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.

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.

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.

Facebook Influence 2.0 Just Released!

I’m officially excited! Amy Porter just released her Facebook Influence 2.0 course. Fantastic stuff. She da fizzle bomb! If you want to use Facebook to grow your business get it now. More info here:

http://bit.ly/QOzOG7

There are only two people who I turn to when I want advice on Facebook and Amy Porter is one of them. I just attended her latest webinar and I’m super -psyched. She lives and breathes Facebook and her material is the most timely and relevant information on marketing with Facebook that you are ever going to find. I’m going to implement her stuff systematically in my own business starting in the new year. Feel free to join me.

Note that the link above is an affiliate link.

Why Social Media Is a Lot Like Sex

I often use dating as a metaphor for marketing, like this for example. But the people at Hubspot have taken it a step further to explain why social media is a lot like sex. I can’t believe that I didn’t come up with this first.

(Note: This slideshow contains imagery and content that may be sensitive to some viewers. If you’re easily offended, get off this page now. Just a heads up.)

 

How To Create a Custom Name for Your Facebook Page

Have you ever wondered how to get a custom name for your Facebook Page? It’s a question I get asked often.

By default your Facebook Page will have a URL like: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Family-Massage-Therapy-ONE-Concept-Clinics-Spa-Shop/119616731385131

But you can customize it to look more like this:
https://www.facebook.com/oneconcept 

So here’s a quick video that outlines how to do it.

 

Start Your Day as a Producer

Clay Johnson believes that, much like junk food leads to obesity and health problems, junk information is killing our productivity, efficiency, and worse, feeding ignorance.

His advice?

Start your day as a producer, not a consumer. The production of information is critical to a healthy information diet. It’s the thing that makes it so that your information consumption has purpose. Read more….

I’m writing 31 blogs posts (or more) in 31 days. I’m starting each day by producing, not consuming. Want to join me? Join the 31 in 31 challenge.

Facebook Backfire – Case Study

It was Saturday, June 23rd. Another quiet day in the small town of Walla Walla, population 31,000.  From his mobile phone, the owner of a small bacon and egg restaurant posted a small 27 word comment to his Facebook Page:

I’m not sure why it is surprising that if you or you child are doing things that are disturbing other guests you may be asked to leave.

This was a small town restaurant that only had 789 Likes on their page, but over the next two days there was a monsoon of activity on the page: 51 shares of the post and 398 comments, almost entirely negative.

What was once a positive little Page on Facebook became a hot bed of anger, accusations, threats and talk of litigation.

Just like a peaceful demonstration can turn into a massive mob of unfettered rioting, a seemingly harmless comment can escalate into a seething hotbed of negativity. And as a business owner you have no control over what happens.

What’s interesting about this is that the details of the incident are nowhere to be found. It doesn’t really matter what happened. What matters is that this seemingly innocuous statement pushed the hot buttons of the people in this community around a larger issue of parenting and child behavior and triggered a flurry of responses. None of which are particularly relevant to this restaurant specifically.

What should this small business owner have done? What would you do in this situation where you are attacked online by a community for what you might think is a harmless statement?

 

What social media site do people hate most?

Facebook is the largest social media site and is expected to reach 1,000,000,000 users later this year. (That’s a lot of zero’s.)

People love it, right?

Wrong!

According to a survey of over 70,000 US consumers, Facebook is the least liked social media site on the web. It came in last place in satisfaction scores.

As you can probably guess from looking through this blog, I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Although I’ve been teaching massage therapists how to benefit from Facebook, I’ve always stated that I think there is much more untapped potential in LinkedIn as a business building site.

I’ll be the first to admit, that LinkedIn is not really exciting. There are no pictures of cute cats  or monkeys peeing on one another. But..

With 170 million members, mostly professionals and the wealthiest demographic of any social media site, it can’t be ignored. And it’s growing fast.

Repeat after me… bing, bing, bing, bing, bing, bing… that’s the sound of people joining LinkedIn: Two people per second. That’s the sound of opportunity.

Don’t ignore LinkedIn as a practice building tool. There is gold in them thar hills.

I took Lewis Howes’ LinkedInfluence course last spring and I loved it. It is a simple and practical guide to using LinkedIn to get new clients. Since I took that course, the number of LinkedIn users has doubled to about 170 million. That’s huge!

Just today I learned that he’s updated version the course: LinkedInfluence 2.0. I would highly suggest you get your hands on it and simply follow along with the short video lessons.

Check out the newly released LinkedIn course here

Watch the short video on that page. He hasn’t updated it since last May, but I’m sure he’ll be changing it any day as the updated course is announced publicly.

He will definitely be offering some webinars on LinkedIn over the next few weeks and I’ll notify you of them. But why wait, just pick up the course now. Stop wasting so much time on Facebook and get on the social networking site that has the greatest potential to grow your business.

You’re one of the first to know about this, so pick it up now. It’s well worth the small investment.

 

Email Beats Social Media

Email beats social mediaIf I were asked at gunpoint to give up either my website or my email list of contacts, I wouldn’t hesitate to give away my website. My network is much more valuable to me. Email allows me to reach out to people proactively instead of waiting until they become so desperate that they come searching for help.

Email remains one of the keystones of successful web marketing. Yes, I know the “gurus” are saying email is dead, but they are wrong. Despite all the hype around social media, people still use the Internet primarily for the job of sending and receiving emails. The Internet is still largely a utilitarian medium to exchange information, just like postal mail was 20 years ago. And email is still the medium of choice. It’s not as sexy as social media, but it gets the job done.

So it’s no surprise that an Ipsos survey last week found that email use far outweighs social media. A survey of 19,216 adults found that 85% used email while only 61% used social media sites.

So if you are not collecting email addresses from your clients and using email to communicate with them regularly, what are you waiting for? If you need help, check out the resources at BodyworkBiz, in particular the “Web Marketing MBA” program, a series of ten video lessons that will lead you step by step through the fundamentals of web marketing, including a segment devoted on email marketing and an overview of two free services that help you get the job done quickly and efficiently.  The live broadcasts are done, but the recordings are available for you watch whenever it’s convenient for you.