Google+ Communities: Do You Need/Want to Start?

Have you heard about Google+ Communities? Yeah… that’s a thing now. If this sounds vaguely familiar, perhaps you’re thinking about Google Groups, which is basically a forum that supports discussion groups based  on common interests. If Communities is reminding you of a Facebook service, that would be Facebook Groups.

Confused yet? Instead of arguing about who started what and who is copying whom, let’s take a look a quick look at these new Communities:

What is it?
Gather together“, “Have rich conversations“, and “Explore your interests“. No, these aren’t requirements of “The Finer Things Club”, but rather a brief description of what Communities have to offer. In short, 1) find things that interest you, 2) join, 3) invite others and 4) contribute away.

What do you do?
You can easily find, categorize and you can even participate in topics that you’re interested via Hangouts. If you’re lucky enough to find a free topic, you can even create and moderate your own Community. Remember, this isn’t your personal/business page or a place to promote yourself. I’m assuming that Communities were meant for personal social networking and actual discussions, not sales pitches.

Are you going to participate and do you need to?
If you’re an active Google + user, Communities might be the next best thing you’re looking for. Since so many people are comparing Communities to Facebook Groups, which I’ve seen used on a more personal and private level, we’ll just see what Google has in store. Will the content be publicly indexed like Google Groups or will it have the option to be more on more of a lock down like Facebook Groups?

I highly doubt Google Communities will be as mainstream as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ so depending on your consumer base, personal interest and resources, Communities might now be helpful for your business. On the other hand, if you’re in the business of mixing, mingling, learning different things and potentially opening new doorways, Communities might come handy.

Do you plan on participating in Google Communities? Check out these related articles and let us know:

Google Communities Might Best Facebook Groups, But How Long Before We Rebel?
Google launches Google+ Communities, competitor to Facebook Groups
Google+ Communities: Good for Users, Marketers, and Google

Facebook Timeline for Businesses Arrives

We all knew this coming. So now that it’s here, how do you feel about the new Facebook Timeline for businesses and how it changes the game for social media marketing?

No More Default Landing Tabs – The Biggest Change
Most users where upset with the changes, so how do you think businesses will feel about the new Timeline rolling out to their Pages? Most are upset that there is no longer a main landing tab where businesses can conduct contests and other promotional strategies that were also known as “Like-Gating“.

Alternatives for Promotion
But don’t fret quite just yet. This is still possible! Check out Macy’s Win a Million tab (box?). This is example of how you can run these types of contests to engage with fans. Sure, Facebook makes things more difficult and is trying to get more businesses to spend more money in their ads, but it IS still possible. This is where a website marketing firm can come handy! To keep you in the loop with new information and to help out with creating graphics, applications and whatever else your business needs.

Key Features to Utilize
The new Timeline will force businesses to be more creative – from the cover photo to new content and even displaying company history. For business owners who are worried about their Page looking empty or inactive, the Timeline creates opportunity to populate more information that will be helpful for customers. Make sure to take advantage of this and fill out:

– Company history in the About section and adding Milestones. This can be robust as you want and you can fill out as much detail as you want.
– Monitor and show or hide the “Recent Posts by Others” Section. This part reminds me of a Twitter feed that you’ll have to keep your eye on for negative or spammy comments.
– “Pin” your posts at the top of your Page. (Pinterest, anyone?) Important posts can be highlighted at the top of your page for up to 1 whole week.

Make sure to carefully read Facebook’s new guidelines for Pages – for more on what you can and can’t do. Ahem, NO promotional language in the cover photo. This is just one of many, so make sure you’re playing by Facebook’s rules!
Also, check out the Emarketed Timeline and share yours with us!

Facebook Marketing: Do You Feel Left in the Dark?

If you use Facebook, you’ll know that there are constant updates and policy changes. For businesses, these changes can have a big impact on the way you use Facebook as a platform.

Companies Leave Facebook

Recently, Facebook denied drug companies the option to disable public comments on their Wall. As a result, companies such as Bayer and Purdue Pharma have removed affiliated Pages from Facebook. Public comments can make small businesses feel uneasy but is it best to run and hide? In the case of these pharmaceutical companies, the situation is more complicated than what a local business will normally encounter. The actions depend on the situation and the outcome is a strong reflection of the brand.

Are Fans Ignoring Your Page?

Managing  a Facebook Page takes a  special balance of skills. Patience, creativity and common sense will come in handy, but what happens when customers are ignoring your status updates or not interacting as much? If this is the case, they most likely aren’t interested in your updates.  A customer can like your brand but keep scrolling past updates that they can’t relate to. For example on the Emarketed Facebook Page, we don’t just update about SEO. We like to post about all the different aspects of internet marketing.

Another reason why fans might not be interacting with your Page is that your posts will disappear from their default News Feed if they continuously pass your posts by! I noticed this when certain Pages I Like and Friends’ posts weren’t showing up in my Feed. Here’s how to fix the problem:

Login and as you look at your News Feed click the Most Recent dropdown.
Click Edit Options (at the very bottom) and then in the Show posts from area, click: ‘All of your friends and pages’.
The default option is ‘Show posts from: Friends and pages you interact with most’.

Need Help with Social Media Marketing?

A crucial part of marketing on Facebook is analyzing your improvement and adapt whenever and wherever necessary. We know what it takes to invest time and effort to keep up with all the constant changes. If you’re interested in social media marketing for your small business but don’t know where to start, we are here to help – contact us today!