Losing Facebook Traffic? There’s a Reason.

photo illustrating concept of Facebook business marketing

Most small businesses and nonprofits are using Facebook as part of their social media marketing strategy. They undertake various steps to increase the number of followers they have as a way to spread their message. Facebook business pages have been a key part of that process, but over the years changes to Facebook’s algorithm have made that less effective. And they have just done it again.

Many social media managers in my circle are complaining that suddenly they are seeing a big drop in the number of likes, shares, andphoto illustrating concept of Facebook business marketing comments on their posts. Here is what you need to know about the change.

Before the most recent change, you could reliably count on around 10% of your followers to be served one of your posts. To increase that amount, you needed to either pay for a boost or get a lot of likes and shares – or both. With the latest round of changes, that number has dropped dramatically. Now, only about 2% of your followers will see your posts.

Who Sees Your Facebook Posts?

Your business page posts generally will be served to those who have consistently engaged with your content and/or have selected you as one of the posts they want to see first. The new algorithm reflects Facebook’s desire to have users interact with friends and see valuable and engaging content. As a result, some kinds of content are considered less desirable than before (at least as far as Facebook is concerned). This means you should avoid posts that link “outside” of Facebook – they don’t want anyone leaving their site! So linking back to your website is going to hurt your chances of your post being viewed. Unless, of course, you are buying an ad, and then you will have the option of adding a button to further engage your audience.

What does this mean for your brand? Just as with your website, the quality of your content is more important than ever before. Finding what engages your audience is critical and you can do that by looking at your Facebook Insights. The more organic involvement you have with a post (likes, shares, and comments), the better. Facebook will judge the quality of your content using those engagements. If they are robust, then Facebook will share your post with more followers. Facebook will show your posts to others in an ever-widening circle driven by the amount of engagement. 

The Bottom Line on Facebook Business Page Changes

Bottom line: engagement counts more than ever. Be sure to remind your employees, board members, clients, etc. to like, share and comment on your posts. This is free advertising for you that also helps you meet your marketing goals. We’ll look at how boosts and ads connect to these changes in future blog posts.

Bonus Help

I like this video because it gives a good overview of how the Facebook algorithm works as well as some good suggestions to help more people see your posts.

Business Marketing: How to Improve Your SEO

Improving the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on your website is always going to be a major concern. This is an area where there are no hard and fast rules. The regulations by which the game is played are in a constant state of flux. This means that SEO is a learning curve that will need to be mastered on a continuous basis if you want to succeed.

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It Isn’t All Just About Software

One of the biggest mistakes that you may be making as a new business owner is to rely too heavily on software solutions. While the correct use of software can definitely fix a number of problems, it can’t be a substitute for intuition or inspiration. This is an area where you’re going to need to step up to the plate.

For one thing, there are a great many hidden software costs that may be lurking under the surface. If you’re trying to make use of software to cover too many bases at once, this is going to be a recurring nightmare. It’s up to you to find a viable solution to the issue.

Your best bet is to recur back to a little bit of common sense. Software can help you position your website and content in an advantageous manner. But you will still need to come up with all of the content on your own. To achieve this, all you will really need to do is take a few moments to find out what the best keywords are.

Keywords Are Still King

When it comes to improving your business SEO, it’s important to remember that using keywords in the correct manner and proportion is still the single largest determining factor. There are a number of reasons why this is the case.

If someone punches in a search for “East Chicago washer dryer”, they want to know a couple of things. First, they want to know where to get a washer or dryer in the East Chicago area. They also want to know what business has the best deal waiting for them. So they punch in a search on the web to view the results that turn up on the page.

When your site shows up, the first thing they are going to see besides your logo is the content that you have to describe your business, your goods, and your services. This content needs to be top-notch and fully optimized for the maximum amount of SEO power. Anything else will lose out immediately to a very short attention span.

You need top-notch SEO keywords to get your content to show up as high as possible in the search engine rankings. You then need state of the art SEO to keep people on your homepage. Beyond that, the keywords you use to pepper your descriptive content for all of your various product pages also need to be fully on point if you want the sale.

What is the Key to Improving Your SEO?

There are plenty of steps that you can take to improve the quality of your SEO. One of the very best things that you can do is to research the keywords and phrases that your rivals in the industry are making use of. This is a great way to get the pulse of what the public is searching for. When you know what words they use, you can match them.

You can use modern SEO software to research these prime keywords. However, a lot of your success in this area will also be due to your usage of simple common sense. If you see with your own eyes a certain batch of phrases being used over and over again, it’s not rocket science to adopt them for use in your own site content.

The Time to Sharpen Up Your SEO is Now

When all is said and done, using software to patch up your various problems is only a temporary fix. Relying on outside help can only get you so far. You are going to need to step up and take some initiative. The best way for you to do so is to take the time to hone your SEO skills. Superior content is the key to your future level of success.

Guest Blogger Sheryl Wright is a freelance writer whose passions include cooking, interior design, and true crime novels. If she is not at home reading, she is at a farmers market or antique shop. She currently lives in Nashville, TN, with her cat, Saturn. You can contact her at sherylwright07@gmail.com.


5 Ways to Improve Customer Experience

Today’s guest blogger is Lizzie Howard, a Colorado native who after graduating from the University of Colorado spends her time as a freelance writer. When Lizzie isn’t writing, she enjoys going on hikes, baking for her friends and family, and spending time with her beloved yellow lab, Sparky. You can reach her at lizzie.writer.howard@gmail.com.

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Happy Customers Tell Others (So Do Unhappy Customers)

Providing quality customer service is more important than ever, considering the transparency and visibility the internet provides. Even a small handful of unhappy customers can immeasurably damage your business. Fortunately, improving the quality of your business’ customer service is as easy as following a few simple practices. You can start with the suggestions listed below.

Know Your Customers

Before you make any attempt to boost the quality of customer service you provide, you should have some idea as to what groups make up your customer base. Using data analytics can help you pinpoint those demographic groups, so you’ll know who makes up the largest portion of your customers. By targeting those groups, you can customize the services and messages your business sends. This will give you a better brand image by showing customers that you see them.

Communicate With Your Customers

The internet provides the resources businesses need to interact with their customers, but few businesses take advantage of these opportunities. You can use your social media accounts to find out how consumers are interacting with your brand and products. You can also ask them questions that will give you more insight into how and why they’re interacting with your business. This gives you the information you need to modify the customer service your business provides.

Improve the Waiting Experience

While the interactions you have with your customers is important, so is the time they spend waiting for your business to respond. This is exemplified when customers call your business with concerns they can’t handle without your help. While it may be necessary to keep them on hold for a short period, you should do what you can to assure them you appreciate their time. Using high quality on-hold messaging services can help you keep your customers happy and reduce hang-ups that could be costing your business greater customer churn. A good service will provide contemporary music and high-quality sound to ensure waiting customers can hear important messages.

photo of 5 diverse adults in business attire

Hire and Train Motivated Employees

It’s important to recognize that you won’t always be the human face consumers associate with your business. In many cases, it will be your employees who add humanity to your brand’s identity, so you should feel confident they will present a positive image. This starts with hiring the right people. Even for positions that don’t really require special expertise, such as cashiers and janitors, you should look into each candidate’s employment history. You’ll want to look for candidates with a positive and energetic demeanor in addition to ensuring they’re honest and reliable. If they can’t greet customers with a smile or won’t go that extra mile to satisfy a disgruntled customer, they may not be ideal for your business or your brand’s image.

Make Sure Your Brand Expresses Appreciation

Never forget to show gratitude to your customers for choosing you over a competitor. In addition to training your employees to say “please” and “thank you,” you can also express gratitude in other ways. A free gift or discount from time to time can make your customers feel valued. Additionally, you should like and comment on the posts in which social media users tag your brand’s page. If they say something positive about your brand, share or retweet that post. By using these methods to show that you’re listening to your customers, you’ll encourage more interactions among your followers.

If you can come up with a few original ideas for enhancing the customer service experience, give them a try. If your ideas don’t work, you can switch to a new strategy. Consumers are fairly forgiving as long as you demonstrate an eagerness to adjust and improve the relations you have with them.

Image Source by Pixabay.

Tips For Using Twitter

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In my last post, I gave you information about who uses Twitter, and why. Today, I want to share some tips with you about using Twitter for your business or nonprofit. With nearly 500 million tweets every day, it is certainly an important part of the social media mix. Try these ideas to improve your time on Twitter.

  • Videos get more engagement, so add them as much as possible. Keep them brief.
  • You can upload up to 4 photos for each tweet. Photos also improve engagement.
  • You can search on Twitter for hashtags, profiles, etc., to help you find posts to retweet or discover topics your followers care about.
  • Limit your tweet to 1 – 2 hashtags. Instead of adding more, write additional tweets that are connected to those hashtags.
  • Use your own voice – keep it personal and make sure it sounds like you.
  • Keep an eye on what’s trending for relevant content.
  • For longer content, use a Tweet Thread (good how-to here).
  • Follow others to encourage more followers. This is a tried-and-true method to build followers and it costs nothing.
  • Monitor and reply to comments asap.
  • Ask questions or run polls, do things to encourage engagement.
  • Follow back anyone who follows you or likes a tweet.
  • Keep an eye on your analytics for the best days, times and topics to use in the future.
  • Check “Who to Follow” on your profile for suggestions and follow any that match your target audience – or who are followed by your target audience.
  • If you want to spend money to promote tweets, choose those with the most engagement.

Tips For Twitter Content

So what do you tweet about? Here are some ideas you can use to generate engagement:

  • Tip of the Week
  • Tweet out a video of the week
  • #MondayMotivation 
  • Use your humor – GIFs are a good way to do that, but cartoons & jokes work, too
  • Statistics, new findings in surveys related to your business, and new products or services you offer.
  • Retweet something valuable to your audience with a comment about what you liked about the tweet.

Need help with your social media? Contact Deppe Communications.

Who Uses Twitter and Why Does It Matter?

hands holding phone with twitter logo showing

From political tweets to pandemic pandemonium, it’s hard to ignore Twitter. You can’t argue that this social media medium is informative, entertaining,  and influential. But what do you really know about Twitter? Check out these Twitter by the numbers facts:

  • Among US adults 24% of men use Twitter while 21% of women use the platform
  • 65% of Twitter’s most active users are women
  • 24% of those with some college education use Twitter
  • 20% of those making $30k–74,999 use Twitter
  • 31% of those making more than $75k use Twitter
  • Twitter ranks only slightly behind Instagram when it comes to 65+ users in the U.S. (7% vs 8%)

If you’re a small business owner and you look at the numbers, it is clear that you should make Twitter part of your marketing mix. But how can you make Twitter work for your business?

Customer Insights

Twitter sees 6,000 Tweets every second. Clearly, people are using Twitter as a conversation platform. But, did you know that by monitoring Twitter you can gain valuable customer insights? Twitter can help you research trends and topics that are important to your customers.

Gathering this information isn’t as difficult as it may seem. The Twitter Explore page gives you an updated list of topics and hashtags trending in your region and relevant to your interests. The page can help you find Twitter hashtags and conversations that are important to you and your audience.

Build Brand Awareness

Using Twitter for your business lets you share information quickly and easily start conversations. When starting those conversations, make sure your tone reflects your brand and that your content is aligned with your brand – whether that is touting product benefits or sharing helpful tips with your followers – make sure your conversation matters.

If you’re searching for ways to start a conversation or need help with the tone of your tweet, Twitter recently launched an Organic Tweets starter kit worksheet to help you jump-start your conversations.

Connect, Connect, Connect

Engaging with your follower’s replies and mentions makes that all-important connection and improves your chances of showing up in non-followers’ feeds.

The Sprout #BrandsGetReal survey found that the top three behaviors that help brands connect with consumers are:

  • Liking or responding to customers
  • Showcasing brand personality
  • Supporting a cause that consumers personally support

Twitter is the perfect platform to connect and build a community. To build and maintain a loyal following, use your tweets to join in relevant conversations, and engage audiences. The Sprout #BrandsGetReal survey found that 55 percent of consumers want brands to help them connect with likeminded people through social media, and 36 percent expect brands to build communities that consumers can belong to. One of the top benefits of Twitter for business is cultivating a brand community and bringing people together around a common interest or cause.

If you see the value in Twitter, but just don’t know how to get started, Deppe Communications can help move your business forward. Click here to learn more.

3 Tips To Improve Your Vendor Management

Today’s Guest Post is by Sheryl Wright, a freelance writer whose passions include cooking, interior design, and true crime novels. If she is not at home reading, she is at a farmers market or antique shop. She currently lives in Nashville, TN, with her cat, Saturn. 

For your business to succeed, you need reliable suppliers and vendors. To achieve this, ensure you have efficient management tips that will enhance your business. The following are some tips you can put into consideration to improve your supplier management. close up view of woman holding a cell phone with man in background

Communication and Deadlines

Communication is one of the most vital factors that will enhance vendor management. For your business to succeed, take time, and communicate with your suppliers the kind of services or goods you need them to deliver, don’t be afraid to specify the quality of the goods or services you expect as well.

In case of any changes to your product, your supplier should be among the first people to communicate. Effective communication also aids in building a long-term relationship. Even though communication is an essential tool for management, don’t use it to test your suppliers. For instance, never tell a supplier to read or guess your mind, it is always best to be direct and upfront about expectations.

Always be realistic when setting deadlines with vendors and suppliers. Be sure to remember that they also have their own businesses they need to operate. Before coming to a consensus in terms of the deadline, ask them if they will be able to meet that deadline. If the supplier can’t meet the deadline, it’s thus advisable that you cooperate and adjust the deadline to suit both you and your supplier.

Choosing Suppliers Wisely, Understanding Their Business and Paying on Time

When choosing a supplier for your business, take enough time to securitize all your supplier options. You can do this by checking the quality of their products, their reliability, and not forgetting their communication skills. It is important to not forget to look at their purchasing terms. After carefully analyzing the suppliers, you will be able to choose the best one. Since the suppliers are human beings, they can’t be perfect.

Learn to comprehend that your vendor is still in business. Even if it isn’t possible to understand the nitty-gritty of your vendor’s business, at least be able to understand some critical aspects of their operation, such as delivery terms, among others. This understanding of your vendor’s business will help both of you form a more meaningful and efficient partnership.

You can also get to ask your vendor some questions to know them better. If you understand their business well, you will get to understand them if they delay deliveries slightly.

To maintain a good working relationship, ensure that you pay your suppliers on time. If possible, get into a contract with your vendor to discuss the pay dates and terms of payment so that both of you are always on the same page.

Establishing Reward Programs, Tailor-Made Programs, and Formulation of Goals

To enhance continuity in your business, organize reward programs that are meant to motivate the vendors. Vendors are more productive if their efforts are recognized in the company. Discussing some of the penalties that will face the supplier in case of repeated delays will also help to motivate the supplier to deliver on time.

Supplier management software will play a key role in enhancing sanity. The software can be tailor-made to suit your needs. With supplier management software, you are able to monitor the performance of different suppliers.

Many supplier management applications also come with inbuilt accounting software that enables the enhanced ease of your calculations.

To enhance an effective business operation, establish business goals. They will be able to measure your success within a certain period. Make sure to set the goals with your vendor to give them a clear picture of what you expect. Set goals that are realistic and achievable within a stipulated duration for both you and the vendor.

Final Thought

After coming to a consensus, sign a contract with the vendor. This legal document will enable you to cultivate a legal business relationship with your vendor. The contract should be legitimate and be signed in the presence of a lawyer. It is worth noting that the contract should be beneficial to both you and the vendor.

To maintain a good working environment with your vendor, you must ensure they deliver a consistent quality of products. If the quality of the products being supplied is substandard, issue a warning to the vendor and remind them about your expectations.

If you consider the above factors, you are highly assured that you will maintain a positive working environment with your vendors and have a successful tenure performing business transactions. Always ensure you regularly monitor the performance of your suppliers; otherwise, your business won’t succeed.

Best Marketing Tactics to Improve Your Online Sales

Today’s Guest Post is from Sierra Powell. Sierra Powell graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a major in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing. When she’s not writing, she loves to cook, sew, and go hiking with her dogs. She can be contacted at sierrapowellwriter@gmail.com.

Are you looking for some great new marketing tactics? If your sales need a jump start, you can turn straight to the web to find the fuel. This is the place where you can find the info you need to get a whole new perspective on marketing. These are the very best marketing tactics to improve your online sales. photo of man and woman looking at laptop and she is holding a credit card

You Need to Know How to Retarget Customers

One of the best new techniques available is direct mail retargeting. When someone clicks on a link to your website, they may browse around for a while. They may have every intention of buying something or no intention at all. They may have a clear idea of what they are looking for or no idea at all. In any case, you now have their IP.

You can use your retargeting software to send an email directly to their address. In this email, you can give them a quick reminder of the items or services that they browsed through on your site. If they put an item in their shopping cart but left it there, you can let them know it’s still there waiting for them to come and buy it.

Retargeting in this manner is a great way to pick up a whole new generation of loyal customers. Letting them know that you take notice of their presence will make them feel like you are paying attention to their wants and needs as a consumer. This is a “personalized” level of service that a customer will respond to positively.

Optimize Your Site for All Available Platforms

Another important tactic that you need to take advantage of in order to improve your online sales will be to optimize your site for all available platforms. The more adaptable to mobile viewing your site is, the better. You want a site that loads quickly and generates a fast burst of actionable info.

You will need to keep in mind at all times the fact that the way the vast majority of people view content on the web is changing. The trend is moving away from laptops and PCs toward straight-up Android and Smartphone viewing. This means that the screen is smaller, the content is tinier, and it needs to load a whole lot faster.

It’s a good idea to test your site across multiple devices. This way, you will have a clear idea of just how quickly and accurately your site will load onto your PC, cell phone, laptop, tablet, and other platforms. You want to keep your site well organized and as easy as possible to navigate. This will be its major source of public appeal.

Your SEO Needs to Fit a Shorter Attention Span

Another reality of modern marketing is the fact that the content that you create for your site will need to fit the mold of a shorter attention span. This is largely due to the fact that people are being bombarded more heavily than ever with content coming from a wide variety of places. This is having a negative effect on attention spans.

The average person browsing around on your site is there for a definite purpose. They saw something on one of your social media pages or a PPC ad that caught their eye. When they click on a link to your site, you need to get straight to the point. Show them a few crystal clear images of the product backed up with some short and snappy content.

The quicker you get to the point, the sooner you will sum up the appeal of the item for your viewer. The more instant and effective your content, the better your chances will be of short-circuiting their reticence. An impulse buy is the result that you should be going for, courtesy of sharp SEO.

It All Comes Down to Marketing

At the end of the day, the success or failure of your business will come down to your marketing ability. This is the area where you need to show a whole new level of astute inspiration. Doing so will have a beneficial effect on your ability to stand out from the pack. This will be the key to your long term survival.

Three Reasons for Your Small Business to Go Cashless

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When was the last time you pulled out your wallet and paid with cash? There is no denying that fewer people are paying with cash. And, with the onset of COVID, fewer people are comfortable handling cash. The terms digital wallet, online and mobile banking are now familiar and these forms of cashless payment are trusted by consumers across the U.S.

Businesses are eliminating cash registers and coin rolls in favor of a safer, more streamlined payment process. And with fewer consumers carrying cash, this might be the time to consider taking your small business cashless. The benefits to this cashless craze are easy to digest. It helps your business processes run smoother, makes your job easier as an owner, and can provide an overall better experience for your customers.

Here are three reasons why your small business should consider cashless transactions:

Lower risk of theft – It is doubtful that you stash your money in a mattress at home. So why keep oodles of money on hand at your business? There are very real security risks associated with having large quantities of cash onsite as robberies are still a common crime. When you no longer keep cash on-hand, the risk of robbery goes down – helping keep your business, your employees and your customers safe.

Gains in efficiency – As your dad used to say, “time is money”. Using digital systems takes much less time to process payments. For businesses that sell to consumers, this helps to cut wait times and can increase in the number of transactions a volume-based business can process in a day. Another benefit is fewer manual daily, monthly, weekly and yearly processes. Say goodbye to physical counting, calculating, balancing or recording of your books every night, and forget those daily bank deposits. This can equates to fewer manual mistakes and more time to focus on what really matters for your small business.

Simpler tax filing
Digging receipts out of your purse, wallet or desk drawer will become a thing of the past. Most banks, credit unions and credit cards offer programs that allow you to create a budget, track your expenses and view your account in real time. But even better, these programs can automate your tax processes making it easier to capture, tabulate and categorize your yearly information come tax time.

While there are definite benefits to going cashless, there are a few things to consider before going totally cashless.

  • Consider what percentage of your demographic pays in cash.
  • Would cashless commerce help or hurt the majority of your customers?
  • Can you afford to lose a percentage of your customers?
  • Can you afford to pay the fees that come with credit and debit card transactions?

The bottom line: Know your customers’ preferences and weigh the benefits of going cashless against its costs. Make the transition only if the upside clearly outweighs the extra expense and possible risks for your business. Looking for more ways to move your small business forward? Deppe Communications can help your small business succeed. Click here for more information.

What Are You Doing To Prepare For a Post-COVID Recovery?

Man's hand with concept of new or next normal digital transform in industry business, disrupt from coronavirus, covid crisis impact to small business or SME. Turn to next normal in financial concept.

5 Ways To Plan for a Post-Pandemic World

The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on small businesses and nonprofits has been severe. Many have not survived, while others continue to struggle with a reduced business flow, loss of income and uncertainty about the future. At six months in, many small business owners are finding they have more time on their hands. But it may be a good time to review your marketing. Here are a few ideas about things you can do to prepare for the post-COVID recovery – whenever it may occur.

  1. Review your business model to see if you want or need to make changes. The need for social distancing has created an era of digital meetings and finding new ways to connect with employees, customers, boards, etc. Everything from manufacturing to restaurants to B2B companies are evolving to a new digital world, and it may require an investment of resources for your company. I found an excellent article on preparing for the recovery that has detailed and helpful information. 
  2. Check your website. Go through the website from head to toe looking for broken links, misspellings, typographic errors, grammatical problems, etc. Take the opportunity to add fresh content and make sure the navigation is easy to use. The user experience (UX) is one of the most important influences on your customers. Web design trends are constantly changing, and we are seeing more 3D, geometric shapes, and dark mode influences in 2020. If you don’t have a website, call or Email me. I can help you get started.
  3. Review your marketing materials. If you have brochures, palm or rack cards, business cards, giveaway items, posters, etc., review them carefully. Again, check for grammar and spelling, as well as content to see if you need to update them. Also consider whether they are working for you – do they generate leads or business? Investing your resources in marketing materials is smart, but only as long as they are serving a purpose. 
  4. Study up on your industry to find out what’s new. In the busy world we’ve left behind (for now), it could be difficult to keep up with marketing trends in our own industry or vertical. There wasn’t much time for reading or learning new things. But this pandemic pause can be an opportunity to do just that. Professional publications and marketing blogs can bring you up to date on what is working, what is coming, and what you should know about marketing.
  5. Lastly, take some time for social media. Visit platforms that you don’t usually frequent. Don’t use Tik Tok, Instagram or Pinterest? Take time to visit each of these. Find out how many people use these platforms, and what the demographics are. Each social media site has a different audience and use different media. Review your business social media use and determine whether you need to make changes to reach your target audience. Here is an article that may help you learn about popular platforms.

Now that you have a little more time, take the opportunities presented to really think about your marketing. Review the budget, the materials, target audiences and your philosophy. Challenge yourself on whether you are using the best approach, and be willing to make changes if not.