Facebook Notes – 10 Steps To Writing A Winning Post

Facebook Notes – A New Strategy To Get Viral Visibility

Many of you have probably observed the increase in the number of Facebook Notes that are floating around these days. This has happened since the introduction of the new look Facebook. More people are becoming aware of the potential to gain massive viral exposure by writing notes and participating in discussions . They have also been responsible for bringing many people much closer together and creating a real sense of community


Build Solid Relationships

These are much more than just social events, or blog posts to get traffic or publicity, most people who are taking part are actively using Facebook for business and by exposing themselves with such honesty and transparency they are building real connections and solid relationships with all the other participants.

What is most interesting is the depth that some of the discussions are reaching and when posed with a stimulating question or issue to address the original post acts as a springboard to dive into and explore each topic.


Increase The Value Of Each Note

The value of the Note increases as more people add their own personal insights.The way Facebook have structured the system it forces the most popular notes to the top of your newsfeed so there is a huge potential to get massive exposure for yourself or your business if you understand some of the basic principles behind writing a good note and spotting the ones that are going to become popular.


1 – Choose A Controversial Topic And Get Personal

Sometimes this is the hardest thing to get right,  follow other notes and see if there is a theme emerging that you can write about. If you are stuck for ideas pick something that is happening in the world and reflect on its impact or the lessons that can be learned or find a quote or article from your favourite author and add your own personal understanding. Getting personal is the key to successful Facebook notes. All the best ones I have read have revealed something interesting about the author, this creates a real bonding and sense of intimacy.


2 – Write A Short Punchy Article That Ends With A Question

This will stimulate people to respond. If your note becomes too long and convoluted you will lose your readers. Consider breaking a long note into a series of shorter ones. Most people don’t have the time to read a 3000 word essay. The Blog Squad talk about the 4 E’s – Engage, Entertain, Educate and Enrich. Make sure your note ticks these 4 boxes.


3 – Keep To The Point, Make It Short And Sweet

Don’t ramble and discuss 2 or 3 different subjects in one note, this will confuse people. Keep it short and sweet. Respect your readers time, edit your note down and only include what is absolutely essential to get your point across. You can always add more later in the comments section


4 – Make Your Note Attractive

this means have good formatting, use subheads and break your note into manageable chunks. Pictures make the note more visually appealing and can give your note a stickiness factor.


5 – Tag People Who Want To Participate

Its no use tagging all your friends who are too shy to write something or are too busy to even read the note. Tag the people who you know like to participate and are regular commentators. Some people also like to tag those people who have big networks or who are centres of influence. This works well as long as what you write is appropriate and as long as you feel you have permission to do this . Not everyone wants you to use their wall and their newsfeed to spread your message so be respectful and consider asking permission first.


6 – Release Your Note At The Optimum Time

I have noticed that for my network, Facebook activity drops over the weekend, and is highest during the weekdays.  Its up to you to know your own network and when the peaks of activity are as it may vary considerably. Get the timing wrong and your note will get pushed down the newsfeed and no one will notice it.


7 – Comment On Your Own Note and Participate

Always get into the habit of commenting on your own notes and refer back to what other people have written. Become a regular participant in other peoples notes. Build a reputation as someone who adds value and always has something interesting to say, if you do this then other people will start to tag you in their notes. Which will increase your viral visibility.


8 – Press The Share Button

Sharing is a way to vote up the best quality discussions and expose them to the widest possible audience. The note will be posted to your profile page and will also be pushed out into all your friends newsfeeds. Pressing the share button because you feel obliged to reciprocate isn’t a good strategy. You will not build a reputation as someone to follow and pay attention to if you spread poor quality articles and information. Press it because it has added some value and you think your friends will appreciate it.


9 – Use Feedback and Build on Success

You know when you have written a good note by how many comments you receive and how many people press the share button. This is important feedback and it’s a valuable exercise to look at your notes and work out what elements made one note more popular than another. This way you can build on your success and continually strive to improve. My article If Your Headline Sucks No One Will Listen was a good example of this process. If you write a note and no one comments go over this checklist and see what areas you could improve upon.


10 – End With A Call To Action

Invite your readers to your Blog or Website, To follow you on Twitter or to check out your latest book. Ask them in a casual conversational manner in the same style as the rest of your note. Suddenly switching to a hard sell might create a disconnect and you might come across as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This is also the case if you have too many outbound links to your own products and services. By all means include them but keep them to a minimum and be subtle about how you present them. If you comment on a note and just promote yourself without really taking part in the discussion you will might get viral visibility but it will be for the wrong reasons.


I  go into much more depth about Facebook notes in my book, The Facebook Strategies Guide available from http://www.thefacebookguide.com


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Learning To Fly – Predictions For The New Earth and the New Internet

A  Tribal Society?

We are now at a turning point through the re-tribalisation of society through social media. A reconnecting and re-organisation is taking place and the power structures are rapidly shifting to accommodate these changes .

The internet has brought us a tool to connect people together and allow a very rapid transfer of ideas and information across the network of humanity that makes up the user base.

Turning Points

The major turning points  in the history of information can be tracked  back to

The development of writing, the introduction of the alphabet, the creation of the printing press and the Introduction of the Internet.

Closer To Nature

The majority of tribal societies throughout history have had a   much greater respect and understanding  for the divine feminine, since they were living closer to nature and closer to the earth than we do today.

I see this reflected in the recent rise in awareness about environmental issues and collective responsibility for the pollution that we are poisoning our planet with.

Cyber Interactions

On a more personal level how does this translate when we are making our connections to each other through cyberspace and in an electronic form? Are we interacting in a genuine way and can it really ever replace the closeness that humans have always experienced when they lived together on a physical level.  Will we ever be able to reach out and give our friends a true cyberhug  where they can feel our heart beating next to theirs and hold their bodies in a way that  shows how much we care for them.

Heartfelt Feelings

Recently I have noticed that more people are feeling comfortable enough to express  their beliefs and heartfelt feelings in ways that would have been inappropriate before and had them ridiculed or labelled in a negative way. They are using this honesty and openness to develop trust and attract people to them for business purposes and deepen their relationships. The boundaries that separate business and friendship seem to be getting more blurred , which leads to a need for even greater transparency and honesty

I have always  looked  at the developments in technology and liken them to what is already in place and is our natural birthright as human beings. They seem to mirror our evolution as a species.

Reality Is Only What We See

We are already telepathic and operate from a global group mind its just that most of the world hasn’t consciously realised this yet . We focus most of our awareness on the narrow band of the electromagnetic spectrum  that pertains to our physical eyesight  and call that reality.

A New World Opens Up

When a child learns to ride a bike they use training wheels, they wobble and find it difficult to adjust to this new mode of transport. After a while they realise that they don’t need the extra support and can safely ride without them. A whole new world opens up and transport becomes a much faster and interesting experience.

Learning To Fly

The internet is giving us the tools to fly. We are all like children clinging to the engines of a Jet plane like they are  training wheels on a bike,  too scared to flap our own wings in case we crash down to earth.  Only when enough of us are soaring will the majority realise that they can fly too.

This post is a reply I made to a discussion that was taking place on Facebook.

To see the original post made by Michelle Castro and some of the inspiring comments click the following link Predictions for the New Earth and the New Internet

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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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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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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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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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Leane Gerber wins the $10,000 prize on Facebook

Yesterday I participated in the final stages of a competition that had been running for the past few weeks on Facebook. Kev Mcauly Announced that he would be investing $10,000 to help someone kick-start their own home business.

All you had to do was join Kevs groups become a fan on his fan page and then write to explain why you thought you deserved to get the money.

A Sceptic

My Friend Leane Gerber was the first person to tell me about this offer and I explained to her then why I wouldn’t be joining. I thought it was a great Idea as a publicity stunt and thought that Kev would probably grow a huge list for his MLM business as lots of hopeful people jumped on board expecting to get a free handout. I had just finished writing about MLM and pyramid marketing so my scepticism was even higher.

Not All MLM Is The Same

In the following weeks Leanne single-handedly build up Kevs groups by promoting what he was offering and right at the last minute with 5 minutes to spare and just before the competition closed I jumped on board for the fun of it. I had no real expectation of winning but I had seen the sincerity of Kev Mcauly and realised that he didn’t fit into the normal category of MLM promoter, there was something different about him and his attitude that I liked.

Leane Wins $10,000

I spent the next half an hour having an IM conversation with Leane and Kev at the same time. I told Kev who I thought should win and I soon realised that he had already made the right decision.

He finally released the name of the winner in his excellent Blog post where he talks about his challenges in MLM marketing and how he came to learn the hard way that if you want to succeed in business online….

1. You must have a business or something to sell or promote with which you receive commission.

2. you must know how to generate traffic to websites

3. You must brand yourself as a leader in this industry.

Leane was chosen from all the other hopefuls because she had actually done something of value to earn it. By actively promoting she showed her talents and by being so down to earth and genuine she has built her own following on facebook

Brian’s Protégé

Leane Gerber wins $10,000 prize on Facebook

Leane was one of the first people to follow Brian Campbells teaching, right at the beginning when no one had even heard of him. She threw caution to the wind and started her first facebook group, branding herself as Brian Campbells protégé. Even though she was inexperienced in internet marketing and had no product of her own to sell she took action and proceeded to build several large groups on Facebook.

Video Expert

It was only later that her real talents and skills were revealed and she started to build her own niche groups to teach Video Editing and Production.

A Great Sales Pitch

When she finally made her pitch to Kev Mcauley explaining her ideas she outlined a clear plan of action showing how she will use the money not just to help herself but to add value to other peoples lives

I believe if you help enough people get what they want you will get what you want. I will use the money to help you and others…

I have 2 business ventures which I will give you the opportunity to invest in your $10’000 in.

1. As a film maker I am appalled at bad quality video’s on the web.

I have 4 facebook groups with at least 800 people who want to learn more about using video to market themselves. I will use the money to buy the equipment I need to create high quality FREE training videos which I will post on fb and my video blog to teach people how to make professional video’s. I will also help you spice up your health blog 🙂

2. My second venture is an amazing product called fuel freedom international. It helps you save 25% on fuel, reduces hazardous fuel emissions and have a great compensation plan. I will sign up 12 people as independent distributors and will invest my time to guide them and teach them to become successful using my marketing and your LOA knowledge.”

A Good Friend

I have really appreciated Leane’s friendship on Facebook and she is one of the few people who I would actually consider a real friend, we have spent many hours chatting on Facebook’s instant messenger sharing our Ideas and supporting each other through the psychological ups and downs that occur in this business

I am so happy that she is now getting the financial success that she has worked so hard for. Kev Mcauley made a good choice. He chose her for several reasons and I am sure he will get a good return on his investment

So why leanne?

• She applied the rules of the competition more than anyone and greatly contributed to the growth of the group.

• She has shown her ability in being able to build huge groups and traffic in social media.

• She has emailed, IM me and built a relationship, she has told me about her family, friends, dreams and goals.

• She is a leader in MLM and will able to help with my success.

Simple Strategies

Anyone no matter what their background or personal history can rise to the position of expert and leader if they have the commitment and enthusiasm and courage to move past their fears and take action implementing a few simple strategies, I outline them quite clearly in my free facebook advanced strategies guide


A New Type Of Guru

As more people become disillusioned with the big named Gurus I wonder if we are beginning to see a trend where people will follow those that have risen from the ranks because they maybe have a clearer understanding of the problems and issues that a newcomer might face since they went through it themselves much more recently.

Congratulations Leane I am proud of you for everything you have achieved in such a short period of time and I look forward to working with you closely in the future.