彙整 | 六月, 2011

Is There a Social Media Tech Bubble? [INFOGRAPHIC]

22 六月

Valuations of social media companies are starting to remind us of 1999. But are they overvalued?

Now that Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion, LinkedIn’s IPO valued the company at $8.9 billion after its first day of trading, and Facebook’s estimated value is pushing $100 billion, you might be starting to wonder if buying into user numbers rather than revenue is a good idea.

Social media site G+, a community of professionals, entrepreneurs and academics, put together this detailed infographic that lays it all out in front of you. Take a look at these valuations and let us know in the comments if you think this is getting out of hand:

(Click here for enlargement)

Infographic courtesy Gplus.com

By: http://mashable.com/2011/05/29/social-media-bubble-infographic/


The History of Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

22 六月

From the first e-mail to the domination of Facebook, social media has come a long way, baby.

Here’s a visually organized look at the past 30 years or so of social media history, from Usenet to AIM to Friendster and beyond. This particular infographic comes with some fun facts; for example, did you know that the first version of MySpace was coded in just 10 days?

Whether this is a walk down memory lane or entirely new information for you, we hope you’ll enjoy this infographic, which was created by OnlineSchools.org. You can also check out our infographics on Facebook facts, online dating and our general obsession with social media.

In the comments, tell us where you set up your first “social” online account and where or when you think social media truly began.

By: http://mashable.com/2011/01/24/the-history-of-social-media-infographic/

Ultimate Blogger’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

9 六月

In the competitive world of search engine optimization (SEO), your business blog is a critical tool for your success.

Why is blogging so important to your search engine visibility? Because search engines serve up web pages—not websites—when people ask a question. And here’s the important part:

Every blog post is a new web page and every web page is another opportunity to rank well for another search term.

einstein theory

More groundbreaking than E=mc2!

In other words, every time you blog on a subject you want to rank well for, you create another opportunity for your best prospects to find you.

What You Need to Get Started

There are three things required for you to succeed in your business blogging:

  • Use the right blogging platform. While I don’t believe that you can’t succeed using platforms such as Joomla, Drupal or TypePad, my recommendation for blogging is WordPress. It’s powerful, easy to learn and has plenty of SEO plugins that increase your chances of topping the search engine results.
  • Own your domain. Don’t run a business blog from an address like mycompany.typepad.com or mycompany.wordpress.com. When you do that, you’re just building up trust and inbound links to someone else’s property. You want to blog from your own property, such as mycompany.com/blog or mycompanyblog.com. This is also critical in case you ever decide to move to another blogging platform as it allows you to retain all the inbound links you’ve gathered over the years.
  • Be committed. Blogging success doesn’t happen overnight; it’s not like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising where you can immediately appear on the first page of Google. However, it also lasts a lot longer. PPC ends the day you stop paying, while my company has blog posts written years ago that still deliver hundreds of new leads each month. That’s great ROI!
top 10

Posts from as far back as 2006 still drive thousands of new visitors each month to our company blog.

What Affects Your Search Engine Ranking?

All search engines have a unique algorithm for determining how relevant your blog post is to a given query. To oversimplify this process, it comes down to two main factors:

  • On-page optimization: how the words in your post match up with the search that was just done, and
  • Off-page optimization: how many quality inbound links you have (links from other websites, blogs, directories, etc. to your blog post)

How to Improve Your On-Page Optimization

If you want to create content that’s relevant to your business, answers your prospects’ questions and helps you rank higher, there’s a simple three-step process to help you get there:

1.     Brainstorm your keyword phrases. Whether you do this by yourself, include co-workers or survey your current clients, you should start by brainstorming as many keyword phrases—the words you want to rank well for or you believe your prospects are searching for—as you can.

2.     Test your beliefs. Too often we think we know what our prospects are searching for, but we’re off the mark. If you’re blogging about divorce lawyers and everyone out there is searching for how to save my marriage, you’re not helping anyone.

You’ll want to use keyword analysis tools like Raven Tools, Keyword Discovery or Google Adwords Keyword Tool to help you determine what people are searching.

All of these tools work in a similar fashion: they determine how many people are searching for your phrases, and how much competition you have for each phrase. You want to first target the phrases that have good search volume, but maybe don’t have as much competition.

find keywords

Bacon queries at Google Adwords Keyword Tool.

found keywords

The keyword phrases most likely to bring home the bacon for your business. #groan

3.     Start blogging! Running sneakers gathering dust in your closet don’t make you fit, and keywords you’re not using won’t get you good rankings. Start creating new blog posts of 300–700 words 2–3 times a week.

Blogging for Search Engine Success

While knowing what keywords to target is half the battle, here are a few tips to maximize your results:

  • Start your post title with your best keywords. Page titles are the most important variable in how well you’ll rank. Search engines give more weight to the first three or four words in your title, so you’ll get better results from titling your post Super Bowl Commercial Reviews: The Best and Worst Ads, as opposed to What I Thought of Last Night’s Super Bowl Ads.
  • Use your keyword phrase through the body of the post. Try to use your phrase in the first sentence or two, and then a couple of more times in the post. Put it in your meta-description, the meta-tags, the image alt-tags, the post tags and anywhere else that seems appropriate.
  • Link to appropriate pages on your website. If you’re blogging about the boots some B-list celebrity wore on some reality show last night, make sure you link the boot name to the page on your website where they can buy those boots. If you’re blogging about how to retain employees, make sure you link “employee recognition” to your page on employee reward programs. This will help increase the search visibility of your web pages; just make sure you link your keywords, not “click here” or “learn more.”

E-commerce sites can benefit from blogging around their customers’ interests.

SEO Tools and Plugins

Here are a few tools to help you create posts that will rank well and attract qualified clients to your blog:

Keyword Questions: Struggling with blogger’s block? This tool from WordTracker returns popular search engine queries based on your keywords.


Each result is another post for your blog.

All In One SEO Pack: One of many plugins that improve your blog’s optimization, this is the one I use on my own web marketing blog. This plugin allows you to easily add unique meta-descriptions, meta-tags and titles to each post, improve the page title format and reduce the chances that the search engines will get confused by duplicate content on your blog.

all in one

Use SEO plugins to improve your titles and meta-information.

Scribe SEO: Scribe is a plugin for WordPress that requires a monthly fee. Once installed, you can run keyword analysis on each post from directly within the admin. Scribe will also score your blog post before you post it, and suggest improvements.


Scribe shows you where you can improve.

It will also suggest other blog posts and social media resources that may be sources of inbound links to your post.

Off-Page Optimization

As mentioned earlier, the other half of the search engine equation is inbound links: links from other web pages to your blog posts.

Search engines see inbound links as “votes of confidence.” The more quality incoming links, the more confidence that the search engines have that you’re providing a valuable resource to their searchers.

Not all inbound links are created equal, however. There are a number of variables that affect how important each link is.

  • The linking site: sites deemed trustworthy will provide more value than new or untrustworthy sites.
  • The number of links on the referring page: each page has a limited amount of “link juice” to pass on. If you cut a pie into four pieces, everyone gets a good-sized piece of pie. If you cut that pie into four hundred pieces, everyone goes home hungry.
  • The context of the linking page: If you’re blogging about burritos, a link from a taco blog will give you a bigger boost than one from a bicycle blog, all other things being equal.
  • The anchor text: the words in the link are critical.

Admittedly, you often won’t have any control over these variables, but Google and Bing take them into consideration. Which begs the question…

How Do You Get More Incoming Links?

Ah, I thought you’d never ask. The obvious—and aggravating—answer is create quality content that’s valuable to your audience. If people find your content valuable, they’ll share it and link to it.

That being said, here are some techniques for getting more inbound links:

Videos make how-to posts even more link-worthy.

  • Guest blog: Blog at a related blog—bonus points if it’s more well-read and influential than your own! From your guest post you can create keyword-rich links to your blog or website. If you’re not sure where to start your guest blogging, check out My Blog Guest, a marketplace for guest blogging.

In conclusion:

  • Perform a keyword analysis to know which keywords will drive qualified traffic to your site.
  • Put your keywords in your titles, content and throughout your post.
  • Create content that will encourage people to link to your blog.

By: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ultimate-bloggers-guide-to-search-engine-optimization/

50!–Creative Uses of QR Codes

9 六月

QR codes are fast becoming a powerful force in marketing,acting as a connector between the physical world and the web. People see a QR code, scan it, and are suddenly engaged in your message (when you do it right.)

Also see: http://www.slideshare.net/bannersonaroll/37-examples-of-using-qr-codes

There are plenty of creative ideas for how businesses, non-profits and municipalities can use QR codes to market and communicate themselves better to their stakeholders. Here are 50 that I came up with or stumbled upon.

  1. QR Codes on bus stops, train stations and subway stations: A quick scan would give you realtime information on when the next bus, train or subway would arrive.
  2. Posted next to paintings and sculptures at museums. Great for visitors who want to learn more about the artist, the time period, and the reaction to the photo. Could also include links to other work by the artist, related artists, and even the ability to buy the image on a mug or poster at the museum shop.
  3. As part of a personalized direct mail piece. Each QR code can go to a PURL (personalized URL (Uniform Resource Locator)).
  4. On historical sites and on walking trails. Sure, a plaque is fine for grandma, but I’d like to delve deeper, whether with a wikipedia entry, or an video of a local historian explaining the significance of the site.
  5. At video kiosks. QR codes can appear as people interact with your kiosk, whether it’s at the mall or your place of business.
  6. On For Sale signs. Whether residential or commercial, for sale signs could include codes that had all the information a sell sheet includes, plus video walkthroughs.
  7. Email newsletter signups. Build your subscriber base by having quick links to an email signup box.
  8. E-learning. Have your QR code generate an email that starts an autoresponder, sending daily emails filled with lessons and related information.
  9. Next to packaged food in groceries. Give shoppers quick access to recipes that include the ingredients they see on the shelf.
  10. In a jigsaw puzzle. This would create some real engagement as the user would have to put together the puzzle before scanning the image.
  11. On produce. You could include information about the farm, organic vs. conventional growing, best by dates, etc.
  12. Buying coffee (or anything else.)Like Starbucks does.
  13. On bottles of wine. It would be nice to be able to get info about the vineyard, and maybe buy a case of that bottle I enjoyed at the restaurant.
  14. On tags for sustainable clothes. Is that piece of clothing really sustainable? Let’s quickly scan and see it’s story.
  15. For conference signage. Next to the name of the upcoming sessions in each room would be the QR code so you could get the full description, speaker bios, and see if there’s any room left.
  16. On conference name tags. SXSW has been doing this for at least a year or two. Why trade business cards when you can just scan them. Now, don’t you feel all TSA?
  17. Written in calamari ink on diners’ plates. You can’t make this stuff up.
  18. On jewelry. Examples abound.
  19. As part of interactive maps. Check out this example from Town Graphics.
  20. At the bottom of all newspaper and magazine articles. Then you could quickly get to the online version and see the comments that other readers had left.
  21. On liquor bottles. Linked to drink recipes; this would be especially good for new drinks you’re bringing to market.
  22. On building permits. New York City is already doing this.
  23. On the fliers that you find under your windshield wipers at the mall. One example might be an offer for a car wash; the URL would give you the discount code and directions to the car wash offering the deal.
  24. On the safety bar ads on ski mountain chair lifts. These days, everyone on the mountain seems to have a smart phone, and they’re going to be a captive audience for 5 – 10 minutes, sitting on that chair going up the mountain.
  25. Inside elevators. If I ran a dry cleaning service or something else that helped busy executives out I’d advertise inside elevators in tall buildings. Other good options might include flowers (for spouses left at home with the kids), discounts on take out food, etc.
  26. In bar bathrooms. I often see Home Runners and cab companies advertising above the urinals in bars. (Hey, what can I say? I frequent classy places.) Why not make it easier for patrons to get a safe ride home, rather than drunk dial a wrong number?
  27. Within a video game console to share avatars. Nintendo is already doing just that.
  28. To get more people to sign a petition. Like the one for cleaning up the BP mess.
  29. At bars, clubs and anywhere else music is playing. Sure, Shazam is a great tool for finding music, and often you can even buy the track you discovered at iTunes or Amazon. But in a loud club you may not be able to suss out the song. If a QR code appeared above the DJ’s head, you could quickly scan the code and purchase that new song.
  30. On the backs of tractor trailers. Because “How’s My Driving?” with an 800 number is so last decade.
  31. On wedding invitations instead of RSVP cards. Scan a QR, save a tree. And a stamp.
  32. As a temporary tattoo. Link it to your Facebook profile or Twitter account.
  33. On a laminated card for trade shows. Instead of dropping a business card in a fish bowl. Booths win because they’ll get all the pertinent info, and the event could give away prizes to the people who get scanned the most.
  34. To encourage community feedback. The library in Groton, CT, does just that.
  35. As wallpaper. Well, it’s better than the wallpaper in our bathroom when we moved in to our house.
  36. On the bottom of flip flops. The imprint they make on the beach…until the tide comes in.
  37. On coffee cups from your local coffee shop. Plenty of advertising opportunities here.
  38. On posters linking to free books. 1st Bank is giving away free copies…of these out-of-copyrighted classics. They also have other boards that link to free sudoku.
  39. On a ball field. Have you seen what the groundskeepers can mow into the outfield these days? They’re artists!
  40. On a human billboard. Think “Eat at Joes.”
  41. As wrapping paper. One company is already customizing this with unique videos attached to QR codes.
  42. On trade show booths. Scan a picture, (be entered to) win a free iPod.
  43. On recipes in magazines. Quick link to videos, reviews and feedback at the website.
  44. For self-guided tours at factories. Scan a code, learn what that dohickey does.
  45. Posted on car windows in dealerships. Perfect for after-hour shoppers.
  46. Scratch and Win cards. It’s not enough to have them scratch off the card, make them scan that card to see if they’ve won.
  47. On movie posters. QR code takes them to a preview of the movie.
  48. On cocktail napkins. The code could take networkers to the sponsor’s site, the beverage’s site, or some networking site with photos, so you can connect with people after the event.
  49. In TV ads to make them interactive. Here’s an exampe from AXA.
  50. Business cards. ‘Nuff said.

By: http://www.flyteblog.com/flyte/2011/03/50-count-em-50-creative-uses-of-qr-codes.html

4 Essential Job Interview Questions to Ask

8 六月

Interviewing is an imprecise process, but you can improve your ability to evaluate candidates by asking interview questions that elicit facts instead of opinions.

Why?  I can never rely on what you claim you will do, but I can learn a lot from what you have already done.  The past is a fairly reliable indication of the future where employee behavior and attitude is concerned.

How do you get to the facts?  You have to ask.  Ask an initial question, then put on your 60 Minutes investigative hat and follow up:  Fully understand the situation described, determine exactly what the candidate did (and did not do), and find out how things turned out.

Follow-up questions don’t need to be complicated:  “Really?”  “Wow – what did he do?”  “What did she say?”  “What happened next?”  “How did that go over?”  All you have to do is keep the conversation going.  Remember, an interview is really just a conversation.

With that in mind, here are four of my favorite behavioral interview questions:

1.  “Tell me about the last time a customer or coworker got mad at you.”

Intent: Evaluate the candidate’s interpersonal skills and ability to deal with conflict.

Remember, make sure you find out why the customer or coworker was mad, what the interviewee did in response, and how the situation turned out both in the short- and long-term.

  • Red flag: The interviewee pushes all the blame — and responsibility for rectifying the situation — on the other person.
  • Good: The interviewee focuses on how they addressed and fixed the problem, not on who was to blame.
  • Great: The interviewee admits they caused the other person to be upset, took responsibility, and worked to make a bad situation better.  That’s the trifecta of answers:  You are willing to admit when you are wrong, you take responsibility for fixing your mistakes, and you learn from experience.  (Remember, every mistake is just training in disguise as long as the same mistake isn’t repeated over and over again, of course.)

2.  “Tell me about the toughest decision you had to make in the last six months.”

Intent: Evaluate the candidate’s ability to reason, problem solving skills, judgment, and sometimes even willingness to take intelligent risks.

  • Red flag: No answer.  Everyone makes tough decisions regardless of their position.  My daughter works part-time as a server at a local restaurant and makes difficult decisions every night, like the best way to deal with a regular customer whose behavior constitutes borderline harassment.
  • Good: Made a difficult analytical or reasoning-based decision.  For example, wading through reams of data to determine the best solution to a problem.
  • Great: Made a difficult interpersonal decision, or better yet a difficult data-driven decision that included interpersonal considerations and ramifications.  Making decisions based on data is essential, but almost every decision has an impact on people as well. The best candidates naturally weigh all sides of an issue, not just the business or human side exclusively.

3.  “Tell me about a time you knew you were right… but you still had to follow directions or guidelines.”

Intent: Evaluate the candidate’s ability to follow… and possibly to lead.

  • Red flag: Found a way to circumvent guidelines “… because I know I was right,” or followed the rules but allowed their performance to suffer.  (Believe it or not, if you ask enough questions, some people will tell you they were angry or felt stifled and didn’t work hard as a result, especially when they think you empathize with their “plight.”)
  • Good: Did what needed to be done, especially in a time-critical situation, then found an appropriate time and place to raise issues and work to improve the status quo.
  • Great: Not only did what needed to be done, but stayed motivated and helped motivate others as well.  In a peer setting, an employee who is able to say, “Hey, I’m not sure this makes sense either, but for now let’s just do our best and get it done…” is priceless.  In a supervisory setting, good leaders are able to debate and argue behind closed doors and then fully support a decision in public even if they privately disagree with that decision.

4.  “Tell me about the last time your workday ended before you were able to get everything done.”

Intent: Evaluate commitment, ability to prioritize, ability to communicate effectively.

  • Red flag: “I just do what I can and get the heck out of there.  I keep telling my boss I can only do so much but he won’t listen…. “
  • Good: Stayed a few minutes late to finish a critical task, or prioritized before the end of the workday to ensure critical tasks were completed.  You shouldn’t expect heroic efforts every day, but some level of dedication is certainly nice.
  • Great: Stayed late and/or prioritized… but most importantly communicated early on that deadlines were in jeopardy.  Good employees take care of things; great employees take care of things and make sure others are aware of potential problems ahead of time just in case other proactive decisions make sense.
  • Note: Keep in mind there are a number of good and great answers to this question.  “I stayed until midnight to get it done” can sometimes be a great answer, but doing so night after night indicates there are other organizational or productivity issues the employee should raise.  (I may sometimes be glad you stayed late, but I will always be glad when help me spot chronic problems or bottlenecks.)  Evaluate a candidate’s answers to this question based on your company’s culture and organizational needs.

By: http://www.bnet.com/blog/small-biz-advice/4-essential-job-interview-questions-to-ask/2213?promo=713&tag=nl.e713

Why You Need E-Commerce Video Now

8 六月

The biggest takeaway from the State of Video in E-Commerce that we published several months ago, citing conclusions from SundaySky’s Q4 2010 report, was that the large majority of online merchants have thus far underutilized or altogether neglected this simple yet potentially very valuable medium.

The latest release from SundaySky includes new data from the first quarter of 2011, and while relatively little has changed in terms of retailers’ widespread adoption, it appears that consumers’ appetite for e-commerce video continues to grow.

The increasing interest from online shoppers, combined with retailers’ general inability to meet that demand, presents a unique opportunity for ambitious merchants both large and small. Below are some of the key findings from SundaySky, which paints a very convincing picture of why you need to implement e-commerce video as soon as possible.

Give consumers what they want
The number of subscribers to online retailers’ YouTube channels increased 21 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011. That number climbed to 571,000 subscribers to retail channels, totaling 420 million views of retail videos on YouTube alone – a 13-percent increase. Meanwhile, the number of retail videos posted on YouTube reached nearly 96,000 during Q1 2011, which represents a 9-percent increase. Shoppers are consuming e-commerce video at a significantly faster rate than merchants are providing it, but that window of opportunity is closing.

All or nothing for major retailers
Among the largest online retailers in the world, it seems that video is either being mass-scaled or all but ignored. Thirty-two percent of the top 50 online merchants boasted more than 1,000 videos on their sites in Q1 2011, compared to 22 percent in the previous quarter. However, 36 percent of the top 50 had fewer than 10 videos on their sites, and a staggering 68 percent of all retailers are not yet exploiting the obvious and accessible rewards of on-site e-commerce videos – in any way, shape or form.

Time to act is now
While the large majority of retailers continue to ignore the benefits of video, a definite shift is taking place in the e-commerce industry. The number of major retailers posting more than 100 videos on YouTube during the first quarter of 2011 increased by 15 percent since the fourth quarter of 2010, indicating that the race may be on. Still, that number represents the minority, with 48 percent of the top 50 surpassing the 100-video mark.

Enormous SEO benefits
According to the SundaySky report, nearly 18 percent of the major search engine results pages during the first quarter of 2011 contained video results, and most video results for retail-related keywords were posted only on YouTube. In an analysis of 34,000 top keywords within 17 categories from Shopping.com’s top searches, computer gaming had the highest presence of video results while furniture had the lowest.

Getting results
Zappos has for a long time been a benchmark of many online retail best practices, and its use of e-commerce video is no exception. The company annually generates more than half a million dollars in incremental revenue simply by following video SEO guidelines, and the amount of traffic accredited to video results is estimated at more than 77,000 visits per month.

While Zappos is one of the top 50 retailers to adopt e-commerce video on a massive scale, smaller retailers simply need to get into the game rather than watch from the sidelines. From posting a handful of simple product videos onto your site to leveraging your company’s own YouTube channel and building out your brand, the power of video is growing and too many retailers are missing out.

By: http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2011/06/06/why-you-need-e-commerce-video-now.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Website-Magazine+%28Website+Magazine%29

Why Marketing Hurts Your Growth and What to Do About It

8 六月

If people don’t trust you and aren’t paying attention, what can you do? This is a big challenge for businesses.

Naturally, you might be asking some of these questions:

  • How can I attract quality leads, prospects and opportunity without actively selling?
  • Is there an easy way to establish trust with prospects and customers? Can I break through the noise?

There is good news.

How to Build a Raving Fan Base

If you want to connect with customers and attract raving fans, the solution is very simple: Focus on people.

You can meet the needs of people by helping them solve their problems at no cost. Remember that people’s core desires don’t change. Your audience wants access to great insight and people.

When you help people with their smaller problems, many will look to you for their bigger issues. If you can multiply free assistance by hundreds, thousands or millions of people, you can rapidly grow your business.

Content enables this!

When you provide engaging “how-to” information and assistance in the form of valuable gifts (without strings attached), it triggers the “How much more?” question. “How much more value will I gain if I hire this company or buy this product?” is the response many will have when they see the great value you provide for free.

I’ve developed a simple formula to show you how to grow.

Introducing the Elevation Principle

Here’s my formula for growth. It’s called the elevation principle. When you follow this model, you’ll be able to take your business to new heights.

The elevation principle: Great content PLUS other people MINUS marketing messages EQUALS growth!

elevation formula

When you combine great content that’s focused on the needs of your audience and lacks any obvious marketing messages with other people, your business can rapidly grow.

When you offer great content—such as detailed how-to articles, expert interviews, case studies and videos—that focuses on helping other people solve their problems, you’ll experience growth. Why? Because this type of content meets the needs of people. It doesn’t focus on you, your products or your company. It is a true gift to your audience.

The “other people” component not only means focusing on the needs of people. It also transcends your reader base and involves reaching out to people outside your company, such as industry experts. These outside experts possess amazing knowledge that your audience will find very valuable.

The last part of the formula is to deliver this content in a marketing-free zone. Once the marketing messages are caged, the focus of your company shifts from “What can we sell you?” to “How can we help you?” You shift from pitching products to boosting people. Instead of investing in ad space, you invest in creating content, experiences, gathering places and communities where people who need help can find it.

You have the chance to own the place people go to for help, eliminating your reliance on traditional marketing channels. You can become the center of your industry, niche or local market. And when that happens, you’re launched on an unstoppable trajectory that will take you places you never imagined possible.

The result: You no longer need to sell! Instead, you demonstrate your expertise by the content you produce, the ideas you showcase, the stories you share and the people you attract. By creating a platform for others, you can also build strategic alliances, quickly grow a large following and dominate your industry.


When you follow the elevation principle, your business will experience rapid growth while your competitors will struggle to survive.

With the old forms of marketing, you pitch and sell. People ignore you and your business is at risk. With the new method, you give gifts, people trust you and you become indispensable. Which course will you take?

By: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/why-marketing-hurts-your-growth-and-what-to-do-about-it/

4 Facebook Marketing Tips for Entertainment Brands

7 六月

The Facebook Marketing Series is supported by Buddy Media, Power Tools for Facebook. Fans see when you post content on your brand’s Facebook Page, right? Wrong. Cut through the mystery of Facebook’s Edgerank — download the white paper now.

While some businesses are still figuring out the value of building a fan base, entertainment brands have long understood that a vibrant fan community is critical to their success. Perhaps this why entertainers were among the first to embrace Facebook as a way to attract, engage and communicate with fans. And because the most effective Facebook marketing programs often combine compelling content with personality, entertainment brands are uniquely positioned to succeed with this medium.

But even for the most popular entertainers, creating a robust fan base on Facebook requires more than just creating a Page and posting content. Here are four ways entertainment brands can accelerate their Facebook success.

1. Use Questions, Polls and Quizzes to Engage Your Community


If you post a piece of content on your Facebook Page, you might generate a good number of comments. But if you post your content in the context of a question, a poll or a quiz, you make your content interactive and provoke viral distribution.

Sarah Hofstetter, SVP of brand strategy and emerging media at digital marketing agency 360i, recommends trying out the new Facebook Questions tool to engage users around a question. 360i is using Facebook Questions in its work with BRAVO Network. For example, this recent Facebook Questions post on the Real Housewives of New Jersey Page encouraged fans to pick a side in a family feud that has emerged in the show’s storyline, generating over 15,000 votes.

GLEE is also a fan of this approach, posting a poll every Tuesday to spark conversation around the show prior to its airing that night. These weekly polls routinely generate thousands of interactions.

Also consider embedding a promotional offer or a download in a poll or a quiz — this tactic can work to drive very high conversation rates, since fans are already actively engaged with your brand.

For example, Glenn Beck is promoting his magazine Fusion through a series of polls and quizzes on Facebook. After taking the poll or quiz, fans are presented with a custom page promoting Fusion and enabling fans to click through to subscribe.

2. Reward Your Fans


Engaging fans is one way to keep them happy; rewarding them is another. While there are many ways to reward your Facebook fans, many entertainers have found that sharing exclusive or free content gives fans a reason to come back time and again.

“I think the best piece of advice to give someone who is looking to build a fan base on Facebook is to tell them to figure out what they do best and give it away for free,” says Chris Taylor, co-founder of MicControl, a blogging platform for the emerging music community. “Social media has made ‘free’ a word that consumers have begun to expect.”

Taylor points to Chris Webby as a great example of how this strategy can work. Webby, an up-and-coming rapper, regularly releases free mixes via Facebook. This approach has helped Webby reach the 100,000 fan mark.

Webby’s fans “are some of the most dedicated fans you will see in the emerging music industry — they buy all of his merchandise, they buy tickets to shows and will travel hours to see him perform,” says Taylor. “By giving his fans free music, interacting with them on Facebook and Twitter and showing how much he truly cares, his fans are more than happy to show him how much they truly care.”

Rewarding your fans can also be as simple as making sure your Page provides valuable information, such as upcoming show dates or releases. For example, DJ Jody Wisternoff keeps his fans current with custom tabs for both his gigs and new music releases, and he posts personal updates in the run-up to each show, giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at the highs and lows of life on the road.


3. Let Fans Behind-the-Scenes

Letting fans get behind-the-scenes is not only an effective way to reward them, but also a great way to take more ownership of your personal brand.

Jessica Sitomer, CEO of TheGreenlightCoach.com, encourages entertainers to use their work as an opportunity to promote themselves creatively on Facebook. Sitomer suggests doing a “behind-the-scenes” video before a shoot or a show.

“Get creative with your videos; they can be of you getting ready at home, getting your make-up done in the trailer or prepping your equipment on set,” says Sitomer.

Sitomer points to Juliet Landau, best known for her work as Drusilla on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, as a great example of this approach. “Landau wanted to break out of her genre,” says Sitomer, “so when she got a job as an action hero in a film, she leveraged her connections from her Drusilla promotions and contacted a magazine to do a shoot of her as the action hero. She then had a cinematographer film the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of the photo shoot.” Landau then shared the video broadly on her own Facebook Page as well as the fan pages her fans created.

Some entertainers are even tying this behind-the-scenes content to becoming a fan, requiring that fans Like their page to access it. For example, actor and author Rob Lowe created a custom “Fan Wall” on his Page, where he shares exclusive content and excerpts from his new book Stories I Only Tell My Friends with people who “like” his Page.


4. Use a Facebook Storefront to Turn Fans into Buyers


According to Sumeet Jain, principal at CMEA Capital, more business will be done on Facebook than Amazon within the next five years — which means that the value of transactions completed within Facebook may exceed $34 billion within five years.

But there’s no need to wait; many entertainers are already tapping the tremendous value of their existing fan base today by launching a Facebook storefront, turning their fans into buyers and product evangelists.

“Shopping on Facebook is the next step in the evolution of e-commerce,” says Christian Taylor, co-founder and CEO of social commerce company Payvment. “Facebook is the perfect place for musicians, comedians and other entertainers to promote and sell their content and merchandise. Their fans are already there, and Facebook users don’t like to leave Facebook … so why send them to a separate website to transact?” he says.

Actress Molly Sims is using Payvment’s free Facebook commerce storefront to promote and sell her “Grayce by Molly Sims” jewelry to her more than 150,000 fans and others on Facebook. The storefront also includes Sims’ personal posts, updates and pictures to create a more integrated and social shopping experience.

Other entertainment-focused applications, such as Nimbit, offer musicians, managers and independent labels a storefront for Facebook. Nimbit’s free store allows musicians to sell or give away digital music, and for an additional subscription fee, they can also sell CDs or vinyl, merchandise and e-tickets.

“We’ve found that musicians who use Facebook to launch their releases can benefit greatly from the viral nature of the sharing that goes on,” says Carl Jacobson, VP of marketing at Nimbit. “Fans become promoters, and we’ve seen some artists more than double their expected sales as a result.”



By: http://mashable.com/2011/06/06/facebook-tips-entertainment-brands/