When you think of the term “Social Media” often the first thing that comes to mind is Facebook, am I right? But actually social media is so much more than that! It refers to a ever widening range of all sorts of internet goodness that allow users to easily exchange information and interact with each other.
I know I’ve mentioned Pinterest to you before, which is gaining lots of organic momentum. I can’t tell you how many times in the last several months that my friends have asked me “Have you heard of Pinterest?!” and my response is “Psssh, old news! haha”.
Well, my latest finding is along the same lines and it has me equally infatuated! It’s a new website called Currently Obsessed! It’s a place where you can choose to ”stalk” your favorite fashion bloggers and see what they’re loving and buying! In your account you make a list of those you want to follow and in a layout display similar to Pinterest, you will see a line up of cascading images of all the products that those on your list desire. When (not if) something catches your eye, just click on it and a small pop-up box will appear with a quick summary of what you’re looking at. If you’re still feeling it (translation: the price is right), click on the Buy button to be redirected to the original site to make your purchase! Or if you love it and want to save it for later just add it to your list of favorites by clicking on the heart in the bottom corner.
And you can bet that this site is tracking all sorts of data on what’s being looked at and what is being clicked on. Information that can provide insight on trends and consumer wants. Information that can help the individual brands and the industry in general. Information that can even be used to direct and influence future sales.
I know a lot of you out there are thinking “Okay, great! I don’t care about shoes and purses, how does this apply to plants?” Look at the big picture. Yes, this is a website about fashion. But, what I’m trying to show you is that the way we think and share information is rapidly changing. Loads of information is created and shared daily on the web. Exchanging ideas and information is instant and often spreads at an exponential rate. Overnight, these sort of sites can take an obscure, unknown artist or product and make it the next hot thing, and the information that they gather and can provide alone would be very insightful.
Now, let’s put our minds together and figure out how we can apply this sort of organized frenzy to our industry!
Okay, so now you have your basic Facebook fan page set up and filled in with all the fluffy stuff about your company – now let’s take personalizing your page to the next level! If you haven’t done so yet check my previous tutorial.
- Let’s start with a basic welcome page that visitors can land on when they go to your fan page. Here you can simply greet them or you can also provide your viewer with an incentive to interact with your page and step up from being a mere visitor to a fan.
- First, you’ll need to install an app to your page. It’s very easy, just click here to go to to the Static HTML iFrame Tabs page and click on the button ‘Add Static HTML to a Page’. It will take you to another page where you’ll want to select ‘Allow’.
- Now let’s think about what message/image you want on your landing page. Do you just want to say ‘Hello, thanks for stopping by’ or ask them to ‘Like’ your page to gain access to a fans only deal or coupon…put whatever you want your fans to first see here. Your width must be 520 pixels wide, but you can vary the height if you want to, 520×500 is a good general size. You also have the option to create another message that will greet your existing fans as well (or you can just have the one message for all fans). I just created two different images with different messages – nothing fancy, just a little greeting (I used Adobe Illustrator to design it and then exported it from there as an image).
- Next, you’ll want to insert that image into the landing page itself. On your fan page scroll down and find the ‘Welcome’ link on the bottom left hand corner of your page, below your profile image.
- Click on the ‘Welcome’ link and it will bring up your landing page settings so that you can edit its appearance.
- In the top box you’ll enter in your code that will greet your visitors and potential fans when they stumble across your page (big arrow). In the box below that (small arrow) you can enter in the code that you would like exisitng fans to see or if you’d like both fans and non-fans alike to see the same image, just leave that box blank.
- Not familiar with coding? Don’t worry you don’t have to be. Here is some basic code to insert into your top box. This will pop-up a new window. Highlight all the text. Right click and select copy or just hit Control and C on your keyboard to copy the selected code.
- Then, go back to your landing page settings and click inside the top box. Right click and select paste or just hit Control and V on your keyboard to paste the code inside the box.
- Now, you’ll need to edit that code to apply to the image you’ve created for your landing page.
- You can adjust the height here (see small arrow) to match your image size (leave the width alone).
- Enter your image URL here (see big arrow).
- And if you want to enter in the code for that second box that will greet existing fans click here and follow the same process as above, but enter in the corresponding URL address.
- Click on ’Save’ in the upper right hand corner above the top box and you’re all set!
*If you aren’t used to uploading images for things like your website, you can also always use something like Dropbox (which is free!) to store the image files and then copy the URL from the Public folder in your account.
Since this tutorial turned out to be a bit longer than I expected, I’ll have to break down the FB apps further…we’ll go over adding other applications (connecting your mailing list, blog…) to your Facebook page in separate tutorials to follow!
Next up - since I barely touched upon it here – will be adding discount offers to your fan page that are limited to fans only. This will help to encourage viewers to ’Like’ your page. Although some argue that these are fake likes and this doesn’t provide you with a real indication of your following - it’s more about cheapos trying to get a discount. On the other hand it also is a way to get existing and new viewers excited about your company and get them to check in on what you’re doing. You can decide for yourself what you want to do, I’ll just show you how!
Marketing on a budget 101.
It’s basically what I get paid to do at the nursery. Although we’re not a tiny backyard grower, we’re no where near some of our ginormous counterparts either (unfortunately my last name isn’t Ball), so here’s where getting creative comes into play. Technology has really leveled the playing field out there and with a little ingenuity and a dash of originality you can still leave your mark for the whole green world to see!
I’m going to start a series of tutorials that will show you how to make the most of your limited marketing dollars so that you have no more excuses as to why you’re not in the loop (you can afford this, it’s free!). And first on that list…Facebook! With all the hype around it, I bet you’re dying to jump on board, right?! But, before you do go off frustrating yourself trying to set up a fan page for your company – pause and give it some real thought. I highly suggest you think about who your customers are or who the potential customer is that you’re trying to reach. Are they the sort to use Facebook? Do most of them even have a Facebook page or one that they check more than once a month? Facebook is not a marketing tool that makes sense for everyone. So give it a little thought and make sure you’re spending your time on something that is going to make sense for you.
While you’re thinking, you also may be pondering why you might need a Facebook fan page anyways – I’ll tell you why. Because if your customers are constantly on Facebook, doesn’t it make sense that you want to go where your customers are…so that you can reach them, interact with them…to hopefully create a relationship with them…to hopefully build brand recognition and brand loyalty with them…to have them love you so much that they want to tell all their friends about you too, who will tell their friends and so on and so on…hmm yes please, right!
I’m going to assume you have a basic understanding of Facebook – like you know what a wall is…If not let me know - you’ll need a whole other tutorial before you get to this tutorial…
- Sooo, first off, go to www.facebook.com and click on ‘Create a Page’ in the bottom right hand corner or if you’re logged in, scroll down to the bottom of the page (you may want to go to a static page like your info so it won’t keep adding new wall posts or your news feed) and click on ‘Create a Page’:
or, if you’re already logged in:
- Next, select the category that applies to you (Local Business, Company, Artist, Band…) – don’t worry you can change it later if you need to. Click to agree to the terms and then hit the ‘Get Started’ button.
- Upload your profile pic. I suggest maximizing this space since it’s going to be one the first and most prominent things your fans will see on your page. Currently, the largest pic you can use is 180 x 540 pixels. If you’re stressing out about how to make your profile pic these exact dimensions don’t worry - it doesnt’ have to be at these dimensions – you can upload what you have on hand and you can always change it later.
- Get fans – you can invite your existing Facebook friends or import contacts from your email list and even post news of your new fancy fan page on your own personal fb wall.
- Add basic info – like your website and some info about your fan page. Again, don’t worry you can always edit this if you wish to later.
Woo hoo! You’re getting there! You should have your basic fan page all set up! Now, let’s add some personal touches and more info to let fans know what you’re all about!
- Click on either of these links – ‘Edit Info’ or ‘Edit Page’ – they’ll take you to the same place…where you can edit your information and further customize your fan page.
- Access your options on the left to make changes to your page. You can also edit your permission settings here and check your page stats under Insights.
- Click on ‘View Page’ in the upper right hand corner to exit out of your settings and return to your fan page.
- Now let’s add some pictures! Scroll down slightly, and on the far left, under your profile image, click on ‘Photos’. This will show you any pictures and picture albums you currently have.
- Click on ‘Upload Photos’ in the upper right hand corner to add more images.
…And you’ve done it! You’ve made your very own Facebook fan page! Awesome! In the next tutorial I’ll show you how to further personalize your page and link it to your existing (or soon to be) marketing efforts such as your blog or mailing list! And we’ll also create a Welcome Page that viewers will land on so that you can initially greet your fans or deliver a call to action.
Have you heard about Pinterest yet? Nooo!?!
Well, you should definitely check it out! It’s catching on super fast and it’s the next hot thing in social media.
Pinterest is like a virtual pinboard. You can create different boards for anything you want and “pin” items off of the web and onto the boards you’ve created. Say you want to gather ideas for a kitchen remodel – you can create a board and title it My Kitchen – and then “pin” any inspirational images or helpful information from the internet to your board for future reference.
You can see what others are “pinning”, and if you like what you see you can “repin” it to your board or you can click to follow them so that you can stay updated on their future pins! You can like pins and comment on them too.
I have all sorts of boards right now – Food, Home Stylin, Fashion, DIY, Parties!, Tutorials, Gifts…my favorite is my Inspiration board. When you’re feeling pangs of self-doubt it’s nice to bombard yourself with an overflow of motivational sayings and what-not to kick your booty back into gear!
It’s sooo convenient and a great way to organize ideas, inspiration, your Christmas list…whatever the heck you want to create a board for! It’s also visually appealing and very clean so it makes it even more addicting to use! I can literally waste hours on this thing – yes hours! - during work hours I refer to it as conducting research
Think outside of the box and consider how it can do more for you than just organizing the pretty little nothings you want to collect. Perhaps you could create a board about garden ideas, or various color combinations, or create different categories to organize plants - by water requirements, or by style. You can list your pinterest button on your website – just like you do with facebook – and people can follow you and subscribe to any of your boards on pinterest! It’s like sharing your ideas and inspiration directly with your customers and colleagues!
What are you waiting for?! Go over to Pinterest and check it out!
Did I also tell you, that you can download it for your Iphone and Ipad too – and you can connect it to your Facebook account as well…