Facebook Rolls Out ‘Offers’ To All-ish

Facebook is famous for dangling the carrot then pulling it away when you try to grab hold. The newest carrot is the ‘Offers’ program, a self-service option for creating Groupon style deals on your Facebook page. Excellent for the small business owner.

In March, Facebook announced the program with much fanfare, then noted that it was only available to clients who had managed advertising accounts (the big dogs). So, the rest of us waited patiently.

A few hours ago, Facebook added several new posts to their marketing page promoting Offers! Yes, the same program they promoted months ago, but this time it’s open to all — ish.

Offers are available in beta to a limited number of local business Pages. We plan to launch offers more broadly soon. If you’d like to post offers but your Page doesn’t have the option to yet, let the Pages team know.

Ad Agency Reviews: It’s Time for a [Another] Change

The ad business has always been stressful and cutthroat. I know this because I grew up watching Darren Stevens on Bewitched burning the midnight oil desperately searching for that brilliant tagline. Then, on the verge of losing his job, his wacky witch wife would make a mistake which would end up leading to the best ad campaign ever created.

Oh, if only we were all married to witches or to Don Draper. He makes the ad business look cool.

In the real world, without magic and martinis, it’s become even harder to land that big client mostly because the rules have changed. AdAge says the agency review process has gotten “totally out of control.” They participated in a panel discussion with top agency search consultants and what they heard was a lot of frustration and few solutions.

Study Shows Facebook Related Privacy Problems are on the Rise

An IRS officer learns that a taxpayer he’s investigating is a comedian who posts a video on a social network to promote previous and upcoming performances. . .

Sounds like the start of a “guy walks into a bar joke” but that line comes from the 2009 IRS agent training manual. It goes on to suggest that the agent use this knowledge to track down how much the comedian was paid or use his future dates to arrange delivery of a summons.

This is just one of the eye-openers you’ll find in the new Consumer Reports: State of the Net Report. Instead of simply surveying Facebook users, Consumer Reports interviewed developers, lawyers, security experts and non-profit groups that dig out all kinds of hidden information. What they found is that Facebook is become less and less secure. I’m sure you already knew that, but I’ll bet there are a few ideas here you’ve never thought about.

LinkedIn Launches Sponsored Discussion Board for Women

LinkedIn is one of those sites that I should use more than I do. It’s loaded with information relevant to folks in all sorts of businesses and it’s certainly the best place to network within an industry.

This past week, LinkedIn got my attention when they launched the Professional Women’s Network, Powered by Citi. That last part if very important and very obvious when you hit the landing page.

Citi is in the financial services business and they know that women make more than 80% of the financial decisions in a household. That’s why they also run a website called Women & Co. which features lifestyle articles and advice about everything even remotely money related. The main difference is that Women & Co. is very family oriented as opposed to the new LinkedIn group which is all about work.

Survey Says Social Customer Service is Popular but Messy

There’s nothing like the spirit of competition to make a company jump on a new bandwagon. This time around it’s social media as a customer service channel.

Today we’re looking at the results of a survey by two companies, thinkJar and Sword Ciboodle. First off, we must stop to appreciate how totally cool those names are. Doesn’t everyone want to work for a company named Sword Ciboodle? Amazing.

Okay, now that I’m done fawning, let’s get to the facts. The study is called We Are Social: The State of Social Customer Service and the main takeaway is that companies are diving into social customer service before they know how deep the pool is or if they even know how to swim.

American Icons Top BrandPower List

An icon is a symbol that evokes a visceral feeling when you see it. They’re well-known images that nearly everyone can relate to and generally they represent the very best a category has to offer.

All that may sound very grandiose when talking about advertising, but there are handful of brands that truly are American icons. You’ll find most of them at the top of CoreBrand’s 2011 PowerRanking Report.

To build the list, CoreBrands surveyed 10,000 consumers asking them to rank brand names based on familiarity, reputation, and favorability over other brands. The usual suspects landed on top without too much shuffling in the rankings over the past few years. Harley-Davidson jumped up after a decline but I don’t get why they’re listed in the Hotel & Entertainment industry.

New Theater Policy: Please Do Not Silence Your Cell Phone

Second-screen usage while watching TV is a growing trend. Thanks to smartphones and tablets, more people than ever are chatting with friends, playing games and syncing up for points while they watch their favorite shows. It’s great publicity for the series and it’s an excellent way to get viewers to engage with advertising content. So why not extend this idea to the movie theater?

Movie theater execs discussed this very topic at their recent industry convention in Las Vegas. According to the LA Times, the Chief Exec for Regal Entertainment suggested that allowing people to text during some movies could be good for business.

An exec from a Texas based chain replied, “Over my dead body.”