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Mary Biever | One Writing Mother | Tag Archive | Facebook
Tag Archive - Facebook

Facebook Gone Bad; What Block, Restrict, and Hide Do and Mean

It’s hard to do, but a key survival rule in the Facebook jungle is to not get tangled in the swamplands. Don’t take things personally. There are times we need to know some ways to protect ourselves and to understand when others have restricted their access as well. Here are 3 ways:

Block – If you block someone, that person cannot find your profile in search, cannot see your wall, cannot see you tagged in a photo, and cannot see our comments. It is as if you do not exist. If you have a mutual friend, you may see that person in a photograph, but the person’s name will not be tagged. If you block someone and later rethink that decision, consider carefully before unblocking. Facebook will not allow you to reblock that person for 48 hours. There are people I block, and I am sure others have blocked me. That’s their choice – I’m fine with that.  The key is to not take it personally. To block someone, click on the drop down arrow in the upper right corner, Privacy Settings, and then Blocked People and Apps. This is where you type in the person’s name or email to block.

Restrict – In your smart list on the left of your Home page, there is a list called Restricted. If you have a friend you need to keep as a friend for business reasons, but you don’t want that friend to have access to all your information, then click on that restricted list. In the upper right hand corner, click on Manage List, Add Members. Add that friend to the list. After you do so, that person will still be your friend. However, the only parts of your wall’s information that will be visible are posts you make global, or public. (I don’t recommend public posts on Facebook because once you do a public post it’s easy to not reset it so all future posts are public instead of restricted to friends.) There are people on my restricted list for varied and personal reasons. There are also “friends” who have opted to restrict my access to their walls. That’s their right. It gets awkward when it was one way and they later restrict it and I realize it. The key is to not take it personally.

Hide – Some of my friends are hot heads who enjoy more drama in their lives than I do in my middle-aged years. I go to Facebook to connect and build communities. If someone continually starts fights or is angry, I will most likely hide (or unsubscribe) from that friend’s updates. We can still be friends. My friend will never know the news feed is hidden. But I can enjoy my morning coffee without a heaping spoonful of angry ranting stirred into it.

You can choose who to invite into your own home. Same for who you invite into your social media world.

Facebook = Zuckerberg Tycoon

Facebook and those who use it (I’m one of them) remind me of the pseudo SimCity games Roller Coaster Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon that my kids used to play. Both games were a great way for kids to play in a virtual world and learn business management lessons. The game’s player would design a virtual property, a theme park in Roller Coaster Tycoon or a zoo in Zoo Tycoon. The player would need to spend money to build rides or exhibits, in adddition to food vendors, restrooms, gift shops, and more. Employees would need to be hired and assigned to areas to work.

The games included consequences. If no employees were hired to clean animal litter in the zoo, the exhibits would stink and no patrons would visit. If there weren’t enough restrooms, the patrons would be unhappy, would quit spending money, and might leave the park. So it was up to the game’s player to get employees to clean the animal litter, build the bathrooms, keep enough food vendors, and more to keep the customers happy.

There was a flip side too. The game’s player had to observe cash flow. If the player spent all his or her money, then there was nothing in reserve for repairs or unexpected expenses. That could lead to bad outcomes as well. As  a result, the player had to learn to play the game all successful business owners know very well: juggling meeting multiple customer needs with a limited budget. When the player did well, both the roller coaster and the zoo flourished.

That’s the neat, academic analysis of Roller Coaster Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon. Bear in mind that these games get played by ornery kids. Sometimes they make mistakes just to see what will happen. In Zoo Tycoon, if you put predatory animals in the same animal exhibit as small animals, the predators will eat the small ones. Or for more fun, you can fill your zoo with exhibits of animals, get happy patrons, and then remove all the exhibit cages. Then the animals will run amok and patrons will run screaming for their lives. In Roller Coaster Tycoon, you can design a roller coaster that’s so thrill-filled that all its riders throw up during the ride.

And yes, there are children who do all of the above just to see what happens so they can laugh. I could be related to some kids who did this. It’s part of the game.

Translate that to Facebook World. The game has 800 million players and is still growing strong. We are the virtual zoo and roller coaster patrons. We do different things in Facebook World – share pictures, talk with friends, and express ourselves. Some of us play the arcade games like Farmville or Bejeweled. Others shop in the theme park/zoo shops, clicking on the ads on the sides to spend our money.

Some of us, business owners, set up shop in Facebook World, hoping to build our own businesses. The problem with that is it’s Zuckerberg World, where Mark Zuckerberg makes the rules because he is the Creator. He can change the rules or guidelines on a whim, just as my kids could in Zoo Tycoon and Roller Coaster Tycoon. We don’t pay to be there – he pays the bills, he built the game, and he makes the rules. The business rules are called promotional guidelines.

So what’s a business owner to do? Our customers are all playing at Facebook World. We need the face time with them. If we resolve to never set foot in Facebook World, we lose opportunities. If we build our entire business in Facebook World, without other outlets, we place ourselves at the mercy of Zuckerberg. So what we do is create virtual storefronts in the virtual Facebook World – store fronts that offer a window back to our real business. We link blogs and links back to our website. We post great photos, promote special events, and build our communities.

The challenge then becomes maintaining a consistent flow of information on a business Facebook page – content that your customers like and respond to. That can take so much time it’s hard to run your real business.  Some business owners then hire experts (not interns) to help them develop strategies so they can be smart and fun with their Facebook World adventures.

Zoo Tycoon and Roller Coaster Tycoon provided hours of great fun for my kids. Facebook World offers me opportunities to have fun and get to know people better. But never ever forget that we aren’t the creators; we are the players in a virtual world who sometimes have to escape to the real world just like Tron.

And when we do, we may pause if someone asks us if we want the blue Facebook pill, or the red Twitter pill, or whatever new pill colors the Creators develop next.

Check your Facebook Privacy Settings NOW.

If you haven’t checked your privacy settings on Facebook since their most recent upgrade, STOP. Do not pass go, do not stop for coffee, and DO check your privacy settings.

  1. On your profile page, there is a button on the upper right that says View As. See what your page looks like globally, to any of the 800 million users on Facebook who aren’t your friends.
  2. In the upper right corner, go to the drop down arrow, click on privacy settings, and evaluate each setting.
  3. When you click on edit profile, click on the tool option sprocket on the right of different options and deliberately select what is public and what is locked down.
  4. Check to see what level you are sharing your posts. If you change one post to show as public, then it becomes your new default until you later restrict access.
  5. If/when you check into a location and check others in as well, their friends are able to see where you are. Think carefully before you do so.

I’ll have more details on protecting your Facebook privacy in coming days. Check back soon.

Nothing is worse than thinking your privacy is protected when it really isn’t.


Social Media Safety 4-H Success Story

Social Media Safety workshop in Evansville, Indiana.

Because of Twitter, Facebook, and 4-H, I got to meet some great people to help spread the message of social media safety to a larger audience. As a mother of teens who have been on social media for the past 4 years, the topic is a passion of mine. I’ve presented talks to church groups and youth groups on do’s and don’ts for social media.

Last spring, as I lobbied for 4-H funding at the state and national level, I met a 4-H leader in Massachusetts on Twitter. That became a friendship on Facebook. From there, we began discussing social safety for our communities.

Tonight, that culminates in a Skyped workshop, with my giving half of it in Evansville, Indiana and a Massachusetts speaker giving the other half. If all the technical details work out, our 4-H leaders and youth who participate will get to enjoy the same workshop, at the same time, in different states and different time zones. We’ve never tried this before and hope the technical details work.

We’ve shared information and ideas, regardless of how the tech part goes.

Our 4-H pledge talks about building our club, our community, our country and our world. Tonight, Facebook and Twitter helped us take that pledge to a new level.

The workshop in Evansville is at McCullough Library, 6 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

I Invite, 6 Platforms

Imagine you’re inviting people to a big party at your office. How will you reach them? Each communications platform has its own style. Smart business communicators use each correctly.

Text: <3 our kewl partay next week! Be there!!!!!

Email: Our office is holding its annual customer appreciation day next Thursday from 1-5. We hope you will join us.

Blog: Blog on how much customers are valued with a graphic that shows the theme. It might include an Eventbrite for reservations, or it might just be an open invite.

Facebook: 5 days till the customer appreciation party – just bought the decorations. Hope to see you there! (attached to a link on the blog about the party)

LinkedIn: Please join us next week for our annual customer appreciation party. (attached to a link on the blog about the party)

Twitter:  We love our customers! Join us next week! (shortened link to blog attached)

Business professionals need to know the vernacular of each communications platform and use it. When I text, don’t expect me to ever type “kewl” or “partay.” On the other hand, I might reply back with a “k.”

I am over 40. When you send me an email, I expect it to include complete sentences, with appropriate capitalization and punctuation.

When I get an email that is phrased like a text, unless it is from a digital native under the age of 20, I am offended and question the sender’s professionalism. “Kewl Partay!” comes across as effectively as showing up for work, dressed in a bathrobe, going commando, wearing no pants, with varicose veins popping all over the place. As I read such messages I cringe just like I do when someone talks to me who has bad breathe.

Know each platform. You can follow its standards and maintain your own voice. At the same time, remember that the voice we use in the board meeting has a different inflection than the one Ma Kettle used when she clanged her triangle and hollered for her kids to come in for dinner.

And the person who wears a tux and tails to the beach party is going to look like an overstuffed lobster ready to be baked.

When you use the wrong form, people notice your bad form and miss your message.

Are Your Clients Your FB Friends?

When I taught a full house class of business owners on social media for businesses, I was surprised when I asked the question, “Are your biggest clients your Facebook friends?”

None in the class said yes. Their vision of Facebook for business was entirely wrapped up in the business page.

Why should most of us friend our clients?

  1. Stronger communication
  2. Better relationships
  3. An additional opportunity to better understand each other
  4. More visibility

Friending clients also means we need to learn to use Facebook well and to communicate with it, not sell. (By the way – I can help you with that and personally coach clients to better communicate socially.)

Friending clients also means communicating with them across other social platforms – Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. Each has a little different style and purpose. Here’s how each platform works for me with business networking:

  • Facebook – nurture and build relationships with friends and those who could be friends
  • Twitter – talk about stuff that interests me and meet new people all over the planet
  • LinkedIn – meet professionals and brand myself with my blogs on business topics.
  • Google Plus – a hybrid of all of the above where I increase visibility with more tech-oriented people.

As my relationship with someone grows, we might increase the different places we talk online. What begins with Twitter or Google Plus could venture to LinkedIn.

It’s like business networking in real life. I meet someone at a networking group on Thursday and then discover that we’re both also involved in a community event. Then we meet in a different venue. Over time, we build a relationship.

Better relationships provide more opportunities for business.

That’s why business owners should friend their clients and prospective clients on Facebook.

Google+ Joins the Social Media Playground

playgroundphoto © 2006 Azfar Ismail | more info (via: Wylio)

What do businesses need to know and do right now with Google+?

Keep your backyard Social Media Playground flexible enough to adjust the layout when a new toy gets introduced to the market.

Early reports look good. With its invitation only roll-out, social media obsessives like me were pumping Twitter networks yesterday to angle invites from friends already there. We liked what we saw. All it took was an invite and a gmail account to get me hooked.

What do Businesses Need to Know:

I hope you didn’t fall so in love with your Facebook page that you made it the inground pool centerpiece of your social media strategy. Facebook owns the platform and loves to change its rules. Arguing with Facebook is as effective as negotiating with the Borg in Star Trek.

If you built the inground Facebook pool, get ready to make adjustments in your other backyard space. Facebook grew too confident and comfortable with its market dominance because there was no viable competitor. In recent months, and especially in recent weeks, I’ve heard varied frustrations from people sick of Facebook. Why?

  • Teens don’t want to hang out on the same block Grandma and Grandpa do.
  • Facebook games lost their luster.
  • Recent spam attacks that showed pornographic images put wavering users over the edge.
  • More people are frustrated at how difficult it is to negotiate with Facebook if they delete your account.

Real competition will force Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to all up their game. This morning, Facebook added sorting and reputation features to comments.

What do Businesses Need to Do:

  • Get an invite to Google+ for at least one person on your social media team. Start playing.
  • Vary the toys on your social media playground. If all you’ve had is the Facebook pool, it’s time to try the Twitter trampoline and the LinkedIn Playhouse.
  • Get thee to WordPress and Youtube. Go blogging with written and video channels. (The Youtube/Google+ connection could become much bigger.)
  • Go mobile. Design your website for mobile. Value added apps your customer uses can make your sales boom.
  • If you choose to stay Facebook only social media marketing, prepare yourself for the day your Facebook pool becomes as relevant as a backyard museum designed for Pet Rocks.

If you need help getting started with Twitter or LinkedIn, I can help. If you don’t know who to go to to create an app, design your website, or set up your blog so you not only win search but make more money, ask me for recommendations.

I know some super talented pros in each of those areas who can help – WordPress design, web design, blogging, video, and app development and would be glad to give you a referral.

Stake Your Name

Mr. Leatherman, homesteader, shooting hawks which have been carrying away his chickens, Pie Town, New Mexico (LOC)photo © 1939 The Library of Congress | more info (via: Wylio)
In the 1889 Oklahoma Land Rush, potential homesteaders raced to stake their claims for free land, as was seen in the movie, Far  and Away.

We have been in a Digital Name Rush for the past 20 years, with people racing to save their name in the digital flavor of the day. It can be hard to predict which platform will become next year’s digital flavor, so general advice is to reserve your name when a new platform appears on the horizon.

Sometimes in that Land Rush, there were disputes over claims; if someone left a claim empty, sometimes someone else took it.

The same thing can happen on social media. I recently learned of high school teachers who opted not to be on Facebook. However, some of their students who didn’t like them created a fake profile for their hated teachers. They snapped photos in school hallways and wrote malicious updates. The teachers got the accounts disabled. However, the damage had already been done.

My best solution? Stake your name.

Yes, you may think a personal Facebook page is a waste of time. Nevertheless, you need a page to stake your name. Put a recognizable photo of yourself on that profile so people know it is you. The average Facebook user has 130 friends. If you belong in the “I won’t use no Facebook camp,” you still need to gather at least 50 friends.

If the unexpected happens, and someone creates a faux you, you have a defense and friends who can help you report the faux you. This is a preventative Facebook measure.

Oh – and if your friend needs to hire someone to help them set up that profile or learn to use Facebook without being burned, I would be glad to help. I might even show them some ways they can use Facebook to build their communities, help their friends, and develop their personal brands.

The Socializer

“I can do this!” one of my clients exclaimed after I helped her create a social media schedule that would fit with her business day.

Afterwards, she told people I had “Socialized” her. That inspired this ad campaign, The Socializer. I joked about copy for the ad. Then my husband and daughter of The Copper Lion took my idea of The Socializer last night and created the graphic.

Learning to leverage technology is frustrating. What I do is help you help yourself and find how to make it work for you. We will most likely laugh along the way because a dose of laughter helps the lesson go down.

I wish I could put the theme song to The Equalizer with the graphic. Back in the day, the Equalizer helped equalize the odds of regular people facing tough challenges. I do the same today, as The Socializer.

Frustrated and want to hire some help to make social media (or Excel or Word or Outlook) easier to unravel? Give me a call! Write on my wall! Tweet me! Email me! I’ll be there, ready to help.

Bad Apps and Bad Tags in Facebook

Two different types of spam attacks are increasing right now on Facebook. All users need to know how to spot and prevent them – and to fix them if they happen.

Bad Apps

A bad app will appear in your newsfeed as a story that someone “likes” something that looks like a video or a link to a news story. However, if you click on it, it can take you through menu steps to actually install an “app,” or application or program in your Facebook which can collect your data. If you accidentally click on this and it hits your wall, you need to do the following to fix it. You can spot it because under the story, the link will say apps.facebook….

  1. Post on your news feed not to like the application you liked.
  2. Go to your applications and remove the application with that name. (Account, Privacy Settings, Applications – in lower left corner)
  3. Delete the news story that you “liked” the app from your wall. (Hover on “x” and click.)

Bad Tags

Check your profile daily and watch your photo strip – if you have been tagged in a new photo, it will appear on your filmstrip. Monitor your notifications. If you are tagged in any type of photo about stalkers or odd topic, it could be a spam attack. Do the following:

  1. Click on your photos on the left. There may be a link embedded in the photo you need to avoid at all costs.  Do NOT click the link! Several names may be tagged in the photo. You will need to find your name and remove the tag. (Hint – if you want to quickly find your name, press CTRL-F and type your name to find it faster.) Do NOT click the embedded link. All you are doing here is removing the tag.
  2. Delete the news story from your news feed. (Hover on “x” and click.)
  3. Message the person who tagged you they have been spammed. Tell the person to go to this blog and also my blog, 8 Steps to Stop and Fix Facebook Hacks.
  4. Post on your news feed not to click on a photo or video with the caption that was included.
  5. Continue to monitor your photo strip and notifications. The person who got spammed may get hit again if they don’t take appropriate preventative measures. Further, if you have mutual friends, your mutual friends may get hit with it as well.

What other recent Facebook hack attacks have you seen and how would you fix them?

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