Facebook Page Branding Lessons

Facebook is one of the most powerful social media marketing tools for your brand. This powerful social network attracts countless new users each month and allows companies to connect with their customers in unprecedented ways.

However, while it’s important to build a brand presence on Facebook, there’s room for error if your efforts aren’t correctly coordinated. As such, here are four Facebook page branding lessons to help you learn the ins and outs of this important social media image building process. By following them, you can create a streamlined appearance and impress your page’s visitors.

Use an Appropriate Profile Picture
Your brand’s profile picture is the mainstay of your Facebook page. This is the first element visitors will notice when navigating to your page, and will likely determine whether they’ll dig further into the page’s content or jump ship. It’s unfortunate, but many companies fail to recognize the importance of their profile picture and fail to utilize the power it holds.

Play around with a few images to determine which one best compliments the other elements on the brand’s page. Considering having several appropriate images on hand and cycling through usage, to provide fresh new brand content on occasion. Doritos and Travelocity offer great profile picture examples.

Here are a few best practices for profile picture selection:

Use an appropriate branding image. A picture that could give your brand a bad reputation or confuse visitors should be avoided.
Only use high quality images for Facebook profile pictures. A pixilated image will create an unprofessional tone and detract from your company’s high standards.
Ensure the profile picture is consistent with your other corporate social media marketing efforts.
Edit the Page’s Thumbnail
The profile picture and your page’s thumbnail are an intricately paired duo. Some page managers overlook the thumbnail, passing it off as a minor detail. However, this image is what will appear each time comments are posted to other pages and it your fans’ home page news feeds. As such, it deserves as much attention as the other page elements.

While you can’t change the profile picture without also altering the thumbnail, you do have some power when it comes to altering the thumbnail’s appearance. After selecting a profile picture, you can enter the thumbnail editing mode to reposition it appropriately. For example, if your profile picture is an image of the brand’s logo, the thumbnail can be repositioned to attractively display a portion of that logo.

Here are some additional thumbnail best practices:

If you can’t find an attractive position for the thumbnail image, swap out the profile picture and start over.
Ensure visitors can recognize what’s being displayed in the thumbnail rather than leaving it positioned on an unrecognizable portion of the profile picture.
The most important thing to remember here that your page thumbnail should be readable no matter how tiny it is. !Remember that your page thumbnail is your most powerful branding weapon.

A good example to make here is this page from Rather Be Shopping (an online coupon service that aggregates and organizes online and printable coupons as well as free shipping deals to over 1000 national retailers.). The page logo is very clear when put next to the wall threads:

Facebook branding

The page thumbnail is still distinct even when placed on the page widget (on the home page):

Rather Be Shopping

Behold the Power of the Photostrip
photostrip images

Your Facebook page’s photostrip is a powerful tool that can be utilized in many different ways. Since the photostrip images are randomized with each page load, many users upload images of letters and other elements to create funky plays on words.

Another option is to seamlessly tie in the photostrip images with the page’s profile picture to show a little more about what your brand can offer. Vital Design and JetBlue provide great examples of photostrip usage.

Here are some things to remember about the photostrip:

Photostrip images are randomized so don’t use images that must remain in a particular sequence.
Ensure all photostrip images are high quality and don’t appear pixelated within the photostrip space.
Use graphics consistent with the brand’s image or that tell a short story about what your company can offer.
Choose Your Likes with Care
As a company it’s important to display your partnerships with other organizations as well as promote other ventures you own. The Featured Likes portion of your brand’s Facebook page is the perfect location to display these important associations.

While you can like as many Facebook pages as you wish, you’re only allowed to feature five of them in the Featured Likes section. As such, choose your featured associations with care while determining how each like can benefit your brand.

Here are a few best practices for the likes feature:

Only like those pages with which you want to be associated. Liking another organization that has recently gotten into some hot water is a sure way to stir-up some unwanted publicity.
Select the best of your likes for the featured likes section and rotate them regularly.
Facebook is a powerful social media tool you can use to increase your company’s online presence. Now more than ever, this social network offers the tools you need to create a streamlined brand page that will impress your visitors and, in turn, increase your popularity online. The most important element of creating a successful Facebook company page is to properly utilize all tools available to you and update your information regularly.

Business Blogging Basics for Beginners and Skeptics

If you are serious about taking your online visibility to the next level and feel like a “blogging newbie” or a “blogging skeptic”, this article is for you…

First Things First! What’s a blog and why should I care?

A blog is a special kind of a website that allows publishing all types of digital content such as text, images, audio, video and so on. So far, a blog is no different than an ordinary website but here comes the fun part: blog visitors are given the chance to interact with the blog owner and each other by commenting on blog pages (posts).

The interactive nature of blogs gives them great appeal over static websites. That’s why; you, as a business owner, should leverage blogging for optimal business results.

It goes without saying that all of your blog visitors will be interested in your business area and a substantial number of them would fall into your niche market. (In future posts, I will detail how you can identify “hot” prospects amongst your blog readers and turn them into customers)

And the good news is: creating a basic blog from A to Z and posting content on it doesn’t require any technical background. In fact, it takes less than 5 minutes to have a blog up and running using popular blogging sites such as WordPress and BlogSpot.

I am sold: Business Blogging Rocks! How can I do it Right?

That’s a very critical question that could make or break your business blogging results. You must strive for constantly delivering great content that’s compelling, unique and in line with your brand.

If you are planning to copycat others or deliver mediocre content, I would say don’t bother creating a blog in the first place! In fact, it might do more harm than good in this case. Put in some long hours and write the content yourself. If you are in need of articles but you have no time to write them, you can always buy unique content from other other writers.

Now you might ask me: What if I don’t know how to create a “killer” blog? Take advantage of sites such as AllTop.com. This site lists the best of the best in the ever-growing world of blogs. Simply choose a topic that’s relevant to your business and you will get a list of the top blogs in that field. Check it out for a healthy dose of inspiration. But again, do NOT mimic others blindly! Authenticity and uniqueness are essential ingredients for business blogging success.

There’s an added bonus to checking out the blogs of “big players” in your industry: to a great extent, they will spare a lot of effort of researching what your blog readers (target market) are hungry for. If you what to know what’s cookin, see what popular bloggers are writing about today.

So Far So Good! How exactly can a blog benefit my business?

Here are just a few business blogging rewards:

Brand recognition
Viral marketing
Lead Generation
Market Research
And more….
The nature/content of your blog posts should be tailored to one of the above objectives, depending on your current business goals. I am sure you would want to achieve all these goals but it really helps to focus on one of them and give it priority until you get the desired results and on to the next one and so on. Needless to say, these goals are interrelated and could affect each other. So, focusing on one of them will improve the rest.

How does all of that translate into blogging jargon? Stay tuned for upcoming posts in which I will highlight proven business blogging techniques that you can easily implement for optimal results. To Your success