248-535-7090

 

How to Avoid Being Scammed Online

How to Avoid Being Scammed Online

Posted on: February 10th, 2017 by Access Computer Technology

Living in a time where convenience is a commodity can be both a blessing and a curse. Bills are paid online, automatically deducting from from your bank account on a monthly basis. Shopping, ordering takeout and even streaming TV are all available at your fingertips. In such luxury, it has become easy for most people to let their guards down, allowing scams and scam artists to harp on the vulnerability of everyday, convenience-loving people. Although the use of the internet is appreciated and beneficial to busy lifestyles, it is important that you safeguard yourself and your family from threatening scams online.

One of the most valuable features one may use online frequently is using a credit card to pay for services or merchandise. While making purchases online seems inevitable, it is important that you pay attention to a few key factors before submitting your payment information online. When you are on the website in which you are making a purchase, be sure to identify that it is a secured site. On your browser there will be a padlock, stating the you are indeed on a secured website and it is okay to proceed with entering your credit card information. If for some reason you are still uncertain about the security of a website, conduct a simple google search to read the history of reviews from those who have previously used the site to make purchases. It is never a bad idea to be informed before reaching for your wallet.

 

Photo By Luis Lierena (Stock Snap)

 

When you are using online services be sure to never give your credit card information out over email, as there is no way protection can be provided should the transaction go awry. For your protection, be sure to stay on top of your monthly statements after making any online purchases. If you notice a charge that you did not initiate, call your credit card company’s fraud department immediately and file a dispute. The perk of using a credit card online is that almost any fraud attempt can be disputed and refunded back to you.

If  you suspect that your credit card has been compromised by a spammer, report it to the Federal Trade Commission or to Online Complaint Assistance immediately. It has been estimated that over $40 billion is lost annually to consumer fraud, so it is imperative that you take action against any suspicious activity you find. For reporting more specific cases of fraudulent activity, visit usa.gov for more ways you can take action.

Be sure to warn your household to be on the lookout for suspicious online activity, especially your teenager(s). A lot of scams target teens because they are vulnerable and less likely to question unknown sources. Highly visible scams include pop ups and emails claiming that they have won a prize such as an expensive electronic device and in order to receive it they must enter credit card information to pay for shipping and handling. Of course once the credit card information is received by the scammer, they will begin to make a number of charges. Make your teen aware of such fraudulent behavior and have them consult with you before making any purchases online.

Having your information compromised online is a very terrifying act. Theft of this sort robs you of your piece of mind and valuable time as you have to backtrack to clear any charges made against your permission. Use precaution when using  your credit card and personal information online, but do not let the potential of fraud deter you from using the internet. As long as you are informed your chances of being a victim to scams slim greatly.

Apple to Enter Smartwatch Competition

Posted on: June 9th, 2014 by Access Computer Technology

According to a Reuters.com article, Apple Inc is preparing to sell its first wearable device this October, aiming to produce 3 million to 5 million smartwatches a month in its initial run, the Nikkei reported on Friday, citing an unidentified parts supplier and sources familiar with the matter.

Specifications are still being finalized, but the devices are likely to sport curved OLED (organic light-emitting diode) displays and sensors that collect health data from blood glucose and calorie consumption to sleep activity, the Japanese news service cited industry sources as saying.

samsung galaxy smartwatch

Will Apple be able to compete with the Smartwatch from Samsung?

 

The industry has long expected Apple to unveil some sort of smartwatch, following the release of Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Gear watches.

Wall Street is hoping to see a new Apple product this year to galvanize the former stock market darling’s share price and end a years-long drought of ground-breaking devices. CEO Tim Cook has promised “new product categories” in 2014.

Apple declined to comment.

Hidden Facebook Tricks

Posted on: November 9th, 2012 by Access Computer Technology

We loved this article about the five best hidden Facebook tricks from Aaron Couch over at MakeUseOf.com. With Facebook’s platform changing so frequently it’s hard to keep up with all the ins and outs of the killer app of the social media era. Thanks Aaron for revealing some great tips and tricks. Here’s what he has to say:

How much do you use Facebook? Every day? Would you consider yourself an expert? It’s true that we do spend a lot of time on Facebook, but surprisingly, a lot of users still don’t completely take advantage of all the features it has to offer.

Facebook-Tips
To help you make the most of your Facebook experience, I’m going to go into depth explaining the best hidden Facebook tricks currently available, such as forwarding messages, organizing contacts in lists, viewing your profile the way another contact sees it, joining and using groups specifically made for your college and its students, and controlling who sees what you’re tagged in by your friends.

(more…)

The Microsoft Cool Factor

Posted on: November 9th, 2012 by Access Computer Technology

While the long lines waiting outside Apple stores around the country and the buzz around everything Apple would lead most to think that Apple is cool and Microsoft is not, the winds may be changing.

In the Huffington Post Technology vertical today, Jason Gilbert writes that Microsoft is entering a new stage of “cool.” Here’s what he has to say:

Hang onto your pocket protector, Mr. Clippy: That is at least a partial implication of new findings put out by the consumer sentiment firm YouGov, which found Microsoft’s public approval rating — its “Buzz score,” in YouGov’s parlance — surging as of late. YouGov spokesman Drew Kerr said in an email that Microsoft “is experiencing one of its best consumer perception surges of the past 21 months,” thanks to the positive reception of ad campaigns for the surprising Surface tablet, the ambitious Windows 8 operating system and the stalwart joke-punchline Bing search engine.

Against all odds, a hipster exodus to Microsoft might be afoot.

Microsoft advertisements do, indeed, seem to be skewing younger and cooler. A song by indie favorites Eagles of Death Metal (no, that is not a misprint) was featured in the first TV commercial for Windows 8, and the dubstep insta-classic “Too Close” by Alex Clare soundtracks a well-choreographed Internet Explorer ad in current rotation. Microsoft went with a speaker-blasting in-house composition for its Surface tablet that sent YouTube commenters a-squeal.

Windows8

It’s the kind of musical smarts that Apple mastered in its initial run of iPod ads being used to tinge the first impression most Americans have of Microsoft’s entire line of services and hardware. Cool points: Microsoft.

This musical reinvention accompanies a design revolution at Microsoft, too. Windows Phone, Microsoft’s little-used operating system for smartphones, has won heaps of praise for its layout and freshness. So, too, has Windows Phone’s big brother, Windows 8, as well as its most well-known banner carrier, the Surface tablet. Even Internet Explorer — once a microcosmic representation of all that was ugly, overloaded and unintuitive about the Windows operating system — has been cleaned up and is earning applause from critics.

Clean, innovative design is dominating Microsoft in a way that it — clearly, desperately — never had before. Cool points: Microsoft.

If YouGov’s numbers are correct, all that design work and Pitchfork-friendly musical curation is paying off with the public, at least in terms of perception. Whether it pays off in the literal sense — profits, product adoption, rise in stock price — is still in the offing.

Indeed, Microsoft’s rising consumer approval arrives at a precarious time for the company, one in which its decades-long grasp on personal computing seems to be slipping away to rival Apple. Worldwide PC sales are slipping as consumers opt instead for tablets, mostly the iPad. Smartphones, too, are a rising personal computing device, and Microsoft has yet to gain a meaningful foothold with its Windows Phone operating system. With the mega-launch of the last-ditch Windows Phone 8 platform occurring in November, current Windows Phone market share still sits below 5 percent. Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, consistently loses hundreds of millions of dollars each quarter, despite some recent gains against rival Google.

Microsoft remains profitable, of course: Sales of PCs running Windows still bring in tons of cash, and recent major acquisitions of Skype and Yammer have been lauded as good moves for the company. But while profitability has long been stable, public appreciation has not. Apple was always the critical and customer darling, Microsoft the behemoth, unfeeling corporation.

But after nearly a decade of public idolatry and Microsoft-bashing from tech critics and young people alike, we may finally be seeing a thawing of that dominant dogma. Between its overzealous patent litigation, botched handling of the iOS 6 Maps transition and somewhat stagnant design progression, Apple has turned some people off over the past year (see: any article on Reddit about Apple). Microsoft may be in a position to win over those jaded, discontented former Apple fans and take the crown of cool from its longtime rival.

That’s a big, huge, so-many-contingencies-and-variables “maybe,” of course. And, too, all of this appropriation of “hip” music and aesthetic pleasantness may be deemed as too little, too late, to sway the opinion of an America who still associates Microsoft with TI-83 nerdery and Dilbert-ian office drudgery. But maybe — just maybe — if Microsoft sticks to its design-forward revolution and commitment to user satisfaction, it might just find itself winning over some honest-to-God fans, and not just the cubicle-types who are forced to use its software at the local business complex.

Putting Social Media to Work in the Health Care Industry

Posted on: July 20th, 2012 by Access Computer Technology

Guest post by Atara Lakritz, an intern in Access Computer’s summer internship program

Facebook is expected to pass the 1 billion user mark by mid-August of this year (the 12th, to be exact). Twitter users hit 100 million active users earlier this year. With each passing day, social media websites of all kinds are only gaining in popularity. Those users will always seek medical advice in one form or another.

Especially in the US, the doctor-patient relationship is of pressing value. So why not utilize social media to further the influence and important role doctors play in the lives of their patients? Access Computer specializes in social media marketing for Metro Detroit’s local medical community. While many physicians and dentists once thought Facebook and Twitter wouldn’t be able to help their practices, they now see the light. Contact Access today to learn how social media can help your medical or dental practice.

I recently read an interesting article about how more doctors are taking advantage of social media. Pamela Lewis Dolan at amednews writes:

Through social media, physicians can gain insight into what patients are willing to do to improve their health and what obstacles stand in their way, Kevin Abramson said in the PwC report. He is director of marketing planning for OptumHealth, a health management solutions company that is a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group.

Chris Keating, a physical therapist who manages social media activities for Strive Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation in New Jersey, said Strive’s social media activities give him an outlet to find out what services and events interest people. When he posts photos of an event Strive held in the community, he’ll ask Facebook followers what events, such as screenings for certain medical conditions, they would like to see. It’s a way to get the information you want in a conversational way, he said.

61% of patients say they trust information posted by physicians on social media.
Jessica Logan, social media and online content specialist for the University of California, San Diego Health Sciences marketing and communications department, said she sees a lot of trends developing on Twitter that could indicate a need in the community. For example, she said she has seen a lot of discussion on ulcerative colitis. From a social media content perspective, she knows the community could benefit from her posting more information about that topic. From a business perspective, the conversations could help guide product or service development efforts.

Although a small physician practice might not have the manpower to manage social media efforts, they are at an advantage when it comes to acting on information due to the smaller number of people making decisions. While it would be difficult for a large institution like UC San Diego to institute a program or specialized service immediately, a small practice has that flexibility.

Jason Hwang, MD, an internist and executive director of health care at the Innosight Institute, a San Francisco-based research organization focusing on education and health care, said social media could provide a new way of tracking population health. Tracking health trends is becoming increasingly popular, as many practices move toward medical home and shared savings models. It also could identify “hot spots” for disease outbreaks.

“A hospital or health system could engage social media to see what their patients are talking about and subsequently target those hot spots with certain therapies or interventions,” he said.

Improve customer service
How a physician practice or hospital responds to negative comments and complaints can carry equal or more weight than positive consumer engagement, according to the PwC report. Unlike customer service issues brought to a practice’s attention in a survey, complaints made on social media can be addressed — and often remedied — immediately, because there is an outlet for a dialogue.

Even though specific details should be kept offline, practices can respond in public with an apology and offer to correct the situation so that others can see action being taken. Logan said when other social media users see that a problem is being handled right away, they come to realize that customer service is taken seriously. It also gives the practice a chance to know about situations immediately so they are remedied and not exacerbated by an upset patient.

Gather feedback on medications
Jared Rhoads, senior research analyst with CSC’s Global Institute for Emerging Healthcare Practices, said feedback on therapies is one of the most valuable uses for social media — and possibly one of the easiest to facilitate.

“If 10,000 people start talking about a side effect of a drug, it won’t be that hard to find that out,” he said.

Trends on Twitter sometimes indicate medical needs in the community. Monitoring Twitter buzz surrounding a certain drug, for example, would offer great insight into how patients are reacting to it. Not only is information on side effects useful, but information on therapies that are working well is valuable to physicians, he said. There may be insight about a therapy the physician hasn’t tried, or an alternative therapy he learns about through patient interactions on social media.”

As the social media explosion continues, an increasing number of medical professionals will look to the social networks of Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus to help them communicate with patience and bolster their practices.

Everything Is Social (Well, Almost Everything!)

Posted on: July 10th, 2012 by Access Computer Technology

We loved this post by SocialAppsHQ.

“Ultimately, all content, unless it is private communication, strives to be social. As a result, social media will be part of every business unit.” – Curtis Houglad, Social Media Thought Leader

As we all know, in just a short time social media has almost completely changed the face of online marketing. Social Media Marketing can enhance your company’s online visibility, strengthen relationships with your clients, and expand word-of-mouth advertising.

As Social Media has gained its popularity, it has now become the priority of every small & big brand. However, most of us are still confused!

We have put together core concepts that are basis of social. These concepts should give you ideas on how to think about social –

How to start thinking Social?

Think what motivates you to buy someone’s product and inculcate that into your own business to make your consumers feel good.

People like personalization – E.g. LinkedIn, Facebook have personalized their page with the features like search results, news feed, invite friends etc. You can do that too.

People like hanging out with other like minded people – Either converse directly with them or, be a conversation enabler between consumers. Hosting a discussion forum or, enabling users to create their own groups work well e.g. Facebook groups, Quora, Yahoo Answers and Groups are examples of creating a community has helped increase their reach.

Recognition always works – If you have users who contribute by going above and beyond, recognize them. E.g. SEOMoz Top Users, Top Fans app and other leader boards are very powerful in motivating customers.

We’re Living in a Wireless World

Posted on: July 3rd, 2012 by Access Computer Technology

Welcome to the summer of 2012. Wow, things sure have changed since 1997, back when dial-up was king and 256 megabytes was more than enough. But things are different now; we have a lot of computers in our everyday life. We have smart phones in our pockets, iPads and more! What’s even crazier is that we found a way to connect all these computers together with wireless networks.

But what happens when your wireless network isn’t protected? People can access your computers and smart phones without your knowledge, putting viruses and malware that steal your personal information.
Access Computer is here to help you out! Using the latest and most up to date security systems to ensure that your personal computers are safe foreign intruders. We will build your network to keep intruders and your family safe. We protect your network with WPA2 High Profile Network Protection. Keep your computers and your important documents safe with Access.

 

How Wireless Works

Most people have a wireless connection set up by their cable company or Geek Squad. Many people don’t even know what all the boxes are that make their computer connect to the internet, there are 3 main components. The first is the modem, or the little black box that your cable wire plugs into. This is the main gateway to the internet, everything that you search for must go through this box. Usually its provided by your cable company, most  of the time it will be set up and forgotten.

The second device is your router, the device that broadcasts the wireless signal to your house. These devices will usually have antennas and plugs into your modem. Your router is where the protection happens, all the  security Access Computer puts on your network happens here. We’ll ensure that your network has the strongest security to prevent people from connecting to your network without your permission The last part of your network is your computer, iPad, smart phone, or other devices. These devices can communicate to each other through this network, sharing files and music. Systems like Airplay and Media Center work with this concept.

 

What’s the Difference Between Wireless G/B/N

When you were buying a router last you may have noticed something on the box that looked like “Wireless G Compatible”

An international wireless standard organization creates different standards for every incremental update Wireless Technology gets. Wireless N is currently the newest and faster wireless standard, all new computers bought in the last 5 years will be compatible with Wireless N. Wireless G and Wireless B are slightly slower and will not be able to handle more than 10 devices on the network at once.

Access Computer Technology highly suggests that you upgrade your router to Wireless N Technology for the best network performance. Access of course will also happily set up your new router and protect it with the highest security.

Facebook For Small Businesses

Posted on: May 23rd, 2012 by Access Computer Technology

Here’s a great post from Jason Mollica on the Social Fresh blog about how Facebook can help small businesses:

We’ve all heard that social media can help grow your business and brand, financially.

But say you are a Mom and Pop coffee shop in a small town.

Why would you want to use Facebook?

Why NOT?!
Small town businesses can use social media to grow their customer base. I work with these types of businesses and their owners often do not see the connection between social and more foot traffic.
Let’s be honest, there are still many businesses that recoil when they hear the words Facebook and Twitter.

These five tips can be effective when talking to any small business. What can social media do for them?

1. Helps a business re-think their marketing strategies

While advertising in a local newspaper is great, you are only reaching a small portion of your audience.
For example, you could spend upwards of $1,000 for just a half-page ad. Take the money you would spend in print and go global.
Granted small businesses may not have the money to hire a full-time social media manager. They could, however, be looking for a consultant to offer assistance.
Take Sweet Sixteen Cafe in Lockport, N.Y. They have a simple, but effective website and use their Facebook page to entice customers to come into the store.

2. Recommend a YouTube or Flickr page

I recently worked with a tourism group to allocate funds from unnecessary advertising into the purchase of a small HD video camera and a digital camera.
This allowed the group to take photos and video without spending thousands. It helped generate more business for the town and encouraged additional tourism dollars.
We established a YouTube page and will be putting more photos on Flickr. Giving potential visitors and customers an idea of who you are and what you stand for is key to personalizing the experience.
Who wouldn’t want to see a video of what your the area looks like during the holidays or showing a smiling customer enjoying something in your store?
If you keep at it, Youtube can also be a great search opportunity, helping potential customers find your business in a visual and engaging way.

3. Understanding the changing business climate can save money AND business

Not only do you need to understand what you are telling your clients, you need to understand their business.
We can tell prospective and current clients how the tools work, but if we don’t know how they will be effective for their business, what’s the point? In this economic climate, there is plenty of uncertainty.
We need to provide examples of certainty. The money saved now, can go a long way to turning a profit, as Lake Effect Ice Cream in Lockport, N.Y. has shown.

4. Give your business a personality

I have a small boutique inn as a client. You could read all the great amenities that they have on a website, but it has been Facebook that has allowed us to explain who they are and how they treat their customers.
Their followers regularly interact with them now, even telling them when they plan to come back. When a guest stays with them, they often mention how they feel part of the “Brookins experience” because of how the inn “talks” to them on Facebook. The return guest rate has gone up to nearly 95%.

5. Most importantly… it’s a perfect customer service tool

If that’s the one thing you can stress the most, do it. Businesses want to make sure their current customers are taken care of. Mom and Pop type-businesses aren’t any different. As a matter of fact, it probably means more.
Exceptional social media customer service, to go along with terrific in-person service, will go a long way to building social capital AND business success.
What are some tips you give small businesses for social success?

 Image source: BigStock.com Shopping carts and shoppers

Bringing In Customers With Foursquare

Posted on: May 14th, 2012 by Access Computer Technology

Foursquare, the location-based sharing application for smartphones, has broken out of early-adopter limbo and is beginning its gradual ascension into the mainstream. While offering incentives for repeat business may not sound like the newest idea on the block, the social sharing aspect of Foursquare, especially with its connections to Twitter and Facebook, make engagement with the service all the more encouraging. Phil Gerbyshak has an excellent article detailing some ways to essentially turn your customers into your own personal street-marketing team. If you’re unfamiliar with Foursquare, check out this video below. For the enlightened, hit the article after the jump.

Sound interesting, but don’t have the time to maintain the page? Give us a call at 248-535-7090, and let us do all the heavy lifting for you.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/35640651]

Foursquare: An Introduction

If your business has a physical location, you should click over to Foursquare.com and register. Do a search for the name of your business first, one of your customers may have already put it in the system. If so, on the right-hand side of the screen is a link for you to claim the business as the manager. Follow the instructions for claiming the venue.

When you are done Foursquare will mail you a window cling that you can put on your door or window to let your customers know that you are a Foursquare participating venue. But don’t stop there! You can get creative with more calls to action inside your business and through some staff training.

First, sign in to your Foursquare account and go to your venue.

Attract new customers

Click on “Manager Tools”, in the top-right corner, then “Start a Campaign at this Venue” (the big green button). On the next screen click the green button again to create your special. There are an assortment of choices, and this is where you can get creative:

  • Swarm Special Like, “If 30 people check in at once, get 25 cent wings”
  • Friends Special Like, “Check in with 3 friends and get a free dessert”
  • Flash Special Like, “The first 10 people that check in after 8pm get 25% off their order”
  • Newbie Special Like, “Get a free cupcake on your first check-in”
  • Check-in Special Like, “Get a free appetizer when you check in”

Reward existing customers

  • Loyalty Special Like, “Get a free cookie every 3rd check-in”
  • Mayor Special Like, “Mayor gets 20% off their entire bill”

Here are some more sample ideas:

Use the “Print Flyers” feature for your employees so that they can become familiar with the Specials, and what the smartphone screen should look like when a customer “unlocks” the special for redemption. You employees should be encouraged to spread the word about your Foursquare presence in their interactions with your customers. You can also print flyers to display for the customers, though they are not specific to the promotion that you are running. You will want to create your own.

Add the Specials to your collateral. Whether it is a restaurant menu, a brochure, or an ad on a map or in a newspaper (yes, newspaper advertising still works for small business in small towns) you should tell your customers that you are on Foursquare, at the very least. If you plan to have some long-term Specials, for Mayors or for Loyalty campaigns, you can keep these with your usual ad copy.

Cross-promotion on Twitter and Facebook. Share your “Attract New Customers” Specials on your other social media channels, especially if you can encourage people to share them with their friends. This can work particularly well with the Friends or Flash specials.

Hide “Easter Eggs” in your products or billing statements. Print out a mini-flyer describing your Foursquare specials and hide them inside books, packaging, or include them with correspondence to your customers. Remind them that when they visit your store they are eligible for special rewards when they Check In on Foursquare.

Introduce your customers to each other. Add a “Recent Foursquare Check-ins” feature to your e-mail newsletter (you do have a newsletter, don’t you?). On your “Manager Tools” page there is a list of Top and Most Recent Check-ins that you can copy-and-paste right into your newsletter – with links to those users’ profiles! (You will have to do a little editing…) Encourage your readers to connect with each other, and remember that you should be connecting with your customers as well.

Facebook Timeline Is Now Part of Facebook Pages

Posted on: March 1st, 2012 by Access Computer Technology

Today was the big day that Facebook rolled out its Timeline for all of its Facebook pages. Not sure how to set this up with a nice long cover photo? You can try it yourself or have the team at Access Social Media set up a great looking page for you. Contact us at 248-535-7090.

In the meantime, here’s a great article on the changeover by Angela West at PC World:

Facebook today introduced a major revamp for business pages that gives you more control over the look and feel of your company’s page. The new page layout helps you interact more easily with your Facebook fans, enabling enhanced graphics, the capability to feature posts, and private messages with fans.

Most Facebook users are familiar with the new Timeline layout. Not only does it organize status updates onto a timeline, making it easy to call up a Facebook user’s posts by month and year, but the Facebook experience becomes much more visual, with larger and more clearly displayed photos.

Here are the key features, and how to get your company ready for the Facebook-wide rollout on March 30.

Red Bull's Facebook page, with Timeline Red Bull’s Facebook page, with TimelineUpload New Cover and Profile Photos

To get started with the new design, upload a cover photo to showcase your brand. If you have the budget, hire a graphic designer to do something special. Facebook states that the ideal size is 851 by 315 pixels if you want to give it a go yourself. Just click on “Add a Cover” near the top-left of your Facebook page, and choose “Upload Photo”.

The profile photo is the smaller image that appears beside all of your status updates, as a box within your larger cover photo. This is an ideal spot for a logo (as in Red Bull’s example, above), about 180 by 180 pixels. If you already have a page, your existing profile picture will be here, but you may want to move or resize it. To change the profile photo, hover your mouse over it and click “Edit Profile Picture”.

View the New ‘About’ Section

The Activity Log brings more control to what's posted on your page.The Activity Log brings more control to what’s posted on your page.The section that used to be buried in the “Info” tab on your company page is now front and center along its very top, so consider rewriting it to show it off. Keep it short and to the point; think mission statement rather than an entire company biography.

Control How Posts Are Displayed

With Timeline, you can pin a post to the top of your Facebook page for up to seven days to highlight popular or relevant content. You can also change post dates, which will help you bump up posts that you want to keep at the top of the page.

You can “star” a post to feature it more prominently, increasing the size of the post to take up the full width of your Facebook page. This means you want to pay a little more attention to photos that may end up on your Facebook page; you’ll want to take them at a minimum width of 851 pixels so they can be featured as part of a “starred” post without pixelating.

Add Company Milestones

The new Admin Panel organizes notifications, messages and stats in one place. The new Admin Panel organizes notifications, messages and stats in one place.You’ll be able to create company milestones on your Timeline, which gives you an easy way to translate company history to Facebook. You can also feature events like new store openings and product launches.

Control Posts on the Activity Log

Facebook’s new Activity Log will let you manage your posts. This administration panel lets you hide and reveal posts, “star” posts to feature them, and change post dates.

Admin Panel Shows Stats and Activity

The new Admin Panel features private messages from Facebook users to your company, which removes complex customer issues and complaints from your public Facebook wall and puts them in your inbox, where they belong.

The Notifications tab keeps your notifications about likes and comments in one place, which will allow most company page admins to turn off the notifications filling up their email inboxes.

Friend Activity is posted near the top of the company page. Friend Activity is posted near the top of the company page.Insights is Facebook’s own analytics tool, which tells you who’s talking about your company page through “Talking About This,” and how many people the conversations are reaching through “Reach”. While Insights isn’t new, its integration with the Admin Panel makes it more accessible.

Track Friend Activity

When people visit your page, they’ll be able to see their friends’ interactions with your company near the top of your company page. This gives a more personal feel to those visiting your page, and builds trust in your brand. The only downside is that a negative mention from a visitor’s Facebook friend is also likely to show up here.

When to Take Action

All business pages will be upgraded to the new layout automatically on March 30. To see what your new page will look like, click the preview button at the top of your current company page. If you like it already, you can publish your page right now rather than waiting a month.

You'll see this preview banner across the top of your pre-Timeline company page when you're logged in. You’ll see this preview banner across the top of your pre-Timeline company page when you’re logged in.What I Would Change

Companies should be most concerned about the Friend Activity. While it’s a great feature if everyone is speaking in glowing terms about your company, negative comments have a way of bubbling to the top faster than positive ones. If a company is concerned about reputation management, it should have the option of turning off Friend Activity. And if it were up to me, I’d roll in the Activity Log to the Admin Panel rather than having two separate consoles to manage my page.

Other than these minor gripes, the new changes are definitely an improvement to the company and user experience on Facebook.

Facebook Also Updates Advertising and Offers

Meanwhile, Facebook announced it will feature Premium Ads and Sponsored Stories on the mobile newsfeed as well as the Facebook logout page. They will also be introducing Offers, a free way for businesses to share promotions directly from their company Facebook Page.

Angela West is on Facebook far more often than she should be, but at least 5 percent of the time is work-related. She’s written for big insurance companies, small wildlife control businesses, gourmet food chains, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @angelawest and Facebook.

©2017 Access Computer Technology | 5657 W. Maple Rd., Suite B. West Bloomfield, MI 48322