My Marketing Gals

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Filtering by Category: Facebook

What not to do to get your brand/event noticed.

This is a big pet peeve of mine and I see it again and again. Have you ever been in a discussion online and all of a sudden someone posts a link to their blog with totally unrelated content? 

These people think they are oh so savvy by finding where their target audience is hanging out. They don't care what you all are talking about, but they know you are there. They simply post a link to their website/event/blog and may even say a few words with it.  The funny thing is they actually think they are smart and are so arrogant that they think you will like it.  Would you burst into a room full of people discussing say leadership and scream "I sell ______, read my article it's great and call me". Do they really think people would enjoy this interruption and stop everything to click or read their annoying post?

Please stop if you are doing this or help me understand what mindset they may have to think this is a wise move? Comment below with your pet peeve on social media or online marketing?

Facebook Page owners need to change their strategy in 2015.

Here we go again…more changes to facebook coming soon.  These changes will make business owners change the way they interact on facebook. (Well, for some anyway.- Successful pages know what their customers like and engage with them through stories and meaningful images.)

I’m a glass half full kind of gal. While change is always hard (and we know facebook likes to change lots) this change is for the people who use facebook.  These facebook users are otherwise known as your target audience. We want to keep your target market happy don’t we? Well, facebook surveyed and found people feel like they are seeing too many promotional type posts.  Think of it this way - Imagine you have a shop and your customer walks in. Do you start holding up items and telling him/her the price? Let’s hope not. You probably hold up an item or share a story about an item they are looking at. You share how they can benefit from that item, you may ask questions or share another customers success with that item or why you added it to your shop. Imagine facebook posts in the same manner. Simply imagine these customers are in your shop and you are engaging in a conversation with them. It may take some getting used to, but you’ll get the hang of it.

Here is what people don’t like: (link below for full article)

  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

So change your marketing strategy and give your customers what they want. Show the story behind your business, products and services.  Instead of posting sales, products, services etc. share the stories behind the items. How have they impacted your customer? Where did you get the idea from? Ask how they would use this item or why they like it.  Share photographs. People are visual and have very short attention spans. Photographs can say so much and grab their attention. Show the personal side of your business and your team. 

Now you  may be wondering what will happen if you continue to post promotional/sales type of posts? Facebook isn’t going to delete you, but you will notice far less engagement. They will hold back from pushing your content out to newsfeeds. Look at what you post and then analyze the results by looking at the numbers. Experiment with this. Post your typical way and then try changing it around.  Facebook is still a terrific tool to engage your target market, simply change your strategy and make it work for you. Be sure and post relevant content your target market would find useful. You’ll facebook page will benefit from it and before you know it you’ll have more customers. 

Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Subscribe to our emails and we’ll share more tips. 

Helpful links:

https://www.facebook.com/business/news/update-to-facebook-news-feed 

https://www.facebook.com/business/a/page-posting-tips

Facebook Tests 5 Star Ratings

Facebook is testing a new Page feature and displaying stars front and center on Business Pages.  You may have seen it on some of your favorite pages.  Not all facebook users can see this feature and not all pages have stars prominently featured on their page. Who knows the test may not launch fully, but in the meantime Page owners are taking notice. facebook tests 5 star ratings

What we do ‘like’ is that this could be an advantage for small and locally owned businesses. Since many locally owned businesses lack a huge number of likes, this gives visitors an opportunity to see ratings prominently rather than judge by # of fans.  Local and smaller businesses often struggle with increasing ‘likes’.  Small budgets for facebook ad’s, contest apps and marketing dollars to promote their page and increase likes.  We advise our clients to put the focus on their target market and 'real' ‘likes’ and less worry about the number.  Our page and our clients pages have real people that genuinely like our page (and our business). Many have shopped or bought products and services from or plan to.  With a ratings system this may minimize the battle of wanting a higher number over quality followers.  Don't get me wrong...we strive to increase 'likes' and  connect with potential (and current) customers, but it's not our main focus - quality connections over quantity.

What we don’t like is the automatic 3.5 star rating given by facebook when in fact a page has no recommendations yet.  One of our clients has one star rating of 5, yet facebook shows only 4 prominently featured. Another has four 5 star ratings and a 3.5 star featured listing. The star rating should be an actual star rating based on real page recommendations and not randomly given by facebook.  Perhaps this is a glitch in their test and will be fixed. We sure hope so! 

A few other lingering thoughts on the new ratings feature...

  • Will admins be able to ‘hide’ reviews they don’t like once this star rating goes live on all pages? Currently admins can ‘hide’ a non favorable review.
  • Will facebook allow “Reply to” each review and rating?  Owners should be able to thank or defend themselves. It would also be nice if fans could reply to reviews as well. Even the best businesses have an occasional hater out there that keeps posting. Which leads me to my final question...
  • Currently page admins can ‘block’ someone from participating with their page. This is great for disgruntled employees and that ever nagging hater that won’t forgive and move on, or people that haven't even used your products and grumble for odd reasons.   (Two, of our clients, have a few haters that dislike a radio station my clients  advertising on. Will their bad reviews affect the rating even though they've never used these clients products or services?   Will these ‘blocked’ people be removed along with their review? Does this skew results if so?

While we wait and see what Facebook does with the new Ratings test you can do something.   Ask your customers to support your business by making a recommendation on facebook. Also, don’t forget to support your favorite pages by recommending. Don't spend too much time as this could pass in an instant.

Integrating Instagram into your facebook business page and website.

Most savvy internet users know that using images increases activity. We live in a visual world and our eyes stop with photographs to take it in. While there are many social sharing photography applications out there we'd like to share one of our favorites. Instagram.  Many are integrating this app into their personal profiles, but how can a business use? We will share two ways to integrate Instagram into your business. 1. ) Integrate on your website by embedding code. http://embedagram.com/ was an easy site to extract html code for our business instagram account.  We were able to  easily  put this code into our Square Space website (currently in development.) We have a scrolling bar of the latest photographs and even downloaded a camera icon for fans to follow us on Instagram. (we hope to launch our new website soon so you can check it out. We've placed it on the 'about' page.) www.mymarketinggals.com

instagram-blog

2.) Integrate into your Facebook Business Page. To do this.. type "Instagram feed for Pages" into the facebook search bar and follow instructions.  You will now have a tab on your page with "Instagram". When clicked you will see the latest photos in your Instagram account and there will be a "follow us on Instagram" button so fans can easily start following your Instagram account. While this is great for those who visit your page and browse what you are about, how about those who only see your posts in their newsfeed? We will now share how to  share your instagram photos on your Facebook Page Wall -- From your business Instagram account, click on your profile (tool gear) and then select "Share Settings" and then where the default facebook "share to timeline" is, click on it.  You will then be given the option to share on a page that you are admin for. If you've already linked to your facebook personal timeline you will need to unlink and go back to the steps above. Here is Instagram help on this topic. - http://help.instagram.com/493008720719279. We had a personal timeline chosen initially. To remove go into Apps on your facebook personal profile, chose 'account settings' then 'apps' and removed Instagram. Go back to Instgram on  your mobile device and click 'Share', 'Facebook'. Review terms and agree. You will notice , 'timeline' as top choice then the pages you are an approved admin for underneath. Simply click the page you want to integrate and start posting away.

One other detail under facebook sharing is to share 'likes' on timeline. If you want to share other Instagram photographs on your timeline automatically then select "share likes to timeline", otherwise turn off this feature.

So, snap away photographs for your business and post, with ease, into your website and business facebook page.  Comment below your favorite photography app for business or other ways to feature your photographs.

No need to protest facebook's Data Use Policy with a copy and paste copyright message on your timeline.

Another hoax makes it's way through facebook and causes an uproar in how your data is used by Facebook. Image Uh oh, here we go again. Facebook updates once again and newsfeeds are full of advice (some misguided) and protests.  On November 21st facebook announced ‘updates to Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities”.  An e-mail was distributed, from facebook, recommending you to review the policy as well as asking for comments to proposed changes.

Many are now seeing posts to copy and paste a copyright notice on their wall. This hoax makes you think that facebook does not have permission to use anything from your profile without your permission. This is useless and not necessary.  When you initially sign up for facebook you agree to their terms.  Facebook does not own your photos or content, you do however grant facebook permission to use, distribute and share things you post. Read the terms here for full disclosure. https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms.  This latest notice (from facebook) has many talking about an invasion of privacy to share information with advertisers, game/app developers and facebook developers. Again, this is nothing new. Anyone with a facebook account agreed to this when they signed up. The notice simply lists updates and tools to make it easier to understand what is being shared and any feedback before the revisions go into effect.

While personally I’m not thrilled with the idea of outsiders accessing my data I understand why, and agreed to it when I opened an account.   While many may not like this you must remember:

1.) facebook is a business (businesses typically have a goal in making a profit) 2.) It’s ‘free’ to use (though it does have a catch and this is part of it)

While agreeably advertisements and game requests are sometimes annoying, especially when we are not used to seeing them (or so many), but on the positive side..the advertisements you see are targeted to you and your interests.  If only television, newspaper, local billboards could target ad’s that only relate to me and my interests...now that would be something. You might actually find a few advertisements interesting.

My advice:

1.) Review and customize your privacy settings. Don’t let the default setting make these choices for you. (I will blog my recommendations next, subscribe/or check back). 2.) Think before your post.  Everything you say and do can come back to haunt you. 3.) Accept that facebook is a business, free to use, mainly in part because of the advertisers and developers. 4.) Remind yourself of all of the positive things you enjoy about facebook. Decide if it outweighs the recent change you don’t like. 5.) Be careful what app’s you sign up for as you are further extending your content and data to be shared with them.  (update your app’s in settings from time to time and get rid of the ones you no longer use.) 6.) Select ‘ignore’ for requests to join specific games or app’s that your friends are using

I’m not saying you have to ‘like’ it.  You could take an extreme approach and deactivate or delete your account. (Though you are never fully gone from facebook, remember you posted and shared many things with others and are on their pages.) Be sure and click on ‘help’ from your facebook account if you choose to delete or deactivate.

Links you  might find interesting or useful.

Facebook tests "want" button in retail tests. Do you "like" or "dislike" this plan?

Change never comes easy, and when Facebook changes the game many posts appear in rebellion. Hold on tight because here comes another change. Facebook is running a test with retailers to include a 'want' button that allows users to engage with products and share with friends - a wish list of sorts.  The studies go on further to say a 'collect' button may be included which could possibly direct to an e-commerce site allowing users to purchase items directly from facebook.  As of now these 'want' and 'collect' tabs will only be available within facebook. (unlike competitor pinterest social plug in functions - for now at least). While I imagine businesses will accept this change (for the most part) I fear facebook users will rebel in masses.  Is this going too far with over commercialism? Here are a few articles I enjoyed on this topic.

Following pulled from By Alexei Oreskovic- updated 10/8/2012 5:18:09 PM ET

A Facebook spokeswoman said the company does not receive a fee when someone purchases a wishlist item on Facebook from a retailer's site. But Robert W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said the new Collections feature could open up new sources of revenue for Facebook, whose stock has taken a drubbing as concerns about its long-term money-making prospects have mounted. "E-commerce is one of the best ways to monetize the Internet," said Sebastian.  Read full article here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49334542/ns/business-retail/#.UHQ-cRgZzJx

Additional articles:

It’s all about Customer Experience. Why you should allow customers to post on your wall.

Image

Allow others to post on your wall. Some businesses fear negative feedback, but good or bad, your customers want to know what others are saying about you.

Remember when businesses had a “Comment box” to capture your feedback?  Who knew if the box was opened, or if any action was ever taken. Now, that box is open to the public- visible to all.   Every ‘comment’  or ‘post’ and more importantly your reaction to it is on display.  I’m not saying do everything that’s suggested, but respond and show customers you value their opinion. You may even receive some really great suggestions.

Your business will benefit greatly from allowing others to post on your wall.  Social media is often referred to as “word of mouth on steroids”.  You can organically (aka - free) grow your social media audience by allowing others to post on your wall. Sharing pictures of your product in use, testimonials and ideally recommendations.  These will all be shared with their friends. The viral nature of these comments could mean new customers to you.

Caution: Don’t delete the negative comments.

I always advise my clients not to delete the negative comments.  Every business has a naysayer or two out there, and every business is guilty of a few mistakes.  Respond to any negativity with your best resolution, apology, (owning up to it if necessary) and move on.  If you do delete -  Chances are someone saw the post and notices you hid it under the rug - resulting in lost trust.  Or worse, the original poster fires back repeatedly and you have to “block” that person. Imagine how many others he/she will tell.  Your resolution to negative comments might even win you new customers. Showing the personality behind the business and how you care, listen and how you are honest and respect opinions of your customers matters.

Create a positive customer experience in your social media and people will talk about it. McDonalds has the right attitude - with over 250 billion hamburgers sold - they know how to gain customers.

Landing Page Woe's

When facebook converted toImage Timeline many things changed. The biggest complaint I hear is “what happened to my Landing page?”.  Prior to Timeline pages allowed visitors to land where you directed them. Typically page owners used Landing pages that looked very much like a website - custom images, colors and most importantly a ‘Like gate’ or ‘fan gate’.  This key ‘gate’ increased your ‘likes’ as fans were required to ‘like’ your page prior to entry. Usually they were enticed to do so with a coupon, unique content or chance to win a prize. With the new Timeline you can still have a landing page (you can even have a fan or like gate), but they just work a bit different. While you won’t find an option, in settings, to make a default landing page you can still utilize the tab section for landing pages.  These tabs have a unique url that you can use on your website, blog, QR codes, etc.  You use your landing page url as the link, and people will land here first )same as the ‘olden days - pre Timeline’).

What the new tabs (where your landing page is located) won’t do -  New visitors will not land there first. When a new visitor first finds your page they will land on your wall.  They will still see the “Like” button and be able to opt in. Take advantage of your Timeline Photo to show your company personality, announce a contest, etc.  You can also use your wall to highlight activity and bring it to the top - put your landing page here or announce your contest, unique content, etc. here. Image One thing you'll need to take advantage of 'tabs' is an application. Search via facebook online or on the web and you'll find many applications to add 'tab's to personalize your page. Some are free, others have fees.  Image

In summary landing pages are still available, just with a new twist. Be creative and make it work for you!

How to use Facebook Scheduler.

Those who know me know I'm a multi-tasker and addicted to planning every moment. Scheduling content for myself, and my clients, has been a pleasure and time savvy technique to accomplish more each day.  A few months ago many people were talking about how 3rd party applications (used to plan posts) were suffering from fewer impressions.  This certainly made my job much  more cumbersome, as I manage many social media accounts and scheduling everything in one place sure made my job much easier. Having to go live, in the moment, to schedule many accounts really changed my schedule and made my time less profitable.  (here is a link to one of many articles that confirmed I wasn't crazy - my 3rd party planned posts received fewer impressions : Click here for article  Thankfully - facebook recently unveiled their scheduler!  I still love (and prefer) my other 3rd party application and use it for Twitter, Blog, Linked In, etc., though  my facebook accounts are handled separately.  Today I will show how to use this scheduler. 1. From your facebook Page wall create a 'status update' to begin your post.Image

2. Insert the photo 2nd. (if you try to start with the photo you won't be able to go back and insert status then the forward date.

3. Now select the date you would like to schedule your post. (Notice you can go back in time. Use this for milestone dates you'd like to document)  When you select the year, then month populates, date then hour.

4. Click "Schedule" (notice you can select your audience before this step, by location and language only)

5. That's it for scheduling your posts. Now, let's say you want to go back andImage see what's scheduled, or even change the date/time of a current scheduled post. (this feature was just recently added - as facebook changes daily/hourly, but thankfully this was added as a few weeks ago once your post was planned it disappeared into nowhere for viewing). So, to view your scheduled post. From the admin panel select "Edit Page" then "use activity log".

6. To change a scheduled post simply mouse over the right of the post and you'll see a down arrow appear, click and then you'll be able to "cancel post", "Change Time", or even "Publish Now".

ImageThat's it!  Now you can take a vacation and plan your posts while you are gone, or plan ahead and know your page is being maintained on an ongoing basis while you are  actively working on other aspects of your business!   Happy posting!

Tips on running a contest - Part 4 of 4 in our contest series

Part 4 of 4: We’re rounding off our contest series with one final posting.  Bonus tips on running a contest. OVERALL TIPS:

  • Announce contest coming soon. Anticipation will keep your folks coming back to check it out. They might even tell some friends to keep a look out for your contest.
  • Cross Promote it other places (TWITTER, WEB, LINKED IN, Store Front, ETC.)
  • Advertise (facebook makes sense-low cost/targeted demographic)
  • Announce progress (time remaining, who is leading, etc.)
  • Announce Winner, thank fans and advise them to check often as you will run another contest in the near future.
  • Don’t argue with someone regarding winner. Make your contest clear and easy. If in doubt give two prizes to avoid conflict and bad press.
  • Abide by facebook rules and regulations. https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php
  • Make your prizes appealing. Use your products or services when possible.
  • Give winner a choice in two prizes. Example: If HVAC? how often will they need to clean the system? Perhaps they just had it done. Offer a giftcard instead.
  • *Fan gate changes game -Timeline changes removed landing page, but various applications work the same. Be sure and use an app that has a fan “like” gate. You can see stat's on your contestants and even block some (employee's, etc.)
  • Use advertisement, on facebook, to announce contest increases likes when ad is clicked it turns into a page like.

Other contest ideas:

  • Photo contest - Ask fans to post photo -most likes wins. Plus how great to post someone using your product/service!
  • Where are we? -post photo of your mascot/logo/something and ask fans to guess where you are.
  • Ask fans to offer tip or their favorite Quote. The fan’s tip/quote with most comments and “likes” wins.
  • Guess that celebrity. for a dentist we post the smile only and ask to guess who it is.
  • Like Incentive - Not sure I like this one but see it often. When we reach ___#____ Likes we’ll offer _______.  Are people really that eager to help your likes grow? I guess if the offer is incentive enough they would.  I see it often, don’t use myself, but thought I’d offer it up.

In summary, every business is unique, and different approaches will work well for others.  I’d love to hear your comments. What have you tried in the past? Or, have you participated in a contest that caught your attention?

"Posting Contest": Part 3 of 4 in our contest series.

“Posting contest” How: Ask ‘fans’ to post a comment or photo. This could be asking fans to share one of their favorite quotes or even a tip.  The fan with the most “Likes” wins.

Why: Increase overall “Likes”, though might not be as targeted to your demographic. Advantage: Increase activity on page. Increases page “Likes”.

Tips:

  • Use an application to track (search facebook for current app’s), one with a fan gate is ideal as contestants will have to “like” the page to enter.
  • Explain contest clearly so no room for confusion.
  • Don’t forget to check with facebook on current rules and regulations on contests. https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php

Examples: Share your favorite health tip on our wall and ask your friends to “Like” it. The tip with the most Likes by _______ date wins a _________. Post of picture of your favorite healthy meal. The picture with the most “Likes” by ___ date wins a _______.

Do you want more people to 'like' you on facebook? Contest series...

Part 2 of 4: The first contest we’d like to share is TRIVIA. (Again, be sure to check the latest rules and regulations on facebook via this link: https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php This is easy and will drive people to your website to research the answer.

TRIVIA How: First to comment with the correct answer wins. Why: Increase activity, keep consumers checking back to see if they’ve missed a contest.  Drive people to your website or explore your page further. Increase knowledge of your brand/product/service. Advantage: This type of contest targets your market to those interested in your brand. Tips: Send out ‘reminder posts’ announcing upcoming contest & to check back often. Use prizes from your brand if possible or related. Give away, no discount (at least during the beginning). Explain contest clearly so no room for confusion. Examples: Want to win a $40 whole foods giftcard?  Be the first to answer this ?  Where did Shh owner Beth Smith study nutrition? = answer “Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York”

Want another way to drive people to your website? Hide something and the first to find it wins. Sort of like a “Where’s Waldo”, but use your product “Where’s _____” Hide a picture of your item and the first to post where exactly it was wins.  Hide it well and seekers will explore many pages of your web learning and looking.

Do you want more people to “Like” you on facebook? Perhaps a contest is right for you.

"Like Me"Every time I hear someone say “Like me”  I can’t help but recall Sally Field accepting an Oscar and emotionally saying something along the lines of “I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”  She was then tumbled through the media with not so positive statements and poked fun at. At the time I thought how brave of her to lay it out there so bluntly and show her insecurity and disbelief that people really do like her.  Today businesses are laying it out there and looking for that “Like” to build their brand.  Hearing someone say “Like” us on facebook is a common phrase - far from being laughed at back when Sally exclaimed it. In this 4 part series we will offer our suggestions for creating a contest on facebook to increase likes. Facebook does have policies regarding contests. Any deviation from these rules could result in facebook deleting your page. (Sure facebook is large and may not see you bending a rule, but don’t be tempted. Disgruntled consumers or even your competitors could easily report you - so play by the rules here.).  https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php

Before you start with your contest you’ll want to answer a few questions to help you decide what type of contest is best for your business.

Questions to ask:

What is your goal in running a contest? (Is it all about increasing volume of “Likes” or less volume and more targeted to your specific demographic?, drive to web or to educate customers about additional products/services, etc.) Who is your Target Market or Audience? What is your Budget for a contest? What kind of prize/incentive will you offer?

In this four part “Contest Series” we will offer our recommendations for increasing likes through contests. Each business is different and some will be better for others. Let us know what you have tried and share your feedback with us.  For the record I  more than “Like” Sally Field - then and now. So we’ll end this post with a quote from her.

“You lose your habitual behavior, which allowed you to sort of zone out. You have to be here, you have to be now, you have to be present.”

Social Media is so much in the moment that I had to pull this quote.  As a business owner and influencer it is key that we act in the present and move with change and join the ‘now’.  What has worked in the past may not now.  Is your business taking advantage of all social media has to offer and converting fans into customers? Look for part 2 of our blog to begin exploring types of contests on facebook.

Are your parents or grandparents on facebook?

Well, if they aren't their friends may very well be. According to a research study by Forrester Research well over halfImage of seniors- that's 60% of seniors, age 65 and over, are online. That's over 20 million in the US alone. You may ask "What are they doing online?" Here are additional details of the report:

  • 49% have a facebook account
  • 59% have purchased products in the last 3 months
  • 24% sign up for coupons or freebies
  • 46% send and receive photos by e-mail
  • 44% play games online

I've heard numerous times from local businesses targeting seniors, "I don't need facebook, my target market is not there". Well, if they want to stay ahead of the competition they'd better take a second look.  This is one of the fastest growing demographics to facebook.

Do you know a senior who you'd like to see enjoy facebook?  We stumbled upon this article and wanted to share. You may want to check with your local library or community center as many offer courses or have staff that are more than happy to assist.

Easy steps on how to teach facebook to Seniors.

Source: Forrester Research

Admin Roles released on Facebook

Facebook just released controls for admins.  In the past all admins were created equally.  Currently 5 levels of admins are available. (by default all admins are "Managers").  As the official owner of a page you should keep the "Manager" role and anyone else helping you manage your page could be classified according to the control you want them to have.Image To change Admin controls or add an admin:

  1. At the top of your Page, click Edit Page
  2. Select Admin Roles
  3. Type the names of other people you'd like to add (must be a friend)
  4. Click Manager  below the name and then the arrow to change level of admin (Content Creator, etc.)
  5. Click Save Changes

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