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I appreciate that Facebook is trying to stay on the cutting edge of relevancy. Word is that they are testing a ‘Related Photos Feature’. Are you a part of the test group? If you are, I’d love to hear about it.

“I didn’t know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge was of time. I would never say that the people on it are losers, but that’s only because I’m polite.” – Betty White

Click here to watch Betty White’s SNL Monologue on Hulu. Airdate: Saturday, May 8, 2010.

“Guess what? Jay Z is here! If I had a dime for every time I’ve said that, I’d have one dime.” – Betty White

Fans must have been on the mind yesterday because Direct Mag and Jay Baer both wrote about them.

No, not that kind of fan, Facebook Fans.

The Direct Mag article informs us that “Brands will no longer be able to have fans on Facebook. But fear not: They will be able to make friends instead.” At first glance, this turns me off. I am not a fan when brands create normal Facebook pages, rather than Fan Pages. In fact, as I have said before, I usually do not accept a brand’s friendship. However, the article stated a couple of interesting facts: “According to Facebook, users click “friend” buttons almost twice as often as they do the “fan” links; the average user becomes a fan of four pages each month.”

Upon reading further, “Facebook alerted advertisers in a memo it will be changing the “Become a fan” button on brand pages to one that lets users say that they “like” the brand…The “like” status would show up in users’ status updates and news feeds just as the “fan” status currently does.” Now this, I like. Becoming a ‘fan’ of a page seems to be more of a plunge, it insinuates dedication. ‘Liking’ something is easier to accept. From a marketing standpoint, this is fantastic. It will give brands more of an in for interaction.

Jay Baer’s post, Does Your Facebook Page Have a Pulse?, talks about the next step.  “Your Facebook fan page needs to be a thriving, growing, active center of engagement between your company and its best customers. Too often today, fan pages are lifeless Yellow Pages ads, with a couple of photos and a stale wall that’s updated twice monthly.” If you simply create a page on Facebook as a placeholder, you aren’t using it to its full potential. You should have a strategy behind Facebook, not a summer intern. Your brand needs to interact with its fans/friends. The information exchanged needs to be valuable for the consumer and you should be measuring your successes. Your successes are not just the number of fans you have because numbers are meaningless if nobody interacts with your placeholder page.

Put in some effort to make your landing page look nice. Call your fans/friends to action, even if the action is to go to another site that you interact with more regularly. Jay Baer calls out Mint, “When you go to their page, you are automatically directed to…become a fan now. That starts the conversion ball rolling.”

He also explains how to change your landing page, ” log-in to a Facebook fan page where you are an administrator, and clicks “Settings” underneath the status update box. Then, change the pull-down called “Default Landing Page for Everyone Else” to be whatever tab you prefer.”

Last, I will reiterate the point of interaction. If you have people seeking out your brand on Facebook, becoming fans/friends/liking your products – DO SOMETHING. Have a contest, create an app or a game that relates to your product. Have your fans/friends upload content. If they really like your brand, they will be excited that you want their input and they will give it to you. Promise. Don’t believe me? Jay Baer provides these stats to prove my point:

A recent Idea Challenges launched by El Monterey Mexican Food (makers of quite deliciousTornados frozen taquitos) showed eye-popping results in the first 72 hours:

  • 550 user content submissions
  • 18,000 ratings and comments on those submissions
  • Average engagement of longer than 4 minutes

Wow. And with all due respect to Tornados, they aren’t exactly Mountain Dew.

The challenge you face now, is not to get the most fans/friends that you can. It is to have quality interactions between your true fans/friends and your brand. Once you do this, your numbers will naturally rise because people will want to be a part of what you’re doing. People will get jealous of their friends’ quality interactions with you. People will get excited. People will get involved. Those people will help your brand grow, and grow, and grow.

How many of your friends and family members’ birthdays do you know? By ‘know’, I mean date and age off the top of your head. The number is embarrassingly low, or at least mine is. I keep my close friends’ and family members’ birthdays in my planner but I’ll admit that I know many of my friends’ birthdays solely because of Mark Zuckerberg. What did we do before Facebook? Forget?

This is a follow-up post to my Facebook Birthdays post because Facebook has added an extra feature. They now send “Facebook Birthday Reminders for the Week of ___” and this is stellar. However, you now have added pressure to remember these birthdays. You can no longer say you missed someone’s birthday because you didn’t go on Facebook on their given day.

If you have friends equipped with funny bones, I recommend sending someecards. Often.

Growing up, we are taught not to take candy or rides from strangers. So, I ask this question: Why are people Facebook ‘friends’ with strangers?

Do not feel obligated to accept people’s friendship.  If you question how you might know somebody it is acceptable to inquire via Facebook message and to ask your ‘Friends in Common’. Also, I assume this goes without saying but, do not ‘friend-request’ people who you don’t know. If you don’t know somebody and you request them, you are a Facebook Creep.

If you notice that you are friends with somebody who you don’t know, do not feel guilty unfriending them.

If The Real World Was Like Facebook: A user-created photo contest created by Cracked.

Because “Facebook is full of behavior that would get you punched in the real world.”

The birthday section on your Facebook ‘homepage’ should be something you check frequently. Facebook has made it far less acceptable to forget, or God forbid completely miss, a birthday. I suggest going to each of your good friends’ Facebook pages and writing their birthdays in your personal calendar at the beginning of every year.

There are some friends with whom you are (basically) only in contact via Facebook – those friends are people who you can get away with only ‘wall postings’. You should still send your good friends and family members cards, or see them in person (what a novel thought) to celebrate the occasion.

The Facebook ‘wall’, is open for business all year-round. It amuses me when a ‘Wall-to-Wall’ is only birthday wishes. One way to remedy this situation is to personally ‘thank-post’ people who ‘birthday-post’ you. It takes more than a minute to do this but it is worth it. People will be happy or happily surprised that you ‘posted’ them back, nobody will think to themselves, “crap, so and so ‘posted’ on my ‘wall'” if they took the time to ‘birthday-post’ on your ‘wall’.

I recently had a birthday, which got me thinking about this topic. I also came across this conversation.  For the record, I think it is okay to white lie if you only remembered a person’s birthday because of Facebook…at least you didn’t forget.

I would like to dedicate this post to my three Facebook friends with birthdays today: Laura, Craig and Lydia.

Celtic Inc., a communications company in Brookfield Wisconsin, blogged today about the New Oxford American Dictionary’s 2009 “word of the year” and it’s a social media term: Unfriend. ‘Unfriend’ is defined as a verb which means “to remove somebody as a ‘friend’ from a social networking site like Facebook.

I’m not sure what our society is coming to that the concept of ‘unfriending’ is the word of the year. Here’s my word to the wise: if there’s a chance the person you unfriend will find out that you unfriended them, you might want to just add them to your ‘limited profile’ list or remove their ‘updates’ from your ‘news feed’.

The ‘reconnect’ feature recently added to Facebook (near the ‘friend suggestion’ on the ‘home page’) has received mixed reviews. However, I think this guy has the best take I’ve heard. I hadn’t realized the planning that the Facebook crew put into this brilliant new feature.

For the record, it is bad Facebook Etiquette to publicly bash people who Facebook ‘suggests’ you ‘friend’ or ‘reconnect with’. Enough said.

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