Peter Raines

Peter is the Vice President and Senior Internet Marketing Consultant.

Enjoys writing about:

how-to guides, web analytics

Interesting fact:

Was once a professional clown, escape artist and magician

Favorite activity:

playing games, hiking, camping

Favorite books:

Lord of the Rings series

Favorite movies:

Stars Wars

Favorite musical artist:

Wookie Foot

A Rant about Promoted posts on Facebook

Earlier this year Facebook switched over to the Timeline format.  In the months following this change, there were multiple changes to Edgerank as well as the addition of Promoted posts.  Shortly after these changes, a firestorm started to brew online, first from businesses that rely on Facebook Pages, and later from end users.

 
I will save you from many of the basic details.  You can look up Edgerank, Timeline, and Promoted posts to learn more about what they are.  I am going to discuss why they are a bad move by Facebook, even though they look great on paper.
 

Don’t be Afraid to Perform Marketing Tests

Not every idea that you are going to have for marketing your business online will be a solid gold hit.  Sometimes, no matter how awesome they sound to you and your team, your ideas will fail.  Don’t worry; this happens to everyone at one point or another. 

Now let’s change terminology a little bit. My background is in Physics, so I like to use the term marketing ‘tests’ because I like to view ideas as experiments where I can see what does or does not work in any given situation.  So whenever someone in our office has an idea, we immediately see if we can turn that idea into a test in order to gain information before making a substantial investment in money, time, or resources.  We do this to mitigate cost for our clients while simultaneously improving the effectiveness of their online marketing.
 
 

Should I Have a Facebook Page if I Don't Have a Website?

 

a cartoon man looking at a computer deciding between facebook for business marketing and web site designWhen I am at public networking events or talking with business owners about social media, I often get asked this question:  “My website isn’t finished yet.  Should I wait until my website launches before setting up a Facebook Page for my business?”  I hear this question (or one just like it) so often, in fact, that I find myself saying pretty much the same thing to nearly everyone in reply. 
 
 
 

Facebook Timeline for Brands

By now, you have probably heard that Facebook is updating all brand pages on March 30th to the new Timeline for Facebook Pages.  If you haven’t seen it or if you have seen it and are still curious about the specifics, check out this video presentation that covers just about everything:  http://www.learnfacebookpages.com

Some of the changes that you should be most aware of are:
  1. New Cover Photo – this 851px x 315px sits at the top of your new timeline and adds a very snazzy header image that you can brand to your page.
  2. New Profile Picture – this 180px x 180px photo replaces the old profile pic that allowed 540 pixels of vertical space.
  3. Tabs are now the full width of the page – 810px wide.  This is a huge improvement from the previous limit of 520px wide.

State Farm's Effective Use of Facebook Reveal Tabs - State of Chaos

 

If you haven’t seen State Farm’s State of Chaos advertising campaign, you are missing out.  It’s a rather ingenious use of social media marketing because if you “Like” State Farm’s page on Facebook, you are in for a treat.   After entering your name and address, it uses Google Street View to locate your house, and then you get to watch a video of a giant robot tromping through your neighborhood and blowing up your house. Fun, right?  And it’s a great way to get new fans for their Facebook page because you have to like it before you can access the fun video.

Google Analytics Real-Time offers live data

Google announced the launching of a number of new tools for Google Analytics over the past few days, including Google Analytics Real-Time, Google Analytics Premium and a new Google Analytics Interface.  Today I will fill you in on the details of Real-Time and how it lets you access your data in (you guessed it) real time in order to enhance your online marketing and social media marketing strategies.

Google Analytics Real-Time

Google Releases Instant Preview

Google Launches Instant PreviewAs you search on Google in the coming days you will start to see previews of all of the sites in the results pages.  This is a fantastic feature if you want to get an idea of the content of a site before committing to visit.

The "Instant Preview" will appear to the right of the search results as a screen shot of the website.  This gives you an idea of the length and type of content as well as its relevance to your search.  By previewing the sites instantly you can save a lot of hassle going back and forth between websites that are either less than ideal or altogether irrelevant.

Cross Browser Testing

A number of our clients have asked us a variety of cross browser support questions over the years, so we decided that it would be helpful to write a post that covers the subject.

Hunch offers a new way to search intelligently

The new Hunch (www.hunch.com) search portal that was launched on June 15th offers a very different way of finding answers to your questions online.

Advertise Online During a Recession or Down Economy

Many people think that during a recession or a down economy the best thing to do is to cut back advertising spend.  Looking around online will show that some businesses are shifting or increasing marketing spends - (this is actually how many companies got to where they are today as evidenced by . Look a little deeper and you will see that online advertising companies are seeing steady increases in business despite the downturn in the US economy. Why is this the case and what does it mean?