As a small business owner, you rely on social media platforms to promote your business and drive clientele to your page or website. Many small businesses rely solely on the interaction created by Facebook ads, page posts and campaigns so it can be frustrating when the powers that be restrict your activity due to misuse of the site. It is increasingly important to understand Facebook’s changing rules and regulations, so you don’t end up getting blocked or, even worse, your account being closed permanently.
The term ‘Facebook Goal’ refers to the punishment of a Facebook profile or business account by disabling the account or partially blocking some of its features for a period of time due to the breaking of Facebook rules. It can range from the restriction of posting for a few days to a weeks days or a complete removal of the profile or page altogether.
How can you avoid Facebook Goal?
Trying to understand the terms and conditions of posting on Facebook can be complex and confusing so here are the major points to remember to avoid ending up in the Facebook Big House.
- Don’t Post Too Much or Too Fast
- Post Original Content
- Don’t Friend Everyone
- Keep People Coming Back
- Understand the Basic Rules
Don’t Post Too Much or Too Fast
Facebook is always on the lookout for spammers, so don’t act like one. Even if the post you have shared is exciting and time sensitive, resist the urge to post it everywhere, right now. Leave a few minutes, or even hours before posting and sharing on all associated and relevant pages and avoid looking suspicious to the Facebook moderators. This also goes for liking all the pages and commenting on every little post imaginable. Use Facebook’s scheduling function and you can do all your posts in 1 go and then drip feed them out over a time period.
Post Original Content
Got a great article you’ve written yourself but Facebook doesn’t like the image you downloaded from Google to go with it? It’s probably been marked as spam. Keep the integrity of your page and use free stock photos or better still invest some money to get more unique stock images for your blog posts as well as branding authentic images with your business name on website.
Also in line with this strategy is creating original content for your site and not just copy and pasting someone else’s article and claiming it as your own. Use authentic links to reputable sites if you wish to share information to your clientele.
Don’t Friend Everyone
Gone are the days of face-to-face networking being the only method of sourcing contacts and reaching out to prospective clients, however this does not mean you have to confirm everyone who requests the honour of your Facebook friendship, or friend-request every random person on Facebook that may be beneficial to your business. Do what you like with your personal profile, but keep your business ‘friends’ all about quality, not quantity.
Keep People Coming Back
One of the trickiest strategies to master is keeping viewers intrigued with what’s going on with your business. Too much information and your viewers and potential clients will be sick of you, too little and they will lose interest. The idea is to provoke visitors to your page and website to learn more about you and your products or services. Experiment with what works for your business. For example, some find once a day is ideal for engagement whilst others only require 3-4 times per week. Constant online presence is the same as incessant nagging; annoying and will both lose you customers and anger the Facebook bosses.
Remember the most important thing is to add value to people seeing your posts or coming to your page. Is your post:
- Solving a People
- Or just selling?
It is fine to sell sometimes but not every post. Think about how you treat people in real life, make a connection, get to know them and then offer a solution. Follow the same principals for Facebook and other social media platforms.
Understand The Basic Rules
As with using any social media platform, or service provided by someone else for that matter, there are rules in place for the fairness, safety and integrity of everyone involved. Facebook may have what seems like a complicated list of rules and standards to uphold but they can be broken down quite easily to reflect the basics.
First and foremost, Facebook is strict on the one person – one profile policy; meaning you can run business pages and groups off your personal profile as the parent page only.
Secondly, the use of a business name for a personal account will get your privileges restricted quite quickly. By all means, promote your business page on your personal profile, but do not rename it and participate in posts, groups, chats etc as your business name.
Facebook can be a valuable and lucrative tool when utilised correctly, however it can be a harsh judge and punishments can be detrimental if the rules are broken repeatedly. Trial and error can go a long way in finding out what works for your business on social media and these basic tips should help you in making sure you don’t break the Facebook rules along the way.
One of the most crucial points of starting a business is choosing the name, and with a business name inevitably comes a domain name. You need a relevant, targeted business moniker that indicates what you do and what services or products you provide. It can be industry specific, meaning that those in your industry will ‘get’ your name if others don’t, but if you are not heavily established in your industry, just starting out and wanting to crack in or you haven’t really established your niche, you may need to consider reaching a wider demographic before a smaller, more specific target audience.
- Get The Domain Name First
- Keep It All The Same
- Long Or Short
- Hyphens? Yes or No?
- .org, .com and .net
Get The Domain Name First
Unfortunately, in today’s market, there are a vast majority of people simply out to make a buck. This does not exclude any industry. Should you start your little business without securing the domain name, chances are a very tech-savvy competitor will swoop in and purchase it, leaving you with costs to change your business name or charge you money to buy it from them. It’s frowned upon, but it’s common; businesses mass purchase domain names and link them all back to their own sites. So if your customer is googling you and your business but ends up at a competitors website, the potential for lost sales is huge. Secure the domain name and THEN start your business. Even if it’s just a Facebook page, it’s the best few dollars you’ll invest at the start.
Keep It All The Same
Your domain name is usually your business name and website name, unless for some reason you cannot purchase it, then you need to make it as close as possible. It may seem common sense to most to keep it all the same, however this is not always possible, especially when a situation as explained above occurs. Purchase your domain name first, follow through with your business name as the same and name your website this when you get one. Think simple; you want your customers to be able to remember YOU and your URL.
Long Or Short
You’ve no doubt chosen a business name that is catchy and relevant, but is it too long or short for your target audience? Domain names can be up to 67 characters long, however there is debate as to which is better. Longer names are usually easier for customers to remember rather than anagrams, for example beautifulwebsitesforsmallbusiness.com is easier than BWFSB.com, however shorter domain names may be easier to type and less susceptible to typing mistakes.
Long names can be a chore to remember, type and fit on your website in an aesthetic manner, however shorter, relevant names have usually been purchased long ago. Ask yourself what your customers would be searching for and make sure your domain name is meaningful and memorable and you can’t go wrong.
Hyphens? Yes or No?
There are pros and cons to hyphens. They can be a pain to type, easy to forget and if your competitor has the same name without hyphens, you can be guaranteed that your referrals won’t emphasise the hyphens and your customers will end up visiting, and possibly purchasing from, your rival’s website. If your chosen business name is not available as a domain name, a hyphenated version can provide you with an alternative. As a general rule of thumb is don’t use hyphens or underscores unless you really have to.
.org, .com and .net
Country specific domain names are brilliant if you are a local business and target your community, .com.au indicates an Australian site and your customers are far more likely to order from you if they are in Australia. If your business has international intentions, country specific suffix’s such as .au, .uk. etc may limit your client base.
Something to consider is that .org typically indicates a non-profit organisation, and that a simple .com will imply an international business and is good brand protection. One thing to remember is that if you have a different suffix (ie .net.au) always promote your business with the suffix attached to avoid customers visiting another site.
Need a Domain Name?
Yes, you need a domain name, it is like the street address to find your website.
Click here to see if your domain name is available?
Yes, but don’t!
Yes, it is possible to create a website without your own domain name but your website must have some sort of domain name. If you don’t have your own domain name you will be advertising someone else’s business every time a visitor comes to your website. Read on and I will explain.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is the identifying address that belongs to a website. It is the path that your visitors follow to get to your website, think of it as the street address that leads to your home (your website).
5 reasons to buy your own domain name:
- Custom Email
- Help Google
1. Buying a domain name is cheap
Domain names aren’t expensive, click here to search for your domain options and price *. Depending on what sort of domain you buy, .com .com.au etc you can buy a domain name for under $30 a year.
2. Impression of Your Business
Are you in business or is this a hobby? If you can’t afford to spend a few hundred dollars on getting a domain name, web hosting and a few other bits and pieces for a professional looking business website are you really serious about your business?
The impression that your own domain name is going to give your business over a free option is priceless.
Even if you are running a website as a hobby, why lose all the time you spend learning if you don’t have your own domain name. You never know what is around the corner your hobby might turn into a real business and then you will already be ahead.
What Happens If You Don’t Have a Domain Name?
All websites must have a domain name of some sort, so if you have not bought a domain name your website hosting company may have a free option. These free options will generally include the hosting companies name in your new domain name and the resulting website will be full of ads or branding from your hosting company.
Would you take a business seriously if the above was their domain name?
Not only does this look really bad, you are adverting the provider “free hosting” every time you advertise your website.
Owning your own domain name give you peace of mind, no matter what happens you will always have your domain name (if you pay your renewal). You are able to move your domain name to point to any website hosting and if something goes wrong with your current website hosting you have options. If you don’t own your own domain not only could you lose your website and potentially years of work but your whole digital identity. The cost of losing your website address would be massive, think about the places it could be listed – business cards, ads, social media, customers bookmarks and much more.
Even if you have backed up your website and could reinstall it somewhere else, (generally not available in many free options), you would have to get a new address to send customers to would be essentially starting again.
The cost of free could be exceptionally high.
4. Custom Email Address
Your business is up and running well and you are thinking of doing business with bigger businesses or government what is your email address? Hotmail, Gmail or your internet provider?
Impressions in business is everything and you really do need to use your domain name as your email address. As discussed above your domain name is portable so no matter who your provider is you will never lose your email address if you are using your own domain name.
Every time you send out an email from your business domain you create a little free ad and a little more brand awareness.
5. Help Google
We all know how important it is to be found by Google and show up in the search results. Google needs your help! By telling Google what your website is about then it can help to list your site and return a great search experience to its customers. The first step to helping Google is to have your own domain name.
Renewing your domain name
You must renew your domain name once it becomes due. Depending on the type of extension eg .com, .com.au or other you have bought then you will need to renew annually or every 2 years, something you will have the option to extend for much longer periods of time.
Words of warning
A client of mine had registered a personal brand domain name (her own name) for years, she wasn’t using it but she owned it. She got married and was having her first baby, her domain name came due and being time poor, she thought I will deal with that later. Long story short she didn’t renew the domain and after a period of time that domain name (her personal name) became available for someone else to buy and guess what, someone with the same name snapped it up. What can my client do about – unfortunately nothing.
I had the same thing in reverse. A few years ago, I tried to register my name cathysmith.com.au and wasn’t able to because another Cathy Smith already owned it. In 2017 my name became available as a domain name and yes, I snapped it up.
An associate of mine gives personal domain names as new baby gifts. If you are a sole trader or in a consulting type business, getting your personal name as your domain name might be something to think about.
Spam Domain Name Renewals
After you have registered your own domain name you may be hit with a spam renewal. The spam renewals can be posted to you (snail mail) or emailed, the may even look like your renewal companies branding.
Often these renewals will be for hundreds of dollars and not your domain name at all. They will look very similar but the extensions (the end bit) will be different.
You own the domain of wigetcompany.com and wigetcompany.com.au
The renewal will be for wigetcompany.net.au or wigetcompany.info.
These are not your domain names and in fact not even a registered domain at all.
If in double always log directly into your domain hosting company and never click on the link provided in the email.
Can I Create a Website Without Buying a Domain Name?
Yes but please don’t.
You would be better not having a website at all than having one that you don’t own the domain name.
If you liked this article go to cathysmith.com.au/blog for more and remember to share the love.
Beautiful websites for small businesses.
* This is an affiliate link and if you choose to buy through this link I will receive a commission. With that said it is the company I recommend and personally use for my domain registrations
When it comes to creating your own website, the number of options for free website builders is endless. These suppliers have tapped into the market of small business owners and bloggers who wish to start their own website without the start-up costs of hiring a professional website developer. And whilst nothing can compare to the quality, service and professionalism of a web developer created website, sometimes choosing a free website builder is your only option.
There are few things you should know before you start building a website with a free builder, aspects that web developers take significant amounts of time training in and perfecting, so it is advisable to take advantage of the better platforms out there to get you off to a good start.
Wix is a popular platform that is easy to use and allows even the most un-tech-savvy user to build a site quickly and easily. It offers a range of themes and a relatively simple dashboard, however simple behind the scenes often spells simple on your page. Concepts like SEO, coding, keywords etc don’t need to be overly considered when you’re just starting out, but will be a factor later down the line when you are attempting to drive traffic to your website as your client base grows or following increases. This is where the WordPress platform becomes the front runner in choosing a website builder.
Some points to remember when choosing your website building platform include:
- User Friendly Rating
- Support and Maintenance
- Plugins and Apps
- Design and Themes
Whilst both website building software is free, there are always extras to consider. With WordPress, you will need to purchase a domain name and hosting for your site, which is relatively inexpensive and you will need to pay extra for some themes, although the ones available on the free plan are really versatile. With Wix you do not have the option not to purchase a domain name or hosting, but you with have branded advertisements on your website and your page name will not be customised with the basic plan. Potential visitors can sometimes find username.wix.com/sitename a little unprofessional. Read the article on Can I Create a Website Without Buying a Domain Name? to why this is not a good idea. A basic Wix plan also does not come with any additional features and you have to upgrade to a paid model for most options which can turn out to be more expensive than website hosting and a WordPress platform.
User Friendly Rating
Wix is incredibly easy to use; from changing fonts to web page colours, it’s pretty much a drag and drop situation. You don’t need to concern yourself with hosting, backups, plugins or security, as they take care of that for you. The downside is you have little control in these areas.
WordPress is a little more complicated until you are savvy with it. There are multiple drag and drop themes available with many tutorials and plenty help to guide you through. Depending on your theme, the complexity levels can increase if you want to implement forms and sales pages or perform complicated content formatting. With WordPress, you can make your website as simple or as complicated as you wish and as you skill levels build you can expand your website too.
Support and Maintenance
A deal breaker when it comes to selecting a product to assist you run your business, easy and efficient tech support and maintenance is vital. The Wix support team has a forum to access and lots of resources in the Help Centre, whereas WordPress rivals them with multiple forums, FB groups Youtube Turtorials and individual plugins for support.
Wix wins out with the maintenance side. Because your site is simple, it does not require too much maintenance and the Wix team manages updates and back-ups from their end. WordPress can require a bit more maintenance to keep it up to date, especially if plug-ins and themes are not updated regularly. WordPress is far more portable and once your backups are setup you can be altered to any attention you are required to do and when.
Plugins and Apps
The sheer volume of free plugins available through the WordPress platform (around 40,000) ensures you will always find the one you need for your sites particular needs. Wix offers 200+ apps, some paid and some free, for items that are standard to some WordPress themes, such as forms, mailing lists and galleries.
Design and Themes
As mentioned above, WordPress dominates with thousands of free and paid themes, your only limit is your budget. Wix has 500+ pre-made templates to choose from that can be customised to your design requirements.
This is tech talk for getting your site seen. Without getting into too much confusing jargon, both sites have their benefits, however WordPress is significantly more efficient and has more benefits when it comes to Google finding your site. WordPress websites are far more superior for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Why You Should Choose WordPress Platform Over Wix For Your Website?
WordPress is definitely the way to go and not nearly as scary as you might think. WordPress will allow your website to be found and will grow with you as your business does.
Whichever platform you select for building your own website, it really comes down to how much you are going to use it. WordPress is fantastic for starting out, although it can be a little more technical because you can expand your WordPress site as your business or following grows. Wix sites tend to have a limited lifespan and often you will grow out of it but is significantly easier for those not really interested in much more than a hobby page.
Beautiful Websites for Small Business Package
If you are looking at getting started on a WordPress website – our Beautiful Websites for Small Business package will be perfect for you. We have done all the heavy lifting, installed WordPress, loaded themes and 5 essential plugins, plus you get a month’s membership to our step by step training. Click here to find out more about our Beautiful Websites for Small Business package.