Facebook Ads Suggest Slurs

In a recent update to the Facebook ad system, Facebook started suggesting other key terms that were related to the ones you entered. This was designed to help you get more bang for you buck when setting up ads. However, this seems to be back firing on them. The ads are suggesting racial and gay slurs.

So if you targeted “gay” they will also suggested faggot and sissy. Oh yes, seriously. Now Facebook made a very quick fix on this issue. But if you target “faggot” you get suggestions like sissy and cunt. But the terms are now being categorized as slang and only come up when you are targeting other slang terms.

Interestingly enough if you tag “gay” or “lesbian” you get a suggestion for the tag “white people”. Not a racial slur, but an interesting social commentary on the part of Facebook ads.

The Facebook prejudice does not stop here. You might be able to use the tag “gay” but if you say gay in your ad, it will very likely not be approved. So target your ad, jut don’t talk about it.

Facebook (Insights) Fails…Again!

I am a geek. So I spend a lot of time pouring through data and looking at analytics. Its just what I do. If you have a Facebook page for your business or brand, you should be doing this too. Thankfully this is easily done through Facebook Insights. Insights is the reporting system for all you Facebook data. It tells you how many page views you had, who is clicking, liking, sharing. You can get age and gender demographics. How many times your story appeared in the newsfeed. How viral your content is. And a lot more. There is so much information in the downloaded excel spreadsheet that you go well into the double alphabet column. You can also view a synopsis of your Insights right on Facebook from you page. The link is on the left side menu, under your profile pic.

Normally insights is behind real time by 2 days. This is not a big deal. 2 days still gives you an accurate picture of what is happening with your page. However, for the past 2 weeks insights has pretty much been down. It has provided some spotty information, but for the most part it is not actually reporting anything useful. For a data geek like me, this has been enormously frustrating.

Thankfully, despite being quiet about it for the past few weeks, Facebook has finally admitted that they are aware of the problem and are considering it high priority.

Now, usually when their is a big FAIL on Facebook it is because they are making some changes to the site. Of course, they don’t let anyone know of any potential changes so when they drop and then the site is working again, we all get to have an “A-Ha” moment.

There is a marketing conference at the end of the month, so maybe they will be announcing some big new changes coming to the site.

Now Everyone will have the Facebook Timeline

The Facebook timeline has been rolling out since November to the general public. Until recently people have been given the option of it they want to upgrade their profile. If they did upgrade and didn’t like it, they could return it to the old style within 7 days. Facebook has announced that there will be no more of these shenanigans and that everyone will be upgraded automatically to the new timeline profile.

Like most updates this has Facebook users up in arms. Many people don’t like the new timeline. Though graphically it is very beautiful, it is harder to find information on it. Plus if you post a lot it is easier to get information buried.

Lets be real. No one is actually leaving Facebook. They know that they can make these changes, completely ignore feedback, and people will continue to use the network. It has become too ingrained in our online and social culture. Where Facebook will make changes is when it starts to hit their bottom line, ie. affecting businesses.

Of course many of the changes they have made over the past year have greatly affected business on Facebook for the negative but individually they were so small that we couldn’t make a fuss over it. One change that did raise everyone heckles was when FB was deciding what posts should appear on your pages timeline. It resulted in a huge outcry from the business community and prevented the change from ever making it out of the trial phase.

So despite the new roll out, people will yell and complain. You will likely see posts in all caps complaining about how horrible it all it. You will likely hear that you can revert back to the old style (which you can’t), there will be scams that supposedly let you revert your profile (don’t click those links), or apps created claiming the same thing (they are bogus). Like it or don’t like it, the timeline is here to stay.


Army of Twitter Zombies


Twitter Zombies might actually help you!

There has always been a lot of debate about weather it is good to buy followers or not. Generally the answer is no. When you buy Twitter followers you might as well be buying an army of Zombies. They won’t retweet you. They won’t talk to you. They won’t click your links. …though the might try to eat your brains.

We call these purchased followers Zombies because they might as well be zombies. They are mainly fake accounts that do nothing but boost your followers number. But that might be helpful.

To get followers you need to have followers. The more you have the easier it is to get more. So how do you get that ball rolling and does it matter is the ball starts off with fake followers?

So does it take followers to make followers? Simply, yes.

Now buying followers will not get you any real time results. You will not get clicks to your website. You will not get sales. You will not make “connections”. You will not improve your brand awareness. But you might be able to get you over that “growing” hump that can take so long. If buying followers helps legitimize your account , ironically, then it might be a good tool to help you grow your legitimate followers that will help you reach your ROI goals.

Things to think about.

How to Change Your Twitter Username

Changing your Twitter name is a big decision. It is more than just a name on an social network. It is one of the primary ways in which people identify you online. If you are a celebrity, then your Twitter handle is extremely important to your branding.

But how do you change your Twitter handle? Thankfully it is not like Facebook where once you have your personal URL you are stuck with it. Twitter allows you to change your name on a whim…though that is not recommended. Before you change your name, make sure you look closely at the risks and the reasons.

How to Change Your Twitter Name

  1. Log in to your Twitter account
  2. Click on the picture of your avatar in the top right hand corner of the screen
    Twitter Menu
  3. Click Settings, the first menu option
    Twitter Settings
  4. You will see the Username right underneath your name. This is where you will enter in your new username.
    Twitter Username
  5. When you enter your new username it will let you know if the name is available or not.
    Rejected Twitter UsernameApproved Twitter Username
  6. Once you get a name that is available, just click save and your Twitter handle will be changed.

Reasons and Risks with Changing Your Twitter Username

Twitter Name Necklace

Is your Twitter name representing you or your business?

Changing your Twitter name is a risky proposition. A lot of people come to know you by that handle. It is part of your online identity. But a change can be necessary if your business demands it. It is not uncommon to lose followers when you change your name, because when you tweet people won’t necessarily recognize your new handle.

Reasons to Change:

  • Too Casual – the handle you are using does not convey a professional demeanor
  • Too Niche – Your business has expanded beyond the niche you started with and you need something that encompass that and does not limit you.
  • Inappropriate – This can overlap with too casual. It is not uncommon for people to use their personal Twitter for their business. Sometimes this means that your handle is not just too casual but it actually inappropriate to be representing you professionally.
  • Not Branded – Often times when we create our Twitter names our branding is not forefront in our mind, or our branding changes over time.

Once you decide to change your name make sure you pick your name carefully.

Tips for a Good Name:

  • Keep it Professional – make sure your name is a good representation of how you want to present yourself online
  • Keep it Simple – If your name is too complicated it will be hard for people to remember. You want to make sure you name is easily remembered.
  • Keep it Short – You are limited to 140 characters on Twitter. You want to make sure that you name is not so long that it becomes prohibitive to retweeting and mentions.
  • Keep it Goal Oriented – If you are trying to corner the market on a niche, then having a niche name is inline with your overall goals. But if you want to expand beyond that then maybe being less specific would be beneficial. Make sure you name works to support your business goals.

Tips to Manage a Change:

  • Let People Know – Make sure you tell people about your new Twitter name. Tell them in your email, on Facebook (yes, really), and of course on Twitter. On Twitter make sure to tell them more than once.
  • Don’t Change your Avatar – Changing your Twitter name is a huge online identity change. To make it easier, do not change your avatar as well. A lot of people will still recognize you because of your avatar and that can help them adjust to the new handle.
  • Understand the risk – You will very likely lose followers. Do not take it personally. It is because they don’t realize it is you. Some will come back and some won’t. But if your name is more inline with the needs of your business, the change will ultimately be positive and you will gain back those followers in spades.

Facebook Releases New Timeline Profile


Facebook Timeline Profile
The Facebook timeline profile is coming out! The new profile is being released right now and will be available for all profiles within the next few weeks.

I have had the new profile since it was released to developers in September. At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. But since using it, I have come to really like the new design. It is much more graphically oriented and fells more comprehensive, like it is giving you a more robust snapshot of the person.

The new profile is simply beautiful. It is a chronicling of your life, even before your started on Facebook. The timeline features photos and life events starting at birth. You can add information, photos, videos and posts into any time period. Have a prom photo from 20 years ago, add it in to the year 1976.

The beautiful layout, featuring photos and comments from your friends, has a deep emotional resonance. You are able to go throw the years and see your pictures. The things your friends wrote on your wall. The posts you shared and were shared with you. You not only get a glimpse of your history on Facebook, but a glimpse of your life history. It is like watching an old home movie on an old reel-to-reel.

Reminiscing has always been a social activity. Facebook has found a way to harness that.

For people using their profile to promote their business this will give additional opportunity for branding. You can have a banner photo at the top and still have your head shot for the profile pic.  It will give a way to create a more graphically beautiful display for your business.

Read more about the new Facebook Timeline. To get yours you just have to wait. When it is available to you there will be a notice at the top of your old profile.

Buying Twitter followers is like a bad boob job

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blue gloved hands covering breasts that are oulined in dotted lines for breast implantsYou created a Twitter account.  You learned to tweet. You started following people, and some started to follow you back.  But you see other tweeps who have thousands of followers, compared to your hundred.  The green-eyed monster rears its big green head and you want that many too.  So what do you do?  Believe it or not, many people go out and actually buy their followers.

Buying followers is not the answer.

There are many services out there that will let you buy followers.  I say to people, a little tongue-in-cheek, that for $100 I could have 10,000 followers tomorrow.  Ok, it would be a bit more than $100 and it might take a week, but I could still get them.  The problem with buying Twitter followers is that it is like a bad boob job. It looks good on the outside, but when you take your shirt off it looks awful. What I mean with my awful metaphor is this: looking like you have 10,000 fans overnight is great, on the surface. Instant popularity. The reality is that it is hollow (warning, here comes another bad metaphor); it is a one night stand with no orgasm.  Not only is it meaningless, there is no satisfaction.

  • Bought followers do not read your tweets.
  • They do not retweet you.
  • Bought followers do not know who you are.
  • They are not necessarily even people!
  • Bought followers will never be clients or customers.
  • And they will not click your links.

Bought followers may make your numbers look good but in all probability they will  not benefit your long-term goals. If you want real engagement, click-throughs, retweets, people who help grow your network, read your tweets and do business with you, you have to do it organically. It is slower, but the payoff is much bigger.

This said, I will admit here that not all the follower buying sites out there are useless, some of the better ones offer to connect you with targeted followers and users, which is not the same as buying randomly in bulk.  Ultimately Twitter is about engagement. Sure, you can purchase as many followers as you can afford, but if you are not participating in the discussion you will not receive any authentic benefits.

Be a Dumb Tweet

Dumb Twitter

Are you making your followers feel dumb?

This is one of the most difficult and frustrating parts of Twitter. Not everyone is as smart as you are. Not everyone is good at spelling or grammar. Not everyone has a large vocabulary or a deep understanding of obscure topics. You have to speak to your audience or you will risk losing your audience.

If you are trying to appeal to a wide range of people, the last thing you want to do is make them feel stupid or inferior. You want them to feel like they can talk to you and that they get you. You want to be relatable. To be relatable you have to be accessible. This means not speaking over peoples heads or making lots of unknown references. Keep the inside jokes between you and your friends, because the rest of the twitterverse just feels left out of the loop. And if they are left out of your loop then you will certainly be left out of there’s.

I bring this up because it is something I frequently see and frequently have to remind myself of as well. When you are tweeting you want to make sure that you are speaking in the voice of your brand. But you also need to speak in the voice that your audience wants to hear. So if your audience likes snobby intellectuals then feel free to talk about the disenfranchisement of ethnic minorities post-antibellum america or the hegemony of goth culture. But if you don’t want to sound like a uptight academic then you might want to keep the big words on the smallish scale and remember that not all your followers understand complex vocabulary or references.

Most of your followers will not do you the favor and tell you when you are talking over their head. They will just stop paying attention. So you don’t need to be a dumb tweet but make sure you keep your tweets accessible.