Tuesday, November 27, 2012

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:

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    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.

      Friday, November 16, 2012

      Website Design Project: Indy Connect Now

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

      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.

      Thursday, November 15, 2012

      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.

      Tuesday, November 13, 2012

      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.

      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.

      A welcome / Like Us page should:
      • Encourage visitors to like your page.
      • Offer an incentive after liking the page. 
      • Lead to additional information.
      • Include a call to action message. 
      This type of custom tab used to be more popular when Facebook allowed businesses and organizations to set-up a non-fan landing page, but it still can be used with just a little re-purposing.

      Here are some examples of exemplary Welcome custom tabs

      Example that encourage likes without providing an incentive

      Coca-Cola takes a positive spin. They encourage visitors to "join" the best fans and brightest ideas.
      In general, this page is a great extension of their brand's existing positive messaging.
      They are not offering a specific incentive, but the page is inviting.

      Examples that encourage likes by providing an incentive
      Tide offers several features reasons for users to like their page.
      The list includes vague offerings that might not encourage immediate participation,
      but if the copy was tweaked to include specific offers (such as mentioning the exclusive
      offers are coupons) the return would be more convincing for those unsure visitors.

      Panera Bread offers popular information upon like: convenient access to their full menu!
      Once you become a fan, the menu displays. The menu is well-done—as nice as a web page might be
      with scrolling featured items, divided by types of food (cafe, bakery, sandwiches, salads, etc.).

      Ann Taylor offers a chance to win free accessory products to those who like their fan page.
      While the offer is a compelling reason to like the page, their messaging could be improved.
      Instead of showing "exclusive" products to individuals who like the page, more information about
      the drawing should be shown to build trust with fans. Providing details about when the drawing
      will be held as well as who has won in the past would be useful.

      Microsoft offers a clever and fun incentive using custom illustration.
      When users like Microsoft, the default gray illustration fills with color and animates.

      Examples that do a good job integrating call to action messages

      Hallmark includes a lot of information and a few calls to action on their welcome page.
      This page resembles a website home page. They actually have several pages like this on their Facebook
      profile/tabs. They include a lot of options and information, but I wish they would consolidate what they're trying
      to do and present less to me on each tab so it was not overwhelming.

      Northpoint Pediatrics uses a custom Welcome tab to communicate a key offering to their audience: weekend hours.
      The page features audio to add more detail about their weekend hours and care options for patients.

      Which of these examples of custom Facebook welcome tabs do you like best? What should we add to the list of good examples of custom Facebook welcome tabs? Over the coming weeks, we will be posting examples of other types of custom Facebook tabs. If you send us some good ones, we might include in our coming posts.

      Thursday, November 8, 2012

      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.


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