Creating Community on Facebook

Creating Community on Facebook

With the decline of organic reach and visibility of Facebook page posts, many businesses and brands are seeking other ways to reach their target audience, to engage with their customers and to create interactive communities with the loyal fans who love them. It’s time to go beyond the Facebook page! In this article, we’ll take a look a three creative ways you can create an engaged community on Facebook that will help you reach more of your target audience. 1. Facebook Groups Facebook groups have been quietly growing over the past few years and have several advantages over a Facebook page. Facebook groups are usually focused on a specific interest or goal but they are also used by brands to give customers or clients “special access” to information, content and feedback that isn’t readily available on their public page. What’s appealing about a Facebook group is the level of control over who can access the content or see what’s being shared within the group. Groups can be both private and public (also known as Open or Closed.) For brands or businesses, the best way to use groups as a marketing tool is to create a group of your own rather than joining other groups. Unfortunately, you cannot create a group as a brand or business. You can only create a group using your personal Facebook profile. For some businesses and brands, this can be problematic if they prefer to keep their business personality separate from their personal. There are some key differences between Facebook Groups and Facebook Pages. Facebook Groups are not set up for promotional purposes like Pages....

New Facebook Timeline Rolls Out for Personal Profiles

As promised, Facebook has made changes to the personal profile once again. Your personal profile account is now a “Timeline.” The Timeline was announced back in August. As the new Timeline rolls out, users will be prompted to change over to the Timeline. One nice feature about this change is that users will be given a 7 day review period to work over their Timeline and edit it to remove or change the privacy settings for any older items that they don’t want to show in the Timeline. Users can publish their new Timeline at any time but after 7 days it will automatically become public. (After December 21st, all users will have the new Timeline.) One of my favorite features of the new Timeline is the cover photo. The cover photo is displayed at the top of the profile and extends for the entire page width. From what I’ve found, the ideal size for this space is 850×315 pixels but no smaller than 720 pixels. Since this a large photo area, a high-res photo is optimal to avoid pixelation. Your “profile pic” is now a 125×125 image embedded in the lower left corner of your cover image. In Facebook’s help section, it details the difference between the profile pic and the cover picture: A cover is the larger photo at the top of your timeline, right above your profile picture. Note: Like your profile picture, cover images are public, which means anyone visiting your timeline will be able to see them. We’ve found that people have a better experience viewing your timeline when they see a cover that...

Facebook Announces Deals for Local Business

Facebook announced this week the launch of Facebook Deals for local business which ties in directly with their Facebook Places feature. Sounds remarkably similar to Foursquare but Facebook has a much, much larger user base. Will this blow Foursquare and other geo-location services out of the game? This is yet another feature that local businesses need to be on top of and figure out how to use it to their advantage. Foursquare and Yelp already have proven track records of helping driving customers to businesses. Now, the biggest player of them all has stepped into the ring. Most business have heard or know that they really should have a presence on Facebook with a Business Fan Page. How Facebook Places and Deals Help Local Business Build loyal customers Visibility- when someone checks in at your Facebook Place, it shows up on their profile and in the News Feed for all their friends to see. In order for a business to be able to create a deal in Facebook, they will need to have claimed their Facebook Place first. Then you can create a Facebook deal, wait to get it approved by Facebook and then promote it. Users can find Facebook Deals when they check in at different locations using Facebook Places for Android or the Facebook iPhone App. There are four kinds of deals currently available. Individual Deals- Discounts, freebies and coupons  for individual users that check in Friend Deals- You and other friends check in together to claim a deal. Loyalty Deals- Earn a deal or a discount based on checking in a certain number of times. Charity...
Facebook Changes Become a Fan to Like

Facebook Changes Become a Fan to Like

So Facebook is making some pretty big (and complicated) changes that will impact significantly how users use, navigate and perceive the platform. Among the biggest change is that users no longer “Become a Fan” of a fan page. Instead they will now “Like” a page and people will no longer be listed as fans, but will be “People who Like This.” Facebook explains the change here: Why did “Become a Fan” change to “Like”? To improve your experience and promote consistency across the site, we’ve changed the language for Pages from “Fan” to “Like.” We believe this change offers you a more light-weight and standard way to connect with people, things and topics in which you are interested. They also explain here what it means to “Like” a page: What does it mean to “Like” a Page? When you click “Like” on a Page, you are making a connection to that Page. The Page will be displayed in your profile, and in turn, you will be displayed on the Page as a person who likes that Page. The Page will also be able to post content into your News Feed. So far I’ve found this page in Facebook’s Help Center to be the most comprehensive explanation of how all the changes work and tie together. Along with the “Like” for fan pages, they are launching Community Pages which will link to your profile info so that your interests become links to community pages that reflect these interests. You also have the option of linking your interests to specific fan pages. This, of course, means increased public visibility for your...

Facebook Pages Now in Real Time Search

Google announced today via their Twitter account that Facebook Fan Page status updates will now become part of the real time search. This is huge for people who seriously consider Facebook as marketing avenue and want to use it as a tool to further get found by search engines. This means that updates from Facebook Fan Pages are currently being indexed and included in Google’s real time search feature. This includes links, photos, videos and status updates but not comments by fans. While updates from personal profiles can also be posted publicly by users, it doesn’t appear that those updates are being indexed as part of the real time search. What is Real Time Search? If you’re not familiar with real time search, here’s an example. Currently trending on Twitter is “Canadian Joannie Rochette” from Olympic events. If you go to Google and type in “Canadian Joannie Rochette,” you will get quite¬† few results, but if you scroll down about mid-page, this is what you will see. As you can see, there is a scrolling box which shows real time results as they are happening. The addition of Facebook page updates to real time search joins Twitter, MySpace, FriendFeed and others. Mostly what I’ve seen so far in real time search are updates from these networks about trending topics. This probably means that big brands on Facebook with large fan bases will likely get the most of amount of love from real time search right now. However, it does become yet another reason why businesses, organizations, non-profits and others need to seriously considering creating a solid presence on Facebook...
Find It on Facebook

Find It on Facebook

Just a short and to the point post that will actually be a list of references for Facebook. You might be surprised how much information you can on Facebook about using Facebook! Facebook Marketing Page: A page run by Facebook which provide tips for using Facebook for marketing and brand loyalty. Facebook Pages Product Guide: Light overview (PDF) document by Facebook about what pages are, how they work and the various elements that make up a fan page. Facebook Promotions Guidelines: Facebook’s guidelines for promoting your Facebook page outside of Facebook. Includes an easily downloadable (Facebook approved) graphic to place on your website to help visitors click through to your Facebook page. Facebook For Non-Profits: A fan page that serves as a resource for non-profits and other organizations on Facebook who work towards social good. Often they highlight other non-profit fan pages or will post news about brands or companies who are using Facebook for social good. Facebook Fan Pages: Another page administered by Facebook where they share news, best practices and examples for administrators of Facebook pages. Facebook’s Official Privacy Policy: Facebook’s official policy regarding your privacy on the platform. Facebook’s Blog: This is another good place to find all the latest announcements and news about Facebook. Facebook often posts about upcoming changes and events there before they happen. Of course, working with an experienced social media virtual assistant who is already aware of these resources and keeps tabs on the latest happenings with Facebook can help you navigate using Facebook efficiently and...