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Social Media in Action – Foosackly’s Facebook Success Story

Posted by Production Productive IT on Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Foodackly Facebook

Often times it’s easy to extol the virtues of social media, after all it’s sort of become a requirement for any business looking to find success online. However, it’s understandably difficult for small businesses just starting out to really grasp just how they can see results. A few common misconceptions are that simply having a profile on a social network is enough or that fans should be flocking to you in droves by your third or fourth update. After all, that’s how it works for the McDonalds and Nikes of the world right?

Surprisingly enough its small businesses that reap more benefit from tapping into social network like Facebook or Twitter than those larger franchises ever will. Those that start adopting it as a part of their marketing early on have the opportunity to create authentic connections with their followers – one on one – and establish brand advocates that are 100% active as opposed to accumulating 500,000 “unactive” followers.

Fusaiotti’s strategy was so successful... It not only helped identify potential markets where the demand was strong, but also strengthened his online community who have now become active investors in the project.

I read a news article earlier this week that demonstrated a prime example of a small business utilizing its social network to great effect (and profit). The company in mention, Foosackly, is a local business located in Mobile, AL that has grown from a single location to seven in the past 11 years. For his most recent restaurants (which should launch by Thanksgiving) Foosackly founder Will Fusaiotti took a unique approach to choosing the location – he asked his Facebook fans.

Fusaiotti’s strategy was so successful (more than 3,000 people voted) that he ended up opening two locations instead of one! It not only helped identify potential markets where the demand was strong, but also strengthened his online community who have now become active investors in the project. And Foosackly isn’t alone; plenty of small businesses have seen big returns on social networks by investing their time and personality to the brand. Naked Pizza, which we covered here previously, is a prime case study for finding the same success on Twitter.

How do you currently utilize your social networks? Do you make it a priority to reward and connect with your followers on a daily basis?


Shaking Up the Social Landscape: Facebook's New Timeline

Posted by Production Productive IT on Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Facebook Timeline

Although social sharing platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare have gradually continued to evolve over the past year or so, it wasn’t until a few months ago that two of the biggest competitors (Google+ and Facebook) began creating some pretty gnarly waves in the social atmosphere.

Naturally, Google’s announcement that it would be re-entering the arena after several failed attempts (Buzz and Wave) was not very surprising, there’s little Google isn’t experimenting with at the moment and using Google+ as a springboard towards social search is a no-brainer for the company. What is surprising, however, are the changes coming from Facebook in the past few months. Either in response to Google’s looming presence or something that was pre-destined (perhaps both), Facebook has made its own wave of minor changes (Smart Lists, Subscribe button, Ticker Feed) with something pretty massive on the horizon.

That “something” is called Timeline and it is Facebook’s upcoming makeover (inspired by infographic guru Nicholas Felton) which has become quite the buzz-worthy topic of conversation among industry blogs and left many split in their opinion of it. On the positive side people are calling it “a richer, more immersive social experience than ever,” while others fear that the “massive makeover might just be a bit too much.” After experiencing Timeline firsthand I have to admit that it takes more than a little adjustment to get used to the dual column layout.

Beyond the aesthetics of the new look, Timeline puts a greater focus on user’s personal history (with an emphasis on the story part). Instead of just being able to “Like” things, Timeline will use third party apps such as Spotify, Netflix and others to track your taste in movies, music and perhaps even gaming habits. News Feeds, which are currently at the core of Facebook, will be transitioned over to the Twitter-esque Ticker feed located on the right sidebar where the Chat feature resides.

Timeline Stories


Facebook Unveils New Privacy Features. How Will it Affect Your Business?

Posted by Production Productive IT on Monday, August 29, 2011

FaceBook Business

Early last week the developers at Facebook began releasing several new sharing options for users based on privacy controls similar in concept to Google Plus’ Circles concept. Whether or not the change was already planned (Facebook product manager Kate O’Neil told VentureBeat it had been in development for 6 months) or done in reaction to the competition will likely be speculated on by both sides for some time, but the important takeaway is that Facebook is evolving (and quickly).

Among the new features, Facebook now allows users greater control over “tagging” in both posts and photos including options to approve, deny, remove and altogether block a tag. In addition users can now take advantage of the platform’s “inline audience selector” to share updates with a specific selection of friends or custom groups (circles?) instead of everything being public. Likewise, Pages can choose to share updates with only certain groups – currently limited to Location and Language.

Facebook Sharing

So what does this mean for businesses seeking better social media engagement through Facebook?

It won’t make it any easier, that’s for sure. While marketers can still offer valuable content for users to share, those same users may now choose to share it with only 20 friends instead of 200. Granted, these 20 friends may be more engaged than the others, but the features could severely restrict a business’ reach (not to mention making it harder to track). With Google+ now emerging as a viable competitor, Facebook seems less concerned with businesses (at least momentarily) and more concentrated on not losing their user base. After all, no users is bad for business.


Is Facebook Falling Behind?

Posted by Production Productive IT on Monday, July 18, 2011

Facebook and Google

That's the first question that came to mind shortly after my Beta test of Google's new Google+ (Google Plus) social network. Of course, Facebook still reigns as king of the hill when it comes to membership — it currently boasts over 750 million "active users" — but that may not be the case much longer if the social giant falls behind in adapting new technologies.

Case in point, Mark Zuckerberg's announcement earlier this month of Facebook's new video chat feature in partnership with Skype. This new feature - which also marks a redesigned chat interface and group chats - comes in the shadow of Google +'s Hangout feature. 

While both features offer video chat, what's interesting is that only Hangout seems to allow its members to have a group video chat (10 people at a time) whereas Facebook is limited to one-on-one conversations. Facebook's "video calling" is also not currently available to the general public while Hangouts is available to everyone (who hasn't become a member... except maybe William Shatner?)

This is not to say that Facebook is dead, far from it, but it does mark a warning sign that could very well put Google+ in the lead going forward should it prove to be a popular enough in the social networking stratosphere. According to Ancestry.com founder Paul Allen, approximately 10 million users had already signed up for Google+ this time last week.

What do you think? Is this the beginning of the end for Facebook or is Google+ just another "wave' in the search engine giant's quest for social order?


Facebook announces "Deals" Coming Soon

Posted by Production Productive IT on Monday, March 14, 2011

Facebook Deals

According to web-related news site The Next Web, Facebook has announced their intentions to launch a Groupon-inspired ecommerce service that would allow businesses to offer discounts and products to their followers. With a member base of several hundred million, this move essentially opens up a massively new stream of marketing which could prove to be a substantial blow to Groupon, LivingSocial and similar sites.

Facebook will begin with several small business in select cities for blowing the gates wide open. It's an intimidating initiative to be sure, but one that has already seen some exposure in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK since early 2011 as Facebook Deals. Deals works much like a cross between sites like Groupon and FourSquare where users can "check in" on Facebook at specific locations to receive any special deals that might be available there.


Why Social Media Makes a Difference for Small Business

Posted by Hanan Wilson on Friday, March 11, 2011

Social Media

With so many options available to connect with customers, not to mention all of the tasks required just to keep the day-to-day aspects of your business functioning, you many find the prospect of entering the maelstrom of social media more than a little daunting. Not becoming involved, however, even in the slightest way, could be having a unseen (and growing) negative impact on your business.

I'm sure that you've heard of tools like Twitter, Skype, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Vimeo. If not over the course of your own experience than on television, your kids, or your business partners and peers. These tools have changed the way in which we work, play and even how we live our daily lives. In short they matter and they're beginning to matter to more and more people every day.

These people, your employees and your customers, are using these tools to rapidly change the way that modern marketing (and to a degree society) works. The ease and accessibility of things like Twitter and Facebook especially allow you to interact directly with your customers on their level. This sort of relationship also tends to make them better customers.

There have been some amazing stories, from both large corporations and small business, emerge from the proper leveraging of social media and each share a common element: engagement. Social media allows you to genuinely engage your customers (and even employees) by allowing them to express their feedback and opinions on your product/service, participate in exclusive information/announcements, and build buzz (ie. interest) in your message. The point being, if you don't have a social media strategy in place, you're losing out on an entire fan base.

But perhaps, as I mentioned above, you don't have the time or skill to use social media effectively. That's where we can help guide you through the process, making it even simpler for you to not only create all of the social profiles you'll need, but manage them as well. 

For more information on how our Internet Marketing services can help you, be sure to drop us a line or give us a call at 334-356-3561.


Add a Facebook "Like" Widget to your Productive Sites!

Posted by Production Productive IT on Friday, January 28, 2011

Productive Sites

.Facebook PIT
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have rapidly become the new arenas for finding an audience online and powerful tools for communicating with existing clients. Integrating them into your site can be a great way to drive traffic and foster a community of like-minded clientele and collaborators. With our Facebook Social Plugin you can now add your your choice of Facebook widget easier than ever before!

Like Box or Like Button

Though the names are confusingly similar, the two functions are not the same and it is important to understand the difference in order to make you Facebook page a success

The Like button is a convenient way for your website visitors to share a particular page on your site with their friends on Facebook. The Like box, on the other hand, makes your site visitors fans of your company's Facebook page. From that moment on, they will see every announcement that you post on your Facebook Page in their Most Recent News feed.

Like buttons are best used at the top or bottom of every page on your site, immediately before or after the content. Like Boxes are most often used on the homepage and in repeating sections of your website like side-bars and columns.

Facebook Plugin

How to add a Like Box

You can add a Like Box to your site in similar manner as you add a Like button. First if you haven't installed Facebook Social Plugins before, go to Control Panel > Applications and installing it from there.

Then from Add Content, choose Facebook Plugin and select the green area on your page where you want to add the box. Next, select the Like Box, enter the URL of your company's Facebook Page, set options and click Add. If you need help setting up a Facebook Page or any sort of social media profile, feel free to ask about our Internet Marketing services.

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