I have 4 teenagers and I most likely spend more time on Facebook than the four of them combined, all work related of course *cough cough* So I find it extremely amusing when they try to get away with something on Facebook. For example… I noticed one of my wonderful teens had posted mid-day on a school day. How did they do that, I asked? Their response was something to the effect of “Mom, my friend must have hacked my account” or “Facebook doesn’t always get the time right when I post, that was from this morning”. Weak, I know.
Well parents, I am going to teach you how to spy on your kids (or anyone else for that matter). Now obviously you could set up a secondary account under a different name which I would encourage, however Facebook is really pretty smart and sometimes won’t let you get away with it. Back in the day I created a MySpace account of a girl about my kids age and friended them and all their friends so I could keep an eye on them. That’s actually how I got myself wrapped up in social media to begin with!
So here are a few tips:
#1 Check their “recent activity”. This information is posted right on their Facebook page, is probably the most valuable info you will find, and is usually showing their comments on others statuses, new friendships, videos watched, and pages liked. If you notice, everything is hyperlinked in blue meaning they are clickable. If they commented on a status, click the “status” and you will see all comments for that status, along with date and time of day.
#2 If your teen RSVP’s to any Facebook invitation, it will show up on their profile like the the picture below. The invitation is clickable which will give you all the details of the event/party, including address (if given), who is invited, who else RSVP’d (who your kids will be hanging out with), and any comments or chatting about the party. Lots of valuable information!
#3 Curious about when your teen is online? You can always check the “chat section” to see if they are currently online. If they are you will see a green dot next to their name, unless of course they know how to turn off chat which means nobody will see if they are available online or not. You can also see this on the iPhone Facebook app as well.
#4 While looking at an actual post you will see the date and time of the post. This is helpful especially if they were suppose to be in school, in bed at the time
#5 A picture speaks a thousand words and on Facebook, teens love to discuss their pics. First, find out who posted the pic, second, who all is tagged in the pic, third check the time and date it was posted (was it 3am?), and finally click on the actual picture to see all the wonderful comments from their friends who probably are clueless to the fact that a parent may stumble across the picture and read about the wild and crazy night they had.
Don’t forget to check the tags!
#6 Check their friends list. You can actually hide your friends lists but most teens either don’t know this or don’t care, so get snooping! The 2 pictures below show the friends list on the old profile page and the new timeline pages. Click them and you will see any mutual friends you have with them, as well as their entire friends list. You can scroll through all of them, checking what town they live in, high school or college they attend, and even workplace if it’s posted. You can also search their friends list for a specific person shown in the 3rd picture below.
OR on the new timeline
Search the friends list
Hover over a name to get a little more info
If you dig deep enough, you can find lots of information about anyone on Facebook. A little scary actually but you can also secure your Facebook so that pretty much everything is hidden through your security settings. Is this an invasion of your teens privacy? No, it’s out there for all to see it. Keep in mind that many teens lie about their age on Facebook because you have to be at least 13 to have an account, so it may look like your kids are hanging out with 20 year olds. That may not be the case at all so check the about section for graduation year to confirm.
Parents of teenagers need to be proactive instead of just reactive to a situation at hand. Stop the behavior before it starts. Know who your kids are hanging out with. And don’t feel guilty about spying on them…just don’t get caught or they will de-friend you or worse…block you. Then of course you change the wi-fi password and/or take away the computer
So how is that new timeline treating you?
Love it? Hate? Don’t care? Don’t have it yet?
I opted into the new timeline back in September and really I could go either way on it. I think it’s cool looking, love the new cover photo at the top, like the many privacy options it gives you, and I like the fact you can go “back in time”.
What I don’t like is the zig-zag way you have to look at the posts. Really that’s probably my only real complaint, it was so much easier to just scroll down the page and see everything. I’m not too worried about it though, I spend most my time on the newsfeed page anyways.
So what are your thoughts on it? Love it or hate it?
One of the biggest questions raised by business owners is “Why should I hire a social media manager?“. Many companies enlist in the help of the person in the office who knows how to use Facebook the most. That person is then given the added responsibility to create a business page, post content, answer questions, and so forth. The reality is, if you as a business owner are serious about marketing your business through social media, then don’t you want it done correctly? If you are like most small businesses, you also don’t want to spend any additional funds for it either, which is where the current employee gets stuck with the new job. Social media is one of the most affordable and effective ways to market your business. The problem is many companies don’t trust it to bring them any ROI because it’s a “new” technology. There is never a second thought to run a $500+ advertisement in the local paper, but to put some of the marketing budget into social media takes a little more trust than the old tried and true ways of print advertising. Here are a few reasons to get with the program…
1. Everyone is doing it
Yes it sounds cliché, however with over 500 million people on Facebook alone, over 100 million on Twitter, over 50 million bloggers, and over 300 million YouTube subscribers with an infinite number of videos uploaded each day…yeah, everyone is doing it. Let’s go back to Facebook, the Grandaddy of them all. Unless your target market is males over 75 years old, odds are, they are on Facebook. Marketing 101…go where the people are.
2. DIRTFT (Do It Right The First Time)
My high school senior English teacher taught me that, sad that I learned it senior year but oh well. When you rely on the “most experienced Facebook user” in the office, there is a big chance your business page will not be set up correctly. Facebook does not allow personal profiles to be used for business purposes, yet we see this happen every day. How many “friends” do you have that are actually businesses? Besides, Facebook Pages provide analytics and other features specifically for businesses. Does your favored “expert” in the office know how to use Twitter? Set up a blog? Create a YouTube channel? Know about meta tags? Know about SEO marketing? Know anything about RSS feeds? Customer service? Content marketing? Ever heard of Yelp? Four Square? Pinterest? LinkedIn? These are just a *few* things a social media person should clearly understand to get your business results.
3. Social Media is time consuming
Have you ever been on Facebook? The average person spends 1.5 hours a day! Your social media person should be posting on your Facebook and Twitter site 1-3 times daily. Then of course checking back periodically throughout the day to check on comments, questions, and other customer service inquiries. They should also be checking your blog for comments among other things, as well as Twitter, YouTube, Yelp, Urban Spoon, Google Plus, ect. for comments, reviews, and questions. Does your office employee have the time available to all of this and more in addition to their current job duties?
While some businesses may answer all these questions with, “yes we can do this”, most others will not be able to answer an honest “yes”. It takes money to make money as we all know in business and the #1 expense cut in budgets are in the marketing department. Take a moment and really think about if that is the right move. If you are not where the people are, how will that affect your business? Think of other resources, like can you offer a raise to the person in the office taking on these job duties? Does it make sense to hire a part-timer for social media? Would it be beneficial to hire a contracted employee who specializes in social media? Whatever you do, do something and I’ll leave you with this…
To those who say “It doesn’t pay to advertise”… A man wakes up in his advertised bed to his advertised radio. He brushes his teeth with his advertised toothpaste. He rides to work in his advertised car. When asked “Does it pay to advertise he says “No” until he advertises his unadvertised business for sale. Author: Unknown
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