Do you get confused when posting on social media. Are you unsure where, when and what to post. Follow these simple tips to make it all a lot easier.
Where to post
Before blindly following the crowd and using the same social media channels as everyone else, stop and think. Which channels are going to work best for YOUR business?
Who is your ideal client and where do they hang out?
Firstly, you need to be clear on who is your ideal client. You need to know who they are, what their
interests are and where they go online to ask questions and find answers to their
problems. When you know this, you will
have a better understanding of where they hang out online.
Facebook is still currently the biggest social media platform
but that doesn’t mean it is the best for your business. If you have a B2B business you could be
better placed using LinkedIn.
If your business is highly visual Pinterest or Instagram could
be the place to hang out.
Instagram has rapidly gained popularity particularly with a
younger audience, but still has to catch on with the older generation. Therefore, if you are looking to gain elderly
clients for arthritic massage sessions, Instagram may not be the best place to
spend your time.
One or two channels can be better than the whole caboodle
To avoid overwhelm, don’t go trying to post on every social
media channel going. It will simply
become too time consuming and confusing.
Choose two channels and become really good at these rather than spreading
yourself too thinly.
When to post
When planning when to post take into consideration what time
zone your ideal client is in and when are they most likely to be active online.
If your target audience is young mums,
they are unlikely to be online when it’s the early morning school run or pick
up. You may be better posting when they
have put the kids to be and are settling down in the evening.
What to post
You want to create a mix of posts both in type and content,
but to attract your ideal client you need to posting what they want to hear
Get social yourself.
Join groups where your ideal client hangs out. What questions are they asking? What are the hot topics? What frustrations are they talking
about? Use this information to create
posts that help solve their problems or give tips to help them towards gaining
solutions for their problems.
Listen to the words and phrases that your ideal clients are
using. Replicate these words in your
posts. If you hear people complaining
and asking for tips on how to get their child to sleep through nightmares,
start your post off with ‘top tip to help your child sleep through a nightmare’. Keep it simple and don’t get so creative with
your words that you lose your target audience.
Look at the interaction within these groups and also watch your competitors. What type of posts get the most response? Is it quotes, pictures, questions or top tips? Replicate these types of posts on your own chosen channel.
P.S. Would you like help planning your social media to help increase your reach to gain more clients and make more money? Join my member’s club for a step-by-step guide. You’ll love it and start to get the results you want. Find out more here.
Why are your Facebook likes getting less and less
Have you noticed your reach on Facebook is getting less and less?
You are coming up with what you think are fabulously creative posts and yet still there the comments and likes are so intermittent as to be non-existent?
Well, here is the reason why.
Firstly, one of the simplest reasons may be the huge increase in the number of people using the platform. This means that you are now trying to gain attention from a far larger pot than you were a couple of years ago. More and pages are being created on a daily basis so you really need to make sure that you know who your ideal client is and post things that are going to captivate your audience.
But the other reason that has cropped up relatively recently is that Facebook surveyed hundreds of thousands of people and the overwhelming response was that they didn’t want to see so much promotional content. They wanted to see interesting posts.
Facebook is rewarding quality, not quantity
Therefore, Facebook decided to reward those that created quality content that their audience really wanted to hear about rather than the constant promotions and gimmicks that are so frequently posted.
Facebook is less and less likely to show overly promotional posts that use calls to action and push for sales, to enter competitions etc.
Facebook will seek out those posts that gain interactions such as likes, shares and comments which show they are quality, relevant posts and they will help these posts to reach a wider audience.
Overall, the Facebook algorithm is rewarding those pages who post less and focus on quality rather than those which post numerous times each day that is not of much interest to the audience.
Too many people trying to widen their reach when it drops by posting more often (up to 10 times per day), but this is simply going to work against you.
To increase your reach, you need to make sure you write your posts for what your target audience wants to hear and read. Stop trying to sell so much and concentrate more on giving value and starting to build trust and relationships.
You can still promote your business of course but use your language carefully.
Rather than saying ‘click the link to buy’ try something along the lines of ‘there is something amazing awaiting you on the other side – go check it out’. Do you see the difference?
A few other tips include:
Schedule posts from Facebook rather than a third party software
Some people believe that third party apps, such as scheduling posts from HootSuite, Buffer or similar, will affect reach.
I have tried to get conclusive answers to this but there is so much conflicting information out there. If your reach is significantly dropping and you use third party apps, it may be worth trialing using Facebook’s own scheduler for a while and seeing if it makes any difference. (Do let me know the results in the comments box).
Upload videos directly to Facebook, not via YouTube links
There is numerous research that Facebook favour videos that are uploaded directly to its site rather than via links from YouTube. According to a study by Loren Baker of Search Engine Journal, they discovered that on average, native videos reach 2.04 times more people, receive 2.38 times more likes, 2.67 times more shares, and 7.43 times more comments.
Quite simply, Facebook does not like anything that drives traffic away from its site to an external source. Therefore, any post taking the audience away will simply get less reach.
Don’t overuse links to your website.
Leading on from the point above, Facebook wants to keep people on its site, not to take people away to other platforms. I have seen a few people using a new trick to try and get over this were rather than putting the external link in their main post, they create the post and tell people to look in the comments below for where to go for further information. They then simply put the link as a comment below.
Aim to gain interaction.
Facebook will increase reach to those posts that get likes, comments and even the amount of time someone spends viewing the post.
So how you can encourage this?
People like to feel good, laugh, know the latest gossip and news and be shocked! Think how you can use this in your posts. Use motivational posts, let them in on something funny that has happened in your day, give them the latest hot off the press news. These can be the type of posts that will gain likes, comments, and shares. Ask simple but fun questions!
Now for a disclaimer. At the time of writing, I believe my research and findings to be correct. But good old Facebook can change its rules and algorithms at any moment so test what works for you best and keep an eye what others are doing that are getting the interaction you so desperately want.
P.S. Want a little help getting a post like? Pop the link in the comments below and I will pop over and take a look and if it’s a good one, may just leave you a like and a comment
P.P.S. Do you get stuck when trying to come up with fresh content to post on social media? Does your mind draw a blank and you get confused as to what to post next? Subscribe now to get immediate access to my simple planner and easily create a whole month’s worth of posts to attract more attention to your business.
Here is a basic list of marketing mediums, both free and paid, that could be useful to your small business. Before you start on any marketing think carefully which are best for your business and which are going to get your marketing message in front of your ideal customers. Don’t just blindly follow the crowd and do something because others are doing it. They may just be throwing their money down the drain or may have a different ideal customer to you.
Free marketing ideas
I want to put a disclaimer here. Whilst I have said the list below is ‘free’ please remember that there is still a cost element due to the amount of time you will take to implement your marketing through these channels.
Most online directories offer a free listing. Research the better ones and get yourself listed
Set up a free blog and post new articles frequently to build up a following of people who may become your future customers
These can be sent by email to your subscribers or posted out to potential customers, again dependent on your business and your ideal customer.
There are so many social media channels to choose from. Start off setting up pages on just a couple of social media sites until you are comfortable with them and don’t become overwhelmed
Ask people to refer customers to you. If you don’t ask you don’t get!
Offer to do a free talk at local events to raise awareness of what you can do for potential clients
Send your details to as many publications as you can think of. You never know who may give you some free publicity
If you have a phone contract and you don’t use all your minutes, take some time to call prospective customers to introduce yourself (don’t cold call though – a big no-no!! You must have a connection with them first and permission to speak)
Attend networking events and turn up everywhere that your target audience hangs out. Remember to take your business cards.
Create an E-book that is branded with your company details. Offer as a free book to draw attention to your business.
Carry out surveys online or in person to find out information about customer buying habits whilst raising awareness of your brand at the same time.
Run a contest or competition where the winner can get a free product or service or a discount on a purchase. Raise awareness of your brand with all entrants.
Direct mail marketing
If done correctly, direct mail can still be a lucrative way of gaining new customers.
Paid for marketing ideas
Print can still work for many businesses and print tends to get read more in-depth than online ads.
Pay per Click/Advertising on complementary websites, social media adverts etc. all form part of online advertising
These can be professionally designed and printed or created from home. Always do a test run on just a few before printing hundreds.
Don’t leave home without them! You never know when, or who, you are going to meet so have them ready to hand out.
Both print and online. You can pay for a banner ad in directories that put your business at the top of the listings ahead of the free ads.
From high-end trade events to setting up a stall at your local village fete.
A website is essential for any business these days. From a low cost ‘free template’ site to a professionally built site, just make sure your site will be able to grow and be changed in line with your business in the future.
This can be expensive but if your business requires it, hiring a professional PR company can get great results and reduce the need for other forms of advertising.
Do you have products that would suit being put into a catalogue? Catalogues can be digital or printed and then mailed to your prospective and existing customers.
Pens, mugs, bags and notepads. In fact, just about anything can be printed on.
Get others to do the marketing for you and then pay them a small fee for each sale they make. There are many affiliate sites online that can help you get set up.
This can be from a single one-off event to sponsoring a team or organisation long term.
Think of where you might get seen by your ideal client. From car stickers to roadside signage to billboards at sporting grounds or on buildings, start to take note of the different signage out there and where yours might fit in.
So there are just a few small business marketing ideas to get you thinking. If you have any to add, pop them in the comments box below.
I was given a challenge recently by my own mentor to do a series of Facebook Live videos to help build my profile. Now, I have done many of these in the past so this didn’t bother me at all but I had forgotten a few simple tricks that can make the process less daunting and far more successful.
And I’m going to share them here with you.
Top Tips How To Do A Successful Facebook Live
PREPARE YOUR CONTENT
Don’t just start recording without at least a few minutes of thought.
What’s your subject going to be about?
Yes, that’s obvious, I hear you say but so many go off track and totally forget what they were supposed to be talking about when caught up in the live moment.
What’s your objective?
Do you want to raise your visibility or gain more subscribers to your mailing list? Or are you using this as a lead into a paid product? Decide this in advance as it will determine your call to action at the end of your Facebook Live recording.
Create your content
- Write into and what you are going to be talking about
- Create a catchy heading to give to the Facebook Live video
- Prepare some bullet points for the main content. You need to be looking at the camera so don’t read off a full script. Just a few simple bullet points will keep you on track.
- Jot down a short, simple and a call to action. Tell viewers what you want them to do next. Do you want them to call you, email you, visit your website or something else?
GAIN PRIOR INTEREST
Post in advance and let followers know what date and time you are going live and what the subject is going to be.
Encourage them to be there live for a special offer (if you have one)
- Microphone turned on
- Wi-Fi connected (if live)
- Battery fully charged on recording equipment or connected to a power source
- Lighting correct. Use natural daylight if possible but beware of shadows across your face or sunlight in your eyes. Buy an anglepoise light with a daylight bulb if you are in a dimly lit room.
- Non-distracting background. Check your background. Keep it simple and uncluttered. You don’t want people being distracted by what’s going on behind you and a busy or messy background will do just that.
- Phone turned off. Don’t forget to turn off the sound on your landline if that is in earshot. (Remember to turn it back on again after!)
- Computer notifications turned off
- Children and animals out of earshot
- Lift your chin and look up to the camera. If you have the camera too low and look down to it viewers will be staring up your nose – not the best view!
- Check your appearance. Do your clothes look ok and your teeth clean. You don’t want spinach from your lunch causing more conversation than what you are talking about. Double check hair and makeup.
- Have your bullet point prompts near to hand
- Keep pen and paper near to hand (make notes of any follow-ups to questions required)
- Have a flash card with your contact details (useful to hold up at the end of the video for people to know how to contact you.
- A glass of water (useful if throat gets dry or for coughing fits)
- Smile – and have fun!
Give housekeeping tips.
Do you want people to ask questions as you go along, or do you want them to wait until you have finished? Tell people watching on replay to post their comments and use the like/love buttons.
Ask for interaction.
Tell people constantly to give you a thumbs up or a heart as you go along. Ask them to give a thumbs up if they understand what you are talking about. Ask them to give you a heart if they love what you are saying.
Be responsive to messages.
Make sure you answer messages. Thank people if they leave a message. Respond quickly if viewers ask questions.
Smile and have fun. People want to see the real you. Don’t worry if it doesn’t all go to plan. Viewers will see that you are human after all and will be able to relate to you so much better.
Keep checking in
Go back and check for any messages. Go back over the next couple of days and check if any new comments or messages have come in. Respond to these.
Share your video
Share your Facebook Live video using the specific link. All you need to do is right click on the video once it is finished and, on your page, and copy the URL. Take this link and share in your blog and newsletters. Get your message out to as many other people as you can.
To get your very own checklist for doing a successful Facebook Live video, visit the freebies section
How an FAQ page can help get you more sales
Do you regularly get asked the same questions over and over again? Set up an FAQ page on your website with answers to the most frequently asked questions and then direct incoming inquiries to this. It will save you a lot of time and effort.
Questions will differ from business to business depending on what your customers or clients ask you.
If you have a brick and mortar shop it may that you need to give directions to your shop or let customers know where the nearest parking is and what it costs. If you have an online business it may be that you need to let clients know about your working hours, the best way to contact you and how to make a booking or cancel an appointment.
To help you get the most out of your FAQ page, use the three top tips below.
Priorise your Q&A’s
You could end up with quite a long list so may sure your prioritse your questions with the most common ones at the top. If the list really is getting out of hand, think about putting questions into sections. A section on location could give both the directions and parking information. A ‘working together’ section could include questions on working hours, terms, and condition, booking, cancelling etc.
When you are giving the answers to the questions listed, make sure you reiterate key benefits to the reader rather than just cold, boring facts. This FAQ section can be a great selling tool where you really overcome any objections a prospect has so make the most of it.
Keep answers short and sweet
Remember to keep your answers short, sweet and to the point. You don’t want to go off on a ramble that leaves the poor reader more confused than when they started. Try and keep answers to just one or two sentences where possible.
Consider using video for answers that need more in-depth explanation. Again, keep it as short and sweet as possible but it can be easier to get a point across clearly in a video than trying to explain it in text.
Keep answers updated
Do make sure you diarise to keep your information updated on a regular basis. You don’t want visitors rocking up to your shop if the nearest car park listed on your site has closed! Yes, it happens!
It can also be a good idea to include a form at the bottom for readers to ask a question that is not listed and if you are sat at your laptop frequently, think about having a live chat box to answer questions in real time.
Do you have an FAQ page on your site already? How about sharing to give us all inspiration? Pop the link in the comments box below.