Five Twitter Tips Part 2

Here’s the second Twitter tips for you and yours.

Twitter takes a little bit more time to get used too than Facebook and Instagram, but it’s definitely one of the better social media platforms out there. Every self respected brand should be actively taking part in the conversation, respond to, and interact with, their fans and followers.

1. Keep your username short and simple
Since Twitter only gives you 160 tokens to type, or 140 if you add a link or photo, you want to make sure your username is short and simple. I would stay away from arithmetic operators (such as +, -, *, /,) and if possible, numbers. The longer your name the harder it is for people to retweet or quote your tweet. If the text gets too long Twitter makes the last part, that doesn’t fit in, into another link.

2. Use the Twitter search (now discover)
After the recent makeover Twitter renamed their Twitter search homepage discover. The function remains the same. This is where you find other people or brands you want to follow.
You can also search for hashtag that could be used by your possible consumers. Join the conversation and make yourself valuable. Once you gain the respect of people you can send them to your business side of things. Don’t start out with strictly business tweets. If you have no trust people will just see your shit as spam. And they’re right….

3. Shrink your URLs
Any URL that has 19 characters or more will be shortened by twitter to a “t.co” link. For now any link of 18 characters or less, will be left unchanged. But Twitter will sooner or later also change those links into a “t.co” link. The good thing with the t.co links it that you will be able to get the stats of the t.co link.
Once Twitter changes all links into their own t.co links, the use of any other link shortener will become useless. For now, I really like the is.gd link shortener. I’ve been using this one since the Libya drama raised some questions with all the .ly URLs, like bit.ly that many people use. Is.gd is one letter shorter anyway, which sometimes is just enough.
Or use the emeri.ca (or etnie.es) ones that I helped to get with Sole Tech uber webnerd Ivo Janssen (and fellow Dutchman) and Canadian distributor Timebomb. For instance, I just made a Emerica short link for my favorite Emerica shoe of the last few years, check emeri.ca/fredsfavorite.

4. Link to something mobile friendly
A lot of people use Twitter on their mobile (smart) phone, so make sure that whatever link you put in your tweets, works on a mobile. Whether it is a site or a video, nothing is more frustrating than not being able to see what the tweet talks about. And someone who gets frustrated might just not pursue to found out what the link is about. Or worse, stop following you.
So if you want to show a video link directly to the YouTube (or Vimeo) video. You agree with me that it wouldn’t be wise to link people to a site with a shitty video player right?

5. Fill out your bio and link to your website
Make sure to put some short info in your profile section, and add a link to your website. If people have never heard of you but they found you through a friend, a video, or an ad they need to be able to go to your website and see what you’re all about.
The website should be your main hub with information, your social media platforms is the place where you communicate with your fans, followers an consumers.

Check part 1 of the Twitter tips if you haven’t already.

Questions or comments? Drop a comment below!
Or hit me up on Twitter, @fredvanschie.

Monday Funday

When I first thought of something to post on Monday’s I was thinking about music that I like. Later I thought I should post a (skateboard) video part that I like. Music Mondays would be just music, and Movie Monday would not really describe a video part. So I thought of Monday Funday. Most people in the USA always refer to Sunday Funday, but that’s more or less related to watching jock sports and drinking a ton of booze. I’d rather skate.

Anyway, I wanted to kick this off with the Cairo Foster part from The Reason. Since the 411 SF part Cairo has been one of my favorite skateboarders. The song, “Carry The Zero” by Built to Spill fits the part perfect. The Reason is probably my favorite Transworld movie of all time, and definitely the one I watched the most.

Five Instagram Tips Part 2

Another batch of Instagram tips for your personal or business (brand) account.

1. Write a caption with each photo (especially when feeding it to Twitter)
The power that Instagram has over Twitter is obviously the photo. On Instagram the photo is the main feature, on Twitter it’s the text. If you attach a photo on Twitter it becomes a link, which people aren’t automatically clicking on. Your text has to convince them why they should take the time to open the photo.
When you feed an Instagram photo to twitter it also becomes a link. If you don’t write any text with it Twitter will put “posted a photo”, followed by the link to the Instagram photo. Boring, and chances are people aren’t as likely to click on the link. Regardless, I want to know your thoughts or ideas about the photo you just uploaded to the Insta feed! Or when the products you’re trying to promote is dropping, or what the price is.

I’m not the biggest fan of feeding into all the different social media platforms, but Instagram to Twitter is one of the few that actually works. I highly recommend not doing it every single time, since you want to have some unique content on both platforms.
When you feed your Instagram photo into Twitter write some text with it. Only the first 140 tokes (plus the link to the Instagram photo) show up on Twitter, so keep it short and sweet. If you tag people make sure their name is the same on twitter (doesn’t make sense to tag some random person on Twitter right?). And don’t forget a hashtag or two, as the work both on Instagram and on Twitter.

2. Geo-tag with respect
Geo-tag your location if you can. Don’t ruin a brand new street spot you just found, but hype up (the exact) location of your favorite skateshop or skatepark. Make it easy for people to find it too. As a brand or (sponsored) skateboarder you can stoke out a skateshop with this. When you visit a shop, that carries your product(s), take a photo of the storefront or of the owner/employees and give them a shout out on the Insta. Maybe even leave some promo stuff for future buyers? They’ll be thankful when even one person comes in their store to claim the promo stuff.

3. Shoot photos with your regular camera
Even though the Instagram app allows you to take a photo from within the app, I highly suggest using the regular camera (or camera +) app on the phone. Within instagram itself the camera won’t focus as well, and you can’t really zoom out. With a bigger photo (taken with the regular camera), you also have a little bit more room to play with.

4. Resize the photo right after you upload it
If you take a photo with the camera first, and then upload the photo into Instagram, it might look as if the photo is stuck in a certain position. But when you put 2 fingers on the outside parts of the photo, and move the fingers towards each other, the photo becomes free to move around. I would also do this when you want to zoom in on the photo.

5. Comment on every photo in which people (hash)tag you or your brand
Like or comment on every photo that people tag you in, especially if you are a brand, shop or sponsored skateboarder.
For brands the tags and hashtags might be a lot in a short time, and since Instagram only shows the last 50 comments and likes, it can be hard to keep track of it and respond in time. But you can go behind a computer to take care of it. The best site to use for this is Ink361.com (previously Inkstagram.com). Log in and use the search bar to find mentions or hashtags. I’d prefer to leave a comment instead of a like, but it’s a little bit more work.
You should also search for some hashtags that aren’t about you or your brand specific, but are used by your (possible) consumer. Any brand in skateboarding could look at “#skateboarding” and stoke out some people.

You don’t think people would appreciate that? Here is an example….

A few weeks ago I posted a photo of the Fallen shoes I had gotten from Fallen TM Ian Berry. (Thanks again Ian!) After a skate session I posted a photo of it and used the hashtag #risewiththefallen with the photo.

Within a few minutes Jamie Thomas liked my photo, and despite the fact that I know him a little bit, it’s still pretty damn sick that the owner of Fallen likes my post (as the first person). And I know most people that ride a skateboard, young or old, would feel the same way. Yes, at the age of 33 I’m still a skate rat and people like Jamie inspire me a lot.

After a little bit I clicked on the hashtag #risewiththefallen and saw that Jeremy Wlaschin used the same hashtag (and #skateboarding) for 2 photos he had uploaded of his Fallen shoes. (For the record, I have never met Jeremy)

I texted Jamie Thomas and suggested he should like all the photos with the #risewiththefallen hashtag. At the time it was 5 photos, including mine. I knew the people would be stoked once they saw that Jamie Thomas liked their photo.

Only a few minutes later Jeremy Wlaschin uploaded a screen shot of the 2 likes that Jamie Thomas had given the photos with the #risewiththefallen hashtag. Both photos had Fallen shoes in them, and this buyer, and most likely Fallen and Jamie Thomas fan, was super stoked that Jamie liked his two photos.

You think Jeremy will buy another pair of Fallen pair in the next few months?
And if so, will he post a photo of it again on his Instagram? (For all his friends to see)
And maybe even tag Jamie Thomas?

This is a perfect example of why your brand should be pro-active on the social media platforms. And search Instagram (and Twitter) for the various hashtags that your consumers might use.
The ROI of Instagram, and social media in general….

Questions or comments? Drop ‘em below!
Or shoot me an email at fred@fredvanschie.com.

For more Instagram tips see part 1 from last week.

Five Facebook Tips #3

Another Friday so that means some more Facebook tips.
Here are 5 more for this week.

1. Tag other brands and people when you can
When you tag another brand (or person), your post shows up on their wall. So if you’re fan page only has a small amount of fans it’s a great way to expose your brand to new fans. Make sure to do this right and don’t just tag to tag (spam!). Also tag them withing the sentence you’re writing, not at the end of your text by itself.
To tag another brand/person just type the “@” sign followed by the name of the brand/person you want to tag. Make sure you tag the right one since a lot of brands (and pro skateboarders) have fake pages.
Tagging is also an easy way to show the brands that you’re doing your job. Let’s say you run a skateshop and you just received new Toy Machine boards. By telling your fan base about this shipment (with a photo or link), and tagging Toy Machine, the people at Toy Machine will be thankful that you’re promoting their products. And since you are making your consumers aware of this you are gonna drive traffic (and sales!) to your store.


* Example of the Metro skateshop Facebook page tagging Venture trucks

2. Keep the text short, but not too short
Twitter only allows you 160 tokens (140 with a photo or link), which sometimes might not be enough to trigger someone to click the link or photo. I know I’d always like to type more.
I keep repeating myself (already), but less is more. My general rule with a Facebook post, when I post a photo or link, is to write maximum 2 lines of text. Try to stay away from just typing text! Get a photo or a link in your post.

3. Don’t send people to your blog in every post
Interaction happens on Facebook, like it or not. Sending people to your blog for every update you do won’t help. People don’t like to leave Facebook, so post the YouTube/Vimeo video on Facebook (and blog!), post the product (photo) on Facebook (and blog!) and ask questions and respond to them (interaction!) on Facebook. People know that they can go to your site anytime to look at product, your teamriders, contact info etc. Your website should be treated more as a homebase. People can always go back weeks or months later to find stuff on your blog. It’s easier to look stuff up than on Facebook.
Websites are becoming less important since people don’t really surf the web on their smartphone, so adapt to that. As a brand or shop you’re fine with doing 2-5 blog updates a week. But you should be posting on your Facebook page 2-5 times per 24 hours!

4. Stop posting mostly product
Don’t treat your Facebook page like a boring product page. Again, it’s less about your brand and more about the interaction. You want to create an emotional connection with your (future) consumer.
Asking your fans about their favorite pizza or plans for the weekend will get more interaction than most product posts. It also shows that you actually care about what your fans have to say. And caring is more than half the battle. Try it out and you’ll see.

5. Re-post good content
Some people might disagree with this but I think it’s totally fine to post a good video multiple times in the first 48-72 hours. Pretty much all your fans will see your updates in their newsfeed (and not on your page), so it’s only visible for a few hours, if that.
The average person has in between 200-300 friends, so their feed is filled with updates from their friends and (fan) pages they like. So if you post something in the morning and someone checks their Facebook feed in the afternoon, it’s most likely he or she won’t see your update.
You can post a video even after a few weeks, and it will still be seen by new people. The people that have already seen it might give it a like since they loved the video when they saw it the first time. This comment or like will show up on their feed so all their friends might be triggered to watch it too, and possible comment, like or even share it. The more people see your video the better right?
I was doing this with a lot of the Theotis Beasley sponsor me reviews on the Altamont Facebook page last year quite a bit, and every time I would post it I was amazed how many comments and likes it got, even after re-posting it for the third time after a few days it was posted for the first time.

Questions or comments? Drop ‘em below!
Or shoot me an email at fred@fredvanschie.com.

Also check out “Five Facebook Tips #2” from last week.

Mobile Is Taking Over In 2012

If it doesn’t work on a mobile (smart) phone, forget about it.

2012 is gonna be the year that mobile will be dictating what is gonna reach the consumer. Social media is playing a huge part in this change.

On a daily basis, how often do you visit a website on your mobile device? Not very often huh? How often do you check Facebook, Twitter or Instagram on your phone? Five times a day? Five times an hour? Probably way more than you realize….

A few weeks ago I found out Chris Haslam was the newest rider for Bones wheels. How did I find out? Through the Bones wheels Instagram. I didn’t even see, hear or read it somewhere else. I actually still haven’t, and that’s fine. (Because I didn’t look at other news outlets). The different social media platforms on my iPhone are the tools that keep me up to date these days.

I’m 33 years old right now and I remember a time when there wasn’t any internet. But when the internet came up and took over I went along with it. If I still would have stuck with reading print magazines and watching skateboard videos/DVDs I would find out news way later than everyone else. And I would probably miss a lot of skateboarding clips/parts, since most of them only show up online. Social media is web 2.0, meaning it’s the next step, and guess what? If you’re not adapting to this, you’re gonna loose the game. It’s very simply.

The youth always is the future, so anyone over 20 isn’t really having an influence on where things are gonna go. The future is in the hands of the 15 year old skate rat that has some kind of smart phone. Maybe not the latest iPhone 4s, but more likely the hands me down iPhone 3s from one of his parents or his older brother.
And this kid, who is the main consumer for any skateboard brand out there, is getting his skateboard news through his Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account, on his phone. If it’s not posted on social media there is a very big chance he is gonna miss whatever you’re trying to get out. There is so much content being put out every day that’s it’s not easy to get it in front of the consumer. Of course, great content will reach your consumer, but wouldn’t it be great if it reached even more people? Meaning new consumers….

One of the key things for mobile is video. So make it easy for yourself and stop using your own video player. Even if it does work on a mobile device and plays withing Facebook. There are only 2 video platforms that will help you really get your video content out, YouTube and Vimeo. Everyone knows how to email, share (on social media) and embed a YouTube video. Also, do you want a ton of people see your video or you just want your own little group of regular website visitors to see it?
I personally like Vimeo better, but YouTube is the way to go. You need to go where the people are. With 4 billion views per day, YouTube videos are they way to go. I still think you need to upload the videos to your Vimeo account, but YouTube is the way to get the views.

To quote my friend, and etnies video head honcho, Dustin Aron; “If YouTube is good enough for Lady Gaga, it’s good enough for any brand in skateboarding”. “Nuff said!

Questions or comments? Drop ’em below!
Or shoot me an email at fred@fredvanschie.com.

Sync Up Your Social Media Sites

One of the basics of social media is that people need to find you. And the easier you make it for them, the better. It also makes it easy for people to know it’s really you. There are a lot of fake accounts out there, mainly on Facebook and YouTube.

When your brand name is Emerica it’s fairly easy, as the word Emerica is really only used by the skate shoe company. When I started working for Emerica in June 2010 one of the first things I did was sync up all the social media sites. It took me about 4 weeks but it was well worth it. At the same time I found out Emerica.com was reclaimed a few years prior so the web guys forwarded Emericaskate.com to that.
Look how simple it is now! Can’t get any easier than that huh?

Pretty hyped I got this all fixed. You want to do the same? I highly recommend you do! It’s not super easy but it’s far from impossible. Here’s my breakdown.

YouTube is by far the hardest company to deal with. Besides the fact that it takes them a long time to respond they won’t transfer your videos, views, or comments over. So when they gave me the URL youtube.com/Emerica I had to upload all the videos again. This was right before Stay Gold dropped, so I knew the views and comments would soon go through the roof.
I still don’t understand why people would name their YouTube URL their brand name followed by films, tv, or movies. I mean, what else is YouTube about?

MySpace is on it’s way out so I don’t think we have to worry about that to much in 2012.

Facebook used to be fairly easy. The first email I sent was answered by this girl Valerie that helped me change the URL for the Emerica, Altamont and eS Facebook page. She also shut down fake pages for all 3 brands and moved the fans over to the real pages. She did similar things for the facebook fan pages of Andrew Reynolds, Ed Templeton, Brandon Westgate, Garrett Hill, Braydon Szafranski, Aaron Suski, Kenny Hoyle and Theotis Beasley. Numerous times she shut down fake pages for Jerry Hsu and Kevin “Spanky” Long. (Both guys asked me to do that since they didn’t want to have a profile on Facebook.)
I even hooked up my friends at ThirtyTwo, etnies, Zoo York, Flip, Zoo York, Nixon and Shake Junt with my contact, and she took care of similar issues for them. Unfortunately she isn’t responding anymore. They probably got overwhelmed with all the requests from everyone. Now you just get automated emails back that tell you to check out the help section. So think about it before you claim your username at facebook.com/username! You can check out the help page if you need more info.

Twitter makes it really easy to change your username if your name isn’t taken. If it is taken you can either try to contact the user or file a trademark claim. When the username you want is inactive filing a trademark claim is really the only way to do it. But just like Facebook, Twitter has been a lot harder to get a hold of in the last few months. Pretty bad on their end, as it would be in their favor to, as it would help them too if brands can use their own name on Twitter. (Like the inactive @vans account I mentioned yesterday).

Vimeo wasn’t to much of an issue, although I don’t really recall how easy or difficult it was. I guess that means it was easy. If you do need help I suggest to contact them through their copyright page.

Instagram wasn’t on the radar yet in 2010, so it wasn’t on this flyer. In the late spring of 2011 I emailed them a few times with some minor issues. Best thing they did for me is help me with Garret Hill’s username. I told them Altamont teamrider Garrett Hill used @GarrettHill on Twitter and he would really like to use the same name on Instagram. I never checked to see who had it, but Garrett told me a pizza plaza in Pennsylvania was using it. Either way, Instagram kicked off whoever was using it and gave it to Garrett. Power moves, haha!
Instagram used to have a contact email on their homepage. Now you can go to their (pretty extensive) help page or send them an email.

I hope you realize you need to be pro-active when it comes to (new) social media platforms, both for yourself and the brands you work for/with! If you wait, you’re too late! If you see that a new social media platform is on the come up, sign up for it and claim your username. You don’t have to start using is straight away, but it will save yourself a lot of hassle if this new social media platform blows up!

Your fans and followers will go with you to a new social media platform, and if you lead them there (instead of the other way around) it will look good on your end. Lead not follow!

Questions or comments? Drop a comment below!
Or shoot me an email at fred@fredvanschie.com.

Five Twitter Tips #1

The start of the weekly Twitter tips, more or less every Tuesday.
A lot of people don’t like Twitter, or should I say, don’t want to invest their time and effort in Twitter? It’s not easy to say things in 140 tokes (120 if you attached a photo), trust me, I know all about that. But once you learn how to post things and interact, it has a huge potential.

Just like every other social media platform, Twitter is a 2-way street, so posting stuff isn’t as important as the interaction with your followers. Here are 5 tips for using Twitter.

1. Don’t start a tweet with another username, unless you only talk to them
If you start a tweet with “@username”, your tweet will only show up to the people that follow both you and “@username”. So it’s sort of a private tweet, but not really. So I’d often start a tweet with words like so, Mr, yes, yup, etc. Even a dot (.) will work.
This also applies to your Instagram posts if you feed them into Twitter!
Bonus tip: If you want to send someone a private message you can send them a direct message. They have to follow you BTW (so brands can’t spam people).

2. Respond to everyone, good or bad
The fact that people are talking about you or your brand on Twitter should be seen as something that’s more powerful that any ad. Who would you trust? Your close friends telling you how rad a certain brand/product is, or a brand promoting their own stuff? Right. So reply to all the questions that people are asking you, and thank people if they just bought your product(s) or are just hyped on your brand.
And if people post a complaint about your brand? Show them that you care and try to fix it as soon as you can. It all has to be within reason, but a new pair of shoes or a pair of jeans with some stickers go a long way. It’s about the long term of your brand, so it’s worth investing a pair pair of shoes, trust me. And the right customer service will make people post a positive tweet about you in no time. And they will follow you more closely and probably will be a brand ambassador in no time. Simply because you showed them your brand is personable, and not to cool for school.

3. Quote a tweet instead of retweet
A ton of (simple and plain) retweets tells me that people handling the twitter account(s) for your brand are lazy. The twitter app (on the iPhone) also gives you the option to quote a tweet. Even a simple “thank you” makes a retweet much more powerful. And this way the text they wrote, plus your answer, can be seen by your followers. So now all your followers see that you care about them and they might interact with you sooner or later. Ow, and I prefer to put the text in front of the quoted tweet, not behind it.

4. Tag other people/brands so they see your tweet
Your brand might be small, but others have Twitter accounts that are way bigger than yours. You might share a teamrider, or your brand gets some love on their blog, etc. If you tag them they see it and if they are nice (and smart) they will retweet (or quote) your tweet so it gets exposed to all their followers. You want to do this EVERY tweet. Each brand gets more followers every day, so new people can see your brand at any given time.

5. Don’t follow everyone and their mother
If you’re a brand and you respect yourself, should follow about 10% of the amount of people that follow you. So if you have 1,500 followers you should follow roughly 150 people and brands. I even think the bigger you get the less people (percentage wise) you should follow.
Let’s say you’re Vans (skate) and you have 70,000 followers on Twitter. You’d be nuts to follow all those people, shops, distributors, etc. Instead have them mention you (@vans_66) and you can quote, retweet or reply to them.
Funny side note: WTF is up with the @vans account? Cute dog and all, but couldn’t someone at the VF corp claim that name? Seems to me the account is inactive, which makes it looks even worse….

Questions or comments? Drop a comment below!
Or hit me up on Twitter, @fredvanschie.

Five Instagram Tips Part 1

Instagram came and conquered 2011. If you haven’t heard of it by now, it’s basicly a mix between Twitter and Hipstamatic. Snap a photo, add a filter (optional), add some text (optional) and upload it to the feed.

While the app only works on the iPhone (and iPad & iPod touch) it went from 1 million to 15 million users in 2011. Can’t thank the homie Steve Clare enough for the skype call in February of last year and telling me I needed to join in. My first insta photo was a photo of that skype call….

A lot of people in the skateboard industry (riders, employees, shops) joined the madness in 2011 and surely but slowly brands are seeing the value too. Along with Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is the social media platform where your brand needs to be present.

Here are some tips and tricks for using Instagram, both on a personal and on a brand level.

1. Sync your username to Twitter (and all other social media)
I’m all about syncing all your usernames, but since a lot of people feed their Instagram into Twitter it’s very important for you, and your brand, to make sure both usernames are the same. This also allows people to respond to an instagram post on your twitter. Even though I’m all about the iPhone there is a huge amount of people on Twitter that use a different mobile device. And ‘currently’ Twitter has 100 million active users, Instagram has 15 million (Jan 1, 2012).

2. Use your hashtags wisely
The world famous pound (#) key is slowly loosing it’s meaning to the hashtag. When you post a photo about skateboarding, just write (hashtag) “#skateboarding” instead. Once you post the insta photo you can click on the hashtag and see all the photos that people have posted with the same hashtag. It’s a great way to find people with similar interests. And others can find you too.
I’m all about using the hashtag, and the “at symbol” (@) in the actual caption, so it reads like a normal sentence. E.g. “Loving my new @zeroskateboards deck, #skateboarding rules!”
And please don’t use more than 3 hashtags that make sense in the caption. Using 10 lame hashtags to gain more followers is making you look very desperate! (#iphoneography, #instagram, #popularpage, #follow, #followback, #swag, etc)

3. Don’t clog the feed
One of the main themes for social media in 2012 is LESS IS MORE, and Instagram is no exception to that trend. I recently tried to post no more than 3-4 photos a day. Your life, or brand, is no doubt way cooler than mine, and I’m not being sarcastic here. Even though I keep unfollowing (and follow) people that clog my feed (“cloggers”), less is more. Good content will attract people, but too much of anything…. You know the rest.

4. Size your photo right
When taking a photo on your iPhone hold the phone up straight, no landscape photos for instagram please. (It’s pretty much the same for every blog out there.) The black bar on the top and bottom doesn’t help the look of the photo. One out of 5, or maybe even 10, can be a product shot (plug), but just have your designer size it up right. I normally size the product images to 900×900, then email the photo to myself, save it on my iPhone, and then upload it to Instagram. A minimal effort that makes it look that much better. And I’m an amateur!

5. Promote your Instagram
After I got on Instagram in February 2011, and saw that most of the Altamont teamriders where on it too, it was time to start an Altamont Instagram and start promoting it. While most not so social media people in the office asked me if “Instagram was gonna be the new Facebook”, I went ahead and worked with Altamont designer Tristan Ellis on a flyer. Right before I was gonna post it on various Altamont social platforms Patrick O’Dell walked into the office. I asked him if he wanted to start an Instagram account, so we could include him on the flyer, and he did….
I remember running into Figgy a few days later and he was all hyped that he gained a couple hundred followers in a few days. Yup, it’s really that easy.

* I ran the Altamont Instagram from April 2011 til early December 2011
** DGK took it to another level with their Instagram ad in the Transworld Skateboarding (Dec 2011)

Questions or comments? Drop a comment below!

Five Facebook Tips #2

1. Don’t auto feed into Twitter, or vice versa
Facebook and Twitter are two different social media platforms, and you should update them separately. When you tag another brand or person on Facebook, and you auto feed the Facebook update into Twitter, your tagging won’t translate. When your Twitter feeds your Facebook (fan) page, you’ll just see text, possibly followed by a link (t.co/something). The link might contain a photo, that you could have posted directly onto Facebook. And remember what I said last week about posting a photo on Facebook?

2. Post a YouTube or Vimeo link directly on your Facebook page.
Print is dead, and websites are next. So be smart and paste the URL of the YouTube or Vimeo video directly on Facebook (last week I showed you how to post a link). If you think people will click the link to your blog post just to watch the video, you loose at least half of the viewers. And you want people to see your video right?
And fuck your video player, if you don’t believe that YouTube (and Vimeo) are good enough for you and/or your brand you’re blowing it. Half the time your high tech videoplayer won’t work on Facebook, let alone people will try to find the link or embed code for it and post it on their Facebook or blog.
Extra tip: Vimeo is rad but YouTube has a waaaay bigger reach. If you only post your video on Vimeo some kid will rip it and post it on his YouTube channel. And guess where most consumers will search for your video….

3. Stop trying to send people to all your other social media platforms
I get it, besides a Facebook page your brand also has an account on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo and probably some other social media platforms. But no need to tell your Facebook fans that every day. Of course you can tell them every once in a while, but your Facebook fans are on following your brand on Facebook for a reason. No need to tell them they might be better of somewhere else.
And when you post a YouTube or Vimeo video once a week the fans with a YouTube or Vimeo account will subscribe to your video channel on their own. People are smarter than you think!

4. Post live updates
One of the main reasons why social media is called web 2.0 is the fact that it’s so much easier to update. Leave your laptop at home, your iPhone can do it all for you in cases like this. And no matter where your fans are in the world, if you’re at an event you can make them feel that they are right there with you (VIP style).
The two times the Altamont Apparel Facebook had the most interaction in 2010 was during Wild in the Streets LA (June 21st) and the Maloof Money Cup in New York City (June 4-5). Why? Cause at least once every 30 minutes I would upload a photo of an Altamont teamrider. Which skateboarder/Altamont fan doesn’t want to see a photo of Andrew Reynolds, Bryan Herman, Figgy, Theotis Beasley, etc at these events?

5. Promote your actual Facebook URL
In the last few years brands are slowly realizing that social media is the future. The ones that don’t are gonna loose in the end. It’s just history repeating. So next time you’re dropping an ad or video (to promote a product) make sure to display your Facebook URL clearly. Not just the Facebook logo/icon, you have to tell people exactly where to go. Many brands have fake pages ran by fans, so you have to promote the Facebook URL every time you drop an ad or video. Most people will see the ad or video on social media anyway, which means they are behind a computer or smartphone, so they can go to Facebook right then and start following you. And if you don’t think your consumer is among the 800 million Facebook users, your brand/product probably shouldn’t be sold anyway….

Find me on Facebook at facebook.com/fredvanschie.

Questions or comments? Drop a comment below!
Or shoot me an email at fred@fredvanschie.com.

Also check out “Five Facebook Tips #1” from last week.

Five Facebook Tips #1

Here are some Facebook tips for a personal profile and a fan page.

1. How to post a link.
When posting a link post the URL into the status bar, hit the space bar once and wait for the text (and image) to pop up below. Now delete the URL and type in the text. If the link contains multiple images you can choose which image you want to show with the post.

2. Claim your Facebook URL and sync it with the others.
If you haven’t done this already you better get this going asap! Go to facebook.com/username and pick a URL for your personal profile or the brand page(s) you handle. Try to keep it short and possibly use the same name as your website and other social media sites.
E.g. My website is fredvanschie.com, my facebook URL is facebook.com/fredvanschie (and my twitter is twitter.com/fredvanschie). Make it easy for yourself and for your followers to find you!

3. Post a photo to start interaction.
Photos will most of the time get the most engagement, followed by video and text. With any smartphone it’s super easy to snap a photo and upload it. When posting a video remember to leave the URL out of the post (see #1). Don’t be afraid to ask a question, your followers want to interact with you!

4. Respond to every comment or question.
When running a fan page for a brand or organization YOU HAVE TO reply to everyone. The fact that people are posting on your wall should be seen as ultimate promotion for you and your brand. Thank people for posting stuff, asking questions, or just telling you how much they like your brand or product. When someone posts something negative don’t delete it, but answer their complaint/concern and see if you can help them. Big chance that if you solve the issue they will leave a positive comment in the near future.

5. Facebook is not a website!
The best thing about social media is that it’s a 2-way of communication. So stop pushing your shit down people’s throat! If people follow you that means they are interested in your brand. So try to get a conversation going. Don’t post product every day, as people can go to your website at any time to see your collections. The brands that are making an emotional connection will grow their business sooner than later. The more personal a brand becomes, the more likely the followers are to buy it’s product and tell their friends and family about it.

And yes, it is a lot of work, but who said running a business was easy?

Questions or comments? Drop a comment below!
Or shoot me an email at fred@fredvanschie.com.