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New Facebook Places Features Could Give Local Business Pages a Viral Boost, Help Complete Listings

Today Laura Betterly from Mobile Local Fusion passed on some interesting news for Small Business owners. Facebook is trying to promote local business as well as complete the data of their listings with two new features on Places Pages: Recommend This Place and Community Edits.

The Recommend This Place sidebar module on the Pages of local businesses lets users write a short recommendations which are published to the news feed and shown on the Page to friends. Meanwhile, Cities now display a native tab called Community Edits that asks users to fill information such as address and category of popular Places in that city. These new features open an important new viral channel for local businesses and franchises, and allow Facebook to crowd source improvements to its Places database.

For background, Facebook introduced Places and check-ins in August 2010, originally sourcing its local business database from Localeze. Changes to Localeze profiles are not necessarily synced with Places, though, leaving listings of new and evolving business out of date. After some scrapped attempts at allowing merges of Places and Pages for the same location, Facebook appears to have settled on adding Places functionality in the form of check-ins and maps to Pages listing a street address.

Recommend This Place

The site recently changed the Suggest to Friends feature for Pages so that only a Page’s admins could use it, and so the recommendations would appear in a sidebar module instead of the more prominent Requests channel. While fighting Page spam, it may have reduced the virality of Pages. But now with the launch of Recommend This Place, Pages with Places functionality have been given powerful new viral channel.

Appearing in the top right corner of Pages with a street address to users who live nearby, the module reads “Help your friends discover great places to visit by recommending [Page Name]” above a text field. Users can write a short recommendation, set its new feed visibility privacy setting, and submit it. The recommendation is then published to the news feed and displayed to friends browsing that Page in a “Recommendations From Friends” module in the right sidebar.

Recommend This Place will draw users to the Pages their friends prefer, and give users a social recommendation to Like the Page once they’re there. If Pages push their fans to complete the recommendations via Page updates and their info section, they could get viral exposure and grow their Like count for free.

Community Edits

In March Facebook began showing a small link on Places allowing users to “Suggest Edits”, or fill out missing data fields and submit them for approval. Now Facebook is looking to ensure that the most frequently checked in to locations provide useful information and are properly categorized. To do this, it has added a Community Edits tab the the left navigation menu of Pages for cities.

When clicked, the tab displays incomplete listing for five Places that receive a lot of check-ins in that city, and a header explains that “The Community Edits tab lets you share your knowledge about places in [city] and makes Facebook Places more useful. Add details about places, report duplicates, and more”. Users can then complete empty data fields such as ‘website’ and choose the proper category from a typeahead.

If users need help finding the data, a “Find on Bing” link beneath each entry brings up a Bing Maps search for the location, which sometimes includes the missing zip code or street address. It appears that Facebook’s maps deal with Bing does not cover automatically importing this data, so the social network is using this tab to task users with the chore. Unceremoniously, users are simply presented a new set of Places listings to complete when they finish a first, with no ‘thank you’ or ‘edits received’ message to inspire further assistance.

Users who explore the Community Edits tab and feel a deep loyalty to their city or to Facebook may be willing to perform data entry on their behalf. However, the feature doesn’t offer a clear reward such as authorship for a user’s contribution, nor does it properly applaud them. Facebook could improve the design and messaging of the feature to increase the potential volume of user generated edits the tab could drive.

Free Virality For Now

Recommend This Place and Community Edits may be a sign that Facebook knows helping small businesses get their Pages off the ground is in its own interest. As it did with games developers, offering early free viral exposure for Places could make return on investment cheap enough to lure businesses to market on the social network. Then by weening them off free virality, it could earn money switching them onto Facebook Ads to grow their fan base.

Does your business have a Facbeook Page? If not see what you’re missing!

Mashable.com

Americans Spend 23% of Internet Time on Social Networks [STUDY]

Americans spend almost a quarter of their time online on social networking sites, says a Nielsen report released Monday.

According to the report — which combines data from Nielsen mobile and online meters, buzz data and a survey — Internet users spend more than twice as much time on social networks (including blogs) as they do on online games, the next top web destination by time.

The most popular social network as measured by Nielsen online meters is Facebook, followed by Blogger,Tumblr, Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

 
 

 

Nine of the 10 most popular social networks were dominated by women. Only LinkedIn had a percentage of men visiting the site that exceeds the percentage of men who are active Internet users. Women also watch more video content than men, although men watch longer videos.

Both genders are increasingly accessing social networks using mobile apps. Social networking app usage is up 30% from the same time last year. Social networking apps are the third most downloaded type of smartphone apps behind only games and weather apps. App growth has not affected the percentage of people who access social networks using mobile browsers. Mobile Internet users account for 47% more unique visits to social networks than they did last year.

 

Mobile is just one of the many ways Nielsen found social media use becoming universal.

“It’s the first time we looked at the data comprehensively,” says Nielsen’s SVP of Media & Advertising Insights and Analytics Radha Subramanyam. “[What is most surprising to us] is the rapid adoption, the measurable reach of social media. Four out of five Internet users. One of five minutes spent online. When you have those numbers and see their scale, it’s staggering.”

Facebook Allows More Descriptive Page Tab App Names by Extending Character Limit to 100

MacWin Local Mobile Marketing on FacebookFacebook has greatly extended the length of names permitted for Page tab applications. While before names could only be 16 characters or less, they can now be up to 100 characters, though long names will cause fewer different tabs to be displayed above the fold.

The change will allow admins to more accurately and descriptively name their tabs, and use long names to draw attention to certain tabs. For instance, rather than naming a sweepstakes tab “Enter Contest”, it could be named “Enter to Win a 10-Day Vacation in Hawaii”.

When Facebook released the February 2011 Page redesign, Page tab apps moved from atop the wall to the navigation menu beneath the profile picture. While no longer front and center, this extended the permitted character length for tab app names to 16 and allowed more app to be displayed before a fold. Later Facebook increased the number of tabs visible above the fold and allowed reordering of apps.

However, even 16 characters wasn’t always enough to accurately describe a tab. Short, confusing names may have prevented users from knowing what they were missing by not clicking through to the tab app. For instance, MTV had to call one of its tabs “JS Game” instead of the more compelling “Jersey Shore Game” because of the character limit.

Now, with a maximum length of 100 characters, Page admins have much more flexibility with how they can use the navigation menu. They can list prizes or entry mechanism within the names of contest apps, for example “Subscribe to Emails to Win $10,000″. They can explain the function of utility apps for coupons or discounts, such as “Coupon Codes For Our Online Store”.

Admins could also get more creative, adding urgency to a tab name by listing an expiration date, such as “Only 10 More Hours To Enter Our Contest”. Or they could fill most of their navigation menu with a single tab name rather than try to drive clicks to several different tabs.

To edit Page tab app names, admins can click the Edit Page button on their own Page, then visit the Apps tab, then click “Edit Settings” on the tab they want to rename. To reorder tabs, visit the Page, and click the “Edit” link beneath the tab app navigation menu, or click “More” and then “Edit” button to drag-and-drop the tab apps.

Short, easy to read names are usually best, but when those don’t properly convey an app’s function, Page admins can rewrite them. We’ll watch and see what creative and effective uses are made of this newfound freedom, so check back for more ideas.

Add Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn Info to Your Gmail Contacts

Mashable.com has an article on a new Google Apps gadget, just installed it, worked great! Relationship manager Gist has just launched the Gist Gadget for the Google Apps Marketplace. The Gist Gadget basically lets you find out way more about the people in your inbox, directly from Gmail. Read the rest at mashable.com

Mashable - Social Media Guide

Mashable's Facebook Guide

Mashable.com has a Facebook Guidebook online. Facebook is the world’s leading social network, with over 300 million users and more than 900 employees. But how do you get the most out of it? To answer this question and more, Mashable has created The Facebook Guide Book, a complete collection of resources to help you master Facebook. Check it out at http://mashable.com/guidebook/facebook/

Mashable - Social Media Guide

Facebook surpassses Google as the #1 most visited site!

The headline around the Web was that, for the first time, Facebook had eclipsed Google as the most-visited site in the U.S. for a full week. Previously, Facebook had hit No. 1 on a few big holidays, like Christmas and New Year’s Day. That makes sense—everyone is home and uploading photos from that digital camera Santa left under the tree, or furiously untagging photos from the night before (respectively). But for the week ending March 13, the biggest holiday was Registered Dietitian Day. It’s clear from the chart below that Facebook’s days of needing major events to eke past Google are over.

New Facebook E-Mail Scam is circulating

There’s another spoofed email going around that claims to be from Facebook and asks you to open an attachment to receive a new password. This email is fake. Delete it from your inbox, and warn your friends. Remember that Facebook will never send you a new password in an attachment. For more information on how to stay safe on Facebook and across the Internet, go to http://www.facebook.com/security

Facebook

You can't ignore Facebook in your Social Media Advertising

Facebook

According to the new Nielsen ratings released today, users spend and average of 7 hours per month on the social media and social networking site Facebook! Back in June 2009, Nielsen estimated that the average U.S. user spent 4 hours and 39 minutes on Facebook per month. That’s about 9.3 minutes per day in a 30 day month. In August, that number rose to 5 hours and 46 minutes, or 11.5 minutes per day. In January 2010 though, the amount of time the average person spent on Facebook jumped to over 7 hours. Each American Facebook user spent an average of 421 minutes on Facebook per month, which amounts to over 14 minutes per day.

Facebook’s Major Redesign Emphasizes Search and So Much More

Here’s a link to an article on Mashable.com about Facebook, the social media and social networking giant’s new redesign: http://mashable.com/2010/02/04/facebook-redesign-4/

Facebook passes the 400 million mark

Facebook is celebrating its 6th birthday in style, with yet another traffic milestone: 400 million users served. It is now by far the largest social media and social networking site in the world.
Two months ago the social network hit 350 million, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg reminds us that number was less than half of today’s 400 million mark a year ago. It took the site about three months to climb from 300 to 350 million users and only about two months to gain another 50 million, indicating Facebook (Facebook)’s explosive growth is actually still accelerating.
Zuckerberg also mentions some upcoming announcements followed by an all-night Hackathon coding session. We’ll be on the ground at Facebook HQ to cover the upcoming new features, so sit tight for more birthday news on the way.