Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Absolute Worst Thing a Business Can Do on Social Media

If you were to ask me the number one mistake business owners make when trying to do their own social media, I might be tempted to say overselling their product or service. Social media is a networking tool, not a megaphone! Beyond that, there is one thing that is even worse: buying likes/followers. Here are my top four reasons why buying followers is a bad idea, and what business owners should do instead.

  1. When you buy followers, they are usually FAKE. When I go through the thousands of followers a new client has purchased before hiring me, they're often extremely obvious bots. That, or they're accounts like my client's: they've given a paid like/follow service access to their account, and therefore their account has liked/followed thousands of similar accounts. They may also be "click farmers" - real people who are paid to like/follow a client's accounts. For more on click-farming, check out this excellent video by Veritasium.
  2. Fake followers drive down post reach. Fake followers usually have absolutely no relevance to your business. Their only benefit is to drive up your overall follower counts. With social networks across the board implementing news feed algorithms, having thousands of fake followers who aren't engaging with your content often means that your post reach dwindles away to nothing.
  3. Fake followers max out follow caps. If you purchase thousands of likes or follows from a spam service, chances are your account will follow thousands of accounts to get there, and you will quickly reach your follow limit on Twitter and Instagram. That will prevent you from following other accounts that are actually relevant to your business.
  4. Buying fake followers can open you up to hackers and credit card fraud. As explained here, people who are willing to take your money to hook you up with fake followers may also be willing to sell your info to others. Stay safe! This aspect of the trade is especially troubling to me when I see my client's accounts followed real teens and even tweens who only posted a few times on Instagram and had clearly used the same follower purchasing company to drive up their numbers.
Instead of buying fans and followers from a shady service who tags you in a post or direct messages you, here's what to do instead:

  • Generate organic social media growth by following and engaging with legitimate accounts.
  • Create extremely targeted ads through native ad platforms to attract legitimate fans/followers. Yes, you may still get a few fake followers this way, but the more specific you are (think demographics, regions, interest keywords, languages spoken, etc) the more likely you are to find real people.
  • Instead of paying someone with questionable ethics to get a few hundred or a few thousand fake followers, hire a real social media manager to create both organic and paid social media growth.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Don't Wait to Get Started on Social Media

One thing I hear fairly often when talking with business owners, especially small, family-owned businesses, is that they are so busy and that business is going so well that they don't need social media. And/or that they'll wait until their slower season to get started. Here's why I encourage them not to wait.

If you haven't been on social media at all during your busy season, it's going to be a rough start during your slow season. That's because of the algorithm that determines whether or not people see your posts. Facebook has had them for a while, and Twitter and Instagram are getting started now too. One of the main factors that influence the algorithms is whether or not someone has interacted with you recently. When you haven't been online for a while, or ever, your posts are less relevant and have less of a chance of showing up in people's feeds.

The busy season is the best time to capitalize on existing customer engagement. When you're busy, you can extend customer interactions to the social space, or find and celebrate existing social interactions that you may not even be aware of, and increase your visibility. Capturing those positive interactions with your fans now will keep them interacting with you during your slow season, and generate viral reach to their friends.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and socialize!

If you need help, I'm always happy to answer questions.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Like Facebook Pages as Your Facebook Business Page - Social Media Basics

Liking other Facebook Pages with your Facebook Business Page is a simple business-to-business outreach and engagement technique. The Pages you like will receive a notification that your Business Page liked them, and hopefully they will like your Page in return and interact with your content.

The Pages you like will appear publicly on your Business Page under "Liked By This Page." 

The few featured Pages will rotate regularly, displaying up to five Pages. If you want certain Pages to always appear on that list, you can choose them in the Featured tab of your Settings page.

Clicking on the small "Liked By This Page" list will bring up the full list of Pages your Page likes. This list is also visible to the public. Clicking on the dropdown next to the Page name will allow you to get notifications from the Pages your Page likes, to see their posts in your personal News Feed, or to unlike them as your Page.

On the flipside, you can see the full list of Pages that like your Page under Settings - People and Other Pages - Pages That Like This Page. If you want to remove or ban a Page from liking your Page, click on the settings wheel to the right of that Page's name in the list.

When you like Pages as your Business Page, their content will appear in your Page's News Feed. To view that Feed, visit the Facebook Business Page bookmark page and click "Log In" next to the name of your Page. From there, you will navigate Facebook as your Page, and be able to like new Pages by looking them up in the search bar, and interact with content you see in the News Feed. The blue top navigation menu will show you that you are using Facebook as your Business Page. To switch back, click the dropdown arrow at the right of the top navigation bar, and click your Profile name.

You can also see the full list of Pages your Business Page likes, as well as the News Feed from those pages, anytime on your Pages Feed. To visit it, go to https://www.facebook.com/[your Page username]/pages_feed

Have fun exploring Facebook and liking Pages as your Business Page! If you have any questions about this process or need help managing your Facebook Business Page, please get in touch via my website.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Quick & Simple Way to Generate Facebook Page Engagement

Because of the way Facebook's EdgeRank algorithm filters the News Feed, Page managers need to be creative to generate authentic engagement. One quick and easy technique, especially for smaller businesses and solopreneurs, is to send individual Facebook post links to family, friends and customers to ask for engagement. If you're annoyed that people who might particularly be interested in a certain post aren't seeing it, make it happen by sending them the direct link to that post. 

The timestamp to the post is the link. You can either right click on it and use your browser's dropdown menu to copy the link, or left click to open the individual post and copy the url from there. (Click here to see what that looks like.)

This technique works best when you choose a post that has particular meaning for the person or people you're sending the link to, and when you provide a specific call to action. For example, a skincare representative might send the link to a post about a particular product to a client who has used that product, and ask her to share her experience in a comment on the post. Or an auto mechanic might post a photo of a client's car and send him the link, asking him to like or share the post to his friends.

Since EdgeRank factors in a person's recent engagement with the Page to determine whether they should see more posts from it, this technique will also make the people you send post links to more likely to see your posts in the future. It's the engagement gift that keeps on giving!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Need Help Updating Your LinkedIn Profile?

As a businessperson, you might have heard that LinkedIn is important if you're looking for a new job. LinkedIn is also an essential to build your personal brand in your current position! You can use LinkedIn as your online resume and as a professional networking tool to post updates, articles and photos, just like you would on a Facebook Page or Profile. You can also receive testimonials (called LinkedIn Recommendations) from your LinkedIn contacts for work you've done in the past and in your current position.

If you need help updating your LinkedIn profile, learning how to post updates, and managing LinkedIn Recommendations, I am available for hourly consulting. Here's a LinkedIn Recommendation I received for this type of work from a recent client:

"Lauren was a great help in helping me update my LinkedIn profile. I was able to add 10 new testimonials to my profile. 

What she accomplished in 30 minutes what it would have taken me days. She is extremely knowledgeable and a great resource that I would highly recommend." - Brad Hunt, American Pacific Mortgage 

If you need hourly consultation to clean up your LinkedIn profile, please contact me via my website.

Happy networking!