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4 Reasons Why Contests Should be a Part of Your Marketing Strategy

For years, businesses, small and big, have been using social media contests to capture the attention of their audience and engage their customers. When done properly and effectively, social media contests can bring a number of benefits to your brand.

Here are 4 reasons why contests should be a part of your
marketing strategy.

Give people a reason to follow your brand

Most brands would share interesting and informative content in the hopes of capturing the attention of their audience. But despite their efforts, many of them are having a hard time standing out from the competition. If you want to have more followers and expand your reach, consider hosting a contest on social media.

When running a contest, most brands would ask people to like their social media accounts and share their content. Knowing that they’ll get an opportunity to win something, most people would gladly do as they are asked. This is a win-win for both the brand and consumers. You get the opportunity to reach more people while they get the chance to win something – a gift, a discount voucher, a gift certificate or a free period of service.

Improve brand awareness

Most people aren’t aware that your business exists until they hear it from their family and friends. With social media contests, people are often urged to do just that.

Regardless of how well established your brand is, contests can be a simple yet effective way to improve brand awareness.

Collect data

Often, people are hesitant to share their information for the fear of identity theft. Social media contests provide an easy way to grow your email list and collect data. People will be more willing to provide you with their personal information, knowing that they get something in return.

You can ask people to leave their name, contact number, and email address to enter the contest. Also, think of the type of information you need for your future marketing campaigns. Want to know how many of them went to the local university? How many of them have kids? Now is your chance to find out.

Increase engagement

Contests are one of the best ways to boost your engagement. When you host a social media contest, your post is likely to get a lot of likes, shares, and comments.

More than the number of fans and followers, engagement is the most important element in social media. The engagement rate represents the number of people who are talking about your brand. The higher the engagement rate is, the higher the reach rate. That means, your content will be viewed by a wider audience.

Why is it a good idea:

Holding contests and campaigns

on social media is more popular than ever, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon. Any company can give out free gift cards or electronics, so that really is not enough to hold the attention of social media users anymore. What is taking your contest to the next level? If you are running a contest, you must make sure your contest stands out from the rest.

As we know, consumers are constantly interacting with social media on their mobile phones. This means it is vital to take advantage of location. Urge users to check-in on social media when they are interacting with your company’s physical location. Offer some sort of incentive such as a discount, a charitable donation, a few points in a contest, etc. Getting social media users to check in not only allows you to generate more traffic but also creates a deeper user interaction (physical and digital).

Do your users have a reason to keep coming back to your page? Include your fans and contest participants in every possible step of the contest. Brands often do this by allowing the fans to vote on a winner, respond to a question, or answer a poll. Get creative here and choose what seems most relevant to your brand and product.

Although your contest is Facebook based, ask yourself if other social media platforms would enhance your contest. For example, say you are the marketer for a line of gluten-free butter and your Facebook contest asked users to post pictures and recipes of things they made with your butter. In this case, it would make sense to start a Pinterest board, displaying the recipes.  Using more than one social media platform can allow you to reach a larger audience. The key here is to make sure your second social media platform is relevant to your contest.

The general goal of Facebook contests is to allow users to interact with your brand. Anybody can make a Facebook contest, but your goal is to expand that user interaction as far as possible. Think of ways to take your contests to other social media platforms, physical locations, and beyond.

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Boosted Posts vs. Facebook Ads

boosted posts vs. facebook ads

Scratching your head about whether to ‘boost’ a post on Facebook or to utilize the power of Facebook ads?  Boosting a post is sometimes ‘simple’ but not always the best answer to get to the folks that really matter to your brand!  Remember, Facebook is not a spray and pray proposition. Getting into the newsfeeds is getting harder and harder for ranking capability.  Soooo…get ready to dig into your pocketbook, whether boosting or using Facebook ads.

Boosting a post on Facebook, let’s face it, is easy-peasy, as opposed to going behind the scenes and utilizing the awesome tools on Facebook Manager. All you have to do is hit the ‘boost post’ button and off you go, right?  WRONG. Hang on ‘pardner…

In the past, boosting did not have many of the attributes that Facebook Ads Manager had, but now the Boost post button might not be such a bad strategy after all.  You can now actually re-target and optimize your boosts to actually drive traffic for developing your brand followers!  

There are some key factors that come into play when boosting your posts.  You must consider:

  1. What is the goal for the boost?
  2. DO NOT boost a post that does not benefit you, such as a resource post that does not lead back to your website, as an example.
  3. Again, boosting is not a ‘spray and pray’ proposition.  Make sure that you are targeting your demographic for the post.
  4. It’s all about the Facebook Pixel!!!!  In order to get the best traction, make sure that you have installed the Facebook Pixel (it’s FREE) on your website so you can get your tracking enabled.

So why is Facebook Manager a greater preference for ads?  Let’s be frank, candid and honest…Facebook Ads Manager does have a learning curve…no doubt…but it does have the ability for in-depth targeting, which is a HUGE coup! AND AND AND…if you are an organizational freak, the only way to keep completely organized with your ad spend is to create campaigns within Facebook Ads Manager.  You don’t have that ability with boosting posts.

For example, if you want to stay organized on Ads Manager for ‘campaigns,’ you can organize your campaigns strategically:

  • App installs
  • Engagement
  • Brand Awareness
  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Video Views
  • LeadGen
  • Messages
  • Conversions
  • Product Catalog Sales
  • Store Visits

If you are merely ‘boosting’ a post, you do not have the ability to categorize your ‘boosted posts’ into strategic campaigns on Facebook to examine analytics per campaign goals.

So, to wrap it up quick and easy…boosted posts will help you develop a fan base and reach, and ads can actually help you transition your brand’s presence into tangible brand outcomes!

Stay tuned for more info…lots to share!

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Facebook Marketing in 2017 – Action items for your business to reach the next level

Facebook and Marketing

We’ve all heard that we need to have a presence on Facebook for our businesses, but what does it actually look like? Over the years, Facebook has turned from a free marketing platform that was easy to grow to, to one where only about 16% of your Likes will see any give post.

Recently, we’ve seen a lot of businesses turn away from even wanting to market on Facebook, but it still is an essential network for your business big or small. In this blog, I’m going to take a look at the important steps to build a viable Facebook marketing strategy, dos and don’ts of Facebook for business, and little-known tips to make sure your business sees a return on your investment in Facebook marketing.

Building your Facebook Strategy

Facebook, just like any modern marketing avenues, is much more than just sharing a piece of content. Our tribes are composed of smart individuals who no longer want to be told what to do, but appreciate brands that help them to discover new, meaningful things. Facebook, luckily, is the perfect avenue to increase our presence and set ourselves apart from competition.

Step 1: Complete your Business Page Profile

Your profile picture, cover photo (or cover video), and about section of your business profile create the first impression your business gives to your Tribe on Facebook. It is very important that these elements are all completed mindfully, rather than just putting up the first thing you see or think of.

Let’s start with your profile picture.

Your business profile picture should be an easily recognizable image that conveys who you are  as a brand or company. Many solopreneurs, freelancers, or businesses with an individual as the face of the company should and can get away with using your headshot as the profile picture. On the other hand, businesses that have a brand identity should use their business logo as the main profile image. The Facebook Profile picture is the thumbnail image that appears next to all of your social media posts, comments, and messages, so it is important to take your time and choose this image wisely.

A little later in this post, I’ve included an infographic from TechWyse with the  exact dimensions of each type of image you can use on Facebook so you can be sure your pictures always appear crisp and clean. A profile picture should be 170px by 170px.

Next we have your Cover Image.

Facebook just recently changed the cover image so you now can also include Videos! This exciting change can really help your Facebook Business Page stand out among competition. Your cover image is prime real estate on your Facebook page. It is wonderful space to highlight a marketing campaign, seasonal offering, or exciting news for your brand.

In this image or video, you can include a call to action, and even entice individuals to use the buttons directly below the image to Contact you, Claim an Offer and more!

Businesses that coordinate their cover image, profile picture, and pinned or promoted posts see a much greater return from their Facebook pages than those who don’t.

Facebook cover photo | Facebook marketing tips | How to use Facebook for Business | Facebook Business Page | Facebook Tips | Facebook Marketing | Facebook How To | Facebook

Your About Section

All too often, we see businesses with incomplete About sections that link to old websites and don’t fully explain their business service offerings or their brand promise. The good news is, once you have this written correctly the first time, you can reuse it or similar content for other social media networks.

A preview of your About section appears below your profile picture, so it is important to make sure this information is relevant accurately conveys your brand. Companies with ill-planned About Sections on Facebook are doing themselves a disservice. Try playing around with the language you use and measure the responses to those changes.

In your About section of your Facebook Business Page, be sure to describe your business, use keywords, and include a call to action to get people liking your page or heading to your website.

Three steps to creating a income-generating Facebook marketing strategy #FacebookMarketing #TheBIMSTeamClick To Tweet

Step 2: Posting to your Facebook Business Page

As you begin posting to your Facebook Business Page, it is important that you follow a strategy to remain on point and brand. It always surprises me when some business owners still want to post only about their business. The truth of the matter is that 80% of your Facebook posts should be about something other than linking directly back to your website. The other 20% can be blogs, promotions, and information about your company and business.

By sharing information that is not directly linking back to your website, you are helping to show your authority in your niche. You are sharing resources that your market can benefit from, quotes and images that can engage your tribe, and more generally, information that will interest your followers.

When you are posting, think about:

  • What other businesses are in your space
  • The information that will appeal to your market
  • Things you are passionate about in your business
  • Other influencers with whom you could engage

Then, create a plan for how you will share your content. Make sure you include:

  • Videos
  • Images
  • Tips
  • Quotes
  • Questions
  • Calls to Action
  • Throw back posts
  • Educational Articles
  • Your blog posts

Lastly, use this infographic to make sure all of your images display properly in your Facebook Business Page posts.

Facebook Cheat Sheet | Facebook Image Sizes | Image sizes for Facebook Marketing | Facebook business page image sizes | Guide to Facebook Marketing | Facebook for business | Facebook tips

Step 3: Growing your Likes and Engagement on your Facebook Business Page

It is great that you are now posting on your Facebook business page and following a strategy, but how do you actually grow your Likes and Engagement? These tips will help you to make sure that your business is on its way to a profitable Facebook presence.

Invite your Email List and Personal Friends to Like your Business Page

Many business owners with whom we work are nervous about sending an email to their email list or inviting their personal friends to Like their business page. You’ll be surprised, however, to see how many people respond to your request! As someone who often keeps my personal life and business life separate, I forget that many of my personal connections may actually be interested in learning more about digital marketing or may be starting their own business.

Facebook makes it very easy to invite people to Like your page. If you go to your Page and scroll down, on the right side of the screen you will see a box that says “Community”. In this box, there is an option to “Invite your friends to like this Page.”

community box on Facebook

When you click this link, Facebook will prompt you to select the friends you would like to invite to Like your Facebook page.

With your email list, I recommend sending an email rather than utilizing Facebook. In the email you can explain some of the perks of Liking the Facebook page and what people can expect from following your account.

Share your posts to your personal profile

Another way to increase your page Likes and to gain more engagement is by sharing your business posts to your personal profile. While I don’t recommend sharing every post, consider sharing your blog posts, videos, and images that represent your brand and personal values. These posts won’t come across as you trying to sell to your personal relations, but that your goal is to better educate them on what you do and your industry.

If you work with a team, you can even ask your employees and contractors to Like, Comment, and Share posts that relate to them, as well.

Boost Posts and Run Facebook Ads

I won’t go into much detail here, as this would create another LONG blog post, but using Facebook ads and boosting your Facebook posts is a great way to increase engagement. Here I recommend playing around with boosting the post to:

  • Your current page Likes
  • A custom audience made of your email list
  • Specific targeting of your tribe’s demographics.

Facebook’s targeting options are incredibly advanced, so just like with any sort of marketing, I recommend testing very specific niche’s rather than typing in everything demographic or psychographic identifier you can think of. This way, over time you will be able to more easily tell which interests or job titles, for example, lead to the highest number of new likes, follows, shares, and comments.

Post share-worthy content

Of course this needs to be listed. I’ll go into more detail below, but one of the most important pieces of your strategy to gain traction on Facebook is to post content that people want to read and share. This means that in addition to finding other articles and resources, you need to be making these for your own website, too. Take your time and really come up with pieces of content that will WOW your tribe!

Not sure how to create a content calendar for your business? Take a look at our Free Master Class on Finding Topics your Tribe will Love!

Dos and Don’ts of your Facebook Marketing Strategy

Your Facebook Marketing strategy needs to change as Facebook makes changes to it’s algorithms and adds new features for business owners to take advantage of. Regardless of the nuances of Facebook’s algorithms, there are some items that you need to be sure to include in your Facebook marketing strategy. Above, I reviewed some of the steps to create a Facebook marketing strategy for your business, but here I will be highlighting those items you must include and the common pitfalls of business owners as they jump into Facebook marketing.

DO: Plan your posts ahead. Just as with other marketing strategies, you never want to be stuck wondering what you will post the day something needs to go out. It is better to plan ahead, even if it is for the entire month, rather than coming up with posts on the fly. This way, you will be sure your Facebook posts align with promotions, holidays, and other important events in your business. One way to do this is by using this free editorial calendar to manage your calendar!

DO: Use Facebook’s scheduling feature. I absolutely swear by tools like Buffer.com and Hootsuite.com for scheduling social media posts, but on Facebook, it is more advantageous to schedule your posts out directly through their publishing tool rather than a third party. Yes, you can still incorporate some posts scheduled with Buffer, but a majority of your posts, especially those specifically about your business or from your blog, should be published directly through Facebook. Why? These posts have been proven to reach a wider audience than those that are scheduled through a third party.

To schedule a post on Facebook, write the post as you normally would, but rather than clicking “Publish”, select the drop down carrot to its right and select “Schedule”. One perk of doing this is you can play around with the different types of posts you use from multiple images to galleries, slideshows, and carousels.

DON’T: Only post links to your own content. Talk about boring, right? Our tribes are too smart to follow businesses on Facebook that only talk about themselves. Marketing is no longer a one-way street. It is about building a community around your brand. And to build a community, you need to set the example by listening and sharing rather than just pushing information.

DO: Include images, text, and video in your posts. The more diverse your posts, the more likely you are to capture your audience’s attention. You can use Facebook’s slideshow creator to build short videos with music and captions for your Facebook posts if you don’t have software on your computer to create your own from scratch.

Better yet, try a Facebook Live event and put yourself out there as the face of your brand every week as a way to engage your audience in a whole new way!

DO: Collaborate with other businesses on Facebook. Start reaching out to businesses that are similar to yours or who work with the same individuals you do. By commenting, sharing, and collaborating with them, you are introducing yourself to their audience and helping to boost both of your businesses in the process.

DON’T: Overlook the importance of setting goals. When we set  goals for our business, we have a very clear sense of how to understand what is working and what is not working with our strategy. It allows us to aim for something rather than just taking successes and failures in step.

DON’T: Forget to measure your results. You can’t set goals without the following step of measuring your results! Luckily there are incredible, and free, tracking services available for you online. The top ones we use are Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Pinterest Insights. The rational here is to see how your efforts have effected your movement towards achieving your marketing (and Facebook) goals.

DON’T: Just post the article title as your post. Say something meaningful about what readers will find if they click the link or take a quote from the article that highlights your main takeaway. Though titles should be descriptive, the same content will appear directly below your post in the link display.

DO: Test the effectiveness of Albums, Slideshows, Carousels, and single Thumbnail images if you are linking to something with many images. Each of these different types of posts will lead to a different response from your followers. We have a photographer, for example, who posts a link with a thumbnail when she first edits a wedding album and creates a blog post as a first peak. Then, she creates a slideshow to reengage the couple and their networks once all of her edits are complete and the couple has access to the images.

Dos and donts of Facebook marketing | Facebook marketing tips | How to use Facebook for Business | Facebook Business Page | Facebook Tips | Facebook Marketing | Facebook How To | Facebook

 

Little-known tips to make sure your business sees a return on your investment in Facebook marketing

Facebook is always changing, so it is necessary to take a look at some of the lesser-known strategies on Facebook that maybe you haven’t considered for your business. Some of the strategies below are ones you have seen others implement, while others may be brand new!

Facebook Groups for you Clients and Prospecting

Most users on Facebook are a part of numerous Facebook Groups. These groups are great for your business for a few different reasons. One point to emphasize here is that the groups run through your personal profile rather than your business page. Make sure your personal profile on Facebook links to your business page, is branded with a professional picture, and has the proper security settings.

  1. Joining other groups in your niche provide an avenue to position yourself as an expert and to meet new prospects for your business. I recommend finding 1-3 groups that are active on Facebook and seeing if you can share information that the members will benefit from. Many groups have guidelines about selling to members, but providing valuable information is always appreciated.
  2. Creating a Facebook group or groups for your clients. This can be a great add-on to your services or courses that you run online. Because only paying customers have access to the group(s), you will be more motivated to participate and engage.
  3. Think twice about creating a group for your email list. Recently, many very successful Facebook group managers have been shutting down their ‘public’ Facebook groups. They find themselves spread too thin to really focus on the public group and the specific groups for their clients. I recommend starting small and being engaged with your paying customers rather than trying to create a huge group to prospect from.

Create Custom Audiences when your run Facebook Ads and Segment!

Running ads on Facebook can transform your business or they can be a waste of money. One of the most successful ways to see an ROI from your Facebook ads is by being very niche focused and targeting specific people. By this I mean:

  • Upload your email list and promote posts or specials directly to the list
  • Add a PIXEL to your website and integrate retargeting to your website visitors. You can set the campaigns up to only target people who are been to specific pages on your website. For example, you can show ads only to people who viewed a specific landing page or who downloaded an ebook.
  • Use look-alike audiences to find other individuals who are similar to the people who have responded to your ads.

When you create the audiences and run the Facebook ads, make sure your offer, image, and landing page all are in alignment. Your tribe will pick up if things seem disjoint or like you are targeting too wide of a net.

Add a Video to your Facebook Page Cover Image

This new feature can transform your engagement on your Facebook business page. Guidelines for Facebook Cover Videos are below:

  • Video Dimensions: 820 x 312 pixels
  • Length: 20-90 seconds and can look
  • Sound: Though you can include sound, Facebook automatically mutes the video for user experience

So, what should you do now that you can have a video as your Facebook Cover? Try creating a slideshow video or a quick iphone video that captures your brand. This can be simple to start, but the movement when someone first goes to your business page is sure to keep folks on the page for longer and be more engaging. You can also test out interview style videos or webinar style videos are your cover video.

Wait to Boost a Post

As you can tell, I am all for businesses using Facebook ads to increase the engagement on posts and the traffic to your blog or landing pages. When you plan to boost a  post, hold off on pressing the  Boost button until the post has had a chance to gain organic exposure first. This organic exposure can really help with gaining more traction and keep your costs  down.

Test out Lead Ads

These ads are incredible! If you have a content upgrade on your site or can automatically register people to a webinar, the Lead Ads may work well for your business. Basically, when you create the ad, you also create a form. The form can then be set up to capture someones name, email, and other information. When a user fills out their information, they will be redirected to a page of your choice. For example, you can direct someone to the ebook download page on your site, or to a webinar sign up thank you page. These ads can also be to build your email list.

We’ve found these ads to have a much lower cost per conversion than a lot of other marketing efforts.Example ad by Land Rover for Facebook Lead Ad

 

Schedule your Facebook Posts

Now you shouldn’t always schedule your Facebook posts,  but if you are like most business owners, you are pulled in many directions and hoping on Facebook every day may not be realistic. I  recommend using Facebook’s scheduling functionality for most of your Facebook posts as a way to batch your efforts. Take one day a month and find all the relevant articles, make all of your custom images, and schedule your promotions to be published in advance. Then, as you write blog posts over the course of the month and have other items to share on a daily basis, you can log in and specifically share that content.

We used to always use Buffer for scheduling content for clients, but have found a higher level of engagement when posts are created directly through Facebook.

Add a Call to Action Button to your Page

This is fairly easy to implement! Most of the time we see our clients create their CTA when they first set up their business page. If you haven’t already, however, go to your Facebook business page and click the blue button that states “Add a Button”. Here you can select your CTA and a landing page for any user who clicks the button. Tracking is available through Facebook Insights.

Use fb.com as a URL shortener rather than typing facebook.com

Surprise! fb.com is a URL shortener for all facebook.com addresses.

Surprise! fb.com is a URL shortener for all facebook.com addresses | Facebook marketing tips | How to use Facebook for Business | Facebook Business Page | Facebook Tips | Facebook Marketing | Facebook How To | Facebook

How Your Business Can Capitalize on Facebook Live

Facebook live has become increasingly popular with businesses, organizations and the general public. It allows you to stream and share live videos with your fans and followers. It has opened a whole world of opportunities for businesses from around the world.

Facebook live in more than just broadcasting a brief episode on Facebook. It can add a personality to your brand and really work to broaden the sincerity and breadth to your business on Facebook.

What topics can you discuss on Facebook Live?

Whether you are camera shy, feel like you don’t have anything to put out there, or are just dragging your feet, I highly recommend jumping onto Facebook live. This list should help you feel more empowered to find a topic to discuss live!

  1. Hot topics in your business or industry
  2. Q&A or review the FAQ on your website in a video
  3. Breaking news
  4. Conduct an interview
  5. Are you a performer? Perform!
  6. Give a behind the scenes look at your profession
  7. Record a demo or tutorial and teach your fans.

What topics have you found to get a lot of response from your viewers?

Now that you have decided on a topic, there are some tips to help you get the most views and engagement.

6 Tips for Better Facebook Live Engagement

  1. Tell fans you are broadcasting
  2. Make sure you have a strong internet connection
  3. Add a description to your live before you actually click to go live on Facebook
  4. Take the time to say hello to your live viewers and respond to their comments in real-time
  5. Don’t always keep it short – longer broadcasts pick up more viewers
  6. Use a closing line to signal the end of a broadcast

 Using Facebook Live for Business | How to use Live | Tips for Facebook Live | How to Facebook Live | Boost Facebook Live Engagement | How to use Facebook | Facebook for Business | Facebook Live Strategy

Here are 4 ways your business can capitalize on Facebook live.

Real time engagement

One of the biggest benefits of using Facebook live is that you get to engage with your audience real time. You can see how many people are watching your video, ask for their opinion, and determine whether or not your content is working. Because of the real time connection with the audience, studies suggest that Facebook live gets 10 times more comments than other contents.

Most business use social media to interact with their audience. You can take it to the next level by using Facebook live. We’ve seen a lot of business use this to conduct Q&A sessions. People can ask whatever they want. Since this is a live version, they can get an answer to their questions in an instant.

It is more convenient

Business owners have a lot on their plate. Sometimes, creating new content can be time consuming. If you want to increase engagement without spending too much time creating new content, Facebook live is the way to.

You can conduct a Q&A session without all the big production behind the content. Live streaming also provides an easy way to disseminate information to your fans and followers. It’s a lot easier than writing a blog post or newsletters.

Create better relationship with your audience

Live videos are spontaneous. They are not rehearsed. There are no cuts. There are no edits. People want authenticity. It’s the total transparency that draws people in. Through these videos, they get to see the people behind the company and interact with them directly. It humanizes your brand and creates a new level of trust. It also provides a more intimate level of engagement.

Reach more people

People have a very short attention span. They prefer to watch a 1-minute video than to read a 1,000 word blog post. Considering that there are more than one hundred million active users on Facebook, you are likely to reach more people with Facebook live. What’s great about live streaming is that it people can watch the video even after it has ended. That means you can engage new audience.

 

 

Facebook Marketing in 2017 – Action items for your business to reach the next level

We’ve all heard that we need to have a presence on Facebook for our businesses, but what does it actually look like? Over the years, Facebook has turned from a free marketing platform that was easy to grow to, to one where only about 16% of your Likes will see any give post.

Recently, we’ve seen a lot of businesses turn away from even wanting to market on Facebook, but it still is an essential network for your business big or small. In this blog, I’m going to take a look at the important steps to build a viable Facebook marketing strategy, dos and don’ts of Facebook for business, and little-known tips to make sure your business sees a return on your investment in Facebook marketing.

Building your Facebook Strategy

Facebook, just like any modern marketing avenues, is much more than just sharing a piece of content. Our tribes are composed of smart individuals who no longer want to be told what to do, but appreciate brands that help them to discover new, meaningful things. Facebook, luckily, is the perfect avenue to increase our presence and set ourselves apart from competition.

Step 1: Complete your Business Page Profile

Your profile picture, cover photo (or cover video), and about section of your business profile create the first impression your business gives to your Tribe on Facebook. It is very important that these elements are all completed mindfully, rather than just putting up the first thing you see or think of.

Let’s start with your profile picture.

Your business profile picture should be an easily recognizable image that conveys who you are  as a brand or company. Many solopreneurs, freelancers, or businesses with an individual as the face of the company should and can get away with using your headshot as the profile picture. On the other hand, businesses that have a brand identity should use their business logo as the main profile image. The Facebook Profile picture is the thumbnail image that appears next to all of your social media posts, comments, and messages, so it is important to take your time and choose this image wisely.

A little later in this post, I’ve included an infographic from TechWyse with the  exact dimensions of each type of image you can use on Facebook so you can be sure your pictures always appear crisp and clean. A profile picture should be 170px by 170px.

Next we have your Cover Image.

Facebook just recently changed the cover image so you now can also include Videos! This exciting change can really help your Facebook Business Page stand out among competition. Your cover image is prime real estate on your Facebook page. It is wonderful space to highlight a marketing campaign, seasonal offering, or exciting news for your brand.

In this image or video, you can include a call to action, and even entice individuals to use the buttons directly below the image to Contact you, Claim an Offer and more!

Businesses that coordinate their cover image, profile picture, and pinned or promoted posts see a much greater return from their Facebook pages than those who don’t.

Facebook cover photo | Facebook marketing tips | How to use Facebook for Business | Facebook Business Page | Facebook Tips | Facebook Marketing | Facebook How To | Facebook

Your About Section

All too often, we see businesses with incomplete About sections that link to old websites and don’t fully explain their business service offerings or their brand promise. The good news is, once you have this written correctly the first time, you can reuse it or similar content for other social media networks.

A preview of your About section appears below your profile picture, so it is important to make sure this information is relevant accurately conveys your brand. Companies with ill-planned About Sections on Facebook are doing themselves a disservice. Try playing around with the language you use and measure the responses to those changes.

In your About section of your Facebook Business Page, be sure to describe your business, use keywords, and include a call to action to get people liking your page or heading to your website.

Three steps to creating a income-generating Facebook marketing strategy #FacebookMarketing #TheBIMSTeamClick To Tweet

Step 2: Posting to your Facebook Business Page

As you begin posting to your Facebook Business Page, it is important that you follow a strategy to remain on point and brand. It always surprises me when some business owners still want to post only about their business. The truth of the matter is that 80% of your Facebook posts should be about something other than linking directly back to your website. The other 20% can be blogs, promotions, and information about your company and business.

By sharing information that is not directly linking back to your website, you are helping to show your authority in your niche. You are sharing resources that your market can benefit from, quotes and images that can engage your tribe, and more generally, information that will interest your followers.

When you are posting, think about:

  • What other businesses are in your space
  • The information that will appeal to your market
  • Things you are passionate about in your business
  • Other influencers with whom you could engage

Then, create a plan for how you will share your content. Make sure you include:

  • Videos
  • Images
  • Tips
  • Quotes
  • Questions
  • Calls to Action
  • Throw back posts
  • Educational Articles
  • Your blog posts

Lastly, use this infographic to make sure all of your images display properly in your Facebook Business Page posts.

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Step 3: Growing your Likes and Engagement on your Facebook Business Page

It is great that you are now posting on your Facebook business page and following a strategy, but how do you actually grow your Likes and Engagement? These tips will help you to make sure that your business is on its way to a profitable Facebook presence.

Invite your Email List and Personal Friends to Like your Business Page

Many business owners with whom we work are nervous about sending an email to their email list or inviting their personal friends to Like their business page. You’ll be surprised, however, to see how many people respond to your request! As someone who often keeps my personal life and business life separate, I forget that many of my personal connections may actually be interested in learning more about digital marketing or may be starting their own business.

Facebook makes it very easy to invite people to Like your page. If you go to your Page and scroll down, on the right side of the screen you will see a box that says “Community”. In this box, there is an option to “Invite your friends to like this Page.”

community box on Facebook

When you click this link, Facebook will prompt you to select the friends you would like to invite to Like your Facebook page.

With your email list, I recommend sending an email rather than utilizing Facebook. In the email you can explain some of the perks of Liking the Facebook page and what people can expect from following your account.

Share your posts to your personal profile

Another way to increase your page Likes and to gain more engagement is by sharing your business posts to your personal profile. While I don’t recommend sharing every post, consider sharing your blog posts, videos, and images that represent your brand and personal values. These posts won’t come across as you trying to sell to your personal relations, but that your goal is to better educate them on what you do and your industry.

If you work with a team, you can even ask your employees and contractors to Like, Comment, and Share posts that relate to them, as well.

Boost Posts and Run Facebook Ads

I won’t go into much detail here, as this would create another LONG blog post, but using Facebook ads and boosting your Facebook posts is a great way to increase engagement. Here I recommend playing around with boosting the post to:

  • Your current page Likes
  • A custom audience made of your email list
  • Specific targeting of your tribe’s demographics.

Facebook’s targeting options are incredibly advanced, so just like with any sort of marketing, I recommend testing very specific niche’s rather than typing in everything demographic or psychographic identifier you can think of. This way, over time you will be able to more easily tell which interests or job titles, for example, lead to the highest number of new likes, follows, shares, and comments.

Post share-worthy content

Of course this needs to be listed. I’ll go into more detail below, but one of the most important pieces of your strategy to gain traction on Facebook is to post content that people want to read and share. This means that in addition to finding other articles and resources, you need to be making these for your own website, too. Take your time and really come up with pieces of content that will WOW your tribe!

Not sure how to create a content calendar for your business? Take a look at our Free Master Class on Finding Topics your Tribe will Love!

Dos and Don’ts of your Facebook Marketing Strategy

Your Facebook Marketing strategy needs to change as Facebook makes changes to it’s algorithms and adds new features for business owners to take advantage of. Regardless of the nuances of Facebook’s algorithms, there are some items that you need to be sure to include in your Facebook marketing strategy. Above, I reviewed some of the steps to create a Facebook marketing strategy for your business, but here I will be highlighting those items you must include and the common pitfalls of business owners as they jump into Facebook marketing.

DO: Plan your posts ahead. Just as with other marketing strategies, you never want to be stuck wondering what you will post the day something needs to go out. It is better to plan ahead, even if it is for the entire month, rather than coming up with posts on the fly. This way, you will be sure your Facebook posts align with promotions, holidays, and other important events in your business. One way to do this is by using this free editorial calendar to manage your calendar!

DO: Use Facebook’s scheduling feature. I absolutely swear by tools like Buffer.com and Hootsuite.com for scheduling social media posts, but on Facebook, it is more advantageous to schedule your posts out directly through their publishing tool rather than a third party. Yes, you can still incorporate some posts scheduled with Buffer, but a majority of your posts, especially those specifically about your business or from your blog, should be published directly through Facebook. Why? These posts have been proven to reach a wider audience than those that are scheduled through a third party.

To schedule a post on Facebook, write the post as you normally would, but rather than clicking “Publish”, select the drop down carrot to its right and select “Schedule”. One perk of doing this is you can play around with the different types of posts you use from multiple images to galleries, slideshows, and carousels.

DON’T: Only post links to your own content. Talk about boring, right? Our tribes are too smart to follow businesses on Facebook that only talk about themselves. Marketing is no longer a one-way street. It is about building a community around your brand. And to build a community, you need to set the example by listening and sharing rather than just pushing information.

DO: Include images, text, and video in your posts. The more diverse your posts, the more likely you are to capture your audience’s attention. You can use Facebook’s slideshow creator to build short videos with music and captions for your Facebook posts if you don’t have software on your computer to create your own from scratch.

Better yet, try a Facebook Live event and put yourself out there as the face of your brand every week as a way to engage your audience in a whole new way!

DO: Collaborate with other businesses on Facebook. Start reaching out to businesses that are similar to yours or who work with the same individuals you do. By commenting, sharing, and collaborating with them, you are introducing yourself to their audience and helping to boost both of your businesses in the process.

DON’T: Overlook the importance of setting goals. When we set  goals for our business, we have a very clear sense of how to understand what is working and what is not working with our strategy. It allows us to aim for something rather than just taking successes and failures in step.

DON’T: Forget to measure your results. You can’t set goals without the following step of measuring your results! Luckily there are incredible, and free, tracking services available for you online. The top ones we use are Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Pinterest Insights. The rational here is to see how your efforts have effected your movement towards achieving your marketing (and Facebook) goals.

DON’T: Just post the article title as your post. Say something meaningful about what readers will find if they click the link or take a quote from the article that highlights your main takeaway. Though titles should be descriptive, the same content will appear directly below your post in the link display.

DO: Test the effectiveness of Albums, Slideshows, Carousels, and single Thumbnail images if you are linking to something with many images. Each of these different types of posts will lead to a different response from your followers. We have a photographer, for example, who posts a link with a thumbnail when she first edits a wedding album and creates a blog post as a first peak. Then, she creates a slideshow to reengage the couple and their networks once all of her edits are complete and the couple has access to the images.

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Little-known tips to make sure your business sees a return on your investment in Facebook marketing

Facebook is always changing, so it is necessary to take a look at some of the lesser-known strategies on Facebook that maybe you haven’t considered for your business. Some of the strategies below are ones you have seen others implement, while others may be brand new!

Facebook Groups for you Clients and Prospecting

Most users on Facebook are a part of numerous Facebook Groups. These groups are great for your business for a few different reasons. One point to emphasize here is that the groups run through your personal profile rather than your business page. Make sure your personal profile on Facebook links to your business page, is branded with a professional picture, and has the proper security settings.

  1. Joining other groups in your niche provide an avenue to position yourself as an expert and to meet new prospects for your business. I recommend finding 1-3 groups that are active on Facebook and seeing if you can share information that the members will benefit from. Many groups have guidelines about selling to members, but providing valuable information is always appreciated.
  2. Creating a Facebook group or groups for your clients. This can be a great add-on to your services or courses that you run online. Because only paying customers have access to the group(s), you will be more motivated to participate and engage.
  3. Think twice about creating a group for your email list. Recently, many very successful Facebook group managers have been shutting down their ‘public’ Facebook groups. They find themselves spread too thin to really focus on the public group and the specific groups for their clients. I recommend starting small and being engaged with your paying customers rather than trying to create a huge group to prospect from.

Create Custom Audiences when your run Facebook Ads and Segment!

Running ads on Facebook can transform your business or they can be a waste of money. One of the most successful ways to see an ROI from your Facebook ads is by being very niche focused and targeting specific people. By this I mean:

  • Upload your email list and promote posts or specials directly to the list
  • Add a PIXEL to your website and integrate retargeting to your website visitors. You can set the campaigns up to only target people who are been to specific pages on your website. For example, you can show ads only to people who viewed a specific landing page or who downloaded an ebook.
  • Use look-alike audiences to find other individuals who are similar to the people who have responded to your ads.

When you create the audiences and run the Facebook ads, make sure your offer, image, and landing page all are in alignment. Your tribe will pick up if things seem disjoint or like you are targeting too wide of a net.

Add a Video to your Facebook Page Cover Image

This new feature can transform your engagement on your Facebook business page. Guidelines for Facebook Cover Videos are below:

  • Video Dimensions: 820 x 312 pixels
  • Length: 20-90 seconds and can look
  • Sound: Though you can include sound, Facebook automatically mutes the video for user experience

So, what should you do now that you can have a video as your Facebook Cover? Try creating a slideshow video or a quick iphone video that captures your brand. This can be simple to start, but the movement when someone first goes to your business page is sure to keep folks on the page for longer and be more engaging. You can also test out interview style videos or webinar style videos are your cover video.

Wait to Boost a Post

As you can tell, I am all for businesses using Facebook ads to increase the engagement on posts and the traffic to your blog or landing pages. When you plan to boost a  post, hold off on pressing the  Boost button until the post has had a chance to gain organic exposure first. This organic exposure can really help with gaining more traction and keep your costs  down.

Test out Lead Ads

These ads are incredible! If you have a content upgrade on your site or can automatically register people to a webinar, the Lead Ads may work well for your business. Basically, when you create the ad, you also create a form. The form can then be set up to capture someones name, email, and other information. When a user fills out their information, they will be redirected to a page of your choice. For example, you can direct someone to the ebook download page on your site, or to a webinar sign up thank you page. These ads can also be to build your email list.

We’ve found these ads to have a much lower cost per conversion than a lot of other marketing efforts.Example ad by Land Rover for Facebook Lead Ad

 

Schedule your Facebook Posts

Now you shouldn’t always schedule your Facebook posts,  but if you are like most business owners, you are pulled in many directions and hoping on Facebook every day may not be realistic. I  recommend using Facebook’s scheduling functionality for most of your Facebook posts as a way to batch your efforts. Take one day a month and find all the relevant articles, make all of your custom images, and schedule your promotions to be published in advance. Then, as you write blog posts over the course of the month and have other items to share on a daily basis, you can log in and specifically share that content.

We used to always use Buffer for scheduling content for clients, but have found a higher level of engagement when posts are created directly through Facebook.

Add a Call to Action Button to your Page

This is fairly easy to implement! Most of the time we see our clients create their CTA when they first set up their business page. If you haven’t already, however, go to your Facebook business page and click the blue button that states “Add a Button”. Here you can select your CTA and a landing page for any user who clicks the button. Tracking is available through Facebook Insights.

Use fb.com as a URL shortener rather than typing facebook.com

Surprise! fb.com is a URL shortener for all facebook.com addresses.

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Be sure to click Share to help spread the word about these Facebook marketing tips and leave a comment if you have found any other strategies that have helped with your business!

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Surefire Ways to Skyrocket Your Facebook Engagement

Most business owners use social media to connect with current and potential customers. After all, it’s free, and people are already using it. So why not take advantage of it, right? But with so many businesses vying for people’s attention, posting updates every now and then is no longer enough to maintain an active Facebook page.

Making small changes on what and how you post can help boost your page engagement.

Here are 4 ways to skyrocket your Facebook engagement.

Share something funny

People use social media for entertainment. Many of them would log in to their social media accounts during their lunch break or after office to de-stress. Sharing something funny with your Facebook fans will help lighten up their mood. Go ahead and give people a good giggle.

Boost your best posts

So you have just recently published a new blog post. You share it on Facebook to spark some engagement and drive traffic to your website. Sure, it will work. But if you’re looking to reach a wide range of audience, then we suggest that you boost that post.  You don’t need to spend a huge sum of money in order to get that post in front of your target audience. Just give it a modest boost of $25, target your audience and you’ll see a tremendous increase in likes, comments and shares. Plus, traffic to your blog or website will also increase.

Timing is essential

More than half of the American adult population are active on Facebook. Given the number of people that post every minute, your posts would be buried in a very short span of time. As such, you want to make sure you that you post when your fans are online. There are several online tools that allow you to schedule your post, so you don’t have to wait for a specific time before posting something on your page.

Ask a question

One of the easiest ways to start a conversation with your fans is to ask them a question. If you own a restaurant, you can ask them what food they usually order when they visit your place. Another option would be to ask what they want you to add on your menu. Find a way to leverage in people’s needs or interest.

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Tips to Create an Effective Facebook Ad Campaign

tips-to-create-an-effective-facebook-ad-campaignFacebook is one of the best places to find qualified leads. With over 1.5 billion monthly active users, there is no doubt that Facebook ads can help you achieve your goals.

How do you ensure that your Facebook Ads make the biggest impact? Here are some tips.

Set goals

Take a moment to determine what your goal is before creating a Facebook Ad campaign. What do you want to get out of it? Are you looking to reach people near your business? Do you want to increase traffic to your website? Or do you wish to increase conversion rate? Once you have set your goal, it will be easier for you to determine your budget.

Take advantage of advanced targeting options

For your ads to be effective, you need to make sure that it targets a specific group of people. Facebook’s demographic and segmentation tools allow you to reach the people who matter most to your business. By selecting well targeted audience, you’ll have a good chance of reaching your goals without having to spend a lot of money.

Add images to your ad

Pictures are vital for capturing the attention of your target audience. If you want to get your ads clicked, choose an image that stands out.

Businesses, big and small, spend their time, money and effort just to reach their target audience. With so many people posting on Facebook every minute, there’s a good chance that your ads won’t get noticed. You need to grab user’s attention so that they read your ad. An eye-catching image can help you do that. The more interesting and eye-catching the image is, the more likely will people notice it.

Use call to actions

A call to action may not help in making your ad more engaging or increasing your click-through rate. So, why is it important?

When you add a call to action to your ad, people will know immediately what you want them to do. As such, they are likely to proceed with the desired action after clicking on your ad. This improves your conversion rate and decreases your cost per conversion.