Is Marketing over Facebook a Battle for Likes/Followers?

Marketing over Facebook has convulsed. It is now a battle for likes/followers. Firms are waging cold wars, wherein the highest number of followers is considered the winner without an assertion. This picturesque is very well known to us and yet marketers follow the path blindfolded.

Let us analyze the common mistakes committed by most of the marketers.

Fan Page is not a Petri Dish

‘Create a fan page; buy thousands of likes and update the status with fluffy contents’ seems to be the motto of new firms. No wonder, results fail to show. Fan page is not a Petri dish where you grow your fans like organisms. In relation, fan page is just another portal where your customers arrive to see what you have to offer.  Unless you give them something worth their time and money they will walk off with contempt.

First Impression is the Best Impression

Impress your customers with your fan page. Facebook has been very generous with providing various tools for designing your fan page. Though FBML is being deprecated HTML, CSS and JavaScript are there as your savior. Make sure to create a stunning landing page for your customers. Now, with the recent intrusion of Timeline it has been easier than ever. Just upload a cover photo of your firm or the latest product which is about to be launched and you are done.

Note how Apple has taken advantage of Timeline over their page.

After you are done with the impression work, the product you should offer should be worth their time. This brings to our next question.

Why should Customers stay on your Fan Page?

People log into their Facebook account for relaxation and entertainment. Unless you are the big player in the market you will have a hard time in convincing your customers. However, the good news is you do not have to convince them at all. Satiate their thirst for entertainment by throwing up a contest. Again, another mistake committed by marketers is to announce the contest through the status update. Creating a separate page for contests creates a better impression and appears to be professional, not to mention the increase in engagement. Below is a screenshot of how Blackberry engages their customers to a challenge.

Provide Discounts on Products & Freebies

There is nothing that sounds as good as freebies and discounts. Give away discount offer on your products and if possible provide some freebies. Customers will be attracted in hundreds and thousands to your fan page and you will reap success within no time. Personally discount on London pass coupons world soccer shop showed greater sales when sold through our page.

Should you buy Fans?

Before winding up we need to discuss the much debated topic of whether purchasing fans is ethical or not. Of course it is not ethical but apart from that purchasing fan has very less benefits. In fact there is hardly any benefit by purchasing fans. Some of the reason not to purchase fans is mentioned below:

1. Most of the fans sold are sham. Fake profiles are created on a larger scale and these are used to provide ‘likes’. Once the job is done through these fake profiles they longer serve any purpose.

2. The cost of a like goes anywhere from $1 to $1.33. Yearly budget for a small business might range from $500 to $6000. If this budget is used for marketing, you will not only achieve organic likes but an increased conversion rate.

3. After purchasing thousands of fans, fan page remains desolated. No engagement is found and rarely a share and few likes can be seen. This scenario is just the result of misleading people to like your page by false promises. ‘Joshua likes XXXX (name of the brand). Like us’, this sort of gaining likes is a lame one. Likes will be accrued but what are you looking for, likes or engagement? Instead write a short description with excellent copy. Likes gain through this tactic will provide better engagement as every like is really interested in what your brand does; not in what their friends have done.

Author:

Richie Richardson loves to write about Social Media Marketing, SEO and Internet marketing. He also writes about london pass code and world soccer shop code. They have some discount and various promo coupons which can prove beneficial.

Sources:

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Facebook Facelift From the Inside Out

THE OPERATION BEGINS
Far brighter minds than mine have started and will continue to explore and explain the facelift that facebook is once again giving itself. First it was timelines for profiles (these are for our personal not professional or business use). Many surrendered to this initial makeover kicking and screaming. Personally, I loved the change since I would rather post and look at photos and images most of the time, anyway. Now, we have been informed by facebook that as of March 30, 2012 all facebook pages (these are the business/professional ones) will have the timeline format, as well. They are in preview now and none but the hardy are taking the plunge. Most marketers a very hardy. 

the icon for the facebook conference for marketers held 2.29.12

The icon for the facebook conference for marketers with a slight facelift of some red and yellow. Original icon in blue and white © facebook.

HOW IS THE OPERATION GOING?
Murmurs of protestation have already begun. But I decided to jump right in and give it a try as I did with my personal profile. I liked that change. I had no objections to it. So I assumed the same would be true of the pages makeover. As I began to explore this latest facelift, I realized it might not be as simple as I initially thought. I got a bit concerned about all those great tabs, apps and other features I had begun to explore, conquer and love. 

The first facebook conference for Marketers 2.29.2012

The first facebook conference for Marketers 2.29.2012

A BRIEF PANIC
But then I was reminded of the conference facebook gave in NYC this past week and the webinar given by Lujure that will be repeated next week. My faith was restored. With this information and the help of my colleagues, even I would eventually get it, again.

The Lujure webinar

The Lujure.com software and webinar information. To be held on March 6, 2012

WHAT NEXT?
So I started with what came easiest to me, the covers. It reminded me of grade school when we had to write book reports. I was not much of a reader or writer then but I loved to do the cover artwork. In that same spirit, I found some images I had made over the last few years for the various websites that correlated to my facebook pages and began to install them as my covers. Then I got a comment from a friend on facebook:

A quote from Rick Milne about the facebook page covers and the rules to make them

The Rules for Facebook Page Covers

Here is what Rick Milne was referring to courtesy of  a source from Craig Yaris’ sources.
This is # 6 on the list of 7:

7 Crucial Things About Timeline For Facebook Pages
The cover photo can be up to 850 pixels by 315 pixels but may not contain any of the following:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40 percent off” or “Download it at our website.”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section.
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features.
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

PROCEEDING WITH GREAT CARE
Oh dear, there I was again. Using old technology thinking for 4th dimension communication and expression. Well, back to the drawing board I went. In this case, it was to Photoshop on my computer. I really let my mind go and took flight of fantasy. Here was an opportunity to be as creative and expressive as I wanted. So I began.

This is my contribution to the facebook facelift from the inside out. Combining my spirit as a visual artist, my training as a graphic designer and my decades of experience in various design disciplines, I began to create unique and creative visions for my page covers.

LOOKING GOOD
I have begun to get a positive reaction to my cover art. I am proud to include a comment I made to Lujure.com and the personal response made by Nathan Latka, owner of Lujure.com. I sent him one of my designs. It is at the end of this post. I am saving the best for last.

Here is my comment and his personal reply on facebook:

Nathan Latka's comment on my facebook cover page design

Owner of Lujure.com, Nathan Latka, replied to my comment on his site.

First, I would like to share a two covers; an original designs which was rejected for reasons explained underneath it:

The original cover for Little Bytes of Art with logo, too much type, cluttered and ad like.

One needs to keep it simple. This is meant to be a brand statement not an ad or promo.

The follow up comment I made to the posting of the above design is, “This cover does not work. It is too crowded, looks too much like an ad and is promotional rather than creative. I have redone it more in the spirit of what facebook is looking for from us in making creative, inspired artwork.”

Here is the replacement. It is based on a painting my husband did of me, wearing one of my hats, holding up one of my decorative painted pots. I use the entire painting as my avatar. The cover is a sliver of the painting to make a statement:

The cover for LIttle Bytes of Art on my facebook page.

A simple statement branding 'Little Bytes of Art, Wearable & Shareable Art'

And for dessert, I would like to share my two favorite designs. One is for Alison*s Heirloom Projects facebook page:

The cover for Alison*s Heirloom Projects

The brand and cover for Alison*s Heirloom Projects

This one is for the Marketing Bytes Blog facebook page:

The brand for the Marketing Bytes Blog

Branding the Marketing Bytes Blog new facebook page

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I would like to know what you think and I would love to see what you are coming up with. So please send me your comments and your links. Thank you and have fun, too. I have just one final word. The dramatic change facebook is making has a lot to do with branding. And branding is very much about simple statements mostly with the clever and creative manipulation of images and pictures. Bear in mind the saying. ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’

AUTHOR:

Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller. She is a regular contributing author to DBME, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz.

Located on Long Island, New York, MARKETING BYTES serves clients virtually everywhere. This boutique style – very personal service –  hybrid company specializes in helping local/small businesses generate sales leads by transitioning from traditional advertising to online marketing. E-mail us at info@marketingbytes.biz.

SOURCES AND RELATED INFORMATION

About Alison Gilbert

Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.

Timeline for Pages – It’s Happening!

I’m not happy.  I thought I would get that out of the way.

Facebook, on February 29, 2012, introduced us (as was expected) to the new pages format.  They have recreated the Timeline feature, that was not well received, on our Business Pages.  It’s happening, and there is nothing we can do about it.

New Facebook Timeline – EsquireTech Solutions    

Old Facebook Page – EsquireTech Solutions

So, what does this mean for us, the small business owner?  First, here are some of the negatives:

  1. Default landing tabs are gone.  That’s right.  All that hard work creating your beautiful landing tab is wasted.  They are still there, within the Application slider, but you can no longer set your fans to visit that first.  Although they do show as an app (see below), so people can click on them.
    1. Research has shown that custom landing tabs increase engagement by allowing an immediate call to action.  This function is now lost.
    2. The page is now organized similar to personal Timelines.  Your Photos, Likes and Apps are located at the top of the page.  Photos will always show in the first spot, but you can change the order of everything else, allowing you to decide what is to be seen.  However, you can only show a maximum of 12 apps, so be careful in your choices.
    3. We can now use the greater “Cover Photo” real estate to showcase our company or product.  But wait, the following is not permitted:
      1. Price or purchase information;
      2. Contact information that should be within the “About” section;
      3. References to Facebook elements, such as “Like” or “Share”; and
      4. Any calls to action.

What do I like about it?

  1. The ability to pin your favorite post to the top of the page.  Just click on the pencil icon, and you can pin the post (or delete it altogether).
  2. The ability to message fans directly.  That’s right, you can initiate private conversations with your fans, and those messages will appear right within your admin panel.
  3. The ability to go back, through the Timeline, and add events or milestones to your company’s history.
  4. Can upload pictures to use for your featured apps, enabling you to turn them into dedicated calls-to-action.

As I said at the beginning, I’m really not happy about these changes.  And, I’m not sure how things will change over the next 30 days (the new format is opt-in until March 30, 2012), so things may very well change between now and then.  I’m also not sure how companies that built their business, and reputation, on Facebook Landing pages will handle this.  It will be interesting to see how companies like Lujure, Tabsite, Pagemodo, and others will adjust to this new reality.

To help us cope with this change, Facebook has set up a complete video tutorial, which can be accessed here:  http://www.learnfacebookpages.com/.

Let me know what you think of the changes.  Do you agree with me?  Have you already changed your page over?

Author:

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you.  He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line.  EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business.  Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.

Sources:

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

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