Hootsuite Auto Scheduling

Hootsuite is a low cost, high function, social media publishing and monitoring platform for the cost conscious but tech savvy social media managers among us. Hootsuite recently developed (August 2012) a new AutoSchedule feature which allows the software to pick an optimal time to post your submission during the day. Hopefully Hootsuite will allow this same functionality for future date posts!

Here is the web-based autoschedule window turned off. Notice the calendar appears below the message box.
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In this image the AutoScheduling is turned on. Notice the calendar disappears.
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Please use the BCC field!

bccI often receive forwarded emails from my Mother or friends who like to share the latest funny or inspirational message they have seen making its way around the web. And I sometimes enjoy being included, but there is a better way to send mass emails to your group of friends without violating the confidentiality of their personal email addresses.

Sending an email to a large group of people using the “To:” field in a message is like writing your friends’ phone number or address on a public bathroom wall! Why would you share someones private email address with a group of strangers when many of them will also forward the same addresses to even more strangers? A better solution is to use your email program’s BCC function.

BCC means Blind Carbon Copy. It provides a way for you to send messages to groups of people without disclosing their email addresses to the group. You can place your own email address in the “To:” field and put your group of friends in the “Bcc:” field. Using the BCC field in in this manner is good email etiquette! Here are just a few good reasons to use the BCC field:

  1. CONFIDENTIALITY: Using BCC protects the recipients’ private email address from being spread to strangers
  2. SPAM: Using BCC helps prevent your friends from receiving spam
  3. CLEANER CONTENT: Using BCC keeps your sent messages cleaner since it removes many extra lines of email addresses from the content
  4. FASTER SENDING: With less content, messages can be downloaded and sent faster

How to use the BCC field:

  1. Webmail: In most email clients, the BCC field is already visible. Create a new message in webmail browser, click BCC.
    1. Gmail and Yahoo Mail!: click add BCC.
    2. Hotmail: click Show Cc & Bcc.
  2. Outlook Express: To activate the BCC field in Outlook Express, create a new message and choose “View…All Headers”.
  3. MS Outlook: To activate the BCC field in MS-Outlook, create a new message and choose “View…BCC”.

Of course there are good reasons to send a carbon copy (cc:) of an email to others such as:

  • You need everyone to know each others email address
  • The email group needs to collaborate or respond to each other via email

Send this article to your friends and family if you need to encourage them to use BCC. Click on the “Share +” button in the footer of this web page, or send them this short link: http://bit.ly/bcc_field.

Be considerate and also let me know other good reasons to use the BCC field and I’ll add them to the list! Contact me through my email form here…

Facebook design fact sheet!

facbookpagesHere are some basic facts and tips about Facebook page design elements for small business, brands, and other non-personal pages.

Timeline Image Dimensions:

  • Facebook Timeline Header Image (Cover Photo) Dimensions: 850w x 315h
  • Facebook Thumbnail Image (Profile Picture) Dimension: 180w x 180h. Note that the actual size that shows on the page is 160 x 160 so leave 20 pixels of blank space around a 160 x 160 image so that the entire thumbnail appears on the page correctly! (Thanks to Peregrine Associates for this little nugget of wisdom)
    • Note: The thumbnail gets shrunk to 32w x 32h on wall posts
  • Facbeook Page Tab Image Dimensions: 111w x 74h

Facebook  Image Guidelines:

  • Cover images must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not contain:
  • More than 20% text IF you ever plan to promote the image with a Facebook promotion or ad.
  • Use Facebook’s Cover Photo Compliance Tool to see if your page is in compliance!

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New Article: How to change a facebook website address for your business.

fb-urlChanging a Facebook web address to a short memorable name that matches your business is an important step for professionalizing your social media presence. Having a custom URL such as www.facebook.com/loebigink will allow you to easily direct visitors to your Facebook page. A custom Facebook URL will also increase your businesses visibility in search engines adding to your SEO efforts.

I recently had the opportunity to create a custom URL for a premier advertising and marketing firm in the Philadelphia area, Peregrine Associates, and used the opportunity to create these step by step visual instructions. In order for the vanity URL option to be activated in Facebook a page will first need to have 25 fans/friends who like the page.

Step 1: As a Facebook Page Admin, visit the home page of the page you wish to customize.

Step2: At the top right corner of the page click the “Edit Page” button

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Step 3: In the left navigation menu, select the “Basic Information” button. On the basic information page a category towards the top called “Username” will appear if 25 fans have liked the page. Click on the link that says, “Create a username for this page?”

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Step 4: On the next page the instructions mention that you will not be able to edit or transfer the username you select once you set it so choose wisely!

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Step 5: Choose a name in the text field and click the “Check Availability” button. If the name you select is already taken a text message below the box will indicate it is not available.
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Step6: Once you find an available Facebook web page name a pop up will appear and give you several warnings about the name you are about to select:

  • You can’t change the username once you set it.
  • You can’t transfer the ownership of a username to another party.
  • You can’t violate anyone elses trademark rights.
  • If you are acquiring a username to sell it in the future (squatting), you will lose it.
  • Usernames may be reclaimed for other unauthorized usages.

If you are sure of the name you are selecting click “Confirm.”

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Step 7: Success! A new popup will appear letting you know the custom Facebook username has been set for the site.

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