Facebook re-instates the “About” section in Pages | Tell me About You!

In one of Facebook’s many profile and page re-designs, they did away with the “About Me” section found under your profile image. No warning, just gone in true Facebook fashion.

Most people who invested time in connecting and building relationships on Facebook, truly appreciated this quick way to peruse a profile or page, learn more about a person or brand, and quickly access links to the brand’s website or other social spaces. Since moving the tabs from the top of the page to the left hand side, Facebook re-engineered the look and consequently, did away with the “About Me” box.

Now that the dust has settle and everyone is getting use to the new design, Facebook has brought back this strategic “introduction” feature to pages. The new box, now simply called “About” has been reinstated on pages and can be found below the tab links on the left hand side of the page. This free form text box will now automatically pull the first 58 characters from the “Company Overview” section on your “Basic Information” tab of your page dashboard. To edit the content of this box, click on the typical Facebook “Edit” link on the top right hand side of the box which will bring up your “Basic Information” page. Find the “Company Overview” section and edit away. Be sure to use these 58 characters wisely to describe your company, mission or call to action. This field will no longer allow you to publish a hyperlink taking you away from the page but it’s a start. Hopefully Facebook will re-instate that option as well.

Why is this tiny “About” box important?
Positioning. It is marketing fact that people’s eyes will gravitate to the left-hand side of a web page first, from the top to the middle of the page, giving more justification to why Facebook moved the tabs which used to be at the top of the page to links now on  the left hand side.

People visiting your page will first look at the page’s image/badge, see ours on the left, and form an opinion on the professionalism of the page. Now, they will also  have the opportunity to quickly glance at the “About” section not far below the image to further confirm their belief or sway their opinion. Many other factors will play into whether or not someone decides to “Like” your page, but if you’ve invested in a branded badge or profile image that represents your company well and are crystal clear in your brand message or call to action, strategically using the “About” box, then you’re well on your way to attracting more fans that are genuinely interested in your company’s products or services.

10 Simple, yet Effective, Tips for Social Media

Social media tools are becoming mandatory for personal branding and professional success. The digital assets – blogs, podcasts, videos and social networking profiles – are your online identity and how people discover and connect with you and your brand.

You have the ability to leverage social media tools and networks to present a positive image, increase brand equity, be recognized as an expert in your field or industry, generate leads, or to be recruited for a position that aligns with your talents and passions.  

Here are 10 things you must do to rise above the noise and carve a niche for yourself and your business in the crowded social media space.

1. Be visible – In order to be successful you have to be seen and heard.  

2. Be an Up lifter – People love my DAILY DARES on Facebook and Twitter – pick something that fit your brand and your style.

3. Be consistent – when using Social Media consistency is of key importance. Your brand message must be on point, clear and consistent.

4. Choose to make a difference and lead with your heart. People don’t interact with brands, they relate to people.  

5. Get your personality in there. The beauty of social networking is that it’s driven by relationships. You build relationships by letting people see who you really are. That means showcasing your personality.

6. Be transparent and approachable by showing a certain degree of vulnerability – we all like to connect, engage and do business with people we know, like and trust. Transparency and authenticity expedite the know, like and trust factor.

7. Have the right mix of tweets and posts by sharing, educating and promoting. People go online for solutions, ideas, information, inspiration and interactions.  Give them what they are looking for.

8. Persevere even if you don’t see immediate results . You just never know who you might reach with your posts and tweets and the impact you might have on someone’s life or business.   Don’t treat social media interactions as a campaign with a beginning and an end.  Social media is a process and one that takes time and dedication.

9. Have an impeccable presence and positioning – you never know who is watching you.  It might be your next partner, client or employer.  Act as if everyone’s watching because they might very well be!

10. Realize that Social Media is a very powerful, inexpensive and profitable brand and business building tool and strategy to turn conversations and connections into clients and/or partners.

Case in point, I made the Forbes list as one of the top 20 most influential women to follow on Twitter,  got many speaking engagements, and was offered a 6+ figure position by being found on Linkedin.  I have also collaborated on many projects with people I connected with on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

At Social Media Media Academy for Women, we help entrepreneurs and small business owners, like you,  harness the power of social technologies and strategic alliances to increase brand equity, generate leads, improve customer services and foster customer loyalty and many of our clients find us on social networks or through word of mouth marketing/referrals.

It is time that you create a powerful and profitable presence for yourself and business in the social space.  For more details on how we can help you, plan on joining us on the Blueprint for Social Media Success Series complementary calls.  You will leave with at least 6 tips and tactics that could make a difference in your business this year.  For more information or to register click here: http://www.socialmediaacademyforwomen.com/social-media-strategy-series/blue-print-for-social-media-success/


Listen, Monitor, Adjust | *Blueprint for Social Media Success*

Have you ever Googled your name or the name of your business?  Of course you have. Researching your reputation on line is an essential part of launching and growing a business.  In fact, listening to the social conversation should be the very first step you take in creating a strategy around your social media marketing.

Brand marketing success often depends upon asking the right questions. Here are five key questions to ask yourself before launching a marketing campaign.

What are they saying about me now? It’s essential to know exactly where you are, right now, in terms of visibility, reputation and brand trust.  You can’t change the consumer’s mind or reinforce what they already think of you unless you know what they’re saying.

  • Setting up Google alerts for your name, your business name, your product, your competitors and leaders in your industry is an easy and free way to begin monitoring the conversation.  Twitter can also be used as a real-time conversation monitor.  Checking your @replies, DM’s and RT’s will show you how well you’re doing in spreading influence.

Are they saying what I’d like them to be saying about me?

  • Through listening and monitoring, you’ll be able to gauge the effectiveness of your messaging. Take a look at how others list you on Twitter. If they’re using the kinds of keywords that you’d use to promote yourself, then your message is hitting target. But if you’re being listed as “annoying,” “follows back,” or “sales oriented,” you might not be hitting a homerun with your messages.  This is simply information.  Listen, learn, and adjust.

What are they saying about my competition?

  • Again, Google searches and using Twitter and Facebook to keep an eye on your competition, can help you understand how consumers are responding to competitive messages. You can use this information to adjust or increase your messages.

Is there a weak spot in the competition’s offering I can fulfill?

Listening will help you discover new product and services that a competitors fans and followers are asking and give you the opportunity to fill that need before someone else in the marketplace does.  Think of the listening and monitoring phase as market research for new product development or as a way to develop enhancements to your current offerings.  Let the customers tell you what they want.  Then produce it.

What if no one is talking about me?

This is valuable information.  If nothing comes up when you Google yourself and/or your business, you’ll know that you’ve got work to do.  A strong social media presence, strategically delivered content, and a good marketing plan will change that and help you garner the visibility you and your brand need to succeed.  A solid social media marketing cycle will include, at least these five key platforms:

  1. Facebook Fan Page for your business
  2. A Twitter Account
  3. A Branded YouTube Channel
  4. A Blog
  5. A LinkedIn Profile

We’ll be talking about how to use these five tools to drive your brand messages and conversations across multiple platforms to engage with the widest possible audience in a new 9 module training beginning in April.  Until then, please let us know if you have specific questions about increasing your visibility and building your brand.  Post your questions here and we’ll continue the conversation.

Nice is a Brand Strategy | *Blueprint for Social Media Success* Tips

It cannot be said often enough.  People do business with people, not companies.  The “know, like and trust” factor will differentiate your brand above others.  This is especially true for companies who want to market to women through social media.  We do not want to have messages pushed at us by strangers. We want to be seen, and heard and we want brands to respect our time and offer us value.  We value them even more if we develop an emotional response to the brand and the product.

Social Media platforms evolved as a quick way to stay in touch with friends.  Individuals posted short updates about their state of mind, their plans for the day, invited others to join them and, in general, used social platforms as expanded text messaging.  These social beginnings have rapidly morphed into highly sophisticated spaces for marketing, building brand awareness, real time data mining, list building, selling and community building.  Yet what has endured is the value placed on a culture of nice.

Nice is the underlying attitude that people connect on Facebook and YouTube as friends or fans, people on Twitter follow one another and even on the more formal sites such as LinkedIn people are connected.  Brands who understand social media language are mastering the art of nice by remembering that friends, fans and followers expect to be treated differently than clients or customers.  Social niceties are not a surprise.  They are expected and respected.  Acknowledging comments from fans, retweeting something important or interesting from a follower, saying happy birthday to a friend, solving a problem for a frustrated connection—these are the ways successful brands use social media to increase their social currency, develop brand evangelizers and promote positive feelings about their brand.

Gary Vaynerchuk understands Nice. So does Dani Johnson, Kathy Kinney, Mari Smith, Zappos, and Social Media Examiner. Zappos highlights a “fan of the week” on their Facebook Wall, Mari Smith holds regular free Facebook chats to help fans solve problems, Gary Vaynerchuk says Thank You and encourages others to do the same.

There are unlimited strategies any brand can take to make sure Nice is at the heart of their social media marketing strategy.  Here are five ideas to jumpstart brand nice-storming:

  1. Notice your fans:  Everyday visit the Facebook profile of at least one fan who have commented on your brand fan page.  Acknowledge the comment and answer if there was a question.  Thank them for taking the time to visit your brand page. Take an extra moment to read their last two posts. Make a mental note.  Are they a parent? Do they love the Knicks? Is there some emotional connection you can make with them over a shared interest?
  2. Acknowledge your fans: Once a week, on your business fan page, do a mini profile of a fan you’ve connected with during the week.  Introduce them to your community and thank them for being involved with your brand. Invite them to post their business page or website link. Celebrate them.
  3. Reward your fans:  Once a month give something away—advice, coupons, a personal consultation, something that rewards the community for being involved with your brand. Their “like” action is valuable.  Make it worth their while.  Let them know they were smart to like you.
  4. Build face time into your strategy: Once a year, engage with your community in person.  Offer the community the opportunity to meet you, your brand representatives or someone from your company in person.  If you’re traveling, host a meet up.  If you’re in one location, simply set aside a lunchtime and let people know where you’ll be.  This doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.  Just be available and make it known that you are.
  5. Put a face to your brand: Occasionally post video messages on your social media sites.  Make these short, pertinent, timely, useful or simply grateful messages designed to let your friends, fans and followers know that behind your brand is a real person—a nice person.

Brands that do not understand the importance of Nice are losing mind and heart share to those brands actively courting the friendship of millions online.  Nearly ten million people chose to be fans of brands on Facebook—everyday!  Every marketing and publicity firm needs to be asking themselves where Nice fits into their overall brand strategy for clients.

New Facebook Fan Page Design | 5 Key Changes You Need to Make Today

Facebook will roll out the new fan page design on March 11 whether you are ready or not.  As savvy business marketers, the sooner you understand these powerful changes, the better you’ll be able to use them to increase your brand awareness.  Your social media marketing strategy should include goals to help you increase your visibility and thanks to the new Facebook fan page design, you have a few nifty new tools.

1.     Change your page category.  This is a brand new option and you can now change your fan page category to better describe your business and to populate your Info tab with exactly the information you want to share. Many companies feel they set up their original pages in the wrong category.  Perhaps they listed themselves as a local business but then realized that as an online company, they don’t need boxes with store hours and parking information.  All you need to do now is go to the upper right hand side of your page and click on the “Edit Page” button.  You’ll now see a screen with a menu of options on the left hand side.  Choose “Basic Information.”  You’ll now see a drop down menu asking you to choose your business category and group.  There are new options here and you can click on any one, save and see what boxes are now available on the info page.  If you’re unhappy with what you’ve chosen, try again and save.  You can change your category and group until you’re satisfied with the results.  For you visual learners, I’ve made a short video tutorial.

2.     Feature your colleagues, advertisers or other strategic alliance partners on your wall. This is a way to showcase other fan pages or business you may have or to give visibility to a partner.  You may even arrange with others to feature your page.   Once you click “Edit Page,” you’ll go to the left hand menu and choose “Featured.”  Next click “Edit Featured Likes.”  From this window you can check off up to five other fan pages to feature on the left hand side of your fan page wall.  Click save and you’ll be able to view the results.  These can be changed as often as you like.

3.     Choose whether or not to receive e-mail notifications from your page. The default for the new Facebook fan page design automatically assumes that you’d like to be notified of any comments or posts to your fan page wall and many administrators have been asking for this feature.  If you have a very active page, however, you may find yourself overwhelmed with e-mail notifications.  To choose, click “Edit Page” and then choose “Your Settings.”  Simply check off the box or uncheck the box, to set notifications.  IMPORTANT NOTE:  If there are multiple administrators on your business fan page, each one of them will have to take this step for themselves, as notifications are sent to the personal pages of each administrator.  You cannot change notifications for everyone, only for yourself.

4.     Rearrange your fan page tabs. Tabs are no longer across the top of your page, but are instead links on the left hand wall in the new design.  This means your tabs are less noticeable, particularly if you have more than eight of them.  Only the first eight will show on your wall and the rest will be under the “more” link.  Move your most important or featured link tabs above the fold to give them more visibility.  From the fan page, click “more” under the tab links on the left hand side of your fan page.  You’ll now see two live links.  One says “less” and one “edit.”  Click “edit.”  Now your list has small “x” marks next to each tab link.  You can delete a tab here or you can click on the name of the tab and drag and drop it higher up on the list.  Once you’ve arranged your list to promote your most important tab links, refresh the page and you’re all set.

5.    Post as your fan page. This is the most exciting change for fan page administrators.  You can now post on another fan page or profile as your fan page.  It was previously impossible to post as a page anywhere except on your actual business page.  Now you can go anywhere within Facebook and post comments as your fan page.  This is a powerful visibility tool and you should be careful not to spam other pages using this option.  Be sure that when you comment as your business, you are representing your business exactly the way you would in person.  Add value, engage in conversation, compliment and comment.  Never show up, leave an advertisement and disappear.

These changes give your brand and business an opportunity to gain new followers through more visibility and great flexibility.  Please let us know if you have any questions, comments or thoughts you’d like to share.

7 Social Media Strategies to Increase your Brand’s Visibility

Social Media can jumpstart awareness of your business or it can be an enormous time waster. The sheer volume of social media sites available could make a grown man or woman weep as they try to navigate the landscape and place their home staging business in the mix. The key is in knowing where to put your energy, how often and when to turn your time and attention elsewhere.

We’ve whittled it down to four main social touch points that can help you rapidly build a following of friends and fans who actually want to know what you have to say and who can either be clients in the future or refer you to clients. These friends, fans and followers learn to know, like and trust you through daily interactions on social media sites and as we all know, recommendations from friends or word of mouth marketing is the holy grail of promotion.

These are the seven basic elements of setting up a functional, easy to manage, social media presence. When used properly, every picture, post and link can be broadcast out to multiple channels of viewers and listeners, potentially reaching thousands of new people every day.

Here’s a quick checklist of places we think are worthy of your attention as you stake your space in the social media world.

  1. Facebook: More than 500 million users. Enough said. You need to be here. You can create a Facebook profile and begin inviting people to join you as friends and if you’re using Facebook for your business you’ll want to create Facebook Fan Page. Your Facebook Fan page is indexed by Google and is searchable inside and outside of Facebook. This means that when someone searches for a home stager in your area or your name, bingo: You’ve achieved virtual visibility.
  2. Twitter: 125 million users, and counting. Think of Twitter as micro-blogging and education marketing. Each tweet can be 140 characters but keep it to 120 so others can Re-tweet you and help your info go viral. Twitter can be addictive as it’s real time conversation. You can easily lose your focus and participate for long periods of time with this cyber cocktail party. Set a time limit (and a kitchen timer if necessary). Start with 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at another time during the day. Share your latest discoveries, client success stories and look for others who are interested in what you have to say. Ask others about themselves. Engage, share worthwhile information, link to your website for more detailed information and stop for the day.
  3. YouTube: You cannot afford to skip YouTube in your marketing mix. A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but a video is worth a million. Buy and keep a Flip HD Video camera with you at all times. They’re under $200. Share tips, how-tos and broadcast them on Facebook and you YouTube Channel. Then Tweet out the link to your YouTube Channel for additional visibility and validation of your skills.
  4. Blog: Content is King and a blog, be it WordPress (my favorite), BlogSpot, Blogger, TypePad or another program, is a great avenue for communicating your passion and purpose. You need to have a home base for posting interesting and useful information in more than 120/140 characters. You can link to your blog on Twitter and Facebook to drive additional interest in your content. Your blog can live on your website or can serve as your website, depending on your goals and the needs of your business. Offer to guest blog for bigger sites to increase your visibility and to create your social net worth as a leader in your industry.
  5. Twellow and/or WeFollow: These are like the Yellow Pages of Twitter. For a minimum investment of your time, you can list yourself, free of charge, and make it easier for other people to find you. You’ll enter a few “key words” to describe your business, your service and your interests. You can also search these site for like-minded people that you’ll want to follow. These are excellent resources for finding folks to follow and worth a few minutes a day as part of your twitter-follower building strategy.
  6. HootSuite: You can pre-schedule your tweets, manage multiple twitter accounts and measure your success with this wonderful Twitter toolbox. This, again, is a free application but you can choose to give a donation to help them continue to add new features. The choice is yours. Either way this will help you disseminate content, say from your blog or website, during pre-scheduled time periods throughout the day on Twitter, automatically. This is a wonderful time saver and definitely a worthy Phase One strategy.
  7. Flickr: Sometimes video is the right medium and sometimes photos are just perfect. Open a free account at Flickr.com and you’ll be able to share pictures with prospects and colleagues. You can even stream your photos onto your WordPress blog for immediate visual impact.

Creating a powerful, helpful, attractive presence for yourself in the social sphere can be the best investment you make in your career. For more details of how you can create a solid and attractive social media presence, join us at http://SociaMediaAcademyforWomen.com on our Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/SocialMediaAcademyforWomen and on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/sma4women