Facebook is NOT Dead!

Facebook is Not DeadA few months ago while sitting in on a presentation, the speaker, a professional in social media, explained that Facebook was, for all intents and purposes, dead.  Now, I don’t do a perfect job at staying on top of all the internet news and information, so this came as quite a shock to me.

This person then went on to explain that the “followers” on business pages would no longer see the posts on those pages unless that business PAID for the visibility of the post.  Again, I was shocked, especially given that I manage more than a dozen Facebook pages for businesses.

My first thought was perhaps I had misunderstood and that the person was really talking about Facebook Advertising, which is alive and kicking, reasonably priced and a great way to build your Facebook audience.

As I continued to listen, it became apparent:  No, the message of the presentation really was to tell people that Facebook was on its way out, that it was going to start charging businesses for their posts and it was time to find a new social media outlet.

So, I did what any responsible entrepreneur would do, especially one who totes of being an “internet specialist,” and I Googled it.  And, I Snopes-ed it.  And, I Googled it some more.

Ken Colburn of datadoctors.com explained in an article titled “Is Facebook about to start charging business pages a fee?” published on ABC 15 Arizona, “By default, Facebook only shows you items in your news feed that are from friends that you are actively interacting with or posts that have gotten a lot of likes or comments by your friends (the definition of their ‘Top Stories’).”

Colburn continues, “These types of rumors aren’t anything new and have been circulating for years.  They tend to pop up every time something significant changes within the network or there is discussion about new projects at Facebook.”

Colburn goes on to say, “Now that Facebook is a publicly traded company, expect to see more stories about new fee-based offerings and expect to see more hoaxes claiming that what you get for free today will be a pay service tomorrow.”

I realize that Colburn’s article is a bit dated, but it seemed to address the claim of the presenter at the event. I administer over a dozen Facebook business pages and I have observed the “Insights” (Facebook traffic) over the years. What I haven’t seen is an overall decrease in the number of people seeing my posts. Sure, there are some posts that don’t get a lot of views, but those tend to be the less interesting.

All of this being said, don’t run for the hills or panic that your business is being hung out to dry because everyone’s favorite Social Media outlet has flat lined.

Facebook is NOT DEAD, friends!

Facebook is alive and viable and a great source of customer interaction! If you’re going to be concerned about your audience seeing posts, put your energy into posts that are engaging and interesting.

it’s not all about you

Within the past month, I have posted several blogs on the topic of Facebook and its application in the world of business including our first post, “so you have a facebook page” which gave hints and tips on how to build your “audience;” “top 10 facebook benefits for businesses” (self explanitory); and “using facebook as your business,” which was more of a how-to guide. 

Now that the ground work is layed, it’s time to face the truth of social media ~ IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU! (that’s right, I said it!)

Part of what makes social media such a good medium for businesses is that it gives businesses a platform to cross-promote.  Perhaps a friend or a contact from your Networking group has expanded their business.  This is a perfect time to SHARE that information on your Facebook page.  Or, maybe you did business with one of the businesses on your “like” list, use that opportunity to share your thoughts with others.  Perhaps you just did business with someone on YOUR “like” list.  It is ok for you ask THEM to post something on their page about their experience.

Whatever the case, when sharing or mentioning others, make sure to use the @ sign.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with this little tip, it is what allows people to “link” to pages within their posts without all of the URL info. Simply start typing your comment then, when you get to the part that you want to mention the name, click the @ sign then start typing the name of the business (without spaces).  [NOTE: You must first LIKE whomever or whatever business you are mentioning for this to work properly.]  As you type, Facebook will automatically suggest names or businesses that fit with what you are typing.  See below:

Simply click on the name from the drop down menu that you are trying to mention?  If you don’t find the name, chances are you aren’t spelling it right or they aren’t on your “like” list so you might want to make sure you have that lined out BEFORE you make your post.

Hope this little tip was useful.  If you have questions or suggestions regarding any of the information from this blog, or any of the ones previously posted, please feel free to email me and I will be glad to post a tutorial or answer your question(s).

using facebook as your business

This post is a companion piece to the blog just posted a few days ago, top 10 facebook benefits for businesses

First, I recommend you use your personal Facebook page for personal business and “Fan” pages SOLELY for business. Connecting with business connections is ok on your personal page as long as you are ok with them seeing your personal “business.”

Now, this is assuming that you have already gone through the process of creating a Facebook business page. If not, click here and complete that process. It is really quite simple and is as user-friendly as it was to create your personal page. Do understand that you have to have a personal account on Facebook to create a business page. Also, you will automatically be the “Admin” of your business page. I will show you how to assign other admins after this section.

Once your Business (aka “Fan”) page, you will be able to choose whether you want to use Facebook as YOU, personally, or as your business. If you are using Facebook as YOU, when you “share” or “like” posts, you will do so in your personal name. If you use Facebook as your business, when you “share” or “like” posts, you will do so in your business name. NOTE: Anytime you post or share ON your Facebook business page, regardless of if you are using Facebook as YOU or your business, the post will be from your business.

Ok, now back “on topic.”

Go TO your Fan page. If you have several Fan pages, go to the one that you are currently wanting to post, comment or share as. On the RIGHT side, there is an option that says, “Use Facebook as [insert your business fan page name here].” See the GREEN star below for the location on the page. NOTE: If you haven’t updated your page to the new layout, you may not see this option. Update your page to the new layout NOW. (The option to do so is typically at the top of your page until you do.)

That is all you need to do!! Now you should be able to go to other Facebook pages and make posts or comments as your business. You should be able to “share” links, posts, etc. on your business page as your business.

Let’s say you don’t have time or the desire to manage your business page, or perhaps you want another person on your team to help you out.

To assign them as an “admin” on a page, YOU have to be an admin on the page first. Then, make sure that they are a “Fan” on the page that you want them to be an admin on. Finally, from the business page that you want them to be an admin, on the left side of the page it says how many people “like” your page. The “like this page” is a hyperlink that pops up a list of fans. (see the green star in the image below) Click on “like this page.” Once the fan list pops up, you will be able to click a box that says “Make an Admin” next to the person that you want to make an admin.

Make sure that you TRUST the person that you are making an admin, as they will have the same rights and privledges on the fan page as you do!!

That’s it! Hopefully, this mini tutorial will help make managing your Facebook business page a little easier!

top 10 facebook benefits for businesses

10.  Establish a rapport with your existing & potential clients (aka “fans”) develops trust.

9.  Expand e-news database by providing newsletter signup on your page

8.  Ask other professionals that are experts in complimenting businesses to post a link to a blog/article they have written to your page develops a more meaningful relationship with your “fans.”  

7.  Post research data on your page to establish yourself as an expert in your industry.

6.  Run “click & share” drawings to encourage existing “fans” to share your page posts with their friends to expand your reach.

5.  Post event info where a representative of your business will be present even if your business is not the HOST of the event.

4.  Post sales, promotions and new product/service announcements coupled with a contest that encourages your fans to SHARE the information.  (drawings/give aways)

3.  Take part in a “cause” and encourage your fans to participate.

2.  Use your page to cross-sell the products and services of your business network members. 

1.  Search engines LOVE social media.  AFTER you have developed a search engine optimized website, adding social media is like BAM! Kicking it up a notch.

where are the customers?

I see it happen time and time again.  Maybe it has happened to you/your business?

You work really hard building a website, but you don’t have the customers you thought you would.  Afterall, YOU are excited about your product/service, shouldn’t everyone else be? You built it ~ why didn’t they come?

There are two primary reasons that sales (or “leads” as some might call it) on the Internet don’t live up to expectations.

ONE:  You aren’t ranked well on search engines. (when people search, they don’t SEE you)

and

TWO: Your website isn’t really a “selling machine.”

Let’s look at number ONE.  What happens when you put all of that energy into your site and NOTHING happens?  No one “finds” you.  Obviously, you need to adopt some type of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. 

You can hire a SEO company to review your site and give you recommendations, and/or you can employ a few of these ideas FIRST:

1) Create a website with relevant content that supports your business. If you sell cars, include car buying tips, car maintenance schedules, car reviews, etc. 

2) Create a community of and for your customers/clients: 

  • Start and MAINTAIN a Facebook and Twitter page [how to put Facebook to work for you click here]
  • Write relevant blogs and publish them on a regular basis.
  • Send e-newsletters with relevant information.  (don’t send newsletters for the sake of sending a newsletter)

3) Find a free website graders on the internet, input your site and get some free advice.  There are a lot of these, and I’ve found several to be a relatively decent source of input/advice.

There are a lot of other ways to help improve your search engine ranking.  The common thread is provide a lot of information and resources that are RELAVENT to your product/service.

At Ginasis, we have been optimizing websites for well over 10 years, and we optimize every site that we create. 

So, what if you have done all of these things and your website is ranked well but you are STILL not getting sales.  Stay tuned for the next blog where we will explore some ideas to help make your website a “selling machine.”

so you have a facebook page

I don’t think it’s “new information” that, in order to keep up with the times and the competition, a business needs to have a Facebook page.  (A Twitter page is a good idea too, but that’s a story for a different blog.)  I have noticed so many businesses have been quick to jump on the bandwagon by setting up their Facebook page, but then they forget to pull the reigns to actually MOVE the “wagon.”

You can’t just create a Facebook page and expect people to knock down your doors.

What are some things that you need to know to make Facebook work for you?

 First:  To be competitive on Facebook first you need “fans” or people that LIKE your page.  Below are a few ways to acquire fans.

  1. Put a link to your Facebook page on your website.
  2. Put a Facebook icon/logo on all print material so that people that aren’t visiting your website know that you are on Facebook.
  3. Put a Facebook link on all electronic newsletters and contacts with your customers.
  4. Advertise on Facebook.

Second:Encourage interaction among your fans.  That is the whole point of “social networking” – being social.  Below are some ideas of how you can generate some activity on your page:

  1. Offer exclusive discounts for Facebook fans and ask them to share the offer with their friends. Something like: “Facebook Fan Appreciation Day: Today only 10% off hats.  Make sure to share this offer on your page so that your friends can take advantage of this special offer too.”
  2. Offer a drawing for participation.  “Make a comment on our page to be entered to win a $25 dollar gift certificate.” or “Click and share our photo album for a chance to win [something really cool].”
  3. Offer news and information specific to your industry or business and ask for thoughts and comments.
  4. Ask fans to post photos of them using a product they purchased from your company.
  5. Ask fans what one of their favorite products is.

Do NOT simply use your Facebook page exclusively for giving props to your products.

Having a Facebook page isn’t as simple as your typical advertising.  You can’t just put up a page and expect people to come, nor can you expect search engines to care.  In other words,  Google doesn’t notice you because you have a Facebook page.  Google notices when you actually use Facebook it as it was intended. (That’s where the social part comes in.)  

In the world that we live in today, it is all about being social and your social networking investments are just that, an investment.  The more time and energy you put into it, the more you can expect it to pay you back.

In my experiences with Facebook, the single most effective way to put your Facebook page to work for you is to speak to the pocketbook of your fans.  People like discounts,  and they LOVE LOVE FREE (giveaways). 

Did I say people love FREE?

If you or your staff doesn’t have the time and energy to put into your Facebook page, there are plenty of businesses that offer Social Media maintenance.  At Ginasis, we offer Facebook and Twitter maintenance exclusively for our clients.

how internet copy affects your bottom line

Though I originally wrote this article six years ago (yes, I said SIX), I found the contents to still be relevent to today’s internet marketing strategies. I had written the article after teaching a seminar titled “Marketing Your Website.” The topic of Net Copywriting was an integral part of this seminar.

Net Copywriting is the “art” of writing copy heavily weighted with key words and key phrases.

There were a number of people in the room that had that amazed and astounded look on their face as I explained the theory and rationale behind “Net Copywriting”. I realized that, although I have been at this for what was then over five years (now, over 11) there are, and will probably always will be, a great number of people that are just getting their feet wet in the World Wide Web.

What is the point of “Net Copywriting”? The more keywords you have in your copy the more search engines legitimize the subject of your site. For example, if the title of your site is “Widgets” but the copy on your site mentions nothing about widgets, search engines will assume your site isn’t any more about widgets than it is about any other word you used ONCE (or maybe twice) in your site. But when you use a word several times in your site, the search engines start thinking, “Hey, this site is about this subject!” and then when someone searches for that subject, BAM! the search engine gives them your site. And the more frequently you cover that subject on your site, the higher-ranked you will be when someone searches. (This applies to FREE listings on search engines only.)

What does this mean to you? Maybe you are now starting to connect the dots. Through effective Net Copywriting, your site will be ranked better with search engines. When your site is ranked better, your exposure on the internet increases which has the potential to increase your bottom line, depending on the nature of your business and your business plan.

Your first goal should be to write EFFECTIVE web site copy, then take that copy and turn it to Net Copy. Keep in mind that your website is your 24/7 customer service representative.  You are not only trying to build a relationship with the person that is visiting your site, you are also trying to inform Search Engines the subject of your site so that the people that do browse your site are people that have actually come to the right place.  (How disappointing it is to try and shop for shoes in a hardware store!!) 

I like to make the first step of Net Copywriting gathering a list of keywords and key phrases. If your web developer hasn’t already done that for you (if you are Ginasis clients, chances are, this has been done for you), here are some steps to help you out:

1. Write down your main product and/or service – this will be your main keyword or key phrase. For example, if you sell widgets, then widgets would be your first keyword. You should be SPECIFIC. If you only sell maple wood widgets, then narrow it down. Get even more specific. If you only sell maple wood widgets in Timbuktoo Kansas, or if the wood is a special wood that you can only find in Timbuktoo, then use that.

2. Find out what your competition is using as their keywords – Go to your competitors sites and find out what keywords and phrases they are using to get ideas on what you might want to use. This is not a HUGE help, but it does keep your creative juices flowing. From your browser window, choose “view source” to look at their “META keywords”. Don’t panic if they don’t have any. It’s amazing the number of people that still don’t use META tags. (And that’s a whole different subject.)

3. Use a keyword selection tool – Overture has a great FREE keyword selection tool that can help you with derivatives of your keywords. It will give you keywords and phrases that people are searching for that are related to the term that you input. Just visit www.overture.com and click on Advertiser Tools.

The next step is to write your copy, and include those words and phrases as much as you can, and still make it pleasant to read. Don’t SPAM the words in your copy. 

If this sounds too complicated or like something you don’t want to mess with, not to worry.  Ginasis is happy to help you make your copy work for the internet.  Don’t have copy?  We can help you there too!

your grandma’s branding

I have been paying a lot of attention lately to how businesses brand themselves.  Who am I kidding?  I ALWAYS pay attention to branding. 

Something that I thought of was how all business owners could probably learn a lesson from their grandma.  Well, at least they could learn from mine.

Like most women (and men, for that matter), she had a style that was very unique to her taste, a “look.”  Where she starts to distinguish herself a bit is that she ALWAYS matched.  From her earrings to her shoes.  ALWAYS.

For a business to successfully brand themselves, they need to step into my grandmother’s footsteps.

STEP 1:  Pick a “look” and stick to it.  Distinguish yourself.

Ok, so maybe you are thinking “duh” but I’m telling you that the number of businesses that I have noticed that are constantly changing their “look” with the seasons amazes me.  It is one thing to update your look from time to time, but quite another to always change dramatically.  Not only do some businesses frequently change their “look” (color scheme/style of marketing visuals), I have noticed a number of businesses have a variety of logos. 

Pick ONE logo(look) and use it everywhere.  Coordinate your print materials, your website, your blog, your newsletter, your e-news.  EVERYTHING!

Sure, it is ok to have a derivatives.  For example, one of my clients has a horizontal and a vertical version of their logo.  They use the EXACT icon and the EXACT typeface on both. 

That’s it.  ONE STEP.  Well, ok, maybe that was two: 1) pick a “look” and 2) stick to it.

WHY?

Your customers and clients need to know when they have stepped into your door.  They do that by recognizing your “look,” your brand.  If you are always changing, it gets confusing.  Think of it as the feeling that you got when you walked into grandma’s house during the holidays.  For the most part, my guess is that it ALWAYS felt “the same.”  That familiarity makes a person feel comfortable. 

I’m not saying NEVER change.  It’s ok to update from time to time.  To “evolve,” is essential.  However, don’t change your brand with the seasons.  Pick something consistent and stick with it.

If you need help establishing a “look,” visit my friend, Paul, at EAG. If you need help pulling your look through your internet “fingers,” (website, facebook, twitter, blog, e-newsletter, etc.) click here to contact us. We would love to help you out!

are you aware?

Ok, so this is going to be a bit “off-topic.”  Nevermind, it’s going to be COMPLETELY off topic, but I think you’ll understand the significance of it all.

Last Friday was the first day of October and October is breast cancer awareness month.  People all over the nation are thinking PINK.

I have always thought pink, but want to share how my shade of pink got a bit more intense not long ago.

It was Junish of 2009.  I had had my regular mammogram and had been asked to come back for a follow up.  I’m used to them finding slight abnormalities, as they found their first about 5 years before 2009.  That said, I wasn’t concerned.

Then, it happened, the nurse came out and explained that the radiologist was recommending a biopsy and that he would come and explain the procedure and the reason for concern.

I was quite calm, surprisingly.

Then, as he was explaining everything, the room started to darken.  He walked away, leaving me with the nurse and the room went black. I started to faint.

It took me almost 2 hours to get out of that Dr.’s office.  Maybe this makes me a wimp, but I had a lot of other things going on in my life at the time and this pretty much sent me over the top.

My biopsy turned out fine, but it had a 1 in 5 chance of not. (Many thanks to my sister, Jana, for coming to be with me before, during and after the surgery.)

One of my good childhood friends is a breast cancer survivor.  Another good friend is watching her mother suffer at the tail end of her breast cancer battle.  Still others share their mastectomy and biopsy stories with me.

As I give thanks for my biopsy results, I have decided that Ginasis will be giving a portion of October’s income to the Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City Foundation.

THINK PINK!

what makes you #1?

I had one of my long-time clients tell me this week that another website development company had explained to her that, if her site is done “right” then she could be #1 on Google within a month.

Have you been told the same?

Just as your stomach growls when you are hungry, so does your instinct tell you if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Many SEO firms make such promises. Some may be able to deliver, but what are some of the things you should keep in mind if you find yourself confronted by such a “promise.”

ASK:

What key term will I be ranked #1 at?

If you are a cosmetic surgeon in the kansas city area, you want to be #1 in the term “kansas city cosmetic surgeon.”  Automatically, when someone tells you that you can be #1 in a month, you believe that you can be #1 in that term.

And you can!!!

IF you pay for it with a Pay Per Click campaign.

What many of these SEO firms do is convince you of a #1 spot of a term so vague that even the “cat in the hat” can make your “search term” sing. 

I’m not here to tell you BEWARE ~ I’m here to remind you to ask the intelligent questions…

What makes YOU #1?

what’s new?

We have updated our service offerings to include social media management (facebook, twitter, e-news & blogs) and the use of Word Press for blogs and content management sites.

Follow us on Facebook