11 Essential Tips for a Fantastic Facebook Page

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Are you not seeing the engagement you’d like to on your Facebook page? Well, we have 11 tips to share with you that just might inspire you to try something new!

1. Stay on topic. Your company sells specific products and services. So when people find you on Facebook, they want to find out more about your current inventory, sales that you’re running, and any other pertinent company information. And that’s exactly what you should give them. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t write about silly things every once in a while or share other sites’ content (in fact, you should be doing these things as long as they align with your brand’s voice and image, because people like lighthearted things), but be sure that most updates capture/portray the essence of your company in a professional manner.

2. Upload photos and videos. Videos actually have a larger reach than photos right now, but only if they’re shared natively. (That is, uploaded to Facebook or shared from someone else’s page who has uploaded that video–not posted from YouTube or another video sharing site.) So obviously, whenever possible, it’s good to share a video. But what are you supposed to do if you don’t have any videos? Well, at the very least, include a photo with your update. Visual media, whether video or photo, is much more effective in reaching your audience than posting a simple text update. People are visual, and their eyes immediately go to colorful or interesting pictures. So make use of that!

3. Do not respond to things unprofessionally. There’s a time and a place getting irritated with people and it’s not when you’re on Facebook–especially if you run a business. If someone leaves a nasty comment, don’t panic. Try to determine the root of the issue–is it a customer who is angry because of poor service? You can try to politely offer a deal to make up for it. Is it someone who just wants to vent? Apologize for poor service and move on. Is it someone who is deliberately being abusive? Well, don’t vent back. Instead, let’s move on to number four to solve this one…

4. Don’t ignore trolls. But don’t feed them either. If they’re disruptive and being mean or callous to others, block them. Create a space your fans feel comfortable in. This is far more important than picking fights or letting your Facebook comments go completely uncontrolled. People don’t like hostile spaces, so moderate those comments and avoid that negativity altogether.

5. Share your company news with them. People love celebrating milestones with you and getting a peek at how things work within your company. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an established company with lots of history, make it a point to include your customers in celebrating your milestones and you’ll see that you can build a more meaningful connection with them.

6. Do weekly events. People love participating in events, particularly if it involves a silly game. Things like “fill in the blank” or “caption this photo” work well (although with these, you’ll always have those unsavory comments to deal with), and some people enjoy it when you pose questions that they can answer (for example, if you shared a picture of your new product and asked people how they would use it). You can also have fans participate for a chance at being featured on your site, or you could have them leave promotional links of their own to foster sharing. There are tons of possibilities!

7. Offer giveaways. Sometimes people just want to win free things. Okay, a lot of times people just want to win free things. 😉 So when it fits into your budget, come up with a way to give your Facebook fans the chance to win something great. It keeps them coming back for more!

8. Post blog updates on Facebook. While it’s a good idea to set up your blog posts so that they’re automatically sent to your social media sites, you should always stagger the distribution. Why? Because when you send out one blog post and it hits Facebook, G+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and everywhere else at the same time, you’re not maximizing your reach. So when you set up your blog’s auto-posting features, just keep in mind that you might want to discover which times your social media fans are the most active, and schedule accordingly!

9. Trade likes–Don’t buy them. Some people buy “likes” so that their Facebook pages appear to be more popular than they really are. But when you really think about it, what good does this do you? You spend money to have fake fans interact with your page once and never return. You’d get more return on your investment if you took the time to cultivate a real community–even if it takes longer for your numbers to grow. One tactic that you might want to try is trading “likes”. Send out a message every once in a while asking to this. Or you could like someone else’s page and just drop them a note telling them you did so, and leave a link to your page in case they’re interested. Don’t be pushy about it–and if someone doesn’t return the like, that’s okay. You won’t always be successful in this tactic, but it can be a great way to meet some new fans!

10. Link to social media profiles. It sounds obvious, but there are too many people who forget to do this. If you have a Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, then be sure to cross-link to those sites. For example, on Facebook, you should link not only to your website, but also to Twitter and LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, link to Facebook and Twitter. And so on. Sometimes people stumble upon your social media sites before your website, so it’s best to make sure that no matter where they land, they can connect with you anywhere on the web!

11. Experiment with advertising. Today, it’s almost essential that you advertise to get your Facebook page noticed. Because Facebook’s algorithm tends to favor posts with more engagement (and sponsored posts, of course), people often start paying to promote posts or ads in hopes that people will like them and click through to learn more. And that can be rough for smaller businesses that don’t have a lot of money for this kind of thing. But the good news is that you can actually set a budget as low as $5 a day to run ads, and you don’t have to run the ad every day. You could actually set aside a small budget of $100 a month and see improvements in your post engagement and clickthroughs to your site. It’s definitely worth experimenting with it!

Do you have any other tips for getting more out of your Facebook marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments!


Internet Local Listings is an internet advertising company in Santa Ana, CA, serving clients across the country with the best website marketing services available in the industry. Visit us here for more information, or give us a call at (888) 770-3950 to discover how we can help you be seen online.

Back to Basics #30: Getting the Most Out of Pinterest

Completely Filling Out Your Business Profile

Before you do anything on Pinterest, make SURE that you have a business profile set up. If you have a personal profile, you won’t be able to access all the great bonuses like analytics. You can either set up a brand new business profile, or you can convert your personal profile to a business one. To learn how to set up a business account, go here.

Once you’ve set everything up, it’s time to fill out your profile. And one of the most important things to do when filling out your profile is to be thorough! Have you ever seen one of those Pinterest users with just a thumbtack for a picture? No one wants to interact with a brand that can’t even be bothered to put up a decent photo. Take the time to put up a profile picture and fill out your most important information: business name, a user name that reflects your business name, a little bit about you, your location, and your website. Make sure everything is consistent with your other social media profiles–if you’ve recently changed websites, make sure you update correctly. If you use a specific username on Twitter, you might want to consider using the same for Pinterest (both Twitter and Pinterest have limited characters for profile names). Put your most important keywords in your “about me” section. Finally, validate your site for analytics purposes. More on that below.

Validating Site for Analytics

One of Pinterest’s best business account features is analytics. By enabling analytics, you can gain valuable insight about which pins are driving the most traffic to your site. All it takes is a little bit of code, and you’re ready to start tracking. To validate your site, simply:

  • Go to Account Settings.
  • Scroll down to where you see the field to input your website. There should be a message next to it saying that your site needs validation.
  • You can then choose from one of two ways to validate your site: a meta tag or an HTML file. Depending on your level of skill with code or your hosting platform, you’ll want to pick the way you’re the most familiar with. If you have no idea what any of this means, contact your webmaster or visit Pinterest’s help center for tips and videos. There is another walk-through here.
  • Once you’ve completed the steps here, refresh the page and you can see whether it worked.
  • You’re finished!

To check up on analytics, simply go to the gear on the right-hand side of the page and select “Analytics”. From there, you can see which of your pins are performing the best, who visits your site, and more!

If you want to know more about using analytics, Pinterest has put together an in-depth PDF that covers the topic thoroughly. We highly suggest you check it out, since that’s well beyond the scope of this article.

Updating Strategically

Some people forget about Pinterest, only to remember later during the month and then frantically spend 3 hours pinning things. This might not seem like a terrible thing to do, but if you understand how Pinterest boards work, you’ll soon realize just how frustrating this is to your followers.

You see, when someone pins to a board, all of her followers will see the pin at the top of their feed. So imagine what it must be like to see a flood of 50+ pins in under an hour. You’re going to make some people very agitated, and as a result, they’re going to unfollow you very quickly. This is not a good way to go about using the social media platform!

Instead, take the time to learn when your clients are online and pinning. According to most studies, Pinterest users are active later at night (perhaps with a glass of wine in hand, browsing before bed?). Take advantage of this and add to your content a little bit every day during these hours. Your boards will grow slowly over time. Keep adding valuable content and you can be sure that you’ll gain followers!

Creating Boards for Multiple Things

So let’s say you’re an expert at knitting crazy hats. You’re going to want to pin articles about knitting, creating your own patterns, which kinds of yarn are best, and different ways to wear your hats. All kinds of craft-related things!

But while your focus should be on your main product, you should also make sure to pin other things, too. People like mindless entertainment, and they like knowing your brand is human. So go ahead and start a cute kitties board, or pin recipes you’d like to try. Have your boards reflect your own unique interests, and people will be more likely to stay interested in you.

Repinning After Some Time

So you pinned your blog post to a board three months ago. You’ve been adding to that board daily. What do you think the chances are that someone will find that pin? Not as high as if you repinned it, that’s for sure! Every once in a while, take the time to repin your posts so that they appear at the top of your followers’ feeds. You’ll get a bump in impressions and probably a few more pins and clicks, too!

Check Pin Details

Have you ever pinned someone’s pin and found that the link is broken or that it’s misleading? It happens to everyone. But the best way to avoid these things is to simply take a second to check that the link works before you repin it. If the incorrect info is listed in the pin description, take fifteen seconds to attribute it to the correct source. After all, would you want someone doing this to your work? Probably not. Spread the love and you’ll not only benefit from a better board, but you’re being helpful to the person who wrote the content as well as to your followers.

Place a Widget on Your Site

By placing a widget on your site, people will know immediately that you’re on Pinterest. You can design anything from a simple button to a gorgeous board showcasing your pins. Then any visitor can click to follow you and take a look at your content. If you choose the type of widget that showcases your boards, all of your most recent pins will show up, helping you to get the impressions and repins you want! Check out Pinterest’s widget builder here to get started.

Internet Local Listings is an internet advertising company in Santa Ana, CA, serving clients across the country with the best website marketing services available in the industry. Visit us here for more information, or give us a call at (888) 770-3950 to see how we can help you be seen online.

Back to Basics #20: How to Build a PR Strategy as a Local Business

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An important part of running your small business is to make sure that you have a strong PR strategy in place. PR stands for public relations, and it is an integral part of defining your target market and reaching them in a positive and effective manner. It’s impossible nowadays to run a business and a marketing campaign without considering your approach to PR as well.

If you’re new to the idea of public relations, no worries! In this post, we’ll talk about some of the basics that you can do to help improve your presence and positive image in your community.

Define Your Audience.

There’s no use in trying to market to anyone if you can’t decide who to market to. Think about it: If you own a retirement community and you’re looking to appeal to new residents, sending out advertisements to college students isn’t going to help you very much. This is why you need to define your audience before you begin. Once you have that figured out, you can move on to planning your strategy.

To get started on this, you can take a look at who is already visiting your page using a Google Analytics account. You can find the basics of how to set up an account here. Once you have determined who is interested in your site, you can easily start sorting out your marketing methods to appeal to those demographics.

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Get Online.

With your new audience in mind, go to where they hang out. The easiest way will be to reach them online, although depending on your audience, you may still be able to reach people by cold calling or newspaper advertisements. But for many of us, our audience is online, just waiting to be found!

Consider your brand identity when going online, too. Your company will be associated with your positive image. How will you help your customers remember you? How will you stand out in the crowd? Work this into your campaign. When you’re updating social media, keep a clear and consistent voice. Don’t talk about personal things or your opinions on the latest political argument. Keep your words professional—nothing can ever be scrubbed completely from the internet. Don’t fall into the trap of getting confrontational or controversial!

Find Opportunities to be Seen in the Community.

For local businesses, an integral part of success is being seen in the community. Whether you’re a new business or you’ve been around for 40 years, you need to be active, visible, and a positive force in your community. People love connecting with local business owners. And if you leave a positive impression on them, you can bet that they’ll remember you the next time they’re looking for someone who provides your products and services!

A great way to do this is to look for ways to volunteer. Whether you want to donate food to a shelter or donate some money to a cause you believe in, any step toward charitable giving is a positive one. You can take part in local festivals and events by offering coupons to guests, or you can even set up raffles so you can get people excited about interacting with you. Or you could simply help out the community around the holidays, whether you’re involved with a parade or a school fundraiser. There are tons of ways to get involved, so get creative!

Find Speaking Opportunities.

Almost everyone hates public speaking. But if you get over your fears long enough to do get up in front of a crowd, you can generate some great exposure for your business. Is there a trade show or conference going on in your town? Look into becoming a speaker for the event—you could be on a panel or even nominate yourself to be the keynote speaker if you feel you have the chops!

Be forewarned, however, that these endeavors take a lot of preparation. Furthermore, you’ll have to plan for these events because many are scheduled months ahead of time. But if you do your research and come prepared, you’ll find that the results you get can be fantastic.

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Pitch Your Story.

Did you know that journalists can be reached through social media? Before, you might have had to call them up, fax them, or email them. But today, journalists contribute to blogs, have social media accounts, and network with other journalists. This creates a number of free opportunities for you to reach out and contact them. Comment on their Facebook posts. Track them down on Twitter and engage them in conversation. Find blogs they contribute to so that you know and understand their work. If they’re looking for stories that you think they could use in a story, reach out and give them your ideas. It helps to have a kind of “press release” prepared beforehand so that you can give them what they need with little turnaround–you need to remember that they’re very busy and often get pitched to many times a day. Keep in contact with them and they’ll be more likely to remember you the next time they’re doing a story in a similar vein.

Decide On Your Best Approach.

Okay, maybe none of these things appealed to you. Maybe you’re more about writing things on your own. Or maybe you prefer radio to seminars. There are a number of ways that you can get in contact with the public, and the great thing is that they’re all still very effective ways of boosting your presence. You may want to try:

  • Writing your own press releases, articles, or even letters to your local newspaper editor.
  • Writing an ebook to appeal to your customers—“how to” tips tend to work well.
  • Volunteering at or sponsoring an event.
  • Signing up to speak at a seminar or convention—or you could even take part in an online webinar!
  • Do press conferences, offer to be on a radio program, or see if you can land a spot on your local evening news.
  • Put together testimonials, positive reviews, and success stories to keep on hand whenever you appear in public. People love inspiring stories and knowing that you’re reputable, too!

With these tips, you can decide how you want to approach your PR campaign and which options work the best for your vision. All of these tips are free or low-cost—it all depends on how much work you want to put into it on your own vs. hiring a PR consultant.

Do you have any other tips on how to build a PR strategy as a local business? Let us know in the comments!