Foursquare Specials

Our most recent FanTools update reaches one more social media platform, Foursquare.  For those who are unfamiliar, Foursquare is a location based social networking site, which allows users to check in to different venues using their mobile device.

For the venue, Foursquare allows them to recognize their customers and reward them for their loyalty.  FanTools users can now schedule and publish any of the available Foursquare specials listed below:

Mayor – available only to the mayor of the venue
Check-In – available to anyone, any time they check into you venue
Loyalty – activated only after repeat visits.
Newbie – for anyone, provided it is the first time they have checked into the venue.
Swarm – available when many people check in at once.
Friends – available when a group of people check into your venue together.
Flash – available to a limited number of people who check-in first.

Similar to the recently added Facebook Deals, or creating a flash deal, coupon, or group deal, Foursquare Specials are just as easy and intuitive in FanTools.  Below is a screen shot of what the form looks like inside of our app.


If your business hasn’t gotten started using Foursquare, it is easy to sign up and start rewarding customers when they check-in to your venue, just go here.  It is also a great place for you to learn more about Foursquare and its role in the social media world!


Post authored by: Jennifer Tongen

Facebook Timeline Tips and Tricks

The Facebook Timeline isn’t necessarily “new” anymore, but there is still life in sharing some of the latest ideas that I’ve seen socially savvy companies incorporate into their strategy.

But, before we get started, lets make sure to review Facebook’s regulations regarding Timeline cover photos and profile pictures.  Below is an abbreviated list from Social Media Examiner.

  • No promotions, coupons or advertisements
  • It shouldn’t be primarily text-based or infringe on anyone else’s copyright
  • No price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • No contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your page’s About section
  • No references to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • No calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

Facebook draws a pretty clear line between what they consider appropriate or not.  At first glance it may look restricting, but it still leaves lots of room for creativity and messaging!  The cover photos have proved to be very strong statement pieces to grab attention, introduce products or ideas, and grow your fan base.  I’ve taken a few good examples of local Minneapolis brands and showcased below. Keep scrolling to see how these mavens are positioning their brand on Facebook.

A nice example of using their logo and company tag line while still showcasing their product line in an appetizing and clear manner.

Red Wing Shoes has an interesting photo showcasing their staple product, heavy duty work boots, with their use of photography.

The Minnesota Twins page caught my eye with their use of their website address in the top corner.  That is a forward way to encourage two way traffic, between their Facebook page and their website.

Surly, a local brewing company is using their cover photo to introduce and market a new brew.

There are many creative ways to display new products, company information and messages with the new Facebook Timeline profiles.  Make sure to get creative and utilize some of these eye-catching ideas for your brand!

FanTools now with Facebook Offers!

FanTools has developed coupons, flash deals, group deals, and information posts… and we are excited to announce we’ve now added Facebook Offers!

Facebook Offers is a simple mechanism for a business to give customers discounts on their page.  Fans can then share it, comment on it, and claim the deal.  Offer details are sent to a fan once its been claimed via email and can then be redeemed in the store.

We’ve made this option available in FanTools, and we’ve made it even better!  It’s as simple as this:

  • In your FanTools account, create a Facebook Offer, just like you would a coupon post
  • Hit the preview button to see exactly what your Facebook fans will see your wall, similar to the one below:
  • Now that you have your Facebook Offer ready to go, you can decide when you want it posted on your wall, and how often.  Just set it to your social media marketing calendar and forget it!  The offer will post and you can sit back watch your bottom line rise while your fans share and redeem your offer!

We are excited to be able to bring this Facebook feature to the next level by allowing our customers to control what, when, and how often their Facebook Offers are posted!  Login to your FanTools account today to get started!  Don’t forget to schedule your Facebook Offers in advance by using your personal social media marketing calendar!

FanTools Plan for your Business

We’ve made FanTools easier to user and even smarter at marketing your business on social media.

Next time you log into FanTools, you’ll notice the updated dashboard with the new Plan tab.  You can now create a social media marketing Plan to compliment your business’ objectives by choosing and modifying a Plan that is the perfect fit for you.

The Plan is designed to allow you to pick what kinds of social media activities you want, when you want them posted, and how often.  After browsing our Plan Library and finding the right plan for your business, just click “Add to my Current Plan”.

Dig around, and you’ll see how we’ve changed the look and feel and improved the navigation to make it even more easy to use.

Still haven’t gotten started?  That is okay!!  Get started today for FREE and you’ll be guided through a seamless setup process that only takes minutes!

Have any questions?  Please feel free to leave a comment.

FanTools Known Issues

The FanTools team is always working to resolve any issues the come up with the application.  Listed below are the current issues that we are aware of and actively working on to resolve as soon as possible. Also listed below are the issues we have recently resolved.  If you are experiencing any problems other than what is listed below, please visit our Support Center.

Current Known Issues (as of 4/13/2012)

  • Some Facebook users are unable to get past FanGates for deals. This is caused by a Facebook bug, but we are currently researching a way we can avoid this issue.
  • FanTools admin users are unable to view Results for certain offers that have an indefinite publish duration.
  • Forgot Password workflow results in an error when the user enters their new password and submits the form.

Recently Resolved Issues

  • Admin user was unable to create new content off of an event on the calendar. This was resolved on 4/9/2012.
  • Facebook events that were set up to recur were displaying with an indefinite publish duration on the calendar. This was resolved on 4/9/12 to display these event types as instantaneous events with no duration.
  • Coupons created during Getting Started were displaying a valid end date with the year 2099. This was resolved on 4/11/2012.

Socialize your Company, Learn how with LinkedIn

Most people already have a personal account with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but what about your business?

Today I encourage you to start spending more time on your business, by building the brand instead of updating your News Feed every 5 minutes… just to see one more post from someone you don’t care about talking about their “#firstworldproblems”. Continue reading

FanTools Gets Smarter — Updates To Planning Your Social Media Marketing Plan

It has only been a week, and we’re already here to announce even more awesome updates to FanTools!  We are always moving forward on our promise to push FanTools to work hard  harder for you and your business.

This morning FanTools  updated three key things to make your Social Media Marketing Plan even easier to schedule!

  • Using the program calendar, you can now schedule and edit start times for events and promotions in the new Program Calendar view.
  • It is now easier than ever to publish and customize Facebook posts within FanTools.
  • And if you are just getting started with FanTools, we’ve made the process as easy and as seamless as possible!  Just login and FanTools will guide you through the  getting started, step by step.

Feel free to leave any comments, questions, or suggestions, as we always love hearing what our customers have to say!

Facebook Marketing for Beginners- It’s never too late to start!

“Facebook Marketing” could be one of the most used ‘buzz’ phrases of all time. But, there is a good reason as to why we are still hearing it, and why it probably won’t go away!  It’s where the people are!

So you’ve probably read the stats, but I can’ help throw them back at you one more time… the Facebook audience is over 800 million!!  That is A LOT of people.  With predictions of Facebook reaching 1 billion this year, it is where everyone, including your customers, are hanging out.  Start interacting with your customers, and turn your paper promotions and marketing efforts digital.  It is your best chance to get in front of your customers. If you still haven’t taken the time to get yourself or your business on Facebook, seize the day!

Okay, I’ll slow down.  For those of you who may be a little nervous because you aren’t exactly what you would call “computer saavy,” not to worry!  I’ve pulled a great resource from Entrepreneur Blog’r that will take you through a Facebook Marketing Workshop.  You can get started today by clicking HERE.


FanTools Gets a Fresh New Look!

This morning, FanTools unveiled a fresh new look with many new features!  As you’ve probably read, we have updated the dashboard, created a social program based on your business, expanded info posts, videos, and photos, for Facebook and Twitter, and we’ve done it all with you in mind.

Here is a sneak peek of the FanTools Dashboard:

To see more of the new look and feel log in to your FanTools account by clicking here!

But wait!  We’ve also created this great video to walk you through the new FanTools admin environment, so you can keep yourself and your employees up to date with what has changed, and what has been added!

We hope you like what you see, and we’ve worked hard to make sure you can stop working harder, and start working smarter.


Alternatives To Daily Deal Sites, Do It Yourself.

Daily Deal Sites have been making headlines for almost two  years now.  However, in 2012 it may not be the case. Is 2012 the year of decline for daily deal sites?

Marcia Kaplan points the brutal commission cuts daily deal sites impose on merchants in a post at   Practical Ecommerce stating that “The daily deal sites take 40 to 50 percent of the already discounted revenues, leaving merchants with roughly 25 to 30 percent of the retail price.”

How long will small businesses tolerate this?   Daily deal sites are simply taking too much, and as more emerge among the most popular (Groupon, Living Social) the competition will only get stiffer.

Businesses are starting to get over the hype and they are looking at the bottoms lines.  Here is what Kaplan thinks we’ll see going into 2012:

  • More focus on return on investment by merchants. The novelty of daily deals has worn off and merchants are looking at the bottom line.
  • More visibility into consumer behavior. Groupon is making it easier for merchants to get customer feedback by adding a feedback component to its Merchant Center. Groupon recently began surveying all customers about their Groupon experiences immediately after redemption. Merchants can now see the overall percentage of Groupon customers that would recommend their business and scroll through customer comments added in real time.
  • A more competitive market as new, well-funded competitors enter the daily deal fray. When Google rolls out a nationwide daily deal offering, it will affect the two big players, Groupon and LivingSocial. Google has lots of cash and will not incur the customer acquisition costs — it has millions of customers already with its pay-per-click ad products — that saddle Groupon and LivingSocial. This may put pressure on Groupon and LivingSocial to increase revenue share for merchants.

Merchants can continue using the “big guys” and constantly fight for a following, but evidence is suggesting this is becoming a harder battle, and they aren’t gaining measurable  ROI or insights to their customer base.

As a business owner, wouldn’t it be easier if you could have your own fans, the power of word of mouth, and control at your finger tips?  Last week Ryan pointed out that a key to social media ROI comes from tying it to commerce. Welcome to the evolution of the daily deal, the power gets given back to the small business.