The Sunday Share: Should You Dump Your Facebook Page in 2014?

Facebook fact checking

As a business resource, Slideshare stands pretty much head and shoulders above most other content platforms.

From presentations to educational content and more, you can find information and curated media on pretty much any topic you have an interest in.

As a research solution, Slideshare offers analysis from some of the smartest minds on the web across all verticals.

These include standard presentations, videos, multimedia and more.

Which brings us to this week’s Sunday Share.

Every week, I’ll be sharing a presentation that catches my eye and where I feel you might be interested in the information inside. These will range from business to content to social media to marketing and more.

This week, a short and useful presentation from Genevieve Lachance, founder and owner of virtual assistant agency VA Simple Services.

With Facebook coming under increasing scrutiny from consumers concerned about privacy as well as brands concerned about Page reach, this presentation offers advice on both staying with and leaving Facebook.

Enjoy.

Why We Need The I Don’t Care Button on Facebook (Infographic)

I don’t normally share infographics here on this blog, as I find most to be a mess of anecdotal data and limited research. However, as someone who’s been going through a culling process on Facebook for many of the reasons listed in this infographic, I thought this was a fun one to share.

Designed by Alessandro Di Ruscio, founder of “infocomics” website The Maple Kind, Why We Need The I Don’t Care Button on Facebook pokes fun at some of the status updates that find their way into our streams every day.

Alessandro’s mission is to make infographics that are funny and waste your time, as opposed to the ones that don’t teach you anything and waste your time. Seems he’s onto something there.

You can check out his other infocomics here.

Courtesy of: The Maple Kind – Where infographics meet comics and bullshit!

Beyond Contests: How Facebook Apps Can Boost Your Brand’s Visibility

Facebook fact checking

This is a guest post by Jim Belosic.

Facebook contests, especially giveaways and sweepstakes, are popular on Facebook for a good reason: if the prize is right, the contest generates buzz and motivates people to spread the word about the contest and the brand that’s hosting it.

We’ve seen ShortStack users install a contest app and gain of thousands of Likes within a few days in response to a well-run contest.

A contest or giveaway isn’t the only way to increase engagement, though. In fact, there are lots of fun ways you can use Facebook apps to increase interaction with your followers month after month, allowing you to use contests sparingly so they’re something they look forward to.

Since contests generally last about 30 days, and it would be difficult to run one month after month, it’s important to think about other ways you can boost visibility day in and day out.

Here are a few ideas:

1.  Use a Fan Reveal App to Get Users Excited About New Features

Ask your customers/users to Like your Page and in exchange reveal new products/features or make product-release announcements. Fans of your brand want to know what they can expect next from you, and whether you own a bakery or a manufacturing company, people who use your products want to know what you’ve got in the pipeline.

A Facebook app is a great way to let them know. A few movie and video game companies have teased their fans with snippets of trailers from upcoming releases — the caveat is that the trailer is only revealed with new Likes so existing fans are motivated to ask their friends to Like the page.

2. Inform Your Customers With a Newsletter App

Adding a newsletter signup app to your page is an easy way to increase your business’ visibility. You can even ask people to like your Page in order to reveal the newsletter signup form. That way you have an additional way to communicate with your users.

You can use status updates to tease newsletter content and then direct your fans to the app where they can sign up to receive the newsletter.

3. Let Your Customers Request Reservations With an Appointment App

Any small business owner who wears many hats should try using an app that allows his or her clients/customers to request or even book appointments or reservations via Facebook.

You can ask for name, telephone number and times that a customer wants to come and then call them to book or confirm an appointment. You can also iFrame in a more sophisticated reservation system that will actually make the reservation for your customers, something like OpenTable.

4. Add Another Communication Channel With a Request for More Information App

A small staff can be overwhelmed by phone calls and email requests for more information about your company’s products. Using a “request” app gives prospective customers access to the information they seek, such as lists of products or services, or even cost estimates.

And if you’re collecting data via a form, take the opportunity to sign your customers up for a newsletter, to gauge their interest in a new product or service you’re thinking about adding to your line-up or ask for their location or age.

5. Increase Efficiency Even More With a Contact Us/Customer Support App

The easier you make it for people to get in touch with you, the better. Using a “contact us” app allows your fans/customers to send an email to specific departments within your company.

For example, you can send them straight to whomever handles sales, customer support, press inquiries, etc. streamlining the contact process. You also link to this type of app whenever someone comments on a post or or asks for more information, keeping them inside your Facebook “property.”

6. Collect Feedback With a Testimonials App

At ShortStack we have an app we call “Make us Better” where customers can leave us feedback about our service. It’s a great way for us to learn what we’re doing right and what our users would like us to do differently.

As tempting as it may be, avoid posting only glowing reviews of your business — prospective customers might not believe what they read because, well, no one is perfect!

7. Do Some Good With a Donation App

You can use an app to let your friends and followers make donations — or match your company’s donations — to charities. Various apps have different features, but donation apps typically show your giving history, let your followers know which charities you’ve donated to, and give them an opportunity to share donation messages.

8. Reduce the Risk of Investing in Unwanted New Products or Services With a Voting or Survey App

People like to participate in surveys. As a business, using a survey or voting app is a great way to learn what kinds of service your customers wish you would provide, or even what color coffee cup they’d be most likely to buy.

Using a voting or survey app can ultimately reduce the risk of investing in new products or services only to have them bomb.

For example, if you own a bakery and results from a survey include tons of requests for gluten-free desserts, you might consider adding equipment to your kitchen that would allow this.

If you own a hair salon and a “What new service are you most likely to use” poll suggests that you’d do a booming business in massage, you  might decide to invest in a massage table and hire a massage therapist.

Gut feeling is good, but data that backs it up is even better.

9. Connect With Other Services

Using apps to connect with other platforms and services that you use allows your users to have a seamless social media experience with your company, using Facebook as the hub.

For instance, you can install apps that allow you to display videos from YouTube or Vimeo on your Page, display photo sets from Flickr, display Tweets or share podcasts, songs or any other recording you made on SoundCloud.

These are just a sampling of ways that you can use apps to build your presence on Facebook without hosting a contest. Have you experimented with non-contest apps? Which ones  do you find the most useful for building engagement?

Jim Belosic ShortStackAbout the author: Jim Belosic is the CEO of ShortStack, a self-service custom app design tool used to create apps for Facebook Pages, websites and mobile web browsing. ShortStack provides the tools for small businesses, graphic designers, agencies and corporations to create apps with contests and forms, fan gates, product lines and more. Connect with Jim on Twitter.

Fact Checking Facebook: How to Do it and Why You Should

Facebook

This is a guest post by Jennifer Dunn.

It’s back. Last week grandma posted the old, “With this status I hereby declare that all my Facebook content belongs to me and only me…” and all of a sudden the mythical Berner convention is gunking up your Facebook feed again.

First off, this is a hoax. All major media outlets have now reported it as a hoax. You can’t copyright your Facebook content with a status, but luckily you don’t have to – you already own it. Don’t worry.

Lately I’ve taken it upon myself to, politely, call out people who have posted bad information on a public forum like Facebook. Yes, I’m that person. But being argumentative isn’t in my nature.

Wouldn’t it be better if everybody was armed with the tools to fact check Facebook themselves? Couldn’t they save themselves from posting a picture of a baby with a horrible tumor and promising us all that Bill Gates has offered a dollar for every “like”?

Here are some of the erroneous posts I’ve recently ran across and how I fact checked them. I hope you’ll share your favorite fact checking methods in the comments.

(Because politics and general worldview are two of the more frequent hobgoblins of misinformation on Facebook, this post will deal with both, but I promise to pick on reds and blues equally.)

Example #1: The Inflammatory Picture

The other day a friend posted this picture of dark-skinned youth in camouflage holding guns with the caption, “Obama just graduated a class of 40 ‘Department of Homeland Security Youth.’” The post went on to compare this alleged fighting force to Hitler’s Brownshirts and warned us all to be very afraid for our guns and women.

Immediate clues that something was amiss:

a.)   The “youth” looked very, very young.

b.)  “Department of Homeland Security Youth” doesn’t sound like any U.S. government department I’ve ever heard of

c.)   Hitler made an appearance. Any mention of that guy should raise a red flag when it comes to the veracity of a Facebook post.

How to fact check? I downloaded the photo and submitted it to trusty TinEye.com. It turned out the “youth” are Explorers, a group affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America. The picture was taken after a training exercise simulating a Border Patrol exercise. In 2009.

Example #2: The Inflammatory Video

Back around the time of the U.S. political conventions, I very nearly shared a video on my Facebook page showing a group of delegates at the Republican National Convention shouting “USA! USA!” over the Puerto Rican delegate as she tried to speak.

We all have our own areas of sensitivity, and racism is one of mine. “Wow, look at these racists!” I almost posted. Except I mentioned it to a colleague who quickly told me there was more to the story.

How to fact check? Look at the context. Get the whole story. If I had bothered to check before marveling to my colleague, I would have seen that the chanting had to do with seating arrangements.

While this one has been in hot dispute, an article in the well-respected Harper’s magazine sets the record straight that the delegates were not trying to shout the Latina delegate down.

The Sniff Test

The moral of this story? Before you go sharing something on Facebook, ask yourself a few questions to make sure you’re not just perpetuating another rumor or hoax.

1.)  Is the source trustworthy? Does it say, come from a Facebook group called “Kill all the Pandas”? This is an easy way to find clues about the veracity of a source.

2.)  Does this jibe way too firmly with my worldview? You might hate Paris Hilton but chances are she wasn’t caught on camera actually consuming an adorable puppy. You might want to check the provenance of that doctored image before you share it.

3.)  Is it on Snopes? Or can you Google it and quickly see that it’s been debunked by reputable sources? (I.e. the Facebook copyright notice.)

4.)  Is it accredited to a famous person? Abraham Lincoln was a quotable guy, sure, but the 16th president didn’t say this. Or lots of other things you’ve probably seen attributed to him on Facebook.

5.)  Was Hitler mentioned? Seriously, Godwin’s Law should always end the discussion. Think before you hit “share.”

If it passes all these tests, it just might be real and ready to share.  Remember:

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t. – Mark Twain.

Or did he?

The next time you see someone post something about copyrighting their Facebook statuses or terrorizing your feed with images of Boy Scouts, maybe instead of being “that person” you can just link them to this post.

Or just make like this guy and give up.

Jennifer DunnAbout the author: Jennifer Dunn is owner of Social Street Media, helping businesses connect with their customers through social media strategies and education. You can find her small business writing at Outright and WePay. Follow her on Twitter at @JennEscalona.

The Mysterious Case of Oracle Social and Facebook Likes

Oracle is a well-respected brand when it comes to solutions for I.T as well as social media and business intelligence for enterprise users. They have a collection of toolsets that cover everything from loyalty programs to service management and analytics.

So you’d expect them to have a fairly robust social media strategy for themselves, right? Except when it comes to Facebook, it would seem.

[Read more…]