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Send Share or Like Facebook Is Getting It Right

Last week Facebook added some new tools to its public sharing toolbox and is aggressively whittling away at one of the most vexing issues in the social network world – unfiltered sharing.

See, lots of folks have built large Facebook followings and currently try to use their Facebook profile to share what’s important in their work world mixed with what’s important in their 3yr old niece’s world. The unfiltered nature of sharing stuff on Facebook and other social networks remains a business challenge. A like is a like on your profile whether it’s an industry article or a killer black dress.

Facebook introduced something called Groups a while back and I think this was a great start. The idea here is that you could segment your friends into groups, such as Family or Coworkers, and then post content on your profile and to push it out to members of a selected group. I don’t think small business owners are using this as effectively as they could, but the use is growing.

Clicking the Send button launches a pop-up that allows you to choose who receives your send

Last week Facebook added a new button option called the Send button. This button is similar to the Like button, but with a selective twist. When you click a Send button you are presented with a pop-up screen that gives you the option to select the friends you wish to send (much like a share) the content of this page to. Couple this with use of the Group function and all of a sudden you have a very useful tool for selectively sharing content on Facebook. Now the industry article is shared with Coworkers and killer black dress is shared with your sister.

With this addition Facebook users have the ability to share content privately with as little as one other friend if they like. I think this is a tool that will be adopted and added to Web pages as thoroughly as the Like button as it presents some functionality that has long been missing.

The official announcement from Facebook can be found here – The Send Button, Because Sometimes It’s Private

The good news for those that have already installed the Like code on their pages is that you can install the Send button like I have done side by side at the top of this post by simply adding the Send attribute to your existing XFBML code. (send=”true”) You can also generate new code for your specific pages by visiting the Send plugin page

If you are just getting started you should read my post on adding the Like button as it also discusses adding the Open Graph Protocol data that allows you to dictate what content, image and title is shared automatically for the page when someone clicks on your Send button.

27 Ways to View the Web Beyond Your Site

Image: gerlos via Flickr

The web just keeps gaining significance in the world of small business and it’s no longer enough to think about your web site as your web strategy.

Marketing today means building a great deal of your thinking around a total web presence. I suspect you’ve heard this before because this idea is one that is being voiced by just about anyone that’s online today, but I encounter business owner after business owner frustrated with trying wrap their head around this idea in a practical sense.

For today’s post I would like to outline what I think is a very practical and doable approach to building your total online presence. You can build your web presence out fully by taking action in each of the five station of work below. Think of each station as a bucket. You need to start adding to each bucket in a systematic way, but don’t try to fill one bucket before you move to the next – put a little in each bucket and keep returning. This way you’ll build momentum in the short view, while building value in the long view.

The Listening Station

Your online marketing will benefit greatly when you take the time to monitor what’s being said by others. Creating an automated way to do this, something I call a listening station, is a base strategy these days.

  • Create Google Alerts to monitor your brand, products, competitors and industry
  • Use tools like to Social Mention and Postling to get deeper analysis of what’s being said – even on review sites like Yelp!
  • Find and subscribe to industry or related blogs and feed them into Google Reader for quick scanning
  • Create Digg and delicious accounts to quickly scan what’s hot and what’s new
  • Put key journalists in a Google Alerts track so you can participate when they write or blog

Content As Hub

I’m going with the assumption that you have web content that describes your business, tells your story, outlines your products and services and maybe even showcases a few client success stories. That’s good, that’s a start, but now you need to go to work on consistent content creation – the kind that builds trust, draws links, and educates.

  • Add a blog, sorry you must do this, better still, build your entire web site with WordPress
  • Create a lists of related or local bloggers using Google BlogSearch and placeblogger as potential guest blog hosts
  • Submit keyword rich articles to article directory sites
  • Keep a notebook of every question a prospect or customer asks and create blog post answers and FAQ pages
  • Stick a camera in front of your best clients and get them to share how important your business is to them
  • Turn your sales presentation into a slide deck and post it to your site

Pushing Out Assets

  • Create YouTube, Flickr, and Slideshare accounts and post your videos, images, and slides with complete keyword rich descriptions of each
  • Claim and enhance your Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Local profiles
  • Build a LinkedIn profile and LinkedIn Company Page complete with lots of links back to your site, blog, and events
  • Create an Official Facebook Page (that’s what they are calling Fan Pages these days)
  • Claim and enhance your company pages on review sites like Yelp and CitySearch and start participating in the review process
  • Build profiles in social networks beyond Facebook and LinkedIn – here are 13 good ones

Participating Socially

  • Use your Facebook Page as a way to create awareness about events and content and as another vehicle to reach prospect with fresh content
  • Ask and answer questions on LinkedIn Answers – it can be an interesting way to showcase your expertise
  • Use a tool like Flowtown to figure out which of your prospects and customers are the most active in social networks and equip them to be ambassadors
  • Learn how to mine Twitter for leads and opportunities – I share some useful ways here

Facilitating Community

  • Create events and groups on MeetUp and bring like minded people together
  • Use project and customer portal tools like Central Desktop to create a place where your customers can access information and collaborate
  • Get your customers involved in creating community through the use of a wiki that allows them to share and generate ideas
  • Create a group blog that features content contributed by your team of strategic partners
  • Set-up Facebook Groups and add your customers and prospects so you can host live group chats and peer to peer discussions
  • Add the peep.ly service to your directory so visitors can see who you have in common social networks

That should get you started, but expand your thinking beyond the action steps above. In fact, share more action steps in the comments here!

New Facebook Groups Could Be Big for Business

Facebook rolled out a few unpredicted changes this week with an eye of getting users to communicate with friends in new ways.

Probably the most important announcement was the Facebook groups function. (Not to be confused with the ability to create public Groups on Facebook.) Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated in the announcement that groups are going to create a fundamental shift in how people use Facebook.

The way groups works is that you now can go through your list of friends and group them – family, work, fantasy football, clients, etc. The reason I think this has some potential for business is that you can then communicate in unique ways only with group members. You can communicate via email, chat and even post documents to the group privately.

Here are some initial ways I see business putting groups to work.

  • If you want to promote your after hours work seminar, you can pinpoint your customer related contacts group and make sure that only they see the invite (and here’s the big deal) via email. (Of course anyone can opt out of a group and I’m sure we’ll see a rise in spammish uses, but I think this could become significant for business.)
  • You will see companies create private, customer only groups, and use the platform as a way to share information with this group.
  • There’s also a group chat function that could make for some interesting business use as well. I think hosting live chats with your groups on Facebook might prove an effective way to create more engagement on the platform.
  • This tool will also surely be used by companies as a way to privately share information internally.

Here’s how you create a group

1) Go to groups page and create a group (This function is being rolled out to profile pages so you will be able to create one there as well)
2) Name your group and assign it an email address (grab them now as they email names are first come first serve) – after you set up group hit Edit Group to select an email.
3) Select your privacy settings – you probably want to keep what goes on in the group private but do know that any of your friends will be able to see who is in a group