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local business listings for SEO

Jump Start Your Google Rankings with a N.A.P. [Improve Traffic by 20-70%]

Jump Start Your Google Rankings with a N.A.P. [Improve Traffic by 20-70%]

  • N.A.P. is an acronym that stands for Name, Address, Phone Number
  • Maintain accurate and up to date listings across the internet is important
  • What happens when N.A.P. is updated on business listing sites to be accurate and up to date?


Why is N.A.P. So Important?

What I Discovered While Researching the Client’s Local Listings (This is Probably Happening to Your Business)

How We Fixed the Local Listings

What Your Business Needs to Know

local SEO local Search NAPIn a recent case study, I worked with a client on their local listings.  We uncovered the following before we got started.

Of 61 listings, 52 of them were nonexistent.  Five of the remaining 9 contained incorrect N.A.P. information.  We took on the task of updating these listings to improve their overall rankings in Google.  Once all the local listings were updated the traffic to their site saw a 70% increase in traffic and a 12% decrease in bounce rate.  These increases were from local, qualified traffic.  Meaning it was not junk traffic from another part of the world.  The traffic increase was from organic search results.  In fact, the bounce rate for organic traffic was even lower than the overall number.

See – What is Bounce Rate & Why Is It Important to SEO?

You might be wondering what N.A.P. is.  N.A.P. stands for Name, Address, Phone Number.  This is the basic information of any listing for a business on any number of local directory listing sites.  There are hundreds of local directory listing sites ranging from Google My Business to Yelp and lots of lesser-known ones in between.  Some of these sites are not very valuable to your SEO strategy (What Is SEO?) or your business in general.  Others will provide a boost as Google scans the internet to ensure business information is accurate.

Speaking of Google My Business, if you don’t have GMB listing accurately set up for your business then we need to have a different conversation.

Why Is N.A.P. So Important? 

Google My Business is a very important component of local SEO.  Having this set up completely and accurately is a necessity for any business.  Google does not only confirm your business information on Google My Business.  It also scans the internet to validate that your N.A.P. matches what you have on Google My Business and that all the other listings match.

Variations in your name, address, and phone number can send signals to Google that the information is not accurate across all your web properties.

What I Discovered While Researching the Client’s Local Listings

Let me start by saying that there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of local directory listing sites.  There are the necessary listing sites such as Google My Business, Bing Places, and Yelp.  There are the lesser known but still somewhat important sites like Apple, Yellow Pages, YP, and Mapquest.

After these sites, there are local directories that are not very popular at all.  These include sites like ABLocal and AroundMe.

You may not have heard of the last few sites above, but they still provide value to your Local SEO efforts.

local business SEOThere are more listing sites that provide no value as well. In some cases, adding your information to low-value directory listing sites can send the wrong information to Google.  In most cases, you just won’t receive any benefit to adding your business to them.  This is where having an experienced and knowledgeable SEO comes into play.

We scanned 61 local listing directories for their business information.  Their business was not listed at all on 52 of the local directory listing sites.  Of the remaining 9 more than half had the wrong information.

The 9 that were set up included Google My Business, Bing, Google+, Yelp, and Yahoo.  The business at least knew the importance and value of claiming their business listings on these sites.

What happened to the listings is that over time the address and business name changed.  The listings were also created with the owner’s cell phone number rather than the business number in some cases.

This meant that of the 9 created listings there were Name mismatches, address mismatches, and an incorrect phone number.

How We Fixed the Local Listings

We were able to discover and update the listings quickly.  In a matter of days, 51 of the listings were live with accurate information.  The rest soon followed.

After day one of the updates, we saw a 20% increase in traffic and a small drop in bounce rate.  The traffic increase came almost exclusively from local organic search.

After one week we saw an increase in traffic of just over 70% while noting a decrease in bounce by 12%.  This is significant as it indicates more qualified visitors are coming to the client’s website.  In other words, people who want to potentially do business with the client.

We did not see an immediate bump in monitored keyword rankings.  It is possible that other keywords that we are not actively monitoring moved up.  We will know when we do our end of the month review.

What You Need to Know

There is no indication from Google that having N.A.P. set up correctly on these local listing sites impacts your Google Rankings.  I have no way to prove that a listing site helped or hurt SEO efforts.

It is obvious that Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook and other business listing sites of this caliber are critical to your SEO success.  They should be included in your plan.  The client did include 9 of the top business listing sites in their plan.  The client did not maintain those listings which eventually became stale and outdated.

The remaining business listing sites may or may not impact SEO and Google Rankings.  It’s hard to tell as we updated 61 listings at the same time.

If you as the business owner decide to do this on your own there are third party sites/applications that can assist.  Yext is the most well-known one.  Synup is also a good option.

You can also go the manual route.  This will take you more time obviously.  It also increases the chances of a listing becoming stale or inaccurate.

local business listings for SEOStart from the top of the business listing pile.  Google My Business, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, and Facebook are some of the most important ones.  Continue from there.  You can easily find a list of important business listing sites by, wait for it, Googling it.

Or you can ask us to do an initial scan for you!

You may or may not get the same results we got for our client.  Having your business listed on local directories is helpful regardless of the impact it has on your SEO.  Having accurate information is very important.

I will close with this.  Every year on Christmas Eve I get cannolis for the family.  Growing up in New Haven this was easy as there were a few Italian bakeries within a mile or 2 of me.  Now I live about 30 minutes away from New Haven.  A few years ago, I thought I would try a newer bakery closer to my home.  I googled the business information on Christmas Eve.  To my surprise, the Google listing said they were closed.  I had to go to New Haven to get Cannolis.

Turns out the bakery closer to me was open on Christmas Eve but their Google My Business listing was not accurate.  They lost my sale and potentially many others.  Have you ever gone to an Italian bakery on Christmas Eve?

Are you prepared to lose sales because you can’t be found or your information is not up to date?


Facebook Page Marketing Analysis

Is Facebook Spreading the Hate?

Is Facebook Guilty of Spreading the Hate?Is Facebook Spreading the Hate?

I have been on Facebook for many years now.  I do believe it has so much potential for both business and personal reasons.  I have reconnected with old friends.  I participate in groups for fantasy sports, parenting, golf, paint ball, business growth, personal growth and marketing that I really enjoy.  I enjoy seeing my friends and their families as they grow.  Some of the people on Facebook I have known in real life for over 30 years.

I also enjoy following leaders and innovators in my industry, and even in other industries.  I have however noticed a growing trend on Facebook, maybe being brought on by highly publicized events in the media, and even on Facebook Live.  Maybe the trend is being brought on by one of the most polarizing elections in US history.

I am not going to discuss politics or beliefs in this post.  I do firmly believe that all are entitled to their own opinions and lifestyles.  I also believe not EVERYTHING needs to be shared with the entire world.  I don’t talk about all the details of my marriage, or my political and spiritual beliefs that often.  I do stand firm on certain topics but I am quickly realizing the reason I don’t often share them on Facebook.

There is A LOT of hate as of late. I understand there is this huge election looming and the stakes seem higher than ever but are they really or is Facebook, and the media, just magnifying it.  We’ve never been privy to so much information before.  When one person posts why they favor a certain candidate, or a certain idealogy, or a certain belief system, they are almost instantly met with hateful responses.  The responses are not only coming from people they don’t know but also people they do know.

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I mentioned earlier in this post that some of my Facebook friends are real friends and have been for over 30 years.  We didn’t always agree on something but we never responded with hate.  Do people feel bolder behind a computer screen?  Do they now have a sense of entitlement that their voice needs to be heard because seemingly everyone else’s voice is heard?  My best friend of 30 years and I do not agree politically but there’s no hate involved.  What’s with the hateful and sometimes borderline violent, responses?

Is Facebook Guilty of Spreading the Hate?

facebook hate is a growing trendI think it’s great that we are able to see events unfold from the perspective of someone not involved in the media.  We have now seen this over and over again in recent months.  There’s no filter, no hidden agenda..just the event being played out in front of potentially millions of people.  It’s after the event that the opinions start piling up.  Those opinions may or may not be hateful in nature but they almost assuredly will get a hateful response or two.  I know that some of them are just trolls looking to get a reaction from everyone else but some of it is legitimately violent, ignorant hate.

Does the onus lie with Facebook or the end user?  Did Facebook ultimately provide a platform for hate and violence to grow?

My answer is I don’t believe a tool can be to blame for someone’s actions.  Facebook is a communication tool and nothing more.  It is a very powerful tool indeed but it is no different than any other tool out there.  A hammer can be used to build or destroy; it’s up to the person swinging the hammer to decide which.

In general people have good intentions and compassion for others.  It is the silent majority that needs to be heard because it is the silent majority that is helping the violent minority dictate how a very powerful platform is being perceived.

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Episode 2 Is Facebook Pissing You Off?

Episode Two of my blabcast is dedicated to Facebook.  Is Facebook Pissing You Off.  I entertained some questions in the chat and questions I received beforehand about how business owners are growing weary of Facebook pages.  Some have switched to Groups which I did not discuss today.  We discussed ways to work around the decrease in organic page reach.

Methods of working around the decrease in organic page reach include sharing page posts to your personal page, encouraging others to share, using hashtags, using video and of course advertising.  We briefly discussed the use of the Power Editor as well.

If you are interested in learning more about the Power Editor I do have some older videos on YouTube.

Next week we discuss Android vs. iPhone as it relates to Social Media



6 Reasons CEOs Should Use Social Media

CEO Using Social Media6 Reasons Why CEOs Should Use Social Media

In today’s world of gadgets, mobility and instant information CEOs should embrace the use of the social media. With billions of people around the world connected to social media, and numerous customers, employees, investors and suppliers connected to the same networks, the easiest and most convenient way for CEOs to connect and interact with these key people would be through the social media. Here are the top six benefits to a CEO using these networks:


Essentially, a CEO who is connected to social media acts as an opinion leader. Whenever someone wishes to gather more information, a standard practice before making a purchase these days, they will undoubtedly search out the CEOs social media profiles. As a result, a CEO’s presence on these networks can help potential clients build a degree of trust for the company they wish to interact; in doing so the company would strengthen its overall performance.


When a CEO of a company joins social media, followers, clients and subscribers of that company are able to put a face to the person behind the brand. Humanizing the company by putting a face on it helps to build confidence amongst its audience of customers, vendors and other people tied to the company. Once this has been established, the CEO can create better and more concrete relationships with the company’s investors, employees, customers and etc.


Social media is the ultimate tool to use in crisis management. This is because so many investors, customers and employees rely on social media as their main source of timely company news. For instance, in case of a crisis, long before a meeting is called, or a print publication is made, the CEO can take to social media and issue a statement to answer questions, clarify statements and speak directly to his/her audience, and not through the media. In doing so, both the CEO and brand demonstrate a high level of transparency, honesty and caring – something that everyone affiliated with the brand desires.

Speaking directly to an audience, rather than allowing the media to act as a gateway gives the CEO the appearance of transparency. Additionally the media often puts their own spin on press releases and interviews, often convoluting the intended message.

CEO Benefits from Social Media


Unlike a typical corporate environment where the flow of communication is downward (from the CEO to the subordinates), in social media, the CEO also gets a chance to listen to what everyone else has to say. As a result the flow of information is balanced and open dialogue is established. To a CEO, and to a brand, this information is priceless. If well implemented the communication and community built on social media can enable the brand to grow exponentially over time.


As a CEO, you need to be knowledgeable about who your customers and employees are, and the best ways of connecting with them. As such, if they are within the ages of 20 to 45 as is the case with most brands, then, you ought to adopt the same channels or models of communications that they use. This will enable you have direct contact with them as well as seamlessly sharing with them the brand’s insight.

That’s not to say the Baby Boomers are not also taking to Social Media. In fact on Facebook and Twitter, two of the largest social media platforms in the world, the fastest growing demographics are Baby Boomers.


For some reason, a great number of CEO avoid the use of the social medial. In fact a recent study revealed that 68% of CEOs are not on Social Media at all.  Common excuses include “it wastes time” and “it’s for kids”. If a CEO joined social media and followed through delivery, used it to connect with others & learn from them and share important information with them the brand/company would CEOs have no time for social mediagain the trust of its audience. Trust is a critical part of any business growth in today’s tech driven business environment. Keep in mind the message that a CEO delivers is believed to be the same message that a brands ambassadors, sales people, administrative and other professionals deliver.

Additionally a CEO using Social Media helps them expose their brand to the general public, boost their website traffic, and increase their sales and their revenue. Unfortunately, most companies don’t experience these benefits. This is because only a very small number of CEOs have social media accounts. While the benefits of having Social Media accounts are evident CEOs also use the age old excuse of not having time to use Social Media. A CEO doesn’t really have to be involved actively.  Instead, s/he can hire a social media manager to manage their accounts.

Use Video to Increase Facebook Engagement

As a follow up to Facebook is Pissing me Off I created a video showing you how to upload a video to Facebook that includes a Call to Action and a link to whatever resource you want (in my case a landing page).  Learn how you too can beat the odds when many page owners are complaining of decreased page engagement.

Use Video to Increase Facebook Engagement

Facebook is Pissing Me Off

Facebook Logo

Facebook announced on November 14th that they would further suppress page posts in their news feed, at least that’s how many interpreted the post on their blog site.  With the announcement came a collective arm throw in the air by many page owners.  Many Facebook page owners have taken large hits by the repeated Facebook updates regarding how frequently page posts are seen in the news feed.

So what’s a page owner to do? And why does Facebook keep doing this?  Should I just abandon Facebook marketing altogether in favor of other platforms?  Let’s take a deeper look.

First, the announcement targets specific types of posts. Posts that only push a product or service (sales posts) will continue to be further pushed down by Facebook’s algorithm.  The 3 types of posts are:

  1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

Frustrated at FacebookWith that being said the simple solution is not to sell as much on Facebook. This is something that I have advocated for a while now.  No one on social media wants to be sold to. Your audience wants to learn more about what you do, how you do it. They want to be educated and entertained. They want to see your brand has a personality. They don’t want a pushy salesman in their Facebook feed.

Facebook has two logical reasons to make the changes. The first is feedback from its users. Facebook users have spoken loud and clear, they don’t like obvious attempts at getting them to click on something they don’t want to see.

The second reason should seem just as obvious to you. Facebook is in business to make money. They make money by selling ads. They want businesses to use ads.

What Do I Do With My Facebook Page Now?

Here is a list of 6 methods to continue to achieve a high level of engagement on Facebook without using ads.

  • Use Videos-Facebook continues its push to rival YouTube and other video platforms. In doing so they are making video marketing on their platform more attractive. If you use Power Editor and Videos you can achieve much better engagement than any other form of organic Facebook marketing.A recent A/B test on a client’s Facebook page (with their permission of course) yielded a reach of 10 times more Facebook users than the same content with an image. Engagement was 5-6 times more than any other post on the page and people talking about the video was 10-12 times more than almost every other post on the page. Those are pretty impressive statistics.
  • Share your posts on your personal page. I cannot put it any simpler than that. I recommended this in a post earlier this year and I will say it again. I would also tell you to be careful not to share all of your posts to your personal page..or you just might start losing some of your friends.
  • Share original, unique content. If you’re not going to use video then a blog post with an image is another great form of sharing on your Facebook Page. Creating a blog post using content that is original and relevant to what you do will not only garner more attention than a sales pitch or the same post over and over but will also set you apart as the expert in your field.If you think your business is interesting enough I would tell you to think again. One of my clients is a Wildlife Control Expert who thought the same thing. Some of the content being shared on his page does very well.  I have also worked with a locksmith who received positive engagement for educational posts. I would challenge any business owner to prove me wrong.Facebook
  • Personalize your posts. Seems simple enough, right? Well, many businesses have a hard time doing just that. Not every Facebook post has to be a video or blog.Posting the occasional personal message with an image, or sharing something going on in your personal life always seems to do great.
  • Ask questions that are relevant to your business. For example “Do You Find Social Media Marketing to be Too Time Consuming?” Asking questions encourages engagement and often helps with the next blog post topic.
  • Tell Stories. People love stories, especially true stories. If the story helps them understand further what you do it will encourage interaction and potentially a conversion.

Maybe I Should Just Abandon Facebook Marketing Altogether

That’s definitely an option, one that some prominent page owners have taken. Would I recommend it? Absolutely not. Facebook is still the Facebook Anger & Confusionlargest social media platform today with over 1.2 Billion users. In most parts of the United States, 40-50% of the population is on Facebook.  The fastest growing demographics on Facebook are the Baby Boomers and Generation X, the people with the most expendable income.

Facebook does not appear ready to loosen its grip as the number one social media platform anytime soon. In fact, Google has shown signs that it may soon wave the white flag (again) on trying to compete. Sure there are some upstarts and yes you can go to Twitter, LinkedIn & Instagram (owned by Facebook) but their populations are nowhere near that of Facebook. Finally, it is estimated that 80% of Facebook users prefer to interact with a business or brand on Facebook before conducting business with them.

These reasons are far too overwhelming to just ignore the social media giant altogether. Perhaps it’s just time to rethink your Facebook Marketing plan.

Do you have an organic method of increasing your Facebook Page Post reach & engagement that you’d like to share? Comment below

Want a free inbound marketing analysis? Get it now!

Images with No Text Get More Action

Facebook Advertising Case Study

Facebook Likes Advertisers who Test their AdsRecently I was tasked to run a national campaign for a client. The client has a very specific demographic making the campaign a little easier to run. Any good inbound marketer will tell you to constantly monitor ads for reach, CTR and conversions.  Ads should also never run with the same image/content for more than a week or 2.

That works out well for this particular campaign because there is a different conversion every week so I am almost forced to change the ad weekly.

What I Discovered

Marketers will always tell you one thing works over another, and they are the experts so you will likely believe them. However without proof they are just spewing hearsay. I will provide you with proof that Facebook Ads using an image without text perform better than ads with an image.

For this particular pair of ads I used the exact same ad copy, the exact same target markets and the exact same demographics. In fact it is the same ad with one difference.

For Ad A I used an image with text.  For Ad B I used the same image without text. Really not to significant one would think but it actually is.

Drum Roll Please

The Ads will stop running the day of this post. With about 9 hours left on the ads here are the results….

Ad A-Image with Text: Clicks 202 | Actions 185 | CTR 1.70% | Avg CPM $9.04 | Avg CPC $.53

Ad B-Image without Text: Clicks 553 | Actions 442 | CTR 2.12% | Avg CPM $8.28| Avg CPC $.39

Not only did the Ad B perform much better, more than doubling the clicks and actions, but it cost less money.

Facebook Ads A/B TestingWhat Does It All Mean?

You might be getting different results than me, I don’t know.  Perhaps your demographics are different than this campaign. For example, I would not consider the images I am using with an all-male audience. I am sure someone will try to challenge my findings and maybe it’s true, maybe you achieved different results. Show me the proof as I would be very interested in seeing them, and sharing them with my audience.

What this really means is you will want to test your ads, and constantly tweak them to maximize your potential conversion rate.  Don’t set it and forget it. I tell my clients all the time that the set it and forget it method of web marketing will not achieve long-term goals.  You may see instant gratification but is that what your business needs?

You will also want to use the Power Editor to manage your ads. Recent updates to the Power Editor make advertising to very specific demographics, editing ads and managing ads even more robust.

Ready to start a digital marketing campaign?  Need help with your Facebook Advertising? Contact me using the form to the bottom right or click here for a free, instant assessment of your current efforts.


7 Steps to Grow Your Following Responsibly on Social Media

Social Media is not a Popularity Contest

Popularity Contest-Not for Social MediaIf you want 2500 followers on Twitter or Instagram tomorrow I can help you for just $39.  Guess what, it won’t help your business at all!  If you think having a large number of followers is the end game on any social media platform you are sorely mistaken.  Even worse, if you have a “Social Media Expert” telling you to do this you had better run far away.

You might be wondering why I bring this up now.  I have spoken with business owners who were approached by the so called experts who tell them I will get you this many followers within this much time.  I have spoken with business owners who have taken these so called experts up on their offer.  At the end of the day the business owner walks away with a sour taste in their mouth.  Because of this the business owners often swear off social media all together.

Then when I have a conversation with them regarding a social media marketing plan the business owner is not open to the discussion at all.  I spent over a month and multiple conversations with a small business owner before they would even listen to a plan of action and why their first so called expert did not work out.   After about 5 weeks and at least 4 conversations I finally convinced them to let me show them the power of a properly run social media marketing plan.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem EARNING a clients business.  In fact I encourage all small businesses to use this model.  Taking the time to explain how social media can benefit someone who understands what social media is should not be part of earning the business.  Look at any blog and you will see the power.

What You Should Not Do on Social Media

Let’s start with very basic rules about what you should avoid like the plague.

1.  Buy Followers:  I already stated one that really gets my blood boiling.  Alright, maybe not that serious but you get the idea.   Simply paying money to gain thousands of followers will only improve someone else’s bank account.

There are networks of people/accounts that serve this single purpose.  You may have a bloated number of followers now but they will not engage with your conversation and will not purchase from you.  They are just a number to your profile page, and nothing more.

But hey, that’s cool…you’re popular now, right?

2.  Sell, Sell, Sell:  We’ve all been the victim of the pushy salesmen at the used car lot or the electronics super store.  After you’re done you need a shower because you feel so filthy.  Don’t be that person on social media.  Follow the 80:20 rule or better.  I almost never sell on social media and usually recommend that businesses do the same.  You will not build a rapport with your followers (if you used social media correctly your followers are all potential clients) using this tactic.

3.  Ignore Your Social Media:  Today people are very savvy when it comes to looking for a product or service.  Speaking from personal experience if I am looking for something I will research it first.  If I look for your business on the internet and there is little to no current information and your Facebook page is a wasteland with tumbleweeds floating around I will probably move on to the next business.

4.  Let your nephew’s best friend’s girlfriend run your social media campaign:  Do I really need to explain this?  You need experts, and you get what you paid for.  What would you tell someone who has their nephew’s best friend’s girlfriend changing their brakes?

5.  Bury Posts in Hash-tags:  #ItJustLooksChildishToMostSoIWontSayAnyThingFurtherAboutIt

What You Should Do on Social Media

1.  Target Followers by Demographics:  It’s not hard, really.  Target followers who are interested in what you are offering and are relevant to your business.  For example, I look for small to medium business owners in CT.  On some social media platforms you can even target by income level or net worth.  Why just blanket the entire population if it’s not going to help you grow your brand or business?

2.  Use Ads (Wisely):  It’s OK to use ads on social media.  In fact I encourage it.  Again, make sure that your ads are highly targeted.  Think about who your ideal customer is.  Not everyone wants what you are offering.  Ads will cost you a lot less if you focus on those that would be interested in your product and have the purchasing power to turn interest into a conversion.

3.  Create Social Conversations:  I always hear “I tried Facebook, posted a feel promotions and no one bought anything“.  Well why would they?  As I said earlier social media is about building a relationship, earning your audiences trust.  That’s how you’re going to get them to purchase from you.  You have to participate in conversations and create your own conversations.  Figure out how to get your audiences attention and then hold it.  Do they want to know more about what you do?  Do they understand how your product or service will benefit them?  You can even have conversations about stuff not even related to your business offering.

I sprinkle in personal stuff like pictures of my kids or rooting for local sports teams that I am a fan of, even the weather.  Let me tell you it’s a scorcher today in Connecticut..thank God for Central AC.   It’s OK to partake in conversations that have nothing to do with why you are on social media to begin with.

4.  Share your blog:  Ultimately you want people to visit your website.  Your website is your virtual brick and mortar store, your yellow pages ad and so much more.  It’s where your business starts and ends.  If you are using your Facebook page as your website, shame on you.

Your website will move up on the major search engines if you have relevant and fresh content.  The best way to ensure this is with a blog.  You should blog about different aspects of your business and your products or services.  You can post how to’s, videos and much, much more to generate unique and timely content that will help you move up in search rankings.

Don’t believe me?  Google “CT Twitter Expert” and look who is number 2 after I posted the Ask the Expert Call to Your YouTube and my site.

5.  Help Others with Questions:  You can LISTEN on social networks.  When someone needs help or has a question you can help them.  I know some people are thinking why would I give something that I normally charge for for free?  You have to think big picture.  That little piece of advice you give today just might generate bigger rewards tomorrow.  Even if it doesn’t, there are others watching.

I had to run to the grocery store to get chicken nuggets for my son while I was attempting to write this blog post.  While I was in the store a man approached me and asked for $2.  I don’t know what he wanted that $2 for and I will never know.  I normally don’t have cash on me but today I did, I had $7.  I could have given him the $2 but instead I gave him all $7.  Did it really cost me anything besides the $7?  I don’t believe so.  Will I be rewarded for this?  I don’t know but it certainly can’t hurt.  The point is if you’re not willing to give then you will never receive.  It’s OK to give some help with no expectations of return.

6.  Use Hash-tags in the Conversation:  I wrote earlier that hash-tag overload is a big no no.  Hash-tags are OK though.  A typical post on any social media platform from me might look like this:

5 Ways to Jump Start Your #ContentMarketing Program Today.  Learn more now!  

A few things to point out.

  • The hash-tag is part of the conversation and is legible
  • The CTA (Call To Action) is direct without making the reader believe they will have to Read More
  • By titling it 5 Ways, I also grab the audiences attention.  Readers love numbers and always think-oh, 5 steps to get going right now..I’m in.
  • I would also include an image..see next point

7.  Use Images and Videos:  A picture is worth a thousand words.  You know it, you heard it before and you heard it again.  Use pictures, audio and videos whenever possible.   I include a picture on almost every single post on Facebook and Google+, and probably about 50% of the time on Twitter.   Just don’t use copyright protected images or videos.

Stop The Madness

business woman shouting to a phone

Alright Connecticut business owners, there you have it.  Stop trying to buy and/or cheat your way to the top, it will not work.  At one time these not so ethical methods might have worked but today it’s more than obvious to anyone with some knowledge of social media what you are doing.

Some of the don’t dos above will quickly turn off your audience.  While other methods will gain nothing for your hard earned money.  So wow bother with any of them?  Stop buying your audience and start learning how to earn an audience, or call/email me.



Stop Complaining About Your Facebook Page Reach

“Facebook Sucks”-Stop It Already

Facebook Anger Over ReachI have seen an increase in the number of complaints regarding the drop in reach of posts made on Facebook pages.  I have even noticed other inbound marketing companies joining the chorus of complaints.  For this post I am going to address those complaints and their legitimacy, and offer some ideas on how to increase your reach.

The Reality

Yes Facebook is trying to make money.  Facebook went public and now answers to shareholders who want to make money.  It’s simple economics, make money or die.  Yes your page has less reach than before, partially because that’s what Facebook users wanted.  Facebook recently ran a few studies and one of the findings was that users on Facebook would like to see less from businesses and more from their friends.  They also said they want to see content that engages them.  Let me say that again..content that engages them.

The simple truth, some pages just spew sales pitch after sales pitch and the Facebook population has grown tired of it.  Other pages use like baiting and other less than scrupulous methods to get people to engage.  Facebook heard the users loud and clear, they don’t want this type of content to be seen in their news feed.

If you want to complain, moan and groan about your page reach being down then blame your followers and your peers.  In fact blame yourself because you did not prepare your inbound marketing business for inevitable changes.  You did not keep up with the market.  When Google changes their algorithm do you just sit back and take it, or do you adjust?

Now grow up, put on your big boy pants and make a few changes.

Get Your Facebook Reach Back

I keep up with the Facebook and the planned changes.  I wrote a blog post not too long ago about the page overhaul that is coming, a change that will undoubtedly lead to many complaints.  Most have not seen the new page first hand yet but I am ready for it.  Are you?

Because I keep up with these planned changes I knew that Facebook was planning to change their algorithm, and I knew what it would take to keep my reach up.  Now I am not suggesting that everything I post has an amazing reach.  I don’t always attain the reach I want, but if there is a particular post I want to do very well I know what I have to do.  Here is a list of things that will help you improve your reach:

  1. Experiment-Probably the most important thing I can tell you is to experiment.  Most inbound marketers (including myself for a while) will tell you to post at a specific time of day to maximize reach.  The fact is you have to experiment.  For a lot of businesses it is best to post early morning, post lunch and late afternoon but that may not work for you.  There are some businesses that have their best reach posting late night or early morning, possibly because there is less noise on Facebook at those times.  Some pages do well on weekends, and others do not.  Experiment, find your best time to post, and your best content type.
  2. Use Images and/or Video-Facebook wants pages to use less text or more media.   Their research has shown that users prefer to see less in the way of words and more in images and video.   On my page video and photos do very well.   Incidentally the Facebook research also shows that users prefer more text from other users.  Food for thought.
  3. Use Hashtags-Hashtags are relevant on Facebook now.  People use them to search for content.   But don’t over do it.  Hashtags should flow naturally within the context of your post.  For example, when I share this on Facebook it would look something like Stop Complaining About Facebook #Reach.   Using irrelevant hashtags or hashtags that are a mile long will not help at all.  Keep them simple, make sure they fit your content and make them relevant.
    Hashtags on Facebook
  4. Be Relevant-Posting content that is not timely and appropriate will surely impact your reach.  What’s the point of posting content that makes no sense?  Even if it works initially you will not get any conversions out of it, so why bother.
  5. Share Using Your Personal Profile-Whenever I have a post that I am looking to reach as many people as possible with I share it to my personal profile.  This works extremely well for a couple of reasons.  First of all I don’t share every post this way.  Sharing every post will turn people off and accomplish the opposite of what you hoped for.  Second you increase your reach exponentially by sharing it to your personal profile (assuming you have friends).  Remember it’s not only your friends who see your post, but potentially their friends as well.
  6. Recycle Evergreen Content-Evergreen content is content you shared a while ago but is still relevant.  For my page I sometimes recycle content that I shared in my pages infancy because it will reach people it didn’t when I first launched the page.  For you it could be content that performed well months or even years ago, and is still relevant.  If it worked before it will likely work again.
  7. Don’t share the same content repeatedly-Sharing the same post repeatedly with a short span of time will turn people off.  Just don’t do it, it looks spammy and you will probably lose followers because of it.
  8. Don’t Close-The 80/20 rule-This isn’t the sales floor of an electronics super warehouse.  The ABC rule (Always Be Closing) does not work on Facebook, or social media in general.   As a general rule I may post a sales pitch 1 out of 5 times.  Facebook should really be an extension of your website, and should ultimately get people back to your website.
  9. Use the Power Editor-The Power Editor has many additional features for posting to Facebook pages including Call To Action Buttons, Extra Content, Custom Display URLs and Ad Targeting.  I use the Power Editor almost exclusively at this point.  I am a Hootsuite Partner but don’t use it to post to my page anymore.  Why wouldn’t I use extra features that are free?

Stop Complaining and Start Winning at Facebook

Facebook Anger

Facebook should be an extension of your site.  We all know you are not likely to seal the deal with a lead on the first visit.  It is estimated that a potential client needs to interact with you 7 times before making the decision to work with you.  Using Facebook to target and re-target leads just makes sense.  If you simply use Facebook as a platform to sell, sell, sell you will lose, lose, lose.  Frustrated page owners need to take a look in the mirror and decide who is really to blame for their decreased page reach.

I am Connecticut’s Facebook Expert.  I’ll review your inbound marketing plan for free, in a matter of minutes…just answer a few simple questions.


Edit: 5/31/14

When I posted this to Facebook I used 2 of the steps above.  Here is a video showing you the results.