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No need to protest facebook's Data Use Policy with a copy and paste copyright message on your timeline.

Another hoax makes it's way through facebook and causes an uproar in how your data is used by Facebook. Image Uh oh, here we go again. Facebook updates once again and newsfeeds are full of advice (some misguided) and protests.  On November 21st facebook announced ‘updates to Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities”.  An e-mail was distributed, from facebook, recommending you to review the policy as well as asking for comments to proposed changes.

Many are now seeing posts to copy and paste a copyright notice on their wall. This hoax makes you think that facebook does not have permission to use anything from your profile without your permission. This is useless and not necessary.  When you initially sign up for facebook you agree to their terms.  Facebook does not own your photos or content, you do however grant facebook permission to use, distribute and share things you post. Read the terms here for full disclosure. https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms.  This latest notice (from facebook) has many talking about an invasion of privacy to share information with advertisers, game/app developers and facebook developers. Again, this is nothing new. Anyone with a facebook account agreed to this when they signed up. The notice simply lists updates and tools to make it easier to understand what is being shared and any feedback before the revisions go into effect.

While personally I’m not thrilled with the idea of outsiders accessing my data I understand why, and agreed to it when I opened an account.   While many may not like this you must remember:

1.) facebook is a business (businesses typically have a goal in making a profit) 2.) It’s ‘free’ to use (though it does have a catch and this is part of it)

While agreeably advertisements and game requests are sometimes annoying, especially when we are not used to seeing them (or so many), but on the positive side..the advertisements you see are targeted to you and your interests.  If only television, newspaper, local billboards could target ad’s that only relate to me and my interests...now that would be something. You might actually find a few advertisements interesting.

My advice:

1.) Review and customize your privacy settings. Don’t let the default setting make these choices for you. (I will blog my recommendations next, subscribe/or check back). 2.) Think before your post.  Everything you say and do can come back to haunt you. 3.) Accept that facebook is a business, free to use, mainly in part because of the advertisers and developers. 4.) Remind yourself of all of the positive things you enjoy about facebook. Decide if it outweighs the recent change you don’t like. 5.) Be careful what app’s you sign up for as you are further extending your content and data to be shared with them.  (update your app’s in settings from time to time and get rid of the ones you no longer use.) 6.) Select ‘ignore’ for requests to join specific games or app’s that your friends are using

I’m not saying you have to ‘like’ it.  You could take an extreme approach and deactivate or delete your account. (Though you are never fully gone from facebook, remember you posted and shared many things with others and are on their pages.) Be sure and click on ‘help’ from your facebook account if you choose to delete or deactivate.

Links you  might find interesting or useful.

It’s all about Customer Experience. Why you should allow customers to post on your wall.

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Allow others to post on your wall. Some businesses fear negative feedback, but good or bad, your customers want to know what others are saying about you.

Remember when businesses had a “Comment box” to capture your feedback?  Who knew if the box was opened, or if any action was ever taken. Now, that box is open to the public- visible to all.   Every ‘comment’  or ‘post’ and more importantly your reaction to it is on display.  I’m not saying do everything that’s suggested, but respond and show customers you value their opinion. You may even receive some really great suggestions.

Your business will benefit greatly from allowing others to post on your wall.  Social media is often referred to as “word of mouth on steroids”.  You can organically (aka - free) grow your social media audience by allowing others to post on your wall. Sharing pictures of your product in use, testimonials and ideally recommendations.  These will all be shared with their friends. The viral nature of these comments could mean new customers to you.

Caution: Don’t delete the negative comments.

I always advise my clients not to delete the negative comments.  Every business has a naysayer or two out there, and every business is guilty of a few mistakes.  Respond to any negativity with your best resolution, apology, (owning up to it if necessary) and move on.  If you do delete -  Chances are someone saw the post and notices you hid it under the rug - resulting in lost trust.  Or worse, the original poster fires back repeatedly and you have to “block” that person. Imagine how many others he/she will tell.  Your resolution to negative comments might even win you new customers. Showing the personality behind the business and how you care, listen and how you are honest and respect opinions of your customers matters.

Create a positive customer experience in your social media and people will talk about it. McDonalds has the right attitude - with over 250 billion hamburgers sold - they know how to gain customers.

Tips on running a contest - Part 4 of 4 in our contest series

Part 4 of 4: We’re rounding off our contest series with one final posting.  Bonus tips on running a contest. OVERALL TIPS:

  • Announce contest coming soon. Anticipation will keep your folks coming back to check it out. They might even tell some friends to keep a look out for your contest.
  • Cross Promote it other places (TWITTER, WEB, LINKED IN, Store Front, ETC.)
  • Advertise (facebook makes sense-low cost/targeted demographic)
  • Announce progress (time remaining, who is leading, etc.)
  • Announce Winner, thank fans and advise them to check often as you will run another contest in the near future.
  • Don’t argue with someone regarding winner. Make your contest clear and easy. If in doubt give two prizes to avoid conflict and bad press.
  • Abide by facebook rules and regulations. https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php
  • Make your prizes appealing. Use your products or services when possible.
  • Give winner a choice in two prizes. Example: If HVAC? how often will they need to clean the system? Perhaps they just had it done. Offer a giftcard instead.
  • *Fan gate changes game -Timeline changes removed landing page, but various applications work the same. Be sure and use an app that has a fan “like” gate. You can see stat's on your contestants and even block some (employee's, etc.)
  • Use advertisement, on facebook, to announce contest increases likes when ad is clicked it turns into a page like.

Other contest ideas:

  • Photo contest - Ask fans to post photo -most likes wins. Plus how great to post someone using your product/service!
  • Where are we? -post photo of your mascot/logo/something and ask fans to guess where you are.
  • Ask fans to offer tip or their favorite Quote. The fan’s tip/quote with most comments and “likes” wins.
  • Guess that celebrity. for a dentist we post the smile only and ask to guess who it is.
  • Like Incentive - Not sure I like this one but see it often. When we reach ___#____ Likes we’ll offer _______.  Are people really that eager to help your likes grow? I guess if the offer is incentive enough they would.  I see it often, don’t use myself, but thought I’d offer it up.

In summary, every business is unique, and different approaches will work well for others.  I’d love to hear your comments. What have you tried in the past? Or, have you participated in a contest that caught your attention?

"Posting Contest": Part 3 of 4 in our contest series.

“Posting contest” How: Ask ‘fans’ to post a comment or photo. This could be asking fans to share one of their favorite quotes or even a tip.  The fan with the most “Likes” wins.

Why: Increase overall “Likes”, though might not be as targeted to your demographic. Advantage: Increase activity on page. Increases page “Likes”.

Tips:

  • Use an application to track (search facebook for current app’s), one with a fan gate is ideal as contestants will have to “like” the page to enter.
  • Explain contest clearly so no room for confusion.
  • Don’t forget to check with facebook on current rules and regulations on contests. https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php

Examples: Share your favorite health tip on our wall and ask your friends to “Like” it. The tip with the most Likes by _______ date wins a _________. Post of picture of your favorite healthy meal. The picture with the most “Likes” by ___ date wins a _______.

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