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3 Tips to Make Facebook Work for You

In June, Facebook announced a change to how content makes its way to the top of your news feed. This new algorithm measures the amount of time users spend looking at posts. 

In other words, even without liking, commenting, or sharing a post, Facebook will detect which posts capture your attention longer than others and will incorporate that preference as a factor in determining which posts become “Top Posts” for your feed. With these changes, business owners should consider how to capture someone’s attention – and how to hold someone’s attention – in such a way as to maximize their exposure through Facebook. 

With this in mind, helping you increase your Facebook effectiveness is the focus of this week’s #TuesdayTip. Here are 3 ways your business can capture attention on Facebook:

1 – Videos Work

Facebook auto-plays videos which encourage your followers to spend more time engaging with your content, and in turn, directly registers with the network’s new algorithm. Since Facebook natively enables video on their site, content of that type has yielded amazing engagement results. Posting Facebook videos and monitoring their performance can also help your business determine content for future video posts. Instead of reposting from YouTube, or other video hosting websites, utilize the built in Facebook video function to 1) collect video view count analytics and 2) enable videos to automatically play. To maximize the effectiveness of the videos, use text or subtitles so that you can capture viewers attention without enabling the audio. 

2 – Content is Key

If Instagram is a platform to feature images, and images increase engagement on Facebook, should businesses repost all of their Instagram photos automatically on their Facebook page?

Yes! But there is a caveat. Even if it may seem like a time-saving technique to automatically post the same update to multiple networks, it might cost your business reach on both networks. If you want to reuse a photo, make sure to provide content making it a meaningful and valuable Facebook post. Your photo post may draw them in, but the commentary included will keep them engaged longer. Include captions. An anecdote will make your post that much more personable, encouraging more likes, comments, and shares. Content will compliment your image. Use both to better engage your audience. Facebook encourages content creators on the network to provide stories that add value or provide more history for a business’s products and services. These kinds of posts have a higher likelihood to be seen by bigger audiences.

3 – Titles Say It All

Effective headlines work. There’s a formula for headline success, and it is one content creators can easily implement when posting on Facebook. When creating and posting content on Facebook, deliberately invoke a reaction in the reader which will subsequently tempt them to click on the article to read and/or share your post. This cycle can quickly escalate (going “viral”) increasing the reach of your post exponentially. If your content is key, then your title has to be the Barnum-like key holder ushering Facebook users towards your business’s post.

Here are a few examples from blogging.org on formulas for creating an effective headline:

  • Numbered Lists (10 social media mistakes everyone makes)
  • How-To (How to write a blog post that drives 10x more traffic)
  • Case Study (How we grew our Pinterest followers 10 times in one week)
  • Lessons Learned (Top lessons learned about marketing from watching Hell’s Kitchen)
  • Reasons Why (Why you can’t afford to ignore blogging)
  • Provocative Questions (Are you making the 10 biggest mistakes in digital marketing?)
  • News Headline (Announcing new Blogging for Business training this September)
  • Direct and Specific (Free Google+ Report)
  • Command (Get better results tomorrow by reading this post)
  • Irresistible (How Google changes may be destroying your email strategy)

Maximizing the effectiveness of your Facebook posts and understanding how the network uses its algorithms to increase your post’s reach is important for all business owners to understand.  Stay up to date with how social media and digital marketing is evolving. At Sproutling Marketing & Consulting we would love to meet with you over coffee and discuss a strategy on how to keep your business up to date with this evolving digital world. Contact us today!

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Why Your Personal Brand Matters

Creating, maintaining, and promoting your personal brand in today’s world is more important than ever. Tom Peters, in his 1997 book The Brand Called You, had this to say:

Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.

Establishing your personal brand is the process of developing a mark that is created around your personal name or your career.  This mark is used to represent your brand by communicating your skills, personality and values. The uniqueness of your personal brand draws people to your product, your services, your message. Creating your personal brand is about who you are and what you have to offer.

Your personal brand allows you to sends a clear, consistent message about you. This is a very powerful marketing tool. Having a strong, authentic personal brand helps people to identify:

  1. What you’re good at.
  2. What sets you apart from everyone else.
  3. What establishes you as an industry expert. 

Keep these 3 things in mind as you begin to create your personal brand:

Your personal brand is YOU:

Your personal brand includes everything you say, post, write, pin, photograph, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, like, tweet, think, and do. People are watching. What message are you wanting to send to potential customers, employers, or any other individuals in your network with each action you take? Always consider what it is you want to represent before making that decision. It’s reported that 89% of 18-29 year-olds are active on social media, as are 43% of adults 65 and older.* Your digital presence and how you maintain your personal brand is more important today than ever.

One of the most important aspects of branding is consistency:

Forbes has reported that it takes on average 5-7 brand impressions before someone will remember your brand.* You should be living your brand each and every day. You should not have to over think about what your brand stands for, what your brand promise is and how you can be a contributing and positive part of your brand story on a daily basis. Using social media to promote your personal brand provides you with an amazing opportunity to get a consistent yet dynamic and real brand message in front of hundreds and thousands of people each and every day. When you begin building your personal brand make sure to clearly define your goals and define your values and passions. Without having to overthink each action take, the message you send to your audience should authentically and sincerely reflect back on those defined goals and values every time.

Make yourself approachable:

Earning trust is imperative in business and life. One of the best and easiest ways to earn trust is to personally connect. Build relationships and understand that these relationships are going to take time to nurture. Consider this: would you hire a consultant, coach, or assistant that you’ve never heard of, worked with, or seen? Most likely, that answer is no. In today’s digital world, consumers have the luxury of getting to know and trust the person or company behind each purchase. This means you must go the extra mile to consistently make sure your personal brand is accessible. To do this, it is important that you are consistently active with your social media platforms, website, and offline networking. When it comes to social media, make sure you welcome new followers, reply using the commenter’s name, and create relevant content that is both educational and entertaining.  Always seek feedback and encourage others to engage in a two-way conversation.

Lisa Quast from Forbes outlined these 6 essential steps to develop your personal brand:

  1. Define your overall aspirations.
  2. Conduct Research.
  3. Determine your brand attributes.
  4. Assess your current state.
  5. Create your game plan.
  6. Manage your brand.

Here at Sproutling, we’re all about connecting with you and helping you cultivate your personal brand in order to grow that brand into a healthy and stable business venture. We would love to meet with you over a cup of coffee to discuss where you are on this journey.

*Social Media Growth Statistics