Articles in the Facebook Category

June 9 2009

How to Hide on Facebook


Okay you really can’t hide on Facebook.  It is, after all, a social media site whose sole purpose is to help you share information.   You purposely connect to other people and invite them in to view a piece of your life.  That said, there are some tools available to help you separate your friends from your “Facebook friends.”

So log-in to your Facebook account, go to “Settings”, select “Privacy Settings”, and let’s get started!

You’ll have four options here and I’ll take them one at time — with the exception of Applications — which I’ll handle in another post.
1. Profile

There are a lot of options here and they may not all be obvious.  To combat that, Facebook gives you a great tool to help you determine the impact of any changes. 
See that box on the top that reads: “See how a friend sees your profile.”  You can enter any friend here to see your profile as it would appear to them.  Now you can tweak the settings and have a real world example of how it impacts your friends or “friends of friends” and your network. 

One important item here is the link to “Edit Photo Album Privacy Settings”.  Once you enter here, select “customize” and you can prevent friends (or your boss, mom, etc.) from seeing that photo from your party on Friday night.

2. Search.  

If you are in hiding, then this is the tab that you’ll want to focus on.  Facebook allows you to determine who can find you on Facebook and whether or not people can find your listings in the search engines.

So if you have a stalker or are in the witness protection program, uncheck “create a public search listing” and the box to share your picture in search results.  You’ll also want to select “search visibility” and limit who can find you in an internal search by selecting “Only Friends”. 

3. News Feed and Wall

If you like to post comments that are private and meant for one person, then compose a new message via your mailbox!  But if you want to comment on a thread or photo and don’t want everyone to know via their updates and notifications, then you’ll want to come here and uncheck the options for the highlights section.

Facebook does provide some useful tools to help you manage your privacy, but it’s important to remember that you (and some of your information) are visible in the search engines and internal searches on Facebook by default. So if you’d like to be a share a little less of your life online, use the privacy settings and make adjustments until you are more comfortable with what you show your Facebook friends.

Posted in: Facebook

May 28 2009

Is Facebook Advertising Right For Your Business?


Everywhere you go it seems people cannot stop talking about Facebook.  I have been approached by several clients who are interested in advertising on there.  While having a presence on a social media channel such as Facebook, is important, it may not be the best solution for every type of business.

Facebook ads can be targeted towards members not only by their age, location, martial status, sex and education level, but also by the interests indicated in their profile.  Advertisers are able to select the audience they wish to reach; however, this may not work for certain industries.  For example, an auto accident attorney in Phoenix, Arizona may want to start participating in Facebook.  The attorney will be able to select the Phoenix area as the geographic location, along with the gender and age group; however they would be unable to select ‘auto accidents’ as an interest when choosing the audience.  By only selecting the geographic area of Phoenix, the attorney runs a great risk of having the ads display on undesirable user profiles.  Another suggestion that may work better would be to create a page or group for the attorney.  Searchers would then be able to fan the page and learn more about the attorney’s services.

An example of a business that may perform extremely well in Facebook would be a nighclub.  This advertiser would be able to not only specify sex and marital status, but also particular interests such as, nightclubs, dancing and music.  Not only would they be able to reach the desired demographic but also users who have these particular interests.  In addition, this advertiser may also want to set up a page or group within Facebook for additional advertising saturation.

Facebook is a powerful social media tool that can help you bring your business to the next level.  There are many different components within Facebook that you can utilize. Whether you choose to participate in pay per click advertising or otherwise, don’t miss out on the huge potential Facebook offers.

Posted in: Facebook

May 22 2009

Lexicon: Facebook’s Answer to Google Insights for Search?


With Google Insights for Search, you can “compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties”.  Don’t you wish Facebook provided a similar tool for search and wall-posting activity that occurs within its ecosystem?  They do….it’s called Lexicon….and it’s FREE! If your business is still in on the fence with regard to launching and maintaining a presence in Facebook, I suggest utilizing a combination of tools (namely Lexicon) and manual research to help determine the most appropriate strategy for gaining visibility and engaging with your customers and prospects.

A comparison of the terms “iphone” and “blackberry” are illustrated below.



Although Lexicon does not currently provide the granular level of segmentation that Google Insights does, these features are in the works and can be previewed here:  Cool new features include:

  • Demographic Trends: breaks down who is discussing a given
    topic by age, gender, and country
  • Associations Graph:  plots terms that are frequently mentioned alongside the topic
  • Sentiments:  percentage of positive versus negative posts
  • Pulse:  shows keywords that frequently occur in the Profiles of users who mentioned the topic or keyword
  • Maps:  shows where people are talking about the topic

Of the new features in the pipeline, it is tough to choose just 1 favorite.  Associations, Sentiments, and Pulse are my personal faves.  Associations are similar to “Rising Searches” or “Breakout Searches” provided by Google Insights.  The Associations graph is great for identifying related terms that are used in conjunction with the core term you are researching.  See below for associations with “Swine Flu” wall posts in Facebook.

Consider using the same language in your Wall Posts as your prospective customers.  Just how you should position yourself depends on your overall strategy for the channel.  Using the Sentiments info provided by Lexicon can help guide the process.  Lexicon Sentiments gives you an idea of positive versus negative commentary on the term you are researching.  If you find that there is an overall negative sentiment toward your product / brand, be prepared to address the concerns head on! 

Pulse is awesome!  It gives you insight into interests (keywords) of users posting content relative to the keyword you are researching.  This data can be tremendously valuable when setting up Sponsored Ads.  For example, if I wanted to target football enthusiasts, Lexicon provides me with a list of keywords to include in targeting for my ad.  The example below provides a breakdown of favorite TV Shows for users who posted wall content relevant to “football”.

While proactive keyword research and competitive analysis is critical to planning an engagement strategy for entering new platforms (or markets), Lexicon is not generally one of the go-to tools; it has somehow managed to go unnoticed by many online marketers.  Maybe it is the excitement of Google Insights or the buzz about Twitter Search that has pulled would-be users into other channels.  Perhaps subscription-based options give users a greater sense of value?  Before heading down the road of paid or proprietary tools, check out what people are saying about you on Wall Posts in the Facebook ecosystem.

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