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Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

Don’t Blame Facebook (or Any Other Social Media Site)

Have you ever heard phrases like “Facebook broke up another marriage.” I have, and although Facebook has its issues, it doesn’t have the power many give it. The bottom line is that we make choices, and not always good choices. That marriage that was on the rocks, was destined to find its interruption, and Facebook happened to be the convenient tool of choice. It could have just as easily been a phone call or an alleged business trip. So what’s my point?

When posting on social media channels – whether personal or professional – we need to use wisdom and discretion. None of us are perfect, and we’ve all seen “those dialogues” on Facebook. They can be awkward, uncomfortable and make us cringe. One of my personal rules is that I don’t judge people or say things like “man, I can’t believe they did that” because those kinds of things can come back to bite you. And yes, it happened to me recently. I made a foolish decision to share a post which was off color. It wasn’t pornographic, it did not have swearing in it, but it was intended to poke at political and media leaders (who are very often the subject of poor humor.) We all make mistakes, but sadly for me, I offended a family member and that’s just something I never want to do.

Here are three great questions to ask yourself before posting to any social media profile:

    1. Why am I posting this? We often post things that are humorous, but we need to ask why we care enough to share what we are sharing.
    2. Who will see the post? If you are connected with your coworkers, colleagues, or clients, be careful not to reveal any information that might come back to haunt you. And if you are thinking about this too often, you might want to decide if they need to be Facebook friends (see my prior post on good reasons to unfriend people.)
    3. Who (if anyone) will be offended? If the answer is “anyone at all” the response should be to not share it – end of story.

I hope this helps someone not experience the frustration – and damage control – of making a mistake as I did. And if you have an issue, don’t blame Facebook Take ownership of your actions, clear the air, and move on with life. Life is too short and too precious.

13 Reasons Why You Might Get Unfriended on Facebook

It’s a new year and everyone is talking about getting a fresh start, so how about starting fresh with your Facebook friends? I don’t mean starting a new profile, I mean doing what you’ve wanted to do and “purge” your friends list – you know you want to.

As I looked at those I was connected to, I decided to drop a few people from the list and here is my list of reasons why people might not have made the cut.

1. I don’t actually know you. There was a time when I was connecting with people that I really did not know, either for business reasons or because they knew someone I knew. I no longer do this and I like to keep my friends circle confined to people I know “in real life.”
2. You are so into you that I don’t need to be. Facebook will let you know who needs attention. I love you, but I get tired of seeing those “look at me” posts and I pray that mine are never perceived as such. My wife might think I cross the line here, who knows. :-)
3. You are inappropriate. We can be friends and I won’t judge you, but I won’t allow you to post obscenities on my wall. And if your avatar (or photos) make you look like a porn star… well… not appropriate, and my wife appreciates my stand on this one.
4. We’ve drifted apart… and that’s ok. Just like in the real world, there are people I used to hang out with, call, email, etc. If we aren’t hanging out in this season of life, it’s ok; we probably don’t need to be Facebook friends, however.
5. You are in the witness protection program. Or so it seems, since you have abandoned your Facebook page and the only posts I now see are viruses – for which you don’t even come back to post the oh so common “sorry, if you if saw something inappropriate from me, I was hacked” apology.
6. We’ve dated. I am married, and that would just be awkward.
7. You are shady, or connected to shady people. I don’t hang out with shady people… or people who do. Hopefully, you know your Facebook friends well enough to know if any of them are shady. Remember, you become who you hang around… and trouble finds shady folks, so I’d rather they not find me through you. :-)
8. You are in jail. I read a story about how prisoners are now using Facebook and learned that they pay big money to get people to smuggle smart phones into jails so they can do all kinds of stuff including using Facebook. I probably don’t need to go any further with this one. And don’t read into it, I don’t have any Facebook friends in jail either. :-)
9. I realize that I hesitate to share things because you will see them. Do you ever find yourself pausing before you post because someone might see what you write? If you do, it might be a good thing, as it may save you some embarrassment, but if you get concerned about how one or two people might judge you, remember, you don’t need to be Facebook friends with them.
10. You are a client of mine. I don’t post anything inappropriate, and of course, my friends have also become clients, but I like to maintain a line between personal and professional when it comes to Facebook. Why? I’ve heard I am opinionated and I’ve been foolish enough to talk about religion and politics on Facebook. :-)
11. We work together. This is a curious one, because I am actually now connected to most of the people I work with. I own my own business, but in the past when I was an employee, I had a policy of not connecting with my coworkers. You never know when you will say the wrong thing about your job and have someone connected to your boss read it. Trust me, it happens.
12. You clutter my news feed with game updates & invites. If you want to play games all day, that’s totally fine, but I really hate getting the invites to play AND of course, we never actually communicate because you are always playing games. :-)
13. You’ve left Facebook. This one should be obvious, but currently, anyone who has left Facebook still shows up in your friends list. Check it out and you might want to unfriend those stray profiles. I believe they keep them active so people can reactivate them but most people (not knowing they can reactivate) just start over.

I hope you enjoyed this as it was done in humor and most of all, I hope you don’t think I am arrogant or really into myself, but if you do… oh well (just kidding) :-)

Happy New Year!

Don’t Write Lame Facebook Status Updates

We are in the holiday season, so I wanted to write something lighthearted. Many of us spend too much time on Facebook. Yes, even us professionals get side tracked when we are doing client updates or actual work on Facebook.

We’ve all seen lame status updates, and of course, would never want to be guilty of writing one. Here are a few tips for not writing a lame Facebook status:

The next time you go to post a Facebook status, write it out and then ask yourself what you would think if you read that from a friend. You might even LOL at yourself :-)

The next time you go to post that picture. Ask yourself why? Some people really need affirmation and they think it’s a secret… then they post a “hey guys, look at me and like my picture to make me feel good” photo. You know… you’ve seen them. If you still think you should post it, invite a few friends out for coffee, then pull the picture out and pass it around. Ask people to write their comments on the back of it, along with a plus or minus, you know a like or neutral. Sounds silly, doesn’t it?

Well this was done in fun, but hopefully it saves someone from private humiliation. What is private humiliation? It’s the comments your friends are making outside of Facebook, with each other. They sound like this:

Who does she think she is posting a picture like that?

Yeah, right… that outfit works for you…

Wait, is that the same guy from her last timeline photo?

The statuses I am most guilty of are the non status statuses. They look like this

I was going to post something, but I decided not to.

You would be amazed at how many people actually respond to that. And I don’t do it for a response, I do it because I have been known to be controversial on Facebook and that equals lots of time responding to comments, which I don’t always have.

That all for me, but do look for my next blog post “Why We Aren’t Friends on Facebook.” You can subscribe to my blog via email or RSS to get notified of updates.

Will Facebook’s Latest Invasion of Privacy Lead to a Class Action Lawsuit?

Today on the news, I saw a story of a woman from Arizona who was so fed up with the latest invasion of privacy from Facebook, she had her lawyer file a federal complaint against the company. Her lawyer said the intention was to make it a class action suit and according to the Arizona Republic, she is not the first to attempt a class action suite against the social media giant.

I have to say, I am not a big fan of the latest changes, especially the “we want to track everything you do”‘ feature. I don’t believe it is necessary and people already give up enough information and privacy to participate. The new tracking is confusing to most people, so they will most likely end up giving more information than they want to. And for some, it might even be embarrassing as this Mashable article suggests.

I am curious to see how this one plays out. Stay tuned :-)

Has Facebook Lost It’s Appeal to Businesses?

The last several weeks have given us plenty of changes on Facebook. Most reacted with disappointment, and a few embraced the new changes. Others kept reminding people they were getting what they were paying for (because it’s free). Some even talked about jumping ship for Google+, which for the record is NOTHING LIKE FACEBOOK :-)

I was disappointed for two reasons. First, I originally joined Facebook to stay in touch with people. This was before business pages and I found that this was not as east of a task and that I no longer felt in touch as much as I had. Granted, I don’t spend all day going through old news feeds because I am quite busy, but there was clearly a difference in the volume of data I could see.

As a marketer, I was very disappointed in that my business page notifications seemed to be of less importance to anyone, especially because they weren’t there to get my updates anyway. They, like me, had joined Facebook to connect with people so they weren’t going to complain that they could not see my business page updates.

Some took the position that Facebook was doing this to make businesses have to pay for Facebook ads to get the visibility they were seeking. And if you have not at least tested Facebook ads, I do recommend it, but I would be disappointed if the underlying ploy was to get us to buy ads.

In the end, I regard Facebook as a great means of branding and connecting, but I would say it’s lost a bit of favor with me. Don’t hear what I am not saying; I didn’t say it doesn’t have value, but when the core of a websites users is frustrated with changes, does not know how they work, and really not willing to fight to stay current, you have to be cautious how much emphasis you give it in your overall marketing equation.

I’d love to hear your thoughts below. Have a great day!

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