The Balance of Communication

October 29, 2015 Kathy Watts permalink

Group of Multiethnic People Discussing About MarketingCommunication is at the heart of your business, and email marketing and social media are the best ways to communicate with your customers. They each offer effective ways of connecting with your customers when and where they want to hear from you. But, in marketing and communication, balance is key. Your customers don’t want to feel like they’re just one among many. And you don’t have time to create individualized communications all the time. So striking a balance between automated communications and those with a more personal touch is key to a successful marketing strategy.

Here are a few things to think about when designing a communication and marketing strategy:

Segment Your List

One of the most effective ways to make your email communications more personal is to segment your client list into smaller sub-categories. Instead of taking a “One size fits all” approach, create smaller subgroups and then tailor specific email campaigns to each specific group. You can do this in many different ways. Segment your list into groups such as VIP clients or those clients only interested in a specific group of services (such as facials or massage). You now have the flexibility to tailor your email communications to directly address the interests and needs of each group. These more targeted emails give your clients the feeling that you are speaking directly to them about things they have an interest in. And that helps establish and support the feeling of a relationship with your business.

Initiate Online Conversations

Technology has made it possible for you to interact with your clients online. So don’t use social media just to talk at your clients. Use it as a forum to start conversations with them. Ask them questions, look for feedback, and then be responsive to their replies. By using social media as a way to socially interact with your clients, you’re establishing a relationship with them that feels more real than an automated email. And that can lead to more loyal customers who spend more money.

Don’t Forget the Importance of Face to Face

In this day and age, it’s so easy to communicate with everyone online and never even think about interacting in person. But your business is built on face to face interactions. So don’t neglect the opportunities you have to connect with your clients in person. Creating good in-person interactions should be a key part of your marketing strategy. It’s the perfect time to build a relationship, get to know your clients, and really talk with them about their expectations and needs.

Striking the right balance between automated and personal communications can be a real challenge. But figuring out the right time and way to communicate with your clients will help streamline the planning of your marketing calendar. It will also translate into growth in your business.

3 Keys to Build a Strong Online Community

May 19, 2015 Kathy Watts permalink

Last time, we talked about mistakes you might be making in your online communities. Today, the discussion continues with tips on building a stronger online community.

Data Research BackgroundMost of us are good at building a community. We have groups of family and friends who we interact with on a regular basis, spend time with, and gather together for celebrations and other events. We have strong relationships within our real life communities and they create a space for us to live and grow authentic lives. A strong online community can create the same thing for your brand and your business.

But how do you build a strong community online? We all know that establishing and building relationships with our clients is the best way to strengthen and grow our business. We just don’t always know the best way to go about it.

Here are three keys to building a healthy online community.

Be Consistent

People thrive on consistency. If they’re going to follow you on social media, or read your blog, then give them something to follow and something to read. Post regularly rather than sporadically. Posting consistently creates anticipation and allows your followers to make you part of their regular routine. So create a posting schedule and then stick to it.

Provide Valuable Content

You’ve gotten people to follow you online. That’s the easy part. The hard part is keeping them interested and engaged. Providing good content that is valuable to them is the key to keeping them interested. You also want to make sure the content is relevant to your brand, whether it is an “Ask the Expert” series or sharing content that is interesting for your readers and has a tie-in to your field. Also, keep in mind that valuable content does not include sales pitches or ads for promotions. You are asking your followers to make you part of their routine. Making sure you provide content that is valuable and relevant is key to getting and keeping your online community happy.

Listen to Your Community

Not sure what to post or whether your posts are effective? Listen to your community. Ask them what they’d like to see or where they want the conversation to go. Take a look at engagement rates and things like click thru rates, shares, likes, and comments. They’ll tell you what is working and what is not working. By listening to your community and allowing them to drive discussions online, you’ll have a much better idea of what new services you need to consider offering, or what direction you should be taking your business offline.

The important thing in building a community is the interaction between you and your followers. Interaction is key, because otherwise you just have an audience whom you are speaking to rather than a community you are communicating with. By taking the time and effort to focus on building those relationships online, you’ll start to see positive results in business growth overall.

4 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Social Media Community

May 12, 2015 Kathy Watts permalink

47351-You’ve done what you’re supposed to do. You have accounts on Facebook and Twitter. But having a social media presence is not the same as building a healthy social media community. Here are some mistakes you’re probably making, and how to turn them around.

Assuming that just having an account is enough

You’ve set up a Facebook page and you have a Twitter feed. There are links to them on your website. But that’s not enough. You need to post regularly, engage your followers, and make it a valuable experience. Nobody is going to want to follow you if you never post anything or, even worse, only post sales and promotions. Building an online community requires time and effort, and people who understand how to create interaction and foster the right kinds of conversations. Everyone has a Facebook page these days. You need to create a more valuable experience for your followers.

Valuing follower numbers over engagement numbers

Many of us assume that large, or growing, follower numbers are an indication of positive growth. But it doesn’t really matter how many followers you have if none of them are interacting. Engagement numbers are a much more powerful indicator of how successful your social media strategy is. Instead of paying attention to how many followers you’ve gained this week, dig a bit deeper and determine how many engagements (click thru rates, likes, shares, or comments) you’re receiving. That is a much truer indicator of how successful and effective your social media community is.

Not engaging with your followers

You are building an online community, and that means that you need to create and foster conversations on your social media feeds. So post regularly. Provide valuable information. Create conversations. And then continue to participate in them. If a follower posts a comment or engages with one of your posts, respond to them. A community means that everyone participates in an ongoing conversation. So don’t just post and run. Nobody wants to feel deserted or like their opinion is not valued.

Treating your social media as a sales channel

Your online community should be just that – a community. Nobody wants to follow a page that is just one long string of ads and promotions. Can you post information about sales or promotions? Of course! But it should not be the primary focus of your social media content. Focus on fostering community and providing valuable information and you’ll see your sales improve all on their own.

Studies show that one of the top things consumers are doing on their mobile devices is engaging in social media. It’s one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal. Make sure you’re doing it right and you’ll see it pay off in increased sales and business growth.

Next time, we’ll continue the discussion with tips on building an even stronger online community.

Do You Have A Social Media Strategy?

March 5, 2015 Kathy Watts permalink

56676-Social media is one of the most important parts of your marketing plan. But we’re often so busy attending to the day to day details of running our business that we forget to really think about what our approach should be. In this age of social media, when everyone is always online, you need to devote some time to crafting a social media strategy beyond just using it to share your specials. Here are a few things to think about when creating your social media strategy.

Focus on sharing knowledge – You know your business well. So share some of that knowledge with your followers. Set yourself up as an expert on certain topics that you and your business are passionate about. Then create posts that help showcase those topics and highlight your expertise. When your followers have questions, you want them to come to you for advice and answers.

Create a posting schedule and stick to it – You don’t have to post everyday, but you should post regularly and it should be on a consistent schedule. So figure out what works best for you and for your followers and stick to it. You want your followers to know when you will be posting and to start looking forward to seeing your posts.

Keep your branding consistent – you always want your followers to know that they’re following the right Facebook page or Twitter feed and know who they are interacting with online. So your logo and branding should match across all media (from your website to email marketing and onto Facebook and Twitter).

Engage your followers – You want to generate discussion and encourage your followers to interact with each other and with you as your business persona. So create posts with that in mind. Ask them questions. Start discussions. Whether it is a link to an article or video you’ve created, a question or poll you have for your followers, or just a link to an article they might find interesting, post things with the goal of creating a dialog.

Once you sit down and create a strategy, stick with it. Then take a look at how your new strategy is affecting your social media statistics as well as your bottom line. From there, you can make smaller changes to make your strategy even more effective.

In this day and age, where everyone is interacting online 24 hours a day, your social media presence is key. Make sure you are using it effectively in order to grow relationships. Now, more than ever, it can have a positive effect on your bottom line.

How Well Is Social Media Working for You?

February 10, 2015 Kathy Watts permalink

magnifyThe new year is always a great time to take a look at what you did last year, analyze what worked and what didn’t work, and use that information to plan out your strategy for the rest of this year. With Valentine’s Day coming up fast, you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to leverage your social media and make this holiday successful.

Now is a great time to see what worked and what didn’t work over the Valentine’s Day period last year as well as the rest of 2014. It’s also a great time to analyze your social media posts from 2014 using Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics.

Did you know that you can pull reports that show you detailed information on your social media accounts and how they performed in 2014, or over a certain holiday period last year, such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day?

Did you know that you can pull reports on your FB insights page?

  • On your business page, click on the “Insights” tab across the top. From there, you can click on “Export” which can be found on the upper right corner – just to the far right of where you clicked on Insights and just below your name or page name.
  • Once you click Export, a new pop up window will open and you can select the parameters of the report you would like to run.
  •  Select the Data Type you would like to see. There are three types:
    • Page
    • Post
    • Video
  • Select the Date Range you would like to look at
  • Select the File Format you would like to see your report in. For most purposes, you will want to select Excel.
  • Once you’ve selected all the parameters, just click on “Export Data”. Your report will be generated and a window will pop up giving you the option of opening the report or saving it to your computer.

From there, you can see how many new likes your page received in 2014. You can also take a look at what posts received the most likes or shares. From there, you can analyze whether certain types of posts do better than others. For example, on my page, posts with an image or video tend to get more likes and shares. This can help you plan out posts for this year in order to increase shares and likes on your page.

You can also view stats on Twitter

Twitter also gives you the opportunity to generate and print reports for tweet analysis.

To view Twitter Analytics, go to: https://analytics.twitter.com/ . From here, you can view statistics about your tweets, including information on impressions and engagements. To run a report in Twitter Analytics, just press the “Export Data” button close to the top right corner of the page.

Twitter Analytics allows you to take a look at how each type of tweet performed. Maybe your most popular tweets are articles from other places that you shared or retweets of things. Perhaps your top tweets include photos or videos. Analytics will help you determine what is and what is not working for you on Twitter.

Things to take a look at and think about when planning your social media for 2015:

  • Best times to post to reach your audience based on analytics and insights. Insights can show you when your target audience is online. Use this information to schedule posts for peak hours of the day or week.
  • What sort of posts gave you the best interactions – photos, videos, shared articles, blog posts, etc. This is useful to know when planning out the types of posts you want to share going forward into 2015. By knowing what gets the most interaction, you can drive more activity on your page.

By taking the time to analyze how your social media performed last year, you can set yourself up for even more social media success this year. Take some time today to study your data.

Not sure how to check your Facebook Insights or Twitter Analytics? Check out the articles we posted about them last year:

Are You Looking At Facebook Insights?

What Can Twitter Analytics Do For You?

How to Share Photos or Videos without Stealing Them

November 6, 2014 Kathy Watts permalink

lookingWe’ve all done it. We need a photo for a Facebook post or an image for our latest promo, so we go to Google Images and find something we like and then use that. The problem is, we probably have no idea what the copyright info is for those images. Some of the images you see may be available for free use, while others are not. We may have just unknowingly stolen content.

Or you see a photo that you just love and want to use it. So you take a screen shot of it, or download it to your laptop, and put it in your post with a credit underneath it. You feel pretty good about getting to use the photo and you’ve credited the place or person it belongs to. Problem solved, right? Well, not exactly. Unless you directly contacted the person who owns the copyright and got their permission to use the image, you are still in violation of copyright laws, even if you do add a credit to the photo. The owner of the image gets to decide where their work is used, not you. Offering them a credit or a link-back doesn’t erase the fact that you’ve just infringed on their copyright.

What about that video from YouTube that perfectly shows a specific technique? You saw it on someone else’s Facebook page and just want to share it on your business page. So you click the Share button and add it to your timeline. But did you stop to check that the video was playing in the YouTube player window, even when embedded on Facebook? If not, then you may have infringed on copyright yet again.

It is a slippery slope these days when sharing images or videos online. It can be so easy to infringe on an artist’s copyright without even thinking about it, especially with so many beautiful and interesting images online and people sharing them constantly on social media. It creates quite the dilemma. We are in an image-driven society and you need images and videos in order to connect with your clients. But you don’t want to violate anyone’s copyright.

So here are a few tips to help navigate the world of sharing images & videos.

Create your own images
Well, first off, you could create your own images or videos. That way, you own the copyright and can use them however you wish. You can either go out and take your own photos, film your own videos, or create graphics and images on your computer. Keep in mind that taking a copyrighted image and making changes to it does not suddenly make it yours. You would still be liable for violating copyright law. So if you are creating your own images, make sure you are doing so from scratch, not starting with someone else’s image.

Use Stock Images
A stock image is a photograph already licensed for use. You will usually pay a small fee in order to use the photo, but once you’ve purchased the right to use it, you can do so without violating copyright. You can purchase the right to use stock photos and images from a variety of companies online. The price depends on the photo and what you’ll be licensing it to use it for, and you may have to pay an additional fee if you want to use the image again for a different project.

Look for Royalty-Free Images
Royalty-free images come with a license that allows you to use the image without paying a fee each time you do so. They are typically non-exclusive, which means other people & businesses can use them too.

Use Images in the Public Domain
Images in the Public Domain are those that no longer have a copyright, so anyone is free to use them. You can find images in the public domain by searching for “public domain images” on Google or other search engines.

Search for Images with a Creative Commons License
If you are looking for free images that are part of the public domain or whose authors have waived copyright in various ways, Creative Commons is the best place to look. You can search for images on Creative Commons here: http://search.creativecommons.org/  Be sure to pay attention to what sort of license each photo comes with. Some only allow their images to be used for non-commercial work, while others offer more flexibility.

Make sure you share videos the right way
If you are sharing videos from YouTube, make sure you are sharing them via the embeddable YouTube player. Do not just download or save the video and then upload it to your website or social media page. Instead, share or embed the video directly from YouTube into your page or website. You can find the embeddable link under the share button on the video’s YouTube page. By sharing videos using the embeddable link or share button, you are maintaining the link back to that video’s page on YouTube and are ensuring that the creator of the video still gets the credit and the benefit of any ad revenue generated when anyone watches the video.

You can also ask the author for their permission to use an image
If you find the perfect video or image and you just have to use it, make sure you contact the author or owner first. Ask their permission and then abide by their requests. It could be that they’ll agree to let you use their image, either for free (with proper credit, of course) or for a small fee. Making sure you have the permission of the author is a win-win for both of you.

By making an effort to be sure you are not infringing on copyright with the images you choose to use, you are ensuring the protection of both your business and the rights of the artists and creators. That is not only proper business practice, that’s something that makes everyone feel good.

Looking for Images? Here are some useful websites:
http://search.creativecommons.org/
http://www.corbisimages.com/
http://www.gettyimages.com/
http://www.shutterstock.com/
http://www.istockphoto.com/

What Can Twitter Analytics Do for You?

November 3, 2014 Kathy Watts permalink

twitterWe are always looking for better ways to connect with our clients online. Twitter is still one of the top social media platforms for doing just that, especially when your followers are on the go. And they recently made it even easier for you to analyze how effective your tweets are and what else your followers are doing online. Earlier this summer, Twitter released their Analytics Dashboard to all of their users (previously, it was only available to their paid advertisers). It is a powerful tool and we’re really excited to have it available for everyone to use.

Twitter Analytics offers a lot of useful information that allows you to evaluate what is happening in your Twitter feed, from what tweets are the most successful, to what your followers are doing and where they are located. Let’s take a look at what it has to offer. You can access Twitter Analytics at: https://analytics.twitter.com/ Once you are logged into your Analytics account, you will see that it is broken down into three sections: Tweets, Followers, & Twitter Cards. Here are a few helpful tips about each of those areas as you begin analyzing your Twitter data.

Tweets
This area provides you with information on your tweets. You can see how many link clicks, retweets, favorites, & replies were received for each tweet. Tweets is broken down into a couple of sections:

  • Impressions – The number of times a user saw the tweet on Twitter.
  • Engagements – The total number of times a user has interacted with a tweet. This includes all clicks anywhere on the tweet (hashtags, links, avatar, username, tweet expansion), retweets, replies, follows, & favorites.
  • Engagement Rate – The engagement rate is determined by dividing the number of engagements by the number of impressions.

You can also click on any tweet on this page and view a Tweet Details page of the data for just that tweet. Tweets is a good section to look at to get an idea of what tweets are getting the most interaction from your followers. You can then use that information to tailor your posts to create greater engagement.

Followers
Followers provide information on your followers. At the top of the page, you will see a graph that tracks the number of followers you have, so that you can see trends of rising or lowering followers over time. The Followers page breaks down your followers by location and gender and shows what your followers’ top interests are, and what their most unique interests are, based on what they are following and what tweets they are liking on Twitter. You also get to see examples of some of the other Twitter accounts they are following. This is all really useful information that can help you determine whether you are effectively reaching your target demographic. It can also be used to tailor tweets to match the overlap of your clients’ interests and your offerings.

Twitter Cards
Twitter Cards
are an exciting new addition to the Twitter family. Once set up and integrated Twitter Cards allow you to take your Twitter posts beyond just text and incorporate photos and videos. The main difference is that those images will show up in your Twitter feed as photos or videos, rather than as just a link to the image. So it makes the user experience that much better. There is a lot to learn about Twitter Cards. Here is a great article over at Forbes.com that will teach you all you need to know about Twitter Cards.

As you can see, the new Twitter Analytics offers you a lot of powerful tools to analyze what is happening with your Twitter feed. It can help you determine what is working well and where you need to make some changes to make your Twitter feed even more successful. Take some time today and sign into your Twitter Analytics account and check out your data. By using the data that Twitter is now providing you free of charge, you can start to strengthen your online presence and make more informed decisions about your social media strategy.

Keep Your Eye on the Turkey

October 31, 2014 Stephany Toman permalink

A  photo of Autumn forest and sunEven though the frost is barely on the pumpkin, things are starting to get serious in terms of end-of-year marketing. We’re about to hit the big time in terms of opportunity to generate significant revenue, all while we’re helping our clients choose most excellent gifts for their intended recipients, recipients who may not yet be loyal to your business.

Gift certificates represent a very solid way to boost your revenue stream and bond with those who are new, or at least new to you, in terms of enjoying relaxing, nurturing, stress-reducing services. There is a lovely symmetry to the gift certificate sale that begins with you promoting your services via your website, in house signage, voice mail recordings, and social media interactions and ending with the lucky giftee scheduling time in your establishment.

You reach out via the media that you’ve chosen to the people you’ve nurtured and to whom you’ve provided spa, massage, esthetic and salon services to in the past to do the right thing – gift a wonderful service to a friend or family member on their list – and in return you gain access to new and more potential long-term clients, clients that you will then be able to reach out to with great promotions and service offerings that they can then gift to other lucky people and so on.

Everything that you do to promote your business, and to provide the absolute best experience possible for everyone who walks in your door matters. Every time a future customer becomes a current customer your hard work has made a difference, for those people decide to seek your services for any number of reasons, all of which you have a modicum of control influencing in positive ways – a friend refers your business by straight recommendation or via gift certificate, an article you have written on your blog has impressed to the point where curiosity is piqued and a decision to try out your services is made, or a social media post gets liked by someone whose like is seen on a friend’s wall. The possibilities are limitless; the choice to reach out with compelling and thought provoking marketing, regardless the medium, is one that pays dividends in countless ways. The process builds on itself – that’s the beauty and frustration of marketing, actually. Even if you ask someone how they found your business, sometimes their answer is only part of the equation. After all, in our day and age of being constantly overwhelmed by a daily barrage of messaging and information – much of it designed to make us buy something or try something, or, right now, to vote in midterm elections for someone, actually – the real reason for finally seeking your services may have begun months before when a friend shared a helpful blog article. The fact that your new client has now bookmarked your blog, or is notified when a new article goes up simply reinforces the entire process.

Back to the turkey.

By now we’re all painfully aware of the Black Friday idiocy ridiculousness chaos tradition.  Most of us have participated at one point in the rush to get the best deal on a down comforter or TV or home appliances or….to be met with extremely long lines full of people suffering from serious turkey hangovers. It’s not fun, and often the object of your original desire is gone by the time you actually get into the place that’s offering up the deal. It’s fundamentally unfair, blows a perfectly good morning to sleep in and relax, and is so not how you need to do things.

You offer the perfect, elegant solution with your instant gift certificates for your services. Use the convenience factor, the elegance piece, the ‘they are absolutely right for so many people on your list’ aspect, and promote them like crazy.

Starting now. Because it’s about to get ugly out there, and you are in the perfect position to make the lives of gift givers a whole lot easier, once again.

Go forth and promote. And go easy on the stuffing – it’ll make you sleepy.

Are You Looking at Facebook Insights?

October 30, 2014 Kathy Watts permalink

Facebook We all have a Facebook business page these days (& if you don’t, you should). And we try to post things we think are interesting to our clients, along with the requisite posts about promotions or sales we are having. But do you ever stop to think about whether your posts are really connecting with your clients? Or whether those same posts are helping to drive further engagement, not only with your clients but also with their extended circles? Facebook Insights can help you do all that and more.

Facebook Insights is a set of analytics that Facebook provides to business pages. It offers you a lot of powerful information that can help you analyze what is happening on your Facebook business page. It can help you understand what is working effectively on your page, as well as learn more about who is visiting your page, what they are doing, and when.

Let’s take a look at the 6 main sections of Facebook Insights. You can find the Insights information by going to your business page and clicking on “Insights” at the very top of the page (above your cover photo). Within Insights, you will see 6 different tabs: Overview, Likes, Reach, Visits, Posts, & People. Here is what you will find on each of these tabs.

Overview
The Overview tab provides you with a snapshot of data for your page from the last 7 days. It also compares the data from this week with the data from last week. You will see it broken down into several sections:

  • Page Likes – this shows you the overall number of likes as well as any new likes this week.
  • Post Reach – This shows you the number of people shown your page and posts.
  • Engagement – Engagement is the number of people who saw a post and then liked, shared, clicked or commented on it.
  • 5 Most Recent Posts – Your 5 most recent posts are displayed at the bottom of the Overview page.

This page is a good one to visit on a regular basis as it gives you a snapshot of the most valuable information from each of the other tabs.

Likes
The Likes tab shows you information about the likes on your business page. This information is broken down in several different ways.

  • Total Page Likes – This is the current total of likes on your page, as of today.
  • Net Likes – This shows you the total number of likes minus unlikes on your page.
  • Where Your Page Likes Came From – where any likes on your page in this period came from, whether they were referred from an external source like your website.

Knowing where your likes come from can be useful when trying to allocate resources.

Reach
The Reach tab shows you information on the reach of your posts, including who saw them and what sort of engagement each post had.

  • Post Reach – This shows the number of people who saw your posts. It is broken down by both organic and paid.
  • Likes, Comments, & Shares – This section shows you information on all the positive engagement your posts had. Increased numbers in this section shows an increase in your overall reach.
  • Hide, Report as Spam, Unlike – This section shows you information on all the negative engagement your posts had. Increased numbers in this section shows a decrease in your overall reach.
  • Total Reach – This shows you the total number of people who were shown any activity from your page.

The information on reach can be helpful in determining what sorts of posts have the most reach and positive engagement, as those are the sort of posts that can help grow your page.

Visits
The Visits tab shows you information about what people did when they visited your page.

  • Page and Tab Visits – This shows the number of times people clicked on each of the tabs on your page, such as About, Hours, Info, or Likes.
  • Other Page Activity – This shows the number of actions that people took that involved your page. This could be the mention of your page in a post or a post by one of your followers on your page.
  • External Referrers – This shows the number of times people came to your Facebook page from an external website or link, such as the link to Facebook on your website.

This information can help you determine whether certain sections of your page need more attention. You can also see whether your reach is increasing based on people who already like your page sharing your posts and pages with people who haven’t liked your page yet.

Posts
The Posts tab shows information about both your followers and your posts. It provides you with information about your followers habits as well as how they have engaged with your posts. It shows two main sections of information:

  • When Your Fans are Online – This shows when the people who like your page are on Facebook. You can track it based on the time of day by mousing over the graph to see how many of your followers are online at any given time of the day or week.
  • Post Types – You can click the tab next to When Your Fans are Online to view this data. It shows the average performance (reach and engagement) of each post type (status, photo, link) on your page.
  • Posts You’ve Published – This section shows all the posts you’ve published in chronological order. It provides a lot of powerful information about each post including:
      1. Type of Post – This shows what sort of post it is: status, photo, link to an external article
      2. Targeting Information – Who this post was shared with. Typically, your posts will tend to be shared globally with all your followers. But you may have subgroups that you share specific posts with
      3. Reach – How many people were reached by this post, usually broken down by organic and paid
      4. Engagement – Number of people who engaged with this post (liked it, clicked on it, shared it, or commented on it)
      5. Boost Post – this is a link that allows you to pay to boost this post and put it back at the top of people’s feeds
      6. You can also click on any individual post to view a detail page for each post

This can be useful information when you are trying to determine what sort of posts get the most reach and engagement. Or what day of the week or time of day is the best time to post on your Facebook page to get the greatest number of views.

People
The People tab shows you information about the people engaging with your page. There are three tabs on this page.

  • Your Fans – shows you information about the people who like your page, broken down by age, gender, and geography. You can also mouse over each demographic to see how your engagement with that section compares to Facebook as a whole.
  • People Reached – shows your demographic information about the people reached with your posts.
  • People Engaged – shows you demographic information about the people who engaged with your posts.

This can be useful information if you are trying to target a certain demographic, such as women ages 35-50.

As you can see, Facebook Insights offers a lot of powerful metrics to help you better understand what is resonating with your followers and where you can make improvements or shift focus in your posts in order to engage an even larger audience.

Take some time today to check out your insights. By using all the valuable data that Facebook has already compiled for you, you can make better decisions about both your Facebook strategy and the content you post on your business page.

Tune Up Your Social Media

October 1, 2014 Kathy Watts permalink

People working cogsThese days, just having a Facebook page and Twitter account is not enough. They shouldn’t just be an afterthought, or something you signed up for because you thought your business should have them. They also shouldn’t just be a place to advertise your specials.

People spend more time on social media than they do watching television, so making sure your business is not only present but offering interesting and engaging posts is more important than ever. People are looking for engagement and benefits from liking your page. Social media should be a place where you create and foster a community. That community then becomes a captive audience and a strong contingent of your regular customers.

Now is a great time of the year to tune up your social media pages & rethink your social media strategy. Here are some things to consider:

First, Do a Bit of Housekeeping
Here are a few initial places to start off the housekeeping on your page:

  • Is your contact information (phone number, address, & website) correct? Have you entered your business hours and are they accurate? Is your About section filled out and up to date?
  • Make sure your Facebook page is a business page and not just a profile. Not only is it more professional, it also doesn’t violate Facebook’s policies. If someone can “Friend” your page, then you have a profile. A Business page can only be “Liked”.
  • Do you have a cover photo and profile picture? Studies show that users are drawn to pages with photos. Make sure your page has them and they are sized to fit properly.

 

What makes a good post? Trends in Posting
More and more people are spending more and more time on social media, and they aren’t just on there to watch videos of cats. They are there looking for inspiration, engagement, and to feel like part of a community. So make your page the sort of place that provides that sort of experience, rather than just a spot to check out your specials. Inspire them with tips and information about how to achieve a more beautiful and healthy lifestyle. Engage them with questions that encourage interaction. The trend in posting to social media is moving towards shorter, more frequent communications, with a focus on visual. This is the perfect place to test out your brand voice and personality (two topics we’ve covered recently here on the blog). The best posts create and foster a sense of community and initiate conversations.

Think Visual!
Consumers continue to become more and more visual, and they are drawn to posts with images. So think about incorporating more visuals into your posts. All of the social media platforms are set up to incorporate photos or videos into your posts, so posting with photos is now easier than ever.

Consider using Video
YouTube has more viewers than cable television. Used effectively, video is a great way to connect with even more of your clients or prospective customers. Plus, with the Facebook algorithm, users who watch videos will start to see more videos in their feeds, which means your posts will show up more frequently if they include photos and videos. Video can be a great tool for sharing tips with your followers or introducing them to your staff.

Create a Series
Series are a great way to generate interest and also a way to bring followers back again, to check out the next installment. It’s also a great way to set your business up as an expert, or to help foster your brand identity online by helping your followers get to know your business better.

A great idea for a series is to answer your five most asked questions in little videos. Then share them on your social media outlets in a weekly series & make a landing page on your website that features them as well. Or create an Ask the Expert series where followers can post questions and you post a video response/tutorial once a week.

Should you add another outlet?
Facebook and Twitter are still the kings of social media. But there are lots of other platforms out there that continue to grow in popularity. Now might be a good time to think about adding another to the mix. Consider Google+, the fastest growing of the social networks. Experts predict that it will only continue to grow and its users are very active. It could be a great third social media outlet to add to your marketing plan.

There are also quite a few social media platforms that are a bit more specialized, such as LinkedIn for business contacts, Pinterest for pinning fave photos and links to websites/articles, Instagram for posting snapshots, and Vine for posting short 6 second videos. It’s worth evaluating these to determine whether any of them will provide added benefit to your social media strategy.

Now more than ever, having a strong social media marketing strategy is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing plan. Make sure you keep it up to date and invest the time and effort to make it useful and interesting for your followers. You’ll see that commitment reflected in your bottom line.

*** This article is part of our “Time for a Tune Up” series, designed to help you tune up your business practices, get ready for the holidays, and think about your business and marketing strategies, both for the rest of this year and heading into 2015. It’s not too early to start thinking ahead, and now is the time to start preparing for even more success.