Battle Facebook Changes: Create a Face!

My recent post about the changes coming to Facebook was quite popular. I suppose not surprising, as it affects potentially billions of people. And for anyone trying to utilize that vast network for business purposes, if those changes affect your bottom line, you SHOULD take notice. Why spend money on a social media budget, if your return on investment (ROI) doesn’t merit the time or money put in?

So does that mean that people should give up on business pages on Facebook? I don’t think so. Yes, people like to interact with their friends and family on Facebook, but they also choose whether they want to follow a page or not. In choosing to like or follow a page, they have shown some kind of interest in it. The key for you as an admin on that page, is to make sure that interest remains. People click on links. They share memes and videos that make them laugh. Thoughtful pieces often elicit comments. The trick now is for you as an admin to work harder to tap into that.

I’m not saying it will be easy, but Facebook has made changes before. There have been cries that organic reach would die. And that just didn’t come to pass. Some pages might have taken a hit, but I suspect they were pages that didn’t put a real effort into their social media marketing strategies. Pages that didn’t understand Facebook’s algorithms and ever-changing rules of engagement. I have had conversations along these lines and watched people’s eyes glaze over when I talk about it. They don’t get it and honestly, don’t care to. Hence why I get hired to help people with their marketing strategies.

It isn’t all that complicated though. You have to understand the nature of people. People want to be entertained. They want content to shock, interest, or educate them. They want to see pictures of people they know, doing things that are funny, awe-inspiring, or that add depth to their understanding of who they are and what they do. Easy to read explanations help those images along. More often than not, the general public isn’t tied up in official lingo or the lexicon of an industry—they want words in layman’s terms that they can grasp simply and easily.

So what should you do? Take a picture of what you are doing. Share a story about an incident that happened that day or that week. Maybe it snowed, or you received an award, or someone put decaf in the coffee machine and people went berserk. It doesn’t really matter, but it makes you more relatable. Add that personal edge to your company, so people care about the people behind the image, versus a staid business page.

As for timing, let your budget dictate that to a point, but aim to have fresh content weekly. Some big pages post several times a day, but for smaller companies, that may not be practical or possible. Once a day is good, but several times a week is a minimum in my opinion. Any less than that and Facebook won’t show your posts to people due to a lack of engagement. Posting once a month might as well make you invisible and might even do more harm than good, as people will think your company has gone under.

If it seems overwhelming, it doesn’t hurt to bring someone on board to help with your content curation. The trick is to have that person understand what message you want to share and what face you want to put on your image. Also, you need to keep them in the loop about important events that happen for your company, and maybe shoot them images of employees at work every once in a while. Plus, encourage all members of your company to share those posts on their own personal Facebook pages, to get your presence out further. It helps!

Good luck with maneuvering Facebook’s newest changes. If all else fails, try boosting a post here and there to see if that helps with your organic reach too. And let me know what works and what doesn’t work for you. See you on the net!

I wade my way through Facebook marketing myself. Come join me there!

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(Facebook) Changes on the Wind…

Facebook marketing is about to undergo another major change. Yesterday, I saw the beginnings of a flurry of activity. Marketers are scrambling. Small businesses are scared. Big businesses are even more concerned. What is all the hype about? What Facebook is going to show its users.

Facebook has over 2 billion monthly users. Approximately 1.37 billion people use it daily.  Those numbers are staggering, hence the amount of businesses who clamour to take advantage of that. As a small business, who can afford to ignore that kind of audience? But Facebook has been criticized for what it shows in people’s news feeds and has responded with these latest changes.

So what are they exactly? As of yesterday’s announcements, Facebook plans to show its users more content from friends and family. Sounds good, right? Well, sounds familiar anyway. They have done that in the past. Many businesses were concerned with those changes, but ultimately it proved to weed out some of the pages which showed lesser quality posts. So again, why should businesses worry now?

Now the change seems to affect business pages again. You might still post quality content on your page, but if your interaction is low, Facebook will take notice. Unless that content is creating adequate user interaction and conversation between people, then no one is going to see it. Your posts will just not be seen.

crickets…

Makes sense that publishers are worried then, right. It certainly makes content curation a little harder. I get that Mark Zuckerberg is pushing the whole person to person contact. And really, if it works, then it is a good thing. The theory is to again create better quality content and have the focus be on building a conversation. How many people passively skim through their news feed feeling lonelier and more isolated from the world with every post they see? Facebook was supposed to bring people together, but social media has seemingly isolated us even more so. But how are businesses who utilize Facebook supposed to react?

I suppose time will tell. Pages that share more videos and personal stories should be alright. Those who can throw enough money at their social media strategies should be able to figure out a way to cope with the changes. The small businesses who already struggle with what to post, how often to post, and how much to share just might get left behind. Without the money or time to figure out a strategy, those little pages will just disappear. And for me who often handles small accounts who are just trying to keep a Facebook page alive with minimum content… I’m not sure my stripped down services will be of much use if organic reach drops that much more.

Is it time I did more research, planning, and strategizing? I suspect so. Here’s hoping myself and my clients survive the most recent Facebook changes. I think I’ll need to have a few more conversations with people over the next little while, but we’ll see how things go. I think it’s safe to say that boosting posts will be that much more important again though.

Brace yourself friends…

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Connections

Short rant;

For those of you in need of someone to manage your social media accounts, I have a tip. Let the person who is handling your accounts know what you are doing. If you are updating them yourself, it is easy to add pictures from your day, dull or dazzling. If someone else is doing the updating though, unless they are on hand, keep them in the loop! Upload them pictures. Send them short accounts of interesting happenings. Advise them of changes in scheduled events. Give them notice of upcoming affairs. Let them know about things your audience might find interesting.

It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering. More often than not, your customers just want to see you in action. They want to see the faces of the people they know and have interacted with. Candid photos always get more likes, shares, and followers. You can be unpacking a box, wiping a counter, or counting an order. This is what your business looks like. It isn’t always hanging high up in a tree, participating in a fun run, or receiving an award. And that’s business! There are plenty of mundane days when you need to get stuff done, but that is what keeps your business running. And it’s okay to show that side of your company too. A decent social media manager can create a picture of your company from all the pieces. That’s what you pay them for after all. When they don’t know what’s going on though, they cannot share.

So do yourself a favour. Whether it is once a week, month or day, think about what you want from your social media manager and ultimately your online presence. When you know what you want that to look like, get on the same page with your content curator and work something out. A good social media platform is a great base for customers to find you. And that’s just good business sense.

Rant off…

Take the time to connect with your social media manager so that you are all on the same page as far as your social media presence goes

Ways to Keep Your Writing Alive

What ways can you keep active, even when you don’t have a specific writing project on the go? As I dodge responsibility left and right, I ponder how to keep viable as a writer. Solution? Write a new blog post!

Writing a blog post is just one tactic though. Even if you don’t have a bigger project on the go (or are stumped with what direction to take the one you are working on at present) what else can you do?

Ways to Keep Writing

Choosing a new place to write is a great idea, but leave trees out of it! Those inane scratches are permanent scars a tree has to carry forevermore. Make your words count!
  • review a book
  • comment on a book review
  • update your social media pages (Think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Add updates, refresh contact info and pictures, rewrite bio, etc)
  • start a new social media account (Haven’t tried Google+? Give it a gander. New to Pinterest? Pin on! Unsure about Snapchat? Get snapping.)
  • brainstorm for ideas for blog posts
  • edit an existing piece of writing (yours or someone else’s)
  • take a writing class
  • send out queries for new article ideas
  • write in a journal
  • write in a different place than you normally do
  • tackle a writing prompt (try writing microfiction, or write something from a photo or written prompt)

The important thing is not always what you write, but that you keep practicing your art. With time, comes comfort and ease in the process. Plus, the more you write, the better your writing will become! So get writing. I just did.

Tips to Kickstart Writing

Back to school. Back to work.

Sun is setting on another glorious summer

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t take the summer off. I might not have the same writing output during the summer months, but I’m still around. Anytime I slip away, I schedule posts to publish while I am gone, but places that require real-time presence slip a bit.

My established clients are okay with that, but ultimately will only stay my clients if I come home at some point. Their social media pages need to stay active.  If their pages aren’t active, then their presence diminishes. Which means a potential downturn in sales. Less money on hand means cutting costs, first up of which would be me. So yes, I still maintain their presence, even if the effort isn’t quite as thorough.

Now the kids are back in school though, leaving me with more time on my hands. Sure, that means that extracurriculars will be starting up, but that doesn’t fill the daytime hours. And it certainly doesn’t refill coffers spent on lazy days, road trips, and adventure. It’s time I looked at adding more writing to my days. How can I do that? More importantly, how can I do that and get paid?

Tips to Kickstart Writing

Time to get back into the swing of things and focus on writing again!
  • submit queries to journals, magazines, and newspapers
  • write poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction pieces to submit to contests
  • join a networking group to meet new people/potential clients
  • finish editing my book (or yours!) to get it ready for publication
  • take another writing class to finish my Creative Writing certificate program (check with your local library, community college, or city to see what writing courses might be out there for you)
  • contact old potential clients to see how their social media platforms are holding up
  • ask other writers if they have any connections they may be willing to share
  • advertise services;
    • via blog, Facebook page, on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc
    • create a website outlining services
    • once other social media links are updated and in place, share links to them on other platforms

Note that YOU can do any of these things as well. This is about motivating me today, but I hope to motivate any other writers out there who might need the kick in the pants that I do. Of course if you are looking for someone to write blog posts, magazine articles, schedule Facebook updates, tweet or any number of other tasks, contact me today! I’m sure we can figure something out. Until then…

Happy writing!