Lots of questions coming in on the new Facebook Timeline feature. As there should be. it's a drastic change to what we are used to and a big change on how you use Facebook for marketing. Or I should say how the new TimeLine hiinders your marketing efforts, basically taking them away!
You may have seen this message recently when administering your Facebook business page (you will also see a message in your profile area as well). You can click Preview to see how your site will look with the new Timeline format. Read on to learn all about it and how it will affect your business and Facebook marketing.
To sum it up:
- New Timeline Feature (mandatory)
- FB new Cover option (like a banner at the top of your Facebook page)
- Yes, you can still have a custom page, but not a reveal page (not one forcing a "like" to get "this or that") and not one that will be front and center on a landing page/squeeze page/splash page.
- And there are more features detailed in the TechCrunch links highlighted in this Facebook Timeline article.
Custom Pages in Facebook
YES, you can still have them. But will you want to? Some of you or all of you may want to continue with a "custom tab" but it can NOT be defaulted any more.
- This means no more reveal pages.
- No more "like this page" to get "this or that".
- No more pretty (professional) page to show up when someone first comes to your FB site (page).
You can still have a custom page, but it will NOT be front and center. It will be where the user will have to search and voluntarily click on that page to see it. However, it may be at the top area of the new Timeline where there are thumbnails of different apps such as Photos, Events, your custom tab.
Facebook Timeline Information –
Must Read articles
Timeline for Business Pages Here is Getting Started help: http://www.facebook.com/help/timeline
Here is FB introducing TimeLine:
Must read on Timeline Implementation and new features: http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/29/facebook-timeline-for-pages/
Great information about how to use the new Timeline format for Business Pages:
New info on custom pages — there is no more squeeze page, landing page, forcing a like to get — nothing will show on the main page (there is no more main page just the timeline view):
Creating a new Facebook Cover
What they talk about now is having a nice "cover" to be at the top of your page. Here is an example below for Coca-Cola. For Stampin' Up! demonstrators, you can even create one in MDS! Here is the video from Patty Bennett to create a banner in MDS…you would just modify it to the new dimensions of 851×315: http://www.blogsbyheather.com/2010/09/featuring-patty-bennett-wwwpattystampscom-creat-your-own-blog-banner.html
Just read the rules for your Cover below. You can also create a modified version of your blog banner. Contact your designer, such as Michelle Laycock, me or whomever designed your banner. Or you can of course have a new Cover image created that coordinates with your blog's theme (but not simply a copy of your banner w/o the contact info). That is up to you!
You may want to focus on a new Cover image (which is definitely seen) instead of new Custom Page (which may not be seen).
Cover The Timeline cover displays a giant 851 x 315 pixel banner across the top of your Page. Facebook’s Product Director of Ads Gokul Rajaram tells me its “goal is to symbolize what an organization is all about. For a restaurant it could be a popular menu item, a band could display album cover art, and a business could show a picture of their customers using their product.”
Covers may not display calls to action or references to Facebook features such as “Like this Page”, purchase or pricing info such as “40% off” or “Download at our website”, or contact information such as web address. Rajaram says “brands have been very positive [about the restrictions] because they don’t want to be seen as overly promotional — it’s a turnoff. Pick a visually stunning, high-resolution image that will delight or intrigue visitors and make them want to scroll down to your updates. (TechCrunch)
In summary,I again would like to say that custom pages will still be available, you can still run contests, the custom pages just cannot be the default landing page. That is no longer an option with the new Timeline format.
Furthermore, you do not have a choice, all pages will be converted to the Timeline format. So you need to make the choice to have a custom page or not, but you should definitely create a nice Cover (similar to having a banner on your blog). For SU Demos you may want to create a Cover that matches your blog design or showcases a bunch of samples of your artwork. Remember, no calls to action, no website address, no asking to "Like".
Be sure to read all the articles above as they are really great articles by TechCrunch covering Facebook's Timeline format.
Do you find yourself spending too much time trying to manage your social media accounts? There are now a number of online tools that can save you time each day in planning and scheduling your social media marketing campaigns. These tools, all of which are free, have the added benefit of providing valuable analytics which will enable you to measure the success of your efforts.
Tools For Scheduling
One of the best new tools is Buffer, a website enabling you utilize Twitter to your greatest advantage by scheduling tweets in advance. This makes it possible for you to avoid missing out on a chance to reach your audience even when you are busy with other things and are not able to update your tweets. In addition to this scheduling tool, Buffer suggests the best times to tweet and offers analytics showing which of your tweets generated the most response.
Facebook users will benefit from scheduling tools offered by Roost, which allows them to quickly design and schedule a week-long marketing campaign pursuant to Roost’s structured recommendations. Using Roost, all of this can be accomplished in less than one hour. Utilizing Roost, you can engage your Facebook audience and receive analytics provided by Roost when the campaign is over. Roost also provides a scorecard which analyzes data from your Facebook page to create a report showing your coverage and the distribution of your audience, as well as making suggestions for future marketing efforts.
Tools For Streamlining And Remote Updating
HootSuite is a popular social media dashboard that is already being used by many big-name companies. This time-saving tool will allow you to post to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media accounts all at one time. It is specialized for mobile devices as well as computers. As with the tools mentioned above, HootSuite offers valuable analytics in the form of customizable reports to help you determine the success of your marketing campaigns.
If you are someone who is often on the go and away from the office, Ping.fm will make your life easier by allowing you to post updates to your social media accounts using a variety of methods, including phone apps, emails, and even text messages. This practical tool enables you to send updates across social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogging sites.
Tools For Automating
For those businesses whose social media marketing efforts are primarily tied to their blogs, Twitterfeed will enable them to automate the process of sending new posts to their Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. Twitterfeed also provides helpful analytics, allowing you to see your audience’s reaction to your posts in real time.
Guest Author: David Ching is the marketing director for EQA Office Furniture, which sells cubicles and office furniture and also offers free virtual 3D design services. Visit their website to view their selection of quality office cubicles.
A few of my customers have been recently experiencing a problem where the link they had on their blog to their Facebook page, no longer shows their page, but the main Facebook Login screen.
So what happened?
I asked this question on one of the clubs I'm a member of and got a great answer!
Check your "permissions" as you have set restrictions on your page.
- Login and click Home.
- On the left, click on your business page.
- Click Edit Page.
- Click Manage Permissions.
- Remove the Country restriction and modify the Age restriction and see if that solves the problem! 😀
Just wanted to share this and working on getting your Pinterest article this week. Today was a busy day for my Stampin' Up! demonstrator customers as the new Sale-a-bration catalog and promotion was released today, so I had to create all the graphics for my customer's sidebars and maintain their blogs and newsletters. Big, busy day 😀
I had the pleasure of attending this great social media FREE event from Social Media Examiner. Well, actually during the live event I was picking up my daughter from the school bus (LOL)…but it was recorded! And I got to listen to the presentation Sunday night and want to share with you some of the wonderful tips the Panelists had shared with us.
Presenters: Michael Stelzner, Andrea Vahl, Rich Brooks & Kristi Hines
Michael Stelzner, Founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner
First, there is a very nice introductoin of the panelists. Then Michael Stelzner, CEO of Social Media Examiner, kicks off the event talking about Google Plus. Google Plus is still very new and developing new features and functions rapidly. He makes note of three very important things:
- There can be only one administrator for your Google Plus business page. This "issue" is being addressed and in the future (near) you will be able to have multiple admins for your business page, but as of now the person who sets up the page is the one and only administrator for that page.
- You can only "Circle" (become a fan) someone that "circles" you.
- There is a great advantage to having a business page and putting the badge on your site (using their Badge Configuration Tool). Google then "rewards" you with more recommendations on Google Search. So there is a SEO benefit to having a Google Plus Business Page and putting their badge on your site! Go get started (but you have to create a page first and join Google Plus)!
Click here to learn how to create your Google Plus Business Page!
Andrea Vahl, Co-author of "Facebook Marketing: All-in-One for Dummies"
Andrea first wanted to discuss leads and what is a lead. The number of Facebook "Likes" does not equal the number of "leads".
However, you first need a "like" to later become a possible "lead". You need to connect with them over and over again (posting great stuff and comments and articles on Faceobok) so when the need arises for your service you will be at the top of their mind.
Facebook is a sales pyramid: Like (get the Facebook "like") >>> Engage (commenting on your wall, communication, getting to know and "trust" you) >>> Buy (purchase your service or product).
So, the number of Likes does matter as its the size of your base, your foundation and then it goes from there.
Facebook Custom Pages
You don't know you have a "real" lead until they have given you their email address. You need to create a custom facebook page that integrates with your email marketing/newsletter service (like Constant Contact, aWeber, MailChimp).
You can also offer them something for free or some other "incentive" for joining your mailing list. Here is Social Media Examiner's article on 10 apps to create a cusom facebook page or tab: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/top-10-facebook-apps-for-building-custom-pages-tabs/
Facebook and Webinars
If you are one who uses webinars you can also use them to capture email addresses (leads).
Promote a product or service at the end
- offer valuable content
- continue to connect with your audience thru email
Some popular webinar providers are (most range between $39/month and up depending on your audience size and more).
- Ustream (ans similar types of service don't collect the emails)
Run a Facebook Contest
But a legal one!
You it to showcase your product or service, gather emails, and have fun! People like to "win" things 😀
To be "legal" on Facebook, you MUST use a third-party contest facebook appication like:
- Strutta (starts at $299)
- North Social
You CANNOT run a contest that says "like this for your chance to win…"
Rich Brooks, President of Flyte New Media
Rich is a small business owner and gives lots of advice on YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn during this presentation.
Leverage YouTube's Power
- 3 billion every day
- 2nd most popular search engine
How do you tap into this?
- Create videos that answer your ideal customer's ideal questions.
How do you get them seen?
- You have to know what your customers want.
- Use keywords
- in title
- in description
- in narrative (in your video conversation)
How to connect and reach YouTube outside YouTube!
- Create a blog post on the same topic, keyword rich.
- Embed in your blog post!
- FB business page — post in there. and profile page.
- Tweet it!
- Finally, email newsletter, email blast (Take a screen capture and link to YouTube video from the email/newsletter).
Find Your audience on Twitter
- Find the right people - customers, partners, vendors.
- Do a search on related topics and products and then contact to their tweets
- Go to advanced search for geographic sensitive companies for example if your are targeting an audience within a 25 minute radius of your business location.
- Create Twitter Lists (like Facebook Groups)
- Subscribe to other people's Twitter list to gain access to who's tweeting there.
How to use LinkedIn
- Most people don't get it.
- Used for Business to Business.
- Create an engaging profile.
- Use Groups to generate leads.
- Joining appropriate groups. Local area and in business community.
- Join the conversation.
- Do not sell, sell, sell
- 80% promoting other people, helpful, inform, valuable content (trust)
- 20% promote your own stuff
- Don't' hang out on Linked in like you do on Facebook or Twitter
- Sign up for Email Daily Digest.
Kristi Hines, Founder of Kikolani
Kristi spoke about blogging. That one popular problem is finding what to write about. She continues in discussing what to do next…post it and promote it! Last but not least at all is to view your stats (Google Analytics for example). You want to see where your visitors are spending time, what's your bounce rate, what keywords are popular, etc.
Finding Blog Content
Let's get started with the problem – finding blog content. Kristi explains that finding topic ideas is the most popular blogging problem or obstacle.
- look for people asking questions….
- Q&A networks
- Social Media networks
- Blog comments
Sites Kristi recommends to look for questions/answers to find potentional blog content are:
- Look at the keywords for your industry
- Yahoo! Answers
Use Social Media
- HootSuite helps you manage your social networks.
When you do post on your blog…
- You need to write really GOOD content.
- PROMOTE it.
- Social Media
- Go to sites and post the updates
- Thru Blog Comments
Leverage your analytics
- it's MORE than just clicks and visitors
- Bouce Rate (you want this rate to drop, as you want people to stay on your site)
- Keywords and landing pages
- Not providing organic keywords (google analytics)
- What pages are they staying on (you want them to continue to stay)
What are visitors really looking for?
- Search box on your blog and it will tell you what they are looking for!
I hope you enjoyed this summary of free webinar I had recently attended by Social Media Examiner!
More blogging how-to articles to come as that was the leading desired topic in the recent survey!
My partner, Michelle Laycock, are now offering a new, affordable service where we can create pages like these for you!
Michelle created for Tammy Shaia’s where you see a custom Facebook page. I created the one for Sandi MacIver which features what is known as a “reveal” page and uses video as well, and uses the new iFrame platform. Both compliment their blog designs!
And for those of you who have emailed me asking….
NO, you DO NOT need to pay for
private hosting of any kind
to have a beautiful, custom Facebook page
in the new iFrame environment!
To see Tammy’s page live,
go to www.Facebook.com/be-creative-stamping!
Here is what you will see when visiting Sandi’s page:
Then after liking her page you can view her exclusive holiday video and more:
Facebook Custom Pages
One time, flat fee. No recurring charges!
Custom Page Only: $25
Custom Page and Reveal Page Package: $45
IMPORTANT NOTES: A design list will quickly form, be sure to email either Michelle Laycock or myself to help you (AND put FACEBOOK PAGE in the email subject line). If Michelle is working on your blog graphics, you can quickly email her to let her know you’d like to add the Facebook Page as well.
Only use the PAYPAL BUTTONS above if you’d like me to design your page(s).
We work together and support each other so it doesn’t matter which of us you email…you will get a professional, beautiful facebook page!
Lastly, if you do not have a current blog design to use or coordinate with your new Facebook Custom Page, then additional design fees may apply.