Friday, December 23, 2011

How To Make Your Facebook Business Page Go Viral

imageThis article was written by Pete Lisoskie, CEO, BeLocal

Next in the series of articles from beLocal is social media marketing.  The reason: Your potential customers are using Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter in massive numbers.  And they use social media to share, communicate, and interact with others and with products and services. Y our potential customer’s eyeballs have shifted from TV to social media.  And Facebook has now surpassed Google in weekly traffic!  So you need to be there.  Facebook is by far the largest social media platform at over 800 million users.  The numbers are staggering!  In this article we’ll show you how to get a Facebook business page and then make your Facebook business page to go viral. Here’s how:

For those companies who do not currently have a Facebook page, the process to get one is very easy...

1. Go to and click Sign Up.

2. Provide some basic information like a valid email address.  You will receive an email confirmation. Confirm and you now have a Facebook profile.

3. To create a Facebook page, go to

4. Type in the name of page exactly as you want it to appear and as you think users will search for it (Important: you won't be able to change this later).  Try to pick a name that customer’s would use to search for the page not necessarily your company name.

5. Select the category most appropriate for your business.  (Note: avoid choosing other unless there is absolutely nothing else that matches your business)

6. Add content and publish your page — and you are done!

7. Review the help guidelines at or send an email to if you experience any problems.

Creating a Facebook business page is only the first step.  Now you have to optimize and promote the page to benefit from the free viral marketing that Facebook can provide.  And we have some great ways for you to do just that.

· Make your business personal — People primarily use Facebook to share information with friends and family; although they do “Like” pages of interest.  As a business, you need to make your Facebook business page “Like-able” with products and services content that connect with users on a personal level.  The more you show the human side of your business, products, and people to the community, the more likely you are to be successful.

· Use News Feed — the news feed on a Facebook user’s home pages tells them what their friends are doing.  When users become your fans, News Feed tells their friends and invites them to become fans of you as well.  This leads to a friends-of-your-friends viral effect.  This viral effect can really drive traffic to your Facebook page.

· Update your Facebook page frequently — Facebook was designed so that people can share content on a regular basis and Facebook highlights new information and recent content changes.  Updating your page with fresh content will result in more users coming back regularly to visit and interact – especially if what you are putting up there is interesting to those that “Liked” your page.  You can also send updates to fans (Facebook's term for your subscribers, friends or colleagues) to announce new products, in-store giveaways, special promotions, coupon, contests, or events.  To find out more about how to do this, visit http://www.belocalgroup/Facebook.

· “App” up your Facebook page — Facebook users and developers have created hundreds of applications you can integrate into your page to provide more functionality and make it feature rich!  The apps you are interested in; however, relate to the business aspect of using Facebook pages so that you are not missing out on valuable traffic that could be potential customers or clients. Check out our Top 13 Must-Have Facebook Applications for Business by going to http://www.belocalgroup/Facebook.

· Promote your page with Facebook AdsFacebook ads are a way to laser focus on a desired audience with relevant targeted ads.  If the ad image and copy is well-designed and executed, it produce amazing branding and lead conversion results for you and your business!  These are pay-per-click ads that run in both traditional banner format and in the news feed.  The ads can be audience targeted based on age, gender, geography, educational level, interest, relationship status and keyword.  Facebook ads do not always convert well, but if you test and measure you may come across a winning campaign and more importantly, you are developing “mental” brand with these ads by getting thousands of impressions in a short amount of time.

There you have it!  While Facebook is only a small piece of Authority Marketing principles we use at beLocal, it can be very effective for getting your business in front of thousands of potential customers.  And with proper integrated marketing techniques, it can be very powerful.  If you would like to know more about Facebook business pages or how to use Facebook to get in front of potential customers or clients, go to and look for the Facebook tab.  Here’s to making you the Authority in your local marketplace!

In Pete’s 14+ years experience as a small business entrepreneur he created businesses in financial services, publishing, seminars, recruiting, construction, network marketing, radio shows, and internet-related products and services.  His groundbreaking book “Customers for Keeps” led the customer relationship management movement.  Lisoskie applied these timeless concepts to the internet platform when he founded beLocal [] and developed the exclusive “Authority Marketing Program” for local small business.

Raising Money From Informal Investors

This article was written by Asheesh Advani, in Entrepreneur Magazine, December 2011, reprinted by permission

The devil's in the details when taking money from--and structuring a deal with--friends, family and angel investors

No matter who you're raising capital from and no matter whether you're raising money in the form of debt or equity funding, you'll be faced with the prospect of financing agreements that are written to favor the investor over the entrepreneur.  Over the years, the agreements used by more informal investors have come to mirror the investor-friendly agreements used by venture capital firms. So it's critical, especially during the startup stage when your negotiating leverage with investors is often weak, to know the difference between what is tolerable and what is intolerable when it comes to structuring a financing deal.

Your guiding principle should be this: Look into your crystal ball and choose your first investor carefully.  Don't agree to terms that will limit or restrict your ability down the road to grow your company or attract additional investors.  When raising money from angel investors or relatives and friends, the terms negotiated by your first investor in a financing round tend to be the terms that last for the entire round.  Similarly, the terms you agree to in your first round set the stage for later rounds.  And giving away too much could come back to hurt you or your business.

So here are a few tips about what to look out for to get a deal that works for you:

Don't give pro-rata rights to your first investors.  If your first investor (or his or her attorney) negotiates pro-rata rights (which means the investor is given the right to maintain ownership in the company through future investment rounds), all the investors in the round are likely to also want those rights, even if most wouldn't have otherwise requested them.  Although anti-dilution provisions are in the interest of early investors, they're off-putting to later investors.  So you'll need to balance the needs of your early investors to protect their stake in the company with how attractive your company will appear to later institutional investors.

Avoid giving too many people the right to be overly involved. The follow-the-leader mentality described above gets particularly problematic when you give up control of the business and require investor consent for business decisions.  If you're not careful, you may find yourself in the tedious and time-consuming position of needing signatures from all or most of your shareholders to make future financing decisions or management choices--all because you gave these rights to your first investor. Similarly, some investors will want detailed reports on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. Agree to this only when it seems necessary.  Spending a lot of time preparing and mailing reports, and requesting and collecting signatures, is probably not the best use of your time.

What You Need to Know about Universal Product Codes

imageThis article was written by Jim Fulton, SCORE Orange County Management Counselor

SCORE gets frequent questions about the Universal Product Code (UPC), expressed as a barcode, now found on virtually every package in commerce.  In Europe, these codes are known as EAN’s. However, the UPC and EAN are the same and do not duplicate each other.  If you are going to distribute your products beyond the local boutique or your own website, you will need to obtain a set of codes.  There are two closely related items to discuss, the UPC code and a manufacturers part numbers.

Part numbering is strictly a convenience for the manufacturer and indirectly the distributor and retail outlet (primarily for their inventory control).  Historically, a part number started on the right with a variation number or letter, preceded by a number designating a specific part.  As things got more complex, it became common to have another number on the left indicating a product or assembly number, and so on.

The UPC code is strictly of use in the distribution channel.  It starts on the left.  The left most code describes the country (indirectly the continent) of the part manufacturer or supplier.  The next code group to the right defines the particular manufacturer (or source) of the material.  Then comes a long code group that the manufacturer or supplier can use any way he pleases.

To aid distribution, every variant in the packaging of a product is given a separate UPC code.  If you sell a package of four items, it gets a UPC number.  If you sell a box of ten packages of four items, it gets a UPC number.  If you sell a case of 100 packages of four items, it gets a UPC number.  The case may include ten boxes, but the case and box have different UPC numbers.  If color plays an important role in your product, packages containing different color products get their own UPC.

It is useful to prepare a table of all of your products down to the level of major part or assembly numbers (including color or other parameter that is important).  The number of pigeon holes in this table indicates the number of UPC codes you need to acquire.  Once you get all of your product offerings identified, you will convert the table(s) to a serial list with an individual UPC number for each item in the list.  Leave empty spots in the serial list wherever they occur naturally.  These can be used later for revised parts/packages etc.

You now have a list of unique UPC codes that can be tied to your separate pricing information and any separate more detailed parts lists related to a specific UPC or group of UPC codes.  When a distributor handles your product, it will create a computer program assigning their sale price to the UPC of your product and track the quantity and location of your product through their system with a separate inventory control program.

You need to purchase a block of UPC codes from an authorized vendor/registrar.  I usually suggest a start up purchases a block of 100 codes that start from the left with identifiers for your country and company with the numbers farther to the right initially unassigned.  You then assign these numbers on the right to specific products or assemblies as you release them into the market place.  If the above tabulation suggests you need more UPC codes, acquire the appropriate number, they are cheaper by the dozen, or 10,000.

I suggest you Google universal product code on the internet and read up on the whole subject.  A good place to start might be How the UPC Works,