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The New Features of Facebook Timeline: A Guide for Businesses

Facebook begun rolling out Timeline for brand pages recentely, which presents many opportunities for brands to showcase themselves on Facebook like never before. The new format will be pushed live to everyone on March 30, but for now, you have time to get comfortable with the layout, add content and prepare for when you either choose to publish Timeline for your Page or hold out till March 30th. Here’s a comprehensive guide to all the new features Timeline for Pages offers your business with this new layout.

1. The Cover Photo: This feature is already well known among the Facebook community since it’s already incorporated as a feature of Facebook Timeline for Profiles. Now brands can use a Facebook cover photo at the very top of their Timeline to show a new, striking visual layer to their offerings the moment a fan lands on your Page. Is the cover photo the death of the Facebook landing page/fan gate? Most likely yes, but not just because of the cover photo but due to the removal of a default landing page when a user initially lands on your Page. More on this later in the article. When it comes to customizing your Facebook cover photo, crop a branded image to 855 by 320 pixels. Here are some other important dimensions for Facebook’s interface.

Burberry's Facebook Cover Photo      Burberry’s Facebook Cover Photo

Louis Vuitton's Facebook Cover Photo            Louis Vuitton’s Facebook Cover Photo

Zena Caffe's Facebook Cover Photo

Zena Caffe’s Facebook Cover Photo

Take into account your now much smaller traditional profile picture and how this plays into your new cover photo. There’s been a lot of creative examples of cover photos over the last few months, so the opportunities are endless. Think outside of the box and make use of this worthwhile feature. Above are a few examples of  cover photos from Pages that have made their Timeline live such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Canlis and Zena Caffè.

2. A Smaller Profile Picture: The height of the profile picture has drastically changed, therefore it’s time to change your photo as soon as possible to reflect the new format. The appropriate dimensions for a profile photo are now 180 x 180. Try using just your logo or another image that quickly summarizes your brand.

3. The About Section: The about section has long been a part of your Facebook Page, but now it’s more predominately featured at the top of your Timeline. It’s important that you update this section of your Timeline, depending on the which of the two versions of the about section applies to your Timeline.

  • About Section for Timelines with Physical Location: If your Timeline is associated with a physical location (categorized as a local business), then it will look like this. It lists any Place Sub-categories an admin previously defined, your address, telephone number and your hours of operation. Fill out any of the missing information by clicking on the section and add what’s missing.

  • About Section for Timelines with no Physical Location: If your Timeline features a business without one physical location (your Page is not in the local business category), then it will look like this below. The section lets you add a description of your Timeline up to 255 characters. It’s important to be extremely clear and concise, giving first time visitors a clear understanding of what your Timeline is all about.

 

4. The Applications Banner: Replacing the photo banner at the top of the previous Facebook Page design, the new brands Timeline design highlights the applications added to a particular Timeline. The applications you previously had as tabs on the left hand side of your Page will now appear here on your Timeline in this banner. Admins can choose which applications to show in the 3 available slots in your banner. Choose the most important applications to be highlighted here, a custom application, videos, the public version of your Timeline insights and others.  You can and should customize the image for each of theses applications as well by clicking on the pencil symbol on the application box, then edit settings to choose a new photo. These images should be 111 x 74 pixels. All your applications can be seen here at the top of your Timeline, but to access the others a user most click the drop down menu. It’s unlikely these hidden applications will receive the same amount of visibility because there’s another click required to view them. Therefore, be selective when choosing what to highlight in your application banner.

 

 Butterfinger’s Facebook Application Banner at the top of their Timeline.

 

 

Here’s where you can swap out which 3 applications you wish to feature at the top of your Timeline.

This is where your old fan gate/landing page application will now live, making it obsolete as a way of converting new visitors into fans because it won’t be the first thing that’s seen when you land on a Timeline. There’s no longer an option in the Admin settings to select a landing page, your Timeline is your permanent landing page. This is where the cover photo will pick up the slack in terms of a fan gate, although it’s still important to fan gate your other applications and content encouraging a user to like your Timeline before they can access it.

5. Turn On/Off Timeline Messages from Fan: Fans now have the ability to privately message a brand’s Timeline through the new message feature located at the top right hand corner of your Timeline, above the application banner. As an admin, you can choose to turn this feature on or off. One advantage or reason to turn this feature on is so fans can report issues to your Timeline privately, especially issues dealing with customer service concerns about your products or services. It’s a way to deal with negative feedback by keeping the conversation off of your public Timeline, but still on Facebook in a private setting. To turn it on go to the Admin Panel, Manage, Edit Page and then to Manage Permissions.

A reason to turn off this feature would be if it become burdensome to check yet another place for customer feedback.  By keeping this feature off, you could limit where customers reach out to just your wall. I’d recommend turning this feature on to give your customers as many ways to reach out to you as possible, but you’ll have to decide if this feature is right for your Timeline.

6. Choose to Hide the “Recent Posts by Others” Section: Timeline now features a section at the top right that highlights a list of recent postings from fans. It’s suggested that you leave this visible to help show engagement across your Timeline, but many Pages in the past have only chose to make their own posts front and center in the past, therefore they may continue to do this in the future by hiding this section. When you’re in Manage Permissions, you can turn off the section of your Timeline easily.

7. Change the Default Visibility for Posts by Others/Activity Log: This is a similar feature that currently exists on Facebook Timeline for Profiles, it now allows a company to approve content posted about them before it goes live on their Timeline. Turn on this approval under Manage Permissions simply to have greater control of what is shown front and center on your Timeline.

 

The Activity Log for your Timeline is basically a list of every post or activity involving your Page in the past. You’ll see stories of photos, tags and more involving your Timeline. You can edit the content to be highlighted on your Timeline, changed the date, delete it and more depending on what you would to change this piece of past content, as seen below.

8. New Admin Panel Incorporates Notifications & Insights: Your Timeline notifications, insights, Timeline settings and private message inbox are all now available in one interface known as the Admin Panel located at the top of your Timeline, obviously only visible to admins. This new dashboard gives you a quick oversight over the 4 areas of administrating a Facebook Timeline and allows you to dive deeper into each section from here as well by clicking see all on the desired section. You can also invite your Facebook friends and email contacts to join your Timeline’s audience, as well as start a Facebook ad and use Facebook as your Page from here as well.

 

9. Add Milestones To Your Timeline: One of the most interesting aspects of Timeline for brands is the ability to go back and add past events related to the history of your organization. For instance, a pizza shop could add a milestone of their store opening in 1992 with a photo, then add another milestone about the addition of pepperoni pizza to the shop in 2000 with a status update. Adding these past events helps create a concise story-line for your brand, while really making use of the Timeline interface to it’s fullest. Simply go to where you would normally post an update to begin posting pass milestones. Before you can begin, it’ll require you posting a milestone of when you’re organization was first founded. Here’s some examples of  the milestones the New York Times and the Today Show posted on their Timelines for some inspiration.

An example of a milestone, as added by the Today Show’s Timeline.

10. Pin Your Posts: Brands can now choose to pin particular posts to the top of their pages for up to 7 days. This makes it easier to highlight important, newsworthy topics to the top of your Timeline for longer promotion and visibility. Go to a piece of content on your Page, click edit and then choose Pin to Top to have this piece of content featured.

9 Ways B2Bs Can Excel With Location-Based Social Media





This article was originally published in HubSpot’s Blog.

B2B companies don’t often see how location based social platforms like Foursquare, SCVNGR or Facebook Places can benefit them or their customers. However, there are numerous opportunities for these type of companies to market themselves, its just harder to identify the strategies that’ll help draw the same results a B2C company would see using these social channels. Here are the 9 best B2B uses of check-in based social platforms with some of the companies that use them.

foursquare iphone

1.) Claim Your Business – It may seem like a no-brainer, but many companies don’t have their business listings claimed in Foursquare, Facebook Places, SCVNGR or other widely used services. This is a missed opportunity for your business, regardless of industry. It’s not required that you claim your location before someone is able to check-in but you may be missing vital information like a phone number, web address, Twitter handle or a physical address that a user was looking for. Claim your listings to ensure they’re both branded and optimized at every location for the best experience every time someone decides to check-in, no matter the service they’re using. All verification requires is a phone number or a bill to claim a location as your own. Unfortunately, this can be quite a tedious process if you have multiple locations.

2.) Add Foursquare Tips – Companies are now able to leave tips at various venues (physical locations) from their very own Foursquare page as their brand and not as an individual user. These tips will pop up on a user’s mobile phone if a user checks-in nearby or at the venue where your B2B left a tip. The tips generated by your B2B will appear on your Foursquare page for viewing on the Foursquare application on your phone or on your desktop/laptop. Tips offer insights about a location that are helpful and will drive further recognition of your business.

The key to applying Foursquare tips to a B2B is understanding where physical location factors into your sales funnel. Think long and hard, where will your customers (other businesses) see these tips and also find them relevant to the location and the products and services you offer.

Barracuda Networks Map

For example, Barracuda Networks is a security, networking and storage solutions company that provides most, if not all of their services to other businesses. This B2B has started a promotional tour of the nation called the 2012 Velocity Tour to promote their product offerings. They’re stopping at relevant conferences, hotels, restaurants and other locations to spread the word of their company. This marketing tour is the perfect opportunity for Barracuda Networks to leave tips about their upcoming showing at the particular locations they are planning to stop and promote at. Leaving tips at the conference locations throughout the tour will be the most beneficial because conferences often attract other businesses and tech savvy individuals, giving you more opportunity for exposure on Foursquare. This could work for Barracuda Networks because it is an easy addition to an existing marketing campaign. An important question for you is how can you adapt using Foursquare tips at physical locations so that it makes sense for your B2B?

3.) Creating Lists of Tips on Foursquare – Creating lists of your Foursquare tips allows you to group your tips based on a subject of your choice like a list of airports with WiFi or restaurants with vegan options. B2B’s can group their existing tips based on the nature of their tips. Lists of tips are beneficial because it helps users quickly see which tips are most applicable to them, while also allowing users to follow these grouping of tips for future additions to the list. Based on the example above, Barracuda Networks could group all the tips for their 2012 Velocity Tour on one list, separating it from other tips on their page. The creation of lists is up to you, as long as their relevant to your B2B and truly benefit your audience based on how you’ve organized them.

4.) Networking & Buzz at Conferences – Like we just discussed above, conferences are often an amazing networking opportunity for businesses to connect with other businesses and industry professionals. Many B2B’s thrive when it comes to attending industry conferences for sales leads and more. Take your networking to the next level at these conferences, not just with tweets and posts on Facebook, but by checking and promoting yourself on Foursquare, Facebook Places and SCVNGR. These services allow you to check in alerting others on these networks that you’ve here, allowing you to post a message as well. It’s one way to standout from the other conference attendees. Reach out to your audience, let them know where your B2B can be found at the conference, as well as what you’re looking to accomplish while you’re there. Do research on your own as well, by seeing who else has checked in and what they’re messaging about. Comment on check-ins of relevance and make lasting connections with other B2B’s, potential customers and others.

5.) Check in with Clients – Whether you’ve got an existing network or you’re starting from scratch on SCVNGR, Facebook Places or Foursquare, showing your current and future friends/followers you’re active is a vital way to increase buzz about your business. Check in at meetings with your clients, showing you’re involved in your industry and most importantly, thriving. Be sure not to share before the time is right with particular clients, simply practice common sense. To ensure the most exposure from these check-ins, follow your employees, existing clients, potential clients, industry partners, competitors and other B2B’s of interest to your business. They’ll be more likely to follow you in return if you’re active on the particular network, thus seeing where you’ve recently checked in.

6.) Partnerships – Explore partnerships with other B2B’s, B2C’s and nonprofits to promote a particular campaign that has a location based component. This is an effective way to incorporate your branding into a service like Foursquare, even if your products or services wouldn’t regularly fit the platform.

For example, American Express started partnerships with Sports Authority, H&M and a handful of restaurants in New York City offering a loyalty coupon. Through this campaign they’re using Foursquare to draw customers to the physical stores of a few B2C’s, while increasing impressions of their brand and giving incentives to Foursquare users to use their services. In terms of your B2B, stop and think about what organizations would make sense to partner with on a local, state or national level and decide what benefit they would receive from a partnership of this nature.

7.) Market Research – When it comes to truly making long lasting relationships with industry partners, as well as existing and prospective clients, understanding their activity on every channel is key. Any information your sales team can gather about your market can aid in strengthening existing and future relationships. Monitoring where others check-in, as well as the activities they complete on these location based networks is more information to work with in the future. This research can help tell you what locations to leave Foursquare tips at, give you ideas for campaigns that will help engage your customers, understand which location based networks your audience is on and keep you active on these networks to increase interest in your B2B.

8.) Competitive Analysis – Just as you can look to see how customers and industry partners are interacting on location based channels, you should also look to follow the activity of your direct competitors. See what they are doing right and what they’re doing wrong, changing your strategy accordingly. See what locations seem popular in your industry to optimize and create your own spin on an existing technique by creating your own unique list of tips on Foursquare or one of a kind challenge on SCVNGR.

Competitive Research

9.) Lighten Up – One of the most important things you can do is have fun with whatever location based social network you choose to utilize for your B2B. Social media should be a fun and engaging experience for your users, providing them with a true value from their engagement with your company, whether it’s on Facebook Places or any other network. If you force participation from one of these communities, it’ll come off as such. Work with what you know best, your company. Take what you do well and relate it to a common experience you share with your existing audience. Your strategy will resonate best if it’s relevant, engaging and most of all rewarding to your audience.

How Nonprofits Can Get The Most Out Of Foursquare

This article was originally published in Social Media Today.

Location-based social platforms like Foursquare are making good use of the opportunities the social and mobile web offer. Foursquare is continually adding more features to make the world easier to use and explore. Many nonprofits are using these features on Foursquare to amplifying their messaging to new and old audiences alike. Here are some tactics for making the most of what you have to offer on Foursquare and some of the nonprofits doing just that.

Insightful Tips from LIVESTRONG

With the creation of Foursquare pages, nonprofits were able to have a place on the web to create Foursquare tips about various locations of interest. These tips live on a branded page on the web, but most importantly appear as tips on different Foursquare venues accessed via the mobile application. When a user checks-in on their phone they’ll see this tip listed among the other tips at the location. This tip is different because it came from a nonprofit, not another user you may not even know. Let’s take a quick look at how LIVESTRONG is leaving powerful tips that resonate past the 200 character limit.

Livestrong Tip
LIVESTRONG helped amplify their message of living a healthy lifestyle with users in the Foursquare community by writing 70 tips about popular places throughout the California area. The innovative part about some of these tips is that they included a Read More link that led to a relevant page on LIVESTRONG’s website. For instance, the tip above leads to a food, fitness and equipment diary tool that helps keep track of their pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Another tip lead to a page on their site with a tool to help you plan your next bike ride, while another leads to a sushi nutrition guide. LIVESTRONG took their messaging to the locations their audiences were visiting and brought them tips that went beyond just Foursquare, but incorporated the assets of their website as well.

Give Blood, Check in & Earn an American Red Cross Badge

Badges are awarded throughout Foursquare as a means of rewarding various achievements like your first check-in, your first check-in with a friend or even checking into the same place three times in one week. Nonprofits can become a part of this fun Foursquare feature by creating their own partner badge to be rewarded after a certain type of check-in. The American Red Cross did just this with their very own Partner Badge. Every time a Foursquare user checks-in at an American Red Cross blood drive, they receive this badge in return for giving blood at this location. The badge serves as a thank you and a reminder on your Foursquare account to remember to donate blood with the Red Cross at a later date.

Red Cross Foursquare Badge

Using Lists to Highlight Your Mission

The list feature allows users or a Foursquare page owner to collate their own list of locations based around the topic of their choosing. Here a nonprofit can select a few venues and highlight their insider tips at these various locations. Users can follow these lists, picking and choosing which lists are relevant to them, giving your audience another opportunity to follow your nonprofit and your messaging. Not as many nonprofits are making use of the list feature on their Foursquare page as you would hope, but here’s a suggestion from a nonprofit using lists and another that should be using lists.

Foundation Center Bio

The Foundation Center is the world’s leader in providing information on philanthropy, fundraising and grant programs. Their Foursquare page doesn’t currently have any tips on it, but the nonprofit is using a list on their page to highlight all the locations of their offices. It’s wonderful they’re using the list feature to highlight the structure of their organization, but they could certainly take this feature farther. By adding a few tips and lists to their page about different locations (like libraries, nonprofits, think tanks, etc) where users can get information on philanthropy, fundraising and grant programs; it would go a long way towards turning their Foursquare page into a powerful resource.

Another nonprofit that could really succeed by using Foursquare lists is the National Wildlife Federation. Their page is currently filled to the brim with 200+ valuable tips about a plethora of locations throughout the United States where wildlife can be observed and enjoyed. By simply grouping these tips into lists centered around states, parks, zoos, museums or by the type of wildlife being observed; it could help organize the helpful tips, give users another way to follow the NWF and another opportunity for users to take part in the nonprofit’s mission.

Communicate at Advocacy Events & Conferences

Foursquare can be a wonderful way for nonprofits to network at their annual advocacy event or national conference. First off, simply check-in as your organization to let other nonprofits and attendees know that you’re there and ready to collaborate. By monitoring check ins at an event like the Nonprofit Technology Conference, you can quickly see who some of the conference attendees are and prepare yourself for networking online and offline. Which nonprofits are currently doing this? Too many to count! It’s such a simple networking tool that many nonprofits use it as a complement to other networking tactics at these events.

Is your non-profit using Foursquare? Tell us in the comments!

6 Ways to Use Quora for Research





This article was originally published in Social Times.

Have you ever used Quora before to solve an unanswered question or start a conversation about an interesting topic? As a platform, Quora allows its community to post and answer questions about anything of their choosing to gain collective knowledge. One way to take advantage of this question and answer based feedback is using it for your day to day researching needs.

Quora Research

Follow Boards on Any Given Topic

This past December Quora launched boards, making it easier to organize questions and answers on a particular topic. This newly launched feature is a great research tool because it often pulls quality conversations and articles all to one place. It helps bring the best content on a topic to the top of the board based on votes by the Quora community. Think of it as a search engine based on the input of your friends, followers and surrounding community on Quora.

Quora Boards

Insider Travel & Public Transit Advice

Follow questions, topics and boards about your city to get tips on the most effective ways to get around. Search for phrases related to your city like New York Travel or Philadelphia Airport to find alternate routes, time savers in the airport, less traveled back roads, the locations of affordable parking garages, etc.

Quora Travel Question

Recipes & Cooking Tips

Planning on cooking up a Mexican feast, but can’t quite remember what ingredients taste best to make your own guacamole? Quora gives you the opportunity to rely on genuine feedback from real people, often your friends that have been there and already cooked that. Take a gander at the many recipes available with insider tips into what worked with that recipe and what really didn’t.

Quora Cooking Advice

Restaurant & Shopping Suggestions for Your City

Quora can help if you’re looking to research where to get a specific type of food in your area but you just don’t know where to start. Your network of friends and family are often the best sources of recommendations for dining and shopping, but they can’t possibly know it all. This is where you can look and see if someone had the same question previously or post your question for some in the Quora community to answer. Use it as barometer for what range of restaurants and stores are available in your area, reading the feedback on that question or topic about a particular type of food, restaurant, store or product.

Quora Coffee Shops

Business Insights from the Experts

There are many aspects about the business world that aren’t easy and it’s okay to ask for help sometimes. A question or an issue with your business may not require hiring an expert, but nevertheless you might need some input. Turn to Quora as a research tool by searching if your question already exists or if you should post it under a particular topic or board to get expert input. This can be extremely helpful if the answer to your question is from a valid source, look up who answered your question just to be sure. Nevertheless, answering a quick question like the one above can be done rather quickly and for free, letting you get back to running your business with added insight.

Quora Business Insights

Help on the Job/Hiring Front

Looking for a job can often be a long, tedious process. Having as many outlets for finding jobs as possible can help streamline your efforts. Therefore, be active on Quora and other social channels, especially if you’re looking for a job in a tech based industry. Fill out your profile to its fullest and participate by answering and posting questions on a variety of topics as an expert in your field. See who else is posting and what they’re posting about. Many experts weigh into discussions on Quora, follow them and see what makes them tick. Learn what you can about the companies they run or the companies they work for, getting to know them as you go along. You can get an insider’s look into a company’s culture, while getting your name and some recognition so that you’re more than a faceless resume.

Quora Job Question

On the other side of the desk, you can learn what others in HR are doing to find qualified candidates. See if the types of questions and screening tactics you’re using are working for others or if you need to sharpen your approach to the hiring process. Search for phrases like jobs, employment and human resources to see what job seekers and HR experts are curious about so you can learn from their discussions and contribute.

6 Ways Brands Can Rock Pinterest





This article was originally published in Social Times.

Pinterest was one of the most heavily trafficked social media networks of 2011, which was surprising to many because its rise to success was a quiet one. Pinterest is a form of social bookmarking where users pin different images and YouTube videos from across the web to boards they’ve created based on a subject area of their liking. For instance, you can create a board entitled Best Places on Earth and then pin images of island getaways, beautiful landscapes or whatever images you think fit this board best. Your boards are displayed on your profile for your network to see, like or repin to their own boards if they so choose. You’re able to follow other users and/or their individual boards of content they’ve assembled. Pinterest allows users to sign up through their Twitter or Facebook, which makes it easy to connect with your friends already on the network.

Pinterest Example (Image 1)

This platform presents an opportunity for brands to market themselves in a new arena and truly succeed during the network’s humble beginnings. Here are 6 ways brands can rule at fostering their Pinterest community:

1. Create Custom Images Catered for Sharing

Pinterest is all about discovering images that you wish to share with others in a visually pleasing format. With this in mind, brands should look to create image assets for Pinterest that provide insightful, original or branded imagery and information. After you develop these images, share them on your website and on other social networks to encourage their sharing on Pinterest. The best part of this process is that these images can be pulled from other advertising or used for your other promotional efforts.

EyeLighter Example (Image 2)

For example, Cargo created this image of their EyeLighter product that give users quick and easy tips on how to make their eyes pop. This is exactly the kind of image assets users love to share on Pinterest because it’s visually appealing and gives insightful information at a glance. Brands should take note and continue to create content of this nature in the future.

2. Create a Profile for your Brand
At this point in the game, users can join Pinterest by invite-only. Once added to the network, you can create your account by syncing with your Twitter or Facebook. The same goes for when you’re inviting users to Pinterest, except you can invite them initially via email. Since there aren’t yet brand specific profiles, you’ll have to invite your brand to the network via email. The Facebook integration at this time is only for personal profiles, not pages. Therefore, choose the email associated with your brand’s Twitter account to set up your profile.

Once you’re on Pinterest, it’s time to either keep the profile photo that’s been pulled from your Twitter account or upload a new one. I recommend uploading a new profile photo because this is a different social network with its own unique purposes. To do so, hover over your account name at the top right hand corner and click on settings from the drop down menu. From here you can also alter the name and email associated with account, add a location and website and then add a brief description of your brand. Here you can also choose to link your Twitter to your account publicly.

Whole Foods Pinterest Example

For example, Whole Foods has set up an account and have been actively engaging their community with visually appealing content. This is good example of how you can brand your profile appropriately to appeal to your audience.

3. Add Pinterest Social Plugins to Your Website
There are a few goodies that Pinterest offers brands to add to their websites as a means of connecting their web visitors to their audience on the network.

The Follow Button can be added to your website or blog to allow your web visitors to quickly and easy follow your profile on the network. By giving users the option to follow your brand on Pinterest, you’ll be giving them the ability to look through the images and YouTube videos you’ve shared previously, in the hopes that they’ll share them with their networks again, and you’ll be able to share images and YouTube videos with them in the future since they are now your follower.

Pinterest Follow Buttons

The Pin It Button allows your web visitors to pin the content from your website directly to their boards on Pinterest. This plugin should be added to similar places where you would add a Like or Tweet button. By adding this button, you’re making your web content extremely easy to share on the platform.

Pin It Button

4. Pin Other Industry Content

Pinterest’s etiquette states that users, this includes brands, should shun away from using the network as purely promotional. Sharing images & videos from other industry related user’s boards will help keep your profile community based and not just a promotion center for your assets and products. Repin & like other content that suits your community, which will help strengthen your reach in the long term.

HGTV Example

HGTV’s profile does just this on their Start Gardening board where they share content from both their website and other blogs with valuable content about gardening. This helps them strengthen their relationships with other people of interest in their industry specific community on Pinterest.

5. Add Calls to Action to Your YouTube Videos

The main focus of Pinterest is obviously sharing noteworthy photos, but YouTube videos can also be pinned as well (my guess is other types of content will be able to pinned in the future too). Another means of drawing attention to your content is by adding annotations to your videos, basically a call-to-action for your audience to pin videos they find appealing.

Similar to creating and sharing images that would be ideal for sharing on Pinterest, add annotations to videos that are short, visually appealing and provide true value to your community like a how to video for baking apple pie or to how to apply the right amount of eye makeup. These annotations should tell them the visitor to “pin this video to Pinterest” or provide a link to your Pinterest profile. The annotation serves as another reminder to users to engage with you in another way in a different community.

6. Cross Promote

Since the network is still relatively new, be sure to drive traffic from your existing communities on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or wherever your audience is actively discussing your brand. Post links to your Pinterest profile, letting your communities know you’re on this network and looking for them to join in and begin pinning your content.

How are you using images & videos on Pinterest to promote your brand?

40 Facebook Marketing Tips From 2011

2011 saw a lot of action in the social media stratosphere, especially when it came to Facebook marketing tactics. Each year social media will continue to change at a faster pace and marketers will need to continue to stay ahead of the curve. Here’s a list of some of the most important tips & tricks for marketing on Facebook from 2011.

1. Use the improved menu for Facebook Page Administrators with more than one Page.Detailed in this article on AllFacebook, the recently added feature eliminates a few clicks to view the notifications to your various Facebook Pages. In a nutshell, it makes the whole process of monitoring your various communities on Facebook a lot quicker.

2. Enable subscribers on your Facebook profile. Are you actively sharing content about a particular topic? Is one of your clients a well known personality? Are you a journalist? This year Facebook made it so people, who couldn’t view your activity before, can now follow your personal profile and follow information you choose to make public. Here’s how to enable subscribers to your profile.

Take a look at following people and how they have a massed a huge following to their personal profiles for a variety of purposes:

Mari Smith - https://www.facebook.com/maris

Josh Constine - https://www.facebook.com/JoshConstine

Arianna Huffington - https://www.facebook.com/AriannaHuffington

Craig Kanalley - https://www.facebook.com/ckanalley

Sean Parker - https://www.facebook.com/Sean

3. Add the Subscribe button to your website, especially if you have multiple contributors. Of course, you’ve got to enable the Subscribe feature to your personal Facebook Profile first. Here’s where to find the code to add the plugin to your website.

4. Posting on your Facebook Page between 8PM & 7AM receives 20% more user engagement.Buddy Media produced a white paper on strategies for effective wall posts, sharing a variety of insights on marketing for Facebook based on the analysis of 100′s of Facebook Pages.

5. When posting on your Page’s wall, tell your audience to Click “LIKE” in your posts. Calls to action work wonders for driving engagement to your content in the newsfeed. Here on CVS’s Facebook Page they’ve used this technique at the end of their post to increase the amount of like’s this video received.

6. Use fill in the blank’s style posts for high levels of engagement from your Facebook audience.

7. Optimize your Facebook Page’s photo banner to give a branded experience to your fan base.

ECKO UNLTD’s Facebook Photo Banner:

Mad Mex’s Facebook Photo Banner:

8. Have your Page favorite/like other Facebook Pages of related product lines, other store locations or any other relevant subject matters to feature on your Page. These featured likes will rotate between 5 different pages each time your browser refreshes, although you can add more than 5 pages to the list. It’s mainly a chance to express what your brand like’s, giving it a voice it didn’t have prior to the February Page redesign.

9. Ask open ended questions in your Facebook posts to help increase the amount of comments that post receives.

10. Use Sponsored Stories to increase brand lift and utilize this new social aspect of Facebook ads. When people hear about a brand from their friends, they’re twice as likely to engage.

11. Switch between uploading the video content you share from your YouTube channel and from Facebook videos. Uploading your videos on YouTube will get the video greater exposure in the search engines, but uploading your videos in Facebook will get the video added exposure in the newsfeed and the ability for someone to like your page and video from within the video itself.

12. Optimize your Profile photo to highlight your brand, product lines, promotions, fans and more.

       
13. Choose to set your wall to either display posts by everyone or just from your Page. For some brands, it might be best to hide posts from fans on the everyone tab and only show the Page’s marketing messages as the default views. This depends on many factors, one of which is audience size.

14. Use the vertical link menu on the left hand side of your Page to display applications and destinations that serve as resources for fans about your brand and offerings.

15. Engage with other Pages as your Page, to help drive engagement between Pages and between the related audiences of those Pages. With the Facebook Page redesign in February, Page admins have been able to log in as their Facebook Page and act as if they’re a regular user that’s able to comment, like and interact on Facebook.

16. When creating tabs for your Facebook Page, use the Static Tab 2.0 application. It’s free, easy to use, gives you many options for customization, helps you move away from soon to be deprecated FBML to iFrames and allows you to add up to 7 tabs to an unlimited amount of Facebook Pages. Here’s how to setup your Facebook tabs using Static Tab 2.0.

17. Don’t rely on Facebook’s link function alone, leave the link at the end of the text in your post as well. By giving your fan base more opportunities to click a link in your post, the more clicks you’ll get to the content you’re sharing.

18. Schedule your posts for when you’re away from the computer, but want to reach audiences at times of the day that have the highest levels of engagement and less competitions from other Facebook Pages. Previously, Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm, EdgeRank, would give less visibility to a Page’s content when posted through a third party tool like HootSuite or TweetDeck. Now, Facebook’s newsfeed has been altered to not negatively affect posts of this nature, allowing for the same visibility as if it was posted from Facebook. I recommend switching between posting from Facebook and the third party tools.

19. Target the posts on your Page by either location or language to help increase the relevancy to the various segments of your audience. Here’s a few ways to maximize your relevance with the post targeting feature.

20. Mentioning your fans by name in the comments on your Facebook posts is one of most beneficial ways to give a personal touch to your brand’s Facebook presence. In some cases you’ll be able to use an @ sign and tag a user in your comments to them, in other cases you’ll just have to type out their name. Either way, this gives a personal feeling that social media is all about, connecting with your advocates one on one.

21. When engaging with your Facebook audience, sign your name when directly interacting with users. By signing your name after a comment, you’re removing the mystery behind who your audience is actually chatting with and again, adding your personal voice to your brand’s page.

22. A handy tip for measuring successful engagement per post, look for 1% of your audience to interact with each post that is shared on your Page. Just take your existing audience size, divide it by 100 and the result will be the number of people who should be engaging with your post via shares, comments & likes.

23. Enable users to tag your Facebook Page in their photos to help organically grow your audience and impressions. Go to Edit Page, then Manage Permissions and be sure to check off the box that says People can add tags to photos by [Your Page Name].

24. To improve the SEO of your Facebook Page, set three keyword rich sub-categories for your Place Page. Go to Edit Page, then Basic Information and then define these sub-categories keeping Facebook search and the search engines in mind.

25. Draw your audience from your YouTube videos and channel to your Facebook Page by including annotations throughout your video with a URL to your Page.

Here’s a wonderful example of using YouTube annotations to grow your Facebook fan base:

26. Use the Talking About This metric to get a true sense of the engagement on your Facebook Page. This public metric give you a better sense of your interactions with your audience, outside of the number of people that just like your page.

27. Add a Facebook Like Box to your website to easily allow your web visitors to become a fan of your Facebook Page.

28. Incorporate photos in line with your other posting strategies, to get higher visibility in the newsfeed. Photos have a higher weight with Facebook’s EdgeRank (plus people love them), so utilize them when you can with other strategies to help get your content get more traction.

Here’s an example of Sephora doing just this:

29. Repost the same article on your Facebook Page for added engagement, but be sure to alter the text/title of the post to give the appearance of different content. Utilize this reposting technique over a short period of time so there’s a gap between when you post the first and second time, while also not waiting to long and risk losing the relevancy of the content you’re sharing.

30. Keep the narrative short to maximize the number of shares of your content, preferable 80 characters or less. Learn some of the many other ways to get your Facebook content shared.

31. Don’t automate connections to your other social networks on your Facebook Page. Having your Twitter feed or YouTube videos as a tab on your Facebook Page is a wonderful way to give your audience as much content about your brand as possible. However, it’s important that your tweets, YouTube videos or content from other platforms aren’t being automatically added to your Facebook Page’s wall. This could lead to too many posts on your Page, repetitive content being shared or irrelevant platform specific messaging, all of which could being to irritate your fan base.

32. Use the updated Facebook mobile app to engage with your fans on the go. There’s a few different versions of the application depending on what phone you have, here’s a deeper look at how to manage your Facebook Pages from the iPhone.

33. Browse Facebook Studio for insights on how others are marketing on Facebook, especially when it comes to creative and innovative ideas that Facebook themselves thought were one of a kind.

34. Occasionally drive traffic to your website from the content you post, being clever or mysterious will often lead to higher click through rates. By clever or mysterious, I mean be vague about the destination of your link but enticing with the copy you use in the post. Basically, teaser content so people are interested to visit your link.

Target’s Facebook Page utilized this exact tip not too long ago, which seemed to get high levels of engagement:

35. Use Facebook Questions to add some variety to the content you share and as a way of polling your audience to see what aspects of your brand they truly enjoy.

Here’s how Tumi’s Facebook Page took this technique into practice:

36. When offering coupons, don’t make fans do the math. Buddy Media’s study incidcates that “$ off” offers generate twice the engagement of “% off” offers for the retail industry on Facebook.

37. Share milestones you’ve reached on Facebook or as a brand with your audience. Whether you’ve finished a volunteer project as a company or reached 300,000 fans on Facebook, tell your fans, so they can help celebrate and spread the word.

38. Encourage check-ins on your Page and at your physical location. Although Facebook Deals was a flop, getting traction from check-ins on Facebook is still a useful way to grow organic impressions of your brand, especially when it comes local & small businesses.

39. Share the testimonials, positive feedback and recommendations about your brand. If your fans love your brand and are vocal about it, share this sentiment with the rest of your audience, making sure to mention the original feedback. The addition of the recommendations feature on a Facebook Page, specifically when you first like a Page, gives marketers an opportunity to promote their praise and feature one of their most active and happy fans.

40. Measure your return on investment with Facebook’s updated Page Insights. The new version of Page insights has shifted the focus of these internal analytics around engagement as opposed to audience size. Understanding how each post has affected your Page’s virality overall is a wonderful way to see what worked and didn’t work and how you can continue to strategize for the future.

Did you find any of these tips applicable to your own Facebook marketing strategy? Share what Facebook marketing tips and tricks you live by in the comment section below.

8 Helpful Video Tutorials for Facebook Marketers





Yes, Google+ recently launched but the prevalence of Facebook as a social platform hasn’t changed, especially for marketers. There are a ton of tutorial videos out there, giving insights on different aspects of what Facebook offers marketers. I’ve sifted through the lot and pulled out a list of some of the most helpful Facebook video tutorials for marketing purposes. Here are my top video suggestions:

Facebook Like

1. From Awareness to Sale via Facebook Studio

This video from Facebook itself, helps simply conceptualize the purchase cycle from people engaging on Facebook. This short video is a great way to visualize the power of recommendations from friends and how Facebook is merely echoing recommendation on a measurable scale. It helps give you a simple way to explain the importance of Facebook for business to others (clients) and how a marketer can connect with customers at every point of the purchase cycle.


2. Facebook Marketing Best Practices via Mari Smith + HubSpot

This video helps highlight everything from the type of content you should be sharing on Facebook (short and sweet is the way to go), metrics to monitor your success within Facebook (engagement per post), the benefits of Facebook Places (there’s lots) and more. Mari Smith, one of the many social media gurus out there, highlights these features in an interview conducted by HubSpot. It’s half hour long video, but worth the info, even if you skip through to different parts of the video.

3. The New Facebook Subscribe Feature via Social Networking Academy

Brought to you by the Social Networking Academy, this video gives you an in-depth look at Facebook’s Subscribe Feature. This feature, part of the round of updates following F8 and the launch of Google+, has a lot of potential for marketers and publishers on Facebook. By allowing people to follow your public updates from your profile and following the public updates of others, you can help grow a larger, more influential network and gain more exposure for the content you’re sharing. Learn how to allow this feature and how it affects your messaging across Facebook.

4. Anatomy and Best Practices for Facebook Ads via Traffika

Facebook ads are one of the big money makers for Facebook as a company, but they can also help benefit you as a marketer by expanding the reach of the existing content you’re already sharing on Facebook. With amazing targeting capabilities and social features to the ad’s, Facebook ads can be a real benefit. This video by Traffika, highlights the four parts of a traditional Facebook ad and how to use them inline with best practices for higher conversions.

5. Converting Your Facebook Personal Profile into a Facebook Page via Social Vision Media

Pages are the official home for business, brands and public figures on Facebook. However, many businesses are still using a regular Facebook Profile to represent themselves on the platform. This is against Facebook’s terms of service and is a very limited way to connect with a network of loyal fans. Social Vision Media shows you how to convert a personal Profile on Facebook to a Page, changing your friends over to fans, therefore saving your connections and moving them to the appropriate place on the network. This is where you should begin when starting this tutorial: https://www.facebook.com/help/?page=18918

6. The World Is Obsessed With Facebook via Alex Trimpe

Facebook and social media is still in its infancy and many people are still doubting its importance. Alex Trimpe put together a wonderful two minute video of some of the most shocking facts and statistics about user activity on the social media giant. This is a resource in terms of viable facts and figures you as a marketer can share with your CEO, potential clients and any one else that is unclear of the benefit Facebook offers.

7. How Facebook Social Plugins Work via Facebook

Soon after the Facebook like button was released, plugins hit the scene. This has helped thousands of websites further connect their web visitors to their social audience and vice versa. Social plugins have been around for awhile now, so you would assume most websites would have implemented them but surprisingly, many still haven’t. This video is a quick and simple overview of how Facebook social plugins are a benefit to any website looking to connect and influence their audience.

8. Eight Ways to Find Great Social Media Content via Mari Smith + Social Media Examiner

Lastly, content is and always will be the driving force behind social media, especially on Facebook. Again, Mari Smith takes us through a tour of some of the most important and effective ways to find content to share about your brand on Facebook. Watch the video to learn ways to find content, like using Google Alerts or Google Reader to find brand mentions.

Have you come across other beneficial Facebook marketing videos? Share these videos with us in the comment section below if they’re worth a look, we’d love to see what you’ve got!

How To Manage Your Facebook Page From The Updated iPhone App

>>>UPDATE: Having problems with your Facebook App? Check out our post on troubleshooting problems with the app here.<<<

Managing a Facebook Page or multiple Facebook Pages can often be a 24/7 commitment, depending on the size of your Page’s audience and their level of engagement with that Page. facebook page management iphone One way to help lower the amount of time you’re in front of a computer is by posting and interacting with fans from your mobile phone, in this case, the iPhone. The Facebook App for the iPhone was recently updated, making it much easier for a Page administrator to interact with their Facebook audience on the go. To deal with this problem many schedule their Facebook posts when they know they’ll be away from the computer, but there are reasons why you shouldn’t post on Facebook with third party tools.

The latest changes to the app, which coincide with the release of the Facebook app for the iPad, give users a much cleaner layout of the Facebook platform, making it both easy and effective for Page administrators to use. When you first open the Facebook app for the iPhone, the new home screen lays out all your options much more concisely, allowing you to browse your News Feed, check your messages, check-in with Facebook Places, view upcoming events and search through your friends list with greater ease than before.

Facebook Page Management

One of the biggest improvements to the new layout of the Facebook for iPhone app is how your Facebook Pages are displayed. Previously, you had to search through all the Pages you like and admin, and then add them as a favorite. By adding them as a favorite you could quickly access them from the homepage of the app. facebook pages management iphone

Thankfully the new app eliminates this extra step for Page administrators and simply puts all the Pages you administer in a list on the homepage of the app. This cuts down time, making your social media management efforts that much easier. With this change you can now quickly go down the list and choose which Page you wish to update. You can also see numbers to the right of each Page on your list of Pages, indicating notifications for that particular Page. This change helps Page administrators spend less time roaming their Facebook Page on their iPhone for comments from fans and more time responding to fan feedback because it’s now super easy to see that a notification was triggered.

Posting to Your Facebook Page

You can still share a photo on your Page, write a post for your Page and respond to a comment on your Page as you did before with the previous version of the Facebook for iPhone application. However, sharing a photo on your Page has slightly changed when it comes to the variety of customization options. After you land on the Facebook Page you wish to update, you’re given two options once you’ve reached the wall tab. facebook app iphone photo sharing You can either write a post or share a photo in terms of updating the Page. Writing a post simply allows you to add text or links to an update on your Facebook wall, while sharing a photo allows you to share a photo of your choosing. The photo option has become a little more dynamic in terms of allowing you to tag others and write a caption. By clicking on the photo anywhere, then typing in the name of a person, event, group or Page, you’re able to tag them in the photo you’re about to share. The photo you share can come from a photo you’ve just taken or from the photo album on your phone. The ability to add a caption is super easy as well. All you need to do is tap where it says write a caption and begin typing away. From here you can upload your photo to your wall at your leisure.

Other Noteworthy Features

App Notification Settings, Made Easier

You were always able to change the notification settings of your Facebook for iPhone app, but now they are much clearer and easier to view and change.

External Applications Integration

Facebook External Apps updated
Applications like Foursquare and Instagram already existed as applications within Facebook, but they’ve been made more accessible from the updated Facebook for iPhone app. The new layout seamlessly integrates the applications already given access to your Facebook account and installed on your iPhone. This is an interesting move for Facebook in terms of Foursquare and Instagram because Facebook at one time wished to dominate the location based social media vertical and in the case of Instagram, Facebook attempted to buy the company and incorporated its photo filters into Facebook. In both cases, Facebook failed to overtake the market these social platforms specialize in. Maybe this is Facebook’s salute to these platforms for capitalizing on what they do best?

Privacy Settings Added to App

The new app also addresses the continuing concerns that Facebook users have regarding privacy. Privacy settings were not very clear within the previous version of the app, but now they are much more concise and easier to customize right from your iPhone.

 

Facebook Places iPhone App

 

 

Facebook Places with an Easy to View Friend Map

Facebook Places was Facebook’s big push for the last year or so, but recently they handed the torch off to Foursquare and gave up on controlling the location based social media space. However, this feature shows you where your friends have recently checked in on a nice, Google Maps style map.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Facebook for iPhone app will be upgraded again in the future. Until then, do you find these latest changes helpful for your social media monitoring efforts? What other changes to the Facebook for iPhone app would you like to see?

What Should You Expect from Corporate Social Media Training?

Many brands, organizations and non-profits are looking to learn how the social media space best fits with their company’s existing goals. A plethora of firms and individuals offer corporate social media training packages, enabling you to comparison-shop and choose training that maximizes benefits and minimizes cost. It’s important to look for the following when choosing corporate social media based training:

social media training

Credibility of Both Company and Trainer

Trainers come from a variety of backgrounds, but one thing you want to be sure of is that the trainer is from a credible company, is a credible speaker on their own, or both. Look for solid social media credentials by asking questions like these before you sign up for a training:

1. Has the trainer trained previous clients in social media?
2. Does the company or speaker have references from other organizations?
3. Does the trainer have any existing videos or webinars of prior experience?
4. Is the company highly involved in social media?
5. Can the company provide examples of past social media based trainings?

An Industry Thought Leader

You want the company/trainer teaching you about social media to be a thought leader in the industry. Find out if the company/speaker has spoken at other industry events, conferences or expos. Some examples of these type of speaking engagements in the social media world are SXSW, WOMMA or through HubSpot. Research to see if they’ve been published in industry publications and social media news sources citing their insights about the field and about recent developments across a variety of platforms. Social media news sources like Mashable, AllFacebook, OPEN Forum, HubSpot and others are the types of websites where you want to see a social media expert published. This is an important step in determining if your trainer is a credible source for your corporate social media training needs.

Actionable Tips, Tricks and Techniques

One of the most important things to expect from a training is that you’ll leave with lasting tips, tricks and techniques for marketing your organization via social media. Define ahead of time which platforms matter most to your organization (like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare or others). This will help give the trainer clear focus in their training, which in turn will give you as the trainee a more valuable training session. Every training you attend should provide you with at least 5 tips, tricks or techniques per platform that help you measure, market or better optimize your social presence. For instance, learning to add call to action keywords such as tell us, comment, share, like, etc. to your Facebook Page posts will help increase engagements per post. Insights like this are the kind of things you should be taking with you after a training, which is important to measure whether the training was beneficial or not.

Teaching By Example

Giving examples of other organizations, brands or non profits utilizing social media is an essential way to learn best practices. This is something you should come to expect from a training because it is so helpful in teaching what to do and what not to do, depending on the industry under discussion. Case studies give a face to best practices recommendations and help people comprehend tricks and techniques in comparison to something they understand, like another organization or brand.

Interested in social media training that’s got credibility, thought leaders as instructors, advanced techniques, and case studies highlighting best practices? Sign up for social media training with LunaMetrics this October!

The East Coast Earthquake via Social Media

Social media has become an essential means of communicating with one another, so much so that when a hurricane, tornado, storm or (in this case) an earthquake strikes, the social channels are abuzz with chatter. Let’s take a look at some of the conversations by channel and at the power of social media.

Twitter Earthquake

Twitter

Twitter was one of the main ways in which people discussed and spread information about the earthquake. Quicker than any news source or article could be written, Twitter helped share this info in an instant. At 3 pm there were about 20 tweets referencing the earthquake every 20 seconds or so, highlighting that more than 5,000 tweets went out since the earthquake occurred over an hour earlier. The power of these platforms is undeniable when it comes to their power to communicate an event or message to the masses. Much of the content shared reflected the minimal effect the earthquake had, except for interrupting many offices’ work day.

Facebook

The combined power of Facebook and mobile was clearly seen today as people updated their immediate reactions during and after the subtle quake. If you take a look at Facebook’s search results for all their users, the ones with their privacy settings off of course, by searching the word ‘earthquake‘ you’ll see a constant wave of updates. Happiness, sadness, confusion and even witty remarks can be seen over the uncommon event for many people. There are even posts of pictures of fallen lawn chairs labeled ‘the devastation of the east coast earthquake.’ View the search results for yourself here (must be logged into Facebook).

Facebook Earthquake

Foursquare

What happened on Foursquare was simply too funny to leave out. Brought to my attention by my co-worker Dorcas, there was a Foursquare venue created soon after the earthquake entitled “Earthquakepocalypse 2011.” This user-generated venue located in New York City got 18,974 check-ins by a total of 18,446 people and it is still rising. There are hundreds of tips appearing on this venue as well, highlighting how people use social media to make light of a situation at the drop of a hat because there were no catastrophic injuries or damage. It’s interesting to see how many people look to their mobile social platforms to share what they are doing at any downtime, even when standing outside of your office waiting for a small earthquake to pass.

Continue Reading about the Social Chatter

There are already thousands of posts about the earthquake all over the web, including some about the effect social media had on the communication about the earthquake. Here are a few:

All Facebook

: Virginia Earthquake Shakes Up Facebook And Its Users

All Twitter

: Twitter Beats Gov’t, Traditional Media And Geological Organizations To Break #Earthquake News

Social Times

: Thanks To Twitter, East Coasters Were Able To Quickly Verify the Quake

Mashable

: East Coasters Turn to Twitter During Virginia Earthquake