Yearly archive - 2011

Tired of the Ticker?

Tired of the Ticker?

If you have checked Facebook recently, you have probably noticed a sidebar ticker has been added to the right-hand column of the newly redesigned News Feed, along with complaints and snarky comments about the new News Feed and this ticker. About the ticker, Facebook says:

Ticker, on the right-hand side of your account, lets you see all your friends’ activity in real-time. When you hover over an item on ticker, you can see the full story and join the conversation as it happens. Ticker updates itself as stories happen. This gives you a more complete picture of what your friends are doing, right now.

To some, this ticker needlessly busies the News Feed page. It’s a Facebook news feed inside a Facebook news feed.  Facebook doesn’t allow you to close the ticker, stating:

You can’t close ticker, but you can make it smaller by moving the horizontal bar between ticker and chat. Slide the bar up to hide ticker and make your chat list longer. Pull the bar down to show more of the ticker and hide chat.

Thankfully, there are quick and easy ways in both Firefox and Chrome to get rid of the ticker.

In Chrome, simply install the Hide Facebook SideBar Ticker extension and the ticker will vanish.

In Firefox, you will need to install a user script. To do so, first install the Greasemonkey add-on and then install this user script. When prompted, restart Firefox and the ticker will be gone. Do note that this user script removes the entire right column of Facebook, including the ticker, event invitations, ads, sponsored stories, friends’ photos, and so on.

If you use Internet Explorer, well, then there’s not much hope for you.


How To Enable Facebook Timeline Right This Second

How To Enable Facebook Timeline Right This Second

How To Enable Facebook Timeline Right This Second

via How To Enable Facebook Timeline Right This Second | TechCrunch.

timeline

This morning Facebook announced Timeline, a crazy (and kind of creepy) omnibus look at everything that has ever happened in your Facebook lifespan. It’s like a story book of your life — or at least the online, documented parts.

Facebook said that Timeline would be on the way for everyone sometime in the coming weeks… which is great and all, for everyone else. You’re the type of person who reads TechCrunch, and are thus likely the type of person who likes their new and shiny things right now.

That’s okay. We can make it happen.

Fortunately, enabling Timeline a bit early isn’t too difficult — but it’s not at all straight forward, either.

You see, Facebook is enabling Timeline early for open graph developers. You, too, can be an open graph developer — even if you’re just looking to dabble.

A few things to note:
- You probably don’t want to do this unless you’re actually a developer. Expect bugs.
- Only you will see your timeline at first (unless you decide otherwise), but it will automatically go public after a few days. My timeline was automatically hard-set to go public on September 29th.
- It seems that if you login into Facebook on another machine, Timeline gets disabled automatically on all of your machines. With that said, it seems you can get back to your timeline (but ONLY after following the steps below) by navigating to http://www.facebook.com/YOURUSERNAMEHERE?sk=timeline
- You’ll need to have a “verified” account for one of the steps, which means you need a credit card or phone number attached to the account.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Log into Facebook

2. Enable developer mode, if you haven’t already. To do this, type “developer” into the Facebook search box, click the first result (it should be an app made by Facebook with a few hundred thousand users), and add the app.

3. Jump into the developer app (if Facebook doesn’t put you there automatically, it should be in your left-hand tool bar)

4. Create a new app (don’t worry — you wont actually be submitting this for anyone else to see/use). Give your shiny new app any display name and namespace you see fit. Read through and agree to the Platform Privacy agreement. This is the step you need to be verified for.

5. Ensure you’re in your new app’s main settings screen. You should see your app’s name near the top of the page

6. Look for the “Open Graph” header, and click the “Get Started using open graph” link.

Create a test action for your app, like “read” a “book”, or “eat” a “sandwich”

7. This should drop you into an action type configuration page. Change a few of the default settings (I changed the past tense of “read” to “redd” — again, only you can see this unless you try and submit your application to the public directory), and click through all three pages of settings

8. Wait 2-3 minutes

9. Go back to your Facebook homescreen. An invite to try Timeline should be waiting at the top of the page

And you’re done! We’ve seen this work quite a few times now, so it should work without a hitch for just about anyone.

 


The Web & Business Tools Startups Use Most [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Web & Business Tools Startups Use Most [INFOGRAPHIC]

From Mashable

Putting the likes of the super-funded aside (Color, anyone?), most early-stage startups operate on tight budgets and spend their dollars sparingly. A bevy of web services have made start-up costs all the more affordable, but now there’s the conundrum of nearly too much choice.

The folks at BestVendor surveyed 550 startup staffers — most in marketing and executive administration positions — on their favorite tools for email, accounting, web analytics, CRM, productivity, design, storage, payment processing, operations and so forth.

Their answers, in aggregate, speak to the growing trend in startups moving toward predominately cloud-based operations. The most popular selections also highlight the rising stars (Dropbox) and impressive veterans (Paypal and Salesforce) in the business-to-business services sector.

So what’s hot among startups these days? Google Apps, Google Analytics and Quickbooks each garnered a majority of the votes in the email, accounting and web analytics categories respectively. Salesforce bested its CRM competition with 59% of respondents selecting it as the application of choice, and consumer-friendlyEvernote proved hot with startup types too in the note-taking category.

Check out the infographic below for even more insight on the web and business services that today’s startups are selecting en masse.

The Startup's Toolkit

 


Facebook Test Lets Users Tag Family Members by Typing How They’re Related

Facebook Test Lets Users Tag Family Members by Typing How They’re Related

Facebook users can now tag a family member in a post by typing in how they are related, rather than their name. For example, typing in “Cousin” will open the typeahead and display any friend the user has confirmed as their cousin through the Family & Friends tab in the profile editor.

The new way to initiate a tag should lead to more tagging of family members, and be especially useful to those looking to quickly call attention of family members to a particular post, such as an announcement that they’re coming to visit. Facebook is testing the new tagging functionality with some portion of the user base, though it could be fully rolled out in the future.

Facebook has let users to tag friends in posts since September 2009. Recently, it has made several changes to tagging, allowing users to tag connections such as friends within comments, and shorten the displayed tags of friends to just their first or last name, It also removed the ability for Pages to tag users in posts, likely to prevent spam.

Tagging friends is a useful way to draw attention to a post. It delivers a notification to anyone tagged, basically assuring that they’ll see it. It also increases the news feed visibility, or EdgeRank, of the post to the friends of those tagged. Typically, only 15% of a user’s friend base sees each of their posts according to a comScore white paper, but tagging several friends in a post can generate more impressions for it.

Users can pull up the tagging typeahead by typing with a capital letter either the official family relation type, such as “Sister”, “Uncle” or “Father; or the slang term for the relation type such as “Dad” or “Mom”.

When users select the family member from the typeahead, it replaces the official or slang relation name. This can sometime require users to go back and edit their text, as the word “my” frequently precedes family relation names (“my cousin”), but is not grammatically correct when used before a name.

The addition of the tagging feature may seem insignificant, but it is representative of Facebook’s product update culture. By making many small changes to the interface over time, Facebook can test to see what features gain traction, implement those that work, and scrap those that don’t. It occasionally launches big new products and redesigns, but more subtle updates like this are a big reason why Facebook has stayed relevant, intuitive to use, and growing for seven years.

 

(From www.insidefacebook.com)


Five Ways to Use Twitter for Marketing That You Might Not Know About

Five Ways to Use Twitter for Marketing That You Might Not Know About

TwitterI like to think of Twitter as a live networking event where you can jump into a conversation at any time. It’s a great tool for communicating information to followers but also for engaging with them. However, I’ve learned that many people, even those who are on Twitter frequently, use it only for sharing information — not for starting a two-way dialogue. That’s a lot like walking into an event and shouting at people but not listening to their responses. It just doesn’t work.

Over the last few years using Twitter, I’ve uncovered a few features that help businesses make better connections and build brand exposure. Here are five things I’ve learned about Twitter that could help improve your marketing strategy:

1. Use advanced search options to locate opportunities. The advanced search opportunities at search.twitter.com allow you to insert keywords that people would use in conversations to find you or your product or service. For example, I search for people who are tweeting the phrase “looking for speaker.” It turns up a ton of tweets related to event or meeting planners. Once I find these keywords in posts, I reach out to the person who tweeted them to say hello, ask to connect and start building a relationship.

Additionally, the search function allows you to target tweets from a certain area so that you can stay within a community. This helps allow local businesses to reach out to tweeters in their area.

2. Tweet often to boost search-engine optimization. Tweeting often not only helps you to stay active on newsfeeds but improves your ranking in online searches. Be sure to use keyword-rich phrases in your tweets as often as possible. If you can’t get your company name or personal name as your Twitter handle then make sure to include it in your bio. Because your bio on Twitter is public and open to search, using keywords in it such as your company name can help Google index content that’s relevant to your business.

Then you can use Google Alerts to monitor your name and company. Check these alerts to stay informed about what people are saying about your company, as well as what your competition is up to.

3. Connect with media. Using tools such as Cision’s Journalist Tweets and Muckrack can help you locate journalists, editors and producers, and to find out how active they are on Twitter. These tools can help you decide which media outlets you would like your business to be featured in and enable you to connect with the journalists who work there.
Read the rest here…


Social Media In Business

Social Media In Business

This infographic takes a look at the Fortune Global 100 companies’ use of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and blogs to promote their brands.

 

via

(From: http://visual.ly/social-media-business)


Welcome to H7

Welcome to H7

We are so excited to welcome you to H7, the company that works hard to understand your business better than even you may know it.  Our mission is to help businesses leverage all that they can to be better.  Our marketing perspective is that you need to take a step back, sometimes many steps, in order to get an honest look at your business and core values before moving forward again.  It is in our experience that we gain valuable insight into your business and can better map out a marketing strategy that will yield a higher return on your investment.

Your marketing dollars are more important than ever.  When most companies are closely watching their bottom lines, in order to conserve, we ask our clients to just work smarter with their dollars.  Most companies realize that another way to dramatically affect their year end goal is to be more productive by attracting more customers, retaining existing customers, and increasing their customers’ spend with their company.  There is no way to increase exposure both in market share and customer share without marketing.  And if you are not investing in your customers, your competitors are.

So, most companies turn to advertising.  Spending a percentage of the operational budget on advertising, which it is traditionally taught to put 10% into your marketing budget.  Our feeling is that buying ad space, media, or direct mail may have an impact, but most business owners are purchasing based on an emotional reaction to the sales rep’s presentation for that specific medium, and it usually turns into buying a few different mediums that aren’t integrated and are working independent of each other.  Then when the response is low, dollars are shifted before any one thing got traction.  Businesses jump from one thing to another, hoping for their big marketing break.  We’d like to help streamline and sometimes consolidate marketing messages to show our clients that the whole really is greater than the sum of the individual parts.

Your dollars need to be spent wisely and efficiently, so you can have greater reach with minimal negative impact to your budget with maximum return on that investment.  We don’t recommend what is trendy, because your business is different.  You have different customers, a different target market, and a different goal.  The first thing you need to accept is that you are in business to win, not just playing not to lose.

H7 will Sharpen Your Saw and will implement and integrate an incredible marketing engine, as well as offer whatever piece of the marketing puzzle you may need.  From design and branding to website and social media development, from print and promotional products to signage, we’ve got it covered.  And moving with technology we see mobile media as a misunderstood game changer to businesses.  We then top it off with our division of creative advertising, where we help you cut through the white noise and reach your audience.  We are so excited about what has just begun…..a breakthrough in marketing firms!  Now, let’s Sharpen Your Saw!

Jason & Wade

H7