About Craig Yaris

Here are my most recent posts

Facebook Takes on Google with Graph Search

Facebook Graph SearchEver since I started using Facebook, I’ve never found their search function very useful.  Results were never exactly what I was looking for, and my attempts at locating useful information left me empty-handed.  I always looked to Google to find exactly what I was looking for.  Despite the recent article outlining a great Facebook search “trick” earlier this week (see Facebook Introduces ‘Graph Search’, but this Search Secret Already Helps Marketers), Facebook really had no handle on search.

Now, that all changes.

What is Graph Search?

Graph Search allows users to search for anything connected with them through their “social graph”.  This new search tool basically searches through everything you have ever done on Facebook, and everything your friends have done and shared publicly, and answers your search requests with that information.  Facebook is going to give you the exact information that it thinks you want, based upon your connections within the site.

For example, if you search Google for restaurants, you will get many pages of restaurants that may or may not fit what you are looking for.  Search Facebook for “restaurants my friends like” and you will get very specific results, based upon your friends “likes” and comments.  Based upon the theory that we “trust” our friends on Facebook, these results will more likely result in a purchase, or a visit.

This is great for business.

If you are a small business with an optimized Facebook page, and lots of connections, Graph Search will customize results to the individuals that are searching based upon their connections, and not any SEO tricks and not based upon the popularity of your site.

More importantly, as research has shown, consumers are 71% more likely to choose a product or service when a friend recommends it to them within social media (see Consumers 71 percent more likely to buy based on social media referrals).  Word of mouth marketing is alive and well!  Remember, people do business with people that they know, like, and trust.  And, if a Facebook friend has used, recommended, or “liked” a business, there is an inherent level of trust in that recommendation.  And, that is the information that will be served through Graph Search.

In addition, businesses with a physical location may benefit most from Graph Search.  Especially if they encourage people to “check in” to the location.  This will provide Facebook more information to provide your friends searching for similar businesses.

In order for graph search to meet its full potential Facebook business page users will need to make sure that their information is complete, including the address, and make sure that the category your page is in is the correct one for your business.  You don’t want your jewelry company being listed as a non-profit, now do you?  The more information you provide on your business page, the more accurate the search results will be.  In addition, the more people that check-in or “like” your page, the more likely it will show up when searched for.

How do I get Graph Search?

Right now, it is only in beta, but you can apply for Graph Search by signing up for an invite.  I signed up two days ago, and received my Graph Search today!

So, are you impressed?  Does this fill a need you had?  Will you use it?  Let’s discuss it in the comments!

 

Resources:

 

Introducting Graph Search

Facebook Graph Search: The Experts Speak

Is This The Facebook Search We’ve Been Waiting For?

Facebook Graph Search: 10 Things You Need To Know About The Social Network’s Big Announcement

How Graph Search can help users see the world through different lenses

How Facebook’s Graph Search Impacts Small Businesses

Facebook Changes Privacy – For the Better?

Facebook Banner PrivacyThis past Wednesday, Facebook unveiled changes to their privacy settings, and as usual, this has caused quite a stir amongst their 1 billion users.  But are these changes something we should worry about, or is Facebook making our privacy a bigger part of their plan?  Only time will tell.

For now, we are left with the changes that will be occurring over the next few weeks, as they roll out to their full membership.

And, what are the changes that we will see?

Most importantly, members will no longer be able to hide their profile from Facebook’s search function.  Until these changes take effect, users who didn’t want to be found via Facebook’s own search function had the opportunity to “hide” themselves, so that they would not come up when people searched on their names.  According to Facebook, this was not a feature that was well-known or used by a large percentage of people (“a single-digit percentage”), however it was available should people want the benefits of Facebook without being “found”.

Another change will be a refreshed Activity Log, which is where you can review all posts, comments, likes, and shares you’ve made since you joined Facebook.  Now, there will be more information about your personal data, photos and status updates spread across Facebook.  In addition, they are rolling out a new Request Removal Tool that will help you ask people that have uploaded photos of you to remove them.

In addition, Facebook will be providing information about content you have chosen to hide from your Timeline, and whether that information may still appear in other news feeds and searches.  This is especially helpful if you have shared something and later decide to remove it.  This new notice will show you who else may have shared the content, and where it is still visible.

The final change will be the context menus where privacy settings will live.  Currently, the settings are spread about several different menus, depending on what content you are looking to secure.  Going forward, the privacy settings will be called Privacy Shortcuts, and will be a single, organized menu where adjustments can be made.

All of these changes, except our ability to hide our profile, will make it easier to control what is seen and by whom.  And Facebook is taking an active role in helping us see where our content is visible, including pictures and videos.

What do you think of the changes?  Are they for the better?  Worse?  Does it matter?  Let’s talk.

 

Resources:

Facebook Changes Privacy Settings

Facebook Changes Privacy Controls, Forces Users to be Searchable

Here’s What the New Facebook Privacy Settings Will Look Like

 

Pinterest Makes the Business Leap

Pinterest PinboardThree years after their humble beginnings, Pinterest has made the leap to the big time.  That’s right, on November 14, nearly 3 years since launching the site as a closed beta Pinterest has opened themselves up to the business world.  No longer do we have to “pretend” to be a person within the photo sharing site.

For those of you unfamiliar with Pinterest, it is a pinboard photo-sharing website that allows users to create individual “pin boards” based upon their interests, and share specific photos from around the internet to their followers.  And for the past year, businesses have begun to use Pinterest to increase their global reach through this visual medium.  Brands like Macy’s have been using Pinterest to showcase products found within their stores organized by category and holiday.  But, they have been doing it without direct sanctioning from Pinterest themselves.  Brands had no more abilities within Pinterest than individuals.

Now, things are different.  These new business pages now allow users to specify their company names, as opposed to using a “First Name Last Name” system.  In addition, companies can now verify their accounts and add new widgets to their websites (these widgets will offer the opportunity to display Pinterest content directly on your website), to help increase engagement among their followers.

Pinterest has made it fairly simple to convert your personal page to a business profile, simply by visiting www.business.pinterest.com and clicking the “Convert your existing account” button, and then answering a few questions about your business.  Nothing could be simpler.

In addition, Pinterest has created a “Best Practices” section of their website to help users best use this site to promote their business goals.  This section covers:

  • telling your brand story,
  • building a community on Pinterest,
  • how to send traffic to your site, and
  • how to analyze your Pinterest presence to improve.

Pinterest also offers businesses a full set of case studies about how different organizations are effectively using this platform.

It is my belief that Pinterest will slowly move towards a monetization scheme which would allow users to create advertising within the site.  In addition, I anticipate Pinterest will begin to offer an analytics platform similar to Facebook Insights, so that users can gauge the interactions within their accounts.

Are you looking forward to an easy way to use Pinterest for your business?  Will you be converting your personal page to a business page?  Where do you see Pinterest going in the future?  Feel free to join the discussion below!

 

Resources:

Pinterest Introduces Business Accounts and Tools

Pinterest Finally Rolls Out Business Accounts:  How to Set Yours Up Today

New Tools for Businesses in the Pinterest Community

Pinterest Makes a Brand Play with New Business Toolkit

Wikipedia — Pinterest

Thanks for the Memories, Sandy

Hurricane SandyI’m a Long Islander.  I’ve spend almost my whole life here, and never before have I seen such destruction.  I watched as New Orleans suffered through Katrina, and donated to the American Red Cross, which is all I felt I could do.  And now, people are donating to help my fellow Long Islanders, and I want to thank you.  Not just for the donations of time and money, but for the thoughts and prayers coming our way.  I know that we will recover, in time, and that things will get back to “normal” soon enough (but not soon enough for some).

And, with that, I just wanted to offer some information on what you can do to help those in need.

Sandy Emergency Resources from New12

Fuel Shortage Tracker

Strong Island – Long Island Helping Long Island

Do you have other resources to contribute?  Feel free to do so below!

Connected Culture – The Art of Communicating with the Digital Generation

Connected CultureAfter appearing with Jerry Allocca on a panel discussion, he provided me a copy of Connected Culture – The Art of Communicating with the Digital Generation (amazon affiliate link), a book that provides a small business with a step-by-step guide to connecting in todays’ digital world.  And, after reading through this book, and partaking in many of the on-line resources, I can say that this book accomplishes its goal of offering an in-depth look into the “who”, “what”, and “where” of our connections within this new digital age.

Jerry Allocca, founder of CORE Interactive, offers his readers a step-by-step journey into the oftentimes confusing world of social media.  Allocca takes us through why we connect, who we are connecting with, and most importantly, how we can connect with our target audience to ensure that we, as businesses, leave no stone unturned.

And how does Allocca do this?  By following a great formula of offering readers the “why” we are connecting, and then offering them the tools to ensure it is done correctly.  Each chapter is followed by a downloadable workbook, so that readers can begin to implement the many ideas and actions Allocca outlines.

Should you read Connected Culture?  Absolutely.  But, more importantly, you should download and complete all of the downloadable workbooks, so that you are not only learning about the “Connected Culture”, you are able to participate in it.