Using PinPoint Social for Facebook “Like” Contest 0

Using PinPoint Social for Facebook “Like” Contest

Posted by on Sep 26, 2011 in socialmedia

I’ve been a huge fan since my days as a Facebook application “developer” – they do amazing applications that seem to rise above the rest in terms of stability and thought to business/marketing needs. My love of Involver has blinded me to the flood of similar companies and product lines that are on the market: Buddy Media, North Social and PinPoint Social to name a few.

We recently worked with PinPoint on a promotion designed to increase fans on a new Facebook Page. I haven’t been closely involved with the project and haven’t seen the backend of PinPoint’s software, but I’m fairly impressed with the frontend experience.

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“Hella Drop Shadow”: Presenting and Teaching in the Era of the Backchannel #HighEdWebNotes

Posted by on Nov 20, 2010 in conference, higher ed, opinion, pseweb, socialmedia


As Twitter’s growth and hype continue, it seems like everyone is getting in on the act — athletes, actors, politicians, and even educators are joining the virtual conversation. But what happens when that virtual conversation becomes the main event? How should presenters and educators prepare themselves for this reality? And what responsibilities do audience members have when thoughts shared amongst friends can suddenly become “trending topics?’ Join us for a conversation focused on the need to understand how the crowd in the cloud and the sage on the stage can coexist to create an environment of engagement, respect, and conversation, including first-hand observations of some recent “tweckling” incidents (some closer to home than others).


  • Robin Smail, Disruptive Technologist, Penn State University
  • Patti Fantaske, IT Specialist, Information Technology Services, Penn State University

  • Lori Packer, Web Editor, University of Rochester


How powerful is it? Of all the ppl who weren’t here last year, only one person hadn’t heard about “hella drop shadow” (aka the Great Keynote Meltdown of 2009).

Backchannel has always been around:

  • now we have a megaphone
  • no longer contained to geo-physical space
  • not just public, it is pseudo permanent. It is findable.

Social media is forcing us to change how we do things.

Monitor the online and in room backchannel – speakers are partnering to watch each other’s back(channel)s.

The days of fifteen bullet points per slide are over: unless of course you are using an accepted new technology such as Google Wave, or Prezi.

Challenge for speakers is to be compelling enough for the audience to pay attention.

Are presentations many to many now?

There needs to be a referee – an ombudsperson – who stops and says there is a question on Twitter, please answer it.

Backchannel in the Classroom:

  • Hotseat – participate via Twitter or Facebook, via laptop or mobile. Purdue University
  • Harvard Question Answer
  • Goal with software is to not require users to change their behaviour.

Backchannel can go bad on good speakers:  “spectacle at web 2.0 expo … from my perspective” (dannah boyd)

  • dannah is a brilliant academic and sought after speaker who had a negative backchannel experience when presenting at web2.0 expo (she was the only academic speaker at the event and her format was much different than that of the non-academic speakers)

The same way we can tweak online ads from day to day, minute to minute to get the best performance possible … Conferences/events can use the backchannel to provide the best experience possible.  They can protect the speaker, act as a moderator, and can act on issues impacting the experience of the attendees. i.e. Mark is able to hear the wifi isn’t working and get it fixed.

With danah boyd, did the organizers fail? Putting the backchannel onscreen with the speaker – taking away the audiences choice whether to pay attention to the speaker or go into the backchannel. dannah also didn’t know the set up of the stage/backchannel screen until she got onto stage.  Is enough thought going into the physical and tech set up at events? Over and over speakers can’t see their slides, the screen is too dark, or in this case, the panelists are behind a podium and can’t be seen by the audience.  At eduweb09, the podium where my laptop was setup was about 20 metres from the screen where the slides were shown – to point to the slides, I had to jog across the stage and talk and point, and then jog back across to click forward to the next slide.  Could have been improved if screen and podium were closer to each other, or if a laser pointer had been provided, or if the speaker had a remote control clicker.

As a speaker, I have a choice to be scared or to take control and own (the backchannel).

The audience is the paying customer.

Rule with radio, television is that when it goes south – you end it. No matter how long the session is supposed to be. Used to be at you walked out, now people enjoy watching the crash too much to look away.

My take from hella drop shadow at #heweb09 was that the speaker and his content did not match the audience.  Maybe he was a poor selection, or maybe (definitely) he was poorly prepared (for us).  It is critical to know who you are talking to – what they know, what are they interested in, what’s their background. That said, was there any value in leaving the speaker on stage? He couldn’t be heard, his slides were sloppy and unprofessional, and his content was out of date and self-driven.  I’ve never taken a speaker off stage, but I’ve definitely considered it and watched the backchannel and audience for cues that things were headed South.  Would I have the guts to stand up and end a presentation if it were of no value to the audience and damaging to the speaker? I hope so – but I haven’t yet.

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Bootlegger: Email + Facebook + Contest 2

Bootlegger: Email + Facebook + Contest

Posted by on Nov 8, 2010 in higher ed, howto, marketing, pseweb, socialmedia

Just got this email from Bootlegger – it caught my eye for two reasons.  First, it uses a Custom FBML tab that displays differently depending on whether or not the visitor is a fan. Second, I really like the way that the display images uses white spacing.

Bootlegger Jeans Facebook Page - Custom FBML Tab - Non-Fan View

Above: The Bootlegger Fan Page if you aren’t a fan …

Take a look at the display picture.  It is very simple, but the spacing between the photo of the models, and the brand creative below the photo, makes it seem like Bootlegger has managed to earn themselves two display images instead of one.  Because Facebook has a white background – all you’ve got to do is throw in some white spacing and fake it.

Below: The Bootlegger Fan Page if you are a fan …

Bootlegger Jeans Facebook Page - Custom FBML Tab - Fan View

Here’s what’s going on: Facebook is checking to see whether each visitor is a Facebook Fan of Bootlegger.  If they are a fan, then they are shown specific content.  If they are not a fan, they are shown completely different content.

I think this is really effective! What could be more clear than the giant LIKE with a big blue arrow.  It is also very easy to do

A few more screenshots:

Bootlegger Jeans Website - Contest Landing / Registration Page

Above: The contest landing page for Bootlegger’s become a fan and win a $500 shopping spree contest.

Below: The email campaign sent out to Bootlegger’s customer database, promoting the shopping spree contest.

Bootlegger Jeans Contest Promo Email

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Tips, Apps & Services for Facebook Page Creation & Management 1

Tips, Apps & Services for Facebook Page Creation & Management

Posted by on Oct 27, 2010 in howto, iveywebteam, marketing, pseweb, socialmedia


The first step to creating your Facebook Page is to decide on the name/title of the page.  Once you create the page, the title is permanent and cannot be changed.  You will want to consider how the title will look a) on the Facebook Page, b) in the newsfeed of fans, and c) in search results.  There is usually more than one way that people will search for you.  They may search by a full name of your brand, or they may use an acronym.  The name of your brand may not include major keywords that your audience is likely to search on (i.e. “Melissa Cheater” is only going to work as a title if people already know my name – I would get better reach if I included words such as social media, higher education, consultant somewhere in the page title).  When possible while still ending up with a name that will look professional as a title and in newsfeeds, try to include as many key terms as you can in your Facebook Page Title

Screenshot of contact information in left column of Facebook Page


Individual Facebook users are able to send private messages to each other.  Facebook has not yet added the ability for users to send private messages to Pages.

In order to make sure you are as accessible as possible to your audience, I recommend including your email and phone number prominently on your Facebook Page.

I usually include contact information on the Info tab, as well as in the text/quote box in the left column of the page.


Facebook allows pages to set up short URL’s.  For example, Ivey’s main Facebook Page can be found at – rather than the long numerical URL that Facebook gives it by default.  In order to set up your short URL (Facebook calls these usernames), your page needs to be published and have a minimum of 25 fans. A strong argument for jumping into Facebook and getting your page set up and published would be to reserve this short URL for your brand (similar to protecting a domain name).

When you are ready, visit to set up your Facebook Short URL.

HOOTSUITE is a service that allows multiple people to maintain and monitor multiple social media profiles.  I use Hootsuite to:

  • Post updates to my brand’s twitter and facebook profiles (at the same time, or separately)
  • Monitor keyword terms related to my brand
  • Set up automatic updates from RSS feeds to my brand’s twitter and facebook profiles
  • Track whether the links in my social network updates are clicked by my audience.

You can add other staff/team members and give them access to update accounts as well.  Doing this through Hootsuite (or a similar service such as cotweet) allows you to work as a team to monitor social media properties, with less chance of tripping over each other.

Hootsuite is available on your computer as an HTML5 powered website, as well as an iPhone application.


Facebook is great about allowing you to set up automatic updates to your page via an RSS feed.  Unfortunately, only one RSS feed is allowed and sometimes you will want to have items from multiple feeds pushed through.  Yahoo! Pipes and ChimpFeedr are two services that allow you to combine RSS feeds into a single feed.  Key differences between the two are that once you create your combined feed with ChimpFeedr, you cannot go back and edit the source feeds – while on Yahoo! Pipes, you can edit the source and much more.  Yahoo! Pipes is an incredibly powerful system (pro) and can be a bit overwhelming/complicated (con).  If all you need to do is smash two or more feeds together, ChimpFeedr will do the trick nicely. will allow you to link multiple RSS feeds to your social media profiles.  Thanks to this, I no longer aggregate feeds in order to push them to Facebook and Twitter.


Sometimes you will want to know each time a page somewhere on the Internet is updated.  There are a few services that will let you drop in the URL of the page and then will email you each time the page is changed – here is one:

These last two are applications that can be added to your Facebook Page. You can add these by logging in, navigating to the page, going to Edit Page, and then scrolling to the base of the edit screen and clicking Browse More Applications and searching for the application that you would like to add.  It’s a bit awkward and clunky, but that’s just how Facebook seems to do things.


This application lets you add tabs to your page that you can populate with your own custom HTML content.



This application is designed to monitor your page for offensive content posted by users onto your page.  While Facebook allows users to be notified by email when there are new comments on their profiles, it does not offer the same notification service for pages.  I use Defensio to provide this sort of notification.  The application asks you what words you would like it to watch for and notify you about. I entered common punctuation as the words I want to monitor (.,-!?).  The end result is that any time anyone posts anything to the page with one of these punctuation characters, I receive an email letting me know that there is new user content posted onto my page.

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