Many businesses are rushing to build up their Facebook ‘fan’ base, but what’s the value of a fan if you don’t know how to effectively message them and get their attention? Below are a series of very simple tips for how to get your Fan page status updates noticed. Special thanks are owed to the other panelists joining our CEO Victoria Ransom at the Web 2.0 expo session, “From Faceless to Fantastic,”where some of these tips were discussed (@ekaterinawalter, @ttaxchels, @smcilnay and @angelathp) and in particular to Jeff Widman at Brand Glue. But first, you might be wondering why such tips are even necessary. Aren’t all status updates seen by fans? The short answer is, no. Facebook uses an algorithm to determine which updates and stories will appear in a given person’s newsfeed. While no one knows exactly what this algorythm is (besides Mark Zuckerberg!), it largely depends on how much engagement a particular story receives. So, if you send an update out to your fans and it receives a lot of ‘Likes’ or ‘Comments’, it will be exposed to a much higher % of your fans in their Top News stream and there will therefore be a much higher likelihood that your fans will actually see your post than an update that gets few ‘Likes’ or ‘Comments’. So sending out posts that are highly engaging is extremely important to the success of your Facebook marketing strategy.
TRICK #1: Ask fans to ‘Like’ your update! This may sound trivial, but it is hugely powerful – when you post an update out to your fans ask them to show their support by clicking on the ‘Like’ button of your post. For example, if you send an update about a new product feature instead of simply saying: “We’re excited to announce the release of our brand new navigation, ” say something like: “We’re excited to announce the release of our brand new navigation. Click the ‘Like’ button if you like this change”. We have tried this over and over again and on average we see 200-300% more ‘Likes’ when we make direct requests like this. Check out the great engagement with this post– 29 people indicated they “Like” it, which was likely aided by the direct prompt to do so right in the message!
TRICK #2: Encourage comments by asking yes/no questions A powerful way to encourage comments is to ask your fans questions when you post an update. But you’ll get a much higher response rate if you ask questions that require very little effort to answer, like yes/no questions. For example, you’ll get far fewer comments if you ask “Tell us what you think of our new homepage design” than if you ask “Do you like our new homepage design – yes or no?”. Of course, if you’re looking for concrete feedback from your fans you may prefer the first approach, but if you are wanting maximum exposure for your post the latter approach will yield a significantly higher number of comments.
TRICK #3: Don’t use the Facebook links box! You may have noticed that Facebook provides an option to attach a link to your fan page status updates. What you may not know is that you’ll generally get fewer clicks on your link if you use this feature rather than simply including a link in the body of your update. Don’t do this… The link button outlined above will attach a link to your post, but its best to avoid using this tool, and just paste the link right into your text. Try this instead… Pasting a link you wish to share with your users directly into your message has proven, with testing, to have a significantly higher user click rate!
TRICK #4: If you post your own videos, do use the Facebook video upload Just as Facebook provides functionality to attach a link to your update, so too does it allow to you attach a video to your post. While we recommend against using this functionality when posting a link, we do recommend that you use the ‘attach‘ functionality to add your own videos to your updates. Why? If you upload your video via the Facebook ‘attach’ functionality it will automatically embed a ‘Like’ button into your video, thus giving you the opportunity to build your fans when people share your video. If you simply link to a video on YouTube or elsewhere there will be no ‘Like’ button automatically embedded in your video. Try this out… Upload videos which you have on your computer using this uploader tool– it automatically inserts a “Like” button right into your video! You get a cool feature with it! By uploading this video directly into the video uploader tool pictured above, users can now click directly on “Like” within the video as they watch.
Try this: Upload videos which you have on your computer using this uploader tool– it automatically inserts a “Like” button right into your video!
By uploading this video directly into the video uploader tool pictured above, users can now click directly on “Like” within the video as they watch.
TRICK #5: Target your messages to different segments of your audience. Did you know that you can push out status updates that only specific segments of your fan base will see? For example, if you have a global business and you have an offer that is only relevant to your Canadian customers, you could push out a story that only your Canadian fans will see. Likewise, if you have Spanish speaking fans you could target them exclusively with an update written in Spanish. Right next to the “Share” button in the messaging box is a targeting tool– while the default targeting is “Everyone,” you can limit the outreach by location, all the way down to city/state and by language. If you have a message that you don’t need or want all of your users to see, you can customize who the message will be revealed to, by using the functionality built right in to the message box! Target your message right down to the city! You can target you messages by location of your users, as deep as their city, and even the language they speak!
If you have a message that you don’t need or want all of your users to see, you can customize who the message will be revealed to, by using the functionality built right in to the message box!
TRICK #6: Make it worth your fan’s while to look out for your updates! Razorfish published a study awhile ago that asked consumers why they fan and follow brands. The greatest percentage of people, by far, responded ‘for the exclusive deals & offers’. So if you want your fans to watch out for and look forward to receiving your updates, you should reward them from time to time with special offers like coupons, giveaways, contests and more. We’ve seen companies that offer regular deals (e.g. Friday specials or Tuesday giveaways) build highly engaged fan bases.
By Chuck Frey |
Twitter is an endless source of ideas and inspiration. Because so many people are making connections and sharing questions, conversations and links, the it’s not uncommon to encounter new, unexpected ideas and the serendipitous opportunities they offer.
So how can you increase your odds of bumping up against great ideas that you can potentially use in your business? Here are a few thoughts:
Follow a diverse group of people, both inside of your field or profession as well as an eclectic group of people from other walks of life who will challenge your thinking and inspire you. The key here, as in real-life creativity, is diversity. The more viewpoints, the better. Some people on Twitter are very literal – here’s where I am, here’s what I’m doing – while others are more cerebral and thought-provoking. Look for people to follow who are in the latter camp.
Look for interesting groups that people you respect have created in their Twitter accounts, and follow them. This will expose you to a broader group of people and their viewpoints and ideas. This is a fairly new feature of Twitter; the advantage of following a group is that you instantly add everyone who is in that group to your tweetstream – you don’t have to add each one individually.
Set up searches for terms that are important to you. I don’t have a sense of the percentage of Twitter users who have set up searches for specific terms in their Twitter readers, but my gut feeling is that it’s rather low. I suspect that most people use these programs with the default set of columns – usually all of the people you’re following, any direct messages you have received and any tweets that mentioned you.
To improve your odds of encountering valuable and relevant ideas, it’s essential that you set up searches on keywords and terms that matter to you. For example, I have permanent searches set up in TweetDeck and HootSuite for innovation, creativity, brainstorming, mindmap and mind map. The tweets in these columns can be from anyone, and that’s a good thing when it comes to serendipity. What they share is the keyword or phrase that you specified.
Participate in Twitter chats related to your area of interest. Usually, a group of people agree to set aside one hour to discuss a particular topic. For example, I know of one group of people who are focused on innovation who meet weekly at a specific day and time. The tweets that are part of their “conversation” are held together by a hashtag – in the case of this group, #innochat.
To follow these conversations, simply set up a search column in your Twitter reader with the group’s hashtag as the search term. There are no invitations for these confabs; anyone is welcome to just listen in or share their expertise. Often, the tweets are flying by so quickly, it’s hard to keep up. But the best Twitter chats are a hotbed of ideas and discussion. Effective moderators will always publish the “tweetstream” – a list of all of the twitter messages that were part of the group’s discussion – after the chat, so you can always view an archive of tweets.
Ask for feedback: If you are kicking around an idea in your head, one way to get quick, free advice on its viability is to ask others on Twitter for feedback. Obviously, if this is a highly proprietary idea, you won’t want to share it in this medium. But otherwise, it’s a great way to get fast, free feedback on your nascent ideas. How can this be serendipitous? Because someone will inevitably challenge your thinking and send you off in an exciting new direction.
Have fun: Follow at least a few Twitter users with the sole purpose of making you laugh. Humor often comes from unexpected twists, unusual situations and unique perspectives. Laughter tends to put you in a looser, more creative frame of mind. So be sure to follow a few people who will tickle your funny bone. Some of my favorites include @badbanana, @funnyoneliners and @shitmydadsays (as the name implies, this last one is not really safe for work, but it’s hilarious!).
How about you? How do you utilize Twitter for creative inspiration?
LinkedIn has implemented new features to Groups – the first major update since we launched discussions in Groups at the end of August 2008. This is the first of upcoming upgrades to our groups’ platform, conversation system, and moderation toolkit coming shortly. Please bear in mind that these updates will be rolled out over the next week, by when you should see these feature updates applied to your groups.
Here’s a quick video that walks you through the key features you can expect from the new LinkedIn Groups. More details after the jump.
What’s different in LinkedIn Groups today?
1. An improved look and feel
We’ve made the conversations within groups similar to face-to-face professional interactions by removing the wall between original remarks and off-site content such as shared news articles. The rich link-sharing experience you already enjoy on your LinkedIn homepage is now also available within the context of groups.
Even better is the ability to easily recognize the participants of a conversation by linking to individual profile pictures that makes the experience more personal. It also brings to your finger tips profile information of the professional participating in that discussion.
2. Ease of use
The new design makes it easy to browse through the latest updates of a discussion and make comments quickly and easily. You can roll over the images of the last three participants on any thread to see comment previews and click their profile pictures to jump to their segment of the conversation.
Alternatively, you can chime in right away by commenting in line without drilling down into the whole discussion. If you’re new to the thread, clicking the discussion headline or the “See all comments” link will take you to the beginning of the discussion.
3. Surfacing the most popular and recent discussions in a group – faster
A key part of the new groups experience is the democratization of discussions, as group members actively curate the conversations that will be seen by the group. This is most obvious in the carousel of new content – original posts, RSS items, and off-site links shared by group members – that can be voted up or down by any group member.
This feature allows users to quickly peruse new content and vote either by “liking” or commenting on discussions they deem worthy of the group’s attention. Users who prefer to see all discussions sorted chronologically can just click on the “See all new discussions” link on the homepage.
In a live discussion, nodding fuels a conversation and the new “Like” button is a simple way to do this virtually. You can also see who has liked a conversation to get a sense for topics that group members are gravitating toward. The “More” drop-down in the carousel also makes it easy to flag new items as a job or as inappropriate for the group.
4. Making it easier for you to receive email updates from select group members
While you may check in to groups ever so often to get the latest news and discussions from your fellow group members, you may also like to set up a persistent email alert when select members of the group make a contribution (like or comment) within the group. This is easily accomplished from the global Groups’ People I’m Following page.
5. Shining a spotlight on users who add most value to the group each week
Finally, the new groups interface introduces an easy way to discover participants who truly drive the activity of the group’s discussions each week by highlighting them as “top influencers”. This designation is given not only to those who contribute the most, but also to those whose contributions stimulate the most participation from other group members.
Members who are highly regarded and heavily followed in the group often play a key role in stoking the conversation with their comments and Likes even if they don’t start a thread. Of course, the authors of popular threads are often the most influential.
We’re all about nurturing the professional conversation, and we hope the changes to LinkedIn Groups will make it even easier for you to contribute and participate in a professional groups setting. We’d love to hear your feedback, so please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this post or @linkedin us on Twitter.
Intent (Human Artist)
- Don’t read EVERY tweet. It’s perfectly okay. You have permission.
- Follow anyone who follows you (and unfollow spammers/jerks).
- Promote other people 12x to every 1 self-promotional tweet.
- Build lists to watch people who matter to you more closely.
- Retweet the good stuff from others. Sharing is caring.
- A lot of @replies shows a lot of humanity/engagement.
- Robot tweets are less sexy than human tweets.
- Promote the new/less followed more than the “names.”
- Set an egg timer. Twitter is addictive.
- Everyone does it their own way. You’re doing it wrong, too- to someone.
- A non-standard background and face avatar means we believe you may be human.
- Leave 20 characters or more space in each tweet to improve retweeting.
- Use Seesmic or Tweetdeck or Hootsuite so you can see more.
- Linking one update to several communities is technically possible. It’s just not respectful of each community’s uniqueness.
- Tools like http://bit.ly let you see stats. Use them.
- Make hashtags small and simple. We need room to tweet.
- If software allows you to “post updates to Twitter” as well as to the app, don’t do that. We rarely want to see them.
- If you develop software that pushes updates to Twitter, be VERY explicit how that works.
- Every time you use OAUTH to give apps permission to use your account, you open a potential security hole. Check your permissions monthly.
- The best mobile app is the one that you feel comfortable using. We don’t know better.
- Spamming us repeatedly is okay. We just unfollow you.
- Spend more time in search than in chatting us up about your stuff.
- Finding people who need what you’re selling trumps advertising to us.
- Retweeting someone’s nice words about you is lame and doesn’t buy you more attention. Let it stand.
- If your link is an affiliate link or a client, say so (in parentheses).
- Your customers might not be on Twitter. Use rapleaf to find them.
- Invite your customers to Twitter, then make it worth it for them.
- Use Twitter as a personalized communication tool, not another blast.
- Having different accounts for everything seems like the right move, until you realize it’s hard to grow multiple followings.
- Just make money and then the boss won’t ask about ROI any more.
- Twitter makes every event better. Post the hashtag everywhere. Make every speaker sign/label/name include a Twitter ID.
- Apps like TweetChat.com make following event chats really easy. Put in a hashtag and go.
- Tweeting the content of events is nice, but so is occasionally making a real live connection with the speaker.
- It’s okay to tweet your blog posts, but try asking a question that leads readers into the post.
- Can you invite Twitter followers to your other social platforms, like LinkedIn or Facebook? Sure you can.
- I’m not into mixing my location apps with my tweets, but if you do, do it FROM the location app into Twitter, not the other way around.
- Getting others to tweet your posts or news or registrations is useful, but sometimes comes off as a barrage or spam. Be prepared for that perception.
- Tweets that point us to photos and/or video and/or music, etc, are always a great way to enhance the experience.
- Please remove Twitter from LinkedIn. Use the #in tag instead and be selective.
- Spammy or no, events that tweet their attendance registration seem to drive attendance.
- Are your tweets really what you want to show in your sidebar? Doesn’t that direct people away from your site?
- Think of Twitter as a guidance system to what you think is interesting. A lot of that is likely off-Twitter.
- Apps like VisibleTweets.com are neat, but can be very distracting at events.
- If you use tweets on a screen at an event, be warned if you moderate. Angry crowds can happen.
- Don’t forget to invite people from off-Twitter to follow you on Twitter. Include your actual Twitter ID (I see lots of “follow me on Twitter” with no details).
- Asking questions on Twitter makes for very interesting commentary and opinions for blog posts.
- Tweetups are awesome, especially if you make them about more than just drinking and saying hi. (Though, hey, drinks can be nice.)
- Outside of the Twitter app, keep “Tw” names to a minimum. We’re not your “tweeps.”
- If your only marketing efforts are on Twitter, start building an email marketing list. Never put your eggs in one basket.
- Start thinking in 120 characters (remember? save 20). Every bit of this advice is tweetable.
(Chris Brogan is an eleven year veteran of using social media and both web and mobile technologies to build digital relationships for businesses, organizations, and individuals. Chris speaks, blogs, writes articles, and makes media of all kinds at [chrisbrogan.com], a blog in the top 5 of the Advertising Age Power150, and in the top 100 on Technorati. He is co-author of the New York Times bestselling book Trust Agents, and the recently released Social Media 101.
I have found, through my own trial and error, that the best way to gain followers on Twitter is to simply provide something of value. People want to receive things that are going to make a difference in their life. I am a big believer in positive thinking and personal development. In some of my tweets, I will post a thought or a concept learned about positivity, or creating the kind of life we all want, or just tips to change your way of thinking. Many people who have followed my tweets have thanked me either by retweeting my tweets or through a direct message. I also provide tips and tricks about social media that I find useful and important. From a professional standpoint, no one really wants to know about what coffee shop you are sitting at, or that you just left for the movies. People want information of value. It’s easy to give them exactly that.
What information about your industry or business can you give to your followers? How can you enrich their lives, personal or professional, with what you are writing about? Reflect on these questions and tweak what you are tweeting!
If you are stuck, call NLC Social Media. We are here to help!
Twitter is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds lately. It seems like everyone is talking about Twitter. The neat thing is that everyone seems to use Twitter in their own unique way. Hundreds of Twitter applications can be found on numerous sites that offer cool tools to help you manage the way you use Twitter. If you use Twitter for marketing your small business, here are 27 apps that might be helpful to you. Feel free to suggest other Twitter apps, for business owners, below in the comments.
Twitter Toolbar – Downloading this free toolbar gives you instant access to Twitter. You can use the toolbar to access online Twitter tools, check your Twitter stats, post your updates and more. Versions are available for both Firefox and Internet Explorer.
Twitoria – This simple application lets you quickly find out which of your followers has not been actively tweeting. Easily sort through your network of followers and purge the inactive users.
Monitter – Get a live streaming view at what Twitter users in your location are saying about you or your small business. Simply insert keywords you would like to search for and the surrounding area you would liked monitored.
Bubble Tweet – This unique application lets you post a short video message that pops up on your Twitter profile in a bubble shaped player. You can personally introduce yourself and/or your business to anyone who visits your profile.
Twitter Gallery – A collection of free backround themes for your Twitter account. You can use the one click installation or manually install them yourself. Lots of nice designs and colors to choose from.
Tweepler – Simplify the way you manage your Twitter followers. Tweepler enables you to easily sort through new followers and accept them or ignore them on one simple screen. They have made accepting followers easier by giving the Tweepler user the followers stats and last 3 tweets in one screen view. This will save you time by eliminating the need to visit each individual follower’s profiles.
Twit This – Allow visitors to your blog or website to easily post Twitter messages about you or your business. Post the TwitThis button to your website or blog pages with the instructions and coding provided on their site.
StockTwits – Follow and join into conversations with traders and investors. An active community of investors are sharing their views on current market conditions and recent news happenings. You can quickly see what others are saying about investments in your portfolio.
HelloTxt – Update your status to several social networking sites in one simple step. You can choose from over 35 social sites to post to including Twitter.
TwitterFox – This Firefox extension is one of my personal favorites. You can post Twitter updates without visiting the Twitter site each time. A small icon is added to the bottom of your Firefox status bar. The icon opens to reveal your friend’s most current updates. You can add your updates from that dialog box, even for multiple Twitter accounts.
Future Tweets – Do you have something to promote on Twitter tomorrow but are afraid of forgetting to do it? With FutureTweets, you can schedule your tweet ahead of time for a specific date and time. Even schedule reoccuring tweets to post daily, monthly, even yearly.
TwitPic – Share your favorite pictures on Twitter. This would be a good way to introduce your new product to your network of followers.
twtQpon – Create exclusive coupons for your business services or products and share them with your Twitter followers.
Tweetburner – This site is designed to help you track your tweets. With Tweetburner you can shorten URLs and track the clicks your tweets accumulate.
Tweetbeep – Just like Google Alerts, Tweetbeep tracks Twitter conversations that mention you, your business or your products and services. Alerts are sent to you via email.
Twitter Counter – Proudly display the number of Twitter followers on your business blog or website. Add the badge to your site and invite customers to follow you on Twitter.
Group Tweet – This app enables all employees within your company to post updates which can be privately viewed only by your group of approved members.
Twitter Safe – This free service protects your years of hard work building your community of followers. This one click backup will restore your network of followers in the event that your list is compromised.
Twitxr – Post product pictures and updates from your mobile phone directly to Twitter.
Track This – This app enables tracking of any UPS, USPS, FedEx or DHL shipment. Updates are sent to your Twitter account direct messages whenever your package changes location.
CoTweet – CoTweet lets your company manage one Twitter account while allowing several employees to contribute. Each person maintains their own identity and their activity can be monitored.
Tweet Later – This one application contains several Twitter productivity tools. You can track keywords, track replies, schedule tweets, send welcome direct messages, and much more.
Splitweet – Managing and updating multiple Twitter accounts is easily done from one screen. Choose to send updates to one or all accounts in one step. You can also follow your brand with notification when your company is mentioned on Twitter.
Twimailer – Sign up to receive more extensive email notifications when your account obtains new followers. Instead of the generic Twitter email notification; the email contains the followers location, followers stats and their most recent tweets. At the bottom of the email, you can choose to follow the individual without even visiting Twitter.
Digsby – Keep track of everything your followers are doing at all times. The Digsby box display gives you a real time view into your Twitter account right from your browser.
HootSuite – Easily manage multiple Twitter profiles, pre-schedule tweets and measure your progress. You can even add multiple editors to your business profile.
TwitterHawk – This marketing app helps you connect with consumers in your area and related to the keywords you choose. TwitterHawk will send Twitter users your custom response when they tweet your keyword in locations that you specify. Say you sell shoes and you want your response to reach anyone within a 20 mile radius of your business. When someone 7 miles away tweets about shoes, your response will automatically be sent to that person.
WiseStamp is a plugin which allows users to completely customize their Email signature with not just contact information, but links to all of your social media networks. WiseStamp works with AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo mail. The program allows you to promote your:
- Blog- Automatically include the title of your latest blog post in your email signature by simply adding your blog feed- WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, Tumblr…
Status (and Microbloging) – Share and link to your latest Twitter ,Facebook, Seesmic, Xanga status in your emails.
- Works- Promote your freelance works or designs with Devineart, Elance etc..
- Story submission – link to your latest Digg, Stumbleupon, Propeller, Mixx, Sphinn stories…
- Online activity- Add your latest Freindfeed, Mybloglog activities.
- Music- Share your beloved songs with last.fm (see feeds + more feed)
- Bookmarks- Share your latest delicious , Raddit…etc
- Photos- Let your friends see your latest Flickr , Picasa online , Photobucket pictures etc…
- Videos- Promote your latest Video submission or present your favorite play-list via Youtube, Vimeo…
- Expertise- Present your latest answers on Yahoo answers ,Yedda.
- Goals- list and share your goals via- 43 Things and let your friends Cheer you.
- Book Readings- Share your latest book reads via Goodreads.
- Reviews- promote your (or others) reviews via Yelp-Yelp feeds
- Share- Your latest Google reader shared items.
This plugin certainly allows your email signature to stand out and you can essentially link to whatever you’d like! Here’s mine…
NLC, Social Media
Cell: 785-550-9661 USA