Facebook Privacy Updates – Real Time Indexing in Google

The world of real time updates and information is closing in on all of us at a very rapid pace. Twitter and Facebook updates are now indexing in Google search results, opening up all* comments to the entire world to read and absorb. This has implications for businesses in regards to reputation management, as noted in a previous post on consumer feedback, but also serves as yet another tool for SEO (search engine optimization) if utilized correctly. It increases the value of social media for business in that a keyword rich status update could get indexed and found by a customer searching on Google, instead of before, when that update was limited to Facebookers eyes only.

*If for some reason this is upsetting to you as a user, there’s really no need to be alarmed. Facebook has recently released a new and much easier way to control all privacy settings on your account. You can choose who see’s what on your profile- including status updates- so if your settings are restricted to “Friends” or “Friends of Friends” only, Google will not be able to index your content. One important note is that Facebook is recommending (and automatically updating) your status updates to “Everyone” (meaning it WILL get indexed- unless you change it) so it’s important to know how to do this…

And very simple.

Select “Settings” and then “Privacy Settings” from the top link next to your name. From there you can select and save your changes accordingly. (“Posts By Me” are you status, photos, links that you update at the top of your page.)

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Last week Kara and I decided to visit the much talked about Red Door restaurant on Cantrell, hoping it would be as nice as Bene Vita, the Italian restaurant it replaced. This post is not going to be about our experience, but how our experience prompted action in a way that was never possible before…

Take a moment to Google- “red door, little rock“. The site obviously doesn’t have a website yet (wtf?) but even if they did, it is not uncommon for the Google Maps description to top the list in organic results…

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Once you click on the listing you then can view a map of the location, details and reviews. I’m sure you’ve seen the option- “Tell us what you think” is the new IT word everywhere you go- and I am personally taking advantage…

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Here are some photos of the food and the perfect expression of how we felt about the entire experience…

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The point of all this is- People are talking on the web. They’re talking to each other, participating in group discussions, and voicing their opinions on everything from politics to neighborhood watch alerts. This is the nature of Web2.0- social media and networking- and the future of businesses online reputation lies in the hands of their consumer.

According to a survey done by the Opinion Research Corporation, consumer reviews are a major influence on consumer decision-making. But you knew that already, right? Obviously one unhappy customer equals 10 new customers you’re never going to get, and vice versa. In the past, before this social explosion on the web, a bad (or good) review was limited to close friends and family- people we see or talk to on a normal, everyday basis. Now we are able to interact and network with a much larger circle of friends and new acquaintances who share similar interests and hobbies- taking the age old term of viral or guerilla marketing to a whole new level.

Here are a few more statistics from the survey-
•    83% of respondents said online reviews had at least some influence on their purchasing decisions.
•    70% said they look for reviews and information about particular types of products and services, with travel/recreation/leisure topping the list of most researched niches, and electronics right behind in 2nd
•    61% look for online reviews before purchasing a new product or service

These numbers are simply too big to ignore. Sites like YahooLocal and Yelp are growing in popularity and engagement at a shocking speed and this trend will only continue to increase as more and more consumers are finding ways to voice their opinions. Businesses must take a proactive approach to monitor and control their online reputation, before it’s too late.

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People of Walmart.com

About them-

People of Walmart was founded in August of 2009 by three friends and roommates after an inspirational trip to Walmart.
Let’s face it; we all have seen the people who obviously don’t have mirrors and/or family and friends to lock them in a basement, and they all seem to congregate at Walmart. It’s not everywhere that you can shop for milk at 10 a.m. next to a 400lb mother of 6 wearing a pink tube top, leopard tights, and hooker heels.

Mean, tactless, or hilarious, this site is making big bucks on making fun of people who shop at Walmart… AND with over 187,000 Facebook fans and growing every day- the People of Walmart is currently out branding Walmart itself by a long shot..!

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Big Brands Being Social


Does Comcast really care? Really?

I sure wish this was around when I was a bitching Comcast customer!!!

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In my humble opinion, Twitter could serve as an awesome customer service tool- especially if it actually delivered real answers, in real time, and with measurable results to the customer! Listening is one thing, but taking action is clearly another…

(Much more on this in a great post from one of my favorite blogs – Twitter: The killer app for customer service.)

I own a bicycle, therefore I must need health insurance, duh!

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Humana does a great job with their “FreeWheelin” microsite- allowing potential customers to interact and form a community around a common, and maybe eventually related to insurance, theme- cycling… I like a company who can talk about other things beyond their service or product. This is great branding and really allows people to interact and become engaged. Maybe.

Laughing makes me hungry- for a cheeseburger!

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Pretty funny Burger King- and I don’t even like online videos all that much…

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Tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov 3rd) I will be speaking on a panel at Commerce Arkansas with some highly intelligent marketing & PR experts on the oh-so-fantastic subject of Social Media… (Thank goodness this is not a power-point presentation again, although I have to admit last year wasn’t that bad.)

To summarize the topic of our discussion:

Using Social Media for Business, Nonprofits and Search Engine Marketing is an overview of how businesses and nonprofits can use social media – including Twitter and Facebook – in aid of e-commerce, marketing and charitable campaigns. Learn what tools are available, how to staff social media efforts, how to set expectations and how to measure success.

It should be interesting- and best of all- it’s free if you register in advance!

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