The Facebook Timeline Brand Survival Guide

I attended the Facebook Marketing Event yesterday at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. At this event Facebook rolled out the NEW Timeline and some new Advertising features.

First, the look is changing on March 30, so you need to create a create horizontal image that visualizes your brand. No promotions or call to actions are allowed! Check out the Top Facebook Timeline Brands selected by Ad Age for inspiration.

Apps/tabs are not dead, in fact they are highlighted better in Timeline:

– 3 thumbnails that are click-able appear under the right of the cover image. You can link to Apps with  a thumbnail and link to “more” and have 12 total Apps.
– This new visual creates a great reason to move forward with the tab  that highlights our show pages with tune in.
– You can still “Like Gate” content with in a Tab/App

Discontinued: Having a “Landing Tab” that users see if they are not a fan of the page will no longer work. Facebook wants users to have a consistent experience.

Timeline Features:
– You can go back and post “milestones”  in the timeline up to 200 years.
– You can also Backdate posts
– You cannot make posts in the future
– When filling the timeline you can avoid spamming fans’ feeds by clicking “don’t distribute”
– Top left section”friends that like this.” Facebook is placing heavy emphasis on friend activity to encourage more conversation.
– Facebook is introducing “official pages” this will solve the problem of fan or fake pages ranking above the official page.

New Ways to Highlight posts:
– You can Pin posts to the top of the timeline so the post you want users to see will appear above the most recent posts.
– You can also “star or favorite” posts so they will appear closer to the top on the page.
– Offers: You can now post offers to fans. Traditionally a coupon but I think we can use this to promote sweeps.

Content and Ads are Now the Same! The lines between what marketers now refer to as paid, owned and earned media are now officially gone. No longer will we be able to think of Ads and Content in silos. All ads in Facebook will begin as content posted to a Page. For now the current text/thumbnail Ads on the right will remain but, this will change very soon!

SEO in 2011

I found this great infographic that outlines all the Google Algorithm changes that happened in 2011 and I added some more links for you, enjoy!

The January and February updates prevent the JCPenny SEO issue and the Forbes Link Issue from happening in the future.

The infographic mentions that Matt Cutts (Head of Google Spam Team) announced 10 changes to the algorithm, here is the link to read all 10.

Top Google Algorithm Changes of 2011 by HigherVisibility

2011 Wrap Up: I wil be blogging more in 2012!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for my blog!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 48 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

How we talk VS how we write

Isn’t it so much more interesting to hear someone speak about what they do versus read what they put on their resume?
Have you ever visited a website and read the ‘About Us’ section and became even more confused?
Why do companies do this? It wastes your time and their Advertising budget.

Some of you maybe familiar with the fast food brand Chick-fil-A. Their company mission statement is “Be America’s Best Quick-Service Restaurant.” That’s it! Not: “We up hold the highest standard of quality and serve you with prompt customer service…(insert run on sentence).”

Simple and to the point. Why is this so important?

1. Advertising is expensive
2. Consumers have short attention spans, it takes at least 5 times to absorb an idea
3. Consumers are very busy and can be easily distracted by other technologies

Make your ‘About Us’ page in easy to understand language, write it how you talk.

How do you know all this stuff?

I get this question a lot. And every time I answer with the truth “I studied and I study every day.”  I get the same loaded “oh.” When they say “oh” it sounds like “Oh… so you didn’t get a degree in this?” As if studying on your own and having real experience is  worthless compared to a MBA. Of course getting an MBA is one heck of an accomplishment. But, being self-motivated and studying on your own is a different kind of accomplishment…

In honor of Seth Godin, I call this Linchpin school… Let’s go to class. Who’s with me?

This post was inspired by:

The hard part by Seth Godin

Interviewing Tips

Below are questions that you should be prepared to answer. These are the basic questions that interviewers usually ask so be ready. You should also practice your answers in the mirror or recording your answers on a web cam would be even better. Yes, you may feel silly but it is great practice!


1. Example of being confronted with a personal or profession crisis and how you handled it
2. Example of time that you took a leadership role
3. What you can bring to organization
4. What your long term and short term goals are or where you see yourself in 5, 10 and 20 years
5. What inspires you
6. How your past experience will help you in this job


  • Find out who is interviewing you and research them
  • Arrive early and wait if you have to
  • Greeting: Make eye contact give a firm handshake
  • Be confident but not arrogant
  • After pleasant exchanges ask to take notes (and take notes)
  • Remember this is a 2 way interview, you need to decide if you want to work there
  • Do not fidget, be comfortable
  • Limit “Ums” and “Likes” – verbal pauses. It is ok to think about what you say before you say it (this is where the video practice will be helpful)
  • Bring 5-10 questions about the job
    -What is the management style
    -Why you WOULD NOT want to work there
    -What are the team or organizations weaknesses and strengths

At the end:

  • Ask the interviewer about the next steps in the process
  • Tell them you want the job and tell them why hiring you benefit the company
  • Ask if if there is any reason why you wouldn’t make it to the next round of interviews
  • Send a thank you email after the interview recapping that you want the job and why hiring you would benefit the company

Take my course and get a job – Success Story

I received an amazing ‘thank you’ from a student that completed my Understanding Search and Online Marketing Course with MediaBistro. I love seeing that she was able to take what she learned, apply it and get the ultimate return on her investment… A JOB.

While taking Gracey Newman’s “Understanding SEO” course and her 3-hour seminar, I used a detailed SEO PowerPoint presentation prepared for the class to showcase my skills on ten interviews.  They were all blown away. Two weeks after the six-week SEO course ended, I was hired for a full-time position as a copywriter and digital marketing analyst at a major SEO/interactive digital marketing agency called Steak Digital.  This came after years of searching for a job on my own.  Pretty amazing. – Janie Ho

Upcoming MediaBistro Courses:

SEO Essentials: Secrets of Internet Marketing
-3 Hour Seminar May 12th, 6:45-9:45
Understanding Search and Online Marketing 6-Week Course: Tuesdays, May 24 – June 28, 6:45-9:45

How the new Facebook features effect your business.

Like = Share

Facebook recently launched some new features for business pages. Here are 3 new features and how they will effect your business. The question is “How will users react?”

1. Use faceboook as the admin or as yourself
This is great! No real down side here. The ability to like and comment on my company’s posts as myself instead of asnthe company is great. You can now also like other company pages and comment as your company.  Win, Win.

2. The like button is now the same as share
If you haventhe facebook like button on your website or blog post, when users hit the like button they also put in on their own wall. This means it will show up in their friends’ newsfeed. This new feature is great for the companies but, once the users figure this out will they be a little reluctant to use the like button?

3. Facebook comments plugin
This is great for companies! This plugin essentially makes users verify their identities by authenticating who they are via their facebook profile. This is great for preventing comment spam (for now).  It also allows people to comment as a company instead of as an individual.

  • Does it make the user an automatic facebook fan? No
  • Does it posts the comments to the user wall? No, it shares the article and states that the user commented. Their friends have to click to read the article and scroll down to see their comments.

As a company using facebook as a marketing tool we should be excitted. But, I wonder if once users catch on, they will start using the “Like” button less.

What do you think?  Will users start using these features more or less since thensharing features are now enhanced?

Competive Analytics: What should we do with inaccurate competitor data?

An article on TechCrunch this week “Compete Is In A Total Nosedive, According To Compete“, really got me thinking about the way I research competitors. I imagine that Compete would dispute their own numbers on shown in this graph:

Every boss wants to know how much traffic a competitor is getting. A lot of people in my industry use Compete to research but, we usually double the traffic Compete shows. Quantcast and Comscore are used a lot by Advertising Agencies and they also do not align with actual traffic numbers. You could always ask a website you want to work with what their traffic numbers are but, don’t you automatically assume they are inflating there numbers by at least 20%?!

After much frustration with the lack of accurate competitive data, I have decided to focus on the trends on these public data websites. Is your traffic trending up for the last month? Is your competitor trending down? By focusing on the trends you will be able to see if you are moving in the right direction…

Does social media change calling in sick?

Social Media & being sickBack in the pre-social media days (circa 2002), you would call your boss with a raspy voice and then go play hooky for the day. Today, social media makes things a lot more complicated especially, if you are connected to co-workers or your boss on Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare.

If you are “sick,” these  Social media activities may look suspect:

  • Post fun photos to Facebook and updating your status
  • Tweet about what you are doing on hooky-day
  • Check in anywhere but the doctor’s office on Foursquare

I would venture to say that merely being on Facebook when you are sick may rub your boss or a co-worker  the wrong way. Even if you are at work and you post something on Facebook or Twitter, you do have to be mindful. I have a friend that updated his Facebook status to “Wish this day was over” then joined a staff meeting. The boss called him out in front of everyone.

What do you think? Do you change your Social Media behavior because you are connected to your boss or co-workers?

Get more web traffic, use social media and market your business in 2011:

I am teaching a 1-night event and a 6-week course with Media Bistro that can help you get more website traffic, increase your Social Media presence and create a stellar plan for your online marketing initiatives in 2011:

1-Night Event:

SEO Essentials: Secrets of Internet Marketing

Increase your page rankings by learning simple strategies to improve your keyword search results

WHEN Thursday, January 27, 6:45-9:45 pm
Media Bistro, 475 Park Avenue S. (at 31st), 4th Floor, NY, NY 10016

Click to Register

Learn how to optimize a website or blog for search engines. This one-night seminar will cover proven techniques for driving traffic to your site. The focus will be on analyzing your audience as the first step toward improving your visibility and reaching them with appropriate key words. It will show you how you can make your site search-engine friendly through effective tagging, as well as onsite and off site SEO optimization techniques.

6-Week Course:

How to drive traffic and optimize sites through SEO, social media, and blog outreach

WHEN 6 weeks, Wednesdays, February 16 – March 23, 6:45-9:45 pm
Media Bistro, New York (Midtown East)

Click to RegisterWhether you’re promoting your company, client, or yourself, it’s crucial that your website can be found online. If you don’t come up at the top of a search, your audience may never find you. This course will teach you how to use SEO, social media, and blog outreach methods to drive traffic to your website. You’ll also learn how to optimize your sites for search engines and how social media exposure and links can help leverage more exposure on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Weekly Picks: Google’s new Social Media project and more

from Mashable.comHere is a little social media advice, a leaked screen shot of Google + 1 and the impact of social media on TV ratings:

CONFIDENTIAL! Looks Like “Google +1″ Was Just Accidentally Revealed (Pic)

Google: Local Is Job One

Should You Accept Mom & Dad’s Facebook Friend Request?

How Social Media is Changing the Business of Television

Twitter Celebrates 100 Million New Accounts in 2010

Should You Blame Your Designer For Poor Conversion Rates?

Social Media Success: 5 Lessons From In-House Corporate Teams

Google’s New Social Sitelinks

Weekly Picks: Bad reviews can now hurt your search engine rankings

Very interesting week! Google changes its ranking algorithm to factor in negative reviews. Record sales for online retailers during Cyber Monday (good news for the economy). 5 million people check-in to Foursquare and more:

Google Changes Its Rank Algorithm In Response To DecorMyEyes Story

Being bad to your customers is bad for business

How the Fortune 500 Use Social Media to Grow Sales and Revenue

Customers pay by swiping smartphones, not credit cards

eBay Cyber Monday Mobile Sales Up 146 Percent, iPhones Dominate Transactions

Boom! 5 Million Users Check-In To Foursquare

YouTube Officially Launches Ads You Can Skip

Weekly Picks: “…Google Places Ruins Everything!”

inforaphic preview

“Like button replaces Links and Goolgle Places Ruins Everything” -the title of Bruce Clay’s most recent newsletter.
If Bruce Clay, the SEO master,  is looking to the Facebook like button, social media and great content then you should too! “Companies who do not capitalize on the move to authority through quality content and trusted recommendations based on “likes” instead of links will find themselves suffering in traffic and revenue.”


The Biggest Brands on Facebook

Bounce Rate Demystified


Petits fours in your search results

Discover Yours: Local recommendations powered by you and your friends

Indeed Slips Past Monster, Now Largest Job Site By Unique Visitors

Google Creates “Source” Meta Tags To Help ID Original News Sources

Yahoo Moves Into Local Deals

Social Media:

HOW TO: Activate Your Brand’s Super Influencers

Facebook Announces New Messaging System: “It’s Not E-mail”

The Year of Facebook: U.S. Traffic Has Grown by 55% in the Last Year

Boy Meets Girl: How Facebook Functions in Modern Romance

Weekly Picks

Google vs Facebook


From the new Google Preview Search, the Google vs Facebook showdown, FREE WiFi on Airlines, to Groupon… A lot happened this week you should know about:

Want a job? BraveNewTalent launches smart Facebook app for social recruitment

Google Spreads Free Holiday WiFi Beyond Virgin To AirTran And Delta This Year

Google Now Lets You Preview Search Results Before You Click Them

5 Big Brands That Are Rocking the Social Media Space [Mashable Awards]

Facebook’s Gmail Killer, Project Titan, Is Coming On Monday

Google Offers Staff Engineer $3.5 Million To Turn Down Facebook Offer

Yahoos Freaking Out Over 20% Layoff Rumors

HOW TO: Activate Your Brand’s Super Influencers

As Groupon Grows, Will Small Business Be Left Behind?

Weekly Picks

I am going to start bringing you my top picks every week from TechCrunch, Mashable, SEO, Social Media News.

Top Picks:
What your phone says about you: TechCrunch

13 Business Blogging Dos and Don’ts For Creating Relationships

Social Networks Are Not Killing Our Social Lives [STATS]

Local Deals Come to Facebook Places -Mashable

Google vs. Bing: Correlation Analysis of Ranking Elements

Citysearch Lays Off Editorial Employees, Less 3% Of Staff

How Much is Your Brand Worth to a Fan?

comScore: Q3 E-Commerce Spending Up 9 Percent To $32 Billion

Job Search Tips: Your Social Media Profiles

Google Rourself

If you are searching for a job you probably have spent a ton of time on your resume. But, after you make it to the HR desk, what do you think happens next? Most savvy employers will Google you… Uh Oh

So, Google Yourself:

What comes up? Facebook? Twitter? Foursquare? LinkedIn? What would prospective employers see?

1. Profile Images: Look at your FaceBook profile picture, your Tweets or FourSquare Checkins. Would an HR person think these are appropriate? People have been fired as well as not hired because of what was on their Social Media profiles.

2. Twitter:
Watch your tweets. Did you ever tweet anything bad or a customer service issue? Tweet anything that breaks the no religion/politics rule? Make sure all of that is off your wall. Take down anything you don’t want to be asked about in an interview.

3. Foursquare:
Are you checking into a competing business? Are you checking into strip clubs, churches, political rallies, 10 bars in a night? Stop, remove or hide your Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and FourSquare.

It is your choice to censor, hide or stop. But just be mindful. Work and personal lives were at one time easy to separate but, with all the social media openness out there, it is a fuzzy line.

How to Hide Your Social Media Profiles:

How to Set Facebook Privacy Settings

1. Log In
2. Click “Settings” on the top right of the screen
3. Go to the “Account” tab and check “Protect my updates”
4. Click SAVE
More Info

How to set FourSquare Privacy Settings

After you clean that up, setup a Google alert so you can keep tabs on your online image.

Online Marketing Course in New York City

Media Bistro

Understanding Search & Online Marketing.
November 3 – December 15 (no class No class Thanksgiving week)
Wednesdays 6:45-9:45
Location: 475 Park Ave South, New York City

I am the instructor for this course. I am going to cover a lot of Marketing topics from Basic SEO, Social Media, Blogging and more. Trust me you will learn a lot in this course! The goal of the course is for you to apply what you learn immediately. So it will be great for professionals who are already working.

Click here to see details about the Marketing Course. Please pass this on to someone who might be interested!

If you have any questions, leave a Reply below:

LinkedIn: Not your online resume-your online elevator pitch.

Your LinkedIn Profile is not your online resume it is your online elevator pitch. But before you get your 30 seconds to pitch, you have to be found in LinkedIn search results. You must get your profile 100% complete and then you can make it stand out. Here are some basics and some tips that will get you LinkedIn inbox full with new networking connections and inquires from prospective employers.


Get your profile to 100% Complete:

  • A current position
  • 2 past positions
  • Education
  • Profile summary
  • A profile photo
  • Specialties
  • At least 3 recommendations

 Don’t just copy/paste your resume  keep it brief and interesting:

  • Do some keyword research about your career field and find some buzz words. Use them in your profile so you will be found in keyword searches. Use these sites for research: 
  • Use a progessional photo. No cropped bar photos or group photos.
  • Have a good Headline… Tell people what you do and how you can help them
  • Update your status weekly and/or use Twitter 

Use Applications:

  • Tripit is a good one for business travel
  • Put a Blog Feed in your LinkedIn Profile
  • Add a Reading List
  • Presentations
  • See more


  • Get some recommendations and give some recomendations. Make sure they are well thought out and give actual examples not just “she is great”


  • Join groups and interact/ answer questions- contribute something meaningful
  • Read status updates of your connections and use that to stay in touch. Especially if they change jobs
  • Connect with people you know or people you have done business with. 

More Tips/Resourses

Have more tips? Comment Below.

Marketing Course at Media Bistro in New York City

Media Bistro

Understanding Search & Online Marketing.
September 15th – October 20
Wednesdays 6:45-9:45
Location: 475 Park Ave South, New York City

I am the instructor for this course. I am going to cover a lot of Marketing topics from Basic SEO, Social Media, Blogging and more. Trust me you will learn a lot in this course! The goal of the course is for you to apply what you learn immediately. So it will be great for professionals who are already working.

Click here to see details about the Marketing Course. Please pass this on to someone who might be interested!

If you have any questions, leave a Reply below: