“How do I get more people to…
…”like” my Facebook page?
…join my Constant Contact email list?
…follow me on Twitter?
…subscribe to my WordPress blog?”
This is a question I get in nearly every workshop, webinar and consultation on social media. I was reminded of this common marketing concern yesterday, when I saw an emphatic post in my Facebook feed demanding that I like a friend’s fan page. My first thought was:
What’s in it for ME?
So you set up your fan page and your family and close friends are happy to join in your little social media experiment, so you have your first 25 fans – enough to get your own custom Facebook username! After a time of networking, posting a few things, maybe even creating an event or two, other business friends and acquaintances become fans and you break the 100 mark. At some point you reach the plateau of people willing to join the cause just because they know you, and this is where it gets challenging. You see, at this point you actually have to show your value! That page, post and tweet have to start earning their keep and providing your audience with something they need. If it doesn’t, there is nothing in it for them and they will not join or will quickly leave.
I recently saw a list of the top 10 reasons people like a business fan page. Potential discounts, brand loyalty and new product information were among the top reasons in the study. Here are some ways we guide small businesses to add value for their audience:
Use a 30/30/30 Content Mix
If your goal is to just repeat your advertising copy into your Facebook business posts, don’t expect a huge return on the time invested! My recommendation to most clients is that less than 30% of social media posts be straight advertising promotion. Another 30% should be industry news, product tips, research and other information that establishes your company as credible experts. The third 30% should be less business focused and can consist of community news, promoting charity events or entertainment. For all those keeping score at home, use that last 10% however you like!
Make it Shareable
You know those posts that you can’t wait to comment on and share with your friends? Try to be the person who makes that post! Think through your media calendar and post schedule from your audience’s point of view. Are the things you post something they will want to see and share with their friends? When you are not only valuable, but also shareable, your fan base will grow quickly.
My Facebook friend base combined with the business pages I like totals about 300. Not a large number, pretty average in fact. But, for me to see one day’s worth of posts I have to scroll back through about 8 screens – and I hide Farmville posts! That means if you are a business posting once or twice a week in the morning, it’s likely I won’t even see your posts for months at a time. Social Media is more tolerant of short, valuable posts multiple times a day than email. In fact, if you are on Twitter and only tweeting a couple times a day, most people who follow over 500 people (not uncommon) will forget they are following you.
Social Media Calendar
It’s tough to sit down and in the moment you have to post, think of something creative and valuable to say. Create a social media calendar to help organize, schedule and mix your post content. My social medial calendar includes Facebook, Twitter, WordPress blog posts and Constant Contact email marketing. This provides an integrated, consistent approach to my online marketing (when I have the time to implement!)
Having trouble with your social media or email marketing? Sigma College of Small Business has business classes, webinars and services to help you get started and be more effective.
Would you like a Social Media Planning Calendar? We developed an Excel spreadsheet that we use at Sigma College. Use the comments below to let me know if you are interested.
As I was enjoying the first couple rounds of this year’s NCAA Tournament and thinking up a great blog topic using basketball as a metaphor for business, Monday’s issue of The Vantage Weekly came to my inbox. My good friend John Stewart gave me special permission to repost the Management Impact from this week. Thanks John!
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The Economic Impact Of “March Madness”
The Madness in March extends well beyond the court action of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. We chuckle after hearing reports on the losses in worker productivity from time spent on all things “tourney”. In fact, Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimates the losses in productivity to be between $1.8B and $4.0B, but it’s nearly impossible to confirm and weigh against generated revenue.
One offset to lost productivity is the revenue from added consumption. The economic impact to the hosting cities for first weekend games is estimated at $4M to $6M each. The Final Four weekend is worth an estimated $13 million to it’s host city, though there is variation depending on the city and the contestants.
In their 2003 study, “An Economic Slam Dunk or March Madness?”, Matheson and Baade did the math and found that the men’s NCAA Division I tournaments since 1970 actually provided only a slight economic gain to host cities in opening rounds while the final four lost money. However, this seemed counterintuitive so we took a quick glance for ourselves. Estimates from the Indiana Department of Revenue show that 2006 Final Four host Indianapolis (Marion County data) had average annual tax revenue growth of 45% in March and April of 2006, which slowed to about 10% in 2007 and was -1% in 2005. They also hosted in 2010, but it’s very hard to control for economic conditions. In other words there was a clear and significant direct economic impact from spending. Also, indirectly more people would be hired temporarily and revenues would be raised by local government on local projects in preparation, which would also boost local economic activity. Of course this is much more difficult to measure but does help.
It’s not just the basketball that’s competitive. One estimate states that 70 cities bid for the 39 spots to host the 2011, 2012, and 2013 tournaments. Being competitive requires cities to invest 100’s of millions for facilities and other NCAA standards for hosting. Amortizing these expenses and accounting for the losses in productivity shows a quick offset to the aforementioned gains. We may never actually know with any precision the real economic impact, but we do know it’s arguably one of the greatest annual sporting events. And, although productivity might fall briefly, the happiness it brings may just be better in the long run! Enjoy.
Thanks John for a great post! I forgive you for kicking my butt in our bracket competition.
Last week I presented a “Hands-on” seminar for the Greater Warrenton Chamber of Commerce to help small businesses use Constant Contact email marketing to help grow their business. The seminar was based on these 8 Tips to Boost Your Email Marketing. Sigma College of Small Business chose to be a Constant Contact Partner and Certified Local Expert last year because of the ease of use for developing professional emails and their support for social media channels.
1. Add Value
Bottom Line – people will only open, read and act on emails they find consistently valuable.
- “Email special” discounts, sales and insider info
- Industry and community news – edited to highlight the value to your audience
- Opportunity to interact and share
2. Keep it Opt-In
Maintain a conservative definition of “opt-in” and manage your list to keep it that way.
- Sending to people that don’t want to hear from you can be negative
- Building a relationship they started is always better
3. Subject, Subject, Subject (and headline to Match)
You have a split second to catch their attention, don’t waste it! And confirm their “open” decision with a clear, related headline.
- “Our Monthly Newsletter” = “I can read this later” = “Will read when I have more time”
- YOUR AUDIENCE WILL NEVER HAVE MORE TIME!
- “Your Back Will Thank You”, “Get the CEO off Your Back”, “Are You Giving Your Profits Away?”
- Use a txt headline at the top of the email to confirm it’s not a trick
4. The Length and Frequency Principle
Keep frequent emails short, with one or two timely key points. Less frequent emails can be longer.
- A daily newspaper doesn’t publish each day with news from last week – if you are sending daily or weekly, have content that changes daily or weekly.
5. Using Lists
Using multiple lists gives your audience choices on content and frequency to match their needs.
- Monthly Newsletter, Weekly Specials, Daily Tip OR Engaged, Recently Married, With Children
- Tell each audience what they should expect and then deliver!
- Consistency – Delivery, Content, Format, From
6. Keep your emails consistent
Deliver at promised times with expected content that matches subject
- Consistent format will help brand recognition and using a recognizable email will help
7. “Join My Email List”
Ask people to join your email list – tell them why they should and then deliver.
- Put “Join My Email List” on web sites, Fan Pages and in email signatures
8. Social Media Promotion
Use the Constant Contact social media tools, but don’t stop there!
- “Look for ‘Your Back Will Thank You!’ in tomorrow’s monthly email newsletter.” Join Now!
- Connect your social media to Constant Contact and use the share and tweet functions.
Email marketing can be especially useful to small business owners because it can convey a personal message to clients on a consistent basis at very little cost. If you have questions about getting your email marketing working better, post a comment or contact us at info@SigmaBizLearning.com or (703) 468-1465.