Friday, March 30, 2012

With All Timeline Has To Offer, Why Not Start Today?

The best new feature Timeline offers is by far is what they are calling ‘Offers.’ In essence this is an online coupon or promotion amped up and more user friendly. Facebook used to have ‘Deals’ businesses could provide, but people had to check-in to your business and the Deal would not reach a lot of people.

Your business can create an “Offer’ for FREE and share it on your Timeline. Fans will be able to see this and then they can ‘Claim’ the offer. After they do this, an email will be sent to them instantly. Some businesses have it set up where the customer just has to show the email in order for them to get the offer.

Once consumers choose to sign up for your offer they have the option to share to their wall so other friends can see it in their news feed. People will see what their friends are claiming and will be able to ‘Claim’ those offers as well, creating traffic to your Facebook page.  Being the trendy Facebookers that we have become, we of course want in on any special deals that our friends are receiving.

Check out Macy’s offer; over 12,000 people claimed it. 
Making the offer is as easy as making a post. Everything will be handled on your wall. New offers do not require approval from Facebook before going live.

With all these added benefits, you could be a mile ahead of your competitors.  With Facebook Timeline going live today, start exploring all that you can do with it and implement your Timeline plan today.  Be the one your competition is catching up to by staying ahead of the learning curve.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Some Things Are Better Kept In Private

Private messaging is now enabled for business pages. Fans can initiate messages to ask about products, special offers or even customer service issues. Although you cannot initiate messages, for spamming reasons, you can respond to them right from your Admin Panel when fans send them.

For those customers that have something negative to say, instead of posting their bad experience all over your wall for everyone to see they now have the option of privately discussing it with you giving you an opportunity to fix the problem. Any negative feedback can be dealt with privately. It will also make that unhappy consumer feel like you are taking that complaint seriously and personally.

Since you are now more accessible for customer inquires, product use, upcoming events, etc, customers will feel a sense of ease with using or buying from your company.  This adds that personal feeling consumers love.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Timeline Insights Build Business

If you add your local business address to Timeline you can finally claim your Facebook Place. People can say they are at your storefront or talk about the cool new product they bought from you and tag your business. People trust the recommendations of friends and family so there is no better method of marketing than encouraging customers to let their social network know they do business with you.

With classic Facebook, people clicked this ‘Tag’ of your business and it brought them to a blank check-in page. With Timeline, the tag will go to your actual Facebook page for people to find any information they are looking for. 

Fans can now recommend your business via their Facebook…your potential audience just got a little easier to reach!

“Look who’s talking” is a new feature which tells you who is talking about your business.  This will include people who have liked your page, shared a post of yours, answered a question you asked, responded to your event, mentioned your page, tagged your page in a photo or checked-in or recommended your place. There is also “Reach” which tells you how many people your business is reaching. Who says we can’t measure return on social media?

You’ll be able to see the percentage change over time, so if you see that your fans are going up but your reach is going down, you may need to think about creating a more engaging content so fans will talk about your page, post on your page or recommend your page via Facebook. Knowing what your fans want is now easier than ever to monitor using the new InSights Dashboard.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What Is Timeline All 'About'?

Yesterday we spoke about Cover Photos but today is all about, well....‘About’. This is comparable to the ‘Info’ tab on classic Facebook. What’s better with the ‘About’ tab is that it is located front and center on your page. The old ‘Info’ tab was hidden on the sidelines. This is a place where you want to keep it short and sweet. Gatorade's ‘About’ is perfectly simple yet they are still able to portray their mission.

You have 150 characters to convince visitors to learn more about your business/brand story. A tagline is perfect. There is no need to type out the autobiography in ‘About’ because Timeline focuses on displaying and organizing the history of your business. This section also displays key information such as phone numbers, addresses, hours, etc, so making sure this is accurate and up-to-date is crucial.

With Timeline you can easily add ‘Milestones’ like when your business Grand Opening or a new product launch.  This is a new alternative to listing those details in your info. This will tell the story of your business in a nice, organized way leaving out the boring pages and paragraphs describing those events in unnecessary detail. Don’t forget to add photos with your milestones!  We are visual people in nature and photos and videos will only make these important milestones stand out to your followers!

Take advantage of these features.  They are a great way to bring your business to life making that personal connection to your customers by including them in the important landmarks of your business.

Monday, March 26, 2012

'Timeline' - Your Business' New Best Friend

I’m sure we have all noticed the new changes Facebook has thrown our way. They are calling this change Timeline, and all users have been switched. But, Business pages have not. Come March 30th every Business page will be in Timeline format. Don’t be nervous; Timeline is one of the best things to happen to social media for your company. Over the coarse of the next week we will talk about the numerous benefits that will have you changing your business’s Facebook to Timeline as soon as you are done reading.  Of coarse, you won't really have a choice because Facebook is going to start to do it for you on Friday.

We will start today by talking about Facebook’s most obvious addition to their new Timeline structure.  This bold new addition is called a ‘Cover’ photo. This is a great opportunity to show what your company is all about so make this picture count. How do we do that you ask?  Well, you can start pretty basic by really focusing on your brand, using your logo and the key points that set you apart from your competition.  In other words, reinforce what sets your business apart from the rest.  

If you have the means to update this ‘Cover’ photo more frequently, perhaps you would like to take another approach.  Use this space to promote specials or specific products that your business offers.  Maybe you are an HVAC company that is currently running a special on central air installs or perhaps you have a product going on clearance that you just want to move out of your inventory.  No matter what the promotion, your ‘Cover’ photo is the most eye-catching place on your Facebook Timeline to get into the minds of your customers.

If you would like to use your cover photo to primarily re-inforce your brand, you can also take advantage of the new ‘Pin’ or ‘Star’ feature to promote specials.  A pinned post will stay at the top of your page for 7 days or until you unpin it. This is great for special promotions or events that might be coming up. If something is not that important but you would like to highlight it you have the option to ‘Star’ it. By starring a post you enlarge it and make it stand out amongst other things on your timeline.  

Driving your message to the minds of consumers is ultimately the goal of any advertising campaign.  These new features of ‘Timeline’ now make this an easier task for businesses.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Google Incorporates Your World Into Searching The Web

Google+ Business Pages has been launched for a few months now and lately more than ever it seems like the best social media option for small businesses. Search, Plus Your World (SPYW) is a new search result system helping users find the most relevant information. It is based on three things: personal search results which look at your ‘Circles’ and browsing history, social media of people that share relevant interest and people and business pages.  It only makes sense with Google leading in search engine inquiries that they would start incorporating their own Social Media into the equation.  
If you get your business content onto Google+ it is more likely to be visible by people using Google as a search engine. Even if your website is not the first to pop up in results, having your business page in a ‘Circle’ or ‘+1-ed’ by consumers will have it appear more often than not.  Google calls this Direct Connect; it is supposed to help people find a business’s page. Google wants the information to be found. Google+ does impact search results.

A person’s circle of friends is highly influential when searching on Google. Meaning that when I search for a certain restaurant, relevant restaurants that my friends have added to their circle pop up. I necessarily did not have to be in that restaurants circle, but Google knows that what my friends like, I would enjoy as well. What my friends like is more influential in Google’s search engine results than companies that have domain authority. This is thanks to Search, Plus Your World. Google+ is taking off and as more friends are brought into the process, a wider audience will see your content on a Google search.

When you start typing into the search engine box, Google starts automatically filtering in the most relevant results. With SPYW, as soon as I start typing in “hair salon” Google+ pages start appearing with hair salons my friends have checked into or have in their circles. I can just click on them and it will bring me right to the page; no sifting through a long list of everything related to hair salons on the Internet. Google is prioritizing Google+ data, so having a Google+ account can only be beneficial to your company.

It seems daunting when you consider how many social media platforms there are to subscribe to.  Though Facebook reigns number 1 as of right now, one thing is for sure; if anyone has a chance to tackle the social media monster, it's Google.  With such great features like SPYW, can your business really afford not to sign up?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Strategizing Your QR Campaign

In scouring the Internet, I have come across a number of unique QR Code campaigns. Some of these campaigns are pretty ridiculous and others, ingenious. Though as it seems, ridiculous is at many times, just as effective as ingenious. I have come across campaigns ranging from subway station QR grocery stores to QR haircuts promoting scalp care and even QR cow scanning. QR’s can be used in any industry, the trick is finding out a good way to use it.

Anyone can put a QR Code on a billboard or a poster, but why is anyone going to scan it? Let’s take a different approach. We have to start by answering these questions:

· What product or service does your business sell?

· Is it a product or a service?

· What are you trying to accomplish?

Let’s say you are a new restaurant to the area and you are looking to establish a relationship with your new customers in order to encourage repeat business. With Social media, customer interaction has never been easier. So let’s combine the two. On your tables let’s develop tabletop displays that encourage people to “Like” or Check-In on Facebook to tell you about their experience. You are now creating two things. The first is you are getting real-time feedback as to what is going on in your restaurant. The second is you are gaining a following for your social media which will allow you to interact with them in the future. As an added bonus, your staff will also be on their toes knowing that there is real-time feedback about their service.

It’s also fun to get creative with the delivery of your QR. Perhaps an alternative to a tabletop display could be to actually make the QR a part of your table. How would you do that? Depending upon the type of tables you have, this could be a bit limiting. You could have it etched right into the table or you could create a fun design or collage centered on a QR and slide it under the glass. You can also utilize other things on the table. You could have your QR code printed on the napkins or maybe even the plates — “We hope you enjoyed your meal, scan this QR and tell us what you think”. It sounds silly, but it’s sure to gain the attention of your customers. After all, who would ever expect to get to the bottom of their bowl of pasta and find a message on their plate?

The possibilities are endless in the delivery of your QR Campaign. What’s most important to keep in mind is how you are going to grab your audiences’ attention and provoke them to scan your QR. The company Clear was effective in their efforts by canvassing an entire city with QR’d scalps linking the delivery with the product. The farmer was effective by creating a game out of the sale of livestock, proving that creativity in your call to action, will undoubtedly obtain the results you are looking for.