Though many businesses use Facebook for marketing and advertising purposes, they fail to utilize the platform to the optimum because of some common mistakes, which are as follows:

Absence of a separate business page: Many business owners use their personal page as a business page. This way, they lose out on using the business-specific features of Facebook to the optimum and struggle to get noted, and garner Likes/triggering interesting discussions and comments.

Incomplete business page: Many people ignore filling out their store’s address, url, business hours, contact info, etc, which make it difficult for visitors to understand what the business is all about, or to buy should anything catch their attention.

Using an irrelevant cover photo for Facebook Brand Page: Your cover photo should use something that captures the spirit of your brand and displays your products/services. But many businesses forget this core rule and post irrelevant images or photos that don’t abide by the Facebook guidelines.  While the close-up of a delicious food is apt for restaurants, a shot of cute babies for a real estate company is definitely a no-no. Further optimize your cover photo by including business info in the description of the photo (phone, location or at least a URL back to your website) to encourage sales and traffic to your website and/or business.

Struggling to manage multiple business pages: Some businesses choose to create separate brand pages for their different locations/branches/entities. However, the problem arises when they struggle to manage and promote all equally well, and yet refrain from deleting old/incorrect pages.

Keeping the account inactive for a long period: The key to having a successful Facebook business page is to stay active with posts, images, videos, and quick response to feedback/comments etc. So, if you stop investing considerable hours to your business page and there’s no activity on it, your visitors would eventually drift away and it would be quite difficult to bring them back.

Being too preachy and adhering to too much of self promotion: There’s nothing bad or wrong with using your business page for sales/promotional events. However, when every post of yours screams about why visitors should buy from you, bank on too much of self promotion, or be full of lectures, you will start alienating your audience. The trick is to keep a balance amongst all. So, you may comment on the local events, weather, important news, along with your business and any special offers/discounts that you may be running/plan to run. 

Not giving enough time for managing the business page: Many small business owners keep the task of managing their business page in their hands but with so many things to plan and act upon, they often don’t get enough time to manage the page well, which results in declining viewership. Hiring a person who isn’t familiar with your business objectives and strategy, or doesn’t know about social media policies could also be detrimental to your Facebook business page.

Poor handling of messages/negative comments: Many businesses choose to either ignore or respond aggressively to negative comments. Some even end up deleting such comments. But the key is to address such issues adeptly and with your answers, you may even turn an unhappy customer into a loyal brand advocate. Responding to your private messages is equally important as it shows that you respect people’s opinions/feedback, who choose to send you private messages via your business page’s inbox rather than voicing their concern publicly.

Lack of engagement: Many businesses take Facebook business page to be a one-way channel just like advertisements. But you should remember that Facebook is all about two-way communication with your existing and potential clients. So, you should listen to them, offer immediate solutions to their queries/problems, know about their tastes and preferences, and get them involved in your brand.

Therefore, steer clear of the mistakes as mentioned above to make the most of your Facebook business page.

content-marketing-300x249The role of content is no longer limited to holding reader attention. Even search engine spiders are looking for fresh, updated and unique content online. Most online business owners are aware of the importance of website content. That’s exactly why content should not be an after thought while you develop a website. It is just as important as SEO and marketing your website online. Seasoned pros in website content development services will help give your business a boost. It is necessary to make your website content interesting and the first step in writing good website content is to understand the concept of readability.

How do I catch the reader’s attention?
A strong headline
- The first thing that any browser reads is the headline and it is definitely the key to your entire copy/content. “If you cannot be motivated to write the article based on the headline, how is the reader going to be motivated to read it based on the headline?”

To ensure that your headline is catchy and tempts the reader to read on, make sure that you:

  • Capitalize all the words in your headline - The thumb rule is to capitalize all the beginning of words with the exception of articles and conjunctions. Exclude short prepositions in headings and in case of lectures, plays or book titles.
  • Use seduction - As mentioned before, it is your headline that should tempt the reader to read on.
  • Avoid periods in titles - The idea is to ensure that your reader moves ahead from the heading to the body of the article. Don’t create a pause with a period in your headline. Allow the natural flow of reading.

Enhance readability
If you have ensured that the reader is ‘hooked’ by your title and is reading the content/article, the next step is to keep them interested. Information chunking and Scannability are two important concepts you need to keep in mind if you want to enhance readability of your website.

  • Information chunking: by separating information into small chunks, which will improve a reader's ability to read and understand it. How do you ‘chunk’ your information?
    • Put a bullet in it: By inserting bulleted points, shortening your sub heads and condensing your paragraphs into short yet comprehensive and effective paragraphs.
    • Shorten your subheading, creating organization and telling your reader what comes next.
    • Keep it short and sweet and remember that web readers tend to skim, so keep their interest with one or two ideas per sentence.
    • Condense! Paragraphs should be short with only 5-7 minutes of reading involved. Even one sentence paragraphs can be effective.
    • Use scannable text, by bolding key phrases and words. Use inline graphics that guide the reader’s eyes or illustrate points that require description.
    • A picture is worth a thousand words Apart from great content, images will help convey your ideas too. In fact when used right, they can convey a story! So choose an appropriate image for your website.
      Laying it on the line!

Content is King
While using your words correctly is important, providing your reader with good information is the pre-requisite to build credibility.

  • Give them what they need: Remember they were searching for something. What prompted that search? Help them find out how they can benefit by using your product/service
  • Credibility is Key: Adding external links enhances the credibility of the sites content.
  • Be keyword savvy: If your site is targeting the wrong keywords, the search engines, and your customers may never find you, resulting in low rankings and money as well.
  • Answer likely questions: with answers to the questions that he/she is likely to ask. Add FAQs, guides, how-to’s, client Q&A's and critiques to your website.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words: Images convey ideas in ways that words can't. Use images to tell your story. Visitors like seeing images; they break up all those lines of text and help convey a mood or support what you're saying.

blogging“So what do I blog about?” Often my customers want to start a blog but are stumped or intimidated as to what to write about.

For an active blog, you need to post blogs at least three times per week. If you have the time to update your blog more often, great! But, if your blog idea cup runneth over, here are the top 10 ideas you could use:

  1. Address FAQs or queries, which you get from your customers. They (customers) are surely the heart of all business. Answering their FAQs in the form of blogs will help existing and future clients. Also, instead of repeatedly responding to the same questions, you can choose to write a series of blog posts to answer the frequently asked questions, which could free up time for you in the long run.
  2. Expert Interviews. If you admire someone in your industry, your readers or followers might too! Contact the experts, who you think can offer valuable insights on business, trends, etc. and publish the interview as a blog post.
  3. How-to Tutorial of a process will contribute to a series of blog posts. For example, you can create a series of how-to tutorials on website design, creating a logo or any topic related to your expertise. You can choose to create written, audio, or video tutorial. Tutorials build credibility and trust within your clients. They will begin to see you as an authority in this industry.
  4. Events or Trends in your industry making news? Make sure that you include your perspective into the blog. A number of bloggers blog about the trends or related news stories. However, very few offer their unique perspective on the events.
  5. Review a site, blog, book or anything related to your industry. Highlight the pros and cons clearly, so your readers are not left wondering whether you are recommending the site, blog, book, etc or not.
  6. Personally Yours. Tell a story about what’s happening in your life and how it is affecting your business. Your hobbies and interests could make a good read too. Readers are always happy to read more about the “real” blogger and helps establish a deeper personal connection with your clients.
  7. How You Helped. Did you help your client’s site rank well on the major search engines? Is your client happy with the logo you recently worked on? Blog about it. Begin with how you addressed the problem from scratch and helped the client. Existing or future clients may come across this and it might be just the thing they were looking for. What better way to get a new client than coming to their rescue?
  8. 10 Best Lists. Depending on your area of expertise and business, you can choose from a range of topics for best-of lists or even reasons-to-do lists. For example, best of Photoshop freebies, best freelance web design jobs boards, why you should get a website, etc.
  9. Polls are a great way to keep your readers occupied and interested too. With polls, your readers will await results and then discuss the results too. However, you need to ensure that you choose an interesting poll. You can use Constant Contact to publish your poll.
  10. Blog about blogging. There are a number of blog-related topics, which you can use to write posts about. Readers are always keen to find out more about how they can blog, optimize their blog, use it for business purposes etc.

Facebook likes

Your job doesn’t end with the creation of a Facebook Page. You should have a clear goal to take it further. Whether you wish to bring traffic to your blog or website from your Facebook Page, or use it as a hub for your online strategy, you need to have a clear picture of the outcome you desire.

If you find that your Facebook Page is not getting as many ‘Like’ as you might have wanted it to, these 5 reasons could be the ones to blame:

Absence of adequate promotion: If you don’t integrate your Facebook Page with your website or blog, many people won’t even know that such a page exists and you may end up not having too many Likes. You may use different tools available on Facebook Badges like Profile Badge, Like Badge, Page Badge, Photo Badge etc in addition to using social plugins (Activity Feed, Like button) to publicize your Facebook Page and make it easier for your blog/website visitors to Like your Page.

Irregular posts that fail to engage your audience: You should remember that frequency builds momentum. So, you should make regular posts to your Facebook Page. However, it doesn’t mean that you need to make a dozen posts in an hour. You may start with 2/3 posts every day and adjust the frequency based on how people react to them. You should also make your posts interesting, creative, and fun, which trigger discussions and engage the audience. Unless you are able to encourage your audience to participate and share their thoughts, your Facebook Page may not get many Likes.

Not posting rich and quality content: Unlike Twitter where you can post only texts, Facebook gives you the option to post media from photography to video and even questions that don’t need readers to follow a link and leave your page. Since pictures and videos engage people more as compared to mere texts, not using them would mean less Likes. Posting quality and exclusive content on your Facebook Page is another way to get Likes. Simply posting links to content or copying from other online resources won’t do. You need to create your unique content, which showcases your perspective on various subjects, and is useful for your Facebook audience is crucial to get more Likes.

Unable to leverage customizations: Though there are not many options to make your Facebook Page stand out visually, you should leverage each small opportunity that’s available. For example, customizing your landing page to introduce yourself, creating a brand recognition, communicating the goal/purpose of the page, prompting the user in the right direction (such as asking for a Like) etc can give a unique edge to your Facebook Page and encourage people to click the Like button.

Posting at the wrong time: Many experts tell that people remain the most active on Facebook during the weekends and when they are back from their workplaces after the daily grind, which is why you should time your posts accordingly. However, you should judge the activity level of your target audience to find out the right time of making your posts to enjoy optimum activity (Likes, comments etc).

Armed with these tips, and by keeping an eye on Facebook Insights, you can manage your Facebook Page better and get more Likes. So, act now and experience the difference.

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