Companies Breaking Facebook Rules

Facebook have some rules about where and how you can launch contests through them. Facebook promotional guidelines. So many marketers seem to forget about this... Just saw this example. This page only has a hundred fans so maybe they don´t care if they get shut down but it still seems like such a shame to me. 
Example of how you CANT build a contest (this example is a spanish site)
Pay attention! Facebook can shut down your page anytime if you break these rules. You MUST use an app to launch a contest and you can NOT require people to comment or like things on your page in order to enter the contest.
I´m putting this picture in the extra large size even though it doesnt fit the blog but I really want you to see what it says so we leave you with zero doubts.


Quick Facebook Tips

Creating a good landing tab for your Facebook page can make an enormous difference in terms of getting new fans. You can design it so that NO-fans see one thing, and FANS see another thing. This can be easily done with a free app from for example Wildfireapp or Cool-tabs.

Here are a couple of examples of GREAT Facebook landing pages.

Skittles have integrated a small box at the top which informs the user of it´s 19 MILLION fans. Why is the genious? Because unless you scroll down you will see that impressive number.
Next I want to mention their updates. Look how short their posts are and how many comments and likes they get. Pepsi and Coca Cola goe down the same road. Less is more. Use short and engaging updates, preferably with a question now and then.
Always think about the screen view of the viewer. If you´re a designer or creative mega-screen user and you´re sitting with your massive 27 inch Apple screen you´re not going to see what the average user sees. Have a laptop next to you or ask to use your friends or colleagues computer to see what they see.

Another great landing tab can be enjoyed if you surf into the facebook page of  IdeaPaint. I just LOVE how they have integrated the links into the background.
The dowload gives you a coupon with the charmy message "Well arn´t you clever". Take-Away: Use a casual language. Facebook is as far away from a corporate website as you can possibly get.

Last I want to mention IdeaPoint´s Youtube tab. They have added a GREAT Facebook plugin and instead of SHARE this they use SEND which seems a bit more original.


Choosing a Social Media Listening Tool

I recently started a new job and part of that job was to find a social media listening tool.
I had done my research good and had a whole list of everything from free tools such as Socialmention, Hootsuite, Twittercounter to medium size tools such as Rowfeeder,  SimplymeasuredInvolver and  Peoplebrowsr to the top tools such as Radian6Sysomos and Meltwater.
I had previously been an inspector from outside, now I was thrown into the hands-on-try-out-every-tool-in-the-world to-find-the-best-one.
What tool to pick is a common subject among community managers and social media managers these days and most people have only tried the free or low cost tools yet. Companies are still hestitant if a 600 eur/month investment is necessary.

I always thought that we are so advanced and have so many options when it comes to monitoring, tracking and engaging through a tool. But I have realized the ugly truth, it´s not so glorious as it seems.
Ladies and gentlemen, I´m here to tell you that there is not a single medium size tool that has convinced me 100%.

If you´re a large organization supported by a well-known brand (think Colgate, Toyota, Motorola, Vodafone) with a lot of existing online chatter and maybe hundreds of employees and you want to give access to various departments to track and engage in conversations, a 600$/month tool such as Radian6 or Meltwater might be what you´re looking for.
What´s the advantages?
The sentiment is more accurate the more you pay. There is a human being behind the desk somewhere to verify that negative really IS negative.
The access, you get various logins for many people (some tools call it SEATS)
The extension of handling the posts, assigning posts, following up e.t.c.
The number of platforms on which you can directly post (posting directly to your wordpress blog for example or accessing Facebook fan pages)
The reporting, whether or not the tool lets you export nice graphs, excel sheets or if it only let's you extract the raw data.

But if you DON´T have lots of people already talking about you, you may still be interested in listening and engaging. Here comes the problem. Most medium size tools only offer you tracking/listening/monitoring and NOT engaging directly inside the tool. It may not be a problem if you like posting from the original outposts or through a tool such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. But for me, I like collecting things into one place.
I managed to find two medium size tools that give me both but neither one of them have convinced me 100%.
PeopleBrowser offer us 3 products, Research.ly, Viral Analytics and Engagement Center, all together for approx 100 eur/month (149$). The price is good, the idea is excellent, the interface is beautiful, the reports are great. BUT the technical part doesn't work great. It takes long to load the pages and I´ve had more error messages in one day than Mac has given me in my iMac the last 2 years. The support team are great and answer fast to emails and questions, but it's a bit annoying to reload the page 15 times for it to work properly.
The reporting works OK but far from perfect. When I want to export the beautiful graphs they dont get exported with the time frames I have indicated and some graphs don't load correctly. I finally ended up doing it manually, making a screenshot and dragging it into a Keynote presentation which I later exported to a PDF.

Next one is Involver. The special thing about them is they offer various apps, contest, sweepstakes, review and poll apps under different categories. So if you sign up for their Pro plan which is in the price span I was looking for, we get access to 2 apps for our Facebook fan page. That´s good.

Now, their Pro version is around 100 eur/month too and the interface works better than People Browser. It's cleaner and works faster, no tech problems.
However I miss simplicity. Maybe this is because I´m pretty stressed and need to figure out the tools fast, but if I need to spend more than 30 minutes looking for where I can track hashtags and retweets I´m either stupid or it´s not clear enough. Either way it has to be created for the stressed people too :-)
The pro version doesn't let me post directly to my Wordpress blog, then I have to upgrade to the Business level and now where talking 700 eur=999$/ month (baahh!!). The business version also gives me more outlets (20 instead of 10), more users and better analytics (the option to export nice graphs for example).

Hootsuite on the other hand is a basic tool, it comes as a free version or paid version and the paid version actually gives me a lot of what I need.

I´m in the middle of this jungle and if someone has any great tip or opinion, feel free to let me know!