Happy New Year! Now Update Your Facebook Privacy Settings.

Those quizzes you played over the holidays aren’t just there for giggles.

‘Tis the end of a decade and what a journey it’s been, right? Ten years and so many things have changed: Internet Explorer isn’t the top browser, free wifi is just about everywhere (not just at Starbucks), and Mark Zuckerberg is known more for his congressional hearings than for being TIME’s Person of the Year.

Other things change, too, and they matter – especially today, when we all value our data and private information just about as much as our valuables and family members. Guess what? The social apps we all use on the daily value our data even more than we do, and they’re always waiting with open arms to catch you (and your information) unawares.

So, as we get rolling into a brand new year and a new decade, let’s check your private parts, shall we? (Private parts of your social media apps, that is.)

Facebook Privacy Settings

Fortunately it’s fairly easy to make crucial review and updates to your settings in Facebook. For a quick video walkthrough, watch our YouTube video below… otherwise you can follow the screenshots through this article.

  • Go to Facebook.com and click on the question mark at the top right. This should reveal a slew of options: click on Privacy Checkup.
Screenshot of the privacy settings menu from Facebook's top nav bar.
Hidden within the question mark are some important features that relate to how safe you are online and on Facebook.
  • Work your way through the four (4) modules to thoroughly update your settings. You may be surprised at what you find (I was!), so it’s important to take the five minutes necessary to clean things up.
Screenshot of the four privacy setting modules in Facebook
Facebook will guide you through short reviews of visibility, security, searchability, and data sharing.
  • Once you’ve worked through all four modules, you aren’t done! Click on the Settings link at the bottom of the dialog box to get into more crucial options. Start with the Privacy tab in Facebook Settings (see below).
Screenshot of Privacy Settings within the Facebook website.
Under the Facebook hood are even more settings that you’ll want to review and update. They relate to Stories, tagging, and even face recognition!

It’ll only take you a few minutes to glance at each setting, from Privacy all the way through Face Recognition (gasp – what?), but it’s truly worth your time. Better to be rigorous for less than 10 minutes than to spend months fixing the loss of your private data!

Have a quarter.

We recommend that you check these settings about once every quarter (three months). Why? Because Facebook will change settings for you and/or you may accept changes that you forget about.

For instance, every time you change the visibility setting on your Facebook posts, that settings stays that way for the next post unless you change it back. By setting one post to Public, every post after that could be Public also… unless you change it back to Friends or something else.

Also, consider this: every so often Facebook will automatically update your feed settings so that any video you pause on will automatically play sound. (Annoying, right? Also embarrassing if you happen to be in a quiet environment.) If it makes changes for you on the feed, you can safely assume it could make changes to your settings without you realizing it.

Better to be safe than waaaaaay sorry.

What are your tips and tricks for protecting your Facebook privacy and data?

Oh, the Humanity of Facebook’s New Algorithm!

TL;DR

The new Facebook algorithm will focus on people-to-people, not business-to-people. Like, a LOT of focus.


Welcome back from the rock under whence you came! If you’ve checked your Facebook feed, or really any news related to business, economy, or marketing, there’s a massive buzz around the recent announcement by Mark Zuckerberg that the Facebook algorithm is changing. Nothing new, right?

Wrong. This change falls into the “once more with feeling” genre. Emphasis on the feeling.

What’s about to happen?

Things are about to get way more personal on Facebook. The new formula for your Facebook feed will put you in touch with posts from other personal profiles (your friends, friends of friends, people’s posts you tend to find interesting, etc.).

Additionally, it’s about (yeah, I’m going to use that word) engagement. But not just throwing out a quick reaction so your friend can see that you saw their post even though you made zero time to linger. Facebook wants conversations to happen. You see a post, it spawns a reaction out of you, and you actually type words in a comment on that post to share your more-than-a-GIF-or-emoji response.

Great! So all I need to do is use the word “comment” or “tag” in your post text, right?

Nope. Facebook announced at the end of 2017 that they will absolutely penalize engagement-bait text used to make people do things to your post. This whole “LIKE if you agree, LAUGH if you disagree” tactic is out the window, friends.

Oh, and your Facebook Page posts? As a result of this change, they’re going to get far less play in the timeline. (Page admins should be used to this by now.)

can we panic now?

Should I, in fact, panic?

Noooooo. But you should take this for what it is: a robust scoop of change resting in a bowl of solid intention and topped with a dollop of upheaval.

Here’s what you can do (and probably should have been doing already):

  • Craft YOU-centric posts. I cannot tell you how crushingly tired we all are of posts which lead off with “we” or “I,” especially when they occur on business or organization posts. WHY do you assume everyone else finds your stuff as interesting as you do? Instead, your post should take you out of your own brain and thrust you into the experience of your reader, because that’s what they are interested in the most. If you can grab them in a moment of how they’re feeling or what they’re thinking, your post can make them linger and engage.
  • No more assembly-line posts. You know what you want to share right down to the hyperlink and one or two key calls-to-action (CTAs). But no longer can you just queue those up in a scheduler; going forward you need to flex more empathy and writing muscles to make the link timely and fairly crucial to the reader.
  • Cultivate power users. If your Page or profile has at least a handful of fans who routinely do more than react to your posts, it’s high time you put a ring on it: build a group of advocates. Acknowledge their importance to your content by connecting with them, assembling them into a VIP gathering, and making this relationship meaningful… because these users will get you through this change.
  • Get trained or get a resource. If you don’t know how to do these things effectively, you should either make the time to learn how or take the money to invest in a professional. I’ve got a short-and-sweet list of pros I can refer you to for digital work.

Where did this come from?

Zuck had a rough year.

There was that time when Facebook, along with Twitter and Google, appeared before Congress for grueling testimony about how much responsibility they own for political sway by foreign entities over their users.

There was the ruling by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that political ads on Facebook must show who paid for them that came in the wake of reports that Russian-based advertisers wielded their wiles through the Facebook feed to impact U.S. politics.

Then there was the report that scrolling through their Facebook feed (and social media in general) makes people feel generally crappy afterwards.

All of the billions of dollars or other currency in the world apparently hasn’t been enough salve for these wounds, and Zuck’s response is a more major shift than we’ve seen in the every-other-day changes Facebook routinely rolls out.

Where will this take us?

This is my favorite part. One reason I love social media is its role in shaping humanity and how we communicate (good, bad, or ugly).

I also love watching how the unique platforms change and thereby alter humanity’s course by slow degrees. This latest from Facebook is interesting to me on a few fronts:  Zuck’s willingness to take a fairly massive gamble for this change; the political ramifications at a point in our history when a mistake could lead to nuclear war; watching how we humans (mis)handle the communication tools held in our hands throughout the day.

As far as this specific Facebook adjustment, look for more on how we as personal and professional communicators might shift our approaches on an app we use to the point of addiction.

What do you think will need to change as a result of Facebook’s new algorithm?

Facebook Marketing Training

Marketing on Facebook is everyone’s goal today, and Really Social Training can help bring you to the next level!

Positively Funded serves non-profit businesses through a variety of resources, and now they are bringing in Really Social to provide Facebook Marketing training.

You’ll learn:

  • How to use Facebook Insights to create your posts.
  • How to boost a Facebook post.
  • How to create a Facebook Ad Campaign.
  • How to use Power Editor and Facebook Business Manager.

For more information, please contact Barbara at Positively Funded.

#ReallySocialTip: Use Location in Social Media

Use location-capable social media profiles.

Even if you don’t plan to use a social media platform, you can still create a profile or handle on that tool—especially if you have a business location!

Customers who visit your physical location can “check-in” or “tag” your location on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Foursquare. This capability cues their friends and followers to check out your profile, and thus introduce potential new customers to your business.

Need help with how you can be tagged or “checked-into” on social media? Give us a shot.

What’s Happening in Social Media?

You don’t have time to stay updated on how social media changes each day?

No problem. We’ve got you covered.

Watch the Blab live or the replay below, or—better yet—click here to join us live. We crowdsource the knowledge so everyone walks away with the latest updates, trends, and tactics.

What would you like us to cover in this episode? Comment below.

Facebook Mobile Adds a Special Font Style to Text-Only Posts

Like to scroll through Facebook on your phone? You’ll see that Facebook has made a change (you can almost feel my shocked face through the screen) and it has to do with font size for text-only posts.

Text-Only Posts Got a Touch-Up

Facebook Text-Only Post Screenshot | Really Social
Facebook has tweaked their Text-Only Posts for mobile (Android app screenshot shown).

Any post appearing in your feed which doesn’t have an image, video, or link included now appears to be in a larger, slightly different font than other posts.

If you post with a link, image, or video associated with your text, your post will appear as it always has… for now. While the Android app for Facebook Mobile is showing this change, I’d love to hear from iPhone users if you are seeing the same. (Comment below with your updates!)

How does this affect you?

For personal users? Not much. A text-only post now has a little oomph to stand out amid the rest of your feed and all of the visuals there.

Since adding a visual or even a link takes a step or two more than just typing/swyping out some text, your friends who want to share a stand-alone thought now have help being seen.

For brands and companies which use Facebook for marketing, this is an interesting development. (Emphasis on the word development, as this could be a stage of a Facebook rollout we have yet to discover.) It all boils down to a change to Facebook’s algorithm—that complex formula they use to determine what you see most often in your feed).

At the start of 2014, Techcrunch and just about every other social media observer of note spread the news that a change to Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm would decrease the reach of text-only posts by Facebook Pages while increasing the reach of text-only posts by personal users. Why? Because they found that Facebook users would usually share more on Facebook when they saw more text-only posts by friends.

What’s next?

I don’t know yet, nor do I know if this phenomena will mean anything new or different for Facebook Pages and their administrators. I do know that I just tested a text-only post from the Really Social Facebook Page, and I have yet to see it appear in my personal Newsfeed.

Needless to say, the font tweak for text-only definitely caused my eyebrow to reach for my hairline. You can rest assured we’ll discuss this in the Laugh & Learn Blab series for this week; your thoughts and predictions are invited!

Do You Heart the New Twitter “Like” Feature?

Today the world woke up to a big change on Twitter: to “favorite” a tweet, there was a heart where a star used to be.

Twitter rolls out the new heart icon to "like" tweets. | Rachel, Really Social Blog
Starting today, Twitter users can

The change comes shortly after Facebook announced the addition of alternate reactions to the normalized “Like” (incidentally what the new Twitter heart signifies, leaving “favorite” in our Internet past).

What does it all mean?

Probably nothing. Maybe. Here are a couple of theories to take or leave:

The Internet is full of meanies.

If you spend any time online, you see how bold or brazen fellow human beings can be while securely seated behind a keyboard. Spewing hate or words of derision is far easier when the face-to-face is out of the equation.

In many ways, the rise of live video streaming feels like an answer to this lack of humanity. When we can see a face to put with the handle, we make a better connection and hopefully better efforts to treat each other like humans. Perhaps this move by Twitter lines up with trends to see a softer side of social media.

Twitter sees you, Instagram.

Instagram is better than - everything? | Rachel, Really Social Blog
Instagram is swiftly overtaking other social platforms.

Social media’s leading minds realize that Instagram has taken off as a preferred platform among millennials and other influential demographics. Go ahead and open your Instagram app now (or just work from short-term memory), and you’ll see the clear heart icon as the way to acknowledge a user’s post.

Instead of giving a gold star, why not a familiar heart? Since you can dual-post your latest Instagram to Twitter, might as well line up the lingo.

Why hearts?

Adding a <3 to a tweet/post/story might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Where is the option to simply offer a non-committal acknowledgement of a shared snippet?

Perhaps Twitter just took another step to allowing even more emotion to be expressed beyond the frantically-typed-or-tapped word. After all, now we can post animated GIFs in our favorite platforms. Perhaps offering a hair-pat type of interaction through a bursting, sparkly heart is just the ticket. (You caught that it actually bursts, right?)

 

Do you heart the new Twitter feature? Rant or rave below.

You Dislike It. You Really Dislike It!

As you crawl out from whatever rock you’ve been under the last few days, you’ve probably heard that Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is working on a “Dislike” button.

Don’t Dislike It Yet…

Let’s slow our collective roll and examine what was actually revealed. Mark conveyed what many (ok, millions) of Facebook users have expressed: “I wish there was a different button than Like for this post.”

Because let’s face it: not every post should be liked. Not every post is about puppies and rainbows. As Facebook users take to their keyboards to share opinions, experiences, or the latest news, their posts may evoke a different spectrum of emotions like sadness, outrage, shock, or even grammar grimacing. (Yes, that’s a real thing.) We’ve all had those moments of sheer frustration where a post strikes us to our core—if only there was a perfectly appropriate way to respond with a quick tap of the finger!

What Would You Like… in a Facebook Button?

Let’s get crazy for a minute and delve into those stone-wall moments when we said aloud to ourselves: “If there was a _________ button, I’d so hit that right now.” What’s your wish list item for a Facebook button?

Just to get you started, here are mine:

  • “Meh”
  • “Spellcheck”
  • “See Snopes”

5 Tips to Teach Children How to Use Social Media

Admirable attempts by fellow adults have been made to teach developing minds about the dangerous side of social media. For our kids, who daily seek approval and attention from anyone, social media is all too tempting of an outlet. And if your child has a smartphone, they’re on social media.

If you have or know a child, start teaching them how to use social media:

  1. Show kids how and what you share on social. We’re staring and jabbing at our smartphones each day… Yes, our children are watching and know it must surely be an amazing gadget. Use that rapt attention to let them lean in and watch you compose a post or share a photo on Facebook. Let them make suggestions and guide their choices.
  2. Strangers are online just as they are in real life. Show your child that the person who just liked your photo on Instagram is someone you’ve never met before. Stranger-danger is just as risky online as in real-life; perhaps more so since kids often share too much information with strangers. If you are on social platforms where you often decline requests by strangers to connect, show your child where and explain why.
  3. Mean words hurt just as much. If you’ve been on the receiving end of a less-than-friendly comment, show it to your child. Talk about how it felt to read it. Explain that there is always a real person reacting to every word you post online. Let them watch you compose a comment on someone else’s profile and see how carefully you choose your words. Louis C.K. has a great commentary on why online messages can be so hurtful (not safe for children).
  4. Teach kids how easy it is to save and change content. Find one of your posts and screenshot it. Use a free photo editing tool (most smartphones have one built-in to their camera tool) to crop or adjust the image. Get creative with your manipulation: your goal is to show your kid how easily anyone can grab something on the internet, change it, and re-use it for their own purposes.
  5. If they’re on social media, install the same apps and follow them. Just as you would check their homework or their clothing choices for a social event with friends, check how your child uses social media. Also, you’re entitled and advised to do unannounced checks of their smartphones (especially if your name is on the bill!). If they’re using a new app, download it and get familiar.

*If you don’t know how to do these things, try them out now. Your child, growing up as a digital native, will most certainly learn if you don’t teach them. Be their first and primary source for best practices.

“Use social media. Don’t be used by it.”

Do what you do best for your child: parent them. Show them how to treat others in real life: how to say “please” and “thank you,” how to hold back their honest opinions about someone’s appearance, and how to treat others as they want to be treated. If you’ve done and are doing that well, showing them the capabilities of social media will provide them with a new tool to be a good person rather than a weapon to be a bad one.

What have you tried and learned as a parental user of social media? Share your own tips below; we can help each other help our kids.

Need more help than these 5 tips? Request a training or presentation for your group by Rachel, Really.

Want to grow your account visit themarketingheaven.com.