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!




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.



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!



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.

How Much Effort is a Follow Worth?

According to Webster’s dictionary, engagement is defined as emotional involvement or commitment.  And social media requires this emotional involvement for any of us to be successful.  So, why would anyone use a Twitter validation service?  Does it really matter who follows you on Twitter?

True Twit TweetsI am always looking for people to follow on Twitter.  People who look interesting, or who have an atypical bio.  But the other day, I was included in a #FollowSaturday which I retweeted.  I then received a mention from one of the people within the list, thanking me for the mention.   After receiving this “thank you” I checked out the persons’ profile, and decided it was someone I would like to continue to follow.  So, follow I did.

Except I didn’t.  Actually, I couldn’t.  Why?  Because this person uses a Twitter validation service called True Twit.  After trying to follow him, I received a direct message indicated that, “XXX uses TrueTwit validation service.  To validate click here:”.

True Twit Validation Service DM


Why should there be this many steps to try and connect with someone on Twitter.  After all, if you don’t like me, you don’t have to follow me back.  Social media is all about connecting with people we can’t normally connect with.  It’s about conversation.  It’s about engagement.  How engaging is it that you don’t trust me enough to let me follow you?  When at a networking event, do you ask the people you meet to first validate that their intentions are pure?  Do you ask for a DNA test before talking?  When calling people, do you want them to ask you to validate your purpose for calling?

Of course not.  It would be unheard of.

But by asking me to “validate” myself, you are doing just that.  You are telling me, actually shouting at me, that you don’t trust me, that I will do something unjust with our newfound relationship.

I have a policy regarding anyone using the TrueTwit service.  I unfollow you.  There is no relationship.  There will be none.

Social media is about engagement.  And asking me to prove my worth isn’t engagement.  It’s just plain rude.

Do you use TrueTwit or another validation service?  Pro? Con?  Sound off below!



Webster’s Dictionary

TrueTwit Twitter Validation Service

TrueTwit Valication…Seriously?

TrueTwit Validation Service?  No, I will not validate my profile

TrueTwit – Satan, Savior or Simply Misunderstood?


Article originally appeared at Digital Ethos

Top 10 On-line Social Media Resources (plus one more)

Top 10After attending a continuing legal education seminar recently, I noticed many questions centered around where the attendees could find some of the best information regarding social media marketing on-line.  To help my fellow attendees, I have compiled a list of my top 10 social media on-line resources.

So, here we go:

10.       Social Media Explorer is a great site operated by Jason Falls, author of No BullShit Social Media, (check out my review here)which covers how you can use social media to grow your business.

9.         Social Fresh is a social media education company, whose goal is to create better marketing through social media.  This is a collaboration between Jason Keath, Corey Creed, and Katey Dietz, and they offer seminars and training, as well as a great blog.

8.         Mashable Social Media  The tech blog, Mashable, has several sections within their site covering several different industries, including entertainment, US and World news, videos and business.  And they cover social media with articles posted throughout the internet.  They also have a great e-mail newsletter, covering the “hot topics” of the day.

7.         JeffBullas.com  Jeff Bullas works with companies and executives to help optimize their brand with digital marketing and social media.  His blog’s focus is helping businesses get found on-line, and he offers all aspects of how-to as well as the why you should be.  I recommend you sign up for the e-mail updates!

6.         HubSpot Blog (and e-books).  Hubspot is one of the biggest inbound marketing agencies there is, and they produce an amazing amount of free educational content.  In addition, I receive a new downloadable e-book from them at least once a week, and they all provide some bit of information that even the novice social marketer would find useful.

5.         Pushing Social This blog, from Stanford Smith, provides practical blogging tips and resources for all small business owners, whether new to blogging or a seasoned pro.

4.         Business Grow by Mark Schaefer offers great insight into all things social marketing, with a bit of “humanity” thrown in.  And I look forward to his weekly “GrowToons”, which characterize social media in humorous cartoon fashion.

3.         Chris Brogan is a marketer with 12 years experience, and although his business caters to larger companies, his thoughtful insight into business is helpful to even the sole practitioner.  In addition, he offers several different newsletters, all of which I look forward to on a weekly basis.  He is also the author of several books, including Trust Agents and Google Plus for Business.

2.         Convince & Convert  This is the blog from Jay Baer, author of The Now Revolution, which covers social and content related topics in a “hype-free” way.  Another newsletter that I highly recommend.

1.         Social Media Examiner  This blog, run by Michael Stelzner, author of Launch: How to Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition, promises to be your “guide to the Social Media Jungle”, and he does so, offering help and advice in simple, non-technical terms.  In addition, he offers several “Success Summits” throughout the year, covering blogging, Facebook, and Social Media.

So, there you have it.  My top 10 social media resources, and I did promise you one more.  So, drumroll please…

DigitalEthos.org  That’s right.  The very blog where this will first appear is a non-profit organization responsible for facilitating awareness and education through training and interactives.  Make sure to sign-up for our Digital Media Monthly newsletter, and feel free to support us in our goal of helping businesses embrace social media (full disclosure – I am on the Board of Directors of Digital Ethos).

You can also check out Social Media Examiner’s top 10 social media blogs 2012 winners for even more great social media resources.

Do you have a favorite that you visit daily or receive a newsletter from that you can’t live without?  Please make sure to share it with us!


Social Media Explorer

Social Fresh

Mashable Social Media


HubSpot Blog

Pushing Social

Business Grow

Chris Brogan

Convince & Convert

Social Media Examiner

Social Media Examiner’s top 10 social media blogs 2012 winners

Article originally appeared at DigitalEthos.org

Don’t Market Like it's 2006

Marketing Like it is 2006On Wednesday night, I watched an old recorded episode of the West Wing.  In fact, it was the Pilot episode, which aired before the series finale on May 14, 2006.  As an aside, this is one of my all-time favorite T.V shows, and I still miss the incredible writing and wonderful acting.  But I digress…

As I was watching the episode on my DVR, and beginning to fast-forward the commercials, it dawned on me.  The commercials from 6 years ago are no different than the ones aired today.  No different at all.  NBC showed the same car commercials, the same travel commercials.  Maybe the songs and offers have changed, but the actual commercials are no different.

Really?  Nothing in the way of T.V. marketing has changed in 6 years?  That is a major problem.  But what’s worse is when marketers today try and use social media to market the same way they do in traditional media.  The same way they did in 2006.

Social marketing requires much more than creating a flashy ad and adding some music.  But, what, exactly does digital marketing require of businesses?

To be successful in social and digital marketing, businesses need to ensure that they are accomplishing the following:

  1. Have a strategy in place for your marketing
  2. Advertise where your clients are
  3. Engage the “right” audience
  4. Meld digital and traditional marketing, if necessary
  5. Monitor results
  6. Focus on clients’ needs
  7. Don’t just take the traditional and use it in digital

And, the most important point, as we move forward in the world of marketing:

Don’t just keep doing the same thing over and over!

When  you are looking to grow your brand or business, the most important thing to do is continually evolve your message.  Make sure it fits with the medium.

Don’t market like it’s 2006.

What are you doing to change your marketing for the new digital world?  How are you measuring results?

Top Five Marketing Mistakes Companies Make…And How to Recover!

Top 10 B2B Marketing Mistakes

Top 3 Marketing Mistakes from History That Can Teach Internet Marketers a Thing (or Two)

The West Wing

My Appearance on Marketing Made Simple TV

With the show’s host Jeff Ogden, owner of Find New Customers, away on vacation, the show’s Producer, Alison Gilbert steps in to interview the reformed attorney and social marketing expert Craig Yaris, owner of Esquire Tech Solutions. Thanks for pinch-hitting for our host, Alison!

Thank you, Jeff for giving me the opportunity to interview our colleague and fellow blogger from Digital Ethos.org, founded by Basil Puglisi. Craig is a very special person. He embodies the qualities that make him, in one world, an excellent professional:

  • he is the consummate pro with marketing clients
  • he is a superb educator/social media instructor

Although he calls himself a redeemed attorney, he still keeps up his legal credentials. More importantly, he possess the qualities that make him this professional’s professional. He researches. He studies. He discovers the best solutions to his clients needs.

Craig Yaris, redeemed attorney, social media expert and today’s guest.

Likewise as an educator, he is ardent is his efforts to stay ‘ahead of the game’. This is no easy task as we are in a field that waits for no one and never stands still. Yesterday’s information is old news.
For anyone interested in being a social marketing pro, becoming better at serving one’s clients and/or wishing to be an educator, this video is invaluable. I hold Craig in very high esteem as a model for both and this video illustrates his attributes.

Note from the host and producer:
This video was so fascinating to tape that the editors allowed it to go the full length for about 26 minute rather than the 12-13 minute max previously. This requires and is the inspiration for a change in our show format.

Marketing Made Simple TV | Craig Yaris – reformed attorney and social media maven from Jeffrey Ogden on Vimeo.

We welcome your comment, suggestions and of course, your compliments. We want to know that the show is meeting your needs and interests. We really would love to hear from you.

Social Networking Like Mad Men

Social Networking like Mad Men First, let me say that I have not yet watched the show Mad Men, but understand the premise.  That doesn’t mean I can’t use the show as the backdrop for an interesting social networking event I witnessed this past week.  It made me realize that social networking, whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or in person, only provides connections to those you feel connected to.

The story is simple.  At a recent networking event, I met a professional.  Someone who was a partner in a large firm.  After exchanging pleasantries, I realized that I had heard of his firm before – in a job posting that had come across my desk and that I forwarded to a friend.  We began speaking, and I mentioned to him that my friend may have applied for this job, and his first questions was simple, “How old is she?”


He asked again.  I looked at the other person standing with us (I’ll call him Fred), and we exchanged amazed glances.

The conversation continued, with this professional telling Fred and I how he was “looking for a girl” to handle all his social media, event planning, PR, and to network with him at events.  That this “girl” should be young, and that he would even hire a “girl” right out of college with no experience.

Wow.  I tried to steer the conversation towards the hiring of a social media firm, such as mine (as we are want to do at a networking event), but he was insistent about hiring a “girl”.  He even indicated that he expected an e-mail from me telling him how bad his website was and that I could help him (I assured him he would receive no such e-mail).  But the conversation continued for about 5 more minutes before he left.

After he left, Fred and I spent the rest of the evening discussing the social and legal implications of the conversation.

We took away the following tips:

1.  Lack of etiquette occurs off-line as well as on-line.

2.  People are going to be who they are, no matter where they are.

3.  First impressions really do matter.

4.  You should always treat people with respect.

5.  You can’t always teach old dogs anything.

So, in the end, I say this to the small minded professional – thank you.  Your behaviors helped cement what I hope will become a lasting friendship.

Between Fred and Me.