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June 12 2009

New StumbleUpon Feature Leverages TweetDeck Success


With the ongoing growth of Social Media, new websites and tools, aimed at making it easier to update your many profiles, are emerging everyday. We all face the same issue: We have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a StumbleUpon toolbar and have no time to keep all three updated with content. Many businesses feel these same pains. TweetDeck is just one of the new tools that has been developed as a result of this need. Using TweetDeck, you can update your Twitter account and your Facebook status in one interface.

Keeping along this same line of thought, StumbleUpon, a free service that helps you discover and share websites with others, has announced a new feature that will go one step further. The feature will allow for simultaneous posts to Facebook, Twitter and Stumble Upon. Since many of us, both personally and professionally, don’t always have the same friends, fans, followers, etc. on each channel, this is a great way to make sure that your posts are reaching a wider audience. Of course, the advantage to StumbleUpon is that it will get more people back to their site from these other Social Media Channels. It’s a win-win for everyone.

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

June 8 2009

Blogging for Social Media


A few months ago I touched on why blogging can be good for SEO.  Today I want to offer a few tips on the social media aspect of blogging.  One of the biggest pitfalls that we see related to blogging is that many blogs are not maintained regularly.  Typically the first few months that a blog is up and running are great, but then the posts start to reduce in frequency, sometimes only to once a month or less. This not only prevents you from making use of the blog to supplement your SEO efforts, but it can also cause your website to look out of date.  Additionally, if your blog is pulled into your social media channels or pages, those too can end up looking poorly maintained. So with that said, I want to offer a few blog post ideas that can help you to formulate future blog posts ideas. 
Identify a need of your audience. Are there common questions that are asked by your customers?  If so, try compiling the most frequently asked questions into one blog post.

What is going on in your industry right now?  Finding something topical to write about will afford you the opportunity to have your blog post position in the search results for those popular search terms. Google Trends or a Google Blog search may help you identify what is being talked about. You can then comment on those topics from your own perspective.

Provide “How-To” posts. These are a great way to offer easy instructions that help your readers.  If you have complicated/technical products, this may be especially beneficial.

Make recommendations.  The best way to engage your audience is to offer value, and the only way to offer value is to provide something that is useful to your readers. Making recommendations about other companies, products or services that compliment what you have to offer is just one way to do this.

Has a popular book recently been written by someone within your industry? Showcase an interview with the author on your blog or do a review of the book within a blog post.

Lastly, create an editorial calendar. Formulate the topics that you want to write about and spread them out over time accordingly.  This will make posting less stressful and will enable you focus on offering valuable content to your readers.

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