Should I boost my Facebook posts?

If you have a Facebook page then I'm sure you recognize the "Boost Post" button.

Should you be using this feature? If so, when and why?

Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertising is a great investment for your business and I highly recommend that every business have a budget for it. The tools Facebook have created are powerful and let you do all kinds of amazing things, including targeting ads to people who already like your page, people who are friends with people who like your page, people based on other pages they like, and based on age and demographics.

You can also upload your email marketing list and target people who are already warm leads for you, create lookalike audiences from your mailing lists, and put conversion code on websites and then target people based on whether or not they have been to your website.

The possibilities with Facebook advertising are incredible! That being said, figuring out how to use them all, and use them well, is not easy. I've been using their tools for a long time and I still get confused. 

Facebook has tried to make it easier for everyone to figure out how to use the tools and one of the ways they've done that is with the 'boost post' feature. So the question is, should you be using it?

Boost Post

The boost post option lets you, with the click of a couple of buttons, turn something you shared on your Facebook page into an ad. The boost button appears for the admins of a page after each post, making it simple to find and easy to activate.

Once you click "Boost Post" you make a few simple choices and then your ad will be submitted for approval and start posting.

I think the Boost Post function can come in really handy, but only some of the time. Here are some reasons that you should use the boost post feature:

To promote something on your website. 

I promote most of my new blog posts so that I can make sure lots of people see the update and have the opportunity to click through and read the post. I think my audience would value articles by other people and I'm happy to share those, but the ones that I'm going to pay for are the ones that are driving people back to MY website.

To promote something that I'm doing.

It may not be something new on my website, but it's still something that I want my audience to take action on. It could be to enter a contest, to sign up for a webinar or to fill out a survey. 

The key is that I'm promoting myself. Sometimes I see people promoting posts that don't really tie back to their key messages and that isn't a great use of their marketing budget. If you're going to spend money on advertising, either do it to promote yourself with the boost post feature from time-to-time, or, invest in creating elaborate Facebook campaigns using the more advanced features (you may also want to invest in getting some help to do that).

Tips and tricks for using boost post

If you are going to use the boost post function here are a few things I've found work well:

- Boost to people who like your page and their friends. Often, your current audience has a lot of people in their network who are also your audience. By promoting it, not only to them but also to their friends, you are possibly going to find more fans. This is especially true when it's a valuable piece of content like a blog post, and less true if you're asking for something and are just trying to get more people to see your post.

- When I'm boosting a blog post I often boost for the smallest amount over a few days, and I don't always keep the post boosted for the entire time. Once you pause the campaign you stop paying so you don't actually have to pay the minimum amount they make it seem like you have to pay. 

- Check the insights. When you boost a post you will see the 'reach' under your post in two shades of orange. In addition to this, make sure to check on 'view results' so you can see what kinds of actions people took from the money you spent.

Here is an example where I spent just over $1 to boost a post. For that amount I got 16 link clicks, 3 post likes, one comment, and almost 400 more people saw the post. 

I encourage you to play around with the boost post feature. Create a budget for it and figure out what you want to promote about yourself so that the money you're spending brings eyeballs to the things that will move your business forward. 

Leave me a comment and let me know what kind of content you'll be promoting next!

Don't forget to sign up for my FREE webinar this Thursday, July 16th at 1 p.m. EST I will be sharing tips and tricks on how small businesses can use social media effectively without feeling overwhelmed! Click here to reserve your spot now!

What's the stock music of your business?

I listen to a lot of podcasts and one I have listened to a lot lately is the podcast version of Gary Vaynerchuk's show called #AskGaryVee. As I listen to the intro music to his podcast, I can't help but think how well his music represents him.

If you don't know who Gary Vaynerchuk is, he's an entrepreneur who used social media so successfully to grow his wine business that he is now one of the leading experts on the use of social media in the business world. The thing about Gary is that he has a big personality. A HUGE personality. He's got a big ego, which he has no problems owning, he swears a lot and he disagrees with people a lot. So, as I was listening to the music that intros his show I noticed just how fitting it was for him: edgy and a bit aggressive. Take a listen here - the music starts 9 seconds in:

Here's another video, this time it's Marie Forleo. She's someone who I think of as fashionable, professional, fun and quirky. I think the music fits her, though not as amazingly on point as GaryVee's. Check out her intro music at 9 seconds in:

Here's one last one. Farideh is someone who teaches people about how to create launches for their programs. What's fun about her is that she is also a musician and I imagine recorded the music herself. Her music is the closest to what I picked for myself -  lighthearted and fun. To me it speaks to being approachable and not being so "professional" that you're intimidating. Her music starts 14 seconds in:

Why is figuring out your music important?

There are two reasons I think figuring out the music that best represents you and/or your business is important:

1) Understand how you come across and how you want to come across

Having a clear idea about what you want people to think when they think of you can help you connect with your audience. When I get new photos done I come prepared with a list of words I want people to think when they see them. They include works like approachable, fun, easy to talk to - the same words I would use to pick music.

Spend a few minutes making a list of words you think fit you and how you want people to view you. If you're having a hard time thinking of what those words should be then you might want to think about what theme music you would pick for yourself - it's a different way of coming at the same topic.

2) Video

Video is becoming more and more important and you'll see a lot more content with regards to video over the coming months here on the blog. Video is a great way to connect with your audience and share information in short and fun to watch bites. 

When you do use video, you'll want that theme music to set the tone and feeling to your content. It also adds an extra level of professionalism to your product, which is more and more expected in the online world.

Where do I start?

There are lots of great sites to find stock music. It's often not cheap (though I think the two times I bought music I spent under $10) but spending some time thinking about the music you would use could be a lot of fun. I like ukuleles in mine because they're so happy and fun :). One small tip is to look for a loopable clip so that you can buy something shorter.

Two sites to check out are istock.com and www.stockmusic.net/. There are also options for finding royalty free or indie bands who are happy to let you use their music.

Leave me a comment and let me know what your music would sound like, or even better - link to it!

 

 

Three quick tips to improve your Facebook page

Facebook is one of the most commonly used online marketing tools for business - and rightfully so!

It's also one of the most frustrating.

There are all kinds of things you can do to optimize your Facebook page so that it works for you. Today I'm going to share three really simple tips that will help make your Facebook presence better.

1) About page

How complete is your About page? Make sure that you have filled in as much as you can because Facebook is Google searchable. The more relevant your make your content and the more keywords you use, the better.

The other bonus is that you look professional. The more well rounded, descriptive and easy to find your content is, the more credible and professional you look.

2) Call-to-action

Have you seen the "Call to Action" button that Facebook has made available for pages? It's a great and SUPER simple way to give people the opportunity to engage with you.

To set it up go to your page and click on "Create Call to Action."

Then walk through the simple steps of choosing what you want your button to say and where you want it to go.

And that's it - you're done. I've set mine up as a sign up to my newsletter, but you can send it to any kind of page: a squeeze page, sales page, have them sign up for an appointment or watch a video.

There's also a handy report of how well the call-to-action is performing in your page side bar. Don't expect these numbers to be huge - there's very little information and most people aren't actually coming to your page when they see your content. But considering it takes 2 minutes to set up, there's no good reason not to do it even if it only converts occasionally.

 

3) Put a call-to-action in your cover image description

Putting a a call-to-action in your cover image description is another call-to-action improvement because that's ultimately what we're trying to achieve with using Facebook for our businesses - to get people to DO something.

When you upload a photo as your cover image on Facebook, don't just leave the description blank. This is an opportunity to ask people to do something. This will be effective if people click on the image to see more, if they see it come through their news feed (especially when you initially change your cover image) and if you put a call-to-action in the image (I don't have one, but it's a great thing to test out) that says, "click here to get a _____" and then leave the extra information in the photo description. Always remember to tell people what they're getting - demonstrate the value to them. 

There you have it. Three really fast and easy ways to improve your Facebook business page.

Have any other easy tips to share? Leave them in the comments!

Planning your social content: a step-by-step guide

The best way to effectively use social media for your small business is to have a plan. Since that is definitely easier to say than do, I thought today I would break down step-by-step how to come up with a simple plan.

1) Know what you're trying to achieve.

I've written about this topic quite a bit in the past, so check out some of those posts, but the simple explanation is to figure out why you're using social media - we all have different reasons beyond "make more money," which is key for most of us. 

2) Know who you're talking to.

Different audiences are on different channels and different audiences like different kinds of content. You need to know who you're talking to so they feel like what you're saying is for them. If you're too vague or general nobody will feel like you're talking to them, which defeats the purpose of what you're doing.

3) What do you want them to know.

This is SO important. This drives all of your content. What do you want people to know about you and what do you want people to know about what you do. 

4) Pick your channels

It doesn't make sense for you to be on every social channel. You don't have the time or resources for that. Start with a couple and once those are completely under control you can grow from there. 

My top three social media choices (without knowing your audience so this is flexible!) are for you to have an email newsletter, a blog and Facebook.

If however, your audience is very business-to-business, I might prioritize LinkedIn over Facebook.

If your audience is under 25, I might prioritize Instagram over Facebook.

If writing and time is hard for you, I would leave the blog until after you have Facebook and a newsletter set up.

5) Know your numbers

Knowing your numbers is so important in all aspects of business. You need to know where you're at now so you can tell if you're growing.

Set up a spreadsheet or table that lists:

- Facebook likes
- "Talking about" numbers on Facebook
- Twitter followers
- Instagram followers
and so on and so forth

Make sure that Google Analytics or some other analytics tool is set up on your website and track:

- Visits
- Unique visits
- Page views
- Referral sources

You are then going to want to track these numbers monthly to see if what you're doing is working. We want to make sure that the effort you're putting in is worth it to you - you're a busy person!

6) Start sharing your knowledge

Take 10-15 minutes and write down as many tips as you can about something.

Are you a realtor? What are great ways to get your house ready for sale?

Are you a hairdresser? How should your clients be taking care of their hair between cuts and colours?

Are you a nutritionist? What are some great ways to make healthy food on the fly?

The goal is to have a list of one or two sentence tips that you'll be able to use later on and to realize just how much content you can write in a short period of time when you have a specific topic to write about.

Do the same for a few other topics and you'll have a lot of content ready to go!

7) Don't think you need to create it all

You want to share content that's of value to your audience. There is a LOT of content that already exists that your audience will really appreciate having access to. If it backs up your key messages, the things you really want people to know, use THAT content instead of having to write your own.

Whenever you're browsing the internet or Facebook and you see an interesting article, a funny joke or a video that you really like, think about whether or not it would add value to your audience while still staying in line with your key messages. If it does, save it and you'll be able to use that content later!

8) Evaluate

You have your baseline numbers, make sure to check and see what's working, what isn't, and how you can shift and change to improve.

A plan doesn't need to be extensive to get you going on the right path. If you want more help figuring all of this out for Facebook and Twitter, we have a program called Simple Start. It's on sale right now for $39 (regular $99) while I work to update it from the old Wellman Wilson branding. The price will go up once it's been revamped so now's the time to invest!

Periscope - What is it and why should I care?

Have you hard of Periscope? It's a new app that allows you to live stream from your phone. I dug into the app this week and tested it out so I could share whether or not I think it's something you should be spending time with as well!

What is it?

In their own words:

Periscope lets you broadcast live video to the world. Going live will instantly notify your followers who can join, comment and send you hearts in real time. The more hearts you get, the higher they flutter on the screen.

In my words:

You can create live video from your phone that gets shared with your followers and promoted on Twitter. The video is one way, but people watching can send you chat comments and questions. They can also double tap on the video and hearts appear on your screen, letting you know they're enjoying what you're streaming. 

Why should you care?

There are all kinds of interesting reasons that you might want to use Periscope to create valuable content for your audience. There's no way to capture email addresses or do much with the names of who is watching - it's really about building community and relationships with off the cuff authentic content.

This isn't something that I would prioritize above regular content that are working you towards your social media goals, but if you're interested in playing around with it, I think there is potential to have fun and create some buzz, especially while the tool is still so new.

How could you use it?

There are all kinds of things you could do with this tool. You can stream a live Q&A (which I did on Monday), stream quick how tos, or share something you just stumbled across. 

Here are a few ideas of things I've seen or thought that people could do with Periscope:

- If you work in fitness, quick how tos as you're doing your own workout

- If you're at a trade show or networking event and you see something cool you think your audience would like, live stream your commentary on it

- Ask questions or let your audience ask you questions

- Live stream the backstage pass to something you're doing - how you create your podcast, how you come up with your content, how you set up for a photo shoot, etc.

The video seems to stay on Periscope with all the hearts and comments appearing in replay for about 24 hours after you broadcast and then it disappears. You can also download the video and then put it somewhere else but the comments are no longer there which, if there are a lot of pauses and answering questions from the stream might seem a little strange.

I downloaded the one I did and uploaded it to Youtube so I could share it here with you, but it's missing the comments which I think makes it a bit harder to get the feel from. I enjoyed it and think I will do a few more of these, probably at a set date and time so I can let others know I'll be doing it and encourage them to join when they get the notification.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you think the Periscope app would be helpful in your business and how you would use it! Also let me know if you'd want to see me trying out more Q&As on the platform!