Facebook Page, Can I Talk to You in Private?

Facebook is one of the easiest ways to contact a brand, company, even a celebrity. Now they’re making it even easier to share your thoughts with Private Messages for Pages.

The feature is currently being tested in a small area, somewhere in Asia I hear, but it’s got the social media crowd — dare I say — all a twitter.

It’s big news for marketers, because it opens up a new line of communication between consumers and the brand. The downside is the extra time it’s going to take to respond and clear the inbox.

And knowing how caustic people can be in their public comments, it’s a little frightening to imagine what they’ll say in a private message. Double that, because the new system does not require the sender to “like” the page before shooting off their thoughts.

Paypal Enters the Daily Deal Market

The deal market is an odd duck. It burst on to the scene with a great deal of fanfare and excitement then quickly faded as dozens of look-alike sites popped up on the web.

There have been reports that say the deal site is on the decline, but couponing is up, to the point where people say deals give them a thrill. Paypal is betting that deals are still good business, if you can find a new way to spin it.

PayPal President Scott Thompson says the company will be moving into the deal space in early 2012, but with a twist.

“The experience is going to be completely different than anyone else’s, through and through. We’ll only give you something that we think fits the category of unique and relevant. Everyone else is going to bombard you.”

Will a Google+ Page Give Brands a Search Boost?

If you don’t have a Google+ Page for your business yet, it’s time to get started. A new article in AdAge states that Google is experimenting with adding the +1 button results into their search algorithm. To be expected, right? But Google may also use the size of a brands “circle” to determine where they rank on the content importance scale.

What that means is after a year of stats that show size doesn’t matter on Facebook, it could matter on Google+.

The one sure thing that matters is good content. Google has always rewarded fresh, clear, constantly updated content and Google+ is no exception. The trouble is, right now, most folks are still experimenting with Google+. Many are posting the same content they post to Facebook, while others are randomly updating with no thought to SEO.

Facebook Timeline Arrives with a Ticking Clock

Facebook unveiled their new Timeline design back in September but since then, it’s only been available to a section of users. Now, Timeline is ready for mass consumption.

As of right now, you can change your Facebook profile to the Timeline style, but once you click the button, the countdown clock begins. Facebook is giving users up to 7 days to review the Timeline layout and make changes before it goes public.

When I first saw the 7-day notation, I thought, so what? That’s plenty of time to erase any incidents you don’t want to revisit. Or not. Zack at ZDnet said it took him four days of tedious work to clean up his timeline. He probably has a lot more on his Facebook than most, but it’s still an indicator of where this is headed. . . into trouble.

LinkedIn Adds Polls to Groups

LinkedIn is:

a. my favorite social network

b. a vital business resource

c. just another time waster

If we were on LinkedIn right now, you could choose your answer and see a nifty bar graph showing how off the mark you are compared to those around you.

Polls have come to LinkedIn groups! Here’s an example straight from their company blog:

Is it me or is this a weird example? Kind of like asking what day does Christmas fall on just to see how many people get it wrong?

All mocking aside, polls are a great way to get information from your community. People love polls and are more likely to spend a second clicking on a choice than writing a comment. The poll feature allows for instant sharing on Twitter, it has a “like” option and a place for additional comments for the voters who want to solidify their position.

Google+ Upgrades Hangout with Recording and More

Google+’s multi-person, webchat tool, Hangout, just got pushed to the front of the line, with a variety of new features that make it more prominent and useful.

The biggest boost for marketers is the upgrade to the Hangout On Air system. On Air allows a person or brand to livestream a performance, chat or presentation to a large number of people. Right now, the service is only available to a select group of celebs like The Muppets and the Dalai Lama but it’s slowly rolling out to others with a large following.

With the new upgrade, broadcasting On Air will be completely self-service and it will have a record option thanks to YouTube. Press the record button when the livestream is underway and a recording will automatically be uploaded to your account.

Almost Half of All Adults Say Couponing is a Thrill

When you offer a coupon for a product, you know you’re helping consumers save money. But did you know you’re also giving them a thrill?

A new survey by CouponCabin.com shows that 49% of US Adults felt a thrill or a rush when using a coupon. The survey doesn’t elaborate on why but from personal experience I can say that watching the numbers drop on the cash register is akin to seeing coins drop out of a slot machine. Kaching, kaching — that’s found money.

Retail Therapy

Shopping isn’t just a necessary evil, it’s also a source of fun, a reward, and a form of therapy. 53% of adults surveyed said they have “celebrated good news by buying something or going shopping for themselves.”