Facebook Status Updates and Your Business

facebook status updatesFacebook is no longer a platform but a way of life; you use Facebook status updates to find out where to go, to see what your friends are doing, and to communicate your feelings.  It’s only fitting that Social Fulcrum analyzes each update in the world of Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet giant.  With nearly 1 billion users worldwide, Facebook has the largest captive audience on the web.  Along with tailoring its site to make the user experience as enjoyable as possible, Facebook’s goal is to give its registrants the opportunity to voice their concerns.

Facebook is letting its nearly 1 billion users vote on changes to its privacy policy beginning on Friday (6/1/2012).  The vote is over updates the company announced in May, a week before its initial public offering. The changes include new sections explaining how it uses people’s information. They open up the possibility for Facebook to start showing people ads on outside websites, targeting the pitches to interests and hobbies that users express on Facebook.  In 2009 Facebook invited its 200 million users to vote on different privacy and policy changes; this is the second time that the corporation has opened up the floodgates for audience suggestions.  This is your time to shine- turn in your ideas and theories on how to make Facebook a safer, more private, less intrusive cyber space.

Once again Facebook is rolling out new brand-focused features for Pages, this time making a play at a number of third-party apps like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck with the introduction of Admin Roles and Scheduled Posts.  Facebook is trailing behind Tumblr when it comes to time sensitive material distribution!  It has been several months since Tumblr integrated a feature for bloggers to pay for their post to be in a premium position.  Facebook saw the nominal revenue stream as an opportunity to capture the non-traditional dollars that can be spent by smaller businesses (those not buying run of site advertising campaigns, but using their pages to network with their consumers).  One of the biggest hurdles for any business to overcome is the time and resources needed to push content out on Facebook. Now with scheduled posts right inside Facebook, brands can focus on content (and spend more time) on the platform.

Time sensitive posting opportunities gives Facebook a tremendous edge: users no longer need third party apps (HootSuite,Tweetdeck, and Tumblr are in direct competition with the Facebook’s new tool).  This new tool shows that Facebook is paying attention to its user base- and recognizes that business owners will use their tools on the platform if given them!

New tools = an increase in investor confidence!  

As of today, Page Managers can assign an admin to one of five unique roles, Manager, Content Creator, Moderator, Advertiser, and Insights Analyst. By default, all admins are managers.  This now gives business owners the upper hand; they can delegate social media tasks to different employees, and identify which employees completed these tasks.  There are specific functions that each individual can do within the page, and the Manager has the right to restrict what types of activities can be produced by these individuals.  This is a great tool for large businesses that have millions of Facebook followers.  These corporations can analyze the different posts that have gotten positive or negative feedback, and pinpoint what types of posts are accepted or negated by their community.

Several new Open Graph publishing guidelines issued earlier this week will require that Facebook apps that automatically publish status updates in users’ feeds when they watch a video or read an article will now have to allow for a delay before doing so.  This will eliminate many spam posts!  People are not patient, and will not wait for their cue.  By the law of averages, your brand will win because of this new security measure.

 Facebook says that users must have engaged with the article or video for 10 or more seconds before a status message can be sent. If, in the case of video, the length is shorter than 10 seconds, the entire content must be viewed before a post can be sent to the user’s wall.  Like YouTube’scomment requirements, Facebook is now creating a time barrier against spamming.  This will eliminate many negative comments on large brand pages.

Facebook has also added an FQL query tab to the Graph API Explorer. It’s pointed out that you can still run FQL queries the old fashioned way through issuing an HTTP GET request. The tab just makes it easier and faster to experiment with various queries.  These internalized Facebook reports eliminate the third party tools your business has been using to analyze your Facebook campaigns!  Your marketing department can run new reports, and quantify the use of the social media platform.

Another pillar of the Open Graph platform is the tagging of people and locations. New guidelines have been put in place to discourage warrantless tagging of everybody on somebody’s friends list. Apps must now only encourage users to tag friends if they have actually done something together. It’s also encouraged to only tag a place if the user is currently there.  Many people tag their Facebook friends at different locations, or in their status updates.  This will protect users- it will no longer appear as if you are in vacation in Florida when your friend from college tags you in a quote about the dorm.  This function will restrict tagging on specific types of posts (if you are a restaurant in Manhattan, you can’t tag your little sister in Fort Lauderdale so that she knows what you are eating; the system knows where she is through her location preferences).  Apps have also been restricted on their sharing features- no longer do they have domain over all wall features (all posts on user walls must be approved by the user before being push-published).  Facebook stresses that users must be allowed to turn sharing on off for an app’s content and that these selected settings should persist.