Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Facebook page Admin Roles explained - your guide to facebook admin roles

By default, everyone is a manager.


Don't let my deplorable Photoshop skills deter you, this post really has some good info! (Yeah, I really need to start watching those YouSuckAtPhotoshop episodes, coz apparently, I suck at photoshop. Sigh...)

Facebook recently introduced 'Admin Rules' that enable you to set varied permissions for different page admins. Unlike previously, when managing your page admins was like a game of chess where everybody was king (or queen, if you're the pro-feminist type), now you can actually set different permissions for the various page admins your page might need. Here's how the new Admin Roles appear in the facebook page menu:

There are now 5 categories of 'admins'.  The 5 different roles being Manager, Content Creator, Moderator, Advertiser and Insights Analyst.
By default, everyone is a 'Manager', meaning you have all the permissions. Only Managers can create, modify or boot out Admins.  Here's a handy table by facebook that lists out what you can and can not do in the various roles:

It's a welcome and required change and took a long time coming, but at least it's now here. This should help prevent the numerous "accidents" that happen when somebody gets hold of an admin account and boots out everybody else from the page or where there was a falling out among page admins and one of them decides to go kamikaze on the page.

And once you lose your admin privileges, you can cry yourself hoarse asking facebook to restore them. A lot of brand pages are managed by external agencies which populate the page with daily posts and content. This required making those external partners an admin and essentially giving them a free reign on your brand page which is always inherently risky.

Now the page 'Manager' can control the various privileges that are provided to the various people working on the page, especially external partners like agencies.

Here's the facebook link where you can find out more about the recently introduced Admin Roles:

(PS: I really need to brush up on my Photoshop skills if I gotta get a picture of me wearing a suit :P)

Monday, 4 June 2012

How to remove Trending Videos from your facebook newsfeed

After Trending Articles, facebook has started pushing videos into users' newsfeeds, calling these forced fed videos 'Trending Videos' (what else?). Basically, trending videos are those videos which are watched by one of your 'friends' on facebook using one of the countless video apps on facebook.

The logic behind this being that you would be interested in watching what your friends are watching.  Again, as I wrote earlier, It makes some sense in theory, but unfortunately very little in the real world.  Unless you really want to watch Bieber crying 'baby, baby' in a video watched by one of the beliebers in your friend list. Or watch a pseudo-romantic scene from the Twilight.

Nevertheless, just like the Trending Articles, it's quite easy to boot out the 'Trending Videos' from your news feed if you don't want them there.  The way to get them off your newsfeed is the same as for Trending Articles, so I'll skip the details and let the images do the talking. If you want to read how you do it, you can find it out here.

And this is how you remove it:

What do you think about the new Trending Videos feature? Drop your comments below:

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Facebook starts 'Promote' feature for pages

As reported widely and communicated by facebook, the option to Promote posts is here. While going through the motions managing one of my pages today, the innocuous little 'Promote' button made an appearance in my composer.  Here's what it looks like:

The 'Promote' button actually force feeds your page's posts into your fans' news feeds. Presently, your page might have a thousands of 'Likes' but getting your content/posts in front of your fans is a game of roulette at best.

From my zombie wandering experience on FB, one thing is apparent: Your audience can be very fickle. You might get a 35% reach for a certain post at a certain time of the day and a 16% reach at the same time the next day. There's no guaranteed formula to get your content in front of most, if not all, of your page's users.

This is where the Promote button intends to come in. Here's a screenshot of its inner workings first:

Depending upon the budget you set for the 'promotion' of a particular post, facebook will show you an estimate number of fans that will see your post. Common logic says the higher you go in terms of $$, the higher the reach of that particular post will be.

This feature surely has its charms and will be welcomed by many page administrators (including me), who rack their brains out to develop engaging content only for it to end up reaching only a small fraction of their audience. Though you wouldn't (and shouldn't) pay facebook to force feed all your posts into users' newsfeeds, the Promote feature can be particularly useful while communicating special offers to fans and hence, possibly increasing sales.

Say you have a 15% sale on coats (or cakes, or cats, or zombie snacks for that matter) for the week, it makes sense to promote a post outlining the offer which should ensure that the promotion is communicated to a larger audience.

It's all fine and dandy, however there are still a few rusty points:

1. There are still no guarantees as to the number of people who will actually see your post. The estimated reach by facebook is what it says it is: an estimate. And a very vague one at that.

2. You can only promote posts that are less than 3 days old. Suppose if you made a post about an offer a week back, you can't promote it using this. For that, you'll have to make another post and pay facebook to promote it. And repeating your posts in front of a highly targeted audience is like peddling bibles in front of your fans or in short, a digital suicide you don't want to commit.

This is the official reason given by facebook on why you can't promote posts more than 3 days old:


3. The BIGGEST issue I have with promoted posts is that they appear as 'Sponsored stories' on facebook. Many users have a natural aversion to anything sponsored by facebook, which clearly indicates that this particular post was 'forced' into your news feed. And whenever facebook forces something on its users, it's never welcomed warmly.  Here's what a' Promoted' post would look like:

The label proclaiming that this post is sponsored is innocuous enough to be ignored by most users but for the ones who totally hate anything forced into their news feeds should easily be able to spot this. And this group in your audience may not react well to your forcing your page's posts right there in their news feeds.

Each page's TA is different and they may have different goals regarding their online presence. I'm sure when you read through it, you will find more pros and cons of this feature depending upon your marketing strategy.  Here's the facebook help link containing the FAQ on Promoted posts. Do let me know how does the new Promote feature figure in your strategy.

Signing off...back to wandering the strees of facebookville in search of fresh blood.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

How to remove Trending Articles from your Facebook newsfeed

Facebook has recently started pushing news articles into users' newsfeed. And like any new facebook feature, it hasn't found much fans. Facebook calls this "Frictionless Advertising", in that only those articles are shown to you which your friends have read. The logic behind this being that you would be interested in what your friends read.

It makes some sense in theory, but unfortunately very little in the real world . Why would I be interested in reading a boring article which one of my nerd "friends" just read? How about an article on basket weaving, dog walking, kitten huffing...? You get the idea. Frictionless? Probably not so. Might actually end up doing the exact opposite of what it's supposed to do: Creating friction.  But it does provide some interesting glimpses into what my so-called friends on facebook are interested in reading. How would the ladies react to finding that their oh-so-civil office colleague just read an article on the hottest swimwear trends for the season?
The Trending Articles is a glimpse into the kind of advertising you're likely to see on facebook in the future. While presently ads sulk at the right corner of your news feed, eventually they will be surreptitiously pushed into news feeds where it's more difficult to ignore them.

Anyways ads or no ads, I want the infuriating Trending Articles gone from my news feed. How do I do that? The good news is that it's quite easy. You don't even have to hire a zombie to kill it. You just gotta 'teach' your timeline.

So here's how you do it. 

The next time you see one of those cunning, lil' "Trending" Articles, hover to the right top corner of the story until you see an 'X' appear. Click on it and hover to the bottom option which says "Hide all by Washington Post Social Reader/Yahoo! News."
Hit that and voila! Trending Articles would not appear in your news feed anymore. Note that presently, only two apps support this feature of surreptitiously pushing content in your news feed i.e. Washington Post Social Reader and Yahoo! News. So to ensure that you do not see them again in your feed, make sure you click hide all by the WPSR and Yahoo News.  And if tomorrow another app starts supporting this "feature", you would have to issue a kill order on that too. But the good news is, by now you must be quite the expert on issuing kill orders on trending articles. Just follow the same as above.

Unfortunately, for this to work, you would have to wait till a story (Trending Article) by WPSR or Yahoo News appears in your news feed.

So be on the lookout! The next time you see one of those annoying Trending Articles, don't ignore it! Kill those and feed them to the zombies!

Update: The Guardian has also joined the bandwagon with their own app and has started pushing stories into users' news feeds. But don't be perturbed, for the above trick will KEEL the 'trending' articles from The Guardian too.