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Noticeable Changes to Facebook are Coming Your Way

Facebook has begun to roll out their new design. 3 things I love about it The search bar will be centered across the top of the screen, giving it more prominence.  I find the search bar invaluable to quickly jump from page to page or profile to profile and hope its new location will encourage smarter use. The left side bar will be more useful Your bookmarks will be on the left hand side You can update your status from anywhere.  Your status “bar” will be on the left hand side, giving you access to update your status anywhere in Facebook. Notifications, requests and message icons will be at the top of the page.  (See Mashable's screen shots here)  Having these as drop downs will ease readability. Other changes include, a smaller chat bar, which I am not sure how I feel about.  If it makes it more browser friendly or mobile friendly, I am all for it. The account log in / out function has been rolled into a single account drop down. According to Techcrunch, applications are taking the biggest hit as they will no longer be able to publish notifications. What are your thoughts on the "new" Facebook look?

Facebook’s Privacy Settings – what’s the fuss about?

Let's start off with what the purpose of Facebook is: "Facebook is not just a website. It is also a service for sharing your information on Facebook-enhanced applications and websites." Facebook wants you to share.  Facebook encourages you to share.  If you do not want to share, why are you on Facebook? Having said that... Facebook has done a lot to give you control over the information you can share, but it has also opened some doors or "privacy holes". First step - MAKE LISTS!!!   (Friends -> All Friends -> Create New List) Lists are the most powerful, yet underutilized tool on Facebook! If you want to control who sees what information, making Friends lists is more critical now then it ever has been before.  A list will allow you to create wall posts, post up pictures, etc... and select who gets to see them.    The first list you want to pay attention to is "Limited Profile".   That's where you put the people you don't know or have not assessed their "value" to your network yet.  I have a lot of people in my Limited Profile list.  They can not post to my wall, they can not see my personal photos and they are very limited as to what contact information they can see on my Info tab. Next - go to your privacy settings:  Settings ->  Privacy Settings ->  Profile Information This is where you can set all your default settings.  List who can see what information here.  I customize most of my settings by using the lists I created.   The same applies to your Contact information (Settings ->Privacy Settings -> Contact) You can also control who can search for you and whether or not you [...]

Facebook Allows You to Target Content

Did you notice this on your Fan page this morning? The morning following Mark Zuckerberg's open letter to Facebook we have a new icon on Fan Pages that allows you to target a sub-set of your fans.   You can customize who sees your status update, photo, link, etc, by geographic region and language. How is this useful? My first thought is that you can reduce the noise for your fans.  If you are posting a local seminar, odds are your fans across the country are not going to be attending. I suspect this will soon be added to personal profiles, allowing people to show content to only a small group of connections or individual lists of friends. (See how important lists are???) Why it matters: While Facebook promotes the concept of "Open community sharing" the reality is, some people are not comfortable flashing their kids pictures to a thousand connections they may not know.  Other people may be hiding things from the boss (or their spouse?) - oh yeah, this opens up a whole new can of proverbial worms.  How can a Corporate Social Media Policy effectively cover all the "what if's" now?   Corporations don't want employees wasting time online.  If they are marketing on behalf of the company, great, but now, how can that be policed by management if employees can post things without the higher ups being able to see it? With 350 million users, Facebook is the 4th largest "country" in the world.  Like other countries, Facebook has laws - these rules are enforced in an effort to protect the majority.  So, is this new feature designed to help Facebook Users police their own profiles?  Will this reduce abuse or give users an opportunity to abuse the system [...]

Social Marketing – The Good, Bad and Best Practices – Facebook

Good: You have a personal profile that is about you, your life and your work Bad: Your personal profile is under your company name Best: You have a personal profile that is about you, your life and your work You have a Fan page that is devoted to your work -  under your company name, product name, book title, service name, etc.  and not your name. How to fix the bad: Click on Settings Click on Account Settings Next to Name - click on Change Enter in your REAL First name and last name. Save Why? Fact:  People want to do business with people, not a company name or a logo.  You will gain far more sales by letting people get to know you then by keeping yourself hidden. Imagine this,  you are a not-for-profit.  10 people from your organization are on Facebook.   Your organization has a Fanpage.  You and your co-workers can share personal stories about the non-for-profit's work that you are involved in on your personal profiles.  Each of you can also share stories from those you've helped or other involved people (patrons, sponsors, etc...) on the fan page.  This all ties together very nicely.  There is nothing like a good personal story to increase awareness of an organization!  If you want people to invest in your cause you have to touch their hearts.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Using Facebook for Business

Below is my Radio interview with Paul Chaney and John Munsell, CEO of Bizzuka.  We had a great disucssion about how to use Facebook for Business.  We talked a lot about Facebook personal profiles vs. public profiles (aka Fan pages) and what it means to share in the Social Media space. (Plus, it was just a ton of fun!)   You can visit User  Friendly Thinking Radio show at http://www.userfriendlythinking.com/ to listen to all their archived shows. [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Organize your incoming emails in Outlook

A simple tip that is often forgotten:  Have your incoming mail sorted in folders for logical reading and storing (if need be). I never really thought about organizing my emails until I had to.  With upwards of 150 emails a day coming in for business, business associations and community organizations I am involved in, I was forced to organize them in a coherent way.   I also receive a lot of notifications from the various Social Networks I am a member of and the News Alerts I have set up for my business. I use Outlook.  I created rules (Tools, Rules & Alerts) based on the sender, message subject or incoming email address.   As the message comes in, it goes into the appropriate folder for me to read when I can.  I have folders for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Rotary, Business Associations and News Alerts for email to be "auto-filed" into.  I have a client folder that is further broken down by client name that I manually sort.  The same holds true for college information for my daughter and school notifications for either of my girls.  My inbox has had as many as 1100 emails in it.   Currently I am down to a little under 600... most of which should be sorted into a sub-folder, but that is a task for another day.  At least I am one step closer and learning to practice OHIO = Only Handle It Once J

All of your networks are social…

... even the ones you think are "just social". Many clients tell me that they are reluctant to join Social Networks for business because they do not want to bump into old high school and college acquaintances.  Well... let me tell you... I've been hired by both.  So don't pass up an opportunity to connect with anyone because you never know where it will lead. Image via Wikipedia Set up some rules:  Anytime someone from my past or current social circle connects with me, I let them know that my primary purpose for being on a network is for business.  While I don't mind some "personal" interaction, I have a very well defined line.  If anyone crosses it, they get an email warning that says something like "I appreciate you wanting to share, but please don't put anything like that on my wall.  If you want to relive those memories, feel free to send me an email."  If that doesn't work, I will disconnect (aka unfriend) them with a note that says something like "I told you so". Our old college and high school friends have grown up, moved away, expanded their knowledge base as well as their position in life.  As such, they are an excellent referral source and it is just a ton of fun to reconnect and BS for a while.  I've been given several such opportunities and feel truly blessed for them.   My former college roommate has enlisted my help in her social media marketing campaign and a former high school buddy passed my name on to someone for an opportunity that I would have otherwise never had access to. Whether or not either pans out is almost irrelevant (to me), the [...]

Social Networking Rotary Style, Will it Build Goodwill and Better Friendships?

As a Rotarian, I try live my life by the cornerstone of Rotary: The 4 Way Test Rotarians Connecting Of the things we think, say or do Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all concerned? Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? That is why I belive in Social Networking, Rotary Style. As an active social networker the third principle speaks the loudest to me.  It is my goal to share my expertise, knowledge and information (mine or not) with the hundreds, if not thousands of people I touch on a daily basis.  I do this to build goodwill and strengthen the connections I've made along the way.  I often talk about adding value to the conversation., which is, pulling people into your circle of influence to benefit them - not you.  I also work very hard not to be seen as the  "snake-oil salesman" persona that seems to befall many other online marketers.  I am not that... nor do I ever want to be. Participation in the conversation is not only about sharing information, but it is about listening as well.  Listening enables you to offer what your connections and friends want.  Listening also enables you to take action - for example, to protect your reputation.  As regular readers know, several months ago I was accused of plagiarism.  It is only through listening to the conversation that I was made aware of it and was able to take action in regard to it.  The entire situation was cleared up in a matter of hours and it all took place in front of some 3000 participants in the conversation.  While I certainly could have lashed out [...]

Twitter Tips (some basics)

The popularity of Twitter has sparked a whole new level of communication.  Being able to communicate well in 140 characters can be a challenge, but before we even talk about that, there are a few basics to remember: Image via CrunchBase 1)  Have a profile picture:  Leaving the default icon on your profile is just... well... lazy!  Put something up that is uniquely you.  An actual picture would be best, but if you are feeling shy, at least put up your logo or something that is representative of you. 2)  Your web site URL:  If you don't have a web site, then the alternative would be a link to a social networking profile (yes, even MySpace counts).  Something that will give people a closer insight of who you are. 3)  Fill out your profile / bio section:  This is easy and very important.  You must have something to share about yourself, even if it is your favorite hobbies.   Leaving this section blank does nothing to motivate people to follow you.   4)  Post some tweets prior to asking for followers:  How else are people going to know what you are about or hope to share?  Requesting followers with no tweet history is like saying "Hi, I'd like you to buy this widget.  I don't know what this widget is or does but you need one." 5) Your user name:  This should have been first... Select a user name that is either 1) Your name, 2) Your company name or 3) Representative of what you are sharing. Here's the deal:  Twitter is a great platform to position yourself as an expert in your field.  It is a great platform for sharing links and information relevant to what you specialize in.  Yes, there are spammers [...]