I’m in a number of Facebook Groups & I’m in there solely to bring in new business. (Look, I’m a Facebook & Business coach, where else would I hang out??) Yes they work, I’ve generated thousands in income over the past years of active use.
Over this time I’ve seen good responses to Recommendation Requests and I’ve seen some doozies and I’ve even been on the receiving end of them. It has become clear that some people are still unsure as to how to make the most use of these posts, so I’m here to help. Here are some hints if you’re going to follow suit and use Facebook Groups to increase your customers.
Read the post CAREFULLY
The number of times I have seen people comment when they’re asked to email or message. Asked for clarification on things that were mentioned in the post. Or that when told that they do NOT want a particular thing, still try and recommend it.
There really is no excuse for not reading the post. I find it annoying and downright rude, with one exception… If you are going to recommend something I’ve mentioned NOT to recommend, you better have a compelling reason.
Not reading the post wastes your time as much as it wastes the poster’s time. What’s worse is that not only does the poster think you don’t follow simple instructions, there’s a fair chance other people reading the post will think the same. It’s not a good look!
Don’t dump and run
Do not drop a link and then leave. Not even on those posts where you leave a link to your page etc and like other people’s.
Other than some pleasantries, let us know why we should like your page, what we would get out of it, what you’re passionate about, or if you have a special offer. Personalise the link.
Here’s the benefit of that, you educate us on your brand & better still, you stand out from all the other businesses that have ‘dumped and ran’.
Ask to take it offline
Do not assume that you can message the person. Ask if you can send them a message with some additional information. There are a number of benefits to this:
- it removes competitors coming in and intervening in the conversation
- you can develop a better rapport
- it respects the original poster, especially if you’re chatting with someone who has a similar issue
- it creates intrigue and you’re likely to have other people asking you to message them.
Tips for responding in Facebook Groups
Develop a set of standard responses. There is a good chance that you will come across the same issue more than once. Use it as a template & refine the responses based on the comments in the tread.
Use a calendar. Have a calendar listing of the business/promotional days for groups and post on those days. When you have a history of being seen as being helpful, more people will pay attention to everything you say.
Be helpful without expectation. Don’t expect financial reward from helping in groups. Know that people will watch you and they will search you out and hire you, even if you have never helped them directly. (There are always group stalkers)
Facebook Groups are incredible resources and should be treated as such. You will get out more than what you put in, if done the right way.
I’ve seen a number of posts in Facebook Groups by business owners needing help with their Facebook Ads.
There is a lot of information out there about which buttons to click and how to run the ad, but they miss the things businesses need to have set straight before they even open up the Ads platform.
What is the aim of your ad?
It seems strange to even have to write this, but a number of business owners run ads – because they want more business.
Ok so what does more business look like? Is it more bookings right now, is it more likes, is it getting people on your list to market to in the future?
Having a clear intention for the ad will help you decide what type of ad to run, where to run it to, what language to use, and what image to use.
Have this set and you’re off to a good start.
Who is the ad for?
Who is the target for the ad? What will they get out of the ad? What do they need to do? What problem do you solve for them?
Too often, businesses get caught up in running the ad to grow their business that they overlook that they need to attract a person to fulfil the aim of the ad (like, enter a competition, attend an event, buy a product).
The things you need to consider are:
- what is their gender
- how old are they
- what kind of things do they do
- what problem are you solving
- how will they feel after it’s solved.
You need to answer each of these things and address them in the image and text of the ad. There’s not much point putting up a photo of a Mum & child if you’re trying to reach a single 20-year old male. The audience needs to be able to identify with the person or scene of the picture and with the problem and feelings the solution gives. While the physical targeting of the ad helps, it’s the image and/or the text which will stop them scrolling and have them clicking.
Speaking of clicking, the more you make them do and the further you remove them from Facebook, the more people you will use. This is why the vast majority of my client ads are to Facebook Messenger. We are comfortable with Messenger and it keeps us within the Facebook App. If you redirect someone to a website, then you need to make sure that your website continues to build on the points above and makes it clear, right up front, what they have to do.
When you decide what they have to do. TELL THEM. While it might be glaringly obvious to you, we are busy and generally distracted as we scroll through Facebook, so making it clear that they need to ‘click here to download’, ‘message us to book’ means that you’re more likely to get someone doing them what you tell them to do, rather than them wondering what the point of the whole thing is. Yes you have to spell it out like they’re 5. (but don’t be condescending).
So you know why you’re running the ad & who it’s for, why they want it and how to get it… now what?
The secret to targeting a Facebook Ad.
I have heard and read so many people wasting so much money on split testing age & gender on an ad when they don’t need to.
You know you’re target audience? No? Here’s a tip then on who is likely to want your product… head over to this tab on your Facebook Page.
Your Facebook Page insights tells you the people who are attracted to your page. Providing you haven’t bought likes and your page isn’t just full of sympathy likes from friends and family, it will tell you who is likely to want your stuff.
So this picture is taken from my page and if I’m running an ad, I target women aged 30-50. Most of my fans are female and most sit in this age range. Your business is no different and has these statistics. So use them. So you know, I’ve run ads to men & women in that age range & it’s still women who respond. Oddly enough, I have a number of male business owners that I work with. I just don’t attract them as clients through my ads.
Now, you can go deeper into targeting your ads, but this one tip saves you a lot of time in testing your ad. Use it as a starting point and start with fewer test groups, if you still want to split test, but you’ll be ahead from the get go.
The vast majority of Facebook Page owners say that the number one reason they don’t post on their page is: they don’t have time. Let’s face it, that’s not a massive surprise as we a generally time poor. The thing is, at the same time I’m being told that you’re time poor, you’re also telling me that you know that your customers are on Facebook & that your products/services sell there. What to do?
More time for Facebook?
I would love to say that I can magically add hours to your day. Thing is, even if I could would you really use them for putting content on your Facebook Page?
I’ve spoken previously about the mindset shift I made about time & how I have benefited from it. I’ve also mentioned in a number of places that I have recently started using a weekly planner and again reaped the rewards.
So while I haven’t actually added hours to my day, I’m making better use of my time.
Oh and I forgot to say that one of the benefits of these two things has been actually working fewer hours. Yes, I’m one of those people who have increased their client base while working fewer hours. It’s ok, I’m not living the laptop lifestyle of a multi-millionaire and I won’t sell you my $19 book on how to do it. (Hats off to you if you are/do, keep it up!)
But back to getting more time for Facebook…
There are two parts to this problem:
Not having time to post on Facebook when you want to
Not having the time to think about what to post on Facebook
These are two separate issues and generally we think that time is the root cause.
It’s not! The thing is that you know that it works when you do it, you just need to find a different way. A better way!
Not having time to post on Facebook when you want to.
Ok, so I admit that I used to do a lot of my social media scheduling late at night after the family went to bed. It wasn’t good & I was exhausted. In fact, I was wiped by the time I got to the weekend. So burning the candle at both ends is not an option.
You now know about my mindset work and the weekly planner, so you can give that a go. It’s funny once we become more accountable of and for our time, the more we respect it and are more mindful we are with its use. It’s the same way as when we are watching our pennies.
What else is there?
I actually encourage people to make a date in their diary for scheduling social media. It has to be non-negotiable. Promoting what you do is part of what you do. You are the best source of information out there about your product or service & that makes you best placed to promote it. It has to become a habit, just like brushing your teeth and over time it will become second nature.
Mine is a whole day of working on my business rather than in it. (Except invoicing, that’s daily) You don’t have to dedicate a whole day, most businesses will get it done in an hour or two. (With these tips)
Use the Facebook Scheduling Tools available
If you are always doing your social media on the hop, you will always feel as though you are caught on the hop. Scheduling social media during these set times has a number of benefits:
You know that you will be putting something out there
You will be regularly showing up
You will be able to develop a social media campaign or strategy for growth
Ad-hoc posting is the enemy of organised Facebook strategy. It’s hard to be strategic when you have to have something delivered “right now or else”.
The best way to schedule posts on Facebook is using their scheduler. They like to keep stuff in house and do give you preference in the Facebook Algorithm for it. (Sad but true, sometimes you just have to play their games).
You can choose to use one of the many social media scheduling tools on the market. The advantage these have over the Facebook Scheduler is: ability to post the same thing to multiple profiles from one spot, RSS feeds, automated rescheduling of posts…
It’s going to be a personal choice which way you go. Some of the scheduling tools are free & others aren’t. Regardless, the Facebook scheduler gives the best results as you can leverage any shared content from within Facebook, thanks Algorithm, or a third-party scheduler has some additional benefits for your content that you might prefer.
Not having time to think about the content to post to Facebook
Each quarter I have an aim/goal for the coming months. I ensure that the work that I do aligns with these goals.
For example, I ran a Facebook Live Challenge and in the lead up to that, I wrote and promoted content around video & live streaming as well as Facebook. A consistent message helps reinforce your message and assists in establishing your position as a leader on the topic.
Speaking of Facebook, I save A LOT of articles. There are a number of pages that I like which are relevant to my audience, so if I see a post I think my audience will like it then I save them.
Watch this video on how I repurpose them.
When I get stuck, I use my scheduling tool (Buffer) and the RSS feed I’ve set up with relevant websites. I will periodically go through that and schedule relevant content from there. The issue with this is unless you have an RSS for your site, you will be promoting other sites. Not a bad thing to mix it up but worth considering.
Some scheduling software integrate with content finding software. For example, Buffer can import posts (automatically) from Quuu and Upflow where I’ve told them a list of suitable topics and they find them and post them for me through my Buffer schedule.
I admit, I syndicate a lot of my posts. What do I mean? I will post on Instagram and it will go from there to Facebook, everything I post on Facebook goes to Twitter. I do this through Zaps in Zapier. It’s cloud-based software that you tell to repost from one profile to another. Another similar service is IFTTT. Using these services means that I get ‘many birds with one stone’. That saves me A LOT of time.
The other tool I use is Missinglettr. This is what is called splintering software. What it does is take little snippets of my blog posts, turns them into quotes & images, & shares these over a 12 month period. Each blog post is split into 9 posts, I get to review all of the posts, make any changes, and then approve them for publication over the next 12 months. It is very set and forget and I love that.
So how do you get time to post on Facebook?
Be accountable for your time. Treat it like the precious resource it is. It is finite remember!
Make the most of your time. If I have a few minutes, I will scroll through my Facebook Feed and save posts to share later, or I will share posts as I see them. I also have my scheduler app on my phone, so I can schedule posts while I do school pick up, waiting at sport, or any random 5 spare minutes.
Schedule your time. Make the use of schedulers, Facebook or otherwise. These tools will save you time as you can schedule a bulk load of posts in one sitting. (Chunking like work is a known time saver) That means that you no longer have that constant harping feeling of WHAT DO I POST TODAY???
Be consistent. Be consistent in centring your content around a goal. Be consistent with your posting to maximise the Facebook Algorithm. Be consistent in dedicating some regular time to finding and scheduling your content.
“Kara! How do I get more likes comments or shares on my Facebook?” This is one of the most commonly asked questions I receive. Essentially, how do I increase Facebook engagement? Most people ask about Facebook engagement because that’s where they hang out. On occasion I’m asked about Instagram engagement and that’s generally the same answer. (And it’s not, I don’t know)
My usual response to wanting increased engagement is the following:
People want to be educated, entertained, or inspired. Do that and ask for the engagement.
Sadly, most businesses are still in the ‘buy my shit’, ‘we are so great’, ‘share and win’ mentality. Now, I maintain that part of that is not knowing any different and part of it is old school marketing in new school technology. The thing is that some business owners are looking for more information on how to improve and they are following, reading, and studying – which is great – but it generally leads to more of the same.
So what have I done differently about engaging social media content?
Anyone who knows me well will know I’ve looked at some research. That’s my thing. I want to know the why behind things. And of course, it’s some psychological research because – PEOPLE.
I will keep coming back to that point again and again.
Social media is a tool to PEOPLE use to connect.
Sadly, I feel businesses are lost in the technology and have lost sight of the people actually using the technology.
So let’s start with the people and how they see brand content
The information in this article is taken from research by Ashley & Tuten (2015) and their analysis of previous research and study of the top 100 branded companies according to Interbrand’s Best Global Brand survey.
The research looked at why consumers use social media. By and large, we use social media to build ‘social capital’, feel better, and communicate to meet our need to be sociable. The team go on to say that our need to communicate falls into 3 categories: around a topic, around a relationship, and around ourselves. Studies have shown that on Facebook, consumers use Facebook to ‘consciously portray images about themselves’.
The other thing that they discovered was that when a ‘consumer’s knowledge about a brand increases (through social media) so does the emotional attachment to the brand’ and this is regardless to the type of content a brand posts on social media.
However, they mention that engagement is dependent on the consumer’s needs, motives & goals. Their engagement is important as consumers are not on social media just to absorb information, they’re also there to be educated, entertained, or inspired. Unfortunately, brands suffer if the consumer believes that the relationship is one-sided or if it does something that does not match how the consumer sees them and the brand’s identity.
What makes good engaging content?
Consumers can engage with content which falls into one of five categories: values, resources, time/geography, impact, and their goal for engagement (what they want out of a brand). Most of the time, content delivered by brands is ‘form’ or what the service or product is.
Researchers found that consumer values driven content works best for emotionally driven purchases and for consumers who do not, currently, have a strong relationship with the brand. This content could also be considered as image-driven, where brands meet the desired image of their consumers. This matches where I say that customers use social media to be inspired and relies on a deep understanding of customer values.
This emotional content was also found to be more likely to give an emotional reaction. In Facebook, that would mean that this content would be more likely to receive a Reaction (like, laugh, heart etc) rather than a comment or a share.
On the other end, researchers have found that ‘cognitive engagement’ and ‘functional’ posts, the responses which take a bit more thinking, are related to logical or problem-focused situations and will have a greater impact on consumers who have a closer and more interactive relationship with a brand.
It was interesting to read that consumers were more tolerant of advertising that appeared in games online than they were to ads which appeared on social media. For businesses using the Facebook Ads platform, my suggestion is to include ‘Audience Network’ when setting the placement for the ad.
When looking at the research around Facebook, researchers found that there were only 3 post types which truly drove engagement: image, exclusivity, and incentive. Based on the information above, it means that businesses need to have more posts that align with the values and image the consumer wants to portray on Facebook, that they value exclusivity and they want to receive some incentive to engage on Facebook. The researchers point out that this matches the overall culture of Facebook with our sanitised profiles, desire to have something someone else doesn’t/be the first, and ‘share to win’. A word of warning, remember that it needs balance and that consumers are put off if they feel the relationship is one sided; for example you will lose them if all you post is ‘share to win’, not to mention that you’ll attract people who want freebies.
As stated earlier, researchers found that the functional posts are the most common on social media. They found that these were also the least effective and had no impact on a brand’s social media performance. The most effective posts for engagement were ‘entertainment’ style content.
What does it mean for businesses wanting engaging content?
What this research boils down to is:
Of the three reasons I’ve identified for consumer social media use, entertainment and then inspiration are the most effective post types to drive engagement. Informative posts receive the least engagement.
When developing the inspirational (image driven) posts, businesses need to address and align themselves with their consumer’s values to ensure engagement.
I would add a third point, specific to Facebook, when looking to increase your engagement on Facebook businesses need to consider and leverage the Facebook Algorithm as this is what drives what content a consumer actually sees in their Newsfeed and then use the above-mentioned content tips to write the engaging content.
Click on the image below to download my checklist for engaged Facebook Posts.
There is a buzz around Facebook Groups about the roll out of the Facebook Explore feature and how it will kill organic reach in the Facebook Algorithm. If you haven't heard what the buzz is all about you can read Facebook's overview here.
What is Facebook Explore?
The thing is that Facebook Explore, at time of writing, is actually two separate things!
The one that people are all up in arms about is that Facebook Explore will take page posts and put it in a separate feed to friends and family posts. This is just a TEST! It is a test in a set of 6 developing countries and is NOT guaranteed to be rolled out.
How do I know this? Well other than the fact that Facebook say it, I've experienced something similar.
I am a Facebook Beta Tester, that means that I will generally have a different version (a test version) to the general Facebook User. In fact, at the start of 2016 I tested a categorised news feed where personal posts and pages were separated.
This is what I saw when I went to post on my personal profile. The ability to categorise my posts. The posts then appeared in tabs that were located across the bottom of the screen (unfortunately I don't have a screenshot of this). Here's the thing, there was still a Newsfeed and these categorised tabs also included posts from relevant Pages that I hadn't liked.
Now as a Beta Tester, I am encouraged to provide feedback and I told Facebook that although I didn't like the Categorised tabs, I did like having new (and relevant) Pages shown to me. So you can sort of blame me if you like.
What does this mean for the Facebook Explore rollout?
Facebook have said that you will still have your normal Newsfeed of friends, groups, and pages - all mixed in together. You will ALSO have a tab where you will see the posts of relevant pages the Algorithm believes you would like to 'Like'.
Quote taken from Facebook's announcement 23/10/17
That's it, no segregation of page and friend. Just an opportunity to add to those pages we like (as if we need that help).
What does Facebook Explore mean for the Facebook Algorithm?
Yes, they need to change the Algorithm. No, no one but Facebook truly knows what's in it. They have to change the Algorithm purely to populate the Explore tab. It's that simple. There's no one person or team of people in Facebook physically moving Pages into your Explore tab and another for me. It's controlled by AN algorithm.
Does Facebook Explore mean the death of Organic Facebook Page Reach?
Honestly no one can say, other than Facebook. Here's my take on it as a specialist on Organic Facebook.
Boring posts and pages kill organic Facebook Reach.
The Facebook Algorithm, as broadly understood by the community is a function of how many people like, comment or share a post, how often you do it, how often your friends do it, and how close you are to your friends. (In the main)
So what is at the core of the Algorithm? People's reaction to the content YOU publish. So if your content is not relevant to them, doesn't engage them, then they are not going to react to it and so it will not trigger the Facebook Algorithm. It's not the Algorithm hiding your content, it's your inability to engage your audience.
I know that sounds harsh, but when you think critically about how we understand the Algorithm and what drives it, you come to this conclusion that it's a human reaction to what they see.
So how do you achieve good Organic Reach and be seen on Facebook Explore?
At the core, you need to understand your target audience and you need to explain to them, up front, how you solve their problems and how you can relate to them. We are, at our core, hard-wired for these connections and to solve problems.
This is where I bring in my qualifications in Psychology, over a decade of developing user-centric online content, and seven years of successful Facebook Page ownership and management.
I always bring it back to understanding your target audience and targeting them.
What this comes down to is businesses knowing that they need to be on Facebook but forgetting that it's merely the medium, they are the ones who have to deliver the content which drives a Facebook user to action.
Many times I'm asked how to grow a Facebook Page, often I refer people back to my Facebook Page and my Facebook Profile. There are a number of things you can do just on Facebook before you start a Facebook page to grow your business. The good thing is that all but one of them is totally free!
Link your business to your personal Facebook profile
I understand that some people don’t want to do this for privacy reasons, if this isn’t you then read on.
The reason you want to do this is for those Facebook Stalkers, in a nice way, who check you out based on friends, interactions in a group, networking events etc. This helps point them in the direction of where they can do business with you.
You can link to your Facebook Page in a few locations. You can add it to your Workplace as you can see here in my Facebook profile:
Or you can add it as a link in your About Overview, like I’ve done in my Facebook Profile
Your Facebook cover picture
While you can get in trouble with Facebook for linking to a page or group from your Facebook cover photo, you can add it as a comment. Make sure you use the proper Facebook Cover picture size or the main information telling people why they want to use your business and where to find your business will be lost.
I understand that some might feel that they’re spamming their Facebook friends, but the thing is that they already like, know, & trust you and these are some of the biggest hurdles in making a sale. So what do you post on Facebook? Well the easiest thing is sharing a post from your Facebook page, but you can do more. Some great Facebook post ideas I’ve used are:
Ask a question
Survey an issue
Share a win
All of these things are the types of things we like to post to Facebook any way and so there’s no reason why you can’t make them related to your business. Friends love to help.
Before you stress, I’m not talking about your own Facebook Group, though I have written about it in the past. I want to talk to you about being a member of other Facebook Groups. The key in these strategies, with all of the groups on Facebook, is to ensure you’re hanging out where your ideal client hangs out. If your not sure which Facebook groups to join then ask your friends, ask your page, ask your clients – they’ll give you some direction.
Be of use in Facebook groups
There is nothing worse in a Facebook Group chat than someone who comes in, drops a link, and leaves. Be of use without any expectation of anything in return. Offer advice and only link to your business if invited. This is where having your business linked in your Facebook Profile comes into its own.
Make note of the facebook group rules on promotion days
Many Facebook group rules have set days for promotions. Stick to those days and promote. Once again, don’t just drop your link and run. Explain to the group members how they will benefit from the item you’ve linked.
Become a Sponsor
Some Facebook Group rules set particular days and times for group sponsors. You’ll still need to make sure that your post is of benefit to the group. Don’t worry, you don’t have to make them all specials posts either, look at it as an opportunity to educate and build a relationship with your clients through that group on Facebook.
So there are many ways to grow your business on Facebook without necessarily relying on your Facebook page. These methods build relationships which is where all long lasting business relationships begin.
There’s a belief out there in Facebook Page Land that paying for ads is enough for your business & Facebook Business Page because it puts your business in front of your audience and that’s all that matters. Well, I’d like to give a little insight into why this isn’t necessarily the best policy for your business.
Facebook Algorithm & your Facebook Page
This one is for those of you out there who like to boost posts. If you’ve ever wondered why one boost will work one time and then not another – read on.
Facebook Boosted Posts work on boosting it to the chosen Audience. The key term here is ‘boost’. Unlike an Ad, it’s not going out cold – Facebook will Boost it dependant on the popularity of the post and your Page. Here’s how it works.
If you Boost a post based on a suggestion by Facebook, it has looked at the existing or predicted popularity of the post and they have decided that your chosen audience would like to see that sort of post. So they will help you to get it seen, by boosting it out to a wider audience. Consider it like a sling shot, you’ve pulled it back so far with the comments, likes, & shares on the post before you boosted and Facebook says that it can get you that little bit further and they help you draw the slingshot back further so the post takes off and goes a longer distance.
If you boost a post because that’s the information you want to send to a wider audience then the Facebook Algorithm will look at how popular your other posts are and decide if the audience it will send it to will like it. Think of it as being back in school and waiting to be chosen on a sports team; the less popular you were the less likely you were to be chosen early on.
The thing you need to consider about Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts is that the intention is to go out to people who may not know your business exists. I don’t know about you but I generally do some background digging on a business before I buy from them. And I do that digging on Facebook.
So, there is a good chance that the people seeing your Facebook Ad will in turn go to your Facebook Page to read some reviews, look at the type of information you post, learn a bit about your business; generally try to work out if you’re the type of business they’d want to do business with.
So what happens when they look at your page and the last review is from 2 years ago, you haven’t posted in the last 3 months or you don’t post regularly? What impression does that give someone? And before you say ‘that you’re busy’, while this might be the case does it make them feel that you have time for them if you don’t have 5 minutes to show them what you’re up to?
No to your Facebook Ad offer
So they said ‘no’ to your Facebook Ad, just remember that that isn’t a ‘NEVER’. Running a Facebook Ad is just increasing your chances of a particular product or service being seen by a particular person at that particular time. What happens if they didn’t want that ‘thing’ in your ad, does that mean you’ve failed? What if they aren’t in a position to purchase from you at that time, do you run the ad forever?
The benefit of running a Facebook Page with relevant, engaging, and varying content is that your customers can see that and it gives you opportunities to educate them through your offers and about you and your business. There is a double benefit to this, you educate the person who saw your initial ad but didn’t want to buy then, and you have information for the person checking out your page the next time you run an ad.
Now before you run for the hills screaming that you don’t have enough time to post everyday on Facebook, you don’t have to. In fact, you could post every other week and still achieve these outcomes. You just need to be consistent. If you’d like to know more about what to post, then you can download these 6 keys to posting on Facebook, and I will teach you the what, when etc on running a vibrant and engaging Facebook Page.
I really get tired of having to argue the point against the common belief that organic Facebook doesn’t exist and it’s all too hard, but I suppose while people keep messing up there is still a need. You can get good results without Facebook ads. The role of Facebook ads (including boosted posts) is to push your Facebook Page out to an audience, guess what, organic Facebook does the exact same thing. Let me show you.
Here are three lots of insights, none of these Facebook Pages have run ads in the past four weeks, one hasn’t run an ad in over a year. One has 571 fans, another 1617, and the third has 9 614 fans.
Just so you know, these organic Facebook results aren’t freakish once offs and they were all from the same day.
I manage all three pages. One page has about 50% bought fans. Two of the pages run entirely on posts scheduled outside of the native Facebook scheduler. One page runs a mixture of native and external scheduling.
One of them is on the Business Manager platform, one is my page, one I have been managing since October 2016, and one I have managed for four weeks.
I understand why Facebook Page owners get frustrated with Facebook. They spend hours and hours trying to get results and get nothing. They spend hundreds or thousands on Facebook Ads only to feel that they have to continue running them so that their regular posts get seen.
In fact, the two clients here were skeptical to start with. One, also a business coaching client, was so time poor they just handed over their Facebook knowing that I couldn’t do any worse. The other page had just finished up with another social media manager and didn’t think they could get any better. Talk about a hard audience!
But see, that’s the key, the audience. One of the things Facebook Page owners say to me is that they are overwhelmed by the information and advice out there. They don’t feel that they understand the technology and so they don’t think they will be any good. Well, they’re going to prove themselves right if they keep thinking like that.
What Facebook Page owners don’t realise is that the Facebook Algorithm is all about behaviours; how many of our friends liked it, how likely we are likely to like it, how often we interact with a Facebook Page; it’s about what we do and not the technology we use to do it. So why are they so worried about not understanding the technology? Shouldn’t they be more concerned about not understanding their client?!
That’s it though. The message Facebook Page owners are receiving is that organic Facebook is all about the technology, but it’s not. Behind that technology is a number of consultant Psychologists and Neuroscientists working out how your customer is reacting, how you’re reacting, and what that means about what you choose to like, share, or comment on. It’s about people.
Now the problem with most of the organic Facebook advice out there is that they believe what they read and they make it about the technology. Why? Because that’s popular, that gets clicks, and it’s easier to understand and explain how something works rather than why something works. Understanding people is a complex task, that’s why Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Neuroscientists study for so long.
So it’s no wonder you’re not getting anywhere with your organic Facebook, you’ve been fed the wrong end of the stick. But when you stop to think about it, it all makes sense:
You’re trying to get a person to like, comment, share, message, buy. So why are you not concentrating on the person first?
If this sounds all too familiar, then I have developed this ebook on how I achieved these results. Use it to help put your clients front and centre and watch your organic Facebook, your Facebook Page, and business, grow. Join my Facebook Group where I provide more insights into the world of client behaviour, social media, & growing your business. Keep watch on my Facebook Page for the next round of my Organic Facebook Course. And finally, book a consult with me where I can zero right in on and address your specific issues.
And if you were wondering, the pages happen to be in order (left > right) in increasing Fan numbers and mine is the one on the left.
The most common reason business owners come to me is because they know their social media should be working, but it isn’t and they need help. Over the years I have realised that there are some business fundamentals which apply to social media. To be honest, that really isn’t that surprising as marketing on social media is really an extension of any marketing program and in the end, it’s still a person you’re trying to influence – regardless of platform.
I think that’s key and it tends to be forgotten in the hoopla we are presented with having a business social media presence. Too much emphasis is placed on the technology and tools and not enough is placed on the people. The people are actually the most important part of this whole online effort. You want people to part with their time, effort, or money and not a piece of technology. I feel that business owners, trying to navigate this minefield alone, are distracted by the technology circus and I am determined to break through that.
I want to take you back to some fundamental business principles so that you can use these as the basis of how you work online. I have to admit, when I start feeling like I am losing my way, the numbers aren’t going where they should, I bring myself back to a few key points and things turn around. They always do.
So what are the four pillars you need for social media success?
Right person, right place, right time, right thing
These four pillars may look familiar. That’s because they are tried and tested business principles. They are not new school, they are not grounded in technology, they are focused clearly on your customer. That’s where you need to be. The problem I see with concentrating on the technology is that you are navel gazing, you are focusing on your business and not on the person you need most to grow your business. So let’s get started.
You might think I have got this wrong, but remember it’s a person you are trying to influence and so they need to be the first thing you consider. But what is it that you need to know?
The most important piece of information you need to know is: are they the decision maker in the purchasing decision
You need to know if, at the end of the day, they are the one who approves the purchase. Once you know this you can then look at the remaining pillars.
No point being in the local paper if it just lays on the driveway. Same as there is no point being on one social media platform when your clients are elsewhere. But how do you know where they are? The simplest question is to ask them when they are purchasing from you. Ask which social media platforms they use. The next thing is research.
So while most of my enquiries come about Facebook Pages, there is one consistent error businesses are making, time. You see, most business owners post on Facebook when they have a few minutes at work. It’s convenient for them, they’re online so why not post! Wrong! Most of your clients are at work and then most of them will only have access to social media on their phone.
So when is the right time to post? Like being in the right place, you will know from the statistics (insights) and interaction you get on your social media. Still not sure, then have a look at these statistics.
So, when are you posting on social media? Are you posting in the evening or first thing in the morning? If you’re not, then I strongly suggest you do this for a week or two.
Now I am not advocating the ‘buy my shit’ approach to marketing. Ramming stuff down a consumer’s throat just isn’t the way.
Now you’ve got your business in front of them now is not the time to go backwards and make it all about you. You still need to make it all about them. This is where you need to understand their psychology, this is where your client avatar comes in, this is where (to be honest) it gets hard because you need to make it all about what they want/need/feel/believe.
How do you find that out? Ask them (see a trend?), look at their reviews/feedback, and do some profiling. This step should take you some time and it is likely to shift as your business grows and you experience a range of clients and you learn who you prefer. That’s good if it does. Now I don’t expect you to go alone on this step and I am happy to review and advise what you have.
Congratulations, you now have a solid plan on who, where, when, & what you are marketing to on your social media. Keep asking questions, of them, your business, download my latest Facebook Plan on growing your Facebook Page, and of course you can join me in some one on one work or we can brainstorm in my Facebook Group with a group of switched on business owners who are reaping the benefit of an engaged and profitable social media presence.
In this analysis of the Sensis report into how Australians use the Internet & Social Media, I will be focusing on social media and how customers use social media for purchasing decisions. While it’s important to know when we are online to work out when we need to post on social media, it’s the behaviours which drive purchasing decisions which interest businesses. This post is to be read with the previous article and can be compared with the previous year.
When and where do Australians use Social Media?
92 % of Australians access social media at home. When we are at home, Australians are most likely to check their social media in the lounge room and then the bedroom. This is no great surprise when you look at when we are most likely to check social media.
Australians are most likely to check social media in the evening (71%), first thing in the morning (57%), and at lunch or in breaks (equally 47%). So it’s no great surprise that our lounge and bed rooms are our most popular location. This also matches the likelihood that we are using smartphones to access social media. (Note: the 65+ age group are most likely to use a laptop)
Below is the chart of when we check our social media by age and by decreasing popularity
What you can see in this table is a good indication of when you should be posting on social media depending on your target age group. Unfortunately, may businesses are still posting outside of these hours because they do not schedule their posts.
Why Australians use Social Media for purchase decisions
Firstly, only 18% of Australians use social media to follow brands and of them it’s most likely to be the 30-39 & 50-64 year olds who do. Now that does not mean you don’t need social media; that means that you shouldn’t worry about low follower numbers. You see, 16% use social media to access brand promotions (again the favoured by 30-39 year olds) and 16% to research purchases (most likely for those 65+). There’s a good chance that they are seeing what you post without even liking or following your social media profile. Here’s proof…
52% of people who researched a product on social media went on to purchasing one of the products they saw
61% of those purchases were made online
What can you do to influence the purchases made using Social Media?
61 % of Australians will read between 1 and 5 reviews before making a purchase. Remember that this is across all social media and there are many ways to post reviews. While you can use the review function on social media profiles, I actively encourage business owners to regularly post reviews on their social media to push the good news out to followers. By doing this you control the design of the review and you can organise them how you choose.
There has been an increase in people likely to change their opinion (to be positive) if you respond to a negative review. This means that you should keep negative reviews on your social media and respond to them.
This year, Australians said that it was more important (than previously reported) that businesses interact positively on social media, update their content regularly (post regularly), and post engaging and relevant information. Here’s the key to all of this, it’s what your customer thinks is engaging & relevant – not you. So it’s crucial that business owners understand their ideal customers.
Here’s the thing about engaging and relevant content – not having engaging and relevant content is the biggest reason why people unfollow social media accounts. It’s not ads. In fact, Australians, while not necessarily happy to see them they are not turned off by them nor will they ignore them. So, consider ads as part of your social media, they’re not going to push clients away.
If you are considering ads, you might want to consider the following things people want from brands on social media:
- 54% want discounts
- 48% want giveaways
- 30% want information, and
- 29% want nothing at all.
So before you think that your ad has to offer a great discount, consider that nearly 1/3 of your fans actually don’t want anything from you at all.
I have one more thing for you to consider when using social media for your business and what Australians like when online. All Australians are excited when our posts receive more likes than usual. While this statistic is higher for those <39, there was some degree of agreeance across the ages. So, give some positive feedback to posts and comments on your social media account, even if it’s a like. If you want to know why this works, read my post on what happens to our brain when we use social media.
So all in all, it seems that Australians are increasing their use of social media and while some want special offers a good proportion don’t want anything at all other than: good content, they like to be liked and if they research online they are more likely to buy online. It still points to the need for brands to have some sort of regular social media presence where the client is put first.