What Would a Business Page Look Like on the New Facebook Timeline? We Want to Hear From You!

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 6, 2011

By now, it's pretty much common knowledge that Facebook is releasing a fancy new profile style called Timeline. While its full-scale launch has been pushed back due in part to a legal skirmish, some users have been given early access to the Timeline. (You can check out my recap of the changes at "The Gremln Guide to Facebook's New Timeline.") It should be rolling out to all users soon.

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Topics: branding, Business, facebook, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, Timeline

The Week in Social Media - 9.30.11

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 30, 2011

"The Week in Social Media" is a new Friday series on the Gremln Blog where we highlight some of the important social media news stories from the past week.

Facebook's major redesign announcement last week has caused quite a ripple effect of media coverage, which has carried over into this week and overshadowed much of the more recent social media news. Here are a handful of the stories you might have missed.

Google+ Gets Bigger
Spurred on by the frustration many people felt about Facebook's latest round of design changes, the now-open-to-the-public Google+ made huge gains this week in terms of user numbers. According to "Google+ unofficial statistician" Paul Allen, G+ hit 50 million users faster than any other major social network.

Google+ traffic surges, closes in on MySpace, LinkedIn

G+ hit 50 million users today

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Topics: facebook, google+, google plus, gremln, news, social media, Social Media News, twitter

The Gremln Guide to Facebook's New Timeline

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 27, 2011

It may not exactly be a surprise to hear that Facebook is preparing to make some more changes to its seemingly ever-shifting profile pages. But unlike Facebook tweaks of the past, the recently announced Timeline update is a complete overhaul for the popular social network. As Facebook faces more and more competition from strengthening social networks like Twitter and Google+, it’s looking to reinvent itself in order to become “stickier.” In other words, Facebook wants its users to stick around Facebook for longer periods of time. The Timeline redesign is one effort to get people to do just that.

I was able to get a sneak peek at how the new Facebook profile pages will look when Timeline is released to the public later this month. All in all, I find the new design to be pretty slick. The profile page has moved to an overall more vertical design, opting for one wide column instead of the current three columns.

The top of the page now features a large “cover” photo that spans the entire width of the profile page. The typical profile photo that we’re used to is now a square in the bottom left corner of the cover photo. As one of our Twitter followers pointed out, this part of the redesign gives the profile page the feel of a blog; a large graphic masthead centered over the content below.

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Topics: business, education, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, Social Media Education, Social Media for Small Business, Social Media Updates, Timeline, twitter, update

Social Media Time! (A Very Special Gremln Survey)

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 22, 2011

When it comes to social media marketing, timing is everything. After all, 2am might not be the best time for Olive Garden to share its lunch specials, but it's probably a great time to market some Lunesta. Your social media strategies are going to be most successful if they're hitting your target audience at the perfect time, and unless you've just installed a flux capacitor in your DeLorean, there's not a whole lot of margin for error.

What if you knew when the biggest portion of your target audience would be focusing its attention on Facebook? What if you could schedule your tweets to go out every day at exactly the right time to reach the most potential customers? What if you could predict the future behavior of your target market?

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Topics: business, facebook, Foursquare, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, Gremln News, linkedin, Marketing, ROI, social media, survey, twitter

Beating Back the Boredom: How your social media marketing campaign can outlast your fans’ short attention spans

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 7, 2011

Bad news: Social media is killing your attention span. In fact, you’ve probably stopped reading this post already. If you’re still going, I applaud your strength and perseverance. You are truly an inspiration to us all.

How often do you log on to Facebook? Once every day? Once every hour? Once every seven seconds? I admit, I’m closer to the latter, and a lot of you probably are too. I check in on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ like a hyperactive six year old switches between Saturday morning cartoons, and when I do, I expect to see something new and exciting happening. Every single time.

That may be a little unreasonable (and it puts a heck of a lot of pressure on my friends), but it’s what social media has trained us to expect. It’s true for me, it’s probably true for you, and I can almost guarantee it’s true for your customer base. With the ever-shrinking attention span of the social media public, I can’t help but wonder—what’s the reasonable lifespan of a social media marketing strategy?

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Topics: Business, business, education, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, strategy, twitter

Social Discounts - 5 great ways to discount using social media

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 31, 2011

When it comes to selling your product, “discount” can be a tricky word. On one hand, discounts can be great for luring new customers or bringing back old ones, and they can also help move old inventory. But on the other hand, discounts often attract customers who are more price sensitive and less brand loyal. Discount purchasers are less likely to come back for more.

The reason is simple. Although you are giving buyers a reason to purchase (my wife would gladly trade my left arm for 40% off a yoga mat), you’re not giving them any reason to be charmed. There’s no interaction, no engagement, no reason for someone to think, “Wow, this company really is something.”

But all is not lost! There’s still room for the discount in our highly connected, prove-that-you-deserve-my-loyalty-or-I’ll-go-online-and-find-someone-who-is world. Enter the social discount.

Part traditional discount, part social networking, the social discount allows you to attract price sensitive customers and strengthen your company’s brand. The next time you feel the urge to blanket the town with 10% off coupons, consider using one of these social discounting methods instead.

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Topics: Business, business, discount, facebook, gremlin, gremln, Groupon, Marketing, money, ROI, SCVNGR, social media, tips, twitter

Staying Afloat in a Sea of Likes - 5 ways to stay relevant on Facebook

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 23, 2011

Just five years ago, Facebook was a virtual corporate wasteland. Business leaders weren’t really taking the social network seriously as a marketing outlet yet, and Facebook wasn’t trying very hard to convince them otherwise. Pages hadn’t yet been introduced, and any company wanting a Facebook presence had to create either a group or an entirely new account under a fake name, like Mr. Radio Shack, a 35-year-old male from Fort Worth, Texas whose interests included batteries, transmitters, and R/C racers.

Facebook was piling on new users faster than anyone believed possible, but despite the growing pool of worldwide consumers using the service, businesses shied away.

That’s all changed, of course. Facebook is no longer a subject of skepticism, and we’re now faced with the opposite problem; there are millions of businesses on Facebook. When you’re competing with 1.5 million other businesses for the public’s attention, you need to do a few things to stand out.

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Topics: Business, education, facebook, gremlin, gremln, like, Marketing, ROI, social media

Digital Disappointment: Four reasons businesses flop on social media

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 4, 2011

A landscaper once told me that he found social media to be a useless marketing tool. His attempts to expand his customer base by way of social networking consistently fell flat, and his time investment gave him little, if any, return. He wanted to know why he should spend so much time cultivating his Facebook page if it wasn’t going to help his business.

It's a question that a lot of business owners have. There’s a never-ending stream of buzz lauding the terrific marketing powers of social media, but let’s face it. It’s not working for everyone. The aforementioned landscaper’s Facebook page currently has about 20 fans, despite being created more than three months ago. He’s right, social media clearly isn’t working for him. So what gives?

The simple fact is, he was promised too much. All too often, small business owners buy wholeheartedly into a few fallacies of social media marketing that are showered down upon them by their friends, family, and news media, only to find that social networking doesn’t live up to their expectations. When this happens, it’s easy to become disillusioned with the idea of social media marketing in an extremely short period of time.

In order to help curb such negative experiences, here’s a look at a few of those misconceptions and the corresponding truths about social media marketing.

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Topics: Business, business, facebook, Foursquare, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, linkedin, Marketing, ROI, social media, twitter

Opening the Floodgates: How like-gating impacts the social media marketing dynamic

Posted by Clayton Smith on August 1, 2011

Last week, for our Social Media 101 series, I wrote on the topic of like-gating. Today, we’ll look a little more closely at the concept and its impact on the business-consumer relationship.

A quick refresher: Like-gating is when a company requires a Facebook user to like its Facebook page before accessing exclusive content. The benefit of this strategy for the company is easy to see. People want exclusive content, so they like the page on Facebook, thus increasing the overall number of page fans and expanding the company’s digital audience.

Every time a person likes a company on Facebook, the company’s posts flow through the person’s Facebook news feed. The more people who see the post, the more the marketing message spreads, and the higher the company’s potential ROI on its social media marketing becomes. Because of this, likes have become a serious social currency. Like-gating is one way to leverage the phenomenon—but what impact is like-gating having on the business-consumer relationship?

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Topics: Business, business, facebook, gremlin, gremln, like, like-gate, Marketing, ROI, social media, tips

Social Media 101: Like-gating

Posted by Clayton Smith on July 28, 2011

“Social Media 101” is a series for social media beginners where we discuss the basics of social media marketing. Today, we define the term “like-gating.”

Like-gating is when a company requires Facebook users to “like” its Facebook page before allowing them to access exclusive content. This is usually done by way of a welcome tab that a visitor sees upon his first visit to the Facebook page, but the like-gate can be any tab on the page and is not limited to just the welcome tab.

The term comes from the fact that the “like” button acts as a gateway to the exclusive content, hence a like-gate. However, this “like” button barrier is sometimes also referred to as a “fangate” because clicking the “like” button makes you a “fan” of the Facebook page.

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Topics: 101, business, facebook, gremlin, like, like-gate, like-gating, Marketing, ROI, social media, Social Media Education

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