What is Social Media?

Entries in Facebook (7)


LinkedIn pulls a "Facebook" - How to get LinkedOut!

Did LinkedIn just pull a "Facebook" privacy move?

LinkedIn has recently changed user privacy settings, by default, to give it permision to include photos, posts and related activities of LinkedIn Users together with third party paid advertising. Thus making the user an implied endorser of a company, product or service, without his/her explicit consent.

The actual text reads as follows: 

This change was made to users privacy settings without any public notification.

In an age of transparency and the need to trust the owners of social media platforms, this was a ham-fisted way of gaining permission to use (abuse) LinkedIn Users' images and implied affiliations in order to shift more advertising.

There are plenty of people that would love to have the exposure of being included in paid advertising that is served up to the LinkedIn community. LinkedIn did not need to try and "sneak" this new permission into their relationship with the users that pay the freight and create the demand.

When will the owners of social media platforms learn to trust the users as much as they expect the users to trust them?


Since this was posted, LinkedIn reacted to the negative feedback it received from its users and issued an apology and a change to how the ads display. However, all users are still opted-in! 

It is good to see that LinkedIn responds quickly to its users, however, the real right thing to do in this case is auto-opt out all users and ask those that want to participate in the program to opt-in.

There are more than enough people that want to share their interests that LinkedIn does not need to force the users into the option. It is this kind of forced sharing that prompts the user community to look for alternatives like Google+.

By failing to opt-out all members, they have missed an opportunity to do the really right thing and regain the trust of their users.

Read the official LinkedIn response here.


How to Unsubscribe from LinkedIn Social Advertising

If you want to know how to unsubscribe, the following steps describe the process:

  1. Click on your name at the upper right hand side of the LinkedIn home page when you are logged in. then Click on "Settings".
  2. On the Settings page, click on "Account"
  3. Click on "Manage Social Advertising to get to the page where you can choose to opt-out.


Once on the page, simply un-check the box and save. 


Is GOOGLE+ the missing link?

Do Need a GOOGLE+ invite? request one from tbarkan@socialstrat.orgyou feel that Facebook is just too social?

Do you struggle to use LinkedIn effectively?

Hate the idea of “tweeting” every fleeting thought?

You might just find the new GOOGLE+ is the missing link you didn’t realize you were missing!

GOOGLE+ is the newly unveiled social application that fills a very unique and important niche in the social media landscape that is currently dominated by the big 3 of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Even in its just released Beta version, GOOGLE+ has gotten a lot of things right. In GOOGLE fashion, it has made its solution simple, clean and intuitive. I think GOOGLE+ is going to be very attractive, even to social media skeptics that are put off by Facebook’s hyper social/casual interface, LinkedIn’s increasing narrow application and Twitter’s flotsam of never ending status updates (I mean who can really “follow” 1,000+ contacts?).

Circles of Influence

GOOGLE+ is an incredibly easy and intuitive way to organize connections and contacts by allocating them to “Circles” like family, friends, business contacts or any category you care to define for your various classes of contacts and connections. The way that GOOGLE+ has provided this feature is both natural and easy to apply and is visually easy to organize.

Let’s Huddle and Hangout!

One of the most powerful features of the new GOOGLE+ is the ability to collaborate with multiple colleagues, right from within the circles you have created. For example, you might have a “finance team” circle that needs to work on your annual budget. Using GOOGLE+ it becomes incredibly easy to share documents, use live chat or to hold a video conference with up to 10 simultaneous participants. Whatever the purpose, the point is that real collaboration is very easy and spontaneous, even if the participants are using different devices (PC, Android and Apple for example).

Sparks of Interest

Making use of GOOGLE’s powerful search engine, you have the ability to follow any topic or item you choose. You also have the ability to share the interesting links you find with individual circles or with all of your contacts. This is an easy way to keep track of ongoing topics that you want to monitor right from your GOOGLE+ profile page and includes links to web pages, blogs, videos or any other media you can find on the web.  

The bottom line…

GOOGLE+ seems to span the gap between being too social and public (Facebook and Twitter) and having too narrow a use (LinkedIn and LinkedIn Groups). For someone like myself who tends to use social media for professional and business purposes, GOOGLE+ let’s me feel comfortable to use it for professional purposes while managing more social contacts.

For associations that have established Facebook pages and LinkedIn groups, there is no feature yet in GOOGLE+ to establish a corporate page. However, as a collaboration and communication tool, it looks to be a great solution for internal teams, committees, task forces, member special interest groups or any other application where a defined group of like minded people want a really easy to use tool to share information, collaborate  and communicate in real time.

GOOGLE+ is worth a look, even by the most ardent social media skeptics!


Need a GOOGLE+ invite? Just send me a request at tbarkan@socialstrat.org!



Is data protection in the EU about to get even tougher?

If your organization holds data for European Union citizens or does business in the EU, then you need to know about current and potential EU legislation for the holding and use of personal data.

The EU already has one of the strongest frameworks for protecting citizen privacy and is contemplating changes to make the law stricter especially for online properties like LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, etc.

The following links are to sources of information about current legislation and to comments from Viviane Reding, EU Justice Commissioner, about making protections even stronger. (note: copy and paste links into a browser window).

Bloomberg article



EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding's official information and webpage



EU Data Protection: links to description of the laws, enforcing agencies and related items



EU Data Protection Article 29 Task Force links and resources



Practical Tips for Managing LinkedIn and Facebook (on Top of Everything Else)

Reprinted with permission. Copyright 2011 ASAE, Washington, DC. Originally published in Communication News, February 2011. www.asaenet.org

By: Carol Meerschaert


I bet you've never thought to yourself, "I'd like more work to do." So how can you possibly accomplish everything and manage your association's LinkedIn group and Facebook page as well?

You need not be an expert; you just need some expertise. You can stay on top of the important tasks by using two acronyms I've developed. Just take it FAST and take it SLOW and here we go.

FAST: Frequency, Access, Statistics, Templates


Always remember: Social media moves quickly; you snooze, you lose. So, build short time slots into your daily schedule for checking and updating your groups (LinkedIn) and pages (Facebook). For example, schedule 10-minute slots three times a day.

Set up auto-notifications so that you know when someone writes on your Facebook wall or posts a discussion on LinkedIn. The easiest response: Just "like" the post.

Post at least a couple of times a week to keep things fresh. It will give your audience something to react to and set standards for the sort of content they should deliver.


Keep in mind that it's very easy to create controlled access to your group. At the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association, we position our members-only LinkedIn group as a member benefit, and more than half of our members belong to it.

Speed things up by multitasking. I process 10 to 20 requests to join per week. That takes about 10 minutes total and can be done while I'm on a conference call so it is not a time sink.

Save even more time by uploading your new members into the group as they join to make them preapproved. What if you don't have the bandwidth to check member status? Just make yours an open group.

Recruit volunteers to serve as page admins on Facebook and managers of the group on LinkedIn. These volunteers can help seed discussions and monitor what's posted.

Just be sure to take the time to write out guidelines so everyone is clear on what's OK.

Stay fresh without being annoying. Our Facebook fan page grows steadily. We keep status updates steady—but not obnoxiously frequent—by announcing major events and posting photos of the events afterward. We also post a notice when new videos appear on our YouTube channel. This kind of regular posting takes less than two hours a week.


Keep track of what gets the most interest and when. Social media come with boatloads of free statistics worth a thousand words. I ran a couple of Facebook ads and found that our clicks came almost exclusively on Friday and the weekend. So guess when I post things on Facebook? How is your group growing? How's engagement? Do people post discussions? Do photos get more clicks than links? Are shorter posts more popular? Use the stats to guide you so you can give members what they want and stop wasting time posting things they don't care for.


Use the template feature in your LinkedIn group to set up and send automatic responses. You can use templates for requests to join, for approvals, and when you decline membership. I'm a big fan of "one and done." I even have a template for when I have to remove job postings from our group. (We don't allow them, preferring to drive traffic to our online career center instead.)

Now it's time to go …

SLOW: Search, Links, Outreach, Work


Always think search engine optimization. Instead of typing out URLs or remembering to bookmark sites before clicking away, many people simply Google a short descriptor. When someone searches for "HBA," I don't want the first page of results to be about the Hawaiian Bible Association or health and beauty aids. Your social media will enhance your SEO by adding incoming links to your site. Check how you're doing by searching for your organization on LinkedIn and Facebook. Set up a Google Alert account to see when and where your organization is being mentioned.


Keep in mind that the fastest, easiest way to get social media content is to post links from your website to LinkedIn and Facebook. You'll save a ton of time, get the message across, and drive traffic to your website. Copy and paste is all it takes.


Don't spend any more time and money than you have to on member acquisition. Using social media makes acquisition better, faster, cheaper. Chances are that friends of your members on Facebook and connections on LinkedIn are also in your target market. Use ads on these sites to target by geography, career level, and employer. You can view the results in a minute each day and alter if needed to reach your goal. This is so much easier than the "spray and pray" bulk mail methods of the last century.

Allow chapters to have their own Facebook pages. The HBA Greater Philadelphia chapter is a shining example of how to engage members using Facebook. The volunteers ask event speakers to post engagement questions before an event, discuss key points from the event, and then post photos afterward. Although this chapter was started just four years ago, it reached 1,000 members in 2010.


Enjoy the many ways social media lets you work smarter. Using social media has not only allowed us to decrease the number of eblasts we send, but it has increased member engagement. It lets our chapters that don't have one of our signature programs (women in transition, women in science) to connect their members to our larger community.

I cannot directly attribute our membership growth to social media alone, but in the year I have been with the HBA, we have increased from 5,000 to nearly 6,000 members, even as we've experienced what probably was the most tumultuous year in the healthcare industry. Facebook and LinkedIn are two more tools for your toolbox. Learn to use them efficiently and they'll help you to reach out to a new audience, engage members, and drive traffic to your website.

Carol Meerschaert is director of marketing and communications at the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association in Fairfield, New Jersey. She'll share her volunteer guidelines with you if you email her at carolm@hbanet.org

Carol is also a member of the Linked Users LinkedIn Group. Join other online community owners and managers at: LinkedUsers


Facebook and a "20' something with a nose ring" is not a social media strategy!

A surprisingly large number of organizations are using a Facebook site, managed by a millenial generation junior staff person, as their organization’s approach to social media. Not that there is anything wrong with Facebook or with millenial’s or with junior staff people. It’s just that they are not a substitute for a business strategy on how to use social media for most professional or trade associations.


There is so much hype about how social media is changing society and in particular, about how associations are facing the most serious threat yet to the way they are doing business and even their very existence, that it is intimidating for many. Some of the hype is true – social media is changing how associations need to operate and in many cases the changes are life threatening for traditional associations. However, there is also a great deal of confusion because of the proliferation of new tools and the many very disparate ways they are being used to connect people. The tools are important but they can also be a distraction from creating the necessary strategy if you start with tools and features first.

What associations need to remember is that associations are all about creating community, something that is new to most of the new entrants in the social media space. What associations should also keep in mind is that social media is first and foremost an engagement strategy, something that associations also have as part of their DNA. 

What is different and what many associations are going to struggle with however, is that social media tools require a new and evolving skill set to be leveraged effectively. For example, association staff are often expected to create and generate content for their association. In the new social media context, it is more about user generated content and enabling more autonomy in the community at large. Staff have then to learn more how to influence and manage thought leaders and experts who then create content and less on creating it themselves. This can be a significant and difficult change for many. They have to become true “community managers”, a position that will include subject matter understanding, political skills and excellent communication capabilities.
Social media applications and tools offer an exciting and new way to enable real engagement within communities of interest. But if you want to make intelligent choices about which tools are appropriate for which purposes, it helps first to know what you want to achieve through social media and how best to do it. That is what a social media strategy is all about and it is the starting point, before making technology decisions.