What to Make of Facebook Graph Search?

On May 27, 2014, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

What to Make of Facebook Graph Search?

Facebook is at it again, and this time it’s called Facebook Graph Search. It is their endeavor to sway their search results from a keyword-based model like Google’s, to one where Facebook can utilize its greatest asset, the social interplay between its users. Still rolling out, Graph Search may not be available to you yet, (still only available in the US, and there’s a waiting list) but it’s coming sooner than you think. And if you’ve got a business that relies on Facebook at all, you need to understand how this will benefit you.

So what is Facebook Graph search?

Facebook Graph Search is a search model where Facebook moves their search results from a model based on keywords, to one where it can use arguably its most valuable asset, the social data of all its users. You will see results based upon what your social spheres like, and view. For example, your search will return with those who share your interests, websites, photos and videos they’ve liked or visited, as well as other connections you may share. These outcomes are unique to you, since they are based solely off yours and your friend’s interests.

How can you use Graph search in your marketing?

One of the key takeaways people seem to be gleaning from the release of Graph Search is that it will go a long way towards removing pages that are trying to game the system. Fake Likes and fans received from strange locations out of your common spheres, are likely to be viewed with some skepticism. So say goodbye to the “I will get you 30,000 Facebook Likes” industry, where often people found all sorts of new friends and fans from Bangladesh!

Rather, this appears that it will significantly benefit businesses making a real attempt at engaging with social media. Some ways you can be ready for Facebook Graph Search are to:

  • Make sure your Facebook page profile is completely filled out with your information, so that users can locate and contact you.
  • Make certain to engage, not sell your visitors.
  • Go through what you’ve posted online, especially on Facebook itself, as your info will now become more available than ever! Delete any awkward items before they come back to bite your business you know where!

Do you have the constant feeling that your business’ website is turning off your prospective customers? Maybe your site is difficult to find, with a domain address that doesn’t make sense. Maybe your visitors can’t immediately tell what your business sells when they log onto the site. Maybe they can’t find your contact info or your list of goods and services. Whatever the reason, your business website isn’t doing its job.

Help is on the way

Luckily help is on the way. Entrepreneur Magazine recently ran a feature providing business owners with the essentials that every company website should contain. Following this advice can change your business website from a negative to a positive. And the first tip? Your website should describe right on its front page what your small business is, what it sells or delivers and who it serves. This will tell visitors that they’ve found the proper site.

Easy to find

Don’t hide your business’ website behind a challenging domain name. The simpler your website address, the more likely that customers will find your company’s online home. As an example, if you’re running Green Bay Hardware, make an effort to land the website address www.greenbayhardware.com. That’s a far better choice than the difficult to find www.upperwistools.com. Entrepreneur suggests, too, that your website address end with a .com and that you avoid such distractions as dashes or numbers in your address.

A clear map

You should also ensure that your site is easy to navigate. Entrepreneur states that your site should have easy to find links and a site map. The site map ought to provide a quick path to your site’s most important pages.


How many Facebook messages from co-workers, former bosses and friends have you not seen in the past? The quantity may very well be higher than you thought, due to Facebook’s unfamiliar “Other” folder.

Uncovering the “Other”

David Pogue, technology columnist for the New York Times, recently presented the strange case of the “Other” folder. Whenever people who aren’t your Facebook friends send you a message, they have a choice: They could either pay $1 or send that message to your Facebook page’s “Other” folder. The majority of people, of course, don’t pay the buck.

Lost messages

Unfortunately, many Facebook users don’t know there’s an “Other” folder of messages, Pogue writes. As a result, many users go years without answering the party invitations, congratulation messages or other missives deposited there.

Opening the “Other”

Fortunately, locating the “Other” folder is fairly simple. Pogue says to simply click your “Messages” link on the left side of your Facebook page. Once you do, you’ll see, shaded grey, the word “Other.” That’s your “Other” folder. Open it up. You might be surprised at what you find.


Don’t strain your eyes while at work

On May 13, 2014, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

How much time do you spend staring at computer screens at work? You probably don’t wish to know. Your eyes are undoubtedly suffering from it. The everon blog recently covered the important issue of eyestrain. According to the story, workers who spend too much time looking into screens can suffer watery, dry or blurry eyes. They can also experience headaches, an inability to focus and an increased sensitivity to light. Thankfully, it’s not too difficult for workers to keep eyestrain at bay. As everon says, it’s all about following one easy rule.

The Secret

Workers trying to prevent the problems of eye strain should adhere to the 20/20/20 rule. This rule states that employees should every 20 minutes take a 20-second break. And during this quick break, they need to focus their eyes on an object that stands at least 20 feet away. This forces your eyes to focus on something other than a computer screen. It also provides them with a brief workout. The story on everon also indicates that employees can every 20 minutes spend 20 seconds or more walking 20 feet or more, something which will also give a boost to their mental and physical well-being.


Nevertheless how will you remember to take these breaks? Fortunately, everon lists several apps that can help. For example, there’s Workrave, which sends a message on your screen when it’s time to take your micro-break. Workrave also suggests specific exercises which will help keep your eyes healthy. If you don’t like this app, you can also try EyeLeo, in which an animated leopard walks you through short exercises for your eyes. EyeLeo will blank out your computer screen when it’s time to have a break.

A Break for Coffee?

Another favorite reminder app is Coffee Break, although it is only available for Apple devices. This app will slowly darken your screen as a pre-arranged break time nears. You’ll certainly be motivated to take that important break as your screen gets darker and darker. Obviously, no app can force you to take a health break. Nevertheless, do it for your own benefit. The project will still get done, and the health benefits to turning away from the screen are substantial.


Tech and office meetings don’t usually mix

On May 8, 2014, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

Tired of your employees reading email during your meetings? Irritated that your workers waste time logging onto LinkedIn while you’re talking company strategies? You’re not alone. Laptops, smartphones and tablets are fantastic tools. Even so technology can play havoc in your company meetings.

The Solution

Jake Knapp, has a solution for you. He’s a design partner with Google Ventures. And in a newly released column for the Medium Web site, Knapp suggests bosses forbid employees from dragging technology into meetings. Bosses who do this will likely greatly boost the actual work that will get done during these meetings.

No gadgets

Knapp recommends that employees say goodbye to their laptops, smartphones and tablets before entering a meeting. This will make sure they concentrate on what you’re announcing and not a raunchy joke forwarded to them by their best friend.

A timer

To alleviate the jitters of your now tech-less workers, Knapp recommends setting up a timer where everyone is able to see it. Now, your staff know that there’s an end time for the meeting. When that timer goes off? Keep your end of the bargain; end the meeting.


Want to Learn the Secret to Successful Facebook Ads?

Utilizing Facebook ads generally is one of the most expedient and effective ad platforms for obtaining visitors to your sites, offers, and for many other purposes for your website. A Facebook Ad campaign is a snap to set up, has great demographic targeting tools, and can be up in minutes. One thing to understand is that the answer to obtaining the best results and return on investment (ROI) is through the use of the most relevant and effective images available. It has been shown that imagery is 70-89 percent of the success or failure of a Facebook ad campaign. Let’s check out some useful ways to get the most from your Facebook ad images.

5 Great Image Tips for Facebook Ads

Creating an ad that produces a real impact and statement for your product or services is a matter of standing out from the rest. Here are five ways to do exactly that!

  1. Use high quality images – Since your images are going to end up very small, make sure you’re buying from a reputable resource. Fotolia and iStockPhoto are two of our faves. The XS size of available images is going to be fine, as even these will be cut down to the size of a postage stamp. (110×80 pixels)
  2. Crop your photos to generate maximum impact – Crop your photos closely to focus on the most important aspect of your ad. Cropping faces from the eyes to mouth is the most impactful technique for riveting people images. Also, make sure that your model’s eyes have life. When using product images, get close!
  3. Employ eye-catching colors – Using bright, visually arresting pics will do wonders for your clickthrough rates. A lot of people opt to blend in with the pervasive Facebook blue, and thus consign their ads to a form of “banner blindness”.
  4. Choose the most attractive images you can find! – Unless you are going for a certain statement, pick the most attractive photos you can get. Everyone is attracted to beauty. Period. This is not to say that sometimes beauty can’t be trumped by cute, funny or outrageous.
  5. Use humor whenever you can – All of us love a good laugh. If you have the opportunity to inject humor into your ad, don’t miss it! It will surely result in a higher clickthrough rate!

For some really good illustrations of these imagery principles in action, check out this great article at Search Engine Watch.


Is your phone’s passcode really safe?

On May 1, 2014, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

Hackers are getting ever more clever with regards to accessing the data stored on smart phones. And hackers are doing this even though consumers protect their phones with lock-screen passcodes. As a current story on the Lifehacker technology Web site says, passcodes never have been a foolproof way to protect your smart phone. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to better protect your phone. And there are solutions you can enlist to protect yourself if you’ve lost your smart phone or someone has stolen it.

Passcode problems

The Lifehacker story examines recent passcode exploits targeting the Samsung Galaxy and iPhone smart phones. Based on the story, the attack on the iPhone enabled hackers to, utilizing the phone app, make phone calls, view photos and modify the contact lists of users. Hackers couldn’t gain full access to the phone, but they gained enough power to cause plenty of problems for owners. The Samsung exploit worked differently. Hackers were able to flash the phone’s home screen for approximately a second. This gave hackers ample time to either launch apps on the phone or start downloading a more dangerous app that allows hackers to gain full control over the device.

Safety not guaranteed

As these exploits show, having a lock-screen passcode is no guarantee that hackers won’t be able to break into your phone. As the Lifehacker story says, passcodes today are little more effective at keeping out hackers than are standard passwords. This means that you need to take the extra steps if you wish to protect your phone from cyber criminals.

The protection you need

Lifehacker does offer some suggestions for protecting your phone. First, make a passcode for your phone’s lock screen that is consisting of symbols, letters and numbers. These passcodes are far more difficult for thieves to crack. Next, encrypt your phone’s data. Lastly, sign up for services like Find My iPhone from Apple or the third-party app Prey. These nifty apps enable you track your phone if it’s stolen or you’ve lost it. You will be able remotely erase the data stored on it, protecting yourself from hackers.