Ok, I know it sounds a little creepy but give me a chance to explain before you decide.
So here’s how it works: First of all it’s important to notice that this service is only currently available to all “managed” advertisers, meaning the ones who receive support from Facebook, meaning those that are paying Facebook. That being said, say you walk into a Best Buy and decide that you want a new TV, so you bring it up to the checkout at which the cashier asks if you would like to participate in their rewards program. You say sure cause it seems like a good idea (which it very well may be, this is not meant to be an attack on Best Buy), they give you a form to fill out that asks for the basics, name, number, address, email address and your favorite kind of marsupial (ok maybe not that last one). You get your little card and coupon and they get your information. Now this last part is important because one of the stipulations of this program is that companies can only use email address, phone numbers, etc that they have already acquired legally. Now the next step is that these companies will now upload their list to Facebook and upon doing so the information will be hashed so that Facebook itself won’t be able to collect info and sell it or something. At this point the utility will match your info from the list to your Facebook account and then allow the companies to choose to include you in a targeted ad campaign. In this case you may now see a Best Buy ad over to the right of the screen (where the ads exist now). That’s basically it, there is of course a little more to it like companies will be able point ads at specific demographics depending on what information you have given them. Keep in mind Facebook swears that there will be no ability for companies that have found you to harvest anymore information that you do not offer them.
As a marketer and a Facebook user I personally think this will be a pretty cool thing. Sure I am not crazy about seeing ads on Facebook because I go on to use it primarily for social purposes, but let’s face it, they’re a public company now and need to make money (badly at this point), so we are going to see ads. At least this way I will be seeing ads from companies that I actually might be interested in. And it will be great for advertisers to grow their list and target people that they want to, and that at least some point, cared enough about them to shop with them and give up some info.
Sure, there are always people buying lists and spammers getting you’re email addresses, but if you think about it, those people that would use a bought or stolen list would be spending money to reach people that may not have even heard of them. Not to mention there are already ads there anyway, why not see some that might get you a deal at your favorite restaurant or marsupial supply store.
As always if you need any help with this or any other web marketing stuff drop us a line at Marketing@tli2.com!
All posts in Social Media
Ok, I know it sounds a little creepy but give me a chance to explain before you decide.
This will be my final installment of our “changes to Facebook” series, admittedly a bit later then I promised but alas we all get busy from time to time. In this final chapter I will discuss Ads and the Admin page.
On the users page in the top right corner a feed (or ticker) will be generated based on social content, such as “Larry Jones likes YourCompanies post”. It is a simple way of spreading the word to friends of fans, of course the challenge lies in posting content that your fans will “like”.
Sponsored stories act a bit differently. They come to fan’s homepages, mobile devices rather then appearing on the ticker.
There is also something new called the “log-out experience” wherein a user can chose to logout through your company’s Facebook page and be taken to a website of your (the company’s) choosing. Personally I don’t see a giant benefit to using this function, but I suppose it can’t hurt.
In place of the “Deals” from the old Facebook we now have “Offers”. They will appear in the newsfeed and can be a sponsored story but don’t have to be. You company will define the terms of the offer (availability, deal, etc) and fans will click to redeem via an email sent by Facebook. Offers are a great way to sell some products and get more fans that want to receive these offers, and they’re free!
The final bit of this blog is about where the magic happens, don’t worry, I don’t mean in an “MTV Cribs” sort of way, I am talking about the Admin page. I find it to be pretty intuitive in its operation however here’s a few important things that can be controlled from this page. First of all you can of course manage your content and users. You can create ads and offers. From here you will have the ability to share Facebook posts and email other users. There are some handy graphs and stats that if used properly can provide some interesting insights to how your page is being received. You will have the option to request Facebook for a name change. In the messages area messages can be turned off if you don’t want fans or non-fans writing on your timeline. You can reply to messages via the admin page however you cannot message individuals first.
My main advice with the admin page is to explore it for a bit and become aware of all the options and functions of the new Facebook.
So what is my final take on the Facebook timeline? I think it’s got its pros and cons. I think that there is some great potential for advertising and getting your brand established. I certainly wouldn’t rely on it solely to promote your company but I do think that any company serious about making their presence known on the web should definitely spend some time making sure that their Facebook page is attractive and populated.
Thanks for reading and as always your friends here at Timberline Interactive are always happy to help with any of your web business needs so don’t be shy, drop us a line at Marketing@tli2.com
Hope you all had a chance to read the previously posted blog entitled “Facebook for business. Changes part one”. If not I suggest scrolling down and checking that one out first.
In this post I intend to pick up where I left off on the Timeline and talk about Friend Activity, Pinned Posts, Larger Story Layouts and Milestones.
Friend Activity will appear at the top right of the timeline under your Apps. This is where the visitor will see the number of their friends that “like” the page as well as a sampling of their profile pictures and featured friend’s comments. This area will be shown to friends and non-friends alike and will always occupy this spot, no tags required.
Pinned Posts will appear on the top left of your Timeline under the Profile image. You can “pin” any post on your timeline to this top spot and it will stay there for 7 days. I strongly encourage these posts to have calls to action, deals, sales, links etc. Another interesting note is that these posts can appear to users targeted by location.
Larger Story Layouts (or starred posts) are interesting to play with as they typically grab a little more attention as they occupy both sides of the Timeline. Again I would encourage calls to action, links deals and so on. I would also encourage the use of these larger stories to instill your branding. Use nice big photos and videos, highlight recent activities and events. Show off some new products!
Milestones are similar to highlighted (or starred) posts. You are able to define the event, location, date, story and image or video. The admin of the page must be the one to set up a Milestone and once created it will create a date link of the Timeline sidebar.
I hope this second installment has been helpful and I realize that I am breezing through a lot of different topics fairly quickly but I wanted to give everyone a brief overview. If you have more detailed questions remember you can always contact us at email@example.com. Stay tuned for the final installment coming early next week!
As many of you may know, Facebook is under going yet another change. While it’s available now if you’re ready for the switch, on March 30th all business Facebook pages will be forced into the new “Timeline” format. Now, there are going to quite a few changes and in an effort to keep these blogs from taking up your entire morning reading I am going to cover these changes in a couple (two or three) separate installments.
So today I am going to go over the Profile and Cover Images and Apps (formally known as “tabs”).
The Profile Image is the smaller image that appears on top of the cover image (banner image) in the bottom left hand corner. First of all the image needs to be square. It should be able to stand alone, as it will appear by itself often, but should also work well with your cover image.
The Cover Image is the large banner-like picture that appears at the top of the homepage. Unfortunately there are quite a few restrictions as to what this image can be. First of all the max image size is 815px width by 315 px height and a minimum size of 399 px wide. If you exceed the max or don’t meet the min Facebook will resize your image. Next you can not have any calls to action, that means no prompting to “like” the page, share the site or visit their website. You can have no contact info and no pricing or discount/sales information. You should stay consistent with your branding and can certainly have logos, taglines and product images but that is about the extent of the advertising you can do with this image space.
Apps used to be called tabs, and you can make your own, find premade ones online or just use those provided by Facebook. The thumbnails for the Apps are located beneath the like and message buttons on the right below the Cover Image. The thumbnail images are customizable at 111 by 74 px (anything smaller will appear centered surrounded by whitespace) with a 1 px internal border and, when clicked on, will expand to take up the entire page at width of 810 px. On the homepage up to four thumbnails will be displayed next to a drop down menu display your remaining (up to 12) Apps. The first (leftmost) thumbnail will be photos and cannot be changed from being in the first position, however you can choose what photo is featured in the thumbnail. The second will be, by default, “likes”, however, you can choose to place it anywhere in the order that your Apps are displayed, this goes for all other Apps as well. Basically you can choose the order of appearance of your Apps, with the exception of the first, being photos.
One of the unfortunate changes made to the Apps feature is that you can no longer set a default landing tab (App). Whereas before you could set your page to take visitors directly to the “like us” or “become a fan” page, now visitors will be taken right to the homepage. You can send out links to take people directly to an App but general visitors (like someone that used the search bar) will be taken to the homepage. The reason that this is unfortunate is that people when people are taken directly to the “become a fan page” is much more likely to do so than when people have to click on the thumbnail to get there, thus hurting your ability to network. You can have a lot of fun with Apps, using them to make games, client stories, recipe books and so much more.
In a few days I’ll have another post up to take you further down the Timeline. I hope this one was helpful and I certainly strongly encourage EVERY business to make a Facebook page as social media is a very powerful marketing tool, and in the kingdom of social media Facebook is king.
As always, if you need some help setting up your new Facebook timeline or need any help with your business website and marketing contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org , also don’t forget to check out and “like” us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/timberlineinteractive
In the fast placed world of social media and its relationship with your online business there is a new rising star. Pinterest is becoming more and more popular with internet users and retail companies.
So what is Pinterest?
Simply put, Pinterest is a place to share pictures. But it does go a bit deeper than that. So a user makes an account (currently you must be invited or sign up for a invite waiting list) using their Facebook or Twitter account, (which you can disconnect later if you wish) Pinterest looks to see if any of your friends are using Pinterest and adds them to your “follow” list. You can also choose to follow more people/companies as time goes on. Your “boards” are essentially categories in which you post or “pin” pictures, say, of your products with a short comment. Your followers will either see your pins on your company’s page or on the “home” page that feeds in all followed users pins. Once a pin is made users have the ability to “like”, which simply adds to the tally of “likes” under the picture and depending on their settings, shows up on their Facebook and/or Twitter account. A user can also comment on the pin and/or “re-pin” which takes the picture and adds it to their own board, allowing their followers to see it.
So there are a few ways to pin. You can simply upload a photo from you computer, easy enough, but what if you want to pin a picture you are looking at online, do you now have to download the picture then upload it to Pinterest? Nope, they have that covered, when you sign-up (or later if you want) you install a small program whose icon sits next to your bookmarks. Whenever you see an image online that you like and would like to add to one of your boards you simply click the “pin it” icon and all the images on the page pop up for you to choose from and you add your comments and poof, it is added to your site for all to see. The final way, and one I think all retailers should have, to pin an image is to have a button on your product page (like the Facebook or Twitter button) which allows any visitor to pin it to there own board.
Why should my company join?
Why not? Any way that you can get your products more attention should be done, right? Right. This is especially true with the pin it social button. It is all well and good to post products to your own boards but the real viral power comes when people pin them to there own board. Your Facebook friends probably already know about a lot of your products but when they pin them to their own boards it allows a whole new group of people to see your stuff. When their friends re-pin and their friends re-pin you have just exposed potential thousands of new people to your products.
When someone pins a picture or product to one of their boards they not only can link to your site but can also include a price. Not to mention these links will vastly improve your SEO, the more links out there to your site the better.
Another great SEO benefit is that, unlike other links such as Facebook, your analytics will be able to tell you exactly which product interested a potential client, giving you a good idea which products should be displayed prominently on your site.
Another great idea is to hold a contest. Challenge your clients to get the most re-pins or to show the best picture of one of your products in action. Handing out a 50 dollar gift certificate to the winner may be well worth the exposure that the contest generates.
Where do I go from here?
Check it out for yourself! Or drop me a line at Cburkle@tli2.com. I will be happy to give you some advice, set you up with an account or apply a pin-it button to your product page, trust me it will be well worth it.
With over 40 million users (and still growing), google+ most likely has some fans of your brand on it – fans that (up til now) you might only connect with on that other social network (which we trust you’re already doing with a facebook page for your business). That’s about to change though, as google+ pages for business opened for business yesterday and the google+ badge for businesses will start appearing across the web, spreading as did the now ubiquitous “Follow Us” facebook icons and the +1 sharing button.
Wondering if google+ will be the next Buzz or Wave? All indicators are that google is playing for keeps on this one, and if one thing will make google+ stick, it will be widespread adoption by businesses. Google+ should have an edge on facebook pages (at least initially) in some respects, such as the ability to group your page’s followers into smaller Circles, and even chat with them in video Hangouts (up to 9 at a time). The most interesting long-term aspect of google+ pages will be the upcoming integration with google AdWords paid search. You may have already noticed that there’s an option in AdWords Display Ads to overlay a +1 button for people to like your ad, and the option to add a Social Extension to your campaigns. This latter will tally all the +1′s of your ad, your site, your page and your search results (clearly google has embraced “bigger is better” math here), and allow people to view all of the recommendations for your brand in aggregate.
To add another layer to it, google’s Direct Connect goes live today, rolling out on select websites. This feature lets people enter ‘+’ followed by the name of your page in Google search to get directly to your Google+ page: try it for one of the brands that already have google+ pages: NY Times, ABC News, Dell. Certainly easier than finding your favorite brand’s facebook page. We’re looking forward to integrating google+ badges with the full suite of social sharing buttons, and then kicking back and watching the show in analytics.
Social Sharing and Tracking in CV3
I don’t need to tell you how many people experience the web primarily through social networks. Facebook reports that there are 750 million active users and 50% of them login to Facebook on any given day. (http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics) The average user has 130 friends. How can you as an eCommerce retailer is to find ways to get these users to tell their social networks about you?
For this week’s post I sat with Deb Brisson to learn about the integration work she has done to integrate social sharing icons on CV3 shopping carts. She reviews the latest development for integrating Twitter Tweet, Google Plus 1, Facebook Like , and Facebook Send buttons on CV3 product pages. The integrations can be tracked with Google Analytics to provide information on which social buttons are being clicked, on which pages, when and by what sort of site visitor.
Eric: Can you give a 30 second summary of the Social Sharing and Tracking functionality you’ve developed?
Deb: We figured out an efficient way to get “social share” buttons on CV3 product pages and to integrate click data on these buttons into Google Analytics.
Deb: There are a lot of people who share everything with their friends. We wanted to find a way to make that easy.
Deb: The power of social is that the interaction promotes the product and company to the person’s friends. It’s free advertising. It’s especially valuable advertising too, since the advertisement comes from a trusted source – a person’s friend.
Eric: Can we look at an example?
Deb: Here’s an example of what we did for April Cornell (http://www.aprilcornell.com/). April Cornell does Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus One, so we added the icons on their product pages.
Eric: OK. Let’s look at the Facebook “Like”.
Deb: OK, if I click on that. I get a little popup.
I type in what I want to say and submit.
Eric: That was easy.
Deb: You’re a shill, but yes.
Eric: Now, since we are Facebook friends, let me see. Yes, there it is on my stream. “Deb Brisson likes the Vintage Harvest Tablecloth.” I never knew.
Deb: This is the sort of thing that I would do around the holidays or … ahem…, my upcoming birthday.
Eric: Ah… I get it.
Deb: As part of setup we define the little blurb that goes with the comment that will get posted on Facebook.
Deb: Now let me show the cool part on Analytics. I can go into Google Analytics and, since we have tagged each of the icons with a distinct “event” label, I can see what buttons got clicked.
And on what pages
We integrate with Facebook and Twitter APIs too and can show, for example, not only that the Twitter Tweet link was clicked, but that a tweet was actually sent.
Eric: Once the data is in GA as an event, you can slice and dice as you want in terms of time periods, user types, etc.
Deb: Of course. You can use all of the tools of GA. You can use “Secondary Dimensions” in the reports or advance searches to dissect the user data.
Eric: “Advanced Segments” in the old interface.
Deb: Yes, if you’re still using that.
Eric: How well is it working?
Deb: We just launched. Stay tuned.
Eric: Well it looks like a good launch with the right set of features. It looks easy to use and I like the visibility you get. I’ll check back later to see how the data looks.
Deb: Sounds good. One last point: It’s pretty configurable about how you deploy it, i.e. which buttons and where on the page they go.
Eric: Any caveats? What is required and what does it cost to do?
Deb: Caveats: You need to have accounts on the social networks for the icons you want to support, i.e. a Facebook account, a Twitter account, etc. For the analytics, you need to have the Asynchronous Google Snippets to support the event labels. Without those, the icons would still work, but the tracking won’t be as robust.
Eric: OK. Costs?
Deb: Between $500 and $750 depending on the features included and the current tags on the site.
Eric: Nice. Thanks, Deb.
Deb: No problem. At your service.
We all know about the idea of timing your email newsletter send to times when people are more likely to open the message and respond. With your emailing list you have only a certain amount of “permission equity” that allows you to send messages to your recipients and, since you don’t want to over send to your list, you want to time your message in a way that gets you the most leverage.
Well, the same is true for Facebook posts. I’ve been looking for some information that will help me determine the best time to post on Facebook. I found an infographic that hits the middle of the bullseye on this front. It shows information on Facebook Shares by Day, Facebook Shares by Hour and it has a graph of the ratio of posts-per-day and Facebook Likes. Eureka!
Let me know if this information is useful to you.
When you’re looking to engage your customers in your social network, go one step further. Posting your social icons where your customers will consistently see them is a great best practice, but if you want to get a bigger following in a shorter period of time, try other tactics too.
Involve them in a trade of sorts. Ask them to like you on Facebook and in return give them something back such as a discount on your products, early social fan sales, free shipping, etc. Below are some email marketing examples that spotlight great ways to do this:
Another great way to get a larger following on your social networks is to involve your customers in the community – exchanging ideas, following along on some longer event, creating fans of the week, etc. The ideas are endless and will get your customers involved in your community in a fun way and hopefully keep them coming back for more. Following are a couple of industry examples:
Socialize your Emails Part 1
by Kathie Ross
Rarely do you see an email marketing campaign these days without social links. They have become synonymous with email campaigns. There are many different ways to use them and to promote them. Some of which are:
- Join Us and Like Us links
- Share with your friends links
- The big trade – offering something for liking them on Facebook, etc ( I will talk about this in a later blog post)
- Community involvement with a twist ( I will talk about this in a later blog post)
The most common way is to use the social icons as ways to get customers to “Like” or “Join” the social community. This allows companies to communicate with their email recipients in many different ways. It will also help the company to go more viral in their approach thus getting more followers, more email sign ups and ultimately more purchases. Over time I have collected some of my favorite designs. It’s fun to see the style that each company puts into their individual email – the branding of their social programs.
Following are some of my favorites:
SWYN (Share with Your Network) Share icons allow companies to get their email recipients to pass on their email campaigns to anyone in their Facebook, Twitter or other networks:
The examples above are great ways to get started with socializing your email. In the next blog post I will follow up with some further examples of getting new followers.