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Facebook updatesThis month we’re talking about consciously casting off negative habits and taking on healthier, more productive habits, here on the website and on our Facebook page. Speaking of Facebook, at red balloon, we’re always looking for ways to humanize social media and to create a stronger and more authentic connection between companies and their audiences. That being said, a large part of social media is technical, and in this post I share some habits for increasing your Facebook reach.

Facebook recently made some changes (yet again) to their algorithm, or the script that determines what posts show up in your news feed. This time it will affect third party apps that automatically post to Facebook. For example, if you use an app such as Goodreads, and you mark a book as read, the third party app may automatically post to Facebook, but this kind of post will now not have as high a ranking as other content. This is Facebook’s way of pushing users to create more active posts (posting directly on the site as part of conversations or sharing important life milestones), rather than passive posts that you probably forgot were being sent to the site (through automatic services like the Goodreads example above). What does this mean for a brand? Honestly, it doesn’t mean too much. Not many brands auto-post from an outside app, but it’s good to know. If you use Hootsuite to schedule your posts, no need to worry as these posts will not be deemed less relevant.

However, with these tweaks to the way Facebook ranks the importance and relevance of content, reach (or how often your posts are shown to Facebook users) may suffer. It’s crucial to stay on top of how Facebook rates content and create posts accordingly.

Here are some simple habits to get into so that Facebook will rate your content as being more relevant and meaningful so that it shown more often to Facebook users:

1. Read your stats. Facebook Insights give you everything you need to see what posts do well, and more importantly, which ones do not. Take a little time and read how posts are doing and what the percentage of engagement is.

2. Focus on timing. Think about when your audience is likely using Facebook – you can also find this info via Insights. It is a great way to gauge when to post your content so the most followers will see it. This is a little bit different for each brand, and while it may seem counter-intuitive, you might do better to post at “off peak” times when there is less content being published to compete with your posts. Check reporting to see what times are working best for you.

3. Encourage engagement. Find interesting content and ask for feedback. Ask what people think about an article, or crowd source for opinions. Have fun with it, everyone has an opinion and wants to be heard.

4. Be personal. Be authentic to make a strong impact, the reason you believe in a brand is because you have a personal connection, so share that connection and your passion for your products or services.

5. Always respond. If someone leaves a comment or asks a question, answer. Always. If you don’t know the answer, tell them you will find out, then follow through. You can have the greatest brand and content in the world, but if you ignore your followers, they won’t come back.

6. Get aggressive. Ok, maybe you shouldn’t get in the habit of being aggressive :) But a quick sidenote: You can always investigate Facebook ads to ensure more eyeballs see your posts. You can efficiently target your audience for as little as $10/day. This is by design, Facebook wants brands to pay for readers, investing a little money in promoting strong content can be key in developing a loyal following.

Get into these habits and ensure that your important message is received! Need help or have questions? Email me anytime, I love to help – Jennifer@redballooninc.com, or check out red balloon social media services here :)

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I’m super excited to invite you to red balloon’s two year anniversary party! We’ll have live music from local band Ruca, food from Chestnut Fine Foods & Provisions, a very sweet candy buffet, and more.

I’d also like to take a minute to thank Cheyenne, founder and owner of Simply Party Box – she’s taken the ball red balloon and run with it, helping us to extend our party vision beyond anything we’ve ever done before!

We have a lot to celebrate, including some exciting news we’ll share first at the party – RSVP by emailing Dani@redballooninc.com, hope you can join us!

2yearflyer

unnamedHello Friends! As you may have noticed on Facebook and in our newsletters, we’ve gone gray for May! Recently, I was invited to accompany my friend Lanette and her husband from Gray Matters Foundation (more on her in a minute) as she was honored at a Diamondbacks game at Chase Field in Phoenix (see video above). It was an incredible privilege and an exciting experience to bring awareness to brain tumors and brain cancer at such a huge level.

Gray is the color for brain tumor awareness, and if you didn’t know, my wonderful 7 year old son had surgery at age 2 for a brain tumor at Barrow here in Phoenix. Today he is a bright, healthy and beautiful boy, and while we’re still contending with a small benign brain tumor, he is doing well and wise beyond his years. He and his little brother are truly gifts to his dad and me, and we’re grateful each day that our little family is together.

We have been so lucky to have loads and loads of support from friends, family and our community, but I’d like to extend a few very special thank yous-

First, we were introduced to Lanette, founder of Gray Matters Foundation, based here in Arizona, when we got the news of our son’s tumor. Lanette is a bright spot when you feel like a rain cloud is following you around. Her non-profit raises funds to support her very personal one-on-one work with brain tumor patients and their families. This saintly woman actually drives around to hospitals visiting patients, supporting them, lending them her ears, sharing her beautiful smile and mailing cards and dropping off gifts to people who otherwise feel like life has come to a grinding halt. Her motto is to “share support and not statistics”, and we’re grateful from the bottom of our hearts for that support. Please visit her site and consider donating or volunteering for her.

Next, another special thank you to my sister-in-law Angela, in Overland Park, KS. Each year, she and her family host a crazy mega super 3 day yard sale, made up of donations from everyone they know. They use these funds to help us offset our whopping annual medical bills, and this year anything above and beyond our bills will go to Gray Matters. Our families have been tremendously supportive and we couldn’t get through each day without their love and compassion.

And, of course we wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for the amazingly gifted team at Barrow. We won’t name names for privacy reasons, but my son’s neurosurgeon is the truest kind of rock star in my eyes. Plus he’s super nice and great with kids, a one in a million combination.

If you or someone you know is dealing with a brain tumor, please reach out to me or Lanette for support. And please consider wearing your gray for May!

Gray for May

Lanette’s Gray for May poster on our office door ;)

Angela's yard sale sign <3

Angela’s yard sale sign <3

 

Calling all agents – you need an awesome headshot! Check out this video I did for Desert Dimensions Properties, and then RSVP for the Agents of Change: Personal Branding Clinic on May 2nd from 4-6pm. We will have complimentary hair and makeup touchups from Enlighten Studio, a free headshot courtesy of Desert Dimensions Properties, I will be there to provide tips for developing a strong personal brand and enjoy refreshments from The Lizy Hoeffer Team. Don’t miss it, RSVP now!

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It’s been a little while since we originally filmed this video, and you may have seen some of the video on the Seattle By Foot website, but I’m excited to finally share the interview in its entirety!

I love Love LOVE these women – Penny and Heather are business partners, but they are also moms and they know how to make their business work for their lifestyles. But it all comes together for them, “we support each other with childcare, working together and working from home”, Heather shared.

While they live in one of my fave cities, I couldn’t imagine how a walking tour company could easily fit for a family with children. And while the company offers fun city tours, and pub and coffee crawls, kids were the inspiration behind their walking tour for kids.

Check out the video, in it Heather and Penny take me and my family (and Penny’s sweet daughter Anaya) on a foot tour of Pike Place Market, and we see just how accessible and exciting a place it can be for families. Can’t wait to return!

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