Posts Tagged ‘Web Marketing’

Adding the Facebook Like Button Revisited

17 Mar

Adding the Facebook Like Button Revisited

This content from: Duct Tape Marketing

I wrote a post about Facebook Like buttons some time ago, but a few things have changed and I thought it might be time to further clarify this play.

Adding the Facebook Like button to web pages and blog posts has become even more beneficial as Facebook has consolidated many of the various social actions to make the Like a very powerful sharing tool. Facebook changed its “Like” button to essentially give it the same functionality as its “Share” button. Before this change, “likes” appeared on a wall grouped with other actions with little or no detail other than a small notice that the user had “liked” something. “Shares” were more prominently displayed and contained more detail. Now “Likes” show an image, link and content from entire post or whatever is being “liked”, on the users Facebook wall.

Facebook Like Social Plugin

Some folks kind of feel this is another classic bait and switch with Facebook, but web site owners will certainly benefit from more exposure if they take advantage.

Here are few things you need to know.

You don’t add the Like button to your own Facebook Page

I add this here because I get tons of questions about this. When I talk about adding the Like button I’m talking about adding it to pages outside of Facebook – your blog for example. A lot of new Facebook page admins believe they need to do something to add the Like button to their own Facebook page because it doesn’t show up when you log in if you’ve already “Liked” your own page – an act that most do. So, rest assured, if someone visits your page that has not already clicked the like action, they can see the Like button.

Add the code anywhere on any page you can edit

You can produce the HTML code for any web page you can edit from the Facebook Developer’s Social Plug In Tool. Simply add the URL to the specific page you want to create the code for, edit the settings for width and style and hit get code. Copy the code and paste it anywhere on your web page where you want it to show and presto, people can like your page. I suggest doing this for any web pages where you have content, products, reviews, service descriptions or anything else people might choose to share with their Facebook fans.

Adding Facebook Like code to web page HTML

Add the code to every individual WordPress post and page

If you want to manually add the Facebook Like code to your WordPress theme and you can edit the individual theme files, you can add the same code as created above to the page, single and index files but replace the URL with this code to allow WordPress to automatically insert the individual blog post for each Like – href=”< ?php the_permalink(); ?>” Place this code in where you would like the Like button to appear. This approach may not be for beginners as you need to know your way around WordPress theme files, but the good news it there are plugins mentioned below that can do the work for you.

The Open Graph Protocol

If I may, I’m going to get a little geeky on you because I think this is a topic that is going to get increasingly important due to Facebook’s support and that’s the Open Graph Protocol. The Open Graph protocol enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph. For instance, this is used on Facebook to enable any web page to have the same functionality as a Facebook Page. To turn your web pages into graph objects, you need to add basic metadata to your page like you may have done for keywords and description. This additional data gives your post even richer detail on Facebook.

Think of this additional data as way to optimize the Like button on your site.

Here’s an example of og metadata for a movie

The WP-OGP plugin adds meta data to your WordPress blog so it can better interact with Facebook and other services that use the open graph protocol. This is something that I recommend, but it’s not the first order of business if you are still figuring this blogging thing out. A couple of things to note, you’ll need to know your Facebook ID and you’ll need to get a Facebook developer ID. Both of these are explained here and in the set-up panel of the plugin once installed. In Facebook’s eyes you are actually creating an application that will integrate with Facebook, so that’s why you must register your site and application, but it’s note really that complicated. You will also want to check and make sure your blog theme supports the WordPress feature image function because you’ll need to set a feature image for each post to have it shown on Facebook pages with your post. (More on feature image here)

How to designate a feature image in WordPress

Two WordPress Plugins

If you run a WordPress site your best bet in the end might be to use the Like Plugin or the Like Button for Facebook Plugin as they both have great reviews and do pretty much everything explained in this post, including adding the Open Graph data. Again, you’ll need your Facebook ID and developer ID so that your site can interact securely with Facebook, but I think Facebook has made this a step most site owners should take.


WordPress 3.1 Is Big Leap Into CMS

28 Feb

WordPress 3.1 Is Big Leap Into CMS

This content from: Duct Tape Marketing

Regular readers to this blog know that I’m a WordPress fan. You may have noticed that I updated the look of the blog with a new theme. At that time I also converted the entire site to WordPress – a feat that I think shows off the power and flexibility of this publishing tool to be a singular content management tool for small business.

The most recent update to WordPress includes some significant feature upgrades and in my opinion moves the tool even farther into the ability to serve as the tool of choice for any web site.

Key feature additions include:

Quick overview of the Internal Linking function

Internal link – This has to be my favorite new feature and reason enough to upgrade if you’re stalling. A very common practice in blogging is to link to other relevant content from past blog posts. In the past this was accomplished by finding the other post and copying the URL to embed in a link. No big deal unless you’ve got over 2,000 posts. Now, when you are editing a post (only when using the visual editor :( ) you have the ability add a link from any page or blog post, including searching through all posts, right from the link editing tool.

Post formats – The new style of WordPress theme takes advantage of multiple page templates in order to accomplish things like I’ve done on thhis site (my home page is a WordPress page template using the Builder Theme from iThemes) With the advancement of WordPress 3.1 comes something called Post Formats. Post Formats allow theme designers to create multiple views of blog post so that sites can have different post layouts inside the same theme for different content.

Theme designers now have the ability to create post formats that include:

  • Aside – Typically short pieces of content, published without a title.
  • Image Gallery – A collection of pictures in a gallery format.
  • Link – A single link.
  • Image – A single image.
  • Quote – An inspirational or noteworthy quote with a citation.
  • Status – Status updates, similar to Facebook and Twitter updates.
  • Video – A single video.
  • Audio – A single audio clip, like a song or a podcast.
  • Chat – An instant message transcript.

The ability to create custom post formats (post types) has been around for some time, but now designers have an ordained set of format names that will allow for standardization across themes. For a tutorial on how to get started with Post Formats visit this Wordcast Tutorial:Add Tumblr Style Features To Your Blog with WordPress 3.1

You might also want to check out this online seminar from my friends at iThemes – WordPress Advanced Custom Post Formats – Wed March 2nd 11 am CT

Admin bar – Next up is a new editing bar that appears above posts for admins when viewing live content. The idea behind this feature is that it offers easy editing and navigation directly from any blog page. I kind of like this as I tend to edit some things this way, but a lot of admins are complaining that it’s in the way and needlessly adds more clutter. (Top nav bars like the Hello Bar are getting popular as well and this may cause some conflicts with these kinds of scripts.) The top nav is turned on by default, but you can switch it off by visiting your account settings.

This nav bar appears by default for admins


The New SEO is About Relationships and Relevance

21 Feb

The New SEO is About Relationships and Relevance

This content from: Duct Tape Marketing

Last week Google announced an official update to Social Search – something they’ve been playing around with for some time now. The idea behind social search is that if a Google account user does a search for something they will get the most relevant results according to Google now mixed in with results that Google determines are important from those in your social networks.

The news for anyone thinking about SEO is summed by this statement from Google – . . .relevance isn’t just about pages—it’s also about relationships. Google has officially moved from playing with social search to altering the SEO landscape with it.

While the newly socialized results are dependent upon the surfer being logged in to their Google account, the significance from an SEO standpoint is potentially game changing. As Google continues to advance this type of thinking when it comes to placement of search results it will bring the online acts of content creation, network building and social participation to new heights.

Consider the images below – the first is a search for the term “social media system” while logged out of Google and second while logged in. The results are dramatically different. (Click to enlarge)

Results while logged in

Results while logged out

I’ve been begging and pleading with small business owners for the last five years to create and use blogs, claim all the digital real estate and profiles they could and get active building social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. While this is behavior that has long influenced organic search results in a more mathematical way, social search highlights the direct impact this behavior has in ways that should open some eyes.

The good news is that people that have participated fully in social media, network building and content creation may have just received a very positive jolt in the search game. There is still time to adopt this behavior because it may be years before this social search function becomes fully realized, but there’s no way to deny the need to make online network building and participation a primary business practice.

Now, this doesn’t mean that good SEO practices of link building and content creation around keywords goes out the window – those factors will remain extremely important, but social network participation just got a raise in terms of becoming a ranking factor that isn’t controlled by traditional SEO practices.

Here are a couple unscientific initial thoughts:

  • You can’t play without a Google Profile – if you have one go update it now and add more connections
  • Sharing content from your Google Reader account seems to get high marks right now
  • Twitter results are being adding pretty quickly
  • With Google and Facebook locked in war for social, don’t expect Facebook results to matter as much

You connect accounts that you want to be part of your public profile using the Google Profile tool, but you can also connect account privately through your Google Account. (Google is choosing your networks through the Social Graph tool.)

Results will be spotty and odd for some time now, but it’s still time to rethink your entire approach to SEO.


How to Reveal Fan Only Content on Facebook

02 Feb

How to Reveal Fan Only Content on Facebook

This content from: Duct Tape Marketing

One cool little trick that marketers often use on Facebook is to hold back content for “Fans” only. The pull behind this is that you can then give a little perk and encourage folks to “Like” your page and become a fan.

There are 3rd party apps like those from North Social or Wildfire that can make this happen for you or you can do a bit of coding with FBML. I wrote a how to article on installing the Static FBML app here - you might want to visit that first as you will need the app installed to take advantage of today’s tidbit.

This image greets non fans

I installed a Static FBML tab called Free eBook and put an image that encourages people to become a fan and offers a free eBook for doing so. There are lots of ways you to take this. Some organizations offer coupons or discounts for becoming a fan or access to early registration – really anything of value can be a great incentive and will generally increase your number of fans. (Visit my Fan Page to see is in action)

The code that makes this possible is the FBML attribute – fb:visible-to-connection. This is the same code that Facebook uses to show or not show your profile to friends or fans and it’s pretty simple to employ.

(One tip – if you are an admin of your page and logged in you will see both the fan and non fan content so you must test your implementation logged off or from a different username.)

The code in the FBML app using fb:visible-to-connection

Okay, so let’s break this down. For the most part this is very simple HTML with a little FBML

  • the fb:visible-to-connection code is what tells Facebook to make and not make parts visible to fans
  • the fb:else is an attribute of this code that identifies what should be shown to non fans – you simply wrap the non fan content in fb:else and the /fb:else closing tags. In this case I have used an image that encourages visitors to become fans.
  • the next code, starting the h3 tag, is the content that is shown only to fans and this can be whatever you wish. I have used simple content with simple HTML.
  • the last bit is close the /fb:visible-to-connection to tag. You can have other content on this page that is not related to the fan only offering and it would outside of this tag
Fan only reveal on Facebook

This is what fans see after they his Like

This is s very simple demonstration of how to use this function. You can add your own style using external style sheets. A good place to learn more is Tim Ware’s HyperArts Blog.

You can directly to the free eBook tab I installed here – if you are already a fan you will see the link to the download. If you are not a fan yet you will see an image urging you to become one – hit Like and you’ll see the free eBook download.


Delegating Email with Gmail

17 Dec

Delegating Email with Gmail

This content from: Duct Tape Marketing

Gmail just added a function that allows users to give another user permission to view and respond to their email. This function has been available through my Google Apps account for some time, but I just took note when they pushed it out to the rest of the world recently.

Now, delegating email may sound to some like a terribly impersonal touch or something reserved for only those with at least two or three personal assistants, but the practical small business use for this is very real.

Let’s say you want to create some company mailboxes for things like sales, customer service, advertising, media requests, etc. Many companies do this as a way to channel inquires to a company inbox even though it may be monitored by one person.

Now, let’s say you have two people that field sales inquires and two that field customer service requests. By creating shared or delegated email accounts multiple people can monitor these inboxes and everyone that has permission can see what was replied to and what still awaited a reply. (Add the Canned Responses function and you could also create a library of common responses so that everyone monitoring the box could have company approved messages at the ready)

This is also a great way for those small business folks that do have a personal assistant or VA to delegate certain email tasks or for those that simply use multiple accounts to hook them all together for the purpose of viewing and responding.

The reply from a delegated email says that it comes from the account holder but with that add-on sent by [email protected]