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Is Your Facebook Contest Special?

Any company can give out free gift cards or electronics, so that really is not enough to hold the attention of social media users anymore. What is taking your contest to the next level? If you are running a contest, you must make sure your contest stands out among the rest. Here’s how:

Do your users have a reason to keep coming back to your page? Include your fans and contest participants in every possible step of the contest. Brands often do this by allowing the fans to vote on a winner, respond to a question, or  answer a poll. Get creative here and choose what seems most relevant to your brand and product.

Consumers are constantly interacting with social media on their mobile phones. This means it is vital to take advantage of location. Urge users to check-in on social media when they are interacting with your company’s physical location. Offer some sort of incentive such as a discount, a charitable donation, a few points in a contest, etc.  Getting social media users to check in not only allows you to generate more traffic, but also creates a deeper user interaction (physical and digital).

Would other social media platforms be appropriate for your contest? Your contest may be Facebook based, but ask yourself if the nature of your contest could be enhance on other platforms. For example, say you are the marketer for a line of gluten-free butter and your Facebook contest asked users to post pictures and recipes of things they made with your butter. In this case, it would make sense to start a Pinterest board, displaying the recipes.  Using more than one social media platform can allow you to reach a larger audience. The key here is to make sure your second social media platform is relevant to your contest.

The whole concept behind Facebook contests is to increase consumer brand interaction. Remember that anybody can make a Facebook contest, but your goal is to expand that user interaction as far as possible. Think of ways to take your contests to other social media platforms, physical locations, and beyond.

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Don’t Be Dull On Facebook.

Who can make a Facebook page? If you immediately thought “anyone”  you are absolutely right.  This is exactly why as a company it is incredibly important to make your page exciting. Getting those “Likes” does not mean all that much if you do not interact with your fans beyond that. One of the best ways to bring excitement to your page is to use Facebook apps.  Keep in mind that some of the ideas below are complex – they are often developed by a third party and then can be run on Facebook.

Create interactive quizzes. The truth is, as ridiculous as it may seem, people love taking quizzes about themselves. So whatever quiz you decide to create, make sure that the quiz is all about your customers. For example, if you are a frozen yogurt company the quiz could ask, “What frozen yogurt fall treat are you?” The bottom line is to make sure the quizzes ask personal questions. Keep it relevant to your business and all about your fan. To get it started, you could offer discounts to the first 100 people that take the quiz.

Use personal Facebook information to create a story about the user. People love interactive apps like this. Typically, apps such as these use the Facebook user’s photos, name, and hometown to fill in the story gaps. This usually gets a good laugh, which is great because it is likely to be shared. If you are a tax company, use the information to narrate a scary tax scandal

Make your apps about your fans. This option is not as complex as the two above.  Ask fans questions and encourage them to reply. Then, each month your company can highlight the fan that had the best response to your question. If you work for a beauty company, ask a question about the meaning of beauty. Offer a coupon or a free product to the participant with the best or most creative answer.

The Takeaways:

1. Make sure you are staying relevant to your business.

2. Be creative. Surprise your customers.

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Small Businesses on Social Media: Get It Right

Most small businesses feel a sense of urgency to get onto social media because of the tidal wave big brands have made on all social media platforms. Focus on your social media goals. Whatever they are, the bottom line should be to build relationships and grow customer trust. That means that social media is not the place to display your promotional copy. Get rid of anything remotely resembling a “BUY ME” button. Social media is about social engagement. Think of yourself in a social situation – do you spend the entire time talking about yourself? Hopefully the answer is no. This type of etiquette applies to social media as well. Just as you would in a social environment, strive to be interesting on social media. Post content that gives your followers or friends something to react too. If someone were to walk up to you and give you a compliment or ask you a question, you would never just ignore it. You would acknowledge it with a “thank you” or a reply. The same thing should be done on your social media platforms.

You are a small business. Your budget is probably much smaller than that of Starbucks. Inevitably, your social media strategy will be different than those big brands – that is okay! You don’t have to keep up with Pepsi. If you do not have the budget to giveaway the latest IPad – don’t do it. Offer a prize your company can handle such as a service, discount, or small product.  This also means that the participants in your giveaway are likely to be interested in your company, and not just in it for the free Ipad.

You have probably already picked up on the fact that there is no physical cost to join social media.  As a small business, marketing without fees probably sounds like the best kind.  But don’t be fooled – social media marketing is anything but free. Doing it right requires serious man-hours. The commitment to social media is unrelenting and endless. Engaging with followers and sharing valuable content is a full time job.

As a small business, you do not need to be present on every social media account. If you use Facebook over Google +, it does not mean you are a social media failure. The biggest error you could make is to have a Google + account that is completely neglected and shows inconsistent activity. It is better to have one or two active and up to date social media accounts than have five accounts that are not receiving adequate time and management.

Small businesses tend to make these mistakes, which can do serious harm to their social media success. Make sure your business gets it right!

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The Effects of Facebook Brand Pages on Purchasing Behavior

 

 

 

 

A recent report from Facebook and comScore looked at how using Facebook Pages effects consumer behavior and social media marketing. The report closely examined the impact of paid media exposure on Facebook Fans. Here are some of its key findings.

1. The Facebook Page has become the brand’s new website.

For several companies, Brand Facebook Pages are turning into the hub of the company. For example, the popular candy brand Skittles had 23,000 visitors in May on their website, versus 320,000 visitors on the Skittles Facebook Page during the same month!

This doesn’t necessarily mean that Brand Pages are the main source of brand engagement on Facebook, however. It’s known that Facebook users spend the most time on the News Feed, so the amount of brand exposure on the News Feed is greater

Also, this does not mean that you should abandon your company site and focus solely on your Facebook page. Websites are important for focusing on lead capture and transactions. The popularity of the Facebook Pages is just a shift in consumer behavior, which should be understood by companies.

2. The number of Facebook Fans is not a major measurement of performance.

Many companies are still too focused on taking their number of Fans as the main indicator of their performance with social media marketing on Facebook. The more important measurement however, is how brands are delivering their message to make the most out of their consumer reach and engagement.

In order to increase reach, companies should optimize their posts so they will be more likely seen in all of the News Feeds of Fans. Additionally, the ad platform is another way to help brands increase their reach. By promoting a post, it is more likely that it will reach a greater percentage of the brand’s fan base.

3. Facebook Fans and Friends of Fans are spending more.

It doesn’t seem to matter whether purchasing decisions of Facebook Fans and Friends of Fans are truly influenced by earned media exposure because they are “substantially more valuable” consumers based on actual purchase behavior, according to the report.

The report found that Fans of Amazon’s Page spent over twice as much when shopping on Amazon compared to the average consumer. And Friends of Fans spent about 8% more in purchases.

4. In-store purchasing behavior is influenced by Facebook earned media exposure.

When looking at Starbucks, researchers examined the behavior of Fans and Friends of Fans during a 4 week period and found that on the fourth week after exposure, a test group had purchase incidences that were .58 percentage points greater than the purchase incidences in the control group. Furthermore, the fact that the normal lift in purchases rose with each week following exposure, which shows the effects exposure has in increasing purchase behavior.

 

 

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The Best Facebook Page Apps to Improve Communication with Fans

With over 100,000 Facebook applications available, it can seem overwhelming to try and determine which apps will be the most important for your business. To help you out, here are four essential Facebook apps that will help you to communicate and interact with your fans!

1. Tweets to Pages

This app has about 1.2 million monthly active users! It creates a tab on your Facebook Page that shows your company’s most recent tweets displayed in a timeline. This feature is great for giving real-time information to Facebook users without a Twitter account and helps to avoid annoying fans by constantly streaming your tweets to Facebook as wall updates.

2. Static HTML: iframe tabs

With 61.8 million monthly users, this app simplifies the process of creating a custom landing page. You can simply copy and paste textboxes for your custom HTML, CSS and JavaScript instead of creating a developer account and your own application. You can also remove scrollbars and enable Facebook’s FBML if you’d like. And you can enable “like-gate” if you want to incentivize Likes on your Page.

3. ContactMe

This app has 180,000 monthly active users. It adds a contact form tab on your company’s Facebook Page that allows anyone visiting your page to easily contact you the minute they’re interested! It also has customization options, like choosing whether you want to show your company’s contact information or social media icons for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Skype. It also lets you add, remove, reorder and require specific fields in a simple user interface through contactme.com.

4. RSS Graffiti

With 1.5 million users, this app lets you post wall updates automatically, whenever there’s a new item in one of your specific feeds. This saves you time and effort in having to create a new wall update every day to distribute your company’s content. It also has customization options to make it stand out. The configuration interface is intuitive and easy to use!

If you don’t have time to sift through the hundreds of Facebook apps available, start with these four apps to better communicate with your fans!

 

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