The best time to post isn’t always the best time to post.

The best time to post isn’t always the best time to post.

Ok stay with me on this one and I will explain what I mean.

For anyone using social media, you know the difficulty in ensuring people see what you are putting out there. With constant changes to newsfeed algorithms, ease of getting lost amongst other posts and the encouragement to pay for your posts to be noticed, social media managers and business owners alike are pulling their hair out. It’s true, so don’t feel alone.

The best time to post.

If you have done any research at all trying to figure out post and page engagement on social media pages like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you would have come across the “best times to post” from a number of social media experts, but is this helping you?

The research is right, different networks attract people at different times of the day. Facebook for example seems to go off later at night, whilst Twitter and LinkedIn thrive in business hours. Depending on the audience you are targeting and the network you are using can determine when you should be posting your content, but think about this…..

If everyone is doing the same thing, kind of, and posting at the “right times” it makes the newsfeed a very competitive and saturated place to be. Your poor little post will need to be awesome to get noticed, or be boosted or sponsored. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying do not post at these times, I am just saying we should remember to post at some irregular times too.

I have found in my own experiences that sometimes when I post at a time when is not “the right time” that I often get a better response. Hmmm…. could this be because the competition is asleep or newsfeeds are empty? Sure you might not get the biggest audience, but you have got a good chance of being seen by the people who do happen to be online.

Stay random. Create your scheduled posts and use the recommended time frames. Use your page insights to see when your audience is most engaging with your posts. Now try something different for a week. Offset your post by about two hours later into the day or night. Monitor it again, and see what changes. Think about your product and the buyers you attract, what would their daily routine be like? When would they be surfing the net?

Experiment the shit out of it!

The best advice I can give you is to try. If your social media posts or email marketing campaigns are not being noticed or engaged with, mix it up a bit. Change the times you schedule them for. The best feature about social media is the reports and analytics. (Email marketing packages from Xmedia Digital Solutions include campaign analytics too!) Check your page insights to see what your posts are doing. Reach will give you an idea of how many people are seeing the content, whilst post engagement will show how many are actually taking notice. Don’t be worried if your page engagement is low, as a lot of the time, people interact with your post in their newsfeed and never even visit your page. I find post engagement comes down to content – don’t sell, stay intriguing, and border on the line of click-bait.

Some people like to post a couple of times a week, myself, I am a big fan of a few posts a day, especially on Facebook. This way you are giving yourself a chance to grab the attention of a different audience, especially if they are a good 6-12 hours apart. Social media engagement stops as soon as your posts do (majority of the time). Sure it might look post heavy when you look at your page, but remember, most of the time people are seeing your content in their newsfeed not on your page. If you are posting a couple of times on the same day, keep the content different or try another approach, otherwise it could become intrusive in newsfeeds.

Paid advertising is different of course, as these posts will be automatically inserted into newsfeeds at ideal times (depending on your budget). What I am predominantly referring to is organic posts on social media, the ones that cost you nada, not a cent!

As with most online marketing, your social media campaigns should be consistent and always evolving. With real time analytics and insights, you would be crazy not to experiment. Don’t trust the experts alone, experiment with your social media posts yourself. Learn what works best and go hard.

In my business, I look after a number of social media accounts, and they definitely have different audiences that engage in different ways and times.

What do you find works best on your social media pages? I hope this article helps you, especially if your page has become stale and you are not sure where to go next with it. Try something new. See what your competition is doing. If all else fails, I can do it for you for a little while, there is nothing like a fresh pair of eyes on your campaign efforts!

Dave out.

 

Is this the end for Facebook?

Is this the end for Facebook?

The social network that is loved and hated by many is evolving. For good or for bad, we can only wonder what the future of Facebook will hold.

In the early days of Facebook, there was always much love for original content from users, including family holiday snaps and news about recent outings and happenings. I remember getting on to my Facebook account and creating photo albums of recent roadtrips, happy holidays and family adventures. It was a great place to share with your friends and family, especially those abroad.

With Facebook pushing more sharing of content, the newsfeed of most users started filling up with more staged content from professional users. This included blog articles, viral videos and content that Facebook knew would encourage even more sharing. As a consequence, Facebook has seen a drop in original content. Will this affect the Facebook business empire?

The truth is, Facebook is still growing at a phenomenal rate when it comes to users, although the content being put in front of us is constantly being changed. It seems the latest newsfeed algorithm promotes more original content and status updates, or what Facebook calls “Original Broadcast Sharing.’

With professional content creating a public stage, many users are afraid to engage….

It is a strange turn of events as Facebook once pushed professional content from media companies and celebrities, whilst now, they seem to be returning to their roots putting organic content first.

What does this mean for business pages?

Well we are still finding it super important for business owners to create and manage a Facebook page for their brand. It comes down to the same old reasoning: if you are not on there, someone else could be talking about your brand behind your back. We still recommend having a page, although what you do with it might be a little different now.

If you want your Facebook business page content showing up on people’s newsfeed, you need to create unique content that is useful. ie. content that promotes user sharing such as a guide or review, or something that is super interesting like a video or photo. Keep your posts real, people are not looking for sales pitches and ads, they want to know your brand, from the inside.

Of course, post engagement is nothing without some Facebook promotion through post boosts or page promotional ads. For a business, Facebook advertising is still a great way to find your target audience. It allows specific targeting of demographics such as location, gender, age and interests. We usually recommend a share of social ads on Facebook as part of an online advertising package.

The other three.

Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are starting to jump ahead when it comes to post engagement and content sharing. The once overshadowed social networks are now receiving love for their specific traits. Twitter’s short posts allow more regular tweeting and appeal to this generation’s shorter attention span, LinkedIn is great for sharing business news and brand information, whilst Instagram is all the rage now with people making small fortunes on the platform, and not just business owners.

Which one to choose.

When it comes to marketing your brand, think about where your audience will most likely be. Are they more corporate users that will be found during business hours on LinkedIn? Perhaps they would see your posts between photos of everyone’s lunch on Instagram? Maybe short and sweet Twitter content is what they love, instant information and updates?

It can be time consuming to manage multiple social network pages, but it can also be very well worth it for business owners. Think of your social networks more like another channel of communication. You have your phones and email, now you also have Facebook Messenger and Twitter.

Content creation for all posts still needs to be professional, you are a business after all, but do not avoid sharing news and photos of staff achievements, events and milsetones. Your current clients will love seeing what is happening with the business, and potential clients will get an idea of trust and realism of your brand.

More clients from Facebook.

Since starting off business in early 2009, our clients have come from a lot of social networking. This stems back even before business pages were the thing to have. We found building trust in the business brand and name amongst friends promoted enquiries and sales leads.

Now as they say, word of mouth is the best advertising, and we get a lot of referrals not just from past clients, but also from Facebook where people have shared or passed on brand details. Think about it, when you are looking for a service, are you more likely to call someone you just found on Google, or someone your friends are raving about? Who would you give more trust to?

With over 50 percent of our enquiries coming through Facebook and social media channels, we still find it super important to have an active Facebook business page.

For now, Facebook is not going anywhere, it is just changing things up. For business owners, this means watching your page insights to see what type of posts work best for your audience, and creating content that suits each network accordingly.

We offer online reputation monitoring and social media content marketing. This means we monitor the new channels of communication you now have with social media, as well as create useful content for your audience. From blog articles to images and events, we can keep your social network pages looking great!

Follow our blog for more helpful articles on social media and online marketing. Let us know what you would like to read about in the comments below.

How to Setup a Facebook Page and make Friends

How to Setup a Facebook Page and make Friends

When it comes to building your brand online, I recommend social media as part of your marketing plan. For small business, entrepreneurs and startups it is the perfect way to start creating an audience for what you do or offer.

Social media pages can be a bit overwhelming to setup and there are so many new social networks to choose from. For most businesses, I would recommend starting with Facebook, and then considering at least two of the following; Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Instagram.

LinkedIn and Twitter are looking to be the best for content marketing in 2016, overtaking Facebook in terms of audience engagement. Instagram and Pinterest are great for sharing images of your brand, giving it a personality as well as likable content.

NEED YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGE SETUP FOR YOU? CLICK HERE!

A Facebook page for your business is super simple to setup. First, sign in to your Facebook account like you would normally do. I assume you have a Facebook account here, but if not, visit Facebook.com and sign up.

Once you have logged in, in the main drop-down menu at the top right of your page, select CREATE PAGE.

You will then be presented with a page to select your type of business. Choose what suits your business best. If your business has a physical address or shop, be sure to select local business as this will allow people to check in, add reviews and also creates a map and location on your about section.

From here Facebook just asks a little more about your business. Fill in as much as you can, although remembering you can also update or add to this later after the page is created.

Facebook will prompt you to like your own page first, as well as sharing it with fiends and doing some Facebook ads for it. For now, I would recommend skipping all of this while you setup your page with cover and profile images, about us info, and a few posts to show off what your brand is about.

Be sure to add it to favourites though as this will make it easy to find. Check out the video from Facebook business below for a guide, and if you get stuck, check out this page: www.facebook.com/business/learn/set-up-facebook-page It has a great video tutorial.

Next we need to create likes and followers on our pages.

There are many ways we can create likes for our new Facebook page. If you want to share it with your friends and family, be sure to invite them to like your page. This is a great way to start as then their friends will see that they have liked your page, and they will be prompted to like it too.

Creative content on your page that is both likable and shareable is great. When people start sharing your content, this can then engage more people through Facebook stories. People will see “John liked this photo on this page” in their newsfeed. This is the beginning of viral content, and when it starts getting shared around more and more, your engagement level of your page will go through the roof!

facebook page content

Creating happy and positive content always helps, and not a sales pitch in sight!

We can also look at Facebook advertising. This is nothing like your usual advertising like print, radio or tv. Facebook advertising targets specific demographics such as location, gender, age and interests. This means you can put your brand right in front of your target audience, although bear in mind, no sales pitches needed here.

What works best in my experience for Facebook ads is likable content that gives your brand a personality or story. Of course competitions and giveaways work great  too!

GET A TARGETED AD CAMPAIGN SETUP TODAY!

Sharing your own content is also a great way to get attention for your brand. If you don’t want it on your own page profile, consider using links to your content on blog posts, your website, other people’s blogs and on other social networks. Be careful not to spam, as this can create negative affects on your brand. I like to create content on my websites and then share that to Facebook. Firstly if people are liking my articles on Facebook, it creates interaction and conversation. Secondly, it lets your social followers find your website presence which creates new traffic that is already interested in your brand, the perfect audience for creating a sales lead.

Two things to remember about Social Media.

Think about this yourself, when you jump on Facebook or most other social networks, you are normally doing so to connect with friends, family and things you like. This means no in your face sales pitch, no spamming with special offers and advertising material. Get creative with your posts and Facebook ads. Create brand awareness through storytelling, photos of your product, shop or staff, and news updates. Think about the audience you are trying to appeal to, their age and interests and post specific to them.

Secondly, work out when to post. The time of day you post content can greatly affect who even sees your post. This also changes between networks. As a general rule, a lot of social media content is shared after hours as this is when majority of people jump on Facebook and other networks. It’s a bit different for networks like LinkedIn and Twitter which works great during the day.

It is best to work out what your audience likes. Try posting at different times of the day and check the insights tab of your Facebook page. This will show you who is engaging with what post at what time of day. There are also a lot of other useful information in the insights tab so keep an eye on it! Use this information to make your advertising better suited to your target audience.

Does this sound all too much? Me and my team would be happy to help with social network page setup, Facebook advertising or content management. We look after some big brands like Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota as well as offer page setup like Performance Spares.

Be sure to like the Xmedia Digital Solutions Facebook page for more content on building your brand.

Google Ads vs. Social Media: This is how it affects your business marketing.

Google Ads vs. Social Media: This is how it affects your business marketing.

There are a myriad of marketing options out there for your business, but which one is right for you?

For the sake of this article, I am going to remove the traditional “offline” options such as television, newspaper and radio, although we do recommend combining these with your online solutions in some cases.

What is Search Advertising?

You may have been told by marketing agencies or other business owners that paid search advertising is the only way to go. What are they referring to? Search advertising covers Pay Per Click(PPC) advertising, click through campaigns(CTC) and website optimisation. When it comes to instant results and bang for buck, search advertising is the way to go. Done right it can yield enormous additions to the traffic hitting your website or online shop.

PPC and CTC include paid services like that of Google AdWords where you can bid on relevant keywords. Ads usually show up on the Google search page in the top or right hand column sections as sponsored results. They also appear on blogs and websites that are using Google Adsense to moneytise their pages. The exposure for your brand can be very substantial, and there are lots of add-ons like re-targeting, dynamic ads and realtime analytics.

Why should I consider Social Media then?

Whilst search advertising can bring instant traffic across your website, shop or landing page, social media allows you to build up a reputation or image for your brand.

It allows for businesses to create communities of followers that make up your ideal audience. Think about it for a minute, most people are on Facebook and Twitter in their own time, catching up with friends or family, the last thing they want is product promotions and sales pitches in front of them.

Content needs to be geared towards the lifestyle of the brand. Look at Monster Energy for example, their online content strongly follows motocross events and racing. By sharing pictures and news about motocross, people are more likely to link that brand with motocross, and when at these racing events, will often choose the brand they know and trust (or have seen before), Monster Energy. Same can be said with brands like GoPro action cameras, rather than marketing the product directly, the logo can be seen on lots of action sport athletes and their gear.

Do some research and check out the bigger brands like Nike, RedBull and Coca Cola. Do you see a familiar process happening here?

Which one is Better?

Both forms of marketing have their advantages, although their differences can be best described as active vs passive advertising. Whilst search engine traffic is usually from an actively searching user, social media traffic is passive and often results in lower traffic and engagement. One of the bigger benefits of social media over paid search results is cost. You can throw a lot of money at Google AdWords to get your ads showing to the right audience, whilst social media will steal away a lot of your time (and patience).

I believe a business should be using both forms of marketing. There is no denial that social media will help build trust in your brand, and create awareness or your services or products, whilst paid search advertising will build more sales leads.

If you have created a sales funnel on your website that leads to collecting either an enquiry or an email address, both advertising mediums can be utilised to build on this.

How do I manage Online Advertising?

You can try to tackle online advertising yourself, and there are lots of tutorials on how to setup Google AdWords. It’s free to get started, so maybe give it a go today. Just visit adwords.google.com

Social media pages are also able to be created yourself. Start with Facebook. Select Create A Page on the signup screen, and from there, you can start entering details about your business.

My business can setup both forms of marketing for you and can sometimes prevent a lot of hair pulling madness. I find this is very popular with those that try to steer away from those evil computers!

What kind of online marketing have you tried using for your brand?

Read This Before You Put Your BRAND on INSTAGRAM!

Read This Before You Put Your BRAND on INSTAGRAM!

With all the social media accounts we manage and setup, I get a lot of  interest in Instagram, people asking whether they need to have an Instagram account for their business page, or is it worth doing for their brand. In short, yes!

The platform is a great way to create a community, use pictures to attract the right audience, as well as linking in with it’s parent company Facebook for advertising.

The Right Tools for the Job.

Now it’s like everything else in business, you need to use the right tools for the job. In this case, Instagram requires you to be active in finding your audience. How do you do this?

Find other brands in your field and look at their users and like counts. If you find an image has got a high number of likes and comments along with the type of audience you are looking to create for your brand, examine the post and work out what brought those people there.

Use hashtags. Love ’em or hate ’em Hashtags make the world go round on Instagram. They help people find what they are looking for, relevant posts and brands they want to follow. Try searching a few things you like and see what hashtags the post has used. The secret to hashtags is using them the right way. More on that in a sec.

Create a bio that tells all about your brand as well as creating that want for more. Try a giveaway such as a free ebook. The Instagram bio is the one place where a URL link will actually work so don’t waste the opportunity. It is often beneficial to create a landing page just for users from Instagram to land on. Make it an offer to obtain or learn something. It is a great way to help build your mailing list!

Use quality images! I can’t stress this enough. Think about what gets your attention when scrolling through a feed of images. If you aren’t creating your own, be sure to use quality stock images, and upload them in the right size to match the layout – 1080px by 1080px for square photos, 1080 by 1350 for vertical photos, and 1080 by 566 for horizontal photos.

Timing your posts is super important. Try to work out when your ideal audience gets online. A lot of the time, this comes down to trial and error, you will need to try a few posts until you get this sorted, then go for gold!

To Hashtag or Not to Hashtag.

You either hate them or love them, the hashtag has become one of this centuries well known words, often associated with the duck face and selfie crowd, they can be evil, but also oh sooo good for your branding.

Think about a hashtag or tag, as sorting for posts and images. If you had a whole heap of photos, you might sort some into family, some into business and the rest into randomness. On Instagram, we can do this by using hashtags. For example, a photo of you and the kids might use the hashtag #family or #lovedones

Try searching using hashtags and it will help you get a better understanding and appreciation of the tool. Now create a list of hashtags that are relevant to your audience. Once again, look at posts from other brands similar to yours and see what attracts the most. Super important: Don’t just use your brand name for hashtags. Especially when you are just starting out, no one is going to be looking for it. Throw it amongst a few other hashtags.

How much of a good thing is too much? The sky is the limit with hashtags, but we usually recommend a max limit of around 25 – 30. Sometimes it can be beneficial to break your list up. Post some below your post content, and the rest in the comment section. Try revisiting older posts and put relevant hashtags in the comments section. With the right tags, you will see this post being found again. A great way to recreate traffic to older yet still important posts!

In Summary…

  • Create an epic bio that tells people what you do.
  • Use the bio link to get people to your website.
  • Post Quality Images
  • Use Hashtags Correctly
  • DO YOUR RESEARCH!

Is there anything you would add to the list?

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