Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Google+ Goes Public

Yes, that's what the morning news are filled up with. Streams proclaiming Google+ going public.

After almost 3 months of being in beta, public logins are being welcomed now.

The latest updates also includes "search" (it had to), where it can search for posts based on the search string

Add to it, more features to "Hangouts" like - on phone, on air, sketchpad, docs, named hangout, 

Catch-up more at Google+ Official Blog

Am also around at Google+ : +Malhar Barai

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Monday, September 19, 2011

What's new in Google+ (Google Plus)

Seems this has been the most eventful month from the guys at Google+ (Google Plus). They have laid out an awesome list of offerings and challenged competition.

One of the best till date is:

1. Google+ APIs

With the post aptly titled "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step", Chris Chabot shared the news of Google+ (GooglePlus) unveiling the APIs on 16th.

What can you do with the API?? 

If you are thinking that the API shall be incorporated with your favorite Social Media tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, let me tell you, this could take a while as the current API are read-only. Which means, you cannot post externally.

So how will it help??
It will help you to retrieve posts, public profiles and build some analytics around it. 

More details here.

2. Google+ Hangouts

Yes, Google+ (GooglePlus) Hangouts have been there since their launch, but seems the +Team has been trying to improve it ever since. On 10th of this month (9/10) it released the "Take the floor" feature which allows users to (From +Chee Chew):
1) have everyone mute their audio.
2) when you want to sign something, hit Shift+s.
3) when you see yourself as the main video, that's your cue. you've got the floor... everyone's main video has switched to you. sign away.

What does it mean??

If you happen to be in any of the hangout session, very frequently it the person with the maximum amount of noise (background or otherwise) would have got on the screen, irrespective of whether they wanted it or not. The new feature eliminates it by having you do the "Shift+S" to get you on the main video & once you're on, speak up.

3. Photo Locking

On the 8th, +Matt Steiner's team added the ability to lock photos on your Google+ account, thereby limiting the sharing of your photos. The security feature for the photos can be applied from 2 different places - photos page & stream.

A word of caution though, the post containing your photo also gets locked.

Matt Steiner's Post.

4. Mobility Updates

The first week of the month saw a slew of updates for the mobility devices.

a. +1 button on mobile web

1st of September saw the +1 button, which enables users to share content on Google+ (Google Plus) was released for the mobile web. The latest release allowed users ability to share content as they surf, without any inhibitions :-)

b. New iOS app

On 6th, the new release of Google+ for the iOS platform. The latest release gave an ability to the users to reshare posts from the Apple devices. An arrow at the bottom allowed users to reshare content & also the ability to select the users with whom it can be shared.

The same was released for the non-iOS platforms (read Android) on 7th.

Thanks for reading through. Do drop in your comments, feedbacks & will be glad to hear them.

Great Day!!

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

How To Create Facebook Fan Page

For a long time I had been procrastinating on this, but finally over the last week I created a personal branding page on Facebook. I had been following pages of few of the brands for a long time & this step was long overdue.

Based on my experience, I thought it would be good to share my experience of creating the Facebook page, so that some of you might find it easier to get it done & may not delay like me :-).

First thing first. Why should you create a Facebook Fan Page??

- It lets you advertise for free
- Unlike your Facebook account, the fan page can be viewed without logging in & so it can be crawled by the various search engines.
- Enables you to create a dedicated fan base, enabling you to control the content

Now that you have enough reasons to create it, dive..choose your subject well and make sure you have a good name to it, because as the followers swell, you'll have to live with that name.

Step #1 - Create Page

At the bottom corner of left pane on your Facebook page, you should be able to find a link with an orange flag saying PAGES (image 1).

The click will lead you "Pages" Screen. The "Create a Page" button is on the right side (image 2). A click on the button shall send you to the "Create a Page" screen.

You can also find the link "Create a Page" (image 3) at the bottom of your home screen. For benefit, I have already put the link here & incase you are already logged in, you should be able to see the "Create a Page" screen. 

Step #2 - Categories

(Image 4)
Once you are at the "Create a Page" screen, choose the appropriate category for your business from the 6 main categories (image 4) & multiple sub-categories. Yes, you can change the category later.

(Image 5)

Now that you have selected a category which is the closest to your page content, go ahead & give a name (image 5), but a word of CAUTION - the name cannot be changed later (can be changed only until 100 fans) & it is the name which the search engines shall pick. 

Step #3 - Logo

(Image 6)
When you have accepted the Facebook T&C, you'll be presented with the screen to upload your logo (image 6). Skip the step, if you wish to upload the logo later or you can upload your business logo. The logo can be either uploaded from the local computer or you can provide the URL of logo image file from the business website. 

Step #4 - Invite Friends

(Image 7)
Popularize your page now. This page (image 7) allows you to invite friends from your existing contacts, import contacts and also share the page on your Facebook wall. Do make sure to "like" your own page. Atleast you should be happy about it :-) 

Step #5 - Fan Page

The fan page information is now shared with the people you know, but you also need to catch attention of other readers. This step helps you in give information about yourself. The content here should be able to catch attention of the visitors, so make sure you sell yourself quite well. Be crisp!!

(Image 8)

Congratulations!! Now you have your own Facebook Fan Page (image 8). It will go ahead & ask you to confirm the category of the page, make the changes if you think you've classified it under a different bucket. 

Step #6 - Promotion
(Image 9)
Since you have created a Fan page now, the next step would be to catch attention of millions of users of Facebook & the best way to do a "promotion" is create an "ad". On the right pane of the page, you will be able see the "Promote with an Ad" & "Promote my Page" button (image 9), which leads to creation of an "ad"

The promotion is based on the pricing limits you set. Facebook optimizes the delivery of ads in order gain maximum clicks. 

Step #7 - Content Sharing

(Image 10)
Finally, the page has been created & promotion campaign has been set up. The next obvious step would be create meat for the page. Start posting & sharing information on your page with the many options. You might want to share content using text, link, photos. Go ahead & do it. It's your page now. 

Step #8 - Analytics

Still at the end of the day, you would definitely be interested in getting information about the number of visitors & content being clicked. "View Insights" link on the right pane of the page helps you view the information. The "Insights" page provides information by week, month, year & also allows to export data in Excel and CSV formats.

While writing of this post, I did come across the Top 100 Popular Facebook Pages.

Though Facebook has already detailed the page creation process here the post above was my 2 cents. I have already created my page on Social Media and sharing some interesting content over it. Don't forget to visit it & "like" the page.

Thanks for reading through & would love to read your feedback on the post.

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