Marketing Tips for Businesses to Get the Most Out of Facebook (Part 2 of 2)

freeebook

Last week I gave you five tips I think are really helpful for getting the most out of Facebook. Today, I conclude with five more that I think will be equally as useful for you to drive leads using Facebook.

  1. Quality Is Better Than Quantity

The best way to reach the most people you want to reach is to post relevant content. Some people just focus on posting frequently, but that works against you, as Facebook’s algorithms filter out posts that are poor quality. Instead, focus on creating posts that are of interest and useful to your audience.

  1. Know When To Post

According to a survey by CoSchedule (pulling data from a variety of sources), the best time to post on Facebook is 3:00pm on Wednesday. Other optimal times are 12:00-1:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays and 1:00-4:00pm on Thursdays and Fridays. Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays, and weekdays from 1:00-4:00pm have the highest clickthrough rates. And in case you’re wondering, the worst times to post on Facebook are weekends before 8:00am and after 8:00pm.

  1. Links Are Not Necessary

Since you want your Facebook posts to be succinct, it makes good sense to not take up precious real estate with a clunky, long URL. It isn’t necessary. Users can simply click on the thumbnail image and/or the title to be linked to your content.

  1. A Picture (Or Video) Is Worth A Thousand Words

After reviewing over 100 million Facebook updates, BuzzSumo found that updates with images had an impressive 2.3 times more engagement than those without. So, if you have good photos, video, or infographics, use them!

  1. Make It Easy To Get To Your Facebook Page

Make sure your website, blog, and e-mail all have a Facebook option so visitors can connect with you on Facebook with just one click.

Ok, now you have 10 really helpful tips that will enable you to get the most out of your Facebook presence. Make the most of this social media by following these tips and making sure Facebook is part of your marketing plan.

 

Marketing Tips for Businesses to Get the Most Out of Facebook (Part 1 of 2)

yourbrand

It’s not enough to just have a presence on Facebook. You need to engage visitors and drive them to your website so you can convert them into a lead and then into a sale. Here are some tips that will help you use Facebook to help drive leads.

  1. Keep It All Business

It’s important that you create a business page and not a personal one. You’ll have the opportunity to select a business account when you first set up your Facebook account. This looks more professional, and it also gives you access to business features like the ability for fans to like your page and then get updates from you. While you’re at it, create a recognizable vanity with your company name in it and don’t use the one randomly assigned to you.

  1. Look The Part

Your profile photo and cover photo should both be easily recognizable back to your brand, possibly your logo for the profile photo and a product shot for the cover photo. Make sure you follow Facebook’s photo guidelines for optimum performance.

  1. Share Your Information

I get so frustrated when I go to a business Facebook page and can’t find basic contact information or a company overview. Make sure you include all of your contact information and a good description on your “About” page. You should also take advantage of the “Milestones” feature to announce important business achievements, events, new products, etc. To create a “Milestone” click on the “Timeline” section on your business page then select “Offer, Event +,” then “Milestone.”

  1. Choose A Call-To-Action Button

Facebook offers business pages the option of adding a call-to-action (CTA) button at the top of their Facebook page. Options include “Shop Now,” “Contact Us,” etc. When the visitor clicks on your CTA button, they will be taken to the Internet page you have indicated. To create a CTA button, click on the “Create Call-to-Action” option on your business page.

  1. Create Custom Page Tabs

Under your cover photo there are existing tabs (Like, Follow, Share, etc) and space for you to insert custom page tabs. These tabs function like landing pages. For example, if you are offering a white paper, you could create a tab for that. When the Facebook user clicks on the tab, they are routed to the Internet page you have selected. To do this, click on the “More” option under your cover photo and select “Manage Tabs.”

I will share additional tips you can use to get the most out of your Facebook presence on my next blog post.

 

 

 

 

5 New Facebook Features You Should Know About

34ways_long1 facebook-likeFacebook has made some big announcements lately that are expected to boost this platform’s usefulness for those looking to use Facebook as a tool to connect with prospects. Here are the top new Facebook features available in 2017.

 

  1. New Ways to Create and Distribute Content

Facebook has created new content formats, such as Facebook Live, 360 video, and Instant Articles, aimed at making the process of sharing content better. Of special note is the new feature that allows you to share multiple Instant Articles in a single post, like a mini digital newspaper. Here’s what it will look like:

1

 

  1. More Tools for Analyzing Content Performance

Facebook is offering more video analytics insights. That means you’ll have access to more meaningful metrics for how live and regular videos perform on Facebook, such as total minutes viewed and total engagements.

2

 

  1. Safeguards to Prevent Fake News

After reports showed fake news stories outperformed real news stories on Facebook during the U.S. election, Facebook announced they have made it harder to publish and easier to identify hoax news. This is done through using third-party fact checkers, disrupting financial incentives for posting fake news, and making it easy for Facebook users to dispute content they believe is fake. Content in dispute will be lower in the News Feed and will include a warning that the content is under review. In addition, disputed content cannot be promoted or turned into an ad. Here’s how disputed stories and warnings will appear in the News Feed:

3

 

  1. Another Option for Live Broadcasts

Facebook Live was launched in 2016. It enables users to broadcast live video from their mobile phones directly onto the Facebook News Feed. Now you can also broadcast live video from your computer. Mobile devices lend a “reporting live” feel while video from a computer can be more polished and professional.

 

  1. Mid-Roll Video Advertisements

This option allows ads to be inserted into your videos. Videos must be at least 90 seconds in length AND viewers have to watch for at least 20 seconds. Facebook will sell the ads and share 55% of the sales with publishers. This is similar to YouTube.

These new options are exciting tools for marketers. Facebook’s initiatives are continuing to make it a valuable platform for doing business.

 

E-mail Ideas Sure to Get Your Prospects Clicking

freeebook

There’s no denying it’s hard work to create an e-mail that really speaks to your prospects, getting them to open the e-mail and then to take you up on your call to action. Luckily, there are some really good examples we all can learn from. Here are a few I saw that I thought were especially good.

1. Celebrate An Anniversary

Keep track of when prospects enter your sales funnel or sign up for your newsletter or follow your blog – whatever. Then, use that date to send them a personalized anniversary e-mail with a special offer. Here’s an example from Hawaiian Airlines that does this very well.

hawaiian-airlines

2. Reward Active Prospects

Prospects showing a high level of interest ought to be recognized. Send them an e-mail that makes them feel special, like they’re part of an elite group. Phrases like “be the first to know,” or “top customer” work well. This Spotify example shows you how it’s done.

spotify-1

 

3. Provide a List of Top Picks

Watch your prospects’ activity. Is there a helpful list you can send them? Keep it relevant to what they have shown you they are interested in. LinkedIn does a really great job with this.

screen_shot_2016-10-18_at_9-39-45_am

4. Give Them Additional Ways to Learn More About You

Use prospects’ activity to provide additional information about your business that you think will be of interest to them. Pinterest does an amazing job at this.

pinterest_suggestions

 

10 Great Books for Marketers to Read in 2017

freeebook

I am always on the hunt for a good business book. I tend to devour them. I came across a recent article on Salesforce that had some really good book recommendations. I plan to read these this year and thought you might want to as well. Here are my top ten picks.

1. Diffusion of Innovations by Everett M. Rogers

 “It’s all about why some innovations — whether it’s a product, service, or even hybrid corn — catch on. So it’s great data and great stories.” Jonah Berger, bestselling author of Contagious

Amazon description: In this renowned book, Everett M. Rogers, professor and chair of the Department of Communication & Journalism at the University of New Mexico, explains how new ideas spread via communication channels over time. The fifth edition addresses the spread of the Internet, and how it has transformed the way human beings communicate and adopt new ideas.

 2. You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier  

“It’s clinical, it’s brilliant, it’s also crazy in a lot of places. It takes a lot of ideas surrounding our current digital culture and network culture and shakes it up completely. Reading that book, I think, opened my eyes. I would recommend his book for anyone who’s looking for a new perspective or lens on all the changes that are happening in our connected culture.” Cal Newport, author of “Deep Work,” an instant WSJ bestseller and Amazon’s Best Business Book for January 2016

Amazon description: A programmer, musician, and father of virtual reality technology, Jaron Lanier was a pioneer in digital media, and among the first to predict the revolutionary changes it would bring to our commerce and culture. Now, with the Web influencing virtually every aspect of our lives, he offers this provocative critique of how digital design is shaping society, for better and for worse.

 3. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

“We’re all overwhelmed with too much to do. How do you really focus on the core essentials of your life?” Tim Kopp, Venture Partner at Hyde Park Venture Partners

Amazon description: The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.  It is not  a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.

 4. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight

“One of my favorite business books of the year.” Ryan Holiday, bestselling author of Growth Hacker Marketing

Amazon description: In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.

 5. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

 “It’s really about how you can drive change inside an organization or even within a market, and how it isn’t all about data or appealing to reason — and it isn’t just about emotion. He gives a lot of great examples of how subtle things can influence and drive so much change.” Jesse Noyes, Senior Director of Marketing at Upserve

Amazon description: In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people — employees and managers, parents and nurses — have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results. In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change.Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline.

 6. Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long by David Rock

“I found this book was a really practical and really interesting look at how our brains function when we have so much going on, and how to calm that so we can get more done.” Michele Linn, VP of Content at Content Marketing Institute

Amazon description: Meet Emily and Paul: The parents of two young children, Emily is the newly promoted VP of marketing at a large corporation while Paul works from home or from clients’ offices as an independent IT consultant. Their lives, like all of ours, are filled with a bewildering blizzard of emails, phone calls, yet more emails, meetings, projects, proposals, and plans. Just staying ahead of the storm has become a seemingly insurmountable task. In this book, we travel inside Emily and Paul’s brains as they attempt to sort the vast quantities of information they’re presented with, figure out how to prioritize it, organize it and act on it.

7. Innovation and Entrepreneurshipby Peter Drucker

“The amazing thing is he wrote this in 1984 and he basically predicted the entrepreneurial economy. I don’t know why this book isn’t on the bookshelf of every business owner in the world. It’s the best entrepreneurial framework I’ve seen.” Mark Schaefer, author of The Content Code, marketing consultant, and speaker 

Amazon description: This is the first book to present innovation and entrepreneurship as a purposeful and systematic discipline that explains and analyzes the challenges and opportunities of America’s new entrepreneurial economy. Superbly practical, Innovation and Entrepreneurship explains what established businesses, public service institutions, and new ventures need to know and do to succeed in today’s economy.

 8. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Businessby Charles Duhigg

“How do habits exist, how are they formed, how do they change? It’s a very helpful work strategy, as well as a personal strategy.” Angela Sanchez, Vice President of Consumer Relationship Marketing at Universal Music Group

Amazon description: Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential.

 9. Ignore Everybodyby Hugh MacLeod

 “It just changed me personally and professionally. It’s one of the most remarkable books on creativity that i’ve ever read.” Jason Miller, LinkedIn’s Global Content Marketing Leader

Amazon description: When Hugh MacLeod was a struggling young copywriter, living in a YMCA, he started to doodle on the backs of business cards while sitting at a bar. Those cartoons eventually led to a popular blog – gapingvoid.com – and a reputation for pithy insight and humor, in both words and pictures. MacLeod has opinions on everything from marketing to the meaning of life, but one of his main subjects is creativity. How do new ideas emerge in a cynical, risk-averse world? Where does inspiration come from? What does it take to make a living as a creative person? Now his first book, Ignore Everybody, expands on his sharpest insights, wittiest cartoons, and most useful advice.

 10. Design for Real Lifeby Sara Wachter-Boettcher and Eric Meyer

“It’s product design-focused but has a lot of great takeaways about thinking compassionately about your designs to include the most users, as opposed to narrowing in too much on a perfect persona.” Lindsay Siovaila, Lead Solutions Developer at Salesforce

Amazon description: You can’t always predict who will use your products, or what emotional state they’ll be in when they do. But by identifying stress cases and designing with compassion, you’ll create experiences that support more of your users, more of the time. Join Sara Wachter-Boettcher and Eric Meyer as they turn examples from more than a dozen sites and services into a set of principles you can apply right now.

 

New Year: Time for a Digital Transformation

free_ebook

Now more than ever, marketing and IT departments are joining forces to develop digital strategies that are responsive to prospects’ needs. For marketing, this is like getting access to a turbo button because digital solutions work so well. To make the best of this union, here are some ideas I suggest marketing take to get the ball rolling smoothly.

 

  1. Talk the Talk

Before you approach your IT folks, make sure you have done your research. Have an idea of what you’d like to accomplish and how you want to do it. Look at the competition and see what they are doing and share what you learn with IT. They, of course, will have input, but it’s important that you first present the direction you want to go in.

  1. Start Small

Once you have your plan of how you want to transform your digital marketing, it’s time to test some small initiatives to create little success stories. Then, you can get buy-in from others in the organization. It’s best to invest in new technologies wisely by first investing the time to research the product and have IT do the same.

  1. Be Open to Trial and Error

You’re trying new things. Some will work and others won’t. Expect this and forewarn others to expect it too. These “failures” have the distinct advantage of teaching you important things about how to reach your desired prospects. Pay attention and adjust your digital plan accordingly.

  1. Admit It When You Don’t Know

Take advantage of working outside of your comfort zone. Just as you have something to teach the IT folks about marketing, they too are most likely to share their digital expertise with you. Or, you both can learn something new together. The point is that it’s not you verses them. You’re working together on this. Don’t be afraid to help each other out and share what you know.

  1. Talk It Up

The best way to keep your digital transformation at top-of-mind is to make sure no one can forget about it. Keep all key players in the loop and include updates for those whom you want to keep interested in and in support of your efforts.

  1. Recognize Your Limitations

Have realistic goals and realistic ideas on how you will achieve them. Sometimes that means outsourcing work to the experts, which allows you to get the results you’re looking for without all of the manpower necessary to achieve them.

There’s no denying the impact of digital marketing. Addressing your strategy now gets your year off to a very strong start.