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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.

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.

6 Holiday Marketing Tips for Small Business

reindeer piggy bank

Start Small Business Marketing For the Holidays Now

Well Shoppers, there are only 51 more shopping days until Christmas – that’s 12 Fridays if you are counting – and if you are a small business that relies on the holidays to boost your profits then you are most likely getting prepared now. In fact, ChannelAdvisor did a survey of online retailers in the US. and UK recently and discovered that 59% have already launched their seasonal campaigns. Three-quarters say that fully 20% of their profits come from holiday sales, especially on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Not convinced that you should start your holiday marketing now? Check Pinterest then, where there is already a plethora of pins showing holiday decorating ideas and gifts. Another market researcher, CivicScience, reports that 47% of Pinterest users begin shopping before Thanksgiving – much higher than the 39% of the overall population. About 25% of shoppers begin in October and nearly half are already done by Cyber Monday!

As a small business owner, you may be wondering how you can compete during the holiday season and get your share of the sales. The answer is good marketing. Try a few of these ideas to improve your small business marketing during the holidays.

  1. Start now, but be creative. Remember to use bold holiday graphics in your E-mails, print ads, etc. Women are more likely to begin their shopping early, so construct your ad copy and images to appeal to them.
  2. Price aggressively. Early shoppers are looking for bargains now, when the selection is good. Appealing to this market now with competitive pricing can help you avoid making major markdowns later in the season. Highlight your pricing with phrases such as “lowest prices of the season” or other indicators to customers that they can get a bargain now.
  3. Ensure your online shopping experience is a good one. There is nothing worse that forcing a customer to search through your website for the information they need to make a purchase. If you are not sure about your website, ask customers to give you feedback or hire a web marketing firm to review your site and make suggestions. In 2014, almost half of the highest online shopping days were Tuesdays or Wednesdays, so think about offering specials on those days, or even scheduling E-mail messaging on those days.
  4. Begin the festivities! Yes, it might be 75 degrees outside, but bring a little holiday cheer into your business with holiday music, decorations and scents. About 1 in 5 holiday shoppers enjoy shopping in stores and they are more likely to make multiple trips. Keep in mind that the sense of smell is very powerful. Bring back a few fond memories for your customers by using seasonal scents like cinnamon, Christmas trees, etc.
  5. Make it Mobile. Keep in mind that more than half of all searches are now done on smart phones. Last year, 45% of the 4th quarter web traffic came from mobile devices like phones and tablets and 28% of sales last Black Friday were completed on mobile. Make sure you have “Buy Now” button prominently featured with your products. Most importantly, be sure your online store is mobile friendly. Not sure? Google will test it for you at no charge.
  6. Manage Your Advertising Budget. If you are using Pay-Per-Click advertising, adjust your budget on Black Friday to show more ads in the morning when more people are shopping. On Cyber Monday, target evening hours, as peak online shopping takes place then.

Yes, the holidays do seem to come earlier each year. As a small business owner, your seasonal marketing strategies should already be underway. But if they are not, give Deppe Communications a call at 904.524.0170 or Email info@DeppeCommunications.com and we will get you started.

How To Increase Sharing of Your Online Content

I came across this fantastic infographic this morning and just HAD to share it! There is really good information here for anyone using social media to market their small business. Fortunately, the creator of this content made it quite easy for me to share this with you. Thanks to Uberflip and Buzzsumo for the great content. Just click on the graphic below to see it.

3 Types of Content That People Love to Share (Backed By Data)

Top 10 Marketing New Year’s Resolutions for Your Small Business

Starting the new year with a new marketing plan for your small business is a great idea. Small business marketing does not have to be expensive, but it should be just as well thought out as if you were marketing a large corporation. Deppe Communications has helped many local and small businesses create a complete marketing plan to ensure that their marketing dollars are being spent efficiently and effectively. Top 10

In honor of the start of our new year, here is our “Top 10 List” of resolutions for marketing your small business.

  1. Understand what part of your business generates the most profit for your business. And, alternatively, figure out if there are any products/services that are costing you money. You may want to keep that as a “loss leader” if it is something that typically generates future business, but you absolutely should be able to quantify it. Don’t just use your gut, but actually analyze your costs vs. your profits. Sound like finance instead of marketing? Yes, but it usually won’t help you to spend money advertising a losing product or service. That’s a poor marketing investment.
  2. Figure out who your customers are today – then go find more like them. This sounds so simple, and it is a basic marketing rule of thumb. But truly knowing your customers requires data and making a concerted effort to learn more about them.
  3. Write at least 2 or 3 “SMART” goals for your business in 2015. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. An example of a good SMART goal is “Increase sales of 20-foot garden hoses by 25% before September 1, 2015.” Having specific goals should come before you start figuring out how to market or advertise your business. Otherwise, how will you know what to invest your marketing dollars in?
  4. Don’t confuse action for strategy.  Buying a bunch of ads might get your name out, but it is not a marketing strategy. If your advertising is not targeting the right people, at the right time, with the right message and using the right medium, then you have wasted your investment.
  5. If you are not familiar with marketing basics, then DIY (Do-It-Yourself) is not a good idea. No matter if you have a little money to spend or a lot, a good marketing or advertising consultant can make your investment go farther.
  6. Stop spending money on advertising randomly. If you are responding to the last sales pitch that walked in your door, you are probably wasting your money. Media sales people are nice people, but they don’t have your best interests at heart – they just want to sell ads. Ask for proof that their product is reaching your target audience. Then figure out how much you are paying for each person reached.
  7. Know what your UVP is – Unique Value Proposition. What makes you different from your competitors? Why should customers choose your business over brand X? Consider things like location, service, quality and price.
  8. Know your competitors. Today, when your website is often the first contact with a customer, your competitor is not necessarily the company across the street. By going online and doing a search (be sure to sign out of your Google account first to get better results), you will find out which other companies are in your space.
  9. Be creative. Come up with new and interesting ways to entice customers to choose you. In this very competitive global marketplace, finding a way to stand out from the crowd is more important than ever.
  10. Set aside money in your budget for marketing. Whether it is to send employees to networking events and trade shows, or a full-fledged advertising campaign on TV, radio and billboards, marketing requires an investment. It is typical to budget between 1% and 3% of gross revenues for marketing.   

 

Want help creating your new marketing plan? Contact Deppe Communications now.

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