When was the last time you thought about making changes to your business page or assessing how your company interacts with its community on Facebook? If your business has been doing things the same way for a while on your social media pages and isn’t getting the expected results, it may be time to make some changes. Here are 5 ways to upgrade your Facebook page experience for your visitors.
Start with an objective assessment of a visitor’s experience on your page – Businesses often set up social media pages (and websites) from an internal point of view without considering the experience of first time and repeat visitors. Taking a look at your Facebook page from the viewpoint of your target market may provide insights on whether your business is delivering the experience visitors are seeking or conveying company messaging that misses the mark in the context of a social media environment.
Don’t be static – Businesses often set up their page on Facebook and then leave the same content in place for months or years. The problem that occurs in this situation is that when visitors start seeing the same thing on every visit, their motivation to come back starts to ebb. Instead, by staying current with content, such as an ongoing series of best practice tips for products, industry news and/or promotions, your Facebook page can give your audience plenty of reasons to keep returning.
Go social versus commercial – Always remember that the key word in social media is “social”. The most successful companies on Facebook have a communal voice that seeks to engage their audience with 2-way communication as opposed to blasting out advertisements.
Vary your forms of content – Support your written content with podcasts, images and video to change up the interface between your business and page visitors. Alternating mediums for your content will give your page a dynamic feel that can lead to longer stays by visitors. You can also increase engagement by posting contests and surveys.
Keep your posts to a “Twitter-like” 140 characters – Even your most loyal visitors may be perusing your information in a brisk succession, so keep your posts short enough to convey the basics of the pertinent information within a few seconds. To add value to your short posts, provide a link to longer form content to enable access for those seeking additional information.
Your business’s Facebook page may be the preferred channel for members of your target market to interface with your company. By providing a positive on-page experience with dynamic, fresh and timely information, your business can grow its number of social media followers, increase social actions and ultimately drive more sales.
As Google reminded all of us last February with their "Panda/Farmer" algorithm change, search engine optimization will continue...
With 2012 coming in as the slowest year for Initial Public Offerings (IPO's) since 2008, business owners who have been contemplating a public offering are trying to decide whether to take the plunge or wait until the pace of offerings accelerates. Part of the blame rests with Facebook's disappointing (aka: failed) IPO last spring which saw shares slump into the teens after being sold to the public for $38 per share. Since making its low at $17.55, the shares have recovered to a current trading level in the high $20's but the IPO market has remained chilly.
Despite this tepid environment for companies trying to go public, the right IPO deal can still get done and the Facebook IPO can teach us a lot about what not to do. Here are some of the errors that were made in the third largest IPO on record.
1) A lack of experience in the team that was put together to take Facebook public – David Ebersman was hired in part due to his "public company experience" but that experience was gained during his 15 tenure with Genentech, which had gone public 14 years before Ebersman joined the company. One of his biggest errors was his over-estimation of demand for Facebook shares, which led to his push for a 25% increase in the amount of shares in the offering a few days before the IPO. This effectively flooded the market and shares took a dive in part due to oversupply.
2) Shares in the offering were structured with voting rights diminished to the point that shareholders had no power to effect change in the company. It was perceived as an act of hubris based on the hype surrounding the offering and led many institutional investors to a decision to sit on the sidelines instead of participating in the offering.
3) Rampant insider selling – In most cases, especially in high-visibility IPO's, insiders are forced to wait for the expiration of blackout dates or for a secondary offering after the IPO is completed to sell their shares. The high amount insider selling in Facebook's IPO looked like a massive exodus to many industry watchers.
IPO's in today's market can be completed successfully by making the right offering and learning from mistakes made by recent predecessors. Working with an experienced group, such as the team led by Dmitrij Harder at Solvo Group can put your company's IPO on the right track and keep it there through its completion. For more information, visit: http://solvogroupinc.com/
Once keyword research is finished and website analytics is in place it's time to start generating and distributing content...
So you've built a site that delivers high value information to your target market, has a great look, and also has simple and clear navigation. It's all good so far but all of these fantastic aspects are considered to be "on-site". To complete the picture, you're going to need to go "off-site" and start marketing on the internet. This is the only way people, outside of the ones you give your business card to, are ever going to find you online.
Don't be intimidated by the term "marketing on the internet". The basics of this necessity are very simple and include the following actions:
- Start a blog – WordPress, Google, and a host of other sites offer free blog platforms. In fact, the platforms offered for blogging are now so robust that your blog can be turned into second "mini-site" to support your primary website. You can use your blog in any way you wish, whether it's to provide a more informal venue to communicate with your customers, to give insights into your company's philosophy, or to communicate other types of information.
- Write informative articles – There are numerous sites around the web where you can post articles, including ezine.com, hubpages.com, and Squidoo. Authoritative and informative articles on these sites can position you as an authority in your field and drive traffic to your site.
- Get social – The social media sites offer another channel for marketing on the internet but the rules are a little different here than elsewhere. Dial back on your sales lingo here and focus on adding value wherever possible.
The techniques for marketing on the internet will vary depending on your business but these three venues are a great start. Wade in and you'll start generating traffic that seeks you for both information and your authority in your area of business.
One of the big social media mysteries for business owners often centers on the lack of comments, replies and shares they receive, even after publishing high quality articles. In these situations, it can be extremely frustrating to have built a growing social media presence with a consistently increasing number of fans, followers, friends, etc. that never actually engage with the business.
This challenge of businesses trying to engage with a relatively unresponsive community is a common one and often occurs despite high quality customer service, the creation of valuable content, and the company's accessibility. At the foundation of this issue is the fact that consumers are bombarded with offers to engage by numerous companies the minute that they go online. Despite the fact that they may have greatly appreciated your most recent article or video, without a prompt to engage many will move on to the next page.
So how can your business persuade them to invest the time to engage on your social media platforms? Here are three ways to get your business' community talking:
- Ask for stories – You can ask for stories that are related to your business or not related at all. Questions like "Worst date", "Best day ever", and "Favorite home remedy" tend to elicit responses and conversation. One thing to avoid would to pose a question that opens the door for customers to air complaints about your business, products, etc. McDonald's made that mistake in 2012 by asking for "McDonald's Stories", which turned into a forum for people to complain about their bad food experiences at McDonald's.
- Conduct a survey – The best surveys ask open ended questions as opposed to those calling for "yes" or "no" responses. Have a deadline and then post a summary of the survey so respondents can see the results. Be sure to add any interesting, funny and/or unusual anecdotes included in the responses in the survey.
- When feasible, share your community's content on your other social media sites. This kind of acknowledgement speaks volumes and will encourage other community members to post to your social media sites.
Success in social media requires more than just collecting followers because today's consumers also want to have a connection with the companies they choose to do business with. That being said, getting customers to interact on your social media pages can be a challenge. By encouraging discourse with questions, surveys, and sharing their content, however, your business will have opened the door to increased engagement with your community.
A search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that isn’t in a constant state of evolution will most likely deliver results that miss objectives by a widening margin over time. Much like marketing strategies that still haven’t adapted to consumers moving online for information, research and making purchases, an SEO strategy which assumes that online consumer behavior patterns are in a constantly static state is destined to underperform while also missing out on opportunities of marketing and selling products and services through a growing number of channels.
To keep your SEO strategy on top of the changes in this dynamic environment, keep an eye on these consumer behavior trends for 2014:
- Increasing participation on special interest social media networks – Consumers are waking up to the fact that the Facebook/Twitter platforms aren’t the only games in town. While monthly user numbers are still very healthy for the big two, a growing number of social networks are being built to address specific interests. The narrowing of these sites’ focus eliminates much of the noise that is common on broader networks and allows members to interact with communities that share specific interests ranging from vintage shopping to the healthcare industry.
- Mobile everything – Estimates are that mobile device users will access the web more often than desktop users beginning in 2014, a trend that shows no signs of stopping. As consumers, mobile device users have extremely high correlations between their searches and making purchases, which is reason enough for businesses to become more mobile friendly with their sites and include mobile optimization in their SEO initiatives.
- A continued migration away from traditional media and traditional advertising – Rather than being forced to choose between the offerings that are provided by traditional media, consumers are heading to the web for a greater variety of entertainment choices. This migration is decreasing circulation/viewer/listener numbers, with a direct correlation to the decreasing effectiveness of advertising. Another challenge for traditional advertising is that TV watchers are implementing ad-skipping technologies whenever possible.
These trends can help to focus your SEO initiatives on high growth areas that can deliver solid returns. Additionally, by re-allocating marketing money away from the diminishing returns of traditional advertising, you’ll be able to strengthen your SEO efforts even more.