6 Tips for Sorting Your Gmail Contacts

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You’re proud of your status on team #inboxzero. You have labels, lots of labels. Your filtering system acts like a good defensive line; nothing’s getting through there.

But have you organized your contacts yet? The “Contacts” tab on your Gmail account is probably like most users’: a desolate wasteland of misspelled versions of email addresses, networking connections you don’t remember and personal contacts.

Well not anymore. We’re going to give you our very best tips for cleaning out that contacts clutter and making your email address book useful again. For clarity’s sake, we’re focusing on Gmail as an email client here, but several of these tips will carry over to other services.

1. Make Google Contact Groups

Google has already taken the liberty of organizing your contacts based on your Google+ circles and your Android favorites list (if you have one), but sometimes that just isn’t enough.

If you do nothing else, separate your contacts into groups to make for a more organized list. For professionals who regularly message small teams, this feature is a must. Add contacts that you regularly email into one group instead of selecting each individual email address separately and potentially missing someone.

2. Find and Merge Duplicates

Google allows you to find and merge duplicate entries or entries that it perceives to be related. To do this, go to the “More” drop-down tab and select “Find & merge duplicate contacts…” from the list. You can then save multiple email addresses under one name or reject Google’s suggestions. Remember that the service isn’t perfect, and you may have to go back in and manually merge one or two contacts that Google doesn’t recognize as related.

duplicates

Regularly reviewing your contacts and merging them is a great way to take inventory of your connections and keep your contact list organized.

3. Adjust your Auto-Save Settings

Google saves every single email address you contact in your “Other Contacts” folder. While this can be okay sometimes (never lose another email address!), for people who use Gmail accounts to mass message prospective clients or other large groups of strangers, this isn’t exactly helpful for keeping your contacts organized.

To disable this feature, go to the “Settings” menu in the upper right hand corner under the gear icon. From the “General” tab, you’ll see a section labeled “Create contacts for auto-complete.” Change the radio button to “I’ll add contacts myself.” Don’t forget to save your settings and to save email addresses from new contacts from now on. No more autotype for you.

4. Export LinkedIn Contacts

Unless you’re extremely active on the site, LinkedIn can be where networking connections go to die. You meet someone at an event, share business cards, add them on LinkedIn and then poof. They’re a useless number on your profile that you never speak to again. Exporting your contacts on LinkedIn and importing them into your Gmail account make those connections more readily available to you.

On your LinkedIn page, go to the “Network” tab and click “Contacts.” Then, in the header labeled “Contacts,” click the settings icon. From this screen you can sync your Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook or iPhone address book to your LinkedIn Contacts, or you can export your LinkedIn connections on the right hand side under “Advanced Settings.”

linked-in

A note on LinkedIn Contacts: One benefit to using LinkedIn as your primary address book (at least for business) is that it puts the burden of updating contact information on your contacts, not you. So you don’t have to remember that John switched jobs, John does and LinkedIn will automatically update your contact list.

Export your contacts in whatever file makes the most sense for your email client, and then go back to your email contacts list and import the file there.

5. Manually Update

Enough with the eye rolls. We know it’s a pain, but if you want something done perfectly, do it yourself. The best place to start is the “Other Contacts” group. Start filling out as much information as possible. Another way to manually update your contacts is to delete misspelled email addresses (we all have at least one saved) and old email contacts whose addresses are either invalid or out of date.

6. Export Your Contacts

Export your contacts and resave the file regularly. If your account is compromised, you change jobs or, for some reason, your contacts are sucked into the Interwebz and never heard from again, you’ll be happy you did. You can also import those contacts into other services like LinkedIn or another email address (professional to personal account, for instance).

What tips do you have for keeping your email contacts neat and tidy? Let us know in the comments.

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Russia Launching New Search Engine ‘Sputnik’ to Compete With Google

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The name Sputnik stands tall in history books as the vessel that helped spark a space race with the U.S. But a new Russian project with the same name is planning to play catch-up in an area where the U.S. already has a huge lead: search engines.

Rostelecom, the country’s state-controlled telecom service, has been charged with creating a search engine to compete with the likes of Google, as well as well local search-engine leader Yandex, which is based in the Netherlands, according to Reuters.

Even with state backing, however, Sputnik will face stiff competition. On its website, Yandex claims that it currently generates 62% of all search traffic in Russia.

But recent events have destabilized the company. Yandex lost its popular co-founder, Ilya Segalovich, in July to cancer. That led to a brief dip in Yandex’s stock, and doubt about the company’s long-term future.

So while Yandex is currently the market leader — and Google is close behind with roughly 25% of Russia’s search users — Rostelecom may be launching Sputnik at just the right time.

Rostelecom has already spent $20 million on the search engine, according to a report in Russia’s Vedomosti. The site will reportedly be accessible at http://www.Sputnik.ru, and will launch some time in the first quarter of 2014.

Search Engine Optimization Guide For Beginners (PART 1)

“This Post is a hard-hitting guide that gives you the information you need to make the adjustments to your site right away to help improve your search rankings and benefit from the increase in organic search traffic” – COREVISION TECHNOLOGY TEAM

SEO

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is simply the act of manipulating the pages of your website to be easily accessible by search engine spiders so they can be easily spidered and indexed. A spider is a robot that search engines use to check millions of web pages very quickly and sort them by relevance. A page is indexed when it is spidered and deemed appropriate content to be placed in the search engines results for people to click on.

The art and science of understanding how search engines identify pages that are relevant to a query made by a visitor and designing marketing strategies based on this is called search engine optimization. Search engines offer the most cost effective mechanism to acquire “real” and “live” business leads. It is found that in most cases, search engine optimization delivers a better ROI than other forms such as online advertisements, e-mail marketing and newsletters, affiliate and pay per click advertising, and digital campaigns and promotions.

What On Earth Is An Algorithm?

algorithm

Each search engine has something called an algorithm which is the formula that each search engine uses to evaluate web pages and determine their relevance and value when crawling them for possible inclusion in their search engine. A crawler is the robot that browses all of these pages for the search engine.

GOOGLE Algorithm Is Key

Google has a comprehensive and highly developed technology, a straightforward interface and a wide-ranging array of search tools which enable the users to easily access a variety of information online.

Google users can browse the web and find information in various languages, retrieve maps, stock quotes and read news, search for a long lost friend
using the phonebook listings available on Google for all of US cities and basically surf the 3 billion odd web pages on the internet!

Google boasts of having world‟s largest archive of Usenet messages, dating all the way back to 1981. Google‟s technology can be accessed from any conventional desktop PC as well as from various wireless platforms such as WAP and i-mode phones, handheld devices and other such Internet equipped gadgets.

Page Rank Based On Popularity

The web search technology offered by Google is often the technology of choice of the world‟s leading portals and websites. It has also benefited the advertisers with its unique advertising program that does not hamper the web surfing experience of its users but still brings revenues to the advertisers.

When you search for a particular keyword or a phrase, most of the search engines return a list of page in order of the number of times the keyword
or phrase appears on the website. Google web search technology involves the use of its indigenously designed Page Rank Technology and hypertext-matching analysis which makes several instantaneous calculations undertaken without any human intervention. Google‟s structural design also expands simultaneously as the internet expands.

Page Rank technology involves the use of an equation which comprises of millions of variables and terms and determines a factual measurement of the significance of web pages and is calculated by solving an equation of 500 million variables and more than 3 billion terms. Unlike some other search engines, Google does not calculate links, but utilizes the extensive link structure of the web as an organizational tool. When the link to a Page, let‟s say Page B is clicked from a Page A, then that click is attributed as a vote towards Page B on behalf of Page A.

Back Links Are Considered Popularity Votes

Quintessentially, Google calculates the importance of a page by the number of such „votes‟ it receives. Not only that, Google also assesses the importance of the pages that are involved in the voting process. Consequently, pages that are themselves ahead in ranking and are important in that way also help to make other pages important. One thing to note here is that Google‟s technology does not involve human intervention in anyway and
uses the inherent intelligence of the internet and its resources to determine the ranking and importance of any page.

Hypertext-Matching Analysis

Unlike its conventional counterparts, Google is a search engine which is hypertext-based. This means that it analyzes all the content on each web page and factors in fonts, subdivisions, and the exact positions of all terms on the page. Not only that, Google also evaluates the content of its nearest web pages. This policy of not disregarding any subject matter pays off in the end and enables Google to return results that are closest to user queries.

Google has a very simple 3-step procedure in handling a query submitted in its search box:

1. When the query is submitted and the enter key is pressed, the web server sends the query to the index servers. Index server is exactly what its name suggests. It consists of an index much like the index of a book which displays where is the particular page containing the queried term is located in the entire book.

2. After this, the query proceeds to the doc servers, and these servers actually retrieve the stored documents. Page descriptions or “snippets” are then generated to suitably describe each search result.

3. These results are then returned to the user in less than a one second! (Normally.)

“Approximately once a month, Google updates their index by recalculating the Page Ranks of each of the web pages that they have crawled. The period
during the update is known as the Google dance.”

Do You Know The GOOGLE Dance?

The Algorithm Shuffle

Because of the nature of Page Rank, the calculations need to be performed about 40 times and, because the index is so large, the calculations take several days to complete. During this period, the search results fluctuate; sometimes minute-by minute. It is because of these fluctuations that the term, Google Dance, was coined.

The dance usually takes place sometime during the last third of each month.

Google has two other servers that can be used for searching. The search results on them also change during the monthly update and they are part of
the Google dance.

For the rest of the month, fluctuations sometimes occur in the search results, but they should not be confused with the actual dance. They are due to
Google’s fresh crawl and to what is known “Everflux”.

Google has two other searchable servers apart from http://www.google.com. They are www2.google.com and www3.google.com. Most of the time, the results on all 3 servers are the same, but during the dance, they are different.

For most of the dance, the rankings that can be seen on www2 and www3 are the new rankings that will transfer to www when the dance is over. Even
though the calculations are done about 40 times, the final rankings can be seen from very early on. This is because, during the first few iterations, the
calculated figures merge to being close to their final figures.

You can see this with the Page Rank Calculator by checking the Data box and performing some calculations. After the first few iterations, the search results on www2 and www3 may still change, but only slightly.

During the dance, the results from www2 and www3 will sometimes show on the www server, but only briefly. Also, new results on www2 and www3 can disappear for short periods. At the end of the dance, the results on www will match those on www2 and www3.

GOOGLE Dance Tool

This Google Dance Tool allows you to check your rankings on all three tools www, www2 and www3 and on all 9 data centers simultaneously. The Google Web Directory works in combination of the Google Search Technology and the Netscape Open Directory Project which makes it possible to search the Internet organized by topic. Google displays the pages in order of the rank given to it using the Page Rank Technology. It not only searches the titles and descriptions of the websites, but searches the entire content of sites within are related category, which ultimately delivers a comprehensive search to the users. Google also has a fully functional web directory which categorizes all the searches in order.

Submitting your URL to Google

Google is primarily a fully-automatic search engine with no human-intervention involved in the search process. It utilizes robots known as „spiders‟ to crawl the web on a regular basis for new updates and new websites to be included in the Google Index. This robot software follows hyperlinks from site to site. Google does not require that you should submit your URL to its database for inclusion in the index, as it is done anyway automatically by the „spiders‟. However, manual submission of URL can be done by going to the Google website and clicking the related link. One important thing here is that Google does not accept payment of any sort for site submission or improving page rank of your website. Also, submitting your site through the Google website does not guarantee listing in the index.

Cloaking

Sometimes, a webmaster might program the server in such a way that it returns different content to Google than it returns to regular users, which is often done to misrepresent search engine rankings. This process is referred to as cloaking as it conceals the actual website and returns distorted web pages to search engines crawling the site. This can mislead users about what they’ll find when they click on a search result. Google highly disapproves of
any such practice and might place a ban on the website which is found guilty of cloaking.

————————————————( END OF PART 1)———————————————————-

In our next post we will be discussing about:

  • Google Guidelines
  • Crawler / Spiders
  • Ranking Rule of Thumb
  • Values
  • Query – Dependent Factors
  • Meta Tags

Do comment for any queries or suggestions

New Multireddits Customize Your Reddit Homepage

Multireddits-1

Get ready to hone your time-wasting skills.

After two months of beta testing, Reddit released a new feature called “multireddits,” which allows users to view specific, customized groups of subreddits as opposed to the default front page. Reddit administrator chromakode announced the feature in a blog post that generated nearly 2,000 comments — most of which are negative.

Multireddits can be started, viewed and customized through a new sidebar located on the left edge of the front page. Many of the announcement’s top comments detail complaints about the feature’s obtrusiveness, though the new sidebar is easily hidden by clicking the arrow on its right edge. Regardless, a few users have already found and posted multiple methods for disabling the feature completely.

This isn’t the first time the Reddit community has reacted poorly to change.

This isn’t the first time the Reddit community has reacted poorly to change. When the site gave users the ability to comment on submissions, many decried the innovation, citing its uselessness and leaving comments like “get rid of them” and “noooooooooooooo.” Today, comments are arguably the community’s main draw, allowing users to discuss current events and participate in crowdsourcing.

In response to comments, the Reddit admin revealed that developers would soon add the ability to order multireddits in the sidebar and follow other users’ multireddits.

After a few upgrades, multireddits should be incredibly useful. They certainly add efficiency to browsing the site; users will no longer have to create new accounts or insert lengthy URLs to view certain subreddit clusters.

Creating a multireddit is very simple. In the new sidebar, click the “create” button. After titling the multireddit, you will be directed to another page to group together subreddits. When finished, the new multireddit will be accessible via the sidebar. For a few example groupings, take a look at ours here and here. Many more user-generated groupings can be found on /r/multihub.

What do you think of multireddits? Will it change the way you use the site? Tell us in the comments below.

PayPal Galactic will help people buy stuff in space

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When you’re in space and you need to buy something, how do you pay for it? That might sound like a ridiculous question right now given the lack of businesses in space and the massive amount of support each space traveler has, but this situation is about to change. In the coming months — yes months, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo is supposed to fly on December 25th — space tourism goes from a dream to a reality. At that point individual citizens will be taking private flights into space, where they will likely need some way of purchasing Dramamine, pictures of themselves in front of the Blue Marble, and all forms of rehydrated food.

How will the world’s cutting edge travelers pay? The simple answer is that no one knows, but PayPal wants to start a conversation about the topic. Sure, someone could just take a wireless credit card reader into space and then handle their transactions — the ISS has a more-than-adequate 10Mbps down/3Mbps up connection — but Paypal is looking for a modern solution to this thoroughly modern problem. Their initiative to answer the question of space payments is PayPal Galactic.

paypal-wallet-300x198

PayPal Galactic is intended to address the problem of “universal space payments,” which implies a larger solution than transactions that are tethered in some way to the Earth. Missions to Mars and the needs of “astro-tourists” were specifically cited, and Galactic spokesperson Buzz Aldrin agrees with PayPal President David Marcus that cash is not a viable option in the depths of space. Other involved parties include the SETI Institute, the Silicon Valley Space Center, and the Space Tourism Society.

While payments from one person to another in space seem like the obvious goal here, PayPal also noted that making a payment from space back to Earth is an issue as well. The company said that, “Astronauts inhabiting space stations today still need to pay for life’s necessities — from their bills back on Earth to their entertainment, like music and e-books, while in space.” This seems like a less pressing issue given the fact that we’ve been solving that problem for 45 or so years, but as more people travel to space — specifically people without support organizations — hurdles will arise. With an internet connection and a minimal amount of bandwidth you could just use a credit card or Bitcoin to pay for something, regardless of where you are located, but that’s a limited solution given potential problems with jurisdiction (say, in the case of fraud), customer support, taxation, and government regulation.

Right now Galactic is nothing more than a conversation between interested parties — it’s not a consortium or proposed standard or anything like that. PayPal’s current goal is to simply raise awareness about the lack of a proper solution for making non-terrestrial payments. The company freely admits that they don’t have all the answers, but they want to start finding solutions.

Interestingly, PayPal’s Senior Director of PR told me that PayPal co-founder and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has no involvement in Galactic. Virgin Galactic (despite the similarity in names), NASA, the ESA, and other prominent space organizations haven’t gotten involved either.

PayPal Galactic might not be necessary just yet, but it will lead to some interesting questions if it’s taken seriously. It seems unlikely that it would fall to a private corporation to decide on a standard for space payments, though the 1979 Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (commonly known as the Moon Treaty) makes no specific mentions of payments, currency, or the regulation of commerce outside of the Earth’s orbit. If anyone, I suppose this would fall under the jurisdiction of the Office of Space Commercialization, which is part of NOAA, and the wider purview of the US Department of Commerce. Of course, if this just ends up being a way to facilitate payments and not, say, a new unit of currency — like the ill-fated Quasi Universal Intergalactic Denomination — such oversight would not be necessary.

The program is being officially announced and more information will be made available at paypal-galactic.com.

How to Know in 30 Seconds if Your Facebook Presence is Working

 

Investigating

Over the last couple of weeks, my exploration into the world of effective automotive social media has turned more towards pitches and consultations. We’ve spent 9 months now digging deeper than ever before into what constitutes success and we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s pretty simple – if you aren’t selling cars and driving business to the service drive through social media, you’re not doing it right.

The posting strategies that have proven to be successful are a whole other topic that couldn’t fit into a single blog post, so for now I just want to explore the quick and easy methods that I’ve used to tell if a Facebook page is working or not. It comes down to reach, which means that the answer has absolutely, positively nothing to do with fans. I’ll demonstrate that in a moment.

First, let’s take a look at what you want to see on your page or other pages to determine if they’re posts are actually being seen and having an influence on local people on Facebook.

Low-Engagement-Ratio

 

All of the examples above have varying levels of likes, many of which are higher than most dealers. This is used to grade how well a page is doing, but it’s a false positive. The real number to look at rather than likes is the number to the right – “talking about this.” You can determine how many people are actually being reached based upon this number. For example, look at the second example from the top. It has a ton of fans so it must be doing well, right? Wrong. With only 67 people talking about it, that means that the vast majority of the “fans” are not seeing the posts at all in their news feeds.

Keep in mind that it’s a small ration of reach. In other words, the bottom example that has 70 people talking about this is reaching much more than the one above it that has 14 people talking about it. As a rough estimate, you can multiple the number of people talking about it by 20 and that’s approximately the number of people being reached by the page in a given week. In other words, the bottom example is reaching around 1400 people per week and the one above it is reaching around 380 per week.

Here are some examples of what pages should look like after a few months or even weeks of doing the right things on their page:

High-Engagement-Ratio

 

As you can see, the engagement ratios (determined by dividing the number talking about this with the total number of likes) are much higher in this batch. Even the page at the bottom with a mere 267 likes is talked about by nearly three times as many people as the page above with over 73K fans. The number of people reached by the dealerships’ messages through use Facebook news feeds is much, much higher for these properly managed pages.

It’s not just about how many people you’re reaching. It’s also about where the people you’re reaching live.

Here’s an example of a page that is reaching a lot of people:

Wrong-Area

 

As you can see, they have 2,769 people talking about the posts. They have a good engagement ratio relative to their fans and they’re growing nicely. They are very popular in New York City and reaching more 18-24 year olds than any other demographic. You can easily tell when they started targeting more people with Facebook ads based upon the graph.

It all looks great, right? Well, considering this is a dealership in California, it’s likely that they’re focused on getting nationwide popularity. This is a very bad idea.

I went through 74 people who had liked, shared, or commented on their posts. I could not find a single person engaging with the dealership that was within 30 miles of the store. You cannot easily sell cars to people when you’re targeting the whole country. Is it possible? Sure. Is it much less likely than if you maintain a strong local following and target the people who can actually drive to the dealership and buy a car or get their transmission serviced.

In thirty seconds and two clicks of the button, you can tell very quickly if your Facebook presence is working even without seeing the Facebook Insights. I’ve shown dealers how to dig deeper into their insights to prove it even further, but these two telltale signs are very clear indicators of a page’s presence and how well it is working.

Facebook should be localized. The number of fans is a much less important indicator than the number of people who are actually seeing your posts. The sooner you understand the way that Facebook marketing truly works, the easier it will be for you to find success and start selling cars as a result.

Why You Need To Take YouTube Seriously In 2013

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If you do a fair amount of reading around social media and online marketing blogs, you’ve probably noticed a lot of people are calling 2013 “the year of the video.”

But let me ask you something first, how do you perceive YouTube? Do you see it as a social network? maybe a search engine?

In case you didn’t know, the #2 search engine in the world is not Bing and it’s not Yahoo. It’s YouTube.

Let’s talk about “Discovery” for a second…

Part of what you do for your business marketing online is trying to increase your digital footprint. You want people to find you. You need to be discovered before people can fall in love with you or your brand.

 

Still YouTube seems to be underestimated by many both as a search engine and as a social network.

Quick story

I’m currently involved in a project with a website that requires the integration of a couple of third-party services. As you’d expect when dealing with tools that are a bit technical to deal with, you need to rely on some type of training/documentation. One of these services completely fails on educating the user on how to integrate its own platform, the other provides very heavy documentation that is really hard to understand.

I immediately head to YouTube to see if I can find something there and, to my surprise, there are tons of tutorials on how to install, configure and integrate these platforms. Here are my findings:

  • Most of these tutorials are from people that had no relationship with the companies other than having used them
  • I found a guy I can hire to do the work for me, again, no official association
  • For one of the services, I found a way to avoid all this work by installing a simple WordPress plugin
  • For the other, I found a competitor that might even be a better solution

To be honest, I’d rather get this information directly from the company I’m dealing with but, it’s simply not available. And YouTube helped me find the solutions I needed.

The problem

The problem, for these companies anyway… is that they’re failing to leverage YouTube to be discovered and possibly generate new business. Of course the fact that they’re failing to educate their existing clientele is an epic mistake but that’s material for a whole different post.

For others, this is a great opportunity, they get discovered by solving the problem and answering the questions these companies are not. My YouTube search resulted in a guy from outside the company that’s about to get hired and a competitor that I wasn’t even aware of and just became an option.

Forget SEO

The reason we worry about SEO so much is because we want our websites to rank high in search engines so they can be found. The same reason we are present on social media.

But the work you can do on SEO yourself is limited and, as a small business, hiring an SEO company is usually out of the question.

Chances are you are already doing all you can about optimizing for Google.

So what do you do?

Many companies of all sizes adopted blogging instead as a marketing vehicle in the recent years to use content to be discovered in specific niches.

Now you have to take the same approach with YouTube.

YouTube in your content strategy

So here are 11 quick reasons (what do you want… I had 10 reasons and I thought of one more) why you need to consider adding video to your online marketing strategy:

  1. Again, YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world. Why aren’t you there?
  2. Not everybody reads blogs, on YouTube you’re tapping into a possible new audience
  3. YouTube videos are shown on Google results
  4. Video is the best next thing to actual face-to-face interaction and it’s much better to humanize your business than written content
  5. People search YouTube to learn about products and services more than any other social network
  6. Video is easier to communicate and educate your prospects and existing clients around your products
  7. Video is easier to consume than written content
  8. Many of your competitors have no presence on YouTube, but they do on Facebook and Twitter
  9. The opportunities to produce great video quality are reachable to any size budget (even your iPhone can be enough)
  10. Videos, specially YouTube, are widely viewed on all kinds of screens (PC, mobile, tablet)
  11. YouTube videos are super easy to distribute to other social networks and to embed on websites and blogs

Online Video Stats

Comscore published this presentation on Online Video Stats last week.

These numbers are huge. Here are some of the main points you might be interested to know:

  • Online video reaches 85% of the US Internet population. It is the most consumed content format online
  • The number of videos watched online has increased by 800% in the last 6 years
  • YouTube has 153 million unique viewers, that’s almost 100 million more than Facebook
  • YouTube own 48% of the share of content (video views), The second platform is AOL with only 2%
  • Men and women are equally likely to watch videos online

 

Use Hashtags Instead of Social Icons on Ads

Twitter-Hashtags_0

 

If you ever want a crash course on the latest social media studies but don’t want to spend the money to do them yourself, just watch the Super Bowl. You have to assume that if companies are spending millions to produce and distribute 30 second spots for the big game, they’re going to research what’s working today.

This year’s big takeaway was a shift in the way that companies were presenting their social media. There’s even a debate about the winners and losers. The results of the research were easy to spot. Many advertisers decided that hashtags were the way to go social this year.

If you think about it, nothing could be simpler to understand. Hashtags are social network agnostic with the glaring exception of Facebook. Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and countless other social networks apply hashtags to their streams to allow for tagging and easier searching. Popular hashtags often get featured on these sites. It’s a way to win bigger than simply posting a Twitter handle or Facebook page URL.

You should apply the same concept to your campaigns, particularly when interaction is a part of it (and it should be). It’s no longer about sending people to your profiles through your advertising. They won’t go. If they want to interact with you on social media, they’ll find you (at least they should be able to if you’re doing it right in search and on your website). They will, however, be willing to take part in a conversation. The best way to group conversations on every venue other than Facebook is through hashtags.

For Facebook, things are different and that deserves a blog post of its own, but for now if you focus on hashtags to spread your campaign messages in your advertising (print, television, and just about everywhere else), you’ll find that your social media interactions can improve. If you’re still posting your profile handle next to a blue bird, you’re probably not getting anything out of it and simply wasting space.

10 Apps to Monetize an Ecommerce Facebook Business Page

A look at 10 Facebook ecommerce apps that can help you monetize your Facebook Page and communicate better with customers on this popular social networking site.

Facebook App

 

Facebook is a popular choice for small business ecommerce site owners looking for new ways to market their online business and to communicate with customers. This popular social networking site provides new ways to monetize your Facebook Business Page using shopping cart and other ecommerce applications — or apps — that you can embed on your Business Profile.

From shopping tabs to customer service tools, these 10 Facebook apps make a great addition to an online merchant’s marketing arsenal.

Shopping Carts & Shopping Tabs for Facebook

1. Payvment is an ecommerce Facebook solution that lets you add a professional-grade storefront to any Facebook page. The app features an admin dashboard built directly into Facebook to manage your storefront, products and sales.

2. Muncom is a free PHP shopping cart that you can use to create a shopping cart to display on your Facebook Business Page. To create the cart, you must first design a free store on Muncom.com. Muncom’s shopping cart service is currently in beta.

3. BigCommerce offers a Facebook ecommerce solution that lets you add a Shopping Tab to your Facebook Business page. The tab allows shoppers to browse products on your page and buy through Facebook.

4. TabJuice also offers a Shopping Tab app that helps ecommerce merchants to bring their products to a Facebook Business Page. You can customize the Facebook store you create with different storefront templates, color schemes and your own logo.

5. ShopTab  is a popular Facebook application that offers a number of features including support for more than 30 currencies. It also offers tools for you to add and edit products individually, through a data feed, or automated scheduled data update.

Customer Service and Marketing Apps

6. Assistly lets you control and monitor customer conversations by pulling all customer service conversations from email, phone, Facebook and Twitter into one place.

7. Get Satisfaction provides moderation tools and customer feedback widgets to help you build your Facebook customer community. It offers a starter package for small businesses.

8. UserEcho is a feedback widget for Facebook and Twitter that lets you to collect customer responses and respond to customer feedback, engage in conversation, and it also lets you broadcast and organize the conversations.

9. MailChimp lets you market to Facebook customers by creating a mailing list sign-up form and tab on your Facebook Page. Page admins can automatically post email campaigns to the Facebook Wall once sent to your email subscribers.

10. Wildfire Promotions is a Facebook app that lets site owners run different promotions on Facebook Pages, such as contests, coupons and special deals. After adding the application, you configure the promotion through the app, publish it, and then add it as a Tab on your Facebook Page.

How to Analyze Your Email Newsletter List With Facebook

Do you want to gain quick insight into your email list?

Do your subscribers use Facebook?

If so, you can gain powerful insights and target Facebook Ads to your subscription base.

You do this using the Facebook Power Editor and Custom Audiences.

In the marketing strategy outlined below, you’ll learn more about the customers on your email list and you’ll be able to better tailor your Facebook marketing to your customers.

How It Works

If you’re an experienced Facebook Ads user, this is a great way to take your Facebook advertising to the next level.

If you’re just getting started with Facebook advertising or if your email list is fewer than 500 people, you may want to focus first on some of the other Facebook advertising strategies.

Facebook introduced the Custom Audiences feature to use email addresses or phone numbers to match the target audience, instead of the traditional Facebook ad targeting features such as demographics and interests.

After using this email address or phone number filter, you can also use the other targeting options to niche your campaign down to a special segment of your email subscriber list—such as your customers in Tennessee or your email subscribers between the ages of 35 and 45.

reach a specific audienceReach specific members of one newsletter list.

You can have as many custom audiences as you like, so you can upload multiple lists of emails and phone numbers if you have your email list segmented.

One thing to point out with this strategy is that you’ll be using the emails that people used to sign up for your email newsletter—which may or may not be the same email address that people use to sign into Facebook. Or the people on your newsletter list may not even be on Facebook at all (incredible, I know). So you will not get a perfect match of data.

And just in case you’re worried about the privacy of Facebook’s Power Editor, they do not store these email addresses. In fact, they are uploaded as a hashed file (a file converted to numerical strings) just to compare to the emails of Facebook users.

Now, if you’re ready to dive into the Facebook Power Editor to use this powerful technique, just follow these 5 easy steps.

#1: Install the Facebook Power Editor

The Power Editor is a tool you can use to upload a large number of ads in bulk to your Facebook ad campaigns. If you are doing a large amount of split testing, this can be very helpful. Some people write hundreds of ads to test within a few campaigns to find out which one performs best.

If you haven’t installed the Facebook Power Editor, you’ll need to do that first. TheFacebook Power Editor is a Google Chrome plugin, so you can only access the Power Editor when you’re browsing with Google Chrome.

While using Google Chrome, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Facebook personal profile.
  2. Click the wheel icon in the upper-right corner and select Manage Ads. You will see all of your Facebook ad campaigns.
  3. Click Power Editor on the left sidebar. 
    power editor sidebarNavigate to the Power Editor.

  4. If you haven’t installed the Power Editor before, you will see some information about the Power Editor and how you can install it. 
    facebook power editorIf you haven’t installed the Power Editor before, you will see this screen.

  5. Click the “here” link highlighted in Step 2 since you are already using Google Chrome.
  6. Click the Add button to add the Power Editor shown in the popup box.
  7. After installing it, you can now click the Power Editor button to open the Power Editor.
  8. Download your ad campaigns into the Power Editor by clicking the Download button. You don’t have to do this, but it helps if you are going to use the Power Editor to create new campaigns in the future and you want to reference previous campaigns. 
    download campaignsDownload your ad campaigns into the Power Editor.

Now you have the Power Editor enabled and active.

#2: Download the Emails of Your Newsletter Subscribers

Next, you need to download the emails of your newsletter subscribers into a single column Excel spreadsheet or .CSV file. If you are using AWeberConstant Contact,MailChimp or some other email program, you can do this very easily. You may need to strip out any additional data from the file.

csv file informationDelete any extra data from your .CSV file before uploading it to the Power Editor.

Remember, you can create as many custom audiences as you want, so if you do have your email list segmented, you should maintain those segments. Hopefully you have a list of your actual customers segmented out from your general newsletter list, so you can upload that file separately.

#3: Create Your Custom Audiences

Go back into the Facebook Power Editor and upload your .CSV file. To get to the Custom Audience upload area, click on the Audiences label in the upper row, then select Custom Audience from the Create Audience drop-down menu as shown.

custom audienceAdd your custom audience.

You will see a popup box that prompts you to abide by the Terms and Conditionsoutlined. The terms require that you are using your own email subscriber list (or that you have all rights and permissions to use the data from the subscribers) and that the list consists only of people who have opted into your email list (and have not since opted out). Select the Agree button and another popup box will ask you to select your file to create your audience.

Select the file you created in Step 2 with your newsletter subscribers. In the Audience Name field, select a meaningful name so that you know which subscribers are matched to this list.

custom audience upload fileAdd your file and your audience name.

You have now uploaded the file. It may take up to an hour for Facebook to process the file.

#4: Analyze Your Custom Audiences and Create Facebook Ads

Once you get your first custom audience uploaded, you will see the number of people who matched an email address on Facebook in your Power Editor.

custom audience listSee your custom audience list in the Power Editor.

You can create ads directly in the Power Editor, but I’ve found the interface difficult to work with and it can be glitchy. It takes some adjustments if you are used to reading your ads in the Facebook Ads interface. You can read more about it in Facebook’s guide here.

But a great benefit of uploading your email list as a custom audience is that you can now also access your custom audience in the Facebook Advertising interface. This is a great way to advertise to this list directly or to do a little analysis on this list.

To return to the Facebook Advertising interface, go to your Facebook profile, select the wheel in the upper-right corner and select Create an Ad. Now select your Page or any website you may want to advertise (it really doesn’t matter too much to see some of the analysis).

Then when you get to the “Choose Your Audience” section, you will see a new check box under the Broad Categories where you can select your custom audience. Select that check box and then you can do some analysis on your email list demographics.

#5: Gain Insight About Your List

Even if you don’t use this data for Facebook Ads, you can use it to gain insights about your list. If your list isn’t very large, targeting an ad to 200 people may not be an effective use of your Facebook marketing budget—but it isn’t too expensive to try it and see what results you get!

What you can do is find out more about their interests and demographics listed on Facebook by playing around with the Facebook Ad settings. For example, if you look at this particular list of emails I uploaded, you can find out a few things about them.

custom audienceSelect the list to analyze through the Facebook Ads interface.

Notice that the default location setting for me is United States, so I see that the number of people this potential ad would be targeting is 560.

The entire Custom Audience loaded in the Power Editor was 714 Facebook users (refer to the previous figure), so I immediately know that 154 people on this list live outside the U.S. I can also start adding other filters to the ad targeting and find out that 340 people on this list are women who live in the U.S.

women who live in usContinue to add filters to find out more about the people on your newsletter list.

You may start trying different precise interests to find out what keywords resonate with your current audience and use those keywords in future ad campaigns.

You can also create an ad specifically targeting a segment of your list of email subscribers and use appropriate copy in the ad to appeal to them.

One other thing you can do is find out how many of your current email subscribers are not fans of yours on Facebook and perhaps target an ad directly to them. Pretty powerful!

So now you’re able to find out more about your current email subscribers and reach them specifically on Facebook with a few easy steps.

Even if your email list is not large, it is beneficial to know more about your subscribers and this technique gives you another way to reach them on Facebook.

How about you? Have you experimented with the Facebook Power Editor? What results have you seen?