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Welcome to Futureforth

We teach companies how to reach their people.

We are a social media strategy, digital marketing consultancy, and communications company based in Nashville. Our goal is to teach you inbound marketing, social media best practices, and everything you need to succeed with content marketing including your blog, email newsletter, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other favorite social networking platforms.

Don't have the time to produce content? We can help with that too.

The Futureforth Blog

Helpful tips and articles about social media strategy, content marketing, and business networking. 

Filtering by Tag: Search

Facebook: Secrets To Unlocking Its Search Potential

Dave Delaney

When it comes to searching the web, most of us start with Google. Savvy networking professionals know to broaden their search to LinkedIn, where they can discover whom they should connect with at any particular company (like Futureforth, you're following, right?). 

Did you know Facebook has it's own powerful search? The following are answers to popular questions on how to use Facebook's search.

How do I search my Facebook posts?

Have you ever wanted to go back to find that interesting article you shared on your Facebook profile? On desktop, select the upside-down triangle icon on the top right. Select "Activity Log." You can use the Activity Search engine, or you can scroll through your updates by date.

How can I find friends in a specific city?

Whenever I am traveling to speak at a conference, I use Facebook to recall who my friends are in that city. In the main Facebook search, enter: "my friends who live in NAMEOFCITY." I love to catch up in person with old friends this way.

How do I use Facebook to recall how I know someone?

Select the person's profile. Click the three dots on the top right side of their profile cover image (next to Message). Select "See Friendship." Facebook will generate a page with photos, videos and status updates you posted on each other's walls. If you haven't had many interactions, the page might be rather bare.

How can I find someone I know who works for a particular company?

LinkedIn is always the top destination to determine who you might know that works for a business. You also can use Facebook to find this out, which is helpful if you aren't connected to all of your Facebook friends on LinkedIn.

Search "my friends who work at COMPANYNAME." If the company has multiple locations, you can search "my friends who work at COMPANYNAME in CITYNAME."

How can I find my friends who like a page on Facebook?

Let's say you want to chat with friends who like a specific brand on Facebook. You can find them by searching "my friends who like BRANDPAGE." Inquire with your friends before you make the purchase. After all, what are friends for?

I'm thousands of miles from home and craving barbecue. How can I find a good restaurant on Facebook?

We all miss the taste of home when we're traveling. Hop on Facebook and search "barbecue restaurants in CITYNAME." You will even see the restaurants your friends have liked.

How do I clear my Facebook search history?

If you found what you were looking for and want to clear your searches, do the following. Go to your profile and select "Activity Log" (like you did to search your posts). On the left side you will see "Photos, Likes, Comments, More."

Select "More" and "Search." At the top right corner you will see "Clear Searches."

I hope these Facebook search tips will help you get more from your use of the gigantic social network. If you are seeking help with your business page or Facebook advertising, please reach contact us.

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean Newspaper.

Avoid SEO Scams

Dave Delaney

My phone rang yesterday as I was working. I often ignore the phone while I’m working, unless it’s a client, friend or family member, but I decided to answer it. The scam was about to begin.

The recorded voice on the other end informed me that I needed to hold to speak to a representative about an important issue with my website. They had urgent information regarding my ranking on Google.

I smelled a swindle, but I decided to wait.

The representative joined me on the call moments later. “Bob” explained that his company helps businesses like mine appear on the first page of search engine results on Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and even Yelp.

If anyone promises you such a thing don’t walk away - run!

I played along. Bob explained that his company would create a website for me, basically a landing page.  They would make all of my social media profiles and link to them from said page. Then they would advertise for free for my site on social networks and across the web. In addition to this, they would create "lots of links back to my site."

“Search engines are a popularity contest. We win the contest.” - Bob.

When I asked if what they were doing is approved by Google, he stumbled around. He finally lied and said, “Yes”. He added that they guarantee my site would appear on the first page of search results.

The setup fee was $199 and monthly fee also $199. When I pushed back slightly, still playing dumb, he lowered the fees to $99 set up and $99 per month.

As we were speaking, I Googled his company. I found it pretty high in the results, but I also found terrible reviews on sites dedicated to revealing scams and rip-offs (also on the first page). When I mentioned my findings, he cursed and said that sometimes people get “pissed off”. Colorful language for a sales person, but I digress.

The BIG RED FLAG came when I asked for his full name. He refused to tell me his last name. I replied that I found it odd that he is a sales person, representing a company trying to sell me something, but refused to give me his name. He said he was not comfortable revealing his full name. He agreed, it did seem odd.

Odd because it is a scam.

Even if they could get me to the first page of Google, they would be doing so by tricking the search engines’ algorithm. Companies have been busted for doing this and have been penalized with "manual actions". Several years ago, JC Penny was famously penalized for 90 days, because of paid links to their site. Recently, Thumbtack was penalized because of unnatural links to their site.

The best way to get your site indexed higher in search results is to create content that is useful or entertaining, and use keywords and terms people are searching for. Inbound and outbound links will help within your content. Social media traffic plays an important role, as does how quickly your site loads, and how well it appears on mobile devices. Make sense, right?

SEO professionals can help you with your site too, but always check references and be sure they are following the rules stated by the search engine companies. I recommend you subscribe to sites like Moz.com and SearchEngineLand.com to learn more about search engine optimization.

It is unfortunate that so many people become victims to online scams. Always research a company before you do business with them. Ask the sales person for their full name. It is also a good idea to let those unknown calls go to voice mail to avoid the robocalls in the first place.

Want to know how not to break Google's rules? Check out the How to Avoid a Google Penalty infographic below from Quicksprout. 

How to Avoid a Google Penalty

Photo from Flickr by Shawan Zain. Infographic from Quicksprout.

 

 

They are talking about you!

Dave Delaney

One of the most important parts of a successful social media strategy is the act of listening. If you spend the bulk of your time churning out content and not listening, it could all be in vain. Like business "networking", social "networking" works best when you communicate well with others. Listening and responding is crucial. The following are five, free, simple steps using search to enhance your social listening skills. Are you sitting at your computer? Do you have a cup of hot coffee within reach? Take note of these steps and repeat them once or twice a day to be sure you hear what your friends, fans and followers are saying.

5 Steps To Listen To Social Media Better

Step 1. Twitter.

Use the search feature, and search for your brand name (a brand name could be your company name, a product, or even your personal name). You can also use Advanced Search to search for full terms like your full name. If you just search for "Mary" you'll find a lot of mentions. Search for "Mary Clarke" and you may find tweets with that exact phrase. You may also choose to search for misspellings of your name. Be sure to save your searches.

Each morning check your replies and direct messages (DMs). Refer to your saved searches for mentions you may not be aware of. If you use a social media dashboard service like, Hootsuite (free 30 day trial - affiliate link), you can add a column of each of your saved searches for quick and easy reference.

Step 2. Facebook.

Log in to Facebook (admit it, you were already logged in before you went for that coffee, weren't you?). Visit your page, and note the red notification icon on the top of the page. Click this to see your recent page activity, new likes, comments and such. Don't forget to respond to people interacting with your page.

Set up email notifications for your page by clicking Edit Page, Edit Settings, and Notifications, and select your email address. You can also use a free service like HyperAlerts.no to get email notifications from activity on your page and your competitors.

Step 3. Instagram.

Go to statigr.am and log in with your Instagram account info. Search for your brand name and see what comes up. Like the photos you find, leave a comment, and follow the photographers. Consider sharing the photos across your social profiles. Remember to never use a screen capture or download of images without permission from the owner.

Step 4. YouTube.

Search YouTube for your brand name. Has anyone featured your brand in a video? Like the videos, leave a comment, subscribe to the channel, and consider sharing the video on your blog. Be sure to let them know that you shared their video on your company blog if you choose to. They will be happy to hear it and may promote this to their own networks.

Step 5. Email.

Use Google.com/alerts and Talkwalker.com to set up a search of your brand name. You can set the frequency and fine tune the searches to optimize these services. Once set up, you will receive email updates with links to new mentions of your brand. Search engines are brilliant listening tools. Use them to your advantage. You can also subscribe to additional searches on socialmention.com and mention.net.

Listening is just as important as creating content.

Listening is just as important as creating content and conversations in the first place. Be present and timely and watch those search results carefully. Depending on your brand, you may find yourself on other popular social networks like Pinterest, Vine and Flickr.

Get in the habit of starting your days reviewing saved searches or creating new ones. You will be glad that you did. Now get back to that coffee. It's getting cold.

Photo by  Cyco GoOz

The article, They are talking about you online, originally appeared in the Tennessean.