Social Media Strategy Comparison

I was recently asked by Downtown Boulder, Inc to do a social media strategy comparison for their Social Media Advisory Council. It was a treat to compare and contrast the online execution of two Boulder’s two premier hotels! I also included SEO, PPC, and email for good measure.

I’ve made my presentation available here in PDF: Comparing Two Social Media Strategies.

Social Media Strategy Comparison

Also, if you happen to “like” Boulder, see the Boulder Facebook Page.

Guide to the New Facebook Page Layout for March, 2012 – Including Fan Gates

Huge changes are here with the new Facebook page layout in 2012, we have until March 30 to adjust.

Top five tips for page admins below!

 Introducing-New-Facebook-Pages-2012

1. Facebook Fan Gates are going away!

  • Direct from Facebook: “You can’t change the default landing view to another view or app, but you can link people directly to a particular view or app on your Page.”
  • What this means: you can no longer have non-likers dropped onto your fan gate by default, assuming they come from with Facebook.  Boo!  The app will still exist, but not as a default landing page.
  • Tip: If you’re linking people from your website or elsewhere to your Facebook page, you can hardcode the destination URL to drop people onto the fan gate page!  That will leverage some of the existing capability, but it will also push existing likers to the “wrong” spot, as you’d like them to get to your wall, so keep that in mind as a tradeoff.    To work around that, you can update your fan gate to say “If you’re already a fan, visit our wall” with an arrow to the wall link.

2. Cover Photo

  • Direct from Facebook: “Cover photos are 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. If you upload an image that’s smaller than these dimensions, it will get stretched to this larger size. The image you upload must be at least 399 pixels wide.”
  • What this means:  start right away on designing an image that captures the nature of your brand and causes an instant desire to like your page.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: a call to action is against Facebook’s terms and conditions, so this technique is risky, not advisable for large brands.  To recover from not having a fan gate, aka Facebook page reveal, some may be tempted to use the cover photo as a fan gate replacement by having it point to the like button. (Note: Example text and arrow was added by me, it’s not a literal example from their page).   Don’t do this unless you run a small page, even then it’s risky.

 

3.  Pinned Posts

  • Direct from Facebook: “A post a Page admin pins to the top of their Page will remain there for 7 days. After that, it’ll return to the date it was posted on the Page’s timeline. Posts from people who like a Page are not eligible to be pinned posts. Page admins can only pin posts created by the Page.”
  • What this means: This is great! As an admin you can control what goes at the top of your page.  Be sure to pin something at least once a week.  You’ll see a small orange flag on pinned posts.
  • Also, you can widen a post: Hover over a story and click on the star to make it wider. This is great to highlight your best pics.
  • How to pin a post: Click the pencil icon in the upper-right corner of your Page’s post. Then select “Pin to Top.

How-to-Pin-a-Post-on-New-Facebook-Pages-2012

 4. Page Apps

  • The “Photos” app will be required on the left, but you can select any of these three on the right: Likes, Videos, Events, Map and a Page’s custom apps.
  • What this means:  This is a huge win for page owners (and app developers) who want to highlight custom apps.  Put your key apps or content here.  This gives a lot more incentive to develop a custom app.   ALSO, update your App icons and names to describe the app’s purpose.  As you can see with Ford below, it’s totally unclear what the apps do.
  • How to set this up: click the drop-down icon to the right of the tiles, click the ‘+’ button to import your custom apps, and then hover over them and click the pencil to move them around.

App-Arrangement-On-New-Facebook-Page-Layout

 

5. Private Messages from Fans

  • Fans can now send you private messages.  This is huge for being able to handle a side discussion, especially one that you don’t want show to all fans, such as a customer service issue.
  • What this means: Once you’ve published with your new format, make sure you announce this new feature to fans.
  • It’s on by default, but if you want to turn this off, go to ‘Manage’ >> ‘Edit Page’ >> ‘Manage Permissions,’ and unchecking the ‘Messages’ box.

Private Messages in New Facebook Page Layout 2012

More Info

 

Summary

Those are my top tips to get started today.  I’ll continue to update this guide to the new Facebook page layout – a reminder that it’s required by March 30, 2012.

Please leave questions below as comments and I’ll work to answer them soon.

—————————————–

P.S.  For more online marketing tips, find me on Twitter @JonnySack.

Facebook or Die! eBook: How to Market Your Business on Facebook

Here’s my entire Facebook marketing worldview for businesses in one document, totally free.

This presentation took a lot of work to create! Since I’m giving it to you free, all I ask is this:

  1. Consider linking to my blog: www.jonathansackheim.com (use link text related to Facebook marketing)
  2. Follow @jonnysack on Twitter
  3. Click the Facebook “Like” button at the bottom of this post

That’s it.  I hope you enjoy the eBook!

eBook How to Market Your Business on Facebook

I first presented this eBook to a group of online marketing pros in Denver (SEMPO).  Therefore,  I included more than just basic info and it’s geared toward an audience that has some experience with Facebook marketing. (Please click Like below).

-Jonathan

p.s. you can reach me at sackheim at gmail dot com if you have online marketing questions. Here’s my LinkedIn profile.

How to Own your HTC EVO and Not Let it Own You – Top 20 Tips for Enjoying Android

After using HTC EVO 4G on the Sprint network since the day it came out a few months ago, the verdict is in… the EVO is amazing.  BUT, it took a while to get used to, at first I wanted to light myself on fire and jump out a window chuck it out a window.  Here are some tips to make your journey faster and smoother than mine.

evo-smashed

This is not a review, it’s intended for people who’ve already bought the phone and want to learn how to get the most out of it.  This post should help you save time by not having to figure out all these EVO tips yourself.

Extending the Battery Life

  • 1. The best tip I have is to install the Power Control widget on one of your home screens. To do that, on your home screen, hit the plus button, select Widget, and scroll to Power Control.   Keep as many of these off as possible, especially the syncing.  That way I just manually sync my gmail and work email whenever I need a refresh, and it’s not happening in the background on its own.

EVO-Android-Power-Control-Widget

  • 2. Normal stuff: don’t use live walpapers, keep your screen on medium brightness, set App Killer to automatically kill apps every few hours, keep it plugged in, keep GPS/Wifi/4G off.

App Suggestions

  • 3. Swype: I got this app when it was in beta, it allows ultra fast typing.  Try to find it and install it if you can.

  • 4. Games:  Angry Birds (highly addictive), Abduction, Papi Jump, Papi Missle, Talking Tom, Chuck Norris Facts, Flashlight, and Space Physics are all favorites.
  • 5. Facebook:  they released a new app for Touch that’s in the Market.  Also, I’ve bookmarked the full site and use that often.
  • 6. Google Listen: this podcasting app comes with the device – if it gives a playback error just wait for the file to fully download and then it will play.
  • 7. Google Sky: a great app if you’re into checking out the stars.
  • 8. Google Googles: this new visual search app is fun for bar tricks, scan your buddy’s cell phone and it will tell you the model
  • 9. Download a file manager app
  • 10. Download Advanced Task Killer
  • 11. Pandora: this is a no brainer.   Also, they say Slacker is better and has more songs, but I find it has too many ads. If you upgrade to Froyo the default setting may go to low quality audio, so set that back to high.  Also the streaming audio quality is degraded under Froyo, hopefully a fix will come out soon.
  • 12. RetroCamera for cool photos
  • 13. Foursquare is cool for checking in at different places in that you can get updates on where your friends are and try to become the mayor of your favorite spots. Also try Google Places.

Other Suggestions

  • 14. Navigation: Pressing the home button allows you to see the last six apps that you’ve used so you can toggle quickly, similar to alt+tab on a PC
  • 15. Camera: tap the spot on the screen where you want it to focus.
  • 16. Saving Money on your plan: see if your company can get you a corporate rate
  • 17. Browser: remember that you can go to most any site and use it just like you would.  So go to Ted.com and stream the videos and listen to them on headphones or via your car stereo on the way home.
  • 18. Make sure you’re running Android 2.2 (Froyo).   If not, click menu, then settings, then system updates.
  • 19. Tethering: I’ve tried to do this for free via PDAnet and haven’t had any luck.  I’ll update this if I get it to work.
  • 20. 4G: this hasn’t been fully available in my market, so I keep it off to preserve battery life.
  • 21. Case: the phone is big enough so I’ve opted not to use a case – so far, so good.
  • 22. Screen covers: I bought some and didn’t like they way they felt.  After learning that the glass is virtually scratch proof I don’t use a screen cover.

Overall, this phone is great.  Sprint’s network is fantastic so there are no dropped calls (so unlike the iPhone it works as a phone) and it’s one of the least expensive networks around.  The battery isn’t great, but everything else is solid and it has a removable battery if you want to carry a spare.  The phone took some getting used-to because it’s big and heavy, but now it’s normal to me and other phones seem wimpy.

Actually that was 22 tips.  Thanks for reading and leave your own tips below.

Getting That One Friend to Join Facebook (Helping Late Adopters Get Social Media)

We all know somebody who won’t join Facebook.  They’re a cool person, but they’re just not getting it and they need some help from an enlightened friend.  :-)  This post is dedicated to those people – let’s see if we can’t get them to give it a shot.

Top 10 Reasons You’ll Hear Why People Will Not Use Facebook

  1. “I have enough friends.”
  2. “I’m not really that social.”
  3. “I lost touch with people for a good reason.”
  4. “I don’t want to live like I’m still in high school.”
  5. “I don’t care what all those other people are doing.”
  6. “I’m too busy. I don’t want another time waster.”
  7. “I’m too old.”
  8. “I tried it and it was lame.”
  9. “I don’t want to be friends with work people.”
  10. “I don’t want all my personal info all over the Internet.”

After using Facebook for a while now, to me, these arguments fall flat.  They remind me of the people who wouldn’t get a cell phone. Some people seem to make it part of their identity. “My name is Joe, and I refuse to own a cellphone, that’s who I am!”  And after all that, Joe now has a cell-phone and wasted a couple years not having one.  So if you hear one of the above reasons not to be on Facebook, here you go…

Rebuttals:

1. “I have enough friends.”

What if you found a new friend who you liked as much or more than your existing friends? How could that be bad?  Also Facebook isn’t just for close friends, you can strengthen friendships with existing people or use it just to get news that people post.

2. “I’m not really that social.”

All people are social, some more than others, but generally humans find joy in quality social interaction.  And while Facebook doesn’t always qualify, most all people who use it for a while see that it leads to real-world interactions that you enjoy.

3. “I lost touch with people for a good reason.”

Often times we’ve lost touch with people for a good reason at the time, but things may have changed.  It’s amazing how time can smooth things over and allow us to reconnect on common ground.

4. “I don’t want to live like I’m still in high school.”

If you find people or people find you who you don’t want to talk to, ignore that person.  You can make person-by-person decisions about who you want to connect with. Joining Facebook doesn’t mean you have to relive high school.

5. “I don’t care what all those other people are doing.”

While it can be a waste of time to hear that Suzy, who you met in college, “is working out!”, you can hide people who post lame stuff with one click and focus on the ones who have something good to say.  You can find out all kinds of interesting things from events, to news, to who is now single, jobs and more.

6. “I’m too busy. I don’t want another time waster.”

You’re too busy? Yeah, I know, we’re all too busy. But if somebody could offer you something better to do with the 5 minutes of time you use to check email between meetings, would you say no?   There’s an infinite number of things we can busy ourselves with, and once you see the benefits, it’s likely Facebook will supplant some of the other things you were doing because you will value the new thing more.

7. “I’m too old.”

People of all ages are using it, you’d be surprised.

8. “I tried it and it was lame.”

Like many things, you need to gain familiarity and reach a critical mass before it becomes easy and useful. Connect to at least 50 friends from different parts of your circle (family, current friends, old friends, friends who moved away, former classmates etc) and once you reach that threshold, use it for six more months.  If you still think it’s lame, fine, don’t do it anymore.  But I bet you will keep on Facebooking.

9. “I don’t want to be friends with work people.”

People are pretty understanding about Facebook in general, so if you don’t want to be friends just decline the request and mention that you use Facebook mainly for close friends and family.  Suggest that you connect on LinkedIn.com instead.

10. “I don’t want my personal info all over the Internet.”

Neither do I! Luckily you can share your info just with those who you want to see it. Go to Settings and then Privacy Settings to adjust who sees what.  Facebook makes it easier to connect with people who you want to hear from – so by missing out on that, you’re not protecting yourself, you’re actually squandering opportunities to connect to people.

How to Get People to Give it a Try

So for all of us who know the value of Facebook, pick one or two of these tips to get your friends on Facebook:

  • Helpful: Set up an account for them when you’re at their house
  • The story teller: share with them some benefits you’ve seen, reconnected with an old friend, found out some news, etc.
  • The reminder: Don’t be pushy, some people like to be in control and resist what others think they should do, so just mention it once in a while in an off-hand manner about things you learned or did that you found out about on Facebook
  • The persuader: Say you have two questions. 1. Are you open minded?  2. Do you find value in a cell phone?  If they say yes to either of those, then tell them they should give it a try because Facebook can become indispensable like cell phone can in terms of getting useful information – and if they’re really open minded, why not?  Send the “But, why Facebook” section below.
  • The rewarder: share some pictures on Facebook that they’d want to see, and only share them on Facebook.  If they sign up, they see the pictures.
  • Ask for their help: Say, “It helps me if you’re on Facebook.  I expect you to have Facebook much like I expect you to have a cell phone or email account. Please help me communicate with you more easily and effectively.”
  • The nuclear option: send them this post.  Not recommended, as it will usually cause the person to feel insulted and thus further resist as a defense mechanism.  If you use this option, also send them the following article as it makes a similar point: http://www.slate.com/id/2208678/

See Last List Item Above

See Last List Item Above

But, Why Facebook?

Simply put, it’s where people are having their conversations, and it would be silly to miss out.  Imagine going to a bar where all your friends are talking, and instead of saying hello, you ignore them, get your drink and go into a corner by yourself and just sit.  You’d be missing out!  Here are some things that the Facebook abstainers miss out on: updates, pictures, news, jobs, events (like eVite) staying current with friends, reconnecting with old ones, potential dates, comments, jokes, staying current on politics and the world, and learning new things. Why miss out on all that?

Sad Norm, or Happy Norm? Come on lame friend, choose wisely!

Sad Norm, or happy Norm? Come on friend, choose wisely!

The wrap-up:

At first, some of the arguments against Facebook seem to hold water, but only for the person who doesn’t really know or properly use Facebook. And this isn’t just about getting somebody on Facebook specifically, it’s about getting them into the online, social media, conversation, which Facebook has come to dominate. Someday, almost everybody will be on Facebook, but until then, use this guide to help get those few Facebook hold-outs you know to join up.

If you have other reasons, pro or con, or just think I’m full of it, leave a comment and we’ll discuss.

Michael Jackson’s Death & Social Media – Twitter Wins the Race

Not since the attacks of September 11 do I remember the news of something spreading so quickly.  Back then it was a call from my father waking me up with the news that the “U.S. was under attack!”

In the last eight years, things have changed.  …This time Social Media broke the story.

Here’s my account of how this historical news reached me and how I passed it on.

(All times are Mountain Time, Denver)

At 3:15 pm (21:15 GMT) - I saw this Tweet that Michael Jackson suffered Cardiac Arrest, which had been posted at 2:36pm (20:36 GMT).  Later it becomes known that Twitter crashed under the weight.

Little did I know that posted at 2:04 pm (20:04 GMT) was a Tweet I had missed from WeirdNews out of Japan (freaky Michael Jackson lovers over there for sure).  Funny that that was posted six minutes prior to when it is said that x17online.com was the first site to have posted a brief story with pictures at 2:10 pm (20:10 GMT).  (Reference link at bottom of this post for a timeline).  …Was @weirdnews really the site that broke the story??? Well yes, but it’s not much of a story, just a Tweet with no authority.

It turns out the call to 911 happened at 1:21 pm (19:21 GMT).  So it took only 43 minutes between the call to 911 and it hitting my desk on Twitter.  That’s pretty fast.

At 3:18 PM (21:18 GMT) I Google it and post the ONE Google News result I saw on Facebook.  Later it comes to be known that due to the sudden spike in traffic, Google thought it was the target of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

At 3:50 pm (21:50 GMT), some reps arrive at the office and one of them tells me that she just saw on her Blackberry that Michael Jackson died according to the TMZ blog.  That news had broken at 3:20 pm on TMZ…

At 3:55pm (21:55 GMT) I start seeing the other posts come in via Facebook.  Props to Courtney Walsh (@CourtneyWalsh) for being the first in my news feed to break his death.  She posted it 35 minutes after it broke at TMZ.

At 4:15 (22:15 GMT) I get a text saying “Michael Jackson just died of cardiac arrest!”  …Pfffff, text message, so old fashioned and slow.  :-)

Here’s the summary of how it went down for me:

  1. Saw news of his cardiac arrest on Twitter
  2. Confirmed it via Google News and posted the story to Facebook
  3. News of his death came via word-of-mouth which came from a mobile phone from a Blog (TMZ)
  4. The Facebook posts roll-in
  5. Text message

Old’s Cool? It’s also worth noting that traditional media is holding strong.  Out of nine Facebook friends whom I surveyed, almost half heard about it in an offline manner:

  • 3 heard about it on the radio
  • 3 online news (online newspaper, CNN.com)
  • 1 on Facebook
  • 1 Twitter
  • 1 Word of mouth

Wrap-up: Michael Jackson’s death is the perfect case study in how Twitter has nabbed the top spot for quickly spreading the news.  Google is becoming less relevant (see the article below) when compared to Twitter but still serves as a way to help validate the sometimes sketchy news that spreads on social media.  Also, traditional news sources like the radio aren’t going away anytime soon.

For more reading, here’s a great account about how the news of Michael Jackson’s death spread across the Web.

How did you first hear of the news?   Also, my Twitter is @jonnysack.

Five Steps Toward Becoming a LinkedIn Rockstar

 

Want LinkedIn to work for you?  Make sure you’re part of the conversation by following these five steps toward becoming a LinkedIn Rockstar!

 

1. Update your profile completely – add a picture.  Make yourself accessible by adding your email address after your name, so that people can contact you without jumping through hoops.  For example, my LinkedIn name is” Jonathan Sackheim – sackheim at gmail.com.”    

Also for your profile, get recommendations.  Think of yourself like a vendor on Amazon.com, and recommendations are like stars.  The more recommendations, the more trustworthy you appear.

2. Update your company profile – yes your company has a profile, think of it like a Facebook Page.  

Here’s an example for eBags…  http://www.linkedin.com/companies/ebags


3. Expand your network – connect after meetings, connect to colleagus & former classmates, let LinkedIn

scan your webmail (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc) to find contacts on LinkedIn.

 

 

4. Cross promote your LinkedIn Profile on other areas like your email signature, website etc.  Then promote your blog posts etc on LinkedIn, I use Blog Link.   Also, you can inlcude up to three outboud links…

 

 

5. Use it for lead gen, partnering, recruiting, job searches…
  • Answers – go ask a question and better yet, answer a few to show how smart you are
  • Events – put your next big event up on LinkedIn, use it like eVite or like a Facebook event 
  • Status updates – tell people what you’re up to, brag about your latest big thing, just don’t treat it like Twitter
  • Keep in touch,  connect with and email people.  Who knows, maybe good looking people will email you?  :-)
 

This post was based on a talk I recently gave about how to best use LinkedIn at the Boulder Chamber of Commerce’s Social Media event.    

Thanks for reading & please leave any other good tips as a comment.

“Arrr, This be pleasin’ to me eye.” Facebook releases Pirate language mode. Here are some Pirate English translations…

This sooo cracked me up, Facebook Pirate language mode!

Some translations from English to Pirate English:

  • 50 minutes ago = 50 shots ‘o rum ago
  • Recent friends = Fresh blood
  • Friends = Me Hearties
  • Inbox = Bottle o’ Messages
  • Regarding = Regarrrding
  • Jonathan and Steve are now friends = Jonatha n’ Steve now be mateys, rum all ’round!

A view of my Facebook profile, now in Pirate English:

Facebook Pirate Style

Facebook Pirate Style

How do you set up Pirate English on your profile?
- Go to the bottom left part of your Facebook profile
- Click on English and select English Pirate.  You’re done.
EVERYTHING is then in Pirate Language.

Then see random things like this:

Get a Peep Under the Google Kimono: The Big G Shows Off Its Guns

The computers that run Google’s server farms have been super top secret.  Until now.    Finally, we can see the secret sauce that makes the Google Machine run so efficiently.

And what can one man do?  A lot.  This computer was the result of one man’s toil for 14 hours per day over the span of 2.5 years.

Read the full story here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-10209580-92.html