhone Tracks User Locations. So What?

Last week it was revealed that iPhone users might have had their locations tracked by Apple. People are up in arms over what is obviously a major violation in privacy.

Wake up, people. Google reads your mail. Apple tracks your locations. Facebook tracks your user habits. It’s all to sell you stuff.

While I agree it’s a bit unnerving to have a major corporation documenting your every move, let’s get realistic. Apple, Google, and Facebook are relatively uninterested in what you are ACTUALLY doing. In fact, most user information is tracked for the sole purpose of selling you products you will likely be interested in. Emailing about Spiderman posters? Google will target advertisements selling you superhero paraphernalia. Suddenly “liking” parenting websites on Facebook? You may notice Facebook ads for diapers and other baby gear.

Yes, it’s creepy and it borders on unethical. But can you blame them? It’s becoming easier and easier to ignore advertisements on television, radio, and other mainstream forms of media where we were once bombarded with products and services. I’m not condoning Apple’s transparency failure in tracking user’s locations, but I’m not surprised and you shouldn’t be either.

What’s the Value of a Facebook Fan?

If you were to ask that question to most business owners they would look at you like a “deer in the headlights” because they don’t have the answer. The truth is; no one actually has the answer to that question because it’s a bit arbitrary as articulated in this post from a panel at the latest South by Southwest Interactive Festival in regard to 4 questions brands need to ask about the value of Facebook fans.

There are far too many variables to consider to be able to put a number on the value for each and every business; even the different models. I see a lot of companies in the local market that are pushing Facebook and Twitter as a “must have” for their businesses. I believe local is the last frontier in marketing online and everyone is entering into the local market and trying to gain their piece of the pie and that can lead to confusion; especially when business owners are busy running their businesses and are not familiar with what is happening online.

To tell you the truth, I’m online and reading the latest and greatest everyday and it can be confusing to me as well. This article helps identify why. I’ve seen valuations for Facebook Fans as high as $168.00 to worthless. If a fan is indeed worth $168.00, then getting as many fans as possible makes a lot of sense for your business. If it’s worthless (and they will all be worthless for companies that are not willing to engage), then your money is better spent somewhere else.

The main things to consider are the profit, influence potential, acquisition costs and brand affinity. Each of these will play a role in calculating the value of a fan on Facebook. Just remember as you navigate these waters that it doesn’t take much to alienate your fan base so be careful to only put out positive and enlightening information and never bash your competitors.

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Social Media Scams, When Will it End?!

There’s the “Who has deleted ya,” scam or the, “Did you see what this girl’s dad did,” scam, and even the, “OMG this video made me totally LOL,” scam. Social media addicts beware – there’s a scam for every day of the week, and there’s no sheriff in town.

Facebook does a fair job of reporting abuse that can harm user profiles. However, it is often too late. Common Facebook users (moderately tech-savvy 40-somethings) are click happy, and this often results in Facebook scams sweeping profiles before anyone realizes what has happened.

There is rarely any harm to these Facebook scams, as of late. Usually, people click on a link, it sends a link to all their friends’ profiles, and so on. However, scams are getting more intuitive and you never know when something is truly going to do damage to your hard drive. Word to the wise: if you’re not sure, don’t click it! 90% of Facebook scam “epidemics,” can be avoided if people use their street smarts. If it looks suspicious, or if you question it at all, do. not. click.

Do Facebook scams harm the social media experience? Do they make us less inclined to share with friends, family members, and acquaintances? Are we going to become so hardened by fear that Facebook and other social mediums will become as cold subway station glances? Let’s hope social media scams do not deter our innate desire to share with those we know.

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5 Applications You Must Have On Your Company’s Facebook Page

Smart businesses are adding Facebook pages in order further their company message. The even smarter businesses are actually engaging page visitors. It’s great to have a page on Facebook, but if you don’t engage the people that visit your page, you are missing out on potential web traffic for your business. Here are 5 applications you need to have on your businesses Facebook page.

  1. Polls – One of the most popular poll applications is Polldaddy. These applications give you the ability to engage your customer, and gauge their interest in things that you are planning. Plus it’s a great way to see how popular your FB page is.
  2. Networked Blogs – If you maintain a blog on your business website, why not use this application to increase your readership? Every time you add a new post to your business blog, your FB page will be updated.
  3. YouTube – Gone are the days where only large companies could afford to have marketing videos produced. YouTube has been the great playing-field leveler. Add videos to your businesses YouTube account, and the YouTube for Pages application can post them to your Facebook page.
  4. Promotions – The Promotions application enables you to offer special perks to those that visit your Facebook page. There is no doubt about the loyalty this will engender in your page followers.
  5. RSS Feed – One useful way to keep fresh content on your Facebook page is to use your company blog’s RSS feed. While it is certainly better to add fresh, organic content to the page, importing your blog’s RSS feed will lighten the content creation load.

If your company is on Facebook, try some of these applications. You’ll find your brand loyalty increase exponentially.

This Is How Not To Respond To Reviews of Your Business

I’ve been talking a lot about the positive aspects of promoting your business on websites like Yelp, Citysearch and Facebook. As I’ve said before, it really helps you engage your customers. However, I’ve got an example of how not to respond to negative reviews.

Essentially, a couple was kicked out of a hotel because the manager accused them of writing a bad review on tripadvisor.com. The manager even went so far as to call the police. Naturally the police declined to arrest them as it was clearly a civil matter. However, the real question to ask is why the manager thought his business would be helped by persecuting someone who may or may not have written a bad review. These sites, including tripadvisor.com, offer the chance to respond to criticism. In many cases a problem can be diffused simply by engaging the customer proactively. The manager of that hotel decided to respond to criticism in an adversarial way. Again, not the way to go.

By and large, your customers are going to be reasonable. You never know what is going on in their life that day. Maybe they’re just having a bad day. Being defensive about criticism will only exacerbate the problem. You’d be better served by responding in a positive tone with an offer to help. You’ll be amazed at how much goodwill this will generate.

How Do You Socially Network?

There are copious amounts of social networks in existence. We all know the big two: Twitter and Facebook. There are also several popular niche networks like Classmates.com and LinkedIn. Millions of people worldwide are using these services to connect with new people, and reconnect with people they’ve lost touch with.

As these ways of interacting with one another started to take off, some people had a “sky is falling” reaction. “It’s the end of human interaction! People will never leave their computers,” they said. Of course this hasn’t actually happened. On the contrary, we are interacting with each other even more. These social networks help us stay connected when it would be difficult any other way.

My Twitter feed has become an endless supply of news and information that I wouldn’t know about otherwise. My dad has used Facebook to keep in touch with old friends from high school. Even my wife, who tends to be disinterested in technology, has become a social networking fan. How do you socially network? Has it improved your connections with people? I would guess that it has, and will continue to do so as these networks further embed themselves into our lives…and that’s not a bad thing.

Check In With Your Customers

Mobile phones have definitely changed the way we communicate. Beyond the actual voice calls, we text, email and interact online from our phones. With smart phones now the norm (even my wife has one), people have access to information at all times. How does this affect your business?

Now business owners have to contend with customers being able to spread the word instantly. Naturally, this is a double-edged sword. If you give a customer a great service, the world will find out in a second. The same applies if the customer has the opposite experience. It’s an important thing to think about when marketing your business, because  you want to take advantage of the customer’s ability the spread the good news quickly. Even if you get a bad review, often times you can turn that into a positive by directly addressing the situation.

Mobile phone applications like Foursquare, Yelp and even Facebook offer check-in functions. People can check-in once they’ve arrived at your business and make comments. It not only informs their friends of their location, but it’s also free advertising for your business. Many businesses offer specials to “regulars” who check-in.

Check-in’s and other types of location based apps are prevalent on mobile platforms. If you want to grow your business, you must learn to harness this technology. Because, like it or not, people will continue to rely on their mobile phones to guide them through the world around them.