Thursday, September 9, 2010

Will you soon pay for your social media accounts?

Social media is witnessing an impressive growth in terms of usage, visits and interactivity. Facebook now has half a billion registered users only 6 years after its launch (Source: Mashable), Twitter unique visitors in June 2010 surpassed visitors of the same month in 2009 by an impressive 109% (Source: Marketing Charts), Linkedin celebrated its forty million users in its 6 anniversary as well on May 2009 (Source: Linkedin) and so on, practically every type of social networking platform is living a growth, whether targeting the global populace or niche markets.

Commonly, corporates are also tapping into the social networking world, and creating profiles, pages, group...etc... and engaging their customers on a daily basis, getting feedback, promoting and awarding. Leading social networking sites offer customization of URLs, for example:; Twitter account most often represent brands rather than personal names, with this impressive growth and a "want" turning into a "need" would those usernames remain for free?

Facebook guarantees that it would not allow selling of page URLs (transfer prohibited), but can it also protect usernames creation? and if Yes, how long would the process take in order to prove, validate and give back a username and a page URL?
Something to think about, since ICANN also protects brands when it comes to domain names, but it is quite a long process (and sometimes costly), maybe time is something a corporate cannot afford, so it might choose to pay a couple of thousands of dollars to the "username" holder and skip the long validation process.

One has to think about the next steps, since social media has become an essential part of any corporate presence and a main traffic generator for any website, will you be able to secure your accounts on all social media platforms? or would you have to buy them from an "auctions" site?

Makes you wonder...

Friday, September 3, 2010

9 things to consider on your Facebook page

Facebook business pages are showing great success when it comes to brand awareness and engaging users. It has been proven that social media is the next best thing to have when you are tapping into the digital world, and since Facebook is one of the most growing social networking site (recently passed half a billion users), it is very important to consider the below point when managing your Facebook page:

1. Consistent: Decide on whether you want to engage users using "I", "WE" or "Brand-Name" and stick to it throughout the lifetime of your page. People need to feel that they are talking to a "person", so this "person" needs to have a tone, character, attitude and specific communication skills.

2. Consice: People will visit and ask you questions, answer concisely with detailed step by step procedures in order to help your users (YES! time consuming, but very beneficial on the long run) other words, avoid the common tagline: "Visit our website for more information"

3. Clutter: Be easy on adding new tabs, remember that it is a Facebook "PAGE", keep on updating your page and remove whatever has become obsolete, remember that the page is to create an engaging platform, while your website should hold the archives

4. Spam: Do not spam users with boring news and links, make sure that you are constantly engaging them, asking questions, gathering insights...etc... Frequent posts about "standard" news items might increase your "dislike" rate. Remember Facebook is not a business platform, everything there is suppose to be fun!

5. Compete: Your Facebook page should not compete with your website, on the contrary it should act as a supporting tool to drive more traffic to the website, put snapshots on the pages and make sure you redirect people to your website

6. Organize: Manage the topics you are discussing properly (whether on your wall or on your discussion tabs), make sure you give ample time to users to participate and share their thoughts before starting up another topic. Remove obsolete items or old items, the Facebook page is an engaging platform, not an archive.

7. Enjoy: Depending on the type of your business, you need to select your proper tone: Are you friendly?, strictly business? Preferably to aim for the friendly tone and engage in a 1-1 communication. Do not hesitate to include smillie faces whenever appropriate. In brief: create an enjoyable atmosphere

8. Escalate: You will receive complaints on your wall, maybe due to a mishap with one of your users, a complaints about the service or product you offer; in all cases, carefully review when to handle things openly on the Facebook wall, and know when to escalate and move to a private conversation. You might move the conversation to private messaging, emails or ask the user to re-submit his complaint on the website (You might as well do that for him and share with him the tracking number)

9. Time: Make sure you plan and time your activities on Facebook properly, do not create large gaps of time between events or conversation triggers, and vice versa, do not flood your fans with constant new posts. Plan properly and adjust your timings as per your audience and stick to it. Going silent for a long while will result in some "dislikes"