Category Archives: Social Media Tools

Facebook, Fan Pages, and Timeline

Nowadays, most brands have already established their presence on Facebook by setting up Fan Pages. The recent (forced!) migration to the Timeline layout has had a significant impact upon both personal accounts and Fan Pages alike, with users scrambling to renovate their pages and content to better fit the new format before the changes officially kicked in. Unfortunately, there is no way to opt-out and go back to the old layout (cue the collective moans). As blogger Pam Moore writes in her article, however, the best way forward is to adapt to this change and make things work to your advantage. The advice that she gives is valuable to both companies with existing Fan Pages as well as to those who are considering starting up their own pages.

Fan Pages do not become successes by themselves – they require careful planning, dedicated resources, and innovation in order to help them stand out from the crowd. After all, why would a company bother to create a page but not care whether people will view and “Like” it?

I think that the Fan Page for RW & Co., a Canadian fashion brand, is well done and a good role model to other, similar-sized clothing brands.

What are some of the things that the company is doing right?

  • They have a relevant and appealing cover photo. As of today, the picture shows a stylishly dressed couple who look as if they are on their way to a party, which is very different from the typical fashion advertisements where models look as if they are dressed for the runway. This casual image reinforces the company’s motto of “effortless & original styles for Him & Her”.
  • They post on a frequent basis – approximate 3 or 4 times a week. They also maintain a good balance of photos and text. I especially like how they minimize the use of large photos by grouping their picture uploads, which has the effect of displaying the images as thumbnails on the main page. Together, these efforts keep the content fresh and make the page look clean and easy to read.
  • They are quick to respond to user comments and provide helpful information instead of just giving brief and not-so-meaningful replies. For instance, when a user asked when a certain product would be in stores, the company responded by saying that the product is from their Holiday Collection and would arrive in stores late October to end of November. Not only did the company answer the user’s question, they also provided an additional tidbit of information to advertise the product.
  • They hold contests whereby users simply fill out a form as well as those that encourage users to submit their own content. One notable example is their annual wedding contest where users can submit pictures of themselves wearing RW&CO. clothing at their own weddings.
  • The company sets up polls to gauge whether certain products or trends will be popular amongst its audience. This encourages users to provide direct feedback to RW&Co. that the company can use to shape their strategic decisions.

Although the company already is doing a great job of maintaining its Fan Page, there is always room for improvement. For instance, the company could consider some of these suggestions:

  • The Fan Page thumbnail should be congruent with the theme of their corporate website. It is not immediately obvious how the blue background relates to their overall colour scheme and branding (black, grey, and white).
  • Commenting on polls should be enabled so as to encourage users to discuss their poll choices and share their opinions.
  • Encourage users to share the company’s posts – e.g. “Hit “Share” if you think that this will be the next trend!”. Although Shares require more user effort to complete, this helps to disseminate information beyond your existing fan base because friends of your fans will see these Shares on their own news feeds.

Do you have any examples of Facebook Fan Pages that you feel are well done? What is it about the page that makes it appealing to users?

Are there pages that you think would benefit from a complete overhaul? Share your picks below and tell us how you would improve them.


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Talking About IKEA

I recently accompanied a friend to IKEA to help him pick out some bedroom furnishings. While he perused the aisles looking for the perfect ceiling lamp, I noticed that there were still a good number of shoppers in the building. I know that IKEA is generally the go-to place for affordable furniture but I had not realized that sales would still be brisk during weekdays. It is no wonder that the furniture giant continues to expand its empire worldwide.

Each year, Interbrand (a brand consulting firm) puts together a list of Top 100 Best Global Brands. In 2011, IKEA ranked 31. I then wondered: what is IKEA’s popularity amongst the web community?

I used a tool called Twitalyzer to help me get a snippet of the brand’s activity on Twitter. I focused my sights on IKEA Canada.

Here are the results that the tool returned:

IKEA Canada has an average Twitalyzer Impact score in the last 30 days of 7.3% (putting them in the 93rd percentile of all Twitter users) and is classified by Twitalyzer as a Everyday User (having a small circle of influence but great potential.)

When we last looked about 0 minutes ago, IKEA Canada had 16,411 followers and was following 928 other Twitter users.

Note: impact refers to “a combination of the following factors: the number of followers a user has, the number of references and citations of the user, how often the user is retweeted, and how often the user is retweeting other people, and the relative frequency at which the user posts updates.

Although numbers usually tell a splashier story, I have a bias toward qualitative data because I find that the results offer a deeper insight on what is actually going on. I wanted to use Twitalyzer to look at tweet content but was disappointed to find that the free version of the app only shows a list of the most recent 10 Twitter users who have @mentioned IKEA Canada; the app does not show me the actual content of their conversations. To get around this, I manually browsed to each of the individual Twitter accounts to hunt for the specific tweets.

Here is where qualitative data can get interesting. How do you determine the meaning behind the content? First of all, you need to code the content based on the emotion of the conversation. A typical scale used in marketing is to code negative comments with -1, neutral comments with 0, and positive comments with +1.

Here are 10 recent mentions for @IKEACanada along with my coding noted within parentheses:

eleenie @eleenie
@MaybellineCAN #BBCream Shopping spree at @IKEACanada. Seriously in need of some organization solutions in my home.  (+1)

Jenn Petrichenko @JPetrichenko
Well, slept in until 1500 today, so mot much done. But I DID have a successful shopping trip at @IKEACanada #Coqutilam. Hurrah shelves! (+1)

HoTtawa @its_hottawa
Why are @ikeacanada carts so impossible to maneuver ? Everyone’s carts are horizontal to their forward-facing bodies. (-1)

Ryan Kirkpatrick @Ryan3yyc
When @IKEACanada screws up and doesn’t put critical parts in their boxes they should have to deliver missing parts. #wastedafternoondriving (-1)

Eileen Fisher @YMCbuzz
Love these decor finds from @IKEACanada that @SarahGunnStyle loves. I’m all inspired now 🙂 (+1)

Jeff Leiper @jleiper
Thanks to @IKEACanada for taking my word on non-functioning lamp bought last weekend, lack of receipt, no packaging. Easy exchange! (+1)

Theresa @tsacreations
Thx @IKEACanada for addressing my issue & generously compensating me. Much appreciated! Now my place will look more like your catalogues 😛 (+1)

Sarah Gunn @SarahGunnStyle
My top decor picks from the new IKEA catalogue….what’s your favourite? (0)

Nicole Nielsen @nicolernielsen
I have so much respect for @IKEACanada , in their new store in Richmond, they reserve all front row parking for hybrids! #livinggreen (+1)

Jay Gee @Rozzy80
@elmeebaterina @IKEACanada Can we just have a freezer stocked full of their meatballs? (0)

The result of this activity:  a +4 rating.

Although Twitalyzer shows a low Impact score for IKEA Canada, it seems as if the overall sentiment expressed about the brand is generally positive. Of course, a sample size of 10 is definitely not representative of the Twitter population but this exercise really drives home the idea that you should not rely on one single tracking tool to monitor your brand. Because each tool tracks something different (or tracks the same thing differently), companies should identify additional monitoring mechanisms so as to ensure a more accurate representation of reality.

Which tracking tools do you find the most useful for your purposes? Do you put more weight on quantitative data than on qualitative data, vice versa, or equally on both?


Filed under Branding, Social Media Tools

Almost Everything You Have Ever Wanted to Know (and more!) About the Golden Arches

In an attempt to be transparent and to protect its reputation, McDonald’s Canada has recently launched a social media campaign called Our Food, Your Questions  (Here is an article from The Globe and Mail regarding this campaign)

So what is this campaign all about? Continue reading

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Filed under Social Media Campaigns, Social Media Tools

More Reasons to Blog?

I’ve just read a post from Jeff Bullas’ blog on the topic of “What are the 10 Secret Benefits of Blogging?”  Bullas runs a great blog on anything and everything to do with social media and online marketing. I highly recommend perusing through his posts as he shares the latest trends as well as his own insights on these two subject areas.

In his post, he discusses 10 benefits to blogging:

  1. You will become a better writer
  2. Your video skills will improve
  3. You will learn
  4. Visibility – people will hear about you
  5. Expert status
  6. Become a champion researcher
  7. Power networker
  8. Your memory will improve
  9. Your creativity will increase
  10. Synergizes and synthesizes focus

Continue reading

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