Entries in Facebook (129)

Monday
Apr142014

Are you freaking out because your Facebook reach is down?

If you’ve noticed that your Facebook reach is down, you definitely aren’t alone.  It’s frustrating – no doubt about it!  Less people are seeing your content than in the past. 

What this means for you as a page owner is that you may need to shift the way you’re doing things and how you think about Facebook as a tool.  Because of this change we’ve been having this conversation with people a lot so today I’m going to share some reasons I think it kind of makes sense that you’re seeing less, and a few things you can do to try to improve the situation.

Why is this happening?

1. Facebook’s Algorithm

Facebook’s algorithm is designed to show people what they want to see. As much as I enjoy knowing what my favourite brands are up to, I definitely want the ratio of friend to brand content to fall heavily on the friend side. That means our Facebook pages are showing up less in personal feeds.

2. Volume

There are over 1.25 billion Facebook accounts sharing more than 10 billion messages daily. If everything that was shared showed up in your timeline chronologically (as it does on Google+ or Twitter) then you wouldn’t see any more from a brand than you are now. There is simply no way for people to see everything being shared on Facebook.

3. This is no different than with other media

You don’t hear every ad that runs on the radio or every comment/conversation by the DJs. You don’t see every ad that plays on TV. Why would you expect to see everything one brand or person posts on Facebook?

TV and radio are a great analogy for a lot of what’s going on with Facebook, in my opinion.

When TV was a newer technology, brands could buy an ad on one of the big three networks and because the choice of channels was so limited, the chance of their audience seeing that ad was fairly high. This is very much like the early days of Facebook when people were only following a few brand pages and didn’t have hundreds of Facebook friends.

When people choose to watch TV now, they have hundreds of channels to choose from, or they can choose to fast forward through all the commercials or go straight to streaming Netflix and avoid commercials altogether. The chances of a brand’s commercial being seen by the public simply because it’s been put on TV has significantly decreased because of all the content available out there. The same applies to Facebook.

While many people like to talk about Facebook being a bait and switch situation with a free service that worked well now being one that has little reach, the landscape of Facebook is simply no longer what it was a couple of years ago. As the pickup within a medium increases, the reach is bound to decrease.

4. Revenue

People talk about how Facebook just wants your money a lot. I agree. They do.

I also think that makes sense. You can reach your audience for free on Facebook with a certain level of effort (like getting media attention using public relations) or you can pay for advertising (just like people do on TV, radio and newspapers) and get in front of more eyeballs. Facebook is trying to make money and their business model is one that includes advertising. I don’t think it’s an unreasonable thing for them to want the brands who are reaching their audiences on their network to pay for a some of it.

I don’t want to just spend my time justifying why your reach has decreased though, I want to offer some ideas on things you can do to bump it back up again.

What can you do?

Post regularly

Are you posting at least 1-2 times a day on your page? You should be posting at least that many times, if not more.

The more regularly and consistently you post good, valuable content, the more likely your audience is to see and interact with your content. That means they’ll be seeing your content in their feed more often in the future.

Analyze your content

Check your insights regularly. At least once a week, go and see what people are reacting to and take that into account when creating more content.

Is your audience clicking through on your links? Are people liking, commenting on or sharing the pictures you post? There is a ton of information in the insights that will help you make your content exactly what your audience is looking for.

What time is your audience online?

In the Facebook Insights section you can see what time your audience is online. Make sure that you’re sharing content throughout all of those times and not just the same times over and over again.  Then check to see if certain times are working better. (Building your Facebook presence requires patience and a willingness to test and tweak.)

There are certain times of day that are really popular. Your audience may be online but it’s harder to reach them because so much more content is being pushed out at that time (ads are more expensive during drive time radio for a reason). You may be better off posting at a time that is slightly less popular (9pm maybe?) and getting through to more people. Test it out and see what works!

Enlist your brand champions

You have a loyal following. There is nothing wrong with asking certain people to be more engaged on your page because it helps get the reach up. Ask them to turn notifications on and let them know you appreciate the support they are giving your page. It’s also nice to be willing to do that for a few other pages.

I have notifications turned on for about 5 business pages and I try to like, comment and share content on those pages as much as possible, because I know it’s helpful and valuable to a business that I believe in.

Pay for advertising

I mentioned this a bit earlier when I talked about Facebook wanting revenue. I think it’s reasonable to spend a bit of money on Facebook advertising. In fact, I think it’s a really good idea.

I’ve paid for advertising in print. Facebook advertising is dirt cheap in comparison, but you can target so specifically it’s amazing - done right, Facebook ads can deliver far more value than print ads. Don’t think that because you’ve heard boosting posts is a waste of your money (it definitely can be) or because people are complaining about Facebook advertising that it isn’t something worth doing. I’ll admit it takes time to learn how to do it really well, and you may want to enlist someone to help you do that that, but Facebook advertising DOES work and is something every business should consider and not just scoff at.

Reset your expectations

Things have changed. We may have gotten up to 50%+ reach on some posts in the past and we aren’t getting that any more. But if you think about the fact that people ARE seeing your content, that you’re providing value to the people who really want it, and you’re able to grow that audience at incredibly low cost, instead of just looking at the decrease in numbers you’ll see that spending your time on Facebook is still worthwhile.

Set some very realistic goals and expectations and see if you can meet them. Work to improve your engagement and reach from where you’re at now instead of looking into the past. Be consistent and provide quality content and you’re off to a great start. Just don’t forget to TELL people to come to your Facebook page and like you. And WHY. Why is it worth their time to offer you real estate in their packed Newsfeed?

So there you have it - my thoughts on the Facebook reach situation. To summarize it all quickly - yes, it’s happening. I don’t think it’s surprising or awful, but I do agree it’s frustrating and disappointing. We all just need to do our best by creating great content and putting our audiences first to make the time we spend on Facebook as worthwhile as possible.

Do you think Facebook still has value or has the algorithm destroyed its value for businesses? Leave a comment and let us know!

Tuesday
Feb112014

Should I use my personal Facebook account for business?

I hear people ask whether using their personal Facebook account for business purposes is a good idea on a regular basis. While you shouldn’t use your Facebook account AS your business, you can definitely use it to network and build relationships - if you want to.

I’ve talked about this before but I go into this question further in this two-minute video. Watch and leave a comment letting us know what you think.

We’ve set up a new YouTube account and we’d love if you’d subscribe to the new channel. And if you liked the video, please hit thumbs up - it would mean the world to us! :)

Tuesday
Nov192013

Are you irritating your audience into unliking or unfollowing you?

Social media is about building relationships with people and nobody likes to be in a relationship with someone who is pushy or who irritates them. But what irritates people online? How do we avoid frustrating our audience?

We asked our networks what irritates them from brands online and what pushes them to unfollow or unlike a page and we got a lot of great answers.

Here are some highlights, grouped by theme.

Don’t be too pushy

This was definitely the thing that came up the most. People don’t like to feel like you’re constantly trying to sell to them. Avoid being too repetitive, using catch phrases too much or just posting too much content (2-3 times a day is a good number to start with. Experiment and watch your insights to see what works best with your audience though, it could be more.)

Here are reasons people gave for unfollowing a page:

“Posting too often”

“Repetition, especially of tag lines or catch phrases.”

“Posting too often, or posting the same thing several times a day, or linkbombing a feed.”

“Posting 100 times a day, one after the other. Just unfollowed a page for that.”

“Posting mainly for the purpose of selling (one post after another … buy this, buy this, buy this) without sharing any useful content … same with newsletters.”

“Post only about themselves/services.”

“Too much pleading for liking, sharing, help us win this contest, etc. I’ll happily share good content without anyone asking; begging tells me your content is not that good. Also posting a whole bunch of times in a row on a regular basis. “

Social media needs to be a two-way conversation

When you have a presence online, people expect you to be there to have conversations.  If you post information but never answer questions or respond or acknowledge those that engage with you, people will get irritated and leave.

Reasons people gave for unliking a page for lack of engagement:

“When they don’t reply to questions on their own posts. Example: Joe’s Diner, “Come on in for great lunch specials today!” Me, “What are your specials today?” No reply. Unlike.”

“A page that doesn’t post/engage regularly.”

Your attitude matters

The way you interact with your audience is extremely important.  Make sure that you are aware that the tone you use is important and that what you are saying stays in line with what your audience expects of you.

People definitely don’t like it when brands get too political or religious:

“Overly critical, negative or bullying tones. Strong religious or political views that don’t illustrate willingness to be open to other views. Offensive, overly sexual content. “

“Anything with too aggressive or strong political or religious views one way or another or anything very negative.”

So what DO I say?

Be useful and give value to your customers. 

Remember it’s about them, not about you.

Be present and authentic.

Never stop checking in with your audience, either with questions or through analytics, to see if what you’re doing is working.

What makes you unfollow or unlike a brand? And what makes you stay? Leave a comment and let us know!

Thursday
Oct242013

How to set up a Facebook page for your small business

In this post we’re taking you back to step one of promoting your business on Facebook - how to set up your Facebook page.  In this video, we walk you through the process step by step and then we have some additional resources to share with you afterwards.

Step by step:

  1. Go to www.facebook.com/page
  2. Select the kind of page that is right for your business.  “Local business or place” requires an address, the other options do not.
  3. Write a short description of your business and include your business’ URL as soon as possible
  4. Upload a profile image
  5. Upload a cover image - try to make it visual and not too text heavy
  6. Complete the about section as thoroughly as possible
  7. Start inviting people to like your page!

Resources

A collection of some of our best Facebook posts

What does it mean to check in? 

How to get people to like your Facebook page

How to get engagement on your Facebook page

Image sizes

Profile image: 180x180 pixels.

Cover image:  851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall

If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments!

If you aren’t already signed up for our newsletter, take a minute and go sign up. You’ll get our free Simple Start e-book that will help you create awesome content for your new Facebook page!

Wednesday
Oct092013

Why should my small business use Facebook?

For small businesses that are thinking about using social media or starting to dip their toe in the water, the sheer number of tools (i.e., social networks) available to use can be staggering. One social network that is often the first businesses sign up for is Facebook, but not everyone is convinced it has value.

There are so many advantages for small businesses if they choose to use Facebook. Here are just five reasons we encourage many of our clients to be active on this channel - and why you should consider Facebook for your small business:

1) Easy two-way conversation

While business pages can’t go to personal profiles and engage with users individually, they can share engaging content that gets the conversation going on their page. It’s not always about making a sale - often the purpose of these conversations is simply to stay top of mind with fans so when they do need your small business’ services, it’s more likely they’ll look to you first.

2) Scalability and reach

Sure Facebook is the largest social network in the world with 1.15 billion accounts and over half (699 million)* are active daily. The truth is, despite that large number, if your audience isn’t on Facebook then your business shouldn’t be either. But if your audience is on Facebook, then the advantage of being able to grow your business by sharing helpful content to a growing audience is too good to pass up.

*As of June 2013

3) Cost-effective platform

Facebook is not free. There is no monetary cost to using it, unless you want to place ads (more on that later) but there is a time cost. Your time as a small business owner has a great deal of value, so the time spent promoting your business through social media channels must be effective and efficient. We believe Facebook can be very cost-effective and using it to grow your business doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time.

4) Cost-effective advertising

Have you looked at the cost of a newspaper or magazine ad lately? Sometimes that’s the best route for a small business to go because the return is well worth the investment. However, many small businesses simply don’t have the budget to make that gamble. Traditional advertising is based on a broadcasting model with minimal targeting available. Facebook advertising gives small businesses the ability to buy inexpensive ads that are highly targeted to the interests of fans and non-fans.

5) Build a community

As you increase the two-way conversations with a targeted audience, you’ll eventually find you’ve built a community - not a fan list. The connection within a community is much stronger and longer-lasting than the mere association between a business and its customers.

Given how many people use Facebook and how simple a tool it is to use, Facebook is often the easiest and best way to start using social media for your small business.

What other reasons compel you to use Facebook for your small business?

*****

All month long here on the Wellman Wilson blog, we’re going back to the basics in honour of the newly launched Simple Start program. The program is designed to walk you through launching (or restarting or improving) your presence on either Facebook or Twitter. It’s not just for beginners either - even experienced social media users need that fresh start every now and then. Grab the free version of Simple Start by signing up to our newsletter now.