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.

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.

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.