Posts Tagged Facebook

Facebook gets tough on promotions and competitions

Facebook announced changes to their Facebook Promotion Guidelines last week, which are likely to affect a lot of businesses currently using Facebook to promote their brand. If you’re planning on running a Facebook promotional campaign in the near future – make sure you read the new guidelines thoroughly.

The new rules state that you ;

  • Cannot run a competition without prior consent from Facebook
  • Cannot run a competition where entry is based on becoming a fan of the business’s Facebook page
  • Cannot run a competition where entry is based on posting a message on Facebook. whether status update or comment
  • Cannot notify winners of the competition through a Facebook message, chat or posts
  • Cannot request that people sign up for a Facebook account in order to enter a competition
  • Must include the following note (or similar):
    “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to [recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for [disclose any way that you plan to use the user’s information].”

This is just a taste of what the new guidelines include, you can see the full set of guidelines here http://www.facebook.com/promotions_guidelines.php.

From the list above, you can quite clearly see that running a small competition on Facebook isn’t as simple as it used to be. How many businesses that will adhere to these new rules is yet to be seen, but I’m quite sure a lot will have second thoughts about a campaign. In fact most of the business pages I know of, would quite regularly be in breach of these guidelines. It’s hard to see any of these companies adhering to these guidelines, they’d probably just stop using Facebook for running these competitions entirely.

Looking into the guidelines in detail, it looks as though the Facebook are really only trying to protect themselves rather than stiffle the huge surge in businesses using Facebook to promote their brand. I can only imagine what kind of emails they are getting from Facebook fans who wrongly assume that Facebook themselves are in some way related to the running of these competitions and promotions.

It will be interesting to see how many businesses adhere correctly to these new rules and more interestingly, what will happen those that don’t.

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Facebook for Business

Facebook, Inc.
Image via Wikipedia

There was a time when everyone believed that having a blog was one of the most critical elements to web success. In fact even today, I still have clients who have been informed by “buzzword driven web experts” that they must have a blog or else they are doomed to failure.

The problem with this was that a lot of businesses, for one reason or another, just aren’t suited to having a blog. Many businesses have only now realised that after many hours of painstakingly hard work, trying to create relevant and unique content on a regular basis is a lot harder than they first thought or were lead to believe. Never-mind the fact that they probably never once saw even a small return for all this hard-work they had endured. And just when all the “buzzword driven web experts” had convinced you to get a blog, they now have a brand new buzzword for you… Roll up “Social Media Marketing“…

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Social Media Marketing, but yet again I see more and more businesses who want a Facebook or Twitter presence without even understanding how they should engage with this new medium. And that’s exactly what it is, a new medium. Therefore nothing is proven just yet, but it’s clear from others success that Social Media Marketing with sites like Facebook and Twitter is a simple and cost effective way of marketing your business online.

So, how do you get on this Social Media Marketing train? Well why not let’s start with Facebook. Facebook has over 1 million users in Ireland now, so it’s very likely that many of your customers have a Facebook page or at least know someone who does. That fact alone is enough to make me believe it is a medium you simply can’t ignore!

To get you started, here are my top tips for getting your Facebook for Business strategy up and running:

  1. Create Your Business Profile Fan Page
    Even if you haven’t decided what you plan to do with your Facebook campaign just yet, get your business profile page up there as soon as possible. If you have a Facebook account already, it’s pretty simple go here http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and follow the instructions.If you are new to Facebook, it’s probably best to familiarise yourself with how it works and how you engage with other users. Sign up for a personal account and start adding your friends. Follow other businesses so you can see what their Facebook strategy is.One key point to remember is that you should NOT use your personal profile for your business. You should only use “Pages” for business  and “Profiles” for personal use.

  2. Claim Your Vanity URL
    A vanity URL is a Facebook website address with your name attached to the end, for example, our business vanity URL is www.facebook.com/2bscene. The sooner you can claim your “vanity URL” the better to protect your brand. Irish business will need 25 fans of your business fan page before they can obtain theirs. To gain your first 25 followers why not ask all your “friends” from your personal Facebook profile?  

  3. Synchronise with Twitter
    If you already have a Twitter account, you can synchronise your posts with Facebook. You can do this both ways, for example, if you post a message on Twitter, it can automatically appear on your Facebook fan page and vice-versa. Personally I would suggest the latter. Facebook is a lot more personal than Twitter. Twitter is a public networking medium, whereas Facebook is very much a personal circle of friends network. The last thing a Facebook user wants is their Facebook homepage to be bombarded with messages from your Twitter account.

  4. Include Links to Your Profile Where-ever You Can!
    Fairly self explanatory. If you want people to know about your business profile page… tell them!! You should include links on your website, blog and even email signatures!

  5. Engage!!!
    Like every other Social Media Marketing option, it’s all about engaging and socialising with your fans or followers. If you can think of your Social Media Marketing profile as one big networking event. Talk to people, ask questions, respond to their questions, give free advice etc etc. But again, be careful at how many updates you post. Try keep your interactions to a reasonable level, maybe one or two interesting posts a day.

There are certainly many businesses that are much better suited to Facebook than others – but with enough thought and planning you should be able to find an angle that suits your business best.

To give you an idea of how others are using their business pages to great effect, I have put together a list of some good ones below:

  1. Ben & Jerry’s
  2. Pizza Hut
  3. Victoria’s Secret
  4. iTunes
  5. Starbucks

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Social Media Marketing – Have you started yet?

106922Social Media Marketing is the latest buzzword to enter our “already overflowing with buzzword” brains. It seems that every business you come across nowadays have at least a blog, Twitter account or even a Facebook Fan Page.

In fact, a recent study of online retailers showed that 86% of respondents in the US already have a Facebook Fan page, with 13% more planning to have one within a year or two. 55% of businesses already have a blog and 25% more plan to have one within a year or two.

What’s worrying however, is that most businesses don’t seem to have a clear plan of what they should be doing with their new found fame.I’ve voiced my opinion on blogs in the past, but Facebook Fan Pages and Twitter accounts are another days work altogether.

Social Media Marketing is very much in it’s infancy. To date, there really are no statistics avaiable on how successufl any of these mediums can or could be to your business.  There are some signs that it can work really well for some, but this by no means works across the board.

The biggest problem I see businesses facing, is the time it takes to engage in such activities. The society we live in today, is driven by instant gratification. If we don’t see a quick return, we give up and try something else. We always seem to think the grass is greener on the other side. Most social media marketing campaigns are simply not that straight forward.

There’s no doubting Twitter is a powerful medium, combine that with a Facebook fan page and you have one hell of an application to get your message out. BUT! If you haven’t done all the hard work of building up your network and planning your strategy, in most cases your campaign will fall flat on its face.

There are many examples of how to run a successful social media marketing campaign, but they are not “one type fits all” scenarios. You need to spend time planning your campaign. The worst thing you could do is put your campaign on the long finger. The sooner you get started, the sooner it will become part of your daily working life (maybe even more) – one thing is for sure…. Social Media Marketing is here to stay.

If you haven’t already started work on your Social Media Marketing plan, why not talk to us at 2bscene and see where we can help you get up and running! info@2bscene.ie (or telephone : +353-1-2190223)

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Google continue to expand its social network with social gadgets

It’s not long now since I wrote an article about how I felt Google was planning to build the webs largest Social Network by stealth. Now it seems to have taken another step closer to their complete social network website.

On Wednesday Google announced on their official blog the release of 19 new social gadgets for iGoogle. Google social gadgets allow you to collaborate and play games with your friends from your iGoogle homepage. One of the cool games is the “How Big is your Brain” game which is similar in ways to the many brain training games available for the likes of the Nintendo DS. It allows you to compete with your friends online to see which one of you have the biggest brain.

Although this is obviously another step in terms of building that big social network, they seem to be missing the basic fundamental attractions that Twitter and Facebook have. But maybe that’s what Google Wave will do….

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Google Wave – the next generation of communication?

Lars Rasmussen introduces Google Wave
Image by dailylifeofmojo via Flickr

Within minutes of Microsoft launching their new search system that is set to revolutionise the way we search, Google announced one of the most innovative applications yet to grace the World Wide Web.

Microsoft must have been so disappointed when all the web and blog headlines were NOT about their new search engine strangely named Bing. No, what caught every web enthusiasts eye was the launch of Google Wave.

Google Wave is Google’s attempt to rid the World of our archaic emailing system. They began their presentation with the notion of how old email has become in its 40 years of existence. It’s something that was designed and developed in a time when instant messaging, cloud computing, Facebook, Bebo and other social networking sites didn’t exist. They believe that now is the time to make the change to a new more advanced system that will incorporate all the “real-time” functionality that most of us live and breathe today.

Although I have to admit some of the functionality is mind-blowing and in places hugely innovative –  albeit that the system is developed with the yet to be fully HTML 5 standard – I’m yet to be convinced that it will actually replace people’s use of email.I just can’t see the normal joe soap trying to get to grips with this system when they hardly understand how to cc a number of people in a simple email.

Google plan to release a lot of this innovative code as part of their Google Web ToolKit which is an absolute dream for any web developer. They will also provide a fully open API which will allow developers to use the power of the system for their own applications, whether it be web, mobile or desktop!

One side of me is so excited about the release of Google Wave. That is the programmer side of me, the one that lives and breathes web innovation – we haven’t had anything like this in years! The other side – I’m kind of like, “so what?”. I personally see it as being the final string in Google’s stealth approach to building the World’s largest social network.

What do you think? Have a look at the launch here:

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