Posts tagged facebook marketing
Attention all Facebook Fan and Brand page owners and admins: the time has run out for the old Facebook layout that we’ve all come to know and love!
Ready or not, the new and improved timeline for brand pages comes into effect today, 30 March 2012.
This is great news for anyone with a Fan or Brand page actually, as the timeline (among other improvements) makes the interaction between fan and brand/company much more personal. Get ready to tell your brand or product’s story, and showcase your business.
Among the bundle of changes Facebook has made, the highlight for us is the ability to engage with fans through private messages directly from the new (and vastly improved!) admin panel on page.
The entire layout and design principle makes for a great user experience and ease of use from a page administrator’s perspective.
Good luck with the transition, and give us a shout if you’d like any help!
Facebook Timeline for Brand and Fan Pages
Facebook has announced the roll-out of timelines for Facebook brand pages.
This. Is. Awesome.
The buzz and atmosphere around these announcements has been met (mostly) with positive responses and (as usual) some discontent…
We see the changes as hugely positive as there are many new and exciting opportunities opened up by the changes to the way that brands will interact with users and followers within the Facebook social marketing context.
Either way, it is a case of adapting as quickly and effectively as possible because love them or hate them, the new changes will only be optional until the end of March 2012- after that, everybody’s going to have ‘em.
The specifics of Facebook timelines on your fan and brand pages:
1. New design aesthetic and updated feel and functionality.
The changes to brand pages and inclusion of the Facebook timeline for brands is a step in the right direction- the new layout closely mirrors the functionality of timelines found in personal profile pages, making them familiar to users. Also, they look really good. Nice!
2. No more page tabs. Horror!
The new layout phases out the fan page tabs we’ve come to love and utilize as social media marketers.
Provision however is made for app tabs to be displayed beneath the header image, and this position is prominent enough if used correctly. Although their visibility is somewhat reduced, they are still able to serve their most vital function: delivering content and functionality within the brand page context.
Another bonus is that Facebook has generously given brands a whopping 810px of screen real-estate to work with as opposed to the previous 520px, which is a huge improvement any way you cut it. This opens up limitless possibilities when it comes to delivering you brand’s content. Great!
3.Goodbye default landing page!
Yep. There is no way to set a default landing tab, which means that the new Facebook timeline for brands takes a totally different route in delivering ‘front door’ messages. Of course, this means that social media and brand managers will need to make radical changes to their strategy and campaign ideas.
4. The big one: Private messaging between brands and users.
This is the singular biggest improvement in the new brand pages design and functionality, also a long-awaited and much-needed improvement.
This will allow admins and managers to respond to users and followers directly and (if need) privately, reducing the amount of clutter of the timeline.
** These are just a few of the changes Facebook has made to brand pages, we are certain many more will follow!
What is the Upshot of the changes to Facebook brand pages?
Once again, we are never sure of what the next changes will be or in which direction the platform might take us.
One thing however is certain as recent history proves: changes will be made!!
We choose to roll with the punches. Essentially, the principles which make Facebook such a massive success in the context of social networking, are now available to every social media marketer, brand manager, company, corporation and brand wishing to utilize Facebook as a marketing tool. The timeline is social by design, which means in essence that brands are better able to do what everyone who advertises on the internet wishes to do: tell their brand’s story.
This is central and vital to the success of any marketing campaign: user engagement. The timeline for brands ushers in the new age of social media marketing that very effectively enables each brand to do just that- engage users more effectively.
What do you think about the changes? How will you adapt and where will you make your first updates?
Tell us by leaving your comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
Facebook Fan Page for International House Cape Town
IH Cape Town is an English language school located in vibrant Sea point, from where you can see the ocean,take a stroll down main road past restaurants, boutiques, cafes and shops.
IH Cape Town has a super promotion / competition running right now- check out https://www.facebook.com/IHCapeTown for more details and to enter. There’s an Apple iPad2 up for grabs.
View fan page on Facebook:
Custom URLS for your Facebook Fan Page
In case you were wondering, there has been a recent development on this front:
Facebook has removed the limitation on its username service making it possible to get a vanity URL at any time.
Previously a Facebook Page, fan page or Facebook profile needed 25 ‘likes’ or more before you could choose your vanity URL. The vanity URL is basically a custom URL that you can pick to represent your fan page or social media profile or Facebook business page on Facebook. This means you longer have to send visitors to a looooooooong complicated and difficult-to-remember URL with random letters and numbers.
Profiles and Pages can take advantage of the custom URL; however, once chosen, it cannot be changed or transferred, or altered in any way.
Note: the company’s FAQ states that users need 25 Likes to register the vanity URL, but after extensive testing it appears that the limitation has been removed.
Great news for businesses taking advantage of Facebook for online targeted marketing and administrators of Facebook fan pages- we longer need to share an unattractive URL in the early stages of a fan page’s creation and promotion.
How do I set my custom Facebook fan page URL?
It is really simple and rather straightforward:
- Make sure you’re logged in to Facebook first.
- Then go here –>> http://www.facebook.com/username
If you’ve already set or picked a custom URL for your Facebook profile, it will be indicated in the pop-up box.
As mentioned it cannot be changed. It will display a drop-down list box of all pages you administer just below this.
Choose your page and if it’s eligible, you’ll be allowed to pick a custom URL, which will also need to be validated by Facebook.
Facebook’s Like Button
and the future of Sharing
The future, or at least the very immediate future of social networking is going to take shape over the next few weeks.
Massive change is upon us all, as we watch the development and trends within social networking the industry is abuzz with anticipation ( and a healthy dose of speculation!)
You can’t deny the success of Facebook‘s Like button. Its popularity quickly skyrocketed; it took less than a month for the button to appear on more than 100,000 websites. Now it is a standard method for endorsing something on the social web.But that’s exactly the problem — the Like button is an endorsement. If you run across an interesting article and share it, it’s seen as an implicit endorsement. And although that has gotten Facebook this far, the social platform is ready to go further.The company did some internal research and found that users, especially younger ones, were afraid to “Like” because of the implied endorsement. Less Liking, or sharing, means less interesting content on Facebook and fewer posts about what these users are doing.
Facebook’s bet is that more people will click a button that says they’ve “Listened” to a song or “Watched” a video, rather than simply liking it. That’s why Facebook will be rolling out “Wapched,” “Listened” and “Read” buttons, as has been previously reported. But at Facebook’s f8 conference, the company will give developers the power to create their own actions.
Called Gestures, these actions are the next step in integrating Facebook with every part of the web. It’s possible you’ll be able to click a Facebook “Challenge” button that would let you post a game challenge on your friend’s wall, or a “Cheer” button that would let you support your friends when they need it. And yes, you could theoretically create a “Dislike” button through Facebook’s new initiative, though if I were Zuckerberg, I’d put a limit on that specific verb. It will be, as the folks at AllThingsD describe it, a “sharing explosion.” It’s Facebook’s partners that will take this capability and turn it into applications that populate Facebook and their websites with these Gestures, though. That’s Facebook’s plan — to become the social layer on which the web is built. To that end, you can also expect Facebook to roll out a new Open Graph at f8, one that includes a much clearer and more engaging permissions screen. The new Open Graph will change Facebook drastically. This is only the beginning. Facebook has a lot more to show us, and some of its biggest announcements may not come at f8, but in the weeks after. Facebook’s launching season is upon us.
The social layer upon which the web is built- the foundation of the ‘personal’ web.
This is fantastic news according to us, and especially the fact that “Gestures” are going to be wonderfully flexible.
The point here, which Facebook is acting on, is that the web is social AND personal and the future is even more personal than it is social! ( Cryptic I know )
We can only watch these trends unfold and adapt as quickly as possible to the rollouts of changes within our favorite social network- from a development perspective it makes a lot of sense that they are responding now to various changes, challenges and pressures within the social networking environment. The question really for us, is whether they’ll continue to set the trend, and be the innovators of social sharing technology?
Either way, exciting times are upon us, and we can’t wait to adapt to the next phase, or as some people have called it, the dawn of social networking 2.0
Social Media Best Practices
There is a serious need right now to rethink your brand’s value offering on Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The market is maturing, and as such is becoming more discerning, and rapidly at that.
As a consumer, you are blasted with the same request over and over, “Follow Us on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook” As a consumer however it is more than natural to ask why should I or what’s in it for me? These are questions of which a significant number of businesses cannot genuinely answer.
There is a growing realization at this point, that businesses large and small, will need to reorient their marketing energy and style from a ‘push’ marketing attitude to interactive or ‘engagement’ marketing.
It is also fair to say that most businesses are coming to terms with the fact that social media marketing takes more time, energy, effort, money and other resources than previously thought.
Today a notable number of businesses are approaching branded social channels from a ready, fire, aim approach. This method conjures a façade of achievement when in fact, any progress, if at all recognized, is short term and shoddy at best. Many focus on numbers without first analyzing who they’re trying to reach and why and more importantly how engagement satisfies the needs of their customers. To build vibrant communities in social networks, businesses must develop a remarkable and diversified channel strategy that reinforces the brand and communicates tangible business value and exudes. Without a mature content and engagement strategy, a great unfollow and unlike movement is inevitable.
You can’t depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus.
- Mark Twain
Competing for the attention of the elusive social consumer surfaces new challenges for brands. Rather than luring a static audience, brands must now demonstrate ongoing value in order to captivate an engaged audience. As a result, brands must now focus on defining a mission and purpose and delivering value for each of the audiences they’re hoping to address.
Social Media Best Practices
1. Design an Effective Channel Strategy: Evaluate the main brand, sub brands, and notable personalities that require a “follow worthy” or “likable” presence. If there are other accounts that exist beyond the initial strategy, assess their value as a standalone channel and its current state. It may be best to simple truncate accounts or close them all together.
2. Create a Life Support System: Develop an organized framework that supports each presence uniquely. Ensure that each account establishes a rhythm that meets the needs of its audience.
3. Mission and Purpose: Know the audience you’re trying to reach and design a communicable mission and purpose for each account.
4. Develop an Editorial Program: Create an editorial program that addresses the various needs of the social consumer including entertainment, sales, service, engagement, HR, etc. Evoke the new K.I.S.S. (Keep It Significant and Shareable). Create content that’s both engaging, contextually relevant, and shareable. Think beyond the basics such as polls, curation, promotional content, questions.
5. Construct a Listening Framework: The best listeners make the best conversationalists. Build a listening framework that monitors the brands as well as the distinct conversations related to each account.
6. Establish Conversational Workflow: Each account requires an information path and workflow. They also require bridges between them to ensure that every representative is informed and that the right delegates within the business are on point to engage or respond accordingly.
7. Formulate a Decision Tree: Draft a clear flowchart that details the steps for a variety of “if this happens, then do this” situations. This is designed to help representatives follow a pre-defined path for the real-time nature of engagement.
8. Initiate a Training Program: Representatives will require ongoing training to stay sharp and focused. Every engagement either reinforces or takes away from the brand experience. As technology moves faster than our ability to master its lessons, training keeps employees on track.
9. Install a Governance and Reward System: Much like the marketing team protects the integrity of the brand and how it’s presented, a social team is necessary to manage the integrity of each Twitter account as well as the overall portfolio. At the same time, a reward system must be put in place to encourage exceptional work.
10. Draft a Social Media Brand Style Guide: Chances are a style guide already exists that communicates brand presentation, usage guidelines, and other forms of brand-related marketing aesthetics. This guide requires a significant update to account for social media. Its primary function is to define the brand persona, characteristics, voice, and essence. Additionally, the updated style guide will define the design of each presence and how represents should accurately enliven it through narrative.
11. Compose Guidelines and Do’s and Don’ts: Develop a social media policy that conveys the do’s and don’ts in social media. If one already exists, update it. The law has changed and now protects employee rights to express opinion about employers within their personal accounts. Additionally, many employees complain that the existing guidelines are either too extreme or ambiguous to define successful engagement. Design the guideline to serve as guardrails and also a roadmap to success.
12. Serve Customers and Prospects: Social consumers now expect brands to solve problems and answer questions in social streams. Each channel requires a service function or a dedicated channel to satisfy needs and promote appreciation and loyalty.
13. Employ Language and Timing Techniques: Two points of note, timing is everything and in brevity there’s clarity. Studies already show that the time and day and the language structure of Tweets and Facebook updates determine overall reach and engagement. Optimize language and timing to make every update count.
14. Design Engagement and Performance Metrics: Monitor the performance of each account to improve the engagement and editorial strategy for each account.
Following these best practices will prevent your brand from falling victim to the coming wave of customer unlikes and unfollows. But more importantly, focusing social channels and investing in the value of each will improve the customer experience and encourage greater engagement. By increasing meaningful interaction, brand reach is dramatically amplified through the social effect, encouraging customers to not only Like the brand, but genuinely love it!
Best practices via http://www.briansolis.com