4 Profitable Facebook Posting Tips

1. Write Posts that are Cheerleads for Your Prospects and Fans’ Values and Goals.

The biggest problem with Facebook posts is reach. You need to get your audience to like them, and that means you need to know what your audience values and what their goals are. If you can create a post that cheerleads for those values and goals, you’ll get likes and that gives you more reach.

2. Advertise to Promote Your Posts to Your Prospects

But we feel that ads are needed to promote posts, because if you only have 1,000 fans and you’re only reaching 50-100 people with each post, that’s not enough. What percentage of those 50-100 will come to your website or contact you or come into your physical store? The number of potential customers drops with every step through the marketing funnel, so out of 50-100 people you may only get 5 clicks to your website. That’s not enough. The average ecommerce website converts 1% of visitors, so you need to be getting 100 people at a time to your site, not 5. That’s why ads are necessary, and fans are an increasingly peripheral consideration. promote your posts with ads that target your potential customers, whether they’re fans or not.

3. Reach New People For Free With Shareable Posts

The way reach new customers for free is to get Facebook shares.
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I studied what kinds of posts get shared and which don’t in Contagious Content (free pdf here).

People share posts that are giving (contests), advising (how-to), amusing, inspiring, amazing, or warning (bad weather coming).

People don’t share posts that focus on your company or its employees, are edgy or offensive (except for rare customer groups that are all about those things), are obscure or niche in interest.

When you find that one of your posts is highly likeable and shareable, advertising it will get you a ton more interaction and visibility for a low cost. Our best post ever got us 80,000 likes and 35,000 shares and was seen by 424,000 people for less than a $200 ad spend.

4. Drive People to Your Website

Any post without a link to your website is a wasted opportunity.
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Keeping people on Facebook won’t necessarily help you get sales.

For B2B, blog on topics that help move your prospects toward the decision to buy from you, then post that on Facebook with a link to the post. Then promote that post with ads targeted to your prospects.

Do Something Weird

80% of new businesses fail. That means four out of five business owners have the wrong idea. If most business owners agree with you, you may be missing something.

You’d better do something weird.

You need to be that one person the other four business owners think is an idiot.

Idiot and idiosyncracy come from the same word. The antonym of idiot is genius, or natural ability. From what I’ve seen, many geniuses are called idiots by the 80%. Most of the people we call geniuses now needed 50 years of history to be called that.

If you’re following the crowd, you can bet that you’re going to face huge competition.

The crowd can’t do anything but follow each other. They don’t have any other ideas.

Do Something Weird.

P.S. What the crowd thinks is wise now, is what some “idiot” was doing a year ago. But the idiot is still ahead of them now, doing something they don’t get.

How I Beat the Internet Marketing Odds and You Can Too

I want to tell you a short story about how I beat impossible odds and ended up a thought leader with a fair amount of brand fame… and how you and your company can do that too.

Back in 2004, I was like a lot of people: just an untrained guy who wanted to have his own business doing something he was good at that would help other people. I wanted to get enough consulting clients to get paid and do my part bringing home the bacon.

But I struggled because there were so many blogs and competitors out there. I just couldn’t get enough attention or leads or clients to make it. It was hard. I was frustrated! Have you felt like that?

Now, I’ve always believed in and been grateful for freedom, for the American dream of being in control of my own business, and for the opportunities we have with capitalism and to decide on our own career. I didn’t want to work for somebody else. I wanted to be “the man”, not work for the man!

I just wanted to build something special that helped other people, something they appreciated. Isn’t that what we all want?

And then I saw opportunity: the Internet. This was it. A huge phenomenon that suddenly gave us all the opportunity to easily do business with people all over the country- even the world!

I was excited because it seemed like the Internet would change everything in business- and I wanted to get in on that! Wouldn’t you?

But the odds were stacked against me because I had no schooling in internet marketing, I had no savings to bank on, and there was no reason for people to come to my website or business instead of anyone else’s.

I had done a lot of different types of work in my life, but I wanted to focus and get good at one thing. I was married and my wife had been the bigger breadwinner and I wanted to make more money to help her out and feel better about myself.

The internet was growing and people were making lots of money, but not me. Ever felt left out like that?

I was going up against much bigger companies, like training companies that had dozens of bloggers, and internet marketing teachers with a 3-4 year head start on me. I didn’t know anybody who had succeeded at this. I had no connections at all.

I had to get trained. So I got on the Internet and took some online courses. I went and had coffee with the marketing guy in my local San Diego networking group. I read tons and tons of blogs.

And at first, I made A LOT of mistakes. I was super-excited to make some money with Google AdSense, putting their ads on my alternative medicine site, but then the Google search algorithm changed and I lost most of my traffic. That was depressing. Don’t you wish Google was easier?

I started an AdWords consulting business but I couldn’t get enough clients.

Feeling a bit beaten, I took a job as an eCommerce manager for an outdoor store and spent a year building their online store, only for them to tell me, “Brian, we just don’t want to invest in buying enough inventory for the online store to succeed.”

Back to square one, dang it.

Again I went into solo consulting but I wasn’t getting enough clients, and my wife said, more or less, “Get a job or else maybe we should separate for a while.” Wow, that hurt!

So I took a risk on a job where I would build the internet marketing part of a regional agency in South Carolina. I had to move and be away from my wife for a couple years, which was tough, but I worked super hard.

I was initially not very smooth with clients, but my coworkers taught me a lot about account management and successful business relationships.

I was getting better at the Internet business:

  • I got results for our clients.
  • I started blogging and got attention.
  • I got to speak at a conference, then two more conferences.
  • I got a column writing for a big search engine blog.
  • We built the internet marketing part of the agency from $100k revenue to $650k revenue in less than two years.
  • I brought them in new clients from other parts of the country.

Then, to my surprise, the company laid me off!

It turns out I had TOO good a compensation deal with them. I was making too much money. And they didn’t want to expand beyond their region, so they didn’t much value my national networking and speaking.

But by now, I had become an industry thought-leader. I was known and read as a blogger on search marketing and social media. People enjoyed the talks I gave. By traveling and networking, I had made solid friends in the industry. And I had found a professional speaking mentor.

Wouldn’t you love to have a successful mentor in what you’re pursuing?

Because of all that I was able to write a Facebook marketing book, which quickly turned into two published books, and I started getting paid to keynote speak for companies. I and my small new agency got to work with great companies like Carl’s Jr, Universal Studios and The World Health Organization.

Next thing I knew I was on Bloomberg TV in New York City, and getting to work with companies like Microsoft, NBC, Salesforce, GoToMeeting, Dramamine, PrideStaff and others.

Wouldn’t you love to have more opportunities and clients?

It felt amazing to be an author, to be a respected authority, to be someone companies would pay thousands of dollars to come and speak or give consulting opinions. It’s flattering to repeatedly show up on lists like “The Top 50 Marketing Experts in the World”.

Oh and by the way, now I bring home ALL the bacon and my wife works for me, and she’s a brilliant Facebook advertiser. :-)

During that journey I learned a ton about what does and doesn’t work for building brand fame and awareness.

All the best,
Brian Carter

Why Facebook Marketing Is So Freaking Hard For Small Businesses

vincesuccessyellowI think Facebook is the most amazing marketing platform in history.

Google is pretty good too. And better for getting the low hanging fruit… sales in the door. But Google doesn’t work for everything and is too expensive for a lot of things.

You may have already read my post on the Moz blog “Why Every Business Should Spend at Least $1 per Day on Facebook Ads” – it got around the Internet quite a bit.

The essence of that argument was – $1 will help you reach 4,000 people.

Any business can be helped by that kind of exposure.

And if you don’t have $1/day to spend on it, you shouldn’t be in business.

Recently I was looking at a post Facebook has “promoted” (are they really charging themselves money?) with their Facebook For Business page… and it has a lot of comments from naysayers about ads.

I thought it was a little bit ironic- because some Facebook pages would delete or hide comments like that- either they’re not monitoring the comments, or they are tolerating them while trying to continue to educate.

A lot of people are still very unhappy that they spent money to grow fan bases and now need to boost their posts to reach them. 

I can’t completely agree with those people, because we warned people this was an issue back in June of 2011.

This isn’t news. Not even remotely.

You’re way behind the times.

businesscatstaylateBut it’s a sign of a much larger problem in digital marketing: most businesses, especially small businesses, are at least two years behind the times.

In the old days (the 1990’s), it was ok to be 3-5 years behind.

But online, two years is like 20 years.

The real problem with Facebook marketing is that it’s too complicated for the average business to do well.

Maybe that will change.

Maybe small businesses will get better at understanding their fans. And using analytics. And testing tons of ads.

This is nothing new either. Small businesses struggled for a decade to get profits out of Google AdWords. Not because it was impossible. Because it was hard. And complicated.

Google ads are complicated, and have gotten more so.

Facebook ads are three times as complicated as Google ads.

Because there are some serious paradigm shifts required. I don’t even feel like I can list them in brief here. That’s how complicated.

Everything in The Like Economy is still good strategy. Read it to learn how to profit with Facebook.

But if you’re a small business, I would be very cautious at spending MORE than $1/day on Facebook ads. 

marilynfailsmBe prepared to spend an hour or two every other day on Facebook ads if you want to do them well.

Yes, even for a small account.

Because so much stuff doesn’t work, and you have to keep checking back.

That’s the reality.

It’s a shame there aren’t better answers for small businesses. You have the advantage of agility, but you need to be able to conquer tech learning curves, too.

Depressing, isn’t it?

The only thing I can think of is a weekly Q&A video hangout for small businesses– if you’re interested in paying for something like that, use the contact form to reach out to me. If we get enough interest, I’ll put it together!