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Facebook Updates Become Nodates

Though most of you won’t ever notice, but Facebook is removing yet another feature from Fan Pages. You will no longer have the ability to update your fans via email. I am sure many of you are saying, wait! I had the ability to email my fans? Well, yes you did.  It was possible to send an email updating all of your fans about events or happenings on the page.  You could even target these updates based on location or gender.

But you are probably asking yourself why you have never received one of these updates? Well, it is likely that you have and did not know it. When Facebook updated their email service, they created their version of a spam box. It is a file on your email called “Other” this is where Facebook puts any email that it thinks is likely spam or unwanted. Of course this means any email from a fan page. They only way around emails not being filtered into this other box was to go into your email, open up a message and then move it to your “messages” box. Of course non of us ever did that. In fact, most of us never even go into the other box.  Writing this post promoted me to go into it for the first time in over 6 months.

Since all fan page emails get shoved into other as soon as it is sent, Facebook has decided to remove the option entirely. Often times when a big update goes through, like Facebook email, certain things don’t function the way they were anticipated. Though Facebook wants people to use their network as a primary email address, most people are not. Very few people look at Facebook as a way to communicate with people not on the social network, and they definitely do not view it as a replacement for their primary email address. So the spam filter is under utilized and generally ignored.

They will be removing the update fan option on September 30th. So there is still time to send emails that no one will see.

5 Tips for Boosting Facebook SEO

Facebook Search

Is your Facebook Fan Page helping your SEO?

SEO (search engine optimization) is not just for websites. You can also optimize your Facebook Fan Page for better search results. Not only will this help your searches inside Facebook, but it will also help with traditional search engines like Google and Bing. Plus, you’ll increase brand visibility for your Facebook Fan Page and the total visibility of your brand.

70% of brands have not optimized their Fan Pages and are missing out on some great search engine ranking opportunities.

How to boost your Facebook SEO

  1. Get a vanity URL
    The number one thing you need to do is get a vanity URL. This means that your URL is www.facebook.com/brand instead of, for instance,  www.facebook.com/page/brand=87465249. >Tech Tip: If you can’t get your actual brand name, get a vanity URL with your most used search term.
  2. Link to your Facebook Fan Page
    Linking to your Fan Page from your website will let you capitalize on the SEO done on your website. It gives you an inbound link which will help boost your FB SEO. In fact, link from all your pages. The more links, the better the SEO boost. >Tech Tip: Make sure your anchor text is something like “Brand Name on Facebook” and link it to your vanity URL, e.g. www.facebook.com/brandname – not www.facebook.com/brandname=sk?872635
  3. Use your brand name in your post
    Search engines scan the content of your page. If you use your brand name it will help boost the SEO for name recognition. >Tech Tip: Now you can tag the text in your posts for added SEO boost.
  4. Get links to your posts
    Get people to Like your posts. The more people share and Like your posts, the better the SEO value – Likes count as links! >Tech Tip: Post things that ask for social engagement; comments, sharing and Likes. This will drive up your engagement and thus your FB SEO
  5. Use Fan Boxes
    Facebook lets you put Fan Boxes on your website that can show your fans and feature your recent posts. This is a good way to build engagement and drive more fans to your site. >Tech Tip: If you don’t have many fans yet, set your fan box to show recent posts until you get more than 25 fans.

5 Ways to Breathe Life into your Facebook Fan Page

Tip Jar

  1. Show off your Peeps!
    A great way to get people interested in your page and in what you are doing is to include them. Pictures of abstract things, pretty landscapes or funny cats are great, but to get people involved with your page, post things that are relevant to them.  And what is more relevant to them than, well, them? Post pictures of your fans at events and in your store. Post pictures of your staff or of people using your product. People love to see pics they can relate to.
  2. Be funny!
    Everyone loves humor – it shows off your less serious side. It shows that you are not all about business and sometimes you like to cut loose. Social media is powerful because it allows people to get past the company front. It allows businesses the opportunity to become more human to their customers. Humor is the perfect way to break through that 4th wall. Of course, be sure to keep it light and within appropriate boundaries.
  3. Be interesting
    Are your posts thought-provoking, do they spark debate or are they fun? Etsy does a great job on their fan page by sharing some of their quirkier items. Their fans have a high likelihood of commenting on the product and sharing it on their fan page. Ultimately you want to share things that will engage your audience.
  4. Ask questions
    Asking for your fans’ thoughts or opinions is a great way to engage them. It encourages their involvement, which means they will be more invested in the issue. They will be interested in what other people say in response, and more likely to interact further. Once you get someone commenting on and participating with your page, they will be more likely to do it again. So ask your fans what they think; you might get some interesting and valuable feedback.
  5. Behind the Scenes
    We all want to see the man behind the curtain, just ask the Wizard of Oz. Show pictures and share stories about things that happen behind the scenes. Social media shares the personality of your business, and people like to see what happens behind the public front – it makes them feel more involved and in the know!

Is your community page stealing your network?

sillouette of two men having lunch

As I am sure many of you have noticed, Facebook has community pages. These are pages that have been created because the Facebook bot has noticed that your page, website or company name has been mentioned repeatedly in people’s posts. When I first discovered the community page for SM Cubed, I was pretty excited. I felt like it was a nod from Facebook. Since then I have changed my mind. Now it often seems like a community page is stealing the network from your actual fan page.

Think of Facebook’s community page for your business as a duplicate page.  Now when someone searches for you, they will see your page and another page. Your page may have your logo, but so might the other one. The other one will also have “company” written underneath it as a subheading that seemingly gives it authority.  The problem is that it is not the page created by you, it is the page created by Facebook.

Sometimes this will cause enough confusion that people interested in fanning your page will actually fan the community page.  This means that your custom landing page and communications are not being seen by any of the people who “liked” the other page instead.

JCPenny Community Page in Facebook search

The social path gives some great examples of community pages and search suggestions with auto-populating causing huge confusion. They focus on  JC Penney, which also has some variations if the spelling. If you look at the above image, note that none of these suggested pages are the real JCPenney Fan Page.

Some primary pages aren’t even showing up in searches, only the community page. This means that when people search for your page they may only be presented with the option of going to the community page.  If this is happening to your page you can remedy this situation by making sure you have claimed the vanity URL for your page and that you have done some SEO to help your Facebook search results.

The best thing to do is to claim your community page.  This is a process that will allow you to establish yourself as the “owner” of the page and it will be merged with your Facebook fan page. This puts the control back in your hands.

Do you have a community page? If so, what have you done about it?

Kim Kardashian Crowdsurfs Twitter as a Business Strategy

Kim Kardashian in a big feathery dressLast week I was drinking my morning coffee when I saw a brief interview on the Today Show with Kim Kardashian.  Matt Lauer was talking to her about her personal brand-based empire. Though they did not focus on it, Kim shared that she often crowdsurfed Twitter to make both personal and business decisions.

In case you are not sure who Kim Kardashian is, she is the star of the reality TV show “Keeping up with the Kardashians”.  If that didn’t answer your question (I know it didn’t for me), she is the daughter of Kris and Robert Kardashian. Her father, Robert, is a prominent defense attorney.  Her parents divorced and later her mom married Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner.  She has 9 siblings; 3 from her mom, 4 from Bruce and 2 from Bruce and her mom.  Her family dynamic contributed to getting the reality show. But Kim is a PR maven. Like Paris Hilton, she is another person who has managed to become famous just for being famous.

Though Kim did not rely on her fame as a basis of success, she has created a very successful business. Starting off as a fashion stylist, she and her sister opened up a clothing store called DAS. She has also launched that into a high end fashion line in conjunction with fashion house Bebe; an Armenian-inspired jewelry line;  a shoe company (shoedazzle.com); a fitness DVD, and most recently her own brand of perfume.

In the interview, Kim mentioned that she is often indecisive and will ask her Twitter followers for their opinion, whether it be about what color nail polish she should use or design concepts for the bottle for her new perfume.  She said that involving her followers made her more accessible. It allows them to relate to her more easily and feel like they are a part of what she is doing.

This is the key. Crowdsurfing is great for gathering opinions and thoughts, but it is also an excellent way to allow people to feel that they are playing a role in your decisions.  It keeps your audience involved and turns them into active participants. However, if you ask your followers for their thoughts and opinions and then completely ignore them, you will have accomplished the opposite of what you set out to do. If you are not actually interested in people’s opinions, then don’t ask.

Below is the short video interview from the Today Show – enjoy.

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