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May 28 2009

Is Facebook Advertising Right For Your Business?


Everywhere you go it seems people cannot stop talking about Facebook.  I have been approached by several clients who are interested in advertising on there.  While having a presence on a social media channel such as Facebook, is important, it may not be the best solution for every type of business.

Facebook ads can be targeted towards members not only by their age, location, martial status, sex and education level, but also by the interests indicated in their profile.  Advertisers are able to select the audience they wish to reach; however, this may not work for certain industries.  For example, an auto accident attorney in Phoenix, Arizona may want to start participating in Facebook.  The attorney will be able to select the Phoenix area as the geographic location, along with the gender and age group; however they would be unable to select ‘auto accidents’ as an interest when choosing the audience.  By only selecting the geographic area of Phoenix, the attorney runs a great risk of having the ads display on undesirable user profiles.  Another suggestion that may work better would be to create a page or group for the attorney.  Searchers would then be able to fan the page and learn more about the attorney’s services.

An example of a business that may perform extremely well in Facebook would be a nighclub.  This advertiser would be able to not only specify sex and marital status, but also particular interests such as, nightclubs, dancing and music.  Not only would they be able to reach the desired demographic but also users who have these particular interests.  In addition, this advertiser may also want to set up a page or group within Facebook for additional advertising saturation.

Facebook is a powerful social media tool that can help you bring your business to the next level.  There are many different components within Facebook that you can utilize. Whether you choose to participate in pay per click advertising or otherwise, don’t miss out on the huge potential Facebook offers.

Posted in: Facebook

May 22 2009

Lexicon: Facebook’s Answer to Google Insights for Search?


With Google Insights for Search, you can “compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties”.  Don’t you wish Facebook provided a similar tool for search and wall-posting activity that occurs within its ecosystem?  They do….it’s called Lexicon….and it’s FREE! If your business is still in on the fence with regard to launching and maintaining a presence in Facebook, I suggest utilizing a combination of tools (namely Lexicon) and manual research to help determine the most appropriate strategy for gaining visibility and engaging with your customers and prospects.

A comparison of the terms “iphone” and “blackberry” are illustrated below.



Although Lexicon does not currently provide the granular level of segmentation that Google Insights does, these features are in the works and can be previewed here:  Cool new features include:

  • Demographic Trends: breaks down who is discussing a given
    topic by age, gender, and country
  • Associations Graph:  plots terms that are frequently mentioned alongside the topic
  • Sentiments:  percentage of positive versus negative posts
  • Pulse:  shows keywords that frequently occur in the Profiles of users who mentioned the topic or keyword
  • Maps:  shows where people are talking about the topic

Of the new features in the pipeline, it is tough to choose just 1 favorite.  Associations, Sentiments, and Pulse are my personal faves.  Associations are similar to “Rising Searches” or “Breakout Searches” provided by Google Insights.  The Associations graph is great for identifying related terms that are used in conjunction with the core term you are researching.  See below for associations with “Swine Flu” wall posts in Facebook.

Consider using the same language in your Wall Posts as your prospective customers.  Just how you should position yourself depends on your overall strategy for the channel.  Using the Sentiments info provided by Lexicon can help guide the process.  Lexicon Sentiments gives you an idea of positive versus negative commentary on the term you are researching.  If you find that there is an overall negative sentiment toward your product / brand, be prepared to address the concerns head on! 

Pulse is awesome!  It gives you insight into interests (keywords) of users posting content relative to the keyword you are researching.  This data can be tremendously valuable when setting up Sponsored Ads.  For example, if I wanted to target football enthusiasts, Lexicon provides me with a list of keywords to include in targeting for my ad.  The example below provides a breakdown of favorite TV Shows for users who posted wall content relevant to “football”.

While proactive keyword research and competitive analysis is critical to planning an engagement strategy for entering new platforms (or markets), Lexicon is not generally one of the go-to tools; it has somehow managed to go unnoticed by many online marketers.  Maybe it is the excitement of Google Insights or the buzz about Twitter Search that has pulled would-be users into other channels.  Perhaps subscription-based options give users a greater sense of value?  Before heading down the road of paid or proprietary tools, check out what people are saying about you on Wall Posts in the Facebook ecosystem.

May 21 2009

Parlez-Vous Twitter? How to Tweet Internationally


Tweeting across language borders can be challenging, but if you are marketing internationally, Twitter can be a great way to reach across cultural boundaries and engage a whole new audience. For example, did you know that the most widely spoken language in the world is Chinese? In order to use Twitter internationally, consider employing a Twitter Translator. One new promising tool comes from It takes your tweet and translates it using Google’s Translation tool:

Not only that but any tweets coming in from another language can be translated into English (or whatever language you prefer – they cover 42 languages including Chinese, Greek and Arabic). If you want to try it now, go to:

If you have some knowledge of the other language and want to review your tweets before you send them, you can also use Google’s translator tool directly:

This takes a little longer, but lets me preview my tweet before I send it out to the world.

Even considering the potential for misunderstanding, using translation software can help you get a better understanding of international friends and potential new customers. If you have a good relationship with your followers and explain that you are using translation software, they’ll likely understand any small language mishaps.

The tool is in development now and as with any automatic translator, it won’t be perfect, so you’ll want to be careful not to challenge it with slang English terms – keep the language straightforward and simple to avoid misunderstandings. If you are unsure of this and prefer to stick to English, go ahead and tweet internationally in English as English is a popular second language and your followers will likely understand your English tweets as well. In that case, you might just want to use the tool to understand when your international correspondents tweet in their native language.

In any case, don’t be afraid to expand your world and use Twitter internationally to find new customers across cultural and international borders.

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