Wednesday, November 8, 2017

20 Tips for Facebook Business Page Marketing



I enjoy managing Facebook Business Pages for my clients. I won't share all my secrets, for I have developed some effective strategies and methodologies that are unique.

But here are 20 basic, effective ideas on marketing a business on Facebook.

(1) Set up a Facebook Business Page and be sure to provide all the information required (About, Hours of Operation, Street Address, Contact Info, etc.).

(2) Use a cover photo (that goes across the top of the page) that shows your building or your product solving a problem for a customer, or something that's relevant and dramatic.

(3) Consider putting your business name, slogan, and phone number and street address (or email address) on the cover photo. This makes your cover photo an ad that everybody sees.

(4) Make sure your cover photo looks good in a variety of devices, especially mobile. You can find mobile device simulators online that will provide renderings of any webpage on many different devices and screen sizes.

(5) Use a profile photo of the CEO, owner, or manager to personalize the business and make it more human, less remote from customers.

(6) Use the Call To Action button in way that's appropriate to your business (make a reservation, book a room, etc.).

(7) On your About page, be sure to differentiate your business from competitors. Give a brief explanation of what your business is and what makes it special, plus what products or services you provide to what kind of customers.

(8) Post photos of CEO, owner, store manager, especially when they're interacting with customers or engaged in community service projects.

(9) Post photos of products, from various angles, by themselves and also products solving problems or meeting needs of customers.

(10) Post photos of your building, so people can have a mental image of it when they drive to your physical location. This will help them find you.

(11) If you have a physical location, tell customers about landmarks that are nearby, or the intersection, or what neighborhood your business is located in. Don't just tell them the address, which may not mean much if a customer isn't familiar with that street.

(12) Post videos of product in action, customers (with their permission) enjoying a product, tours of your facility, company events, employees happy at work, etc.

Hubspot says: "The 2017 State of Inbound report cited video as the “main disruptor,” with 24% of marketers naming it as a top priority.

“Watch video” is one of the CTAs that Facebook allows brands to add to their Pages for a reason -- because it’s becoming one of the most popular ways to consume content."

(13) Post links to news articles relevant to your business, to your industry, and to the needs and problems your customers have.

This is something almost no business does, so it's an easy way to stand out from the competition and give customers content that's interesting and helpful.

(14) Post answers to questions that customers typically ask.

(15) Post definitions of technical terms and other things that will educate your customers.

(16) DO NOT post relentless self-promotions. This makes you seem like a pushy, hard sell salesman that everybody hates. Post a nice variety of content that is not necessarily self-serving, but that gives customers good information.

(17) Post text and video tutorials about how to use your products.

(18) Post explanations of what each product's purpose is and how it achieves it, with product comparisons to help customers decide which model is best for their needs.

(19) ENGAGE with all comments. NEVER ignore remarks they make. DO NOT delete embarrassing questions, angry complaints, or tough criticisms.

Negative comments are your golden opportunity to shine, to take the high road and show how kind, understanding, and professional you are.

(20) Figure out the best timing and frequency of posting.

Generally, it's good to post from about 8 AM to 11 PM, with a focus on lunch time (when people can take a break from work and check out Facebook notifications) and a little past dinner time (around 6 PM).

My general rule of thumb is I post on behalf of my clients about every 2 to 4 hours, every single day, except Sunday.

You may think that's a lot, but if you have really good, interesting things to post, people will appreciate it and gain benefit from your postings.

Post too often -- and people may feel you're desperate or even spamming them. You'll look obnoxious and troublesome.

Post infrequently -- and people may think you have no enthusiasm for your business or no expertise in marketing. You'll look very unprofessional and boring.

********

Follow these simple guidelines and you'll be WAY ahead of your competition, I guarantee it.

Sound overwhelming? Too busy to deal with it?

I manage Facebook business page marketing for a very reasonable rate, with professional social media marketing expertise that is unmatched in the Peoria area.

Contact me today.

steven.streight@gmail.com

Monday, November 6, 2017

SEO Mistakes Made by Local Businesses



Google provides good advice on how to implement SEO on your website.

There's at least one web design company in Peoria I know of that often uses "black hat SEO", i.e. techniques to try to trick Google into thinking a website is relevant to customers.

By using these unethical techniques, a website might rise high in search results temporarily, but will suddenly drop in rankings, and may be penalized or even banned by Google.

As a business owner, CEO, or marketing manager, you should get to know what works, and what doesn't work, in SEO.

The biggest mistakes I see local businesses of Peoria, IL make on their websites are:

(1) not enough keyword-rich text that answers customer questions in an FAQ type presentation

(2) "we-oriented" text that blabbers on and on about the company, without really addressing customer needs or problems

(3) not providing photos or videos of the product in use solving a customer's problem

(4) poorly composed meta tags, especially meta description

(5) poorly implemented H (header) tags

(6) not mobile-optimized.

Here are Google Webmaster's preliminary remarks on SEO.

QUOTE

Avoid the following techniques:

* Automatically generated content
* Participating in link farm schemes
* Creating pages with little or no original content
* Cloaking
* Sneaky redirects
* Hidden text or links
* Doorway pages
* Scraped content
* Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value
* Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
* Creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware
* Abusing rich snippets markup
* Sending automated queries to Google

END QUOTE

*******

Need help with driving more customers to your website, via Google-compliant SEO?

I can provide this assistance to you, like I've done for Peoria area banks, accounting firms, law offices, hospitals, dentists, restaurants, book shops, tourism boards, chambers of commerce, manufacturers, grocery stores, and other types of business.

Contact me today.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Stop Playing Facebook Games and Quizzes



Games and quizzes on Facebook are often big trouble, and not just for innocent entertainment.

Many people I personally know have had their Facebook accounts hacked due to participating in them. Worse things could also happen.

Facebook games and quizzes often ask for extreme permissions, like access to your account and friends list, and ability to post on your behalf.

If a game or quiz has malicious intent, they can start spamming all your friends and they'll think it's coming from you. Other more criminal intentions can also be involved.

http://technology.inquirer.net/59686/hackers-using-fb-quizzes-harvest-personal-data-report

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Good synthesizer manufacturer slogans SATIRE



If synthesizer manufacturers would come up with realistic, honest corporate slogans, they might sound like this.

Rhys Hughes:

Moog - we now do 2 notes.

Roland - we are powered by impotent rage of analogue purists

Nord - building the same synth for 20 years

Yamaha - as seen on cruise ships around the world

Akai - *distant sound of landfill*
________________________________

Steven Edward Streight:

Casio - Just add some guitar effects boxes to sound good.

Korg - From little Monotron to big Kronos and everything in between including kaoss pads.

Behringer - Still ripping off other manufacturers and getting away with it.

Elektron - Once you get used to the work flow, you might like it.

Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers - Figure it out, you pussy.

Trogotronic - Ugly noise to scare the shit out of those DX7 sissies.

Dave Smith Instruments - Still innovative after inventing MIDI. Sorry about the weird Evolver interface!

Arturia - Stop saying our drums aren't 808s.

Critter & Guitari - How weird can we get?

Folktek - We just got even weirder.

Dreadbox - Spooky names to scare the crybabies at Synthesizer Freaks.

Kurzweil - How many pianos do you want today?

Novation - We do pretty lights better than anybody.

Bastl Instruments - Stranger than most, sturdier than some.

Buchla - West Coast experimental is going to cost you.

Abstrakt Instruments - How many analog basslines do you want today?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017



Marcus Lemonis invests his own money, tens of millions, into failing businesses he believes in. 

Here is THE PROFIT television show's -- "Top 10 Rules for Business Success":


(1) Don't Be An Ass.

Treat people nicely, without being a chump. Really crazy business people have zero self-awareness, it shows immediately and they will not change.

(2) Make Your Employees #1.

Customers are sometimes wrong. If you treat your employees great, you'll also have good customer relations. Hire the right people, then tap into their strengths.

(3) Know What You're NOT Good At.

Then find experts to help you. You don't need to excel at everything. But you need to find ways to make up for what you're weak at.

(4) Avoid Drama.

Sometimes you have to just accept the crazy and work around it. Family businesses bring long-festering issues and conflict into the picture. Working with friends and relatives can be very dangerous, because you may overlook bad aspects of their work and attitudes. Deal with dysfunction, build on strengths.

(5) Be Vulnerable.

Open up, let your emotions be expressed when appropriate, instead of allowing them to be repressed and boiling under the surface.

(6) Be Authentic.

Not pretentious. Your business has a story, but it must be non-fiction. Customers don't want fake narratives contrived to sell products based on falsehoods.

(7) Be Transparent.

Don't lie about anything. Be trustworthy. "Little by little, the story kept changing. He lies because he doesn't know how to do anything else. He's used to manipulating people deceitfully. I lost $300,000 on that deal."

(8) It's All About Follow-Through.

I don't run your entire business. I don't manage it forever. You must step up to the plate and perform. You must do what you agreed to do when we made the deal. You must consistently show strong leadership in your company.

(9) Know Your Numbers.

Know your production costs and sales figures. Know your profit margins. Have accurate and ethical accounting processes. The numbers are the health report for your business.

(10) Don't Blame Others.

Quit whining. Stop pointing fingers. Roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

How Customer-Centric Website Content Increases Sales


As a business, you need to be found by customers.

People who have a need that your products satisfy, they should be able to find you when they do a Google search, using keywords related to their problem.

How does your business appear high in Google search results?

SEO, search engine optimization, which includes improving your website's HTML code meta tags -- and adding better written content that answers questions asked by customers.

Most websites have HTML code that is not compliant with Google Webmaster SEO requirements. This can be easily seen by looking at the source code and comparing it with what Google recommends.

Most websites also use a company-centric approach to content, instead of a customer-centric approach. Talking about your company from your own point of view is a guaranteed way to bore and annoy customers.

Nobody wants to know more about your company.

People want to know more about solutions to their needs and problems. That's their top priority.

Business people wrongly think, "If people knew who we are and what we do, they'd buy from us."

Correct orientation is, "If we understood better what the customers need and how they talk about it, we'd be more successful at promoting our products as the solution."

Your website, your blog, and your Facebook business page should be slanted entirely and aggressively toward customer needs. Typical customer questions should be answered.

Guidance should be given to customers so they can discover which products best solve their problems.

When you show your customers how their problems can be solved, how their lives can be enhanced, how their needs can be met -- THEN they'll want to know more about your company and products.

The words "you" and "your" must dominate your online content. You'll see website traffic and sales increase dramatically when you change your content strategy to be customer-focused.

By adding more customer-centric content to your website, blog, and Facebook business page, you'll be telling Google that your business has answers that customers are seeking.

By addressing customer concerns, interests, and needs, your online presences will position your business as a leader in its field, so that Google will start making your website rise higher and higher in search results show to customers.

Your website should be working just as hard as you do. It's one of your most important sales and marketing tools.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

No Goal is a Big Reason Why Online Marketing Fails



One big reason why websites, blogs, and Facebook business pages fail to produce results is because no realistic goal was formulated.

For example, somebody decides to make a blog, and "monetize it", which means ruining it with ads.

When people visit the blog, they're repulsed by how spammy it looks, with ads cluttering the design and distracting from the blog's content.

To make matters worse, the person doesn't publish posts very often, has no understanding of SEO, and doesn't get any traffic to the blog. So the ads do nothing but annoy the few people who go to the blog.

You must develop a goal for your web presences.

"Tell people who we are, what we do, and what products we carry" is the strategy of losers. It's company-focused.

"Tell customers how their needs are met by the benefits and features our products provide" is the strategy of winners. It's customer-centric.

Blogs are primarily for SEO.

Blogs are best used to supply fresh, frequent, relevant content to Google. This savvy content positions you, in the mind of customers and in the Google algorithm, as a leader in your field, a local expert.

Then, by strategic use of a blog, your business rises higher and higher in Google search results when customers are seeking what your business provides.

While Google prefers longevity (web pages that have existed for several years or more), I've seen a client with a brand new website, brand new Facebook business page, and brand new blog, get to page 1 on Google search results in just 3 months.

This victory was achieved in spite of ferocious competition, local companies advertising on the radio and with gigantic 4 color postcards in the mail twice a month.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Bicycle Fever presentation for your organization: ACT NOW


Owner of Younger Than Yesterday and long time friend and fellow musician, Craig Moore, was happy to receive a signed copy of my book "Bicycle Fever."

My book "Bicycle Fever", written for Charles Ruppman and the Proctor Cycling Classic, in association with Bradley University, Peoria Historical Society, and Peoria Public Library, traces the evolution of bicycle technology, culminating in Peoria's role in early bicycle manufacturing and international bike racing.

Want a fascinating, educational, and humorous presentation for your group, club, or company?

I have given this presentation to Peoria Women's Club, Chillicothe Historical Society, Peoria Public Library, and others.

People laugh and learn. Interesting aspects of Peoria, and astonishing Peoria champions, are covered with amusing anecdotes and tales of bizarre daring and skill. A good time for all.

I video record my presentation, and upload it to YouTube, so those in your organization who were not able to attend can view it.

Booking now for Fall and Winter 2017.


CONTACT me at:

THANKS.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Don't Make Your Business Look Like a Bum with a Crap Website



I often see posts like "Anybody know of a kid or hotshot that can build a website cheap? Asking for a friend."

Instantly I see that someone is wanting a crappy website, just so they can say, "Check out my website." or "Visit our website for more information." They don't want to spend any money on it. They don't see the value of it. But they still think they need a website.

Why would you, if you had any professional dignity and self-worth, try to get by with a website that has no visual appeal, poor credibility, boring content, ugly colors, hard to read type font, and bad functionality?

It's like asking, "Anybody know where I can buy a rusted old clunker car that will need to be in the repair shop constantly?"

A cheap, poorly designed website -- what does that say about your business?

A website that, when you suddenly need to add videos, or photo galleries, or to shift things around in it, the web designer has moved out of town, won't respond to your emails, and leaves you hanging?

Your website, blog, or Facebook business page gives customers their first impression of your business.

Putting up a crap website is like showing up for a business meeting unshaved, stinky, wearing dirty clothes that are all ripped up.

You wouldn't want to look like a bum in a business meeting, so why should your business look like a bum on the Internet?

You need to invest some money if you want a professional website built by a reliable designer. You should also invest in good content writing and SEO implementation.

Your website represents you and your business. Make sure it shines.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Branding vs. Marketing



Branding is extremely important for any business. It's not a footnote, it's a big headline.

A rough analogy. You want to land a job interview for a high level executive position, for which you are qualified. So you buy a brand new suit, tie, and white shirt -- or you ladies buy a new business outfit and shoes.

That's similar to branding. But you don't just sit around, wearing your new interview garments, hoping the phone will ring.

After sophisticated branding, you then have to market that brand and sell your products and services.

Branding includes logos, tag lines, slogans, radio jingles, TV spokesperson, colors, CEO photos, etc. It's your identity, the first impression your business makes on customers. It's your corporate image, the company's overall personality.

Branding is based on (1) what differentiates you from your competitors, (2) how you position your company as Top of Mind Choice or Industry Leader, and (3) what problems you solve for customers.

Once you have determined what makes your company special, and describe that special aspect in terms of customer needs (NOT corporate bragging, with "we do this" boredom), you're ready to start a marketing campaign.

As a website content writer and SEO specialist, I can tell you that all your marketing material MUST be written in language your customers use.

You may have to introduce, and define, peculiar industry terminology, but most of your content must be customer-oriented and using their exact words.

All your radio commercials, TV spots, social media posts, billboards, brochures, email promotions, even down to corporate slogans and business cards, MUST be directed toward the customer's needs, problems, and interests.

It must NOT be "we-oriented", bureaucratic bloviating, corporate culture messaging. STOP doing that. STOP it right now. You need to understand how damaging it is to boast from the company's point of view.

Get to know how your customers talk about their needs. How they complain about competitors. The specific words and phrases they use when searching on Google for answers and solutions to their urgent problems.

For example, my business cards used to say "Web Content Development". That's how us IT guys and gals talk.

When I said that to clients, they'd always say, "You mean you write content for websites? You come up with the words to put in them?"

So I changed my statement to "Website Content Writing."

If you keep just this one idea firmly in mind, and judge all branding and marketing communications according to this rule, you'll be light years beyond most if not all of your competitors.

You WILL see sales and store traffic increase. Contact me for more specific recommendations for your particular business.

Monday, July 17, 2017

10 Worst Things a Business Can Do on Facebook





What are the biggest mistakes a business should avoid on Facebook?

Sprout Social lists these 5, and I add a few more....

(1) Post too many promotional messages. People are turned off by relentless, pushy ad campaigns and product announcements.

(2) Use slang and jargon that doesn't really fit with your brand or target audience (in a vain attempt to be "hip").

(3) Being impersonal, with no unique point of view, no sense of a real person behind the posts, too cold and bland.

(4) Misguided attempts to be comical, using humor that's not easy to understand -- or being satirical, but it's not obvious that satire is intended.

(5) Not responding at all, or not quickly enough, to comments, questions, complaints, etc.


I would add:

(6) Not posting information (including links to relevant news items) that positions your business as the leader in your field.

(7) Posting irrelevant information about sitcoms, Hollywood, fashion, etc. that has no bearing on what you sell, just to get a lot of Likes and comments.

(8) Not posting information about what differentiates your business from competitors.

(9) Not posting photos or videos of your products in use, solving problems for customers.

(10) Not posting videos of the CEO, business owner, or manager talking directly to potential customers, explaining how your products benefit people.