Website Development, Website Design, Website Hosting, eCommerce and Search Engine Optimization in Bigfork, Montana

Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Feeling a little Intimidated? Social Media Tips

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

intimidatedIn the beginning of the social media boom, I found Facebook and Twitter extremely intimidating.  I’ve always known I can be a little shy, but I love sharing.  I think most of it, was that I had a hard time putting thoughts and information together and throwing it out into cyberspace, not knowing what kind of response would come back at me, or the company I’m working for.  I think a lot of clients are shy, unsure, or intimidated by these mediums as well.  There isn’t a real plan, nor guides to “follow steps a-z and see results.”  So some of us stand still and just start to post the old standards;  specials, promotions, company information or worse…. building a page and posting nothing at all!

Being “social” should be easy and fun! We need to stop overthinking every post and be light and conversational!

Here are a few tips to gain courage and social momentum to grow your fan base and keep them engaged.

Posting - Don’t bore your fans! So often, one person does all the posting for a specific page.  Try to get more personalities in the mix.  If this isn’t possible try engaging your fans even more by asking questions and letting their personality shine on your page.

Create Excitement - Start a dialogue!  Create a fun, simple contest.  Have your fans vote.  It can be as simple as “from this album, which picture should we frame for the office?” Start the post by asking users “choose what photo you like best, if we frame it, you win a $5 coffee card! Have fans private message their email address for the contest entry, that way you have their information for the next promo!

Use Your Website - Last but not least.  Drive people to your website with your Facebook post! Use content that is on your site, write a short post about it and link your fans to that page.  The content is there, it can be a testimonial, a blog post, remembering and highlighting a past event, use your imagination! don’t be shy, be social!

Shop Small!

Friday, November 16th, 2012

shop-small1The Shop Small movement is back for the third year in a row! We all know about Black Friday.  But how many of you are aware of Small Business Saturday? Small Business Saturday falls the Saturday after Black Friday, encouraging consumers and small business owners to get involved and support local businesses.

For Small Business Owners

Check out the official Facebook page to get started.  There, you will find many resources to help promote your company.  Signage, Banners and other promotional materials.


Head to the Shop Small website, type in your zip code, and the site will show you popular small businesses in the area.

Help make a difference for small business, whether you’re a small business owner or a customer, encourage family and friends to shop small, or help rally and entire town! Everyone can help spread the word about Small Business Saturday.

Google Place Pages are being Replaced

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Recently Google announced that Google Place pages are being replaced with Google+ Local pages for business.

Google+ Local pages are new business profile listings which will replace your Google Place page and integrate with Google’s social network, Google+.  Users can access these pages through Search, Maps, and the new Local tab within Google+.

This seems a little confusing but it will be yet another way to help people discover and share local businesses with Google+.

I looked at some of the new format pages and found that they are more user-friendly, dynamic, and easier to interact with than pre-existing Google Place pages.  I love the new look!

You should have already noticed that your Google Place page has already been congoogle3verted to a Local+ page.  If not, prepare, it is coming soon! According to Google, you will still continue to manage your information (basic information, make updates, respond to reviews, etc.) in Google Places for Business.

As of right now if you have a Google+ Business page you will have two Google+ pages to manage.  However, the time is coming soon for you to be able to merge your Google+ Business page with your Google Local+ page.  It will work similar to how Facebook is allowing us to merge pages.  Check out these businesses that Google has worked with to upgrade their listings early so that we could all see what it would look like:

What do you think? Do you like the changes?

Timeline for your Brand

Friday, March 30th, 2012

We are excited to get started with the new Timeline.  We have been totally geeking out with  ideas  and are excited to see what other brands do as well.

From what we have seen so far we think there are some pretty great features and opportunities for all brands to take advantage of.  For example: Bigfork Web Development is happy to announce that we just celebrated our 10year anniversary.  Yay! This will definitely be highlighted on our new Timeline!

We wanted to share this great article posted by Sitepoint: “Eight Timeline Tips for Your Brand” check it out and let us know what you think of the new Timeline!

Craft a clever cover image

The new, large image at the top of your brands Timeline is called a ‘cover image’ and there are some great examples of creative uses for these. Yours should be reflective of your brand, without resorting to just whacking your logo in the center of a (minimum) 399px canvas.

You need to be aware that there are some basic rules too. Facebook has rules that declare that your cover image cannot contain;

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”
  • Without the option of large ‘Like us to Win!’ banners on those brand pages, businesses will have to earn likes through being engaging, at least that’s what Facebook hopes happens.

Trawl through your Facebook past

The first thing everyone should do is travel back through all of the posts you’ve made on your business page, and make sure that you still want them seen. In earlier incarnations of Facebook, a post from six months ago was unlikely ever to be read by that new client, however, with Timeline there’s a good chance that it will. Delete those posts you feel don’t add any value or are not on brand for where you are today.

Embrace the timeline feature

Go back in time and add important milestones for your brand. By default, your Timeline stops at when you joined Facebook, so add a new post and date it to when you started business (if indeed that was earlier than when you joined Facebook) and set that post item as a ’started’ announcement. Then, all new posts can appear anytime after this date, but not before. We’ve used this feature in my business to highlight office moves and important dates in our history.

A great example is from Australian national broadcaster, the ABC, who has done a brilliant job of adopting the Timeline tool for their Facebook page to display a history of the broadcasters news service - replete with audio, video, images and more.

Highlight your best posts

You’ll see when adding or editing a post that you can choose to highlight the post - this means the post will cross over both columns, and be full width of the content area. This is a fantastic way to draw attention to important posts, and works exceptionally well with graphic posts, such as new portfolio pieces or photographs.

It could be tempting to highlight all of your posts, but the result will lose impact - save this option for really important posts only, and don’t overuse it.

Push timely posts to the top

Another option to highlighting a post, is to ‘Pin’ the post, meaning it will sit at the top of your Timeline for the next seven days, irrespective if you post more content or not. This is a great method to draw attention to something timely, such as a sale or an important event approaching.

Rearrange and redesign those new tabs

One of the new design components of the timeline update which you cannot avoid is the movement of tabs from being fairly inconspicuous on the side to now being large squares directly below your cover image.

Good news is that you can rearrange all of these boxes (except for Photos) to place more prominence on the first four. These are the only four a user will see unless they click the small arrow next to these, which, quite frankly, is not very likely to occur.

Even better news is that you can actually upload an image for many of these tabs, however not all - the Photos square and likes squares cannot be redesigned.

Tweak that custom landing page

Previously had a custom developed landing page for users to your Facebook presence? You’ll likely want to keep that hard work, however you should take a look to see that it meets the new design, and you’ll want to possibly change the text, given it won’t be your users default landing page any longer.

Be more engaging

All of this change is reflective of Facebook’s move to play down the ability forbrands to literally buy large followings on Facebook through competitions and other incentives. They want Facebook to be more engaging, and they expect brands to do the same.

Just like the recent decision last year to turn off automated feeds from RSS, this step also reduces the ‘auto pilot’ behavior of businesses, and means you need to be actively involved on the platform if you want your business to stand out.

All of this may sound like a lot of work, but it really isn’t, and will ensure your business will still look good on Facebook. Next step is to start using timeline more frequently and embracing the medium - more on that in a future article. Good luck!

Google+ Pages Now Open For Businesses, Brands, & Places!

Monday, November 21st, 2011

google-logoDo you already have a Google+ page?  Now you can have one for your business too! Google+ Business Pages have finally been released out into the social networking world.  Google is now allowing businesses, brands and any non-human entity to participate in its Google social network, through new Google Pages.  Businesses have wanted to be part of Google+ from the start.  In fact, many businesses and brands made use of regular Google+ accounts as a way to participate on the service despite their non-human status.  Find out more on how to create your own Google+ page! 

Here We Go Again - Facebook Changes

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

How many of you have been overwhelmed by all the new Facebook changes?

You may have heard a lot of Buzz about the new ‘Timeline’ feature that was supposed to launch recently.  This is a stream of information about you: the photos you’ve posted, all of your status updates, the apps you’ve used, and even the locations of places you have visited. The Timeline is intended to be a virtual scrapbook of your life. The announcement of Timeline was met with great deal of excitement from some, and a lot of unhappy dread from others, and was the hottest topic of conversation in the internet community for a while. Now some are wondering what happened and where is the Timeline? According to a Facebook executive “we are still testing with developers - hope to roll it out for wider testing before the end of the year.”

Another change that is stirring the pot is the new permissions settings for ‘Facebook apps’.  Facebook apps now need only ask permission once to share stories on your behalf.  Previously, apps had to ask every time they shared information about you in your profile. Now, the first time you authorize the app, it will tell you what it is going to share about you. If you’re ok with that and accept the terms, the app never has to ask you again.

Another new feature to mention is the ‘Ticker’.  The ticker is a constant feed along the right margin of your page. It is a real-time list of things your friends are posting. The benefit of the Ticker is intended to be a place for all of the small, less consequential updates that you do not necessarily want to see on your main News Feed.

There are a few other changes to be aware of:


Real Life Sharing

Friday, October 7th, 2011

So far I have been impressed by Google Plus.  I really like the Google’s Circles feature, you can create and name your own circles, that way you are sharing the right stuff with the right people!  I love the fact that all the photos and videos I take from my Android phone are directly uploaded to my Google Plus account.  This is perhaps the handiest feature of Google’s social networking site, and the one I use the most.

google-logoTake a quick look at Google+ here

Social Media offers myriad benefits to businesses

Monday, October 3rd, 2011


Our founder, Mike Callaghan, was recently interviewed by The Daily Interlake about the current state of Social Media Marketing and how businesses can use it to their benefit.  “The principals guiding online and social media marketing are generally the same as those that have guided businesses for decades.” Callaghan said.  “One of the main challenges is identifying who and where your customers and potential customers are and then picking the right web tools to target them.”

Not only are businesses taking advantage of Social Media more than ever by engaging with their customers, they are also utilizing the myriad of free web tools available to track and monitor the success of these ventures. Google Analytics and Facebook Insights provide a way for business owners to learn more about their clientele and demographics.

Regardless of demographics, businesses are finding that Social Media allows them to cross borders and reach national, even international audiences. “There are no borders on the Internet.” Callaghan assures, “For those businesses looking to reach customers beyond the Flathead or Montana, it’s wide open.”

The Flathead Business Journal contains excellent articles and information that will keep you informed about what is happening in our business community. Take this opportunity to read the full article and interview about Social Media, as well as the other interesting commerce news from our area here:

What is a Community Manager?

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

In addition to Blogging Agents, Community Managers are one of the fastest growing professions in the United States and Europe. The emergence of Community Managers as a profession blossomed in 2007 as online social networking was raging into mainstream and social media was subsequently evolving into a marketing platform.

This is a full time sport and it’s here to stay! Your business can’t afford to stay disengaged.

Every network has some purpose, whether it’s to stay connected, discuss common interests, or promote a belief, brand or service. Community Managers are the leaders behind this purpose. They hold the creative and collective vision of their social networking community, managing relationships and collaborative processes built on strategy and ideas implemented in real time.


Using Staff To Build Brand Loyalty

Monday, January 17th, 2011

With the leadership and guidance of your Community Manager, empower your entire staff to engage in Social Media and enjoy building your brand loyalty. (more…)

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