Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Facebook Fanpages: Getting Started

This is part two of the Online Media Rookie Series.

So you've decided to create a fan page on Facebook to connect with your audience.  The following is a tutorial for getting started.

Look for the link to creating a page (pictured above), then click it.

From there, you'll be presented with a myriad of categories, pictured below.

  • Local Business or Place: If you're running a business such as an eatery or a small retail store, this would be the best option for you.
  • Company, Organization, or Institution: If you're a media venue, this would be a better choice.
  • Brand or Product: Did you create a project?  An independent video game?  Or just a website?  This may be the choice for you.
  • Artist, Band, or Public Figure: Running for political office?  Want to show off your cat and make them famous?  This is the one for you.
  • Entertainment: A good category for those with a specific type of publication, such as a magazine or video channel.
  • Cause or Community: You'll be able to simply choose the name.  Good for charitable organizations or community groups.
Before creating a fan page, it's advisable to take a look at the terms of service.

In this example, we'll be creating a page called Chrometacular.  Since it involves publishing and news covering of a specific variety, Media/News/Publishing is selected under Company, Organization, or Institution.

A brief description can be entered.  From there, the user can set up a profile picture, add the page to their favorites, and choose to reach more people through advertising.

Instead, you may encourage your friends to like your newly created page.  For now, you don't even have to worry about a profile picture (though it will help if you already have one) since you're just getting started.  In the next article, we'll cover profile photos and cover pages.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Choosing the Right Platform

This is part one of the Online Media Rookie Series.  Each article will describe how to use various tools for building an online presence.

So you've decided to go online with your message to the world.  Where do you start?  What equipment do you need?

The good news is that you've achieved a major goal by decided that you do need to be online.

The advice in this article may seem counter-intuitive at first, but it will make sense in the long term.  As long as you have a computer or device that can access the Internet and load pages at a decent speed, you'll be all set.

Other equipment concerns can come later.  Also note that the assumption is being made that you already know how to use a computer, how to use the Internet, and how to use e-mail.

If you don't have that basic knowledge yet, you may wish to check out the following resources before reading further:
With that out of the way, know that we may also cover topics that appear to be for beginners but are actually tips that can help save money and improve the overall experience.  That's why the first recommended site has plenty of exciting features, and is free to use.

Though there are other websites like it, Facebook still holds popularity to this day.  The unique way in which it allows you to connect to friends and family will be of great use to you starting out.

The site itself started as a way for college students to connect to one another, but branched out into the public sphere.  It's a perfect combination for those who want to share:
  • Information
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Links to other sites
As long as your computer can run Facebook, you'll be fine on equipment for the time being.  Most phones have cameras that take pictures at high enough quality for sharing on social media as well.

While there are other social media sites out there, it's best to focus on the very site that still has a significant mind share.  Later on, branching out will help, especially if you decide to create a YouTube Channel.

If you don't have a private Facebook account, then signing up will be the first step.

You'll need a valid e-mail address to use.  Some of the best free accounts out there include Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!  All three account types offer plenty of inbox space.

Concerned with privacy?  Creating an e-mail account for the strict purpose of your online presence would be a good idea anyway.  After all, you'll be creating a venue that's accessible to the public.

If you choose to use your existing e-mail for your private Facebook account, but want a secondary e-mail for your online presence (website, fan page, etc...), then using Yahoo! would be a good way to go since they let you use your Facebook account for signing up.

Once you sign up, you'll want to confirm your account by checking your e-mail and clicking the confirmation link.  Once your account is created, you'll want to customize your profile.  Since private profiles are not within the scope of this venue, you'll want to check out this resource and get the hang of using Facebook before continuing further.

Keep using Facebook for a few weeks, and start connecting to friends and family.  Once you have at least 15 to 30 people on your friends list, you'll be ready to create a fan page, the subject of our next article.

Monday, September 29, 2014

That One Social Media Mistake

Facebook, Twitter, and other sites are very popular when it comes to connecting to like-minded people, family, friends, and more.  Opportunities for fame also exist in that realm.

For instance, how many times have you seen an image that's made the rounds?  How many letters have gone viral?

Many use these sites in attempt to become famous and sometimes get rich.  The big secret is to have content on a regular basis.  However, there's a big mistake that too many make.

This satirical video below is not safe for work, so viewing it at home or in a more relaxed environment is highly recommended.

Though it was an April Fool's joke, the lesson becomes obvious.  Don't spread yourself too thin by being on too many networks at once.  It's also important not to take yourself too seriously.

Doing both will cause your desired message to be lost in the sea of noise.

The point is to choose your social networks wisely and limit them to two sites.  Facebook and Twitter are an excellent one-two combo when it comes to announcements and sharing promotional photos and videos of whatever it is you are doing.

If you use Google services on a consistent basis, then Google+ would be an excellent fit, especially since you can create a page for your business.  Your business page can also have an exclusive YouTube channel (yes, it's now possible to have multiple channels on a single Google account).

The question you need to ask is, "What will I be doing online?"  While web hosting isn't always necessary, it's important to choose the right sites.

If your popularity grows large enough, then expanding out to other venues may be a good idea.  Since you're starting out, you'll want to keep things simple so you can focus on your message.

That message can be a cause you advocate, a business you want to promote, a product you're selling, or something else entirely.  In a future article, there will be a comprehensive list of social networking sites with their pros and cons.

For now, just don't stretch yourself too thin.  Remember, the message is about you and what you're doing, not about likes on Facebook, subscribers on YouTube, or followers on Twitter.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Going Online: Getting Started

So you've decided to take a chance with the online world. There are many reasons for people to have a website, blog, video channel, or social networking page.

Perhaps you're an individual with something to say or something to sell. Perhaps you own a local business or a company with the goal of reaching a wider audience and/or client/customer base. Maybe you're with a non-profit organization seeking to promote your noble cause.

Whatever the reason, if it involves reaching more people, then building an online presence is a good idea.

The next question to ask is how to go about it? We're going to assume that you already own a computer.

When it comes to Internet access, we can narrow the options down for you.

While dial-up is generally cheap, it isn't sufficient for today's needs. If you live in the sticks, you can still get high speed Internet.

DSL access has increased for rural areas, and parts of the country side in the United States. If mobile broadband through a provider such as Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile or anyone else isn't available in your area, then satellite would be your best option.

If you live in a city, then cable Internet is likely available and would be the most reliable option. If you're fortunate enough to live in an area that has Google Fiber, take advantage of it.

If you're a business or non-profit, check your provider for business oriented options.

With Internet access out of the way, the next decision would be the appropriate venue.

Is web hosting needed? A blog? Social networking page?

For now, focus on paying as little money as possible. If your audience is large enough  then a dedicated website would work wonders.

To answer the question of what's appropriate in terms of starting, it depends on what you're doing.

If you'll be doing a lot of videos, you'll want a streaming video channel. If you'll be doing plenty of writing, you may want to start a blog. If you'll simply be sharing pictures and making announcements, a social networking page would be your best bet.

This isn't to say that doing all the above is a bad idea. However, it's better to focus on one thing and expand over time.

If you can, keep your wallet in your pocket and put away.

At this point, the only money thay should be spent besides ISP subscriptions would be a top level domain name, which will be covered in the next article.

For now, write out what you wish to accomplish online in terms of reaching a wider audience.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

When NOT to Set Up Shop Online

So you're thinking about going online and have no idea where to start.  You've come to the right place, but before you dive in, there's something you need to ask yourself.

Do I need to go online or can I do without?

The reason why you need to know the answer to this question is simple.  Though many resources out there don't cost money, using them may cost you your time.  That's why we'll go through some of the possible reasons you may not want to open up shop online.

If your audience is small....

We're not talking 500 or even 100.  Maybe five to 20 tops.  Depending on what you're doing in real life, it may not be necessary to set up a Facebook group or a Google+ community.

This is especially true if the distance between everybody is rather small.

If your business is a small mom and pop shop with limited patrons/clients....

This isn't to say being online would have no benefits for a local business, but if said business is not on a historical land mark, only serves the local community, and only has a small amount of patrons/clients, then having an online presence may not be necessary.

Of course, there are exceptions to this, especially if the business owner wants to help other business owners start a business and improve the quality of products and/or services.

Still, if an online presence won't help your business or non-profit in any way, shape, or form, then it may not be needed.

If you just feel like it.....

It's not a bad thing to want to say something to the world, but it doesn't mean it's always a good idea.  Having a poorly kept presence for any reason can negatively impact job prospects among other things in real life.

This article isn't meant to dissuade anybody from starting a blog, a Facebook fan page, or any other venue online.  Before developing a presence online, ask yourself, "Why do I want to do it?"

Once it becomes clear that it is a good idea for you, then the next step is finding out what venue is appropriate.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hello World!

Welcome to our official site/blog, where we provide valuable insight into building an online presence.  We'll be providing tips to all our readers as well as some pitfalls to avoid.

For far too long, products promising website traffic results or more money through so called "seo tricks" have been sold to the unsuspecting masses.  Our mission is to save you time and money when it comes to having a larger audience, no matter what it is you're doing.

If you own the following, we can be of assistance:

  • A website
  • A blog
  • A Facebook fan page
  • A Google+ page
  • A Tumblr page
  • Any streaming video channels

If you don't have an online presence, that's ok too.  We're here to help, and as you can see, this site's under construction.

For now, feel free to check us out on Facebook while we add to the site, and tell all your friends about us.