50 for Facebook

Elaine Gantz Wright is a speaker, writer and social media strategist, helping neighborhood businesses expand word-mouth-marketing exponentially–driving referrals, repeats and revenue.

I love working with small businesses. Their drive, energy, creativity,  spirit and commitment are remarkable–day after day after day. Working in a small business, myself, I appreciate the essential magic of clarity–that is, precisely understanding your value proposition, product and unique benefit.

That’s why I need your help. My goal is to develop the quintessential checklist of social media action items for small business. I read recently that social media is not a money problem. It’s a question of time, and I want to help businesses define social media in terms of opportunity cost. What constitutes the best use of time, engagement and conversation?

We’ll start with Facebook and move through the major platforms. Please review the list below, and add your comments–pro or con with anything I might have missed. I’ve compiled thinking from the likes of Brogan, Falls, Jantsch, and Qualman, but I am interested in your thoughts. What has worked best for your business? We want to know. In fact, I’d love to interview you about your experience. Email me at elgantz()yahoo.com.

Facebook

1.       Create Facebook business page.

2.       Calibrate wall settings  to display posts by you, all comments, and posts by friends.

3.       Monitor daily.

4.       Deliver prompt, personal response to all comments in your brand voice.

5.       Approach social media as a continuous process that requires regular attention.

6.       Content: Keep your page updated with compelling questions and fresh content?

7.       Photo :  Adding your logo as a photo to your Fan Page helps brand your Facebook Fan Page and can bring more awareness to your brand.

8.       Fan your own Fan Page and suggest it to your Friends list.

9.       Engage in conversations.

10.   Message fans regularly but not excessively  to keep prospects, customers returning to the site.

11.   Post Contests , Polls, and Surveys.

12.   Allow fans to Vote on products, events, etc.

13.   Post one-day-only specials.

14.   Promote nonprofit opportunities.

15.   Feature customers  and how-to videos.

16.   Promote submit-a-photo campaigns.

17.   Gift-card purchase promotions online.

18.   Publish product-related quizzes.

19.   Co-promote coupons with surrounding non-competing businesses.

20.   Create and invite friends to “Events.”

21.   Tag your customers in business photos.

22.   Encourage sharing: Provide free information and encourage others to share it– engaging new potential customers and tapping the power of bloggers with high readership and a large number of Fans.

23.   Offer tangible benefits to fans, such as exclusive deals and complimentary items, sneak preview, for advice that is unique to your business.

24.   Developing custom Facebook applications that are attract your target customers. For example, Static FBML (Facebook Markup Language) allows you to add custom HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) to customize your page.

25.   Launch and test Facebook advertising campaigns.

26.   Since Facebook is set up to tie your personal profile to your business page, update the privacy settings on your personal profile to ensure you don’t have any potentially embarrassing content visible to business contacts?

27.   Use Facebook tabs to add more content to your Fan Page. Changing these settings by checking or un-checking a box on the Edit Page section of your Facebook Fan Page.

28.   Events: Let your fans know about upcoming promotions, sales and other events.

29.   Links: Make it easy for users to see your business’s main website, partner business, newsletters, nonprofit association or other value-added information.

30.   Images: Visuals are at the top of the online interest pyramid.   Showcase products, tout events, and highlight customers.

31.   Reviews: Encourage fans to leave reviews about your business. This can be a good tool to interact with your customers and hear honest feedback. Monitor this closely and respond immediately to any negative feedback.

32.   About :  Provide useful information to describe your mission and who you are. List other ways people can connect with you (main website, blog, and social profiles you maintain).

33.   Video: Appealing videos can really help keep your content fresh and interesting so Fans will come back to your page and share your content/brand.

34.   Display exclusive discounts to your Facebook Fans in tabs.

35.   Provide helpful information about topics that are on the mind of your ideal customer. Include intriguing details about your products or services, but don’t get too “salesy.”

36.   RSS (really simple syndication) feeds from your Blog(s) and Twitter® account—automatically inserting the content from your blog posts and tweets into your Facebook page.

37.   Constant activity on your Facebook page to help your Fan Page rank higher in organic search engine results.

38.   Vary Content.

39.   Post Facebook stream widget on website.

40.   Create an internal (staff) blogging/social media policy.

41.   Make friend suggestions on behalf of new members.

42.   Fine-tune you email notification settings to manage inquiries and comments on the go.

43.   Advertise inside social games.

44.   Put your name on virtual goods.

45.   Launch your own branded game.

46.   Sell (or allow customers to earn) Facebook Credits (the social network’s virtual currency) as gift cards at brick-and-mortar stores.

47.   Gain exposure through Facebook’s new “Like” page browser. Likely to be part of the on-boarding process for new readers.

48.   Facebook-first product reveals—2011 Explorer. And new product creation—Vitamin Water.

49.   Corporate e-commerce —  Disney pre-sales of Toy Story 3 tickets and Mark by Avon product sales.

50.   Cause marketing – such as Kohl’s Cares Facebook initiative to give away $10 million to 20 schools; nearly 2 million Facebookers voted for their schools.

Share your thoughts. . .

Making It

“Our most important decisions are discovered, not made.”
– Anne Wilson Schaef

Not too long ago I saw duct-tape marketing guru John Jantsch speak at the Social Media Club of Dallas. I really do admire these entrepreneurial guys in the social media marketing space who have managed to morph their marketing savvy and strategy into an actual, lucrative businesses. Chris Brogan wrote something recently in his blog about a tangible tool called “booth tag” by Bill Finn —sort of a social media commodity that impressed him as a proof-of-concept for trade show interaction.

“Marketers are service providers. They make
things that stop the moment they stop (normally).
Yes, they make ads or whatever, but those
are in service of other people.”

Brogan is right on target here. Monetizing services is tough. It’s really only sustainable if the service in question enjoys a very high perceived value, and the gigs keep coming. Attorneys and doctors have managed to ratchet up the hourly rates historically, but even they are feeling the pinch of the limping economy. I have come to believe that so much of business and even success, in general—is directly related to “discovering”—a precise brand of enlightenment that allows one to see when and how to leverage an idea, product, relationship, or service into a broader application. It’s a canny awareness that positions you at the right place and right time with the right preparation. It may even be unconscious. Theologian Frederick Buechner talks about this on a much deeper and spiritual level. “Listen to your life,” he counsels. “See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. For in the end, all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”

We all tend to go through our moments, our days, or months, and our years—and sometimes, even our lives on auto-pilot—numb to who we are and disengaged from our own realities. We become so caught up in “doing” that we often stop “being.” Only when something major, even cataclysmic, occurs that rattles us to the very core do we start to examine our raw, vulnerable, exposed souls in the harsh light of the storm’s aftermath or in the ongoing tumultuous sea of stress and upheaval. Then, we may ask, “Who am I?” “What am I here to learn?” “How is this series of events informing my journey?” More important, “What the heck should I do now?” “How can I make the money I need to support my family and still care for critically ill parents?” These are all understandable questions, but it’s frightening to feel so uneasy in your own skin at such a seasoned age—when you are supposed to have it all figured out. What’s that schmaltzy song about clowns—“Isn’t it queer? Losing my timing this late in my career. . .”

Socrates said, “Beware the bareness of a busy life.” How timeless is that? How apropos for 2010. And how easy it is for feelings extreme loneliness to engulf us in the waves of hubbub and chaos—even with so many well-meaning people around. There always seems to be so much to juggle, so darn much that demands our attention—especially as a single mother of two teenage boys (one college-bound, I hope); a herder of a dog and two cats; a niece of an 86-year old infirm aunt, who is all alone; an ex-wife, still engaged in an awkward tango—and the daughter of two recently incapacitated parents. The sandwich generation, a double-decker, and I’d definitely say I’m in a bit of a real pickle.

Back to the paying attention part . . . Just where do we start? How should we be? How have you handled the most difficult transitions and challenges in your personal or business life—as individuals, as family members, and as communities? How did you get through? How can we support each other in these difficult times when the path seems so unclear and the outcomes so murky? Share your thoughts.

Elaine Gantz Wright writes about social media and self-discovery. Contact her at elgantz()yahoo.com.