Facebook recorded a major milestone on Monday, when a billion people used the social networking site on a single day for the first time ever. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the news today in a post, saying “1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family.” The number of people using Facebook on a regular basis is predicted to continue to grow.
Ever been on the web and afterwards seen an ad for the site you were
looking at earlier?
The two biggest social media platforms – Facebook and Twitter – have recently launched schemes to open up opportunities for small businesses in the UK to advertise on their social networking sites – just in time for Christmas!
Time For You is the UK’s most successful domestic cleaning franchise. Over 130 franchisees met in Northampton on Saturday 16 November for their AGM. Behind the scenes and in total secrecy DBS had worked on a new website at www.timeforyou.co.uk which was launched during the course of the meeting. “I’m really proud of the DBS web team headed by Matthew Harris” said DBS’s MD – David Clarke. “Launching the website in secrecy meant a Saturday morning 7am start for Matt to ensure everything went smoothly. With an audience of around 160 people there was absolutely no room for error.” Six DBS team members attended the AGM and then ran 3 workshops for Time For You franchisees on:
Facebook has introduced hashtags. DBS Internet Marketing recommends that businesses should take advantage of using hashtags when posting on their Facebook page. A hashtag is the symbol #. Putting a hashtag in front of a word in your post turns that word into a clickable link which will display a list of other posts that have used the same hashtag. This allows Facebook users to easily find posts by other people that are interested in the same topic as you and therefore allows other people who are interested in what you are posting about to find your posts. Hashtags are therefore a great way of getting your post (not to mention your brand and business) in front of people who probably wouldn’t find you otherwise. It can also be a great way to get a brand or product introduced, or to promote competitions, events, or offers. The hashtag is already well established on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and other social media platforms. For those already using these social media platforms it will be entirely natural to start using hashtags on Facebook. Facebook hashtags must be all one word, eg. #InternetMarketing not #Internet Marketing because the clickable link ends when there is a space. It doesn’t matter if you use capitals or not – it will produce the same results, capitals just make it easier to read the separate words. It is important to remember that you don’t have to use hashtags in every post you make, and you don’t have to stuff your posts with them as this can become annoying. Make sure you use them carefully and that there is a point in using them. It is also important to remember that your privacy settings will effect who can see your posts. So, if only your friends are allowed to see a post, the hashtag will still only make it visible to your friends and not to anyone else. There is no right or wrong hashtag – a hashtag can be whatever you want it to be. However, they should be quite short and easy to understand. To see what hashtags are already being used for different subjects just requires a quick search on Facebook, or on other social media sites. Just enter # followed by the word into the Facebook search box.
For more information on social media, click here to visit our website, or call us on 01522 811688.
As of March 2013, Facebook has over 1.11 billion users globally, with around 26 million in the UK. It is the world’s second most viewed website. It is therefore not surprising that businesses are a continually growing presence on Facebook, as it is a fantastic opportunity for them to reach, engage and interact with new and existing customers. Here are a few tips on how small businesses can use Facebook. Get as much information about your company on your page as possible, including contact details, opening hours, descriptions about your business, products and services. Post regularly to build up a relationship with your followers. This creates more chance of your posts being seen and shared. You can schedule posts in advance if you are not able to post for a while. Engage with your audience. If someone comments on your page or status, reply and interact with them to build a relationship. Use your statuses to ask questions of your followers, so that they feel involved with your business, and encourage them to like or share your statuses. Once your page has reached 30 likes use “Page Insights” to see which posts have been popular, shared or talked about the most so that you can tailor future posts to be more like these. Keep your posts short and eye catching – most people have a lot of status updates on their newsfeed to scroll through and don’t sit there reading each one. Make good use of photos as they stand out on people’s newsfeeds. Your cover photo says a lot about your business, so change it regularly to attract attention. Don’t change your profile photo as it gives continuity to your page and helps to establish your brand. Highlight the most important posts on your page that you want customers to notice, and pin to the top posts you want to be seen immediately. Post about relevant events and key issues of the day to engage with your audience. To attract more likes, give followers something that nobody else can get unless they like your page – e.g. exclusive access to a competition or a special offer. You could announce new products or services first on Facebook, or display the photos from an event on your page, which people at the event will only be able to see if they like your page.
An interesting little story made the news on Tuesday regarding Facebook likes. Apparently, Cambridge University researchers have discovered that what you like on Facebook can reveal a huge amount about an individual’s personality. Whilst you might think that this is obvious – for example, if a person likes lots of different clothes shops then they clearly enjoy shopping for clothes, or if they like lots of different films then they are clearly a fan of going to the cinema, the research goes deeper than that and apparently could allow strangers to accurately predict your sexuality, political views and religion. For example, research showed that homosexual men like human rights, Wicked the Musical, Bruce Lee and Nike Basketball, people with a high IQ prefer curly fries, like the Godfather movies and Morgan Freeman’s voice, and that drug users like Big Momma’s movies, milkshakes and swimming. The system was apparently 88% accurate for male sexuality, 85% accurate for political beliefs, 82% accurate for religion and 95% accurate for race. As is often the case, there was a cry from some parts of the media and from privacy groups that people could use your Facebook likes to find out information about you – such as whether you are male or female, your sexuality, your political views and your religious beliefs – and that this is a threat to your privacy. However, people don’t need to go to the trouble of analysing your likes - your name and profile photo will probably reveal your gender, and a lot of people already declare the other information in their “About” section anyway. If you don’t want people to know private things about you, either make sure you have set up your security settings correctly, or don’t put in on Facebook.
For the 52% of the population that use Facebook, the “like” button has become part of standard, everyday conversation. Even for people who are not Facebook users, you could hardly not have heard of a Facebook like, or seen the thumbs up logo on a website or document. Facebook has dominated social media since it was launched nearly a decade ago. However, the Facebook like button hit the news this week when it was revealed that a company is suing Facebook over its use of the iconic symbol. Rembrandt Social Media holds patents that were granted to Dutch programmer Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer in 1998, 5 years before college student Mark Zuckerberg created the social networking site. He used them to create a social network site called Surfbook before he died in 2004. According to the legal firm acting on Rembrandt’s behalf, Surfbook allowed users to share information with their friends and family, who could approve entries in the social diary using a like button. Rembrandt Social Media claims that the success of Facebook in part comes from Mr Van Der Meer’s patents, which were used without his permission. The legal firm acting on behalf of Rembrandt Social Media said: "We believe Rembrandt's patents represent an important foundation of social media as we know it, and we expect a judge and jury to reach the same conclusion based on the evidence".
Facebook released a major new service called “Graph Search” on the 15th January, which it is now rolling out to users who have opted to try it. This appears to be a surprisingly intelligent search tool which will allow Facebook users to search for information on Facebook. Searchable information will include photos, status updates and likes. Some examples of the searches you could carry out, provided by Facebook, include “friends who like dancing”, “photos of my friends before 1995” and “bands my friends listen to”. These are “natural searches”. When Graph Search cannot find what the Facebook user is looking for, the search will be powered by Microsoft’s Bing and notably not Google. Whilst Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg insisted that it was not a web search and therefore not a challenge to Google, it was seen by many in the industry as the next step in the on going Facebook vs Google battle. The launch of Graph Search immediately led to complaints that Facebook was once again playing fast and lose with users privacy. However, Graph Search only reveals what users had already allowed to be seen. So, for example, if you have a photo album that can only be viewed by your friends then only your friends will be able to find those photos when using Graph Search. However, if you have a photo album that is set so that all Facebook users can find it, then all Facebook users could, in theory, come across your photos if they put the right search into Graph Search. Graph Search just allows you to find what fellow users have already opted to share with you. To read more about our services for Facebook, click here.