Friday, March 21, 2008

Now, Any Business Can Tap 53 Million Facebook Users (For Free)

First off, if you have not yet heard of Facebook, thanks for exiting your cave. I'd like to heartily welcome you to the Internet. I think you'll like it here. :)

But seriously, here are some quick stats on Facebook which should be of interest to businesses:

1. More than 53 million active users

2. An average of 250,000 new users join every day.

3. About 34% of users work as professionals, sales, executives, educators or are in technical careers.

4. The fastest growing demographic on Facebook consists of users 25 and older.

Though Facebook started in the student demographic, it's quickly growing out of it. So, my guess is that if you have a product or service offering, chances are that at least a few of those 53 million active users (which spend about 20 minutes a day on the site) are prospective customers of your business. The question is, what do you do about it?

Until recently, only big businesses with big marketing budgets could setup a Facebook account for their companies and/or brands. Examples included Verizon, Walmart, Victoria's Secret and other well known companies. For these brands, Facebook users could become "fans" by adding the brand as a friend (much like they would add a person as a friend). This was pretty cool, but pretty expensive for those companies that wanted to tap into this feature.

Now, any business can create a Facebook profile, or business page, which any Facebook user can become a "fan" of. You no longer have to be a Fortune 500 company to afford this. It's free.

Here's how to do it:

Creating A Facebook Business Page

1. Visit this URL:

2. Decide what the best category is for your business. (Spend a couple of minutes on this as you can't change it later easily).

3. Enter your business/product/brand name and click "Create Page".

4. At a minimum, I'd suggest entering a short description of your business and a website address. This is in the "Add Information To This Page" area. I'd also advise uploading your logo as a photo/image.

5. Click on your business name in the top left corner (it's a hyperlink) and then click "publish this page" (until you do this, nobody but you will be able to see your new Facebook business profile).

6. Finally, and this is important, from your new profile page, click "Add to my products". This way, you become the first "fan" of your business.

Now comes the fun part. Once you've become a "fan" of your business, your friends on Facebook (some of which are likely customers) will see a message in their home page. Something like "Dharmesh Shah is a fan of HubSpot". Hopefuly, some of your Facebook friends will befriend your business. Then, their friends will see a message, and so it goes…

If you want to see a sample Facebook business page, you can check out
HubSpot on Facebook . In fact, you can even add HubSpot as a friend (once you visit the page, click on the "Add Product" link in the right column. There are two benefits to becoming a friend of HubSpot: One, you'll feel a positive glow of good karma. Two, you'll have my attention, and my gratitude.

8 Free Links to Promote a Blog

Do you have a new blog? Want to get 8 free links to your blog? Here is a list of free links in blog directories that you can get for your blog, along with the Page Rank of the blog directory (read this article to learn more about Page Rank: The Importance of Google PageRank: A Guide For Small Business Executives).

So far, none of these links have driven a ton of traffic, however, more inbound links do help you a lot in terms of search engine optimization (read this article to learn more about linkbuilding: Executive Summary: Linkbuilding and SEO for the Internet Marketing Neophyte).

We have submitted our own blog to each of these blog directories and can confirm that they are quality links from reputable sources, and they are all free and do not require a reciprocal link.

8 Quality Blog Directories with Free, No-Reciprocal Links

Blog Directory:


Globe of Blogs



SuperBlog Directory


Blog Listing


Some more SHARED best freeware applications!

Some more

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HydraIRC -
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XChat -

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iTunes -
Jet Audio Basic -
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QCD Player -
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Encounter 2003 -
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tclock2 -

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PC Inspector File Recovery -


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TestDisk -

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PDF 995 -
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The Gimp -
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Peerguardian -
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png2ico -
Stickies -
Sysinternals -
TClockEx -
Vim -

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Avast -
AntiVir -
Panda ActiveScan -

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jetAudio -
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CDex -
dbPowerAMP Music Converter -

CD Recording:

ASPI Drivers -
CD/DVD Burner XP -
Burn 4 Free -

CD Utilities:

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wget for Windows -


PGP Freeware Edition -
Axcrypt -
GnuPG -


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Samurize -

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RealVNC -
Nmap -


ActivePerl -
jEdit -
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SciTE -

Publication/Document Manipulation: -
AbiWord -

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Ad-Aware -
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CWShredder -
Hijack This -
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Resource Hacker -
PC Inspector File Recovery -
Motherboard Monitor -
Sysinternals Utilities -

Video Players:

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Core Media Player -
Media Player Classic -
VideoLAN -
Zoom Player -

Video Utilities:

VirtualDUB -

Web Browsers:

Mozilla FireFox -
Mozilla -
Netscape -
MyIE2 -
Avantbrowser -
SlimBrowser -

Web/FTP Servers:

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Filezilla -
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Apache -
Savant -

12 Quick Tips To Search Google Like An Expert

If you’re like me, you probably use Google many times a day. But, chances are, unless you are a technology geek, you probably still use Google in its simplest form. If your current use of Google is limited to typing a few words in, and changing your query until you find what you’re looking for, then I’m here to tell you that there’s a better way – and it’s not hard to learn. On the other hand, if you are a technology geek, and can use Google like the best of them already, then I suggest you bookmark this article of Google search tips. You’ll then have the tips on hand when you are ready to pull your hair out in frustration when watching a neophyte repeatedly type in basic queries in a desperate attempt to find something.

The following Google search tips are based on my own experience and things that I actually find useful. The list is by no means comprehensive. But, I assure you that by learning and using the 12 tips below, you’ll rank up there with the best of the Google experts out there. I’ve kept the descriptions of the search tips intentionally terse as you’re likely to grasp most of these simply by looking at the example from Google anyways.

12 Expert Google Search Tips

1.Explicit Phrase:

Lets say you are looking for content about internet marketing. Instead of just typing internet marketing into the Google search box, you will likely be better off searching explicitly for the phrase. To do this, simply enclose the search phrase within double quotes.

Example: "internet marketing"

2.Exclude Words:

Lets say you want to search for content about internet marketing, but you want to exclude any results that contain the term advertising. To do this, simply use the "-" sign in front of the word you want to exclude.

Example Search: internet marketing -advertising

3.Site Specific Search:

Often, you want to search a specific website for content that matches a certain phrase. Even if the site doesn’t support a built-in search feature, you can use Google to search the site for your term. Simply use the "" modifier.

Example: "internet marketing"

4.Similar Words and Synonyms:

Let’s say you are want to include a word in your search, but want to include results that contain similar words or synonyms. To do this, use the "~" in front of the word.

Example: "internet marketing" ~professional

5.Specific Document Types:

If you’re looking to find results that are of a specific type, you can use the modifier "filetype:". For example, you might want to find only PowerPoint presentations related to internet marketing.

Example: "internet marketing" filetype:ppt

6.This OR That:

By default, when you do a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search. If you are looking for any one of one or more terms to match, then you can use the OR operator. (Note: The OR has to be capitalized).

Example: internet marketing OR advertising

7.Phone Listing:

Let’s say someone calls you on your mobile number and you don’t know how it is. If all you have is a phone number, you can look it up on Google using the phonebook feature.

Example: phonebook:617-555-1212 (note: the provided number does not work – you’ll have to use a real number to get any results).

8.Area Code Lookup:

If all you need to do is to look-up the area code for a phone number, just enter the 3-digit area code and Google will tell you where it’s from.

Example: 617

9.Numeric Ranges:

This is a rarely used, but highly useful tip. Let’s say you want to find results that contain any of a range of numbers. You can do this by using the X..Y modifier (in case this is hard to read, what’s between the X and Y are two periods. This type of search is useful for years (as shown below), prices or anywhere where you want to provide a series of numbers.

Example: president 1940..1950

10.Stock (Ticker Symbol):

Just enter a valid ticker symbol as your search term and Google will give you the current financials and a quick thumb-nail chart for the stock.

Example: GOOG


The next time you need to do a quick calculation, instead of bringing up the Calculator applet, you can just type your expression in to Google.

Example: 48512 * 1.02

12.Word Definitions:

If you need to quickly look up the definition of a word or phrase, simply use the "define:" command.

Example: define:plethora

Hope this list of Google search tips proves useful in your future Google searches. If there are any of your favorite Google expert power tips that I’ve missed, please feel free to share them in the comments.