Are you boosting posts on Facebook? It’s time to stop.

Are you boosting posts on Facebook? It’s time to stop.

If you run a Facebook page, you’re probably familiar with the big blue Boost button.

Whatever you do, don’t click it.

There are over 60 million business pages on Facebook. As most of the social media giant’s revenue is driven through advertising, they implemented a tool to make it as easy as possible for business owners to input their credit card or PayPal information and boost their content to new audiences.

In theory, this is awesome: an easy two-click solution to small business’s biggest hurdle: cost-effective marketing to a targeted audience.

In reality: boosting a post on Facebook is the most expensive form of advertising on the platform with the least amount of targeting and customization options.

Yikes.

Here are five reasons you should skip boosting your posts and start building your ads through Facebook’s Ad Manager Tool:

Objectives

An objective in Facebook advertising is the outcome goal of the ad. This is where you choose what action you’d like people to take and what results you’d like to get through running your campaign. When you run a proper advertisement, you have tons of options including page likes, post likes, comments, reactions, lead generation, website traffic, conversions, and more.

Boosting only allows you to choose from two objectives: engagement and website traffic.

These options specifically target people who are either likely to comment on random posts or are click happy and enjoy opening web pages that show up in their newsfeeds. While the numbers may look nice if you aren’t used to running advertisements, they typically aren’t a relevant audience and cost more per action than creating a real ad using Facebook’s Ad Manager tool with the same objective.

Boosting only allows you to choose from two objectives: engagement and website traffic.

These options specifically target people who are either likely to comment on random posts or are click happy and enjoy opening web pages that show up in their newsfeeds. While the numbers may look nice if you aren’t used to running advertisements, they typically aren’t a relevant audience and cost more per action than creating a real ad using Facebook’s Ad Manager tool with the same objective.

Targeting

Targeting with a boosted post is incredibly limited. When you create a real ad, you have the option to target multiple audiences to compare performance and results. When you boost a post, you get to choose one specific group of people with an awkward meter telling you whether or not your audience is the right size—which, trust me, is a bullshit tool designed to increase how much you need to spend to reach the right amount of people in your chosen audience.

The purpose of this tool is to show the size of the audience you’re targeting and to encourage business owners and marketers to spend more money instead of narrowing their audience to be more relevant to their product or service. There is no right or wrong size for a Facebook audience and there is more to consider than simply your budget. It is important to consider your goals and how people respond to advertisements on Facebook.

The audience you target with your marketing is one of the most important ingredients in Facebook advertising. With so many active users, it’s important to make sure your content is only showing up to the right ones so your money isn’t wasted on people who will never convert into new business leads.

Budget

Budget is often the most important consideration for a small business looking to market their property with boosted content and Facebook advertisements. It should be the first step in determining the size of the audience you’re going to target and your end goal. Some results cost more than others and it’s important to keep that in mind when planning your campaign. For example, results from a lead ad typically cost more than a reach objective.

The budget options with Facebook’s boost tool encourage users to spend as much money in as little time as possible. This simplifies the process but gives you significantly less control over your spending.

There are three options between 1-14 days and a little calendar to choose from if you even notice it’s there. There is a rough estimate of how many people your content will reach for your spend—this taps into psychology and our need to reach more, often encouraging businesses to increase their spending without understanding how to improve performance for the same cost.

Placements

Ad placement refers to where your ad will show up in relation to Facebook and their affiliated advertising partners. In Ad Manager, you can choose where on Facebook your ad will show up.

There are many options including newsfeed, right sidebar, or in similar groups and pages. You even have the choice to customize whether your ads will be displayed on desktop, mobile, or both. When boosting a post, you’re limited to three choices of Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. This means you don’t have the option to show your content on Facebook affiliated websites that are specific to your niche.

Content

Boosting a post only allows you to boost something that is on your page’s timeline. It does not allow you to create new content and test several versions of it to see which performs best with your specific audience. Some content is more successful with men than women, or with generation x than millennials.

Being able to test content across different audiences with slight tweaks to your words and graphics will help you understand your audience and what will garnish the most results from them based on the content they best respond to. Boosting does not allow you to modify any content or test across various audiences.

In conclusion, Facebook’s advertising options are amazing for businesses of all sizes. They offer a unique way to reach users wherever they are with a tool that they are actively engaged in. However, it takes time and practice to fully understand how to run a successful marketing campaign to your market or niche, and how to optimize your ads for better results and lower ad spend.

While boosting a post is a simple and convenient option, it should be used sparingly if at all. Take the time to learn and understand Facebook’s marketing and advertising tools to create better content that gets you the results you want.

Looking for help taking your business to the next level with a clearly defined marketing and business strategy? Let’s set up a 20-minute consultation and get you moving in the right direction. Click here and fill out the form to get started.

Three traits to look for before hiring a marketer or coach to help grow your business

Three traits to look for before hiring a marketer or coach to help grow your business

If getting new clients and creating sustainable systems to market and scale your business is a priority, chances are you’ve landed on the pages of one of the latest overnight gurus telling you exactly how to do it.

Marketers, trainers, and coaches are a dime a dozen these days. With easy access to tools to promote businesses through Facebook, Instagram, email, and more, it’s harder than ever to figure out who to listen to and trust to help you build your brand, create an audience, and generate qualified leads for your business.

So, how do you figure out who to listen to?

Here are three things to look for before hiring a marketer, coach, or trainer to help you grow your business:

Experience

There are some great marketers who haven’t been doing it for all that long, but even they have something in common with the industry dinosaurs: results. To get consistent results and be able to repeat the same success in different markets, for different products, or in different industries takes hard work and lots of trial and error. If you hire a marketer, coach, or trainer, they should have ample experience and results to back up that experience.

Clients

What’s a better testimonial than getting your information right from the horses mouth? There are some cases where marketers aren’t able to disclose who all of their clients are, but you should be able to get the contact information for two or three and be able to have a quick chat to figure out if their systems are a good fit for your business goals. If a business of any kind is skeptical of letting you talk to their clients, run far and fast.

Adaptability 

Social media marketing is a fad. It is only the latest delivery channel to garnish massive attention. This time twenty-five years ago, magazines, billboards, and telemarketing were the big cash cows. As times change, so do the platforms we use to market businesses. The best marketers and coaches are ready for the change. Their skills are adaptable to new technology and trends because they understand the fundamentals, not just how to create an ad on Facebook’s Ad Manager.

Choosing the right person or company to help grow your business is a huge piece of the puzzle and is only superseded by actually putting in the work. No matter who you choose to work with, a coach or marketer can only succeed if you’re equally as committed to working together as they are. Whether that means making sure to implement their systems and not procrastinating and making excuses, or being on the ball with your follow up to the leads generated for your business—seeing results is dependent equally on their skills and effort as it is on yours.

Looking for help taking your business to the next level with a clearly defined marketing and business strategy? Let’s set up a 30 minute consultation and get you moving in the right direction. Click here and fill out the form to get started.

Are your social media engagements establishing relationships with your ideal clients?

Are your social media engagements establishing relationships with your ideal clients?

How much money did you earn for each “Like” or “Comment” on your last social media post?

Nothing? ?

That’s what I thought.

There are huge misconceptions about social media engagement, lead generation, and establishing business relationships.

Social media engagement should lead to establishing relationships with your business leads. ?

Entrepreneurs, real estate agents, and business owners can post on social media all day every day and still not make a dollar because they’re not genuinely connecting with their audience or their needs, even if they’re getting a ton of thumbs-ups on their content.

⭐ Social Media Engagement

Getting people interacting on your content is the first step to generating leads online. The more people who like or comment on your updates, the more likely other people are to see it. The more often you show up, the more memorable you are.

Make sure the content you put our is VALUABLE to get the most out of your social media posts. That means sharing information instead of “Hire me!” or “Use my service!” with a pretty picture.

Get to know your audience inside and out so you can best communicate what they want to know in a way that speaks to them directly. As they say, marketing to everyone is marketing to no one. Marketing to a specific target market or defining an ideal client doesn’t mean you can’t work with everyone, it just means that you have a deeper understanding of who your audience is so your content is always valuable to them and they keep coming back for more. That is how client relationships are built.

⭐ Establishing Client Relationships

When people start engaging with your content, you have an opportunity to build a relationship. There are many ways to do that but I’m going to focus on two:

Reply to their comments: Start conversations in the comment threads of your post to get more traction for your post, but most importantly to get to know the people who find value in what you’re sharing. Ask questions, share GIFs to make them laugh, and establish a relationship that goes beyond a friend request on social media.

Start conversations: Every social media platform, including Facebook and Instagram, have this nifty messaging feature. It allows you to send a private message to people and start conversations. Use this tool to start talking to the people who respond to your content because they are taking something away from your content. You reaching out makes them feel special and that is the quickest way to establish trust. A simple “Hey, how are you?” goes a long way.

In conclusion, communicating with your audience is the best and most simple way to get to know them and their struggles, and in turn help them solve their problems.

If you walk away from this post with one valuable piece of information, let it be that social media engagement is most valuable when it leads to establishing relationships. This allows you to convert leads into paying clients easily.

How many conversations have you started today?

Protecting your clients and business from wire fraud

Protecting your clients and business from wire fraud

As a techie with experience in cybersecurity, understanding how things can go wrong and learning to avoid it is very important to me.

As soon as the internet became a thing, scam artists jumped on board. Everything from emails pretending to be wealthy long-lost relatives, people building relationships with another in a foreign country whom they’ve never met, and receiving threats to expose deep dark secrets are communications to keep your eye on.

Financial fraud doesn’t stop at personal interactions, business owners and clients are at huge risk when performing transactions online. As an entrepreneur, real estate, or service-based business owner, chances are you’ve accepted payment through an online source at some point, whether through an e-transfer, PayPal, Stripe, or wire transfer.

If so, this is for you.

There are many ways to commit fraud. The simple act of pretending to be another person is fraudulent, but we’re going to focus specifically on cybersecurity and wire fraud.

Wire fraud is a huge problem that impacts many industries, especially real estate. As of late, wire fraud scams in real estate have increased over 45% from this time last year.

The act of wire fraud often involves pretending to be one party of the transaction. Using real estate as an example, the fraudster may pretend to be the title company, mortgage lender, or attorney involved in the purchase or sale of a property. They are able to interrupt an email server and scan content for words like Contract, Closing Date, or Clear to Close and know that in the near future you’ll be sending your money along.

Click here to check out my client Jenette, the broker and owner of Elite Property Sales, story about how her client narrowly avoided being scammed out of their down payment when buying a new home in Clermont, Florida.

Email accounts from free providers like Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo are significantly more susceptible because their accounts run on a single server, rather than having a private server set up for your business domain emails. If a business has an email address like mine hello@hillaryrobert.ca, you can ask if they use a private server to host their emails and if that server is secure. A secure server has an added layer of encryption which makes it more difficult for hackers and fraudsters to intercept and read information off their servers. But keep in mind, it takes two to tango. Your email server must also be secure.

The next step is often the most frightening. A fraudster can clone your email server and send a message that appears to be coming from you or one of your business partners. In real estate, this can include the title representative or lender. Their email will likely have the instructions for payment.

If you typically accept payments through wire transfer, the fraudulent email might include an account or routing number that appears to be local, but in fact is a shell that transfers out of the country. If you accept payments through services like PayPal, the email might include a link to a platform that looks like PayPal but instead sends the money to another account or processes the transaction as payment to another gateway. If you accept payments by credit card through Stripe, Square, or other similar programs, the email might include a link to a fake website where a user would enter their credit card details and be charged by the fraudulent account.

Credit card payments are often the safest way for a consumer to protect their money because companies like Visa and Mastercard have systems in place to reclaim funds and return them to the customer if they’ve been defrauded.

For larger transactions, it’s sometimes not possible to use a credit card, therefore, it is important to make sure you communicate with clients the proper steps to send a wire transfer and what they should look out for to avoid being scammed.

If you suspect someone is trying to commit fraud or scam your business or clients, even if they haven’t made a transfer or incurred a loss, immediately report it to your local FBI field office in the USA or to the RCMP in Canada. Both are working hard to solve this crisis but can’t do it without reports and new information.

 To protect your clients and your business, have a discussion about what your invoicing looks like or how a high-value money transfer should be made. Ask them to contact you upon receiving an invoice, payment instructions, or wire transfer instructions to confirm the information they’ve received is legitimate.

A lot of times, when the money is gone it’s gone forever.

It is our responsibility as business owners and service providers to keep our clients informed and help protect them from the real dangers of financial fraud.

The 7% Rule: Building client relationships with better communication

The 7% Rule: Building client relationships with better communication

Have you ever sent a text message and the person receiving it to took it the wrong way?

Maybe it was a joke, asking for a favour, or pointing out something that they could improve on. Whatever the context, the most common cause of miscommunications over text conversations is The 7% Rule.

The 7% Rule implies that 93% of communication is non-verbal. That means to deliver the most effective communication and convey the most effective message, we need to be able to interpret body language and tone of voice in addition to the words spoken.

Seven-percent represents the significance of the words used to convey a message. By removing tone of voice and body language from our communication, which is what happens when we send an email or a text message, we are delivering a message that is 93% more likely to be misinterpreted and cause us grief.

There is a lot of debate in scientific communities about the accuracy of the percentages, but the one thing no one disagrees on, non-verbal communication makes up for a huge portion of conveying a message well.

Let’s do a little exercise.

Below, I’m going to write two emotions. Emotion is a big influence on tone of voice and body language, so I want you to imagine saying the same sentence while conveying the emotion described.

Ready?

The sentence is: Wow, that’s unbelievable.

Now try it. Say the sentence in a way that conveys these feeling:

Disappointment
Excitement

Different, huh?

When conveying disappointment, you probably used a sterner tone, spoke in a deeper voice, and maybe even used a twinge of sarcasm.

When conveying excitement, you probably had a smile on your face, spoke at a higher octave, and pushed through a bit of enthusiasm and appreciation.

Now imagine receiving a text message with those words. Without the ability to interpret tone of voice or body language, it’s left to you to decide how you’re going to receive the message. The way you interpret the message can be dependent on your own mood or previous experiences in receiving feedback.

In business communication, so often we send messages over social media, email, or mobile texting without thinking anything of it. It’s normal in our tech-driven society because it’s convenient and efficient. We literally have the world at our fingertips.

But is this method of communication effective?

When talking to clients or prospects, having clear communication is essential to building trust. That’s one of the many reasons why video is such an effective tool for service-based small business owners to capture an audience’s attention, build trust and rapport, and convert them into loyal clients.

In order to effectively communicate your message to an audience, quickly build trust with a potential client, and significantly lower the risk of miscommunicating your services and guarantees, the most effective method to communicate is through face-to-face interaction.

Lucky for us, the internet makes this possible without having to meet in-person. Tools like Zoom, Skype, Duo, and Facebook Messenger all allow for video or audio conversations but are seriously underused in business communication.

In conclusion, if you want to improve your communication with an audience, build relationships faster, and earn their trust enough that they’ll purchase from you, you need to do more than show up in their inbox every so often.

As an entrepreneur, real estate, or service-based small business owner, you have all the tools to have face-to-face conversations with prospective clients around the world. More than 75% of the population owns smartphones and has access to video technology. Video conversations are as normal as writing a letter in the 1800s or picking up the phone in the late 1900s.

Learning to use these tools effectively will have a huge impact on your client relationships, a positive influence on how many deals you close, and allow you to reach more people with your message in a way that speaks to them and builds their trust.