Facebook Ads In Your Inbox

Fear not, it’s really not the end of the world, however it may be the end of an era. Or is it the beginning of another? Facebook is trying REALLY hard to make some money, and has implemented changes that allows YOUR Messages inbox to be monetized – Yes that’s right, they are beginning to sell your inbox to the highest bidder. Enter the “Inbox delivery test.”

On an announcement in Facebook, the marker has said the following:

“Facebook ads are designed to get the most relevant messages into your Inbox and put less relevant messages into your Other folder. We rely on signals about the message to achieve this goal.

Some of these signals are social – we use social signals such as friend connections to determine whether a message is likely to be one you want to see in your Inbox.

Some of these signals are algorithmic – we use algorithms to identify spam and use broader signals from the social graph, such as friend of friend connections or people you may know, to help determine relevance.

Today we’re starting a small experiment to test the usefulness of economic signals to determine relevance. This test will give a small number of people the option to pay to have a message routed to the Inbox rather than the Other folder of a recipient that they are not connected with.

Several commentators and researchers have noted that imposing a financial cost on the sender may be the most effective way to discourage unwanted messages and facilitate delivery of messages that are relevant and useful.

This test is designed to address situations where neither social nor algorithmic signals are sufficient. For example, if you want to send a message to someone you heard speak at an event but are not friends with, or if you want to message someone about a job opportunity, you can use this feature to reach their Inbox. For the receiver, this test allows them to hear from people who have an important message to send them.

This message routing feature is only for personal messages between individuals in the U.S. In this test, the number of messages a person can have routed from their Other folder to their Inbox will be limited to a maximum of one per week.

We’ll continue to iterate and evolve Facebook Messages over the coming months.”

If you are a marketer. This may be really GREAT news! If you are an individual that thought Facebook was safe from messages like this – well things are a changing. Marketers will now be able to PAY to assure that everyone and anyone will see their messages.

What Can a Business Review Do For You?

business reviews

Get leverage from your clients by soliciting for positive business reviews!

I’ve been working with several clients on their search and social media strategies. Of course one strategy does not fit every client, however I often recommend that clients make sure they have a couple of business reviews posted across the web – On Google Maps, Yelp and of course on social media sites of their choosing. It’s not as challenging as getting client testimonials, however it can help validate their products and services. There is one caveat though, I want clients to make sure that they get business reviews on the websites their clients are likely to frequent.

Not long ago I posted a review to Google Maps. While I generally liked the local physician, I was dissatisfied at how they handled a recent interaction. Guess what? The business read my comments, and responded with a hand-written note. Later when they found a small balance that I should have paid, they waived the fee. Want to know what I did? I went in and edited my review to tell others what the business had done!

I know several friends that live and die by business reviews of local bars and restaurants. They won’t go to an establishment with un-favorable reviews!

Have you ever searched to see what others are saying about you?

There may be industry specific sites applicable to your business so be sure to consider those, however you should also be aware of where your clients are looking for you. Check out your referring sites through your analytics. Generally speaking though, here are a few places you might consider soliciting business reviews from clients:

AngiesList.com
BBB.org
Bing
City Search
Epinions.com
Google Maps
InsiderPages.com
Local.com
TripAdvisor.com
Yahoo Local
Yelp.com

Do you check on your business reviews? Do you have any posted? Are they favorable or non-existent? Ask for opinions and monitor them – It’s a great way to attract new clients!

Blog Crash!

A few weeks back – probably a few more than I care to admit – We had an error with our blog. Specifically I couldn’t access the blog. In fact I thought I had made a HUGE error that caused everything to crash. Coincidentally that happened shortly after many GoDaddy sites got got taken offline by hackers. Turns out that hijacking caused more trouble than we realized at first, and ultimately it caused an error with our WordPress blog that we couldn’t fix.

I was told that our blog posts my still be retrievable but that I shouldn’t hold my breath. I suppose I whined enough here in the office (or maybe they took pity on me) however I eventually got our quasi-IT guy, Keith to take a look. He told me that he’d likely have to rebuild the blog and that he could do a download of the database which housed the blog posts.

Our content was often shared and mentioned on social media sites, so losing 2+ years of data was going to be a very painful thing. I was told, “Best case scenario – We get everything back no problem. Worst case scenario. In rebuilding we lose everything.”

Turns out it was somewhere in between. In doing the data dump, a lot of gibberish was pulled down. And in that VERY LONG list of gibberish our blog posts are hidden.

My eyes may be bleeding now, however it appears that the PWB blog posts may be salvageable. Slowly but surely they’ll be added back online. I know many of you are waiting with baited breath, so please hang tight!