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A proposal
2012-12-21: Here's a generalised version of a proposal I just sent out.
Thanks for getting in touch regarding your Facebook account and thank-you for giving me access to your Analytics and Facebook Page.
In the last year you've had 41,128 visits to your website, 85 of them were from Facebook.
You might conclude from that that once your new website is up and running, the thing to spend your money on is optimising your website for search. 25,217 of your website visitors came through search engines.
Another angle would be to optimise your website for conversion. For instance, 173 people came to your website after searching for (a specific product name). They all landed on that product page on your website, 150 of those people had never visited your site before, half of them left without any further interactions. The average duration of these visits was 29s.
If you had a website that 'converted' better, might you have sold something to one of them? What 'converts' better? More information? Better pictures? Customer comments? Better copy? Video? The answer is no-one really knows, you have to test.
So, you could spend something on optimising how well you are found in search, and/or you could spend something on optimising what happens when you are found.
That's not what you asked for, you're looking for help with Facebook.
Facebook's being a bit of a prat of late. Time was you created a Facebook Page (as you have) and when people 'like'd it they received pretty much all of your news. Lately, Facebook has been turning that down so that now if you look at your latest news, Monday's (product demo) post, Facebook says 267 people saw that and no-one interacted. You have 1,261 'like'rs, so that's 21%. People have been complaining of 10% viewing figures.
Facebook wants people to really want to come back to see what's going on. They are really great at showing you news from friends you interact with, and not showing you stuff from people you've friended but don't really have anything to do with. That's a good thing (although few people agree with me). They are now doing the same with business page posts because they don't want people's newsfeed to be stuffed with business promotions (unless the business is paying them for it).
How does Facebook sort the mundane business announcement from the really interesting stuff? It lets some people see your post and if they interact, it lets more people see it. If no-one interacts, no-one else sees it.
So, ignoring paying Facebook money to promote yourself, the way to be popular in Facebook is to be noteworthy, to do great stuff, to become fabulous. Then people will like your posts and share them, they'll become your advocates and you'll grow through word of mouth.
And, incidentally, the same rule applies for Twitter and the rest.
More and more, social media drives your position in search where, actually, most of your traffic comes from.
So at the core of online success is success in social media, and at the centre of success on Facebook is a strategy for being really exciting and brilliant enough that you'll stand out and people will want you to succeed.
So .. why do some people like Nike and hate Barclays? Why do some people want a Porsche and others want an Alpha Romeo? It's branding, and more specifically, brand values.
The brand values of Nike are, what? Performance? Porsche, excitement? Barclays .. nakedly making money without regard for the consequences? Alpha Romeo, the Italian life spirit.
So, if Porsche is about excitement (I'm not sure it is, but go with me for a moment), then they will attract people who are looking for excitement. They'll satisfy them with awesome videos, free track days and so on. Talking about how much luggage it will carry won't do the job.
Red Bull turned their brand values up to 11 and ended up with their branding all over Mr Baumgardener's space jump.
So, before we start even looking at your Facebook, I would want to be sure that we'd got your brand values nailed down.
You may have done that, in which case, please send me them.
If not, here's what I do.
I can send you a list of just over 400 words. You, and any others involved in your business who should have an input on this, go through the words and highlight/tick those that you think should apply to your business (it doesn't take long). Send those to me and I'll group them into similar words, prioritise them by votes, and what you end up with is a brand values statement.
That becomes a green light to you and your employees. If you turn out to be about performance and quality, safety and being the best .. then that can be in your employees' job descriptions. It's empowering. It gives people permission to live up to those standards.
Once we have your brand values, we can start to work out what someone would do who lived by those brand values, but turned them up loud. Really lived by them.
What would they do on social media? How would they write? What sorts of things would they post?
Once you start doing that, you'll start to attract real fans.
So, a brand values exercise like that, assuming I can just send you the list of words with some instructions, you send your votes back to me, we discuss the brand values statement over the phone to fine-tune it, and the end result is simply text in an email (not a wall plaque or anything), is fairly quick, efficient and inexpensive.
You can take that and do what you like with it, but the next step would be to work up some ideas about how you might live those values to the max on social media. That would need a bit more time, but let's imagine I spend a few hours working up some possibilities and you do the same, then we meet and see what we've got, and I write up the best possibilities. Again, fairly inexpensive and quick.
After that, it's about what those ideas are .. you may just be able to take that document and go with it yourselves or you may want help with some parts of it (there's no obligation either way), but at least by this point you will know where you're headed.
So that's my advice. Work out your brand values. Work out how to live by them (in real-life business as well as on social media). Decide to. Turn it up as high as you can. Gather likeminded fans and head for the stars.
I hope that helps and look forward to hearing from you :-)
All the best

By John Allsopp
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