Social Media Tips Part 2:Facebook Best Practices

Social Media Tips Part 2: Facebook Best Practices

Here is the Facebook best practices edition of JAR social media tips! If you missed last week’s blogging best practices, make sure to check them out!

Facebook started out as a social network for college students. But as we all know, it quickly grew to encompass high school students as well, and then anyone with an email address. At times, Facebook has even surpassed Google in its daily traffic.

Facebook is a place for friends, but it is ever increasingly becoming a place for business as well, though it maintains is casual tone. Facebook started with groups and has moved swiftly to Fan Pages. From the “Become A Fan” to “Like” buttons, Facebook is constantly evolving.

The “Like” button for Facebook makes it easier for Fan Pages to have “fans” because, as it turns out, people are more likely to “like” something than to pledge themselves as an all out “fan” of something. This can increase the reach of a brand and create more opportunities to connect with potential customers and/or clients. Facebook can also be a great forum for your customers to share what they love about your brand, but at the same time allows them an outlet to vent about what they would like to see changed, thus affording an easy way to address customer service issues.

In order to market your business effectively on Facebook, the best place to start these days is with a Fan Page. Here are my top 3 tips for an effective Fan Page:

1. Fill out all information as completely as possible. (But of course, keep your personal privacy and thus safety in mind.) Make sure to keep your contact information updated so that clients and customers can reach you easily.

2. Post links to press releases and different articles written about your company or brand, industry related topics, promotions, and other cool bits of information that keep your fans updated about your brand. Make sure they’re interesting! Show your fan base content that will keep them coming back.

3. Interact with your visitors. Respond to their comments on your posts!

If you have questions about how to optimally set up your Fan Page, email us at askjar@thejargroup.com! Look out for next week’s tips on Twitter best practices!

Read more: http://www.thejargroup.com/social-media-tips-part-2-facebook-best-practices/#ixzz0zQfzsT00

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Advice Worth Taking, ‘How to avoid online business scams’

How to avoid online business scams

Most of us believe that people are honest and that businesses are reputable. However, with the advent of the Internet, there are likely more business scams than most of us can remember. There are some signs that you can watch for that can help you avoid online business scams. Let us discuss some of these signs so that you can avoid being a victim.

1. Large up-front money requests – Any business that is asking you for large sums of money up front is a likely candidate for an online business scam. There are of course, some business ventures that will require up-front fees, but use some caution in determining the legitimacy.

2. Guarantee huge payouts – If you get an email, or “land” on a website that is guaranteeing you large sums of money, then chances are that you have just found an online business scam. Businesses take time, energy and work to get going. Your success is going to depend largely on your hard work and effort. There truly is no such thing as a free lunch!

3. Pins/Personal Information – Be wary of any business proposition that asks you up front for personal information. Now, understand that some legitimate business ventures will require such things as W9’s or even W8’s but factually, if you have to disclose a lot of personal information, make sure you look carefully at what you are getting yourself into. Don’t fall prey to an online business scam that is going to result in your identity being stolen.

4. Check the BBB – Nearly every legitimate business will have a listing that can be easily accessed from the Better Business Bureau. Use this handy, free tool to review what the history of the business you are considering. Do not panic if you see one or two complaints, but, be wary of red flags. Do your homework before you get involved in any online business.

5. Understand TOS – One of the biggest mistakes that people make when deciding to get involved in an online business is a failure to read Terms of Service. You should always read carefully any terms of service for any website you are visiting – this means whether it is a website that you are just reviewing or a website you are doing business with. Take the time to understand what you are committing to before you take any action.

Summary

There are hundreds upon thousands of legitimate business opportunities that you can get involved in online. Do not make the mistake of falling for an online business scam. It is not difficult to avoid online business scams, you just have to pay attention to what you are committing to.

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Excellent Information On Starting a Business in Canada

Starting a Business in Canada

A great guide by www.canadaone.com

Need help starting a business? This section of CanadaOne was designed for you. This workshop provides links to the information you need to get your business up and running – successfully!

Getting Started: Planning & Registering Your Business

Step 1: Are Your Ready for Entrepreneurship?
Our articles Should I Start My Own Company? and Understanding Yourself: Assessing Your Business Readiness – will help you answer this question.

Step 2: Evaluate Your Options
If you plan to build a business from scratch you should start by reading Ten Steps to Your Own Business. If you plan to purchase a business be sure to read our Comprehensive Guide to Buying a Business in Canada.

Step 3: Prepare a Business Plan
Whether you are building a business from scratch or buying a business, you should not skip this important step … even if it means that you just jot your ideas down on scraps of paper or a napkin!

Step 4: Register Your Business -select a province/territory
AB BC MB NB NF  NS  ON PE  SK YT



Handy Provincial Tax Links (PST): (select a province/territory)

ON QU NFL MB SK AB BC NU NWT YK NB NS PEI

ON | QU | NFL | MB | SK | AB | BC | NU | NWT | YK | NB | NS | PEI

Things to consider when starting or buying a business:

What Form of Business Is Best for you?

Selecting a Company Name

Choosing a Year-End

Help! What Taxes Must I Pay?

Demystifying the GST

Business Partnerships Need Pre-Nuptial Agreements

 

Now that You’re Registered … What’s Next?

Registering a business is the easy part. Turning your new business into a profit venture is another matter entirely. There are probably three areas that have the greatest impact on a new business: marketing, money and management.

For a good overview of things to consider when starting a new business, read the articles in 12 Steps to Entrepreneurial Success. This twelve-step series is a good introduction to what you need to know to develop a successful business.

Your next step is to gain the marketing, money and management know-how you will need as an entrepreneur. Below we provide links to the best articles we have on these topics for new entrepreneurs.

Marketing & PR

The Marketing & PR Checklist
Use this checklist to plan, track, and evaluate your marketing efforts.

Know your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
This article looks at how you can power drive your sales and marketing by understanding what makes your business unique.

Marketing Biz: Getting Started on a Shoestring
If you had the ear of a leading marketing guru, what questions who you ask? We were recently fortunate enough to have this opportunity, as we interviewed Jay Levinson, the noted author of Guerrilla Marketing.

Marketing 101
Marketing/advertising that will help you get your new business up & running.

Successful Sales
Success through sales – how a plan of action can help you turn business leads into new business.

News Release Builder
This online workshop teaches you how to write and distribute a press release – go directly to step 4 to build your own press release online.

Media Relations
A basic primer for small businesses.

The Marketing Phrase Book
(review) Are you tongue-tied when it comes to writing promotions? This book is a valuable resource for professionals with writer’s block.

Upcoming Business Events
Our events calendar contains information on upcoming business events across Canada.

Interpersonal Networking Skills
Do I/don’t I? skills for good interpersonal networking.

Networking using Today’s Telephone Technology
Tips for using your telephone as a networking tool – Part I and Part II

Seeing Things from the Customer’s Perspective
Step in to your customers shoes and consider how you can improve your business with this simple exercise.

Canadian Trade Shows
Looking for Canadian tradeshows? Be sure to check out these online resources.

Money Matters

Using RRSPs to Finance your Start-up
Tax implications for using RRSPs to start a business, and questions to ask yourself before purchasing an existing business.

Financing your Business: Preparation Steps
Before starting your search for capital, be prepared; this article lists the things you should do before going to the bank.

Financial Glossary
Use our financial glossary to discover the meaning of terms such as working capital, liquidity, and fixed assets.

A Consumer Credit Rating Primer
A good overview of what factors affect consumer credit ratings.

Accounting 101: Balance Sheet Basics
If owners equity calculations send your head spinning, read on for a clear understanding of balance sheet basics for small business owners.

Understanding Financial Statements
This article briefly explains the balance sheet and income statement, two financial statements are used by financial institutions to evaluate a company’s loan application.

Financial Ratios Revisited
A look at the ratios most commonly used by the bank to assess your credit application.

Understanding the Bankers’ Formula
Need to secure debt financing? This multi-part article explains how you can improve the odds of securing credit from a bank.

Collecting Debts
If you are reluctant – uncomfortable – collecting debts, consider this advice.

Government Grants & Loans
Looking for government money? Use this free resource!

Other Financing Channels When your financing channels are limited, consider these options.

Cut Costs without Cutting Corners
The day to day expenses of running a business can quickly add up. This list of cost cutting ideas can save you money without losing face with your customers.

The Ins and Outs of Individual Credit
You’ve decided to run a credit check on a potential client to ensure that you’ll get paid for your services. Once the report arrives what are you really looking at and how can you use the information to make the best decision? This article can help.

Management

Mission and Vision Statements
Vision and goals may seem like the “soft-stuff” of business, but as seasoned business owners know, these intangible elements play a very important role in the success—or failure—of a business.

The Formula for Success
What do some entrepreneurs do differently that enables them to achieve almost mythical business success? This month we look at the characteristics that separate successful entrepreneurs from their peers.

Planning to Fail Can Spell Success
In order to succeed, plan to fail. Now, why, you probably ask, would anyone want to plan to fail? Steve Bareham shows how a look at the causes of business failure can be the key to success.

Success Requires Action not Talk!
You need urgency to be an entrepreneur. If you hire someone who doesn’t have it, it could sap your resources and ruin your business.

Common Sense Leadership
Do you ever find yourself wondering if you are the leader your employees need? Or perhaps their actions don’t seem to line up with your expectations. Paul Adams shows you how you can become a smart leader with these simple steps.

Success is Managing with Common Sense and a Flair for Leadership
Leadership skills are critical to the success of a new venture. Do you have them? Whether or not you think you’re a gifted leader, you should consider putting management theories aside and focus on common sense as you build your business.

Awaken the Leader Within You!
Do you want to improve your leadership skills? Here are ten easy steps that will help you awaken the leader in you and rekindle your passion for greatness.

Success is in the details
The failure of a business doesn’t happen overnight, it is often the product of neglect, and overlooked details. Learn to spot the warning signs before your business becomes a statistic.

Lessons in Leadership: Decision Making a Must for Success
Lessons in Leadership: Rewarding Extra Effort
Making heroes of employees is common practice with many well-managed progressive companies. In this article Dr. Paul Adams looks at the advantages – as well as the possible pitfalls – of using rewards to motivate your employees.

Work Smarter – Not Harder
How many of us work harder, when we should really work smarter? This article looks at how you can use strategy to accomplish more .. with less!

Other Great Articles

Are You Waiting for the Perfect Goal?
Successful entrepreneurs are driven by goals, which are integral to their success. Here’s how you can define goals that will get you moving.

If Only I Could Get Organized!
Reg Pirie offers some excellent answers to the question many business people ask – How do I get organized?

Time Management: Interrupt Interruptions!
A piece of paper and a pencil are all the strategy you need to save time.

Don’t Put it Off Any Longer: Cure that Procrastination Virus
Do you find yourself waiting to the last minute to tackle projects? This article can help you cure your procrastination habit.

Keys to Home-Based Business Success
Follow these 3 P’s and you will be on the right track to successfully compete in your home-based business.

HR Benefits for Small Businesses
An outstanding benefits plan can help you grab great employees out of the reach of competitors and keep them happy at your company.

Ten Things You Must Know Before You Sign a Business Lease
Things you need to know before negotiating a business lease.

Systematize and Simplify
Are you tired of hectic deadlines and having too much to do? Here’s a tip that will help you reduce the time you spend on repetitive tasks.

Doomed to Fail Before You Start
Want to start your own business? Reg Pirie offers excellent advice that can help you avoid business failure!

Who Needs a Mentor!
A sounding board, a trusted resource. Someone who can listen – and challenge you to new levels. Mentors offer untold value to new entrepreneurs; in this article Reg Pirie explains why you need them, and how to find them.

Conquer the Fear of Public Speaking
Stomp that #2 fear and gain the skills to knock their socks off the next time you represent your company in front of a live audience.

Unclutter for Success!
Learn how to reduce stress and frustration with these tips for uncluttering your business space.

So, You Want to Be a Consultant
There is more than meets the eye to these people then jetting around the world. We get the goods on what it really takes to make it in this business

Get Help Marketing YourBusiness Online

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Just What is Facebook Anyway? Why Should “You” Be Using It?

what is facebook

What is Facebook and why should you use it?

by News.cnet.com

Facebook is a social networking service that lets you connect with friends, co-workers, and others who share similar interests or who have common backgrounds.

Many use it as a way to stay in touch after finishing school, or as a way to share their life publicly.

What makes Facebook different from other social networks are its extensive privacy controls, its development platform, and its large and quickly growing user base.

Facebook has been called the "thinking person's" social network. Compared to many other social networks, Facebook gets new features and improvements on a regular basis.

Setup

Facebook, like other social networks, is all about getting in touch with others.

Luckily for novice users, Facebook has created some simple ways to find your friends using your e-mail address, or the buddy list from your AOL instant messaging account.

You can also search by name, or pull up listings based on your computer's address book.

what is facebook

Find your friends with Facebook's built-in friend finder.

To get started adding friends to Facebook (many of who may already be on the system), I recommend a multipronged attack.

Use your most active Web mail account (Hotmail, as one example), and your AIM buddy list, which in some cases could pull up nearly everyone you know.

Since everyone needs an e-mail address to sign up with Facebook, giving Facebook permission to use your existing address books should make it possible to track down everyone with whom you communicate.

Once you've added the people you know or remember (you can always add or delete them later on), one of your first steps should be filling out your own profile.

You're welcome to do this before tracking down your friends, but you'll find that people are almost always constantly making tweaks to their profile, so nothing is set in stone.

The two main things that are important here are a personal picture, and your contact information–both of which Facebook highlights when you're setting things up.

For profile pictures, it can be anything you'd like, and you can simply upload an image to the service from your hard drive. Filling out the rest of your profile is as simple as completing any Web form. You're not required to include anything about yourself, so don't feel too inclined to fill out information you don't want others to see; which brings us to the topic of privacy, which you can read more about after the break…

Continue reading to learn about privacy, saying hello, "poking," sharing bookmarks, and using Facebook applications. We'll also delve into some advanced items, such as add-ons and hidden features.

Privacy

Privacy is one of the key differentiators of Facebook from other social networking services.

Facebook gives you the option to control what others see, right down to individual photo albums, or various pieces of personal information such as your address, phone number, and screen name on instant messaging services.

what is facebook

Privacy controls you'll find on the profile edit page.

To control or limit the flow of information to others–including your friends–Facebook has set up some simple controls to adjust privacy. When setting up your profile, you might have noticed some little blue locks under your contact information. You can adjust each one of these for the information to be visible to everyone, just your friends, or no one at all.

Those little blue locks are just the tip of the iceberg. To dig deeper, beyond just contact information, click the privacy link on the top right of Facebook.

This will take you to a control panel that lets you manage various elements of your profile, including: what users see when searching for you; what actions Facebook reports to others; and which people get limited, or no access to your profile.

While you can go in to change any of these, the two most important ones that are worth tweaking are the profile settings (what parts of your profile people can see), and your news feed and mini-feed, which is a running ticker of your activity on the service.

Some people are more than happy to let everyone know what they're doing, but if you don't feel like sharing this information with people, it's worth taking a minute to tweak.

As far as what you should share with everyone, it's whatever you're comfortable with. I'd obviously recommend keeping your home address off, along with telephone numbers. Your best bet is to provide your real e-mail address, and limit it to friends only. If you do make your e-mail publicly available, try to use a secondary account, or one you use for spam.

Saying hello

Once you've got your profile set up and you've linked with several friends, there are a handful of ways to communicate with others.

The first is the Wall, which is the de facto place to leave a note on everyone's profile page. It's completely public, so whatever you write, others will be able to see.

As of last week, you're now able to leave attachments on people's Walls, including photos, videos, and all sorts of rich media items that have been integrated with Facebook applications, which we'll be getting into later on.

Facebook also has its own e-mail service. One thing that makes this internal messaging service attractive is its conversation threading, which shows each message sent back and forth.

It's a great way to keep track of who said what, similar to what you get with Gmail. Just like Gmail, you can just begin typing in a friend's name, or pick the "send FRIEND a message" from the list of commands under their profile picture. This will open up the message composition page, where you can write to your heart's content and add various attachments, similar to what you're able to do on their Walls. All of this can be managed under the In-box tab, which you'll find on the top middle of the page.

connect with friends on facebook

(Left) Writing on people's Walls is a public affair. People can see what you wrote, and visa versa. (Right) Facebook's internal messaging service feels a bit like e-mail.

The poke option is found in the list of links below a profile picture.

Poking

Newcomers to Facebook might be a little alarmed at the poking system, but don't be scared.

The poke is a subtle, wordless way of saying hello to someone you know–or, in some cases, don't know.

To poke anyone just pick the "Poke him/her" option on the list of actions below their profile picture. Your poke will show up in their notifications box when they log back in, and they'll have the option to poke you back, or ignore it.

Poking is ultimately useless, although many would agree it's one of the small charms and reminders that differentiates Facebook from other social networks.

Sharing is caring

Social bookmarking services such as Del.icio.us and Digg are a cool way to share stories or bits of Web content you've found.

Likewise, Facebook has its own sharing system built in. You can post items to your profile or send them to your friends on and off the service.

Anyone you've shared items with can then leave comments and discuss the item with others.

There are two easy ways to share links on Facebook. One is to copy and paste a link to your sharing page. The other is to add the "share on Facebook" bookmarklet to your browser's bookmarks bar.

If you intend on sharing things on a regular basis, I'd recommend adding the bookmarklet, as it gives you a one-click option to share something and continue browsing.

Either way, once you've fed in a URL, it will scrape the page to grab any related pictures and a brief description. You can also go in and add your own text, which will show up right underneath it. Once you're done tweaking it to your liking, you have the option to post it to your profile, or send it to others on or off Facebook.

Applications show up on the left-hand menu.

Applications/f8 platform

One of the biggest draws to Facebook came earlier this year with the launch of f8, a platform for developers to make their own applications that integrate tightly with Facebook.

Your friends can see what applications you're using and vice versa, taking some of the effort out of finding what's cool and what's not.

Applications reside mostly on your profile, for others to see. Many applications are like little Web sites that run right inside the service.

To find applications, there's a built-in directory on Facebook. This directory shows the newest and most popular applications, along with a counter of how many people are using them.

Once you've found one you like, you can simply add it to your profile. There's no software installation required–you're simply telling Facebook you want access to it. Likewise, if you find one of your friends using an application, you can click the link to its name to find out more about it.

A listing of all your applications resides on the farthest left side of the page. To manage them, just click the "edit" button next to the applications link on top of the list. Here you can rearrange which applications make your short list (the small group of seven or less applications that resides on the left), edit various application settings, or get rid of ones you don't want anymore.

Applications can be useful, but a word to the wise: get rid of the ones you don't use anymore, and keep it clean. One of the things that makes Facebook so attractive is that its simplified profiles don't distract or bombard you with visual overload. While personal style is an important part of social networking, adding too many applications to your profile can render things distracting to friends, who simply won't bother visiting your profile page.

Advanced user tidbits/add-ons

Social timeline

You may have noticed that every time you add a new friend on Facebook, you have the option to give a small amount of detail about how you know them.

Many of these options include things such as when you had a job together, if you went to school at a certain time, and so on.

All of this information is made available in your social timeline, which can be found under Friends > Social Timeline. Assuming you've got some friends, and bothered to fill out this information, you'll be able to keep track of all sorts of life events.

To add on to the timeline, just pick a friend who you want to add details about, and choose the "How do you know FRIEND?" link when browsing or searching in the Friends tab on the top menu. It'll pull up that same assortment of boxes you get when you first add a friend.

Facebook toolbar
You've already mastered profiles, messaging, poking, and more. In fact, you're doing it so regularly you'd like to add the service to your browser to skip a few steps.

Lucky for you, there's a toolbar you can install in your browser which gives you a handy Facebook search bar and a notifier for when you get new message or when friends change items on their profile. There's also an integrated share button to post whatever you're looking at, similar to the bookmarklet mentioned earlier.

Facebook Photo Album Downloader
Facebook lets you upload and share your photos with others. The only hitch is that you can't grab photos easily–you have to right click and then save them one at a time.

This Firefox extension will pull down an entire album for you. One installed, just right click on the link to an album, and it will fetch all the pictures and download them to your desktop.

Facebook Exporter for iPhoto
Got photos you want to upload to Facebook, but don't feel like logging in, and dealing with the Web uploader?

If you're a Mac user who uses iPhoto, installing this plug-in will let you upload single shots, or entire albums to Facebook without having to fire up your browser.

Facebook events to Google Calendar
Facebook's built-in events feature is a neat way to create and keep track of upcoming social events.

If you're a Google Calendar user, you don't have to rely on yet another calendar with this script for Greasemonkey, a popular Firefox add-on. Facebook events to Google Calendar does just what it says, by giving you a new option next to a Facebook event that lets you send a copy straight to your Google Calendar.

Facebook Widget for Mac OS X
This widget for the Mac OS X Dashboard gives you almost real-time user data from happenings all over Facebook. You can keep track of wall posts, your in-box, friends requests, and pokes. Since it's Dashboard, you can open it up and get rid of it at a moment's notice.

What is Twitter?

what is twitter

What is Twitter? By Mashable

Twitter describes itself as, “a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”

If you’re new Twitter, then that description might seem a bit vague and ambiguous. So, to help you wrap your mind around the short-form messaging tool, start thinking about Twitter as a new form of online communication. Twitter is just communication in a new shape, but it’s also a platform for listening to the communication of others in new ways.

Currently we have email, instant messenger, and VoIP tools like Skype as one-to-one or one-to-few online communication tools. For one-to-many online communication, online publishers can turn to blogs to create and distribute content rapidly and reach anyone on the web through RSS feeds.

Twitter is a combination of these various forms of communication, but its primary difference is that posts, or tweets, are restricted to 140 characters or less.

As a Twitter user you can post updates, follow and view updates from other users (this is akin to subscribing to a blog’s RSS feed), and send a public reply or private direct message to connect with another Twitterer.

Though users can answer the prompt, “What are you doing?”, tweets have evolved to more than everyday experiences, and take the shape of shared links to interesting content on the web, conversations around hot topics (using hashtags), photos, videos, music, and, most importantly, real-time accounts from people who are in the midst of a newsworthy event, crisis, or natural disaster.

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