How can I get more people to see my posts on my Facebook Business Page?

screenshotfbpageThe recent news that Facebook is reducing the visibility of posts on Business Pages has had the small business community in uproar.

I’ve seen people deciding to give up their Business Page, ranting about Facebook, worrying that all their hard work will now go to waste, and more.

It appears that posts made on Business pages could now reach as little as 2% of ‘likers’ – I have almost 2500 likes, so this means that my posts could potentially only reach 50 people each time I post. For someone with only a few hundred likers, this number would be in single figures – hardly inspiring is it?

However, there is an answer. It involves a little work on the part of the Business Page owner, but it’s worth it in the long run if you want to make the most of your page without paying for promoted posts.

Currently your posts will only appear in the newsfeed of a small percentage of your likers. But did you know that your likers can CHOOSE to see your posts and be notified when you post? That’s personal choice and Facebook can’t get around that.

The problem is that most Facebook members don’t know about this facility so you’re going to have to tell them.

How do my Likers get notified?

When someone likes a page, a drop down box appears:

getnotifiedIf your liker clicks the ‘Get notifications’ option, a tick will appear next to it, and any post you make will appear in their notifications along with details of friends posts and updates. It’s THAT simple!

So what’s the catch?

Well, you’re going to have to let your current and future likers know. Which means individual messages to each of them, either telling them this or pointing them to this blog post (I recommend the latter ūüėČ ) It’s going to take time if you have a lot of likers, and not everyone will take you up on the offer, but it’s definitely worth doing if it helps you to increase your reach.

What should I say?

A simple message saying something like this should do:

Hi, as you know, Facebook have changed their rules recently so that even if you like my business page you may not see updates. However, there is a way that you can ensure you see my posts – simply click on the ‘Like’ button and when the drop down menu appears, tick ‘Get notifications’. For more info on this please see http://www.nikkipilkington.com/how-can-i-get-more-people-to-see-my-posts-on-my-facebook-business-page/

A few of these messages sent out a day should see your potential reach increase massively.

I don’t have time for that!

You could use a VA to do this, or someone like me. I’m offering this service as a part of my ‘Let me show you Facebook can work for you – for free!‘ offer. I’d recommend sending out 20 or so a day and monitoring your insights to see how your reach has increased.

Please do share this post on your Business Page, and other Social Media, so all small businesses can see how to get around this.

And of course you can Like my Business Page and follow me on Twitter ūüôā

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Fancy £1000 of free email and direct mail marketing a month Рfor free?

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Yeah, I know, they say that you get nothing for nothing in this world, and you get what you pay for and all of those other cliches.

But having seen this offer Tweeted by a couple of my friends, I checked it out and it seems that it is legit.

Royal Mail, via Huddlebuy, is offering £1000 of free marketing to 2 lucky people!

The prize consists of:

  • Data lists of 2,000 prospects
  • 1000 E-mailshots
  • 50 Postal Mailshots
  • Up to 40% off Parcel Postage
  • 2hrs of Free Marketing from Huddlebuy (1 time only)

Not just once (apart from the last item) but every month for a year!

If you’re a start up or small business then this could really help out, which is why I’m sharing it with you.

Well, that’s not the only reason, because if you win via my tracked link, *I* get the same too – and I quite like getting things for free ūüôā

What’s the catch?

I can’t really find one. OK, Huddlebuy are obviously looking to build up their email list, as it seems that you have to sign up with your email address.

And they’re hoping this will go viral because the more times you share / tweet / email the link they give you to other people, the more entries you get.

But let’s be honest, you can unsubscribe from any email newsletters, and you don’t have to share if you don’t want to, you can have just the one entry.

So really, I don’t see any catch (or I wouldn’t be participating myself)

What do we have to do?

Just visit the promotional page (that’s my tracked link BTW) and submit your email address to be in with a chance – the page will guide you through all the sharing stuff if you want to do that.

Good luck!

More info on Huddlebuy (from their website)

Huddlebuy are the UK’s and Europe’s largest daily deals site for small businesses and entrepreneurs Рproviding exclusive deals to a rapidly growing community of more than 50,000 businesses.

 

 

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Five Fun Things Small Businesses Can Do with Pinterest

A guest blog from Samantha Peters

Pinterest

Pinterest (Photo credit: stevegarfield)

If you’re a small business owner on a shoestring budget, Pinterest can be an extremely valuable marketing¬†resource. In fact, this social media website is currently the third most popular behind only Facebook and¬†Twitter. While there is a plethora of ways to utilize this website, let’s discuss five fun things you can do¬†with Pinterest:

1) Share your Products – One of the best features of Pinterest is that it allows you to pin pictures of your¬†products onto boards. By doing this, you can familiarize potential customers with your business and let¬†them know what types of products you offer. Pinterest is great because it’s a simple way to connect with¬†your demographic and most people consider pins to be aesthetically pleasing. In time, you should develop a¬†following of individuals who are interested in your business and you can keep them updated.

2) Network with other Small Businesses – Due to the ease of sharing information on Pinterest, it’s a great¬†way to network with relevant small business owners within your niche. For example, you could repin other¬†products, follow other people and have them follow you. Doing so is an excellent way to develop business¬†relationships and help others while simultaneously building your business.

3) Connect Locally – Many businesses choose to reach out to potential customers within their local¬†area. For example, you could create a board based around what’s going on in your city and other local¬†businesses. By doing this, you can create a sense of community and increase the local exposure of your¬†business dramatically.

4) Get Customer Input РPinterest can also be highly beneficial for asking your customers what they want. For example, if you are a clothing designer or make arts and crafts, you could create a communal board where your customers can post pictures of existing styles they would like to see you incorporate.

5) Connect Pinterest with other Social Media Accounts – Syncing your account with other social media¬†sites like Facebook and Twitter is effective for maximizing traffic and gaining followers. By doing this,¬†you can transfer customers from one social media page to another and increase your exposure with minimal¬†effort. This is also great if you’re trying to build a brand around your small business.

To summarize, Pinterest has a lot of potential and should only continue to grow in the future. If you need¬†help with launching your Pinterest campaign, you can utilize the services of a company like OpenSesame.¬†Marketing firms and social media firms will only continue to look towards Pinterest, so if you are looking¬†to get your brand out there, don’t shy away from the newest social media platform making a name today.

This Guest Post is written by Samantha Peters, who manages The Tech Update and enjoys blogging about fun new ways entrepreneurs and small business can use Pinterest in the marketing efforts. Samantha can be found on Twitter here.

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Blogging: Lack of time, lack of ideas, lack of proof

Those were just 3 of the reasons I was given as to why small businesses don’t blog last week.
 
I was presenting at one of Steve Clarke’s Platinum Mastermind Groups in Stansted and it was a great day. A group of small businesses all focused on one thing – building their businesses in the best way they could.
 
I was there to talk about blogging, and the three points in the title of this email came up time and time again.
 
  • They KNOW they should blog, but they don’t have the time
  • They KNOW blogging will build credibility and search engine positions, but they can’t think of things to blog about
  • They KNOW that people say blogging is good, but they can’t quite get their heads round why.

After a quick demonstration of how a blog post can be indexed and on the front page of Google within 15 minutes (phew! It worked!), and some searches to show how well blog posts do in the search engines, they were well on the way to getting the answer to the last point.

 
That’s the easy part ūüôā Proving blogging can work for pretty much every business isn’t rocket science after all.
 
After a quick session on title writing and writing for your readers as well as search engines (a little secret I shared saw more than one light go on), we tried to address the first two concerns.
 
How do you make more time? Well simply put, you can’t. What you can do is MAKE the time for blogging. Like anything else, at first it will take longer and be more difficult, but after a while it becomes second nature. Something that took an hour or more in the beginning will take ten minutes or so once you’re used to it.
 
As for things to write about, there are infinite possibilities! I covered 21 Things You Can Blog About Today  Рand there are more ideas in The 30 Day Blogging Challenge.
 
The thing that enlightened most attendees was the fact that your blog shouldn’t be all ‘me me me’ – yes it’s nice to share news of your new clients, your best products and your latest achievements, but then your blog just becomes a news repository, not a promotional tool.
 
A well written blog generates:
  • Credibility
  • Loyalty
  • Community
  • and obviously leads and sales

¬†I know it’s not an easy step for a lot of people, as it’s a different way of ‘advertising’ to that which has been used previously.

 
But it works, and it works well – is it worth investing a few hours of your time this week to kickstart your blog?
 
Of course, you may decide that you don’t want the hassle, and you’re happy for your competitors to take over the search engines and the social media for your target market. I’m guessing not though.
 
I’d guess that you don’t want the hassle but still want the benefits (in the same way I’d like to eat all the pizza I like and still be a size 12 ūüėČ ), right?
 
In that case you’re lucky that one of the attendees asked me over the weekend to leave my recent Bonkers Blogging Offer open for one more day to give them the chance to sign up at the offer price. It’s here. If you don’t have the time, the ideas or the inclination to keep your blog updated, then this may help.
 
If you decide to do it yourself, then please remember I’m always available on nikkipilk@gmail.com for questions and advice – and you can get me on Twitter @nikkipilkington too.
 
Happy Blogging! Let me know how you get on!
 
 
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Practical Technology for the Growing Small Business

A guest post from @hfitzy34

Today’s small businesses can’t afford to overlook the tools and opportunities created by tech and Web¬†advancements. More than ever before, new technology is making it easier for small businesses to compete¬†with larger companies through software and services that reduce overhead while making business¬†operations more efficient. A host of tools and applications can be used by a small business to drive various¬†business functions, including payroll, contact management, and human resources work.

Of equal importance are the marketing opportunities provided trough social media. With social media¬†profiles, businesses can engage both local and non-local consumer bases, expand their audience, build¬†brand trust and loyalty, and gather consumer data that can guide the company’s marketing efforts — all at a¬†cost much lower than what would have been the standard a decade ago.

To put it simply, small businesses now have access to a virtual buffet of practical technology tools and¬†solutions designed to help their business flourish and grow. By identifying your business’s most-pressing¬†needs, you can target the technology solutions providing the most value to your company, increasing profits¬†as you cut out the fat and become more efficient.

Tech Products & Services

Most small businesses can’t afford to employ full-time human resources staff. But the services provided¬†by this department are vital to any business. Fortunately, newly developed software tools like applicant¬†tracking and staff management systems enable you to track and organize a variety of functions. Exact Hire¬†is one of a growing sprawl of companies catering to the massive growth of online job seekers with software¬†designed to streamline the application process for both the employer and the to-be-employed. Through¬†software products like these, you can convert numerous business functions to paperless organization,¬†helping you track applications,interviews, employee onboarding, training, and assessments for all of your¬†employees and position candidates, saving time and resources while doing all the organizing for you.

Other contact management and customer relationship software and services, such as Microsoft Outlook, can help you track your customer interactions, sales histories and contacts with ease.

Harness the Power of Social Media

Cloud computing services are rapidly gaining popularity in business circles. The ability to purchase¬†computing work as a service stored virtually through a shared network known as the “cloud” has created¬†a bevy of opportunities for businesses. But perhaps the greatest benefit of cloud computing are the¬†applications and services provided through the cloud that allow businesses to gather unprecedented¬†amounts of information from various social media profiles. Small businesses can use cloud-based products¬†and services to manage social media profiles, evaluate the efficacy of those profiles, gather data and¬†analyze that data to learn more about consumers and their satisfaction with your business. Information¬†has never been more available, nor more valuable, to businesses than it is now, and a smart small business¬†owner will take advantage of the tools and applications created to process this information.

Where to Find Solutions

Product and services claiming to be essential to your business’s success can be found in every direction.¬†But the margin of error in small businesses is so small that investing in sub-standard services and products¬†can be a dramatic setback. Stick to companies with a proven track record and a strong reputation from past¬†clients. If certain functions of your business reside outside of your strengths or comfort areas, you can also¬†consider outsourcing some of these functions — such as payroll services and social media management — to¬†third-party companies that specialize in these services.

Ultimately, today’s small businesses are poised to benefit in numerous ways from the abundance of¬†technology at their disposal. Position your company on the inside track by investing in these new¬†technologies and getting the jump on your competitors.

Henry Fitzgerald is a technology consultant based in Seattle. When not geeking out over the latest tech gadgets, he spends his time cooking, playing soccer, and sailing. Check out his tech blog here or follow him on twitter:@hfitzy34

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Don’t bother with Google Plus

If you have been off visiting another planet, buried deep in the snow or only read mainstream newspapers I’ll forgive you for not hearing and knowing about Google Plus. Anywhere else, and you have no excuse ūüėČ

Google Plus is a terrific tool for small businesses everywhere and if you get to grips with it you will reap the rewards.

It takes a bit of work, if you don’t like work stop reading now and go and play with your kittens or something. There’s no such things as a free lunch and Google isn’t handing you one right now either.

A little effort, spread over 30 days and you’ll see terrific results.

Grab it pre-sale asap

1. Go and get a Google Plus account. Right now.

2. Create a circle and call it “just for me”. Drop the URL of this post into that circle. You know where to find this article now, so come back often.

3. Add a G+ button to your website and blog 

4. Ask some friends to Plus a page. Make note of the pages usual traffic and see how much better it does once it’s been plussed. A week is all it takes to see better results.

5. Getting into it? Need some more tools? Take a look at this post  Р13 tools for smarter Google Plus action.

6. If you need more info on how to start Google plus; Chris Brogan has some screencasts on how how to change your privacy settings.

7. Anson Alexander has a great post on how to use your Circles.

8. Sharing good content with relevant circles is essential to growing your relationships. Need ¬†a Google Plus bookmarklet – handy for sites and pages you wish to share and they don’t have a g+ button.

9. Upload some images to your profile. People are visual and having a profile image and several images across the top of you profile means you have put some effort into being on Google Plus. You are more likely to be added to circles if people can see what you look like. Personally I never add a logo to a circle to me it’s an indication that all I am going to get from that person is self promotional rubbish.

Of course if you don’t want better search traction, better engagement experience and more customers then don’t bother with Google Plus. Carry on as you are and let your competition get ahead of the game.

Sarah

Want to make the most of Google+? Sarah is the author of The 30 Day Google+ Challenge, available to prebuy now at just £4

 

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Weather to podcast?

The logo used by Apple to represent Podcasting

Image via Wikipedia

A guest post by @davethackeray

Come rain, snow or shine, it’s time to think about ways to move closer to your customers in 2011. Join The Podcast Guy to find out how three business owners used this winter’s monster snowfall in the UK to generate delighted clients through podcasting…

Weather really separates the entrepreneurs from the stock-in-trade businesspeople.

When the snow came tumbling down here in the UK a couple of months ago, most people groaned, locked tills and reached for the light switch in quiet resignation and acknowledgement that Mother Nature had once again won.

But an unsilent minority considered climatic calamity an indubitable opportunity. Among this bunch of mavericks were a bunch of determinedly creative customer-focused chieftains of commerce who, rather than lie down and let gloom sweep over them, used the unlimited opportunities afforded them by new media.

The florist updated his website with a five-minute audio presentation accompanied by soft jingles and focusing on the magic of a home festooned with flowers of every colour and scent during the festive season. It was evocative and deliciously provocative – and listeners received free delivery of their blooms, leaving them in no doubt where to spend their decorative budget this year.

The butcher used his video blog to show people how to carve their Christmas turkey. Not bought one yet? No matter – one of our vans can be round to your house with the freshest bird in good time for the big day.

And one very enterprising estate agent wandered round a particularly beautiful home showing would-be house sellers how finishing flourishes make all the difference when you’re looking for a buyer.

In every instance, the cost to the business was relatively small. A microphone, a pocket digital camcorder, some free software and a couple of hours to learn the ins and outs.

But you couldn’t put a price tag on each of these podcasts. Attention to customer need, engagement, building loyalty, overdelivering on expectations – these elements of business are packed with value that money simply can’t buy.

So when business challenges come, as they always will, think of them not as problems but as your chance to show your competition what you’re made of. With passion, personality and a single-minded focus on creating incredible relationships with your customers, you can create podcasts to propel your business to the next level of success.

==

The Podcast Guy is Dave Thackeray. He works with businesses like yours to build incredible value into each and every customer interaction through podcasting. For more details, email dave@thepodcastguy.com

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Why Twitter and Social Media is great for small businesses

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

@garygorman and I did a telephone interview many many months ago talking about Twitter, Social Media and small businesses. For many reasons, it got shelved for a while, but I contacted Gary recently to see if I could listen to it.

I thought it would be hopelessly out of date and have no relevance at all, but upon listening to it last night I was amazed by how relevant it still is.

If you’re a small business wondering if Twitter and Social Media Marketing is for you, or a business using Twitter and Social Media and wanting to know if there’s anything else you could be doing, give it a listen.

As always, feedback is welcome ūüôā

Click here to listen to the audio

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A day in the life of a small business tweet

Or, how you can fit Twitter ‚Äėin between‚Äô everything else. A guest post from @cherylcrichton

Tweeting is now commonplace in the corporate marketing landscape. With the right strategy and tools in place, Twitter allows small businesses to communicate on a much more personal level, and can actually influence the buying decision.

A day in the life of 140 characters:

08:45: CEO of ‚ÄėCompany X‚Äô gets an email advising that his latest product has been nominated for ‚ÄėBest New Widget Product of the Year‚Äô Award.

08:51: CEO phones the marketing department and asks what can be done immediately to announce the nomination.

The marketing department advise that they will:

  • Web: Create a new page in the ‚ÄėNews‚Äô section of the website (which has the facility for the public to leave a comment on the award nomination, or sign-up for progress updates. It also has a link to a widget sheet download);
  • PR: Publish a press release;
  • Literature: Look at adding the award logo/short list message to the current collateral portfolio;
  • Social Media: Promote on social media (blog, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube);
  • Internal Communications: Advise all colleagues and brief them to promote the nomination.

08:59: The marketing department drafts and sends the first of five related 140 character tweets to their followers:

<delighted to be short-listed for ‘Best New X Product of the Year’ http://www.companyxyz.com/news/awards-short-list/¬†#widgetproductname>*

09:01: ‚ÄėKey Customer Y‚Äô gets off a train at city centre location. They check their mobile phone for twitter updates and spot said tweet from favourite supplier. The customer is very happy to be using their service, so decides to re-tweet.

<@keycustomery RT @companyx Delighted to be short-listed for ‚ÄėBest New X Product of the Year‚Äô www.companyx.com/news/awards-short-list/ #widgetproductname//A fantastic product>

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

09:30: Marketing department drafts some cut & paste copy for the rest of Company X to use in social media updates (Linkedin status, email signatures etc). Copy gets circulated with an internal communication about the announcement. The marketing department also conducts a review of all their current collateral/literature to see where the award provider’s logo can be added to promote the nomination.

09.36: One of Key Customer Y‚Äôs twitter followers (‚ÄėSmall Business Z‚Äô) checks their twitter feed and notice an interesting re-tweet about a product they have been considering. They click on the link and are taken to the provider‚Äôs website. They notice the registration form for further updates and sign-up.

10:41: Whole of Company X are now talking about the nomination and the web page has gone live. All staff email signatures include a link to the website where people can sign-up for further alerts about the award. All Facebook Fan Page and Linkedin profiles have also been updated.

10:42: Small Business Z’s MD sends the link to their sales department with a request to find out more product information. They also receive a branded email advising that new updates will be sent on a regular basis, but that they can unsubscribe at anytime.

10.45: Small Business Z’s sales team receive the link from the MD and bookmark the page to check later. They decide to follow Company X on Twitter, and download the product sheet the next day.

Our tweet has done its job.

Test and measure:
Through-out the day, Company X sends 4 more tweets, which are variations on the same message, but with links to different pages on the website; the press release, the E-News sign-up and the awards section for example. These can be monitored later to see which tweet performs the best. This then forms the basis of tweets going forward up to and during the awards ceremony. Activity and feedback can also be included in the next e-News.

Outcomes:
The Small Business Z sales person that downloaded the product sheet a follow-up call from Company X and a product demo was arranged. They also received a welcome tweet and a link to the blog for future reference.

Company X made a note that Small Business Z saw a tweet from Key Customer Y, which prompted them to visit the website. Therefore, Company X send a second tweet to Key Customer Y saying they may be eligible for a referral fee should Small Business Z sign-up.

Note: Pages may start appearing in search engines and on twitter feed if hashtags are searched.

* URL shortener would typically be used.

==

Clear Thought Consulting works with small businesses to equip them with the marketing strategies, skills, suppliers and set-up that they need to become bigger businesses.
SMART THINKING | STRAIGHT TALKING | GETS RESULTS

Contact: Cheryl Crichton. Associate | Clear Thought Consulting Ltd | 0117 325 77 25 | @cherylcrichton

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