Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Facebook Announces Page Post Scheduling Feature

Here’s a feature that might have many 3rd party applications shaking in their boots. You can now schedule your posts, right down to the minute, on your Facebook Pages and it’s very easy to do.

Simply go to your Facebook Page and write your status update as always. In the bottom left corner, you’ll see a clock icon. 

facebook clock icon

 

Write your update, as usual, and then click that clock icon. It will allow you to select a year, date and time for your post. Then click “Schedule.” You can post updates in the past or you can schedule them for the future. 

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Twitter Has Improved Its Facebook Integration: Post to Pages

For a long time, you have been able to link your Twitter account to your Facebook account, but recently Facebook announced some new features, most notably, the ability to post to Facebook Pages instead.

How to Post to Facebook Pages:

Instead of simply posting to your personal profile, you can now post to your Facebook Page. To do this, go to your Twitter Profile Settlings.

NOTE: If you currently have the Twitter / Facebook integration turned on. You might have to disconnect it and reconnect it to see the Facebook Pages option.

At the bottom of your Profile Settings, you’ll find the Facebook connection option. Click the sign in button to get started.

A pop-up will appear and you’ll be prompted to log in to Facebook. Click the log in button.

On the next screen, you’ll see a list of your pages that the integration can log into.

 

Once you confirm this, the pop-up will close and you can now adjust the settings in your Twitter Profile. You can uncheck the option to post to your personal wall and select the page you want your updates to go to.

Click “Save Changes” when you’re done.

Now, whenever you post to Twitter, your posts will also appear on your Facebook Page. However, do not that @replies, standard retweets and your direct messages will not appear on your Facebook page. In addition, if you post a photo to Twitter, it will also appear directly in your Facebook update.

Here’s an example of a cross-post with an image.

 

 

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Facebook for Tweens?

As you may be aware, the current minimum age required to have a Facebook account is 13. However, that hasn’t stopped many younger children from creating accounts. In fact, a 2011 Consumer Reports survey indicates there 7.5 million Facebook users under the age of 13 and that 5 million of them are under the age of 10. Now Facebook is looking for a way to legitimately welcome these young people.

According to to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is testing technology that will connect a child’s account with their parent’s account. This technology is believed to do things like allows parents to decide who their children could be friends with, decide which applications their children use and helps parents monitor activity.

In a Mashable article, Zoe Fox writes that, “Facebook told Mashable it is currently exploring options for younger users, but did not confirm or deny the WSJ report.”

Currently, it’s very easy for anyone to create a Facebook account, no matter what their age. All they have to do is include a year of birth that is acceptable to the social network’s registration system. 

Facebook for kids under 13

 

Once that is filled out, the user’s profile is automatically created:

Facebook for children

 

There is plenty of speculation on why Facebook is making this move, but the real answer is currently unknown. Some claim they are scrambling to raise their stock prices. Others say that kids will be more likely to click ads. Others think that they will be a great revenue generator through online games. Most figure that young kids are already on Facebook and this provides a way for the responsibility of those children to be placed in the hands of their parents. Whatever the reason is, the change is likely coming and what it will look like remains to be seen.

 

How to Turn Your Facebook Page into a Marketing Channel

Although the intention in the creation of Facebook wasn’t to create an advertiser’s paradise that was the end result nevertheless (even though there are still things to be improved in the advertising interface.) Things that are done to enhance the user’s experience, like the new Timeline feature, can end up beneficial for businesses that know how to harness the power of social media.

In other words, Facebook has the potential to turn your small business into a profitable, “larger” business if you only know how to navigate the field and stay updated with Facebook’s new releases.

Below, we will discuss four different methods by which you can turn your page into a legitimate marketing channel for your small business.

4 Essential Tips for Facebook Businesses Marketing

1: Limit Your Predictability
Because there are so many businesses and so many ads circulating around on Facebook, many users find a lot of ads and attempts to attract followers to be very predictable. Of course, you never want to stray too far away from any set formula (i.e. what the other guys are doing); but you also don’t want to be a clone of anyone else.

As more and more Facebook users are getting used to seeing ads since ads appear more frequently and even in the regular feed, chances are they develop ad blindness and totally disregard generic ads with stock-photos and only clichés in the copy.

Be unpredictable if you want to attract buzz.

2: Learn the Mechanics of Facebook
You’re going to need to invest some time to learn the mechanics of Facebook and how to properly set things up quickly and effectively. You will eventually need to change and adapt, and no matter what, your page needs to remain a friendly, welcoming place for your visitors.

Because Facebook looks so simplistic, a lot of businesses don’t put much effort into learning about the site. This is the wrong approach. You need to focus on the site’s mechanics.

There are tons of advertising opportunities on Facebook right now, from the traditional external-site marketplace ads where you drive traffic to your web shop to sponsored stories, which are more like a recommendation from a friend rather than traditional advertising.

Make sure you test different ad types to make sure you use the ones providing best ROI.

3: Save on Time and Money
Manually setting up ad campaigns and tweaking things as you go along is going to cost you a lot of time. And as anyone involved in business knows, time is money. They’re practically the same thing once you break down the dynamics.

So to save on time and money, you need to streamline everything you’re doing with a quality ad-based marketing program. Qwaya makes a great program for this. Their scheduling options, along with quick ad creation tools and tracking features, allow you to save time and to run a fluid campaign without it interfering with your other tasks.

4: Be an Authentic Presence
It’s very hard to trust a business that’s not coming across as authentic. If you appear to only be around Facebook for the traffic, you will quickly be sniffed out as a pretender. So remember that your marketing channel, meaning your Facebook business page, has to be organic. You need to want to be a presence on Facebook.

At the end of the day, you’re only going to get out of Facebook what you put in. It’s important that you focus on creating a quality marketing channel by learning about Facebook, streamlining the process, getting the proper ads, and maintaining your authenticity. If you can do those few things, you can be a big player in the genre.

Guest Author Craig Robinson is a content member and writer for Qwaya – Facebook marketing campaign tool. Besides writing for Qwaya and handling the media coordination, Craig takes interest in following digital marketing trends and studies about social engagement on the web. You can follow Craig on Twitter at @craig_qwaya.

Pinterest Marketing for Businesses

Pinterest, a social networking site that allows users to organize and share things they find on the web in the form of images, is growing fast. It has nearly 20 million unique users, and over 80% of them are females. But it’s not just the females who are using Pinterest – businesses and brands are starting to use it too.

The reason is because many of the pins, or images, on Pinterest link to websites outside of Pinterest. For example, a pin of a piece of furniture might link to Ikea’s site. And whenever a Pinterest user “repins,” or shares, that pin, the repin will also link to Ikea’s site. As you might have already guessed, a pin has the potential to drive a lot of traffic to your website.

Here are a few ways to use Pinterest for marketing your business or brand:

Add pins and create boards

As a business owner, you want to share images that are interesting and still related to your business or industry. To add a pin, you simply select an image to upload from your computer. You’ll then be given the option to add a 500 character description and make that image link to a specific website.

An alternative to uploading an image is to type in an URL – Pinterest will automatically show you the images on that page and you can then pick one to create a pin with.

These pins are then organized into “boards,” which are categories of pictures. Boards look something like this:

Pinterest Boards

Pinterest Boards

You can either use simple and popular board titles such as “Photography,” “Pets” or “Hair and Beauty.” Or you can use something else as the name of your boards.

There are a few specific characteristics you’ll need in these images, which we’ll discuss later.

Make it easy for people to share what’s on your site

To increase the likelihood of a visitor to your website sharing what’s on your site, add a social sharing bar or button similar to this one to your site:

Social Sharing Bar

A social sharing bar

The easier you make it, the more likely someone will share what is on your site. With a social sharing bar, someone can pin what’s on your site onto one of their Pinterest boards with two clicks and all of their followers will be able to see it. If you don’t know which social sharing bar to use, try AddThis.

Good content

A website with a social sharing bar alone is not enough. In order to effectively use Pinterest for business, you need good content, especially good images. Take a look at this screenshot of Pinterest:

A screenshot of Pinterest

A screenshot of Pinterest

All of the images in the screenshot share a few characteristics:

  • Simple – there is one object that is the focal point of every pin.
  • Beautiful – the images are artistic and tasteful.
  • Inspirational -the pins create a sense of desire.
  • High Quality – the images are clear and not pixelated.

Be sure that the images on your website share these qualities as well.

Integrate with your other social media accounts

You can link your Pinterest account to your Facebook and Twitter account. Once you do that, whenever you pin something to a board, it’ll be shared with your Facebook and Twitter followers. So even if they’re not on Pinterest, they will be able to see what you pinned to your board.

The purpose of this is, again, is not only to share an image, but to drive traffic to your website.

Hope you find these tips useful you as you start using Pinterest for marketing your business!

 The latest issue of  Webdify Magazine is finally out! This website magazine is your monthly source for WEB, SOCIAL, and MOBILE news. Grab your copy now!

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How Instagram Android and Apple Works

Instagram is a cool free photo sharing service and app that works with Apple iOS and Android. It allows you to take photos that are reminiscent of Polaroid pictures with some unique lighting effect. You can share photos with friends on Instagram and post them to other social media sites. They boast of 15 million users and with its recent acquisition by Facebook, it’s expected those numbers will continue to grow.

instagram for android and ios

The Instagram app is demonstrated below using an iPhone. Instagram Android works the same way.

Step 1: Download the App from your App store
Search for “Instagram” in the Apple or Android store and download it.

1-appstore-instagram android

Step 2: Open Your App and Sign Up
When you first open the app, you’ll be invited to sign up for an account. Click “Okay” and then you can either sign up for an account or if you already have one, you can choose the “Login” option at the bottom of the screen.

2-welcome-instagram for android

To create your account, you need to add your email address, choose a username and add a password. You can also add your phone number and upload a picture of yourself. Just choose a photo from your device or take a new picture if you prefer. Click “Done” at the top right when you’re finished.

3-signup-android histogram

Step 2: Push Notifications or Not?
At this point, the app will ask you if you want push notifications. This means you’ll be notified whenever someone adds you as a friend, comments or likes one of your photos.

4-push-instagram app

If you choose “OK” and then later want to turn it off or modify the specific settings, it’s easy to do. Just click the icon on the bottom right of the app that looks like this:

5-profile-icon-instagram android

Then select “Edit Profile”.

6-edit-profile-instagram for android

At the bottom of this screen, you’ll see “Push Notifications”

7-edit-push-instagram histogram

Here you can choose which notifications you receive and who can send them to you.

8-editing-push-instagram app

Step 3: Find and Add Friends
Now you’ll be invited to find your friends and add them on Instagram.

9-find-friends-instagram android

You can search the contacts and your device and invite them personally. You can also see which of your Facebook and Twitter friends are on Instagram and start following them. And finally, you can simply search for someone to see if they are on Instagram.

Adding friends is optional and you can skip this for now, if you prefer. Instagram allows you to post your photos to Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, so you can come back and grow your friends list later if you’d rather.

Click “Next” in the top right corner when you’re done adding friends or if you want to skip this step.
If you’re not sure who to follow, you can select some people from Instagram’s popular user list:

10-suggested-instagram for android

Step 4: Start Taking Pictures
Now comes the fun part, taking and sharing pictures. You can do this by choosing the little camera icon at the bottom of the screen.

11-camera-icon-instagram for android

You can start taking photos as you normally would with your device or you can choose photos already on your device. To work with a photo on your device, click the photo icon on the bottom left of the screen that looks like this:

12-choose-photo-instagram histogram

In our example, we’ve taken a photo and are going to work with that. When you take your picture, you’ll see you have a number of different lighting options. Here’s a screenshot below of most of those options.

13-options-filters-instagram app

Choose whichever one you’d like and you can click the green checkbox when you’re done. The app will save the picture onto your camera.

You can also add or remove the frame on your picture if you prefer by clicking the frame icon at the top left of the app screen.

14-frame-instagram for android

You can also create a blurred effect with the drop icon at the top as well.

15-drop-blur-instagram histogram

When you tap on the drop icon, you’ll see options on how the blur will appear on the photo. The round blur has been chosen below.

16-blur-instagram app

Now you can also add a caption to your photo and add your location, if you’d like.

17-caption-location-instagram android

Step 5: Photo Sharing
As mentioned earlier, you can share your photos on social media as well, but you need to configure your settings and give the Instagram app permission to do that.

18-sharing-instagram app

Once you’ve configured the sites you want, you need to click the green “Share” button to send the photo to the sites you want.

19-choose-share-instagram android

We’re choosing to share on Facebook. Once we click “Share”, we add a description and then click the blue check mark to send it to Facebook.

20-share-facebook-instagram for android

The picture is then automatically added to Facebook, where your friends there can comment, like and share your photo too.

21-on-facebook-instagram for android

Step 6: Interacting on Instagram
Instagram also has useful interaction capabilities and there are always great photos to look at. You always have the option to “Like”, comment on or Tweet a photo that you see.

At the bottom of each photo, you’ll see “Like” and “Comment”. Just tap the like and it will show that you liked this photo. You can also go back and see all your likes later, so it’s like making a little collection of photos for yourself.

22-liked-instagram histogram

Commenting is pretty straightforward too. Just click the “Comment” icon as shown above. Then leave your message:

23-comment-instagram for android

You’ll also notice another icon to the right of the comment option that looks like this:

24-more-options-instagram app

This allows you to flag any inappropriate photo or Tweet it on Twitter.

25-photo-options-instagram android

Instagram is a fun tool for sharing your photos and helps you create some very attractive photos with your device, even if you’re not a great photographer. Get on and start sharing!

Best Social Media Monitoring Tools

How are you supposed to keep track of everything said about you or your business when there are so many websites out there? In the social-media world alone, we have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and more recently, Pinterest, to name a few. On top of that, there are millions of blogs and news websites.

But first, what is social media monitoring or listening? Maria Ogneva, the Director of Social Media at Attensity, defines it as “the process of continuous and immediate discovery of conversations with the purpose of learning, engaging, helping and collaborating.” Social media listening is important for your business; we want to share the best social media monitoring tools to help you:

Google Blog Search
– type in a keyword and Google will search through blogs for that keyword.

Google Alerts – after setting up an alert, you will be sent e-mails with updates of the latest Google results, including news, blogs and videos, related to the search query you set up.

Social Mention – search for keywords across multiple websites and platforms. This site also provides metrics such as strength, passion, sentiment and reach. They describe themselves as Google Alerts, but for social media.

Monitter – this site allows you monitor Twitter in real-time for any keyword or phrase you specify.

Twitter Advanced Search – this search tool from Twitter lets you search for tweets by keywords and narrow results by accounts and/or location.

Ice Rocket – type in a keyword to search for the latest posts on blogs, Twitter and Facebook.

Addict-o-matic – enter in a keyword or topic and the site will display some of the latest tweets, blogs, videos and news articles about that topic.

Paid options:

Trackur – start with a free plan or sign up for a paid plan which includes data such as how influential are the people who talk about you.

Radian6 – gives you to the ability to monitor real-time conversations happening around your brand, industry and competitors. It is one of the top tools available.

You can also visit this page for a master list of social media monitoring tools.

There are many social media monitoring tools available – use the one that best suits your needs. If you want to focus on Twitter, Monitter is probably a better option than Google Alerts. But if you want an overview of what people are saying across platforms, try Addict-o-matic or Social Mention instead. Of course, you can use a combination of these tools to monitor what people are saying.

What social media monitoring tools do you use?

 The latest issue of  Webdify Magazine is finally out! This website magazine is your monthly source for WEB, SOCIAL, and MOBILE news. Get your copy now!

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