Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Social Media: Six Dos and Six Don’ts

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

I had hoped to have a follow-up post about Facebook’s Subscribe feature, but unfortunately that’s just not going to happen today – look for it early next week.

Instead, I happened upon this great little Dos and Don’ts post from Blue Avocado. There are six pairs of Dos and Don’ts but the author summarizes them nicely right up front:

Ultimately, understanding yourself and your audience is more central to a successful social media presence than mastering the minutiae of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Nevertheless, there are a few guidelines that can help you maintain good social media “hygiene” and avoid shiny new distractions:

via Six Dos and Six Don’ts with Social Media | Blue Avocado.

Introducing Subscribe: Facebook changes the game again…

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

It’s a big week for Facebook. With their annual developer conference coming up, they’ve rolled out a few new features including “Smart Friend Lists” which I hadn’t even had a chance to write about here before today’s HUGE news: you can now subscribe to a personal profile’s public updates without having to friend them.

Here’s how it works. As you browse around the site, you’ll notice that some users have a button at the top of their profile that says ‘Subscribe’. Click it, and you’ll start seeing that user’s status updates in your News Feed, just as if you were their Facebook friend. But there’s a big difference: unlike normal Facebook friends, the people you subscribe to don’t have to approve your subscription request, and there’s no limit on how many people can subscribe to any given user.

Of course, Facebook has offered a similar feature called Pages for years now, which was meant for nearly the same thing (you’ll find that many journalists and politicians have already created Facebook Pages… because that’s what Facebook told them to do). The difference here, Facebook says, is that users no longer have to maintain two separate entities; they can just use the site’s sharing settings to decide which content they want to share very broadly, and what will only be shared with friends.

via Facebook Launches Twitter-Like ‘Subscriptions’, Lets You Share With Unlimited Users | TechCrunch.


How Facebook Pages really work…

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

This blog post nails the major misconception about Facebook pages for brands and organizations:

Unless someone has actively interacted with your page, they won’t receive your updates. Many brands launch a Facebook contest to boost their fan count, assuming that their future updates are now reaching the thousands or millions of people who clicked “like”. But that’s not how Facebook works.

Unless a fan actively participates in a brand’s Facebook Page and their activity on the Page has been continuous, the brand’s status updates will cease appearing in the fan’s Facebook stream.

via Can Facebook Work For Brands? | Market Sentinel.



Who Can See What? Facebook makes some significant (and overdue) changes

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Facebook has just announced MAJOR changes to how you control what people see:

Today we’re announcing a bunch of improvements that make it easier to share posts, photos, tags and other content with exactly the people you want. You have told us that “who can see this?” could be clearer across Facebook, so we have made changes to make this more visual and straightforward. The main change is moving most of your controls from a settings page to being inline, right next to the posts, photos and tags they affect. Plus there are several other updates here that will make it easier to understand who can see your stuff (or your friends’) in any context. Here’s what’s coming up, organized around two areas: what shows up on your profile, and what happens when you share something new.

via Facebook Blog.


Facebook just keeps growing (with grey hair)

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Eric Eldon over at has a great post outlining the growth trends at Facbook for January 2010. There are lots of pretty charts to look at, but I think the most interesting one is this:

Facebook Growth Chart

Facebook Growth by Age and Gender (

It’s getting harder and harder to dismiss Facebook as the domain of young people. Indeed, according to Eric’s post, a full 60% of Facebook users are over 25. Some have suggested that the influx of older folks will drive the kids away and we’ll see something new crop up for them – MySpace 2.0? For my money, this won’t happen – at least not in the foreseeable future. The ubiquity of Facebook just makes things easier for everyone – if a little uncomfortable at times when you get a friend request from dear Aunt Agnes. Young Facebookers have figured out (mostly) how to manage these little inconveniences.

The Power of Friends – Facebook Ads Just Got Interesting

Friday, December 18th, 2009

facebookWelcome to Facebook Friday. Each week I will post a summary and link to an article about Facebook that was posted several weeks ago. Think of it as a “just in case you missed it” hint.

Back on November 11th, posted an article titled “Facebook Ads Now More Powerful with ‘Friends of Connections’ Targeting”. This new feature of Facebook ads was one that I had just noticed that morning so it was serendipitous to come across this post later in the day. Below are a few excerpts of the post and I encourage you to give the full post a read.

Facebook has just launched a new way to draw more people to your Facebook Page or application, called “Friends of connections” targeting.

When this option is selected, friends of connections who see the ad will also see a message about which of their friends is connected to the advertiser. For example, if John is a fan of Chick-fil-A’s Page, and Chick-fil-A is running Facebook Ads with “friends of connections” targeting, John’s friend Debbie would see the text “John is a fan of Chick-fil-A” below the ad.

This feature should lead to increased conversion on Facebook Ads, because users will find the social context and implied endorsement more interesting. Facebook has previously allowed advertisers to enable this kind of context via “Social Ads” before, but this is the first time it has allowed advertisers to specifically target just friends of connections if they want to.

Go read the full article at

Canadian Twitter Traffic vs. Facebook

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

I read somewhere today (I’ll track down a source) that Canadians supply only 4% of Twitter traffic compared to 40% in the US. My first question is whether or not that’s just web, or also API/SMS. Either way, it surprises me because Canada is known now as a social media early-adopter given the explosive growth of Facebook.

Why the huge difference? Is there something special about Facebook that appeals to Canadians? Or is there something specific about Twitter that doesn’t? Or did we just spend all of our social media capital in the Facebook boom?

Social Media in Two Buckets

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Active Communities and Latent Networks

I discovered the concept of latent networks and active communities last summer while trying to save a magazine by activating a community within a social network. At the time, I was fascinated by the concept of latent offline communities becoming active online communities once given the tools to discover themselves and communicate. In the Business 2.0 magazine example, it was simply a case of thousands of readers (the latent community) being given a reason and means to congregate online (the active community) where none existed before. 

At that time, and for a long time afterwards, Facebook was my primary online active community. It is where I interacted most with people sharing stories, photos, videos, etc. It was where I met new people and kept in touch with old friends. Facebook helped me make plans for the future and reminisce about the past. But that large finished now. I visit Facebook a few times a week to check in on some of my groups and to respond to various proddings from my network. I upload the odd video or photo of my kids. But that’s it.  Facebook is simply not where I hang out online anymore.

I finally joined Twitter earlier this year because it’s where all the cool kids were hanging out.  It has now fully replaced Facebook as my online social home. I’ve written quite a bit about Twitter lately, so I won’t go in-depth here, but it is clearly my active community online.

Facebook has now become a collection of several "latent networks" with sporadic bursts of activity.  At any time, for a variety of reasons, these latent networks will be activated around a cause or event – like a high school reunion, or a University alumni football game. For the most part, though, Facebook is now my rolodex for old friends and acquaintances.

LinkedIn, similarly, is part fancy business card and part fancy rolodex – much like Facebook but with latent networks comprised of different people. Old co-workers and business acquaintances reside there with tremendous potential should the need arise. In this way, LinkedIn and Facebook are more similar than ever for me now.

It’s important to stress that this change for Facebook from an active community to a latent network does not diminish it’s value to me as a social media tool.  All that has changed is how I engage with the medium.

An interesting point about Twitter, though, is that I don’t think it could ever become solely a latent network. Unlike Facebook and LinkedIn, active participation in the Twitter community is necessary for any of the network benefits to retain value.  Inactivity on Twitter would actually allow that particular medium to atrophy and lose almost all of its network value.

Where are your ‘active communities’ and ‘latent networks’?

Granular Facebook Privacy Settings – FINALLY!

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Anyone who’s chatted with me about Facebook in the last several months or so knows that my biggest pet peeve about the social network is that you’ve only been able put your friends into one of two buckets of profile privacy settings – “Limited Profile” or, well, not limited profile.

Nick O’Neill ( and Justin Smith ( are reporting today that Facebook is FINALLY rolling out customizable profile privacy settings.

I had assumed that when this feature appeared, that it would be tied to the “Friend List” feature rolled out a few months ago. Apparently, though, you will be able to set specific privacy settings for each friend and will be prompted to do so during the friend confirmation process. I guess that means I have to all of my existing friends one-by-one and make sure the privacy settings appropriate. Sigh.

Go read Nick and Justin’s reports for all the details.

The Value of LinkedIn

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

I’ve never understood the whole Facebook vs. LinkedIn debate.  I use both and there is very little overlap between my Facebook friends and my LinkedIn contacts. I don’t believe they’re even really competitors – I will continue to use both. Why? It’s really quite simple.

 It’s the same reason I didn’t hand out my business card at my sister’s baby shower, and I don’t (usually) pass around photos of my family at business meetings.

But the real reason I’m writing this post is because Ahmed posted a very simple example of just how useful LinkedIn is – when you remember to use it!  I had actually just done a training session where I walked them through a scenario much like the one Ahmed describes.

To recap:  I need to find someone who works in function X at large corporation Y. Or, more interesting, someone who used to work at company Z. LinkedIn lets me punch in what I’m looking for and spits back extremely relevant results. So, if I were trying to get in touch with someone in public relations at, say, Facebook, I would get the following:


I think that’s a pretty decent list of PR executives from a $15 billion company. Not insignificant is that LinkedIn also gives me a way to get in touch with those executives through my own network. Very handy indeed.

That training session I did last week also dealt with Facebook and one of the first questions I was asked (even before I did the LinkedIn search demo) was: "Can Facebook help me find friends of friends? You know, the six degrees thing?" The answer, of course, is "not really, unless you’re willing to page though hundreds of your friends’ friends."

I’ve written before that the ‘killer’ facebook feature for me is a way to explore my 2nd degree network in a controlled way.  I’m still waiting.