Asif Anwar is a Search, Social, & Internet Marketing Consultant/Specialist working in Bangladesh (In Indian Subcontinent aka South Asia). Professionally consulting and helping small businesses on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) since 2003 and actively learning about Search Marketing trends from 2001. Passionate about SEM (Search Engine Marketing), SMM (Social Media Marketing), and PPC (Pay Per Click).
When you have a lot of friends and followers on Facebook, the number of pokes can be high. Most of the time you hesitate to return a poke. Moreover, responding to each poke is time consuming. That’s why your Poke Page in Facebook steadily gets compiled with many pokes. But, not returning is also a bad idea. It is a silent piece of communication to many, which can help you stay silently in touch with friends and peers.
Facebook Auto Pokes with iMacro
To save you time, I have created an Automated Facebook Poking Script that can auto-poke your pokers automatically. It is made from iMacros Scripts. iMacros is a macro tool for browsers that can help you do repetitive boring jobs automatically, just like the Macros in MS Office. To know more about iMacros, please visit this link.
To make the Facebook Auto Poke work for you, here’s what you have to do:
If you are using Firefox, then get iMacros Addon from here.
If you are using Chrome, then get iMacros Extension from here.
Install the Addon/Extension on your browser.
After getting it installed, open iMacros and below the windows, press “Preferences” to get the path where the Macros saved. It’s usually located at: My Documents\iMacros\Macros
Download my Facebook Autopoke iMacros Script file from this location and save the file in the location where all the macro files are located. After you make the script file available in the location, close iMacros and reopen. You should be able to see “500 Auto Pokes.iim” file like the snapshot above.
Once you have the script in place, log into Facebook and then open iMacros from your browser. Select the “500 Auto Pokes.iim” file on iMacros and click the “Play” button.
That should do the trick.
Aminul Islam Jewel asks in BIMPA: I really need to rename my Facebook Page name. But, Facebook is not allowing me to rename my page for having more than 200 fans. 275 to be exact. How can I rename the page?
If you have 275 fans, then it is easy to remove 75 fans. Remove 75 fans from your Facebook page and then rename it. It works. Just be choosy in who to remove. See below for the thought process to remove.
Go to your Facebook Page and if you are an admin of the page, you should see the Dashboard at the top of your page. Please don’t go directly to the Like Tab in your page. Because, you can not remove fans from there. Instead:
But, as I mentioned earlier, you should apply some thought process in removing the fans. And they are:
They never help you in engagement. Engagement is more important than likes. Good Engagement helps to spread your posts like virus. Rather, having fake accounts pollutes your Engagement Ratio (i.e. the % of fans engaged to your page). Not sure if Facebook uses it as a signal. But what if they do? Then your efforts in Facebook Page Marketing will be useless.
Many businesses are using the numbers and selling or boasting high number with fake likes. But, just like Google Algorithm update, please also expect EdgeRank Update from Facebook. So, it’s always smart to keep your fan-base clean.
Brand accounts are the accounts that do not represent a person, but a company. You should remove them for the same reason of fake accounts. They really don’t ensure much engagement and most of them are interested in spamming. Moreover, they are breaking Facebook terms.
However, many businesses can like other pages “as page”. This is done by logging as page and then hitting the like button on another page. If you come across Fans that does not have “Add Friend” button, instead have “Like” button then that fan liked your page as a page. It’s advised not to remove them. However, you need to be sure that they are not your competitors or 2nd level competitors like 2nd level cousins :-)
You can remove fans that are not geographically relevant for your page. e.g. a US fan for a local Bangladeshi page. Again it also depends on the language as well. If your posts are mostly in a specific language and you see fans from other countries without any engagement, it might have been a mistake. So, you should help the fan. Since such fans may report your page, when they realize that they did not like your page and you somehow hacked their account. Which can hurt you more than to have just one fan.
Facebook has very strict advertising guideline for Dating Sites. But, for page like, they are not much strict. But, Facebook might impose strictness in future. Therefore, you should remove fans that are not demographically relevant for your page. e.g.
Yes, competitors also follow you to understand your Facebook Marketing strategies and you might not notice. BTW, you also can do the same and not let them know. But, if you can spot them, remove them.
You may also look after second level competitors. e.g. many companies hire Internet Marketing Agencies to do their Facebook Page Marketing. And to understand the playing field, the first thing they do is, follow some competitors.
You can remove your friends and family from the fan list. You always can request them later to like the page. In fact, you can use the invite tool to invite them again. So, you don’t need to worry much about removing them.
When you see abnormally high direct traffic in Google Analytics or other web analytics tools, then there is not much you can do, since most direct traffic is only shown as a number of views. With search engine and referral traffic, it is pretty easy to find out what happened. But it becomes quite hard to understand what really happened behind direct traffic.
Referred visitors come through search engines and referring sites. And Web Analytics Solutions like: Statcounter, Google Analytics, Awstat, etc. can provide you good insights in understanding the behavior of your visitors as well as the performance of your online marketing campaigns. However, direct visitors may not be a strange phenomenon. It can also be the karma of your direct marketing effort, online branding, email marketing, and it may also result from returning visitors to your site. If you see any abnormal direct traffic then you should understand that the direct traffic is coming as a result of:
Email clients like: Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Thunderbird, and other POP or IMAP Mail Client Softwares generate Direct Traffic. Some assumptions of abnormal direct traffic from emails can be:
Bookmarks are the simplest type of reference to your site. Just to define it: Bookmarks are stored links in your computer, either in internet browser or files that automatically generate URL for your browser. So, any content that automatically generates URL for your browser will be a bookmark. Most of the Web Analytics tools can’t differentiate the source of the clicks from stored links. However, they should be more valuable to you, since they are mostly returning visitors. The links from bookmarks mean your marketing campaign efforts are maturing into sales. Bookmark visitors can come through the following types of bookmarks:
Most Web Analytics Systems try to load a remote visible or invisible image into your visitors’ computer through the browser. These remote visible or invisible images are customized image that work as your identity. Web Analytics Systems provide some sort of codes (usually as Java Scripts) that generate the command to load these images. It may not always be the case that the codes will come from webpages located your servers aka your website. The visitors can also come from other sources such as stored webpages of your site in their hard disks. Often if the Web Analytics code is in a blank page, it’ll still show the visitor. However, now most Web Analytics Systems show them as referred visitors by showing the exact location from the computer (e.g. C:\Documents%20and%20Settings\You\My%20Documents\My%20Site\index.htm). Often many computer blocks this reference system for external servers. It is then; the visitors are treated as direct visitors. In case, if the Web Analytics Systems can’t recognize or block the reference, the offline stored pages direct visitors can come through various ways, like:
Direct visitors also come from deliberate typing in the address bar of the Internet Browser. If they are doing that, then you have established your site as a brand in the mind of the visitors or your offline marketing campaign is a hit. A lot of people don’t come to Yahoo, Google or Bing through bookmarks or any reference. They really type the site name in the browser and press Enter or Ctrl+Enter. The search engine and referral traffic for these giant sites are rare. Every site actually strives to achieve this. Again, if your are running an offline marketing campaign, then the best way to go to your site after seeing an ad, is by typing the URL in the browser. There are thousands of reasons for this type of visitor typing URL in browser. However, here are some of them:
The possibilities of Direct Visitors are endless. But, Web Analytics tools provide you insight to only a number, not the overall insight on what actually happened. So, it is up to you to investigate what has happened. The abnormal increase in traffic may not always be good news. So, it is always wise to watch out.
So, you have a dream company you want to work in? You are constantly looking for people to connect with from your dream company. But, I hear a lot of people complaining that “I don’t have references to get a job there”. Well, if it was 5 years ago, that would be a fate you had to accept. But, at the age of Social Media, there is no reason in admitting it. So, if you don’t have any references or don’t know who you can connect to, then it is your fault.
You really can use social media like Facebook find professionals references for:
Last time, I gave the idea (that I am also going to give you) to someone, he found that his sister-in-law (bother’s wife) had her brother-in-law (sister’s husband) working in the company he was seeking references for.
You are probably wondering how this is possible. To tickle your brain, here are some ideas:
So, I think you got the idea.
Getting your feet wet to find a professional reference is not quite easy. You have to apply certain tricks. You might have seen the find friend feature in Facebook. If not, then go to the URL mentioned in the image below:
If you go to the page, you will see some list of other ways to find your some friend suggestions:
If you click Other Tools, you also can see the options to search people by the companies you work in:
If you click on the link of the company, e.g. marked red in the picture (http://www.facebook.com/find-friends/browser/?type=work&id=102777693132451&ref=ff), notice that the URL has specific number (in bold). Now, if I take this number and use it after Facebook.com like this: http://www.facebook.com/102777693132451, it takes you to the Facebook Community or Fan Page of Grameen Solutions. But, the URL of the page looks like this https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grameen-Solutions/102777693132451. Now that you know the number trick, you can go on searching for people that are working in a specific company using http://www.facebook.com/find-friends/browser/?type=work&id=THE_PAGE_NUMBER.
This is not always so straight forward. First, you need to find all possible pages that are available in Facebook belonging to that company. The phenomenon of having many pages for the same company (in the image below) happen because, many people do not use the exact match spelling for the same company.
When you click the community pages (the page with briefcase icon), you will find the number of the page that you can use to search for professionals working in your desired company. But, some pages uses vanity URLs like: http://www.facebook.com/grameenphone. In that case, finding the number of the page becomes hard. But there is a trick. Go to the vanity URL page and right click and get the URL of any image on the page:
e.g. from http://www.facebook.com/grameenphone if you right click and copy the location of the image, you’ll see that the location is https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/373042_135237519825044_132091699_n.jpg. The bold numbers you see in the middle of the image file name is the page number, which you can use to find other people from the same company. If you need to confirm if the number is real, then try to see if http://www.facebook.com/135237519825044 takes you to http://www.facebook.com/grameenphone.
Now, I might have made this a bit complicated, but the trick I mentioned above is the best way to find all possible people or connections that belong to your dream company.
However, there is also a shortcut way. Just go to http://www.facebook.com/find-friends/browser/ and in the employer section, search for the name of the company in all alternative spelling that people used. If the page is popular, after typing some text, Facebook will suggest you some name of the pages or companies. But, in cases where there are too less people in a company, you might not find that listed in the employer search suggestion. In that case, go back and use the previous trick again.
Now, you have the list that shows you people that are working in a specific company. Even though, you still have a problem. Because, they are not your friends in Facebook. But, the mutual friends suggest that they are friends of any one or more of your friends. So, use the mutual friends to learn more about the person working in the company and use them to get introduced. If you have a healthy number of Facebook friends, then I am sure that you will find at least one distant relative in a large company. It was actually not much possible even 5 years ago. But, in the new age of social media, use the strategy to benefit you, your career, and your business.
Oh sorry, one thing missed. What if you already had friends from desired company and want to see which friends are from that company? Then the best way to do it is by going to your profile and then to Friends from Facebook. At the top, like the image below, you can search friend by Workplace. Select that and start typing the name of your desired company. You will find friends that are connected to the company.
One last thing, when you see the list of friend suggestions or the list of friends from a specific company, don’t guess that all of them are currently working there. Facebook tries to show all past and current workers in your suggestions. So, try to see their profile individually. Another thing is, you can get the maximum benefit from this trick, if you have a large number of friends in Facebook. So, be more open and helpful to others to make more friends in Facebook as well as in real life.
This post is actually posted in February 04, 2008. Reposting the article here as a reference for my new upcoming article: LinkedIn Wishlist - Part II: LinkedIn Profile and Page Features.
Being an open networker, I always try to help my connection by forwarding relevant news, articles, resources, etc. in my network. To do so, I forward mails to the appropriate members in my network by searching them and adding them one by one.
But, I think Other Filtering Option should be used to make the forwarding mails more useful by sending them to appropriate people. Currently, you can only filter by location and industry. But, there are many custom searches we can make in our contacts and group them as per our need.
Therefore, I would like to suggest User Generated Search Tags. Search Tag is similar to Blog Tags and Interest Group Tags in Blogger Profile. However this can be used to tag people with appropriate keywords. XING is already using this type of tags. You can actually use this tag for various purposes:
Use the tags for creating narrow search of LinkedIn connection. You can provide the tag option as narrow search for forwarding any mail. To create the tags, the users will do a people search and tick/check the appropriate people and write a tag for them. e.g. If someone searches for “SAP Developers” in people search, he will be able to choose by clicking on the check box on the basis of his judgment on the summary and then grossly mark the checked profiles with a generic tag, like “SAP Developers”. And when s/he wants to send mails to people within this search tag, s/he will be able to send it by choosing the tags defined by the user. Again, if anyone joins the network with similar People Search Attribute, then s/he will be automatically tagged.
You can use this User Generated Search Tags like XING, i.e. show it in their public profile. This will also automatically create Keyword Channels for the Profiles. This will enhance the Search Engine Rankings for each profile, since Google & other Search Engines like Keyword Channels (or simply Anchor Texts). You can also use Tag Cloud Option to show most popular tags in bold and least popular tags in plain text. I believe that Tags from people will actually represent what people are saying about you. And this will also allow members to top the Rank in People Search and establish them to stay ahead of the industry or Keyword Channel. If anyone is ranked 1st, 2nd or 3rd for the Profile Keyword Tag, then he can be rewarded with a badge. I believe that this will encourage people to promote their profile instead of their personal sites.
If the tags are clickable tags, then you can virtually have Directories of Professionals channeled with Keyword Tags. Besides groups in LinkedIn, this will also create Virtual Interest Groups within LinkedIn, rather than an actual group. These tags can be further utilized for User Profile-based PPC Campaign like Facebook.
Update: This tags are more like the Google Plus Friend Circles that allows you to send updates to a specific types of people. When some one sends a Job notification for SEO Manager, it is pretty hard to find the right people and forward them the notification. If tags could be created through search, then people could have sent relevant message to the right people.
Google has been experimenting Expandable Ads for a while. But, flash based Expandable ads is not something new. Back in 2005, I have seen many expandable ads in Yahoo homepage. In recent years, the peel off expandable ads at top right corner is currently quite popular. You can find similar expandable ad in Marketing Pilgrim site at the top-right corner.
Google Adwords also introduced Expandible ads back in 2009. Adsense users may have seen such ads. But with Youtube, the Expandable Video Ad is something new and quite innovative.
Have a look at these videos by clicking the images (it might take time if you have slower connection):
This video is an example of typical Expandable YouTube ad. The name of the movie is co-incidental :-)
This is more interactive and connected with many other videos. The bear and the hunter also started their page in Facebook, which already gained many fans.
Like the hunter shoots a bear, this video also has many versions, which you can choose at the beginning. You actually can play around with the playbar in the video and make various actions suggested in the video. Moreover, the video is loaded with many social media call-to-actions in their flash interface.
This is one of the cool and colorful Expandable Video Ad I have seen. But, this is not from Youtube, rather from Vimeo.
Expandable Video Ads are relatively new trend, but there are here to stay for long. In near future, we might also see expandable video ads in adwords.
Update: This feature has been embedded into the feature of new Facebook Timeline. You can now find the link to your friendship between a person and you below the cover photo of your timeline. Look out for the link that says “See Friendship”. However, the fetures mentioned here remains the same.
A few years back, when you landed on your friend’s profile on Facebook, you could see only the mutual friends you have. Then in recent change, Facebook also introduced the common “Likes” you have with your friend.
But, at the day of Halloween, Facebook brought in a new feature that highlights almost all the mutual activities, events, and interaction with your friend in a nice looking separate Facebook Friendship page. Just visit any friend in Facebook and you will find the link saying View You and Your-Friend’s-Name.
After you click the “View You and Your Friend” link, you end up in a separate friendship page that includes the recent interaction you had with your friend.
Here is a list of information available in the page:
If you and your friend were tagged in any photo in Facebook, then one of them will end up as the page picture or profile picture of the You-and-Your-Friend-Activity Page or Facebook Friendship Page.
In the middle of the page you will see many feed updates that involves you and your friend. You will also find links to filter these updates just below the Duo Profile Image for seeing the feeds that are only Wall Posts, Photos, Events or Likes.
This is probably the oldest piece of information that was already available for your when you went to your friend’s profile. In the activity page, this eats up most of the space at left.
The mid-portion of the page is occupied with news feed updates that involves you and your friend. They are also categorized into Wall Posts, Photos, Events, and Likes.
In 3rd column at top-right, you will find links to other friends that are also mutual friends. From there you can see what are your friend’s interaction with other mutual friends.
But, this is not all, Facebook is not only allowing you to see activities on You vs. Your Friend. They are also allowing you to see the activity of Your Friend vs. Another Friend. The interface to view the activity of two friends is available just below the Browse Friendship links.
Currently, this new feature shows all the public feeds or the feeds that can be shared in custom settings (e.g. friends of friends or network can see). Facebook is not showing the private communication like messages, chats, or any private sharing with your friend at this moment. However, if this is introduced, then this new Facebook Friendship Page can have full functionality.
Enjoy the new feature and Facebooking!!
This article is about generating QR Codes automatically in bulk from Google Chart API. If you know how it works, then you can skip all the descriptions in the article and go straight below and download the spreadsheet that can help you print QR Codes in bulk.
But, if you are interested to learn about how it was done, then please start reading from here. Before that, I think a lot of people want to have more introduction about some terms. So here they go:
QR Code is 2-dimensional or 2D barcode (unlike the traditional 1D barcode) that looks like the black pixilated image below:
Came from some innovative Japanese mind, who invented the code to make contents decoded at high speed. This 2D Barcode now readable by QR scanners, smartphones or mobile phones attached with cameras.
For iPhone (Semacode), Android Phones (QuickMark), Blackberry (ScanLife), and Symbian Phones or Nokia (UpCode) there are many competing apps that can read QR Codes from any printed media.
The utility of QR Code is simple, transfer a whole chunk of text or information from any printed media to your mobile phone (through QR reader) or computer (through QR scanner). So, this is the best way for you to make people go directly to your site from the printed QR Code or have people save your business card in their mobile phone in a snap.
QR Codes are fastest way to transfer text and information from print to mobile phones. Therefore, it has good implications on increasing your site traffic from alternative media by referring the URL to your site. e.g. if you sell a specific product; by using mobile phone, the printed QR Code on your product can make the friends or colleagues of the buyer go to the page where he/she can also buy it.
For any type of contact request, a visitor can save your contact information from web, product, brochure, coupons, etc. and might convert later.
Calvin Klein recently made an innovative adult advertisement on billboard with QR codes, without even showing the nude models. The title of the advertisement was “Get It Uncensored”. This triggered many people to go to their website and watch the uncensored video. Please read more about this news here.
Even though QR Code is thought to be a mobile marketing strategy, combined with the web technology, it can be a great strategy for web marketing.
What is Google Chart API?
According to the Google chart API site:
The Google Chart API lets you dynamically generate charts with a URL string. You can embed these charts on your web page, or download the image for local or offline use.
Interesting fact is that Google Chart API is also currently the most reliable and free source for generating 2D QR Codes.
If you look at the URL of the above image, you’ll see that there are many information avalable in the URL:
So, by just inputting the information in the right place in the right format, you also can generate the desired QR codes.
From the URL, you will find several parameters that can be customized. Here is the list of the parameters and their description:
If you go to the Google Chat API site, then you can see that Google arranges many types of charts. So, by using cht=qr, you are telling Google that the chart type should be QR.
This is where you mention what would be the chart size.
CHL is the Chart Label parameter. This actually states what type of content you have and based on that, your device will create certain action. You can have content as vCard (make an Phonebook Entry), URL (go to the referred site), Text (read the contents of the QR), Phone (call the referred number), SMS (Get info saved on your mobile), etc.
Usually, MECARD is used to tell that, the content is for Mobile vCard. According to ServletSuite.com, the definition of
MECARD is a text format lets you present address information for phonebook registration.
It is then followed by other heads with your custom values, like:
N: Full Name
ORG: Company Name
TEL: The Telephone Number
EMAIL: The Email Address
ADR: The Address
URL: The URL
NOTE: Any note or comment.
Each of the heads should be separated with semicolon. If you are using the Chart API for generating URL only, then the custom URL is the label. You don’t need separate label for that.
More information on Google Chat API Parameters are on: http://code.google.com/apis/chart/docs/gallery/qr_codes.html
Well, this is what this article is about. In excel worksheet or any other sort of database, you might have information or record like this:
A2. Name: Asif Anwar
B2. Company: Blueliner Marketing, LLC.
C2. Phone Number: 008801712181761
D2. Email: ɯoɔ˙ןıɐɯb@ʇuɐʇןnsuoɔǝpɐɹʇ (upside-down text)
E2. Address: 55 Broad Street, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10004, USA.
F2. Website: http://asifanwar.tumblr.com
G2. Note: Company site: http://www.bluelinerny.com
[A2 to G2 are cell reference]
In terms of QR Code generation, these information is best for website/URL reference or business card transfer from print to mobile. And with all these information, you get this URL again:
Now, if you look at the URL that generates the QR Codes, you will find a pattern. e.g.:
In other analogy with cell reference:http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=[THE-CHART-SIZE-YOU-WANT]&chl=MECARD:N:[A2];ORG:[B2];TEL:[C2];EMAIL:[D2];ADR:[E2];URL:[F2];NOTE:[G2]; ;
So, it is possible the join these information from excel worsheet to generate the URL and finally generate the QR Codes. But, there is one problem, the information you have, has spaces and @ sign that are not allowed in the URL. So, you have to replace them with “%20” and “%40” respectively.
In Excel Worksheet, you can use the following formulas to replace the spaces and @ signs and create a new text that can be easily joined:
H2. =SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(A2),” “,”%20”)
I2. =SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(B2),” “,”%20”)
J2. =SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(C2),” “,”%20”)
L2. =SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(E2),” “,”%20”)
M2. =SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(F2),” “,”%20”)
N2. =SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(G2),” “,”%20”)
[Assuming that you are placing the replaced texts in single row that starts after G column]
Since you have all the spaces and @ replaced, you now can join the texts with =CONCATENATE() formula. e.g.
The strategy for generating the URLs for QR Codes using Google Chart API may vary in case if you are using separate form of database. Once you have created the URLs, you can easily embed them in the site or print them by visiting the file on browser.
Now I can go a long way to discuss on how you can embed them. For your convenience, I have done all the trouble in the embeded spreadsheet below. You can download and use it to generate QR Codes and also embed in in a printable format.
The Embed Code in the spreadsheet some times come with double (2) double quotation marks in HTML when you try to paste the embed codes in other HTML Editors. Please find and replace double (2) double quotation marks with single double quotation marks, before finally using them for print. You might also see that there are starting and ending double quotation marks in the embed codes, delete them as well to make it work for you. Feel free to change the codes into the design you like best.
If, I have saved your time, feel free to comment below, like, and share the article with your friends. And if you feel it’s too geeky for you, then consider this Gig for $5 in Fiverr: I will create Custom Designed Qr Code Badges from CSV Database for Events for $5
Some of my other articles on QR Codes: