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Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Social Media Tips: 5 easy steps to set up a Facebook business account

November 1st, 2013 3 comments

I’ve decided to start a Facebook account. Now what?

To start, we need to determine if we are looking to do a business account or a personal account.

Which type of Facebook account is right for you? For the purpose of this blog post, let’s focus on a business account.

If you are going to have a business account, you must start with a personal account. Facebook business pages are similar to personal timelines. A big difference are the analysis tools Facebook includes for business pages that offer in-depth knowledge to help you see how well you are connecting with your community.

Let’s walk together through setting up a page for your business. Please note that the Facebook landscape changes on a regular basis, so remember you can always visit Facebook’s Help Center for updated instructions.

 

Step #1. Set up your personal Facebook account

First, you are going to need a personal Facebook account to set up a page for your business.

The reason for this is driven by Facebook limiting your availability to access its business account process without an initial personal account.

If there is a silver lining to this, the business page will not interact with your personal page and your personal information is not public on the business page.

Facebook will allow you to switch back and forth from your personal account to your business account so you can interact as the business on the business page and then simply switch back to your personal account.

In addition, the business page is capable of being managed by multiple administrators if needed. Once additional administrators are set up for the page, each administrator can simply log in to their personal Facebook account to access the business page’s control panel.

 

Step#2. Select “Create a Page”

You can find this in the “More” section at the bottom of your personal account homepage.

 

Step #3. Select a page

Which page category should you select? 

 

Facebook classifies business pages into six major groups. Here’s a breakdown of each group to help you select the right one for your business.

 

Local Business or Place

  • If you have a brick-and-mortar store where customers physically visit, select the Local Business or Place page.

Company, Organization or Institution

  • If your business is mostly run online or has multiple locations, then you should select the Company, Organization or Institution page.

Brand or Product

  • If your business has products that are sold through multiple websites, resellers and/or retailers, then you will want to select the Brand or Product page.

Artist, Band or Public Figure

  • If you are in the public spotlight and your business is focused on promoting,  the Artist, Band or Public Figure page is the appropriate selection.

Entertainment

  • If you are looking to promote your television show, movie, book, radio station, magazine or other media, select the Entertainment page.

Cause or Community

  • If your organization is a community of action that supports specific issues, campaigns or nonprofit organizations, select the Cause or Community page.

 

If you feel like you made a mistake in your choice of page, you can always change your page type and category. You can do this after you’ve created the page through the admin control panel.

 

Step #4. Select your category and get started  

The category selection is just a simple category drop-down list.

After choosing a group that best fits your business, enter the required information for your page, read the terms, and if you agree, check the box and click “Get Started.”

Now that your business page is set up, the hard part is over!

 

Step #5. Create cover and profile photos  

Facebook allows for a standardized template design with two elements that can be changed on a regular basis.

These two components are:

  • Cover photo
  • Profile photo

These elements are essential to the look and feel of your page. They also serve as free advertising space for your business. Let’s take a more in-depth look at each of them.

 

Cover photos

Cover photos are the large image at the top center of your page that can serve multiple functions.

The size dimensions for cover photos are 850 pixels by 315 pixels.

 

To give you an example, let’s take a look at Motorola’s Facebook page.

Motorola has blended images of its products and text to thank fans for their engagement, which leads me to another point.

Cover photos are versatile and only limited to your creativity. They can introduce visitors to your page, promote special offers, provide contact information, and most importantly, help you set the tone of your page.

Even if you are not a designer or have very limited resources, you can still create effective cover photos.

Freeware like GIMP or Paint.net will allow you to size, crop and save your images as needed.

Also, here’s a tip – try not cover more than 20% of the image with text. The reason is Facebook has been rather picky in the past about the amount of text you can use in images.

I also recommend creating multiple cover photos initially, and then upload and swap them out on a weekly basis.

Creating multiple images is hard enough without adding in the reminder to change the cover photo once per week. However, at the moment, when you change your cover photo, your audience will be able to see that photo in their timeline. Another recent MarketingSherpa blog post dives into the details on Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm.

But for now, I suggest implementing this tactic as a best practice to keep your brand top-of-mind with your Facebook fans. Also, changing out the cover photo on a regular basis to keep your page looking fresh is a good idea.

 

Profile photos

The profile photo is the square box to the bottom left of the cover photo. The dimensions for profile photos are 180 pixels by 180 pixels.

 

Your profile photo serves one main purpose: every time your page posts an update, your profile photo will appear alongside the post on your fans’ timelines.

The profile photo is a small square, so you will want to minimize the amount of text used in this box to maximize the real estate.

A lot of brands safely use a logo in this space for identity, but there is no right or wrong choice here. As I mentioned earlier, your boundaries are the limits of your creativity.

I recommend taking some time to find the right profile image that captures the heart of your business.

 

Related Resources:

Social Media Marketing: A quick look at Facebook EdgeRank

Social Media: 4 simple steps to calculate social media ROI

Social Media Marketing: Why should I like or follow you?

Is Social Media Better for Building Product Credibility?

October 29th, 2013 No comments

I had a conundrum once at dinner when I was a young military guy stationed in Tampa, Fla.

I wanted to try something new, and I had my mind set on Chinese food. In an attempt to get an unbiased opinion, I fired up my trusty laptop and Googled “Chinese food Tampa.”

After sorting through a few million results, I arrived at a few good recommendations based on star ratings and other such nonsense. Just to double check, I phoned a friend who had eaten at the spot I chose.

Knowing my personality and my legendary picky eating habits, he recommended that I not go to my top choice. Of course, I completely ignored him and did it anyway.

Gripped in the depths of gastrointestinal distress two hours later, and surrounded by throngs of hipsters, I realized a simple truth: star ratings are a ridiculous way to gauge a product or service.

As it turns out, most Americans agree with me, at least in principle.

A recent report from Forrester Research indicated 70% of Americans trust brand or product recommendations from friends and family. To give you an idea of how high that percentage is, only 46% of Americans said they trusted consumer-written online reviews.

The takeaway from this research is Americans trust personal recommendations at a much higher rate than reviews from strangers.

 

That creates an interesting dichotomy since most e-commerce stores offer consumer ratings, but not friend and family recommendations via social media.

Take a look at this product page. It just so happens to be the Amazon product page for my recently published book. 

 

You’ll notice the product page offers a star-based review system whereby people who have read the book are able to review it.

This represents the traditional attempt by retailers to reduce customer anxiety about their purchase and increase credibility of the product by allowing real people to give their unfettered opinions of the product. The problem, of course, is the Forrester report has introduced an element of doubt about how effective consumer-written online reviews are at influencing the purchasing behavior of individuals shopping online.

Let’s compare Amazon’s attempt to assuage anxiety to another approach, below:

 

I really like this example of integrating a Facebook comment into a product page because it illustrates the potential for using social media to build your products’ credibility. The widget will allow anyone to comment on your product or service, provided they have a Facebook account.

The widget can be coded to display socially relevant results first. In other words, you can show any comments from your customers’ friends and relatives at the top of the list, and as we’ve discovered, the recommendations of friends can be much more trustworthy.

The only problem I can foresee with this approach is having a lack of comments on a particular product.

Could the Facebook commenting process be so foreign to people that it scares them away?

Do customers understand this is the functionality that they should use to leave a recommendation?

We don’t have answers to those questions.

It seems as if we’re left with a valid research question: which attempt at alleviating anxiety and boosting credibility will be most effective?

Will it be the traditional user-based “star” concept that made me sick, or the socially empowered “friends and family” approach?

Read more…

Social Media Marketing: Insights from Email Summit keynote Jay Baer

July 30th, 2013 1 comment

At MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014, attendees will hear a wide range of case studies and keynote addresses covering many aspects of email marketing.

At last year’s event, Jay Baer, President, Convince and Convert, presented, “More Alike than Different: Why email is Madonna, and Facebook is Lady Gaga,”  in which he explained the relationship between email and Facebook and how marketers can take advantage of the two channels through integration.

In this excerpt from his presentation, filled with 16 ways to integrate email and Facebook into marketing plans, hear highlights from Jay’s session, including why this integration is so essential for businesses, now and especially in the future.

 

00:10 “If somebody is subscribing to your email newsletter on your website, on your thank you page, why not ask them to also like you on Facebook?” Jay asked, citing many brands he has audited have not tried this approach.

2:26 Jay explained why marketers who are doing advanced segmentation should turn to connecting Facebook accounts to websites to collect information from customers. Instead of having customers fill out a lengthy form with their information, allowing them to connect their Facebook accounts makes it easier on them to give up their information and faster for marketers to collect this essential data.

2:56 Jay revealed in this session how any time a marketer sends something, it is likely only 25% of the audience will see it at any given time. This is precisely why it is essential for marketers to surround customers with many options for communication, including email and social media.

4:08 While the integration tactics discussed in Jay’s keynote address are not difficult technically, they can be difficult to accomplish culturally, operationally and tactically. But, email marketers’ jobs depend on doing these things “because email isn’t going anywhere, but social media is getting a disproportionate amount of attention, and you know that to be true.”

 

Watch the full, free session from Email Summit 2013 to hear all of Jay’s insights about integrating email and Facebook.

Read more…

Social Media Marketing: 4 basic tips for getting started

July 16th, 2013 6 comments

“I’m so far behind. Everyone tells me I need to be on social media, but I don’t know where to get started!”

Today’s MarketingSherpa Blog post is for the late adopters, those not yet deeply engaged in social media marketing.

But even if you are engaged in social media marketing, these tips may help you. Marketers all experience the same type of consternation when it comes to social media and receiving questions like these from peers:

  • Are you on social media?
  • Which platforms are you on?
  • How often do you post?
  • What are your engagement numbers?

Let me put your mind at ease. You are not alone. It’s a pressure we all feel within the industry. Companies large and small experience the same pressures.

  • How do we get noticed?
  • How do we create our social brand image?
  • How do we drive sales from a social-oriented platform?

At MarketingSherpa, we have many more resources to help you dive into the complexities of social media marketing and I’ll end this blog post with a few links to help you answer some of the above questions. But first, let’s back it up a bit, and take a 10,000-foot view of the essential elements of any social media marketing endeavor.

 

Essential Element #1. Realistic goals

To start, we need to keep this in perspective.

Does social interaction and engagement directly correlate to conversion? No.

So, if social interaction does not directly create conversions, what are we spending our time, money and resources on? While we cannot directly correlate brand engagement, brand recognition and brand interaction with engagement on a social media platform, we can say the personality and presence of a brand helps to inform consumers and keep them engaged in the conversation.

 

Essential Element #2. Organic conversations

First of all, we do not need to be on every single platform to get to the next level. Start with one platform (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) and start the conversation.

To start a conversation, we need to understand our audience wants to engage in an interaction. Start by asking questions (i.e., I’m having a case of the Mondays, how are you doing today? or TGIF! What are you planning this weekend?) then move on to talking about what you do or want to promote.

Obviously, these questions should be relevant to your brand. The goal is to engage visitors in a conversation and keep it going.

Ask more questions, respond and follow up. You do not want to be that company that puts something out there and doesn’t respond. It’s the same as sending a message to a friend to ask them out to dinner, having them respond to you and never setting a date or time.

 

Essential Element #3. A (growing) community

Grow your following.

I know! I know! How do I grow my brand’s following?

Once you pick where to start and you have a conversation going with your followers, this is an easy transition.

Let’s talk about the demographic you are targeting. Let’s get specific. I know. This is a hard thing to do. This is where you are probably saying “Come on Rachel, my product is perfect for everyone.” I get it.  I’ve had the same trouble myself.

So, let’s pick your top demographic and go from there. Pick your top demographic and find out:

  • Where they visit
  • Who they follow
  • What they read about.

Why is this important? It’s simple. Once you know where they go, start networking.

Social media marketing is all about the connections and creating conversations. For example, if I’m looking to help a company that is coaching boys soccer, where would I go? What would I search for?

I’d start searching locally. I would Google the top Facebook pages for the area by typing “Jacksonville” and “boys soccer” and “facebook.”

This search criteria would pull together the right information for my competition – Facebook pages I should start interacting with.

Read more…

Social Media Marketing: Is in-stream e-commerce possible?

April 4th, 2013 3 comments

E-commerce on Facebook was a horrible flop. That is to say, many brands found over the course of several years of experimentation the return on investment in terms of dollars spent developing their online storefronts didn’t measure up, so many of the most popular retail brands – such as The Gap, JC Penney and Nordstrom – were subsequently forced to close their Facebook shops. A recent study by W3B suggested just 2% of people with a Facebook account have made a purchase on the social network.

Yet, simultaneously, e-commerce sites in general (Amazon, Fab.com, etc.) have posted impressive growth figures.  For example, holiday e-commerce sales were up 13% to $34 billion in 2012.

Why is it that some sites sell, and others don’t? In particular, why are social media sites so horrible at conversion? I believe it’s a phenomenon related to (what I refer to as) the locus of conversion.

 

Facebook is a pub crawl

The environment on Facebook yields similarities to the dynamic of a pub crawl. Surrounded by acquaintances and, yes, a few old friends, we dive into topics of various levels of seriousness ranging from the patently absurd, to the politically charged before wandering aimlessly from topic to topic.

We do so without expecting to be inundated with marketing messaging, much the same as we would expect to not be rudely interrupted by an insurance salesman while we were in the middle of telling our best frat house story from college at the local bar.

However, if you are able to be interesting enough to become the topic of our buzzed conversation, I might be willing, in that instant, to purchase your product. I don’t want to leave the bar, mind you. I just want a magical product genie to appear and offer your purple widget to me at a reasonable price. If I don’t have to leave my bar stool, you just might have a sale.

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Social Media Marketing: Which type of content is appropriate for different platforms?

April 2nd, 2013 5 comments

When I was a kid fresh out of high school, I was a little socially awkward. I didn’t exactly understand the various types of social gatherings to which I was invited to, and I consequentially always showed up dressed incorrectly, saying the wrong things and bearing the wrong gifts. We all know the guy who shows up to the baby shower with a bottle of tequila, right?

Unfortunately, a similar situation exists in marketing circles when advertisers crash the proverbial wedding of social media platforms wearing board shorts and flip flops. That metaphor may be a little dense, so follow me…

For all of the analysis currently existing about how to best leverage social networks for marketing success, we actually understand comparatively little about how the various platforms work. Frequently, despite best efforts to the contrary, marketers end up looking like the odd man out simply by taking the wrong platform-specific tones with their campaigns.

Companies simply can’t expect to behave the same at different social functions and receive an overwhelmingly good response. Since we’re on the analogy train today, I’ll try to keep the theme going.

 

Facebook is a pub crawl

People spend most of their Facebook time interacting with their “friends.” In truth, most of the “friends” with whom we interact with on Facebook are merely acquaintances.

Nevertheless, the environment yields similarities to the dynamics of a pub crawl. Surrounded by acquaintances and, yes, a few old friends, we dive into topics of various levels of seriousness ranging from the patently absurd, to the politically charged before wandering aimlessly from topic to topic for a spell.

We do so without expecting to be inundated with marketing messaging, much the same as we would expect to not be rudely interrupted by an insurance salesman while we were in the middle of telling our best frat house story from college at the local bar.

In order to market effectively on Facebook, you first have to win a seat at the table, or be interesting enough to be the topic of our slightly buzzed conversation.

 

Twitter is a speed date

You’ve got 140 characters to impress me, so you’d better make it work for you.

I might spend a few extra minutes after the last round of speed dating with a particularly interesting person (company, product, etc.), but if I do, it will be because you have done or said something particularly compelling in your allotted time slot.  Equally as fun as interviewing potential dates, I can wander sneakily around the room to see what other people are saying about me …

“That guy has impeccable taste in clothing,” says one. “He’s stunningly good looking,” says another.

Brands can do the same with Twitter, getting a better idea of how the market is responding to their product offerings. In order to market on Twitter, you have to learn how to answer the question of what you’re into right now, and answer it in a compelling enough fashion for me to care when you’re done talking.

Read more…

MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013: Social media is email with fresh paint

February 22nd, 2013 No comments

The day one keynote presentation at the MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013 featured Jay Baer, President, Convince & Convert and co-author of The Now Revolution. Jay’s presentation was titled, “More Alike than Different: Why Email is Madonna, and Facebook is Lady Gaga.”

 

A handful of data points

Jay explained email remains an extremely relevant channel. He cited ExactTarget research from 2011 that found 58% of U.S. adults check email first thing in the morning, and research from 2012 that found 77% of people surveyed reported preferring email for promotional messages.

He also said Facebook is far and away the social media platform of choice with only 27% of U.S. social media users 12 years-old and up embracing second-tier networks such as Google+ and LinkedIn, according to research from The Social Habit.

Additionally, he added 44% of corporate social media marketers look at Facebook as a way to gain new customers based on Wildfire research from 2012. One challenge is 84% of company Facebook fans are current or former customers per DDB research.

“Email and Facebook are strategically, operationally and tactically aligned. Or they should be,” Jay said.

 

Email and social media are more alike than different

Jay stated social media, and Facebook in particular, is just email with “fresh paint.”

Along with this statement, he presented a slide of an image he titled, “Magaga,” juxtaposing Madonna and Lady Gaga side by side to illustrate his point.

 

To further make the point, Jay described three areas of integration:

  • Operations and measurement
  • Channel and audience
  • Message and content

In the case of measurement, email and Facebook share basic metrics even though the nomenclature is different.

 

Email metrics: Subscribes, unsubsribes, opens, clicks, forwards

Versus

Facebook metrics: Likes, hides/unlikes, reach, engaged users, shares

Read more…

Mining Gold through Email Integration: 3 lessons from MarketingSherpa Email Awards 2013 winners

February 19th, 2013 No comments

On the first day of MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013 in Las Vegas, I’ll be interviewing the Best-in-Show winner of MarketingSherpa’s Email Marketing Awards 2013, sponsored by Responsys. In this session, our winner, The National Football League, will discuss its fantastic NFL.com newsletter campaign.

However, there were several outstanding, winning campaigns from this year’s awards deserving of recognition as well.

Note: If you want to see the entire collection of winning entries, download the free Email Awards 2013 Special Report. There’s no squeeze page – just download, learn and share.

As the lead editor on this year’s Email Awards, I found it interesting that, of the myriad submissions we received, email integration played a part in many, if not all, of our winning campaigns.

In fact, as we’ll likely learn from our upcoming Summit sessions, one of the reasons email has been such a venerable channel throughout the years is because of the creative, strategic ways marketers have evolved the tactic to include elements of social media, PPC and website integration.

So, before we head west to the glitter of Las Vegas, let’s pull a few nuggets from these campaigns, seeing what you can learn from other Email Awards 2013 winners’ use of effective integration to find pure gold.

 

Lesson #1: Facebook contests don’t all have to look alike

Ritos GmbH, a consumer electronics company, submitted the OSRAM Innovation Store “Light ‘n’ Style” contest for Email Awards 2013. It was the one entrant in its category that bridged the gap between creativity and results, as it successfully tied together three key factors of an efficient, integrated email campaign:

  • Personalized emails as a support to the contest
  • A fan-gating tab on Facebook
  • A unique contest mechanism that created a viral response

The fan-gating tab on Facebook ensured only persons who were already fans of the OSRAM Innovation Store on Facebook could enter the contest. Contact with all participants was maintained throughout the contest through highly personalized emails.

The emails were personalized through use of the recipient’s name, an image of their favorite lighting product and the product’s current place in the real-time voting. The unusual contest mechanism also made the campaign go viral.

In the end, this creativity paid off handsomely, with the campaign achieving high rates of customer interaction, significantly increased social sharing and a tremendous boost (39%) in newsletter opt-ins – a “side effect” that wasn’t even a focus of the initial campaign.

  • 1,583 people participated in the contest, more than 10% of the existing newsletter mailing list.
  • 1,761,614 people were reached through Facebook ads and made aware of the new products – 119 times more than the size of the newsletter mailing list.
  • Facebook page increased its fan base by 18%.

Additionally, 582% more people posted on the Facebook page during the campaign run, while email open rates about the contest were between 55% and 70%.

Read more…

Search Engine Marketing: Navigating Facebook Graph Search

February 15th, 2013 3 comments

One aspect that makes digital marketing both exciting and challenging is always having something to contend with – such as new social media platforms, new technology and new ways to reach your target audience. Facebook Graph Search is one of the most recent of those digital marketing challenges.

Jonathan Greene, Social Media/Business Intelligence Analyst, MECLABS, said, “Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has defined ‘graph’ as the network of one’s friends, relatives, favorite brands and products.  A ‘graph search’ therefore is a search that leverages one’s ‘graph’ or ‘network’ to provide more interesting, relevant results.”

He added, “The biggest implication for marketers is that Graph Search, if successful in stealing significant market share from Google, will flip SEO on its head. Links will be replaced by ‘likes’ in the SEO hierarchy, and building social capital will be the new optimization strategy for organic search improvement.”

Currently, Facebook Graph Search is only available in limited beta with a significant waiting list for platform-wide adoption.

Although Facebook Graph Search has not rolled out across the entire Facebook ecosystem, it’s certainly worth thinking about for a head start in creating a strategy to meet this new search engine marketing avenue.

To learn more on how marketers should approach Facebook Graph Search, and learn some tips and tactics to share with MarketingSherpa Blog readers, I had the chance to interview two SEM experts: Dan Sturdivant, Account Manager, Speakeasy, and Chairman, DFW Search Engine Marketing Association; and Rob Garner, Principal, Rob Garner Consulting, and author of Search and Social: The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing.

 

MarketingSherpa: Marketers have been told Facebook “likes” are much less important than Facebook clicks – to a landing page for example – or converting those “likes” to a database entry for the email list and other purposes. Does Facebook Graph Search change that equation a bit and make “likes” in and of themselves more valuable?

Dan Sturdivant: Yes, the equation changes with Graph Search; the importance of “likes” will be greatly increased. [For] some businesses, local retail in particular and restaurants especially, this is critical. Consumers will use Graph Search to research companies and services.  Businesses “liked” by their friends will reinforce an immediate connection with that business.

Taking that further, engaging consumers, asking them to “like” the page is important and then engaging them through a newsletter or other marketing tactic and pushing them back to the Facebook page is critical.

That last part is a big change, as well. It used to be you would want to drive folks back to your website, and while it goes against the “digital sharecropper” concept, driving people back to the company’s Facebook page is a good idea.

Read more…

Social Media Marketing: How I found the Facebook topic that was 371% more effective

October 25th, 2012 9 comments

I was a fat kid. Fat kids like cake. Once upon a time, when I was eight years old, I cleaned the entire house to surprise my mother. She rewarded me with a gigantic slice of cake. From that point, I scrubbed the entire floor, organized the pantry and washed the dishes in pursuit of that glorious reward — fresh cake.

The point is, if you do something right, and you recognize the relationship between your actions and the reward, it makes sense to put forth maximum effort to reproduce the action that resulted in being rewarded. The problem with social media efforts is that success usually goes largely unnoticed by businesses.

 

Find your hidden cake

I recently conducted a social media audit for a Research Partner. While working through massive amounts of data provided via Facebook Insight reports, I noticed something interesting. When filtering the most frequently syndicated content to reveal the five most viral posts ever produced by that partner, a pattern emerged. Three out of the top five posts were on the same topic, in the same format.

There’s more. The top five most syndicated posts averaged 22,424 stories created per post by users, whereas the bottom half of the top 10 averaged only 6,042 stories created per post by users.

So, not only were the top five posts more effective at causing syndication from users, but they were 371% more effective.

Since no fat kid would knowingly forgo cake, it’s probably a pretty safe assumption that no business would knowingly do less effective social posting if they knew they could be doing something more effective. (After all, cash is better than cake.) That means the company must be unaware of its achievement.

Read more…