Archives for fan page

Google+ for Business….well almost

Google Plus Business Pages

Goolgle+ announced today that they are offering pages for business. This is answering a long standing question, when with Google+ be business friendly.  Well, they had been promising the eventual advent of their business Pages, and the day has finally come!…well kind of.

The pages roll out is just that, a roll out. So not everyone can make a page yet. When will everyone be allowed? Good question. Unfortunately I don’t have the answer to that. So though they are not focusing on the exclusivity of the original “invite only” launch, they are likely only giving the “star players” the first shot at the new Page.

Google Plus for Business but not for you

As a user of Google+ you will be able to to add pages to you circles. It seems that the pages will be much like the Facebook Pages we are all accustomed to.  But one distinct edge the pages have will be the indexing. Google will be immediately indexing any business page. This means that when you create a page you are immediately getting an SEO boost to your page. Additionally when you type in a business name, if you add a + sign before the name it will pull of the Plus page for that business.  So type in + SM Cubed Consulting and you will find my business page.

Is the + search a step forward in the next generation of SEO? Maybe it is. It does make me wonder if this will be a change in the Boolean search that traditional search engine algorithm have been rooted in. (In my mind I see lovers of Library Science heads exploding)

The questions that arise are based in the experience from pages on Facebook.  Will you be able to pursue fans or are we reliant on fans finding pages, like in Facebook?  Will this essentially be simply duplicate content? Is there a point to have both?

Will Fan Pages Get the Timeline Update?

Facebook has been rolling out the “timeline” update on the newsfeed and on profiles. Will fan pages be the next update? It is the logical progression. Since the fan page update at the beginning of 2011, Facebook has been updating the layout of the fan page in conjunction with the profiles. The main goal being consistency in the user experience.

The latest update for the profiles was not only a dramatic visual change but also a UI (user interface) change. It is changing how users are using Facebook. In fact, the new timeline profile is deepening the emotional connection between Facebook and its user. If Facebook updates fan pages as well, it has the potential to have a similar emotional effect.

The cover image will be a great opportunity for branding, with the profile image being the “face” of your engagement. The more graphic display will really encourage fan pages to post more dynamically using significantly more photos. Beyond using more photos, it will encourage businesses to use a more cohesive and truely graphic based brand strategy. The page itself will be like an interactive page from a magazine. It has the potentially to be incredible.

No profiles have gone public yet. Below is a mock up by the New York Agency Skinny of a potential fan page. The branding opportunity is incredible! Of course this means that people will need to strategically implement their fan page design, which means that marketing firms need to embrace social media design. The game is changing…and getting more aesthetically pleasing!

Burbery TImeline Fan Page

A mockup of the Burberry Fan Page by New York Agency Skinny. Click the image to see more mockups.

Facebook Helping Fan Pages…No, Really!

Social Media Strategist Lauren MacEwen holding Facebook recommendationsThere have been a lot of updates on Facebook fan pages over the past year. Some of these helped us out and some did not.  One feature that was removed was the ability to suggest your page.  But that is now changing, well kind of. Just like anything Facebook does, the update is not putting things back the way they were, rather it is improving on the original idea. Or at least trying to.

Recommendations

It use to be that you could suggest your page to your friends. It was a button at the bottom of your left nav menu. You clicked “suggest page” and you could send suggestions to all your friends. At one point this was a great way to spread the word very quickly about your page. If you were able to get someone who was influential on Twitter to suggest your page you could get literally hundreds of new fans over night! But then Facebook changed their notification system. So instead of seeing your page suggestions, they were buried in the Facebook matrix. This essentially left page suggestions completely impotent.

From that point the only way you could suggest a page was to post on your fan page and ask your friends to spread the word about you. Does this work? Yes, well sometimes. A lot of people don’t know how to “share” a post, or they are just not interested in doing PR for your fan page.  Though the suggest a page is not being brought back, Facebook mainframe is now going to actually help fan pages network with each other.

When you use facebook as your page you will now see 2 rows of recommended pages. The first row are generally recommended pages, based off of other pages you like. Then below that is another set of recommendations. These show pages that your fans like. Giving you the opportunity for your page to like pages that your fans like. This can be a big boost for engagement. By helping you find other pages that your fans like you can then like that page. It is safe to assume that if a lot of your fans like the same page that there might be other fans of that page that have not discovered you. So if you go on there and engage with posts, you might be able to capture some of their targeted audience.

Facebook Updates Become Nodates

Though most of you won’t ever notice, but Facebook is removing yet another feature from Fan Pages. You will no longer have the ability to update your fans via email. I am sure many of you are saying, wait! I had the ability to email my fans? Well, yes you did.  It was possible to send an email updating all of your fans about events or happenings on the page.  You could even target these updates based on location or gender.

But you are probably asking yourself why you have never received one of these updates? Well, it is likely that you have and did not know it. When Facebook updated their email service, they created their version of a spam box. It is a file on your email called “Other” this is where Facebook puts any email that it thinks is likely spam or unwanted. Of course this means any email from a fan page. They only way around emails not being filtered into this other box was to go into your email, open up a message and then move it to your “messages” box. Of course non of us ever did that. In fact, most of us never even go into the other box.  Writing this post promoted me to go into it for the first time in over 6 months.

Since all fan page emails get shoved into other as soon as it is sent, Facebook has decided to remove the option entirely. Often times when a big update goes through, like Facebook email, certain things don’t function the way they were anticipated. Though Facebook wants people to use their network as a primary email address, most people are not. Very few people look at Facebook as a way to communicate with people not on the social network, and they definitely do not view it as a replacement for their primary email address. So the spam filter is under utilized and generally ignored.

They will be removing the update fan option on September 30th. So there is still time to send emails that no one will see.

This is no time to tag…on Facebook

Social Media Strategist Lauren MacEwen, in the shirt Friends don't tag friends on Facebook

Friends don't tag friends on Facebook- oh yes, it was time for some bad photoshop work 😉

Feeling that it had been a little while since Facebook made a change to how you use it? Yeah, we did too. Thankfully they did not let us down and changed something else on Facebook engagement. You can no longer tag people on your fan page.

Many of you might be saying, “Wait, I could never tag people. Pages can’t tag people.” Well, you are not entirely wrong. A page cannot tag a person. However there was a loophole. If your personal profile was “friends” with someone, then you could tag them on your fan page as long as you were posting as admin.

Many people used this loop hole to use both their fan page and profile to promote their business. They would do massive networking through their profile to meet people. Then they would post on their fan page and tag people in their posts.  This form of tag spam has not been well received. The problem of course is that people don’t generally know who owns a page, so they don’t know who tagged them.

Facebook has been trying to balance the functionality of its business sector with the privacy of it s private sector. Ultimately the private sector must come first, as it is the bread and butter of Facebook. 750 million members are a lot of people, and Facebook wants to make sure that their needs are kept priority. Though many pages ill be upset about this change, this will keep business to fan pages and personal to personal pages. Well, for the most part. At the very least it will create a clean line between the two.

5 Tips for Boosting Facebook SEO

Facebook Search

Is your Facebook Fan Page helping your SEO?

SEO (search engine optimization) is not just for websites. You can also optimize your Facebook Fan Page for better search results. Not only will this help your searches inside Facebook, but it will also help with traditional search engines like Google and Bing. Plus, you’ll increase brand visibility for your Facebook Fan Page and the total visibility of your brand.

70% of brands have not optimized their Fan Pages and are missing out on some great search engine ranking opportunities.

How to boost your Facebook SEO

  1. Get a vanity URL
    The number one thing you need to do is get a vanity URL. This means that your URL is www.facebook.com/brand instead of, for instance,  www.facebook.com/page/brand=87465249. >Tech Tip: If you can’t get your actual brand name, get a vanity URL with your most used search term.
  2. Link to your Facebook Fan Page
    Linking to your Fan Page from your website will let you capitalize on the SEO done on your website. It gives you an inbound link which will help boost your FB SEO. In fact, link from all your pages. The more links, the better the SEO boost. >Tech Tip: Make sure your anchor text is something like “Brand Name on Facebook” and link it to your vanity URL, e.g. www.facebook.com/brandname – not www.facebook.com/brandname=sk?872635
  3. Use your brand name in your post
    Search engines scan the content of your page. If you use your brand name it will help boost the SEO for name recognition. >Tech Tip: Now you can tag the text in your posts for added SEO boost.
  4. Get links to your posts
    Get people to Like your posts. The more people share and Like your posts, the better the SEO value – Likes count as links! >Tech Tip: Post things that ask for social engagement; comments, sharing and Likes. This will drive up your engagement and thus your FB SEO
  5. Use Fan Boxes
    Facebook lets you put Fan Boxes on your website that can show your fans and feature your recent posts. This is a good way to build engagement and drive more fans to your site. >Tech Tip: If you don’t have many fans yet, set your fan box to show recent posts until you get more than 25 fans.

5 Ways to Breathe Life into your Facebook Fan Page

Tip Jar

  1. Show off your Peeps!
    A great way to get people interested in your page and in what you are doing is to include them. Pictures of abstract things, pretty landscapes or funny cats are great, but to get people involved with your page, post things that are relevant to them.  And what is more relevant to them than, well, them? Post pictures of your fans at events and in your store. Post pictures of your staff or of people using your product. People love to see pics they can relate to.
  2. Be funny!
    Everyone loves humor – it shows off your less serious side. It shows that you are not all about business and sometimes you like to cut loose. Social media is powerful because it allows people to get past the company front. It allows businesses the opportunity to become more human to their customers. Humor is the perfect way to break through that 4th wall. Of course, be sure to keep it light and within appropriate boundaries.
  3. Be interesting
    Are your posts thought-provoking, do they spark debate or are they fun? Etsy does a great job on their fan page by sharing some of their quirkier items. Their fans have a high likelihood of commenting on the product and sharing it on their fan page. Ultimately you want to share things that will engage your audience.
  4. Ask questions
    Asking for your fans’ thoughts or opinions is a great way to engage them. It encourages their involvement, which means they will be more invested in the issue. They will be interested in what other people say in response, and more likely to interact further. Once you get someone commenting on and participating with your page, they will be more likely to do it again. So ask your fans what they think; you might get some interesting and valuable feedback.
  5. Behind the Scenes
    We all want to see the man behind the curtain, just ask the Wizard of Oz. Show pictures and share stories about things that happen behind the scenes. Social media shares the personality of your business, and people like to see what happens behind the public front – it makes them feel more involved and in the know!

Facebook: Becoming a Blog?

Facebook is always trying to find new and interesting ways to promote content and make it more easily accessible. Social share features have increased the reach of Facebook, by integrating them with websites and encouraging people to share sites on their wall and on their friends’ walls.  To further increase their reach, Facebook has announced that they are adding a new feature: RSS feeds for fan pages.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is usually reserved for blog posts. It’s what allows you to receive updates in blog readers like Google Reader, where you can easily see all posts by their headlines.  Many people use RSS readers for their favorite blogs, so they can keep up with them without having to go to the blogsites. Some readers allow you to receive blog posts in your email, sending you the contents of the posts. But why does Facebook want to add an RSS feed to fan pages?

Facebook RSSIn theory this will let someone essentially subscribe to a fan page. Not only will you be able to see updates in your news feed, you will also be able to receive posts in your RSS reader. This is good for people who need to monitor certain pages, like politicians or large corporations.  If you are closely watching what a competitor is doing with their social media, this creates an easy venue in which to do it. However, the RSS feature is not likely to be valuable to people who are not using Facebook for professional reasons.

Some of you may be thinking: Facebook had an RSS feed for pages already, so why is this news?  You are right, they did. But recently Twitter and Facebook quietly removed their RSS feeds. Now Facebook has added it back in, along with a link on fan pages to subscribe. Will Twitter follow suit and bring their feed back? Good question. I think they will. An RSS feed provides another way for people to consume content, and ultimately that is key to social media social media success.

Tagging Photos: Engagement or Spam?

Facebook has made a bunch of changes to their tags.  First, you can shorten them. Second, you don’t need the @ symbol. Now, you can tag Fan Pages in pictures.  Wait –  did I read that right?  Yes!  Facebook is now allowing you to tag Fan Pages in pictures.

Tag SpamWhen Facebook launched the upgraded Fan Page, they significantly improved their ability to engage. You could use Facebook as your Fan Page identity. You could write on walls and comment on the posts of other Fan Pages. You can even Like other Fan Pages. But you could not tag another page in a picture.

For Fan Pages that post a lot of pics, this was actually a hindrance. I manage Fan Pages, and being able to engage with people and other pages on a variety of levels is incredibly important. For many of us who have a professional presence on Facebook, our Fan Page is our public face. So if you are going to tag us, we want you to tag our page.

Photos hold a higher level of engagement for people. Your posts are more likely to been seen and read if there is an image attached. People are just generally more interested in visuals, and more likely to comment on a photo than on a post.

The ability to tag a page in a photo will open up the opportunity for some interesting  marketing strategies, like product placement contests. It will also drive engagement higher. This is because just like tagging in a post, if you tag a photo, that photo will appear on that page’s wall. This will also make it much easier for fans to share photos with pages because they won’t have to upload a pic to their wall; all they  have to do is tag the pic. It is one less step, and that ensures a lot more sharing.

The big concern is abuse. This does open up an opportunity for more spam tagging and generally inappropriate tags. Thankfully, tags can be removed by the original poster. So hopefully tag spam will be monitored by the community.

I am very excited about the ability to tag photos!

Facebook lets you Unlike your Fans

black and white picture of screaming fans

Are your fans enthusiastic or crazy? Facebook is giving you control with regard to who Likes your page!

Facebook has added a great new feature for Fan Pages, the ability to unlike a page or person.  This may not sound so revolutionary, but it is because it gives a page control over who Likes their page. Facebook has finally made a big move to help out businesses!

In February Facebook made some big changes to the Fan Page. One of these was allowing Fan Pages the ability to Like other Fan Pages. However, there was a problem.  When you are a profile and someone wants to be friends with you, it has to be a mutual decision; they have to send you the friend request and then you have to approve it. But Liking a page was a one-way relationship – all you had to do was go there and Like it.

Issues arose because some pages were Liking a page and then posting inappropriate content. The page could remove the content, but they could not do anything about the page that Liked them.  Thus, they were being left open to more spam and also being associated with the spammer pages appearing in their list of Likes.  For instance, say a hate group Liked your page. If you went to their page you would be listed amongst the pages they had Liked. With the the Fan Page’s ability to set their featured page, you might even be a featured Like, and see your Fan Page displayed prominently on their sidebar!

Facebook has now given control to Fan Pages to Unlike  and remove a Like from their page.  You also have the ability to ban someone so they will not be able to post, or otherwise interact with your page.

This new feature doesn’t just let you kick people off your page, it will also help you engage better. You can now sort your fans by people and pages, so you can clearly see all the pages that Like your page. This gives you more opportunity to interact with other pages and deepen your relationships on Facebook.

This is an excellent new Facebook tool that will really help boost engagement and give more control over what happens on your page.