Larry BraunerIn October 2010, I wrote New Facebook Groups Wreak Havoc. The “new” Facebook groups were brand new, and they were ruffling quite a few feathers. People added their friends en masse causing them to receive unwanted notification emails. You can imagine the chaos.

Facebook Tones Down Group Notifications

FacebookFortunately, Facebook replaced email notifications by onsite notifications as the default, and that greatly decreased the sting of being added to a group without having to opt-in.

Over time, Facebook members came to expect that they would be added involuntarily to groups and adjusted accordingly.

Facebook Onsite Notification


I belong to scores of groups, and most of them I’ve been added to without my request. If I don’t like a group, I leave it. Sometimes, I adjust my group notification settings  based both on my interest level and the quantity of posts and comments.

Helping Your Favorite Facebook Groups Thrive

The success of a Facebook group depends upon adding new members, just as much as it depends upon member engagement and the quality of posts and content.

Add Facebook Friends to Group


If you like a Facebook group, participate, contribute relevant posts and comments, and add friends to that group whom you think might be interested. Let each person choose whether to leave or to remain in the group.

My Favorite Facebook Groups

Two of my favorite Facebook groups are:

  1. Watch Enthusiasts - Discuss watches and share information about your favorite models, brands and events with fellow members. Good group for learning and seeing what’s out there. (Sponsored by high-end watchmaker, watch distributor and online publisher, Gevril Group.)
  2. Larry Brauner - Is any explanation required? ;-)

What Are Your Favorite Facebook Groups?

Respond in a comment with a link to your favorite Facebook group and a description of the group.  Also, please don’t forget to subscribe to Online Social Networking and to “like” me on Facebook.

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Larry BraunerIn case you haven’t heard, “Friend Connect will be retired March 1, 2012,” says Google. This is not pleasant news for those websites that have sizable Google Friend Connect communities and whose community members have opted to receive newsletters from the site.

Google recommends that you join Google+ and invite your community to join with you in order to keep in touch. Compared to Google Friend Connect, Google+ is a rather lame tool for staying in touch. Google Friend Connect newsletters permitted direct community contact.

Google Ploy

Google+Google+ got off to a great start but seems to have lost much of its original momentum and engagement. Google probably hopes to give Google+ a shot in the arm by terminating Google Friend Connect and redirecting members.

If you have a community and wish to stay in touch, here are two approaches for creating email lists, are better than merely joining Google+ as Google advises.

If you have a small budget for an email contact list, I can use Aweber or Green Wave Email Marketing. I’m using both of them. Once you’re set up, ask your community to subscribe to your newsletter.

For a free email list, you can create your own group on a Ning social networking site, such as my Small Business Network. You will be able to email group members and to network with each other.

Invitation

I invite you to subscribe to this Online Social Networking blog and to join Small Business Network, so that we can stay in touch with each other. I’m also on Google+, Facebook , LinkedIn and Twitter.

I love to network, and I’m very accessible. :-)

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Larry BraunerI love to experiment with SEO and social media strategies for small businesses. I’m ready to admit that many of my experiments are flops, but there’s no need to discuss those right now. ;-)

One of my successes, however, is with Facebook page events. These aren’t merely events created by Facebook pages, as you might think. Rather, they’re virtual events that take place entirely on the walls and in the discussion areas of Facebook pages. The objective of Facebook page events is to increase page membership and engagement.

My First Facebook Page Event

FacebookMy first such event, the 4+ Day Blog and Website Promotion Event and Social Media Party, took place January 2010 on my Facebook page in celebration of my 58th birthday. This Facebook event went viral and attracted well over 300 participants. As a result, I added many new fans and generated a momentum for my Facebook page that has continued even until today.

I have since organized other networking events on Facebook pages, including Books I’m Reading on the Purple Umpkin page and What I’m Grateful For on my Facebook page, that were modestly successful.

International Watch Fair on Facebook

POLICE Most Arresting Exhibit at BaselworldYou may recall that I wrote in My Social Media Mission Abroad about attending Baselworld 2011 in Switzerland earlier in the year. The Baselworld Watch and Jewelry Fair was the most marvelous business experience I have ever had, and I dare say for most other people in the trade, as well.

My Baselworld experience is the inspiration for my latest Facebook page event, the 4-Day International Watch Fair, taking place next week on the Gevril Group page. 76 people have already RSVP-ed “I’m Attending” as of this writing, and I wouldn’t be at all  surprised if attendance at this first of its kind event reached several hundred Facebook members.

You can create Facebook page events too but to achieve favorable results, I recommend that you or your client build a solid web presence — on and off Facebook — before giving this approach a try. Your web presence will help to fuel your Facebook page event.

Please subscribe and like my Facebook page.

Comments are welcome. :-)

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Larry BraunerLast Tuesday, Ellis Hamburger relayed what seemed to be a highly credible threat to permanently bring down Facebook on November 5, hardly an auspicious date, in Hacker Group Anonymous Vows To Destroy Facebook On November 5.

The following day, Ellis posted an update that  slightly mitigated that threat in Hacker Group Anonymous’ Leadership Disowns “Operation Facebook,” Only “Some Anons” Are Involved. He reported that the threat was issued only by a minority of the hackers within the Anonymous group and not by the group as a whole.

Ellis cautioned, however, that “nothing changes the fact that there are some talented hackers part of Anonymous that want to take down Facebook, even if the organization’s leadership does not condone it.”

Crafting Your Facebook “Plan B”

FacebookWhether hackers will actually succeed in destroying Facebook on November 5 as threatened or not, this is probably a good time to ponder the following three questions:

  1. How critical is the role that Facebook plays in your business or personal life? After all, the existence and viability of Facebook is far beyond your control or mine.
  2. What would you lose if Facebook were to close down permanently without or even with prior notice? Consider the ways in which you use Facebook, the many contacts you’ve made and all the social capital you’ve accumulated.
  3. How can you protect your interests by diverting or diversifying your networking and marketing efforts starting right now? This question, while the most important, is also the most difficult to answer, since Facebook offers numerous and unique benefits; the popularity of Facebook is much more than accidental.

What do you think? Comments are welcome.

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    Larry BraunerA Facebook friend recently asked about accepting friend requests on social networking sites, and I promised to discuss the matter. There is no single correct approach. However, by contrasting Facebook and LinkedIn, I hope to present and clarify a few of the issues.

    Accepting Friends on Facebook

    FacebookFacebook is a social website intended primarily for social networking. Regarding accepting friends on Facebook, whether using Facebook for business networking or social networking, the best approach is clearly to be selective,  because of both privacy concerns and the 5,000 Facebook friend limit.

    Should you unwittingly accept a con artist as a friend on Facebook, you’ll give that person greater access to your personal information and the personal information of your friends. If somebody who invites you to become a friend appears suspicious, reject the offer and indicate to Facebook that you don’t know the person.

    You also need to be selective, because Facebook friends are limited. I myself accept all requests that are plausible, but I continually unfriend people for one of the following reasons:

    • They spam me or annoy me.
    • Facebook tells me that it’s their birthday, and when I visit their profile pages, I have no idea who they are. In other words, I can’t remember them ever having any interaction with me.

    In this manner, I fine tune my friend list, so that when I do reach 5,000 Facebook friends, most of those connections will have real social networking or business networking value to me.

    Accepting Friends on LinkedIn

    LinkedInLinkedIn is a social website intended exclusively for business networking. Regarding accepting friends on LinkedIn, there are two contrastingly different approaches that have gained acceptance within the LinkedIn community. You are free to choose either approach, but, once you do, you need to follow your chosen approach consistently.

    1. Closed Networking Approach - You connect on LinkedIn only with people you know or whom your respected contacts introduce to you. LinkedIn recommends and approves of this approach, as it allows you to build a trusted business network.
    2. Open Networking Approach - You connect on LinkedIn with as many people as possible, since your objective is maximize your reach and visibility on the business networking site. You may occasionally need to remove people who abuse the connection with you. This is the approach I myself have adopted, and you may feel free to invite me. My LinkedIn email is in my LinkedIn profile.

    Comments and questions are welcome. Please subscribe and “like” my Facebook page.

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    Larry BraunerIn New Facebook Groups for Better or Worse, I shared my reservations about the new Facebook groups and their potential to annoy Facebook users.

    However, after ample testing and observation, I’m no longer worried about negative effects and have come to view the new Facebook groups as a viable business networking and content syndication tool.

    The  on-site and email notifications generated by the new Facebook groups can become irritating, but it’s from these in-your-face notifications that the new groups derive their power. They tend to stimulate member activity. On the other hand, the notifications from the old groups had come to be viewed as total spam and were no longer the least bit effective.

    Customize Your New Facebook Group Notifications

    FacebookThe customizable settings of the new Facebook groups help regulate the volume of notifications, add once you learn how to manage them, the new Facebook groups become beneficial and enjoyable.

    New Facebook groups provide four notification settings that you can adjust:

    1. Notify me when - “A member posts or comments” or “a member posts” are good settings for your favorite Facebook groups or groups you moderate. For other groups, you should choose “a friend posts” or “only posts I am subscribed to.” (I myself prefer the latter option, “only posts I am subscribed to.”)
    2. Also send an email to - Unless you’re off Facebook a lot, you probably should uncheck this box.
    3. Show this group in home navigation - This setting isn’t as critical as the others, since it doesn’t affect notifications. I myself set my favorite Facebook groups to “Always” and the rest of the groups to “Never.”  
    4. Send me group chat messages - Unless you enjoy group chatting or you moderate that group, you should uncheck this box.

    You Need Not Start Your Own Facebook Groups

    Starting your own Facebook groups affords you some control but less than you might think. True, you make up the group rules, and while you can remove any member you wish, nobody can remove you. Nevertheless, abuse your group by spamming or otherwise, and your members will ignore your group or quit entirely.

    For this reason, control of your Facebook group is illusory. Groups can be led but not controlled, and you don’t need to own or moderate a group in order to lead it. Furthermore, you don’t need to lead a group in order to benefit from it and enjoy it.

    Why Start New Facebook Groups of Your Own

    Here are a few valid reasons for starting your own Facebook groups:

    • Necessity - You’re unable to find any new Facebook groups that fit your particular niche.
    • Collaboration - You want to collaborate on a project with your Facebook friends or associates.
    • Segmentation - Your Facebook friends share diverse interests with you. Segmenting your friends using groups will let you explore special interests together.
    • Promotion - New Facebook groups can be used judiciously to supplement Facebook fan pages.

    When you start a new Facebook group, keep the best interests of your membership in mind. Reciprocity makes the networking world go around. Be prepared to give, not just to get.

    Please subscribe and like my Facebook page.

    Comments are welcome — of course. :-)

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    Larry BraunerIn establishing social media and business networking connections, quality matters more than quantity, but only to a limited extent.

    Admittedly, 100 quality business connections are superior to 400 random ones. I cannot dispute that. However, it’s rarely the either-or proposition that quantity vs. quality suggests.

    For example, you connect with 500 people whom you carefully select, and you hope that all will be great connections. You later discover that 100 are fine connections and that the remaining 400 are questionable ones. Of your 100 fine connections, 20 really shine, but only four of them become clients or employees.

    Quantity a Prerequisite for Quality

    The 80/20 RuleThat’s how networking and prospecting work. Consider it a process of elimination or an outcome of the 80/20 Rule.

    Beware of those who discount quantity in their quest for quality business contacts. In practice, they end up with neither one, since quantity is a prerequisite for quality.

    Please subscribe and like my Facebook page.

    Comments are welcome — of course. :-)

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    Larry BraunerYou are using your Facebook personal profile for business despite 7 Issues to Consider About Doing Business on Facebook and despite advice dispensed in ONE Facebook Business Page, No More, No Fewer.

    Alternatively, you’re preparing to convert your Facebook personal profile using the new Facebook personal profile to Facebook business page migration tool.

    FacebookIn either case, you’d benefit from acquiring additional Facebook friends who share an interest in your business niche. Here are 10 tips that will help you add Facebook business friends:

    1. Choosing Facebook Friends Wisely - Don’t invite random people. It’s a waste of time and a waste of your 5,000 Facebook friend quota.
    2. Staying out of Trouble - Don’t send invitations in rapid succession or invite people whose privacy settings are very restrictive. If there’s no message button, not much information or wall posts showing, or if Facebook questions whether you really know the person, move on.
    3. Introducing Yourself - Include a short message, such as “Hi. I’m a ballooning enthusiast and author of the book, “Avoiding Deflation.”
    4. People You Know in Real Life - Ask your business colleagues if they’re on Facebook or search for them.
    5. LinkedIn Connections - Do the same with LinkedIn networking connections who share an interest in your business niche.
    6. Twitter Profiles - Search Twitter accounts for interesting people. Then check whether they’re on Facebook. Start your conversations in 140 characters and then transfer them to Facebook.
    7. Facebook Research - Facebook groups, pages,your Home page, etc., are all places to find lots of potential friends.
    8. Friend Suggestions - Here’s the best part of all: If you add friends carefully,  Facebook will reward you by recommending favorable choices for friends.
    9. Engage Your Facebook Friends - Engage your Facebook friends in conversations, and you’ll get to know those of their friends who join in.
    10. Don’t Be Afraid to Unfriend - If for any reason you’re questioning why someone is your Facebook friend, the Unfriend link on his or her profile is waiting impatiently for you to click on it. (If you do that to me, however, I won’t ever forgive you.)

    I recently added many devoted watch enthusiasts and industry insiders to my roster of Facebook business friends using these ideas.

    Don’t hesitate leave a comment — and if you’re new to my blog, I invite you to subscribe and like my Facebook page.

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    Larry BraunerThe successful LinkedIn IPO last week seems to indicate that investors expect business networking and content curation giant LinkedIn to grow within its niche despite increasing Facebook domination of the social web.

    By maintaining a business focus, LinkedIn’s growth could persist unhampered by that of its social networking counterpart. For this reason, many articles have been written of late presenting strategies and techniques to maximize LinkedIn effectiveness, including my own 10 Tips for LinkedIn Social Networking.

    LinkedIn Strategy and Technique

    LinkedInThe following 18 articles explore a wide range of viewpoints, and they will hopefully help you to formulate and implement your LinkedIn plan:

    1. The LinkedIn IPO: Why it matters to your day-to-day
    2. Web Success in the LinkedIn Era
    3. How LinkedIn Changed The Way I Do Business
    4. LinkedIn Beginner Tips
    5. Social Networking: LinkedIn vs. Facebook
    6. 7 Steps To Help You Build Your Personal Brand On LinkedIn
    7. 10 Ways to Maximize LinkedIn for Personal Branding
    8. LinkedIn Strategies for Personal Branding
    9. How to get Recommendations on LinkedIn
    10. How to Drive Traffic from LinkedIn
    11. HOW TO: Get the Most Out of Advanced Social Media Search
    12. How to Make the Most from LinkedIn Company Pages
    13. LinkedIn Business Profiles: Add Admins to Your Company’s Profile
    14. Is your sensitive company info being leaked on LinkedIn?
    15. Cultivating Meaningful LinkedIn Connections
    16. Building Solid Business Relationships Using LinkedIn
    17. LinkedIn Marketing
    18. 10 Top LinkedIn Open Networkers and Connectors to Follow in 2011

    I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn. My email address is in my LinkedIn profile, should you need it.

    Please subscribe and “like” my Facebook page, too. :-)

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    Larry BraunerThere are the old Facebook groups, and there are also the new Facebook groups that will very soon supersede the old.

    I wrote several articles last summer about the old Facebook groups:

    Since the content of old Facebook groups is not syndicated to news feeds, members only become aware of new content through an intrusive group broadcast or by randomly visiting the group.  Unfortunately, I became increasingly disenchanted with old Facebook groups because of too little engagement and interactivity.

    New Facebook Groups Wreak Havoc

    FacebookAlong came new Facebook groups, and I quickly seized the opportunity to try them out. Before long, I wrote about my experience with the new groups in New Facebook Groups Wreak Havoc:

    “By default, a member is notified every time another member posts. If the new Facebook group is large, members will be bombarded with unwanted email notifications and chat window popups. The engagement problem is solved, but a new notification problem is created.

    “Users who are bothered by the quantity of email notifications can change their notification setting to “only posts I am subscribed to” and reduce or eliminate the notification problem — once they figure out how to do so.

    “However, there’s a bigger problem not yet mentioned: One can be added by Facebook friends to new Facebook groups without pre-approval. Therefore, before one knows what’s happening, and before one can leave the group or change one’s notification setting, emails start flowing into his or her inbox, seemingly out of nowhere.”

    With the new Facebook groups, the pendulum had swung in the opposite direction. The potential for unwanted notifications and spam alarmed me. Facebook had created a virtual monster.

    New Facebook Groups Superseding the Old

    Perhaps the havoc has subsided or there was less of it than I imagined, for Facebook has decided to phase out the old Facebook groups and to phase in the new. They’ve done a little tweaking to the groups but not much. All I can advise, therefore, is to use the new Facebook groups with caution. I hope Facebook’s initiative will be successful.

    Check out Facebook Groups – a complete Guide. If used effectively, the new Facebook groups can be a great tool for networking and collaboration. I plan to use the new form of groups primarily for business networking.

    My New Facebook Groups

    I invite you to join me in any of my new Facebook groups that interest you. Simply join a group and wait for your membership to be approved. These are my seven new Facebook groups:

    1. Larry Brauner (My Personal Group)
    2. Fabulous Baby Boomers
    3. Social Media Enthusiasts
    4. Enterprising Business Leaders
    5. Rockland County, New York
    6. Watch Enthusiasts
    7. Stumblers (StumbleUpon Group)

    Want to invite readers to join your new Facebook groups? The floor is now yours. Go ahead and leave a comment. :-)

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