Thursday, May 27, 2010

Why have the background images on my FBML pages shrunk?

[Update: This has been identified as a Facebook bug and has since been fixed. However, there is news that Facebook will be changing it's FBML tab dimensions from 760px to 520px sometime in late July, so you might want to start making these adjustments for any upcoming campaigns that will run past July]

Imagine my horror when I found that the background images I have been using for some of my client’s Facebook pages have shrunk. Some of them have even disappeared completely, leaving a blank canvas page when you click on the tabs.

I originally thought it may have been some problems on the webserver which the images were hosted on, but a quick check on the absolute image paths showed everything was ok.

A quick search on other Facebook pages showed similar problems for some brands. But others looked just fine. A quick search for “FBML” on Twitter provided some explanations - Apparently Facebook has made some changes to FBML and any images that are bigger than 400px would be automatically resized to that size.

A good example is the Fan offer page for Walgreens

The only alternatives that I know of are to either slice up the images on the FBML canvas (so that each individual image is less than 400px) or build a Facebook app. I decided an app was too much trouble and it took about 15 mins (per page) to re-cut the images and layout onto HTML and re-upload the new (sliced up) images onto my webserver and everything was back to normal again

The only problems are the pages I have that uses image maps for multiple links on a page. That will probably take a little more time if you’re not using a whole image to map out your links. If you get line breaks in your image (which usually looks fine on IE but shows on Fire Fox or Chrome), just adding a simple string of code => style="display:block;” ( e.g <img src="images/main.jpg"  border="0" style="display:block;"/>] after all image paths should resolve it.

Someone on Twitter mentioned that this might just be a temporary glitch which would be resolved soon. I personally figured that Facebook implemented this because they felt larger images (>400px) would take a longer time to download which would mean a bad user experience and decided to limit it.

Either ways, this has been a real pain especially since a lot of my FBML static canvas pages are the default page that users land on when they reach my clients’ Facebook page. Not giving any advance notice to us as stakeholders, if this is indeed an official Facebook decision to change it, is just really just really really uncool.

It’s also a classic example of our over-dependence on Facebook as a marketing platform.

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LOST explained using Post Its

If you've never seen the TV series LOST but would like to know what it was about OR if you're like me and have seen it but have no idea what the heck is going on most of the time - This is a great 3 minute video summary using Post Its!

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Monday, May 24, 2010

The Social Media Decision Tree

Social Media is about relationships. As such monitoring the social media space is essential to find out what your customers are talking about and their perceptions of your brand, products and services.

The engagement part of this is to make sure that you address your customers questions, concerns and complains in the right manner. Failure to do so can be disastrous as everything occurs in an open and transparent manner, where bad publicity can spread across multiple social networks like wildfire, destroying brand equity and bring an onslaught of negative product sentiments.

This is especially important if you actively manage a social platform like a Facebook Page, Twitter Account, YouTube Channel, Blog etc. You want to avoid a similar fiasco that happened to Nestle and most recently HTC Singapore on Facebook.

So when you do get feedback, be it positive or negative, when should you respond and how do you do so?

The guys from the Altimeter Group ( have crafted an awesome decision tree / social media triage which serves as a great reference for any business.  

This is taken from their Social Strategy Webinar “Getting your company ready” -

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Always the inspirational and thought provoking (and sometimes just plain provoking – Ask the guys at Adobe) person, Steve Job’s speech at the 2005 Stanford Commencement Address has been circulating on the web for a long time. I’ve read the transcript multiple times myself.

Just found a video on YouTube of the actual commencement address and it’s even more awesome watching him make the speech.

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Integrating Social Networks with Corporate Websites

This is a great presentation by Jeremiah Owyang from the Altimeter Group (Follow on Twitter @jowyang) that looks at how corporate websites can be still relevant in a world of social networks.

The presentation talks about the evolution of corporate sites as they seek to integrate elements of social networking within them. There are 8 different levels and great examples are given for each type of integration.

1. No social integration

2. Link away with no strategy

3. Link away but encourage sharing

4. Brand integrated in social channels

5. Aggregate discussion on site

6. Users stay on site with social log-in

7. Social log-in triggers sharing

8. Seamless integration

A great framework for all companies to benchmark themselves against where they are now and where they want to be in terms of having a well integrated online presence.

Social media is here to stay and for many brands and businesses, having a presence and participating in social platforms is a given. The next step is to ensure that their corporate website is well integrated with their Facebook page, Twitter account, Youtube channel and other social platforms. This ensure that their customers get a unified online experience and can easily share information about the company’s products and services along with their own personal opinions and endorsements of these brands to their own social networks.

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Google Pacman

Fancy a game of Pac-Man? Go to and click on “Insert Coin” to play!

Definitely the coolest Google Logo yet!

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Kiss You Tube

This is an awesome tip courtesy of @lucianop (

To download videos from onto your computer, simply add "kiss" an the beginning of url (e.g. instead of ' ', make it ' ').

The downside is that the only format available is FLV. For an option (FLV and MP4), you can also use

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Collective Buying - Web 2.0 style

Collective buying is not a new concept – People have been grouping together to make bulk purchases since the dawn of time. Increasing the purchase quantity allows buyers to bargain and negotiate for higher discounts and better prices.

The idea is that as more and more people group together to buy something, the lower it drives the per unit purchase price

The problem was finding enough people within your social circle that wanted to buy the same thing.

With the Internet and the advent of social media, that problem no longer exists. People who don’t know each other can now band together for a common goal: Buying something they want at the lowest possible price, at a discount quantum that they will never ever be able to get individually.

It’s a win-win situation: Customers get great discounts while merchants are guaranteed a minimum purchase quantity

The concept is simple – Showcase an item on a website with an amazing discount (think 50% and upwards) that only comes in force when a minimum number of purchases are made. Put in a countdown timer and the fun begins.

Anyone who comes to the site can make a purchase but they won’t be guaranteed of the offer until the minimum quantum is met before time runs out. If the offer is not activated, the customer’s credit card is simply not charged and another offer is displayed.

Dell started out mid last year with Dell Swarm ( in Singapore where 1 user starts by joining a swarm (for a specific featured product) to enjoy a price lower than’s best discounted price. As more and more users join the swarm to buy, the price reduces. The swarm closes after 72 hours or when 15 users have joined (which results in the lowest possible price for the product).

Then came along Groupon ( where the deals weren’t specific to any brand/product. However, these offers were only specific to users staying in cities in the U.S and Canada.

Then Chinese spawn follow suit. Suffice to say, the site looks almost exactly the same as Groupon

Now, it seems some enterprising individuals have seen a similar opportunity in Hong Kong and Singapore with similar sites starting up and more coming along:

Voucherwow ( started in Singapore recently

Voucherous ( – A Singapore site coming soon

Gigonzone ( – HK site that seems to be focusing on F&B – HK site coming soon

I’m sure there would be many other new sites coming out soon offering discounts across various verticals. What would be interesting though, would be to see how businesses would leverage on the social aspects of collective consumption and incorporate this within their online campaigns.

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Write The Future

Here’s the new Nike World Cup Ad in full - Write The Future.

Another brilliant campaign by W+K

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Facebook: Facts You Probably Didn't Know

Some pretty cool Facebook Facts that you probably didn’t know about all packed into a nice little infographic. Courtesy of @mashable.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Standchart SG's new mobile banking app is a breeze to use

Standard Chartered Bank Singapore has just launched a new mobile banking iPhone App called Breeze. A brief tour of the functionalities shows a pretty good user interface and great functionalities.

It even brags about featuring the world’s first iPhone e-Cheque which is basically you issuing a cheque to someone via your phone. At the back-end, someone at Stanchart will take that instruction and issue/mail a physical cheque to that person.

Check out the Breeze microsite and download the iPhone app at:

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Build your own social graph

Ionz is a cool little site and app that lets you build your own social information graph based on your answers to some basic questions. You can then download it as a desktop wallpaper.

Here’s mine:

Get yours at: (Click on the UK flag on the top right to toggle the language)

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Social Strategy - Getting your company ready

This is a great presentation done by the guys at the Altimeter Group about what's required for companies to incorporate social media as part of their overall business strategy.

It details a step by step methodology and provides an array of helpful insights and tools. Overall, its a great road-map for client side marketers and stakeholders to refer to when laying the foundation for building their brand and business with social media

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

HTC Singapore Facebook Page #EPICFAIL

HTC Singapore’s Facebook Fan page has been drawing some major flak lately. Business tend to forget the social media is not just a means of marketing their wares but also a personal and direct channel to engage their customers.

HTC has been neglecting questions from fans about issues and problems with their phone, creating an impression that the brand was ignoring it’s fan base while still posting updates on its latest launches and promotions. Thankfully, they didn’t make the same mistakes that Nestle did during the whole Greenpeace saga with Kit Kat by deleting negative comments and feedback.

The funniest thing happened on Monday when they posted a message saying that they would no longer be supporting the page (i.e. answering questions, customer service etc) but still asking fans to look out for updates and promotions. And then they went to disable the update bar,  disallowing fans to post things on the fan page wall.

As you can see from the image below, this wasn’t exactly a smart move. It might appear that HTC outsourced the management of this page to some social marketing agency to handle and perhaps their contract was up or they just didn’t have the resources to handle the large influx of comments and questions.

In any case, the lesson here is that any company looking to go into social media must be prepared to see it through. Doing it for the sake of just that will lead to more bad than good.

The thing with social media as compared to other digital campaigns is that it requires a huge amount of resource to manage and maintain and your customers expect to be able to communicate directly with your brand and get answers. You can’t just decide that you want to have a fan page so that you can push out marketing messages and promotions just like an eDM. It doesn’t work that way because the analogy is that now, the customer has a way to reply to you on a very public forum. And being able to handle these engagements in the appropriate manner is what helps drive brand advocacy and triggers the positive outcomes that would ultimately help you acheive your actual business objectives.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

SPG's Passport to Free Weekends Contest

Starwood has always been active on social media, with Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) being the first hotel loyalty program to establish a suite of Twitter, Facebook and iPhone applications online

Obviously, SPG sees social media as a key platform for further engaging an influential and rapidly growing segment of its members who are highly active social media participants. Online bookings are an increasingly important channel to the hospitality industry and with the number of players in the market, brand advocacy and customer service becomes an important differentiator. With these social media platforms, SPG hopes to be able to engage their customers and drive customer loyalty and increased bookings. At the same time, also use the channel to deliver the SPG experience to new customers.


SPG will be launching a rather interesting social media campaign on May 11.

For a period of 10 days (starting May 11), SPG will share clues (text and pictures) about the location of a specific Starwood hotel or resort on Twitter and  their Facebook page. The first 10 participants to arrive at the hotel and provide the front desk at the correct hotel with the phrase “I’m here for my Free Weekends Passport photo” will win 2 free weekend night that can be redeemed at any Starwood hotel.

They will need to take a photo with the front desk (which will probably be shared on Facebook & Twitter) when claiming the prize.

This is a perfect way to reinforce their current Free Weekends promotion ( where customers get to earn a free weekend night for every 3 hotel stays they make.

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Social Media ROI: Socialnomics

Here’s a great video that showcases examples of social media campaigns that have delivered on ROI.

I believe that social media can help drive business results and show ROI, whether directly or sometimes, indirectly. The most important point is that you have to be clear from the onset about your objectives and not just plainly rush into it and see what comes along.

What are YOUR campaign objectives? Here are a list of possible campaign objectives:

  • Build product and brand awareness
  • Strengthen relationships with clients, prospects, and influencers
  • Better understand your buyers
  • Improve customer service
  • Identify new product ideas
  • Increase web site traffic
  • Improve search engine rankings
  • Drive traffic to your events
  • Generate leads
  • Generate sales

As with any other digital campaigns, there are an array of tools you can use to measure results. Social Media is not just a passing fad. Your customers are talking about you and your brand regardless of whether you like it or not. The question is no longer "Should we be on Facebook or Twitter?" but rather "How should we leverage on social media to drive sustainable business results?"

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Philips vs The Sun

Philips did this social media campaign a while back called Philips Vs Anything which I thought was really cool.

The idea was that people could challenge Philips to beat something else using their products via twitter.

The winner would get one of Philips’famous 21:9 Cinema Screens.

In this video example Philips Vs The Sun, the guys try to fool a Rooster to think that it’s morning using a Wake-Up Light – It’s hilarious.

Campaign website:


This is a great way to leverage on the viral power of social networks and interact with the social community by giving them something really interesting, fun and innovative to be part of and shout about.

You would think something this cool would generate a lot of buzz – It did in the marketing community. However, it only generate a small number of tweets per day and there weren’t many mentions of the brand on Twitter; showing that it wasn’t as well received by mainstream consumers.  A key lesson here in social media - Just because some people like content doesn’t guarantee that it will go viral.

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

We've moved

I've moved my blog over to Posterous, simply because it's much easier to maintain and post.

You can find me at