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The Essence of Social Media is STORY {especially Facebook for Business}

story is at the core of facebook for business

The essential part of following a Blog or a Facebook Page, is to find out the story behind the person behind the business. Of course we are also interested in the topic of the Blog or Page, but we are more curious about the person and what makes them tick. We are human after all, and as curious creatures, we love hearing stories from our friends every time we catch up, we look for stories in the news every time we turn on the TV, radio or Twitter and we dig for stories from the companies, celebrities and shows we know and love. Why? Because STORY gives us meaning and makes us feel that our own lives are okay. Bottom Line: We all crave MEANING and share a common need to MAKE SENSE of our own existence. We can all empathise with another person’s story, regardless of culture, country or creed. STORIES are therefore what weaves our lives together and form the timeless and borderless glue that binds us all as a species….

Our brains, even at a limbic level, drive us to empathise through story. As cave-people, we gathered around a camp-fire roasting marshmallows (I’m sure) and connected with each other through the stories of the days’ huntings and gatherings and either escaping or catching wildebeasts. These days, many modern humans congregate around the TV set rather than the community fire, and for those of us on the Planet that are plugged-in online, many of us are often on our laptops, SmartPhones or iPads “hanging out” in the News Feeds of our favourite Social Media….

Social Media therefore helps us build a personality for our businesses, a “profile”.  Our Fans identify with what our brands stand for (our brand values) and they also crave to know what makes us (the people behind the business) tick, so that they can make sense of their own lives too. As a business therefore, I can’t emphasise enough that it’s your updates to your Fans that keep your Followers curious about you and loyal to your product.

At the May 2013 Social Media Club, we huddled together in a warm room around a friendly white board, and as business owners we discussed “what makes a good story”. We also brainstormed a case study to help us arrive at a conclusion….

Facebook for Business Speaking

I won’t go into the Case Study here (you need to be at “The Social Media Club” in person to get all the juicy bits!) but we concluded that what makes a good story on a blog or a Facebook for Business page is….

  • talking about an aspect of your product that everyone can empathise with
  • talking about something real in your business that your Fans can connect with
  • talking about how your business has made life easier for someone
  • talking about how your product has fulfilled a need
  • showing us your product in action

So even though on a daily basis, the reason we use Social Media for Business is ….

  • for marketing & advertising
  • for branding
  • to share photos
  • to build a community
  • to generate sales
  • to position our businesses online
  • for quick & easy, accessible communication with our customers
  • to generate a discussion and buzz around our brands
  • to go viral (hopefully)
  • and because it’s a free business tool

…..the main reason why we use Social Media for Business is to tap into the Big Online Referral System. Yep, we are basically building an army of Fans that will adore our businesses and RAVE about our products online, to their Friends and to their Friends of Friends. I talk alot about the Viral Nature of Online Marketing and how it can work for your business in my book Novice2Ninja-Facebook for Business.

And at the core of this Big Online Referral System is an Army of Adoring Fans that rave about you and this referral engine is driven by, inspired by and fuelled by YOUR STORY.

Mastering the Basics FOR Facebook for Business

So, TELL US THE STORY of your business on your Blog or Facebook for Business Page. Or better still, SHOW US the story of your business through relevant photos and videos, sell us the benefits of what you do, reveal to us why we should choose your business and love your product (and not your competitors) and you will soon build a community of Raving Fans that will not only become Repeat Customers but will also refer their Friends….

Social Media is like Word of Mouth in real life, but ONLINE. As a business, you need to leverage your story to drive this referral engine.

So what’s your story? How are you showing us what your business does and how it helps people? What photos and videos will you use to reveal the person behind your business? Here’s just a handful of the many businesses I have helped – this is my story….

social media for business

facebook for business support

helping facebook for business

supporting local businesses with social media

social media business support

Facebook for Business Speaking

Facebook for Business Speaking

Facebook for Business Speaking

speaking event

Facebook for business helping small business

Facebook for Business Speaking

facebook for business SMALL BUSINESS HELP

And we’d love you to join the next dynamic discussion at the next “Social Media Club”, come join us bring a business friend – click here for more info….

Join us at “The Social Media Club” here

Or if books or 1-on-1 are more your thing, then here’s how we can connect….

Buy “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business” , eBook or Printed, here Request a Call-Back to chat about a 1-on-1 Session with Francesca Read reviews about the awesome work I do, here

Cheers for now!  Thank you for reading. And here are some buttons to share the love….

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With Gratitude
Francesca Esposito-Rose B.Inf.Tech.
Business Mentor, Online Strategist, Author, Speaker & Social Media Business Specialist

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First 10 Things You Need to Know about Social Media for Business {Strategy Tips}

facebook for business tips
I had the absolute delight of teaching in Sydney last week and also giving a seminar to a business group in Bangalow this week. Here is some feedback….

Thank you so much for a wonderful lunch, fantastic gathering of beautiful people and the great social media talk by Francesca from The Like Effect……. an informative and relevant talk. ” Lisa Fitzpatrick @ Sacred Women’s Business

What a very special afternoon we enjoyed at Town in Bangalow yesterday. A huge thank you to Francesca from ‘The Like Effect’ for such a fascinating, inspiring and interesting presentation. Also for your very valuable time.” Rosemarie Toynbee @ Byron & Beyond Networking

Thanks for your inspiring talk today at Town….. you are very generous in your sharing of information – thank you.” Susan Garrad @ Womens Health Naturally

Mastering the Basics FOR Facebook for Business

Many folks nowadays are asking me about “advanced features” and I am starting a MasterClass very soon, however mastering the basics is still what will give you most benefit when using Social Media in your business. I operate on the 80/20 rule, knowing that 20% of the work you do will get you 80% of the results. And that the last 80% of your effort will only bring in the last 20% of results. So focus on the Top 20% and….

  1. Master the basics first before moving onto Advanced functions
  2. Walk before you run
  3. Get the hang of looking for content for your business
  4. Wrap your head around mastering how to engage people on your Page and how to deliver useful content, otherwise you have no social media for business strategy and posting randomly is never successful, believe me, I have tried it, it doesn’t work
  5. All of the above is covered in my book Novice2Ninja and this is also what we work through in my workshops. My 1-on-1 mentoring however would be the best place where I can help you with advanced functions (as well as my upcoming MasterClasses)

facebook for business

So if you’re just starting out, or in the process of sharpening your saw….

Here’s the First 10 Things you Need to Know about Social Media for Business….

  1. Master One. The “Big 4″ Social Medias are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN & Pinterest (in this order). However a Jack of all (Social Medias) will not serve you. Start with Facebook as it has the biggest population (over 1 billion followers). Get comfortable with this for at least for 6-12 months before considering adding a 2nd Social Media to your business.  
  2. Get Training. Learning Social Media is essentially learning a new system and a new way of marketing your business. Investing in training could be one of the most empowering steps you ever take in your business. More about my Workshops & Training Books here….
  3. Keep Personal Separate. Setup a separate Business account to keep your business and personal interactions separate. This allows you to have different settings in each account, keeping your personal settings private.
  4. Limit Your Time. To avoid getting sucked in to the Social Media time vortex (you have a business to run right?), apply a time rule and be diligent about it. Recommend 30 mins a day as you are learning. Then reduce to 10 mins a day.
  5. Schedule your posts. This allows you to plan your posts during your quiet times, knowing that when you are busy, posts are being released for you and your Social Media is still working for you. More about using the schedule feature on Facebook here….
  6. Show Up for your Fans. Daily. Reply to comments individually. Otherwise it’s like having customers in your shop that you are ignoring. Know that replying to comments could also potentially lead to a sale. Consistency is key.
  7. Embrace it. Don’t begrudge the time you spend on Social Media. This is a new and very powerful way to market your business. Highly targeted advertising is now at your fingertips, and besides any training costs and your time, Social Media is the most cost-effective business marketing tool available today on the planet.
  8. Persistence Pays. Adopt a daily routine of working on advancing your Social Media. It will pay off in 6-12 months as it takes a few months to build a Fanbase and develop a clear personality on your Social Media presence.
  9. Have Fun. Social Media is meant to be fun. Short, friendly and conversational posts are the most highly engaged. Positive Social Media is the most successful, so make your Social Media presence a happy one.
  10. Invest in great (or at least good) visuals. Start photographing everything interesting & relevant in your business. Get a digital camera (or use your iPhone camera) and do your best to capture good lighting and colour.

Mastering the Basics Facebook for Business

★ Facebook for Business 3-Day Workshop

★ DISCOVER how to use Facebook in your business ★

This could be the most important step you ever take….

Wednesday 22, Thursday 23 & Wednesday 29 May 2013

at the beautiful SummerHills Retreat Byron Bay @ Bangalow

Strictly limited to 6 business owners only. Book your seat here

♥ “Two of the best days of training I’ve ever had!” Michelle Shannon @ Byron Bay Celebrant

♥ “A truly inspiring workshop & seriously well spent three days!” Lisa Black Jewellery

♥ “Loved it!It gave me confidence & was easy” Natalie Dobrohotoff @ Byron Bibs

♥ “This has given me incredible insights & practical tips” Leah Roland @ Bangalow Cooking School

♥ “Francesca knows everything about FaceBook & Social Media” Sue Daly @ Bangalow Naturopath

♥ “I’ve loved every second of every day” Michelle Stone @ Let’s Party Lismore

♥ “I had a great time learning how to manage my Facebook page” Cindy Blake @ Hatz by The Sea

♥ “A very useful course, now I feel like a hare instead of a turtle!” Claudia @ Gogys for Kids

♥ “Wonderful course. Wholeheartedly endorse this workshop” Richard @ Bangalow Newsagency

♥ “This has made me hungry to learn more. Highly recommend it!” Karen Dyson @ Bangalow Lounge

♥ “Hands on training at its best. I recommend this course to anyone” Barbara Whiteside @ NetGifts

So if you are ready to dive deeper into building and managing your Facebook for Business Page, join us at the next Facebook for Business Workshop coming up soon or come along to this month’s Social Media Club and enjoy the benefits of a fun evening of discussion on the best ways to use Social Media in your business.

Grab your seat to the upcoming Facebook Business Workshop here Join us at “The Social Media Club” here

And if books or 1-on-1 are more your thing, then here’s how we can connect….

Buy “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business” , eBook or Printed, here Request a Call-Back to chat about a 1-on-1 Session with Francesca Read reviews about the awesome work I do, here

Cheers for now!  Thank you for reading. And here are some buttons to share the love….

With Gratitude

Francesca Esposito-Rose B.Inf.Tech.
Business Mentor, Online Strategist, Author, Speaker & Social Media Business Specialist

{Photos Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net except the photo of me is taken by Rosemarie Toynbee}

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How To Handle Comments on your Facebook for Business Page {and discover vital opportunities for business growth}

strategy for how to handle comments on your facebook for business page

We cover alot of ground in my 3-Day Facebook Workshop, but one area we only touch upon lightly is how to handle comments that other people leave on your Facebook for Business Page.  So I chose this as our topic of discussion at “The Social Media Club” last week because “comments” have been all over the media (online) the last 2 weeks. Some of my clients have also been struggling with how to handle comments lately, especially negative ones, so this topic is timely.

Thing is, you can control what you post, when you post it and how you post it, and this is exactly what we cover in the 3-Day Intensives. This is also covered in detail in my book “Novice2Ninja“. But you can’t control what comments other people leave on your page.

However, you can manage the comments, and more importantly, how you react to them. Better still, if you adopt a positive strategy for handling comments, then these can actually turn into a vital opportunity for growth in your business.

Managing comments needn’t be scary, you just need to know how to handle them. And there are different ways to manage negative comments versus positive comments.

We discussed 4 case studies at “The Social Media Club” last week when we jammed this topic, too much to outline in this blog post (but join us in person next month to get the full low-down), so I’ll focus on just one example here, namely, the Qantas-Facebook Page debacle which exploded week….


Accepting Negative Comments….

I usually start with the positive side of things but I’ll talk about negative comments first because these have been the cause of a hotbed of controversy over the last 2 weeks.

Qantas started to fly into the Middle East recently and hence made the decision to delete Pork from their menu. Since these are mostly Muslim countries added to the new flight routes Qantas obviously felt it was a fair enough decision. And I agree with them. I mean, you wouldn’t turn up to teach at a children’s seminar wearing your favourite leather cat-suit, right? Simply not appropriate. I’m all for being respectful of my customers and their sensitivities. But what happened next on the Qantas Facebook Page was almost unbelievable, and in my opinion, grossly unAustralian. The deletion of pork triggered a barrage of negative comments on the Qantas Facebook for Business Page. These comments were extremely racially offensive and outrageously prejudice. So much so that the thought of placing a screen shot here would make my skin crawl. Suffice to say, the comments were the kind that would embarrass you, so I’m not posting them here, but were along the lines of “Arab lovers” and “sleeping with the Islamic enemy”. And that’s just the start! Seriously folks! Just eat the beef or the chicken that is available on the menu and put aside your love of bacon just for this one long haul flight into Dubai! Qantas have the right to put whatever they want on their menus, the same as Woolies Byron Bay stock my favourite soy milk (Bonsoy) but Woolies Ballina doesn’t keep it because they can’t shift this product to a different population! So why would Qantas design a menu around food that their customers on this particular route wouldn’t eat and would also be offended by!

The problem got worse when Qantas left this outpouring of anger on their Facebook page for over a week. And by the time that Qantas got around to actually deleting the racially offensive comments, you would have thought that online WWIII had broken out on the Qantas Facebook Page. Mind you, the whole world was watching us and our bad behaviour.

So when Qantas finally deleted the offensive comments and went public about it, they were attacked with even more negative comments from folks that felt that the “deletion” of comments on a Facebook page is plain wrong. You see,  some folks feel that a public Facebook page should not be moderated or censored in any way. I understand this point of view and in a perfect world, I agree with it in principle, but this is not a perfect world and not moderating your Page can lead to further problems (as Qantas discovered last week)….

Okay folks, so here are the important facts you need to know about public comments left on your Facebook Business Page….

  1. Last year in Australian Law, a company was sued for leaving offensive comments on their Facebook Page. They lost the case. So the case is now tested, Facebook is seen as a legitimate advertising medium, and your Facebook for Business Page must adhere to Australian Advertising Guidelines.
  2. As business owners, we therefore have no choice but to moderate comments on our Pages. Leaving offensive comments on our Pages is not an option. Our Facebook for Business Pages are “public” which means that children of any age could be looking at our Pages. Your Page therefore cannot contain any material that may offend anyone of any age.


So what are COMMENTS anyway?

Comments are just the FEEDBACK LOOP between you and your customers. You have to accept feedback in your business or your company won’t grow and change and you will struggle to survive.

Social Media has now become a fantastically dynamic way to accept feedback from the public. You can use the comments left on your Page to your advantage, and turn these comments into Feedback to improve your business.

Feedback is vital to any business. It tells you what the customer sees because what you see as a business owner is a bit blinkered. We all get a bit close to our products and what we do, and sometimes we can’t see our business through the eyes of our clients.

Accepting comments on your Facebook Page is a great way to expand and grow your business. You just need a strategy to do this.

business strategy for comments and feedback


So here’s How to Handle Negative Comments on your Facebook for Business Page and Keep your Page as Fresh as a Daisy….

  1. Accept the comments. Don’t take negative comments personally or as a slight on your character. Just accept that these comments are there to help you see what your customers see. This is vital for your business’ growth. 
  2. Address the public issue first. Nip the issue in the bud before it gets out of control (Qantas waiting a week to address the issue was way too long to wait, I don’t know why they didn’t address the issue immediately!) Remember that the customer had paid money in exchange for your product or service, so if it doesn’t live up to expectations, you can’t sweep the problem under the carpet and pretend the problem is not there. Does the product fall apart in their hand? Does the view from your B&B room meet the description on your website? Whatever the problem is, fix it, and address the issue publicly, on Facebook. If you don’t address the issue, you risk receiving a bad review on a forum where you don’t have the ability to voice your side of the story. So if a customer has left you a negative comment, this is a blessing, because it could have been alot worse (they could have left you a bad review instead.) Rather than begrudging a negative comment, you should be thankful for them!
  3. Address the internal issue next. If a product fell apart in their hands, then your supplier has let you down. If the trees in front of a hotel window have grown so tall that they have now blocked the advertised view, get the trees trimmed and pruned back to the right height to allow the view to be seen. Fix the underlying process that has caused this issue – treat the cause not the symptom. You need this kind of feedback otherwise you’ll never know there is a problem with your product.
  4. Be generous. Always offer a replacement product. This is good business regardless of Facebook. Offer a free holiday in the future if there was something significantly wrong with their hotel room. Offer them a replacement photo shoot if the photos were too dark. Offer to send the customer a new product if the original product fell apart. Whatever you do, don’t ignore the customer. Instead, take this opportunity to expand your understanding of your product. This is the time to be brave and fix the issue at hand.
  5. Be gracious. If someone is upset for a legitimate problem with your product, then nip the issue in the bud by addressing the issue and offering a replacement product BUT do this graciously. Be diplomatic always. There is no scope for sarcasm when a customer is upset. Don’t “shame” the customer either. Remember that the customers that love you are also watching and if what you say is off-putting, you might lose your good customers too. So fix the problem in your product or process, diffuse the negative comments to avoid being badly reviewed and strike a happy medium between explaining the issue publicly and diplomatically apologizing.
  6. Delete Comments. You only need to address issues that are legitimate. If a comment looks like spam, or if a comment is racial, prejudice, sexual or offensive in any way, just delete the comment. Know that there are also some people that make it their job to find pages to comment on and to leave random scathing comments, for no reason at all. These people are call TROLLS and have no shame and clearly, nothing better to do with their time. Trolling is big on the Internet. But don’t worry, just delete them. On your Facebook for Business page you have two options. You can either just “delete” the comment or can also “delete and ban” which bans the user from being able to leave a comment on your Page in the future. Choose whichever option you think is most appropriate. Bottom line, don’t be scared to delete a comment that is unnecessarily negative. My rule of thumb is, if you’re losing sleep over it, delete it. You have to protect your business and your brand.
  7. Consider Adding House rules. Qantas eventually added “House Rules” to the description of their Facebook Page. And if you are in a business that is repeatedly spammed or trolled, then you may want to consider this too. To do this, click on “Edit Page” then “Update Public Info” then add your “House Rules” there. Remember to be friendly, Facebook is meant to be a place of positivity and fun. This is what Qantas added to their Page last week. It’s all encompassing, so you may not need to go this far….
comments on facebook page

 

How to Handle Positive Comments on your Facebook for Business Page and Turn These into Vital Opportunities for Business Growth….

This is a much easier strategy…..

  1. For starters, ensure that the “comments” are turned “on” in your Facebook settings. To check this, go to “Edit Page” then click “Edit Settings” and make sure that all the “Posting Ability” and “Posting Visibility” boxes are all “ticked”. I had a client last week who wanted to “turn off” the comments on their Page. With a high profile product always in the media, this business owner was growing tired of managing the comments on their Page. I suggested that they leave the comments turned on, and instead adopt a strategy to handle them (see points below). Otherwise you are missing the whole point of Facebook if you are not allowing your customers to talk to you! For more info about the core reasons for being on Facebook, click here….
  2. Allow customers to talk with you because this is the best way to Engage with your customers and this increases the EdgeRank score of your Page. For more info about your EdgeRank score, click here…. For more reading about how to better engage your customers, click here…. We also spend about half of my 3-day Workshop talking about How to Engage your customers. Half of my book is also dedicated to this subject, so Engaging your customers is pretty important! Therefore handling comments is part of this process….
  3. Responding to positive comments allows your customers to “check you out”. So adopt a daily routine of responding to comments. Allow your customers to “try you” before they buy from you and your business has the best chance of growth.
  4. Some customers need to be comfortable talking with you on your Facebook Page, before they buy from you. So responding to comments on your Page could also lead to sales from your Page. Handling comments positively and in a timely manner is therefore crucial. Just check your Page once a day and reply to all comments personally and individually.
So comments on your Facebook Page are not scary. Comments are simply the online version of a “Feedback box” at the front of your store. Adaptation is the key to business survival. And if you adopt the view that managing these comments are an opportunity for growth, your business has the chance to adapt and expand.
comments strategy on facebook for small business
Remember that Facebook is meant to be a positive place, a place where you can build your brand online and spread the love and joy that your business brings to your customers. However ensuring that your Facebook Page remains clean of abusive and offensive comments is not only your job, it is also your legal responsibility. It’s just part of the gig. So embrace a daily routine of handling comments and by turning these into valuable feedback, you will give your Facebook Page, and also your business, a new opportunity for growth.

If you are ready to dive deeper into building and managing your Facebook for Business Page, join us at the next Facebook for Business Workshop coming up soon or come along to next month’s Social Media Club to get the benefit of the full evening of discussion.

Grab your seat to the upcoming Facebook Business Workshop here Join us at “The Social Media Club” here

And if books or 1-on-1 are more your thing, then here’s how we can connect….

Buy “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business” , eBook or Printed, here Request a Call-Back to chat about a 1-on-1 Session with Francesca Read reviews about the awesome work I do, here

Cheers for now!  Thank you for reading. And here are some buttons to share the love….

With Gratitude

Francesca Esposito-Rose B.Inf.Tech.
Business Mentor, Online Strategist, Author, Speaker & Social Media Business Specialist

{Photos Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net}

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How Not To Annoy Your Fans {Top 20 Tips to Avoid Negative Feedback on your Facebook Business Page}

facebook business page negative feedback edgerank algorithm

Last week at “The Social Media Club” we had a hearty and fun discussion about “How Not to Annoy your Fans on your Facebook for Business Page”. These ideas relate to all of Social Media really, whether it’s a Fan, a Follower, a Subscriber or a Liker as none of us want to lose Fans that we have worked hard for. However avoiding negative feedback is more important now than ever before, because recently, Facebook adjusted the EdgeRank Algorithm to now include “negative feedback”. So for the first time ever, when a Fan Unlikes your page, hides a specific post, hides all your posts from their news feed from now on, or worse, reports your Facebook Business page as spam, this now affects your visibility in the NewsFeed in the future.

A high percentage of negative feedback on your Facebook Business Page, will cause your Page to appear less and less in the NewsFeed. It is thus important, now more than ever, to ensure you are posting high quality content for your Fans to enjoy. You want your Fans to respond positively to your posts, and to reward you with a share, comment or a like. Your Page needs to be a place of joy, not frustration, for your Followers….”


So here’s my Top 20 Tips to Avoid Negative Feedback on Your Facebook Business Page, or How Not to Annoy Your Fans….

  1. Negativity and Whinging is a real turn-off
  2. as is Rudeness.
  3. Posting too often will get more Unlikes than any other reason
  4. as will posting information that is irrelevant to your Business and to your Fans.
  5. Posts that are too long are hard to connect with
  6. and Posts without photos tend to get overlooked.
  7. Political or Religious views can seem a bit like Spamming
  8. as does straight out Spamming.
  9. Adding a Twitter hash-tag to your Facebook post is one of my favourite bug bears
  10. as is sharing a photo or article without a comment.
  11. Constantly selling, selling, selling can be too much
  12. as is broadcasting your information and not taking any interest in your Fans.
  13. Being overfamiliar or too sugary can seem unauthentic
  14. and not replying to comments on your Page can upset your Fans.
  15. Writing in ALL UPPERCASE can seem like you are shouting and
  16. constantly asking “Please like me” can seem like begging.
  17. Poor spelling can appear like shabby work
  18. and Repeating your Posts is never a good look.
  19. Using too many mentions (@ symbol) in one post is hard to read.
  20. And lastly, posting from outside Facebook is not ideal because many times the share, like or comment button will be missing on these particular posts. This can be particularly frustrating if a Fan really wants to make a comment about a specific post but it is missing some or all these features. It’s therefore best to post from inside Facebook and not share your posts to Facebook when sitting inside another program like Twitter, YouTube or Hootsuite. Take the time to log in to Facebook and post from there and you will reap the rewards….

edgerank negative feedback algorithm change

Bottom Line: Your Facebook for Business Page needs to be a breath of fresh air for. What you say and what you do needs to delight your Fans….

And if you need a little help freshening up your Page, check out my previous blog posts on how to better engage your Fans and ways to get more shares, comments and likes on your Page.

If you are just starting to embrace Social Media in your Business, you may want to read social media tips for the time-poor small business ownerfacebook is not set and forgethow to make your business social and why it’s important to have a relevant social media strategy.

Or if a tune-up is more what you need, check out these blog posts about the habits of effective facebook page managers, setting boundaries to protect your personal privacy, mistakes to avoid on your Facebook page,  and tips on how to build your fanbase. Also you may be interested in how facebook maps and scheduling facebook posts can help you manage your page better ….

Or better still, join us at the next Facebook for Business Workshop coming up soon or come along to next month’s Social Media Club, both are fun, safe and informative….

Grab your seat to the upcoming Facebook Business Workshop here Join us at “The Social Media Club” here

And if books or 1-on-1 are more your thing, then here’s how we can connect….

Buy “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business” , eBook or Printed, here Request a Call-Back to chat about a 1-on-1 Session with Francesca Read reviews about the awesome work I do, here

Cheers for now!  Thank you for reading. And here are some buttons to share the love….

With Gratitude

Francesca Esposito-Rose B.Inf.Tech.
Business Mentor, Online Strategist, Author, Speaker & Social Media Business Specialist

{Photos Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net}

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How To Go Viral {or 11 Ways To Get More Shares, Comments & Likes on your Facebook Business Page}

facebook business

A local Italian restaurant “La Vida” just down the road in Lismore, went “viral” on their Facebook Business Page recently with a post about dreaming of a holiday on the Amalfi Coast….. check out their form here…. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=291387257627424&set=pb.144039622362189.-2207520000.1365601870&type=3&theater

This single post attracted over 60,000 likes and 20,000 comments. Not bad for a l’il local taverna, ey? And since then, “La Vida” have become somewhat of an urban legend around these parts….

So at The Social Media Club jamming session last night, we brainstormed “How To Go Viral“.

{Definition} Going Viral on Social Media is generally defined as having a post or a Page that attracts 10,000 or more shares, comments & likes. Give or take.

We all know it’s not easy being awesome 24/7 and aiming to have a post that goes viral is seemingly impossible. However understanding the elements that make a post or a page go viral, is not unknowable. We can break it down, deconstruct it, and understand the Viral Nature of Social Media. I know you’re saying “but that will never happen!” And I agree with you that “going viral” is a very rare event…. But my motto is….

If you shoot for the moon and miss, you will always land among the stars!

So what you want is just a piece of that Viral action. Even just a teensy-weensy bit. If you can inspire your Fans (and their Friends and their Friends of Friends) to click Share, Comment or Like on your post, you will be….

  • increasing your visibility in the newsfeed by having your Business Page exposed and revealed to more people
  • increasing your potential to gather more Fans the more often your post is shared because your Page will be viewed more often
  • most importantly, improving your position in the News Feed because the more shares, comments and likes your posts receive today, the higher your posts will display in the News Feed tomorrow. {This News Feed position is determined by the Facebook Algorithm called EdgeRank. I have written about this News Feed weighting and ranking of posts in a previous blog post, click here….}

But first we need to work out what makes your Fans’ hearts flutter (and their friends’ hearts, and their friends of friends’ hearts). We want lots of fluttering hearts…. 

facebook for business

Who’s with me? Let’s do this!


Here’s the Top 11 Ways to Get more Shares, Comments & Likes on your Facebook Business Page, or, How to Go Viral….

Put simply, the posts we analysed at our Social Media Club brainstorming session had already gone viral, and displayed some, most or all of these qualities below….

  1. Engaging and Enticing, “asks a question”, easy-to-join-in
  2. Simplicity, Yes/No, a “no-brainer”, an instant answer
  3. Beauty and Joy. Positive and UpBeat. Goodness.
  4. Easy breezy and Charming
  5. An element of Surprise or the Unexpected, “out-of-the-box”, a breath of fresh air. Unpredictable. A mystery.
  6. CHEEKY, Quirky or New. Unique and Original
  7. Fantasy or Fun. An invitation to Escape, Dream or Desire
  8. Open, Raw, Honest and Real
  9. “Connecting with the every day”, RELEVANT, Universally Appealing
  10. An “X-factor“, or how the French say it, “Je ne sais quoi”
  11. And above all, the posts were SHAREABLE & SOCIABLE

Bottom Line: To go viral, it’s all about the QUALITY of your posts….

  • Aim to include at least a few of these elements above, EVERY TIME you post. This will give you a higher chance of your posts spreading further through Facebook
  • Allow your Page and your posts to have a VOICE
  • Develop your brand through PERSONAL CONTACT, interacting with your Fans and Clients
  • Project the PERSONALITY of your business through posts about your products

So “Going Viral” is not entirely pot-luck. Well, there is an element of random luck, right-time-right-place, but more importantly, a post does not go viral unless it speaks to the people. If you endeavour to craft posts that inspire and speak to your Fans, you have a much higher chance of going viral than if your posts were dull, boring, unexpressive, uninteresting or irrelevant to your Fans.

Good luck and if you have a post that goes viral, I’d love to hear about it!

If any of these tips have helped you, I would be as blubbery as a fluttering heart, if you shared this blog post in your favourite online playground.

Cheers for now!  Thank you for reading. And here are the buttons to share the love with….

Read reviews about the awesome work I do, here Buy “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business” , eBook or Printed, here Request a Call-Back to chat about a 1-on-1 Session with Francesca Grab your seat to the upcoming Facebook Business Workshop here Join us at “The Social Media Club” here

With Gratitude
Francesca Esposito-Rose B.Inf.Tech.
Business Mentor, Online Strategist, Author, Speaker & Social Media Business Specialist

{Heart Tree Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net}

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To Blog or Not to Blog {The 4 Different Types of Blogs, and Whether you Need One for Your Business}

Blogging for Business

Many clients have been asking me lately “Should I Blog?” The truth is, yes and no. There is no right or wrong answer. Blogging has to be “right” for your business and could actually be terribly wrong for you. So because the answer to this question is multi-layered, I thought I would outline here the 4 different types of blogs, the favourite blogs that I follow religiously in each category, the reasons why you should (or shouldn’t) blog, and the 4 main free blog platforms that are available to you right now….

1. You May Consider Blogging to Share your Writing….

My favourite blogger that blogs to share her writing, is Danielle Colley in her blog  “Keeping up with the Holsby’s”. As a writer, and an incredibly funny one, she is busy in her studio writing cookbooks at the moment. And blogging to her heart’s content. Dani shares her world through her blog, and since I have the privilege to mentor Dani as well, and therefore seeing some insights into her life, I cannot imagine Dani living in a world without blogging.

 Business Blogging

Dani creates original recipes and in creating these unique creations, she either reminisces on stories about individual ingredients or she takes us vividly to a memory about the recipe. If you read her blog, it is clear that Danielle loves to write, therefore blogging gives her a perfect platform to launch her writing and with her 3rd cookbook coming out soon, blogging has been good for her. If you love to write, and you have a burning desire to share your ideas with the world, then a “written” blog could be good for your business.

So if you are an author, comedian, actor, chef, inventor, world traveller….. then starting a written blog sharing your own original short pieces, could be a place where your business could flourish online, as it would help you get visibility in your craft.

2. You May Consider Blogging to Share your Pictures….

My favourite “visual” blog is Suzy McLeod’s photography blog. I had the pleasure of meeting Suzi at one of the “Tweet-ups” I organised in Bangalow (a piss-up for Tweeters), and then again at my Social Media Club recently. But before then, I was already an avid follower of her photography blog. Man, Suzi can photograph! I am generally not interested in wedding photography, or upcycled tables that one may have their eye on at a local recycling store, but the way that Suzi captures the pictures that catch her eye and the people and stories that she encounters, is truly inspirational to me.

Business Blogging

Suzi has recently setup a new photography studio in Bangalow called “Down Bangalow Road” and you see many of her photography adventures posted via her Facebook Page. Yes Facebook is like a mini-blog, but if you always have loads of photos to post, or you have a story to share along with them, then a visual blog could help you.

So any photographer, designer, decorator, artist, tourist or anyone with a steady stream of their own original photos or artwork in their business, would benefit from starting a visual blog, by helping you share your portfolio.

3. You May Consider Blogging to Share Facts & Wisdom….

My favourite “factual” blog is Nikki’s from “Styling You“. This blog won “Best Australian Blogger of 2011, and one look at her blog and you can see why.

Blogging for Business

Nikki posts a steady stream of “tips” to help women style themselves if personal styling is not their natural forte. Now I am no fashionista by a long-stretch, but I love that each “fact” that Nikki posts is also accompanied with a little story about what’s happening in her life right now. She also posts lots of links to other articles and other pages which may be helpful on a particular topic.

So if you are a stylist, scientist, naturopath, lawyer, accountant, counsellor, mentor, trainer or coach, or anyone that is in a business of sharing “advice” or “inspiration”, then a factual blog could support your business to flourish online by helping you share your wisdom.

4. You May Consider Blogging to Share your Story or Cause….

Some bloggers simply blog to stir up controversy, to trigger a dialogue about current socio-ecnomic topics, just for the hell of it or because society desperately needs it. These are all good reasons to blog and I love blogs like this. And my favourite blog in this genre is “Edenland” by Eden Riley.

Blogging for Business

Eden won “Best Australian Blog” in 2012, and deservedly so. She shares everything in her life, and I mean everything. There is nothing too random or too intimate for this infamous mummy-blogger. So much so, that Mrs. Riley has gone on to become somewhat of a celebrity in the blogoshpere, now being booked for speaking gigs and other media appearances. So revealing her personality through her blogging has really been core to launching her new career as an online-rockstar.

If you are an activist of any sort, if you run a charity or you have a voice you need to share with the world on any topic that you are passionate about, be it random or organised, charitable or anarchist, a story blog could be the key to raising mega-awareness or visibility for your cause, NPO or business. A blog could get you the attention you are looking for and raise your profile  both online and offline.

Business Blogging

So if any of these stories pique your interest and you are keen to nurture your ideas online through the format of a blog, then here are the top 4 blogging platforms you could try (all are free)….

The Top 4 Blogging Platforms at the moment……..

  1. WordPress.com – this is the blog platform I use – It is the best, hands down (in my opinion) and is also a powerful and flexible website builder
  2. Blogger.com – one of the original and well-known blogging platforms, run by Google
  3. Tumblr – this is more of a “micro-blogging” platform, not a full-blown blog service, but allows sharing & posting
  4. Weebly – another blogging and website building platform available

Blogging is a wonderful way to create an embryo to nurture your ideas, business and stories. However if none of these blogs types above catch your fancy, then alas, blogging may not be for you.

There is no point starting a blog if you don’t like to write, photograph, paint, spin a yarn, share articles or kick up some dust. You start a blog to share your voice online and to start a conversation about a topic you are passionate about. If you force yourself to start a blog but you don’t really want to share your ideas, then it will be a frustrating waste-of-time for you….

But don’t despair, for all those non-bloggers out there, a Facebook Business Page is like a mini-blog anyway. You can upload photos and snippets of your business onto Facebook at any time. Provided it’s not a novella, then Facebook is a great platform to share your thoughts and wisdom about your business. However if you have more than a paragraph to write, you will lose most people’s interest on Facebook and you’d better consider starting a blog STAT.

And that’s a wrap.

If any of these tips have helped you, I would be as chuffed as an award-winning blogger in a wet dream about winning best blogger of the year, if you shared this blog post in your favourite online playground.

Cheers for now!  Thank you for reading. And here are the buttons to share with….

Read reviews about the awesome work I do, here Buy “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business” , eBook or Printed, here Request a Call-Back to chat about a 1-on-1 Session with Francesca Grab your seat to the upcoming Facebook Business Workshop here Join us at “The Social Media Club” here

With Gratitude
Francesca Esposito-Rose B.Inf.Tech.
Business Mentor, Online Strategist, Author, Speaker & Social Media Business Specialist

{All Photos Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net except blogger home page banners are from the bloggers blogs themselves and are their own copyright}

 

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What’s Holding You Back in Your Small Business? {And My Top 5 Tips to Help Rock Your World}

Facebook Business

I have to confess, my ethnicity held me back for many years. For 40 years in fact, I felt like a 2nd-class citizen. Being born in Sydney to migrant parents, and growing up in an “Anglo” area, I never quite felt “good enough” (or white enough). As a kid I would have killed for a shop-bought white-bread vegemite-sandwich like everyone else around me. Instead I sported home-made-salami and mum’s home-pickled-artichokes on chunky-pana-de-casa for lunch. However, rather than relishing my differences and celebrating my ethnicity, I slunk into a cycle of unconfidence and under-valuing myself. It was a tough gig.

I have run multiple successful multi-million-dollar businesses since I was 19, and in business I have always been confident. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, being “good” at business has always come naturally to me. My mum always says I popped out at a quarter to nine on a Monday morning, bright and chirpy, ready to do business. And at 6, I was “selling” mudcakes from the window of our cubby-house to any willing passer-by, already a budding entrepreneur.

But even as an adult, at 40, I was not really “owning” my true talents. So on the eve of my 40th birthday (4 years ago) a series of catastrophic events in my personal life led me to an epiphany. And in that place of insight, I realised that my “ethnicity” was holding me back in business and in my personal life too. I felt I had nothing to offer, because I was never good enough, or so I believed. I needed to let go of that “ethnic” chip on my shoulder. It was more of a boulder, and it was holding me back from being who I really wanted to be. I decided I needed to let go of the “ethnic filter” that I was seeing the world through and that was my excuse for not taking the next step in my career. I needed to release myself from the yearning to be like “everyone else”. It was time to grow up. And it was the best thing I ever did. Because in doing this, The Like Effect was born, where I am now able to share what I have learned in my 24 years experience of business and help others avoid the inherent pitfalls of running a small business.

What changed for me significantly on the eve of my 40th birthday, was a realisation that I had the choice to focus on sharing my talents and what I was “good at” with the world, rather than focus on what I wasn’t good at. I made the conscious choice to believe that I have value. And slowly slowlyI started to believe that what I was good at, was worth sharing, and that my extensive experience in private, public and corporate business, could indeed help somebody else.

Business Facebook Mentoring in Byron Bay

This week I have helped other small business owners from Connecticut to Utah, from Sydney to the Gold Coast, from Lismore to Ballina, from Byron Bay to Bangalow, from Mullumbimby to London. And that’s just one typical week for me. And I have to say, that when I see my work in action these days, and I see that I am helping other small business owners kick some business goals of their own, every single week and every single day, I am truly humbled. But the confidence I have today hasn’t come easily. It has been a steep learning curve the last 4 years to be fully myself, and I didn’t get here by accident….

By the way, I am not sharing this story with you as a way of “personal purging”. My blog is not a place for me to vent or dump on you, my precious readers. I am sharing this piece of “personal me”, this side of my humanity, because many small business owners that mentor and workshop with me, have serious doubts about the value of their product and suffer the lack of confidence to price their products correctly (which is a reflection of their own lack of self-worth). And so I have shared my story with you today because one of the major restraints I see every day holding back many small-business owners, is THEMSELVES.

If you suffer from undervaluing yourself (and your products), then you may feel better to know that learning to “get out of your own way” is one of those universal challenges that many small business owners have in common, regardless of culture, country or education. You’re not alone.

Especially as your business starts to grow and expand, your insecurities will no doubt rise up with a vengeance and threaten to swallow you up. Or worse, your weaknesses could bottleneck your business and stop it from progressing and flourishing.

So, tell me, is there something holding you back? A belief that you are not good enough? A habit that devalues what you do? A voice inside your head that drives you to under-price your product and be in a constant cycle of discounting? Are there external forces (or people) bringing you down?

Until you stop blaming your race, education, parents and other external factors, your business will never grow. To truly take-off in your business, you have to believe that you (and your product) has value……

Having overcome this challenge myself over the last 4 years, I can say from experience that having belief in yourself takes some practice, daily practice. And if I have been able to overcome my fears, a shy geeky girl from non-English-speaking migrant parents who felt too uncool to share her talents most of her young (and adult) life, so can you. I can’t tell you how so incredibly empowering it feels to be sitting inside your own personal power. And that once you have felt the bliss of what this feels like, and tasted the sweet fruits that this personal power can yield to you, you will never want to look back.

Along the way I found some simple yet very powerful steps that helped to unstick me from holding myself back in doing what I really wanted to do when I grew up. And finally at a ripe age of 40 years young, I realised that coaching others to be more awesome versions of their already-talented selves and to help other small business owners find the juicer paths in their business, was the path that would bring me most joy and bliss in my life. And because I am a sharing-kinda-ethnic-gal…..

Here are My Top 5 Tips to Help Rock Your World….

1. Surround Yourself with Positive People. Eliminate toxic situations (and people) from your life. While you are caught up with who said what to whom, and which competitor is copying you now, you would’ve missed another golden opportunity to meet a new customer or discover a supplier that could change the course of how you could do things, for the better. *Negativity will only hinder your growth*

Cast Your Seeds onto the Most Fertile Soil. Don’t waste your time being caught up in unfertile activities. Focus on the Juicy tasks, only…

2. Streamline Your Business so that the stressful tasks are outsourced. Also outsource the tasks that you are not good at. For example, if you are not good at book-keeping, hire a freelance book-keeper. This not only frees you up to do what you are good at, it will also make you feel more confident in what you are doing, because you are spending less time sucking at what you’re not good at. *Your time is better spent on strengthening your talents. The more you do what you do, you will grow more confident, as you get better and better at it, every day.*

Sharpen Your Saw – Every Day – Get Better at What You’re Good At. This is where the well of confidence will spring from…

3. Seek Solid Support. From your partner. From a friend. To help you see what you are already great at. To help you navigate the sometimes uncertain waters of the business world. To help you weather the criticisms and stormy events you may encounter. And if help is not forthcoming, seek help from a mentor. You may be a team of one (or three) but you are a team none-the-less, and you are the captain of your ship. So seek out some extra team members to help you run your business. You are not Robinson Caruso, you are not meant to do this alone. And you don’t have to add full time staff by the way, but seeking out some support could be the sanity-saver you need. *It’s okay to seek guidance so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes that countless other business owners have already encountered before you. Learn from their mistakes.*

You didn’t sign up for “good enough” – you signed up for AWESOME. So get the help you need to be a better version of you, so that your business will not only survive, but also flourish into the future…

4. Make a “Dream” board and pin everything on it that you really desire in your business (and life). I don’t mean this in a hippie-dippy kinda-way, I mean this in a visual/inspiring/”these are my goals” kinda way. Because if you haven’t got a vision, then you won’t know which daily steps to take, to bring you closer to your goals. *Having a vision, a goal, a mission statement, whatever you want to call it, ensures that you are only focusing on the tasks that are relevant to your goal. Everything else just drops away as unimportant* 

A Ship Without a Rudder is a Ship Going Nowhere. Having a daily direction gives your business meaning, purpose and a road map…

Which brings me to my last point….

5. Take Focussed Steps Every Day, to bring you closer to your goals….. Change the board around. Remove the goals that cease to be important. Add goals that have bubbled up as being important to you right now. Be prepared that the goal posts may change, and that’s okay. Changing goals is inevitable when you are living a conscious and aware life. So don’t just be “busy” at the tasks that scream for your attention the loudest. Make the conscious choice, every day, to focus on the priorities THAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT, TODAY. *Focus daily on your most important goals and you will find that the accumulation of these steps over the course of a year, will add up to a highly focused, meaningful and fruitful year in business*

Masters Focus on what They are Good At, that’s How They Became Masters. Share your talents, share what you are good at, practice daily, focus on important goals daily, not just “busy” work, and you will reap the rewards…

And if you still don’t believe me, here’s some food for thought….

Facebook business

I still struggle sometimes with “comparing” myself with other people, but that’s part-and-parcel of breaking the “perfectionist” cycle that I encased myself in. But that’s a whole other blog post….

That’s my 2-cents worth Peeps – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject, as this kinda-stuff moves me. And seeing my clients start to really believe in their product and the possibility of their businesses really flourishing online, also makes me feel that I have done my job…… And if I can help even one person believe in themselves more, then I have fulfilled my purpose…..

So if I have helped you rock your world, I would feel as famous as a rockstar if you shared this blog post with your friends in your favourite online space…

Thank you for reading. And here are the buttons to share with….

Read reviews about the awesome work I do, here Buy “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business” , eBook or Printed, here Request a Call-Back to chat about a 1-on-1 Session with Francesca Grab your seat to the upcoming Facebook Business Workshop here Join us at “The Social Media Club” here

With Incredible Gratitude
Francesca Esposito-Rose B.Inf.Tech.
Business Mentor, Online Strategist, Author, Speaker & Social Media Business Specialist

{Both Photos from facebook.com/UnitedHumanists}

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Top 3 Tips to Get Your “Business Social” on {and Why Facebook for Business is not “Set-and-Forget”}

Facebook Business

The theme of a lot of discussions this week during workshops and mentoring has been “so how do I get my Business Social on?” And by “Business Social”, I mean…..

  • what do I say and how do I say it on my page?
  • what sort of photos should I use on Facebook for my business?
  • how personal should I be on my Facebook Business Page?

One of the biggest things to get your head around when you are getting used to using Facebook for your Business, is that it is not “Set-and-Forget”. And by this I mean that if you set up the Page and walk away and don’t maintain it, it will fail.  You need to….

  • “turn up” for your Fans every day
  • whilst not letting Social Media take over your business or your life
  • and at the same time be chatty on your Facebook FanPage without being creepy or cheesy

Eeeeeeeek! It sounds like too much hard work to be awesome?!?!? Not really, once you know what to do and not what to do, managing your Facebook Business Page effectively becomes second nature, like riding a bike or driving a car….. Here’s how to get your business social on without suffering awesome-ness-fatigue…

Top 3 Tips to Getting Your “Business Social” on and Why Facebook for Business is not “Set-and-Forget”

1. Be Visual. Human Visual. Photos, photos, PHOTOS are one of the biggest drivers of Facebook Business. Being “Business Social” means we need to know who we are talking with in your business so that we can become part of your community. We want to know the human behind the business not just the product sheet. We want a relationship with you so that we know what sort of service you will give us after the product is bought. We want to trust you so that we can decide whether to buy from you

As a writer I was taught to SHOW not TELL my story….

Therefore you need to carefully select the photos you use on your Page to SHOW us, your customers, what is happening in your business. This is what works for me and my clients….

  • Profile photo – choose a photo that is a human face. Your face preferably. Humans connect with other humans. So it is not surprising that, statistically, Fans engage with a human face more than a logo or photo of your product. Remember that your profile photo is also going to be shrunk down to thumbnail size when you leave comments around Facebook, so ensure your photo is centred and is not going to look weird when shrunk. If a photo is taken too far away the face will be indistinguishable when shrunk to a thumbnail. So an up-close head-shot is ideal, doing something fun is even better. And a photo of a face with sunglasses just doesn’t cut it. We need eyes. Eyes mean trust.
  • Cover photo – this is the first visual a Fan sees when they enter your Page. Make it a compelling photo that shows the feeling of your product, or even better, use a compelling photo of the feelings of someone using your product. The keywords here are compelling and feeling. Lock onto these.
  • Photos in your Posts – these should be equally high quality and as beautiful as possible. Think of your Facebook Page as a glossy magazine. The more beautiful the photos, the more often you will buy the magazine and the more of it you flick through right? Same rules apply on your Facebook for Business Page….
  • Your Face is key – be prepared to show your face. This was a huge step for me, to allow myself to be photographed for photos that would later be uploaded into Facebook. We want to know who you are. It’s a natural human instinct to want to know who we are talking with, to see your eyes, to connect and to trust.
2. Your Business is Your Story. Another major driver of Facebook is STORY. It’s important that as a customer of your product that I get to know your company ethos. I want to know the culture of your business. It’s not like the 80′s and 90′s anymore, in the 00′s I am a savvy consumer now and it is not enough to simply buy your product, I want to belong to a community. Take the Apple brand for example, Apple is the biggest brand on the planet, hands down. bigger than Microsoft, bigger than Coke, bigger than McDonalds. And when you talk with a Mac user, they talk about Mac as if it is their devout religion and they will shoot you down in flames if you saying anything untoward about “their” Apple products. You see, Apple are not just selling iPads, iPhones and iMacs as electronic devices, they are selling a community. When you buy Mac, you buy religion, you buy into the Apple community. We can all learn from Apple. When building your brand on Facebook, take a leaf out of Apple’s book and know that your ultimate goal is therefore to build a community. To do this, you need to give your customers something to connect with. Something tangible. Something more than just the colours & sizes of your goods and the charter of your services. You need to give your customers something to believe in. You need to give them community. You therefore need to give them your story. We all know the Steve Jobs story. And similarly, your customers are hungry for your story. Here are the sorts of stories your customers may want to hear from you….
  • Successes – if you have reached a milestone, share this with your Fans. Share the success stories of your customers too and they will feel very special. We all want to hear a feel-good story.
  • Staff – customers want to know who is looking after them when they call you or use your product. Any staff arriving or leaving are therefore excellent stories to post. It’s old fashioned good PR to let your customers know whom they are dealing with.
  • Plans – if you are planning a new product, share your excitement with your Fans. This will whet the appetites of your consumers and leave them hungry for what else is in stall for them. Create a buzz with what the future holds for your company.
  • Research – if you are unsure whether to get the blue menu covers or the red menu covers, ask your Fans. Post a survey and see what they actually want! Asking a question on your Facebook FanPage is the cheapest R&D on the planet, and IT’S FREE!

3. Get Over Yourself. Reveal Yourself. Some of my clients say….

  • I am too shy to talk about what I really think on my Facebook Business Page
  • I don’t want to sound like I am trumping my own horn or like I have tickets on myself
  • I want to keep my real opinions private
My advice to you is to GET OVER YOURSELF. Privacy is dead and Social Media is holding the smoking gun

Sure, I don’t want to hear about your kids’ music recital tonight or your trip to Majorca last week, that would be bad taste in any business practice, be it when I greet you at my store, deliver a product to you or post to my Facebook  Page. As your customer, I do however want to know how you feel about some things. There is a boundary though, a line that should never be crossed. Here’s some pointers that work for me….

  • Add value to a post – if you are sharing a post, always let me know your thoughts on why you are sharing that post. As your Fan, it would be very useful to me if you told me why you think this post will be useful for me to read? If you can save me time wading through the information overload that barrages me every day, if you can help me by pointing me to the good stuff, chances are high that I will seek you out next time I need to buy the product that you sell.
  • Industry news – don’t sit on the fence when there is a kerfuffle in your industry. Come out of the closet and tell us what you think about the latest goings-on. Of course, no politics, religion or hate-rants please. But don’t be vanilla {yawn}, vanilla is so boring. Keep it upbeat, but expressing your objective opinion would be very much appreciated, thank you very much.
  • Wisdom – you have a whole lot of knowledge you’re sitting on over there right? So share your wisdom with me and I will become your loyal Fan and customer. However if you’re not bothering to give me any advice about anything, I’m going down the road to Jo-Blo who will be bothered to give me the tips I am after. Be prepared to “put out” for your Fans and they will reward you by buying from you, when they are ready.

If you can’t fathom turning up daily for your Fans on your Facebook Page, then get off Social Media, it’s that simple. However your business won’t thrive into the future, because unfortunately for the Facebook-unbelievers, Social Media for business is here to stay….

So overall….

  • be yourself, be a real human not a corporate auto-bot
  • have fun, make your page a happy place to be
  • be authentic, give us the truth and be accountable for it
  • facebook is not designed to be set-up-and-walk-away, facebook is meant to be set-up-and-build-a-community-and-a-brand-online, therefore you need to turn up for your fans, every day (or almost every day, a day-off won’t kill anyone, no-one’s died yet of Social Media Abandonment)
  • reveal your passion and share some love on your page
  • give us some of your juicy wisdom and we will look to you as the leader in your industry and buy from you in the future, naturally….
  • don’t be vanilla, have an opinion and don’t sit on the fence, we want some clear direction so be a leader in the areas you are expert in…
The biggest hurdle I see for many small business owners is learning how to get out of their own way. Allow yourself to “be” the expert that you already are, in the areas that you already know the best. Give yourself some credit and share your wisdom and we will love you for it…

To discover more of what to do and what not to do on your Facebook for Business Page, my book contains a 10-step method to help get your FanPage rocking, to purchase the book click here….

However if 1-on-1 is more your style, I can help you progress further with a personal session, to enquire about a coaching session click here

Read reviews about the awesome work I do, here Buy “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business” , eBook or Printed, here Request a Call-Back to chat about a 1-on-1 Session with Francesca Grab your seat to the upcoming Facebook Business Workshop here Join us at “The Social Media Club” here

And I would be as happy as a teenager with loud music blasting into my headphones if you shared this post with your friends in your favourite online playground. Thank you xx

With Gratitude
Francesca Esposito-Rose B.Inf.Tech.
Business Mentor, Online Strategist, Author, Speaker & Social Media Business Specialist

{Photo Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net}

7 Comments

The 4 Daily Habits of Effective Facebook Business Page Managers {or What the Wise Owls are Doing}

Facebook Business

There’s a stream of new “things to do” in Social Media bombarding you every day right? It’s impossible to keep up and you’re feel a tad overwhelmed? I don’t blame you! There’s a lot that you can do, alot that’s not worth doing, and only a small handful of tasks that are actually worthwhile doing. Here’s 4 of the daily habits I strongly recommend to all the clients that Mentor, Workshop and Club with me.

The 4 Habits of Effective Facebook Business Page Managers {or What the Wise Owls are Doing}…

1. Check your Page daily. You don’t have to post every day (I actually don’t recommend posting every day, but that’s another blog post). Posting 2-3 times a week is ideal (but this varies per industry. My book explains this in detail and helps you tailor a posting frequency that suits your business.) Don’t abandon your Page for weeks and weeks and weeks and then wonder why no-one interacts with you when you decide to make a re-appearance (if this has happened to you, you may need to read this….) Bottom line is, you have to turn up for your Fans so be prepared to check your Page at least once a day.

I recommend you check your Facebook Page whenever you are doing all your other admin tasks (eg checking emails, placing orders, faxing, making calls) so that checking your Social Media soon becomes a daily habit.

2. Reply to any comments or direct messages. When a Fan leaves a comment on your Page or takes the time to send you a private message, it is important to reply to them personally and individually. Replying within 24 hours is vital. If you can respond faster than this, you are a rockstar (online). Leave it longer than this and your Fans will lose interest in what they messaged you about.

Remember that when someone leaves you a comment, they are sussing you out. They may be a potential customer. So treat each comment from a Fan as a potential buyer in your shop. Facebook is potentially like an online store, so attend to your “online” customers just as you would attend to your customers in real life.

3. Post interesting content. About 2-3 times a week, post content that is interesting to your Fans and content that is also relevant to your business. It is important not to post randomly (I blogged about the issue of “Relevant vs Random” earlier here….)

  • Ask a question
  • Post an interesting photo
  • Share a link to an article that will be relevant to your Fans
  • Post a video or photo album
  • Keep your Fans up to date with the highlights of what’s happening in your industry

Take the time to find material that will be enjoyed by the Fans following your Page and you will reap the rewards when your Fans interact with you, and perhaps even buy from you.

4. Find new Fans. There’s a multitude of ways to grow your Fanbase. This is such a vital part of your Social Media strategy that half of my book is dedicated to this topic ! But one of the major ways to find new Followers is to “Like” other Pages that are relevant to your industry. You may even want to leave a comment on their Page as well. By being active on other pages that are synergistic with your business, that company may Like you back and *Voila* {queue: sound of cymbals clashing}, your Page is revealed to all their Followers too.

Take some time to make a list of the companies that are your industry leaders and also companies that support you. By tapping into their Fanbase, you are effectively attracting Followers that are already highly targeted to your business.

There are other habits of highly effective Social Media Managers, but these are the four basic habits that are worth cultivating every day. Take some time to ensure these tasks are included in your daily routine and you will lay a solid foundation of sound Social Media Management that other strategies can be built on top of.

Managing your Social Media effectively, and for the long term, is about pacing yourself. I recommend becoming familiar with a few tasks like the ones above, before adding a few more. There is no point having a mad burst of doing “everything”, avalanching into Social Media overwhelm, then abandoning your Page.

To discover more of what to do and what not to do on your Facebook for Business Page, my book contains a 10-step method to help get your FanPage rocking, to purchase the book click here….If 1-on-1 is more your style, I can help you progress further with a personal session, to enquire about a coaching session click here

Buy “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business” , eBook or Printed, here Request a Call-Back to chat about a 1-on-1 Session with Francesca Grab your seat to the upcoming Facebook Business Workshop here Join us at “The Social Media Club” here

And I would be as happy as a wise owl in a barn if you shared this post with your friends in your favourite online playground. Thank you xx

With Gratitude
Francesca Esposito-Rose B.Inf.Tech.
Business Mentor, Online Strategist, Author, Speaker & Social Media Business Specialist

{Photo Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net}

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Facebook Privacy Hoax {and the Top 3 Ways to Set Boundaries and Protect your Privacy on Facebook)

Facebook Privacy Hoax

Shocking I know, but sadly, yes, this is a HOAX. I am talking about this silly message that is flying around Facebook at the moment and is probably the status message of many of your friends (and maybe yours too)….

WARNING!!! FACEBOOK HAS CHANGED THEIR PRIVACY SETTINGS ONCE MORE!!! DUE TO THE NEW “GRAPH APP” ANYONE ON FACEBOOK (INCLUDING OTHER COUNTRIES) CAN SEE YOUR PICTURES, LIKES, AND COMMENTS. The next 2 weeks I will be posting this, and please once you have done it please post DONE! Those of you who do not keep my information from going out to the public, I will have to DELETE YOU! I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. I post shots of my family that I don’t want strangers to have access to!!! This happens when our friends click “like” or “comment”… automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this setting by ourselves because Facebook has configured it that way. PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (DO NOT CLICK), a window will appear, now move the mouse on “FRIENDS” (also without clicking), then down to “Settings”, click here and a list will appear. REMOVE the CHECK on “LIFE EVENTS” and “COMMENTS & LIKES”. By doing this, my activity among my friends and family will no longer become public. Now, copy and paste this on your wall. Once I see this posted on your page, I will do the same……

This is not real. This is not Facebook. But if you have posted this message as your status, don’t be ashamed, it is easy to fall for this sort of thing. The facts sound so real and the consequences so dramatic. However this is someone’s sick idea of fun & games and it’s got millions of people scrambling to change their settings this week then proceeding to unfriend people that have not done so. This is a variation of another hoax that also went viral a few months ago.

The fact is, Facebook’s latest Graph Feature does not make any of your personal data public at all. The instructions given here are also incorrect. All you would be doing by following these steps above is unsubscribing yourself from your Friends’ “life events” and “comments & likes” and these will no longer appear in your News Feed. This defeats the purpose of being “Friends” with that person in the first place so the person that started this scam is just leading you up the garden path and mucking with your News Feed….

So why do folks spread these sorts of Hoaxes? Unfortunately, there are certain individuals out there that like to create mayhem and confusion, who have little else to do with their time, and who probably suffer megalomania-type symptoms. Seriously, folks who make it their life’s work spread email viruses and Facebook hoaxes have a lot to answer for.

Which brings me to my next point. There are only three ways to protect your data on Facebook…..

Top 3 Tips to Set Boundaries and Protect your Privacy on Facebook…

1. Update your Privacy Setting to “Friends Only”. To do this, go into your Personal Profile,  click on the little wheel on the top right hand corner of your screen then click on privacy settings. You can edit all your settings there to be “Friends only” or “friends of friends”. You can also leave your data public if privacy is a non-issue to you.

2. The only other way to stay private on Facebook, is to get off Facebook. This is the internet, and at the end of the day, all the data you enter will be used by Facebook in one way or another.

This practice is called “Data Mining” and has been common since the Internet was invented. Google uses Data Mining everyday when it serves up Ads to you in little yellow boxes. So if privacy concerns you, you need to seriously consider getting off the Internet all together. I hear that a whole swag of reliable carrier pigeons are going cheap to a good home?

3. Setting Boundaries on Facebook. Now may be a good time to re-assess the boundaries between what parts of your life are okay to be public, and how much of your life needs to be private. And while you’re at it, you may want to consider which data everyone sees including your acquaintances, and which data you want only your close friends to see…

You can be negative about Facebook and fearful about the privacy of your data. Or you can Just Set Boundaries. Be clear. Make a decision and stick to it. Perhaps a bit of “Online Housekeeping” may be in order….

Online Housekeeping: a Few Things to Consider when Setting Boundaries on Facebook…

  • If you don’t want your kids photos all over the web and potentially getting into the hands of paedophiles (I certainly don’t), then don’t post your kids’ photos on Facebook. Just make it a rule, your rule. Either you will or you won’t post your kids’ photos. Simple.
  • If you don’t want Facebook to know that you are a shop-a-holic so that they stop serving you “shopping” related advertisements, then stop talking continuously about shopping. Be Mindful about what you talk about, because everything you say online is being kept in a database.
  • If you are not comfortable with a certain person seeing any of your posts, then unfriend them. Collecting as many friends as you can so that you can have a big friend-count is childish. Only be friends on Facebook with the people that you like in real life.
  • Which brings me to my next point, don’t accept a friend request from someone you don’t actually know in real life. If you want Facebook to be a private, personal and meaningful place for you online, then keep it that way, simply don’t allow people into your circle that you don’t know.
  • If you want to be friends with your parent or child on Facebook, but don’t want them to see everything you did last weekend, then create a different list for those that are close to you (the ones that you are happy to see everything you do). To do this, go to your list of Friends, then scroll down the list to the person that you want to limit what they see of you, hover over the “Friends” button to the right of their name (don’t click it, just hover) and tick whether the person is a close friend, acquaintance or whether you want to add them to another list. To create another list, click on “Add to another list” and add a new list there. Then every time you post, before you click “Post”, choose who you want to see what you post by changing the privacy option to the left of the post button… Take the time to set some boundaries then enjoy the freedom this gives you.
  • If you don’t want anyone (or Facebook for that matter) to know which school or high school you went to, or where you last worked, then make these fields blank. It’s your choice whether your data is placed into a database or not. You don’t have to have a valid reason for removing this data. Just do whatever feels comfortable to you.
  • If you don’t want anyone (or Facebook) to know your age, sex or marital status, then remove these fields too. Similarly, if you don’t want anyone to know what music or movies you are in to, you can remove these too.  These are not mandatory fields. The only pieces of data Facebook needs from you is your name and email address. Anything else is a bonus.
  • You don’t need to upload photos of yourself or your family either. There is no rule to say we have to see your holiday pics, family pics, work pics, what you cooked last night or what you had for breakfast. YOU CHOOSE what you upload onto Facebook. You have full control over the data you post.
  • The bottom line is, there is no-one making you use an online system to stay in touch with your friends and family. Facebook openly admits they use your data to serve ads back at you. I don’t have a problem with how Facebook uses my data, but I only reveal a tiny fragment of my life on Facebook. The rest of my life is private and I like it that way. Therefore if you are not comfortable with Facebook’s terms and conditions, then the solution is simple, don’t use their system. Facebook is just a computer system after all and it is your choice to use it every time you log in.

And if all of these privacy issues on Facebook irkle you, then there is nothing wrong with good old-fashioned email to stay in touch with friends. Or there is another option, step away from technology and catch up for coffee instead. Old-School I know.

Soy Chai Latte anyone?

To discover more of what to do and what not to do on your Facebook for Business Page, the next Facebook MasterClass starts soon in Bangalow. This is a 3-day Intensive and Interactive Workshop with stepping you through the 10-step process to build a successful Facebook Page. The Workshop is run at the beautiful SummerHills Retreat Byron Bay. For more info or to book your seat, click here…. If 1-on-1 is more your style, I can help you progress further with a personal session and to enquire about a coaching session click here. Or if you prefer to discover at your own pace, my book contains a 10-step method to help you get rocking on your Facebook Business Page, to purchase the book click here….

Buy “Novice2Ninja – Facebook for Business” , eBook or Printed, here Request a Call-Back to chat about a 1-on-1 Session with Francesca Grab your seat to the upcoming Facebook Business Workshop here Join us at “The Social Media Club” here

And I would be as happy as a buzzing bee in a field of blooming flowers if you shared this post with your friends in your favourite online playground. Thank you xx

With Gratitude
Francesca Esposito-Rose B.Inf.Tech.
Business Mentor, Online Strategist, Author, Speaker & Social Media Business Specialist

{Photo Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net}

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