Visual matters in 2013

One of the trends I see for social media in 2013 is an increased emphasis on the visual aspect of social media. One reason why this is getting to be more and more important is that fact that company page posts get a better rank in newsfeeds when they come with pictures. At the same time, the social platforms based on visual content like Instagram, Flikr and Pinterest are gaining popularity.

So how do you make sure you get the best effect from the pictures you post?

Quality pictures/illustrations, original pictures/illustrations, funny pictures/illustrations
(without compromising your brand’s esthetics!), relevant pictures/illustrations….. If your budget does not allow using a pro photographer or someone who can draw, there are plenty og reasonably priced stock photos/illustrations or you can take your own pictures (- if they a a bit fuzzy you can easily give them another look in Instagram or, if you have those skills, in Photoshop).

You can of course also hire a social media consultant with graphic skills and a talent for spotting the right images (wink, wink) 🙂

I will definitely be following this trend and will be posting more insights as they turn up.

Profile page vs. Fan page – the choice is easy!

I know a local shop owner who has had a profile page for her shop on Facebook for a while. It is, however a regular profile page and not a fan page. This profile page has close to 2000 friends. That is quite a bit for a small local shop. I recently told her, that I recommend that she set up a fan page instead of the profile page. I focus on two reasons.

First of all, Facebook rules state that commercial businesses must set up fan pages – not profile pages. People have to know what and whom they are dealing with. If Facebook discovers commercial businesses on profile pages, they will probably delete if (goodbye friends!). Second reason is that a fan page has statistics, the Facebook Insights, which can help you in your social media efforts. You get information on gender, age, and geography and, more importantly, you can see which of your posts get the best reach and engagement, so you’ll learn what posts, pictures, and links work the best.

But, alas, she does not want to set up a fan page. The reason? She is happy with the page she already has and is afraid that not all friends of the shop will move to the new page.

She might be right about the idea that there could be people who won’t like the new page – even if she tries to move people by having a drawing of prizes or something. But you know what I think? The ones who don’t move to the new page are not interested in getting the updates and offers anyway. I’ll bet we have all liked pages that we are not really that into anyways. And wouldn’t you rather have fans that engage and buy your products than fans that don’t care?

I do recommend that all commercial businesses make sure that they have a fan page and not a profile page. The task of converting might seem overwhelming, but at the end of the day, the task is not so hard, and the benefits definitely outweigh the work.

Big potential: your opportunities on Facebook

I launched my company page on Facebook a couple of days ago. Inviting my Facebook friends to join, writing a great welcome-text on the fan page and posting one message on LinkedIn got me 52 fans in just 22 hours. Think of the potential. If I can keep this up for a week, I will have more than 300 fans. And I haven’t even started using Facebook ads, yet! Wow. Just imagine what the number could be in a year!

There is huge potential for companies using Facebook Pages! There is no doubt about that. But many companies haven’t found out, yet. Some do not see how they can benefit from Facebook, some see Facebook as a waste of time, and some actually have a page, but don’t update it, and therefore don’t reach the goals they set and think it’s worthless. There are many examples. I do understand why some companies hesitate. Using Facebook for marketing your business, service or products requires the same amount of planning and strategy as does using any other marketing tool – and it requires time and the full attention of one or more employees. But if you take the potential into consideration, it just might be worth your while. And contrary to many beliefs, it is possible to measure the effect of your investments. There are a number of tools, e.g. your own sales statistics, Facebook’s “Insights”, software that measures the effect of campaigns – and of course there’s the number of likes you can measure!

If you haven’t done so already, please like my Facebook page and follow my progress.