Leveraging New Facebook Tools and Page Functionality

Katie Harbath, Facebook’s associate manager for policy and UW-Madison alumna, visited campus on Thursday to talk to campus social media leaders about social campaigns. A few highlights:

Facebook pages now show engagement as well as likes.
Historically,Facebook displayed the number of fans who had liked a page. However, Facebook News Feed algorithms value fans’ engagement with content over a page’s number of likes. Thus, the new emphasis on fan engagement (“# are talking about this”) should help steer new page admins in the right direction — toward fan engagement.

Facebook Insights will soon show shares by point of origin.
Have you ever wondered how a fan of your page initially became a fan? Fan page Insights will soon tell you whether users’ like originated from your page, your website, etc.

Customizable Open Graph tags will allow admins to customize the like button beyond “like” or “recommend.”
Fans will be able to interact with a brand or organization in more specific ways. Example: “John donated to Your Organization,” rather than “John likes Your Organization.”

Facebook Registration Plugin takes event registration functionality beyond the limitations of Facebook Events.
If you’re in any way involved in event planning, the Registration Plugin could become a viable alternative to custom event registration forms or Eventbrite-like products. Attendees can choose whether to use certain email addresses (e.g., Yahoo, Google) or their Facebook information to register. I’ll be interested to see whether any colleges or universities adopt this functionality for prospective student applications.

I’ll close with a quote from Harbath: “Each Facebook like drives 4 to 5 additional people to visit your page.” And that is exactly why we have to keep the innovation and customized content coming.

On Steve Jobs’ Death

Last night, as I scanned Twitter on our iPad, one tweet piqued my curiosity. It said “You will be missed, Steve Jobs.” At first, I thought someone was just lamenting his departure from Apple. But as I scanned the stream of tweets, I soon realized that the Apple co-founder had died. It’s not every day that you learn about someone’s death on a device he or she had invented.

I’m sure we’ll be seeing more and more multimedia content that pays tribute to Jobs over the next few days, but these two homepage tributes (from Apple and Wired) stood out to me as elegant approaches to announcing Jobs’ death.

What multimedia content or approaches have you seen that do justice to Jobs’ extraordinary life?

Thinking Like a Designer (or Communicator)

Designers need to communicate well and problem solve for systems and strategy. Communicators need to think visually.

Ever since I made the jump from graphic design to communications, I’ve noticed that the best designers have a lot to say about communicating successfully. On the other side of the coin, successful communicators think visually — much like designers.

The successful designer thinks about how a project fits within the framework of the larger organizational brand and supports the way the institution or company speaks — its written voice. It’s easy to start each project in a vacuum and go with the most creative solution possible. But it’s much more effective to look for a creative solution that conforms to the constraints of the existing brand.

The successful communicator considers how to share important information through a variety of interlaced channels, and targets each audience appropriately. That could mean short, direct approaches (bullet points!) online and detailed, targeted approaches offline. The easy approach here would be to re-purpose content across platforms and hope for the best. But targeted, platform-sensitive solutions are better. In designer speak, “the medium is the message.”

To learn from a designer who thinks like a communicator, visit ideasonideas.
To learn from a communicator who thinks like a designer, visit Less Clutter. Less Noise.