As a business owner you can either reach an audience through paid advertising or by using social media. Growing your social media audience is a free marking method that can be very effective to grow and reach your own audience. Below are a few ideas on how to get more people to like your facebook page.
1) Create a Fan Page
Business owners often start their Facebook journey creating the wrong type of page. A personal profile is meant for human beings friending and connecting with others humans. These pages are restricted by privacy and often not sorted in Google searches because of this. Groups are meant for a gathering of people where they can connect and communicate quick and effectively discussing related topics. A business page is a public page meant for marketing your businesses. This type of page is accessed via your personal profile. People who are interested in your work can like this page to follow your posts and updates. A Business page gives followers the ability to 'like' your business without feeling obligated to make 'friends' with you. This means that business pages do not violate the privacy of your followers since you do not have access to their personal information. To create you business page, sign in on Facebook.com as a human being then go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
2) Invite your friends
Humans have friends and Businesses have followers. To get more followers you can invite your human friends to follow your business page. You can send friends a reminder to follow your page without forcing them to do so. Search for your business in the search bar or navigate via the hamburger menu to your page. Click on the 'Invite your Friends' option and manually select all the friends you would like to invite. You only have access to your own friends, but when you add colleagues as admins you can pool your combined friends to help build an audience.
3) Claim your Facebook URL
Have you ever seen “Find us on Facebook” on business marketing material? What most people don't realize is that it can be tricky to find pages on Facebook especially if they are new.
Claiming your Facebook vanity URL can make it much easier for potential followers to find you. This Facebook URL can be printed on your business cards and other promotional products right above your your website URL. For consistent NAP (name, address, phone) and to not wreck SEO havok try to claim the same vanity URL for all social accounts. So if you are serious about doing it right we suggest some one name research on all social platforms before you start claiming vanities.
4) Plug-in your Facebook Feed
On Facebook, humans make friends with other humans and then they go and 'like' business pages related and of interest to them. When you then press home is shows you a collection of posts from your friends and the pages you have likes. This is what I call plugging in as a human being.
As a business page can also ‘Plug-in’ on Facebook. In the past to do this you had to switch from the human to the business page with the 'wheel' top right. These days you can do it from your personal profile as long as you are an admin of the page. Search for pages that are related to your industry, in your local area and possibly brand or institutions serving your industry. These pages are all related to you. If you follow them on social media their combined posts would generate into a separate news feed for your business page.
This feed is a resource and it also helps with search engine optimization programming the engine and sorting your in the same category in searches. When you build your own page feed, you are establishing commonality markers helping Facebook's sorting engine to better understand how you fit into the picture. Find you pages feed in the right hand bar on your page.
5) Be Visible
Everyone has a business page, the difference is whether you are visible or not. Becoming active on facebook as a business will give you a presence online as a business instead of as your human profile. You can comment and interact as your business via your business feed. Start by liking posts and adding your 5 cents to comments but try to keep it legit. Share your thoughts where it is relative without looking 'spammy' or obnoxious. Your active online presence is a representation of your business online and should be professional. Arrogant, rude and obnoxious remarks could put your company and it's employees in a negative light online. In our research with Plugin Matter we have also found that online activity is a relevancy factor that helps to keep your page higher and more relevant in searches when done regularly.
If you are running into issues check your page settings.
6) Motivate Interaction
Motivating interaction from followers is something I personally find very hard. My approach to social media is more of a clinical one with an SEO incentive. Facebook is working on getting us all out of our comfort zones by adding new and fun ways to help motivate pages admins to interact. Interactions are valuable for growing your page. When a follower interacts on your business page, their comment also goes out in their personal newsfeed to their friends. This gives you instant viral marketing, reaching people you would never have reached otherwise who might also decide to follow your page based on that one interaction.
Interaction can be made easy by means of posting photos that evoke reaction. Think of posts that could surprise, promote emotional reaction, disbelieve and so forth. Try to stay away from shock, horror, disgrace, etc.
You can also have competitions and ask followers to interact by uploading their photos to your wall for say competitions. Be careful of asking followers to get their family and friends to vote for their images as this can become invasive and spammy to the family and friends.
7) Use Visual Elements
A busy and visual Facebook page has the ability to intrigue and communicate your services to prospective followers. Visual communications is a powerful tool to gain followers to take time to carefully evaluate how your post are displaying.
Note that when you post links to your website or blog without images the links then to look empty without any appeal. Adding images to your blogs would help links to pull these images on links.
When manually loading images Facebook has many different options to choose from.
I created a few visual using google drive slides and exported them as jpgs for my Facebook slideshow. These can then be added to create a pretty slideshow story adding a description to each photo that displays beautiful in your feed.
Think of other ways to add visual elements to your social media using albums to visually explain parts of your business. Clever promotional ideas with photo albums include online auctions where buyers bid in the comments part for products, fundraisers where participating groups can upload images of a project completed, and visual DIY explainers, or stories.
8) Facebook Reviews
Work of mouth is often times the most powerful form of marketing for small business owners. Word of mouth however only goes as far as the next person… With a Facebook review box, your word of mouth becomes viral. When one person leave a review it goes out in their newsfeed to their friends enabling you to reach new potential followers with just one review. A review on Facebook is also digitally imprinted for generations to come.
Reviews can also be embedded on a website page but they do seem to expire after some time so manually adding them might not be a bad idea.
9) Facebook Offers
10) VERIFY YOUR PAGE
11) SHOWCASE YOUR SERVICES
12) ADD YOUR STORY
13) ADD A MILESTONE
On Your Website
15) Connect your online pages
Creating multiple online backlinks helps followers to navigate from one social media network to another easily. It also helps you to ‘puff out your feathers’ online looking bigger that what you actually are to online search engines. Start by adding your social media icons to you website. We usually add social icons on the home page header.
We also add all social icons to a footer on every page:
You can also add your other social media page url's on your Facebook About Page.
16) Facebook ‘Like’ Box
In the past we used to add a Facebook ‘like’ buttons to websites and / or blogs. When we moved to responsive design many of these buttons were discontinued as the online community figured out this new foundation. I have started to see like boxes popping up again on websites again as developers are figuring out new ways to make these widgets more functional on mobile. If you add them to your website try to add them to the bottom of a page as they might be hard to navigate past or scroll by on mobile.
Newer websites seem to be more geared towards interaction. A Facebook page plugin can help show your current facebook activity and help potential followers to interact easier. To generate your own Facebook like box or page plugin go to Facebook Developers Social Plugin’s
17) Facebook ‘Comments’ on Blogs
Adding a facebook comment widget to your blogs ads another layer to connecting with your followers. These widgets also makes it easy to comment without having to add your email and other details before commenting using the default.
Facebook comments also makes interactions more personal with a face added to the comment. Traditional comment often end up being predominantly spam with advertising sites trying to use your site for backlinks.
To connect your Facebook with your Blog by adding the Facebook Comment plugin with instructions on Facebook Developers Social Plugin’s.
18) Share This
19) Facebook Pixel
The Facebook Pixel is a tracking tool that you add to your website that works with your Facebook Advertising campaigns. Installed on your website it will help you to retarget your ads, and to track conversions or the results of your ad campaigns. It can also help to customize your audiences and to find lookalike audiences to help optimize your conversions.
Instructions for setting up your Facebook Pixel
Start in your Facebook backed Events Manager and go to the Pixels Tab. Create a pixel and get your tracking code to add to your website. If you already have tag manager setup for your website then just allow facebook to add the tag for you.
20) FACEBOOK ADS
Online advertising is a way of reaching more people by paying for exposure to reach possible followers. Facebook ads can be fine-tunes to reach a specific demographic and geographic target. It is affordable and you pay by click, thus it being referred to as PPC. To create a Facebook Ad for your Business go to your business page and press Ad Center at the top in the admin panel.
22) Join Groups
Online communities in groups can help Small Business Owners connect with their specific audience better. Groups are also big giving you access to more people versus trying to make it on your own with your few page followers. When you search for groups try to join as a human as many groups do not allow people to join as businesses even when facebook gives you the option. Joining as a human gives you accountability and a face to others in the group.
Find groups within your industry, local groups, and groups with specific target audiences you would like to reach. Many of these groups would have a questionaire to fill out, be truthful but remember that your main objective for joining is not to post your advertisements to this group. Rather see how can you learn from the group and it’s members and try to be part of the group building trust as a human with a similar interest.
Read the group rules and create a list of your groups that you can refer back too. Be aware of spammy groups with lots of advertising posts. Also see the admin profile and make sure the admin of a specific group has friends and that their photos are not stock photos. Sometimes organizations would create fake groups to service their own purpose using fake profiles, make sure you are joining quality groups. Introduce yourself to the groups and try to be a valuable team player adding comments and advice to the group. For first avoid posting business related content until you get a feel for the group. Many groups have very specific audiences. Read the comments to get an idea of what goes and what does not.
23) Own Groups
Often times you might not be able to find groups for the specific purpose you have in mind. Creating your own groups is a way to overcome this obstacle.
First change your business page template to accommodate groups.
Then add the Groups tab to your page
Go to the front of your page and click on the groups tab on the left. Create a group of link an existing group to your page.
Go to your new group and on the right invite people who also like your business page to join the group. Also invite your friends to join. Keep in mind that groups need a lot of care and takes time to manage. For business groups add colleagues to help you manage as admins.
Groups can also be embedded on your website and in emails. See more on the Facebook Group Plugin page.
24) Share to Groups
Managing your social media is the last part of your social media marketing plan. Many other parts have to fall into place before you can manage your social interactions and implement that new social customer service plan.
This misconception of what a social media manager does causes confusion and sets in place unrealistic expectations. Very few fully understand the amount of work that goes into a social media plan that includes research, planning, workload and the implementation of posts. A well thought out and quality social media plan should have intent such as driving traffic back to your website. If your website is small with limited reasons for sending people there, your social media campaign has no real goal. A holistic approach using your website and social media in unison is the only logical way to use social media to benefit your company. This way you dont only grow your social media following but also help make your website more relative in online searches.
I am a firm believer that you need very few social media management tools to implement a social media plan with success.
Step 1: Start by doing research on your industry, finding and following the leaders and their @handles, documenting the specific #tags they use and doing some basic industry searches to find additional #tags. Document all this in a tag directory that you can refer back to when creating posts.
Step 2: Identify the different types of posts you would like to include on your social media channels. We have a nice list on our benchmark page for reference. A quick planning calendar is also handy to help spread out the different types of posts. Similar posts can create a boring one toned feed while a diverse feed with variety helps to engage followers.
Step 3: When you know what types of posts you will be doing, it is time to start doing the work. Quality posts are planned out beforehand with words, specific social search #tags, related @tag mentions, a link and/or image. This will help to relieve the unexpected stress of managing your social media, set you up for success, and help you to be prepared for posts no matter how hard your workday might end up being.
Step 4: To increase your conversion rate and to get more out of your work it is important to try feed posts. We prefer to feed Facebook to Twitter, and the plugin Linkedin, Google Plus and Facebook using Buffer. You can also feed via Instagram to Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter. This enables one post to turn into 4 posts using Buffer or Instagram reaching more people on many platforms.
Step 5: If you are serious about doing this right we would suggest making sure that you refer to your company using ONE @tag. If you have different user vanities for your social pages it could cause a lot of confusion when feeding social posts and tagging unsuspecting pages by accident. If you are not sure how to solve this issue, read more about the online Plugin service we offer.
Step 6: We use a detailed calendar where we plan all our final posts. It is important to get someone to review your workload for spelling mistakes before adding them to a final implementation calendar. This format helps us to easily copy and paste parts to our scheduling tool. If you are using a platform such as the free version of Buffer you can schedule 10 posts at a time going out over 3 social platforms. If you would prefer to start small you can feed facebook to twitter and then use Facebook’s scheduling tool.
Step 7: The last part is really the social media management part. Making sure that posts go our correctly, and editing posts with mistakes. Watching interactions and responding to comments are part of social media customer service. Your social media management team can also help to increase your conversion rate. You do this by sharing posts to a personal page, in messages, and pushing posts through to related groups. When done in a non-invasive manner this increases the reach of your posts and clicks to your website. The alternative would be to pay to boost posts using pay per click (PPC) advertising.
Managing your social media does not have to be expensive. It is easy enough for anyone to do successfully if you are willing to try new things and learn from making mistakes. We have many free versions of scheduling social media tools that are definitely in depth but really easy to learn.
For those small business owners, entrepreneurs and startups struggling to get through their daily operational task, we can help. We do the research, planning, and workload. You approve it all before we add it to implementation and scheduling. The only part you are responsible for would be step 7, managing interactions, providing customer service, and sharing posts through to groups.
If you have any questions, please fill out our contact form and we will get back to you.
Event marketing is the process of promoting an event and a means of reaching the audience the event is intended for. Event promotion has become pretty problematic over the past 10 years with the evolution of digital tools. This has divided the process into not only the traditional outbound flyer but added an inbound part promoting your event online.
Many companies, and especially local non profit groups, are confused by the amount of online platforms and how exactly to use them. Those responsible for marketing events often have a personal profile on many of the social platforms making the task daunting and intimidating. This results in poorly attended events, frustrated hosts and sponsors.
With so many new parts to event marketing, a systematic approach is key. It helps to divide the tasks between four different people with different skills: Brand, Content, Social, and Link Management.
Step 1: Brand - Create a branded flyer and a banner that can be used for your event tab. We prefer to use Google Drawing as it enables many people to collaborate on one project. When done export the flyer as a pdf and print on Vistaprint. We enlarge all our Drawing Templates x3 for a higher resolution for print.
Step 2: Content - Write a press release of at least 300 words about your upcoming event.
Step 3: Link - Submit your press release to local newspapers to print. Also find some national online newspaper outlets where you can upload your article.
Step 4: Content - Create a shorter condensed version of your press release and load it to your website blog. Do online research on the different featured parts of your event and find a photo for each. Such as a photo of the venue, the band, food trucks, beneficiary of fundraiser, and last year's event, etc. Add a photo after each related section discussing that part.
Step 5: Social - Using the published blog create five posts about the event. For example one about the venue, the band, the food trucks, the beneficiary of the fundraiser, and last year’s event and who attended. Do some basic social searches to find specific but different #tags to include in each post. Each posting will be posted with the blog url. When you paste it into the post section it will load an image, make sure you select the correct image related to each post. Schedule your posts for one a day starting at least 10 days before the event. Post your 5 postings twice so that you have 10 total posts.
Step 6: Social - From your public business page create an event tab for the event. This can be done on Facebook and Google Plus. Add a short intro paragraph about the event with a read more and the blog link to drive traffic to the website. Invite your friends to the event and share it through to your personal profile and local related local groups.
Step 7: Link - Find the url links of online published articles of your press release. Add them to your blog neatly creating a hyperlink inside a word...featured in Top News… Find national third party sites such as Yelp and Evently where you can also create event tabs. Load the banner jpg and a read more link to the blog.
Step 8: Brand - Export your banner as a jpg and load it to the social media event tabs. Export your flyer as a jpg and load it to the wall of the event tabs. Create a short announcement post about the event and post it with the loaded flyer to your page walls.
Step 9: Social - You can expand your target audience by sharing your 5 create posts through to their specific related groups such as a foodie group, musicians group, families with kids group, etc. Make sure you do so in a non invasive manner using words related to the group interest.
Step 10: Link - Create an email using a free tool such a Mailchimp or your gmail if you have mail merge set up feeding to your email list. Load the social media banner, add an intro paragraph about your event with a read more link to the blog. Add a section with separate line items in bold with a bigger font for Time:____, Date:_____, Where: ____, etc. Load your flyer at the end and send.
With many team members helping this huge process can turn into fun! It is important to try and do the whole process to make sure you cover as many media outlets as possible. You will reach some people via social media, some via email and some from organic searches finding your blog. Either way we all communicate differently and to ensure you reach as many as possible you do need to expand your marketing reach.
We do regular event marketing for our clients as part of their marketing fuel plans. Using our benchmarks the above process can be done using six of our three hour benchmarks if we are doing it for you.
It is important to be realistic with your expectations if you are managing a board of volunteers. We are experts in this field and what takes us 18 hours could take you and your team 36 hours to execute from the beginning to the end. If you need help with your next event promotion, please contact us!
Drive That Matter grew from great desperation and compassion for my fellow local small business owners. For years now I have had to say: "Sorry I am unable to help you further" after completing a website for a client. I knew the path forward 'technically' but implementing it just seemed so difficult.
With so many parts and pieces to take into consideration, digital marketing was not only complicated but in my mind seemed almost impossible to execute effectively.
As a small business owner myself trying to juggle keeping my business open, staying on top of deadlines, servicing clients, while trying to take care of my family, it has turned into a headache best ignored...
Finishing the last part of Plugin Matter's Three Part Process, has given me great joy and unbelievable relief. Building this puzzle in a fun and doable visual has enabled me to explain the bigger picture visually not just to myself... but to fellow entrepreneurs desperately needing to see beyond the business problems of today.
My biggest stumbling block was building this brand from scratch as it has so many parts to it. It has been extremely time consuming and very difficult but Corlia, my sister and partner who is also a hardened corporate art director, immediately grounded me with purchasing some stock vector images. After some tweeks I made the supporting images our own. The logo and other parts literally fell into place soon after.
This has been a long road for me. I know the building blocks by heart but finally having the road-map in-front of me is just so enlightening!
Below I included my path from the first flyer draft created a year ago, to the flyer I just finished today. I can say with confidence, Drive That Matter is finally live!