Facebook Pages for Small Businesses

Running a small business can be tough. I know, I have run a few small businesses in the past and you are always watching the pennies. Sometimes business is good, sometimes it’s abysmal and you always have a to-do list (or a should do list) as long as your arm.

Making correct use of the Internet can really help boost your business by doing such things as drive customers to your premises and improve your business reputation, but many small business owners believe that having a Facebook page alone is enough to get their business seen and optimised online and don’t want to fork out for a professionally made website.

That is a big mistake.

A Facebook page is great as part of your online strategy, but it should never replace a professional website and here are some reasons why:

  • Website credibility aids your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) ranking, meaning more people will find your business faster on the Internet.
  • Whilst a Facebook page is a great way to add options to how customers can interact with you, you are likely eliminating almost half your potential customers if you limit your business to only a Facebook page.
  • Only a small percent (1%-5%) of people who have liked your Facebook page will see your updates.
  • Facebook pages do not offer enough functionality – particularly e-commerce.
  • You risk your account being deleted with Facebook. You have to follow their constantly revised terms of service.
  • Facebook favours BIG BRANDS that are able to give grand displays which draw in hundreds of thousands of likes.
  • A Facebook page alone is very weak. A weak or low online presence translates to a low search engine ranking. Compounding this ranking is the indistinguishability of Facebook pages.
  • Facebook creates negative brand images from people indiscriminately posting negative comments on the your business page.
  • Your competitors can target the people visiting your Facebook page and tempt them away.
  • Research shows that people choose to click on a website link over a Facebook page link.
  • By having a professional website, a certain level of trust is built subconsciously and confidence is instilled in the customer.
  • Anyone can have a Facebook page and Facebook pages can often be suspicious and related to criminality. Only credible and professional businesses will have invested time and money into a business website.
  • Customers search on Google and not Facebook when looking for products, services and establishments. Facebook pages do not rank well in Google search – websites do.
  • When searching for businesses, the customer will be returned many identical Facebook pages to choose from. So, without a website, you will receive no preferential ranking.
  • You have full control with a website. This includes your own domain name, where it is hosted, the design, visitor rights, etc.
  • A website enables you to capture customer data such as emails.
  • A website is much more conducive to telling your business story in a clear and engaging manner.
  • A website is your hub for everything.
  • Website analytics are more comprehensive than Facebook page analytics.
  • Facebook pages deliver a form of information that is not useful for your audience or customers.
  • Facebook has too much control of your page relating to content and marketing.
  • A Facebook page requires too much time to manage. Regular posts and changes are required to keep your Facebook page even slightly visible.
  • With a website, your statistics are private. You don’t have to share how many views the website has got, unique visitors, etc. With Facebook, everyone can see this data and compare you to your competitors.
  • With a website, you can design your business branding goals and colours.
  • The best strategy is ALWAYS to have a multi-channel approach, anchoring all your efforts with a well built and informative website.
  • A dedicated website has Google on its side. A Facebook page doesn’t provide the same comprehensive SEO control of a dedicated website.
  • When Facebook users want to find out more information about your business they go to your website. This bears itself out in Google Analytics reports.
  • A dedicated website enables you to completely control your brand and acts as the main hub on the web where interested, potential customers can go for all the information they are looking for.
  • A website enables you to tailor your content to the exact kind of key phrases and keywords your customers are searching for. A critical component of any business acquisition strategy.
  • Facebook policy changes can be frustrating. Ultimately, Facebook makes decisions that best suit its own business objectives. With your own website you have full control.
  • Your business branding is subordinate to the blue Facebook brand. Your content, including offers, promotions and updates must stay within the guidelines established by Facebook.
  • Facebook places heavy emphasis on user feedback when developing their algorithms, interface and apps. This means that change is always just around the corner, which is not a stable basis on which to build a strategy.
  • It’s a Facebook page and will never give the complete brand experience that a dedicated website will.
  • A Facebook page does not do enough to establish respectability for your business, although can be acceptable for a small start-up business.
  • (2021) 88% of users say they wouldn’t return to a website after having a bad user experience. 70% of online businesses that fail do so because of bad usability. Only 55% of companies currently conduct any UX testing. If someone is not logged into Facebook when clicking on your Facebook page, the user experience is terrible.
  • If, when searching on Google, your Facebook pages actually appears in the Google search listings, the Facebook page will provide a poor user experience unless the person is already logged into Facebook.
  • Competitors Can Advertise On Your Page. What’s worse, your competitors can specifically target your FB Page fans based on their profile and browsing history.
  • Having your own website adds credibility to your business.
  • Google gives greater SEO importance on having your own website. Facebook pages do not rank as high in search results and there is nothing you can do about it as Facebook controls everything.
  • The majority of people search on Google when looking for something on the Internet, not Facebook.
  • For a business to thrive, it needs to be individualised and distinguishable from the rest. Your business website is crucial to building the brand for your small business.
  • Google Analytics can’t be used by Facebook pages. Google Analytics allows you to perform market research with minimal effort and to constantly analyse customer trends & identify shortcomings.
  • A website helps your organic ranking (as websites ranks higher than Facebook pages) and allows you to optimise SEO and improve your ranking further by creating content.
  • Having a website allows you to prioritise your information based on what your customers want to see first, giving your customers and experience they will remember and come back for.

So, there you have it. A few reasons why you should consider a website for your small business. MrTESOL.com is a small business dedicated to helping other small businesses get optimised online. Get in contact today and let’s discuss getting your business website made. Over prices are low and our service is top notch!

I hope you have a great year.

Best,

Robert

Digital Marketing Manager at MrTESOL.com

Presentations 2


English Skill: Ending a Presentation

Keeping with the theme of presentations, imagine you have just given an amazing presentation, your use of English (so far) has been great, but now it’s time to bring the presentation to a close. This part of a presentation can often be difficult as you don’t want your audience to feel cut short or unsure as to if you have actually concluded your presentation or not. Your audience will often remember the last things you say in your presentation, so making sure that you don’t just kind of fizzle out at the end is important.

Take a look at the image below. You will find some common phrases to end a presentation in a convincing and professional manner. 

Common phrases to bring your presentation to an end.

Common phrases to bring your presentation to an end.

Have you got a presentation in English coming up soon? What do you find most difficult during a presentation?

Mr TESOL.

How Trump Won (A SOSTAC Analysis)

How Trump Won (a SOSTAC Analysis)

by prsmith

Many are still wondering how Donald Trump became president of the United States Of America, despite himself?  Here’s an analysis, using SOSTAC® Planning Framework to explore some of Trump’s plan and to give some insights into his subsequent successful campaign. Comments are most welcome. Situation analysis (where are you now) , Objectives (where are you going?), Strategy (how do you get there?), Tactics (the details of strategy), Action (how do you ensure excellent execution) and Control (how do you know you are getting there – what will you measure?).

SOSTAC circular graphic showing all 6 steps

–Situation Analysis–

Customer Analysis

Who – are Trump’s potential voters?

Trump focused on “left-behind” voters, specifically white working-class men (and women). He initially gambled on targeting one powerful voting bloc, (some pollsters thought this would alienate too many people) suggests Harvard’s professor Stephen Greyse (Fottrell 2016).   Clinton’s target audience was far broader, reaching out to the middle-class and “left-out” voters and black and Latino ‘left-out’ voters (many of whom had not yet a slice of the American pie). A month before the elections Trump had 57k transactors (contributors) of whom 68% were male and 32% were female, compared to Clinton who had 914k transactors of whom 36% were male and 64%  were female

Why – do Trump’s potential voters vote (what are their needs)?

Many people wanted change. Many others were frustrated and maybe even angry about their lives. Some have fears rather than hope. Is it possible that Trump’s upbeat’ #MakeAmericaGreatAgain or #MAGA hashtag played into the unconscious fears that if you don’t vote for Trump, America will get worse ie whatever is bad about America will become far worse? See the word-cloud graphics (in the final, ‘Control’ section) which demonstrates how Trump repeated these messages.

 

How – do Trump’s potential voters decide (how do they process information)?

Shorter attention spans. Research from Harvard revealed that attention spans for the first ever telivised political debate between JFK and Nixon back in 1960, was only 42 seconds (the maximum time to get a serious political message across). This fell to just 5 seconds in 2008 and even less since in 2012. There are many other variables involved here also, but, short attention spans is significant and perhaps gives a clue why Britain voted marginally for Brexit (short anti-EU messages had far more impact than long economic pro EU messages). .

Competitor Analysis

During the Republican nomination race, Trump saw a right wing gap and went for it. He also analysed the political establishment through the eyes of disenchanted voters. Trump became the Republican candidate for the presidential election. Next he analysed his opposition, the Democrats, Hilary Clinton. When he found a perceived weakness that resonated with his voters (see the Control section in part 2) he went for it. President Obama had unprecedented success in targeting, organizing and motivating voters,we imagine Trump’s team studied this blog post How Obama Became America’s First Black President to understand his competitor’s strategy and tactics.

This photo of Obama's Chair from behind, in the Oval office, This image went viral during the 2008 campaign with the caption: 'This seat is taken'

Current Performance

With the election just a month away, donations raised by October 2016: Clinton had $298m from 914,000 transactors (donors) and Trump had just $50.1m from 57,000 donors (Cortana et al).

Opinion polls favoured Clinton.

–Objectives–

Originally to win the Republican Nomination and then, win the presidential election (after that we just don’t know).

Strategy

Positioning

Trump positioned himself as a non-establishment guy. An ‘outsider’a ‘non-political establishment guy’.   He simultaneously positioned Clinton as an establishment person. An ‘insider’ (a politician linked to Obama’s policies) (Kanski 2016). Trump played the confrontational card which helped him to establish authenticity amongst frustrated voters. So he became a ‘controversial (non-establishment) ordinary guy’.

Meanwhile, Trump positioned Clinton as an untrustworthy ‘insider’ and threatened to take her to court after the election. Clinton’s authenticity was challenged by high-lighting the fact that ‘she seemed to say one thing in her speeches and another behind the scenes, illustrated in her emails leaked by Wikileaks and “basket of deplorables” comments (Kanski 2016). The CIA revelations days before the vote appeared to attack Clinton’s authenticity. Or was all this information fed by the Russians? There’s definitely a movie in this story.

‘controversial (non-establishment) ordinary guy’    v     untrustworthy ‘insider’ establishment lady

Was it like this?

a perceptual map showing trump positioned as a non-establishment reasonably trustworthy guy and Clinton as an establishment lady and untrustworthy

Apart from Clinton’s followers, one wonders whether the average American could relate to Clinton as easily as they could to Trump (or Obama in the previous two elections).

 The ‘Ordinary (non-establishment) Guy’ Created Authenticity

While Trump followers believed Trump had authenticity as he, rightly or wrongly, ‘says it like it is’.  The difference in authenticity, according to Kanski, was simply that ‘People can relate to bankruptcies, to locker room talk, to tough talk on terrorism, and that was difference. Whilst Trump might be a billionaire, but he’s been bankrupt, uses locker-room talk i.e. his life experiences somehow seemed to resonate more with the average undecided voter.’  

People viewing New York

Freight trains

Industrial buildings

Old Strategy

Trump initially raised his own profile by making headline-grabbing statements, often by calling in to television shows, supplemented by a rally once or twice a week to provide the appearance of a traditional campaign (Bertoni 2016).

New Strategy

Trump’s crystal clear positioning as the ‘controversial (non-establishment) ordinary guy’  was supported by data driven highly targeted tailored messages on facebook & twitter to “left-behind”  white working-class men (and women), combined with sentiment manipulation, machine learning, constant beta culture and almost instant reactions to audience mood swings .

Trump’s son in law, Jared Trump, took over the campaign created this new strategy and, amongst other things,  set up a secret data operation-like a Silicon Valley startup. ‘Kushner eventually tipped the states that swung the election. And he did so in manner that will change the way future elections will be won and lost.’ (Bertoni 2016).

Data

Within three weeks, in a nondescript building outside San Antonio, he had built what would become a 100-person data hub designed to unify:

  • fundraising,
  • messaging
  • targeting

They also tapped into the ‘Republican National Committee’s data machine, and it hired targeting partners like Cambridge Analytica to map voter universes and identify which parts of the Trump platform mattered most: trade, immigration or change’ (Bertoni 2016) . Forbes reported: ‘Tools like Deep Root drove the scaled-back TV ad spending by identifying shows popular with specific voter blocks in specific regions–say, NCIS for anti-ObamaCare voters or The Walking Dead for people worried about immigration. Kushner built a custom geo-location tool that plotted the location density of about 20 voter types over a live Google Maps interface.’

Arial view of on American city showing the grids

Very quickly data determined decisions, so just like Teddy Goff and previous Obama campaigns data dictated almost every campaign decision including:

  • travel, fundraising
  • advertising
  • rally locations
  • topics of the speeches

A data-driven strategy made sense. Trump also used the Magic Marketing Formula consistently in his tactics which were driven by the over-riding strategy. Part 2 (next week) explores the second half of SOSTAC® – Tactics (including the Magic Marketing Formula), Action and Control.

(Taken from http://prsmith.org/2017/01/20/how-trump-won-a-sostac-analysis/)

How computer games can help you to learn and practice English

Computer adventure games can be a fun and interesting way to learn and practice English.

Adventure Games

An adventure game is like a movie/film but one in which you control the lead character and, to an extent, the other characters as well. Your role is usually that of a detective of some description and you can move your character around the screen, look at things, collect and pick up things and best of all interact with the other characters in the game by speaking with them.

When you talk to someone in the game, a list of possible things that you can say appears at the bottom of the screen for you to select. Whatever you select will determine the reply you receive and to a lesser extent, the outcome of the ‘scene’. Both what you say and what characters say back to you can usually be shown as subtitles on the screen which is a great aid for lower level English learners.

Take a look at this clip from a great adventure game called “Grim Fandango”

Adventure games are great fun and you can soon find yourself completely engrossed in the adventure while at the same time learning and improving your English.

Benefits of playing computer adventure games:

  • Fill your head with English
  • Improve your understanding of spoken English
  • Improve your pronunciation
  • Motivate yourself (adventure games can be very engrossing and great fun!)

Tips when using computer adventures games to learn English:

  • Try to make sure you have a dictionary at hand. Pause and look up any words or expressions you don’t understand.
  • Write down all the new words and expressions you learn
  • Try to repeat English sentences to improve your pronunciation
  • Try to play the game without subtitles to improve your understanding of spoken English

Mr TESOL.

Are You Left-Brained or Right-Brained?

Which side of your brain do you tend to think with?

The Human Brain!

The Human Brain!

Although no one is completely left-brained or right-brained, you probably favour one side over the other. Schools have traditionally favoured left-brained students but it is thought, with online learning becoming more and more popular, that is changing.

Take a look at some of the general differences between the left and the right brain hemispheres.

Left/Right Brain Characteristics.

Left/Right Brain Characteristics.

In most online learning environments a right-brained learner may have a distinct advantage over a left-brained learner. Left brained-learners like structure and schedules that are normally not commonplace in the online learning environment. Right-brained learners, on the other hand, love the flexibility that online learning presents. They love colour, images and the ability to learn English in their own time.

You may be able to spot if your teacher is more left-brained or right-brained. Take a look at the following.

Left-Brained / Right-Brained Teachers

Left-Brained / Right-Brained Teachers.

So are you more of a lefty or a righty? Have a look at the video below. It shows a dancer turning around on the spot. If you see her spinning in a clockwise direction then it is said you are using more of the right side of your brain. If you see her spinning anti-clockwise then you are supposed to be using more of the left side (please note that this is not a scientific way to determine if you are left/right brain dominant. It does, however, raise some interesting questions about vision).

Look carefully and focus. Can you change the direction in which she is turning?

Restaurants 3

English Skill: Making an Invitation

Situation: You’ve been having a good week at work and are just about to take your lunch break when you see one of your colleagues standing outside the entrance to the company. You are feeling upbeat and generous, so decide to invite your colleague to lunch/dinner. Take a look at the related English phrases below to see how common phrases can be used to make dinner/lunch invitations.

Making Invitations

How long are the lunch/dinner breaks at your company? Do you feel they should be longer? In some countries, lunch breaks can last for as long as three hours!

Mr TESOL.

Restaurants 2

English Skill: Ordering from the Bar

Situation: You and some colleagues/friends are enjoying an evening out at a local bar/restaurant. You are all having a look at the drinks menu in order to see what is available and to decide what you will have to drink. Take a look at the related phrases you could use to discuss what’s on the menu and to speak with the waiter when he arrives to take your order.

Restaurants 2

Any questions? 🙂

Mr TESOL.

Restaurants 1

English Skill: Selecting a Starter

Situation: You and a friend are dining out at a nice little restaurant downtown, have ordered your drinks and are now deciding what to have as an appetiser. Sometimes deciding what to have from the vast array on offer on the menu can seem like mission impossible – everything just sounds so nice! Take a look at various phrases that you may want to make use of next time you find yourself in a similar situation.

Eating Out Selecting a Starter

When was the last time you dined out and had to use English? What did you have as your starter?

Mr TESOL.

Conversations 3

English Skill: Starting a Discussion

Here are a couple of situations for you. Do either of them sound a little familiar?

  1. You are out doing a bit of shopping and you see an old colleague/friend. You decide to approach him/her and start a discussion with the intention of finding out what they are doing these days, how their family is, etc.
  1. You need to speak with a work colleague who is full of the joys of spring having just returned from holiday. It’s time to start a discussion with him/her and explain what it is you need/want from him/her.

Although starting a discussion should be a piece of cake, doing so can often be more difficult than first anticipated. You don’t want to come across super awkward or sound unnaturally weird and you certainly don’t want to be a pain, so here are some common phrases you may want to employ next time you have the opportunity to practise a bit of conversation starting English!

Starting a Discussion

Starting a Discussion

What phrases have you used to start a discussion recently? Do you think you will use any of the expressions above?