Tag Archives: facebook business page

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

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!

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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.

Stay connected!

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!

Stay connected!