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I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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Facebook ads – short but important

Proof reading is important – even for short and (relatively) simple things like a Facebook ad.

A Facebook ad that needs proof reading

Unfortunately my screenshot didn’t work (and the ad hasn’t shown again since!) but I saw an ad this morning that seriously needed some help…

Proof read short pieces of writing

Even short pieces of text need to be proof read – or risk embarrassment

The heading of the ad was “New year. New hom.”

For a major company involved in real estate sales, you’d think home is an important word to get right.

I’d also have expected a company of that size to have a process of checking and approving ads before they go live – a one-person business is often at bigger risk of such errors because it is harder to correct your own writing.

The body of the ad included “but hurry – offer ends 28 February!”

Perhaps they meant hurry into your time machine?

That isn’t necessarily a proof reading error (unless they actually got the date wrong!) as it may be an incorrect setting on when the ad is to be run. Either way, attention to detail can have a big impact!

Proof reading matters…

We all do it – we write something and assume it is written exactly as we meant it to be.

But between typing mistakes (typos), thinking faster than we can type and actual spelling/grammatical errors, it is easy to have text that is not exactly what we wanted.

So we need to check our writing for errors. ALL our writing, whether short or long, whether technical, legally required or marketing, whether online or offline. It’s that simple!

And the key proof reading rules are to get someone else to check it and leave some time between the writing and proof reading.

Oh, and don’t rely on spell check to find all your errors, either. For example, in this post I typed ‘won’ instead of ‘own’ and a spell check would have accepted that as fine.


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Is there business life beyond Facebook?

mix of activities that makes a makreting strategy

A strong marketing strategy encompasses more than one option

Like it or not, Facebook is a big site that attracts millions of people to it. Every day. Repeatedly.

As a business, it is important to understand how Facebook could be part of your marketing plan – note I don’t say you have to be ON Facebook but I do think it is a good idea to actively know about it and consciously decide whether or nor to use it for marketing.

Facebook is changing

If you’ve been on Facebook or read many marketing/SEO blogs, you’ll know that Facebook has changed things a number of times.

Recent changes, however, have made businesses wonder if Facebook will be a viable marketing option soon. Updates on business pages do not go into your fans’ news feed by default any more – some do, but fans have to show an interest first and it’s still no guarantee.

Facebook is moving towards charging businesses to be in front of fans.

As a business, it’s understandable that they want to make money. For SMBs, there is a real and justifiable fear that they won’t be able to compete in the advertising stakes against the big guys. A problem social media supposedly overcame for many SMBs.Select to get Word Constructions notifcations in Facebook

At least they have now added notifications so fans can choose to be notified of updates on a page.

What other options are there?

I don’t see this as a small answer. I never thought of Facebook as that important my business relies on it so I already use a number of other avenues.

But some businesses have put a lot into their Facebook page and could be challenged by looking elsewhere.

The appeal of Facebook is that so many people use it. But how many of those people are really your target market anyway? A targetted option may have fewer users but more of them will be interested so it could offer much more value anyway.

To me, the risk of Facebook (and similar sites) is lack of ownership. You don’t ‘own’ your Facebook profile in the same way you own your website. Facebook can change the rules or  disappear, leaving you without all you built up.

One way to keep using Facebook but have less reliance on it is to add ‘like’ buttons to your site.

That means people can still refer to you and your site to their Facebook friends but traffic comes to your site, not your Facebook profile.

Chris Syme offers a number of good ideas in a recent blog post and I’d add a few more:

  •  get involved on some popular blogs – leave comments and interact with the blogger and other readers
  • do some guest blogging
  • find some forums that suit your niche and become active there – it’s a smaller audience but targetted
  • if using any social media, keep a focus on your website so you don’t lose everything if the platform collapses or becomes unusable
  • develop and maintain an email list
  • promote yourself offline as well – ads in local newsletters, sponsor local events and hand out business cards appropriately

What would happen to your business tomorrow if Facebook suddenly wanted to charge too much for your page?

Do you have other viable options already in place?

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Social media choice

Which social media platform(s) do you find useful for your business?

Twitter or Facebook?

I have seen a number of discussions on this topic recently, in blogs and forums, and most people have answered in favour of Twitter or Facebook, with some being against the other. Other sites get little mention or are listed as additional channels.

It intrigues me that people still consider Twitter to be about what someone had for breakfast and won’t look at it while swearing by Facebook as a business tool. Both sites can be used seriously or frivolously – you can choose to not like/follow anything you think is nonsense.

My personal experience is that business people share a lot of information and resources on Twitter while Facebook is great for products and consumer services that people can relate to in ‘their time’ rather than in ‘work time’.

I heard it summed up nicely by Tom Webster (of Brand Savant) recently when he said (paraphrased) “Facebook is for sharing with people you know while the other platforms are for sharing with people you don’t know.”

Benefits to business

As a B2B business, having my information shared widely is valuable so Twitter suits  that need. I also like reading what other B2B people share as I can learn from it. Reading what friends share on Facebook may be interesting or fun, but generally doesn’t teach me business skills or knowledge.

One set of  statistics* I found interesting is:

Comparison of social media platforms for B2B and B2C results

B2B 39% & B2C 53% have acquired a customer via Twitter
B2B 41% & B2C 67% have acquired a customer via Facebook
B2B 61% & B2C 39% have acquired a customer via LinkedIn
B2B 55% & B2C 63% have acquired a customer via their business blog

It clearly shows that LinkedIn is more about professional links rather than leading to consumers. But more relevant for now is that Facebook works much better for B2C than B2B, and Twitter and Facebook have produced similar results for B2B users.

Those figures also make it obvious that a blog is still a very useful tool for both B2B and B2C – with the advantage of complete control of the blog and content (social media platforms can and do change).

Your social media experiences

How do you use social media as a consumer/client? Where would you look for a business in social media?

What results have you seen from social media for your business?

*From HubSpot State of Inbound  Marketing Report 2011 (2012 version due out soon)

Discussing automating social media updates

I admit there’s a lot about social media I don’t yet know, although I am getting a grasp of the basics now.

There’s one topic I have noticed floating around that I’m not sure I agree with, although I see the argument presented. So I want to ask what others think…

Should you use software to automate your posts on social media such as facebook and twitter?

The argument against it is that it looks impersonal and like you haven’t bothered to log into the specific platform to post something. Some make an exception for automatically sending a message about a new blog post if (and only if) you post other things around the blog post messages.

Here is my thinking on that argument…

  • I may not have logged into the platform but I did still take the time to write whatever the message is
  • if I didn’t use automated software, I’d have less time to post on social media so would do less – surely someone who values my input cares more about getting the messages than how I post them?
  • personally, I take little (if any) notice of the icon showing how someone submitted their comment – it is the comment I am interested in (or not!) Am I the only one who doesn’t notice the icons?
  • I think I might actually respect or at least understand someone’s use of automating software as they are sensible enough to manage their time

I am busy and while I do sometimes log in directly, the reality is that without tools like Tweetdeck and leenk.me, I just wouldn’t be able to manage a social media presence along with everything else. I certainly don’t want to give a bad impression by using such tools, but I need them and can’t see me logging into each platform multiple times each day (multiple because I manage more than one account on some platforms).

How do you feel when you see a link showing I posted without logging into the platform?

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