marketing

The New Facebook Layout and You

Facebook has changed its layout (surprise, surprise), and this time, only Pages are affected. If your business has a Facebook Page (which it hopefully does), you may want to perk your ears. Last month, when we heard about the upcoming change, we went ahead and updated our Breaking Even page to get a lay of the land.

Here are some observations we’ve made about the layout:

NewFB

  • There’s more emphasis on video and photo. On the left sidebar, there is now a prominent display of your photos and videos. If your page doesn’t have a lot of either, this may be an opportunity for you to beef up that section of your page.  Basically, the left column is dedicated to your “brand,” so before updating, take a look at your pictures (and videos, if you have them). It’s also good to remember that people love visuals anyway (“a picture is worth a thousand words”- and no one wants to be reading a thousand words on Facebook).

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 3.53.38 PM

  • The overall feel of the Pages are less “cluttery.”  And, this is good for a couple of reasons. First, it’s aesthetically more appealing to have a clean looking page. When there’s too much going on, regardless of the site in question, it can be overwhelming and a bit frustrating. Second, it makes navigation easier for anyone who visits your page. Posts used to be disorganized (i.e. they weren’t displayed by date, and in general there was no rhyme or reason to how they were displaying), and for me, this was annoying. Now, there’s a clear chronological path people can follow, as opposed to the previous helter skelter format.
  • Business pages now resemble individual profiles. In the grand scheme of things, this makes Facebook more coherent as a site. While Facebook still focuses most of it’s energy on people, there seems to be a move to make Pages more prominent. Profiles and Pages will always function differently, but keeping the visual appearance consistent is a smart move. Thumbs up, Zuckerburg.
  • It’s easier for administrators to navigate. Accessing the various analytics and the activity log is roughly a hundred times easier with the new layout. As someone who manages a variety of Pages, I appreciate this. Finding what’s been posted, what’s been scheduled, and keeping track of messages or notifications is WAY easier now (I may have shed a few tears of joy with this one).

NewAdminHeader

This is basically an admin's dream come true.
This is basically an admin’s dream come true.

 

  • You can customize the layout (within reason). Facebook does not want to relinquish too much control over customization, probably to avoid the potential of the horror show that was MySpace profiles. *Shudder* But, with the new Pages, you can drag  and drop the sections of your page to reorder them.  All you have to do is click the little Edit icon on any section, and boom! You’re ready to reorder your page.

Reorganize_Facebook

June 19th is the official date when everything will automatically shift. For more information on what Facebook is saying about the new layout, this is a great article. And, at the risk of sounding like a nerd, I’d also recommend taking the “Tour” Facebook offers once you update your Page (it’s free and you can really make the most of the new layout). Have fun!Tour

Why You Shouldn’t Put All Your Social Media Eggs in One Basket

When discussing social media channels, we hear a lot of people ask, “Well, why can’t I just use Facebook?” Well, there’s (at least) a few reasons why only using Facebook for marketing isn’t a great idea. And, that’s what this video is all about!

Bonus: We experimented with a new format, and had a lot of fun with this one!

As always, get in touch with us if you have any questions or ideas for new videos!

Tech Thursday: How to Insta-Brand

More and more businesses are using Instagram as a marketing tool. In our April e-mail newsletter, we talked a bit about the benefits of using Instagram from a business perspective.

In this week’s video, we’re going to explore some Instagram best practices (and, they apply to both personal and professional Instagram usage!).

 

 

 

It Had to Be You: On Decision Making

decisons

Shopping with me stresses people out. Pondering whether or not I should get this shirt, dress, jar of nutella, etc., inevitably develops into musings on how my entire life trajectory may be affected by the decision in question. Launching into a Butterfly Effect-esque contemplation of how the future of the entire world would be altered based on whether I chose the yellow or pink shoes detracts from the joy of decision making, or shopping in general. What do you mean “Just pick one already?” Don’t you know what’s at stake?! 

Anyway, I do solo shopping trips nowadays. From a marketing perspective, though, I’ve become curious about what makes people tick. Forbes published this article back in February that discusses trends to look for in consumer behavior this year. This helps businesses market their product(s) so they fall into one or more of these trends, and thus appeal to the 2014 human psyche. 

As both a buyer and a marketer, I’ve noticed the following 3 factors in how we make choices:

1. Risk. No one wants to experience buyer’s remorse. Whether it’s a side dish or a new car, you don’t want to be caught wondering “What might have been?” This article from LifeHacker offers some ideas for avoiding purchase-related regret. 

From a marketing perspective, the objective is making the consumer feel “safe” about their investment. You want to minimize the amount of risk a customer associates with your product. I’m not saying you need to patronize or be all schmooze-y, it’s beyond putting a fancy guarantee on a box to make someone feel warm and toasty (thank you, Tommy Boy). Sometimes, it’s as simple as customer service. People remember how you made them feel, so why not make them feel good? Show them you respect and care about them, and that fear will likely melt away.

2. Positioning.  You know the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Even if your water is the most satisfying and pristine in the market, or if it’s different from any other water out there (say for instance, artisnal water, which probably doesn’t exist…yet), if that horse doesn’t want any water, it really doesn’t care about yours. Trying to force your water on that horse is wasting your time. There may be a severely thirsty llama out there, focus your marketing energy on him.

This blog post from a few weeks ago discusses another positioning issue: the number of choices you’re giving customers. Less is more, folks.

3. Timing. We’re all locked in a battle with time. We may have too much, not enough, or experience inopportune timing (hey, we’ve all been there. Just ask Romeo and Juliet). I think of the timing factor in terms of “It’s not you, it’s me” (i.e. “This BMW rocks, but I am a toddler and have no use for it yet,” or “It’s summertime, so I’m not thinking about buying a shovel”). A lot of this depends on finding the sweet spot between supply and demand, and economics isn’t exactly my forte.

In terms of social media marketing, there’s quite a bit of information about what time of day is best to post on certain sites, such as this infographic from Hubspot. You can also check out analytics on your business’s website and social media channels, and gauge when your audience engages more versus less.

Jedi_blog

In the end, free will remains a baffling concept. How much control do we really have? What if everything is predetermined?

Unfortunately, I don’t have many answers, and the few I do have may be wrong. But, I know marketers can’t do Jedi mind tricks and force me into buying something (although those last minute register purchases feel that way in retrospect). We all have a choice, and they don’t need to be so daunting.

Tech Thursday: What’s the Weather?

Something to consider when engaging with your social media audience: the weather! After all, it’s hyper-local, and, let’s face it- it’s a decent conversation starter in real life AND online. Here in Maine, there’s always something weather related going on if you’re stumped for other topics.

In this video, we’ll let you in on some ways to get creative with it!

 

Tech Thursday: How to Deal with Difficult People Online

Let’s face it, people don’t always play nice online. Have you ever had someone leave a negative comment on your business page? Give you a harsh review?

We’ve got a few pointers on how to put these fires out. Remember, you can’t control other people, but you CAN control how you react!

 

 

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