Archive for June, 2012

Facebook Timeline Users Tightening Reins on Privacy

If you’ve found yourself deleting friends, followers and comments from social networks such as Facebook, tightening your privacy controls and strictly monitoring posts or photos you’ve been mentioned in, you’re certainly not alone. A growing number of social networking users are monitoring their online reputations with a careful eye, considerate of the reality that you can never really know who might be looking at your profile.

In a survey on privacy management released by the Pew Research Center, 63% of social network users surveyed indicated that they have deleted friends, while another 44% admit to deleting comments made by others. An additional 37% say they have removed their names from photo tags.

In light of the upgraded Facebook Timeline profiles, it makes sense that social network users have been prompted to edit their personal profiles and monitor online reputations more closely. People now have a greater access to updates from the past and the options for privacy controls have grown significantly since the early days of Facebook.

Because of the constantly changing privacy controls on Facebook, it can often seem like a continuous effort to maintain control of online privacy, but doing so can have big rewards in the way of keeping your updates from ending up in front of the wrong eyes.

4 Essential Tips for Controlling Privacy on Facebook Timeline

I. Monitoring Posts You’ve Been Tagged In

When it comes to your privacy on Facebook, there’s a certain amount of consideration that must be given to the fact that we cannot control what others will say when they tag us in comments, updates or photos. Because of this, I highly recommend making an effort monitor those posts or photos that you have been tagged in before they appear on your profile. To do this, navigate to your privacy settings, select “how tags work” and turn on tag reviews. You may also want to change your settings so that posts you are tagged in are visible only to you. If you wish, you can later change the visibility on each individual post that you are tagged in.

II. Creating Lists on Facebook

Let’s just get right to the point. Certain updates on Facebook you probably just don’t want to share with your entire friends list. Whether it be professional updates that your close friends and family may not be interested in, or photos of your children that you don’t want to share with 2,693 friends, finally Facebook lists have created a solution for separating each post according to which friends or public subscribers you want them to be visible to. Consider creating a list specifically for family and close friends, a list for professional contacts only and others that you deem necessary. Note that you can also add specific friends to your restricted list, disallowing them from viewing your updates at all without having to delete them from your list of friends.

III. Mobile Updates

When you navigate to your privacy settings, the first thing you will see at the top of the page are your privacy options when updating from a mobile device such as iPad or smartphone using the Facebook app. If you regularly use your mobile device to connect on Facebook, be sure to change these settings accordingly to avoid sharing updates with people that you may not want being able to see them.

IV. Interacting on Facebook

Controlling privacy on Facebook Timeline also means being considerate of which pages you “like” and the comments that you leave on the posts and photos of others. Be aware that these interactions often appear in the news feed of those on your friends list, so before you decide to post that comment or “like” something on Facebook, ask yourself if you want your friends and family to be able to see it. If not, navigate over to your profile and click “activity log” to change the visibility of these interactions to hide them from your Timeline.

A final key reminder for controlling privacy on Facebook Timeline is to be aware that when you delete a friend, that person will remain a subscriber to your public updates unless you elect to block them. Additionally, keep in mind that just because you opt to hide an interaction from appearing on your Timeline, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it doesn’t still exist. It’s always best to be considerate of anything that you post before you post it, but if you have doubts, sometimes it’s simply better to delete the post entirely than to hide it from your Facebook Timeline. At any rate, don’t find yourself at risk of handing over the wrong information to the wrong people. Always take advantage of whatever privacy controls that are made available to you, and you might just save yourself some trouble in the future.

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Google+ Labelled a ‘Ghost Town’

After numerous failed attempts to make an impact in the social media world, Google would love us all to believe that with Google+ they have finally cracked it. A Wall Street Journal article casts doubts on this premise however, branding the search giant’s social network a virtual ghost town.

Despite having around 90 million users since it’s launch last summer, the network is suffering from a distinct lack of activity. User tracking suggests the average user spends just 3 minutes per month on Google+. That’s in comparison to a whopping 7 hours for Facebook.

The data, compiled by research company comScore shows that whilst Google+ has attracted the curious to sign up, they have yet to sell them on a compelling reason to actually use the site.

Despite launching with some unique features such as Hangouts, analysts from comScore believe the site is simply not unique enough to encourage people to shift their social networking activity away from Facebook.

Whilst barriers to movement are traditionally low on the Internet, with competing sites often just a click away, with social networks the network effect can bind users to a particular site where they have spent considerable time investing in the construction of their network.

“Nobody wants another social network right now,” said Brian Solis, an analyst at social-media advisory firm Altimeter Group. For those who already use Facebook, “Google hasn’t communicated what the value of Google+ is,” he said.

One controversial tactic used by the company to help build the social network is Google Plus Your World, a service whereby your contacts likes are reflected throughout the search results shown on Google.

The strategy has promoted the European Union to investigate the company on potential anti-trust grounds. Despite these moves however, Google+ still appears to be struggling.
Google+ “does not have the same degree of vibrancy that Facebook, Twitter or even Pinterest has at the moment,” said David Cohen, an executive vice president at Universal McCann, a media buying unit of Interpublic Group of Cos. that helps big marketers spend ad dollars. “Without active engagement, it will not be as attractive to advertisers.”

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Why You Can’t Ignore Facebook Likes…

Why do customers ‘like’ a brand on Facebook? And how do brands respond? Using recent research by the CMO Council, we set out to produce this infographic as a thought-provoking reminder as to why brands need to engage with their fans on social media.

The top motivation for ‘liking’ a brand’s Facebook page is because you are a loyal customer, but brands are failing to engage these customers and are missing the opportunity to deepen their relationship. Only 1.3% of ‘fans’ actually engage with the brands they ‘like’.

The reason this is so low? Customers expect something in return for their click and, in general, they aren’t getting it. Over two-thirds say that they expect to be eligible for exclusive offers via social media, but less than a quarter of brands actually offer this. Brands need to give something back, whether it’s exclusive offers, content, prize draws or otherwise.

Perhaps the biggest mistake brands tend to make is overloading their ‘fans’ with marketing. Excessive posting and irrelevant content are the main reasons why customers click the ‘unlike’ button.

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