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 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.