Facebook Changes News Feed

Today Facebook unveiled more changes to the site. This time it’s the News Feed. That’s the page you land on when you first log in that contains Posts from your Friends and Pages you follow.

Facebook doesn’t say exactly how the changes are going to impact business Pages, but at first glance it’s not good. Users will have the ability to choose more specifically what they want to see in their News Feed and will be able to filter any Page Posts out of their feed.

It seems as though businesses will have to be more engaging, use more visually interesting content and post more frequently to be seen. Once again, Facebook is forcing business users to move to paid advertising to get seen on the site.

For screenshots and a comprehensive look at some of the changes see this article: http://bit.ly/16ck5q0

If you’ve been following this blog you know I’ve never been a big fan of Facebook. Maintaining some presence on Facebook is important, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify and significant investment of your time on Facebook. Paid advertising options have become the most cost-effective way of leveraging this social media giant.

Facebook sending your visitors to competitors?

In related news I recently stumbled across another change on a Friend’s business Page. This seems to have received little attention, but could be devastating to your Facebook Page. Facebook may just be testing this in a limited way at this point because it does not appear on all Pages.

If this rolls out, when someone visits your Page they will be shown a strip of suggested Pages that are related to yours. It looks like this:

So essentially you as a business owner work your petutie off or pay for advertising to get your Page found and Facebook invites your visitor to check out other Pages of possible interest. Some of these could even be Pages of competing businesses as you can see from the screen shot above! You do the work to get the visitor on your Page so they can visit your competitors Page. I can only shake my head in disbelief.

Does Your Facebook Cover Comply with the New Terms

The terms related to your Cover image and advertising images came into effect January 15th. Are you in compliance with these new conditions. In short, you cannot have more than 20% text on your Cover image, including your logo. This visual guide from ShortStack shows you what 20% looks like.

If you need a professional Cover designed to comply with the new terms you can have one  custom designed here: http://bodyworkbiz.com/facebook_cover_photo

Here are some examples of some recently designed Covers…

 

If you need a professional Cover designed to comply with the new terms you can have one  custom designed here: http://bodyworkbiz.com/facebook_cover_photo

Monday Marketing Madness on Facebook

Here’s an interesting marketing idea to help solidify your place as a hub in your community, to develop relationships with local business owners and to drive visitors to your Facebook Page.

I’ve called this campaign “Monday Marketing Madness”. It’s simple and it’s best understood if you look at how I’ve executed this on my Facebook Page and the type of response I got (click the image to see it on Facebook):

I did this last Friday and called it “FanFare Friday” and that particular Facebook post has received the most likes, shares and comments of any of my posts in the past two months and it brought more visitors to my Facebook Page.

Give this a try for your practice. I’d be very curious how this works for you. When you do the post, upload an image for a higher response. Click here if you want to use the image I’ve used. I’ve sized it to fit the post dimensions exactly.

You may have to be proactive and contact a few local business owners directly to get the ball rolling,but I think once it’s established, it should pretty much run itself if you do it consistently.

I am crediting this idea to Amy Porterfield. Get her FBIncluence course here. It’s well worth the small investment.

Facebook’s New Terms and Conditions for Facebook Cover Images

A Cover image is the big image that sits at the top of your Page. Effective January 15th Facebook’s terms and conditions around Cover images will be updated to the following:

Covers may not include:

i. images with more than 20% text;

ii. price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;

iii. contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;

iv. references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or

v. calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

This applies to Cover images on business Pages only and does not apply to personal Profile Pages. The only real change is that text has to be limited to 20% of the area of the graphic.

Facebook does clearly not want you communicating anything on the cover that is going to take visitors off the Facebook site or that is going to increase your number of fans without advertising. Having said that you can still create an engaging Cover image that communicates professionalism and that helps visitors make the visual transition comfortably back and forth from Facebook to your site and smooth one.

You do have more control over what you put on the Profile image on your Page and the Cover image on your personal Profile and both of these can be used to advantage as well.

If you need a great Cover image or Profile image, check out this very limited special offer at BodyworkBiz:

Click here to have your Facebook Cover image custom designed 

And be sure to join the “31 Day Challenge” on Facebook to make your Facebook Page work for you and get you clients. It’s a book club of sorts for the FBIfluence course by Amy Porterfield and you are welcome to play along.

 

How Facebook Is Stealing Your Visitors

Amen! Brian Massey thank you for trying to stop businesses from dying by social media. I have to correct you however: Mark Zuckerberg is not stealing online visitors from businesses. Businesses are willingly giving up their visitors to Facebook. It’s crazy!!

I’ve been preaching the message that Brian wrote about, but my message didn’t seem to be getting through and Brian addressed the issue so perfectly that I thought I’d just share his post instead of trying to say the same thing in a different way.

Here’s the scoop: Go to www.bodyworkbiz.com or www.worldmassageconference.com or www.thermalpalms.com. These are all extremely successful websites  that I own.

Do you see any social media buttons?

I’ll answer for you: NO. (Actually there are some at World Massage Conference, but they are small and at the bottom so people won’t see them.)

If you’ve been following BodyworkBiz you know I’m a proponent for social media, so why don’t I have buttons to my social channels?

Because it’s sending traffic the wrong way! Once I get visitors to my site, why would I want to send them to Mark Zuckerberg’s site? (He’s the founder of Facebook, in case it wasn’t clear.) It doesn’t make any sense. I want them to look at my site and discover how my products and service can benefit them. I don’t want to send them AWAY. Especially to these social media sites that are seriously addictive as Brian points out with the little red notifications acting like little capsules of dopamine.

So stop sending visitors away from your site. Use these social media sites as a funnel to get people TO your site. Change the flow of traffic. Use social media on your site only after they have looked at your site and given their email address to you. That’s really the only time you should do it.

Learn from businesses that are successful online. Zappos and Dell have enormous social media presence. Look at their sites. Do you see any social media icons. (I’ll answer again so you don’t have to look… No!) They understand the proper flow of visitors looks like this:

The bottom line: Don’t stop using social media. Just use it right.

I’ve just started a 30 Day Facebook Challenge to help people understand how to use this social media giant to  advantage. It will run through the month of January 2013. Feel free to come and join me: https://www.facebook.com/groups/456246884422657

And please do your Friends a favor and share this post in hopes that they will stop sending visitors off their websites.

What Is EdgeRank?

Have you noticed how you don’t always get updates from all your Friends appearing on your Facebook Wall. It may seem as though you get updates only from selected Friends. You may be wondering why Aunt Mary or your old friend Fred’s posts never show up. It’s because of a filtering system that Facebook has put into place.

Facebook uses what it calls EdgeRank to determine what shows up in your News Feed (your Wall). It started doing this early in 2010 to help control the volume of posts that appear on your Wall and to display only the posts they feel are most relevant to you.

EdgeRank is an algorithm that ranks various activities on a variety of factors and publishes the highest ranked ones to your Wall. It utilizes the formula below.

I know it looks intimidating, so I’ll interpret for you.

Essentially Facebook looks at three primary factors to determine whether activity gets posted to your Wall:

  1. Affinity: How often you and your friends interact on Facebook. The more often you interact with someone the more likely your activities will show up in each other’s News Feed.
  2. Weight: Each type of content is weighted differently. For example, commenting on a link carries more weight than simply clicking the Like button for that link.
  3. Time: The most obvious factor is how recent the activity is.

While the math behind the algorithm is a little more complex than that, the idea is simple. Facebook doesn’t want users bombarded with useless, irrelevant content. And these three factors give Facebook a good sense for what activity you most likely want to see.

These factors don’t just apply to user profiles. They are also used for Pages. If someone likes your Facebook Page, they may see your Fan Pages posts in their News Feeds, but only if the algorithm determines that your post is relevant based on those factors.

Even though the algorithm makes it more difficult for you to show up on people’s News Feeds, you can increase the likelihood of your content getting through by following some simple best practices.

I’ve just started a 31 day Challenge for anyone who wants to learn more about Facebook marketing and who wants to develop a Facebook Page that actually brings them clients. It’s free to join the Facebook Group and follow along.

Simply go to this Facebook Group Page and  click the Join button in the top right hand corner to play along: 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/456246884422657/

Please share that link with your Friends. The more the merrier.

Join me for the 31 Day Facebook Challenge Starting Today

Welcome back to work. I hope you had a fantastic holiday. It’s time to get busy again and I’m jumping in head first. My Facebook Page sucks and I have to do something about it. So I’m giving myself 31 days (the month of January) to make it great, build a Fan base and use it to get more customers.

If you’d like to join me and learn how to make your own Facebook Page work for your practice, jump on board and have some fun.

I’ll personally be going through a Facebook marketing course by Amy Porterfield. I started yesterday and welcome you to join me for the month as I go through the process. If you want to get the FB Influence course for yourself you can purchase it here:

http://bit.ly/QOzOG7.

Think of this as a book club of sorts with the goal of actually implementing these marketing ideas rather than just reading about them. I’m going to systematically explore and implement the ideas in Amy’s course (probably with a few twists of my own). I’ll share the results of my tests and provide as much support as possible for those who want to follow along.

I don’t want to bombard you and the other BodyworkBiz subscribers with emails about Facebook because not everyone is really interested, so I’ve set up a Facebook Group to share information, my progress reports, as well as some instructional videos to help you through the various strategies.

You can join the Group for free here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/456246884422657/

You don’t have to purchase the FBInfluence course to join the group and play along, but to get the most out of this experience I suggest you do. It’s only $97 bucks and well worth the investment. If you don’t want to purchase through the affiliate link on this page, go directly to the FBInfluence website.

Start 2013 on the right foot and take some action to grow your practice during what is typically a quiet time of the year. The action steps to take today:

I’ll meet you in the Facebook Group. Looking forward to our adventure together,

Eric Brown
www.bodyworkbiz.com

PS Please share this with your friends. Any business owner can benefit from this, not just massage therapists and anyone who wants to play is welcome to come along for the ride. It will be a fantastic learning experience.

Does Facebook Marketing Really Work?

Social media is about building relationships. It’s not a direct sales tool and anyone expecting quick and immediate results will be disappointed.

I’ve talked in a general way about the role of social media as a marketing tool in other posts, but decided to write a short blurb around the value of social media after being asked by a therapist if it’s really possible to get clients from Facebook.

Those who use Facebook for business tend to focus on conversation to develop relationships with their Fans. That’s what you’re supposed to do right? Yes and no. Businesses tend to communicate about what people usually want talk about: pets, restaurants, movies, life, etc. People who focus on this kind of approach get Fans and develop relationships with people who like those topics.

The problem is that those Fans aren’t interested in what they have to sell. So when the conversation moves to business, their Fans are largely non-responsive. This makes social media seem like a waste of time. The feeling is, “I’ve spent a lot of time posting and it just doesn’t work. I’m not seeing any clients as a result of this.”

Those who make money on social media focus on providing their audience with info they need or want to know about around the subject of their expertise. There is still conversation, but it revolves around this expertise.

If you focus purely on creating conversation to build relationships, you turn your followers into friends who like you but who don’t buy from you. If you focus on content and the conversations that arise from that you develop trust and become an expert. This turns into a business relationship that will result in sales.

Let’s face it: Ultimately, you hire a mechanic because they can fix your car, not because they are your friend. So stop trying to make friends and instead start building business relationships. Don’t be a peer to your Facebook audience; Be their leader, the person they turn to for advice.

So does Facebook marketing really work? It can if it’s done in the right way. A couple of weeks ago I attended a webinar by Amy Porter and I can tell you with a certainty that I’ve made money as a direct result of implementing a couple of suggestions that were easy to do.

I’ve purchased her Facebook Influence course  (it’s less than $100 bucks) and will be implementing many of the strategies she outlines in a systematic way in the new year. I’ll post some of my results here on the blog. I can say confidently that if I take the approach I’ve outlined above as I implement her tactics I’ll definitely be able to increase my sales.

My Facebook Page Sucks

Well, this is embarrassing!

I’m supposed to be the king (actually the Grand Massage Poobah) of massage marketing and an expert on social media. I hold the record for the most registrants for a massage webinar, which just happened to be about Facebook marketing.

But.. I’ve let things slide.

With all the changes that happened on Facebook this year, I stopped trying to keep up. And now… there’s no other way to say this… my Facebook Page sucks!

So the teacher is going to become the student. I’ve purchased Amy Porter’s Facebook Influence course and I’m going to go through it step-by-step in the new year. Why not pick up this course for yourself and go through it with me? It may be the best purchase you make this year:

http://bit.ly/QOzOG7 (affiliate link)

Why take this course?

Let me show you why. I attended Amy’s free webinar a couple weeks ago. Look at this report on activity on my Facebook Page. Can you tell when I attended the webinar?

This was from just one simple idea that I implemented from her free webinar and it probably took me easily less than 30 minutes. (By the way, she probably has a replay of the webinar available if you want to check it out.)

This is why I’ve been sending emails to the BodyworkBiz subscribers about the course and why I think you should buy it. It’s only $99 bucks and if you have a Facebook Page it may be the best investment you make all year.

Pick it up and join me in stepping up your Facebook game in the new year.

http://bit.ly/QOzOG7

How to Launch a Last Minute Gift Certificate Promotion…

If you’ve been following the BodyworkBiz ezine over the past few weeks, you know I have massage gift certificates on my mind. They are by far one of the best ways to grow your practice. How many dozens have you sold this season?

If you haven’t sold many, there is still an opportunity to promote them through Facebook. It uses Facebook’s paid options to spread your reach, but it’s super inexpensive. Here’s how to make that work. But before we begin…

You’ll need to have a Facebook Fan Page to do this. The more Fans you have the more effective it will be.

Ideally, you want to set up a page on your website where someone can pay for their gift certificate purchase. You can have them call you or drop in to purchase, but that will decrease your response rate dramatically.

Okay. With that said, let’s do it…

1. Post on your Fan Page, but instead of posting a Status Update like you normally do, you are going to post a photo to announce gift certifcates. Why? Photos get noticed. Posts with photos get 53% more Likes and 104% more comments than regular posts. That translates to more sharing, more interaction and more eyeballs. If you don’t have a photo, you can download this one (it’s the ideal size for posting).

2. Add a description to the photo with a link to your purchase page. This message will be about finding a perfect last minute gift. For example,

“Still need some last minutes gifts and stocking stuffers. Everyone loves massage. Purchase your gift certificates here: [link to the page on your site where they can purchase]”

When you add your link be sure to use “http://” at the front of your link so it becomes clickable.

3. Click the Promote button on your post.Take a look at your post and you’ll see a “Promote” button in the bottom right hand corner.

4. Fill out the drop down box. Choose to promote to “People who like your Page and their friends”. This will give you the widest reach and target people who are just like your current clients and who are most likely to buy from you.

Choose how much you are willing to pay. It likely won’t cost you more than $20. You’ll be prompted to enter your payment method if you don’t already have that set up.

What happens now? Your post will now show up in the News Feeds of your Fans. This seldom happens unless your Fans are very engaged with your Page, but promoting this way guarantees it will show up in their Feed in desktop systems and mobile. Here’s an example of a Promoted Post in someone’s Newsfeed. You’ll see that the word “Sponsored” at the bottom (hardly noticeable) indicates that the Post has been promoted.

When people Like, Share or Comment on the post, their Friends will see it too. You will have reached thousands of Facebook users in your area for less than $20 bucks.

This is the simplest way to advertise on Facebook. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

If you need more ideas for selling gift certificates, get the Sell More Gift Certificates e-course at BodyworkBiz.com where you’ll also find beautiful full color gift certificates.