Facebook Unveils Resources for Business Influencers

By Monday, October 31, 2016 0 Permalink 0

Facebook Monday released a bundle of resources for business influencers, highlighted by its Business Influencer Guide.

The Facebook for Business Influencers page includes information on using Facebook as a leadership platform, Facebook Live, Facebook Mentions, notes, 360-degree videos and other related content.

And the guide touches on getting started, building a presence, developing an audience, key features and tools, Instagram, content ideas and Facebook Media.

Strategic partner manager Craig Mullaney wrote in a Facebook Media blog post:

Hundreds of global business leaders across industries, regions and enterprise sizes use Facebook to connect authentically with their customers, employees, communities and other stakeholders. Using Facebook, these leaders can communicate directly, control their messages, use precision targeting and access a flexible set of publishing tools including text, photos, videos, live video and more.

We’re committed to providing high-quality and timely education and best practices to business influencers and business communications professionals. We will regularly update this resource hub to reflect new products, features, updates, case studies and learnings.

Readers: What are your initial thoughts on the resources Facebook introduced for business influencers?

Justin Kan Launches Whale Video Q&A App

By Monday, October 31, 2016 0 Permalink 0

Twitch creator Justin Kan launched a video question-and-answer application called Whale. The app allows users to send questions to influencers and experts and receive video responses.

Users can sign up for Whale using a Twitter account, and they can flag categories they’re interested in, such as music, sports and tech. From there, users can browse previously answered questions and video responses, and they can also send their own questions to influencers and experts. Users can also follow others within the app.

With the Whale app, influencers, experts and other approved users have the option to monetize their answers. For instance, one influencer may charge a user $1 to ask them a question, but the app will only charge the user if the influencer answers their question within 48 hours.

Once a question has been asked and answered, other users can spend coins, the app’s currency, to unlock and view the video response to the question. Each time a video response is unlocked, both the user who asked the question and the expert will receive money.

Users receive a few coins for free when they sign up for Whale, and they can purchase additional Whale Coins via in-app purchase.

In a post on Product Hunt, Kan explained the inspiration behind Whale:

The point of Whale is to solve my own problems with video Q&A. I’ve been giving entrepreneurship/startup/life advice on Snapchat for the past year as a way to give back to the community (and also pass the time while doing cardio on my exercise bike). I love answering questions with video—it can be way easier than writing out a response. But there have been a few problems with the Snapchat format: I get the same questions over and over, there’s no library of answers and often times people miss the window to ask me something and their message gets lost in the flood.

At the same time, I’ve also noticed through Twitch and observing other platforms that video influencers want more ways they can make money directly from their fans and community. We think Q&A might be a good way: Almost every type of influencer gets lots of questions from their fan base.

The Whale app is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store.

Pinterest Adds Three New Types of Promoted Pins

By Monday, October 31, 2016 0 Permalink 0

Pinterest introduced three new types of Promoted Pins for advertisers: one-tap Pins, video Pins and app pins.

The social network also announced that the availability of Promoted Pins was extended to the U.K., with other markets to be added “very soon.” Promoted Pins had previously been available only in the U.S.

Head of partner activation Francis Larkin described the three new types of Promoted Pins in a blog post:

One-tap Pins: Just tap a one-tap Pin in your feed to jump directly to the site it came from so you can quickly learn more. We’ve only just started showing these Pins on Pinterest, but people already seem to be loving how much easier it is to get right to the products they’re looking for. In fact, almost twice as many Pinners are finding items to buy through these new Pins. For now, we’re only letting a handful of select businesses promote one-tap Pins, so you may not see them right away. But just keep your eyes peeled for the arrow icon, which you’ll find in the lower corner of each one-tap Pin.

Video Pins: We’re also introducing promoted video Pins, which play right on Pinterest—no more clicking off to another site before you can watch. You’ll also find a selection of related ideas that help you learn more about how things work or buy products you spotted in the video.

App Pins: We also now have promoted app Pins, too, which make it easier for you to find out about the applications and app-makers you want to hear about most. These Pins link directly to the store so you can download the app and start using it right away.

Readers: What are your thoughts on Pinterest’s introduction of one-tap Pins, video Pins and app pins?

Periscope Removes Follower Requirements From VIP Program

By Monday, October 31, 2016 0 Permalink 0

Following the reveal of its VIP Program in September, Periscope announced that it changed the requirements users must meet before being eligible for the program.

The Periscope VIP Program gives eligible broadcasters access to a variety of benefits, including badges on their Periscope profiles and “prioritization in people search results.” When the VIP Program was announced, Periscope said it would require users to have at least 10,000 followers on Periscope in order to quality for Bronze, the lowest tier of the program.

Now, Periscope removed the follower requirements from the program, and it has placed the focus on the average number of live viewers users have for each broadcast.

In a blog post, Periscope commented:

Many of you shared with us that “number of followers” is not always the best indication of live content, and we agree. During the past few weeks, we’ve had multiple conversations on the program requirements and what we can do to better reflect what’s most important to our community. We believe that average live viewers per broadcasts meet that requirement. The live interactions and audiences you’ve brought together on Periscope are at the heart of what we do, and we will be focusing on those metrics to review applications. Follower count has been totally removed from the requirements.

As part of this update, Periscope increased the average number of live viewers users need to have for each broadcast to be eligible for the Silver and Gold tiers of the VIP Program.

Specifically, while users were previously required to have an average of 300 live viewers per broadcast to be eligible for the Silver tier (in addition to the follower requirement), the Silver tier now requires users to have an average of 750 live viewers per broadcast. In addition, while the Gold tier previously required users to have an average of 500 live viewers per broadcast, this number has been increased to 2,000.

The live viewer requirement for the Bronze tier (an average of 200 live viewers per broadcast) hasn’t been changed.

In addition, the program still requires users to broadcast, on average, two times per week to be eligible for any of the three tiers.

Periscope continued:

With the focus on live viewership, more than one-third of broadcasters who apply to the program are accepted, and the majority of people who don’t qualify are extremely close. This excites us because it revalidates that these new requirements are a better representation of what should qualify a broadcaster for the VIP program. We will review the new and existing applications on a biweekly basis.

Readers: What do you think about this change to the Periscope VIP Program?

Facebook Vote Planner Feature Prepares Users for Election Day

By Monday, October 31, 2016 0 Permalink 0

After doing its part to get voters to register and endorse their candidates of choice, Facebook introduced a feature to give voters all of the information on what they will be voting on.

The social network’s vote planner presents an outline of candidates and ballot initiatives that will appear on users’ ballots Nov. 8, Election Day, as well as information on where candidates stand on issues.

Facebook teamed up with the nonpartisan Center for Technology and Civic Life on the information presented within its vote planner, and the social network said it provided a way for users to report issues with data from the CTCL.

Controls for who sees choices made by users within Facebook’s vote planner were also made available.

Facebook said in a Newsroom post introducing its vote planner feature:

The candidates are presented in random order in a horizontal scroll, and there are several ways to interact with the candidate profiles. You can view their issue positions (information candidates have provided about their policy positions), their endorsements, recent posts and their website. You can also add a candidate to your favorites to create your plan to bring with you on Election Day.

When you first visit this feature, we will show you information about the candidates running for president and statewide races. If you would like information about your local election, you will be asked to add your address. This is optional.

How you vote is a personal matter, and we’ve taken steps to make sure that you have utmost control over your plan. After you make a selection, you have to choose who you want to be able to see it (“Only me” or “Friends”). For example, you may want to be private about your choice for president, but share with friends your pick for a congressional race or a ballot initiative.

Many people look to friends and family for information and guidance about how to vote, so if you’re undecided about a race you can ask your friends for advice on Messenger. If you decide to make a choice visible to friends, they can see it inside their own voting plan (it won’t create a post in News Feed).

Readers: What are your thoughts on Facebook’s vote planner feature?

FilmFish Film Recommendation App Launches on iOS

By Monday, October 31, 2016 0 Permalink 0

Film recommendation application FilmFish launched on iOS. The app allows users to browse movie recommendations curated by “film buffs.”

The FilmFish app was created by film critic Joyce Kulhawik, actor Topher Grace, serial entrepreneur Simon Borrero, Sundance Film Festival featured producer Daniel Posada and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors Donald Sull and David Hartzband.

Once users download FilmFish, they can select the streaming services they currently use or subscribe to, which allows the app to recommend movies to them based on their availability on those services. Specifically, the app allows users to select from Netflix, Crackle, HBO Go, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu Plus.

From there, users can search for films manually or browse curated lists in a variety of genres or themes such as action, comedy and romance. When browsing a list, users can tap each movie to learn more about it, and they also can tap the “Free for Me” button to filter the list to only show films that are available on their subscribed services.

A movie’s page includes a variety of information about the movie, such as its description and its rating on Rotten Tomatoes. A movie’s page also lists the streaming services where it is currently available. Finally, a movie’s page includes links to similar movies that users may wish to browse. Users can watch a trailer for each movie without leaving the app.

Elsewhere, users can save movies to their profiles to access their pages again later on, and they can also flag movies as “Seen It” to indicate they’ve already watched them. In addition, a “Weekly Picks” section allows users to browse film recommendations based on specific themes such as “Golden Oldie,” “Chick-Flick” and so on.

FilmFish is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store. The app is coming soon to Android.

A Social Media Manager’s View on SEO

By Monday, October 31, 2016 0 Permalink 0

If you’re a social media manager, you may see the world of search-engine optimization as arcane Google trickery mixed with quasi-technical babblings.

Allow me to show you how to make Google and the various folks who do SEO your buddies.

First, Google what you think you should be ranking on.

I did a search on “Facebook dollar a day” just now and was happy to see our articles in the first two organic results. There is one ad ahead of us, and one of the folks that we taught how to do Facebook ads is the third organic result.

Incidentally, if you want to see search results that are not biased by your search activity, make sure you add “pws=0” to your query string, which means “personalized web search” is off. The geeks out there will also note that even if you simulate logged-out search results, Google is still personalizing based on your location and user agent.

Oddly, we didn’t intentionally try to “SEO” for this or any other key phrases. That’s because SEO (getting rankings in search results) is the result of strong content marketing, not some activity you do.

Some people might say this is a competitive search because there are 187 million pages chasing this query (see first screenshot). And the SEO smarties will say that using the in-title tool yields a more accurate competitive set of 8.5 million (still a lot):

Back in 2007, we ranked No. 2 on Google organically for “Facebook ads.”

And while that might sound good, what actually happened is that I got overwhelmed with tons of random requests for consulting–mostly unqualified.

We had no lead magnets or filtering process, so I ended up doing a lot of free consulting to find out which leads were serious. So I learned the hard way that rankings are less important than driving high-quality traffic.

Here is a snapshot from our Google Search Console (used to be called Webmaster Tools), which should be part of your Google Analytics:

While the “dollar a day” tactic is something that I happen to think is important, it’s not in the top 50 things that people are searching for where we show up in Google. So the folks who are strong at SEO know that it’s smarter to listen to what the market wants than what you or the big boss happens to think is important.

In this case, you can clearly see that people want to know what social media consulting should cost. And if you do a search on Google for this, the type-ahead results confirm all flavors of this:

If you believe in the principle of amplification, which is to take a good thing and make it better, then you’ll use this signal to get more of what Google thinks you’re good at.

Here we are ranked No. 4 organically for “social media consulting fees”:

I had no idea there were so many people searching for this, and that if I made an effort to write a few more articles, we’d be able to “throw fuel on the fire” here.

So I went ahead and shared this article on Facebook:

And because it’s already worked well in search, it will likely work well in social–especially if I boost it for $1 per day against the audiences that Google Analytics already says have enjoyed this content. It’s like cheating.
I’ll bet that if you look at your search console, you’ll also find that what the market wants and what you think they want are two different things.

We could even update this article with quotes from other people that are authoritative–not just to send a stronger signal to Google, but to make a better article that deserves to rank for this search.

Use your social media superpowers to get other properties to talk about your content. They don’t have to link to you or even use your keywords as hypertext (the blue links)–social mentions do count, and building relationships count.

Simply sharing it on various channels, perhaps with a boost, will increase awareness, more people reading the content, more people linking to your content (if it’s worthy), and better search-engine rankings.

Thus, by simply doing your job in social, you’re helping your brand’s Google search results. And the person whose job is to do SEO should be producing great content for you and other webmasters, which helps your social results.

SEO, public relations, social media marketing, content marketing and word of mouth are increasingly becoming the same discipline. There are different tools and different channels, but in common is the production and sharing of content that is worthy of distribution.

Image on homepage courtesy of Shutterstock.

Donald Trump attacks Facebook, Google and Twitter as ‘dishonest media’

By Sunday, October 30, 2016 0 Permalink 0

Donald Trump lashed out at Facebook, Google and Twitter over the weekend, claiming they were “burying” negative news about Hillary Clinton. ;

Trump took to Twitter on Sunday morning to let everyone know he was mad about something. Two weeks ago, he yelled about Saturday Night Live‘s “hit job” — now it’s a vague proclamation that lumps Facebook, Google and Twitter under the umbrella of “dishonest media.”

SEE ALSO: Clinton didn’t know about her new email drama until the plane landed

According to Trump, the tech companies are guilty of suppressing news relating to the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Read more…

More about Facebook, Google, Twitter, Politics, and World

Videos show chaos after plane aborts takeoff

By Friday, October 28, 2016 0 Permalink 0

An American Airlines flight aborted a take off just before it left the ground at Chicago’s O’Hare International airport Friday and the ensuing chaos was captured from every angle by passengers.

SEE ALSO: Mike Pence’s plane skids off a runway, and everyone makes the same joke

Flight 383, a 767 bound for Miami, blew a tire, forcing the pilot to apply the brakes. Flames quickly engulfed the plane — possibly as a result of the emergency braking — and passengers were deplaned via escape chutes.

Several runways at the busy airport were closed as a result.

FAA Statement: @AmericanAir Flight 383, B767, ORD>MIA, blew a tire at 2:35PM CT & aborted take off. Passengers deplaned. FAA Investigating.

— The FAA (@FAANews) October 28, 2016 Read more…

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