February 25th, 2014 by

When a website visitor signs up for your newsletter, why not make the most of that good will and get Facebook Likes in the process? Nick Calaway, General Manager at von Stiehl Winery, brought up this idea to Owner Brad Schmiling. They’d never really taken a close look at the Welcome Email sent to guests signing up for their Constant Contact newsletter. When they did, they found that the message was pretty easy to edit. They could change the text, as well as fonts and colors. However, they wanted something visually appealing—an image that was much more inviting than the default, “plain Jane” option.

von-Stiehl-welcome-email-before

It’s a very polite welcome message, but it’s pretty boring to look at.

Brad needed some help with both the imagery and the coding, so he worked with Jennifer from InsideOut’s Graphic Design department. Since she was already familiar with Constant Contact’s system and von Stiehl’s branding, it was very quick and easy for her to design a warm welcome email for this friendly Algoma, Wisconsin winery.

von-Stiehl-Welcome-Email-after

Now this is a Welcome message that will get Facebook Likes!

With a click on the image, the visitor is taken directly to von Stiehl’s Facebook page where they can hit that “Like” button! This is a perfect audience to target because they’re already interested enough to sign up for the newsletter. The welcoming and convenient link to the Facebook page makes it very easy.

Now, when people use the website sign-up for von Stiehl’s newsletter, they will receive this Welcome Email as their first message. This first email serves triple duty. It allows subscribers to: 1) confirm their newsletter subscription, 2) add Brad’s email to their address book and 3) “Like” von Stiehl’s Facebook page. Points 1 and 2 are especially important because they prevent von Stiehl’s emails from being labeled as spam. Step 3 is a bonus that will help von Stiehl increase their Facebook audience.

Interested in making the most of your Constant Contact Welcome Email? Contact us today to learn how you can get Facebook Likes with your newsletter sign ups.

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April 28th, 2012 by

Old motel signFacebook has just rolled out a slightly easier way to apply for a name change for your Fan page. If the name of your business has changed, or there is a misspelling, or you find it’s just too long, or not consistent with the name on your website, you can apply for a change.

*(This info was updated on 12/12/12)

  • To apply for a change, navigate to your Fan page.
  • In the Admin Panel, select > Edit Page > Update Info.
  • This will take you to the “Basic Info” tab where, about 1/3 of the way down you’ll see the current name of the page and the link “Request Change.” (Not a button, but a link).
  • You can being the process of applying for a name change on the follow-on screen.

  • Fill in the form with your current Page name
  • The Page name you would like to use instead.
  • Indicate the reason for the request in the drop down menu.
  • If choosing “Other” from the drop down menu, add an explanation in the box.
  • To expedite the process upload an image, pdf or text file to support the request for the change.

how-to-change-your-facebook-fan-page-name

 

So far, Fan page owners are reporting that submitting the change is fairly painless, and the request normally goes through smoothly within a couple of days. In all the Fan pages I investigated, I did not see the option to “Request a name change” in the “Help” drop down when pages had 200 fans or less, that’s because with fewer than 200 fans, you can make these changes yourself without applying to Facebook for the change.

Keep in mind that Facebook is not able to change the URL (web address) for your Page at this time. Perhaps they will in the future. If 123 Bed and Breakfast changes its name to 789 Bed and Breakfast, the old Facebook custom URL will remain facebook.com/123bandb.

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March 26th, 2012 by

Facebook Timeline Infographic:

Your Facebook Fan Page is due for a conversion to the new Timeline format, and ready or not, it is set to happen on March 30th.
If you manage a Fan page, you’ve no doubt taken the time to tour the new interface in advance of the conversion. With the myriad incarnations that Facebook Fan pages have undergone in the last two years, Timeline is the most radical. No other iteration has given the feel of a website quite like Timeline, with its large, single “cover” (or banner) image, and two column layout.
Here we offer those of you comfortable with image editing software a great sheet of the image dimensions you need to really craft a customized page. The sheet works for everyone so you know just how Facebook is resizing your images as well.
In this info-graphic you’ll find information on:

  1. Cover Image
  2. Profile Image
  3. Custom Tab App Thumbnail
  4. Shared Photo
  5. Highlighted Photo

timeline-image-dimensions-cheat-sheet

 

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March 11th, 2012 by

Internet Marketing Weekly: Manage Facebook Page Content via Your WordPress Website

InsideOut Solutions is pleased to announce the release of our Facebook Page plugin, which allows WordPress website clients to manage content on a specific tab or their Facebook business page simply by logging into their WordPress website.

Use WordPress Plugin to Manage Facebook Content

The Facebook Page plugin for WordPress by InsideOut Solutions allows you to manage the content of a custom Facebook business page tab.

Whether you have a bed and breakfast inn website on Inndx or we host a WordPress website for your small business, dude ranch, destination lodging, association, chamber of commerce or visitors bureau, this WordPress plugin makes it easy to manage a custom tab with photos and information about your business on Facebook.

The Facebook Page Plugin for WordPress

FB Page on WordPress Admin Menubar

Once activated, you’ll find the Facebook Page Plugin button in the left sidebar of your WordPress website administration area.

Content for the tab on your Facebook page is managed via the “FB Page” plugin page of your WordPress administrative area, the link for which is found in the left sidebar, and includes:

Description – Enter introductory text for the Facebook page here. This text may be formatted just like any page or post of your website.

Contact Information – This checkbox displays the contact information of your business that’s entered into the WordPress settings – no need to retype it here and it updates automatically should you change or add contact information.

Facebook Page Plugin Administration

The Facebook Page plugin administration area offers an easy drag-and-drop feature for photos.

Availability Link – This checkbox sets up a button that link to availability calendar or reservation system entered into your WordPress settings, ensuring that any changes you make to your calendar provider on your website is automatically updated on your Facebook page.

Gallery – Drag and drop up to five images from your website, located in the sidebar to the right as thumbnails, into this area. Once in the Gallery, you can reorder the photos and replace them as often as you like.  If you are savvy in graphic design you can optimize Gallery photos for the plugin by sizing them to 800 pixels wide by 267 pixels high.

Facebook Page Plugin Items Administration

Use the Facebook Page plugin Items to display custom content, links and photos for rooms, specials, facilities, services and more.

Items – Items are things you want to list specifically on your Facebook page tab. You may link each items to a landing page on your website or elsewhere. For a bed and breakfast website we would recommend:

  • Facebook-only or general special(s)
  • Facebook-only or general events
  • Rooms – show each as an item or target rooms you tie to your Facebook-only specials
  • Special facilities or services, such as weddings, spa, tours, etc.

Each Item may be given a Name, a drag-and-drop photo selected from the right sidebar, an appropriate Link (e.g. to an availability calendar, more information on your website, etc.) and a Description.  Each of these may be edited anytime you want.  You may add Items to your tab and you may delete them by clearing all fields and removing the photo.  It’s that simple!

Footer – Enter any closing text for the page here. This text may be formatted just like any post or page of your website.

Keep reading →

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March 4th, 2012 by

Insideout Solutions Facebook Timeline

In the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday, Feb 29th, (yes, leap-day) Facebook had initiated project Launch Timeline for Pages. There were a few lucky pages that were allowed to update in advance on this date, which was fortunate for the rest of us, so we could see what was on the horizon. The Today Show, Manchester United, and Red Bull, to name a few, were the earliest forerunners.
Some of you may know nothing about Timeline, having never enabled it on your personal profile. For those of you who did make the switch, you’ve got a leg up in using this cinematic interface.

As a Page admin you’ll have some questions, including the biggies like, “What about custom tabs?” “How will fan-gating (calls to action with rewards for liking a page) be effected?” “Will I be able to set a default tab for potential/new fans to see?”

Well lets get into this a bit, but first lets look at all the great things that the new Timeline for Pages will bring you:

  • A nice wide canvas (aka: Cover) upon which to greet fans and tell your story: The new 851 px wide cover image (free from overt promotion calls-to-action (CTA) or advertising, is sensational. Consider it your new Welcome or Landing Tab. (851 x 315 pixels)
  •  A smaller profile image that nests in the lower left of the cover image. This may be a great place to display your logo or brand. (displays at 160 x 160 pixels)
  •  With those teeny tiny app thumbnails you’re used to in the left side bar, well, now you can upload and replace those little guys with your own custom image. Very nice indeed, giving you a bit more branding control.
  •  If you’ve got a status update that you’d like to have fans see at the top of your page, you can now make it “sticky” by pinning it. The lasts for seven days. After that, you’ll need to re-pin it to the top again if you want it to remain visible front and center.

What is changing, and what you might pine for:

  • You may no longer set a default landing tab (now both fans and potential fans will land on your Wall and see that sweeping, gorgeous Cover image we mentioned earlier).
  •  The photostrip of five images across the top is gone.
  • The profile image, once allowed a maximum of 180 x 540 pixels now displays at 160 x 160 px (though keep in mind that you must upload a profile image with a minimum width of 180 px).
  • Tabs have been moved from the left sidebar (under the profile image on your old Page format), to just under the Cover image on the right. Now here’s the most important item: in your Page Timeline, a total of four tabs are visible, and in the coveted first position is the immovable Photos tab.
  • The new layout is split into two columns, making it a bit more confusing to follow the flow of the conversation from the Page and fans.

All-in-all, there are a lot of great new features with Timeline for Pages. The forums, blogs and fan pages are chock-a-block full of discussion about the discoveries as well as pros and cons of the new layout. We’ll hit the highlights here.

Timeline Rollout:

When does the Timeline change become mandatory?

Facebook states that “On March 30, 2012, all Facebook Pages will get a new design.” Given this fact, you’ve got some time to prepare your Page.

Can I test drive the new Timeline for Pages?

Take a tour of your Timeline Page

You can preview your page, as well as upload and view test cover and profile image. You can see the blue “Preview” button at the top of any page you Admin. take the tour, and if not ready to click “Publish Now,” you can elect to click “See your old design” any time. (Phew).

What you can do as the Admin for the Page:

You can now view admin items including Page Insights, likes and comments right at the top of your Page.
If you are the admin of multiple pages, you may now view one or all of them here to save time and work efficiently.

What about that “Edit” button? How do you Edit the page now?

At the top right click the Admin panel button
Then click the Manage tab, and choose Edit page. You’ll arrive in the back end admin area you’ve always seen.

Editing the “About” section next to the profile image:
In the same Edit Page area, click “Basic Information: You’re given approximately 160 characters for display.

If you’ve got a physical address, you most likely have a map and marker indicating where your business is located, as well as your phone number. This info comes from Bing Maps (Bing and Facebook are buddies), just understand that you may have to go through the process of claiming your Place Page in order for the “About” info to appear.

The Look and feel of your Page Timeline.

The layout for Timeline for personal profiles is nearly identical to Pages.
We have a tutorial and free downloadable Photoshop template for designing your personal Timeline. It offers some great tips and resources.

All the measurements (in pixels) under one roof for your designing ease:

  • Cover Image: 851 x 315
  • Profile image: 160 x 160 (must upload an image that’s at least 180px wide) (This will also be your comment thumbnail, so design accordingly)
  • App tabs: 111 x 74

Adding a Cover image:

Click “Add a Cover” button . Once you’ve uploaded the image, you’ll be given a chance to reposition it if it’s larger than 851 x 315. Click Save when you’re done. Facebook has created a page on the rules regarding advertising on the cover image. You may want to familiarize yourself with the terms.
In at nutshell Cover images may not contain:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website.”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s “About” section.
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features.
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

Facebook Timeline Cover for Pages

Customizing the Tab Thumbnails, and managing tabs:

After the static “Photos” tab, you may not only reorder the remaining tabs that you’ve enabled (from Maps, to Notes, to custom Welcome or Deals), but you can also change the image thumbnail. Fans will see four tabs. The remainder are hidden until the little down arrow is clicked. Fans can see a maximum of twelve tabs, admins will be able to see them all.
To change the tab thumbnail image:

  • Click: Down Arrow to the right of the last App
  • Click the pencil
  • Click “Edit Settings”
  • Next to “Custom Tab Image” click “Change”

Ok now onto the fun part: Managing your Page:

Posting to Your Timeline page:

  • Some of the great things you can do include Pinning a post to the top of your Wall (Under the cover image, of course). Pinning will last for seven days. You can re-pin it after that time to keep in at the top.
  • Highlight a status update by allowing it to span the width of both columns. Keep in mind that at this time, you cannot both Pin and Highlight the same post.

We’re very excited about the new Timeline for Pages. Give it a test spin on your page, enable it on your personal profile and play with it for a while, prep your new cover image and profile, then switch it up on or before March 30th.
We’ve got a Timeline page enabled for our B&B test page, so take a look at one option that’s possible for your inn.

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March 3rd, 2012 by

Posting to Twitter from your Facebook Page

You’ve mastered your Facebook Fan Page, and feel comfortable posting status updates, photos and links from your blog. But you’ve been told that it’s equally important to create and use a Twitter account for your business as part of the suite of social media platforms that are so important to get your message out.
But you just don’t get Twitter. You don’t have time to tweet. You wonder, “What would I say? Who would follow me? Why would anyone care? And who has the time to tweet when I’ve got to bake the scones, greet guests, book reservations?”

Excellent points indeed!

If you’re comfortable using Facebook, you can enable auto-posting from your Facebook status updates (and other things) to your Twitter business account as well. Granted the etiquette, style and language are all slightly different for each platform, and over time, you’ll want to post on Twitter itself using #hashtags, @symbols, and RT (retweets), but in a pinch, and while you’re learning the ropes, go ahead and link the accounts!

Make sure you’ve already  created both a Facebook Fan Page, as well as a Twitter account for your business. If you know nothing about Twitter, we’ve got a helpful blog post to get you started.

This very short video tutorial will show you how.

Addendum to the video: In addition to enabling the checkbox for “status updates” you must also enable “links” and “photos” in order for your Facebook posts to also post to Twitter.

 

If you’d prefer written instructions:

Steps to connecting Facebook to Twitter for both current Pages and Timeline.

 

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January 29th, 2012 by

Internet Marketing Weekly: Facebook Timeline and Enabling the Subscribe Button

The new version of Facebook for personal profiles called Timeline, will become mandatory within the week to all users. If you haven’t voluntarily enabled it, now is the time to add a great cover image that tells your story before the switch takes place. This article will not only tell you how, but includes a downloadable template.

Once you do this, consider enabling the Subscribe button on your profile. If you’re an innkeeper who likes to post things about your inn on your personal page, you can set those status updates to “public.” When you do so, anyone who has subscribed to your personal profile will get to see your posts. They won’t, however, be able to see any status updates you earmark for friends, or special sub-groups you’ve created.

Enable Facebook Subscribe in your Personal Profile

Enable Facebook Subscribe in your Personal Profile

The way that Subscribe works is any and all Facebook users can sign up to get the PUBLIC posts in their News Feed of any user who has enabled Subscribe. Please Note: Subscribe is optional.

Facebook is pushing the Subscribe option (maybe to compete with Google+ ?). For Facebook users that have enabled Subscribe, the button now shows in the Comments plugin on websites, so you can easily find and subscribe to new people. Plus, Facebook recently introduced the Subscribe button plugin which you can add to your website.

Though it would seem the Subscribe option is designed for public figures, you may fid this a useful addition to your personal profile if you like to mention the activity happening at your inn, ranch or other business. If you’re someone who only uses your personal profile as a gateway to your fan page, then adding the subscribe button, and posting as the owner of your business makes a lot of sense.

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January 16th, 2012 by

If you’ve updated your Facebook Profile to the new Timeline, you can add a custom “cover” in the large image area, as well as add details about a business you may own.
Timeline is not yet available for Fan pages, so the custom cover for your Timeline only addresses your personal profile. Cover images are public (as is your profile image) and anyone on Facebook can see them.

Download the free layered Photoshop template file.Zipped File

How to create a custom Facebook cover:

1. Using Photoshop:

  • Background color – Which can be deleted or edited.
  • Profile picture box – This the exact location of the profile picture you upload. It’s nice to know where the profile image will be displayed so so as not to block an important part of your Facebook cover. You can also use the profile pic to make your Facebook cover stand out.
  • Measurement Dimensions layer – This layer is informational only and should be hidden or deleted before saving the cover for uploading.

Facebook Timeline Dimensions

If you aren’t familiar with Photoshop, Pixlr is a very handy online photo editing resource that lets you upload resize and crop photos to any dimension.

Photoshop template with image added and resized

 

Adding your new cover is easy:

Go to your timeline

  1. Click Add a Cover
  2. Choose whether you want to upload a new photo or pick a photo from one of your existing photo albums
  3. Once you choose a photo, you can reposition it by clicking on the image and dragging it up or down
  4. Click Save
Here are a few nice covers to peruse:
  • Mari Smith changes her cover image periodically.
  • Zach Seward Social Media Editor at The Wall Street Journal.
  • Local Sequim Photographer, Phil Tauran, doing a bit of marketing on his cover.
  • WordPress and SEO expert, Joost de Valk, is also doing a big of (subtle) marketing on his cover.

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January 8th, 2012 by

Internet Marketing Weekly: Social Media delivers a return on investment differently than traditional forms of outreach. In utilizing Social Media, ROI happens through meaningful “many-to-many” interactions with your online community.

You’ve followed the advice of your marketing expert, and created a Facebook Fan Page for your business. You add a couple of the most recommended APPs including a “welcome” tab and “incentive” or “fan-gating” tab, as well as a custom profile image. You slowly, but steadily build a following of fans over several months. You post on a semi-regular basis, perhaps two to three times per week.

Feeling you’re doing everything right, you wonder, “why am I doing this?” “Is it actually increasing my revenue?” Am I seeing an upswing in bookings or sales?” “How can I measure this?” “Is all the time I spend on social media giving me a return on my investment?”

Great questions all, and it would be worrisome if your weren’t asking.

Facebook User Growth Chart by Ben Foster

Social Media is a relatively new animal. It is certainly newer than the acronym ROI.
With classic ROI, you look at what you put in: be it advertising, specials, promotions or marketing, and you watch. If “x” number of dollars were spent on this print ad campaign, or “y” dollars in promotional merchandise giveaways, then you expect a certain number of dollars to be returned to you via purchases, or bookings from your efforts.

One of the reasons you’re in business is to make money. But top performing marketers will tell you that the real commodity in business is not actually money, but people.

Social media, being “relationship” and “sharing” based, helps your business grow by fostering loyalty to your brand. LOYALTY is the steam that drives the potential to increase your profits. Building relationships takes time. This is a long-term investment.
In the world of social media, the number one way to increase your following is by actively engaging your fans in what they care about. Engagement fosters loyalty.

The Cold, Hard Truth

1. Once a fan “likes” your page, they very, very rarely return to the page itself. About 98% of the time, a fan never looks at your fan page again (unless you offer a repetedly compelling reason to go to it). That’s why installing a multitude of Apps as tabs on your page is secondary to posting engaging content that fans want to interact with.

2. It has become increasing more challenging to show up on your fan’s News Feeds. Facebook delivers content to a fan’s News Feed based upon how that fan interacts with fan pages they’ve liked, their friends posts, etc. Now it is important to post 1-3 times a day, with content that is relevant to your fans. The once-per-week post is a thing of the past. It will garner you very little.

What Are Effective Forms of Engagement?

The most successful forms of engagement come in one of three ways, but all are nestled under one umbrella: Engagement (aka participation).

Zappos featured fan photo


1. Ask Your Fans to Share

Request that your fans share their photos and experiences on your page. Then reward those fans by featuring them. Zappos, one of the most beloved retailers in the US today, does this very well by asking fans to post pictures of themselves, their kids and their pets with a Zappos shipping box. The participation level is enormous. Zappos rewards the fans who have participated by featuring one of the fan’s photos in their ever-changing profile image on their Facebook fan page.

2. Promotions:
These can be a fantastic way to engage your fans. Keep in mind that Facebook has strict rules about conduction promotions. The biggest rule to keep in mind is that you must use a 3rd party App if you’re going to conduct any kind of drawing, sweepstakes, contest or competition. Your own content in an iFrame app qualifies so long as you include the correctly worded disclaimers. Refer to this helpful post for more information.

 

Surf Dog Ricochet’s Dirty Dog Photo Contest on their Facebook Fan Page

3. Give-Aways:
Give-aways can take many forms, from helpful information and links to resources to enhance the life of your fans, to freebies like a magazine subscription for the best (or first) fan to comment on a topic you choose, or photo posts that get the greatest number of likes (votes) from fans. Surf Dog Richochet does this quite often, and in this example, they’ve clearly stated that for the photo posts of “Dirty Dog Photo Contest” likes equal votes, and the greatest number gets the photo poster a perk like a $25 gift card to Petco, Surf dog Ricochet t-shirt, or “Paw it Forward” wristband.

Since Facebook changed the way users interact with fan pages back in November, it is possible for fans and non-fans alike to post on your wall, comment on, and share your content. What this means it that now, not only is it important to acquire fans via “likes,” is is also important to create content that non-fans want to share.

A Fan Base Can Grow Your Brand (aka business):

50% of small business owners reported gaining new customers through social media – most notably through Facebook and LinkedIn. *(Neilsen)

51% of Facebook users and 64% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from the brands they follow. *(Mediabistro)

Even if you have 500+ fans, it only takes 20 people to create meaningful many-to-many interactions and bring an online community to a significant level of activity.*(Ning)

Mediabistro infographic

The top seven post types that foster engagement:

1. Use images in your posts.
2. Keep it short and sweet as much as you can.
3. Keep the “I” to a minimum.
4. Include a call to action.
5. Give timely information that includes tips and links to useful resources.
6. Share a great cause that you believe in and want to support.
7. Share video. (Make sure it’s useful, or humorous or uplifting content).

And the final, and essential element, check your page regularly, and make sure you respond to comments. If your fans have taken the time to read and respond to your posts, then they deserve a response from you. If fans feel that you care enough to respond, they will feel their time has been well-spent.

Measuring Your Success

Find out how you’re doing. Study Your Statistics and Results using Facebook’s built-in “Insights” data.

Facebook offers some really great analytics for pages. Pay attention to them. If you see a big surge in fans (or a drop off), look at what you’ve posted recently and see if you can figure out any trends. Then post more of that kind of content (or less, in the event that you’re losing fans, or the engagement just isn’t there).

Sources:
Ning: http://www.ning.com/about/press_release_062011/
Neilsen: http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/social/
Mediabistro: http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/small-business-social-media_b14294

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