Effectively Using Pinned Posts

In Facebook and Twitter you have the functionality to pin a post to the top of your profile’s feed. Which means anyone visiting your profile, page or group will see that message first. It’s a useful tool for promoting key messages for your business. But it’s essential you avoid overusing the tool or misusing.

A pinned post is effective when

You use multi-media

Carefully write the post, be succinct. Check you have included key information with a smart-looking link (shrunk or a customised Bitly link). Use a powerful and relevant image that will draw people in. Video could be even more effective.

You pin temporarily

Leaving the same link at the top of your feed can look a bit stale and uninviting. How likely are users going to delve into the rest of your feed if you haven’t changed the pinned post in over a month? The timescale is relevant to the content you’re highlighting in the post but even if you haven’t finished the promotion, consider changing the text or image slightly after two weeks. That way you capture new visitors without frustrating repeat visitors.

It has a clear purpose

Ask yourself what you want people to do after reading the post? Balance the promotional tone with a sentiment which still connects followers to the subject matter. Some types of posts are likely to work better than others, such as:

  • Announcements – tell visitors about your latest business development or news. Perhaps you won an award? Or have created a video from an event?
  • Promotions – broadcast a money-off promotion or other incentive.
  • Events – drive ticket sales on the run up to an event. Make sure customers find the event info and ticket sales link in as few steps as possible.
  • New products or services – capture more users by pinning a showcase post with details of new product lines or services.

What a pinned post should not be

A bio

Your ‘bio’ or ‘about’ section should contain key information about you and your business; what you do, how you help people; how to contact you and a link to your website. People know how to find this, so repeating it all in a pinned post isn’t really helpful and could indicate you have nothing else ‘new’ to say. Your feed is a chance to dazzle people with your latest activity or photos, so don’t block the engagement with a pinned post which contains a bio.

Forgotten about!

If you’re using a pinned post for a temporary campaign or sales promotion be sure to remember to remove when that period has expired. It looks as if you lack focus and commitment on your social media activity and therefore unprofessional.

Want to learn more? Sign up to my 60-day Social Media Boot Camp for small business for £1 a day. Modules featured in this post include: Facebook community building, creating and using short links with Bitly, optimising images and video for social media, targeting quality content.

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Want to learn more about managing your content and effectively engaging customers? Subscribe to my training bulletin and get a FREE copy of 7 steps to social media success.

Read This Before You Click Boost On A Facebook Post

We’ve enjoyed Facebook being free for the simple things in life; photo sharing, funny videos and communicating with friends. But someone has to pay for the service and that is advertisers. Facebook promotions, when done right, are good value for money for small business. It’s a great way to engage new, but niche, audiences with your business plus ensure your existing page followers see key promotions. But too many small businesses hit ‘boost’ without targeting their promotion to achieve the desired results. Before you make a knee-jerk move to promote on Facebook, take these steps:

Define your goals

I  probably sound like a stuck record, as this is a mantra I live by on social media. For better campaign results, always define your goals first. In the case of a boosted post (or perhaps a Facebook advert) what is your primary aim? Web traffic, ticket sales, growing social audience? Before you hit the ‘boost’ button evaluate whether a Facebook advert is more appropriate for reaching your goals. Boosts are usually effective for growing the audience of a particular promotion or piece of news, rather than promoting your page or website.

Use quality text and images

Ensure your message is clear plus has all the key information with no grammatical errors. Select a quality, relevant image; remember this is likely to be the strongest connection with the audience and ensure they read and click. Optimise the image for Facebook, remember that ad sizes are different to feed post images.

Target carefully to your desired audience

Facebook will ask you to refine the targeting by age, gender and location. Be wary of the latter, as it relies on people setting their location to where they really live. If your promotion is location dependent, you may want to consider including a wide mile radius around the most populated area within that area. The same applies to ‘interests’, many of these are still driven by U.S. users, so may not have many engaged U.K. users within that community. Also consider, if you have a fan base over 500, that promoting to your existing fans and their friends may be enough to get good engagement results and business leads.

Don’t blow the budget

A small business came to me for advice last month. They were spending £100 a week on boosted posts and while they were getting fantastic viral reach, the engagement (clicks, likes, shares, comments) was poor. Plus they weren’t tracking how many leads were being generated from the campaign. Therefore, there was no way of knowing if they could spend half that amount, target better and achieve the same return on investment. Apportion 20% of your campaign budget for a couple of days testing the boost.

Monitor, refine, monitor, refine

After selecting your perimeters, Facebook will give you an estimated reach which should tell you how many may see the advert but that does not necessarily mean they will engage with it. It’s key to monitor activity during the first 24 hours, after which refine the targeting if you’re not achieving the desired results. You know your customers and audience best, so invest a little time in small, cheap promotions to test your campaigns. You can grow your activity from there – with confidence too!

Want to learn more? Sign up to my mailing list and be first in line for places on my on-line training dates. Or book a mentoring session with me for a bespoke approach to your business goals. Let me fill in your knowledge gaps and reduce the overwhelm. Contact hello@claritaco.co.uk for more on how I can help you today.

Spellcheck For Content Success

Are you wondering why your social media posts aren’t getting the engagement you think they deserve? It could be as simple as checking spelling, grammar and syntax.

The internet is rife with poor use of written language. It doesn’t particularly matter when it’s our mates posting hurriedly from their phone with a few typos but when a business posts messages riddled with errors it has a different impact.

2016-04-25 18.52.24-1As a business, you’re engaging with people using social media to influence them into buying your product or use your service. Therefore the reader is only likely to react, comment or share your post if they feel what you are saying is of value or interest.

In order to do that, a business needs to stand out with their messaging. But there’s little use in having amazing campaign creative or beautiful images if the accompanying commentary is poorly written.  Here’s why:

1. It looks unprofessional. Why would someone invest their hard-earned cash on your service or product when you can’t spell or post live without correcting finger slips on the keyboard. On Facebook there’s no excuse, you can go back and edit. On Twitter you can delete the message and repost. But even then you could be penalised by their algorithm for posting duplicate content.

2. It’s a waste of time for the reader. While skimming their feed, people are unlikely to stop and spend time trying to decipher a misplaced apostrophe or misspelled word. They’ll skip reading and move on to something which pulls them in more fluidly.

3. It looks like you don’t care. If can’t make the effort to make sure your messages read well, then it could come across as not caring about your customers. So why would they bother with you?

4. It’s not shareable content. People are highly unlikely to share posts with poor grammar with their followers as it equally looks bad for them.

It’s all avoidable. When mentoring clients, we work together to find a process for producing content which works for them. Planning ahead is key: pre-write posts for the week or month then check them after you’ve finished the content and check again before pressing ‘publish’.

I believe EVERY business can produce engaging flawless content. Sign up to my newsletter for details of forthcoming training courses and content workshops.

Social Networking Is A Two-Way Street

Many businesses contact me at BrightonMums.com through Facebook and Twitter to access our parent network of followers. Which is great, as it helps us keep up to date on local enterprise and offers for customers. But many of the messages come across confused and sometimes a little rude.

social network
The social network is surprisingly…social!

Social media presents a huge opportunity for smaller locally based business. It’s low cost in terms of investment, although requires a bit of time to prepare content and network with other users. But as small businesses are geographically closer to their customers, they can connect through shared experience of the local areas, creating content that is instantaneous and current.

I have worked with various companies, large and small, offering training and content strategy to harness the power of social media to support their business goals. I get most excited when working with small companies and niche offerings because of the huge potential.

Here are a few of the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ for local business to achieve social networking success:

1. Network on social media platforms as if you’re networking a room. You wouldn’t approach someone at a business networking event, tell them what special offers you have on at the moment, then walk off! Be polite, introduce yourself, be clear why your message may be of interest to that person and their followers.

2. Know your audience. Before you tag someone, make sure you read that persons profile, blog or any other public content they produce and share. Understand their interests and motivations. Check your analytics at least monthly to see who is reading, clicking and commenting and when.

3. Read, favourite and share or retweet content from others. Comment on their posts in a professional, relevant way but show that your business has a personality and takes interest in their potential customers.

4. Don’t spam. Repeatedly tagging on Twitter or posting on a Facebook page wall without interacting or at least reciprocating a share or retweet is spam. Cultivate a common connection through shared experience relative to your business or organisation. You are most likely to imprint your business in their memory, given the thousands of messages we read on social media each week.

5. Acknowledge your followers. Thank and welcome them to your feed privately or publicly. Respond to any messages within 24 hours where possible and if appropriate.

6. Focus on your content. Make it relevant, engaging with vital marketing information but also posts that will enhance readers’ lives. Think of the busy parent, looking for life hack ideas or activities for families and what your business can offer. Remember that images and video are often shared much more than plain text with web links.

We LOVE our organically grown social media network, built through hours of targeted engagement by our own hand (not promoted posts!). We have a relative high level of engagement, meaning we’ve attracted quality followers who connect with our message.