Top 5 Essential Tips in Facebook Targeted Posts

This is a guest post written by Celina Conner. If you’d like to write a guest post please contact me.

By now, you have probably have heard that Facebook has recently released its post targeting feature for fan pages. If not, you might have been sleeping from a coma! Kidding aside, here’s the gist. In an attempt to develop new features for users to enjoy, social networking giant Facebook is gearing toward positioning itself as the top of all marketing platforms on the social web. Its latest innovation is providing advantage to users, specifically retailers or business owners, by allowing them to set targets to page posts thereby reaching their rightful targeted audience segments.

Targeted PostIn this article, we will tackle on 5 essential tips on how you can leverage with this new feature.

1. Target by demographics

Facebook’s post targeting feature now allows you to select options with criteria such as the age, gender, relationship status, education, location, school, workplace, interests and language. Being the page admin, you can manipulate the promotion of your posts by highlighting your posts to certain users with your chosen criteria.

For example, you are selling corporate heeled shoes and want to target female young professionals who reside in Manila, Philippines. Then, you can apply these layered conditions using the targeting tool. In this way, you can look to directly marketing your content related to your offering to a smaller but more aimed subset of likes.

2. Muster longer fan retention

When you’ve successfully done the first step in narrowing the people who see your highlighted posts, you can get them to be more engaged to your updates naturally. When they have seen and acknowledge the level of relevance of the product to their lifestyle, you will have higher response rate. This is because you are speaking to audiences who have more interest in your products rather than pleasing a wider fan base to “like” your posts. By essentially selecting only your most relevant fans, you will gain greater control and ultimately longer fan retention.

3. Improve optimization by scheduling

Facebook Scheduling

As a page admin, aside from targeting users with your posts, you can also schedule your posts. This is important to make sure that your posts will be more likely read by your intended audience. If they are working from 9AM to 6PM, for instance, they won’t log onto Facebook during those hours. Instead, they will check updates after dinner or probably before going to bed. Therefore, study their habits as well and set pre-determined schedules of your targeted content accordingly.

4. Review insights

Facebook gives you access to your page insights on the Facebook admin page itself and/or by email newsletters you can subscribe to. This tool will help you measure what works and what improvements you can make to better your target parameters and tactics. You can watch the trends of the page insights on the graph and you can see the most engaging posts by sorting by the Talking About This column.

5. Interact with your audiences

People naturally love building friendships and establishing good relationships. And as a vendor, having timely responses makes up for good customer service. Connect with this specific audience and reach out to meet their needs and wants as a real human behind the computer monitor screen.

Conclusion

Facebook’s targeting tool is another means of advertising and promoting your offerings through the site and you can do this for free. Remember to use this powerful feature aptly and be involved with actual communications with your audience to a greater sales conversion. By doing so, you’re not only turning your audience to fans but in the long run, also as your friends.

Author bio:

Celina Conner is a Yoga Instructor, an alumna of Marketing Management at Martin College Australia and a mother of a beautiful daughter, Krizia. She has a passion in cooking and formulating vegan recipes.

The Top Tips For Finding Blogging Happiness

It’s tough, being a blogger. It’s hard because we have to commit to publishing a certain amount of material each week, keep ahead of key trends, and have faith that what we are doing is really helping us to enhance our business success and generate more revenue by supporting our customers. If you’re currently in a blogging rut, follow these tips to help you get back to blogging happiness and keep your online marketing strategy on track.
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  • Choose subjects to blog about that you feel passionate about and you’ll find easy to write about with knowledge and enthusiasm
  • Build blogging in to your daily routine, in the same way as you brush your teeth each day or load the dishwasher – this makes it easier to stick to regular posts
  • Invite people to comment on your posts regularly, so you know you’re on the right track with what you are writing about
  • Keep up to date with all your feedback, answering comments and thanking people for responding to your posts
  • If you ever feel disheartened about your blogging prowess, look back to the metrics from when you first started out and compare them with your current results
  • Ask people you like and respect to guest blog to ease the burden of ongoing blog publishing, and introduce new perspectives and topics to your site
  • Tweet your posts so more people can access what you have written and your message gets circulated for more comments, and new readers
  • Try out new styles of communicating through your blog, like podcasting and video blogging (vlogging)
  • Revamp your site for a quick fix of freshness, having fun with choosing new themes and layouts
  • Consider outsourcing some of your writing from time to time if other pressures are getting in the way of your blog writing responsibilities
  • Check out new technologies – plugins and widgets – designed to make your blogging life easier and enhance your metrics and benchmarking
  • Gain access to a great image resource site so you can experiment with different types of graphics – I use http://sxc.hu or http://www.morguefile.com for royalty-free images
  • Consider blogging a series – twelve posts all geared towards a single help topic, which you could then go on to produce as a product such as an e-book or download giveaway
  • Learn new angles to blog about by researching your industry online, reading up on the latest developments, and sparking off a wealth of new ideas to write about
  • Take time out. Everyone needs a break sometimes, so manage your postings, publish them in draft and stick them on a timer so you can go on vacation, have a long weekend or settle down to catch up on all that television you’ve been missing because of work!

The Top Ten Tips for Blogging Success

I’m often asked what the main elements of great blogging best practice are, and what new bloggers can do to really make the most of their online business to generate more traffic and increase revenue. In truth, there are a number of things that we need to do to keep our blogs flourishing and successful, and it can sometimes seem as if there is so much to learn, and so many activities to do that we’ll never get to the bottom of the winning formula for blogging success. However, the following tips are the main things I can think of that will really enhance your blog, supporting you to be a success.

1. Update your content regularly

Search engines like content that is fresh, newly-published, and has a high turnaround, as the latest content on the web is the most successful in terms of being highlighted through the search engines. Because of this, keep your blog updated with at least three new posts a week to make the most of the possibilities of the web.

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2. Watch your competitors

A really good way of making sure your blog is right on the money in terms of quality content and customer-focused activity is by keeping an eye on what pioneers in your industry are doing. Use the people you most admire as the yardstick for working out where to go next with your blog, and check out your key competitors regularly to make sure you stay ahead of your game.

3. Be good to your customers

Your customers are the reason why you blog, so make sure they are always your top priority. Answer comments quickly, respond well to queries and questions, and stay ahead of what your customers need at all times to have a well-read, flourishing and happy blog.

4. Keep your blog well maintained

Blogs are a bit like gardens – turn your back for too long, and they become a little unkempt and need a spruce up. The busier your blog is, the more work there is to keep it maintained. Keeping on top of comments, posting regularly and making sure your blog is tidy and well looked after are all really important for ease of loading and customer satisfaction online.

5. Use your customers to work out what should be on your blog

It’s sometimes easy to fall in to the trap of writing for ourselves rather than our customers, but this can easily lead to a fall in traffic as people find that they aren’t getting what they came for when they visit your site. Use your customers to establish what’s needed in terms of content, and cater for their requirements. When people get in touch with queries, use these as headings for new posts, letting your customers tell you what they want to know, and giving it to them.

6. Keep your blog easy to navigate

The best blogs are simple to use, and make it easy to see content and get to what we need quickly and efficiently. As our attention spans grow increasingly shorter, make sure you cater for customers by keeping everything within easy reach for them.

7. Link in to social media

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and all the other platforms for social networking are all there to support you to be a great blogger. Make the most of what is available by linking in to these powerhouses of free advertising, letting them work on your behalf to optimize your blog and raise awareness of who you are and what you do.

8. Make your content easy to read, and accessible

Great content is the cornerstone of good blogging practices, and if your site is full of mistakes, or tough to read, people won’t come back. On the other hand, lively fresh content will keep your readers loyal and satisfied, encouraging returns to your site to see what you have been up to, and what your latest post is telling your customers about.

9. Make the most of SEO opportunities

WordPress has a wealth of support in place for search engine optimisation, so make sure you give it a helping hand to get the main search engines to find and feature your content. The ‘All in one SEO pack’ is the very minimal you should be doing to enhance your blog content, using well researched keywords and backlinks to drive traffic to your site.

10. Be an active voice on your blog

Blogging success depends on customer interaction and a visible and strong presence at all times. When someone is actively engaged in their blogging business it shows through passionate writing, prompt responses to customers and a general impression of professionalism and enthusiasm. Stay present and involved with your blog, and you’ll succeed as your knowledge, passion and love of your business shine through.

How To Stay Motivated

It’s the age old question – how do we keep the momentum going with our blogs, and make sure we stay motivated enough to achieve everything we need to do, without letting our energies slip and becoming fed up with work? Motivation isn’t something that can be learned, and many of us are left floundering without inspiration, forgetting what gave us the drive and ambition to succeed when we first started our businesses.

The problem with motivation is it always seems dependent upon the environment and external circumstances. If we get bad feedback, our will to work disappears as quickly as you can say ‘loss of confidence.’ Similarly, when life is going brilliantly it can be hard to knuckle down to work, as we are keen to enjoy our circumstances while the going is good, and it feels tough to have to apply ourselves and stop having fun.

So, motivation can ebb and flow, but our businesses demand a constant stream of input in order to thrive. Blogging, of all the disciplines to do with work, is probably one of the most demanding jobs we can have. If we slack off, it’s immediately evident in the fact that we haven’t published anything for a while, or our readers’ comments lie unanswered for days on end. As a time critical and highly visible platform for marketing, blogging is relentless and requires the maximum input from us as site owners.

Given the amount of investment we need to make in our blogs, having the right amount of motivation is a really important element of our jobs. Without it, we’ll be left with an out of date site, and disgruntled customers. Additionally, it takes motivation to produce new products, post articles as a guest writer, commit to commenting on other people’s sites each day, and undertake the tasks necessary to do a great job on our sites. So, how do we get motivated, and what can we do to ensure that even when things are becoming stressful or we feel too jaded to make a great impact with our work, it doesn’t show in what we do?

Here are some ideas…

Manage your time

Nothing saps motivation more than feeling that things are getting on top of us. Instead of rallying when this happens, we tend instead to procrastinate, putting things off until the situation becomes even worse. For some reason, most business owners find that the more stressed they are with their work, the less work they can actually complete!

Because of this, time management is one of the most important elements which contribute to great motivation. Knowing you have a fantastic routine to tackle each day, which is proven to deliver results and produce a satisfactory outcome for your efforts is motivational in itself.

Don’t get distracted

Most of us who run a blogging business work from home, and this is a terrible breeding-ground for distractions. There will always be laundry that needs doing, someone popping in for a social call, and the television (that well-known attention vacuum which can suck away two hours of your life before you have the chance to say ‘Talk Show’). Because of this, it’s important not to let yourself get distracted from what your work, no matter how hard that may be at the time.

Another huge pull on our attention is the internet, which lures us away from our purpose at every turn with advertisements for online gaming, e-mails which pop in to our box and suck us in with tantalizing titles, and Skype chats from people whom you haven’t spoken to for at least two hours.

Distractions, then, are a hugely negative sap on motivation. The more we procrastinate and get sidetracked, the lower our motivation to get things done will become. Instead, we begin to feel stressed, disorganized and demotivated, as work piles up and we flounder in a sea of red e-mails and things to do.

Remind yourself of your goals

Motivation and ambition go hand in hand. This is because when we clearly identify what we want to achieve, and hold it in our minds at all times, it becomes easier to work towards this achievement with single-minded perseverance. Business owners who are not sure where they want to go, what they want to achieve nor how to set about achieving it will not have the motivation which is needed to

Speak to experts

Nothing sparks off the creative process and gets your motivational juices flowing quite like speaking with like-minded enthusiasts. These are the people who can show you where you want to be, and give you the advice which you need to achieve it.

Learn something new every day

Learning and acquiring new knowledge is one of the mainstays of business development and achievement. It also opens up new possibilities for your business, and starts off the ideas process which can lead to motivation. The more possibilities you can see, the easier it is to generate the energy and enthusiasm needed to do a kick-ass job with your blog and business, leaping out of bed each day to make your plans come to fruition.

Learning new things also stimulates our brains and makes us come alive. It sparks off new thought processes and wakes us up to new possibilities and potential for our blogs. Learning can also become a habit, as we waken up our brains and make them more receptive to picking up new concepts and stretching our capabilities.

As soon as the savvy blogger hits the books, a wealth of new ideas will start to flood in to your strategic plan for the business, and this is one of the most effective catalysts for keeping you enthusiastic, motivated and raring to go. Don’t believe me? Try it. Pick a subject close to both your heart and your industry, read up on it, and see where it leads. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

Laugh

Being tired and jaded saps motivation quicker than an SUV drinks gas. The surefire way of combating the miserable feeling of being tired and de-motivated is to have a good solid belly-laugh. This could be at someone else’s expense, at your own, or simply for the heck of it. Find a way to laugh off your worries and think more positively about your business, and you’ll be more motivated than Bill Gates when he looks at a particularly sexy microchip.

Optimizing Your Home Office For Business Blogging

Most people who run an online blog as their primary source of income tend to be home workers, with a dedicated space in the house given over to their office. This is a dream for the majority of people, as it frees up time for focusing upon work, while staying close to the domestic side of life which is close to all of our hearts.

Continue reading Optimizing Your Home Office For Business Blogging

Three Cool Features of WordPress You Don’t Know About

WordPress has lots of useful features, and the latest version keeps adding to them. A quick three and a half minute video will show you my three current favorite features that you might not know about.

If you need to see anything more clearly, you can change it to 720p HD and watch full screen.

Do you have any favorite features in WordPress?

WordPress.tv Videos Will Help You!

Ever wanted to know how to do something basic in WordPress? Now WordPress.tv can help you out.

Made by the makers of WordPress (Automattic), WordPress.tv contains videos on writing and publishing posts, adding a static page, and many more “how-to” videos.

Below is their welcome video (if you can’t see it, click here):

Looks like a great resource for those who aren’t too sure how to do something in WordPress. As always if you would like to TALK to someone about how to use WordPress, or you’re uncomfortable with the interface, please get in touch.

How To Add A Favicon To Your Site

First, what is a favicon? In the image below it is the little picture of my head that is shown in the browser address bar, and in the tab for the web page I’m visiting. It also appears as the bookmark icon if you save my site to your favorites. It can be anything, your logo, your face, a familiar symbol or something that you wish to brand your site with.

Blog Tech Guy Favicon

Second, how do you get one on your site? The easiest way I have found for people to do it themselves is to follow these steps.

1. Find/create the image you want to be used as your favicon. It doesn’t really matter what the size of this image is, but a square image is best. The final image will be 16×16 pixels so bear in mind it’s going to be small when finished, so see if it looks good that small first.

2. Go to HTML Kit here. This is a great FavIcon From Pics generator.

3. Simply upload your image here and it will then provide you with an example of the image and a link to download it from. I highly recommend NOT using the animated version, unless you want to annoy your visitors.

4. The image will be in a zip file, so extract favicon.ico to somewhere you will remember on your computer (the Desktop is usually easiest).

5. Upload the favicon.ico to your website, either via FTP or through WordPress (simply go to Write as if you were writing a post and Add image. You don’t need to save the post after it uploaded). Either way remember/copy the URL to the file once it is uploaded.

6. Finally you will need to edit the header of your website to tell the browser where the favicon is located. In WordPress you can do this through Design > Theme Editor and selecting header.php. Some themes will already have a line mentioning favicon.ico so you simply need to edit that line, else before the closing tag insert this line:


The image does not always appear first time, browsers are a little picky about displaying them, but you can always try in a different browser, or delete your browser cache/temporary internet files, closing the browser and restarting. If you have done steps 5 and 6 correctly it WILL work, have faith. You can even ask a friend if they can see it on their computer.

It’s a nice little touch to a website that can add an air of professionalism and branding.

[Thanks to my client Oriana for the idea for this post!]

WordPress 2.6 Is Coming Soon

Wordpress 2.6 is due shortly. I doubt that it will be released on time, though that never really bothers me as I would rather it works than be rushed out prematurely just to hit an artificial deadline.

For those who are signed up to my Monthly Maintenance Package, they will get upgraded by me as part of this.

A couple of interesting articles about the new version are available. Weblog Tools Collection talks about:
– Post revisioning.
– Tumbling your posts.
– Admin interface speed improvements (by the use of Google Gears).
– (De)Activating plugins in bulk.
– Other technical changes.

Technosailor also goes into detail about:
– Post revisioning.
– Google Gears.
– Avatar Options.
– Press This! feature.
– More technical details.

Very interesting for when you blog is upgraded and you think “I wonder what this does?”. Just remember, you should be making at least weekly backups of your blog database, and more for mission critical blogs. And aren’t they all critcial?!

How To Add Google Analytics To Your Blog

Another question I get frequently is how to add Google Analytics to a WordPress blog. The good news is that it’s incredibly easy.

1. Download the Google Analytics plugin.
2. Upload the plugin via FTP and activate it in you WordPress Dashboard plugins menu.
3. Go to Google Analytics and sign up/in. Add your new website, and get the tracking code.
4. Back in WordPress, go to the Google Analytics plugin options page (under Plugins) and enter the UA-XXXXXX number that appears in your tracking code. There are some other options that you can configure and read about on the plugin homepage.

What’s the benefit of using this plugin over adding the tracking code to your theme?
a) It is set not to track admin users – when you’re logged in the code won’t appear, and you won’t be tracked, potentially skewing the results.
b) If you change theme you won’t need to remember to add the code again.
c) No need to edit any html/php files.

Below is a Google-made introduction to Google Analytics, it’s an excellent overview and a good way to spend 10 minutes of your time. If you can’t see this video, click here. As always if you have any further questions, please let me know.