The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

post to facebook

You’re on Facebook to get attention for your business, right? You want to start conversations with your customers and get them talking about your brand.

Because getting attention is your aim, it figures that you should post to Facebook as much as you can. The more you share with your fans, the more they’ll have to talk about.

But how often should you post, really? Is it possible to go overboard and post too much?

In the past, we’ve recommended sharing something on Facebook at least once per day.

Facebook’s official advice agrees. Here’s what Facebook says:

We recommend posting about once per day to keep people returning to your Page.

Yet all businesses are different – as Facebook acknowledges:

Each Page has a unique audience that may respond better to more or fewer updates. Experiment with different posting schedules and see what works best by checking engagement metrics in your Page Insights.

If you notice that engagement with your Page has decreased, try varying your posts and post frequency.

New research from wisemetrics indicates that for maximum engagement, it could be best to post several times per day.

Their research found that a typical Facebook post receives 75% of its lifetime views within the first two hours of being published. Within the first two-and-a-half hours, it will receive 75% of its lifetime engagement.

What does this mean?

First, the time of day you post matters. If your fans aren’t online in the two hours after you post, they’ll probably miss what you said. For advice on the best time of day to post, check out our infographic here.

Second, if you want to maximize your reach, it’s worth posting to Facebook several times per day. As the shelf life of posts is now so short, it looks as though a minimum of three posts her day is ideal. That said, it’s best to limit yourself to five Facebook updates per day. Otherwise you risk overwhelming your most loyal Facebook fans.

Finally, track your metrics. Just because your posts have a short shelf life doesn’t mean they can’t be effective. By seeing the types of posts that perform best, you can perfect the art of getting as much engagement as possible in a short period.

Posting to Facebook every day can get time consuming. To save time, consider using a scheduling service such as Buffer App. This allows you to schedule Facebook updates in advance. We’ve written a guide to scheduling here.

Your Shout

How often do you post to Facebook? How often do you think you should post to Facebook? Let us know in the comments.

Google Plus Graveyard

With over 500 million users, Google Plus is one of the world’s biggest social networks. That makes sense, given that Google has thrown everything it has into making the network a success.

A survey last year found the 30% of smartphone users log into Google Plus at least once per month.

Yet not everything is rosy. Stats show the network has yet to capture the popular imagination. Just 3% of social sharing takes place on Google Plus. That compares to 41% for Facebook, 30% for Twitter, and 20% for Pinterest.

As one blogger put it:

No real people in the real world are using Google+.

But is this overstating the case against Google? Is Google Plus really a social graveyard?

To us, it’s clear that Google Plus ain’t no graveyard. If your business isn’t yet using Google Plus, we recommend you sign up today.

Here are seven reasons why.

1. Google Owns the Playing Field

The main reason Google Plus isn’t a graveyard is because for most people, Google is the Internet. Whenever you want to find something online, you head to Google.

Google is also the world’s largest email provider with Gmail.

Google has used its clout to sign up half-a-billion users.

As Guy Kawasaki explains:

Google can do more than merely tilt the playing field, because it owns the playing field. For example, Google integrated Google+ into search results, and Samsung phones and tablets come with the Google+ application pre-installed… Gmail account holders automatically have a Google+ account… Google owns one of the biggest rivers of Internet traffic (search), and it can divert people to Google+ anytime it wants. For example, when Google put an arrow on its search page pointing to the button to click to join Google+, hundreds of thousands of people joined.

2. Google Plus Is an Essential SEO Tool

Google uses information from Google Plus to influence search results. So if your content is getting shared and +1′d on Google Plus, it gets a ranking boost in search.

The impact of this is huge. A study by SEO specialists Moz.com found that:

After Page Authority, a URL’s number of Google +1s is more highly correlated with search rankings than any other factor. In fact, the correlation of Google +1s beat out other well -known metrics, including linking root domains, Facebook shares, and even keyword usage.

This fact alone is reason enough to start using Google Plus right away.

(Want more proof? Design blogger Lynne Knowlton saw a 40% jump in her blog traffic after using Google Plus for just one month).

3. Google Hangouts

With Google Hangouts, high quality video conferencing is available to anyone for free.

You can us Hangouts to:

  • Meet with clients, suppliers, or business partners.
  • Create videos tutorials.
  • Spend time with your customers.
  • Create a video podcast.
  • Interview experts in your field.

And pretty much anything else you can think of using video for.

Another nice feature of Hangouts is that they live up to their name. You can use them just to simply hangout. Martin Shervington explains:

Hangouts are like a party on the porch front. You are walking by and see people are chatting away on the porch and decide to pop in and say ‘hi’.

4. Meet New Folks in Communities

While sharing on the main network of Google Plus is a little slow, Communities are thriving hubs of activity and discussion. They’re fantastic for networking and meeting new people in your niche.

Google Plus power user Andrij Harasewych writes that:

Google+ Communities are perhaps one of the best components of Google+. Yes, they may get some flak for lacking features that have been around since the first message boards, but considering the benefit, the education, the entertainment, the inspiration, and the all around satisfaction I get from my daily Google+ Community activity, I wouldn’t trade it for any other platform.

Or as Lynne Knowlton puts it:

The peeps at the G+ party are super cool. They talk about things that you love. They have similar interests. They listen. They tell their friends about you.

5. Find Influencers Fast with Ripples

Ripples are a super simple way of finding influencers in your niche. To see what I mean, it’s best to check them out for yourself. They look like this:

Google Ripples Screenshot copy

We’ve got our very own guide to finding influencers using Ripples here.

Ripples are also great for analyzing the types of content that gets shared the most. When you know what generates buzz, you can create it for yourself.

6. Shine a Spotlight on Your Local Business

If you run a local business, then Google Plus can give a massive boost to your search rankings.

Did you know that nearly a quarter of searches are local?

You’ve probably done a local search yourself on Google and seen the results show up on a map. If you want your business to show up on that map, you need a Google Plus page.

7. It’s the Dream Social Network

If the world’s greatest minds got together to design a social network, they’d probably end up with Google Plus.

Google has put a ton of thought and resources into making Plus the best network around – even if you exclude the Hangouts feature.

Professional blogger Elaina Newton explains what’s so special about Google’s network:

It’s an amalgamation of both Facebook and Twitter’s best qualities, plus new features exclusive to Google. Imagine a new social network that favors visual media, but also encourages lengthy posts that inform readers and facilitate conversations. A stream that updates constantly, is searchable by keyword, shows you trending topics and has no character limits. A network with a strong sense of community and high level of interactivity. A place where content creators, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts, ranging from professionals to amateurs, can connect, share information and build communities based on common interests.

What’s Your Take?

That’s why we love Google Plus in a nutshell.

What’s your take? Do you love Google Plus? Will it overtake Facebook one day? Or is it doomed to failure?

Hot Leads Twitter

This is a guest post by Matt Carter of MGX Mindshare.

Like most business owners, you probably spend a ton of time thinking about how to bring new customers.

Today, I’m going to show you how you can “listen” on Twitter to find potential customers and turn them into paying customers.

Let’s go!

Why should you “listen” on Twitter?

Twitter is a giant public forum people use to have online conversations. People use Twitter to talk about all kinds of things. As a business owner, you can listen to those conversations to find people that are looking to buy something.

When you’re social media listening, you’re on the look-out for tweets like these:

 

 

 

Social media “listening” is where you listen in on these conversations to find potential customers. Over time, you build a  “portfolio” of effective search terms so that you can find people looking for your products or services (in a moment, I’ll give you a sneak peek into the my search portfolio).

What terms should you search for on Twitter?

You should search for:

People asking questions that your regular customers might ask. These people are usually “just browsing” right now, gathering information before they make a decision. They might be ready to buy now, or they could be a long way from buying. These aren’t hot leads, but they’re valuable nonetheless. Here are some examples:

  • Customers looking for wedding suits might ask about: “popular styles of wedding suits” (search for “wedding suits”)
  • Customers buying a motorcycle might ask: “what is the difference between a street bike and a cruiser?” (search for “street bike”, “cruiser”, “motorcycles” and variations of those)
  • Customers that want to buy sunglasses might ask: “what are polarized sunglasses?” (search for “polarized sunglasses” and even just “sunglasses”)
  • Customers who might buy a bird watching book might search for: “what kind of birds are native to Southern California?” (search for “what birds california” and related searches like “birds in wet climates”, etc.)

People searching for recommendations on products. These are the best types of tweets to search for, because they come from a person who is close to buying. Customers that are asking for product recommendations are qualifying themselves as warm leads. You know this because they’re not “just looking”, they intend to buy something. Catch them quick so you can make some money!

Here are a couple variations of terms I’ve found when looking for recommendations:

  • “anyone <specific product/service>”
  • “recommend <specific product/service>”
  • “need <specific product/service>”
  • “where <specific product/service>”
  • “where buy <specific product/service>”
  • “find <specific product/service>”
  • “looking for <specific product/service>”
  • “tweeps <specific product/service>” (“tweeps” is a term used by many Twitter users when they ask a question publicly)
  • “<city> <specific product/service>”

Here’s what you do once you’ve found relevant tweets

Respond with value. If a tweet asks for a recommendation, reply with tweet something like “Hey @exampleuser – I hear what you’re saying, and we have exactly what you’re looking for – visit us at <example.com>!” Don’t use this for every single response you send out, however. Personalize every response, otherwise you’re just spamming.

Qualify the lead. Try to understand specifically what the user wants. Is it a product recommendation? Do they have question for customer service? Or something else?

Consider responding, even if they’re not in your city. Even if you don’t have the capability to sell to people in other cities, you should still respond to them. Maybe you won’t be able to sell to them, but just a few seconds of your time will mean that they get their question answered by a professional. It might cost you a bit of time, but  they could end up referring someone that you can sell to.

Be friendly and personal. Use the same courtesy and friendliness you use in your personal life when responding. Usually, people won’t mind if you say, “Excuse me, I couldn’t help but overhearing. I actually know something about this.” However, people do mind when you try and force or pressure them to buy something they don’t want or need.

Your social media listening will sometimes give you the opportunity to strike up a longer conversation. If you can’t sell your products or services, sell your helpful and friendly personality. If they do really like you, they’re more likely to remember you and come back to you the next time they need a service or product like the one you provide.

Every lead counts, so think of social media listening as something you do for a brief period everyday to uncover new qualified leads.

Happy listening!

Matt Carter is an Internet Marketer based in San Diego, CA. You can read his marketing blog at MGX Mindshare.