Getting the most out of advertising with Facebook

Let's face it, whether you accept and embrace the fact or not, social media is making a larger impact on our world every day. It’s more than just posting selfies and liking photos and statements of friends, it is now a common way of increasing business and expanding your name and product.

 

Facebook is by far one of the most popular social media platforms and offers more potential and options concerning advertising than you may realize. Facebook is no longer just something the kids are doing.

 

page-post-engagementThe Director of Search and Social with DealerOn, Greg Gifford, recently gave a presentation to help inform and educate those in attendance at Brighton SEO. During the presentation, Gifford gave a descriptive evaluation of the options Facebook has to offer when it comes to advertising and how they can be used to increase business.

 

During the presentation, Greg discussed how Facebook was once known as “the drunk guy who showed up late to the party and annoyed everyone.” Things have changed as Facebook is now considered “the cool mofo that everyone wants to party with in social advertising.”

 

This happened by Facebook using its popularity to develop an advertising platform that is both cost-effective and productive. Due to the fact that almost everyone has Facebook on their mobile device and uses the app in order to pass time and stay in touch, it simply makes sense to have your brand advertised and available through the platform. We will start with the basics and work our way through the available types of advertising made possible through Facebook.

 

Page Post Engagement

 

This is one of the most popular types of ads on Facebook. This will help increase the reach of your content while working with both published and unpublished posts.

 

Page Likes

 

This is another option that is popular with Facebookers. However, the popularity of this option is not always demonstrated by its success. If proper engagement and targeting methods are not being used, money may end up being wasted by building an audience that isn’t focused on your purpose or goal. Before investing too much in this type of advertising campaign, make you are being as productive as possible with your comments and the likes and shares of the page.

 

Clicks to website

 

If one of your main goals is increasing the traffic that visits your website, this can be a productive type of advertising. It is also a great way to drive your audience to a specific landing page or begin promoting a certain campaign.

 

Website conversions

 

conversion-optimizationThis option requires the installation of a tracking pixel to the site in order to determine the number of your sites visitors that ended up making a purchase as a direct result of a Facebook ad. This option is a great way to generate both leads and e-commerce.

 

App installs

 

This is a great option and opportunity for any brand looking to promote an application. It can lead users directly to their app store, making the ad both effective and productive.

 

App engagement

 

This will allow you to take the promotion of an app to the next level.. You can use app engagement in order to connect with users who already own the app, in effort to increase the engagement of app users.

 

Offer claims

 

Once you have made an offer available through your facebook page, this type of ad will give you the ability to drive more users to your Facebook page, giving you an opportunity to increase the number of participants.

 

Video Views

 

Video is now a dominating trend with Facebook users which makes this option both attractive and popular. This type of ad will assist video producers to promote the content they have created directly to the audience that is most relevant to the video.

 

Local Awareness

By using a set location to advertise on mobile devices, you can build the local awareness of your brand and can help a local business become more successful than local competitors. This is a great way to build the name of your business in the community you are in and can lead to not only new visitors but also repeat customers.

Facebook Account Hacking Website Scam

This is just an explanatory article, and we don’t intend to promote any illegal activities like spamming and hacking.

Google “Hack Facebook account” and you will get to this particular website: HackFacebookAccount.org. It is a website that supposedly offers a way to hack a Facebook account.

Now, anybody that has some experience with the Web knows it pretty well that this is simply a scam and there is no way a website like that can hack into Facebook accounts. Still, I would like to show you exactly how the service works to bust the simple myth that many people believe.

1. Go to the website and identify the account

 

First of all, I went into the website, and identified my own Facebook account to hack into. I was presently not logged into my Facebook account. Here it is.

Hacking Facebook account

 

I put in my Facebook account link, and the service correctly identified the account immediately. And it automatically started hacking the account (how very convenient, huh?)

2. Completed!

 

The hacking completed within two minutes right in front of my eyes. The procedure involved displaying various steps of hacking and progress percentage to keep you hooked! And the website promised me I will have access to the password right away!

My Facebook profile successfully hacked

 

I watched it with the ease of watching a movie. Yes! Now, I need to gather the password. For this, the website gave me a user ID and password to access the “limited” members area (not the Facebook password, just a random generated password for HackFacebookAccount.org). I played along, and took a note of this information.

Facebook hack members area

 

3. Retrieving the Password

 

After I logged into the members section, the website again hooked my interest saying “just one more step to go”. And what was that? Sharing!

The website generated a referral URL for me, and wants me to share it with my friends and others. I can get the password, by having at least 15 visits to the referral URL, or by completing a survey (actually an affiliate URL).

A misleading thing they tell you is thus: the site asks you to refer 15 people and then the password information will be unlocked to you. But to unlock it more quickly, you just need to sign up on one of those “surveys”! This is probably the first time I see someone calling affiliate signup links ‘surveys’.

Affiliate signup links

 

OK, so far I was feeling rather stupid, but I played along. I wanted to show you, my readers, where exactly this fraudster is leading us.

Next step: I first decided to do the survey signup, as you know sharing the link and having 15 people visit it is rather time-consuming. I clicked on a survey, and it went through a series of referral URLs to finally land me on a sign up page. I don’t know whether it is a legitimate one or just Phishing. But based on the experience, it is probably a legitimate affiliate signup link that gives commission to the referrer, in this case whoever started HackFacebookAccount.org. On the members area, there was a dialog supposedly tracking my signup.

Survey signup tracker (never updates)

 

I did sign up providing obviously fake information. The referrer will not get any financial benefit from fake information I submitted. I did however use an email address I specifically use for investigations like this. And guess what, even after I signed up and verified the thing, the members area did not update my signup. It simply gave the message

If you have spent more than 5 minutes on this survey and this page is still locked, please try a different survey.

I tried another, and that’s it. It never works!

I decided to do the referral visit thing!

4. Referring Visitors

 

I immediately visited the referral link, and checked the members area, and I found one hit.

Next, I fired up Firefox as I was on Google Chrome, my primary browser. I went into Hidemyass.com and fished out a few proxy IPs.

Hidemyass proxy IPs

 

I filtered the list for fast, secure proxies from all over the world. I put random proxies into Firefox, and started browsing to the referral page.

Proxy configuration on Firefox

 

As I went on, the members area of HackFacebookAccount started counting the number of visits I made to the link. It did apparently miss quite a few, but I was persistent.

Visit count on Facebook hack page

 

Now, about to crack to the 14th visit, I noticed something. The members area was reluctant to count the visits. It missed too many. I might have crossed about 20 visits, when the members area actually updated my visit count. I thought this was it! The members area will simply ignore my further visits.

But I was persistent. I did some 25 visits, and then checked back. It was there! 15/15 visits.

Final Visit count on Facebook hacked

 

Now, it’s time to see my own password? I clicked on the button that said “View Facebook Login Detail” and guess what? It went back to “complete the following survey” option.

What we understand is this. The website never gives you the information. It obviously misleads you saying you can immediately get the information needed by completing a survey, while if you choose the referral visit option, you are again gonna do the affiliate sign up. In essence, you are never going to get any information from them. With the referral promotion, you may simply give this scammer a few visitors to his website.

Conclusion

 

This is a fake web service simply trying to make some money on affiliate programs. Scams like this are all around us, and trusting users always fall prey for them. This is just one website, and there are others who deploy the same tactic to have you sign up on affiliate programs.

If you are a Facebook user, do not worry that these websites and programs exist. As long as you don’t divulge important information about your account to others, you are safe. Read how you can be smart on Facebook.

Related:

Recovering Hacked Facebook Accounts
Report Scammers!

Facebook Graph Search: How Is It Different From Google Search?

Facebook has yesterday unveiled a very important update to the social network, Graph Search. This is essentially the most promising search algorithm in effect within the social network. We all know the existing Facebook search system that returns more irrelevant results than relevant ones. With Graph Search, it is going to take a turn for good. Is this a competition to Google search? Let’s see…

Facebook Graph Search is not a web search thingy. It is within Facebook and can search only what your friends and others generally have shared with you. For instance, you can do a search for “My friends who like Michael Jackson” and Facebook will give you a list of your friends who have liked Michael Jackson profile page.

Facebook Graph Search

 

On the official Facebook Graph Search page, you have examples like this. Most of these searches have the keyword, “my friends” in them. This is probably an indicator used by Facebook to identify you are searching for a list of your friends who do a particular thing. What if you search instead for “my buddies (pals) who like cycling”? We should see whether Facebook returns proper results for that from the friends list.

When the Graph Search comes out of private Beta, you will be able to test it better. For the time being, get invited into the Graph Search Beta test and hope to get it approved soon.

Google Search on the other hand, is the king of web search, and it will remain so. Graph Search cannot be done outside Facebook. Anything you want to find inside Facebook, you have to use Facebook search only; there is no Google jurisdiction inside Facebook. However, you can always search for Facebook pages through Google. Try search keywords like “Tom Cruise on Facebook” you will get immediately the relevant Facebook page.

In order to return all the results from Facebook, try simple Google search like “Tom Cruise site:facebook.com” and Google will return only the results from Facebook. You will get all the relevant results here.

In reverse, currently Facebook also provides you with web search results. It uses Bing search engine for that. In effect, it’s like you are searching on Bing.

Facebook search web results

 

When Graph Search becomes available, you will be able to get more relevant results from Facebook concerning your friends and generally the users of Facebook. Also, since Facebook profiles have privacy restrictions, only the results shared with the outside world will be searchable. Graph Search is only inside Facebook, and outside, in the web, there is no substitute for Google search.

Be Smart on Facebook

facebook logo
Facebook is the largest social network, and hence it is practically understood why people want to capitalize on its one billion users. Many of Facebook’s users are in the upper side of the economy and could be potential buyers of products and services. Hence, companies create Facebook pages and try to reach potential audience by asking people like you to comment and like these pages. This will make sense to you if you know the concept of viral marketing.

Viral marketing works just like how a virus spreads through your body—it is automatic and highly accelerated. In the same way, when you like a particular page on Facebook, you are actually recommending that page to all of your friends. They will be able to see this page on your profile page and timeline. Going further, if you have fifty friends in Facebook, the page you like reaches fifty people and by mere chance five out of those fifty may like the page. If each of these five people has fifty friends, the page will reach a wider audience of 250 people, out of which several more people may like the page. This spreads virally across Facebook’s network reaching a lot of people in a lot less time.

In reality, a well-constructed Facebook profile page could reach thousands of people in days and pile up ‘like’s and comments.

When you genuinely like a particular page, image, or a link, you should ‘like’ it in Facebook, and it will be propagated through your friends. It’s a good thing to do. On the other hand, I have noticed people simply going ahead and liking every page and image they find on Facebook. You should ask yourself if this is a good thing to do.

The Like Button

 

the like button

I am not going to explain what the ‘Like’ button does. It’s fairly understood by all by now. In fact there was a report (more like a speculation) in NYTimes that talks about the inner workings of the Like button.

In essence, the Like button can track your details and send it to Facebook, even if you don’t click on it. This is the reason why you see advertisements on Facebook to be highly relevant. If you are a movie buff and you visit several movie fan pages on Facebook, then Facebook will serve mostly movie-based ads on your sidebar. The data about how much you like movies is provided by the Like button of course.

Although Facebook has a privacy policy that clearly states no data will be tracked by the Like button, many experts do not trust this.

In reality, the Like button that advertisers and marketers use to promote their pages can gain a lot of visits and revenue if they can make a lot of people like their pages. Also, by speculation, this could be deemed as an attack toward your online privacy.

The same is the case with other Facebook engagement features, such as ‘Recommend’ button, ‘Send’ button, etc.

Your Online Profile & Reputation

 

Let’s imagine you liking every page you find out there and recommending it to your friends and coworkers. How much of your judgment should they trust after a while?

Imagine if you like every brand of a tech gadget out there. Do you think any of your friends will ever ask your opinion about a particular brand? In the same way, if you continue to like images that add no value to you or others, what kind of a message does that send to your contacts?

In your Facebook friends list, you may have your close friends as well as acquaintances (that may include your boss, senior workplace officials, etc.) Your friends may not misjudge you based on your likes and recommendations. What about your acquaintances? Do you want to make yourself stupid in front of these people?

One of the recent marketing gimmicks I found is thus: the marketer may simply post an image or a video with a comment like this “Type ***** and then press Like/Share button and see what happens to this video/image”. This sort of messages and shares go viral within days piling up thousands of likes and recommends.

Now, as a prolific Facebook user you probably know that nothing is going to happen to an image or a video if you share or like it. But still people continue to do this no matter what! This sort of marketing technique is simply dishonest, and it can make you look stupid to your friends.

What to Like?

 

When you find a page about a favorite movie star or film, there is nothing wrong in liking it. But hold. Before liking that particular page, why don’t you explore the page a little bit? The page about your favorite movie star has to be the genuine page created by the star himself or his officials. If you see something like ‘no official affiliation to the star’ then is there any reason for you to like that page?

Anybody can create a Facebook page about anything. It’s completely free and easy to set up, just like a website. It is hence your responsibility to monitor what you come across and understand the meaning behind it. In essence, be that intelligent person who can read between the lines, okay?

Conclusion

 

Facebook is a social network and kind of an important service today. Nearly one billion users make Facebook relevant to advertisers, media, companies, and individuals. It has also become a hub of spammers and people employing dishonest tactics to manipulate users. Staying away from such tactics require you to know about them and judge them intelligently.

Do This If Your Facebook Account Has Been Hacked!

facebook

Facebook, being the largest social network, is a haven of hackers. They have been targeting Facebook users for years. A lot of things can be done with a hacked Facebook account—promotion of products, free advertisements, building email lists, and spamming.

You can find out if your account has been compromised through a few symptoms.

One way to know if your account has been hacked is obvious. You spot new people in your friends list; your account sends out spam to your friends; it shows up promoting illicit stuff—drugs, sex toys and pills, spam, etc.; or you have lost access to your account because of a change in password. But there is a chance that the attacker has been working secretly without your knowledge, making it difficult for you to recognize the situation.

In such cases, he does not send out any information from your account or change your password. Instead, he would be gathering information from your account—your personal and financial details and information about your friends.

Finding out If Your Account Has Been Hacked

 

Okay, the situation is that you are still able to log into the account, and you are able to transact as you normally do. There is also no complaint from any of your friends about any spam activity from your side. Still you can suspect that your account has been compromised. Here’s how to find out.

Go to Account Settings->Security->Active Sessions. In this list, you will find if there is any other active login session. If the attacker has logged into your Facebook account from any other location, you will be able to see it here.

Things to Do About Hacked Accounts

 

If your account is hacked and you still have access to it, then you should consider yourself very lucky. You are in control and you can easily counter the attack. In this case, immediately change your password and other security parameters, such as security questions.

In case the account is sending out spam, you can report it to Facebook through Facebook Hacked page. This is very important as Facebook may take action on the account by limiting or removing it unless you report it immediately.

In Case Password Was Changed

 

First of all, as in any web service, the biggest social network also has a ‘Forgot your password’ option. Click on it, and identify your account through certain details. If you still have access to the email under which the Facebook account was registered, you can regain access immediately.

facebook identify

 

In case you doubt that the email address or phone number may have been changed, go with the second option above (your name and one of your friends’ name).

recovery email

 

In case you don’t have access to the email or phone number associated with your account, you can use another email address to get your account back. In this case, you just have to get three trusted friends involved, and get the security codes from them in order to get access to the account.

[Update: The trusted friends method is no longer used by Facebook, it seems. Now you can recover your FB account only with access to your email address. If you cannot access the email, Facebook wants you to take the issue up with the email provider.]

Rogue Applications

 

You should know which applications you use on Facebook. Remove any that you don’t use or think is insecure. You can access all application settings under Account Settings. From here, remove any unknown or insecure applications. Check what information on your account each app that you install requires. This can be viewed from Settings->Apps.

facebook app settings

 

From this page, you can easily see which information the app requires to work and which information it has been accessing in the past. In case you think the app is rogue and is taking advantage of the data in your account, immediately remove it by clicking on the ‘Remove app’ button.

In the same way, you should know what information an app requests from your profile every time you install one. Look at this image:

 

Tips to Stay Safe

 

1. Change your password every time you doubt that the account may have been hacked.

2. Change your password once in a while anyway.

3. Do not use apps that suspiciously require too much information.

4. At least once in a while check your user sessions and log out any other active session that you logged on to.

5. Enable Login Notifications in order to get a text message or email when your account has been accessed from an unrecognized device.

6. Do not log into Facebook from insecure locations.

Conclusion

 

It is important that you keep your Facebook account secure as it is the gateway to yourself in the Internet. It may contain a lot of important information, even your important financial information. Moreover, your account’s security also ensures that of your friends (as they trust you and the links you share). So, you cannot afford to be nonchalant about Facebook security.