Posts Tagged Twitter

Facebook for Business

Facebook, Inc.
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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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Winner of the FREE Online Marketing Campaign Competition Selected

With great difficulty, 2bscene finally decided on a winner for our first free online marketing campaign competition on Friday last. The process was as much a learning curve for us aswell as an opportunity to let people know how much they could benefit from an online marketing campaign for their website. It was our chance to see how powerful Twitter actually is. And Twitter proved to be one hell of a tool for promoting the competition – we were inundated with entrants to the competition within minutes.

We would have been happy with a handful of people being interested in this competition – it would have given us more time to create reports for all entrants. Unfortunately for the entrants we just got too many entrants to give everyone feedback on their website which we would have loved to have done. So for those that didn’t receive a report on their website, keep in touch with us, because we hope to do this again soon and next time we’ll be a little more prepared!

So what next?

Well I’m hoping to do a case study on the whole process (upon agreement with the winner of course). We already have a clear plan in our heads of what needs to be done, but we need to meet with the Winner first and detail our ideas and see how far they will go. After that, all the hardwork will begin. The process will take at least 6 months to come to fruition – so we will try to keep you posted of the progress on this blog along the way.

For now though, Congratulations to Roseleen McNally! We’re really looking forward to working with you and making a success of your website!!

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PirateBay Owners Conviction – where does that leave Google?

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
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After last weeks decision by a Swedish court to find the owners of the much loved PirateBay guilty of copyright breaches, it leaves the question as to how Google have yet to be punished. PirateBay owners, Peter Sunde, Carl Lundström, Frederik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg were found guilty of being accessories to the breach of copyright laws.

But what still ceases to amaze me is the fact that the music and film industry has yet to take on the big boys who it can be argued do the exact same thing with their search engine. Is it because they are afraid that Google just have too much money and could easily fight them off in court? Or is it because they simply didn’t know how easy it was to do in Google?

In a discussion on Twitter last week, someone mentioned to me that Google do not do the same thing as PirateBay did, because they don’t host the torrent files. For those of you that don’t understand what a torrent file is, let me explain a little in basic terms.

A torrent file holds the tracker location and the file ID of the file being shared. In simple terms, it tells you the location of the copyrighted file (although not only copyrighted files). So by PirateBay storing thousands of these files on their server, they were found guilty of being accessories to the breach of copyright law, because these files contained links to the locations of the files. Ok, I know that opens up another can of worms. But let’s not go there right now.

Let’s look at how easy it is to use Google as a torrent file locator. I’ll take an obscure band, that I enjoy listening to regularly, that much of you will never have heard of. A band called Disturbed… Yeah I know… weird, but they’re good!

Now just to prove that even the most unpopular copyrighted material can be found using Google.

Type the following search string and into Google and hit search (or if you are really lazy, let me google that for you by clicking here):
intitle:”index of” +(.mp3|.wma) “disturbed”

Instantly you’ll see over over 18,000 pages all with links to tracks from this great band. Granted, the top few results have been manipulated by search engine spammers and SEO experts (so please be careful with some of those links), but even the 3rd or 4th result will give you genuine links to music that you can download and save to your computer.

Let’s go one step further again though – let’s wander over to google’s research and development department and download their Google Hacks tool. Yes, you read it right “Google Hacks Tool”… say no more… http://code.google.com/p/googlehacks/

Google Hacks ToolWhen you’ve downloaded and installed this little tool, crank it up to see what options you have available to you. Here’s a screenie:

So what can you do with this wonderful tool? Well you can select if you are looking for music, video, book or even a torrent!

Depending on which option you choose, it will also suggest popular file types of those copyrighted materials.

Ok, so I can understand someones argument that Google isn’t the accessory in all this as it just points to the content, but you have to look for it first…

But they happily release tools like this “for education purposes”, with a little disclaimer “Please do not use this program for illegal uses”. They go on to say, “I’m hoping by releasing this program is that it will help crack down on illegal and illegally distributed copyrighted material”.

That’s a little ironic isn’t it?

In my mind Google do everything that PirateBay do. Right, they may not host the files – but they are accessories to the breach of copyright, by linking to sites with files that are accessories to the breach of copyright surely??

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