Category Archives: Facebook

Facebook launches Social Search Engine

In the finest “keep them guessing” tradition of the late Steve Jobs, Facebook had the tech journalist community buzzing over a mystery press conference scheduled for this morning. Speculation was rife: would the social giant launch a new mobile phone, perhaps, or had it acquired another key player in its ongoing battle for digital supremacy?

Now the wondering is over: Facebook’s big announcement is Graph Search, a Social Search Engine.

Finally! Facebook’s existing search engine is, frankly, not up to the rigours of searching through the trillions of entries of a billion members.

So what do we know about Graph Search so far, what makes it different to Google and what are the implications for marketers?

The first and most important point is that this is not web search, it’s social search. It’s designed to help Facebook members meaningfully sort through content that has been shared with them.

The second key point is that Graph Search is still in Beta release – Facebook is inviting users to sign up for early trials, but it’s only rolling out to a small number (in the hundreds or thousands) at first.

And the third key point is that Graph Search is the method by which Facebook intends to harness the social potential of its members’ accumulated postings (which has BIG implications for marketers).

Powered by Social Proof

For example: you want to go out for dinner tonight. What was the name of that Mexican restaurant your friend Janice loved? Now, instead of scrolling through screeds of Facebook posts — or giving up and phoning/texting Janice — you can use Graph Search to find Mexican restaurants in Wellington. Your results will include listings of restaurants that your friends who have checked in to or Liked.

You can quickly see the implications for marketers. Social Proof suddenly becomes not merely optional but essential — if your restaurant isn’t on Facebook, it won’t be caught in the Graph Search results so won’t even be part of the choice set.

The launch focused on four use cases for Graph Search: people, photos, places and interests.

Forbes, amongst many others, live-blogged these examples as they were announced by Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team:

Searching people: By typing in “friends of friends who are single men in San Francisco and who are from India” in the search box, the search engine highlights those search terms and brings up a list of eligible bachelors for matchmaking purposes.

Searching photos: You can type “photos of my friends taken in Paris” or “photos of my friends taken in national parks.” The searches bring up big tiled photos of the photos in that category. Or you can just search for “photos I like.” This brings in social gestures such as the “Like” that Facebook already has that tag photos and other objects. This is also data that Facebook has that competitors don’t. You can only see the photos that people have shared with you.

Searching interests: You can type in “Movies my friends like” or “TV shows my friends like.” Clearly this section of search has revenue potential. You can also search for “Videos by TV shows liked by my friends” this will bring up just the videos that TV shows have posted. “TV shows liked by doctors” shows that doctors like to watch Grey’s Anatomy. You can also search and see what kind of music people who like Mitt Romney or Barack Obama like.

Searching places: When traveling you can search for “bars in Dublin liked by people who live in Dublin” to get local insider information. Or search for people who have been to Ireland.

On privacy: Facebook has privacy shortcuts in a button on the upper right hand corner. Click on “Who can see my stuff” then photos to see the photos I have uploaded or that are tagged of me. Or you can see just the photos I’ve hidden from your Timeline. You can also send a message to the person who uploaded the photo asking them to take the photos down. For those inappropriate photos.

There’s also a partnership with Microsoft’s Bing search engine included for information that can’t be found in Facebook’s Graph Search.

We’ll be covering Graph Search and all its marketing implications in our new Advanced Social Media Marketing course (details here).

New Course: Advanced Social Media Marketing

Because Social Media never stands still, we’ve developed a brand new course that has as its focus the very latest developments in the medium. This course is designed for those who already have a solid understanding of Social Media Marketing and wish to keep themselves as up-to-date as possible. The course content is reviewed monthly and updated where necessary to reflect what’s happening NOW.

Advanced Social Media Marketing course

Advanced Social Media Marketing course

This is a seven-part eCourse providing a comprehensive update of the latest developments in the Social Media world, both locally and internationally. It supplements and extends the topics we cover in our general Social Media Marketing Principles & Practice course.

This eCourse is conducted on a web-based e-learning software platform, enabling course participants to proceed at their own pace, accessing materials online. This particular eCourse provides content in a variety of multimedia forms, including videos, slideshows, flash-based presentations and PDF files. No special software is required to participate.

Course lessons will be provided in seven parts, for participants to access in accordance with their own timetables. Interaction with the course tutor is enabled through the platform software tools (with telephone backup if required).

This course has been created and is tutored by Michael Carney.

Any Business Owner, Marketing, Advertising, PR or Communications professional who wants to keep up with the latest developments in the Social Media sphere. Also, if you’ve taken one of our courses in 2012 or earlier, this is the course you need to bring you up to speed with the latest developments in the medium.



Lesson One: The Latest Facebook Changes And What They Mean For You

In Lesson One, we take a fresh look at Facebook and learn about:

  • The newest developments on Facebook including Gifts, Promoted Posts, Page Post Targeting, Parent/Child Pages, AdExchange, Open Graph, custom audiences, retargeting, subscriptions, local currency pricing and much more – what they all mean and how you can take advantage of them
  • Hot-off-the-press Kiwi Facebook statistics, including New Zealand’s Most Popular and Most Talked About Facebook pages, smart engagement strategies from Kiwi companies and Kiwi Facebook stats by category
  • What people talk about most on Facebook and the implications for marketers
  • Facebook’s new Mobile Strategies and what they mean for marketers in 2013
  • Facebook, Amazon and Social Gifting
  • A round-up of the latest and greatest Facebook Tools
  • Snapchat vs Poke

Lesson Two: Pinterest & Instagram and The Power Of Pictures

Pictures have taken the social sphere by storm, and Pinterest and Instagram are leading the way! In this lesson we delve in detail into these two social services, including:

  • The latest local and international statistics
  • How leading marketers are using Pinterest and Instagram
  • Pinterest’s new Business Pages and what they mean for 2013
  • Why Pinterest acquired Punchfork
  • Pinterest case studies, best practices and inspirational guides
  • What you simply must know about Pinterest’s Secret Boards
  • Compendium, Rummage and other Pinterest clones
  • Instagram’s new philosophy on ads
  • Instagram’s Privacy debacle

Lesson Three: Twitter 2013

Twitter continues to evolve. Here’s what you should know about Twitter today:

  • How to make optimum use of the new Twitter Cover Photos
  • Farewell to Instagram, Hello Aviary
  • Making effective use of the Twitter API
  • How to curate your Twitter lists
  • Best practices to clean up your Twitter settings
  • How to find the best Twitter hashtags
  • Twitter Tools you should use
  • Tips for more effective tweeting
  • Top Tweets and posts about Twitter
  • Famous Twitter #Fails: what brands still don’t get

Lesson Four: What you need to know about Google Plus for 2013

Google Plus is strategically important, even though the social network still has a much smaller membership base than Facebook. In this lesson, we cover:

  • Google Plus stats and demographics
  • Why Google Plus is so important for SEO — and for your online credibility
  • The implications of Google blending Google Plus with Google Shopping
  • Why Google Plus matters more than ever for local businesses
  • The controversial new Google Plus sharing policies
  • How Google Drive now links directly to Google Plus
  • New Google Plus Communities and why they matter
  • Google’s new Lightbox ad format explained
  • How to use Google Plus Hangouts On Air
  • The latest new features for the Google Plus mobile apps

Lesson Five: Getting Up to Speed on LinkedIn

In this lesson we cover the key facts you need to know about LinkedIn, including:

  • LinkedIn NZ demographics, including membership by industry sector
  • The new-look LinkedIn homepage and what it means for you
  • Is your LinkedIn Profile optimised for the new page design?
  • LinkedIn Today and how you can use it to build your reputation
  • The increasing importance of Company Pages — and the opportunities that still exist for first-movers
  • Accessing influencers and thought-leaders
  • Social Proof and LinkedIn Endorsements
  • The importance of the LinkedIn mobile offerings

Lesson Six: Mastering YouTube in 2013

THere’s a bit more to YouTube than Gangnam and cat videos. In Lesson Six, we review:

  • YouTube by the numbers
  • Associated Website Link Annotations and what they mean for marketers
  • The importance of ‘Time Watched’ for higher Video Search Rankings
  • How to use Google AdWords for Video effectively
  • Essential tips and techniques from the YouTube Creator Playbook
  • Viral Videos: the good, the bad and the very very ugly
  • The YouTube Capture iOS App and how it makes posting to YouTube even easier
  • How to Optimize For The New YouTube Design
  • How to Drive Traffic Between Your Videos on YouTube
  • The new rules of video marketing

Lesson Seven: “Big”, Enterprise-Level Social Media Users

Social Media Marketing is traditionally discussed in the context of smaller businesses; but how do large enterprises cope with the demands of Social Media? We review the latest tools and best practices for enterprise-level Social Media Marketing, including:

  • The essential ingredients of any enterprise social RFP
  • Coping with constant technological change
  • Managing social media data across large organisations
  • Cross-channel co-ordination of messages, analytics and infrastructure
  • Creating an pan-organisational social media team
  • Managing rules, restrictions and reputations
  • Promoting social media features and benefits within the organisation
  • Discovering, attracting and sourcing talent
  • Empowering employees for social media success
  • Identifying the roles required for managing social media communities effectively
  • Dealing with the organisational culture challenges
  • Preserving Engagement and Innovation within the enterprise environment



Click here for the latest course date and to register for the course.


The Long Tail of New Zealand Facebook Pages

As we mentioned in one of our January newsletters, we’ve been steadily crunching our way through thousands of New Zealand Facebook pages (6,251 of them at last count) in our efforts to map the Kiwi social sphere. We’ll be turning our efforts into a Social Trends Report which will be on offer in due course, but these are some of our top-line conclusions.

There’s plenty of room for improvement when it comes to Kiwi businesses and social media. Most New Zealand Facebook pages attract no more than a few hundred fans at best:

  • A quarter of all New Zealand Facebook pages have 100 likes or less
  • Slightly more than half (56%) have up to 400 likes
  • 79% have less than 1600 likes
  • Just 74 pages have more than 50,000 likes
  • Only 19 have managed more than 200,000 likes
  • At the very top, only seven NZ-related pages have more than 500,000 likes

The numbers are even more challenging if we attempt to identify those New Zealand Facebook pages that are effectively engaging with their followers.

How do we measure engagement? In this instance, by determining how many people are “talking about” each Facebook page.

“People Talking About This” is a Facebook measurement which, according to Facebook, quantifies “the number of unique people who have created a story about your Page [in the course of the previous week]. These stories include liking your Page, posting to your Page’s wall, liking, commenting on or sharing one of your Page’s Posts, answering a Question you posted, RVSPing to on of your events, mentioning your Page, phototagging your Page, checking in at your Place or recommending your Place.”

So what exactly have we found?

In late January 2012:

  • 14% of New Zealand Facebook pages had absolutely NOBODY talking about them
  • 11% were interacting with just one person
  • 57% had between 2 and 50 people talking
  • 2% had more than 1,000 interactions in progress
  • Just 5 pages had more than 20,000 people talking
  • Only one page had more than 100,000 conversations in progress

Does it matter if you’re being talked about on Facebook or not?

Yes it does, and it’s far, far more important than you might realise — Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank, which determines whether or not your posts will show on the newsfeeds of those who ‘like’ you. One of the most important ingredients of that algorithm, is, not surprisingly, based on the proportion of your followers who are talking about you. Fail at that level and you simply won’t get seen on anybody’s newsfeed.

Our conclusions, based on our research thus far:

There’s huge scope for improvement for most New Zealand organisations who have planted a virtual outpost on Facebook. There are now more than two million Kiwi Facebook users yet 97% of our local Facebook pages couldn’t manage to engage the interest of even 500 of those Kiwi users.

That doesn’t mean we should just give up on social media. A handful of our top achievers have managed to score some seriously large Facebook followings — and an awesome few have many thousands of people engaging and interacting with their pages. Their performances are inspiring and aspirational — clearly Kiwis are willing to engage, if you can catch their interest and attention. Silence is not golden in the social space — it’s a critical failure.

So — if you’re one of the 5,571 Kiwi businesses with less than 100 people talking about you, will you take up the challenge to engage your way to the top?

(Ahem — if you’re not sure how to do that, may we respectfully encourage you to check out our Facebook Accelerator course here (Early Bird Offer, saving you $100, closes tomorrow); or, if you outsource your social media efforts, see our course on How To Prepare An Effective Social Media Brief here (Early Bird booking deadline Monday, so grab it now).

NEW – Facebook Kickstart Programme

Whilst working on our Social Media Marketing courses we’ve come across those who just want to cut to the chase — “how do I get myself set up on Facebook NOW and start attracting fans?”

For them, and for those of you who’ve completed one of our Social Media Marketing courses and now want some hands-on guidance to help you build your presence on Facebook, we’ve developed this twelve-step programme — which we’re releasing over four weeks, complete with demonstration videos, practical advice, resources and real-world examples.

The twelve steps covered in the Facebook Kickstart programme:


1. Set yourself up on Facebook
We show you how to sign yourself up personally to Facebook, identify what information you should keep to yourself (and how to manage the ever-changing privacy settings) and what info you should make public. Then we step you through the process of creating a page for your brand(s) — it’s not easy as it looks, and there are some options which (if you make the wrong choices) can significantly limit your ability to customise your Facebook presence.

We also talk about the danger of having your organisation’s pages administered by just one individual — what if that person leaves or has an accident? — and show you how to overcome the problem.

And we help you choose your Facebook voice. How can you translate your brand personality into a consistent voice on Facebook? We talk you through the options and recommend what you need to do to make your brand come alive on Facebook — even if more than one person is regularly posting your updates.

2. Check out your competitors & your category
Once you’re established on Facebook, you need to find out what (if anything) your competitors are already doing on the social network — and what clever things others are doing in your product category, whether locally or internationally. We’ll also show you how to set up an online listening post that requires just ten minutes a day to keep you informed.

3. Create a “welcome” page
What happens when people come to your Facebook page for the very first time? You probably don’t want them to be thrust into conversations already in progress; at the very least you’ll want to welcome them, tell them what’s going on and perhaps even make them a special offer or two. We show you how to set up a welcome page and divert new arrivals there — and explore what you might like to feature on that welcome page.


4. Add extra product pages & features
Unless your Facebook presence is purely philanthropic, your end goal is probably to promote stuff to your visitors (and perhaps even sell some of it). We explore some of the options available to you on Facebook (including setting up your own online store within Facebook).

5. Add content to your wall
Before you start attracting visitors to your Facebook pages, you’ll want to provide something for them to look at when they get there. We look at how you can flesh out your pages quickly, using materials you prepared earlier (and even other peoples’ content that you can legitimately re-use).

6. Build a simple Facebook App
Applications are a popular way to punch above your weight on Facebook. We introduce you to some simple applications that you could use to get yourself noticed on the site and step you through the app-creation process.


7. Add a few followers
When anyone creates a new page on Facebook, the page starts out with 0 followers. We show you some smart ways to avoid the difficulty of trying to attract followers when it looks like you’re Norman NoFriends.

8. Claim your username
Once your page has 25 friends on Facebook, you can create a customised user address such as We show you how.

9. Use Facebook Ads to start attracting real followers
The objective of your Facebook presence is to develop a relationship with your fans and followers — but first you have to attract them. We explore some of the ways you can do that, including how to use Facebook Ads to speed up the early part of the process.


10. Start posting
Once you have some real customers and prospects following you, it’s time to start talking with them. We discuss how often you should be adding content to your Facebook pages and how you should structure your content for maximum effectiveness.

11. Connect & Share
Now that you have an operating presence on Facebook, it’s time to connect it with the rest of your digital world. We show you how to use Facebook Connect to link your other web activities to Facebook and how to use Open Graph protocols and metatags to share your content. We also show you how to minimise your workload by automating the process of cross-posting to and from Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other common platforms.

12. Start stalking & commenting
Marketing your brand on Facebook isn’t only about writing to your own pages. We show you how to browse Facebook and get noticed; and then attract the interested and curious back to your own social hideout.

A working presence on Facebook, with a solid foundation for continuing to build a following through the site.


  • Anyone who understands the principles of social media and wants to create an effective presence for their brand, organisation or cause on Facebook
  • Those who have already completed our Social Media Marketing course and now want a step-by-step programme for setting themselves up on Facebook

The next Facebook Kickstart programme launches on WEDNESDAY JUNE 23


The Facebook Kickstart programme has been developed by Michael Carney


This new Facebook Kickstart programme is available for $397 +GST. However we have an EARLY BIRD OFFER for bookings received by WEDNESDAY JUNE 16: PAY JUST $297+GST.

Bookings are confirmed on receipt of payment, which can be by cheque, bank deposit or credit card. We can raise an invoice in advance if you need it.

If you’d like to pay by Mastercard or Visa, please sign up through PayMate by clicking here.

If you would prefer to pay by cheque or bank deposit, or require an invoice before making payment, please send an email to michael(at) with your contact details.

(The service provider will be shown as Netmarketing Services Limited in your transaction and on your credit card statement).

1.    Your booking will be confirmed by email (if you have not received a confirmation within 24 hours, feel free to email michael(at)
2.    On Wednesday June 23 you will be supplied by email with the first part of your Facebook Kickstart programme.
3.    Follow-up lessons will be sent out over subsequent weeks.

Socialising Healthcare (in a media sort of way)

Healthcare marketers (especially in the US, but here as well) have struggled to adapt to new generation online marketing tools such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and websites, in the absence of regulatory guidelines for marketing in the new media space.

Exactly how do you provide the usual slab of “prescribing information” (often hundreds of words outlining the risks associated with a given remedy) in an environment such as Twitter (140 characters) or even Google Adwords (12 words)? Must any ‘fans’ of a pharmaceutical product provide written disclaimers before going viral with their endorsements?

Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will hold a two-day public hearing in November on how pharmaceutical companies use the web and social-media tools to market their products, the first step in establishing guidelines for drug makers in a Web 2.0 world.

“The FDA is evaluating how the statutory provisions, regulations, and policies concerning advertising and promotional labeling should be applied to product-related information on the Internet and newer technologies,” the meeting notice advises.

Our own regulators in New Zealand will doubtless be watching, assessing the outcome and determining whether to amend NZ regulations. However we suspect that if there is any change here, it’ll be slow.