Tag Archives: facebook

How Your Brand Can Get 10X More Organic Reach on Facebook

26 Jul

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As Facebook organic reach continues to drop, some marketers are completely abandoning all hope of having fans see any unpaid posts.

On Social Geek Radio and on this blog, we’ve recently discussed how Facebook Live is like “old school Facebook reach” (thanks to Nick Powills for that phrase!). But what if you simply want to drive fans to your website, landing page, or blog?

The prevalence of Facebook Live videos is further hurting the organic reach of your shared link. It’s a zero sum game; that great organic reach attained by other brands’ Facebook Live videos will take away from your posts’ reach.

How can we get old-school reach numbers on old-school links?

 

Override the Link

While all organic reach is down, links to posts and pages appear to be doing far worse than photos. Using that to our advantage, we can share a link just as we would share a photo.

Here’s how:  Hold on to that copied link that you would normally paste in the posting area. Instead, select Photo first and upload an appropriate image for the post. You may want to first go to that blog or page and save an image from the page. After you’ve uploaded the photo, now you can paste the link. Add text before that link and you’re done.

I’ve been doing this consistently on pages I am managing over the past few months while also occasionally posting similar links as links on alternate days. My Photo + Link posts are all getting 20% to 45% reach each day! The Link posts are getting 2% to 10%.

The Photo + Link posts get 10 times more reach than the links alone. If you’re doing this now or will being trying it out, I’d love to hear about your results!

 

Days Not to Post on Facebook

18 Jul

Facebook Calendar

 

I am a big proponent of posting shareable content on all of your brand’s pages every day. A steady cadence of a daily organic posts (and now coordinated with ads) will help you stay top of mind and in the newsfeed to your customers. But as I discussed at my recent Southeast Franchise Forum presentation, there are days when no post may be better than a post.  

This is advice for any US brand’s national postings. If you’re a Franchise brand or have multiple locations in multiple markets, be aware of what’s happening in all of your local communities as well.  Local emergencies and weather issues may be reasons to hold off on posting for a day or two. Obviously you will need the help and input from your field team and perhaps alerts from news sources within your geographic footprint.

 

National tragedies and major International tragedies:

When terrorists (domestic or ISIS) struck in Baton Rouge, Nice, Dallas, Istanbul, Orlando, Paris, San Bernardino, and the growing list of places, people took to social media to learn, grieve, and show anger with their friends. Your brand’s marketing message would at best be lost in the outpouring or at worst stick out like a clueless, poorly timed, insensitive faux pas. Just wait a day or two to get back on schedule.

 

Celebrity deaths:

When icons like Prince, Muhammad Ali, or David Bowie died, many brands posted ill-advised images complete with marketing tagline and logo.  It works if you’re MTV or SiriusXM and you’re sharing an artist’s work for the day, but it doesn’t work if you’re selling fast food.

 

Political events:

Avoid posting after the first day / last day of the upcoming conventions. Also avoid the evening of and the morning after the Trump / Clinton debates and of course, Election Day. You will be buried in newsfeeds, so just wait a day. 

 

Holidays:

Take a break on MLK Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and September 11. Unless you have an inspirational and relevant message, please avoid it!

 

A Twitter Trend for Franchise Brands

10 May

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One or Many?

For several years most successful digital marketers with multiple locations or franchises have “gone local with social” and built a social media page or account for each location. This continues to be the winning strategy with Facebook.

But a trend I’m seeing from brand marketers is to merge multiple local Twitter accounts into one account for all brand awareness, news, and customer feedback for the entire brand. The areas where Twitter is currently most useful are increasingly being housed centrally instead of for each individual location.

What about all of the other platforms and channels? Which are best for a local presence versus a national brand voice?  Here’s my recommended number of pages your system should have:

Facebook: 1 brand page + 1 page per location

Google+: 1 brand page + 1 page per location

LinkedIn: 1 company page per brand

Instagram: 1 account per brand

Snapchat: 1 account per brand

YouTube: 1 channel per brand

Twitter: 1 account per brand

 

Why is there a difference for Facebook and Google+? Why should these two – and only these two – have multiple pages? It’s the local or regional presence that is resonating on Facebook with local engagement and converting search results on Google to local store traffic. Think of Facebook and Google+ pages in the same way you would think of websites for each individual location or franchisee. Even for service brands like cleaning and maintenance services without a storefront, conversations and conversions are happening locally through these two platforms. But, the other platforms are skewing to centralized, national brand engagement and conversations.

Multiple Departments?

What about multiple Twitter accounts for multiple departments or functions within a brand? No – not even a separate account for “customer service.” Your brand on Twitter is your entire brand. Customers don’t care about your fiefdoms!

The multiple Facebook and Google+ pages should only be location-specific and nothing else. From a national level there should only be one page. Far too many franchisors still employ separate Facebook pages for consumer marketing and franchise sales marketing. As discussed at this year’s IFA convention in the Facebook for Franchise Sales session, don’t have a separate page for Fran Dev!  Use targeted ads and boosted posts to hit candidates with specific messages about owning a franchise.

 

Prince Per Click

25 Apr

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It’s been 7 hours and several days since Prince’s passing took over the internet. Social newsfeeds turned purple with not only heartfelt tributes by fans, but also self-centered ads, clumsy branded content, and a lousy marriage of broadcast media and social. Here are some low-lights.

 

Prince Link Bait

If you’re already tired of the link-baiting teasers that suck the life out of your screen, then the fresh round of Prince headlines made your weekend even worse. We instantly saw garbage links like “9 songs you didn’t know Prince wrote,” “You won’t believe what will happen with Prince’s will,” and “What police found in Prince’s basement is shocking.”

These sites and their Facebook pages got a quick spike in traffic and a bunch of clicks. Congratulations. But they won’t get this kind of traffic again until someone as popular as Prince dies again. Good luck with that. Many of these sites are not even music, celebrity, or pop culture sites, but sadly are “news” sites that have exposed that they have no original content, only poorly curated links.

 

Brand Content

Tributes poured in from brands – some good, some bad. I generally don’t like posts surrounding a celebrity death or tragedy. There’s not much upside. Is anyone really going to say “Wow, General Mills is my kind of company. They think Prince dying is sad too! Quick, buy more Cheerios!”

And most of the brands’ postings are clumsy at best and overall lousy with a few exceptions. Adweek shared a good complete list here.

 

Celebrity Tweets = Lazy Journalism

Prince’s death has brought out the laziest aspects of TV News. Instead of delivering anything new or different, they just show what other celebrities have tweeted or posted about the celebrity who has died. Justin Timberlake and Mick Jagger are talented guys too, but the nice things they say about Prince are neither news nor interesting (unless someone says something terrible).

Also, thank God for CNN and The Today Show showing us what other people said on Twitter. I don’t know where else we would find such information! Glad they have massive global news operations to repeat what you could have seen on your phone instantly!

 

 

Stop Measuring Social Media

30 Mar

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Stop Measuring Social Media

…unless you’re actively engaging!

You can spend all day measuring social media. But if you are not regularly publishing and engaging in social media, then all that measurement is a complete waste of time and money.

By regularly publishing, I mean multiple times per day, on all your pages with a good portion being original posts or links back to original content.  I’ve spoken with many marketing execs who ironically don’t have the resources to post this aggressively because they’re constantly monitoring and analyzing every word on social about their industry.   

Sure, monitoring and measuring the broad spectrum of social can give you some insights. The measurement industry people will tell you that you can make key business decisions with this information. Perhaps…but if you’re making important decisions about your organization based on what a few people may remark on social media, then perhaps you’re in the wrong seat.

 

Other Noise Versus Your Message

Look at the big QSRs – do they care? I hope not. Thousands of people say nasty things on social about chicken nuggets and $5 pizzas every week. But guess what? Millions of people still buy chicken nuggets and $5 pizzas every week. Those brands are actively putting out their own messages and not focusing on all the chatter.

 

What about the social channels you can’t monitor?

Those who over-measure have a particular fondness for Twitter. Why? Is it the most influential? No. Is it the biggest? No. But, it is the easiest to monitor and measure. Tweets are things that can easily be counted but might not necessarily count.  

Facebook and Instagram have real barricades to monitoring anything but your own content. They count, but can’t be counted. And Snapchat? No chance.

So most “share of voice” reports out there are only measuring a less important portion of a tiny fraction of what might be captured about of what’s being said about the brand! Please reread that last sentence in your most sarcastic voice possible.

 

Next: More Noise?!? 

As social and online conversations, chatter, and noise grow exponentially, each piece becomes less important. Where do you want to be a year from now…gathering more & more data that is becoming less & less relevant? Or, do you want to lead conversations and tell your story? Try these 4 tips:

1. Keep a finger on the pulse of social – not every inch of the body.

2. Of course be prepared to be alerted to any real crisis.

3. Focus all of your social listening on responses and engagements to your original content and your story. That’s all you can control anyway.

4. Focus the majority of your marketing resources on making news, not reading it.

 

Telling Your Business Story on Facebook

15 Mar

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Facebook released the news that it now has 3 Million advertisers and has 50 Million businesses using Facebook pages. Or, as Facebook might see this, 47 Million businesses who have pages but have not yet purchased an ad!

2 of the top 3 business verticals using Facebook pages are services and local commerce; both are common industry types using the franchise model. The third, ecommerce, applies to all models. We don’t know how many franchise brands are a part of that 3 Million advertisers. However, based on the boom in ads we discussed at the IFA Convention summit on Facebook and Franchising, it’s safe to assume that a large number of the million new advertisers in the past year are in franchising.

As part of this milestone, or as a good excuse to roll out something new, Facebook has launched a new tool called Your Business Story.  

 

Telling Your Business Story

This new format is video that Facebook has made very easy to use. In fact, it’s so simple, you don’t even have to make an actual video! All you have to do is select 8 photos that are already on your timeline, select a piece of music, add a little text, and you’re done!  Get started here.

You can create as many of these short videos as you want. You can share them with your fans and you can also boost them, bringing us full circle back to why Facebook has rolled out this cool tool.

We saw a bit of a preview of these business stories at FranTech 2015 last October in Dallas.  But now that I’m actually hands-on, here are 3 things that jump out at me:

1. Video: Everyone talks about how the only thing thing that matters in online marketing is video. But a large number of business owners have no experience or knowledge in how to make a video let alone how to distribute videos in an efficient way. Facebook just made it easy.

2. Content Marketing: The other thing everyone talks about is story telling to attract customers. Again, Facebook just made it easy.

3. A micro elevator pitch: The text that businesses can include answers the question: “What’s your story? We’re in the business of ____________.” This short answer forces business owners to think about they do for customers in simple terms. No one will have the space or opportunity to drone on about customer service, being people persons, finding solutions, or other corporate dribble.

 

Telling Franchising’s Story

One of the key takeaways for me at The 2016 IFA Convention was incoming IFA Chairman Aziz Hashim’s speech.  Not only did Aziz mention social media (a first for any IFA Chair or CEO’s speech), but he also compelled the members to tell franchising’s story.

I think Facebook just made it easy for all franchisors and franchisees to tell Franchising’s story!

Tweet about Aziz

 

 

Using Facebook for Sales

8 Mar

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We still hear business leaders and sales & marketing executives trying to convince us – or themselves – that they don’t need to engage potential customers on social media.  Here are a few responses to frequent Facebook objectives:

 

“You don’t understand my industry. These guys just aren’t on Facebook.”

I say: unless you’re marketing and selling to creatures other than human beings, many of your prospects are on Facebook.

 

“But we’re a B-to-B play. My business clients can’t be reached the same way those lucky dog Consumer Marketing people do it.”

I say: in every business to business transaction, people buy from people. You know where many people are right now? Facebook. Stop thinking of yourself pitching to XYZ Manufacturing Inc., and picture yourself engaging with your contact Jane.

 

“But one of the guys at my client really doesn’t use Facebook. I’m serious. He says it’s stupid.”

I say: Of course you can find some prospects and candidates who are not active on Facebook. You can also find some who don’t own a TV and a few who still don’t carry a mobile phone. In 2016, they are outliers.  I would also say that if they are that much of an outlier, then any conventional methods of reaching them will also fail.

 

Are you fighting against Facebook?

You’re not comfortable. I get that. It’s not what you used to do. That’s okay!

You’re going onto your 8th year of saying that social media is a fad. One of these years you may be right. But not this year. Go get ’em!

 

 

Facebook Live Mic Drop

3 Feb

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I’m not sure if Facebook just dropped a mic or a bomb on Periscope and Meerkat. Facebook Live is replacing every cool feature of those live streaming mobile video apps with the friendly space where most people you can hope to know already live.

If you still think that Facebook isn’t eating the internet, think again. Here’s the recent scorecard:

Facebook Features                             Platforms That Were Important 5 Minutes Ago

Facebook Live                                        Periscope, Meerkat

Native Video on Facebook             YouTube

Facebook Reviews                              Yelp and all other review sites

Facebook Pages                                   Your corporate website

Facebook Instant Articles               Every newspaper and magazine on Earth

Facebook Ads                                        Everything else

 

 

Facebook Custom Audience Targeting with Your Emails

11 Nov

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It’s been said over and over that Content Is King. Sure. But if the content is never read, viewed, or heard by anyone, then it’s not very royal.

If content drops but no one sees it, does it make any impact?

You must spend some dollars on advertising to promote your content or no one will ever see it.  But what’s the best way to throw some money at this problem? Advertise to only to targeted demographics or geography? No.

Take one step back – do you have email addresses of your current or recent clients? Let’s start there. Facebook’s Custom Audience Targeting allows you to serve up that ad to a specific group of people for whom you already have an email address.

Facebook won’t let you pick and choose specific people by name to whom an ad will be served but we can serve up ads to people whose email addresses match! In Facebook’s view, if you’ve already got an email address, then there’s a reason to speak to these people in specific voices.

 

Here’s for whom it works:

Business to Consumer – Create targets ads for:

  • Your current customers
  • Specific customers part of your loyalty program
  • Potential customers who have signed up for specials or info

Business to Business – Create targeted ads for:

  • Prospects and candidates

  

Here’s how it works:

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1. Go to Manage Ads on Facebook and click Create Audience button (far left)

 

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2. Choose Customer List
.

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3. Click Upload File and select your spreadsheet with your email database

 

One issue to watch is the percentage of your email database that matches with Facebook users. One large franchise system with whom I spoke at FranTech 2015 has seen a match of between 60 – 70%. And an even larger global brand client of mine saw only about 50% match. Why the discrepancy? Consumers are signing up for your offerings with a different email address than what they used to sign up for Facebook.

But still, specifically targeting half or more of the people in your email database is a fantastic and economical way to reach your customers.

 

 

Is Facebook Replacing the Internet?

3 Nov

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Facebook. It’s where your customers are.

Just a couple of years ago, many digital marketers frequently forecasted the end of Facebook:

It surely won’t dominate for long. There must be some Facebook killer out there. Be platform agnostic – don’t build your business only on Facebook.

But now, unless your customers are a small niche group, they are on Facebook and spending more time on Facebook than ever!

Sure, there’s also still great value in Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and … well, I guess just Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Snapchat, Pinterest, and the rest all have their place, and are great for some brands and audiences, but not all.

Play the numbers. Your customers are on Facebook and spending less time on the non-Facebook portion of the Internet. And that portion may be replaced or eaten by Facebook. Here are some parts of your digital world that may soon be replaced by Facebook and a next step for each to help you prepare.

1. Facebook Replacing Your Company Website

Some consumers already won’t leave the “Friendly Confines” of Facebook. In the months and years ahead, fewer of them will be likely to leave and go to some corporate website.

If your digital marketing strategy only focuses on driving people from Facebook to your website, consider skipping this step and engaging that audience while they have given you some attention.

What activity can customers do on your website that grows your business? Ordering product / eCommerce? Making appointments? Downloading videos? Do that same thing on your Facebook page.

Next Step: Look at your website and replicate the business-driving activity.

2. Facebook Video Replacing of YouTube As a Social Video Channel

Facebook is taking a big bite out of YouTube’s video ad business. At the same time, we should look at the current state of using these platforms to share organic video content.

YouTube is amazing, but it’s a repository, not a social channel. Sure, continue to upload all of your videos there for consumers to find through YouTube / Google searches, but don’t drive your Facebook fans there. Where would you prefer customers spend a few extra minutes? On your Facebook page where they can engage and communicate with you or on your YouTube channel, which lends itself more to snark from trolls than genuine customer engagement?

Next Step: Start posting your original video content direct to Facebook, not links from YouTube.

3. Facebook Ads Replacing Online Ads

The Ad Blocking trend is a HUGE opportunity for your brand on Facebook.

Ad blocking tools block nearly all types of mobile ads. But what’s not stopped? Facebook boosted posts (as well as Twitter promoted Tweets and other social ads).

Steve Rubel of Edelman recently wrote that this situation will make earned media more valuable and I absolutely agree. The way to best draw new customers to your brand is with interesting and relevant content. And the best way to attract consumers to that content in the first place is by paid ads on social channels.

Next Step: Jump into Facebook ads, particularly boosted posts now.

What other parts of the Internet do you think may soon be eaten by Facebook?

Please share in the comments section below. We’ll continue this discussion on this week’s episode of Social Geek Radio with my guest digital strategist and author, Chris Adams!

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