Maximise your Facebook Page use - Follow, Like, or "Follow and Like"

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Following our recent post about the difference between Pages and Groups, there's been a good deal of interest in how to maximise the effort organisations are putting into their Facebook Page. Many users are unaware that there are different ways of tracking a Facebook Page - so what is the difference between Liking and Following a Facebook Page? In fact, does it even matter?

In its simplest form, when you Like a Page you want to support the Page, and the fact you do will be publicly visible in the About section of your profile. When you Follow a Page you want to see the updates from the Page.

From a user point of view, you need to be aware of how Facebook has implemented these features.

  • when you Like a Page, you automatically also Follow it

  • when you Unlike a Page which you are also Following, then you will both Unlike and Unfollow it

  • when you Unlike a Page which you are not Following, then you just Unlike the Page

  • when you Follow a Page, you do NOT automatically Like it

  • when you UnFollow a Page, you are only Unfollowing it - no action on Unliking it if you are already Liking it.

So the practical side for a user:-

  • to Like and Follow a Page, click Like

  • to Like but not Follow a Page, click Like, then click Unfollow

  • to Follow but not Like a Page, go to the Page to be able to see the Follow button to click on

When you Follow a page there are two separate menus, each with three options - to get these, go to the Page and hover over the [Following] button. The descriptions are good and you can choose how much/little you see in your Feed and what level of Notifications you can get.

As a Page owner, it's worth considering why people would care about these options.

  • If you Like but don't Follow - these people are not seeing your updates. Perhaps they don’t want to offend you by unliking – so they simply choose not to see your updates.

  • If you Follow but don't Like - these people will see your updates, but won’t be counted in your page likes, and their interest in your page is hidden in their profile. Additionally, their friends may be notified - dependent on how you have got your account security set up.

For Page owners, it's important to note that the number of likes is not as important as the content you are putting out and your level of engagement with those users Liking and/or Following your Page. Many organisations we talk to get distracted by the number of Likes on their Page, and they don't realise that is merely a small aspect of raising the popularity of your Page. If your audience is not engaging with your content, the Likes number is a vanity metric. Concentrate on providing interesting content to encourage your audience to engage/interact with you and your other Followers.

And for the utterly curious amongst you, every Facebook user can Like up to 5000 Pages. That's the limit!

WhatsUpp WhatsApp?

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WhatsApp has taken an unusual approach to PR in the last 24 hours, and announcements of a security issue have been widely distributed in News apps and websites, such as the BBC or Mashable. But no mention on WhatsApp’s own website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as far as we can currently see.

Their website says here, under the title of Security by Default, WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption is available when you and the people you message use our app. Many messaging apps only encrypt messages between you and them, but WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you're communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp. This is because your messages are secured with a lock, and only the recipient and you have the special key needed to unlock and read them. For added protection, every message you send has its own unique lock and key. All of this happens automatically: no need to turn on settings or set up special secret chats to secure your messages.

They have issued a new version of the app, and given it has 1.5 BILLION users, the best advice is to update your app ASAP. Here’s how.

Just do it. No, that’s Nike. Never mind, still just do it.

Facebook confirms focus on Groups, not Pages

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Facebook have just announced a fresh new design which they call FB5, which they intend being "simpler, faster, more immersive and putting communities at the center". In particular, they are publicly putting Groups at the centre of Facebook, ie ahead of Pages.

Let's just take a moment to remind ourselves the difference between Pages and Groups.

  • A Page is your business market stall. You show your goods/services, you tell people what you are doing, maybe a special event or offer etc. People follow a page because they are potentially interested in you, to monitor your activities etc. Effectively you are standing on a hill scattering seeds to the four winds, hoping something somewhere will germinate into more than just a seed.

  • A Group brings together like-minded people who show a commitment to others in the Group, and everyone in the Group can contribute. You can control who comes into the Group, and what gets posted in the Group, but ultimately it's a more fulfilling experience and each member gets more out of it by showing more interest in putting more into it.

Pages are like your front garden. People drive by, see that you paint the windows and mow the lawn regularly, and keep the drive swept and the flower beds tidy. Groups are like your back garden. You invite people round for a BBQ, hang out over a beer and have a much more collaborative time. That's where relationships are build, warm leads become customers and online success is had.

Today, more than 400 million people on Facebook belong to a group that they find meaningful. With FB5, Facebook are introducing new tools that will make it easier for you to discover and engage with groups of people who share your interests, redesigning the Groups tab to make discovery simpler, making it easier to participate in Groups, and adding new features to support specific communities.

Most businesses just have a Facebook Page - indeed, some just have a page as a placeholder they don't use (eg to point people to a LinkedIn page where they prefer to do business) or to leverage the advantages of Facebook advertising or an Instagram business account (both need a Facebook Page as a prerequisite). But Facebook have now said what we have suspected for a long time - Pages are a lot less important than Groups.

How will your business adapt? What Group could you set up? Ask Parapex Media for advice, or to manage your business Group for you.

Photo by Osvaldo Coelho Jr. from Pexels

Podcast importance shown by Spotify's $500M spending plans

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British inventor John Logie Baird first demonstrated the television in a broadcast setting back in 1925, and for around 90 years, people would sit and watch TV programmes when they were broadcast. Cable and Satellite TV brought a plethora of channels (and the wider range of quality it implies!) but it wasn’t until internet connections became reliably good that we moved away from being tied to a broadcast schedule. Now, most people watch TV programmes on catch-up at a time of their choosing, and it’s only event driven coverage of sports etc that get us sat down to watch TV content live.

We are ever more location independent. It’s not just consuming broadcast TV at a time of our choosing, but the way we consume them. Latest YouTube stats show that over 70% of watch time on that platform is on mobile or tablet, not laptop.

As our location is less tied, our desire for content has become more confused. We like watching images, but the more mobile we are, the less easy that becomes. And thus the world of Podcasting is booming, and the related platforms with it. This week The Verge reported that Spotify has set aside $500 Million for more purchases in the field of podcasting, and that’s after already scooping up podcast platform Anchor and the networks Parcast and Gimlet Media.

Businesses are starting podcasts in droves. Can we help your business achieve this?

Samsung takes TV vertical to match smartphones

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Big electronics companies are always testing the market with new ideas, and Korea’s Samsung is no exception. Today they launched the 43” Sero TV, which is mounted on an easel contraption to allow the screen to turn through 90 degrees.

In a clear attempt to see how the mobile trend towards 9x16 vertical format is taken up on other product lines, the Sero is being shown at a pop-up shop at Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.

The manufacturer has not given out a full specification of the new product, but we know it is equipped with a 4.1-channel, 60-watt high-end speaker, which can play music streamed from your phone, tablet or laptop.

Will it catch on? Too early to say, but if the trend towards vertical use of smart phone is anything to go by, we wonder what has taken Samsung so long to come up with this model. That said, there is a distinct trend away from sitting in front of a TV, with more and more screen time being consumed on tablet or smart phone. It is thus worth factoring in how long the TV screen will last as a household gadget.

The Sero is priced high at 18.9M Won, which is around UK£12,600 or US$16,300

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Can 1,000,000,000 users really be wrong?

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Instagram was only 18 months old when Facebook bought it for $1 Billion and the media roundly ridiculed Zuck for spending so much money on something which has not proven itself with “just” 30 million users on the Instagram platform. Today, there are over 1,000,000,000 users, representing 65% compound annual growth from April 2012 to today.

So what, you say? A billion users are not all active users, and that’s the meaningful number. Fair point, and there are two widely used measures - MAU and DAU - Monthly and Daily Active Users. Instagram Stories DAUs number 500,000,000 alone and its engagement rate is enormous.

Yet we still find businesses who are not on Instagram. Do they think a BILLION people are wrong? Or do they need to buy a surf board and join the wave as it continues to build momentum?

WhatsApp on the web

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Did you know you can set up WhatsApp on your laptop? You’ll still need your phone handily nearby, but the ability to type on a keyboard rather than fat-finger a smart phone keyboard is a big bonus. Here's how you set it up:-

  • Go to https://web.whatsapp.com/ in your laptop browser

  • You will notice that it generates a QR code on the right hand side (those black/white "random grids")

  • Go to WhatsApp on your phone

  • In the menu, go to Settings (bottom of IOS screen, top of Android screen)

  • then WhatsApp Web/Desktop

  • then select “Scan QR code”

  • Line up the scanner on your phone to the QR code on your laptop browser

Boom! The rest is done for you.

BOOKMARK the WhatsApp page on your laptop

If you are using Windows, you can download "WhatsApp for Windows" to make it an even simpler experience. SImilarly there’s an app for it in the MacOS app store.

Introducing Snap Originals

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Snapchat is excited to debut Snap Originals — exclusive Shows created by some of the world's greatest storytellers, with new episodes released every day!

Our first slate of Snap Originals includes Co-Ed, a new comedy from the Duplass Brothers; Class of Lies, a mystery thriller from one of the minds behind Riverdale; and Endless Summer, a docuseries following rising stars in Laguna Beach — from Bunim/Murray, the creators of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Snap Originals will also feature new Show Portals, letting you swipe up and step inside a scene from a Show to experience it for yourself. Snap Originals will also have Lenses, Filters, and other fun ways for you to share the show experience with your friends.

Snap Originals are available to watch now — just go to the Discover page, or search for a show on Snapchat!

A new way to discover more ideas for your boards

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We’re making it easier to bring the projects you’re planning to life, with personalized recommendations that match what you’ve been saving on Pinterest.

With the “more ideas” tab on each of your boards and sections, you can explore new recommendations inspired by the ideas you’ve already saved. You’ll also see suggestions for new sections you can add to help organize your ideas.

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As you plan your Halloween costume, see recommendations that fit your theme and discover creative twists along the way.

You can also quickly organize your ideas into sections, so it’s easier than ever to make all the things you dream up on your boards a reality.

The “more ideas” tab and section recommendations are available now to everyone on pinterest.com and across our apps.

SOURCE: Pinterest Blog

New Video Calling Devices on Facebook

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What if you could easily connect with your closest friends and family and feel like you’re in the same room — even when you’re miles apart? Today, we’re excited to announce Portal and Portal+, two new video communication devices for the home that dramatically change the way we keep in touch. Thanks to AI technology, Portal makes video calling easier and more like hanging out, while a widescreen display lets you enjoy every moment together. When you can’t be there, Portal and Portal+ let you feel there.

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With a 10-inch 1280 x 800 display, Portal from Facebook improves video calling and lets you enjoy quality time with family and friends — hands and distraction free. Looking for a larger screen for more flexibility? You can also opt for a 15-inch 1920 x 1080 pivoting display with Portal+. Both models are designed to help you feel closer to the important people in your life and make video chats feel less like a call, and more like you’re actually in the same room.

Portal and Portal+ are available now for pre-order in the US – from Facebook at portal.facebook.com, as well as Amazon and Best Buy – and will begin shipping in November. You can bring Portal home for $199 USD and Portal+ for $349 USD. You can also receive $100 USD off any two devices — this means a bundle of two Portal devices will be priced at $298 USD, so you can share the experience right out of the box.

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Intelligent Design, Invisible Tech
Powered by AI, Portal’s Smart Camera and Smart Sound technology take all of the guesswork out of video calling, letting you enjoy a more convenient, hands-free experience. Whether you’re cooking in the kitchen or chasing the kids around the living room, Smart Camera stays with the action and automatically pans and zooms to keep everyone in view. Smart Sound minimizes background noise and enhances the voice of whoever is talking, no matter where they move. It’s like having your own cinematographer and sound crew direct your personal video calls.

Connect with Facebook and Messenger Friends
You can call Facebook friends and connections on Messenger even if they don’t have Portal. Calls can be made to and from Messenger-enabled smartphones and tablets. Portal supports group calls of up to seven people at the same time.

Voice Control + Alexa
Portal offers hands-free voice control. You can start a video call simply by saying “Hey Portal” and noting who you’d like to call. Portal also has Amazon Alexa built in, so you have access to a robust voice experience to ask for sports scores, check the weather, control smart home devices, order groceries, and more.

Built with Privacy + Security in Mind
We know that privacy and security are important when you bring new technology into your home. That’s why we designed Portal with tools that give you control:

  • You can completely disable the camera and microphone with a single tap.

  • Portal and Portal+ also come with a camera cover, so you can easily block your camera’s lens at any time and still receive incoming calls and notifications, plus use voice commands.

  • To manage Portal access within your home, you can set a four- to 12-digit passcode to keep the screen locked. Changing the passcode requires your Facebook password.

We also want to be up front about what information Portal collects, help people understand how Facebook will use that information, and explain the steps we take to keep it private and secure:

  • Facebook doesn’t listen to, view, or keep the contents of your Portal video calls. Your Portal conversations stay between you and the people you’re calling. In addition, video calls on Portal are encrypted, so your calls are always secure.

  • For added security, Smart Camera and Smart Sound use AI technology that runs locally on Portal, not on Facebook servers. Portal’s camera doesn’t use facial recognition and doesn’t identify who you are.

  • Like other voice-enabled devices, Portal only sends voice commands to Facebook servers after you say, “Hey Portal.” You can delete your Portal’s voice history in your Facebook Activity Log at any time.

To learn more about Portal’s privacy features, visit portal.facebook.com/privacy.

Immersive Experiences
Portal also enables shared activities like listening to music together or watching some of your favorite shows. We’ve partnered with Spotify Premium, Pandora, and iHeartRadio, as well as Facebook Watch, Food Network and Newsy — and we’ll add more soon.

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We’re also incorporating augmented reality (AR) effects — powered by our Spark AR platform — to make calls even more fun and interactive. Story Time brings stories to life with custom sound effects and visuals. Smart Camera helps you read a fun story via a simple teleprompter, perfectly framed, while your loved ones on the other side watch as your face and voice transform into the story’s characters.

And when you’re not on a call, Portal’s Superframe can display your favorite photos and videos and important notifications like birthday reminders, so you always feel a little more connected to your closest family and friends.

Welcome Home
We can’t wait for people to use Portal and Portal+ to connect with friends and family. From AR-enhanced storytelling at bedtime to your Saturday morning ritual, you’ll be able to share everyday moments and feel like you’re really there.

SOURCE: Facebook Blog