Fast Five in Search – Week 27, 2014

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Greetings and salutations! It’s been a pretty cruisy week in the office, which has given me more time to research some juicy Fast Five links for you. It’s another mixed bag, a couple of Google stories, a couple of Facebook stories and a curve ball article about Infographics.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Why Google Places is Now Google My Business by Warren Knight. This month, Google has quietly re-branded Google Places, by combining it with Google Local and calling it the very uninspired Google My Business. In this article, Warren looks at the upgrade in more detail and gives a big thumbs up to the new streamlined version.

2) Google+ At 3 Years Old: Not a Ghost Town, But a Social Referral Graveyard by Martin Beck. There’s an old joke amongst us online marketers that goes:“Google Plus has millions of users! They all just happen to be Google employees”. But all jokes aside, despite having millions of users, Google’s own social platform is suffering from a chasm of referral traffic. Martin Beck takes a look at the depressing stats and possible reasons for the lack-lustre performance.

3) The Best Infographics of 2014 by Lindsay Kolowich. Bit of a sucker for a good infographic? Yeah, me too. Lucky for us, one of the clever crew over at HubSpot has compiled a list of this year’s most interesting and useful infographics. I feel some serious yak shaving coming on via that link.

4) Facebook and the Ethics of User Manipulation by Alex Wilhelm. So my reader has been lighting up for the past week with stories about *that* Facebook experiment, where staff at the social mammoth supposedly manipulated our newsfeeds to test our psychological reactions. With the true nature of the testing exposed, industry reaction has been overwhelmingly negative, with Huffington Post hysterically comparing the experiment to lab rat testing. This TechCrunch article from Alex Wilhelm is one of the more measured and thoughtful pieces about the entire incident.

and finally…

5) Facebook Responds to Negative Reactions to Its Experiment on Users by Adario Strange. And because it is such a hot topic, here’s another article on the whole Facebook Experiment debacle. This one by Adario Strange of Mashable includes feedback from Facebook both about the experiment and the vitriolic reaction it received from the public.

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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Fast Five in Search – Week 20, 2014

fast-five

 

I’ve got a bit of a mixed bag for you this week. We have articles about Google Analytics, link building, Facebook, SEO and Twitter. Let’s get stuck in…

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Integrate Your SEO Data into Universal Analytics – by Bhoomika Joshi. This post talks you through how to create Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics that will help you gain more insights into your SEO data.

2) 10 SEO Myths Reviewed - by Duane Forrester. In this post, Bing’s Senior Product Manager debunks some of the most common SEO myths and legends, including my all time paranoid favorite: “Buying ads helps my rankings”.

3) Facebook Audience Insights Tool Gives You More Info About Those You’re Trying to Reach – by Chris Crum. A good introduction to Facebook’s new Audience Insights tool, which lets marketers learn more about their target audiences, such as aggregate information about geography, demographics and purchase behavior.

4) Link Building Does Not Equal Content Marketing, But Here’s How They Fit Together – by Erin Everhart. At last, somebody said it. Link building and content marketing are not the same thing. This article explains why and how you can focus on both.

and finally…

5) Twitter for Small Businesses: Five Universal Tips to Get the Right Perspective – by Andrew Smith. In this post, Andrew gives small businesses some tips for how to use Twitter for their social media marketing purposes.

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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Embeddable Facebook Content Now a Reality

eye-see-facebookEver tried to embed content from Facebook into your web site or blog? Frustrating isn’t it? Usually you have to use a 3rd party plugin or use a messy code hack and it’s almost impossible to get it to display properly on all browsers.

Well, it seems Facebook have been listening to the sighs of Webmasters everywhere and the company is finally introducing Facebook Embeddable Posts.

What Are They?

Embedded Posts are a way to publish public posts (by a Page or person) on Facebook into your web page or blog.

The embedded post will show media attached to it, as well as the number of likes, shares, and comments that the post has. Embedding posts will let people visiting your web site see the same information that is shown on Facebook.com. Embedded posts will even enable people to follow or like content authors or Pages directly from the embedded location.

It’s important to note that only public posts from Facebook Pages and profiles can be embedded.

How to Embed Facebook Posts

To embed a post, follow these steps:

1) Go to the post you want to embed.

2) Check if the post is public by hovering over the audience selector (you’ll see a globe icon if it is).

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3) Click the down arrow icon in the top right corner of the post and select Embed Post. You will see a dialog appear with the code to embed your post in it.

fb-embed24) Copy the code that appears and paste it to your own blog post or web page

How Does it Work?

The code in the Embedded Post dialog box includes a Facebook SDK for JavaScript snippet which gets saved into your web page code. If you already include this snippet elsewhere on your page, you can remove it if you wish, although it will not cause any issues if included twice.

Currently, you can’t customize how Embedded Posts are displayed on your page because the size of the post is fixed to the same dimensions as it appears on Facebook.

If you embed a very long post, it will get truncated with a “see more” option. Clicking “see more” will display the full post on your web page.

If you embed a post and the author later deletes it or changes the post audience selector from public to private, a message will display in place of the embedded post: “The page you requested is no longer available. The post may have expired or the privacy settings may have changed”.

What Does it Mean?

This new feature provides huge advantages to businesses with a Facebook page. The Embed Post functionality will enable companies to quickly publish and syndicate their social content from Facebook on their web sites and – more importantly – allow their customers to interact with their Facebook channel directly from their main business site.

The result should be a more streamlined social media process and greater potential for more social interactivity on company web sites rather than on 3rd party social sites. The Facebook water cooler will be moving to the company office! For businesses that haven’t yet seen the value in creating a Facebook presence, this feature might just be the tipping point.

When Can I Use it?

The feature is being rolled out this week to just a handful of large media sites, including CNN, Bleacher Report, Huffington Post, Mashable and People. It will be rolled out to the general public over the next few weeks.

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Workshops: Social Media Marketing for Business

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Social Media Venn Diagram

If you’re in New Zealand, you are probably familiar with the Institute of IT Professionals.

The IITP is New Zealand’s oldest, non-profit professional body of IT members throughout the country. As well as an excellent mentoring program, the IITP run a series of professional development workshops across NZ on various IT, business and marketing subjects.

I’ve been running training workshops in conjunction with IITP now for over 12 months and really enjoy it. The next round of workshops coming up are on the subject of Social Media Marketing for Business.

This full-day workshop will show you step-by-step how to implement a social media marketing strategy for a business of any size. Included will be real-life case studies, practical examples and clever ideas for using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and other social media channels that you can immediately adapt to suit your own requirements.

It will be a fun day, with some group activities, games and (if time permits), live analysis of existing social media strategies of willing attendees.

Below are the details and booking links for Wellington and Auckland events, so please share with anyone you know who might benefit from attending:

Social Media Marketing for Business – Wellington
Date: 14 May 2013
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Venue: Terrace Conference Centre

Social Media Marketing for Business – Auckland
Date: 16 May 2013
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Venue: University of Otago House

Thanks for your support!

 

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Facebook Logout Ad Placement

It seems the Facebook premium ad placement on logout has finally reached New Zealand.

After logging out of Facebook earlier today, I was shown a full page ad for Harvey Norman (see below). I have never seen an ad on logout before, even though the service has apparently been in testing since February.

 

Hat tip to Matt Burgess for demystifying the ad format for me. Apparently the service is VERY pricey, but if any NZ company can afford it, it’s *Hardly Normal*. So now I need to put up with their annoying Facebook ads AND their extremly shouty tv commercials.

Oh goody.

 

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