Tag Archives: Facebook

How Does Your Company Handle Change in Social Media?

11 May

Cross Roads of Social Media

The concept of social media remains the same; leverage your networks to introduce content that creates engagement and encourages sharing of that content. It’s a basic premise but often gets complicated due to the changes that happen in this fast paced and ever changing landscape of social media.

How does your company handle and react to change?

At the crossroads where business and social media intersect, change happens fast. Technology changes, social networks change and new platforms emerge that all change how fans interact with their favorite brands online.

How quickly a company can adapt and integrate these changes are paramount to their long-term social media marketing success. Companies both large and small who are actively engaging in social media must find a way keep pace with this change curve.  

As companies navigate these social media waters industry leaders emerge but it’s often the companies who can quickly adapt and integrate with new changes that allow them to stay nimble and keep pace with change.

Here are some examples of change:

Established and existing platforms will change.

Facebook recently made changes to the entire way businesses present themselves and how they interact with their fans via the new timeline functionality.  

New and emerging platforms emerge, quickly. 

Platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are such a huge success that companies must now incorporate new ideas using these platforms into their current social media strategy.

The technology you use change

As social networks change so do the technology vendors that empower you to get the most out of all your social channels.  These social media management systems often have to quickly adapt to these changes and implement new and innovative ways for brands to utilize these system and leverage these social media networks to their advantage.

Its human nature to become comfortable in a routine and any change that gets introduced immediately is viewed as a negative. Instead of viewing these as a negative, learn and try to understand what these new changes bring to the table. By embracing change, your company can adapt quickly and learn to use any changes to your advantage. 

By – Adam Lazzara

The Upside to the New Timeline Changes to Facebook Pages

20 Apr

April 1st 2012 was the day the entire landscape of how Facebook pages were presented to fans changed.  Several months prior personal profile pages switched to what is called a timeline view allowing users to create milestones or life events for things such as engagements, weddings and even those little additions to the family.  Many speculated for some time that this change was coming to business pages but what they didn’t see coming was Facebook removing the ability to send a potential new fan to a default landing tab that often prompted the user to click the “like” button to access some sort of exclusive content. Such a small sacrifice for huge benefits.

We can now build and engage a true and genuine fan base

How many likes could you get was the name of the game but seemingly nobody paid attention to the type of fan that was clicking “like”. Let’s go old school for a moment, you wouldn’t send a piece of mail that was meant for athletes to folks over the age of 60 would you? Yet, brands grabbed as many likes as they could regardless of the demographic resulting with lots of fans but no engagement.

To further this think of this example:

Congrats you just got a new fan but that new fan just happens to be my mom and you happen to be an outdoor sporting goods company. Trust me when I tell you that this is not the demographic you are looking for, she never has nor ever will buy any sort of sporting good item but she found your fan page and clicked “like” because you said if she did she might win an iPad.

You may not realize it yet but Facebook has done us all the favor of eliminating the gimmicky landing tab used to gain fans. The type of fan you are looking for is an honest and genuine fan that is using or could potentially be using your product or service.

Deepen the Facebook experience for our fans with technology

Timeline allows you to turn your fans experience on your page from something that was very one dimensional and narrow to an engaging multifaceted experience. To pull it all together it is going to take bit of technology, a proper communication strategy and some paid Facebook ads.

Now that the size of “web apps” (formally known as tabs) moved from the narrow canvas of 520 to the extended canvas of 810, brands can now truly develop a micro site for fans to interact with that will function very much like a regular website.

Social media management systems (SMMS) can provide the technology to make this an easy experience for your social media teams. Gone are the painstaking days of needing a development team to custom code pages by hand. These SMMS technology platforms will now allow a brand manager to create engaging content easily through a drag and drop experience to quickly publish content to their Facebook pages.  By creating web apps for fans to interact with they will be able to capture valuable information on the type of fan that is engaging with their page. Capturing such data will allow them to create specific fan segments for them to re-market to later.

Have a proper communication strategy

Facebook has now created a “link to this tab” URL for us to use to direct fans to this custom content.

Utilizing this URL in your communication strategy across all of your social channels and not just Facebook will be key in driving people to that custom content you have created. Proper communication will play a much larger role now in getting fans and potential fans to these pieces of content for them to engage in.

Capture fan data and use it effectively with technology

Some social media management systems will allow you to collect and retain data on your fans through social CRM. Brands will now be able to organize fans and create “segments” based upon the specific data that is collected.  Data collection can be gathered through building web apps and having fans engage with them.

Example of a custom sign up web app:

Looking at a simple example of using data like this, picture an automobile dealership that sold both Toyota and Honda cars and they used a social media management system that allowed them to create a web app asking their fans what kind of car they preferred, Honda or Toyota.

By collecting this data, the dealership would now be able to create a fan segment that separated the Honda drivers from the Toyota drivers complete with all of their contact information. Having this segmented data they can now remarket to these fans via Facebook ads and even through specific web apps that cater specifically to each segment. It would make sense to display Honda related content to the Honda fans wouldn’t it?

Embrace change

Facebook continues to evolve and it made a natural progression with timeline for business pages and gave brand managers even more tools for building and developing relationships with fans and potential customers.  Collectively we have moved far beyond simply getting a “Like” from a fan and have moved into a world of data, engagement and customer service through social media.

By – Adam Lazzara

//

 

Running a Facebook Contest? Don’t Break the 1st Rule

21 Jun

Facebook Ghost Town

Many of you still are putting your company at risk despite the new Facebook policy change regarding contests and sweepstakes.

Many of you reading this are saying, what policy change? Well on May 11th there was a policy change that Facebook announced regarding how contests and sweepstakes are to be run through Facebook. 

How do I know that you have no idea about this policy change you ask? It’s because every day I see a new page that is asking its fans to “Like” or “Leave a Comment” to enter themselves to win something. Shockingly some of them are even major national brands. It’s almost as if your trying to draw the ire of Facebook to see what will happen.  I assure you bad things will happen, things that you are going to have to explain to your boss such as to why your Facebook page with 30k fans has been frozen as Facebook investigates things further.  After all you are breaking the first rule.

1. Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or an app on a Page Tab.

This means that you must use an application to run your contest. It’s a pretty simple premise that either you are not familiar with or just flat out don’t care about. Either way you are putting your company in jeopardy by violating this rule.

I strongly advise that you follow ALL of the promotional requirements that Facebook has established as of May 11th 2011 otherwise your dream job as a community manager may end up not having any community to manage after all. I think you all know what happens to a community manager that has no community to manage, don’t ya? 

Find the new promotions and guidelines change from Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/promotions_guidelines.php

What Custom Facebook Welcome Pages SHOULD Do

14 Jun

Facebook Tabs

Everyone’s doing it these days. Custom welcome Facebook pages but do you know what a custom Facebook page should do for you?

Often people spend too much money on a custom welcome page without even understanding the proper usage of it, here’s a hint, it’s so much more then just gaining a fan.

The first thing you need to understand is that a custom welcome page is nothing more than a landing page for new fans. If you have your new custom page set as the default tab for new fans (as you should) this is what new fans will see instead of being taken directly to your wall.  This is what people who are not already fans see when they find your Facebook page. If you are thinking that people who are already your fans are revisiting this page, you are mistaken. The likelihood of this is slim.

A Couple of mistakes are being made here right off the bat when it comes to these pages.

1) Your fancy welcome page is nothing more than an image telling people to like the page. 

Ever go to a page and be greeted with a fancy image stating, “Like our page for exclusive discounts, news and events from our awesome company?” You clicked on like expecting something magical to happen as a thank you for “liking” the page and becoming a fan only to discover nothing happened. You still see that same image telling you to like the page. Boo. Reward your fans, this is your chance to capture not only their interest but maybe some contact information for marketing efforts you are going to do down the road. The right technology platform will allow you to create a great looking page and once that precious like button is clicked it will display new content such as a newsletter sign up form that can now encourage people to share their information with you to receive an exclusive coupons or something to that effect.  You have gained a fan AND added to your email database.

2) Your welcome page contains images with links embedded for users to click through to items on your website.

Ever go to a Facebook page and all you see are several images with a call out for you to click on them? For example, images that display items such as “buy tickets here” or “get your official merchandise here” and when you click on the corresponding image it takes you to their website? This case confuses me; the brand has directed you to their Facebook page only to direct you away from it. Somebody in the marketing department is missing the boat here.  

Welcome tabs serve no purpose if they are not served properly to a potential fan. Be sure you understand what these pages should be doing for your brand before you waste your time, effort and money on something that is just designed to look pretty.             

Facebook Edgerank and what it means for your business

7 Jun

facebook edgerank

Clever Facebook, very clever indeed, I applaud your revenue driving efforts. Before I go into detail, let me explain in the most simplistic terms possible what Edgerank is.

If you do not take some sort of action from a page that you have “liked” they will stop showing up in your news feed. You see, people “like” practically everything these days and Facebook had to come up with a way to show in your news feed what you’re really, genuinely interested in. This also applies with people, every notice the same people or pages showing up in your news feed consistently? That is because you are looking at their pictures, leaving them comments, “liking” their updates and having some sort of consistent interaction with them.  We know your buddy Bob who you knew in the 11th grade that now lives in Arizona who you haven’t talked to in 20 years is your Facebook friend but have you “really” reconnected with him or even care about what’s going on with his life? It’s always fun to connect with a really old friend to see what they have been up to but after the novelty of it fades you realize why you haven’t really kept in touch with them after all. However, you keep them as a friend on Facebook. Since you really have nothing in common with this person, you really don’t like or care for anything they have going on in their life they are least the important person to display in your newsfeed. Edgerank.

Why it’s a clever revenue boost for Facebook?

Often times fans are gamed into ‘liking” a page.  Remember that chance you had to win a $1,000 by liking that diaper company? Of course you liked the page, who wouldn’t want to win a cool G? Needless to say you didn’t win but your still a fan of that page. Problem is that after that contest was over the brand did very little to give you engaging useful content so you just ignored them and pretty soon it just went away. That is Facebook Edgerank.

Many brands have done a poor job at messaging their fans and getting them to engage. The consequence in providing poor content is that your messages are now bumped from your fans newsfeeds since you did nothing to encourage them to “like”, share or comment on. 

Now what do you do to get back those fans you have lost? Buy Facebook advertising to give those fans something to re-engage in.  

Is making a company have to buy advertising to get their fans re-engaged clever or just wrong?  

Is Your Social Media Presence the Ford Pinto of Social Media?

1 Jun

Social Media Strategy

But you hired an expert, how could you not be getting any results? You also have a very cool looking Facebook page, sweet…

Beyond looking cool, you’re not doing much of anything else to help your cause.

Social media is too much, too fast and too encompassing for any one man to be defined as an expert. The self-proclaimed experts are jack of all trade types but master of none. They are your local social media handy-man, they can come in and hang some pictures on your wall, mow the lawn and maybe even fix that leaky faucet but when you need somebody to put a new addition on your house you’re probably going to want to bring somebody in that can handle that task. Social media strategy for your business should be thought of in the same light. Through technology “experts” often create some interesting looking Facebook pages, set up your Twitter background and maybe even create you a Foursquare special, which can look impressive, but under the hood it’s a totally different story.  You’re missing your strategy, the core component of your social media efforts. You did want this to work for your business didn’t you?

Successful social media has many moving parts and without properly integrating those parts into your strategy you can easily fall flat in your efforts. Think of it like the engine in your car, your engine can be in fine working order but take away the oil and you will eventually be buying a new engine. Foursquare efforts can work with your Twitter efforts which can then compliment your Facebook presence and your Facebook presence can compliment your e-commerce efforts back on your website.  Ok that was complicated, but you get the drift, many moving parts that work together but must be properly tuned to work in perfect harmony to achieve your goals. Your social media handy man hasn’t thought of this.

Be cautious, even the people who are telling you not to hire a social media expert can be as slick as that self proclaimed social media expert as well.

People are often captivated by smooth talking individuals that can present themselves as being knowledgeable subject matter experts on topics that others are not well informed on. These are the people who can get in front of a crowd and captivate the room, drop some knowledge, be exciting, shout a few curses and get a rise out of the crowd. These are the people who are revered and it’s not just in social media. Look at all those people who are scammed by multi-level-marketing schemes where a slick talking, exuberant persona speaks to a room full of people all of whom are desperate to find an easy way to make a buck and are captivated by wild promises of riches that are beyond imagination. That is as long as you buy into the program with your cash first.  

Always be cautious as to who you hire and the promises that they throw your way, do your due diligence and ask to see examples of their work as well as measurable results. Don’t fall for the “doesn’t this look cool?” Facebook page routine; remember a nicely painted 1971 Ford Pinto is still a Ford Pinto.  

Follow Me: @AtlantaSnoop

Different Social Networks Require Different Social Messages

3 May

Status Updates Across Networks

You’ve been diagnosed with social network overlap, what are the symptoms and how do you treat it?

How many social networks are you on? There are hundreds to choose from but let us just focus on a few of the most popular. We know that you’re on Facebook, that one is a given, and many of you are on Twitter and Linkedin. Lets just discuss your symptoms of social network overlap for a moment.

Three networks with three distinctly different audience types, lets break those down quickly.

1)   Facebook – Your close personal friends are here, relatives, loved ones, co-workers and generally people that you were once close with or acquainted with at some point in your life. If you are “friends” with people that you have never met or know of then your missing the point of what Facebook is all about. See Myspace.

  1. Example Messaging – “We have a new member of the family! Isn’t our new puppy cute? Who is coming over to play with her?”

2)   Twitter – Great for 140 character quips about your life, interests, random and sometime senseless thoughts and a general sharing of things with unknown people that you may of may not have a common interest with.

  1. Example messaging – “Lunch was great at the South City Kitchen in Atlanta, try the shrimp and grits!” or senseless tweets like “I think I am going to go take a bath”

3)   Linkedin – Business networking. Sharing your professional insight, articles and commentary with like minded people in your given industry of work.

  1. Example messaging – “Thought you all might like to check out this article on digital marketing for brands” Share link.

With three different networks, why not update them all at once?  

Technology makes it very simple these days for us to update multiple networks all at once with the same message. Type your message, check off which network you want it delivered to and bam you have just updated your three networks with the same message. Now if I follow you on all three networks, I get to see your update three separate times, thanks for that. Insert sarcasm here.  With some technology publishing solutions you do not even have to select which network your updates go to, it will automatically post to those networks for you. Bad idea.

Now there is not to say that there wouldn’t be appropriate situations where the same message wouldn’t be appropriate across multiple networks. Certainly your Twitter followers would be interested in seeing a puppy but your business networking people, maybe, but probably not because that is not what they are on Linkedin for. Linkedin is meant for business and while your puppy is adorable, there is a time and a place for that.

Ever pass a funny photo or joke along to your Facebook friends because you know that they will appreciate the humor? Of course we all have at some point but do you know will not appreciate the humor, your business connections on Linkedin. Those are your potential future employers and business connections. They will find your lowbrow humor unflattering and unprofessional. Your funny jokes and photos do not belong on Linkedin.  Period.

A similar line of thinking goes for your Facebook and Twitter updates, you can link your Twitter account to your Facebook page but I can assure you if you do this your Facebook friends will not appreciate your high volume of senseless tweets coming across their news feed. Keep your tweets on Twitter since followers on Twitter understand what they are getting into by following you and that just might be tweets about what you are going to eat for lunch. 

Keep your Facebook updates, shares and “likes” to what you think your friends will appreciate. Even my best friends could care less if I am spamming them on the status of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

The Cure: With hundreds of social networks and many of them are for meant to cater to specific things and groups of people. One network that I recently started to use is called Daily Mile; it’s a network for avid runners to share there running experiences and workouts with other runners. So the question I ask to you all is why would I ever update my Daily Mile status with anything other then what it is intended for? Do not auto post the same message across multiple networks.

Understand the networks you are using, understand who your audience is and take the time to specifically message the appropriate network with the things that friends, followers or connections will find value in. If you take the time to do this and you will be a much more engaging and appreciated individual amongst your social networking friends, followers and connections.    

%d bloggers like this: