Archive | November, 2010

Via Idea #15: Enhance Your Facebook Presence with Custom Pages

19 Nov

Impress visitors with custom pages

If you already have or are considering a business presence on Facebook, be sure it represents your company well. Many small businesses and most of the top brands add custom tabs to their Facebook pages to give visitors more reasons to return. Promoting an event, posting coupons or including maps and directions help keep people coming back to your page.

Facebook allows html designers to customize tab names and page content. The tab can be whatever we name it, such as Welcome or Services, and the page can contain whatever we program it to say. You can even direct first time visitors to a specific page.

Visit VIA Marketing’s Facebook Fan Page >>

Why should you have a presence on Facebook? Because it’s still growing. As of November 9, 2010, Facebook boasts 143,583,400 users in the United States alone. The strongest age group involved is 18-34 years old ( Facebook is popular for many reasons. It keeps families and friends connected. It helps you find lost friends. It joins people together over common causes and interests.

For retail businesses and brands, building a Facebook following is an excellent way to persuade customers to buy from you and refer their friends. You can reach out through associations. Involvement in social media as a whole is a tremendous customer relations tool.

Facebook allows marketers access to data for sought-after target markets. You can buy an ad and send it to people chosen by age, gender, geography, and special interests. A common two percent click through rate for a Facebook ad performs better than the one percent averaged by direct mail. Remember it’s marketing’s job to bring you customers. It’s the sales department’s job to close the sale. If your Facebook page or ad directs people to your website, how good a job is your website selling for you?

At VIA Marketing we advocate using a mix of multiple media choices, as you will never “touch” everyone with any single medium. This is especially true if you’re trying to reach both boomers and millennials on polar ends of the electronic stream.

Via Idea #14: The Value of Public Relations

19 Nov

It’s been said that “ads you pay for; public relations you pray for.” Your business, nonprofit, or cause can benefit from the art of getting name recognition without paid advertising.

We recommend including both paid ads and public relations in your marketing efforts. But just what constitutes public relations (PR)?

If you’ve ever watched a guest plugging his or her latest movie on Letterman, listened to a radio public service announcement or read an annual report or newsletter, you’ve been persuaded (or at least informed) by public relations.

Speeches, letters to the editor and radio talk show appearances are PR tools also available. Well-done, these types of communication not only inform… they inspire and persuade.

Public relations also works by using third-party endorsements. People generally perceive that a story by someone outside the company has more credibility than a paid advertisement.

Depending on the product or service you offer, you’re probably already using a number of public relations tools. Fact sheets, annual reports, open houses, press conferences… those are some of the many ways of informing your target audience.

Saving Carsons

Here’s a great example of how VIA has used PR to get people to take notice: In 2007, Carson’s parent company was considering closing the department store in Hammond’s Woodmar Mall. The city’s Urban Enterprise Association organized several events, including a public meeting (attended by 500 people), a petition drive (more than 4,000 signatures were gathered) and a letter-writing campaign (more than 300 letters were mailed or emailed). A “Save Carson’s” rally held in a parking lot in mid-January drew more than 400 people. With broadcast and print media coverage, “corporate” took notice: the store is still open.

If we were doing the campaign today, we’d create a Facebook page, open a Twitter account and post event clips to YouTube to get even more people involved.

Want to know more about the campaign to save Carson’s? Find info at HTTP://WWW.VIAMARKETING.NET/CASESTUDIES/CASE_CARSONS.HTML