How My Favorite Coffee Shop Uses Facebook (and You Should, Too)

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Facebook management, when done right, really is an art. Small businesses that fully use all of Facebook’s features — along with the platform’s conversational style and ease of posting images — truly put themselves on a different level. Check out the Facebook page of some of your favorite local, indie haunts and I’m sure you’ll find one or two that is killing on Facebook and taking social media to another level. For me, it’s my favorite coffee joint that is truly inspiring me to be better at Facebook for business.

The Market, located in downtown Denver, has been serving locals and tourists kick-ass coffee drinks and mind-blowing pastries since 1983. The spot serves everybody from uptight businessmen and slacker students to artsy musicians and neighborhood families (and everyone in between). Yet somebody must have figured out that just being a local favorite isn’t enough, so in order to keep up with newer cafes, The Market would have to embrace social media. And embrace it they have. The Market is a community staple, so Facebook is the perfect channel for it to behave as such. More so than Twitter, Facebook can really be an instant way to alert customers about the happenings inside your company. The Market’s posts include lost-and-found belongings left behind at the cafe, updates on new menu items, deadlines for ordering cakes, hours of operation changes, chatty posts like celebrity sightings (Prince Henry was recently there) and witty observations from the baristas. In short, The Market’s Facebook page is as warm and inviting as the place itself. The focus on The Market’s Facebook marketing is less about a hard sell and more about talking to their customers in a friendly and approachable manner.

What this is, beyond being great social media marketing, is terrific and solid branding. The company’s message is the same online as it is at the counter. To offer a similar experience on Facebook as you do in person takes some real prowess and impressive skills and my favorite local cafe has it in spades. The Market has inspired me to be consistent and creative with my own Facebook marketing efforts. And mainly not to try to pound my followers with sales messages. As a brand and a social media marketer, I can chat with my followers and make Facebook visits more interesting and friendly.

So, readers, how does one of your favorite businesses use Facebook that really inspires you? Post below!

Should Advertisers Join Feminists in the Fight Against Facebook?

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

There’s a storm brewing between feminists and the social networking site Facebook — and advertisers and social media marketing experts have found themselves smack dab in the middle of it. Previously, Facebook has been commended for acting quickly to dismantle hate group pages. Yet feminists say when it comes to violence among women, the site treats the issues as a joke. With several advertisers poised to pull out ad dollars on Facebook in protest, however, none of this is anything to laugh about.

Women, Action & the Media, the Everyday Sexism Project and author Soraya Chemaly have led the charge against Facebook.

“It appears that Facebook considers violence against women to be less offensive than non-violent images of women’s bodies, and that the only acceptable representation of women’s nudity are those in which women appear as sex objects or the victims of abuse,” the groups’ open letter to the website reads. “Your common practice of allowing this content by appending a [humor] disclaimer to said content literally treats violence targeting women as a joke.”

According to ThinkProgress.org, “Facebook currently allows pages on its site called ‘Fly Kicking Sluts in the Uterus,’ ‘Violently Raping Your Friend Just for Laughs,’ ‘This is why Indian girls are raped’ and ‘Punching your girlfriend in the face cuz you’re Chris Brown.’ The social media site also permits pictures of battered women who are bleeding, bruised, tied up, or drugged alongside captions like ‘This bitch didn’t know when to shut up.’ Using the hashtag #FBRape, the campaign has called for companies like Dove, American Express and Sky to pull their advertisements from Facebook until the anti-woman pages are taken down. Facebook, for its part, says, ‘There is no place on Facebook for hate speech or content that is threatening, or incites violence, and we will not tolerate material deemed to be genuinely or directly harmful. We try to react quickly to remove reported language or images that violate our terms and we try to make it very easy for people to report questionable content using links located throughout the site. However, as you may expect in any diverse community of more than a billion people, we occasionally see people post distasteful or disturbing content, or make crude attempts at humor. While it may be vulgar and offensive, distasteful content on its own does not violate our policies. We do require that any such page be clearly marked — so users are aware that the content may be in poor taste. In many instances, we may also require a page administrator to display their real name on the page, or the page will be removed.'”

This complicated issue is bound to get even more so as corporations are forced to pick sides. So, readers, you tell us. What’s the difference between hateful and humorous Facebook content? And as marketers, how do you deal with social media controversy? Sound off below!

3 Essential Facebook Marketing Rules

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

If your business is having a hard time making Facebook marketing work, take heart. Many companies, even many of the big guys, abandon Facebook efforts after a few months. The truth is this: Memorable Facebook-for-business campaigns take a lot of effort, creativity and time. The daily Facebook game can feel overwhelming, especially when even your best efforts are failing to yield results. Yet before you dramatically delete your page and log off of Facebook for good, here are three Facebook marketing rules that could change the way you use the social network.

Share: We’ve all ended up with “those brands” in our newsfeeds. You know, the ones who just blast us with boring advertisements and never really post anything worthwhile? The antidote to that is to share. Sharing cool images, relevant videos, important company milestones, new product photos and the like is far more interesting than just beating your followers over the heads with branded messages. Share the kind of posts you yourself would want to read and chances are your followers will want to read them, too.

Engage: “Engagement” is one of those buzzwords in Facebook management and marketing that we hear all of the time. And there’s a reason. Brands that can really get their followers engaged on social media have truly succeeded. Facebook posts that demand a response (like trivia questions or polls) get users involved, but that’s just the beginning. To dip your toes in the Facebook engagement waters, start with pictures. Photos are a simple and dynamic way to keep your users engaged. In fact, cool and talked-about pictures are 10 times more likely to go viral for a brand on Facebook than posts without images.

Interact: With social media, brands of any size have been given the golden opportunity to really reach out and talk to customers, critics and followers. Use Facebook to get consumers’ thoughts, to address changes in your business, to alert followers of last-minute deals and specials and mainly to find out what’s on their minds. Don’t have Facebook be a one-sided conversation. Use it as a tool to really get inside your followers’ minds and find out what is important to them.

 

Meet Vin Diesel, Facebook Marketing Hero

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Title of the Post Goes Here

Facebook marketing has produced all kinds of valuable lessons from the unlikeliest of sources. Take Hollywood lunkhead and action star Vin Diesel, for example. Not only does a guy who gets paid millions to mumble keep getting hired, he also is quite the master when it comes to selling his brand on Facebook.

Just ask him.

“What Facebook didn’t realize is something very big was about to happen, and that was — for the first time in history, and it’s kind of a fluke they didn’t see this coming — when I jumped on that page in April 2009, I started talking to people. In the realest ways,” Diesel modestly reports in a new issue of Entertainment Weekly. “Imagine if you could’ve been a Facebook friend to Marlon Brando, or whoever your role models are. Imagine, if you were able to Facebook Elvis, and talk to him, and hear from him without the Hollywood of it all. That was the Fast & Furious experience.”

While Diesel’s oversimplification might make marketing snobs snicker, the dude has a point. Facebook is still the fastest and most direct social media network for brands, politicians and celebrities. Naturally, many would argue that most celebs and brands on Facebook are having someone else create their posts. But Diesel maintains that every post on his page was created by him alone.

“Facebook used to ask me to come up to their office to explain what the f**k I was doing, and why I had so many fans,” he says. “What was unique was: I never let anyone do a post, I never let anyone post for me in the last four years. My audience knows me so well on the page that if my producing partner’s in the room when I post, they’ll know somebody was around me. That’s kind of cool, that’s how sophisticated they are. Facebook really owes me billions of dollars. But whatever.”

But let’s hear what you think, kids. Have celebrities hurt or helped Facebook marketing? Do you take to heart what a personality or brand posts on Facebook, or is it all juts a bunch of PR hooey? And lastly, what stars do you follow on FB? Sound off below!

Has Facebook Peaked?

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

While we marketing types tinker away on our Facebook-for business-campaigns, the “numbers people” have discovered something sort of shocking about the world’s most used social network. According to a report in The Guardian, new users aren’t exactly flocking to Facebook anymore and growth has appeared to stall.

The Guardian explains the Facebook drop-off like this:

“In the last month, the world’s largest social network has lost 6m US visitors, a 4 percent fall, according to analysis firm SocialBakers. In the UK, 1.4m fewer users checked in last month, a fall of 4.5 percent. The declines are sustained. In the last six months, Facebook has lost nearly 9m monthly visitors in the US and 2m in the UK. Users are also switching off in Canada, Spain, France, Germany and Japan, where Facebook has some of its biggest followings. A spokeswoman for Facebook declined to comment.’The problem is that, in the US and UK, most people who want to sign up for Facebook have already done it,’ said new media specialist Ian Maude at Enders Analysis.”

In other parts of the world, however, Facebook is still growing and folks are still signing up. In Brazil, for example, Facebook sign ups grew by 6 percent last month. Yet without significant growth in more developed markets, Facebook will have hit a glass ceiling. Social media experts are wondering if an inevitable “MySpace effect” is coming next for Facebook.

Can another hipper, younger and more dynamic social network knock Facebook off its perch? Perhaps, but for small businesses and mega brands alike, Facebook marketing is still valuable and worth our time. Sure, it isn’t the end of the digital marketing rainbow some once thought it was, but Facebook is a great tool for informing folks about your business and for engaging your customers and following. No other social network gives you the ease and access to so many people worldwide to talk about your brand.

But that’s what we think. You tell us: Is Facebook marketing still relevant or on its way to becoming extinct? Sound off below!

Five Things You Might Have Missed!

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Can blog writing lead to a book? Is crossdressing on Facebook a sign of good marketing? And which shoe brand made a major Boston blunder? The answers to these and other questions can be found in our weekly list of Five Things You Might Have Missed.

1.) Not Skirting the Issue: Want to draw attention to a hot button national issue and raise awareness? Use Facebook marketing and do it in a dress. Or at least that’s what seems to be working for men in the Kurdish community in Iran who are showing their support of women and gender equality. Photos of Iranian men in traditional women’s clothing started popping up online yesterday on Facebook. The page currently has 10,000 supporters and over 150 photos of guys in women’s clothing. Meanwhile the campaign has made international headlines.

2.) Meat the Burglars: Kent’s Meats and Groceries of Redding, Calif., solved two problems with a new online video. By using real-life footage of a recent the bungled burglary attempt by a portly dude in a bandana, the store turned a headline into a potentially viral video hit and put its brand name on the map. Plus, the stranger-than-fiction comedy features that awesome theme music from Benny Hill.

3.) From Nightmare to Dream Come True: If you’re still wondering about the power of brilliant blog creation, the story of Shane Burcaw should convince you to start blogging. Burcaw is a 20 year old with spinal muscular atrophy and he blogs about his daily life with humor and heart on his Tumblr “Laughing at My Nightmare.” Publishers took notice of the truthful and highly-followed blog and Burcaw just got signed to Roaring Book Press.

4.) Tougher Twitter: Worried about security breaches on Twitter like the disastrous one that happened to the Associated Press this week? So is Twitter. On Wednesday, the social media giant announced plans to make future attacks even more difficult. The company promises it has new ways, including a two-step verification process, to thwart Twitter hackers as outlined in this article from The Consumerist.

5.) Boston Boo Boo: We wrap up this week with an unfortunate t-shirt from Nike which read “Boston Massacre” and was splattered with fake blood. The shirt, which was made long before the tragic events at the Boston Marathon earlier this month, was meant to “reference the Bronx Bombers sweeping the rival Red Sox during a key regular season series in 1978 and in the 2006 MLB Playoffs. The phrase itself was borrowed from the notorious 1770 incident in which British solders opened fire on civilian protestors in Boston, killing five and wounding six,” according to AdAge. Nike quickly pulled the shirt and apologized profusely for the t-shirt.

 

Spring Social Media Strategy Sessions #3: Facebook

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Spring_social_media_strategy_sessions_3_Facebook

All week long, we’ve been talking about using springtime, this season of renewal, as a time to make new social media marketing strategies. But when it comes to Facebook marketing, most brands already have a plan or have been using the channel for years. Yet who among us couldn’t use a shot in the arm or a refresher in our Facebook campaigns? Today’s final installment of the Spring Social Media Strategy Sessions looks at revamping our Facebook strategies with style, substance and ease.

Analyze: Spring is a terrific time to look at your Facebook efforts thus far. Use Facebook’s awesome analytic tools to get a clear idea of what works, what doesn’t and how to reach more folks. Do followers respond better to visual posts or text-heavy posts? Which links posted by your brand are the most popular? When did you experience bumps up in likes and, conversely, are there any events that caused you to lose likes? By honestly analyzing your Facebook campaigns with questions like these, you can get a solid feel for where your Facebook efforts should go in the future.

Visualize: Just like that fresh coat of paint in your bathroom, new images can really spruce up an old Facebook page. Changing a Like page’s cover photo or posting photos from your latest event are just the start. New data point to image-rich posts on Facebook being shared ten times more than posts without said images. To start, try photos of new products, photos of stellar employees and pictures of life around the office. Make a plan to include images in your status updates at least a few times a week.

Intellectualize: The more we market on Facebook, the more we learn that the channel is most effective for brands that don’t just sell, but that also participate in lively discussions. While avoiding controversy and drama, it’s possible to talk with followers about things in a lively and spirited manner. Jot down some ideas for discussion probing questions, topics and ideas that are sure to get your followers engaged.

Energize: If your Facebook feed is feeling flat and sort of blah, you are not alone. Most brands dump Facebook or let their pages sit for months because they feel uninspired. Luckily, there are tons of ideas and easy solutions to this problem. Have new employees create original videos, change the time of day you do social media updates, create weekly Facebook-based contests — basically, Google around for ideas to keep Facebook fascinating for you and your followers.

Lays Asks Facebook Friends for a Flavor

Follow Us

  • RSS Feed
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

Lays_asks_facebook_friends_for_a_flavor

When it comes to Facebook marketing campaigns, you just never know which ones are going to catch fire. We’ve seen big brands come up with efforts that looked like sure-fire winners, only to sink and get zero recognition. Likewise, we’ve seen small companies get put on the map with innovative and interactive Facebook campaigns that really get fans to start talking. Over the last month, maybe you’ve noticed Facebook friends voting on things like “chicken and waffles” or “cheesy garlic bread.” The talked-about campaign at the center of these actions is none other than Lays’ “Do Us a Flavor.”

“Do Us a Flavor” is one of those lightening-in-a-bottle Facebook voting campaigns that millions of Facebook users and potato chip lovers are responding to like crazy. Lays is once again turning to the public to pick its new flavor of potato chip. The company’s internal team gathered and selected from customer-submitted flavor suggestions. Then, just like last year, Lays holds a Facebook contest to pick the best of the three finalists. In 2012, fans picked BLT to be the special limited-edition flavor. This year, the finalist flavors are cheesy garlic bread, sriracha, and chicken and waffles. The chips are now available in stores and fans can vote on Lays Facebook page, text “VOTE” to 24477 or use the hashtags #SaveChickenWaffles, #SaveGarlicBread or #SaveSriracha on Twitter. Once the votes have been counted, the person who submitted the winning flavor will win $1 million, or one percent of the chip’s 2013 sales — whichever is more — while the runners-up will win $50,000. Not too shabby for coming up with a potato chip flavor, no?

“Do Us a Flavor” seems to be one of those campaigns folks are responding to for several reasons. First of all, we love voting, especially when it comes to flavors, and Facebook is a perfect channel to make that happen. Secondly, this kind of campaign relies on traditional media like television commercials with Chef Michael Symon and actress Eva Longoria to spread the word about the Facebook voting. Lastly, stories like new products are the kind of thing bloggers and reporters love to chat about and “Do Us a Flavor” has thus far struck media gold.

So which chip will win? Who knows? But Lays is already a Facebook marketing winner for sure.