Atlanta graphic design

What You Need to Know about Facebook Timeline for Businesses

You may have noticed your favorite companies’ Facebook profiles have changed to match the Timeline style utilized in personal profiles. While it’s always controversial anytime Facebook makes a visual change, we all know that change can come with benefits, and this is definitely the case with the Facebook brand page Timeline.

For companies who may not be as social media savvy, we thought we’d break down the changes to help you make the most of the business Timeline format.

Updated User Interface

When you log in, you’ll notice that the side bar of administrator options has moved above the page into an “Admin Panel.” There, you’ll find new notifications, a list of people who have recently liked your page, messages, insights, and page tips. More in-depth options are found under the “Manage” tab at the top of the panel (profile picture, basic information, apps, etc.). The streamlined look puts a lot of what you’ll need to assess your Facebook profile in one place and can be hidden if you want to focus more on your profile content.

Messages

Previously not a feature on a Facebook business page, messaging is now available to organizations! While this will help you better communicate with current and potential customers and clients, it could also be tough for larger companies to keep up with an ever-growing inbox. For those who may not be able to answer all the messages they receive, Facebook allows businesses to opt-out of this feature by turning it off in the admin settings.

Highlight Important Updates

Just like your customers can highlight important life events in Timeline, businesses and organizations can “pin” certain events and highlight status updates they deem important. If you scroll over the top right corner of any status update, link, or photo, you’ll notice the “highlight” option. By clicking this, the status update becomes larger and takes up the width of your page. This highlighting option shows clients that it’s important enough for them to give it a second look. Make sure not to highlight everything, though, or your page will become a visual nightmare.

Add Milestones to Your Timeline

Similarly to highlighted updates, you can add important events or milestones to your business’s Timeline. This is a fun little way to show the history of your business. By clicking the milestone option on the status update toolbar (above where you’d type a status), you can add the date and pictures from when your business was founded, when important members joined the team, and other exciting business milestones. Facebook offers companies a unique way to enhance brand identity with the milestone feature.

Cover Photo

This is one of the most visible changes in the business page’s switch to the Timeline format. While it’s an exciting new way to draw in new followers, there are specific rules Facebook has issued for the cover photo including no pricing info (“20% Off!”), no calls to action (“Tell your friends!”), and no company info that would be in the “About” section. You can’t encourage people to like your page on the cover photo. Instead it’s supposed to remain, just that, a photo that describes your company and services. So get creative with your graphic design!

The new Timeline for company pages offers businesses a chance to really engage in social media in ways that the previous format didn’t allow. By making the organization pages similar to personal profiles, Facebook gives companies the opportunity to really shine and show the personality of their brands. For more information on social media marketing, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+!

McCauley Marketing Services’ Top Blogs of 2011

It’s the time of year when new organizations and people alike enjoy recapping the last year. What were the ups and downs? We thought we’d do the same and outline the most popular blogs McCauley had to offer in 2011! Check out our picks below and see if you agree.

Best Photo of the Week: Knowing When to Ask for Marketing Help

While we take pride in trying to find the funniest stock photos to use in these short blogs, this poor, crying little baby is probably one of our favorites. Maybe it’s the mini-office furniture, the baby-sized suit and wig, or the fact that we’ve all had days when we feel like this little gal, but this photo is just too funny to pass up.

Best PR Advice: The Lost Art of Conversation

Technology makes our lives a million times easier, but it doesn’t capture the nuances that are a part of in-person communication. Because so much about the ways we communicate is non-verbal, there’s a distinct element of internet communication that lacks the subtleties that are present when we pick up the phone or meet someone for coffee to discuss business. McCauley Marketing’s emphasis is on open lines of communication with all of our clients.

Best Website Design Advice: How to Build a Successful Website

Websites are more than just words on an internet page and corresponding pictures. While it may seem like that’s all there is to it, the truth is that the recipe for an effective website involves a lot of moving parts all working together for a positive consumer experience. Here we list the ingredients for a good website and how to bake one up!

Best Social Media Advice: Is Your Brand Social-Friendly?

There’s no denying that social media is the biggest boom in both every day and commercial communications. Making sure your brand is social media friendly involves more than just opening a Facebook account, but utilizing the myriad types of media available and making certain you emphasize quality over quantity with your posts.

Best Writing Advice: Gotcha Grammar: The Most Common Writing Mistakes Explained—Conquering the Apostrophe

It’s hard to know all the rules and exceptions to the rules in the English language. McCauley Marketing Services’ new series on grammar hopes to make these rules a little easier to understand. Our first blog in the series debuted in December as we took on the ever-difficult apostrophe. With copywriters on hand, the apostrophe is a grammatical element near and dear to our hearts.

Now that 2011 is on its way out, we want to know what blog topics you’re interested in learning more about. Tell us in the comments below what advertising, social media, public relations, web design, or writing blogs you’d like us to write in 2012!

Gotcha Grammar: The Most Common Writing Mistakes Explained—Conquering the Apostrophe

Our team of copywriters creates large volumes of content every day. From print ads to website copy for education and search engine optimization (SEO), there are words written by marketing professionals on pretty much every subject you could imagine nowadays. Grammar is one of the most important elements of copywriting. While proofreading is crucial to preventing grammatical errors, sometimes they just slip through. We understand that the English language is pretty confusing sometimes. There are plenty of exceptions to every rule.

One of the most common errors in writing is misuse of the apostrophe. There are three accepted uses of an apostrophe:

  1. In possessive nouns (to show something belongs to someone: John’s blog.)
  2. To show the omission of letters or numbers (like in contractions: can’t, don’t, the ‘60s, etc.)
  3. To pluralize lowercase letters (like in “mind your p’s and q’s; not necessary when you pluralize capitalized letters, numbers, or symbols though some editors prefer them.)

Apostrophes are not needed to pluralize regular words (“Hand me the portfolio’s“ vs. “Hand me the portfolios“). When you’re wondering if you should include an apostrophe on a word like this, ask yourself if the word you’re adding the ‘s to owns the word after it.

For example, in the sentence “Teacher’s shape lives,” the teachers are not in possession of shape or lives. Therefore, the sentence should be written, “Teachers shape lives.” In the sentence, “Jill’s battery died,” the battery belongs to Jill and so an apostrophe to show possession should be used. Other examples include the following:

  • My brothers both work in public relations.
  • The kitten’s fur is soft.
  • McCauley’s marketing tips are useful.
  • James’s sister ate my candy. (“James’ sister” is also acceptable since the noun [James] ends in S)

When the subject in possession of something is plural, the apostrophe goes outside the S, as opposed to inside between the word and the S. For example, “three cats’ toys” indicates that three cats (more than one) are in possession of the toys. Other examples include the following:

  • “five designers’ applications”
  • “seven writers’ drafts”
  • “all the flowers’ petals”

Another tip: you can add ‘s to the end of compound phrases, “my mother-in-law’s recipe,” and to the end of the final noun in cases of joint possession, “Sam and Christy’s presentation.”

There’s only one exception to these rules: its and it’s. Because the possessive and contraction of the word “it” would both involve an apostrophe according to traditional rules, there’s a small caveat to the original rules. The possessive “it” does not have an apostrophe: “The dog chased its tail.” Meanwhile, the contraction “it is” does involve an apostrophe: “It’s time to start holiday advertising.”

The proper use of the apostrophe is one grammar rules where it seems like the exceptions are endless. We hope our explanation helps sort out the proper use of the apostrophe so all your writing and website content management can be grammatically correct!

For more marketing tips and answers to your marketing questions, make sure to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo of the Week: Knowing When to Ask for Marketing Help

tiny-officeMarketing is one of those jobs that everyone thinks they can do on their own, “It’s advertising! How hard can it be?” However, the research and careful consideration that goes into each element of your strategy when marketing your business can be a job in itself. Pair that with the other requirements of your business, and you could be setting yourself up for quite a headache. With the constant updates going on with internet marketing in areas like social media and search engine optimization (SEO), it can be challenging keeping up with the latest trends and changes while managing other aspects of your job.

The McCauley Marketing Services’ team understands that marketing and advertising isn’t easy to try to do yourself. If you’re feeling in over your head, we hope you can use our website and blog as resources for information and as an indicator to know when it’s time to consult a professional.

You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter for even more marketing tips and news!

This week we’d like you to caption this photo.

Our take: “Judy had almost finished her plan for the Pampers account when her computer froze. Looks like it’s time for a nap.”

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Saying You’re Sorry: ConAgra Foods’ PR Stunt Lands them in Hot Water with Bloggers

Hidden camera advertising campaigns have been around for a while. You’ve probably seen them yourself.  Product makers tell unsuspecting consumers that they’re getting one type of product (usually a fancy, costly piece of merchandise or service) while they really give them a less expensive product.  These companies are out to prove that their reduced-cost brand performs just as well as its more expensive counterpart.  Meanwhile, manufacturers are recording the whole experience, including the reveal in which unsuspecting consumers are told the coffee, shampoo, pizza, they are enjoying is a completely different brand.  This is the part where product-makers expect surprised, but pleased reactions.

ConAgra Foods attempted a similar ploy, but instead of pleasant surprise, they were met with discontent and even anger.

According to a New York Times article, ConAgra Foods invited a group of food and mommy bloggers to a dinner event that was supposed to be hosted by a celebrity chef at a swanky New York restaurant location.  The bloggers were told they would be discussing food trends like organics and chemicals used in food and also receive a pair of prize tickets for one of their blog readers.

At the end of the night, it was revealed that their celebrity chef-prepared dinner was in fact a new version of Marie Callender’s frozen lasagna.  Instead of delighted disbelief, the bloggers reacted negatively to being tricked into eating something other than what they thought, and like true bloggers, they took to the internet to express their indignation.

One blogger said their discussion on organic and non-processed foods went completely against the meal they were served.  Another complained that she was not part of their target audience and is annoyed that she was included as an attempt to get her to write about their product in her blog.

ConAgra’s marketing mistake is an example of a marketing strategy that could have used more careful consideration. The head of the Board of Ethics and Professional Standards at the Public Relations Society of America, Deborah A. Silverman, admits that while the promotion wasn’t the most honest, the branch of public relations dealing with social media and blogging is still being felt out in terms of boundaries. However, Silverman acknowledges that this incident serves as a good learning opportunity.

Many bloggers feel as though their job is to bring truth and real-world perspective to their readers, and being tricked into eating food that is against their blogging missions served less as a “light bulb” moment, as ConAgra has hoped, but instead as a public relations fiasco.

We at McCauley Marketing Services understand the importance of thinking outside the box when it comes to catching the attention of consumers.  However, an important part of customer relationship management is knowing your customer base and weighing the pros and cons of potential campaigns.  ConAgra may have misstepped in their attempt to recreate a classic commercial scheme, but their public relations company is attempting to ensure the bloggers have no hard feelings first by apologizing, secondly by offering to reimburse the bloggers for any costs (cab fare, babysitting fees) their event may have caused, and thirdly by vowing not to air the footage taped at the event.

While the best public relations policy is to avoid mishaps like ConAgra’s with thorough market research for your product, making certain to apologize for any public relations mistake is of utmost importance. Just like when you make a mistake with friends, a sincere apology along with reparative measures goes further than many people think. While the New York bloggers may swear off frozen lasagna, ConAgra still has the chance to start anew and regain their marketing integrity.

McCauley Marketing attempts to prevent these types of public relations disasters by carefully investigating the target demographic before implementing any advertising campaigns while making certain to avoid any campaign that could potentially result in a negative depiction of any client. We understand that everyone makes slips up, even big, corporate PR firms, but prevention is best because it’s always hard to regain people’s trust and it’s equally difficult to conduct public relations’ clean-up given the instant sharing ability of content sharing platforms and social media.

For more information on McCauley Marketing Services visit our website.  If you haven’t already, be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

« Older Entries