Tag Archives: Social media

Business No-Brainers: Why You Should Use A Facebook Business Page Not Your Facebook Profile! (Part 4 of 4)

In the final part of this four-part blog post I talked about Tabs & Apps, Advertising & Promotions, Check-Ins, Facebook Notes and Facebook Analytics. So, here goes with Part 4 of my Nineteen Nuggets for your Noggin – the main differences/benefits of a Facebook Business Page over a Personal Profile to showcase a business or brand and why we simply must all have one!

# 16. Import Contacts/Invitations

As long as you are using Facebook as your Page, you can invite a whole host of people to Like it and increase your number of Fans exponentially. This is absolutely my recommended port of call when you first set up a Business Page because they are already your captive audience and therefore incredibly influential in growing your Likes through their own Newsfeed. As I said in point # 14., the people who have Liked your Business Page have effectively endorsed your business to their friends. And this kind of social proof is an integral driver of a consumer’s buying decisions and which also helps non-profits to garner support. After all, word of mouth is the oldest form of marketing in the world but arguably still the most powerful, right?

There is nothing wrong with periodically re-inviting contacts to Like your Page and your lists will no doubt have grown since you last did this anyway.  Facebook does also allow you to select which people you would like to invite to Like your Page so you can make it more targeted if you so wish.

# 17. Link Your Business Page To Twitter 

If you sync your Facebook Page with your Twitter account, whenever you create a post in Facebook, both Social Media channels will be updated simultaneously. Not only is this a quick win but you are working smarter as you don’t have to update both channels with the same content. Be mindful however if you use the HootSuite Social Media Dashboard that you don’t post to both Social Media channels otherwise even the most diehard Fans will quickly turn off if they are seeing double every time! 

# 18. Unique Username

A unique username or Vanity URL, such as facebook.com/example will also assist with your search ranking and make your company name synonymous with Facebook, especially valuable if this is also your brand/product/service.

Much as you would add your current job to your Facebook Profile if you were an employee, you also have the facility to add your Business Name to your Profile with a link to your Business Page (please note that this will not link your Facebook Profile and Page, merely show where you work). 

# 19. Analyse Your Page’s Activity

Once you have 30 Likes, you will be able to view Facebook Insights, which provide in-depth analysis on every one of your Business Page posts to see how many people your post reached how many engaged with it and how many talked about it with their Friends. You can also compare your different posts by showing the percentage of people who talked about your post to their Friends after seeing it. You can also export a report of your Facebook Insights to a spreadsheet and email it.

As defined by Facebook, “Insights provides Facebook Business Page owners…with metrics around their content. By understanding and analysing trends within user growth and demographics, consumption of content, and creation of content, Business Page owners…are better equipped to improve their business with Facebook.”

Ultimately, Facebook Insights provide a platform for something you should really be checking anyway – what content is resonating the most with people, be it particular status updates you post, links to Blog Posts or your latest Newsletter or something else so that you can tailor your messaging for maximum impact.

Are you in the Facebook Profile or Facebook Business Page camp?  What other advantages or disadvantages have you encountered with both? I’d love to hear your experiences!

Click here if you missed Part 3 of Business No-Brainers: Why You Should Use A Facebook Business Page Not Your Facebook Profile!

Business No-Brainers: Why You Should Use A Facebook Business Page Not Your Facebook Profile! (Part 3 of 4)

In Part 3 of this four-part blog post I talked about Tagging & Commenting as your Page, Google Search Results, Contests/Competitions, Business Page Admins/Owners, Featured Page Admins/Owners and Featured Likes . So, here goes with Part 3 of my Nineteen Nuggets for your Noggin – the main differences/benefits of a Facebook Business Page over a Personal Profile to showcase a business or brand and why we simply must all have one!

# 12. Tabs & Apps

Newsletter sign up, Twitter feed, e-Shop, website link or iFrame – these are just a few examples of how you can utilise your Business Page Tabs through the use of Third Party Apps, another feature exclusive to Facebook Pages. Not only that, but the majority of these Apps are completely FREE to download and use and, in many instances, customisable to your own business’ needs. You can even set up an Amazon or eBay!

One of the many advantages of these Tabs is that followers can sign up to your Newsletter, view your Twitter feed, purchase your products/services, etc. without ever leaving Facebook.  And, since Facebook’s M.O is naturally to encourage traffic to stay within its own walls, you’re in good hands. I have chosen to utilise one of these Tabs for my Blog (in addition to the website area where it can also be displayed).

Here are some recommended Third Party App providers (which can also be found through your Page’s search box):

  1. Static HTML: frames (my personal favourite because all you need to do is add your URL (web address) and it will build the Tab around it)
  2. My Clever Agency (apps.facebook.com/timelinefangate)
  3. Woobox (https://apps.facebook.com/iframehost-a/) – name your tab whatever you like, fangate your content, upload images, html, or point your Business Page tab to an external site.
  4. Ecwid (https://apps.facebook.com/ecwid-shop/) 

# 13. Advertising & Promotions 

Okay, so they’re not free but Facebook Adverts still wipe the floor with many other (free) and organic techniques for growing your fan base.  I’m not saying other methods aren’t as powerful, far from it, but there’s a reason you pay for Adverts – they REALLY WORK! 

Facebook Adverts appear in a sidebar on the right-hand side of your Timeline (Newsfeed) right before your status bar of friends who are/aren’t online. Whilst an Advert can only be set up by a Page, the beauty of them is that their audience is not restricted to Page fans; they can be used to target your friends too.

Whilst Facebook Adverts are a paid entity and can prove expense if not managed properly, you can control your spend with a budget, start and end date and maximum price per click (if you are going down that route), etc. Facebook offers you the choice of several tiers of advertising to suit your budget and objectives.  You can also manage the Adverts from your Pages’ Admin Panel to track their effectiveness in the same way as Facebook Insights (see # 19.).

Promotions are also a paid entity but work slightly differently to Facebook Adverts in that they appear within your Page Newsfeed so appear more natural and less aggressive or targeted. And, whilst most of us know that by clicking on an advert the person who posted it is paying, this isn’t so obvious or widely known with Promotions. 

# 14. I’m just Checking in! 

The Check-In Tool is another fantastic feature you can utilise to encourage people to engage and interact. It’s also an easy way to provide the social proof that your Business Page is resonating with people and useful to them. In other words, those people who have Liked your Business Page have effectively endorsed your business to their friends. And this kind of social proof is an integral driver of a consumer’s buying decisions.

Of course, this does rely on you having a physical location so if you are a work from home digital marketer it may not be the most useful feature but still worth knowing about and something else that is not available on a Facebook Profile!

# 15. Notes 

This vastly under- utilised and valued yet fully interactive Facebook Tool can be used almost like a Blog and as another platform through which to further expand on your Products, Services or Brand. Notes are similar to Blog posts in that you can add or edit content and also avoid the 420 character restriction of a status update.

Fans can even Like and comment on your Notes and equally any Notes within which your Business Page has been tagged or commented on is accessible by you. They can even interact with other Fans about your Business Page which not only increases your Page’s exposure but also provides you with the opportunity to increase traffic to your Blog and your industry authority and credibility.

You can add comments, photos and images, tag other Fanpages, and even format the style and layout of Notes, i.e. use bold, italics, or underline, numbering, bullet points and quote blocks.

Why are they important? Well, Google will index your Notes if you have properly optimised them and increase the probability of them appearing in a Google search, which of course means an additional stream of traffic for your Business or Brand.

Several years ago you could also use the Notes feature as a bonafide blogging platform but this seems to have been buried by the updated Newsfeed. There are rumours however that Facebook will revive the blogging functionality of Notes so watch this space for developments!

Do you use the Facebook Notes tool – if so, what for?

Are you in the Facebook Profile or Facebook Business Page camp?  What other advantages or disadvantages have you encountered with both? I’d love to hear your experiences!

Click here if you missed Part 2 of Business No-Brainers: Why You Should Use A Facebook Business Page Not Your Facebook Profile!

Business No-Brainers: Why You Should Use A Facebook Business Page Not Your Facebook Profile! (Part 2 of 4)

In Part 1 of this four-part blog post I talked about a Personal vs. Private Profile, It’s Not About You! and your Brand Newsfeed. So, here goes with Part 2 of my Nineteen Nuggets for your Noggin – the main differences/benefits of a Facebook Business Page over a Personal Profile to showcase a business or brand and why we simply must all have one!

#5. Tagging & Commenting As Your Page

Isn’t it great when your friends and family Tag you in photos you didn’t know you were in or at a location you were both at? All well and good but imagine if your Facebook Business Page name could only be Tagged or commented on by them – it would be a very limited audience, right?

Well it’s a good job that this isn’t the case – another highly advantageous feature is that in addition to those who Like your Page, any Business Page owner can Tag/comment on your Business Page which opens it right out to a viral audience. And of course, each time they do this, you are maximising the number of Newsfeeds your Business Page name appears in and ultimately not how many Fans see it but also their own Fans too which offers rich pickings in terms of engagement and new fans.

#6. The Sky’s The Limit!

Did you know that a Facebook Profile is limited to 5,000 friends? Not that I know anybody with that number and if I did, I’m pretty sure they’d be too thinly spread to ever spend any time with yours truly!

A Facebook Business Page is a different story with no limit to the number of Likes it can receive. Whilst 5,000 friends on a Facebook Profile might be met with scorns of derision about its authenticity, if you’ve got 5,000 or more Likes on your Business Page you’re going to be held in pretty high regard. But why stop there?!

#7. Google Search Results

Whilst it is key that your online activity focuses on driving traffic back to your website, Social Media is the lifeblood of your overall online presence. Facebook Pages are indexed by Google which means that they are optimised for search engines. So the more active you are the more visible your business will be in a search resulting in an increased online presence and active and prolific impression on Social Media.

#8. And The Winner Is….

Who doesn’t love a freebie?! Contests/Competitions are a great way to build engagement with your followers/Fans and also incentivise other people to Like your Business Page and share your content, making them an instant ambassador for your Brand or business.

They are, in my humble opinion, one of the most fun and creative Facebook Business Page features and something else that a Facebook Profile cannot offer. The main reason for this is that they are generally only available via Apps or Advertising which Profiles do not offer the software for and, in the case of Apps, generally only installable to Facebook Tabs (see # 12.), another exclusive Business Page feature.

Contests are a really effective way of incentivising people to share your Business Page or content and grow your Likes. Enough said?

#9. Featured Likes

This enables you to showcase the pages of other brands/businesses that you Like – providing not only an insight into your brand/business and its interests but also to showcase the Pages of those businesses you have Liked which should also encourage reciprocity by those businesses.

Simply clicking on the ‘Like Pages’ link on the left-hand side of your screen allows you to choose from a list of Pages under various categories, including Brands & Products and Companies & Organisations. Of course, businesses similar to you or those whom you have an affiliation or association with, such as complementary services, trusted suppliers and so on, are always going to have maximum impact.

#10. Business Page Owners

As with the content management system of a website, an Administrator of a Business Page can delegate administration rights to other Facebook account holders with a tier of different permission levels, which as well as allowing you to work smarter and free up your own time to focus on other areas of your business, provides an additional level of security because you don’t have to give them the username/password for your own Facebook account.

#11. Featured Business Page Owners

You can also make anybody who is already an Administrator of your Business Page a Featured Administrator/Business Page Owner. This will simply associate them with the Business Page by displaying their Facebook Profile Picture in the About section of your Business Page and also state that they are a Business Page Owner on their Facebook Profile. For my own business, the benefit of this is to allow people to see who the people in the business are, in the same way as the About Business Page of a website does.

Are you in the Facebook Profile or Facebook Business Page camp? What other advantages or disadvantages have you encountered with both? I’d love to hear your experiences!

Click here if you missed Part 1 of Business No-Brainers: Why You Should Use A Facebook Business Page Not Your Facebook Profile!

Ding Dong the Social Media Manager is Dead (?)

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According to Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report, more than 50% of consumers now use Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media tools such as to contact companies with questions or complaints. Yet, according to Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, the Social Media jobs market has undergone a marked decline behind which the slowdown ‘in Social Media managers is a sea change in the way that Social Media itself is used within organisations’.

The paradox however is that integrating Social Media in the workplace is hampered by a skills shortage. Social Media as a phenomenon and marketing skill hasn’t been around long enough for that. In other words, the demand for Social Media managers is there but as part of another role for which there aren’t yet many candidates. Companies more and more are expecting job applicants to already possess the skills, perhaps because of a misconception of how Social Media is and/or should be used for business. Whilst I have always been an advocate of the premise that websites are about a business and Social Media gives you an insight into the people behind the business, there’s a big difference between being a regular user of Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends, and using language and vocabulary effectively to communicate your business’ marketing messages and brand awareness through a Facebook Business Page, for example.

“The notion of a single person who spends their entire day on Twitter creating hashtags is dead”, says GigaOM. Being social is “part of everyone’s jot, or soon will be”. So much so that it could almost be seen as the people’s platform in that Twitter, Facebook and the like are no longer the almost exclusive domain of online pundits, rather they are gradually becoming everybody’s responsibility.

One could argue the positives of this, in that it means organisations are finally seeing the integral role Social Media plays in an organisation’s overarching communications and marketing strategy rather than an obligatory annoyance that gets in the way of the day job but which they either haven’t got the funds to finance somebody else’s management of or they lack the time and inclination and instead offer a lacklustre and ill-thought out series of messages and communication to their followers. In fact, a recent Harvard Business Review survey revealed that just 12% of companies using Social Media felt that they actually use it effectively *.

This is why, if are considering your business’ Social Media in-house, is to source the right training provider. And it may not be as simple as just hiring a specialist who is ‘good at Social Media’ or seeing one or more of your employees on a workshops in how to use Social media, but perhaps thinking about engaging with a niche specialist. Somebody who say, specialises in Social Media for accountants or solicitors if that’s what your business is, who has the testimonials and the case studies to back up this specialism. Using Social Media does not equate to using it well.

This can however be attributed to what I like to term the problem with Social Media being Social Media. In that it is an umbrella term many feel is not attributable to their line of work, i.e. the words Social Media are for them not synonymous with business. People like to put labels on things and perhaps a rethink of the job description ‘Social Media manager’ is also now necessary to ensure that whilst the role itself remains of paramount importance and vital to many businesses, it does not become obsolete or extinct because the terminology has got lost in translation.

Katherine Hanson is Owner & Managing Director of Soci@lite who provide Social Media Management & Training solutions for businesses.

Business No-Brainers: Why You Should Use A Facebook Business Page Not Your Facebook Profile! (Part 1 of 4)

I was compelled to write this four-part blog post after meeting so many business owners who have not yet realised the benefits of a Business Page for their brand, products or services and are, in my opinion, really missing a trick. And then there are those who either misunderstand the separate entity concept of a Facebook Business Page or mistakenly think that it gives people a portal to their private lives online. I have even met business owners who to my dismay have set up multiple Facebook accounts with separate log-ins – so much unnecessary work for them.

In the process of writing, this has grown from an initial Blog Post to a four-part series of Posts because I just kept thinking of more compelling reasons for using a Business Page rather than a Facebook Profile. So, here goes with Part 1 of my Nineteen Nuggets for your Noggin – the main differences/benefits of a Facebook Business Page over a Personal Profile to showcase a business or brand and why we simply must all have one!

# 1.Personal vs. Private

A Facebook Profile and Business Page are (nearly) mutually exclusive and lead very separate lives providing you always remember to post updates as your Page. Whilst there is a limit to what is ‘public’ on your Facebook Profile unless somebody is friends with you, if you are still concerned about the distinction, it doesn’t do any harm to lock down the settings even further if you wish to – Facebook gives you the flexibility and control to do this.

On the flip side, putting yourself in the shoes of your family and friends, they probably don’t want to see an update on your business every time they log in to Facebook same as you wouldn’t want to read about a friend’s job every time you did. Of course, if they have chosen to Like your Business Page then it’s a different story but keeping the two separate in the first place gives everybody the option and upholds an individual’s preferences.

Thereafter you have one universal log-in and there is no limit to the number of Pages you can create and administer.

# 2.It’s Not About You!

There is nothing more frustrating than clicking on a Facebook icon on a website for it to then take you to somebody’s Facebook Profile. This looks amateurish and as if you don’t have a handle on how to use Facebook for business. I have lost count of the number of times this has happened to me and when it does, rather than taking the time to find out if there is in fact a separate Page, I simply turn off and close the webpage.

I am not personally in the habit of sending friend requests to people I don’t know, but say in this instance I did? So, I’ve landed on a Facebook Profile by clicking on the Facebook follow button on a website and sent a friend request. This has now been accepted. BUT I still don’t receive business updates, but rather the photos, comments, friend updates, etc. of not only the person in question but their friends as well who I equally don’t know from Adam.  Have I made my point?

# 3.Brand Newsfeed

A Page Newsfeed or Timeline is the equivalent of your Email Marketing on Facebook and underpins your success in reaching and engaging with people. Think of it as a person’s inbox to which you deliver your entire Business Page related news, i.e. a Newsletter to which Fans have subscribed to. With the added bonus of a far lower unsubscribe rate, no reliance on subscribers forwarding it to their friends (albeit with an incentive for doing so built in), it is far less time-consuming to keep up to date and a sentence or two is all it takes for you to potentially obtain new Fans and increased exposure.

But let’s also not forget the reverse, because what you read from others in your own Page Newsfeed will not only provide a wealth of inspiration and material for your own content ideas but also provide further opportunities for you to comment on the posts of others and be seen by their Fan/Friends.

The bottom line is that without your Page Newsfeed, you wouldn’t be seen or noticed on Facebook – it really does embody the Domino Effect!

In essence, your Page Newsfeed equals increased exposure for your business/brand, invaluable insights into what you are saying most resonates with people but also provides ample opportunities for conversations with new audiences.

Just make sure that you are using Facebook as your Business Page in order to comment/post on the Business Pages of others.

Are you in the Facebook Profile or Facebook Business Page camp?  What other advantages or disadvantages have you encountered with both? I’d love to hear your experiences!

Social Media: a Free Lunch or the Thief of Time?

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You wouldn’t do your own books if maths isn’t your strong point or design your own website if you barely know your way around Microsoft Office, so why would you even attempt to manage all of your Social Media? And, as a business owner, you invariably lack the time and inclination anyway, right?

If you’re going to commit to Social Media then you need to truly commit because infrequent participation will not work; the immediacy of Social Media also dictates that your content should never really be more than three to five days old.

Yet, that Social Media is free remains one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding this form of marketing. The platform(s) you use might be but your messaging is not. Even if you are looking after all of your marketing internally the cost is still there in the form of your precious time. And, the more invested your business becomes in its Social Media presence, the more resources and time you need to devote.

Whether you outsource to a Social Media Manager or use somebody internal, the reality is that as a business you need a dedicated person to push all of these efforts. Regardless of how much time your business is spending on Social Media, make every moment count so that it doesn’t become the thief of your time.

5 Social Media What Not To Dos

These days, it can be hard not to feel bombarded by Social Media, what with 900 million active users on Facebook and 200 million plus on Twitter. The majority of the small business owners I train or work with certainly feels a heightened sense of obligation and urgency to navigate the Social Media landscape. But, in the rush to, they invariably end up making critical and costly mistakes for their businesses. Check out these five common mistakes and Soci@lite’s suggestions for how to avoid them:

1.  The Best Things Online Aren’t Free 

Social Media does not cost anything other than in time and effort. It’s free to join Facebook, create a Twitter profile or set up a blog – fantastic news for small businesses, right? Not once you factor in the constant commitment that Social Media demands, from updating your channels with fresh content to engaging with your followers and industry peers, not to mention keeping tab on your competitors.

Potentially, it could be taking you or a member of your staff (if you’re doing well enough to have one) as much as ten hours a week to manage all of your Social Media accounts – you do the maths! Consider outsourcing your monthly Social Media activity to somebody with the time, the tools and the inclination.

2.  Don’t Compare or Compete with the Giants

If you’re running a small business, the hard earned money you’ve allocated for your own marketing budget is merely a drop in the Atlantic for the likes of Coca Cola and Starbucks and there is little if anything you can do to change this. The good news however, is that your business doesn’t need to even attempt to keep up with the big brands, particularly when it comes to contests and campaigns.

Whilst incentivisation via giveaways and competitions is one of the most effective ways to generate new likes and improve overall engagement, small businesses should not feel pressurised to offer flashy prizes that are well beyond their budget. Instead, consider giving away one of your services or a free e-Book instead of a free iPad. This may not the sexiest prize and is unlikely to generate universal interest amongst your potential followers, but whoever does participate is already a captive audience, enthusiastic ambassador for your business and a potential client.

3.  Value of Exchange versus Hard Sell 

images (7)  This is perhaps the most difficult lesson for the small business owner to learn and take on board without a large marketing budget to spend. Whilst it is a marketing channel, Social Media requires an altogether subtler approach, in other words no Buy Me Now buttons or blatant promotional copy.

If your Social Media strategy is purely about marketing or sales then you need to rethink it NOW. Whilst it holds true that you can increase your sales figures from Social Media, this should not be your focus 100% of the time. As a general rule of thumb, only 5% to 10% of your status updates, Tweets, etc. should be selling.

Social Media is all about building relationships and growing trust, from answering questions to providing helpful information, to acting as a trusted resource and an industry authority. These are the activities which will grow your bottom line in the long run, albeit it in a slower fashion.

4.  It’s Not About You! 

Other business owners often comment to me that they don’t want to put what they had for dinner on Twitter. And my response to this is always the same – you wouldn’t walk up to somebody at a networking event and tell them what you had for dinner last night or what you watched on TV, so why do it online?!  And there’s nothing more irksome than being on the receiving end either. We’ve all been stuck at an event or dinner party with the self-absorbed person who talks at not to you and only about themselves to boot.

To be liked online, you’ve got to be a good listener, genuinely interested in what others have to say, gracious about constructive criticism and not dominate the conversation. Ask questions and encourage participation and comments, engage (within reason) with everybody who posts on your wall and share great content of others in your industry, in fact anything that you think will resonate with others or be interest or use to them.

Put simply, the same etiquette you employ offline applies online – don’t do or say anything you wouldn’t in person and you will be fine.

5.  Quality not Quantity 

Linkbaiting imageThere will always be some new up and coming network threatening claiming to be the next Facebook or Twitter and unless Social Media IS your business, you will never be able to keep up with it, but guess what? Nor should you.

Doing Social Media well does not mean being anywhere and everywhere. Instead, it’s about choosing one or two of the most relevant and effective channels for reaching your customers and focusing on them.

It is better to have no Social Media presence at all (although highly unadvisable!) than a neglected account as this will reflect badly on your business and, rightly or wrongly, result in a perception.  And let’s face it; online more than anywhere else, perception is everything.

Again, if you don’t have the time and resources to actively manage and participate on your Social Media channels, consider outsourcing your monthly activity to somebody with the time, the tools and the inclination.

I hope that you have found this article useful – please feel free to leave me comments or questions. In closing, it’s important to remember that the business principle of 50 years ago still ring as true today – doing business with those that know like and trust you will make you money, Social Media is merely the platform. Keep these principles in mind when planning your Social Media activity and you will be a guru before you know it!