All posts in December 2011

  • Facebook Rolls Out New, Improved Page Insights

    If you’re the administrator of a Facebook page, you may have noticed that your Insights and People Talking About This tabs have disappeared. If you haven’t noticed, go check. Are you back yet? Are your Insights gone? Don’t freak out just yet! Facebook has introduced a new, updated version of Page Insights. Read on to learn what’s new and different. Better engagement measurements The old version of Insights had limited engagement information to give page owners, and really only offered data about likes, comments, and interaction rates. The new Insights presents three new types of engagement statistics to help page owners interpret how far their content is traveling. 1. People Talking About This This is a measure of people who have liked, commented on, or shared a post from your page. It also includes people who have tagged your page in a status or photo, responded to an event, or answered a question you’ve asked. 2. Weekly Total Reach Weekly Total Reach measures how many Facebook users have seen any of your page’s content, regardless of whether or not they’re fans of your page. Facebook takes views of ads and sponsored stories into account when calculating Total Reach. 3. Virality…

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  • What You Can Learn From 2011’s Biggest Twitter Blunders

    As 2011 draws to a close, it’s time to take a look back at the year and see what we can learn from it. Unfortunately, other people’s mistakes often make for better (or more well-publicized) learning experiences. Here are four Twitter marketing strategies that we strongly advise you not to emulate. 1. Qwikster and @Qwikster If you didn’t hear about the Netflix and Qwikster debacle unleashed by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, you may want to start with this blog post. In short, Hastings decided to spin off the DVD rental half of the service into a site called Qwikster, while keeping the Netflix site for DVD streaming. Almost every single part of this decision was awful: two different sites, the name, the opening sentence of Hastings’ blog post, and – most important for our purposes – the fact that the @Qwikster Twitter handle was already taken. Enter Jason Castillo, the original @Qwikster. Castillo is a big fan of dropping letters from words and talking about drugs (that he claims he does not use) and homework, because he’s in high school. Castillo now has 8,700+ Twitter followers from this mess, and reportedly had three different offers to purchase his Twitter handle….

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  • Google+ Brand Pages Now Support Multiple Admins

    Google+ brand pages were introduced in November and were received with much excitement by the marketing and business world. However, they did fall short in a few key areas. Earlier this week, Google+ announced some important upgrades – both to brand pages and user profiles – that will enhance user experience and make the site more essential to online marketing. Multiple page manager functionality When Google+ launched brand pages, they did so without the capability of multiple page managers or shifting page ownership. As of December 20, however, you can now have a team of up to 50 people controlling your organization’s Google+ presence. You can also transfer ownership of the page from the original creator to any other page manager. Page owners and page managers have the same powers over the Google+ brand page, except in two areas: only page owners can transfer ownership and delete the page. Whenever a change is made to the page, all the other page managers and the owner will receive a notification detailing what was changed. Aggregate +1 count Before this week’s brand page updates, your page showed two different number counts: people who had added your page to circles, and people who…

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  • Ask Shama: Is Email Dead?

    With Facebook and Twitter gaining favor as marketing tools, it might seem like email isn’t needed. But our marketing expert Shama Kabani explains why email remains vital. Editor’s note: The marriage of technology and communication has been a boon to savvy entrepreneurs. But it’s also a huge challenge for those who aren’t sure how to navigate social networks. To help, Dallas-based entrepreneur and tech expert Shama Kabani is answering your questions. Email her at, or check out more of her advice at her online marketing company or on video. Dear Shama, We have had an ongoing (and sometimes heated) debate in my office for some time now. It revolves around email—specifically, email marketing. As we plan our 2012 marketing budget, I have argued that we should plan and budget for email marketing. However, many in our department disagree with me. They feel that with all this social media, email is overkill. Call me old fashioned, but I think email marketing is more important than tweeting or Facebooking. Please end this feud for us so we can get back some much-needed holiday cheer in the office. And, if I am wrong, please just tell me. Is email marketing so 1999? —Betsy R., VP in Houston…

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  • Tips for Minimizing Facebook Timeline Embarrassment

    There’s been buzz about the Facebook Timeline profile since September, but it was only available to developers until last week. The Timeline shows a detailed overview of everything you’ve ever done on Facebook. Depending on how you’ve previously used Facebook, this concept falls somewhere on a spectrum between “awesome” and “terrifying”. Now that the major redesign is available to all Facebook users, we’ve compiled some basic information to help make your transition easier – and to keep you from accidentally embarrassing yourself. 1. How to fill in your Timeline You’ll notice that along with updating your status, adding a photo, or checking into a place, there’s a new menu option: adding a life event. You can add life events to fill in the gaps on your Timeline, if you wish. These life events are divided into five categories. Under these five categories, you’ll see some familiar options: new relationships, work, school, birth of a child. There are also some options that range from learning your first word to meeting your significant other to losing weight. Keep in mind that the default privacy setting for all your life events is public, so make sure to change it if you don’t want…

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  • CEO Shama Kabani on the Cover of Color Magazine

    That’s right: our CEO Shama Kabani graces the cover of the December 2011/January 2012 issue of Color Magazine, which highlights topics of interest revolving around professionals of color. In her interview, Shama discusses emigrating from India, being rejected by 18 companies before starting Marketing Zen, and recognizing the importance of Twitter back in 2007. “I was in graduate school in 2007 and I studied organizational communication. This was the time when Twitter was just emerging and social networking was just peaking its head out, not even in its infancy I would say, but I was fascinated by it. I had a graduate advisor who was extremely supportive of my decision to explore social media, which was not the phrase it is today – people didn’t know what that was. In the academic world you’re looking for trends and what’s new. I had a very encouraging graduate advisor and I started following my passion.” You can read the article in its entirety here, or check out the full issue of Color Magazine here. Image courtesy of Color Magazine.

  • Everything You Need to Know About The New Twitter circa 2012

    We bring you some very serious news today. Are you sitting? You’ll want to be sitting down for this. Old Twitter is dead. Or dying. But mostly dead. Okay, let us explain. Last week, Twitter introduced a massive redesign for the main site, iPhone and Android apps, and Tweetdeck. Jack Dorsey, chairman of Twitter, said the redesign aims to make Twitter “more accessible to all 7 billion people on the planet.” Is New Twitter going to be more accessible for you? Let’s find out. What’s “new” about “New Twitter” This is how our CEO Shama Kabani’s Twitter profile looks with the redesign. At first glance you’ll notice: 1. Two of the three navigation buttons across the top have changed. “Profile” and “Messages” are gone, and have been replaced by “Connect” and “Discover” actions. “Connect” directs you to a feed of all new followers, mentions, retweets, and favorites. “Discover” contains the day’s top stories and the activity feed for the people you’re following. 2. Where did your direct messages go? They’re under the dropdown menu that appears when you click on the silhouette of the human on the top right. 3. All the information that used to show up in the…

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  • Are You Reading All of Your Facebook Messages?

    Probably not. Last year, Facebook switched to the “Social Inbox” so they could sort your messages and let you only see the important ones. Great idea (in theory)! Unless you’re this reporter from Slate, who missed a string of messages about her missing laptop that a man recovered from a New York City taxi. “It’s not that those other messages aren’t important, but one of them is more meaningful,” writes one of the software engineers at Facebook on the site’s official blog about the Social Inbox’s November 2010 launch. “With new Messages, your Inbox will only contain messages from your friends and their friends. All other messages will go into an Other folder where you can look at them separately.” This means all your messages from your Facebook friends, including instant messages, emails, and texts sent through Facebook will appear in your regular “Social Inbox” and you won’t miss them (unless you ignore all your messages, which is another issue entirely). But these aren’t the only messages you get. Where are all your other messages going? Well, actually, they’re going to a separate folder labeled “other messages” that’s been right there in front of your face the whole time, although…

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  • How To: Improve Your Facebook Ad Strategy

    Facebook Ads got you down? Frazzled? Some other negative adjective that you don’t want to be? Fret no more. Split testing The best method for streamlining your Facebook ads and achieving maximum effectiveness is split testing. If you’re a beginner, and maybe even if you’re not, this can sound daunting. A split test? Do I have to have lots of technical knowledge and run a bunch of numbers to do this? Nope. The minimum resources needed for split testing are two similar Facebook Ads with small differences. You can run the same copy with a different image, or try the exact same ad on two different groups of people – the most obvious division being men and women. Try split testing with a larger groups: for example, test the same ad on both genders in multiple age ranges and with two different specific interests. Run these ads for a day or two, and then see how they did. Eliminate the half of the ads that performed the least well. You have just successfully split tested your first set of Facebook Ads. Ad fatigue From the looks of it, this means that your ads get tired from running all the time…

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  • Sweepstakes and Contests: Yes, They’re Different

    Giving away a prize sounds like a quick and easy way to attract new people to your social media sites, and an even better way to keep the attention of the fans you already have. Right? Sort of. Social media promotions are a good idea some of the time, but there are five main things you need to consider before launching a giveaway (or sweepstakes, or contest) of your own: 1. Know what you’re trying to accomplish This should sound pretty obvious, but don’t have a contest or giveaway just to have one. You need to have a goal. Are you trying to develop brand loyalty among your fans and followers, or are you trying to catch the attention of people outside your current audience? What would you like to happen after the promotion is over? If you can’t answer these basic questions, you need to sit down and really think about it before you go any further. Be concrete and realistic, and set numerical goals where possible. 2. Know the meaning of sweepstakes vs. contest These words technically, and legally, have different definitions. A sweepstakes traditionally involves the entrant filling out a form to enter, and the winner(s) are…

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