WHAT WE LEARNED THIS WEEK: Should a CEO really have a Facebook page?

The attention over disgraced Energy Watch chief executive Ben Polis doesn’t need any more provoking. But the entire incident raises some serious questions about how chief executives maintain themselves on social media.

Plenty of experts would say it’s a good idea to ensure you’re on Twitter, making yourself available to customers and other staff. But what about Facebook? Is there any point?

If you’re operating a personal Facebook page, and you’re a CEO with at least some sort of exposure to the media, you have to ask yourself whether it’s worth it keeping a page. Every single word you say can be leaked online, even by your friends, so it’s worth considering whether you should just shut it down.

Keeping in touch with your friends and family is great, but if you tend to make comments without thinking, then you should probably consider curbing your social media use.

Don’t negate users for revenue

The fact Facebook is buying a picture app for $US1 billion despite not having any sort of revenue or profit is a testament to the importance of reach.

Your company may have the best business model in the world, but if you’re not reaching any customers, then forget about it. Instagram, on the other hand, had one million users in two months.

Making money is important, yes, but if you’re a consumer-focused tech product then you need to be building your user base as much as possible with a quality product. Don’t give up on reaching more users just to make a little bit of money.

Keep transactions as simple as possible

RetailMeNot is introducing a system where users type in their credit card numbers on their site, then whenever they go to a store that has a discount associated with RetailMeNot, the discount is automatically applied.

Google is already doing this sort of thing with Google Wallet, where users that have purchased a “deal” have it automatically deducted from their purchase price.

Maybe you can’t do the same thing, but if you’re a consumer-facing business you should at least be thinking about ways you can make the transaction process easier for your customers. Minimise the work they have to do in order to get the best deal. Don’t make them work for it.

Stay up-to-date on SEO legal issues

Merely days after Google lost its case against the ACCC, Yahoo found itself in hot water, after being forced to pay damages to a Melbourne man after a jury found he was defamed by a crime website.

Justice Stephen Kaye awarded $225,000 in damages, and the plaintiff’s counsel, Graeme Efron, told SmartCompany that “it is a landmark decision and a hard-fought decision”.

Yahoo was found liable even though it just produced a search result, and didn’t change anything after it had been requested to.

This won’t have as much of an impact on your business as say, the ACCC-Google case. But this decision is still definitely something you need to keep in the back of your mind.

Watch the App Store rankings

Melbourne developer SportsMate has had a go at Apple over a ranking on its App Store that advertises “AFL Apps”, but doesn’t actually include many apps apart from Telstra’s apps and some official club apps.

It’s unclear whether Telstra is paying for this space or not, but it still raises an interesting point about how the App Store is ranked.

If you have an app on Apple’s store, then you should be watching carefully to see whether it’s going up or down. By far, the most important metric is downloads, but try and experiment and see if you can get some higher rankings by playing with a few things including descriptions.

However, don’t play dirty – some companies hire third parties to buy copies of their app in order to get it in the top rankings.


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