Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Notes from Facebook f8 Developer Conference: The Open Graph

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Incredible show yesterday at the San Francisco Design Concourse! It brought me back to the first f8 3 years ago, which inspired Faceforce :). Major theme of the day was “the open graph” across the entire Internet that brings structure and semantics to the people we’re friends with and objects we’re connected to.

Four major announcements by Mark Zuckerberg & co:

1. Open graph - external web page owners can add a “like” button. That is, users can “like” anything on the Internet, not just Facebook Pages. The web pages a user “likes” can be marked up with semantic tags (say, a movie) which shows up on the user’s profile (in this case, under “favorite movies).”

Note: This is going to be HUGE for the semantic web (see my post on this from last September).

2. Social plugins - there are now different add-ons for external web pages which require only one line of html. Eg, display which of a user’s friends has already “liked” the web page being viewed or signed into the site using Facebook Connect, display Facebook menu bar at bottom of your web page which includes chat/notifications/etc.

3. Graph API - simplified, more features, including:

- OAuth2 implemented!
- Platform notifications when user updates profile, adds friends, etc. instead of having to keep polling and diff’ing.
- Grossly simplified access to JSON representations via /usernames/friends etc
- All public status msgs searchable

4. Policy changes. No longer a 24 hour limit on storing FB Connect user data!
Single unified user permissions screen instead of showing separate screen/dialogue box per permission needed.

Watch live streaming video from f8conference at

Very high-energy event. These announcements are very, very good news for brands and developers. It is VERY exciting for the future of the web! And of course great to see Facebook respond to our feedback with their actions without compromising the user experience.

Mike Vernal talking about the new Open Graph API

Platform engineer Mike Vernal talking about the new Open Graph API

Using Facebook to Grow Your Business

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Many thanks to everyone who joined us for our Feb 2 webinar on how to use Facebook to grow your business. I shared some of the insights from my new book, The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff. If you missed it, don’t worry. You can watch the recording here.

Blogger-in-Residence Steve King moderated and opened with some truly staggering statistics on just how significant Facebook has become:

· Over 100 million people in the US use Facebook

· The average person spends more time on Facebook than on any other single website

· Almost five percent of all online traffic today is on Facebook

The main message. As businesses, whatever size or industry we are in, we need to be where the customers are. And it’s becoming clear that the customers are on Facebook! Facebook is an incredible business tool because it has caused people to share more information about themselves than ever before – intimate details about their lifestyles, hobbies, and relationships. All of this information in turn is made available to businesses to target their advertising and messages.

Where to begin. It can be difficult and costly to drive traffic to a website. Instead of making your customers come to you, why not go to them on Facebook? A growing number of businesses are creating Facebook fan pages to replicate or even replace the functionality of their website. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. What is a Facebook fan page? A fan page is like your Facebook profile except for a business. It has a name, profile picture, and wall. Instead of friends, business pages have “fans.” For example, here is the fan page for my book. (Create your own by clicking here)The Facebook Era fan page

2. What is a fan? Fans can be anyone who chooses to associate with your company: customers, friends, employees, and most of all, potential future customers. The way you attract and retain fans is to consistently publish valuable wall updates which will appear if your fans’ News Feed. What do I mean by “valuable”? Well, instead of going for the hard sell on each wall post, try to link to and write about the things that matter to your customers. Provide helpful information and tips. Let your personality shine through. One small business owner I work with posts a funny joke every week to give his fans a break from their day.

3. How do I get more fans? After you have created a fan page, it’s a good idea to first invite friends, family and employees to become fans (click the “Suggest to friends” link below the fan page profile picture) so that by the time customers and prospects view the fan page, it already looks lively and exciting and they will be more likely to join in. By updating your page consistently- be it once a day or once a week, depending on how much you want to commit- your business can stay on people’s minds by showing up in their Facebook news feeds. Once you establish an expectation of how often you will update your page, make sure to follow through. Telling people about what’s going on in your company, and possibly offering special internet deals, will keep people interested and attract their friends to join as well.

Jonathan Smart, an Allstate insurance agent in Columbus, Georgia, wrapped up the webinar sharing his experiences on Facebook and using Hearsay 360, a Facebook small business application my company developed. Here is a summary of Jonathan’s advice:

· Facebook communications don’t have to be only business related. Facebook is different than other forms of customer outreach since it fuses personal relationships and business relationships in a way that forward-thinking companies can use wisely.

· For example, friendly happy birthday messages to clients through Facebook can make people feel a stronger personal connection to your company, and comments on people’s pages about some shared experience (nothing too personal or unprofessional, of course) can help show your company cares about their personal well-being.

I hope this webinar helped clear up some of the mystery surrounding Facebook and how to get started! Feel free to send me your questions on Twitter (I’m @clarashih) or on the book’s Facebook page!

Using Facebook to Grow Your Business (originally aired February 2, 2010)

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

The web recording has just been posted for the popular webinar I helped lead last week on “Using Facebook to Grow Your Business.” It features sixty minutes of Facebook trends and stats, specific examples and tips for small- and medium-sized businesses, and a case study from Jonathan Smart, an Allstate insurance agent in Columbus, Georgia who has really embraced Facebook for his business’s marketing and customer service efforts. Many thanks to MyVenturePad and SAP for sponsoring, and to everyone who joined us for the event!

Click here to watch the recording (you will be prompted to register first - sorry for the added step!)

MyVenturePad Webinar

Promotion Marketing Association Digital Summit - New York, New York 12.3.09

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

PMA Digital Summit 2009

I was in New York again last week keynoting the PMA Digital Summit (#pmadig09), held at Google NY headquarters. I was surprised that among the crowd of savvy New York-based marketers, my usual poll of who is on Facebook and Twitter revealed that fewer than 10% of audience members were on Twitter (everyone was on Facebook, obviously). Not what I would have expected from that group.

Opening remarks from conference chairs Elizabeth Apelles (President of Greater Than One, a digital agency) and Tim Reis (Head of CPG East at Google) kicked off the day with some interesting facts and stats - 64% of US households have broadband, US internet users spend on average 15 hours per week online, 2.67 billion searches conducted each day (my personal note: interesting to contrast that with the 8 billion minutes a day spent on Facebook across its 350M active users). Tim talked about the evolution of the web from information and communication from inception until the late 90s, commerce in early 2000s, and more recently community, self expression, and entertainment in the last few years. US e-commerce sales in 2008 totaled $131 billion which sounds like a large number but was still just 6% of all sales.

It was a good set-up for my keynote, which focused on Facebook as a new identity, communication, and marketing platform that is hypertargeted, opt-in, and social. My slides below, in case you are interested. Please let me know your thoughts!

Up next,  Ben Smith (@bensmith32) AKA “Bagel Ben” gave an excellent brand presentation about how Dunkin’ Donuts is engaging its fans through contests and promotions. For example, Ben came up with a cool “Fan of the Week” promo where fans are encouraged to submit photos of themselves with the Dunkin’ Donuts brand and each week, the winning photo gets featured on the Dunkin’ Donuts Facebook Page. His advice to brands? “Don’t outsource Twittering and Facebooking to your agency. It comes off as unauthentic, and you miss out on a key opportunity to connect with customers.”

Sean Hanrahan of ESPN gave a great presentation on mobile, showcasing some of ESPN’s new mobile apps for smartphones. The engagement numbers he shared were astounding. Sports broadcasting is definitely a different beast. Some other interesting points - though the ESPN audience heavily skews male, it is otherwise very diverse and single-handedly one of the most popular applications for Hispanic men.

One of my favorites of the day was a highly entertaining session by Seth Kaufman of @pepsi, who characterized  it best:
“With social media, the deers have guns. Those that we hunt are controlling the conversation.” He talked about how we have gone from brands defining meaning for customers to the reverse. The four social media goals he has established at Pepsi are to 1) increase effectiveness via deeper connections and customer engagement, 2) increase efficiency via targeting, 3) innovate across media platforms, and 3) measure, scorecard, improve. I appreciated that he is one of the only people I have ever heard who wove traditional media into the social media conversation that makes total sense.

Overall, a great show with a great line-up!

My presentation at Facebook Developer Garage London

Monday, October 19th, 2009

I had a wonderful time speaking at Facebook Developer Garage London last month. Many thanks to Joshua March and Grant Bell for organizing a terrific event and packing the house! Here is video of my presentation from the event (intended for a developer-oriented audience) on what not to do in the Facebook Era.

Announcing: Open Registration for my Facebook Marketing Workshop on Oct. 22

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

With so many ways to build presence and engage on Facebook, many of you have been asking for a more hands-on accelerated introduction to cover the full Facebook marketing landscape.

I am partnering with Inside Facebook to offer an intensive two-hour (online) crash course a week from today on Thursday, October 22. Final registration at $149 opens today at 8am PST/11am EST and ends next Wednesday or when the workshop is sold out. Hope to see many of you there!

Facebook Marketing Workshop

book signing at stanford university bookstore, april 27 at 6:30pm

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Host:     Stanford Technology Ventures Program
Date:     Monday, April 27, 2009
Time:    6:30pm - 8:00pm
Location:     Stanford University Bookstore, 519 Lasuen Mall, Stanford, CA