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“I didn’t know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge was of time. I would never say that the people on it are losers, but that’s only because I’m polite.” – Betty White

Click here to watch Betty White’s SNL Monologue on Hulu. Airdate: Saturday, May 8, 2010.

“Guess what? Jay Z is here! If I had a dime for every time I’ve said that, I’d have one dime.” – Betty White

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Word of mouth and a Facebook event triggered thousands of New Jersey high school students to participate in a walkout yesterday. The event’s current attendance is over 18,000.

According to the Mashable article, “The event was organized by 18-year-old Michelle Ryan Lauto — a Pace University student who once attended high school in New Jersey. Lauto decided to take action after Governor Chris Christie announced that he would be cutting $820 million in educational funding for next year, according to the Hartford Courant.”

It’s great to see social media bringing such a large group of people together for a cause. Many people say that today’s youth are apathetic and self concerned but this proves otherwise.

Check out footage of the protest:

Fans must have been on the mind yesterday because Direct Mag and Jay Baer both wrote about them.

No, not that kind of fan, Facebook Fans.

The Direct Mag article informs us that “Brands will no longer be able to have fans on Facebook. But fear not: They will be able to make friends instead.” At first glance, this turns me off. I am not a fan when brands create normal Facebook pages, rather than Fan Pages. In fact, as I have said before, I usually do not accept a brand’s friendship. However, the article stated a couple of interesting facts: “According to Facebook, users click “friend” buttons almost twice as often as they do the “fan” links; the average user becomes a fan of four pages each month.”

Upon reading further, “Facebook alerted advertisers in a memo it will be changing the “Become a fan” button on brand pages to one that lets users say that they “like” the brand…The “like” status would show up in users’ status updates and news feeds just as the “fan” status currently does.” Now this, I like. Becoming a ‘fan’ of a page seems to be more of a plunge, it insinuates dedication. ‘Liking’ something is easier to accept. From a marketing standpoint, this is fantastic. It will give brands more of an in for interaction.

Jay Baer’s post, Does Your Facebook Page Have a Pulse?, talks about the next step.  “Your Facebook fan page needs to be a thriving, growing, active center of engagement between your company and its best customers. Too often today, fan pages are lifeless Yellow Pages ads, with a couple of photos and a stale wall that’s updated twice monthly.” If you simply create a page on Facebook as a placeholder, you aren’t using it to its full potential. You should have a strategy behind Facebook, not a summer intern. Your brand needs to interact with its fans/friends. The information exchanged needs to be valuable for the consumer and you should be measuring your successes. Your successes are not just the number of fans you have because numbers are meaningless if nobody interacts with your placeholder page.

Put in some effort to make your landing page look nice. Call your fans/friends to action, even if the action is to go to another site that you interact with more regularly. Jay Baer calls out Mint, “When you go to their page, you are automatically directed to…become a fan now. That starts the conversion ball rolling.”

He also explains how to change your landing page, ” log-in to a Facebook fan page where you are an administrator, and clicks “Settings” underneath the status update box. Then, change the pull-down called “Default Landing Page for Everyone Else” to be whatever tab you prefer.”

Last, I will reiterate the point of interaction. If you have people seeking out your brand on Facebook, becoming fans/friends/liking your products – DO SOMETHING. Have a contest, create an app or a game that relates to your product. Have your fans/friends upload content. If they really like your brand, they will be excited that you want their input and they will give it to you. Promise. Don’t believe me? Jay Baer provides these stats to prove my point:

A recent Idea Challenges launched by El Monterey Mexican Food (makers of quite deliciousTornados frozen taquitos) showed eye-popping results in the first 72 hours:

  • 550 user content submissions
  • 18,000 ratings and comments on those submissions
  • Average engagement of longer than 4 minutes

Wow. And with all due respect to Tornados, they aren’t exactly Mountain Dew.

The challenge you face now, is not to get the most fans/friends that you can. It is to have quality interactions between your true fans/friends and your brand. Once you do this, your numbers will naturally rise because people will want to be a part of what you’re doing. People will get jealous of their friends’ quality interactions with you. People will get excited. People will get involved. Those people will help your brand grow, and grow, and grow.

Just came across this Mashable Article, “Social Media Dorks Get An Anthem [VIDEO]“. I am officially a ‘new dork’. Since you’re reading this ‘Facebook Etiquette’ blog, you probably are too. Check it out.

Dear Rad Tattoo Getter,

Please wait until the gel, puss, blood, scrapes and scabs are gone before posting your macho tattoo pictures. Those of us who are afraid of needles might find them interesting if you can wait until that point.

Thanks,

Everyone


This article, by Mark Walsh, is about brands transitioning their ‘fan pages’ to storefronts.

‘”Social media is rapidly becoming a critically important vehicle for talking with our customers. Now, with our new iFanStore, we’ve opened up an entirely new sales channel for our seasonal, specialty blends,” said Helen Russell, CEO and co-founder of San Rafael, Calif.-based Equator, in a statement.’

The one thing this article doesn’t mention is the Facebook Marketplace. People have always connected on Facebook. Over time, people started connecting to their favorite brands on Facebook. People also started buying, selling and trading things on the Facebook Marketplace. It would have surprised me if these actions did not converge.

After giving it some thought, I am okay with brands using Facebook as a point of sale. I just hope that those brands don’t lose sight of Facebook’s roots – their first job is to connect with their consumers. Quality interactions with their fans will gain more sales in the end.

‘”What’s often ignored is whether the commercialization of Facebook will hurt its social feel,” said Shiv Singh, vice president and global social media lead at Razorfish.

He suggested that e-commerce activities should be presented in ways that don’t intrude on the conversational flow of Facebook. The success of an e-commerce venture via a Facebook page also depends on the product being sold. “I wouldn’t buy a car from within Facebook but I might buy a T-shirt,” said Singh. Or a pound of coffee?’


This article compares the top trends for 2009 on Facebook and Twitter. The fact that Lady Gaga didn’t make the Twitter list and Michael Jackson didn’t make the Facebook list is astonishing to me but the article is far more fascinating than the lists of topics. The article reminds me of the difference between Facebook and Twitter.

I have said before that Facebook is a place for you to connect with people you actually know. For this reason, on Facebook, the exchange is personal. Simply put, Twitter is an information exchange. Twitter has greater search capabilities and less privacy options [than Facebook] so they have the ability to gather more information. I do not care if you know all of the people you ‘follow’  on Twitter and vice versa.

I like it like this.

If The Real World Was Like Facebook: A user-created photo contest created by Cracked.

Because “Facebook is full of behavior that would get you punched in the real world.”

Check out this article, where a man and his wife update their Facebook ‘Relationship Status’ and Twitter Status from the altar.

“…Before these witnesses and more importantly, before Almighty God. I now pronounce you husband and wife, what God has joined together – let no one separate. (Man reaches for pocket and pulls out a mobile device.) Dana is updating his relationship status on Facebook. (Hands second device to wife.) As I was saying, I now pronounce you husband and wife. It’s official on Facebook, it’s official in my book. Dana, you may kiss your bride.” -The Minister

The birthday section on your Facebook ‘homepage’ should be something you check frequently. Facebook has made it far less acceptable to forget, or God forbid completely miss, a birthday. I suggest going to each of your good friends’ Facebook pages and writing their birthdays in your personal calendar at the beginning of every year.

There are some friends with whom you are (basically) only in contact via Facebook – those friends are people who you can get away with only ‘wall postings’. You should still send your good friends and family members cards, or see them in person (what a novel thought) to celebrate the occasion.

The Facebook ‘wall’, is open for business all year-round. It amuses me when a ‘Wall-to-Wall’ is only birthday wishes. One way to remedy this situation is to personally ‘thank-post’ people who ‘birthday-post’ you. It takes more than a minute to do this but it is worth it. People will be happy or happily surprised that you ‘posted’ them back, nobody will think to themselves, “crap, so and so ‘posted’ on my ‘wall'” if they took the time to ‘birthday-post’ on your ‘wall’.

I recently had a birthday, which got me thinking about this topic. I also came across this conversation.  For the record, I think it is okay to white lie if you only remembered a person’s birthday because of Facebook…at least you didn’t forget.

I would like to dedicate this post to my three Facebook friends with birthdays today: Laura, Craig and Lydia.

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