Tuesday, 25 August 2015

5 Surefire Tips To Build Your Facebook Page

Today's post is based on a seminar presented by Liz Melville to a packed room during the Social Media and Marketing Show in Edinburgh in July of 2015. Liz have built three businesses using social media and currently runs her own Social media company helping clients to use social media effectively to generate real sales. However the trick on Facebook, as you will discover below is not to SELL, SELL, SELL. You can watch the video I took of Liz's seminar (you'll get more details by watching) or you can read the summary that is the post below. Whichever you prefer I suspect it will change the way you use Facebook.

Research your ideal customer

You need to know who is your ideal audience. Who do you want to find? You have to know who you’re looking for on social media. You might say, it’s everyone, but you would be wrong, that’s not your ideal audience. You need to think about who you really want to talk to and reach on Facebook and then tailor your message to them.

So you need to understand your customers but how to you do that? You need to use a Facebook tool called Graph Search. Now if you are not in the USA you probably will not have heard about Graph Search because it generally has not been rolled out beyond America. Do not worry, you can still access Graph Search by going to your personal profile and change your language settings to “English US” and you will have access to Facebook Graph Search. It is an amazing tool that very few people know about but will tell you all you need to know about your target market on Facebook.
Type in phrases into the search bar at the top of Facebook. For instance, “Pages liked by people who like Liz Mellville”. Obviously you would substitute your business page name for “Liz Melville”. If you want to snoop on the competition it could be a competitor’s business page name or another page where you might find your ideal customer. Facebook will return a list of other pages that your fans like so you can build a list of their topics of interest. In Liz’s case the results show that her fans are into books and literature. So it is a no-brainer that Liz ought to talk about books and literature but she could bring it back to a business context and ask her fans, “what’s the best business book you have ready lately?” By doing so she is linking it back to what she has found out about what her audience is interested in.

Other searches you could try could include “favourite interests of people who like (insert your business page name)”. You will gradually build up a profile of your ideal customer and once you have that information you will be able to decide what to talk about on Facebook. If you have local clients you can use graph search to find local client information. So type in “Pages liked by people who like (insert business page name) and live in (insert city name)”. You will get lots of information about people who live in that city who like your business page.

By using Graph Search you are able to hone in on what your audience wants to hear about. Importantly do not talk about what you want to sell but what they want to hear, that’s the key because most of the time that people are on Facebook they are not there to buy but to have a chat.

You can also like other business pages who have the same ideal client as you. Do it while logged in as your business page and start joining in the conversation on their posts. Your thumbnail profile will start to come up in those conversations, people will see what you do and they may just come across and like your page. Again don’t try and sell, you are just gradually drip-feeding into their consciousness that you are around.
A further great tool on Facebook that allows you to gain even more information about your ideal customer is Audience Insights. It will tell you everything you need to know about people (not individuals) on Facebook. Go into your personal profile, on the left hand side you will see the menu and look for Ads Manager, go in there and you will see Audience Insights. It will give you detailed information about your ideal customers, such as income levels, where they live, the car they drive, whether they are married etc. Again you can start to build up a detailed profile of who you are trying to talk to and what is happening in their lives that you can talk about.

Set some goals and measure your success

It does not really matter what it is but you should have a goal. If you do not know what you want to get out of using Facebook how will you know it is working for you? Make sure your goals are specific so that you can measure your success. So it might be…
  • ·         How many website/blog visitors you can drive from Facebook?
  • ·         How many email subscribers you can get?
  • ·         How many page likes do you want to get?
  • ·         What level of post reach do you want?
  • ·         What percentage uplift in sales?
Whatever you choose make sure it is measurable and after a set period of time see whether you have achieved your goal. This is important because this will tell you whether the cost of your time is worth it. Remember every hour you are on Facebook you could be potentially be doing something else. If Facebook is not working for you either need to adjust your approach or use your time productively doing something else.

Seek out your audience

You need to “fish” in the right place to find people you want. Again you can use Graph Search to answer:
  • ·      Which Facebook pages do your audience love?
  • ·      Which Facebook Groups might they be in? 
Here again, Graph Search is your friend. Use it to hone your customer profile and then go looking for them in the places they hang out on Facebook. For instance search “Groups joined by people who like (insert your business page name)” and then join those groups, where appropriate, join-in the conversation and occasionally mention what you do. People will get to know you and come across to your page.  

Create Attention Grabbing Content

You need the right bait to hook your customers and that’s your content. If you find that you are not getting post reach and engagement on Facebook it is not Facebook’s fault, the truth is you are not creating the right content. However the attention span of the average human is just 8sec so if you want to capture their attention quickly you need to have great headlines and images. Your post does not have to be anything to do with your business but make sure the post hits the mark with your ideal audience. For instance, if it is holiday time post a picture of an ideal holiday destination and ask, “Who wants to be here?”

Great images are like gold dust on Facebook because they grab the attention and will engage your audience. If your audience loves chocolates and you post an image of the perfect Belgian chocolate and have a headline like, “Would you share your last chocolate?” you probably have got the right bait.

It’s Facebook suicide if you try to sell, sell, sell. That’s not to say you should never sell but just follow the 80:20 rule. 80% of your content should be for your ideal customer and only 20% should be about you and your business.

So what should you be posting? How about news and topical items? Think about what is happening around you, there’s always something happening locally, national and internationally and it is all stuff you can talk about. If your ideal audience is a woman between 35 and 55 post some inspirational quotes, there is a good chance your audience will love that. You may hate it but that’s not the point, post what your ideal customer likes.

Caption competitions are a great way to get engagement. How-to videos and top-tips are very popular and you may have noticed that video is now HUGE on Facebook.
If someone has asked you a question post it and get your followers to answer the question. If you are about to launch a new product ask people what they think, people love to give others their opinion! Post links to other people’s content, you do not have to create everything yourself so reuse other people’s content. How about fan only discounts, your audience will love it. If you have a review or testimonial from a customer put it on your page, it’s great social proof. Put seasonal posts on your page, apart from the old favourites like Christmas, Easter and holidays look up those special days throughout the year. For instance September the 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, so why not create some posts in pirate lingo “me hearties, a-harr!”

If you want lots of ideas for your Facebook posts download Liz Melville's FREE e-book: 47 Fabulous Facebook Post Ideas for Coaches & Business Authors.

Use Facebook ads      

Since the start of 2015 organic impressions on Facebook have gone down by 35% year on year, which is a huge drop. Like it or not Facebook is now pay to play with paid impression up 8% year on year and rising. If you want your content to be served to your ideal customer you need to have a Facebook ads budget in place. Facebook is now one of the largest ad networks in the world and it offer you laser targeting by using “interests” when you set up your ads. During the process of setting up your ad Facebook will ask you the questions about who you want the ads to reach. Use “interests” to fine tune it. You have already done your research to identify your ideal customer, now use that information in the “interests” box.
When it comes to ad copy make sure you include your offer and the most important information right up at the top before the cut off. Ask a question, spark curiosity, or invite people to interact with your advert. Experiment with the length. Some ads work better is they are long while others are more effective if they are short. To find out what works best try A/B testing and then use the one that produces the best results. Also test your images and headlines on your ordinary non-promoted posts to see what is likely to get the most likes, comments and shares before you use them on an ad. Your image should be 1200 x 628 pixels because Facebook will then optimise it to look good and PNG files work better than jpeg. If you are using text in your image Facebook will screen it to make sure the text only takes up 20% of the image.

If you struggle with creating graphics use canva.com. Use an attention grabbing headline to get people to click and have a clear call to action. For the best results use sign-up or download as your call to action button. Remember to have a strategy for where you are going to drive the traffic. Remember to play on the pain points or the issues that your customers have – it’s always about them and not you.

  1. Research your ideal customers. Use Facebook Graph Search to discover their interests and hangouts.
  2. Have a plan. Be focused on the results you want and how you will measure success.
  3. Fish in the right pools. Seek out your audience and join in the conversation.
  4. Create attention grabbing content your clients will love and want to share.
  5. Set aside a Facebook ads budget and have a strategy for their use.

As mentioned above this post is based on Liz Melville's seminar at  the Edinburgh Social Media and Marketing Show on 8th July 2015. For a flavour of the day watch the very short video below and look out for Liz Melville at 47sec into the video.

I would like to thank Liz Melville for giving permission to use her seminar presentation and slides for this blog post and and 5TopTips for Business video. The content copyright is Liz Melville's.

Friday, 7 August 2015

How To Improve Your Public Speaking

Today I am bringing together three contributors who have provided their 5TopTips on Public Speaking, a presentation or talk. They are JillSimpson of DEVA Training, Eugene Clark from People Growth and Erick Rainey of Rainworks

If you are new to public speaking a few nerves before you do your presentation can be useful to keep you focused but do not let your nerves get the better of you. The best way to overcome the anxiety is to prepare in advance. Do not leave it to the last minute, you are doing yourself and your audience a disservice. Being well prepared will boost your confidence, calm your nerves and make your talk far more enjoyable for both you and your audience.

It’s all in the preparation
Your preparation should be like an iceberg. You only see a tiny part of the iceberg, the rest is hidden below sea level, and what you say in your talk is like that tiny part while your preparation is that huge unseen part. For every minute you speak you should think about setting aside 30 minutes to an hour for your preparation. Do your research, structure your talk, prepare any slides and practice. Use your colleagues or family to practice on and ask their advice on to judge what works and what does not. If nothing else this will help you get a handle on the length of your talk; it is easy to prepare too much material and end up failing to satisfy your audience’s expectations because you have to arbitrarily drop sections of your material. If you cannot practice out aloud in front of others record your rehearsal on your webcam or the camera on your phone, when you watch it back you will see what to leave in and what to drop.

It’s about your audience
Consider your audience. What is it they want to hear, this can be very different from what you want to say. What do you know about your audience? Use that information to judge what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. If your content is relevant to your audience they will hang on your every word. Communicate your message from an angle that will really interest your audience. The language you use should be relevant to who you are speaking to. If you are talking to a non-expert audience it is more important than ever not to use industry-speak and buzz words, if you do you will fail to communicate effectively.

What’s your purpose
Think about the purpose of your talk and have a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve. What is it you are trying to do to your audience: entertain them, persuade them or inform them? Are you selling a product, building awareness of your expertise, or trying to impress your peers? If you aren’t clear about your message from the outset, your audience certainly will not be.

Have structure
Give your talk structure. Like a good story it should have a beginning, middle and end. Most important is to have a strong introduction and a clear conclusion. If you think about movies they always open really powerfully and conclude in a strong fashion. Your speech should do exactly the same thing. Also a good way to think about your talk is the journalist’s perennial way of telling a news story. Tell the audience what you are going to say. Say it. Then tell them what you said. I do not mean repeat the same thing three times, instead it should be like this. A) Attractive, interesting or intriguing headline for your specific audience. B) The meat, detail or explanation that your audience needs or desires. C) A summary of what you said or of what your audience wanted to hear. However make sure A and C are powerfully memorable so that your audience continues to think about your message after you have finished your talk.

Have a call to action
If your intention is to have your audience do something as a result of your talk give them a clear call to action. Do not just stop speaking and hope the audience will do what you want, tem them precisely what they should do. They may be willing to do something with the information you have given them but unless you lead them they will not know what to do next. For instance, you could just say, visit my website www.toshlubekproductions.co.uk or if you have made a video of your talk and put it on YouTube you might say, “if you have found this video interesting subscribe to my YouTube for more videos”.

Less is more. Since you are the expert you will have a library of knowledge about your niche but be selective with what you share and keep it simple. A memorable five minute talk is far better than twenty minutes of boring detail. Make sure every point you make is relevant for your audience so that you fascinate them with what you are saying. Remember not to give too much away; leave them wanting more. If you are promoting something, such as a book or your service, give your audience sufficient information to intrigue them to the point where they want to know more.

Be natural
Be yourself. Your audience has come to see you not dozens of PowerPoint slides or the back of your head as you fumble at your laptop. Find your voice and your personality as you present material that you know to be engaging and relevant to your audience. Do not rush, in fact speak more slowly than in a normal conversation, and pause to allow the audience to take in what you’ve said or to stress an important point. Remember to smile and share your enthusiasm for your subject. If you show it and show that you are enjoying sharing your knowledge your audience will appreciate it and learn more because of it.

Make a connection
Make sure you make eye contact with your audience. So often people skim or scan the audience but never take time to lock in and connect with people. If you do that you will build massive rapport very quickly and win the audience over to your side.