Facebook, is it over for businesses?

Since Facebook announced the algorithm change for Business Pages, back in January, many business owners have either left the platform or have given up.

The reality is that as a small business owner we can still continue to grow on Facebook.  There are many elements available through Facebook that allow us to keep building our businesses.  You have your personal timeline, groups and YES, your Business Page.

What I have seen and heard, is that it was the larger companies, those who had larger followings, that got more affected by the change than us ‘little’ guys.  Reason being is that they had huge amounts of engagement (like/comment/shares) than we had, so the decrease in numbers were much more noticeable.

I will tell you that I personally, did not see a difference in my “number of people reached” on each of my posts, I am still averaging 600 daily reach on my posts.  Why?

I have been using Facebook for 10 years for business, with the last 6 focused on my Facebook business.  During those 10 years, I spent more time building relationships through the different groups, than anything else.  I realized the impact of this for my business, so I knew that I had to dedicate DAILY time to doing this.  I knew that my Business Page was not the ONLY thing I needed to focus on.  I also learned that my personal timeline could make a HUGE impact.

By working these 3 main elements of Facebook, it ultimately, will affect your following and your engagement on your Business Page.  People will want to follow you because you have built a relationship and in turn, they will tell their friends and your following starts to grow.  HOWEVER, this is not the only way, this is just a small fraction of what you can do.

Really think about what you are posting on your Business Page.  Does it provide value?  Is it something that will create engagement?  Does it show you as an expert in your field?  Does it show who you are/your personality?  Is it ANOTHER business promotion?

What we post on our Business Page is the KEY to creating engagement, even against the algorithm.  When people make sure that they are seeing your posts, then they are engaging, that will draw in more attention.  Facebook loves engagement, so we need to do what we can to create it.  P.S. Did you know that when you ‘share’ your Business Page posts onto your personal timeline and into groups, this is considered engagement?  

As you are growing and learning which type of posts work best, DON’T get discouraged by your numbers if they are not all great, every day.  Just keep moving forward and focus on improving what you are doing.

Here is a great article from Buffer talking more in-depth about the Facebook algorithms and some suggestions on what you can do.  READ HERE

Working Facebook for your Business

If you have decided that you are only going to use Facebook to build your business, then it is important to invest the time into it.

When I first started using Facebook, over 10 years ago, I would be on there 6 hours a day, YES, 6 hours per day. It wasn’t just about popping in and doing a post, then logging off, it was about having a plan and working it. I also recommend that you use your desktop/laptop to do the work as the Facebook App isn’t as user friendly plus it will save you time than working off of a phone.

The Daily Plan

  1. Work your personal timeline/profile to get your messages out there.
    • Post a status telling people what you are up to, what your tasks are, what you want to accomplish, what your successes are, BUT don’t sell to them.
    • Share some personal elements that you are comfortable about sharing.
    • What you don’t want to do is push your family and friends away by having them hide you in their news feeds.
  2. Go through your news feed and interact on other people’s posts, either by liking or commenting. You will want to do this numerous times throughout the day.
  3. Go to the “pages feed” tab (found on your ‘home’ tab, then down the left under the ‘explore’ tab) and scroll through and interact on other Business Pages’ posts. I like to do this once in the morning and once in the evening.
  4. Find 3-5 groups that have more of a networking element to them, and interact DAILY within these groups.
    • Ask questions, post inspiration, share ideas, share tips, post humour, promote your products/services.
    • Take the time to scroll through the Group wall and interact on other people’s post with a like and/or comment.
    • Participate in any online events the group offers, like Dance Cards, Coffee Dates, Split Lives, as this is an opportunity for you to meet more people.
    • Check the same groups at the end of the day and do more interactions.
  5. Post on your Business Page
    • There are many different opinions on how often you should post on your Business Page in one day.  For me, personally, I only post once per day, at 8 am.  I have found that this works very, very well for me, as it allows my post to be seen throughout the day.
    • If you want to post more than once per day, then I recommend you space out the posts, don’t do a whole bunch at once as you will drive your audience away.  Think about posting between 8-9 am, between 4-5 pm and after 9 pm.
    • Mix up your posts so you are not always trying to sell to people.  Post questions, inspiration, some personal elements that reflect your business, tips, humour, ideas on how to use your products/services, and of course promote.
    • Use pictures of yourself where you can, people love pictures of us.
    • Do videos to get more visibility as Facebook is a huge supporter of the video platform.
    • Keep on top of your Business Page notifications and make sure to either like/comment when people interact with your stuff.
    • You want to make sure you are also checking your messages regularly and quickly, as Facebook tracks how quick we are to answer messages and actually posts this on our pages to let the public know what our response rate is.
    • Share your posts into a variety of groups and randomly (but strategically) on your personal timeline. Facebook considers ‘shares’ as interaction, so you can help push up your reach.  Don’t do more than 7-8 shares per post as Facebook will consider it as spam and you could end up in Facebook jail for 7-10 days.

I hope this helps in giving you a daily plan to work Facebook and build your business.  Again, it is important that if you are only going to use online to build, that you work it.

I do have a free ‘daily checklist’ that you can print off that will help keep you organized, download it HERE.

 

More than just Facebook

I wish I could tell you that you only need to work Facebook to build your business, but the reality is that so much has changed in the last 8 years, that we are being bombarded with businesses on Facebook.  I have been working Facebook for probably 10 years now and way back when, it was much easier for us business owners to build and create a client base.  Now, I am not saying you can’t do it, BUT it will take you consistency, dedication, providing value, to build in the Facebook world, competition is high.

So what can you do?

There are many additional elements that can help you to build your presence on Facebook, here are just a few suggestions:

  • Blogging
  • Networking in person
  • Newsletters
  • TV Appearances
  • Magazine articles
  • Speaking events

By incorporating these different elements, you will see a growth on your Facebook.  You will start to showcase yourself as the expert in your field.  Even for those in Direct Sales/MLM businesses, you can brand yourself, create content that focuses around what you are good at and then bring your product/services into play.

My favourite has to be the networking.  I love attending a variety of events that allow me to learn, to socialize, to get my message out there.  I believe that if I have made an impact, then you will find me on Facebook, whether it is my personal profile or my business page.

Start putting a plan together about how you are going to sell YOU, how you are going to create a presence.  Make a list of your best qualities, what value you can offer and incorporate that into your plan.  Get out and do speaking engagements (not to sell your product/service but to teach others).  Start writing a blog and reach out to others and offer to be a guest blogger for them.

Don’t get frustrated with the world of Facebook, you can still build BUT add more pieces to the puzzle.  Plan your monthly calendar to how you are going to implement the different elements that will help you to create more of a presence on Facebook.

P.S.  If you feel you don’t have the time to do anything more than Facebook, then be sure to check out my Facebook Marketing for Small Business Owners document!!  This document is FULL of marketing ideas for your personal timeline, groups and business pages.  It will help you to get more out of the world of Facebook!!

Your investment is ONLY $19.97 +hst ($22.57 Cdn)

Marketing Document FB Post Visual

CLICK HERE to purchase!!

How do you keep growing?

Okay, so here is the deal, I have been working my Facebook business for almost 5 years now (however, have been working Facebook to build for about 10 years now) and can happily say that I have a really great following of people who are truly interested in what I have to offer.

So how did I do this?  Well, it was all about providing value to my audience.  Providing tips that can help them work Facebook, ideas for thinking outside the box, my personality (I like that one the best lol) and just being “real”.

Most of you are probably just starting out using Social Media and I want you to know that it does get easier to grow as you work it.  It won’t happen overnight (YES, I know there are a TON of people out there that can sell you programs that will INSTANTLY grow your business, but I have my doubts on that).  The reality is that it takes time BUT you have to give more than just what you are posting on Social Media.

Over the last 5 years, I have created my website, created FREE downloads/opt-ins, created new packages, started blogging, doing speaker engagements, being a guest writer, invested in a Mastermind program, joined networking groups…..get where I am going with this?  You can’t just rely on Social Media to build your business to the level you ultimately want to build.

If you are looking to just make some extra money each month, then Social Media can work for you and you may not have to go the extra mile BUT if you are looking for so much more, you really have to think about what else you can offer.

As I have continued to grow, I realized that I offer a TON of free elements and of course my online training but didn’t really have a package that provided value at a lower price.  Soooooo, after talking to a few people, I worked on a new package that focuses on marketing in the world of Facebook.  I have to admit, I am pretty excited about this package as it is set at a very reasonable price that will help ALL small business owners to market their business.  It has them thinking differently about how they are going to market themselves and their business within personal profiles/timelines, groups and business page.  (Watch my Facebook Business Page for more).

So my message to you here, is to always think about how you are going to continue to grow, don’t just rely on one source to grow your business.  You need to layer it, keep adding more value on top of each layer YET have them all tie in together.

 

My trip to Italy

As many of you know, I had the opportunity to travel to Italy the last week of May, with my Mastermind Group.  The Mastermind Group was an investment I made, a year ago, to relook at my business and how to move forward and implement new elements/strategies.  This was a HUGE impact to my business and it allowed me to grow by leaps and bounds, the BEST investment I ever made!!

While in Italy, there were a couple of business elements that I wanted to do (even though, I have to admit, most of the trip was all about fun and seeing this beautiful country, Amalfi Coast was my absolute favourite!!)

We don’t tend to think of how a trip can be incorporated into our business but with the world of Social Media, it can make a big impact.  I did regular Live videos, just to check in and keep my relationships building as they journeyed with me, through my eyes.  I also took a variety of photos (some were selfies) that I can use as I move forward in my business.  The idea is to add quotes, my thoughts, my tips, to these photos which can be used on Facebook and Instagram (those are the two social media sites I focus on).

BUT, the BIGGEST thing that I did, was a 4 recorded video series that I will use as a FREE opt-in.  The video series is introducing my Facebook Online Training Program.

  1. Introducing the Facebook Online Combo Training
  2. The Experience and Impact for other Small Business Owners
  3. Who I am and what I can do for you
  4. Details of the Facebook Online Combo Training

My plan is to use this video series across the world, to introduce me and what I can offer to those who do not know I even exist lol

Here is a sample of one of my videos

So, when you are travelling, think about ways that you can bring your journey into your business.  Yes, the trip can be fun, but it only takes a few minutes, each day, to bring a business element to it.

Happy travels!!

Facebook LIVE – Should YOU be doing it?

For many of you that follow me, you know that I am currently doing a 30 day LIVE Challenge on my business page, that was given to me by my Mastermind Coach, Fay Chapple.

The whole idea is that we need to provide value and be consistent in getting ourselves out there.  What is actually AMAZING about this, is the interaction that has been created!!  Between the likes/comments/shares, my stats have increased, within the last 7 days:

  • Daily reach has increased by 114%
  • Post Engagement has increased by 69%
  • Page Likes have increased by 56%
  • Page Views have increased by 35%
  • My videos have been seen by over 5,000 people

Soooooooo my question to you is “Why are you not doing Live videos?”

I think I know the answer to this question:

  • It is out of your comfort zone
  • You will make too many errors, stumble on your words
  • You don’t know what to say
  • Worried that nobody will watch you live

Okay…….let’s address these concerns:

  • Baby steps – Start with small videos and grow them as you push yourself out of your comfort zone
  • We want YOU to be real, to be YOU, so just let it happen and laugh at when you stumble (I do it all the time)
  • What can you say?
    • Reach out to your clients, your audience, your friends and ask them for some ideas of what they would be curious to learn about
    • Talk about different tips that can help them
    • Do some “food for thought” around words and what they mean
    • Show yourself out networking
    • Talk about quotes that resonate with you and why
    • What events are coming up
    • How do you keep motivated/inspired
    • How do you organize your life
    • Show them some of your daily rituals (like walks)
  • I do my Live videos first thing in the morning and I MIGHT get 1 person but I don’t worry about it because the videos are recorded and people will watch later when they have time

There!!  I have taken away your excuses, so go out there, make a commitment and start doing some Live videos.  I am challenging YOU to do one week (YES, only 7 days) to get your feet wet.

P.S.  I would love for you to reach out to me and share what your stats are when that week is over 🙂

Importance of a Great Personal Branding Photo – Guest Blog by Mark Alousis

Hello everyone, my name is Mark and I am the owner of Mark Alousis Portrait in Toronto. I take modern, magazine style portraits and headshots. Think Vanity Fair or GQ style for the everyday men and women.   In this post I will talk about the importance of a professional head shot as well as a few tips to get the best results from your shots. 

When someone gets a contact from a friend or business  associate, what is the first thing they do?  In most cases people either Google them or check out their social media profiles on Facebook or Instagram. If they have any sort of online presence you will most likely find their profile picture. Now, what impresses you more, a cropped, grainy photo of them at a recent wedding, a “selfie” in their bedroom, or a headshot taken by a professional?  

I don’t have enough fingers or toes to count the number of times I’ve come across profile pictures of business people that are clearly from a wedding (or funeral ;-)).  You know the one… the one where they have their arm around someone who is cropped out of the picture, or the one of them in a nice suit or dress with a cocktail of some sort in hand. Not the best impression for potential clients or employers.  

 

When I first started learning about the professional headshot about 5 years ago, one thing that stuck with me was “confident yet approachable”.  That could mean a bit of a smile, a bigger smile or a certain “look”. Whatever that is, your photographer should be able to get that out of you, because that is what you are paying a professional for. 

 

Some clients say to me “ugh, I hate getting my photo done, I’m not photogenic”! My response to everyone is the same. I tell them to let me take care of that! You don’t have to know how to move, or pose, or “look good” because I will pose and move you, right down to your last finger!   

 

I advise my clients to avoid patterns and crazy colours if possible as they can be a bit of a jerry_blog (2 of 2)-3.jpgdistraction. BUT – if that is your brand or the image you want to portray then go all in on that.   When I do my pre-shoot consultation I recommend that my clients bring 2-3 outfits that we can mix and match to get different looks so they have some variety to choose from.  

fujiki_family_social-27.jpg

Hair and makeup? Absolutely! I recommend it to all of my clients, as it takes out a stressful step for some, but also gets you the right type of look for a photograph. I tell my clients if they are doing their own makeup to be sure to use a matte finish so there is not too much shine on the skin. 

 

My clients always get their top three shots from a session.  This allows us to get a few different looks to use across your social media or profiles. For example, you may need a  more formal image for LinkedIn, whereas Facebook and Instagram can be a bit more casual. It is also good to change up your profile picture from time to time to keep things fresh.  

 

I hope you would agree that a great headshot is key to  putting your best foot forward online. If you have any questions about Personal Branding  please feel free to email info@markalousis.com or call me at 416-278-4259 to chat.  

 

Thanks to Tammy for asking me to write this blog and I hope to see some of you in the studio in the future!  

Thanks, 

Mark