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.

Launching an Online Business: 7 Steps How to Promote it for Free

If you have been looking for a way to create another stream of income, building an online business is a good choice. Generally, overhead costs are low and it provides the perfect opportunity to reach millions of potential customers. This fact alone has led to the creation of many websites and online businesses which means the competition can be fierce and you are going to have to get creative if you want to drive traffic to your site. Of course, times being what they are the best promotional efforts are those you can achieve free of charge, and here are seven steps to achieving that goal.

1. Optimize

There are all kinds of ways you can promote your online business but ranking well in the search engines is paramount. If you do not show up in Google searches, you can forget any amount of significant traffic. Now, you should know up front that the precise manner in which search engines rank your website and others is a closely guarded secret, however there are a few things known simply from trial and error. Here are a few terms you should know to get you started.

Search Engine Optimization – Making your site as appealing to the search engines as possible. This is a process of writing content and structuring your site in order to get the most favorable ranking possible. Includes the use of keywords, metatags, backlinks, links and more.
Keyword research – A popular word or phrase that people use to find information on the internet. For your website, it should be a phrase highly searched relating to your product or service.
Backlinks – Do follow links on another site pointing back to yours. These will affect your page rank in Google and other search engines.
Social Media – a rising form of free website promotion it entails using popular social forums such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and others to promote a website to a larger audience.

2. Content

If you want to push, your site to the top of the search engines content is king! The days of using thousands of keywords sprinkled in with useless information are over, thank goodness. Content can be written articles or blurbs on your site that provide users with credible and useful information. The rule of thumb is to write for humans with the search engines in mind.

3. Social Media

Tweet it, post it to FaceBook or MySpace and watch your traffic increase! Social media has become the best marketing tool available, people come to these sites to connect with old friends and make new ones so there is always some activity going on! Create a business account and begin sharing information and specials with your online “friends”. Potential customers can learn a little about your business and benefit from exclusive online only offers.

4. Newsletter

This may be time consuming but a newsletter remains one of the best tools at your disposal for free website promotion. Supply an easy opt in button on your site, perhaps you can provide something free in exchange for customers signing up for your newsletter. Then on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, send out a quick overview of what is new in your industry, special deals, quick tips or anything your customer base would find interesting.

5. Get Help

Now that you know a little more about free website promotion, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. If you are concerned about your ability to do any of the above you should know, there are services out there that can help you. Here are a few options:

Link Builders – you can find plenty of individuals and businesses online who provide this service.

Content creation – this is big business online at the moment. You pay someone to ghost write your content.

SEO firms – Companies that provide all phases of search engine optimization.
As you can imagine the above options can get quite expensive, and rightfully so, through these efforts you stand to make a great deal of money. However many new businesses simply cannot bear the brunt of this expense. Thankfully, there are sites like Work For Favor. Here you can request all kinds of SEO for your website in exchange for your time and energy on other projects. No money is required at all!

Be Patient

The millions of eBooks that claim anyone can attract a large social media fanbase in a matter of days are offering false promises in return for a sale. While their methods might attract bots or people who are trying to build their own group of followers, these techniques will not reach your target market.

Nothing but time and engaging material will earn a group of followers for your company that could turn into actual customers. Be patient, build your content, answer questions, and your followers will show up.