How to Get More Reach With Your Facebook Event

Using social media to promote your small business’s event? Creating a Facebook Event for your launch party, workshop, seminar, bootcamp, activity, book-signing, class, screening, networking event, performance, or what-have-you is a great way to spread the word and get people out.September 036

So here area few pointers to help you get more reach out of your Facebook event:

1) Upload a Photo – If you don’t include a photo with your Facebook Event, Facebook defaults to a cruddy generic graphic of a calendar with a giant “31″ on it. This will accomplish 2 things: (1) it will cause your event to have little to no  impact when it appears in people’s streams (as opposed to a carefully chosen image that will stand out and get you more attention) and (2) it will confuse some people into thinking your event takes place on the 31st of the month (which may or may not be true). Pick a a relevant and eye-catching image to show how amazing your event is going to be.

2) Write Your Event With Care and Provide all Details – Your event’s name should be something “seductive” that explains what it is right away. Provide a concise but well-written description. Provide a street address, parking information, pricing and anything else your attendees might look for. If people need to register or buy tickets, provide a link to do that and draw attention to it.

3) Allow Non-Admins to Post on Your Event’s Wall – This way, you can chat with your attendees before the event date. This will help get people excited about attending.

4) Show Guest List – Now your attendees’ friends can see that they are going and news of your event will spread.

5) Join and Invite Your Friends – Now that you’ve created your Facebook Event, don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s enough to “build it and they will come.” Actively invite your Facebook Friends to join as well, using the Invite Friends function that appears once you’ve joined the event yourself. Don’t invite ALL your friends, only those who might be interested, who live in close proximity, and who would be nice enough to share your event to their friends. If you make it a habit to invite people to events that don’t concern them, you’ll quickly get a rep as an “event spammer” and lose followers and friends.

6) Share Your Event – Use Facebook’s Share Event function to post your event on your personal profile, group(s) and business page(s). Again, you have to actively do this, don’t just sit around and wait for people to notice your event. Repeat the share a couple of times over the course of a few weeks leading up to your event (use your discretion, you don’t want to over-do things either).

7) Enlist Your Friends – Hey, what’s the point of Facebook if you can’t make use of your friends and referral partners? Ask your friends to Join, Invite and Share your event.

8) Follow Up – The great thing about creating a Facebook Event is that it makes it very easy for people to join. The bad thing is, it’s a little too easy and people often forget or don’t really commit. Make sure you follow-up with those who have joined and replied “maybe” to seal the deal. Facebook Events is a handy tool, but it’s not a miracle spell; throwing business events still requires hustle at the end of the day :)

Speaking of events… What a coincidence, I have one coming up for small business owners in Toronto. If you’re in the area and want to meet some great networkers, please check out Mix! Mingle! Network! See you there!

Need help publicizing your events with social media? Get in touch, let’s talk! – Nishi

 

 

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How to be Amazing at Email Marketing

In a world of Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, using email to market your small business may seem about as archaic as using a courier pigeon these days. But don’t underestimate the power of a really carefully thought out e-newsletter or email campaign. After all:pigeon

  • there are always going to be those “old-school people” who prefer to get content sent directly into their in-boxes as opposed to social media
  • it’s just another way to make sure you are reaching your target demographic… nothing wrong with having a few angles to better your odds
  • you won’t be at the mercy of Facebook filters, over-crowded Twitter feeds or any other obstacles you have little to no control over
  • it’s easy and cheap (maybe even free)

So go ahead and launch an email campaign. Just a few tips to consider that will help your success:

1) Use a tool! Use something like Constant Contact or MailChimp to make your life easier. These inexpensive products will help you design beautiful emails, manage your contacts, give you valuable stats, synch with social media and save you tons of time. I personally use Constant Contact, love it, and( full disclosure) I’m an affilihttp://nightdayproductions.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/pigeon.jpg?w=300ate. You can try Constant Contact for FREE here.

2) It’s not about you! Offer your readers advice and content, not just info on your products, services, events etc. Asking someone to open an email to see what your company has been up to is like asking someone NOT to go to the fridge or bathroom during a TV commercial.

3) Use photos and graphics! We humans are visual creatures and an email with pretty visuals is just easier to read than a huge body of text.

4) Design! Your e-newsletter should be crisp and clean and easy on the eyes. Good design will further entice the reader to read.

5) Play it Cool! But not too cool! You might have to experiment with this one because everyone’s target audience is different, but don’t over-populate your subscribers’ in-boxes with email (that could lead to the dreaded unsubscribe). At the same time, don’t be so scarce they don’t recognize you when you do email (that could lead to the dreaded delete or worse… SPAM!). The key is to be consistent. Email on a regular basis (once a week, or once a month) so that readers expect to hear from you, and even look forward to it.

6) Cross-Market! Link your e-newsletter to your social media platforms and vice versa. Encourage people to sign-up from your blog and website. Remember, email marketing is just another piece of your online marketing strategy. It doesn’t stand alone.

Need a ghost-writer or manager for your email marketing campaign? Need someone to show you the ins and outs of Constant Contact? Let me know if I can help you! – Nishi

 

 

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6 Steps to Your Business’s Social Media Strategy

Ready to launch or revamp your small business’s social media strategy? Good for you! Here are 5 steps to get you rolling:

1) Define Your Goal(s) – What would you like to accomplish by putting your business on Facebook, Twitter, etc.? Do you want to find and engage more clients? Do you want to improve customer service? Are your trying to create stronger referral partnerships? Maybe it’s all of the above?taregt

2) Define Your Target(s) – Now that you know what you want to accomplish, who do you need to reach in order to get what you want to get?

3) Locate Your Target(s) – Now that you know who you’re looking for, find out where they hang out. Are they on certain Facebook groups or pages? Are they conversing under certain Twitter hashtags?

4) Find Content – What sort of information is your target interested in? What do they talk about? What do they need or like? Find what they are looking for and share it with them; be a curator of valuable information.

5) Create Original Content – Write a blog, create infographics, make videos and take photos… make the leap from Curator to a trusted Expert in your field.

6) Keep at It – Post consistently. Be a fountain of knowledge while keeping the sales pitches to a minimum. Listen for feedback and comments and pay attention to what’s working and what isn’t. Realize that it’s a constant back-and-forth and creating relationships and generating buzz doesn’t happen overnight (that is, for most of us).

Need help with your small business’s social media presence? Get in touch! You know I’d love to hear from you. – Nishi

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When is the BEST Time to Post on Facebook?

If you’re posting on Facebook for your small business, then you’ve undoubtedly wondered, “When is the best time of day to post my incredibly valuable content on Facebook?”clock hanging

And if you’ve wondered this, you’ve probably Googled this question and done some investigating on the subject already.

And if you’ve done some research, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of the information out there is inconclusive and contradictory.

Why?

Because – brace yourself – it’s a question that doesn’t have a single answer. But fret not. You only care about one answer: that is, the answer to the question, “When are YOUR fans on Facebook?” Not when are some researcher’s fans on Facebook, or when the universe is on Facebook, but when are YOUR fans on Facebook?

So how do we find out the answer to this magnificent question? It’s so easy. And it’s free. Here you go, step-by-step:

1) Log into Facebook
2) Click on your business page’s Insights
3) Click on Posts
4) Click on When Your Fans Are Online
5) Voila – a graph of your fans’ online activity spanning a recent week. Gorgeous, isn’t it?

Keep in mind that this is a recent week’s activity so you want to monitor this graph every now and then and watch for variation. Your fans’ activity may be different over Spring Break, for instance.

Your graph will most definitely be different from other people’s graphs. Remember, all you care about is YOUR graph. All you care about are YOUR fans!

Hope you found that helpful! If you’d like more tips and tricks that are relevant to your small business’s social media presence, I am available for personalized Social Media Training sessions.Thanks for reading! - Nishi

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Getty Images Now Offering Free Stock Photos For Blogs

Bloggers! Don’t you hate it when you’ve written the perfect piece for your blog, only to have to tarnish it with some cheesy-but-free-to-use clip art?

You could always just not include a photo… but on top of limiting your SEO, your blog just won’t be as eye-catching. While there’s always the option of taking your own photo, that requires talent, time, equipment… *yawn!* forget that. As a last resort, you could always pay for stock photography. Wait, what? Pay? Not likely, say many bloggers.

But have no fear… Getty Images has announced that starting March 6, 2014, it will give bloggers access to 35 million stock photos for FREE. This drastic move was made in an attempt to resolve the stock photo giant’s problems with online copyright infringement.

“The move is an abrupt change in business model for the photo service. Instead of relying on licensing fees for its stock photos, it plans to make embed codes public for the majority of collections on site. Those pictures will come without a watermark and will contain an image credit linking to the company’s licensing page. But most importantly for Getty, the practice will provide a new form of revenue.”

- Mashable

So what’s in it for the world’s largest photo provider? By providing embed codes that can be used on WordPress, Twitter, and other social media, Getty Images can now collect user data and run advertising within branded, embeddable frames, very much like YouTube has been doing.

For my first use of this service, I decided to acquire the embed code for this photo of a handsome man with an indifferent cat:

To try out the new  free embed codes, follow these steps:

1) Visit the official Getty Images website
2) Register an account
3) Search and select a photo you like
4) Click on the embed code symbol, which looks like this </>
5) Copy and paste your embed code and enjoy your free, professionally shot photo

Getty Images mentions that you’re not allowed to use the embed codes for commercial purposes. Most business blogs – like mine – are free to access and give away loads of wonderful free content, but they might be indirectly promoting a product or service. So I’m not sure how long the Mister and Indifferent Cat will last LOL.

EDIT: I contacted Getty Images via chat (an awesome feature, by the way) and this is what the service rep, “Molly” had to say: “If an image on our site has the “Embed” icons  next to it , then you can use the Embed feature to publish the image to your website or social media page  for editorial use only without having to buy a license. All other usages of the images require the purchase of a license. As long as the images are being used to illustrate the blog posts, then you are covered.” Here’s the link she provided explaining the terms in more detail.

Hope you found this post useful. Remember, if you need help launching or improving your blog, I train and design in WordPress and I also ghost write for small business blogs.

Cheers!

Nishi

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7 Reasons Your Business Needs A Facebook Page (not a Profile)

If you’re thinking of using Facebook to promote your business, you should be thinking of setting up a Facebook Page, that operates separately from your personal Profile. Here are 7 reasons to create a Facebook Page for your business:To-have-friends-be-a-friend

1) Because you have to. It’s a Facebook rule. You can’t blatantly use a Profile to represent a business without violating Facebook’s Terms of Service, and you can risk having your account shut down. This is reason enough to create a Page for your business, but there are other perks as well! Keep reading…

2) They may “like” you, but that doesn’t mean they want to be friends. With a profile, you connect by inviting someone to be a “friend” and then they have to accept your friendship. They then get access to your personal profile information and you get access to theirs. This might be closer than you want to get with a business contact. And this accelerated super closeness might stand in the way of people connecting with you on Facebook all together. With Pages, on the other hand, anyone can “like” your page and they’ll see your posts (unless you get filtered out of their stream, but that’s a whole other article) without you having to give them access to your personal information and vice versa.

3) Create a convenient stream for content. You can “like” other pages as your Page (instead of as your personal Profile) and when you check out your Page’s incoming feed… voila! All your industry news and shareable third party content is all in one tidy place. What could be more convenient?

4) Insights are cool. Facebook makes graphs for you so you can study your Page’s effectiveness: likes, reach, demographics of your followers, popularity of your posts… it’s really great feedback that you can only get with a Page. (Alas! Insights not available for Profiles.)

5) Multiple Admins. Facebook allows you to assign multiple Administrators to your business Page (but not to a Profile). This can be very convenient: for instance, you may want to grant your marketing agency or social media manager admin status so that they can jump on your business Page to help you run things when things get busy.

6) World Domination. With a personal Profile, you’re only allowed 5,000 friends. With a Page… sky’s the limit. Enough said.

7) It looks professional. Having a Page to represent your business has become a Facebook convention, and if you’re running your business with a Profile, it looks a little ol’ timey.

Need help managing or creating your business’s Facebook page? I do that! Get in touch for more info.

Have an amazing week,

Nishi

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Using Picture Quotes on Facebook

If you’re on Facebook, especially for business, you’ve likely noticed the abundance of inspirational Picture Quotes in your stream. You know the ones I’m talking about…

inspire01While Picture Quotes often get a bad rap for being overused, cliche and doing little more that contributing to white noise, they continue to be freakishly popular. That’s because, when done right, they are incredibly effective, especially when used for business purposes.

Here are a couple of things to consider before you get all bent out of shape about Picture Quotes…

1) Facebook’s EdgeRank filter prefers images; you’ll get more views if you post images, as opposed to just text and links.

2) We humans are visual creatures; we tend to respond more to pictures than written words.

3) If you’re creating your own Picture Quote, make your images 1200 X 1200 so that they look their best on Facebook. And make sure that both image and text are easily visible and not cropped off in a weird way when the Picture Quote comes up in a timeline, even if it hasn’t been clicked on and opened.

4) Capitalize on the fact that in Facebook, you can attach a written description to your image; this is where you can add your business information, website URL, etc. Just don’t go too overboard with the sales pitch. Remember at the end of the day, these images have to inspire someone or put a smile on someone’s face… they’re so much more than mini digital billboards!

5) Picture Quotes are easy to make, easy to digest and easy to share!

6) Use Picture Quotes to indirectly broadcast your business’s mindset, culture, beliefs and values. Make sure that you are adorning your Facebook page with Picture Quotes that are in line with your company’s philosophies, but more importantly, make sure they speak to your desired audience!

Need help with your small business’s social media campaign? Get in touch!

Nishi

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