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!

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.

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)!

Reports (NL): What’s new at #event13? Veel inspiratie, weinig tools

Event is het jaarlijks verzamelplatform van alle takken uit de evenementenbranche. Op 27 en 28 maart kwamen ze weer allemaal bij elkaar in de Utrechtse Jaarbeurs. Daar mocht een stand van HCIBS natuurlijk niet ontbreken. Onder meer omdat we ook erg benieuwd waren wat de beurs aan nieuwe tools en innovaties te bieden had.

Met op scherp gezette oren bezochten we de programmaonderdelen over deze onderwerpen. Vervolgens gingen we op bezoek bij andere exposanten om de technische status quo van Event13 in kaart te brengen.

Event trends voor 2013 en hybride evenementen

Een van de meest inspirerende onderdelen van het programma was de presentatie van Julius Solaris, marketing professional en drijvende kracht achter de Event Manager Blog, over tien event trends voor 2013. Een uur lang beschreef de Italiaan 10 inspirerende ideeën voor slimme event marketing, grotere impact en betere ROI. Hoe kan ik van te voren bepalen of er voldoende draagvlak is voor mijn evenement? Hoe vind ik sponsoren? Hoe kan ik bereiken dat mijn event buiten het fysieke evenement verder leeft?

130328 131013 01 Reports (NL): Whats new at #event13? Veel inspiratie, weinig tools by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

Voor elke van deze vragen kon Solaris een slimme oplossing laten zien. Aan het einde van zijn presentatie koos het publiek voor twee favorieten:

  1. Smart badges, een nieuwe vorm van een badge waarmee de bezoeker zijn belevenissen op het event met zijn social media vrienden kan delen.
  2. Crowdsourced speakers, de mogelijkheid om het publiek sprekers voor je event te laten kiezen of hun spreektijd te beïnvloeden doormiddel van tools als TimeVote.

 

Niet minder inspirerend was ook de presentatie van Gerrit Heijkoop over hybride evenmenten. Het idee om evenementen toegangelijk te maken voor een virtueel publiek is in het afgelopen jaar populair geworden.

130327 132903 01 Reports (NL): Whats new at #event13? Veel inspiratie, weinig tools by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

Uit een peiling tijdens Heijkoop’s presentatie bleek dat meer mensen een hybride aanpak overwegen dan vorig jaar. Driekwartier lang besteede Heijkoop aandacht aan de voordelen van hybride evenementen en gaf (technische) tips voor een goede internetverbinding, geluids en videokwaliteit.

Weinig nieuws op de vloer

Waar het programma in de zalen veel inspiratie te bieden had, liep de beursvloer zelf een beetje achter. Voor de liefhebber van slimme tools en innovatie was er tussen de stands weinig te vinden. Hier onze persoonlijke highlights:

Event Pay Card – makkelijker betalen

Betalen op evenementen blijft een lastig probleem. Bezoekers lopen niet graag met veel geld in hun zakken en niemand staat graag in de rij om consumptiemunten te kopen. Voor de organisator is het tellen van het geld of de munten en vervelende klus.

passen Event Paycard Reports (NL): Whats new at #event13? Veel inspiratie, weinig tools by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

De Event Pay Card, een digitaal betalingssysteem, zou dit probleem kunnen oplossen. Het systeem werkt net als de chipknip: de bezoeker krijgt een pas die hij kan opladen met saldo. Vervolgens kan hij alle betalingen op het evenement met deze pas verrichten. Alle transacties zijn op ieder moment inzichtelijk. Het risico op fraude is volgens de producenten minimaal. Conclusie: een handige tool om het betalen op evenementen makkelijker te maken.

Sendsteps – Send2Stage

Begin van dit jaar won Sendsteps de FRESH Award in de categorie ‘Best Meeting Tool’. Nu, tijdens Event13 maakten meerdere sprekers, waaronder ook Solaris en Heijkoop, gebruik van deze PowerPoint plugin om meningen in het publiek te peilen. Mensen uit het publiek kunnen per SMS, web of tweet vragen, opmerkingen of het antwoord op een meerkeuzevraag naar de spreker op het podium sturen.

130328 123448 01 Reports (NL): Whats new at #event13? Veel inspiratie, weinig tools by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

Sendsteps is een fijne tool om het publiek tijdens de sessie een iets actievere rol te geven en meer te betrekken. Belangrijk: de spreker moet de tool met een duidelijke doelstelling gebruiken en ook op opmerkingen vanuit het publiek ingaan, anders heeft het geen meerwaarde.

Qusax – Social Media Marketing

Natuurlijk waren we heel erg benieuwd naar het bedrijf dat aan Social Media marketing doet en we werden aangenaam verrast. Qusax produceert ondermeer de ‘smart badges’ die Solaris tijdens zijn trend-presentatie noemde. Ze maken tools en apparaten, die fysieke evenementen met sociale online netwerken kunnen verbinden. Een voorbeeld is de RFID-scanner waarmee bezoekers hun fotos van het event of hun locatie op facebook kunnen delen. Dit doen ze met behulp van een RFID-tag in de vorm van een sleutelhanger, pasje of armbandje waarin hun facebook-gegevens opgeslagen zijn. Even voor de scanner houden – en de gewenste content wordt meteen in je netwerk geplaatst.

qusax social Media marketing Reports (NL): Whats new at #event13? Veel inspiratie, weinig tools by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

Veel meer aan innovatie had Event13 dit jaar helaas niet te bieden. Wij vinden dat daar aankomend jaar verandering in mag komen. Mogelijkheden zijn er genoeg. Ben jij misschien die creatieve geest die ze voor 2014 verder gaat ontwikkelen?

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:

3 Smart Social Media Lessons – from our own experience at IMEX

Three learnings from the @IMEXSocialTeam reporting from #IMEX12 in Frankfurt

During the IMEX in Frankfurt show in May, the “IMEX Social Team” reported live from the show floor. Our objective was to provide a participant’s perspective in real-time to the rest of the world and to help people with all their questions about social media so they could join the conversation online. In this post we share some of our key learnings for the use of Social Media at live events.

1. Make a connection between online and offline

From a cynical perspective, one could choose to view Twitter as a place where ‘people have a conversation with themselves, hoping that someone will respond’.  A more optimistic perspective sees the platform as a great opportunity to make potentially valuable new connections.  In practice during IMEX this meant the social team scanned the #IMEX12 timeline in order to identify people who were tweeting from the show floor and then we went to look them up and make a personal connection!

“Excuse me Melissa, you have been Tweeting at us, right?!” After a first look of surprise, we were always greeted with a big smile. “Yes indeed! How nice to meet you in real life!”.  Of course this usually led to a ‘photo opportunity’, which then resulted in a tweet, and often a re-tweet quickly thereafter.

Imex Social team Frankfurt 2012 meets Melissa in real life  3 Smart Social Media Lessons   from our own experience at IMEX by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)We believe it is vital to make a connection between the online and offline worlds at live events. Whether with a personal ‘lookup’ like we did, with a Tweetup Drink like the #EUventprofs community did, or with a physical ‘Tweetingpoint’, often supplied by the organiser. It is often the perfect – and the only – way to make online networking relevant to the offline networking goals and ambitions of a live event.

2. Add a personal touch

We were quite amazed that no less than 40% of our messages were ‘re-tweeted’. This gave us a much larger reach, compared to the 137 followers we collected in the five days we were active. We really made an effort to add a photo and someone’s @username to almost every message which gave a strong incentive to the re-tweeter. This tactic alone, although requiring a bit more work and attention to detail, seemed to be almost a guaranteed recipe for a ‘re-tweet’. Why? Because people love to be in the spotlight!

Imex Social Team Frankfurt 2012 with Ray Bloom  3 Smart Social Media Lessons   from our own experience at IMEX by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)And they want to tell their friends about it. Have you ever been mentioned in a newspaper when you were a kid? I bet you saved that clipping and showed it to your parents, grandparents, neighbours and classmates didn’t you? For now that principle still seems to hold in the Social Media arena. Our tip: next time you write up a Social Media message, try to add a personal touch to it and see what difference it makes.

3. Integrate with other media

Twitter and live events are made for each other. Due to the fact that all updates are public, it makes it really easy to connect with people at the same event, whether you’ve met them before or not. However, Twitter has a drawback: it still only reaches a minority of your total audience. That is why we strongly believe in integration with other media such as print and e-mail, which are accessible to everyone.

Adding a selection of ‘user generated content’ to your existing editorial media is a reward for the crowd that is already tweeting about your event (see previous learning). And at the same time it will show those who are not yet participating in the online conversation that there is some good stuff going on.  And of course, the more people tweeting about your event, the more exposure and reach you (and your sponsors!) can enjoy.

Imex Social Team Frankfurt 2012  3 Smart Social Media Lessons   from our own experience at IMEX by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)You’ll be able to see the @IMEXSocialTeam in action again at IMEX America in Las Vegas from October 9th – 11th where we’ll be sponsored by MEXICO.  Don’t forget to send a tweet to @IMEXSocialTeam once you get there. We’ll do our best to find you on the show floor!

[NL] Social media op evenementen: interview met Eventbranche.nl op Event12

“Het integreren van social media op evenementen. Eindelijk praktische toepasssingen! Een gesprek met Gerrit Heijkoop van de Social Media Helpdesk.”

Productie credits: Media Centrum Hilversum