Five Facebook Tips 7

It’s late this Friday. Had a lot going on this past week, both personal and social media wise.
On the social media front, the main thing by far was the building of some custom tabs. Major thanks to my Dutch friend Jamy Vodegel for telling me about WP4FB, and helping me guide me through the whole process. Check out his website wooster.nl. It’s in Dutch so you might have to get some Rosetta Stones CDs before….
(More on the WP4FB Facebook tabs/apps in future blog posts)

Here are some more tips for your Facebook strategy. Read up and help yourself, and your brand!

1. Facebook still overrules any other social media platform
Right now Facebook has 845 million monthly active users, so it’s by far the biggest social media platform out there. YouTube is the only one that is coming close to this massive number, but it’s a different kind of interaction.
I firmly believe your brand should be active on Twitter, Instagram, and soon on Pinterest and Google Plus, but none of those are even coming close to the reach you can have on Facebook.
Your main marketing focus right now should be on Facebook! So be present on there more than anywhere else. I love Instagram, Twitter is rad, Google Plus is growing, Pinterest is gaining a lot of momentum recently, but you want to be where (the most) people are at. It’s that simple.

2. Leak future product
Want to get real feedback from (your) real fans and consumers? Want to tease them with what’s coming soon? Want to see what people are into? No better way to do this on social media, and Facebook in particular. Post a photo on Facebook and asked the fans what they like.
Want to take it a step further? Make your fans pick the color of a future product. Show them 2 shoes, one blue and one red, and have the fans pick which one you should produce. Once this shoe drops and a fan see this shoe at his local skateshop, you think he/she is gonna be stoked? You bet. He/she’ll even be more stoked if it is the colorway he/she voted for. Interaction that is driving sales!

3. Post with reasonable time intervals
There are a lot of different theories for how often you should (or can) post on Facebook. Bottom line, their are no set rules for this.
In early 2011 I read an article (can’t find anymore, sorry) that a Facebook post is valid for about 80 minutes. That’s 1 hour and 20 minutes.  People have an average of 200-300 friends on their Facebook, so your post will move down the newsfeed pretty damn quick.
When I was handling the Altamont Facebook page (June 2010 – Dec 2011) I would post on average 3-6 times per 24 hours. And never more than once every 1-2 hours, with some exceptions (e.g. Wild in the Streets, Maloof Cup, Shakejunt premiere)
Per 24 hours, not just between 9am and 5pm. Some of the posts with the most interaction where early in the morning or late at night. Cause 6am in California is 9am in New York and 3pm in Amsterdam. Think global!

4. Convert your friends profile into a fan page
You’re a real business? You take your business serious? You want your brand to grow in the future? Then don’t open a friends profile but start a fan page.
Besides the fact that it goes against the Facebook Terms (4.4), and they can take down a friends profile at any time if you use it for your business or brand, you want to think bigger, and long term.
I know, you can befriend others with a friends profile, which gives you a quick(er) start, but if you’re good enough you will get there. It’s might take some time but most businesses take time to grow.
A friends profile can also have a max of 5,000 friends. And yes, you are bigger than that. And if not, that’s fine. Some smaller brands, or shops, or distributors can run more then fine with “just” a few thousand fans. If those are your consumers, and you interact with them, you’re good. And you will grow.
I can give a handful more of reasons, but I’ll mention one more. You can chat on a friends profile, but you have time to chat to 5,000 people? One on one chat sessions are way too private anyway. Have them post a comment or question or your wall so everyone can see your answer, and even join the conversation if they want!

PS. If you have a friends profile for your business, check the Facebook help section on how to convert it to a fan page.
Michiel Gaasterland has some great info too on his blog.

5. Use YouTube to promote your Facebook
Facebook is the biggest social media platform, YouTube is the 2nd largest one. So if you’re smart you use both of these.
I always put the Facebook, Twitter and website URL in the video description (as the only text). Make sure to post “http://facebook.com/xxx” and not just “facebook.com/xxx”. The “http” will make it a click-able link.
When you post the YouTube video on Facebook the description shows up. Forget writing a ton of info in the description. Less is more remember, and if people really want to find out more about your brand they will click the facebook (or twitter or website) URL.

FYI: The only reason I would add the website URL is because some people are afraid Facebook (or Twitter) might die soon, so people know what the website URL is.
Someone that will click the Facebook link will most likely become a fan so you can inform him “every day” for the rest of his/her life. And why do you think a (one-time) website visit might be better?

Most people see a YouTube video (fuck your own video player!) on Facebook so this is a good way to you grow your fanbase. They are only 2 clicks away from being a Facebook fan. And with other brands and people posting your YouTube video on their Facebook this can add a good amount of valuable fans pretty quickly.

Here’s is an example of how this will look on Facebook:

It works pretty much the same with Vimeo:

Vimeo is the only video player besides YouTube that you should/could use in my opinion. I like it better than YouTube. You can choose your own thumbnail and even make a custom URL for the video.
But YouTube is the Google for videos. How many times do you search a video on YouTube? How many times do you go to Vimeo to do that? Again, you want to be where the people are at!

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

Also check out “Five Facebook Tips #6” from last week.

Five Facebook Tips 6

Another work week is at it’s end. After yet another tradeshow (Magic in Las Vegas) and the Transworld Skateboarding awards in LA last Thursday night it’s time to get back on the “regular” grind on Tuesday (Monday is President’s Day). Here are some more Facebook tips that hopefully help you in the social media stratosphere.

1. Promotions guidelines
Want to do a giveaway on your Facebook page? A sweepstake? Better have a look at the promotional guidelines of Facebook. Their rules and regulations regarding promotional activities on your page are pretty crazy.
You need to run any kind of promotion or giveaway on a special created tab. And those (additional) tabs aren’t visible from a mobile device FYI. (Nice fail Facebook!)
People also can’t enter a giveaway by simply “liking your page”. And you can’t notify winners through a Facebook message or chat.
These are just a few examples. So do yourself a favor and read the promotional guidelines before your page gets (temporarily) shut down.

2. Install Facebook comments on your website

With less and less people surfing the web (on their phones) and more and more people getting their news through social media, the comments on your website become less meaningful.

I was stoked to see that Thrasher Magazine switched to Facebook only comments on their website in mid 2011. Even though the number of comments per post went down, the comments that were posted were real ones. No random hate rants and way less cuss words. Why? Because now it shows who the person behind the comment is.
Tony Vitello of Thrasher told me: “We wanted accountability with our commenting and their system makes the most sense right now. It’s not perfect, but it’s simple and relatively low maintenance.”
I’m not of a web nerd myself but ask your webguy or Google it, it won’t be difficult to install the Facebook comments on your website.

Because of the Facebook comment system the Thrasher website content gets around very quickly too. For example, if I leave a comment on, or like, a post the Thrasher website, all my personal Facebook friends see that in their newsfeed. And not that I’m such a huge influencer among my friends, but if my friends comment on something (or like it), there is a big chance that I’m interested in that content too.
This works already for comments within Facebook, but I think it’s good to get your website involved too.

3. Geo-tag if needed (fan page only)
I rarely use this but if you want you can specify which fans see your update. As a brand I think you should show your fans that you are represented all around the world.
But if you want to promote something for a specific country, in a language that you normally don’t use on your Facebook page (French, Spanish, etc), they geo-tagging might be a great tool to use. If you do this just be prepared for questions in this language. Vous parlez Francais?
People travel as well, so I could be in LA today and in Amsterdam tomorrow, so I might just be able to attend this party your distributor is throwing on the other side of the world.
How to geo-tag? Below the status box, and left of the “share” button, click on the arrow. Click on location/language and fill in who you want to reach. You can get really specific, see the screen shot below.

Note: if you’re an admin for the fan page you will always see any update (even if another admin posted it)

4. Create an event page for all your events
Whether you are throwing a house party, going on tour with your band, or have a video premiere, always create an event for it on Facebook. People are moving away from the computer and spending more time on their smartphone (iPhone) and tablet (iPad).
Once you’ve create an event all your fans can decide to “join”, “maybe” or “decline” the invite to the event. If you hit “join” or “maybe”, the event gets put in your calender of upcoming events.
Say its the night of the event, and you ended up in the area of the event. You pull out your phone, open up the Facebook app and go to the events tab. Now select the event you want to go to.

You can see all the details of the party. Click on “Get Directions” and Maps app will open (on your iPhone) with the directions to the event.
Great way to get to last minute people that weren’t sure to come out. Or even the people that were already on the way and needed last minute directions.

5. Use different wording when posting on multiple pages
More than a few brands (in skateboarding) belong to the same owner/distribution. But every brand has a different image and voice. That’s why the other brand(s) were created right? To do something different and attract a different consumer.
I understand if one person handles the social media for multiple brands, but I think it’s very important to make sure to have a different voice for each brand. You do have different logos, ads, colors and products for each brands, so why not extend that to the social media.
If you post the exact same text, photo, video, etc on various brand pages, than why did you create another brand after all? Even though a lot of people know that some brands are connected with each other, every brands has it’s own fans and consumers. So post different stuff, at different times, with different words. If you have more than one person for your social media it will be good to give each person one, or multiple, fan page(s).
I also strongly recommend to not share the posts of other brands, but rather tag the other brand (page) in your post.

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

Also check out “Five Facebook Tips #5” from last week.

Five Facebook Tips 5

Thank god it’s Friday right? Here are 5 more free tips and tricks to maximize your Facebook presence. Hope they help you!

1. The link tab is back (for fan pages)
Just like any website, you want to tuck away the URLs of your links. Make it look nice and clean. With the return of the link tab it’s super easy (again).
Above the status box, the link button is in between the photo and the video button. Click on the link button, paste your link into the box that appears, and hit attach. Now Facebook gives you the option to choose one of the photos that are in your blog post. If you only have one photo, then that’s the photo that will show up with your update. Another good reason to add at least one photo in your blog post!

2. Do you know your audience?
You know who you want to have as your customer, but thanks to Facebook Insights you can get some detailed information on your fans, who are most likely some of your consumers. On the left, below the profile picture, and below the Wall and Info tab, click on Insights and find out all about your fans. Where they are from, what language they speak, male or female, age and lots more. You can also see which posts got the most interaction.
Always good to know who you are talking to and what posts work with them.

3. Don’t link to another site that links to another site
Want to keep the attention of your audience? Then try to post whatever you want them to see on Facebook, if possible. If you can’t do that then link them to the place where you want them to go.
Don’t send them to your blog, and then have them click on something else, etc. Keep it simple. People don’t link to be re-directed (less is more). Adjust to that.

4. No personal profile for your business
Whether you’re a brand, a skateshop or a professional skateboarder, you want to have a fan page. Besides that it’s one of the rules of Facebook (they can kick you off at anytime), a friends profile can only have 5,000 friends. A fan page can have unlimited “likes” (fans). Besides that a fan page doesn’t have to approve any friends. People just find you and like your page. And a fan page does not have a chat option. Want to try and chat with 5,000 friends?
And if you feel your page isn’t growing, then I’m curious to see what you are doing to promote your Facebook (or any social media) URLs.
Add it he URL to all your advertising, your videos, etc. For a shop I highly recommend having a sign with the URL by the register. And maybe a “bonus” when people check in (when they buy something)? 10% discount and all you have to do is check in on Facebook? I’m down for that! Plus all the friends of the people that are checking in get to see you on Facebook too!

5. Respond to every comment, photo, video that people post
I keep repeating myself, but responding back to every single person that leaves something on your wall is a must. It’s customer service in 2012, and if you don’t you show the rest of the world you don’t care about your consumer.
See the blog post that I did yesterday for some examples. I can talk about it for days but the examples will speak for themselves.

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

Also check out “Five Facebook Tips #4” from last week.