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Social Media Marketers: Memorial Day is Not a Happy Day

Social Media Marketers- Memorial Day is Not a Happy Day (1)

While we see messages promoting a fun, extended weekend, barbecues and sales, Memorial Day is not a happy day for millions of Americans. It’s not a celebratory day to have fun. It’s a somber day to remember those who died while serving in the nation’s armed forces. And while it’s become traditional to have fun and sales during this time, it’s also important to be respectful and honor those who serve and the families of those who serve.

There are many who will defend using the word “happy” in a Memorial Day social post, but keep in mind the backlash companies have gotten from doing so. Is defending your business and reputation something you want to spend Memorial day weekend doing?

Here’s some “Happy Memorial Day” examples from Facebook and the reactions they received (click on the links below the images to view the posts & comments on Facebook):

The responses were pretty consistent on these posts:

I never understood why we put “Happy” in front of Memorial Day. It is a time of mourning and remembrance.

Anyone that puts the word “happy” before Memorial Day is suspect of having never observed the holiday for the purpose of which it was created. (And the exclamation mark adds insult to ignorance.)

Just as a reminder. It’s not “Happy” Memorial day. Memorial day is a day set aside to remember those that have died serving our country.

Happy Memorial Day? What is so happy about today? Families are missing and remembering their loved ones that fought for our freedom. The ones that fought for you to be able to be free and where you are today .

Not to hate but a reminder .. Memorial Day is to celebrate the lives of the brave men that lost there lives to give u this wonderful life u r enjoying ..so it’s not a happy day .. Sad day to the mothers and children that list there fathers .. So please respect this day ..

Happy? There is nothing happy about this day. It’s a day for reflection. Poor choice of wording for such a day.

May I suggest purchasing a copy of 100 Questions & Answers About Veterans so that you will read why the statement “Happy Memorial Day” is really offensive to many veterans as well as thanking them for their service.

Final verdict? Be respectful and honor those who died in the line of duty as well as their families and save “happy” wishes for more appropriate occasions.

Want some more examples? Check out these Memorial Day social media fails from the Observer.

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A Simple Facebook Marketing Trick to Target Inactive Customers

Anyone who’s worked for a successful business knows that it’s much easier and cost-effective to keep current customers versus trying to gain new customers. While there should always be a focus on getting leads and acquiring new customers to grow the business, many companies forget the simplest way to keep a successful business is repeat customers.

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The Stats

According to KBB.com, vehicle retention is at an all-time high with Americans keeping their new vehicles for nearly 6 years and pre-owned vehicles for more than 4 years. If your dealership is only focusing on vehicle sales and not service, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

Depending on mileage, vehicle owners typically require service multiple times per year, whether it’s oil changes, new tires, parts replacement or other services. What they may not know is how affordable dealership service can be. Independent oil change and repair businesses make dealerships out to be expensive and unreliable when in fact, technicians at dealerships are factory-trained and are constantly working on the vehicle makes they sell. It’s actually quite logical for vehicle owners to have their vehicle serviced where it was purchased.

So, how can you get customers to come back to the dealership? Is this something your dealership is currently doing or is the focus on new customers?

How Are You Currently Advertising?

Your dealership is probably emailing any customers with email addresses. And so is the OEM and any other business that has gotten their email address. And they are very likely ignoring all of those emails or marking them as spam.

But you’re advertising on TV right? Do you pay attention to commercials on TV? Do you actually watch live television or do you DVR it or watch it on demand? Or do you watch TV at all? Technology has made it very easy for consumers to avoid commercials, so yours may very well not even be seen, and further – how do you know your customers are even seeing your TV commercials?

Billboards? Newspaper ads? Again, specific targeting is nearly impossible and with newspapers dying out among the younger generations (and in general) and so many distractions while driving, people aren’t noticing traditional advertising as much.

Where are people spending their time? On social media.

According to Pew Research, 71% of internet users use Facebook, a statistic that has held steady and one of the fastest growing demographics on Facebook is users age 65 and older. 70% of Facebook users engage on the site daily and 45% use it multiple times a day.

So why not target your customers on Facebook?

Advertising on Facebook is very inexpensive and Facebook allows for very specific ad targeting. Polk data allows advertisers to target Facebook users who are in the market for vehicles with targeting specific down to make, models and vehicle condition. Even with this specific targeting, you’re missing out on the number 1 best market: your previous customers.

But there’s a solution for that.

Facebook also allows advertisers to create custom audiences to target advertising to. Where this benefits dealerships is the ability to target service customers who haven’t serviced their vehicle at the dealership recently.

Here’s how to target your previous service customers who have not come in recently:

  • Export a list of your service customers who have not serviced their vehicle at your dealership in the last 6-18 months (be sure to include their email addresses & cell phone numbers in the export file)
  • Use this list to create a custom audience in your Facebook ads manager
  • Create relevant service ads and offers targeting your custom audience
  • Track the success of your campaign two ways each month:
    • Export a list of service customers over the last month and compare to your previous customer list to see if any of the previous customers you targeted on Facebook came in
    • Have your team keep track of all customers using a Facebook offer (although keep in mind, this is only as successful as your team’s diligence in recording this information)
  • Repeat each month, creating new audiences and ads to continually target previous customers

Bonus Tip: Have Your Employees Share Service Content with Their Facebook Friends

If you weren’t aware, Facebook has been taking measures to encourage paid page advertising by decreasing the percentage of posts that are seen by page fans. So if your Facebook page has 1,000 fans, chances are only 20-40 of your fans will see that post, unless you pay to boost the post. However, if an employee with 400 friends shares that same content, about 280 of their friends will see it. This doesn’t cost anything. Furthermore, since the employee’s friends got a reminder that the employee works at your dealership, they are much more likely to visit your business because they know someone working there.

5 Things You Should Know About Facebook’s New Page Layout (with video)

Starting the week of March 10, 2014, Facebook started rolling out a new layout for pages. They claim the new layout will be more streamlined,making it easier for fans to find the information they’re looking for on your page and also making it easier for page admins to access the tools they use the most.

Behold, the new(est) Facebook page layout!

Behold, the new(est) Facebook page layout! Screenshot from here.

Whether you like it or not, it’s coming. So here’s what’s changing:

1. New Timeline Design: The left column of the page will have your business information that was previously tucked up under your cover photo. Tabs as we know them will be gone and replaced with simpler text-only tabs located below the cover photo. Your timeline will once again be a single column with posts showing up chronologically and all in one place (versus the current setup showing just highlights).

2. Easy Access to Admin Tools: Facebook is adding a “This Week” panel to the right of your cover photo that will give you a basic overview of your page stats and more detailed stats by clicking on the panel. There will also be admin navigation tabs above the cover photo for quick access to the tools you use as well as direct access to your Ads Manager page.

3. Pages to Watch Update: If you haven’t set up your pages to watch, it’s a great feature to keep tabs on what pages of your choosing are up to and how well they’re performing. With this update, the overview tab will show key stats and the posts tab will show the pages’ most engaging posts. Page admins will be notified when their page is added to another page’s watch list, but Facebook does not reveal which page added it so you can do so anonymously.

4. Messages: Messages will now be accessed through the Activity navigation tab above the cover photo as well as through the “This Week” panel.

5. Expanded Content Section: Where before, fans had to click on the small tabs below the cover photo to access your photo album, video, notes and other content, all of this will be expanded and displayed down the left column of the timeline to show more content and make it easier for your fans to view and access the content you want to share. Content will still be available through the text-only tabs under the cover photo, but the expanded view allows for a much more attractive page display.

How do I get the new layout?

On your page, there may be a section just below the Admin Panel and above the cover photo that looks similar to the section below. Click on Join Waitlist to get added. There’s no word yet on how long it will take to get added, but joining the wait list should improve your chances of getting the new layout sooner rather than later.

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Click it! You know you want to!

For more information and detailed page preview screenshots, see Facebook’s news page.

What to Post on Your Business Facebook Page

So you have a page for your business now, but what on earth should you be posting? How often should you be posting? Below, I’ll cover these topics to get you off to a great start with your page!

The most important thing to keep in mind with a Facebook page is that it should be used as a tool to build relationships with your customers and potential customers. While selling is your ultimate goal, take the time to build a relationship with your fans so when the time comes for them to purchase, they will think of you or refer you to a friend.  Facebook allows you to maintain a presence in their lives.

How Often Should I Post on my Facebook Page?

The old rule was to post just once or twice a week so you don’t overwhelm your fans.  However, with EdgeRank, which gauges who should see your content based on their interaction with your page, your posts are only seen by a small percentage of your fans, so the more you post, the higher the chance is of your fans seeing your content. It really depends on your company and fan base, but a general rule of thumb is to post at least once a day and up to 3 or 4 times a day.

However, don’t post just to post something. The higher the quality of your posts, the more engaging your posts will be so your posts will be shown to a higher percentage of your fans.  On the flipside, if you post garbage or boring posts, you will lose engagement, decreases and you can lose fans pretty quickly.

What Should I Post on my Facebook Page?

Posting once or twice a week is pretty easy, but at least once a day can be intimidating, especially when trying to post quality content. Something helpful to do is look at what other similar companies are posting on their pages and how their fans are responding. If it’s successful, try something similar. If it doesn’t get any engagement, then you’ll know you probably don’t want to do that.

The best part of posting on Facebook pages is that it doesn’t all have to be business-related!

It’s true. Depending on your business, you may actually be more successful posting non-business related posts than business-related.

Here are some business-related post ideas for different businesses:

  • Restaurant – post photos of daily specials or new menu items, updated hours, good reviews or newspaper reviews from a food critic
  • Nail salon – post photos every single day of cute manicures or manicure ideas; special promotions, especially around the holidays, high school formal dances and late winter/early spring in preparation for the wedding season.
  • Bar – post the schedule for the weekend including any bands that are playing, cover charges, activities; drink specials, food specials, happy hours; holiday events
  • Gym – class schedule, promotions, weight loss before & after photos, links to articles about health & fitness, motivational images
  • Animal Shelter – post photos of animals up for adoption, donation needs (keep it limited, but periodic), cute animal photos, fun facts
  • Church – events for the week, youth group info, prayer requests, donation/volunteer opportunities

Whatever your business is, there is most likely an angle you can take to engage your customers on Facebook.  The business page I’ve maintained over the last year and a half has a is one in which only 11% of the local population is in the market for our product at any given time. The local population is only in need of our service a couple times a year.  So nearly 90% of the local population does not need our product right now and many will only see us a couple times a year.  But we keep a very active Facebook page to connect with our customers and maintain those relationships so when the time comes that they do need our product or service, we’re familiar to them.

So What’s the Most Engaging Stuff to Post on my Facebook Page?

Again, it depends on your business, but below, I’ve ranked what is generally the most engaging. Two things to remember are: 1) Attention spans are ridiculously short, so keep it short & simple. Think about Twitter’s 140 character limit & stick to that as often as possible. 2) Think about what gets your attention on Facebook and look at what your friends are liking to get ideas of what’s engaging.

  1. Images – these are the most engaging things you can probably post, especially if they’re cute or funny.  For some ideas, go to Google Images and search for whatever your business is and “memes.”  Keep in mind, there is some really inappropriate and offensive stuff out there, but there are a ton of really funny memes.  Use your best judgment and keep your audience in mind when posting.
  2. Videos – we’re bombarded with content and a large majority of Facebook users are accessing it through their phones so sometimes, reading is a little difficult. However, videos can be very engaging. Just make sure to give an appealing description and keep the videos short, no more than a couple minutes. They don’t need to be professionally produced, just a fun video of a shelter dog up for adoption or a fun video review of a restaurant can be pretty viral (and that’s a great thing!)
  3. Questions – social media has brought out the narcissist in all of us and we love to share our thoughts and opinions. So why not give your fans the opportunity? Ask them something related to your company like their favorite drink (bar), favorite appetizer (restaurant), favorite nail polish color (salon), favorite breed of dog (animal shelter), etc; find something fun to ask that they would like to ask. For news sites, controversial topics get a lot of comments, however I will suggest avoiding controversy in almost all cases because it can lead to a lot of headaches and may damage your reputation.

Where Can I Find Content for my Facebook Page?

There are tons of places to find content online, you just need to know what you want to post and where to look!  Here’s a list of my recommended content sources:

  • Days of the Year – this site lists events, holidays and festivals for every day of the year. The day I wrote this post was “Thank a Mailman Day.” These are fun to share with your fans and a great way to interact. Maybe on “Kite Flying Day” you can ask your fans when was the last time they flew a kite? Or find a way to link the day to your business (i.e. a bakery could offer a discount on carrot cakes on “Carrot Cake Day”)
  • History.com – this is the History Channel page, similar to the Days of the Year page, although a bit more serious. This is a fun resource to share relevant stories, just make sure to keep them fun.
  • Trivia Playing – this site has all sorts of trivia questions if you want to include trivia on your page.
  • Mental Floss – the Amazing Fact Generator has all sorts of fun facts and the site has really interesting articles
  • Twitter – it may seem strange to get content for one social media site from another, but Twitter is an amazing resource! Just follow accounts in your industry, with your same interests and news accounts and you’ll have a running supply of articles and content to share.
  • Friday Quotes – this site has images with quotes to wish your fans a happy Friday. Simple as that.
  • Paper.li – this site allows you to set up your own online newspaper with content generated by sources you choose. Sounds a little confusing, but once you set it up, it’s an amazing resource that updates itself daily. Check out this article to learn how to use it: Need Content? Create Your Own Custom Newsroom with Paper.li!

Finally, if you want to see one of the most engaging people, follow George Takei on social media. He posts some amazing, entertaining stuff and probably wouldn’t mind if you shared some of it.

What About Posting Business/Selling Content?

If a customer or potential customer likes your page, they should assume that you are going to try to sell to them at least once in a while. Just don’t do it all the time and try to do it in a way that they would appreciate.

One thing I did that did not appear to be very engaging, but got a ton of clicks was posting weekly Internet Specials for a car dealership. I uploaded a photo album of all the vehicles on special, included detailed descriptions of all the vehicles and included a direct link to each vehicle on the website. While there were few likes or comments, those posts had more clicks than any other posts I put up, even the cute Happy Friday photos. Just keep an eye on your page insights to see what your fans like the most and do more of that.

Setting Up a Posting Schedule

Maintaining a Facebook page doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The best way to tackle it is to create a posting schedule (so you have an idea of what you want to post) and to schedule posts (so you don’t have to worry about posting every day).  For starters, get a monthly calendar and sketch out how your month will look. Color code it or find what works for you. This way, you’ll be able to easily see when it makes sense to post.

Don’t forget holidays—make sure you wish your customers a happy holiday and inform them of your hours for that day.

  • Daily Posts – find something you can post on a daily basis.  Maybe it’s the daily special or a trivia question—something your fans will enjoy seeing and responding to frequently.
  • Weekly Posts – weekly posts are a great way to share content that may not be good for daily posts, but something fans would like to see periodically. One thing I like to do is wish our fans a Happy Friday and post a funny or cute photo along with it. I also post weekly specials and often a video related to my industry. Industry-related articles also fall into this category.
  • Monthly Posts – since these posts are less frequent, they can be more sales-related in nature. These may be events or sales or even national events that are related to your business (i.e. for a car dealership, an auto show). These are things your fans won’t want to see on a daily basis, but will appreciate seeing from time to time.
  • Specialty Posts (sometimes it’s okay to get a little crazy) – So our local NFL team has had one of their best seasons ever and just won the Super Bowl! You bet our fans were excited the whole season, especially toward the end. So I made sure to post about the team, ask if people were wearing the team colors, what their score predictions were and so on. These posts got a lot of engagement. Toward the end, when it was looking more and more like we were headed to the Super Bowl, I would even post a couple times during the games. People were on Facebook during the game, so this was a perfect time to interact!

How to Schedule Facebook Posts

A great feature of Facebook pages that isn’t available on timeline profile pages is the ability to schedule posts. This is a must if you don’t want to be a slave to your Facebook page on a daily basis. The scheduling tool allows you to schedule as many posts as you want up to around 6 months in advance.

It’s super easy to use—when you’re writing a post or sharing an image, you’ll notice 3 icons show up under the text box: scheduling, location and image upload. Just click on the clock icon to access the scheduling tool and a calendar will pop up. Just select the date, then enter a time in the box that appears next to the calendar, click “Schedule Post” and you’re done!

Here’s a video to show you how:

Conclusion

This should have really helped you out a lot. If it didn’t, please let me know what you’re looking for in the comments.  Below are a couple related articles and if you want to browse all of my Facebook articles, click here. Happy Facebooking!

Here’s a couple really helpful articles:

Don’t forget to check out my book!

Everything I’ve Learned About Facebook: A complete guide on how to create, strategize, manage and promote your Facebook page to increase customer base and brand awareness for any size business

4 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy Likes for Your Facebook Page

Managing a Facebook page is very challenging.  The rules change frequently and keeping your fans engaged is a continually evolving process.  Just getting fans is challenging.  So some Facebook page administers resort to buying likes.

But there’s more to a Facebook page than just the number of its fans.  Facebook pages are about building relationships as an extension of your business so when your fans want or need your product or service, you’re fresh in their mind.  Fake fans won’t buy into your real business.

Here are 4 reasons why you shouldn’t buy Facebook likes:

  1. Buying likes violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.  If you get too many likes too quickly without organic methods such as Facebook ads or links from a website, Facebook has spam detection methods of detecting this and can disable your like button or even unpublish your page.
  2. Purchased fans won’t be your customers.  They are for numbers only and many are in different countries or are fake accounts without a real person behind them.  Since the main purpose of having a Facebook page for your business is to build and maintain relationships with customers or potential customers, you are defeating your own primary goal.
  3. Purchased fans will decrease the percentage of real fans who actually see your posts.  Since only a small percentage of your fans see your posts, Facebook decides the percentage based on how many are interacting with your posts (EdgeRank).  Increased interaction increases this percentage and vice versa.  So if your fans aren’t engaged in your posts, Facebook will show fewer fans your posts and chances are many of the fans who do see your posts will be fake.
  4. You can easily get real fans using inexpensive Facebook ads.  Why should you pay to advertise on Facebook?  Because it’s extremely effective.  Facebook offers amazing targeting capabilities to ensure you’re getting the most out of your advertising budget.  And since you set your daily or campaign budget, you can get a lot of likes for a very low amount.  (I got 51 likes for just $25 on one page.)

So while it may be tempting to purchase likes on your Facebook page, in the long run it’s only going to hurt the effectiveness of your page.  Instead, stick with legitimate methods to get real fans so you can build real relationships with them and eventually turn them into real customers.

Recommended Books About Facebook

Don’t forget to check out my book!

Everything I’ve Learned About Facebook: A complete guide on how to create, strategize, manage and promote your Facebook page to increase customer base and brand awareness for any size business