Can Your Facebook Presence Be Hijacked?

Do you have a Places or Community page for your business?  If so you may be at risk of your information being hijacked.

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were looking for a place to eat on Lake Lanier, a lake just North of Atlanta.  I went to Google and searched eventually clicking on a Facebook page link for Pelican Pete’s (PP’s).  I went to their page to find out more information on PP’s and in the process discovered a potential flaw or potential issue to businesses relying on Places and Community pages on Facebook.

hijacked facebook page

As you can see in the video below I had the ability to go into the PP’s page and edit the basic information including Tags, Address, Phone Number, and URL.  Why is this an issue?

For starters let’s look at a hypothetical situation that is reasonable.  Let’s suppose that I make money by using Google AdSense to display relevant ads on pages.  With the ability to go into certain Facebook pages and customize the URL, I can set up a number of money making pages in Facebook by hijacking ignored Facebook Places pages and placing links to my pages with AdSense running on it.

In the case of PP’s, I simply would create a website called LakeLanierToDos.com.  Under the domain I could then create a page called /pelicanpetes and place the relevant information about PP, but in the sidebar include Google Ads for other Lake Lanier businesses. Something like this:

 

Now imagine if you did that across 1,000 sites how much revenue you might generate by hijacking ignored Facebook places pages.  Watch the Video.

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Think its just the little guys who could be hijacked?  Here is a Facebook Places page for a local Starbucks in Alpharetta, GA that I was able to go in and edit their info.

So what can you do to avoid your Facebook presence being hijacked:

  1. Create a Company, Brand, or Product page that you have 100% control of.  Avoid Community and Places accounts.
  2. Claim you Place.  If you look below the photo in the left bar on the Places Page you will see a text link that asks “Is this your business?”.  Click on the link and claim your business.  From what I have seen verifying the business doesn’t prevent the ability of someone else editing your info and URL.
  3. Merge the Places Page with Your Company, Brand, Product, etc. page.  This appears to be a good idea that has disappeared for the time being.   Facebook may be changing the process and planning on reinstating the process once completed.  Last info I saw (on 8/2/11) was that Facebook was not responding to questions sent on this topic.  Google+ anyone?
  4. Create a Company, Brand, Product page, then claim your Places page and delete it.  If you can’t merge the Places page then kill it.

I’d like to think that Facebook would see this post and correct the issue.  But in the real world Facebook likely knows about the issue, has decided it doesn’t really care or that it isn’t a big enough issue, and has no plans to address it.  Social networks move at their own speed, based on their own priorities, and I’ve yet to see one that really cares what their users think.  They may exist to help the rest of us be social, but they themselves really are more interested in figuring out how to make money rather than having a conversation with you or me.

Social Media Sonar provides the following four resources for FREE… 1.  The Blog, 2. The Online Marketing/Social Media Blueprint, 3.  Conversion Rate Optimization Guide, 4.  Resource Center.  If these help you implement your own online marketing program, great. We love helping people. If you decide you need some help, great. We love new clients.  Contact Us if we can help you.

LinkedIn Infographic

Today’s post, LinkedIn infographic is the third in the series.  You can view the first two, Twitter Infographic and YouTube Infographic by clicking on the links.

LinkedIn continues to be the only major social network focused exclusively on business professionals.  Its not as casual as Facebook and not as flippant as Twitter.  Today’s infographic focuses on how to be “the man or woman” on LinkedIn.  It includes 10 tips that will help you:

  1. Optimize your profile
  2. Extend your reach
  3. Leverage the tools

All three are equally important if you want to drive new business from Linkedin.

If you have a great profile and no one sees it you’ve accomplished nothing.  If you have a great network and belong to several groups you’ll still miss out on opportunities if your profile is lacking.  Finally, if you are using the available tools such as Answers, Polls, Status Updates, etc. but still have a poor profile, you may drive people back to your inadequate profile, but you’ll likely find that you have nothing to show for your work.

Your profile is the hub of your Linkedin existence.  Its your landing page.  It should tell people who you are, what you do, how you help people, where they can get more information, and even how to take the next step if they want to engage you or your products and services.

Next I would start naturally building your connections.  Connect to you natural network, to people you meet at networking events, and even reach out to those you would like to know.  Start looking for groups to join such as:

  1. Those where potential your customers or clients are
  2. Industry related groups where you can make connections that can become partners, vendors, or referral sources
  3. Alumni groups, whether corporate or school based, where you can reconnect to old friends or find new ones
  4. Topic related groups where you can expand your knowledge
  5. A group that you start and grow

Finally, kick start your activity by answering questions to help others and demonstrate your knowledge, engage in group discussions by joining existing conversations or start your own, post status update to share content, ask questions, or share success stories, and finally using the search function to prospect.

Success takes time so be patient and consistent in your activity.  My LinkedIn infographic should help you get started (click image to view full size).

 

 

Social Media Sonar provides the following four resources for FREE… 1.  The Blog, 2. The Online Marketing/Social Media Blueprint, 3.  Conversion Rate Optimization Guide, 4.  Resource Center.  If these help you implement your own online marketing program, great. We love helping people. If you decide you need some help, great. We love new clients.  Contact Us if we can help you.

 

Twitter Infographic

Infographics seem to be a hot trend among internet and online marketers. An infographic is simply a graphic representation of information, date, knowledge, processes, etc.  And while they may seem to be a new tool to communicate, they have been around since the first caveman decided to practice graffiti on the walls of his cave.

Since 1980’s USA Today has used mini infographics to present data in quick, easy to digest manner.  With the emergence of social media they seem to have hit a resurgence, moving from the simple USA Today model to more complex, visual representations of data.

If a picture is worth a thousand words than an infographic may be worth a million or more.

Yesterday as I was writing a new blog post about a new Twitter tool I discovered I decided that it would be cool to maybe add a Twitter infographic to the post.  Eight hours of work later I decided that the infographic was strong enough to stand on its own and better the focus of its own post.  I’ll post next week on the tool that I found that analyzes your followers to show you the best times for you to tweet, but for now I offer my Twitter infographic.

 

If you like the infographic please retweet it. (thanks)

Social Media Sonar provides the following four resources for FREE… 1.  The Blog, 2. The Online Marketing/Social Media Blueprint, 3.  Conversion Rate Optimization Guide, 4.  Resource Center.  If these help you implement your own online marketing program, great. We love helping people. If you decide you need some help, great. We love new clients.  Contact Us if we can help you.

Are You Lacking Social Media Faith?

social media faithRob Liano, the Sales Rock Star, has faith. He shares it in a one hour romp through sales training that is part biography, part sales training 101, and 100% engaging.

Rob and I have spoken at several events together and this past weekend we shared another event in the National Funding Associations’s conference in Atlanta. I’ve never failed to sit in on his session when we speak together at an event, and I got to thinking about why I’ll sit in on his session at the next event we share.

Then it hit me. I’m not necessarily learning anything new. Is there really anything original left to say about improving sales?  No, just new ways to introduce the concepts so that you can see them in a new light.   It’s Rob sharing his faith that I and everyone in the room can be a better salesperson if we just have a little faith in ourselves, in committing to a process, and in the simple act of taking action. Rob helps you believe in yourself and in sales that can be a game changer.

The same can be said for social media. Most social media campaigns take time to work, especially if you’re starting from scratch. My first sales from social media (LinkedIn) happened before I even had a campaign, only 20 connections, and had not logged in for a couple of months. I lucked out because I had a dormant LinkedIn account that I had created in June of 2006 and somehow someone found it in December of 2007, leading to developing a referral relationship.That one initial relationship not only produced my first revenue through social media but made a believer out of me.

I realized quickly that LinkedIn and social media could help me grow my business. I had faith that social media would work, I only needed to figure out how to make it work consistently.

Fast forward to 2011 and I still see lack of faith as an obstacle that needs to be overcome. It takes faith to invest time, money or both when its likely to be a while before you see a return on your investment. Once I committed to using social media to grow my business it still took months to drive a second lead and almost a year to create a consistent flow of leads.

Having faith is what will keep you on track when you’re not seeing results. It will help you keep your foot on the gas when you begin to see results, knowing that if you slow down so will your results. And it will help you continue to learn and explore new tools, strategies, and tactics

If you’re sales team isn’t performing up to par maybe you need Rob to come in to do a little faith building. He has enthusiasm and will travel.

If your social media plan is not performing or non-existent maybe you need a little social media faith.

Social Media Sonar provides the following four resources for FREE… 1.  The Blog, 2. The Online Marketing/Social Media Blueprint, 3.  Conversion Rate Optimization Guide, 4.  Resource Center.  If these help you implement your own online marketing program, great. We love helping people. If you decide you need some help, great. We love new clients.  Contact Us if we can help you.

Why LinkedIn is Important to Small Businesses

In the summer of 2006 I read an article about a networking site that was for business people. I had heard of MySpace and Facebook, but those were networks for high school kids and people in college. A network dedicated to business professionals was definitely worth checking out. That network was LinkedIn.

I signed up for an account and started looking through it to see if I knew anyone and to also see if there were any ways to use it as a prospecting vehicle. After numerous searches my conclusion at the time was that this was a good site for people in technology industries but not necessarily relevant for anyone else.

At the time you could connect to other business professionals, participate in Answers, and join groups (although there really wasn’t any additional functionality to groups).

Five years later I have a different perspective, having used the service to build a network of business professionals and driven new business from being a member of the site. I wasn’t wrong in my initial assessment; it’s just that LinkedIn has evolved into a great tool through the increase in membership and functionality. It just had to mature a little bit, much like the internet of the late 90’s.

In the late 1990’s the internet was starting to gain traction and companies were starting to get in on the action. For a while, having a website was a cool thing to do but not a make or break decision. That changed and eventually having a website was as much a credibility play as it was a functional part of any businesses marketing efforts.

Social networking/media has followed the same path, although at a much quicker pace. Two years ago having a presence on the various social networking spaces was a cool thing to do for a business but once again not a make or break decision. Today if you’re not on a social networking site like LinkedIn you’re missing the boat.

Social Media/Networking has expanded the opportunity to Continue reading Why LinkedIn is Important to Small Businesses

I Suck and I’m Not Worth Following

A Quick Twitter Rant

Would you ever tweet that message on your Twitter account. I wouldn’t, yet every day I see people doing it.

Of course they are not doing it on purpose. In fact I think many feel they are actually to some degree shaming those that un-followed them. They just don’t realize that the jokes on them.

You can recognize these “I Suck” posts easily, they look like this: @ayz_abc @123_456 @some_person @yougetthepoint un-followed me today … checked by http:/any-number-of-twitter-followers-sites.com

So if you are someone who tweets the names of people who un-follow you, what’s the purpose? What do you hope to get out of the tweet. Do you actually think that someone that un-followed you is suddenly going to say “Sorry about that, please let me re-follow you”.

Do you actually take an un-follow so personal that you have to comment on it. I don’t get it.

When I see Continue reading I Suck and I’m Not Worth Following

QR Codes Extend Marketing

I’ve been reading about and seeing QR codes for a while and finally this week I took the dive and created some QR codes.

QR Codes
QR codes are not new but over the last month or so I seem to be seeing more conversation, more codes in windows, and on business cards.  I’m working on new business cards for my Conversion Optimization company Surge Labs and decided it was a great time to incorporate QR codes.

If you are not familiar with QR codes, they specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones, sort of like a bar code.

I used Kerem Erkans QR Code and 2D Code Generator to create a code that when scanned takes the scanner to a page to download Surge Labs Conversion Optimization white paper.

Here are some things you can embed with his QR creation tool: Continue reading QR Codes Extend Marketing

Is Your Social Media in the Toilet

I was heading home from a meeting recently and stopped at a QT (Quiktrip for those not in the know) convenience store for some gas and a quick bathroom break. When I walked in the bathroom the first thing that caught my eye was a large Facebook sticker on the wall directing me to “Like” their page on Facebook.

My initial reaction was great job QT. I’m obviously going to be looking towards the poster for the next 30 to 40 seconds and will naturally read it. Second I’m not likely to forget that they have a Facebook page that they provide offers on. So far so good.

Now the not so good. The sticker itself was in terrible condition and looked like it should have been replaced months ago. Now I wonder if this was a hot idea at QT at some point but now their enthusiasm as faded.

I’ll have to pay the bathroom another visit in about 6 months to see.

With QT inspiration here are 4 ways to keep your social media out of the toilet.

1. Remember if you want it to be about you, it has to first be about them

If you are using social media to drive business its natural to want to tell the world about the great deals you offer, how great you are, and why they should buy from you. You can do that but you need to share this information in the form of value.

What are the top 5 questions people ask Continue reading Is Your Social Media in the Toilet

Online Strategy Using Social Media part 2

Syndicating contentIn our previous post we looked at Building a Cohesive Social Brand as part of your online marketing strategy. Today we look at the second part, Syndicating Your Content. Syndication is just a fancy word for publishing, or even better “sharing”.

When you think about social media and online marketing what really differentiates a business in the long run is the content they share. Businesses that talk about themselves constantly are eventually ignored, but those that use their content to address problems, educate, inform, and entertain potential customers and clients have a shot at earning some business. And not just any content but relevant content of quality.

Creating content is a time consuming endeavor. If you are a large company you probably have people in your marketing department whose sole job is to develop new content regardless of the medium. For smaller companies without the resources you need to utilize the concept of “re-purposing content” For this strategy everything starts with your Blog.

For every blog post that you write your goal should be to re-purpose the post content as an article, a video, a podcast, as part of a monthly email newsletter, and where possible into an online news release.

Blogs are like the Swiss Army Knife of online marketing. They allow you to easily publish content in written, motion, and audio formats so that regardless of how your audience likes to consume content you can provide it. You can use keywords, links, and tags to improve your chances of being indexed by search engines. And its a lot easier to refresh content on your site through your blog rather than trying to update pages that were designed to be static. So we start with a blog post and re-purpose and syndicate away. Continue reading Online Strategy Using Social Media part 2