Category Archives: - How to Use Facebook

20 Ways to Improve Your Facebook Reach

The goal of every  Page Owner is to get people to read their posts.  But the sad fact is that people only read a certain amount of their newsfeed, and the competition for space in the newsfeed is becoming limited. So how can you improve your Facebook reach in the new social media climate?

You have probably heard that Facebook’s newsfeed has had a new algorithm, that directly reduces the organic Reach of your Pages. With all the changes you may notice a decline in the number of people who actually see your posts. For example, even if you have 1,000 fans, it’s possible that only 10 to 12 of them are actually seeing your Page posts.

Don’t despair. There are ways to improve your reach, many of which don’t involve paid advertising. In this blog, we’ll look at what Facebook Reach is, how it’s changed over the last few years and ways you can improve your Facebook Reach.

Facebook reach Continue reading

Facebook for Business: some Practical Hints and Tips

Thank you to Louella Schooley and Ruth Dutton from Chirp Communications Limited www.chirpcomm.co.uk for sharing some practical tips on using Facebook for Business at the Spring 2014 Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire event in Hertford.

The event covered Facebook for Business in a great deal of detail but here are some of the key findings from the talk:  

A FEW FACEBOOK STATISTICS:

  • 1 in every 13 people on the earth use Facebook
  • 23% check their newsfeed five times a day
  • Women tend to be more frequent users than men
  • Older people are using Facebook more than younger people
  • The average user has 130 “friends”
  • 77% of B2C companies have acquired customers from Facebook
  • 20% of internet page views come from Facebook
  • The average person “likes” 40 brands

Social-Media-Girl-Like

FOLLOWERS VERSUS FRIENDS?

  • Business users have “followers” who like their brand page
  • These are known as “friends” on personal Facebook pages

 

RECENT FEATURE CHANGES ON FACEBOOK

Back in December 2013, the Facebook algorithm was changed, and it continues to be tweaked throughout the first part of 2014. This algorithm decides which content appears on a person’s newsfeed.

Brand posts used to appear regularly on a follower’s newsfeed. Now, only a small percentage of your followers “see” your posts. If a particular post receives a high volume of engagement (likes, comments, shares) then a higher percentage of your followers will get to see it.  The only way to guarantee that the majority of your followers see your post is to pay to promote it.

In short, it’s harder to share your content for free on Facebook and if you are a small, local business, with limited time and resources, you need to seriously consider whether Facebook is the correct marketing channel for you…

 IF YOU DECIDE TO CONTINUE WITH FACEBOOK, WHAT TONE SHOULD YOU USE AND WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD YOU SHARE?

  • Social media is like a dinner party. It’s a friendly, chatty and co-operative kind of environment, so create conversations and engage with your followers.
  • Your style should reflect your business. Are you formal, professional, funky, personal? Your posts should mirror your brand personality.
  • Don’t be afraid to use other people’s content: link to the content and share blogs etc but always credit the source
  • Much more likely to engage followers if you use an image and keep the length of a post less than 250 characters, or less than 80 characters for maximum impact
  • Pictures of cats, babies and weddings really do encourage engagement, but if you’re using your site for business you must have a reason to post these kinds of images e.g. “Funny Friday”.
  • Use a call to action in posts: ask for a response, ask for comments and instruct people to share. Calls to action increase interaction by 23%

PLANNING YOUR FACEBOOK AND SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY

  • Take time to consider what it is that you want to get from Facebook and your other social media platforms. You may want to increase followers; to run competitions; to increase sales or to engage with existing customers. Whatever you decide, you need to commit to your goal and always post content designed to support your goal
  • Be consistent across all of our communications channels.
  • Put together a month by month spreadsheet with topics and images, ready for future use and post regularly. Some sources believe that you need to post up to 8 times a day to get enough engagement to ensure your followers see your posts for free.
  • Use themes, events, seasonal activities (e.g. Easter) or special occasions and use images to support them
  • You can schedule your posts when in Facebook itself (once you have written a post, click the clock in the bottom left corner to schedule a time)
  • Best times to schedule posts are morning for Facebook and evening for twitter but vary your posting times to see when your audience in online – it will be different for each business.  If you’re marketing to mums, between 4.30-7pm is a difficult time.
  • Always respond if someone takes the time to comment or share your posts and try and do this in a timely fashion

LET OTHERS KNOW YOU ARE ON FACEBOOK!

  • Add the Facebook logo to your marketing collateral
  • Ask people to follow you on Facebook and to interact with you
  • Include calls to actions in your Facebook posts

 chirp logo+strap

Louella and Ruth are also available for one-to-one consultations where they will help you create a bespoke social media plan. They also specialise in marketing and employee communications and are experienced copy writers ready to write flyers, website text, brochures and press releases. 

Unsurprisingly they have a Facebook and Twitter account, so feel free to visit and find out more about how they can help you.

@ChirpComm  www.facebook.com/ChirpCommunications

 

The next event I am now organising is the first Motivating Mum Conference which is on Wednesday 14th May 2014, between 10am and 2pm, in East Hertfordshire. I am very pleased to be organising this event.

Debbie from Motivating Mum UK will be one of the conference speakers, talking about how to develop a social media strategy and there are several other speakers and a good amount of networking time too. Debbie and I hope to see some of you there!

http://motivatingmum.co.uk/events-and-workshops/motivating-mum-conference-2014

Tweet, link and post your way to social media and business success

Some practical hints and tips from a Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire workshop 

Thank you to Liza Armstrong, resident Business Advisor at the ‘My Incubator’ in Ware, www.myincubator.co.uk for sharing these tips with the women able to attend this final pre-Christmas event on the 20th November 2013 in Bishop’s Stortford.

Social Media

 

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How Can Social Media Impact Your Business?

The way consumers interact and buy products or services from businesses has changed drastically in recent years. We no longer rely upon the drivel spouted out by corporate robots via direct mail, television adverts, flyers and telesales to inform us about products, as we’re able to do the research ourselves.

The internet has completely revolutionised advertising and marketing campaigns, with a real focus on social media. No doubt you’ve heard of Facebook and Twitter, they’re mentioned everywhere these days – TV shows, small businesses, customer service departments, bloggers – they’re not just used by teenagers communicating in text speak – LOL.

It’s not just Facebook and Twitter that are important for businesses though, social media spans a whole host of websites and platforms, including Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Vine and Foursquare.

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Social media influences buying behaviour
If you’re a small or home-based business looking to increase brand recognition, social media is a great way to go. Here are a few statistics from industry leaders that should give you an idea of just how much it can impact your business.

  • -More than 15 million consumers go to social media channels before making purchase decisions
  • -74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide purchase decisions
  • -79% of consumers like a Facebook company page because it offers discounts and incentives
  • -78% of respondents said that companies’ social media posts impact their purchases
  • -44% of social media savvy women said their trusted/favourite blogger influences their purchasing decision

Benefit from increased website traffic
My Favourite Voucher Codes has experienced the positive impact of social media first hand. This relatively small indie website gives away 20% of all net profits to charity, with a different recipient each month and visitors can choose which charity benefits in a poll on the home page.

When the charities get involved through their social media channels, My Favourite Voucher Codes benefits from a huge surge in website traffic and votes in the poll. Just last month, the deafblind charity, SENSE tweeted about their chance to win the donation and received overwhelming support from their followers. In this case, social media didn’t just benefit the company in question, but also helped raise hundreds of pounds for a good cause.

Stay up to date
If you’re looking to get started on social media, or update those profiles you created months ago, keep a couple of things in mind: listen and engage. If you have a social profile, your customers will expect it to be updated with useful content – not a load of bumph about how amazing your company is.

Remember that social media will brand your business – this can be negative as well as positive, so it’s important to only create accounts that you can realistically manage. If you don’t update your contact details or reply back to customers, you could soon be labelled as lazy and inconsiderate.

However, by listening to consumers and engaging with them, you should start to see the benefits social media can have, such as improvement in website traffic and sales.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Using Social Media for your Business

Practical tips and suggestions from a business mum speaker at a Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire networking event

The first spring event was held on the 1st May at the Waterlounge in Bishops Stortford, where around 15 women (and some little ones) were able to meet up, network,  listen and chat to Tanya Filer about her experience of setting up her own social media business, www.socialcirclemedia.co.uk, alongside family life.

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There was a great deal of discussion and tips to be shared on using social media to benefit your business, and it definitely could have gone on for longer had there been time!

 

HOW TANYA STARTED UP HER SOCIAL MEDIA BUSINESS

Tanya started using facebook around nine years for her personal use, twitter and LinkedIn around five years ago (and then other types of social media as they have become available) and absolutely loves using them. Having gained a huge social media knowledge base she took on a bet from a construction firm that she could make a huge difference to their business by developing and running a social media campaign for them, and she was so successful in doing this that what started as a hobby, changed very quickly into a business about a year ago. Tanya gave up her day job of working as a financial assistant, and the demand and business has just continued to grow.

TOP SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS SHARED AND DISCUSSED DURING THE EVENT

Tanya was happy to offer some tips on using social media for business and to answer specific questions during the morning. Here are some of the main ones that came up, focusing on facebook and some on twitter:

Facebook

1) A Fan page and a business page are the same thing

2) You have to have a personal facebook page to then set up a business one, and with a business one you must have a postcode and address to include on the page (and it is against facebook guidelines to operate a business group from your personal page)

3) Once you get to 25 likes on your business page you can set up a vanity facebook address (go into edit on the facebook page to do this)

4) Keep one facebook business page even if you have two businesses (just clearly mark the different businesses out on your page)

5) To get more facebook likes – search through discussion groups (such as Netmums, Mumsnet or Motivating Mum forum), make comments, offer suggestions etc, without being blatant about your business

6) People buy from people – when on any of the facebook groups, help by offering suggestions, answering queries etc and then sending a private inbox message if you think you can offer them something specific through your business to help them

7) Best times of day to post: facebook – 8 to 9 am and 5 to 7 pm (leave out school run times if targeting mums) and for LinkedIn – stick to between 9am-5pm on week days only

8) You can schedule facebook postings for set times via facebook itself (there is a clock icon on the page) or another option is to use sprout social (they offer you the chance to have a trial of this)

9) How many postings a day? No more than 3 postings a day on facebook, and no more than once every 4 hours

10) See if bloggers will be happy to blog about your business (offer to send some items free of charge in exchange for a review) Stephanie at Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire did a review recently with a gift company who asked for a review in exchange for free products, and this was then posted out via Motivating Mum groups and sites.  Motivating Mum is very happy to receive samples of products for review or giveaway (or preferably both)  - contact [email protected] for more details of this.

 

Twitter

11) You can put people into lists to manage twitter news feeds (but be careful what you name your lists, as those people you put into lists will get a notification that you have done it!)

12) Retweet other stories about products/topics linked to your business to boost your follower numbers [viralpullquote ]Retweet other stories about products/topics linked to your business to boost your follower numbers[/viralpullquote] and follow a wide range of twitter accounts linked to your business

13) Unfollowing – it is fine to unfollow after a while (they won’t know and it means you can manage your twitter feeds to only receive the most relevant ones)

 

Hungry for more?

 

Tanya can offer 30 minute or 1 hour tutorials if this is needed for specific help.

 

FREE BUSINESS RESOURCES

During the discussion these free resources were mentioned, which may be of interest:

www.enterprisequest.com – tips, ideas and know-how for small and home business owners

Better Business Magazine – a free copy is available by sending an email to [email protected] with ‘EQ magazine offer’ as the subject and you just need to include your name and address (Stephanie has a free copy and it is very relevant)

 

Thank you to Tanya for so many useful tips and suggestions based on her extensive experience, it generated a lot of discussion and some great ideas to take away!

 

JUNE EVENTS FOR MOTIVATING MUM EAST HERTFORDSHIRE

There are two events coming up in June, being organised, motivated and focused for summer (19 June, Bishop’s Stortford) and a workshop on: your website, IT security and internet marketing (27 June, Ware) Do check out the events pages at www.motivatingmum.co.uk to find out more!

“Make The Most” with Givers Gain Marketing!

For small businesses, marketing budgets are tight. Many ‘toy’ with the idea of running give aways to attract new customers but find themselves asking… ‘Does it really work? Will I get enough new business to cover the cost of my give away?’

Over the years I have run lots of give aways and I can give you some Top Tips for running a successful Give Away from the experience I have gained. Continue reading

Tweet, Link and post your way to Business Success

A few snippets from a Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire workshop

Going around the full table at the Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire workshop in Bishop’s Stortford on the 10th October, a number  of business mums were using social media a little for their business but had not really had the time to focus on it, but everyone felt they wanted to take advantage of it in the most appropriate way for their business. Everyone was therefore very keen to find out more!

The workshop was led by Liza Armstrong, resident Business Advisor at the ‘My Incubator’ in Ware, www.wenta.co.uk . With nine years of experience advising businesses, Liza was previously a Business Link Advisor in London helping business owners achieve business growth, and she is also the owner of a small business providing vintage china hire and tea party styling.

The workshop focused on three social media platforms: Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, but also included Pinterest (you may want to take a look at a new and compact book called: The Ultimate Guide to marketing your business with Pinterest) and mentioned several others (and the list just seems to be growing…)

KEY BENEFITS OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR YOUR BUSINESS

  • Marketing and advertising
  • Networking
  • Dialogue with customers
  • Resource planning, documentation and project management
  • Cheaper than traditional methods

BUT – “It won’t happen overnight…you should think of your engagements on social media like a courtship

(Phil Jones, UK Sales and Marketing Director, Brother)

AND DON’T push for sales – use it to engage with your customers


LinkedIn

  • Launched in 2003, over 4 million UK members
  • Geared towards businesses making new business contacts
  • Particularly relevant if providing business to business services
  • Offers the ability to connect with individuals and groups, learn and share and show you are plugged into current technology
  • Key tip – invest in a professional head and shoulders photo
  • Customise your Public Profile URL and add it to your email signature and business card


Twitter

  • 100 million active users and more searches each month than on Yahoo or Bing (from 52 cool facts about Social Media)
  • Offers real time communication, and positions your business as ‘up-to-date’
  • You can keep ahead of the latest news
  • You follow individuals or organisations that have an interest in you (so you will receive their tweets – and a tweet is an update using no more than 140 characters)
  • Establish what you want to get out of Twitter and observe for a while before tweeting yourself
  • Learn the Twitter ‘Lingo’ and the etiquette and download the ‘Smarta Twitter Ebook’ (www.smarta.com)

Facebook

  • Launched in 2004, 900 million active users, the bulk of whom are mid 20’s to mid 30’s
  • Opportunity to create a Facebook Business Page (once you have an individual profile)
  • Opportunity to run a Facebook Group
  • Opportunity to place advertisements
  • Need to compel NOT sell
  • It is quality not quantity!


NEED MORE HELP?

www.wenta.co.uk/social-media-for-business

www.businesslink.gov.uk

www.smarta.com

Thank you to Liza for a very informative workshop, which generated lots of discussion and subsequent action! There will definitely be a further workshop on Social Media (along with other workshop topics) – so watch this space!

The next Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire event is the  pre-Christmas gift selling / browsing and networking event on the 7th November in Bishop’s Stortford, which is already well booked up so it should be really good.

After that, I am looking forward to putting the programme of events together for the winter term, and beyond.

Thank you to everyone who is supporting this group and I look forward to seeing it continue to develop and grow to support as many mums in business in this area as possible.

How to use Facebook: Networked Blogs

I’m still very much a newbie at this blogging thing.  When I took over Motivating Mum in September last year, I had a personal facebook account (and had mastered Bejeweled Blitz and Farmville) but not much else. I did once have a try at blogging a couple of years ago but I soon realised that writing the blog is only the smallest part of it – promoting it and getting it out there is what matters.  I was rubbish at that, and soon gave up.

This is why Motivating Mum has been such an opportunity for me.  An established website and brand all nicely set up and ready to go, with a ready audience, and some fairly clear instructions from the previous incumbent about how to go about promoting it. Get on facebook. Get on twitter. Blog weekly.

So I’ve been doing that – although it hasn’t exactly been with a sense of purpose as yet.  People tell me I can write and yet I feel I still need to discover my true blogging voice and get a sense for what my blog is really ‘about’.

One of the best ways to go about this research, and indeed one of the best ways to promote my own blog while I’m about it, is to go visiting other people’s blogs, commenting where I can, and also taking notes of cool things that make their blog interesting and different.

It was on one of these blog visiting missions that I first came across Networked Blogs. I was aware of Google Friend Connect – I have it on my own site – and this widget seemed to be just another version of that. I clicked it to follow the blog I was on and found to my delight that it is so much more than that.

Like I said above, I’m still a complete newbie, and the fact that having never heard of the site before, I was able to connect my blog to my facebook page and twitter stream within minutes, shows how simple it really is.  Having got my own blog set up nicely on facebook I was further delighted to find out how easy it is to visit other mummy blogs from within the Networked blogs application.

Fast forward a few months and I’ve found loads more interesting blogs I want to read, and connected to a few of my favourites in a more user-friendly way than the clunky RSS feed. Not only that, but readers for my own blog are pouring in – it seems like the “I like yours and you like mine” etiquette so beloved of twitter, is alive and well here too.

So I can warmly recommend Networked blogs on facebook – give it a go – You can find my blog as a separate tab on my facebook page www.facebook.com/MotivatingMumUK , and with it the link to get on Networked Blogs yourself. This isn’t an affiliate link, it’s just that since Facebook mixed things up again, I’m not sure where else you can get hold of the app. But do please stop by and have a look at my blog on your way through – I promise I’ll follow you back…

How to use Facebook for Business – part 1

I saw a statistic the other day that over half of all adults are now on Facebook. It was probably based on the USA, but I guess that figures in the UK are not far off. A significant number of these are now using Facebook for Business.  Not bad for a tool that when I joined it only three or four years ago, I felt a bit embarrassed and thought I was one of the oldest people on there.

So I’m guessing, if you are the kind of person who has found Motivating Mum and is reading my blog page, that you probably have your own personal Facebook account. Maybe you keep in touch with friends – maybe you post photos and look at other people’s- maybe you share interesting stuff on the web. Maybe you play online games to pass the time (I have recently kicked a fairly serious FarmVille and Bejeweled Blitz habit that was threatening to take over my life).

But although most of us are old hands now at the personal stuff, many small business owners have yet to discover the joys of Facebook as a business tool. Quite a few people that I’ve met at Motivating Mum networking events say they just haven’t got round to it yet, or they just don’t know where to start.

It doesn’t help that Facebook changes the formats round and moves the goalposts every few months, so that even if you find out from a friend what to do, by the time you get to doing your own page it all looks completely different and could confuse the heck out of anyone.

I will freely admit that my Facebook page has been the most neglected of my social marketing efforts to date. I have focussed big time on twitter and had huge success there (more on that another month I think). I set up my Facebook page, and thanks to the wonders of Hootsuite, and Networked blogs (which I will cover in other posts if you haven’t got them yet),  it is now just about a carbon copy of my twitter stream, with my blog added in for good measure.

However, I’m well aware that Facebook can be so much more. There are all kinds of apps out there to make your Facebook page really stand out and attract people to your business. Also there is just so much scope for connecting with people, getting to know them and hanging out, which has got to be good for business. I promised myself that once I had time, I would get over there, tidy up my page and make it the best that it can be.

The time for my Facebook cleanup has come. For the next month I’m going to be really concentrating on my Facebook page, cleaning it up, getting to know the users and finding a lot of other peoples sites to like and share information from.

I wil keep you posted about what I’m doing on this blog, and on the site itself, and I also intend to blog about the basics – setting the page up in the first place and what you can use it for.

So if you want to come with me and find out about Facebook in the next month or so, please hop over to the Motivating Mum Facebook page and press Like. Once you have done that, watch your own Facebook stream, as these blog posts should appear in it each time I write them.

Please join in too with my discussions, polls and competitions, and don’t be afraid to post up your own page details too. I’ll follow/like anyone who stops and says hello!