After Launch


We launched a website at the beginning of this month.

This is exciting.

Part of the reason it’s exciting is that you can justifiably obsess over your stats (Google Analytics, in my case) for at least two weeks and ohmyGOD there is just so much exciting information to digest.

And therein lies the problem: there is SO MUCH data you can measure, it can be incredibly difficult to know where to start. You want to measure everything, but you don’t know yet what will be valuable, especially if you’re not a straight-forward e-commerce site. This is where it starts to lose the exciting element and become a bit daunting…

Especially when you add in all the other things you have to think about properly now you’re live: SEO for your pages, improving links from third-party sites (which, thanks to this, now has a whole other level of daunt attached), and, of course, creating lots of good content to add to your site every day.

Eeek. Lots to do.

So here are the two things I know for definite:

  1. Avoid Black Hat SEO tactics at all costs. Basically, if you write content that your audience likes, Google will also like you better.
  2. There will always be other people out there who have had the issues you’re having now, and in a lot of cases will have created resources you can make use of. This econsultancy blog post for example has a really useful list of suggested custom reports ready to go, and they also have a great post about how to set up custom reports.

Essentially – if in doubt, Google it.

Of course.

I should have known that… part two

unfriendA couple of months ago I wrote a post about some of those little things on your Facebook profile you feel like you should know, but then you look at and realise you haven’t the foggiest. I’m sure Facebook used to be intuitive back in the heady days of 2005 but it doesn’t always feel like that now…

Anyway, no blog post about Facebook is ever going to be exhaustive so here are a few more things to add to said list.

Q: How do I unfriend someone on Facebook?

A: Go to the profile of the person you want to unfriend. Find the little arrow button at the bottom of their cover photo, on the right. Click the arrow.  You’ll get a drop-down list of options. At the bottom of this list you’ll see ‘unfriend’.

Q: Will the person be notified that I’ve unfriended them?

A: No. They won’t be notified, and they won’t know anything about it unless they happen to go on your profile and see that you’re no longer friends. But if they’re the sort of person who is likely to do that and you don’t want them to have even the slightest clue, your best bet would be to add them to your acquaintances list so you see less of them in your newsfeed, or even hide all their updates. Then add them to a restricted list so that they only ever see your public updates. Find out how to do all this here.

Q: Who can see my photos?

A: This entirely depends on the settings of the person who added the photos. If a friend adds a picture of you, their post will follow their own privacy settings. Typically a photo will be visible to the friend list of both the person who added it and the people who have been tagged, so if you don’t want to automatically have your photos appear to all make sure you review photos people tag of you in your Activity Log. To see your Activity Log, go to your profile and it’s the second main button on the right side at the bottom of your cover photo.

Q: How do I set the audience on my own posts/photos?

Every time you post a status update or a picture you have the option to set the audience – it will display in the status box as an option to the left of the ‘post’ button. To set your default audience view (eg if you want only a certain list to see everything), go to your privacy settings – it’s the little ‘lock’ icon in the top right-hand corner next to the gear icon. Click it and you’ll get a drop-down list which shows you what your privacy settings are. You can change them here.

Q: What about my old posts? How do I make sure they’re not public?

As above, go to your privacy settings and at the bottom of the drop-down list click ‘see more settings.’ From there you can select to ‘limit past posts.’ There’s more information about what this means here.

Q: I keep seeing this post about Facebook taking away the ‘who can look up your profile by name’ option. What does this mean?

A: It means that anyone who types your name into the search box in Facebook will be able to find your profile now – before, if you used this feature, you could restrict this. Now, the way to restrict what people see is by using the privacy settings as detailed above. If you’ve got everything switched to Friends Only, for example, someone who finds your profile who isn’t a friend will only see that information which is public. Note, this refers to search within Facebook only, not all search engines. More information here.

Q: My profile does/doesn’t show in Google search results – why/why not?

A: This is also something you can set under your privacy settings. As above, go to ‘see more settings’ and you’ll see an option at the bottom of the list saying, ‘Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?’ Note the ‘other’ means search engines in addition to Facebook’s Graph Search, so basically Google but also Bing and whatever else people may be using at undisclosed time in the future. Make sure the box is checked or unchecked depending on whether or not you want people to be able to find your Facebook profile in Google search and the like.

Flaws in Facebook’s recent changes


[Image c. SociallyStacked]

Last month I posted about two changes to Facebook’s terms which pleased me more than such geeky things should – the new terms for competitions which allow likes and comments to be a form of entry into a contest, and the ability to edit posts after they’ve been published.

In the last few weeks I’ve been making much use of both these changes and there are a couple of minor frustrations I feel the need to express by way of an update.

Communicating with competition winners

Firstly, using comments and likes as a method to enter a Facebook competition is all well and good – but when you come to contact your winner, Facebook’s restrictions are not.

If you have a winner who you’re not friends with on Facebook (which is obviously going to be the most likely outcome) then contacting them via private message means your note will go into their ‘other’ folder and they probably won’t see it. You’d hope that people who have entered a contest will check the page again, but as we know, that’s unlikely as the vast majority of your page’s followers won’t see the vast majority of your updates.

For me this is a prime example of Facebook’s main problem for brand pages: originally it was a relatively private social network and that’s how many people still think of it. In contrast Twitter’s settings are, by default, public. If you send a DM then the user is highly likely to see it, particularly as the majority of users’ settings will ensure they get an email notification. I’ve never had any problem contacting winners on Twitter directly. Not so on Facebook, where people (rightly) are less willing to be contacted (read: spammed) by brands, even if they have given you a like. No matter how hard it tries, Facebook can’t be Twitter. And I don’t know why it would want to be; they should be different.

Next time I do a competition like this I shall be using something like ShortStack’s comment/like importer to help me capture email address. And sticking with my Facebook tab competitions.

Editing posts after publication

Unless I’m missing something, I don’t think you can edit posts on pages if you’ve posted them via a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer. Which is really annoying, because I like to use the auto-scheduling function on these tools, but you can’t tag pages using them so I also like to edit posts to add that in on occasion.

Please, anyone who can edit third-party scheduled posts – let me know if it’s just lucky old me who’s having this problem…

I should have known that… part one

FBpublic[Image credit, Facebook Help Center]

I’ve been managing various social media accounts for about five years. Not to mention boring a very few people with my own Twitter ramblings, Facebook updates, instagrammed landscapes, etc etc. Like most social media account managers, this means being fanatical about content and borderline obsessed with all kinds of analytics, stressing over engagement and reach and numbers of varying types.

But sometimes you discover something so blindingly obvious you are convinced everyone else has known it for ages and you are a fool. Or someone asks you something you think is blindingly obvious but you know that person is not a fool.  And the only logical conclusion is that these things are not as intuitive as you, with your obsessive page refreshing, might think.

So on the supposition that even seemingly basic things have to be explained at least once, I am going to start cataloguing some of the things I didn’t know about social media, both from a personal and an account management perspective, until I looked them up.

So here goes – starting with Facebook for personal profiles (the same tips not necessarily being the best thing for brands…)

Tips for getting the best out of your Facebook News Feed.

  • If you’re trying to tag a brand or person in a status update and the name doesn’t come up straight away, type the ‘@’ sign before you begin writing their name. Then it should pop up.
  • If you want to see updates in your feed in reverse chronological order, select to sort by ‘Most Recent’ at the top of the feed (this will be in the top right corner of the feed if you’re on a desktop, next to the first right-hand column ad. On a smart phone or tablet it should be an option under the three little lines in the very top left corner – you’ll see News Feed as a sub-option then select Most Recent, OR on an iPhone it might be an option right at the top of the feed, just under the News Feed heading.)
  • On an iPhone you can also sort your news feed by type, for example just to see photos, or to see certain lists, like people from work or school.
  • Which brings us on to lists. Like circles on Google+, you can put people in certain lists so that either they or you only see specific activity. The easiest way to find and create lists is on a desktop – go to your News Feed, then where it says ‘News Feed’ under ‘Favourites’ on the left-hand side of the page, hover over it until a little edit button pops up. Click that and it’ll show you all your existing lists – including what Facebook calls ‘Smart Lists’ ie people from your work/school networks or location.
  • This is also where you can create new lists – for example, a list for industry friends or a specific friendship group – so that you group updates from relevant people in one place. To see updates from people just in that list, you can select it either from your phone (as above) or on the desktop in the left column under ‘Friends.’
  • The ‘Restricted’ list option allows you to group specific people you only want to see your public updates. So if you’ve got work colleagues and you don’t want them to see your drunken weekend antics, add them here. To do this, go to the person’s profile and select the ‘Friends’ button at the bottom of their cover photo, then go to ‘Add to another list’. ‘Restricted’ will be an option in the drop-down – just select it. The person won’t know you’ve added them to this list.
  • ‘Acquaintances’ is another useful list. Adding anyone to this list – which you do in exactly the same way as above – will ensure that fewer of their updates appear in your main News Feed. Their posts won’t disappear entirely but you’ll only see what Facebook thinks is important. Very good for people you don’t know very well who post incessantly!
  • If you want to hide a specific person’s updates from your News Feed completely, again, go to their profile and select the ‘Friends’ button in the bottom right corner of their cover photos. There you’ll get an option to select or deselect ‘Show in News Feed.’ Again they won’t know if you choose to make sure their updates don’t show.
  • If you want to see posts from just the Pages you follow (brands, venues, musicians, TV shows, etc) then these have their own feed too. On a desktop, it will appear on the left-hand side under Pages as ‘Pages Feed.’
  • If you’re posting an update or album of pictures that you want only a certain selection of your friends to see, use the audience selector tool. This is available underneath the update box – on a status update, it’s next to the ‘post’ button and will probably be automatically set to either ‘Public’ or ‘Friends’ depending on your privacy settings. Click on it, and a drop-down box will display – as in the photo above. Select the list you want to show your update to if it’s specific (eg pictures from a work event might just be shown to work colleagues) or if you’re happy for anyone but your ‘Restricted’ list to see it, just select ‘Friends.’

It’s important to note that adding people or pages to lists doesn’t stop them from appearing in your main News Feed completely. Your News Feed will always be a collection of everything that Facebook thinks is of interest to you, based on your previous activities. So if you interact a lot with people in a newly created Friendship list and you also comment on your favourite band’s page a lot, your News Feed will still showcase activity from those feeds. It’s like Amazon recommendations: the more active you are in hiding activity you DON’T like, or commenting/clicking/sharing/ and, um, liking posts you DO like, the more relevant your News Feed will be for you. But lists are very handy for collecting everything together in one place.

Do you have anything else you’d add here that’s of relevance to personal Facebook profiles?

There’s lots more Facebook help here if you’re interested.