Archive for February, 2012

Sometimes I think about what kinds of stories I’m going to tell my grandchildren, which leads me to then consider leaving the comfort of the Shire for own personal quest into Mordor so I can actually have a good story to tell them. With what’s been happening lately surrounding online privacy leads me to believe that the stories I’m going to tell my grandkids will start out along the lines of, “When I was your age, we had something called privacy…”

If you didn’t know, Google uses your IP address when you search so that it will, in its ‘all seeing eyes’, give you the most relevant search results based on your search location. Next time you’re on Google, look off to the left and you’ll see something like this: –>

I understand why they’re trying to make things more convenient for searchers, but as Nobel Laureate, Milton Friedman, once observed:

“Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who created it.”

But I digress.

The real question lies in, for better or for worse, how can we use this tool get more visibility for content (i.e. websites, blog posts, articles, Facebook fan pages, etc.) we influence? By embracing this knowledge of how Google is running search, we can add another source of content we influence that will be prominently displayed in Google search results.

If I search for Vector Marketing Kitchenerhere is the result I get:

A few things that I notice from the search results that are influenced directly by the manager in that territory:

  1. The top result is the office’s fan page. Here are instructions about how to set up a Facebook fan page for your office and directions on how to set up your page so it follows Vector’s branding policy
  2. The Google Map shows the location of the office, which makes it easier for people to find.
  3. The fourth result down is the address that creates the map, through Google Places.

When the address is clicked on, a new window opens that shows a bit more information about the office as it’s represented in Google Places:

You can add pictures of your office so people can see what it looks like from the outside, ask your current reps to write reviews about their experience. Before you start trying to create this on your own, check your emails for a message from Fred sent at the end of January that explains how we will get a Google Place up and running for your office:

Why spend the time to do this?

Because it creates a site (your office’s Google Place profile) that ranks high in Google search that you can directly influence. You want your content to be in front of people when they search for Vector Marketing from an IP address in your territory.

Here’s a three minute video walking through what’s being explained.

Stay in the “social media training” loop by subscribing to the blog.

I don’t watch much television. Most of what comes from mainstream programming is way too neg for me. When I am afforded the rare opportunity to waste some time (recently, 8:00 on Monday nights on ABC), I get more excited during the commercials. I like seeing what brands are innovating with their calls to action (CTA) than I do with the carefully crafted, population-dumbing programming.

During the Superbowl, six brands added a hashtag at the end of the commercial to encourage people to carry the conversation to twitter after the spot aired. When Audi included the #SoLongVampires hashtag at the end of their commercial, mentions of Audi quadrupled during the Super Bowl over the week prior, and #SoLongVampires became a trending topic on twitter. Adding a hashtag as the CTA is still new, and it will be interesting to see what, if any, the benefits will be for brands that experiment with this path.

What I have yet to see, however, is a frictionless way for brands to reap fans for their Facebook pages. Let me explain. Most CTAs say something along the lines of “like us on Facebook” or they give an address to go to a la Facebook.com/MyBrand. The problem with these approaches is that I’m not going to go there unless I have a computer in front of me (imagine pulling out your phone, opening the browser or Facebook app, searching for the brand, etc.). And if I don’t do it right then, chances are likely I won’t remember to do it later.

With the rise of mobile, I’m surprised calls to action are not encouraging potential clients to like their page via text messaging. If the lure to become a fan remains the same (i.e. some sort of giveaway or contest), why not make the process of liking the page as frictionless as possible?

People can like your page from their phone without logging onto Facebook

Here’s how this works.

After you’ve set up your page, been liked by at least 25 people, and grabbed your page’s username, or Vanity URL, you are ready to cease friction.

As you can see in the image, to get people to like your page, all they need to do is text:

Like [Your Page’s Username] to 32665

Benefits of encouraging people to like your page via text message:

  • It’s easy
  • They don’t have to search for your page
  • They don’t have to remember the URL to come back at a later point if they don’t have their computer handy.

A word of caution: When someone likes your page this way, they will get every update you make as a page via text message. Posting five or more times a day as your page is a guaranteed way to annoy people. You may want to encourage them to ‘unsubscribe’ via text message as this will not cause them to unlike your page. But use caution with the frequency of posts.

Reducing friction at this magnitude has the potential to greatly increase your fan base giving you more people who grant you permission to meaningfully engage them.

Stay in the “social media training” loop by subscribing to the blog.

One of the most common questions I get (besides “how do I set up a page for my office” is “How do I tag people who are fans of my page?

In this quick video, you’ll find out just how to do that.

A couple of things to remember:

  • You can only tag someone who you are personally friends with on Facebook. If you’re hesitant about accepting friend requests from people because of privacy concerns, find out how to create lists for your Facebook friends and set the privacy settings accordingly.
  • As a page, you cannot tag someone in an initial post. See the video for more details.
  • You CAN tag someone on your page if you make a post as the page and one of your fans comments on that post. See the video for more details.

In this tutorial, also learn how to:

  • Switch between using Facebook as your page so you can post as your page, and using Facebook as yourself so you can post on your page as you.
  • How to properly set the thumbnail of your profile picture so it represents your brand well
  • See what happens in Google search when your page is optimized effectively
Stay in the “social media training” loop by subscribing to the blog.

As noted in the Branding Guidelines For Your Office’s Fan Pagesetting up a Facebook vanity URL for your page will reduce friction for people searching for your page. You will simply be able to direct people to Facebook.com/YourVanityURL .

There are a couple of important notes to remember when selecting a URL for your office:

  1. Include Vector Marketing in the name
  2. Include your office’s territory
  3. Refrain from slang or your office’s slogan that only your team knows

The reason for this is simple: URLs are heavily weighted by search engines, so it’s important to set the URL with keywords for which people are potentially searching. There is a high likelihood that people in your territory will search for Vector Marketing while the likelihood that someone in your territory will search for the dynasty office is slim to none.

For an A to Z explanation about how to set it up, watch the clip.

Stay in the “social media training” loop by subscribing to the blog.

Once you’ve created lists and categorized each of your friends (and set the privacy settings accordingly), and once you understand the branding guidelines for your office’s page, it’s time to actually set up the page.

The below video will walk you through the necessary steps to get your page up and running.

 

 

Here’s the good news: If you don’t have a page already set up for your office, we will do it for you! Click here and fill out the official fan page request form and follow the instructions and you’ll be up and running in no time.

If you have a page already, but don’t have your custom branded Vector logo, send us an email at vectorpr@cutco.com and be sure to include your office’s name and we’ll create a custom logo for you.

A quick reminder about the branding guidelines for your office’s page: the custom Vector logo needs to be the profile picture, and the thumbnail should be set so that the “Vector V” is the only thing visible in the thumbnail.

NOTE: If you do already have a page, please add Stephanie W as a friend and make her an admin on your page. We won’t be posting on your page, but this will help us keep track of the pages we have that are live.