Today’s the day that Facebook comes clean about the 87 million people whose information was compromised by Cambridge Analytica. It was a lead story on the Today Show this morning.
The current Facebook controversy reminds me of my daughter’s favorite Disney flick, “Beauty and the Beast.” The villagers storm the castle with torches and pitchforks screaming, “Kill the Beast.”
Everyday I read articles about people deactivating their Facebook accounts. The trending hashtag is #deactivatefacebook. But are we really ready to kill this beast?
According to Social Media Today, the average person spends two hours a day on social media, 35 of those minutes on Facebook. Without Facebook, we might just have to talk to each other.
But maybe it’s not about deactivating accounts. Maybe it’s more about using social media responsibly and being more cautious.
Most people have never checked their privacy settings and don’t know the policies surrounding privacy and how information is shared.
I don’t believe it’s time to abandon social media. It’s about using it more responsibly. It’s important to remember why you like it: keeping in touch with friends far away, sharing photos and celebrating with friends.
The more you know, the more you can protect yourself and your information. Take the time to review Facebook’s data policy. Find out the types of information collected, how that information is shared and how you can manage and delete that information.
This breach will have serious implications for individuals as well as Facebook. But it’s been a wake up call for everyone that we need to pay attention to what we do online and hold platforms accountable when they put profit over customer service.
Being an informed user can allow you to continue using social media while protecting yourself and your information. Maybe it’s not time to kill the Beast, but rather tame it.
I spent this weekend creating my new syllabus for my next class. A couple of years ago, I began teaching health professionals social media marketing. These individuals, mostly women, will be small business owners responsible for attracting clients in an already crowded marketplace. Most of them start with little money, major debt from school and a desire to build a business quickly. My job is to show them how to use social media to grow their business’ online presence and hopefully grow their business.
We fit a lot into this class, there are a few take aways I want the students to leave with.
1. Business social media is totally different from personal social media. Even people who have personal experience with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter don’t always know what to do when it comes to their business. It’s very different.
2. Master one platform rather than trying to post on all platforms. Each social media platform has a purpose and an audience. We examine who is their target audience and which is the right platform for that audience. Too many businesses make the mistake of trying to be on every platform and then end up not posting at all.
3. Invite your friends and family to like and share your social media marketing sites. Although they may not ultimately be your customer, they have friends who may be. It’s a quick way to grow your page.
4. You have to spend money. Although social media marketing is less expense than traditional marketing, you have to be willing to commit some funds to advertising. Advertising will raise your profile more quickly and help people learn more about what you are offering.
5. Social media advertising is more targeted. Good or bad, social media knows a lot about its users. You can put parameters around your advertising so the right people see your message. You can even download an email list into Facebook so you can target those individuals Facebook pages.
6. Social media does not necessarily lead to business, it leads to exposure. Social media is part of an overall marketing plan. There is still a place for direct mail, networking and sponsoring events.
7. Consistency is key. Having a social media platform like Facebook is a responsibility. You have to attend to it like a plant or a pet. If you choose to market through social media, then you have to post, respond to comments and review the insights so you keep getting better.
The syllabus is complete and I am excited to be starting another in June. I love helping small business owners and future small business owners. If you have more questions, contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s my second year at Social Media Marketing World and the most important thing I learned is that it won’t be my last.
Social Media Is no longer the domain of Millennials posting cat videos or individuals ranting about politics, it’s big business and the changes coming will be fast and furious.
Facebook, still the grand daddy of social media, was the main topic of conversation as individuals battled over whether or not Mark Zuckerberg had declared war on marketers and businesses. With Zuckerberg’s announcement about changing the Feed to produce more engagement, marketers believed their posts would be buried and their online presence diminished. But marketers who produce content that their customers want to see and who produce real engagement, will still see their posts appearing regularly. Others will have to step up their game. By producing better quality posts and increasing ad spend, businesses will still be able to leverage the power of Facebook.
Facebook is still a viable marketing tool and according to Mari Smith, Facebook guru, it will soon be expanding. Facebook owns Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and What’s App. Marketing is going to be moving from mass markets to creating an individual user experience.
In order to do this, these platforms will be making the most of the emerging technology, bots. The topic of using bots to market was front and center, Messenger will become more and more important in the United States and What’s App throughout the World.
And what about Facebook Watch, Facebook’s answer to NetFlix and Amazon Prime. Mari Smith said marketers, particularly content generators should get ready for this to be the next big thing. This is what the next generation will be watching.
Essentially Mass Marketing is over and we have gone back to what marketing was originally, person to person. Social media can allow marketers to create an experience that speaks directly to their customers and helps them achieve their goals.
Facebook probably knows more about its users than their mothers do and uses this information for effective ad placement. The upside to this is it allows marketers to create a personalized experience, which allows a business to best maximize its time and money.
As a business, if you can solve a person’s problem or fulfill a need, they will be your customer. They will not only be your customer, they will be happy. And a happy customer is your best marketing tool.
This year bots or automatic response systems will be a marketers best friend. However, overuse of any platform can ruin a good thing. As Mari Smith said, “When marketers move in, members move out.”
If you have questions or any other blog, drop me a line at email@example.com.
Lately there has been a great deal of discussion about the negative impact of social media on individuals and society. It is like the car accident that we can’t look away from. But social media has had significant positive impact as well, especially as it relates to law enforcement.
I was recently asked to put together a course on social media for law enforcement officials. While I spend a great deal of time on social media managing company platforms for a wide range of businesses, I knew very little about how police departments across the country were using it.
For example, a friend recommended I visit the Bangor Maine Police Department Facebook page. The page does not really follow many of the rules I recommend to my clients, but they must be doing something right. The page has long, wordy posts and the visuals are mediocre at best, but they have a story to tell and with 271,000 followers, they must be doing something right.
Urban police departments are using Facebook as a hub of information for the community. There are departments that are allowing officers to make reports right from the scene of an incident so the public has the information with no media filter. Others use it to catch criminals by posting photos of crimes. The old wanted posters in the post office have been replaced by digital images online and are helping police catch criminals.
Police also use social media, particularly Twitter, to inform the public of potentially dangerous situations in real time. Giving alerts so that people know to stay away. Individuals are using it to communicate with police to inform them of potentially dangerous situation and feed them information from crimes in progress.
To say that social media is changing the way the police conduct business would be an understatement. In addition, social media has created a transparency that has forced law enforcement officials to deal with problems that had previously gone unchecked. There is an interaction between the police and the public that had not previously existed and this new relationship is just beginning.
With any form of communication, there are potential downsides including possible false posts and potential hacking issues. But by leveraging social media, the police and public are working together to reduce the crime rate and potentially identify volatile situations before they arise. Unfortunately, as with the recent Florida school shooting, this does not always happen. However, police forces around the country are getting on social media and learning to use it effectively to make you safer.
I’m excited about my upcoming project and will let you know how it goes.
After much negative publicity during the last election, Facebook is making changes to improve the user experience. Some of these changes have already taken effect and you may have noticed a big difference in your Newsfeed.
Facebook is pushing posts into your Newsfeed that have more interaction. Posts that promote conversation. Posts that not only have likes, but also have back and forth conversation between followers.
While the idea sounds good, it may severely limit what posts you see and from whom. Family, friends and business not deemed interesting to the Facebook community will not show up in your feed. You may also find that if you belong to groups, they will be the ONLY posts you see in your Newsfeed.
However with a few changes, you can decide what you want to see by making use of some of the tools that Facebook has available to you.
The key to these changes is the “Following” button under the Cover Photo of any friend or page you have “Liked.” There is a down arrow next to “Following.” By clicking on the “See First” option from the drop down menu, you will see posts from that person or page at the top of your Newsfeed. This feature also allows you to “Unfollow” people and pages. That means that you do not have to “Unfriend” people to avoid seeing their posts. With “Unfollow,” you can still stay friends with people you care about without having to see their posts. Facebook has given you the tools to control your feed. It’s important that you prioritize what you see.
If you are seeing too many posts from groups you belong to, you can also make changes in those setting. Click on the ” Joined” button and select “Edit Notifications” from the drop down menu. You can then decide how often you see those posts in your Newsfeed.
Hopefully these changes will make your Newsfeed better for the way you use Facebook. While I applaud Facebook’s intent, its plan is not working. To keep up-to-date on all things social media, make sure to mark ItsAllGeek2Me as “See First” in your Newsfeed.