Twitter vs Facebook

Twitter has an enormous advantage over Facebook in one key area: while people on Facebook tend to friend their friends, people on Twitter tend to follow their interests. The following graph from Twitter is worth far more on a per-account basis because it is directly monetizable in a way that Facebook’s generally isn’t – you can show prophylactic advertisements to Twitter users based solely on the people they follow, and probably get a much higher rate of interest. Compared to other social display ads, Twitter ads, it is rumored, work extremely well.

Outside of the direct value from its graph, Twitter is in an extremely unusual position for a social service. While it is ostensibly a sharing service, it is actually a broadcasting medium. People use Twitter more like they use TV; they follow accounts they are interested in, namely celebrities and companies, and then they consume the content as a form of entertainment. Normal people have very little incentive to use Twitter except to communicate unidirectionally with their interests. This is why it has been shown that the vast majority of Twitter users who sign up never tweet, even though a huge number of those people view their feed often.

I suspect the reason that Twitter is cutting off apps from using its “friend finder” feature is because most people do not create content in Twitter and therefore have no incentive to use Twitter outside of the value of its graph. Unlike replicating or using the Facebook graph externally, relocating the Twitter graph can have disastrous consequences for Twitter. Lots of celebrities use Tumblr, and if you can instantly relocate your Twitter graph into Tumblr, then what value does Twitter have, other than a more restricted set of content? What about App.net? Twitter is in an even worse position than MySpace to fight off a disruptive competitor.

The solution Twitter has taken involves barricading the walled garden, keeping the valuable tweet data inside Twitter, and removing all incentives for people to move to other, similar platforms. (more…)

How to Implement a Social Campaign on Facebook

The Facebook Marketing Series is supported by Buddy Media, Power Tools for Facebook. Have something new to tell 500 million people? Learn the best way to launch a new product or service on Facebook with this webinar.

You want to do good, and you want to use Facebook. Good choice. Facebook has a couple of things going for it. First off, there are a ton of people that use it — more than 500 million to be precise — so you’ve already set yourself up to hit the largest social network audience. More over, even people without Facebook accounts are used to visiting landing pages on the site for events and causes, which make the potential reach even larger.

Second, Facebook is an informal place to launch serious things. Most actions on the site take place within networks of friends (however disparate they may be in real life). As such, campaigns and projects inherently feel less “corporate” or cold when they’re spread virally from friend to friend.

We’ve outlined five ways to take advantage of these elements, whether you want to register as a charity or just lend a digital hand without the rigmarole.

1. Causes


causes imageThis should be a no-brainer. Non-profits and supporters can set-up campaigns through Facebook’s Causes app. Non-profits can create a page and accept donations directly, while everyday users can set up a page in support of non-profits already on and approved by Facebook. There’s a handy help page to answer some more in-depth questions about conditions and how donations are handled.

Important note: Before you start to donate to any campaign on Facebook, make sure the money or support is going to the right place. If you’re giving money, make sure the root organization is a registered 501(c)(3) or appears on a registry site like GuideStar.org.

These are actually required conditions to sign up, but it’s always good to do some research, especially if you’re not familiar with the non-profit. You want your money to be doing the most good possible.

[Non-profits and supporters can set-up campaigns directly through Causes.com, who’s popular Facebook platform makes it easy to reach people.]


2. Create a Social Media Hub


Facebook Pages have a lot of benefits over a website created from scratch. They require less work to set up, and you don’t have to fuss over complicated or glitchy backends. Creating a Facebook Page (whether on Facebook Causes or not), is a great way to establish a web portal even if you don’t know how to use WordPress, Tumblr or other free blogging platforms.

For casual users passionate about a cause, a Facebook Page allows you to post videos, photos, updates and relevant links while having immediate access to your group of friends. You can also add apps to your Page to link up social tools like Twitter.

Be cautious about asking for money or donations, especially if you are not a registered non-profit. The best bet is to provide a link to several charities where your (hopefully millions of) fans can help out.


3. Create a Forum


livestrong imageToo many numbers and conditions? Don’t worry, there’s a way to launch a campaign without all the paperwork. Take a note from Livestrong and start a forum on your Facebook Page. Livestrong has used its page to create a safe space for cancer survivors to share their stories and offer support.

It’s not enough, however, to simply let a forum run wild. Livestrong’s page is moderated by Brooke McMillan, the non-profit’s online community manager. She makes sure the comments stay on topic and she helps to drive the conversation forward. While there aren’t many spammers or trolls, she makes sure to weed them out; the site only functions because of the safe and supportive community she has developed.

Try creating a Page where supporters of your cause can start a conversation. It obviously won’t work for every type of campaign, but see if there’s a way to engage your audience and create dynamic, productive discussions.


4. Picture & Media Hosting


aspca imageFacebook enables you to post media to your Page without much effort. The social network recently updated the look of its albums and photo pages, offering a richer media experience. If you own a camera or video camera, this is especially good news. Consider setting up a Facebook Page as a photo album or photo blog where you can post updates, much like the ASPCA does.

Your friends and fans don’t want to see more PR, so think about how you can add value. Supporting a building project? Grab your camera and post some shots every day to show how the organization is using donated funds. Is your cause holding a fundraiser? Ask if you can take pictures or video so your fans can participate by proxy.

As always, it helps to get permission from the non-profit you’re supporting. Most will be happy to have your support and will welcome your efforts to grow their exposure.


5. Interact


If you’re not going to interact with others, there’s no need to be on Facebook. From a user perspective, the site was built for people to see and interact. You have to be willing to regularly devote time to moderating comments, answering questions and updating content if you want your page, cause or campaign to be a success.

People will join you because they want to feel like they are part of the cause. If you don’t create that community, your fans will have no reason to stick around. Simple things — such as asking what fans would like to see pictures of or what hot topics should be in the discussion — will help you create a dialogue and develop passion around the cause you’re supporting.

Launching a campaign on Facebook is easier than it looks, whether you’re a charity greenhorn or an established organization. Before you start, take a minute to think about what you want to get out of Facebook: Donations? Conversation? Advocacy? Once you’ve decided on your goals, jump in and see what Facebook can offer.

via Mashable

A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Commerce

Four Types of  Facebook Commerce


1. Facebook-Facilitated On-Site Selling:

Brands can bring the Facebook experience to their websites, tapping users’ connections and interests to support the purchasing process. The simplest examples involve using social plugins — short code snippets that ping Facebook’s network for information about the user visiting the brand’s site. The Like Button is the most common plugin and is usually regarded as a content sharing device, but when it is used in conjunction with a product page it can provide peer support by displaying the names and profile images of people who have Liked the product — most appealing for brands is the fact that it also highlights any of the user’s Facebook friends who have Liked the product.

A more sophisticated approach uses Facebook’s Open Graph API to retrieve the Likes and interests of the user, as well as those of his or her friends. There is a permission screen involved and every friend’s privacy settings are individually respected.

For the past few months Amazon.com has been offering a “Tap into Your Friends” option (still labeled Beta). After the permission screen, the user is taken to an Amazon page showing the upcoming birthdays of Facebook Friends and their Amazon Wish List if they have one. Amazon uses a user’s friends’ profile data, which often includes favorite books and music, to make gift suggestions.

2. Facebook-Initiated Selling:

Business accounts can set up a storefront for free on their Facebook Pages, and many thousands have already done so. The vast majority start the shopping process at Facebook.com but then jump to their own ecommerce pages at some point. Lady Gaga’s Facebook store is an example of a store that takes users on a rather abrupt transition. Users can browse products on her Facebook Page, but any click takes them to the product page at bravadousa.com, a licensed merchandise marketer and fulfillment service. The Facebook branding is gone, and the look and feel changes completely. A new window opens which would make any Facebook multitasking (e.g., chat) cumbersome. Apparently, a Page with over 30 million Likes can get away with this — Justin Bieber has the exact same arrangement.

Best Buy keeps shoppers in the Facebook environment a bit longer and takes advantage of the social features while they are there. Its store app isn’t labeled “Shop,” it is “Shop + Share.” Users can search or browse for products, and when they find something that interests them, they have two options: “Ask Friends” or “Shop Now.” “Ask Friends” leads to a Wall post asking about the product. Interestingly, Best Buy currently makes “Ask Friends” much more noticeable than “Shop Now,” which takes the user to the product page at BestBuy.com for the shopping cart and checkout process.

3. Complete Selling through Facebook:

1-800-Flowers has pioneered a selling process that never takes the user away from Facebook.com. Shoppers can select products, options, see delivery dates and even include a personal message without interrupting their Facebook experience. 1-800-Flowers does not take full advantage of the social environment, though, as it doesn’t provide an easy way to ask a relative what Mom’s favorite flowers are or what her zip code is, for example.

Delta Airlines has built a complete ticketing system into its Facebook Page, and while it allows the user to promote Delta by posting a general message on his or her Wall, it doesn’t do much to help the user share details with Friends involved in the trip, something that a Send Button could do nicely.

4. iFrames vs. Facebook Apps:

There are two ways of displaying F-commerce Pages on Facebook.com, each with its pluses and minuses. In February 2011, Facebook adopted iFrames as the method that businesses use to supply custom content to their Pages. In the simplest terms, iFrames allow a business to create and host its own content and to display it in the 520-pixel middle column of a Facebook Page.

Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and even Best Buy, present their F-commerce pages through an iFrame. The advantage is simplicity, since businesses can create and maintain the content on their own terms — iFrames tend to offer the most seamless experiences for consumers. 1-800-Flowers and Delta do their selling via Facebook apps. The primary advantage of going to an app is real estate. iFrame content is restricted to the 520 pixel-wide middle Page column, while an app can control the left most 760 pixels — a 46% increase in visible selling space. The disadvantage of apps is that they are more difficult to maintain and they may stress smaller budgets within businesses lacking Facebook development expertise.


Facebook Commerce  Developers Emerge as a Resource


The list of software developers offering F-commerce products is growing. Many come from traditional ecommerce, offering Facebook as an extension for their clients. SortPrice, for example, powers the Dallas Mavericks‘s Facebook store, and Usablenet, which powers JCPenney‘s Facebook store. Another popular application for adding Facebook to an existing ecommerce program is Storefront Social, which Borders uses.

A popular developer that seems to be emphasizing F-Commerce is 8thBridge, responsible for 1-800-Flowers, as well as Delta. And the popular Payvment app allows clients to become part of a Facebook shopping mall with a connected shopping cart.


The Future of Facebook Commerce


There are many more questions than there are answers about the long term future of F-commerce, which is still in its infancy and barely survived its birth. In 2007, Facebook tried Project Beacon, which collected ecommerce activity on third party sites and announced a user’s purchases on his or her friends’ news feed. Facebook quickly withdrew from that privacy nightmare but its dismal reputation for freely dispersing user data still haunts F-commerce. Many Facebook users have become so accustomed to Facebook’s aggressive data sharing policies that they automatically assume the worst. A recent study from JWT found the percentage of people worried about Facebook privacy and security to be in the 75% range.

Experienced ecommerce managers also see problems with Facebook.com itself. “The user experience is less-than-optimal with slow page loads and smaller page size due to Facebook’s advertising and navigation. I don’t see why customers would bother shopping through Facebook when a faster and better experience is only a browser tab away,” notes Linda Bustos, director of ecommerce research at Elastic Path Software. Facebook advertising is certainly an issue. No matter how you structure your F-commerce store, the user will still be served targeted Facebook ads during the buying process.

Many web marketers question the social nature of shopping itself, and there is considerable opinion that people visit Facebook to catch up with their Friends and not to be sold products. The good news on that front, from the JWT study, is that 48% of millennials (aged 20-33) would like to see the places where they shop give them the ability to buy directly on Facebook.

The best reason for businesses to take a deep breath before investing in a F-commerce is Facebook itself, which currently benefits from F-commerce primarily through the sale of ads promoting it. They’d obviously like a better cut and nobody is quite sure how they would do it. Facebook Credits could somehow be expanded to become the currency for F-commerce. Credits for gaming and virtual goods earn Facebook a 30% commission — F-commerce Credits would probably be in the 5% range.

There is no shortage of opinions regarding the future of selling on Facebook, but one overwhelming motivation — it is where the customers are, and they should be able to buy wherever and whenever they like.

via Mashable

BOOKonlinenow Facebook app

BOOKonlinenow is an intelligent on-line booking engine, ideal for hoteliers to raise their online revenue while lowering their cost structure.
It incorporates advanced features and technologies such as XML connectivity, dynamic pricing, special offers, booking sources, multiple rating catalogs, customer and reservation management, statistics and reporting tools.

The Facebook app:

Official website: http://www.book-onlinenow.com/

via BookOnlineNow.

BOOKonlinenow is an intelligent on-line booking engine for hotels

Strategies For Marketing Your Facebook Fan Page

Strategies For Marketing Your Facebook Fan Page

Aside from a certain ineffable quality which goes with really successful marketing, there are some basic steps and tips which you can follow to get started.


  • Start by sending invites to the friends you already have on Facebook. On your Fan Page, on the left side of the screen is a “Suggest to Friends” link. You can use this feature to send out invitations to people either individually or in groups.

  • Use the Search function on Facebook to find new fans. You can use the “Posts by Everyone” search function to search inside peoples’ posts to discover who is interested in your niche and actively talking about similar products. This is sometimes easier than searching for communities or groups or trying to look through other Fan Pages for new fans.

  • Run an ad campaign. These paid ads appear on the sides of pages based on contextual relevance. You can set whatever kind of daily spending limit you are comfortable with. You can also start and end your campaigns at any time.

  • If you have Twitter, you can use the Facebook Fan Page Twitter Application to post an update and backlink to your Twitter feed time every time you update your Fan Page, automatically!

  • If you have your own website, you should add a Facebook Fan Box Widget which gives people a way to “like” your Fan Page directly from your website or blog.

  • Socialize. This may seem like a given, but to a lot of people it isn’t. You need to interact with people about a wide variety of topics in order to gain their trust and respect.

read entire article.. at: Domain Name Ninja Blog: Strategies For Marketing Your Facebook Fan Page.

Facebook Send Button

The Facebook Send Button

How It Works
The Send button is a social plugin that websites can use to let people send a link to a friend through Facebook Messages, post it to a Group, or email it to an individual. For example, if you see a Mother’s Day gift idea on 1-800-Flowers.com, you can now send a message or email to your family members to discuss. Or say you’re training for a marathon and you come across a great article about running shoes on The Huffington Post. Now you can share it with your entire running group in just one click.

The Send button drives traffic by letting users send a link and a short message to the people that would be most interested. They don’t need to leave the web page they’re on or fill out a long, annoying form. Compared to the alternatives, the Send button has fewer required steps, and it removes the need to look up email addresses by auto-suggesting friends and Groups.

How to Add the Send Button
The Send button can be easily added to existing Like buttons or as a standalone feature. Developers currently using the XFBML Like button can include the send=”true” attribute in their Like button code to generate a combined button, and those using an iFrame version of the Like button will need to upgrade to XFBML to display a Send button. The following code will generate a combined Like and Send button:

<div id="fb-root"></div>
<script src="http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"></script>
<fb:like href="example.com" show_faces="true" width="450" send="true">
</fb:like>

Developers can add a standalone Send button with the following code:

<div id="fb-root"></div>
<script src="http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"></script>
<fb:send href="example.com"></fb:send>

Learn more about adding a combined Like and Send button or just the Send button. Also, we strongly recommend using Open Graph meta tags on your web pages to control the title, description and image displayed when people use the Send button.

via The Send Button, Because Sometimes It’s Private – Facebook developers.

Managing Your Apps on Facebook

One of the very basic aspects of running Involver applications is their management on your Facebook fan page. Facebook now lists applications in the left hand sidebar, with the ability to reorder, rename, hide or uninstall them. The video below, from Involver’s Director of Product Marketing, Roland Smart, explains how to reorder applications in your sidebar, and the difference between hiding and uninstalling them. You can also find complete instructions on our documentation site under Managing Involver Applications.

via Managing Your Apps on Facebook.

7 FBML examples to rock your Facebook fan page.

7 FBML examples to rock your Facebook fan page.
Facebook markup language or FBML for short is used in a variety of places within the social network. Anyone who has written any Facebook applications will already be pretty familiar with its tags, and will probably have used it to write data to walls, or share postings with others programmatically. If however you haven’t yet dipped your toe in the water of the Facebook API, or indeed haven’t actually needed to – there are some snippets of FBML which prove to be mighty useful when creating custom Facebook Fan Pages, and can easily and quickly out of the box be used with the FBML widget, which adds an extra much needed layer of customisation to an existing Facebook fan page. The static FBML widget can be added multiple times, and in multiple places (sidebar and tabs) to facilitate this. Once you’ve added it to your page, simply go to “edit page”, then under Applications click “edit” under Static FBML. This will give you the options you need to paste in your code. (more…)

7 FBML examples to rock your Facebook fan page.

7 FBML examples to rock your Facebook fan page.
Facebook markup language or FBML for short is used in a variety of places within the social network. Anyone who has written any Facebook applications will already be pretty familiar with its tags, and will probably have used it to write data to walls, or share postings with others programmatically. If however you haven’t yet dipped your toe in the water of the Facebook API, or indeed haven’t actually needed to – there are some snippets of FBML which prove to be mighty useful when creating custom Facebook Fan Pages, and can easily and quickly out of the box be used with the FBML widget, which adds an extra much needed layer of customisation to an existing Facebook fan page. The static FBML widget can be added multiple times, and in multiple places (sidebar and tabs) to facilitate this. Once you’ve added it to your page, simply go to “edit page”, then under Applications click “edit” under Static FBML. This will give you the options you need to paste in your code. (more…)

Transfer Ownership of a Facebook Iframe Application

When you create a Facebook Developers account and a new iframe application for a custom tab, you are the admin of that application. If the application is for your own page, this isn’t an issue. But, what if you are creating the application for a client? Do they want you to be the admin / owner of the application once the work is complete? Maybe. But leaving control of the application to an outside consultant can potentially lead to problems later.

For example, the Admin has the ability to completely delete the application. They could also post a different page than the one originally created, if they felt the need to be malicious.

I know the people I work with trust me because many of them leave me as admins on their pages even after the work has been completed and even after I recommend to them that they remove my access. Or maybe they don’t trust me and they just aren’t bothering to take the precaution.

Well, you can transfer Admin rights for the application. Here’s how you do it.

The Instructions

  1. Go to the Facebook Developers page.
  2. Click on My Apps.
  3. Locate the app that you want to edit, if you have more than one, and select it.
  4. Click on Edit Settings.
  5. On the About Tab there is a section near the bottom called Manage Users.
  6. You can change the role of the user, remove a user, and a new user.
  7. Obviously, if you are the only user, you don’t want to change your level of access or remove yourself. Then no one will have access to the application.
  8. A new user can be added by typing in a friend’s name into the Add User field. One thing I don’t like about this is that you can only add a friend. I am not usually facebook friends with my clients so in order to add them as a new user to the application, I would have to become friends first. It would be better of you can add a user via an email address.
  9. Another bad feature is that as soon as you select a name, a request is sent without any further approval on your part. When I was first testing this, I selected the wrong name and sent a pending request to someone who has nothing to do with creating Facebook apps. That was fun.
  10. The new user will be considered pending until she accepts the request.
  11. Once the new user is added, you can be removed as the Admin of the application.

As with many features on Facebook, this doesn’t work quite the way we would like it to but at least administration of the application can be transferred to another user.
(more…)