How and Why to Set Up 2-factor Authentication For Your G-Mail Account

2 step

I explained in this article that social media accounts (no matter the fan/follower amounts) were being kidnapped by hackers and held for ransom and how it could ruin your online presence.

One of the ways to prevent this from happening is by using 2-factor authentification for your e-mail and social media profiles. Yes, it requires an additional step, but it’s worth the extra effort to protect your social media accounts and your personal information.

What is 2-factor authentification?

According to Dr. Dan Manson, professor of computer information systems at Cal Poly Pomona and host of The CyberFed Show, a 2-factor authentification contains 2 of these 3 items: something you know, something you have and something you are.

  • something you know = a password or PIN
  • something you have = a card or an e-mail address or a log-in or a phone
  • something you are = a fingerprint or a retina scan or proof of I.D.

Dr. Manson feels that security questions are not really a 2-factor authentification because these answers can be learned or guessed.  This is precisely what social engineers (hackers) are doing to get into your accounts: guessing answers to your security questions.

G-mail offers 2-factor authentification by combining something you know (your password) with something you have (your phone). With 2-step verification, you’ll get a short numeric code (verification code) on your phone (mobile or landline). You’ll then enter this code in addition to your username and password (even on your laptop or desktop). (If you wish, you can set it so that you will only be asked for your verification code on that device every 30 days.)

To set up 2-factor authentification, go to your settings page (or go here) on your G-mail account and click “using 2-step verification”.  Next, click “set up 2-step verification”. Follow the directions that you see on your screen in order to set up the 2-step verification code option. You have the option to receive a text message or a voice-call to your landline or mobile device or you can use the Google authenticator app on your Android, Blackberry or iPhone.

You will also set up 2 back-up options for receiving verification codes in case  your phone is lost or stolen.

Go and do this now, while it’s still fresh in your mind! Is it perfect? No. But it MAY save you hours, weeks, even years of trouble down the road!

Other places where you can (and should) set up 2-step authentification are:

  • Evernote
  • Dropbox
  • Apple iCloud
  • Google Drive
  • One Drive
  • Most banks (although not Wells Fargo)
  • Amazon web services
  • Google cloud platform
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Basecamp
  • Campfire
  • Mailchimp
  • Hipchat is working on it
  • SalesForce
  • Outlook.com
  • Yahoo Mail
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • (For a continuously updated list, check this site.)

Meerkat and Periscope: A Comparison

Video CD . Conceptual 3d rendered illustration .

Both the Meerkat and Periscope apps are now a few months old (Meerkat was released at the end of February just in time to steal the show at the South by southwest event in Austin, Texas while Periscope was released at the end of March ) and both have been going strong.  Who will win the live-streaming battle for top player remains to be seen though.  There are pros and cons to each app.

Before I launch into a comparison, let’s answer the question What is Live-Streaming?

Live-streaming is simply streaming content live over the internet.  Live-streaming isn’t new but the ability to do it so easily by using one of these two apps is what is new.  There are so many ways that businesses and solo-preneurs can utilize these apps that it almost boggles the mind (more on that later)! Now for the comparison.

Meerkat

Meerkat was the first app to offer live-streaming to Twitter.  In fact, Twitter tried to buy it early on but was unsuccessful.

It has a clean and simple interface with only a few options available. (I’m sure that more will be added as the app develops.) Essentially you can sign in with Twitter and leave your profile alone. Your options are to search for people you’d like to follow or to see the leader board.  You can choose to automatically end a tweet with #meerkat… or not. You cannot also connect to your Facebook page. If you choose to do that, your scheduling and streaming will post to your page.

As with Periscope, your video stream appears on Twitter immediately.  When you watch a live-stream, you are able to comment and see comments from other people. You are also able to retweet. I like the comment thread on Meerkat because it takes up less space than on Periscope so you’ll able to see the presenter easier.  I also like that you can scroll back and see previous comments so you don’t lose track of the conversation.  (You cannot do that on Periscope.) You’ll also see the avatars of folks in the livestream going across the top of the stream. If you click on those thumbnails, you’ll be able to see their Twitter profiles but you can’t follow them from the app.

A great thing about Meerkat is that you have the option to schedule a broadcast in a 24 hour window and to add a featured image. Hashtags and keywords can be included. When a livestream is scheduled, the event will show up in the app feed and a tweet will be sent out. If a person subscribes to an upcoming stream, they will receive a notification from the app when the stream is live.

Another very positive feature is that a call-to-action with a live URL can be added to the end of a livestream.

One of the more negative aspects is that it’s difficult to find folks to follow. They do provide suggestions but if you’re trying to connect with folks that you are already connected to on Twitter, it’s a bit tedious.

Because Meerkat is gamification-based, there is a leaderboard. The way to move up on the leaderboard is to have more people watching, more minutes of streamed video and more comments than the person below you (rumor has it).  This keeps users (broadcasters) engaged and encourages them to broadcast more often. However, that could also be a negative because it takes so much time to get on the leaderboard – folks will run out of valuable things to say and their content might suffer. A positive is that this might also be another way to find people to follow. In fact, this was the method I first used.

A new development is that streamers AND viewers now get points for interactions.

When both apps first launched, there seemed to be some “haters” who loved to invade a livestream and leave negative comments. That seems to have diminished (in fact, I haven’t seen any for quite awhile). There  is the option to report a spammer or to report a livestream itself as inappropriate.

On Meerkat, you can’t watch a finished broadcast but you can save the recording to your phone. If it was your own broadcast, you would then have the ability to edit and use snippets of the stream in another context such as the Instagram 15 second feed.  * Brian Fanzo tells me that if you use the Katch app you can have it automatically recorded. @Katchapp says this: “Record Meerkats with one tweet! The #katch hashtag sends you an automagic YouTube link when the stream ends. (Processing time varies).”

Meerkat Positives

  • Can schedule a live-stream 24 hours ahead and have it “announced”
  • The gamification makes it a bit more interesting and easy to find folks who live-stream often
  • Can place a call-to-action at the end of a live-stream with a URL
  • Possibly a bit easier to use (good for newbie lurkers)
  • Can use the Katch app to auto-record and then be able to save to device

Meerkat Negatives

  • Difficult to connect with your Twitter connections
  • Live-stream is not available to be watched later unless you auto-record it with the Katch app
  • It has no floating hearts (I know, I know; some could care less.)

Periscope

Periscope is owned by Twitter so it has a few more options because of the api.

It is also fairly easy to use both as a viewer and as a broadcaster.

You sign in with your twitter account and your bio is loaded BUT… you can change it. And just this week, Periscope made the links in the bio clickable so be sure to add a link to your bio to where you’d most like your viewers to connect with you more.

You are able to find and follow  your twitter connections more easily but I have to say that in my case, certainly not all of them were within easy reach.  Apparently you can only follow 200 at a time, but every time you log out and log back in, you can follow 200 more. You can browse other viewers watching a stream though and easily add them to your follow list on the app. You can also see THEIR network and follow those folks too.

The thumbnails of the viewers are NOT shown across the top of the livestream as in Meerkat but when they comment, you will see their avatars in a color-shaded square on the left side of the screen. Comments are not pushed to Twitter.

One of the negatives of Periscope is that the comments take up a lot of room and can take away much of the visual. That could be a big detriment to some businesses depending upon what they are presenting. In Periscope, old comments cannot be retrieved which might be problematic for the presenter who is already busy trying to multi-task and not miss any comments.

Of course, one of my favorite parts of Periscope are the floating hearts on the right side of the livestream that signify the viewers giving love to the presenter. Viewers can do that by tapping on their screen and the color of their hearts are the same color as their avatar square. (I have not figured out how to actually select the color I want for my avatar square. If anyone finds a way to do that, let me know! I want pink or turquoise, of course.) One possibly negative side of this is that some broadcasters are begging for hearts (akin to begging for likes and follows_ – don’t do that.

One of the positives about Periscope is that livestreams are available to be seen for 24 hours so if you miss a live session, you have some time to catch it.  AND the livestreams are now available to be watched on the web! So if your phone battery dies (like mine often does), you can still watch on the web.

Another cool feature with Periscope is that you can have private live-streams.  In order to do this, the people that you’d like in your private livestream must follow you. You would then tap on the follower(s) that would want to include. Paid memberships, group chats or client meetings would be ways to  utilize this feature.

Like Meerkat, Periscope  has a reporting feature for those livestreams that are inappropriate.  You can also limit the ability to comment on your livestream to only those who follow you on Twitter.

Unlike Meerkat, you cannot pre-schedule a livestream (I bet that changes soon), nor can you leave a call-to-action at the end of your livestream (I bet that will change too but the ability to have a clickable link in your bio is good in the meantime.)

Periscope DOES provide post-stream statistics for the broadcasters though.

Wrap-Up

Periscope Positives:

  • Can find Twitter connections easily
  • Can have private broadcasts
  • Videos can be watched for 24 hours after live-stream finishes
  • Videos can be watched on the web
  • Links in Bios are clickable
  • Has post-stream statistics

Periscope Negatives

  • Does not allow scheduling
  • Does not allow a call-to-action at the end
  • Comments distract from the presenter

 

Why consider using Meerkat or Periscope?

You can easily connect with your audience in real-time!

We’ll discuss ways to utilize each of these apps in the second article of the series.

Have you tried either app? What are your thoughts?  Have I missed anything?

Which Social Media Platform is Best for Direct Marketers?

two smiling women, one  applying make up to the other at homeThis article originally appeared on SheOwnsIt.com.

Many direct sales marketers are successfully using social media to help market their businesses.  But just like in any other business, choosing the best social media platform for your particular brand is very important.  In order to choose, it’s imperative to define your ideal client and determine where they might be hanging out. We already know that physical products that are sold using the direct marketing system are popular among Facebook users.  And Facebook is the largest social media platform and the second most visited site after Google.

But Facebook may not be your best choice.  Here’s why:

Facebook’s recent algorithm changes have caused a significant decrease in the amount of content that is seen by those who like your page.  Experts are suggesting that only 1 of every 6 posts is seen by any one person.  So theoretically,  if you want even one post to be seen, you need to post something on your business page at least 6 times per day.  Facebook is putting more emphasis on images and images with links to relevant information.  Fortunately, many direct marketer’s products are very visual businesses.

We have known for awhile that Facebook has become a “Pay to Play” market for businesses and now marketers are being given tools to evaluate their campaigns further emphasizing that they are serious about advertising dollars.  This is not good news for those working in a direct sales market that does not allow advertising.

This is not to say that you should dump your Facebook business page. If you have a loyal following and can provide relevant and engaging content, you might still do well.  Some ideas for content might be motivational quotes, personal notes, humor, links to your other social media presences, company news, promotions (limited but not absent), questions and links to your blog or newsletter, if you have one.

Be sure that you fill out your “about” section completely so folks can get an instant idea of what you and your business is about.

There are 2 other social media platforms to consider using.  Pinterest is one of them.

Pinterest is an excellent site for direct sales marketers for several reasons.

  • There are 70 million Pinterest accounts of which 80% are owned by women.
  • There are 2.5 billion monthly Pinterest page views.
  • 80% of total Pinterest pins are repins, which means that your original pin has a longer staying power than a post on Facebook or Instagram.
  • The percentage of total social referrals to commerce sites (your O2 website, for instance) is 20% and people who have seen an item on social media are 40% more likely to purchase it.
  • The average amount per order that Pinterest shoppers spend is $140.00 – $180.00 and 60% of Pinterest users live in the United States.
  • *(Stats are from Expanded Ramblings.com)

On Pinterest you’re able to repin images from other direct marketer’s boards onto your own boards which allows you to show different ways to use your product.  Etiquette states that you may change the caption of the pin but you should never, never change the website redirect address.

This brings up the number one mistake that I’ve noticed that direct marketers make on Pinterest.  They add their website to the caption of the pin but don’t add their website as their image source. If you are pinning from your own photos, this is a must because otherwise the image is not clickable.  To add your website address, click on the image, click on the pencil (edit), place your website address to the box that says “source” and click on “save changes”.  But remember, if there is another person’s website address listed in the source box, do not change it. This is for images that you add from your own files.

Hint: if you have a website and apply for Pinterest’s “Rich Pins”, (and are approved) you can add a price to the description of your item and it will then be featured in the “Gifts” category (thus giving more attention to your Pin). Just how Pinterest chooses to display pins in this category is still a bit of a mystery but it’s worth a try.  Be sure to check your company’s terms of service  to that posting prices on Pinterest is allowed.
Instagram is another social media platform that is being used by many direct marketers.  It is a highly visual platform and allows for images or videos to be uploaded directly from your smartphone. Using Instagram, you could not only show images of your products but ways that they can be utilized.

The great thing about Instagram is that is utilizes hashtags in a big way. Unlike Twitter and Facebook where using more than 2 hashtags in a post is frowned upon, Instagrammers use many of them.  So for instance, you could use many of your keywords as tags and even add your home town as a tag with each image you post.

Like all social media sites, Instagram is not just about selling; it’s about connecting, offering value and getting to know your connections. So do post other images on your Instagram account that show off all sides of your personality.

You are also able to repost an image that you find on Instagram by using the Repost app (iPhone) or PhotoRepost app (Android).  The app will give credit to the original poster.

Because Instagram accepts 15 second videos, it’s also a great way to provide tips for your potential customers or for your team members.

So there you have it.  Which platform do you think is the best for your particular brand? Can you think of other ways to use these platforms?

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos/Syda_Productions

4 Great Reasons To Try Rignite Now

Vector abstract background; clip-artAs a social media strategist and community manager, I am always looking for ways to save time on social media while still being effective. I also need access to reliable analytics. As such, I’ve tried various scheduling and analytic software products such as Hootsuite, Market Me Suite, Sprout Social and others.

Recently, I had the opportunity to retry Rignite and because it has changed so much since my last trial, I thought I would give it a shot.  I’ve only been using it a month now, but here are some of the features that have impressed me so far.

1. Campaigns

Rignite has different types of campaigns that can be set up. You can easily run contests (they even help choose a winner), promote an event, blog or content; boost engagement or grow your fans and followers. There are suggestions and easy to follow directions to help set up a campaign. The drag and drop calendar is especially easy to use and enables you to see which days are lacking in scheduled content.

example of rignite calendar sheduling tool

One of the features that I especially like is the ability to schedule a blog post to be tweeted out on a regular basis for up to 6 months. I have been using the plug-in “Tweet Old Posts” (now called Revive Old Posts) to randomly tweet my previously published posts on a regular basis but in the world of social media, things change so quickly. Blog posts such as “Facebook Changes Its Algorithm… Again” become outdated in weeks, sometimes days. With this feature, I can easily cancel the scheduling of the post when it is no longer relevant.

2. Photo Gallery

I love this feature! Rignite has an area called “Gallery” which can contain albums of photos. This is a great place to store all those quote images so that they can easily be scheduled out to post on social media platforms.

nature

3. Easily monitor competitors, influencers and VIPs without following them.

Sometimes there are folks that you’d like to keep an eye on but don’t necessarily want to follow (perhaps because you’ve reached your follow limit) OR whose posts you want to be sure not to miss. rignite makes it easy to do both by using their “Account Search feature. This same feature allows you to build relationships with your VIPS by being able to respond to them quickly and in a timely manner.

4. Unlimited Social Accounts and Low Pricing

The free version of HootSuite allows up to three social media accounts and no team members while its next level up at $9.99 per month has 50 profiles included and allows up to 100.

MarketMe Suite’s basic level at $20.00 per month includes  5 social profiles (and only 20 scheduled messages) while its next level at $45.00 per month includes unlimited social profiles and scheduled messages.

Sprout Social’s first level plan (called Deluxe) at $59.00 per user per month allows up-to 10 profiles   and its next level up (at $99.00 oer month) allows up to 20.

Rignite allows unlimited social profiles in all of its levels!  Their basic level is $19.00 per month but does not include campaigns. Their next level up (which does include campaigns) is just $39.00 per month. If you pay the annual price, there is a 10 per cent discount. These prices are great for the small to medium-sized business owner.

None of the social media scheduling and analytical software solutions are exactly the same. Take advantage of free trials to find out which solution is best for your own needs.

Image credit: Deposit Photos and Rignite

* I did not receive monetary compensation for this article but I was invited to receive an extended trial of Rignite upon completion of this article. I’ll let you know of my findings after the completion of my trial.

 

Facebook Bans “Like-Gating”: Here’s Why This Is a Good Thing

abstract grunge texture with title of article written on it.Buried at the bottom  of Facebook’s recent updates for their API and SDKs (and unnoticed by many for a period of time) was the notice that Facebook would no longer be allowing “Like-Gating” (also known as “Fan-gating”)

“Like-gating” is when a “like” is required in order to get to certain information on a Facebook page. That could be in the form of a contest or just certain content.

Per Facebook:

“You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.”

Apps refers to 3rd party apps such as Heyo, ShortStack and many others. Often these apps are used to run contests and gather “likes”. Frequently, you’ll see something such as “First “like” my page to enter and then… ”   

This was never a good idea anyway, because the prizes didn’t always correspond to the content that the page was offering or intended to offer in the future. There were many folks who just liked a page in order to be eligible to win a prize such as an iPad Mini and had no interest in the content being offered. These folks would never be the target audience of the ideal client of the page owner, so essentially they were worthless “likes”.

Facebook gets that and stated “To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.”

This makes complete sense to me. But not all marketers are happy.  Many marketers feel that large amounts of “likes” are imperative to their business.  Having large amounts of “likes” is beneficial IF you have the engagement to go with them. If you simply have “likes” and a small engagement rate, it can even be detrimental to your business.

According to Jon Loomer, “the negative impact of like-gating goes far beyond your number of “likes”. Facebook tells us that the average user would see 1500 stories on any given day.. and their algorithm brings it down to a more manageable number.” Like-gating confuses the algorithm because it doesn’t doesn’t know which persons are really interested in the content being distributed. This eventually has a negative impact on all of us with business pages.

It looks as though 3rd party apps knew this was coming because they are making changes to their platforms. ShortStack has designed a campaign that allows marketers to collect actionable and valuable data such as email addresses and customer feedback without having to receive a page like.

You can still ask people to “like” your page but concentrating on actions and engagement rather than the number of “likes” will be much more beneficial for everyone in the long run.

*Current apps will be allowed to run until November 5th.  Like-gating won’t work for any new apps created from this day forward.

What’s your opinion? Yay or Nay?

Optimizing Your Pinterest Account for Business

Pinterest for business articleThis article first appeared on SheOwnsIt.com

With over 70 million users and 2.5 billion monthly page views, Pinterest has proven to be a great social media platform for almost all businesses.  Studies have shown that consumers who engage with your small business on Pinterest are more likely to do business with you and spend more money in the process.  When using Pinterest, you’ll want to optimize your experience as much as possible in order to gain the most benefit. Here are 14 tips.

1. If you are a business, sign up for a business account rather than a personal account.

This allows you to take advantage of business offerings such as verifying your website and applying for Pinterest’s “rich pins”.

2. Optimize Your Profile.

As on any other social media platform, your profile is the first impression anyone has of you so make it count.  Your Pinterest user name and the about section underneath it are picked up by search engines so be sure to include who you are, what you do and the specific keywords that are used in your niche.

3. Create Focused Boards With Catchy Titles.

Make your boards specific and remember to use your keywords.  So for instance, if you sell kitchen cabinets, rather than creating a board with the title KITCHEN, you might create “White Kitchen Cabinets”, “Oak Kitchen Cabinets”, “Modern Cabinet Hardware”, etc.

Try to keep your titles under 28 characters so that the full title is visible.

4.  Create Keyword-Centric Pin Descriptions.

Many people choose not to add a description to their pins but descriptions can have great SEO value. Pinterest allows a huge amount of space for a description but per Hubspot, studies have shown that 100-200 character descriptions seem to work the best. Use your keywords but in addition to that, know your target market and know how to captivate them with your descriptions.   Consider using appropriate long-tail keyword descriptions, as well.

Hashtags are also being used again on Pinterest although searching by a word is easy enough. Remember to use them sparingly.

5,  Organize Your Rows.

Just as you would on your website, place your most important boards above the fold in the top 2 rows.  Studies have shown that the eye tends to see towards the middle so position the boards that you want to be seen most in this area.

6.  Share Unique Content From Your Website Onto Your Boards.

I think we all know the importance of having images attached to our blog posts, but when pinning from your website, you want to be sure that the images you use are interesting, clear and large enough to be seen well on Pinterest. Images should be at least 750 pixels wide so when purchasing your images, keep this in mind.  They don’t need to appear this large on your site; they just need to appear that large in your media url.

When folks are using the Pin It button from your site, be sure that your image populates correctly with the title of your post/page and your website name.  For more on that, check the Pinterest article here.

When folks are using the “Pin It” button in their browser to pin your images, it usually populates with whatever is in the “Alt text” box. This actually distresses me because the purpose of the Alt tag is to describe the image for those readers who are visually impaired.  I’ll leave it to you to decide what is best.

Once you pin an item from your website, go back to the pin on Pinterest and edit the pin to be sure it redirects to your post or website.  You will find the edit pencil on the upper right hand corner of the image. Do NOT edit other pins from other websites to redirect back to your own. I know that you wouldn’t, but it has been done.

7. Make sure that your boards are visible in “Search”.

Under Pinterest settings, which can be found on the drop-down menu under your name, there is a category called “Search Privacy” and if set to “yes” will “Keep search engines (ex: Google) from showing your Pinterest profile in search results”. This needs to be set on “no”. It is one of the biggest mistakes I see people make.

8.  Place the “Pin it” button on your website to make it easier for others to Pin your images.

You will find instructions for this here.

9.  Pin great content from other sources.

Just like on other social media platforms, it’s a mistake to make it all about you.  Choose images and content that parallel your own content or that shows some of your personality.  Some popular Pinterest niches are Food, Family, Home Decor, Photography, Design, Crafts, DIY, and Weddings. Pinning in these categories is a way for people to get to know you and then your business.

This is also a good way to position yourself as an expert in your niche by curating great content.

When you do pin other content or repin it, check to make sure that the link to the pin actually works.  There is nothing more frustrating than finding a delicious looking recipe, clicking on the pin to get to the recipe and finding either no link or just a link to the homepage of the site.

10.  Build followers.

Use the search box to find Pinterest users with similar interests or those who would might be a potential client and follow either their whole Pinterest account or the certain boards that are of interest to you..

11. Accept invitations to join “group boards”.

This is one of the fastest ways to gain followers and extend the reach of your content. Participating in group boards allows you to share your content on the group board and thus it is repinned by many of the participants onto their own boards.  Every time a pin is repinned, it is a “shout-out” the search engines by creating a backlink to the source page. The more a pin gets shared, the more backlinks are created within Pinterest.  These backlinks are said to be “no-follow” so they don’t add SEO value to your site.  The links in your pin’s descriptions are “dofollow”. I am NOT an SEO person so hopefully that made sense.

12. Take advantage of the “Gift” category.

Pinterest recently launched this new Gift category.  Whenever a price is added to a pin, it will appear in this category.  So whether you sell products or services, if you create an original image and place a dollar amount in the description, you’ll gain extra marketing exposure by having your pin fall into this category.

So there you have it.  Which are you favorite ways to optimize your use of Pinterest?  Can you share any tips that you have used successfully?

Is Pinterest’s New(ish) Gifts Feed Right for Your Business?

stacked gift boxes The answer is easy.  If you have a product with a price tag, then yes, it is.  While it is much more advantageous for tangible products that are gift-worthy, it could be used for digital products, as well.

The Gifts feed can be found in the interest lists which are under the drop-down menu in the upper left hand side.  When a price is added to a Pin, it becomes a “Product Pin” and can be featured in the Gifts feed. (Caveat: You will need to apply for “rich pins” in order to be able to do this.)  Product Pins include real time pricing, availability and where to buy.  If your product goes on sale, people who have pinned your Product Pin will be notified of that.

The gifts feed includes categories of pricing so that pinners can search for a gift within their desired price range or they can dream of bigger purchases. 

  • $            – anything less than $25.00
  • $$         – priced between $25.00 and $50.00
  • $$$      –  priced between $50.00 and $200.00 
  • $$$$   – anything over $200.00

Pinterest says that they’ve learned that Product Pins get higher click-through rates than regular Pins.  So if you have a product to sell, you may want to give this a try.

Facebook Business Page Changes Announced

image of a mobile phone with Facebook word on itFacebook has announced some major changes for your business or fan page.

1. There will be a single column on the right side of the page for the news feed.
This will be good because the page will be less cluttered and easier for engagement. 

2. On the left side will be your consolidated business information (hours of operation, phone number, map, website URL, etc.).
If you don’t have that information filled out, you may want to concentrate on completing that in the next couple of days.

3. Easier access to administration tools.
You’ll be able to view the ads you’re running, new likes, and notifications from anywhere on the page.  The “This Week” section will provide more details.  There is also a new navigation bar across the top of the page that will make it easy to access your activity, insights, and settings. The “Build Audience” tab (also at the top) allows you direct access to your ads.

example of business page 

4. All page admins will be able to access the “Pages to Watch” feature.
This is good if you want to keep up with your competition because you can add a list of pages to watch in order to see how your page is doing compared to theirs. Note: it’s unclear if the pages you watch will know that you’re watching them. Some are saying yes; some are saying that they’ll just know that “someone” is watching.

5. You’ll notice that the tabs (are gone.
This may upset a few people but it’s really not that big a deal.  First of all, pages are getting much less engagement  at this moment and secondly because more and more people are accessing Facebook via their mobile devices and the tabs weren’t seen on mobile anyway.   Tabs will be seen under the “more” button and will still be able to utilize 3rd party applications.

6. Just like on the update for your personal page, there will be an emphasis on images and on images with links.
So be sure to concentrate on making your content more visual. And as always, provide value.

7. Of course, we already know that Facebook is becoming more “pay to play” which is fine; they’re a business. Focus on targeted promotions and get creative. And be sure to optimize  all of your promotions for mobile viewing.

I’m pleased with the new changes.  What’s your opinion?

Image: Deposit Photos

You’re most welcome to use this article on your website, blog or in your e-zine if you include this entire blurb, without modification: If you liked this article by Shelley Webb, you’ll want to hop on over to www.OnTheWebbSocialMedia.com where you can find more articles, resources and social media strategies.  Shelley teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners how to bring their business into the on-line conversation.

Getty’s New Free Embedded Images May Not Be So Free Afterall

film strip with images on a white backgroundIf you’re like most bloggers, you are becoming increasingly confused about which images are okay to use on your blog and exactly how they can legally be used.  No one wants the worry of having to fight off lawyers just for using a simple image but as we all know, images play a very important role in social media and inbound marketing.

Well now Getty Images (one of the more famous filers of lawsuits over image copyright infringement) has offered a possible solution: free embedded images.  These embedded images are free to use on non-commercial sites. The images would appear on the website by using an embed code in an iframe, much the same as You Tube videos are embedded.  Not all of Getty’s images are embeddable. If they are, you will see this icon </> in a box under the image.

There are things to consider before jumping on the embedded image bandwagon. First of all, what is a non-commercial site?  If you are an e-commerce site with a blog, you probably can’t use these images. If you are doing any sort of inbound marketing, the lines may be too gray to take the risk. Getty says  “the key attribute in classifying use as commercial is whether the image is used to promote a business, goods or services, or to advertise something. If not, it is a non-commercial use.”  So if you’re using a blog for information or teaching purposes only, you may qualify.

Another thing to consider is that because the content is an iframe (which is a type of code that uses a piece of content that lives on another website and allows it to be seen on your website), you don’t have control over it.  So if the owner, in this case Getty, wants to toss out that image, it will no longer be seen on your site. And if you had pinned your image to one of your Pinterest boards, it will no longer be seen there either. 

Lastly, because Getty is a corporation, you can be sure that they will monetize this offering in the near future.  Per the Hubspot blog, Craig Peters, a business and development executive at Getty Images confirmed  that they are considering doing this by either a collection of data or by advertising.  You Tube advertises on their videos so you can get an idea of how this might appear. 

What do you think of this new feature?  Would you consider using embedded images?

 

You Can’t Be Seen as an Expert Just By Posting Cat Memes – (or Why You Need To Write a Book)

BooksIf you’re like most people, you’ve thought about writing a book. But also just like most people, you haven’t gotten around to it yet.  Let’s be honest, writing a book is hard work.  Whether you’re writing a fiction work or non-fiction work, it requires brainstorming, note writing, fact gathering, word researching, writing, editing, rewriting and more editing.  So then why should you write a book?  What does being a published author of a print book bring that having a blog can’t do?  Well, lots of things.

Seth Godin says that “a book is a physical souvenir, a concrete instantiation of your ideas in a physical object, something that gives your ideas substance and allows them to travel”.

A book helps define your reputation.  It allows you to be seen as an expert in your chosen topic.  While many bloggers can rise to the title of expert, people tend to grant more authority to those who have written a book on a particular subject. 

A book also serves as a business card – one that will probably not be thrown away and may even be shared with additional people. 

A book is a great conversation starter.  Who wouldn’t be interested in hearing more about your book, its subject matter and why it was written?

A book is evidence of hard work.  As I mentioned above, it is hard work.  It takes discipline, persistence, determination and a leap of faith to complete. Potential clients will know this too and will admire you for it.

And finally, having a written book will help you to accomplish a dream which of course, is an awesome thing to do. 

If this sounds like something you’re ready to do, I invite you to join me and more than 70 others who have already signed up, in Kristen Eckstein’s Print in 30 Bootcamp Challenge.  Kristen is a super-great instructor.  I just completed her Kindle in 30 Challenge and was amazed at the amount and quality of material that she provided.  Several of the authors in that group (including me) become Amazon Best Selling authors!

Kristen’s course begins April 3rd so you have a month to get your materials organized so that you’ll be ready to go when the course begins!  If you sign up right now, you can get a huge discount ($200.00 off) by using coupon code: print200 making the whole course just $97.00.  You know that’s an incredible value!  If you have any interest at all, I urge you to check out the program.  Here’s the link: Print in 30 Challenge   Join the challenge to get your showcase print book completed in just 30 days! I’ll see you there!

You’re most welcome to use this article on your website, blog or in your e-zine if you include this entire blurb, without modification: If you liked this article by Shelley Webb, you’ll want to hop on over to www.OnTheWebbSocialMedia.com where you can find more articles, resources and social media strategies.  Shelley teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners how to bring their business into the on-line conversation.