Use Your Facebook Profile for Business Benefit

May 26, 2016 by · Comments Off on Use Your Facebook Profile for Business Benefit 

A solopreneur who wanted to use Facebook more effectively but wasn’t yet ready to create a Facebook Page asked, “Can my personal profile help me in business?” What follows is my answer to her.

Choosing to use your Profile for business helps expand natural visibility in the newsfeed with your friends. Because organic reach (what shows when you hit home) in Facebook is low, I encourage entrepreneurs to use their Profiles in conjunction with a Page. Posting on both a Page and a Profile adds exposure and engagement.

Why? Because our personal and business lives are entwined. Social media requires a personal connection for effectiveness. Personal posts that aren’t overly revealing help accomplish this. Here are a few additional reason to consider using your Profile for business:

  1. If you are interested in being viewed as a thought leader, you need followers. Followers who are not friends can now subscribe to your posts. In order to allow followers in Facebook, go to your general settings. On the left hand side of the page, scroll down to followers. Enable the “Who can follow me” to say “Everybody. This will allow your posts to be publicly visible to people who are not your friends or friends of your friends.
    Merrigan Group Albuquerque suggests you use your Facebook Profile for business benefit by adding subscribers.Merrigan Group Albuquerque suggests you use your Facebook profile for business by enabling everyone to see your posts.
  2. In the “About” section of your Profile, use your website (if you have a Facebook Business Page, use it) as your workplace.
  3. Use keywords and hashtags appropriate to your business brand.
  4. Create “Smart Lists” to segment personal and professional friends if you prefer to do that. You can then post to specific lists rather than posting publicly.
  5. Check that all descriptions and URLs are uniform.
  6. Ensure your backgrounds and other images follow your theme/branding.
  7. Publish consistent, highly useful posts to build brand.

If standing out from the clutter interests you, the time is right to re-think your Facebook Profile for business benefit.

Your personal profile follows you in Groups, for event responses, and everywhere you go on Facebook. The average user spends 20’ on the channel. Why would you NOT want to use the opportunity to open a conversation with a potential customer through your profile?

Experiment to Discover Value in Your Facebook Profile

May 15, 2016 by · Comments Off on Experiment to Discover Value in Your Facebook Profile 

Most of my clients are private women, reluctant to talk indiscriminately or reveal disdain for Candy Crush Saga, one of Facebook’s most prevalent games. They understand their personal profile is the entry point to Facebook, the world’s largest social media channel. In a society where personal and professional lives intertwine, and where one of every two U.S. adults log onto Facebook monthly, (eMarketer 2016) a meaningful Facebook profile presence can help build your brand.

The average person spends 20’ per day on Facebook, more time than that given to websites, blogs, or news media on the web. This time allocation is an important indicator of Facebook marketing importance. Once individuals understand how they can better use this social media channel for their brand visibility, there’s less resistance.

Although each situation is different, I find gentle experimentation key to Facebook acceptance. If one can quiet the mind talk long enough to connect with a Facebook benefit, there’s hope. To that end, I share a few simple, fear-busting tests for you to try: NOTE: Pick one of these seven ideas to begin.

Toggle “See First” in your Facebook newsfeed. Do this by opening setting on the left-hand side of your screen, then scrolling down to “newsfeed preferences.” This screen shot shows how you can then prioritize what you want to see first in your news feed.

Merrigan Group suggests you use your newsfeed preferences to add value to your Facebook profile.

Save an interesting article to read later. In a two-step action, click the gray arrow on the right-hand side of the post you are interested in. Arrow down and save the link. In the future you will find the article on the left hand side of your desktop.

Merrigan Group outlines the save feature to add value for your Facebook profile.

Enable the subscriber feature. Your profile (with the subscriber feature enabled) allows you to have an unlimited number of subscribers or followers. As you share through your profile, you’ll increase your brand’s visibility.

Merrigan Group Albuquerque suggests you use subscribe to add value to your Facebook profile.

Experiment with Smart Lists. This will allow you to select audiences for specific posts. Add targeted friends. Create any number of lists and segment your friends as you wish. Friends will not know how you handle this filing system. NOTE: I personally find this technique a bit cumbersome but you may like it.

smart list

Comment on a page you like when it shows in your newsfeed. Say more than “nice article,” or “beautiful.” Take a stand about why this page means something to you. This helps you establish your “voice,” adding to the conversation. It also allows you to add value by putting your comment in the mix. In the example here I commented on a post shared by Amapola Gallery, the co-op gallery to which I belong.

Use comments to add value to your Facebook Profile, a suggestion from Merrigan Group Albuquerque.

Tag a friend in the comment so you can add to the conversation. (Note: Notifications show the tag if they are enabled in your settings.) Backspace once to take out the person’s last name in your tag. This allows your comment to notify them while looking more like conversation. Just for good measure, I also tagged the Page for Amapola Gallery in this example and posted it to a group, Sandia Heights Artists. As you can see, it’s possible to have great fun tagging and sharing and promoting the conversation.

Use tags to add value to your Facebook Profile, a suggestion from Merrigan Group Albuquerque.

Are you inspired to begin?

Resolve to step gently out of your shell with just one of these experiments. Pick the test that resonates most. Or, as you look at the newsfeed, choose the one that first comes to mind.

One client who protested loudly about the stupidity of Facebook had an ‘aha’ moment when she realized she could explore the subjects that interested her (good food), tag her friend who’d just published a cookbook, and find others who shared her love of fashion. Suddenly she saw the reality of community and using Facebook effectively became a reality.

How will you personalize the Facebook experience to add value?

Social Media Vision

May 5, 2016 by · Comments Off on Social Media Vision 

Without a social media vision, social media becomes a catchall for marketing outreach. It’s quick, easy and free. Many 50+ entrepreneurs embrace social media because they’ve been told it’s the new way. Most of these experimenters never define what they want social media to do for them.Mary Ellen Merrigan of Merrigan Group Albuquerque recommends you look to the future to create your social media vision.

In my work with those who didn’t grow up with a smart phone in their hands, my approach to strategy begins with simple questions about outcomes. I guide my clients to talk specifically about how their business will be different as a result of using social media. Together we define a vision.

Author Sees Engaged Group

Take Karen, for example. An author, Karen spent the past two years creating and editing her book while coaching a full complement of clients. She asked, “How do I create a powerful social media presence? I need to figure out where to spend my time.”

I asked my favorite strategy question: Given a fabulously successful book launch, what kind of changes do you see in your business audience?

She described a community of readers who embraced concepts and examples outlined in her book. One of Karen’s dreams included ongoing dialogue. She envisioned crowds who shared resources with each other and freely discussed the exercises outlined in her text.

As she talked, I took notes. Karen described an engagement process, one of the most compelling of all visions. Emotion involves the heart. When participants share from a place of caring, the seeming complexity of social media drops away. Truth drives engagement in such a way as to encourage shares, contributions and reflections.

Without this vision Karen’s posts would undoubtedly focus on educating her audience. She would share excellent quotes, compelling pictures, and certainly good tips and tricks about her subject (because that’s the type of person she is). Sooner or later, she’d stop, or share less often, or quit caring so much because she simply had not one more ounce of time.

With no vision, social media becomes just one more thing on the “to do” list. And who has time to eek out a few more posts just because…

Vision: how do you want it to be? Step number one in creating an effective strategy is to develop a social media vision.

If you’ve never written a vision statement, see this how-to article by Paula Fernandes from Business News Daily, Small Business Solutions and Inspiration.