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In our last blog, we discussed basic facts about Facebook, such as how they gauge businesses interaction, and the restrictions that they have for business pages posting organic, or unpaid, posts.
We also discussed tips on how to budget your Facebook promotions and how to get the most reach organically. In this post, we’re gonna focus on the best way in interact with your audience, how to stay relevant on social media, and social media practices to avoid.
How Are You Using Facebook?
Let’s begin with discussing what most businesses get completely wrong when dealing with Facebook. The common belief is that the main focus should be the number of “likes” your page receives. I think this is where most businesses get social media marketing COMPLETELY wrong. I understand the mindset behind it, more likes means more prospects, and when I first dove into social media marketing, I subscribed to the same thought process. But to successfully market yourself on Facebook or any social media platform, this can’t be where your focus is. Whether your page has 2 or 200 likes, the key to successful marketing on any social media platform is INTERACTION. Engaging your fans, answering questions, sharing interesting articles and content, even giving a tip or two related to your industry is the single best practice for being triumphant in social media marketing. As you know by now, part of successfully running any business is to have patience, and the same is true with social media marketing. It’s truly a marathon, and the more your fans see you as an interactive business, the more they will share your content, and the more users you will potentially draw in.
Your Content is King
So, is there a key, a formula perhaps, to posting great content? Well like most business practices, of course there is! However, the key isn’t to become a robot with the content you post on Facebook. Readers like to see genuine content, links that will make them think, laugh, or really help them in some way. So instead of thinking of a “formula” to posting engaging content, rather think of what I’m about to share as general guidelines on what you should post to highly engage with your followers.
Industry Tip!: Most successful marketing companies, including us here at AdLo, follow the 411 Rule as a guideline for managing social media posts. The 411 Rule is posting 4 educational or entertaining posts for every 1 post generally promoting your business (like an event or new blog) and 1 post directly promoting and hard selling your product or services. The biggest mistake I see brands making on social media, especially Facebook, is that they spend all day and countless posts showcasing their product and telling people to buy. Never once do they engage their audience, pose questions, offer tips or general advice on their industry, or even respond to comments! If you don’t get anything else from this blog, PLEASE remember: No one on social media wants to see you just advertising all the time! Be creative with your posts, and watch your engagement expand!
Consistency is the Key
Staying relevant on social media, whether it be Facebook or any other platform is extremely important to marketing your brand successfully. The key to staying relevant is ultimately consistently posting engaging content. Being respectful to customers, working diligently to resolve issues, and showing genuine interest to every user are a few of the general rules of thumb when it comes to successful Facebook marketing. More often than I’d like to, I’ve witnessed local entrepreneurs being rude, stand-offish, and in some cases confrontational to customers and general users on Facebook. You have to always keep in mind: when promoting online or anywhere else, your purpose is to attract. You need their business and their money, and no one will pay someone who is negative towards them. Whether they are right or wrong, being respectful and genuinely pleasant can take you such a long way!
Ultimately, marketing on Facebook should be treated as any other facet of your business. The most successful businesses on Facebook are diligent, post a variety of engaging content, and most of all, interact frequently with their followers and fans. Focus on the fans you have, and they will gladly share your content and your business with others.
Until Next Time Entrepreneurs,
CEO, Lead Consultant, AdLo Marketing Group
One of the main questions that come across my screen are people asking me about social media, and let’s be honest, with the rise and increasing popularity of social media over the past 10+ years, the increasing advertisements and promotions by just about every business imaginable on social media sites, and the various avenues and marketing techniques to get optimal customers to see and buy from you, it’s OBVIOUS why social media is such a hot topic these days. So over the next few weeks, I’ll be giving tips, techniques, and rules of thumb on marketing your business over the various popular social media platforms. First up, we’ll be talking about the reigning king of the social media spectrum: Facebook.
Facebook is, and I project will continue to be for a while, the top social media platform across the globe. It has the most active users, the most diversity, and continues to be the leader in business advertising. As I was drafting this piece, I thought about giving a history of Facebook, but let’s be honest, we all know how Facebook got started. Mark Zuckerberg is a household name, and there is even a major motion picture about him and the start of Facebook. What I will talk about though, is the changes that Facebook made internally, and how it set the stage for other social media sites to alter and capitalize how businesses promote and advertise through their network.
There was a popular story floating around about 6 years ago about a guy from New Zealand, who quit his job and opened an online clothing boutique. His product was good, but the problem was, which a good number of businesses can relate to today, no one knew he existed. He had no strategy to direct people to his website. So one day, while he was browsing on Facebook, it struck him: He, and a lot of his friends and family, were spending countless hours socializing online. So, he started promoting his business and his clothing, on Facebook. He made a page, invited all everyone on his friends’ list, and started showcasing his items and prices. Needless to say, his business boomed. It’s reported that in the first 2 months, he made $50,000 dollars, all from marketing through Facebook.
That was the beginning of the wave of Facebook advertising. Soon every local business was advertising on Facebook, and eventually major retail chains joined in the the Facebook business rush. But then, the inevitable happened. Facebook started noticing the trend, and capitalized heavily on it. First it was with paid promotions, which gets you more views and potentially more customers. Then, they took it a step further. They developed an algorithm that essentially forces a business to pay in order to reach a reasonable number of users. If you’ve created or managed a Facebook page, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Whereas in the beginning, if you opted not to pay to promote your posts, you would be limited to whoever followed your page and essentially, whoever they shared your page with. Now, however, if you post an organic (unpaid) post, it will most likely be seen by less than 10 people on average. Facebook’s algorithm basically allows your post to reach a percentage of your page’s followers, and the percentage can increase or decrease based on the amount of users who engage with the post. Now, the more people that engage with your posts on a regular basis, the higher percentage of users will see you organically, but you will NEVER reach 100% of your followers unless you pay to promote your post. That’s the simple truth of it.
So, now that you know how Facebook facilitates your business advertising, what can you do about it? Well, sadly the best thing to do is to pay to promote some posts. Now, while Facebook is essentially forcing you to pay to successfully advertise on their platform, the cost to advertise won’t break the bank. If you’re growing at a reasonable pace, and locally, you can do a good amount of successful promotion with $50-$100 a month in Facebook advertising, which is a pretty good amount as opposed to, let’s say Yelp, which costs around $400-$600 a month on average. Also, Facebook is amazing at target marketing, so your paid posts will usually reach
a pretty specific demographic.So, my advice, takeyour mostnoteworthy posts, choose the bestdemographic to see
them, and set a budget for Facebook to show it off. Organically, on the other hand, is a little slower and difficult, and you won’t have the same reach as a paid post, but there are a couple of hacks to get more than 10 of you followers to see unpaid posts form you. First, make sure you invite you friends and family to like your page. This is a no-brainer, simply because your friends and family know you, love you, and will do simple things such as like your page, and like and share your posts. The algorithm that Facebook employs doesn’t reach people your posts are shared with. So, if you know are a user of Facebook, you know that the more times things are shared, the more people will see it, and the higher the reach.
There is so much more to cover over the machine that is Facebook, but not enough for one blog! Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Facebook talk which will be published soon. We’ll cover how to market, what NOT to do, and some useful tools to interact with you prospective customers.
Cassius Adkison, CEO/Lead Consultant, AdLo Marketing Group
As we near the end of SEO Week, it’s imperative that we take the time to talk about strategies that should be avoided in an SEO campaign. These strategies, called Black Hat SEO, are basically used to cut corners and trick search engines into giving a website a higher ranking than it deserves. Those who use these techniques only see a temporary gain, as search engines are constantly updating software to catch Black Hat techniques, and usually appoint people to manually check to see if websites are using these underhanded tactics. Consequently, if search engines find that you are using these techniques, they will most likely ban you from their search engine results altogether.
The terms Black Hat and White Hat comes from old Wild West movies, in which the heroes would wear white hats and the villains would wear black hats. Marketers and SEO experts, in turn, use these terms to describe tactics that naturally help search engines recognize quality websites vs. tactics that attempt to manipulate and exploit software limitations by search engines to get a ranking that it wouldn’t normally have ranked. The general rule is to avoid, above all, any practice that relies on tricking search engines and distorting search results. You do not want to risk the potential banning and loss of prospective customers for a temporary gain in search results ranking.
As discussed in our earlier blog on link building, a common black hat practice is the use of link farms, which are websites created for the sole purpose of providing links to other sites. Using these sites for SEO purposes are ultimately a waste of time. Due to the low quality and the fact that they are typically computer generated sites, search engines automatically give them a low authority rating, so links from them to your site wouldn’t give you a high ranking based on them. Another technique to avoid is duplicating content. This is similar to link farms and also involves a type of plagiarism. Users employ this technique because original content requires a large amount of time and effort, so they duplicate content they’ve already written or use content from other websites and republish it. Search engines have gotten pretty good at sniffing out duplicated content and will hand out stiff penalties to sites that utilize it. Something else to avoid is a tactic referred to as cloaking. This involves sending different content to search engines that what is provided to visitors on your site. People typically do this because they want search engines to rank them for a certain keyword, but that keyword has little to nothing to do with their business or website. Search engines usually detect this by having users manually go to a website to check the content, and this is one of the main ways to get your site banned from search engine results.
Search engines typically use computer software to analyze content, so a black hat technique that is often used is having hidden text on a web page. This is text that has the same color as the background on a page, so that site visitors can’t see it, but search engine software can. Another black hat SEO technique to avoid is gateway pages. This is when a site has a page that ranks well with search engines, but will reroute a user to another page. This not only is frowned upon by search engines, but will also hinder your credibility with prospective customers, who most likely will not enjoy being redirected to a page that doesn’t have the information they were searching for.
All in all, a great SEO campaign, and a great way to avoid all of these tactics, is creating a site with content that leaves people wanting more from you and your business. If your goal is to rank high in search engine results, then the key is using honest methods to get there. A great rule of thumb is to ask yourself “Is anything I’m doing an attempt to trick search engines or my customers?” If the answer is yes, then immediately stop, and reevaluate your approach.
– AdLo Marketing Group
An important part of SEO, one that most people never account for, is the factor of links into building an effective SEO campaign. Links are an important two-way street to a website, with search engines analyzing the amount of credibility your site has, as well as how many credible sites have links to your website. Before we delve any further into links though, we first must discuss how search engines rank websites.
Google, the worldwide leader in search engines, uses a common algorithm when deciphering which websites are placed higher than others on results pages. This algorithm is simply called PageRank™, named for the use of the algorithm and for its developer, Google’s co founder, Larry Page. PageRank™ is fairly simple in how it works, and is based off of work done at Stanford University. At Stanford, the authority, or credibility, of an academic paper is largely based by how many other papers reference and cite it. Furthermore, if a paper is cited by another paper that itself is heavily cited, then that paper will have more authority than a paper that has less significant citations. So the number of citations isn’t the only important thing, the authority of the page citing it is also heavily weighed. In essence, this algorithm is used by Google in the same fashion, with more authority being given to websites that are linked to by other websites, that are themselves ranked heavily.
For instance, let’s use our photography website example from our earlier blog on keywords. Let’s say you’ve started your photography website and have inserted all of the important keywords in the headers and general content. If your website is just published online, search engines like Google won’t give it that much credibility or authority because no other websites are linking to it. Basically search engines have no clue whether your site has high quality or not. Now let’s say one of your clients gets a picture taken by you to be featured in a major magazine or online blog and they link it to your website. Then your authority will raise significantly because most major magazines are high authority websites themselves. The higher the websites that link to you, the higher significance your website will have in the eyes of search engines. And the greatest way to get the best websites to link to you, is by creating incredible content that sparks interest.
When getting links, the best way is create content and naturally be found by high authority websites. Another method that is used is contacting bloggers in your industry and requesting that they check your website out and provide links on their postings. You should definitely avoid spams and link farms, which are sites that aren’t real, and only exist to create links to other websites. Search engines assign low value to these sites and with prevalent use can cause your website to be banned by some search engines. Also, links that are designed through anchor text are considered high value by search engines. Anchor text is content that is clickable and leads the user to a specific website. When linking through anchor text, it’s always optimal to have the text contain keywords that are attributed to you website.
Ultimately, links are very important to the success of any SEO campaign. Ultimately when getting links for your website, make sure that the links are from high authority websites, not from spam sites or link farms, and to make sure your content are interesting enough to create enough buzz about your business and website. For more information on link building for your SEO campaign, check out: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/growing-popularity-and-links
Thanks for checking out our blog! Stay Tuned as we continue SEO Week tomorrow, when we discuss what to avoid in building an SEO campaign. See you soon!
– AdLo Marketing Group
Search Engine Optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, is the process of enhancing a website’s visibility in search engine results. The more “authority” a page has, or the higher it ranks in search engines, the more probable it is that a user will click on that website. SEO affects natural or organic search results, while Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, affects paid, or sponsored, results. Overall, SEO can seem like an overwhelming machine of moving parts that needs to be constantly managed, but during this week we’ll break down the main components and make them easier to understand and hopefully, more conquerable.
Before you can master the art of SEO, you have to first understand how search engines work. Search engines analyze the words and phrases that users type into them, commonly known as keywords, and matches those with websites that best associate with them. Search engines constantly and meticulously review and analyze websites and compare those in similar industries to determine which website deserves a higher ranking in search engine results. There are various factors that
are considered in determining a site’s ranking, but the first factor is what determining what keywords best associate with your business. To effectively determine this, first put yourself in the shoes of your customers. What would you type if you were searching for a product that your business offered? This step gets you in the mentality of keyword searching. Next, go to Google Keyword Planner and see how many average users search for your keywords per month. This will give you an amazing insight into which keywords are more searched, and a breakdown into geographical areas that search certain keywords the most.
After researching the most effective keywords for your business, the next step in incorporating those into your website, which will give search engines a more probable chance of finding your site and associating it with the correct searchers. When inserting keywords into your site, there are things to keep in mind. First, remember that search engines don’t analyze websites as a whole, they break down and rank each page based on keywords associated with it. So, if your site has multiple pages that cover different topics associated with your business, it’s best to incorporate keywords best associated with that page. For instance, if you own a photography business, and one of the pages of your site discusses common photography prices and what you charge, you should optimize that page to “photography prices” or “photography costs”. Each page should have a description that shows up in search engines and keywords that best associate with it. Keywords should show in headers and titles, as well as general content, and show flow naturally in your website.
Finding the right keywords and associating them into your website is the best way to start a successful SEO campaign. Making sure that those keywords accurately associate with your business and reflects the natural essence of your site, is the most effective way to build a reputable SEO campaign. Remember, the best way to successfully use SEO for your website and business, is to ultimately create amazing content that will spark an interest in your prospects, and naturally gain interest and let search engines do the rest!
Stay tuned for future posts this week in our SEO Week blogs, where we will discuss link building, effective tracking, and what NOT to do in SEO. Until next time!
– AdLo Marketing Group
As we continue our trek into the wonderful world of marketing, a constant in today’s industry is a technique call Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. If you have any type of business, product, service, or brand that you’re promoting online, chances are you’ve heard about using SEO to get more people to see you through search engines, like Google and Yahoo!.Likewise, if you’ve done any further research into it, then you’ve probably grown exhausted into the many different channels that needs to be managed in order to create a successful SEO campaign. Well, this week, we’re going to take an in-depth look at SEO and attempt to simplify it as best we can, to make it more manageable for you!
Before we venture into all of the technical details of SEO, let’s first break down what SEO is. Search Engine Optimization is the process of increasing your website visibility in search engines. Simply stated, it’s altering and optimizing your website so that, when someone searches for your field in a search engine, your page is on the first page of search results. This is done by analyzing the best keywords that users type to search for businesses in your industry, optimizing your website to include these keywords in your headings and general content, linking other sites to you, and creating effective and interesting content to spark interest.
Now before you get that overwhelming feeling of all that’s involved in successfully managing SEO for your business, the main thing to keep in mind is that SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. To create an effective campaign, and get your business a high-ranking in Google, you have to be prepared to be patient and work on it consistently for 3-6 months. There is no quick way to move your business into a higher ranking on search engines organically, and any attempts to loophole the system could get you and your business permanently removed from search engines. To properly and successfully compete in the field of SEO and rankings, the two most important things to keep in mind are patience and endurance.
Case Study: SEO is by far the leading internet marketing strategy used by businesses that strive to increase their online presence. We had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Bill Mertz, owner of MasterTech Auto Care in Plano, Tx, who is an adamant believer and user of SEO strategies and techniques. Mr. Mertz hired an SEO professional to optimize and manage his website to boost his ranking on search engines. Simply speaking, when a user types in a keyword associated with MasterTech, such as “auto mechanics in Plano, TX”, MasterTech is at the top of the organic (non-paid) search results. As a result, from his investment in SEO (around $1,000 per month), Mr. Mertz averages close to $20,000 per month in new business! He credits his continuous growth mainly to his ranking on search engines and, of course, having great business practices, which keeps customers taking about his shop online.
As buyers and prospective customers move into the realm of online shopping, a successful business realizes the shift and moves with it. The cornerstone of having a successful online marketing strategy is building a website and optimizing it for search engines. As we move forward in this week of SEO, we’ll explore the best ways to get started optimizing your site and what to do away from your site to get Google, Yahoo!, and various other search engines to notice and start ranking you!
-AdLo Marketing Group
Marketing is by far one of the most important things you will ever do for your brand. When you think about it, your business is mainly composed of two factors: offering a quality product/service to your customers, and getting customers through the door. You could have the most innovative product out, or offer the highest quality service at the lowest price, but if no one knows you exist then you probably won’t be in business that long. In our last blog, we went over the type of mindset you should have when thinking of an effective marketing strategy. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What would you like to see? What attracts you as a customer? That thought is the basis for successfully promoting your product, service, or business. Spam, pressure tactics, and outdated marketing practices are rarely the way to go to effectively get yourself out there.
When you plan and develop a strategy for marketing your business, you first must decide whether you’ll be utilizing Inbound or Outbound Marketing. Outbound Marketing is the most traditional method that is widely known and used. Normally, when an entrepreneur thinks of marketing, their first ideas are part of outbound marketing. This method is best defined as simply going after your customers directly. Commercials, flyers, brochures, TV and radio ads, email blasts, cold calls, and D2D/B2B sales are all part of Outbound Marketing. Inbound Marketing, in contrast, is the method in which you focus on bringing customers in, rather than going out and getting their attention. This method is focused primarily online, including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing, and blogging. The focus of Inbound Marketing is to make your business easier to find online, and producing interesting content that naturally raises the interest in prospective customers. Inbound Marketing is progressively becoming the more popular approach, with more businesses opting to earn the attention of customers rather than interrupting their daily lives. Choosing whether to use Inbound or Outbound Marketing, or elements of both, all depends on your business type and ultimately, your personal preference.
An effective marketing strategy ultimately revolves around the ability to relate to your customers. Making sure your tactics evolve with the shopping and buying habits of your customers is key to increasing your visibility and your customer base. With the wide popularity and usefulness of the internet, businesses have seen a major shift in their customers, and the most successful ones made sure to transition their business online with their customers. In upcoming posts, we’ll discuss creating a significant online footprint and how to get your prospects to notice you over the web! Stay tuned!
“None of your success will work unless you do.”
That quote has been ingrained in my mind since I started AdLo in 2009. When I made the decision to invest my time, resources, and finances into my dream, I, like so many entrepreneurs, had no earthly idea where to start and how to reach out to grow my business. I felt as if I was drowning in a sea of marketing conundrums. And to make matters worse, my entire business model was marketing for other businesses! I knew all of the strategies, techniques, and tools that one would learn from working 80+ hour work weeks in the rigorous world of sales and marketing. But as I started to build the company, I very quickly found out that to effectively grow a business, the main ingredient required was one four letter word: WORK.
There are various ways to market and promote a product or service, most of which will be covered in later blogs, but I figured, with this being AdLo’s first official marketing blog, one thing has to be made clear- if you make that giant leap into entrepreneurship, that ever so risky step into relying on yourself to make a paycheck, no matter what innovative marketing strategies you implement, if you’re not prepared to work ten times as hard for twice as long as you did at your job, your chances for success are already dwindling.
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