New Page Feed on Facebook
Facebook is always evolving, it seems, with new features added and others removed. The latest is the addition of the Pages Feed. It just started rolling out in the last week, so it isn’t universal just yet.
The Pages Feed is located in the Pages section on the left side of the page and has a little flag next to it to make it easy to spot. Don’t panic if it hasn’t shown up on your Facebook account yet, it’ll be there eventually. The Pages Feed is simply a news feed specifically for Pages. There are no personal posts, only those from the companies, businesses, blogs and products that you have “liked.”
This allows users to easily read through their favorites, but there’s some discussion about where exactly this is leading. Will Facebook devolve into two feeds, one for friends and one for Pages? There’s no clear answer, but let your customers know that it’s an easy way for them to keep up with you. Not only will it show up in their news feed, but the specialized Page Feed will be less crowded and make searching for your shop’s post on the weekend sale or upcoming class simpler.
If you don’t have it on your Facebook account quite yet, you can still check out how it works here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/feed
Making the blog rounds, I found some posts for you to check out:
- Video tutorial on using gravatars on your blog. Don’t know what they are? That’s an even better reason to watch it!
- Info on how to customize the About tab on your Facebook business page.
- OMGSEO’s quick look at starting a social media campaign
- Plus a few email marketing tips as you get ready to launch for the holiday season.
Hanging out where your customers are
We know how important it is to not only have a presence on social networks, but to also be social there. Connecting with your regular and potential customers is a great way to build a loyal connection and social networks make this easier than ever before.
You have a Facebook page for your business, right? But have you thought about registering for these other social networks? You can set up an account as your business and start establishing your shop as the go-to site with a knowledgeable staff. You don’t need to join each–take a look around and see which work for you:
Threadbias: Only a year old, the site is growing and establishing itself with quilters and sewists who share their projects. Crafty Foxes: Well-established, the site is home to all things crafty. One of the features all shops should take advantage of is their Craft Map where you can add your own listing. Sewing Pattern Review: Anything pattern-related can be found here. Primarily a pattern review site, it’s vast with book reviews, message boards, and a merchant gallery. Burdastyle: The forums are the place to be for your shop. Sewists are always asking for help with various skills, tools and fabrics and your knowledge could establish your shop as a valued resource.
It isn’t important to be everywhere all the time; it’s more important to have a valuable presence that makes customer seek you out.
Are there other quilting- and sewing-related social networks that you use?
QR Codes and How to Get Them
QR (Quick Response) codes have been around since 1994, but it’s only been in the last few years that consumers have become accustomed to seeing and using them. The basic way that they work is this:
- QR code is generated using a specified URL, text, phone number or SMS.
- Smartphone user opens downloaded QR code reader app.
- Using the reader, the user scans the QR code, smartphone automatically opens to linked URL.
QR codes are used primarily to link your customer to special content. That might be a coupon, a free pattern, a sales flyer or an events page. You can also create QR codes with your phone number, an SMS message or simply text, depending on your needs.
For marketing purposes, it’s always a good idea to link to a page you’ve made specifically for that QR code, rather than your main website. People tend to use QR codes looking for an ‘in’ of some sort, whether it’s a tutorial video link or a sneak peek at upcoming classes.
For example, using your phone’s QR code reader scan this one:
I used Kaywa QR to generate this code with its original, and lengthy, QR code. You can see there are plenty of pixels and not only does it look cluttered, but some QR code readers may have trouble deciphering it.
One way to avoid the possible mis-reading (or refusal to read) a complex QR code is to use a shortened URL. If you are not familiar with link shortening, it’s a quick way to make a long and complicated URL into a short (and less overwhelming) URL. I use bit.ly but there are several available: goo.gl, tinyurl.com, and is.gd, among others.
I used bit.ly to shorten the URL I used in the above example to create this simpler code.
There is no difference in the end result (both link to the same page), but the visual difference is worth noting. In addition, the simpler code is easier for code readers to decipher.
To get a QR code, you can visit a number of sites. Here at WebCents, we tend to use Kaywa QR , Quikqr, and (when I feel like getting fancy) QR Stuff. That last one allows you to manipulate the color, which is always fun.
Share your experience–how have you used QR codes personally and for your business?
Mobile Trends and How to Make the Most of Them
Mobile marketing is all the rage theses days and for good reason! There have been plenty of surveys (like this one and this one and this, too!) and the results all point to the growth of mobile/smartphone use by consumers. In a post on StrongMail’s blog, Justin William points out three trends:
Trend 1: More consumers are shopping and purchasing on their mobile device, regardless of location: Your customers and prospects are shopping, comparing, downloading and redeeming coupons from their mobile device. They are doing this everywhere—in retail locations, on their couch, and anywhere else they use their mobile device.
Trend 2: Consumers are growing more responsive to SMS offers, and they are redeeming more email offers on mobile devices: 26% of consumers receiving text message promotions say that the information has led them to take advantage of the promotion, according to a recent survey. Further, 25% say they at least buy something from the store that sent the promotion.
Text promotions, however, cannot thrive alone. Consumers trust emails and websites more than text messages. These tactics should not be viewed as separate silos of distribution. Rather, the consumer wants them to exist in a way that he or she can fluidly use any option.
Trend 3: More consumers are expecting that their shopping needs can be met on their mobile platform: Across the consumer lifecycle—from searching for a store and making a shopping list, to considering offers, to making a purchase, to sharing offers with friends, all the way to maintaining loyalty program accounts—shoppers want the flexibility to use their mobile devices.
To find out more about putting these trends to use for you, read the post at Strongmail.com.
Be sure to check out the infographic in May’s WebCents for more info on reaching mobile customers.