October’s Bonus Webinar Increasing Your Facebook Engagement absolutely ROCKED the house.It had the highest attendance of any bonus webinar to-date and students RAVED about the it, so if you haven’t watched it, get on over to the Students menu and select Webinar Vault to access it (you’ve got to be a student to watch the whole thing, but you can get a sample of it here).
What became glaringly apparent during that webinar was this: no one understands or uses Facebook Insights. That is a huge missed opportunity, so in November’s Bonus Webinar I’ll be teaching you how to mine that data to create a targeted marketing plan based on your fans. You get a marketing plan on steroids, because:
Your fans are unique
Best practices don’t work for everyone; they’re a generality
Your fans are already telling you what they want by their actions — not what they “say”
Put that data to work for your business
You have the key to unlocking Facebook success in your Insights, which outline your fans actions: what posts they like, what they respond to, where they live, etc.
If this sounds dry, it can be. But stick with me, as the results will ROCK your business.
Here’s the best part: if you’re an Unlimited Class Pass member, I’m giving you an exclusive opportunity to get a customized Facebook marketing plan for your business. I’ll be featuring a few UCP Members during the webinar and mining your Facebook Insights to create a marketing plan based on your data.
(Don’t worry: I’ll keep your numbers hidden and your identity anonymous unless you give me permission to do otherwise.)
Facebook engagement is the gateway to capturing leads and generating sales from your business page. That’s why engagement is the new standard when it comes to Facebook: without it, your posts won’t appear in your Fans news feeds. It doesn’t matter if you have thousands of fans: if they aren’t seeing your posts, you’ve might as well have zero fans.
Don’t despair. Facebook has set a high bar for you to get results here, but I’m sharing proven ways to get increased engagement, so you can turn your page into profits.
Facebook Engagement on Training Wheels
Savvy page admins know a few tried and true guidelines to generating greater engagement on your page. These are simple “training wheels” tactics, as they allow you to get started, but you can’t really get up to full speed yet and get your greatest results:
Always include a photo with your post
Post in evenings and weekends
Use Fill-in-the-Blank Posts
Keep posts under 100 characters
1. It’s All About the Photo
Photos increase engagement in Facebook every time. Some of the best Facebook business pages get loads of Likes, Comments, and Shares simply because they posted a beautiful or compelling photo along with the status update. This is a simple way to increase your engagement immediately.
2. Post When People Have Leisure Time
Facebook activity peaks in the evenings and on weekends, when we all have far more leisure time. You can post directly at those times or schedule your posts so your fans see them when they’re browsing their friends’ vacation photos, latest funny video, and news of family.
3. Keep It Simple
Simplicity is the key to motivating your fans to respond to your posts. Don’t make them think. Tell them exactly what you want from them, and the easiest way to do that is with a fill-in-the-blank post. All your fans have to do is engage in some way: Click, Like, Comment, or Share. Make it simple by asking a direct question, and make it in this form: Which is your favorite Halloween Candy: Candy Corn or Chocolate? _________________.
4. Keep It Short
Studies show the shorter the post, the more likely your fans are to engage with you. Remember: they’re browsing and don’t want to read a lengthy paragraph. Keep it under 140 characters, the same length as a tweet, or under 100 characters for maximum engagement.
Facebook Engagement on Steroids
When you’re ready to get the big results, then it’s time to use the deeper tactics that work for ONLY your fans. While best practices usually work, who knows whether they really yield results for your fans? That’s something only you can know. That’s what I uncover in my Facebook Engagement Secrets Video:
Where to get beautiful images you can use for free on your Facebook page
How to schedule posts (a buggy feature and how to solve that EVERY time!)
Case studies of posts that generate a flood of engagement and how you can do the same
Where to find the secrets of reaching your fans and getting them engage
Which key elements you need to identify on your fan page and turn them into results
Ready to Learn More?
Get members-only access to the Facebook Engagement Webinar (plus over a dozen more) when you become an Annual Member here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com. You’ll find a case study of a solopreneur who gets 200% Reach on Facebook — an astounding metric — plus how you can do the same!
I just finished reading my favorite book of 2012: Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World Class Performers from Everyone Else by Geoff Colvin. Why was it my favorite?
Because it blows the lid off of the idea of inborn talent is what it takes to succeed. Super athletes like Tiger Woods and Jerry Rice, chess masters like Bobby Fisher, and even YOU (you’re an expert in your field, right?) aren’t gifted from birth. Instead, they follow a highly specific type of training called deliberate practice. That’s the entire premise of the book, and while I highly recommend you read it on your own, what follows is my own review and how it applies to business and professionals who want to stay at the top of their game.
Practice in the Right Zone
Deliberate practice is much more enjoyable if you are that zone where you seem to lose track of time, as detailed in the book Flow by Mikail Csikszentmihalyi. Succinctly described, being in a state of flow when it comes to deliberate practice, is putting yourself in the Learning Zone. If you’re in your Comfort Zone, you not learning anything new. If you’re pushing yourself too hard, you’re in the Panic Zone where you don’t get anything done because you’re overwhelmed. So being in the Learning Zone is the sweet spot for your deliberate practice.
5 Elements of Deliberate Practice
First, this type of pushing yourself to learn something new is not at all like any corporate training, piano lessons, or sports practice you’ve ever done. It’s a highly-specific type of focused activity designed to do one thing: improve your performance.
The five elements of deliberate practice are:
1. Activity designed to improve your performance
What you do everyday at work is essential and draining because it requires mental focus. But designed to improve your performance – it’s not. After all, most of us don’t get paid to be better. We get paid to deliver.
2. Get a teacher’s help to design the the practice, much like a coach trains top Olympic athletes
Often we are not our own best teachers: we can’t see our own performance objectively to identify our strengths and weaknesses, and it’s possible we don’t know enough about a subject to know where to start. That’s where a trusted teacher, mentor, or coach can train you far more effectively than you can ever do on your own.
I realized how fortunate I am to be a trainer when I read this book: not only do I develop and teach classes specifically designed to improve my client’s performance, I also build training programs for myself. When I’m new to a technique or subject, I learn all I can about it. Then when I’m stuck, I hire a teacher who can help focus my efforts in a micro-targeted way and provide feedback.
3. You can repeat the practice – a lot
Before you ever can apply your newfound knowledge and skills, you need to be able to repeat them a lot so you can build competency and consistently improve upon your baseline performance. This is when there simply is no substitute for experience: getting in there, making mistakes, learning far more from your failures than your successes, and coming out the other side a much stronger professional.
4. Feedback is available on your performance continuously
Measuring your performance is critical, but if you’re not an expert, just exactly how do you improve on your weak areas? You’ll find a wide range of opinions, most of them in disagreement, so it can be quite confusing to know who to trust. This is where you rely on an expert who has proven themselves with facts, figures, credentials, and referrals.
In this year’s London Olympics I was struck by the fact that every single Olympic performer had a coach. After all, when you’re the best, who is qualified to train you? The superlative professionals who can break down your performance into smaller activities and evaluate your results on each, and tell you exactly how to improve. That coach, teacher, or mentor is designing your deliberate practice specifically around your goals, your performance, your strengths and weaknessess.
5. The practice is not much fun
There’s no getting around this one: putting in those hours is no party. The old adage “successful people do what others don’t want to” completely applies here. You’ve got to push yourself, fail often, and be resilient enough to not let any of your setbacks beat you. Keep focused on improving your performance with deliberate practice.
See More During Deliberate Practice
Masters of their domain (cue Jerry Seinfield jokes here) also develop a memory skill allowing them to tap into long-term memory associated with the essence of their activity. How?
Chunk Theory. Masters assemble information into larger chunks, developing a larger vocabulary of information and the ability to access it more easily. For example, chess grandmasters can look at a board and at-a-glance, identify the offensive and defensive strategy of their opponent. An average player will see the same board and identify piece positions, but cannot analyze the deeper strategy behind them.
Just ask my son. I taught him to play chess, and he beats the pants off me any time we play now. He simply sees more strategic opportunities than I do.
The same thing occurs when I offer social media advice to a client: I can immediately see their opportunities, strengths and weaknesses, whereas they are often in the Panic Zone — overwhelmed and paralyzed.
Practice Individual Skills
When you practice with a coach or teacher, they can break down your performance into specific elements, each necessary to reach your goal. The teacher designs deliberate practice to improve each step. You measure yourself against the best, or against your previous performance, depending upon where you are in your journey.
For example, every business professional I’ve talked with wants more engagement on their Facebook page. While many articles offer specific ways to do that, only you know what works with your audience. How? By reviewing your Facebook Insights, ranking your posts with the most Reach, identifying why they were successful, and repeating those types of posts again to see if your success is repeatable.
Not much fun, huh? It’s not sexy, quick, or fun, but that’s what being a world class Facebook page takes. It’s also what I’ll be teaching in the October bonus webinar!
Designing Your Own Deliberate Practice
You now know what it is, how to do it, that it will be tough, but how do you know if the practice is designed correctly? Here are some guidelines according to Colvin:
1. Know your goal
Be specific, have a SMART goal (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based). Increasing Facebook engagement isn’t a smart goal. Increasing Facebook engagement by 50% on your business page in the 4th quarter of 2012 is smart.
2. What’s the immediate next step?
Do you know enough about your chosen industry to know what your next step should be? While you don’t have to know everything, you do need to identify the next step that will help you reach your SMART goal. For our Facebook engagement example, the immediate next step is to go to your Facebook Insights and identify the posts with the highest and lowest reach. That alone won’t give you the entire picture, but it’s where you need to start.
3. Find a mentor
I cannot emphasize this step enough. In the digital age, people seem to think they can learn it all on their own with the free articles provided on blogs. In reality, most free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it. If the author could be making money from it, believe me, he would be. It’s free because he can’t get published any other way.
Find a mentor who has proven themselves and taught others successfully. Yes, you’re going to need to pay for their time and advice, and you should. Improving your performance is challenging, and you want to partner with someone who’s proven he or she can get you there.
4. Practice your skill
Once your mentor designs your deliberate practice, then you embark on your workouts. Mental or physical, they should be effortful, challenging, and focused. And ultimately, improve your performance. Olympic ice skaters who won medals practiced the jumps they weren’t good at, falling about 10,000 times on their butts. The other Olympic ice skaters practiced jumps they were already good at.
You’re going to fall on your butt often, but that’s a good thing. It means you’re learning.
5. Apply your skill
Once you’ve achieved a level of mastery, you’re ready to apply your skill in the real world and get true results. Because you’ve practiced so often and in a way that improved your performance, you’ll achieve a much higher level of success than those who don’t.
Jerry Rice practiced thousands of hours off the field to become one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. If he had relied only on his playing time to improve his skill, he never would have achieved such an outstanding career. A couple of hours performance time every week simply isn’t enough. His nickname, GOAT, Greatest of All Time, came from relentless deliberate practice.
Are you ready to be the GOAT of your industry?
While I can’t make you an outstanding salesperson or designer, I can make you a GOAT at Facebook Engagement. How? Register for any class here at SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com, and I’ll outline the deliberate practice you’ll need to increase your Reach. And I’ll provide feedback in the Forum and the Virtual Office on Wednesdays.
Deliberate practice, a trusted mentor, and continuous feedback. All the elements you need to get Word Class engagement on your Facebook page.
So join me on Oct. 25 at 1pm ET, 5pm GMT, and partner with me: I’ll design deliberate practice you’ll need to increase your Facebook Engagement, get your posts seen by a wider audience, and get leads that convert into paying customers.
It’s not easy to get valuable answers these day to social media questions. Ask them on the social network, and you get a lot of opinions, most of them contradictory, and it can be confusing to know who to trust or even where to go for serious help.
That’s why I love the Community Forum here at SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com. Students get detailed answers from me, and help from fellow students. For example, this week a client who works at a car dealership was proud of his new Facebook page he created for the business, but needed to know “now how do I get people to like it?”
Great question, and one of the most frequent ones I get. I provide the tried and true methods in Facebook 101, and I also gave him 12 new tactics he can use, one per month, to really grow his fan base.
Ready to grow your Facebook fan count with authentic tactics you can be proud of? Read the full forum thread here.
Social Media Presentations, Templates, and Videos: Get My Best Resources without Leaving Home.
Resource page offering 5 PowerPoint presentations, 2 webinars & 1 video lecture on social media strategies, templates, plans, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more.
I speak often at social media and business conferences, and my PowerPoint presentations are a staple of my lectures. They range from overall strategy to specific social networks, and are loaded with case studies.
This resource page offers social media presentations, PowerPoints, and videos on everything from strategy, action plans, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more. Bookmark this page so you can return to it often when you’re ready for a Lunch ‘n Learn or quick refresher on your social media skills.
Developing Your Small Business Social Media Strategy
Creating a social media strategy is a bit of a Catch-22: you don’t really know what to plan for until you have some experience with social media. So I start all of my clients out with this social media strategy template: it walks you through the essential items you need to understand before you can make the key decisions for your strategy.
Here are both the PowerPoint presentation and a video of my lecture to Digital Atlanta in the Fall of 2011. I answer some great questions from business owners in a variety of industries:
Once Facebook introduced Timeline, it also introduced several other changes to its platform that impacted business (especially small business) far more. In this webinar I outline those changes, what they mean to how, how to make the most of them, and where to get more help:
I held off on using Pinterest for a long time. After all, do we really need another social network? But, Pinterest is really different: my clients who don’t enjoy Facebook absolutely love Pinterest for its visual appeal and ease of use. So take a look and see if it’s right for your business:
I did a joint webinar with Barbara Giamanco, a LinkedIn Expert and author of The New Handshake. She lays out how to use LinkedIn to drive sales. I invited Barbara to offer this webinar to my readers after I met her at a social media conference and she was, by far, the most impressive speaker there. Don’t miss this one:
Enjoy these resources, with my compliments. Share them with friends and colleagues who are getting started with social media by clicking on the Share links at the top and bottom of the post.
UPDATED 2016. Infographics are, hands-down, the most popular tools I offer here at SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com. People love getting actionable tactics, organized and well-laid out for them. It's like having a marketing checklist right before your eyes.
Here you can find our most popular infographics we make available to the public.
Downloaded thousands of times, this social media strategy chart (and spreadsheet) guide you in developing a strategy unique to your business. It's the best place to start or adapt your social media marketing plan:
Wondering what the heck's a hashtag? Feel like you need a Twitter-to-English dictionary? This actionable infographic & guide offer 64 different ways to get greater visibility online using the hashtag. Includes 20+ examples of brands like Oprah, Coca-Cola, Audi & even the NFL! You're sure to find a hashtag strategy that works for you:
64 Facebook marketing tactics grouped into eight unique categories. Use the infographic as checklist, or combine them by taking one strategy from each group for a possible combination of over 4 million marketing campaigns.
LinkedIn has the most affluent demographic of any social network. Are you profiting from it? If not, check out the Profitable Guide to LinkedIn Networking. You'll grow your network, get new opportunities and new clients.
If you're new to Twitter, how do you fit everything you need to say in ust 140 characters? By following this Twitter Headline Checklist: after all, tweets really are just a headline motivating your followers to take action, right? Here's how to convince them every time:
This mobile-only social network packs a powerful punch with images, captions, and hashtags. It's a fun way to connect on a personal level to your audience, but make no mistake: it's not Pinterest. The etiquette here is quite different. Learn how with this infographic:
Which is more important: reaching the right person or a crowd of people? If you said "the right person," then you need this guide to social media tagging. You'll be reaching influencers, getting noticed online, and more engagement than you ever imagined!
Wish you could scale yourself and get better opportunities? Whether you're a business owner or a staffer, this guide teaches you how to put the stuff you don't enjoy on auto-pilot, so you can focus on your passion:
Need evergreen publicity for your brand? That's what a blog tour does, and you can launch a tour even if you don't have your own blog. Authors routinely do these "online book tours," but they work fabulously for business-to-business brands & services as well:
Enjoy these infographics with my compliments. When you're ready to learn HOW to do these tactics, become a member: you'll get clear lessons, short video tutorials, and guided assignments that get you more customers, your current customers spending more, and a growing business in any economy.
When you’re a time-pressed entrepreneur, you need how-to social media tutorials on YouTube. Not just any videos, but the outstanding ones that get to the point fast, demonstrate what you need to know step-by-step, and do it in under 3 minutes.
Here you’ll find a quick list of my Social Media Minute tutorials on YouTube, covering social media topics from Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube, to developing your strategy and blogging. Each link is a playlist to a group of videos around the social media theme; bookmark this page & spend a few minutes each week watching the videos — you’ll be up-to-date on the tactics you’ve been wanting to add to your social media marketing toolkit.
Facebook is the #1 social media tool my clients are interested in, and the majority of questions I get are about Facebook. It’s a platform that changes often — daily!! — making it almost impossible for small business owners to keep up on the latest changes.
Facebook marketing is getting more challenging as their platform evolves. So here’s my solution for you: a “best-of” collection of SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com posts that tell you — quickly, easily & straight-up — how to do the most elegant marketing tasks (the biggest bang for your buck!) on Facebook.
As we approach the halfway point in the year, I wanted to look back at the Top Ten Blog Posts of 2012 and see what were the most popular posts here on SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com. For many, summer is a slower season, and this is a great time to review your business plan, find what’s working, pivot on what isn’t, and work on professional development.
These massively popular blog posts will help you do all that and more. Mark some time on your calendar so you can read one each day and then — most importantly — act on it.
Here are the Top Ten Most Popular Blog Posts from the first half of 2012:
In the final installment of success stories celebrating National Small Business month, I’m featuring a round-up of SMOC graduates and their stories:
Carolyn Littell, a real estate agent in the north Georgia mountains (identifies herself as a “maverick”) was the first in her agency to offer her own website. Carolyn was considering taking an HTML class at a local college to build her own website, but after consultations with me, I saved her from that horrible fate (yikes!). Together, we built a wonderful website that Carolyn can maintain completely on her own.
The Quilt Professional Network, whose members range from award-winning art quilters to quilt historians to longarm quilters to appraisers, held their annual conference in Bird-in-the-Hand, PA in March to learn how to use social media to increase their business and gain new members. I presented multiple workshops to them on Facebook, Pinterest, blogging, and did one-on-one consultations with each member so they could identify their individual path to success.
Jenifer Dick, author and blogger, took Pinterest 101, and after her first week, saw more traffic coming from Pinterest than any other referring source. Go Jenifer (her blog and Pinterest boards are gorgeous and offer luscious eye-candy for quilters).
Marybeth Tawfik, owner of Cambridge Lane, a longarm quilting studio in Athens, Georgia, is celebrating her first anniversary in business. Marybeth is an Unlimited Class Pass student, and is focusing her efforts on Facebook, as well as consulting with me on writing a news release to promote her studio.
Anita Heady, art quilter also from Athens, GA, opened a boutique-style quilt shop in Chase Street Warehouse, an old cotton mill. Anita took Facebook classes to help her promote her art quilting and her shop to a wider audience.
Congratulations to these small business owners who are the backbone of the American economy. Bravo for investing in yourselves, your businesses, and helping our economy grow strong.
I’m featuring SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com student success stories, and we’re starting off with Margaret Travis of Eazy Peazy quilts. Margaret is part of the 3 Billion dollar quilt industry, and she designs accessories – handbags, pincushions, eyeglass cases, and specialty items for those in wheelchairs and walkers.
Margaret began here as a student in Facebook 101, revamping her Facebook page to be colorful, showcasing her beautiful designs, building a community and engaging her Eazy-Peazy fans. She’s built custom tabs to Welcome visitors to her page, and she has a separate tab for her YouTube videos as well.
Margaret focuses her email marketing on B2B, targeting quilt shops, helping them showcase her Eazy Peazy patterns to generate more sales for their shops. In Margaret’s Mastermind Consulting session, we discussed making it easier to for shops to order her patterns by linking directly to distributor webpages offering her products. Amazon has made 1-Click shopping the standard – so I suggested making it as easy as possible for shop owners to buy from her. She also integrates it into her Facebook page, letting people know when a new issue is coming out.
Margaret also took YouTube 101, making an outstanding video showcasing her Twistin’ Diamonds bag. Quilts and quilted accessories, like many products, show up better in video than they do in photographs. In a simple 30-second video, Margaret demos the features of the bag which shows up beautifully in her video!
So where has all this taken Margaret and her Eazy Peazy pattern line?
Increased her Facebook fans by 700%
Featured designer at the grand opening of Cottontail Quilts, a new retail quilt shop opening in Kennesaw, Georgia, where she wowed visitors and she sold out of many of her products.
Featured designer at Quilter’s Warehous
She’s constantly on the road making guest appearances at local quilt shops. She’s a one-woman boost to the local economy!
Showchased her patterns at the wholesale spring Quilt Market in Kansas City, where she engaged quilt shop owners and wowed them with her polish and style.
Well done Margaret! I’m proud of your success and that SocialMediaOnlineClasses.com could be part of it.
How is a business owner supposed to keep up with all of the changes to Facebook?
Ever noticed that Facebook never comes out with versions, like 2.0 or 3.0? They don’t want to do anything that would alienate you from using it. They’ve watched enough Microsoft Windows debacles to learn to steer clear of naming their latest version.
Facebook changes almost daily. It can be mind-boggling to a business owner trying to market there.
The good news? I’ve made it possible for you to get updated at breakneck speed. In just 4 short weeks, you can use the New Facebook to grow your business, increase customer spend, and get results. Facebook 101 offers all the new stuff: Timeline, Sharing posts, Admin Panel, Insights, and more.
In fact, I rocked this class with over 85% New Content (short video tutorials, quick chunked lessons, & guided assignments). So even if you’ve taken it before, it’s an entirely new class.
And now you get certified when you complete the class – you get both a certificate you can print & an online widget you can display on your website.
Sign up for Facebook 101 – you’re only 4 weeks away from rock star results.
Want to get a free, totally online social media class on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, or other awesome networking tool? You can during National Small Business month in May.
I’m celebrating our country’s small businesses by giving away Your Choice of One Free Class to 3 Lucky Winners – one of them could be You. Entering is super easy over on my Facebook page – contest starts April 25.
You could be rockin’ a new Facebook page, YouTube channel, LinkedIn profile, or Pinterest board in just 4 short weeks. So what’s your Dream Class?