Archive for Social Media Strategy

Facebook Personal Profiles Get an Update Some Businesses Won’t Like

Facebook for Business vs Personal Use: The Gap Is Wider than Ever

“This year is all about cleaning Facebook up. I will patch the holes in data security, fight off hate and abuse in our community, and make sure my 2 billion users experience nothing but ‘meaningful’ interactions.”dislike thumbs down 280x280 - Facebook Personal Profiles Get an Update Some Businesses Won't Like

Those are NOT Mark Zuckerberg’s words. But they might as well have been.

On January 4, he posted his “personal challenge” on his profile indicating that “Facebook has a lot of work to do — whether it’s protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent.” He also mentioned that he is as driven as he was in 2009, the first year of his series of personal challenges.

Mr. Zuckerberg is a man of his word. We’re only a few months shy from 2019, but it seems like Facebook isn’t done yet. Updates have been rolled out one after another, and it seems like the line between Facebook for business and Facebook for personal use is getting thicker and thicker.

Just recently, the company has banned third party apps like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social from scheduling and posting updates on personal Facebook profiles — bad news for Facebook users who use their own profiles for business vs using a Facebook Business Page.

In line with their goal to provide “meaningful interactions”, scheduling and posting through third party apps on a personal profile page is no longer allowed. When it comes to post visibility, a personal page has the upper hand. Your “friends” are more likely to see each update you’re posting. On the other hand, Facebook page updates have lower chances of showing up on the Newsfeed of your “likers”.

Does it spell gloom and doom for business owners who relied on their personal profiles for marketing?

Not really.

Truth be told, it’s a moderate adjustment. It means letting go of the strategy you’re used to and it means you have to work around changes to reshape your social media strategy.

Here are tips to get you started:

  1. Work with your social media manager more closely than ever. Understand the new terms of service policies and work with it, not against it.
  2. Transition to a business page and optimize it fully. It is possible to “clone” the content you have on your personal page and move it to your business page.
  3. Embrace the fact that a business page has a lot more “business-friendly” features that will help you. For example, you can boost a post for more views by simply spending $5!
  4. Build your following. Transitioning to a Facebook business page doesn’t turn all your Facebook friends to “Likers” right away. Facebook allows you to invite your friends to your page and even automatically have them become your followers. It’s a bit tricky, but it’s a good workaround.

Major content-centric algorithm updates can happen on any social media network. This social media giant is not an isolated case. It seems like every time you log onto one of the platforms, SOMETHING is different! Whenever it happens, keep your cool. Changes may shake up your social media footing but it’s no reason to panic. Reach out to us if you want help, or if you just want us to take care of it for you. We keep up with the changes so you don’t have to. Contact us now to learn more.

When to Throw in the Facebook Towel

Are you Frustrated with Facebook?

A couple of years ago, having an active Facebook business page was a “must have”. Clients came to me asking for one, stating they “knew they had to do it”, despite their lack of desire to post regularly or to nurture and engage a social audience. The general thought was that if you posted regularly on social media, you would get leads that would get you new business.

Fast forward 6 months to a year, and after spending money to have great content created and shared, there were few or no leads to report. Why is that?

The reality is that Facebook doesn’t show your stuff to anyone unless they show interest. I’m not talking about someone liking your page. Here are two scenarios for how I think it happens:

Scenario One: Someone likes your page. Facebook says “oh good, a new follower!” It shows that person a few of your posts in their newsfeed over the coming days. That follower lets the posts go by without liking, clicking, commenting, or sharing it. FB then says “oh bummer, they aren’t really interested in this page, so I’ll show them something else”. And never again does that person see what you’ve posted.

Scenario Two: Someone likes your page. Facebook says “oh good, a new follower!” It shows that person a few of your posts in their newsfeed over the coming days. This follower DOES click on your posts, likes them, shares them and comments now and then. FB says “hurray! This follower IS really interested in this page – so I’ll show them more.”

So if no one is seeing your posts as in scenario one, you can’t possibly get any new leads for business by posting on Facebook. The results: a disappointing ROI.

facebook on laptop - When to Throw in the Facebook TowelWhat do you do?

In order for you to get anything from Facebook, it is now “pay to play”. That means you will have to factor in some paid advertising budget to get your posts seen. Which is why, starting on July 1, our social media content packages now include a budget for paid Facebook ads, plus our creative team to design and run your ad campaigns.

If you’re not happy about your results and want to change your Facebook strategy, you have several options. You could:

  1. Throw in the towel and stop posting on Facebook.
  2. Continue posting to Facebook without seeing any results (maybe because you like doing it or you enjoy the posts you pay to have created – that’s all fine!)
  3. You can continue to post, but decide on a monthly paid advertising budget.

It can be frustrating when you invest in creating and posting Facebook content, whether it’s your time or your money to pay someone to do it. Try our new strategy out and see what results you get. Perhaps the ROI will have you smiling, instead of feeling frustrated.

Check out our new social media packages which now include paid FB ads!

Where to Spend Your Digital Dollars

Digital Advertising – Where to Spend Your Ad Budget

If your digital advertising budget is limited, then you want the highest ROI on every dollar you spend. It’s difficult to decide where to put those dollars, because there are so many platforms to choose from! Here are just a few:

  • Google Adwords
  • Facebook Advertising
  • Yelp Ads
  • Twitter Ads
  • LinkedIn Ads
  • Banner ads on partnership sites

How do you decide where to spend your ad dollars?

My Choice: Facebook Advertising

facebook emojis 545x280 - Where to Spend Your Digital DollarsAt this time, I believe that paid ads on Facebook are the best place to spend your advertising dollars online.

Why? Because Facebook knows everything about it’s users – over 10,000 data points on each user! They know what they like and what they don’t like. They know where they live, how old they are, if they are married or single, their education level, and more. They know all this based upon what they post, as well as, their behavior.

For example, if you like sewing and you post Pinterest links to sewing topics, like other’s posts about sewing, and share articles or information about sewing, guess what? Facebook knows you like sewing and will start showing you ads for new sewing machines, sewing classes, fabric stores and more. You, as the sewing enthusiast, are more likely to click on one of these ads, because it’s your INTEREST.

Google, although it’s still the number one search engine, is too expensive and competitive to give you the ROI that you can get from Facebook, plus it doesn’t have the same amount of user behavior data that Facebook has.

Additionally, the types and objectives of your ads on Facebook are wide and varied. Here are just some examples of what you can do with a Facebook advertising campaign:

  • Get more people to like your FB page
  • Boost your post so that more people see it
  • Get people to go to your website
  • Get people to sign up for your email list
  • Get people to your physical location based upon where they are

There are other things you can do, but these are likely the most desired objectives.

A nice data point when you’re creating your ad, is you can see how many people will see it and you can tweak your target audience accordingly by changing the demographics, behaviors, or interest settings in your ad.

Another highly powerful tactic with Facebook advertising, is the ability to target your ads to specific lists. You can upload your email list and Facebook will find those users, to whom you can now direct your ad by creating a “custom audience”. Once you’re happy that this audience is the right one, you can tell Facebook to “create a similar audience” and it will create a whole new list of similar people with similar demographics and interests. Pretty cool, right?

If you’re not sure how to get started, contact us to help you. We can help you hash out a strategy, design cool creative graphics, and set up your targeted audiences for you.

The Two Main Benefits of Social Media for Business

The Obvious and The Optimized

marketing meter smaller 300x300 - The Two Main Benefits of Social Media for Business

People often ask me why they should put their business on social media. Although this question is being asked less as time goes by, it is still something that many business leaders don’t understand.

More often, they say they KNOW they should be on social media, but they often don’t know WHY. Here are the main two reasons why you need to be on social media and it may not be what you think.

The Obvious

Marketing. This is the most common reason why business leaders think they “get” social media, but it can be deceptive. Yes, you have the potential to reach not only current customers, but potential customers as well. When you create engaging content that appeals to your target audience, over time, you can grow that audience to become loyal customers. The key phrase being “over time” – nothing happens over night with this type of marketing (unless you use paid advertising), but it can eventually be a valued means of marketing you, your company and your products/services. In this day and age if you’re NOT on social media when your potential customers look for you, you may not get that call, that visit, that sale. Therefore, every business should use social media to market themselves as a component of their overall marketing plan.

The Optimized

Social Media Optimization (SMO). To me, this is the most powerful benefit of social media. Let me back up a bit and discuss an often-confusing topic: Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

When a potential customer looks something up on a search engine such as Google or Yahoo, they attempt to describe what they are looking for with words and phrases. These are called “keywords”. The search engine responds with pages and pages of information that it thinks the searcher wants. What appears on page one of the search is often what the searcher needs, therefore, they may not click to pages 2+.

SMO words 300x208 - The Two Main Benefits of Social Media for Business

Your goal, therefore, is to be on page one of the search results. This is complicated, competitive and difficult for the average business to attempt without using a professional SEO expert.

However, did you know that every time you post a link back to your business website on any of the social platforms, you’re sending a “social signal” from a HIGH authority site to your site?

A high authority website is similar to a popularity contest. Social media sites are really popular because they get A LOT of daily visits and the visitors create constant content on a wide range of topics and interests. Therefore, these large sites are usually far more popular than your site.

Be the Cool Kid…er…Website

cool dog with camera 350x280 - The Two Main Benefits of Social Media for Business

When you post a link to your website on the popular site, Google thinks you may be getting “cooler” and might actually consider you as popular too if you hang out with the popular sites more. We WANT Google to think you’re popular, because we want YOUR site to sit in the front seat of Google’s search results, aka, the first page.

With consistent posting using your keywords, and links back to your website, gradually you will become one of the cool kids. Above all, Google loves quality, so it has a way to see what you post, acknowledge your link, and if someone clicks through to your website, you step up your own authority. Complicated? Yes. But very doable.

Finally, the social media sites also have popularity contests. As you develop your audience you gain popularity, thus the venues such as Facebook, begin to show your content to more viewers. That is why your content needs to be consistent, relevant, peppered with your keywords, and engaging. Oh. And let’s not forget that link back to your own website when appropriate.

It’s important to understand that using social media for your business is not just posting all about you. Become an authority in your industry and share information that enriches, educates and engages your audience for best results, whether you’re using it for marketing or SMO.

How to Choose the Right Social Media Platform

These days, there are many avenues for you to share your message with the world. So many, in fact, it can be overwhelming when you’re first starting out or when you are too busy to manage many platforms. If you have to pick only one social media platform, below is a general guideline for choosing the right one for your messages.

Social media icon banner candy - How to Choose the Right Social Media Platform

Which Social Media Platform is Right for Your Business?

  • LinkedIn – Our number one choice for nearly ALL businesses. This is a professional network where people come expecting to talk business. Whether you are in B2B or B2C, LinkedIn is a MUST. Here you will find professional groups for every interest, business topic and industry. You start with a professional business profile, then you can create a company page where you showcase your products/services. People can connect with you directly or they can follow your company. There is less fluff on LinkedIn and the members expect to make introductions and network.
  • Facebook – number one for business to consumer (B2C). If you have retail products, personal development, consumer services or information, this is a great platform for you! This platform is third choice for us for B2B because it is highly consumer based. Don’t get me wrong – you should still have a presence on Facebook if you are a business to business company, but more for a branding perspective than for client acquisition.
  • Twitter – Twitter is also good for both B2B and B2C, but there is a science to using it. If you think you can just tweet once in a while, you are not maximizing the beauty of Twitter. Everything moves very quickly on Twitter, particularly if you follow a lot of people that follow a lot of people. Your message needs to be sent many times per day to have the widest reach. However, if you do it right, you will be amazed at the engagement (and new customers!) that you get.
  • YouTube – Who doesn’t like a quick, entertaining and informational video? 52% of marketers worldwide say that video produces the highest ROI for both B2B and B2C (syndcast). You don’t have to have a big budget to produce videos these days. Really, all you need is a smartphone and some creativity. If this overwhelms you, we recommend producing one video per month and sharing it on your other social media platforms just to get started. Keep in mind that when you have a YouTube video embedded in your website, Google looks more favorably on your site when it comes to search results.
  • Google+ – If you’re trying to reach a male audience, Google+ could be a good platform for you. 74% of the users are male and age 18-29 (SproutSocial). It’s great for information sharing and like YouTube, Google loves it when you post actively to Google+ (because it’s THEIR platform).
  • Pinterest – if you have visual products, Pinterest should be your first choice for social media (then link your Facebook and Twitter accounts to it!). Pinterest is particularly good for B2C markets and the demographic is still mainly women.

If you’re new to using social media for your business, we suggest picking one to start with. If you have the budget to pay someone to professionally manage it for you, then you can have a much more robust social media presence, which will, naturally, increase your results.

Don’t miss out on the great opportunity that social media offers your business. The potential reach far outweighs that of traditional marketing if you nurture and grow it over time.

Why Your Business Needs an Internet Marketing Team

Do YOU have a strong, integrated and STRATEGIC Internet Marketing strategy?

Watch our short (less than 5 min!) video to learn why it is critical for small to mid-sized businesses to have a well thought out and well executed on-line marketing strategy.

As you can see, it’s no longer an option to rely on direct mail, yellow page ads or even Yelp to bring you new customers. Your complete strategy should include the following:

  • A Modern, clean, responsive and easy to navigate website that converts visitors into new customers
  • A strong social media presence with regular content which builds YOUR authority and trust, and also leads your target audience back to your website (SEO)
  • A sound and trustworthy SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy to rank you on page 1 of Google for your keywords
  • A mobile website that helps you rank on Google when people search for you using a mobile device.
  • Listing in hundreds of local directories to boost your SEO
  • Integrated email marketing to complement your on-line and off-line advertising, allowing you to grow relationships with your current and target customers.
  • Use of powerful tools such as LinkedIn InMails and Google+ email to reach your ideal, targeted customer for lead generation and business growth
  • Strategic, laser focused Facebook advertising to reach customers in the ideal demographic for your business
  • Video production and marketing to get favored by Google and drive more traffic to your website.

Are You Overwhelmed?

You’re not alone. Most businesses do not have a single one of these strategies successfully working for them. The reason is because as a business owner or CEO, you are already busy engaging in what you do best – the heart of your business.

Our on-line marketing team can get you the results you need using proven, Internet strategies.

Make an appointment to discuss YOUR digital strategy. Click here for our on-line calendar.

Social Media Tip of the Week – Just START!

Does This Sound Like You?

Do you have a Facebook page for your business that is sitting idle and lonely…it’s measly few followers gathering dust by the day? Isn’t it time you gave it a little love?

Most business owners that I work with fall into one of these categories:

  1. They don’t understand Facebook or how to use it
  2. They don’t have time to curate tons of content
  3. They  have no clue what to post, so they just don’t

My advice to them is to either:

Hire someone (like us!) to do it for them or just…

start on wall 300x192 - Social Media Tip of the Week - Just START!

Why not start small and commit to posting ONCE per day? You don’t have to be a ninja Facebooker – just start with a single post each day. Tell us your favorite quote. Tell us something about your business. Share an image you took over the weekend. Share a link to a favorite website or tool you use. Offer a piece of advice relative to your industry.

My point is to just start and make yourself a promise that you will push yourself a little more each week. For additional tips, read this post “You Have Your Social Media Business Page Set up – Now What?”

I also want to let you know that we’ll be holding a series of training videos to help you. Be sure to sign up for our Social Media Tip Sheet and we will email you when the series is ready!

You Have Your Social Media Business Page Set Up – Now What?

Your Social Media Business Page – What You Need To Do Next

18cbceee092c863d9f5dac22 640 - You Have Your Social Media Business Page Set Up - Now What?I’m always surprised at how many people will set up, or pay someone to set up their social media business pages and then don’t do anything with them. In fact, Twitter reports that 44% of people with Twitter accounts have NEVER posted a Tweet! Why would one go to the trouble to set it up and then not use it?

Perhaps it’s because once the page is set up they are left to ask themselves… now what?

The fact is, it’s easy to set up a business page. The difficult part is creating an engaging, entertaining and educational page that will benefit your followers.

Here are some tips for getting started using your new social media business page.

Identify your target audience. Before you can come up with a content strategy for your business page, you need to know whom you are trying to reach. It’s similar to asking yourself who is your ideal client? Don’t just identify your usual client, shoot for the moon and identify your IDEAL client. Know the demographic of this client, such as average age, gender, marital status, income level, etc. Then you create content that would attract them and keep them interested.

Start posting! I’m not a big fan of businesses just sharing what other people write, but if that’s all you can do right now, go for it! The idea is to just get started posting relevant items on your page.

Visit your competitor’s pages. Look at what your competitors are doing. Do you like what they are doing or not? Consider this when designing your own content strategy. It’s perfectly fine to get ideas from them and put your own business twist on it.

Like other pages. When using a business page as your business, not your personal page, be sure to like pages that are synergistic with yours. For example, if you are a local business, “like” or follow your area chamber of commerce and city pages. “Like” or follow local communities, churches, schools – any community or business page where your ideal client is likely to hang out. If you’re a restaurant, “like” or follow food blog pages – get the idea?

Engage with other pages. Now that you’re following other pages, share their posts on your page. Comment or “like” their posts. This will get your business name in front of THEIR followers and possibly lead them to follow you too.

78bbf6578c90b01edcd483f7 640 - You Have Your Social Media Business Page Set Up - Now What?Create a campaign for a paid ad. When we created an advertisement on Facebook to “like” our page, we didn’t get very good results. But when we created a campaign that said “for social media tips of the day, like our page” we got over 1000 genuine likes in about 3 weeks. The daily spend was $5 per day – pretty darn cheap when you add it up! Create something worthwhile which will appeal to your ideal client and offer that in your paid ad campaign. (We’ll write more about paid advertising later!)

Be mindful of self promotion. Self promotion is expected on social media. However, you have to remember that your fans are not there to be sold to every day. An occasional news piece about your business, a new product or service or a special you are running are all fine to share. But you should primarily focus on content that your audience wants, not what you want from them. Make it fun. Make it interesting. Make it something THEY would share with their friends. That’s the beauty of social media!

Spend thirty minutes per day. You don’t have make this a major endeavor, but you should do something with your business pages every day. Share a tip, thought, event or product every day. Like someone’s post every day. And always reply to comments and likes on your own page every day. Frankly, the more active you are on your business pages, the more visibility you will receive.

If all of this seems too overwhelming, then consider either buying content or hiring someone to create content and manage your pages. The investment will be worth saving you the time and energy it requires to truly get the most out of your social media business pages.

 

Put the “Social” in Your Social Media

put the social in social media image - Put the "Social" in Your Social Media

Let’s be real – most people log onto their social media sites to play. Take a look at your own network and see what they enjoy…funny pictures, cool images, quotes, sports stats, recipes, shopping, kid stuff. Most of the time it’s a completely social atmosphere…hence the term “social” media. So as a business, how do you jump into the conversation without turning people off? You give them what they want.

Chances are your post about your business is not going to go viral. However, a funny cartoon or saying that relates to your business very easily could.  It’s what I call “putting the ‘social’ in social media”. Here are five steps to put the “social” in YOUR “social media”.

  1. Target Audience – always, always, always start any content piece with your target audience in mind. Who are they? How do they spend their time? What do they want? You can research this quite easily by looking at the news feed of your current audience or one of your competitors.
  2. Brainstorm Ideas – create a list of topics that you think would appeal to your target audience. Things such as humor, trivia, sports facts, recipes, art, quotes, etc.
  3. Create a plan – Plan out your content schedule and make it easy on yourself by having regular features. For example, maybe you want to have “success quote Monday” or “Friday Funny” or “Recipe Wednesday”. Create something that is easy for you to follow and execute.
  4. Add images – whenever possible, add images to your posts. 85% of people describe themselves as “visual” learners so images are always a good idea.  You can borrow images from others (always cite the source for credit!), buy stock images or make them yourself.
  5. Monitor – Watch your analytics to see which posts create the most buzz. This is immediate feedback to tell you how your campaign is going. You can use the information to tweak your strategy and get more engagement.

Putting the “social” in your social media strategy is a key aspect of growing your audience, creating “likeability” and growing your business!