Posts tagged facebook
Changes are coming to Facebook... Again...

It’s almost become a joke among marketers and business owners, what change is Facebook going to announce this year? It seems like the New Year brings a new announcement from the social media giant, who seem to be perpetually rolling out changes that seem mostly geared towards business presence, ad sales, and curating content for its members.

After a troubling 2018 and mass concerns regarding privacy breaches and inauthentic content and accounts, many subscribers and investors were left wondering how Facebook would address these issues in 2019.

In a lengthy essay written by Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s website, we’re able to see the new vision of the social platform, and that is overwhelmingly privacy. So, what does that mean for both private members and business owners? Let’s break it down a little bit.

Private Messaging

The first thing to talk about is the overall vision of what this new privacy based platform would like. Many people are guessing that Facebook will start to look more like the popular messaging platform, WhatsApp. This means that your messages will now become encrypted, so that they are only visible to those that are having the conversation, and not even Facebook itself will be able to access the content.

Privacy advocates are applauding the move, while some government agencies are expected to push back, stating this move will drastically increase the spread of harmful content, and hamper Facebook’s ability (and promise) to stop the spread of “fake news” on it’s platform.

Smaller Groups

Outside of it’s change in it’s messaging policy, something that has left a lot of marketers scratching their heads is Zuckerberg’s likening of Facebook becoming less like a town hall broadcasting information, and more like a private living room, with private conversations. This is where things get murky.

While we’re still unsure what this change will look like, it seems to imply that business communications will be limited to private groups and advertising. It’s assumed that ad prices will rise, and targeted groups will become smaller and more engaged. How businesses will be able to target is still up in the air, as privacy concerns and Facebooks new commitments, means less information available to marketers.

Commerce

Another hint from Facebook has been a focus on a commerce platform that allows you to buy and sell or collect payments from family and friends. We’ve seen this become more popular among Facebook Marketplace and private Buy/Sell/Trade groups - although at this time payments are processed through PayPal or private transactions. What will be interesting to see is how businesses will be able to tap into this new revenue stream, or if will be strictly focuses on private sales.

Overall, I don’t think this means the end of Facebook for Business, but I do think it will mean that organic reach will continue to go down. In addition, I think the clever ways businesses have used to get around things (like utilizing groups) will become less effective as privacy goes up. However, I do believe the audience may become even more valuable as they become more targeted and engaged - just be prepared to open up your pocket book to reach them.

Facebook for Business in 2019

Even if you’ve pushed against it, all business owners have somehow been exposed to Facebook and it’s power to advertise and promote your business. You’ve probably also heard about the massive changes that the New Year seems to bring to the platform and how businesses can take advantage of it.

2018 was the year brought the massive news feed changes. It reduced businesses organic reach and shifted all of our focus pretty heavily towards advertising. As soon as we started to adjust to that, Facebook got hit with some pretty serious data protection claims, which has now changed the game in what information advertisers can access and how they can target their ads to potential customers.

So, as we enter 2019, this leaves us scratching our heads, wondering, “What is happening?” What are the next big changes coming up to Facebook in 2019, and what does that mean for us as businesses?

Well, in order to answer that question, I turned to someone a little smarter than me… Google. After doing some research (and combining it with what I’ve seen for myself and my own clients), I’ve come to a few conclusions.

  1. Ad pricing will rise - As organic reach continues to shrink, and the demand for ad space on the platform continues to rise, it’s just a classic supply and demand issue. Ad costs will go up, and it’s going to become more and more expensive for businesses to break through and show up in the newsfeed.

  2. Facebook/Instagram Stories - While Facebook stories haven’t taken off like Instagram ones have, the ability to shop right inside, and offer full screen video and still advertisements, it’s no wonder they have caught the attention of advertisers. Think about how you can utilize these, especially if you’ve found your newsfeed ads losing steam.

  3. Video, Video, Video - We seem to say it in everything we write and it couldn’t be more true on Facebook. Video is continuing to take over, and with new video creation tools offered right inside the ads manager, it’s becoming easier for smaller businesses to take advantage of it.

  4. Look-a-like Audiences 2.0 - That’s right, while you may not be able to target based on off-platform behavior yourself anymore, the new Look-a-like Audiences will help you better identify your own audience, and find those who are similar in values and behavior.

Want to see some of the other things that may be important when it comes to Facebook in 2019? Check out this article I found to read more, and happy Facebooking!

Want more trainings and classes on growing your business online in 2019? Check out The Digital Marketing Hub!

Are you ready for all this?

Oooohhh I'm SUPER excited about some of the AMAZING content I just launched for June!

What's got me so pumped? Let me break it down for you...

The June Masterclass is all about the #1 way to reach your target market.

With all this  noise around GDPR, it has people wondering. Is email marketing even worth it? Spoiler alert: YES! Check out the latest Masterclass to learn my best practices, favorite email platforms (some are FREE), and best ways to grow your email list with engaged followers

This Month's "Ask Hubble" Podcast is all about some social media hacks.

Hacks you say? That's right, I've got a guest on with me and we're diving into how you can still get around the new Facebook algorithm to get some real organic views (YUP! It's still possible!), AND talk about how you can use Google+ to get some real website traffic.

Oh, and our Guest Expert Training is giving you the exact steps she used to go from $0 to $10K months in less than half a year.

Oh yeah... We've got online growth expert Melodi Maxton spilling some MAJOR secrets on how she organically grew her business WITHOUT a following, social media presence or website. Interested to find out how she did it?  

All of this content (PLUS one more Guest Expert training on how you can make passive revenue WITHOUT creating your own online course or product)  is brand new this month inside The Digital Marketing Hub!

So head on over and get instant access to all of this PLUS some amazing past trainings inside The Hub!

Budgeting for Advertising - How Much Should You Spend?
How much you should budget to spend on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and GoogleAdwaords.

Whenever we bring up the topic of digital advertising we always get the same question, over and over again. How much does it cost? This is a tough one to answer. Knowing how much to spend on your digital advertising is really dependent upon your business, time of year, and frankly, what you have to spend. The great thing about digital? Even the smallest budgets can succeed online, which is especially helpful for small businesses that are priced out of the more traditional options, like newspaper and TV.  We've pulled together some basic guidelines on what you should be prepared to spend if you really want to start seeing your online ads make a difference for you. Again, remember these are just general guidelines and should be adjusted to fit what you find works best for your individual business (testing is always important).

Facebook
The big kahuna. The main one. The platform everyone wants to be on. With an estimated 33.76 BILLION (that's right, billion with a "B") expected to be spent on Facebook ads in 2017, both local and national advertisers alike know that this is the place to be. However, with so many options available it can be hard to know exactly what you should be spending on each of the different types of campaigns.

  • Like Campaigns - While guaranteed to get you likes, it can be a little hard to know if the people liking your page are truly interested in your business. Keep these budgets small, starting around $50 for a 3 or 4 day run. See how they perform and go through the list of who liked your page to see if any seem "off" or "spammy". Then wait a few weeks to see if engagement has gone up or these new likes are paying off.

Total Spent Per Campaign: $50, Expected Cost Per Like: $1

  • Boosted Post - Again, jury is out on whether these are effective or not so keep the boosted posts to only those things that are truly important. Limited your boosting to your own fan base can be beneficial to ensure you reach all the fans that you just can't get to relying on organic reach alone. Save targeting people outside of that existing fan base (those that already like your page) for a more traditional FB advertisment.

Total Spent Per Boosted Post: $10-$30

  • Advertisement - For more traditional advertisements (whether they be static image or video ads) start small here and gradually increase your budget over the course of a few days. Studies show that throwing large amounts of money at your ad off the bat actually ends up costing you MORE per lead in the long run. Another benefit of this strategy is that you can test different ads and target groups slowly with less money and then increase spend on those that you find are working for you. Plan on hitting a target of at least $30 to $40 per day (this can go up to hundreds of dollars per day if your budget allows) and being about to sustain that for a minimum of 5-7 days to really see ad impacts.

Total Spent Per Campaign: Start at about $10-$20 per day, Slowly increase in $5 or $10 increments daily depending on overall budget and time of campaign. 
Expected Cost Per Lead: $3-$5

Instagram
Another Facebook owned platform, Instagram is quickly being indoctrinated into the FB advertising fold. While they haven't touched algorithms around what's appearing in Instagram newsfeeds (yet), it's getting harder and harder to reach new users and followers without the use of ads. If you're adding Instagram ads on to Facebook ads (which you can do right through the Facebook Ads Manager), plan on following a similar budget and strategy as your Facebook ads.

Total Spent Per Campaign: Start at about $10-$20 per day, Slowly increase in $5 or $10 increments daily depending on overall budget and time of campaign.
Expected Cost Per Lead: $3-$5

Pinterest
Ahh Pinterest! The underappreciated and underutilized advertising platform, for small businesses especially. With the common misconception that Pinterest advertising is way too expensive and out of reach, not enough small business are jumping on this bandwagon. But we're here to tell you, it's WAY more affordable than you think! There hasn't been any evidence of needing to "start small" in Pinterest like you do in Facebook, but if it's your first time running ads on the platform it's always better to try testing with a smaller budget first to see if it's something that works for you. Plan on about $20-$30 per day (but feel free to go up from there) and about $100 - $500 per campaign. 

Total Spent Per Campaign: $100 - $500, Expected Cost Per Click: $.25-$1

Google Adwords
Once the king of all online advertising, competition is fierce. Google is THE search engine with the majority of searches done within it, it's no wonder advertisers are clamoring to get their brand in on it. However, with this one we like to say, “buyer beware!". While it can be effective, it's taking increasingly more and more money to outbid competition. In addition, users are getting very savvy to knowing what are "ads" and what is real, organic content. Latest studies show that about 60-70% of people searching tend to skip past the ads altogether and jump right to organic search. Good news? 30-40% of people are still clicking so there is still value in the platform, just be prepared to expand your budget.

Total Spent Per Campaign: $500 - $5,000, Expected Cost Per Click: $2-$15+

How To Optimize Your Facebook Ads
Learn Hub Digital's quick tips on how to optimize your facebook ads.

Ok, so if you've had anything to do with Facebook in the past decade (that's right, Facebook has been around now for over 10 years!), you've noticed that it's gone through some major changes. What once was a mecca for small business owners who were looking for organic reach and inexpensive advertising, has now become a frustrating place of lost content just floating around with no one paying attention to it.

Algorithm changes over the past few years has significantly decreased the organic reach of business pages. It's gotten to the point now, where on average a business owner can expect that only 2% of the people who like their page will organically see what they've posted. As someone who spends a significant amount of time researching, creating and editing content to send out to the masses, that is a bummer. There's nothing worse than knowing you have something really important to say, without an audience to say it to.

Well, once you've mourned the loss of your organic reach (because trust us, it's not coming back), it's time to buck up and make the best of it. Despite some challenges, there ARE ways you can get great reach on the social media platform at a lower cost than other outlets, and those are Facebook ads. Trying them out? Below we're breaking down just a few tips to help you optimize your ads to ensure they're working the best for you.

1. Spend some time researching your audience and target them. When you're looking to target your ad don't just go by geographic area. Take some time to do some research on some of your existing audience's interests and likes. On Facebook you can target by general interests, things they've looked at on the web, and even other complimentary Facebook pages they've liked. Spending some time playing with the interest categories available for targeting can make a HUGE difference in your ad performance.

2. Pick the ultimate pic.  Ahh the ad image. This is always the most difficult (for many people) when designing an ad. The image is the first thing people will see when scrolling through their newsfeed so you want to make sure it not only makes sense with your content, but that it's attention grabbing as well. Find something with bright colors, interesting designs or a little bit of humor to ensure maximum results. And be sure to keep text to a minimum! While Facebook has loosened up a little on their restrictions, it will cost you more to run an ad with text in the image than one that doesn't have any. And be sure to keep it in the 1200 x 628 wide format so it fits the space nicely.

3. Start small with the budget. A lot of times people think the more money you throw behind an ad the better. However, recent studies have shown that dramatically increasing your budget will actually cause your Cost Per Click (CPC) to go up dramatically as well! Start your budget smaller (about $5 per day) and test it out over the course of a few days to see how it's working for you. Don't like what's happening? Go back and edit the image, text or both until you find the right mix. Happy with the results? Slowly increase your budget (No more that $5 per day) over time to increase the reach without increasing the CPC.

How To: Prepping For The Perfect Live Video
How to make sure you and your business are ready to go live on video.

Between Periscope, Facebook Live, SnapChat and Insta Stories, live video is all over the place. You know that the organic reach on live videos is usually 135% that of a regular post. You know that people spend 3x longer watching live video vs. pre-recorded video (At least you know now). And you know, in your heart of hearts, you should be doing it to promote your business. After being bombarded with it day in and day out, you've finally decided to take the plunge. But here's the rub - making live video can be intimidating. Putting yourself out there without any editing, 2nd takes, or mulligans can seem totally overwhelming. You just picture yourself stumbling over your words, forgetting what you wanted to say or your equipment just completely giving out on you, and any inclination you had towards doing it has gone out the window.

Well, don't freak out just yet. Today we're breaking down a few tips to help you go into your next live video feeling prepared, practiced and pretty excited (see what I did there?) to rock it out. Like anything, it will take a few practice tries to feel confident, but you can't get better without diving in head first. Just take a few minutes to read our tips on how you can host a smoother live video and you'll be a pro in no time.

1. Spend some time scoping out the perfect spot. It may seem obvious, but if you're in an uncomfortable spot when you start filming it's going to come across on the screen. Find a spot that is free from background noise, has good lighting, and doesn't have anything showing in the background that you'd rather not broadcast to the public. Oh, and of course it has to have a strong internet or cell phone connection.

2. Type up some bullet points. I'm not big on scripts for live video as they can come across feeling inauthentic and forced. But you MUST have a basic template outlined to prevent awkward pauses or forgetting something you wanted to talk about. Pre-plan your topic, then breakdown all the important points you want to hit. Under each of those write down a few key words or phrases that will trigger your thought process when you're live.

2. Get the right technology. Traditionally live video platforms were created to be shot on your phone. If you're comfortable with that, then great! Find a spot to place your phone that is steady and gives a good view of you (or find someone with a steady hand). However, if you want to take it step further, you can always sign up for video platforms like Wirecast. This live streaming production software helps adjust audio levels, brightness and contrast, and post live streaming editing so you have a quality product that lasts long after you've logged of. And Bonus! You can live stream right from your computer so you're not fumbling with your iPhone. Not great with technology? Check out this article to learn more about how you integrate Wirecast with your Facebook Live Broadcasts.

3. Pre-plan your question and answer period. Throughout your livestream it's more than likely that you're going to get questions or comments. Before you jump on, mark some places in your outline where you can stop and go back to review comments and answer questions. If you don't pre-plan this time into your schedule you may end up getting distracted and cut off in the middle of your points or may skip important feedback.

4. Timing is everything. Think about your target audience and when would be most convenient for them to join you. A lot of times that may be during lunch hour or after work hours. And don't forget to consider different time zones if your audience extends beyond your local geographic area.

5. Run a test broadcast. Get to know the platform and technology so you don't run into any hangups during your real broadcast. If you're using Facebook Live, change your posting settings to "Only Me" and then run through your entire broadcast without anyone seeing it. You can work out any bugs and test our your script to make sure you're hitting all the points you want to.

6. Promote, Promote, Promote - There's nothing worse than getting everything scheduled, your script written, and your confidence pumped up, and then no one shows up. A few hours (and in some cases, even days) before going live let your audience know throughout all your social outlets with organic and paid posts and drop a few notes to your email list. And make sure you remind everyone to log on again about 10 minutes before going live for maximum impact.

7.  Relax! And remember that live video doesn't have to be perfect. If you mess up, it's ok! Make a joke, laugh it off and continue on your way. People appreciate authenticity and want to see your personality. While you want to avoid bigger accidents like the feed dropping or forgetting a big chunk of what you want to say, don't worry about doing and saying everything perfectly. People want to see that you're having fun with it and enjoying yourself - it makes them enjoy it too!

Does Social REALLY Know What I Want To See?

It all started with Facebook's filtered news feed. In an attempt to serve us just the information we want to see, Facebook began filtering content that appears in our news feeds. That means that posts from pages we've liked, brands we've followed and even friends we've accepted may not show up, and therefore missed. While this may be a good thing, especially if you have that annoying friend who only posts pictures of their cats (yes, I'm talking to you Karen...), it has left brands struggling to connect with their fans and followers on this outlet.

Pinterest quickly followed the trend by curating and ranking "Relevant Pins" vs. the chronological order of pins your friends saved. And most recently, Twitter and Instagram both announced curated feeds to launch soon.

With all of these algorithmically ordered feed changes, users have begun pushing back, asking the questions "Do these social sites really know what I want?" and "What if I miss something important?". Well here's the rub. Studies show that most of us have so many friends, fan pages and groups throughout our various social media pages that without a curated feed we end up missing about 70% of what is posted. That's right, we miss a HUGE majority (70%!) of content that is posted anyways. On top of that, they've seen that some of those without curated feeds often become quickly overwhelmed with information and end up jumping off all together.

So really, these curated feeds are being introduced in an effort to save us from ourselves (and keep us using their various social platforms). Still frustrated with what's showing up in your newsfeed? Begin curating it yourself! Here's a tip: run through your fan pages and start liking and sharing content from those you care the most about. The more you interact with a page, the more likely it is to begin organically showing up. Those 1,000 friends you have? Take a quick run through and get rid of the strangers and ones you can't stand any more- See ya' later Karen! After some time you'll begin seeing the more of the content you want, and less pictures of cats (unless you're into that kind of thing). 

We've got a Q: Quality or Quantity?

When it comes to social media, we often seem to idealize those accounts with 10's of thousands of likes or followers. We strive to get as many likes as possible in order to compete and feel important. We think it is only in mass numbers that our pages will hold any sort of authority or drive any kind of significant sales.

However, recent studies have shown that you don't need thousands of fans to make an impact. Despite what you may think, your general fans are not the ones sharing, commenting on and liking your content. It's your SUPER fans that are doing that. They are the ones that are championing your brand, spreading your content and purchasing from you. These are the ones you want to appeal to and these are the only ones who are reading your messages. I know that sounds a little harsh, but let me explain.

According to it's own estimates, the average Facebook user could see up to 1,500 messages per day. However, they are only shown about 300 messages per day based on what they most likely would care about. This means that just because someone "likes" your business page, doesn't mean they're going to see your status updates. Unless they show interest in your information (by clicking, liking and sharing) chances are they aren't going to see your post anyway.

Instead of focusing your time on getting more likes or followers, shift that intention to crafting quality content geared towards the ones you do have. It may sounds obvious, but too often businesses attempt to appeal to a wide audience. Instead of garnering any sales, you're now marketing to a lukewarm audience that may-or-may-not be even seeing it. Take some time to create content geared towards those Super Fans who not only care, but will champion your brand. In this case, the old adage really is true, "Quality over Quantity".

How Facebook Reactions Are Helping Your Business Page

Yes, I know I did a Facebook blog last week. But unless you've been living under a rock, at this point you should have noticed the new Facebook Reaction emojis and I think those are important to talk about. Just in case you actually have been living under a rock (or too busy binge watching all 9 seasons of "The Office"), Facebook now offers the ability to "react", in a variety of ways, to posts including laughter, shock and even anger.

To me, these new Facebook emojis offer a chance for your fans to interact in a more meaningful way. As many page owners know, just getting people to see your posts can be a challenge. New rules around serving organic content have severely limited a business' reach on Facebook, and have left many marketers struggling to figure out how to connect with their customers.  When you are finally able to get in front of a consumer, the questions then becomes how to get them to interact with your post. Encouraging commenting and sharing is even harder, as many consumers won't take that extra step. You want to know what they think about your post, they're just not telling you.

Thankfully with the implementation of the new Facebook Reactions, you can finally get some insight into how your audience is reacting to your posts. Now with one touch they can tell you whether they "Like" your post, "Love" it or even if it makes them "Sad" or "Angry". Eliciting emotions from your consumers helps them connect even more with your brand and shows you how they are feeling about the content you are posting. As a marketer (and as a business owner, you are a marketer) the more information you can have on your target market (even if that information is they love cat videos) the better.

Facebook Instant Articles: To Do or Not To Do?

Beginning April 12th Facebook will be opening up Instant Articles to anybody with a website and a Facebook page. The question becomes, if you're not publishing a massive amount of content daily like the Washington Post or the NY Times, how should a small business utilize Facebook Instant Articles (if you should at all).

We've all been scrolling through our news feed on our phones when we've come across a piece of content that peaks our interest. After clicking on the link you're taken to a white screen while you wait for the content to load. Depending on a publisher's individual hosting platform, this wait time can become a huge barrier. With dwindling attention spans, audiences aren't willing to wait for content to load and will often click off. For brands that rely on their content to make sales or that make money from advertising, this can be a big problem.

Utilizing the same technology their app does to create fast load times for photos and videos, Facebook has created a new tool for publishers called Instant Articles. Allowing the content creator to publish directly on the Facebook platform allows articles to load instantly, dramatically increasing the chances of a mobile reader clicking through to the content.

On top of that, audio, video and pictures are integrated seamlessly into the article. Video is set to autoplay in either newsfeeds or within the actual content. Pictures, which before you had to pinch and zoom to view can easily be shown close up simply by tilting your phone left or right. Audio captions can be created, so the narrator can actually explain to their audience what is going on in an image. All of these combined streamline the process of consuming content to create tiers of information for the reader. 

All pages are completely customizable with fonts and colors and also included is the ability to add advertising directly within the articles This can be done through your own advertising outlets or through Facebook directly. Still a little confused? Check out this pretty cool video on the features of Instant Articles.

So the question now becomes, how does a small business utilize something like this? To me, if you're not publishing content on a daily basis this tool is a little less valuable, however, worth checking out. No matter what you're business is, we've talked about the importance of content to drive traffic and increase SEO on your own website. If you can make it easier for your customers to get your content, why wouldn't you? You may not benefit from the ads and the video integration like a blog can, but adding just one more step to your publishing routine can help your customer's experience when interacting with your brand. 

The great part about this is Instant Articles are published directly from an RSS feed pulled from your current content management system. This means that on top of being able to utilize the fast loading technology of Facebook, content is still published directly on your own website, giving you all the juicy SEO benefits of all those keywords.

You can Click Here to read more about the how-to nitty gritty of Facebook Instant Articles as well as sign up to become a Facebook publisher when the platform opens up to everyone on April 12th.


Your 2016 Social Media Resolutions

Now that 2016 is in full swing (well at least by 7 days), it's time to really commit to our New Year's resolutions. For many of us that means getting healthier, getting more sleep or reorganizing our finances. For those of us with businesses, we use the new year as a time to reflect on what was successful in the past year, and what we need to do a little bit better.

Social media marketing tends to be the one thing that slides as we get busier. Managing our day-to-day can become so overwhelming at times, that all those extra things fall by the wayside. Our posts get fewer and far between, and our blogging becomes non-existent. Trust me, I am the ultimate perpetrator of this bad behavior. After blogging and posting all day for my clients, you can pretty much expect that I'd rather be binge watching The Real Housewives than putting stuff out on my own Facebook.

Well friends, just like you, I'm starting 2016 with a new mindset and a new set of resolutions. Check them out below and hopefully they will help you get back on track in the new year.

1. Post a Minimum of 3 Times per Week - Consistency is key with social media. Posting too infrequently won't make an impact, especially with the new rules Facebook has implemented that limit your reach. To make consistent posting easier, set a recurring reminder on your calendar for 3 days per week. Make it first thing in the morning, and don't schedule any meetings or tasks until you've accomplished this. After a few weeks of practice, this will start to become second nature for you.

2. Commit to a Formula - Posting upwards of 3 times per week can seem overwhelming and you may think you may run out of content fast. Coming up with a formula can help you streamline your thoughts and keep you from spending a huge amount of time creating content. Think of it like this - Monday is a timely news article related to your business, Wednesday features your weekly blog post and Friday is something fun and light hearted. By creating a formula like this, you can easily narrow your scope and make your time more efficient.

3. Save everything that may be relevant - I can't tell you how many times I've come across a great article, picture, or quote and thought that one day I would like to post that on my Facebook. Instead of saving it or bookmarking it, I've continued on with my day, completely forgetting about that genius piece of information. Put systems in place to be able to refer back to things you find interesting. Create a bookmark folder, Google Drive or desktop folder to keep things organized and front and center. Not only will you not forget, but you'll have a stockpile of content ready to go when just want to pull out something quickly on a Monday morning. 

4. Talk to your audience - There's a reason it's called "social" media. Simply pushing out information is not enough. Each day, spend some time responding to comments, thanking your loyal customers and answering questions. Go through and "like" posts that relate back to your business, and share other's relevant content on your own timeline. Getting the conversation going will engage your potential clients and get them interacting with your brand, all things that are critical in creating customers.