Posts

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.

 

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.

 

 

Target Your Website Visitors on Facebook

You know you are getting new visitors to your website because Google Analytics says so.  You are using Google Analytics right?  Anyway, now you are wondering how can I reach out to those that have already visited my website once?  How can I get them to come back or communicate with them another way?

Well beyond using your CTA buttons and engaging people on your website you could use Facebook Website Custom Audiences (WCA).  What’s that you ask?  Well I am happy you did.  Here’s a quick video explaining how to set it up using Facebook’s Power Editor.

 

New Media vs. Old Media

Old Media vs. New Media

I am often asked, or find myself participating in a conversation about the advantages of using old media vs. new media.  Often I run into business owners who advertise using newspaper, radio or TV and they swear by it.  While I would not disparage the old media way of advertising I would draw comparisons to show where you can get the most bang for your buck.

For the purpose of this post I am considering newspapers, TV and Radio to be old media.  In some ways all 3 have adopted technology but mostly use the old method of targeting demographics (or lack of).   New media is Social Media, Mobile Apps and the internet (websites, search engines).

Newspaper Ad

In This Corner, Old Media

With Newspaper Ads, TV and Radio you are generally targeting a large population, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands.   While that might seem like a lot of bang for the buck (and in some cases it is) let’s think about that for a minute.  Let’s suppose I am a dentist who specializes in Endodontics (Google it).  If I place an ad using old media that reaches 100,000 people how many of those people are going to drop what they’re doing and contact the dentist?  Let’s do some simple math.

Let’s suppose my ad costs $5000 to run on a regional radio show for 2 weeks.  That’s probably a pretty reasonable price, right?  Now let’s say your total reach is 1 Million.  Now you’re thinking wow, that’s amazing for that price.  But how many of those 1 million people are currently seeking a dentist who specializes in Endodontics?   Let’s suppose you get 5 people who call you requesting more information.  Again, considering the specialty this is probably a pretty reasonable estimate.  Well it just cost you $1000 per lead.

I’ll go a step further, let’s say you received 100 calls  requesting more information.  It still cost you $50 per lead and you have not sold anything yet.

New Media

In This Corner, New Media

Let’s take the same Dentist and have them put an ad on Facebook.  And let’s say that the Dentist is in Connecticut (because that’s what I am an expert on).  Well for starters that Dentist is now targeting around 1.4 million people but we know those 1.4 million people will not be looking for a Dentist.  The beauty of Facebook (and Google, Twitter, etc…) is you can target only those looking for what you are offering!  That means instead of paying thousands of dollars so that my message is heard largely by a population that does not care about what I am offering I can pay a few dollars for people who want what I have.

Watch how to create an ad targeting very specific demographics while keeping costs down.

In the case of the dentist, if he/she was to get 100 people to click through it would cost him somewhere between $75 to $500.  Now if we set up the add for page likes the potential client now has a steady source of information and is able to make an informed decision when they are ready.

Now I know what some of you are thinking…I need sales NOW.  Well it just does not work that way anymore.  People want to know more about you, what you do, who you are, are you knowledgeable and how do you conduct business.  You can’t get that from a newspaper ad or radio commercial.   You can get that from an active Facebook page or Website with a blog.

Taking it a step further, if you create a mobile app for the Dentist (I know it seems a little crazy but it would work), then anyone downloading the app is a potential client.  If you spend $500-1000 for an app that includes your blog, contact form, videos and other userful things, and has the ability to notify the customer when there are updates then you are now communicating with someone who is interested in your services.  Making it even more interesting you can have the app notify the user when their next check up is and what the should be doing in they mean time.  That seems like a pretty useful app to me.

The Final Tally

Old Media Spend-$5000, cost per lead even with a very generous reach is $50.

New Media Spend-$1500 and you are interacting with potential clients consistently and delivering your message over and over.  Cost per lead is approximately $3-5.

But Wait

Newspaper, TV and Radio realize that the pendulum has swung away from them and have taken to new media as well.  If the media source you are using can place your ad on their new media channels as well, while keeping the cost down then it may be worth while to investigate a little further.

Reality Check

The Reality

An IT company I know was contacted by an old media company.  They are a local news outlet in Connecticut.  They were offered an ad placed on the news outlet’s website for a fairly modest fee of $140 a month.  This seemed reasonable so the IT company moved forward with a 1 year contract.  The news outlet is a fairly popular local news source in Connecticut, and the sales rep said the site received hundreds of thousands of visits a month.

After one year the IT company received exactly ZERO leads from the site.  During that time I also marketed the IT company on Facebook and Twitter, occasionally using ads but most of the time using organic methods.  From Facebook and Twitter during the same time frame they received dozens of leads and developed 28 loyal customers.

Food for thought

One Last Thing

Did you Google Endodontics?  You just used New Media.  I’m just saying!

Need help with your new media plan?  Use the contact form to your right or at the bottom of the page.  Alternatively you can call me at 203.806.0736 but don’t hesitate..your competition is already using new media.

Facebook and Google Stomping Out SPAM

Facebook Declares War on Spam

Facebook recently announced on their News Blog that they were going to take steps to clean up the news feed.   Of course Google has waged war on spam for the last couple of years.  So what does that mean to you and marketing efforts?  Well, let’s take a look.

Facebook

Connecticut Facebook Expert

On April 10th Facebook announced that they would make a series of changes to eliminate what their users considered to be spammy.   Here’s what Facebook is planning to do to implement those changes.

  1. Eliminate Like Baiting-You know those pictures that circulate news feeds that ask people to like the picture if you agree with it, comment if you disagree?  Well Facebook’s users have spoken up and have stated they do not like (no pun intended) these types of posts.  What’s really sad is that I have personally seen marketers using this tactic, marketers who should have learned their lesson from Google.Like Baiting from the Facebook News FeedFacebook’s definition on their news feed is “Like-baiting” is when a post explicitly asks News Feed readers to like, comment or share the post in order to get additional distribution beyond what the post would normally receive.  If your marketer (or if you are a marketer) is doing this or has done this in the past you will want to discourage it going forward.  Facebook is taking steps to make these types of posts less prominent than stories/posts that are more relevant to the users.  Let’s just step back for a minute though.  If a marketer has actually used this tactic it just looks cheap.  It’s almost like putting extremely large and bright neon flashing lights on a store front just to get passerby’s attention.
  2. Spammy Links-I am pretty sure the word spammy will get added to the dictionary soon (if it hasn’t already).  A spammy link is one that uses misleading content to get Facebook users to click through to a website that contains mostly ads.   Often a poster will claim that the link will go to a photo album but in reality it links to a website dominated by ads.  You have probably seen the posts that have a very attractive woman wearing barely any clothes and suggests you will see more by clicking on the link?  Well sometimes those are malicious in nature but other times they may lead to advertising on an external website.  Facebook has already tested this, and a positive result is that they see a 5% increase in users clicking through to legitimate content.  That means that marketers who do things the right way can take solace in the fact that their content has a better chance of being interacted with now.
  3.  Frequently Circulated Content-Content that is repeatedly posted or uploaded (Photos and Videos) falls under this category.  Facebook users have let it be known that they do not appreciate this type of behavior.   Facebook users have said this content is less relevant and as a result Facebook is taking steps to de-emphasize content that is uploaded in this manner.  Now I want to be clear with this.  That does not mean a photo or video that was uploaded once, but circulated often by other Facebook users will be impacted.

Facebook Bottom Line

Most page owners will not be impacted by the changes that Facebook is implementing, so long as they are not using these spam like methods to get their content to the Facebook public.   If you are unsure of whether or not your page will be impacted give me a shout, I will take a look at it and let you know.

Google

Google has taken steps to reduce spam like behavior over the last few years.  Several updates to Google’s search algorithm have led some website owners and marketers (so called SEO experts) scrambling to find out why their search results have decreased dramatically.  So what did Google change?

Connecticut Google Expert

 

  1. Link Farms-Matt Cutts,  Google’s chief spam fighter has declared war on link farms.  What is a link farm?  It’s someone who offers to submit your website to a bunch of directories and websites for a fee (not to be confused with local directory submission).   Most of the sites that your website is submitted to by these link farms are considered spammy by Google.  As a result your website will suffer when it comes to Google Search Results. Google has created the disavow tool to help you remove spam links pointing to your website.   If you want to ensure that your site is not being affected by this you should absolutely use the disavow tool to check and correct.  Be careful to follow directions with this tool.  It should be used with caution, if used improperly it could hurt your search results even further.
  2. Duplicate Content-Google also recognizes duplicate content on your site as spam.  You should take every precaution possible to ensure that your site does not have duplicate pages.  I have personally tested this to see what would happen.  On another site I created 2 pages with almost identical content, only changing a few words.  Neither page ever showed up on Google Search Results for keywords that are not very competitive.
  3. Keyword Stuffing-Keyword stuffing is the act of inflating the usage of keywords on your web pages to impact the search results on Google.  Google’s algorithm recognizes this and will penalize your site for this behavior.  The content of your site should flow naturally and be readable to humans.  If it is not appealing to a person then Google will likely consider the over usage of keywords as spam.  One example of this is adding a list of all the towns in your area to your website.  I have seen marketers and businesses use this tactic to skew search results for towns they don’t necessarily service.  In fact, I have seen sites that make the town list invisible to the human eye as a tactic.  Be warned, Google will penalize this.
  4. Copied (Stolen) Content-If you are copying content from someone else’s site and claiming it as yours, you will be severely penalized by Google.  In fact, Google has even instituted a tool to help make you the content owner (authority) of any materials on your site, called Google Authorship. Update-Google Authorship is no longer operational.  Setting up Google Authorship tells Google you own the content that is created on your site, and if anyone uses it without crediting you that site may be negatively impacted in the search results.  If you are going to use someone else’s content make sure you get permission and make sure you credit them for it.

Don’t Do It

It’s actually really simple if it looks like spam it probably is.  If you are doing something on Facebook, Google or anywhere else on the internet that would annoy you then don’t do it.  It’s just common sense.  Forget about the fact that spamming people can cause your content to drift away into a cyberspace wasteland.  You’re really just being an annoying jerk who will just end up turning off even the most loyal of your clients.  You’re like the extremely pushy and overly aggressive used car salesmen.  Just don’t do it.

Don't Do It

 

Facebook Pages for Business | Changes Are Coming

I have posted several times on my Facebook Page that changes are coming to the format of the Facebook Business Page.  Let’s talk about what some of those changes are and how they might impact you.

fbbizpage

 

As evidenced on the Facebook for business page there are some changes coming.   Facebook is going for a more streamlined look and improved analytics (insights).   They are using feedback that was provided to them by page admins and implementing them with a new cleaner looking page design.  So what does that mean to you?

Facebook Page Improvements in 2014

1.  Improved Insights-Hopefully you are using insights.  If you’re not using them then shame on you.   Facebook will include improved insights and easier access to them from the page.   To the right of your cover photo to the insights will be shown.  They will include the number of ads running, page likes, post reach and notifications for the current week.

Clicking on the insight of interest will bring you to a page displaying more information to the related insight.  The improvements to insights will prove to be very useful in developing your brand on Facebook.

2. Streamlined Posts-Your posts will now be single column, making it easier for page followers to view your posts.  I don’t know about you but I always found the current layout to be a little annoying.  It was sometimes hard for the laymen Facebook user to tell which posts were the most recent.  The new look is much cleaner and easier to navigate.

3.  Left Side Info-The left column will include business information including a map, your hours of operation, contact information and photos/videos.  Again this makes it much easier for followers of your page to navigate to more information about your company.  Easy access to videos is a nice addition if you are including videos as part of your digital marketing plan (and you should be).

4.  Admin Links-Links to Activity, Insights and Settings are placed on the top left of the page now.  It’s a little cleaner as well since there is not as much noise getting in the way of the links that may be most important to Page Admins.   In addition, on the top right there will be a link to build audience will bring you to ads manager.  Advertising campaigns have also been improved but we will discuss that at a later date.

5.  Pages to Watch-One really cool addition to the new Facebook Pages for Business  is the Pages to Watch feature.  Using Pages to Watch you can select pages similar to your business page for the purpose of comparing their results to yours.  I have always been of the mindset that it is important to know what your competitors are doing.  This feature makes it very easy to keep up with the Jones.

Using the overview tab of the insights page you will see key insights of how the Pages to Watch are performing.  You will also have a posts tab which will show you the past week’s most engaging posts for the Pages your watching.  Not only does that help you keep up to date with your competition (or industry leaders) but it also may help you develop your own marketing plan further.

The addition of Pages to Watch is probably what I look forward to most.  Having insights on other pages performance, as well as improved insights on your own pages performance should go a long way to maximizing your reach.

6.  Custom Tabs & Apps-They’re going away…sort of.  The tabs that we have grown accustomed to will no longer be customizable.  In fact Facebook will only include Timeline, About, Photos, Videos and More.  They will follow the standard Facebook design of a white background with Black/Blue text.

However, Facebook will allow you to add apps to your page.  They will be displayed in the left column where your business information is.  There is not a lot of information on how this will work with 3rd party providers yet but Facebook did say at launch you will not be able to change the order.   Changing the order of the Apps is planned for release later.

When will I see the changes?

The short answer is I don’t know.  Facebook is rolling the changes out little by little.  Some pages have already converted to the new format while others are still waiting.  It’s anyone’s guess at this point.  I personally manage 7 pages and none of them have changed to the new layout yet.

All you can do is sit and wait in anticipation.  In the meantime, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to me.

What do you think of the changes to the Facebook Pages for Business?  Do you have questions?  I’d love to hear your feedback.

Are you going dark on the Weekends? A Social Media Tip

Social Media

 

Let’s face it, we live in a 24/7 world.  If you are running a business you are probably more aware of that than most.  However, you may be missing out on important opportunities if you are not using social media on Saturday and Sunday..or even Friday night.

Studies have shown that users of two of the most popular social media sites (Facebook & Twitter) tend to interact more with posts and tweets on Thursday and Friday afternoons, and most on the weekends.   Let’s take a look at each site to explain further.

Facebook

Facebook

Facebook is easily the king of the Social Media world right now, with over 1 million users in Connecticut alone.   Depending on the business you’re in that may be an extremely important fact in itself.

Facebook allows users to set up business and brand pages to interact with Facebook users.  The page allows you to tell the world about your brand or business including basic business information such as hours of operation and locations.  Once this is set up you can then add content including images and video to interact with your audience.

In an article found on Buffer and Huffington Post, written by Belle Beth Cooper, it is suggested that the best time of day to post on Facebook is between 9 am and 7 pm.  It also states the most shares occur around 1 pm and the more clicks occur around 3 pm.  This would indicate that it is best to post mid-afternoon during the week, a little after lunch.  Coincidence, I think not.

You see, studies suggest that the more someone does not want to be at work, the more time they spend on Facebook and other social media platforms.

But you said Weekends

I did say weekends were important.  In fact Weekends have the highest engagement of the week on Facebook.  Engagement increases by 32% on weekends.   Facebook shares are also highest on Saturdays over any other day of the week.  You cannot afford to miss the action on Saturday, can you?

TwitterTwitter

Twitter is extremely popular with users of mobile devices.  It’s 140 character micro-blog posts are appealing to the two thumb typing method on a smartphone.   A tweet defined as a post on Twitter.   Twitter also made hashtags popular.  Hashtags are a sort of tag or keyword on a post.  Placing the # character in front of a word or phrase allows other users of Twitter to find your post using that hashtag.  Hashtags are now used on most major social media sites including Facebook.

Retweets

Retweets occur when someone re-posts a tweet that you posted, thus sending it to all of their followers as well.  This is considered a sign of respect so to speak   If your goal is to increase the number of retweets then the best time of day is 5 pm.

Click-Through

If the goal is to increase your click-through, meaning how many people interact with your tweet, then the best time of day is noon (lunch) and 6 pm (at home).   Interestingly enough, Twitter is also the platform of choice of those during commute by a large margin.   Users of Twitter are also more likely to use it during work or school hours.

The Weekend

Twitter engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends according to the same study referenced above.  Again suggesting that people have more time to interact with brands and businesses through social media.  So the question still remains, are you ignoring your weekend audience?  And can you afford to continue to do so?

Ultimately

It will take some testing and tweaking to find out when is the best time to engage your audience.  I personally have had Facebook posts late in the day that has succeeded while posting at suggested times don’t go over so well.  You will want to use analytic tools to determine what is and isn’t working.

Keep in mind it may not be the time of day either.  There are other things you should be doing to engage your audience such as adding images or video, encourage a response or create a call to action.

Ready to start your Social Media Program?