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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Blogging: Is It Still Relevant?

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BLOGGING |

I have been blogging since 2009. That might sound like a long time, but in the early days, my blog was more akin to a journal entry; I recorded daily happenings, thoughts, lists, and whatever else struck me. Many of the entries didn’t have pictures and visitors to my page were rare. Such was my start, but also a reflection on the still-morphing existence of weblogs.

While Justin Hall is noted as the first person to ‘blog’ back in 1994, many more have come after him. Hall’s early ‘personal homepage’, begat many blogging platforms within a few short years, and the growth of this new phenomenon has only grown from there. Blogger and LiveJournal launched hosted web tools in 1999, and WordPress, arguably one of the most popular blogging platforms today, joined the fray in 2003.

I happen to have blogs on both Blogger and WordPress, but there are plenty more sites you can turn to today, from Medium to Squarespace, Tumblr to Drupal, Type Pad to Weebly, and so many more. The platform might change, but the concept remains the same—sharing content with others in a setting where it can be commented upon and shared at will. It is a great medium for writers, people with hobbies or specific interests, and businesses who want to establish a voice for themselves on the web.

Changing Face of Blogging

Like anything though, the face of blogging is changing. Where people once shared stories of their personal days and challenges—Mommy bloggers are still a huge part of the blogging world—topics have exploded from there. Whether it be politics, journalism, art critique, travel, dating, or food prep, you can find a blog for that. But where some people avidly read many blogs a few years ago, nowadays the average person’s attention span is so torn by the constant influx of social media content, that the influence of blogging is changing.

No longer will your take on Grannie’s home remedies be relevant, when your humble blog goes up against trusted big-name websites. You have to have something relevant and unique to say, and it has to be presented in a visually appealing way, not to mention that it be well written. If you are touching on current events, they have to be timely too, not to mention accurate in detail. And even if you write a fantastic post that draws in readers, that’s still not enough. Today’s bloggers need to consistently create good content on a regular basis, promote it to the hilt, and interact with readers to make sure they are a part of the experience.

Tall order? Maybe, but that’s the name of the game, especially if you are a small business who is trying to get your voice heard in the echo-chamber that is today’s social media world. I have talked to people in person, discussed the relevance of blogs with folks on Twitter, read umpteen numbers of articles across the web (yes, I still read blogs), and pondered how best to get the biggest bang for your buck with blogging.

  • regular posting
  • quality content
  • maximize shareability
  • vary the style of posts (graphics, words, pictures, videos, lists, long posts, short posts, podcasts, etc.)

Are blogs still relevant? You bet they are. How you make yours relevant is the key though. It can be a lot of work, but still worth the effort, especially for small businesses looking for more people to find them amongst all the online chatter. Think smarter and reach out to those in the know. Ask questions, talk to experts, and don’t forget the darn SEO, headings, keywords and alt tags while you’re at it.

While this go viral? Probably not, but it doesn’t matter. It helps me to write it down in a cohesive manner and understand it better myself. It also adds content to my stream. And hopefully it will strike a chord with my readers. Do you have anything to add?

I wish you good writing and longevity in your blogging endeavours!