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Facebook have completely changed the rules around Facebook competitions in the past couple of weeks. I have seen so many photographers pages continue to flout the rules and put themselves in danger of being unceremoniously shut down.

The great news is that Facebook have completely changed their promotion and competition guidelines, and the new rules have huge implications. The biggest being that pages can now continue doing what they’ve been doing, but it is now actually allowed. Well, most of it.  I’ve outlined the changes below, as well as the pros and cons of running a competition straight from your wall vs via an application.

The biggest and most important change is that you can now run competitions/promotions straight from your Timeline. Previously pages were only able to run competitions through applications, not directly on their page timeline (though many didn’t actually know this was the case). This has now changed, and along with it Facebook are allowing entries via Comments and Likes.

So what does all that mean?

You are now officially allowed to publish a post to your Page that says “Want to win €1000? Like this to enter.” Or post a photo and say ‘Caption this pic for your chance to win”. What has changed you may be thinking? It’s likely you saw loads of competitions similar to this in the past anyway.  And it’s highly likely that’s why Facebook changed the rules – pages simply weren’t adhering to their previous guidelines anyway. That being said, some pages continue to break the rules by posting competitions that require people to share things to their wall to enter the competition. To break it down for you, here’s an overview of what you now can and can’t do with Facebook competitions:

What you can do:

  • Run competitions through your Page wall/timeline (through a post) and/or via an application
  • Allow people to enter your competition via commenting or liking your post
  • Allow people to enter your competition via direct message to the Page
  • Allow people to enter your competition by posting on your wall
  • Use ‘likes’ as a voting mechanism – ie. people can vote for their favourite entry by simply liking it

What you still cannot do:

  • Administer a competition on a personal timeline, it must be done on a business page
  • Require or encourage people to tag themselves in content they are not depicted in
  • Require or encourage people to post or share anything to their personal timeline

These new rules mean that it is so much easier, particularly for small businesses with small social budgets, to run competitions through their Pages quickly and cheaply. But in some cases, it may still be preferable to use an application. Here’s a run-down of the pros to each method:

Why use an app to run your Facebook contest?

  • It allows a more personalized and branded experience
  • There is more flexibility in terms of content you can provide and interactivity
  • You can collect more data from entrants – eg. their email addresses, business names etc.
  • You can require the opting into a newsletter to expand your database
  • You can like-gate the competition – ie. Entrants must like your page to enter (thus better opportunity to grow your community)
  • You can easily keep all entries in one place for your community to share, like and vote on (ie. Gallery)
  • You can prompt entrants to share their entry with friends after they have entered, increasing viral exposure (and you have control over the message that is being shared)
  • Easier to collate all entries and entrants’ details in one place for judging*

 

Why use your business page to run your Facebook contest?

  • Faster and easier
  • Cheaper to run – no requirement to pay for third-party apps or pay a developer
  • Easier for entrants to enter, thus likely to gain more entries
  • Potential for greater viral exposure via post showing up in entrants’ newsfeeds who have liked/commented
  • No mobile compatibility issues

Of course, if you want to get the best of both worlds you can always use both an application and your wall to run your competition. If you want to check out Facebook’s new promotion guidelines in more detail, you can do so here.

Hope this helps!

 

Cormac

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A while back I posted an article on tethering your camera to an iPad wirelessly from Lee Morris of Fstoppers fame. Well here is another that might interest you from the same guys. It’s how you can wirelessly tether your iPad and use it as a second monitor in conjunction with a laptop or desktop for editing and other things.

 

 

And HERE is the link to buy the App.

Enjoy it and I hope it helps. If you find it useful perhaps you might leave a comment and tell us how you got on.

 

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This article is reproduced with the kind permission of Cormac O’Kelly & Social Media Management

 

“Digital Darwinism” is a phrase that has been appearing more and more. This simple idea basically links digital marketing with natural selection. Simply put, “Those who evolve will survive”.

Whether you like it or not digital media is here to stay and has taken over. Everything has gone digital; radio has gone digital, TV has gone digital and even print has gone digital. What this says to those who have yet to engage or those who have resisted change is that there really is no choice but to engage via these channels. Once the media channels you used to use  move to a new platform, you no longer have the choice or are able to resist. Any business, whether it’s business2business or business2consumer, needs to reach their customers and potential customers.

Why you don’t have a choice:

  • Your customers are nto paying attention to where you currently are
  • Your customers cannot find you where they are looking
  • Your competitors are using these new(er) digital tools to sell there products and services more efficiently and in turn steal your customers.

You are probably saying, “Not in my industry”! If you are, you are wrong! Every single industry out there is being disrupted by new technologies. This applies to the way the industry works and functions and to the way they reach their customers.

What should you be doing? Here are some steps you should be taking.

Digital Presence

If you don’t have any real estate online you’re in BIG trouble. Your website has the ability to be one of the most powerful sales tools in your arsenal. The bad news… Just being online isn’t enough. Your website from 5 years ago isn’t going to live up to the modern expectations of your customers and is most likely going to make them angry. You need to consider everything from the user experience to the functionality and especially the design.

SEO/Local SEO

Phonebooks are now commonplace holding open doors and propping up ‘wobbly’ tables and stuff. When people need something, they Google it. If they don’t Google, they use Bing or Yahoo!. If you haven’t put much work into optimizing your digital presence for the search engines of the world, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do. If you’re business covers a wide geographic space, you’re going to have some more intense competition. If you’re covering a small local area you have a big opportunity, but it won’t last. Simply put … The sad truth is that if you don’t show up in the first page of the search results your customers will move on.

Customer Retention Plan

This needs to be a well thought-out process involving multiple forms of media. Everybody has a shorter attention span than ever before and are a lot less patient. This means that when we need something we need it NOWand that we might easily forget about the things we like or want. There are a million options out there and the perfect plan for your company will depend on how your business operates, who your customer is, and what they need from you. A few of the options would include

  • Ongoing and creative newsletters or email campaigns
  • Digital customer service
  • Customer rewards program

… but there is lots more besides.

Content Strategy

Most of the time the content on your website is static, meaning it doesn’t get updated often (if at all). This is bad for many reasons. One being that you aren’t giving your customers a reason to come back to the site. Twobeing that the search engines tend to favor the sites that are updated often. Another trend online right now is that brands are creating and sponsoring content that their customers will enjoy and hopefully find valuable. Instead of an advertisement trying to persuade the consumer to buy, they’re providing entertainmentinsight or value through content creation. This is being done through editorial format as well as through audio, video and images. You can build a loyal following of brand followers with the right content strategy… alternatively you can waste your time with the wrong one.

There’s a lot of adapting and “evolving” for businesses to take on right now but the list above should get you started. If you have any questions or need any help, contact me.

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You receive a phone call from a prospective client asking you to “bid” on an upcoming photography project she has. It’s an opportunity to forge a new relationship with a new client and you really want the job. Here are a couple of guidelines that will result in you hopefully being selected as the successful “bidder”:

1. Never, ever, give a “ballpark figure” for the project; you’ll surely overlook something if you provide an estimate on the spot. It’s just impossible to quickly throw together a figure while under the pressure of “I want an estimate now.” Instead, gather information by asking open-ended questions and let your caller know you’ll get back to her quickly with the estimate.

2. Always ask your counterpart in the negotiation what her budget for the project is. In most cases, they’ll tell you they haven’t set one. That’s fine, just gather more information – perhaps share some insight about how you would handle the project and offer some suggestions to help her out. Then a bit further along in the conversation, share the following: “Your project is exactly the type of shoot we do all the time and I’d love to work with you on it. Tell me where I need to be on this project?”

That second question is essentially a repeat of the first, but you’ve asked it later in the conversation after you and she have gotten to know one another a bit more. You will have a high success rate in getting clients to answer the second iteration of the same question; especially if the discussion is moving along smoothly and the client is responding well to what you have said.

3. Third, and perhaps most important, you need to determine if the person with whom you’re speaking is the decision maker. A great, non-offensive way to do this is to ask “Mary, is there anyone else I might email a few samples of my work to?” If she offers up a name, it’s likely that person is in fact the person who will ultimately award the job. If possible, get that person in on the conversation. If you cannot, then be sure to give Mary “talking points” about your approach, your value and why you’re better than everyone else she’s calling. In other words, how do you differentiate yourself from everyone else? If you cannot differentiate yourself, why should she hire you?

After you have gathered all the information you need in order to put together the estimate, ask if an estimate by the end of the day is soon enough. You want your client to know that you are responsive and more than willing to work within their schedule if a faster turnaround is needed.

Just a tip for the new year.

Have a great 2013.

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It all starts with a Facebook post that reads something like “At 15, she did that in public high school every day.” The next thing you know, all your friends are informed that you liked the post, even if you didn’t actually press the Like button.

First of all, the perpetrators rely on open redirection flaws to trick victims into thinking that they’re about to visit a Facebook page, when in fact they’re taken to some shady website.

This landing page replicates the social media website, but in reality it has nothing to do with Facebook. Furthermore, the video window that’s displayed on it has nothing to do with YouTube or other video sharing website.

However, when the play button is pressed, the victim is actually pressing a hidden Like button associated to the malicious post. This is what’s called clickjacking, a clever trick deployed by fraudsters who want to hide their devious plans.

When users press the play button, they’re taken to a survey website which earns a commission for the scheme’s mastermind. In the meantime, all their friends get to see that he/she liked the Facebook post and get sucked in as well.

Hunt had found that the “she did that in public high school every day” scheme is already indexed on over 31,000 pages. He has also discovered that not only inexperienced users have clicked on the links, but also professionals who should have known better.

The bottom line is that the posts don’t appear on Facebook Walls/Timelines unless the fake video’s play button is pressed. This means that the embarrassing messages will not be displayed for anyone to see as long as the victim isn’t really curious about the outrageous video.

Be careful, its a jungle out there!

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