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Slip-up? Lessons from Facebook Page Merge!

If you don’t use Facebook Business Pages, you may still find the lessons helpful. Strategic Sense has a division called Small Biz Creative we help start-ups and small businesses with the nuts and bolts of getting online by building Webpages, Facebook Landing Pages and online design work. Yesterday, we learned a little more about Facebook changes then we expected. Let me explain..

We were prompted to do a Facebook Merge of Pages and Places

Some background: August 18, 2010 – Facebook rolls out Facebook Places. Some business locations are now showing up as ‘Community Pages’ on Facebook. Some Facebook Business Page administrators will be given a small notice at the top of their page with a match-up between Facebook Pages and Facebook Places asking “Is this your location?” Then prompting them to ‘claim’ that location.

December 1, 2010 – Steps on a customer page – – > first shocking, then scary, now the long wait to see what’s going to materialize…

  1. We “Claim the Facebook Place” – Innocent and worked like a charm – NICE
  2. We are prompted to Merge the Facebook Place with the Facebook Page – Curious and want to learn more
  3. We clicked on “Learn More” the Facebook Help Page and FAQ to see if this is a good idea – It said; “The core content, such as Photos, Videos and Events from your page will remain, as well as any custom tabs or vanity URLs” –>Risks appear limited, we are not given any indication the page will be completely different with exception to the addition of the location and map.
  4. We discuss with Client and make a decision to move forward because we believe Facebook has a pretty cool idea….Geo locations for targeted ads for customers who “already” have visited and like the business – brilliant! –>Location and map available on a Facebook Business Page to find the business easily – brilliant.

Lesson One

Give Customers a comprehensive understanding of the risks involved. Making someone feel comfortable with change is about being transparent so their decision is really an informed one – you will get buy-in a lot faster.

What followed next freaked us out! (And I won’t kid you, we went into freak-out overdrive!)

  • The first page is now called the “profile” including the address, phone number and map filling the space once home to the status update and tabs.
  • Default tabs disappear –but eventually propagate over as navigation links on the left sidebar.
  • The default landing tab options cannot be found in permissions. – this is where the Business page was set to land on a custom tab if folks do not already “like” the page (yet to determine if these are returning)
  • The left sidebar appears to be reduced in width as our picture is cut-off to the right.
  • No clear explanation is given for creating custom landing pages for this new page format.
  • A new FBML application can still be created, we ran a test and where there was once a tab, it now is a navigation link on the left sidebar as well.
  • So, we added the custom landing page here – it is slightly cut-off to the right, making us think this is less than the 520px width (a recent change we had to make not long ago).
  • We no longer see people’s profile pictures who“Like this page” in the sidebar, Instead it shows a numerical example of “500 people like this” with a “show all” link.

Lesson Two

Provide customers with a comprehensive set of support references and contacts. When customers hear nothing, see no way to contact you, your documentation is confusing, all over the place and only allows you to search questions someone else has thought of it can be maddening.

While Facebook Claims this to be a “Richer” design, the jury is out on that as we await the “7 days to propagate” to see what “materializes.”

So we began doing research….Right now our concern is for our many clients who are utilizing the current custom pages and who were lined up to have one made. We have seen only unfavourable comments here, and here and here, but have not yet found any positive comments. The only thing we can find on Facebook Help is this and this (which say exactly the same thing).

One article suggests that all Facebook Business Pages will be moving over to this format, but we have heard nothing official from Facebook at this time.

Lesson 3

Respond to your customers, especially upset ones. If you are hearing a whole lot of screaming, upset, negativity AND you are ignoring it then people will begin coming to their own conclusion about the problem. They will also assume you do not care about them. A company might be very big but change happens at a rapid pace and alienating users or customers could eventually harm a company.

Recommendation to businesses considering the merge:

Wait, as with most Facebook Changes, until the dust settles. If you are prompted to “merge” your Facebook Place and Facebook Page – keep them separate for now – you will thank me. We love Facebook and the exposure it has given our businesses, waiting until resolved will keep you feeling that way too.

Why should Facebook Care, it is a free platform?

Facebook is free to people who sign up and create a personal profile, yes. For businesses, however, it is far from free if they are doing the following:

  • Purchasing advertising on Facebook
  • Paying the huge fee required to run contests and promotions on Facebook (new policy as of December 2, 2010)
  • Hiring someone to manage their Facebook presence
  • Paying designers to customize the site
  • Paying website and social media professionals to link to their Facebook presence

These are HUGE investments by businesses large and small who all deserve consideration for adopting, championing and utilizing the platform. It really IS a two way street.

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Leadership Lessons From Mom!

All of us have a background and history. Many of the lessons I learned about leadership were really common sense child-rearing lessons passed on from one of the most remarkable people I know, my Mother. With Mother’s Day approaching I thought I would share a few with you.

Respect Everyone: No one ever truly knows anyone, what they’ve experienced, what they’re going through now, or who they are internally. Showing respect recognizes everyone partakes in struggle and triumph and deserves respect.

If You Can’t Share it With Your Grandmother, You Shouldn’t Say it, Write it or Do it: This is especially true now, be impeccable with all communication. Words tossed in rudeness, anger, haste or without thought will always come back to bite you in the butt. In this day of high-speed internet and Social Media, it’ll bite immediately, and it could cost you your job or force you to repeat it in court!

Be a Cheerleader: No, not a pom-pom shaking acrobatic one (unless that’s what you love to do), I mean cheer on the success, efforts and opportunities of others, just like you would your own child. Being happy for others rather than resentful feeds your soul.

Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously: Sometimes life is absurd, period. People react and are reacted to in ways unexpected. Situations don’t always work out as planned and one needs to redirect. Laugh! Find the humour and the gems of wisdom within the unexpected. You will be all the healthier for it and you’ll make more friends!

Clean Your Own Room First: Before you go criticizing others, take a good look at your own life. The day you can say everything in your own life is perfect, you are exactly who you wish to be and you have no tasks left to perform, go criticize someone else. Until then, collaborate, help, take part and learn the art of allowing, influencing and encouraging others in their path! We live in the same house!

Clean Out Your Backpack: Pay attention to what you choose to hang onto. Holding onto negative emotions, old resentments, anger and frustration is no different than choosing not to take that full milk container out of your backpack, after a while it begins to stink and rot and it ruins things!

Use Your Stuff: My mom lit her candles, used her good dishes and wasn’t afraid of polishing silver or using white table cloths. The deal is, you have it so use it! You are born with and have developed many gifts, talents and strengths worth sharing. You’ll find joy in using them!

Mom taught more lessons than that and I can guarantee you, I wasn’t always a quick study! The beauty of having a mom who models great leadership is that she’s willing to be repetitive, probably to the point of frustration at times! Lucky me that she still continues to persist in providing the lessons in life that, for some, only experience will drive home. Thanks Mom, for being remarkable!

(Original Post was written May 3, 2009. Update, my mother passed away on January 22, 2014 making these lessons ever so much more precious to me now!)

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Life Is Like A Series of Meals!

Of all the things from which we learn the most, experience is our greatest of teachers! There are few times a lesson will make an impression to last a lifetime unless one has experienced that lesson being handed to them on a silver platter. The thing is, what you choose to do with each delicious serving is what makes the difference. Great leaders know this.

I guess you could say that life is like a series of meals! Sometimes we’re served fast food, sometimes we have to hunt for food and sometimes we’re offered gourmet cuisine that sets our mouths watering and our hearts longing to savour every glorious tasty morsel passing across our hungry taste buds. Why do I liken experiential lessons to food? Because our reactions to both are quite similar!

Have you ever been watching a fantastic movie with a bowl of popcorn at your side only to become suddenly aware the popcorn bowl is empty and you can’t recall having eaten any? That’s right; you managed to shovel a whole bowl of popcorn down your throat while your focus was elsewhere. When we’re not focused on what’s heading down the oesophageal passageway, we disregard that sustenance without even remembering we’ve chewed and swallowed.

As with the popcorn, the delicious life lessons served us are changed by our focus. Sadly, focus is often based on what we DON’T have rather than what is being served and we completely miss lessons carefully baked within the enchanting recipe. We notice the serving doesn’t meet our expectation and we might even lament bitterly on the lack of care in which it is served. As we age, reality eventually teaches us that life hands us a lot of stuff, we are served challenges, struggles, loss and heartache. We are also served love, compassion, strength, honesty and friendship.

Each of these ‘servings’ is designed to shape and fashion us into the remarkable human being we are meant to become. The secret is in learning from those lessons and ensuring our focus is based upon what some call the “silver lining”. I like to call it the Buried Gift Within, mainly because it’s not always easy to find! Each and every experience tossed into our path or handed our way, (no matter how difficult, heartbreaking or painful), has a gift buried within.

Some might argue about there being a hidden gift, but hindsight tells me my direction and my place in life is shaped and formed into ‘me’ by each experience and my reaction to those experiences. I also want you to know that life isn’t always easy. I share personal experiences with clients when I feel it applicable to presenting a different way of thinking, and they will tell you – I’ve had some tough moments just like everyone else; moments tough to chew and harder to swallow. The true secret is what I learned from each moment.

I don’t want life handing me a bowl of popcorn I carelessly shove down my throat without recollection of having tasted it! I want to become passionately aware of each morsel and flavour, the salt butter and corn all melded together combined with a smell permeating the room such that popcorn in a bowl becomes an experience, otherwise why waste my time eating it?

That which we focus on, we intensify! I have suffered loss and there is always something to come from that loss, be it a lesson left, a behaviour changed or a gift of another’s experience from which I can draw. All great leaders understand this focus.

Exceptional leaders know how to look for the Buried Gift Within. With employees, balance sheets, personal strife, company changes, family challenges, and much more. Exceptional leaders savour and taste every single morsel and then experience the lesson bringing it forward into many more situations. What makes them exceptional is they share those lessons with others and, most importantly, they model and teach others how to discover the Buried Gift Within!

Strategic Sense is a Leadership Development, Plans of Action and Facilitation organization who’s mission is to change the world for leaders and their employees everywhere. We believe each individual comes with their own unique talents and skills that can be enhanced and utilized to help them become the very best leaders only they can be.

Contact: So many options… we’re here to accomodate you!

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