How to Use Facebook Offers and Best Practices for Small Businesses

Facebook Business Offers

Facebook Business Offers

What are Facebook Offers?

Facebook Offers are a way for businesses, brands, and other organizations to share special discounts on items or services with their target consumers.

How?

Offers are created by your business and posted to your business’ Facebook page. If and when someone claims your offer, they will receive an email as proof. They can show this email at your place of business (or whatever other location you designate) in order to redeem the discount or special offer.

*To be eligible to create a Facebook Offer, your company’s Facebook page must have at least 50 ‘Likes’.

By using Facebook Offers effectively, small businesses can benefit from increased sales to increased brand exposure, and more. Below, we outline 8 best practices for small businesses to keep in mind when creating Facebook Offers.

8 Best Practices For Creating Successful Facebook Offers

#1 – Know your budget; choose wisely.

Before doing any sort of advertising, always know what your budget is. The budget for your Facebook Offer will depend largely on one thing: the size of your target audience. The larger your target audience is, the more budget options you will have available. There are also options to create a customized budget.

#2 – Be clear about your claims.

Keep in mind that you’re creating an offer that someone will actually claim. Therefore, be sure that any and all language/intention surrounding your offer is crystal clear. When someone claims your offer, they’ll receive an email with details from you about how to redeem it at your business. The email will also include the terms and conditions and the expiration date of your Facebook Offer.

#3 – Choose an eye-catching image.

 Select an image that will draw people in and engage them with your brand/business. Photos sell big time on the Web. Be selective and deliberate in your choice, and make sure that the photo you use for your Facebook Offer is different from your Page’s profile photo as your Offer will usually display next to your Page’s profile image.

If possible, use a photo of actual people using your product/service or interacting with your brand in some way. Statistically speaking, these types of photos perform better.

#4 – Use a catchy headline.

Similar to reading newspapers and magazines, surfers of the Internet tend to scan headlines – so make sure that yours is great! Consider what you want to say about the Offer you’re trying to promote. What is the value? How will people benefit? Avoid cheesy marketing slogans. Remember – nobody likes to be sold to, but everyone loves to buy.

#5 – Encourage company participation.

 Small businesses may not have a lot of staff members, but you can still be a powerhouse of promotion when you call all-hands-on-deck! Encourage staff members, friends, family and other colleagues to help you promote your Facebook Offer. First, however, take a little time to ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what your Offer is about, and how people can redeem it.

#6 – Create a separate ad for ‘added’ promotion.

While word-of-mouth is always a great way to self-promote, creating a separate ad can also do wonders for boosting awareness. Again, you’ll want to consider your financial situation and create a separate budget for this.  Once you’ve created a separate ad for your Facebook Offer, pin your Offer to the top of your Facebook Page so folks will take notice.

#7 – Avoid overly complicated language. Keep it simple.

Besides the added value that you think you’re offering, how easy is it for folks to actually follow what you’re saying in order to redeem your offer? Avoid complicated language, jargon and excessive punctuation. On the other hand, avoid using “AOL” speak or “texting language”.  Instead, focus on clear, crisp, easy-to-understand sentences. Other factors you may wish to consider are: age, gender, occupation, and geographic area of your audience.

#8 – Don’t skimp on the discounts.

 After all, it is an offer…so, don’t offer something to somebody that they can’t use! When creating Facebook Offers, be sure to offer deeply discounted rates. Give people a reason to do a double-take. Make them an offer they can’t refuse!

By Martin Brossman

 

Resources:

Mars, Megan. (January 2014) 45 Fabulous Facebook advertising tips… http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/01/30/facebook-advertising-tips#

Facebook Offers. (June 2014) Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/help/410451192330456

 

 

What is the NextDoor app?

NextDoor App

NextDoor App

I learned about the Nextdoor App from someone that was talking about their neighbors like they just all met together the other day at someone’s house. I asked how they stayed so connected

I realized it was not an in-person meeting but a smartphone app called Nextdoor. I had heard of it before but that thought “one more app and thing to do” stopped me from trying it out at first. I have since met many people that use the app to stay connected as a homeowners’ association and love the app –you do not have to be in a homeowners’ association   to use this app. I have now joined it and am working to get more of my neighbors to download it and join.

The Nextdoor App is explained well by cnet, “It’s designed to help neighbors connect and communicate online about important information, services, and goings-on in their specific communities. Being neighborly has somehow gotten lost in the digital era. Nextdoor is working to reverse that.

Nirav Tolia, Nextdoor’s co-founder and CEO, told CNET, “People are using the technology to bring back a sense of community.” And that’s a good thing considering the majority of Americans only know some of their neighbors names and 28 percent don’t know any of their neighbor’s names, according to a Pew Research report.

I remember when I visited japan many years ago I found that they had very low crime. It was not because the police were more effective but all the neighbors were paying attention and communicating. Nothing could happen in my friend’s town Maebashi Japan without someone knowing about it and reporting it as suspicious. Our neighborhood watch is a very good idea but often is just a bunch of signs that people ignore over time.  Email lists can be of value but most of us are overwhelmed with email and it can get a bit spammy if you always say reply to all. The Nextdoor App seems to be filling a clear void. You can participate as little or as much as you want.

How does it work and how do I sign-up?

Go to your app store on an iPhone or Android phone and search for Nextdoor or you can sign-up on-line at https://nextdoor.com/ then download the app and sign in. The app will ask for enough information to do its best in verifying that you live where you say you live. Here is a link to see a demo of it in action:http://demo.trynextdoor.com/news_feed/ . Take a little time to learn about using it and maybe talk in person to another neighbor that has it. It has categories like: lost & found, free items, crime & safety and much more. Including who has Christmas lights to see for the Holidays.

I know some of you are asking: “Is it perfectly secure, can you guarantee that?” No I cannot, but neither is your front door, the internet, your car or especially an email list (that can be easily hacked or shared with anyone) 100% secure. As someone that has been consulting and teaching Social Media for businesses for now 7 years I can say that they have made every effort to keep it safer and more secure than email, Craigslist or anything else we use on the web or your own home/car.

Once you have fully set up your Nextdoor App you can set the level of updates and emails you get by going into the “Settings” and then checking or un-checking Notifications.  On the Android “Settings” is found selecting the menu area in the lower left hand corner of your phone. On the iPhone it is found off the main menu by selecting the 3 lines in the upper left corner under “Invite Neighbors”.

Check out the website at https://nextdoor.com/ and watch the video: http://bit.ly/nextdoorvideo . I hope to see you on the Nextdoor app if you are in my neighborhood!

A video about how a neighborhood is using it to make their area safer:

Neighbors Stay Safe Thanks to Nextdoor App.

 Neighbors help neighbors with Nextdoor app

Explaining NextDoor:

How to change the settings in the Nextdoor.com page:

Link to a article by WRAL in Raleigh NC about Nexdoor – Website takes neighborhood watch online:
http://www.wral.com/website-takes-neighborhood-watch-online/12955853/

Link to an interview with the founder of Nextdoor Talks Growth, “Now Being Used In One In Six Neighborhoods In The US”
http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/19/nextdoor-talks-growth-now-being-used-in-one-in-six-neighborhoods-in-the-us/
How are you using the NextDoor app?

Steps if you want to use it;

1) Get the app from you app store on your smart phone or go on line to: NextDoor.com and sign up. You will need to prove you live in the neighborhood.

2) Invite your neighbors and ask them to invite their neighbors, explaining why you want to use the NextDoor app.  If you want to share this article you can by sharing this short URL on your phone: http://bit.ly/ndpost .

3) Find the settings to control what and how many messages you get.

4) Use NextDoor and help your community!

5) Post below how NextDoor has helped your community

by Martin Brossman
(919) 847-4757

ProNetworkingOnLine.com
Martin@ProNetworkignOnLine.com

 

Social Media Training – Social Media Certificate

Social Media Training

Social Media Management Training

New designated website for the Social Media Management Certificate program 

The new website: MySocialMediaMastery.com

About the program:a

Social Media Management is a thriving new field with many opportunities, generating more jobs than there are people trained to do them.  To help fill this need for qualified social media managers, social media trainers Martin Brossman and Karen Tiede are offering a Social Media Management certificate program is now at NC State!   

Defining the foundation of the course, instructor Martin Brossman said, “In the Triangle and other areas of North Carolina we have seen a growing demand for social media managers, assistants and analysts. Small businesses, health care practices, political campaigns, non-profits and many other organizations are discovering the need to stay visible and connected to their client base on a regular basis using social marketing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. They are realizing that social media marketing is part of the landscape, and how important it is to have a strategic program in place, in a consistent voice across all sites that builds their brand and maintains a positive reputation. Maintaining a dynamic program is often beyond the capacity of their own busy staff, which gives rise to part-time or freelance social media management as a cost-effective solution.”

Instructor Karen Tiede added, “This training is especially valuable for virtual assistants, marketing people wanting to deepen their skills, small business owners and anyone who wants to enhance their career skills. We will address all the major social media sites and teach you how to integrate them with your website, blog, directories, and other online resources. Students will complete a full social media proposal and program in this class, using either a business or non-profit they wish to support, or a suggested business from our connections.  Visit our website www.MySocialMediaMastery.com  for a complete picture of what the course offers and to see video testimonials from previous students.”

Participants will receive a certificate of completion issued by NC State, and a Social Media Management Certificate issued through Martin Brossman & Associates upon the successful completion of all assignments.  Class size is limited and early registration is advised. Go to the Website to learn about the next class or get on the email list:

MySocialMediaMastery.com

 

987zzz321
987zzz321

3 Ways to Support Buying Local for the Holidays Using Social Media

Checking-in on Social MediaIf you have a business or just enjoy supporting your community by buying from local-owned businesses, you keep money in your community and help your neighbors feed their families. When you share that you bought local on social media, you let your friends know it is important to you, and it inspires them to do the same.

I invite you to join me and others in sharing more on social media that you are buying local.  Now I don’t expect you to stop shopping at Target or never get another cup of coffee from Starbucks. But I do want to encourage you to make an extra effort to see if you can spend a few holiday dollars at a locally-owned business and share it online. For those who already do this, thank you!

 Here are a few ideas for buying local for the holidays and sharing it via social media:

1)     When at a local-owned business, please just make sure to check-in on Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp or Google Local, to name a few.  When checking in on Foursquare you can post to Facebook and Twitter. I also add the hashtag #BuyLocal when checking in just to get it to stand out, and on Twitter it can then be searched.
.
Here is a search link to see who is using the #BuyLocal hashtag from among the people that you are following right now on Twitter. Maybe you will be the first to use the #BuyLocal hashtag! https://twitter.com/search/timeline?q=%23BuyLocal&src=typd Also, here is the search link to see who is using the #BuyLocal hashtag on Pintrest:
http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=%23buylocal

2)     Post pictures on your social media page when shopping or eating out, highlighting specific things of interest while adding that it is a local-owned business and/or #BuyLocal to get the post to stand out. This could be on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest,

3)     Appreciate businesses that have given you good service this year or, if you are a business, appreciate other business allies. Like a random act of kindness to a business, as Pat Howlett suggested, on-line. You can do this as an individual or as a business posting on their Facebook page. You can also just “mention them” on your own business page (or personal profile) and/or link to their business page.

On Twitter you may re-tweet a post of someone talking about buying local or someone at a local-owned business that you like. On Pinterest you can even have a “local-owned’ or “buy local’ board and pin pictures that support local businesses.

I know there are many other ideas –I would love to hear yours in the comment area below.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and thanks for all the caring you have done for others this year.

Examples of people encouraging people to Buy Local (this will be updated so post your below in the comments and I may add it here):

 

See my other article about buying local with Christine Alexander – Transform Your Community — One Purchase at a Time by Buying Local!

http://pronetworkingonline.com/transform-your-community-one-purchase-at-a-time-by-buying-local/

 

Social Media Training Raleigh NC

Also learn about Anora McGaha and Martin Brossman’s new Social Media Training:
http://martinbrossmanandassociates.com/social-media-manager-training-in-raleigh-north-carolina/ 

 

 

 

Looking forward to your comments and please connect to me on-line as well:
Facebook: http://Facebook.com/MartinWBrossman
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/MartinBrossman
Youtube: http://Youtube.com/user/MartinBrossman
Pinterest: http://Pinterest.com/MartinBrossman
Instagram : http://instagram.com/MartinBrossman/
LinkedIn: http://LinkedIn.com/in/MartinBrossman
Google+: http://BrossmanOnGP.com
Martin’s email list: http://Bit.ly/martinsemaillist

How do I record Skype calls?

Record Skype CallsWant to add an audio interview to your website or social media post? Here’s one simple way to record Skype conversations:

1 – Download this free software “MP3 Skype Recorder” here: http://voipcallrecording.com/MP3_Skype_Recorder

2 – Set up the software.

3 – Use the software whenever you want to record a Skype conversation and take note of where the conversation has been saved on your computer. Make sure to let people know you are recording them and make sure you have permission.

4 – Optional:  Edit the audio file with Audaciy, which is a free open source audio editing program. You will need the LAME free encoder to create MP3’s.

5 – Optional: Upload it to SoundCloud.com  – This lets you share the files on the Web.

Here is an example of my being interviewed by Richard Grassi about artists overcoming their fear of expressing themselves in public, on his website called How to Paint with Acrylics, using this process:
http://howtopaintwithacrylics.com/interviews/martin-brossman-interview/

Also here is a link to other ways to record on Skype:
http://thenextweb.com/apps/2011/02/09/5-great-ways-to-record-skype-calls/

Also notice he added a transcription of the audio for Google to pick it up, for people who just want to read it instead of listening to the interview.

Martin Brossman

Setting up a Gmail account and Google Plus

This post is just for people that do not have a Gmail account and how to set it up including connecting to Google Plus.
To get up a Gmail (Google email account) go here: http://Google.com/gmail , you will see the next image and select “Create an account”:
Signing up for Google Gmail

Signing up for Google Gmail

This will bring you to this screen and fill it out next:
Singup page for Google Gmail

Singup page for Google Gmail

On the next page you will see this (below). If you have a profile picture (square about 300 dpi) and know where it is on your computer you can click “add your profile picture” if you don’t just click “Next Step”. You can add the picture later too. At this point your name will show up in the area that says (Your Name will show up here) that I added to this picture to protect the confidential name of the person I set up for this example. Wherever your name would be from now on will have (Your Name) on the image.
Google Gmail signup

You are now signed up

Next you come to the Gmail Welcome screen:
gmail welcome

Gmail Welcome Screen

Following that you get to pick a Theme and just pick the default for now – Remember where it says “Your Name” or just “Your” that would be where YOUR Name would show up:
Pick your Theme for gmail

You can change the Theme later too.

Now click your first name in the upper left hand corner with at + in front of it. That will take you to your Google+ page:
gmail to google Plus

Select your first name with a + infront.

Just hit “Continue” for now, you can follow other people later:
Gmail suggested friends - Just hit continue

Just click continue

Next just continue again:
Google Plus

Select Continue Anyway

Next you and upload a square picture of yourself  for your Google + page but don’t have to. Click Finish to continue:
Google Plus

Fill in what you want, can add more later.

Next you are looking at your Google Plus Home page which will show updates from friends and things/businesses you are following:
This is your Google Plus Personal Profile page

This is your Google Plus Personal Profile page

Now you are done unless you want to connect to me on my Personal Profile page then you would type my name in the window to the right of the Google + “Martin Brossman” and add me to a “Circle”:

Google Plus

The first one is my Personal Profile and the second is my Business Page

 

Next you will see my Personal Profile if you selected the first Martin Brossman and need to add me to a Circle:

Martin Brossman's Personal Profile on Google Plus
Martin Brossman’s Personal Profile on Google Plus

You will next click on Add to Circles:

And pick a Circle or create one. The first time you will get a message:

Google Plus Circles
Adding me to your Google Plus Circles

Here is a little more explaing what adding someone to a Google Circle means:

 

Google Plus Circles

Love to hear your comments below.
Martin Brossman

Google Plus at http://BrossmanOnGP.com

 

Free Photos for Blogs and Websites

“Where can I get royalty free photos?” is a common question asked. People are looking for free photos for blogs and websites with the demand of more content by guest contributor – Ross Chandler, features editor for the Rocky Mount Telegram and as a Web designer.

Only the most talented web designers can create engaging sites without art of some sort. But the issue is, where can you get attention-grabbing images, especially if you do not have a budget for them?

Frankly, I suspect most people do not hesitate to use a service such as Google Images to find what they want, then steal – yes, you read that correctly, “steal” – the images. The simple actions of clicking the right mouse button and choosing “save image as” is theft, even if the work is not marked with a copyright symbol. So, what is a designer left to do?

There are several options. First, look at how you are planning to use the image and compare that against the standards of fair use.[i] Copyright law – a federal issue found in Sections 107 to 118 of Title 17 of the U.S. Code[ii] – allows you to use protected materials within certain clearly defined ways if the use meets a four-part test. The parts are:

  • Whether you’re using the images for commercial or educational purpose.
  • The nature of the copyrighted image.
  • How much of the copyrighted image you’re using.
  • How your use would affect the potential value of the copyrighted image.[iii]

Of course, most people designing websites are not lawyers, and trying to read and apply the actual laws can seem overwhelming. My advice: Err on the side of caution. If you absolutely and honestly don’t think your plans for the image would be a fair use, don’t use it.

Another option is websites that offer free art.[iv] [v] The images range from photos to graphic devices such as buttons and banners. Some are included with the purchase of programs such as the Microsoft Office suite.[vi] Of course, you get what you pay for. Some of the images are of good quality; others are, well, Е you understand what I mean.

A third option is the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. The images that illustrate its entries are a mix of copyrighted items, which are included under fair use, and others that often are posted by their creators. Many of the latter have been released from copyright; some completely so, others with requirements such as the creator be given credit when the image is used elsewhere. It’s easy to tell a work’s status; click on it then scroll down in the window it opens in until you come to the licensing section where the copyright status is described. Here is an example from a recently added article:



Copywrite image

The government is another source. Images created by federal employees are in the public domain – that is, they are not copyrighted. Some agencies such as NASA[vii] and the Army[iii] have excellent searchable databases of works that can be downloaded for free.

When all else fails, there is another alternative: Ask the person who created the image. This recently worked well for me. As a newspaper editor, I needed a photo to illustrated a story on my weekly religion page. A Google Images search turned up a courtroom drawing that would work perfectly. An email pleading my case to the artist – need for art, no budget to buy any, and so on – led him to give me permission to use the drawing so long as Iong as I gave him credit in print and linked to his blog when the story was posted on my newspaper’s website. Will this work everytime? No. Did it take more time than other options? Yes. But, this shows that the approach can work.

This list isn’t all inclusive. The breadth and depth of the web means that new options regularly appear while some older ones disappear. Checks on search engines such as Google, ideas offered by other designers, and even luck can help you find the work you need for a website.

Article contributed by: Ross Chandler, features editor for the Rocky Mount Telegram and as a Web designer.