April 20, 2012

How to create fans-only content on your Facebook page

Attract more Likes with custom tabs and tailored content

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause organizations, brands, businesses, Web publishers, Facebook page administrators and strategists.

John HaydonThe other day you may have read my article in Socialbrite about a foundation that increased their Facebook Page fan base over 1,000 percent in 13 days by using fan gating.

There are lots of ways to do this. One way is to create a custom tab with content viewable only by fans. For example, you might create a video and say, “Like our page to watch the video.” (This is perfectly fine under Facebook’s Terms of Use.)

The 2 1/2-minute video above shows you how to use the Static HTML iframe tabs app — the most popular app for creating custom Facebook Page tabs — to create a fan gate. (Sorry for the jargon: Fan gating refers to the digital welcome mat that organizations put out to attract new fans. Some nonprofits and businesses display certain content or contests only to users who like your Facebook page, inducing newcomers to “unlock” the content behind the tab.)

The Static HTML iframe tabs page on Facebook has an excellent discussion forum where you can learn a lot from other Page administrators. Explore new ways to attract fans for your organization.

April 12, 2012

One way to attract new fans with Facebook Timeline

How one foundation increased Facebook fans by 1000% in 13 days

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause organizations, brands, businesses, Web publishers.

John HaydonAfew weeks ago, Facebook announced that Facebook was doing away with Welcome pages. As with most changes that Facebook makes, the people who hate change were very upset.

The assumption was that fan gating would be less effective. (Fan gating refers to the digital welcome mat that organizations put out to attract new fans. Some nonprofits and businesses display certain content or contests only to users who like your Facebook page, inducing newcomers to “unlock” the content behind the tab.)

But the critics are wrong. Strategy will always trump technology, and the only real limitation is simply a lack of creativity.

For example, Community TechKnowledge increased their Facebook Page fans almost 1,000 percent in 13 days by having Facebook users like their Page to vote for a nonprofit hero. Continue reading

March 29, 2012

What story should you tell in Facebook Timeline?

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause organizations, brands, businesses, Web publishers — anyone with a Facebook Page.

Editor’s note: Facebook is switching over all nonprofit and business pages to the new Timeline format on Friday, March 30. Because so many organizations haven’t yet made the move, or are still figuring out the best approach, we’re devoting this week to help you get ready to make the transition smartly. Contact Socialbrite if you need help.

In this series:
• Monday: 7 tips & cheat sheets to help you implement the new Timeline
• Tuesday: How to shape your nonprofit’s message in Timeline
• Wednesday: Tips on maximizing the new Timeline

John HaydonPinterest Boards and Facebook Page Timelines have given you powerful new ways to tell stories through images.

And while Pinterest has always been about images, the new Facebook Timelines have features that are nudging you to tell a more visual story.

How Facebook is changing how you tell your story

First of all, you can use cover images to create that first brand impression. Covers can (and should) be rotated so that you can tell your story in ways that are fresh and dynamic – like you!

Highlighting allows you to create full-width updates on your page, which helps visitors avoid eyeball headaches when scrolling down your Timeline (here’s a tutorial on cleaning up your Timeline).

Milestones allow you to tell a story with a beginning, middle and now. Milestones represent the major achievements, turning points, setbacks and victories. Continue reading

March 28, 2012

Tips on maximizing the new Timeline for your organization


The new National Wildlife Federation page on Facebook.

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause organizations, brands, businesses, Web publishers — anyone with a Facebook Page.

Editor’s note: Facebook is switching over all nonprofit and business pages to the new Timeline format this Friday, March 30. Because so many organizations haven’t yet made the move, or are still figuring out the best approach, we’re devoting this week to help you get ready to make the transition smartly. Contact Socialbrite if you need help.

In this series:
• Monday: 7 tips & cheat sheets to help you implement the new Timeline
• Tuesday: How to shape your nonprofit’s message in Timeline
• Thursday: What story should you tell in Facebook Timeline?

Shonali BurkeLike it or not, if you administer at least one Facebook Page, you’ll need to face the music Friday when the new Timeline format will go live on all nonprofit, brand and business pages.

I actually opted to switch my business Page over to the new Timeline when it was offered to me, and overall, I like the format a lot. But many people don’t feel the same.

Comfortable with a format that worked for brands

Hy.ly's free eBook on Facebook Timeline for Business PagesThe thing is, we were comfortable with the old format. It allowed brands to set up default landing pages, so when a new visitor arrived at their pages, they would be prompted to first “like” that page in order to access discounts and other promotions.

Companies loved this feature because it allowed them to convert visitors into fans without much work or paid advertising on their part.

It’s not fun being made to get up out of a comfortable armchair, is it? Seventy percent of people polled on Sodahead voted against the new Timeline.

Businesses have been so furious that they will not be given the option to keep the old page design that some threatened, in discussions on posts such as this one, to stop using Facebook entirely. But if you’re like most companies, deleting your Facebook Page isn’t really an option. The network has become so ubiquitous that customers have come to expect companies to have a Facebook presence.

And with over 845 million active users on Facebook, most companies can’t afford not to be on Facebook.

Tips on maximizing the new Timeline

My friends at Hy.ly are dedicated to solving small business problems. So they’ve just released a new eBook titled “Facebook Timeline for Conversions & ROI.” It’s free. I’ve had a look at it and I really like it (and tell me what you think of the design as well when you read it. I think it’s pretty nifty).

It’s not very long, and it gives you some really practical advice on not freaking out over the new Timeline, but making it work for you. Here are three of their tips:

Recover lost traffic

1Immediately after your Page is converted to the Timeline, you will probably notice a drop in traffic, especially if you were using default landing tabs. This is one of the most significant changes for brand pages, since landing tabs were a common social media marketing tactic.

However, according to TechCrunch, only 10 percent of page app traffic was driven by default landing pages, while the remaining 90 percent came from published links and ads. Continue reading

March 26, 2012

7 tips & cheat sheets to help you implement the new Timeline


Socialbrite has not yet switched over to the new Timeline — but we will by Friday!

It’s time to leap into action — the switchover happens Friday

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause organizations, brands, businesses, Web publishers, educators, journalists, general public.

Editor’s note: Facebook is switching over all nonprofit and business pages to the new Timeline format this Friday, March 30. Because so many organizations haven’t yet made the move, or are still figuring out the best approach, we’re devoting this week to help you get ready to make the transition smartly. Contact Socialbrite if you need help.

In this series:
• Tuesday: How to shape your nonprofit’s message in Timeline
• Wednesday: Tips on maximizing the new Timeline
• Thursday: What story should you tell in Facebook Timeline?

Also:
Make Facebook Timeline about your community
How to create Facebook Timeline covers for your nonprofit’s supporters to use
11 ways Facebook Timeline changes your content strategy

Guest post by Beth Kanter
bethkanter.org

If you are an administrator for your organization’s Facebook page, you’ve no doubt noticed the alert that invites you to preview the look of your new page with the option of publishing it for all the world to see. Between now and March 30, only page administrators can see the changes, if you haven’t set it live yet. On Friday, Facebook will flip the switch for everyone. Many large nonprofits and big brands already have.

Livestrong is one of the nonprofit early adopters that has published its brand page using the new format. Others are exploring and testing and fixing glitches or simply checking out the new features, like the administrator’s dashboard. Time is runnnig out, so you have a few days left to review the changes, figure out a strategy and implement the changes.

Recommendations on optimizing your new Timeline

Here are my suggestions:

1Strategy and work flow. Understand how the changes impact your editorial strategy and how you will administrator the page. I shared a couple of resources and tips that you can use to have a brief strategy discussion with your team. After you have identified how you will integrate your branding strategy, revise your editorial/content strategy, and administrative work flow, you’re ready to get into some nitty gritty.

2Take the tour. Block out an hour to sit down and take the tour and preview your page. I would print out a copy of this useful guide published by Facebook that summarizes the feature changes. Go through the tour and take notes. See if your old profile image works with the new format. You might also want to check out how some brands have already implemented the changes. Mashable has this post on preparing for your new page. Continue reading

March 21, 2012

How to clean up your Facebook Timeline

Make your Facebook page easier to scan with these simple steps

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause organizations, brands, businesses, public figures — anyone with a Facebook Page.

John HaydonIf you have a Facebook page (rather than a simple profile), you should be preparing for the switchover to Facebook Timeline, which is coming to all pages on March 30.

Did you know you can fix up the look of your Timeline? Not the cover image at top, but the two rows of updates underneath. This 3-minute video shows you how to clean up your Facebook page Timeline by:

  • Hiding posts
  • Changing dates
  • Creating full-width posts
  • Repositioning photos

Do you have any other tips?

Related

Make Facebook Timeline about your community (Socialbrite)

11 ways Facebook Timeline changes your content strategy (Socialbrite)

What Facebook Timeline apps are really all about (Socialbrite)