Can We Talk About This?: Facebook Users

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Facebook, Opinion | Posted on Oct 01, 2013

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Faces of Facebook

The screencap above is from Faces of Facebook, an online exhibit that combines all 1.2 billion Facebook Profile Pictures into one large collage. Social Media marketers throw figures around often enough that we often forget they represent people, and this project is a great reminder that we shouldn’t lose track of the individual.

But, seriously, 1.2 billion?! That’s more than the entire population of India!

Facebook Expands Link Previews

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Facebook, News | Posted on Sep 12, 2013

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Expanded Facebook Link

Did you notice something different about your Newsfeed today? Without making a formal announcement, Facebook recently updated their link previews to generate larger and more engaging posts. Images over 400 pixels wide will now be displayed above the link they correspond to. If nothing else, it looks a lot prettier!

How does this help me?

If you’ve got any images over 400 pixels wide on your website or landing pages, this is fantastic news. Now, Link previews will be larger, drawing more attention to your content. Additionally, links tend to get shown more than image or video posts, so you’ll have a naturally larger audience!

Now is a good time to go over your content and see if your have anything that could work for this new format. Remember where it is, and try and use it as often as you can!

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Testing on Facebook

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Advice, Facebook | Posted on Aug 07, 2013

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Have you every published a Post or App, only to be frustrated when it gets cut off, crunched, or removed? It happens to everybody at first but, luckily, there’s a free, discreet, and easy way around it!

Test Pages are used by large companies to check that content is working before being published. They’re a snap to set up, can’t be seen except by Page Admins, and can be invaluable for starting large, important campaigns. To get your own, all you need is a Facebook Profile.

To start, log in to Facebook and go to your Pages Menu. From there, select, “+ Create a Page”.

Facebook Create a Page

Next, you’ll want to fill out the Page information. Be sure to use a real address, phone number, and website. Don’t worry, no one will be able to see it!

Facebook Page Information

Facebook Page Information

Once the Page is set up, it’s time to make it private so that only Admins can see it (If you have more than one Admin, you’ll want to have them set up their Admin Profiles before completing this next step). Go to the Admin Panel above your new Page and select “Edit Page” then “Edit Settings” from the drop-down menu.

Facebook Page Settings

From the following menu, select “Page Visibility” and check the box labeled “Unpublish Page” before saving your changes.

How to Unpublish a Facebook Page

Congratulations! Your Page is now what we call a “Sandbox” Page! While in your Sandbox, you can Post Statuses and Photos, add Apps, and change Profile and Cover Photos without anyone outside of your Admins seeing anything. You’ll never have to wonder how a Post will turn out again!

For more tips on setting up your Facebook Pages, check out some of our other Articles!

Facebook Announces Embedding for Publicly Posted Content

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Facebook, News | Posted on Jul 31, 2013

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Facebook announced earlier today that public posts can now be embedded onto certain websites, blogs, and other compatible media. Comments and replies will update in real time, and tags and hashtags will interact directly with Facebook for instant integration. At the moment, this features is only available to a select group of pre-approved sites, but it will be made widely available soon.

Facebook's Embed Example

via Facebook.com

For Social Page Builder and Landing Page Builder users, this new Facebook feature presents a unique opportunity to integrate marketing strategies and engage your customers. Both products will support the new embed feature, which can be incorporated in two easy steps:

1) In your editor, simply select the area of the template for the Post to go, open your “Widgets” menu and select “Custom HTML”.

Embedding Facebook Post HTML

2) Paste the embed code generated by Facebook into the resulting window. With a few adjustments for size, you should be good to go!

Pasting Facebook Post HTML

These basics steps also apply to a large variety of other editors, so experiment and see what you can do. As always, we’ll be posting tips on how to make the most out of Facebook, so check back; you might learn something!

Facebook Changes Cover Photo Guidelines

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Facebook, News | Posted on Jul 03, 2013

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Facebook recently updated their Cover Photo Guidelines, removing the restriction that Cover Photos may only contain 20% text. Most likely, this was proving difficult to enforce. Now, you can feel free to cover your Cover Photo in all the text you want! This of course, is important for promoting Sales or discounts and other special company news. Go nuts!*

20% Text

That’s how we roll.

*Please note that Promoted Posts are still affected by the “Less Than 20% Text” rule.

How to Make a Facebook Page

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Advice, Facebook, Small Business | Posted on Apr 16, 2013

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What You’ll Need

1) A Facebook Profile

    If you’re new to Facebook, you may not know that Pages and Profiles are two very different things. Profiles are for people, allowing friends to interact and share with one another on a personal level. Pages, on the other hand, are for businesses and represent professional bodies that have unique privileges.

    To create a Page, you’ll first need a Profile. These are easy to set up; Facebook’s homepage always displays the sign up form prominently.

    Facebook Profile Signup

    If you’re not interested in using Facebook for personal interaction, don’t worry; your Profile can be hidden from other users by editing the privacy settings found in the top right corner of your Facebook toolbar.

    Once your Profile is set up, you can create a Page. Simply look for the “Pages” option on the left menu of your Newsfeed, pictured below, or click here.

    Pages on the Newsfeed

    The Page set-up process will ask you for information about your business. These questions should be very easy to answer. If there is a section that you can’t fill in, just leave it blank; you can come back and fix it later.

    When using Facebook for business, you will sign in to your Profile to act as an Administrator for your Page. Try thinking of your Profile as your online self and your Page as your office. You will interact with customers and fans using the Page as an intermediary body.

2) Images

    Facebook Page Images

    Facebook Pages are made up of three types of images: Profile Picture, Cover Photo, and App Image. To build a legitimate Facebook presence, you’ll need all three. We’ll go over them one-by-one here.

    Profile Picture
    Dimensions: 180 pixels x 180 pixels (at least)

    The Profile Picture is the face of your Page. It will be seen on every post, share, and comment that you make. For this reason, it’s important to pick an image that visually represents your business. Company logos are a very common choice.

    Cover Photo
    Dimensions: 851 pixels x 315 pixels

    The Cover Photo is your Page’s header image. This is an excellent place to share company news, sales and promotions, and goals. The Cover Photo is also where you can highlight your various Facebook Page features and encourage visitors to “Like” your Page. For more information on how to format your cover photo, you can read How to Make a Great Custom Cover Photo. You can also use this free tool to create custom Cover Photos of your own: Timeline Image Creator

    App Image
    Dimensions: 111 pixels x 74 pixels

    Custom Applications are the engines that drive engagement for most Facebook Pages. Administrators can use these Applications to run contests, create Fan-exclusive deals, and host custom content that would otherwise be unavailable on Facebook. You can learn more about these Applications by visiting Social Page Builder or attending a High Impact Designer Weekly Webinar on Social Media Marketing. You can also learn more about designing and publishing App Images with How to Make a Great Custom App Image.

3) Likes

    Facebook's "Like" Button

    Facebook Pages rely on Fan support to reach a wider audience. This support is (mostly) measured by the amount of “Likes” a Page has. The more popular the Page, the more likely Facebook is to distribute its material to a wider audience.

    There are many ways to get Likes on Facebook. If you already have a Profile that you use, the easiest way is to send messages to your Friends inviting them to Like your new Page. Facebook will prompt you to do this automatically, and the option will be featured prominently in your administrative settings.

    Other methods for getting Likes vary in effectiveness based on your industry and your marketing strategy. Popular methods include running contests, creating Fan-exclusive deals, and engaging with Fans on your Timeline. All of these can be accomplished easily with the help of custom Applications. You can also advertise your Page directly through Facebook.

    The most important thing to remember when looking for Likes on Facebook is to offer your visitors value. Self-promotion and updates are appropriate on special occasions, but people need to get something back. Try offering exclusive deals or information in exchange for Likes; you’d be surprised how effective they can be!

Congratulations, you’re ready to start marketing your business on Facebook! Your next step is to begin posting, Liking, and sharing content on your Page. You’ll also want to look into Custom Applications to create Fan-exclusive deals and contests. And keep checking back for more Facebook how-tos and news!

What is Facebook Home?

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Facebook, News | Posted on Apr 05, 2013

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Yesterday, Facebook announced a new feature for their mobile application: Home. So what is it?

More than anything, Facebook Home is an attempt to further ingrain Facebook into human communication and daily life. Home is more than an App; it’s a modification of your phone’s operating system. You’ll now be able to access Facebook via custom notifications, entering chats and getting updates without interfering with your other activities.

Why Use Home?

For anyone that uses Facebook on a regular basis, Home is the next logical step. Now, rather than having to close apps, navigate to Facebook, complete an action, then navigate back, users can skip most of those steps with zero effort. This is especially useful for small businesses whose demanding schedules don’t permit wasted time. Ultimately, the ability to integrate Facebook seamlessly into other activities is a useful and effective practice.

Why has Facebook Created Home?

Apart from making their product more convenient for customers, Facebook is motivated by the desire to become an inseparable part of how we communicate with one another. Ubiquity has been Facebook’s strength since overtaking MySpace in 2009, and their proficiency at maintaining their monopoly will be the deciding factor in the company’s growth over the next few years. Home is an excellent step forward for the company, and we’re likely to see many new features and additions to it in the future.

How it Works: Facebook’s New Reply Feature

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Advice, Facebook, News | Posted on Mar 28, 2013

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Facebook just launched a new tool for replying directly to comments. You might have noticed this at the top of your Page:

Facebook's Reply Notification

Now, instead of having to send a notification to all commentators, you can address an individual commentator directly and discretely. Your reply will still appear on the comment feed, but commentators not directly addressed will no longer be bothered with notifications. This new feature also prioritizes comments by level of activity, essentially ranking comments by how popular they are.

How does this affect Pages?

The advantage here is two-fold. Most noticeably, this new feature will eliminate the annoyance of customers who continue getting notifications for conversations that they no longer want to be a part of. Since fans no longer have to worry about being bombarded with comments, they’re more likely to comment and generate a conversion.

In addition to fewer annoyances, this feature will also incentivize readers to comment by promoting comments and commentators that get the most responses. People who comment on your posts will now try harder to get responses, generating interest and traffic for your Page. Ranking comments will also help your readers focus on the important points of the post by highlighting what people are talking about.

The future?

This is one in a series of Facebook updates that will be released over the coming weeks (some may have already noticed a sleeker menu for personal Profiles). Be sure to follow any additional updates, and keep checking your Facebook Page for chances to try out the new format!

Looking for more Facebook news? Be sure to check out our Social Media Section. You can also check out 3 Ways to Use Facebook’s New Cover Photo Rules and The New Facebook Newsfeed for the latest scoop.

3 Ways to Use Facebook’s New Cover Photo Rules

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Advice, Facebook, News | Posted on Mar 23, 2013

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Late last week, Facebook relaxed their guidelines for Cover Photo content. What was once a stringent set of rules has now been reduced to only a few sentences:

    All cover photos are public, which means anyone visiting your Page will be able to see the cover photo. Cover photos can’t be deceptive, misleading, infringe on anyone else’s copyright or be in violation of the Pages Terms. You may not encourage people to upload your cover photo to their personal timelines.

    Cover photos must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not include images with more than 20% text.

So what does this mean for Facebook Marketing?

Basically, it means that Admins are no longer restricted from placing advertising in their Cover Photos. This opens up a whole world of possibilities to capitalize on, from increasing sales to boosting Likes and Fan engagement. We’ll explore a few of these options now, as well as some examples of how to implement them.

Cover Photo Dimensions: 851 pixels x 315 pixels

1) Direct Visitors to Like

Facebook Like Cover Photo

Pages are now free to put Like incentives directly in their Cover Photo. Now, rather than having to find clever ways to draw attention to the Like Button, Admins can point to it directly. Phrases along the lines of “Like us to get product updates and promotions” are effective for drawing in people who might be inclined to Like your Page.

2) Advertise

Facebook Sale Cover Photo
The old rules forbade putting price and sale information directly into a Cover Photo. Luckily, that’s no longer the case! Publish as many sales banners as you want! (Just be sure to keep text to a minimum)

3) Drive Contests and Other Promotions

Facebook Contest Cover Photo

If you’re running a Facebook Contest, your Cover Photo is now an excellent place to promote it! Figure out where you’ll place the contest Tab on your Page and have text on the Cover Photo pointing to it.

Try mixing and matching these ideas to design even more effective Cover Photos! And don’t be afraid to try new strategies; this new policy is incredibly open-ended so almost anything is possible!

Check our Facebook Section for continued tips and updates on Social Media Marketing. And check out How to Make a Great Custom Cover Photo and How to Make a Great Custom App Image for more Facebook image tips!

Can we Please Stop it with the Facebook Scams?

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Facebook, News, Opinion | Posted on Mar 21, 2013

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Louis CK Contest

Since I posted on this last week, I’ve seen another massively popular scam based on the PS4, and now this one getting started around Louis C.K.. Now, to be fair, this one comes from a local, legitimate newspaper, so they might not know that they’re not allowed to do this. Still, come on! Has this just become acceptable now? Will we be plagued by fake share contests from everywhere? It’s a clear violation of Facebook’s Page guidelines as well as a sloppy way to run a contest, since there’s no way to privately contact the winners. I sincerely hope we start seeing less of this in the future.

If you want to know how to run a legitimate Facebook contest, you can read Facebook Contests: Rules and Regulations.

Update: Turns out the contest operator is actually trying to make good on their giveaway! Good for them!