Most of us who have visited Facebook at least once in the last week will know that there have been a number of significant changes made to personal profiles and the way that pages and people are interacted with.
No-one ever likes change and while it is a bit of an inconvenience at times, we don’t often understand the reason why these changes are being made. Bottom line is that it’s in Facebook’s best interest to create a user-friendly system that will ultimately help people connect, and help the larger audiences namely business, use Facebook in a way that is beneficial. I don’t know about you, but with Facebook being such a HUGE & COMPLEX site I wouldn’t like to be the one overseeing such a massive platform of interaction!
I’ve been watching people’s reactions over the last few weeks to different things, and id like to encourage you to not only embrace the changes, but also only believe what you hear from Facebook themselves. You know how fast gossip and hot news moves, speculation moves even faster! There are so many time wasting messages being posted on people's walls and business pages at the moment, it’s time that we saw through these man-made messages, and went straight to source.
As business owners our time is short, we don’t have time for trying to work out what’s rubbish and what isn’t. Following what everyone else is posting isn’t always the right thing to do. Your fans don’t want to see chain-like rubbish posted on business walls either. There’s nothing wrong with discussing changes and happenings on your business walls, just make sure that you are professional when being relational and interactive with your fans.
Firstly, let me quickly tell you about a few trusted pages you can follow that will keep you up to date with the latest news on Facebook changes and issues:
Known issues on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KnownIssues will keep you up to date with system issues. They will post information about system errors, downtimes, issues they are working on and more.
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/facebook A page solely on Facebook which tells you about new features, news, gives helpful tips on how to use the system, and more.
Facebook Studio - https://www.facebook.com/FacebookStudio A community for agencies and marketers doing great work on Facebook.
All Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/allfacebook An insightful blog on the ins and outs of Facebook.
Secondly, let me identify a few of the ‘useless speculation posts’ floating around at the moment.
1. Changes made to pages (where you could no longer unlike a page from your newsfeed) were due to all the ‘silent tagging’ going on a few weeks ago. There was so much speculation on this, and while I do believe Facebook was watching, there is no evidence (apart from speculation and timing issues), that the changes made that week were due to silent tagging (you all have your own personal opinions on this). Changes that were made that week were the beginning of the major changes Facebook were making.
2. Facebook charging to be a member – these posts keep surfacing every few months. And while we cant tell what will happen in the future, im not sure that its in the best interest of Facebook to charge people to have their profiles live. There are plenty of other ways for them to make money before they head in that direction. These are HOAX messages. If you haven’t heard it from Facebook direct, then there’s no point believing it and reposting it.
3. New Algorithm formula – many of you will have seen these posts in the last few days where businesses are asking you to like their status so they continue to see your posts. Don’t be alarmed by these messages and begin thinking that people wont be able to see your posts anymore. If you continue to interact with your fans in a way that they are interacting and creating activity on your page, then they will continue to see your posts. This has always been the way its worked and will continue to be the way it works.
4. Liking statuses in order to see a business page's posts -
DON'T FORGET!!!! Starting today: New Facebook Procedures - all page owners are asked to tell fans: If you are not an active fan of mine (liking or commenting on photos) as of October 31, 2011 you will no longer see updates from me in your news feed! They will also be removing the "Discussions" & "Reviews" tabs. PLEASE LIKE THIS STATUS if you want to see my posts!
You should not have to 'make' your fans like your status or photos in order to get interaction from them so that the possibilities of them seeing your page are greater. If you ARE providing good content and posts that people will want to interact with, then you have a greater chance of your page being seen. Lead with good quality posts and good content and people will want to interact with your page giving better results on Facebook. You will still see updates of pages you havent been 'made' to like, this is a false claim!
Thirdly, let’s look at a few positive things! The new newsfeed type box down the side, seems to show more of the interaction that people have with pages. The opportunity for people to find and connect with your page is now greater. If they see their friends actively involved in a page, they are more likely to check it out! Not only that, the new changes will bring in some new features for business not only in the areas of applications and functionality, the way we can graphically present our businesses will also change for the better.
Any major site needs to make changes at some point to keep things running smoothly and to facilitate growth. Ebay went through some huge changes not that long ago, Paypal are always making changes, and Facebook are just doing what they need to do to keep up with massive growth, growing trends and possible competitors, just like any business should!
Let’s stop focusing on the things we can’t change, and move on with the things we can. The power of Facebook for business is reinforced to me day in day out. Facebook is a FREE platform that has changed the course of history for traditional business. Its your choice how you use it!
Yours in Business
Market Me Marketing
Well since the success of our first post on 20 Spots to Promote you Business, ive been on the lookout for more pages where you can promote your Business page on for FREE.
Facebook is GREAT for Business. It provides a platform where you can build brand awareness, grow your fan/customer base, and interact with current customers, potential customers and those that don’t know they need you yet! But where do you start when it comes to ‘promoting’ your Business Page in order to get the word out there and grow your following.
These pages have been set up specifically for Business promotion. Not only will some of these pages do shoutouts for business pages, these pages also get lots of traffic as there are lots of people using them.
SO without further ado, here is another 20 pages for promotion!
Most of these pages are Australian based, some are internationally based. While these pages are there to promote you, they are mostly run by volunteers who have businesses of their own and families to run, so use the ‘free business promotion’ pages, but don’t abuse them (by posting everyday etc), and a ‘thankyou’ always goes a long way. It’s always nice to promote those that promote you from time to time.
Yours in Business
So you have a business page, but how do you keep the page interesting to ensure that your followers continue to follow you? Ensure there is variety in what you post, and don’t post too often!!! But where do you get your content from in order to provide a ‘variety of posts’.
Here’s a few ideas that I have used and
have found helpful…
~ YOUR WEBSITE If you have one, your website is a great starting point. What type of features does your website have that you could point out to customers?
Eg. ‘About us’ – ‘DID YOU KNOW that Market Me was only started in 2010? Find out more about our business and the person behind it (then post a link to your websites ‘about us’ page).
Other possible website features you
could point out to customers
~ Ordering info (saves lots of emails about how to order!!)
~ Twitter Link (‘why not follow us on Twitter)…or any other social media sites you can be located on
~ Spotlight products
~ Sale items
~ Artists, Contributors
~ Advertising opportunities etc
~ PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTS – Do Product Spotlights, probably no more than once a day. Sometimes the item you post is just what someone is looking for. I do these for a client on his page, and he said that the amount of click-through’s on those items that I’ve featured is much higher than pages I haven’t featured, so this works!! I was also following a page that I thought only did jewellery. One day this business posted a dress that I fell in love with!! I would never have gone looking for a dress at this page, but she made a sale out of me!!
~ PERSONAL TOUCH – Its great to wish your customers a great week, wish them ‘Merry Christmas, Happy Easter, Happy Mothers day etc. Its also nice to ‘thank’ those that follow us, and also then them for inviting their friends (if they haven’t invited their friends already, it may remind them to do so!).
~ ASK A QUESTION OR CREATE A DISCUSSION This is a great way to build some interaction on the page, and also breaks up your status’ so that its not all bout products and specials (if you know what I mean!). Ask them what they’re plans are for the weekend, or if they’d like a coffee!!! Don’t be too worried if at first you don’t get any responses. I know its hard, but it will continue to build trust with your followers, and in the future this will improve.
~ TAGGING BUSINESSES Do some shoutout’s a few times a week to some businesses in similar fields as yours, fields you’d like to look for potential customers (eg. Shoutout pages etc). Don’t forget you can tag up to 6 Businesses in your status post.
~ LINKS TO ARTICLES/BLOG POSTS One way to really grab you’re followers attention is to provide ‘value’. Provide links to articles or blog posts that may encourage them to think about why they need you or your product.
One question I get asked a lot is ‘how many times should I post a day’? It may vary for different pages, but I would say 2-3 times a day, featuring different things each time. The last thing you want to do is clog up someone’s newsfeed, and have them hide your posts.
Why not sit down with a pen and paper and do a brainstorm on the different things you haven’t told your followers yet, or the things you could tell your followers…you’d be surprised at what you may have missed!! There’s no harm in repeating things once a week or once every two weeks either!
When our FB posts are interesting, informative and encourage a customer to look further into your product, you will be more likely to keep current followers, and people will be more likely to suggest you to their friends.
Until next time
Once upon a time, in the land of Facebook, there was such a thing as a ‘Fan’. Someone became a fan of a page when they clicked the ‘Become a Fan’ button on a particular fan page. A person had to be on your page to become a fan, but with recent changes to how Facebook allow people to connect with your page, a whole new world of opportunity has opened up creating FREE Leads for your business, and simple connections from anywhere on the internet.
There are many benefits to embracing this new initiative from Facebook:
The Facebook ‘Like’ button is a great business tool. There's a bunch of great videos on UTube that show you how to install this tool. The change that initially caused a fair amount of uproar on Facebook pages that I follow, is a change that will make it easier for potential customers to follow you, grow your list much quicker and from different locations on the net, and grow your sales. The question should no longer be what is the like button, but rather how quickly can I get it on my sites.
Facebook has become one of the most cutting edge platforms to grow your business. Lets face it...there are a lot of people spending a lot of time on there! And best of all its FREE. But it can be a little confusing as to how to best set up a business on Facebook.
There are 2 main options for hosting your business presence on Facebook ~ a Fan Page or a Group. In some ways a group and fan page are similar, but there are some distinctive differences to be aware of.
Fan pages are used to promote people, celebrities, groups of people, businesses & more. They are created to increase promotion, attract supporters, and generally increase awareness & online presence and of course interaction with customers and potential customers. The ‘Marketing’ of the person or group being promoted through a Fan page happens in a variety of ways.
A page is easier to manage and has less limitations & more options to customise & increase functionality than a group. A page is run by ‘admins’ who can be changed when required, and allows those who’ve been added as an admin to make changes and post on the wall of the page & generally manage the page and its happenings.
As the name implies, a Group is more designed for socialisation and interaction between Members who have been brought together for a purpose. A group is run by ‘Administrators’ who can change information, photos etc and accept Members.
There are a number of options with a group, including making it a Private Closed group where Members can discuss sensitive and confidential information. People would need to request to join these kinds of groups.
There are a few benefits of creating a group for your business. One benefit is that you can send an email to group members. This is especially handy if you are offering free training, specials, events etc.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Be careful how much information you send. You don’t want to SPAM someone’s mailbox so much that they remove themselves from your group. None of us like spam, so make sure what you have to say is important. I would recommend no more than 2 messages a week, so make them count!
Facebook Advertising & Promotion.
When it comes to paid advertising on Facebook, you cannot advertise a Group. You will need to refer people to an outside BLOG or website and send them back to your Facebook group from there. A Fan page though can easily be linked to Facebook advertising. Many times people will need to be invited to join a group (though some people will just join if they like what they see).
Make an informed Decision.
Before making a decision for your business on whether to create a Fan page or Group its important to review what you’re objectives are for the page...what you want to achieve. A lot more can be done with a Fan Page in regards to adding functionality, where as a Group may be the answer if you don’t need any of that, and its just a means to bring people together for one purpose.
One of the best ways to help determine the differences between a Fan Page and Group, is to actually go check some out. See how they work, how they look and how they function..and make an informed decision from there.Nic Jones