Archive for Facebook

likeYour BNI Chapter Facebook Page, when used correctly, is an excellent tool to increase your chapter’s and its members’ visibility. However, creating content can be time-consuming and confusing if you aren’t exactly sure what to share.  

To get you started, we have gathered the top 20 content ideas that will make your BNI Chapter Facebook Page come to life – and start real conversations.

The Top 20 BNI Chapter Facebook Page Content Ideas – Revealed!

1. Weekly announcement regarding the open business categories your chapter is looking to fill.  

Example: “We have 35 business professionals who are looking for a reliable plumber whom we can send referrals to. If you know a great plumber in the <YOUR CITY> area, please invite them to visit one of our weekly meetings at <LOCATION, DAY, AND TIME>.” 

If you are not sure which professions you should be targeting, check with your Chapter President or local BNI Director for help.

2. Welcome message to a new chapter member – post each time a new member is welcomed. BONUS POINTS: include a picture of the new member induction.

3. Congratulations message to renewing members.

4. The upcoming 10-minute presenter(s) – and the business/personal contacts members should invite who might benefit from the presentation.

5. Member, Chapter & BNI Testimonials.

6. Thank you messages to visitors who attended meetings.

7. A key point learned during this week’s BNI gathering, or during a one-to-one meeting with another BNI member.

8. Thank you messages for referrals and closed business.

9. Special event info: create an event page on Facebook first for each special event, and then include a link to the event page within the status updates on your chapter’s Facebook page. You should post about the event frequently leading right up to the event date. Include images for greater impact.

10. Training events: again, create an event page on Facebook first for each training event, and then include a link to the event page within the status updates on your chapter’s Facebook page. And don’t forget: images draw the eye and get your posts read.

11. Member accomplishments and awards (i.e., community or association awards). And… you guessed it: and pictures of the occasion!

12. Achievements – Referrals, Closed Business, Visitors:

number of total referrals / closed business / visitors by the chapter for the month, quarter, or year; 

equivalent outstanding member’s stats (don’t forget their photo or company logo).

Examples: “Our chapter generated <$xxx,xxx> of closed business during the last quarter!” OR, “Thanks to chapter member Jane Doe from <THEIR FACEBOOK OR WEBSITE PAGE LINK>for giving xx number of referrals last month.  She was our Top Referrer – congratulations, Jane!”

13. On a monthly basis, announce how much a seat is worth in your chapter.

14. Dates of upcoming Chapter Director visits.

15. Other networking events in your area: your chapter’s Facebook page will become the go-to place for finding out what’s going on in networking in your city. Other networking events are a great source for inviting visitors to your BNI Chapter – so let your members know where else to network.

16. Got your member featured on the BNI Australia blog? Shout about it – and encourage other members to get featured, too. Here is how to get featured.

17. Utilise the weekly BNI Podcast announcement on www.BNIpodcast.com.

18. Share articles from http://businessnetworking.com/ written by BNI Founder Dr Ivan Misner.

19. Link to posts from http://www.bniblog.com.au.

20. Utilise articles and insights from the monthly BNI Australia newsletter

BONUS TIP:

Highlight your chapter members and their businesses by creating a Chapter Member Photo Album on your BNI Facebook page. Include a description of their services and contact information. Tag each member in their photo so it will also appear on their personal profile, and mention their business Facebook page for even better engagement!

So there it is, your Top 20 Starter Guide for your BNI Chapter Facebook Page.

What other content do you post on your chapter’s Page? 

What posts get the most comments and views?  

What times work best for your posts?

The rule is: post, examine – and do more of what works best for your specific audience!

We would love to hear from you and see what other content you have been sharing on your BNI Chapter Facebook Page.  

Let us know in the comments below or on the BNI Australia Facebook Page.

Categories : Facebook
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yellowtieNetworking and gaining referral business is all about building trust.  As we know building trust takes some time, it doesn’t happen overnight.  The thing about building trust however, is that it can be lost in an instant. And it could be due to things that you aren’t aware of.

As the world is changing and more people are jumping onto social networking sites like Facebook, which boasts almost 12 million Australians, it’s increasingly important for business owners to ensure that their online profiles are reflecting the same business image as their offline networking is.

Facebook provides all the settings and options to ensure only the information you want seen by the world is seen, but sadly many entrepreneurs aren’t aware of what they need to do.  Below I’ve outlined the five key areas of your Facebook Personal Profile which you need to be aware of to protect your business image online.

I’m sure some of you are thinking, but I’m not friends with anyone on Facebook who I do business with. While this might be the case it doesn’t matter as most Facebook profiles are searchable and rank in a Google search.  Jump over to Google and put your name in, you may be surprised by what you find.  Therefore make sure that your Facebook Personal Profile isn’t losing you business and referrals.

1. Profile Image

Located at the top of your profile, it’s set by Facebook as public, however you can change this.  When someone lands on your account, your profile image is the first impression of you.  How does this image reflect on your ability to do your job?  A few years back, my mum was sent a letter from our bank introducing our new Business Banker.  After a quick Google search, his Facebook Personal Profile was found and let’s just say that his profile image didn’t instill any trust in his ability to handle our finances.  Business lost instantly!  Make sure your profile image reflects the impression you want to project for your business.

2. Cover Image

By default your cover image (which is the large image across the top of your profile) is set to public and this can’t be changed.  Everyone who lands on your profile will see this image – it’s huge – they can’t miss it!  Due to it’s size, the impression it provides is larger than your profile image.  Have you ever snooped through a potential suppliers, employee or referrals partners Facebook profile before giving them the the go ahead?  A client of mine was just about to send a letter of offer to a new employee, before she jumped on to Facebook to find a cover image she described as ‘soft porn’.  She just couldn’t run the risk of her clients seeing this image.  Can you?  Save your ‘soft porn’ image for other albums on Facebook (or better still leave them off) and make sure your cover image sends the right message.

3. About You Section

When people want to find out more about you they often refer to your about section.  This is where you can complete a paragraph or two allowing you to connect with the people who find your profile.  Most people just leave this blank but if you are in business you can’t!  It’s best to approach this section in two minds; firstly as a business owner and secondly just as you.  As a business owner you want to entice people to want to find out more about you and direct them to either your Facebook page and your website.  And about you, just provide some insights into your life, as this helps people build rapport and find common grounding.  Make sure you set this section to public in your privacy settings (as discussed later).

4. Linking Your Facebook Page In Work Section

On the About Tab on Facebook you can list your current and previous work and education.  Many people miss the mark with this by leaving it blank, but you are missing out on an area which has proven to increase your Facebook Fans.  In the work section simply type in the exactly name of your Facebook Page.  Most of the time Facebook will automatically link this through and you know it works because you can see your Facebook Page Profile image.  If you happen to have a suitcase, it didn’t work!  You can watch this quick video.  with more instructions on how to set it up correctly.  Again, in your privacy settings, set this area to public.

5. Privacy Settings

Facebook provides an in depth area where you can change and control your own privacy settings.  As business owners and Facebook users it’s important that you understand this area and check it regularly.  It’s your responsibility to make sure your privacy is protected.  Your privacy can be controlled by two main areas on Facebook.  From the top right corner, select the clog and then privacy settings from the drop down menu.  Have a look through all the settings, read them and make any changes.  Then you need to check individual areas on your profile.  As you edit sections, such as your About Tab, there will be privacy controls in the top right corner.  Also remember to check your photos and albums as many people have these unprotected.

If you are online, you must protect your online presence and your Facebook Personal Profile is just one area.  Don’t lose business because you didn’t spend 15 minutes getting this right.  Protect your profile and protect your business and referrals.

nataliealaimosocialmediatrainingNatalie Alaimo is the National Social Media Director for BNI Australia.  She also runs social media training business, Natalie Alaimo International, teaching entrepreneurs how to leverage the power of social media to generate an avalanche of clients.  Visit her online and join the free 30 day Facebook Challenge.

 

 

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Apr
12

Facebook: Is Your Chapter There?

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Since Facebook arrived in Australia in 2005, it has changed the way we keep in touch with people we have met face-to-face.  And with 1 in 3 Australians now on Facebook, this online tool is a great way to boost your offline marketing.

BNI Australia has been active on Facebook for over 12 months now, and we have been having a blast with it!  We would love you and your chapter to start taking advantage of this great networking tool, too.

Maybe you like the idea of using Facebook for your chapter – but are not quite sure where to start?  No problem: we’ve put together a Facebook guide (below) and four videos to help you get up and running.  You can find these helpful step-by-step guides on the BNI Blog.

Let’s get into it!

Why Facebook?

Before we get to the nuts and bolts of how to set up your chapter’s Facebook page, let’s have a quick look at why your chapter should start a Facebook page.  The top reasons are:

  • Increase the visibility of chapter members and their businesses,
  • Increase the visibility of the chapter as a whole,
  • Increase the number of visitors and thus potential referrals and members for each chapter,
  • Highlight the benefits of visiting your chapter over other chapter and associations,
  • Provide education, and
  • Promote chapter and member events.

Setting Up Your Page

Ok, great, so setting up a Facebook page makes sense in terms of benefits but how do we actually go about doing it?

Firstly, check with your Executive or Assistant Director before you set up a completely new page. Many chapters already have basic pages in place, set up by proactive Directors.  If your page is not yet up, or you need some help with your existing page, check out our Facebook-page tutorial videos on the BNI Blog for help.

Once you’ve got the all-clear, you will need to enter the following details:

Page Category: Select ‘Local Business or Place’ then ‘Professional Service’. or Select ‘Company, Organisation & Institution’ then ‘Consulting/Business Services’ See the video for more details on this

Page Name: Use the following format: BNI Chapter Name – Business Networking Region. For example, the City Fringe chapter located in Sydney would be: ‘BNI City Fringe – Business Networking Sydney.’

Branding: Please ensure you only use branding provided by BNI Australia.  The branding is available for download here along with video instructions on how to install it.

Info Tab: This is the main area on Facebook where you can provide static information to promote the BNI brand and your local chapter.  We can provide you with information in template form, if you prefer, otherwise here is a guide to what you should include:

    • Your chapter name,
    • Your local meeting location, time and building name, and
    • An overview of BNI, including:
      • The structure (international, national and local),
      • Information on referral marketing,
      • The number of members in the chapter,
      • Information about closed business,
      • Current members represented in the chapter, and
      • Types of members required.

Page Access: Facebook pages can be modified by people with ‘Admin’ access.  You must provide admin access to either your Executive or Assistant Director – check with your local office for more information.

Username: The username is the unique shortened URL for your chapter’s Facebook page and can only be set up by your Executive or Assistant Director.  Please check with them for further information.

Bring Your Page To Life

Now that your page is set up, it is time to bring it to life!  Adding regular content is what will turn your page into an active and thriving community that will attract new members and retain existing ones.

The type of content you share on your page can be divided into sub-sections to make it easier to share.

You should aim to post at least once per day.  Make sure you spread the topics you post on over a range of areas (that is, don’t focus on just one aspect of BNI, or networking), and make sure there are several people in your chapter scheduled to post items to the page so the workload is shared.

Attraction Content

One of the main aims of your chapter’s Facebook page will be to attract new Facebook ‘fans’ (and thus new chapter visitors and members).  With this in mind, you should tailor the content to the needs of your local business community, as these are the people you want to attract.

Ideally, your chapter’s Facebook page should serve as the hub of business networking information in your local area.

Therefore, you might like to include posts with information about:

      • Other local networking events,
      • News from chamber and local council website and pages, or
      • Local community events such as fundraisers, family days, sporting events, fetes and markets.

Education Content

Another great type of content to include on your chapter’s Facebook page is educational material.  That way anyone interested in networking and referral marketing will be interested in your page.  When you include this kind of material it not only boosts the credibility of your chapter, but of the BNI brand as well.

The great thing about BNI educational content is that there is a huge amount of material already prepared that you can use.  Just check out the following pages and copy and paste what you need:

Member Visibility Content

Your Facebook page not only gives your chapter as a whole a chance to shine, but individual members too!  This is a great way to build their credibility.  Here are some ways you can highlight your fellow members:

      • Chapter closed business values [weekly or monthly]: Do you want more business?  This week BNI City CBD passed $24,560.35 worth of closed business between members.  Great work!
      • Specific referrals people are looking for: Frederick Marcoux from BNI Australia is looking to connect with Mark Smith who is the Marketing Manager of XZY Pty Ltd located in Perth.  Can you help Frederick with an intro?
      • Content from your chapter members’ pages, to position them as experts.

Focusing on individual members is a great way to share their skills and knowledge, and to build their credibility.  Just make sure you ‘tag’ members that you post about by including ‘@’ before their name so Facebook can create a clickable link to their profile or business page.  Easy.

Promotional Content

Promotional content is designed to ‘soft sell’ potential members to visit your BNI chapter.  Some examples include information on:

      • Visitors days
      • Specific categories
      • E.g. ‘Are you a plumber looking for more work?  We have 25 business owners waiting to pass jobs on to you.  Contact XYZ to meet with us.’
      • Such as social catch-ups.

7 Tips For Getting Your Chapter On Board

Everything we do in BNI is based on team work and commitment, and maintaining your chapter’s Facebook page is no different.

With this in mind we have put together 7 tips for getting your chapter behind Facebook campaigns, and to keep your page rocking along:

      1. Create a Facebook position on the leadership team,
      2. Put together a Social Media Committee,
      3. Brainstorm for content ideas as a whole chapter,
      4. Post 1 to 2 times per day,
      5. Make up a schedule of the content you are going to share and who will post it,
      6. Schedule your posts using HootSuite, a program designed to automatically post your updates whenever you choose, and
      7. Share content from others pages: BNI Australia, your regional chapter pages, other networking groups, other business pages, members’ pages.

Remember, when talking with your fellow chapter members about starting your chapter’s Facebook page that it is a great way to increase the visibility of all members and thus more referrals for everyone.

Follow the Rules

So you are nearly set to go!  The last point to mention is that it is good to have a few rules in place, just so everyone has a positive experience on your page.  Here are a few Facebook-etiquette tips we have put together:

      • Keep on topic: Only share information relevant to your page including networking, business referrals, your experience with BNI, etc.,
      • Stick to Facebook’s Statement of Rights & Responsibilities,
      • Think before your post.  Check spelling and grammar,
      • Remember it is a social platform not a self-promotion platform,
      • Don’t spam others on Facebook,
      • Remember Giver’s Gain®, and
      • Keep your posts positive and upbeat.

Try some of these tips – and let us know how you go.  Any questions? Get in touch at social.media@bni.com.au

By Natalie Alaimo

Natalie Alaimo is the National Social Media Director for BNI Australia.  She also runs social media training business, Natalie Alaimo International, teaching entrepreneurs how to leverage the power of social media to generate an avalanche of clients.  Visit her online to download a FREE copy of “The Social Media Blueprint – 9 Steps To Getting Results FAST on Social Media”.

Categories : Facebook
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