Like all the other team members here at TPI I’m addicted to sharing and consuming data. I wake up, check Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, email, then (if I have time) I play some Angry Birds. Throughout a typical day, I check Facebook way too much, tweet more than the average person, read a couple blog posts, check in to wherever I eat lunch, send 50+ emails and exchange instant messages with my coworkers. As a person who works in the social media world each day, I understand that I might visit these sites and share more data than the typical person, but depending on what kind of business you’re in, there are many ways data plays a part in your everyday life and for your company.
Consider the following infographic, courtesy of DOMO.
How Much Data We Share Each Day
While all this data may seem overwhelming, the team at Thoughtprocess Interactive can help you understand it and make your company, website design or social media strategy stand out from the rest. Contact us today to see what your business strategy has been missing.
Facebook is taking a trick straight out of David Copperfield’s playbook today. I’ll call it the “Vanishing Post Act”. Let me explain. It all started last week. I uploaded a post to promote a sweepstakes on a page with over 40,000 fans. The post shows up on the page and I move on to my next task. 20 minutes later I check back and POOF!, the post has vanished! I refresh the page (thinking I did something wrong) and the post reappears. This happens a couple more times on different brand pages, but I brush it off as an issue with my browser (don’t even get me started on Firefox).
This morning, however, I’ve discovered with certainty that it’s not just me or my browser. Last night, before I left work, I made a post that looked something like this:
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I want you to think for a moment about the Facebook brand pages you follow. Think about what they post on a day to day basis and what type of benefits you get from those posts. Are you done thinking?
I’m willing to bet that the pages you’re thinking about are not up on their soapboxes blasting daily deals, scheduled brand events or asking you to do their work for them and share their page with all of your friends! Am I right?
You can probably think of a few pages like those I’m talking about and you’ve probably “unliked” those pages since they were doing nothing but selling to you because, lets face it, that’s just plain boring. If you’re in the process of building a community or if you already have a brand page, but are not getting any interaction then keep reading! These tips can make or break your social media presence:
- First you need to evaluate your demographic. You wouldn’t sell jewelery to women the same way you would to men, right?…right?
- Take the time to really experiment with your posts. Ask questions that are relevant to the industry you’re in (I’ll pretend we’re selling jewelry again). For example if you’re demographic is 20-30 year old women, you might ask something like, “When you get engaged what is most important to you about the ring you’ll wear forever? Style, diamond clarity or carat?” If you’re selling to 20-30 year old men you might ask, “Ok guys, we want to know, when you popped the question do you really remember what you said, or were you too nervous?” See how I asked fun, relevant questions?
- Days and times matter! If you’re located in New York you may not want to post something at 8:00 am when most people in the U.S. are just waking up. Wait until a time when the greatest number of people are usually most active. Start experimenting around lunch hours, evening hours and weekends. Here is a great read from Mashable about Best Time Practices. But remember, every community is different. Find out what works best for you and do it!
- Post photos. People tend to just skim through the Facebook News Feed, but if there’s a photo they are more likely to stop and look at it rather than pass it by. Make sure you include a call-to-action to get fans to interact with the post, not just look at it.
- Coupons & Specials. Of course, if you have a coupon or are having a sale, you want to share this information with your fans. Just don’t overdo it! I like to follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of the content you publish or share should pertain to things that really matter to your audience. The other 20% can be about your products, services and promotions.
- Check your analytics. Social sites offer free analytics. Take advantage of them! Utilizing these numbers can really give you great insight into what your fans are interacting with, what they like, what they dislike and what they’re sharing. If you’re interested in learning more about analytics, make sure you check back in the next few weeks. I’ll be doing a post all about these important numbers and what they mean for you.
- See who’s already talking about you. There’s a ton of information online and more than likely, there are people out there already talking about you! Make finding these conversations easy on yourself by using programs like Icerocket, Google Alerts, and Twilert.
- Have fun and be yourself! Every person is different and so is every brand. Make sure your brand “voice” resonates with your page. If your brand is fun and quirky then make sure your page’s voice matches that. Skittles does a wonderful job of this. Do your research and get ideas from other pages that might be similar to your audience. It’s very easy to see what works and what doesn’t.
It takes time to do all these things, but if you build it, they will come! And of course if you’re having a hard time or if you just don’t have the time, the web design and development professionals at TPI can help you with all your marketing and social media needs! Just give us a call, email, tweet, Facebook message, comment…you get the point
What is it really that makes you a “fan” of a brand or company on Facebook? Is it different than what makes you continue to be a fan of a business page? These are questions we deal with frequently in our line of work and and we often struggle to help clients understand that while both are of equal importance, capturing a “like” and keeping a “like” often require two separate (and sometimes diverging) strategies.
While studies have shown that that 40% of people “like” a company or brand on Facebook to receive discounts and promotions, it is important to understand what keeps a customer a fan of your page.
Consumers use Facebook to interact with friends, be entertained and express themselves. Thus, businesses need to engage consumers on Facebook in a way that keeps them entertained because it serves as an exceptional opportunity to mobilize fans, get introduced to their friends and potentially transform them into dedicated and loyal brand ambassadors.
In determining Facebook strategy, it is important to test out what works for your fan base on your page. Do so by experimenting with the time of day you post and monitoring what days and times receive the most interaction from your fans. Make sure you’re checking your analytics to find out what fans are clicking on and what fans are hiding from their news feed.
Though Facebook can be a great tool for self-promotion and selling, it’s important to be extremely careful about when and how you do so. You want followers to engage with your business, and if you’re constantly promoting your business or selling, followers are not going to want to engage.
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With over 10 million monthly users, Pinterest has become the hottest social media tool of the moment. If used correctly, it’s possible for you to harness this potential for the benefit of your business in a big way. Just in case you’re not convinced, here are some quick facts to prove that Pinterest shouldn’t be ignored:
- Over 80% of pins are repins = exposure overload!
- Pinterest reached 10 million unique visitors faster than ANY website
- Pinterest drives more traffic to websites than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined
- Pinterest earns more revenue per click than Facebook or Twitter
- Research has shown that customers report actually like a brand better after viewing a brands Pinterest profile
Now here’s the low-down on how to maximize the potential of Pinterest for your business:
- Keep an eye on what is being pinned from your site! Check to see if items from your website have been pinned by copying and pasting this link and entering your website URL here: www.pinterest.com/source/yourwebsite.com
- Always make sure your “About” section is filled out completely. People want to know who you are!
- Repin! Pinning others pins will help you gain a wider following
- Use keywords in your pin descriptions so people looking for your goods or services can find you easily
- Organize your boards in an order that will attract “likes” to your page (see where the arrow is pointing below)
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You’ve heard it before. You may even believe it. But you’re probably still not doing it when it comes to your business’s messaging.
For whatever reason, it is far more difficult to distill a concept or idea into something clear and concise than it is to fill it full of business speak and big words. Counter-intuitive, but true.
Yet another example of this came yesterday in an article from Tom Searcy on Time.com. What a 9-Year-Old Can Teach You About Selling starts with a reference to a recent study confirming what those of us who work on the web have long known: people don’t remember most of what is presented to them. This mega-short attention span and low retention rate is perhaps even more true on the web.
The obvious solution to this problem for marketers and business owners is to create a short, simple “elevator pitch” that can convey exactly who you are, what you do and why people should want your product or service in a sentence or two. Searcy’s advice on how to actually do this successfully is to think about how you would communicate this to someone with zero context, someone like a 9-year-old.
Daddy, What Do You Do?
- Right answer: ”I help companies to grow really fast by teaching them how to sell bigger companies much larger orders.”
- Wrong answer: ”Our company helps develop inside of our clients a replicable and scalable process for them to land large accounts.”
Why Do People Decide to Hire You?
- Right answer: “We have helped lots of companies do this before, so we are really good at it as long as they are the right type of companies.”
- Wrong answer: ”We have a proven process for implementation that allows organizations to tailor the model to their market, business offering and company’s growth goals.”
Why Don’t They Do It Themselves?
- Right answer: “Just like when you learned to play the piano: Mommy and I could teach a little, but we don’t know as much as your teacher, and teaching you ourselves would take a long time and be very frustrating. Daddy is a really good teacher of how to make bigger sales, and people want to learn how to do this as fast as they can.”
- Wrong answer: “We are the foremost expert in this field with over $5 billion in business that our clients have closed using this system. Usually our clients have tried a number of things on their own before we work together and have wanted outside help to get better results.”
As his example shows, both answers are accurate, but one is clearly wrong and one is clearly right.
Now, of course, there’s a big difference between simple and condescending and it’s important to consider your audience (and their true level of sophistication) to strike the right balance here, but, in general, Searcy’s direction is right on.
Given all that, does your messaging pass the “9-year-old” test? (Hint: if you aren’t sure, ask a 9-year-old).
Breaking into social media can be an overwhelming task if you don’t understand why your company needs it. Web design and social media is our business, so let us share a couple of thoughts from our own experience. Social media allows us to connect quickly with people and brands. Customers are forming relationships faster than ever and in many cases social media interactions have a direct impact on consumer buying choices, which has vastly changed the way the businesses are marketing. So you need to ask yourself: You’ve already invested in web design and development, but can your business afford NOT to be using social media?
The way we see it, participation in social media has a number of excellent business benefits. It can help you gain leads, offer customer support, promote your services and demonstrate leadership among your competitors. But most importantly, social media is an exceptionally valuable tool for increasing word-of-mouth for your business.
My recommendation to businesses is to do the following:
- Build a social media marketing plan and determine what you hope to achieve from your efforts
- Look at each social media outlet and determine which will be the most beneficial to your business and only take on one at a time (trying to take on too much too soon can be overwhelming)
- Remember that content is king! Post things that are interesting to your customer base and don’t be afraid to have fun with it. I live by the 80/20 Rule: 80% of your updates should provide value for your followers and 20% can be self-promotional. If you need some examples take a look at some of the client pages we’ve listed below
- Once you have established your account and posted some content, share your page with your employees and current customers to build your fan base
- Remember to interact with your fans. Typically you should respond to any questions or comments within 24 hours
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As you all know by now Facebook has released Timeline for business pages! This is exciting news, but trying to keep track of all these changes can be confusing. Fear not! We have you covered.
Here’s a quick list of the changes you can expect to see in how businesses will communicate and market to their Facebook fans through Timeline (as seen in the Tiffany & Co example below).
1. The overall design, look and feel of Pages has dramatically changed.
2. Photos, Likes, and Apps are now at the top of the page.
- You have the ability to change the order of tab locations although the “Photos” tab must remain in the first position
3. Default welcome tabs will be eliminated.
4. Custom tab locations are changing and will have larger icons.
- Custom tab icons are now 111px by 74px
- Tabs are now wider – 810px
5. The cover photo can be 850px by 315px but can NOT include the following:
- Calls to action
- Contact information, such as web address, email or other information intended for your “About” section
- Price or purchase information
- References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or other Facebook site features
6. Admin Panel is new and more user friendly.
- In March new admin capabilities will be activated. For example you can now add admins who can only post, have complete control over the page, or add an ad partner who cannot make any changes to the page without your approval…pretty cool, huh?
- Fans can now message the page directly and you can reply as the page, instead of using your personal profile!
7. Timeline can feature your brand’s history.
- We love how Tiffany & Co. has highlighted their company’s rich history with “highlighted” stories
8. Access to a limited view of OTHER brand page’s insights.
- You can view this only if the brand has the new Timeline. Click on their “likes” box and voila…there are their insights for all to see!
- This is sort of a double edged sword. For those who are new to business pages on Facebook…or just not so hot at fan engagement and outreach on this medium, this could be a way to learn from businesses and brands that are doing it well. Consequently, if you’re doing a really good job with fan engagement, this could be a way for competitors to take a peek at your game plan.
Tiffany & Co. has done a great job taking advantage of the new apps boxes, filling their timeline with rich content and attracting fans with their cover photo. Head over to their page to check out how they have filled their Timeline!
Below is just one example of a highlighted story they’re featuring:
We have a feeling we will be updating this list with more changes we notice as we get more familiar with Timeline. What do you think of the changes? Tell us in the comments below!
How funny that I should stumble across this article today on Slate while eating lunch: Copy-Editing the Culture: The Holiday Horrors of Starbucks, Wendy’s, and a Foreign Film.
From the headline alone, I knew immediately what the author was referencing as far as Starbuck’s goes. I saw an ad on Facebook this morning that featured their new holiday tagline, “Let’s Merry,” and though I’m not quite as worked up about it as this guy is, I definitely winced when I saw it.
“Merry” is an adjective. “Let’s,” as in “let us,” as in “permit us to,” demands a verb. Presumably, this slogan represents some effort to make a pun. The effort fails. Would Starbucks write, “Let’s funny” or “Let’s delicious”? Apparently, Starbucks would. Customers ought to be concerned: Word play at the expense of grammar is not play at all. It’s antisocial.
I’m with ya, buddy (although you’d probably smack me for my use of “ya”).
I also second his call out of the Starbuck’s sizing terminology:
(The shop’s drink-size appellations shift, inexplicably, from general descriptions to specific numerals—and, what’s more, from English to Italian.)
I love you Starbuck’s, but seriously, what is that?
We know, we know, Facebook has had so many changes lately it’s hard to keep up with them all. If you are a casual user, there are plenty of new features to explore. You may see some changes in accessing some of your games, or notice different content on some business pages, but generally you’re good to go.
However, it gets trickier if you’re a business owner who has developed Facebook apps. Starting October 1st, apps that run on Facebook must be hosted from a secure server. Facebook is requiring this to help protect the privacy of its users. What does it mean to you? If you don’t have a SSL certificate for your app’s site domain, your app will not show up on Facebook anymore – meaning your fans won’t see it!
Don’t worry, we’re here to help. If you host your application with us, we can get a SSL certificate set up for your domain. If you use a different host, they’ll be able to help you. Either way, you’ll just need to provide some specific information that verifies you are the owner of the site, and you’ll likely have to pay a small amount to buy the certification from the company that provides it. The most commonly known certificate provider is VeriSign, but there are plenty to choose from, with a variety of features and prices.
If we can help you, let us know. In the meantime, enjoy the latest features on Facebook… we will be back soon to guide you through more of the interesting changes that are happening there — stay tuned!