How to: Promotions on Facebook

Facebook SubscribeFacebook heresy

I’m going to commit Facebook heresy here and opine that the only people making money on Facebook (or off Facebook, if you want to take a more jaded view) are

  • the Zuck crew (Facebook itself),
  • brands that are already household words (Victoria’s Secret, for instance), and
  • people selling products to create a Facebook presence (I’m one of those)

I have a lot of clients who want to be on Facebook, because they see Facebook statistics like this:

Facebook user statistics june 2011

And they want to be in front of those 500,000,000 Facebook users.

What they don’t understand is that those 500,000,000 users have posts that are getting ahead of the message my clients are putting out!  Facebook is designed to be a moving, roiling, living thing, where updates are instant and whatever was posted five minutes ago has scrolled off-screen.  And if that weren’t enough, the Facebook gods have adjusted the display algorithms so that custom Facebook page messages are at the bottom of the heap.  Literally.

Real-Time Activity of Facebook Users

Facebook post activity june 2011

You’ve really got to have something to compete with 30,000,000,000 other posts.  Whattya got??

And, half the users on Facebook are on mobile devices:

Facebook statistics for mobile devices june 2011

You’re kidding yourself if you think these people are reading your posts.  They are POSTING to their facebook profiles, uploading photos and responding to messages they get from people the Facebook gods have deigned to place in their stream.  Comments on their posts, direct messages, when their posts are liked . . . IF they have that notification set up.  In reality, they may only be Posting to Facebook, not reading it.

Are you giving up on Facebook?

No Way.  I’m going to suggest that you use Facebook for what it is and leverage the strength of all those numbers up there to your advantage by making some changes to your website.

I’m talking about OpenGraph and the like button technology that Facebook introduced with Social Plugins. You can add these to websites, WordPress Blogs, even .mobi sites.  And they will bring you traffic.

Next up: Facebook to Page Creators: If You Can’t Run with the Big Dogs, Stay on the Porch!

How to Blog and Why You Should Already Be in the Blogosphere

Free Blog Real Estate on the Net

There are lots of free places to enter the blog world – WordPress.Com will give you a free wordpress site, Blogger (Google) will give you free web real estate, and if you’re new to the habit, they are probably a good place to start.

Already Committed to a “blog of your own”?

If you’re sure you’re going to blog; you know you want to build a brand for yourself, or your company, I’d highly recommend you buy a domain, install wordpress and start with everything in place to gain traction with the search engines.  I started off with Squarespace, which is a very sophisticated platform, but it cost me about $250 a year, and I didn’t have the controls I’d have liked. Moving an entire blog to a new domain AND a new platform (WordPress) turned out to be a real pain in the neck, and I know I lost some posts in the process.

  • Buy a domain
  • Get a hosting account (Hostgator has a good deal and an excellent WordPress installation process)
  • Install WordPress
  • Have Fun!

Having trouble deciding that you should have a blog?

I found some pretty compelling statistics and some really great quotes at Hubspot:

The bottom line is that blogging is like sex. !

You can’t fake it. You can’t fake passion. You can’t fake wanting to engage with the public. If you do, it will ultimately be an unsatisfying experience for both ! the blogger and their readers.”

Kevin Anderson, Freelance Journalist & Former Blogs Editor for The Guardian

More Pages Indexed

More Inbound Links

Way More Leads

 

“In God we trust, all others bring data.”

– Edward Deming

If that isn’t enough, get the entire 100 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts, & Graphs [Data] from Hubspot.

I sent an excerpt of the Hubspot data to all my clients, present, former, and potential! to remind them how powerful blogs can be.  I’m a huge proponent of blogging as a way to get attention – to develop your presence on the internet and help build your business.

As a Thesis developer, you all probably also know that I’m big on how a website looks, and functions, and it should be obvious that for your blog to work at bringing in readers, who convert to customers, your blog should be good looking, easy to read and easy to navigate. Blogs, by their very nature are candy for search engines, and posts get indexed quickly.  I use Thesis for building blogs because it is so SEO powerful I feel that it really helps in that whole “If you Build it, Will they Come” question with which we all struggle!

If you’d like to see some evidence of the fact that they will come, I invite you to read the series I wrote, If you build it will they come?  http://tracigregory.com/2010/10/06/if-you-build-it-will-they-come-part-1-of-3/ is the first of three posts, and it will lead you to the next two.

Thesis: Image in Post Title

I am still looking for ways to make my WordPress blogs look better.  I really don’t want my blogs to look like anyone else’s, and I want them to be pretty.  If you like the way it looks, my theory is, you’ll stay longer than if it looks like the ’40s and untouched by human hands!

You may already know I am mad about the Thesis Framework for WordPress, since lately it is almost all I write about here.

This trick is slick, takes about three minutes to implement, not counting the creative work on the image, and makes your blogs look more polished, and most important to me, more individualized.  If you want a picture next to the post title, here is how to include it in Thesis for WordPress.

I got pumped about the file folder images I used to substitute for the navigation bar, so I picked the guitar one (it is Blog like a RockStar, after all) and after loading the image, made additions to two files.

The CSS file needs this code:

/* Add Avatar Before Headline sitewide */.custom .title-avatar { float:left; margin: 0 1em 0 0;}


The Custom Functions File file needs this code:

/*Add Avatar Before Headline sitewide*/function author_avatar() { echo 'img class="title-avatar" src="http://Your-Website.com/wp-content/images/Your-Image-File.gif"  /'; } add_action('thesis_hook_before_headline', 'author_avatar');


Have I told you lately how crazy I am about the Thesis framework? So cool.

My next planned topic is a tutorial for adding customization to sidebars: adding images to sidebar headers, or using color to highlight your sidebars and headings, using Thesis framework for WordPress.

Rock On!