So you’ve got a Facebook page, with a few hundred, or maybe even a few thousand likes, but you can’t understand why no one is interacting with your posts. You post frequently, you share your Facebook page with your friends & there’s a link to it on your website – but still, nothing.
What’s going on?
Well, Facebook has adjusted the way they show content in your news feed (again). The social media giant is frequently experimenting with what we see and what we don’t see, and unfortunately, business pages are often the ones to suffer. Whilst these changes have been gradual over the past few years, with the growing popularity of Facebook for Business, many page admins are complaining about their lack of organic reach.
Research conducted by Agora Pulse, shows that some industries may only have an organic reach of 7.58%, which is incredibly low. In 2012, Facebook stated that only 16% of fans see posts from a page. When you’re relying on Facebook for organic traffic, these statistics are a little concerning.
What’s their reasoning behind it?
According to Facebook, there are two main reasons.
There’s just too much content on Facebook. With growing friendship circles, and increasing page likes – it’s impossible to show Facebook users everything. The competition is high, and if your content isn’t a strong competitor, then it most likely won’t even be shown in your fans’ feeds.
Facebook actively curates posts. Building on the point above – not everything can be shown, so Facebook’s solution is filtering out the irrelevant and highlighting the relevant. With constantly evolving algorithms, users will be shown content that they’re most likely going to enjoy, favouring high quality posts. Everything else simply gets pushed to the bottom.
So is there any way of my content being shown?
Yes – and there are quite a few ways to make sure your page’s content is making its up into people’s newsfeeds.
Post at the right times
Test posting frequency
Set a budget (boost posts)
My advice? Boost your most important posts. Target who you want to see the posts and set a budget, whether it’s $20 or $100.
It’s 2017, and with the rapid evolution of technology and social media tools, it’s no surprise that services and features such as live chat widgets and chatbots are rising in popularity. With consumers expecting businesses to be available almost 24×7 and on a more human level, new social communication tools are now leading a new method of customer interaction.
Although emails, contact forms and ticket systems still have their place in many businesses (especially B2B), B2C companies are now embracing more instant forms of messaging. Whether it’s using the built-in feature of Facebook Messenger, or using a website widget, if you’re communicating with customers, you should be making the move towards instantaneous communication platforms.
Competition is fierce, and you don’t want to lose business simply because you didn’t respond in time.
The headings below will outline the benefits (and downfalls) of each platform:
With over 1 billion people on Facebook, the social media platform is one of the easiest ways to reach and communicate with new and existing customers using its Pages feature. With a separate app (called Pages Manager), you can respond to messages sent directly to your Facebook page. There’s almost no setup required, as the messaging platform is a core feature of Facebook and Facebook pages.
Here are some reasons why your business should be using Facebook Messenger (via Facebook Pages Manager) to communicate with users:
No tools required – simply install the Facebook Pages Manager app on your mobile, or access the Page Manager from your desktop computer (via Facebook on your web browser)
“Everyone” has it – Facebook Messenger is a trusted platform that’s easy to use. Users will be able to communicate with you using a familiar interface – eliminating the trickiness of backwards and forwards emails, numerous phone calls or trying to schedule appointments.
Easy on mobile – Facebook Messenger is available (and optimised) for the mobile experience. You don’t need to worry about the technicalities, that’s Facebook’s speciality.
Automation – through third party platforms, you are able to automate or semi-automate the chat experience. Automatically sending messages, responding to enquiries or collecting data.
It’s social – people want to interact with people, not a faceless business, what better way to achieve this other than social media?
Now for the negatives. Admittedly there aren’t many, because seriously, what’s wrong with communicating using modern widely adopted technologies??
It requires manpower and effort – depending on your business, you may need to hire one (or many) employees to man your social media page, handling enquiries as they come in. Because of this, it’s expensive and responding to customers is limited to the hours your employees are working. (Like many businesses nowadays anyway).
Automation platforms can be expensive – third party tools to automate the chat process often come at a price, and this needs to be evaluated from a business standpoint – what does it offer and is it worth it? Keeping in mind that automation is optional
Lack of customisation – unlike live chat widgets, emails or website forms, Facebook gives you almost no level of customisation for your messaging experience
Now onto live chat. Live chat widgets are commonly seen floating around the bottom left/right of a website (on both mobile and desktop), when clicked they bring up a window which resembles that of a Facebook Messenger conversation. Allowing website users to interact with your staff in real time whilst browsing your website. Here are the pros:
Branding and customisation – live chat software usually offers a great deal of customisation, allowing you to: pick a colour scheme, set logos and pop up images, choose when and where to display it on your site, and heaps more
Canned responses – often find yourself repeating the same information? Canned responses allow you to send predefined messages to users with the click of a button, speeding up the customer service process
Ability to capture information – live chat software allows you to have a pre-chat form, prompting users to enter certain data before initiating the chat. This allows you to store their phone, email (or whatever you like) for future reference, say for example you need to follow up on an enquiry
Reporting – important in any business environment, live chat software often allows you to monitor a variety of important stats, including: what page they entered on, how long they’ve been on the site, what browser/device they are using, and plenty more!
Screen sharing – some live chat apps even allow the user to share their screen with you, making it easy for you to guide them through a process on your website
File sharing – majority of live chat apps have a file sharing feature, making it easy to send photos, PDFs, Word Documents and more
Ticketing – unable to help the customer out through live chat? Live chat programs will allow you to assign a ticket to a particular user, making it easy to communicate with them once the chat session has ended
Categorisation – if you start to get inundated with large volumes of chat sessions, you can categorise them using tags. For example – if someone is asking about a particular product, you could tag it as the product name, and if someone had a general account enquiry, you could tag the chat with “account” (or similar). This makes reporting even easier – you’ll be able to see what users are using the live chat for, and tailor your web experience for them
Polls/feedback – once the chat ends, it’s always helpful to know whether or not the user appreciated the interaction. Different live chat apps have different setups, but usually you can gauge a user’s experience with a simple thumbs up/down poll at the end of a chat session
API integration – some live chat apps integrate with other services such as Salesforce and MailChimp. Others allow Zapier integration, which means importing/exporting data between almost any system is possible.
Wow! So many positives! There are a few cons you need to take into consideration though:
It requires manpower and effort – depending on your business, you may need to hire one (or many) employees to man your live chat software, handling enquiries as they come in. Because of this, it’s expensive and responding to customers is limited to the hours your employees are working
Last, but not least, Chatbots. Gaining in popularity, Chatbots require little to human monitoring once the system has been set up. Here are the pros of using a Chatbot over Messenger or Live Chat:
24/7 – computer code doesn’t sleep! You can answer enquiries on your website at any time of the day, any day of the year
Multiple chats – have multiple users wanting to contact you at the same time? No worries, many Chatbots can handle a few (even unlimited amounts of) enquiries simultaneously
Responses are instant – Chatbots respond using a database of predefines responses depending on their relevancy – because of this, they can reply to messages instantly
Cost efficient – depending on your needs, a Chatbot will almost always be cheaper to maintain than hiring a staff member to respond to enquiries
Potential to be fully automated – you basically don’t have to touch a single key on the keyboard, everything is handled by if-this-then-that pieces of code, and almost anything can be implemented depending on your Chatbot software
Whilst a “robot” may solve some of your problems, new issues often arise due to the lack of a human element, please consider that:
The software may need training – just like humans, a Chatbot needs to learn how to respond to questions, and a bit of initial effort may need to be put into setting up the system
Lacks a human touch and empathy – whilst you can make your predefined responses sound as friendly as possible, at the end of the day, they’re coming from a computer. Many consumers still want to interact with a human
Responses may not be specific enough – many website users turn to live chat widgets as a quick and easy way to get relevant information. If the Chatbot doesn’t understand what it’s being asked, it may send back a generic response that doesn’t help the user at all
User frustration – because of the points mentioned above, someone on your website may get annoyed and frustrated, a simple question for a human may prove difficult for a computer. Depending on how you implement a Chatbot, it may do more harm than good.
So which one is right for me?
Well it depends on your business, here are a few questions to get you thinking:
How do people currently contact my business – through social media, email or phone?
How many enquiries do I get and how frequently?
Do I usually respond with similar information, or is every enquiry unique?
What’s my budget?
Need help deciding?
Get in touch with me on social media, or click the Contact tab!
Who said you need an expensive dSLR, lighting kits and Photoshop subscriptions?! Whether you’re a social media amateur, or you’ve been in the game for a while, here are a few apps to make the best of your phone’s camera:
More than just a photo editing app, VSCO has created a vibrant community of phone photographers. It first rose in popularity due to its ease of use and filter-centric user interface, making it simple for anyone to make an average photo exciting. With a selection of free filters, all you have to do is tap to apply them, and then share the photo to your social media. There’s also an in-app store which allows you to purchase additional filters if you wish. Looking for more advanced tools? Well you won’t be disappointed with almost 20 additional image adjustments, for example: exposure, contrast, saturation, temperature, tint, skin tone, fade and more.
The app is free (in app purchases available), and is available on both iOS and Android.
Winner: best for filters
Looking for plenty of editing features, and not a fan of VSCO? Try Google’s photo editing app Snapseed. This beautifully designed app allows you to make detailed adjustments, apply filters, and enhance faces through simple swipes up and down on the screen. Similar to VSCO, Snapseed allows you to adjust basic attributes such as brightness, contrast, saturation and temperature. However, the toolkit of Snapseed far extends that of VSCO, offering tools to alter the image’s ambiance, selective focus, colour/luminance curves, white balance and more. Almost a mini Photoshop; you can use the healing tool to remove and touchup impurities in images, utilise the powers of the brush tool to make selective edits to only certain areas of the photo, and create awesome artworks with the built-in double exposure tool. You can also adjust a person’s facial features including the angle their head is facing, the size of their pupils and the arch of their smile. Admittedly, no app comes close to the filters provided in VSCO, however Snapseed provides some pretty solid competition.
Winner: best for editing options
Over (only on iOS)
Wanting to add text and graphics to your images? Look no further if you’re an iOS user. With over 10,000 graphics, fonts and images, the opportunities are almost endless. The app boasts simplicity, and is designed to easily ad text and graphics over the top of your existing images. Whether you’re making a meme, an inspirational quote post, or just want to add some text to a post, Over will do just that! A pro subscription is available and can be paid monthly or yearly if you’re looking to unlock more features. Over isn’t just limited to social media posts, and can be used to create digital and print publications such as flyers and invites.
The app is free for iOS users. And Android (in some countries).
Winner: best for design templates
The cross-platform alternative to Over is Studio Design, a free app offering almost identical features. With a slightly smaller catalogue of predefined graphics, Studio Design offers thousands of templates ready to go. Studio Design strongly advocates a remix-style community, allowing users to adjust existing creations, easily swapping out images but retaining the designs.
If you’re an iOS user, try both Over and Studio Design to see which one suits your needs – they are very similar, and it ultimately comes down to personal choice.
Phonto is another great alternative to Over and Studio Design, allowing users to add text on top of photos. Although you don’t have the option of over 10,000 predefined graphics, you do have a large selection of over 200 fonts to choose from. You also have a few advanced features such as installing custom fonts, changing letter/line spacing and adjusting colours. Perfect for keeping in line with your business’ branding. If you aren’t a fan of the cliché templates that the above too apps have to offer, then Phonto will give you the creative freedom to make adjustments without the unneeded extras of a template library and social/remixing platform.
The app is free for iOS and Android users.
If you’re after an app that offers a little bit of everything, or you have a Windows Phone, PicLab is a great option. With filters and creative overlays, you get the toolkit of both VSCO/Snapseed and Over/Studio Design at your disposal. Whilst the template library on PicLab is significantly smaller and not as customisable, there are plenty to choose from and use. Unlike the other photo editing apps, PicLab also has a collage creator built in. Allowing you to arrange multiple photos into a social media friendly single image. PicLab will export its images with a watermark, unless you pay to remove it.
Winner: best all-rounder and best (only) for Windows phone
The social media game is no longer as simple as Facebook & Twitter. With technology constantly changing, users demanding greater connectedness and online businesses looking to evolve; we now face the issue: which social media platform (out of the many that there are) is right for me?
Whilst the list of social media platforms could go on forever, I want to keep it short and informative, outlining the pros and cons of the top 6 social media networks for businesses. I’m a fan of lists and tables, so here they are:
Ability to reach a large audience – Facebook has over 1 billion users
Easy and effective tool for relationship building – customer interaction, brand loyalty
Interactions often have a snowball effect (potential to go viral)
There’s a variety of paid marketing tools available
Different levels of targeting available
Increases website traffic
Difficult to identify ghost and fake users
Time requirements – potential high workload to maintain a Facebook page
High amounts of spam/irrelevant content
Ineffective for B2B – Facebook is designed primarily for socialisation
Little control over platform
Vastly varying conversion rates
Ad targeting has the potential to go to the wrong demographics
Add a CTA in your cover photo
Customise your Facebook page with apps, and organise the tabs to suit you
Promote both lead-gen and non-lead-gen content (healthy balance between advertising and socialising)
Monitor and respond to comments quickly
Promote the page (in both free and paid ways) to get more likes
YouTube users are loyal, frequently visiting and spending time on the site
Customisable interactive content such as cards are available to complement the video
Very little content restriction, allowing free reign on ideas (keep in mind Copyright etc.)
Videos aren’t restricted in length
Sharing videos is easy for users
Affordable advertising through Google
Easy to lose viewers to the competition (suggested videos may show your competitors’ content)
Videos need to be marketed in order to be seen – organic growth is possible, but potentially difficult
Risk associated with posting content – it will either thrive or fail
The YouTube community is full of negative reviews and comments
Be warned – viewers may like the video, but not you or your value proposition
Lack of channel customisation
Targeting relies on accurate tags, which may be grouped with unrelated content
Users have short attention spans
Constantly upload new videos
Get interactive with viewers
Create effective titles
Utilise categories and tags
YouTube is about content, don’t blatantly advertise or self-promote
Consider collaborations with other YouTubers
It’s the second largest online social network
Events happen in real time – all content being posted as it happens
Paid advertising available
Affordable pricing structures
It’s easy to build your audience/follower base with the right posts
You have the potential to go viral
Twitter is a very open community, and promotes discussion (both positive and negative)
Network has stagnant growth, and continues to decline due to lack of understanding (eg. How do I use Twitter?)
Twitter is full of spam and bot automation
Occasionally, targeting may reach the wrong audience
There is so much content posted every minute, there’s a high likelihood of your content (paid or not) getting lost
Limited reporting features and tools
The network isn’t suited to all users (and therefore not all businesses)
Difficult ROI tracking
Keep it short and sweet
Use powerful visuals
Incorporate relevant hashtags (don’t use too many)
Ask questions and run polls
Retweet and reply to relevant Tweets
Simple, easy to use platform
Instagram is a relatively positive social network
Businesses are easily contactable with business profiles available (in settings)
Business profiles have access to insights and measurability reports
Paid solutions are available which include targeting options and visible/actionable CTAs
Instagram is a visual network – making it easy to build your brand identity and showcase products
It’s a fast growing platform
Location tagging and hashtags allow greater reach
Instagram algorithm means organic posts from businesses are likely to get lost
Large budgets may be needed to ensure your content is visible
Being a “business” on a photo sharing “social” network may not suit your business depending on your industry
Minimal room for additional content – captions don’t allow links and shouldn’t be too long
Sending people to specific locations can be difficult due to the inability to add links in captions
It’s easy for brands to forget purpose of Instagram (and get consumed by the social aspect of the app)
Show what you do in a creative way
Try Instagram Stories
Take followers behind the scenes
Incorporate relevant hashtags (don’t use too many)
Collaborate and mention/tag others
Build anticipation and offer exclusivity
Targeting – skewed towards females
All boards are public
Long half-life of pins
No need to leave comments to engage with others
It’s a visuals based network like Instagram – making it easy to engage with users
Allows for market research (upcoming trends)
Easy to drive traffic to external sites
High conversion rates
User base steadily growing
Target audience may be too specific
Copyright issues everywhere
Not business oriented
The original content has the potential to be lost after constant pinning
Difficult to automate
Requires a large amount of content to get noticed
No control over the path of your content – it may be used/pinned in ways that conflict the business
Content is more likely to be shared if it has more colours
Red images get more repins than blue images
Best image ratio is 2w x 3h
Brand images without faces receive 23% more repins
Don’t use it for self-promotion
Isn’t overly cluttered – the network has specific purposes
Precise targeting – main user base is business professionals
Depending on the campaign/business, it may be the “perfect match”
There is spam throughout site, and there are plenty of… odd… individuals who use the site for different purposes
High advertising costs
Low click through rates
Plan your campaign carefully – ensure that this is the right audience
Keep profile up to date with as much relevant information as possible
Post updates and articles regularly
Social media services like Snapchat are also worth mentioning, but I’ll outline whether or not you should set up Snapchat for your business in a later post.
Have questions? Please leave a comment below, or contact me using the contact form.
If you haven’t already stumbled upon the handy trick of adding to hashtags to your social media posts, now’s your chance to potentially boost your page’s views, follows and clicks. Hashtags have become a part of modern language, with almost everyone understanding what they are and how to use them. Here’s a quick resource on how to use them effectively on your business’ social media pages.
What do hashtags do?
Hashtags are essentially a form of categorisation, which allows social media users to search for content they are interested in. This makes discovering new and related content easy, and are an effective way for businesses to reach new customers.
What do they look like and how do I use them?
Hashtags turn select words into publicly searchable links. To start posting posts with your own hashtags, it’s as simple as adding the pound (#) sign in front of the word you would like to hashtag-ify. In case you aren’t entirely sure what a hashtag should look like, here’s an example: #australia and #ilovecupcakes
These hashtags are clickable, and will take users to a page/screen which displays all publicly available posts with the same hashtags. See the example scenario below for more info on searching hashtags.
Who can see and search for hashtags?
As long as your social media page/account is public, anyone can find your content based on the hashtags you use.
How many hashtags can I use?
On Instagram, you are limited to 30 hashtags per post, and with Twitter, well you have 140 characters – so hashtag sparingly. However, there is a hashtag etiquette on how and when to use hashtags, I’ll outline them below.
What are the do’s and don’ts of hashtagging?
The rules of hashtags are pretty much universal, and the following tips are almost considered gospel to many social media fanatics:
• Research your hashtags – are they popular? Who uses them? Are they suitable to your business? • Use short, concise and specific hashtags • Use hashtags sparingly (3 to 5) for the best engagement • Use hashtags that relate to the post • Brand your hashtags eg. #companyname (but don’t go overboard) • Use hashtags for competitions, live events and web events
• Use long hashtags which string multiple words together • Fill your post with #lots #of #hashtags #like #this • Use hashtags that aren’t related to the post, including posts like #followme #followback • Use hashtags that have negative connotations/posts attached to them (eg. Sexually explicit photos) • Use overly popular hashtags – your post will most likely get lost (eg. #love) • Use hashtags that belong to other brands • Use unknown acronyms
Scenario – how to search for posts with particular hashtags
Let’s say I’m looking for birthday cake ideas, and am really wanting some visual inspiration. All I’d have to do is open the Instagram app (for example), press the search tab, and search for #birthdaycakes. Now, I’m able to view all photos with the hashtag #birthdaycakes as long as the user accounts were public. I could even be more specific, and search for something like #boysbirthdaycakes, depending on what hashtags people are using.
Example posts with hashtags
Take a look at this #adorable new #puppy
Did you know that #Facebook was #founded in 2007?
A great thanks to everyone who attended my birthday party! #sweet16 #birthdayparty #bffs
A few tips
• Some hashtags have multiple meanings, and may have NSFW (explicit) photos and posts attached to them. • Hashtags aren’t just Instagram and Twitter related – many other social media networks use them! So if you see them appearing on different sites, you know hashtags are available to use.