Why You Should Remove your Facebook Business Page

Are you under the impression that, as a small business owner, you need to have a business page on Facebook? Think again. Social Media prefers people to businesses. Your Business Page can even work against you. Away with that page and rather boost your personal profile.

Take the case of that poor freelance event planner from England. I spoke to her at a conference where I was manning the Social Media Genius Bar. She had just closed a deal with an agency that would create a Facebook Business Page for her and would use it to advertise her business.

We advised her to:
1. Delete her Facebook business page and
2. Certainly not to use it for advertising!

Waarom Facebook Bedrijfspagina opheffen Why You Should Remove your Facebook Business Page by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

Social Media are for people, not for companies

Why is a Facebook Business Page a waste of time for small businesses and the self-employed? Very simple: Social Media prefers people to businesses. Did you know that every time you log onto Facebook, there’s an average of around 1,500 messages to be shown to you? Facebook filters and sorts these, and posts from people score far higher than business pages.

If small businesses want to be seen, this can only be achieved with paid ads. But here’s the thing: does it make you happy to see those ‘sponsored posts’ in your timeline? Enough said. And it even costs you money!

What do your contacts want? Personal attention!

What is the core essence of Facebook? Connecting people. Probably you already sell your services or products primarily through your personal network. Why does that work so well? Because business is done through personal contact. One-on-one interaction. That means you not only talk, but are also able to listen. This also applies to Facebook. Technically, a business page can’t invite people, praise anyone, or reply to messages. As a person, you can.

The Personal Profile does work

So what did I recommend that event planner? Use your Facebook personal profile for your business contacts as well. Post messages that are relevant to your network. Messages that will make them laugh, teach them something, or strengthen relationships. Add your top 10 dream destinations, or tips on how to select a great event app. But above all, respond to people when they talk about events or meetings, give advice and don’t be shy with compliments. In short, share your love for the profession.

Children’s Photos? Share them in a group

“But what do I do with all those great pictures of my kids?” asked the same event planner, crestfallen. There are other channels suitable for that. For example, make a Facebook or WhatsApp group for close family and friends and share your private business there. Of course, you can still occasionally share personal items, as long as it supports your professional image.

And be honest: surely as an entrepreneur you identify yourself powerfully with your work? If not, then perhaps you should pose yourself a very different set of questions rather than what to do with Social Media!

How can I select the best app of 2013 for my event?

Everybody is talking about them. Everybody wants one. But many people struggle with how to choose the right one. We are talking about mobile event apps: an unstoppable hype of the event industry. On 16 May, the Event Manager Blog launched The Event App Bible: an impressive attempt to bring some clarity into the general confusion concerning event apps. The free eBook offers a great overview of the many possibilities out there, however without making an explicit recommendation for the best event app. We like to help you with that selection: we analysed all apps listed in The Event App Bible and chose our personal favourite.

06 How to select Best Event app 2013 How can I select the best app of 2013 for my event? by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)What should a good event app be?

In order to be of value to your event or conference, an event app should ‘mean’ the following to you:

  • The app should make our event experience more intensive by providing functions that cannot be replaced by non-tech solutions. That means the app should provide functionalities that simplify a user’s ‘event-experiencing-process’.

  • The app should create additional value by extending the lifetime of the event beyond the boundaries of the physical event. It should stimulate (potential) attendees to engage before and after the event.

  • The perfect event appp should benefit everyone involved: participants, sponsors and the event organizer.

What 7 features should my event app have?

Page 23 of the Event App Bible lists a myriad features and functions of event apps. Unfortunately most of them are not necessary or even useless for your event. What should a good event app in our opinion at least be able to do?

1. Easy to sign up and manage Registrations

This is the first step at any event or conference and, if badly organized, it can be messy and time-consuming. An app that let’s you register in a few clicks and helps the organizer to manage the registration process efficiently is very valuable.

2. Create a Personalized agenda

Most conferences offer a full programme. Give your attendees the ability to choose the sessions they are interested in and establish their personal conference agenda. The organizer receives valuable information about which session are going to be popular.

3. Exchange contact details through Badge Scanning

Networking is often at least one of the objectives of a conference or event. Now, what happens with all the collected business cards when you return to the office? A scanning function or another badging feature is useful to exchange networking information super efficiently.

4. Ability to Work offline

Ever been to a conference or event with poor WiFi access? Fill this one in for yourself …

5. Attendee networking & messaging

A good event app should help your visitors to detect other interesting people in the venue and to get in contact with them. It would even get better when it helps your attendees to stay in contact after the event.

6. Audience response system to increase interactivity

An app function that facilitates audience participation during the sessions adds value to your conference. Therefore it should enable attendees to send questions and comments to the stage.

7. Intuitive Design

Chances are big that stakeholders will user your app for the first time. So the learning curve should be smooth and easy. Good design makes an app not only more friendly to the eye but also more fun and easy to use.

Our nomination for the best event app of 2013

Mobiel Event App Double Dutch MSUK branding 180x300 How can I select the best app of 2013 for my event? by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)If we apply our list of essential functionalities to page 23 of the Event App Bible, only a few apps survive: Connectspan, DoubleDutch, NoodleLive and Spotme. If we then take a look at interface design, Double Dutch comes out as most promising to us. The app possesses all necessary functions which add extra value to an event. The modern interface is user-friendly and stimulates social interaction.

This week you get a chance to ‘test drive’ the app at the Meetings Show UK in London. Choose your operating system and download the #MSUK event app right here.

What do you think?

Which features should a good event app have in your opinion? Do you have experience with event apps? Which one would you recommend?

Please share your experiences with us!

Wanted: 5 Facebook buttons to improve content quality

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

it’s about 9 years ago when you gave us Facebook to share news, events, love and fun with our friends. Unfortunately the tremendous growth of your network to more than one billion users has also led to a constant regression of content quality. Since more and more people have a smartphone with a camera-function, which can access the worldwide web wherever they go they seem to feel the constant need to share everything what happens to them (or the fact that nothing happens at all) with the whole world.

As a result our news feed is for 80 percent stuffed with dispensable, boring or annoying updates, which are neither fun nor love at all. The worst about this is, that we are very limited in our reactions to that kind of updates. There is only one option to express yourself: the Like-button. But simply ´not liking´ a post won’t get it out of my news feed. Additionally, the poor fellow who is posting bullshit all the time won’t get the necessary feedback that his updates suck! That’s why I plead for the introduction of these five Facebook buttons:

02 Facebook buttons Wanted: 5 Facebook buttons to improve content quality by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

1. I don’t give a shit

For all these updates, which are no updates at all, because they are neither new nor relevant. Consider the following examples:

“Dinner was yummy! Now cuddling on the couch with my pumpkin…”

“If you buy our really brilliant (but useless) product now, you get 50 percent discount…”

“Here are 50 pictures of me and my friends on this really awesome party.”

“I’m going to sleep folks, good night!”

We need the ‘I don’t give a shit’ button to remind each other that our lives are not a daily soap show and that we are not interested in watching each other 24/7.

2. Get a life!

Since Facebook wants to share happiness and love, we won’t get the frequently requested ’Dislike’-button. But how can we handle friends who have the tendency to spread bad karma and insult? How can you hush those, who constantly emphasize that life sucks, the government sucks or the weather sucks? The easiest way out would be to unfriend them. But if you feel sympathy for them, because they obviously never see the bright side of life, you can send them a subtle message by hitting the ‘Get a life!’ button.

3. Tell your mother!

You passed your exam, got a new job or just got engaged? I definitely ‘Like’. But there is no need to share all the good news with the whole world. Your baby photo’s might be interesting for your family, but I am getting sick of them. I understand that your relationship anniversaries are very exciting for you and your sweetheart, but I really don’t care. And if your FarmVille cow has finally given birth… well, tell your FarmVille friends. Like a newspaper has sections for particular topics, Facebook has the brilliant feature to create groups for that kind of news. So please, be a little more selective, would you?

4. I don’t wanna know!

For many of us this might be the most crucial button. We often suffer from the illusion that Facebook is a big pub where we can meet for some private chit chat. Unfortunately this pub never forgets any conversation, so every personal detail you share has the potential to go around the world. Would you like to know if, how and when your parents have sex? Exactly! And I don’t want to see you drunk, naked or sitting on the loo. Trust me, I like you even more if you spare me such details.

5. I’m with you

After the Boston disaster many timelines are once more flooded by updates that move us but are actually not quite ‘likeable’. Certainly I want to show my support and sympathy for all the victims and their relatives but ‘Like’ does not seem the appropriate answer. I don’t like bombs, I don’t like attacks and I don’t like innocent victims. But what other options do we have to express my feelings? Time to introduce the ‘I’m with you button’ for showing support in serious matters.

6. Your request

I think that the five buttons above would improve the general quality of Facebook updates a lot. But certainly you can think of more buttons to express your thoughts about your friend’s updates. Which button would you recommend?

A walk around the world – my highlights of #IMEX13 in Frankfurt

My mind is still busy processing all the impressions of last week since I went for a walk around the world within three days. IMEX 2013 in Frankfurt was my first international trade show and I had the lucky opportunity to jointhe  @IMEXSocialTeam. Equipped with tablet and smartphone we explored the show floor through the eyes of a visitor and captured funny and interesting stories between the various booth. Here are my personal highlights.05 Walk around the world Report IMEX Frankfurt HCIBS A walk around the world   my highlights of #IMEX13 in Frankfurt by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

 Creative in Malaysia

The beautiful décor of the Malaysia booth attracted my attention immediately:  big replica of the Petronas KLCC Twin Towers, Asian calligraphy and the delicious smell of fresh herbal tea. Besides the booth offered creative and relaxing activities. We were invited to make bracelets and necklaces from small beads, to colour pictures with batik dye or to barter with play money for small treasures. It was a great demonstration of low budget activities that spice up your booth.

05 IMEX 1 A walk around the world   my highlights of #IMEX13 in Frankfurt by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

 Crazy in Scandinavia

I was always convinced that long periods without natural light couldn’t be healthy for your mind. Now the exhibitors from Norway and Finland have proven me right. Nevertheless, with their crazy ideas they spread joy and fun all over the show floor. Norway opened the happy hour with a screaming contest, offering a trip to the North for the loudest voice. For sporty activities Finland was the place to be: the Fins arranged a real-life Angry Birds tournament.

Party in Holland

If you saw the orange booth of Holland you will understand why ‘gezelligheid’ is a Dutch word. No matter which time of the day you came along – it was always crowded with people who were laughing and cheering. After quitting time I was glad to enjoy a cold beer and have a good chat with the Dutch mascot Mr. Holland. Cheers!

DSC 0335 A walk around the world   my highlights of #IMEX13 in Frankfurt by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

Your highlight?

I had three fantastic days and hope that I will see Frankfurt again next year. How about you? What was your favourite booth, your best story or your greatest shot at IMEX in Frankfurt? We want to know! Please share them with us.

Transformation of visual content: from “Look at me!” to “Look at this!”

Visual content is booming on Social Media channels. Most updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn walls are photo’s, pictures and infographics uploaded from smartphones or shared from the web. Visual content often gets more awareness and provokes more interaction than written content. That is why platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr focus entirely on visuals – and they grow rapidly. What causes the hype about visual content? And why are Pinterest and Tumblr so successful?

03 Importance Visual Content online Social Media HCIBS Transformation of visual content: from Look at me! to Look at this! by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)Why is visual content important?

There might be two main reasons for the increasing popularity of visual content. The first is: because we can! Since most people are equipped with smartphones and mobile cameras we can take pictures wherever we are and share them immediately. Platforms like Instagram make it easy to transform and edit your snapshots until they are fancy enough to share with your friends.

Second, visual content is easy to grasp. While it takes you some time to read and process a piece of text, visuals take the highway to your brain – you get the message within a second. Besides, when you scan your news feed with half of your mind somewhere else, an appealing visual is more likely to catch your attention than a written update.

The power of pictures

Certainly, the Social Media Giant Facebook knows too well about the power of pictures. Actually, it considered the visuals are so as important that it made the $736-million purchase of Instagram, the main competitor in mobile photo sharing. Now Tumblr and Pinterest offer the perfect platform for sharing visuals, which seems to be especially attractive for teenagers and female, young adults. While the total amount of Facebook users is declining for several months, Pinterest and Tumblr show a tremendous growth curve. How is this possible?

Tired of “Look at me!”

The reason might be that the content favored by users of Tumblr and Pinterest does not match with Facebook’s ecosystem of content. Good facebook updates are pleasant, funny and especially social activities. On facebook we tell our friends where we are right now, what we are doing there and who is with us – but it is me, who is in the centre of the pictures.

Facebook photos are bound to a certain time, location and activity and contain at least one name tag. Many users love this way of self-presentation. For others, this looks like a fragmented broadcast about the random and absolutely irrelevant activities of some acquaintance.

Interested in “Look at this!”

When you come to Pinterest and Tumblr you will see and feel the visual difference immediately. These visuals are often timeless, they show ‘things’ more often than ‘people’ and they express a certain ‘feeling’ rather than showing an ‘activity’. In these networks nobody cares about who you are, where your are and what you are doing.

Instead, we can focus completely on the content. We can share stuff that we like and it will be shared by others, who like it too. You most often don’t know the people you are following on Pinterest and you will probably never meet them. But it doesn’t matter, because this is not about you or them. It is about the stuff you both like.

What will the future of content production hold for us?

Social networks are not even 10 years old yet but they are evolving more rapidly than any other communicative device before. The visual content that appears on the networks can tell a lot about attitude and mentality of the users, which is valuable information when you design your own online presence. Therefore we will dedicate more blogposts on how to use visual content on social networks for design processes.

A ‘Like’ for the ‘Like’-button

Who would have thought that the tiny blue thumbs up icon would cause such a drama? More and more people decide not to use Facebook’s ‘Like’-button anymore for various reasons. Blogger Len Kendall took it to the extremes and put himself under arrest. He won’t be liking anything this month. Kendall expresses his concerns that liking has become automatised behavior, which makes our social interactions thought- and meaningless. Well, maybe there are many people who like without thinking. But is that bad at all?

01 Like for a like1 A ‘Like’ for the ‘Like’ button by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

Spread the love

Social media, and especially Facebook are a place to share joy, happiness and good news – things which are all likeable by their nature. If you like a post or comment that made you smile, you simply say ‘thanks for spreading the love’. Hitting the blue button costs no time or effort but you can give the smile back to the person who posted. It is no big deal to friendly say hello to the bus driver but your kindness could make his day a little brighter.

Not for smart asses

Well-educated people might claim that liking is terribly superficial. Yes it is, welcome to the world of Social Media. This is not the place for broadly articulated thoughts or philosophical discussions about ‘the meaning of nose hair’. Facebook is a coffee party where friends and wannabe friends keep in touch by having a little chit chat. Nobody will take the time to read through your extensive comments. By the way – how much comment could a sweet kitten picture probably deserve?

Like whatever you like

Should we like out of obligation because we are worried about somebody’s feelings? That’s completely up to you and it is no problem if you do. When I really fancy a boy I will automatically laugh about all his crappy jokes because I like HIM. When my grandma tells a post-war story – and be it for the 10th time – I listen, because she is important to me. Sometimes we like stuff because of the person who shares it with us and not because of its actual content. Where is the problem?

Don’t be afraid

…of liking things. To you it might not be a big deal but it might cheer up a friend. We all need affirmation. Dare to give it and you will get it back. Fans of more articulated content, you can join a political discussion forum, hang out on Google+ or better – meet in real life.

So, check yourself right now: do you have a smile on your face? You know what to do!

Verbeter je online presence met Social Media

Het is in deze tijd niet altijd even makkelijk om je bedrijf online goed onder de aandacht te brengen. Als je jezelf ‘googelt’ verschijnt je bedrijf op pagina 3 of 4 van de zoekresultaten (nadat je de zoektermen twee keer hebt aangepast). Je hebt misschien wel een Facebookpagina maar de ‘Likes’  willen niet echt komen. Je twittert wel een beetje maar de massale retweets komen niet op gang. Heeft het dan nog nut om tijd in je online kanalen te stoppen? Het antwoord is ‘ja!’, mits je het slim aanpakt.

Wat vinden mensen als ze je zoeken?

Social media zijn een slimme manier om je online presence te verbeteren. Met ‘online presence’ bedoelen we alle online locaties waar jij als merk of persoon in de vorm van tekst en/of beeld aanwezig bent. Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter en ander Sociale Media websites scoren altijd hoog in de zoekresultaten van Google. Mits (!) jij zelf zorgt dat je bedrijf ook goed herkenbaar is en dat bezoekers via de juiste links op de juiste plek terecht komen. En het mooie is: dat heb je helemaal zelf in de hand.

HCIBS Google Search Results Verbeter je online presence met Social Media by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)Laat je ontdekken

Als je in de zoekresultaten helemaal bovenaan staat ben je vooral goed vindbaar voor mensen die gericht op zoek zijn naar jouw bedrijf of een door jou aangeboden dienst. Er is echter nog een andere manier om contact te leggen met je doelgroep: wordt ontdekt! Via het netwerk van jouw eigen Social Media volgers kan je de potentiële doelgroep behoorlijk vergroten. Ben je interessant en aantrekkelijk genoeg om bij een toevallige lezer onder de aandacht te komen? Dan is de kans groot dat hij over je profielen gaat klikken om naar meer informatie te zoeken. En misschien ook nog wel iets ‘liken’, ‘retweeten’ of +1en.

Social Media Worth of Mouth HCIBS Verbeter je online presence met Social Media by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)Verbeter je online fitness

Hoe kun jij nou zorgen dat je beter te vinden bent? Hoe zorg dat jouw volgers over jouw updates gaan praten? En hoe kan je je Social Media kanalen visueel en inhoudelijk aantrekkelijker maken voor een toevallige bezoeker? Wij willen onze ervaringen en technische know-how graag met jou te delen.

Daarom organiseert How Can I Be Social (HCIBS), in samenwerking met de Amsterdamse evenementenlocaties De Nieuwe Liefde en het Westelijk Meterhuis, de komende tijd meerdere open trainingen ‘Social Media’. Deze trainingen zijn voor zowel starters als gevorderden uit de evenementenbranche. Klik hier om meer te lezen.

Geef een training aan iemand die hem verdient

Ken jij iemand die wel een training voor Social Media kan gebruiken? Jij mag namelijk een kandidaat voor een gratis open training bij ons nomineren. Post de naam van je kandidaat plus een spetterende motivatie op de HCIBS Facebook pagina. De persoon met de meeste stemmen en/of de beste motivatie wint de gratis plek in de training.

Aan wie zit je nu te denken?

Spread the word: how can Social Media increase the reach of my event?

Many event planners search for new ideas to reach more attendees. Social Media can help you to extend your reach beyond the boundaries of the physical event, meeting, trade show or conference. In this post I would like to share some tactics to make this work for you.

Create an experience ‘worth sharing’

The easiest way to achieve massive exposure is to let your participants promote your event. But how? Thanks to the rise of Social Media and mobile phones, we now all have the option to share special experiences instantly with our colleagues, friends and family. If you manage to create such a remarkable experience at your event, you can get the word out to the social network of each participant, which on average contains 300-400 people.

pope2013 Spread the word: how can Social Media increase the reach of my event? by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

Go for visuals

Which updates make good shareable content for Social Media? In times where everyone starts to suffer from ‘information overload’, we only quickly scan our news feeds for interesting stuff. How can you win the battle for follower’s attention? Simple: funny, eye-catching pictures. We capture images faster than text, thus if you want to be seen, you should put your energy in clever visuals.

Find your ‘Mickey Mouse’

Mickey Mouse Spread the word: how can Social Media increase the reach of my event? by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)So how can you create a situation where an attendee grabs his cell phone to take a picture and share it with his friends? Learn from others. When you go to Disneyland, what would be your personal highlight? Right, you want to be on a photo with Mickey Mouse. The Disneyland mascot is so popular and well-known, that the picture itself has more marketing power than any written information. But you don’t necessarily need a popular mascot for the photo moment. The most important aspect is that you create a special situation, that is unique for your meeting or event and which places your attendee in the spotlights.

Leave the sharing to them

Of course you could place photoboxes, green screens or other fancy stuff for cool pictures. However, the great disadvantage of such tools is that you somehow have to manage how your attendee will receive and share the picture. Most shares occur instantly and are quickly forgotten after the ‘magic moment’  has passed. Thus, activate and facilitate the use of own cell phones and cameras, so that your attendee can share his picture immediately. Extra advantage: you don’t have to figure on which social platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc) you have to place the photos to maximize the reach. They will take care of that themselves, by automatically sharing the picture on the network where most of their audience is!

Sharing with attendees cameras Spread the word: how can Social Media increase the reach of my event? by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)And now what?

We hope you like our approach as described above. Interested in being able to do this yourself? Take a look at our Training Social Media for the Events Industry (in Dutch only)!

Social Media for events: interview with Eventplanner.TV

Check out this highly engaging episode of Eventplanner.TV about Social Media for events. Watch untill the end, where Gerrit shares Donald’s concept of “Some to Some” communication for the first time.

Description:

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, … Everybody is talking about it, but how many event organizers actually succeed in using social media? How many of them make money with it? Gerrit Heijkoop knows all the secrets of using social media successfully for your event.

How Can I Be Social – A Social Media Checklist for your next conference or event at #EMEC13, Montreux

Gerrit Heijkoop and Donald Roos will take you on a journey that will grow your confidence in how to approach new social technologies when organizing your next meeting or event.

View in external player (Silverlight): http://bit.ly/HCIBSEmec13

07 How Can I Be Social   A Social Media Checklist for your next conference or event at #EMEC13, Montreux by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

You can see and download the slides of this session right here: