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!

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!

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!

3 Reasons You Need a Landing Page Strategy to Succeed with Online Ads

Posted by Rob Cooper | Posted in Advice, Landing Pages, SEO, Tips and Tricks | Posted on Mar 20, 2013

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Working with clients of all sizes, I’m regularly asked “Why wouldn’t I just point my Google/Facebook/Linkedin ads to my product page?”

My answer is always the same: “You might succeed to a certain level, but ALL the most successful advertisers leverage landing pages, and you should, too.”

There are three main reasons landing pages are necessary to reach your full potential…

Testing and Indexing
The beauty of online advertising combined with landing pages is how easy it is to test different offers, benefits, copy, and images to maximize the response after someone clicks through on your ad. A streamlined landing page makes it a snap to launch and test multiple variations. However, this means that at any given time you might have multiple different versions of a page, most of which will eventually be deleted.

With this in mind, you want to make sure that you set these pages up so that they are not “indexed” by Google. Otherwise, this may lead to a real mess in Google search results. There may also be results which point to pages which no longer exist. Using a simple “no-index” tag (or using the no-index setting in your landing page software) makes this very easily accomplished.

Matching of Features to Visitors
A product page must address all the different facets of your offering. For instance, let’s suppose you have a cloud-based file storage program with 10 or 15 different features, such as uploading to social media accounts, online storage, file conversion, file compression, etc.

There’s typically no way you can have a single product page or section that gives prominence to all of these features.

However, working in tandem with Google Adwords, you can take your visitors to the exact feature that someone is interested in. For instance, if someone is Googling “online file conversion tools” your ad can take them to a landing page where that specific feature is the most prominent thing on the page. Likewise, if someone Googles “online file compression” you’ll take them to a landing page which focuses on exactly that!

It’s not hard to see how using this strategy will dramatically increase the likelihood that a visitor will become a buyer! Plus, there’s no limit to the number of features you can highlight for people searching matching keywords if you use a simple-to-modify landing page template.

Matching of Demographic Interests
Let’s imagine that you have a product that fulfills needs for dramatically different demographic profiles. In this case, it might be something like an affordable waterproof camera that has broad appeal.

Now, let’s see how this might work if you’re advertising the camera on Facebook. You might target (separately) college-aged students, parents with young kids, and adventurous travelers.

It goes without saying that each group will be waaay more responsive to a different experience when they arrive at your site. For instance:

    -The college-aged students might respond well to a high-energy page featuring others their age and would probably react well to some “edgy” messaging.

    -The parents with kids would likely respond well to a page showing how they might capture the memories of their kids learning to swim, at the beach, etc.

    -The adventurous travelers would likely respond better to beach, snorkeling, and diving scenes from exotic locales.

Nobody would argue that you can do a good job appealing to all those three groups on a single product page. In fact, it’s likely, in this case, that the “parents” messaging would actually repel the college-age demographic, and vice versa.

Being “different things to different people” through multiple landing pages is a task that becomes extremely straightforward when you match your demographic targeting with a meaningful landing page strategy.

With the tools now available to make landing pages easily accessible to even the smallest of companies, what’s keeping you from kicking off your own landing page strategy?

About the Author

Rob Cooper is our guest blogger for this post. He lives in Victoria, BC and has been working internationally in Web Marketing for 12 years, the last 6 running PlusROI.com.

Landing Page Best Practices: Part 2 – Lead Generation

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Advice, Landing Pages, Tips and Tricks | Posted on Mar 07, 2013

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What are Landing Pages?

Have you ever considered using Landing Pages to generate Leads? It’s not crazy – the branding and design of a customized Page can go a long way toward building your lists. So how can you make sure that your Page is bringing in as many new contacts as possible?

Are you using an online form creator?
Getting your Landing Page to generate Leads hinges on having an easy and effective way to manage the information. A Form will allow you to ask for contact information in a way that’s easy for both the customer and you; Form Builders like the one available in Landing Page Builder automatically notify you of new contacts and allow you to add contact information to lists or send automatic opt-ins. Many platforms also offer third-party integration, so check with your Email Service Provider to see if you can import their forms!

Landing Page Form Editor

Have you assured your leads that their information will never be shared with anyone else and that they can easily unsubscribe at any time?
If you’re familiar at all with Email Marketing, then you’re aware that privacy and opt-in/out options are very tightly regulated. Stay ahead of the game by reinforcing your Leads’ confidence in their privacy with trust symbols, verbiage, and automatic opt-in options like the ones discussed earlier. If your lead feels like they can trust you with their information, they will be much more likely to purchase further down the sales funnel.

Email Follow-up

Are you asking the user to fill in more information than is absolutely required?
Surveys show that each additional required field results in a 15% decline in the completion of the form. For mobile forms the decline is 50%. Asking for your leads’ birthdays might provide some interesting insights, but it could tank your conversions. Identify the facts you absolutely need and limit your Form based on your answers. Try to think like a prospect would think and create a functional form that doesn’t make too many demands.

Bad Web Form

Do you include fields in the form that might require retyping (like requiring dashes in telephone numbers)?
Every time a prospect fails to complete a form, another barrier is added to the Sales funnel. Many Form Builders will allow you to provide examples in individual fields. Some also allow for multiple answer formats. Be sure that the form that you’re providing is clear and easy for your prospects to fill out on the first try.

Example Form

Stuck on ideas for Forms? Check out 5 Ways to Use Web Forms for some tips! And be sure to come back next week for even more Landing Page Best Practices! We’ll be covering A/B Testing and how to get the most out of your Page variations.

Landing Page Best Practices: Part 1

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Advice, Landing Pages, Tips and Tricks | Posted on Mar 03, 2013

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What are Landing Pages?

Think that your great landing page could do even better? Follow our week-by-week tips to learn how! Sometimes, just a few small tweaks are all that a page needs to reach its full potential. When reviewing your page, ask yourself these questions:

Are you segmenting your landing pages based on your sources?
Would you click through an ad that didn’t make sense to you? Of course not. But a comprehensive page goes beyond just good writing and an intuitive design; it also needs to be relevant. Leads coming from a Pay-Per-Click Ad like Google AdWords are probably looking for an in-depth product breakdown and/or a good price. Current customers/verified leads, on the other hand, already know at least something about your product and will be looking for short updates and special offers. Always consider who you’re directing to your page and what’s on it, and you’ll be able to hold a tighter grasp on the market and boost conversions without having to increase your distribution.

Leads

Have you made it easy for your visitor to say “Yes!”?
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. An effective landing page must convey, often at a glance, exactly why yours should be the product to buy. How do you make sure of that? By having a plan and making your Page clear and direct.

Say Yes Landing Pages

Have you used a compelling headline and action-oriented benefits?
People don’t respond to bland. Be sure to take the time and write a headline that draws attention and gets the customer excited about your product. Positive action words like “Imagine”, “Create”, and “Inspire” will invigorate your customers and subtly bring them to an “action-ready” state.

Headline

Is your actionable item above the fold?
Your Landing Page wants to give your customers a clear course of action. Let it! Explanation of a product or deal may be necessary, but your Landing Page is not the place! Keep your headlines and subheadings short and let your actionable item stand out.

Above the Fold

Have you conveyed trust and security?
There are so many reasons to distrust a page: losing privacy, the fear of getting scammed, a lack of information; it’s easy to see why people can be hesitant. So what can you do to make sure that your visitors feel safe? A good layout conveys work ethic and strong motivation, but that’s only the first step. Your page will also need excellent copy, guarantees, and, if possible, video and text testimonials from satisfied customers.

Testimonials

Another important element for conveying security is trust symbols. These could be anything from seals of approval from reliable sites to awards won or partners collaborated with. By providing these symbols, you’re showing the customer that you are a trusted partner and an honest business.

Trust Symbols

Note: VERIFY YOUR TRUST PARTNERS. It’s great that Example.com loved your product, but if your link to their site doesn’t reflect that information directly, your trust symbol is suspect. Our advice? Dedicate either a part of your homepage or a special landing page to partners and testimonials. The extra layer of information will satisfy most people’s curiosity.

Join us next week for more Landing Page Best Practices! We’ll be focusing on Web Forms and how to turn your Landing Page into an automatic lead generator!

Getting the Most out of Your Facebook Advertisements

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Advice, Facebook, Tips and Tricks | Posted on Jan 25, 2013

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Facebook Ads

A lot of us use Facebook Advertisements. It makes sense: they’re targeted, cheap, and easy to manage. So how do we make sure we’re getting our money’s worth?

First, we need to make sure our Page looks good. We’ve written a lot about this in the past, so if you need the details you can check out Covers and Apps here. The most important thing is cohesion. If your Page looks like a mismatched quilt of random images, you’re going to have a bad time. Pick a color, style, and theme and stick to it as much as possible (even when posting). An attractive Page will let customers know that you mean business and help them to trust you as a brand.

Once you’ve got your Page looking right, it’s time to give it body. Regular updates are the norm, of course, but a real Facebook presence requires more. Apps, whether custom or imported, give your Page functionality and let the customer see that you can work beyond the superficial to give your projects substance. Try running contests or other engaging functions. Again, this will help you to impress visitors and gain their trust.

Apps

The last step in maximizing your Facebook Ads is to make sure that your Page is populated with engaging, quality content. Since I can’t help by pretending to know what business you’re in or what products you sell, I’ll have to leave that last part up to you. Give people enough reasons to like and trust you, and it will be hard for them not to.

MySpace has Suited Up (and Sold Out?)

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Advice, Content Marketing, Landing Pages, News | Posted on Jan 15, 2013

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Myspace Landing Page

Myspace.com has been getting a lot of flack today for replacing their normal landing page with this promotion for Justin Timberlake’s new single, Suit & Tie. While not unprecedented (Justin owns Myspace jointly with Specific Media Group), this move has struck a lot of people as crass and alienating, linking the usage of Myspace so closely with liking Timberlake that many may bounce simply to avoid the association. Writing as someone who actually enjoys Justin’s music and acting, this still comes across as a little presumptuous, and it doesn’t make me like Myspace any more than I already did.

So what can this teach us?

First of all, this is a great example of how your approach to cross-promotion can affect the way both you and your campaign are perceived. Had Suit & Tie been promoted separate from the login options with a large image or video, this move wouldn’t have irked so many people; they could have clicked through to Myspace and been no worse off. By forcing customers to interact with the music to use Myspace, Timberlake and Specific Media are imposing themselves on their audience, forcing them to do something that they don’t necessarily want to do, and making them subtly uncomfortable in the process.*

So let that be a lesson: next time you want to cross-promote, make it optional, not obligatory.

What do you think of Myspace’s recent decisions? Is the site headed in the right direction? Leave a comment below or check out Myspace is Back for more info.

*There is an option at the top of the landing page to continue to Myspace normally. It’s white text on gray background and so small I missed it my first time on the page.

Facebook Contests: Rules and Regulations

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Advice, Facebook, Social Media, Tips and Tricks | Posted on Jun 21, 2012

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Contest Like

So, you want to hold a contest on your Facebook Page. The first thing you should know is that Facebook, Inc. takes this all very seriously. That being said, there’s a lot of fun to be had holding contests online, and both your customers and Facebook will appreciate it when it’s done right.

Rule #1: Use Apps!

Relying on Posts from your fans for a contest can be a cumbersome and incredibly confusing process. Luckily, Facebook requires all promotions to be run through third-party Applications. Using Custom Web Forms like the ones found in Social Page Builder, you can easily create unique Applications for your contest and include everything from email subscription options to downloads and image submissions. With proper documentation, these features can even be used to create exclusive content for your other fans! Most importantly, email address submissions can be used to notify contest winners, as simply posting it might not reach enough people for the winners to be seen.

Rule #2: Be Independent

Due to the complete lack of verification required to set up a Page and begin a contest, Facebook mandates all contest holders to explicitly state that Facebook does not endorse their promotion. Additionally, all participants must acknowledge and release Facebook of responsibility for the promotion. This is all about liability; like any business, Facebook must protect themselves from those who would use their product in an unsavory or illegal way. As long as you’re legitimate, include the appropriate fine print, and make it clear that Facebook isn’t directly involved, your contest should be able to stand on its own.

Rule #3: Be Generous

It’s fine to ask a contest participant to Like your Page; it spreads awareness and helps you to keep track of submissions. What’s not cool is requiring your participants to Comment on your Timeline and Share your Posts; it’s a sleazy way to boost traffic and Facebook will slam you for it. If you’re providing a quality service and maintaining an honest Facebook presence, the Likes and Shares will come.

All Applications shown above were created using Social Page Builder, the App creation tool from High Impact Designer. To learn more about contests and how to regulate them, you can visit Facebook’s Official Terms of Service. For more on Web Forms and other tools, read 5 Ways to Use Web Forms or many of the other posts in the Tips and Tricks section of this blog.