facebook

Why You Should Pay Attention to Facebook’s “On This Day” Feature

Why You Should Pay Attention to Facebook's -On This Day- Feature

In March of 2015, Facebook launched their “On This Day” feature, enabling users to view content they’ve shared or been tagged in on Facebook on that day in previous years. Some users enjoy reminiscing on memories shared over the years and others don’t understand why anyone would care about that content.

But there’s an important reason why you should take a moment to review these previous posts: your privacy.

For those who signed up for Facebook several years ago or prior to starting in your current profession, this is a daily opportunity to review the content you previous published or were tagged in. You may have found it amusing to post a drunken selfie at a party when you were 22, but now that you’re building a professional reputation, you may no longer want to be associated with that behavior, especially as you’re building a professional network on Facebook.

Keep in mind you should assume anything posted on the internet is there to live forever (don’t believe me? Look up your old LiveJournal or Angelfire website on the Wayback Machine…), but there are steps you can take to limit how much of your past is displayed on your Facebook page.

Access your “On This Day” posts here: facebook.com/onthisday

3 Ways to Control Privacy on Previous Facebook Posts

1. Delete the post. If there’s something you want to completely remove from Facebook, you have the option to delete the post. Click on the arrow on the top right of the post and select delete.

Deleting Facebook Posts

2. Change the post audience. Another option is to change the audience who can view the post. Click on the people icon next to the post date and time to select an audience that will be able to view this post.

Change Audience

3. Limit the audience for old posts on your timeline. Use this option to change any previous posts with audiences set to friends of friends or public to friends only. Click on the padlock Privacy Shortcuts link at the top of Facebook, select See More Settings, then click on Limit Old Posts.

Limit Posts

You may also be interested in…

How to Share Reviews on Social Media So People Actually Read Them

As a business with a web presence, one of the best things you can do is get positive reviews. This is because 88% of consumers have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. Once you get positive reviews, your social strategy should include occasionally sharing these reviews to let your fans and followers know how happy your customers are.

But there’s an effective and ineffective way to do this, and unfortunately, I’ve been seeing much more of the latter than the former. It can be very beneficial to toot your own horn, but you’ve got to put a little effort into it so it sounds less like bragging and more like a personal recommendation.

For example, if you follow any dealerships on Facebook, chances are you’ll occasionally see the following post: “We just received a 5 out of 5 customer rating on DealerRater.” If you Google that exact phrase, there’s over 11,000 results. So if you’re doing this, you’re not alone; but you’re not helping yourself either.

2015-12-07_23-49-11

 

When I see that post, I immediately ignore it because I guarantee you whatever comes up next in my Facebook feed is more interesting than that. And who cares? Good for them, right? I’m expected to click a link to read a review when I could be looking at something much more exciting. So there’s the key – share your positive reviews, but make sure your reviews are interesting and attention-getting.

Here’s how:

  • Include a quote from the review highlighting the best part: “They spent a great deal of time, not only finding the vehicle that best suited my needs, but thoroughly explaining my financial and warranty options!” Whether or not the viewer clicks on the link to read more, you’ve shown them the best part of the review, which is the point of sharing reviews.
  • Thank the reviewer in your post: “Thanks for the great review, Joe!” This not only makes you look good because of the review, it also makes you appear courteous and appreciative. You’re also crediting someone else for the review which is essential because 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. By sharing a review and crediting the reviewer, you just turned your marketing message into a trusted, personal recommendation.
  • Customize the post: “We hope you enjoy your new Escape!” This makes your post look less cookie-cutter and more sincere, like you’ve built a relationship with this customer.
  • Include a photo: photos are the most engaging content on Facebook with an 87% interaction rate! But don’t just include the default review site logo, make it something interesting and engaging:
    • Customer photo – if you were fortunate enough to get a photo of the customer with their new vehicle and have permission to post it, share that photo with the review! This serves as “proof” that the review is legit and is highly engaging, especially if other fans know the customer.
      • Note: in my personal reviews of multiple dealer Facebook posts in which dealers shared customer photos, 60-80% of the most engaging posts over a 30-day period were customer photos.
    • Vehicle photo – another option is to share an engaging, stock photo of the vehicle the customer purchased.
    • Thank you – what better way to show your appreciation than to publicly thank the customer? I recommend using a free and easy graphic design site such as Canva to create your own graphics and customize them with your logo. This way you’re creating your own graphics and not using someone’s copyrighted images.

Takeaways:

  • Sharing reviews is an excellent way to turn your marketing message into a trusted, personal recommendation
  • Quote the highlights of a review in your post to “force” fans to see what’s being said about your business, even if they don’t click through to read the entire review
  • Customize and credit reviews whenever possible
  • Always include relevant photos when sharing reviews, either a customer photo or a “thank you” image

Spoiler Alert: Facebook Fans can be Brutal When it Comes to Spoilers

If you’re a Walking Dead fan like me and access Facebook regularly, you may have seen a post on the Walking Dead’s Facebook page show up in your feed with a major spoiler, possibly before the 11/30/14 show even aired in your time zone. Generally, the social media team for TWD have been great at posting teasers without spoiling episodes for those who haven’t seen it yet. Unfortunately, they jumped the gun with a spoiler post and got to deal with the backlash from angry fans.

I hadn’t seen the episode yet (still haven’t, actually) and I know I was disappointed, but other fans lashed out calling for the person who posted the spoiler to be fired. Posts like this can also cause fans to un-like pages or hide posts to prevent future spoilers, decreasing the page’s fan base. Many posted that the episode had not yet aired in their time zone and was “ruined” by this lapse of judgment or that they unfollowed the page.

Turns out fans can be quite unforgiving...

Turns out fans can be quite unforgiving…

 

Others argued with each other that fans should “know better” than to go on social media before watching the show and that they should know there are going to be spoilers. Unfortunately for many, the spoiler appeared before the episode had aired in most of the world, so even if they had just jumped on Facebook to post “So excited to see what happens in the mid-season finale of the Walking Dead!” there would have been a good chance they would accidentally stumble upon the spoiler post.

Additionally, because of the backlash of so many fans commenting on the post, it increased the engagement rating on the post, thus increasing its reach to a larger audience through Facebook’s algorithm that spreads the post to more viewers because it appears to be of major interest.

As of this posting less than 48 hours later, the spoiler post had 8,474 shares, 403,253 likes and thousands of comments. A new generation of Walking Dead spoiler memes was born and battles over when people should be on Facebook or not were exploding.

While the TWD social media team couldn’t take back the post (although there are rumors the spoiler was quickly removed then re-posted), they acknowledged the backlash immediately and within 24 hours had posted an apology to fans. As of this posting, the apology had more than 281,000 likes, so it seems fans can be forgiving and looking at the AMC and TWD memes in the comments, many decided to just have a sense of humor over the accidental spoiler.

Well done, TWD social media team, well done.

Well done, TWD social media team, well done.

Or did they?

Look at the flowers, AMC...

Look at the flowers, AMC…

This #RIPSpoiler example is an excellent lesson in bouncing back from a social media slip-up. The social media team quickly responded to thousands of upset fans with a sincere apology and almost poke fun at themselves with the #RIPSpoiler hashtag. Additionally, they welcome fans to continue commenting, encouraging more feedback. The way they handled it, it’s hard to stay upset with the team; they just came out, admitted they had inadvertently made a mistake, no harm was intended and that they would be sure to prevent future spoilers like this to occur in the future.

Takeaways:

  • Be very cautious about posting potential spoilers on your page. This can apply to businesses as well. For example, many radio stations will post about TV shows or sporting events and could fall into a similar situation, although on a much smaller scale. But it’s best to always try to keep your fans happy as a general rule of thumb.
  • If you make a mistake, acknowledge it and let your audience know what you will do to fix it. This goes beyond just social media posts, but can be applied to reviews as well. If a customer comments that your company did something unfavorable, acknowledge their comment, clarify the situation politely without pointing blame, and let all those who see it know what you will do in the future to prevent it from happening again. Here’s a great post of how to respond to reviews that goes into much more detail.
  • Engage with your fans. Hopefully you’ll never have to deal with thousands of upset fans, but if you do, let them know they are being heard and that you value their feedback, negative or positive. Ignoring them or focusing only on the positive will only make things worse.

3 Examples of What Not to Do on Your Facebook Business Page (& Solutions!)

I follow several Facebook pages just to see what they’re doing. Some are competition, others are pages I think are run really well, and all of them provide examples of things to do or not do on your business Facebook page.

Today, I have three examples from my Facebook feed of what not to do on your page.

1. The Over-Complicated Request

I’m all for engaging your fans to help you win contests. In fact, that’s a really smart thing to do. They already like your page so chances are, you can rely on their support.

Where this crumbles is when getting their participation asks them to take several steps to help you out, especially when they get nothing in return. The below screenshot is an example of an overly complicated request. The poster asks fans to take 6 steps to vote for the company so they can have a barbeque. The fans get nothing, why would they want to go to that much trouble?

7-10-2014 8-52-40 AM

Solution: Instead of spelling out each step, provide your fans with a clickable link that takes them directly to the voting page. Don’t ask them to search for anything or do anything complicated, just make it as easy as possible for them and you will be much more likely to get their support.

 

2. The All-Caps Post

I remember when my parents first really started emailing. My mom was perfect, a benefit of her college typing classes. My dad, however wasn’t ever really a typer and didn’t use a computer for work, so he wasn’t quite as elegant. I could always tell when my dad was emailing me from their account because it looked like the Facebook post below. All caps.

In the online world, all caps is considered yelling. While I don’t bother getting offended by all caps, it gives readers the impression that the status post was written by someone who isn’t very savvy and people could take it wrong. While I absolutely love the sincerity of this post, it could be off-putting to many audiences.

7-10-2014 8-54-10 AM

Solution: Don’t post in all caps. An all-cap word here and there for emphasis is fine, but entire sentences is overkill. Instead, write your posts in sentence case. An even better solution is to post a photo image that conveys what you want your message to say and just add one or two heartfelt sentences to support it. Images get the most interaction so if you want the furthest reach, opt for images supplemented by text.

 

3. The “We Hired a Service to Post to Facebook for Us” Post

There’s nothing wrong with enlisting a service to help manage your Facebook page, especially if you don’t have an employee to manage your page. However, a problem that can arise in doing this is cookie-cutter posts that aren’t unique to your page.

I kid you not, 8 different pages I follow posted the same exact post as shown below. Since social media has become the new customer service platform, having robo-posts show that there isn’t a live person behind your posts. Plus, robo-posts often aren’t tailored to your business.

7-10-2014 8-56-53 AM

Solution: Have a trusted employee who knows your business manage your Facebook page. They can read a few articles to learn some best practices to follow and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. If you are set on having a company manage your page, discuss options to keep the voice of your posts unique and avoid the cookie-cutter posts shown on all of your competitor’s pages.

5 Steps to Take Right Now to Protect Your Privacy on Facebook

 

Keep in mind that there’s a chance that anything you post online may potentially exist online forever. Even content that has been deleted can still live on in caches and archives. In fact, I was able to track down my very first website from the 90’s using the Wayback Machine. This was not something I ever agreed to or signed up for, but by creating a website, my content was inadvertently recorded in the archives of web history, fluorescent graphics and all!

So I can’t stress enough to remember that any time you post anything online, whether you like it or not, it can live in cyberspace forever!

So here are some steps you can take to help protect your privacy on Facebook:

1. Clear Your Search History

You may not realize this, but Facebook keeps track of everything you search for on the site. One of the reasons is to make your search queries easier to find in the future, but it’s hard to say what else these results could be used for, especially if you share your computer with others. And while the search results are private to your own account, they’re still floating around in cyberspace.

It takes a few steps to clear your Facebook search history, but it will remove everything you’ve searched for in the past that you may not want showing up to someone with access to your account or if someone is watching over your shoulder while you try to show them something.

When logged into your account, click on the down arrow in the top right side of your page and click on Activity Log. Once in your Activity Log, locate the “more” link below photos, likes and comments; click to expand more. Locate and click on Search at the bottom of the list to bring up your search list, then click “Clear Searches.”

 

4-4-2014 9-02-11 AM

 

2. Limit the Chances of Your Content Being Shared

If you haven’t carefully read Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, you may want to take a gander. Especially the part where you agree to allow them to use your content even if you delete your account.

4-4-2014 9-32-00 AM

 

Oh yeah, and they reserve the right to use your information for advertising because you agreed to allow it when you signed up. 

4-4-2014 9-38-06 AM

4-4-2014 9-42-54 AM

 

But let’s not get all paranoid and conspiracy theory here. As a Facebook advertiser myself, I appreciate the ability to tell your friends that they should like something because you do, and use your name and profile photo to back it up. Because if you “like” my page, you’re pretty much acting as an advocate for it. And when Facebook asks you about your interests, it’s not because they want to help you show off, it’s so advertisers can target you more effectively.

Want to limit this ability? The best way is to limit the pages and content you “like” through your Activity Log. Your “Pages and Interests” section show all the pages and interests you’ve liked and allow for you to unlike them by clicking on the edit pencil icon. Keep in mind that once you do this, you will no longer see posts from these pages in your timeline, so if you want to continue to see those posts, just know that they could use you for advertising.

3. Check Your Privacy Settings

Never assume that Facebook automatically chooses the best privacy settings for you. Also keep in mind that Facebook privacy settings have changed periodically over the last several years, so while you may have checked your settings when you signed up 6 years ago, your settings may no longer be as secure as you think.

4-4-2014 9-51-03 AMThe good news is that Facebook makes it pretty easy to check and adjust your settings.

Just click on the padlock on the top right side of your screen and click on “Who can see my stuff?” to view your settings. You can even view your account to see what others are able to see and make adjustments from that.

Click on See More Settings to view all your privacy options and adjust from there. Additionally, visit this section every few months to make sure your privacy settings are how you want them to ensure you’re getting the privacy you want.

4. Protect Your Children & Young Relatives

When I was young, the internet barely existed and even into college, sites such as Facebook and Myspace really weren’t in existence and weren’t important. If my friends or I made dumb decisions, the chances of them being posted in public for anyone to see were slim to none. We didn’t have camera phones (did they even exist then?) and there wasn’t an urge to share every thought and activity online.

If we did take photos, they were on a real camera with real film and they better not be too distasteful or we would not be able to get them developed (or worse, we would and maybe the developer would keep a copy!). So we had checks and balances to keep us inline so as not to destroy our reputations publicly, other than our school and public records.

Nowadays, photos and videos can be taken and instantly uploaded to the internet and spread, potentially damaging a person’s reputation in a matter of minutes. It can be hard to convey this to kids who are constantly surrounded by social media and even explaining the consequences can make little impact.

Facebook has a helpful Family Safety Center to help parents work with kids to make sure they’re making good decisions about what they’re posting online and to explain privacy settings. If you have kids who are or want to use Facebook, review the tips provided and keep a close eye on what your child is posting online.

Also keep in mind that what your child posts online can affect you and your reputation as well, like this girl whose Facebook post cost her family $80,000.

5. Preparing for the Unexpected

Something else to keep in mind is what will happen when you are no longer of this earth. Just as we draft wills to be executed on our passing, it’s a good idea to consider what you want to happen to your online accounts when your time comes.

Facebook offers the ability for friends or family members to send in a memorialization request, however if you don’t want certain parts of your account or even your Facebook account to live on after you, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place in the event you unexpectantly pass.

4-4-2014 10-40-02 AM

 

It might be wise to keep a list of online accounts with login information and passwords printed out and stored with your important documents, along with your requests of what you would like done with the accounts once you are no longer able to manage them.

Best Practices

There’s so much uncertainty of who can access information and how long information will be online so the best practice is to be very vigilant of what you post online. I highly recommend Googling yourself to see what comes up online and removing whatever you don’t want to be seen by potential employers as well as friends and family members. The more aware you are of what’s out there, the more you can make adjustments to control what others are able to see about you.

 

What the Heck is a Hashtag?

When I was your age, that was called a pound sign.

“When I was your age, we called that a pound sign.”

Hashtags. There’s no escaping them, even if you’re watching TV. But what are they, why are they important and what are we supposed to do with them?

What are Hashtags?

Hashtags are keywords, created by placing the pound (or hash) sign in front of a word or words without any spaces. On social media sites, when you create a hashtag, it becomes a link to all the other mentions of that hashtag.

For example, on “throwback Thursday,” the day of the week dedicated to sharing childhood and historical photos, you’ll probably notice a ton of #TBT hashtags accompanying these photos. If you click on the hashtag, you will see all the images and posts including that hashtag.

What is the Purpose of Hashtags?

Hashtags are a way for people to quickly and easily connect based on interests rather than location, network or social circles. For companies, it’s a great way to share products with people who are interested in them, but not (yet) a fan or socially connected to the company.

One audience I market to is Ford Mustang enthusiasts. While I am also a Mustang fan, I really enjoy marketing to other Mustang fans because they are very enthusiastic and let’s face it, Mustangs are pretty sweet.

So I can post a photo of a Mustang on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, but if I use the hashtags #Mustang #FordMustang or #Pony, I can reach an audience much larger than my current fan/follower base because those who are interested in Mustangs are going to be looking for photos using those hashtags. They love sharing and they appreciate each others’ posts, so hashtags are a great way for Mustang fans to connect.

Creating Social Buzz

In addition to connecting with others through hashtags, they can also be used to create buzz. If you watch Survivor, you’ll probably notice all the hashtags they use. This is to encourage social buzz online to get fans talking about the show and connect with others to spread exposure.

Hashtags are exciting for reality shows, because the show can flash a hashtag on the screen during particular points to get fans to start posting about the show on social media. It’s a brilliant strategy and it works.

If you watch Survivor at all, you may notice at the beginning of the show, they’ll use #survivor to get fans to start posting about the show. In fact, if a fan was online and forgot the show was on, these hashtags could remind them to turn on the TV. This benefits the advertisers during the show as well. They could easily post about the show with hashtags as well to expand their exposure.

During key parts of the show, Survivor changes up their hashtags to let fans know what to tweet about. They’ll post #ImmunityChallenge or #TribalCouncil to get social conversations going.

Some shows will even show tweets online to encourage tweeting among fans. They can ask each other who they think will win, what they think about results or who the most talented contestant is this season.

The point is, hashtags can start conversations that otherwise would not be happening and turn fans into advocates, exploding exposure through simple keywords.

How Do I Write Hashtags?

Always start a hashtag with a # and remove any spaces between words you want to include in the tag.

You may notice I capitalize each word in my hashtag. That may not be standard practice, however I do it as a courtesy and to ensure anyone reading my post knows exactly what I’m trying to convey. You can imagine the disasters that could arise if your hashtag was misread, giving it unintended meanings.

When Should I Use Hashtags?

Hashtags should be used whenever relevant. if you post a photo of a car, hashtag it with the model and fan lingo. If you post a photo of a local landmark, hashtag the name of it along with the city or general location. If you’re posting about how great it is that it’s Friday, use #TGIF. You get the idea.

Where Should I Use Hashtags?

Hashtags should almost always be used on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram and popularity is growing on Facebook as well. You can also use them in advertising to create a social buzz about your brand or company by encouraging fans to use them on social media. Try to limit hashtags to 3-4 relevant tags for each post so you’re not bombarding your fans with too many or irrelevant hashtags.

Should I Use Trending Hashtags?

Use as relevant to expand your audience.

Use as relevant to expand your audience.

Trending hashtags are a great way to expand your audience and join in on local and global trending topics. Here’s a screenshot of what’s trending right now on Twitter  in the U.S. so if any of those topics were relevant to my business, I could use them to join in the conversation. I could also tailor it more locally.

For example, it appears people are having problems with Instagram right now. This could be a prime opportunity for a competitor to post something like “Instagram not working? Try NotInstagram instead: http://www.notinstagram.com #InstagramNotWorking” [fictional example]

So anyone looking at that would see this alternative option and the competitor could potentially get a lot of business because of a trending hashtag.

Keep in mind, however that tactics like this can backfire. In this example, tweeters could respond to that post with “NotInstagram sucks, I’d rather stare at my non-functioning Instagram. #instagramnotworking #NotInstagramIsLame”

Taking risks can lead to some of the most brilliant marketing successes, but can also lead to major PR disasters. Be cautious.

Best Practices:

  • Use hashtags when relevant
  • Limit hashtags to up to 3-4 per post
  • Capitalize each word of the hashtag to remove any confusion of what it’s meant to say
  • Think outside the box to get creative with hashtags
  • When in doubt, look up a hashtag online before using it to confirm its usage or don’t use it if you’re unsure
  • Encourage fans to use your hashtags to spread brand awareness and create social buzz