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Time to think differently with facebook likes and shares

April 23, 2014 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

#facebook

#facebook

Apart from the obvious visual changes in facebook, some of which, in my opinion have not improved the facebook experience, facebook are changing some of the processes around sharing and liking.

 

If you have an online marketing strategy,you may want to start rethinking how you use Facebook in light of the recent announcement from the company about business spam.

Facebook, like Google, is making changes to its algorithm to ensure users get the best content – most relevant, newest and most original. That bit makes sense.

 

Facebook, however, isn’t just thinking about the content – it also wants to be highly profitable. There philosophy is ‘Why give away free advertising to businesses when you can charge them for it?”

Facebook feels that if they restrict the free visibility they give to businesses, that businesses will pay to get it back.

So what is facebook changing?

1. Asking for Likes, Shares and Comments

 

People and businesses asking for likes, shares and comments in order to promote products is commonplace and expected. Increasing likes, shares and comments, posts appear in many newsfeeds, increasing brand and product visibility – without the company having to pay for it.

Facebook, however, is now calling this common practice,  “like-baiting.” And if you do it, the chances are that your business or website will now be prevented from appearing in users newsfeeds. This means that in future it will be much more difficult to get your ‘organic’ posts to appear in users newsfeeds.

Facebook,  want to crack down on this ‘like-baiting’ practice in order to provide users with, what they say is, ‘a more relevant experience’. After all they want users to find content that matters to them. Otherwise what’s the point and they won’t make any money out of organic posts.

 

2. Frequently Re-Circulating Content

 

In addition to “like-baiting,” Facebook is now making efforts to limit the amount of content that is being re-circulated on News Feeds. Going viral used to be a golden egg search marketers could hope for. Now it holds much less power.

 

Before when content would go viral, it would often happen in waves. Every few months, it would go viral again. Facebook considers this content less relevant to users. According to Facebook, users are complaining about re-circulated content.

 

They’re also complaining about content that isn’t going viral, but is being re-posted by the Pages. Taking the same content and re-posting it will now get you off the News Feeds. Testing so far has shown users are hiding 10% fewer stories from Pages when this update is in place.

 

3. Spamming Links

 

Spamming links come in many forms. Some posts have confusing formatting, and users are “tricked” into clicking on a link. Others say they link to something of relevance, such as a photo album, but when users click on the link, they end up on a website chocked full of ads.

 

How is Facebook determining which links are spammy? They’re tracking the frequency of how often the original post is liked or shared with friends after the links have been clicked. And this can be a problem.

 

If businesses are posting legit content, but it’s just not getting the number of likes or shares it needs, it could end up being flagged by Facebook. What is a business to do? Ask users to like and share their posts – exactly what Facebook is saying they no longer want businesses to do.

So what are you to do to promote your business on facebook?

1. Don’t ask for likes, comments or shares.

2. Don’t re-post items over and over again.

3. Don’t post misleading links.

4. Last resort, pay for advertising.

 

How to get a specific image, title and detail to display in the facebook share on facebook when someone clicks the share button on your page

February 28, 2014 // Posted in Computer Tips, General, Main, Tips and Tricks (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

 

#facebook

Facebook have recently removed some functionality from the sharer.php and share.php, so that you can no longer send customised parameters to the sharer such as images, title and detail description.

You now have to either create an app or you can use the Open Graph tags.

The open graph tags are used in the following way:

Add the following to the head section of your page, either in an html fragment or directly into the page HTML:
<meta property="og:title" content="My Web Site Title" />
<meta property="og:type" content="website" />
url" content="http://www.mysite.co.uk" />
<meta property="og:image" content="http://www.mysite.co.uk/images/myimage.jpg" />
<meta property="og:site_name" content="My Site" />
<meta property="og:description" content="Here would go the details about your site that you would like to appear in the description area." />
<meta property="fb:admins" content="1996403603" />

Replace the highlighted areas with your own details.

The fb:admins is the id of the user that manages your facebook pages, here’s how to find it: Go to 

https://developers.facebook.com/tools/explorer/  (While you are logged into facebook)

You will see the following:

The highlighted number will be your fb:admins ID. 

Then add your share button, image or text and add a hyperlink like:

http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://www.mysite.co.uk/index.html

Set the target to New Window

Add an an onclick event to the hyperlink by adding the following over the __AddCode=”Here” tag of the hyperlink in the attach HTML.

onclick="var w = window.open(this.href,'_blank','width=600,height=400,left=20, top=20, menubar=no,resizable=no, scrollbars=yes,status=no,toolbar=no'); if( w != null ){ w.focus(); }; return false;"

The onclick event will open the sharer page in a pop-up window so that the user doesn’t leave your site to share the page.

Ok so far so good, but if you click your share button now, it will not pick up the details in the OG tags but will try and find an image on the page and use the page title, it will also try to find some text on the page to use as a description.

The reason is that facebook needs to ‘scrape’ your page first to store the details in the OG tag. So we need to force facebook to ‘scrape’ your page. To do this go to  https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/ and enter your full page URL in the box and click Debug:

You should get a result something like the one below with no errors:

Now reload your page and click your share button, it should now show the Title, description and image you set in the OG tags.

Your share pop-up should then look something like:

 

Facebook will re-scrape your page every 24 hours, so if you make changes to your OG tags it may take 24 hours for them to change when you click your share button. If you need any changes to take effect immediately, then just go to the OG debug page and re-debug your OG tags on the page again.

 

 

 

Facebook Shares not working correctly any more?

February 26, 2014 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

#facebook

Just in case you have wondered why your facebook share buttons may be not working as you expected, Facebook have switched off some of the features of their sharer.php. So if you had share buttons that passed custom variables to the facebook sharer.php something like:

http://www.facebook.com/share.php?s=100&p%5Btitle%5D=This%20is%20a%20test&p%5Burl%5D=http://www.richosoft.co.uk&p%5Bimages%5D%5B0%5D=http://www.richosoft.co.uk/rsimages/myimage.png&p%5Bsummary%5D=This%20is%20a%20test%20message

These will no longer work, but instead they will pick up the Page Title and description for the title and description of the share. If you do not have active accurate OG tags, the custom image in the link will no longer display. If you have an active og:image link that image will display in the share, and if you have an active og:title and/or descriptions it will pick them up instead (once facebook has scraped your page that is).

It appears that if you now want to use a custom share on facebook you have to create an app, get it approved and then use one of the SDK’s to create custom ‘Stories’ and shares etc. or use the OG tags to create the content for the share, which facebook will re-scrape a max of once per 24 hours, so not much use if you have dynamic content for the share
There is several posts on the facebook developer forum, but facebook appear to be ignoring any requests to re-instate what was an easy to use and important feature for websites.

New Facebook share button docs here: https://developers.facebook.com/docs…s/share-button

regards

Steve

Who is Google sharing your info with?

December 31, 2013 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  1 Comment

Google

Google

I ask this question for one reason.

 

A short while a go, I was searching online for a Code signing certificate and was also looking at the hosting options currently available to see if there were any exceptional deals.

That was fine, did some searches and found some of what i was looking for.

Then I went into Facebook, now call this a co-incidence if you like, but I do not think there was any co-incidence at all. Google is sharing my information with Facebook!!

How do I know this?

Because now when I go into Facebook, I keep getting bombarded with adverts for SSL certificates and Hosting companies, and no there is no co-incidence about it, as I had never had an advert for SSL or Hosting on Facebook before, until I searched on Google for them.

If Google are sharing your browsing and search history with Facebook, what and with who else are they sharing?

Be aware and careful out there.

Steve

 

Are your Facebook Posts not being seen?

December 22, 2013 // Posted in Computer Tips, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

#facebook

#facebook

You may have noticed that recently your posts on facebook are not being seen by many people.

There is an explanation for this.

Facebook announced recently that users posts will not be seen by all ‘page likers’ unless you pay for them to be seen, and the numbers of people who do see them will keep reducing over the coming months.

In some cases no-one will see your posts.

Whilst this is OK for businesses that are selling something as they should pay for the service, when you are posting free content or your personal posts, facebook are now saying that you too will have to pay if you want your posts to be seen. You may have noticed the number of pop-ups that have started to appear with messages such as “Boost your post for only XXX.XX”, “Reach more people…”  etc.

Facebook can of course do whatever they want, after all it is their system, but this may lead to many users leaving facebook, if their posts are not seen by anyone, after all what’s the point of posting stuff that only you will see?

I, for one, am not going to pay facebook for people to view my personal posts or free content posts, so am now looking at other alternatives to share my posts, such as Google+, and will post more on my blogs. I am also going to set up a mailing list so that my ‘page likers’ can subscribe and have my content delivered to their inboxes.

If you do not want to pay facebook for people to be able to view your posts, then you may also want to consider the alternatives.

I hope that this post has helped you understand why your posts reach on facebook have reduced substantially, and will allow you to find alternatives before your posts are just for you to see.

Steve

www.richosoft.co.uk

www.myphpsite.co.uk

 

facebook to Introduce Hashtags

June 13, 2013 // Posted in Computer Tips (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

#facebook

#facebook

 

facebook are to  introduce hashtags, so what are hashtags?

 

 

 

 

 

A hashtag is a word or a phrase prefixed with the symbol #  It is a sort of meta tag.  You can #tag words in short message systems such as Twitter,  identi.ca, Tumblr, Instagram, Flickr, Google+ and now Facebook like:

#facebook is a #social #network that anyone can post comments.

Hashtags provide a means of grouping such messages, since you can search for the hashtag and get a list of messages that contain it.

Some sites offer the option of collecting all hashtags from a range of different messaging services and grouping them all together, making it easier to see who is talking about a particular subject.

Hashtags can also be used to identify ‘trending’ topics.

Here’s a little more about hashtags beginnings:

The first high-profile application of the hashtag was by San Diego, California resident Nate Ritter,who included #sandiegofire in his frequent posts on the October 2007 California wildfires hitting San Diego County. Internationally, the hashtag became a practice of writing style for Twitter posts during the 2009–2010 Iranian election protests, as both English and Persian-language hashtags became useful for Twitter users inside and outside of Iran.

Beginning July 1, 2009, Twitter began to hyperlink all hashtags in tweets to Twitter search results for the hashtagged word (and for the standard spelling of commonly misspelled words). In 2010, Twitter introduced “Trending Topics” on the Twitter front page, displaying hashtags that are rapidly becoming popular.

 

 

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