Are you seeing the impact on your Facebook page?
Facebook has once again made changes to the newsfeed that will impact business pages and how many people see their posts.
A few ideas to help you reach your audience...
Follow the rules
See Facebook's guidelines for pages here
There are brands that play the system and get engagement on their post by running contest or asking people to like, share and comment for random reasons. It's tempting to fall into this trap, and very easy to do, but this will end up hurting your page. If you run contest on your business page without rules, or asking people to "Like & Share" Facebook could suspend your page. It's not worth it! There are ways to run contest that can grow your page - write up the rules (how a winner will be chosen, how people can enter, who can enter) A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant, by adding the phrase, "the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook." Make sure to use a relevant prize to build your brand.
Give people a reason to follow your page
Create original content that your followers want. Highlight your staff, share success stories, show behind the scenes, share tips and helpful information. If all you share is about selling, your audience will start to tune you out. Be helpful, and share photos and videos about YOU.
Try Facebook Live
I know, I know... holding up your phone and talking live on Facebook sounds daunting, but reaching your audience is important. All of your followers will get a notification that your page is live. It's a great way to stay top of mind and get your message out there.
Ramp up your paid advertising
Facebook has great insight into the demographics of your followers and potential customers. Promote your product, service or event to who would benefit from it. You can choose the ad's audience based on where they live, their age, their interests, and more!
Facebook is just part of your marketing plan
Social media is a great way to reach your customers, but it shouldn't be the only way you promote what you do. Invest in your website, try email marketing consistently, host an event, update your blog, join networking groups, participate in community events and always have your business cards or other marketing materials with you.
If you need help with your marketing or brainstorming more ideas, let's talk!
Did you know...
Video is a fast growing way to engage with people on social media. There are plenty of options to use video to share your message: Facebook Live Video, Instagram Stories, Snapchat, Periscope, LinkedIn Video and of course, YouTube.
A few things to keep in mind when using video...
1. Research how you can share video on each platform.
Every platform has a slightly different way to share video - limits on length, text or links that can go with it.
2. Have a plan about what you want to share.
You'll want to be consistent, and especially if you're using live video, you need to focus on the message you want to share (no reading a script allowed). Ideas for video: give tips or show how to do something, record a behind-the-scenes video, answer a question you often get, interview someone (you could make it an on-going series!).
3. Keep it short.
Have a long list of things you want to include? Break it up into smaller videos to increase engagement.
4. Have a call to action.
Don't forget what you want people to do next - call you, visit your website, subscribe to your videos... include it in your video.
5. Make sure people can hear you.
After all of the planning and effort, quality counts. If you're using your phone, get a stabilizer and smartphone mic and minimize the background noise.
If you need some help getting started, contact me.
Tell Stories About How You Are Helping Your Customers
Coming up with new and engaging content isn't always easy. If the blank text box makes you feel overwhelmed, or you have been stuck in a rut, think about conversations you have with someone who walked into your business, or called you on the phone. What questions do you ask? What stories do you tell? Now you have a place to start...
1. Do you want people to visit your location? Invite them!
There's a TV commercial on right now that jokes about "wouldn't it be nice if people said what they really meant?" If you want people to come in and see you, be inviting and ask them to come and see you! Post photos of your products, promote specials, give ideas for gifts (especially if there's a holiday coming up) or give a video tour of your space.
2. Don't forget a call to action
Most of your posts should have a call to action - call you, schedule an appointment or learn more by visiting your website. Make it easy for people to find the information they are looking for on your page.
3. Promote an event
Schedule posts early and often - just change up the text or graphics. Don't be afraid to do multiple reminders for an upcoming event. Everyone who likes your page will not see every post, so it's okay to post multiple times.
4. Tell stories
We are all using social media to promote our products or services. Instead of posting "buy now" all of the time, tell stories about HOW you are helping your customers.
5. Provide helpful information
Post tips, advice, stats - all of those people who are following your page want your help and expertise. Share your knowledge and help them. Link back to your website (blog post, photo gallery), put together an infographic (Canva makes that easy) or get out your phone and record a short video (3 minutes or less) and answer a question you often get.
When you are posting on your social media page, give people a reason to "like" or share your post - keep it positive, authentic, educational and entertaining. If you need some help brainstorming some new ideas, contact me.
Need stock photos?
License stock photos from a site like Pixabay or iStock for your marketing materials, website or social media. Do not use Google for an image for your website or social media post. Not only will you avoid legal trouble by using one of these sites, using purchased stock photos (or your own photos) consistently helps build your brand.
Run a Facebook Contest
Hosting a contest on your Facebook page is a great way to boost engagement and get more "likes." If you're going to spend the time and effort, use an app - Woobox or Wishpond - to help you collect information (names, emails, phone numbers) and make sure to follow Facebook's rules.
Want to make your own infographics?
Have information from a report, or stats to share? Images and graphics convey it in an easy way. Try Canva or Piktochart.
Need help organizing your social media pages?
Schedule and monitor your posts on all of your pages - Facebook, Twitter and more with Buffer, Everypost or socialoomph. Waaffle works with Instagram and Twitter.
If you're not seeing the results you want, it may be time to try something new and get people engaged and talking about your business. Try asking different questions, incorporate video, and invite people to get involved.
Video Series on YouTube
Show off your expertise with a tutorial, make an announcement, invite people to an event, highlight a new product/service, introduce employees, host a Q&A... Once you have your videos on YouTube, you can easily share them on social media, an email or your website.
Host an Event
Offer a workshop, class, meet-up, customer appreciation event... It doesn't have to be anything too formal. Have a plan on how you will consistently promote it (a few weeks and days before the event), and the best ways to reach the group you're targeting.
Create and promote your own hashtag!
Using relevant hashtags on Instagram or other social media posts ensures that your photos/posts are found. When creating your own hashtag, make sure it is unique (if you pick one commonly used by others, you won't be able to tell who is talking about your business) short and easy to spell, and have a plan to promote it.
You can use a hashtag to...
As a business owner, you have spent time and energy on your organization's brand - name, logo, colors, marketing materials. Your personal brand needs attention too.
Your personal brand is what you're known for, and the values that your customers/clients associate with you. Your personal brand is impacted by what is online and offline - your social media pages, personal website/blog, portfolio, presentations/speaking engagements, published articles and books.
It's hard to know how others perceive you, but just like your organization's brand, you can take steps to strengthen it and make sure it aligns with you and your goals. Your personal brand is going to change over time, and is important if you are just getting started, growing your business or changing careers.
What is your personal brand?
What are the values you want to be know for? Write down a list of your strengths and the words you would use to describe yourself. Now ask people you work with and your close friends to let you know how they would describe you. If your co-workers and friends have a very different idea than you, it's time to get to work!
The first impression someone may have about you comes from what comes up when they search for you online. Make sure your social media pages - your professional and personal pages - align with your goals. If you're looking for a new job or changing careers, spend some time updating your LinkedIn page and share and write content about the industry you want to work in. If you are established, share your thoughts on your industry or tips on your blog or social media pages.
Be the Expert
Give a presentation, offer a workshop, or sponsor an event to share your expertise.
I'm always a fan of claiming your domain name, and have linked my name - CatrinaOssmann.com - to my LinkedIn profile. You could use a personal site for a blog, or portfolio of your work. Depending on your industry, you can add samples and photos. There's a fine line between self-promotion and personal branding, The focus of your personal website and portfolio should be to strengthen your brand.
You can't be something your not, so build on your strengths (offline and with online tools) and be authentically you!
Try these few ideas to improve your Social Media
Make sure you give people a reason to follow you - Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter - and keep it professional and up-to-date.
1. Reward Your Customers
Promote a drawing/raffle for a gift card. Think of ways to incentivize people to share - offer extra entries for people that visit your location, or if they share a post on Facebook. If you use your social media page for a contest, make sure to follow the rules (see Facebook's rules).
* Use an app/website like Wishpond or Woobox to help organize your contest.
2. Revamp your Look
When is the last time you updated your marketing materials or website? Start thinking about how a new look could help before you start Holiday promotions, attend a trade show, or start a new campaign.
3. Partner with other businesses
Find an organization that is targeting similar customers (that you're not competing with) and come up with a promotion that benefits both businesses.
4. Celebrate your Success
5. Pay It Forward
Planning a Holiday campaign, or need help with an upcoming event?
Clever Ideas Marketing can help!
Less people are going to see your post, but here's what you can do about it.
Facebook recently announced that users want to see more from friends and family in their newsfeeds, and less from business pages and brands. Unfortunately, this means that you can expect to see even less views on your posts, even if your Facebook page has plenty of likes.
Here are 3 things to consider to make sure your audience will still get your message...
1. Use video - Go live! You can now live stream video directly on your Facebook page. Use this feature to highlight new product, give tips, record testimonials, invite people to an event, introduce your staff... get creative! The best part - everyone following you will get a message that you're live streaming to encourage people to click on the link and watch it live.
2. Use Facebook Ads - Facebook has a few options including boosting a post to ensure people that like your page (and more) see a specific post. This can be beneficial for a post that has had engagement (likes, comments and shares) and you want to keep the momentum going. A better option is to invest in ads that target your exact audience - based on demographics like where they live, age, interests - with a strong call to action. What do you want people to do once they have clicked on your ad? Does the page tell them to call you, sign up for a newsletter, come in to your store for an event? Facebook ads allow you to direct people to a specific page on your website, promote your Facebook page (to get more likes) or to your call to action - call you, book now, etc.
3. Diversify - Facebook is great, but it should be just one part of your marketing strategy. Don't rely on any one way to promote your business. Find other social media pages to share your content and make sure that your audience is using that platform. You can create great content on every social media platform out there, but it's only worth your time and effort if you're building awareness and seeing the return and getting customers from it.
Besides social media, you can also write a blog, write an email newsletter, advertise on radio, host a workshop or special event at your location, offer to speak at a chamber event or cross-promote with other trusted businesses that you share an audience with, but are not your competition.
No matter which options you go with, make sure to set goals and measure your progress. If I can help get a marketing plan - especially social media - going for you, email me and let's work together to promote the great things you do!
Are you looking to try something new for social media... see if something besides Facebook could help grow your business?
Instagram might be a good (and user-friendly) way to try something new! 3 ideas for using Instagram for business...
1. Use #hashtags. Use relevant hashtags to make sure people find your post. These are going to be different for each business. Hashtags are the keywords (or search terms) to categorize your photos. This is critical for growing your page.
2. Be engaging. It's social media - you need to be social! Follow your followers back, comment on posts, start a conversation!
3. Have fun! How can you be uniquely YOU with your photos? Give people a reason to follow you - host a photo contest (details on that - from Instagram - here), use video, highlight your product or services, feature your customers or your staff.
If you're in the Adrian area, I'm hosting a workshop on Instagram on Friday, March 11th. Click here for details or to RSVP.