Facebook Makes Big, Beneficial Changes – What You Need to Know

Facebook Makes Business Page Changes

Facebook Makes Business Page Changes

Facebook has rolled out several new changes to the way we can interact and administer business pages, both improving access to metrics, improving ease of admin and improving search engine results.

1) You can now access all of your pages from a new location. Click Home, then Pages. You can now see ALL of your pages listed along with last update, activity and more. It’s a great and convenient way to look at the high-level engagement metrics for your pages.

2) TAG – You’re It for People: It’s even easier to tag friends in posts. No longer is the @ sign required. Just start typing and the list will pop up. choose from there.

3) TAG – You’re It! for Business: Starting today (5/12), Facebook will allow you to tag business pages in photos. This is a huge step to again improve the engagement between your business and the customer. By tagging, your search engine optimization could be very positively impacted. Right now, Facebook only allows this for pages that are in the brand, product or people category, but will likely roll it out to other categories over time. (http://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-pages/feature-launch-photo-tagging-for-pages/10150168953654822)

How Does This Affect Photo Privacy?

Just remember that your privacy is your responsibility and is reliant on which settings you choose for your account. If a photo post is enabled to “everyone,” then it can appear publicly on the Photos tab of the Page and the Page admins can see it. If it is, published for “only friends”, than the permission will only be granted to your friends to view your photos.

Social Media and the Snowpocalypse

Social media and the snowpocalypse

Digging out from under the ice.

One of Professional Mojo’s offices is in Douglasville, GA, right outside Atlanta. It’s probably no news to you, friends, that we have been in a deep freeze for almost a solid week. Our clients in Minnesota and Michigan may be prepared for something like this, but the state of Georgia? Not so much.

This snowpocalypse, as some have dubbed it, turned everything upside down. People were stranded on interstates, out of gas and out of food. Folks, like me, trapped in our homes, kids out of school for a week, power outages…you get the picture. Yet, in the midst of this, we have witnessed a perfect marriage: social media’s real-time communication and the public’s hunger for immediate information.

Here are a few of my take-aways about social media and the snowpocalypse:

  • Local, relevant information makes a difference: A good example of this is the Douglas County Happenings Facebook page. I’ve watched this page and it has been growing organically for some time, but not at a rapid rate. Thanks to the efforts of the folks there, it quickly became a clearinghouse of information for those in the local area. We may only be 30 minutes from Atlanta, but sometimes it seems like a million miles away, especially when the “major” outlets cover the larger counties. Community is essential in social media and this page delivered.
  • Community members expect answers – right now, please: If you are going to use any of the social media channels, be prepared for praise when you do well and for criticism when you don’t. Several pages did not have direct access to emergency divisions and were not able to provide quick answers. Even when they did have a direct line, decisions often take time. The people posting don’t want to hear excuses, they want to see answers. I saw a lot of frustration when answers weren’t immediately forthcoming. Most page admins did a good job of taking the snarks in stride. Others? Well, they snarked back, especially on the Twitter streams.
  • Multiple channels reach people where they are: 11Alive News did the best job of this throughout the snowpocalypse. I was impressed by their use of every available channel to distribute information to the widest audience possible. I interacted with them in the following ways:
    • Via their website where they posted DOT road updates, business closings, government closings, school closings and more
    • Via the live chat feature on their website, where I logged in and was able to ask questions, in real-time. I loved this, too, because I could see the ongoing stream from the other people in the room.
    • Via Twitter where they took questions, redirected folks to information and offered a steady stream of news.
    • Via Facebook where they continue to answer questions about mail, roads, heaters, and more.
    • Via their phone bank, which was the only one of its kind I saw during the snowpocalypse. Any one could call in and ask questions of the volunteers about weather, road closings, health issues, etc.
    • Via their ongoing newscast, which constantly reminded folks of every OTHER channel above.

In short, they did an extraordinary job of providing information in every way possible to meet the community where the community wanted to dialog. Me? I personally preferred Twitter and the chat room. My mom? She was stuck to Facebook.

If ever there was a time for social media, it is now. We were able to help our neighbors (because we saw them post), answer questions about the roads in our neighborhood, and offered route alternatives to people who ventured out.

We learned about how others were coping, played online games with people on the other side of the world, and dreamed of warmer days.

The warmer days aren’t quite here yet, but the community I feel in a city of 5 million is quite astonishing. All because we are connected in amazing ways via social media.

Social Media Entitlement Might Bite You

I logged into my personal Facebook account today (you know, the one where all of my weird high school friends and husband’s family lurk) and many of them had gone hog wild Liking every type of conceivable page: brands, products, services, events, and more. You name it and some were Liking 12-18 pages at a time.

So, I asked a few of them what was going on. Why the flurry of Likes and why were they spamming me begging me to Like the pages, too?  The answer: because they will get something for free. The following conversation ensued and was informative.

Social Media entitlement

You like us! You really, really do! (but for how long?)

Me: “How often do you expect a discount or a freebie when you Like a page?”

Jessica: “All the time. I should get something for being in the community just about every day. Honestly, that’s why I Liked them, right?”

Me: “But, what if they also gave you great news, articles, lifestyle tips and only the occasional coupon or discount?”

Jessica: “I don’t think I’d care. They promised me stuff, didn’t say anything about that. And if I don’t get something, I’ll Unlike them right away. In fact, if it’s a one-time special, after the special is over I’ll Unlike them probably so my stream doesn’t clutter up.”

Jessica wasn’t the only person I’ve talked to who says that they are solely prompted by something for nothing and will drop that page like a hot potato once the gravy-train ends.

What’s the moral of the story?

  • Luring people into Liking your page with a steady stream of contests, give-aways and freebies only feeds the need for more and bigger give-aways.
  • A community built on this type of strategy is not a community at all. Social media is about creating relationships and dialog. It’s become perverted by johnny-come-latelys who are pressured to increase numbers, not seek engagement.
  • Your metrics will be skewed because people will Unlike you at the blink of an eye as soon as their entitlement ends, yet you sure looked great while you were giving away stuff!
Look, it’s fine to run a contest, incite excitement, and we, too, manage communities where we use contests, discounts and coupons to reward members. However, these specials are only occasional and we ensure that we are engaging with them in many other ways: questions, articles, news, etc. How can you solve a problem for them today or improve their life?

So, what do they really receive for being a member of your community? If it’s only about getting something for free, then you are not creating evangelists for your brand. And you’ll be the hot potato they drop next.

In summary, focus on quality. Focus on targeted folks who really want to hear about what you do and how you do it. Focus on making their lives better. Then, surprise them once in a while with a really great reward.

 

Interested in growing communities who are suited to you and want to hear what you have to say? Contact Professional Mojo Marketing for more.

 

Facebook’s New Look – What you need to know now.

Facebook just rolled out a new home page layout that is supposed to improve your user experience.  My first impressions are that it is easier to find the things I use most on my homepage. Let’s take a tour and if you still have questions, make sure you sign up for one of our cost-effective, business-focused online workshops

1) Quick view friend requests, messages, and notifications: Notice three new icons on the top left area of the home page. You’ll see little red numerical indicators when you have items that need your attention.

2) Easier access tool area: The left sidebar now holds the key areas that you might use most, including messages, events, photos, friends, and more.

Facebook's new look

Facebook's new look

3) Quicker and easier to see who’s online and to chat with them: I’m growing fond of the Facebook chat feature, but disliked going to the bottom right corner to see who’s on. Seemed cumbersome. Facebook has remedied that with the “who’s online” feature.
4) Easier access to the Home, Profile and Account options: These often-used tools are now in the upper right corner of screen. One of the nicest changes is the more intuitive Account menu, which gives instant access to friends, account settings, privacy, credits, and more. You can logout directly from that menu, as well.
5) The Photos area is much more powerful:  Search is at the forefront of Facebook’s new design and it’s clear when you click on Photos. the pics are larger and the search bar is prominently displayed.
Facebook's New Look - Photos

Facebook's New Look - Photos

Our overall first impression is pretty good. Everyone has their preferred way of accessing most-used tools, but for me this was a welcome change. I found the left sidebar more intuitive, the messaging a help and the improved search a big benefit. 
What do you think of the changes?
For more on using online marketing to reach your customers, members, donors and prospects directly with the right message, visit Professional Mojo. Our cost-effective monthly group mentoring, online workshops and full service packages can make the difference in your 2010.
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