The BrandLaureate Brand ICON Leadership Awards’11: Alain Robert

Aug17
2012

Written by The BrandLaureate

Alain Robert receiving The BrandLaureate Grand Master Brand ICON Leadership Awards 2011

Alain Robert is no ordinary guy. Better known as “Spiderman”, he is known for being the world’s only free holder climber that has succesfully climbed more than 85 skyscrapers in the world. He even conquered the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa on March 28, 2011!

He climbs unaided, using only his free hands to scale the tallest buildings. It takes an extraordinary individual to do this, and for Robert, the attraction of it all is the challenge to push himself to the limit even when it becomes unsafe or unpredictable. It is the kind of spirit people can emulate in their businesses as well.

Robert’s climbing career started at 12 when he was locked out of his eight-floor apartment. Rather than wait for his parents to come home, he decided to climb the building to get in and the rest is history.

Do YOU have an ICON you would like us to know? Join our “Vote for your Favourite ICON” contest that’s running on The BrandLaureate Awards’ Facebook right now! You could win dinner invites to The BrandLaureate ICON Awards’12 or even the Samsung Galaxy S3!

The BrandLaureate Brand ICON Leadership Awards’11: YM Tengku Dato’ Paduka Noor Zakiah Bte Tengku Ismail

Aug10
2012

Written by The BrandLaureate

YM Tengku Dato' Paduka Noor Zakiah Bte Tengku Ismail receiving The BrandLaureate Woman of the Year Brand ICON Leadership Award 2011

YM Tengku Dato’ Paduka Noor Zakiah Bte Tengku Ismail is a steadfast woman who is led by a strong passion and commitment in her quest for success. She has a pioneering spirit that turns visions into reality and ideas into innovation. She is a woman of great substance; she inspires and is a source of emulation for all.

She received The BrandLaureate Woman of the Year Brand ICON Leadership Award 2011 as her achievements are second to none, being the first lady Bumiputra stockbroker in Malaysia when she acquired a stockbroking firm, Hallam & Co, as partner.

In 1973, she co-founded K & N Kenanga Sdn Bhd and became its Executive Chairman when the company was public listed in 1996. She held on to this position until 2010 when she was designated as Non Executive Chairman. Under her stewardship, she has succesfully built K & N Kenanga to be one of the leading stock broking firms in the country and its evolution into an investment bank.

Tengku Dato’ Paduka Noor Zakiah is credited with being instrumental in the development of the Stockbroking industry, especially when Bursa Malaysia (then Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange) was still in its infancy. She was the first Lady Member to be accepted by Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad.

She was a Founder Member of the Malaysian Stockbrokers Association (now known as the Association of Stockbroking Companies of Malaysia or ASCM) and was its President for 11 years until 1997. She is an Honorary Life Advisor of the ASCM.

Tengku Paduka Noor Zakiah is a well recognised and notable figure in the financial/stockbroking industry and is often invited to share her knowledge and views on the industry.

On the community front, she is also an Honorary Life Member of Selangor Cheshire Home, a home for the disabled, elderly and abandoned children. She helped set up the Women’s Institute in Kuala Lumpur during the British Administration. She represented and formed the 1st Women’s Institute in Kelantan. She was a Member and past President of the Women International Council.

Do YOU have an ICON you would like us to know? Join our “Vote for your Favourite ICON” contest that’s running on The BrandLaureate Awards’ Facebook right now! You could win dinner invites to The BrandLaureate ICON Awards’12 or even the Samsung Galaxy S3!

The BrandLaureate Brand ICON Leadership Awards’11: Datuk Lee Chong Wei

Aug03
2012

Written by The BrandLaureate

Datuk Lee Chong Wei is the No. 1 shuttler in the world and Malaysia’s most succesful badminton player. He is our national hero, being the Malaysian badminton player to reach the single finals in the Beijing Olympics and is currently competing in the England Olympics.

He is especially known for his extraordinary defensive play and quick movements towards attacking shots. His most well-known attribute is his signature forehand cross court smashes. He is a sportsman that inspires the nation with his determination to reach for the top. His motto is “Aim for success. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life.”

As such, we at The BrandLaureate were proud to award Datuk Lee Chong Wei The BrandLaureate Grand Master Brand Icon Leadership Awards 2011. He is truly an ICON to all athletes in Malaysia.

Datuk lee Chong Wei receiving his award at The BrandLaureate Brand ICON Leadership Awards'11

Do YOU have an ICON you would like us to know? Join our “Vote for your Favourite ICON” contest that’s running on The BrandLaureate Awards’ Facebook right now! You could win dinner invites to The BrandLaureate ICON Awards’12 or even the Samsung Galaxy S3!

Dr. Chen Tei-Fu: The man behind Sunrider’s quest for good health

Jun01
2012

Written by The BrandLaureate

Being in the best of health is the greatest gift a person can give to themselves and their loved ones. Everyone has heard of the saying that when it comes to sickness, prevention is better than cure. Yet a lot of people today continue to consume food and apply products that are harmful to their bodies that may not be able to handle it.

Recognising the key problem that everyone seems to be facing when it comes to their health, Sunrider was established, investing in hundreds of millions of US dollars in research, development and self-manufacturing of over 415 life-enhancing products ranging from herbal foods and beverages, to even skin care and cosmetics. This all began with Dr. Chen Tei-Fu in his home country of Taiwan. He was a frail, sickly boy growing up, so his grandfather made him herbal remedies based on ancient herbal manuscripts. It was these treatments that sparked a lifelong devotion to learning all he could about herbs and their beneficial applications.

Dr. Chen studied herbs and earned his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Kaohsiung Medical College and it was there that he married a gifted medical student from Hong Kong, Oi-Lin. The couple immigrated to the United States in 1974 to pursue a better life but it was not an easy road for them as they struggled to make ends meet. After obtaining her medical license, the now Dr. Oi-Lin Chen opened a private family practice to help support their growing family. Then, in 1982, Dr. Chen seized an opportunity to start his own company and founded The Sunrider Corporation in Utah.

Desire to Help

Upon starting Sunrider, there were many other challenges along the way, but the company steadily grew because of Oi-Lin’s support and Dr. Chen’s unwavering belief in the efficacy of his herbal products. He was also driven by his desire to not only help people enhance their health through his products but also to improve their lifestyle through Sunrider’s business opportunities.

“The main objective of the products that I make,” explains Dr. Chen, “is to nourish people’s bodies. Once a person’s body is strong enough, the process of regenerating what is loss in the body as well as curing is completely possible and sicknesses are easier to overcome.”

When people fall sick, a lot of people depend on doctors to give them prescribed drugs to fight it off, but Dr. Chen explains that while it is good, it’s not a long lasting solution. “The problem with taking these prescription drugs is that it only attacks the sickness, but it doesn’t prepare the body to defend itself. When you strengthen your body, nourish it with the right things, the body can then regulate itself and control the sickness.”

Even so, Dr. Chen still recommends seeing a doctor to fully understand your body. To him, the most important thing is to control what you consume and put in your body as a lot of products these days are full of toxins and free radicals that consume nutrition within your body, thus making you susceptible to sickness. This is why for Dr. Chen, herbal medicine is the key to leading a more natural and healthy lifestyle. Thus, Dr. Chen has released a number of products designed for such a purpose.

A Global Leader

One of Sunrider’s initial product was SunBreeze Essential Oil, a formulation Dr. Chen first developed in the basement of his father’s home. From then on, Dr. Chen has built Sunrider into a global leader in the health and beauty industry, manufacturing and distributing over 415herbal-based foods and beverages, nutritional supplements, household products, and even skin care and cosmetics.

Dr. Chen’s journey to even making skin care and cosmetic products was inspired after Oi-Lin was diagnosed with cancer. “My wife had cancer over 20 years ago, and the radiation treatment she underwent had caused her skin to burn and become sensitive,” explained Dr. Chen. “What people don’t realise is that a lot of skin products today contain petroleum or are animal based which makes it hard for the skin to breathe. So I made these range of skin care and cosmetics for my wife that use vegetable oil which are gentler to a person’s skin.”

It isn’t just Oi-Lin who uses Sunrider products. Dr. Chen himself uses his own products as a testament to his own work. “It makes sense to use the products that I made as it shows that I have confidence in my work and that it will bring benefits to me, just as it will for others.”

As Dr. Chen continues to promote Sunrider, which has reached to over 50 countries worldwide, he hopes that more people will care for their health. He advises to take care of your body, do not stress yourself too much and don’t overeat as these will produce more toxins within the body. “Overall, taking in the right nutrients to nourish your body will go a long way,” said Dr. Chen, confident that Sunrider’s products will be able to do just that.

Visit a Sunrider local outlet store at Lot 10 Shopping Mall and its upcoming new store and café at Sunway Pyramid which will open for business in June 2012. For all Authorized Business Owners’ stores nationwide, visit their website at www.sunrider.com or call them at 03-4253-3266 if you have any enquiries.

Be sure to like The BrandLaureate Award’s Facebook page for more trivia and interesting facts about Dr. Chen and his company, Sunrider!

The BrandLaureate Brand Engagement Series

Apr09
2012

Written by The BrandLaureate

The Brand Invest Engagement Series participants.

On March 29 2012, The BrandLaureate organised The BrandLaureate Brand Engagement Series at the Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa. This seminar was especially arranged to focus on building brands and the importance of investing in them to succeed. Together with some fun exercises and light refreshments, the sessions included speakers such as Dr. KK Johan, President of The BrandLaureate, who gave an entertaining and rousing session on how to make brands succesful, the key areas to look out for in branding and what to do when a brand is under attack.

Dr KK Johan delivering his speech at the Brand Invest Engagement Series.

This was followed by another speaker from DHL Express Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Mr. David Ng, who gave tips on how to build a sustainable brand through a holistic approach. Mr. David Ng dressed in a Manchester United jersey emblazoned with the DHL logo to show how the DHL brand has now grown into sports, much to everyone’s amusement.

Mr. David Ng from DHL delivering his session wearing a Manchester United jersey with the DHL logo on it.

The last talk was given by Mr. Jahanath Muthusamy, the Chief Executive of AXA Affin General Insurance Berhad. Mr. Jahanath pointed out key points of what makes a brand memorable, and how it is important that your brand must have a certain amount of value for it to be known and recognised.

Mr. Jahanath Muthusamy explains what makes brands memorable today.

The seminar went on with a Q&A session and even some brand trivias to keep everyone’s mind sharp. Those who answered correctly were awarded with dinner invites to Ciao Ristorante. With a meaningful purpose coupled with strong sessions from great speakers, The BrandLaureate Engagement Series ended with people armed with more knowledge to develop their brand and a deeper understanding of today’s tough business and the importance of branding.

The Q&A session with all three speakers and CEO of The BrandLaureate, Chew Bee Peng.

The BrandLaureate would like to thank all our attendees for the amazing support and we hope the seminar has been beneficial for everyone.

Check out The BrandLaurate Facebook page (Album 1 and Album 2) for more pictures and updates on our upcoming events and seminars!

Winnie Loo: Taking Malaysian Hairstyling Industry Beyond Borders

Mar09
2012

Written by The BrandLaureate

Winnie Loo A person’s hairstyle defines his or her look and is important to give a good first impression. It has the ability to even tell a tale about a person, whether they are confident, an extrovert or introvert. No one knows this more than Winnie Loo, who brought Malaysia’s hairstyling industry far and beyond with her A Cut Above salon.

The salon A Cut Above has become synonymous with the hairstyling industry in Malaysia and has continued to evolve into more than just cutting hair. A Cut Above has participated in Asia’s Hair Designing Festival and is even a part of STYLO, a lifestyle fringe activity to support Formula 1 races in the region.

“We are very active,” Winnie admits as she talks about her activities with STYLO.

“We’ve had shows and promotions in London, Mumbai and even Singapore, and it has been great for us as whatever STYLO’s vision is, it is what we at A Cut Above are looking for. For A Cut Above, it had always been aiming to do something beyond its comfort zone. We have always been into Fashiontainment (Fashion Entertainment). STYLO has helped us set our imaginations free, kept us creative by doing things outside of the box, and this has helped us put A Cut Above on an international platform”, explained Winnie.

But this is not the only time A Cut Above has been seen on an international level. Winnie had co-founded Asia’s Hair Designer’s Festival with a number of people abroad from even South Korea and China. This has also put Malaysia on the map for hairstyling even before STYLO came along.

After all its achievements, A Cut Above is now celebrating its 33rd Anniversary on April 17 at Mid Valley Megamall during Fashion Week. There will be 33 models showing different hairstyles from A Cut Above and there will be entertainment from singers and even a surprise performance, which Winnie Loo promises would be exciting, but won’t reveal it just yet. “This is going to be a big celebration for us as we’ve really come this far.”

4 Ps to Success

Winnie attributes the success of A Cut Above to four Ps – Passion, Perseverance, Patience and Perfection. “It’s so important to have passion in what you do, as without it you will have no goal. Once you have the passion, the drive to achieve your goals, perseverance steps in. And while doors may close before me and I lose out on opportunities, I believe in being patient. If God closes one door, I believe that door isn’t meant for me, but God may open a small window for me to peek through. Through that comes the will for perfection.”

Through her travels, Winnie gets new ideas and inspirations. During 2000-2003, she had been to different destinations such as India and Medan, Jakarta, the people she met pointed out that she should share her skills through education. As Winnie thought about it, she knew it would be a good way to show what A Cut Above is to the world. And thus, she started the A Cut Above Academy, which was awarded the best training centre by world-renowned education body, City and Guilds of London for 3 consecutive years from 2006-2008. “Ever since I started the A Cut Above Academy, I have students who have gone off to work in different countries. China, Taiwan, Melbourne, even London… it’s like they’ve gone everywhere!”

“I was in China where a lot of the mountain tribes were and I saw many people wearing these turbans that come with funny hairstyles and braids. I thought it had a really nice classical look to it that with the right twist I could do something different with it. I wanted to transcend those tribal ideas and show it on the opening night of Stylo.”

With all these things happening, Winnie admits she needs a balance in her life. “I read a fair bit during my spare time, and I go to church quite a bit too. I believe that when you’re blessed you have to make time for God to be thankful for who you are today. I believe in these spiritual forces, so I spent a lot of time reading the Holy Scriptures, Inspirational books, I even go for Church Camp and Leadership Training. On top of that, I like the simple things in life. Making time for my family is also important, but I especially enjoy travelling, you learn a lot through travelling.”

As long as she can still walk, climb and even run, Winnie Loo intends to keep travelling and learning for her to continuously gain knowledge that can even see A Cut Above go further in the years to come.

Hairstyling Trends of 2012

As Winnie Loo has loads of experience in the hairstyling industry, so we asked her what is the current trend this year for hairstyles. “Short hair seems to be the craze. It’s dynamic, and it’s also known as quick hair for those on the go. The pixie cut hasn’t phased out at all, but the long hair style is still pretty popular too.”

But she also points out that a certain new trend has risen due to global economic crisis. “This is mostly in the European world, where there are people who don’t have the time or money to maintain hair that’s already outgrown. The ends of the hair are faded and it doesn’t look managed at all, but this seems to be what people are after now, so there have been requests to get that look. It’s a grunge look, that’s quite edgy as well.”

That’s not the only style that people like. A perm that has grown out and looks like it’s been there for a while seems to be the in thing too. “This is popular among those with long hair,” said Winnie, mentioning that perms can look too strong if not done right. “People want perms that look like they’ve been there for the past 6 months. It has this very vampish, naughty look that people seem to like.”

Hairstyle Tips to remember

There are so many simple tips that people can do to maintain a good hairstyle. Winnie advises that if you can afford it, try to get a haircut every 6 weeks if you want it to look good. Those with long hair tend to think that they do not need a haircut, but Winnie believes it is important to have long hair trimmed once every 12 weeks so that it can keep its shape. Lastly, ask your stylists on what products are suitable for you, and do not blindly believe in advertisements and what is affordable as they may not suit your hair.

For more tips on how to maintain your hairstyle and other important things to know about your hair, check out the A Cut Above blog where Winnie posts up her thoughts and tips on hair care and hair styles.

Here are some articles to look out for:

2 Minute Hair Tutorial – Simple Bun for Work or School
Importance of Haircut and Hair Treatment
Wondering What’s Hot for 2012?

Come check out The BrandLaureate Facebook page for past interesting trivia and facts about A Cut Above and even on Winnie Loo.

The BrandMag – Interview with Lord Michael Hastings and KPMG

Feb14
2012

Written by The BrandLaureate

Every once in two months, The BrandLaureate releases its very own magazine, The BrandLaureate Business World Review, where we cover various articles and latest trends about branding and other highlighted issues, as well as interviews with top personalities.

In the latest issue of the magazine, we interviewed Lord Michael Hastings who is KPMG International’s Global Head of Citizenship and Diversity, as well as the people from KPMG. While the world continues to face challenges such as the economy, one man and a company decides to take more serious matters into their own hands and look towards the community, the environment and people in need. An inspirational read on how we can make a difference today in our communities.

If you’d like to read more articles like this, do grab a copy of the latest The BrandLaureate magazine!

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5 Myths About Brand Research

Nov15
2011

Written by The BrandLaureate

by Kristy Yamamoto Gulsvig

I may be biased, but I am a big proponent of brand research. Research teaches you things about your company that you could not possibly figure out on your own, helps to answer questions you didn’t realize needed to be asked. Research uncovers how the marketplace sees you, explains your client’s needs, and gauges your progress and growth over time, among many, many other things.

Research is the central tenant to creating a strong, strategically supported brand. When you have a better idea of what your target market is thinking, you can create a brand that can support and guide your strategic objectives while appealing to your most important audiences.

Despite the benefits, not all companies conduct regular brand research – or even general customer research. This results in brands that are stagnant or outdated, and companies that simply do not meet the needs of their target market.

The problem is there are a lot of myths out there about whether or not companies can benefit from regular research. Is your company stuck in one of these ruts?

    1. “We did a survey 10 years ago which told us pretty much everything we want to know.”

It doesn’t matter what industry or country you’re in, everything about business has changed in the last few years alone. Business and society are always changing – let alone the magnitude of change that has occurred over the last few years. Between economic conditions and constant technological changes, your customers are not the same group that they were in the past.

In a perfect world, research should be repeated every 1-2 years to help you gauge success and effectiveness of your brand and determine progress in influencing your market’s perceptions.

    1. “We already know our customers – we talk to them every day.”

It’s true, you probably know your customers better than anyone else. You interact with them on a daily basis. The problem is that your relationship with your customers is probably not the same as your partner’s relationship with his customers, or your employees’ relationships with their customers. Even if you’re sure your customers would tell you if they had an issue, it is very hard to set aside your personal bias and learn where your real strengths and weaknesses are. Research assisted by a third party can help uncover information about your company that you didn’t know to look for.

    1. “We have never done our own research in the past and we’re doing just fine.”

I know plenty of small to mid-sized business owners who have no intention of growing. They reached a certain size and decided that they did not want the burden of managing a larger company. If, however, your company has aspirations for long-term growth, you cannot do so on gut instinct alone.
You can build a great small business on the instincts of a leader who lives and breathes his product. But once a business reaches a certain size, or brings on different leaders with different ideas, or finds itself in a market that is fundamentally different from where and when the business was started, you cannot grow that business on instinct alone. At some point, you need concrete information to guide your decision-making. Otherwise, you are wasting resources and pulling your business toward a shot in the dark. A larger company – or even a mid-sized company – cannot pick up and move half the business to mobile retail because you saw a news story that told you that’s where the industry is going. It’s frankly irresponsible to the health of your business and the well-being and financial security of your employees.

    1. “My clients are very busy people. They won’t appreciate my asking them to fill out a survey.”

I only include this because I have heard it used as an excuse before. The assumption is that either that the client is too busy and will not want to fill out a survey, or will be bothered by any “spam” or “solicitation.” The reality is that most clients appreciate the opportunity to give anonymous feedback. It gives them a chance to give you constructive criticism they may not be comfortable giving to you directly, or give you the praise they think you deserve – after all, they keep doing business with you for a reason, right? Research shows your clients that you care about what you think about them and want to serve them to the best of your abilities.

Most of the time, if the client likes you, they will gladly give you their opinion (And if they don’t like you, they will be even happier to provide their feedback, trust me). And even if they are too busy to open the email or answer the call, the worst case scenario is that they won’t respond – they certainly won’t fire you for the effort.

    1. “We can’t afford our own customer research study.”

Cost is probably the most common reason businesses don’t perform regular research. A full-scale quantitative research project is not cheap and the cost can be prohibitive to businesses with tight marketing budgets.

On the other hand, there are all types of research that can help you learn about your customers, and at least gauge whether or not your brand is resonating with your clients. You may not be able to afford a deep international dive, but online surveys or phone interviews can be done pretty inexpensively and still give you a general idea of where your company stands.

The Bottom Line: Market research is integral in achieving brand health and lasting growth for any company.

 

(Article Source: http://www.brandingbusiness.com/2011/11/5-myths-about-brand-research/)

Online branding a smart move

Oct28
2011

Written by The BrandLaureate

By Clare Kermond

Unique Prepard Card for Singapore Stay Connected. Get Details Now!

Watching AFL Football on a phone or iphone. For story about Optus streaming footy games. Telstra is complaining as they pay rights to show games to Telstra customers.Many brands are not engaging with customers via mobile phones. Photo: Rebecca Hallas

OVER the next three years, mobile use of the internet will ”reign”, creating massive opportunities for marketers and advertisers. But with less than 7 per cent of brands using mobiles effectively, many risk being left behind.

According to several high-profile speakers at a forum on digital communications and marketing, the use of mobile devices to access the internet will continue to boom, with the number of smartphones recently overtaking old-school mobiles.

Matt Farrugia, director of digital for Y&R, said the number of Australians accessing the internet via mobile devices was higher than the average around the world, with people here spending 19.9 hours online a week, compared with 15 hours watching TV.

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”What broadband did to the internet, mobile is going to be equally transforming. It [your mobile phone] is always on, it’s always in your pocket, it knows all about you, it has your personal details,” Mr Farrugia said.

He said the key ways for brands to engage consumers included text message campaigns, ensuring that their websites were optimal for mobiles and location-based marketing.

But many businesses were missing the opportunity to engage with customers via mobile devices. Bob Forster, a Google product specialist, said restaurants were way behind in their use of mobiles. Mr Forster said that at weekends, 32 per cent of queries about restaurants were via mobiles, but few restaurants used mobile-friendly marketing.

Using the example of the American Superbowl, he said the number of inquiries about brands via mobile devices while people were watching the game on TV grew by 100 to 300 per cent.

”Mobile is always going to be with us, mobile technology is developing eight times faster than any other technology. But people aren’t doing anything. Don’t wait until next year for best practice to emerge because next year best practice will be different and your mobile interface should be too,” Mr Foster said.

Jonathan Sinton, commercial director of TNS, a global market research company, said online retail was also being heavily influenced by the changing ways people used the internet.

Mr Sinton said there had been an 80 per cent increase in the past year in the number of people who were connected to a brand online, for example via social media.

He said people were increasingly going online as part of their shopping process, not just to research products before buying, but also to decide which store to buy goods at and to keep up with new products coming out after the initial purchase.

”Post-purchase we need to create comment and connection. The best way to be harnessing social media in 2012 will be getting people to talk about products online.”

(Sources: The Sydney Morning Herald.  http://www.smh.com.au/business/online-branding-a-smart-move-20111027-1mm3f.html)

9 Rules of Facebook Promotion Every Small Business Should Know

Oct11
2011

Written by The BrandLaureate

You’re the owner of a local small business and you are trying to figure out the best steps to get on to Facebook to drive new customers. It can be a daunting task and with little extra time in the day, how can you be expected to spend time promoting your business on Facebook? I completely understand the challenges of running a small business and after speaking with lawyers, florists, dentists, and many other small businesses, I’ve compiled the following list of strategies that should help ease the process.

1. Go Slow And Steady, Don’t Overdo It

-Compound Interest Piggy Banks-Any form of promotion is like compound interest. It takes time to build up the residual returns but if you stick with it, the pay off can be substantial. Many people hear that Facebook is a great way to promote their business but after trying it out for a few days or even a couple weeks, they don’t see significant effects so they give up and decide to keep paying for Yellow page advertisements. Who knows how well Yellow Page ads pay off but that monthly check must be going towards something, right?

The difference between Facebook and more traditional promotional channels is that the small business owner needs to invest a little bit of their time. The extra effort can go a long way and can even provide a rewarding experience as customers begin to provide feedback and communicate directly with you. So how much time do you need to be spending? Not hours a day! While promoting via Facebook can become an addictive process, you can allocate little more than an hour a week to your promotional activities.

While it’s never bad to start off enthusiastically, you don’t want to waste all of your efforts in the first few days. Build up your fan base steadily and you’ll begin to see the benefits.

2. Contact Your Fans Directly

While digital media companies and large brands may have thousands upon thousands of fans, most small businesses don’t end up with as many fans, especially if they are local. When you first start growing, it’s a good idea to interact with each new fan on an individual basis. Send users a message after they’ve become a fan of your Facebook page. Build a relationship with each fan and they’ll become a fan and a customer forever.

Once you build a connection there’s a good chance the user will tell their friends. I’ll be discussing that strategy further in an upcoming guide. The main point here is that each new fan can be considered a new lead for a small business. Selling on Facebook though is subtle and should not be done in an overly aggressive way. Just because someone became a fan does not mean you should send them a message saying “Buy my stuff today!!!”

Instead, reach out to each new fan individually to welcome them to your Facebook Page and begin a dialogue. In many times these initial conversations will lead to lasting business relationships.

3. Don’t Spam

I’ve written about this before and it never gets old: don’t spam your users. As the owner of a blog, I get countless people who try to spam the comments and I’ve seen the same thing take place on Facebook. Spamming your users with too many links or trying “black hat” tactics to rapidly drive up your Facebook Page fan base is not worth it. Facebook is aggressive at stopping spam and there is a good chance that they’ll stop you somewhere along the way, and it can potentially cost a lot.

4. Consider It An Educational Experience

-Bookshelf Screenshot-Rather than looking for an instantaneous return, look at it as a long-term educational experience. As you improve your strategy, you’ll attract more fans. It takes time to master Facebook promotion and time to reap the rewards but the payoff can be significant. The main point of this rule is clear: stick with it for the long haul. As I outlined in last week’s Facebook advertising guide for marketers, it’s important to plan for the long-term.

If you blow out your budget in the first few days and expect to have a massive response, you will be seriously disappointed. Learn from the experience, take notes, and improve your strategy over time. It may sound like a lot of time but you can do much of this in as little as 15 minutes a day. One other benefit of considering it an educational experience is that the whole process is deductible in your taxes.

You can write off the expenditure ad advertising or as education (you need to speak to your accountant to determine the best way to file an entry for this).

5. Limit Your Advertising Budget

As I just mentioned, more dollars on advertising does not always mean more revenue. Start off with a few dollars a day to test out Facebook’s advertising system. You can create your first ad here to test out all of Facebook’s targeting capabilities. Make sure that if you are spending money that you’re investing in some long-term goal, otherwise you’ll end up spending a lot of money aimlessly. Trust me, I know from experience! As your performance improves and you figure out which ads work most effectively you can begin to steadily increase your ad spend.

Figure that you’d spend a few hundred dollars on a Yellow Pages advertisement so be willing to test out a similar budget on Facebook. If all goes well and your business starts to increase, you can always invest in more advertising as necessary. As I mentioned earlier, this is an educational process and with so many resources on the internet, learning has never been cheaper. Don’t spend all your money when you don’t have to!

To most effectively manage your budget, start off with one Facebook advertising campaign which has a limited budget (as pictured below). For all of the initial ads use that same campaign rather than creating separate campaigns for each advertisements.

-Create Campaign Screenshot-

6.Create A Facebook Page, Not New Profiles

A quick way to get banned from Facebook is to set up multiple accounts and multiple profiles. I have multiple friend requests in my inbox currently from people who’ve set up separate accounts to promote their business. Don’t do this! You can go here to set up your own Facebook Page while keeping your existing profile. Under no circumstance should you be creating separate accounts. Not only is it against Facebook’s terms, but it provides no additional value.

I could spend more time explaining why this is flat out a bad idea but I won’t. It’s much better to spend the time focused on the activities you should be doing!

7. Use Coupons And Other Incentives

-Rubbermaid Coupon-So now that you’ve got a Facebook Page, some ads running, and a few fans of your Facebook Page, what should you be doing? In addition to engaging users on Facebook, you also want to get them making purchases. Keep in mind, which incentives you use depend on the type of business you are running. For example, a florist may have price sensitive customers, and special deals may be an incentive to make a purchase.

A florist may want to post something like “There’s never a better time to show that special someone that you care. Today only we’re providing a bouquet of _______________, ______________, and _______________ for only $9.99, and we’ll deliver them to your work for free!” However if a dentist posted “50 percent off cavity fillings”, I have a feeling that they wouldn’t get the same response.

There are plenty of other creative incentives to drive people back to your page and to your business so test out different strategies and see which work best.

8. Emphasize Mobile Subscriptions

-Mobile Icon-One of the best components of Facebook Pages is the ability to receive updates via your mobile device. Once updates come to your phone you can also reply to the updates, making it possible for instant two-way communication. It’s a model that’s similar to Twitter except that on Pages you get more features for engaging users. The mobile component adds an additional layer of interaction which can be used to build relationships with your new and existing customers.

As I outlined in the 5 phases of the Facebook sales funnel, Facebook is a relationship marketing platform, not a direct sales channel. That’s why it’s important to build your relationship with others through Facebook. Configure your Facebook Page to function with your current mobile device and communicate with users while on the go. This can make for some great, instantaneous dialogue.

Ultimately most internet based promotions are going the way of mobile, and it is in every business’s best interest to take advantage of that trend including on Facebook.

9. Post Occasional Entertaining Statuses

When was the last time you saw an update from your dentist in your news feed? You probably never have and you may even be weirded out to see one, unless of course it was a funny joke. For example if the dentist posted occasion updates about eating candy and junk food in general, you may get a quick smile and possibly even post a status update. Whatever the response, at least you are getting one, which is one additional level of interaction that you never previously had with your customers.

Keeping your fans engaged is an important component of any good Facebook strategy. How much time does it really take to come up with a clever status update? If you’re like me then catchy ideas occasionally pop into your head (or at least ones that you think are clever) when you are on the go. If you’ve properly configured your Facebook Page to work with your mobile device, you can instantly update your Page’s status while on the go.

It takes very little extra effort to bring a smile to your fans and it’s something that they’ll remember.

Conclusion

Every small business can take advantage of the promotional opportunities that Facebook presents. By using some of the tips listed in this article, small businesses can get a great start on promoting their company on the site. While there are many other strategies to increasing the number of fans you have on the site as well as driving new business, much of that can be learned through experimentation. The best thing to do is to get started and figure it out from there!

If you would like to learn more about ways that your small business can benefit from Facebook and social media in general, fill out your information in the form below. We promise to not spam you and take your privacy seriously so we won’t give your email to anybody.

 

Original article: www.allfacebook.com/facebook-small-business-2009-07