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Entries in Social Media (49)
If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest news in Social Media, Facebook recently announced its new Graph Search feature. This tool enables you to find other people on Facebook who share similar interests as you do. This feature is not yet available to the public and is currently undergoing a beta period. Fortunately, I recently had the opportunity to try out Graph Search for myself and at first glance, it looks very impressive.
Firstly, let’s go over how Graph Search works. Graph Search pulls public information from user profiles. This can be anything from a user’s interests, likes, geographical location, education, work, and various other pieces of personal information. While playing with Graph Search, I’ve noticed that Graph Search works best when you generate searches based on a maximum of 5 or 6 variables. You might even be able to get away with 7 or 8 variables, but don’t expect too many results. So for example, an interest can be a variable, location can be a variable, age can be a variable, and gender can be a variable, etc. It also works best if you separate each variable with a separator phrase such as “and is” or “and are” or “and who like,” etc.
For example, I am a geek by heart and I love Star Wars. Loved it since I was a kid. Let’s say I wanted to do a search amongst my male friends who like Star Wars between the ages of 23 and 29. A valid and accurate search may be, “My male friends who like Star Wars and are between 23 and 29 years old.” (Variables: male, friend, Star Wars, 23, 29.) Sadly I only get 2 results. Let’s say I wanted to broaden my search and find other people (both male and female) who live near me who like Star Wars between the ages of 23 and 29, I could search for, “People who live nearby and who like Star Wars and are between the ages of 23 and 29.” (Variables: people, live nearby, Star Wars, 23, 29.) Lo and behold, slightly less than 100 search results.
It is important to note however, that search results are unique. What this means is, if someone performs the exact same search as you, their search results will differ greatly from yours. This is primarily because just as Graph Search pulls information from other user profiles, it also pulls information from your own profile to provide personalized results.
One thing I do like about Graph Search, when you obtain your search results, you gain access to a panel on the right side. This allows you to refine your search further without having to retype a new search query. On the other hand from a usability standpoint, I really wish this panel was made available from the moment you start typing. If you’re just starting to use Graph Search like I was, you have to sit down and figure out how Graph Search works. It’s not like Google where you can type just about anything you want and expect a result that is somewhat accurate to what you’re looking for. You have to go through the process of getting the syntax correct. I can understand it better if it gets to the point where people are used to Graph Searches’ search syntax, but until that point you have to design and develop your product so that anyone can use your feature.
Now lets do a little reverse engineering. We know what Graph Search is capable of and how it works; I believe it’s safe to say that everyone can now optimize their own user profiles to meet search criteria similar to that of SEO. As a result, it is possible to make yourself searchable and marketable through Facebook should you so desire. This can be applicable for a number of different things. You can optimize your Facebook profile for a job position you may be seeking. You can also optimize your Facebook profile as a free and alternative solution for online dating.
At first glance, Graph Search seems very promising, however deeper analysis shows that this tool can be used for other, not so pleasant purposes.
I read Sophos’ perspective of Graph Search from a security and privacy standpoint. Someone can search for, “people who live nearby who like one night stands.” Not only is it creepy, but it is also an invasion of personal privacy. On the other hand, those that appear in the search results are equally at fault. They chose to make this information public, which now becomes easily searchable by just about anyone.
Facebook reminds everyone that search results that appear in Graph Search still honor your privacy settings. You can always change your privacy settings by clicking on the gear icon on the top right corner of the menu bar and going to Privacy Settings. Go through all of the available options and make sure that nothing is set to Public. Graph Search will not pull any information that you specify as sensitive information. Of course if you want to avoid the issue all together, don’t mention anything personal at all.
The verdict? There are still a number of little nuances with Graph Search that could be improved for usability, but overall I’m impressed. As long as you don’t share anything private to both the public and to your friends and family, I think Graph Search can actually be a pretty cool tool to have.
If you’re interested in giving Graph Search a whirl, you can join the waiting list.
What do you think about Graph Search? Will you be using as part of your daily arsenal?
In this classic Seinfeld episode detailing the women’s sponge being taken off the market, Elaine Benes is faced with a dilemma:
With a finite supply of her go-to contraceptive, Elaine must determine her potential suitors “sponge-worthyness” before letting them past the golden gates.
With the adoption of Timeline, administrators of Facebook Brand Pages have encountered a similar predicament. Prior to Timeline, Pages offered the ability to showcase a seemingly unlimited number of custom apps, widgets and tabs down the left-side navigation. However, with the update to Timeline, pages are now limited to 4 “above-the-fold” tabs, one of which has to be Photos. So where does that leave your “Like” number?
Is your “Like” number worth this prime real-estate on the top of your Page? If you do display your “Like” stat rather than an interactive tab, what are you hoping to get from it?
In some cases, I think the answer to this question reveals a deeper look into the brand’s or administrator’s motivations. Does their Page mainly exist as an ego stroke, where displaying that they have 100,000 fans makes them feel good? Or is it an important marketing vehicle where valuable page-space is better left to widgets that can actually drive business?
There’s probably a third answer as well, that I think applies mostly for mid-tier brands with fans in the 10’s of thousands. Does showcasing that your local company has 20,000 fans help fuel you Page visitor’s “group-think” psychology and get them to press that “Like” button? I can see a case being made for that line of thinking.
Currently it’s hard to determine a consensus among the bigger brands on Facebook. Target, Starbucks and Coca-Cola are keeping their “Likes” above the fold, while Victoria’s Secret, Walmart and Pepsi are not. Some of the more forward-leaning companies like Zappo’s and Threadless seem to be going the non-“Like” displaying route as well.
So what should you do? Obviously each brand is unique and presents it’s own marketing challenges, users and goals. However, at Hunch Free, we’re usually of the belief that it’s the quality of your user-base, not the quantity. And with that in mind, we find that your visitors are more than likely better served by offering them an opportunity to interact or learn more about your brand, rather than telling them that they’re fan number 3,106.
What do you think? Is your Page “Like-Worthy”?
Pinterest is a great network to create, organize and share photos and videos to friends on Pinterest and other networks like Facebook and Twitter. It’s also so new that its features aren’t all discovered yet or are being updated constantly. Everyone wants to know how to get repins, find interesting pinterest users and boards.
Here are 6 cool Pinterest Secrets – the always up-to-date How To Get Repins guide!
1. Titles. Categories. Descriptions. Oh My!
It’s really important to make sure that titles, categories, and descriptions are all filled out.
It’s even better if they contain keywords that generally describe your board so that people can find them (like the example “nerd gear”).
With all this stuff blank, Pinterest doesn’t even know what’s in the image and doesn’t (won’t) show it to people searching!
2. Tweet Pins w/ Hashtags!
If you really want oomph from your pins, send hashtagged posts to Twitter too; they work just like regular hashtags there.
3. Pay attention to when you get the most repins
It makes a lot of sense that people generally are more active at 10am than at 4am. When is the best time for you to get repins? That’s completely up to your connections. Try testing out different times of day and see what works best for you. Just remember people’s day cycle: when they wake up, when they work, when they have dinner with their families and you’ll start to see patterns!
4. Careful of URLs in Descriptions!
Whatever the reason, some websites just don’t play well with Pinterest (like my Nintendo coffee table pin above. The picture loads fine, but only if you link directly to the picture). If you need to make a pin that points to somewhere else
besides the picture, you can put a URL into the description and it will automatically turn into a link when you pin it!
Be careful: KNOW YOUR SOURCE! Pinterest now uses a spam reporting system that blocks and eventually removes pins.
5. Give yourself the best board covers ever!
Having great visuals is what Pinterest is all about. Why not catch people’s eye with an awesome board cover!? The example to the left is a real example from my boards; I had a crappy looking cover that wasn’t interesting at all. By selecting one of my pins and editing the thumbnail, what the board is all about is much, much more apparent and the board is much more stunning in general.
6. Pin Like Crazy! with the “Pin It” Bookmark (and avoid browser extensions)
By visiting the Pinterest Goodies section, you can get a “Pin It” button of your own. It makes putting together a board quickly and quietly easy by living right in your
browser! When you’re on a page you want to pin, click the “Pin it” button to immediately go to Pinterest’s pin page.
Be careful: Some of the browser extensions claiming to be Pinterest pinning extensions contain malware than may harm your computer or phish your Pinterest account. The Pin It button works fine!