Facebook changes how you share content in notes

Facebook just pushed this into our feed, looks like they are getting ready for Timeline. We would have thought a lot of people use this feature to import the RSS feeds into Facebook.

You currently automatically import content from your website or blog into your Facebook notes. Starting on November 22, 2012, this feature will no longer be available, although you’ll still be able to write individual notes.

The best way to share content from your website is to post links on your Timeline. Learn more about notes.

This also works on the Android app as well which is really useful

The science of sharing: How charities can increase financial support using social media

This guest post has been written by Craig Hartzel,  CEO of Charity Greetings and expert in creating infinite social loops.

In this short blog post, I am going to share (excuse the pun) with you my findings of why people actually share content on websites. I did this research for my book, Playing The Charity Card.

My aim was to find the scientific and psychological reasons individuals share content via their social media identities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, etcetera.

You’ve all seen the Facebook like and share buttons, tweets and Google +1 icons all across the web, but what actually compels you to hit that button and give that specific content your seal of approval?

With the nature of social networks and the exponential benefits of spreading the word with powerful peer-to-peer marketing, charities simply must have a sharing strategy.

I’ve studied the psychology of sharing extensively to find out what really drives people to share online content with their family and friends.

Are you prioritising Facebook Share over Facebook Likes?

It’s easy to get caught up in the Facebook like craze that’s been sweeping websites, but are web and social media masters missing a trick by focusing on the Like over the Share?

So let’s start with the difference. A Facebook Like is a vote for a link and its content. A Share is exactly what it says… the user sharing the post, image, link with their social network. This is important because of the way Facebook news feed works, a user simply Liking an update is not enough to guarantee their friends will see it in their feed when they log-in, there’s too many variables that get in the way.

For instance, if a friend also Likes your brand page then they will likely see the update their friend has just liked, however friends who have never interacted with your brand won’t see the Like. Contrast this with a Share where the user is specifically saying “look at what I’ve found”. A Share acts more like a normal status update.

Your tweets are hot in the middle for CTR

Here is some very interesting data via RRW and the folks at Hubspot. It seems that out of 200,000 tweets analysed, other than at the very end of the tweet the middle of the text is also a very hot location for CTR for people reading the tweets. You can also see a spike  of solid red at the end as well, given that the end of a tweet is probably the most common place to put the link, that is to be expected.

It will be interesting to see how social managers react to this data. Personally, we’re going to add more variety into our link placement. In many ways placing the link in the middle or near the front of the tweet will force us to be more creative with how we write our messages.

It also sends an interesting signal to readers that this account probably isn’t just feeding RSS, someone took the time to craft this tweet.

How to use Facebook’s Profile subscribers feature

Facebook have launched a new feature that allows you to subscribe to other Facebook Profiles. This works differently to the usually friending you might be used to. If a Facebook user turns on the subscribers’ feature you will see a button on their Profile.

Clicking the button subscribes you to that user and you will now see all their public posts in your newsfeed.

If you turn on subscribers you will automatically subscribe to all your friends, makes sense when you think about it, as this allows more granular control later on. If you’re already friends with a person you will continue to see all their private updates.

If you want to make your Profile available to be subscribed to check out the Facebook subscriber page, you will also get some extra options to allow subscribers to comment on your public posts –  just click the green button!

Facebook have also released updated guidance on when you should create a brand fan page or use the new subscribe tool.

  • Pages have advanced marketing features for managing your brand or business on Facebook. Pages can be maintained by multiple people on your team, have insights to understand who your fans are,  and can target posts by language and location.
  • Profiles with subscribers are ideal if you want to personally connect with friends, family and other people who are interested in you. It’s fun to receive updates from friends and others that you want to subscribe to, and it’s easy to publish to your subscribers on the go. Anyone who subscribes to your profile can receive your public posts in their Newsfeed.

This all makes total sense of course, but it will be interesting to see how many brands decide to make use of Facebook Profile subscribers to put a more human face on their brands. Of course the new service is a boon for anyone with a high public profile –  an area that Facebook has always made more difficult than Twitter in the past.

Advice: Your charity’s first social media steps

While we know many, many, many posts have been written on this subject across the web, we felt it was worth revisiting in light of Google+ and many of the new features being added to Facebook and Twitter that are propelling social media forward in a way we could barely predict even last year.

Take the first step for your charity

Generally speaking, you are going to want to have a Facebook Page  (not a Profile) and a  Twitter  account, also a YouTube account as well if you plan on doing a video blog (worth considering and cheap, all you need is a webcam). Facebook Pages are the key way for you to use Facebook as your charity brand. It’s not wise to use a Facebook Profile as your brand presence on Facebook, it will probably get deleted in time.

Our take on Google+

Google+ has been out for a few days so we thought it was time to offer some early thoughts. First off, it’s not like any of Google’s previous attempts like Buzz, Wave or Orkut. Google+ is more mature, you can tell they really thought about how they were going to approach a social network in a modern context.

To sum up Google+ is difficult. It’s like the best bits of Facebook mixed with bits of Twitter and a few Googlish conventions thrown in. Plus is very contact driven, that is to say that an email address seems to be the central way to connect with people right now. Google makes a big thing of importing your address book and if you used Buzz you can quickly add all your Buzz contacts into Circles.

A Circle is a way of marking a contact for particular updates, so you might have co-workers in one and family in another. Of course you can have a contact in more than one Circle, where this is used is to determine when you post who can see an update. Plus asks you who you want to share each post with. If you’re thinking that sounds like Facebook lists, you’re right, only properly done… people will use lists when it’s fun and when there’s a useful reason to use them to determine who sees an update.

Google has privacy in mind

Google+ feels like it has privacy in mind, which is refreshing for Google in many respects. One interesting new feature is the ability to export your entire history with Google to a downloadable file you can import elsewhere (in the future).

We think where Google+ may win many many fans is with Huddle, a 10-way video conferencing solution that is mind blowing. Especially when you consider Microsoft’s Skype charges £5 for 5 way and Google+ is free!  We’ve taken part in a few hangouts and it’s brilliant clear video and audio (bandwidth permitting) and the way the conversation view focuses on who is speaking makes this a win for charity use.

There’s a lot to see and do with Google+. It seems this time they may have cracked it and created a network to rival Facebook and Twitter, but then we thought Wave was going to revolutionise email so we’ve been wrong before :-) although it did make its way into Google Docs as a very cool real time collaboration feature.


How to add the Twitter Follow button to your website.

Twitter have released a new Follow button you can add to your website. In one click a visitor can follow you with their Twitter account. There are two types of code, one using  javascript and the other an iframe. Copy the one you want to use and paste it into your website’s code where you want the button to appear. Simple as that!

Twitter Follow button Iframe code:

<iframe allowtransparency=”true” frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”  src=”http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/follow_button.html?screen_name=accountid”  style=”width:300px; height:20px;”></iframe>

The EU cookie directive and its impact on charity websites

Welcome to your worst nightmare! Over dramatic? Read on and see if you still feel that way at the end….

*Update* Check out the comments for some interesting thoughts from people working on this problem, it seems this is not a straightforward issue. With many different ways of interpreting the new law, the sector needs to develop a common approach to interpreting what it means.

Today marks the first day that the European cookie directive that bans the use of web cookies without the user’s expressed consent. What does that mean in real terms? Well it means that if you want to track a user visiting your website (you know, to prove to funders who uses your site) or if you want to provide a user registration and log-in system for your forum or online shop and even potentially to take donations, you will first have to ask the user’s consent to drop that all important cookie.

Yes, it really is as bad as that! Every website operating in the UK right now is probably breaching this new law, but don’t fret too much as the UK government has said we have 12 months to comply and if they get a complaint as long as you can show you are working towards a solution you won’t get a fine.

Brilliant, so you would think the government has issued some clear guidance on how to create a technical solution that meets the letter of the law? HAHA  think again they haven’t got a clue! Their big hope is that they can get browser makes to add a DO NOT TRACK button that a user clicks, thus opting out!

Guess what that will do to your KPI‘s? Toilet and drain!

So let’s consider a true technical solution to this problem that informs your visitors what you are tracking and what happens if they DON’T opt in.

Consider for a moment that you use two forms of  cookie on your website, the first is an analytics service  used by many charities, the second is a custom cookie created by your log-in system to allow your web server to know a user is still logged in as they move around your website (a core bit of most websites).

You would no longer be able to drop those cookies either when the site first loads or when the user logs-in unless you have asked their express permission to do so AND for each cookie you wish to drop. This may lead to multiple requests depending on how a user is accessing your site and at what point they log-in.

Our solution so far is this:

When a user first visits a site, provide a Jscript popover (that wont trigger a browser pop-up warning) this is drawn on top of your web content and in effect prevents the user going further until they have chosen a consent path.

On this popover provide a explanation of each cookie and who provides it so you might say:

  • Google Analytics (used to help us improve our service and prove our worth to funders)~
  • Our charity forum and user profile cookie (ensures you can access our forums and your user profile without problems)
  • Preferences cookie (allows us to remember your choice in future)

Next to each option provides a check box, when the user selects the cookies they wish to allow reload the entire page they are on with the selected cookies activated.

Yes it’s a mess! But right now as the law stands this is what we will be expected to do, saying we are waiting for the browser manufacturers to maybe make a button that might comply with the law is folly. Plan now to change your website and if the button thing happens and satisfies the law great, if not you could be in line for a fine if you didn’t even consider ways to tackle the problem in a year’s time.

We need to educate our visitors and avoid at all costs a single OFF button that will prevent that visitor loading cookies at any website. Informed consent at least means we have a chance to maintain our KPI‘s.  No cookies means no data and no data means funding cut as your stats nosedive.

We would be very interested in setting up a cross organisation working group to examine this issue in detail and provide a recommendation and best practice to the sector as a whole, anyone else up for it?

New Course share their Facebook Page tips

New Course (www.anewcourse.org)
Our Mission Vision: Women of all ages should be empowered to determine the course of their own lives —especially when it comes to basic human rights like food, water, health, education, environment and security.

Working with partners, New Course will connect women with these vital resources through sustainable development and natural-resource management. Together, we’ll help improve their well-being, as well as the health and welfare of their families and communities. We started using Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/NEWCourse ) in October, 2010- which means we have been using it for about seven months.