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It’s no secret that social media is a global phenomenon. But, with so many of these online communication tools that do a variety of tasks, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

If you’re just starting out with social media and need some help in order to grow your personal presence, here is the best way to figure out which network is right for you and how to accomplish that goal.

Know your networks

There are a lot of social networks out there. Figuring which platform to use can get intimidating. So, the first place to start is to get a general understanding of the most popular social media sites.

  • Facebook shouldn’t need an introduction. With more than 1.59 billion monthly active users in the world, this is the social network. Since almost everyone has a Facebook account, it’s a great medium for anyone to connect and share information with others.YouTube has a billion users. Don't count this search engine out because you haven't figured out how to market on this site yet. Acquired by Google in 2006, and the fifth most popular social site, it focuses on video content of almost every type.Twitter is the second-most-popular social media site with around 320 million active monthly users. Twitter is unique because users can only use 140 characters for their posts. This makes it an excellent platform for breaking news and sharing links.LinkedIn is the most popular professional networking site in the world. If you want to advance your career or network with industry professionals, you have to create a LinkedIn profile. This is more business oriented and professional.Believe it or not, Google+ has over 418 active million users. Having a profile allows people to easily locate you if they conduct a search inquiry on the most popular search engine in the world.Pinterest allows users to create bulletin boards, so it’s perfect for creating and sharing visual content like crafts and recipes. This community is filled with passionate women (primarily) that are very crafty.
  • Instagram is another social network that focuses on visual content. It’s owned by Facebook, so it’s not surprising that 95% of its 400 million users share their content on Facebook as well. People spend a surprising amount of time on this platform.
  • Tumblr is essentially a microblog network where users share content ranging from quotes to videos. It's very popular.
  • Flickr is yet another platform where you can share photos and videos. It’s been found that 1 million images are shared daily. If you're a photographer, you need to be here as well as several other niche photography sites.
  • Reddit is a social and entertainment network where users can ask questions and share links. Users actually vote on submissions, so this determines the popularity of the precise content on the site.
  • Snapchat has become one of the most-buzzed about networks around. It’s simply an image messaging app where photos disappear seconds after opened by the recipient.
  • WhatsApp is an extremely popular messaging app, at present, that allows you to send texts, images and videos to other users.
  • Quora is a question-and-answer website with more than 80 million monthly unique visitors. This is great because you can get answers to questions that can't necessarily be found online.
  • Vine lets users share 6-second video clips with each other. Share it on Twitter and your views will skyrocket.
  • Periscope is a live-streaming app that was acquired by Twitter. Though there are not a ton of fans live daily, those that are live are very passionate.
  • StumbleUpon is a discovery engine that discovers and recommends content for its 25 million users.
  • Medium has been one that I've recently been working on. I was able to get over 55k followers to my personal brand in a matter of months by publishing good content.

 

At the very least, you should start out with the big four - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Having a profile on these sites is crucial in establishing your personal presence.

After that, consider your niche. For example, if you enjoy cooking, then visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are recommended.

Also keep in mind that there are hundreds of other niche social networks. Do a little homework and find the sites that will tap into your interests and hobbies. Also, make sure you're using the right tools to help you best work with each network.

Figure out what you want to get out of social media

Next, you will want to ask yourself, “What do I want and expect to get out of my Social Media efforts?”

This will guide you in determining which social media networks you should join. If you merely want to stay in-touch with friends and family, then Facebook is essential. If you want to keep up with the latest news and trends then Twitter, Reddit, and StumbleUpon deserve your attention. If you want to network with like-minded individuals, then selecting a niche site based on your interests and activities is the way to go, such as the above cooking example.

Where are your connections hanging out?

After determining what you want to get out of social media, you also have to consider where your connections are spending their time.

In the business word, you probably would have to conduct a lot of research to determine this. For you personally, knowing where your audience spends most of their time is based on common sense and your interests.

For my personal invoicing company, I've found that the majority of my followers are on Twitter and Medium. When I was just a freelancer, it was very different.

 

Until you teach your elder family members the ins, outs, and benefits, of Snapchat - understand that it takes a little while for them to "get it." You, yourself, will probably have to sign them up for their Snapchat account, and it is not feasible for you to do this "setup" for the entire world. But, it’s a safe bet that this demographic is on Facebook. So if you’re goal was to keep in-touch with these family members, then it wouldn’t make sense to devote a whole lot of time on Snapchat until they catch on.

If you enjoy photography as a hobby, then the visual platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Flickr are the places where other photographers or fans are going to be spending most of their time.

What are your resources?

Updating your Facebook or Twitter account doesn’t take a whole of time or money. Creating a YouTube video, however, requires you to film a video, edit it, and post it to the site. While everyone has a camera on the phones these days, it requires more time and resources. If those are in limited supply, then it may be advisable that you stay away from those type of networks.

Grow your online presence

Now that you’ve narrowed down your list of social networks, it’s time to create your create and start growing your presence by following these types:

  • Optimize your account by including a real photo of yourself, writing a profile description that describes who you are, and include a link to your website or blog if you have one.
  • Get to know the community. Follow popular users so that you can learn the ropes and jargon. (note: influencers aren't made overnight)
  • Become an active member of the community by sharing awesome content and following others.
  • Learn to become an influencer in your newly found community.
  • Always be genuine, authentic, and positive.

 

Source : http://mashable.com/2016/08/26/which-social-network-is-right-for-your-personal-presence/#.FTt4Uo9Taq1

European privacy regulators are investigating messaging service WhatsApp’s plan to share user information including phone numbers with its parent, Facebook Inc., adding to pressure on both sides of the Atlantic over the social media firm’s privacy practices.

A European Union body representing the bloc’s 28 national data-protection authorities said Monday that its members were following “with great vigilance” changes to WhatsApp’s privacy policy last week. The new policy disclosed the plan to share data with Facebook, while giving only existing WhatsApp users the ability to opt out of part of the data-sharing, setting off complaints from privacy activists in the U.S. and Europe.

“What’s at stake is individual control of one’s data when they are combined by internet giants,” the group, called the Article 29 Working Party, said in an emailed statement.

Consumer privacy advocates in the U.S. on Monday filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, alleging that the change represents an about-face on WhatsApp’s previous promise to consumers that “nothing would change” when the social network acquired the messaging startup in 2014.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy complaint filed with the FTC charges that the proposed changes to use WhatsApp user data for “marketing practices” constitutes “unfair and deceptive trade practices.”

WhatsApp said it “complies with applicable laws,” adding that “we look forward to answering any questions regulators or other stakeholders have about this update.”

The pushback from European regulators opens a new front in Facebook’s privacy battles. Germany’s Federal Cartel Office earlier this year said it is investigating whether Facebook Inc. abuses its dominance as a social network to harvest personal information. France’s privacy watchdog has threatened to fine Facebook Inc. if it doesn’t change how it handles data about its users.

 

Facebook has said it complies with European privacy laws and has won appeals of privacy cases against it in Belgium and Brussels in recent months as well.

Last week’s change in WhatsApp’s privacy policy struck a chord because the service has long touted its privacy credentials.

Under the new WhatsApp privacy policy, existing users have 30 days to agree to the new sharing, but can as part of that process opt out of letting Facebook use the data for marketing purposes. The complaint alleges that that requirement goes against a 2012 FTC consent order that demands the company use an “opt-in” process when changing its privacy policy.

WhatsApp disputed the characterization, saying that it both asks for content from all users, and offers “industry leading choice to existing users over how their data is used.”

Source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/european-regulators-scrutinize-whatsapp-data-sharing-plan-with-facebook-1472506175

Categorized in Internet Privacy

 

Google needs to strengthen more of its segments

If you have been reading my articles, then you may have noticed that I have mixed feelings about Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), the parent company of Google. On the one hand I love the stranglehold Google has on the search engine market, its sheer dominance in the mobile operating system space and, of course, the evergreen YouTube angle. But despite having some of the brightest minds in the world on its payrolls, Google is still a one-trick pony that keeps failing at nearly every other trick it tries to do.

As such, Google is still highly reliant on its advertising revenues from search and partner sites, and this is what I’d like to explore in some depth.

Despite having disrupted the search game early on, the company is continually expanding the touch points surrounding its search engine. Take Chrome for example, the world’s leading browser: This is the conduit through which Google gets a lot of its search traffic.

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Another conduit is Android, the world’s most prolific operating system with over 80% global market share. The majority of non-iOS devices that are sold each year come with Android, with Chrome being the default search engine despite the Chinese attempt to promote UC browser on certain smartphone models that it makes.

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Yet another conduit is Google Maps, which has not only made our lives easier on the road, but is also dominating the GPS mapping world. It is the most-used map application by far, permeating nearly every mobile device in the world. It’s free, but you'll notice a lot of it points back to Google Search. Whether it’s a restaurant you’re looking for or information you need about a particular location, search is right there on the heels of Google Maps.

It’s clear that all of these products have one focal point, and that is Google’s search engine. As a result of that ecosystem, Google now has the wide moat possible protecting its search engine business.

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But can the same be said of its advertising business, which is their main breadwinner?

If Search is Google’s crowd-puller, then the cashier must be advertising. As the crowds spend their precious time on Google search and, through it, its partner sites, the company has the opportunity to serve them ads. The more time users spend on search, the greater the opportunity, and Google has been able to leverage this to create tens of billions of dollars in revenues each year.

 

 

As the world’s internet penetration increases, Google is practically in lockstep with it, pushing its own search and advertising agenda to new users in the far corners of the world. There are several countries around the world where Internet penetration is still low and, as such, there are a lot more potential users for Google to reach out to.

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Though Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has turned the heat up on Google and is vying to get as many advertising dollars as possible, the online advertising market is expected to grow at 12.7% CAGR (according to Mckinsey) for the next five years, so there is still enough room for both the companies to keep increasing their revenues.

With no credible competitor of size to challenge their mobile operating system Android or the default Chrome browser, the chances of Google search falling out of grace from mobile customers are very slim.

What Google has done is create a legal monopoly on the world’s online quest for information, hosting 1.2 trillion searches per year. Advertising revenue is merely the fruit of that tree, and Google has a pretty strong fence around that tree.

 

 

The one thing I can’t stand to see is Google wasting billions of dollars with no apparent method to the madness. I’m being brutal, but half the time I have no clue what Sundar Pichai is talking about on the earnings call. In stark contrast are the direct and insightful comments made by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella when quizzed by analysts at the end of the calls. At least with Microsoft you know the direction they’re taking.

With Google you can never be too sure.

Its Other Bets, for example, are so diverse that the units resemble a massive conglomerate of businesses with none of them showing significant top line income. Perhaps that’s why Alphabet is trying to bring more accountability to Other Bets - push them out of the nest and maybe they’ll learn to fly yet.

With potentially powerful lines of business sitting in their line of sight - artificial intelligence, mobile virtual reality, cloud, autonomous cars, social media, paid video streaming - it’s about time Google made a dent in at least one of them to supplement its advertising business.

Source : http://www.gurufocus.com/news/438938/how-strong-is-googles-search-business

 

Categorized in Search Engine

THERE’S ONE ADJECTIVE Facebook uses over and over to describe the kind of content it hopes to show you. Whether it’s about the stories that come up in your Newsfeed, or ads, or apps, there it is, front-and-center in a press releaseor nestled in an interview quote or headlined on a blog post. The word? “Relevant.”

Remember the irony of that the next time you wake up in the morning, open Facebook, and look at the handful of notifications that have, oh, somewhere between zero and negative one thousand things to do with you.

You’ve probably noticed recently that Facebook seems to have a real problem adhering to an appropriate notification volume, or defaulting to an acceptable definition of what exactly is important enough to warrant you be notified about it. Here’s what happens lately: You see you’ve got a notification and you get excited! Like Pavlov’s dog, Facebook has trained you to expect something interesting, something relevant to you specifically, when you click that little icon. But lately? It’s not an alert that someone has commented on your (admittedly stunning) new profile photo. No, it’s an alert about a post from a literal stranger with whom you’ve shared nothing but the decision to click “Join Group” in 2011. Other times, it’s a reminder that a four-year acquaintance is interested in attending an event “near you” sometime this week. Your excitement quickly becomes disappointment. There is no treat for Pavlov’s dog anymore, only reminders of distant acquaintances birthdays.

Over the last year and a half, Facebook has paid increasing attention to the notifications feature of its platform. It started in 2015 with the (now abandoned) decision to turn the notifications tab into a sort of all-in-one information hub. Around the same time, Facebook released its short-lived Notify app, which was shut down in June of this year, just seven months after it launched. But while the app itself was dissolved, Facebook made a point to mention that it had “learned a lot about how to make notifications as timely and relevant as possible” with Notify, and that it would be incorporating the functionality into other Facebook products. (Facebook did not respond to a request for comment by publication time.)

The result of all this seems to be that instead of getting a few notifications about your friends and family, you are now by default opted in to receiving many notifications from random people who are, at best, tangentially related to you.

If you think this is starting to sound a lot like spam, well, you’re not wrong. The good news is, you can turn these notifications off. The annoying thing is that they aren’t off by default for things like Facebook Groups already. But if you have five or ten minutes, here’s how to fix your notifications in Facebook’s settings.

How To Change Notifications for Facebook Groups


Click on the little downward-facing arrow on the top toolbar of your Facebook page, where you’ll see settings. Click it, and then click notifications in the left column.

On this page, Facebook lets you change the notification settings by device. So choose accordingly, depending on whether you want your notifications changed on mobile, desktop, or both.

desktop-settings

 

 

Under the “What You Get Notified About” section, you’ll see Group Activity. Click edit.

notified-about


A pop-up dialogue will appear with all the groups you’re a part of. Change the notification settings to either All Posts, Friends’ Posts, Highlights, or Off.

While most of the options are self explanatory, Highlights is not, and that’s likely the source of your problems, since it is selected by default in many cases. According to Facebook, choosing Highlights will notify you for “suggested posts” and posts by your friends—“suggested” of course being the semantic word-ball that got us into this mess.

Once you’ve chosen your notification preferences, click the X to exit. Your changes should automatically be saved.

And that’s it! Hopefully this will have solved much of your notification woes. Of course, you saw that Groups notifications aren’t the only thing you can change. If you’re annoyed by things like birthday and event reminders, or live video notifications, you can change those there, too.

Happy Interneting!

Source : http://www.wired.com/2016/08/change-spammy-group-notifications-facebook/ 

Categorized in Social

YOU KNOW YOU shouldn’t click on that article. There’s no way the headline is going to live up to the promise. But the draw of finding out what happens next—crossing that curiosity gap—is just too much to resist. So you take the bait. And, sure enough, you’re disappointed.

Facebook wants to stop this from happening, and it’s turning to artificial intelligence to help. Earlier this month the company announced that it was tweaking its algorithms to cut down on “clickbait”—the ubiquitous plague of Internet content that over-promises and under-delivers. But it’s a big Internet out there, and plenty of other companies and sites that could benefit from tools that can separate quality news stories from fluff. Now Facebook is open sourcing software to help filter out all that Internet noise.

Facebook’s AI-driven text classification system, bag-of-tricks” approach that helps machines efficiently glean information from the order in which words appear. Another FastText tactic breaks down words into “subwords“—such as prefixes, suffixes and root words—to help computers more easily learn their meanings.

Beyond clickbait, Facebook suggests software developers could use FastText to help filter out spam. It could power search engines and autocomplete fields. Recommendation engines like the ones used by the likes of Amazon or Netflix could also benefit from a little artificial smarts that can get a better read on what you’re writing.

 

FastText is just the latest of several open source AI projects to come out of Facebook in recent years. The company has released AI algorithms, a tool for spotting bugs (in code), and designs for AI-optimized hardware. And it’s not the only tech giant doing this. Google released its AI framework TensorFlow, and companies from Microsoft and Baidu to Amazon and Yahoo have all given away the code for some of their own AI tech.

That may seem like an odd trend, given that each of these companies hopes to best the other with better tech, including AI. But artificial intelligence is still a budding field. The researchers creating these technologies within companies like Facebook and Google benefit from having their counterparts on the outside review their work and suggest changes. In a sense, open sourcing code offers the same potential benefit that publishing research in peer-reviewed journals does for scientists. In other words, Facebook is betting that giving away its AI tech will make for better software, because it too can benefit from the new ways others use it. And besides, more developers and researchers learning to use the software means more coders better prepared to work for Facebook in the future.

Source : http://www.wired.com/2016/08/wont-believe-facebook-giving-away-free-now/ 

Categorized in Social

FACIAL RECOGNITION MAKES

sense as a method for your computer to recognize you. After all, humans already use a powerful version of it to tell each other apart. But people can be fooled (disguises! twins!), so it’s no surprise that even as computer vision evolves, new attacks will trick facial recognition systems, too. Now researchers have demonstrated a particularly disturbing new method of stealing a face: one that’s based on 3-D rendering and some light Internet stalking.

Earlier this month at the Usenix security conference, security and computer vision specialists from the University of North Carolina presented a system that uses digital 3-D facial models based on publicly available photos and displayed with mobile virtual reality technology to defeat facial recognition systems. A VR-style face, rendered in three dimensions, gives the motion and depth cues that a security system is generally checking for. The researchers used a VR system shown on a smartphone’s screen for its accessibility and portability.

Their attack, which successfully spoofed four of the five systems they tried, is a reminder of the downside to authenticating your identity with biometrics. By and large your bodily features remain constant, so if your biometric data is compromised or publicly available, it’s at risk of being recorded and exploited. Faces plastered across the web on social media are especially vulnerable—look no further than the wealth of facial biometric data literally called Facebook.

facerecognition

Other groups have done similar research into defeating facial recognition systems, but unlike in previous studies, the UNC test models weren’t developed from photos the researchers took or ones that the study participants provided. The researchers instead went about collecting images of the 20 volunteers the way any Google stalker might—through image search engines, professional photos, and publicly available assets on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. They found anywhere from three to 27 photos of each volunteer. “We could leverage online pictures of the [participants], which I think is kind of terrifying,” says True Price, a study author who works on computer vision at UNC. “You can’t always control your online presence or your online image.” Price points out that many of the study participants are computer science researchers themselves, and some make an active effort to protect their privacy online. Still, the group was able to find at least three photos of each of them.

The researchers tested their virtual reality face renders on five authentication systems—KeyLemon, Mobius, TrueKey, BioID, and 1D. All are available from consumer software vendors like the Google Play Store and the iTunes Store and can be used for things like protecting data and locking smartphones. To test the security systems, the researchers had the subjects program each one to detect their real faces. Then they showed 3-D renders of each subject to the systems to see if they would accept them. In addition to making face models from online photos, the researchers also took indoor head shots of each participant, rendered them for virtual reality, and tested these against the five systems. Using the control photos, the researchers were able to trick all five systems in every case they tested. Using the public web photos, the researchers were able to trick four of the systems with success rates from 55 percent up to 85 percent.

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Face authentication systems have been proliferating in consumer products like laptops and smartphones—Google even announced this year that it’s planning to put a dedicated image processing chip into its smartphones to do image recognition. This could help improve Android’s facial authentication, which was easily spoofed when it launched in 2011 under the name “Face Unlock” and was later improved and renamed “Trusted Face.” Nonetheless, Googlewarns, “This is less secure than a PIN, pattern, or password. Someone who looks similar to you could unlock your phone.”

Facial authentication spoofing attacks can use 2-D photos, videos, or in this case, 3-D face replicas (virtual reality renders, 3-D printed masks) to trick a system. For the UNC researchers, the most challenging part of executing their 3-D replica attack was working with the limited image resources they could find for each person online. Available photos were often low resolution and didn’t always depict people’s full faces. To create digital replicas, the group used the photos to identify “landmarks” of each person’s face, fit these to a 3-D render, and then used the best quality photo (factoring in things like resolution, lighting, and pose) to combine data about the texture of the face with the 3-D shape. The system also needed to extrapolate realistic texture for parts of the face that weren’t visible in the original photo. “Obtaining an accurately shaped face we found was not terribly difficult, but then retexturing the faces to look like the victims’ was a little trickier and we were trying solve problems with different illuminations,” Price says

If a face model didn’t succeed at fooling a system, the researchers would try using texture data from a different photo. The last step for each face render was correcting the eyes so they appeared to look directly into the camera for authentication. At this point, the faces were ready to be animated as needed for “liveness clues” like blinking, smiling, and raising eyebrows—basically authentication system checks intended to confirm that a face is alive.
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In the “cat-and-mouse game” of face authenticators and attacks against them, there are definitely ways systems can improve to defend against these attacks. One example is scanning faces for human infrared signals, which wouldn’t be reproduced in a VR system. “It is now well known that face biometrics are easy to spoof compared to other major biometric modalities, namely fingerprints and irises,” says Anil Jain, a biometrics researcher at Michigan State University. He adds, though, that, “While 3-D face models may visually look similar to the person’s face that is being spoofed, they may not be of sufficiently high quality to get authenticated by a state of the art face matcher.”

 

The UNC researchers agree that it would be possible to defend against their attack. The question is how quickly consumer face authentication systems will evolve to keep up with new methods of spoofing. Ultimately, these systems will probably need to incorporate hardware and sensors beyond just mobile cameras or web cams, and that might be challenging to implement on mobile devices where hardware space is very limited. “Some vendors—most notably Microsoft with its Windows Hello software—already have commercial solutions that leverage alternative hardware,” UNC’s Price says. “However, there is always a cost-benefit to adding hardware, and hardware vendors will need to decide whether there is enough demand from and benefit for consumers to add specialized components like IR cameras or structured light projectors.

Biometric authenticators have the potential to be extremely powerful security mechanisms, but they’re threatened when would-be attackers gain easy access to personal data. In the Office of Personnel Management breach last year, for instance, hackers stole data for 5.6 million people’s fingerprints. Those markers will be in the wild for the rest of the victims’ lives. That data breach debacle, and the UNC researchers’ study, captures the troubling nature of biometric authentication: When your fingerprint–or faceprint–leaks into the ether, there’s no password reset button that can change it.

Source : https://www.wired.com/2016/08/hackers-trick-facial-recognition-logins-photos-facebook-thanks-zuck/#slide-2

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Facebook doesn’t have an easy-to-use advanced search engine, so one guy built his own. “Search Is Back” lets you use familiar drop-down menus to find people by city, relationship status, school, first name, and more. Plus you can search for photos, events, posts, and other stuff.

What’s special here is that you don’t need to know Facebook’s complicated Graph Search terms like “Friends of Friends named Sarah who went to Stanford and work at Google”. Search Is Back turns your simple menu selections into the proper URL and sends you to the search results page on Facebook’s official site with no extra login required.

Unfortunately, the product usually only works for people in the US who have received the Graph Search rollout. One thing that helps is adjusting your Facebook language setting to US English if you don’t use that already.

 

Some examples of what you could use Search Is Back to search for include:

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  • What people from your home town are single and live in your current city
  • Who your friends of friends are at a company with a job you’re applying for
  • Which friends live in a city you’re visiting
  • Who that person on Tinder is who says their name is Sam/Samantha, lives in San Francisco, and went to UCLA
  • Who that person you met at a party was that was friends with your buddy Dan and works at Google
  • You can also use it to find photos, events, Likes, and posts, such as:
  • All the photos tagged with two particular people (not that you’d stalk your ex)
  • Events happening tonight that your friends are invited to, so you can find something to do
  • Posts from friends about London, so you can get recommendations for a vacation
  • Friends in your city that Like a certain musician, so you can find people to go to the concert with

 

 

Search Is Back was built by Michael Morgenstern, a filmmaker from San Francisco who was fed up with how hard it was to search Facebook.

Facebook declined my request for comment regarding Search Is Back. However, a close reading of its Platform Policies shows Facebook doesn’t technically prohibit how the site works.

The social network made a big deal of its Graph Search feature for finding specific things back in 2013, but using sentences instead of traditional keywords confused people. In fact, Facebook VP of Search Tom Stocky told me in October that “the interaction model for search with these natural language phrases was not right for a mass audience.”

facebook-seacrh

So then Facebook launched full-text post search, but that made Graph Searching even tougher since Facebook would confuse sentences for keywords. Facebook does have some advanced search features, but they’re split up and buried in weird places like the Find Friends tool and the sidebar options of old-school pre-Graph searches.

Morgenstern tells me “it sucked” how Facebook screwed up search. So he “did a lot of poking around” to find out what Facebook URLs did what, and since Search Is Back doesn’t use Facebook’s API, it might be harder to shut down.

Like a true hacker, Morgenstern just wanted to play around with what was possible on the web that won’t work with mobile apps. He says “We’re moving towards an app ecosystem where it’s not possible to build things like Search Is Back because all these apps are walled gardens. So in the dying days of open HTML web, it’s imperative to build these tools and customize what people give us.”

 

 

Facebook might find a way to shut down Search Is Back, but until then, it’s a free and privacy-safe way to find anything on Facebook with a simple set of boxes.

Source : https://techcrunch.com/2015/12/02/facebook-advanced-search/ 

Categorized in Internet Technology

The State of Facebook Advertising

Social media has become the pillar of the online experience. With over 1.55 billion monthly active users, hundreds of millions of people are interacting and engaging on Facebook. For Facebook advertisers, this represents a huge pool of potential customers. Read our report to understand current Facebook trends based on the Marin Global Online Advertising Index.
Get the report today.

Social media is the Swiss Army Knife of businesses in the 21st century. We use social media to drive our branding efforts, connect with customers, generate new leads, gain insights into buying habits, manage reputation, and bolster our digital footprint.

But, while social media is an essential part of modern business, many companies still aren’t getting the full potential from their digital efforts. As Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report reveals:

  • 92% of marketers don’t know which social media management tactics are most effective.
  • 90% of marketers don’t know the best way to connect with customers.
  • 86% of marketers don’t know how to measure the ROI from their social media marketing.
  • 86% of marketers don’t know how to use social media to find their target audience.
  • 86% of marketers don’t know which tools will help them manage social media.

So what’s the problem? Simply put, most B2B and B2C businesses lack an effective strategy for social media management.

socail-media-marketing

In this post, I’m going to walk you through the most important social media “Dos” and “Don’ts.” At the end of this article, I’ve also included a table that recaps my main points. Feel free to print it out and use it as a reminder whenever you need to get your social media strategy back on track.

Do…

1) Have a Strategy

The single most important part of social media management happens long before you ever sign up for Facebook or publish your first Tweet. Each social media marketing campaign should start with clearly outlined goals and a battle plan that will help you achieve those goals.

Here’s the secret of a good strategy: for a strategy to be effective, it must be as specific as possible.

For example, Social Media Strategy breaks down tactics for dealing with seven of the most popular platforms, and each one is specific in its aims (e.g. increasing Facebook followers by 10% each month, increasing Twitter followers by 5% each month, etc). They refine their strategies further by listing tone/style guidelines, posting strategies, engagement strategies and strategies to find new followers.

Typical start-up social media management strategies will look a little different. These strategies revolve around assessing your strengths and weaknesses as a company, and finding opportunities to turn your early customers into brand evangelists.

Of course, your perfect strategy won’t be a carbon copy of some other company’s goals. When building your social media management strategy make sure you set realistic goals that will have a meaningful impact on your business.

2) Choose the Best Platforms

How’s your Facebook outreach going? What about Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+? Do you have a YouTube account? What about Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr? And lest we forget, Reddit.

With so many social media platforms to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you don’t stay organized. The worst part is that you overlooking one platform might mean missing out on a huge potential market.

According to Christina Baldassarre’s research, the best platforms for engagement currently are Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, and YouTube—but you should also consider other platforms where your audience may live.

 

3) Use the Right Tools

Keeping up with social media is an impossible task for us mere mortals. Fortunately, there’s some handy software options to help you manage and monitor all of your social media accounts from one central hub. Here are some of the best options:

  • BuzzBundle: (disclaimer: my software) We developed BuzzBundle to be the ultimate social media management tool. Not only does it connect with all the biggest social media platforms, but it helps you monitor blogs, forums, and Q&A sites, too. Best of all, BuzzBundle analytics give you the insights you need to reach new customers, boost your SEO campaign, and find key influencers in your industry.
  • Hootsuite: Hootsuite connects you to over 35 social networks. Like BuzzBundle, Hootsuite lets you find out what your customers are saying about your brand and easily manage your outreach thanks to a central hub for all of your social media management.
  • Buffer: Social media is Buffer’s specialty. Buffer lets you post photos, videos, and posts to the most popular social media sites. It also lets you craft posts in advance and publishes them later for maximum exposure.
  • Sprout Social: Sprout Social’s platform lets you manage your social messages through a single-stream inbox. You can schedule, publish, and post content to your favorite social media sites and then get valuable insights on how audiences engage with your content.
  • Social Studio: Salesforce’s offering helps you engage with your customers by keeping you connected to over 650 million different sources. With this software, you can listen in on conversations surrounding your brand, engage with your audience, and post to all the important platforms.

4) Track the Metrics That Matter

If you don’t know whether or not your social media outreach is impacting your business, then what’s the point? When you’ve defined a goal for your social media campaign, the only way to tell if it succeeded is to gather corresponding metrics.

Here are some metrics that might indicate success:

  • If your goal was to get to expand your reach, measure engagement and new followers.
  • If your goal was to grow brand awareness, measure shares and influencers mentioning your brand.
  • If your goal was to get more sales, measure referrals, CTR, and conversions.
  • The tools listed above will give you a lot of insights into the metrics you need to measure the success of your campaign.

 

5) Engage and Post Regularly

Last but not least, the point of a social network is to socialize. Share great content regularly to give your followers something to share and get excited about. Don’t forget to engage with their content too—follow the industry leaders in your niche and try to give more than you receive.

To make sure you keep up with social media, consider setting a schedule for yourself. Even ten minutes spent sharing and engaging every day goes a long way toward boosting your web presence.

Don’t…

1) Try to Please Everyone

One of the most important parts of your strategy is to understand your audience. If you try to please everyone, you’ll wind up offering nothing unique, and nobody will be satisfied.

On the other hand, if you know your audience and understand their pain points, you can tailor your services to solve their specific problems. Do that better than any of your competitors and you’ll have a loyal following in no time.

2) Delete Negative Reviews

When you see every mention of your brand, it can be tempting to purge negative experiences from the web. Resist that urge. Instead, reach out to people who leave a negative review—ask how you can improve their experience and work hard to regain their trust. Doing this may not only salvage a sour situation, but it will also show other potential leads how far you’re willing to go for your customers.

3) Lose Your Personal Touch

Automation may be the only way to keep up with all bustling social spheres, but that’s no excuse to lose the human element in your brand. That means posting new content for every demographic, no matter where they fall in your sales funnel. Keep your messaging personal, targeted, and bursting with your brand’s unique personality.

On this note, make sure that your outreach always feels organic. Don’t make the mistake of befriending every follower and spamming inane posts. On the flip side, don’t be a recluse who only posts and promotes their own content. Instead, share content you truly love and connect with people whose insights you value.

4) Become Complacent

Finding your audience on all the bustling social media platforms and watching them respond with gusto every time you post new content isn’t enough. The best social media strategists plan ahead—and they’re always experimenting.

 

The truth is that social media management is never done. There’s always a better way to reach your target audience, a new platform waiting to be discovered, and more avenues for you to engage with your customers. Stay ahead of the curve and never let your current strategy be “good enough.”

5) Neglect Your Audience

Disengaging is one of the worst social media sins. Don’t neglect one network in favor of another or leave comments and questions from a genuinely engaged audience unanswered. If you do need to go on a hiatus for whatever reason use social media to inform your followers—they’ll value the communication.

Final Thoughts

The days of long customer support phone calls and endless waiting periods on hold are (mostly) done. These days, your customers rely on the internet to learn about your business and connect with you. So don’t let this opportunity go to waste—find out who your audience is what they’re saying about your brand.

To recap, here are the top “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to social media management:

soacil-media-roles

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/top-dos-donts-effective-social-media-management/169626/

For years, Yahoo has been criticized for failing to understand what it really is.

Is it a search engine? A web portal? A news site? An advertising tech company? All of the above?

Well, based on how Yahoo describes its competition in itslatest quarterly filing, it looks like Yahoo still has no clue what it really wants to be.

Here's what it says:

"We face significant competition from online search engines, sites offering integrated internet products and services, social media and networking sites, e-commerce sites, companies providing analytics, monetization and marketing tools for mobile and desktop developers, and digital, broadcast and print media.

In a number of international markets, especially those in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, we face substantial competition from local Internet service providers and other entities that offer search, communications, and other commercial services."

 

What does that mean? It means Yahoo's competing in all of these areas one way or another:

- Online search

- Internet services, like email

- Social media

- E-commerce

- Data analytics

- Marketing and advertising technology

- Messaging

- Media

For a company that generates about $5 billion a year, that's a lot of different areas to be in. Yahoo's scattershot approach is also pretty interesting when you compare the language to how other companies describe their competition.

Here's what Google says:

"We have many competitors in different industries, including general purpose search engines and information services, vertical search engines and e-commerce websites, social networks, providers of online products and services, other forms of advertising and online advertising platforms and networks, other operating systems, and wireless mobile device companies...Our competitors are constantly developing innovations in search, online advertising, wireless mobile devices, operating systems, and many other web-based products and services."

Here's Facebook:

"We face significant competition in every aspect of our business, including from companies that provide tools to facilitate communication and the sharing of information, companies that enable marketers to display advertising and companies that provide development platforms for applications developers."

Here's Twitter:

"Although we have developed a global platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time, we face strong competition in our business. We compete against many companies to attract and engage users, including companies which have greater financial resources and substantially larger user bases, such as Facebook (including Instagram and WhatsApp), Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Yahoo, which offer a variety of Internet and mobile device-based products, services and content."

 

And Amazon:

"Our businesses are rapidly evolving and intensely competitive, and we have many competitors in different industries, including retail, e-commerce services, digital content and electronic devices, and web and infrastructure computing services."

At least Yahoo is now under a restructuring plan that will narrow its focus to three platforms (search, email, Tumblr) and four content verticals (news, finance, sports, and lifestyle), as well as its Gemini and Brightroll ad offerings. And with its sale to Verizon, it's likely Yahoo will be a much more focused company. Still, it's an interesting reminder that spreading a company's resources too thinly across many different areas often don't work.

Source : http://www.businessinsider.com/yahoo-still-has-no-idea-what-it-is-2016-8

Categorized in Search Engine

The State of Facebook Advertising

Social media has become the pillar of the online experience. With over 1.55 billion monthly active users, hundreds of millions of people are interacting and engaging on Facebook. For Facebook advertisers, this represents a huge pool of potential customers. Read our report to understand current Facebook trends based on the Marin Global Online Advertising Index.

Get the report today.

In addition to making sure you never miss posts from friends and family, Facebook wants to make sure you never miss another ad.

The social network has announced plans to make life harder for ad blockers that let desktop users view Facebook without seeing irrelevant advertising.

Goodbye, Ad Blockers

Facebook has revealed a change that will use new technology to make ad blocking software less effective. Facebook is changing how it loads advertising onto its desktop site to make its harder for ad blockers to detect their ad units.

“Some ad blocking companies accept money in exchange for showing ads that they previously blocked – a practice that is at best confusing to people and that reduces the funding needed to support the journalism and other free services that we enjoy on the web,” Facebook wrote in a blog post. “Facebook is one of those free services, and ads support our mission of giving people the power to share and making the world more open and connected.”

This change won’t impact mobile, which accounted for 84 percent of Facebook’s $6.2 billion in advertising revenue in Q2.

 

New Advertising Controls For Users

What about users who want an ad-free experience on Facebook? Well, Facebook doesn’t want that. But the company says it will give users “more control” over the ads they see.

“If you don’t want to see ads about a certain interest like travel or cats, you can remove the interest from your ad preferences,” Facebook said. “We also heard that people want to be able to stop seeing ads from businesses or organizations who have added them to their customer lists, and so we are adding tools that allow people to do this.”

Estimates of how many people actually use ad blockers varies by country and by which company is putting out their own report. But most estimates land somewhere between a quarter and a third of Internet users. Facebook didn’t indicate how many of its users use ad blockers.

What do you think of Facebook’s move to block ad blockers?

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/facebook-stops-ad-blockers/170494/

Categorized in Social

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