Saturday, September 18, 2010

Facebook and Your Website

If you only have a website, and not a proper facebook business page, you are missing a vital part of your marketing plan! Websites are perfect for company information, showcasing products, news and giving the "facts" about your company. However, websites have always had their weaknesses.

Websites rely on being "found." Since each site has a unique address (URL) a person must actually type it in...if they even know it. Those unfamiliar with your URL may have to search for it via a search engine, adding another layer of complexity. As well, a visit to a website is "secretive." In other words, none of your friends know that last night at 8:45, you went to because you wanted to check out the latest pens. In the end, a website is a brand-driven, one way conversation from the company to the end user. It does very little to solidify customer loyalty or address the issue of social validity/trust.

In comes Facebook. Never before have we had such a Yin-Yang relationship for marketing your company online! Where a website fails, Facebook has it's greatest strengths. In tandem, they create a complete picture of who you are and what you do, but most importantly: exponentially spread this message from person to person.


Jimmy likes Bic pens and clicks the "like" button on Facebook. Jimmy has 245 friends that get instantly notified in their feeds that Jimmy likes Bic pens. They click on his "like" to see why Jimmy likes Bic pens and end up on Bic's facebook page. They see the company as friendly, open and engaging with it's fans. Maybe they get a special exclusive Facebook coupon for $1 off pens for a back to school promotion. They click that they "like" Bic and each of them has 245 friends that were just notified. Exponential.

Cross linking the two also helps increase search engine rankings. It is important to put a Facebook badge on your website, and as well be sure your website's URL is prominently listed on your Facebook page. This gives validity to both sites which search engines love to rank at a higher position.

Don't ignore the possibilities! Facebook business pages are more intuitive than ever, allowing experts in HTML (such as us :-) to even create custom tabs, shopping carts and more to truly customize your businesses page.

Your potential clients are out there. They may not find you how they did 10 years ago by a Google search. Go where they are. Facebook users spend an average of 55 minutes a day on Facebook and have an average of 13o friends. Doesn't it make sense to join the conversation?

Feel free to call or email us to learn more about how we can link your traditional online presence with social media marketing.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Where did the name "Talking Finger" come from?

I have been asked before (several times): "Where did the name 'Talking Finger' come from?" The bank seemed to think we were a massage parlor and sent checks and business credit cards with the name "talking fingers", and more than once now I have had the middle finger given to me as a reference point. Or it could have been the way I was driving?

When Erik and I were deciding what to call our company, we were trying to work off of the idea that people now use (more than ever-and increasingly every day) their fingers to "talk" to each other. Text messaging, blogging, posting, all comes down to typing and clicking.

In this new world of communication, it is important to adapt your marketing to reach the people where they are. Facebook has 500 million users, Yelp now boasts 40 million, Twitter handles 90 million tweets per day...the numbers are staggering.

These platforms all have ways to market your business, but you have to get involved in the conversations to be successful. Simply having a Facebook business page is not going to suddenly create a financial windfall. Just like any marketing, it takes consistency and patience. In addition, utilizing social media marketing requires transparency, communication and a willingness to be fun. You must engage your clients and prospects. As well, it is not a vehicle to continually promote yourself. They can go to your website for that.

Think of SMM as a conversation you might have with a prospect over lunch. You'll speak a bit about business and what you can do for them, but you would probably also learn a little about their hobbies, likes and dislikes, and who they are as a person. This is critical to success in SMM.

People are "talking" with their fingers every second of the day. When will you join the conversation?

Bill DeRosa

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Quick History of Social Networks

The first recognizable social network site launched in 1997, allowed users to create profiles, list their Friends and, beginning in 1998, surf the Friends lists. In just little over a decade later, social networking has become a daily if not hourly routine for hundreds of millions of people.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Facebook Profile Security

Lets talk about Facebook security.

Have you ever clicked on a friend’s friend to see their profile? What have you seen…everything…nothing…or a little bit in between? Well there is a reason for that. Either they know how to navigate the Facebook privacy setting or they can’t figure them out or even worse…they just don’t care. If your clicking on someone’s profile page there is a good chance someone has done it to you.
So…how do you protect yourself from prying eyes? It is not as difficult as you may have expected.

In the upper right corner of your page click “account” then “privacy settings".

You will see this on your page. Your goal is to make a nice vertical row of dots down the right side under the "Friends Only Section".

You can click on "Customize Settings", which is found towards the bottom of the page to open a new page that allows you to pick WHAT can be seen by WHOM.

On that same page under the paragraph titled "Basic Directory Information" you will see “view settings” ...its small and it blends in so look closely. Once you click that link and you see the next page.

Those tabs on the right hand side are the tools you need to secure your profile. Click the drop down tabs and start to select WHO sees WHAT about you.

Facebook does allow you to view your profile as if you were someone else. By clicking on the “preview my profile” button you will be able to see how your profile looks to a stranger.

Here is what mine looks like minus a little photoshop picture removal of course.

Remember to check your privacy settings often. Facebook has had their share of hick-ups which has defaulted settings back to the original positions.

Plus with Facebooks recent additions like the check in feature "Places" you are responsible for selecting the most secure profile settings.

By securing your profile you are making sure the information you post is only seen by the people you want to see it.

Check out this link to a NY Times Blog article on how employers are using Facebook to check you out.