Monday, March 30, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Facebook Part 4: More about Pages...

Ok, so I'm not setting the best example here as I'm still working on setting up my own Page. The problem has been (as I'm sure many women can understand) that I hate having my photo taken! I did however, manage to get a friend who I work with on consulting projects to take some professional photos of me. She did a great job and for once in my life I was comfortable in front of the camera. Thanks Alana! Check out her website Alana Hayes Photography. She specializes in photos of children and families but also does great corporate and commercial pictures.

So, when I get those photos in a few days my Facebook Page should be up and running! In the meantime here are some new things I've learned:

* With the new changes Facebook Pages are now much more similar to the normal profile pages and are easier to customize.

* Posts on your Page appear in the News Feed of your fans giving you a great way to tell people about new promotions or changes in your business (I did mention this last time but it's worth mentioning again!)

* You can add videos, photos etc. on your wall and have it shared with your fans. You can also chose to not have it sent out to your fan's Newsfeed so they will only see it if they visit your page. This is a great place to post photos or news coverage of events and projects you have been working on! I am in the process of creating photo albums for the different projects I have worked as soon as I finish this post.

* A great tool is the INSIGHTS TOOL which lets page owners find out how many users are viewing your posts - a great way to know if you are attracting enough 'fans' or if you need to work to get more.

* When you first create your page be careful about the Name and Category you pick - these two options cannot be changed. The Category you pick also determines what will show up on your Page - a restaraunt for example may have information such as location and attire but another type of business won't.

* BLURB BOX: In the upper left hand side of the Page. It's a great space to share more information about your organization or even post your favourite saying.

* APPLICATION BOXES: You can put up to 4 applications boxes on your Wall (left hand column)

* You can edit your wall so that it either shows only posts from your organization or else these posts and posts from fans. Just go to the 'settings' tab.

* EVENTS: You can let your fans know about upcoming parties, promotions or any kind of event with this application. After a fan RSVP's the event is added to their calendar and News Feed where their friend can see it.

And finally, don't forget to take advantage of all the other Facebook applications out there that have been built by third parties. I'll try and find some interesting ones for my next post.

Night everyone!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Successfully breaking the 'rules' of Social Media

Here is a great article by David Spark about people who broke the 'rules' of social media successfully. Great article and breaking the rules can work - I just always think you need to know what they are in the first place!

5 People Who Broke the Rules of Social Media and Succeeded

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why Social Media? and What The F**K is Social Media?

What The F**K is Social Media?

This is an interesting presentation by Marta Kagan on why social media is so important for businesses success.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Facebook Part 3: Creating a 'Page' for your business (now called Public Profiles)

Facebook Pages (now called Public Profiles) are another great way for business owners to advertise their services and to expand their client base. Facebook page owners can create their own page and develop a following of 'fans' and can be used for individuals, groups or businesses.

Why a Page?

1. Your page can be seen and searched both inside and outside of Facebook (a profile or a group can only be seen by members of Facebook).
2. You can track and analyze your traffic on your Facebook page (more on this in another blog).
2. You can send email updates and status updates to all your friends and fans. It's a great to keep fans informed of new events or promotions for your business
3. Personally, I like to used my profile for more personal reasons and my Page for business ones. But, don't forget, depending on your privacy settings your business associates can still probably see both!

***Note: with recent changes to the Facebook website some features between your Page and personal profile seem to be integrated.

How to make your Page:

1. Go to the following link to start creating your page.
2. Pick a category (such as restaraunt) and page name.
3. Add a photo - don't forget to have a clear, professional photo that shows you the way you want to be shown. Company logos are ok but often people want to see a face they can connect to - it makes you and your business seem more approachable and trustworthy, if you use the right photo of course!
4. Add information - add as much as you feel comfortable adding since the more information customers have the more they know about you and your business.
5. Make it interesting - add pictures, videos, comments and information that your viewers will enjoy. Add applications that help to sell your business and to get your fans interacting on your site. Go here to find a list of applications.
6. Click on the "publish this page". When your page is finish always remember to publish it, otherwise no one will see it after all your hard work!

Always remember to update your site regularly to keep people coming back and to get them to recommend other people to your site!

With the new changes on Facebook I am going to be doing a lot of exploring and figuring out how to best use the new Pages or Public Profiles as they are called now. I will keep you up-to-date on whatever I learn.

Some other good sites that talk about Facebook Pages are:

Facebook Group vs Facebook Fan Page: What’s Better?

Using Facebook Pages to Promote Your Blog

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Facebook in 5 minutes a day

So today I'm cheating a bit and I am going to direct you to another person's site - there is a great video out there by Mari Smith that shows you how to use Facebook in 5 minutes a day. For business people it's always important to use social networking but not let it completely consume you. Using simple tips that Mari gives you, you can keep your time on Facebook down to a reasonable level!

Enjoy!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Facebook Part 2: Seven Business Tips for Facebook

A few weeks ago I was called up by a recruiting company and asked to come in for an interview. The interesting thing was that the recruiter had looked me up on Facebook prior to calling! I've heard about people doing this but had never personally experienced it. He advised me that while most of my profile was ok, there was one particular group I belonged to that didn't reflect too well on me and he suggested I remove myself from the group. Before you get too curious it wasn't anything TOO bad - it was an inside joke amongst a group of friends who I socialized with many years ago when I was living in Dubai. But still, people looking me up on Facebook would have no idea what the real meaning of this group was and might interpret it the wrong way. So, unfortunately I decided to drop out of the group and review my whole Facebook profile to make sure it was presenting me in the correct light.

So that is my first Facebook tip:

#1 Always review your Facebook profile on a regular basis to ensure that it portrays you in a positive, and professional way.

If you have been 'tagged' in any photos you don't like just click on 'remove tag' under the photo, or better yet beg your friends to take the photo down!

Another alternative is to have your privacy settings so that only your network can view you, in this case however you wouldn't be able to use Facebook to market yourself or your business.


# 2 Keep your page updated on a regular basis!

According to the Facebook Press Room:

* More than 175 million active users
* More than half of Facebook users are outside of college
* The fastest growing demographic is those 30 years old and older

This is a giant market to tap into but if you don't keep your Facebook page new, fresh and relevant people won't visit your page or recommend it to others.

Keep your page fresh and interesting by:

1) Posting regular status updates. Status updates go into your friend's newsfeeds so by posting updates regularly you increase your exposure.

2) Mix business and pleasure. Let your page say something about you and your personality but don’t go over the top. People will become loyal followers if they like and are interested in you and your business. And don't make it all business - putting in your status updates everyday that your company is offering "50% off _____", or "visit my webpage at _____" will just irritate people and violate the social atmosphere that is Facebook.

# 3 Watch other people's status updates, photos etc. and make comments.

One of the best ways to get people interested in you and your business is to show interest in them. An easy way to do this is check your Newsfeed once or twice a day (shows up first on your Home page) and make a comment on anything you find interesting or that deserves congratulations. But BE SINCERE - fakeness online is just as apparent as it is face-to-face.

# 4 Keep your page clean and uncluttered!

There is nothing worse than visiting someone's page and seeing application after application, or Superwall post after Superwall post. In fact, I have my Superwall turned off and rarely add applications because they clutter up my page. If people are trying to find out something about you and your business but have to sift through a ton of mess to find it they will either give up, or think that the messiness of your page is a reflection on you!

# 5 Create a Facebook Page

A Facebook Page is an alternative choice to creating a Facebook Group on your business (although you can always do both). I am a big fan of this one because I like to keep my Facebook Profile more on the personal side so for business I am going to create a new Facebook page and direct clients and potential customers towards that.

A few of these tips I am just working on myself so I will talk more about Facebook Pages in another blog.

# 6 Have a great photo.

This is something I’m working on at the moment. Using a photo that people become familiar with is an excellent branding tool. Using photos, rather than logos give your business a ‘face’ and a personality that people can relate to.

Advice on photos include:

a) Use a headshot – on Facebook and a number of other sites the pictures tend to be smaller in size so having a full length will make it difficult to see your face.
b) SMILE!
c) Wear solid colours and preferably have a plain, white background. This way the focus will be on you and the viewer won’t be distracted by that bright plaid shirt!
d) If you can afford it, get a professional photographer to take your photo. I know I hate having my photo taken so the idea of this is torture but believe me I’ve tried taking ones of myself (using a remote) and the quality is just not comparable. Your photo is the first thing people see so it’s worth the time and money to make sure it shows you in the best light possible!

Use this same photo (or one taken in the same series) everywhere. Put it up on Twitter, LinkedIn, your blog etc. With enough marketing people will start to recognize you and your brand.

#7 Link, Link, Link!


Of course you are going to have your Facebook Profile, Group or Page linked to your business website, but have you thought about linking your website back to Facebook? If you follow this link you’ll find instructions on just how to do this.

Also, link everything else to Facebook such as your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. Utilizing all of these tools and linking them to each other will ensure maximum exposure, branding and connection to other markets.


So these are the top 7 Facebook networking tips for today! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Facebook Video Spoof

I had to add this video--a hilarious spoof on Facebook!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Facebook Part 1: The Basics

Social Media comes in many, many different forms such as blogs, social networking, video sharing, microblogs, references and even virtual reality. In each of my next blogs I am going to examine a different type of social media and will include any hints, tips or tricks I come across to help everyone using any of these sites. I recommend to everyone that you focus your efforts on one thing at a time, become an expert on that and then move on to the next!

Again, any comments or help from readers are always appreciated!

Today’s subject will be the form of social media I use the most—Facebook! This is a large subject and will be covered over several blogs. This blog outlines the basic facts of Facebook.

FACEBOOK PART 1: THE BASICS

Facebook is a form of social media called social networking (briefly defined as an online community sharing interests and activities). In fact, Facebook (founded in 2004) is a great example of the potential spread and influence of social media; initially only Harvard students were able to become members but it rapidly spread to include university and then high school students. Today anyone can become a member and there are over 175 million users worldwide.

HOW IT WORKS:

Users join Facebook and create a profile which can include items such as photos, interests and personal details. Users then start to connect with friends, join a network (by location), and join groups. When you ‘become friends’ with another person you have access to their profile which includes their status updates, photos, a list of their friends etc. You can request to become friends with someone you see on one of your current friend’s lists, and so your network expands. Additionally, you can look up and add people by name, email address or membership in a group. Who can see your Facebook account and what they can see is determined by individual privacy settings.

On a personal note, I love Facebook because it lets me keep in touch with friends all around the world. Unfortunately I can't make it to places like Malta, Dubai or Australia as much as I'd like but I still know what is going on in my friend's lives and can see photos of what they've been up to--it makes me feel like we will never lose that connection. Recently, I've also re-connected with a number of friends from high school!

FEATURES:

CAUSES: an area where users can display the causes that they are supporting

CHAT: users can communicate via instant message.

EVENTS: a way for users to let friends know about and organize social events (includes: event name host, time, place, guest list etc.). Allows photos and videos concerning the event to be added to the event page.

GIFTS: users can send a virtual gift to a friend.

GROUPS: enable groups of people with similar interests to gather and connect online.

MARKETPLACE: a place to post free classified ads.

MESSAGES: private emails that no one but the sender and user can view.

NEWSFEED: user receives an updated feed about their friends’ details such as status and profile changes, upcoming events and birthdays.

NOTES: a blogging feature where users can import blogs.

PAGES: page owners (individuals or businesses) create their own page and develop a following of 'fans'. Allows a page owner to advertise to Facebook users, provides traffic analysis features, and can be seen and searched both inside and outside of Facebook.

PHOTOS: people can post photos that are visible to others. These photos can be commented on and ‘tagged’ (labeled with a friend’s name who is sent a notification and a link to the photo).

PLATFORM: access to interactive games like Scrabble and Chess and other applications such as Birthday Calendar, which are created by software developers not working for Facebook.

POKES: one user can virtually poke another (a note saying a friend has poked them).

STATUS: users can post a brief update about where they are and what they are doing that is viewable by all of their friends (a micro blog).

VIDEOS: a video sharing application in which friends can be tagged (similar to photos).

WALL: a space in a user’s profile where friends can leave a messages and post attachments such as videos etc.

Cost: Free to users
Source of revenue: advertising

Demographics: 55% female, 30% ages 12-17 and 47% ages 18-34
(Quantcast)

FUN FACT: Australia has ruled that court notices for defendants can be served via Facebook.

References: Wikipedia