A while ago, we wrote how to add a “Suggest to friends” tab to your Facebook Page. And then Facebook removed that feature so that only Page admins had the ability to suggest pages to their friends, presumably to boost advertising sales by encouraging page owners to pay for “likes”.
However, there is an app that we stumbled across recently called the “Smart Suggest to friends” by VTools, that gives fans the option to recommend a Facebook Page to their friends. Here’s how the app will look:
To use it, go here and choose which page you want to add the application to. If you want to customize how the app looks in your tabs, move it around by clicking on the little edit icon and selecting “swap position with”.
If you want to change the icon associated with the app or the app’s title, go to the Edit icon, and click on “edit settings”. You can then change the Tab name or change the image by uploading a new image.
To see how the app looks when someone uses it, look at illuminea’s Smart Suggest in action on our Facebook page.
In May’s webinar, we learned that women are more “social” online, but now, in June we learned that even if women are more active on social networks, it’s men that are more influential and more influenced. A Business Week study showed that when women recommended something on Facebook, men were one and half times more likely to bite the bait than fellow women. The study also found that in general, men are 49 percent more influential than women.
What else did we learn? Well, here is Miriam’s 40-minute monthly web trends lecture from June.
And below are some of the main points from the lecture. Please let us know what you’d like to hear about in future lectures. On July 31th, Miriam will be talking about the most important steps you need to take to make your WordPress site social-friendly. Or, shall we say, sociable.
Expanded tweets: Now in your mobile app you’ll be able to see rich media like photos and videos as part of a tweet.
@replies for verified Twitter accounts: Twitter now gives celebs a way to verify their account because of all the fake celeb accounts out thee. 1-2 years ago Twitter made it so that you cannot see @reply tweets to people you aren’t following. But now you can see them for verified accounts. You know it’s a verified account because it has a blue check next to the name.
Twitter Cards: It’s like Open Graph from Facebook where you can control how the title, image and other elements of your content appear in Twitter. This includes giving attribution to the correct Twitter account. That means that no matter how many times a page is shared from your site, your Twitter account will always be attached to it.
You add it similarly to Open Graph, in the header code of your site. (More info at 5:15 including how to add it to a WordPress site.)
No more downloading MP3s from YouTube: There are many third party services that allow you to download MP3s or MP4s from YouTube. MP3 download sites are popular because people like to download just the songs, without the videos. This goes against YouTube’s terms and services and it is a copyright violation since many people upload copyrighted content to YouTube. YouTube has blocked the major offenders from the site.
How to turn off facial recognition: For a while now on Facebook, after you upload pictures, the systems tries to recognize the same face in different pictures. Now, since Facebook acquired an Israeli (woohoo!) company, face.com, facial recognition is being taken to another level. However, if you want to minimize the big-brotherness of Facebook by a notch, and don’t want Facebook telling your friends to possibly tag your face in more photos, do the following:
Go to: the small down arrow in the top right hand corner of the screen > Privacy settings > Time and Tagging > Edit Settings. Click on “Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are upload,” and then in the dropdown change the option from “Friends” to “No One.”
This service is opt-out, not opt-in. In other words, you’re automatically allowing the facial recognition unless you choose otherwise.
Facebook email address: They changed our default email address to our Facebook emails.
Also an opt-out service. How to change it:
Your profile > About > Click “Edit” on Contact Info area. Change the settings next to the email addresses:
There are two settings for each email address. In the left column you decide if your email will be viewable by no one, friends, everyone or custom. In the right column you decide if the email will show on your timeline. Of course you should hide your Facebook address if you have no use for it.
Facebook and diplomacy: Check out an innovative use of Facebook for diplomacy by the American ambassador to Syria at 13:48.
Export Facebook events: You can now export Facebook events to your email or your calendar! Learn how at 14:30.
More attribution tagged to pins: Last month Pinterest added attribution from other sites. For example, if something is shared from YouTube, stuck to the pin is attribution to YouTube and the page it came from. Very important for giving proper credit.
Now it’s been added for more sites. This attribution will also be added retroactively which is really cool.
Targeted Status Updates has been rolled out to everyone: You can post an update to a specific demographic so that your post can be specialized for those viewers while not worrying about wasting other people’s time.
A new followers insights page: Just like in Facebook. It includes stats about your visitors, engagement, etc.
WordPress launched 3.4 (and 3.4.1)
Lots of new things to talk about here!
Easily embed tweets: Take the URL of the tweet and paste it in the editor. Unlink it and then in the front end it will show a live tweet with retweet, favorite icon and everything.
Add links in photo captions: You can now create a link in a photo caption and link it anywhere you want. Now if only WordPress would make custom links from a photo in a gallery…
New theme customizer: You can make changes to your site and see the changes you’re making as a live preview. Make the changes, see what it looks like and then once you publish the changes, they will actually be live.
In RTL installations, a LTR button. Writing in English on a Hebrew or Arabic WordPress site just got a lot easier. Read more about it here.
And way more! This is an outline of the first half of the lecture. To hear more about SEO in WordPress and other topics, continue watching from 24:00.
And here is the slideshow
Do you ever feel like you’re gonna burst with useful information? I don’t. But I know someone who does. Every day, Miriam Schwab, the Friendly CEO of illuminea, reads tons and tons of news related to online marketing, and wanted a way to share it with all 5,000 of her closest online friends.
So, we decided to launch a monthly event where Miriam presents all the knowledge she’s gained in the last few weeks to a small group of marketing professionals at our illuminea headquarters in Jerusalem and online via live streaming.
If you want to join us for the next hour-long, information-packed “Latest Web Trends for Marketing Professionals” lecture on March 26, 2012 at 10am via live streaming, register here and we’ll send you the link.
If you want to find out about future events, sign up to our newsletter (from the sidebar).
At our first Web Trends event in February, Miriam talked about Pinterest, facebook ad revenues, facebook e-Commerce, facebook featured stories, facebook timeline, YouTube’s new features, DuckDuckGo, Bing, Google video schema, and more!
Watch the February 2012 Web Trends lecture.
And here is the slideshow. Enjoy!
Web trends monthly lecture by Miriam Schwab, February 27, 2012
View more presentations from illuminea : web presence agency.
One of the latest types of apps that have emerged on Facebook are social news readers. These apps automatically post to your Facebook friends everything you read on the related news site. So for example, if you have installed the Washington Post Social Reader Facebook app, EVERYTHING you read on the Washington Post can appear in your facebook friends’ news feeds.
Here’s how my Washington Post reading activity showed up in Miriam’s Facebook news feed:
Here’s how an aggregation of Miriam’s Facebook friends’ reading activity appears at the top of her news feed (how does it get to be at the top?!):
That hidden area on the right are thumbnails of Miriam’s friends next to articles they read.
Is this an example of the beauty of our online social lives, or is it an incredibly aggressive invasion of our privacy?
On the one hand, people get to easily share things they find interesting with their network. Instead of having to go into facebook, or use a social media management tool, to share the articles they like, the Washington Post does that for them. And isn’t that a lot of what we do on social networks?
Massive invasion of privacy
On the other hand, do you really want your Facebook friends seeing EVERYTHING you’re reading? Here are some examples of why this type of automatic sharing could work out badly:
- You’re thinking of getting divorced, and are doing research on divorce laws or recent divorce cases.
- You’re questioning your sexual orientation, and are reading up on what it means to be homosexual and come out of the closet.
- You adore Justin Bieber and read every article about him. But that is best kept under wraps, isn’t it?
This is aside from the fact that you’re also giving these Facebook apps permission to access some of your details. And yes, apps are forever, if you let them be. Answer a questionnaire once about your knowledge of Sesame Street and two years later, that app is still viewing your information (unless you remove it of course, which I explain how to do below).
Also, if you install this app, you can’t see your own posts in your profile! Only your friends can. Which means you can’t remove anything from appearing there. Read an article about how to exorcise demons? It’s in your profile forever.
Massive social chutzpah
These social facebook news readers are clearly win-win for the news sites behind them. Their content gets wider exposure, and assumedly click-throughs. Except…if you see that your friend read an article and you’re interested in reading it too, and click on the article in your facebook news feed, you aren’t taken to the article! Instead, you arrive at the app installation page where it asks you to install it:
I have to install an app to read your article? You want access to my name and birthday so I can read your stuff? Buh-bye.
We’re very curious… How many people are actually installing these apps in order to see the post? Being forced to add it in order to read an article must deter many. So by strong-arming us, the Washington Post is losing a lot of potential views. Also, you can’t like or comment on these posts, which removes the social aspect of this type of activity. But at least the Washington Post gets to dip directly into many facebook profiles!
Change your settings
So facebook users, beware! Installing an app gives the app owner direct access to lots of your personal information.
If you do install one of these news sharing facebook apps, note that you can change the settings, choosing who can see your posts from it and who can’t. Here is how to do it:
- Log in to Facebook. In the top right hand corner is a downward facing arrow. Click on it.
- Click on Account Settings.
- In the left-hand sidebar click on Apps.
- Click the Edit button next to the app you want to edit.
Then you’ll see the following:
It is recommended to once in a while go into your facebook settings and see what apps you’ve installed and remove whatever you don’t use or don’t recognize. You’ll be surprised what’s lurking there.
These facebook apps are sneaky too
Here is the kicker of the Washington Post Social Reader app. I did not sign up for it and suddenly it was there, sharing my reading habits with my network. I seriously don’t remember ever seeing that installation screen. Maybe I clicked on something to install it, but if I did it was not made clear to me at all.
Meanwhile, I had no idea that my reading activity was being shared with others until I looked over at Miriam’s screen (I happen to be Facebook friends with her) and saw this:
Wow! The Washington Post and I are BFFs and I didn’t even know it!
What do you think?
So you know what we think about this app but what do you think? Have you seen different news-feed apps that work differently than what I’ve described here? Would you, or do you, use an app of this kind?
Someone recently asked a question on the Digital Eve Israel mailing list about a problem they were having with a facebook ad they were trying to create. When creating a facebook ad, you can target very specific people according to various parameters including country, age, gender, and “Likes and Interests.” Likes and Interests refers to people who have expressed interest in things either by adding them to their profile as an area of interest, or by Liking a related Page.
This person wanted to target people who liked the facebook Page of a particular chain of stores in Israel. This brand has an official Page on facebook, as well as a bunch of unofficial ones. Their official page alone has over 14,000 fans, yet when the person selected that Page under Likes and Interests in the Facebook Ad dashboard, they were told that the estimated reach was less than 20 people. I tested this out, and the results were the same, no matter what country or age group I entered (including all ages):
I was determined to get to the bottom of this, so I started running a bunch of tests. Eventually I realized the following:
If the title of a facebook Page has Hebrew in it, the Estimated Reach number is much lower than the number of fans. In fact, the number is always 20 or less – this goes for sites with 50,000 fans and up. And having English and Hebrew in the title doesn’t help. However, if a Page’s title is in English, even if the content is completely in Hebrew the Estimated Reach is in line with the number of fans of the Page.
I wanted to see if this is a problem with non-latin languages in general on facebook, so I decided to test a page with Arabic in the title: Al Jazeera Channel. The Page has over 1.2 million fans. I tested the Reach for this channel in a bunch of countries with large Arabic speaking populations: Israel, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United States, United Kingdom, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt. The Estimated Reach for those countries ranged from 20 to 180 at the most. When I added all these countries, the estimated reach maxed out at 240 people, which doesn’t really make sense.
So unless I’m missing something, which could be, it seems that Facebook Ads have a problem with Facebook Pages with titles in Hebrew or Arabic. Which makes you wonder if there are any other issues with Pages with titles that include Hebrew, Arabic, or possibly other non-latin languages like Chinese or Russian. And if that’s the case, maybe Page owners should use English titles wherever possible for now.
A few days ago, Peter Shankman wrote a post lambasting all “social media experts” as irrelevant and worthy of dying in a fire. So Peter….you don’t like ‘em, eh?
But if you read through his post, it seems clear that he actually thinks that social media activity is important, he just doesn’t like the way it’s often done: he doesn’t like when marketers aren’t transparent, are irrelevant, can’t write, and don’t know their customer. Oh, and he also thinks marketers shouldn’t forget about the end goal of making money while engaged in all the social media coolness. Well, anyone who conducts marketing activities like that is not only a poor social media marketer; they are a terrible marketing professional and should find another profession. ASAP.
So let’s assume that most people involved in social media marketing on a professional level have half a brain and understand the basics of marketing: if the goal of marketing is to make money, is social media the way to go? Studies repeatedly show that the online marketing activities with the best ROI are search engine optimization (SEO) and email marketing. Social media comes in way after them. So how is the social media frenzy justified?
Social Media is the new Website
It is hard to prove that websites make money for companies. I don’t mean ecommerce sites, but sites that say who the company is, what they do, etc. Yes, these types of websites can be optimized for conversions, but in many cases they’re not. And even if they are, do the few clients who were directly and measurably converted by the website (i.e. they contacted the company via a form on the site and eventually became a customer) justify the costs of maintaining a good corporate site? The answer is yes: websites are important, and it’s accepted that every company and organization needs one. The reason for that is that it serves an important supportive role in sales – it’s an important stage that potential customers go through to assess whether a company is right for them. Social media marketing is approaching that same level – an important supportive element in marketing and sales, that potential customers, and existing customers, seek out.
Social Media Makes SEO and Email Marketing Better
Social media activity is increasingly being shown to be an important signal in a site’s ranking; it can also be a relatively large source of traffic to a site (which is generally the goal of SEO – to increase traffic to a site). Social media “outposts” can also help you increase your email marketing mailing list by encouraging people to sign up, and sharing past newsletters.
Social Media is the New “New”
Social media marketing is so new, and changing all the time (thanks facebook), that it’s impossible to know where it’s headed and what the potential really is. The only way to find out is to test, and then test some more. Like in every other area of online marketing, discovering new opportunities demands a few brave souls who are willing to risk their marketing budget and take the plunge. They’re definitely not idiots: they’re trailblazers. They should be applauded, not ridiculed. This is a necessary part of innovation.
Social media is not just a cool new toy – it’s a new and important part of the web. And people who understand it – as part of the online marketing mix – will be hired.
One of the recent changes in the “not so great” category is facebook’s decision to remove the “Suggest to Friends” link on facebook Pages. Admins of a page can still access this feature in the Edit Page area, but fans cannot. So, we’ve been flooded with requests to add an Invite Friends Tab to facebook Pages. Here are the steps for how to create the Invite Friends Tab on a facebook Page, but keep in mind that as of March 11, 2011, facebook will be deprecating the FBML App.
- Go to Static FBML App and click on Add to Page in the top left corner of the page. You will then see a list of your facebook pages. Click “Add to Page” to add the application.
- FBML is now added to your page.
- Go to the facebook Page you’re working on and click Edit Page.
- Click on Apps.
- Click on the FBML Apps and click on Go to App.
- Give the Tab a title like “Suggest to Friends.”
- Copy and Paste the below code replacing illuminea with your organization.
Important! The action URL on line 3 of the code MUST be http://example.com and NOT http://www.example.com. No WWW welcome at this party.
If you don’t follow these rules, you will get an error that says “Sorry, your request could not be processed. Please try again.”
content=”Connect with iluminea
<fb:req-choice url=http://www.facebook.com/illuminea label=’Go’ /> “>
<fb:multi-friend-selector actiontext=”Invite your friends to connect with illuminea” rows=”3″ cols=”3″ showborder=”true” />
- Save Changes.
- Go to Edit Page > Apps > Click on the Suggest to Friends App you created > Go to Edit Settings and click “Add” where it says Available (see screenshot).
- You can see this in action on illuminea’s facebook Page.
- When your friend receives the invitation it says “Friend has invited you to “Static FBML”. Not so pretty so for now make sure your message text is really good! I hope there will be a better solution for this.
Ever have that issue on Facebook? You see you’re tagged in a photo and want to join in the happy powwow going on underneath but for some reason you’re not being given the option to comment…
Logic might tell you that you should be able to comment on a photo you were tagged in but actually that is not what gives you the ability to comment. What will allow you to partake in discussions under a photograph with your lovely face in it is if you “Like” or are Facebook friends with the person or entity that posted the photo on Facebook.
So that’s what wasn’t working!
The suckiness of Facebook groups is not a new subject. But now Facebook groups have gone through one of those facelifts that leaves the person still looking like themselves, just way more freaky. So let’s take a moment to make fun of the “new and improved” Facebook group.
What are the changes?
It actually took me around a week to find out about the changes but once I found out, it was clear as day that something was fishy in Facebook land.
I woke up and found my email inbox all but flooded with messages mainly from strangers that looked something like this:
Turned out that Facebook had made the following quite anthropologically interesting change:
People can now add their Facebook friends to groups without the friend’s permission.
To be clear, in general, there is almost nothing I’d ever want to do to anyone without their permission. And now, if I ever want to invite someone to a Facebook group, I am basically “forced” to force them into the group. No more suggestions. That would just be too civil, wouldn’t it?
The new automatic settings
Wait. It gets more amusing (and then more amusing). So now this person is in a group without even being aware of it. Now to add to the pushiness, the automatic notification setting is that members of Facebook groups receive messages to their email every time someone posts or comments there. Every time.
That explained all the emails I’d received. Mind you, 99% of them were not about the group but instead attacks on the creator of the group for adding all of us without our permission. (I stood up for him, explaining that it wasn’t his fault, but Facebook’s fault. Aren’t I kind?)
As for this notifications setting, it’s very easy to change but you’ve gotta be on the ball or else it’s very annoying. You just click on “Edit Settings” in the upper right-hand corner of the page when you’re in the group, then a window pops up and you edit it as you wish.
The grand finale – I’ll never ever forgive you!
Now, ready for this? This is the other end of the new ability to add people without their permission.
If my lovely friend added me to a group and I decided I am not interested in that group, I can opt out. That makes sense. The crazy part is that this means that my possibly-well-meaning friend will never be allowed to add me to another group again. Ever!
I must say that this part of the new set-up makes me think that whoever was behind it has super unhealthy personal relationships. Because seriously, assuming I am not on bad terms with any of my Facebook friends (I hope I’d remove anyone with whom I don’t want to be communicating at all), why would I want this to be so final? I probably opted out just because the group is not of interest to me. That doesn’t mean I never want my friend to be able to recommend any group to me ever again!
This, of course, is not to mention the fact that if, to begin with, the friend was sending me a suggestion instead of a forced joining, this wouldn’t even be an issue.
This change is actually childish, though even children usually only talk like that (“I never want to play with you again!”) and then 10 minutes later they’re playing as if nothing happened.
I do wish I wasn’t married to Facebook
So, those are some of the latest changes. I read a seriously lol-ful blog post about these changes by Danny Sullivan. The title is too long to quote here (I’d have to start paying for real estate) but it’s a great story about someone (true story) who was added to some highly embarrassing group just to prove the point I’m trying to prove here (that Facebook Groups are evil, of course).
Facebook so often does things that are so unfriendly that an urge arises from deep within me to leave Facebook. And then I remember… Too bad I have close to 90 photo albums and so much other information there. (I would absolutely love to have a way to download all my info from Facebook so I have it somewhere other than there.)
So instead of wishing I could leave, I just wish that Facebook would head on down to someone else’s office, say, Google, and ask them for some tips on how to make changes that gently fall into place and make the user’s experience just that much more pleasant and fun, instead of making changes that sort of slap you in the Face and make you wish you could take the Book and slap them back.
P.S. All of this is not to mention that really Facebook should take the pluses of groups and the pluses of pages and just put them together into one. But that’s for another post.
We’re always on the lookout for interesting uses of social media by companies and organizations, and right now there are two groups on Facebook using photos as part of extensive social media campaigns. One is the Inbal Hotel, which is holding a contest whereby the person with the best photos of Jerusalem wins a night for two at the hotel (pick me, pick me!). The second is Nefesh b’Nefesh, with their “This is my Israel” photo contest. Read on to learn more about how each of these organizations is using photos and social media to engage people with their brands.
Inbal Hotel – the first in their field
It’s easy to jump on the social media bandwagon once it’s already moving, but to be the first to get the bandwagon going in your field can feel a little daunting. As far as I know, the Inbal, a hotel in Jerusalem, is the first Israeli hotel to really go all the way, social media speaking. From their gung-ho presence “all over” Facebook and Twitter, it’s easily apparent that Ruth Waiman, the enthusiastic Executive Assistant along with Online Marketing Manager Pinny Orzach, the SEO/SEM person, have been given the OK to really give social media a try.
It really is a risk when a company decides to put a substantial amount of employee hours towards a social media presence. There could be growing pains when a conventional company puts itself out there in the world of social media. Often there is a slight image change as the company shows itself to be more hip and young through their social media presence.
You’ve got to be at least a little creative and really quite proactive to keep your social media presence alive and well. It’s not just about posting, “The chef is now cooking duck for dinner.” It’s about being cool, fun and interactive.
The Inbal Hotel’s latest photograph competition is exactly that – cool, fun and interactive. Actually, the beauty of their competition is that it isn’t about the Inbal. It’s about Jerusalem. You can enter the competition by posting up to three photographs you’ve taken of Jerusalem on their Facebook wall. At the end of October the best photograph will be chosen and the winner will get a night for two at the hotel.
When I wrote to Ruth about their latest contest, she explained:
To further boost our interactions on Facebook on both English and Hebrew walls, the photo competition was launched and has been receiving enthusiastic feedback from the outset.
Having now received close to 80 photos on the combined pages, we’ve definitely noticed an increase of fans and interactions and are hoping to involve external photography professionals for the judging due to take place early next month.
Ruth also mentioned all the events they’ve been hosting at the hotel, including the WordCamp afterparty (which we, as the WordCamp organizers, are really grateful for) at the beginning of September.
Nefesh B’Nefesh’s “This is my Israel” Campaign
Slightly before the Inbal’s competition commenced, Nefesh B’Nefesh (NBN), the organization that supports Jews who move to Israel, started a photo contest on their facebook page. To participate in this competition, people were requested to take a picture of themselves holding a sign that says “This is my ISRAEL” somewhere in Israel. The place where they are photographed should be one that they see as truly representing Israel for them.
Also, a fun campaign that is not about the actual organization behind the campaign, but instead about “you” and Israel.
What a wonderful use of social media to get people involved in an organization and, of course, more connected to each other and Israel.
It is currently voting time on the NBN campaign so you can go to the album and click “like” on your favourites. The winning photographer will receive a Flip video camera. Sweet.
Goals and drawbacks
The main goals of campaigns of this kind are exposure and building a certain image and relationship with your followers. As long as your campaign really is, as I said, fun, cool and interactive, and not all about you, the image and relationship aspects will probably be fine. The only problem with these types of contests is that if you want to participate in the contest, you might hesitate telling others about it since the last thing you need is more competition!
(Of course that brings up the question, why am I writing about it here if I plan on entering the Inbal contest? I suppose my blogging addiction is stronger than my “I need to win” attitude.)
Otherwise, both of these contests are a great and fun use of Facebook.
And here are my pictures
So yes, I plan to enter three of my pictures in the Inbal competition. Here are the photographs I’m considering. Which ones do you think could be winners? Help me choose! I really could use a night in a fancy hotel.