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.

LinkedIn Open Groups

Are LinkedIn Open Groups Great for Members or Great for Spammers?

I’ve seen a lot of back and forth discussions about the new LinkedIn Open Groups.  A lot of the negatives that I see people mentioning stem from the thought that this will further encourage spammers to post promotions and add little value to discussions.

LinkedIn Rant w/ a Solution

In 2010 LinkedIn decided to remove the New Article board from groups or per what they put out “combine the news board and the discussion board”.  At the time people were pretty good about posting discussion questions on the discussion board and links to blog articles, online news releases, and articles to the news board.

I assume LinkedIn felt it would be natural to combine the two opening up a new board called Promotions to give group members a place to promote products and services.  They were wrong. Continue reading LinkedIn Open Groups

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?

When to DIY and When to Call in the Experts?

I’m a Do it Yourself kind of person. Part of it is that I think I can do just about anything I put my mind to it. Part of it is why not do it myself and save a buck. And the challenge is often a huge part of it. Can I pull it off and gain a little more experience.

For the last year I’ve looked to change the SONARconnects logo, creating a range of designs. Scott Dunn, the founding partner was happy with the existing logo and more than anything put up with my logo suggestions I think to amuse me. Continue reading When to DIY and When to Call in the Experts?

Social Media, Cheesecake, and Paying Attention: $5.99 to Create a Fanatic

cheesecake from Copeland's AtlantaWhat’s a customer worth to you? How many times will they buy? What’s their average purchase in terms of dollars? What’s the value if they go from a customer to a fanatic and generate ongoing word of mouth with everyone they know?

I recently posted a question to a LinkedIn group “Is Twitter Noise or an effective Business Tool?” The responses are mixed, though more see it as an effective business tool. But many say they just don’t get it. I think those that don’t get it just haven’t taken the time to think creatively and strategically about how to put to use the ability to communicate and engage with potentially hundreds or thousands of potential prospects, customers, and fanatics.

So let’s look at a success story. Continue reading Social Media, Cheesecake, and Paying Attention: $5.99 to Create a Fanatic

Social Media Sonar blog Wins Blogoff II Contest

blogoff2Actually the blog wasn’t competing but I was using two posts that are currently listed here: “The 7 Worst LinkedIn Mistakes and Their Fixes” and “Are You a Lion, Turtle, HoundDog, or Alley Cat – What’s Your LinkedIn Connection Strategy”.

Here’s a press snippet:

Blog-Off II, a blogging contest offering social media enthusiasts and professionals the opportunity to be independently assessed by judges and statistics on their capability of implementing the fundamentals of social media marketing, came to a close with the announcement of the winner on December 24th.  This years winner, Sean Nelson author of the Social Media Sonar blog, was able to beat out an impressive collection of 28 bloggers representing 6 countries.  During the 12 day contest. Sean’s two posts generated over 8,000 visits and over 200 comments, with an impressive time spent on each post of 6:17 and 5:09 (that’s minutes:seconds).”

What’s not covered in the results above are the several hundred comments that were made in LinkedIn groups where I posted a link to the articles in a Discussion Post and as a News Article. Continue reading Social Media Sonar blog Wins Blogoff II Contest

I Need Your Help – Blogoff 2

For the last two years I’ve written this blog to help people more effectively use LinkedIn.  I decided it was time to benchmark the blog’s success by competing in the BlogOff 2 competition.  I need your help to have a chance to win the competition.

Your Task:  Visit my new blog post “The 7 Worst Mistakes on LinkedIn and Their Fixes“.  This post will help you identify and correct the mistakes I see many people making on LinkedIn.

VOTE NOW:  Your click is your vote.  *******Comments on tT7he post are a major component of the voting so please consider adding a comment.*******

Thank you and have a great day.

Sean Nelson

What is a Social Networking/Media Expert?

I recently was asked to speak at a workshop on LinkedIn by a connection of mine.  A week or so prior to the event I received an email from her to use to promote the event.  The description headline stopped me in my tracks…”Sean Nelson the King of LinkedIn”

It took me about two seconds to fire off an email telling her to ditch the royal reference ASAP.  A lot of people would call me an expert on LinkedIn, its their opinion so they can think or say what they like.  I have a different different way of describing what I am.  “I’m simply a small business owner that learned how to use LinkedIn and Social networking / media in order to network more efficiently and to drive new business.”

The word “expert” is thrown around way too often these days with little to back up the claim.  What does a LinkedIn expert look like?  How do you determine that they are an expert?  The same goes for “social networking/media expert”.

I was looking at my home page the other day and noticed an updated profile for a connection of mine and someone I’ve known for the last couple of years.  Curious about what changed I took a look at his profile and immediately noticed that after years in another field he was now a social media expert.

Now anyone can learn a lot about social media and be seen as an expert or extremely knowledgeable even if they’re not in the marketing or advertising field.  I’m a prime example of that.  I learned LinkedIn and social networking/media through trial and error trying to drive business for my insurance agency.

In this case the person had attended a couple of my LinkedIn workshops, a few other social media workshops, and was partnering with a company jumping from Google Adwords to social media.  It takes more than attending a couple of workshops and working in the industry to be an expert.

So what is an expert and how do you determine if you’re one?  Is it valid to claim that you are an expert or does that title have to be conferred upon you by another person?  I’m not certain what the official definition is but here are some thoughts about what I think it takes to potentially be considered an expert: Continue reading What is a Social Networking/Media Expert?

The Insurance Brokers Guide to LinkedIn

insurance brokers guide to linkedin 200

Today I’m excited to announce the first industry specific guide that I have written about LinkedIn.  This guide was developed based on the 8 years of experience that I have as an insurance broker and the expertise I’ve developed since 2006, using LinkedIn to drive new business.

The Insurance Brokers Guide to LinkedIn uses Action Steps to walk you through the process of moving from a social networker to a social marketer.  You’ll learn how to identify why you are on LinkedIn, expand your network, build your credibility, leverage LinkedIn, and a Bonus Action Step on using LinkedIn to prospect.
As a Special Bonus you also get a free copy of my LinkedIn MBA, a $9.97 value, which uses exercises to walk you through creating a “Killer” profile.

The Insurance Brokers Guide to LinkedIn is relevant to any business person, but the examples and terminology are geared to insurance brokers.  Here is a list of the content:

Foreword by Jeremiah Desmarais, Vice President Marketing, Norvax
Authors Note
Introduction
Action Step 1:  Understanding Why You Are on LinkedIn
Action Step 2:  Extending Your Networks
Action Step 3:  Building Your Credibility
Action Step 4:  Leveraging LinkedIn
Bonus Action Step:  Prospecting with LinkedIn
Wrap Up
14 Quick Action Steps
6 Social Media Tools You Should Be Using
  • Foreword by Jeremiah Desmarais, Vice President Marketing, Norvax
  • Authors Note
  • Introduction
  • Action Step 1:  Understanding Why You Are on LinkedIn
  • Action Step 2:  Extending Your Networks
  • Action Step 3:  Building Your Credibility
  • Action Step 4:  Leveraging LinkedIn
  • Bonus Action Step:  Prospecting with LinkedIn
  • Wrap Up
  • 14 Quick Action Steps
  • 6 Social Media Tools You Should Be Using
For more information about this guide and to purchase your copy go to:  http://socialmediasonar.com/insurance_brokers_guide_to_lin.html

Enhance Your Networking with LinkedIn (part 3 of 10)

Enhance and Expand Your Network
The core of LinkedIn revolves around connecting to other business professionals, which is networking.  Networking exclusively on LinkedIn, though, ignores the human element of face to face interaction.  Understanding, once again that LinkedIn is a tool, how do you use it to enhance your other networking?
I do a lot of networking in my local chamber.  When I first joined the chamber I hadn’t really been active on LinkedIn.  At meetings I would try to meet as many people as possible, but in a room full of 50 people and only 30 minutes of open networking it was hard to meet everyone.
For those I did not meet I could try again at the next meeting, but that depended upon whether or not they returned.  At the meetings they photocopied everyone’s business card and each person got a copy.  From that I could also call those I had not met to try to set up a meeting.  Other than a name on a card, though, there was no connection.
LinkedIn changed that.  I found that with LinkedIn, I could connect to those that I hadn’t had a chance to meet.  Then I could review their LinkedIn profiles to determine who were the most beneficial to meet.  I also found that if they were at the next chamber meeting, that the LinkedIn connection provided a great way to break the ice.
In the end it’s a two way street.  LinkedIn provides a level of connectivity until I can strengthen the networking relationship through a face to face meeting.  And the chamber meeting provides a fresh batch of potential LinkedIn connections.
Some of my best networking relationships have developed from simply being at the same networking event, connecting on LinkedIn, and then finally taking it offline and meeting in person.
So here’s what you should be doing.  After every networking event, send a LinkedIn connection invite to those you did not get a chance to meet.  (Here’s where you want to customize that LinkedIn invitation. )  Send the following invitation:
Joe,
We crossed paths at the Chamber (or whatever event it was) today but did not get a chance to meet you in person.  I am using LinkedIn to enhance my Chamber networking and would like to add you to my LinkedIn network.
Sean Nelson (I always add my last name since I do not know this person yet)
More often then not, this leads to a LinkedIn connection.  Now it’s up to you to take it further to develop the relationship.  Remember it’s not about adding just another connection; it’s about expanding and enhancing your network.  Only send the invite to those that you want to get to know.

The core of LinkedIn revolves around connecting to other business professionals, which is primarily networking.  Networking exclusively on LinkedIn, though, ignores the human element of face to face interaction.  Understanding, once again that LinkedIn is a tool, how do you use it to enhance your other networking?

I do a lot of networking in my local chamber.  When I first joined the chamber in the spring of 1996 I had not yet joined LinkedIn.  At meetings I would try to meet as many people as possible, but in a room full of 50 people and only 30 minutes of open networking it was hard to meet everyone.

At each meeting they would  photocopy all of the business cards and each attendee received a copy.   From that I could call those I had not met to try to set up a meeting.  Other than a name on a card, though, there was no connection.  I could also try again at the next meeting if they returned.

LinkedIn changed that.  I found that with LinkedIn, I could connect to those that I hadn’t had a chance to meet.  Then I could review their LinkedIn profiles to determine who were the most beneficial to meet.  I also found that if they were at the next chamber meeting, that the LinkedIn connection provided a great way to break the ice.

In the end it’s a two way street.  LinkedIn provides a level of connectivity until I can strengthen the networking relationship through a face to face meeting.  And the chamber meeting provides a fresh batch of potential LinkedIn connections.

Some of my best networking relationships have developed from simply being at the same networking event, connecting on LinkedIn, and then finally taking it offline and meeting in person.

So here’s what you should be doing.  After every networking event, send a LinkedIn connection invite to those you did not get a chance to meet.  (Here’s where you want to customize that LinkedIn invitation. )  Send the following invitation: Continue reading Enhance Your Networking with LinkedIn (part 3 of 10)