Study: Before people shop at a small business, they check Facebook

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According to a new study by G/O Digital, when people want to find out more about a local small business — they check Facebook more than any other social channel.

G/O Digital, a Gannett company, found that when asked which social channel users go to in order to find out about a local business, Facebook led the way at 62 percent. Pinterest was second at 12 percent, and Twitter third at 11 percent.

Jeff Fagel, G/O Digital’s CMO, talked about how the rise of mobile as well as small businesses acquainting themselves with Facebook marketing has played a key part in discovery:

In today’s world, Facebook is essential to daily communication. More than 50 percent of users are engaging with Facebook more than 6 days a week. If you’re looking at it as a small business, there’s a sense of fear and nervousness when it comes to a small business owner deciding to spend $500 or $1,000 on marketing. The fear isn’t about the marketing strategy, but about tossing money down the drain. Offers really provide a proof of success, that if you’re spending $500 or $1,000, then there’s actually a return on it. There’s less room for error with small business.

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Why does Facebook Messenger require so much data?

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As Facebook is unbundling its Facebook Messenger capabilities, turning off messages within the main app, reaction from users has been swift and negative.

Much of the paranoia is fueled by a Huffington Post story from November 2013, as well as a post by a radio station in Houston — both written to stoke fear within Facebook users.

While Facebook Messenger on Android does ask for several permissions that seem privacy-invasive, these actions cannot happen without manual user action. Facebook Messenger will not call people on your behalf or alter your network for Mark Zuckerberg’s benefit.

So why does it all seem so invasive? Mashable has an amazing post breaking down every single permission the Messenger app asks for, explaining why the app needs them.

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How to lock down Facebook privacy — and zip your lips

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In the current era of data mining, account hacking and identity theft, cyber-security has never been more important. And an area that many people leave insanely unprotected is social media, Facebook in particular. Crooks have begun using social media in a variety of ways, from pulling our personal information for identity theft, to paying attention to when you go on vacation in order to rob you while you’re away. And employers (even though they’re not supposed t0) ARE checking your profiles, people.

Fortunately, there are several simple steps that can be taken to lock down your Facebook account and slam the digital door in the face of would-be thieves and other prying eyes.

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Facebook betting big on virtual reality: A look at the Oculus VR deal

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When Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion back in 2012, industry experts believed the social media giant overpaid for the photo app. The same brand of thinking followed Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp in February this year. Regarded as the tech deal of the century, industry opinion was split down the middle on whether the deal made any sense, or Facebook massively overpaid for WhatsApp.

And then in March, Facebook announced its plan to acquire Oculus VR, the maker of virtual-reality for $2 billion (the deal was approved by the FTC in May); the acquisition was completed in July. Needless to say, the deal evoked polarized reactions from the industry in general, Oculus’ Kickstarter backers and the stock markets.

This led to a fresh round of debates and discussions about Facebook’s penchant for making deals that don’t make immediate sense.  The keyword here is ‘immediate.’ Dig a little deeper and the acquisitions start making sense (at least people start to tell themselves that they make sense).

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Facebook is demolishing the like gate

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When you like a Facebook page, Facebook wants to make sure you really like that page. The company announced recently that it will end the process known as the like gate, where users would have to like a page to enter a contest or receive more points in a game.

Facebook detailed this change in a developers blog post:

You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.

Developers and page admins who use the like gate tactic must come into compliance by Nov. 5.

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Infographic: Clearly Canadian is one of the top Facebook brands in the U.S.?

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In July, the most engaged Facebook brand in the U.S. was Clearly Canadian — according to the latest report by Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer Socialbakers. The bubbly drink brand had an engagement rate of 10.27 percent, a stark rise from the previous month.

T-Mobile is still the most socially devoted brand on Facebook (among U.S. users), with a stunning 95 percent response rate to questions on its page. Other telecommunications companies such as Sprint and AT&T also had very high rates of response.

To see which pages really performed well in July, look below for the infographic from Socialbakers.

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Facebook changes guidelines for page ratings

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If you’ve got a product-based page on Facebook (but haven’t entered your physical address), you might have noticed recently that your page ratings are no longer showing. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

Facebook confirmed to Inside Facebook on Thursday that only Facebook pages with a defined location will have the star ratings, not pages in the product/service category. A Facebook spokesperson said that they’re focused on the page ratings relating to businesses with a physical place:

We’re focused on ratings and reviews for places right now.

This was first pointed out to Inside Facebook by reader Matteo Gamba.

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LAST CHANCE: Win an All-Access Pass to Mediabistro’s Content Marketing 101

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Inside Facebook has been covering the Facebook platform since 2006, when Facebook was still in its infancy. We’ve also been an early adopter of Facebook. Our fanbase has grown incredibly fast in the past year, as more than 100,000 people have liked our Facebook page.

To celebrate, we’ve partnered with our partner company — Mediabistro — to offer a special treat for our Facebook fans. By entering the giveaway contest on our Facebook page, you can win an All-Access Pass to Mediabistro’s Content Marketing 101 online bootcamp. The class runs Sept. 8-Sept. 12. The contest ends Aug. 8.

Click here to enter the contest. (Here is the mobile link.)

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Facebook acquires PrivateCore

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Facebook announced today that it has acquired PrivateCore, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based secure server technology company.

While terms of the deal were not disclosed, both companies say they are aligned with the same vision of security moving forward.

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement:

PrivateCore and Facebook share a vision of a more connected, secure world. We plan to deploy PrivateCore’s groundbreaking technology into Facebook’s server stack to help further our mission to protect the people who use our service.

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Top 25 Facebook apps: August 2014 — Spotify growing

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While King’s Candy Crush Saga and Farm Heroes Saga remain the most-used apps by Facebook users — according to AppData’s daily active user (DAU) estimates, the music app Spotify is growing.

Spotify has surpassed Microsoft Live to move into the top spot as the most heavily used non-game app for Facebook users.

Want to see the rest of the top Facebook apps, ranked by AppData’s DAU estimates? Look below.

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