No one likes you

Facebook-logo6Like millions of businesses around the world, at some point in time, you decided to hop on the Facebook train.  You created a presence with either enthusiasm or distain (seems everyone starts at one end of the spectrum or the other) and posted your first update.

Since then, things have been a little stagnant.  The fans didn’t come pouring in the way you hoped (or expected) and as a result, your enthusiasm and activity level have waned.

Ready to fire back up?  First, let’s diagnose why your Facebook fans have been a bit lackadaisical.  Or worse.

You set up the wrong kind of presence:  Many businesses mistakenly create an account rather than a page.  An account is owned by an individual and has friends.  A page is created by an account holder and has likes.

No only is it the wrong kind of presence but if Facebook realizes you’ve given a business entity a personal account, they can force you to shut it down.  Which means you’d lose all your friends/fans and have to start over.  Be sure you have the right set up.

You infrequently and inconsistently post:  It’s a little like knowing someone who rarely speaks to you.  Or speaks to you a ton for one hour and then ignores you for the next five days.  Pretty soon, you find someone else to talk to.

You can’t expect people to pay attention if they can’t count on you.  Hopefully your plan is to use your Facebook presence to create a relationship with people who either are already fans of your work or could be. Silence is not a great relationship enhancer.

You’re all about you:  This is one of the biggest marketing mistakes that most organizations consistently make.  All they do is talk about themselves.  This usually comes from one of two places.  First, you don’t have a good idea of who you are talking to, so you aren’t sure how to talk about what they’d care about.   So you default to talking about yourself.

Or, you aren’t thinking about your Facebook presence as a relationship conduit in the same way you’d think about a face-to-face conversation.   If you were sitting across from someone, you wouldn’t be rude enough to blather on about yourself non-stop.  Don’t do it on Facebook either.

You use Facebook as a sales tool:  It’s okay to share a great deal or special pricing now and then on your Facebook page.  But, it’s not a sales flier – it’s a place to connect.  The Facebook pages that I spend time on are the ones that make me smarter, make my life easier/better, make me laugh, connect me to a memory or to a community of people with whom I share a common interest.

I never mind when they occasionally pitch me, because the rest of the time they give me so much value, I’m grateful.  Would your Facebook fans say the same thing?

You never use Facebook as a sales tool:  I know, people are fickle.  Especially if you are a retail location or sell a product, one of the reasons people are willing to like your page is because they think it will get them something special or at a discount.  Don’t disappoint them.  Just do it sparingly.

You tell and sell: One of the best and easiest ways to generate activity on your Facebook page (which will generate new likes) is to ask questions.   By getting your fans involved, you can actually have a conversation and even better, their friends will see the interaction and hopefully decide to join in as well.

Remember that like all social media, Facebook is permission based.  Your audience can disconnect from you any time they want.  So provide value every day and watch your likes spike.

Use social media to drive traffic to your business’ website

Social media is an ever-increasing facet of everyday business. Companies large (Starbucks) and small (your local car shop) are using social media to expand their exposure and reach a broad base of prospective consumers.

B2B marketers are now spending 30% of their budgets on social media programs, trying to reach, among others, the 21 million+ Twitter users  (per eMarketer). There are big audiences on social media for your company, and using some strategies are more effective than others.

Here are five strategies you can employ to promote your business website through social media.

Engage Directly with Consumers

To generate online conversations, businesses can engage customers and fans with photos, links and more from their blog or website. That conversation can lead to new product insights and customer service issues.

Maintain and Develop Visibility Among Your Consumer Base

Be visible with social media. Post links, pictures and video clips on social networks for your current and prospective customers. Your steady use of social media can help keep your business relevant and known, while gradually expanding exposure.

Target specialty audiences online with a microsite, which refers traffic to your main website. Create SEO marketing materials for direct sales through your primary domain via a website like MyHosting VPS hosting.

Generate Sales Referrals Through Social Media Platforms

Provide links to products or other pages that are likely to prompt consumers to make a purchase. The links you use, and the way you present them through your social media profiles, will have an impact on your business’ performance. Helpful tip: send tweets on your company’s various white papers, articles and case studies to encourage consumer interest in your company.

Data Collection and Analysis to Improve Operations Efficiency

When it comes to data, social media is a gold mine. Data analysis informs you of the size of your social media following, its growth rate and levels of engagement. You can also track total referrals to determine which social networks are most effective in generating new business. Look at these numbers for the percentage of referrals that lead to sales.

Use Feedback to Guide Future Efforts

As you gain insights from comments and data analysis, your internal teams should start to identify areas for improvement. Then you can implement solutions in your day-to-day operations.

By establishing a basic social media marketing approach, you can set yourself on the course to increased revenue and a much greater return on the investment into your website.

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We have to earn our audience’s attention

Listen Vs. Ignore - Toggle SwitchWe have to earn our audience’s attention.  Let’s see how you’re doing at that.

If you own or run a business, I’d like to you take this little quiz.

  1. Would you ignore your business phone 30% of the time it rings?
  2. If a customer was standing in a crowd of your best customers and complaining loudly, would you ignore them?
  3. If you had the chance to have the attention of your best customers and your best prospects for about 3 minutes uninterrupted, would you talk incessantly about yourself?

I have to believe that all of you passed this quiz by answered “good golly no!” to all three questions. After all you hustle like crazy to capture the attention of your customers and potential customers, right? Only a fool would squander the opportunity once they earned it.

And yet…that is exactly what’s happening online every day.

  • 30% of customer questions and comments on Facebook, Twitter and company blogs go unanswered.
  • 71% of complaints on Twitter are ignored.
  • 89% of corporate blogs only talk about themselves, their products, promotions and awards.

No wonder so many business people say that they can’t measure any ROI on their social media efforts. If anything, their ROI should come up as a negative number!

Too many businesses believe that social media networks are simply places they need to put a placeholder in. Like a flag that says, “Look, we exist here too” and then go to some autopilot shout into the abyss mentality. The core idea behind Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or any of the other networks out there is connection.

Real, human connection.

It’s why people share photos, stories of their day and get fired up about politics, religion and what their kid’s school is up to. And into that very personal and very meaningful conversation – most brands just blunder in and shout that they are having a sale.

Ugh.

Businesses spend thousands (and some millions) of dollars putting on elaborate dog and pony shows, with the hopes of capturing someone’s attention for a millisecond. So the assumption would be that they would actually value the attention, once they’d earned it.

But the truth is, most businesses think of social media as the newest necessary evil. They can’t get out of their own way enough to see the potential in it or that they need to approach it with humanity for it to work.

So what would that humanity look like?

Real interactions: When someone talks to you, it’s polite to reply in a reasonable amount of time. If you can’t monitor and react to a social media stream – don’t be there. Every social media tool out there has a way for you to be notified if you’ve actually started or were mentioned in a conversation.

Conversation, not monologue: No one enjoys being talked at. Your goal should be to spark conversation, not spit out rhetoric. Conversations are started when we care about the other person and ask questions, offer helpful information and listen to what they need from us.

Consistency: Just like all of our other relationships – we grow connections partially because of frequent exposures. You can’t get to know someone very well if you only communicate once or twice a year. It’s better to be fewer places but be in the places you’ve chosen more often. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

Having a heart: If you don’t actually care – then don’t be there. If you genuinely care about your customers and what’s going on with them, then show that by asking questions, reaching out and being very human.

You can create an amazing referral source and client base with your online presence or you can alienate those who already have you on their radar screen. All it takes is a little humanity to make it work.

 

 

 

 

 

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Social Sharing – what and when works

Figuring out what is best for your company’s social sharing accounts can be tough. Not only do you have to figure out what to share, but you also need to know how and when to say it. The folks at Compendium crunched the data of over 300 companies’ social sharing statistics, to identify some social sharing best practices.

One additional thing they did was break this data down as a B2B vs. B2C comparison, as they learned while going through the data that there were some significant differences between what works for B2B companies and B2C companies.

Check out this info graphic that outlines some of the findings. If you’d like to review their social sharing guides that looks at some of these results, click here.

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Search versus Social – which one wins?

If you’re wondering which is more potent — search or social media — as is often my answer — it depends.

The truth of the matter is that every organization should be thinking about BOTH because they are the yin and yang for each other.  Each feeds the other side of the equation.  When you write quality content about topics that your audience cares about (social) you attract readers, shares and you earn social proof of your expertise.

That content then begins to influence search for those key words and phrases that exist within your subject area and content (Search) and before you know it, you’re impacting Google and the other search engines — becoming more findable and attracting exactly the right people to your content.

Yin. Yang. The perfect combo. This infographic, developed by MDG Advertising really makes the point.  And should be hanging in your office to remind you to go for the one two punch of social AND search.

 

(Click here to download the full-sized version)

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