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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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