I wanted to share something that happened over the past few days in one of my Facebook groups. It’s a frightening and cautionary tale but fortunately one with a happy ending… at least for one person.

On Monday, one of our members, Dave Jackson, posted that Facebook had shut down his Page without an explanation. No warning — just poof — it was gone.

“My page has been deleted by Facebook. Logged in today and got FB message that as administrator the terms and conditions had been violated. I can’t imagine what they didn’t like about what I was doing. I was the sole admin. What is my first step in finding out how to get it reinstated? Please help!”

He’d gotten no previous warnings and knew he hadn’t done anything that would have warranted such an action. He appealed but was told the decision was final and the Page was gone forever and could not be reinstated. Facebook suggested he start a new Page and avoid the mistake that had cost him the first one, whatever that was.

Hi Dave,

Thank you for reaching out to us. The decision by our Pages team to delete your Page for violating terms and conditions is final and the Page cannot be reinstated as the Page no longer exists. You can create another Page in the future if you would like and can learn more about our Terms and Policies here: https://www.facebook.com/policies/

Thank you,

Jim
Global Marketing Solutions
Facebook

Not knowing what to do next, he asked for our help. Several of us offered suggestions and a few even suggested starting over, but it was our friend, Christian Karasiewicz, who stepped up and reached out to his contacts at Facebook on Dave’s behalf. Yesterday, Dave received the following email from Facebook.

Hi Dave,

Thanks for reaching out. After investigation, there was an error with our Page take down process and this Page has been restored.

To clarify further, this was taken down after a request by a brand to remove infringing content. However, your Page is not representing another brand, so this should have not been removed. We’ve started an audit of our process here and hope to make significant improvements to the messaging and appeals process moving forward- we’re sorry that this impacted you how it did. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Thanks,

Ryan
Global Marketing Solutions
Facebook

So, Facebook lied in the first place and the Page was not gone forever and they also admitted to making a ridiculous mistake. Hopefully the audit of their process will result in a better system but what about the hundreds or thousands of other Facebook Pages that have been shut down for bogus reasons just because a competitor or enemy or wacko decided to report the Page? How is it possible that a Page can be reported for a violation and then be shut down without an investigation? Obviously, in this case, no one even looked at the Facebook Page or it would have been obvious there was no “infringing content”.

But, the good news is that Dave got his Page back and I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our members in both of my groups for being so willing to help other members. I’m proud to be able to provide a place where this kind of thing can happen, and equally proud of everyone who helps make it happen.

Cheers,
Hugh Briss

 

Here’s the link to the post in my open Facebook group if you’d like to follow the story from beginning to end. 

I also have a private Facebook group called Social Media Masterminds, where I bring together social media professionals to collaborate; sharing their expertise as well as learning from each other.

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If you have ever added an admin to your Facebook Page, or been added as an admin, it’s quite likely that at some point you had an issue with the process. In the past, a person had to Like the Page before they could be made an admin but that changed recently and we no longer need to Like the Page first. If everything works as it should, we receive a notification on Facebook as well as in an email that we’ve been invited to become an admin of the Page. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work the way it should and even though the person who invited you sees “pending” on their admin page, you never get the notification. Oh no, now what do you do? Simple. Just visit this page and you should see the invitation you need to accept right at the top of the page above all the Page Like invitations.

admin-invites

HT to NavNeet Sau and NiTish DhiMan for sharing this tip with me in my Facebook group.

 


LinkedIn introduced what they call Showcase Pages back in November but they’ve only been available to a select few. Recently, however, it appears that LinkedIn has made them available to anyone, as long as they have a Company page first. LinkedIn suggests using them as an adjunct to your primary Company page so the idea is that if you’re a large company with lots of divisions or product lines, you might want to have one for each division and build a following for each product. Personally, I think it makes more sense to use a Showcase page as your primary page and I’m going to show you why.

linkedin-compare

For the most part, Company pages and Showcase pages work the same way. You post updates that appear in the followers’ home page feeds where they can click to read the full post as well as Like, Comment and Share, just like they can on personal updates. But, here are a few very important differences, beyond the obvious visual appeal of the Showcase page.

1. If you include some keywords in the Showcase page name it will appear in LinkedIn searches both for the company name as well as for those particular keywords. For example, instead of just naming my Showcase page “Social Identities”, like I did for my company page, I used “Social Media Graphics by Social Identities”. That means my page can be found by people searching for “social identities” but also, and more importantly, for “social media graphics”.

linkedin-search

2. Showcase Pages look like the Facebook and Google+ pages everyone is so used to seeing and that makes them feel familiar and I think that makes it more likely you’ll get a Follow.

3. The header banner — LinkedIn calls it the Hero Image — is big and the company logo and Follow buttons are incorporated into the header instead of being slapped awkwardly on the top of the page. The larger image is more impressive and also gives you more room for your marketing message.

4. Updates appear in two columns on the Showcase Page and there is no distracting right column that shows ads and other pages that might be competitors.

5. On the Showcase page the link to your website appears directly below the company/page description and is immediately visible, whereas on the Company Page you need to click “see more” to get to it.

Here are some more examples of LinkedIn Showcase pages:

linkedin-showcase-4

To get started, visit your LinkedIn company page, click the blue “Edit” button and select “Create a Showcase Page” from the drop down. If you need more in-depth help or ideas download the free guide, The Unoffical Guide to LinkedIn Showcase Pages.

I would be honored if you followed me on LinkedIn and if you need a custom header image designed for your LinkedIn Company and/or Showcase page, you can order here.

 


You’ve probably noticed by now that Twitter has become more visual, now that images we post on Twitter are shown in the feed without having to click a link. You may have also noticed that the images are not as tall relative to their width as the typical horizontal (landscape) photo is and even if you post a landscape oriented photo, the top and bottom gets cut off. So, I have a couple suggestions.

First, don’t post vertical (portrait) photos and images unless there’s a really good reason because viewers will need to click the “Expand” link to see the whole image. Second, when you post landscape oriented photos and images, size them to 2 x 1 proportions. That means they are exactly twice as wide as they are tall. I like to use 1024 x 512 pixels because when someone clicks the image on the desktop they’ll see a larger version, but anything over 500 pixels wide should be okay.

 



Someone sent me a screenshot from their Android Galaxy phone this morning showing the voice commands help page for the Google Now app, (similar to Siri) because they were surprised at the name they saw in the “Send email” example. Someone else then sent me a link to the help page on the web and the same name is there.

Click the image to view at actual size. And lest you think this screenshot is Photoshopped, feel free to take a look at the actual page.

google-voice-screen

 

 


When most people upload an image for a social media network like Google+ or Facebook they usually go by how it looks on their own monitor, but there’s a problem with that approach when it comes to our Google+ cover photos because there are variables that can affect the actual dimensions of the image on the screen. Unlike Facebook, where the image is a fixed size no matter the size of the viewers monitor, Google went with a responsive design and the image shrinks and expands as the monitor size increases. In addition, depending on whether the viewer sees 2 or 3 columns or the bio in the profile box to the left of the cover image is 2 lines or 3, the sides of the image can be cropped. So, even though your fancy new cover looks great to you on your monitor, it may look different to someone on a smaller or larger monitor, or on a mobile app.

Here are some screenshots showing how my Google+ page looks at several popular resolutions as well as on Android and iPhones. You’ll notice that more or less of the overall width is visible, depending on the monitor resolution. Click on any of the images to view at actual size.

1024x768

1024 x 768

1366x768

1366 x 768

1600x900

1600 x 900

1920x1080

1920 x 1080

android

Android App. Entire image is visible, unlike on an iPhone. Don’t ask me why.

iphone

iPhone. Sadly, as you can see, unlike the Android app, the iPhone shows a very small portion of the entire overall image so trying to design something that works on an iPhone is just a compromise I’m not willing to make.

Here’s a template I created that indicates a safe area that will be visible to anyone. I recommend keeping anything important, like text, inside the safe area. To download the template, click the image below and download the full size image that opens. The maximum size for a cover image is 2120 x 1192 but the size recommended by Google is 1080 x 608 and that’s the size I design for.

Download this free Google+ cover photo template that works for all monitor resolutions.

For those of you with Photoshop, click here to download a layered psd file.

 


page-cover-banner1

Did you know that every time you update your Page cover it shows up in your fans’ News Feeds? Seems like a great opportunity for marketing, except for one problem. If you’ve added a description for the image it doesn’t show up along with the image in the update like it would when you post a photo normally. Solution? Make sure people know to click the image.

If you add an obvious call to action, like “Click Here” to the cover image, that image suddenly looks just like a banner ad and people are going to click it. When they do, as long as you’ve added some marketing text as the description for that image, it’s going to appear next to it when it opens in the photo viewer, links and all.

page-cover-banner3

It’s not a bad idea to have that call to action visible to everyone who views your Page Timeline, but just in case you’d rather be more subtle, here’s a little trick; just put the CTA in the spot that will be covered by your profile photo. No one will see it when they view your Timeline but it will be there when your fans see the “updated their cover photo” post.

page-cover-banner2

 


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Is your brand rock solid or more like Jello; sort of transparent and a bit wobbly? Is your branding consistent in everything you do? Remember, your brand isn’t just the face on the company but the voice behind it too. If it quivers, people will stop listening. If the face is always changing, people won’t remember who you are.

First, you need to know who you are and why you do what you do, then you need to be able to show people who you are and convince them you’re the best at what you do, and ultimately, you need them to remember who you are and have an almost compulsive need to tell their friends who you are.

Think about your favorite brands and ask yourself if they’re your favorite because their product or service is better than other choices, or because they’re exceptional at branding themselves and building your trust and loyalty? Is Quaker State really better than Pennzoil or Mobil or have they just established a solid and lasting brand that led grandfathers to recommend Quaker State to their sons and daughters who grew up and now recommend Quaker State to their children?

 


I’m sure we can all agree that the comment system on YouTube is out of control, and has been for a long time, and the primary reason is that anyone can comment (troll and spam) anonymously. So, yesterday, Google announced that they are rolling out a major update and the comments will be tied into Google+ pages. This should cut down on the hate comments and the spam will stop, right? Um… wrong. All they need is an anonymous Google+ page, D’oh!

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