A Facebook fan page is a way for a business to establish its presence on Facebook. And some business owners consider their number of fan page likes as a major social proof – the more likes you have the more credible your business is. If you’re among these entrepreneurs who think this way, then you better think again.
You have to remember that Facebook has already been infiltrated by spammers - the number of Facebook likes alone is no longer an accurate social proof. Likes can be bought so that anybody or any business can appear important, even when they’re not. If you want some sort of social proof to show your audience, then show them how your fan page performs in terms of engagement.
Here are some more reasons why you should stop counting likes and avoid fake likes like a plague:
Fake Facebook likes won’t help you achieve your marketing objectives.
Fake likes won’t help increase your revenue. If the likes you get came from countries that your business does not service, then they basically mean nothing to you. You’re basically wasting your marketing content. How can they relate to your marketing message if it’s not meant for them? How can you expect them to act on your calls-to-action if they have no interest in your products or your business?
Fake likes are just vanity metrics, they don’t measure real success.
As mentioned above, your main metrics should be engagement rather than the number of likes. Facebook is about the “after-like” relationship you build with your audience, and you can’t build any relationship if the bulk of what you have are fake, paid likes.
Fake likes can have a detrimental effect on the reach of posts you share.
There’s a chance that you won’t be able to reach your real audience because of fake likes. Say for example, your Facebook page currently has 1200 likes, 1000 of which are fake likes. If you share a post, your engagement ratio will be low because not a single one of the fake likes would ever engage with any of your posts. Facebook will then consider your contents to be low quality and irrelevant, reducing the reach of your subsequent posts accordingly. This means that now, only a fraction of the 200 real audience you have will be able to see your posts.
Fake likes will mess with your overall Facebook marketing campaign.
Because fake likes have impeded the natural reach of your Facebook business page, you won’t be able to use your Facebook page to truly analyze the behavior of your customers, like what type of content they like or what they need. Basically, fake likes impede you from getting to know your audience on a much deeper level, thus hindering you from improving your product or service.
Generating natural and organic Facebook likes may take more effort, but at least they will give you the result you need – a real audience that engages and substantial data from which to measure and analyze the success, or the lack thereof, of your marketing campaign.
If you’re like me, you constantly have a massive stack of books waiting to be read, sitting by your bedside table or on your bookshelf. Or maybe your reading list is digital – I have one on my computer that seems to stretch a mile long! Everyone says these days how they don’t have time to read, and trust me, I understand. Sometimes when you do read, you feel guilty because it doesn’t feel like you’re doing anything productive.
Studies have shown that making the time to read your way through your book list will help you (and your business) in the long run! For example, over the last ten years cognitive psychologists Keith Oatley and Raymond Mar have gathered data indicating that fiction-reading activates neuronal pathways in the brain that help the reader better understand real human emotion. This means that through reading, you can improve your emotional intelligence, which is valuable as a leader in any field.
The Harvard Business Review states “deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders and can catalyze insight, innovation, empathy, and personal effectiveness.” All of these traits epitomize what makes a good business leader! How can anyone run a company or be a good boss without insight, innovation, empathy and personal effectiveness?
Keep this in mind as well! Many of our great leaders and innovators have been avid readers. To name a few: Steve Jobs, Phil Knight, Sidney Harmon, and William Churchill (Churchill earned the Nobel Prize in Literature). All of these people realized the value that reading had on themselves as leaders.
And though it may be tempting to “double dip,” or read a book based on your industry or the business world in general, reading across fields is good for creativity. Leaders who can derive insights from other fields, such as sociology, the physical sciences, economics, or psychology, can apply them to their organizations to help them innovate and prosper.
Reading and gaining the aforementioned skills will also help you stand out in the business world! According to The National Endowment for the Arts has found that the amount of people who read for pleasure “has declined among every group of adult Americans,” and for the first time in American history, “less than half of the U.S. adult American population is reading literature.” This is extremely unfortunate, and we need to reverse this trend! But for now, having better emotional intelligence will help you become a better leader, and knock out your competition!
As you can see, reading has many benefits, but it is largely overlooked as a way to develop your leadership skills. So next time you feel like picking up a book that’s been sitting in your house for a long time, do it!
Check out this post for more tips on how to be a good business leader! If you want to meet more women in business to connect with and get support with growing your business, sign up for our annual MACsWomen Summit!
Mobile marketing is an important part of the online marketing world. Learn how to MACs-iMize your business with these mobile marketing tips.
In the world of conversion optimization, more is not better.
Imagine yourself in a shoe store with so many options to choose from that you can’t make up your mind which pair of shoes to buy. You end up leaving the store with nothing because you didn't know which shoes you like best or which was the best choice.
The same applies to business websites. Giving visitors too many choices or asking them for too much information can scare them away. An opt-in form requiring visitors to provide at least six different pieces of information such as their first name, last name, email address, contact no. address and website URL can potentially decrease your website conversion.
If you want to increase your sales conversion, streamline your offerings and reduce the number count of the information you’re asking from your visitors.
Here’s a field test conducted by Columbia University Professor Sheena Iyengar:
On two consecutive Saturdays, Iyengar set up a free tasting booth in a known grocery store.
During the first Saturday, she put up 24 flavors of jam, and on the next Saturday she cut down the selection to only 6 flavors.
Which display do you think made the most conversion? Was it during the first Saturday with 24 jams or the second Saturday with only 6 jams available?
Given the “more is better” mindset, you would probably think that conversion was much higher on the first Saturday. But that’s not the case.
When 24 jams were on display, 60% of the customers stopped to taste the jams but only 3% of the tasters actually bought a jam. When only 6 jams were displayed, only 40% of the customers stopped for a taste and 30% of them bought a jam.
While the larger display attracted more customers, the smaller display sold more – 6x more.
This study doesn't apply to jams alone. It applies to every business industry out there. Check out the video above to find out where else the “less is more” theory has been applied.
How does this apply to your site?
Your main goal is to sell something to your visitors, may it be a product, service or information. If you present multiple options to your visitors, you’re not helping them make the decision making process easier. As a result of too many option, they experience analysis paralysis – a state of over-thinking that leads to inaction.
So if you want visitors to click something, cut down options on your site and make the option you want them to choose the most obvious.
How many options should you give your customers?
If you’re an online store, give them between 4 to 6 options. Online retail shoppers expect to see at least a few options, so this allows them to browse without giving them choice overload.
For software service providers – those who charge monthly fees in exchange for using software – the magic number’s between 4 and 5.
If you’re in the information business, focus on one product at a time. People want to buy information from experts and you won’t be able to focus your expertise if you have too many information offerings you’re trying to sell.
A huge chunk of business resources are spent on online lead generation. To make sure that your lead generation efforts are maximized you must have an effective campaign in place. Below are five proven strategies that can help you get quality leads, fill your sales pipelines and, ultimately, increase your revenue.
1. Always aim to provide excellent service and create remarkable products. The secret to expanding your customer base lies on the quality of products or services that you offer your customers. The higher quality your products are, the more customers you’ll attract.
2. Reach out to current customers for referrals. It’s always easier to tap into your existing network of customers than to go looking out for new leads in different avenues. Put in place a good referral strategy that would entice customers to refer people they know to your business.
Of course, the referral system works better and easier if you have a remarkable product or service.
3. Make use of viral campaign strategies. Sit down with your marketing team and brainstorm about creating a marketing piece or content that has the potential to go viral. You may need to do lots of research, data gathering and analysis on this one, but rest assured that if you manage to crack the code and your piece goes viral, every effort will be worth it.
You can check out successful viral campaigns created by other businesses. Find out the major things they did and determine whether they can be applied to your own campaign.
4. Become a social media expert. Setup accounts on major social networking sites or on other platforms were you can reach out to your audience. Update them with useful posts, tweets, images or videos that you know your audience will find interesting. Also share news about your business.
You should use social media not only to establish your expertise in your niche industry but also to educate your audience about your brand.
5. Utilize your blog. Just like social media, your blog can also be a medium where you can establish your expertise. Write articles that would be useful to your readers and make sure that you do this on a regular basis. Your main goal is to show your audience that your blog can be their go-to source of anything related to the industry you are in. Once you get the trust of your readers, it’s easy to compel them to click on your calls-to-action.
Cold Calling. Although this has already been discouraged by many, it is still worth the mention. Cold calling, especially for businesses that offer service, still works if done right.
Over to you...
Did you find the tips useful? Do you have any lead generation tips that you want to share with our readers? If so, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn serves one major purpose: professional networking. Because of this special designation, you need to be very careful how you present yourself on the site. A future employee or business partner may look at your LinkedIn profile before anything else, and if you shape your profile correctly, it can be the positive first impression you need to move forward. Ensuring that you do not make the following mistakes will prevent you from possibly damaging your business or career.
Not uploading a photo.
When people see a LinkedIn profile with no picture, they immediately think What does this person have to hide? You wouldn’t rent an apartment without seeing pictures first, right? A profile picture serves a similar purpose. Plus, if you eventually meet these people you want to work with, they will see your face eventually! Bite the bullet and give them a professional photo to look at as a first impression.
And remember, this isn’t Twitter or Facebook. Only upload professional photos to your LinkedIn account. This means no pictures of you and your significant others, you dog, or with friends. Choose picture where you are wearing professional clothing and are smiling naturally. Also, keep the picture cropped to your shoulders and face. A full body picture is unnecessary.
Using the default connection request.
Don’t just send tons of connection requests with the same default message to every person. They will know that you didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about why it may be advantageous for you to connect with them. You don’t have to write a novel, just personalize it a little. Mention something they recently accomplished or the industry you both work in. A good closing can go along the lines of “I’m looking to build a career in [your industry] and would love to be connected to you.” Most people will appreciate the extra effort you put in, and this can only benefit you in the long run!
Using the LinkedIn app to connect with people.
Apps are great. And it may seem quick and easy to just quickly connect with someone when you have a free moment. However, this may not be such a good idea. The LinkedIn app does not allow you to customize your message, so right away you can see why that’s not an ideal way to connect with people. In addition, you are way more likely to make a typo when using your phone keyboard. Take the time to sit down at your computer and use all the features of the site.
Leaving the summary section blank.
Take advantage of the unlimited space a summary provides! You don’t have to limit it like you do a cover letter or resume. Mention your specialties, strengths, and what your professional goals are. When applying for a job, having a personal LinkedIn summary may give you an edge against another applicant who has similar qualifications. Let others know who you are!
Not creating a unique URL.
No one wants to have a link for a LinkedIn account with a ton of backslashes and random numbers. Personalizing your URL is easy and all members can do it – you don’t have to be a paying member of the site. So there is no excuse for you to not a have professional URL for your profile. Your name or an easy abbreviation will do just fine.
Not making yourself anonymous.
Any user on LinkedIn can see who has recently viewed their profile, so if you have been obsessively reading a competitor’s credentials or constantly checking up on a employer’s profile, they are going to find out about it. Spare yourself the potential awkwardness and change the privacy settings on your account. You can limit the amount of information they see. There is a downside to this though: you won’t be able to see who is visiting your profile either.
Formatting your profile into one long page.
You would never format your resume into one large block of information, right? The same goes for your LinkedIn profile. There is convenient sections option on your profile that allows you to break up your information into different categories. Make sections for work experience, volunteerism, awards, certifications, and so on. This also makes you appear more varied in your experience, and also makes information easier to find for people who are viewing your profile.
Personal branding can be tough, but as long as you follow these simple rules about what not to do, you are on your way to success. If you want to learn more about personal branding and network with other successful businesswomen, sign up for the annual MACsWomen Summit! The annual one-day intensive that will change your business.
If you are a woman in business, you understand the importance of online marketing. This marketing often occurs on Facebook, where customers can follow your business, like your pictures, and comment on your product. If you still don’t believe in the power of Facebook marketing, here is a list of 4 famous brands that use Facebook for successful marketing campaigns. The following famous brands are examples of Facebook marketing strategies that are worth drawing inspiration from.
Established in 1858, Macy’s is the Great American Department Store—an iconic retail brand with over 800 stores in the USA and online at macys.com. Macy’s is “specialty retail which provides an experience that transcends ordinary shopping. They have taken the offline experience and are replicating it online.
Macy’s “fashionistas” are always trying to see what trends are in and which are out. Macy’s makes it easy with a trend report that is also a Facebook app. It is highlighted as a tab that shows the latest women’s fashion trends in a highly visual format and includes the latest fashion trends – which, naturally, are available at Macy’s stores. Having this visual pointing to exactly what their clients want has been extremely useful for sales.
Sephora is a French brand established in 1970 and carries over 250 other brands of makeup, skincare and fashion accessories. The company has over 750 stores in 17 countries. It is part of the French conglomerate including Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessy.
Contests and sweepstakes work well on Facebook, and marketers at Sephora have capitalized on this. Research in online marketing has shown that over 50% of Facebook users will “like” a page to receive discounts coupons or a chance to win. Sephora also has a well-optimized app for its sweepstakes, which includes capturing “likes” to enter and communicating with video. Sephora also builds its email subscriber database by having customers enter their information for a chance to win free products or prizes.
Lancôme Paris is a luxury beauty brand that offers high quality skin care, makeup and fragrances. Founded in 1935 by Armand Petitjean in France, Lancôme celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2010. Petitjean’s motive was simple: to create a beauty brand that would deliver French elegance around the world.
One campaign that has brought Lancôme success is their “Behind the Scenes” campaign. It shows well-known stars such as Emma Watson behind the scenes at a photo shoot – using Lancôme products. Fans of brands always enjoy being taken behind the scenes: this humanizes Lancôme and enhances engagement on Facebook.
Providing “behind the scenes” online video that transports the viewer to another world that is not often seen or experienced also provides media that some people prefer over images or text. Communicating with as many media types as time, money and resources allow will benefit any company in the long run.
4. Michael Kors
Michael Kors is a world-renowned, award-winning American fashion designer of luxury accessories and sportswear for women and men. The brand was launched in 1981 and continues to be a popular and established brand today.
Social media is about content, which as you know includes images, text and videos. Adding value through content includes the successful “How To’s” of Michael Kors For example, Michael Kors’ Facebook page provides a tutorial on makeup. Successful can be as simple as that – it is not just about entertaining, offering discount vouchers or competitions!
Though these companies are all large and well known, these basic marketing strategies can be successful on a small scale as well. Here are a few basic questions to ask yourself when marketing for your business on Facebook. Apply them to your business and see what you come up with!
How do you think these questions can be answered by your business? What are your favorite Facebook marketing strategies? Post you thoughts in the comment section below!
Keeping your customers satisfied is very crucial in the growth and success of your business. And in this social media age, customer satisfaction is more important than ever. Unhappy customers can significantly affect your business if they take their opinion on social media where they can potentially influence hundreds, even thousands, of people.
Following are some tips on how to engage your customers and keep them satisfied:
Focus on value. Don’t settle for a mediocre customer experience when you can provide excellent support. You should always make your customers feel that they are getting the best value for their money. Offer the best combination of products, customer support, and price.
Keep improving your customer support. A lot of people don’t want to do repeat business with a company because of poor customer support they've experienced. Don’t be this kind of company. Make sure that you are doing a regular evaluation of your customer support to find out where you are currently at and to identify areas that you can improve on.
Motivate your employees. If you want to keep your customers happy and satisfied, you have to make sure that you have a team of happy, satisfied employees working with you. Foster a spirit of teamwork and make sure that every team member is motivated to achieve the organization's overall business goals.
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Encouraging customer feedback is a good business practice. You have to know what you’re doing right or wrong so that you can identify areas that you need to improve on.
Make it easier for customers to voice out their concerns or opinions by setting up a support forum or by providing email support.
You also have to monitor your social mentions – which you can do by using any of these social media listening tools – because some customers voice out their grievances through social media. You need to know whether something bad or negative is being said about your business so that you can proactively address the issue.
Do your best to win back disgruntled or dissatisfied customers. Never burn bridges. Always find ways to win back a lost customer and rebuild broken relationships. Customers who left a company after one bad experience are still willing to do business again with the said company if they see a genuine effort to win them back.
Over to you..
Do you agree that customer satisfaction is a major role player in growing a successful business? What are the things your company is doing to make sure that your customers are happy and satisfied? If you have any tips or opinions that you want to share with us, please do so by commenting below.
This study shows that Pinterest is a fast-growing social networking site that’s soon to rival Twitter in terms of audience and growth. But how can you maximize your Pinterest campaign without spending too much time on it? One, automate your pins using a scheduling tool like ViralTag and two, utilize group boards.
What are group boards?
Group boards are just like regular Pinterest boards but with multiple contributors – other Pinners can be invited to pin on a group board. This provides an easy way for Pinners to use Pinterest as a collaborative tool.
These types of boards are not only great in bringing similar content and ideas all into one place, they can also help increase the exposure of brands.
Here are more benefits that businesses and organizations can get from using Pinterest group boards:
1. Increase your followers. Each contributor of a group board has his or her own set of followers, so this instantly doubles your exposure and your chances of gaining more followers.
2. Increase repins and traffic. Since group boards usually have more followers, this will make the contents you share on the boards more likely to get repined, and more repins means more traffic to your website!
3. Increase engagement. If you want your followers to even feel more engaged, you can invite them to contribute on your board. Once they start pinning on your board, they’ll eventually become your brand ambassadors.
Following are some smart ways businesses are utilizing group boards:
Creating and joining group boards
You can create your own group board and then invite contributors to it or join an existing group board. Here are some group board directories to help you find boards related to your niche:
If you want to be really specific, you can use specific search terms.
You should however approach Pinterest group boards with caution. If not properly moderated, group boards can go from a nice collaborative tool to a wild out-of-control party! Only invite contributors who can add value to your board or business.
Even if your contents are always new, if you’re offering your readers the same kind of content every single day, they’ll eventually become tired of reading your blog. You need to develop a content marketing strategy that makes use of the 5 different types of blog contents.
1. Information Content. At least 50% of the content you produce – articles, videos, podcasts, infographic, presentations, etc – should be informative. This includes articles that provide expert opinions, views or advice about the niche you are in. You can also share industry-related news and trends on your blogs. The purpose here is to establish your blog as the go-to resource when it comes to information and news in your industry.
2. How-to Content. At least 30% of your content materials should be dedicated to teaching readers on how to do something. Say if you are a social media consultant, articles like how to setup and optimize a Facebook ad campaign or how to create a Google authorship account are great ways to show your expertise in the social media domain. Video tutorials are also great for this type of content.
3. Conversation-starter Content. One way to go about this is to post an article about a current trend in the industry. Hot trends are big on starting a conversation. You can also write about a problem in your industry and ask your readers their opinions or thoughts.
The aim here is for your audience to join in the conversation or for your content to get shared. However, remember that the tone of your blog should be conversational rather than controversial. Controversial contents attract negative comments or energies, you want to avoid that as much as possible.
4. Inspiring Content. You should also not forget to create content that aims to inspire readers or make them feel good. It can be an article on self-esteem or self-improvement. It can also be in the form of an image like our Thursday tweetables.
If you want to connect with your audience on a more personal level, write inspiring contents. Customer success stories and testimonials also belong in this category.
5. Entertaining content. Everybody loves to be entertained. If you want your audience to love your business even more, associate your brand with light, happy and funny materials. Create blog posts, videos, podcasts or presentations that are professional yet entertaining.
Over to you..
Do you offer your readers variety in terms of blog content? What types of content do you normally post on your blog? We would love to hear your thoughts through the comments section below.