Small Business Solutions by Jamie

helping small business owners achieve the success they deserve


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9 Things Not To Do With Your Facebook Business Page

ImageFacebook is constantly improving changing its parameters, rules, layouts, et cetera, but it remains an effective, affordable way to grow your business if you do it right.  Here’s what not to do:

1. POST IN ALL CAPS.  This frowned-upon phenomenon of chat rooms, forums and comment sections has almost gone extinct, so anyone going this route on their Facebook business page sticks out like a sore, unprofessional thumb.

2. Use a personal Facebook page for your business.  It is technically a Facebook no-no and there are several advantages to a business page versus a personal page.  It is also fairly easy to convert.

3. Have a small audience.  Less than 200 likes means your readership may be a lot lower than you think.  With the recent changes to the Facebook News Feed algorithm, anywhere from 16% to as low as 2% of your “Likes” may see your posts in their Feed.  Increasing the quality of your posts (see below) is key, but having a more popular page is a good start.  Buying likes is expensive and discouraged by the cognoscenti, but reaching out to your friends, your website visitors and current customers costs nothing but a concerted effort.

4. Use too much text.  Less is more and Twitter’s 140-character limit is a good benchmark.

5. Post without an image.  Humans are visual creatures.  Posts with photos average 53% more likes than text alone.  (And we all know that Facebook owns Instagram, right?

6. Overpost.  There are lots of statistics out there, but the gist is that you don’t want to turn people off by blowing up their feed, no matter how great your content.  I may like a lot of pages, but I’ve unfollowed/hidden many of them for this reason.  Facebook’s new algorithm has taken it one step further and stopped showing you pages that you consistently fail to interact with.

7. Underpost.  This should go without saying, but people forget about you quickly in this new social media blizzard.  If you’re only posting once a month, why post at all really?

8. Have incomplete or incorrect information.  Short description, long description?  Fill them in.  They are indexed by Google.

9. Thinking that you don’t need a website.  There are a multitude of reasons that a Facebook page just is not a substitute for an effective web site, many of them enumerated quite well here and here.

If you’re going to take advantage of everything that social media can do for you, the power of Facebook cannot be underestimated.  Remember, however, that Likes and Shares don’t pay the bills.  The goal is to convert these into real customers and real revenue, so focus your efforts in that direction.  To get an idea of what an extremely successful Facebook business page looks like, poke around SMEHubSpot and Moz and check out what they are doing.

Any questions or comments, please email me or visit my website.  Cheers!

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6 Ways to Grow Your Business For Free

1. Evaluate and expand your web presence.

  • Use Yext to find out where your business is currently listed on the web.
  • Correct any addresses or otherwise incorrect listings.
  • Register with the major search engines and verify your business location, phone number, website and whatever you can at no cost.
  • Don’t waste your time with any service that promise to list you with umpteen search engines or directories and definitely do not pay for anything.
  • If you come across any pages offering links like “Is this your business?” “Claim this listing/page” or “Are you the owner?”, do it so long as it passes the sniff test.

Currently, the Big Three are Google, Bing and Ask. (Yahoo is powered by Bing.)
Bonus points if you have the time and ambition to explore all that Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) and Bing Webmaster Tools have to offer. These can be invaluable resources, but be careful how much discretionary time you are spending.

2. Take your social media seriously.

Depending on your business or industry, different social media channels may or may not work for you, but you need to investigate them all. Not on Pinterest because your client base is mostly men? You may be missing out on the 4th largest source of social media traffic. Men are pinning at a very impressive rate, like here, here and here. It will take a little homework, but you owe it to your business to find out if it is worth your time to Tweet and Tumble if only to expose your brand and drive traffic to your website. It may be hard to put a definitive ROI on your valuable time, but considering what you would have to pay even the most inexpensive marketing expert, you’re a relative bargain. When in doubt, take a look at your competition: if they’ve got a profile page on LinkedIn or Instagram (owned by Facebook) or they’ve got a YouTube (owned by Google) channel, you might need to follow suit just to stay in the game if not win it.

3. Embrace the power of email marketing.

You may very well have a database of customer email addresses in a database somewhere, perhaps a notebook or even a spreadsheet, just waiting for the right time to use them for something.
That time is now.

  • Sign up for MailChimp and import or add 100 email addresses.
  • Create a simple yet snazzy newsletter that contains some special offer/discount/value-added service available only to subscribers and a call-to-action.
  • Track the responses, tweak the design, change the offer.  Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.newsletter sbsbyjamie.com

Continually try to build your database by capturing leads through your website and manually.  Monitor the unsubscribers.  While you probably don’t want anyone on your list anyway who doesn’t want your product or service and isn’t going to be a customer, if you’re dropping folks too quickly, you may have to adjust the frequency or the content of your emails.  There is a lot of help out there on how to fashion your mailings and this is an excellent start.  Remember, the only goal of your Subject line is to get the reader to open the email and take the next step.

(When in doubt, look at what companies like Staples are doing, because I promise there are quite a few people and a good sum of money ensuring that it is as effective as possible.)

4. Optimize your website.

I won’t spend much bandwidth on this, because too much has been wasted already.  Everyone’s an expert on SEO.  Just Google it if you don’t believe me.  Lots and lots of folks would love to charge you north of $200 a month to get you organically ranked at the top of the SERP.  There may be some value to that for certain budgets, but the ROI is questionable at best and 80% of the companies pitching any kind of Search Engine Marketing or Optimization are going to rip you off.  That said, this is a great primer and it is provided by, who else, Google.  They’re the ones that make the rules and they tell you almost exactly what to do to please their spiders.

5. Start a blog.

This may well take the most time of any of these actions because, if you have an artistic bent whatsoever, blogging can consume you.  It is fun, gratifying and everyone is doing it!   No one knows more about your business than you do, so write about it.  It costs you nothing but your time and the rewards in traffic and brand awareness could pay off ten-fold.  Wait, you’re an amateur photographer as well?

6. Search out testimonials.
Potential customers are looking for social proof of your company’s reputation and your existing customers can provide it. Seek them out. Offer an enticing discount or a $10 gift card to a local coffee shop. People have no problem sharing a good experience, but submitting a review to Yelp or Google or Facebook isn’t always the first thing on their list. Remind them. Great reviews are like gold. (As well as the only practical way to combat any bad reviews.)

 

I sincerely hope that you find any or all of this information helpful and accurate.  I welcome any comments or corrections.  Please visit my website or find me on Facebook.  Thank you and Happy Holidays!

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