mark zuckerberg – Stay N Alive

Are YOU a Social Asset to Your Company? Are Your Employees?

One of the things I talk about in Google+ Marketing For Dummies is the importance of getting your employees and brand loyalists involved in social media. This is something I’m seeing has more and more importance with the emergence of Google Authorship and the affect a public profile on Facebook has for individuals. The truth is, our culture is evolving from a culture of brands to a culture of people. The focus is no longer on your brand.

For that reason, I think it’s more and more important that you get your employees, or if you’re an employee, yourself, involved more and more in social media. In the future (and to some extent, now!), your job is going to depend on this!

Let’s take Google Authorship as an example. For one organization I worked with, we implemented Google+ profiles for high ranking officials/executives of the organization, and tied those profiles, using Google Authorship, back to content they had written on the organization’s website. With no content whatsoever on the profile, and solely the link to that individual’s profile, the organization saw a 300% increase in traffic on the individual articles written by those individuals on the company’s website. Imagine what it would have been like with MORE followers and MORE content on those profiles! You can see why I talked about making your website more about people, with content written by actual people in your organization in my books.

Just yesterday, SEO experts started complaining that Google was no longer providing keyword data back to websites for identifying the keywords people are searching for when they visit your website. Google is making it clear that it’s not about keywords any more. It’s about people, and real, genuine content. Your employees and the people behind your brand are a critical part of your SEO strategy now. You see the same with Facebook as they try to penalize “memes” and other brand-focused spam in the News Feed.

Google Authorship is just one strategy though. If you follow me on Facebook, you know I don’t have a Facebook Page for just me. I have Facebook Pages for my books and other brands, but not myself. Instead, I use what’s called a “Public Profile”, and allow people to “follow” me there. I actually do this on purpose. There, of course, are disadvantages to not having a Facebook Page for myself – I can’t advertise as easily (I can do a Promoted URL or Promoted Post back to my personal profile, however). There are no Insights/Analytics for personal profiles.

However, the advantage using a Public Profile is it focuses on me as an individual. It allows me to show the person behind my brand. When people follow me they know they’re following a real individual. I can comment much easier on others’ posts. In addition, I show up in Facebook’s suggestion algorithms as a person, which in my opinion favors more highly than Facebook Pages do. All of this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here’s one example of why all that’s valuable: Yesterday Mark Zuckerberg changed his profile cover image on Facebook to an old graphic of all the relationships that exist around the world on Facebook which their data team put together back in 2010. Within minutes, he saw tens of thousands of likes on the cover image and I was seeing half my friends share it. I was familiar with this graphic because it hangs on the wall in my office – awhile back I blew it up and printed it out so I could show it off (If Facebook provided a way to purchase these they would sell off-the-charts!).

I commented on Mark Zuckerberg’s cover image stating that I had this hanging on my wall. All of the sudden that evening I started seeing friend requests from people trying to friend me, and new followers coming in like crazy! Within 12 hours I gained more than 1,000 new followers on my profile. It turns out Mark Zuckerberg liked my comment along with a few other of my friends that worked at Facebook, and that alone was enough to highlight the comment as the top comment on his cover image. Organically, 1,000 new followers in 12 hours is pretty good, and now I have the chance to build a personal relationship with every single one of those followers! Seriously, if you want to get some quick followers go reply on my comment that’s already highlighted there (only one reply right now!).

So as you can see, it wasn’t my brand, but my personal profile that provided the value. I couldn’t have accomplished that with a brand page, or bland brand website. You (the person, not the brand), and your employees need to be doing the same.

Next time you think about your presence on social media, stop thinking about Facebook Pages and Google+ Pages, and start looking at ways you can engage your employees and yourself as people on social channels. Make them “social embassadors” for your brand, and you should see ten times the success you are seeing with just one marketer and one team in your company focused on just the brand.

In these days, EVERYONE is a marketer! You need to be training your employees to be social assets for your company. If you’re an employee, your social presence, and even more than that, value (number of followers, etc), will be a defining factor of whether you, or the guy being interviewed next to you gets the job. It’s time to start learning to build audiences through social media, and build your own value for the companies you work for.

For companies and business owners interested, I provide a “Social Embassador” training curriculum as part of my “Everyone a Marketer” program. You can learn more about it here. Talk to me ( if you’re interested in training your own employees as social assets! I am also doing a webinar in 3 weeks that you and your employees can learn how to grow your brand through Facebook ads. Go here to purchase your tickets and learn more!

Hey Zuck, You’re Not Making My "Answer" an Easy One

I’ve been going back and forth with Robert Scoble and others today on why I should use the emerging Question and Answer service, Quora, when Facebook Questions is already pretty effective for me.  I often post a Facebook Question and get answers very shortly after, often from very smart people already knowledgeable about the topics I’m asking about.  I find it especially good if the questions are personal, and related to every day life questions.  That’s why I found it surprising after looking at Mark Zuckerberg’s own Facebook profile, that he’s only asked 2 questions there, where he’s asked 5 questions on Quora.  Are Facebook Questions just not that important to Mark?  How about question sites in general? Quora certainly doesn’t have much use by the CEO either.

Robert Scoble insists that what makes Quora more powerful than Facebook Questions is the quality of people answering questions there.  While I don’t doubt that CEOs are using it and often answering questions on the service (it started exclusively with invites to bloggers and influentials), who are those CEOs?  Mark Zuckerberg has only answered 5 questions on the service, and even fewer on his own site.  Is Bill Gates answering questions?  How about Michael Dell, or Steve Jobs, or even Bill Clinton?  It seems to me that smart and perhaps even successful entrepreneurs are using the service – I’m not sure either services have hit full potential yet with use by real legends like those above.  That still doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be using it though.  Quora does have an excellent search, and seems easier to find interesting questions as a whole.

At the same time I’m seeing great results from Facebook in the questions I ask there, and it’s already a part of my existing workflow.  For example, check out this question on my Ford F-150 truck’s lock problems, where with one answer I had a Ford certified technician providing me detailed howtos on how I could fix the problem I was having.  Or, check out this question on what speakers I should choose, and the audiophiles all giving me great feedback on my question.

I’d love to see Mark Zuckerberg show off how useful these questions services can actually be.  I’m having a really hard time deciding if I really need to add another service to my already busy and often distracting workflow when services I already use like Facebook  provide a tool I can use and potentially (assuming they eventually launch it to everyone, which they haven’t yet) have hundreds of millions see it, or if I should start another tool and have “smart people” and “CEOs” see it as Scoble implies he’s seeing on Quora.  Of course, the fact that Mark Zuckerberg himself is using Quora more than he is using Facebook Questions isn’t helping my quest either.

So Zuck, how about giving me some hints here – which one should I use, Quora or Facebook Questions?  In fact, I’ve created a Facebook Question on the topic – please vote and leave your own reasons why there: (only available to those with Facebook Questions enabled)

I’d love to see Mark Zuckerberg use his own service a little more to help convince me to stay with my current decision on Facebook Questions.  Or maybe it’s just an experiment at the moment and I need to be trying other services?  I can’t decide!

Facebook Shows its Hand in Privacy

I spoke earlier how I didn’t buy the claims against Mark Zuckerberg trying to steal away our privacy and con people into becoming more public if they didn’t chose to do so. Today Facebook made that even more clear in a press conference I attended by phone by stating their intentions, and introducing an even newer, more simplified, more granular privacy control model that launches today.

The new settings enable, via simple controls, for users to chose at a high level whether they just want friends to see their data, whether they want friends of friends to see their data, or whether they want to customize that data at a piece-by-piece level.  Users that set this will then default to this setting with any new feature Facebook releases in the future, making users able to be confident their privacy will not change.  In addition, Facebook is enabling users to opt out of the “Instant Personalization” settings completely.  Instant Personalization enables third party websites that have partnered with Facebook to, with the user’s ability to opt out, collect user information with the intent to make the experience for that user more personalized and more relevant on each site that implements these controls.  Users will be able to opt out of this completely, and also set granular controls as to how applications have control over their privacy.  Users will also be able to control how people see them in the Facebook search and directory much better with the new settings.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO and founder, had a sincere tone at the press conference, wanting to be absolute sure they had no ill will, nor intentions to sell user data to advertisers, or disrespect user privacy in the process.  He was very clear that along with allowing people and helping them to be more open and share better, Facebook held the same priority towards enabling users to have complete control over how public, or private that data was as they used the site.  He admitted they rushed to launch their previous features and hoped that this new round of more simplified settings made it easier to understand what users were getting into, and at the same time allowed them to set specific settings to their comfort level on the site.

I think Facebook laid down to rest any concerns users have had about privacy.  They showed their hand, and, while a Full House at Facebook, I think those that just quit Facebook over privacy will be forced to fold.

Facebook will be gradually rolling out the new settings to all users starting today.  If you’re in Utah, be sure to watch Fox 13 KSTU at 5:30pm and 9pm (you can watch online here) for more as I discuss these new settings with Nineveh Dinha.  I’ll try to post those videos later.  See screenshots of the new settings below:

Mark Zuckerberg – A Cheater? A Stealer? I’m Calling Calacanis’ Bluff

Mark ZuckerbergI give – I call.  I’m getting really tired over all the “I’m deleting my Facebook because they have gone corrupt” posts all over the place.  Some of the smartest minds in the industry (and those I respect most) are all doing it, even Leo Laporte, and it’s breaking my heart.  I don’t understand how any of these people can talk about Facebook with any grain of salt after this without some level of bias.  How can you talk legibly about Facebook from here on out if you’re not using the service?  How can you know how to compete properly if you’re not using your competitors’ products (ahem, Matt Cutts)?  How can you know whom to invest in unless you’re truly trying out all the biggest players in the game?  It doesn’t make sense to me.

Jason Calacanis wrote a scathing letter to his e-mail list today just ripping apart Mark Zuckerberg, coining a term I’m not sure I want to repeat here since it’s almost a curse word (okay, he coined the term, “Zucked”).  He called Zuckerberg a liar, a cheater, a backstabber, and even inferred he had Asperger’s-like tendencies (which anyone who has or knows someone with Asperger’s should be offended).  According to Calacanis:

“Zuckerberg represents the best and worst aspects of entrepreneurship.
His drive, skill and fearlessness are only matched by his long
record–recorded in lawsuit after lawsuit–of backstabbing, stealing
and cheating.”

I’ve heard elsewhere Zuckerberg compared to a Nazi, and other Facebook employees all “drinking the Kool-Aid” they were being served there.  I’ve been called names myself for supporting them.  I really feel bad for those at Facebook right now – quite honestly, as a company, despite their audience, they’re not that big!  Bullying them certainly isn’t going to help.

Let’s address the Zynga issue that Calacanis seems to be basing much of his letter on (the reason Calacanis calls Zuckerberg a liar and stealer).  As a Facebook developer myself, and having addressed, consulted and discussed with many very successful Facebook developers as both a consultant and author of Facebook development books (see the upper-right, and a Dummies book on the way), I’ve seen the pain of many, much more than just Zynga, that have been affected by what Calacanis is talking about.  Zynga is the last of the successful developers that managed to make millions by building applications on top of itself.  I know one  developer that went from 0 to 2 million users in just a couple weeks in the early days of – it was a mad GoldRush!

The problem, however is that none of these developers adapted.  Facebook gave them all the tools they needed to adapt and move outside the platform, and I’ve seen very few actually take Facebook up on that offer.  Facebook gave the hints that they were pushing in that direction and no one followed.  Zynga is just now realizing that as they build their own website – it’s the smart thing to do, and Facebook hasn’t abandoned them in the process.  Facebook, in fact, has pushed Zynga in that direction, offering tools, plugins, protocols, and many other ways of building outside the Facebook platform, while still enabling them to maintain their existing user base on itself.  Zynga’s finally doing the smart thing here, and Facebook wants that to happen!

The crazy thing here is Zynga probably has one of the closest relationships with Facebook of any Facebook developer I know.  Sure, Facebook is trying to make money off of what Zynga does in their own environment, but can you blame them?  It’s Facebook’s own environment.  They have every right to control their own IP, and every developer on the platform should know that by now – I’ve written about it many times.  Every company needs a core. I’m a little jealous of the relationship Zynga has built with Facebook though – there is no reason to feel bad for them.  And they’re now working on their own core as Facebook helps them through that process.  I don’t see anyone lying, cheating, or stealing from anyone here.  Is Facebook supposed to be giving their IP away?  I don’t get it.

Now let’s talk privacy.  Were you aware that Facebook actually gives users a chance to debate privacy policy changes when they go into place?  For every change to Facebook’s terms that goes into place, users have the opportunity to complain, react, and share their feelings in whatever manner they feel necessary about new changes put into place.  The November policy changes (which were probably the biggest recent change) were proposed here (if you really have problems with the Privacy changes you really should subscribe to the updates, that is, unless you’re no longer a Facebook user):

“Facebook has proposed an updated privacy policy. We encourage you to view the proposal and offer your comments here <> by 12:00 PM PDT on November 5, 2009. For future policy updates, become a fan of the Facebook Site Governance Page.”

When this was proposed, users were overwhelmingly for the changes.  Comments were overwhelmingly in a positive tone, resulting in the changes being adopted.  Had users complained back then, the changes would not have gone into place.  This is actually the same process that got Beacon reversed.  New changes were again proposed on March 26, shortly before F8, when the OpenGraph initiative was announced.  Users again overwhelmingly supported the changes, and on April 22, the new changes were accepted.  It was on April 23 that Matt Cutts, and others deleted their Facebook accounts – I’m very curious if they even tried to make their concerns known on the Site Governance site.  It should also be noted that Facebook issued press releases for each of these proposed updates – Mashable covered it.  ReadWriteWeb covered it.  So did TechCrunch, in vivid detail.

So I don’t get it – Facebook is opening up more than they have ever before (despite these same people calling them a Walled Garden before).  They’re the only site out there with a policy in place that actually lets users vote on privacy and policy changes.  They’re the only site out there with the ability to provide any level of granularity towards privacy (did you know you can specify specific groups, exclude specific individuals and groups, and get very specific with exactly who sees your status updates on Facebook?  That’s only the beginning.).  Facebook seems to be making all the right moves, yet they’re Nazis.  They’re liars.  They’re cheaters.  They’re stealers.  All this doesn’t compute!  I don’t see Google doing any of this.  And talk about taking developers out of business – Google’s the biggest culprit of all!

I’m sorry Jason, but calling names isn’t how you win Poker either.  It’s time we start encouraging Facebook’s moves, hoping they continue this momentum to become more open.  It’s time we start educating users that they get to vote on this stuff before it goes live (which they did!).  It’s time we start helping to get the word out to users on what is private and what is not in their Facebook accounts now that the changes have gone into place.

I’m sorry, but I’m getting sick of all the bloggers and so-called “experts” complaining about this when they didn’t do anything to stop it in the first place.  This, especially, when we’re given so many options!  Right now they’re all starting to sound like a bunch of complainers to me.  Am I really the only one that sees this?  I feel like I’m the only one writing about it.  Maybe it’s time I fold, or is everyone else just bluffing?

Zuckerberg’s No Fool – He Only Shows What He Wants You to See

FacebookI’ve seen a few articles tonight gawking about all the information people are able to see on Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook’s profile due to the new Facebook Privacy settings being “more open”.  Of course, Facebook wants to be sure everyone knows what they’re getting into, and they’re also wanting to encourage each and every user to default to a more open status.  There’s one thing they’ve changed with this entire privacy settings upgrade however – users now have full control over every single thing they post to Facebook and who sees it.  Zuckerberg’s no fool – he’s only showing us what he wants us to see.  Let me elaborate.

Facebook’s strongest feature to date has always been its list feature – they had lists for almost a year before Twitter even started testing the idea.  One cool thing you can do with lists is take the groups of people you’ve organized and attach them to privacy settings.  Previously you could do this for photo albums, videos, and even some privacy settings on a global level.  If you’re a friend of mine on Facebook, the chances are you’re not seeing all the photos and videos I post – I know that’s a travesty, but it enables me to protect my close friends and family, while still friending anyone who wants to be my friend.  That’s pretty powerful!

What Facebook has been lacking however has been the ability to take these same privacy features accompanied by lists, and apply  them to your status updates.  The biggest thing Facebook launched with these Status updates has been the ability for you to now post a status update and only allow a specific list on Facebook to see that status update.  Let’s take one example – I’m a member of the Mormon church.  I have a lot of Facebook friends that are also LDS/Mormon.  I also have a lot of friends that would prefer not to be inundated with shares related to religion.  With this new update I can share things, just for my Mormon friends, and no one else will see them and my stream remains relevant to everyone else.  This is also a powerful marketing tool for that reason.  Now from one account, you can provide relevant data for each segment in your friends list.

Screen shot 2009-12-11 at 3.12.05 AM

This is also why Zuckerberg has finally been able to open up his profile.  Sure, some photos people may question why a CEO of a profitable company of 350 million users would make public, but I am willing to bet he knows they’re there.  It would take him 5 seconds to make those private, even with the new settings.  The reason Zuckerberg has been able to open his profile is because he finally, without hesitation, can post anything he wants on Facebook, and only those he wants to see will be able to see the content he is sharing.  Zuckerberg is leaving his profile open because he feels safe finally.

You should too.

So if you haven’t yet, create some friend lists on Facebook.  Open up your profile a little on a default level.  Then start using those granular privacy settings on a per-post and per-upload basis so you can be sure your content is being sent to the most relevant audience possible, while still maintaining your full privacy.  This is all about giving you even more control, not taking it away.  This is all about user-controlled context.