Griffiths web design based in Royston, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom


Social Media

Facebooks algorithm is changing again. Learn how your small business can stay ahead!

[hdlg]Recently there has been an announcement that the Facebook algorithm is changing. There are business owners all over the globe right now in a panic because they think their company is going to drop off of the Facebook map.[/hdlg] [postpic=fbchangesagain.png class=img-responsive center-block title=Facebooks algorithm is changing again. Learn how your small business can stay ahead of the competition on Facebook in 2018. alt=Facebooks algorithm is changing again. Learn how your small business can stay ahead of the competition on Facebook in 2018. - By Michael Griffiths of Griffiths Web Design style=STYLE][/postpic] [hdmd]Are you one of the millions in a flap right now? Are you worried that your journey with Facebook is coming to an end? [/hdmd] [l]Well fear not because I have some good news for you. Yes the algorithm is changing, yes the business orientated posts will get reduced reach, but no this does not mean your business has to suffer. In fact the purpose of the update to the algorithm is supposed to increase the quality of the content on Facebook. If you are posting quality content that your audience is loving then you have nothing to worry about. [/l] [l]If however you are a bit of a spammer then you need to watch out as your days of spam glory are drawing to a close. But don’t worry because I am here to help you wean yourself off the spam and start making decent content that someone other than your mum and your wife will want to read. [/l] [l]The first thing we need to look at is your strategy. What is your ultimate goal when it comes to using Facebook? Is it to earn more money? Generate more custom? Build up brand authority? [/l] [l]For most of us it’ll be all of the above, although the first one (about more money) will be the number 1 reason. So we have: [/l] [unord] [item][l]Earn more money.[/l] [/item] [item][l]Generate more customers.[/l] [/item] [item][l]Build up brand authority.[/l][/item] [/unord] [l]Awesome we have a clear set of goals to move towards but now what? At this point I want to state that although you will feel like earn more money is the most important goal it is not. The most important goal for your business when using Facebook is to build authority, so that is what we will concentrate on. More customers, and therefore more money, will follow on organically when you have built up some authority. [/l] [l]Our next step is to figure out how we can break down our main goal into small, manageable chunks. We need to break it down so that we can do 1 or 2 things a day to gradually move towards it. So to build authority what can we do every day that will push us towards the goal? Posting regularly and having something worth saying.[/l] [hdmd] What makes something worth saying? To figure that out we need to take a moment to think about the purpose of Facebook. What is Facebook really meant to be used for? [/hdmd] [l]Socialising is the number 1 (and 2, 3, 4, etc.) point of Facebooks existence. It is meant to facilitate communication between people regardless of their geographical location. With that in mind I want you to think about something else, when you go to the pub for a drink with friends do you fly into sales mode and start flogging your gear to your friends? Obviously the answer to that is no, unless you hate having friends. However when talking to your mate Dave at the bar he tells you that he is looking at new houses and he has found one that he loves. For the sake of the example let’s pretend that you are a mortgage advisor. Dave wants this new house and you now want to help him get the right mortgage for him. At this stage we have identified everyone’s position within the conversation, we have established that there is a need, and now we need to fulfil said need. “Alright Dave”, you say, “I can help you with that mortgage if you’re game?” [/l] [l]There is a brief pause as Dave takes a large gulp of his drink and buggers off home, “Sorry lads but I came out for a beer, not a mortgage”. Everyone agrees that at the bar is not the place for that conversation, Dave goes home, and everyone’s night has been ruined by your need to sell. [/l] [l]Obviously you wanted it to go down differently, who wouldn’t right? So let’s rewind a little and go back to the point where Dave tells you all about this beautiful new house he saw today. Your aim at this point is to keep the conversation going but in a social and casual way so that it doesn’t feel like a sale. You ask Dave a few questions about the house, did the wife like it? Is there enough room for the children? Will the dogs like the garden? And most importantly, is there a pub nearby? [/l] [l]You have showed an interest, not in making a sale but in Dave’s life. He’s your friend and you’ve let him know that you DO give a shit. The conversation begins to move on to other topics but just before it does you let Dave no that you are more than happy to help him find the right mortgage for him with a couple of friendly tips, and that you know a decent surveyor (and anything else you might need to buy a new house). Dave knows you and he trusts you but at this point the last thing he wants to talk about is how he is going to spend the next 30 years paying off a mortgage. [/l] [l]It’s now Monday morning and Dave’s wife is talking about that beautiful house they went to view last week. She’s telling Dave that she’d love to be able to move in as soon as possible. Dropping not so subtle hints that Dave needs to take action. With this Dave’s mind starts to tick over and he suddenly remembers the conversation you had with him in the pub the other night. So Dave, because he already trusts you, picks up the phone and calls you. He has at this stage already decided in an emotional capacity that you are the person to help him with his problem. From there the conversation is converted into a sale. [/l] [l]When using social media to have those chats it works in exactly the same way. People want to be able to make a personal connection to you before they feel safe enough to buy. They will form that connection through your posts, mostly on your personal page. They want to know that you are their sort of dude/dudette. They will see your business page and move from there to your personal profile to do a bit of what is known as Facebook stalking. Don’t worry Facebook stalking is a little different to real world stalking. All I really mean by Facebook stalking is that people will have a good old nose through your personal page to decide whether they like you or not. [/l] [l]Your ideal customer is having a good long look at your personal profile. If they are greeted with buy this, buy that, and all sorts of other spam it will put them right off. If, on the flip side of things, they come to your personal page and there is a steady stream of posts that show that you are in fact a human being and not just a company. They may even read one of your harrowing stories about how the washing machine stole 1 out of every pair of socks you own and think to themselves, “that right there is somebody I can relate to”. [/l] [l]This person, your ideal customer, has decided that they like the look of you and would like to investigate further. It’ll start with a like or 2, maybe a comment here and there, to which you will obviously reply to and engage with. You even go as far as repaying the favour so to speak by engaging them on their posts. Before long you’re sending friend requests and chatting in messenger. At this stage the person in question has formed a relationship with you and trusts you. [/l] [l]When you have built this relationship you have just achieved the very thing that Facebook was set up for in the first place. Awesome, well done you. We now have the point of Facebook for business down to a tee so let’s head back to the big question: [/l] [hdmd]What should I post?[/hdmd] [l]People love a story, if we didn’t the movie industry wouldn’t be so enormous. But I think it goes deeper than just appreciating stories. We need stories, it’s at the very root of civilisation. Long before any written word stories were passed down verbally from generation to generation. Things are no different now. [/l] [l]The point I was attempting to get to is that when people see you on social media they want to know your story. I’m not saying they want your unabridged autobiography in their newsfeed, what I am suggesting is this: Every moment in time can be turned into a story, a micro story if you will. Even the most mundane of daily tasks can become part of your story. People want to know what you think and feel, they want to experience your trials right alongside you. In doing so it makes them feel better about their own lives knowing that out there in the big wide world is a dude or dudette who really understands them and is totally relatable. [/l] [l]Tell us about your day and how it made you feel. Tell us about how your children are like little demons at home then absolute angels whenever they are elsewhere. Tell us about how the car is making a funny noise that’s reminiscent of a trombone underwater. Tell us about how you went all the way to the supermarket only to realise you are still wearing your slippers and your dressing gown looks ridiculous under your coat. Tell us about the things that mean something to you. Tell us about the things you stand for. Tell us about the things you stand against. [/l] [l]When it comes to your business page the same is also true. They haven’t come to your business page to see spam, they have come to see that your business does in fact have personality. So tell us your business’s story. Tell us about those silly cold calls you get from people offering you the very service you provide. Tell us about your upcoming projects. Tell us a few war stories from your time doing whatever it is you do. Tell us about what your company values are. Tell us something that is useful to us, i.e some hints and tips. Tell us about your good times and your bad times. Tell us what you are up to in the office today. Tell us about that interesting new client of yours. Tell us about other services you think we may benefit from. [/l] [l]Tell us anything you like, just don’t tell us: “Buy product x blah blah blah”, that is unless you enjoy not being able to sell your product or service. We are all seeking human connection and your target audience is no different. They would love to connect with you as long as they see the real you and not some fake bs version of you. [/l] [hdmd]What’s stopping you from achieving your social media success?[/hdmd] [l]Your audience on social media is ready and willing to experience the highs and the lows with you, which they can only do if you share with them. In 90% of cases the number 1 cause of people struggling with social media is fear. Fear that people don’t want to listen to what you have got to say. Fear that you might look a little silly. Fear that you’re just not good enough. Fear that people might see that you are not perfect. [/l] [l]Does this sound like you? Are you frightened of showing the real you on social media? Then coaching may well be the way forward for you. I offer a social media coaching service through which I can help you plan a strategy that works for you, and most importantly one that you feel comfortable implementing. [/l] [hdmd]For small businesses there are a couple of different social media coaching options available:[/hdmd] [ord] [item] [l]The full coaching package (£300 per month) – Weekly coaching calls to plan, strategize, and review. On-going email and telephone support. Continual monitoring of your social media. Kicks up the butt when you need them and praise when you don’t. [/l] [/item] [item][l]Individual coaching sessions (£50 per session) – These sessions are ideal if you just need a nudge in the right direction. Together we will figure out which strategy will be the most effective for you and your business. We will also discuss how you can then go off and implement said plan on your own. [/l] [/item] [/ord] [hdsm]If you would like to get in touch to discuss how you could benefit from social media coaching then please send me a message via the contact form on the following page:[/hdsm] [c][url=]Social media coaching and other enquiries[/url][/c]

How to grow your business on Facebook by writing the perfect post

[postpic=sky2grassbg.png class=center-block img-responsive title=How to grow your business on Facebook by writing the perfect post alt=How to grow your business on Facebook by writing the perfect post by Michael Griffiths of Griffiths Web Design style=STYLE][/postpic] [l]This guide will teach you how to structure and use your posts on your Facebook to increase engagement and grow your small business. Facebook is becoming a monster. Over 2 billion active users. Wow that’s a lot. Because it is such a busy marketplace it has never been more important to stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately it has also never been so difficult to stand out… But it doesn’t have to be. So far you have been posting to your business page all your services and/or products but it has been less than successful. You are probably thinking about ditching Facebook all together for your business, and who could blame you? You’ve only got a few likes on the page, which came from your mum and dad, you’re getting little to no engagement on any of your posts, and you are definitely not getting any work through it. You’ve got 200+ friends on your personal profile yet you never post about business on there. I get it you want to keep your personal page personal and you don’t want to annoy your friends and family with advertising etc. I’ve been there, it sucks. Here’s a question for you, if you only have 20 likes on your business page and (on average) less than 10% of those people are even going to see it (so at the most 2 people) what is the point in posting it in the first place? Why waste time and energy on such a low number of potential clients? You have untapped contacts on your personal page. These are people that you know are going to listen to what you have to say, people that already have a certain level of trust in you and people that will be willing to engage with your posts. You have the network already in place, so USE IT!!! Now I’m not saying abandon your business page at all. Keep it going. You can apply what you learn in this article to your business page as well but I will be writing a piece specifically geared towards your business page at a later date, so look out for that. This piece is geared towards using your personal profile as a networking tool to organically grow your audience. The first step is identifying your target audience. A lot of my coaching clients, and web design clients for that matter, tend to look like a rabbit caught in the headlights as soon as you ask them if they have a business plan written out. If by some miracle they have they will then proudly get it out and show me. Never once in my time in business have I seen a business plan that really identified the target audience. There is usually a load of generics, such as gender, location, etc. But never any specifics. These generic properties are only stepping stones to more specific information and have absolutely no place in a well written and thought out business plan as they really don’t tell you anything. [/l] [hdmd]What you need to know about your target audience[/hdmd] [l]Who are they? What do they do? What do they believe in? What are their core values? What makes them happy? What makes them sad? Where are they from? Where are they going in life? What do they like? What do they dislike? Where do they hang out online? Where do they hang out offline? What social networks do they use? What sort of things do they like to buy? This is just a small sample of the questions that need answers. Answers that themselves will probably lead to more questions that will need answering. With my social media coaching clients I usually get them to make a collage of all the things that make their target audience who and what they are. I know it sounds all a bit flaky but it really is an excellent visual tool to keep around to keep you in check. So go and do it. Right now, you’ll thank me for it later. [/l] [hdmd]There are 2 types of people on Facebook[/hdmd] [l]So now you’ve done the research on your target audience you can start to think about how you are going to get out in front of these people. This is the really fun, but very intimidating, part of the process. This starts by figuring out what kind of person you are. There are 2 main types of people on social media: [/l] [unord] [item][l]Speakers[/l][/item] [item][l]Listeners[/l][/item] [/unord] [hdsm]Being a speaker[/hdsm] [l]Being a speaker means that you generally have lots to say. Some people are naturally this way, others force themselves into it. There are a fair few issues with this approach, such as:[/l] [unord] [item][l]Everyone is doing it[/l][/item] [item][l]What you have to say is not nearly as interesting as you think it is[/l][/item] [item][l]It’s very easy to run out of things to say[/l][/item] [item][l]You can appear to be arrogant, or even worse the opposite end of the scale you can sound like you have no confidence in what you have to say[/l][/item] [/unord] [l]It’s not all negative. Being a speakers has a great deal of positives, a couple of which being:[/l] [unord] [item][l]You can position yourself as the expert in your chosen field[/l][/item] [item][l]Your audience will recognise the value that your brand brings to the table[/l][/item] [item][l]Your name has the potential to become synonymous with the product or service that you offer[/l][/item] [/unord] [hdsm]Being a listener[/hdsm] [l]Being a listener means that you are going too your audience and engaging them on their level and in their environment. This approach, like anything else in life, has its negatives too:[/l] [unord] [item][l]Your voice will be more passive, and therefore have to work harder to be heard[/item][/l] [item][l]Brand recognition will come slower[/item][/l] [item][l]You can often be overshadowed by the speakers[/item][/l] [/unord] [l]Despite its negatives the listener approach has many positives, some of which are:[/l] [unord] [item][l]There is hardly anyone out there doing it[/item][/l] [item][l]You will find it fairly easy to build relationships with potential clients and therefore find it easier to build up trust[/item][/l] [item][l]You add value wherever you go[/item][/l] [item][l]You don’t have to worry so much about people finding you as you will be going to them[/item][/l] [item][l]Clients will be more at ease with you and recognise your humanity[/item][/l] [/unord] [hdmd]Should I be a speaker or a listener?[/hdmd] [l]As you can see neither approach is perfect, as the saying goes six of one and half a dozen of the other. Those that find the most success on Facebook are those who mix the two approaches. This enables them to be the voice of authority and still be viewed as being a real person who is approachable and willing to engage.[/l] [hdmd]So what do I do?[/hdmd] [l]Because you are a small business you don’t have access to the same levels of exposure and brand recognition that larger companies do. So one of the biggest and most important parts of your role as a small business owner or sole trader is to network. This is the most effective way of building brand awareness and trust. The awareness and trust will then, hopefully, turn into referrals etc. Remember the research you did on your target audience? Now is the time to put it to good use. Let’s use an example: Imagine the scenario, you are a sole trader who sells handmade baby clothes. Your primary target audience are new parents. Your secondary target audience will be grandparents, aunties and uncles, etc. Your audience will be predominantly female. Obviously your research will be far more in-depth and ultimately more revealing. When people make the decision to make a purchase, or any decision for that matter, they do so with their hearts first. Our emotions make the decision then our brains try to justify and hopefully apply some logic to the decision.[/l] [hdmd]So how do you engage people on an emotional level?[/hdmd] [l]The same way you would if you were face to face. You talk to them on their level and treat them like they mean something to you. Just like you would a friend or relative. People come to Facebook for human connection, that what they want so that’s what you need to provide. Then when you have made the connection you can work on whatever problem of theirs it is that you think your product or service could solve. So in the context of our example the target audience needs to FEEL that their little bundle of perfection will be the cutest baby they’ve ever seen whilst wearing the item they purchased from you. They also need to feel that your item will be of good quality at a worthy price, they want to be sure that their baby will be comfortable and happy in the item. They need to feel like the safety of their baby is as important to you as it is them, and that you have their best interest at heart in general. [/l] [hdmd]Now you have identified what you need to do you are probably wondering how to do it[/hdmd] [l]The how is a lot more simple than you may think. First of all you are not a global corporation. You are a sole trader, or small business. More to the point you are a real human being with real emotions and that is what will draw people towards your brand rather than another, probably larger, company. So use your emotion and your life experience to your advantage rather than hiding it behind your business. So going back to the example you would need to show the world exactly what your values are and what matters to you as an individual by posting regularly to your Facebook personal profile about your own life and experiences, both good and bad. Had a nice day out with your children? Tell your network about it. Had a really crappy day that makes you want to cry? Tell us about it. Been told something funny? Pass it on! As mentioned previously people go onto Facebook to make real human connections. So reach out and connect. Embrace your weaknesses and celebrate your strengths. Make your audience feel like they are part of your life. You should definitely not plaster your product and services all over your profile. You need to add value. Nobody likes to be bombarded with advertising and it puts people off from wanting to connect. Which brings us to one important question:[/l] [hdmd]How do I tell my network about my products and services?[/hdmd] [l]As questions go it’s a big one. As I keep saying your posts need to add value to those people who view them. So going back to the example, you could try posting something along the lines of: [b]“Look at my beautiful baby girl in her new onesie!! She makes my heart melt… I made this a little while ago but it only just fits now. Isn’t she beautiful? Comment yes if you want to treat your gorgeous little princess”[/b] [Obviously you’d need to include a picture] This kind of post shows what matters to you, which is not the product but the child. What it shows above all else is that you are a real human being with values and feelings in line with their own. [/l] [hdmd]The basic structure of an ideal post on Facebook[/hdmd] [l]The anatomy of your post is important. We humans love structure. We cannot deal with chaos, it makes us zone out. Chaos is hard work, people don’t come onto Facebook for hard work. So don’t punish your audience with inconsistency and word vomit. The ideal post has a very simple structure: Headline – This pulls people in Sub-headline – This is optional, although generally advised. It will lead on from the main headline to add context. Body copy – This is the main body of text for your status. Keep it short. Call to action – Now your audience has read the post they need to know what to do next. An image – Keep images to one per post if you can. Also they have to be relevant to the post, if they are not then it is better to go text only. Keep the entire post fairly short. You have less than a second to grab their attention and if they see it’s a really long post they will just move on as they don’t want to run the risk of taking 5 minutes to read something that could turn out to be boring or way too intense for social media. Social media is exactly as it sounds, social. So relax and use a conversational tone. Your personality is what will win the day so show it off, if you don’t even your mum won’t read your posts and that would be a sad day indeed. A couple of things to remember:[/l] [unord] [item][l]Keep it brief[/l][/item] [item][l]Don’t be boring[/l][/item] [item][l]Include a call to action[/l][/item] [item][l]No hard sell or direct advertising[/l][/item] [item][l]Don’t be a pretender, just be you[/l][/item] [/unord] [hdmd]A note on originality[/hdmd] [l]Facebooks algorithm loves original content. It lives and breathes for it. The easiest way to maintain originality is to be honest. No BS posts about how your life is super wonderful. No one ever believes the BS connoisseurs so don’t be one of them. Besides you are a legitimate business owner, you don’t need to spend your day posting inspirational quotes and posts about being the next Richard Branson because you’re obviously the worlds most experienced entrepreneur. Anyway I am digressing do let’s get back to the point: Be honest at all times, talk about the good in life and the bad. Stick with what you know, which is you and your life. This will show your audience that you share the same values and have had similar experiences.[/l] [hdmd]How often should I post to Facebook? [/hdmd] [l]If my experiences have taught me anything it’s that nobody in the history of humanity wants to be spammed. It is undoubtedly the number 1 reason people get deleted from friends’ lists. Nobody wants their entire news feed jammed up by one person. And it’s so easy to un-friend someone on Facebook that it’s not worth taking the risk. There is no magic number but I have found it is best to leave it a couple of hours between posts. 3 – 5 has been the optimum amount of time for many of my clients but you’ll need to find what works for you. You want to ensure that people have ample time to engage with your individual posts but still provide a steady stream of awesomeness. Another consideration with regard to your posting schedule is you will want to post your most important update at a time when your target audience is most active. Again there is no magic number so experiment with post timings and see what works best for you. [/l] [hdmd]Other types of post[/hdmd] [l]Posts like the one we have used in the example are not the only type of post on Facebook. Facebook posts come in many different varieties [/l] [hdsm]Sharing[/hdsm] [l]You will probably find that you and your network share a lot of common interests. So it stands to reason that if the post you just read, or video you just watched and so on, that your network will want to see it as well. So hit that share button, and give them a courtesy like along the way. Don’t forget to engage with the original poster as well. Comment on the post, tag them in it. This will make you visible to them as well as your own network. Sharing other people’s content is not thought of by Facebooks algorithm in the same way as copying. In fact it is encouraged and expected of you. You should aim to share 1 or 2 posts each day that you think would add value to your network.[/l] [hdsm]Facebook live[/hdsm] [l]Another brilliant feature of Facebook is the ability to live stream directly to your network. Since the features initial release they have become enormously successful. If you haven’t tried it yet I definitely recommend trying it out. Share a moment of your life with your network, interview a business leader, tell a funny story, and so on. The possibilities are essentially endless. A couple of things to remember about Facebook live: [/l] [unord] [item][l]Don’t waffle[/item][/l] [item][l]Keep a script handy[/item][/l] [item][l]Keep it short[/item][/l] [/unord] [hdsm]Video (not live) [/hdsm] [l]Video uploads are the bread and butter of Facebook. Videos are very popular on Facebook with over 3 billion video views every day. You don’t need to be a professional videographer to get started, just grab your smartphone and start filming. Also there are plenty of apps around that will help you to edit your video to give it a more professional look. Some ideas for making video include:[/l] [unord] [item][l]Interview an industry leader[/l][/item] [item][l]Interview a member of staff[/l][/item] [item][l]Share some wisdom of your own[/l][/item] [item][l]A day behind the scenes at your company[/l][/item] [item][l]Tell a funny story[/l][/item] [item][l]Show the world your beautiful family[/l][/item] [/unord] [l]As with Facebook live there are countless possibilities, so have fun and experiment.[/l] [hdsm]Image posts[/hdsm] [l]Image posts are the most shared type of post on Facebook. They take a moment to absorb and even less time to share. As previously mentioned the Facebook algorithm LOVES original content, it also loves selfies and the like, let’s be honest there isn’t anything in the world like your face. Your audience will also love a funny meme or two. Who doesn’t like to laugh and be entertained? There are several smartphone applications around that you can use to create memes. Remember to include a couple of lines of text (which includes a call to action) with each image. [/l] [hdsm]Link posts[/hdsm] [l]Posts with links can work really well on Facebook, as long as the link leads to good quality content, but not always. When using the post to share a link you still needs to use the same structure as we went through with our example. Your link IS the call to action. Don’t forget to include a relevant, eye catching, image. [/l] [hdmd]So we’ve heard about the different types of post, when should I post them?[/hdmd] [l]You really don’t want to be too rigid in your posting schedule but as a rule of thumb I would suggest posting the text based posts, like the one in the example, at the beginning and the end of your target audiences most active period in the day, as long as there is a good few hours between them. Post this type of status 1 or 2 times a day. Shares go for 3 or 4 per day, spread out over the course of the day, and link posts keep that to 1 per day in the middle of your target audiences most active time on Facebook. Video and/or Facebook live go for 1 per day at the very most, not including any videos from other people that you have shared. [/l] [hdmd]Final thoughts[/hdmd] [l]The most important thing you need to remember about using Facebook is that you are dealing with real human being in a purely social setting. So no BS, no shameless self-promotion; just quality, original content. Talk about what you know and your core values. Show the world that you too are just a person like everyone else. Relax and have fun with it. Facebook is supposed to be a pleasurable experience for all. Before you post anything ask yourself:[/l] [unord] [item][l]Does this add value?[/item][/l] [item][l]Does it show my personality?[/item][/l] [item][l]Is there a point to what you are posting?[/item][/l] [item][l]Is that point relevant to your audience?[/item][/l] [/unord] [l]These questions all need a yes answer or the post goes in the bin. A few more questions to ask yourself:[/l] [unord] [item][l]Is it boring?[/l][item] [item][l]Is it too long?[/l][item] [item][l]Does it look and/or sound like a corporate advert in a newspaper?[/l][item] [item][l]Is any of it BS?[/l][item] [/unord] [l]If the answer to any of these questions is yes then again you need to throw it in the bin and start again.[/l] [hdsm]I hope you found this guide helpful. If you did please share it via social media to show your support[/hdsm]

13 simple and minimal effort ways to boost your engagement on Facebook.

[postpic=fbcreate.jpg class=center-block img-responsive title=Increase your engagement on Facebook - by Griffiths Web Design alt=How to boost your Facebook business page engagement levels - by Michael Griffiths of Griffiths Web Design style=STYLE][/postpic] [hdmd]Both yours and your brands personality are unique and special so let them shine[/hdmd] [c]When posting from your business page use your brands unique voice. Every brand is different and has their own personality so make sure your audience gets to know that personality. [/c] [c]When posting from your personal page make sure you stamp YOUR own personality on it, not your brands. When posting as yourself you want the world to know that you are an individual and that your personality is separate from that of your brand.[/c] [hdmd]Ask your audience questions[/hdmd] [c]Questions are an excellent way of encouraging your audience to engage with your posts. Make sure you’re asking questions relevant to your chosen niche, you don’t want your audience to think they will only be getting industry specific information sporadically. Your audience wants a steady stream of quality content coming their way, not a load of vague questions about the weather. So keep it specific to your niche, and relevant to your brand.[/c] [hdmd]Use relevant images[/hdmd] [c]When posting try to include big pictures that are relevant to the post, to the audience, and to the brand. Posts with images have proven themselves to be worthy of the extra effort involved in the post creation. Posts with images get a much better rate of engagement than those without. Although this is only true when the images in question are relevant and manage to catch the eye of the user. So with that in mind when you are deciding on what to post and when have a really good think about what imagery would work best with your beautifully formulated and eloquently written posts.[/c] [hdmd]Use videos[/hdmd] [c]You’ve probably heard this left, right, and centre. In fact you’ve probably heard it so often that you are getting sick of hearing about it. But here it is anyway, because it really is true. Posting video’s that are relevant to your brand and your niche are an excellent way to increase your levels of user engagement. You could create a video to explain what your services are and how they will benefit the customer, or you could create a video in which you can answer some frequently asked questions. The possibilities are endless. In this day and age it can cost next to nothing to have a professional quality video put together.[/c] [hdmd]Provide an inside look at your company[/hdmd] [c]For this point you could interview some of your staff, or you could interview a customer. You could go through your processes start to finish so the customers can see what happens behind the scenes. You could write a post, or create a video, about a day in the life of your company [/c] [hdmd]Keep on track – Don’t lose your focus keep your topics relevant to your brand[/hdmd] [c]It’s all too easy when you’re struggling for ideas on what to post to fall into the trap of posting things that have no relevance to your brand or your niche. This is a good way to get un-followed. People will follow your business page because of the quality content that you provide. I very much doubt that funny cat memes are relevant to your business so keep that sort of stuff strictly to your personal page for your friends to bask in the glory of cats doing funny things and people falling over in comical ways.[/c] [hdmd]Use your fans (relevant) content[/hdmd] [c]The people that follow your page will have, at least, a few interests in common. As such it is good practice to regularly share other peoples content. But, again, only if it has relevance. Sharing other people’s content will not only [provide your audience with new quality content it will also open up the possibility of expanding your current audience. So get sharing people, you really have nothing to lose.[/c] [hdmd]Keep your posts simple[/hdmd] [c]People that use Facebook do not want their brain to be twisted out of shape. So when you are sharing your new blog post about the [insert really complicated subject here] keep the Facebook post itself simple. Pick a nice quote from the article that gives an indication of what the article is about, choose a big relevant picture to accompany the post and you’re ready to go. People often make the mistake of making their posts too technical. They do this because they want to prove their technical prowess. It may seem like a good idea but it is most definitely not. Keep your post as simple as possible, although care should be taken to avoid sounding condescending. You need to remember if they are following your page then they have already shown an interest in you and your topic. So as I mentioned before a nice quote from the blog post or a brief explanation about the blog post will do nicely. A common thing I see on Facebook is people just using the title of the blog post as their Facebook post. I understand how it is, you’ve put all that time and effort optimising your article’s title and you want to show it off. Most of the time what makes a good title for a blog post does not make for a good Facebook post. Your Facebook post needs to serve as an informal introduction to your blog post.[/c] [hdmd]Facebook wasn’t built in a day[/hdmd] [c]As the saying goes, ‘Facebook wasn’t built in a day’, or was it Rome? Anyway... back to what I was saying. Success on social media comes from continued efforts. There will be times, especially in the beginning, when it will seem like all your efforts are going unrewarded and that you should just give up. And you will be absolutely right to feel that way but there is a silver lining. If you continue your efforts then gradually overtime you will build up a larger and more engaging audience. So be patient.[/c] [hdmd]Show your audience that you do care[/hdmd] [c]Your audience is the lifeblood of your brand. Without them you have no clientele and therefore you need them. There is no escaping this fact. So what is the simplest way of showing your followers a little love through Facebook? Engage them. Yes that’s right do the very thing you want your followers to do on your page. This will help to build solid relationships and is a sure fire way to gain more engagement and reach on Facebook.[/c] [hdmd]Have fun, relax, and enjoy yourself[/hdmd] [c]Facebook is social media, the emphasis being on the social part. So be social. No one wants to talk to the person at the party that brings everyone down so do your best not to be that person. People want to see the softer side of your businesses personality so let it out. What you are saying can still carry weight when presented in a semi-informal way. You are trying to spark a conversation, not making a presentation to the board of directors.[/c] [hdmd]Timing[/hdmd] [c]There is no point what so ever in posting when your target audience is not actively using Facebook. You should have done plenty of research into your target audience when you were writing your business plan. If you didn’t then I suggest you stop what you are doing immediately and go and find out everything there is to know about your target audience. From this information you can identify when your audience is most likely to be active on Facebook and this is the time for your beautifully written posts to be published for them to get the most exposure and with any luck engagement as well.[/c] [hdmd]Host a contest[/hdmd] [c]Lots of organisation hold contests through Facebook that force their audience to engage with them in order to gain entrance into the competition. Don’t go too mad with the prizes, keep it small and simple. All you need to do is to ask for a comment, like, and share and then on a set date you can pick a winner at random. Do this fairly regularly and you will see a rise in followers of your page.[/c] [hdmd]Include a call to action in your posts[/hdmd] [c]Make sure, if you want the user to complete an action, that you include a way to do so. For example you’ve written a blog post about subject blah. You feel that your audience would really benefit from reading it so you write a status, ‘read my latest article about blah’ (hopefully you’ll write something a bit more inspiring than that), but if you don’t include a link how will they find it? The call to action must be relevant to the post. There is no point in adding a link or whatever your chosen CTA may be if there is no need for it. Lots of people fall into the trap of adding a link to every post but if you want your users to click the link it has to be in keeping with the actual post.[/c] [hdmd]Thanks for reading[/hdmd] [c]So there you have it 13 simple ways to boost engagement of your Facebook business page. Now over to you, what ways have you found to increase your levels of engagement on Facebook? Thanks for reading. Any shares on social media would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.[/c]

Networking, marketing and customer generation through Facebook, hints for tradesmen

[postpic=vector-2037545_1280.png class=img-responsive title=Networking, marketing and customer generation through Facebook, hints and tips for tradesmen and other small businesses. alt=Networking, marketing and customer generation through Facebook, hints and tips for tradesmen and other small businesses - By Michael Griffiths of Griffiths Web Design style=STYLE][/postpic] [l]The aim of this post is to help tradesmen make effective use of Facebook as a networking and marketing tool. It can be pretty daunting when you first step into the world of Facebook but have no fear. This post will help you to get started on your Facebook journey.[/l] [l]This post is intended to provide some helpful hints and tips for builders and the like regarding how to use Facebook for networking purposes to better market your business and your services which, with a bit of luck, will lead to a solid basis on which you can gain extra custom.[/l] [hdmd]Don’t be shy, introduce yourself![/hdmd] [l]Write a bio on your personal page that accurately describes you, and what you do, in a way that projects your personality. Lots of people make the mistake of using it as another spot to waffle on about their business. This is not the way to go, the users who visit YOUR profile are there to find out who you are not your company. In all likelihood they found your personal profile through your business page so they already know what they want to know about your company.[/l] [l]Write a bio for your business page that describes your business. Remember that your voice is not the same as your brands voice. Your brands voice should be more professional, you can be relaxed and have fun but you have to maintain a level of professionalism at all times. Do not make it too abstract, people will read your bio to find out more about your brand so give them what they want….more info about your brand![/l] [l]Write a really in-depth post, on your business page, about your brand, its services and its mission. Don’t just blurt something out, remember that it is human beings that will be reading it. Try to present it in a way that fits in with your brands image, make it fun and interesting and most importantly make it informative. Your audience should know everything they need to know about your brand from reading it. This is your chance to really build up some trust in your brand, so make it shine![/l] [l]Join groups that your target audience frequent and introduce yourself. And by yourself I mean you not your company. Try to engage people regularly to start building relationships with your target audience. Don’t try to ram your products or services down their throats, Facebook is a networking tool. Solid relationships with your target audience help to build trust in your brand, in business trust is the most important factor in the decision making process.[/l] [hdsm]Remember that YOU are the expert[/hdmd] [l]Everyone has, and is entitled to, an opinion. Not everyone is right and no one is right all the time (except me of course) so don’t be surprised if you come up against internet negativity. As annoying as these keyboard warriors and internet trolls are, dealing with them in a calm and civil manner will only help to boost your target audience’s trust in your brand.[/l] [l]Negative reviews…. Ergh! I know, I know nobody wants negative reviews on their business page but don’t get too upset. If you are seen to deal with it in a calm and professional manner your target audience will be able to see that no matter the situation you can resolve it in a way the best suits everyone.[/l] [l]Be confident in your assertions. People value you opinion as a professional in your chosen field so speak confidently and don’t give them a reason to doubt you.[/l] [l]Write informative posts that are relevant to your brand and to your target audience. Share them with groups that will appreciate your perspective. [/l] [hdmd]Your audience wants to talk to a real person[/hdmd] [l]When talking to people through Facebook use your personal profile. It can help put the person at ease because they are talking to a person, not a brand. When you talk to them you’re not trying to close a deal, you are trying to get them to like you, so don’t push your sales pitch on them. Direct them to your business page if it ever comes up but in the meantime you need to concentrate in building strong relationships. Strong relationships equal more referrals and, eventually, more custom.[/l] [l]Engage with people regularly. These relationships need continual maintenance and upkeep in order to benefit from them.[/l] [l]Make sure you respond to all comments and messages promptly as people on Facebook lose interest quickly. What’s relevant to them now may not be so tomorrow.[/l] [l]Don’t be afraid to let your sense of humour out to play. Nothing quite gets the same level of engagement than a funny post or comment. Keep it nice though as you don’t want to risk alienating those who are a little more reserved and cautious in their humour.[/l] [hdmd]Show off your work regularly[/hdmd] [l]You work hard all day long. So why not show your target audience some of that hard work? Upload as many pictures and videos of your work as you can on a regular basis and don’t forget to write a detailed post about it as well. Just don’t forget that if you are taking pictures/videos on someone else’s property then you will need their permission first.[/l] [hdmd]Advertise individual services in local for sale groups[/hdmd] [l]Advertise your services in local for sale groups. Many of them will allow posts from businesses. Use these posts to advertise your services individually. So you offer service X, Y and Z? Then create separate posts for each service and post it to as many for sale groups and business adverting groups as you can. Facebook does make it a little easier by providing a button labelled ‘Post to more places’. Click on that button and select all the groups you wish to share with and click post. Your post will then be posted to the groups you selected. There is a limit to the number of groups you can post to in 24 hours. Avoid this limit at all costs or you will be unable to post or comment in any group for a certain amount of time (this is done automatically by Facebook and cannot be undone)[/l] [l]Don’t forget to ‘bump’ your posts. What this means is write a comment on the post and it will be brought to the top of the group feed. Don’t overdo it though as you will be banned from the group by the admins.[/l] [hdmd]Start a group to share expertise and advice, not to sell services![/hdmd] [l]Create a group on Facebook in which you can impart some of your expertise. Do not use it as a direct advertising group because people will not want to join or engage. You want to use this as an opportunity to build some confidence in your knowledge of your chosen field. [/l] [l]You may find that when you first start the group you will be the only one posting in it. Do not despair! Keep posting well written and informative posts and eventually your target audience will engage. Make sure you use lots of relevant keywords and the odd hashtag or two, for ease of search.[/l] [l]Invite other people from niches that compliment yours. You’re a plumber? See if you can get a carpenter or two to join? Or an electrician? Home owners would be ideal also. You want to invite people to your group that you know will appreciate your perspective and that may even be able to contribute to the conversation.[/l] [hdmd]Post regularly to your business page[/hdmd] [l]Post at least once a day to your business page and no more than 5. You want to maintain a constant presence but you don’t want to spam users. That’s a sure fire way to get your page un-followed. So between 1 and 5 is the way to go.[/l] [l]Spread your posts out throughout the day so you can get different sections of your target audience at different times. Everyone has a different routine, so it’s down to you to figure out when your target audience is most likely to be visiting Facebook.[/l] [l]Do not put out more than 1 or 2 direct advertising posts on your business page per day, except maybe offers and the like. Your audience will visit your page to find useful information, not just about your brand but about your industry as a whole.[/l] [hdmd]Make some videos of helpful hints and tips[/hdmd] [l]Your knowledge is your power. So wield it wisely. Create some videos in which you can give some helpful tips and advice.[/l] [l]You could create some how-to videos to help your target audience better understand your craft.[/l] [l]You could share some videos of you working. As they say actions speak louder than words so don’t just tell people how good you are, show them![/l] [l]Don’t want to present a video? I totally understand. Facebook is here to rescue you. On your business page it gives you the option of uploading photo’s into a slideshow video. Facebook is also able to provide you with some royalty free music to go with the video. You can use your own music track but you have to make sure you own the rights to the music track otherwise Facebook can, and probably will, remove your video.[/l] [hdmd]Share other people’s content[/hdmd] [l]I know this may seem a little counter-intuitive. You want the world to see your carefully planned well written content. That content that you and only you are posting. Well yes and no. Sure you want the world to see your content but you need to remember that you are trying to build up trust in you and your brand. Sharing other people’s content that you feel is relevant to your business and your target audience will help to achieve that end. Sharing other peoples content will show your target audience that you are willing to share relevant knowledge with them wherever it comes from.[/l] [l]Another point I would like to make about sharing other people’s content is that the people whose content you’ve shared just might take a peek at your profile (personal or business) if they do you may well end up making yet another valuable connection.[/l] [hdmd]Ask for likes, shares, and comments[/hdmd] [l]Don’t be afraid to ask for likes and shares in your posts. Don’t be needy but do ask.[/l] [l]Also you may have seen posts floating around Facebook that say something like:[/l] [l][b]“Win product x! Just like, share, and comment done on this post to enter”[/b][/l] [l]These posts work extremely well. Who hasn’t got a few seconds to like, share, and comment? You don’t have to go mad and give away a million pounds worth of your service but you could offer something small that your target audience will appreciate. For example if you specialise in kitchen installation you could offer as set of cupboard handles or something. I’m not in the business of installing kitchens so that may have been a rubbish example but my point is as follows: whatever you offer is just a token, the important thing from it all is the engagement on the post. A user enters the competition so their friends see their engagement on the post, then a couple of those friends will enter and so on. Each entry increases the engagement on your post enormously and more and more people get to see it each time. Welcome to the world of viral advertising.[/l] [hdmd]Be patient![/hdmd] [l]This is probably the most important point of them all. As the saying goes, patience is a virtue. Nothing in this world is instantaneous, and social media is no exception. Building up trust in your brand is a slow going process that requires constant maintenance and above all else enormous quantities of patience. So don’t worry that you’re not getting sales right away. In time you will build up enough brand authority that people will (hopefully) flock to your business page to request those amazing services they keep reading about on Facebook.[/l] [hdmd]That’s all for now, thanks for reading[/hdmd] [l]That is all we have time for this time but keep an eye out for more posts in the future. Please share this post on as many social media sites as possible and give us a like on our Facebook business page too, if you comment a link to your Facebook business page I will happily give it a like.[/l] [l]Do you need someone to take the hassle out of using Facebook for business? Then get in touch with []Griffiths Web Design ([/url] for some great deals on social media management.[/l]

A beginner’s guide to using Twitter for your small business

[l]This piece is intended to give small business owners some insight into how to use twitter for business. Before I dive into it I just want to put this out there:[/l] [c][b]“Forget about marketing”[/b][/c] [l]At this point you’re probably thinking something along the lines of: “Forget about marketing? But that’s why I want to use twitter for my business![/l] [l]Twitter is not for selling products on directly, the purpose of twitter (in a business sense) is to increase your brand awareness and to convey your brand identity. So with this in mind I am going to reword my previous quote:[/l] [c][b]“Forget about marketing your products or services and start marketing your identity”[/b][/c] [l]In order to market your identity you will need to have a clear idea of who and what your company is and what sort of image you want to get across. This is something that needs to be established before you begin your journey into the world of social media. The first step in this process should be a comprehensive business plan, that way you’ll always have it to hand as a reference.[/l] [hdmd]What’s so special about twitter?[/hdmd] [l]So you’ve got your brand’s identity figured out now we can find out a little more about Twitter. I am going to start with a brief history of twitter then we will move onto the good stuff.[/l] [l]Twitter was created in March 2006 and launched in July by Jack Dorsey ([url=]@jack[/url]), Evan Williams ([url=]@ev[/url]) and Biz Stone ([url=]@biz[/url]). Don’t forget to follow those guys.[/l] [l]It was Jack Dorsey who had the honour of the first tweet:[/l] [postpic=firstevertweet.png class=img-responsive title=The first evert tweet, tweeted by @Jack alt=The first ever tweet tweeted by Jack Dorsey style=STYLE][/postpic] [l]From such humble beginnings Twitter rapidly increased in popularity, so much so that in January 2017 there were a reported 317 million monthly active users. That’s a lot of people! There is lots of other stuff I could go into about twitter in the early days but that’s not the point of this article. For a more in-depth history of twitter I would suggest Wikipedia as a good starting point. Just go onto [url=][/url] and you’ll get a whole host of information and links to further reading.[/l] [hdmd]Set up you Twitter profile[/hdmd] [hdsm]What was your name again?[/hdsm] [l]The first step is to choose a good username. You really need to think hard about what makes a good username. People have to be able to remember it and to be able to spell it, so keep it a simple as possible but uses something that accurately describes your brand. My company is called Griffiths Web Design so my Twitter username is @GriffithsWeb. When I first set up my twitter I didn’t really know what I was doing but having given it much thought in the years since I think maybe I should have choose a different name as many people struggle to spell Griffiths correctly. I didn’t really think about it at the time because it’s my surname so in my mind it was easy. Hindsight is a wonderful thing! Learn from my mistakes so you don’t have to suffer the same consequences as I.[/l] [hdsm]Your profile picture[/hdsm] [l]Next you need to think about your profile picture. This is part of how your audience will identify you so pick something unique to your brand that other people will associate with your brand. If you represent a company with employees then your logo would be a good start, however if you are a sole trader then I would suggest using a high quality head shot (preferably a professionally shot picture but if not hen make sure you use a high quality image. Your camera on your smart phone is not good enough). Your profile image should be 400 x 400 pixels.[/l] [postpic=twtProfile.png class=img-responsive title=Twitter profile picture dimensions alt=The proper dimensions of a Twitter profile picture style=STYLE][/postpic] [hdsm]A picture paints a thousand tweets[/hdsm] [l]Another prominent image on your profile is your header image. This image should be 1500 x 500 pixels. It should be eye catching and should be in sync with your brands image. This is where you can really let your creativity shine. Use this image wisely as a lot of Twitter users will judge your brand on this image, so first impressions are the only impressions.[/l] [postpic=twtHeader.png class=img-responsive title=Twitter header image dimensions alt=The proper dimensions of a good twitter cover picture style=STYLE][/postpic] [hdsm]Tell us about yourself[/hdsm] [l]The next step is to write an enticing bio. A lot of people write something pretty standard such as:[/l] [c][b]“Hi I’m Michael and I do web design and social media marketing. Get in touch for a great deal or two.”[/b][/c] [l]Or they use a tool like [url=][/url] (this tool is awesome by the way for personal accounts. Some of the bio’s it spits out are very funny) which will generate list type bio’s like the following:[/l] [c][b]“Zombie junkie. Tv trailblazer. Music lover. Total pop culture specialist. Subtly charming organizer.”[/b][/c] [l]The problem with the first one is that it’s super boring. In fact I almost fell asleep writing it. Sure it tells the user who you are and what you do but…yawn. The second one is a bit of a twitter in-joke. When bio’s like this first appeared they were different and interesting but they became overused very quickly. Now a large portion of twitter accounts have a nonsensical list of words as their bios. And what does it really say about the person or company behind the profile? Nothing, that’s what. [/l] [l]The first one was too boring and the second too vague. So where do we start? Well before you actually sit down and write anything you will need to have a good long think. You only have 160 characters to describe to the twittersphere who you are, what you do, and why people should follow you. On top of all this you need to make it memorable. A big mistake that trips up many users of twitter is making your bio too abstract. Yes you want to be different and memorable but you also want people to know what you do. Another point I would like to share is to add a call to action to your bio. For instance you could add a link to your website or ask your followers to do something like get in contact with you.[/l] [hdsm][l]So as a quick recap points to remember regarding your twitter bio are as follows:[/l][/hdsm] [unord][item][l]Be specific. Get straight to the point and tell them who and what you are.[/l] [/item] [item][l]Be memorable. Write something worth reading. It’s not too difficult to spice up your writing, so go and do it.[/l][/item] [item][l]Have fun. If you’re bored writing it then you can be as sure as hell that your followers will be bored to tears reading it.[/l][/item] [item][l]Add a call to action. Get your followers to do something; visit your website, or get in contact, or whatever. Twitter is about building relationships and this will help to break the ice.[/l][/item][/unord] [hdmd]Find some twitter users worth following[/hdmd] [l]When you use Twitter for business it is a two way street, you will get out just as much as you put in. Twitter is a networking tool. So go forth and network! Find people of influence and interest in your niche.[/l] [l]Most professionals will have a link to follow their Twitter account on their website, this is a good place to start. You already know who these people are and what they do so you already know that they are going to provide content that is worthy of your time and engagement.[/l] [l]You could use Twitter’s search function to search for hashtags relevant to your business. Do this regularly then you’ll get to recognise the accounts that regularly post about things that matter to you. Follow these people and engage with them.[/l] [l]You could also use Twitter lists to find people to follow. Find lists relevant to your niche and you’ll be presented with lots of twitter users who you share some interests with. Follow and engage![/l] [l]If you are active on Twitter you may find that you get at least a few retweets. Most of the time the people who retweet your tweets are already following you and vice versa but sometimes you’ll get Twitter users that aren’t on your follow list. These people have shown a clear interest in what you have to say. So, again, follow and engage![/l] [l]Another place to find people to follow is the list of users that follow you. When you get that notification to say, ‘@userBlah is now following you’, make sure you hit the follow back button. If it turns out their content is not of interest, or they are spammers, or for whatever reason, you don’t want to follow them you can just unfollow them at a later date.[/l] [hdmd]Tweet, tweet, tweet[/hdmd] [l]Now you have gone to all the trouble of setting up your profile you can sit back and wait for the flood of followers to come your way right? [/l] [l]Wrong! Very, very, very wrong. So wrong you can’t even see right when you look up. People may be enticed into visiting your profile because of your beautiful header image, your profile image and your highly optimised bio but when they see that you have nothing to say they will quickly exit your profile and scrub all memory of it from their brains. [/l] [l]To get and, most importantly, keep your thousands of followers you need to provide them with quality content that they will want to like and retweet. So how do we do that then? Well this is where things start to move into the domain of dark magic. Your business plan will help you with writing tweets because you will have already done plenty of research into your target audience. You know what makes them tick. So you need to tailor your content towards their needs.[/l] [hdsm]What not to do[/hdsm] [l]The first thing we need to discuss is what not to do. So first I’ll give you a little example of a tweet that will be ignored by everyone.[/l] [c][b]“Visit my website to buy product X”[/b][/c] [l]This tweet is super [b]boring[/b] and is totally focused on the end goal ‘customer conversion’[/l] [l]The problem with this is that you are on twitter to make connections and build up your network. Your followers want to know what you have to offer, but they do not want to listen to your sales pitch. If they did they would visit your website. You need to provide them with value. What value doe the above tweet provide? None. Zilch. Zero. Nothing.[/l] [l]Let’s take a look at another example of a bad tweet.[/l] [c][b]“Awww my cat just jumped over the stair gate”[/b][/c] [l]The tweet above has nothing to do with your business and your potential customers probably couldn’t care less that you have a cat let alone what it is doing (unless your business is cat related then it may be ok)[/l] [hdsm]We’ve seen a couple of examples of what not to do but what SHOULD we do instead?[/hdsm] [l]Your followers are investing a few moments of their time into your twitter profile. We all have a finite amount of time in this world, and let’s face it who really wants to waste their time on something pointless? So in return for their incredible contribution of time you need to provide them with something of interest. Something worth a retweet. Do your followers feel that the information you’ve shared is worthy of hitting that retweet button? Do your followers feel that their followers would appreciate the little nuggets of wisdom you choose to impart?[/l] [hdsm]To write a tweet that twitter users will engage with you need to accomplish several things:[/hdsm] [unord] [item][l]Use relevant keywords and hash tags.[/l][/item] [item][l]Provide content that is relevant to your business and the needs of your followers.[/l][/item] [item][l]Include a call to action. Could be a question to which they can reply, or it could be a link to your website, or it could be anything depending on what your goals are for the tweet.[/l][/item] [item][l]Recognise that voice and tone are separate beasts. As a brand your ‘voice’ will not change but your ‘tone’ will depending on the situation.[/l][/item] [item][l]Say everything you need to say within the 140 char limit, although research has found that tweets that are approximately 100 chars in length get the most engagement.[/l][/item] [/unord] [hdsm]A quick note on tweet length[/hdsm] You are allowed a maximum of 140 characters per tweet. Awesome, short, sweet and to the point. Hopwever research ghas shown that tweets that are around the 100 chars mark tend to get more engagement because it allows others to add a little commentary of their own when they hit that magic retweet button. [hdsm]Images in your tweets[/hdsm] [l]So we’ve figured out how we should write our tweets. Awesome. But what about images? If you do a google search regarding levels of engagement for different types of tweets you’ll see that posts with images have a higher rate of engagement than those without. I won’t post and actual numbers as the statistics scattered across the web are varied to say the least. They do all however show a similar pattern. Posts that have images inspire more retweets. We are visual creatures by nature so nothing appeals to the human eye quite like an image.[/l] [unord] [item][l]Your images need to be relevant. Not just to the tweet but to your brand and your target audience. If it doesn’t add value then it has no value. Only include images to add value to your tweet.[/l][/item] [item][l]Your images need to be optimised for the web. Have a look in Photoshop or some equivalent piece of image editing software and make sure that your image has a resolution of 72 pixels per inch.[/l][/item] [/unord] [hdsm]Be responsive[/hdsm] [l]So you’ve been writing some great tweets that are getting loads of engagement, now what? Now you’ve got yourself in the line of site of your target audience you need to try to build relationships with them. [/l] [unord] [item][l]Respond quickly to mentions, replies, and DM’s.[/l][/item] [item][l]Ask people questions.[/l][/item] [item][l]Show an interest in them and their lives.[/l][/item] [item][l]Mention them in tweets you think may be of interest to them.[/l][/item] [item][l]Send a DM to introduce yourself.[/l][/item] [item][l]Retweet a few of their tweets that you think your target audience could benefit from.[/l][/item] [/unord] [l]You need to prove to the twittersphere that you are the go to guy(or girl) for when it comes to…insert field of interest here…[/l] [l]We are social by nature so capitalise on it and jump into the conversation. People love to talk, and occasionally some of us like to listen. So approach people and prove to them that you’re worth spending a few minutes talking to.[/l] [hdmd]And that’s all for now folks…[/hdmd] [l]I hope this post has helped to make sense of the world of Twitter, but if after reading your head is still in a spin then please send me a message and I’ll get back to you ASAP.[/l] [l]Thank you very much for taking the time to read this post. Before you go hit the share button for your preferred social media channel. Don’t forget to follow @GriffithsWeb on Twitter and I will make sure that I follow back in return. Also any retweets will be both appreciated and reciprocated.[/l]

A beginners guide to marketing your business on Facebook

[postpic=fbMarketingBegin.png class=img-responsive title=A beginners guide to marketing your business on Facebook by Griffiths Web Design alt=A beginners guide to marketing your business on Facebook by Griffiths Web Design style=STYLE][/postpic] [l]The world today is an explosion of technology. Everywhere you go you are confronted by the digital age, it’s inescapable. This is especially true in the business world. In today’s business environment it is almost impossible to succeed without a digital presence. The first step for the majority small businesses, especially those who are just starting out, is usually a Facebook business page, and why wouldn’t you when Facebook had 1.23 billion active users on average, per day, in December 2016.[/l] [l]Note: for those who are interested have a look at Facebook company info page. They have some interesting statistics and you can see a timeline of their history which makes for interesting viewing. The Facebook company information page can be found here: [url=][/url] [/l] [l]So at this point you’re probably thinking, ‘Great I’ll just create a page and the customers will just roll in’. If only this was really true. The enormous user base of Facebook means that it’s one of the most competitive spaces to market your brand. That’s why I’ve put together some tips to help your business thrive in one of the most vibrant market places on earth.[/l] [hdmd]Research, research, and more research[/hdmd] [postpic=research.png class=img-responsive title=Research everything alt=Research everything style=STYLE][/postpic] [l]Before you create your Facebook business page you will need to do some research. By some I mean lots and lots and… well you get the picture. But what are you supposed to research and how on earth do you do it?[/l] [l]Do you already have a business plan in place? If so keep it to hand because it will help you enormously at this stage. If not then I would whole heartedly suggest you write one as soon as possible. This is not something to be taken lightly, writing a business plan takes time and finesse to get right. The Princes’ trust offer some helpful advice on the subject and even have downloadable templates to work from. All this can be found at the following web address: [url=][/url][/l] [l]So you’ve written your business plan so you have a good idea on who your target audience is and about your competitors. So now what how do you get from a list of statistics to connecting with actual human beings? Well the answer to this question comes with yet more research. You need to find out where on Facebook your target audience is most active. Which groups do they frequent? Which communities do they contribute to? Which pages do they follow? What do they like to read? What time of day are they most active?[/l] [l]Now you’ve done lots of research on your competitors and your target audience, so much you probably feel a little like a stalker. So now you feel ready to put that research to good use and start talking to people. Hold your horses their partner, there is no sense in rushing into the battle just yet. First you need to optimise your Facebook page so that your audience will take note, which brings us nicely to our next step…[/l] [hdmd]Create your page[/hdmd] [postpic=fbcreate.jpg class=img-responsive title=Create your businesses facebook page alt=create your facebook business page style=STYLE][/postpic] [l]At this stage you are ready to begin creating your Facebook business page. To do that visit the following page:[url=][/url] [/l] [l]Once you have arrived at the above page then you will be confronted with several page types out of which you need to pick one.[/l] [postpic=fbBusinessCategories.jpg class=img-responsive title=Pick a page type alt=Pick a page type style=STYLE][/postpic] [l]The page type you pick will depend on what kind of organisation you are. But remember that you can come back later and change it if you feel you have chosen incorrectly.[/l] [l]Following the category selection, the next setup screen will ask for a descriptive sentence or two about your page, a URL, a Facebook page URL, and a profile picture. If you’ve selected a local business, you’ll also have the ability to select category tags to further define what your store sells.[/l] [l]About your page – You get 155 characters to describe your page. This description appears prominently near the top of your Facebook page on both desktop and mobile. Be as descriptive and helpful as possible.[/l] [l]URL – The web address for your store, company, or brand.[/l] [l]Facebook URL / username – You may have the option to choose a custom vanity URL for your page, i.e.[/l] [l](Facebook will ask that you reach 25 fans first before you can unlock a custom Facebook URL)[/l] [l]Profile picture – Upload a main profile picture/icon for your page. This photo will appear as your icon every time you comment on a post or publish in a news feed. Square dimensions are best. Facebook will force rectangular photos to be cropped to squares.[/l] [l]Once that is done you can move onto your cover photo. Your cover photo is a chance for you to show to world your brands creativity. Make it really stand out while being in-line with your brand identity. [/l] [l]When you are creating your page you need to make sure that all of your information is filled in not just the few items in the list above. You need to remember that you are just one page out of millions so remember all that research you did regarding your target audience? Well now’s the time to put that all into action. Figure out what your target audience wants to see and then make sure it’s there. Every brand is different and every target audience is different so you’ll only be able to excel at this if you have done the research first.[/l] [l]You might think setting up a Facebook business page would be a quick and easy process, and to a point you are correct. However, to stand out from the 60 million strong crowd (statistics from this page:[url= ][/url] ) you will need to fine tune it over and over again until you have reached a point where you have conveyed your brands identity and message to your target audience in a way that your target audience would appreciate enough to visit and maybe even share a post or two. Remember none of your information you save to your business page is set in stone so if you feel as if something is not working for you then change it to your heart’s content. As with everything else in life Facebook marketing requires a fair amount of trial and error.[/l] [hdmd]Content is king, competition is fierce [/hdmd] [postpic=contentking.png class=img-responsive title=Content, the king of kings alt=Content, the king of kings style=STYLE][/postpic] [l]You will hear it everywhere you go online these days, Content is king! Long live the king! Well ok maybe not that last line but I’m sure you get the picture, the most important aspect of any social media channel is the content. It’s your wonderful and unique content that will hold people’s attention. Your lovely optimised profile may get the people to view your page but your content is what they stay for. [/l] [l][b]Do it right –[/b] I see a lot of posts on Facebook that are grammatically incorrect, spelt wrong or just badly written pieces of you-know-what. It’s not terribly difficult to run your post through a word processor to check the spelling and to read it out load to make sure it sounds right. If you have an extra pair of eyes around, preferably with a human attached to them, get them to look over your posts before you get all trigger happy and start slamming that send button.[/l] [l][b]Spread them out –[/b] No one, and I mean no one, wants their timeline filled up with your jun… marketing materials. I almost said junk but I restrained myself. You may get all offended at this point, and that’s absolutely fine. So once you’ve calmed down, and steam stops coming out of your ears, let me explain what I meant. One man’s marketing materials are another man’s spam. Not everyone who follows your page wants to see 10 different posts by you in a row. If you’re lucky they will stop and take note of the first one, maybe even two, but that’s about your limit. People use Facebook to communicate with their friends. Junking up their news feed all in one go is a sure fire way to get your page un-followed in a hurry. Spread your posts out over the course of the day and give a good amount of time between posts. Make sure you post regularly and that you are posting at the time of day that your audience is most active. A couple of posts a day will be sufficient to increase familiarity with your brand.[/l] [l][b]Have something worth saying –[/b] This should go without saying but time and time again I see posts on Facebook that were created just for the sake of posting something. These pages get immediately un-followed as if they have nothing to say they clearly have nothing to offer me so why would I want them filling up my news feed with nonsense which is not anything to do with their brand identity or products. Also I see a lot of pages that only post sales pitches. Facebook is not a Sunday market, there’s no need to stand on the corner shouting ‘Buy x, y and z here’. You’re not special, there are lots of other companies selling the same products or services as you so you need to convince people that not only are you a source of products or services but you are also a source of knowledge. People love to find out new things so provide them with nourishment for their intellect and curiosity and they will reward you with a little slice of reader loyalty.[/l] [l][b]Use images and video effectively –[/b] Lots of blogs and social media guides that I have read have said that you should add media (images, videos etc.) to each and every post. And it is true what they say about posts with media having better results but this is not always the case. I do absolutely encourage you to utilise Facebook live and to upload some videos and pictures but these have to fit in with the content of the post and with your brand image. If you’re not sure whether it conforms to your brand identity then leave it out as consistency in your content is very, [b]very[/b], important.[/l] [l][b]Schedule your posts –[/b] Your posts from your Facebook business page can, and should, be scheduled. That way you can plan your posts for the next few days and you don’t have to remember to post at whichever times your users are most active. Writing all your posts at the same time makes it easier to maintain a level of consistency in the content of your posts.[/l] [l]Tools to schedule posts - Facebook has a built in tool for the job which works great. To find this tool head over to the publishing tools tab on your Facebook business page and you will see a tab titled Scheduled posts. There are an array of 3rd party tools that will do exactly the same thing but allow you to publish to other social media channels as well.[/l] [l][b]Share other people’s content –[/b] This may sound counter intuitive but it really is a great tactic. Not only are you providing your audience information that is of interest you may also be surprised about how many of the people whose content you’ve shared will share some of yours in return and on top of that you are on your way to expanding your audience as some of those content providers may choose to follow your page.[/l] [l][b]Post regularly –[/b] In order to build brand awareness people will need to become familiar with more than just your company name. You need to post regularly, usually 2 – 3 times a day, in order for your audience to gain a familiarity with your brands personality. Your brand is a unique entity and before your audience can trust you they need to understand you. They want to know that if they come to you for which ever product or service you offer that they are making the right choice in getting it from you.[/l] [l][b]Keep it friendly –[/b] Everyone loves a bit of banter, don’t they? Well no they don’t and more to the point who gets to decide what is just a bit of banter and what is downright insulting. People appreciate the informal nature of Facebook but remember you’re not talking to your mates in the pub on a Saturday night, there’s a fine line between being friendly on a professional level and being friendly on a personal level. This is your business and you only want people to think good things about you.[/l] [l][b]Re-asses your strategy on a regular basis –[/b] The world around us changes at a very fast pace. When you step into the digital world the changes happen at hyper-speed. You need to constantly adapt to the change so regular assessment of your digital strategy is essential.[/l] [l]That’s all for now but thank you very much for reading and I hope you found it useful. Also don’t forget to check back regularly for new posts on how to most effectively manage your social media. Please share this article on social media using the buttons at the beginning and end of the post (or however you see fit, the important thing is you share it)[/l] [l]If you have any comments or question then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. And if there is anything you would like me to write about I am always open to suggestions. I look forward to hearing them![/l] [postpic=feedback-1825508_1280.jpg class=img-responsive title=Give me some feedback alt=Give me some feedback style=STYLE][/postpic]

7 Concrete Facebook Marketing Tactics That Can Help Your Business Grow

[postpic=fbGrowth.png class=img-responsive center-block title=7 Concrete Facebook Marketing Tactics That Can Help Your Business Grow by Michael Griffiths of Griffiths Web Design alt=7 Concrete Facebook Marketing Tactics That Can Help Your Business Grow by Michael Griffiths of Griffiths Web Design style=][/postpic] [l]Facebook is everywhere you look these days and as a business owner you’ve no doubt heard people go on and on about using Facebook for business purposes. I am going to assume that by reading this you are already trying to use Facebook for business or are at least looking to start. Brilliant! The first obstacle has been successfully circumvented. You are now ready to start basking in the glory of social media. But hang on a minute Facebook has 1.4 billion active users each month, so how the hell do we get noticed in this sea of digital information and cat videos? Well that takes a little work. I know it can be quite a daunting task but with the 7 tips that I am about to divulge you will be, I hope, a little more prepared to tackle the beast that is Facebook.[/l] [hdmd]So without further ado here is my 7 tips for effective Facebook marketing:[/hdmd] [hdsm]1) Get to know your audience.[/hdsm] [postpic=person-1831160_640.png class=img-responsive center-block title=Get to know your target audience alt=Get to know your target audience style=][/postpic] [l]This is the most important tip of them all, that’s why it’s number 1! If you post blindly without having done any research on your target audience then you will have little to no hope of reaching them and if you do it will be due to luck rather than your efforts. The best case scenario is that you will post, post, post but without any engagement from your audience. The worst case scenario is that you alienate any audience you may have and cause irreparable damage to your businesses reputation and public image. The moral of this little tale is that you need to figure out what makes your target audience tick in order to connect with them in any meaningful way.[/l] [hdsm]2) Timing is key to success[/hdsm] [postpic=pocket-watch-1637396_640.jpg class=img-responsive center-block title=Its all in the timing alt=Its all in the timing style=][/postpic] [l]This tip comes hand in hand with tip 1. You need to find out when your target audience is most active on Facebook. This is when you send out your most important updates. There is no point in sending them out when your target audience is not even online. There are lots of articles around on the internet that will advise a specific time. Ignore them! They don’t know your target audience, only you do.[/l] [hdsm]3) Keep it on track[/hdsm] [postpic=boots-181744_640.jpg class=img-responsive center-block title=Keep your updates on track alt=Keep your updates on track style=][/postpic] [l]This tip also ties in with tip 1. Your updates need to be relevant to your business and to your target audience. Your audience will only like and share your content if they feel that it is relevant or interesting enough. Likes and shares are like gold on Facebook. If you want your post to be spread around then you have to make sure that people want to and the only way to do that is to make sure that it is relevant to them.[/l] [hdsm]4) Not too heavy on the old sales pitch![/hdsm] [postpic=market-1154999_640.jpg class=img-responsive center-block title=Steady on now with that sales pitch alt=Sell gently, people hate to be force fed style=][/postpic] [l]This is a point that I cannot stress enough. I know you want to sell your products and services but no one, and I do mean no one, will want to follow a page whose only posts consist of “Pleas buy product blah….” People will only follow a page if it is of interest to them. They certainly do not want their news feed filled with bland sales pitches. Try to stick to just one or two sales pitch posts a day, your audience will thank you for it.[/l] [hdsm]5) ALWAYS include an eye catching image[/hdsm] [postpic=smm.png class=img-responsive center-block title=Nice and bright. alt=Who doesn't like colourful images? style=][/postpic] [l]This tip is proven to increase the amount of post engagement by a considerable amount. Just make certain the image is relevant to the post. Use only good quality images, random photos taken on your IPhone will not cut it. Try to use bright colourful images, but only if it fits with the post, as people tend to respond more positively to colourful images.[/l] [hdsm]6) Be active and communicative[/hdsm] [postpic=group-1825509_640.jpg class=img-responsive center-block title=Talk to people, that's the point of social media alt=Talk to people, that's the point of social media style=][/postpic] [l]The tip is of super importance. People want to see that there is a person behind that profile, not just a company. Facebook is an informal public forum and you would do well to remember that when people make a decision to purchase a product or service it’s not just about the product it is also about how much they like you. So it is important to try to connect with people on a personal level (just try to remember there are limits to just how personal you should be). Make sure you respond to comments on your posts and try to comment on others posts as well. The more your target audience sees you engaging with them the more they will trust you which results in more sales.[/l] [hdsm]7) Make sure every post is well written, grammatically correct and spelled correctly[/hdsm] [postpic=check-145415_640.png class=img-responsive center-block title=Don't do a Trump, avoid his unpresidented mistake alt=Get it right before you publish style=][/postpic] [l]This tip may go without saying but you’d be surprised how many posts from ‘companies’ look like they have been written by a small child. These posts do not inspire any confidence, nor do they encourage me to engage with them. It makes the poster look unprofessional. Use a word processing program, like Microsoft word, to type out your posts. Once you are happy with the spelling and grammar run it through a text to speech program (Microsoft word does have one included) to see how it sounds. Then if you are happy with the result you can post it. I sometimes get my fiancé to read some of my posts. She knows nothing about web development or marketing so if my posts make sense to her they must be on the right track, I hope![/l] [hdmd]So there you have it [b]7 easy to implement[/b] nuggets of Facebook gold. Have you got anything to add?[/hdmd] [postpic=feedback-1825508_1280.jpg class=img-responsive center-block title=Tell me what you think and let me know if i've missed anything out alt=Tell me what you think and let me know if i've missed anything out style=][/postpic] [l]Do you have any tips that I have not included? Add them in the comments and when I come back to update the post I will add them to the list. What have been your most successful tactics on Facebook? Do you have any questions or comments about this post or social media marketing in general? Get in touch, I love to hear different viewpoints maybe even debate a thing or two, who knows![/l] [l]Thanks for reading, I hope you find these tips useful. Please share this post around via any social channels you like or email etc.[/l]

Using Facebook groups to advertise your local service effectively and for free

[postpic=smm.png class=img-responsive center-block title=Using Facebook groups to advertise your local service effectively and for free alt=Using Facebook groups to advertise your local service effectively and for free style=][/postpic] [l]So you’ve just started a new business aimed at your local area. Everywhere you go you are told that advertising is the key to success. I don’t know about you but when I started my business I had an advertising budget of £0. So when you are in a situation like mine what do you do? Well the first thing I did was reach out to friends and family, which brought me exactly one job (which I did for free).[/l] [l]I built a site for a friend, who was very happy and I was pleased with the result. Great, I thought, this will give me something to show the world then I’ll be flying. Sadly this was not the case, in-fact very far from it. I had lots of compliments on my work but no more jobs. I started to feel as if I had wasted my time. [/l] [l]I have a Facebook business page but I was really struggling to get enough visitors and likes to generate some custom. I did all the things that the marketers say you should do, post regularly etc., but I found this to make no noticeable difference. All the while my personal Facebook profile was a resource that was left untapped. Sure I’d tried to connect with the influencers in my niche blah blah blah but I still had not generated any sales, which at the end of the day is the entire point of starting a business. While I sound rather unenthused about meeting these people it really was valuable. I met some great characters and learned many new things.[/l] [l]I was browsing the ‘for sale’ groups locally and noticed local businesses had started to post in them. Most of these adverts were badly written, some barely even made sense. Yet these adverts were receiving lots of exposure in their local areas. I decided to give it a go, although I make sure mine are well written and engaging while getting straight to the point.[/l] [l]Due to the success I have found through this I wanted to share with you the steps so you too can benefit from all those potential customers.[/l] [hdmd]The steps[/hdmd] [l][b]Step 1 –[/b] Find and join local for sale groups in Facebook.[/l] [l]This is an important step because this will determine the potential areas you could be working in, so set yourself a limit of where you are willing to travel etc. There is no point advertising in groups that target somewhere on the other side of the country. Also set a limit to the number of groups you join. You will need to be able to easily identify which groups bring engagement and which don’t. Also if you need to make a change to your advert it can become a mammoth task to update the posts if you are posting in too many groups[/l] [l][b]NOTE –[/b] Lots of groups allow business posting but there are also lots that do not. So choose wisely as you could end up being penalised by the group’s admins[/l] [l][b]Step 2 –[/b] Decide on one or two different adverts to display in each group.[/l] [l]This step is more about keeping your campaigns manageable. More adverts means more time, so consider how much time per week you are willing to devote to the task. I try to keep to one or two adverts at a time, when we get round to bumping posts you’ll know why. You should try to make your posts as eye-catching and though provoking as possible. If you struggle to write creatively there are many sources of helpful tips strewn across the internet, just do a google search on writing effective adverts.[/l] [l][b]Step 3 –[/b] Decide how long to run each advert.[/l] [l]This may sound like a no brainer but I have noticed many people just recirculating their old posts over and over again. People get very bored of seeing the same stuff over and over so they tend to mentally block out those repeating posts. Change it up on a regular basis to keep things new and exciting so the other users of those groups take note of all your adverts. In my own experience I have found that releasing a new advert every couple of weeks is enough to build some familiarity with your company without the ads becoming stale.[/l] [l][b]Step 4 –[/b] Post your adverts![/l] [l]What good are your carefully crafted adverts if you do not post them? When you post to a group, using a computer, you will see a box with the name of the group next to the Post button. Click on this box and it will present you with a list of groups you can post to. Select all relevant groups and then click on Post. Your post will automatically be posted in each group you have selected. [/l] [l][b]Note –[/b] Some groups are listed as ‘open’, in which case your post will go up straight away, and some are listed as ‘closed’. In the closed groups you will have to wait for your post to be approved by an admin or moderator of that group which can sometimes take a while.[/l] [l][b]Step 5 –[/b] Bump your posts regularly.[/l] [l]This step requires a little bit of extra care and is the most time consuming out of all the steps. You will need to comment on each of your posts in every group so your post is ‘bumped’ to the top of the groups feed. Some groups impose rules surrounding bumping so make sure you check (you will usually find a groups rules in a ‘pinned post’). When bumping your posts make sure you clean up, i.e. delete any previous bumps. Don’t bump too often as Facebook will think you are a spammer. I recommend bumping every 48 hours[/l] [hdsm]** Extra Tips **[/hdsm] [l]If your adverts are engaging enough they will attract lots of commenters. Make sure that you personally engage each and every one of those commenters, just make sure any sensitive information is exchanged in a more private forum, such as Facebook’s messenger service or good old fashioned telephone and email. Engaging with these people encourages more people to engage.[/l] [l]You will notice that many of the comments will be someone ‘tagging’ someone else that they know that may be on the lookout for a service like yours. Make sure you engage with these comments, click on reply to comment and say hi. The worst that could happen is you are ignored. No big deal.[/l] [l]Thank you for reading this post, I hope that it helps. Do you have any comments or suggestions you’d like to add? Then fire away, either in the comments below or via email:[/l]
Previous 1 Next 
Griffiths Web Design Logo by Michael Griffiths
Griffiths Web Design Logo by Michael Griffiths
Click to go to the top of the page