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Local Business? Verify Your Facebook Page

If you have a local business, you are in for a nice new treat from Facebook. You can now display a verified badge on your Facebook page. Pretty exciting news from a platform who hasn’t made it exactly easy for businesses to get noticed without advertising.

Although this is only applicable to local businesses with a physical address, Facebook does plan to eventually roll out verified badges to all business pages in the future. If you have a physical address on your Page, the verified icon will be a small gray check mark as opposed to the blue one you see with celebrities, public figures and large companies, etc;. 

A verified facebook page will give you authenticity and SEO benefits.Click To Tweet

The local business verified badge began rolling out in the United States, the UK Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and others will follow shortly.

To see if you’re able to verify your Facebook page, simply go to your Admin settings in the top right corner of your Facebook page and look for the verification option. You’ll have the option to verify your page with your your business’ publicly listed phone number. You can also verify by uploading an official document like a phone bill. This process takes a few days. I was able to verify a client’s page in a couple minutes with the phone number option.

Here’s a breakdown of the steps to take to verify your local business’ Facebook page:

  1. Click Settings at the top of your Page
  2. From General, click Page Verification
  3. Click Verify this Page, then click Get Started
  4. Enter a publicly listed phone number for your business, your country and language
  5. Click Call Me Now to allow Facebook to call you with a verification code
  6. Enter the 4-digit verification code and click Continue

facebook page

Facebook is offering this feature to help verify your page as authentic. This will distinguish legitimate businesses from fake pages who may pose as your business. This feature is also designed to help you show up higher in search results.

Verified pages will also be able to access the new feature Facebook LIVE, a new video streaming feature.

Read more about the new local business verified badges in this post from Marketing Land.

Using Facebook To Build Your Email List

Many small businesses, professionals and solopreneurs have been using Facebook to connect with their customers and potential customers. But over the past several months, Facebook has made it difficult for businesses to make connections and build relationships. Facebook has admittedly caused a decline in organic reach with many seeing reach plummet to single digit percentages. Some even reporting 1%. And some speculating that the reach will become zero as Facebook is becoming less of a social platform and more of an advertising platform.

So what can you do to connect with those people you have worked to get to “like” and follow your page? Email marketing!

Email marketing allows the opportunity for your audience to get to know you better, your business, what you do, what you have to offer. You can really showcase your expertise. Facebook’s algorithm limits what people see from pages unless you advertise, so you can’t just post to Facebook and expect that those followers are seeing your posts. Email marketing can grab the attention of readers and hold it longer than you likely would on Facebook.

Here’s a few things you can do to get them to sign up for your newsletter:

1. Set up A Sign Up Application

While apps are a great way to direct traffic, your fans have to know it’s there. Not many of your fans are interacting directly with your page, so you have to point them there.  But you can’t point them to a place that doesn’t exist, so you have to set up the app. Your email marketing program whether it’s Mail Chimp, Constant Contact or AWeber will have an application that you can connect to your Facebook page.

email marketing

2. Promote

Have promotions  on Facebook that encourage email signs ups. Remember that email marketing is much like social media when it comes to getting people on board. What’s in it for them? Keep in mind that your promotion has to offer them a good reason for signing up to join your email list. An offer to sign up for an e-book for example will give you a list of those who are really interested in the type of content that you have to offer. This will help you not only grow your list but grow a list of the type of people who have an interest in your particular area of expertise.

3. Make Email Special

Give your subscribers something to look forward to. Make your emails different from what you are giving them on Facebook. Offer more detailed, focused tips and information. Send out announcements to your email subscribers first, even before you send it out on social media. Focus on what it is you can offer your readers exclusively through your e-newsletters.

Social media is a great place to start with relationship building. But ultimately, you want to further the relationship through email as well as your website. Social media changes all the time. Facebook could change. It’s out of your control. But your email list is something you can always have access to and can control. Email marketing is an opportunity you absolutely must take advantage of.

 

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Facebook Brand Page Redesign

Keeping in line with all things social media, Facebook has announced a big change. Facebook previewed a new redesign for brand pages. The change will begin rolling out slowly and will happen officially on March 27th.

This redesign is focused on giving you a simpler Facebook experience.

Facebook indicates that the new redesign will, “make it easier for people to find the information they want and help Page admins find the tools they use most.” Here are some of the most significant updates with this new redesign:

Single Column Display:

One of the most notable changes is that Facebook will now display all of your page’s posts in a single column, rather than the two-column display that took our eyes and brain signals months to get used to took some getting used to before.  I can definitely live with this.

Business Info On Left Sidebar:

The left-side column will feature important information about your business: location, hours, phone number, website, and any photos or videos you’ve posted.

Tabs On Left Sidebar:

When Facebook first previewed the redesign a lot of marketers panicked, worrying that the new redesign eliminated tabs. It was then reported by some  that tabs would be moved into a dropdown menu. Now Facebook is saying that tabs with images, will be listed beneath your business info on the left sidebar.

Better Admin Tool Access:

Facebook is removing the rather large admin panel from the top of Pages and adding a more simplified view of your activity from the week in a feature called “This Week”. It will include Page Likes, Post Reach, Notifications, and paid ad information. Facebook is also adding new navigation options displayed at the top which will make it easier to access your activity, insights and settings.

Pages to Watch For All Admins:

With this features, admins can create a list of pages similar to theirs, and compare their performance.

I’ve heard several people express concern about the tabs being moved. Personally, I don’t see it as much of a problem. If you have set up applications for these tabs you know that they don’t get much visitation without a whole lot of work. You have to point people to them. You will just still have to continue to do that to get results no matter where they’re located on the page.  People interact with you in the news feed, hopefully, if they see your posts, but that’s another story. It is  very unlikely that visitors go directly to your page.  With that being the case, they’re also not going directly to your custom apps. You have to take them there.

Because people aren’t thinking of your page specifically when they log on to Facebook you have to do your part to remind them to go there.  Always include a link in your email newsletters. Share links on your other social networks to help drive people to your Facebook Page. While the look of Facebook pages has changed, the work you put into them will not. So don’t forget to do those important extra things to keep people interacting with your business on Facebook!

 

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How To Effectively Invite People To Like Your Facebook Page

You’ve set up your Facebook page and now you’re ready to tell the world that your business is on Facebook. You’ve started inviting, you’ve sent notifications through Facebook’s admin panel and you waited for them to come.  Are they coming a little slower than you expected?  Recently, someone tagged me in a post on Facebook where they were inquiring about how to get people to like your Facebook page. They were looking for a way to invite the masses more quickly without having to go through one by one to invite your friends. But is inviting the masses the best strategy? Gaining likes requires an  effective invitation and valuable content.

What you must realize about social media is that it is not at all about you. It’s not about your business and it’s not about your page. It’s about them. Think about it this way. How many times have you gotten a notification that “Friend XYZ” has invited  you to like their page “XYZ’s Business”? Do you like the page? Always? Sometimes? Never? If I receive a notification that a really good friend of mine wanted me to like their page, then yes, I would. If it was just one of my Facebook friends who is a friend of a friend of a friend, then chances are, I won’t. The people who you have some sort of established relationship with are most likely the first ones to like your facebook page once you’ve invited them. Otherwise, you’ll have to consider, what’s in it for them?

One of the most effective ways to invite people to like your Facebook page is by inviting them with an explanation of why they should like and follow your page. What value are you providing? What knowledge can they expect to gain? What is the benefit to them? I tell my potential followers that they can expect to receive tips about marketing their business on social media sites, particularly teaching them tips and skills to shorten the learning curve as many of my followers are entrepreneurs who don’t have the time to do their own research into tools and information that will help them integrate social media into their marketing strategy. Think about what it is you have to offer. Are you a travel agent who shares informations on deals and tips to specific destinations? Are you a cruise specialist? What valuable information can you share? Are you someone who specializes in teaching people how to manage their finances better and can give money saving tips and share resources to help them accomplish their financial goals? Think of the value you present to your audience and communicate what that is.

Leverage the audience you already have. Do you have a list of email subscribers? Invite them to your page with an email telling them what you plan to offer on your Facebook page and why they should follow your updates.

Ask influencers that you know. If you have a great relationship with someone who is an influencer, you can tap into their influence by asking them to share your page with people they think will benefit from what you have to offer.

Invite your Facebook friends or followers from other networks. Share your Facebook page, and explain what your page is about and how it will benefit your audience. Growing a community is about relationships and trusts. Leading with value is a great start.

How To Combat Facebook’s Organic Reach Problem

As marketers, we have been grumbling about Facebook’s organic reach for quite some time. We have long suspected Facebook’s goal to have businesses pay for their content to be seen. Promoted posts and ads are nothing new.  We’ve all watched a decline in organic reach of our content. What was once deemed as the best type of content to share, images, has taken a hit as well. Posting links seems like a sure way to make sure your content does NOT get noticed. Despite Facebook’s assurance that they want to favor great content particularly links.

So what can you really do about Facebook’s organic reach?  Do you pack up and give up? Do you stay and fight? The truth is, social media changes. Often. You have to be ready to adjust.  So I started paying particular attention to one of the pages I manage in regards to organic reach. This particular page has over 3500 likes.

What I noticed over the last 3 weeks is that text posts are performing best with organic reach.  While links with previews were averaging a reach of 100 – 200 people and even in one instance as low as 47, text posts were reaching an average of about 750 people.  Images were not performing as well except in a few instances. One in particular was a graphic that reached over 1,000 people.

After taking a closer look at the analytics of each post over the last few weeks here were my takeaways:

Images can still work. You just have to determine what your audience responds to best. Which images are going to most likely generate a like or comment. That may take some trial and error.

You have to post at optimal times. For this page, people are most likely to be online during lunch hours or after dinner hours, eastern standard time. You may not be around in the evening, but your audience just may be. You must consider that.

It may be frustrating to reach less people, but Facebook is still the social network that houses MOST people.  While you shouldn’t neglect other social networks,  it is probably not a smart strategy to leave Facebook altogether.  Instead, leverage other means to  reach your customers  and drive traffic to your page:  build your email list! You should still be taking advantage of your subscribers who want to  receive your regular updates such as a monthly newsletter.  Tell your audience in your emails where they can find you online and encourage them to visit your page beyond the newsfeed. Include your links where appropriate so that you can make it easy for your audience to reach you.

I encourage you to check out this recent post on Facebook’s organic reach from fellow Social Solutions Collective author, Jenn Herman on her Jenn’s Trends blog where she took an innovative approach to the science of her own Facebook Newsfeed.

The bottom line is, you have to adjust, be creative and find ways to make Facebook work.  Marketing your business is not easy.  Strategize, test what works, use that and execute. It’s a battle, but you can still achieve your victories with the right approach.

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6 Social Media Marketing Tips To Make You More Effective

6 Social Media Marketing Tips
6 Social Media Marketing Tips
Social Media Marketing is a broad subject that covers many aspects: branding, engagement, social networks, SEO, etc;. It is an industry that is constantly evolving and growing. Constant changes and improvement to technology, new networks popping up, and new features being added, it can be overwhelming at the very least. When you’re new to social media, it’s hard to even know where to begin.

One of the things that I like to do for my audience is offer tips. I give valuable “nuggets” given in short summations to help shorten the learning curve of social media marketing.

Today I would like to share with you 6 Social Media Marketing tips that I have shared with my audience that seems to resonate well with them and help make them be a little mroe effective in their routine marketing efforts.

1. When Posting your links on your status updates, make your link more clickable by telling people why the content is valuable to them. Post the link with a little line telling them why it’s important for them to click it and read it.

2. Focus on Quality not Quantity with your followers. Millions of fans who have zero interest in your services add zero to your business value and bottom line. Build your relationships one connection at a time.

3. Go where your audience is. Don’t set up shop on a platform and hope your audience shows up. Find out where your target audience hangs out and discover how your business can add value.

4. Don’t neglect the simple techniques that can draw people to your social sites. Be sure that you are adding links to your sites in your email signatures and marketing materials.

5. Don’t try to “wing it” on social media. In order to be effective, you need a strategy. Make a plan. Decide what your goal is and determine how you will reach that goal on a monthly, weekly and daily basis.

6. Online relationship building is like offline relationship building: It takes time. It’s a long term commitment. Overnight success simply doesn’t exist. You must put in the daily efforts that lead you to reaching your goals. Put your time in. Consistency is key.

A few months back, my business partner and I put together an infographic to help guide you when crafting your posts on social media. You can view that information here: Social Media Marketing Posting Best Practices.

What tips or lessons have you learned since using social media marketing? I would enjoy getting your feedback or tips based on your experience. Please share in the comments below!

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