Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Has Facebook Really Acquired Instachecker.com?

instachecker

So the rumors were true. Facebook has finally announced acquiring Instachecker.com via MarkMonitor, the Internet brand-protection company. However, according to a report by Fusible, the URL cannot be considered a website yet.

instachecker

The report from Fusible states that Instachecker.com was registered in May 2012 for the first time. Since the domain’s previous owner used privacy service Whois, the details of the price at which the social network purchased the URL cannot be found.

Fusible hint the reason for Facebook purchasing the domain is an attempt to protect Instagram, Facebook’s photo-sharing application. Here, the point to be noted is that Instacheker.net, Instacheker.org, and other similar URLs are still up for grabs in the market.

Facebook Announces Acquisition of Atlas

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Facebook officially announced the acquisition of Atlas Solutions past Thursday. The social media giant was able to acquire Atlas Solutions from Microsoft. According to Gokul Rajaram, Ads Product Director for Facebook, the company will now be working on developing an ad-serving solution for mobile devices.

The acquisition of Atlas Solutions will allow Facebook in serving the hungry mobile marketers better and more efficiently.

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“One of the big things we hear from marketers and agencies is that the current ad-serving systems do not support mobile. Mobile is a black box. Mobile basically is unsupported in ad serving and measurement. Marketers need to know that their mobile campaigns can be fully measured, and that’s not happening today. And so we are committing to eventually build a mobile-device, cross-platform ad-serving solution for Atlas,” said Rajaram to AdExchanger.

“Two things: Atlas already has expertise in this, so this is a fairly complex ecosystem, it’s a fairly complex technology stack. It’s a fairly complex product. There’s a lot of domain expertise. We feel that the Atlas product already has a lot of experience, both around understanding customer needs and around technology. Second, it already has a fairly large ad server, used by a number of clients and agencies out there.”

Atlas

In addition, Rajaram spoke of Facebook hiring more employees in the product-management and engineering areas. This way, the company will be able to produce better with this partnership.

 

Free Facebook Voice Calling Out in the U.S. for iOS Users

facebookvoicecalling

Following a trial in Canada earlier in January 2013, Facebook free voice calling is finally out in the U.S., allowing users to make free calls with their iOS messenger, as reported by The Verge. Unfortunately, the feature is not yet available for Android users.

The process is quite simple but users would need an updated version of Facebook Messenger for iOS. There will an ‘i’ icon on the screen that will take users to the ‘Free Call’ icon. Tapping this icon would allow them to make the call.

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As with any other calling process, the profile picture of your friend (who is being called) will take over the screen. It should be noted here that these calls are voice-only for now. In addition, users are only restricted to make calls within the Messenger and not externally. There are chances of updates in the roll that would improve this free calling process, but for now, this is all about it.

On the Recipient’s Side…

While the call is being made, the recipient will receive a notification. Call acceptance or rejection commands will be prompt. In case the recipient misses the call, it will be recorded as a ‘missed call’. However, the missed call will not be recorded in the user’s call log. Instead, the missed call would be recorded in his or her conversation history on the Messenger.

Both parties need to have the Messenger for this feature to work.

What Does it Cost?

The calls are free. However, they surely would contribute your data usage, similar to how other free messaging and calling software work.

Image Courtesy Insidefacebook.com

Get More Facebook ‘Likes’ with these 3 Sure-Fire Methods of Promotion

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Searching for tips to increase your Facebook engagement with potential customers? Confused where to start from? Don’t worry – probably every social marketer goes through such dilemmas every now and then. With social media platforms evolving so rapidly, it truly is hard to keep a track of things. But, as they say, ‘old is gold’, you should stick to the basics.

In this post, we will cover some time-tested tips and techniques on engaging potential customers. These techniques are often overlooked by social media marketers when trying to find ‘innovative’ ways of promoting a brand.

Technique # 1: Offering Deals

Offering deals is probably one of the oldest ways of marketing, and now it is a part of social media marketing too. How does it work here? Deals are great to keep social media engagement by asking users to perform an action before access is granted to him or her.

A sample deal would be something that would ask users like the page to get a 20% discount coupon for the products. Imagine, who wouldn’t make a simple mouse click, which would be a Facebook Like, to get 20% off?

Not just this, you can also ask users to share links or news to get more coverage by offering them discounts or special deals. You can offer 10% discount on every 100 links they post to their friends’ timelines.

facebookdealsImage courtesy samsonmedia.net

Deals are highly effective when it comes to getting more Facebook Likes or spreading the word around.

However, the problem with deals is that since they are easy to access, you might find a lot of untargeted customers on your page. In addition, as noticed over the years, this strategy gives access to users to enter more than once by using fake email addresses.

When to use?

Use deals when you want to get more Likes on your page. This strategy works best in this particular scenario.

Technique # 2: Use Contests to Increase Engagement

Contests have become popular on Facebook, so much so that today users enjoy participating. Ever participated in photo contests or recipe contests? They are easy, they give users confidence and at the same time pull them towards your brand. Why contests are better than deals? Contests allow more engagement from users, which means only those interested or those belonging to a particular group would perform. For instance, only a professional wildlife photographer or an amateur photographer would participate in a contest of wildlife photography. Why would someone who does not possess the skills go for it?

 facebookcontestImage courtesy milanaphotographyb

In addition, Facebook Contests allow you to generate content for your Facebook Page. A wildlife photography contest would gain thousands of pictures that would add to your gallery. Similarly, a protein shake recipe contest would generate thousands of recipes that you would be able to share with your users later on.

While there are no loopholes when it comes to contest for you, participants might face the downside of fake voting.

Technique  # 3: Using Sweepstakes Promotions

Sweepstakes promotions work more or less the same way on Facebook as Contest, but they come with lesser hassles for the user. Users would simply fill in a form to participate with their names and email addresses and they would participate in the draw. In addition, users will Like your page or an image to get in the contest.

 facebooksweepstakesImage courtesy likeable.com

The Bottom Line…

Marketers can use these techniques to increase user engagement and get more likes. Contests, Sweepstakes and Deals can give you more exposure. Try them out and you’ll see how much hidden potential there is in Facebook marketing!

How to use Facebook as a Customer Service Portal

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For any business, customer service is about conversation and resolving conflict, disappointments, handling returns, diffusing customer frustration and anger, and facilitating a satisfactory conclusion for both the customer and your business. Your customer service reputation can be as important to company growth as the actual product or services you provide. And any business owner understands what satisfied customers translate to: return business, excellent referrals, and new customers.

But employee time and efforts utilized for customer service can also detract from profits when excessive hours go into finding resolutions for customers. The expense of this diverted employee time that can be effective in revenue and sales may compound when customer service calls increase.

Facebook, with all the caveats for business promotion and marketing, is now being considered as an effective platform for customer service. There are many aspects of this type of complaint handling that will not only save you time and money—but will create an improved company image to the public and your patrons.

In a case study involving AT&T, the company found that Facebook can be effective for customer service utilization. With more than two million Facebook fans to date, their 2011 deployment of a study pilot using Facebook to manage their customer service proved successful and that even large organizations can make use of this innovative customer service option.

Part of AT&T’s Facebook customer service plan was to prepare their employees to handle the hundreds of requests that would post to their Facebook page each day. It was important to structure their page to accommodate these queries and be sure the Facebook users have a positive customer service experience.

At their Facebook page, AT&T created Notes to assist with customer questions or complaints. Many Facebook business pages underutilize this Notes option, which is a convenient place to assist with customer problems. As other Facebook fans post follow up comments, this provides visible answers or resolutions for other customers to read. There are no specific forms to submit a question or complaint, but Facebook fans are free to join in discussions and post on other people’s comments threads.

AT&T found that utilizing this effective customer service method actually encouraged customers to purchase products after reading about them at their Facebook page. Through tracking sales that originated from Facebook interaction, they found these sales increased their return on investment.

Another interesting branch of AT&T’s Facebook customer service practices is allowing fans to create other pages and groups to allow for conversation based on AT&T’s actual Facebook page. These other groups and pages are available during times employees at AT&T are not online as in during off business hours. Actual AT&T employees will visit these other pages once someone provides assistance—customer to customer, and personally thank the page or group owner who posted the answer. Other businesses would frown on allowing these types of groups in fear incorrect information would be communicated. But AT&T understands clearly the benefit of online communities such as Facebook.

There are several tips for allowing customer service interaction on your Facebook page:

  • Make use of the Notes option or a separate section for customer service needs and issues so your main page will not be clogged up with these queries.
  • It’s essential that you have the same principles and procedures for your company’s customer service apply to the customer service on your Facebook page.
  • Once you create this option, be sure you have employees on hand at all times during your business hours for quick replies to questions posted on your page.
  • You may want to consider overlapping employee shifts to accommodate different time zones in the United States and possibly extended shifts for International customers.

Be sure the employees responding to the Facebook questions know how to use Facebook, are already trained in handling customer service complaints, are computer and Facebook savvy, and are connected to the page on a separate screen, computer, or even a company smart phone with a Facebook app that emits a notification for each new posting on your page. Proper responses in a timely manner are essential to keeping this system of customer service operating efficiently. Here is a recent article on “How to train an employee to mediate and monitor your Facebook fan page

Allow your employees the ability to take notice of customers who post useful comments and thank them, acknowledging their help. These people can be valuable as they post comments on other customer service discussions as a customer who knows—not just an employee far off in an office. This is the beauty of social networking and making use of Facebook as a customer service resource will create a connected group of fans and users who become loyal to your brand.

Let us know of your experiences with using Facebook as a a platform for customer service in the comments below.