Category Archives: Facebook Tips

Happy Birthday, Facebook!

7655276690_51e104dd07Can you believe it? Facebook is ten years old today.

Mark Zuckerberg — along with co-founders Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin — launched Facebook while attending Harvard University in 2004.

Facebook now employs more than 6,300 people all over the world. The company has an annual sales revenue approaching $8 billion, with a net income of $1.5 billion.

Just how popular IS Facebook?

There are more than a billion Facebook users, and guess how many people use Facebook on an average day? 757 million! To give you an idea of how many people that is, that’s more than twice the total population of the United States. And 81% of those users are outside of the U.S. and Canada.

Facebook factoids

Facebook is the second most visited website on the Internet.  Here are some interesting new stats from Pew Research Center…

  • Despite what you may hear to the contrary, teens 12-17 are still quite active on Facebook.
  • Half of all adult users on Facebook have more than 200 Facebook “friends.”
  • The average number of Facebook friends among adults is 338.
  • 64% of Facebook users visit the site every day.
  • 44% of people “like” something their friends post at least once a day.
  • 31% comment on a post at least once a day.
  • As many as 25% of Facebook users say they never update their Facebook status.

Facebook Pages

Facebook Pages was introduced in 2007, presenting brands and organizations with a way to engage with followers. That’s when we started our Fletcher Prince Facebook Page and started building branded Facebook Pages for our clients.

Do you have a Facebook Page? The average number of fans of a Facebook Page (in the category of Pages with 1,000 followers or less) is now 327, up from about 130 a few years ago.

The top five brands on Facebook in the U.S. today are Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon.com, Samsung Mobile USA, and Subway. Wal-Mart also has more “Likes” (what we used to call fans) than any other Page on Facebook.

Nonprofits do well on Facebook. 57% of Facebook fans say they liked a nonprofit on Facebook to show their support of the nonprofit to their friends. But 43% un-liked a nonprofit if it posted too many updates asking for money.

President Barack Obama is the politician with the most fans/likes on Facebook. Eminem is the celebrity with the most fans/likes, and Family Guy is the show with the most fans/likes. The most popular museum on Facebook is the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).

The day that gets the most engagement on posts on Facebook Pages is Thursday, with photo updates getting the most likes of all (results vary, depending on Page category and content). Updates that pose questions generate the most comments on Facebook Pages.

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Social Media Tips from Debbie Friez of BurrellesLuce

Discovered this terrific Slideshare presentation from local social media expert, Debbie Friez, Vice President of Major Accounts at BurrellesLuce.  She offers terrific tips for getting the most out of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  Check it out!

Fletcher Prince Facebook Services

Do you know why people like brands on Facebook? Learn why in this short video that also highlights Fletcher Prince Facebook services.

For more information about using Facebook for your business or nonprofit, visit Fletcher Prince http://www.FletcherPrince.com or contact Mary@FletcherPrince.com

Facebook marketing for your business or nonprofit

Your friends at Fletcher Prince  can help you launch an effective and engaging Facebook Page.

Discover how to promote your company or nonprofit on Facebook with interactive posts, video, contests, and photos.

  • Training
  • Editorial calendars
  • Branded profile and cover images
  • Image and video management
  • Advertising
  • Integration with websites and social media

Is it good form to ask for followers?

Occasionally, you will see the administrator of a Facebook Page or Twitter profile post an update asking for followers.  Often, it’s associated with a goal, e.g., let’s get 10,000 followers by such and such date or time.

Does this tactic work?  And more importantly, should it be used?  Can it backfire for your brand?

I was thinking about this as I read the response of some fans when the Facebook Page owner of a Page I follow, Daym Drops, posted a request for more Twitter followers on his Facebook Page.

Now, this guy recently vaulted to YouTube viral stardom — which can be a short-lived and wild ride — so it’s easy to understand why he’s trying to make the most of it, quickly.

Fam, as I look at my Fam Follow on Twitter; it is all types of nappy and unhappy. (1,759)..Can we hit 2,000 before midnight? Let’s DO THIS!

Well, for one thing, asking for Twitter followers on Facebook is like assuming people like sushi if they also like Chinese food.  It’s not necessarily so.  And one of his Facebook fans didn’t hesitate to tell him, in a nice way, that she preferred Facebook.

I don’t have a twitter account.. dint like it .. I don’t like to feel restricted… n u know us Latinas have a lot to say 🙂

I’ve emphasized before that Facebook and Twitter, while both are social networks, are two different entities with different personalities and uses and these should be approached and treated differently.  And this just illustrates how you cannot give someone sushi when they want kung pao chicken.

But back to the ask.  Calls to action (or CTAs, for short) are tricky on social media. Are they necessary? Yes.  But there is a way to make the ask, and maybe this wasn’t it.  And who knew?  We are all learning.  Often, it’s the community that tells us what works, and what doesn’t.  What struck me were the kindly intentioned but direct responses of two of his Facebook Fans to his ask for Twitter followers (please pardon the crude language):

Hey man, you are f’ing awesome and sh!t… But don’t get greedy on followers. Just be your awesome self, and followers will show up anyways 🙂

 

Yeah, keep having fun with it and everything else will come along. The second you start thinking you deserve things, you start losing the respect of the people already following you.

Significantly, he did not make his 2,000 Twitter follower goal.  So, maybe there is a lesson here for businesses and nonprofits.  Don’t push your luck too quickly, too soon.  Let the fans come to you.  Do what you do best, and you will earn the reputation.  Focus on what you already have and on engaging your current fans.

Does this mean we stop using advertising, or PR, or social media to try and attract more attention for our services, products, or missions?  No!  Especially for other types of brands, a more assertive approach may be warranted.  Just — keep it real on social media.  It’s important not to lose sight of the fundamentals, or force your hand.

But it’s also very true on social media that if you have earned the love and respect of fans, then they will forgive the fumbles you may make occasionally.  And we all make those fumbles, self included!

Congratulations, Daym Drops, on your new success!  Count me among your fans 🙂

Just for fun, here is one of his funny fast food reviews…

Design challenge: Facebook Timeline Cover Images

The profile image/logo has a prominent placement within the Timeline cover image.  As we design branded Covers, we find it is best to work with the profile image rather than fight with it.

This reminds me of a time I was watching my dad finish a painting.  He was getting ready to put in his signature.  I asked him if he always put it in the same place.  He said, no, you have to find a “home” for the signature in the painting.  So the size, location, and color of the signature would vary from painting to painting.

I was thinking about this in relation to the Timelines Cover images.  The profile image really needs to have a “home” within the Cover image.

In this example for Rink Strategic Communications, the colors of the image work with the logo. For example, the black in Susan’s camisole anchors with the black in her logo — it also calls attention to her as the important person in the photograph (besides the fact that she is in the center 🙂

Could a tagline have also been included here in the Cover?  Maybe, but I think the text would have been too busy and would have competed with the R.  What you want for many Facebook Cover images is a compelling photograph or design that complements the profile image.  With Facebook Timeline Covers, you have to know when to walk away.

When planning the Timeline image for other clients, I also look at the Cover in terms of balance and composition.  For example, there is a good space in the upper right corner.  You don’t want to crowd the left side too much, since the profile picture is there.

That is the approach we took with this design for the Keenan PR Facebook Page.  This is basically a banner ad she already (created by another designer) that she liked that we reworked for her as a Timeline Cover.

We flipped the image so the Silver Anvil award is on the right, and we moved the text and changed the font.  So, the result is a more balanced composition that works with her logo, which is her profile image.  See how the logo points at the message and the award? Cool, huh?  That was almost accidental 🙂

This is also a good example (we didn’t design) from Constant Contact UK that gives the profile image a “home” in the Timeline Cover and makes good use of that upper right corner/sweet spot… You can tell this image was designed expressly for Facebook.

There is also a really nice flow, composition, and a great match between the Cover image and the profile image in this example from Manchester United (we did not design this one, either).

Look, by contrast, at this one from the New York Times. I suppose with that red staircase that it’s an interesting photograph.  But does it make a good Timeline image?  In my opinion, no.  Nothing about the image communicates anything about the attributes (or a single attribute) of the New York Times (other than they have a lot of employees and a really cool staircase).  It’s not memorable.  It doesn’t play nicely with the profile image. I think they should give this one another shot….

Facebook is a fun and friendly environment, and it has a certain cool factor.  Being overly corporate on Facebook would be a mistake just as it would be a mistake to use business jargon at a backyard barbecue.  Brands have a real opportunity with these Facebook Page Timeline Covers.  It’s worthwhile to design them well — to delight the viewer, as well as convey a message.

Time to Update Your Facebook Page with a New Cover

Remember back in September when I blogged that Facebook would most likely shift Pages to the Timelines format?  Well, that day is here.  You can implement the changes right now, or spend the next few weeks getting ready for them, because the changes will go into effect for all Pages on March 30, 2012.

To illustrate, here is what the Fletcher Prince Facebook Page looked like before the changes:

Fletcher Prince Facebook Page -- Former Layout

And here is the Fletcher Prince Facebook Page after the changes that will take place for all Pages on March 30 (you can go ahead and change your Page now).

Fletcher Prince Facebook Page with the new Cover image

Are you ready?  The main thing you are going to need right away is a branded Cover.  You have a month to work with, and we are ready to help you.  Depending on the complexity of your design, we can create a new Page Cover image for your Facebook Page for about $125 to $375, estimated.

The new Page format is visual and wide.  The look of your page will change.  Photos will be getting top billing, by default, and as you may know, photos are what get engagement on Facebook Pages. The photo that is featured on your Page front is the most recent photo you posted on your wall, in landscape format.  So that is something to consider.

The first two “tabs” you have on your Page will be featured most prominently with thumbnails, and the rest of your links will have a click through, so pick the two tabs you like best and move them to the top of the list of your tabs.

Facebook Restrictions about Page Covers

There are some restrictions from Facebook about the Cover image. You may not put a call to action in the Cover image — you cannot say or suggest someone “like” the Page or share the Page.  Facebook specifically restricts this.  You cannot include price or purchase information, or any kind of promotional wording.

Choose a Cover image — or have us create one for you, because we would love to do that! — that is a creative and original photograph that sums up what your Page is about.  For example, if you were a realtor, it might be an image of homes.  If your Page was for a restaurant, it might be some menu items or the restaurant interior.  If your Page is for a product, it might be an image of people using your product.

While you don’t want to get overly promotional, there’s no rule that says you can’t change your Cover from time to time.  So, think about seasonal and holiday versions of your Covers, if that is appropriate for your brand.  We will offer that design service for Page owners who would like that option.

Please contact us to update your Facebook Page Cover Image, and your client’s Facebook Pages.  And remember: we also create branded Google + Page banner images, LinkedIn Business Profile banner images, new YouTube layout graphics, blog headers, Twitter profiles, and more.  We can create a whole suite of branded social media images for you.

Using online images to tell your story (video)

If you want to reach and engage your most important audiences, don’t discount the power of images. Online images are proven attention-getters on Facebook Pages and blogs, and can increase your EdgeRank and SEO.

Here are  a few practical tips from a presentation recorded in front of a live audience at RHED Pixed in October 2011.

To view the entire social media presentation, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FribPuQhwc

Special thanks to Richard Harrington and the video production crew at RHED Pixel.

Facebook Page Administration Basics (Video)

If you administer a Facebook Page for your company or nonprofit, you know what a bear EdgeRank can be. Here’s a few tips for getting the most out of your Facebook Page from Fletcher Prince’s Mary Fletcher Jones and check out our portfolio of Facebook Pages http://www.FletcherPrince.com

Recorded at RHED Pixel October 2011. Thanks to Richard Harrington and the RHED Pixel video production team for producing the video.

Visit Fletcher Prince on Facebook http://www.Facebook.com/FletcherPrince

Writing for engagement: tips and best practices (video presentation)

I had the opportunity to speak at the RHED Pixel annual Open House last week on best practices for effective social media updates, and wanted to share the video with you today.

I enjoy this event because the speakers are terrific, it’s informal and interactive, and free!  So mark your calendars for the Open House next year.

Thanks so much to Richard Harrington for inviting me to present and to Adam Martray and the terrific RHED Pixel team for coordinating and taping the event (which featured a lot of other speakers, including Richard Harrington).

If you didn’t have a chance to go (the room was packed!) or watch the presentations live on UStream, I’ll share the link to those recorded presentations when they become available online.  Meanwhile, the folks at RHED Pixel have generously shared the video of my presentation and if you have the time, check it out.  I’m sharing tips for marketing your business, nonprofit, association or govt. agency with blogs, Facebook Pages, Twitter profiles, YouTube and more.

These are my highly subjective opinions about what has worked for me and what I have observed.  If you concur, or you believe differently, or have tips to share, please leave a comment.  I would love to hear your views.

For more creative and affordable marketing tips, please subscribe to the Fletcher Prince blog http://fletcher-prince.com/blog

Presentation recorded October 25, 2011 in front of a live audience at RHED Pixel, Falls Church, Virginia.

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