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Friday, May 27, 2011

3 Simple Facebook Tricks for Marketers

A lot of people ask me often "How did you do that?" in regards to some of the cool things I do with Facebook status updates, managing my pages, and so on. So here's a few of my little tricks you can use while marketing to your peeps.

1) Tagging in a Status Update or Comment
Tagging people or pages in Facebook is a common occurrence, but unfortunately a lot of people don't quite know how to do it, or how to use it to their marketing benefit. Adding a tag to an update can have many benefits. Thankfully, Facebook has recognized this downside to the secrets of tagging and has now made it easier to do by simply listing out people or pages you have "like"d to make it easier, but in some cases you may not see the suggestions pop up. In this case, you cans till use the "@" for tagging. One of the glitches is that at times it takes a bit for the system to populate the suggestions, so if you don't see them right away just delete everything back tot he "@" and redo it until it shows up. Also, if you aren't friends with the person, or "like" the page of the place or business you are tagging you won't see it in your suggestions. So be sure to "friend" or "like" them before tagging.
Here's how you do it:
Begin posting your status and simply add the "@" then immediately type in the name or page (no space after the "@" is typed) and you can see the suggestions pop up.

Using Tagging for Marketing
In some cases the status or post you made will show up on the person, business, or place's wall you tagged. If the person, place or business set their preferences to not allow people to tag them, or the page settings only show their posts to the wall, then your tag will not show up. It is still a good practice to tag when mentioning them though as it provides a link to their profile or page. Wappow uses tagging as we mention businesses that sponsor our events. The users can just click to their page and "like" them or just learn more about our sponsors. We also use this method for our speakers so our attendees can see who is speaking and learn a bit more about them by checking out their profile on Facebook. Some other uses are if you are offering a promotion with a partner company, you can tag the other company to gain more exposure. Blog posts that mention companies can be posted to your profile with a tag to the company you are blogging about. You can even call out your most active fans to show them appreciation for spreading the word about your company and encourage more brand advocates as others see you giving credit for active marketing on your behalf. Got more ideas? Comment below and tell me how you have used tagging to benefit your marketing.

2) Sharing Facebook URLs (Pages, Videos, and Photos)
The sharing of other Facebook photos, videos, or pages unfortunately isn't just a click away form the Facebook interface. At times you are given the option to "share" a post, or "like" a post or comment, but the post to your profile or page isn't as visible as it would be if you were to post them yourself.
For example: if you simply "like" something this is what it looks like in the stream:

The sample above is a comment on a video posted by a friend. As you can see it's pretty hidden amongst the other posts made. If it's a video or picture you really want your users to see and give credit to the person who originally posted it and you see the "share" option is available, got that route. Click the share link and a popup will appear with the option to make a comment and "share".

This is what it will look like if you "share":
Notice the video is much more prominent on the page than the comment. 
If the "share" option isn't available, or you want to take full credit for sharing the photo or video, simply right click the link of the photo or video and select "copy link location". Then select the "link" on your page or profile and paste the link in the field and click "attach" - then comment away.
When sharing photos and videos from other sources (such as youtube.com, slideshare presentations, etc) simply grab the URL (link) of the item and paste it in the link field as shown above. In most cases Facebook recognizes the URL as a video or flash player and will render it on the wall as such so the user can just play from your stream. We use this for photo sets on Flickr, posting the link to the set directly to our wall so the user doesn't have to leave Facebook. Posting videos and photo set links to events before, during, and after is very beneficial to marketing efforts. People can see examples from the event and say they are "attending" or "maybe attending" which allows for us to continue to encourage them to register for the event and show up. In return your users will often share the videos or pictures which gives you more exposure and sparks the viral marketing effect. 
Here's an example of what it looks like as your friends and fans comment, share, like, etc the item you posted:
Akvile had attended one of our events and commented on one of the pictures in photo album I had posted to the Wappow page. People that didn't make it to this particular event get to see who was there, who spoke (in this case Rand Fishkin CEO of SEOmoz) and will be thinking to themselves "Darn, I wish I had gone. I'll have to go next time." which for our monthly Wappow Social Day! is exactly what we want them to do.

3) Getting People to "Like" You
You've probably seen those ads or Facebook posts to groups or pages that say "Make money now on Facebook, get 'likes' for your page" or something similar. The truth is, there are no quick fixes to getting a ton of "like"s for your fan page. Sure you can pay some money to a company that will magically get you thousands of "like"s but what are they really going to get you? Nothing...
The best way I have found to getting "like"s is to be patient and know where your fan base is. You don't want thousands of random people that aren't going to benefit you by "like"ing your page, you want true brand evangelists that will buy your product, use your software, attend your event, will share out your content, and spark the viral effect (They "like" or comment, three friends see it and "like" or comment, and those people have three friends that see it, and so on.) 
One of the most effective ways we have gotten "like"s with regards to business related pages is to add the like box to the website. After adding the SEOGoddess fan page to the SEOGoddess website I noticed a huge lift in "like"s to the page. Now the page has over 1,000 likes in just a few months, and the good news is: they are all people that took it upon themselves to "like" the page. 
Add a "Like" Box to a Website
Adding a Like Box to your website is pretty simple - just grab the URL of the page you want to add, and go to the Facebook Developer's section and enter the URL of the page in the WYSIWYG they provide:
Click the "Get Code" button and copy the html code provided. You can then add the code to your website (or give it to your developer to add for you). If you have a Wordpress or other content management system, simply go into the source code or "edit html" option and paste the code where you want the widget to appear. 
Don't Have a Website?
If you don't have a page that is associated with a website you can still get "like"s the natural way, it just might go a bit slower than you are wanting. Just remember, being patient is the key to quality "like"s. I created the Seattle, WA page on May 19, 2011 which now has 10 "like"s on it (1 week after it's creation) which are all very active in posting to the page and sharing posts.  My initial strategy was to post to the Seattle, WA Group the page is associated with, shared it to my personal wall, and every couple of days share it to the SEOGoddess fans, Wappow fans, etc. I also scheduled posts to hit the page from Hootsuite with links to places to visit around Seattle, and events happening. As people catch on with posting events, businesses, etc the "like"s will grow and all will benefit from the page. How does this page benefit our marketing? Wappow hosts a lot of events in Seattle, WA so having a group just for Seattle, and a page that goes with it that both have a large following will eventually benefit the company gaining exposure to the event we hold. It also shows a sense of community on a personal level as Seattle is my home, my family history, and therefore very close to my heart. In a year or so as the company grows, the fan base will grow, and our branding in the local area will become strong resulting in people trusting in, and frequently attending our events.
So there you have it - 3 simple tricks you can do to get your Facebook marketing going. Don't forget to remember to engage with your friends and fans on Facebook and you'll be successful in driving leads and establishing a solid brand presence.