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Comments Off on Facebook tests new version of Offers to increase conversions, give users control when they share with friends

Facebook tests new version of Offers to increase conversions, give users control when they share with friends

Brtittany Darwell, Inside Facebook

Facebook is testing a new version of its Offers product, which gives users the option to shop immediately or get a reminder before the promotion ends. The interface also lets users decide if and when to share the offer with friends.

The new implementation could be more effective in leading to direct sales for retailers, while helping users remember to take advantage of the offers they’re interested in and giving them more control over how their activity is shared.

A Facebook spokesperson says the company is working with a few global retailers for this test, but for now other pages aren’t affected and their offers will continue to appear in the original format.

For e-commerce offers in the test, users will see two buttons: “Shop Now” and “Remind Me.” Previously, users could only select “Get Offer.” When users click “Shop Now,” they will be taken directly to a retailer’s website. When they click “Remind Me,” users will be sent an email and at a later date will be reminded with a notification on Facebook. It is up to each retailer when they will remind users about their promotion, but they can only send one notification per offer.

Read the full article…

Comments Off on Top 5 Scams to Beware of With Social Media

Top 5 Scams to Beware of With Social Media

Original posted on Norton Security
(c) Studio One Networks

We’re wired to be social creatures, and sites like Twitter and Facebook have capitalized on this to great success. According to its COO Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook draws 175 million logins every day.

But with this tremendous popularity comes a dark side as well. Virus writers and other cybercriminals go where the numbers are — and that includes popular social media sites. To help you avoid a con or viral infection, we’ve put together this list of the top five social media scams.

5. Chain Letters

You’ve likely seen this one before — the dreaded chain letter has returned. It may appear in the form of, “Retweet this and Bill Gates will donate $5 million to charity!” But hold on, let’s think about this. Bill Gates already does a lot for charity. Why would he wait for something like this to take action? Answer: He wouldn’t. Both the cause and claim are fake.

So why would someone post this? Good question. It could be some prankster looking for a laugh, or a spammer needing “friends” to hit up later. Many well-meaning people pass these fake claims onto others. Break the chain and inform them of the likely ruse.

4. Cash Grabs

By their very nature, social media sites make it easy for us to stay in touch with friends, while reaching out to meet new ones. But how well do you really know these new acquaintances? That person with the attractive profile picture who just friended you — and suddenly needs money — is probably some cybercriminal looking for easy cash. Think twice before acting. In fact, the same advice applies even if you know the person.

Picture this: You just received an urgent request from one of your real friends who “lost his wallet on vacation and needs some cash to get home.” So, being the helpful person you are, you send some money right away, per his instructions. But there’s a problem: Your friend never sent this request. In fact, he isn’t even aware of it. His malware-infected computer grabbed all of his contacts and forwarded the bogus email to everyone, waiting to see who would bite.

Again, think before acting. Call your friend. Inform him of the request and see if it’s true. Next, make sure your computer isn’t infected as well.

3. Hidden Charges

“What type of STAR WARS character are you? Find out with our quiz! All of your friends have taken it!” Hmm, this sounds interesting, so you enter your info and cell number, as instructed. After a few minutes, a text turns up. It turns out you’re more Yoda than Darth Vader. Well, that’s interesting … but not as much as your next month’s cell bill will be. You’ve also just unwittingly subscribed to some dubious service that charges $9.95 every month.

As it turns out, that “free, fun service” is neither. Be wary of these bait-and-switch games. They tend to thrive on social sites.

Read the full article for all 5 social media scams…

Comments Off on Facebook estimates 8.7% of users are duplicate, miscategorized or spam accounts

Facebook estimates 8.7% of users are duplicate, miscategorized or spam accounts

Facebook says 8.7 percent of its monthly active user total might violate terms of service and be either duplicate, miscategorized or “undesirable” accounts meant for spamming, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In its quarterly report, Facebook provided updated numbers and new details about illegitimate accounts, which could represent about 83 million users. The company estimates 4.8 percent of its 955 million monthly active users are duplicate accounts. For instance, a user may use one account for connecting with work acquaintances and another for family and close friends.

Facebook says 2.4 percent of accounts are likely miscategorized accounts where users have created personal profiles for a business, organization or pet. These entities should be represented on Facebook with pages, not profiles, according to the social network’s terms of service.

Facebook also estimates that 1.5 percent of monthly active users are “undesirable accounts,” which are false accounts that are created for spamming or other purposes that violate terms. Earlier this week, a music startup claimed that 80 percent of clicks on its Facebook ad campaign came from bots. Facebook says it is investigating the claims.

Read more at Inside Facebook…

Comments Off on Washington State To Allow Voter Registration Through Facebook

Washington State To Allow Voter Registration Through Facebook

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Facebook users in Washington state will have something else to brag about to their online friends: that they registered to vote on Facebook.

The secretary of state’s office said Tuesday it will have an application on its Facebook page that allows residents to register to vote and then “like” the application and recommend it to their friends. It’s expected to launch as early as next week.

“In this age of social media and more people going online for services, this is a natural way to introduce people to online registration and leverage the power of friends on Facebook to get more people registered,” said Shane Hamlin, co-director of elections.

Washington state has had online registration since 2008, and since then, there have been 475,000 registrations or changes of address processed through the system. Washington is one of more than a dozen states that offer online registration.

Hamlin said Washington state is the first to offer voter registration via Facebook.

“We are excited that citizens in Washington state will be able to register to vote and review useful voting information on Facebook,” said Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes.

The state, Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp., which developed the application, have been collaborating on the project since last fall, Hamlin said.

Once it’s live, Facebook users can click on the application within the secretary of state’s Facebook page. They’ll need to agree to let Facebook access their information, which will be used to prefill their name and date of birth in the voter registration form. Users will still need to provide a driver’s license or state ID card number to continue.

Hamlin said that Facebook doesn’t have access to the state’s database; its page just overlays the application. Voters will also be able to access the state’s “My Vote” site with specific information on candidates and ballot measures.

Read the full article on Huffington Post…

Comments Off on VIDEO BLAST: Great new offering from BGAmedia and Bob’s Computer Service

VIDEO BLAST: Great new offering from BGAmedia and Bob’s Computer Service

by Robert B. Gelman

You’ve seen the videos. They are on YouTube. They are on Facebook, MySpace, and web sites all over the Net. They show customers offering testimonials. Or product demonstrations.  Or simply a background piece on the owners of a small business.  There is no limit to the way you can use video today to promote your business or venture. But most small business owners think, “That is just too expensive for me to invest in.”

That would be a mistaken impression now.

There is a solution available and we are offering it, at an amazing price. Instead of paying a videographer $500-$1500 to shoot and edit a video, then paying a similar amount to a web developer or marketing agency to post the video online, you can buy a package from BGAmedia that includes all of that, at only $200 (for a limited time).  Have a video and just need it put online? That’s just $100.  Same low introductory price if you want a short video shot and do not want it put online.

This article details the principles involved in succeeding with online video.  The good news here is that you don’t need to worry about most of that.  We’ll guide you all the way and you are guaranteed a professionally shot and edited piece, presented in the best possible way on your web site and if desired, YouTube, Facebook, or other social network that accommodates video. Also, we recommend a content strategy, as described in this article.

What are you waiting for?

Act now to find more or get started.  Call 209-588-8055 today, no obligation. Ready to start now?

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Comments Off on New Ad-system will bring intent-based ads to Facebook

New Ad-system will bring intent-based ads to Facebook

Excerpted from Inside Facebook

Facebook is testing a new advertising system that will allow third-party platforms to place retargeting ads on Facebook after users visit external websites marked with cookies, according to TechCrunch.

The program, called Facebook Exchange, could bring a large influx of new inventory to the social network and give Facebook the intent-based targeting data it previously lacked.

Eight demand-side platforms — TellApart, Triggit, Turn, DataXu, MediaMath, AppNexus, TheTradeDesk and AdRoll — are involved in the test. The program will be more widely available for traditional Facebook ads on the right-hand side of the page within the next few weeks. Facebook Exchange will not apply to Sponsored Stories or mobile ads.

TechCrunch reports that when a user visits a site that has hired one of Facebook’s partner platforms (DSPs), a cookie will be placed on that user’s browser when the person reaches a stage that implies purchase intent. If a user does not complete a transaction, the DSP will be able to bid on retargeting ads that appear on Facebook when the user visits the social network. According to AdExchanger, these ads will go through the same review process as traditional Facebook ads.

After being served a Facebook Exchange ad, users can opt-out of future retargeting from individual DSPs, but they cannot opt-out of the program completely, TechCrunch says. Facebook may also be able to continue to use information from those cookies to target other ads to users, even if they deny DSPs the option to target them this way.

This type of ad program is a somewhat unexpected development from Facebook. Many have predicted that the social network would one day launch its own ad network to display Facebook ads across the web. This move seems to do the opposite, bringing ads based on web browsing to Facebook.

DSPs are likely looking forward to being able to serve ads on Facebook, where users spend an extraordinary amount of time. However, Facebook puts a number of limitations on the size and format of its advertisements, and it remains to be seen whether the creative constraints will affect the impact of a retargeting campaign. Further, none of Facebook’s own targeting options will be available to DSPs, AdExchanger reports. This means that a travel website can retarget a user who searched for a flight through a DSP partner, but it cannot layer on Facebook targeting parameters, such as demographics, Likes or interests.

Read the full article…

Comments Off on Is Pinterest something you should be paying attention to?

Is Pinterest something you should be paying attention to?

Have you even heard of Pinterest?  It is a new type of image-based social media that allows you to easily share your interests and items that you find with others on the Internet. This article breaks down how to use it, and gives some valuable hints as to how it can help your business.

Getting started

  1. Go to the Pinterest.com website. It’s found at: http://www.pinterest.com. If you don’t have an account already, click “Request an Invite” on the home page. Check your mail in the next day or so and click on the link that is sent to you to create an account.
    Welcoming screen of Pinterest.Com

    Welcoming screen of Pinterest.Com

  2. Log in. You can log in with either Facebook or Twitter. Create a password to go with it.
    Creating your Pinterest account

    Creating your Pinterest account

  3. Click on images or items that catch your interest. Then click on “Follow People.” Doing this will get you started on the site.
    Choose your Pinterests

    Choose your Pinterests

  4. Check out the people you’re now following. You can unfollow later, if you choose.

Pinboards

  1. Create your own Pinboards. You can start with the titles that the website suggests when you sign up, or you can create your own.
    Creating pinboards

    Creating pinboards

  2. Start by checking out the Pinboards of the people you’re already following. When you first sign up, you’ll be asked to choose interests. Pinterest will assign you people to follow based on these interests. Click on the name of anyone on your homepage to view their list of pinboards.
    Click a name to see the user's list of pinboards

    Click a name to see the user’s list of pinboards

  3. Look for more pinboards to follow. If you want, you can search to find pinboards beyond the ones assigned to you. Enter your query into the search bar at the top of the page and press enter. Then, click on “boards” at the top of the page. When you find one that you like, click Follow.
  4. Repin pins. If you find a pin on a user’s board that you like, you can repin it to your board.
    • Roll over the image and click “repin.”
    • Choose whether you’d like to add the pin to an existing board or create a new one.
    • Write a description and click Pin It!
  5. Like Pins. Another way to show your appreciation for certain pins is to “like” them. To do so, roll over the picture and click “like.”
    • To view your liked pins, go to your profile by clicking on your name in the upper right corner. Then, click “Likes” at the top of your profile.
    • Read the full article on wikihow..
Comments Off on Do You Require Facebook Passwords for Applicants You Interview?

Do You Require Facebook Passwords for Applicants You Interview?

by Dave Thomas, Business.com

As media reports have shown us lately, more employers are asking job interview candidates to provide them with Facebook, Twitter and other social media log-in information in order to view private accounts during the background check process.

So, how much damage can a personal Facebook or Twitter account do to someone’s chances of getting a job? To those that think not much, think again.

As more job candidates are discovering, a questionable tweet or sharing a picture of one in a drunken predicament can have very damaging effects on one’s ability to get a job and/or even get in an interview for that matter.

But before your small business decides to spend time on the personal social media accounts of those you are considering interviewing, think about the possible legal ramifications of such actions.

While this is still a very gray area in terms of legalities, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other groups are letting both the potential employee and the employer that they are watching this recent trend.

Did Maryland Officials Go Too Far?

Much attention was directed recently at the Maryland Department of Corrections, where officials asked applicants and even a number of those already employed there to willingly provide their Facebook passwords. According to prison officials, they wanted to view the private accounts to be sure none of the potential guards and some of those already working there did not have any gang ties

Read the full article

Comments Off on Facebook Replaces Profiles with Timelines; Implications for Small Businesses

Facebook Replaces Profiles with Timelines; Implications for Small Businesses

Excerpted from an article by Paul Chaney

Rationale for ‘Timelines’

Facebook says its motivation for the change is to provide users with a storyline of their life’s most significant moments — graduations, marriages, birth of children, a new job and other events worth celebrating. It represents a shift from a focus on transient, real-time events to a longer-term outlook, one that considers the growth and maturation of its original user-base: college students.

“Over time, your profile evolved to better reflect how you actually communicate with your friends. Now you can share photos of what you did last weekend, and updates about how you feel today. But since the focus is on the most recent things you posted, more important stuff slips off the page. The photos of your graduation get replaced by updates about what you had for breakfast,” wrote Facebook product manager Samuel Lessin, on The Facebook Blog.

Timelines for Fan Pages

Though Timelines are currently available only for individuals, Facebook’s development path has long been to take changes to Profiles and incorporate them into business Pages — “Fan pages” — as well. There is already speculation that Timeline will do this, too.

Mashable, the tech blog, cited an unnamed Facebook source in a September 27 post, who said, “Consistency in both functionality and appearance is really important to Facebook, so we hope to make Pages more consistent with the new Timeline in the future.”

Concerns Over Timeline

The shift to Timeline has been criticized by Facebook users — see the post in All Techie News — primarily over privacy concerns. Detractors allege that Facebook, to appeal to advertisers, is simply seeking to capture more user data.

From the standpoint of usability, thanks to its two-column layout, Timelines takes getting used to. Items appear more random than in the previous version and not just a little hodgepodge. Still, with the ability to feature items so they cross both columns, merchants could keep key content more centrally focused and reduce confusion.

The other concern is that, in an effort to take advantage of the new layout, merchants may immediately opt to use Profiles instead of Pages, which violates Facebook’s terms of use.

Companies that currently now use Profiles may find the visual attractiveness provided by Timelines too much of a temptation and refrain from switching to Pages altogether, even though Facebook provides a mechanism by which to do so.

Read the full article…

Comments Off on How Will Google+ Effect SEO?

How Will Google+ Effect SEO?

“How Google+ Will Effect SEO?” is a question being asked a lot today.  At this point in time, there are early indications how the new social network from Google will impact site SEO. I thought this post from AddThis was insightful and wanted to share it. – BG

The Internet is buzzing with headlines and reactions about Google’s new social network, Google+. Recently launched this summer, Google+ is set to become Facebook’s greatest rival yet. Considering that the new social media platform is another product that Google has under its belt, Google+ may just be more than a Facebook contender. If it really uses the power already wielded by Google, G+ may have a tremendous impact on search engine rankings.

Signs That Indicate Influence on Search Rankings

Even before G+ was rolled out, Facebook and Twitter were already integrated into the search engine results pages (SERPs). In fact, before Google and Twitter’s real-time tweet stream deal expired just a few weeks ago, the number of times a link is retweeted would directly affect how that link is indexed in the search results.

Now that Google+ is here, users can engage in online social activities within Google itself, although the chances of G+ beating out Facebook and Twitter look pretty slim as of now since the new Google product is still very new.

With that said, it’s hard not to expect that Google+ will influence a page’s organic rankings, especially when Google pulled the plug on its real-time Twitter stream feature.

The +1 Button

Speculations about Google+’s search engine relevance have sprouted, but you may not speculate anymore once you’ve understood Google’s equally promising new tool, the +1 button.

Google actually dropped an official announcement on YouTube regarding the use of the +1 button. According to the video, every time the +1 button in the SERPs is clicked, users are telling Google that that particular search result is more relevant to the keyword they’re searching for. The video also says that Google considers “+1’d” results in indexing pages.

So, the personalized annotations can help certain sites rank higher since users will be given search matches that are more pertinent to their keywords.

However, that’s when you use the +1 button on the search results. What about Google+’s +1 button?

Google+’s +1 button is a clone of Facebook’s “Like” button. You can click on +1 to confirm that you like a post in the way you can click on the “Like” button if you like something on Facebook.

Google+ may have copied many of Facebook’s best features, but what makes this new social network interesting is that you can view search engine results, not just G+ posts, your friends have +1’d by clicking on their Google profile’s +1’s tab.

There’s only one setback. Unlike Facebook, Google+ doesn’t post your +1’s on the homepage feed. To see your friends’ +1’s, you have to go to their individual Google profiles, hope they’ve enabled the +1’s tab, and repeat this entire process for the rest of your friends.

Social Interaction and Content Quality

If you’ve been keeping a sharp eye on Google’s latest updates and algorithm changes, you’ve probably noticed that the search company has been emphasizing high-quality content that users will find useful and relevant. When you throw the +1 button into the mix, creating valuable content becomes even more essential. While we still don’t see our friends +1’s in the Google+ homepage feed, this is very likely to happen eventually.

Google’s motives have always been tricky. Even so, every Internet marketer and webmaster should consider taking advantage of Google+ as evidence of social interaction being integrated into the search rankings is becoming clearer, even if it’s too early to say that Google+ will have a huge role in your search engine positioning.

Thanks to AddMe.com for offering this article.