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Articles to help you improve your digital marketing

Web Design: Cover Crops USA

Services Provided Include:
We launched a new website for Cover Crops USA at  

We have been working with The CISCO Company since 2007 and have created several micro sites to serve their product needs. Cover Crops USA is the most recent mini-site we worked on to present their Cover Crops products. We carried the graphic style and general structure into the new design. We used JQuery rotation to present the multiple products on the home page.

 About Crops Cover USA

The CISCO Companies is a full service distributor in Indianapolis, Indiana distributing a wide range of products including seed, lawn and garden supplies, horticulture and agriculture goods. The CISCO Companies recommend using N-Vest cover crops that work well in the Midwest.

The other CISCO Companies websites created by TBH Creative include:

Seven Tips for Effective Facebook Events (Facebook Tabs Example 5)

We have been posting recently about Facebook custom tabs and how to use them to promote your business as part of your online strategy. Last week we reviewed Facebook videos, and this week we are looking at the function offered by Facebook for Events. There are a few things you can do beyond filling out the basic information for your events to get further exposure and positive response.
  1. Invite people!
  2. Include details to your event—including photos—to draw interest.
  3. Comment back to RSVPs even if they cannot attend. Do this on the event page and also on their personal wall. These actions will further promote the event on your wall and keep up awareness for the event.
  4. Send out reminders.
  5. Leave the default settings.

    Allow guests to:
    • Invite others
    • Upload photos
    • Write on the wall
      • This is positive action to allow on your event page because each time a user writes on the wall, they create news items that will populate their friends' feeds.
  6. Show the guest list.
  7. Make sure your event information includes location details. These details will correspond with a Facebook page and provide map and direction information automatically.
If you are creating a custom event page, the sky is the limit. Here are a couple recommendations:
  1. Include a sharing widget to further promote the event and page details.
  2. Incorporate video—or a live feed—from the event. This is especially effective if the event is recurring and might encourage attendance to subsequent events.
  3. Offer an incentive for attending the event.

Below are a few more examples showing some of the features of you can use to promote your  Facebook event.

The event list is the same for all pages, but you have some control. You can specify a specific thumbnail
image for each event. Hallmark's Event list is a good example of such listing page. They use unique
thumbnail photos for each event. Note: Facebook automatically lists events in chronological order.
Make sure your Event detail page includes relevant event information. Also, make sure to allow
comments from others and an open guest list showing all attendees. Best Buy's recent "Procrastinator" event
was clever and well-executed, leading to a high RSVP rate of 870!
Allow users to post their own photos—as well as links and comments—to your Event wall to keep the page active
and vibrant. In the example page above, the JCPenney event for Blake Shelton shows how effective this can be.
The Facebook event page served as a feed of activity and record of the event.

Web Design and Build: Digestive Medicine Associates

Services Provided Include:
We launched a new website for Digestive Medicine Associates at

We built the first website for Digestive Medicine Associates in 2002. A decade later they were ready for a redesign, and we helped them update their look and add more value for their visitors. The new website we designed clearly communicates their expertise and service offerings. The goal of the new website was to make two things apparent to the audience; 1) who these doctors were by showing a photograph and listing their area of expertise and 2) where they were located by using an interactive map and drop down menu of locations.

The home page was designed to showcase the experts and lead visitors to what they need. The photo of the doctors shows they are real people and elicits a warm and inviting feeling. The link to necessary forms and instructions for the day of the procedure were placed prominently with the introduction sentence because they are the most common items needed from new patients.

The physician bio pages feature a formal photograph and lists their areas of expertise. 

The locations page has an easy to read map with each office pin-pointed to clearly show where they offer services.

The billing page format was used on many pages of the website with clear information and a highlight box with contact information on the right.

About Digestive Medicine Associates

The parent organization of Digestive Medicine Associates is Internal Medicine Associates,  The physicians, nurses and staff at Digestive Medicine Associates specialize in the diagnosing and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases in a compassionate atmosphere. All the physicians are
board certified physicians and many are on the faculty of Indiana University School of Medicine allowing them to be well versed in the latest treatment options available.

Facebook Tabs Example 4: Videos

If you have been following our recent posts, you know we have been talking about custom tabs and how they can be used to strengthen your Facebook business page. Last week we covered using custom tabs to create photos albums, and this week we are reviewing videos.

It does not take a marketing expert to tell you that videos are exploding all over the Internet. You see them on many websites and in social media. Almost everyone thinks of "YouTube" for videos on the web. If you have seen the potential with video and invested in creating videos for your company, do not forget to promote and include on your Facebook page.

If you do not have videos, this custom Facebook tab is not for you—yet. As you consider your online marketing plans for 2013, we encourage you to explore adding video as part of your web presence.
People remember only 20% of what they hear and only 30% of what they see, but an incredible 70% of what they hear and see! (Harvard Business Review)
For each video that you post to Facebook, we suggest including the following:
  • A proper title that helps describe what is the purpose of the video
  • A short description that provides more information about the video
  • An appropriate video still (You can set this still from a handful of thumbnail options once Facebook has processed your video. Often the default thumbnail selection for the video still is  not the ideal.)
  • Author and/or copyright information, as appropriate
Note: "Videos" will, by default, appear as part of your Facebook business page's "Photos" custom tab when you add them to your account. You can be further organize your uploaded videos into separate custom tab to direct your audience to the videos in one-click.

The following examples show a few noteworthy ways businesses are using custom tabs to organized videos. Each of these examples uses YouTube as the video hosting vendor and embed or import the videos into their Facebook profiles.

Gymboree's Video custom tab
Coca-Cola's Video custom tab
If appropriate, highlight one video as your stand-out video offering. In the next example, Indianapolis's Children's Museum uses a simple layout to embed YouTube videos into their Facebook business page, but their web developers have taken care to highlight their newest video so that it appears at the top of the list videos. Notice how they have included an appropriate title and short description as well.

Children's Museum Video custom tab
The sky is the limit with your Facebook custom tabs, so you can be as creative in your presentation of videos as you would like. One possibility is to mimic what you might have set up on your website reworked a bit for the interface space in your Facebook pages. Here are a couple very different custom examples of unique video pages.

Skittles' Facebook custom tab

Skittles' videos are organized as part of a custom tab labeled "Skittles," putting this collection of videos front and center on their Facebook business page. Though not shown in the screengrab above, if you visit the Skittles Facebook business page, you'll see an interactive map with points that you can click for additional videos. This presentation helps Skittles stand out, strengthen their brand, and engage with their audience.

IU Health's Facebook custom tab
IU Health incorporates a very custom treatment for their videos on Facebook. The formatting echoes the website landing page. Notice that the thumbnails chosen for each video still is off-center and appealing. The chosen thumbnails give a compelling snapshot of individual telling the story in the video. The page offers a very clear call to action with the red subscribe button, encouraging users to subscribe and watch more videos from IU Health.

Next week we will provide examples of News & Events Facebook custom tabs.

Facebook Tabs Example 3: Photos

Throughout this month, we're focusing on how businesses and organizations can use custom tabs to strengthen their Facebook pages. Last week we focused on Employment/Career Opportunities page tabs. This week—Photos and photo albums.

A picture is worth a thousand words. This is true for your marketing including your website, blog, and social media profiles. On Facebook, engagement rate for photos averages 0.37% where for text-only posts the rate is 0.27%—this translates to a 37% higher level of engagement for photos over text. [Source: MGD Advertising]

Facebook photos and albums for your custom business Facebook tab should include:
  • Images are organized in albums
  • Images include captions or descriptions
  • Images are interesting and reinforce your brand
Lost for ideas on what kinds of photos to add to your custom business Facebook tab? Try one of these ideas for an album:
  • Photos showing examples of your work, service, or product
  • Photos of your staff working and collaborating, including pictures that show personality
  • Behind-the-scenes photos of your business or office space
  • Photos from events
  • Infographics

    Here are some examples of organization and content of Facebook photo albums for businesses:

    There are three types of photos inside your 'photos' tabs:

    By default, Facebook will load your photos, even timeline pictures, in a non-categorized manner.

    1) Photos of [your business] (if applicable) 
    This category will appear if your business has been tagged in photos. Learn how to tag your business in Facebook photos.

    Purdue University's tagged category is a good example showing the wide variety of photos
    that might appear in this type of album.
    Note: If your business is well-known and popular, other Facebook users might tag your business in photos they upload. Therefore, the "Photos of [your business]" album will require some monitoring to ensure positive representation your brand.

    2) Photos
    Starbucks' main photo tab shows an assortment of photos and continues to grow.
    3) Albums
    By default, if you have videos, this albums will display first in the list of albums.

    Tip: Organize your albums by interest to your audience.

    Kermans Fine Flooring in Indianapolis has done a nice job organizing their photo albums
    to focus on the main interests of their customers.
    Chili's has a helpful photo album for "Salads & Sandwiches" that includes more imagery
    for meal selections than their printed menu does!

    Northpoint Pediatrics uses a photo album to introduce their team of pediatricians on their Facebook page.
    They also have a separate album for nurse practitioners and administrators/office staff.

    Kermans Fine Flooring has an album to show off their rug winners.
    Kermans chooses a new rug winner each month.
    They included a caption within the album to entice others to participate,
    and they ordered this album first in the list of albums.
    Generally, we suggest you to include captions on your photos and albums whenever possible.

    Here are a few additional how-to articles to help with your get started with photos via custom tabs to on your Facebook business pages:

    Facebook Tabs Example 2: Employment Opportunities

    Throughout this month, we're focusing on how businesses and organizations can use custom tabs to strengthen their Facebook pages. Last week we focused on Welcome Message or "Like" page tabs.

    Careers and employment pages are common on company and organization websites, and those job openings should also be considered for marketing through your Facebook page. With the current unemployment rate at 7.9%, there are a lot of people on the hunt for job leads. On average, we spend over 26 minutes every day on Facebook. That's a lot of time! Take advantage of Facebook's built-in audience and promote opportunities at your company or organization where they already "hang out."

    A Facebook employment opportunities page tab should:
    • List open positions, as well as a link to apply or learn more
    Additional features to consider including:
    • Overview information
    • Benefits package details
    • Company culture description (using words, photos, and/or videos)
    • Social share links for promoting job postings

      Here are some examples of different methods to present your company Employment Opportunities on Facebook with custom tabs:

      Starbuck's Careers Facebook page tab is extremely well-done. It contains relevant information about openings
      as well as a careers overview, search functionality, video about the company culture,
      benefits package list, and even imported feed of @StarbucksJobs tweets.
      Constant Contact's careers page tab makes it easy to find open positions. They even integrated
      a search at the top to filter the openings. Each job includes easy sharing widgets.
      The tab also includes a short video about employment with Constant Contact.

      Gap has a very custom careers page tab that they call "Work for Us." It has a friendly tone in line
      with its casual-professional brand. It integrates photography with thoughtful functionality
      including the dropdown filter/search choices, embedded sharing options, and even jobs matching
      your profile (via Work for Us—Facebook's #1 Recruiting App).

      McDonald's has a clean and well functioning careers page tab. Corporate jobs filter
      and display right on the Facebook page. Restaurant jobs use proximity and link to local
      restaurant opportunities. By the way, if you haven't seen it, the McDonald's website is very well done.
      Ameriprise Financial is an example that does not have complex functionality—and, it doesn't need it!
      Its simple and clean page layout clearly presents what it's like to work at Ameriprise
      and links to related information. My only recommendation for improvement would be to integrate
      a search function and include a link to open positions. It's a nice starting point for job seekers.

      Social media is marketing tactic that is becoming more and more relevant to your customers. Employment pages on your website have always been important to recruit new talent, but including them on social media profiles is an extra push and may possibly be where they find you.

      You don't have to choose an overly-complicated option to start promoting job openings through a tab on your Facebook business page. SmartRecruiters offers a helpful careers app for small to medium sized businesses. This app will:
      • Display available jobs.
      • Allow Facebook users to like and share available jobs.
      • Sync their job listings with SmartRecruiters’ recruiting software—which is cloud-based and requires no downloading or upkeep. This way, businesses can manage the hiring process from start to finish.
      Interestingly, in conjunction with your Facebook careers page, do not forget about your LinkedIn Company page. Some experts claim that your LinkedIn company page may even be more important than your website careers page.

      Website Design Project: Indy Connect Now

      We launched a new website for Indy Connect Now. You may view this website at

      We worked on this project in a very quick time frame of less than one month from start to finish. As we learned about the initiative and relationship to Indy Connect and CIRTA organization, we designed a logo to represent the initiative and created a custom web design that pulled from the elements of CIRTA with a unique twist. The focus of the website is to gain signatures on the petition for mass transit, so we placed the petition in a prominent position on the home page. The website is connected to our Content Management System for easy maintenance, and our solution included a custom application with reporting on the petition signatures.

      To further support the initiative and communication with its audience, we prepared a email newsletter template for press releases and other information to be easily distributed. The template was set up for flexibility, and is easily managed by their public relations team.

      About Indy Connect Now

      Indy Connect Now is a sister organization Indy Connect and CIRTA. Indy Connect Now is a community-wide campaign to create a better mass transit system in central Indiana - to grow the economy and improve access to jobs, healthcare, education and recreation.

      Your assistance in needed to get this initiative on the ballot. We encourage you to visit the website and sign the petition to put mass transit on the ballot.  Like them on Facebook or  follow them on Twitter.

      LinkedIn: Groups vs. Company Pages

      LinkedIn might be a social network with over 175 million users, but it behaves a lot like a virtual trade show or conference networking event. LinkedIn enables its users to network professionally, post and find jobs, and ask/answer questions. LinkedIn users can discover the people employed by a certain business and see for which businesses a certain person has worked.

      What are LinkedIn Groups?

      LinkedIn Groups are a lot like other communities and tribes online. They are what LinkedIn developers call smaller professional networks organized within LinkedIn. Users voluntarily join LinkedIn Groups to network further with other like-minded professionals within LinkedIn’s greater social network. LinkedIn Groups thrive when someone with community management skills owns and manages the group’s community or tribe.

      Influencers in the LinkedIn Group "Social Media Marketing" actively demonstrate
      their social media prowess through discussions on the forum.

      As a user, you can join a LinkedIn Group in order to:

      • Connect with like-minded professionals by areas of interest.
      • Start or join discussions by sharing insights, posting articles, asking/answering questions, and creating polls.
      • Promote your affiliation with groups as part of your profile.

      As a representative for a company or organization, you can start or sponsor a LinkedIn Group in order to:

      • Build relationships with customers and affiliates.
      • Gain access to other professionals.
      • Position your company's employees as thought leader professionals as thought leaders.

      You can browse existing LinkedIn Groups by visiting the social network’s Groups Directory page.

      What are LinkedIn Company Pages?

      LinkedIn Company Pages are profile pages for businesses and organizations. As with any social media presence, building up a solid base of followers is key to a successful strategy.

      Mashable's robust LinkedIn company page maximizes the social network's offerings.

      To grow your company’s LinkedIn network, promote your presence there by adding follow buttons to your website, writing a blog post about your presence, and telling followers on your other social networks to follow you on LinkedIn, too.

      Many companies maintain LinkedIn Company Pages to enhance their reach. (See above to glimpse a screen grab of TBH Creative's LinkedIn Company Page.)

      Even without putting any effort into building your company on LinkedIn, chances are many of your employees are updating their Personal LinkedIn Profiles to show where they work. Every LinkedIn user that connects with an employee’s Personal LinkedIn Profile may potentially click on your company’s name and navigate to your company page which is why it's important to maintain this web presence.

      Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn allows businesses to use Company Pages to add multiple products with enough room so each can stand out. When LinkedIn users visit your Company Page, they can see which products and services, produced by your company, are recommended by their LinkedIn connections.

      As a representative for a company or organization, you can create a Company Page in order to:
      • Maintain basic information about your company and refine its description.
      • Post jobs using “careers” tab to advertise openings at your company.
      • List products and services to broadcast your company’s offerings to a wide network of professionals.
      • Promote your business using a LinkedIn Ad Campaign
      • Use LinkedIn's built-in analytics data to determine if your efforts are helping you reach your strategic web marketing goals.
      • Broadcast news and other important messaging.

      Facebook Tabs Example 1: Welcome message

      Check out a newer version of this post! Facebook no longer uses tabs in this way, but you can use a cover photo as a "Welcome Message" variation. For more current tips, head over to our instructions for a great Facebook cover photo article.

      Throughout this month, we're focusing on how businesses and organizations can use custom tabs to strengthen their Facebook pages. Last week we introduced why businesses and organizations should consider using custom Facebook tabs. Now, we're focusing on specific examples of effective custom tabs. First up? "Welcome Message or "Like" page" tabs.
      smiling woman sitting at her laptop computer
      A welcome message is a useful type of custom tab to include on your Facebook page. Use one to reinforce your brand image. Consider it a friendly hello page—a home page for your visitors to check out when visiting your Facebook business page that's more welcoming than the default timeline page.

      Facebook Tabs: Simple answer to why and how it works

      Several clients have asked why they should customize their Facebook business pages. The simple answer is that they can drive web traffic to your website, reinforce your other online marketing efforts, and increase sales and engagement.

      Visitors will do a lot of clicking around on your Facebook business page; in fact, this social presence can serve as a mini-website. Keep in mind that some potential customers and clients will get all of their information about your company from the Facebook business page.

      The basic Facebook business page format is the same for everyone, the more interesting you can make it, the better. As you build a plan to offer dynamic and valuable content through your presence, your Facebook business page's likes will continue to grow.

      How Facebook business pages work

      Each Facebook business page includes a customizable navigation bar of tabs. Each tab is represented by a small, related photo (111x74px).

      Screengrab courtesy of Hubspot article on
      How to Create Custom Tabs
      Via custom tabs, you can create a much richer user experience for your Facebook audience and control the content that your followers see when they visit your page—and, anyone who visits your Facebook business page is a potential customer or client.

      Fans, or people who already like your page, will see your company's Facebook status posts as part of their default news feed. If your fans click your name next to any post, they will go to your Facebook homepage—and, hopefully, these users will click around for more information using the custom tab options. Building a customized Facebook business page ensures a greater chance of engaging with users and making a positive impression.
      Did you know? On average, Facebook users spend six hours a month on Facebook.

      A couple more statistics
      With over 500 million users, Facebook is now used by 1 in 13 people. Over 250 million of Facebook users (over 50%) log in every day, and the average user has about 130 friends. The number of friends per average user is expected to continue expanding.

      Facebook has one billion users; 600 million mobile users; more than 42 million pages and nine million apps.

      Common tabs to consider incorporating into your Facebook business page include:
      1. Welcome Message or "Like" page
      2. Employment Opportunities
      3. Photos and Albums
      4. Videos
      5. Events
      6. Map
      7. Email Newsletter Sign-Up
      8. Social Media Feeds
      9. Promotions/Coupons/Special Offers
      10. Facebook Shops/Product Shopping Carts
      Next week we will provide examples of each custom tab listed above.

      A Spooky Case Study: Target's Facebook Marketing

      Earlier this week we posted an overview of some of the many ways that companies and organizations are using holiday- and seasonal-themes to engage their fans on Facebook. Today, we're profiling Target's strategic Facebook efforts in-depth.

      The social media team at Target does a creative job leveraging holidays and contests as part of their web marketing strategy. Target's recent incorporation of Halloween into its social media plans is inspiring. Their efforts will give you actionable ideas on what works when it comes to building and strengthening new, existing, and potential customer relationships using social media. Here's a detailed look at Target's Halloween marketing campaign on Facebook.


      Target made the upcoming holiday prominent on their Facebook page in multiple ways, including on-topic status posts, a custom cover photo, and a holiday-themed interactive contest.

      Holiday-inspired Cover Photo

      Target uses playful photography to showcase their Halloween costumes and other products prominently in their Facebook cover photo. Their custom tab graphics also use Halloween-inspired graphics. All of the artwork and photographs compliment branding and marketing efforts done in Target stores, print ads and circulars, and even on television commercials and web spots.

      Promotional contests

      In addition to customizing their cover photo, Target is engaging their Facebook fan base through an interactive Halloween promotion called "Trick or Treat." The promotion gives customers a chance to win a $20 GiftCard or the grand prize of $250 GiftCard.

      Users are given two chances to win in the promotion. The first entry is "free," and the price of a second entry is where Target leverages the power of their fans' Facebook networks. Users can only earn a second entry by agreeing to help Target promote this contest. Specifically, the entry is earned by allowing Target to post about the contest to your timeline.

      Knowing that not everyone would want their friends to know they've entered the contest, Target has made this notification optional. Giving users the power to decide what they share makes this a thoughtfully executed marketing technique. Because the application doesn't force users to post a notice of participation to their timelines, Target keeps users trust because they're not forcing them to do anything they don't want to do in terms of viral promotion. The contest entry ends with a playful and encouraging nudge to come back and try again tomorrow.

      All in all, this is a fun and likely effective social media marketing promotion for a combination reasons:
      1. It is plays on a fun holiday theme that already might be on the minds of their fans.
      2. It offers their fans an incentive to visit their page.
      3. It is easy for their fans to participate.
      4. It encourages their fans to promote Target and their contest to their friends.
      5. It reminds their fans to come back to their Facebook page and try again.

      Facebook Fun for Holidays

      More and more companies are leveraging custom tabs to engage with their Facebook fans. Incorporating holidays—through seasonally-appropriate themed contests and artwork—is a creative social media marketing strategy for reaching customers on Facebook. Here is an illustrated overview of a few recent noteworthy ways that we've seen companies spice up their Facebook pages and engage with fans:

      The Children's Museum: Not only are they featuring a cover photo promoting a "wicked" event,
      the Museum's avatar graphic embraces the holiday spirit and says "Boo!suem" instead of Museum.
      Claire's Boutique: The customized Halloween cover photo incorporates holiday-related
      products in a playful way that goes with their other branding efforts.
      Hallmark: Their cover photo meshes a Halloween-inspired photo with their tagline and branding.
      Indianapolis Zoo: The zoo uses their cover photo space as an extension
      of their marketing to promote an upcoming Halloween event.
      Purdue University: Purdue customized their avatar to give their brand seasonal flare.
      Etsy: Etsy created a Halloween costume-themed photo gallery as a way of getting
      users interested in browsing their website for products. This page was featured as a
      custom tab from their Facebook Timeline.
      Etsy: Etsy also updated their cover photo so that it has a seasonal flare.
      Starbucks: Starbucks uses its cover photo to hint at the fall and promote
      their seasonal products.

      IU Health: October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and IU Health shows
      their support for the cause with a customized cover photo.
      Paradise Cafe: Paradise Cafe shows their support for breast cancer research
      with a customized cover photo.
      Tide: Tide shows their support for breast cancer research with a customized cover photo.
      They also went an extra step further and updated their avatar so that the circles in their logo
      to glow pink instead of their usual yellow and orange.
      Kay Jewelers: During October, to increase their "fans," Kay Jewelers is running a promotion.
      For each new fan they receive, they'll make a donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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