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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.

Spring Cleaning: 5 Fresh, Budget-Friendly PR and Marketing Tips

I’ve asked some of my favorite bloggers to guest blog and provide us with some of their favorite creative and affordable marketing tips. 

Check out what Karen Hendricks has to say about making the most of your social media platforms.

Broom,_sponge_and_towelSpring cleaning isn’t limited to dust bunnies under the bed. Did you know… you may have virtual dust bunnies lurking in your social media and marketing accounts? This is the perfect time of year to freshen up your marketing strategy, evaluate and consider adding a few new marketing tools—all with a budget-friendly approach. Here are five ways to put a little springtime sparkle into your marketing mix:

1. Facebook Facelift: Give your business or organization a fresh look on Facebook by uploading a new top image. This is a great rule of thumb to follow at least once per quarter or season. This instantly sets the tone on your account as a current, relevant source of information. According to a study by Vocus, Facebook fans are a brand’s most valuable customers, with 79% of your fans more likely to purchase your products/services as compared to non-Facebook fans… so give them a fresh “face” atop your latest content. Remember the dimensions for Facebook’s cover image are 851 x 315 pixels.

2. Blogging Bling: When is the last time you updated your company’s or organization’s blog? According to Blogging.org, 60% of all businesses have a blog, but a whopping 65% haven’t updated it within the past year.  A blog is the perfect example of content marketing at its best—especially if you take advantage of a free, easy-as-pie WordPress account. The only investment is your time spent writing and adding effective images—a key component to higher engagement rates.

3. LinkedIn Luster: It’s been about a year and a half since the professional networking site LinkedIn unveiled its Company Pages feature. Since then, 2.6 million companies have developed company pages, including all Fortune 500 companies. Many small businesses and non-profits have yet to take advantage of this free marketing tool, with valuable access to the 200 million professionals currently on LinkedIn. When you create a Company Page, invite your customers to provide endorsements, share your business news, and begin creating a buzz on a professional level. You can even advertise jobs or scout for potential new hires. For inspiration, check this post on the LinkedIn blog, with tips from the top 10 best company pages of 2012.

4. Add Polish with Pinterest:  Last summer, Mashable reported that Pinterest users were following more brands than Facebook or Twitter users. I think the main reason why boils down to Pinterest’s focus on images. It’s easier to “see” what you like rather than “read” about your favorite brands, causes or businesses. If you haven’t yet created a Pinterest account for your business or organization—or if you haven’t added new content recently, polish your image with a free Pinterest account. Make sure plenty of your pins link back to your core marketing presence, your website, to ultimately drive traffic to your doorstep.

5. Add email marketing muscle: Don’t discount good old fashioned email marketing! It’s still a wonderfully viable way to engage with and grow your core customer base.  See the Inbound Marketing blog for their recent “23 Tweetable Stats on Email Marketing Trends” and it’s bound to put some spring into your marketing step.

If you aren’t currently using an email marketing service, consider the following: one of the gold standards in the industry, Constant Contact offers a free 60-day trial period that’s especially helpful for small businesses since the initial free contact list is limited to 100 or fewer contacts. Otherwise, paid accounts on Constant Contact will not break your bottom line, and non-profits receive a 15% discount Additional budget-friendly options include Vertical Response, which has a free option for all 501 (c)(3) organizations, and Mad Mimi which offers a free base email program for up to 2,500 contacts and up to 12,500 emails per month. Make sure to dust off your writing skills as well — 64% of email recipients say they open an email because of the subject line.

Karen Hendricks, Hendricks Communications

Karen Hendricks, Hendricks Communications

Karen Hendricks, President/Owner of Hendricks Communications, focuses on public relations, marketing and freelance writing/photography. Learn more at HendricksCommunications.com and follow her on Twitter @karenhendricks9.

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

Marketing Ideas and Content Themes for your October Editorial Calendar

Tuesday, October 2  The informative conference Digital East takes place in Herndon, VA today and tomorrow.  There are a dozen registrations left for $375 each.

Wednesday, October 3  The first Presidential debate between President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney airs tonight.  If you choose to post to Twitter, keep your tweets topical this evening.  All the debates this month will be aired live on YouTube.

Monday, October 8  Columbus Day is a federal holiday, kids will be out of school, and people will be online in numbers. This is a great time to reach out to your Facebook Page followers.

Today is the last day of the George Bellows exhibit at the National Gallery of Art.  See it before it leaves!

This is also Fire Prevention Week.  Use the Twitter hashtag #FPW.  This would be an excellent time to remind your followers to check the operation of smoke alarms and hold home and office fire drills.

Tuesday, October 9  Learn how to pitch the reporters at the Washington Business Journal at their Power Breakfast and presentation today at 8:30 a.m.  Register for $25.

Wednesday, October 10  Wish Fletcher Prince’s David Hyson a Happy Birthday today on his Facebook profile.

Thursday, October 11  The Vice Presidential debate airs tonight at 9 pm.

Tuesday, October 16 Wish Happy Birthday to social media sweetie Meghan McMahon, aka @Meggiepoo on Twitter.

The second Presidential debate airs tonight at 9 pm; also live on YouTube.  Use hashtag #

Today is also Boss’s Day.  I wouldn’t forget that one if I were you! 🙂  Send a card around the office to sign, and treat your boss to lunch.

Wednesday, October 17  Join your Fletcher Prince friends for networking and a lunch of authentic German fare at Cafe Mozart in Washington, DC.  Cost of lunch is on your own.  Register here.

Thursday, October 18  Every ad agency account executive has a story to tell, and not all of them are pretty.  Attend Ad2DC’s  MadMemoirs – Horror Stories from Behind Agency Walls  and vote for your favorite tonight at 6:30 pm at Bus Boys and Poets ($15).

Saturday, October 20  Step back into 1771 and check out the 18th century Market Fair today and tomorrow at Claude Moore Colonial Farm in McLean, VA.  $6 adults, $4.50 for AAA members, $3 children.

Monday, October 22  Wish Happy Birthday to Ascend Communication’s principal Lorelei Harloe!

The third Presidential debate airs tonight at 9 pm (also on YouTube).

Tuesday, October 24  Learn how to leverage LinkedIn for your business and networking at this Reston Chamber of Commerce event, 8:30 a.m., $10.  Register here.

The Town of Vienna presents its 66th annual Halloween Parade today at 7 p.m.

The Washington Ballet presents Dracula at the Kennedy Center, tonight through November 4.

Thursday, October 25  The DC chapter of the American Marketing Association celebrates its 80th anniversary and recognizes the Top Marketer at a gala this evening.

The Prince William Chamber of Commerce holds its B2B and B2C trade show 2012 Connections from 4 pm to 7 pm today.  Admission, parking and food are free.

Friday, October 26 Wish Happy Birthday to U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Sunday, October 28  The 37th annual Marine Corps Marathon takes place today

Monday, October 29  The Hunter Moon rises tonight.

Wednesday, October 31  Happy Halloween!  Bling out your Twitter and Facebook profile photos with Halloween themed logos.  If you’re downtown today, check out the exterior Halloween decorations at the White House.

Today is also Dan Rather’s birthday.  Follow @DanRatherReport on Twitter.

The latest social media statistics

A national survey of 1,005 adults by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project in August 2012 found that

  • 66% use Facebook
  • 20% use LinkedIn
  • 16% use Twitter
  • 12% use Pinterest
  • 12% use Instagram
  • 5% use Tumblr

Read the results here

Avast, me hearties! Here be my marketin’ treasures

ARRRRRRR! and Ahoy, mateys!

For ye lubbers who may not be savvy,  this day be Talk Like a Pirate Day!  At Fletcher Prince we’ll be smartly yammerin’ like pirates the live long day.  Arrr, and to be sure we’ll layin’ down the marketing advice for ye like so many pieces of eight on a dead man’s chest. Aye, ’tis true.

There be treasure in this ol’ blog, aye, if ye but seek it.  Just not today, not on this post, leastways.  All ye will find on deck today is a lot of pirate blather. And these jokes.

What do pirates do with their smart phones?  They scan Q – ARRRRR — codes!

Why do pirates always carry a bar of soap?  Give up?  Because if they are shipwrecked, they can always wash ashore.

Ye can’t take a picture of a pirate with a wooden leg.  Know why?  Because wooden legs don’t take pictures, that’s why.

Now I am really sorry about that.  Truly I am.  To make it up to you, I mean “ye,” here’s a fun link that is not corny at all: Find out yer Pirate Name here (mine’s Dirty Mary, to be surrrre)

Did you know that some of the  most infamous pirates sailing the high seas were lasses?  ‘Tis true!  Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Ching Shih and Grace O’Malley were some notorious female pirates.

If you haven’t had enough pirate-talk yet, be mindful of the Facebook setting that ye can change to Pirate Talk.

Here be a clip of some true fearsome pirates to inspire ye

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…

Marketing Ideas and Content Themes for your September Editorial Calendar

I cannot believe summer is over.  I would be devastated about this if Fall were not my favorite season.

Still, it never feels good, does it, the end of summer?  I’m bummed, I don’t mind telling you.

Well, chin up, Skippy, and get back to work.  I might as well make it easy for those of you who have to come up with fresh ideas for your Facebook Pages, blogs, and Twitter updates.  Have I let  you down yet this year?  No!  So here are a few more ideas to round out your September editorial calendar.  And a few events, too.

Saturday, September 1: It’s National Preparedness Month, which means it’s the perfect time to review your workplace emergency prevention plan, crisis relations plan, and check on emergency supplies you have on hand, such as water, first aid kit, crank radio, emergency lanterns.  For $5 per person, you could also equip each employee with their own personal Safety Tube, which I think makes a lot of sense if you work in a large office building. Read more workplace preparedness tips here.

If you have a B2B clients, consider working this theme into your social media updates.  Follow @FEMA on Twitter for tips and use the hashtag #NPM.  Hey, here’s an idea: you could also pin your photos of your workplace emergency response kit or drill activity on a company Pinterest board.

Here’s a freebie: the Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery are offering four free webinars each Wednesday at 2 p.m. EST this month to help you be prepared at the workplace; register here.  Communicators may be especially interested in the September 19 webinar on using social media during a crisis.

Sunday, September 2: Shoppers are looking for bargains this weekend.  If you’re in retail, or have an online shopping site, take advantage of this by offering special deals all weekend long.  Maybe this is the weekend you launch your online shopping site on YouTube, a feature that is now available to YouTube Partners (like Fletcher Prince).  This is also a good time to market winter getaways and vacations, if that is your business.

Monday, September 3: It’s Labor Day, and a federal holiday.  A lot of people are home from work, so this is a good time to connect with fans and followers online.

If you want a bump in followers, consider taking advantage of the $100 advertising credit being offered by Twitter to many business accounts, and put some promoted tweets out there. Or run a holiday-specific sponsored story on Facebook.

Take this time to celebrate the contributions of your employees, and maybe share their stories on YouTube, Facebook, and on your company blog.  Follow the U.S. Department of Labor @USDOL and use hashtag #LaborDay2012

Tuesday, September 4: Today is the first day of school for kids in most Northern, VA public schools (Maryland, DC and Loudoun County started last week). Wish the kids good luck this year, and please remember to brake for school buses and school crossings.

Back-to-school makes a great theme for blog posts, by the way.  Another hot topic is how parents can keep kids safe online.

Sunday, September 9: Hail to the Redskins!  Football season kicks off today for DC with the opening game of the Redskins vs. the New Orleans Saints.  Kickoff is at 1 pm, EST.  Like the Skins on Facebook.

Hey, people like to talk about football.  If you’re smart, you’ll find ways to work this football chatter into your Facebook Page updates for your brand, so you can increase your edge rank.

Monday, September 10: The DC Ad Club presents Ad Week, a series of presentations and events about, you guessed it, advertising!  Most of the events take place today and tomorrow at the Washington Plaza Hotel.  You can follow the action @AdWkDC on Twitter.

Tuesday, September 11: Today is Patriot Day, a day for remembrance of the tragedies of September 11, 2001.  U.S. flags are flown at half-mast, by order of the President, and there is a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. EST

Sunday, September 16:  Beginning at sundown and running through September 18, Rosh Hashanah is an important Jewish observance that marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year and the start of the High Holy Days.

The traditional greeting is to wish people “Shana Tova,” or “a good year.”

Monday, September 17:  Please join your Fletcher Prince friends at Whitlow’s on Wilson (Arlington, VA – Metro: Clarendon) for our monthly Network and Lunch event, noon.  Cost of lunch is on your own and I guarantee you will enjoy it 🙂  Register here.

Wednesday, September 19: Arrr!  Avast, matey, today is International Talk Like A Pirate DayEverything you need to know is right here.

You know what would be fun?  If everyone in the office also DRESSED like Pirates.  You know you want to do this.  Think of the Facebook pictures and video potential here!

But if you just can’t bring yourself to do it, then try this: change the language setting on your Facebook profile for today.  Go to your account settings, and under “Language,” select: “English (Pirate).”  Don’t worry, no one else will know 🙂

Saturday, September 22: Today is the first day of autumn and also the autumnal equinox, a day when sunrise and sunset occur 12 hours apart.

Tuesday, September 25:  The holiest day of the year for Jews is today, Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, and a time for fasting, repentance and prayer.  The traditional greeting associated with Yom Kippur is to wish people an easy or benefitting fast.

Thursday, September 27: Happy Birthday, Google! The company turns 14 today.  A good day to check out and share the Google Doodle 🙂

Who in DC doesn’t secretly love a juicy Scandal?  The ABC show is returning for its second season this evening at 10 p.m. EST and you can bet a lot of people in DC will be tweeting Olivia Pope’s latest lines: follow @ScandalABC on Twitter.

Saturday, September 29: Tonight and tomorrow night, make sure you step outside to view the rising of the Harvest Moon which is almost always a spectacular sight, when weather conditions are right.

Sunday, September 30: Today is an important day in Asian culture — the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival.  The ancient festival is celebrated with dragon dances, lanterns, mooncakes, and celebrations.  If you’ve never had a mooncake, you must try one!  They’re sweet and taste like flowers.   Visit Eden Center in Falls Church, Virginia to find an authentic mooncake.  Mooncakes are a unique treat to distribute to clients or for your kids to take to school.

I know I’m talking a lot about TV this month, but Revenge, people!  I, for one, cannot wait to see what Emily, um, Amanda, um Emily…oh, you know who I mean.  What she’s up to, along with her trusty sidekick and my fave character, Nolan 🙂  Feel compelled to live-tweet every moment?  Follow @Revenge on Twitter and use hashtag #Revenge

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