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Facebook Business Page Owners….Keep An Eye Out…Changes Coming!!!

Ever since Gillian and I created our Facebook Business Page, the one thing we had to get used to, was waking up most days and seeing a new announcement from Facebook about the newest update. Whether it be changes in the look on one’s phone or laptop, new categories or tabs, or interfacing with one’s audience, Facebook is always evolving. Their changes are driven by two factors. The first one is increasing the experience for people to be able to interact with their friends and family. That is primary. The second factor is Facebook makes their money with Ads, so getting businesses to advertise is key. Having a business page on Facebook is free. But the hope is, that eventually a Business Page will buy Ads. To make it easier for the business owner to create a presence on Facebook, a variety of templates allows a business to showcase their products and services, reviews, videos, photos, and e-commerce are offered.

Buying ads and boosting posts has always been optional.   If you had enough “Likes” you could count on your followers to see some of your organic posts in their daily Newsfeed.  But take heed, changes are on the horizon.

Facebook Announces Coming News Feed Changes Which Will Reduce the Reach of Page Posts

  1. Friend to Friend is primary. The news feed will allow more of the posts from your “friends” than from business Pages. Which means squeezing out a lot of those Business posts.
  2. Long and thoughtful replies get a boost. This was the second half of the announcement, and it seems to be a significant pivot. Recorded videos will not get nearly the weight they once did. Passive scrolling and low-quality engagement are now considered bad. Posts that get long, thoughtful replies will get priority in your newsfeed.

So, what does that mean? How can your Business Page counter this besides spending tons of money on buying Ads?

Facebook’s Head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri offers some suggestions:

“Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos. Many creators who post videos on Facebook prompt discussion among their followers, as do posts from celebrities. In Groups, people often interact around public content. Local businesses connect with their communities by posting relevant updates and creating events. And news can help start conversations on important issues.”

From Adam’s statement creating “live” video will get you more visibility in the News Feed. But what about those of us that aren’t comfortable doing “live” on Facebook? Does this mean we should dump our Facebook Pages? Or never build one if you don’t have one now? Absolutely not. There are still plenty of good reasons to have a Facebook Business Page, but you will need to use it wisely:

  1. Having a Facebook Business Page to send people to is still important. If someone Googles you, and finds your Page, they will be able to search your Page and learn about you and your services.
  2. Consider changing your “Call to Action” button to: Sign up for My Newsletter or Visit My Website, rather than Call Me or Email Me. They may only visit your FB page once, so get your best value and send them where you want the traffic.
  3. Make your posts more relevant. Showcase your “Blog” or “Podcast” or a new webinar you are hosting.
  4. Create a Facebook Group with your Business Page and provide a community for your followers to interact with each other. With you being the leader, you can announce workshops, webinars or when you have a lead magnet to share.
  5. If you want to have your “followers” see a relevant post, consider “Boosting” it. It will be fairly cheap to reach your current audience.
  6. You can still use your Facebook Business Page to buy Ads. Those Ads will show up in the Newsfeed of the audience you profile for your Ad.  Facebook makes their money in Ads. Those will not go away. Facebook is a great place to buy ads as Facebook can help you optimize your Ad to the right audience.

Hopefully this will give you a clear understanding of the changes. More to come I am sure. But here is one big HUGE takeaway from this story.  I didn’t hear this announcement on Facebook. I received the information from email. Just remember that Email Marketing is still the “King” for getting the word out. Use Facebook marketing to get prospects and customers on your Email list. You own your list. Facebook is just rented property.

Here is Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of Thursday, January 11th from Facebook:

 

READ FULL ARTICLE:  https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10104413015393571

 

By Janet Elie

Internet Marketing Specialist

Launch4Life

janet@launch4life.com

What Keeps Your Customers Up At Night?

Do you have the kind of product that solves someone’s problems?  If they had what you offer might they sleep a little better at night?

I suppose if you run a hair salon or a pizza shop you might chuckle and say, “well that’s not me, I don’t help them sleep better.”  Or do you? If you run a hair salon and you gave someone a stunning braided hair style and then she had a wonderful “princess” evening, don’t you think she would sleep like a baby with a smile on her face?

Or if they stopped by your shop for a pizza   to take care of that grumbly tummy. That would let let them sleep well, right? All of us in our own way have a product or service that can help a customer so they don’t have to stay up all night worried.

So now that we know that we have at least one customer who we can help have a good night’s sleep, who is that customer?  It certainly isn’t everyone.   Not everyone is going to like your pizza.  Not everyone is going to like your style of haircuts.  If only certain people like your pizza, who are they?  Just a select group, right!  Many marketing gurus say, “the smaller the niche, the better”.  The more defined the niche is, the more targeted your message can be, especially for your online marketing messages.  Why waste your time, energy and money on targeting people that are not interested in what you sell?

Part of my services is conducting Facebook and Website Audits.  I notice that some of my customers know who their customer is, but I don’t see that in their social media posts, emails, lead magnets, or even website.  In fact, sometimes I say, “I can’t tell who your customer is?” Potential customers may think the same or assume they are “not” your customer and move on.  That is not good.

Here are two suggestions to make sure that you don’t have the same problem.  #1 Define and I mean de-fine your perfect customer.  Make it as “nichy” as possible.  You have more than one customer type but don’t lump them together.  Separate them.  Then choose the one that is most profitable to you.  Make them your #1 priority, and then the others in descending order. Perhaps you will market to one type on Facebook and another on Twitter.

Once that is done begin #2 audit your own online messages.  Better yet, ask someone to look at them objectively for you.  Can you see your #1 customer in your posts and your website, meaning will I know who your customer is?  Consider not only your words, but your colors.  Knowing the psychology of color will attract or repel certain people.  Are your online newsletters easy to read, or are they too busy. Do they look good on mobile?  Millennials rarely look at posts or emails on laptops. They skim quickly.  If they are your audience, don’t go in for a long sales letter.  They will never read it.  Pictures and just captions will be better for them.  If you audience is seniors, text is good.  They will probably read on their computers but don’t make the type small.  Hard to read.  I think you get the idea.  Last word here on images.  Pick images that attract your customer.  If you are a realtor and you are selling to families, don’t have only million-dollar homes on your posts or website.  Those younger people will run for the hills or another broker feeling intimidated.

I would like to finish up this blog focusing on #1 your ideal customer.  In the online marketing world, we call it an “AVATAR”.  It’s a digital computerized person.  Some of you may have seen the movie “The AVATAR” and know what I mean.  You may have come across that language in other blogs.  Picture your ideal Avatar walking into your store, calling for a coaching class, buying your class, buying the house you have listed, or calling for an insurance quote.  I don’t care what business you have, we all have our ideal “avatar”.

If I asked you the question, “who is your ideal “avatar”, how fast could you share the details so I could visualize that person?  Taking it one step further, if I asked you “what keeps that avatar up at night”, would you honestly know the answer? If you aren’t sure, it is imperative you find out.  Step #1 is knowing the mechanical specifics of that avatar. Step #2 is what makes them human and have needs that your products solve.

Take out a piece of paper and start jotting some notes. Before you are done, you will know who that avatar is.  Stats: women, male, children, single people, married, divorced, geographical location, income, age – things like that.

Next write down what Issues or challenges could influence your Avatar buying your product/service. Humanize. Retiring without any idea with what they are going to do with their time. Someone unhappy with their job. Want more out of like outside of work. Could be introverts and have trouble making friends. Have just moved to a new city. May be dealing with family issues – medical or mental and need guidance. Want changes in their life but don’t know how to begin? May want to travel but really don’t have a plan or where to go? Going through a divorce.  Trouble with children. Maybe they want more money, more time, or need to learn new things quickly.  How can you help?  If I owned a pizza shop that offered a vegan and gluten-free menu, I would appeal to those people who like that food for health reasons or social conscious reasons.  My avatar sure wouldn’t be someone who eats at McDonalds.   I am a color stylist and my services are expensive, I don’t want to advertise to the little old lady who loves her white hair and lives on a fixed budget.  Which of these issues does your product solve?

Lastly, how can what you offer help your customers and make a difference to their lives?  How can you help you clients meet their dreams and goals? More fun, happier life, more income, better health!!

Hopefully, this blog is giving you some inspiration to take another look at your online messaging.  Know who your primary avatar is.  Then see if you are attracting that person.  Whether you are growing your business organically or with paid traffic, it will save you a lot of time, money and frustration.  Zero in on your best client so they can recognize and find YOU.   You can get that baby (your avatar) to sleep through the night and not cry.  Just like in this picture, happy baby with a happy Mom.

 

 

By Janet Elie

Internet Marketing Specialist

Launch4Life

janet@launch4life.com

Why the Heck Would I Need an Online Marketing Audit?

If you own a business, there are things you are doing that you don’t even know that you are doing wrong.  What do I mean by that?  You may have a website or an email platform and think you have it all managed.  But there could be many reasons why there are flaws in what you have that not only put your business in danger but put your viewing audience at risk visiting your platforms. Or at the very least they may be delivering a negative experience for your customers.

Let’s walk through the three major areas to impress upon you why you need to review your marketing platforms and be sure that they are compliant, secure, and provide a good experience for your audience.  After this blog, check your sites and do your Online Marketing Audit.

Number One on the list is your website: 

Website Content: Make sure your website information is current. Often, we find outdated information. Perhaps old workshops or staff members.  Or someone might list an events calendar but when you click on it, there are no events. Either delete that calendar or post some upcoming events. It just doesn’t look professional.  Another example would be having a Blog tab and the last article was written 6 months ago or longer. What would someone think of that? Shows you may have lost interest. Stick with it or delete it.

Administration issues: Another big faux paux – some website owners don’t know their own passwords.  This leaves them vulnerable to the designer or perhaps even an ex-partner, or heaven forbid ex-girlfriend. Upset someone and “delete” you have no website. Your out of business.

Website Theme Selection: Here is another consideration –  many businesses, when they are first starting out use a Free Word Press theme.  Makes sense right!  However, as your website grows to accommodate more information you may need to switch to a Premium theme. This change can be a costly process.  So, think twice about that free theme.  Buying a Premium theme from day one might actually cost you less in the long run and can protect your website from being hacked.

Security: This is one I cannot over stress. Does your website have a SSL certificate?  (Secure Socket Layer). This valuable certificate keeps your website and your customers safe from digital worms and other nasty creatures.  If you are in the process of buying your website now, you may be best to see who offers it at a nominal fee at time of purchase.  Save headaches and time later.

Backup Protection: As an additional security concern is your website backed up in the event one day you find its disappeared.  Yes really, it can happen. Such as you could not renew your domain. You could be updating and lose info.  It could get hacked, or infected by a virus.

Audience viewing:  Lastly and very importantly with the advent of mobile phones is your website responsive and easy to read on a phone.  If not, you may have people bouncing from your website because they just can’t read it.  Type might be too small or maybe just too much content – too busy.

 

Number Two on the list is your Commercial Email Platform:

Audience Viewing: The big one for me is making sure that the template you use is easy on the eye for people checking it out on mobile.  If I can’t read it even with a pair of reading glasses, you can bet I am going to delete that email or online newsletter.  There are some great email platforms out there that have made the commitment to provide templates that are easy to read.  If you are not sure about yours, check it from your mobile phone.   How does it read?  Also, check your statistics.  Are they opening your email?  Are they clicking through to links you offered?

Email Accessories: Do you have a good welcoming email when someone signs up for your newsletter?  Do you have links in your emails or newsletter sending people to your website and social media platforms?

Email Usage:  Are you paying too much for your Platform?  There are a lot of programs out there that offer a lot of good bells and whistles at no or low cost.  Should automation with good wording be a part of your Program?

 

Number Three on the list is your Social Media Platforms:

 

Audience Viewing:  I always look at this like having a dinner party.  Is the table set, house cleaned, and cocktails ready?  I would treat my social site in the same manner.  If someone lands on it, what are they going to find. When was my last post?  Is there a good variety? Is my information up to date?  Will customers who want to learn about who I am and what I offer, see enough information to know my story?  If you are about to engage in Social Media ads this is very important.  First impressions can be very telling.

Analytics: Every platform offers some sort of analytics that tell you a lot about your audience.  When are they visiting your posts, etc.  Are you using your platform to your best advantage?

I hope you will take the time to double check your online marketing platforms.  Make a note what needs to be altered, added to, or adjusted to protect yourself, promote your sales, and make your audience enjoy learning from you. Then take the action to accomplish your changes.

P.S.  If you need help or have questions with your Online Marketing Audit, drop us a line at marketing@launch4life.com.

By Janet Elie

Internet Marketing Specialist

Launch4Life

janet@launch4life.com

The Best-Kept Marketing Secret

Shhh, want a hear about a great way to market your business online?  Want to discover a little known marketing strategy that won’t cost you a cent?  Ok, here it is.  The best-kept marketing secret is… SlideShare.  Owned by LinkedIn, SlideShare has over 70 million visitors per month, which makes it one of the top 100 most-visited websites in the world.  And yet, despite it’s incredible global reach, most businesses are NOT using SlideShare to market their business.  According to Social Media Examiner, “Since few marketers consistently upload content to SlideShare, there’s much less competition than on the other social channels. In fact, SlideShare is the only major content marketing platform left where you can generate some nice content exposure from day one.” (7 Ways to Use SlideShare for Your Business by David Waring)

SlideShare is an incredible tool any business can easily use to share their expertise with a large audience.  Simply upload a presentation, infographic, document, or video, and you’re off and running.  While you do have some leeway on the type of content you can upload, the majority of SlideShare presentations are your typical PowerPoint style presentations.

 

In the event that you would like to take advantage of this best-kept marketing secret, here are some best practices for creating a stellar SlideShare presentation:

1. Focus On Your Audience

Before you even begin designing your presentation, think more about what your target audience needs and less about what you want to say.  Your SlideShare presentation should help your viewer.  Always try to avoid just selling your stuff.  Remember, you want your customer to know, like, and trust you.

2. Use Presentation Software Tools

While SlideShare does allow you to upload ANY type of PDFs, not all PDFs look good.  So, instead of creating a traditional 8.5 x 11″ PDF using Microsoft Word, it’s better to use PowerPoint, Google Slides, Keynote, etc. to create your presentation slides.  When you use a traditional presentation software program you automatically build slides at the optimal size (600x800 pixels) for easy reading online

3. Keep it Brief

While there are no set rules on the ideal length of a SlideShare presentation, less is best.  Try to keep your presentation short and to the point.  According to SlideShare, research shows 45% of the presentations uploaded have 10-30 slides and that the average number of words per slide is 24.

4. Use Images

The best presentations shy away from slides with lots of text and/or bullet points.  Instead, engaging presentations strive for minimal text and vivid images. Try to use high quality photos, simple charts, and eye-catching illustrations.  Studies show that visuals are processed 60,000x faster than words, and can increase a viewer’s comprehension by 89%.  Some of the most popular SlideShare presentations contain just one idea or thought per slide.

5. Font Suggestions

Aim to use a font size that’s large enough for viewers to easily read your slides from all digital devices – desktop and mobile.  Font size should be no smaller than 24-30 point size.  Also, it’s a good rule of thumb to only use two fonts styles.

6. Choose your colors carefully

Much like your choice of fonts, you want to use colors sparingly.  It’s a good idea to use your brand colors to maintain consistency in your marketing efforts.  When in doubt, try to use a contrasting color scheme, so your text stands out from the background.  A good rule of thumb is to use 2-4 colors max.

7. Add Hyperlinks

While creating your SlideShareSlideShare presentation include hypertext links that lead back to relevant pages on your website. You have the option of inserting hyperlinks in both the description of your presentation and directly on your slides.

8. Include a Call-to-Action

Always be sure to include at least one call-to-action in your presentation.  With SlideShare you can embed hyperlinks, or simply add your phone number, email address, blog, social media channels, etc. on the last slide.  In addition, remember to fully complete your SlideShare profile so viewers can learn more about you.

9. Search Engine Optimization

Use relevant keywords in your SlideShare presentation’s title, description, and tags.  Doing this will make it easier for people to find your presentation while doing an internal search on SlideShare, and also when they do an external search engines like Google.  Keep in mind that over 80% of SlideShare’s viewers come from searches, with at least 20% coming directly from Google.

10. Promote Your Presentations

Be sure to promote your presentation across all of your social media platforms (ex. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest).  You can even connect your social media accounts to your SlideShare account so your social media audiences automatically see any of your updates.  Another idea is to break your presentation up into multiple images and share with a link to your social media programs and/or your email newsletter.

So, are you ready to start using this 100% free marketing tool?  I sure hope so.

Here’s a great collection of SlideShare presentations to help you learn how to master SlideShare like a pro:

  • Introduction to SlideShare for Businesses

https://www.slideshare.net/Slideshare/an-overview-to-slideshare-for-business

  • Getting Started With SlideShare

https://www.slideshare.net/Slideshare/get-started-with-slide-share

  • How to Make Awesome SlideShares: Tips & Tricks

https://www.slideshare.net/Slideshare/how-to-make-awesome-slide-shares-tips-and-tricks

  • 10 Ways to Win at SlideShare SEO & Presentation Optimization

https://www.slideshare.net/Oneupweb/slideshare-optimization-oneupweb

On a final note, if you need some help with creating engaging PowerPoint presentations and eye-catching graphics, stayed tuned next week for more information on our new Graphics 202 online course.

By Gillian Whitney

Communications Consultant

Launch4Life

gillian@launch4life.com

Easy FB Posting Using Your Mobile Phone

While recently helping a client with their Facebook Business Page, a staff member asked if she could post directly from her mobile phone instead of her computer.  I was a little surprised as she was very proficient on the computer.  Not sure why she wanted to do that, because you actually have more freedom to create varieties of posts from the computer.  But who am I to judge.  It’s what one is most comfortable with.  My answer to her was of course YES.

Since her Facebook experience has been limited to checking in with her friends, I had to give her a little more training on all the options available on her mobile Facebook app.  Which got me to thinking there may be other people who would like some tips on posting from their phone.

There may be a variety of reasons someone chooses to generate posts from their mobile device.  Maybe you are like this staff person or perhaps you are not always near a laptop, you are on the road, and prefer to create posts on the fly.  This blog post is dedicated to offering up a couple of good starting tips.

FB Apps

The first thing you will want to do is make sure that you have downloaded the basic Facebook app as well as the Pages Manager app to your mobile phone or tablet (see FB Apps graphic).

By the way, the Pages Manager app looks very different than the Facebook App.  It has an orange flag sitting on a white background.  It is the application to manage all your Facebook Business Pages whether it is just one or multiple Pages.  I like it because you can do your checking, editing and managing without having to be distracted by your personal newsfeed that you will find in your traditional Facebook app.

Pages Mgr Post

On your Pages Manager app you can manage your reviews, check-ins, shares, see new likes and most importantly create posts.  You also can check your Insights which are your analytics.  But this article is only going to address a couple of posting ideas.  We will save analytics for a blog post another day.

So now that you have your two applications residing on your phone, lets discuss some of the actions you can take.

Let’s start with the Pages Manager App.  You can create a post of text only or text with your own photo or graphic.  Make sure you have a place on your phone where you can find your photo or graphic, usually either your camera/photos or Dropbox.  Open the app, then go to PUBLISH on the Page you are working in (see Pages Mgr Post graphic).  Upload the pic you want and then write some text comments above it.  Press Continue.  Select Publish now or Schedule an actual date and time in the future.  You’re done.     

Pages Mgr More

Another simple task you can do from the Pages Manager app is to go the More tab.  It is the one with the three dots (see Pages Mgr More).  Select “Stories from Pages Like Yours”.  Scroll through the posts and select something that would be appropriate to share on your Page to your customers.  Just click “Share.”  Click “Write Post”.  Make a comment.  Click Post.  Your done.  Isn’t that easy enough.

One last task.  This will be from your Facebook App because unfortunately you can’t do it from your Pages Manager app.  Darn it.  Maybe one day soon.  This is a tip to do a different type of share.  You can share a post from any Facebook business page that you like related to your business or not.  At the top in the search field, type in the name of the business page you want to see (see FB App Share graphic).  Scroll through their posts until you find one you like and is worth commenting to your audience.

FB App Share

Here are the steps to share.  Below the post, you will see “SHARE.”  Click it.  At the next window click where  it says “Write a Post”.  Important hint.  Before you finish, make sure that you are posting as your Business Page not as your personal timeline.  Otherwise the share will be in your personal newsfeed not your business page.  At the top of your app you can change from your personal to business page by the arrow.  Click WRITE A POST.  Write a comment over top of the share that explains why you are sharing it.  Then click PUBLISH.  Note that you are publishing in the moment.  You cannot schedule for a later time.

These three posting tips can be a great start in posting from your phone.  Simple and easy.  Once you get more comfortable with the process there are other applications you can use to sparkle up your posts.  But we will save that for another day.

Try and have a share or new post once a day.  The most important aspect of this daily communication is building relationships with your customers.  Have fun.  See you in a post.

By Janet Elie

Internet Marketing Specialist

Launch4Life

janet@launch4life.com

Time to Make the Posts

Oh No, It’s Time to Make the Posts.

It’s Sunday and it’s time to create the posts for the week for my social media platform.  I feel like that Donut guy, “It’s time to make the donuts.”  Yuck!!

Deciding what to post can give you a headache.  Not only do you need to be creative, you need to figure out what your audience will want to hear.  Sometimes the creative juices are flowing and then sometimes it’s as if I have writers block.  You need to build a library of ideas when you are in the mood ready for when you aren’t.  Here are some tips to help you:

Make a list of what your audience might want to know from you.  Refer to the list when you have brain freeze.  In making that list, think about the results customers would have if they used your products or services.  How can you enlighten them on what you do? What should they know about you personally?  Make a list of at least 10 things and then refer to it as you are creating posts.

Make a list of what your audience’s interests are.  For example, traveling, eating out, family outings, baseball games, golf, theatre.  Write a sentence about your views on “something”.  Write some that relate to what you do and some just pure entertainment.

Use some graphics to make your posts more attention getting (eye candy).  Say a couple of lines and then insert the graphic. Your point will be made.

Grab a picture from www.pixabay.com.  You can find royalty free graphics there.  Pick a picture and then write something from one of your lists that you saved.

Here is an example of a picture saying a 1000 words:

Social Media Text:

“I might need a lot of practice with my golf swing but I don’t need practice to help you with (what I do).”

Or, just post an inspiring quote.  Use this tool www.pablo.buffer.com and you can pick through a number of pictures and match to their quotes.

If you want something a little more educational you may have to do a little research.  I check out the web for ideas and I also read blogs and newsletters that I subscribe to and get ideas from them.

Here is a fun place that can give you some ideas:   www.nationaldaycalendar.com/calendar-at-a-glance/  Select the month and see if there is anything there that can give you some ideas.

Also check out your industry websites.  You will often find something like “National Alzheimer and Brain Awareness Month” or its “National Safety Week”.  Write something about that topic.   Quick graphic and a sentence or two of text.

And if you have a Facebook Business Page, make sure you have “liked” other Pages in your industry, or town, or that compliment yours.  Scroll through your Page’s newsfeed and find one you like, and then share it on your Page with your own personal comments.  www.facebook.com

In my final comments make sure your posts are 80/20.  80% educational/entertaining and 20% commercial.  Your audience will appreciate getting to know you and then respond well to how you can help them.

Now when I wake up on Monday morning and I say “time to make the donuts” I just refer to my notes and I can find something fun and interesting.  I schedule my posts and then when asked I can say “I already made the donuts.”

By Janet Elie

Internet Marketing Specialist

Launch4Life

janet@launch4life.com