Archive for September, 2011

28
Sep

Is Your Facebook Business Page Irrelevant Now?

   Posted by: Gary Wagnon    in Social Media Marketing

With the new change to Facebook’s layout, the updates from your Facebook business page may be getting lost in the news ticker. Where once the Most Recent view on your Facebook newsfeed would give a chronological listing of every action and every update from all of your friends plus the business pages you like, now that option is gone.  Your business page may have just become invisible!

Facebook’s new layout uses the Edgerank algorithm to determine the top stories like it always has, but now the recent stories are being filtered as well. As a result many business page updates are only visible in the fire hose of the news ticker. Unless the business page update generates likes, comments or shares, it’s not going to have what it takes to escape the ticker and make the main news feed.

Does this mean Facebook business pages are no longer relevant? Given the way many businesses treat their business page updates, the answer would be yes. Posting information that does not encourage interaction is going to be lost. Creating a post just to be seen will no longer work. Unless someone is watching the news ticker when a post is made, like Twitter, the update will flow out of sight quickly.

Facebook Business Pages Interaction

To escape the confines of the ticker, the business page must become truly social. Businesses should focus on experiences rather than sales messages. Where once it was only possible to “like” something in a post, now any action verb can be used. Now it’s possible to “try” a product or service, “read” a book or an article, “watch” a video or any other action. By integrating action into status updates,  they become more shareable and interactive.

As Facebook continues to evolve into the social destination of the web, more and more emphasis is being placed on applications and advertising. Apps will become the interactive link between business pages and the news feed of those following them.

Will Facebook become like Google where the ability for a small local business to compete will be so complex or costly that it’s no longer effective? While that remains to be seen it is most definitely a case for diversifying marketing efforts rather than solely concentrating on Facebook.

What are your thoughts?

Gary Wagnon is the Sensei of the Ninja Marketing Dojo, a comprehensive online marketing course designed to relieve the frustration business owners and manager face when trying to understand online marketing.  Using a martial arts model, students will build on foundational principals, mastering each level before advancing.

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Maybe you are Bruce Wayne by day and Batman by night.  Or just maybe, you’re clients and colleagues know you as Professor or Your Honor, but your high school classmates know you as “HotRod”.  Nothing is more comforting to hear than, “Hi, I’m Dr. Hotrod Smith and I’ll be operating on you today.”

Facebook is the great connector.  We reconnect with classmates we haven’t talked to in years.  With them, we relive memories, embarrassing moments and teenage milestones.  Plus, it’s fun.  But sharing that picture of ourselves may not exactly further our professional image.  I’m sure lots of us have those past skeletons (like streaking the quadrangle in college), but we don’t exactly put them on our resume.

 

Enter the new Facebook Friends lists.  Facebook launched their expanded Smart Friend List feature this week.  With this change, your friends can now be categorized into four pre-defined categories, Friends, Family, Acquaintances and geographic location.  You have always had the ability to create lists but the process of posting to a specific list was cumbersome and obscure.  Today it’s prominently displayed next to the share button on your status update.

When the Friends Smart List feature launched, it automatically assigned friends to your local area list.  It also assigns some family members to the Family group (although I had to add a couple of my immediate family members.  They were in the “List suggestion” section, which made it easy to add.)  You will have to initially add people to the other lists.  In the beginning, it may be a little time consuming, but if you add new friends to lists as you confirm them, it will be much easer.

Maintaining Your Two Personalities

I frequently hear clients and social media students ask, “How can I keep my business and personal life separated?”  Smart lists make that very easy.  But more than that, it can be a good practice to enhance your marketing message.  Chances are, your friends may not be the least bit interested in your business marketing content.  And when your professional connections are “eavesdropping” on your conversations with friends, they probably won’t be able to follow along or even be interested.  Either group may tend to filter out your updates since they aren’t pertinent to them.

A better practice would be to target your updates to the group of friends it is directed to.  Create a list of professional or business friends and post only business related content to that group.  Meanwhile, create another list of friends that you post your personal updates to.  Each list then sees content they should be interested in and will be more attuned to each post you make.

There will be some friends that will fit both categories, so assign them to both.  They won’t receive duplicate posts, but they will receive posts anytime you update either list.  Some of your content will be appropriate for everyone.  In those cases you can post to Friends and everyone will receive it.

 

One thing you should know about Smart Lists.  When you post to a list, there is an icon on the “Like  Comment” line below the post.  The icon will either be a globe (Public), friends or a cog (lists).  By mousing over the icon, you will see a message that shows what the update was shared to friends, friends of friends or the name of the Smart List.  For that reason, you may want to be cautious with your list names.

List can be useful in many ways, such as announcing local events.  What other ways have you used the list feature?

Gary Wagnon is the Sensei of the Ninja Marketing Dojo, a comprehensive online marketing course designed to relieve the frustration business owners and manager face when trying to understand online marketing.  Using a martial arts model, students will build on foundational principals, mastering each level before advancing.

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7
Sep

Ninja Marketing Tip – Tune In Station WIIFM

   Posted by: Gary Wagnon    in Ninja Marketing

“WIIFM, playing all the hits for you, it’s all you, all day.  We only talk about you all the time.”  Is your message broadcasting on Station WIIFM?  It should be, it’s our favorite channel.

WIIFM – What’s In It For Me – that’s what we want to hear when we look at any website, read a blog, use social media sites, read e-mails, watch videos or anything else you put out to promote your business.  We want to know if your product or service will fix our problem.  How can you save us money or make life easier?

Sounds pretty obvious doesn’t it?  In fact it’s so obvious that the marketing message of the business is all about them.  “We offer the best…”, “We have years of experience”, “We give the best service.”  The only problem is, the customer is listening to their channel, not yours.  Customers don’t care about you or your business.  They want to know what you can do for them.

 

If you want to create an effective marketing message address the consumer.  The home page of your website or your blog should point out what you do in terms of benefits to the customer.  Your services page should define everything you do, no matter how obvious it may sound.  For example, if your pool cleaning service, do you provide the chemicals?  You think, “everybody knows we do that” but if your marketing messages, your website or your blog, don’t say you do, but your competitor’s site does, is a good chance they’re going to your competitor.

An About Us page can be a boring narrative of your background and experience or it could focus on your passion, your philosophy and your mission.  There’s something about doing business with, someone who is passionate about what they do, especially if that passion translates into a love for helping their customers.  Even though, in a face-to-face meeting, your passion is apparent, how do you get that face-to-face meeting from a boring website?

Don’t be afraid to let your personality shows through your website or your blog.  Have you ever seen a photo on a business card and then meet the person face-to-face and wondered,  is this your daughter’s picture?  The same is true for your online presence (not just the photos); let your potential customer know who they’re dealing with.  You may think, “but I don’t want to alienate a potential customer.”  I’ve got news for you.  If they don’t like the personality your online presence portrays, chances are pretty good they wouldn’t to like you in person either.

WIIFM is like one of the satellite radio stations, you can tune into it everywhere you go.  Make sure your marketing message is broadcasting on the right frequency.  After all, it’s not about you.

Are you new to Google + or curious about how to get started?  Download my free Guide to Google + at www.800bizninjamarketing.com. Gary Wagnon is the CMN (Chief Marketing Ninja) at 800biz Online Marketing Solutions.  Using an integrated approach to online marketing (combining web site design, search engine optimization, social media and action driven content), 800biz specializes in helping businesses stand out above the competition and drive more traffic to their door.

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