As they frequently do, Facebook has relatively recently made some changes to their platform that have changed how you go about activating targeting options for Timeline posts.
Roughly one year ago, I had written a post to provide step-by-step instructions on how to adjust your Facebook Page privacy settings to give you access to this powerful feature set, but the instructions have since been rendered obsolete.
If you’d like an explanation as to why you might want to target your Facebook Timeline content, I recommend reading my previous post, and for now, I’ll just cut to the chase on how to gain access to these options.
STEP 1: In the Admin Panel, click on the ‘Edit Page’ drop-down menu
STEP 2: Click ‘Edit Settings’
STEP 3: Ensure you’re on the ‘Settings’ tab
STEP 4: Look for ‘Post Targeting and Privacy’ and click ‘Edit’
STEP 5: Click the ‘Turn on privacy and News Feed targeting so I can control the privacy of new Page posts’ check box
STEP 6: Click ‘Save Changes’
That’s all there is to it. Follow these few steps and you’ll be given Facebook’s targeting options for all of your future Timeline posts.
How do you use Facebook’s targeting options for your business’ Timeline content?
If you have any questions to do with social media or content marketing, how to use Facebook and/or other social media platforms, or anything related, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, or contact me directly.
In effort to shed some light on how Twitter can help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), Twitter engaged Market Probe International to conduct research in hopes of proving how their platform can lead to real business results.
Some interesting findings emerged that – surprise, surprise – demonstrate that Twitter can indeed have a positive impact for SMBs.
So, following is a compilation of the resulting stats (because we all love stats, right?) and a few ideas for how you might consider acting on this information to supercharge the value of your Twitter followers:
74 percent of people who follow small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) follow to get updates on future products
Find compelling ways to not just blast your audience with new product or service announcements, but involve them in the journey that results in the launch of a product or service. If you sell high-interest products or services, your audience will surely be thrilled with behind the scenes previews, ability to influence product development, teases about announcements, and anything that builds anticipation and contributes to a compelling story.
47 percent of people who follow brands are more likely to visit the company’s website
Makes sense. By following your brand on Twitter, a person has demonstrated at least some level of interest in your business, which may then drive them to visit your website. Make this easy for them by including a URL to your website in your profile.
Also, ensure that your website isn’t a giant letdown when they get there by providing the types of content your audience is likely to be looking for, and that it is set up to convert that traffic and interest into sales, store visits, emails, phone calls, or whatever a meaningful conversion is to your business.
70 percent of SMB followers retweet because they like the SMB’s content
Provide tremendous value. Before publishing anything on Twitter – or any social media network for that matter – ensure that your content provides value to your targeted audience. If it does, proceed. If it doesn’t, then don’t publish it. Monitor, measure and optimize your content on an ongoing basis to ensure the value you are offering is high, and in line with, or surpasses, consumer expectations.
There is a 30 percent lift in recommendations of an SMB after following or interacting with them on Twitter
Online and social media recommendations and reviews are hugely influential to people making purchase decisions. Doing anything and everything possible to bolster the number of recommendations and positive reviews your business receives is monumentally important to driving sales.
86 percent of users are more likely to visit a business after it has been recommended by a friend
This is just further proof of the importance of earning positive reviews and recommendations. It doesn’t get much better than driving foot traffic to your business from social media (unless of course you’re set up to handle ecommerce). You can’t ask for much more than this, so be sure to invest time to figure out how you’re going to get more reviews, and increase the number of people recommending your business on Twitter and other social media platforms. It’ll pay dividends.
72 percent of followers are more likely to make a future purchase
A follower is only a follower so long as they’re following your business or brand (follow what I’m saying?). Goofy, I know, but the point is that there is value in building and sustaining loyalty on social media, so be sure that you’re publishing nothing but awesome content, and having meaningful interactions with your audience. Keep them just as excited (or more!) about your business into the future as they were the day they decided to bestow their allegiance via a ‘follow’ to you.
84 percent of people who follow/interact with SMBs mention an SMB to share a positive experience
Take every opportunity to provide positive experiences for your customers, and don’t overlook anything. Every time you interact with them be it on social media, on your website, in your store, over the phone, unboxing your product, with your service reps, or sending them an invoice, find ways to make the experience a positive one.
61 percent of people follow to interact with SMBs to share ideas and provide feedback
People don’t tend to share ideas because they don’t like the ideas they’re sharing. They share ideas because they see value in their possible implementation. So, take your audience’s ideas seriously, because who knows, maybe there’s a nugget of gold in there.
Also, feedback, whether it’s positive or negative, is a sign of connectedness to your business. People don’t provide feedback because they don’t give a damn about your business; they do it because they do. Take advantage of this and ensure that you build on this connectedness and parlay it into advocacy and evangelism by demonstrating that you’re truly listening.
While we do need to be wary about the precision of these stats – they are from a Twitter-commissioned research study after all – there are some interesting nuggets here. Not only do these stats work to demonstrate the rough value of a Twitter follower, but they can be more broadly applied to support the value of engaging a targeted audience on social media, which is great.
What, if any, of these stats do you find to be most interesting? Why?
Have you seen any direct correlation between social media marketing and your SMB’s success?
What role does Twitter play in your social media strategy?
It would be fantastic to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on – you guessed it! – Twitter @RGBSocial
The ability for customers to publicly share their frustrations, complaints and issues remains a great concern for businesses and brands on social media.
Some businesses relieve this concern by jacking up their privacy settings to keep unhappy customers from being able to openly express their feelings on official social channels. On blogs and websites they’ll prohibit comments from being posted. And they’ll outright ignore using social media platforms that don’t allow for heavy censorship.
These, of course, are not productive solutions. If customers cannot express their discontentment on business’ official social media channels, they’ll express their discontentment elsewhere, where it’s more difficult to monitor, track and address.
So, how can businesses effectively provide customer service on social media while not having their profile be overrun by negativity?
Provide a better, more reliable product or service
Obvious, I know, but if you are finding that your business’ social media channels are being overrun by negativity, maybe it’s time to consider making a few changes to your business to mitigate this. Listen to what the complaints are, document them, identify trends, and make some adjustments. Your customers will be happy that you listened to them, and new purchasers will have greater confidence that you will work to assure their confidence in your product or service in the future.
Respond to customer service concerns publicly
For many businesses, chances are high that if one customer has a certain issue, that many others my have similar concerns. Responding to customer service issues publicly can help to mitigate the chance of issues being repeatedly expressed, as the solution provided to one customer will work well for any others with a similar problem.
Create an archive of responses for easy search
Building on the previous point, consider collecting and archiving customer service complaints and resolutions in an easily searchable format. Not only will you be creating a valuable ‘self-serve’ customer service or troubleshooting resource for other customers, but you’ll effectively build trust by being transparent, and not trying to hide every bit of negativity about your business.
Treat each concern seriously
Customer service is an opportunity to interact at a one-on-one level with your customers, which for many businesses, can be a rare opportunity. This is a chance to renew their faith in your product or service, resolve issues they have, show them that you are willing to support and stand behind your offering, and show them that they are your number one priority. No matter the scale of customer service issue you are dealing with, it should be treated with import and care.
Track responses and follow-up to ensure problems were resolved
The adage, ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’, should not apply to your social media customer service efforts. Over deliver on expectations by tracking customer service issues, and follow-up within a reasonable time period to ensure that no further problems have arisen since your last interaction. Over delivering in the area of customer service is a tremendous opportunity to convert negative experiences to trust, brand loyalty, advocacy and more.
Have a process in place to speed up response times
Counter to what I would have initially expected, recent studies indicate that satisfaction ratings for customer service via voice, chat, and email still remain higher than through social media. Customers demand real-time, or near real-time responses to their customer service inquiries, and not many businesses or brands are able to live up to those expectations via social media. Do your best to keep your customer service speedy by having a well planned process in place to ensure your community managers are equipped to confidently reply to your valued customers quickly and accurately.
Have you had any great experiences with social media customer service?
Have you had any terrible experiences with social media customer service?
How do you provide customer service through social media?
Do you have any additional customer service tips to share?
It would be great to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
I can’t believe it, but it’s already December, and the holidays are bearing down on us.
While you’re undoubtedly busy planning your personal social schedule with family and friends, now is also a perfect time to be planning your social media activity for the coming weeks. Planning can be critical to ensure you’ve got your ducks in a row for when you inevitably take a bit of time off to enjoy the season, and to sustain activity and engagement with your audience during this time.
In the interest of avoiding over-used clichés and long-winded rambling, let’s get into it:
Plan your content calendars
This is an obvious one, but certainly worth noting. Be sure that you not only have your December content calendar ready to publish (which you should already have), but that you have your January calendar ready to go as well. If you work with a team on content creation, or require any approvals from management, clients, legal, or anyone else, they aren’t likely to be around during the latter part of the month to accommodate your requests. Therefore, be sure to have your January calendar prepped and ready for approvals well in advance of people taking off for the holiday.
Spend a few extra minutes thinking about your holiday-specific content
If Christmas, Boxing Day, or New Years Eve have any relevance to your business, brand or audience, which they likely do, then it might be worthwhile spending a bit of extra time thinking of how to create special content for those days. Sure, you can keep things simple and wish everyone a safe and happy holiday, but you could also embrace these days as a creative opportunity with your content.
Have a monitoring schedule in place
It would be easy to forget about your social media communities during the holidays, but the reality is that you should really try to keep an eye on any activity that might be going on during this busy time of year. Keep it simple by setting a schedule for yourself to login, quickly monitor and moderate, and then get back to enjoying some time off.
Reflect on the year that is largely behind us
There is a tremendous amount to be learned by reviewing past performance, amazing successes, and dramatic failures. Take some time before the craziness of the holidays to reflect on how things have gone for you and your business in 2013 on social media. You might be able to identify helpful trends, reinforce activity to avoid or not replicate, think about new ideas that haven’t been explored, or more. Without a doubt, dedicating some time to reflect will be revealing, and of great benefit.
Set goals for the coming year
New Years Day represents a fresh beginning, and opportune time to enact resolutions and find ways to build upon successes of years past, and the same holds true for businesses, many of which have a fiscal year that mirrors the calendar year. While having a personal resolution to lay off fried food, or visit the gym more frequently are easy to identify and put into action, business resolutions – or goals to be more direct about it – should be more thoughtful and strategic, and thus, require more time to think about. So, if you haven’t been thinking about your social media and content marketing goals for 2014, now is a perfect time to start.
Take some time for yourself
Taking time away from social media can be reinvigorating, energizing, and save you from being made fun of by your family and friends for your unhealthy obsession with checking Twitter and Pinterest. Remember to take some time for yourself and to not stress about the craziness of social media and content marketing; you deserve it. It’s the holidays, and you really should be spending some quality time with the people who matter most to you.
What are your tips and tricks for prepping for the holidays?
If you have anything to add it would be great to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Did you happen to notice anything strange last week?
If you did, it was probably a result of the immense number of mentions of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on social and traditional media, and not that I took the week off of social media.
Believe it or not, while I took the week off of social media, the world kept spinning, my business survived, my face didn’t melt off, and no other catastrophes occurred as a direct result (as far as I know anyway).
Of course I’m joking about the dramatic overestimation of my importance to the world of social media, but I did gain some perspective I’d like to share while taking this bit of time off recently.
It’s perspective that is relatively simple to understand, but I’ll tell you that having lived it has given me a new appreciation for the validity of the following points:
Before anything, take care of your business.
Sometimes there are more important things to do than sweat every detail of your efforts on social media, particularly as a small business owner. If your business requires your full attention, it would be foolish to let critical business requirements slide in favour of managing your social media presence. If your business is comprised of a small team, be sure to have your priorities in check and take care of what’s best for your business first and foremost.
Taking a break can be reenergizing.
It’s obvious and cliché, but it’s true. Taking a break from anything, even if it’s something important and that you’re passionate about can be incredibly reenergizing. Because social media marketing is demanding of your time and attention on a daily basis, taking a few days off can really help to refresh your motivation for building relationships with your targeted audience, providing huge value, and generally killing it on social media.
Stepping back can give you fresh perspective.
There are times when the best way to progress something, is to step away from it. Being removed can give you fresh perspective, and let you think about things in new ways without needing to take care of the day-to-day. I’m convinced the same holds true for social media. Not being so involved in the daily requirements of managing your social media properties can better facilitate those magical moments when ideas and fresh thinking comes to you almost subconsciously.
If your efforts are consistent, the odd hiccup isn’t going to disrupt anything.
And the reality is that nothing terrible is going to happen as a result of a few days away from social media. You’re not going to lose your entire audience, and you’re not going to jeopardize the relationships you’ve built. Your business will be fine, and maybe it will even be better as a result.
What were the negatives of taking a week off?
After returning to my business’s social media efforts, and my personal social media networks after a week away, things were pretty well where I left them. Sure, I lost a few followers on Twitter, but I think that number was literally 3 or 4.
I published only one blog post last week instead of the two that I typically do, which wasn’t technically a cheat because it was pre-scheduled to post from weeks prior. This resulted in my page views being down about 10 percent for the week, which is within my blog’s typical range of fluctuation, so nothing really dramatic.
These were the most dramatic changes that I noticed as a direct result of this experiment, so certainly no irreparable damage done.
So there you go. If you have pressing needs to take care of that keep you from managing your social media and content marketing efforts as strictly as you’d ideally like, don’t sweat it, particularly if you have a track record of consistency and you don’t make it a regular habit.
As a result of having done this myself, I might actually suggest taking a break every now and again to recharge and reinvigorate your efforts upon your return. And an alternative to letting things stagnate is of course to have someone capable stand in for you while you take a bit of time away.
When is the last time you deviated from your regular routine on social media?
If you’ve ever done this, what happened as a result?
Do you have a plan in place to facilitate taking time off of social media?
It would be great to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial