Articles written in October, 2010

October 28 2010

Creating a Facebook App for your Business

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Facebook has become a dimension of social media that enables companies as well as individuals to display their information and communicate with their friends and customers.

There are many ways to integrate Facebook to a website by the use of the “like” button or displaying a wall and also creating a page or an application.

To create an application if you are familiar with creating a page is pretty simple, all you need to do is to create a developer account, create an application and customize the profile of the application. The application will be viewable in a url similar to the following “app.facebook.com/your app name/” and required to have at least one developer account, but many can be added.

There are 2 ways of creating an application and Facebook provides a nice interface to help you choose the type of application you would like. You can either select a frame application, which is the default, or an FBML application. If you plan on keeping it simple, I would suggest using a frame. This gives you the freedom of creating any type of app without the need of Facebook integration. If you plan on integrating Facebook to the application, you will probably require the use of FBML. For both of these set-ups you will need to have a server that will host your application files.

The advantage of having a Facebook application instead of a page is that you can have a lot more content and pages within that content; you can consider it a mini site within facebook. This can help you obtain information from clients by having a contact form and also creating a nicer means to communicate the different products or promotions your company has.

October 21 2010

Bingbook Announcement

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In the continued battle for search supremacy and the advertising dollars rewarded to the champion, Bing has added Twitter and Facebook to their team.  Microsoft plans to announce a deal with the popular social media duo to integrate Tweets and Facebook status updates and more into their search engines’ results pages (SERPs).

Search engines have been challenged in keeping up with the fast paced Tweets and status updates, due to the fact that it requires frequent crawls by their bots in order to keep their index up to date.  This springs’ announcement of Google Caffeine, which warranted our providing a well received complimentary webinar, to discuss its impact on SEO, afforded Google the infrastructure to rapidly update their index and provide fresh data in their SERPs.  The social media duo has provided application program interfaces (APIs) for developers to poll and mine their public facing data, and webmasters have been leveraging these tools to provide social media content on their websites in hopes of keeping visitors on their site and generating revenue from sales or leads.  For some websites, such as sports, entertainment and popular culture, these streaming social updates are a key component to successfully engaging their audience.  The search engines have recognized this and have reacted to the growing popularity of social media.

Bings’ deal goes beyond status updates and leverages Facebooks’ Instant Personalization.  The flow of information from Facebook to Bing will be in one direction, so the privacy of one’s searches will be protected and not exposed on Facebook.  Soon when one searches Bing, the search engine will not only use its mathematical algorithm to determine relevancy for its SERPs, but will include their personal connections’ opinions as expressed by Facebook “shares” and “likes” of websites.  This social-centric search will be helpful to some and a distraction to others.  We will be tracking the success of this initiative as measured by market share of searches Bing is able to gain going forward, in order to keep our customers up to date and exposed to opportunities that will increase their return on advertising spend.

I look forward to learning more about this partnership and will be keeping my eye out for data concerning how ad targeting may be affected.  Could I begin to see relevant ads in Bing SERPs based on my Facebook data?  What if I searched Bing for pet supplies, such as catnip, and I find an ad for former Rat Dog guitarist Mark Karan playing at a local watering hole “Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery”, all based on public data found within my Facebook account concerning my favorite bands and affinity for brew pubs?  I sure wouldn’t be upset to be exposed to this additional information while searching for Crosby or Jerry’s, our cats, catnip.

October 18 2010

Facebook “Likes” Bing

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The partnership between Microsoft and Facebook was further strengthened this week when the two announced that there would be increased integration of social media into Bing’s organic search results.

Facebook has already been using Bing Maps as the default for Facebook Places, their location check-in feature which launched a couple of months ago. The relationship continues to strengthen as Bing improves “people search” by displaying profiles of users with whom they have a mutual connection with. When searching for people’s names, Bing results will include information from matching Facebook profiles, complete with links to add them as a friend right from search results.

In addition, people who search on Bing will have access to their friends’ recommendations. The Facebook blog shows an example of results that are generated when a user searches for the movie “Iron Man”. “Likes” from the user’s connections are then displayed on the results page below.

This new integration is a small step toward capturing Google’s market share. It may not be enough to make those loyal to the search giant switch search engines; however when searching for movies, restaurants or any other topic where opinions matter, Bing seems to be taking steps in the right direction.

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