Are you worried about Facebook and Google updates wrecking your visibility on social media?
Do the constant algorithm changes do your head in?
Well, if that’s you, I have good news!
Today’s post is going to share with you 5 ways in which you can build active, fun and profitable social media channels, regardless of any changes that Facebook or Google throw at you.
Why Facebook and Google are Tightening their Algorithms
In the past few months, Facebook have gone to war on spam and boring content by further reducing organic reach. Plus, they’ve also recently announced algorithm changes that could further penalise businesses who try to game the newsfeed in other ways.
And Google, well they’ve gotten cranky with spammy guest bloggers and fake authors trying to game Google rankings. Unscrupulous content marketers have been gaming Google for the past few years by creating sub-standard content for clients and using fake profiles.
To be honest, who can blame them, right?
As a content marketing strategist, I despair at much of the content I see on the internet. Most of it is crap and that makes it harder for consumers to find genuine, helpful information to help them make informed buying decisions.
And don’t even get me started on Facebook!
Okay, well, I’m going to go there anyway.
Other than the fact that Facebook is a business that is entitled to charge Pages rent for setting up shop on the platform, they are also entitled to ensure that the content users see is the best quality and most relevant for them.
Put yourself in the average Facebook user’s shoes. If you’re constantly seeing commercial content in your newsfeed, it gets a bit boring right?
It’s different if you’re a business because you’re not looking at it with the same eyes.
So, below I want to share with you five strategies to help you build active, fun and profitable social media profiles, regardless of anything Google or Facebook do.
1. Go for genuine recommendations rather than ads.
Recommendations are the life blood of social media. Here’s a great blog post all about the power of recommendations: http://growmap.com/get-recommended/. 84 percent of consumers listen to the recommendations of friends or family on social media (Nielsen, 2013).
The beauty of social media is it’s ability to amplify word of mouth. Businesses that have always relied on WOM will always be more likely to find success on social media for this reason.
If you have great recommendations flowing to your business and onto social media, you won’t need to spend as much on promoting yourself, because others are doing that for you.
So how do you get recommendations?
Firstly, offering outstanding service and service recovery should be a given. Outside of that you may want to ask your customers and clients for feedback and make it easy for them to respond. Use feedback and evaluation forms, have evaluation built into your marketing automation and events and use share buttons on email campaigns and landing pages.
2. Focus on your niche
It’s one of the hardest things to do but it is also the most rewarding. When you hone in on your niche, you position yourself to be an authority within that niche. Always be thinking of how you can fine-tune your brand to meet a specific set of people.
3. Interact and share in already established social media communities
Lately I’ve been spending way more time on Google Plus and in Google Plus communities relevant to my industry and niche. The results have been some awesome conversations, expanding my network and building my list. Communities are the other life-blood in social media. Spending more time in relevant communities can really help your brand stand out, so long as you’re not using them to sell your stuff. Focus on interacting and being helpful and when the time is right, you’ll be top of mind for someone who needs you and attract more recommendations.
4. Create your own community
Content without community is like trying to promote a book without having an already-established platform. If you can’t throw money at the problem to guarantee coverage of your business, you would be wise to grow a base of active, and enthusiastic followers who can help you promote your services (through recommendations and sharing of your content) when you need them and who you can get to know on a much deeper level. Of course, creating the right community for the right people is essential. Listen, research and analyse the issues that are top of mind for your right people so you can create the perfect community for them. Community-building is always a factor in the strategies I share with my clients, whether they be startup product based businesses or service professionals.
5. Go for quality relationships and content rather than quantity
Rather than spreading yourself too thin on social and on your blog, focus on really getting to know key people amongst your followers, clientele, peers and influencers and take the relationships offline if you can. If you want to know more about relationship marketing, here’s a terrific interview about it: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/relationship-marketing-with-ted-rubin/.
Meet in person and attend events that your influencers, clients and peers attend and speak at (without being stalky, that is). Showing up is half the battle, but being an active listener is also highly important. I’m reasonably outgoing and confident in a group of my peers, but I find large crowds daunting. I also find speaking to influencers daunting because I don’t want to come across as a brown noser on the one hand, and on the other, I don’t want to put my foot in my mouth and talk rubbish because I’m nervous.
The best strategy is to get really good at active listening. I’m a natural talker, so active listening is not something that comes naturally to me, but I’ve practiced over time and gotten better at it and that means so can you! Active listening means you reflect back what the person just said with statements like “So, the way I understand it is this….” Or “so you think….” Or “so you mean…?”
The upside of Facebook and Google algorithm changes is that the focus is on quality content and quality interactions rather than volume.
Free Teleseminar On This Topic
This is an important issue for many small business marketers. As such, I’m offering a free teleseminar on this topic next Wednesday February 5 (Feb 4 US time) so we can dive deeper together. If you’d like to join me, sign up here!
What changes are you making to your marketing strategy to adapt in the ever-changing social media environment? Have you noticed a slow-down in organic traffic on your Facebook page?