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

Communication: The Key to Social Media

One of my clients is a local tree services company. As much as I handle most of their social media and write all of their blog posts, I couldn’t do it without help. This week’s blog for them is a great example of that. It has received lots of positive feedback already, which I appreciate, but much of the content in the post itself came directly from them. And that is what a good working relationship looks like.

I can wrangle words til the cow comes home (Watch out, this be cliché country!), but the process is always far more productive and positive when I get support, suggestions and feedback from clients. What do they want to see written? Did one article work better for them than another? Have I missed the mark on the message I am trying to put across or is it just not in their tone? Tell me! I try to do my best, but always encourage guidance, so that what I put out there is reflective of my clients. If they don’t like it, or their audience doesn’t like it, then I am wasting all of our time.

Thank you to Pam, for taking the time to answer my questions and provide me with pictures on a regular basis. When I can catch you Calvin, you are a wonderful fount of information and the person I want to please most. Curt, you have been the voice in my head for years inspiring many blog posts. Your encouraging words mean a lot to me Christine. And if Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy. Your smile tells me I’m doing alright Anna Marie. There are plenty of other people at CLC Tree Services who keep their fabulous company hopping. I hope you know what a great company you have chosen to work for!

I will be forever grateful to you all for putting your trust in me. And for helping me put more trust in myself. I look to your company as proof that social media marketing works and that with communication all around, it can do wonders, especially for a small business.

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I might not have planted any of these trees, but I have seen more than one go into the ground at the side of CLC. They love their trees & their passion is contagious.

 

Spring Fever: It’s Time to Grow

Well, the cold that was threatening a month ago ran over me hard. I went from the flu to bronchitis (or something that involved body-wracking coughs that lasted for several weeks at the least). After being left with little energy and a mound of work to catch up on, my computer decided to get sick too. Ack!

Thankfully we are all now recovered (kids mostly too, minus all our lingering coughs). March Break is behind us and signs of spring are in the air. As much as I am enjoying the warmer temperatures though, I have had my head down and am still playing catch-up with work. I am helping a few clients revamp their images and websites. Another client has a play going on which I am helping to promote. Trade shows are filling another client’s world, which require shout outs to advertise. And I desperately need to see someone else just to touch base with what’s going on in their business’s world and update some pictures.

These are the moments that can get crazy, but what I love about social media work. I like when clients turn to me to help make their companies better. I thrive on full calendars with exciting events to showcase why the people I work with are great. Face to face meetings are often so much more productive and give an opportunity to delve into the important facets of what people’s businesses are all about. The perks come when I meet new people through existing clients, or when word of mouth has potential clients seeking me out.

So as spring slowly begins to bloom around me, I am sticking my head out and looking around. I have a few trade shows of my own I’ll be attending shortly and need to seriously work on polishing up my own social networking sites so that I can properly promote myself more effectively. It’s one thing to critique and improve others, but when meeting others you need to have something to offer as well. Time to brush off the business cards and breathe life into myself again. It’s spring and time to grow!

Like a groundhog in spring, I am sticking my head out and looking around