One Minute Google+ Tip: Expand Your Google Plus Circles

Do you want to expand your Google Plus circles? Get more people to circle you on Google+? Here’s a one-minute tip that also works for Facebook.

 

 

Find 5 or so people and/or G+ business pages you like to follow who have lots of G+ users commenting on their posts. Start commenting on those posts, and start circling those people. People will circle back.

Google Plus post with 21 comments

Google+ business page post with 21 comments

Google+ Post by The Next Web

This Google+ Post by The Next Web drew comments from G+ biz pages and G+ personal profiles

I’ve been doing this slowly but surely since joining G+ in July and lately I’ve seen a big increase in circling, and in Google Plus business pages. My own G+ biz page has benefited too . Let’s connect on Google+: https://plus.google.com/117631110100439879352

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One Minute Facebook Tip: List Yourself as the Owner of Your Business Page

To help increase your personal profile visibility on your Facebook biz page, so everyone remembers that it’s you who own your fan page, follow these 5 easy steps:

1.    From your Facebook biz page, not your personal profile, click on “Edit Page.”


2.    Next, on the left of the settings page, click on “Featured.”


3.    This brings up Featured “Likes” and “Page Owners.” Click on “Edit Featured Page Owners.”
4.    Choose from among your administrators who you want publicly listed as your Facebook page owner. Hit save and you’re done.


5.    Click on “View Page” to see your changes.

Page Owner(s) will be shown on lower left side of Facebook business page.

The page owners you chose will now be listed in the lower left corner of your Facebook wall for all to see. I personally like this feature because I interact with a lot of biz pages, and sometimes I forget who the admin is. It’s very convenient for me to go to the page and see the page owners listed there.

“Do-It-Yourself” Facebook Notifications

Notifications

Where are all the other notifications?

Have you noticed that Facebook isn’t sending certain notifications? During the past several weeks I have not been getting notifications when I comment on others’ posts. In Touch Promotions engages with other pages; that is, we like and comment on other pages’ posts. Sometimes I don’t need a notification when a page responds to one of my comments.

However, when I do, and don’t receive one, I might think the page hasn’t responded to me, like I did when FB first stopped sending me these types of notifications.

If you don’t check your comments on others’ posts, and those pages and/or those pages’ fans asked you for your advice or a link, their fans miss out on your response. I’ve left comments on my own posts responding to other biz pages’ comments. When they don’t comment back, and sometimes it’s a business that I’m inviting to tell my fans more, my fans don’t hear back from them. It’s a missed opportunity for the biz page and doesn’t look good to the fans.

So, here at In Touch Promotions we check on those comments we made on others’ posts so that we know what their response is to our question or statement. Here’s an easy way to do that.

We can’t possibly manually go to all the pages we comment on and remember what post it was and see if the page responded to our comment. So, just scroll down your own “Wall” page. For each pertinent post, like those in the picture below, click on the word “photo,” “status,”  “link,” etc.

Your wall notifications of your comments on others' wall posts

That will take you to the post at hand and you can quickly check for responses. This is a good practice even when Facebook notifications is working properly, since FB only notifies us when the biz page itself comments, never when other FB users comment on that biz page’s post.

Now, considering your own page: if your fans aren’t checking to see that you responded to their comments, and you did respond to their comments and questions, they may never see your response to them. The result? Your fans miss out on your giveaway, never read your advice to them, don’t click on that link you posted in your follow-up comment to them, reduce their engagement on your page because they think you’re unresponsive.

It’s important for us, then, to share this information with all of our own fans, to instruct them and somehow get the message to them to “do-it-yourself” when it comes to Facebook notifications. If we don’t spread the word, FB will become less of a forum where people engage, and more of a one-way conversation between business pages and themselves.

Facebook’s Major Redesign: What Does It Mean for Your Business?

Friends' lists that used to be under the "Most Recent" drop down menu are now on the left side of your news feed page.

Facebook introduced a few changes over the last couple of weeks, including: “Subscribe;” Share features (public, friends, custom); new Update Status tool; Fine Tuning your news feed; adding New Lists for us (thank you very much); view who is sharing your posts; Smart Lists; and a “Needs Review” function. (Click here to see a photo gallery explaining each new functionality.)

Now Facebook plans to unleash a major profile upgrade on Thursday. Most of the upgrades are unfortunately geared for personal profiles and one major industry. But there is some good news for the small business owner.

Two Major Changes

The first upgrade, Mashable reports, is that Facebook wants to make profiles “stickier;” or friendlier so that users stay on the profiles longer.

Here at In Touch Promotions, we wonder if this stickiness will extend to business pages. After all, Facebook has in the past made other upgrades that are still not functional for business pages. For example, the photo “tagging” functionality Facebook added in May 2011 still doesn’t work well for business pages. We can’t tag many of the pages we “like” to our photos. When we try, we get a list of odd suggestions like “Dr. House” and other pages that have nothing to do with us or the pages we like. (Click here to see our initial Facebook biz page photo tagging experiment.)

Until Facebook fixes these glitches, business pages will not be able to effectively use photo tagging. And tagging is becoming more important as more startups like Stipple emerge to help businesses use a photo labeling function to sell directly from their tagged, licensed photos.

But, if Facebook can figure out a way for your fans to “stick” longer on your business page, you will have a better opportunity to connect with and sell to your fans.

The other big reported upgrade is Facebook’s new “music and media platform,” which will use partners like Spotify to stream music for you from within Facebook. Facebook may also partner with someone like Netflix to stream video – so far we do not know when that will be launched.

What does this new functionality mean for businesses? Well, if you’re a musician or a movie star it’s good news because every time a user listens to your music or watches your movie, their status will be updated, all their friends will see that they are listening to you, and their friends will have a link to your music too.

But, if you’re a small business trying to make a go of it on Facebook, we don’t yet see how you will benefit from the new Spotify partnership. This new upgrade seems to help big business but leaves the little companies behind.

Advantages for Your Business

CNN Tech added to Mashable’s report: Facebook may be moving into a larger “social ecommerce” platform. Okay, CNN, we call it F-commerce. You know: selling on Facebook. Setting up a shopping mall on your Facebook business page. F-commerce.

Two aspects of Facebook’s new F-commerce push: Facebook will increase their marketing of Facebook credits and will add mobile platform “Project Spartan.” This is great news for small e-commerce businesses.

But, if you sell on your website, and want to sell on Facebook too, you can do that already. One easy and free platform we use for our clients is Shopping Mall by Payvment, which adds your products to your Facebook page and ties them into a shopping cart using PayPal for checkout. An added bonus: your products get listed in the overall shopping mall, too!

The advantage to the new upgrade is that Facebook will endorse F-commerce now more than ever, and encourage people to purchase from Facebook pages on a larger scale. So if you haven’t already, now would be a good time to think about selling on Facebook. Contact me anytime – DonnaSaliter@InTouchPromotions.com – if you have any questions about how to set up your F-commerce site.

6 Ways Facebook Can Help Small Businesses

If Facebook wants to be more business friendly, it’s going to have to make business pages more functionable. Some first steps we’d like to see Facebook work on:

  1. Improve our ability to tag other businesses in our photos.
  2. Let us comment on outside blogs as our business pages instead of having to change to our personal profiles.
  3. Pages should have lists, like personal profiles do, so we can sort and segment other pages’ posts on our news feeds.
  4. Put our own “recent activity” posts at the bottom and our wall posts at the top of our wall pages so that those of us who actively engage with other pages can do so without our own posts being hidden on our own walls.
  5. Send us notifications when others comment on a post that we commented on so we can continue the conversation.
  6. Give us the ability to edit posts instead of having to delete them when they need editing.

We should start sending Facebook our list of wants and needs. In fact, I think I’ll do just that. What other features or improvements do you want to see Facebook add for your business page?

Facebook Upgrades: A Photo Album

Here are the changes Facebook made during the last two weeks in August, 2011 and the first couple of weeks in September 2011. Today we heard these changes are a mere foreshadow of a complete Facebook overhaul. We look at the upgrades here to get a glimpse of what’s ahead.

The “Inline Privacy Control” change was rumored to be an attempt by Facebook to get ahead of its newest rival, social media platform Google+.

Inline Privacy Control

This feature rivals Google+ “circles,” in which you can share a post with one, several, or all of your circles of friends, colleagues and family.

“New Lists” also help you segment your friends better.

Facebook added "New Lists" for us.

 

Two New Lists that Facebook added for me are “Close Friends” and “Lakeville Area” (Lakeville is where I live).

 

 

 

Now dubbed “Smart Lists,” they take information from your friends’ profiles and adds them into your New Lists for you. So your family, college classmates, coworkers and so on will be auto-populated to your new lists.

New Lists include "Smart Lists."

If Facebook thinks you need to review something, they now notify you on your wall. I got a notification that one of my friends added me as a family member. I was asked to review and approve her addition.

You can review when you're added to a smart list.

Funny thing, though: she added me as a “family member,” and I had to input what the relation was – sister? cousin? daughter? before Facebook would accept my approval.

Facebook won't let me "approve" without choosing the exact relationship.

The “Subscribe” function is a move to directly compete with Google+, where you “circle” others to follow them.

You can now "subscribe" to ... well, others' posts.

 

Facebook even makes suggestions for you:

Facebook suggests I subscribe to their CTO and Director of Product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a cool feature. The only problem here is that I don’t know these people. Why can’t I subscribe to Dorien Morin van Dam of More in Media, Leigh Beckett of Leigh Beckett Digital Marketing, Susan A. Katz of EarthWhorls or administrators of any of the other 1,000+ pages I’m already a fan of?

I saved the best for last :). This is a great upgrade, and I hope Facebook continues improving these type of features, which will really help small businesses advance using the platform:

You can now view how many have shared a post with their friends or fans.

If you post a really cool post and others share it, then everyone will see, right in the post, how many shares it has. The more shares, the more people will see how cool your post is, and your page will gain fans.

Facebook launched all these upgrades in preparation for a big redesign, which will include a new look for profile pages, music streaming and perhaps a push for F-commerce. Time will tell whether the changes will help small business. For now, be prepared to have some fun with Facebook’s new features!

Facebook Foible a Blessing in Disguise

Facebook had some problems this weekend. Many of us couldn’t see more than one page in our news feeds. I got this message: “This stream is unavailable at this time. Please try again soon.” With all the work business pages have to do to keep up with our social media marketing, I wondered what to do? in the absence of the Facebook news feed. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

To access pages this weekend and comment on their posts, I had to click on the links to businesses’ profile pages, since they weren’t showing up in my news feed, since my news feed wasn’t showing up. There was no other way to get to those pages that I love to engage with and rely on for great posts.

I decided to go to my profile page, thank God it was still loading :), click on my “223 people like this” link on the left of the profile page to access my fans, then in the upper left-hand corner of the pop-up box, hit the drop down arrow and select “pages.” The box then lists all the business pages that “like” my page. I could  click on my faves to comment on and like their posts.

It was then that I made some very interesting discoveries.

First of all, 65 business pages like my page, http://www.facebook.com/InTouchPromotions. Some of these pages are new likers to In Touch Promotions and others had been fans for awhile and I just didn’t know it. I went to them right away to like them and post on them that I looked forward to following their posts. It’s very important to me to engage with those pages that are fans of mine.

I learned that I don’t see all the posts from all the pages all the time and I do miss out on some posts even when I’m on FB all day checking that news feed.

I also realized that some of the pages that I comment on regularly are not likers of my page. I decided to cut down on posting comments on these pages’ posts, since increasing page engagement with my page is my goal. If they’re not likers of my page, they can’t comment on my page. So, after a point, it doesn’t help me to keep commenting on their posts. Sometimes their fans become my fans, so it’s important to balance that fine line between spending time commenting on pages that won’t comment back and concentrating on those pages that engage with mine.

Lesson learned for me: to increase others’ engagement with my wall posts, I have to constantly reach out to those pages who like my page, and comment on their wall posts. Part of that is monitoring new business-page likers of my page, and returning the favor – much like on Twitter.

When was the last time you looked to see which business pages like your Facebook page? Chances are there are cool pages that you don’t even know are following you and could give you a chance to increase your fans and engagement with your Facebook biz page. Literally a blessing in disguise!

UnIntended Consequences

Facebook’s New Feature Erases Profile Info

Facebook announced a new function last week that at first excited many of us e-consultants.

Clients who had set up their Facebook business pages as personal profiles approached us over the years asking how to change their business pages from a personal profile to an official business page. At one time that was the only way people knew how to set up their business on Facebook. Even today, it’s not so straightforward to create a business page. Many people developed their business pages as personal profiles and, over the years, acquired hundreds or thousands of “friends.”

Finally, Facebook devised a way for us to “migrate” personal profiles into business pages. Like you, I was really excited to hear this information. It meant that clients and colleagues could finally switch their business-personal-profiles over to business pages and not lose any fans.

On my Facebook business page, In Touch Promotions, I posted a link to the Facebook page where folks can begin their migration. As a comment to my post I linked a great tutorial from Facebook Forum on how to do the migration (will post the link later).

If you’re thinking of doing this right now, hold on buckaroo! Don’t click that link quite yet. There’s something you need to know first.

Once you migrate the personal page into the business page, you will lose your personal page and everything on it. Photos, posts, info, everything except: your “friends” will migrate over to become fans of the new page, and your profile picture will also migrate to the new page.

One of my business page’s loyal fans – someone who follows my page and posts to it regularly – clicked on the link to the Facebook page and migrated their personal account into their business account. They didn’t first click on the tutorial link that I had posted in my comments. The tutorial warns that you should download your information and photos before migrating. It links you to the “how to” download section in Facebook. They lost two years of photos and posts, and lost their friends. The friends did not migrate to the business page, which I still have to investigate.

I felt like I should have put the “how to download your information” link first, and then placed in the comment box the link to migrate the profile into a page. I told my Facebook friend that I would research the matter and see if there was a way to reverse the process and get their personal profile back.

As I searched, I found that, well first of all, no, it looks like you cannot get back your profile or your info, past posts or photos. But I also discovered that my FB friend was not the only victim of this. Many others had learned of the new migration functionality from Facebook posts and blogs like mine and had clicked and migrated before reading the entire tutorial, thus losing their info forever.

So before jumping into this exciting prospect of moving your friends over to a business page so that your page will have more fans, think about the consequences. Is your personal profile a business-personal-profile or is it your own personal profile page? Do you want to save any photos or posts? If so, tread lightly and follow all the directions carefully. And for all you fellow e-consultants out there: I learned a heart-wrenching lesson – at the great cost of a Facebook friend’s personal profile – to post not just the exciting news, but the necessary steps as well, and to post the important caveats first, before the exciting links. I can’t express my apologies enough for this unintended consequence of sharing exciting news with my fans.