Comparing Facebook Groups and Pages

The Facebook Fundamentals

Establishing your presence on Facebook is an important task whether you are promoting yourself or your business. Some may find that the process is not that straightforward. The first obstacle you will encounter is deciding whether to create a Group or a Page. For some businesses, choosing both is a possibility. So, before you put your time and effort in maintaining your new social media profiles, take some time to consider the pros and cons of each:

Facebook Groups

An easy way to think about Facebook Groups is that they are like any other group or club. A group administrator is in charge of providing members with information, news about events, and more. Other members can also be appointed to help facilitate information. Establishing a group is a great way to gain quick attention for a cause or event.

Pros
+ Good for hosting discussions
+ Communicate directly with members
+ Promote with ads
+ Create events and send reminders
+ Privacy controls (public, private, or closed)
Cons
– Not given any weight by search engines
– Unattractive URL
– No visitor information
– Limited to 5,000 members

Facebook Pages

In some ways, Facebook Pages are more informal than groups. There is no public administrator and users are called “fans”. With Pages, there are more options to track visitor information. Facebook pages are similar to normal Facebook profiles. But instead of a person, these pages are designated to represent a brand or celebrity. Some businesses opt for a Facebook Page to maintain a long-term relationship with fans.

Pros
+ Vanity URL
+ Good for hosting discussions
+ Communicate directly with members
+ Indexed by search engines
+ Ability to extend your SEO efforts
+ Can have over 5,000 fans
Cons
– Cannot send reminders for events
– No privacy controls, everything is public

Making Your Decision

Hopefully, some of these points have helped clear up any confusion. Experts generally agree that Facebook Groups are better for organizing users around a cause or upcoming event. Facebook Pages are useful for a company or celebrity to strengthen their online brand presence. Some argue that users feel more active as a Group member than an observing fan of a Facebook Page. Search marketers usually prefer using Pages because of their advantages in user statistics, while others may use a combination of both.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Small Businesses Benefit from Facebook

How to Take Advantage

Large corporations may have a bigger brand presence on social media sites but that doesn’t mean that small businesses cannot also benefit. Setting up a Facebook page for your business is a cost effective way to keep up with the latest customer trends. Facebook is an easy to use forum which allows customers easy access to upcoming news or events. Additionally, creating a strong online presence can help you rank better in search engine results and bring more relevant traffic to your site. An example of a small business that uses Facebook to its maximum potential is the Beverly Hills based Sprinkles Cupcakes. Founder Charles Nelson relies on building buzz through the Sprinkles Facebook page instead of traditional paid marketing efforts.

Stay Connected with Your Fans

Sprinkles uses Facebook to create a unique and engaging
relationship with their fans. They have even come up with a fun code system which gives the first customers with the secret phrase of the day the opportunity to get free treats! This is a great way to build word of mouth advertising, as well as bring customers to the store. A part of social networking sites is being just that, “social” – and being active can help small businesses succeed in this area. The key is to engage customers by providing help and insight or offering incentives and other promotions. By having a Facebook page, you can monitor the good and bad that is being said about your business. This is better than knowing nothing at all about how your company is perceived. It is even an effective tool that will give you the opportunity to fix those problems.

Using Other User-Friendly Sites

Local references and review sites are popular amongst customers who are looking to try new things. Yelp and Yahoo! Local Listings are perfect examples of these popular sites. Although there are many social networking sites out there, it is important to practice restraint and don’t overdo your efforts. Like any other investment, it takes patience to see a return on your hard work. Whether it is Facebook or any of these other sites, the key to strong staying power is steady maintenance of your page. It is foolish to put in numerous hours one day and then completely stop your efforts. Instead,  view it as a long-term project and set aside a couple minutes every other day to monitor your growth.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Advanced Business Blogging Webinar by Hubspot Review

bill gatesI attended a webinar today on advanced business blogging by Hubspot. Don’t let the advanced part in the title scare you away. Hubspot, an online marketing company similar to emarketed, does a great job on providing webinars. Today’s webinar focused on blogging and can be viewed here. A few notes about the actual webinar that really made this interesting. First they had a powerpoint of the webinar that can be accessed here through SlideShare and a live video feed of the presenter that was being pulled from Mogulus. You can view Hubspot’s channel here. Mogulus provides a free service and a paid version which removes the advertisements. There were no advertisements on the webinar but when I viewed the video on Mogulus there were advertisements. So I’m assuming that Hubspot is using the free version. They have over 800 viewers on the webinar today! You can view all of their shows on their Mogulus channel or here on their site. Hubspot also integrated their Twitter account into the presentation so you could ask questions through Twitter during the webinar. There were also links to Facebook and LinkedIn as well from the webinar page. These are all free tools that any one can use.  The use of these social media tools was very impressive and is definately something that we’re looking to integrate into our next version of our emarketed site. They were able to utlize these free services which can be used by anyone: Twitter, SlideShare, Facebook, & Mogulus

Ok, lets get into some of the key points from the webinar. A lot of the content which I’m proud to say has been discussed by emarketed in past blogs. Hubspot goes into why you should blog with 5 keys to a successful blogging:

1. Pick your target personas
2. Create a mix of posts
3. Write great posts
4. Sustain it
5. Spread it

One of the great take aways from this webinar is that your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts can start from your blog. You should write content that relates to your products and/or services. One thing to remember though is that SEO takes time and this is the same for writing blog posts. You will not see the direct results of your blog writing for several months. You also have to promote your blog once it’s up. It’s the same for your website which our clients are starting to understand. People will not just magically stumble across your blog when you write content. It must be promoted. Some of the methods Hubspot discussed were the following: post to twitter, comment on other blogs, post to facebook, start building a list of subscribers to your blog. They also had a great tip about using images through Flickr so I took their advice for this blog post. We do not always uses images in blog posts but I can see how it makes the blog easier to read with an image.

For more information regarding the webinar you’ll have to watch it at the following link.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Adding Facebook advertising to your search marketing campaign?

I just stumbled across this ebook on Facebook advertising by Matt Dickman. I’d suggest checking it out to get a better idea of how Facebook advertising works and to learn more about social media marketing. As Facebook and social networking sites continue to grow this will become more important. It’s literally changing the search marketing industry! The days of running search engine optimization and paid search campaigns alone to drive traffic to your site is becoming outdated. Reaching a broader audience through Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social sites is imperative to your search marketing campaign.

emarketed now offers this as a stand alone service or as an addon to current search engine optimization and paid search customers. Stay tuned for more social media updates as this emerging method of advertising expands. You can also follow us on twitter for short updates.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

social media buzz by peta

Just came across PETA (People for the ethical treatment of animals) website last night through facebook. One of my facebook friends had an award PETA had won for a blog posted on her profile. So I checked out the blog and the various PETA web properties, one of which was their YouTube channel. They have over 3,000 subscribers on YouTube and over 200 videos. Some of these videos are commercials that have been banned from TV. They also have a sexy celebrity channel. I’m sure they get a ton of traffic from these sexy videos so of course I had to check some of them out. 😉 I was doing some market research! They didn’t have the same volume of traffic as the blender YouTube channel we blogged about last week but some of their top videos were brining in over 100k views in a 90 day period. You can check this one out with Jenna Jameson below. Sex sells so PETA is using this to their advantage in promoting their message! Brillant job PETA!

Back to business here. I almost fell down the YouTube hole where one video leads to another and all of a sudden you’ve watched 20 short 2 minute videos. 😉 I was very impressed with PETA’s use of social media buzz on their site. They do a good job of highlighting their different social media properties through links to Facebook, Myspace, and YouTube. They also have PETA TV where they promote these videos directly on their site. Another site the promote is peta2.com where you can find tools for helping animals, class projects, online activism and much more. Another site they highlight is the petakids.com website where they have games and contests for kids. All of this is creating social media buzz for their mission.  They seem to have content for all ages and demographics from sexy ads to games for kids.

Take some time to go through a few of the PETA web properties to get some ideas on how to market your business through social media buzz. I’d love to find out how emarketed can start promoting some sexy models on YouTube to drive traffic for our business. But in the end it comes down to conversions and would this traffic really be ideal for emarketed? It would be fun and exciting to do but would be very expensive and not generate the type of traffic that would lead to conversions.

PETA gets an A+ in our book for creating social media buzz!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

You can’t ignore social media!

I just finished a webinar by ClickZ titled “Conversational Marketing: How to Develop a Successfull Social Media Strategy” presented by Dave Evans, author of Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day. The webinar should be available later today or tomorrow to watch. Dave Evans is a social media guru and was able to do a good job in the limited time he had to discuss this subject.

One of the key takeaways for me was that you can’t ignore social media. It’s here to stay and he gave a great example of a user that created a fake ExxonMobil twitter account and amassed a huge following while ExxonMobil was not aware of this. They finally found out and shut down the twitter account. Click here to see this shut down account. Mr. Evans thought that the better use of this twitter account with the following it had amassed would of been for the company to actually take it over and start using the twitter account for PR. I agree.

The webinar also talked about how social media is just one function of your overall marketing campaign and how this should be integrated in with your print, tv, and any other advertising campaign you’re running.

Social media involves participating with your potential customer or existing customers. Social media inlcudes some of the following mediums: blogs, microblogs (twitter), photos, audio, and videos

Get started today! emarketed currently is ramping up as well with social media and is offering this as a service to enhance your search marketing campaign. Sign up for a Twitter account today and start following us on Twitter and follow other companies in your related industry to see what they are doing in the social media space. Also start a blog with a free account through WordPress and follow other bloggers in your space.  Also signup to YouTube as well if you have some videos or presentations to share with others. We’ve been using YouTube more agressively over the last few months and have found it beneficial to our business. You can preview our channel to see some of the videos we’ve created for our clients which has been part of a social media campaign for our clients which involved website video marketing. And lastly also sign up for a Facebook account and start using facebook even if you don’t plan on using it for your business right away. It’s imperative that you start using Facebook so you can see how people are using it and how adverters are starting to target their demographics.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.