Posts tagged social media design
Meridian Realty is a real estate company with offices in Stellenbosch in the Boland and Betty’s Bay in the Overberg.
Their property portfolio includes houses, apartments, vacant land, farms & small holdings located in two truly unique regions of South Africa: The Cape Winelands and the Whale Coast.
View fan page on Facebook:
Is Facebook getting too complicated?
This article below from mashable.com explains and echoes the sentiment of many users.
What We Think
We agree with the idea of simplicity.
Even Albert Einstein said “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
The “not simpler” is the interesting part here. As far as the Ticker and Gestures go, we think both are genius.
The ticker brings every Facebook profile to life- and with a little simple tweaking, allows each user to create an up-to-the-minute live feed of happenings in their friends’ lives. It is well executed, and we agree, it takes some getting used to, the movement at top right feels unnatural in the Facebook environment, but we like it.
Gestures are also a vital component to the flexibility that we’ve come to expect from the social network’s engineers.
At the end of the day, all arguments for or against all these new changes will boil down to subjective opinions, and no amount of analysis is going to reveal a ‘better’ way of doing things. As has so often happened in the past, the world rejects changes to their familiar social network at first, adopts them a short while later, then eventually utilizes them eagerly and comes to love them. It’s natural.
What do you think?
Join us on Facebook here and post your comments and questions or let us know what you think.
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.
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
Realizing the Importance of Social Media
According to the 2011 Small Business Social Media Survey, business owners are taking social media more seriously than in year past. In a survey conducted from May 1, 2011 – July 1, 2011 we asked243 small business owners ( companies with less than 50 employees) who was creating content for their social media accounts.
From their responses, it was obvious owners are taking social media seriously as more than 65% indicated they are actively involved in creating content. This percentage was fairly constant among different groups of small business owners, until we look at companies with more than then 25 employees.
Even though their participation starts to fall off, 50% of the owners of these larger companies are still involved. It is obvious, however, these executives are delegating more of the responsibility for social media content creation to others.
Who owns social media content creation?
While many companies are diving into social media, their programs fall short because they don’t clearly define roles. They fail to decide who will create content, how often and about what.
I was disappointed to see more than ½ the companies in the study are not leveraging the customers and prospects as content generators.
From testimonials and check-ins, to FAQs and discussions, companies are missing a tremendous opportunity by not actively engaging these constituencies.
Not the Intern
While it varies by company there are strong indications social media is being taken more seriously in 2011. For example: Consider the role of interns. In our 2010 Facebook study, more than 80% of businesses which had interns on staff indicated the intern was involved in social media content creation.
To us, this pointed to the fact companies were not really taking the tools seriously. If they had, they would not rely on the least experienced member of their team to lead the content development. In this year’s study, only 30% of companies with interns indicated they were involved in content creation.
Looking for Help
While many business owners believe social media is a do it yourself type of activity, there is a growing interest in hiring marketing and social media firms to support their efforts. Overall, about 10% of the companies in the study indicated an outside firm was actively engaged in the company’s social media program. While I expected large firms to look outside for help, a significant number of companies in the 6-10 person range were also looking to external resources.
Surprising, companies with 11 – 24 employees were less likely to use an outside firm. Why? We assume at this size, companies have someone on staff with time to dedicate to social media activities. As expected, the largest the companies are more likely to also have a dedicated social media employee. The comments also show the conflict between the do-it-yourself and hire-a-pro camps.
What do business owners say about getting help with social media?
- Hire someone to set up the accounts and teach you how to manage them effectively. It is difficult to keep up with them all in a timely fashion.
- Have a professorial do your Social Media. You hire a CPA because you can’t do accounting, hire a social media professional.
- These days everyone is a” social media expert” you know as much as they do.
- Hire someone who can educate you, get social media tools up and running that align with your brand.
- Embrace social media but be leery of social media “experts” and consultants.
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