7 Checks To Make Sure Your Facebook Page Is Up To Date

Do you have a little extra time this week?

Then maybe its time to make sure you are taking advantage of all the latest Facebook features.

Its easy to get caught up in the day to day “stuff” that happens within our businesses. So much so that we forget about going back and making sure we can do all we can with what we have.

And if you’ve been over to Facebook lately, you’ll likely see additional changes all the time – have you noticed the changes Facebook Graph has put into play?

#1 Are you maximizing your cover image?

Facebook has updated its guidelines, creating more space in your cover image and loosening the restrictions on what you can display in the space. This is your prime real estate – the first thing people see when they visit your page. Make sure you display things that instantly say who you are – your award winning photos, calls to action, web address, logo and/or branding, and more.

The key is that text cannot exceed 20 percent of the cover image area.

Facebook Page Check for your Photography Page

#2 What does your profile image say about you?

Your profile image is used every time you post on Facebook and it’s the first thing people see when glancing their posts in their newsfeed. If you become value in their minds, they are more likely to stop and read what you have to say. The key is becoming recognizable.

Also, make sure you upload an image at 180×180 pixels – Facebook will size it down to 160×160, but this ensures you have a clear, recognizable image that looks good wherever it goes. If you load a large, rectangular image, you might not create the impression you are looking for.

#3 Review your tab thumbnails

Your tab thumbnails appear below your cover image and lead to the main tools on your page you want your viewers to spend time with. Make sure they capture attention.

The best way to do this is to think about what course of action you want your visitors to take, and use simple fonts, images and words to direct them there. Why do they visit you? Why do they trust you? Make sure you know why you want them there and what you want them to do once they are.

#4 Use a short description that tells people about you

Right below your profile picture is a section that can show a brief description of approximately 155 characters. This space is a great way to communicate your key ideas to your visitor.

While its important to define what you do in as short of space as possible, also consider putting your URL there as well – it’s a great way to connect people back to your site where they can get more information.

It’s easy to edit – use go to Edit Setting in your admin panel, then look for Short Description under Basic Information.

Facebook Page Descriptions

#5 Optimize your about section for search results

Many people head to their About section and type up a short description of their business without thinking much about it. This about section not only tells your viewers who you are and what you do, its also open and available to search results and can produce rankings for you as well. Focus in on your keywords and make sure you maximize them throughout the content areas. When it comes to the online world, whether its your blog, your Facebook account, or any other social site, remember to maximize information as much as possible. Your goal online is to be found, and it won’t happen unless you add as much information as possible.

#6 Choose a Facebook URL

Depending on how long you’ve had your account and how you originally set it up, you may still have a URL with “pages” and a set of numbers in it. You can update it to a custom name – and you should as soon as possible.

A customized page web address looks more professional and makes it easier for people to find your business on Facebook. If they know the name of your business and type it in to the Facebook search bar, do you come up? It also makes it easier to connect on all other online sites – and adds to your professional branding as well.

#7 Review your category

How did you originally sign up for your Facebook Page? Facebook offers a variety of category options, many of which are similar. As a new business owner, they may be a bit confusing, especially if you haven’t fully defined your business yet. Will you travel for business? Or do you primarily have clients come into your studio?

If you do have a brick and mortar studio, consider changing to a Local Business, which allows users to check into your location. Checking in raises awareness about your business to their circle of influence, and it also boosts up your search results as a part of Graph Search.

Why Facebook Hashtags Are Important To Your Business

Love Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or Pinterest? Then you’re probably use to #hashtags. And that’s the one thing that was missing in Facebook until this month.

Hashtags first started by Twitter, allow social networkers an easy way to insert themselves into real-time conversations. If you’re watching your favorite TV show and you use their Twitter #hashtag, you may see yourself coming across the screen. Attending a seminar or expo in your field? If they use a #hashtag, you can instantly provide feedback to all those following the feed.

Why Facebook Hashtags Are Important To Your Business

But why should you use this new Facebook feature? Think of it as a way of controlling traffic. Hashtags are searched, spidered, crawled and controlled more now than ever before. Hashtags aren’t just a Facebook thing – they are in all kinds of social networking sites. Meaning they are used cross-platform, meaning by using them in Facebook, you’ve now connected yourself to many other social platforms as well. Think of it as doing work in one area and having impact in many, many others.

Tips For Using Hashtags:

#The #First #Thing #You #Shouldn’t #Do #Is #Use #It #In #Every #Word
Now that hashtags have rolled out, I see people loading up their posts with hashtags – like this one.

Example of what not to do with hashtags on Facebook

Really? Does this look readable to you? Nope, and your followers won’t think so either. When you write, make sure you include one or two words per post, and use them interchangeably with real words That way as you have something to say about #photography, for instance, it flows as a real sentence. Using hashtags everywhere may seem like a good idea right now while its brand new, but in a very short period of time it’s the people that use it the right way that will come out on top. [Read more...]

3 Things You Should Be Trying On Facebook Now

Have a Facebook account? Not sure how to use it to gain more traffic and network with more people?

The great thing about Facebook is everything you need (and then some) is built right into the system. Most of its for free, you just have to know what’s out there and how to use it.

If you have an account, you probably understand how to friend new people, build a page, and post content to your newsfeed. But do you know about these:

Using Survey To Get Your Followers Involved

Are you Nikon or Canon? Do you prefer indoor portraits or on-location?

With both of those questions, you had an instant thought run through your head. That’s an automatic process – everybody loves giving his or her opinion.

And while you can ask questions in your newsfeed, with Facebook Survey, you can do more with it. Post it to your timeline or build it into your page. Even add images or YouTube videos to make it more in depth.

Facebook Survey

Then make it a regular part of your marketing and post surveys all the time. Your follower base will become more active – and you can learn more about who’s following you and what they want from your business.

Inject Your Personality Into Your Page

Too many photographers think people follow them to see their images. While that may be a big reason – they want to “test drive” you before booking you – they also want to learn more about who you are. What do you like? What do you do every day?

In no way should your Page be the common chatter you share with friends – your religious beliefs, your political beliefs, what you had for dinner last night – you can share your personality without going over the top.

Have a fantastic view of New York City sitting in your favorite restaurant? Post a picture. So much better than a daily picture of the food you’re about to consume (unless you’re a foodie photographer that is).

Photographing an engagement image? While sharing an image or two is great, take a quick image with you hugging your clients. Have your assistant take a picture of you at work with the couple. Those images are just as important because it allows potential clients to see you in action. It puts a “realness” to who you are.

Then get creative with your cover photo. Don’t make it one large image – instead use a panel with multiple images. Spend some time in Photoshop building something that makes you stand out from other photographers. And really says who you are and what you do.

Use Your Facebook Insights To Make Decisions

When was the last time you viewed your Insights? Or maybe I should ask, Did you know Facebook has Insights?

Facebook Insights

With each of your pages, you can access Insights to find out more about how well you’re leveraging your content. You can use the overview to find out how well your page is doing at a quick glance. Or dive in further and look at the details. Insights will show every post you create, how many people it reached out to, what your engagement rate is, how many are talking about it and sharing your content. You can use these numbers to help you evaluate what is successful – and what is not – and help give you direction for future posts.

Whenever you are stuck on what to write about next, your Insights can be a valuable tool to help you out.

How To Market Your Business After Facebook Goes Away

“I’m looking for ways to bring in more clients to my studio. I started my business at the beginning of 2012 and currently use my Facebook page for promotion. I have around 500 followers and post regularly. I try and get everyone over to my page when I’m out networking by using a business card to let them know how to find me on Facebook. I can’t afford a lot for marketing now so I’m looking for cheap ways of doing things. Any ideas?”

I get questions and comments like this all the time.

Because you are starting out on a shoestring budget, you head to the one place that seems the most user friendly. If you already have a Facebook profile and understand how to use it, why not set up a free page and use that too?

Makes sense. Facebook is visual. Its easy to share your photographs. And with access to hundreds of millions of people, it seems like a great place to be.

Until they start changing direction.

When Facebook went public, their entire business model changed. They no longer are working for Mark’s desires; they are working for shareholders desires. Shareholders want profits – noting else. They don’t care about one user’s happiness; they want a return on their investment.

Which means the new goal of every person working in the Facebook offices is now focused on bringing in as much money as possible.

Nothing wrong with that – that’s what businesses do.

But if you were relying on Facebook and Facebook alone to help build your business, you are most likely in for a bumpy ride. A VERY bumpy ride. And it’s already coming through.

I wrote about one of their newest features a while back:

Dig Deeper: Using Facebook Promoted Posts For Your Photography Business

And if you have been relying on a page in any way, you are probably feeling the pain. Your Facebook page is probably receiving less traffic than before, and those numbers are continuing to head down every day, even if you are increasing your likes in the process. This has coincided with the release of the “promoted posts”, and while Facebook insists it isn’t artificially driving down traffic, hoping you’ll pay more for promoted posts, it is difficult not to put the two together.

No matter if it’s a coincidence or not, if you have a page, you’re not getting the same  traffic you did a few months or even a few weeks ago.

So now its time for a lot of questions on both sides of the court.

Can Facebook strike a balance between keeping users happy with their newsfeeds, helping brands reach out to potential customers in an affordable way, all while making the profits they need to keep their shareholders happy? Only time will tell.

But one thing should be apparent to you:

If you are relying on Facebook as your sole marketing tool, its time to make a change.

Facebook may be here tomorrow … or not.

Facebook may offer brands easy ways to connect with potential buyers … or not.

Facebook may offer affordable ways to reach out to clients … or not.

Facebook may have tools to help you market your business … or not.

But one thing is for sure. Facebook won’t work the way it has in the past.

However you have been using it, however you have been relying on it, that’s changing. The only question now is are you willing to change now and see what’s really happening? Will you do something to make your marketing tools more permanent, more reliable for you? Or will you be a holdout waiting to see where this all ends?

Using Facebook Promoted Posts For Your Photography Business

Think you’re still gaining a lot of traction on Facebook simply by putting stuff into your newsfeed every day?  Think again.

This year, Facebook has rolled out with a new strategy to make money, called Promoted Posts, on both your Pages and your Personal Timeline. And while the original premise of Facebook was to allow you to quickly see what all of your friends and followers were up to, the part has now disappeared with the new newsfeed algorithm.

The newsfeed is now controlled by EdgeRank, the Facebook algorithm that factors in a variety of things when deciding what to show in your newsfeed. It looks at how often you interact with a person/page, how many people have liked that page, how many comment on it, and the type of content that is being shown. The higher the interest, the more likely it will be shown.

But even those factors alone won’t get you in front of your overall audience. Facebook itself has stated that Page posts are seen by less than 16 percent of its fans, meaning your chance of regularly influencing your audience is probably a whole lot smaller than what you thought it was.

How do you get your posts seen by more people?

The simplest way to gain traction on Facebook is to plan, create and post great information. If people like it, share it and comment on it, you will be rewarded by being more visible. In that aspect, Facebook is like Google; it wants to showcase popular, helpful, relevant material. [Read more...]

Facebook Pages or Website – Which Is Best For Your Photography Business?

You’re starting up a new photography business. You know you need to have something online.

Yet you really don’t have the money to spend on marketing. So you do what a lot of photographers do and you head on to Facebook and design a Page. You don’t need anything else, right?

Yes, designing a Facebook Page seems to be a growing trend. In 2011, US business owners spent more than $3 million designing Facebook brand pages. But are they getting their money’s worth?

According to a new study conducted by Incyte Group and Get Satisfaction, nearly 90 percent of respondents stated a company’s website – not their social network – is the preferred place to research products and services that will ultimately lead to a purchase decision. The study showed there is an extensive gap between the way consumers want to engage with companies via social media and the way companies are choosing to use those tools.

Consumers aren’t looking for a company with vast amounts of Likes, Pins or Tweets. They want relationships they can count on, personal referrals, and engagement from the company itself.

When customers are ready to buy, they want information that will help them lead to an informed decision. And that means they head right to a website.

And if you think about it for a moment and compare it to your own spending habits, you can see why that is true.

How Do You Search?

If I’m out on my social sites, I’m usually there for personal reasons. I have extra time and am looking for ways to communicate with friends and potential clients. Or I’m there sharing things to build up my own reputation. I’m usually not there to do research on whatever I may have plans of buying in the future.

When I’m doing research on what I need to buy – a new car, a new accountant, or a photographer for my daughter’s senior portraits – I don’t do my research on Facebook. Instead I start in Google and do a search to find potential companies that meet my needs. [Read more...]

How To Get More People To Your Facebook Page

The only way to get more people to your Facebook Page is to tell more people it exists.

It may be easy to send people to it by providing a link in your email, or including a Facebook Badge on your blog, but what do you do if you are out networking face to face?

Why not try a Facebook Business Card?

I’ve always loved Moo – you can find a variety of posts on here talking about how to use Moo products in your marketing materials.

Now they are helping you market your Facebook page as well.

Earlier this year, they launched Facebook Timeline cards – which was great for getting people to your individual profile. Now they are offering the same for Facebook Pages. And the best part is you can try it out … for free.

Each business can now login to Moo and get one pack of 50 cards for free. And even when your first 50 are gone, additional packs run $15 a pack. Very reasonable for a great marketing tool.

Making your Moo Facebook Cards is easy. When you sign in, make sure you click the “yes” when they ask for your data. This allows them to connect up with your Facebook account to pull the data automatically in.

Once your card is set up with your Timeline photo, personalize it. Make sure all your data is correct and its easy for people to connect up with you. You can add a favorite quote or phrase to the back of the card as well.

Tip: I love quotes and used one on the back of my first free pack. But you don’t have to stick with quotes. Think about what you do on Facebook. Do you provide tips? Do you share photos? Are you running a contest? Use that info on the back of your cards. It’s a great way to drive traffic if you’re offering an ongoing promotion.

Then purchase your cards. They are now shipping all over the world, so know matter where you live, you will probably be able to add this to your list of marketing tools.

Once you have your cards in place, use them in addition to your business cards. Yes, its okay to hand out two cards if they are both sending you to different places. When you are talking with someone, what would you like them to see? If you really want to feed them info from your Facebook account, hand over that card. If you want them to see your site for more information, hoping to convert them to a client, hand over your business card. And if you can tell they aren’t quite ready to convert to a client, or they are a great referral source, hand over both. The key is to let them follow you in the manner most convenient to them.

How Will Facebook Search Impact Your Online Experience

Imagine a world where your family has just arrived at home from a variety of events and places, and they decide they want to have dinner together. Its late – cooking would mean eating late in the evening. So they decide to call up a local pizza place. Yet they don’t want “the same old” pizza they always eat. Why not try something new?

So they head online, type in Google, and pull up a list of pizza places. If you do that right now, chances are you will get the big pizza places – Dominos, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns – whatever is big in your area. And you might get a few local places, but only the one’s that have spent extensive time and energy on search engine placement.

Maybe you wanted something new. Something that your friend at work was talking about. He mentioned a place they tried last week; now if you could only remember what it was.

In the near future, you may not have to remember. It may be possible to search based on your friends knowledge and recommendations, not just who made top ranking in Google.

And it won’t be through Google. It will be through the second largest search engine in the world.

Facebook.

Yep, Facebook.

Right now if you head over to Facebook, search involves finding a friend by typing in a name, or finding a business by typing in a keyword or a business name.

Yet if rumor has it right, they may be developing a search engine that works slightly different than Google. This search engine won’t care what keywords you use, how much you’ve paid an SEO firm, or how much you are paying for PPC. Instead, it will care about things like: [Read more...]

How To Make Your Facebook Page More Interesting

 

“I’ve been on Facebook for awhile now, yet I really have no enthusiasm for it. I post sporadically because I feel like I have to. I only have a hundred fans. And I really don’t know how to keep them interested. There is zero communication on my page, yet everyone says it has great potential. What do I do?”

Have you ever felt like that? Don’t worry, many people do.

If you have no enthusiasm for it, you will fail. Its as simple as that. So at this point you have two choices.

1. Quit using Facebook altogether for you business.

2. Choose to use it to attract new business.

If something isn’t working for you, you don’t enjoy it, and you really have no desire to make it work, why put your focus there? Instead, choose another way of marketing your business and put your concentration there instead.

Facebook is just a marketing tool – its one of thousands that exist for a small business owner. Yes, it will work if you use it right. But if you don’t enjoy it, why spend the time on it.

Yet if you decide that Facebook is truly something you want to use to attract new business, then its time to treat it like a marketing tool, and gather all of your energy up to make it work.

Are you using Facebook correctly?

Before you begin building a Facebook presence, make sure you have your accounts set up correctly. When you originally set up your account, you should have set up a personal account under your personal name. Your business should have its own Page. Browse through one of the many Pages that already exist on Facebook to gain some ideas. Then set up your own. You can use it as your business name – ABC Photography – or try creating different pages for different niches. For instance, if you focus on corporate events and weddings, the two make great stand alone businesses, and would potentially be more attractable if you separated them and created a page for each. [Read more...]

A Guide To The New Facebook Pages Timeline

You knew it was bound to happen. In January when Facebook changed Profiles to Timeline, you knew Pages would soon follow in its footsteps. And sure enough, they’ve just announced the launch of Facebook Timeline for Pages. But what does it mean for your business? How will it help you attract more business? A variety of new features are now available to help you out – here is how they work and how to use them to benefit your business.

Step One Activate Your Timeline

When you open up your Facebook Page, you will find a Preview button located at the top of your Page. Or you can visit the Timeline for Pages manager and select the Page you wish to add Timeline too.

One you enter your Page Preview, you can tour the new features, redesign your Page until you are happy with it, and Publish it once you are set. You can Publish it at any time. But be aware that on March 30, 2012, your Timeline will automatically take affect, so be sure to play around with it between now and then. [Read more...]