Are You A Servant of The Network?

Personal Possessions?

After reading a few of the recent comments on several discussion threads I have noticed that some people seem to view their facebook network almost like a personal possession that they need to protect. I have been wondering about this concept and would like to open it up for deeper discussion.

Stewards Rights

First of all I would like to point out that ultimately facebook owns the whole network and as Jim Turner so rightly made us all aware we are just stewards and have very few rights. Facebook can pull the carpet out from under us all anytime we choose.

I’m Bigger than You!

The second point I would like to make concerns network overlap. When you have a certain network of friends in common with another person does it automatically mean that the person with the larger network can automatically claim ownership of those friends or see them as belonging to them more than to the other. And does having a big network make you somehow better or more powerful than those with smaller networks. It raises the question when people complained that they were tagged in a note and the message was spread throughout “their” network.


Artificial Limitations Of A Scarcity Mindset

I think people need to realise that you don’t own your facebook network in the same way you might own your autoresponder list. Where there is overlap between my network and your network only people who maintain a scarcity mindset will try and draw lines and say this part is mine, this part is yours and this part we share. They are placing artificial limitations on something that doesn’t obey the laws of linear perception. The real value of a network is not measured in such simplistic terms its is measured in terms of relationship, connectivity and responsiveness.

Feeling Protective

There are people who have worked hard to build a quality based network who might feel protective about the asset that they created. It is pointless to try to conjure walls around something that can’t be boxed in this way. It goes against the very nature of Facebook. With 6 degrees of separation you can always find anyone if you know who the connectors are.

You Can’t Force People

Facebook has the required protection levels already in place. No on can force anyone to become friends so for those who might be worried about exposing their network to undesirables they can put their minds at rest. If someone acts inappropriately you always have the choice to remove them if you feel they have abused your friendship.

Further Ripples

What often happens is that a “wrong doer” might still be connected to a large portion of your network. Their actions will still cause ripples. So it is up to your friends to exercise their own discretion and judgement to decide what policy they choose to adopt. You don’t need to worry or concern yourself on this matter except perhaps to inform the person of the consequences of their actions if you have the time and the compassion.

Schizophrenic?

You attract what you focus your attention on. Thanks to Brian for so eloquently pointing this fact out in his recent Note. I have been split on this subject myself so I understand the dilemma. Constantly worrying about spam will only tend to attract this to you. Instead it would be better to concentrate on the types of people who you would like to influence and attract into your network

Servants of the Network

We are already starting to realise the power and potential within facebook. Different tribes are forming made up of people who share the same values and want to build a new social media culture. Those who are truly shining are those who have become servants to the network they understand that by serving others all their needs are met. That by adding value their reputation and standing is increased and that by participating in discussion threads they are helping strengthen the tribal bonds.

Ask not what your network can do for you but what you can do for your network”


Tribal Music

I remember reading a book that describes village life in Western Africa and says that when people play music there are no distinctions between the performers and the audience. Everyone in the tribe participates in some way, whether it is dancing, drumming, singing or just clapping along to the rhythm. Similarly on facebook there will always be more talented drummers and dancers but that doesn’t mean that the singers or clappers are not important. If you take them away something very valuable has been lost. It’s the participation in a group experience that is recreating those tribal connections and what gives that sense of community an belonging.

Tyrant Taxation

Those who want to hold onto outdated hierarchical models of organisation will find themselves marginalised. Those who want to define strict boundaries between the leaders and the followers might miss the real potential that is emerging. I am not saying leaders won’t be important its just that they will wield their power in a different way. It is the difference between a tyrannical king who lays down rigid laws and regulations and imposes heavy taxes and an Enlightened Ruler who is adored by his people because of his character and his sense of justice, A king who truly serves his people will build loyalty based on love and trust and be transparent in all his actions.

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If Your Headline Sucks No One Will Listen

Strong Headlines are Vitally Important

In the world of social media your headline is the most vitally important aspect of your efforts to get noticed and if it sucks you can be sure that no one is going to pay much attention to your message no matter how good your content is or the quality of your product

This is something that so many people seem to forget or don’t even realise the full importance and is what separates the successful from the failures.

Its Responsible for 80% Of Your Success

Direct response marketers have already shown that the headline is responsible for 80% of the success of any advert, article or email response. It often becomes the determining factor in the title of a book or the name of your website and is something you need to get right. Its not just your words that are important its your graphics and visual impact above the fold that will decide if people stay to read what you have written or will bounce out after only a brief glance

Stickiness Factor

Marketers have coined a term that they call the stickiness factor, I got a great insight about this while listening to a Rick Butts recent interview with Coach Deb, the undisputed Queen of Twitter about the importance of names. Rick was commenting about the great name Deb had chosen for her blog – “Tribal Seduction” and it had impressed him so much he had signed up to her mailing list while at the same time recommending to others to unsubscribe from all the marketing lists that clutter up their inboxes and distract us from the work we really need to be doing.

A Group Orgy?

“Tribal Seduction” is such a good name because it is short and direct and has a number of levels of meaning. Its also poetic in a certain way by juxtaposing two words that would not normally go together and using a sexual adjective it conveys the image at the unconscious level of a group orgy.

Sex Sells

As all marketers know sex sells. The website had another shocking image of a naked woman sitting on a chair facing us but with her head turned 180 around. It’s a very sexy image and doubles up the sexual implications that the title also suggest. Again its another multileveled image that excites and entices while at the same time has a certain artistic tasteful quality. It keeps enough covered up so as not to offend. And jars you into paying attention in a different way because the woman’s head is not facing the direction you would expect it to. Again a symbol of how they hope to make you look at social media in a unique way and reveal new perspectives within this world.

Advertising Magic

The combination of all these factors gives a name that stickiness factor, and is why large companies pay advertising agencies millions to perform the same magic to rebrand and repackage their products and services so that their names stick in a customers mind and instantly returns whenever they make a purchasing decision.

A Personal Lesson

Last week I wrote a blog series about the changes Facebook have made to their design and the implications it would have to people using facebook for business purposes. I was struggling with the title for the posts and following a strange twist of my intuition I settled on a title that I knew was less than satisfactory. It was boring and had none of the usual excitement or interest that I usually chose for my blog posts. The content of the article was great, I was happy with the results and what had started as a quick outpouring of my anger towards the new facebook design had turned into a lengthy and detailed analysis that I had to split into four parts

Bad Strategy

I finished the blog post on a Friday and instead of waiting to optimise the time of publication I released them all at same time heading into a weekend. Again my intuition said this was the right thing to do even though my conscious mind was complaining that it was a bad move strategically and I was wasting all the work and effort I had put into those posts.

A Poor Result

As I expected no one took much notice and I only had about 80 visitors to my blog and received only 2 comments. On Monday I tagged all my friends on the note that had been imported and started to get some response.

Beaten By Brian?

Meanwhile my close friend Brian Campbell had made some almost identical posts and had given his much more powerful titles. The Funny thing is that the titles were very similar to ones that I had originally considered using.

“New Facebook Layout – beginning of the end?”

“New Facebook Changes – A Wake Up Call for marketers”

Are much more sticky than my titles

Facebook S.W.O.T Part 1 – Strengths

Facebook S.W.O.T Part 2- Weaknesses

My article series is full of great content but it never had the impact that I had originally intended and the payoff was unimpressive considering the time I spent writing them. This is all the result of choosing a poor headline

Don’t Cripple Yourself

I am really happy now to realise that there was a purpose behind choosing weaker names because I now get the opportunity to use this as a teaching example to others. What often happens in marketing is that someone might have a great product but have no clue how to present it to the world. Its very difficult to be objective about your own work and I think a lot of people get stuck or don’t realise their full potential because they have crippled themselves from the start with a weak name.

Facebook S.W.O.T Part 4 – Threats

This is part 4 of a four part series that explores the new look facebook and examines it using a S.W.O.T analysis

Part 1 – Strengths

Part 2 – Weaknesses

Part 3 – Opportunities

Part 4 – Threats

Facebook Is Now In Control

Facebook now has total control over what people see when they land on your page. So whatever is currently in your wall/mini feed will be there for all to see. You might not want what either you or some of your friends are doing presented so openly to the world. A spammy wall post or an embarrassing photo that someone tagged you in might not look so good to a potential employer, client or JV partner. Of Course facebook may argue that you can adjust your settings but how many normal users ever take the time to explore the maze of controls and adjustments.

Spamming

Wall spam has now become a much bigger issue with the merging of the mini feed and wall. Before any ugly links and signature tags could be relegated to the bottom of your profile now they are brought to the forefront. And its up to you to take the time to edit them and delete anything inappropriate.

Go away on holiday for a couple of weeks and who knows what might have been on display for all to see. Also users who are less active on facebook but who want to keep a presence can’t safely leave their profiles unattended unless they set their privacy restrictions so high that no one can see anything.


Allow More Choice

This is a major design flaw in the new system and I think it would be a good option to allow users to decide if they want their news feed to be merged with the wall and at least have an option to display them separately, maybe even on different tabs.

Self Expression

To be able to pick exactly what page is displayed to new visitors would also be a good option to add. The more sociable people could have the standard layout with the wall as the landing page. People who want to express more creativity and express their individuality or those who want to present a carefully designed business profile could have the option to do so. I believe user control and choice is what made the old facebook so great.

Tagging

There is also a bigger danger in upsetting you friends when you tag them in a note, this goes directly into their profile page so you need to become more sensitive and take a few moments to decide if its appropriate. I discussed this issue in my previous blog post. If you want to restrict what comes into your newsfeed from a certain person but don’t want to take the drastic step of removing them as a friend you can adjust your wall settings. Your news feed can be adjusted by scrolling to the bottom of the Home page. Click on preference for top stories .From there you have the options to adjust who you want to hear more about and who you want to restrict.

No Email Controls

Facebook still haven’t implemented proper filters and controls for messages and emails that it sends. Consequently facebook’s message service can no longer be relied upon as many users who have not kept up to date with their inbox are overwhelmed. Important messages are being lost and users are moving away to use other services such a twitter or skype. I often switch to these services when I want to be sure a message gets through or just to receive a confirmation. Skype is also much faster are more reliable than facebooks in-house IM service

What Happens if Facebook Sell out

If Facebook choose to sell to another company all the structures are in place to turn it into a much more commercialised network like myspace. Full of animated flash graphics and a constant bombardment of offers and advertisements. Utube is also set to go this way too with adsense being presented along with their videos. If you have built your business within facebook you face the real danger of losing all your customers if they choose to migrate to another service. And also you lose the control to decide what adverts will be presented alongside your products. For people with strong ethical principles this may be an issue.

Build Your Business Outside Facebook

It makes it even more imperative if you have a prescence on facebook to build your business outside its walls. That way if anything too drastic happens you still have everything in place to switch activities to greener pastures. It seems clear to me the direction facebook is moving in and it is aimed at monetising the masses of normal users who just use facebook to communicate with their friends and stay connected. People who use facebook for business are in a small minority. This will probably increase over time once more people realise the opportunities that are available but You should not expect facebook to design the system solely for your needs.

A Missed Opportunity

Facebook had the opportunity for setting the new standards for social networks in the future. But I believe they have fallen far short of the mark. While I agree there is some improvements with the new design it is far from perfect and could be made much more intuitive and user friendly. The new profile layout is confusing and many features are hard to find and difficult to configure.

An Open Market

This market is still wide open and I wouldn’t be surprised that a new contender emerges in the next few years that utilises facebook connect and integrates all the social networks into one place or control panel. The new browser by flock and services such as Ping FM and Hellotxt are maybe precursors to this next generation of web 3.0 tools.

If You Still Really Hate It…

For some people change is difficult to adapt to, I myself got very frustrated when I first saw the new profile and thought that Facebook had unknowingly castrated this amazingly powerful tool . If you still hate it with a passion you can switch back by clicking in the top right hand corner. I myself will be staying. I believe facebook are intent on forcing all its users to adopt the new look profile so the quicker I learn to adapt and discover how to utilise the hidden potentials the better.

Please take the time to make your comment on this subject, its important to know the threats that might affect us all so we can take the necessary precautions.

Part 1 – Strengths

Part 2 – Weaknesses

Part 3 – Opportunities

Part 4 – Threats

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Facebook S.W.O.T Part 3 – Opportunities

This is part 3 of a four part series that explores the new look facebook and examines it using a S.W.O.T analysis

Part 1 – Strengths

Part 2 – Weaknesses

Part 3 – Opportunities

Part 4 – Threats

A Great Place To Network

Regardless of the changes facebook is still a fantastic place to network and share information with your friends. You can make valuable business contacts just as easily as before and you can use facebook to promote yourself, your business, your product or any services you offer .The strategies that you need to adopt are generally the same and you still need to avoid certain practices, for more information check out my facebook made easy guide

Facebook Pages

Facebook pages have become somewhat easier to find as they are now appearing in the search box with a little yellow flag on them. With the obvious refocus on advertising those who learn how to use facebooks social adds will have a great opportunity to get very targeted advertising.

Marketing Tools

Facebook has a range of powerful marketing tools like polls and surveys that you can use relatively cheaply to test your markets before investing too much time and energy into a project. With all the demographic data they have collected they will be set to compete with google as they know everything about all their users likes, dislikes and online habits.

Integration With Other Services

Facebook recently announced what they call facebook connect this allows users to link all their social media activities together sites like Digg . For more info check out this recent article on techcrunch . In the future they will all flow seamlessly together and your friends will follow you regardless of what site you are on. This will really unleash the full power of Web 3.0 and will make the internet a much more Tribal place. Knowing this smart marketers and business people will be positioning themselves to serve these communities not as an outsider looking in but as a full member and participant. This forces even greater transparency and also a higher quality of service. Poor products and bad services will quickly be exposed because of the power of word of mouth. Scammers and con artists can also quickly be excluded from these types of networks. The Cream will naturally rise to the top and peoples identities will be more determined by the communities and tribes that they belong to.

Power structures will Change

As facebook matures the structures of power will change. People who are within your network are not all equal in the strictest sense. Those people who have popularity, or large networks and groups have a much greater viral visibility and influence. Their messages, thoughts and Ideas will spread further because they have the structures in place to do this. With so much information available the normal person will pick a few people to follow who will act as their filters. They will follow their recommendations and trust that they will inform them of the latest changes and strategies that they need to adopt and keep them updated with the latest news and gossip. Malcolm Gladwell terms these people Connectors, Mavens and Salespeople in his excellent book the tipping point.I will be exploring these concepts in much more detail in a later post.

Facebook is clearly going to be a major player in the social media world of the future. There are huge opportunities available to those who know how to take advantage of them.

I would appreciate your comments and your views about any other opportunites and potentials that I have ommited in relation to the future of Facebook. Participation is an integral part of social media so feel free to add your voice.

Part 1 – Strengths

Part 2 – Weaknesses

Part 3 – Opportunities

Part 4 – Threats

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Facebook S.W.O.T Part 2 – Weaknesses

This is part 2 of a four part series that explores the new look Facebook and examines it using a S.W.O.T analysis

Part 1 – Strengths

Part 2 – Weaknesses

Part 3 – Opportunities

Part 4 – Threats

Vista or XP

Some users have made the comparison that the new look facebook is like using windows Vista, it looks fancy but its full of bugs and problems that still need ironing out. I was quite surprised that I found so many obvious issues that hadn’t been solved and also many omissions and functions that had apparently been taken away. It makes me wonder how the beta test group hadn’t picked up on them and what sort of demographics they chose for this test group (100,000 college kids???) I also wonder if facebook actually listen to feedback from their users. I should maybe apologise for the rather strong language that I included when I posted my initial feedback after my first 4 hours of frustration on the new platform.

Initial Teething Problems

I was reminded by one comment I read on the facebook page that in the early days people could go and change things on other peoples walls and even delete things on other peoples profiles. Maybe I should just have a bit more patience and not be so quick to criticise. I have also found that a lot of things have been moved around so you need to go and find them again. Mari Smith has made some great camtasia videos that take you through the new look profile, you can check them out on her fan page


Harder To Customise

While researching for this blog post I spent a long time reading all the comments and complaints on the facebook group page. From this I gathered that a lot of people felt that facebook had taken away their ability to express their individuality on their profile page. By forcing everyone’s profile to look almost identical. Many users had custom skins for their applications and bumper stickers, pictures and videos so their profile had become almost a work of art. Many users were furious at this forced uniformity and even went on to accuse facebook of big brother like tactics

At the time of writing almost all the applications that I would want to be show on my main page can’t be sent there. Instead they are left hidden inside my boxes tab where no one will ever find them. I hope that in the future this will change

Harder To Judge by First Impressions

For business users this is a big disadvantage of the new look facebook. On the old system if you knew what you were doing you could create a very powerful presentation by combining the right types of applications. People could instantly see in a glance what type of business were in and what type of networker you are . It now takes longer to decide who you want to accept as a friend. You have to hunt around for the telltale signs that attract and also repulse. Instead of scrolling we are now forced to click around different tabs. I suspect that with time I will still able to make the same assessment within 30 seconds that I can on the old facebook. It just takes a bit of getting used to

No shortcuts on the Profile page

Facebook has removed the shortcuts menu that used o be to the left and below your profile picture. It is now relegated to a position to the right and low down on the Home Page. I used this shortcuts menu all the time to access the groups pages. Making it harder to get to places will obviously reduce the numbers of people who go there so I foresee a potential decline in group activity, especially among new users who might not even know that groups exist.

Facebook have supposedly given you the option to create your own new tab on your profile but you are limited to a few applications that they recommend. I suspect that this is just a bug right now and will be changed in the future

Viral Potential Restricted

Facebooks new look has definitely reduced some of facebooks viral potential by making things harder to find and not immediately visible. This is especially the case for 3rd party applications if you can’t see them you can’t spread them so easily. A good friend who works for one of the top applications developers sent me some screen shots of how my profile was going to look 6 weeks ago. She warned me of how bad it was for application developers who have been abandoning facebook in droves. Facebook seems intent on courting the big money from major advertisers who will be utilising all that extra white space in the future.

Application Developers

Facebook applications developers have also been hit because you can no longer share you applications with friends. Admittedly this might reduce the number of forced application invites that people receive but it takes away the easy ability to share something of value. I suspect this will change as this is an important part of the facebook experience and also an integral part of some of the game applications. There were a lot of complaints about this issue on the facebook group page.

Designed for Advertising

The new profile is a much wider. Wide pages go against the natural tendencies of our foveal vision you can’t take it all in in one glance, so physically it makes the design uncomfortable to use, your eyes keep jumping around all the time

The Money Spot

Facebook has switched the advertising to the right hand side of the page, clearly to take advantage of the natural tendencies of people to focus on this area of the page. Marketers have already proved by using eye tracking software and split testing that the top right of a page is where the money spot is

Flash Distractions

I also found the animated flash graphics to be very distracting . One of the reasons I have always hated MySpace was because of this. But again, tests have shown that people click on things that move more because they grab your attention. When I was using the facebook chat facility the flash banner add was running right through the chat box and to get it out of the way I was forced to scroll the page downwards. I found this very annoying.

Please feel free to comment and add any other weaknesses that you have spotted in facebooks new design. Maybe someone will take notice. I saw that since Jim Turners recent note where he commented on the missing ignore all button that it has now been reinstated. Jesse Stay an author of two books on facebook also made an interesting blog post where he explored some of the missing features, New Facebook Design Confuses Many, Obscures Feature

Part 1 – Strengths

Part 2 – Weaknesses

Part 3 – Opportunities

Part 4 – Threats

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Facebook S.W.O.T Part 1 – Strengths

Do You Love It Or Hate It?

The new look facebook has now been live for a few weeks. It rolled out across the globe at different times so depending which part of the world you live in you might have had longer to explore than others. I am assuming that by now most of you will have probably got over the initial shock and started to find your way around. Some people seem to love it, others hate it with a passion. There are many differing opinions and I wanted to give you my take on it and invite all my readers to share their own personal experiences

S.W.O.T

In this blog post I will be using a standard S.W.O.T analysis in relationship to how the new look facebook will affect people who are using social networking for business purposes and examining its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. I will break it up into four parts to make digestion a little easier. And allow you to comment on each aspect. I hope that some of the developers and programmers take note so that facebook can be improved for all its users

Part 1 – Strengths

Part 2 – Weaknesses

Part 3 – Opportunities

Part 4 – Threats

Initial Negative Experience

I must admit that my own first experiences with it were not so pleasurable and I wrote quite a long and negative blog post about my frustrations. I decided to wait before I published and on reflection I am glad that I waited. After a week of playing around with it I now feel in a much better position to give a more balanced overview of the changes and include the benefits and not just the problems that the new design creates.

Part 1 – Strengths

Clean Layout

One of the major strengths of the new look facebook is the clean layout and the simplifying of the profile page so that when you click on a friends profile you immediately have access to their wall/news feed and can quickly see what they have been up to recently and send them a message directly.

Tabbed Browsing

The Profile has been divided up into tabs so that all your personal information is in one place and all your applications are on one tab now called boxes. For many people this has been of huge benefit. You now don’t have to wait for ages for a profile to load if a friend has installed 200 applications. Overall the platform seems to be running a lot faster than it did before. Although the tabbed feature is only limited to the profile and doesn’t yet extend to other areas where it is desperately needed.

Integration of Wall and Minifeed

Facebook have integrated the wall and the minifeed into one aggregated feed that takes up 70% of the space on your profile page. This major prominence is because facebook has always been designed to focus on creating and maintaining real relationships and building a sense of community. Quickly being able to know what all your friends are doing plays an important role. It has a number of settings and wall filters so you can see only posts made by yourself, others or you can see the stories that facebook has selected for you. You can edit your privacy setting to make sure you only display what you really want to the world.

Makes Sharing Even Easier

Facebook has made the sharing of videos and photos even easier with one dedicated tab and a host of new features to play around with. For more information you can check out a recent blog post facebook the unofficial guide. This clearly shows that facebook can see the future and want photo sharing, video chats and video postcards to be on their system and not on other external services like flickr, ooVoo or Skype.

New Features

Facebook have brought in a lot of new features that help to make facebook the pivotal part of your daily life. They have introduced a new blog subscription service where you can join your favourite blog and enjoy all its content without ever having to leave facebook.

Another nice feature is the ability to create a profile badge that you can place on your website or blog that can show your current status and act like a business card and pull people from outside of facebook to become your friends. To access this feature you can find a link on the bottom left of your profile page.

This still had a few bugs in when I last tested it but I am sure Facebook will iron those out pretty soon. I would also like to be able to customise what is displayed a bit more.

Facebook Notes

The Notes feature has increased in prominence, which is great because it gets more people involved in conversations. Anyone who has a blog can import their posts automatically and then tag their friends to come and make a comment. This runs straight into the wall feed and you can make comments directly on your wall/minifeed and keep updated on the topic without having to go back to the post and scroll down to the bottom each time a new person makes a comment.

I would like to hear your positive comments about the new look facebook, what you consider to be its greatest strengths and any other new features you may have discovered that you would like to share.

Part 1 – Strengths

Part 2 – Weaknesses

Part 3 – Opportunities

Part 4 – Threats

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Tagging Etiquette On Facebook

In my previous post I talked about how to build a relationship with your network and how to increase your viral visibility by using the Share button.

Dangers Of Spamming

What I maybe didn’t emphasise enough is the danger of overusing this tool and also of the potential for abuse by spammers who might choose to tag everyone who has a large network in order to utilise their wall space. With the new look facebook and the wall and newsfeed combined this becomes even more of a problem and is something I will be discussing in a future post.

A Valuable Lesson

I got a direct twitter message from Mari Smith, asking me to remove her from one of the tags that I had made on a post that was not directly relating to her.

marismith Ian – I need to ask you to remove your latest FB Note tag for me. It is not appropriate to tag peeps not mentioned in a note, imho

Mari made me aware of the dangers of abuse for this function so I would like to apologise if I have done something that is inappropriate and also use this as a valuable lesson so that others don’t make this same mistake and facebook turns into a spam festival.

Ask People First

If you tag people make sure they are really your friends first and actually want to be tagged, maybe a good practice would be to send a person a personal message and ask them if they mind you tagging them in a note, That way you cover yourself and you don’t abuse other peoples networks. I think that this would be a much more appropriate way to go and also stop what I can see as a real danger of abuse.

Differing Opinions

Each person has the right to decide where they stand in regard to tagging. There are definitely differing opinions. Some may want viral visibility others may want to keep themselves more private. Others only want to be tagged if the note directly mention them. Its up to you to find out first before you tag people. You face a real risk of being removed as a friend if you don’t follow the correct

In my previous post I talked about how to build a relationship with your network and how to increase your viral visibility by using the Share button.

Knowledge Can Be Dangerous

Knowledge in the wrong hands and used in the wrong ways can be dangerous and have the opposite effect of keeping communication flowing. So I would like to urge people to uses extreme caution when tagging and sharing on facebook and to be respectful of each other. Only share something if you truly believe it is going to add some value to peoples lives.

In my previous post I talked about how to build a relationship with your network and how to increase your viral visibility by using the Share button.

Leverage Your Friends on Facebook

Overwhelmed?

While some people are rushing to build a huge friend list, and others are feeling overwhelmed as their inbox fills up faster than they can clear it. How many of you have taken the time to go back to those relationships you established right at the beginning when you didn’t have so many friends.

Re-Connect With Your Existing Friends

If you have over 200 friends you are already at the point where you might have problems managing all the friendships and relationships you have developed. Recently I have been getting messages from people I met a few months ago on facebook, people who I had a really good connection with and had found we shared a lot in common. Somehow with all the other demands for my attention I neglected many of those relationships and only now realise the value in them that I need to go back and cultivate

Leverage Your Existing Platform

Jay Abraham a very famous business guru and marketing wizard often suggests to his clients that instead of looking for new customers that they look at their existing customer base, the people who have already bought from them and work out ways to build on that relationship and sell them other products and services, what is often termed in sales as the Back End.

Segregate You Friends

I want to explore this concept and apply it to facebook friends and contacts that you might have made on other social networking sites. If you have been carefully segregating your friends onto smaller lists this task will be a lot easier as you will already have all your most important and valuable contacts grouped together by business niche or common interest. If you haven’t done this then I suggest you adopt this strategy immediately as it helps to keep your friends list more manageable and also allows you to quickly find important people again.

Back And Forth Exchanges

I would like to suggest that you make it a regular part of your social networking to go back and re-establish those friendships and contacts that you made in the past and see if there is any way that you can be of service. To build a real relationship takes more than a single wall post when someone has accepted you as a friend. It takes time to nurture and establish trust. Noticing what other people are doing and giving them your attention is a good beginning.

Lessons From Marketers

Direct Response Marketers noticed that the average number of exchanges before a customer bought from them was between 5 and 7 times. This is where the power of following up leads really comes into play and by building in automatic sequences and email exchanges so that those contacts and touches are carried out they dramatically increased their conversions.

I suspect that what applies in direct response marketing also applies to Facebook friends. And while I am not suggesting you adopt an automated strategy to go and turn all your friends into customers I think the same principles apply to building relationships.

What the marketers discovered and took advantage of was the natural tendencies of human beings and the process of how they establish trust and rapport through repeated contacts.

If you only use your friends as platforms to promote yourself and their walls as a free advertising space you might find when you really need them they are not so willing to co-operate.

Viral Visibility

One way that I find very powerful is to use the Notes feature in facebook, I have set it to pull in all my blog posts onto my facebook profile. Each time I publish something it pushes out into my newsfeed and all my friends newsfeeds. For a great summary of how to do this check out Mari Smiths blog post


The next step is to tag a few friends in the note, it’s a way to show that you remember them and also to show that you appreciate their opinions and comments. You are providing a platform for them to express themselves and also allow them to get to know your other friends who you also tagged.

Make Your Network More Powerful

This is a way to make your network much more powerful because when all your important friends and contacts know each other and regularly interact together you increase the viral effects that any of your actions will have. Brian Campbell explained The mathematical theory behind this and other important strategies In his trainings for premium members of the Social Media Marketing System. And we proved it through real time observations when building Facebook groups I will be summarising this in my Facebook Advanced Strategies handbook that I am currently writing so I wont go into detail here, you will just have to believe me when I say that its true.

Share what you find beneficial

If you get tagged in someone’s note, its always good practice to press the share button, of course only share a post if you feel it will add some value to your other friends. You can share directly to your profile or you can select specific friends, this is your chance to connect more people and draw them into the conversation


Sharing Is Important

This is a feature that most people don’t really use, I have only noticed the really effective social networkers using this strategy on a regular basis. Often they are people who have their own blog and understand how the viral effects of facebook work. You can do this for Videos, Groups, Events, anything that you discover to be of value. Facebook is so cluttered with junk that it takes this type of peer voting to allow the quality content to rise to the top.

Become a Connecting Node

Even if you don’t have your own blog and don’t feel comfortable writing or making videos if you regularly use the share button you will build up a resource of useful information on your profile page that any new friends can instantly have access to. They will keep returning to you because you are acting as a an important connecting node.

Study Your News Feed

Get into the habit of studying your news feed every day and see what pops out, facebook is so cleverly designed that you can even adjust the setting and tell them which friends you want to hear more about.

Using your segregated friend lists go and adjust your settings and push the sliders to the top for the people you care about. Take the time to participate in conversations and always thank people when they have taken the time to leave a comment. Study how some of the social media experts operate. copy the essence of how they communicate but infuse it with your own style and personality. Be original, have a sense of humour, look at any messages that made you take notice. What was special about it? Why did it leave such an impact on you?

Press That Share Button

The objective in any social network is to keep the information and communication flowing smoothly. This means that anyone, regardless of how little time they have for their facebook activities can play their part in making this happen. Every time you see the share button make sure you press it. It is giving you as much visibility as the the person or information you are sharing . It’s a way of paying it forward that will pay you dividends in the long run. Then send a mesage out on Twitter and update your status in Facebook. If you have all your systems linked together by pingfm or hellotxt this becomes even easier.

Go on do it now, what are you waiting for…..?

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Twit Tease – Rick Butts Gets Naked!

Viral Video
Rick Butts just posted a great video on his blog from his uptream TV show, He promised to reveal the secrets of Twitter squeeze, which he hopes will revolutionise Internet marketing in the coming future.

You have to watch the video to understand because he has some very important content within it and you need to watch all of it.

Finding The Right Metaphor
I thought I would take a few steps back and see if I couldn’t pin down what Rick was doing. I needed to find a good metaphor to express the way I have observed him and others using Twitter to drive traffic into their sales funnel.

Strip Tease Artist
A Strip Tease artist is the closest thing I could come up with, A worker in the Sex Industry who takes off their clothes for money, I know Rick enjoys Sexual Metaphors so he will probably like what I have written

A Hooker
Rick entices people with the sexy tag lines to his blog posts. He’s like a hooker sitting in shop window in Amsterdam dressed only in his underwear flaunting his offerings with sizzling copy and promises of dark and dirty secrets.

Fishing For Attention
Rick is a master at creating link bait and getting people onto his blog and taking part in the discussions
Those who step through his door are rarely disappointed. He had me riveted for two hours when I first stumbled upon his Blog. Like a basement fight club for all of the Internet Marketing Gurus. You leave feeling soiled and breathless, hungry for more and now part of that secret society even though you may not have stepped into the gladiatorial arena yourself.

Internet Whore?
You know that Rick isn’t frigid, he puts out all the time, he still gives it away for free because he obviously enjoys it. Does he have an ulterior motive, you bet he does, he wants your attention, and he manipulates masterfully in order to secure it

Addictions
He’s like a drug dealer who offers you a taste because he wants you as a long term customer.
You can get your fix of free links as he hooks you up into following all his tweets and before you know it you’ve becoming addicted , knowing he has one of the purest and best supplies on the market. An Internet Veteran with his razorblade on the jugular of the online world. Only too happy to shed a bit of blood knowing it will attract all the sharks to come and feed.

Twit Tease
Rick uses Twitter and his blog in combination like a strip tease artist might use her fan. You think all is going to be revealed only to find him still wearing his G string. As you click closer and closer to his money site or affiliate links you get drawn in to the carefully laid web he has prepared. Its so smooth you don’t even notice the transitions.

Seeing Him Naked Will Cost You
He takes off just enough clothes to get you excited enough to follow the next step as he leads you into his sales funnel. If you want to see him fully naked you have to pony up twenty bucks, He doesn’t go all the way for free at some point you need to make a commitment. Not that you have to get married or anything, he doesn’t even want to know your name. He just wants to make an honest living he has bills to pay like everyone else and he’s worked damn hard to get you to this point.

You Get Paid When He Gets Laid
He will show you how he does it and not only that, he will pay you too, you get to become another of his link pimps, sharing the profits in the twitter squeeze cash cow. Shortened URL’s hide the deals so no one even knows that you get paid when he gets laid.

Viral Venereal Disease
Social proof is the best form of advertising so having others recommend you and post your links is vitally important for spreading your viral venereal messages.
The new Twit This button at the bottom of each of Ricks blog posts make this even easier, you dont even have to get your hands dirty.

Consummating The Relationship
Seducing people to become twitter followers is like building an autoresponder list. The difference is this one has the potential to grow exponentially. What you have to say and how you say it will determine how quickly you can get people into bed with you and the length of your courtship period. Consummating a relationship will finally come from the press of a paypal button or credit card transaction. You had better be as good in bed as you claim to be because poor performance is quickly exposed and your shortcomings will be revealed for all to see.

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Women Making Waves

At The Cutting Edge

I think one of the greatest things about facebook is how quickly you can discover the people who are at the cutting edge and leading the way in the world of Web 2.0. You can instantly have access to their wisdom and experience through their profile, fan page and blogs and begin to develop a real relationship through the communication channels that are available.

The Aztec Warrior Queen

Yesterday I was accepted as a friend by Nancy Marmolejo, She came highly recommended from a number of my Facebook friends. I found a treasure trove of great information on Nancy’s profile page and one of her blog posts inspired me to write this article

Women Leading The Way

In Nancy’s Blog post she explores why Women Are Leading The Way in Social Marketing. She gives a number of reasons based on the obvious differences in approach.

Men tend to adopt an aggressive hard sell, pushy, combative way of relating to people whereas women are more prone to the softer sell, attraction marketing and passive ways of building relationships based on a real heartfelt desire to connect to people in a genuine way.

Masculine And Feminine Styles

Not that all men and all women fall into these two neat categories but rather there is a masculine way of doing things and a feminine way. Women who have had to fight to get to where they are now in the business world are having to unlearn the masculine habits and internet sales training that they previously adopted as they enter the new WEB 2.0 World of Social Marketing.

Flexibility Is The Key To Rapport

It doesn’t matter what sex you are its your personality and style that make all the difference. Having the flexibility in your behaviour to be able to gain rapport with anyone regardless of gender or style of approach will mean you will have a much wider appeal.

Destructive Criticism

I saw a good example yesterday from a person who was commenting on a friends Video that I had shared on my profile. It was basically a very aggressive negative criticism from a woman who claims to be in Marketing. Obviously she has no clue about marketing herself as her bitterness and bitchiness left me wondering if I really want to have someone like this as a friend. It would have been easy for her to offer the same advice but to deliver it in a way that gives constructive criticism and support instead of such a negative putdown. I deleted the comment as its added no value to the conversation

Getting Noticed For The Wrong Reasons

Another pitfall that Nancy highlighted was the way some people don’t think carefully enough about the first impressions that they are making. Aggressively marketing and promoting yourself can often damage your reputation and can be likened to a person entering a room where a party is taking place and talking to all the guests through a loudhailer. The noise is so loud that everyone in the room is disturbed. If you adopt this approach you will get noticed, but for all the wrong reasons.

Teleseminar Series

Erin Blaskie a female social marketer who specialises in virtual assistant services has put together a one month series of teleseminars and has rounded up an impressive line up of speakers. I saw a Tweet from Mari Smith pointing out the Demographics of that list. 29 are women and only 3 are men. That’s quite a huge discrepancy. I don’t think its because men weren’t invited just that those that were chose not to participate.

A Heart Oriented Approach

It’s clear that women have now found the platform where they don’t have to become like men in order to succeed. As Web 2.0 spreads itself around the globe women will find themselves more at the forefront of this new media revolution. And the men that are successful will be the ones who adopt a softer more heart oriented approach.

The Tubby Nerd

Ed Dale is probably one of the few male internet marketing gurus who has truly understood social marketing and embraced it with a passion. He has an army of followers watching his every move on Facebook, Twitter and in his 30 day Challenge that will start in August. He says that many of his male peers in the internet marketing world hate facebook and other social networking sites. Most male marketers make the mistake of transferring their manipulative sales skills from direct response marketing and google adwords campaigns and fall flat on their faces when they try the same tactics within Social Media where conversation marketing and relationship building is what is actually required.

Demographic Differences

Ed points out that for sites like Facebook the demographics show that women outweigh men quite considerably. You can see this very easily if you ever check out Facebook’s Social Adds, you can see the exact number of males and females in any country. I googled and discovered one facebook user who had taken the time to work out all the figures globally.

I did my own research as his figures were slightly out of date

In the USA there are 11.6 million men registered and 14.5 million women

In the UK the ratio is 4.5 million men to 5.5 million women

Women Are More Regular Users

In places like Ireland and China women make up 70% of the user base. The question also has to be asked of all those people who have registered for facebook what proportion are actually regular users. I suspect the true demographics are even higher when you view it this way as women use it much more to maintain their family and social relationships.

Statistical Analysis

What Ed does point out and I believe is very important is that those that are really successful in Internet Marketing and business are the ones that study statistics and test and track everything they do. Analysis is more of a male quality so while there might be many women who rise to become New Media Stars, based on their personality, The people who will actually make the most money in the nuts and bolts world of traffic and conversion will be the ones that can understand and translate the analytics reports and optimise their performance based on these results.

Important Details

The really smart marketers will be the ones that measure and quantify the qualitative aspects of social media. Knowing that the clothes you wear or the background colour of your YouTube video can affect your conversion rates and having hard data to back it up might make all the difference between success and mediocrity.

A Dating Guru

Eben Pagan, the guy who runs a $20 million dating advice company, spends a lot of his time going to conferences. His whole business revolves around understanding women and teaching men these secrets.

He told a story about one conference that he attended that was focussed on Marketing to Women and was surprised that he was one of the only men to show up. Why are so many men in the marketing world ignoring the fact that women control the purse strings and are the main driving force behind the global consumer economy?

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A lot of very valuable comments have been left about this post on facebook, I seem to have struck a chord with a lot of women and several men. You can view these extra comments here.

I also have a PDF report that I am giving away, You can pick up your Free copy by following either link.

Part 1 – How To Avoid Having Your Account Disabled – The Definitive Guide


Part 2 -How To Build A Targeted High Quality Friend List


Death Comes In Many Shapes And Forms

A Dying Snake

I saw an unusual thing yesterday, I came across a large snake that had just been run over by a car, It was still alive but was going through its death throes. I have a great affinity to snakes, so I picked it up and moved it to the side of the road and watched as it died, I stroked its warm skin as the life ebbed away from it’s body. It was unusual because you don’t normally see such large snakes where I live, and its rare to get the chance to watch something die so closely.

Dead Trees

Later that day I took my girlfriend to see the body, and as we walked back to our house we inspected the tree’s we had planted recently on our land, We have had a drought for the past 3 months and many of them have died, some are struggling and others seem to be doing quite well considering the conditions.


Struggling To Survive

I always wonder when I am meeting new people online which people are still going to be around this time next year. A lot of my friends are trying to start their own businesses online and are facing the same challenges that my trees faced. Thrown into a new environment and not getting enough of what they need to survive. Struggling to get their roots established and sustain themselves through those initial challenges

The statistics are not so promising, depending on what sources you use 95% to 99% of all small businesses fail within the first year. What separates that small percentage from all the rest? What is the difference that makes the difference?

A Different Mindset?

I know that it can’t just boil down to luck there are a few key issues that will be the deciding factors and maybe the most important is Mindset. Having the courage and determination to keep going when things get difficult shows through in peoples characters. Its easy to give up and walk away and blame your failure on the faults of others. Not taking full responsibility for all your actions will always undermine what you hope to achieve.

Even in the past few months I have seen many friends fall by the wayside, disheartened or distracted into doing something else, or still jumping from one Idea to the next and never able to commit and move forward. Making excuses to themselves so that they can feel good about not fulfilling their potential. I know it’s a natural process that is occurring and my bonds of friendship gradually grow closer to those I have travelled furthest with. And I quickly forget those that drift out of my life never to be seen again.

Decisive Action

I was listening to Mari Smith and Kevin Nations yesterday and one of the concepts that I took away was about the need for taking decisive action. Making decisions and following through with action is a key factor that separates those that will succeed and those that fail. Even if the decision is to not take any action, it needs to be clear and decisive so that you can focus on what you need to do and not what you might have been doing, worried if it was a right or wrong choice. As Kevin said, if you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Death Is A Positive Force

Death comes in many shapes and forms, it makes way for new growth to take place. Each time you take decisive action you are killing off many other potential futures, you don’t need to dwell on the past, you embrace the death of all those other possibilities and keep focussed on the direction that you have chosen to take.

Embrace It

You might find yourself caught at that fork or crossroads in life and feel like the snake that I saw writhing in pain as it struggles to hold on to life. Unable to make the choice of which direction to take, unable to embrace death because you want to keep all your possibilities and options open.


Another Death

My Last post about the relaunch of SMMS threw up a lot of interesting issues and I had some great comments and feedback. There is a major shift taking place and old methods and ways of operating are now in their death throes too, we can see them dying by the roadside and nothing we can do will be able to bring them back to life. Social Media has brought about a much needed transformation in the way people relate to each other and do business together. Honesty, Integrity and transparency are the new currency. Those who can build solid long lasting relationships and establish their own credibility will be the ones who will reap the long term profits and rewards.

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When The Universe Is Trying To Tell You Something

Many people who teach law of attraction and abundance are faced with the issues that it always brings up in their lives. Just what are they attracting to themselves and can they listen to the messages the Universe is trying to teach them.

Social Media Marketing System
This article will explore the recent re-launch of the Social Media Marketing System (SMMS) and explain from an insiders perspective some of the issues and controversies that were brought to the surface during this process.

I spent four hours last night on the phone to Brian Campbell going over these details and analysing the successes and failures, taking the lessons that we learned so that we can improve on what went well and to avoid some of the tactics that are now obviously outdated and no longer as effective

Free training
Brian Campbell began the re-launch of SMMS over a month ago, during the first week of June, he had intended to bring the launch to a conclusion around summer solstice on 21st of June. Everything was running smoothly and in the first week about 800 people had signed up for the free training that he was offering.

A Spanner In The Works
Brian hit the first major snag just as he was just about to release a new set of trainings. His internet hosting company had let him down and he was forced to migrate servers. Which meant shutting down SMMS for 2 and a half days while he worked non stop to get the system up and running again. His main concern was to ensure the quality of service to all his existing paying members and he had no choice but to put the launch on hold while he dealt with these technical difficulties.

This was like putting a bucket of water on the fire, the momentum that he had built up until then was frustrated and he was forced to re-schedule his plans.

Tickets Already Booked
Brian Had already set the date for handing over the $10,000 cheque to John Chow in Vancouver , his flight tickets were booked weeks before and all the arrangements were set. He was forced to improvise and the media publicity that he had hoped from the $10,000 cheque couldn’t be used as effectively as he had once intended

A Change in Direction
Brian then decided to change tactics and instead of going for the soft launch that he had had originally planned he chose to go for the all out in your face full frontal attack . Using the aggressive marketing tactics that have been so prevalent in the internet marketing world in the past.

A Viral Buzz
He launched P.R.I.S.M and created a huge Buzz on Facebook, the group grew extremely rapidly and had a massive viral effect because of the number of people who were posting on the group wall and making videos. His main leverage this time was not based on the quality of what he was teaching but was more focused on using scarcity tactics, exclusivity and the carrot of giving away another $15,000.

Old Tactics Leave Some People Jaded
It was a masterful display of the power that these psychological marketing methods can have over some people. And the were successful to an extent

I am not a personal fan of this type of marketing and in my opinion I think he may have turned a lot of people off. I had my reservations and maybe even damaged my own reputation by supporting him and promoting what he was doing to many of my own group members. It was a good learning experience and I know for future situations how I will choose to respond.

Many of those who have been around for a while are jaded by these old school strategies of false scarcity and emotional manipulation. Its exciting to watch but when the dust settles it leaves a strange taste in the mouth because they are not rooted in the principles of wealth and abundance that underlies a lot of what Brian normally teaches

The Rules Have Now Changed
Social Media has changed this whole game. Everything is much more transparent and real time comments and analysis expose the fact that a lot of people don’t appreciate this way of operating.
What might have worked for the past 5 years no longer has the same effect, this was clearly revealed in the recent Stompernet launch and the subsequent backlash that was expressed on Rick Butts blog

John Reese who just launched his Traffic Secrets 2 course deliberately avoided using any type of scarcity tactic in his sales presentation. As a guy who tests and tracks everything you can be sure he is aware of the latest trends and this was the reason for his decision.

Bad Timing
The final difficulties that Brian faced were due to the setbacks and timing of his launch. This had pushed him up to the fourth of July Weekend and he needed to bring it to a conclusion before then.

The massive attention that he had hoped would go towards his sales letter was distracted by the holiday period which meant that the results that he had hoped for were slightly less than he had anticipated and while it was still successful and many new members joined SMMS there are still many people who could greatly benefit who chose not to participate. Let this be a lesson to all those who plan on launching a product or service in the future pay careful attention to the public holidays and social calendar so you can have everyone’s full and undivided attention.

Health Issues
After 3 months of burning the candle at both ends Brian finally took a short break over the holiday weekend and gave himself the rest that he needed and deserved. He discovered that he needed more time to recharge himself and so instead of doing what most marketers would do, which is to bring in all those who were still sitting on the fence. Brian finally chose to sacrifice his original goals rather than burn himself out and damage his health. Having made this mistake in the past and being forced to take a year off from work and walk away from a $2 million business, he was not going to make the same mistake twice.

A Difficult Dilemma
When faced with the option of making more money as opposed to being fit and healthy which would you choose. This is a difficult dilemma and one that many people face because their financial success influences so many other areas of their life, and their family are lifestyle are often dependant on their income. Some are often tempted to choose money and work to the detriment of their physical health and well being and I will explore this topic in greater detail in a future blog post

Victim Of Your Own Success
Anyone who makes themselves publicly available can sometimes be the victim of their own success. With too many people demanding his attention and the pressures of running his existing membership and training program, Brian could no longer offer the personal connection that had been a major factor in the success of his initial launch. I know that in the future that he will be slowing down to focus more on the success of the existing SMMS members and building a solid base with PRISM and his recently released MIND programs

Takeaways and Conclusion
This article is a summary of my own personal opinions I am sure Brian will soon respond with his own version of events and while there are many minor details I missed out I hope you get the general drift. I learned some valuable lessons which are summarised below.

○ Honour the relationships that you have already spent time developing,
○ Concentrate on giving value to as many people as possible
○ Maintain the core principles that you stand for in everything you do
○ Always question whether a short term gain is worth risking your reputation
○ Health and well being are much more important than money
○ When the universe throws obstacles and barriers in your path pay close attention maybe you are missing something important
○ Timing and momentum are vitally important concepts to understand and apply
○ Even the best plans have to be changed at the last moment so learn to be flexible and improvise

I have received a lot of extra comments on my imported facebook notes you can read them all by clicking here – Extra Comments