Tag Archives: Facebook

Stay in Touch with Facebook Fans when You’re Crunched for Time

As a small business owner, do you often find yourself crunched for time? Are you wondering how you’ll ever maintain a consistent posting schedule on Facebook? Well good news is here! Simply schedule your posts on Facebook for up to months in advance! It just takes 15 to 30 minutes to schedule several posts, keeping you in touch with your customers.

How to Schedule Facebook Posts

How to Schedule Facebook Post
Write your status update as you normally would on Facebook, adding a photo or link if desired. Then, click on the clock icon in the lower left. Choose the current year from the drop down menu. Once you do this, a new drop down box will appear allowing you to select the month you want the post to appear. After choosing the month, you’ll then be able to accept the hour and the minute. Minutes are offered in 10 minute increments. You don’t have to choose a minute option if you don’t want to. Once you’ve chosen the correct date and time for your post, click the Schedule button. It’s that easy!

Editing a Scheduled Post

How to Edit Scheduled Facebook Post

If you decide you want to delete or change a scheduled post, you simply need to access your Activity Log. At the top of your page, click on the Edit Page menu and then choose Activity Log. You’ll then be taken to your list of scheduled posts. To the right of each post is a small drop down arrow. Click on that and then choose to Change Time, Publish Now, or even Delete Post depending on what you want to do.

How to Change a Scheduled Facebook Post

Scheduling posts on Facebook allows you to line up your posts for the next day, or even the next week (or month for that matter). Simply take some time in the evening or on the weekend when you’re not working and line up several posts. Be sure to check on your page a couple times to respond to any questions or comments that your fans might have posted. You’ll save a lot of time by scheduling posts in advance and it’s reassuring to know your Facebook page is working for you even when you’re unplugged.

Tips for Asking Customers to Give Your Business a Review

Great reviews from your customers can go a long way in providing credibility for your business, products, and services.  But not all business owners are comfortable asking for a review. They don’t want to bother the customer further or they may feel like it’s rude to ask for a review. It’s time to put an end to that type of negative thinking!

If a customer is happy with your work, they’re going to want to talk about it. We’ve all had a friend or neighbor rave about the great remodel they had done on their kitchen. People like to share the fact that they picked the right person to do the job. It means they did their research and made a smart choice. So you should never feel apprehensive asking for a review from a pleased customer.

What you can do, however, is make it easy for your customers to give you a review. You can send them a letter or email asking for the review, and then provide links to locations where they can submit their review. If you have a business listing on Yelp, Merchant Circle, or Google+ Local, include the links to the review page of your account. Likewise, if you have a Facebook business page, customers can write recommendations there.

Facebook Screen Shot

 

Peer reviews are highly prized by today’s consumer.  According to a new study by Nielsen, 92% of consumers “trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.”

Once your customer provides a review, you can use it in other marketing materials such as print brochures, on your website, and more.  A good review will go a long way in providing valuable credibility for both you and your company.

How to Create Interest Lists on Facebook

Similar to using lists on Twitter to keep conversations organized, you can also use lists on Facebook to organize people and topics. It’s easy to set up once you know how to get to your Interests page, and I’m guessing some of you might not even know you have an Interests page on Facebook.

Interest-List

To access your Interests page, you can either click on “INTERESTS” in your Facebook bookmarks sidebar on the left, or you can simply log onto https://www.facebook.com/bookmarks/interests. If you already have lists created or have subscribed to any lists, they will be shown on this page.

To create a new list, click on the +Add Interests button in the upper right hand corner. You’ll be taken to the Add Interests page where you can click on the +Create List button in the upper right hand corner. Please note that Facebook will provide suggestions of existing lists for you to follow.

interest page

After clicking on the +Create List button, you’ll be asked to choose the people or fan pages that you want on your list. So if I’m creating a list of pond contractors, I would choose them from my existing friends and liked pages. When you’re done selecting people and pages for your list, click on the “Next” button in the lower right hand corner.

choose list box

Type the title of your list into the text box provided, and then choose who can see your list. You can make it viewable to the Public, to Friends only, or you can make it completely private so that only you can see it. When you’re finished, click on the “Done” button in the lower right hand corner. Your new list will now appear in the bookmarks sidebar to the left of your Facebook news feed. If it doesn’t appear, click on the “More” link to see it.

List Name Box

Aquascape has created a list of our company’s fan pages and we’d love to have you subscribe to it so you can stay updated on all things related to the pond business. Log onto https://www.facebook.com/lists/10151143825819474 to see the list and then click on the “Subscribe” button in the upper right hand corner. Once you subscribe, the link to this list will appear in your bookmarks sidebar.  When you want to view it, simply click on the link that says Aquascape Fan Pages.

You can create lists on Facebook for a variety of purposes to help you wade through all the status updates on Facebook. You could group your family into a list, or keep restaurants and favorite stores organized in one handy list. Lists allow you to see all updates from your favorite friends and pages without having to scroll through your news feed or visit each page individually. We think you’ll find it quite useful once you start using it!

Are You a Good Social Listener?

Most of you understand the importance of marketing your business on social media sites, but have you stopped to consider if you’re a good social listener?  Are you watching what people say on your Facebook page? Do you ever read conversations on other Facebook pages … specifically the pages of businesses in your industry? Have you ever taken time to conduct a Twitter search on a topic relevant to your business? Do you ever look to see what topics are trending on Google+ and other social sites? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re on your way to becoming a good social listener.

You might think it’s more important to market your business than to listen to social conversations, so let me give you a couple examples how social listening can benefit you.

Solis Quote

Awhile ago I was curious how many people were talking about rainwater harvesting on Twitter. Specifically, I wanted to learn if rain barrels were a relevant and trending topic in regards to water conservation. In Twitter’s search box I typed the words “rain barrel” and found quite a few individuals were talking about it. One particular person stood out from the crowd … an editor for Hort magazine tweeted a request for a rain barrel product to include in the magazine. I immediately emailed a couple photos and a product description of Aquascape’s RainXchange® rain barrel to the editor and she included it in their publication.

Another example of effective social listening pertains to Hometalk, the up-and-coming home-related site for contractors and the DIY crowd. I looked through the site and then hopped over to their Facebook page. That’s where I noticed a pond photo they had shared was getting a lot of positive feedback. The photo was from a project that a homeowner posted on their website and people were lovin’ it … giving it a lot of Likes and Comments on Facebook. I also noticed that the pond was a preformed pond with plastic waterfalls. Not very natural looking. I realized that if people loved that water feature, they would love Aquascape’s water features even more (not meaning to be egotistical, but Aquascape does pride itself on creating very natural-looking water features).

After listening to all the conversation surrounding that preformed pond, I posted several pond photos on Hometalk’s site and was rewarded with immense social activity. Hometalk shared several of our pond photos on their Facebook page, which greatly increased our exposure on both Facebook and Hometalk. I’m happy to say that our website received more referrals from Hometalk than it did from either Twitter or Facebook for the next 2 months! I’m confident this trend will continue.

Social listening is critical to your success on social sites. You don’t want to be viewed as merely a broadcaster. Listen to what your customers are saying and answer their questions. Also take note of what potential customers are saying on other sites and then optimize your presence on those sites to gain additional exposure. You’ll find it’s time well spent!

Why You Should Change Your Facebook Cover Photo

Most of you Facebook users are familiar with changing your profile picture and you swap it out when you want to express something new about yourself. But what about your business page’s cover photo? Have you changed it since Facebook rolled out its new timeline?

The cover photo on Facebook is like the header photo on your website. It’s the first thing people see when they come to your page and says a lot about you and your business. In fact, it’s the first step toward marketing your business on Facebook.

When choosing your cover photo, think about the message you want to send. Since the page I manage is all about water gardening, I want to showcase the beauty of a water feature in the landscape, and I want that photo to draw the person in and inspire them to add a pond, waterfall, or fountain to their own landscape.

Once you choose your cover photo, make sure that your profile picture complements it since they are shown together at the top of your Facebook timeline. Here’s an example of a creative cover/profile picture combination:

Pretzel Crisp Facebook Cover

To add interest to your Facebook page, update your cover photo from time to time. You could choose to go with seasonal themes, swapping out a summery pond photo for a colorful autumn pond photo. In the winter, a snowy scene works well since it shows your customers the beauty of a waterfall with ice formations. If you don’t have winter photos, try an evening photo of a pond with night lighting that sets a serene scene during the shortened days of winter.

Facebook cover photos are 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall. But if you’re clueless when it comes to editing photos, Facebook makes it easier by giving you the opportunity to drag and reposition your cover photo after you upload it.

Aquascape Inc on Facebook

You can also add text to your photos before uploading them, however, Facebook has some restrictions on what type of text you can add. For example, you can’t promote a sale with your cover photo, but you can add a quote or similar.

For more information, read Facebook’s guidelines on cover photos.

Use Facebook to Create a Vision of Life

Aquascape WaterfallRecently I heard someone mention that businesses should use Facebook to create a vision of life for their customers. I couldn’t agree more! Create an experience with your Facebook page and you’ll be far more successful than if you’re simply peddling your wares.

I cringe every time I see a business post something like, “Need a good plumber? Call Joe at blah blah blah.” Before I call Joe, he better give me a good reason for calling him. For example, has Joe spent time on his Facebook page providing helpful plumbing reminders like turning off the outdoor water spigot before winter rolls around? Is Joe answering questions on his Facebook page that customers are posting? Has Joe shared a photo of an oversized tub filled with bubbles surrounded by candles? Something that inspires me to upgrade my bathroom?

Take a look at your own Facebook page. A critical look. Are you creating a vision of life for your customers on your page? Are you showing photos that draw them in and make them want to be a part of that photo? Do you provide tips and knowledge to improve the quality of their life? Or are you simply broadcasting why they should tell all their friends about you?

Make sure you’re providing value and having authentic conversations on Facebook. For example, if someone complains about algae in their pond, provide feedback on why they might be having that problem as opposed to saying, “call me and I’ll fix it for you.” Once you provide them with knowledge and insight, they’ll grow to trust you. And once you have their trust, you’ll likely have their business, as well.

 

Aquascape Fish PondPond builders and retailers have the ideal opportunity for creating a vision of life for customers. Photos of children playing in a waterfall, families dining on their patio by the pond, butterflies and frogs visiting a water feature, the family dog sticking his nose in the pond to play with the koi … all of these images create a vision of enjoyment and relaxation for your customers.

On occasion, it’s okay to promote your business, just don’t let it hog the conversation. Follow a 70/30 rule of thumb for your Facebook posts. 70% of your posts should create a vision of life … the other 30% can be promotional. If you keep in mind that Facebook is a community site where people connect and share life, you’ll find you have greater success.

How to Email Photos and Status Updates to your Facebook Page

Busy work days can make it challenging to check into Facebook and post a photo or status update. You know it’s important to be active on Facebook, but how do you find the time to participate … especially if most of your work is done outside of an office setting?

Facebook provides an email tool to make it easy to create status updates and upload photos to your page using a mobile device. Here’s how to get your unique email address for sending photos and status updates to your page:

  1. Log onto your business page on Facebook. From the Admin Panel’s “Edit Page” menu options, choose “Manage Permissions.”
  2. Once the new page loads, you can then choose “Mobile” from the list of options on the left-hand side of the page.
  3. Facebook provides 3 options for accessing your business page using a mobile device. The first one shows an email address. Save the email address to your phone’s contact. You can give it a contact name like “Facebook Fan Page” or similar. Once you’ve saved this email address, you can start using it.

To post a status update using the email address, simply open your email on your mobile device and choose the Facebook address as the recipient. In the subject line of the email, write your status update and then click “send.” It’s important to remember that you must type the info in the subject line of the email and not in the body of the email.

To post a photo using the email address, choose a photo from your mobile device to send. Once again, use the subject line of the email to write the caption … do not put the caption in the body of the email or it won’t show up on your page. Choose your Facebook page’s email address as the recipient and then click “send.”

You could, of course, simply log onto your Facebook page using the Facebook app for your mobile device and post status updates or photos. However, I’ve noticed that when posting photos to your page from a mobile device, there seems to be an annoying rate of “Update Failed” occurrences. Facebook’s mobile email option simply gives you another option for posting updates and it appears to be more reliable, as well.

Visiting Aquascape Marketing on Facebook for more helpful tips.