Conversational Marketing – How To Stand Out From The Crowd

Stand Out From The Crowd

Every now and the I meet someone who really stands out from the crowd, someone who is thinking outside of the box and is interested in pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

I get really creative when I meet people like this, their enthusiasm is infectious and makes me realise what potentials I am capable of achieving.

Understanding Facebook Strategy

While I was completing the Facebook Groups section of my Facebook Strategies Guide I got a message from a new friend asking me to join his group. I get these kind of messages every day and usually I just ignore them. The reason I paid attention to this person was because he had adopted the exact strategy I had just been writing about and had followed it to the letter.

A Select Group Of People

I was interested because I pay attention to synchronicity like this, and when I checked out his group I could see he had done his preparations very well. There were only a few members but already it had a lot of good content and some interesting discussions. He wasn’t just inviting anyone he was inviting a select group of people who would appreciate what he was trying to teach

Promoting An Event Launch

His group was set up to promote his new book that teaches event launch strategies, I clicked through to his website and that was where I got the biggest shock. It was right on the cutting edge with a very  informative  video,  stunning flash graphics and  a cool contact/follow  widget. I  decided I had to find out a bit more about who was behind  all this so I opted in to his list and then sent him a few personal message and we started  building a relationship

Pay Close Attention

I would advise all of my friends to pay attention to what this guy is going to do in the next month. He’s already started to make some waves and get himself noticed with some great Facebook Notes on a wide range of topics.  I am now one of the privileged few who gets to see this launch from the inside and I will be paying very close attention and assessing the results. I could probably  write  3 killer blog posts just from the half hour conversation I had with him on Skype yesterday.

Invitation Only

If you want to find out more and get an invitation to the group please message me on Facebook and I’ll send you a link. Or you can go to my profile and you’ll probably find it hidden on my wall somewhere.

This group is really only for those who are serious about learning how to use Social Media to build viral synergistic networks. Synergistic networks are built from personal connections and solid relationships.

Unwritten Rules

This type of network responds when you ask it to do something and its one of the most valuable assets you can ever become a part of. Its not something you can ever own. If you abuse it’s power and break any of the  unwritten rules  you will find yourself excluded and left out in the cold. On the periphery and away from the place where the main action is taking place.

Laser Targeted

This isn’t going to be a typical launch where you send out generalised impersonal messages and spam all your contacts  using a shotgun splatter approach. That sort of thing can be left to the lazy affiliate marketers and amateur MLM newbies. Being laser targeted and selective means that you expend less energy and get much better results.

Come Along For The Ride

Regardless of your particular niche there is definitely going to be  something that you can learn.You can watch from the sidelines or you can join the party, it’s your choice

Understanding  the principles and adopting a strategic approach is whats  most important in any launch, as well as learning the right ways to engage people in conversations.

Follow Me

If you want to know what I am up to and ensure you get to observe things as they happen be sure to follow me on Twitter if you haven’t done  so  already

Follow me and I’ll follow you.

Rich Schefren – A Viral Master Who Can Predict The Future?

A Launch Like No Other

Last week Rich Schefren spent  26 hours live on upstream TV to promote his latest free report,  The Uncertainty Syndrome and his new G.P.S, (Guided Profit System) coaching program.   In this article I will  analyse some of  his  marketing tactics that he has adopted for this launch, and briefly summarise the main points in the report.

I would urge anyone to check out Rich Schefrens material. He is known as the Guru’s Guru and is a student of world renowned business advisor and marketing wizard  Jay Abraham.

A Viral Master Who Can Predict The Future

Rich is a master of Viral Marketing and his previous reports like  The Internet Business Manifesto and Attention Age Doctrine have become landmarks in the online marketing world as he carefully analysed and pinpointed the trends and shifts  in the rapidly changing  online world, and the steps businesses need to take in order to respond and adapt or find themselves left behind.

Timing Is Everything

Rich has left  enough time for  the recent Stompernet launch  to quiet down giving  him the platform to  grab everyone’s  attention. With so many people jaded by the constant stream of product launches  his 26 hour Marathon was something a bit different that made him stand head and shoulders above the crowd.

Build The Excitement

His report went live at 12.00noon EST, He used a countdown timer on his Blog to build anticipation and anyone who follows him on Twitter will have seen his tweets that were intended to  tease and titilate us and get us in the right mindset to consume his next offering. His friends  at Stompernet  also mailed to their list so you can be sure that anyone who has expressed an interest were well  primed about this report.

Over Deliver On Bonuses And Create An Irresistible Offer

Rich has been using Mike Filsaimes strategy for virally spreading his report. By offering free bonuses for each friend you invite. He is making an irresistible offer to get people to tell their friends.

Build Credibility

On Opening the report you are faced with a 3 page  introduction from marketing heavyweight Jay Abraham. Rich has always been an advocate of piggy backing and here he uses it again by getting his mentor to introduce him and build his own credibility. Not that he really needs any more building up. Rich’s client list is like a who’s who of the internet marketing world.

Amplify The Pain

The next 8  pages are “amplifying your pain”. Here he is trying to connect with an entrepreneurs frustrations. By showing he understands their problems and that he has the solution. Remember Rich is ultimately trying to sell a coaching program he needs to connect deeply with those who need his help.

Leisure Phobia – Are You A Sufferer?

Rich nails some of the main problems that those who run their own business face and their inability to disconnect with their work and give attention to other areas of their life

Create Your Own Terminology

Leisure Phobia is the new term that he has coined. Rich is famous for inventing new terminology and words that will  always link back to him as their originator. Rich is again establishing himself as A Maven To Pay Attention To.

Identify The Real Issues

Page 12 Introduces the main concept of his report,  that the actual success of your business is determined by the  constraints you place around it.

“The ONLY way to turn your potential for success into actual success is to blow away the constraints in your business that are actually blocking your path”

Rich also points to an interesting truth that  “The pain that a constraint causes is rarely felt at the point of that constraint but somewhere else in the process”

Rich breaks these constraints down into 3 main category’s

Errors in thinking, Errors in Procedures and Self imposed constraints.

Offer The Solution To The Problem

The solutions that he offers are termed 7 silver bullets and form the remainder of his report.

  • Do it wrong fast – Action Creates Clarity

  • Fast  and Frequent Intelligence  – Avoid Flying Blind

  • Learn to view  your business as one large system – Avoid  Linear Thinking

  • Use Timesavers to instantly double your profits  –  Avoid Inefficient work styles

  • Create a worldwide network of A list players – don’t be alone and lost in a networked world.

  • Embrace the awesome power of social psychology marketing – avoid outdated one way marketing

  • Rip The Lid Off Your Buyers Bottlenecks

Sell On The Back End

Rich has built his  multimillion dollar business  without any front end product. He uses his free reports and other marketing techniques to convince people to join his coaching program. Rich  freely share for 26 Hours everything he has to offer and then follows up with emails and more exciting offers that

Showing The Human Side

Everything  Rich does is carefully planned to reveal  the human side of his business.  He gives you  a  behind the scenes view of his office,  and you even get to  meet his  wife and two daughters emphasising that fact that he is a family man. He’s also not doing this for the money, he already has plenty, he is motivated because he is passionate about what he does and loves to help others succeed.

Office Arguments

He even tells you  about arguments that took place in his office when his staff were deciding  what should be included in the final version of the manuscript. Everything is carefully orchestrated to build rapport to the point where you really  feel like you know, like and trust this guy

Viral Visibility is Key

Rich makes his reports so good and reveals such quality information that they go viral straight away. Anyone who has read any of his work will know what I am talking about, it’s the sort of thing you want to be the first to tell your friends so they will thank you for putting them onto it.

Rich Makes Himself Available

Rich did an amazing thing at the beginning of this launch, he went live on ustream TV for 26 hours and gave a constant stream of quality advice and business coaching to all who had tuned in. Not only was he showing just what he had to offer by  revealing  the depth and breadth of his experience he was also building powerful  relationships with all his potential future clients; Over 27,000 people participated in this monumental event and they averaged 1000 viewers at any one time.

Are You Competitive?

Rich also ran a competition on his blog, giving away a free scholarship to his coaching program. Not only does this force people to actually read his report and start applying its principles, it  further increases the viral buzz   and allows him to perform one of the essential tasks  that Jeff Walker Identifies in his Product Launch Formula and that is to survey you customers and ask them what their main problems are.  You then use this feedback to  tailor your product and sales letter to directly address the issues that seem most prevalent  he has already  received  over 400 entries to his competition at the time of writing.

Feedback Formula

Rich  insists on feedback from his clients to constantly improve his services, he has  applied this principle throughout the whole launch process and really builds those personal relationships even to the point of  emailing all those who make comments on his blog.

Teleseminar  With The Wizard

With Less than 48 hours to the opening of his coaching program,  his final offering is a  teleseminar with Marketing Wizard Jay Abraham, one of Rich’s teachers and personal  mentors. Make sure you book your place as it is likely to fill up fast,   Grab Your Spot Here

If you have enjoyed this article you can find a lot of other similar great resources on my Blog,

You can also follow me on twitter – for my latest updates, facebook tips and marketing strategies

TWITTER HOW-TO TIP #75 Blow-by-blow Event or Meeting Twittering

NOTE: This Twitter How-to Tip is an authorized part of the “Twittin’ Secrets” Series: 100 World’s Greatest Twitter Tips and Twitter Secrets by Internet and Twitter Strategist, Dan Hollings.


Blow-by-blow event or meeting Twittering (out to your followers) can be a great way to generate higher readership during a specific time period and increase followers over the long haul. The key is to get a dedicated person or team involved in your event Twitterings so that a high quality and quantity of good information or exciting news is being pumped out – literally blow-by-blow as the meeting occurs.

There are many examples of this, (low tech and high tech) but none more innovative than the one done for the 2008 Presidential Debates. In this example the debate is the event and the followers are invited to post commentary tweets about the debate which get overlaid on the video (broadcast) as the debate streams live. See an this CNN iReport for details:

Your goal with this Twitter strategy is to give the remote Twitter participant (your follower) the feeling that even though they are not physically there; they are still an important part of the event. If things are passed out or sold at the event, prepare links upfront to Tweet to followers so they too can download or buy.



Yes you can add click-to-buy links in a Tweet. Just create the checkout link at a system like PayPal, Google Checkout, or your own shopping cart and shorten that BUY link at any URL shortening/redirect service.




Make sure you do advanced Tweets prior to the event to make sure your followers are aware of event details. You may find that TwitterCal (a Twitter/Google Calendar integration at is perfect for your event details.

If you do tele-seminars, events or live type presentations, why not have remote Twitter participants submit Tweet comments and questions to you, live as your event unfolds.  CNN News has begun integrating Twitter in this manner with their live news broadcasts.  Rick Sanchez of CNN is a prime example. Make your Twitter participants feel special AND explain to other participants what you are doing (you want them all to get excited about following you on Twitter).


100 Free Twitter Tips are at


This Twitter Tip is hosted here because I was chosen as a winner in Dan’s  Underdog Blog Contest

For more Facebook and Social Media Tips and Strategies be sure to follow me on Twitter

Who Is The Man Behind “The Secret”?

The Real Law Of Attraction

For all those who are interested in the Law Of Attraction, have you ever wondered how it became so popular and how it managed to infiltrate the hearts and minds of people all over the world? How did the movie “The Secret” manage to spread its message so far and wide?

A Marketing Genius

A month ago when I first discovered  Teet Deck for managing my Twitter profile I began using it to find new and interesting people to follow. One of the those I stumbled upon is a guy called Dan Hollings. I suspect that many of  you will not have heard of him before, but I am sure you have been influenced by his work

Dan Hollings  is …

“the internet strategist behind the smash hit movie “The Secret,” considered by many as the most successful internet launch of its kind. “

“An internet marketing, micro-blogging and mobile marketing strategist. Dan has consulted for celebrities, talk show hosts, NY Times best selling authors, world renowned entrepreneurs, and companies both large and small “

He is also the brains behind Twitter Split, an innovative way to recycle your twitter traffic.

The Best Twitter Secrets Ever

For the first 10 days in September he has launched ” 100 Twittin Secrets“,  and  spread them all over the  Internet. I have been using Twitter  for 4 months but I have never  really understood or utilised  its full potential until I began reading some of Dan’s Twitter secrets. If only I had these when I first got started

Why Is He Giving This Away For Free?

I was also interested in observing  why he was giving away such great quality information for free, there is no sign up and no optin required. These are not your usual Twitter tips consisting of a list of popular twitter applications and tools,  these are fully  fledged strategies and detailed explanations  showing you how  to use Twitter in ways  you have never imagined.  They take you from beginner to black belt and even the most experienced twitter will find something of value if you take the time to read them all.

Winner Of The Underdog Blogger Competition

As part of his promotion Dan ran a competition for bloggers   entitled “Underdog Blogger”  I decided to enter my blog and  was chosen as a winner after convincing him that my Blog deserved to get exposure to a wider audience and also benefit from the extra  traffic. My prize will be to host one of his Twitter tips on my Blog.

Going Viral On A Massive Scale

I believe Dan’s underlying strategy is  to go viral on a massive scale  with these Twitter tips. He could easily have turned them into a book and made it into a bestseller but by giving them away for free he is teaching more people how to use Twitter, educating them about just what a powerful marketing tool it can become if used in the right way.

Back End Products

He has several of his own Twitter services that he will be cashing in on so you can be sure he will be rewarded quite nicely  on the back end. He is also getting people like me to recommend him, spreading his information, while building up his own Twitter following.  I have also learned a lot of tricks and tips just by watching what sites and services he uses so while you are reading the tips and applying them for yourselves, be sure to take your own notes and bookmark some of the places you will end up visiting.

Sharing With My Friends

I always believe in sharing good information with my friends  so to all of you who are reading this I urge you to go and check out Dan’s Twitter secrets, I promise you that you won’t be disappointed. Go and read at least one every day for the next month and I can guarantee that if you just apply 1/10th of what he suggests you will get a lot more followers on Twitter and you will have a very powerful tool at your disposal should you wish to go deeper. I am going to be diving in an exploring a lot of these techniques so you can also watch my own progress.

A Small Favour

For those of you who are reading this on Facebook  I would like to ask you a favour.

If you think these Twitter tips are any good  please come back to this note and leave a comment. If you think your other Facebook friends might benefit from seeing  them too,   scroll to the top of the page and press the share button and this note will be posted to your profile.

You can follow me on Twitter –

You can follow Dan on Twitter –

You can check out 100 Twittin’ Secrets by clicking this link

Gary Vaynerchuck Pulls No Punches – P.H.C.C.

A Social Media Maven

If you haven’t  heard of Gary Vaynerchuck then you can’t have spent much time on the internet.  Gary is a social media maven who has risen to fame and fortune with his winelibraryTV video blog and is one of the hardest working people you can imagine. Gary has built his brand and his loyal following on his devotion to his fans. He advocates giving and giving and then more giving. He answers every email personally which can sometimes take him up to 12 hours a day. (Glen Crosier wrote a great note about this subject a couple of weeks ago – How Much Time Should You Invest in One on One Relationships ?)

Gary Pulls No Punches

I have become a regular viewer of his video blog at he is a guy to watch because he is a true expert on social media and knows how to effectively leverage his position and branding power after  putting  in years of  effort and hard work. He’s down to earth, unpretentious and brutally honest;  renowned for his straight talking at breakneck speed. Gary pulls no punches and tells it like it is.

Gary and Noah

My Facebook friend Noah ‘StJohn did an interview with him a few days ago and if you are quick you might still get a chance to hear it. Check out Gary had Noah in stitches with his razor sharp humour.

Gary Likes Acronyms – P.H.C.C.

Gary’s has summarised his philosophy in 4 letters  P.H.C.C

Patience, Hustle, Content and Community

“Patience, success don’t come over night, it takes time to build a business and establish a brand

Hustle for the monetising, email advertisers and ask them to promote you

Content ,  if there is substance behind it people will respect it – do what you know best and are passionate about If you don’t have the goods  then you are going to be exposed eventually

Community – give, give and give some more, answer every email, follow every lead, shake every hand”

My Own Personal Lessons

I am learning these lessons and appreciate Gary’s advice.  I  realise I need to do a bit more hustling. A lot more hard work is needed. Getting the right systems in place will be my focus over the coming months.   I am very excited about my  prospects for the coming year and look forward to working wih all the wonderful people I have met online.

On The Cutting Edge

Facebook and other social media sites have given me a platform where I can communicate my Ideas to a much wider audience than I ever thought possible. A  vision to change the world can be brought closer to fruition when you discover that you are not the only one who thinks in this way. Our Facebook community is  right on the cutting edge and we have the tools at our fingertips to get our message out there.

New Opportunities

Every day I am given more and more opportunities, I have  people  coming to me and sharing their ideas, asking to work with me and  I am learning to leverage other peoples talents which frees up more of my own time.

How Do You Measure Up?

How do you measure up when you apply Gary’s P.H.C.C  formula to your business and online activities are you ticking all the boxes or are there areas where you could improve. Let me know by leaving a comment below.

And don’t forget to go and  listen to  Gary and Noah’s  Interview its time well spent –

If you want to stay up to date with what is happening make sure you subscribe to my full RSS feed on my blog –

I always tag a few of my friends  when I write these notes because they enjoy taking part in the discussions. If I have missed you out please don’t be offended,  leave a comment and I will tag you.

You can also follow me on twitter – for the latest updates. Follow me and I’ll follow you in return.

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.


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.


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.


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


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.