Timeline for Facebook Like Pages

Big news yesterday with Facebook announcing that Facebook Fan Pages will get the Timeline format on 30 March 2012. We have put together a quick overview of the new format and how it will impact your Facebook Marketing or complete Social Media Strategy.

Watch our overview here, including how your landing tabs will need to be changed and how you can pin important posts to the top of your Timeline.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments. What do you think about this change?

Social Stamp. – make a mark on social media


Behavioural Pricing Online – a Reality?

Question: Do you see this kind of user-specific pricing as a current reality?
In a way – yes, although as a rule, we are using it to give better prices to brand advocates instead of charging more to customers that are fanatical about the brand on social media. Behavioural pricing pioneers seem to be saying that companies would charge more to brand fanatics.
Currently prices are adjusted by awarding vouchers or discount codes, instead of changing pricing live on a site, but this is the logical next step. The problem is finding a way of doing it automatically and most importantly in a way that does not alienate the target market.

behavioural pricing pics on Sodahead

Also there are already consumer intelligence companies springing up that work with brands and also with banks to understand what you are buying and using that intelligence to offer you something to buy next. The data about you is out there…
The next step is to use this intelligence to price differently for different customers. This could be to reward customers loyal to a brand, or increase the price to someone that is fanatical about a certain brand because you know they are going to buy it anyway. If you know something about their credit score, job or income then you know whether they can afford it.
If the tools exist to customise a web pricing page depending on who is looking at it – you can decide whether you reward loyalty or not.
In our line of business I see being able to reward customers (by giving lower prices) for spreading the word in this way could be extremely beneficial to start-up companies trying to build a social media following.
Question: Can you foresee social media posts/quotes/likes etc being used extensively to set user-specific prices, now or in the future?
Yes. As I say – we are working with clients now that are happy to offer money off their products in return for the customer talking about the brand or product online. The obvious next step is to automate this process so that prices on web pages just change depending on who is viewing it and how much they have talked about you online. There are difficulties though. How do you monitor whether they are saying good or bad things about you? There is a lot to think about.
We are actually working right now with a client on adjusting pricing for customers if they ‘click on the like button’ for a certain product on their online store. However, we are thinking carefully about the implications for overall relationship with the target market. Some customers may feel left out, others enthusiastic.
Question: Do you know of any brands that are setting online prices in this way, or are considering doing so?

Yes – several of our clients are talking about this and we are actively working with a couple on a plan or implementation.

Question: Would it be advantageous to brands to have differential pricing depending on a consumers’ social-media behaviour?

That depends on the brand’s business model. If they are a young start-up and they want to create a buzz on social media, and their target market demographic fits the social media platform that they are using as a gauge to social media activity then it could be advantageous.
Question: What implications (if any) does it have for social media and attitudes to privacy?
I think that initiatives in this area will use data about the users that is already publicly available, however, behavioural pricing may make it more obvious that the information about individuals is out there. This could then cause concern and some consternation amongst shoppers.

For more information on Behavioural Pricing contact us via www.socialstamp.co.uk 

Google+ Business Page…why you must have one!

To what extent how is the growth of social media – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc – affecting how SEO is handled?

Google is now indexing Facebook and other social media sites so that relevant information within these social media platforms can be returned. Also there can be more links from content about your product, service or company on social media that can lead back to your site making it look more important in the eyes of the search engine. But this is by no means the end of the story…

The biggest  way that social media is impacting search results is really through the rivalry between Google+ and Facebook….

With Google pushing the Google Plus social media platform, and including this content in search, is it now essential for businesses to have a Google Plus presence?

In short – yes. Unless Google throws in the towel on social media, which is unlikely.

Ideally Google wants you to have a google account and be logged into it when you use Google search – this way Google can return search results that are more in tune with your interests (searches you have made before). This idea can then be extrapolated to Google+, it is not hard to imagine what Google is probably thinking; if you have a Google+ account containing information about yourself then Google can return search results much more in tune with your interests, viewing history, the interests of your friends etc. You can argue whether this is a good thing or not, but it’s happening. From the perspective of a business – how can an individual ‘like’ your company on Google+ if you do not have a Google+ business page?

Effectively without a Google+ page, no one ‘likes’ your business on Google+ and there is no chatter, buzz or sentiment about you. This is definitely going to affect your company’s standing in the search results when an individual logged into Google or Google+ is searching for a product or company in your niche. If your competitors do have a Google+ page – they are going to come out on top

What impact is Google Plus having in general on SEO? Will we see businesses handicapped with Google search if they don’t use Google Plus?

Yes – see above. I can see a day in the near future where the only people that might be able to find your business website on Google will be those that are not logged into Google or do not have a Google+ account. It will also be highly likely that Google will also penalise companies that do not have a Google+ presence in their normal search algorithms too, so even if your company is returned in the search results it may be so far down the rankings that you will still lose out.

Are the users themselves looking for more personalised/social-media related searches?

Good question… I am not sure that everyone is looking for this type of search experience. Do you really want your search results influenced by your online interests, pages you have viewed before or your friends interests and recommendations?

Google and other search engines really like this idea however, because their clients (businesses that want to sell stuff) love it.

Google’s customers want their product to appear with more relevancy to potential customers; it is more likely that this search result impression will convert to a sale. Some users however will not want their search results to be corrupted and there may be a backlash. As a minimum people will create ‘clean’ profiles or avatars to enable unbiased search results to be returned.

For help with your Google+ business page contact us via www.socialstamp.co.uk

Buying Facebook Fans – Advice!

Buying Facebook Fans? – Quantity or quality – both or neither?

Social Stamp is featured today in a great article by Martyn Wilson on the Useful Social Media website. It is a very good article and worth a read. Social Stamp does not offer this service and you should definitely give us a call initially and discuss with us what you are trying to achieve with your Facebook marketing campaign, or your social media marketing campaign in general.
See here to read the article
If you buy Facebook Fans, it might give a kick to the launch of your social media campaign. However there are plenty of other things that you will also need to do.

Here is a little more advice:
If a business buys (say) 500 followers, what advantages do you think the business would gain?
Firstly we want to clarify what a business would NOT gain:
  • They would not gain 500 engaged fans who would instantly interact with the company’s page and are ready to buy. Some companies think that if they purchase a large number of fans, all their social media marketing worries are over. This is not the case. The emphasis needs to be on frequent, engaging, compelling Facebook Page content that is valuable to the company’s audience and target market.
  • However there can be advantages by acquiring Facebook Fans in this way:
    • Perception – if a new visitor is tempted by a company’s Page but they see a small number of fans, they could be put off (Why does this company have so few fans? Are they not as good as they say? Are they not very experienced? Are they a very new company?
    • Page ranking – if there are higher numbers of Fans for a company’s Page then Facebook may recognise the Page as being more important. This means the Page will potentially feature higher in Facebook search and people’s Facebook News Feeds.
    • Awareness – Although the purchased fans are not going to be instantly engaged in the company’s Page, if they do start to interact (with compelling Facebook Page content that is giving them something they want) their friends will see what they have ‘liked’, ‘commented’ upon or ‘shared’, and there is a chance that they will be channeled to the company’s Page too.
How detailed can these followers be profiled/targeted?
  • Facebook members / users can be profiled by pretty much any of the criteria that they have entered in their personal Facebook profiles. This includes profiling them by other pages that they have ‘liked’.
Can you ensure that buyers get the right kind of fan-base for their business?
  • On social media the right kind of fan-base is an engaged fan-base of the right profile. If a company is buying Facebook Fans they will not be engaged instantly, even if they are of the correct profile. There is no substitute to having a social media marketing plan as a part of a company’s overall marketing plan that channels customers and online traffic into the new Facebook Page and wins them over with (for example) great give-aways, competitions and games; building a proper, engaged fan-base takes hard work. Buying Facebook Fans can help kick-off a social media marketing campaign, but the hard work will still need to be done too for it to be successful.
Are there any types of business where a purchased fan-base might not be worthwhile?
  • As a way to kick-off a social media marketing campaign and as part of a larger social media strategy buying fans could be considered for all businesses where Facebook is a suitable social media marketing platform. Facebook is not suitable for all types of business – as a general rule Facebook’s member profile should be compared to the company’s target market profile. If there is a fit then Facebook could work as a marketing platform – but it is not guaranteed. Speak to a reputable Social Media Marketing company to get some advice as a first step.
Is there anything you would recommend businesses can do to avoid unscrupulous agencies?
  • Call the social media marketing company and talk to them. They should really be a social media marketing company that can give you advice (initially free) on all aspects of launching a social media marketing campaign. Explain to them what you are trying to achieve and they might give you an alternative to buying Facebook Fans that will work better for you in the long run. Most good social media marketing companies will offer advice on the phone for free and give you a much better idea of how to plan your first steps into marketing on social media.

Social Stamp. – make a mark on social media

When are the best times to post on my Facebook Business Like Page?

We get asked this question quite a lot, so we thought it was about time we answered it! And as usual with social media the answer is ‘it depends’!

The real question should be – when does my audience use Facebook?

We get asked this question mostly with social media marketing on Facebook, so let us focus on this platform here. We will address Twitter, YouTube, Google+ etc here very soon…

So – when to post? …Well that depends!

Firstly – your content has to be dazzling and engaging, it should provide value to your visitor and it should leave them wanting more, just like the drum roll on the cliff-hanger of each episode of the BBC’s Eastenders!

So don’t post until you are sure your content is good enough! It might even make sense to write a couple of week’s worth of content and plan the whole roll out of your copy. You then have your high quality content ready and you will only have to worry about when to share it!

Secondly – and to continue the Eastenders analogy – you want to show your talents when your audience are most likely to be watching. The BBC schedules Eastenders during the peak evening viewing slot because this is when most people are watching. They have returned home from a long day at work, had their dinner and are settling down to relax in front of the box. So we need to do the same as the BBC is doing with Eastenders with our content.

So when are the peak ‘viewing times’ for Facebook? On average, according to a study by Vitrue (http://www.vitrue.com/education/white-papers) peak time is 3pm on a Wednesday afternoon. BUT…

the real answer is; well it depends..!

Try the following with your Facebook Business Like Page:

1. Think about who your audience is…

If you are selling or talking about music, tickets for concerts or managing a new rock band, your audience is probably mainly 15-30, of both sexes. They check Facebook more regularly than average, probably on their phones or other mobile devices and may have a shorter than average attention span.  They probably are not on Facebook a lot early in the day but almost definitely at lunchtime at work or college. They are also probably sneakily looking in the afternoon and definitely for an hour or two in the evening. They might check Facebook at the weekends, but not so much.

If you are selling baby products you are probably talking to young mothers that are looking at Facebook mid-morning whist the baby is asleep. They might also be up a bit earlier than the music fans and are looking for entertainment and a sense of community on Facebook during the day. They might be too tired for Facebook in the evenings, but might engage briefly after the little one is asleep for the night.

So the answer is – know your market. Think like them, experiment and even ask them.

2. Test your engaging content…

When you think you know when your audience will be looking try out your great content. Post it at the key times, but keep consistent timings for a week. Then try moving the timings slightly for the next week and see if you get better or worse results (do this within reason – don’t post at 3 in the morning, just because you have not tried that yet – we can tell you now – it won’t work)! Try to make sure that everything else you are doing is not too different between the weeks you are testing, as you don’t want to influence the results with a one-off cool competition or give-away. Just focus on these post timings for a month or so if you can.

The challenge is to keep the content equally as engaging through the testing period. One way of doing this is to use the same thread of content consistently for a particular day of the week. This is where you can use a well thought out Conversation Calendar

3. Check what is happening by using Facebook Insights…

If possible try this for 3 or 4 weeks in total and use Facebook Insights to see the results. Compare the numbers of likes, comments and shares you get each week, as well as the post views and reach. Assess the Monday of week 1 against the Monday of week 2 and so on…

4. Give them a cliff-hanger and tell them when the next episode is…

Tell them when the next episode (installment/part of the competition/ step in the process is)! All Eastenders fans know when the next episode is and what happened at the end of the last!! If the post is part of a whole content strategy then it makes sense to give a taster about upcoming posts at the end (or in the comments) of previous posts.

Example: Let’s say you are running a competition to give away tickets for a musical event:  Reveal winners every day and name them on your Facebook Page. Send the winners an email to say that they have won and that their name will be published on your Facebook Page and they should go to your Page and comment on the post. This will help increase the Facebook Edgerank of that post, meaning more people will view and see that others have won. In the post, in addition to naming the winners you should finish the post by saying that you will be drawing 5 extra winners tomorrow/next week and this is how you enter <link to competition> (obviously if you are running a competition on Facebook make sure that you obey the Facebook rules for competitions). These types of ‘cliff-hanger’ techniques help generate a great buzz around a promotion or competition and can trigger exciting conversations and help to build a great community. Enjoy it and your community will enjoy it too!

5. Design a publishing schedule (and stick to it)…!

When you have seen which timings work best, format them into a schedule and make sure that you or your team adhere to this plan! You then have a publishing schedule tuned for your market. Remember though, if your market demographic changes (for example you launch a new and quite different product) then you may have to change your post timings.

6. Monitor and adjust if necessary…

Of course it is good to have a plan like this in place. However never stop monitoring your Facebook Insights and sometimes slightly change your posting times as a sanity check to make sure that nothing has changed significantly out there in your Facebook Fan land.

Let us know how you get on. Post your comments below…

Social StampMake a mark with social media

5 Reasons To Have A Facebook Conversation Calendar

5 Reasons To Have A Facebook Conversation Calendar

First of all we should clarify what a Conversation Calendar is right?

A Conversation Calendar is a (usually weekly) schedule for the types of post that Fans can expect on different days of the week. 

For example if you are a local café you might want to do the following:

On Mondays you could have a recipe focus and ask for feedback on what dishes or drinks people have enjoyed.

Tuesdays could be the day for your café trivia quiz on Facebook.

On Wednesdays it might be the caption competition for a picture that you post with a free coffee voucher for the best or funniest.

Thursday could be for a weekly prize give-away; ask a question or set a task.

Friday could be your photo wall with customers posting their favourites of them and their friends in one of your cafes, tagging friends they have met there.

Saturday could be Facebook Fan morning at the café with Fans getting free coffees and having their names announced on your Facebook Page.

Sunday could be Newspaper day with links to articles in the Sunday papers online and people encouraged to talk about the articles and post about the ones that they are reading.

You can think up your own ideas, but those above illustrate it well (by all means feel free to use the ideas)! Each day you do not have to exclusively post on the subjects ear-marked for that day, but there should be at least one on-topic post per day. Remember you should be posting probably 3-5 posts per day at least, so fill up the rest of the day with other fantastic content.

Another tip is to ‘headline’ each post – in the above example you could call Friday – ‘Friday Photos’ – put this at the start of each relevant post to identify it.

Having a Conversation Calendar does not mean you can relax how engaging your content is – it just helps to set a context for what types of great content you publish and when.

You can extend the Conversation Calendar to work in months too – maybe the first week of each month has a certain theme, the second week a different theme and so on. Or have a theme for the month. June could be Columbian coffee month for example.

Here are the 5 reasons for implementing one:

1. It’s a way of keeping your Facebook Business Page organised and structured

It always helps to have a structure to your Business Facebook Page – not only does it help to keep it more organized and looking professional, it keeps your Facebook Fans coming back for your engaging content; they know what to expect and when. If they saw something engaging on a Tuesday and you have told them that there will be similar or continuing content next Tuesday – they will be looking out for it and coming back.

2. It sets your Fan’s expectations and ‘cliff-hangers’ keep them coming back

If they know that they enjoy a particular post of yours on a Tuesday, tell them that there will be another instalment next Tuesday, and leave them wanting more. Maybe it is a video series of how to make the perfect coffee. Don’t give them everything in one day; maybe talk about the coffee beans on the first Tuesday, how to prepare the milk on the second and how to put everything together on the third… you get the idea. Maybe a prize is available for the best tasting coffee? If they come down to your café on the 4th Tuesday, make their coffee and it is judged by a tasting panel… yes, ok, you can use that idea too…

3. It makes it easier to share the Facebook fun (workload!) around the office

If you are a medium sized or larger company and there is more than one person updating and working on your Facebook Page, it makes sense to assign the work according to different days. This keeps the tone consistent on each topic, and gives the member of staff a sense of responsibility for a particular project or day…

Also you may tend to get groups of people giving feedback on a particular topic they follow. This also means that a relationship is built between the member of staff that manages that topic/day and the fans that usually comment. In our experience it makes a huge difference if you are talking on Facebook to a fan that you were talking to a few weeks ago and you reference something mentioned in the earlier discussion – makes the conversation much more real and gives a personal touch.

4. It helps you to plan resource to keep the Facebook conversation going

Social media automation – (Hootsuite, Sendible etc.) can schedule the types of posts for the different days; mush easier to plan with a Conversation Calendar. But another benefit is assigning resource to keep the conversation going (talking and answering questions from your Fans after their interest has been ignited with your engaging posts).

The key here is – if you know that your Tuesday post if most popular, you know you should assign most resource for that day to talk with your Fans, or at least get your best Facebook Jockey on the case!

5. It enables you to analyse your audience and post timings more accurately

Keeping your posts organised and topics assigned to each day makes their impact easier to measure. You can compare this Tuesday with last Tuesday and assess what impact things like changing post times has. If your content is similar each Tuesday, but you tried adjusting the times of your post over last week you can say that it was the timings that made the difference – not the content. Use Facebook Insights to measure and analyse this.

That’s it for now let us know how you get on. Please post your comments below.

Social Stamp. Make a mark with social media.