See you there!
While Facebook’s recently announced graph search capability is still being tested in beta mode to a limited number of users, now is the time to figure out what it will mean for you. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is “really proud of it”, and if it works as they anticipate, it will bring a much better way to connect via Facebook. While currently you can only search for the who, graph search adds the capability to add the what and where to the search as well. This means that users will be able to connect with people with more things in common than just where they grew up, the high school they went to or where they work. It will give users the opportunity to connect with people over a common product, service or establishment and share their experiences. Graph search will be a positive improvement for individuals, but for businesses, it will be a two way street.
Performing a search on Facebook currently means you need to know the exact name or business that you are looking for. In order for a business to drive traffic to their Facebook page, they need to provide links to it through other avenues such as their website or blogs. This means that you not only have to find ways to drive traffic to your social media pages, but you have to drive traffic to your website as well. While it all sounds like a complicated process, by looking at social media as a whole of its parts, not just its separate parts, you can create a successful social media plan. Will graph search make it easier for consumers to find your Facebook page? Yes, if they perform a search correctly and you already have an established following on social media.
This leads to another dilemma that businesses may face, the intrinsic value of their Facebook page. While you may have created a page back when “everyone was doing it” and not done anything with it since, there is a good chance that graph search will not do much to help increase your followers. In order to use the new level of “word-of-mouth” advertising you can take advantage of, there has to be activity on your page. If you are guilty of having a Facebook page on life support, now is the time for you to start putting some effort into it before graph search goes live. In order to drive more people to your page via the graph search, you need to have people talking about your page, it is as simple as that.
You now need to determine why you may have a not so successful social media plan. Is it because you do not have the time or the staff to handle it? Are you just not that concerned about social media? No matter what the reason is, understanding how important social media is, especially the upcoming Facebook upgrade, will make you take a much more positive approach to it. There are 167 million people that use Facebook in the United States alone, is your business that profitable that you can afford not to be a part of it? If it is, that is great, but there is no shame in wanting more business. That is why you started a company to begin with, to make a profit. If you do not have time for it, the amount of business you can generate by hiring someone else to handle it for you will pay for itself over and over again. So, there is no excuse why your business should not be taking advantage of the wide reach of Facebook and other social media sites.
Interactive 360, Inc. can help you not only determine what you need to do to expand your online presence, but manage it for you as well. We provide a wide variety of products and services that can turn your successful business into and outstanding business. We provide free consultation and provide you with what you need to help you move into the modern age of advertising and marketing and create a dominate online presence. While you may have created a Facebook page because everyone was doing it, look at some of those businesses that have maintained their page and how many people follow their page. If you are interested in how you can build your business through social media, contact us and we can show you what you are missing. You can email us at support@Interactive360.com or call us at 888-762-7407. Facebook graph search is just the start of the new direction of social media and with over 70 percent of people in the United States online, can you afford to not to give your online presence a makeover?
Almost a month ago, Google+ introduced a new feature to help users build more connections through common interests. The introduction of the Communities feature came on the heels of Google+ hitting the 135 million user mark. For those of you who have used Google+, you know that to add a connection the only option previously was search via the Circles page, or add connections suggested by your Google mail address book. To me it seemed a bit tedious, even frustrating at times, searching for connections to add to your circles. While these options are still available to add specific people or businesses to your circles, the new Communities feature makes increasing your number of connections much easier. I know that personally, only having 30 or so connections on Google+ did not make for a very interesting experience in reading posts on my page. With the ease of adding connections on Facebook, and the endless amount of posts every day, I basically abandoned Google+ unless I was checking client posts or sharing an interesting link with my limited circle of connections. It has only been a few weeks, but the increased activity on my personal Google+ page keeps bringing me back, probably more in recent weeks than I have ever visited my personal page.
As of today, I have been using the Communities feature for about two weeks. As an auto enthusiast, I found many automotive related communities to join, both for personal interest and for work interests. While writing and blogging is one of my personal and occupational interests, I looked for a related community with no luck, so I chose to create my own for writers and bloggers. Many of my friends and associates are writers as well, so it was easy to invite them to join as well. With only about 30 people in my circles, and many of them having abandoned Google+ for the same reasons as myself, I will admit I did not have high expectations. In this case, I really should have been much more optimistic. In two weeks, my connections have grown from around 30, to as of late, 81 individuals and businesses. For those impressed by numbers, that is about a 270% increase in the number of connections I had in my circles previously. I know anyone would be happy with a 270% increase in anything positive, and I am. As more communities are created and more people venture back to Google+, I am not a fortune teller, but I am sure that Google+ will start getting more users and traffic exponentially.
For those of you who are not familiar with the basis behind Google+, the new ease of adding connections and the posting feature is about the only similarity it has with Facebook. Google+ is essentially a hybrid of the features of Facebook, such as posting and sharing posts, and the functionality of Google and Twitter. As Facebook is its own separate entity, Google+ is just a small part in the puzzle of the whole Google platform. For those that use other aspects of Google such as mail and search, you may have already noticed that they are all intertwined. Google+ has an advantage over Facebook as well with the ability to use hashtags in posts, allowing them to form a common connection like the one Twitter hashtags provide. So essentially, Google+ is the best of both worlds, and now with the addition of the Communities, increasing your connections is as easy it is on Facebook.I know that as far as our clients are concerned, this opens up a new opportunity to grow their exposure on social media through Google+. As our clients are mainly auto dealerships, it gives us the opportunity to use our clients brand to add them to communities created by the manufacturers or even brand enthusiasts, thus exposing them to those who are interested in the brand, both businesses and individuals. With the growth I have seen on my own personal page, it will be well worth the extra time to review each client’s Google+ page and add them to the communities they would benefit from. I am sure they will start to see the growth in connections just as much, if not more, than my personal page has.
Keeping up to date on the happenings across social media is how Interactive 360, Inc. assures that we are doing the best possible job we can do for each of our clients. It is also an example of how we devote time to clients individually to see what is best for their particular social media plan. I determined the best way to see if the new feature would increase our clients’ presence was to see how it would perform on my own page. If I realized a 270% increase in connections in a few weeks, we can surely help our clients’ presence grow as well. If you are looking for a company to create a wide-reaching professional online presence, Interactive 360, Inc. can provide you with a professional team that will do just that. We understand dealerships are aware of how important on online presence is, but it can be difficult to devote the time and attention to social media that it needs. We can handle all that for you, plus much more, and you can get back to what you need to do, and that is sell vehicles. We just want to help you to bring in as many customers as you can to sell those vehicles. If you are interested in what Interactive 360, Inc. can do for your dealerships online presence, please email us at social@Interactive360.com, or call us at 1-888-762-7407. We can help put together a package that will help you build a valuable online presence, and most importantly, drive leads to boost your sales.
P.S. – If you think your dealership is the best in the area, we want you to tell us why. Enter our Beyond Expectations contest on Facebook, and if your dealership is chosen as the winner, you will receive a custom website for one year at no charge!
Is your dealership “different”? Do you go beyond what most customers expect when they are shopping for a new or used vehicle? If you think you are of these dealerships, Interactive 360, Inc. wants to reward you by giving you the opportunity to go beyond your customers’ expectations online as well, with a complimentary website free of charge for one (1) year.
All you need to do to enter is visit our Facebook page and complete the Go Beyond Expectations entry form and then post an essay on our Facebook page, of 250 words or less, about what your dealership does to exceed your customers’ expectations. Whether you offer a child-friendly area for your customers to take advantage of while they are at your dealership, or free car washes or other courtesy services after their purchase, we want to know why customers’ choose you over the competition, and why they keep coming back.
The contest will begin on December 19, 2012 and end on January 31, 2013. The winner will be chosen from essays posted to our Facebook page, so make sure that you not only complete the entry form, but post your essay as well! If your dealership is chosen as the winner of the Go Beyond Expectations contest, you will receive a complimentary website created by the experienced team at Interactive 360, Inc. that includes design, hosting, consultation and inventory integration. Interactive 360, Inc. will service your website for a period of one (1) year from the date your website launches. At the end of the complimentary one (1) year period, you have the option to cancel the website and all services, or continue the website with a paid package through Interactive 360, Inc.
We want to make 2013 your best year ever and help you showcase online how you Go Beyond Expectations for your customers’. In addition to the entry form on our Facebook page, you can also read the rules and regulations, and find all the information you need to enter today!
How many times have you been shopping for something online and passed over an advertisement because it did not have a photo? It makes no difference if it is Craigslist, eBay, a department store or an Automobile or a Real Estate listing, people tend to look at the ads with photos over those without. It is a common fact that people like to look at pictures. From the time we are first learning to read, pictures are used to help tell a better story than words can most of the time. Children are taught to associate a word with a photo, which helps it create a better understanding of the word and its meaning. If posed with two automobile advertisements on Craigslist, those with a photo will be noted with a bright orange “pic”. If photos were not important, why would they make an effort to make those with photos stand out more? Keep in mind, it is more than just posting a random photo of an item, you need to put some thought and effort into the photos as well. The following tips will help you sell and item quicker just by adding good photos.
The Better the Picture, the Shorter the Description
How many times have you tried to explain something you have seen and just end up grabbing your smartphone or laptop and just Googling a photo of the item? While humans have the language ability to use descriptive words to explain an item, a picture, to quote the old cliché, “paints a thousand words”. If you are trying to sell a household item such as a couch or other furniture, take a clear picture of it in a well-lit room, in a position where a couch would normally be. This gives the potential buyer the opportunity to see a better view of the item’s size, color and condition, which gives them a more realistic idea of how it will fit where they want to put it. While you will still want to mention the color, dimensions and condition of the item in the description, the potential buyer has a better visual idea of what the item looks like. Remember your idea of brown might be someone else’s beige, so if someone is looking for a beige leather couch, the picture of that couch may be just the beige couch they are looking for that you described as brown. The only exception to this is with vehicles, as you want to be sure you describe any additional features of interest that may not be visible or will not be visible in a photo.
The More Photos the Better
If one picture can provide a better description than you can in words, imagine what five or ten pictures can do. If you have ever shopped online for a new or used car, a successful vehicle dealership website will not only provide you with a good written description of the vehicle, but usually many photos to go with it. If you are trying to sell an item, especially a vehicle, you might want to Google a few vehicle dealership websites in your area and find ones that feature actual photos for their new and used vehicles. A thorough photo shoot, showing all sides and angles of the vehicle that the customer will see makes it easy to get a good look at that vehicle without ever having to set foot at the dealership. A good description and group of photos can sell a vehicle even before the interested buyer contacts the dealership. The best way to take the right amount and type of photos is to imagine yourself being the potential buyer, walk around the item, and take a picture of everything you might be looking for. While it may seem like overkill to take 15 or 20 photos, the more information you give a potential buyer, the easier it is to sell an item before they even call you or send you an e-mail.
Good Photos Do Not Require a Big Investment
Nearly every cellphone and smartphone has a digital camera these days. While some are better than others are, taking photos on your phone also provides other options at your fingertips. Depending on your particular phone, most have options to crop or edit photos right from your phone. You can also use your phone to email them to yourself or someone else, or even post them directly to social media sites or sites such as Craigslist with a description. This gives you the potential to reach a large group of people instantly. You will even reach people who might not be in the market for your item, but will look at it anyway because it has photos. This gives you the added advantage to appeal to not only people who are already in an active search for an item, but also those that just may be browsing as well. If you do not have a cellphone with a camera, or do not have the service that allows you to post online from your phone, digitally cameras can be purchased almost anywhere. While the technology of digitals cameras has greatly evolved, the price in many cases has not. A good camera can be purchased for under $100, and most, if not all, come with a cord to connect the camera to your laptop or PC and download the photos from it. Once you download them, you can use a program such as Windows Live Photo Gallery or any other number of programs to edit your photos. Once they are on your computer, the number of places you can post them is endless.
Now that you have the basic information on how to take good photos to sell almost anything, try it out. Everyone has items around the house that they do not really use, but are still of use to someone. Even if it is that extra set of chairs in the guest room, or the second car you no longer need, by following these simple tips you can increase your chances of selling them for a good price. Everyone could use a little extra money around the holidays, so go find something to sell! Anyone can take advantage of the selling benefits of good photos, from the individual with a few things to get rid of, to large vehicle dealerships with hundreds of vehicles for sale. With a little extra effort, you can sell your item before you even know someone is interested in it, and get the money you are looking for!
Pinterest has added another new feature, the ability to create business accounts. While they just recently upgraded to being available for mobile users in the various smartphone app stores, some people are just getting the hang of Pinterest. Once Pinterest went mobile, most people realized it would not be long until it moved into the social media marketing world. While Pinterest is nothing like Facebook, Twitter or Google+, it does highlight one of the most important parts of a successful social media post – pictures. With the amount of time people spend perusing social media pages starting to dwindle, it is even more important to offer the instant gratification social media surfers crave. While a “picture may say a thousand words”, you want all those words to be positive, interesting and keep your Pinterest viewers coming back for more. If you are not familiar with Pinterest, setting up a personal account and practicing with that is a good way to introduce yourself to Pinterest before you set up a business account. Once you are familiar with how it works, setting up a business account and maintaining it is easy. The following will help you convert your personal account into a business account, or set up a fresh business account. Keep in mind, setting up the account only takes a few minutes, but you will have to spend a little time creating boards and pinning items to them.
The first important thing to note is that unlike Facebook, Pinterest business and personal accounts are identical, there is no difference in the look or functions between the two types of Pinterest pages. However, in this case looks are deceiving. Once you label your Pinterest account as a business page, you have access to many resources that Pinterest has created to give you the help you need to get your page noticed. The only way to receive this information is to identify yourself as a business instead of an individual. Another reason to create a Pinterest business account is that much like other social media sites that offer business pages; you know that there will be constant updates and additions, making it more business-friendly. Much like Facebook and its constant updates to its business pages, the developers of Pinterest business pages will keep up with the latest trends and provide better tools and information for online marketing as well. You can expect one of the first updates down the road to be one that allows you to view the analytics, similar to the information Facebook provides through its Insights page.
Now that you know why you should have a Pinterest business account, let us create one. If you want to turn your personal Pinterest account into a business account, follow these steps:
1- Go to http://business.pinterest.com and click the “Convert Your Existing Account” button.
2- Select your business type, but if there is not one that is an exact match, use the closest business title. Pinterest will help you find the best choice by providing examples of the business type in parentheses next to the business type.
3- Update your “Contact Name”, “Email Address” and any other information you need to. If you have a business email, it is always better to use that then your personal email address, so be sure to change it.
4- Fill out the “Profile Info” section. If you filled this in when you set up the account, you may want to edit it so it is more business-related. Remember this is part of the public display, so make it count.
5- Scroll down to the end of the page and read the user agreement, then simply click to agree with it.
6- Once you have done all of this, the “Convert Account” button will turn red. Simply click it and your personal page will be transformed into a business page.
That is all it takes to turn your personal account from a business account, now all you need to do is edit boards as needed, create new boards, and start pinning!
If you do not have a Pinterest account set up at all, creating one is just as easy. It is almost as easy as converting a personal page, you just have to spend a little more time adding profile photos and linking to your other social media pages. Go to the first step above, and instead of clicking convert, click the smaller red text below that box to create a new business profile. Once you do this a page will appear where you can add a profile image, create your “About” section and link to your other social media pages. While connecting your Pinterest page is not a necessity, it helps create a bigger social media circle where you can draw more people back to your Facebook or Twitter accounts and also provide them with a location for your business. The picture below shows where to click to add your Facebook and Twitter links and your location.
Once you finish this, you are done setting up your account. You can now click the about tab on the top of the page and scroll the dropdown and click “Help”. Here you will find everything you need to know about Pinterest and if cannot find your answer, you can click the “Support” link at the bottom of the page and submit your question directly to Pinterest developers. While Pinterest has created a new “Terms of Service” agreement for business accounts, many of the rules are the same as those for a personal account. While many people may skip reading all the fine print, there are some important points that you need to know before you start pinning.
- You can only create a business page for a business that you own or are authorized to create and maintain.
- Anything you post on Pinterest is fair game, which means anyone can re-pin it, change it, display it or distribute it. Pinterest is only responsible for content that remains inside the realm of Pinterest, so if something you posted is altered and posted somewhere other than Pinterest, they cannot be held responsible.
- With this in mind, users are also expected to not post from a third party without permission or giving the proper credit for the information.
- If you read the previous terms of service for your personal account, you will want to read the news terms of service for your business account because they are now separate and different.
So now that you have set up your account and read the rules, it is time to take advantage of some of the great resources that Pinterest is offering business account owners. You can read case studies on businesses that are successfully using Pinterest and use some of their tips to get your page going as well. There is also a resource that provides you with some Pinterest best practices that are a great starting place for Pinterest success. You will also find information on how to use button and widgets to share, follow, “Pin It” and various other Pinterest features.
While Pinterest is still the “new kid on the block”, they are advancing quickly and have become another great social media site to add to your circle. So set aside some time to set up a Pinterest page and do some “pinning”, and of course, do not forget to announce your new page on your other social media sites to broaden your social media circle and let more viewers in!
While we hate to say it, summer is over. Depending on the part of the country you live in, you may have already seen your first snowfall, or snow is right around the corner. With the change in season comes maintenance that you home requires to make sure that you and your family stay safe until those summer temperatures return. Most people keep a maintenance schedule for their vehicle when the seasons change, keeping one for your home is just as important. The following are some things you can do to assure that your home is safe during the fall, and ready for winter.
Heating and Fireplaces
You know summer is over when you turn your heat on or use the fireplace or wood stove for the first time in the fall season. Furnaces, fireplaces and wood stoves all need maintenance before you use them. Even if you only have a furnace, it is still important to make sure that it is maintained properly. Even if you have a furnace that is newer, you want to make sure that it is cleaned and serviced regularly and the filter is changed as often as needed. Never assume that the filter is going to last the 90 days it says it will last, be safe and check it every 30 days, especially if you have pets. Dog dander as well as dust can build up on your filter and not only cause a hazard; it also makes your furnace less efficient. If you have pets, you may want to consider an air cleaner with a HEPA filter to help keep particles in the air down when your home is closed up for the colder months. If you have a fireplace, you want to be sure that you chimney is clear of any nests, leaves or other debris that may be obstructed the airflow. You also want to be sure that you never leave a fire burning unattended or while you are sleeping. If you have a wood stove, much like a fireplace, make sure you check the airflow to make sure it is not obstructed. If you must use a space heater,
make sure that if it requires venting it is properly vented and make sure the one you use is for indoor use and keep all items out of a three-foot radius of the heater itself. Some heaters have safety features that automatically turn them off if they are tipped over, this can be especially helpful in homes with children or pets. Never use a stove or oven to heat you home in any circumstances. You also want to make sure that both your smoke detector and CO2 detectors get fresh batteries when you adjust the clocks for daylight savings time.
Candles, Holiday Lights and Decorations
While candles provide a gentle light and pleasant scent in your home, they are also one of the leading causes of fires. Inexpensive or poorly made candles can burn unevenly, creating a higher flame that you may not expect, and can ignite other items around where the candle is located. You never want to burn candles in rooms that are unoccupied or leave them lit when you go to bed. If you enjoy burning candles for the light and scent, consider purchasing a battery powered or plug in warmer that melts scented wax over a low wattage light bulb.
These are much safer than candles yet provide the same light and in some cases, more scent than a regular candle. If they are tipped over, the wax is normally not hot enough to burn and is not a fire hazard. Even with these types of warmers, be sure to keep it out of the reach of pets and children. Holiday lights and decorations can be a source of home fires as well. Even if you leave your lights up year round, or put them up before the first snow, you want to make sure they are in good working order. Check all the cords and plugs for frays or damaged wires and be sure that all of your lighting is properly grounded and you are using the proper
outdoor use extension cords. If you have holiday lighting displays indoors, you also want to be sure that they are used safely. Again, you want to check for frayed wires and make sure any strings of lights that may be exposed to water or condensation are grounded. You also want to make sure that any of your other decorations that may contain lights are safe as well.
Keeping these things in mind can not only make your home safer during the colder weather, but also help you save money on your fuel bill by maintaining your heating system properly. By following the above suggestions, you can keep you and your family safe and enjoy the change in seasons, and most of all, the upcoming holiday season that will be here before we know it.
Halloween is a traditionally a night for children to be up past their bedtime, go door to door and get sugary treats, wear a great costume and be anyone or anything they want to be, and just have fun. Even for adults it is a chance to dress up in costumes, enjoy the company of friends and family, and celebrate Halloween. With this is mind, Halloween is also the deadliest night of the year for children under 15 years of age, and two-thirds of adult traffic fatalities on Halloween are alcohol-related. There are ways to assure the safety of yourself as well as your children or someone else’s this Halloween.
Most trick-or-treat festivities normally occur between 6pm and 9pm. The reason for this is two-fold as there are more children out than normal, as well as increased vehicle traffic. On a normal day, kids are doing their homework or getting ready for bed at this time. This is also the time that people who work normal business hours are usually heading home from work. For this reason, the most dangerous time to trick-or-treat for a child is between the hours of 6pm and 7pm. If you need to be on the road at this time on Halloween, make sure that you are extra vigilant of children, or even adults, that may be crossing the road at areas other than crosswalks or intersections. A child may be wearing a costume that obstructs their vision, and by the time they see you, it is probably too late to avoid being hit. If you are taking your kids trick-or-treating, you may want to avoid the first hour rush, and start out a little later.
While most of us were taught to “look both ways” before crossing the street and passed it on to our children, Halloween has its own set of rules. The excitement of the festivities may be just enough of a distraction for your child to cross in an unsafe area, and if they are wearing a costume or mask that blocks their vision, even if they look both ways they are still in danger. If this is a concern, you may want to have your child carry a flashlight or a glow stick to make them more visible. You can also purchase reflective tape that can be applied to their costume to help drivers see them if they are somewhere they should not be. Above all, make sure that you keep an eye on your children and make sure they stay within a reasonable distance from you so you can see them and what they are doing.
If you are an adult and planning to attend a Halloween party that requires a costume, there are some rules you should follow as well. You want to be sure that your costume, just as with a child’s costume, does not obstruct your vision or restrict your movement. It is very dangerous to drive a vehicle where you cannot see as clearly as you would normally and you cannot move as quickly and easily as you normally would. Depending on where you are, there may also be laws about driving with an obstructed view, and you just may find yourself getting pulled over and receiving a ticket for wearing a mask or costume while driving. If you are attending a party, take your costume with you and change at the party. The few extra minutes you take at the party to put your costume on in a safe environment may help save your life. You also want to be sure that if you plan to drink, you either have a designated driver, or plan to stay the night at the host’s residence.
Here are some facts about Halloween you may or may not know, but they are worth sharing. Halloween is one of the world’s oldest holidays and is celebrated in other countries as well, and most celebrate it in much the same way as Americans do. While the name Halloween comes from a variation on “All Hollows Day” or “All Saints Day” as some know it, it is a day to honor saints by Catholics. The tradition of trick-or-treating actually started as a ritual where Catholics would go door to door and collect “soul cakes” and the more that they collected, the more prayers they could say on behalf of their relatives that have passed on. While the witch is one of the common symbols of Halloween, the name is a derivation of Wicca, meaning wise one. The whole broomstick fallacy comes from ancient Witches rubbing sacred ointment on their skin that made them feel as if they were flying. Some witches actually rode horses, but poor witches traveled on foot and actually carried a broomstick to help them cross streams. Put the hallucinogenic ointment together with the poor witches carrying brooms and there you have it. However you celebrate Halloween, all of us at Interactive 360, Inc. hope that you and your little monsters and witches have a sugar-filled and safe Halloween!
Do you shake your head in frustration wonder why some Facebook pages have consistently high likes, shares and post views? Well, you are not alone. It sometimes feels like you are grasping at straws trying to find what posts your page viewers will find interesting and what will keep them coming back. Even when you do find something that seems to “work”, that too soon becomes boring and your post reviews start to drop. The good news is this is typical, as posting on Facebook requires a bit of trial an error, as well as patience. No matter what you post there are some constants in that you must start with a clear objective and great design.
Once you develop a clear objective, which is usually viewer engagement, and design an attractive page, there are four things you must have. First, you need to have a strategy to create solid content, which means knowing what you are going to post on your page. Second, you must have a strategy to promote your page and continually increase your fan base. You must also have an engagement strategy, meaning you must have a plan of how to respond, when to respond and what to say in response to your viewer’s posts. Last, you must have a conversion strategy, or a plan to turn your viewers into customers. Once you have all these in order, you have a great base to increase you page views.
Once you have a base to build on there are five ways to help not only keep your current viewers coming back, but also create posts that they share with their Facebook friends and bring more people to your page who click the like button as well. The following are the five ways to build on your base:
- Keep it Short and Sweet
The longer your posts are, the less people there are that will take the time to read them. Whether people have developed a “Twitter” attention span, or they really just have no desire to read anything past 140 characters, enough research has been done to prove this fact. While the optimal character number varies between 80 and the magic 140, 100 characters or less seem to get the most attention. While this may sometimes seem like a challenge, consider the fact that this makes less work for you as it is easy to cross post on Twitter. In following with the less is more theory, adding a photo album, photo or video can help generate from 100 to 180 percent more activity on a given post. So for a start, find great photos, or even one photo, that portrays your business, a product or even the geographical location of your business and give it a short, to the point description.
- Try to Avoid URL Shorteners
A study was recently conducted that found view rates of posts with a full-length URL are three times higher than one generated with bit.ly., for example. Shortening a URL seems to create a “generic” link, and with viruses running rampant on the internet, people are a little apprehensive to click a post without a complete address. While you can add a related phrase when generating the shortened URL, it is usually the first part that scares people. This is especially true for mobile users, whose number is multiplying day after day, as people seem to be more careful about sites they visit on a mobile connection. Now this may contradict what was just said about long posts, but for some reason URL’s do not seem to have the same effect as the test of the actual post. If you are concerned that some URL’s are entirely too long, find a brand specific URL shortener that leaves the landing page name intact and shortens the rest of the link. By keeping the URL familiar and related to your page, chances are viewers will have no problem clicking on the link.
- Find the Ideal Times to Post
Finding the ideal times to post is one of the items on the list that fall into the trial and error section. Recent data shows that the best time to post on Facebook is between 1pm and 3pm, which is the peak traffic period for Facebook. They determined this by calculating the click-thru rate on links posted on Facebook between 1pm and 4pm. The highest click-thru rate occurred on Wednesday afternoons at 3pm. The worst hours to post are between 8pm and 8am, when Facebook sees the least amount of traffic. Friday mid-afternoon is also a great time to post, as for most people the end of the week burnout kicks in and they look to Facebook to help them get through the rest of the day. An easy way to determine good times to test posts is to think of the times you are on Facebook, and schedule accordingly. Studies also show that if you want to get comments, post Monday through Friday, if you just want more likes, post them on Saturday and Sunday. You also want to consider the studies done on the lifespan of Facebook posts. Most posts show interest for about three hours. It is most noticed when it hits a newsfeed or is a highlighted story that stands out more. If you have a post getting a lot of attention, wait to post anything else, let it run its course first before you attract attention away from a successful post.
- It is WHAT you say, not HOW you say it
Your choice of words for your post can make the difference between eliciting a response and completely being ignored. Action words are the best way to get you viewers to do what you want them to do. While it may sound like you are forgetting your manners, leave off the “please” before you add an action word such as “comment”, “take”, “submit”, “like” or “post”. Be direct even though it may sound like you are being rude and demanding. On the other hand, if you are posting a promotion, you want to avoid using words such as “contest”, “promotion”, “coupon” and replace them with “win”, “winner” and “events”. Above all, do not use a Facebook post as a sales pitch. You can offer information on a particular product, but it is just that, more information on the product. Leave off terms that try to sell the product and let it sell itself with a great short description or picture.
- Question your Viewers
Although it may be obvious, asking your viewers questions are a great way to get responses and interaction. However, choose your questions wisely, as how and where you ask is as important as what you ask. The best place to add a question is at the end of your post, as obviously it is the last thing they read and will therefore remember. Placing the question at the end versus the beginning of the post will give you at least 15 percent more responses. Questions that start with “where”, “when” and “should” attract the most responses, try not to ask why questions that require involved answers. As much as people do not want to read anything more than 140 characters, they do not want to type more than 140 either.
Using these five points and a solid base, you should see a change in the number of Facebook likes and comments your posts receive.While a few of them may be trial and error, it is important to have patience and keep track of what works and what does not. While it is impossible to know what kind of post will draw the most attention, keep trying until you find ones that do. Even posting pictures of staff, or a random funny pet or child post might be cheating, it can also help remove some of the “faceless business page” feel that some Facebook pages have. Track your posts to see what best works for your particular business, and then continue to work from that plan. If you find that your numbers begin dropping again, change the plan slightly. The key to Facebook posts is to not let them get stale, change things up to make sure that you are giving your viewers different things at different times. While Facebook is not a science, sometimes it takes some experimenting to find just the right formula to work for your business.