3 New Facebook Changes that Benefit Marketers

[tweetmeme]Facebook recently made some new changes that will benefit marketers and business owners. I’m very happy about them, that’s for sure! Here’s a rundown:

Share Posts to Pages

Facebook users can share posts, links, videos, photos, etc. to other pages now.

When you come across a post you want to share on your own page, or another page you admin, you simply choose “On your page” from the drop-down box, and you’re all set.

If you are the admin for more than one Facebook page, you may only see the name of one of your pages after you’ve done this once. (I found this out the hard way and thought I could only use this feature if I was using Facebook as my page.) But if you click on that page name, a drop-down box will still appear with the other pages listed.

Pages Can See Which Pages “Like” Them

I’ve been waiting for this feature forever!!! Finally, Facebook is allowing page admins to see which other pages like their page!

When you’re on your page, click on the “people like this” link on the left-side of the wall to bring up the window that shows your fans. Click on “people” at the top and a drop-down menu appears. If you’re using Facebook as your page, you can also access this by clicking on the “people” icon at the top of your page, which indicates the number of latest fans. Click on “see all” which appears at the bottom of the window.

A new window will appear with all your fans, and you can click on the word “people” to access the drop-down menu.

Edit Thumbnail

The last update I’ve noticed recently concerns thumbnail pictures. Now you can scale an image to fit the box, when you edit your thumbnail. This is great for horizontal logos. Here’s an example of a logo that has not been scaled to fit the thumbnail:

Simply, edit the thumbnail and select “scale to fit”:

This is what the logo looks like on the wall:

If you need help making sense of Facebook, contact me to ask about my one-on-one training services.


How Twitter’s New App Rules & Link Shortener Will Affect Marketers

You’ve got to love Twitter. They sure know how to confuse people. One of my clients sent me an email she received from Twitter about its new authorization rules for applications and its new link shortener. Her message to me: “Help.”

If you received the same e-mail and are also confused, let me explain what all the fuss is about.

Update #1 – New Authorization Rules for Applications

Whenever you use one of the 250,000 applications for Twitter such as TweetMeme, Seesmic, TweetDeck, fflick or Foursquare, you have to authorize the application to access your Twitter account. As of August 31, Twitter changed how that authorization occurs.

Now, all applications are required to use “OAuth” to access your Twitter account. Twitter says OAuth is a technology that “enables applications to access Twitter on your behalf with your approval without asking you directly for your password.” Twitter says you may still be asked for your password once, but after that initial request, the application must be OAuth to access your timeline or allow you to tweet.

Here’s what this really means: Applications will no longer be allowed to store your password. And if you change your password, the applications will continue to work. The downside is some of your applications may not be working, and you may have to reauthorize some of them. You can view the list of applications you have authorized at: http://twitter.com/settings/connections. You can also revoke access to any application at any time from this list.

Update #2 – t.co URL Wrapping

Twitter’s second announcement involves its link shortening service t.co, which it plans to roll out to all users by the end of this year. Twitter users have turned to third-party providers such as bit.ly or ow.ly to shorten links to articles and websites with long URL’s because of the 140 character limit on tweets.

Twitter says its wrapped links will be displayed in a way that is easier to read, with the actual domain and part of the URL showing, so you know what you are clicking on.

This new service is bad news for third-party providers, since it means more competition. For marketers, t.co opens up a new avenue for analytics, since Twitter will log the clicks people make on these links. However, it’s not clear if Twitter’s analytics will be any better than what a company like bit.ly can provide. Twitter’s comment in the email was a little vague saying, “We hope to use this data to provide better and more relevant content to you over time.“

Here is how the new t.co service will work: Twitter says a really long link such as http://www.amazon.com/Delivering-Happiness-Profits-Passion-Purpose/dp/0446563048 might be wrapped as http://t.co/DRo0trj for display on SMS, but it could be displayed to web or application users as amazon.com/Delivering- or as the whole URL or page title.

In addition, Twitter says when you click on a wrapped link, your request will be passed thru its service to see if the destination site is known to contain malware. Then, Twitter will forward you on to the destination URL. It says this process should happen instantly.

What do you think of Twitter’s move? Will this be a sound edition to their services? Or could it backfire on them, if their analytics don’t provide the information marketers want. I’d love to know what you think.

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Social Networking Sites Attract Women Product Buyers

If women are the target market for your products – you better get onto a social networking site, quick!

eMarketer.com reported today that the new edition of SheSpeaks “Annual Social Media Study” has found that 80% of female Internet users said they had become a fan of a product or brand on a social network.

Plus, 72% had learned about a new product or brand, or joined a group around one.

But even more significant, one-half of female Internet users had bought a product because of a social network.  And they’re more receptive to advertising too. 30% of women are willing to look and click through on an ad, compared to just 13% in 2008.

Women aren’t just going online to research purchases anymore. The study found that they are more comfortable using social media to research and buy products.

Marketers should recognize that social media offer a tremendous opportunity to reach and engage women, and influence their buying decisions.



Apple iPod and iPhone Users May be Forced to Listen to Advertising

[picapp src=”0600/a0f3aea6-389e-48fb-943d-9a7ef5a5c14d.jpg?adImageId=7606739&imageId=608009″ width=”234″ height=”160″ /] Marketers may soon have a new captive audience for their advertisements: iPod & iPhone users.

A British newspaper reported Tuesday that Apple has filed a patent for an “enforcement routine” software.  It’s believed that the technology for this application would force users to watch or listen to commercials, which they would be unable to skip past.

The report said that users could be required to answer questions about the advertisements to make sure they listened and fully understood them. In addition, iPod users could be asked to press certain button combinations to allow them to continue listening to music.

This software would be a boon for Apple, since it could help cut the costs of some of its best selling products. And it would certainly be a golden opportunity for advertisers, since the iPod and iPhone are such popular items.

My knee-jerk reaction to this news as a consumer was, “Oh, no. Not more advertising.”  But then I remembered that I’m in the business of helping companies make money online so, “Way to go, Apple! Whoo-hoo!”



Online Video Viewing Habits & Projections for Ad Spending

 I watched an interesting webinar the other day from eMarketer.com. All about video viewing habits and what steps marketers should be taking to cash in.

The webinar noted that 72% of Internet users are watching online video in some form – usually short videos on YouTube, movie trailers, CNN news reports, etc. While that percentage is large, in real numbers, television still dwarfs online. 249 million people watch TV each week, compared to 53 million who watch online videos.  According to Nielsen, the average American watches 4.7 hours of television per day – compared to 3.5 hours of online video viewing per month.

The good news for advertisers is that online video viewers are much more engaged than those who watch ads on TV. According to Interpret LLC, viewers are 28% more likely to pay attention to online video ads than to TV ads. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. You actively seek out a video online and lean forward to watch, where as with TV ads, you’re more likely to watch while sitting back in your comfy chair or couch.

 eMarketer.com says online video ad spending should be about $1.04 billion this year – 4.3% of total ad spending in the U.S.  While the number is a small percentage right now, eMarketer expects a 40% growth rate for the next few years – with online video ad spending hitting $4.1 billion by 2013. Why? It’s expected that advertisers will be providing more professional content, viewing hours will increase, technology will improve (HiDef), targeting will improve, and there will be better formats/more creative ads.

 So what can you as a marketer do to take advantage of the online medium? eMarketer recommends several steps:

  • Expand reach through a mix of video advertising buys, including appropriate ad networks
  • Focus heavily on targeting, overlaying online video buys with behavioral targeting
  • Be very clear on your goals before you launch a video campaign
  • Hold the creative of your video ads to a higher standard than you would on a TV campaign

Jeff Zucker, CEO of NBC Universal said it best,  “Our challenge is to effectively monetize (online video) so that we do  not end up treading analog dollars for digital pennies.”