FACEBOOK

Facebook’s Auto-Playing Videos: How To Turn Them Off

It’s simple. Auto-playing videos are obnoxious. I don’t want them happening. In fact this is considered a cardinal sin for most web developers. If you design a site that allows a video to start playing automatically you can expect users to veer away immediately.

Unless of course your Facebook – then apparently you can do whatever you please.

There have been numerous people complaining about the new auto-play feature. So many so that we decided to make a simple, easy to read graphic to demonstrate just how you got about shutting this setting off.

  1. Click the drop down menu in the top right hand corner.
  2. From the drop down menu click “settings“.
  3. This brings you to your settings page. In the left hand column menu click “videos.
  4. This brings you to your video settings page. On the right hands side of the Auto-Play Videos option click the drop down and select “off“.

Now this is Facebook we’re talking about so it is entirely likely this will change this layout again as early as next week. For now however, this is the means to shutting the auto-play off.

Facebook-Video-Settings

Facebook Ad’s For Small Business

Facebook Ads: Not really worth the money.

Facebook Ads: Not really worth the money.

Chances are if you are a small business owner, you have taken your business to Facebook… and why not? It is free, it is online and it has over 1.11 billion registered users (more than the population of Canada).

And chances are, if you are on Facebook with your business, you have either used, or contemplated using the “Facebook Ads” tool, their built-in targeted advertising tool. The question is, how effective was this advertising option. The tools are simple to use, they can be set to target specific ages, demographics and geographic regions and you only pay for the # of “Likes” you get. Seems like a good deal right?

We recently came across some startling information about the Facebook Ads option. Information that may change the way you look at it as a resource. Veritasium recently published this short, engaging and highly informative video that takes a close and scrutinizing look at Facebook Ads and the legitimacy of what they claim to do.

We at Transition Marketing have run similar tests on the Facebook Advertising options and come to similar if not identical conclusions. Facebook Ad’s are probably not the best fit for small business owners. Why? YOU MUST View Veritasium‘s video:

As you can see, it is not necessarily that Facebook is intentionally “screwing” its users. Rather it is that the system behind Facebook Ads is broken and Facebook seems to either be oblivious, or blatantly ignoring the issues at hand. The crime here is that they are publicizing their ads as a profitable option for businesses on Facebook and many of these businesses are small time owners like you and I who cannot afford to waste even a single advertising dollar.

We actually really like Mark Zuckerberg, his companies advertising options just aren't very good.

We actually really like Mark Zuckerberg, his companies advertising options just aren’t very good.

The way we see it? Facebook Ads are presently a dead-end proposition – specifically for small business owners who net zero profit from the audience they tend to gain. If you are a small business on Facebook and are looking to increase your audience, don’t risk what advertising budget you have. We recommend alternative tools and options:

Facebook Contests: Run monthly or even weekly contests that include draws once you reach a certain # of “Likes”. For instance, draw for your next prize at 200 “Likes” This encourages your current audience to get others on board in order to facilitate the next draw. (Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Facebook Terms & Conditions for contests).
In Store Advertising: Make sure the customers coming through your actual place of business know that you are on Facebook. Post it up on your signage, have a decal on you window and put a link on your website. You want to engage consumers at every turn so help them find you.
Encourage “Shares”: In a recent post we described how asking your audience to “Like” and “Share” your posts is a perfectly acceptable thing to do. When you post something on your page do not be afraid to ask your audience to spread the word.

There are many other tools for increasing your audience on Social Media. It is our professional opinion however that the Facebook Ads tool requires a great deal of further tweaking before it becomes the tool that small businesses turn to.

What about you? What have your experiences been with Facebook Ads? Good? Bad? Ugly? Comment here and share your story!

Okanagan Small Business Marketing

Transition Marketing Services. Our passion is educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how were doing or if you have any questions. TRANSITION MARKETING SERVICES – Small Business Marketing Specialists.

Five MORE Social Media Tips To IGNORE

Social-Media-Marketing

“There is no such thing as a social media ‘guru’, nor a ‘maven’ nor a ‘ninja’ nor any of the other silly terms people are using. There are those who understand social media as a tool for marketing, those who *think* they understand and those who do not.” – Transition Marketing

In our previous post on March 14, 2013 (HERE) we took a slightly different tact on the traditional social media propaganda by REFUTING several of the dominant social media “tips” presently in circulation. In today’s post we will continue with a thorough examination of FIVE MORE TERRIBLE SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS.

Employee-Social-Media-Gagging1) Avoid Allowing Your Employees on Social Media.

This is a ridiculous and asinine request. For one, attempting to police this is a tremendous waste of time. Even if you block Social Media on their work computers, they have smart phones. The resources, time and ill-will that this breeds isn’t worth it. Try to block or regulate their cell phone usage at work, they will still visit those sites on their breaks and at home. Forbid any use of your brand or business name by your employees and they will simply create fake profiles.

All you do by creating an iron-fisted regime is breed sore feelings, hurt office morale and damage work relationships. You send a clear message that you don’t trust them, create a hostile office environment and what is worse, you turn your back on an incredible asset.

Your employees are your company. They ARE your brand. This is not just a cliché corporate catch-phrase. It is a solid truth about the world we now live in. Social Media has changed the face of branding. Every consumer, every employee, every individual now has the option and the power to share their experiences with thousands and even millions. Businesses cannot muzzle the voice of the general public and there has been a significant shift in the way that businesses now market themselves (More on that HERE)

Your employees (just like your customers) have a voice and a reach that can further spread your brand and marketing message, for good or for ill. One way or the other your employees will talk about your business. To fight the lost battle of “policing” their voices, instead so rather than trying to encourage them is folly. Instead give them guidelines for good use and encourage them to share positive stories and experiences.

Allow them to be “Brand Advocates” and put their voices to use.

2) Ignore Negative Feedback On Social Media.

Oops, someone has gone and said something bad about your brand. There is no going back now, it exists and it is plastered on the internet. Whether it reaches dozens or thousands there is no going back once it has been posted.

Many brands are encouraged to ignore negative comments, to not risk entering a hostile conversation to avoid it. However by not responding to angry comments online you are allowing it to simply sit and fester and worst-case scenario it could quickly take on a life of its own.

Mistakes happen so when you make them, admit to them. People are far more gracious when one owns up, apologizes and tried to make things better. Attempting to ignore, avoid or argue them will tarnish your brand. Admit mistakes when necessary and then detail how you will address them.

Our go-to method when negativity strikes, is to address the comment immediately and take that conversation offline.

For example, if someone tweets negatively about you, ask them to DM, email or call you with the specifics. Then work with them to resolve the issue outside of the public’s eye. Once a resolution has been reached, take it back to the mainstream and tweet the resolution back to them as an affirmation.

The public doesn’t need to know every detail, just that is was addressed and made right.

3) Address EVERY Negative Comment.Dont-Avoid-Comments

This may seem like we are suddenly contradicting ourselves, however there are certain negative comments that exist for no other reason then to get a rise out of you. Known as “trolling“, the concept of provoking reaction through negative or even shocking content has unfortunately become quite a popular online. This is more specific to big business and well established brands, however it pertains to all of us.

Beware of those who are simply trying to further their own agenda’s and gain visibility by pushing you for responses to their comments. On social media, as in life, there is a time to talk and a time to walk away. Learn to discern the trolls from those consumers with real concerns.

4) Delete Negative Comments or Disable Comments Entirely.

Social Media is about conversations, about sharing and discussing. Disabling comments runs contrary to this entire premise.

People are going to share experiences with or without your Facebook page. They have their own page, their own profile and their own audience. By ALLOWING them to post their thoughts and feedback on YOUR page you can monitor and address the feedback. If you’re smart you may even learn a few things to change your business for the better.

Responding to customers, involving them and discussing with them is in fact what social media is all about. Simply posting content over and over, without ever establishing customer relationships is a dated practice meant for television, billboards and radio. Online “Marketing 2.0” is all about creating consumer advocates through online discussions via social media.

As for deleting comments, do so and you will have created a consumer enemy for life. Nothing will infuriate a consumer-with-a-voice more, than attempting (poorly) to silence them. They will simply find other avenues and lambaste you even worse!

Delete-Posts

5) When Making A Mistake, Deleting The Post Will Fix It.

This is absolutely horse-feathers and rubbish. Let us reiterate, once a comment has been made and posted, it will not cease to exist. Whether you posted it or a consumer did it is there.

“Love and life may pass, but Facebook posts are forever”.

There is no way to completely erase a post and no way to stop viewers from screen-shotting it and sharing it with the world. Think about what you say before you say it. And admit to any mistakes you make (apologize when necessary).

Transition Marketing Services is a small business marketing firm in the Okanagan. Our passion Small Business Marketing. Educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how we’re doing or if you have any questions.

Hootsuite Conversations – Beta Testing

Hootsuite recently introduced the Beta version of its new Conversation tools. The Conversations tool is the newest addition to the already formidable Hootsuite array. A Social Media interaction platform developed by our fellow Canadian Ryan Holmes. Below we share their formal statement and description of the new Conversations software (pulled directly from Hootsuite site):

Hootsuite Conversations:

“New HootSuite Conversations allows teams and organizations to communicate internally without leaving the HootSuite dashboard. Invite anyone to chat within teams or to the entire company, push messages from social networks to conversations within HootSuite and discuss, like, retweet, even broadcast further to members’ own social networks.”

Hootsuite introduces its own messaging system, intended to enable quick communication and sharing between Hootsuite users.

Simplify Communications:

With HootSuite Conversations you can converse with anyone you work with, collaborate with, and share messaging with, easily and intuitively with the in-dash tool. Bring everyone together, get out of your inbox and eliminate time consuming email threads.

*Plus! Enjoy the option to pop out the conversation window so you can stay on top of communications while in other workspaces on your desktop*

The Hootsuite Conversations interface is meant to allow more efficient sharing of current Social Media developments and conversations.

Internal Conversations & External Engagement

Send social messages to internal conversations for teams to discuss and share. Teams can then discuss response strategies, communicate approved messaging and encourage others to broadcast across their own social networks by replying, retweeting, or posting to other social networks.

HootSuite Conversations allows you to add anyone to your conversation – Free.

Collaborate With Everyone

HootSuite Conversations allows you to add anyone to your conversation – free – in order to discuss social messages and receive approved messaging. Communicate with your team, department or entire organization, without leaving the HootSuite dashboard. Adding collaborators is also easy as HootSuite Conversations allows you to import contacts from gmail, and recognizes your colleagues online.

What Transition Marketing Services Has To Say:

Hootsuite Conversations is similar in many aspects to other messenger services in existence, with the exception that it allows direct sharing of conversations, comments, posts etc. to others within your team. The addition of this tool may take some getting used to, but its seamless connectivity with the existing Hootsuite platform is sure to win it some fans.

Hootsuite is a terrific platform. It is easy to use, budget friendly and provides the tools necessary for businesses big or small, to monitor their Social Media efforts. We ourselves use it and, with very few exceptions, recommend it to our clients.

The new Conversations tool is in Beta, which means there will be a few bugs left to iron out, but overall we like what we see.  If you are not already familiar with Hootsuite, we recommend taking it for a whirl. See how it connects with your Social Platforms, monitor the feeds and test posting from it. If you like it, check out the Conversations tool, and let us know what you think!

Transition Marketing Services. Our passion is educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how were doing or if you have any questions. TRANSITION MARKETING SERVICES – Small Business Marketing Specialists.

Three Social Media Marketing Avenues For Small Business

Three Social Marketing Avenues For Small Business.

Small businesses are just that – small, with limited resources. When dealing with small business marketing, branding and advertising one needs to be able to maximize overall exposure and consumer impact, at minimal costs.

Social Media provides the tooling and resources to do just that. Social Media has given businesses an unprecedented means to reach the masses with little or no overhead. However it does require careful focused planning. Do not make the mistake of presuming that it is enough to have a Social Media presence. Leveraging it for marketing and brand value requires more than haphazard attempts.

“The thing about Social Media that frustrates marketers to no end is that you can’t buy attention… ….What you’ll do instead if you’re just four people, [is ask] how can we amaze them? That change in posture, that change in attitude is the single biggest shift, that’s going on the Internet right now” – Seth Godin

In this post we will outline three key ways that small business operators can begin to utilize Social Media to broadcast their business and create brand exposure. To keep things fun, we have broken each tip into three categories (Cold, Medium & Warm) based on the steps to take in relation to expertise and technical marketing know-how.

3 Social Media Marketing Tips

As with all Marketing, success is determined by setting clear goals, implementing processes and then measuring results. It is our recommendation that, prior to establishing any of the below efforts, one determines first what their goals are. Only by knowing fully what is being sought, can one measure their success.

1. Facebook

If you ask 10 different businesses what their feelings are on Facebook, you will likely get 10 different answers. Many small businesses are adopting Facebook – the problem however, is that few understand WHY.

The fact is that Facebook is a low-cost tool, that when used PROPERLY, can engage consumers, promote brands and drive business.

Social Media is just that – SOCIAL and as such the marketing and branding endeavors on it need to be as well. Facebook is a means of SOCIALLY engaging consumers on the behalf of a brand and recent studies indicate it is doing a great job. This study by Mashable, indicated that around 50% of consumers actually value a brand’s Facebook page MORE than their website.

If that isn’t enough reason to look at Facebook seriously, then consider this:

  1. Facebook now has over 300 million registered users.
  2. 87% of people like brands on Facebook.
  3. Of those people, 82% state that Facebook is a good means of interacting with those brands.
  4. Of those people, 35% feel that brands listen to them more on Facebook than on a website.
  5. 75% of people state they feel more connected to a brand via Facebook.
  6. 69% of people have “Liked” a brand because their friend has.

Let us repeat, “SOCIAL media” is just that – SOCIAL! and as you can see from these recent statistics, Facebook offers brands a large-scale opportunity to engage customers, both current and potential.

Put another way: “Business Success” requires “Branding” which requires “Engagement” which is made possible by “Social Media”.

Cold: Sign up to Facebook and secure a Facebook Page name for your business or brand. Note that you want to create a “Business Page” and not a “User Profile” for your business. Operating a brand or business persona under a personal profile breaches Facebooks Terms and that is a very poor way to start showcasing your brand

Have a look at other brands, including competitors and see what they are doing. Have a look at how many “Likes” they have and view their posts to see how they are engaging customers. For more on Facebook Pages, primarily setting up your profile for success, visit our previous posts:

  1. Facebook Finesse Part 1 – Profile Cover Images
  2. Facebook Finesse Part 1 – Tweaking The Little Things

Medium: Succeeding on any Social Media platform is all about socializing and engaging your audience. Post articles that they are interested in, try to include images whenever possible and provide a reason for your targets to tune in.

  • Posts must be relevant to your business, brand and industry.
  • They should be developed with the specific’s of your target audience in mind.

Warm: When posting as your business page, you are representing your brand as a whole. An understanding of branding, brand philosophy, brand promise and brand image is crucial to achieving long-term and expanded Social Marketing success. Posts need to be specifically built to represent the overall brand image of the business, but also engaging for the specific body of customers that are being targeted.

Side Note: You may also look at the Facebook Ad’s option. It is a paid service and allows you to custom tailor advertising to be displayed only to specific targets based on the information plugged into their individual profiles.

2. Twitter

This is one of our personal favorites. It is quick paced, thanks in part to the 140 character limit on posts (tweets), and provides incredible opportunity for exposure. As of July of this year there are 500 million registered profiles with 180 million active users.

Twitter allows brands to freely communicate, either en mass or directly to other twitter users across the globe. The simple “hashtag” (#) system allows one to easily find other industry relevant users and content. It also enables a brand to build in specific search terms related to posts. This in turn adds to a brands ability to promote its association with specific services or ideas.

For a more few selling points on Twitter visit our previous posts:

Cold: We recommend signing up for Twitter asap and establishing a twitter account for your brand or business. Begin dabbling and take a look at the “Discover” tab to get an idea of how hashtags work and how best to connect with users pertaining to your business.

When signing on for a profile, Twitter will prompt you to find five users to follow, based on your interests and background. It then prompts you to find five more. This will give you a good idea as to where to start.

Spend some time searching different terms and users. Familiarize yourself with the type of content and the types of communications being shared. Search various terms related to your industry. Have a look, see who is already out there. Search out potential competitors and do some research. Simply put, wade into the water and get comfortable.

Medium: Once you are comfortable with the tools and how to use them, begin tweeting. Tweets are 140 character posts on Twitter. Keep your tweets relevant to your brand and industry, but ensure they are creative and engaging. You want to position your brand as accessible to the consumer audience, but also as leader on specific subjects or within a specific industry.

Begin connecting with other users. Using the “Discover” tools, find other users, whether brands or individuals, that make sense to connect with. These connections are an excellent way to spread your communications, generate increased exposure and grow your online presence. They are also a good source of other industry related information that you and your brand may profit from.

Warm: Maximizing your presence on Twitter will require more advanced tools. You will need to familiarize yourself with desktop and mobile Twitter clients like TweetDeck, Hootsuite and Twitterfall. These programs provide increased flexibility and control over your overall Twitter strategy.

  • They enable pre-defined searches – crucial for monitoring specific keywords and names, including your own.
  • They allow pre-scheduling of tweets, which in turn allows your brand to maintain a more consistent presence with far less labour.
  • They equip users to better monitor trends, and communications.
  • They also allow for more accurate measurement of “impressions” – or users touched by your tweets.

Another useful tool to explore will be Twitters “Lists” resource. Creating “Lists” or groupings of users based on specific will help you to keep tabs on topics and subjects, without the hassle of weeding through thousands of followers.

The primary concern for any and all Social Media Marketing is maintaining consistency to the brand image and promise. As an individual moving forward with a Social Brand development – this is key and must be kept in mind at all times.

Image source: smashingmagazine.com

3. Blogging

Despite the ever-changing and advancing world of Social Media, Blogging continue to be play a strong role in brand and business marketing.

1. Blogging is a great way to supply consumers with information, services and resources all centered around your brand.

2. The content and linking can contribute greatly to increased SEO to your website.

3. Hosting a blog on industry related topics positions your brand as a leader.

Cold: Begin hosting a blog under your brand or business name. Several sites provide blog hosting for free including WordPress, Blogger and Blogsome. This sites will also allow you to convert your blog into a full website URL should you choose at a later date to do so.

Many of these sites offer easy to use, step by step instructions to establish a basic blog profile and it should not be too difficult to set up on your own.

Alternatives like Posterous and Tumblr also exist, although may not be the ideal choice for a beginner business related blog.

Our preference has been WordPress, however we also host a profile on Tumblr. At the end of the day each business is best off doing their own homework and determining which profile makes the most sense for them. Remember that hosting on multiple sites quickly diminishes time and resources.

Medium: Many web providers will allow you to transfer the blog hosting right to your own website. In the case of WordPress you can easily transfer it over to your website, thus increasing control over the content and aesthetics.

Stale Blogs are bad.

As you begin to work with the blog, you will want to maintain fresh content and posts. It is wise to post new articles once a week or more. Articles must pertain to your brand or business – remember that they are intended to position you as a leader in your industry. Keep it fresh and keep it relevant.

For more on developing engaging blog content, visit our article on “Blogging Tips”

Familiarize yourself with “tags” and how to use them. These tags will assist consumers in finding you and your blog. Sites like WordPress allow you to punch in desired “tags” and terms before publishing the article. Make use of them.

Warm: You have established a blog and begun maintaining it. Time to up the ante. To increase exposure and develop and audience, one needs to focus on CONTENT. Determine what your blog is intended to do. If it is to position you as a leader on all things “Interior Design”, then create content related to that field. Whatever your brand or business represents, that should be the driving force in your blog content.

Reading other people’s blogs, commenting on them and just generally establishing a presence is also a good way to lead people back to your blog. Get out and explore the Blog-o-sphere and make yourself known.

Make sure you enable your audience to share your content. Include Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest and all manner of other “share” buttons, to allow your audience to immediately share your content with their colleagues. WordPress and just about every other blogging site has plugins available that can be automatically shown on each of your posts – make sure to equip them.

Transition Marketing Services. Our passion is educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how were doing or if you have any questions. TRANSITION MARKETING SERVICES – Small Business Marketing Specialists.

6 Facebook Pages Blunders To AVOID.

6 Major Facebook Blunders To AVOID.

Recent studies, including this one by Mashable, indicate that Facebook pages are considered MORE valuable by up to 50% of consumers. Even if this study is embellished a little, the fact remains that Facebook pages are considered to be a HIGH-VALUE ADDITION to brand marketing.

Consider these stats:

  1. Facebook now has over 300 million registered users.
  2. 87% of people like brands on Facebook.
  3. Of those people, 82% state that Facebook is a good means of interacting with those brands.
  4. Of those people, 35% feel that brands listen to them more on Facebook than on a website.
  5. 75% of people state they feel more connected to a brand via Facebook.
  6. 69% of people have “Liked” a brand because their friend has.

Whether studies like this are impacting their decisions or not, it has been our experience that many small-business owners beginning to explore Facebook pages.

Facebook offers an inexpensive means to garner brand exposure, market research and customer engagement and the price point for exposure is incredibly accessible to businesses with little or no budget.

Yet it’s not as simple as it sounds, we have seen many businesses clamber aboard the Social-Marketing trend wagon, only to fall promptly off. The first thing to understand is that Social Media Marketing (IE Marketing on Facebook Pages) requires an understanding of BRANDING and MARKETING.

Simply put, it is one thing to have a Facebook page, it is another to use it properly.

A Brand / Business Facebook page is demanding. It requires time, effort and hard work. Simply “BEING ON FACEBOOK” is not enough to achieve social media and branding goals. Brand representation requires care, planning and dedication, and caution must be taken when avoid misrepresenting the brand, or damaging its reputation.

For an example consider the Chick-Fil-A fiasco from earlier this year (HERE).

If one is going to take their small business to the Social Media air waves one should make all effort to avoid these six blunders.

1. Not Updating Regularly & Consistently.

STAY ACTIVE. Establishing a presence on Facebook requires continual updates with fresh content. Achieving Social Media goals demands this. Facebook pages must be updated a minimum of once a day – although preferably two or more. Failing to keep a page updated, positions your brand or business as DISINTERESTED and will negatively impact it’s image. The rule of thumb for any and all marketing is this: Content Is King

Content Is King, means that the fresher, more consistent content being posted, the more impact (brand exposure) is being made.

When taking a brand or business to Facebook pages, be prepared to allot a specific amount of time EVERY DAY for updating and replying to comments. Social Media Marketing is all about “SOCIAL” and Social is all about “ENGAGING”. What this means, is providing content that engages your consumer audience and leads to “CONVERSATION” (thereby leading to “CONVERSION”)

To recap: Social Marketing means SOCIAL which is about ENGAGING, which leads to CONVERSATION, which ends with CONVERSION.

2. Not Reviewing Comments.

A. Comments & Conversations:

The beautiful (and challenging) thing about Facebook Pages, is that it allows anyone to comment, and to comment just about whatever they like. Why is this a beautiful thing? It allows a brand / business to engage customers in an entirely new way.

The ability to develop these dialogues directly with consumers is the “HOLY GRAIL” of Social Media Marketing.

It is crucially important to respond to comments, answer questions and take part in discussions. This requires time, dedication and a great deal of creativity. Again we reiterate that it is about SOCIALLY ENGAGING, so find ways to create conversations. Content is key to starting conversations, however ENTERING existing conversations, or keeping them moving requires diligence, creativity and passion.

Remember that Facebook Fans can be a brands single greatest champions. Their word-of-mouth referrals can do more for a brand than thousands of marketing dollars.

(69% of people have “Liked” a brand because their friend has).

B. Negative Comments:

It is important to note that a brand / business will not always receive the comments they want. Taking a brand / business to Social Media opens it up to negative feedback, comments and conversations. One must enter prepared for a certain level of criticism and remember to always respond in a positive manner.

Remember that conversations on Facebook are PUBLIC and this is NOT a place to get into heated discussions.

Instead engage the customer elsewhere, by email, phone or private message and work the situation out. Only once that customer is happy should the conversation then be revisited publicly.

Every brand / business is going to face these challenges. Take care to remember that the customer is indeed ALWAYS RIGHT. It is not worth bad brand exposure to win one little battle. Use these situations as opportunities to be the GOOD GUY or the “bigger man” and wow your audience with your response.

It is in a brand / businesses best interest to NOT delete negative comments.

Instead the brand / business can use them to their advantage. When a critic is converted to a fan via public discussion on Social Media, it drastically impacts the viewing audience. Taking time to convert critics will lead to even more fans to follow. It is difficult but one of the most effective means to position the brand.

When dealing with upset customers, always take the high road.

C. Dealing With Spam

Spam happens, but it is easy to deal with. It can appear as either a comment or a post:

  1. Comment Form: It will simply be a spam message attached to an existing post.
  2. Post Form: It will appear as an actual post to the Facebook page itself.

This is another solid reason to keep tabs on comments and posts. Here are two ways to quickly dispatch spam:

  1. For spam comments, (which appear below existing posts) hover the mouse over the right side of the comment until an “X” appears. Clicking the X will cause the comment to be hidden.
  2. For Spam posts, click “see all” on the right side of the page below recent comments. Hover the mouse over the right side of the comment and click the “X”. This will provide four options: “Highlight it”, “Allow it to be seen”, “Hide it”, “Delete it and ban that person from commenting on your page again”.

3. Breaking Facebook Rules.

Facebook Pages need to be treated seriously. a brand cannot act willy-nilly, doing whatever it likes. Every Social Media platform has specific “Terms and Conditions” that are agreed to when signing up. If a business is intent on Marketing & Branding themselves via Social Media, then these terms must be adhered to. Violating these rules, can result in Facebook either deleting or suspending the account. Common breaches can include:

  1. User name: Attempting to use trademarked or obscene names.
  2. Spamming other pages. This can include abusive messages OR sales pitches.
  3. Hosting contests that do not follow the specific terms outlined by Facebook.
  4. Cursing or threatening other users.

When a brand/ business page is shutdown, it is sends a very negative message to the customer base. Brand image drives success, ANYTIME this image is tarnished, it is impeding success.

4. Not Understanding Brand Image.

A Facebook page is a direct relay for BRAND IMAGE. Brand Image is all about how the consumer views a business.

Successful branding may position a business as a “Leader in quality” – such as BMW in the automobile world or a “Leader in Innovation” such as Apple in the techie world. When we as customers come to EXPECT a specific something from a brand, that is a direct result of a brand image that has been achieved via successful brand campaigning (branding).

Once a brand image is established, EVERY medium on which the brand is presented must now convey that same image.

That is what it means when they say that in Branding, CONSISTENCY IS EVERYTHING.

A Facebook page is no exception as it will place a brand in front of the consumer audience. Put in other terms, consider a Facebook page as a storefront of sorts. Not only is it displaying the brand image, it will portray the brand or businesses position in relation to a specific set of products and services.

The question this all leads to is this: What type of image do you want to project?

Whatever that image may be, that is what Facebook should show as well.

A brand should NEVER position themselves as arrogant and obnoxious, constantly bragging about great products or discounts. Consider it this way, if an individual spends an entire night at a party, boasting and on-upping others, they will likely not be invited back. No one wants to hear it. Instead a brand / business should focus on the consumer.

The key to Social Marketing Communications, is not simply in speaking effectively, but in listening and learning to ask the correct questions.

  1. Asking the right questions places the customer first.
  2. It positions the brand as one that cares, and is engaged with consumers needs.
  3. It leads the conversation to a place where the customer themselves points to the quality products and services.

The best party host is the one that makes the party about the guests. Social Media Marketing is similar. Make the brand page about listening to the consumers and then adjust the content to capitalize on that.

5. Spamming.

This ties in to brand image well. Spamming others is a very negative addition to brand image. It does not matter if the brand feels their products are amazing, or that their new big offer is exciting – others may not share that and it is not worth the risk. The brand / business should always keep their content on their page. Let the customer base share it outwards, they are a trusted source to their family and friends, the brand however is not.

Do not use Facebook to SELL, SELL, SELL. Social Media Marketing is not about making sales.

It is about generating brand exposure and sales leads. It is about engaging customers and drawing them to the brand. It is not about spamming people. Pushy Sales tactics are not suited for Social Media. Don’t use them.

  • Feel free to communicate the “Personality” and “Humanness” of the brand – But Don’t Spam.
  • Educate, share knowledge, insights, tips and news. But Don’t Spam.
  • Post new sales or discount information on the brand page – BUT DON’T SPAM!
  • Broadcast new products and services on the brand page – but seriously please, do not spam.

Never abuse, Never Spam.

People are being sold to every second of their lives. Television, magazines, online, on the road. No matter where we look there are advertisements and calls to action. People do not want to be inundated by that on Facebook as well. Take the higher road. Generate customer interest without being the obnoxious pushy salesman.

6. Page Administration Is A Privilege, Not A Right.

When developing a brand / business Facebook page do not make the mistake of underestimating its importance. Facebook may have started out with teenagers, but they should NOT be representing a brand to a global audience.

When assigning this responsibility, treat it as you would any sales or marketing position. Do not put your 15-year-old nephew in charge. He may know Facebook, but he does not know what it means to drive a business and brand image forward. Would you want him doing your sales calls?

What makes a good Facebook page admin?

  1. Page managers must be familiar with Facebook and its available tools.
  2. Be familiar with the brand / business being represented.
  3. Be familiar with the concept of branding and brand image.
  4. Be personable and possess customer service skills.
  5. Be able to articulate well – specifically in written communications.
  6. Be thick-skinned – criticism will come, flying of the handle is not allowed.
  7. Be creative and have a passion for content development and sharing.

When assigning this role, the brand / business in question should provide the following:

  1. An outline of company communication policies, including privacy policies.
  2. Any existing Social Media policies.
  3. An outline of the existing brand image.
  4. An outline of any current Social Media Strategies, including current goals and previous achievements.

Facebook pages do allow for more than one administrator, however keep in mind that the more voices representing a brand, the more possibility for INCONSISTENCY – the enemy of branding.

To truly succeed on this area, everyone needs to be on board with what the brand image is. If the Facebook page manager is posting one thing, but the Service Rep or the Salesman is saying another, this creates brand inconsistencies and can heavily damage the brand image.

It must be made clear to the page manager, what the brand image is, and that this must not be contradicted in any way.

In Summary.

Facebook pages are a formidable resource for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds, to broadcast their brand image and engage their customers. Facebook at a business brand level is not a toy, however, anytime a business is being representing to the public, proper planning and responsibility is necessary.

Transition Marketing Services. Our passion is educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how were doing or if you have any questions. TRANSITION MARKETING SERVICES – Small Business Marketing & Branding Specialists.

Chick-fil-A Update (By Pursuing PR)

Shortly after penning our article on the Chick-Fil-A Facebook Fiasco, we received Ping back that Pursuing PR had referenced our blog. We paid them a visit and their content was so insightful we felt we had better share it. Their content complimented our so well, that we really had no other choice!

Chick-fil-A Update.

(A snippet of their post)

…The company itself denies responsibility for the creation of Abby Farle, but comments like “Nice try, Chick-fil-A PR guy…” are going to reflect very badly on the company and the industry of public relations as a whole. (Dang it, Abby.)

Communicating with your public: good. Creating a fake Facebook profile to trick people into liking you: bad. Unfortunately modern consumers are not only smart but incredibly suspicious. Dan Ariely spoke about this in Predictably Irrational, calling it the circle of distrust. Consumers are always looking for a catch, while companies don’t trust consumers to reward them for being honest… therefore they get sneaky.

Whether or not Chick-fil-A had anything to do with the profile, this situation is going to get immensely blown up. It’s going to erode their image, making them look dishonest and sneaky. Their denials are going to fall on deaf ears. People are always far more likely to point fingers than to wait for an explanation….

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