Saying ‘I Do’ To Selling With Social Media

If you read through any of the blog posts or infographics on the subject of “Do’s and Don’ts” of social media the one big reoccurring “don’t” is direct selling.   For me direct selling is definitely a ‘Do’ activity.

Saying 'I Do' To Selling With Social Media, #SocialSelling.  Direct sales pitch posts - social selling - is not going to be right for every business (my retail based business, even with a strong following, never saw much success with it) but don't fall into the trap that it's wrong.  Social media is a marketing tool and like every other marketing tool it was designed to brand and drive revenue.  Don't simply avoid social selling just because of the prevailing thought.  It might just be costing you sales.

While there are a few “hard rules” I do tout, if you follow me you’ll know that I am not much for rules in general when it comes to social media usage, or any marketing activity for that matter. Each industry and each business within that industry is unique.  It’s impossible to run an effective marketing campaign for a unique business off a strict set of rules.   I prefer rough guides as starting points, then tailor YOUR posting and platform use to YOUR needs and the needs of your client / fan base.  Social media campaigns must be tailored to the business.

So why the “Don’t sell” craze?

Social media is not outbound marketing, the traditional means to advertise and promote your product and service.  It’s not supposed to be an ‘in your face, look at us, here’s our service / product and why it’s better than the other guys’ platform.

The general consensus is that consumers are tired of those messages and their buying habits have shifted away from the “what a great price / I need to go buy that now at that store mentality”.  Consumers are more focused on what I call the 4 ‘R’s  – research, reviews, recommendations and referrals.  You can blast your latest sale and product offering but the predominate thought (at least based on how I operate and have observed others operate) is those specific Call To Actions no longer fully drive the actual sale.  It drives the consumer online.   Either they already know they want what you’re selling and need to do their homework or you just created a need the consumer was unaware they had and they do their homework.  While the specifics of what they look up may be different, the result of your outbound marketing is the same –  Come on, Robin, to the Internet! There’s not a moment to lose! (research, reviews)

Social media is not a sales tool.  Social media should be about the personification of your business.  It’s about building a personal relationship with your client’s and customers, about connecting with them and interacting , being personable, about networking and branding (referrals, recommendations).

So why do I think social selling is a good idea, even recommended?

Approved

Just to be clear I don’t blanket recommend you start using your social media sites to begin outbound marketing.  It still boils down to your industry, business and fan / client base.  It’s that I DO think direct selling is completely acceptable as a practice and I encourage it….under the right circumstances.

Unlike traditional outbound efforts that rely on blasting your message to a large audience (albeit with some targeting) who does not necessarily know or care about you, social media affords you the ability to get your message out specifically to those that WANT to hear it.  They Liked or followed you for a reason.  You’ve developed a strong, trusting relationship so why not leverage it to drive sales and revenue directly?  I understand the risk of alienating those followers but they are your clients but avoiding it amounts to lost revenue.  The trick to direct selling without offending anyone comes down to the strategy behind HOW you do it.

For many small retail shops social media, Facebook specifically, has become a great way to reward fans with special sales, coupons, new products announcements and to offer ‘check in’ specials.  For some of these businesses the core fan base is actually liking and following strictly for those deals.  My wife actually follows several pages including a children’s resale boutique BECAUSE they post hot selling and hard to find items when they arrive.  Most of the time the item sells before she ever has a chance to comment on it.  They have developed a great social relationship that includes customer service, general Q&A, direct sales and traffic to their website.  They get new fans for the sales updates who then stay for the info, advice and service as well as vice versa.  Clearly direct selling on Facebook is a big win for the business.

So how do you sell on social media without offending or alienating anyone?  Start by determining if you SHOULD direct sell.  Again, social media is not a ‘one size fits all’.

  • What is your business?
    • Retail businesses, especially those with hard to find or often out of stock items as well as those selling specialty products generally fair best.   If you run specials or unique ‘deals’ social selling should be a good fit.  Service based?  Contract or sign up discounts still count as social selling.
  • How have your fans responded in the past?
    • Did you get good feedback or see a spike in reach, views, +1s?  Did the phone ring or website traffic increase?
  •  Why are they following you?
    • You should be tracking when fans like or follow.  Is there a pattern?  After informational posts?  Humor?  A sales pitch?  When your pages are liked says plenty about the content they came for a want.
  • What is the goal or strategy of your marketing campaign (specifically with respect to social media)?
    • Are you looking to brand yourself, drive blog or web traffic?  Are you using it strictly as an informational or customer service tool?  How you market affects the content you provide.

Saying 'I Do' To Selling With Social Media, #SocialSelling.  If you decide to sell, the next step will be to decide on what platforms to use to selling and how often you’ll post a selling pitch.  Each platform is unique and how people interact / accept on one is not the same as another.  Since their is no universal formula, you’ll need to experiment and monitor you activities.  This goes for how often, when and what you post as well as where you post it.

Direct sales pitch posts – social selling – is not going to be right for every business (my retail based business, even with a strong following, never saw much success with it) but don’t fall into the trap that it’s wrong.  Social media is a marketing tool and like every other marketing tool it was designed to brand and drive revenue.  Don’t simply avoid social selling just because of the prevailing thought.  It might just be costing you sales.

If you’ve used or use social media for direct selling I’d love to hear your thoughts and how you’ve made it work for you (or didn’t).  Happy selling!

 Want to let me know what you’re thinking?  You can find this post and comment on Pinterest and Facebook or simply Tweet your thoughts!  If you found this post helpful please share it as others might too.

_______________________________________________________________________________

To schedule a consultation or to book me for a workshop or speaking engagement, I can be reached at robert@tacticalsocialmedia.org.

Social Media Strategist | Consultant | Educator | Marketer | Speaker; Focused on HOW to leverage social media, not just master the platforms.Robert Nissenbaum is a successful small business owner with more than 20 years of marketing and sales experience.  Using the same social media and traditional marketing techniques he leveraged to brand and drive revenue for his own businesses, he works with other small to medium sized business owners to do the same.  His methodology is based on his own practical experience leveraging inbound and outbound platforms with a revolutionary approach and philosophy.  His methods have been applied successfully to retail, service and non profit based organizations.

        Follow Robert: Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; Facebook; Tactical Social Media Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; Google+; Tactical Social Media Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; LinkedIn; Tactical Social Media Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; Pinterest; Tactical Social Media Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; Twitter; Tactical Social Media Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; WordPress Blog; Tactical Social Media  Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; Instagram; Tactical Social Media

                               

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Posted in Facebook, Marketing & Social Media | Tagged , , , ,

Facebook Adds Easier Post Attribution

Beginning 1 January 2015 I’ll be posting at Tactical Social Media

If you are a subscriber to this blog I greatly appreciate the support.  I’d love to have you join me at my new home and subscribe to my newsletter to keep current on my content.

All content here will remain.  Just hit The Archives list to the right.  Over time posts will be updated and reposted at Tactical Social Media.

Thanks for reading!

Facebook Adds Easier Post Attribution

Facebook added a simple change to pages giving admins the ability to more easily select how they are posting and commenting.

Prior to the change you needed to click on the ‘voice’ bar to change the setting for the entire page.  That shift, from posting, commenting and liking as yourself to (or from) the page would reload the page and made it cumbersome to alternate quickly – something necessary from a strategic position.

The change now allows you to select how you post or comment for each individual post through a drop down menu.  Better yet, you have the ability to switch to ANY page you manage further eliminating the need to bounce to a new window, actually use another page as itself before going back to comment, then repeating in reverse to get back to using Facebook as yourself.

Facebook page post attribution change adding a drop down menu option making it easier to change how admins like, comment and post.

You do have the ability to now set the page attribution default to either yourself or the page within settings.

Facebook page post attribution change accessible under page settings making it easier to change how admins like, comment and post.

Your Turn:

Have you seen the new setting?  Good change?

Want to let me know what you’re thinking?  You can find this post and comment on Google+Pinterest and Facebook or simply Tweet me with your thoughts!  If you found this post helpful please share it as others might too.

If you’re in the Greater Seattle Area, I’d enjoy meeting over a good cup of coffee to see how we can help each other – and the coffee is on me!

Robert Nissenbaum
Certified social media nut and coffee lover

Social Media Strategist | Consultant | Educator | Marketer | Speaker; Focused on HOW to leverage social media, not just master the platforms.Robert Nissenbaum is a successful small business owner with more than 20 years of marketing and sales experience.  Using the same social media and traditional marketing techniques he leveraged to brand and drive revenue for his own businesses, he works with other small to medium sized business owners to do the same.  His methodology is based on his own practical experience leveraging inbound and outbound platforms with a revolutionary approach and philosophy.  His methods have been applied successfully to retail, service and non profit based organizations.

        Follow Robert: Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; Facebook; Tactical Social Media Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; Google+; Tactical Social Media Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; LinkedIn; Tactical Social Media Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; Pinterest; Tactical Social Media Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; Twitter; Tactical Social Media Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; WordPress Blog; Tactical Social Media  Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; Instagram; Tactical Social Media

Posted in Facebook, Marketing & Social Media | Tagged ,

There Is No ‘Best Time or Day’ To Post On Facebook – Or Any Social Media Site

I posted in February regarding the ‘optimal’ time to publish a post on Facebook but feel the need to re-address it.  It always bothers me as a strategist is to see experts (or anyone for that matter) telling business owners what times are best and worst for posting.  Why?  Your business is unique and therefore it stands to reason that generalizations will serve no value other than a broad starting point.

The right time to post is when YOUR fans/clients/customers are active and the only way to know that is to build your audience and leverage analytics and insights to know.  Going a step further, that time is always in flux.  Your fan base grows, their online habits changes, when they’re active changes, their interests change, their needs change so your optimal posting time changes.

Look at your Facebook insights.  Under ‘Post’ and ‘When Your Fans Are Online’ you’ll see a blue plotted graph below a bar graph.  The bar graph provides you stats on how many of your fans are active and on what days.  The plotted graph provides the times they’re online.  If you simply look at the plotted graph and determine 7:00 AM is most active you’re missing a big piece.  Mouse over the bar graph and you’ll see a different picture.  The plotted graph is based on an overall week.  Each day has its own optimal posting time.

Determining the best time to post on your Facebook fan page based on your insights. Determining the best day to post on your Facebook fan page based on your insights.

So now that you know when your fans are active you know exactly when to post – or do you?

There really is no ‘Best Time or Day’ To Post On Facebook

I posted a link with added personal content Monday at 7:00 AM and on Tuesday at 7:54 PM.  Aside from Saturday (a day most experts feel is poor for engagement and reach) Monday and Tuesday are my most active days with Tuesday only being negligibly better.  My Monday post was timed well given it was just before the peak of activity for my fans and fan activity remains consistent for most of the day after that peak while the Tuesday post was published AFTER peak activity and on a sharp drop off of all activity.

Tuesday’s post in 2 hours nearly doubled the reach and more than doubled the engagement of the Monday post (and at 15 hours active had more than 5 times the reach).  Again, the post content and structure was nearly identical.  While the actual content may have contributed to the reach when I posted should have meant far fewer eyes seeing it.

Just to further muddy the waters I posted an image with a link the previous Thursday (a weaker day in terms of fan activity) and at one of the WORST times I could post based on my insights YET reach was 30% greater than Monday’s post and engagement was more than double with the majority of that engagement being post clicks.

There is no universal, optimal, perfect or best time or day to post to Facebook and a social media management firm or expert telling you there is wrong.  They can provide a guide for what trends as the best times to post but that's as far as it goes.  Even following your own insights, which are constantly changing doesn't guarantee optimal posting times.

The bottom line:

My worst performing post was published at the optimal time on the optimal day based on my insights and my best performing post was published at worst possible time and day.

Comparing my results to the chart below from Time.com and posted April 23rd 2014…..clearly my best performing post was on of the worst posting days. So how can anyone say there is a perfect time to post?

This Is the Absolute Best Day to Post on Facebook from Time.com

Why is this the case?

  • Your insights can ONLY provide data based on your fans.  While your page will not show up in the newsfeed of someone who hasn’t liked your page, it can still be seen.  The page is public.  I have spoken with a number of people in trying to see why they choose to like (or not) a page.  Part of what I found out – they do not want the posts in their feed but do regularly go to the page to see what is posted.  Simply put that can be a large audience you miss if you only post when your fans are active.
  • Social platforms are driven by social behavior.  Rarely is that predictable and it’s certainly not stable.  We may be creatures of habit yet we’re always seem to be off our schedules.
  • Specifically to Facebook, what shows in a fan’s newsfeed and why is constantly changing.  It seems quite logical that a perfect post on the worst day could be more visible at the worst possible posting time whereas a poor post at the best time could be ‘hidden’.
  • While generalizations seem to hold true on other platforms, proper use of hashtags can drive views well outside of the posting parameters due to search (again – good content will be found) and many, like myself, have specific influencers whose profiles we’ll visit regardless of seeing their content in our feeds.  With Google+ circles and Twitter lists, fans and followers can see the content they want when they want and from whom they want.   Engagement later can skew post visibility.
  • Links back to social media posts from blogs like this one also bring older posts current. While this may not figure into the calculation of best posting time, your post can still see good reach and engagement even when posted well outside of the ‘optimal time or day’ to post.

The take away:

There is no universal, optimal, perfect or best time or day to post to Facebook or any social media platform.  Those ‘times’ merely provide a guide for what trends as the best times to post but that’s as far as it goes.  Even following your own insights, which are constantly changing, doesn’t guarantee optimal posting times since that data only reflects a potentially small percentage of who sees your content.

My advice in the end:

What ultimately drives reach and engagement is creating a mix (links, images, videos and text) of high quality content posted throughout the week.  Be consistent in adding content, be different in when it’s posted.  Posting it at varying times ensures the opportunity to reach a greater swatch of your fan base so experiment.  Don’t get bogged down in when to post – just post quality content consistently.

Your turn:

Have you found your best posting times to correspond to what the studies tell us?  Have you seen better performing posts published at what should be poor times?

SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST, CONSULTANT, EDUCATOR, MARKETER, SPEAKER

Comments missing?  Want to let me know what you’re thinking?  You can find this post and comment on Google+Pinterest, LinkedIn and Facebook or simply Tweet me with your thoughts!  If you found this post helpful please share it as others might too.

Robert Nissenbaum

Posted in Facebook, Marketing & Social Media | Tagged , , , ,

Does A Drop In Facebook Engagement Or Reach Really Matter?

Beginning 1 January 2015 I’ll be posting at Tactical Social Media

If you are a subscriber to this blog I greatly appreciate the support.  I’d love to have you join me at my new home and subscribe to my newsletter to keep current on my content.

All content here will remain.  Just hit The Archives list to the right.  Over time posts will be updated and reposted at Tactical Social Media.

Thanks for reading!

And will posting more often compensate?

An article posted on Google+ by Mark Traphagen of Stone Temple Consulting referring to a report by Simply Measured, indicated that Facebook engagement for top internet brand companies (including Disney, MTV, Mercedes Benz and Starbucks) drop by more than 40% from May of 2013 to May of 2014.  Simply Measured attributes the drop mostly to algorithm changed while also noting a 20% increase in posting among the brands.

A recent article posted on Google+ by Mark Traphagen of Stone Temple Consulting indicated that Facebook engagement for top internet brand companies (including Disney, MTV, Mercedes Benz and Starbucks) drop by more than 40% from May of 2013 to May of 2014.  Simply Measured attributes the drop mostly to algorithm changed while also noting a 20% increase in posting among the brands.

How has your engagement faired? Do you know if really matters?

My initial reaction – if the drop in engagement is due to algorithm changes, how does posting more often compensate?  After all the new posts are still , aren’t the additional posts subject to the same algorithm changes?

The discussion centered on the value of additional posting, brands focusing more on organic reach, why it’s hard on Facebook to access fans (something far easier on Google+) and a little advice on how to access those fans.

The one question all of the discussion raised for me – What really caused the drop in engagement and does it really matter:

“The drop in engagement may have nothing to do with the brand or FB’s changes and therefore of no real concern.

What if Facebook users simple don’t feel as compelled to engage?  Could they be burnt out?  Feel like the engagement gets them nothing and is more a time waster?    If that’s the case, then  regardless of what a business/brand does, unless you stir up some controversy or ‘hit a nerve’ your fans will remain quiet.  [However, being quiet does not necessarily translate to a negative sales impact].

I’d be curious to see what affect the drop in engagement has on sales, brand identity, etc.  I can tell you from first hand experience working with a number of clients over the years that engagement does not always directly correlate to sales.  Just because I don’t engage doesn’t mean I’m not paying attention.  I may see your post, stay silent yet still make a purchase or spend time on your website.  How do you track that, especially if while I found you on Facebook [initially] and rather than following a link [on your page I] simply went to Google and searched [for you organically?]”

Your engagement clearly dropped yet your efforts still resulted in revenue.

The big challenge in social media is how to truly measure your activity and for that matter how do you alter your social media strategy to continue to drive sales and revenue in the face of declining engagement?

Does A Drop In Facebook Reach Really Matter?

Personally I don’t put much weight on the reach figure.  First, I  find it untrustworthy given the fact that on some of my own posts where there were the number of unique commenters was greater than the reported reach.  Second, in much the same way engagement has dropped yet doesn’t matter, the same holds true for reach.

Take 2 recent posts.  Extremely high Facebook page post reachLow Facebook page post reach yet the post drove a very high click rate to my blog http:rnissenbaum.wordpress.com

The first post clearly had stellar reach at 908 even if we ignore the dark orange indicating paid reach while the second post only managed a reach of 127.  HOWEVER, the overall engagement levels were 120 and 105 respectively.   The second post had a reach of a mere 14% of the first yet still managed an engagement rate at 87.5% of the first!  Better yet that second post had a much high post click rate (66 to 51) in driving traffic to this blog!

Clearly Facebook post engagement and reach don’t really matter.

Want to let me know what you’re thinking?  You can find this post and comment on Google+Pinterest and Facebook or simply Tweet me with your thoughts!  Feel free to share too!

If you’re concerned with your organic reach and looking to learn more about how to gain visibility for your Facebook posts (or have any other social media questions, thoughts, concerns, I’d love to talk over a good cup of coffee – and the coffee is on me!

Robert Nissenbaum
Certified social media nut and coffee lover

Social Media Strategist | Consultant | Educator | Marketer | Speaker; Focused on HOW to leverage social media, not just master the platforms.Robert Nissenbaum is a successful small business owner with more than 20 years of marketing and sales experience.  Using the same social media and traditional marketing techniques he leveraged to brand and drive revenue for his own businesses, he works with other small to medium sized business owners to do the same.  His methodology is based on his own practical experience leveraging inbound and outbound platforms with a revolutionary approach and philosophy.  His methods have been applied successfully to retail, service and non profit based organizations.

        Follow Robert: Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; Facebook; Tactical Social Media Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; Google+; Tactical Social Media Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; LinkedIn; Tactical Social Media Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; Pinterest; Tactical Social Media Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; Twitter; Tactical Social Media Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; WordPress Blog; Tactical Social Media  Robert Nissenbaum, social media strategist & consultant; Instagram; Tactical Social Media

Posted in Facebook, Marketing & Social Media | Tagged , , , ,

Direct Messages And The Use Of Autoresponders On Twitter – My Pet Peeve

I love the use of the messaging feature on each platform as a strategic tool for more personalized connecting and relationship building.  I was ecstatic to see Pinterest finally release the feature.

Still, the one place I see it abused and improperly used is Twitter.  Really, if you do not have the time to send me a personal thank you for following (and I doubt most do) then maybe you should only send Direct Messages to those fitting a specific set of criteria, those who could be a valuable resource or connection to you.

Whatever you do….stop using autoresponders.  It’s obvious when you do, it’s not personal and certainly isn’t social.  Worst yet – when the message is not even generic enough to avoid offending someone.

Take one of the latest one I received….keep in mind that I’m a marketing strategist!

Whatever you do....stop using autoresponders.  It's obvious when you do, it's not personal and certainly isn't social.  Worst yet - when the message is not even generic enough to avoid offending someone.I’m a marketing strategist!  I’d better be happy with my strategy.  And if I wasn’t, your message certainly means I wouldn’t be asking you.

Sadly, it’s not hard to do it correctly.  Shortly after this one I received this one.

Proper_Twitter_follow_DM

I much applaud Gideon Nielson for taking the time to do it right.   We conversed, I followed him on Facebook as well and added him to a list of quality engagers.

What’s your thought on the use of autoresponders?

SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST, CONSULTANT, EDUCATOR, MARKETER, SPEAKERby:  Robert Nissenbaum

Comments missing?  Want to let me know what you’re thinking?  You can find this post and comment on Google+, Pinterest and Facebook or simply Tweet me with your thoughts!  If you found this post helpful please share it as others might too.

Posted in Marketing & Social Media, Twitter | Tagged , , ,

Facebook To End ‘Like Gating’: What Does It Mean For Page Owners?

Facebook announced that as of November 5th the API that allowed the creation of Fan Gates to require a page like before seeing content or entering a contest will no longer exist…leaving no way for app developers to create such opportunities.

Facebook eliminates Fan Gates, like gating for contests on pages. This change now forces businesses to provide quality content that makes someone want to like the page and return.  Page owners can no longer rely on contests and fan gates to drive likes and grow their pages.  They'll have to do it the old fashioned way.

What does this mean for Facebook page owners?

In short:  This change now forces businesses to provide quality content that makes someone want to like the page and return.  Page owners can no longer rely on contests and fan gates to drive likes and grow their pages.  They’ll have to do it the old fashioned way.

It’s  change I actually welcome.  As a consultant I have always cautioned against even using a fan gate tactic (unless it’s simply a welcome message to new arrivals) for 2 primary reasons:

  • It’s ‘buying’ fans and businesses should be driving growth and winning fans/customers with service, content, quality – something of value they want.   I have always had an issue with the need to ‘Like’ a page or enter something, to give up an email address to view your content.  When presented with the requirement, whether it be on Facebook or your website, I simply leave and do not return.  If you want my email address, I’ll provide it if I find value in what you offer, not for an incentive.I have heard from some business owners that the loss of the fan gating means the loss of a valuable source to collect email addresses for contact and list building.  The list building should come from offering freebies AFTER the perspective client/customer has been exposed to content and in return for something of value – a free report, some advice, something the client truly wants or needs.  Providing the freebie after means your client CHOOSES to give you their email address and contact information for something more.
  • When you ‘buy’ fans they tend to be less loyal, less engaging and less likely to use your service or buy your project.  A fan that CHOOSES to like your page for your content or the service/product you offer without additional enticement speaks volumes about your business.  They will support you and they will recommend you.  The positive net result for the business will be better, higher quality fans who like your page for what you post and to connect with you rather than for a sort lived incentive.

So, even if fan gates were still allowed, why would you use something that potentially results in a lower quality fan AND potentially excludes others that ARE interested in your wares?  Are the higher numbers and inflated growth worth the low quality you’re likely to get?

An interesting side note is that the drive for fans is somewhat pointless as anyone can comment on a page without actually being a fan.  While growth IS important and the fan count does, to an extent, correlate to authority and reputation, it’s still only an arbitrary number.   I have numerous stories – including for my own previous business where sales were directly generated from an Facebook post or drive a person to a Google search after reading an Facebook post and in each case the buyer was not and never became a fan.  That’s the  beauty of the public nature of Facebook pages.

I have always and still do advise, business owners to worry more about quality than quantity focusing on providing content and value and let the fan count grow organically.  Doing so and engaging and interacting with those fans that come to you for value will prove more advantageous to your brand, reputation and bottom line over the long run.

What are your thoughts on Like Gating?

SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST, CONSULTANT, EDUCATOR, MARKETER, SPEAKERby:  Robert Nissenbaum

Comments missing?  Want to let me know what you’re thinking?  You can find this post and comment on Google+Pinterest and Facebook or simply Tweet me with your thoughts!  If you found this post helpful please share it as others might too.

Posted in Facebook, Marketing & Social Media | Tagged , , , , ,

You Do NOT Need To Pay For Reach On Facebook

Beginning 1 January 2015 I’ll be posting at Tactical Social Media

If you are a subscriber to this blog I greatly appreciate the support.  I’d love to have you join me at my new home and subscribe to my newsletter to keep current on my content.

All content here will remain.  Just hit The Archives list to the right.  Over time posts will be updated and reposted at Tactical Social Media.

Thanks for reading!

Boosting posts and paying for Facebook ads is not necessary.

Consider this example:  My Facebook consulting page only has 249 fans (I’m far more active on Google+) but managed a post reach of 470 (as of this writing) that was completely organic and resulted in driving 24 views on my blog within 12 hours.

You Do NOT Need To Pay For Reach On #Facebook! My results are not by accident.  While similar results cannot always be guaranteed, A quality page (optimized, high fan quality), quality content, the correct posting patterns (how written, when posted, non use of scheduling) and how you engage will see good organic reach.  It's all about solid, smart practices and well, a commitment to doing it right.  I've been personally developing that strategy over the past 5 years to grow other businesses leveraging social media and the bottom line - it works.

My results are not by accident.  While similar results cannot always be guaranteed, a quality page (optimized, high fan quality) posting quality, well written content with the correct posting patterns (how written, when posted, non use of scheduling) can see good organic reach.  It’s all about solid, smart practices and well, a commitment to doing it right.  I’ve been personally developing that strategy over the past 5 years to socially grow other businesses and the bottom line – it gets results.

#Facebook has the ability to generate significant reach based on your content, your fan base and how you engage WITHOUT the need to pay for it.  a quality page (optimized, high fan quality) posting quality, well written content with the correct posting patterns (how written, when posted, non use of scheduling) can see good organic reach.

Using paid strategies still has a place in driving Facebook reach as part of a solid strategy.

Leveraging a well thought out strategy after the initial day of posting can drive significantly more organic reach later.  For this post, I expect that reach to rise further over the next week (not to mention driving additional blog views).

Boosting the post or creating an ad from it now provides a double benefit – the ability to target your paid reach giving your post exposure to the right people as well as the masses. You’ll find that boosting or creating an ad from a post performing well organically is more likely to drive paid clicks. Human nature makes us more likely to want to view content that others have liked and viewed.

If everyone else likes it – I might too.  If no one else likes it, why should I?  (Remember the slogan “He likes it! Hey Mikey!” ?  The campaign ran for 12 years and I’m sure we can all name the product  being marketed.)

The simple takeaways:

  • Facebook has the ability to generate significant reach based on your content, your fan base and how you engage WITHOUT the need to pay for it.
  • Facebook Ads using or boosting a post seeing significant organic reach can increase your click through rate over a poorly producing post.
  • Facebook (like all social media platforms) has the ability to drive significant amounts of traffic to your blog or website.

I’d love your thoughts.  Are you getting good reach without paying for it?  Are you paying for it?

If you have something that works for you to drive reach organically on Facebook, please share it on one of the links below.

SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST, CONSULTANT, EDUCATOR, MARKETER, SPEAKERby:  Robert Nissenbaum

Comments missing?  Want to let me know what you’re thinking?  You can find this post and comment on Google+Pinterest and Facebook or simply Tweet me with your thoughts!  If you found this post helpful please share it as others might too.

Posted in Facebook, Marketing & Social Media | Tagged , , ,

How To Save Any Social Media Post And Content for Later; Moving Beyond Facebook’s Save for Later

Moving beyond ‘Save on Facebook’ for better control over what you choose to read later.

This post was updated on 26 January 2015 and can be found at Tactical Social Media

How to save social media posts and content to read later.  We all come across great content in our feeds that we'd love to read but don't have the time or simply want to save to reference later.  My system is simple to applt to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.

Posted in Facebook, Google +, Instagram, LinkedIn, Marketing & Social Media, Pinterest, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , ,

WordPress or Google+ As Your Blogging Platform?

I caught the question when it was recently asked on Twitter and I’m sure it’s more commonly asked, or at least considered, then might otherwise be thought:

Should I blog from Google+ or WordPress?

Should I blog from Google+ or WordPress? While the basics are there for blogging, WordPress still provides significant advantages. http://plus.google.com/+RobertNissenbaum

One of my first thoughts when starting to use Google+ was the idea that it made a great blogging platform.  My business already has a presence, unlike Facebook longer posts get read, you can format text for emphasis and ease of reading and it’s packed with influential users.

While the basics are there for blogging,  Wordpress still provides significant advantages, especially as a standalone site (look for this blog to migrate shortly):

  • Credibility and Professionalism:  If you already have a hosted website with a good company, your blog can be integrated so it’s part of your site.  If you don’t have your own site (the last statistic I read was approximately 35% of small businesses don’t) your self hosted blog with a custom domain can serve as your site and that custom domain adds credibility and professionalism.

Your custom WordPress domain will also provide a verifiable website for sites like Google+ and Pinterest increasing your credibility on those platforms as well.

  • Customizable:  With an almost endless selection of themes and plugins you can tailor your site to your needs both visually and functionally.
  • SEO value:  While Google+ posts are indexed, a self hosted blogs offers significant opportunities for SEO – from quality content to permalinks, post titles, image alt tags, to a good XML sitemap (Yoast’s WordPress SEO Plugin).  Once published you’ll still have the added ability to create the perfect Google+ post linking to your blog for additional SEO and discussion (not to mention other social media sites).
  • Guest bloggers:  While it’s YOUR blog, guest bloggers add additional credibility, especially if they already have a devote following of their own.  With Google Authorship, a guest blogger that updates his / her contributor section in their G+ profile further bolsters your blog.
  • Analytics:  You’ll get the advantage of WordPress stats but with Google Analytics plugin you’ll get the complete picture of how well your blog is doing.  “Track your WordPress site easily and with lots of metadata: views per author & category, automatic tracking of outbound clicks and pageviews.”
  • Subscribers:  One of the great pieces – like signing up for an e-newsletter individuals can subscribe to your blog via email.  While your post MAY be seen in Google+, nothing works better than sending your post directly to someone’s inbox!

A standalone WordPress blog provides full control, customization and flexibility that Google+ just doesn’t offer.  If leveraged correctly, you’ll be able to use Google+ and other social media sites to actually drive readership and grow your subscriber base.

What are your thoughts?

SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST, CONSULTANT, EDUCATOR, MARKETER, SPEAKERby:  Robert Nissenbaum

Comments missing?  Want to let me know what you’re thinking?  You can find this post and comment on Google+Pinterest and Facebook or simply Tweet me with your thoughts!  Feel free to share too!

Posted in Blogging, Google + | Tagged , , , ,

9 Pinterest Image Mistakes To Avoid

With the power of Pinterest making mistakes could prove costly.  Over the next few blog posts I’ll run through critical mistakes to avoid in 4 categories.  This is part 3 in the series.

Part 1:  5 Pinterest Profile Mistakes To Avoid
Part 2:  8 Pinterest Board Mistakes To Avoid
Part 3:  9 Pinterest Image Mistakes To Avoid
Part 4:  Website / Blog Mistakes To Avoid 9 #Pinterest image mistakes to avoid: Poor image choices, copyright infringement, poor image descriptions, no use of Rich Pins, Pins not linked to Twitter, Pinning by user, poor mix of content, flooding the stream.  rnissenbaum.wordpress.com; Tucson Social Media

    • Poor Image Choices:  Pinterest is a visually driven site.  Images that catch the eye will obviously grab more attention, get ‘clicked’, ‘liked and re-pinned.  Color, contrast, size (Pinterest offers great real estate for vertical images due to its layout) need to be considered.
    • Copyright Infringement:  Make sure you have the right to use the image.  Even if you’re re-pinning you could be pinning an image that some else did not have permission to use.   If the image was pinned by the user there is more risk.   One option for checking:
      • Click on the Pin to bring up the full image
      • Right click and choose ‘Search Google for this image’. Make sure you have the right to use the image.  Even if you're re-pinning you could be pinning an image that some else did not have permission to use.   If the image was pinned by the user there is more risk.   One option for checking: Click on the Pin to bring up the full image Right click and choose 'Search Google for this image'.
    • Image Descriptions: Think SEO.  When searching in Pinterest your Pin description will determine if your images show.  You have 500 characters for your pin descriptions.  Use them well.   I’d recommend reading 6 Tips For Writing Effective Pin Descriptions On Pinterest for some very good advice.
    •  Not taking advantage of Rich Pins:  “Rich Pins are Pins that include extra information right on the Pin itself. Right now, there are five types of Rich Pins: movie, recipe, article, product and place.”  Rich Pins make Pins more useful by adding instructions, locations, review options, real time pricing and price drop notifications, maos, phone numbers, etc.
    • Not Pinning Videos:  Videos and animated GIFs are certainly visually appealing.  Why not leverage Pinterest to Pin your YouTube videos?  One added bonus to Pinterest is the ability to change the order of or group videos (something you cannot do in YouTube).  If you have a series you can keep those videos in order.   Need another reason to Pin videos – they have their own search category.
    • Not linking to Twitter:  Simply by checking the box to post your Pin to your Twitter account you gain additional exposure.    If your description is well written and you add a good / trending hashtag within the first 80 characters you can take advantage of Twitter to drive eyeballs to your Pin (and hopefully back to your blog / website)
    • Pinned By User:  This is major mistake.  Your social media campaigns are designed, or should be designed, around driving viewers to your website / blog.  Pinning from your hard drive serves no benefit.   It also negates the use of Rich Pins.  Pinning from your computer rather than your website results in lost SEO.  When images are repinned the source of the Pin is carried forward.  Those repins allow a potentially unique group of users to see the image and link to your site.  Pinning from your blog or website is best but if you have images that simply don’t have a ‘home’ consider adding an additional page to your site as an image repository and Pin the image from there.  While the link does not bring eyes directly to a valuable page, it does get them to your site.  The alt image tag will provide valuable SEO for your site and others can find it, Pin it and increase the overall traffic to your site.  At the very least, if you upload your Pins, be sure to change the source to direct eyes to your site or blog. Pinned by user images on Pinterest limit SEO as they do not provide a link to your content.  Images pinned from your content carry the 'source' when re-pinned
    • Poor Mix Of Personal / Curated Content:  Your boards are ultimately designed to drive eyes to YOUR content but Pinterest is a social site.  Treat it accordingly.  Too much personal content can be seen as self serving and anti-social.  Pin only the content curated from others and across the web does little to show your expertise or drive eyes to your site / blog.  Strategically repinning can also boost visibility to your boards.  Aim for a good mix of content.
    • ‘Flooding The Stream’:  Be mindful when pinning.  If we go on a pinning and repinning binge your Pins will monopolize and flood the stream of those following you.  It’s rude and you will likely find your boards unfollowed.   If all of your pins are done at one time you are also limiting their visibility.  You only reach those online at that time and will need to rely on others to scroll back.  Spreading out the time of your pins means more potential eyeballs.  Be smart and spread out when and what you Pin.  While I am not a fan of scheduling, if you will be pinning frequently it’s well worth investing in a good program.The best approach is to pin throughout the day.  Doing so not only increases visibility, it will give you enough data to determine the optimal times to Pin your most valuable content.

Bonus:  Consider repinning your own images to additional boards.  It will bring them back to the top of the feed! How do your images measure up?  A good mix of content? Visually appealing?  Are you using Rich Pins?  Are they uploaded or pinned from your website or blog?

by:  Robert Nissenbaum

Comments missing?  Want to let me know what you’re thinking?  You can find this post and comment on Google+Pinterest and Facebook or simply tweet me with your thoughts!  Feel free to share too!

Posted in Marketing & Social Media, Pinterest, SEO / WPO, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments