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.

[youtube]DryFkhVDcE4[/youtube]

 

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.

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

Social Media Allows David to Out-Market Goliath

Ten years ago LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook did not exist. Twenty years ago hardly anyone had a personal computer. Thirty years ago Cable Television was just starting to come into it’s own. Forty years ago you had 5 channels or less on TV dependent upon how well the tin foil on the rabbit ears worked. What you know today will change tomorrow.

Most of our client’s are small to mid-size companies that cannot match up against their larger competitors in terms of money, labor, and resources. To out-market the competition they have to out-smart them.

In a recent article Malcome Gladwell discusses how David’s can improve their chance of beating Goliaths. Normally David is successful less than 30%. But, when David understands that he cannot compete on Goliath’s terms (think normal industry practices) and chooses an unconventional strategy, the success percentage more than doubles.

Recently someone asked what it is that Social Media Sonar does. Our answer was that we help David out market Goliath using traditional advertising, marketing, and social media.

We still believe that traditional means of marketing including direct mail, radio and television ads, and even newspaper ads have their place.    Social media, though, allows us to cost effectively build a community of people, communicate one to one or en masse, engage in conversations, generate leads, and drive revenue.

It is understanding how it all works together in a comprehensive strategy that makes it work. You can choose to use traditional advertising and marketing, social media, or both.

What’s the Point of Social Media?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that question? How did you answer it? What if we ask someone else? Are they likely to give the same answer or a different one?

We’re also likely to give a different answer than people at the top social sites would give. So lets look at the point of several sites.

  • LinkedIn: To help professionals network and deepen the relationships they already have or are just developing.
  • Facebook: It’s changed in scope from its origins but Facebook allows us to engage with our friends and families on a more personal level sharing experiences, video, photo’s, etc.
  • Twitter: Twitter lets us stream micro thoughts to others and see what others are thinking or up to.
  • You Tube: Allows you to post to share experiences, entertainment, outrage, etc with others. Continue reading What’s the Point of Social Media?

How’s Your Social Media Swing?

I’ve heard it all. Social media is the greatest evolution in marketing to its the biggest waste of time and money. I agree with both. Its not the tool itself but how it is used.

If I had Tiger Woods’ golf clubs I would still suffer the same severe handicap. I do have a Ken Griffey Jr. autographed Louisville Slugger but I’m not likely to do more than stir air if I faced even your average major league pitcher. Its not about the bat or the club; its about the swing.

Hitters in baseball have batting coaches and even Tiger has a swing coach. Today we’re going to take a look at some basics to craft your social media swing. Continue reading How’s Your Social Media Swing?

Top Moments in Social Media

I was doing some research the other day and decided to see if I could find the definitive moments in social media.  I was able to find numerous yearly top 10 reviews but didn’t have much success finding a list from the early 2000’s to today.  So even though I didn’t find  “the” top moments, I did find some moments that I think would at least be on the list for consideration.

  1. iPhone is Launched
    Prior to the iPhone launch cell phones could access the internet ..the iPhone just did it phenomenally better. From the touch screen, to the emergence of apps, to actually being able to read a website on a smart phone, the iPhone took mobile by the hair and dragged it from cool to useful. 

    It didn’t take me long to pass my Blackberry on to my wife so that I could sport an iPhone.

  2. Iran Election Protests
    There have been revolutions and protests in closed nations before. Twitter though gave a face to the Iranian elections protests, allowing previous restricted content, photos, and stories to make it past the media monitors and filter to the masses. 

    Lack of a free press is no longer a hindrance to the truth being told or shown. Continue reading Top Moments in Social Media

4 Twitter Statistics to Encourage Tweeting

I was doing some research this week reading various blogs and news articles and decide to write down some of the statistics that caught my eye. A set of these statistics focused on Twitter and how people are using the service to take action.

43% Follow Brands on Twitter Looking for Deals and Offers
One of the first things we do with a new client is ask them the following question, “If I follow you on Twitter, what’s in it for me?”

Now we know that some people will follow a business back to help build their own network. But, what about others. Are you providing value to them? What will capture their attention?

Coupons, discounts, special offers are a great way to engage customers and prospects. We recently ran a promotion with Copeland’s Atlanta where they gave away $50 gift cards to the first 5 people that walked into a location and said “Best Brunch in Atlanta”. Continue reading 4 Twitter Statistics to Encourage Tweeting

Social Media Short on Miracles

And now a special announcement: Social Media does not produce miracles and will not work for you if you do not know what it is that you do (very well I hope) and what messages you want to communicate to deliver your compelling offer or interesting (people actually want to consume it) content.

Having 5,00 Twitter followers will not make it happen automatically. Those 1,000 Facebook friends you have, most do not personally know you. The same if you have over 500 connections on LinkedIn. Doesn’t mean that they can’t become customers, it just means you won’t sell them based on your winning personality.

So let’s set the stage.

Marketing: Management process through which the goods and services you offer move from concept to the customer. Its doing business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction.

As a practice, it consists in coordination of four elements called 4P’s:

  • Identification, selection, and development of a product
  • Determination of its price
  • Selection of a distribution channel to reach the customer’s place
  • Development and implementation of a promotional strategy

Advertising: A form of communication intended to persuade its viewers, readers or listeners to take some action. It usually includes the name of a product or service and how that product or service could benefit the consumer, to persuade potential customers to purchase or to consume that particular brand. Continue reading Social Media Short on Miracles

The Missing Social Media Ingredient

Social Media is everywhere. They talk about it on the news and radio, there are articles in newspapers and magazines, and searching “Social Media” on Google returns 194 million results.

If you want to learn more about it there are hundreds of thousands of blogs, podcasts, and videos available to review. There is no excuse why you cannot figure out how to put social media to work for you. Well maybe one excuse.

That excuse is the missing ingredient in most people’s social media strategy and its “Time”. You can’t learn time and its a limited resource. You either have it or you don’t. Or you need to find or create it.

You really have three choices if you want to get serious about making social media a part of your marketing efforts.

  • You can learn it from scratch by simply diving in and figuring things out.
  • You can tap into the knowledge of others through classes, books, workshops, blogs, audio, and podcasts.
  • You can outsource your efforts.

Regardless of which you choose you will still have to invest some time and money. Continue reading The Missing Social Media Ingredient