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Facebook Timeline is your digital resume

For those of you who don’t know (have you been living under a rock?), Facebook is slowly debuting the Timeline to its 800+ million users. Currently, this update is available for those who opt in, but it’s rolling out to replace the Facebook profile we’ve all come to know, love, and obsessively study.

As much as jobs folks like me like to think Facebook users automatically think about their careers when Zuckerberg rolls out a new feature, I’ll admit that it’s not the case. So, I’m here to say the new Timeline profile format has made Facebook more job-search friendly than ever. After all, it’s a resume. That’s right. When you stop and look at it, Facebook’s Timeline is effectively a resume. From the giant cover image at the top to the chronological organization down the line, your Facebook profile is a resume for your life, not just your career.

What Does This Mean?

In recent years, it’s pretty common knowledge that an increasing number of employers are turning to the likes of Google and social media to learn more about applicants and current employees. Once Timeline goes 100% live, expect this number to explode.

Until now, the Facebook profile has provided a current slice of a user’s life. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty details or look a week, month, or year into the past, it takes some searching and clicking. With Timeline, employers can learn more about users by searching specific time frames and seeing how the details mesh together.

Ultimately, Facebook is going to become the go-to site for more curious employers and clients. Personalized and manicured Timelines are simply going to be more attractive.

How Can I Use This To My Advantage?

Don’t spaz. Fortunately, the Timeline makes presentation easy for those of use who aren’t as Facebook-savvy as we’d like. Privacy settings will remain the same, posts will fall into place, and you’ll find that mixed media fits into a pretty snazzy arrangement.

​Check the locks. It’s true that no privacy settings are going to be changed. However, those dorky status updates you wrote in 2006 are going to be a whole lot more accessible on your Timeline. Facebook gives you seven days to review the new format before your Timeline goes live, so do your due diligence now.

Pick your crowd. Along with overall privacy settings, your Timeline is going to work a whole lot better if you refine your audiences. Organize your business contacts into a list so that they’re the only ones who can see your industry-specific content. Personalizing your profile to fit the crowd will make your Timeline look so much better.


Facebook Timeline is your digital resume

Customize. One of the most striking differences you’ll find in the Facebook Timeline would have to be the cover photo. It’s smack dab at the top of your profile, so make it nice. Pick something that works for everyone who could possibly see your profile. You already know that picture from the New Year’s party isn’t going to work.

Prioritize. If you’re an active user, then all your content isn’t going to fit on your Timeline. While Facebook automatically guesses what content is important enough to be expanded, it could definitely use your input. Expand the information you think is important so that it can be seen by the right people.

Do you think the Timeline is similar to a resume? How else can it be used in the job search? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

What you need to know about Google+ brand pages

Google has decided to breathe down Facebook’s neck with a new social network that looks an awful lot like Facebook, only with a plus sign attached. Soon we’ll see a Google+ version of Facebook’s wildly popular product pages, even though Google’s group product manager, Christian Oestlien, announced today that it would temporarily be shutting down non-user profiles, while opening up a beta program for those who apply.

Before we can predict Google’s upcoming “public” version of product pages, we need to acknowledge the differences between Facebook and Google’s strategy. Even though Google presented the world with a product that is 97% similar to Facebook’s product, it is attempting to differentiate itself by fulfilling a real need in the social world — the need to divide your friends into different groups, just like in real life.

Google is attempting to distance itself from Facebook by mainly creating “circles” that allow you to divide the people you know into groups and share individually targeted content. This might seem like a small difference, but in the social world, a slight change in delivery can completely affect the nature of the interaction. For example, Facebook requires that you accept every friend, but Twitter makes it a bit easier for people out of your network to follow your newsfeed — creating a more “open” environment.

All of our clients at FanGager, including global organizations like American Express and Microsoft, are looking for methods to target specific audiences on social networks — like posting wall messages for women only. My assumption is that Google will attempt to capitalize on this void, and apply the notion of building individual audiences to its version of pages. This will allow page owners to communicate with different groups through one main page.

So, according to this logic, the products page will only look similar to personal profiles when logging in. Perhaps in addition to asking what circle they want to join, surfers will also be asked if they wish to join circles based on a specific category — such as those looking for discounts, for brand fans or for fans of the brand’s spokesperson. This way, they can choose the value they get personally when visiting the page.

The next stage will be combining all of Google’s unique abilities into a section of the product pages, such as its map services and the business services basket. This may include the unique features of Google Analytics, which could feature not only the page’s results, but more importantly, the movement from the Google+ page to the website; linking the visitor’s social engagement with sales and other ROI goals.

So, who wins and who loses when Google+ launches its own version of Facebook product pages?

Short-term loser: brands First of all, Google+ shut down any brand pages already created and is now controlling access to a beta program that will be great for brands that get in early like Ford and MTV but bad for everyone else. It creates a period of uncertainty for brands, as well as another platform they need to be concerned about.

But on the plus side, this delay will give brands some time to get used to the platform and start developing a strategy. Brands will still have to train its social media managers and focus resources that may already be taxed by other social sites for the new marketing platform. But, for now, brands can figure out how, and if they should, create messaging that will be consistent across all its social networks, along with the daunting task of managing more fans.

In the long term, brands could be the overall biggest winner of the targeted “circle” trend. If all moves forward as it should, and other sites catch up to the trend, brands will be able to develop more individualized messaging that will meet specific ROI goals — i.e. sales, website traffic, etc.

Immediate winner: fans and customers Once the pages are officially launched, fans will be able to create their own experience and conversations with brands. So, instead of receiving “white noise” from product pages, they will potentially receive what is only relevant to their individual interests. This can include information on specific discount promotions, customer queries on individual products or issues and other unique requests. Basically, they will now have the ability to get what they really want out of the brands they follow.

Facebook The social network will do what it always does — pressure itself to be better. (As shown by yesterday’s new product rollouts.) Expect it to continue to expand its product pages with new applications and services. Sure, it’ll probably add similar Google services (its only fair), like more advanced data analytics and targeted fan engagement activities. But I don’t think Facebook is worried, yet, due to its current social dominance.

New Social Media features for marketers to be aware of

Facebook Launches the Subscribe Button

This past week, Facebook launched a subscribe button, which allows you to choose on a user by user basis “whether you’d like to see all updates, most updates, or just important updates from another user.” It also allows you to open up your profile to subscribers who are not your friends on Facebook. 

By opening up more of its content to the public, Facebook is increasing your content’s chances of showing up in search engine results. Facebook’s subscribe option also allows individuals to grow their following and determine which content they want to make viewable to certain groups of friends or subscribers. 

Marketing Takeaway: When publishing content in social networks, make sure you are making it publicly available. This will enable your content to reach a much broader audience beyond your direct network, extending its reach. In addition, be sure you’re optimizing your social media posts and updates with appropriate keywords for your business to help it get found by searchers. This will increase the impact your social media posts have on organic search traffic to your website.

Twitter Announces Twitter Web Analytics

Twitter announced last week that it will be releasing its own official Twitter Web Analytics tool. The aim of the tools is to help “website owners understand how much traffic they generate from Twitter as well as the effectiveness of Twitter integrations on their websites.” It will allow marketers to determine:

  • How much of their website content is being shared on Twitter.
  • How much web traffic Twitter generates for their website.
  • How effective their Tweet Button integration is.

As an inbound marketer, measuring your various marketing efforts is an important element of success. Understanding what is working and what isn’t allows you to focus your energy and limited time where it can impact your business the most. 

Marketing Takeaway: Always be on the lookout for new ways to measure, and gain a solid understanding, about your marketing efforts. If you don’t already have integrated marketing analytics software that offers these types of analytics, consider one. Analyzing your marketing programs and understanding where your traffic and leads are coming from can help you improve your campaigns, do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t.

Facebook page ideas you should try

Facebook offers a great opportunity to engage your prospects with its business pages. From videos to photos to questions, there are many different features within Facebook pages that allow you to appeal to every type of user. But how can you keep the content you post on your Facebook page fresh? If you want to get your community to engage, you constantly need to offer something valuable and new.

Here are 25 ideas to liven up the content you share on your Facebook page and make your fans excited to check your page often for updates.

Posting Statuses on Your Wall

1. Don’t automate Twitter updates to your Facebook page. They are different platforms, so treat them differently.

2. Tag other pages in your status updates for increased engagement and cross-promotion.

3. Reply to users’ comments and “likes” on your status updates. The more engagement, the more likely your post will make it to your community members’ news feeds.

4. Invite a guest host to participate. Ask a celebrity, influencer, or company executive take over your Facebook page for an hour or a whole day to interact directly with community members and answer their questions.

5. Ask for your community’s opinion. Take a question that was asked somewhere else (e.g. on your blog, Twitter, etc.), and pose that question to your Facebook audience.

6. Ask for your community’s ideas. Ask them what they would like to see in your next blog post, ebook, webinar, advertisement, event, etc.

7. Tell the first part of a joke, and let your community finish it. (Example: “Why did the chicken cross the road?….”)

8. Tell a riddle.

9. Ask a hypothetical question. (Example: “Would you rather ____?” “If you could _____…”)

10. Share links to your blog posts on your wall, and use the status update field to pull out one key fact, statistic, or tip from the post as “teaser.”

11. Share a link to your weekly or monthly newsletter. Create a custom tab for signing up for an email newsletter with a tool like ShortStack. Make sure to keep the sign-up form directly within the Facebook tab to generate higher conversion rates.

12. Share information about your company: news coverage, job openings, promotions, and milestones. Use numbers, as they tend to stand out to people.

Photos

13. Tag real people in photos you post. Their friends will see those photos, and it will drive a new audience to your page.

14. Post a mystery photo. In the comments, ask people to guess the mystery person, the secret object, or the location.

15. Host a caption contest. Get people to write the best caption for your photo.

16. Share pictures from a local meetup, event, or conference.

17. Did you interview an industry expert for your blog? Post pictures of the interview in action on Facebook to offer your fans a “behind the scenes” glimpse.

18. Post pictures from a conference.

19. Post pictures of your product. Use the captions for descriptions. (Example: recipes, styles tips, an update about a new feature, etc.)

20. Compare and contrast two products in a photo. Prompt your community to add their thoughts in the comments.

21. If you share an infographic or image on your blog, share just that image on your Facebook page and link to the post on your page as a “teaser.”

22. Use the top photo strip of your Facebook page in a creative way. Spell out a word for a particular campaign, make a cartoon by connecting the images, or show unique headshots of employees.

Analytics

23. Celebrate holidays. Post a status update wishing everyone a happy ______. Use the demographics information in Facebook Insights to learn about what regions are represented in your community.

24. Use the % Feedback metric in Facebook Insights to see which status updates generate the highest %. Replicate that type of content, as this is the kind of content with the highest engagement and best value for news feed optimization.

25. Add UTM codes to the links you share on Facebook to track traffic sent from your Facebook page to your website.

80% of social media users prefer Facebook for connecting with brands

When communicating with your target audience, it’s important to understand where most people will see and hear your messages as well as where they want to see and hear them. As part of your targeting tactics, you should look beyond where your audience can hear from you and think more about how they prefer to interact with you. As an example, the majority of your target market may be on Twitter, but they may actually prefer to interact with you through Facebook. And if you know how your audience wants to communicate, you’ll be more successful engaging them in a two-way conversation.

This year Edison Research and Arbitron found that, according to US social network users who follow a company/brand in social media, 80% of respondents preferred to connect with brands through Facebook. This is a powerful statistic to consider when you’re creating your social media marketing strategy. Not only does Facebook attract the masses with over 750 million users, it is also how users want to connect with brands. As a marketer, you can be assured that you’ll reach a large and receptive audience through Facebook.

To ensure you’re getting the most out of your marketing on Facebook, follow these 3 steps to better leverage Facebook for business.

1. Share Your Content

Be active on Facebook by sharing various types of content to engage your audience in conversation. An easy way to share your content is to connect your blog with your Facebook account so new posts automatically publish to your Facebook page. When you do this, make sure you monitor the interaction with your fans. Don’t leave them hanging, and be sure to keep the conversation going and gather insights to understand what your fans want from you. This will help you decide which types of content your Facebook fans care about, and what to avoid.

2. Figure Out What Content Is Most Engaging

It’s easy to share your content through Facebook, but you should also be aware of what content is most successful for your business. Using Facebook Insights, Facebook’s internal analytics tool for pages, get a deeper look into the performance of your content. The Insights tool allows you to see your page interactions and monitors new and lifetime likes over time. It will also enable you to pinpoint which of your updates and posts perform well (and which don’t) so you can track trends and get a sense of the types of content you should post more of or avoid sharing in the future.

3. Segment (Then Target) Your Audience

On Facebook, you can now select which of your fans see specific types of content. When you create an update, you now have the ability to choose whether content should be public to all or viewable to only certain custom created groups. This is a great tool for marketers, because you can now create segments for your fans and then target them with relevant and personalized content, which research shows performs significantly better than content that isn’t personalized.