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.

YouTube Infographic

Last week I finally took the leap and created my first official infographic, my Twitter Infographic.  Today I’m back with number two, a You Tube version.

As I’ve created my first two I’ve also started paying more attention to other ones that I find.  I stumbled on to a couple of blogs related to the subject that, if like me you’re into it, you should enjoy:  the first is Cool Infographics by Randy Krum which has a wide assortment of graphics. OMGeureka has infographics that tend to relate to online topics.  And finally Submit Infographics which not only has a collection of work but lets you submit your creations as well.

Here’s my second foray that was inspired after reading Jeff Bullas’s 50 Awesome YouTube Facts and Figures.  I didn’t use all of the facts Jeff wrote about, but enough to want to give credit to him for his post.

 

If you like the YouTube Infographic please consider retweeting it and sharing with others.

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.

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

Online Strategy Using Social Media

Build a Cohesive Social BrandStrategies are like excuses.  Some people have them some people don’t.  Some are good and some not so good.  Some are so good that you file it away should you need it in the future.  Today I offer you an online marketing excuse of a strategy that incorporates social media.

2 Parts of the Strategy

The strategy that I’ll layout has two parts to it:  1.  Build a Cohesive Social Brand; 2.  Syndicate Content.  Then as you can see in the video I’ll show you how the two components work together.  The goal is to generate an impact in your social media marketing while also looking to benefit from being indexed by search engines.  Its a push / pull strategy that relies on one key component …quality content.

In today’s post I’m going to walk through part one.  Tomorrow I will add part two, Syndicating Content.  Of course you can watch the video and see everything at once.

Cohesive Social Brand

There are thousands of social media and networking sites out there and you could drive yourself crazy trying to sign up for everyone.  You should focus on establishing a presence on the major sites and then add in some specific sites that fit your niche.  Each of these components should Continue reading Online Strategy Using Social Media