5 Problems You Did Not Know You Had With Your Facebook Business Page and How to Fix Them

Facebook has become an essential piece of a business’ marketing strategy. When creating a Facebook business page, most do not realize they do not fully understand how to properly manage their page. There are five changes you can make to customize a Facebook business page and see better marketing results.

Via Flickr Ksayer

Via Flickr Ksayer

You don’t have enough Likes

Having a large following on Facebook, better known as Likes on your page, is the key to a successful marketing scheme. It is harder to get the first 100 Likes than to 500 since your page gets little exposure with less than 100 Likes. To change this, you can:

  • Place “Like” call to actions on your blog posts
    Businesses often have the social media icons on their sidebar, including a link to their Facebook page. However, you need to put this message at the end of every blog post, “Like what you see? Follow us on Facebook for more great content like this.” Include a link to your page in the anchor text, “Follow us.” You could also offer bonus content that is only available on Facebook, forcing your blog readers to Like your page to get the content.
  • Share Facebook posts on Twitter
    Copy the link from a new Facebook post and shorten the URL to put on Twitter. There are many helpful URL shorteners, such as Bitly and Tiny URL. Make sure to copy the link to the particular Facebook, not the page overall. If you copy the page link, in the future people will not be able to find the post they want to read and become frustrated with your brand.
  • Tell Twitter followers to Like your page
    Not only will posting links to your posts on Twitter increase the visibility of your posts, but you also need to tell your Twitter followers to Like your page. This is when it is okay to shorten the link to the actual page to share.
  • Write an article about Facebook
    On your blog, write a post about why your audience needs to get on Facebook, little known Facebook facts, or how average Facebook users benefit businesses when they Like their pages. Put a link at the end to your page to help promote it. This specific article topic will reach a wider audience than your blog followers, leading to more likes.
Via Flickr bloeise

Via Flickr bloeise

People aren’t talking about it

There will be a count of how many people are talking about your page under the title. If it is low, you need to start prompting your page. This number is the people who have interacted with your page in the last week. Likes, comments, and shares are considered interaction. If your page has a thousand likes but low interaction, something needs to change.

  • Update the page more often, like three or four times a week often.
  • Interact with people on your page by replying to and Liking their comments.
  • Make your content diverse, using pictures, video, text, quotes, links, and more.
  • Put a call to action in your posts, such as, “Like this if you agree” or “Tell me your thoughts.”
Via Flickr Kris Krug

Via Flickr Kris Krug

You only care about clicks

This means your Facebook page is filled with links to your blog or website in order to get more hits to those platforms. The page should not be used for promotion only. While links are sometimes good, they do not produce a whole lot of emotional attachment.

Stories need to make an immediate connection with the user. This is why images are so popular on Facebook. They can transmit the perfect message while instilling some sort of emotion in the viewer.

Via Flickr Ricky-Lai

Via Flickr Ricky-Lai

You are not present on your page

There are a few things you need to do to become more present on your page:

  • Ask questions and reply
    There needs to be back and forth communication on your page, just as you would speak in real life. You need to be active on your page and monitor comments in case one of your followers asks a question. Make sure all of your communication thoughtful and constructive.
  • Use descriptions
    Not only are descriptions a great call to action, but they also allow you to write a summary and present your perspective. If you share a link that is not from your brand, talk about how it affected you that caused you to share it.
Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

You are too present on your page

Even if you follow all of these rules and post great content, you should not overdo it to the point where your fans are un-Liking your page or turning off notifications. Posting a dozen things a day overwhelms your fans’ news feeds. At most, post four times a day, but even that is bordering on too much.

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How to Make Your Facebook Posts Stand Out – Part 2

Facebook marketing for business is an often talked about subject. While there are many great Facebook tips for business out there, it is hard to find discussion on what makes a post stand out from the others on a user’s news feed. There are certain things businesses can do to make their posts on Facebook more authentic and noticeable.

There are seven basic things you can do to make your posts engaging and memorable. The first three we talked about last Friday. Here are the remaining four things you can do to grab the attention of the quickly scrolling user and stand out in the virtual crowd.

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

  1. Shorten all links in posts. Many URLs you will share are long, causing people to not want to click on them. Use popular link shortening websites, such as Bitly and Tiny URL to shorten the link. Bitly will choose a name for the link while Tiny URL lets you add a custom end alias. Choose one that will grab reader attention and make them want to click on the link.
  2. Provide a call to action and hashtags. A call to action is when you write a post and put click here, learn more, read more, share this, or what do you think at the end of it. You are telling the user what you want them to do. This will increase user engagement and direct traffic how you want.
  3. Hold contests every few months. Contests are a great way to get user engaged since contests are fun! You could have users share a post in order to win one of your products or services. To make it more inventive, hold a caption contest where you post an interesting photo relevant to your market and ask people to caption it to win a prize.
  4. Find out what time of day is best to post. By looking at Facebook Analytics, you can find the best time of day to post in order to get more user response. For a few months, post three or four times a day at different hours, such as in the morning, at lunch time, in the afternoon, and in the late evening. Then look at your analytics to see what time of day users are engaging most often with your post.

    You can also only post six in the evening to midnight when most people are home. Analytics show that, overall, people are on Facebook more Thursday through Sunday than they are Monday through Wednesday.

Don’t forget to check out the second part of the post that was released last Friday! In the meantime, what are your favorite Facebook posts to see from businesses? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

How to Make Your Facebook Posts Stand Out – Part 1

Facebook marketing for business is an often talked about subject. While there are many great Facebook tips for business out there, it is hard to find discussion on what makes a post stand out from the others on a user’s news feed. There are certain things businesses can do to make their posts on Facebook more authentic and noticeable.

Facebook’s News Feed used to be completely customized by the user. They could set their feed to show the most recent posts by the people they follow or the top stories. Now, the News Feed has a new algorithm that decides what content shows up in what feeds. Placement on a feed depends on:

  • How many people Liked, Commented, or Shared a post
  • Relevance to the user, analyzing if the user has interacted with the brand or person much
  • Timeframe of the posting in reference to the last time the brand or person posted

Keeping these factors in mind, you need to start crafting posts and posting them in a certain way and timeframe. There are seven basic things you can do to make your posts engaging and memorable. Here are the first three I am going to talk about and we will get to the other four next Friday.

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

  1. Always remember the brand identity when making posts. Make all content you post emphasize on your brand identity. 80 percent of the content you post needs to be entertaining or valuable in line with your brand. Only 20 percent of your content should be completely promotional.
  2. Make quality content. Make sure you have a solid idea for the content you post before you post it. There is no reason to simply post content for the sake of it. Content should solve a problem, be informative, or be entertaining. Also, over-posting will flood your follower’s feeds, causing them to un-Like your page.
  3. Post photos, tips, quotes, and other varied content. This is the key to quality content. Photos are the easiest way to capture attention and photos on Facebook get more Likes than any other kind of content. Even if you are linking to a blog post or the company’s website, add a relevant photo to the post in order to grab attention.

    Tips are another great kind of content to post. They offer a nugget of information that is interesting or informative to the user. Quotes can also generate likes, especially if the quote is funny or from a famous person. The best kind of content, behind photos, is a question. Posing a question to the people who follow your page will make them want to comment with their answer. Make the question dimensional, not something simple like, “What is your favorite book?”

Don’t forget to check out the second part of the post that will be released next Friday! In the meantime, what are your favorite Facebook posts to see from businesses? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

Increasing Your Brand’s Awareness on Facebook without Paying for Advertising

Businesses have trouble using their brand identity strategies on Facebook without breaking the bank. While Facebook supplies great advertising tools, they often cost businesses money. If you are on a budget, there are many Facebook marketing strategies that will do a great job increasing your brand awareness.

Building brand awareness helps people identify with and remember your brand. Look at McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. Even with their many design changes over the years, their brand is instantly recognizable and brings to mind certain things. This is from years of reaching out to audiences with mass marketing that costs millions.

With the invention of social media, businesses can experience the same growth and awareness that these name brand companies have without spending millions on advertising. Facebook has over 500 million users, providing businesses with an amazing pool of people to recognize their brand. There are four ways you can get your brand to millions without paying a cent.

Via Flickr Chris Bannister

Via Flickr Chris Bannister

Make a Facebook Page and Share It On Social Media Sites

This is the first thing you need to do if you want to market on Facebook – create a business page. This is entirely different from creating a profile, which is what you do when you first log onto Facebook. The landing page needs to be nice to look at, interesting, and fun in order to encourage people to Like the page and follow your updates.

On other social media accounts and your website, put a link to your Facebook page telling visitors to get onto Facebook and Like the business. Don’t stop with social media – offer customers to Like you on Facebook in your physical store, if you have one, and on all printed marketing materials.

Via Flickr Pink Sherbert Photography

Via Flickr Pink Sherbert Photography

Post Authentic, Rich, and Varied Content

The content you post to your Facebook page should not be overly promotional or only promotional. Post links to your blog where you inform or entertain readers on things related to your market. You can even post links to articles from non-competitive sources. Anything you post on Facebook needs to be conversational. Avoid typing words in all capital letters, exclamation points, or technical terms. Pretend like your business page is another friend on Facebook.

Facebook users like images and videos, so make sure to spice up your page’s feed with lots of this content. It can be photos of your products with the latest deals and prices, or it can be funny photos that engage users and cause them to share. You can also post moving stories or funny work happenings from your day. Facebook can act as a behind the scenes look at your business, making your brand feel more authentic.

Via Flickr Pink Sherbert Photography

Via Flickr Pink Sherbert Photography

Craft and Submit Press Releases to Share

This is one of the best ways to raise brand awareness. Write a newsworthy and compelling press release about a new product, service, events, or information related to your business. If you sell computer software, write about a new law enacted on software trademarks, but include a quote from your business and an About Us section at the bottom. This gives people news-relevant information and it subtly promotes your brand’s knowledge and authority on the niche.

Look up how to write PRs correctly and post them to press release websites. There are many free sites that post your press releases on the internet. From there, copy the link of the posted press release onto your Facebook page. Don’t forget to post a link to your company’s Facebook page in the press release in order to cross-link your information and gain more exposure.

Via Flickr Pink Sherbert Photography

Via Flickr Pink Sherbert Photography

Give Fans Exclusive Deals and Content

When people Like your page, they are doing you a great service. Every time a user Likes a page, it shows up on their news feed to their friends. Their friends can proceed to click on your page to learn more about what you do. This kind of loyalty and free advertising needs to be rewarded. Offer exclusives just to Facebook users who have liked your page. Give them a code that offers free shipping, a percentage off of their total order, or a buy one get one free deal. This will increase their loyalty and make them more willing to spread your brand to others.

5 Strategies for More Facebook Likes on Your Business Page

Getting more Likes on your Facebook business page can provide your company with great exposure and other benefits. Communities that are developed when you learn how to promote your business on Facebook will help you increase brand awareness and ROI. There are many marketing strategies that can be used to gain more Facebook fans.

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Create Engaging Content and Be Active About Posting It

Content needs to be authentic and varied. Do not be overly promotional or only post one kind of content. Post links to articles related to the industry, text about specials going on, informative videos, and images. Images are by far the most popular content to put on Facebook, but it should still be diversified.

Include a call to action at the end of every post on Facebook. Tell them to Like, Comment, and Share. Pose questions to your fans in order to increase their engagement. You need to post content at least twice a day every day. When to post varies depending on the fans of your business. A good starting rule of them is to post in the evening from six to midnight. This is the period of time most people are online. Thursday through Sunday are the best days to post as well.

Network with Other Companies in the Area

Facebook provides many tools on a business page that allow you to find and interact with other companies in your area and market niche. Using a Graph search can help you find these companies. You need to Like them through your business page by going to Edit Page and selecting Use Facebook as Your Page. After the pages have been Liked, you can comment on and share their posts on your page. The company will likely follow you back and engage on your page, increasing Facebook Likes for both of you.

Via Flickr Ksayer

Via Flickr Ksayer

Ask People to Like Your Page and Supply Like Buttons Everywhere

Invite all friends, family, employees, and business partners to Like your page right at the beginning. This will give you higher visibility and credibility. Tell your customers, prospects, and your community to Like your page as well. Promote your Facebook page on your website and any other social media outlet your business uses.

Add social plugins on all of your social media accounts to include a Like button. This is especially useful when maintaining a business blog. Adding a Like button to the sidebar and on every post will increase the likelihood that someone follows your page.

Give Out Coupons and Hold Contests Exclusively for Facebook

Hold a contest exclusively for Facebook fans. Tell them to like a post and share it in order to be entered in a contest with a prize from your business. Offer multiple entry opportunities when they get someone else to Like your Facebook page.

The same sort of idea goes for coupons. Offer coupons exclusive to your Facebook fans. They are doing a lot of your advertising work by Liking and sharing your page and posts, so let them have 15 percent off their total order, free shipping, or another discount. This will make them feel appreciated and allow them to become loyal to your brand, increasing the chance they will get their friends to Like your page.

Via Flickr owenwbrown

Via Flickr owenwbrown

Look at Analytics to Learn About Your Fans

Analytics are able to tell you how many people see your posts and when and why you get new followers. This helps you understand what your fans like to see, allowing you to adjust your content. Analytics will also be able to tell you which kind of content your fans like the best. If fans consistently Like, comment, and share videos more, then you should start posting more videos over other kinds of content.

Another thing analytics do is help you determine when to post your content. You can see the times of day and which days of the week your fans access your content and business page the most. From there, you can decide when to post content.

How important are getting Likes on your Facebook page as opposed to a following on other social media sites? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

8 Facebook Marketing Tips for eCommerce Stores

eCommerce stores have been steadily growing in popularity. They are either a standalone online eCommerce store or an extension of a larger company offering specialized products. All marketing experts agree that, when it comes to eCommerce, marketing on Facebook is required for success.

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Via Flickr mkhmarketing

Owners of eCommerce stores need a solid Facebook marketing strategy to stand out from the other hundreds of competing eCommerce stores in your market niche. Facebook should not be used only as a tool to drive sales, but also as a platform to market and sell products, build brand identity, and interact with customers.

  1. Encourage fans to share your posts. You should constantly be telling fans of your Facebook page to like, comment, and share your posts. Sharing is the best way to get exposure across the internet. Like buttons allow your customers to engage with your posts. When customers like your page, they will be able to see any updates from your page regularly.
  2. Use images in your posts. To get more traffic to your eCommerce site, you need to first find a way to engage customers and build an audience on Facebook. This is best done by incorporating images into your posts. However, putting up any image will not increase comments and likes. Images need to be self-explanatory, meaning you should not have to post more information about the image. When posting product images, it is a good idea to overlay text on the image in order to give it context. The words could be New, In Stock, or Summer Collection.
  3. Host giveaways and contests. Contests and giveaways are a great way to offer package deals, increasing exposure to how great your eCommerce products are. Customers are highly engaged in these strategies since they have the potential to win something. This also increases new customer exposure when customers share the contest on their Facebook to get multiple entries.
  4. Run a caption contest. Caption contests are a very fun way for your Facebook fans to interact with your eCommerce brand. Post a funny or cute picture of something slightly related to the type of products you sell. Ask people to caption the picture with the best caption winning a free item from your retail store.
  5. Give discounts and free shipping that is time sensitive to Facebook fans. Studies have been conducted to find out that 42 percent of people who like an eCommerce Facebook page do so to get coupons or discounts. This makes it important to offer these exclusive discounts to Facebook customers. Making the discounts time sensitive encourages people to take action faster to receive a discount or free shipping. An expiration date on an offer is known as a psychological sales trigger.
  6. Show the benefits of one product over another. Comparing one of your products to the competition’s product is a great way to expose your brand, show your product’s strength, and prove that you are confident in your product. Posting these products really helps engage customers. If you sell clothes, compare it with a similar outfit from a name brand on quality, design, and price. Or, if you have an app for your eCommerce store, ask people to compare the apps on Android, Windows, and iPhone systems.
  7. Make your content diverse and engaging. People only enjoy following Facebook pages that have content that is diverse and different. Do not stick to posting one type of status update. Post pictures, product reviews, discount offers, videos, and more. Always strive for new ways to engage your audience.
  8. Incorporate customer service. Facebook is a great place to interact with your customers, not only for marketing exposure, but also for customer service needs. Consider it the same as the customer service desk at your eCommerce website. It needs to be monitored at all times and any inquiries or complaints need to be answered immediately. Not responding can hurt your reputation.

What are some other great marketing tricks for eCommerce stores? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

EVERYTHING Small Businesses Need to Know about Facebook Marketing

Marketing strategies have taken a huge turn since the rise of the internet. Today, more than ever, businesses are using social media for their marketing purposes. Creating a Facebook business page is the most important tool in your marketing toolbox. Facebook supplies businesses with endless creative social media marketing ideas to supply small business solutions. There are six things small businesses need to do in order to effectively use Facebook for marketing.

Via Flickr by marcopako

Via Flickr by marcopako

Offer discounts

The first way is to offer discounts when customers checkout. No matter if you are in a brick and mortar store or online only, when customers checkout ask them if they have Liked your Facebook page. If they have not, have them Like it right there in order to get 10 percent off their entire purchase. Most people will jump at the chance for a discount and Like the page, allowing you to build your Facebook Likes.

Once people have Liked your page, continue offering discounts on Facebook. This is revolutionary because businesses can live market based on the situation of both the business and the customers. For example, if you are a bakery and you have a lot of stock left with two hours until close, put on Facebook you are offering a buy one get one free deal on cupcakes. This allows you to get rid of stock while still making a profit. Or, if it is snowing outside, put on Facebook you will give a free to-go cup of hot chocolate for customers who stop in to the bakery.

Make posts short, mix up media, and be consistent

Facebook posts should be 80 characters or less. The shorter the post, the more people will engage with it and share it. While images are an important part of Facebook, do not only post images on your Facebook page. Most posts should include links or photos, but it is okay to provide text-only posts.

Post content between one and four times a week. Do not skip weeks of posting, or fans will forget about your business. On the other hand, posting too much will make fans un-Like your page. Following the one to four rule will create 71 percent more brand engagement.

Via Flickr by Coletivo Mambembe

Via Flickr by Coletivo Mambembe

Share at the right time

Even if your business is only open 9-5, do not post things on your page during this time frame. This is when most of your customers will be at work and not able to check their Facebook. Instead, post during the 6pm to midnight time slot where people are relaxing on their social media sites.

It is also important to know the best days of the week to post content. Thursday is the best day to post on Facebook. People are anxious for the weekend and making plans on Facebook. Friday is the second best day to post things since people are checking their accounts to see where friends are going. Weekends are the absolute best time to post since people spend more time on Facebook on the weekend.

Put up emotional content

People love sharing content that impresses them or makes them laugh or cry. Post images, links, or stories about things related to your business that hit an emotional nerve. If you are the bakery, for example, you can post a funny cupcake comic. You could also post a story about a bakery giving their leftover cookies to the homeless in the area. Or you could post a little known fact about baking or dessert history.

Engage users and tell them what to do 

Ask your Facebook fans questions and post polls to get them engaged with your brand. As the bakery, you could ask which of the three flavor options you should bake for cookies this week. Or you could ask for their favorite dessert to eat. This information not only engages customers, but gives you insight into their tastes and habits. Don’t be afraid to tell them to Like something, comment on a post, or share a link. Many will follow your instructions with good content, or with incentives to share. This increases your brand awareness.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Be social!

The reason it is called social media is because you need to be social online in order to market effectively. Start conversations in posts by asking questions. Respond to user comments and complaints on the page. Time needs to be spent building relationships with your customers on Facebook. This allows them to value your brand more and become loyal to your business.

What are other ways small businesses can be successful on Facebook? Let me know in comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

6 Common Facebook Marketing Mistakes

Social media is the hottest form of marketing right now and everyone is trying to jump on the bandwagon by setting up and marketing Facebook pages. However, many of these companies are making marketing mistakes without realizing it. Companies need to follow a Facebook marketing guide to avoid simple mistakes in the future.

Facebook campaigns that are executed properly will target current and potential customers, track the ROI of campaigns, and grow the business’ influence. Since many companies are only getting on Facebook to cash in on its popularity, they are making these common mistakes in their marketing schemes.

Via Flickr by stoneysteiner

Via Flickr by stoneysteiner

Setting up a personal page instead of a business page

If your profile has the company name on it instead of your name, then you are using Facebook for business wrong. Not only will less people see your page because they have to become friends with you, but it also violates Facebook’s Terms and Services. If Facebook catches a company using profiles this way, it will be deleted. You also only get to approve 5,000 friends, you don’t get advertising tools, and you have to constantly log in and out of your Facebook accounts.

Providing promotional content instead of authentic content

When all of your content is strictly about promoting your company, and it is written in a promotional tone, then customers do not find you authentic. They want fresh, authentic, and informative content. The focus should be on engaging customers with meaningful content, not how much money you can make immediately.

Don’t forget to ask people to engage with your relevant and meaningful content. Ask them to Like, Comment, and Share the post, link, image, or video. Interaction with your posts will increase the chance of the post showing up in your fans’ News Feeds. You can post multiple times during the day at different times during the day for a month or so. Make sure to post lots of different kinds of content. After this time, use analytical tools to find out what time of day and which kind of content audiences most responded to.

Not putting enough time into the page

Lots of businesses set up their page and just leave it. This is a common mistake. You need to be active and present on your Facebook page in order to attract new customers and get more sales from existing customers. Customers expect great content and timely responses to their inquiries. If you are not active on your company page, you will lose customers.

Lacking understanding about Facebook marketing tools

Companies are not exploring all of the mechanics and tools that Facebook offers them, therefore missing out on many growth opportunities. The most common things businesses forget to utilize is a welcome page and filling out the Info tab accurately. Companies also upload their logo as the profile picture, but the thumbnail does not display the whole logo. So customers are getting an incomplete understanding of their brand while on Facebook.

Not tracking conversions

Facebook has great tools that allow companies to track their conversions. This means you get to see how many customers get on your Facebook page and are directed to your website or store to make purchases. It will report how many people made a purchase on your website or signed up for the newsletter.

Buying fans for your page

There are many companies on the internet that offer to buy your fans for your Facebook page. For as little as $10, you can get hundreds of people to Like your page. When you do this, companies are supplying clicks from people in faraway countries, such as Romania. You will most likely not have a market in these countries, so the time and money you are spending advertising on Facebook is wasted on people who cannot or are not interested in buying your product.

What are some Facebook marketing mistakes you see companies do? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!