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Best Practices – Facebook Marketing

December 2nd, 2013

VerticalResponse has one of the best condensations of how to manage your business’ Facebook page that I’ve seen. If your business has a Facebook page I strongly recommend checking it out. Looking for someone to manage your Facebook branding, marketing and posts?  Let us know, we can work with you to develop and manage your online, social media and email marketing.

Courtesy of: VerticalResponse

 

Measuring Social Media ROI

August 21st, 2013

Can investing business resources into Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms effective?  The answer is yes, social media can be effective, but only if developed  correctly. Many of the efforts by businesses to grow their business by social media channels are done not only without a strategy, but sometimes without a basic understanding of the social media platforms themselves and the driving factors that persuade users and customers to interact. The contest is really not about just getting as many people to click the “like” button your Facebook page it’s about getting that Facebook user’s to “like” you to the extent that they buy from you or tell others about your company. There’s a big difference.

To be successful a company must be educated, develop a comprehensive strategy and then track or measure their efforts. This infograph from MDG Advertising does a great job outlining the whole process.

If your company needs help getting started on a strategy, contact us here at Risingline and we’ll be glad to help out.

Infographic: The ROI of Social Media

Infographic by MDG Advertising

How long do you want to be in business?

August 14th, 2012

How many business leaders plan on sacrificing so much of their life for a business that sticks around for a decade or two? Assuming the answer to this rhetorical question to be “few if any,” then another question is begged: Why is the shelf life of most companies so short?

The best place to look is on the opposite end of the spectrum, to those companies who have created a legacy. I’ve been fascinated by this topic especially since recently becoming an adoring fan of Fiskars, a company founded in 1649 and on the cutting edge today of customer evangelism marketing utilizing social media.

Weihenstephan Brewery

Founded 1040

So maybe a better question to ask is, “Why  are old companies are still around?” Starting with the extreme relics like Kongo Gumi, (the Japanese construction company who was in continual operation from the year 578 until January of 2006) there is a treasure of insight available that we can directly apply to the business environment today. I’m no business history expert, but I am smart enough to deduce that most of these companies are going to be found very strong in two important suits: 1)Exploiting environmental change, and 2)Exemplifying the marketing concept.  Inversely we can deduce that most companies, the ones with short shelf lives, are probably vulnerable to environmental change and don’t adequately embrace the marketing concept.

Here’s what makes this topic so provocative todayas you may be aware we’ve just stepped into a period of radical revolution that will be destroying the status quo of how business interacts with society through social media and  mobile devices.

So what’s the average business to do? Fight the trend?  Stick to the old ways that have worked (or at least kept one’s head above water) and hope it all goes away? It all depends on how you answered the question of “How long do you want to be in business?”  My brash prediction is that companies, large and small, who do not undergo an extreme
makeover and embrace the paradigm shifts of customer facing social media and mobile marketing platforms will cease to exist, sooner or later within the 21st century. For context to my position please see our perfect storm analogy.

As we continue to progress this new era, it’s a prudent tactic to take some time and study those organizations that have weathered and prospered from these storms of change time and time againa truly fascinating  and timely study.  Here’s a list of the world’s oldest companies for those interested.

5 Reasons eMarketing Campaigns Fail

July 3rd, 2012

Internet Marketing or eMarketing is a term we use to encompass any electronic publishing that has the goal of generating demand. This can be both direct (such as special offer, buy now) or indirect (such as helpful articles that appeal to your target audience). The typical distribution channels for eMarketing include traditional blogs (like this one) with RSS, Email marketing (through services such as VeticalResponse, Constant Contact and iContact), Facebook, TwitterGoogle Plus and other social media channels.

eMarketing can be compared to generating “foot traffic” in retail. For instance, many people venture into a retailing business because they’re passionate about a product or service. So they lease a storefront, flip the sign on the front door to read “Open”, and wait for the customers to rush in and buy their goods. What separates a successful retailer from a bankrupt retailer is the realization that rewards are derived from hard work, quality, attention to detail, and a dedication to match the market need as it evolves. Retailers can even spend a significant portion of their budget to advertise their product or service, but if they haven’t addressed these variables, they’ll never generate consistent demand. And yes, these same principals apply to eMarketing.

So why do so many eMarketing campaigns fail? Here are 5 reasons:

CONSISTENCY – The marketer fails to consistently develop content on a regular schedule; which in turn disengages the audience.  eMarketing is very easy to back-burner and before you know it the last time your bi-weekly marketing blast was published was four months ago.  Not only are you loosing the chance to simply ask for more sales, your display of inactivity on your blogs and social media sites will carry negative connotations to your audience. If the last time you published a blog post a site visitor will entertain such thoughts as, “Is this company still in business?” or “If it takes them that long to get to things what kind of customer service must they have?”

ATTENTION TO DETAIL – Although our society has significantly lowered its standards on grammar and spelling, both are still important to develop readable and discernible content. Many eMarketers, myself included, have a tendency to become lazy in regards to poofreading [sic]. It still matters.

RELEVANCE – A marketer must evolve their passion to address a market need. People desire content that emotionally engages them and equates to their own interests. All material must be written from the perspective of your audience and it should be written in a way that captures and keeps their attention. Regardless of the subject matter, successful marketing communications should capture the emotions of an audience by making them laugh, cry, ponder, or get angry. Even nude para-sailing could become a relevant blogging topic if the subject matter is able to emotionally engage the reader and you’re able to relate to your business goal.

QUALITY AESTHETICS – No matter the content, people will make a strong initial judgement of your credibility based on the quality of graphic design for your marketing communication whether it be a blog, HTML email or Facebook page. By maintaining professionally designed electronic collateral, marketers  will enhance their credibility and improve the viral component of their distribution – because who really wants to refer a terrible looking Web site to a friend or professional acquaintance?

MARKETING DISTRIBUTION – Going back to the retailer example, one cannot simply flip the sign on the front door to read “Open” and expect customers to pour in. Generating an audience of prospects will take effort; the content must be distributed out to a targeted group of readers in order to generate interest.  Utilizing technologies such as Social Media, RSS (Really Simple Syndication), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and viral components such as a “Send This to a Friend” link are all viable methods to help build and maintain an audience. Marketers should also encourage their immediate sphere of contacts (family, friends, neighbors, work contacts, etc.) to read their content and spread it along.

Do you need help with putting together a more successful digital marketing strategy?  We’d love to learn more about your needs and provide you some feedback on how we might be able to assist. Contact us anytime.

A Transition Guide for the New Facebook Business Pages

March 8th, 2012

As you may already be aware, all Facebook Pages will automatically change over to the new Page format on March 30, 2012 (you can change yours over sooner if you wish).  This will be a completely new design with the "wall" being replaced with the newer "timeline" layout that Facebook has already introduced to personal profile pages.

Following are the most common questions (and answers) regarding how the change will affect your current branding and development:

Q: Will my current page branding stay intact after the transition?

If you currently have a left column graphic with branding that will be gone as will the top thumbnail images that are sometimes used for branding. The thumbnail size image you see next to each of your posts will be used as new "profile picture" (the red and two-tone blue logo icon in the sample page design).

Q: What elements can be branded in the new Page design?

1. The updated square "profile picture" (which still serves as the same image used for your thumbnail image). I recommend uploading as high of resolution as possible 250px x 250px (or larger square) PNG 24 image. Unfortunately, Facebook still down samples any images you upload which degrades the quality.

2. Some of the new navigation thumbnail images located at the bottom of the top page section.

3. A new large "Cover Photo" which appears at the top of your page. The dimensions for this new image are 851px x 315px. Like the profile picture Facebook will down-sample this image and degrade the quality when you upload it. While it’s great we have so much more space to work with for branding, Facebook has placed quite a few branding restrictions on this new image space.

Following are their guidelines:

This space is not meant for promotions, coupons, or advertisements. Your cover photo should not be primarily text-based.

And in their recently updated Facebook Page Terms they state:

Covers may not include:
i. price or purchase information, such as "40% off" or "Download it on socialmusic.com";
ii.  contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s "About" section;
iii. references to Facebook features or actions, such as "Like" or "Share" or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
iv. calls to action, such as "Get it now" or "Tell your friends."

Q: What are some examples of companies that have implemented branded profile pictures within Facebook’s new guidelines?

Q: Where are the links to my other pages / features that used to be on the left?

The first four are now arranged horizontally right below your cover photo and profile picture; the remaining are accessible by clicking the drop arrow marked with the green arrow in the screenshot below.

New Facebook Page Navigation Thumbnails

Q: Do my custom developed Facebook features still work and if so where can I find them?

Yes, they will be listed as either the fourth item in the new navigation or within the drop down menu. See the red arrow in the screen shot above, or go to the sample New Facebook Page design and click on the star icon in the menu.

Q: Where can I get more information on the new Facebook Page design?

Q: Where can I complain if I don’t like the new design?

Q: What do you think of the new layout?

Honestly, I like the new design a lot and I like the restrictions that Facebook has placed on the cover photo image. Forcing Facebook designers to work with fewer options will result in cleaner, higher quality and more creative designs. Less clutter is always a good thing. The last thing I want to see as a user is a bigger space graphic space that will just get filled with a bunch of oversized "like me" arrow graphics and other cheesy design elements.

While the timeline feature is still in its infancy, I like the direction Facebook is headed with this and I believe it presents a superior and cleaner presentation of information. Loosing the old (or current I should say) 3 columns of clutter and ads is definitely a good thing.

The biggest initial "con" I have to the new page layout is the placement of the page navigation icons. I don’t like having to click the drop down menu to see all of them.

Need Help?

We’re available to assist you with Facebook branding and development. Contact us online or by phone at 208.475.3192. For samples of our past design work check out our portfolio page.

Facebook Plans to Take Over the World

September 22nd, 2011

This provocative article about Facebook’s imminent steps in their strategy to take over the world is really no surprise given the magnitude that Facebook has grown over the last few years. It’s the nature of the beast. Anything that gets too big tends to develop an insatiable appetite for growth and eventually begins devouring the values upon which it became successful. Think Microsoft and Google.

So there are big changes coming to Facebook. Changes, according to Ben Parr on Mashable, that are going to “Change the world of social media” (Ben sounds like a Facebook shill in parts of this article). Here are some of the quotes from Ben Parr’s article, regarding the “mind-boggling things” Facebook will be launching in within a month or so:

  • “Facebook’s goal is to become the social layer that supports, powers and connects every single piece of the web, no matter who or what it is or where it lives.” (Shouldn’t Dr. Evil get a credit for this line?)
  • “These changes will make Facebook a place where nearly everything in your life is enhanced by your social graph. These changes will make it so you know your friends better than you ever thought you could.” (It’s about time . . . seeing and talking to people is such a hassle anyway.)

Has Facebook turned “evil”?  It seems they are intent on creating their own de facto mandatory internet upon which users have very little direct control. That path will be the beginning of the end for them or any other company that thinks they can reign in the freedom garnered from the social media revolution.

One thing that especially alarms me is how Facebook has managed to have users create the value while Facebook collects huge sums of advertising revenue generated from that content. Now it’s expanded into the business realm. As of this year we can build a complete custom interactive web page on our company’s Facebook page but Facebook has complete control and gets advertising revenue. It seems bizarre to me that we’ve allowed ourselves to be suckered into this sort of proprietary network to build our online presences within. It’s like a successful version of AOL (without 10 billion DVD’s being mailed).

While Facebook and other social media platforms will be with us indefinitely, I’m looking forward to the day when the realm is stabilized and attempts by small groups of people to control and profit off the masses are thwarted.

Till then, we offer custom Facebook page design and optimization. :)

 

Check out our custom Facebook design

August 5th, 2011

Custom Facebook Design by Risingline

Check our our new tricked out Facebook page . . . we can code about anything you can image for your company’s Facebook page. A Single complete custom branded and designed page with interactive features or a complete "mini site" within your Company’s Facebook page. We can code almost anything in your Facebook page including Flash (with fail safe alternative for iPads/iPhones), ajax, JavaScript, Forms, video . . . anything you can image.


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