Facebook Changes Coming for Business Pages

Facebook is making some widespread changes to their Pages, making business pages behave and appear more like personal pages. By and large, the changes are positive. Page admins can voluntarily opt-in early or wait until March 10 when Facebook will automatically upgrade each Page. Bear in mind, once you opt-in early, you cannot go back to the old style. Facebook has made a number of enhancements, including:

    • Pages can now leave comments on other pages. This change has big implications  –  it really allows businesses to begin interacting on a personal level throughout Facebook. We expect many Pages will see their fan numbers increase. However, as of this time, Pages can’t post on user profiles.

 

  • Page administrators have the option of posting either as their self or as their Page. We’ve been clamoring for the capability to do this. We like the option of being able to comment as a person or as a brand.

 

 

  • Five thumbnail photos now appear across the top of the Page. Admins can choose which images they want to show. So, you can do things like have headshots of your staff, product images, and more. The photos randomly rotate amongst what you choose. So, unlike personal profiles, you cannot display photos in sequential order.

 

 

  • Tabs have been removed and now appear as links on the left hand side of the Page, just like on personal profiles. What we like is the menu permits longer tab names, which means developers can use longer, more descriptive titles for their applications.

 

 

  • There are also a number of minor changes including being able to spotlight favorite pages and page owners. The main profile picture has also been reduced slightly in size from 200 x 600 pixels to 180 x 540. Admins can choose to receive email alerts when a fan leaves a comment or posts on the wall. And admins can keep up with the other pages they like through a newsfeed just for their page.

 

On the whole, the changes are positive. We don’t like that the Information box is no longer next to the Wall. It’s been removed. We’d like to see it come back so that first-time visitors to the Page have some information about the business. If you want to see a new Page in action, check out ours. If you’ve begun using the new style, what do you think?

Six Ways to Create Video Content to Last All Year

Online video is a tremendous communications tool and a powerful way to promote your brand. It’s a great way to create instant credibility, reach many people with minimal effort, and “show” instead of “tell”. Plus, it’s not as expensive as you’d think.

Online video consumption is exploding. Nearly 85% of the U.S. Internet audience views online video each month. The average U.S. Internet user watches 182 online videos each month. And YouTube has surpassed Yahoo as the #2 search engine.

We recently began a new assignment for our client, the Center for Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. CPRS is doing a series of videos interviewing their surgeons. The videos allow the physicians to showcase their expertise and build rapport with prospective patients. Plus, we’re using the videos to motivate people to act quicker and attend a seminar or call for a consultation. Although we’ve just begun, we’re already starting to see some benefits. One of the decisions we had to make was what content we were going to use for video.

To get you started, here are six ideas for video content.

Get client testimonials.
If someone has something good to say about your product or service, encourage them to provide a testimonial. Video provides a powerful way to show that your testimonials are real and not made up. Remember to have your client keep their recommendation short. You don’t want a long-winded or rambling recommendation. Also, tell your client to be specific. Details are more convincing than a generalized ‚”They were great!”

Conduct a focus group.
Assemble a round table of experts in your industry – news editors, industry analysts, key clients, and prospective clients. Discuss important issues affecting your industry. The session will be packed with information, advice, and tips. This is all great content that others will want to share. Plus, each of your panelists can help in distributing your video to their network.

Repurpose existing content.
You probably already have loads of white papers, case studies, and product overviews. Why not repurpose those papers and sell sheets into videos? No need to reinvent the wheel, right?

Put your Webinar Online.
If your organization conducts webinars, record them and archive them online. It’s a great way to start building a library of thought leadership.

Record conferences and tradeshows.
Most conferences have policies prohibiting the taping of presentations. However, many venues are fine if people want to take photographs or recordings while walking the trade show floor and visiting vendor booths. This is a good opportunity to meet many exhibitors and ask questions, get information, and compare offerings. Prepare your questions ahead of time. Most exhibitors will be happy to talk about themselves.

Capture speaking engagements.
Public speaking elevates your visibility in the marketplace and builds your reputation. After the talk, inform the attendees you’ll post the presentation online and make it available to participants. Make sure you post your video promptly.

With smart thinking, compelling content, and preparation, an organization can churn out online videos without excessive expense or equipment. We’ll be sharing the videos for CPRS in a future post.

QR Codes – true Demand Generation for print media?

You’re starting to see them everywhere‚ those goofy-looking bar codes. While it would be easy to write them off as a new-fangled gimmick, they have a real place in an integrated demand generation campaign.

A challenge of utilizing non-online media in the past was the ability to direct traffic to a campaign-specific landing page. Previously, the only way to do this was to either create a vanity URL, or hope viewers could remember to enter: “www.mycompany.com/bonus/123bb_mw”. Good luck with that.

Now, with a simple QR app and a smartphone, your prospects can quickly be transported directly to a page with more information and lead capture vehicles.

But, there’s one caveat. They’ll be doing this from a mobile device. So, make sure your landing page performs on most of the major mobile platforms.