Facebook has introduced a new news feed.  The updates to the news feed are the latest in a series of tweaks and new offerings from the leading social media site. Unlike past changes, the news feed changes are more pronounced than past offerings and updates.

The new look incorporates bigger images and allows for customization. The changes include a redesigned layout with larger images of maps, news articles, photos, and apps information. The  image-centric design allows users to scroll though several different news feeds based on what they are looking for — images, games, music, news, best friends, all friends. Users can choose to sort the feed chronologically or only look at things like what music people are listening to or what events are happening. And depending on the things a user has liked on Facebook in the past, he or she will see articles that are trending and that are most relevant to them. The new design also features bookmarks like before, but they now are “more relevant for people” and show up on every page.

The company also noted it has several new feeds to explore in addition to the same news feed users have today. They include:

  • All Friends — a feed that shows you everything your friends are sharing
  • Photos — a feed with only photos from your friends and the pages you like
  • Music — a feed including posts about the music you listen to
  • Following — a feed with the latest news from the pages you like and people you follow

These changes are the first big overhaul to the first page people see when logging into the site, since Facebook debuted the news feed in September 2006. The goal is to increase time spent overall on the Facebook news feed – as well as increase engagement with content and ads. It also aims to make the Facebook experience more unified across multiple devices like computers, smartphones, and tablets.

The redesigned news feed will start rolling out to a small number of people on the Web first and will then show up on phones and tablets over the next few weeks.

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The company news and public relations landscape has been altered dramatically with the popularity of the internet.  These days anyone — right or wrong — can post information online through their website, blogs and social media.  Once it is out there – the word is quickly spread, shared and circulated.  That’s great if it is good news.  But if it is not – the bad news is out there for all to see regardless of whether the claim has merit or not. 

With this in mind it is important that companies be out in front of their on line reputation and monitor what the public and the press are saying about your business, service or product.

If something negative is happening.  Don’t ignore it.  It won’t magically disappear.
There are several ways you can help restore your reputation and achieve more positive results and minimize the negative ones.

First – be nice.  Be direct and communicate exactly what’s happening and the steps you’ve taken to mitigate the issue and solve the problem.  If you have no news – say that as well.  The public appreciates honesty.

Consider posting your own information in the form of articles, press releases and videos.  This can help you spread your own story and offer positive information about the company and what it is doing right. Posting on line videos with your own message – can be particularly useful as search engines are attracted to them. By taking action to foster positive sentiment, you can quickly change public perceptions and soften the impact of bad news.

Be open to suggestions and opinions – When someone sends you an online comment – Respond as best as you can even if it is just to say you’ll dig up some more information and get right back to them. People will appreciate that and you may even get some new customers/clients.

The fluctuating nature of the web means that situations can arise unexpectedly and in various forms, and can often include an element of surprise that you didn’t envision. Your digital footprint is important, so if you do find yourself in the midst of negative online sentiment, consider some of these simple steps.  A proactive approach can turn the tables to achieve positive results rather than negative ones.

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Social Media may officially be considered a relatively new way of marketing.  But if you take the time to give it some thought – social media is really something that has been around for a long time.  Just not through the internet.

Think about it.  A restaurant advertises it has the best burgers in town.  You may or may not think they really do.  After all, the word is coming from the restaurant itself.  Your friend tells you he went to a restaurant with the ‘best burgers he’s ever had’ and now you think – ‘maybe this restaurant is really good’.  Now your friend tells their friend, who in turn tells there friend and all of a sudden — the restaurant has a line out the door.

Social media is a perfect for spreading the word on the street. Now you are not selling yourself or your business – others are doing it for you. If you get your message to Twitter, Google +, Facebook, your blog — fans and followers will get the word out for you.

If you have really got a good service, product and offer value to your customers, social media is an excellent way to help spread the word.  You’ve already got a good story—and marketing is a lot about telling your story.  Prospective customers appreciate the word of others like them.  They offer honesty and fairness.

Smart users of social media take time to measure their efforts. They use the medium to generate and capture leads and build a relationship with customers and keep them. Measure your social media marketing ROI and pay attention to what people are saying.  By tracking your results you can learn from any mistakes and build a successful business for years to come.

 

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