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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

Enjoy!

 

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.

 

Facebook Business Page Tips Part 2-Using Your Page

Facebook Anger & ConfusionLast week we talked about the importance of a Facebook Page if you own or run a business.    This week I continue the series on Facebook Business Page Tips.  We’re going to discuss using your page to reach and attract an audience interested in learning more about your product or service.

We already discussed a few ways to build your audience in the first post.  This post will focus more on how to keep them intrigued, interested and engaged.   This is typically where a lot of page owners falter.    Some take the “If you build it they will come” saying to literal.  That will not work on any Social Media page.  You have to develop the community, and then engage the community.

Engage Your Audience

1.  Optimize Posting Times

Your audience has a time of day that is best for engagement.  Most users of Facebook tend to interact with posts in the early to mid-afternoon hours (after lunch) and again after dinner.  While this is probably true for a majority of Facebook users you will want to test and re-test to confirm that posting at certain times works better than others.

You should also get in the habit of posting on a regular basis.   At one time it was recommended (even by me) that you post one to 2 times a day to avoid annoying your audience.  Today’s Facebook makes it a lot tougher to reach your audience with just the one to 2 times a day.  It’s OK to post 5 times a day, just spread them out to maximize potential reach.   And make sure you check your insights to see how well a particular post does.

One of the worst things you can do to your Facebook page is not posted on a regular basis.  Abandonment will not sit well with your audience.  You will be forgotten.  Audience members might disappear and conversions will drop off.

2.  Use Images/Video

Studies show that engagement dramatically increases when a post includes an image or video.   So much so that Facebook has indicated recently that they will give more weight to posts from Facebook Pages that use less text and more images.

As noted on Buffer,  Facebook posts with images increase engagement by 39%.  Engagement is how you convert your audience to clients.  It can be as simple as a picture related to your post, or an infographic.

If you want to use videos (and we recommend you do) it’s best to include YouTube and post it on YouTube for several reasons.  As a corporate trainer, I learned that different people interact with different types of media differently.  Wow..that’s a mouthful.  What I am saying is some prefer written, some prefer images and some prefer video.  If you plan to reach as many people as possible you need to include as many types of media as possible.

3.  Use Post Scheduler

Facebook Post Scheduler

Facebook has a built-in scheduler for pages.  Use it!  It is physically impossible to be on Facebook 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You have other obligations and commitments.  You need to eat and sleep.  You have a life away from your computer (although that probably means you have a smartphone with you).   So use the scheduler to set up posts in advance.

While I am a certified HootSuite Partner it is best you use the Facebook scheduler.  Unlike other social media platforms, Facebook does not like you using third party apps to post.  Their algorithm tends to push posts using third-party apps further down, decreasing engagement potential.

4.  Ask Questions, create surveys

Facebook Questions and SurveyThere is nothing like a question or survey to get the masses going.  A couple of examples recently used on my page include:

  • Who will win the Super Bowl
  • What type of business would not benefit from Social Media Marketing
  • And currently..who makes the best pizza in Connecticut.

You will notice that only one of the questions is directly related to what I do and what the page is about.  You don’t always have to be on topic with your Facebook page.  In fact I recommend that you do stray as you’re bound to bore people if all you talk about is what you do.  Talk about what people want to talk about.  Remember, it’s a community.  When you are out with friends and family do you just talk about what you do or do you talk about other things as well?

Surveys are also great because they are easy for your audience to interact with.  Rather than writing out a response they can just select the choice they want and move on to the next persons post.

5.  Create a contest

People love contests.  You don’t have to give away your car or house.  It can be a gift certificate to Dunkin Donuts or a Visa Gift Card.   You can even offer your services for free as I have done in the past.  Contests get people engaged with your page.

The contest should require an action from your audience.   The most common action is a page like, followed by signing up for your email list.  You don’t have to limit the action to just these items but it does have to be track-able somehow.

My last contest was Win a Website Makeover.  The contest required you to fill out a short form..name, address, website address and email address.  It also required a page like and finally (and most importantly) a screenshot of your website.  From this, I chose the ugliest website and rebuilt it.

6.  Encourage Sharing

SharingIt’s OK to ask.  If you think you’re content should reach more people then ask your audience to share it, like it or comment on it.  This also means your content will be bumped.

What’s bumped you ask?  Have you ever noticed a picture or post at the top of your timeline from years ago?  That’s because someone recently commented on it moving it to the top of the Facebook timeline since it had the most recent interaction.  The same works for your page posts.  If someone comments on or shares the post get’s moved to the top of the timeline.

7.  Don’t ignore comments, even if negative

Probably one of the worst things you can do, ignore a comment.  Reply to any comments no matter what it is (unless it’s obvious spam).  Ignoring comments will just about guarantee the loss of at least one audience member.  Ignoring a customer complaint will probably look worse than the complaint itself.

I cannot overstate this…do not ignore any comments.

8.  Don’t ignore weekends

In case you’re living under a rock… weekends are busy on Social Media.  Facebook has a much higher engagement rate on Saturdays especially.   In fact, the best day to share on Facebook is Saturday.   You would be missing out on potential reach and conversions if you ignored weekends.

If you’re like me and Saturdays are tough to sit at the computer (hey, I have 4 kids ranging from 18-not yet born) then use the Facebook Post Scheduler.

9.  Don’t go for the hard sell

SalesmanIt’s really simple…follow the 80/20 rule.  In sales trainer, they teach you ABC (Always Be Closing).  I learned this many, many years ago while working at Radio Shack.  I personally never understood it since I hated being sold to, and that’s probably why I did not last long at Radio Shack.

Social Media is no different…people do not want to be SOLD to.  They liked your page to develop a relationship with you, to learn more about what you do.  There is a good chance they are already considering purchasing from you but forcing your sales pitch down their throat will quickly turn them off.

The 80/20 rule in it’s simplest form means you should only be selling 20% of the time.  That means that 1/5 of your posts should be related to selling your product or service.  To be honest I almost never post a sales pitch on Facebook.   My main focus is interacting with my audience about various things including what I do.  This should be your focus too.

If you want to see my posts just visit my Facebook page.  

Get On Facebook and Get Started!

Next week I will post more on Facebook etiquette so make sure you come back.  For now, you have plenty to work with!

Need help getting started on Facebook?  I would love to help you out!   Just click here to contact me or call 203.806.0736

Facebook Business Page Tips-Part 1-Setting Up Your Facebook Page

Facebook Business Page

Today I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is a business owner.  He stated that he “despises” social media, especially Facebook.  His words exactly were “I don’t want to use Facebook to sell”.  I explained to him that Facebook and other Social Platforms should not be used for selling as a primary objective.

You should be using social media for building relationships and communities.  This allows your audience to get to know you, and eventually trust you if you are using social media correctly.

On this post I will give a 8 pointers on how you should set up your business page.   All too often I see a business set up a personal Facebook account to use as a business.  With a personal account their are limitations including the number of “Friends” you can have.  I have also seen many Facebook pages set up only to sit idle with no profile, information, pictures or posts.  While it might seem easy to some, others will find setting up a Facebook Business page…and managing it, a daunting task.

In the coming weeks we will discuss engagement, management and etiquette.

Setting up your Facebook Business Page

growth1.  Include all pertinent information in the about section

This seems like a no-brainer but I am constantly astonished at the number of Facebook pages that do not have a completed about section.  The about section should include your website, phone number, operating hours,  street address, parking and any other relevant information.

2.  Custom URL

Once your page has 30 followers Facebook allows you to customize your URL.  Instead of a URL that looks like facebook.com/123456778001343 you can change it to facebook.com/scottgombarllc.   Obviously the last option is much easier to remember and looks better on business cards and other collateral.

Getting those 30 followers is important for analytic analysis as well.  Facebook will open up their insights to you once you reach this milestone.  Using insights gives you more information about what is and isn’t working and is extremely important in the growth of your Facebook Page and Inbound Marketing Program.

3.  Custom Cover Photo

Your page needs a personality and that starts with a cover photo.  A cover photo should be unique and draw attention.  You should also add a description of your cover photo including hash tags and a location if applicable.

The cover photo can be anything really.  You could have pictures of the products or services you offer, the company name or what it is you do.  Be careful to not include contact info or promotional offers as this is a violation of the Facebook terms of service.

4.  Custom Profile Image

If applicable the profile image should be that of the person who owns or runs the business.  This gives the page a little more of a personal feel to it.  Followers of the page, and people in general are more at ease working with a person rather than a logo or corporation.

However this is not always applicable.  In the event that a person’s head-shot will not work then a corporate logo is the next best thing.

5.  Tabs

Tabs almost always seem to get ignored and I am not sure why.  Tabs are like a gateway into the rest of your business.  You can create tabs that link to other social profiles, an email sign-up, contests or even other webpages.

Tabs should also have custom images to match your company’s branding.  For example on my page the tabs have the same color scheme (for the most part) as my branding.   This gives you a more professional image on Facebook.

Using my page as a reference, I have tabs to other social media profiles, a tab to sign up for my email list, a tab featuring a contest I am running at the moment and a tab to explain what I do in a little more detail.  If you are not taking advantage of the tabs you are missing out on a lot of potential interaction, and conversions.

6.  Like Other Pages

This is overlooked even more than the tabs.  Facebook allows you to like other pages from your page.  This has obvious benefits including the organic growth of your own following.

Besides the potential growth of your own following, you can also look for potential clients this way.  Using Facebook’s Open Graph you can search for and find other businesses and entrepreneurs who have pages and may be in the market for your product or service.   It also gives you the added advantage of getting to know potential clients, what they do, how they operate and where they are located.

Facebook does not allow pages to follow personal profiles.   This could lead to businesses potentially spamming people, and Facebook would rather you use their advertising platform to develop your following.

7.  Invite Your Friends

Facebook does allow you to invite any of your friends from your personal page.  In fact you don’t even have to manage a page to do this.  Once you visit a Facebook Page there is an option to invite any one or all of your friends to like that page.  This is how you will want to begin developing your following.  Inviting your friends may not seem advantageous to growing your business since they likely already know what you do but in doing so you now potentially reach others who are not friends with you or following your page…every-time you post.

6 Degrees of Separation on Facebook

8.  Use Facebook Ads

Facebook AdsFacebook has an advertising system that allows you to advertise your page or boost a post.  What’s nice about Facebook Ads is they allow you to be very specific about who you want to target.  You can base your target on Geography, Interests, Age and even Gender.  I would suggest using this system once you have invited friends, and even encouraged friends to invite others.

I will write a follow up post to Facebook Ads at a later date.

 

Get On Facebook and Get Started!

Next week I will post more on audience engagement so make sure you come back.  This should keep you busy enough for a day or 2.

Need help getting started on Facebook?  I would love to help you out!   Just click here to contact me or call 203.806.0736