How Facebook’s Targeted Organic Reach Helps Local Business

It's now becoming more tricky to get your messages out to your followers through Facebook organic reach...

If you’re a small, local business you may already be on the social media bandwagon. Using sites such as Facebook helps to successfully promote your services or products to your customers. If you’re not, then you should seriously think about jumping on board. Even within local communities, not being on Facebook could make you fall behind your competitors, and we don’t want that. In this blog post, I’ll discuss how Facebook’s feature Targeted Organic Reach can help drive sales to your local businesses.

There are currently over 25 million small business pages like yours who are using Facebook to promote their business. The best thing is many of them are doing it without spending any money on paid advertising. Everyone loves free things, therefore, getting your small business on Facebook seems like a no-brainer. Being on social media provides free advertising to the people in your community, and what’s not to like about that?

Targeted Organic Reach

If used effectively, free Facebook posting creates genuine connections which further drive customer sales. Whilst there are paid and sponsored advertising options available on Facebook, it isn’t entirely necessary to use it. Small businesses are likely to not have monstrous advertising budgets. This means free Facebook advertising could give your local business extra exposure and make a meaningful difference.

What is Organic Reach?

For those of you already using Facebook to promote your business, you might be aware of the term Organic Reach. But if you’ve not heard of it before, what it means is the number of people who see your posts without spending money on promoting it. Posting something to your business page without paying for it to be promoted, relies solely on organic reach.

In recent months, research shows that in general, the organic reach of posts is in decline. It’s now becoming more tricky to get your messages out to your followers through organic reach. This is because new algorithms on Facebook means newsfeeds are more likely to show content from friends and family – not businesses. As a result, to get your brand out there, you’ll need to find another way to promote your business on Facebook.

If you don’t pay for advertising on Facebook, it’s never been more important to make your post-high-quality, engaging content. This kind of content will obtain the highest organic reach to your followers and the local community. There are plenty of tips online about how to extend the reach of your post, by making sure it’s engaging enough to instigate interactions with your followers.

Some articles also highlight the importance of getting comments and reactions compared to likes that rank as better engagement on Facebook’s algorithms. Others suggest posting more videos to tap into the increasing number of people who watch video content on the platform. Facebook loves when your posts are engaging to your followers, and the more interaction you get on a post. The higher organic reach you’ll get, and the more exposure you’ll get and so on.

Whilst all of this is good advice, there is another feature which might make this easier for you.

Targeted Organic Reach

The best way to describe this feature is to use an example of how it could work for a business. Let’s say you’re a local charity shop, and you have a large amount of women’s clothing available at the moment. You might write a post telling your customers about the range of women’s clothes you have available.

If you posted something like this, it would go out to a small number of your followers. The organic reach of the post would rely on who saw and interacted with it. But unsurprisingly women’s clothing is not necessarily going to appeal to all your followers. For example, men aren’t likely to be interested in women’s clothing, so won’t interact with the post.

This is where Targeted Organic Reach steps in to give you a bit of a helping hand. This allows you to specify what demographic of followers you want the post to go out to. Your female followers will be interested in women’s clothing, so you’ll want to make sure they see it. Facebook says that this should help increase meaningful interactions with posts that you publish on your page. In turn, this will boost your organic reach.

This kind of targeting helps to boost interaction on your posts. The more interaction you get, the more Facebook recognises it as high-quality content, and bingo, your organic reach increases.

The best thing about this feature is that it’s free to use. Previously, you had to pay for targeted Facebook advertising. Opening this up to organic reach means local businesses with smaller marketing budgets are able to maximise their exposure.

Like they say ‘Nothing comes for free’

Despite the potential of this feature being game-changer for free advertisement and local businesses, there is always a price that will come with making this successful for you, and that price is your time. You will need to spend plenty of time understanding your followers on Facebook. This will involve experimenting with what works and what doesn’t. You’ll need to be in it for the long run, as this can take weeks or even months.

There are also other ways to target your customers on Facebook, but these will all be paid advertising.

If it is all a bit much for you, then we can help with any social media assistance you need. We have plenty of experience in creating bespoke marketing for local businesses on social media. So there’s no need to go it alone.

As well as publishing some great blogs, you can really showcase your work by explaining about some of the historical work you have been involved in. By writing case studies. It isn’t always easy to get time to do this. We, as a company are really guilty of that! You spend all your time helping your clients and then forget to market yourselves! But case studies are a really great way to do this. Within this platform, you can promote what the brief was, the challenges that could have occurred, how you got around them and what the outcome was.

Obviously, case studies are similar to blog posts. You can use a similar format and then once live on your website, they can help to bring in more traffic, with ultimately (and hopefully) more business. What case studies have over blog posts, however, is they show potential clients exactly what you can do for them.

Getting started

Case studies can seem like a bother to put together; especially if you’ve never written one before. How do you decide which clients to feature and what details to include? Just getting started can be a challenge.

While there’s a bit of a learning curve to writing a good client case study, it’s not as difficult as you might think, and the benefits of case studies far outweigh the effort of creating them. Good case studies should be engaging, visual, and effective.

Case studies speak directly to potential clients

Your blog posts are probably well-written and informative, but are they compelling? Readers are busy, and if your latest blog post doesn’t speak to their current needs, there’s a good chance they won’t read it.

Case studies, on the other hand, are more likely to grab readers’ attention. People love reading about situations like their own. If you can tell a potential client a story about how you helped a business similar to theirs, they won’t just pay attention – they’ll remember you later.

Case studies can do everything blog posts can do

Your client case study doesn’t have to be a dry, boring wall of text. It can inform, entertain, and inspire readers. You can share useful findings or advice in a case study, just like you would in a blog post. Case studies are also ideal for displaying your skills and positioning you as an authority, which is what blog posts should do, but often don’t.

Case studies build credibility and trust 

Your perceived trustworthiness is a crucial factor in whether people decide to work with you or not. Most people would hesitate to work with a company that didn’t have any examples of their past work on display. Case studies give clients a way to evaluate your competence before they commit to working with you.

Case studies make you stand out from the competition

Case studies are a bit more specialised and challenging to write than blog posts. Which means that not everyone writes them. If you want to look more professional and put-together than your competitors, writing case studies can give your image a boost.

And remember to keep it relatable. Don’t just rattle off a list of stats your client wanted to improve. A compelling case study will also be entertaining and enjoyable to read.

Ask your customers for testimonials

Anyone can posts a case study, which could have elaborated on the truth. However, if you name the customer you have worked with, link to their website and then add a testimonial, this is a pretty powerful endorsement. And can be one of the best ways to promote your work. In most cases, your customers will be only too pleased to write you a testimonial. Especially if you have overcome and difficulties they were having. But make sure you still make them look good and avoid giving away anything they don’t want to be public knowledge!

Sokada Ltd have set up my company Creative Tailored Therapy so I can now be found for local searches. They made it really easy to understand and have answered all my questions so well. Really pleased and would highly recommend them, which I already have!
Catherine Simmonds

Provide great advice

An effective case study doesn’t just make you and your client look good. It also provides information or advice that anybody can use, whether they decide to hire you or not. You don’t have to give away the key secrets of your trade, but don’t be stingy either. Share some of your methods, your knowledge and anything interesting you learned in the process of helping your client. Give the reader something they can take away and apply to their own work.

This isn’t as counterproductive as it might sound. Being open about your work will help build valuable trust with potential clients. And even if you’re completely transparent about your methods, most people who aren’t marketing experts will still opt to hire you instead of doing the legwork of implementing your strategy themselves.

Can we help you?

Ensuring the companies we work with have consistent effective case studies is a large part of our online marketing and will continue to be so. If you are struggling to work out how to promote your business online, then please get in touch today. Either by email, calling us on 01435 817226, or please fill in our contact form and someone will get back to you.

 

Wow so yesterday was the 30th birthday of the World Wide Web. Obviously it took some time to go from a proposal written by Tim Berners-Lee to what we call the internet today. I read that his supervisor wrote “Vague but exciting…” at the top of the document. 

happy birthday WWW

So is this going to catch on then?

It reminds me of the time I first heard mention of the internet. I was in my print studio and a friend had called me to discuss his new business; he needed a designer as he was setting up a website design company. This was back in late 1997 and when he explained that the internet would enable companies to share information and advertise all over the world, I apparently asked him “So is this going to catch on then?”; he reliably informed me that the Internet was going to be the next big thing. Well done Paul I think you might have been right. 

Well I took the design job and worked there for 11 months before moving on to what I hoped was bigger and better things. After 18 months selling, planning, designing and building (I wouldn’t call it developing) websites I went back to what I think I do best… running my own business. 

I remember that noise that the modem made as it connected via the phone line at 14.4kb/s or later at the positively explosive 28.8kb/s, or  trying to design and build websites with graphics that were tiny by today’s standards and structuring a website using tables; such fun…  

The rise and fall of giants

Yahoo seemed to own the world in 2004 raking in astronomical profits, they would surely dominate the internet for years to come, but it wasn’t soon after that the much simpler Google search came about… rather than paying for a position on a search engine your content helped you get there instead. It felt like Yahoo disappeared almost overnight as is the way with the internet. 

I suppose 2004 was also the start of social media as we know it now, with MySpace and then Facebook bringing a new way to communicate. Whether you like social media or not it has had a dramatic effect on nearly all of us, especially our children. 

One of the biggest areas of change caused by the internet has to be shopping; e-commerce is changing the physical nature of our high streets. It’s hard for specific types of businesses to compete with the internet, with the high street becoming more about service lead businesses rather than shops selling things. Love or hate them Amazon’s plan to lose millions before making billions seems to have worked for them rather well with them dominating internet sales. 

Easy Money!

Then there is my personal favourite; no it’s not what you are thinking… online gaming is now a job, you can play games all day on the internet and get paid to do so. Some streamers get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a month through online subscriptions, donations, sponsorship and merchandise; one of my favorites Shroud recently celebrated getting 100,000 subscribers! 

I’m looking to see what happens over the next few years. 

So once again happy birthday WWW. Love Julian

Networking works!

Julian goes to a few local networking groups. As a company, we want to get our name out there, meet new businesses, talk to people and hopefully give them good advice that will help to grow their businesses. At one of these groups was Jane Guest from Adaray Marketing. Julian, along the course of a few conversations chatted with Jane who then referred Sokada to her clients, organic skincare brand, Nathalie Bond, based in Sheffield.

Organic Skincare by Nathalie Bond

Organic Skincare by Nathalie Bond

Nathalie Bond is a family run business. They have created their own brand of luxury handmade organic skincare. It is being sold wholesale, abroad and through other online companies, but they also wanted to start promoting it themselves to the massive growing online retail market.

Nat and Andy are a great family led couple, (expecting their third baby) who want to offer an alternative to the mass produced, chemical filled, skincare products that are being sold worldwide. They have gone back to basics, using organic essential oils and butters. Everything is organic, gentle and most importantly, there is no animal testing and no harsh chemicals or additives.

Product testing

So in the spirit of trying the products before we work on them, we bought some through their online shop. They arrived promptly, beautifully boxed with no damage whatsoever. The packaging is all completely recyclable, as are pretty much all of their jars and bottles.

Jude has always been thinking of going organic, when it comes to skincare. So we ordered some of the handmade soaps, the Bloom skin balm and a set of the organic facial skincare, as well as some of the liquid soap, with a lip balm thrown in for good measure. The organic soaps are wonderful to cleanse your face as well as body. Using the soap bars in the shower with a bath puff ball sponge (whatever you call it…) works perfectly, letting you use the soap as a body wash. But apparently you can also use the liquid soaps, which are also ideal sitting in the kitchen, downstairs loo or at the bathroom sink.

The skin balm is great for the body, including feet, elbows as well as the rest of the skin. It is just as lovely on the face and neck though!

And using the organic soap, with the Bloom face mist and then the Gentle face oil, leaves your face clear, smooth and completely moisturised. This is such an easy skincare routine and with all products having a multi-use capability, they are extremely versatile.

Organic Skincare by Nathalie Bond

In summary

Obviously, we can’t always product test all the businesses we work with at Sokada. However this was an ideal opportunity. And this organic skincare company is really going places. Wonderful gentle products that can also be used on sensitive skin, baby skin, during pregnancy as well as skin with allergies. The ingredients in these wonderful products are organic, gentle but still smell fabulous! We have already ordered again and will continue to do so.

And what makes it even easier to make the transition across to this skincare brand is the price! It is really competitive and you don’t need loads of products for a daily skincare routine, which doesn’t break the bank (unlike some skincare brands!).

Sokada are currently working with Nat and Andy on their online marketing as well as a Google Adwords campaign – all is going very well and bringing them in lots of online orders and new customers from the retail sector.

Nathalie Bond Organic Skincare are a definite “YES!” from Sokada!

 

What are you waiting for?

With Instagram being one of the most visited social media platforms, it is imperative that your business cuts through all that noise.

And if you have a shop, then why on earth are you not on Instagram already? Having Instagram shoppable tags on your posts now make it even easier for your customers to buy from you. And what is great is that you can actually see where your customers are coming from (with reporting facilities such as Google Analytics).

So what are you waiting for?

Shoppable tags (or product tags) are like tagging a person in a post, according to Facebook. Once you’re set up for product tagging, it’s a one-click solution to highlight new items for viewers to purchase.

Instagram Shoppable Tags

Make sure you have a Business Profile

First off, make sure your Instagram page is a business profile.

  • Go to your settings
  • Tap the Sign up for a business profile
  • Tap convert existing account
  • Connect your Instagram to your Facebook page
  • Navigate to set up your Business profile & review your contact information
  • Invite your contacts to like you!

How to set up Instagram Shoppable Tags

It really is very easy to set up and can increase the ways in which your customers can buy from you. Instagram should be linked to your Facebook business page, where you can set up your shop. You can only do this if you have physical products to sell.

A bit of Facebook Housekeeping First

You will need to agree to Facebook’s merchant agreement where you will be prompted to add a payment method. “Check Out on Facebook,” “Check Out on Another Website,” or “Message to Buy” are three standard options — or you can build it out by connecting with an existing Shopify or BigCommerce account.

Having set up your products in the Facebook shop, you then need to make sure your Instagram account is connected to the Business Manager associated with your Facebook page. Once you have connected the two you need to create a new catalog or identify an existing one so that you can use these products with shopping on Instagram.

In Business Manager, view the large menu via the top left button next to the Facebook logo. Select ‘all tools’ if you don’t see the full menu, navigate your mouse over to the assets section and select catalogues. You should see a list of catalogues containing all the products you’ve added to the Facebook shop. If not, you can add one with the ‘Create Catalogue’ button to the top right of the page and add products this way.

And then onto Instagram

Once you fulfill the above requirements, your account is reviewed for access to the feature. This may take a few days, but you should eventually receive a notification to turn on product tagging in your Instagram Settings.

The final step in the process is to select the product catalog in the ‘shopping’ settings in your profile. Once you have done this you should be able to start tagging. If you don’t see the ‘shopping’ option, your account may still be under review.

So now you’re ready to start tagging. Simply start to draft a post – add the caption, effects and so on. Don’t forget all your hashtags – find new people who want to follow you!

Then tap the products in the photo you want to tag and share away!

Be creative

You can afford to be subtle. All shopping posts will have a little tote bag in the lower-left corner that confirms for the viewer that at least one thing in the post is for sale. So your product doesn’t have to be the main focus of the image. Be subtle or be bold – your choice!

If you are not used to using Instagram, then please see our previous post on how to be succesful.

 

Here are our top 5 easy link building strategies. Not all are that easy and they can be pretty time consuming. But it is definitely worth dipping your toe in the water and having a go. If there is anything here you don’t understand then please get in touch with us and we will help you through this. Our aim, at Sokada, is to educate our clients to get the most out of their website. We work with many clients on a regular basis. We carry out these strategies and keep them up to date. However, if you are marketing your website on your own, then a few extra tips from us could be cool.

5 Easy Link Building Strategies

 

Broken Links on your website

Some businesses who have access to the back end of their website like to keep everything nice and tidy – so they delete unused pages! However, there may be pages that influential websites are linking to and this could lose you valuable strength to your website. Reclaiming broken links is a great way to get back links in a short amount of time, with very little effort. Always make sure that if you remove a page, then you direct any strength to a new page by adding a 301 redirect. This will push the authority of the page elsewhere. Ensure you are set up on Google Webmaster Tools and you will be able to see the errors you have.

Sponsor a charity!

There are some amazing local charities around. Why not sponsor an event or part of the charity. But always ask them for a link to your website! Another very easy way to get an inbound link.

Who is talking about you?

You may have been mentioned on lots of other websites. However, not all businesses see the value in linking to you. Always worth asking them though. This is an easy link to gain…

Local listings

Make sure you are up to date with all your relevant information on any local listings. There are lots to find. Not all are as good as each other, but still worth a look. Make sure your name, address and telephone number (NAP) are always the same. This should give you a number of links into your website.

Work you have already carried out

Whatever business you are in, there must be clients you have worked for. Ask them to add a link on their website to you. Whether it is on their supplier page, in a blog post, or perhaps a case study. Anywhere that a link can be added, as long as it is in the right context, will mean you get a bit more strength to your website. Unfortunately, many businesses do not have access to their website, but it is always worth a try to ask them.

Next steps

These are just 5 easy link building strategies. There are many more, but we are hoping these will all be achievable for you. If, however you want more help, then please get in touch with our marketing team at Sokada. Either fill in the contact form, email us or call the office on 01435 817226. We look forward to helping your business grow…

Just seen this on Social Media. Sums this up nicely for a Friday afternoon!

The lighter side of GDPR

1. Excited for the day after GDPR deadline day when, if I understand it correctly, no one is legally allowed to talk to me ever again.

2. My mum is leaving it awfully close to the GDPR deadline to ask if I want to opt in to receive her emails, calls and texts.

3. The kids haven’t responded to my GDPR requests so I don’t think I’m legally allowed to tell them when dinner’s on the table.

4. Just to be GDPR safe I’m gonna text everyone in my phone contacts list and tell them I hold their phone number and email address and ask if they want to continue receiving texts from me.

5. My Nan just emailed to confirm I’d still like to receive:

  • Birthday cards
  • Dove sets
  • Phone calls about nothing
  • Updates on who died

6. Do you know a good GDPR consultant?

  • Yes
  • Can you give me his e-mail address?
  • No.

7. Just received an email from a wealthy Nigerian Prince. He told me that he doesn’t have any fortune to share with me at the moment but he would appreciate if I could let him know before May 25th if I wish to continue receiving emails.

Happy Friday everyone!

A Really Clever Marketing Angle

Instagram is all about getting your name out there. Posting interesting photos, either to promote you, to just have fun or to promote other products. Well @securitykev does all of these!

@securitykev, AKA Mike Myers is Ed Sheeran’s bodyguard. A beefy guy who, apart from being quite a big bloke, actually looks pretty normal and not very security-ish. In the last couple of months, his Instagram account has taken on a different angle though, where each photograph includes both him and Ed Sheeran, in one funny scenario or another. Perhaps this has evolved by accident, but it has grown and grown, with followers rushing to keep up with these great pics – you can see the likes of the most recent posts far exceed photos from previous weeks.

 

This Instagram account is the most amazing way to promote Ed Sheeran. On this page, Ed is able to poke fun at himself, in one natural pose or another. You can see the entertaining and hilarious time both guys are having, whilst taking the photos. Ed will sometimes be waiting on Kev, or looking after kev and the theme running through it all is fun. But they aren’t selfies. Probably it started off like this. However, now you can tell they are taken by someone else, so it’s not such a natural Instagram account – it’s a marketing ploy to give more publicity to this fun loving duo!

securitykev has made himself into a celebrity, by always having Ed in his photos. And Ed Sheeran gets to have photos posted of the pair of them, getting up to all sorts. But they don’t have to appear on his main page – perfect! They are obviously great friends and are very natural together and Kevin Myers uses lots of great social media hashtags, such a #bae #imthedaddy #viralsensation #alwayswatching…the list goes on. And it’s great fun to see them together!

Ed obviously has his own Instagram account, as well as the millions of other accounts that are the die hard fans or people looking to make money off the back of him. But this new Instagram account is a great marketing ploy. Having over 749,000 followers, it is being talked about online.  Even in major publications, such as the Daily Mail, which has further enhanced its coverage.

What’s Your Social Media Angle?

So what’s your angle on social media? Do you have a theme that runs through all your posts? If you can think of one, then you will immediately have something to work towards, increasing your exposure and making yourself more marketable. Obviously, this could prove a bit of a challenge as you probably won’t have Ed Sheeran to back you up – but if there is a way of promoting yourself or your business in a certain way, then this could prove very successful for you.

Just take a leaf out of @securitykev’s book – make it fun!