4 Facebook Content Strategies to Increase Engagement [Supported by Actual Data]

I love data.

Data never lies to you; it only ever presents the facts.

Data is beautiful.

(I think you catch my drift)

So it should come as no surprise that I especially love data as it pertains to social media, which is why I’m really excited by this article on increasing Facebook engagement. Essentially, the article summarizes some of BuzzSumo’s findings after analyzing 800 million Facebook posts in 2016.

Be still my heart!

I wanted to share my x takeaways from this article with you. They’re so simple and absolutely anyone can implement them right away:

1. The shorter your post, the better.like-1804599_1280

In the digital age of social media, brevity is highly respected.

While I already knew that shorter posts tend to perform better, “shorter” was a relative term and I couldn’t have given you a concrete length. Now I can.

50 characters or less.

Woah! Even my mind is blown at that. But apparently, the shorter you can keep it the sweeter the engagement results.

2. Link to longer articles.

Articles that are more than 1,000 words in length tend to get more engagement. (For the purposes of this blog, engagement refers to likes/reactions, comments, and shares)

I already knew this to be true for LinkedIn, but again – this one had me surprised when it comes to Facebook!

Whether you’re blogging and linking to your own articles, or linking to other sources, the longer the article the better.

(Feels weird to say right after I said your post’s content should be as short as possible!)

3. Take advantage of off-peak times.

This makes sense.

It’s a real battle for exposure in the Facebook newsfeed, so if you’re posting when everyone else is, you’re gonna get lost in the shuffle.

Try scheduling posts late at night or in the wee hours of the morning and see what kind of difference it makes in your engagement!

4. Post video.

I talk about video a lot. Like, a lot.

It really is the best way to get your posts at the top of the newsfeed – especially Facebook Live video.

I’ve been hearing a few grumblings that some people have been seeing less views on their live videos than they were in 2016, but Facebook is constantly adjusting their algorithm. Live video is here to stay.

As with any of these suggestions, don’t try them for the sake of trying them. Provide value to your audience – that’s the true catalyst for engagement.

Which new strategy will you try? I’d love to hear your results!

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3 Things I Want Us All to Do Differently on Social Media

As I write this, I’m hot and sweaty from having totally rearranged my office. I told my assistant I’d probably come in on Saturday to do it, but once I got the idea in my head I couldn’t get it out – it needed to be done right. now.

There’s something about a furniture shuffle that helps shake everything else up and breathe new life into things.

When she was still alive, my mum used to rearrange the furniture in our house on the regular. I’d come home from school and the couch would be moved somewhere else, or the dining room table would be perpendicular to the sideboard instead of parallel.

I never really understood why until now.

My mum was bored, uninspired even, so she needed to change her environment.

Maybe you can relate?

I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately, with friends, colleagues and clients alike, about this desire for change. To do things differently. If not differently than everybody else, then differently from how we’ve always done things in the past.

This desire extends to more than just our marketing or even our businesses. It encompasses our entire lives and how we live.

But since I’m not a life coach or a business coach, or a coach of any sort really, I’m going to stick to what I know best: social media.

I’ve been noticing a lot of uninspired, and uninspiring, content online. While it’s important to speak to the topics that are on the minds of your followers, there’s also overkill. I’ve discovered that most social media users are bored out of their trees. And as entrepreneurs and experts with an online presence, we have a responsibility to not contribute to their boredom.

Seriously, they can go absolutely anywhere for that.

Instead of boring them with the same old formulaic, cookie cutter content that’s on every other social media profile out there, do something refreshing.

Be vulnerable.

Share your unique point of view. Who cares if it’s not popular? That’s not what’s important.

What’s important is that it revitalizes your audience. People who would normally scroll idly by will pay attention and engage. That’s what you want. Not thousands of followers who are dead weight. It’s about the quality of your followers, not the quantity.

Here’s my point of view:

A lot of entrepreneurs treat social media users like morons. The problem is, they don’t even realize they’re doing it the majority of the time. Take this, for example:

At the end of December, I saw someone post something in a Facebook group, along the lines of “IT’S THE LAST WEEK OF THE YEAR!” followed by whatever it was she wanted to talk about. Something about planning your entire 6-figure year in ten minutes or less, probably. Honestly, I checked out after that first sentence because the first thing that went through my mind (sarcastically, of course) was: HOLY SHIT I HAD NO IDEA! WHERE HAS MY CALENDAR BEEN ALL THIS TIME?!

She’d treated me like a moron – and completely unintentionally, at that.

I know I’ve been guilty of posting content like that in the past. Maybe you have, too. Thing is, now you and I know better.

Here’s what I believe we need to do, as professionals, when creating content for social media:

1. Get to know your followers.

Find out what is interesting to the people who follow you. How on earth are you going to create content for them if you have no clue what they even like?cookies-551820_1280

The best way to do this is simply ask.

Talk to your best clients and ask them how they use social media – what sorts of things are they looking for when they’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on? Ask them to show you examples.

Emulate the things they like and that resonate with you. But put your own spin, your own point of view on them.

 

2. Compare your content to the 3 R’s.

Good content has at least one of these 3 characteristics:

  • It’s relatable
  • It’s refutable
  • It’s relevant

This piece of content you’ve just written or designed – does it measure up? If not, rework it.

Another way to approach this skill is to ask these 4 questions from the perspective of your followers:

  • So what?
  • Who cares?
  • What difference does it make?
  • What’s in it for me?

Because as I demonstrated earlier, your social media followers are not morons and they’re going to have thoughts like this running through their heads when they see your post.

3. Stop selling at every turn.

I get it, we’re in business to make money. But there is no way we’ll attract clients from social media if all we do is cram sales posts down their throats. There are enough FB ads running through the newsfeed that our followers don’t need too much more of it.

I’m not saying don’t post something with a call-to-action about buying a product or service.

I’m saying be conscious of how frequently you post what I call a “commercial.”

Think about a half-hour TV show. The show itself is only 22 minutes long – there are 8 minutes of commercials spread out through the broadcast.

Your social media presence is your TV show. 80% needs to be content that your audience loves, and comes back for regularly. Maybe even tunes in for a marathon once in a while. The other 20% can promote your business.

Make sense?

If you’re like me and are craving something different in your social media marketing, I’d love to connect. Click here and let’s have a phone call or Skype date – complimentary!

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What Does a Social Media Manager Do All Day?

Over the holiday season I felt like I was being inundated by ads that promised solutions to all my problems and a new year filled with all the money and success I could dream of – as long as I bought into their product or program RIGHT. FREAKING. NOW.

It was a miserable time to be on Facebook to begin with – what with Donald Trump being elected and all kinds of horrible things happening in the world – but these ads made me want to crawl under a rock. As I mentioned to a colleague, if my livelihood didn’t depend on it, I would quit Facebook.

This makes me sound like I hate what I do… and I promise you, I don’t. I thoroughly enjoy my work and the clients I get to work with.

What frustrates me are ads like these:

freedom-junkies-screenshot

They frustrate me because they completely devalue what social media professionals do for their clients or employers. Believe me, we hardly “play” on social media… even if we wanted to, there’s no time!

What we do for our clients is serious business, and this is shown in the results we deliver for them.

Here’s what my typical day includes:

  • Check all clients’ profiles for interactions, comments, and messages; respond accordingly and escalate any items that require clients’ personal attention.
  • Approve and decline friend requests for clients according to their individual policies.
  • Review analytics and make adjustments to schedule or content as necessary.
  • Meet with clients to discuss upcoming campaigns.
  • Check all clients’ profiles again.
  • Research and curate content.
  • Research clients’
  • Write original content.
  • Create graphics.
  • Check all profiles again.
  • Send new content to clients for approval and schedule approved content.

Plus, remember that I’m also a business owner, so I have other responsibilities related to that… and I stay abreast of the constant changes and new trends in social media, so I also factor in time for that.

Do you see any time for playing in there?! LOL This is real work.

So there you have it: a typical day in the life of a social media manager. 🙂 I know when I’ve shared this with friends who’ve asked “What do you do all day?!” they’ve been shocked and overwhelmed by what all goes into it. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart – but for those of us who love it, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Has managing your social media started to become its own full-time job? Schedule a complimentary strategy session with me and let’s get your social media under control!

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Facebook Etiquette Redux

I’ve written about Facebook Etiquette before, but after an incident last week that left me and a number of my Facebook friends seriously irritated, I figure a refresher won’t hurt anyone. 🙂

Specifically, I want to talk about the etiquette surrounding adding people to a Facebook Group.

FB Groups are all the rage right now. They have the potential to be filled with highly engaged members that convert into loyal, paying clients. Keyword, here: potential.

Here’s what happened last week:

A Facebook friend (acquaintance, really; I’ve never met her in real life) who runs a business added me to her brand new group without first messaging me or inviting me to make the decision to join for myself. Because I use Facebook as a giant laboratory, I decided to conduct a social (media) experiment.

Normally, I would remove myself from the group and block her from re-adding me. Instead, I decided to see if she would add me again. She did. In the space of about 10 minutes, I was added three times.

This tells me a few things: She hasn’t given a lick of thought as to who this group is for and what members can expect – further solidified by the fact that the group info wasn’t filled out and she hadn’t posted any content yet. Because she hasn’t given this any thought, she’s gone down her entire friends list and added each person.

As people like me removed themselves from the group while she hadn’t finished going through her list, she would add them again – not noticing (or perhaps not caring?) that she had already tried to add them at least once before.

She wound up pissing a lot of people off – enough that a mutual Facebook friend started ranting about being added to FB Groups she has no interest in, with several more people chiming in with comments of their own.

All I can think is, if I were that group owner, I’d be embarrassed to have ticked off so many people. When she was going through her adding spree, at one point she’d added well over 500 people. Last I checked, it currently has just 20 members.

That potential she had for a highly engaged group? Squandered.

Okay, maybe not completely squandered, but she’s got to rebuild some serious Facebook karma with a bunch of her FB friends. There was a far better way for her to have launched her group, so here’s what you can do to avoid committing a serious faux pas and alienating your audience:

photo-montage-556809_12801. Determine Who Your Group is For and Why

This requires some pre-planning. What it really requires is a strategy. I wrote a three-part series on how to set up a FB group which I highly recommend you check out.

2. Fully Set Up Your Group

By this I mean, once you’ve pre-planned what your group is all about, who it’s for, what the rules/guidelines are, and what type of content you’ll publish:

  • Upload a banner
  • Fill out the information sections
  • Post some content before anyone has joined, like welcome message inviting folks to introduce themselves

3. Invite People to Join – Let Them Make Their Own Decision

It’s truly Facebook who deserves the brunt of my ire when it comes to how people can become members of groups.

Once upon a time, there used to be a way to invite people to groups without actually adding them. This was either so long ago that I can’t exactly remember when, or it was a beautiful dream that I wish I never woke up from. The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced it’s the latter, to be honest!

As it stands right now, you can add anyone to a group with just a few taps on your smartphone. From desktop, it requires actually typing in the person’s name first.

In the experiment I conducted, the fourth time the group owner tried to add me, I got a notification saying I’d been invited to the group. I’d love to know how she did this. Seriously. I have looked everywhere I can think of, but haven’t been able to figure it out.

If you, dear reader, know how to do this, please tell me!

In the meantime, here are my 3 best recommendations for filling your group with people who actually want to be there and who will be fully engaged:

  • Send personalized FB messages to people you believe would enjoy and benefit from the group, invite them to join and if they say yes, send the link
  • Promote the group in your newsletter
  • Promote the group with a Facebook Ad (this is a new type of ad campaign – pretty cool!)

I wasn’t kidding earlier when I said there’s unlimited potential for Facebook Groups right now. I believe they’re a tool that’s here to stay. But we have a responsibility as business owners to use this tool properly and it to use it for good. That may mean your membership doesn’t grow as fast as you’d like it to, but as with anything… it’s about quality, not quantity. 😉

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3 Things I Did to Take a Work-Free Vacation

This year is the first time I’ve ever taken Christmas off since I launched my business 5 years ago. I’ve taken vacations, for sure, but never Christmas. I’ve lugged my laptop around and worked from my mother-in-law’s dining room table while the rest of my family enjoyed themselves. Every year I vowed that next year would be different… but up until this year, it never was.

So what’s changed?

Me.

(And healthy doses of planning and preparation. More on that later.)

For years, I allowed clients to dictate my schedule. To demand that I be available at all times and cater to their every whim. (These were the same clients who consistently changed their minds at the last minute and who couldn’t get something to me on time to save their lives.)

My business coach likes to remind me that “the way you do anything is the way you do everything.”

The reason this happened consistently is because I let it. If I wanted Christmas to be different, then I needed to do everything else differently.

The first and most obvious thing was to let go of those clients who I had allowed to walk all over me.

Yes, that’s easier said than done. The first thing that ran through my mind was the thought of losing all that revenue those clients provided – that’s a poverty mindset though, and does no one any good.

I came to realise that I was also doing my clients a favour by letting them go. We simply weren’t a fit. By ending my business relationship with these clients, I was freeing them up to find the right person to work with.

A funny thing happens when you let go of the less-than-ideal clients: the ideal ones start showing up, because you’ve now created the space for them. These are the clients who respect your expertise, who respect your time and your schedule, who understand that working with you is an investment in their businesses and therefore gladly pay your fees – and pay them promptly. They’re the A+ clients you’ve been dreaming of, and best of all, they actually exist.

Who doesn’t want more clients like that?!

The second thing I did was to start reading.

That in itself was a complete shift. (I originally typed “start reading more” and needed to correct it because, to be honest, I was never much of a reader)

I was gifted a subscription to Success Magazine, and it had a huge impact in the way I started viewing myself and how I run my business. From there, I started reading more business-related and personal development books. These 4 in particular had significant influences on me this year:

  • Business For Punks
  • Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus
  • Connect
  • The Aladdin Factor

The first three are what have inspired me to take everything I know about marketing on social media and turn it up on its head (watch for how it all plays out in the year ahead). The fourth one taught me how to figure out what I want and how to ask for it. Totally life-changing.

The third thing I did was to start planning.

One of the things I’ve learned from my business coach is to plan things out in 60-day increments. It’s taken me a couple years to really get the hang of this, but now it runs my life. (I kind of maybe annoyed my sister-in-law when I emailed her the day after Halloween this year to talk about Christmas plans – LOL)

Don’t get me wrong – I understand that things can and do change. There’s almost always flexibility in the plans, but occasionally hard deadlines are required.

It’s those hard deadlines that are making my goal of taking the next 12 days off a reality.

In early November, I started telling my clients that I’d be taking 2 weeks off at Christmas. We talked about the tasks and projects that would normally be fulfilled during my vacation time, and together we set the deadlines for when I needed the related items from them.

During each meeting, I reminded them of my upcoming vacation and what their specific deadlines were. Throughout every interaction, I made it clear that if a deadline was missed, there would be no guarantee the project or task would be completed before my team and I left for vacation at 4:30pm Eastern on December 21st.

And you know what?

My clients have been completely open to it. Because they’re the dream clients – the ones I talked about earlier. These clients have their shit together. They also are taking Christmas off, and they appreciated my being proactive enough to help them plan accordingly.

Whether you’re taking time off over the holiday season or planning a vacation sometime in 2017, this type of planning can save you (and your clients!) all kinds of aggravation. How do you plan for time away from your business? Leave a comment – I’d love to know!

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5 Ways to Make Sure Your Facebook Strategy is Actually Working

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”

– Winston Churchill

I love this quote. As someone who loves getting down ‘n dirty into the nitty-gritty of a social media strategy, it’s easy for me to get caught up in the strategizing without frequently checking to see if it’s actually working. I keep this quote front and centre, because it reminds me to consistently check my progress.

startup-593336_1920It’s one thing for me to tell you to measure and analyse your results. But first, you need to figure out what it is you’re even measuring! In this article, I’ve laid out some common social media metrics and how to find the results on Facebook.


You do not need to track all of these metrics.
The metrics you use will vary greatly depending upon what your social media goals are. My best advice is to start out by tracking the 2 or 3 that are most relevant to your goals.

1. Audience Size

Ideally, your Facebook fan-base will grow steadily. The way to check this, as with any FB metric, is through the Insights tab on your Business Page. I recommend doing this from a desktop browser rather than mobile, as more data is provided on desktop. Here’s how to find the info:

  • Go to your Business Page
  • Click on Insights
  • From the left-hand navigation menu, click “Likes”

On this screen, you’ll find your total number of likes (or fans), along with a graph that shows gains and losses of fans over a period of time.

Why this metric is useful: it shows how your audience is reacting to your posts and which times of year have the highest growth

2. Best Times for Engagement

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of “When is the best time to post on Facebook?” You need to test, and test, and test again so you can start to gather some actual data.

Facebook does provide some insights as to when the majority of your Facebook followers are online though:

  • From Insights, click “Posts” in the left-hand menu
  • A graph will appear; at the top of the graph make sure “When Your Fans Are Online” is bolded (if it’s not, click on that phrase)

From here, you can hover over the different days of the week to see when are the “peak” hours for your followers.

Why this metric is useful: generally, there’s no point posting content if no one is online to see it! Also, it gives you some insight into how many times per day you should be posting. If there are 3 peak times, then make 3 posts. If there’s just one, then only post once or maybe twice that day.

3. Audience Demographics

There’s nothing worse than having hundreds or thousands of Facebook followers who don’t fit your Client Avatar. It’s absolutely awful for your engagement.

  • From Insights, click “People”
  • Next, click “Your Fans”

This page will show you the ratio of male-to-female fans you have, their age ranges, which countries and cities they live in, and the languages they speak. Compare this information to your Client Avatar – do they match?

Why this metric is useful: you can use this information in part of your targeting in your Facebook Ads. Also, if there’s a discrepancy between your Client Avatar and your page’s demographics, you need to run an ad campaign that is better targeted to attract your avatar!

4. Total Reach

Reach refers to the total number of people who saw your content within a certain timeframe, whether they’re in your network of followers or not. In a perfect world, your reach is well over your total number of followers!

  • From “Insights”, navigate to “Reach”
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page to find your total reach

On Facebook, Reach is the total number of people who saw your content due to being a follower, being a friend of a follower who interacted with a piece of content, seeing an ad, etc.

Why this metric is useful: it’s an excellent barometer of how engaging your content is. If your Reach has been declining over time, it’s time to shake up your content strategy. I recommend adding more graphics or videos to start out with. Also, refer to metrics 2 and 3. 🙂

5. Click Rates

A click to a site outside of Facebook is pretty much the holy grail; clicks are an indicator that your content is highly engaging and of interest to your followers. The more clicks you get, the better!

There are 2 areas to look in for information about click rates. First:

  • From Insights, click “Posts”
  • Scroll down to “All Posts Published”

There’s a lot of information here, but it will give you details about how many clicks each post has received. Next:

  • In the left-hand navigation menu, click “Actions on Page”

This page is also FULL of data about clicks on various elements of your Page, such as your call-to-action button and your website, and drills down into details the age and gender of the people clicking, where they live, and even what device they use.

Why this metric is useful: it’s a great clue into what types of posts your audience really wants to see from you, especially those who fit your client avatar. Create more content based on what gets clicked the most!

Which metrics will you start tracking going forward? I’d love to hear about it, so leave a comment!

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4 Visual Content Trends to Try in 2017

glasses-691964_1920It’s no secret, visual content performs best on social media.

There are entire platforms dedicated to visual content: Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat… the list is endless.

Human beings are visual beings. We process things in pictures, and a picture is worth a thousand words. So, it’s no wonder the most engaging social media content comes in the form of images and videos.

In this article, I’ve listed some of my favourite visual content trends to inspire you to try something new in your content strategy. Here goes:

1. Video

You didn’t think I’d write an article about visual content without mentioning video, did you?! Of course, not. There’s no hiding the fact I’m a huge fan of video content, so we may as well get things out of the way.

Video continues to be the fastest growing trend in social media content. It sets you apart from your competition because most people are terrified of doing it and are under the erroneous impression that you need a ton of fancy equipment.

In terms of content, the world is your oyster: give a tip, give a product demo, host a Q&A session, interview a client, go behind-the-scenes in your business… so many options!

When it comes to the type of video, you’ve got three main choices:

Live Streaming

Facebook Live, Periscope… these let you interact with your followers in real time. Consider scheduling regular broadcasts, like every Tuesday at 2pm, and it’s almost like having your own TV show!

On Camera

For those who aren’t yet comfortable with the thought of live-streaming, but know that video is the next logical step in the social media strategy, on-camera videos that are recorded and then uploaded to a platform like YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook are perfect.

Animated

Whether it’s because you’re not ready or comfortable to be seen on camera yet, or because you want to switch things up a bit, animated videos are fun! You can choose whether or not you want to do a voice over or simply have music.

Of course, the best animated videos are produced by someone who is an expert, but if that’s not in your budget yet, there are a couple other options to consider:

  • Photo slideshows put together in a program like PowerPoint or Movie Maker. (I’m a PC girl – I know my Mac lovin’ friends can suggest some other apps and programs!)
  • Moovly, which lets you create animated videos and then export them to upload to social media later. I’ve played with Moovly a bit and had fun, but I found it took too much time for me to get the hang of. I still think it’s worth checking out, though!

2. Add Emoticons to Your Images

I’ve been seeing this more and more, and I love the effect! I’ve seen them added to photos and included with infographics.

One way to do this is upload your photo to Facebook and then tap “edit” – from there you can add FB stickers to the picture.

Another way to do this is with a browser extension called EmojiOne. You can also download their complete library of emoticons to use in other projects.

3. Brand Your Memes

Memes, images of inspirational quotes… these are highly “shareable” pieces of content. You’ve likely shared tons of them from other social media profiles, so isn’t it time you created your own?

Your best bet is always to go with a graphic designer who can create, at the very least, a “background” or a “template” for you to superimpose your favourite quotes (or hell, your own quotes!) onto with a tool like Picmonkey or Canva.

Barring that, check out Pablo by Buffer. It’s a free tool with hundreds of thousands of free images that you can use to create your own simple graphics. It also allows you add your own logo to it. And if you’re stuck for content/quote ideas, there’s an extensive library of quotes to choose from.

4. Short Text-Only Updates on Facebook

You might have noticed that posts with less than 200 characters appear on Facebook in a much larger font. I’m counting this as “visual content” because it stands out from everything else on the newsfeed.

It works on desktop, mobile, and with Business Pages. It will also increase the size of any emoticons you use. The caveat here is you can’t add anything else to the post – no images, no check-ins, no feelings/activities… just text and emoticons. If you’ve got something short ‘n sweet to say, give it a shot!

Which of these trends will you add to your social content mix? Leave a comment and let me know!

Posted in Key #4 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

5 Tips for Fabulous Facebook Ads this Holiday Season

hands-1167615_1920Earlier this year, I wrote about my frustration with Facebook Ads.

I know the fundamentals, I know how to navigate my way around Ads Manager, but; until fall of this year I simply hadn’t managed to “crack the code” to creating an amazing FB Ad campaign. I’ll do a full case study on what all it took to execute that campaign in a future blog, but for now I simply want to give you some tips for running a FB Ad campaign during the holiday season.

1. Know Your Customer

Get really, really clear on who you’re targeting in this campaign. I’ve learned the hard way that when you run FB Ad campaigns with too broad an audience, your ad tanks – and the leads and customers you gain from them are of the poorest quality.

Get down and dirty on where they live, how old they are, what kind of job they hold, whether they’re married or divorced, how their kids are, what their hobbies and interests are. Facebook is in the business of data mining so they can sell advertising, and they’ve got it down to a science. If you have a product for people who like juggling while riding a unicycle, Facebook can get that specific in serving your ad up to that audience.

If you’re not prepared to do this kind of homework before launching your ad campaign, save your money – don’t run one.

2. Increase Your Ad Budget

The higher your budget, the more reach your ad will have – that’s just the way FB ads work. The more you’re willing to pay, the more access you receive to your target audience.

If you’ve run ad campaigns at other times of the year and are trying to run one now, you may very well have noticed that your cost per click, impression, or conversion has increased significantly. That’s because there’s more demand for ad space, but the supply hasn’t changed.

Even though it feels like every other post you see is an ad, there really is only so much room in the newsfeed for ads – and at this time of year, you’re competing with a lot more businesses for that room. Which means you need to be willing to increase your ad budget during the holiday season.

How much you increase it is going to be relative to what you already spend, what your results are, and your business’ overall budget. If your budget is $5/day, I would say you should consider tripling it. If your budget is $500/day, you may only need to increase it by 20%.

Which leads me to my next tip…

3. Always be Testing

I consider FB Ads Manager to be a giant laboratory, to be honest. What works for one client bombs for another, and vice versa.

Things to test for:

  1. Budget – as I mentioned above, be willing to increase your budget if you need to. Also, be willing to decrease it! Believe it or not, when we decreased one client’s daily budget from $40 to $25, we wound up getting more conversions, for a lower cost per conversion!
  2. Images – run a campaign with the same ad copy (text) with 3-6 different images and don’t touch it for 48 hours. After the 48 hours is up, go in and stop running the ads with the lowest performing images.
  3. Copy/Call to Action – similar to above, run a campaign with the same image but with 3-6 different versions of your copy or call-to-action for 48 hours.
  4. Audience – again, run the exact same ad to several subsets of your audience for 48 hours. This will help you narrow down your audience for future ads, too.

4. Don’t Expect to Convert a Sale

…unless your budget is really high. So far, it’s been my experience that selling through Facebook ads is extremely difficult. Not impossible. It can be done, but with an advanced ad strategy. You definitely need an expert in your corner.

That said, I don’t want you to give up on ads. They are worth it. Rather than promote a higher-end product or service, try promoting something that’s nearer the top of your sales funnel—something like a free report, a webinar, a limited-time discount code—and then nurture them with autoresponders that lead to an offer for your higher-end items.

5. Try a Retargeting Campaign

Retargeting Campaigns are currently my favourite way to run FB Ads, because you do have a higher likelihood of converting a click to a sale.

These campaigns target people who have already been to your website, so they’re already a lot warmer and ideally are higher up the KLT (Know-Like-Trust) scale than just some average joe seeing your ad for the first time.

You can also target people who are subscribed to your email list or people who are already on your customer list, by uploading their email addresses to FB Ads Manager. This type of campaign works best when you have a minimum of 1000 email addresses to target.

Will you be running any Facebook ads over the holiday season? I’d love to hear about what you’ve personally found to work or not work, so leave a comment below!

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Selfies in FB Groups – What’s the Deal?!

selfie-1022967_1920Rant alert. I’m taking a bit of a different tack on the blog this week.

A couple months ago, a colleague added me (with my permission, because she’s a doll for asking) to some FB groups that are geared towards entrepreneurs. For the most part, I really enjoy these groups – they’re full of like-minded people that I enjoy learning from and conversing with.

But there’s this one trend (and it happens in all three of the groups, so it makes me think it must happen in many groups) that I really don’t understand: uploading a selfie with the post, no matter what the topic/content of the post is.

If you partake in this phenomenon, could you explain your reasoning? I’m truly curious.

As an expert in social media strategy and content, my best guess is because it’s no secret that posts with images attached get more engagement than those without – so I can only infer that it’s an attempt to get me to react or comment on their post.

Well, safe to say I’m “reacting” – just not in that way.

As a participant in the FB group, my gut reaction when I see a selfie attached to a post about business is to judge that person as being self-centred.

Yes, I’ll admit it, I can be judge-y. But so can all your social media followers – and, trust me on this, they are.

Every time you post something on social media, one (or a combination) of 4 thoughts runs through the mind of your followers when they read it:

  • So what?
  • Who cares?
  • What difference does it make?
  • What’s in it for me?

As I mentioned above, I really am curious about hearing the strategy behind adding a selfie to a post from someone who does it regularly, but for the time being? I feel it important to remind you that you have a responsibility to provide content that is relevant, engaging, useful and high-quality.

So – before you attach that selfie to a post, ask yourself if the image is relevant to both the content and to the reader, and if it provides value to your audience.

Your overall engagement rate will thank you.

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Setting Goals for Your 2017 Social Media Strategy

I hate to break it to you, but 2017 is less than 7 weeks away.

And I don’t know about you, but I want 2017 to be even better than 2016. Which requires planning and goal setting.

A common mistake that I find many entrepreneurs making when it comes to goal setting for social media is assuming that marketing on social media will drive their business.

These folks actually have it backwards. Your business goals are what will drive how you market on social media. There is a significant number of people out there who believe that because they run an online business, they only need to market on social media.

Wrong.

Dead wrong.

Social media is but one piece of a much larger marketing puzzle. It may form a significant part of your overall marketing plan, but it should not be the only part of your plan.

That said, no matter how large a role social media plays in your marketing, you need a strong social media strategy. And the first step in creating a social media strategy is identifying your business goals and then setting separate social media goals (I call them BGs and SMGs for short) that support your business goals.

Common business goals include a revenue goal. That’s a pretty important one. Not gonna lie; it’s always the first one I set! This year, one of my intentions was to grow my business through speaking, so I set a goal of booking 12 speaking engagements – as of mid-November, I’ve completed 11, so my goal for 2017 is to book 16. (If you’re looking for a speaker, download my one-sheet here)

Your goals will likely vary, and that’s totally fine and normal. Whatever they are, once you’ve set your business goals, it’s time to set some social media goals that are in alignment with your overall goals for the year. For the sake of consistency, I’ll show you how I created SMGs that align with my own business goals.

dreamstime_xs_74299067Business Goal 1: Increased Revenue

Let me be brutally honest for a moment. Actually selling on social media is hard. Can it be done? Absolutely. It’s a little easier when you’re a product-based business, but if you’re service-based like I am it becomes trickier. This is because you need to build relationships with your followers and establish trust. If they don’t trust you, they’ll never do business with you. And to trust you, they need to get to know you and figure out whether they like you – the Know-Like-Trust (KLT) Factor.

I’m a strong advocate of taking your online interactions with your followers offline – whether that means meeting them for coffee, making mutual plans to attend the same networking event and connect there, or just having a simple phone conversation with them. Not only does this make you ‘human’ to your followers, but a face-to-face interaction or telephone conversation automatically builds trust because you’ve made them feel special (you’ve dedicated time out of your schedule just for them).

These are the leads that are the easiest to convert into sales. So, my specific SMG to support my business’s 2017 revenue goal is to generate these leads – primarily through my mailing list opt-in and then nurturing the subscribers to build upon that KLT Factor, and also by interacting with my followers (gasp!).

Business Goal 2: Book 16 Speaking Engagements

My SMG to support business goal of booking 16 speaking engagements is to build awareness about who I am. Specifically, I’m using social media to seek out events that attract my ideal clients and then connect with the organizers. This also requires dedicating time to building relationships through online interactions and transitioning them to offline conversations. Noticing a theme here? 😉

Building awareness also means expanding my reach by increasing my followers. It’s one thing to book these speaking engagements, but it’s also on me to generate some interest in me and my expertise, so that people actually want to listen to me!

As you can see, a Social Media Strategy that supports these business goals is labour-intensive to devise, implement, and execute. I’ve spoken to a number of entrepreneurs lately who have admitted their Social Media presence is spiralling out of control because they don’t have the time or the resources to manage it properly.

I really don’t want you to be one of those entrepreneurs!!

I have some room on my calendar for some complimentary Discovery Sessions before the end of the year. Click here to schedule yours and we’ll lay out a plan to get your 2017 starting off strong!

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