Category Archives: - How to Use Facebook

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Top 10 Tips for Growing Your Social Media Following

As you know, having plenty of followers on social media is an important indicator of your influence. It’s a good way to get the social proof you need to sell your products, services and ideas. But you don’t want just any followers – you want a lot of targeted followers who are willing to engage with you and answer your calls to action (CTA). After all, the entire point of having followers is to encourage more people to buy your products and services.

 

  1. Share Unique High Quality Content

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While your website should be the home where all your original and curated content lives, it must be promoted. One of the very best ways to do so is via your social media accounts. Sharing relevant content often is one of the surest ways to get more followers. If your content is unique, and high quality, your followers will share it too. Then, due to their sharing your content you’ll end up with even more followers who want to see more of what you have to offer.

  1. Share Your Connections’ High Quality Content

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When you share other people’s content that is relevant to your audience, you not only give your audience more proof of your brilliance and ability to help them find the information they need, you also get the attention of the people whose content you shared. Many times they will take notice and start sharing your high-quality, unique content with their audience. Notice that to do this correctly, you don’t just share anyone’s content. You share only content that is relevant to your audience. Plus, it’s better if you share content from business owners who are not in direct competition with you, but who sell complimentary products and services to yours to the same audience as you.

 

  1. Ask Your Partners, Current Customers, Vendors, Friends & Associates to Follow You

 

3-ask-followYou already have people who have purchased from you, read your blog, and who associate with you on other channels. Ask them to follow you on all the other places you consistently share information. By telling your audience where to find you, and where they can connect with you, you’ll open up more opportunities for them to follow you. Create a special invitation in an email newsletter that you send to each member of your audience, as well as to connections that might not be customers but who may know potential customers.

  1. Set Up Share Buttons, Badges, and More on Your Website

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Grab the code you need to set up the right buttons, badges, and links on your website so that it makes it easy for your audience to find you, follow you, connect with you. Use your contact page to place all the ways to contact you including your social media places as an additional spot to put this information. Don’t forget to add a Facebook “Like” box on any high traffic page sidebar. Don’t forget to add a Twitter badge and any other badge that you can get from your social media accounts to more than one spot on your website and blog. Multiple places help your audience connect with you easier.

 

  1. Use Your Signature Lines and Bios

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Naturally, you should include links to all your social media accounts in each email that you send out. Using your signature line to connect with people is the best way to use a signature line, including on social media networks that allow it. When you’re able to, you should put the links to your social media in any newsletter, direct mail, business cards, and other marketing collateral. You want to make it as easy as possible for your audience to connect with you, follow you, like you, and communicate with you.

  1. Link To Your Social Media

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Whenever you can link to your social media through webinar thank you pages, whitepapers, eBooks, guides, blogs, you should. In addition, ensure that you cross-promote other social media accounts by promoting your Facebook on Twitter, your Twitter on Facebook, and so forth. By cross-prompting social media accounts you make it super easy for your audience to find you, connect with you and engage with you. The more you engage with people, the more followers you’ll get.

  1. Don’t Forget Your CTAs

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Other than creating relevant, unique and frequent content, it’s important to remember to always include a call to action (CTA). Whether that is to “Like” me, “Follow” me, “Answer” me, and so forth, it doesn’t matter. But, what does matters is that you include the CTA in all your emails, thank you pages, blog posts, eBooks, eReports, and more. Every time you communicate with your audience you have a chance to get them to act. Don’t pass them up.

  1. Encourage Membership

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People like to feel as if they belong to a group and that they are somehow special and exclusive. One way to do this is to create content that only followers can access. You can do this in a number of ways, such as requiring a sign in to see all of your content. Give some away free, just enough to pique their interest enough that your audience wants more, then require that they sign in. Or you can let them read all the content but not comment without signing in with one of their social media accounts. By creating content only members can see and/or participate in, you’ll encourage membership.

 

  1. Encourage Fans and Followers to Invite Others

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Ask your current fans to invite others, and incentivize them to do so by offering prizes or other encouragement. Another way to encourage your current fans and followers to invite others is to have campaigns such as asking your customers to make videos or memes about what they love about your product or service and share it with their friends, family, followers and connections, as well as tag you in the process.

 

10 Engage With Others

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Social media is nothing if not a place to interact and engage with others. On every social media account it is imperative that you engage directly with those who speak to you and to actively respond to questions and provide answers to those who ask. In addition, it’s important to comment on and interact with people on their own social media accounts too. Engagement is an essential component in making social media work for you and attracting more followers.

Understanding that social media is an imperative in online marketing today, and that the entire point of social media is to get more audience members (as well as to encourage your audience members to answer your calls to action) is your first step to making social media work for you. Following these top ten tips for growing your social media following will work every single time.

 

These tips and more are covered in my new ebook – Mum’s the Boss Guide to Social Media Management

Top 10 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website from Social Media

When you realise that the entire point of social media is to drive traffic to your website, which should be the centre of your online marketing world, you start to use social media correctly. Social media is not supposed to be the destination of your followers. Instead, social media should only be the beginning of a long relationship that involves sharing, interacting, learning, and engaging.

Use social media to remind followers to visit your website for more information, products and services. Use social media as a way to listen to what your audience wants. Use social media as the method by which you become an important industry expert from whom your audience seeks information. The following tips are used by industry experts, large organisations and businesses alike to drive traffic from social media to their websites. No need to reinvent the wheel, these ten tips work.

1) Become a Thought Leader

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It may seem strange that the more popular you can become off the Internet, the more popular you will be on the Internet and the more people will connect with you, follow you, and then go to your website. Spread yourself around, write for other popular blogs, magazines, and newsletters then cross promote. Accept speaking engagements outside of the Internet but record them, and put them on YouTube.com, embed the recordings or links on your site, and share via social media. Write a book, and use that as your calling card.

2) Create an Interactive Community

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People love to talk to each other about issues that affect them. If you really want to offer a huge benefit to your customers and potential customers, form a community around them. Create a message board that is interactive and generates a lot of visitor activity and participation. Promote the board, which will promote your website – thus garnering not only more traffic the first time you promote the forum, but if it’s active people will also come back again and again.

 

3) Don’t Forget SEO

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Search engine optimisation is a very important component in any online marketing strategy. Optimise for social media by including the right keywords, the right metadata, and including information about images, content, and more, so that you can be found. Remember to focus on both on-page and off-page SEO for best results.

 

4) Engage on Social Media

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You can’t just open a social media account, fill out a profile, start blasting updates and expect any results. Well, at least not the results you want. You need to start with a plan, understand your goals, choose your tactics, and then seek to engage with others on social media to ensure that your plans happen and your goals are met.

 

5) Listen to the Buzz

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A really great way to use social media is to use it to listen to the buzz about your business. But don’t just listen. When you find something about your industry or product in general, or your business in particular, ensure that you respond with the right answers, links, and information so that you can get your message out to participants. If you don’t find any buzz, create it. Make your own groups, start your own discussions, and share, share, share.

 

6) Track, Measure & Adjust

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Find out which types of content get more shares, more comments and more action. Know what your customers want to read. Ask them what they need to know. The more you can track the success of your campaigns the more you can improve. You can actually adjust and improve any campaign in progress if you have the right information.

 

7) Use Strategic Paid Advertisements

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Paid advertisements can be very expensive if you aren’t sure why you’re doing it. When it comes to social media, run an advertisement to get more signups for your newsletter or more likes on your Facebook Page. Then market your products and services to them that way, rather than using the ads as a way to market your product directly. While at first you may not notice much of a change in traffic, you will over time because you’ll have them in your marketing funnel.

8) Use Varied Content on Social Media

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Mix up what type of content you share and add to your social media updates. Use newsworthy content, evergreen content and content in different forms like video, infographics, and text. You want to write a blurb before each share in order to pique the reader’s interest and share high-quality, relevant content on a regular basis.

 

9) Work with Influencers

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There are always going to be “rock stars” in every industry that are well known and who can highly influence your audience. Research who these people are, connect with them, and find ways to engage with them in a way that helps you leverage their audience to spread your message. If you can get an influencer to recommend your products and/or services to others, your traffic will explode.

 

10) Present Content with Strong CTAs

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Never send out any content on social media without a call to action (“CTA”). Your CTA must be varied, and to the point. Don’t beat around the bush. If you want your audience to share your infographic, ask them to. If you want your audience to “like” your post, ask them to. If you want your audience to click through to read the rest of something on a website, ask them to. Finally, if you want them to buy something, ask them to buy it. Tell them the benefits of doing so, and ask them to do it.

It’s clear that social media can be an important avenue to gain more traffic to your website or blog. But, it’s not going to happen automatically. You are going to have to work a little bit more to get the ball rolling. Fortunately, these tried and true tips really do work. By using them you will drive more traffic to your website from social media. Not only that, if you’re clear on your message you’ll drive targeted traffic that is ready to answer your calls to action.

 

These tips and more can be found in my ebook Mum’s the Boss guide to Social Media Management

5 Facebook Gurus you should Follow

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I’ve been doing a lot of work on my Facebook pages just recently.  So many people are complaining that reach is dropping and engagement is dropping and I have been noticing that as much as the next person.

Some of my friends are suggesting that now is the time to get out of facebook and concentrate on marketing elsewhere.  But I’m not sure about that – Facebook is still huge – and some people are still able to harness its power and generate super engagement.

So I think it is just a case of going back to school and studying what the gurus are doing nowadays, and learning some new tricks to deal with the new Facebook algorithm.

So here are 5 of my favourite Facebook gurus to follow: Continue reading

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?

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

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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

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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

 

Continue reading

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.