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Monday, 28 June 2010

Facebook - a Business Approach

A major downside to Facebook is the 5000 friend limit.It is possible however to open a number of facebooks. In a business this would preferably be done using different partners or employees.You could use the Bios for the business link in order to encourage relevant invitations from other users.
Inviting Friends
As a strategy you would join up to 30 Groups per Facebook as close to your business/product/service niche as possible and avoiding duplication. You would then invite people from those Groups to be your friends.
Forming Groups
In one of your Facebooks you would create Groups specifically and narrowly targeted to your niche, product or service.You could even name a group the same as your product or service. You would then invite your other Facebooks to join your Groups and make them officers or administrators for your group.You would all then invite new friends to those Groups.
Do not let the Group membership exceed 5000 as you can only Direct mail your Group if the membership remains less than 5000.
Because the members have to accept the invitation anyone who joins your Group is highly qualified and a targeted lead.
Forming Pages
Create a Page in your name or Company name, invite the other Facebooks to join and make them administrators. Then from all Facebooks invite your Friends to join this "Fan" page. There is no limit to the numbers joining your page. It is important as this is the one area of Facebook which is recognised by Google for ranking purposes.
By posting on the Wall, within the Groups and on the Page you can promote your products and services with links as often as you wish, remembering always to give lots of value to nurture trust within the Groups and Page.
Two essential applications within Facebook allow you to put an opt in box on your Profile page and on your"Fan" Page.You should always continue as your main business strategy to encourage as many targeted leads as possible to join the lists within your auto responder.

Social Media & Business - Facebook

Facebook is a social networking website launched in February 2004 and operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. Users can add people as friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. It's name comes from the name of books given to students at the start of the university academic year to help students to get to know each other.
In its 6 years Facebooks membership now exceeds 400 million and if it was a country would be the fourth most populous on the planet.As a site it now has more visits than Google!
Facebook Profile
It is designed in such away that the user gives his profile which contains all manner of information about him/her. Age, Gender, Location,interests, hobbies, work and anything else you can possibly think of. This profile can either be viewed by anyone/everyone, or restricted to invited friends or kept private.
Facebook Friends
The user is allowed to invite friends up to a limit of 5000 and these friends photos and profiles are also exposed and viewable.
Facebook Videos and Photographs.
The user can add photographs and videos to his albums which are also on public display.
Facebook Wall
Facebook has a number of features with which users may interact. They include the Wall, a space on every user's profile page that allows friends to post messages for the user to see; Pokes, which allows users to send a virtual "poke" to each other and Status, which allows users to inform their friends of their whereabouts and actions. The user can post messages to his wall which is viewable by all his friends. Its function is communication and works a bit like a blog. Friends can say they like the posts and can comment on the post.
Facebook Groups
The member can join Groups. There are many hundreds of thousands of Groups but it is possible to search through categories and a search facility for Groups in your interest area.Joining a group will have the effect of members of that Group seeking to become connected with you as a friend. Once you have joined a Group it is possible to invite your friends to join and to post on that Groups wall.
You can create a Group and invite your friends to join it. As the creator or Administrator of that Group you can control what other Group members post on that Group wall.
Facebook Page
You can also join another members page. These used to be called Fan pages until recently. You can make your own Pages and invite other members to become your fan.
Facebook applications.
There are hundreds of Facebook applications which people have written for your use and amusement. These vary in both quality and usefulness. Many are games in which you can participate and find people of common interests.

Social Media & Business - Facebook Ads

Considering that Facebook now has more visits than Google it is surprising that Facebook advertising is still considered inferior to Google advertising.I have no figures on this but the price of Facebook advertising compared to the price of Google Adwords indicates a much lesser demand.
The factors that should push you towards Facebook Advertising are

The cost - as I've said the cost per click is much less than on Google.

The traffic - not only does Facebook traffic now exceed Google, the length and therefore the quality of the view is greater.Many now use Face book Direct messaging rather than email and consequently have their Facebook as their home page.

The ability to precisely target.Google adwords have the disadvantage of displaying to all and appearing at the top of the search page where all your competitors are also advertising.This may be partly overcome by joint venturing with your competitors but in certain markets that could be illegal.
Facebook on the other hand will be displayed only to a defined audience.

Basically you can choose on Facebook what sort of person you want the ad displayed to. This can be by gender, country, locality, age, date, interest(really be detail of individuals bios) You can therefore be certain that only interested potential customers will see and therefore click on your advertisement and that conversion will be much greater.
The other massive advantage it has over Google is that it carries photographs or graphics and therefore is far more interesting and attractive.

Social Media and Business - Web presence

Businesses large or small fall into one of these categories.

No website or web presence whatsoever

Advertising themselves on a local website trade website or similar such as Yell.com

With a website, of various quality designs, advertising their company, products and services.

With a website as above but SEO (search engine optimised).

With a website or websites customer facing which would respond to product or solution searches.

with a network of web presences, sites and social media involvement driving targeted traffic to opt in pages, sites, products and solutions.

All but the last category are failing to optimise their web presence.

What has changed

Traditional Marketing has been traditionally employed at two basic levels.

Promoting or adverising the brand.

Promoting or advertising the Product or Service.

This has employed all the media available from time to time i,e, Newspaper, Bill boards, Leaflets, Yellow Pages,Direct Mail, TV, Radio and of late,internet advertising - Google Adwords, Adsense, Advertising sites, Banner advertising, Facebook Ads, etc. Of the latter group only Facebook ads allow targeted advertising and the other methods all suffer from lack of targeting.

What much of business, mainly through ignorance and sometimes intellectual resistance, have missed is that the use of almost any social media would allow them to filter the general public into interest groups where more effective targetted marketing can take place.In addition t5he Social Media market place operates in real time and it is possible to respond immediately to the market and easily conduct research and obtain immediate feedback.

Social Media & Business - The current position

The more I have learned about social media the more I have seen how underutilised it is in all sizes of business.
This can only be because the generations who run business and take decisions are generally too old to have learned the power of Social Media. In fact it is worse than that! There are 3 considerable points of resistance

- I have found tremendous resistance from people to even consider that Social Media and particularly the explosion in Facebook and Twitter is of any relevance whatsoever to them or their businesses.

- Moreover there is also a resistance from those Facebook and Twitter diehards to accept that these platforms should be used for commercial purposes.

- The owners of these networks have been reluctant to permit commercialisation of their platforms and still have unclear rules to discourage use by business.

By and large big business has not cottoned on to the use of Social Media in general. There are some businesses, for example, Dell computers who fully appreciate the power of Twitter and have thrown a considerable staff resource at it. Well, I here you say, "they would because they are in IT and Twitter is sort of IT because it's on the internet".

Well, Social Media is not IT - it is communication in its broadest sense and a large part of business communication is marketing and sales. The beauty of Social Media Marketing is that it can be targeted, is immediate, and best of all, it is free. It has the tremendous advantage over all other types of offline marketing in that You can actually measure its effect and know how many people it has interested or attracted.
If you are in a large business and not using Social Media Marketing techniques, I suggest you start tomorrow by appointing a Social Media expert. Your IT department and marketers cannot do it without training.
Equally you as a business leader or decision influencer must obtain some detailed Social Media education as you will need to champion its introduction into your company, just as you would with any other change program.
All traditional areas of marketing are in steep decline - newspaper advertising, TV advertising, Yellow pages etc.for two reasons, lack of public interest in this media and the growth of personal computers and 3G cell phones. In addition we all have devices such as Tivo or Pvrs designed to free us from TV advertising.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Tools to help you design a really professional background without expense

Artweet is a simple little service so you can quickly make your twitter a little more pretty and a lot more useful. It allows you to make the most of your twitter backgournd by displaying a picture and or some messages e.g. you could have a mug shot and promote your blog url, or maybe you want to flash up a quick message and url about something new you are doing.

Twitter Background Checker
Twitter Background Checker. Does your nifty Twitter background look like poo with smaller or bigger screen resolutions? check it here.

These are backgrounds you can modify and use for your background on your personal Twitter page. Please do not claim these as your own. If you need a custom background, you can use the contact form. I charge $10 for a custom Twitter background.

4 different free twitter backgrounds- PSD zipped files. which can be easily customized with no restrictions. These 4 backgrounds are designed using free textures from textureking and the Twitter Birds are from Productive dreams and SmashMag The rest credits are present on the zipped file.

ClickableNow enables clickable links on Twitter background images. The ClickableNow free script or add-on must be installed to view the links. The ClickableNow website allows Twitter users to create clickable links on Twitter background images.

Why would you want to pay good money for a custom Twitter background when you can upload one of the stock backgrounds that Twitter provides for free?

Free Twitter Designer
Free Twitter Designer is a flash app that allows you to customize your Twitter background.

A Flickr gallery of great Twitter extended backgrounds free to use

have the most twitter backgrounds on the internet and keep adding more backgrounds on a daily basis.

A group of free Twitter backgrounds. Each high quality twitter background image comes with a color text file so you can customize theme colors to match your new profile background. You can view a larger sample or download the zip file.

1000's of unique free Twitter backgrounds. Click "Get Twitter Background" beneath any image you want to put on your Twitter.. The new page will show the image as a background and give step-by-step instructions on how to add it as your Twitter background.

Choose from over 250 + Backgrounds, Enter your Name, Company, Websites, Logo, Personal Photo and more.

If your into manga there are lots of Free manga graphics that can be downloaded from this Japanese site.

Has loads of free twitter backgrounds for you to download.

Create a twitter background using powerpoint. this site allows you to download a twitter template from which following their instructions you can easily design a professional background.

Offers a number of Free twitter backgrounds for you to download

Twitter Background 0.1
Twitter Background 0.1 is a very simple add-on. You won’t even know it’s there, and after a while you’ll think this is a feature of Twitter itself.

Go with TwitBacks‘s Smart Solutions which creates effective, out-of -the-box remedies for businesses facing constantly evolving technology and trends.

On Twittergallery you can find the best twitter backgrounds on the net. Simply Click the gallery post, and change your twitter background within a minute. It is that simple !

Peekr really is just a nifty little bookmarklet that you can drag to your browser’s toolbar and click on to see a twitter user’s entire background graphic and then click again to get things back to normal

Twitlay provides free Twitter backgrounds. There are various categories to choose from. In fact, you can change the color and add text to the background. Select colors for your profile and preview it in real time. Save all these to your Twitter account with a single click

It’s never been this easy — with our professionally designed, simple user interface you can change your Twitter background or profile icon automatically. On Twiback there is no need to go to twitter settings to change or refresh your twitter background or icon anymore.

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