What Businesses Can Do About Facebook’s New Algorithm

How many of you utilize a Facebook page to interact with your customers and gain new ones? Have you heard about the new algorithm being implemented that will change the way your pages posts show in news feeds? This is a pretty BIG deal and there are some things you can do to ensure your Facebook page does not get completely drowned out by these changes.

What’s all the fuss about?

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, recently announced a change to the social media platform’s algorithm for its users news feeds. Facebook is undergoing a year-long revamp to encourage interactions that are meaningful and personal. With this change, Facebook users will begin to see more posts from friends and family in their newsfeed and less public (unpaid) content from businesses and publishers. This change comes from feedback from Facebook’s users and recent studies that have shown that just scrolling on the social network and watching videos can make people feel worse, whereas meaningful interactions that build relationships with friends and family lead to a happier, healthier life. “We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being” Zuckerberg wrote in a post announcing the new changes.

This will make it more difficult for business pages to have a large organic reach, but Zuckerberg did say that the public content that “encourage[s] meaningful interactions between people” will be shown more than the content that doesn’t.

What does this mean?

Well, you know those posts that you put up that no one comments on? Those posts are less likely to be shown organically in people’s news feeds.

Facebook wants people to interact and build relationships, not to just mindlessly scroll through without making any engagement with their news feed. If you noticed that people aren’t commenting or sharing your content, it may be time to step up your Facebook game.

What can you do?

There are plenty of minor changes you can make to ensure your business’ Facebook presence continues to grow. Here are a few suggestions:

  • You should try encouraging people to comment on your Facebook posts.

    • Ask a question like “Are you a saver or a spender?” or “If you could travel to any country for free, where would you go and why?” These types of questions prompt your fans to comment on your post and by them commenting, their friends and family are more likely to see your post.
  • We do want to advise you to be careful of making posts that seem like spam.

    • In other words, don’t say “COMMENT below if you’re having a great day.” Facebook is working to not show those types of posts as well, so it’s best to avoid it.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your customers to follow you on Facebook.

    • It won’t hurt to send a nice email to customers that have recently visited your establishment or purchased your products/services to thank them for for their patronage and ask them to stay up to date with your business by following you on facebook (don’t forget to provide them with the link to your facebook page).
  • Ask those loyal fans to click the “see first” option when they follow your page.

    • You know those customers that come in and or order your products/services all the time? They’re your fans! When you ask them to follow you on Facebook, tell them there’s a “see first” option so that they can be sure to see your posts. They’ll be happy to stay informed.
  • It may be time to increase your ad budget.

    • Looks like these changes won’t affect the paid ads. You’ll want to spend a bit more on boosted posts and run an ad campaign. What’s going to be key with this paid advertising is that you use purposeful targeting. Targeting to everyone won’t get you too far and frankly it’s a waste of money. Show your ads to the people who want to see it and make sure the content is relevant. For example, a real estate agency should not be showing their ads to everyone. A real estate agency would be better off targeting people who are over the age of 25, likely to move, and also target the specific area the real estate does business in. When you use targeting like this, your ads will be shown more often to the people who want to see them.
  • Create more Facebook Live videos.

    • Facebook has found that these videos generate more interaction amongst users and that’s exactly what you need to be seen in the news feed. Start a Live video when something new and exciting is coming up, but be sure to make a post about it in advance to give your fans a little heads up as to when you’re going live. Make sure you keep your viewers engaged by interacting with them. Say “Hi, Jessica!” when she joins in on the video. This is also a great way for your fans to get to know your brand on a personal level.

With all that being said (well, written), Facebook is a great way to keep your fans engaged with your brand and it can continue to be as long as you continue to learn about and adapt to these changes.

Still confused about all these changes? No worries… The team at Rock Paper Simple would love to answer all of your questions. Please give us a call or contact us here!

Set Your Budget [video]

The New Year is almost here and with that comes budgeting and marketing plans! We hear all the time… “so how much should we spend on marketing!?”. Determining your marketing budget can be challenging, so we wanted to give you some guidelines and things to think about. Stephanie gives us some of the best practices and items to consider when building your budget.

2018 Marketing Prep Kit: Set Your Budget

The New Year is almost here and with that comes budgeting and marketing plans! We hear all the time… “so how much should we spend on marketing!?”. Determining your marketing budget can be challenging, so we wanted to give you some guidelines and things to think about. Stephanie gives us some of the best practices and items to consider when building your budget.Building your marketing plan can be a challenge, so we decide to put together a handy marketing prep kit to help our friends, neighbors, colleagues and clients get a head start! It’s packed full of 18 pages of awesome… enjoy!You can download it by visiting: https://rockpapersimple.com/prepkit/

Posted by Rock Paper Simple on Saturday, December 30, 2017

Building your marketing plan can be a challenge, so we decided to put together a handy marketing prep kit to help our friends, neighbors, colleagues and clients get a head start! It’s packed full of 18 pages of awesome… enjoy!

Rock Paper Simple's 2018 Marketing Prep Kit

Rock Paper Simple's 2018 Marketing Prep Kit
We talk to alot of people about marketing and one of the questions we hear all the time is where to even start with their brand, their plan, their goals, etc. So we decide to put together a handy marketing prep kit just for you! It’s packed full of 18 pages of awesome… enjoy!
(we promise to never sell your private information or send you inordinate amounts of spam!)

Set Your Goals [video]

“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.” – Brian Tracy

At Rock Paper Simple we believe that doing things on purpose, with a plan, with goals in mind, always helps guide us to a more positive result. When you are working on your marketing plan for the new year having realistic set goals helps to guide the rest of your decisions. Getting goals down on paper make them real and helps inspire commitment to making them happen. Scott shares more on goals in this video. Check it out!

2018 Marketing Prep Kit: Set Your Goals

“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.” – Brian TracyAt Rock Paper Simple we believe that doing things on purpose, with a plan, with goals in mind, always helps guide us to a more positive result. When you are working on your marketing plan for the new year having realistic set goals helps to guide the rest of your decisions. Getting goals down on paper make them real and helps inspire commitment to making them happen. Scott shares more on goals in this video. Check it out!Building your marketing plan can be a challenge, so we decide to put together a handy marketing prep kit to help our friends, neighbors, colleagues and clients get a head start! It’s packed full of 18 pages of awesome… enjoy!You can download it by visiting: https://rockpapersimple.com/prepkit/

Posted by Rock Paper Simple on Thursday, December 28, 2017

Building your marketing plan can be a challenge, so we decided to put together a handy marketing prep kit to help our friends, neighbors, colleagues and clients get a head start! It’s packed full of 18 pages of awesome… enjoy!

Rock Paper Simple's 2018 Marketing Prep Kit

Rock Paper Simple's 2018 Marketing Prep Kit
We talk to alot of people about marketing and one of the questions we hear all the time is where to even start with their brand, their plan, their goals, etc. So we decide to put together a handy marketing prep kit just for you! It’s packed full of 18 pages of awesome… enjoy!
(we promise to never sell your private information or send you inordinate amounts of spam!)

Know Thyself [video]

When creating a marketing plan, the first step is to know yourself and your business. They say that the most difficult thing in life is to know yourself and we think it’s because people forget to take a moment and reflect. We suggest starting with these three areas: know your audience, your brand and your competition. Check out what Danielle has to say about it!

2018 Marketing Prep Kit: Know Thyself

When creating a marketing plan, the first step is to know yourself and your business. They say that the most difficult thing in life is to know yourself and we think it’s because people forget to take a moment and reflect. We suggest starting with these three areas: know your audience, your brand and your competition. Check out what Danielle has to say about it!Building your marketing plan can be a challenge, so we decide to put together a handy marketing prep kit to help our friends, neighbors, colleagues and clients get a head start! It’s packed full of 18 pages of awesome… enjoy!You can download it by visiting: https://rockpapersimple.com/prepkit/

Posted by Rock Paper Simple on Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Building your marketing plan can be a challenge, so we decide to put together a handy marketing prep kit to help our friends, neighbors, colleagues and clients get a head start! Check it out below… it’s FREE and it’s 18 pages of awesome!

Rock Paper Simple's 2018 Marketing Prep Kit

Rock Paper Simple's 2018 Marketing Prep Kit
We talk to alot of people about marketing and one of the questions we hear all the time is where to even start with their brand, their plan, their goals, etc. So we decide to put together a handy marketing prep kit just for you! It’s packed full of 18 pages of awesome… enjoy!
(we promise to never sell your private information or send you inordinate amounts of spam!)

 

Four Ways to Improve Your Brand’s Image

Let’s take a look at some of the major brands out there today. These brands serve similar needs, but you’d never mistake Microsoft for Apple, RC Cola for Coca-Cola, or Dunkin Donuts for Starbucks. Why is that? These brands created a positive brand perception through the way they look, what they say and what they do. Not to mention their consistency over the years.

Maybe you’ve developed your company’s brand but there’s no rhyme or reason to it, or maybe it doesn’t seem to match who you really are and what you really do. Creating a brand image combines many factors, but the two we like to focus on here at Rock Paper Simple is your company’s personality and visual presence.

Taking your company’s personality and visual presence into consideration, here are four ways to improve your brand’s image.

1. Corporate Culture

Corporate culture is the foundation of your brand. If your team doesn’t believe in your brand, why should your customer? Often times, we see companies who’ve developed core values they can’t commit to. Not only is it important to develop core values you can commit to but also ones you’re passionate about. Remember, your employees are your most powerful brand advocates and building a brand should start with them.

Here at Rock Paper Simple, we created six core values that define who we are – simplicity, results, integrity, teamwork, community and fun. Each one is defined in one sentence, and each team member is committed to carrying out these core values (or they wouldn’t be on staff!)  If you get the culture right, most of the other stuff – like great customer service and passionate customers – will take care of itself.

(Click here to read our blog post about company culture)

2. Invest In Brand Consistency

Remember those major brands we mentioned at the top of this blog? Well, how do you identify them? By their logo, of course! Your logo is the core visual of your brand and the one-thing customers will associate with your company over and over again.

Brand guidelines have become essential in achieving consistency. If you’re not being consistent, this leaves room for your brand to be misused and misrepresented in the many mediums and platforms that exist today. By establishing your own look across all your marketing and social media channels, your company will stand out amongst the competition. The key is consistency, and like we say here at Rock Paper Simple, “Keep It Simple.”

3. Update Your Website

When it comes to your brand’s presence online, your website should be your highest priority. Now you may be wondering if your website needs to be updated, and if you’re not sure, check out our free Website Checklist resource by clicking here.

If you want your brand to stand out then your website should reflect your brand’s identity. Take it a step further and imagine that same website generating leads and creating conversions. What about eye-catching images, compelling content, a crisp design and fast load times? Sounds too good to be true! But all of that is possible, and users will love engaging with your brand online.

4. Commit More Time to Purposeful Social Media Marketing

Social media gives companies the opportunity to interact with potential customers instantly, yet most small businesses miss the opportunity to engage with prospects because they’re not using social media marketing effectively. Whether you’re trying to manage multiple networks or you don’t even know where to start, consider these three things when creating a strategy:

  • Define Your Target Audience – Who is it that you want to reach? Depending on your target audience, Facebook may be the platform for you instead of Instagram. There’s no need to be on every single social network if your audience isn’t on there.
  • Define Your End Goals on Social Media – What do you want to accomplish through social media? Maybe you desire customer loyalty, or perhaps you’re looking to capture leads? Your content strategy should align with these goals.
  • Identify Your Brand’s Voice and Stay Consistent – Your brand’s voice should align with your core values we mentioned above. If your brand operates with humor, let that shine through on your social media pages; however, we believe in quality content. Just because one of our core values is humor, that doesn’t mean we are going to share a funny meme with our fans every single day.

We will be talking more about staying true to your brand on social media in an upcoming blog, but in the mean time, start thinking about these three things.

One thing we are passionate about here at Rock Paper Simple is branding. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your branding, request your free consultation today.

3 Digital Consumer Habits You Should Know

With last minute shoppers flooding Amazon, Etsy, and other small businesses with holiday orders, we thought it might be appropriate to share these 3 statistics on current Digital Consumer habits. Take a look at these numbers based on early 2016 trends, and think about how you can improve your website to capture more leads and convert customers!

 

data1

 

With the world at their fingertips, shoppers can immediately compare businesses and prices; ultimately driving marketing and brand competition. Therefore it’s wise to keep up with consumer analysis and adapt your business practices to support the change in purchasing habits, and it has become crucial that business owners have a strong first impression. This includes updating your website for a better overall user experience, creating content to support brand personality and outreach, and having a good marketing team to convey to the world what makes your business awesome and unique. 

 

 

data2

Honesty and responsibility are values that have shown increasing meaning to consumers, especially since Millennials (who care more about brand experience than previous consumer groups) are becoming the largest purchasing power. Data is also showing that the consumers of 2016 were not just comparing prices, but also judged how “professional” a business is by their product descriptions! Clear but fun language that appeals to the lifestyle associated with the item does very well; as does providing more technical information, how/where the product is made, and what the benefit of purchasing is. The importance of language goes hand in hand with the importance of consistent Branding and Brand Personality… proving it’s a key factor that influences customer conversion and drives company growth.

 

 

data3

 

Just in case you haven’t noticed, convenience is key, and alternative payment methods are showing their value by becoming better at driving home customer conversion. PayPal has become a popular option for online businesses because it’s simple, secure, and creates a more streamlined checkout process. It’s worth doing some research (or asking your team to) on various payment options and think about what best suits your ideal customer.

 

 

 

So just in case you’re thinking about giving your website or business a makeover in 2017, remember these statistics about current consumer practices and digital purchases made in 2016! Feeling a little overwhelmed? Rock Paper Simple is here to help!

 

Marketing Podcast – Joshua Adams on the Robert Plank Show

Our Head Honcho recently recorded a marketing Podcast! Joshua is the 195th Feature on the Robert Plank Show, and is now a resource on Plank’s marketing-centric online hub for business success seekers.

The podcast discusses Rock Paper Simple’s 7 Steps to a Marketing-Focused Website, and Joshua’s candor helps break it down into plain english- so you can immediately start implementing strategy and seeing results.

Give it a listen, and follow along with this fun printable graphic!

 

“What the Heck Am I Looking At?” – A Brief Tour of Google Analytics

Alright, in our last post we highlighted some key Analytics terms you should be familiar with, especially if you’re going to be reading reports on your digital marketing efforts. Hopefully you studied up! Today we’re talking about navigating to subsets of data within Google Analytics that we think you should become familiar with first, and knowing those terms will help you understand what you’re seeing. We understand that every business is unique, with shifting needs and goals that can definitely be applied and captured within Analytics, but exploring all of Google Analytics’ capabilities with you could take awhile. Not that we don’t want to spend extra time with you -that sounds awesome- but let’s save it for September’s hangout!

Google Analytics has way more capability than we’re going to talk about today, and even though we know you’re a smarty pants who could handle a full tutorial, we wanted to stay pretty basic with this post. We know most of you just want to be able to check-in on your website…see how it’s doing, if it needs anything…you know, because your business can be your second child. This popular reporting tool is widely used because it’s customizable, nicely organized, and the plethora of data keeps you in the loop. You get to see a lot of information about what’s going on with your site, after putting just a small amount of code on the backend.

“Ok yes, data is very useful and good, but this is overwhelming to stumble through. What am I looking at?!” Never fear, Rock Paper Simple is here!

Creating or logging into your existing account is easy. Head over to Google.com/analytics to get started. It will be tied to an existing google account or you can make a new one. Keep in mind Analytics lets you add/revoke user access under Admin, so we recommend having a business Gmail account to associate with your Analytics account, and you can add team members later on if certain people need to see it.

setup_analytics

After logging in to your account you’ll see the major categories of Home, Reporting, Customization, and Admin across the top. Home is simply a list overview of client accounts, Customization lets you compile specific reports to email out, and Admin is well, Admin. In there you create property clients and add their website accounts, and if you’re new to Google Analytics you’ll be directed on how to set up web tracking. If you need help with this process, contact the team here. If you’re good to go, read on!

For now we’re going to tell you to just focus on the Reporting tab and forget about those other tabs, because all the fun stuff lives under Reporting. The core of Google Analytics is there, so it makes sense for us to skip to the good part, right? Under Reporting, click through each subsection on the left sidebar. You’ll see the top four sections are user tools that can help simplify and customize your Google Analytics experience. We’re going to skip over those too, but they are useful to know about so here’s a quick description:

Dashboard – Super handy, and first under Reporting for a reason. You can pick and choose subsets of data to see, creating a unique visual for you to speedily analyze accounts. If you’re not interested in navigating Analytics to see your reports the standard way, this is for you!
Shortcuts – If you need to check in routinely with a specific account, then you should create a shortcut to that report. It’s not saving too much time, but you’ll look like a wizard at your next meeting when you pull up the numbers your boss wants to see with speed and ease.
Intelligence Events – You can set up alerts to be notified when Analytics receives data on criteria you specify, or when data is abnormal. This can be useful when tracking activity after a major campaign or implementation of something new.
Real Time – Exactly what it sounds like! Be the spymaster you always wanted to be and watch top referrals, pages, search activity, top locations, and more… all in real time!
default_analytics

Underneath those are (arguably) the most important sections- Audience, Acquisition, and Behavior. When you look at their Overview sections, you can see a standard report that provides a line chart of data from a specified time range, and more illustrative data charts beneath that. Thankfully Google understands that numbers can get overwhelming, so they’ve included many chart options for us Right-Brained thinkers who like a more visual representation of data. The default line chart shows data for Sessions, but you can choose which data shows in the dropdown right above the chart. You can also add another data line for comparison!
Overviews are helpful when you want “at-a-glance” updates about your site, but for most of you who want a little more information about what those numbers mean for business, we recommend heading straight to a couple of places:

First is Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Referrals.
refferals_analytics

Referral reports are a great way to see where your traffic is coming from and the quality of that traffic. With this report you can see the specific pages that are bringing viewers to your site, and their associated bounce rate and session data. This is can be the most important report for a lot of people (shortcut worthy!). It provides a visual outcome of marketing efforts, leading businesses to make better decisions on whether to amplify, change, or quit those efforts accordingly.

Another good place to start is Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages.
behavior_analytics

The data within Site Content gives you a breakdown of user behavior. Here you can see total pageviews, entrance and exit value of pages, and where users navigate to after they land on your site. For example this restaurant has the most pageviews on the homepage (/) but people stay the longest on the /about/ page, signaling their interest in reading through content on the atmosphere and dining experience. This data is super helpful to look at because you can see which pages are aiding or hindering the flow of a user’s experience- telling you if you should beef up your page’s content, if your SEO needs work, and other valuable info!

Confident in Getting to Those Places? Browse around within Reporting!
Once you become a little more comfortable exploring Google Analytics, we recommend playing around with sections under Audience. In here you can see your global marketing reach, enable demographic data pulling, know which technology is being used to find your website, add segments to track social media traffic, and more. With this knowledge it becomes easier to better target your marketing efforts, and you can be smarter about captivating users. It sounds like a lot, and it is, but it’s worth learning more about. Also, when your clicking around subsections, don’t forget to click on the blue links in your tables! They allow you to see even more subsets of related data. For example if you see in Audience -> Geo -> Location that most of your sessions originate in the U.S., follow the links to see state rankings, and further to see which cities in that state are top visitors of your site. If you need additional assistance or information about what something is, remember that you can click on the little graduation hat icon that hangs out under the date range! Google does a good job of defining things and helping Analytics stay user-friendly.

Wrapping it all up…
Google Analytics is a great tool that lets you see data for just about any custom inquiry you can come up with. What you do with that data is the important part! If you get really into exploring Analytics and you enjoying checking numbers, there’s potential for it to become a powerful tool in expanding your business, and we’d like to talk to you about that. However after all this, if you decide that numbers just aren’t your thing (or you’d rather get simple reports from us) we can certainly talk about that too! If you have any questions, or you’re interested in getting an analytical report sent to you in plain English, call us or drop a message here.

Web Analytic Terms You Should Know

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Besides conquering galaxies and cooking your breakfast, did you know that one of the many benefits of your Rock Paper Simple website is real-time analytics? Thanks to tools like Google Analytics measuring certain metrics, we can help you to understand how well your site is performing. You’ll be able to make decisions to not only improve the user’s experience, but also improve your business’ sales.

If you’re unfamiliar with an analytics report and its terms, it can be overwhelming and kind of confusing. Fear not! Unless you’re working in the digital marketing industry and immersed in it daily, don’t feel bad. Whether you’re a small business owner or completely new to web analytics in general, there is a basic understanding of web analytics you can learn to help you along. And the more you understand the terminology, the more confident you will be in making improvements to your site’s performance.

Here are some of the top terms you should know when it comes to web analytics:

Bounce Rate: the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then navigate to another domain after viewing one page.

Click Through: when a visitor clicks on a link that leads them to a website or another section within a website. The click through rate is the number of clicks a link received divided by the number of times your link is shown expressed as a percentage.

Conversion: a visitor responds to a call to action (i.e. purchases a product).

Cookie: a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in the visitor’s web browser. Cookies keep track of a visitor’s movements within the site, remembers the visitor’s registered login, theme selection, preferences, and other customization functions.

Direct Referral: URL’s the visitor either typed in directly or reached via their browser’s bookmarks. They did not find your website on search engines or through another site.

Entry Page: the first page a visitor views on a website from another domain.

Exit Page: the last page a visitor views before leaving the website.

Impression: the number of times a piece of content (i.e. banner ad, social media post) is viewed.

Keyword: a particular word or phrase that summarizes the content of a page and helps search engines match pages with searches.

Organic Search: visitors arrive to your website from unpaid organic or natural search engine results.

Pageviews: a pageview is recorded when the visitor views a full page of your website. Pageviews per visit is the average number of pages viewed per visit over a selected period of time.

Paid Referrals: visits that came to your website from paid advertisements (i.e. Google AdWords.)

PPC: also known as pay per click, PPC are paid searches where the advertiser pays based on the number of clicks the advertisement received.

Referral: visitors who were referred from links on other websites.

Social Referrals: referrals from social sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Top Viewed Pages: pages with the most views over a selected period of time.

Unique Visitor: a number of distinct individuals who request pages from a website during a specific period, no matter how many times they visit.

By taking the time to learn these web analytic terms, you have the power to make your Website work better for you and your visitors. And like we say here at Rock Paper Simple, “Keep It Simple!” There’s no need to bend over backwards and drain your time and resources when our team can help you. Give us a call at 321-626-2172 and learn how we can help!

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