Facebook Posts that Increase Engagement

Want to increase your Facebook engagement? Here are some tips to get your fans commenting and liking like crazy!

  1. Ask a Question
  2. Make it Visual
  3. Make it Fun

One of the best ways to increase engagement is by posting great content. When you want a commenting or liking boost consider posting a fun question or ask your fans for their feedback. People love when you ask for opinions!

Make sure anything you post to FB includes a link or a photo. Photos perform better in the FB Newsfeed algorithm than a text-only post so I can’t stress enough how important it is to have great pictures! You can find free stock photos on a variety of sites or you can make your own graphics with apps like Canva and PicMonkey. I prefer Canva because they have a variety of pre-made templates that make choosing fonts and colors easy!

Here’s a great resource for stock photos if you need them for social media or for your website, courtesy Entrepreneur.com – click here!

Increase your Facebook Engagement with Creative Question Posts and Eye Catching Graphics

It’s also important to keep your questions timely and relevant to your page. Holidays are great talking points and it’s also fun to check out “weird and wacky” events that are happening everyday like National Donut Day or National Spring Cleaning Week etc. I also love to ask people “Would you Rather” type questions because they don’t even have to think of an answer – they just pick A or B and it’s easy!

It’s important to make sure your questions are fun and won’t incite a FB debate on your timeline or offend any potential customers. If you have a fashion site and you want to ask – “Who wore it better:  Hillary Clinton or Carly Fiorina?” – that’s fine, but don’t go asking people who they’d rather vote for etc.

People love to talk about their family, kids, pets and to share their opinions so when you’re coming up with questions keep those topics in mind, then tailor them to your brand and use your own voice!

When it comes to creating graphics make sure your text is easy to read and I recommend using no more than 2 fonts. If you use Canva take note of the fonts in their pre-made templates (these are made by professional designers); if you change the fonts keep in mind what made them work – was one tall and thin and the other was curvy and bold? There’s a reason those fonts were chosen – because they complimented each other. Unless you have design experience stick with suggested fonts or similar options that will also compliment each other.

Keep in mind colors that will compliment your brand and your social media pages or website when creating branded graphics. Did you know when a magazine goes to print the entire 100+ pages must contain the same color scheme and fonts? Imagine your FB page and website are going to print – will they compliment each other?

These are just some pointers for creating graphics that will stand out. The question part is up to you! Good luck increasing your engagement and getting more likes! Here are some of my most popular graphics of 2015.

 

 

Who is the hardest person to shop for on your Christmas list-

Are you team Apple or Android

Would You Rather

 

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7 Skills Awesome Social Media Manager’s Have Mastered

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Lots of small businesses use someone in-house for their social media needs and it turns into a “blind leading the blind” scenario.  Just because the girl at the front desk has the newest iPhone, does not mean she can take great pictures or post engaging content. There’s nothing wrong with using someone in-house to manage your company’s social media pages, but before you ask someone to do it, there are some things you should consider. An awesome social media manager will possess each of these skills and know how to truly engage your target audience which is the goal of social media. So before assigning the task to someone in-house, ask yourself these questions or make this checklist a part of your hiring plan:

  1. Does your potential social media manager understand your business and know how to use a consist “voice” when it comes to posting content? Is their “voice” appropriate for your company and your target audience?
  2. Does this person have excellent writing skills? You want to make sure anything you’re posting on social media is an example of your best work. Typos and grammatical errors are simply unacceptable from someone that is acting as the “voice” of your company.
  3. Is this person knowledgeable of industry trends, pop culture, local events and holidays? You want your social media manager to relate to your target audience – they might be an expert in your business but if they can’t make a connection between what your business does and what consumers want to hear about you’re in trouble. Your social media manager doesn’t have to be young, but someone who’s well connected and knows how to use trending topics is a must.
  4. Does your potential social media manager have a new smart phone that’s capable of taking great photos? If not, consider supplying this. Photos are essential for social media and you need to make sure the person you’re entrusting your social media with knows how to take good pictures. Again, anything you’re posting online is a reflection of your company. Make sure the person who’s posting is capable of posting top-notch photos.
  5. Does this person know how to use apps like PicMonkey or Canva for creating social media graphics? If the answer is no, you’re dealing with an amateur. Sit down and review the apps together and get a better idea of your potential smm’s capabilities. Do they have an eye for detail? Are they able to create visually appealing graphics, headers etc?
  6. Is this person good at managing their time? Do they know how to schedule posts ahead of time? Social media can become a distraction if it’s not managed wisely. You want to make sure your smm is capable of scheduling posts ahead of time and staying productive. You also want to be sure this person will be attentive and quick to respond to comments and messages when necessary.
  7. Does this person have any experience with social media ads? Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all offer affordable ways to advertise and promote events. If you want to take advantage of ads make sure your smm knows how to run a successful campaign – or is willing to learn. There’s nothing wrong with learning as you go, but makes sure whoever you’ve trusted with your social media is honest enough to admit when they need help or additional training. There are countless tutorials and webinars that can help you learn about ads, graphics and other features. Another way to learn is to follow social media blogs that share tips, best practices and more!

If you don’t feel confident using someone in-house for your social media you’re not alone. Many businesses these days are hiring marketing firms to manage their social media for them, but some come at a steep price. If price is an issue, look for a freelancer or someone that’s just starting out in the marketing business. If you’d like more information or pricing info for HighleyDesigned Marketing & Creative, I’m happy to set up a FREE 20 minute consultation. Use the contact form on my “About” page.

Thanks!

Rules of [Facebook] Engagement

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Facebook is the number one place to engage your customers, but so often we forget that engagement is like a conversation – it goes both ways. If you’ve hired someone to manage your social media pages, you don’t have to login everyday to post something original, but I do encourage you to login on a weekly basis to interact with others on your page’s behalf.

Posting great content is the first step in beginning the conversation, so after people like, comment or share your post it’s up to you – are you going to continue the conversation or let things trail off?

Here are some simple tips for using Facebook to network with others, build your audience and expand your brand. I bring you, the “rules of engagement.”

1. When someone comments on one of your photos or posts, comment back

Example: They say “What a cute idea.” You say “We thought so too!”

When your audience knows that you see and appreciate their comments or feedback, it makes them more inclined to like, comment or share again!

2. When someone asks a question – respond in a timely manner

If I manage your Facebook page and notice someone has sent you a message or asked a question I can’t answer on my own – I will send you an email asap. If you notice someone has commented on one of your posts with a question or sent you a direct message, be sure to reply in a timely manner – even if you don’t have all the information, let them know you’ll get back to them. Facebook is a great way to show off your customer service skills and spout your expertise so take advantage of any opportunity to interact with potential customers.

3. Use Facebook as a networking tool 

When you login each week, make an effort to see what other small business owners are up to. Facebook is a great place to get ideas, scope out your competition and build relationships. Make it a goal to do the following:

a. Like a new page each week. Maybe that’s a local restaurant you eat at or a store you shop at, a charity or foundation you support, or a business that’s similar to yours.

b. Comment on a photo or a post that speaks to you or relates to your brand.

c. Share something that inspired you. If you’re not sure it’s a good fit for your business page, share it on your personal page. When you share someone else’s content it’s a great boost for their page so choose a business or a cause that you support!

4. Last but not least – invite your friends and customers to like your page! 

Your friends and customers are the easiest way to grow your brand and build your audience. Maybe your friends know about your business but they aren’t sure how to find you online – send them an invite! Every time you login to your business page you will see an “invite friends” option. Do this on a regular basis. Don’t feel like you have to go through and select people one by one – invite them all. The more the merrier!

Tell your customers you’re on Facebook and ask them to like your page or write you a review! Simply include a flier or postcard in the packages you ship or tell people face to face when you meet them at craft shows or events. If you answer the phones for your business, remind potential customers to like your Facebook page before ending your call. You’ll be surprised how positively people respond!

~ Rachel

To Pin or Not to Pin

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Pinterest is such a great way to interact with potential customers but it can be a little intimidating if you’ve never “pinned” before. I manage numerous Pinterest accounts for my clients and I get asked questions like, well what should I pin? What boards should I be adding things to? These are great questions so I thought this month I’d take some time to highlight the dos and don’ts of Pinterest. There’s a lot of fun holidays coming up like St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and spring in general, so now’s a great time to learn a little more about the social networking site everyone is talking about! Here are my top 5 tips for maintaining a successful Pinterest page for your business.

  1. Plan Ahead
    Don’t just login and pin a bunch of newly listed products. A general rule of thumb – for every 1 product pin, be sure to pin 3-4 other photos, DIY ideas, etc. If you want to start a themed board for holidays or events, create the board at least one month ahead of time so followers have time to repin their favorites! Some ideas for spring include baby showers, weddings and bridal showers, spring decor, gardening, summer vacation ideas, money saving tips, and spring cleaning.
  2. Optimize & Cross Promote
    Many of my clients have their Pinterest page linked to their Twitter page which is a great way to optimize content and have it seen by more people, but be careful not to over-share. Only share your best pins on multiple platforms and be sure to give all of your pins a nice description. Use hashtags when relevant, but again, don’t over-do it. Stick to 1-3 hashtags and try to make one of them a trending topic. For example, #Vintage #Jewelry #ValentinesGiftIdeas.
  3. Pin What People Are Talking About
    Home décor, organization, quotes, fashion, kids, weddings and recipes are always popular on Pinterest! Find ways to connect your brand’s messaging to topics that are already popular on the platform. If you sell a variety of products that fall into the vintage or antique categories, consider pinning home décor ideas that show how to incorporate vintage and antique finds. If you sell craft supplies, pin tutorials and crafty DIY ideas that show your followers what your brand is all about. Try to make sure every board has a nice mixture of product pins and “other” pins.
  4. Quality Over Quantity
    When it comes to Pinterest, you will find some pinners have thousands of pins and hundreds of different boards but chances are they’ve been using the social platform for a long period of time. Don’t feel like you need to fill up all of your boards right away – stick to quality over quantity. With product pins, only pin your best photos! You might have a great set of vintage dishes for sale in your eBay store, but if you don’t have high quality photos, don’t pin.Pinterest should be considered a showcase of your best work. Similarly, when re-pinning DIY ideas, home décor and recipes, try to stick to pins that have a high number of “likes” and “repins.” Don’t waste time pinning an Irish soda bread recipe that has 1 like and 3 repins when you can find another one that has proven more popular with thousands of likes and repins.
  5. Connect With Your Followers
    After you’ve established your Pinterest page, go beyond re-pinnning and start following, liking and commenting on other Pinterest user’s content to maintain a conversation with your audience. This is a great way to build your fan base and show that you’re not just a robot – you are a person with a brand that has a message.

~Rachel

6 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Whether you’re tired of shoveling snow or sick of dealing with the shorter, darker days of winter, this time of year can get you down.  Regardless of whether or not the groundhog saw his shadow, it looks like we’re in for another month or two of wet, yucky weather so we might as well make the best of it.  Here are some of my favorite ways to beat the winter blues without spending a dime or leaving home!

 

Do Some Reading

Stop making lists of all the great books you plan to read this summer and start one today! If you’ve got an Amazon account there are countless books available for free every day.  Not sure what to read? Check out the best-sellers list or find something that can help you in your career.  (I read a recent article said that the most successful business people read an average of four marketing/business related books per year.) If you’re looking for a romance or action packed novel, remember most movies were originally books so pick your favorite and get a new perspective.

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Have a Netflix Marathon

If you’ve never binge-watched a TV series, you don’t know what you’re missing.  Snow days are perfect for Netflix TV marathons. Simply get comfortable, make some snacks and settle in.  Start with a classic series like Friends or How I Met Your Mother, or catch up on the latest season of your favorite show.  Netflix has numerous seasons available so you can watch a TV series from start to finish, or get sucked into one of their original series like the award winning drama, Orange is the New Black.

netflix marathon

Build a Fort

This one is great when school gets cancelled and the kids are home for the day, but you don’t have to have kids to build a totally awesome pillow fort! Stuck at home with just your hubby? Get creative and relive your childhood days seeing who can make the best fort using only blankets, pillows and the furniture in the room. Does your fort have TV access? Host your Netflix TV marathon from your fort and it’s sure to win!

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Bake a Pie

You don’t have to be Betty Crocker to whip up a delicious pie to beat the winter blues.  Take stock of the fruit in your home – maybe you have some apples or peaches that are on the brink of going bad, or maybe you have a bunch of bananas that no one has eaten.  Instead of letting them go to waste, find a recipe for that type of fruit pie or muffins. (Bananas are perfect for muffins!) With just a few additional ingredients like flour, sugar, and heavy cream, you’ll have a delicious pie in no time.  Trust me, if I can make one of these recipes, you can too! Click here for some easy Pinterest recipes to get you started!

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Start Your Spring Cleaning

You don’t have to go all out, but a little bit of cleaning here and there can save you from needing a major “deep cleaning” down the road.  If you’re stuck inside for the day, make an effort to reduce clutter and start a Goodwill or Salvation Army bag to fill with items that can be donated.  Make another bag for trash.  Don’t be a pack-rat… If you don’t use it, donate it. If it’s broken, put it in the garbage. Start with your closets to free up storage space, then move to rooms like the kitchen and bathroom.

If you have kids, do a secret playroom clean up! Use the donation bag and garbage bag method but add a third bag or storage bin for toys that you know your kids like, but haven’t played with in a while.  Chances are, they won’t notice they’re missing and in a few months you can get them back out and they’ll be like new! “Rotate” toys like this every few months to eliminate clutter and save money.

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Take a Bath

When the roads are icy and activities get cancelled, take advantage of the unexpected free time and give yourself some “me-time.” Draw yourself a nice hot bath and give yourself at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted relaxation.  Light some candles, add some bubble bath or Epsom salts and turn your phone off.  Treat your skin to an exfoliating scrub or try this DIY mud mask.

Bubble-Bath

However you choose to spend your snow-days, remember to take some time to enjoy the little things!

– Rachel

Host a Summer BBQ to Remember

It’s That Time of Year Again…

Summertime in Lancaster County PA means campfires with the kids, catching lightning bugs, and barbeques with family and friends.  Whether you’re hosting a picnic for the 12 and under softball champs or throwing a 4th of July bash for all your closest pals, here are some of our favorite ideas to make your barbecue one to remember!

Make Your Meal an Experience

target kabob sticksGet your guests involved!  Instead of making hot-dogs on the grill for the kids, make a campfire and allow them to roast their own hot-dogs (with adult supervision, of course).  This is a great way to keep them busy and it’s also a fun learning experience.  We love these adorable colored roasting sticks from Target! Kabobs are a fun way to get your adult guests involved as well.  Cut up your choice of meat, veggies and fruit and allow guests to build their own kabobs.  Have the grill master heat them for a few minutes until they’re fully cooked and voila!  This is a great way to please even the pickiest eaters.

Put a Twist on the Classic S’more

summer smores cone Instead of using graham crackers to sandwich your marshmallow and chocolate, try making s’more cones! Not only are they delicious, but they’re less messy than traditional s’mores so your guests can enjoy casual conversation while enjoying dessert. Purchase waffle cones from your local grocery store and instead of purchasing large roasting marshmallows, pick up a bag of mini marshmallows.  You’ll also need chocolate chips or fun-size Hershey’s chocolate bars to do the trick.  Simply fill the cones with your favorite treats and wrap in aluminum foil, then place on the grill until melted to your satisfaction.  Consider fresh strawberries or bananas and Nutella or peanut butter as additional toppings or fillings.  Photo Courtesy: Free People

Skip the Fireworks – Begin a New Family Tradition

Fireworks are noisy and even sparklers can be dangerous for kids.  This year, end your BBQ with a beautiful, new family tradition – Chinese lanterns.  You will need an open area and a long reach lighter.  Don’t worry, the lanterns will only come down after they burn out so they are not a fire hazard and most are biodegradable.  For an inexpensive and memorable experience, check your local superstore or order online.  Photo Courtesy:  All Things Are Ready blog   summer lanterns

This blog was originally posted on ReBathandMore.com by yours truly!  Hope you enjoyed the BBQ tips.  If you manage a company blog remember to mix it up.  You can only pitch your business so many times before people get sick of hearing about it… Create content that will keep them coming back to your website.  Become an expert in your industry and a resource for clients and prospects.  And remember, an up to date blog can provide awesome social media content!  This blog was shared when it was first posted and will be shared again near July 4th on the Re-Bath & More Facebook page.