Google Plus Rolls Out New Poll Widget

Engagement is one of the key functions of social media, and now Google Plus has another tool to help with that. The new Google Plus poll widget allows users to solicit feedback from followers by asking a question and giving five answer choices, with the results displayed in a bar graph.

Polling via social media is nothing new. But Facebook's elimination of its poll feature in 2012 sparked complaints from users and gave Google Plus an opening to roll out its own polling capabilities. The Google Plus poll widget is available through the web and on Android devices, and an iOs version will be available soon.

Facebook Launches New Ad Network, Atlas. So What’s All the Fuss About?

In case you missed it, Facebook announced the launch of Atlas, the social media site's new and improved targeted ad network, late last month. According to the Atlas website, this new network represents an industry push toward "people-based marketing"; that is, target marketing that tracks a person's activity across mobile phones and tablets—not just desktop computers.

So what's all the fuss about? First off, Atlas doesn't rely on cookies, a means of data collection that only works on desktop computers. Instead, Atlas promises to track a shopper's habits as they move across all devices, which, in turn, can create a more accurate, comprehensive shopper profile. Secondly, some fear that Atlas is a just a precursor to Facebook selling the personal information of its users; however, Facebook has insisted that the information gathered by Atlas and shared with advertisers is done so anonymously.

To learn more about Atlas's cross-device strategy, follow this link.

Stay Connected with Our Monitoring Feature!

With the many items on your to-do list, it can be difficult to find time to keep up with all the comments being made on social media by clients and prospective clients. When do you have time in the day to check your company's Facebook page, Twitter, and blog to see if there are any comments you need to respond to? That's where our Monitoring service comes in; we review, categorize and notify you of new comments on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, YouTube, and more:

  • When a comment is made, our monitoring team will email you alerting you there is a comment you need to respond to. If it is something we can easily respond to, we will enter a response for you. Otherwise, you can simply respond to the email with what you'd like to say back and we will post the comment for you! Alternatively, you can log into Respage Express and respond to the comment yourself.
  • Each comment is scored in a category such as Service Request, Lead, Review/Rating or Client Comment. You will then be able to see exactly how residents are using each social media platform to communicate with the company.

Click here for more details.

Facebook Ends “Like-Gating”

"Likes" have been an important currency on Facebook, a way for users to opt in to receiving updates and for marketers to estimate a page's reach.

Over time, it became a common practice for pages to offer incentives for users to Like a page, such as contests, coupons, discounts, and deals. The practice even earned its own distinctive name: "Like-Gating."

A recent post on Facebook's Developer's blog, however, marked the end of "Like-Gating." The post noted some upcoming changes to Facebook's Platform Policies, slated to go into effect by November 5, 2014. Here's how Facebook's Developer's blog described the change:

You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app's Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.

Want to prepare for the Platform Policy change before November 5? We suggest adjusting your contests and sweepstakes to request rather than require a Like. You can also continue to encourage people to Like your page by highlighting benefits like receiving service notices, finding out about upcoming events, and learning about future contests.

4 Walls will continue to manage sweepstakes for our qualified Respage clients, and we're adjusting our app and systems to meet the new Facebook Platform Policies.

You can read more about Facebook Platform Policy changes related to "Like-Gating" at the following sites:

Graph API v2.1 and updated iOS and Android SDKs [Facebook Developer's blog]
No More Facebook Like-Gating [jonloomer.com]
Facebook Bans Like-Gating [reshiftmedia.com]

Facebook Testing Statuses with Expiration Dates

When Facebook offered $3 billion to Snapchat's CEO Evan Spiegel to acquire the popular picture messaging app, Spiegel's flat "no" didn't deter the social media enterprise for very long. According to Philly.com, Facebook's engineers took matters into their own hands, creating a new Snapchat-like feature for their users' statuses that is now in the early stages of testing.

Select Facebook users might notice that, when they go to post a status, link, or picture on their mobile Facebook app, there's an extra step: "Choose Expiration." One such user posted a screenshot of the new feature on Twitter, showing a few different options. Facebookers can have their posts disappear within a few hours, a day, or even a week. The feature could work best for timely posts, such as event invites or trending news articles. Read the full article on Philly.com to learn more about "self-destructing" statuses.

Monitor Your Online Reputation Through Review Response

Online reviews can have a direct influence on whether a tenant chooses to rent from you. One study showed that more than seven in ten renters check online reviews, and they're also interested in seeing whether properties make timely replies to complaints and compliments.

Respage's new Review Response service aims to help the multifamily community respond to reviews. Review Response consists of reputation specialists who will monitor your reviews on sites such as Yelp, Google+ Local, and others on a daily basis; reply to both positive and negative reviews by writing custom responses, which you approve first; and provide detailed reputation reporting through an online dashboard.

Review Response rates start at $99 per month. Contact us if you'd like to learn more about the service.

How to Get Your Content to Appear in Google’s ‘In-Depth Articles’ Feature

Perform any basic web search on Google, and underneath your search results, you'll be presented with a block of in-depth, long-form articles relating to your search query. Aptly named "In-Depth Articles," this relatively new feature from Google was launched in August 2013, and it aims to unearth quality content from around the web, whether it be sourced from the New York Times or the personal blog of your neighbor down the street.

Since its unveiling, the In-Depth Articles feature has prompted the same question from webmasters across the globe: How do I get my content to appear in the In-Depth Articles feature, and, in turn, attract more traffic to my website? The answer is, in short, to provide high-quality, compelling content; however, incorporating the proper metadata into your website is equally as essential.

Want to learn more? The Google Webmaster help topic "Appearing in the 'In-depth articles' feature" provides four must-read tips for webmasters hoping to score a high ranking within the search engine's algorithms—and maybe a turn in the In-Depth Articles spotlight.

Google Improves Its Secondary Search Box for Site-Specific Search Results

Google's Webmaster Central Blog recently announced that the search engine was enhancing its secondary search box for site-specific results. As the Webmaster blog explains, the "sitelinks search box" is meant to make it easier for users to find a specific page on an organization's website.

For example, a search query for "youtube" returns a list of results as well as another search bar labeled "Search youtube.com" with which users can perform a site specific search — all without leaving the first page of results. Google is gradually going to move the sitelinks search box to a spot directly beneath the main search result, making it easy for users to refine their searches.

To use the sitelinks box, a site must have a working site-specific search engine and be marked up in the proper way. Google's Developer site has more details about the markup requirements and you can read more about the enhanced sitelinks search box by visiting the Google Webmaster Central Blog.

New iPhone App “Somebody” Puts Human Interaction Back Into Everyday Correspondence

While texting and emailing have taken the intimacy out of everyday correspondence, the new texting app "Somebody" intends to put it back in—at least somewhat! Created in partnership by American director Miranda July and Italian high fashion label Miu Miu, the iPhone app aims to strip its users of the protective shield that makes SMS and email exchanges safe for the ego—but also impersonal and overly scripted.

Here's the gist of the app: Instead of simply texting your friend, you send the text to a third party—also a user of the app—who delivers your message in person. While you can choose the third party "messenger" from a list of available Somebody users, he or she is a total stranger, a describing factor that's essential to the Somebody experience: to make users "nervous, giddy, and alert to the people around us." Think of it as performance art-meets-SMS!

For more information about Somebody and to download the app, follow this link.

New Facebook Sweepstakes! Enter to Win an iPad Mini!

To enter the Sweepstakes, Like our Facebook Page and then look for the Sweepstakes tab (image shown below) located on our Facebook Page to enter. Sweepstakes ends October 31, 2014.

For mobile users ONLY, like our Facebook Page, and then click here to enter!