What happened and where do we go?

2018 brought us LOTS of disappointment with Facebook as they continued to get hacked from a variety of stand points and had us dealing with leakage of our personal information (just as a side note, Facebook was NOT the only ones doing this).  It also brought us many changes that as business owners, we had to figure out how to adjust.  Numbers are just not the same anymore, and we all had to get creative on how to get more visibility without investing in Ads.

With the decline in visibility to our Business Pages, many started incorporating more layers to what they were already doing, like Blogging and Newsletters.  We also saw many more groups get created that were managed by Business owners and their potential client base as it allowed us to get more personal and focus on building relationships to turn them into a hot client.

To move forward, we really don’t have a choice anymore….

  • we HAVE to get consistent
  • we HAVE to provide more education around our products/services
  • we HAVE to add more layers to what we are already doing
  • we HAVE to focus on building relationships through our personal timelines and groups
  • we HAVE to network
  • we HAVE to share our Business Page posts into the different groups to get more reach
  • we HAVE to stop selling all the time and focus on providing value

If you truly want to use Facebook to build a business, then you MUST commit to it.  You MUST schedule time on your calendar to do what you need to accomplish and STICK to it.  You can’t build if noone is seeing you.

 

 

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.

 

Facebook Groups

With the algorithm change to our Facebook Business Page and not getting the reach we once got, it is time for you to think about creating a group that you can build up to a hot market.

There are a couple of ways to get a group started:

  1. Offer a FREE challenge and use the group to run the challenge and then build from there
  2. Reach out to your existing clients and ask them to join your groups for additional information, specials, relationships building
  3. Post on your timeline, business page and other groups, telling people the benefits of joining your group

Within this group, you want to focus on building relationships, getting people talking and upselling yourself.  Make the group interactive with a variety of mini challenges, education, and questions.  Don’t focus on always trying to sell a product/service, otherwise people will leave the group.  It is really about taking this market and continuing to build and educate so that they do purchase additional products/services as well as refer you to their friends.

Facebook has upped the game with groups, so now is the time to take advantage.  They have added a “topics” element that you can use for each post, making it easier for people to find a group of posts around a specific topic.  They have also introduced the option to have 10 announcements pinned to the top of the wall (this can be a very strategic move on your part on what you put into these announcements, so think long and hard about it).  Take advantage of the “welcome” style option that allows you to create a post whenever any new members join the group (this shows the other members that there is growth but also makes the new members feel welcomed).

Groups can be a fantastic compliment to your business page, so take some time and work out a marketing plan on how you are going to develop this group, content, mission, goals and get building those relationships.

P.S.  I do have a FREE download on “The Why and How to for Creating Groups”, so start with that 🙂      Sign Up Here!!