Tag Archives: facebook business pages

Facebook Brand Pages: Making Brands Human

Today, a big change came to Facebook brand pages, and will require your attention to fully harness the new opportunities for your page.  Brand pages are a highly visible part of your interaction with customers, and Facebook has made changes that will help you improve your ability to interact.

Cover Photo
First and foremost, you will need to bring your attention to the cover photo on your page, which will replace the current 5 thumbnails. This image is a great opportunity to draw in users from the moment they arrive.

Timelines
Like personal profile pages, brand pages will now have timelines. You can add milestones to showcase the company history and even pin important posts at the top for up to 7 days so important news doesn’t get buried.

About Section
The about section has moved, along with other landing page tabs and will blur the lines between ads, company content and likes. They will now be on the right. You will be able to order these tabs as well, and hide the likes tab if your like numbers are low.

New Content and Organization
Added to the mix is Facebook Offers, which allow brands to distribute coupons to fans directly on their timeline, more visible apps to graphics vs text links, and a highlights feed, which can be customized and moderated.

Direct Fan Communication
Fans will now be able to contact a brand directly vs post on their wall, which requires more monitoring time, but could keep some negative content off your page.

Admin Panel and Insights
Finally, the admin panel has been reconfigured to have everything in one place. The stats will be real-time, and non-admins will actually have access to the data about a particular page through the Likes box.

We strongly recommend you begin making updates to your page before Facebook moves to the new design on March 30, and as always, let us know how we can be of assistance.

Links to articles about the new Facebook Brand pages you may enjoy:

10 changes to Facebook you need to know
Facebook Timeline Branded Pages Are Here
Facebook Timeline for Brands: The Complete Guide
Facebook Brand Pages: 4 ways to humanize your brand

 

Facebook in 2011 – What’s New This Year?

2011 is nearing its halfway point, and we’ve already seen some dramatic changes in the social media world. The tablet war is heating up, social shopping has become big business, and just this week, Microsoft announced the purchase of Skype for a whopping $8.5 billion. 2011 has also been a big year for Facebook, with its still-growing user base and the increasing promience of “find us on Facebook” messaging in ads from everything from Nissan cars to Energizer batteries to Macy’s Deparment stores to Fancy Feast cat food.

Facebook has also made several key changes to its site in the first half of 2011. We detail these changes below, discuss what these changes mean for Facebook and it users, and look forward to changes that are reportedly in the works for the rest of 2011.

Instant Comments

In 2011, Facebook made it even easier for friends and fans to share their comments. In March, Facebook removed the “comment” button, previously the last step in the commenting process. Instead of a button,  users simply need to press ”enter,” and the post appears in the news feed.

This change is more than just about ease-of-use, however. This faster submit process is a signal of the primacy of data in the Facebook ecosystem.

Facebook’s astronomically high value (currently projected at $50 billion) is largely due to its ability to foster countless, continuous conversations among its over half a billion members. Every company wants to the know what the world thinks of its new product – Facebook is the closest we’ve come to developing a way to do just that.

By making comments that much easier to submit, Facebook is in effect generating more and more data to add to its arensal. The comment button provided users with a prompt to review their content before submitting it. By replacing it with a keystroke,  Facebook has in effect moved sharing into the composition process. A click requires a shift in focus from the keys to the cursor. ”Enter” is just another keystroke. Only this keystroke just happens to publish your thoughts to the world.

How can all of this derive from just one missing button? When you are dealing with a worldwide network the size of Facebook, one change can impact how the world shares information.

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Best Back To School Campaigns, Part III: Bookstore Alternatives

Part III of our Best of Back to School marketing campaigns of 2010 dives into the changing world of college textbooks.  In recent years, numerous companies have sprung up offering alternatives to the notoriously expensive college bookstore.  This year, I was particularly impressive by two such companies – Coursesmart and Chegg.

Through its sleek, easy-to-use website, Coursesmart offers an ever-growing selection of “e-textbooks” – electronic versions of the traditional print texts that can be read on desktops, laptops, iPads and even iPhones.  Coursesmart’s e-textbooks give the reader the ability to highlight sections, take notes in the margins, print selected pages and cut and paste selections.  Now there is no need to carry around tons of heavy books – you can keep them all on our laptop, read for easy access with just one click.

I was particularly impressed by Coursesmart’s synergy with Apple products.  Being able to access textbooks from an iPhone is the ultimate in transportable texts.  Furthermore, the iPad opens the door to more interactive and impactful textbooks.  (See image above for an example of a Coursesmart text viewed on a iPad.)  The Wall Street Journal discussed the iPad and Coursesmart’s innovative e-texts in a recent article, stating that the new device makes book publishers “eager to exploit its color, video, and touch-screen capabilities.”  I, for one, would love to test drive this exciting new technology.

Of course, this new technology comes with a big price tag.  Coursesmart’s e-textbooks, while less expensive than print versions, can still run in the $100 range.  And then there’s the iPad, priced at $499 – a very pricey item to pile on top of an already expensive back to school season.  Another textbook innovator, Chegg, combines new and old technology to offer a more affordable alternative.

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Best Back To School Campaigns, Part II: Target’s Social Checklist

On Wednesday, I kicked off my series on the best Back to School marketing campaigns of 2010.  I sought out campaigns that are innovative, fun and helpful, both to the shopper and the community at large.  In Part II of the series, I will highlight Target’s innovative and extremely useful “Roomates” Facebook app.

Target is a popular destination for college students stocking up on dorm necessities.  To help ensure these coeds get everything they need, Target has developed an interactive checklist accessible via Facebook.  The checklist has three options (“buy,” “have” and “pass”), and includes links to purchase specific products on Target.com.

The best part about this campaign, however, is the roommates option.  This part of the app allows students to share their list with their roommate(s), helping ensure that one suite will not wind up with four vacuums and only one lamp.  The app also features messaging, calendars, and even a bill splitter – definitely something I wish I had in college.

Once the checklist is complete, students can select the print option and bring the list along on their shopping trip.  The checklist is even available on Target.com in a more traditional PDF format.  All in all, this campaign is a helpful tool for college students, as well as an ingenious way to show off the megastore’s seemingly innumerable product offerings.

Stop by our blog on Monday for the conclusion of this series, in which I discuss two innovative and cost-effective alternatives to the traditional college bookstore.

Best Back To School Campaigns, Part I: Staples Makes a Difference

Two weeks ago, a milestone was reached: I received my first school-related e-mail message.  It opened with a jolly greeting from my professor, and moved quickly to talk of future assignments and course requirements.  That’s when it hit me – I need to get ready for back to school!

As a grad student, I’ve done the Back to School ritual more times then I’d care to count.  So, to liven up the hunt this year, I’ve added an additional item to my usual list of notebooks, highlighters and (of course) new shoes – find my favorite Back to School marketing campaigns.  I sought out campaigns that are innovative, fun and helpful, both to the shopper and the community at large.  A lucky few made it to the top of the class, and I will detail those campaigns in a series of three posts.  Today, I will profile Staples’ philanthropy.

Students and parents browsing the aisles (or web site pages) of this office superstore for back to school necessities can do more than just buy – they can give back, too.  For the third year in a row, Staples has partnered with teen-centric non-profit DoSomething.org to collect school supplies for children in need.  Donation bins have been set up in Staples retail locations across the country, and school supplies of all kinds will be collected now through September 18th.

This year, Staples used Facebook and a celeb-filled online game to help students get involved.  Teen can vote to join their favorite celebrity’s “pack,” and in the process donate $1 to the cause.  Donations are also accepted via text message.

All in all, I loved Staples’ idea and its execution.  These simple donations are a great way to teach everyone from preschoolers to high schoolers the importance of generosity and kindness towards those who are less fortunate.  Furthermore, through their Do Something 101 microsite, they provide helpful tips that help students run their own school supply drives – the lesson being that teens can really “do something” big to help their communities.

Judging by the 28,000 Facebook fans and thousands of votes on the contest page, this event is a proving to be a success.  Even Staples’ archrival Dunder Mifflin is getting in on the action!  With that endorsement secured, I now know where I’ll be purchasing my paper…

I hope you have enjoyed this first installment of my survey of the best of Back to School.  Be sure to visit our blog soon to see who else made the list!

From Fan to Like: Facebook’s Linguistical Challenge

On top of everything else, Facebook thinks about the linguistical ramifications of the words it chooses. Yesterday you may have been a “fan” of a page, but today you “like” it. According to Facebook, to like something is lightweight in comparison to coming right out and saying you’re a fan.

I can’t say that I took particular issue with fanning a company, product or brand. To me it’s more about winning me over, doing something which stands out—deserves recognition and acknowledgement.

We have lots of choices today about where we can take our business: fly a particular airline, shop at which local supermarket, buy a certain brand automobile. The list goes on and on. Everyday we’re faced with choices. This brand over that brand. That company over this company. Bottom-line, the companies who win our business need to do something to earn it and keep it.

Will you think differently about which Facebook pages you like?

Keeping up with the Social Networking Joneses

I spend several hours a week reading RSS feeds and the links which come in via Google Alerts. In my opinion, in order to blog on a regular basis, it’s helpful if you enjoy reading as much as writing.

This is where social bookmarking comes into the picture. As I’m reading each week, I bookmark urls to our delicious page, linking to posts which have made an impression on me. By linking to the pages, I can easily share the resources with my colleagues, our readers, my online and offline friends. When another delicious user bookmarks the same link, you can click on their page; and voilà, it’s like opening pandora’s box, being able to access material you may never have come across.

Blog Writing

A blog post doesn’t need to be very long; in fact, 350-500 words is a good length.  But how you acquire the information to write interesting content, will tack on a few more hours per week. If you’re serious about keeping up with the subject matter of your blog, the reading and research requires ongoing time and commitment. If you’re in a business environment, it likely will become (if not already) someone’s job.

This week, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about social networking–and while I’m still digesting the content and implications for use in business and personal pages–I thought I’d come up for air a minute, and share with you.

I’ll be back next week, with some further insights.  For now, put your feet up and enjoy.

Recommended Social Network Readings for this Week:

Nielsen’s new report, “Global Faces and Networked Places: A Nielsen Report on Social Networking’s New Global Footprint.”

AllFacebook’s post, How to Develop a Facebook Page that Attracts Millions of Fans

And Facebook Pages Product Guide (like reading a manual but pretty important)

Facebook: What’s Good for a Political Campaign is Also Good for Business

Facebook

If you’ve been thinking about creating a Facebook page for your business and haven’t had a good handle on what the benefits of using Facebook are, a good article to read is The Facebooker Who Friended Obama, published today on NYTimes.com.

While your business may not resemble anything close to running a political campaign (and neither does ours), what you may find of interest is the ways in which Barack Obama has been using a “new-media strategy.” It’s important to mention that Mr. Obama has had the benefit of Chris Hughes’ expertise, one of the four founders of Facebook, to spearhead these initiatives!

The most encouraging aspects of their strategy for me are the value the campaign has placed on social networking, and the ways in which a large community of supporters have been using it. Mr. Obama respects and believes in social networking tools, and “credits these tools with a ‘big part’ of his primary season success.” Mr. Obama said in a statement, “One of my fundamental beliefs from my days as a community organizers is that real change comes from the bottom-up…and there’s no more powerful tool for grass-roots organizing than the Internet.”

Mr.Hughes created My.BarackObama.com (known within the campaign as MyBo) where supporters can join local groups, create events, sign up for updates and set up personal fund-raising pages. Mr. Obama’s presence on Facebook
is maintained by other staff members, purchase online advertising, respond to text messages from voters, produce videos and email millions of supporters.

Building Facebook Business Pages

If your interest has been peaked in creating a Facebook page for your business a good place to learn more is Facebook Pages: The Insider’s Guide. It’s important to note (to avoid confusion), Facebook pages differ from user profiles. Pages are public, anyone logging in to Facebook can see the pages. A user profile can only be seen by the user’s friends, and others in their networks.

Applications can be used on your Facebook page to share information, sell products, and engage consumers with rich media. Several applications are included with a Facebook page, mini-feed, photos, events, notes, video, discussion board, wall, and reviews. There are thousands of other applications you can add to your Facebook page and if you don’t see what you want, applications can be developed for your specific needs.

We recently published a Facebook page, which currently includes videos of interest, discussion questions, and rss feed of blog posts — and can be viewed here. We look forward to posting upcoming events and other social media interests. Facebook’s founding principles were to “keep it real, and keep it local.” If it works for Facebook, and apparently has worked quite well for Barack Obama–sounds like good advice to me.

We’re interested in hearing from you about your Facebook business experiences, with your own page and ones you’ve visited. What applications have you found most helpful? Or, if you’re still on the fence about whether to create or not to create…we’d love to hear your thoughts.