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Facebook Removes Fake Likes

Fake Facebook likes may be new to you, but it’s not to Facebook. The company has realized that the social network has been bombarded with fake likes thanks to fake Facebook accounts, malware and computer generated technology.

There is technology out there that allows people or businesses to earn fraudulent likes. Many companies have used this technology in order to increase the number of likes their business receives, and many “social media managers” have used this tactic so that their employer thinks they’re doing a fantastic job.

Back in August 2012, Facebook announced that they would be taking the necessary steps in order to strengthen security and remove fraudulent and computer generated accounts, and this means removing any likes associated with those accounts. Facebook also plans on deleting fake accounts and fake brand pages in order to ensure that all Facebook users are engaging with real people and real brands.

On September 26, 2012, Facebook started their effort to remove fake accounts and fake likes. Facebook said that as long as businesses were complying with their terms and conditions and there was no sign of foul play, their company’s pages would remain on the social network, but they couldn’t guarantee that every company’s likes would remain intact. If it was determined that Facebook likes were coming from fraudulent accounts, they would be removed. In all, Facebook believes that an average of 1% of likes would be removed per page.

Facebook wants to keep the social network clean for all users, which means they don’t want their users—whether individual or brand—to be deceived by fake likes, or to deceive the public with fake likes. If Facebook deems anything suspicious, it will be removed.

Without the fake likes, companies that use Facebook can now have more accurate results to measure. They can truly learn about their real customers, including demographics and location, without having their results swayed  by fake information. Brands can now create the right type of content to engage with their followers, and they may even see improved engagement and more conversions now that they’re solely reaching out to real customers.

Most companies will not even notice the change in their likes, but there are a few that might. Texas HoldEm Poker lost 96,000 likes, and Farmville lost 45,000. Even Lady Gaga saw her likes drop by 34,000.

While these numbers may be significant to companies who don’t have too many likes, these larger brands, which have millions of likes, will not even notice the change.

Facebook is not just going through older likes. The company will also be monitoring the current likes that company’s receive and determine if they’re real. They’ll also be taking the necessary steps to ensure that fraudulent accounts and malware are no longer allowed to use the site.

Monitoring Facebook likes is just one of the ways that Facebook is trying to ramp up security. The company will also be rolling out some newer security measures in the future in order to give their users a better overall experience.

Jacob Smith is a well established social media and web marketing professional.  He is currently defining his SEO keyword strategy using the resources available at SEOmap you can follow SEOmap on Twitter @seomapsocial

Exploring MSN: What Social Media Tools are Out There?

MSN, originally known as The Microsoft Network, is Microsoft’s portal to the Internet. It is always a gateway to Microsoft’s sites and service. Many users think of it as mainly a news and search site, but MSN offers some popular social media tools as well.

Messenger

If you click the link that says “Messenger” at the top of the page, it takes you to the Windows Essentials page, which contains many useful and fun programs. Messenger is just what it says, an instant messaging program like Yahoo! Instant Messenger. Messenger allows you to chat in real-time with your friends on the MSN network.

Windows Live Photo Gallery & Windows Live Movie Maker

Even though it may not seem like a social media tool per se, Microsoft’s Photo Gallery application for editing photos has very robust social media sharing features. There are options to publish to Facebook, Flickr and more. Windows Live Movie Maker is a program for video editing and also offers social networking options like sharing to Facebook, YouTube and other sites. There are links to download both programs on the Windows Essentials page.

Blogs

The MSN portal connects to several new blogs that cover subjects such as news, entertainment, sports, money and more. Visitors can share articles they find interesting via Facebook and Twitter. Most blogs also have the options to email stories and subscribe via RSS feed as well. Social media sharing plays a huge role in how MSN determines which stories are the most popular.

Connections

You can connect MSN with your Messenger, Facebook and/or Twitter contacts and see your feeds without even leaving MSN’s homepage. This feature is awkward to use though because the feed is limited to a tiny box and it seems to randomly pick which friends or followers it chooses to display information from. The feature would be a lot more useful if it was targeted towards what you friends are reading on MSN instead of just randomly pulling your feed information.

Twitter

Last, but not least, MSN offers a convenient button at the top of the page that allows you to follow MSN on Twitter. If you’re a big fan of MSN’s news stories, you can go to their Twitter page and get constant updates on their latest trending topics.

Considering the size of Microsoft’s organization and their massive customer base, it is surprising that MSN.com doesn’t have more social medial features. A forum or discussion board would be a welcome addition to the MSN portal, but neither of these features exists there. I believe Microsoft’s primary goal is to keep MSN.com primarily an information portal to keep most of their social media offerings on other Microsoft websites.

About the Author: Ming Esteve loves studying social media sites and companies. When she’s not working, you can find her looking for new Facebook emoticons and music videos.

4 Tips for Using Social Media as a Reputation Management Tool

No online marketing approach is complete without reputation management. Even the most comprehensive SEO, PPC or social media campaign will fall short if you don’t incorporate an element of brand protection into your strategy. Even if you have the most loyal and happy consumer base in town it only takes one disgruntled or misplaced comment to temporarily tarnish your image. One of the most effective ways to deal with this threat is through social media, and one of the best things about this method is that it is so accessible. Social media marketing and monitoring can be carried out by even the smallest of businesses with the most limited resources. To get the full benefit of this approach, there are a few tips to follow:

  • Use Google Plus. Google is constantly refining its algorithms and recently this has led to more social content appearing within the SERPs. Not surprisingly, the platform from which most text seems to be appearing from is Google’s own venture into the social world, Google Plus, therefore it really would be advisable to make use of this site.
  • Consider the amount of profiles you keep. It is important to have at least two active profiles as if in the unfortunate event that one becomes the subject of abuse, the other(s) can effectively protect your name to a degree. Nevertheless it is important to make sure you don’t have too many profiles. Never have more pages than you can regularly monitor. Unattended profiles leaves you at your most vulnerable.
  • Think before you react. When someone criticises the brand you’ve spent endless days, months and years building up, it is natural to react defensively, especially if the claims are unwarranted. However, as angry or frustrated you are it is imperative to remove yourself emotionally from your reply. Taking a moment to consider their point, then responding in a calm and objective way is a much more effective way of resolving the problem, and upholding your dignity and reputation in front of others.
  • Promote your positive content within social media. Directing your users to the content you do want them to see, such as blogs, articles and press releases which portray your brand in a good light is a really pro-active way of deterring attention away from bad press. Ultimately it lets you gain control over what your consumer base see which is essentially what online reputation management is all about.

SEO Positive offer comprehensive SEO, PPC, social media marketing and reputation management packages to businesses of all sizes.

Disasters and Social Media – Tips for Staying Connected When Your Home Office Isn’t

American author Willa Cather once wrote, “There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” While there is a lot of truth to this statement, disaster preparation is best tackled before catastrophe strikes. I learned this firsthand when my neighborhood was evacuated after a propane leak was discovered. Due to the summer humidity, we were kept out of our home for 48 hours. Fortunately I was able to safely shut down my home office before the utility companies turned off service throughout my neighborhood, but emergency crews made it clear that a propane explosion could level entire homes.

While I had the peace of mind knowing that a backup copy of my files existed in a cloud drive, more than once during the evacuation I was plagued by “what if” syndrome. What if I hadn’t unplugged everything? What if our dog had been trapped inside the house that entire time? What if our house caught fire or worse, had been leveled by an explosion?

Luckily we could stay in touch with friends and family through social media apps on our smartphones, and when we did return, thank goodness everything was intact. However, it was clear that there were ways that I could better prepare my home office for another potentially catastrophic situation. Here are some of the things I did, and if you work from home and haven’t done any then you may want to tackle them before disaster strikes.

Protect Your Family

Sit down with your family and make a plan. Websites like ready.gov offer a lot of great suggestions for ways your family can stay ready during an emergency – and not just in natural disasters. They also suggest ways to stay informed and build a kit to stay safe during pandemics, home fires, technology and accident hazards, and terrorist situations.

In today’s age, you can’t be too careful about protecting your family, and when your family sees that you’re serious about staying safe during catastrophic times, they’re likely to take disaster planning more serious as well. Because a disaster can strike at any time, you might also think about keeping the winter survival kit for your car ready to go regardless of the season, especially if you live in an area known for chilly summer nights.

Communicate with Your Insurance Company

Don’t wait for a disaster to get to know your insurance agent. My family’s local agent sees me each month when I stop by the office to pay my bill in person. It not only creates a professional relationship that will come in handy in the event that there is ever a reason to file a claim, but it also helps give me peace of mind. My agent knows me as a person, has met my spouse and even asks about Sammy, our spoiled rotten dog. I feel much more confident knowing that someone I have grown to trust is handling my insurance policy.

Because my homeowner’s policy covers a variety of mishaps, I’ve taken digital photographs of everything in my home. From family heirlooms and family room electronics to the contents of my home office, the pictures are stored in a separate cloud drive that I share with my insurance agent. This way everyone has a copy, and nobody is in danger of losing theirs.

Duplicate All Digital Data

This not only means the contents of your documents folder, but also things like digital copies of pictures, videos, and mp3s, and your address books. Making a copy of documents and spreadsheets in Google Docs offered a way to both make a backup copy and easily share select files with other people. Now when my accountant asks for my expense report for this year, it’s just a matter of sharing the spreadsheet I keep in Google Docs.

Services like Shutterfly and Picasa offer space to start an online photo album. Most of my photos had already been uploaded to either Facebook or Twitter, and now that’s even easier to do with Instagram, a widely popular photo app that allows you to enhance the image via your smartphone. Meanwhile, MP3tunes offered a 2GB locker where I could store my favorite iTunes, as well as access them from any web-enabled device – like the flat screen television in the family room or my smartphone.

As a person who runs my business from home, I’ve had the pleasure of being acquainted with several other people who work in a home office. One friend backed up everything except his address book before Hurricane Irene hit his home on the eastern coast of the United States. A series of power surges caused his computer to crash, sending his digital address book into never-never land. In addition to exporting my address book into a spreadsheet on Google Docs, I also keep a copy on my smartphone.

Scan Paper Copies of Important Documents

Keeping paper copies of important documents in a safe inside your home is a good idea, but it’s not foolproof. Most are only rated for a few hours of protection and not all of them are waterproof. Even if it does survive in the unlikely event that your house catches fire, the powerful streams of water blasting from fire hoses could do more damage than the smoke and flame. In addition to paperwork, you might choose to keep hard copies of software installation disks, licensing keys, and serial numbers related to your business in a safe as well.

DocScanner is an app that works with both Android and iPhones. In addition to scanning birth, marriage, and adoption records, and a copy of my homeowner’s policy, I was able to store all the documents in an email to myself that I shared in my Evernote account. This provided safe storage of digital copies in the worst case scenario that the paper documents were compromised.

Secure Passwords

More people in today’s society use the internet than ever before, which is why it’s important to use a password that’s unique. But it’s also imperative that you not use the same password for everything you do. One family member writes a blog from the point of view of her family pet. In a conversation about passwords, I correctly guessed that she probably used that same pet’s name. Now she uses a more complex password that’s an alphanumeric mix. You have to admit, “sparkles” is a lot easier to guess than “sParK1e5″. (Not her real password.)

The problem with using a different password for every program is remembering them. I have one for my business email account, my personal email account, Facebook, Twitter, my business website – that’s five passwords to remember before 9am. And trust me when I say that the amount of coffee I drink each morning is directly proportional to how easily I remember them all without looking. But when I have to look, I use the free version of RoboForm. It not only remembers my passwords and logs me into accounts as necessary, but also provides a way to print a hard copy that I store in my office safe.

Social Media during Disasters

Whether it’s Americans suffering the effects of Hurricane Irene, Australians  dealing with the Queensland Floods, or Japanese recovering from a powerful earthquake and massive tsunami, the past few years have proved that no matter where we are across the globe we’re all connected by a very common thread – social media. People who were able to connect to the internet could provide information to their family and friends in other parts of the world as well as assure them of their own well-being.

Doctor Mel Taylor of University of Western Sydney suggests that in allowing communities to share with a sympathetic audience, “social media can limit the psychological damage caused by rumors and sensationalism.” Social media was important during my situation because it allowed me use a single Twitter update to inform all of my followers, including friends, family, most of my clients and other professional associates, about the situation and when I expected to be back online.

It took a neighborhood catastrophe to open my eyes about ways to improve my home office disaster plan, but if you’re reading this then you have the advantage of taking a couple of hours now to reassess your home office for potential weak spots. In addition to online information, your insurance agent most likely can provide you with other literature about keeping your family and your home office safe during a disaster situation.

As someone who works from a home office, Duncan Morrison knows all too well the importance of keeping its contents safe during a disaster. His own experiences, such as being evacuated to higher ground in Fiji due to a tsunami warning caused by the earthquake in Japan, combined with more than 16 years in the insurance industry were the inspiration for creating www.itpaystobeprepared.com where he offers advice for staying safe in an emergency situation. When he’s not working in his home office in Edmonton, a city that’s no stranger to extreme weather conditions that can cause their own disasters, Duncan enjoys playing golf and taking his wife to the cinema.

Tips on Social Media

Social media sites allow one to stay connected to the world, and for businesses, the use of social media can provide customers that you need and the profits that go along with them. There are, however, mistakes that businesses wishing to use social media sites make, and those mistakes can be very costly. Here you will learn of some of those mistakes to they can be avoided and you get the absolute best possible results for your advertising needs.

  1. Not doing your Research – There are tons of social network sites out there, and just as every individual will not like every social media site, every business will not benefit from the same sites. It is imperative that the time and research be conducted to ensure that you are sourcing the best social networking sites for the services and/or products that you are offering.
  2. Not having a Plan – You go into things blind, and the result will not be anything you were initially expecting. Ensure that you have created a plan that entails your goals for social media advertising, the amount of time you plan to spend on it, and how all of it will take place. Having a plan will make social media life easier and work for you.
  3. Not Listening – Don’t be like companies online who do nothing but talk about themselves all of the time. People will quickly tire of this and move on. Though you are promoting your company, there are ways to go about doing this that will keep the customers interested and avoid too much me, me, me. When comments are left or photos or videos posted, respond back to each and every one of those. This shows you are a company that is involved, that cares, and that is listening to what those who make it possible have to say.
  4. Too Much, Too Soon – Sure, getting started is what you want to do, but if you do too much, too soon, it could only lead to trouble. You will wear yourself out and those who you are trying to attract, too. Keep it simple, keep it interesting and start slowly.

These 4 mistakes are those made all too commonly by small – and even medium sized – business owners day in and day out when dealing with social media, but now that you are aware of them you can ensure you are not one of them!

Mark Gregory recommends Marketing By Web Ltd; an online marketing company specialising in SEO and PPC services.

The Food Chain Of Social Media

Social media gets hostile:

Social media has brought about the organization closer to its customers than ever before. People who have something negative to say about your organization, have a platform that is now more visible to ordinary clients. This has the potential of creating a problem with interactions you have with clients and especially new leads and prospects.

Trolls and cyber bullies:

Any person with a size able number of followers on social media has most likely encountered, at some point, a very hostile person within his circle. There are many words that have been coined for such people. Some call them cyber bullies, Trolls etc. An organization that is looking to market products through their social media network must try and find ways to minimize the effects of such people or else they will frustrate your marketing efforts. You may find that you have to spare some time and resources to answer to bullies who have otherwise no interest with your organization.

Sophisticated Cyber bullies:

Most Trolls and cyber bullies are easy to spot because they are simply vulgar, rude and hateful. However, there are quite a number of cyber bullies who seem to be intelligent and may post compelling arguments discrediting your brand. They are adept at finding fault in your products and will tell everyone about it. Some of them are bloggers who may have a size able number of followers on social media. The effects of their efforts to frustrate your organization can be quite devastating.

Dealing with bullies:

One of the most important step you can take is to deal with such people in timely manner. You need to be prepared to address issues raised, quickly but calmly. As we have seen, some of these bullies are capable of making compelling arguments. So you should be ready to point out the fallacies in their arguments and reassure your clients.

Avoid controversy:

Another thing you need to do, is to avoid using your social media network to express certain beliefs. It can be tempting to talk about certain issues that you probably have strong feelings about. Topics such as religion, politics and race should be avoided. Such topics could start a fire that you may be unable to put out.

Moderating your account:

A number of people should be assigned the moderation work. It is also important to contact an expert to help out. Despite this problems, social media can be a very powerful tool in engaging client and prospects.

This post is written by John Lewis and he works at PriceCollate as a writer. You can visit pricecollate to find and compare various type of shoes at great prices.

 

Have you used Social Media for Business? – Part 1

From today we are starting a series called “Have you used Social Media for Business?” Which means exactly what it sounds.If you are in business and have used social media to its advantage then you can be featured to just complete the form at Have you used Social Media for Business? and give more details.Remember you can run your social ads on twitQA for free with partner ads.

We have received enormous responses for the pitch and the selected responses are given below:

Name of the Organisation: Chehalem Ridge Bed & Breakfast
Social Media Platform Used (Twitter or Facebook): Facebook
Business Into: Hospitality; Bed & Breakfast in the heart of Oregon Wine Country
Do you hire Social Media Consultant: No
Do you use Facebook Advertising or twitter ads: Not yet

What is the advantage on Social Media for your business:
I use Facebook to connect with former guests who like my page. I update my page with posts about events and businesses that would interest my guests. I also use FB to connect with local businesses and future guests by posting relevant information and comments on other Pages. Most recently, I (using FB as my B&B page) posted a Haiku on Copper River Salmon’s contest page about the Salmon Quiche I serve. Within six hours, I had two new fans, one of whom is planning a trip to Oregon wine country and is now planning to stay with us. It’s not speedy ROI, but we are a very small business and there was no other way this future guest would have heard of us.


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