Tag Archive | facebook

10 Ways Blogging is Better for Business than Facebook

We love this infographic by Patricia Redsicker on Social Media Today

Key Take-Away!

If you’re not blogging, you’re missing out on some important business benefits! In addition trying to build your own brand on someone else’s territory is always risky.

How to buffer your social media updates

Buffer Account

I recently starting using the Buffer tool for my Twitter updates.  Buffer is a scheduling tool for Facebook and Twitter, (they have recently added LinkedIN) which lets you pre-programme times for your updates to be posted. I think it is one of the easiest and most effective time-saving social media tools for small businesses, and I encourage you to give it a try.

How much does it cost?

There are three pricing plans with Buffer, but as I have just started using it I am happy to go with the free plan for now. This allows me to add 10 updates to my Buffer, 1 Twitter, 1 Facebook and 1 LinkedIN account. The paid plans extend the number of updates and accounts you can add.

Buffer Analytics

You can gain valuable insight with Buffer analytics into how many times you have been retweeted and how many people conceivably see your updates.

Buffer Analytics

Scheduling vs Automation

I would emphasize that I use Buffer to schedule my updates, not automate them. I am no fan of automation, but I am a great believer in scheduling, especially as is the case for one of my social media accounts, your audience is global.

It’s very simple to use. You just type in your update and Buffer automatically schedules it to go out at a time that your audience is most engaged. You can easily change the times to suit yourself if your prefer.

I choose not to add Facebook to my Buffer account, as what I tweet and add to LinkedIN are different from my Facebook updates. Again I would caution you not to fall into the automation trap, but consider which of the platforms you would gain most from pre-scheduling.

Improving your Customer Service by using Social Media: Part One (Facebook)

Have you ever considered how you can improve your levels of customer service through your use of social media? Not only that, but potential customers will be able to gauge how important your company considers good customer service to be and how it is perceived within your company. In short, they will get a sense of  how well or how poorly they will be looked after if they buy your products or services.

Do not be afraid of negative reviews, negative tweets or negative updates to your Facebook page – you can turn a negative into a positive by addressing the problem and you can also help to spread the word when you get positive feedback.

I’m going to look at various social media platforms in turn over a series of four blog posts: Facebook, Blog, Twitter and Linked In/Reviews

Part One – Facebook

A customer or a potential customer can really get a sense of your company’s respect for their customers from your Facebook page.  I’m sure many companies do not intend for their brand to be represented poorly on their facebook page and it may not reflect a poor level of customer service at all (indeed, their customer service may be excellent in many ways) but if they are not using social media effectively and properly, it can reflect poorly on them.

Always, always acknowledge when someone posts an update on your page.  If it is a general comment, then click ‘like’ or respond in a friendly and polite tone.  If they are complimenting your service or your products, always thank them and say you are glad they enjoyed it.  If it is a complaint, (have a strategy planned in advance) always respond in a constructive way, in a way that will calm them down, assuring them that you will prevent it happening again or that you will correct the error or you will look into it and Do It!

I have looked at some pages belonging to big brands, companies that are spending thousands on television, radio and print advertising and they are not responding to their customers on their facebook pages – whether the updates are negative or positive.

The Mr. Tayto theme park facebook page has almost 200,000 fans and facebook is a wonderful way for this company to get visitors back again and let them know about upcoming promotions and events.  However, many people have left complaints about waiting times at one of the rides, others have posted questions, more people have complimented them on providing them with a great day out and very few have been acknowledged, let alone responded to.

We actually had a wonderful day at the Tayto Park during the summer and the staff were so friendly and helpful that I really think this is a genuine shame that it is reflecting badly on their brand. What do you think? Do you think a big brand that is still growing their business should be interacting more with their fans?

I  love the Nicholas Mosse facebook page – here the administrator is really engaging with ‘likers’, responding to their comments and updates. Always cheerful, not pretending to be Nicholas himself, always helpful and it is creating such a welcoming atmosphere on the page.

When I look at the Nicholas Mosse page, the image that comes to my mind is of the Seven Dwarves singing as they work or Santa’s workshop – as the potters pot and paint in their workshop!  It certainly gives the impression that should I purchase something that arrives damaged or flawed that they would replace it and certainly look after my concerns.

With comments and updates appearing now in the Ticker feed, evidence of good or bad customer service is going to be even more apparent to Facebook users which is certainly something to bear in mind.

If you want to know more about representing your brand through facebook, do check out the spiderworking blog too.

Don’t be afraid of social media – embrace it and it will increase the brand awareness of your company in a positive light.

How to increase your Facebook Fans – Part 2

Have you just set up a Facebook page and are wondering how to grow your fan base? Or perhaps your fan numbers just don’t seem to be growing and you’re wondering how to increase numbers.

(Word of warning – this is a long post so do pour yourself a glass of wine or a cup of tea before you go any further!)

My previous post on growing facebook fan numbers explored some general tips.  In this post I am going to look at the effectiveness of using some of the new ‘silent tagging’ and ‘marching’ methods that you may have spotted over on Facebook already.  I have used them for my established Facebook page for Garrendenny Lane and my new facebook page called Wallpaper Review and will share my conclusions with you.

What are Silent Tagging and Marching?


Marching is joining in with one of the Send in the Troops pages on facebook, there seems to be a general SITT page and Send in the Troops pages for different areas such as Southern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and more.  The idea is that you register your interest to ‘march’ in the hour preceding the march by using your personal profile to provide details of your business page. So for example, using my personal page Lorna Sixsmith, I would write in the comment box @GarrendennyLaneInteriors and by placing the @ in front of the name of my business page, a link is provided automatically.

(Each page has designated marches on different days at set times. 9pm seems to be a popular time).

The ‘Sarge’ then nominates 30 business pages and the idea is that everyone following along visits each page, likes each page and leave a comment on each page such as ‘marching along with SITT from @GarrendennyLaneInteriors’ so the person owning that page might return the like to your page.  If you are already a fan of that page, you show your presence by comment ‘AAF’ which means ‘already a fan’.

It is really luck as to whether your page is called or not. If it is, you should not apply to be ‘marched on’ for 2 weeks although you are expected to log in and like others pages.  I have found that I have got approximately 40 new fans the two times that I was ‘marched on’.

It is exhausting by the way, especially if you have rather slow rural broadband like I have. At one stage, I had facebook open on 3 browsers trying to catch up!

Silent Tagging

Silent Tagging is similar but a lot easier! You need to like the Silent Tagging Fan Page and just keep an eye on it as there doesn’t seem to be any set times for these.  Periodically it is announced that a ‘Stroll’ will happen which is very similar to the marching (I haven’t taken part in any of these but they seem to work exactly the same).

This page seems to have tagging sessions regularly. A tagging session is announced, you have to tag the Silent Tagging page on your own business page first, then leave a comment with your personal page, by adding a link to your business page. The idea is that everyone in the list  likes everyone else’s page although judging by some comments, this doesn’t necessarily happen. Numbers of comments can vary from 20 to over 200 depending on the time of day. You are allowed to add up to 2 business pages in one list.

I decided to try and target those who would be interested in my product hence when I linked to my Wallpaper Review page, I added ‘do like if you like wallpaper’, to try and get those who were genuinely interested in my page.

You don’t have to visit each page and write a comment on it with this ‘game’. You simply place your mouse over the link and a little box will pop up, you click the ‘like’ in the box which means you have liked the page and then click like under the comment. As you can see above, I have only received 3 likes on this occasion (earlier this afternoon) which suggests I probably got 3 news fans.

This page also does a game called Bingo, I haven’t participated in it and have no idea how it works but again, the idea is the same – to get you more fans.

Fan Chain Mail

This is organised by a page called Like 2 Like and to be honest, this one is my preferred method. They seem to happen quite often during the day, similar to the silent tagging above in that you have to tag from your own page, then comment using your personal page and tagging your business page, adding the number of current fans so they can see how well you are doing. They ask that you like the 10 pages above and below your place in the list although you can like more if you wish. Therefore you should be getting 20 new likes (unless some of them like you already) and I’ve found that I usually get between 10-15 each time I’ve used this method.

Are you still with me?? Well done, now that I have explained how they work, I’ll go on to share my thoughts on them.

Why would I use these?

Well, it is an effective way of growing your facebook numbers. My Garrendenny Lane page has increased in number by about 250 and my Wallpaper Review page by about 100 (after 2 marches and 4 silent tags/chain mails using Garrendenny Lane and about 5 or 6 silent tags/chain mails for Wallpaper Review).

Do people unlike you afterwards?

I have seen people complaining that it happens but to be honest, I haven’t noticed it happening significantly on my pages. I did  unlike one page after a march, simply because her updates filled my newsfeed the next morning which shows that updating too often is not necessarily a good thing.

But are you liking pages you are interested in?

Well, there seems to be a lot of ‘slimming wrap’ and jewellery pages out there! I have to admit that I wouldn’t necessarily have liked these pages ordinarily. But having said that, their updates are not tending to show up in my newsfeed.

Doesn’t your business and profile page become rather cluttered with people commenting on them?

Yes, but I tend to go to my business page about half an hour after the ‘march’ is finished, and click on this little button to the top right of the update and then click hide. Then if people visit your page, it still looks as professional as ever. You can do the same on your personal page.

Do these extra numbers mean more interaction and ultimately more sales?

That is the question, the most important question and to be honest, I am doubtful. As I said above, I am not noticing many updates from new pages I’ve liked in my news feeds. Facebook is making a lot of changes this week and one of them seems to be that you can choose what pages/friends updates you want featured in your top news by clicking on the little diagonal blue corner to the top left of an update you like, hence, there may be less chance of these ‘new likes’ showing up.

Amanda from Spiderworking recently wrote a post entitled The Real Numbers game in which she argues that sharing good content and building relationships is what leads to successful Facebook pages (and other social media platforms). It is interaction that will encourage people to become your clients.

I have noticed that the number of interactions on my updates seem to have decreased lately. Now, it may be coincidence but I wonder if the surge in fans has caused Facebook to somehow decide that something strange is going on and not feature my page in ‘top news’ for some of my fans.

My Conclusions

Well, it is a much cheaper way of getting fans than paying for advertising or paying for numbers of fans but to get results, you need to engage with some of the pages you have liked (by writing a genuinely interested comment on their page) and then they will engage with you on your page. The thing is I’m not remotely interested in slimming wraps or restaurants in America for example so for them, there is no value in having me as a fan. Having said that, I have engaged with a couple of complimentary businesses and have even become friends with one of them!

You will get more fans but it is difficult to reach those people who are genuinely interested in your product or service.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this (if you have managed to read all the way to the bottom!) and if you have any questions, do ask.

How to increase your Facebook Fans – Part 1

Have you set up a facebook business page and you are wondering how you can get more fans? Well, I’ve tried and tested a few different ways with my facebook page and will share my thoughts on various methods over two blog posts.

1. Ensure that you have set up a business page that people can ‘like’. So many people are under the impression that they are doing the right thing setting up a ‘friend’ profile as a business.  Countless businesses have sent me friend requests and I won’t become friends with a business page as I don’t necessarily know who is ‘behind’ that business page all the time, whereas I would be very happy to ‘like’ their business page. Get it right from day one and set up a business page.

2. Ask your friends to ‘like’ your page. When you send the request, they will sporadically see a little box in their right side bar asking them to like your page and it seems to appear every now and then until they actually do like it.  Their friends will see it on their profile too or in their newsfeed and may like your page then too.

3. Ask a couple of good friends to share it on their page or recommend your page by linking to it and adding some words of recommendation.

4.  Set up a facebook widget in the sidebar of your blog (see our one in the right side bar), then those who read your blog posts and like them can like your page from there – this is an excellent method as if they are reading your blog, they are your target market. Facebook  provides you with another method of engaging with them.

5. Create interesting content and write some updates, linking to blog posts, uploading pictures or highlighting content of interest to your subject area. Don’t leave your page almost blank (this may sound silly but it is surprising how many businesses neglect to create content).

6. Interact with fans – do respond when fans write updates on your page. Have a strategy in place in case an irate customer writes on your page (decide beforehand how you would deal with it) but that is a very rare occurrence generally.  Remember to check your page daily and respond to any comments or questions left by fans.  It is surprising how many big brands have put money into television advertising and yet neglect to communicate with fans on their facebook page.  Chatting with fans on facebook has to be one of the easiest ways to build a relationship, create a community and encourage repeat business.

7. A Welcome Landing page – is this important? Yes and no, I personally think that good content on the main page is what is most important as well as good communication with your fans.  If you have a large brand, then an impressive landing page outlining what you do is imperative so visitors to your page can see what you sell at a glance.  You can use Pagemodo for a free landing page too. Do see Amanda’s post on how to make ‘Landing pages work for your business’ for her suggestions.

8.  Social media platforms such as facebook, blogging and twitter will bring you business – all it takes is some knowledge and application. See Niall Devitt’s recent case study of how a small Irish business grew using such platforms. As outlined by Niall, it is the interaction between business and customer and the generation of sales that really determines the success of a facebook page, not the number of likes.

Don’t beg for likes. If your content is good, the fans will come as people will recommend you. By all means, ask for them in the early days and then relax, if you follow many of the tips above, your facebook likes will grow steadily.

Part 2 will suggest some means of growing your fan numbers quite quickly, the debate however, is whether numbers equals sales.

Brand managers adapt as social media sites put power in hands of consumers

Interesting article from Siobhan O’Connell of the Irish Times on how Irish firms are using social media to their advantage.

Social media is of most relevance to transactional websites. Social features integrated on the website can improve e-commerce revenues and boost consumer loyalty. Such features include Facebook like, follow or share; e-mail to a friend; share and follow links; product reviews by customers; Twitter tweet or follow and Facebook store.

Web consultancy Amas recently reviewed 100 Irish e-commerce sites, ranking them by how many of 10 social features the websites were deploying. On the Amas criteria, the most social websites are Amazon, HMV, CD Wow and Littlewoods.

Among Irish retailers, the most sociable are Dabs, Elverys, Carrolls Irish Gifts, ESB, Meteor and Micksgarage. A fifth of the sites surveyed had no social media features at all, including, ironically, Bord Gáis, sponsor of the Social Media Awards.

You can read the rest of the article here.