Category Archives: Social Media Tips

Social Media blog entries contain tips and tricks for updating profiles, enhancing social media exposure, social media campaigns, tracking and other social media musings about the Facebook Revolution. Entries focus mostly on Facebook profiles, Facebook business pages, twitter, LinkedIn and blogs.

New Year, New Social Media Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses on Facebook

strategy for small business social media marketing on facebook

A  strategy for small business social media marketing was turned upside down last week when Mark Zukerberg announced changes to the Facebook newsfeed. Aimed to enhance the user experience, Facebook will begin to prioritize newsfeed posts from family and friends.

A large percentage of users may not even notice the increase in cat memes or teenager selfies. Those who will be affected are small businesses and social media marketing strategists. As of 2016, there were 60 million Facebook business pages. For some Facebook just cut off their power.

A New Strategy for Small Business Social Media Marketing

Facebook pages with thousands of active followers will continue to be posted in their follower’s newsfeeds, just not as frequently. Active followers aren’t just liking a post they’re having a dialog with other followers on the post. A ‘like’ is not equal in value to actively commenting. Facebook wants to see engagement – the more people engaged the higher chance the business page will hit followers newsfeed.

Small business facebook followers mark see firstAnother strategy for small business social media marketing on Facebook is to ask followers to select “See First”  under the “Follow” tab.  This will help business pages continue to get into the newsfeed. Currently, Facebook users can only select 30 total people and pages to ’See First’. Small brands may have a hard time selling the “See First” option. If followers have selected family, friends, or other pages to see first already, new pages lose.

What options do really small business Facebook pages have?

Small businesses who have 300 or so followers who are lucky to even get likes on their posts – let alone dialogues – are going to lose the organic target they once received. So what is a small business to do?

social media strategist boost postSpend money. Facebook is a business, they’re going to continue to post advertisements in the newsfeeds. Boosting page posts, and investing in Facebook ad campaigns is another strategy for small business social media marketing. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money. It can be time-consuming though.

Essentially there is no more free ride for small business Facebook pages. But, this industry is anything but static. New platforms and new strategies for small business marketing may eliminate Facebook marketing.

I must admit when I heard of the changes I thought of the question I get most from small businesses: “Do I need a website, I have a Facebook page’. My answer is and always has been, invest in your brand, not somebody else’s. Using Facebook for your online presence is like having your customers call Facebook to reach your business phone. It’s time for small businesses to take back control of their brand. Find new ways to stay connected with your audience. If you need help, connect with us, we can help get your small business online.

Creating Combined Marketing Campaigns – 2015 Best Marketing Strategies

Combined campaigns example with website landing page and direct mail postcardsWhat market segment or demographic does your largest customer group belong to? Is there a specific industry you have a strong track record with that would benefit from your expertise? Do you want to continue to serve this market and reach other prospects in this segment?

Once you identify your ideal customer the next step is to determine where you can find them.  Are they newspaper or magazine readers? Or are they on Instagram and have never seen a Yellow Page book? Chances are you have a mix of ages, interests or income in your target market groups. This is where creating combined marketing campaigns come in.

Taking the time in the beginning when creating combined marketing campaigns  will provide a multi-channel and cross-platform reach that can catch both the smart phone users and yellow page turners. Encouraging connections through multiple marketing channels builds the relationship between the brand and the consumer.

Creating Combined Marketing Campaigns:

In our effort to reach out to our specific target markets we decided to combine a direct mail campaign with social media and internet marketing to help us reach a larger segment of our specified groups. On our snail mail postcards we provided a custom URL for each market. Prior to mailing we created landing pages on our website associated with each target market. When the postcard recipient typed in the custom URL the landing page offered samples, testimonials and examples of services in their industry that would be helpful to them. Social media posts were created with hashtags and keyword phrases included on our website to help us come up when these prospects make a search inquiry for our services.

Internet advertising campaign created:

  1. To reach the prospects that we did not have mailing addresses for
  2. To get in front of those who received the postcard but did not respond yet

Each ad was similar in design to the postcard that was mailed. The ad linked directly to the custom URL designated for the specific target group. The ads took them to our website landing pages  with the information we wanted to share with them. The landing pages were also similar in design to the postcards and Facebook ad designs that were part of the campaign.

Example of a combined marketing campaign :

One of our target markets is the Michigan construction industry. Connection Group has assisted customers in the Michigan construction industry  with website creation and marketing management for nearly 20 years.  We provide marketing and website design services to builders, remodelers, construction trades and construction product manufacturers. We have the experience, we have the reviews, and we know we can help more  meet their business goals.

Combining Direct Mail and In-Bound Marketing

  • Design an oversized postcard targeting the construction industry
  • Create a unique URL to include on the postcard
  • Create  a construction industry landing page the URL will direct the visitor to
  • Add a call to action

Media Behaviors of this group

  • More likely to be on Facebook than Instagram
  • More apt to be searching Google than watching tv

Conclusion:

  • Prospect mailing list was created
  • Printed postcards – easily viewable by the recipient and inexpensive to produce
  • Unique URL and landing page will help us to track visitors and determine the effectiveness of the direct mail component.
  • Facebook and Google Adwords search would be the best use of our (very limited!) internet advertising dollars.

The above solutions were chosen to fit within our marketing and advertising budget to market to the construction industry. Other marketing segments we provide marketing services for are small to mid-size businesses and professional speakers. Fortunately these groups can be reached on the same media platforms as the construction industry. Pretty strategic marketing right there, right? This approach reduces our need for researching other platforms and keeps our media spend within budget.

If we choose to increase our marketing budget for let’s say the professional speaker market we know media behaviors of this group show they are internet savvy and social. With those traits in mind we could become an affiliate member of the National Speakers Association Michigan or National Speakers Association since we work with Professional Speakers across the country, We could purchase advertisements in their publications, be a vendor at one of their trade shows or sponsor an event. We would not purchase billboards, tv or radio advertising for this group – but we may want to look at YouTube for display or video advertisements .

Long standing businesses who are discovering that traditional advertising and marketing isn’t working anymore will find their sweet spot by creating combined marketing campaigns. Television may still work for some of your customers, combine it with a YouTube video or adwords campaign and see how many new customers result. As in the dawn of the advertising age, knowing your customers interests and needs will help you be where they are and form authentic relationships.

Not sure where to begin? Connect with us today for a consultation and assistance creating combined marketing campaigns that connect with your target market.

People Helping People: Social Media Strategies for Small Business

Social Media Startegies for Small Bsuiness February Blog graphic

Making Connections In Social Media

You can find top 10 lists on social media strategies for small business all around the internet.  Some tips are complicated, some cost money, some require a lot of time. The social media strategies small businesses seldom consider is keeping it ‘social’. Start with securing your pages on applicable social media sites, posting regularly, and engaging authentically with others. Sharing, liking and commenting on business pages you follow will create camaraderie and your contacts will show their appreciation by reciprocating and engaging with your content.

Following are the top social media players companies choose to engage on social media. There are so many more social media platforms like SnapChat, Tumblr, Quora, etc. If you find a specific social media platform has captured your target market – make sure you are there too!

1. Facebook

Facebook now offers business pages the opportunity to follow other company pages. Follow customers, vendors or local organizations you support and share their posts. You can also follow your competition and see what posts are working best for them.
Task: Make a list of pages to follow

Remember to engage with those favorite pages. Like, share or comment on the pages you follow. Your customer will appreciate that you engaging with them on Facebook. It may even inspire them to add a review on your Facebook business page.

Utilize the large area on the top of your business Facebook page with a creative Facebook cover photo graphic that inspires people or offers a discount specific to only your Facebook followers.

Are you now asking what’s the size of a Facebook cover photo? Take a look at standard sizes on our social media graphic sizes cheat sheet.

Task: What discounts or specials could you offer on your Facebook cover photo this month? What about next month?  Make a list for the year to keep ahead!

2. Twitter

Follow industry leaders who share great content and retweet them, when they feel your love and retweet your posts your Twitter handle will be seen by all of their followers. Express your appreciation to vendors, customers, and friends with #hashtags such as #followfriday suggestions for mutual love. Tag events in posts #newyears, #cybersale, locally used hashtags like #lovelansing or  industry hashtags like #graphicdesign.

Task: Make a list of Industry Leaders to follow for great retweets!
Include them in your next Follow Friday (#FF) tweet.

You can also search by hashtag to see what is being tweeted on a specific subject, such as your industry (#webdesign) or a sports team (#detroitredwings). The results will be posts by others who have used the same hashtag in their tweets. For instance if I use #graphicdesign in a tweet and you search #graphicdesign my post will come up as a result in your search along with others who have included the same hashtag.

Task: Make a list of local popular hashtags to use to make connections.
(#LoveLansing, #GrandRapids, etc.)

3. LinkedIn

The place to be for B2B. It’s true, Linkedin is full of job recruiters. Linkedin doesn’t offer the addictive attraction that Facebook does but chances are your business connections are here. Linkedin is where you find vendors, employees, customers and business tips without the cat videos. First upgrade to a professional profile and secure your Linkedin , pinterest boaardscompany page. Find a few company pages you would like to follow (trade organizations, vendors, customers, others with large followers) and request them to follow your company page. We’d love to have you follow ours too!

Task: Make a list of LInkedin company pages to follow

Recommendations:

Give recommendations for your Linkedin contacts. They will get an alert that you recommended them, the alert will be posted in the Linkedin newsfeed and others will see that you are actively recommending others. It’s a kind way to get in the front of people’s minds and remind them that you appreciate their talents and remind them that they may want to recommend you too! Make sure you are making authentic recommendations! Don’t recommend somebody for their marketing ability when you don’t know if they acutally do a good job with marketing.

Task: Make a list of people you could provide authentic recommendations for of your LinkedIn followers.

Get into groups and comment!
Groups are huge in Linkedin. Look for ones of interest in your industry and share insights to the members, receive advice, hear about trends, comment on posts, post specials or offers, get leads, etc. Each time you post or comment Linkedin will add it to the page feed of all your Linkedin connections. Sharing others posts, commenting on them, will boost their reach too. Being a member of a group also allows you to friend request anyone in the group and correspond with them without knowing their email or having worked with them before – it’s a great way to introduce yourself to a prospect.

Task: Make a list of groups you can search for and join today

4. Pinterest / Instagram

Although very different these two social media applications are similar in the fact that they are centered around images. ‘Nobody reads on the internet anymore’, ‘a picture says a 1000 words’… you’ve heard it all before. A younger female audience has embraced these two social media apps. The Pinterest audience is crossing over multiple generations and members are increasing quickly. Instagram is primarily tweens through 30-somethings. Both apps have high engagement and now allow for private/direct messaging to followers. As you post your clever product, funny or inspiring photos remember to add #hashtags and share the love:

Task: Log on to Pinterest or Instagram and follow other peoples pages or profiles that post or pin like minded items.

Task: Identify people and pages that use your product in clever ways. Recognize them, thank them, share their posts and add it to your list of products uses. 

Task: Create Pinterest pages that highlight your product or service:

Task: Host an Instagram Giveaway – think about what photos your customers could post and create a #hashtag (for a coffee shop post picture of your #favoritecoffeecup, or a tree service company #afterstormphotos…).

Google+ and YouTube:

Secure your Google+ page and increase contacts and your Google rating. While you are at it secure your company location on Google Maps. Embed YouTube videos from your company YouTube channel or videos of interest to your customers right on your Google+ page.

Find friends, customers, vendors and add reviews. These reviews come up when others search keyword terms in their industry or search by their company name. Results will show their company, location, photos, contact info and reviews. Talk about cheap advertising and an easy way to support your colleagues!

Task: Make a list of  videos and content you can can add to your Google+ page to increase exposure

Task: Create target lists (Google circles) – Google+ separates connections into circles your define. You can target information to specific circles.

Task: Determine segments you can set up to announce specific content to each audience.

TaskL Create a Goggle+ Hangout:
You can offer live streaming weekly or monthly webinars to educate your customers. What are the top products or services customers would like? How-to-videos or step-by-step installations, customer testimonials, inspirational videos, etc.

Task: Make a list of webinar subjects you can cover that are of interest to your customers

You didn’t imagine social media strategies for small business was such a big deal?  Just remember, success comes when you practice kindness —keep it social.  Build your online relationships one share at a tim

Inspiring Facebook Graphics and Images for Sharing on Social Media

As graphic designers we like to create and share inspiring Facebook graphics and original design images containing positive quotes in our posts for social media pages. From Pinterest, to Twitter and Facebook (we still haven’t jumped into Instagram with both feet yet – baby steps…) and even Linkedin company pages… posting inspiring Facebook graphics, web memes and digital designs allows us to share our beliefs and have a little fun with our graphic design skills at the same time. Since we are often seeking Facebook graphics, twitter photos and the most inspiring pins for our pinterest boards we decided to post a lot of them here in our blog for you to reference for your own social media sharing.

We hope you enjoy these inspiring images and motivational quotes all developed for sharing to your social media followers and fans. Please feel free to share them, pass them along, print them out and hang them on your wall – if one of them inspires you to take a positive action then all of our effort has been rewarded.

Everything is fine.

Everything is fine.

Contemporary inspirational quote for social media

You are your wisest guide.

dream-big-connectiongraphics

whatever makes you feel bad, leave it whatever makes you smile, keep it

inspiring-facebook-graphics-good-things-connectiongraphics

Good things are happening

inspiring-facebook-graphics-haters-brene-brown-connectiongraphics

“Don’t try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.” ― Brené Brown

inspiring-facebook-graphics-intention-wihtout-discipline-connectiongraphics

“Intention without discipline is useless.” ― Caroline Myss,

inspiring-facebook-graphics-know-your-worth-connectiongraphics

Know your worth.

inspiring-facebook-graphics-laugh-breathe-connectiongraphics

Laugh as much as you breathe.

inspiring-facebook-graphics-look-at-change-connectiongraphics

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” – Wayne W. Dyer

inspiring-facebook-graphics-matters-more-connectiongraphics

“What we know matters but who we are matters more.” ― Brené Brown

inspiring-facebook-graphics-rainbow-in-someones-cloud-connectiongraphics

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” ― Maya Angelou

inspiring-facebook-graphics-seeds-you-plant-connectiongraphics

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

inspiring-facebook-graphics-sell-your-cleverness-connectiongraphics

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.” ― Rumi

inspiring-facebook-graphics-inspiring quote for sharing on facebook

whatever makes you feel bad, leave it
whatever makes you smile, keep it

inspiring-facebook-graphics- inspirational Lao Tsu  quote design for social media post

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Lao Tzu

Retro inspirational quote for pinterest inspiring-facebook-graphics-

What if you fly?

Contemporary inspirational quote for social media inspiring-facebook-graphics-

You make the world more beautiful

your-wisest-connectiongraphics-inspiring-facebook-graphics-

You are your wisest guide.


Subscribe to the RSS feed and get regular updates as we continue to post more in the future. Or follow us on our social media pages for more inspiring Facebook graphics and social media images! We also offer Facebook cover photos and free ecards for sharing!

Dimensions for Social Media Graphics

Sample dimensions for Facebook business page covers and profile photos. Note to leave space for the call to action
Sample dimensions for Facebook business page covers and profile photos. Note to leave space for the call to action

Digital Branding gets a new face. 

sample social media graphic fro facebook page feedAs social media evolves, new trends spark, more rules and standards lock in, and more opportunities to build your company brand arise with social media graphics.

Connecting your professional brand message in all media formats is why Connection Group is here. Developing social media graphics as branding visuals that incorporate logos, monthly specials, calls to action, etc. is one of our favorite services.

As much as we enjoy creating these digital graphics for all of you we know some of you still prefer to do it yourself. To help you maintain your professional brand image online we have compiled current social media graphics guidelines to help. The dimensions are below for various social media graphics you will use, from newsfeed photo posts to profile pictures in Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter and Google+. Follow the dimensions posted and have fun creating your social media graphics! Here’s a pdf to download with all the social media graphics dimensions to reference later too.

If you prefer to do what you do best for your company – and creating graphics isn’t it – connect with us. We have the education, experience, and efficiency (plus super duper photo imaging and vector software) to create eye catching social media graphics. Give us a call today and take advantage of the current discount (expires April 30, 2014).

Do you have a slide show on your website? Do some of your slides need an update, a fresh look for the season? Give us a call for an estimate today – we may just slide those into the April promo too!


facebook iconFacebook – All graphics must be gifs/jpgs/or pngs

 

Facebook Profile Picture: 180 x 180 pixels Facebook requires this minimum size for uploading a profile picture only to then turn around and reduce to fit the actual required size of 160 x 160 pixels (square). 

Facebook Cover Photos:  851 x 315 pixels. For sharper, cleaner images start with images 1702 x 630. Facebook will resize.  (image should be wider than tall)

Facebook Page Post 400 x 400 pixels square. Page post or status image. Recommend upload size of 1200 x 1200px. Facebook will reduce. Size for mobile: 560 x 292.

Facebook Ads:  1,200 pixels wide (rectangular)   

News Feed ads: 600 pixels wide(rectangular) 

Facebook App Icons:  114 x 74 pixels, (rectangular) These are the icons that appear at the top of the page below your cover pic and above your page feed.

Facebook Photo Albums: 960 x 720 pixels is the maximum display size  (rectangular, landscape orientation). Photo albums are limited to 1000 photos each.


twitter graphic

TWITTER:  All graphics must be gifs/jpgs/ or pngs

Twitter Profile Picture: Upload at 128 x 128 pixels (square) Twitter will resize to 48 x 48 pixels

Twitter Background – Keep at 200 pixels across to ensure all content will be seen on all monitors.

Twitter header image:  1252 x 626, this graphic is displayed directly behind your profile photo.


google plus logo

GOOGLE+:  All graphics must be jpgs/pngs/or gifs no larger than 2 MBs in size.

Google+ Profile Picture: 250 x 250 pixels.

Google + Cover Photo: 940 x 180 pixels (this can also be an animated gif… (but please don’t get too crazy!)


linkedin logoLinkedin – all LinkedIn graphics must be jpgs/pngs/or gifs no larger than 2 MBs in size.

Linkedin Profile Picture: 250 x 250 pixels

Linkedin Company Cover Photo:   646 x 220 pixels (image should be wider than tall)

Hero Image  (Spotlight page)- Minimum 974-339 pixels, Maximum 2 MB, Landscape (image should be wider than tall). Crop once it’s loaded.

Standard Profile Logo: 100×60 pixels (image will be resized to fit), (image should be wider than tall)

Square Logo:  50×50 pixels (image will be resized to fit), This logo is shown in all unetwork updates. 

Good luck with your creations be sure to contact us if you have any questions. More networks are advancing everyday that will require us to expand this post. Please be sure to note the date since dimensions change frequently. Currently Pinterest only allows for profile pictures for their business pages but this may soon change… Are there other social media graphics you use regularly with unique dimensions? Please add them in comments below to help others.

 

logo-pdf Download PDF – Social Media Graphic Dimensions

Small Business Owners: Do I need a website if I have a….

…Facebook Page … LinkedIn Business Page… Pinterest following

when you get -give, when you learn teach quote maya angelouIt scares me how often I am asked this question. Typically when a start-up business or growing small business consults with us on creating a professional company brand we need to have ‘the talk’. We’ve had the ‘do I need a website talk’ here before. Social media updates, SEO and skewed business models beg for a review. 

We’ve read the success stories; “Start up Yarn store sells volumes of skeins through their Facebook page’. Yes we’ve seen leads from LinkedIn turn into real live customers. But did those people who bought the yarn specifically go to Facebook looking for yarn? When your new found customer sought the service you offer on LinkedIn, were you the only company offering that service? No, no you were not.  This alone should help you answer the do I need a website question, but I will keep going.

Possibly the positive results in social media were driven by purchasing ads, feeding captivating content in Facebook, or using the correct keywords on your LinkedIn company page… or maybe the stars and the moon were aligned at just the right angle… We have no control on what social media sites our target market visits.  We have no control who sees our Facebook company page from post to post. We have no control over our competition claims on LinkedIn. How can we put our company success under somebody else’s control? Especially brands that also dictate what information we add to their websites and how it will be distributed?

Before I start sounding like LinkedIn and Facebook (and Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr …) are complete evil time-sucking novelties that are guided purely to monetize every move we make let me share sincere marketing advice:  Using multiple distribution points gets your marketing message in front of your prospects multiple times. You want to be where your clients are and if there are millions of businesses on LinkedIn everyday and you are a business to business (B2B) company you’re darn right you should be there too!  If your Pinterest and Facebook followers are engaging with your post and sharing it with their Aunt Susie, keep posting!

Long lasting success comes from consistent branding across multiple platforms. Facebook and LinkedIn and other social media sites are best served as outposts for your content. Your company website is the pitch, white paper, brochure, training, demo and closing table all in one. Your outposts should drive prospects to your brand website where you are in charge and can serve your customer best.

meida graphic-internet marketingWhy Do I Need a Website?

  1. A company website is available to people actively seeking a specific thing (product / service / education / research source).
  2. A company website markets your product and service only.
  3. Your product / service shines here, you decide what to share and visitors get their answers.
  4. Your company website is available to everyone. There’s no user agreement or need to be a member.
  5. Visitors contact information can be captured for follow up.
  6. Your website reflects your business personality and brand message.
  7. A clear call to action in the form you prefer (email, phone call, form, etc.) encourages connections.
  8. You own it.

Full disclosure: along with small business brand marketing, Connection Group builds websites. Yes, we would love to build a website for your small business. We also want to help small businesses succeed whether we provide purchased services or education via a free blog post or other or freebies.

Not all marketers agree. I recently read a post in a LinkedIn group where the author claimed all a B2B company needs is a LinkedIn company page. The author was shamed into silence from the over 100 threads from serious marketers explaining why all businesses need a website. Not all marketers offer website designs and the recommendation that small businesses need a website was not driven by sales. The advice was meant as a caution not to put all your marketing efforts into one portal. If you still feel a social media page is the best way to align business success there is somebody out there who will be happy to charge you to set up a MySpace account.

Stay connected!

Like what you’ve read here? Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter Connectivity for more brand marketing tips.

Is the Facebook Business Page Dead?

facebook-social-network-graphicA full decade of Facebook. Can you believe it? Some days it still seems crazy that over a billion people are visitors of this one website. Other days it seems as if it has always been a part of our lives. In such a short time feeding Facebook business page news feeds with funny stories and trend setting tips has created a world of narcissist and overnight millionaires.

The reigning king of social media has continually made changes over the 10 years to keep us coming back. Marketers are like mice on a wheel trying to keep up. We have experienced many late nights editing slides before a large presentation because Facebook did an overhaul the day before a big social media marketing consultation. Most recently, changes to the Facebook business page newsfeed algorithm has left businesses and social media marketing companies scrambling. Over night companies were angered seeing that only 100 fans of their 8000 fan base actually saw their posts at any given time.

Why the big change in the Facebook Business Page Algorithm?

Facebook surveyed a sample of their users and asked how often they want page posts to come up in their profile news feed. Based on the response, Facebook has reduced the amount of Facebook business page posts that come up in users personal news feeds. This makes your Grandma in Florida happier because she can see more posted cartoons about the polar vortex Michigan is experiencing. Marketers and social media managers are left wondering whether they should bother recommending their client to dedicate man hours to post to their Facebook business pages. If few people are going to see them why spend the time and payroll dollars to create Facebook posts?

For companies who have relied heavily on their Facebook business page to sell and market their products or services it will be important to look at other ways to get back in front of their audience. A business marketing plan that is not so reliant on Facebook may help. Certainly a new Facebook business page marketing strategy is in order to determine how best to drive traffic to the Facebook business page based on the new algorithm programming.

So how can you drive traffic to your Facebook business page news feed? sample tagging facebook business page in page post

  1. Buy more Facebook ads (come on now, who ever said you could get free social media marketing?)
  2. Embrace link sharing (posting links of stories off site, or to other pages, etc.)
  3. Share more visuals and media-rich content (graphics, photos, videos)
  4. Leverage other social channels – encourage your followers in other social media channels to engage with your Facebook business page
  5. Include your Facebook business page URL on all your marketing materials
  6. Include a link to your Facebook business page in your blog posts and your email signature
  7. Include buttons for liking and sharing your Facebook business page on your website and in your email signature
  8. Tag other pages in your posts to gain interest for that page followers. (Example: Our Connection Group Facebook Business Page shares a web link from Mashable’s website and tags the Mashable Facebook page that post is shared to some of the Mashable Facebook page fan base. If fans are interested in what we’ve posted they stop in check us out and like us – bonus!)

Anybody who has posted to Facebook recognizes that visuals speak louder than words, this is not lost in the new algorithm either. Facebook has decided it doesn’t like all those wordy, story posts and is reducing sharing of text based posts to newsfeeds at a higher rate than those with links and visual content. Gone is the day of likes from viewers for your text heavy posts, the sharing of penned customer testimonials and even those inspiring #mondaymotivation quotes. So how are you going to keep in the game and post compelling visuals? It’s not like you can just steal Google images and post them legally. (Remember we’ve covered this before.)

Creating more visual and media-rich content for your Facebook Business Page:

Nxtwall trade show booth

Sample of photo used for Nxtwall Faceboook business page post from trade show.

  1. Hire a graphic design and marketing firm to create original social media images, icons, graphics, Facebook cover photos, based on your brand visuals. (Have we met? 🙂 )
  2. Purchase art, photos and videos from stock art websites. (Shutterstock, Veer, etc.)
  3. Have employees compile photos of the office, meetings, products, customers (get signed photo releases!), etc. for posting
  4. Have customers share photos (you could even create a photo contest around this concept!)
  5. Photos from company events, trade shows, holiday parties, etc. (double bonus because these will reflect the company culture clearly to viewers.)
  6. Create original infographics pertinent to your industry

When you tire of viewing all the “Look Back” videos Facebook developed as their anniversary gift to users, it’s time to think about your investment in your Facebook business page for the next 10 years. Will Facebook decide that increased business page posts in users news feeds are more important than keeping happy users? Will Facebook ads get cheaper? Suddenly I feel like my mother when she asked me if my room was going to clean itself.

Since Facebook advertising has been under scrutiny lately as well, I feel like we all need to take a step back and put down the kool aid. I’ve heard too many otherwise smart start up business owners question whether they should build a website if they have a Facebook page. That question could easily be a complete blog in itself.. Hopefully they will find this post and never ask that again.

Please understand I have fun on Facebook, I love connecting with old friends and family across the miles and I also like supporting my favorite customers and brands too. It’s about keeping it in perspective.

Before I descend from my pedestal I will ask one last question. Why is your company so invested in building the Facebook brand and not investing in your own brand vehicles? Balance out your marketing. Play in social media, build your brand, connect with your customers there and meanwhile build professional websites, network with real people, explore forums dedicated to your niche market, create professionally printed brochures and leave behind print literature people can use, attend and display at trade shows. Don’t be enticed by the billion users, identify how many clients you really need to succeed and figure out the best channels to get your message to them. If you need help with this piece give us a call today or follow our facebook page for tips and resources. Sorry, couldn’t resist!

Stay connected!

Business or personal: Managing your company’s Facebook page

connection graphics facebook page screen captureFacebook is a great tool for keeping in touch with your personal network. But did you know you can also set up a Facebook page to promote your business? Continue reading to learn how.

Even though Facebook allows companies and businesses to use their services for promotion, there are differences between a personal profile and a business page. In fact, Facebook’s terms of service don’t allow personal profiles to be used for professional purposes. And, when it comes down to it, there’s really no need to. Business pages offer so many benefits that are not available for personal profiles.

Business-Relevant Information

Facebook’s pages are designed specifically to present information about businesses and companies. Unlike personal profiles, business pages don’t ask you for your company’s birthday or gender. Instead, you’re prompted to choose a category, and add a founding date, a mission statement, etc.

Facebook’s options for business pages also let you add information about your company, an option that’s not available for personal profiles. Whether it’s a list of products or services or a video introduction, you can customize your business page to let others know about your company.

CG-Timeline-Fan-Page-Graphic-no>5,000 Fans

Personal profiles are limited to 5,000 “friends.” Why would you want your business page to have a limited audience? The point of social media, after all, is to expand your company’s network. Even if you’re a one-person business, surely you want to reach the most number of people (ie., prospective customers) as you can. One of the most important reasons for having a business page is that it allows you to gain unlimited fans.

Online Traffic Analysis

A very important feature of business pages is Facebook Insights. This is an application that gives you information about your customers, and how they interact with your Facebook page. It lets you see what’s working and what’s not. It’s valuable data that’s available only for business pages.

Admin Roles

The ability to assign admin roles to help you manage your Facebook business page is a time-saver. You can allow others to be your co-admin and assign specific roles based on what you want them to do. For example, you may choose to have an employee or marketing agency do some of the tasks for you, so that you’re free to focus on other aspects of your business. The available roles are Manager, Content Creator, Moderator, Advertiser and Insights Analyst. Even if you have several people, or an outside consultant, helping you manage your page, you still control how much access they will have to your account. With a personal profile, the only option is to give them your username and password.

Deals and Advertising

Facebook wants to help businesses gain a healthy online following. One of the ways they do this is by making it easy to advertise and offer deals. Facebook Offers lets your business promote a sale or special pricing. Promoted Posts are paid options that let you reach a wider audience. Neither of these is available for personal profiles.

Work-Life Balance

Many small business owners juggle work responsibilities and family life. This challenge extends to web interactions as well. So why combine your personal Facebook profile with that of your business? Keeping them separate allows you to effectively promote your business online, while still enjoying private interactions with your family and friends.

A Facebook page for your business is simply the right choice over a personal profile. Notwithstanding the terms of use, the many advantages it offers lets you launch, and manage, your Facebook presence more effectively. It’s what we use for our company and as a brand manager for small businesses. If you need guidance or help in managing your Facebook page, give us a call or send us an email.

Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook TImeline Fan Page Photos

Facebook Business Pages will be automatically upgraded to Timeline on March 30, 2012, are you ready?
I know, another major change for Facebook. Those of us who are marketing firms managing multiple Facebook business pages need to get up to speed quick! The most obvious change is the striking Facebook Timeline cover photos. As striking as it is, there are some important rules to follow and there are other Facebook TImeline Features to work into your marketing strategy.

New Facebook Timeline Features:

  1. My favorite – you can now pin a feature story each week. Just hover over your your story and click on the pencil icon to make it a feature at the top of your Page.
  2. Profile pictures are now square at 180 x 180 pixels. This image will still be what is seen when you post and what is need in your news feed.
  3. You can rearrange the apps on the page. These are listed at the top of your Page no . Change the placement by clicking on the graphic, then tell it to switch with the app you choose to list your most important ones first, such as photos of your products, etc.
  4. Your main page or ‘wall’ will be the default landing page – default landing tabs are gone
  5. New Admin panel is much more user friendly and insights are right there.
  6. Fans can now connect with you privately..

Let’s jump into the rules for the Facebook Timeline cover photo for business fan pages before you waste time creating one that Facebook deems illegal… (like I have included below!)  The image below breaks all the rules – it attempts to take advantage of all the prime real estate the large cover photo offers. No way, says Facebook! You can not include your company marketing and contact information or calls to action.

Integrative Marketing Solutions for Small Business    Get back to the business of running your business!

BAD! No, no! Above is a rejected Facebook Fan Page cover photo.

Facebook Timeline Cover Photo’s for Fan Pages – Do’s & Don’ts

Do

  1. Choose a striking and relevant image for your business
  2. Use an 851 pixel wide x 315 pixel tall image to make the most of the space.
  3. Use your logo as your profile picture in square format.
  4. Be consistent with your profile picture – don’t change it on a whim and ignore your brand
  5. Pay attention to the ratio of text to imagery – 70% image to 30% text is a good guideline

Don’t

  1. Include website, phone number, any contact info that can be found under ‘About’ section
  2. Include prices or purchase info. (50% off or ‘download our ebook’…)
  3. Include calls to action like: ‘Call today, Get it now…’
  4. Include “Like”, “Share”, or an arrow in the photo pointing to any Facebook action, etc.
  5. Infringe on others intellectual property.
Connection Group delivers Integrative Marketing Solutions

New Facebook TImeline Fan Page Cover Photo - this one follows the rules

Does anybody else find it frustrating that a business can’t promote their contact information in the most prominent place on the page? It goes against everything I learned in graphic design school. Oh well, as I begin to explain to our customers who hold the same frustration, we dont make the rules, Facebook does.

So, have fun with it! Show off your Facebook Fan Page Timeline photos below. Share your links, we would love to take a look at the beauty  you created, and find us on Facebook.

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How to Convert a Facebook Profile to a Facebook Page

Throughout the year we have been providing training to local organizations and colleges on social media marketing. As the owner of Connection Group I also consult with customers who want us to manage their social media and create profiles in the best format to reach their market. In almost every consultation, social media class, workshop, and training this year, I have been asked what to do if a business established a personal profile page for their business instead of a true business fan page in Facebook. Yes, there is a big difference between a Facebook Profile and a Facebook Page, I will not get into all the reasons in this post. Please post a question if you would like more specifics, I am happy to help clarify.

I have a previous blog post covering merging pages also which directs you to the Facebook help page entitled Converting your profile page into a page but it didn’t make it as simple as it can be. Below, I will walk you through merging your Facebook pages and to clearly answer the question: ‘How do I convert a personal profile to a business page in Facebook step by step.’

Words of caution: 

All of the people on your page, plus your profile pic, will be converted into your page but no other content on the old page will be moved over. Remember to save any important information prior to migrating the page. You can download a file that contains all your messages, photos and videos that you have uploaded to Facebook here. If you don’t mind losing previous posts there is no need to go through the download step.

Graphic of Facebook business category options

  • Step one: Be logged in as the personal profile you want to change with your original email address and password you set up. BE CAREFUL!!! Do not log in as your real person profile (the one you use every day)!
  • Step 2: Go to Facebook Profile to Business Page Migration page.
  • Step 3: Choose which category your business page is (Company, brand, place, etc.)
  • Step 4: Agree to Facebook Page Terms
  • Step 5: Choose the page you want to connect to, add content, name the page, etc.

You should now have a complete professional Facebook Business Page for your company instead of a profile page. Please contact us if you need more assistance.

If you need help merging two Facebook business pages or if you have a business page and then suddenly a Places Page has emerged with your same business name and address, Facebook help now allows you to easily merge these pages too. Currently, the Facebook page with the most likes will become the main page, the Facebook Business page with the least amount of fans will merge into the first and then it will disappear. Let me know if you need help with this one!

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