How To

How to Use Your Image Galleries on Facebook

How to Use Your Image Galleries on Facebook

If you have any experience in sales, you know that allowing people to look at a product is a big part of persuading them to buy. In fact, one of the things that have made Internet commerce so successful is that people can look at products repeatedly without driving down to a store to do it. This sets up a scenario where the potential customer is in a no pressure situation and can look over the product as much as they want without somebody harping on them to go ahead and buy. You can use this on Facebook to great advantage.

Images Need a Point

Look at some of the pages set up by businesses and you’ll see that some of the images they include are useless. They might have a picture of their storefront, a picture of some of their employees doing something that looks like fun and so forth. These might help to humanize the business a little bit, but it doesn’t really sell anything directly.

When you post an image to your page, make sure that there’s some sort of a point to it. For example, if you are launching a new product, post pictures of it so that you can entice people to buy. There is another way that you can utilize this strategy to great effect.

Check Other Venues

If you’ve shopped on Amazon.com recently, you’ve probably noticed that users can upload images of products and add them to the description, if they are approved by Amazon itself. One of the things you might want to do is look at your product as it is featured on sites like Amazon and see what images of that product are currently in use. Post different images of the product on your Facebook page.

This gives people a reason to check out your page, as they will be able to look at the product in a different light. It’s also extremely inexpensive to do this and, once you have the picture up there, it can keep paying off indefinitely.

The same applies to videos and other types of content. Take a look at how your product is represented on other pages and use your Facebook page to fill in the blanks for customers who may be interested in that product. If someone is online shopping for one of your products, there’s a good chance that they’re going to check out your Facebook page at some point. This provides you with an opportunity to make an impression.

People Pictures

There is room for pictures of your employees on your Facebook page. You should be creative about this, however. Generic snapshots of your employees standing in front of a piece of machinery or similar content really doesn’t offer your Facebook fans anything of substance.

Consider giving your fans a little peek into how your products are produced. For example, imagine that your company sells guitars. You could post pictures of the luthiers working on the guitars and that might make a big impression on the people who are interested in your products. They’ll actually be able to see people putting your products together and the care that goes into that process.

If you want to feature a lot of images, WordPress themes allow you to include them on your site very easily. You can also use these themes with other social networking sites, such as Flickr, and draw your image stream directly from them. One of the advantages of having your own domain is that you can be a bit more casual about images and include a whole lot of them for people to browse through, simply because the venue is a bit slower moving than Facebook.

5 Press Release Myths Debunked

5 Press Release Myths Debunked

All businesses can use some good PR. A well-composed press release will garner you the attention of your business’ target audience. This is without you hiring a mascot to hand out flyers and posters to random people on the streets.

Sadly, a well-composed press release is one thing that a lot of eCommerce businesses are missing out on. The reason for this is because a lot of entrepreneurs have a dark PR myth cloud over their head.

Well, it is high time to chase that dark cloud.

Myth 1: Your press release will not get published anyway

In times past, businesses submit their press releases to journalists. These journalists will then decide if the material is worthy to be put in front of the public.

In today’s internet age, getting word about your brand is not as nerve wrecking.

All you need to do is compose a press release and then sign up for press release submission sites. These sites do not only publish your material. They also syndicate your submission to relevant news outlets.

If you are a startup business, then it is wise to invest in a good PR service. Such a service can cost at about $300.00 for one press release.

This means that getting published is no longer a decision for picky press people to make.

Now what if you cannot spend that much money on a piece of press release? Read further.

Myth 2: Press releases are for big companies only

If you are working with a shoestring budget? Believe it or not – there are press release sites that are more forgiving on the pocket.

These sites, however, often do not include distribution services. Their site rankings may also not be as impressive as their pricier counterparts.

Also there are even PR submission sites that you can use for free.

Ultimately, press releases are not for companies with the big bucks only.

However, because these sites are free, you can expect to do a little bit of work. Free and cheap press release submission sites are limited in features.

This “little bit of work” can include profiling page rank to make sure that you are submitting to one with at least a 4 or 5 PR. This can also mean going the manual route when choosing distribution channels.

This brings us to the next myth.

Myth 3:  Submission sites are the end of the line for your press release

Depending on the size of your budget, PR sites will do your press release a lot of service. However, getting your release published is not the end of the line for you.

This is because you can still do at least a few things to amplify the benefits you get from your press release.

Your options on getting the most of your press release are endless. This means that submissions are definitely the end of the line for your press release.

Once your PR is published, you can create looped and timed social media updates of it on your social accounts. You can also publish a blog post about it right on your blog.

You can even setup monitoring streams on social media and Google alerts so you can pitch your release directly to qualified persons.

Myth 3: Nobody will read your PR anyway

Did you know that images, videos, and other forms of media can be incorporated in a press release? Multimedia is a sure way to grab and hold the interest of just about any person who comes across your press release.

Remember: where interest is, attention & action follow.

Here is a tip: use branded graphics when incorporating media into your press release. It can be a case study in one of your previous projects in the form of an infographic or a fun infomercial.

Now, because images and videos are but ingredients to the recipe make sure that your PR’s text is in itself a publish-worthy one.

Question: what if you just can’t pen even a simple press release? Is it the end of the world for you?

Answer: Absolutely not!

Myth 5: You will never have a publish-worthy PR

Let’s face it: you may ace your business and the services or products it offers. Thing is: you just can’t be everything. Say, you may be the best person to talk about your brand but putting your thoughts down in text is just not something you can do.

Good news is you can still have a publish-worthy press release. You can always hire a content writer to draft one for you. Don’t content writers cost a lot?

Most of them do, but you can always find content writer VAs don’t cost that much. This is without compromising the quality of their write-ups.

You can always have a publish-worthy PR.

With all these nasty press release myths debunked, there is now no reason for you not to get the perks of publishing a press release.

How to Define Your Brand in 6 Easy Steps

How to Define Your Brand in 6 Easy Steps

Brand = Minimalist You. Your brand is how your customers define you and that’s something you should be dictating and managing, not allowing to happen ad hoc. Whether you are looking to develop a brand from scratch or are looking for some basic ways to define it more effectively, consider the 6 steps outline below.

1. Personality: Character and Values

Start by outlining the essential values of your business. What core ideals are you built on? Who are you as a business? Once you have a list, revise it several times to find the best description of your business. Remember, your brand is a minimalist version of your business, so don’t expect to be able to cram a plethora of concepts into a small package. Keep it simple and focused.

2. Choose Your Words

From your value outline, write metaphors, slogans, taglines, and vocabulary that define and set your business apart from the competition. Creativity, clarity, and focus in the words of your business will drive the brand later. This is critical for helping guide the design and message. A brand tells a story – know your own story and how you want your customer to perceive it.

3. What Do You Offer?

Customers need to know what products/services your business offers. The clearer the description and promise of service—without vague terms such as quality, experienced, or trusted—the more likely customers will see how your business could fit into their lives. You only have a few seconds to make an impression and articulate your value and offerings. Make sure the customer knows exactly what you do in simple fashion. If they’re interested, they’ll research further.

4. Target Customers

After doing research and knowing your business, define your target customer. If you sell shovels and find out that men between the ages of 30-45 with an income below $60k/year will buy your shovels, build your brand to fit that perfect customer. Often you will have multiple customer groups and this is where sub-branding comes into play. You may need to position certain products and services a bit differently. The key is to understand that ideal customer so you know how to craft your brand message.

5. Customer Definition of Your Brand

In order to build up the credibility of your brand, let your customers speak for you. Use actual customer quotes about your business to evaluate and guide the branding process. How does customer opinion shape your brand? New customers are more likely to believe in your brand if the core customers convince them with their dedication and belief in your brand.

To know how customers perceive your brand, you have to have some conversations. This is where social media and surveying your customers is critical. Get feedback. It can be awkward to reach out to an unexpecting customer, but that’s what it takes. This feedback can be used to both fine-tune your efforts and also influence other customers.

6. Visual: Color, Fonts, etc.

Create a simple, meaningful, and consistent visual experience of your business for your customers. Think about the colors, shapes, and mood you want customers to see and feel in order to understand what your business represents. When you design a logo, consider that your logo represents the brand, but it does not define the brand, your business does. But your brand’s visual representation is critical for streamlining marketing efforts. The more consistent your brand is visually, the more likely they are to recognize it.

How To Train Your Staff on Social Media

I wanted to call your attention to a post I wrote for our sister blog [www.emarketing-newsletter.com] regarding training your staff on social media.

While it doesn’t deal directly with Facebook, the examples of the negative implications that a companies staff can have while posting and browsing on Facebook increase every day. As a result, being educated or educating itself is vitally important for employees and managers alike.

Here is a short exerpt from the post and I would encourage you to check out the full post!

An ever increasing failure by many corporations when undertaking a social marketing campaign is transparency. Telstra is being as transparent as it gets – publishing their entire social media training guide online. I would encourage you to check it out, learn how you can implement something similar in your company and critique it for additional opportunities to improve the training.

The training guide takes on the forms of a comic book but also includes narration from a speaker with a pretty cool Australian accent. It starts with the most basic social media elements – like “what is Facebook?” From there the training gets into more complex issues like “what if my personal blog post is critical of Telstra?”

How To: Customize Your Facebook Page & Attract More Fans

Facebook Fan Pages are gaining popularity due to their high adoption rates among Facebook’s 300+ million users. Currently more than 10 million users become fans of Pages each day. However, the basic fan page layout is quite, well, basic. Adding some simple modifications can really make a Fan Page standout and  attract those valuable fans. By doing so, you’ll benefit not only improved appearance, but it is easy and cost effective as well.

The average Facebook Page lacks the ability to modify a page so that the visual appearance can match that of your website, promotional material or landing page. One simple application can add this functionality to your pages and pull in Facebook statistics as well.

The application Static FBML will allow you to create a new tab on your Facebook Page that can be completely customized to mimic your web presence and branding by displaying HTML and FBML so that you can render a truly customized section for your fans. Here is a step-by-step look at how you can implement this tactic.

First, you must have an active Facebook Page that you have admin access to. Then, head over to the Static FMBL Page and choose the “Add To My Page” link:

Static FBML

Once clicked, you will have the ability to choose a page (or pages) that you can add this application to. The application will then be added to the chosen Page(s) and will be labeled “FBML.”

Next, you will want to click “edit your page” then choose to edit the “FBML – FBML” application.

Change Name of Box

This is where the magic happens and the customization occurs. You can use simple HTML to fill this page and really have it stand out from your competition. Important: javascript is not supported, so stick with plain old HTML for best results.

There is also a good deal of helpful conversations which can enhance your troubleshooting within the “Discussions”  box of the FBML Page if you get stuck.  Coca-Cola and Gap both offer a great example of a customized FBML Page if you are looking for a few creative ideas.

Now, you should have your customized look in the newly named box … but you are not done yet! If your newly created page is really important for your brand (timely promotion, special savings or just an all around improvement from your wall) set this new box as your default location that users will arrive on when they visit your site. You can accomplish this by simply editing your “Wall Settings”. Select your new box in the “Default Landing Tab for Everyone Else:” drop down tab.

Default Boxes

So there you go! With these simple steps, hopefully you can step up the presence of your Facebook Page and differentiate yourself from your competitors!

How To: Send Facebook Fan Page Updates

Over the weekend Facebook removed the sidebar action link that sends Fan page updates to your Facebook fans directly. You will now need to go through an extra click to get your updates sent. According to All Facebook, since the new Facebook inbox launched the click through rates on Fan page updates has increased significantly! We highly recommend Page administrators take advantage of this increased visibility.
So how do you send the updates? Simply click on the “Edit Page” link on the sidebar. On the right hand side under “Promote Your Page” you will see a link which says “Send an Update to Fans”. Despite the decreased visibility page updates are extremely useful for reaching those Fans who’s feeds your stories may not be displayed in.

As Fan Page updates continue to be implemented we’ll be sure to keep you up to date!

Facebook Marketing and Advertising Tips

As with all marketing channels, you must consider the mindset of the user. Unlike advertising on Google or Yahoo you need to think about targeting a user (or group of users) who is part of a demographic rather than a specific keywords.  The concept of targeting a ‘query’ needs to be thrown out the window! Rather, target a group!

Facebook Marketing Tips

So what are the benefits of  advertising on Facebook?  The simple answer is it’s cheap and targeted.  The average CPC across the board is around 20-30 cents. One of the benefits of the Facebook ad platform is that it isn’t completely clear on what someone might be buying (think trademarked  or branded terms in paid search). When this comes to branded terms, you can really tell if you’re bidding on a specific brand in Google/Yahoo!/Bing and your keyword could be declined/deleted as such. However, this is NOT the case in Facebook.  By leveraging “interests” for advertising, you can bid on users that might like your competition, and it would be nearly impossible to find because it isn’t query based.

Facebook Advertising Tips

Similar to pay per click advertising, you should always test your ads.  Put simply, test everything: alternative landing pages, different phone numbers and most importantly make sure you have analytics in place to track your results.  One word of caution, “interest targeting” can provide a great return but watch out for burnout.  Sending the same message to the same group of people over and over again can stop working quickly so be sure to vary your messaging every so often. A potential alternative is to send people to your fan page because you get higher viral multipliers.  By taking them and turning into a fan, you can get more and more life from your spend.

Facebook Analytics Tips

We recommend viewing Facebook’s suggested best practices and these common reasons for ad rejections prior to getting started!