Online Influence interviews Informed Health
Trish Fehon: Welcome again, everyone, to this series we’re doing on social media success. Today I’m here with Fiona Kane from Informed Health. Thanks, Fiona.
Fiona Kane: Thank you.
Trish: Fiona has a very successful Facebook page, so do you want to tell us a little bit about when you started and how you grew that?
Fiona: I started about 4 years ago, and in the beginning, I didn’t do advertising or any of those things. In the beginning, I just started sharing things about health. It’s a health-related business, so I just started sharing health articles, because I really didn’t know what else to do. Slowly, people started joining me more and more and being more interested in it.
What I did, though, is I did look at a lot of other Facebook pages. I just went on the lookout for other businesses who were similar to mine, especially a lot of ones overseas who were quite ahead of us here in Australia, and just looked at what they were doing. The people who had lots of followers, lots of likers, what did they say? What did they do? What did their page look like? What were they talking about? Just to get a lot of ideas about what I could do.
Trish: I guess what you’re saying is you didn’t just go out there and go, “Okay, this is what I want to do.” You investigated and found out what all really works and modeled from that.
Fiona: At the time, really, there wasn’t that much Facebook, and there wasn’t that many Australian Facebook business pages, actually, when I was really first starting out. So I didn’t know what to do; I just knew that it was important somehow. The only way to do it, really, was to go out and look at what other people were doing. And why reinvent the wheel when you can find out what someone else is doing?
Trish: Exactly, yeah. In terms of strategy, do you have a strategy? Do you post a certain amount of times a day or week, or what?
Fiona: It’s evolved – I haven’t ever written out a strategy of “This is what I’m going to do,” but I think about things or what I want to talk about this week or next week. Sometimes, though, it is also affected by what’s in the news, because there might be some great new study that’s been released, and everyone’s talking about it. And of course, that’s what I want to be talking about. I want to talk about the current study. I don’t want to be talking about something else that’s not as relevant this week. So sometimes it completely gets changed by what’s in the news.
But otherwise, I will do things – like I might be reading a book, and it might be all about saturated fat, so I’ll do lots of posts about that. Or I might be reading a book about diabetes and I’ll start talking about that. But I’ll often do a theme, and I’ll do similar sorts of posts, or different answers to different questions, and different questions around the same theme. I might do that for a week or for a few weeks or for a few days, depending on what the topic is, I suppose.
Trish: Yeah, and I guess how long you can drag it out, I guess people would get a bit sick of it eventually.
Fiona: It’d be boring if that’s all you talk about, yeah.
Trish: Just before when we were talking, you mentioned that you have a filter on the sorts of things that people can say. I’ll just explain what that means, is a lot of people are afraid that people are going to come onto their page and say horrible things. But what Fiona’s done is she’s set up a filter. Can you just explain that?
Fiona: Yeah. Basically, you go into the settings and you actually type in all the words that aren’t acceptable to you. Obviously, all the swear words or the really offensive words like that. I typed them all in the censors, and it’s quite a fun experience typing all these words. You look at the settings, and… But basically that means that if someone posts on my page with those words, it actually doesn’t show. If Facebook is unsure, then sometimes the post will be there and I can see it.
Trish: You can moderate it.
Fiona: But no one else can. So I can choose to hide it or unhide it. But often it’ll be a gray, like a lighter color, and I know that nobody else can see that except me, and I get the chance to read it and decide if I feel that it’s offensive. And if it is, then I can either delete that person or delete the message or just not unhide it. But if it’s fine, then I unhide it.
Trish: And the same thing goes on your personal page. I don’t know about you, but for me, I have it set up so that if anyone tags me in a photo, I have to approve it. What that stops is random people just tagging you, because you’ve got a lot of fans, and they know that if they tag you, that everyone’s going to see that. Or a lot of friends, sorry, because it’s your friend page.
So that’s a really good move to do anyway, because sometimes you get just random people tagging you in photos, and you think, “No, I don’t think I really want that showing on my Timeline.” So that’s another thing that you should look at in your settings.
But Fiona, can you tell me about what sort of activity in terms of paid or organic – is most of your fan – first of all, tell us how many fans you’ve got now.
Fiona: It’s just over 5,000. I think it’s around 5,060.
Trish: That’s phenomenal for a small local business. It’s absolutely great. Just tell us, did you do any paid advertising on that?
Fiona: Yes, I did. Most of it was paid. There was a mixture. I’ve got my Facebook tag at the bottom of every email and every letter, and it’s on my business card. When I meet people at business networking, I will send them an email and say “It was great to meet you. Here’s my Facebook, here’s my LinkedIn.” So I do actively encourage people to join me on Facebook everywhere I go, and tell everyone how great my page is. Very shy about that at networking meetings. Very modest. So I do that a lot.
But to get the numbers that I’ve gotten, I’ve done it with advertising. But what I find is – I’ve done it all different ways, but what I found works best is if you’re very specific. For example, I used to advertise to anyone, but if I have awhile bunch of people in Russia following me, that’s great and all, but I’m not going to get business from those people. Not with my business.
So I’ve learned now to narrow it down to 25 miles or 50 miles from Penrith, which is where I am in Sydney, because that’s the main people who are going to come and see me. So I want most of my followers to be people who actually could come and see me and come to my business. I only pay for advertising to go to those people.
And sometimes I narrow it down to people with specific interests, or what I might do – sometimes I’ll do a general ad about just come and like the page. I’ve made a special banner so that people could see what my page is about. That’s really important, because if you’re advertising – what I realized, I was saying “like Informed Health,” but what was it? Then I realized that if my banner had information in it about why they might like it – and that works a whole lot better.
So I actually paid someone – because I don’t do that stuff; I’m not very clever graphically – so I paid someone to make me a banner that explained what Informed Health was about, so that when you see in your feed that “like Informed Health” thing, you can straightaway say “Oh yeah, that sounds interesting.” Because before, it was just “What is Informed Health?” Because it sounds like health, but it could be anything.
I realized you have to have a good banner that’s very specific, that people will get, that they’ll straightaway say, “Yeah, that’s interesting.” If you don’t, they might not bother, because there’s so much on their Newsfeed that they’ll get to something else and something else.
The other thing that I’ll often do is I’ll advertise a post or I’ll advertise – I might have an ad that says “Find out the truth about sugar” or something like that. But if you say that, then you have to have relevant posts on your Facebook page. Because if they go to your Facebook page because you’ve got their interest, and then there’s nothing there that interests them, they’re going to be gone.
Trish: It annoys them.
Fiona: Yeah. So you actually have to make sure that you’ve got enough posts in there, or at least one really good post that relates to what you’re advertising. Because if they click through and you paid for that, and then they get to your page and it’s like, “Oh, this is boring. Where is it? I thought it was about sugar.” So you’ve got to be very specific with advertising; you can’t just bang, pay for it, go. You’ve got to be really specific with it.
Trish: And don’t be afraid to spend money on your business, because it is your business. So don’t be afraid to pay someone to do some banners. I always suggest three or four different banners, just to mix it up, but with your key messages in those banners. And don’t be afraid to spend some money on advertising, because hello, it’s your business.
Fiona: You can put a limit on it. At first, that’s what you do. You play around with $15 a day or $20 a day or something like that, whatever you’re comfortable with, until you see what’s going to work. So you don’t have to commit to thousands of dollars for 6 months or something like that. You can just do it day by day, and you can turn it off straightaway. The second that you decide “Oh no, I don’t think…”, you just turn it off. That’s easy.
Trish: That’s the great thing about Facebook, is it’s trackable, but also you can turn it off. If you commit to say a newspaper ad for 6 weeks, and after 3 weeks you’ve got zero out of it…
Fiona: Too bad.
Trish: You’re stuck with it. So that is one of the great things about Facebook advertising, is you’ve got complete control over the budget, and it’s really worthwhile.
But what I’m hearing also is that you’ve got to get in there and play with it. If you’re going to do your own Facebook strategy, as in manage the page and do everything yourself, then you really need to know how to do that. Don’t just throw money at it and think that that’s going to be the be-all and end-all, because you have to be strategic about it.
Fiona, have you got any tips or hints – I guess specifically or people in the natural health related industry? Because that is huge on Facebook, and I guess generally, for business owners. Any tips that you would give people?
Fiona: One would be don’t advertise constantly. It’s social media. The point of it is social, so people don’t go there to be bombarded. If everything they see is “20% special off this,” “special on that,” this and that, they just will un-like you, will…
Trish: Ignore you.
Fiona: Ignore you, or all the different things you can do basically that reduces people’s ability to see your page. What you want them to do is engage with you, so what you want to do is actually give them something of value. What you’ll notice on my page is that sometimes, I might give 20, 30, 40, 50 things of value, where it might be an excerpt from an article, it might be a link to an article, it might be a recipe or some other information that’s useful to my followers, fan base.
Then I might say, “Hey, come in for a consultation, blah blah blah,” and I’ll do some other thing to promote specifically my business. But it’s so few in amongst all of the other posts that I don’t think I offend people or annoy them, because you can tell by how many – you can actually see if people hide your posts or if they un-like, so you can see when that has happened, and if it’s about a specific post, you can see that it was that post. So you can actually track and see, pretty much, if you’ve p’ed people off by doing that.
Trish: Obviously, if it’s just one or two people that have un-liked it, you just accept that they’re not your target audience. But yeah, if it’s a whole lot of people un-liked it, then yeah, maybe rethink the…
Fiona: Then you know that you’ve annoyed people, pretty much.
Trish: Just in terms of interacting with your fans, I know you’re pretty good at it, but can you just talk a little bit about that? Because some people, I notice, will put something on Facebook, and you might think it’s “Oh, what a great subject,” and you’ll go and comment on it, but you never hear back from the page owner, and you think, “What happened there?”
Fiona: You always have to close off something if you open it. One thing I do a lot of, because it works, is I ask questions or do a little pop quiz or something like that, saying, “What food is best” or “What food causes this disease, more this food or that food?” You get people interacting, you get people answering. But if you never go back and say, “Yep, you were right” or “No, you were wrong because blah blah blah,” then people get really annoyed with that. Because they say “I really want to know.”
So I usually try and do it at least within a day, but it depends how long, again, how long it goes for. Because if people are still interacting and still answering, you don’t really want to stop that. But when it peters out and they stop responding, then it’s time to get on. So I watch it and see, and then I’ll get on and I’ll answer their questions or I’ll refer, say “Check my next post; I’ll be talking about it here,” and then I’ll do a post or link to a blog or something to answer the question.
Trish: I like the way you do it, because what I find, when someone ignores your comment, it’s a bit like they didn’t really want interaction; they just wanted to tell you something. As you said, social media is social. It’s about conversations, it’s about involving people in it. If someone comments on your page, that’s gold, and you need to treat it like that.
Fiona: And I go through and like the fact that they’ve commented. Unless I absolutely disagree with what they’ve said, and then I’ll usually reply.
Trish: Say something, yeah.
Fiona: But I’ll pretty much like all of the comments that people make on my page, unless I really, really don’t like it. In which case, I’ll reply and explain or say something.
Trish: You can be diplomatic and say…
Fiona: Interact. Either way, I’ll interact. I’ll either like it or I’ll reply, and sometimes I’ll like it and reply. But it’s rewarding that person for interacting on your page.
Trish: And also what I’m hearing is, you don’t want to get into an argument with someone. I’ve seen some epic battles of massive arguments, and the thing is, people like me take screenshots of that to use as examples of what not to do. So you might think, “Oh, I shouldn’t have done that, I’ll delete it,” but the point is, somebody like me has probably already screenshot it, and it’s there forever.
So you need to be really mindful of what you put on Facebook, and certainly what you reply. If you’ve been out and you’ve had a few drinks and someone’s said something on your page that you don’t like, just…
Fiona: Leave it alone.
Trish: Respond in the morning. Yeah. Thanks, that’s great, Fiona. Do you want to tell us a little bit about how people can get in touch with you, the name of your page and your website, etc, and your address?
Fiona: Sure. At Informed Health, we’re clinical nutritionists, and we help people get back into life. It’s all about health. I’m really passionate about nutrition. My Facebook page is actually just Informed Health, so it’s https://www.facebook.com/InformedHealth The website is www.informedhealth.com.au, and the phone number is 47 222 111. That’s 47 222 111. But I’m sure if you check us out on Facebook, you’ll enjoy it. I really try and give a lot of value on my Facebook page.
Trish: Yeah, and you do. So thanks again. And thanks for watching.
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