Did Facebook Just Beat Google At Its Own Game? (via allfacebook)

Ken Deeter, Facebook Engineer

The keyword used to be the exclusive province of Google, and one of the things that may ensure Google doesn’t become completely overshadowed by Facebook. But then Twitter’s trending topics began to eat into that monopoly.

Now Facebook may show you stories from multiple people about the same topic. How does the social network do it? How do they prevent you from seeing a bunch of stories about dogs or bananas?

It turns out, one of Facebook’s engineers revealed the secret sauce on Quora. But he did so in quite opaque, academic language, so I’m going to break it down into real-people-speak (for myself and you).

Ken Deeter explains:

I was the lead engineer on this project so I’ll give this a shot. Without going into too much secret sauce…

1. We build language models based on publicly available corpora for our entity extraction. Based on this data we can extract topics at various levels of confidence. To answer your question, yes, it can figure out terms like “arrested development” out of normal text. It can also disambiguate between words like “Apple” the fruit, and “Apple” the computer company.

2. We have a second level of infrastructure that tries to use other data to increase accuracy. Generally you can think of this adding more context into the equation, whereas the first level only takes into account the text of a message.

3. We have some heuristics to decide to show a particular cluster. Generally this is a combination of trying to filter out noise from the extraction system, and deciding when something is newsworthy enough to show. Two of your friends talking about bananas, for example, is pretty uninteresting.

Like I said, we’re going to have to break that down.

Facebook’s Language Models

Facebook probably also uses lists of the names of pages with many likes (including place and community pages).

Perhaps the company dips into other publicly available lists of hot topics like Google and Twitter trends or the Yahoo Buzz Index.

The social network, however, has all kinds of data on what people on Facebook are sharing, what pages they’re commenting on and so on.

So even if the company uses only internal resources, there’s a huge amount of data on what the most popular topics are at any one time.

Context Improves Keyword Groupings

What this reminds me of is Google’s related keywords. One of the things that goes into Google’s rankings is whether you use ancillary words and phrases surrounding the main keyword.

For example, for consideration of whether you should rank for “camping gear,” do you talk about things like tents, boots, hiking, fires, food, and water purification? It could work like that on Facebook, which might also use a social context.

I suspect from Facebook advertising’s topic targeting that the company has quantified the affinities between various precise interests. In other words, Facebook knows that if you like the band Coldplay, there’s a 35 percent chance you also like Death Cab For Cutie.

This is just an example, and probably the wrong value. But if Facebook wonders whether you’re writing about a politician and you have many politically-oriented likes in your profile, that would be a context that would increase confidence that you’re talking about that keyword.

Heuristics, Important Topics and Salience

I just love to use the word salience whenever I can. I once studied attention deficit disorder, and in this mental condition the brain has trouble determining what is most salient (important or high priority).

If you have a low signal to noise ratio, cognitively, you can’t focus on something (signal) and ignore all the other stuff going on at the time (noise).

So Facebook is using some rules of thumb (heuristics) to arrive at whether a topic is important enough and talked about enough to show in the news feed.

The example he gives is something mundane (bananas — who cares?) and a small amount of conversation (two people).

However, we must assume that if 10,000 people talk about bananas and Google News is carrying a story about a problem with bananas, it’s an important topic and we should show posts around that keyword.

Will Facebook Kill Google With This?

The fact that Facebook has developed algorithms around keywords is a big problem for Google. As soon as Facebook includes keywords as an option in Facebook advertising, Google AdWords (Google’s primary revenue source) becomes much less important.

AdWords may always have a leg up since it analyzes keywords for all websites, but why shouldn’t Facebook move this direction? Why shouldn’t the social network make its search functionality as good as Google’s?

Google has not proven they can successfully imitate Facebook’s strengths, but Facebook may be showing they can duplicate Google’s.

Brian Carter is the author of The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money on Facebook. He’s also speaking at Socialize West this Thursday.

Making It Easier to Share With Who You Want (via facebook blog)

Today we're announcing a bunch of improvements that make it easier to share posts, photos, tags and other content with exactly the people you want. You have told us that "who can see this?" could be clearer across Facebook, so we have made changes to make this more visual and straightforward. The main change is moving most of your controls from a settings page to being inline, right next to the posts, photos and tags they affect. Plus there are several other updates here that will make it easier to understand who can see your stuff (or your friends') in any context. Here's what's coming up, organized around two areas: what shows up on your profile, and what happens when you share something new.


On Your Profile


Your profile should feel like your home on the web - you should never feel like stuff appears there that you don't want, and you should never wonder who sees what's there. The profile is getting some new tools that give you clearer, more consistent controls over how photos and posts get added to it, and who can see everything that lives there.


Inline Profile Controls


Before: Most of the settings for stuff on your profile were a few clicks away on a series of settings pages.


Going Forward: Content on your profile, from your hometown to your latest photo album, will appear next to an icon and a drop-down menu. This inline menu lets you know who can see this part of your profile, and you can change it with one click.



A side benefit of moving most settings to inline controls is a much shorter and simpler Settings page.  A bunch of settings that were there previously have been moved directly inline, and a handful have been replaced or removed. (You can find more detail on the profile settings here: http://www.facebook.com/about/control)


Profile Tag Review


Before: Photos you were tagged in would show up on your profile as soon as you were tagged. One of the top requests we've heard is for the ability to approve these tags before they show up on your profile.


Going Forward: You can choose to use the new tool to approve or reject any photo or post you are tagged in before it's visible to anyone else on your profile.



Content Tag Review


Before: Anyone who could see your photos or posts could add tags to them.


Going Forward: You have the option to review and approve or reject any tag someone tries to add to your photos and posts.



View Profile As…


Before: We heard you wanted to know what your profile looked like to others, but the tool for doing this was behind the scenes.


Going Forward: This tool is now on the top of your profile where it's easier to access.




When You Share


In addition to the profile changes, it will now be more visually straightforward to understand and control who can see your posts at the time you share them. We're also broadening the functionality of the sharing tool: now if you want to make your posts more expressive, we've made it simple to add location and tag the people you're with.


Inline controls


Before: Controls for who could see your stuff on Facebook lived on a settings page a few clicks away.


Going Forward: The control for who can see each post will be right inline. For each audience, there is now an icon and label to help make it easier to understand and decide who you're sharing with. Also, when you tag someone, the audience label will automatically update to show that the person tagged and their friends can see the post.



This dropdown menu will be expanding over time to include smaller groups of people you may want to share with, like co-workers, Friend Lists you've created, and Groups you're a member of. These will make it easy to quickly select exactly the audience you want for any post.


If you're posting to Facebook from a phone or app that does not yet support inline controls, your setting will be the same as it is today. You can change this with a new setting available on your privacy settings page. (For a guided tour of these new controls, go here: http://www.facebook.com/about/sharing)


Word Change: "Everyone" to "Public"


Before: You had the option to share a post with Everyone, which meant that anyone on the internet might be able to see it.


Going Forward: We are changing the name of this label from Everyone to Public so that the control is more descriptive of the behavior: anyone may see it, but not everyone will see it. This is just to make the setting more clear, and it's just a language change.


Change Your Mind After You Post?


Before: Once you posted a status update, you couldn't change who could see it.


Going Forward: Now you'll be able to change who can see any post after the fact. If you accidentally posted something to the wrong group, or changed your mind, you can adjust it with the inline control at any time.


Tag Who You're With, or What You Want to Talk About


Before: You could only tag someone if you were friends with them, and you could only tag a Page if you had liked it. This felt broken or awkward if you had a photo album of co-workers and had to become Facebook friends to tag them in the photos.


Going Forward: You can add tags of your friends or anyone else on Facebook. If you are ever tagged by a non-friend, it won't appear on your profile unless you review and approve the post.


Tag Locations in Posts


Before: You could only "check in" to locations using the Places feature on a smart phone.


Going Forward: Now you can add location to anything. Lots of people use Facebook to talk about where they are, have been or want to go. Now you can add location from anywhere, regardless of what device you are using, or whether it is a status update, photo or Wall post. Of course, you can always choose not to add location at all.



As a part of this, we are phasing out the mobile-only Places feature. Settings associated with it are also being phased out or removed. (You can read more about how location works and settings affected here: http://www.facebook.com/about/location)


Remove Tags or Content from Facebook


Before: When we asked, people had different ideas of what removing a tag actually did, and different motivations for wanting to remove them.


Going Forward: Your options for removing tags or content on Facebook are presented more clearly. Your options are: removing from your profile, removing the tag itself, messaging the photo owner or tagger, and requesting the content get taken down. (More details on tagging can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/about/tagging)



These changes will start to roll out in the coming days. When they reach you, you'll see a prompt for a tour that walks you through these new features from your homepage. In the meantime, you can read more about the upcoming changes from the links throughout this post. We'll look forward to your feedback on all of this.


Taken together, we hope these new tools make it easier to share with exactly who you want, and that the resulting experience is a lot clearer and a lot more fun.

Google Steps Up Attack on Facebook's Turf (via WSJ)


Google Inc. launched its most ambitious social-networking effort yet, broadening a battle with Facebook Inc. to grab the attention of Web users and future advertising dollars.

The new Google product, Google , is aimed at exploiting what has been considered a weakness of Facebook—that by default people using the social network share all their information with a large group of friends, including their work colleagues and acquaintances, rather than only their close personal friends. Numerous social-networking companies such as Path Inc. have sprung up to attract people who only wish to share information with smaller groups.


A screen shot of the Google Plus social network



The Google project is in a "field trial period" meaning it is an invitation-only product and is expected to be made available more broadly in the future.

The effort to create what became Google started in earnest last February after Google's social-networking service Google Buzz flopped with users, in large part after backlash that resulted from when it made email address books visible to other people. Last summer The Wall Street Journal reported that Google was developing a new Facebook rival.

4 Facebook Marketing Tactics You Might Not Know About (via SEOmoz)

So you think you have Facebook all figured out. You have your fan page with a couple custom tabs set up, you've started an ad campaign and every one of your products on your site has the "like" button installed (which increases revenue). Easy peasy, this Facebook stuff is a cinch! Well you're right, it all is pretty easy to implement, but what else could you be doing? What other ways can you utilize Facebook (and its 500 million active users) to help market your company?

These four tactics we're talking about today aren't all new necessarily, but they're fairly new to me. Which got me thinking, if I didn't know about these (or why they were so great for inbound marketing) how many other people also don't know. I'm not trying to claim that if I don't know about it, no one does, because clearly there are people already using them. But the question is... are you? If not, could or should you be? Let's dig right in and take a look at these four Facebook marketing tactics you might not know about (but now you will).

1. Facebook Insights For Your Website

Yes, you read that right. Now, I'm sure you have all seen Insights for your fan pages, but did you know that you could get Facebook Insights for your website? This is a great way to get information about content people are sharing from your site, user demographics, likes and other goodies. We recently set this up and were quite surprised at how much data you could get. Here's a quick blurb straight from Facebook:

Facebook Insights for Domains offers a consolidated view of key metrics for any website, even those that have not implemented Facebook Platform. For example, if a user links to your site in their Facebook status message, that data is included in the analytics for your domain. You can access sharing metrics and demographic information per domain and per URL so you can optimize your content for sharing and better tailor your content to your audience.

First off, it's super easy to set up. Go to http://www.facebook.com/insights/ and click the green "Insights for your Website" button in the upper right hand corner. You'll get a pop up box like the one below, then you just simply add the meta tag inside the

Add Facebook Insights to your website

Once you have this in place, the next time you go to the Insights page, you'll not only see your fan pages, but you'll also see your website show up as an option. Below are a couple views of the data Facebook gives you about your site.

This view shows the organic shares of our content by days
Facebook Share Story CTR

This view shows the demographics on people who have liked our content. WHOA!
Facebook demographics

Additional information:

2. Facebook Comments

I'll be honest here, I was a big skeptical about why anyone would want to use Facebook comments... that is, until I saw it in action. Let me just walk you through my reaction the first time I posted a comment on TechCrunch which now uses Facebook comments.

1. This is cool, it looks like my comment will get posted to Facebook. Hmm, I wonder what that means really?

2. Cool! It means my comment showed up on my wall.

3. But wait... what? It also showed up in my friend's feed! This is what my boss, Jamie saw in his feed:

4. Within minutes, my boss and husband replied to my comment on Facebook. But not only did their replies show up on Facebook, they also showed up in the TechCrunch post. Whoa... imagine the possibilities!

What makes Facebook comments so great:

  1. Your comments get read by a lot more people.

    Neither my boss or husband would have ever read that simple comment I made on TechCrunch. But because it showed up on Facebook, they saw it and replied right then and there. TechCrunch ended up with three comments which they would have only gotten one in a different commenting system. Hello UGC!

  2. Cuts out a lot of spam!

    Facebook does all the work of figuring out if a real person is commenting or not. The person has to be logged in to Facebook in order to comment, so you don't get anonymous users. Obviously there are some drawbacks to this since not everyone has an account (the horror!), but you could offer multiple ways to comment like TechCrunch does.

  3. Simple comment moderation

    Facebook makes moderation pretty darn easy. You have quick access to edit, ban and subscribe yourself to certain feeds.

Additional information:

3. Local Business Listings

If you're a small business owner or local business, you may have already noticed these random Facebook pages showing up for your company. These are pages automatically created by Facebook. Initially I was pretty annoyed by these, but then realized you could utilize them for your advantage. Let's take a look at an example of a bar in NYC.

Run a search for "billy marks west" and you'll see one of these pages in the SERPs

Ok so these pages can rank for your branded name, which could help you take over a SERP for your name. The crazy part though, is that Facebook lets anyone (yes... anyone) edit these pages.

Sure it's a little crazy that the edit button is open to everyone, but if you keep it on your radar and remember to check the page often, you can ensure the information doesn't get changed incorrectly.

Facebook is trying to get updated information about all types of locations, including cities. For example, when I went to the New York, New York Facebook City page, I got a pop-up asking me to edit it.

This page shows 3 of my friends have checked in at the MoMA

Which led me to the "community edit" page that asks me to add detail about New York City. Whoa... so I can add information about New York? Again, imagine the possibilities.

Of course, this could also lead to people adding incorrect information, trolling your company and many other negative things. But if you keep your local page up-to-date and keep track of the edits, you have yet another page in your marketing arsenal!

Additional Information:

Anyone have a good post about this I could link to? :)

4. Facepile

I'm going to be honest here, I sometimes just like to yell out "Facepile!" It's just a fun word to say. :) Ok, ok I'll get back on the subject at hand. You may not know the name for it, but I'm sure you've all seen something the image below before, right? Facepile is the plugin that displays photos of your friends (as long as you're logged into Facebook) who like the particular website you're on.

But have you thought about taking this one step further and adding Facepile to a conversion page? Just how much do you think your conversions could increase if users saw their friends smiling faces right before they signed up for or purchased something? Foursquare does a great job of this if you go to one of their location pages not logged in.

I went out looking for other great conversion pages that use Facepile and I ran across the MailChimp sign up page. Sadly there's a big huge "white space" area which could probably benefit from adding this feature. Here's a (horrible) mock-up of what it might look like if they added Facepile to that bare area.

Additional Information:

Now there you have it. Four Facebook marketing tactics you might not know about. For me it's always fun to find these "hidden" gems, especially when there right there staring you in the face. What other tactics do you use that may not be very well known?

This post was originally a presentation I did for our meetup in NYC earlier this month. Feel free to check it out on Slideshare:

Rand, Rhea Drysdale and Avi Wilensky also spoke that night and you can find their presentations here:

Rand - Exploring the New Opportunity in Google's Social Search Features
Rhea - Supplemental Hell - How to Fix "New" Indexing Issues
Avi - Google Instant – For Keyword Research, Content Generation, and Competitive Analysis

Facebook Introduces a Credibility Score With New Social Commenting Plugin (via insidefacebook)

Facebook may be preparing to launch a new version of its Social Commenting plugin. Judging by the version currently implemented on Facebook’s own blog, it may surface high quality comments or help users identify trolls and spammers by assigning users an aggregated credibility score. Since this score travels with users wherever the plugin is integrated, it should encourage more civil, thoughtful commenting.

The aggregated credibility score is shown as a percentage and a total number of comments in the hovercard that appears when a user is moused over in the Social Commenting plugin. Through extensive testing, we’ve determined that the percentage is calculated using the formula (total Likes – total instances marked as unhelpful or spam) / total Likes. For instance, a commenter who has had their comments Liked seven times and been marked as unhelpful once would have the equation (7 – 1) /7, which equates to 85%. Scores are rounded down and are higher than the equation specifies when there are less than five Likes.

Users and admins will be able to look at this credibility score and deduce whether a certain comment is from a reputable source. Trolls and spammers will accrue a low score or have a low number of total comments, indicating their comments aren’t worth replying to, and their links shouldn’t be clicked. High quality users will build a high score and large number of comments over time.

Authenticated Identity is Too Valuable to Risk

Websites often run into issues using their own commenting system or a third-party solution such as Disqus and Intense Debate because there are few deterrents to abusive behavior other than of a site-wide or widget-wide ban. Spammers, trolls, and those looking to dispense hate can easily create another account or move to another site without losing much.

But Facebook wields a much more powerful weapon: the ability to terminate a user’s account, severing all their friend connections. Most users will be too scared of such social ruin to abuse the Facebook Social Commenting plugin with their real account, whether professionally, as a joke, drunk, or in a fit of anger. Since the aggregated credibility score reduces the reach of using a fake account, users have to respectfully comment with their real profile to be part of the conversation.

Examples of the power of authenticated identity to promote serious discussion are already emerging. At the recent Online News Association meetup at Facebook headquarters, Andy Carvin, NPR’s Senior Strategist with their social media desk, said that the conversation on its Facebook Page is more civil than that occurring through the proprietary commenting system on its website.

With its simple cross-publishing feature; quick login for Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Yahoo! users via OpenID; aggregated credibility scoring; and the repercussions Facebook can levy against abusive commenters; any website that accepts comments should strongly consider implementing the new Facebook Social Commenting plugin when it’s released.



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Facebook’s Redesigned Page Creation Flow Helps Admins Choose a Category (via inside facebook)

Facebook has redesigned its Page creation flow to be more intuitive and user friendly. The different Page types are represented with images that when clicked reveal fields for required information and a drop-down menu of specific Page categories.

The redesign should reduce the likelihood of new admins miscategorizing their Pages — a costly mistake that confuses potential fans and can’t be undone without deleting the Page. Below we include a guide for admins with tips on selecting a category.

The old design lumped all Pages into either local business; brand product or organization; artist, band or public figure; or community. The new “Create a Page” breaks Pages up into the following types:

  • Local business or place of interest: Things with a physical address
  • Company, organization, or institution: Education providers, corporations, and general categories
  • Brand or product: Websites and anything you can buy
  • Artist, band, or public figure:: Professions
  • Entertainment: Sports, media or content and the entities that organize them
  • Cause or Topic: Community Pages for things no one actually owns

There is some overlap between categories. Local business includes categories from across several of the other types, but admins have to include a street address and phone number to choose this type.

The visual representations and more distinct categories should ease admins through what can be a stressful process.

Why Page Categories are Important

A Page’s category determines what fields on the Info tab users see, as well as what section of a user’s Profile it will appear in when Liked. Certain categories, such as people, sports teams, athletes, and musicians have significantly more prominent placement than categories like games and activities. Some categories, including local business, website, organization, company appear at the very bottom of the profile in the Other Pages section that require an extra click to be revealed.

To increase the chances of their Page being discovered, admins should choose the most prominent category that accurately describes them. For instance, a baseball team and its associated business departments should designate itself as a sports team rather than an organization because sports teams are more prominent in the profile.

Page categories also appear in hover cards and news feed posts to inform unfamiliar users of what a Page is. The more specific yet accurate a Page’s categorization, the easier for users to recognize it as something they want to Like.

JetBlue Offers Rewards for Checking In via Facebook Places (via mashable)

JetBlue has announced a new program with Facebook Places that lets customers earn rewards when they use the service to check in at airports.

Members of JetBlue’s TrueBlue rewards platform can register on the company’s Facebook Page. Registered users will then receive 25 TrueBlue points every time they check in to an official JetBlue airport location on Facebook Places. The first 100 customers to check in at Boston’s Logan International, Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International, Long Beach, New York’s John F. Kennedy International or Orlando International airports will receive 100 points. Those who accumulate 5,000 or more points can trade them in for free flights.

JetBlue is the latest to attach a rewards program to Facebook Places. Over the weekend, Sears Outlet, a unit of Sears, ran a promotion that awarded 10,000 Shop Your Way Rewards points to anyone who used Facebook Places to check in at one of its outlet stores and then made a purchase.

Though marketers have been running loyalty programs for ages, a gamification overlay adds another reason — aside from a desire to earn points — for consumers to actually use the programs. Given Facebook’s huge consumer base, the average shopper is more likely to have Facebook on his or her smartphone than a competing location-based service like Foursquare or Gowalla.

What do you think? Would you be more likely to participate in these loyalty programs now?

Facebook Launches New Friend Browser (via allfacebook)

In an effort to help people discover more of their friends, Facebook has updated their find friends browser. The tool, which allows people to find existing friends, has gone through a number of changes in the past few months.

This latest version is clean and is extremely effective at browsing through friends based on various Facebook profile details, including the schools you attended, your hometown, and more. The new tool is currently accessible here. While Facebook previously suggested friends, the model has evolved to enable users to more efficiently discover friends that they already know.

By default the browser shows those individuals who you are most likely to know, most often ranked by mutual friends as well as other factors that aren’t clear. The most significant aspect of this new page is how fast it loads. You simply load it up and can just scroll through indefinitely, browsing through people who you are most likely to know. It’s a pretty slick tool and it’s one that I’m sure many users will find to be useful.

Thanks to Eti Suruzon and Adam Carson for letting us know!

Find Facebook Friends Screenshot

Facebook Offers New Messaging Tool (via NYT)

PALO ALTO, Calif. — For more than two decades, e-mail has been the killer application of the Internet. But Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, believes that e-mail is antiquated.

On Monday, Mr. Zuckerberg unveiled a new unified messaging system on Facebook that allows people to communicate with each other regardless of whether they are using e-mail, text messages or online chat services.

“We don’t think a modern messaging system is going to be e-mail,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. He said that e-mail is too formal, too slow and too cumbersome, especially for young people who have grown up communicating using online chat and text messaging systems. The new Facebook service, which will allow users to have @facebook.com e-mail addresses, intends to integrate the three forms of communication into one inbox that is accessible from PCs or mobile phones.

Mr. Zuckerberg played down any suggestion that the new service would revolutionize communications overnight.

“This is not an e-mail-killer,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “We don’t expect anyone to wake up tomorrow and say they are going to shut down” their current e-mail accounts.

Still, analysts said that over time the service could gradually become a replacement

“All of the e-mail vendors should be worried – Google, Yahoo, MSN,” said Jeremiah Owyang, an analyst with the Altimeter Group, in an interview Friday, before the Facebook service was unveiled. “All of those platforms have been trying to add social networking features to their services.”

The new system will also include social features that allow users to filter their in-box in a way that prioritizes messages from friends and close associates over others. And it offers a way to quickly access all the conversations they’ve had with a particular user.

The system will be rolled out gradually over the next few months, Mr. Zuckerberg said.

“It sounds great.,” said Danny Sullivan, editor of SearchEngineLand.com, an industry blog. “I want to see how it works in practice.”

promoting events and news on facebook (via| the qualified yes)

 my organization holds events around the country to raise awareness and money for brain tumor research and patient services. our communications group works to publicize those events in the media, including social media. here is a mini case study of the ways to use one of those channels.

putting your best face(book) forward

comm put up a  web page (mostly for online donors) and facebook group to support the event, which took place this past weekend in portland, oregon (note: comm is switching from facebook groups to pages for events). after the event, a supporter used the nbts facebook page to inquire whether pictures were up yet from the day-long walk. our social media manager promptly responded, and added a link she found to local news coverage of the event:

this is good customer service, but what else could we do to leverage the free publicity? as you can see, inserting the hyperlink into a comment provides the link but little in the way of bells and whistles. even if someone “likes” the comment (that’s my thumbs up, btw), the object of one’s affection doesn’t jump to the liker’s stream – therefore, it doesn’t broaden the exposure.

liking versus liking liking versus…what are we, in seventh grade?

facebook’s Like feature is not really a great promotional tool. Note that I am not talking about the “ liking” that used to be “becoming a fan.”  formerly-known-as-fan-page: good. because once you fan/follow/whatever it is a page, every update to that page shows up in your stream. there’s an opportunity to capture new eyeballs.

no, this liking is that little word that shows up at the tail end of everything in facebook like it wants to be the new period. getting a lot of likes is good for the ego maybe, but for broadening your audience? not so much…

over 600 people liked frank rich’s op ed piece in the times. but their liking it when the piece rolled through their stream did nothing to increase the audience for that information. liking or commenting earns the item a single text line in the other stream:


sharing works better

but wait, you say. what about all that stuff on top in that frank rich piece. a-ha! my friend kevin did more to promote that news item than 600 casual clickers by sharing his affection. by clicking on “share” rather than (or in addition to) “like,” kevin created a content-promoting engine, complete with an image, a link to the original story – even a brief (and editable) synopsis!

can we do this with the portland walk news piece or other nbts content? can we ever!

I grabbed the link in the original comment above and attached it to a status update. Facebook lets me post the update to just my network or, with the normally dreaded “everyone” setting, makes it a searchable object that can turn up in a google ort yahoo search.

here’s how it looked to my friends. cool!

earlier today I did the same thing to build some buzz for an online event that launches next week, Tulips Against Tumors. I created a status update and attached a link to the info tab on its facebook page

note that the summary contains a link to the actual Tulips Against Tumors website, allowing viewers to navigate directly to it. note, too, how facebook muddies the waters by announcing that “31 people like this.” this just means the TAT facebook page has 31 fans followers adherents, not that 31 people clicked the little “like” below my original post. but I digress.

I asked co-conspirator and light of my life alice hanes to use the share link on the above tulips item, she graciously did so, and this was the result on my page:

to those in alice’s network who don’t (yet) know me, the item showed up like this:

recommendation for non profits or other businesses that want to put themselves in front of potentially vast audiences: have everyone in your organization who is on facebook use the share link to promote events and important news. the resulting barrage of rich media will seem like overkill at first if you are seeing everyone’s share. but remember that your employees/volunteers have a lot more friends who are not associated with you than who are. so while you’re seeing a post five times or ten, you will be reaching a broader audience which will see it only once or twice.

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