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Why me liking this video so much can help you figure out how to talk to your customers.
"Why doesn't anyone see my Facebook posts?"
I get this question a lot from clients, non-clients, friends, Romans, etc. And I understand why. You write a post telling people what is so great about your business, what you've been up to, something that really matters to you.
You do this because want to create a post that inspire engagement, that connects with your audience and help them remember you, right? Posts that make them love you, trust you, remember you, CHOOSE YOU!? Any then no one even looks at it???
When I managed the Facebook page of a nonprofit online resource with a following of about 250,000 fans, I thought about how to get people to look at our posts a lot.
We actually higher than average "engagement" (likes, comments, shares, and clicks on our posts). But I was always looking over my shoulder at the specter of the Facebook Algorithm.
It looks like this, right? In all seriousness though, we know that Facebook curates every single user's feed. It's the reason most people's Facebook posts (whether they be personal or business page posts) don't get seen by all of their friends and fans.
Another thing we learned while I worked on that awesome site's social media:
Facebook decides what each of its users sees, and it's pretty mum about the exact combination of factors it uses to make those individual decisions.
But there are still plenty of business pages that get PLENTY of engagement. So, we must know some things. Right?
- Use beautiful photos to get noticed.
- Or don't.
- Write short posts! The shorter the better.
- Or ... don't.
- Post links to your website.
- Or ... you get the idea.
Here's my point: there isn't one specific format for getting your Facebook posts seen by an audience who might really care about what you have to say.
What does your audience care about? What matters to them? Or, if you want to think about it like this:
What does your message do for them? What does it mean to them?
And this is where studying what others have done can be really helpful and important.
In fact, studying what other people do is the best way to make a list of what to test on your own Facebook page and other social media profiles.
So, here I've dissected a couple of Facebook posts. One that got a lot of clicks to the owner's website (which you can view here once you sign up for my list), and one that got a lot of comments on Facebook itself (which you can view here).
They are both great examples because they garnered lots and lots of engagement--higher than average for the profiles they came from, and higher than average across the entire social media landscape.
They are also great examples because they served a purpose for the business owners who posted them.
And they are great examples because they use completely different tactics. But I break down why they worked.
Test out these tactics for yourself! Let me know how it goes.
Click the images to download:
Pinterest is a powerful way to drive traffic to your website. Maybe you already knew that, and maybe you didn't. But what makes this images so compelling that people can't help but click on them?
We moved, which has resulted in me driving a lot more each day. This gives me extra time to listen to a lot more podcasts. So somewhere within this hectic week, I listened to a terrific episode from Amy Porterfield. Episode number 58 is nearly a year old, but the advice in it is so spot on that I almost choked on my coffee when I heard it.
Amy takes a question from a fan who leads with, "How do I increase my FB followers?"
If you've read my post about vanity metrics, you'll know that I hate this question. It turns out, so does the extremely successful (and very succinct!) Amy Porterfield.
Amy doesn't use the word "hate," though. Here's how she puts it: "This is where we need a reframe."
The reframe: Facebook followers don't translate into the number of clients your business has. Ads can help you build your client base, but only if each of your ads has a clear strategy behind that you implement and monitor, tweaking along the way as you see your results within Facebook Ads Manager.
As Amy says, " I want to help you see FB as a place where putting in a little bit of money will result in bringing back a lot of money."
Seriously! Or as I have said to new and prospective clients, to friends and family, to my dog Toby as he sits at my feet while I hammer away on my laptop keyboard:
Don't buy a Facebook ad unless you have a clear strategy for how you will receive a return on that investment. If you can't draw a line between that Facebook ad and how it will get prospective buyers/clients in the door, don't spend the dough.
This doesn't mean you won't have to experiment with some trial and error as you figure out the target audience for your ad, the right text and images, times of day (in some cases), and the most rousing calls to action you can.
But you can only figure these things out if you have a clear goal in mind. You can only know whether the ads are "working" if they are moving you closer to that goal, or if they aren't.
For example, if you set up an ad with the goal of getting those who see the ad to join your email list, and no one joins your e-mail list, you know the ad didn't work and you need to try something else.
But I just love how Amy handles this question because she puts to rest the idea that your number of Facebook page likes has much to do at all with the effectiveness of your online marketing.
I met Beth Anne almost a year ago here in San Diego, and her online business, Brilliant Business Moms, has sky-rocketed since then.
Whenever I talk to her about BBM or see her online marketing efforts, I think a big reason for her success is that she knows the community she serves and how she helps them. She offers support, tools, and tips for stay-at-home moms who want to grow their side-project businesses.
We could all earn from her clarity around who she serves and what she offers as we try to get the most out of our marketing efforts.
So, I wanted to give Beth Anne a chance to talk about her strategies in her own words. Below is our Q&A.
And check out her answers to a "lightning round" of 6 work-life balance questions I tossed her way in the video below.
(Skip to 1:15 to get her Number 1 tip for anyone juggling work and family time.)
More from Beth Anne on the birth of her business and what she's learned:
1. How did you decide to start your business? Did you have a moment of inspiration or did it evolve?
My business has completely evolved! It's definitely been a "one thing led to another" type of scenario! Initially, I started out with an Etsy shop selling butterfly terrarium kits. My sister and I opened that shop together in November of 2012.
We made some side income from our shop, but we wanted to grow it more. We thought a mommy blog focused on outdoor activities would be the perfect way to get more traffic and sales for our shop!
Well... it turns out growing a mommy blog is much harder than we anticipated! After several months of crazy hard work in early 2015, we realized we needed to find a way to pick the brains of other Mompreneurs and figure out how they were growing their online businesses. Since we couldn't find a resource that really did that in detail, we decided to create our own--the Brilliant Business Moms podcast.
Through serving the community at BBM, we discovered we could help our audience solve the problems of time management as Mamapreneurs--so our book and planner were born. Then, I created other digital products such as the Get-Found Guide to Etsy, and more recently, courses on Pinterest and Facebook.
I think, though, that very quickly after starting the podcast, I realized that we had something special. For the first time, Sarah and I were building a true community online, and we were so committed to serving the women that came into our path. From that point forward, the business became much more clear - because we knew who our audience was - and it was just a matter of helping them and serving them well.
2. One time you told me you tell yourself, "I'm just trying to teach that lady that was me, one year ago." If you could go back a year and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Focus! Seriously, it's that simple. I wish I would have dug into Pinterest wholeheartedly sooner, and I wish I would have created a course sooner. Instead, I pursued all sorts of little ideas at once. Some worked out,and some didn't. But hindsight is 20/20.
Also, I think it's much easier to spot lack of focus in others versus yourself. I look at the businesses of other Mamapreneurs all the time and do a facepalm because they're pursuing 3 completely separate things at once.
Don't do it. Give your initial idea a fair chance by diving in wholeheartedly. Until you've spent at least 150 hours doing nothing but marketing your business, you can't say you gave it a fair shot.
Remember this: "It's not the idea that's bad, it's your lack of focus that's bad." Give your idea room to flourish. Water it with loads of outreach and marketing, and if it still doesn't work, it may just need some tweaks. Don't give up so easily. Dig deeper instead of digging a new hole.
3. What would you cite as the big pivot point for your business? A moment that happened inside, or a big win that really made you feel like you were on your way?
I think the big pivot for me happened quite recently! It was really with the launch of my first course which happened at the beginning of March. I was amazed at how many of my loyal audience members showed up for the webinar, and how many of them said yes to the course! It made me realize how important it is to build relationships and serve your audience well. If you show them how much you have to offer, they won't mind voting with their wallet. Seriously, I feel so grateful for them!
And part two of that pivot is this: I'm focusing on one signature product right now. Instead of going back to the drawing board and creating something brand new, I will continue to market my new course for the next 6 months. There are so many women out there I can help, and I'm now much more confident in my ability to find them and market to them online.
4. What is the accomplishment that you're most proud of up to this point?
I've finally learned my lesson when it comes to focusing, and I can tell you that it has made a world of difference for my stress level, my income level, and my ability to balance my work life with my family.
It sounds strange to list "people" as an accomplishment, but I'm really most proud of the Brilliant Business Moms community! They're amazing! People tell us all the time that our private Facebook group is full of the nicest people around, and that makes me so happy. I have no idea how I got lucky enough to know all of the kindest, most helpful ladies online, but somehow I did!
Seriously, I'm so proud of them!
I listen to a lot of podcasts. Maybe you watch a lot of YouTube videos or stream a lot of TV shows.
The thing these three kinds of media have in common is that they have the potential to be "binge-able": you can find yourself playing the back catalog for hours until you've heard or seen every minute.
They feel like a book that you just can't put down. You just have to know what happens.
When you blog, one of your aims should be to create binge-worthy content. I know it's one of mine.
I don't want to create a blog that just anyone can binge on. I want to create a blog that my ideal client just can't stop reading; she's compelled to immediately start scouring the back catalog.
How does one do this?
I thought I'd try to figure it out by looking at my own experience. The shows I've binged on all have one thing in common--a well-defined format. The format allows their audience to know what they will get from the show, and it allows their shows to appeal to a narrow audience. A narrow audience means a smaller audience, perhaps, but it also means a much more passionate, devoted audience.
These are people who love talking about and thinking about your content, who will share it across social media, talk to their friends and family about it. They are advocates.
One show that I think epitomizes this theory is the podcast Denzel Washington Is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period. The format: review each Denzel Washington movie in alphabetical order.
That's... pretty narrowly focused.
But, because the hosts are smart, funny, and in show-business themselves, they are able to discuss an endless array of issues within this frame that involving show-business, race and ethnicity, movie tropes and stereotypes, talent, luck, fandom, making it as an artist, and much, much more.
So, because DWITGAOATP has an crystal-clear format that its hosts are committed to, all those topics don't seem disorganized or unrelated to each other. They all relate back to the show's reason for being.
I think a blog can cultivate the same kind of following by promising a certain format and then continue to deliver within that framework.
What do you think?
Two essential ways you should be making audience interaction a part of your daily routine.
You know you know what you're talking about. But how does the rest of the world?
What do you do if you don't like writing or you don't feel like you're any good at it? Can you find a way to stick with a blog schedule?