Dear Facebook Business Pages, We Are Through, It Is Not You It Is Me

Dear Facebook Business Pages - We're ThroughI am both a marketing gal and a small business owner. My time and monetary resources are finite (with time being my most precious commodity) and Facebook, you aren’t there for me on either of these! With that in mind, I am breaking up with you. And it really is not you, it’s just me and the time and money I am willing to spend to make you happy.

Recently a big brand, Eat24, who had 70,000 fans shut their page down because they weren’t able to get their posts seen by anyone. They had a really funny exchange, with Facebook coming back to say that the brand needed to shut up and understand that someone’ friend’s new baby or homemade cupcakes were more important than their pictures of sushi.

Your Friends

One of the things that Facebook said in their reply was that:

There is some serious stuff happening in the world and one of my best friends just had a baby and another one just took the best photo of his homemade cupcakes and what we have come to realize is people care about those things more than sushi porn (but if we are in the mood for it, we know where to find it Eat24!). So we are sorry that we have to part this way because we think we could still be friends – really we do. But we totally respect you if you need some space.

Facebook Word SearchI do agree that maybe a friend’s baby IS more important than seeing a page’s posting, but I am not sure why Facebook feels the need to make that decision for me.

Today on my wall, in order, I have one of those stupid “tell us the first three words you see” word search from a lady I know very peripherally, a post from a young friend, a business friend, my father-in-law, my father-in-law (he is a prolific poster!), my brother, ironically a picture of an old business acquaintance’s baby, an updated profile picture of our friend Fred, a cute business quote from someone in my network and a post from an old friend from Florida.

Had I been given the choice, I could have skipped the baby, the old-old friend’s post, one of my father-in-laws posts and for sure the word search (which Facebook feels I should see every one of!) What is conspicuously absent to me is postings by one of my best friends (whose posts I comment on and who I message several times a day), my father and my husband (from both of whom I have let Facebook know I want to see every post). For some reason, Facebook has decided that stray and random strangers should take precedence over my Daddy and sweat pea.

I GET IT, Facebook was started as college sharing site and college high-jinks are fun to some people. For me, college was a chance to hang out with people who thought farting was the height of hilarity and to share a bathroom with thirty other women, several of whom had PMS at any given time. Good times for sure.

Too many “friends”

Facebook Spammy MessagesSince I am in marketing, I do have A LOT of friends (3,972) at last count. In that number are my friend-friends and family, business people I have met over the years and friended, Realtors around the country because I do Realtor Marketing in addition to small business marketing, authors, marketing experts, and then everyone else.

Now, over the years I have thinned the herd and eliminated people from foreign countries known for scams, have unfriended and blocked anyone who sent me a special message starting with “Hi Dear”, and anyone who posts excessive political commentary for either side. The last one is very subjective on my part! While I do feel like they have the right to post whatever they want, I don’t have time to let negativity from either political party enter my business networking time. Make no mistake, for me Facebook IS business networking.

While I do enjoy seeing the limited amount of posts Facebook shows me from my real friends and family, I can see my husband’s stuff on Google Plus, I talk in person with my Denver besty once a week and exchange frequent emails during the week, I talk to my Tampa besty on the phone as often as we can manage and my Daddy doesn’t post all that much anyways.

Friends With Benefits

My Facebook friends have to be friends with benefits to be a part of what I spend my precious time on. Some ways they benefit me include:

  • Posting interesting business stuff that I can share to other networks
  • Posting their own business info so that I can comment and increase our connections
  • Talking about marketing
  • Talking about what is working in their business
  • Sharing interesting or motivational quotes
  • Sharing interesting or motivational stories about people who are succeeding in life or business
  • Posting pictures of rescued dogs (this last one is just because I like great stories about doggies finding forever homes)

I am not that fun in real life. I don’t want to “poke” anyone, join them in a game of “kill the gangsters”, be on their birthday calendar or wish them birthday wishes unless I know-know them, or any other of the other fun, social things that social people like to do. I am sure part of my perplexity at Facebook is just that I am not that interested in doing what some people like to do, again my fault, not Facebook’s.

Profiles For Business

We have been telling our clients lately that growing their Profile is more important than growing their page. Well, it is time to take my own advice and stop trying to make our pages what they once were, a way to connect with new people interested in marketing….sigh.

So the big “kicker” about why you should use a page instead of your profile is the limit of 5,000 friends. Well, I have been on Facebook for quite a while now and have almost 4,000 friends and and 500 followers. I know that I am reaching my limit, but only laziness is keeping me from clearing up another thousand or so people from my friends list who have no real connection to me at this point. I cannot foresee a time when I will need more than 5,000 friends and they can follow me if I reach that limit anyways.

When you have events, it is friends you invite, not people who like your page. When you recommend your page, it is to friends. I just can’t see where focusing on my friends is going to be a bad thing.

Pages You Like

Let’s get back to Facebook thinking they know what I like. I don’t like babies and think they are funny looking and while I applaud my friend efforts to procreate, I would rather see stuff about marketing from pages, stuff that my clients and business friends post and skip the baby pictures. And I HAVE indicated that to Facebook. I have marked many business pages as things I would like to see in my timeline. No go.

To see page posts I have to go…

How To Get To Facebook Pages

…see, all the way down there, #14 on the left? Those are the business pages I have followed. At this point I have to manually go there and click the tiny little link to see what pages have posted. I never actually do that. One of the reasons I don’t is that I am not able to put them into lists like I can on any other social network. I like having lists like Influencers, Marketing Peeps and Email Marketing so I can sort things out and see what everyone is up to. No go.

Business Page Traffic

One of the reasons that we did use Facebook was to drive traffic to our websites. The old page format (which I still have for a while at least) allowed me to put a link to my website front and center (1.) and to have pretty graphics that would prompt people to sign up for our free offers (2.). Those are going away with the new page layout.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that few people ever came to our pages anyways (they tend to like and see wall posts more in theory), BUT at least there was a glimmer of a chance. As you can see, the new design eliminates even that small chance. The arrow is pointing to the tiny little link that you would have to click to see our offers. I would never actually do that so why would I think that anyone else would.

Facebook Old Layout, New Layout

Not to beat a dead horse, I KNOW that this Facebook’s prerogative. They are aggressively trying to make money by aggressively trying to reduce the marketing opportunities that I can get for free. I get that and while I am sad, I will survive, just not by investing my time in Facebook.

See all the changes

Promoting Posts

Did you know that only about 1-2% of the people who have “liked” your page will actually ever see your posts. Let’s consider my Marketing Artfully page. Recent posts have been seen between 5 and 119 views (once). So let’s set 10 as a reasonable estimate of the number of views I can expect to receive on a post. 1,131 Fans with 10 views per post is right in line with what we have heard, about 1% (.88% for you mathy people).

So what makes the difference between a post that gets 11 views, has 6 likes (over 50%), and one share. This post was originally written by a man who is very well respected in the marketing industry:

Facebook Low Views High Shares

And one that gets 119 views, has only 1 like (almost 1%), and one share. This post was also written by a well respected expert.

High Views Low Shares

Who the hell knows why the one with one like and one share beat the crap out of the one had almost 50% likes? Facebook does not share it’s algorithms with us so there is no way that we would construct a plan to figure out how to make that happen again. We would just have to hope that something caught on.

Pay to promote a facebook postBut wait, there is more! I could promote that post which got 119 views to 5,000 to 15,000 more people for the low-low price of just $30. Since it is not a link to my website, I guess my play here would be to gain more likes for my page, which would lead to more views, which would lead eventually to more hits to my website? Okay, let’s go with that!

If Facebook is only showing my posts to 1% of likers and we estimate that 10% of people who actually see a post might click to my site (I made that up, if someone knows an actual number for this, please let me know!) and think a fair return for $30 is 15 clicks ($.50/click) then I would have to have 15,000 likers to get 150 views (1%) to get 15 clicks (10%). This means that ALMOST EVERYONE I have a potential of reaching with that $30 promotion not only has to engage with it, but then has to take the additional step of liking my page for this to make any sense at all to me money wise.

There is NO WAY that is going to happen.

if my math is messed up on this, please let me know!

Am I Deleting All My Pages?

So the company that we started this story with was so glum that they deleted their page with 70,000 likes. That seems ridiculous to me. I am not going to delete any of my pages, I just will not be spending any more time trying to figure out our Facebook Business Pages.

I will post amazing stuff to my profile and I am lucky to have elves that work for me who can post to each of our pages twice a week so that they don’t go fallow. There is still value to having current Facebook pages as that is where many potential clients check to see if you are in business. They can also check my messages and make sure I am not missing anything important.

If you are an entrepreneur doing this yourself shouldn’t take more than an hour or so a week, just make sure when you turn your focus elsewhere you aren’t completely ignoring Facebook.

I am assuming I will have a little bit of a hard time with this. Checking my Facebook bits has become part of my ritual on my phone. Because I am moving my efforts away from Facebook, I will now need to spend more time on productive social networks like Twitter and Google Plus (right now my Pinterest is more personal and less business-y).

But, like they say everything is a habit. If I consciously try to make sure I am hitting the other networks, I will eventually ween myself off!

Small Business Advice

Much of the controversy surround Facebook’s move to a “Pay To Play” model has centered around Brands. For those of you who are not marketing junkies, a brand is Nestle or Oreo or Nike. These companies have deep pockets and lots of man hours available through employees to be able to weather this changeover.

For little guys like me and my clients, reducing time spent on Facebook seems counter-intuitive. Isn’t that were everyone is hanging out? Could be, but they are truly there to like stupid word searches, see pictures of puppies who need rescued and play games.

I think it is time to admit that Facebook is never going to be the small business marketing Mecca it was in the past. That unless you have a huge presence established already, you are going to have to pay to get more “likes” and that those likes are much less valuable than they have been in the past.

It is time to move marketing time and energy over to social networks that are okay supporting business people (Twitter, Pinterest and Google+). Heck, Pinterest actually encourages commerce by allowing price tags.

I Really Tried, For The Love Of God Will You Please Show My Stuff?

If you have gotten down here, you are obviously as marketing obsessed as I am or maybe you are someone who works at Facebook and who has some pull. I understand that you can’t show everyone everything and that you don’t think my normal effort to create compelling content that actually helps people is enough.

BUT TODAY I tried! While I am breaking up with you, I did spend quite a lot of time getting a cute kitten breakup picture. I searched my stock photography site for just the right combination of “I hate your guts and am dumping you” paired with your favorite, cute kittens.

Throw the girl a bone, show this last post that I will be actually trying on to more than 5 people, I beg of you!

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Do You Still Need To Have A Website If You Are On Facebook (or other social media)

Do You Still Need To Have A Website If You Are On Facebook (or other social media)I am not sure why business people are so hesitant to have a website. Maybe it is the HUGE blank page syndrome or a perceived time commitment. Maybe they are afraid of the technical aspects of it after hearing all the hoopla about WordPress versus a “website-website”. Maybe they have outdated ideas of how much a website costs (ours are around $750 to build and the hosting and domain name are around $100 a year – check out Website and Blog Design).

That said, having your own little corner of the internet to act as your “HUB” is vital to your business. Well, now I have gone and said it, YES you still need a website even if you are on Facebook or other social media!

Top 5 Reasons You HAVE To Have A Website

1. You own it!

I KNOW, you keep hearing this and it is starting sound like ho-haw. What is the big deal? You “own” your Facebook or Twitter page right? Um, nope! Facebook owns your Facebook page and can take it down anytime they feel you have violated their terms of service which are long and easy to stumble on. Say you see your biggest competitor offering a free consult if a viewer posts a picture of them using their product…great idea! You hustle over to YOUR Facebook page and do something like that…and…dum, dum, dum…Facebook disables your page and you can’t get it back!

But your competitor is doing it. Facebook doesn’t always mete out punishment fairly. There have been times our clients have had their accounts shut down for days or weeks, not because of anything they have done but because a plugin worked wrong or because someone complained or because it was Tuesday. Staking your business on a platform that you do not own is crazy.

2. Not everyone is on Facebook

Because everyone is just getting into social media, it is the bright shiney object and it can feel like the new Mecca! Everyone is there and making scads of money so why shouldn’t you too? You are getting hundreds, if not thousands, of emails telling you how to make money using Facebook and you are starting to feel like you can just plant a stake there and have all of your other marketing woes go away.

It used to be easy to market, get your yellow page ad and call it a day. Now you hear you have to have a website, a blog, a Facebook page, be on Twitter, check out Pinterest and start making videos. Who has time for all of that? Getting a Facebook page and calling it a day is starting to sound like a brilliant idea!

I am sorry to tell you, everyone is NOT on Facebook. Even those who are may not be in a buying mode, probably they are cruising pictures of puppies and kitties and talking to their “real” friends, not a business owner trying to sell them something!

Oh, and not everyone likes Facebook, some people (like me) like Twitter better and spend my time there. Some like Pinterest or cruise YouTube movies all day! Sticking to YOUR favorite social network can really limit your access to potential customer.

3. Facebook changes the rules, A LOT

We all hear about the Privacy changes Facebook makes, but did you know that they change the rules on business owners MORE than they change the rules on Privacy? Here are just a few things that I can think of off the top of my head…

  • Started as Facebook “fan pages” then switched to “business pages”
  • Had little widgets that you could customize your pages with to drive business – gone
  • You could set your page to a “landing page” that marketed your business – gone
  • You can put contact info on your banner, then you can’t and now you can again, sorta
  • Free range on contests and giveaways – now you have to use an app
  • Put ANYTHING on a page with static HTML – gone
  • Moved your “real business” stuff to three tiny buttons at the top…in theory great…when was the last time you clicked one?

I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. Setting up your page perfectly today could mean that you are doing it all wrong TOMORROW!

4. Edge rank means very few people see your “stuff”

Here is one of my least favorite parts of Facebook, both as a marketer and a consumer. Even if you set your Facebook to show you everything from a page or a person, Facebook decides what is “worthy enough” to show you. With analytics you can see that most people do not see most of what you post. Right now videos are doing great, links not so much. Pictures are meh, and just words are better.

So say you work your fanny off and get 1,000 likes (like I have). Oftentimes the things we post reach 13 or 16 people out of 1,000. SERIOUSLY? That is such not a good use of my time. That said, in this day and age you HAVE to have a Facebook page and be posting actively. Just the cost of doing business!

5. People like people not pages

I talk about this A LOT and people always seem to be amazed at my brilliance…hah! People don’t really like talking to companies. They are genetically predisposed to liking other people not brands. As you cannot have your brand as a person (it violates the terms of service), and you are limited to 5,000 on your person, if you are considering trying to get THOUSANDS of views, hits or sales from Facebook you have to have a page. Having a page limits what you can do also, you cannot invite your “likers” to your events, only your friends. That is just one of the examples of the kerfuffly-ness that is Facebook.

Okay, here it is, we talked A LOT about Facebook and why it is NOT the platform to build your whole empire on, but why should you have a website?

1. It is your HUB where you send your traffic and do data capture
2. You own and control it
3. You can change it at will with very few limitations
4. YOU control what happens there (have a contest, post your contact info) it is your world!

Hopefully this helps clear things up! Now get out there and get yourself a ROCK STAR website or blog today…:)

Social Media Marketing – Should you buy likes, followers and views?

Social Media Marketing – Should you buy likes, followers and views?Social media marketing is a combination of tactics, luck and sweat. Gaining followers, friends, views and the like is not an easy task and sometimes you can wonder if all that time is worth it.

Today’s big question is should you buy likes, followers and views for your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts? First off, this is one time where I don’t have a strong opinion on the subject. I am totally up in the air for three reasons:

  1. I don’t think that buying likes and followers actually accomplishes anything in the true social media space.
  2. Psychologically I think there IS value to having larger numbers.
  3. I worry that those fakers you get could eventually count against you in the eyes of the social media services or your other “real” people.

So there you have it, I am totally ambivalent so if you are looking for a yes or no, move on to someone else. If you want to become more confused (like I am) carry on as I break down each of these areas.

Buying likes doesn’t accomplish anything in the true social media space – sorta

This one is pretty obvious. If you buy feople (fake people) they will not interact with you at all. The providers of paid services are not promising that they will increase your influence or interact with you in any way, all they are saying is that you will have more numbers.

That said, up until recently YouTube actually counted views as a measure of whether to promote your video on their search results so YES having more views made it more likely that you would get found more, more people would watch and there would be a beneficial spiral upwards.

Additionally, if you are getting your Facebook business page posts shown to 4 percent of all the people (fake and real) there is a chance (however small) that someone will throw you a like and trigger a friendly uptick in your post being shown or shared.

My besty, the Colorado Connector falls on the “what could it hurt” and “heck, it costs so little why not try it” side of this fence. I am totally on the “bah humbug” here.

Psychologically I think there is value to having higher numbers

Should you buy twitter views?
Looking at those two accounts, which would you be more likely to throw a follow to (as a real person?) I have to say that I am swayed by seeing someone has only a handful of followers, thinking that their stuff must not be that good or more people would like it. Now, what would you say if you found out that just last week, MandMMonsters (on which we post AMAZING marketing information only had about 150 followers?) For this piece I worked with a company that sells Twitter followers and had them provide us with 1,500 Twitter followers (they were not paid nor was I for writing this post, it just makes me curious so I thought I would take a peek at the numbers).

This is the first time that I have used a paid service to get followers for any of my accounts (doing so generally violates the terms of service). That said, how it made me feel was somewhat compelling. These days it is not as easy to get followers as it was back in the good old days when I grew my Taradactyl Twitter account (I have 16,387 home grown, worked it and scrambled to get them for years).

I understand the idea that if you post great stuff and interact like crazy, people will follow, like or view your stuff. BUT there is much more competition out there now than when I started and got the initial 6,000 or so that made me “popular” enough to keep getting more. We do social media marketing for clients and I am here to tell you, without some kind of critical mass to get you over the hurdle, it is scrabble, scrabble to get any traction at all.

Additionally on Twitter there is a ration that says when you get to where you have liked 2,000 people, you can’t like anymore until you get 2,000 likes. We have one client who spent MONTHS trying to clear that hurdle and never made it. In the end she bought followers to get her over that and has continued to have trouble right up to today.

I worry that we could be penalized down the line for buying followers, likes and views

As you may or may not know, at heart I am an SEO girl. I like that my blog gets search engine traffic and ranks well for terms I am targeting. Over the years, many people have said I was stupid for not buying backlinks, spamming directories or doing any of the other “black hat” tricks that could have made me even more popular. I could have had a shining month or year where I got tons of traffic…until…dum dum dum…Google penalized me for doing that! So many sites have been hurt by the Penguin and Panda Google updates that there is a whole industry built up around NOT using search engine marketing (because their sites have been banned for bad practices).

I would rather have a “clean” site than hire comment spammers so why wouldn’t I want to have clean social media accounts. If Google could change the rules retroactively, why couldn’t Twitter. What if, from now on I have NO more paid for followers BUT it still hurts me in the end when they shut down my Twitter account?

Check your Twitter “realness” >> Twitter Fakers Checker-Thingy

So now you know how many fakers you have…as you can see, Taradactyl has 98% real accounts and MandMMonsters has 13% real accounts (on an interesting sidenote, the day they added those fakers, it was only 2% real, so in just one week, there has been an over 9% swing back to more real than fake – I wonder if that happened because people saw I had more followers and so were more likely to follow me, THIS Is why this is so hard to figure out!)

Should you buy fake followers

What does your twitter history look like? >> Twitter Counter

If this tool is out there you KNOW that Twitter can tell if you have dumped a bunch of followers in all at once. Thinking that they will not be able to track this is ridiculous. Maybe (because my account was not shut down) they have a level at which you have bought too many followers or you haven’t swung back around after to do real work on your account – just remember that buying followers is not the endgame, just a boost. The Taradactyl account was grown organically and shows a steady upward climb for the last three months. MandMMonsters is OBVIOUSLY not playing fair with a TREMENDOUS jump in followers all at once.

Twitter Counter - Twitter Following Stats

One last thing to note…the ones you buy are not forever. They will eventually all get shut down or banned so don’t count on them to do all the heavy lifting for you. Use the boost to quickly follow other real accounts who might then be more likely to follow you back now that you look less lame.

There is WAY more data (and interest on my part) about the mechanics of Twitter than Facebook or YouTube (their open API means that more developers have handy-dandy tools to check out your stuff). That said, the penalty for buying likes probably would be similar across accounts, the probability that they can tell what you are doing is high and the benefit still seems to be up in the air for me.

What do you think about buying likes, followers or views? PLEASE let me know if you have had success or crushing defeat one way or the other! 

Social Media Marketing – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest

Social Media Marketing - Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and PinterestSo today we are talking about social media marketing…that is Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (YES YouTube), Pinterest, Google Plus and all the other social media properties!

The thing about social media marketing that is hard is that consistency is the key! You have to do things every day (or at least a couple of times a week), with a plan and a goal in mind. These are some of my observations about the different social media sites, suggestions for using them and notes about how the whole thing works!

Let’s jump right into the fray with…

Facebook Social Media Marketing!

Facebook is a touchy feely kind of site. You have a lot of inspirational posts, talking back and forth with other people AND broadening your reach with your business. What you DO NOT HAVE TO DO is sell, sell, sell. You might get leads from Facebook, but if you are drinking the Koolaid and thinking that you are going to put up a business page and then watch the orders fly in, you are probably going to be disappointed.

Facebook is for generating interest in your industry!

Things to do on Facebook:

  • Get friends (or subscribers) – people who see what you post
  • Post to your profile wall – we get LOTS of potential clients who do not want to use their personal Facebook for business, if you are a small biz owner, your Facebook profile IS for business!
  • Post to your business wall – these days this can feel like spitting into the wind for most of us, but is is still necessary for when a potential client comes to see your business, having a wall months out of date can mean losing them before you even have a chance!
  • Like other businesses with your business page – this is one way still left to grow your “likes”
  • Comment, Comment, Comment – because Facebook is social, you have to comment and share (not too much), but if you think you can be an island on Facebook, you will shoot yourself in the foot marketing-wise

Twitter Social Media Marketing

Twitter is the social media property that all our small biz peeps thinks is stupid. They constantly try and say that it is not necessary and that we should ignore it entirely. The problem with that strategy is that Twitter is the cornerstone of A LOT of other social media marketing. The other thing about Twitter is that it is an open network (meaning that computers can share your “stuff” without you even knowing about it!)

Twitter is for computers and immediate communication!

Things to do on Twitter:

  • Follow people – one of the easiest ways to get followers is to follow people, many times they will follow you back!
  • Post great stuff – I have my Facebook hooked to Twitter so when I share something on the FB it goes to Twitter too, my blog is also hooked there so I automatically post these posts to the Twitter
  • Share – it is called “retweeting” and it means sharing great stuff that other people post
  • Follow Fridays – these are a great way to spark conversations, generally they are just a reference to other people who you like following
  • Twitter Hashtags – understanding and using hashtags in your posts can mean an even great audience

Google Plus Social Media Marketing

I don’t find Google Plus to be a great social media network (hardly anyone I know is over there chatting), but that having been said, Google Plus is a great social network for search! The connections that you make there are invaluable for you showing up well in the search results..:)

Google+ is for search engine marketing!

Things to do on Google+:

  • Circle people – one of the easiest ways to get into circles is to circle people, many times they will follow you back!
  • Post keyword targeted info – I generally use my blog posts for this as that is my ultimate goal – to get people off of Google+ and onto my website!
  • Profile setup – this is one of the most important aspects of Google+, getting to put your keyword targeted links into the heart of the Google!

YouTube Social Media Marketing

YouTube seems like it would be a little strange to classify as a social media website, BUT there are the same “connecting”, “subscribing” and notification functions that occur on all the social media networks. That having been said, YouTube is primarily a way to get your videos into the mainstream of the viewing public!

YouTube is for video marketing!

Things to do on YouTube:

  • Post videos – the easiest way to generate subscribers is to post GREAT videos relevant to your industry
  • Subscribe to other people’s video channels
  • Build playlists of great videos in your industry with complementary video producers
  • SEO your videos well so they show up in YouTube AND Universal Search
  • Make sure to post them on your blog or website to increase exposure!

Pinterest Social Media Marketing

Pinterest, or something like it photo-wise, is the social media site of the future. Incredible growth and usage show that this model (of letting people “collect” information in a visual fashion from the internet) is very popular. If you are a small biz owner MAKE SURE you are jumping on this bandwagon TODAY! I guarantee within three years, most of the first contacts with you business prospects have online will be through a photo or a video!

Pinterest is how marketing will be in the future!

Things to do on Pinterest:

  • Post pictures drawing people back to your website or blog
  • Share other people’s pictures
  • Grow as a social network by following people and having them follow you back
  • Comment on other people’s posts

If you have made it this far down, I BET you are my kind of peep! One that likes marketing and is always looking for great new ideas…with that in mind, I recommend you check out my new marketing club:

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Social Media Marketing – Politics On Facebook, Just DO NOT Do It

Social media marketing is all about making connections and getting the OPPORTUNITY to talk to people. Today we are going to talk about Facebook and why you should not talk about politics on social media!

Facebook marketing and politics - Do No Do ItFirst off, let’s look at who this post is for…ie…please don’t send me hate mail if you are NOT trying to market your small business online! If you are just going about your life and want to talk about Mitt and Barack, OR you want to talk about the stupid liberals or the greedy right, good on you! If you are NOT a small business owner, entrepreneur or realtor, please leave my blog now and enjoy your life.

There, now that they are gone, we can get down to BUSINESS! That is right, I am talking about you, your politics and BUSINESS. While it is none of your business about my politics, please know that I DO have opinions that I share with my friends and family OFFLINE, out of the public eye.

Additionally, while I don’t know for sure, I DO think that most of my friends or clients may fall on the other side of the aisle from me. That is okay…it is America and they have the right to vote for or support whomever they choose. Lastly, please know that these are my opinions about social media marketing and business, while I may have more education about this, I do not claim to know everything!

Social Media Marketing and Politics Don’ts (in no particular order)

You are alienating almost half of your potential client base!

The US is relatively equal in the number of republicans and democrats. If you are showing a liberal on your Facebook page with his head up his ass (literally, I can’t make this stuff up), there is a good chance that someone who may have been considering working with you will now turn tail (pun intended) and run!

OH MY GOSH, on a side note, tried to do an actual numbers search to find out (a) how many total registered voters are and then (b) how many were registered republican and how many democrat – forget the darn independents…did you know that this data is not readily available…you would think that this would be an easy one, not so much!

No matter how much “everyone” seems to agree with you, that is just not true!

Here is a tough one social media wise. Back in the good old days, everyone was all mixed up when you talked about politics. You would go to the grocer and he might sway left and then head on over to the dry cleaner and he might lean right. Today, it is absolutely possible to color your world view with only people who appear to agree with you!

You can “friend” all democrats or republicans. You can join pages like Barak Hussein Obama Sucks and giggle with your friends about NO BAMA. You can post online that Romney is a job creating solution to America’s problems or a Big Bird killing, firing, little guy hating jerk and some people will agree with you. Whichever you agree with, the other half of your potential clients probably do not!

DO NOT take people agreeing with you on the comments of your post as a sign that you are right! If you are trying to grow your business, that is probably just not the case.

You will lose all of the people some of the time

Have to say I have seen more than one person state that they are “unfriending” anyone who talks about politics, regardless of their party. If you live in a swing state (like I do), believe you me, I am ready to see some puppies and kitties when I hit the Facebook and NOT have to hear another word about either candidate or party. Losing BOTH sides because of posting too much political talky-talk just seems like a waste.

Do you REALLY think you are going to change someone’s mind?

Say you are on the Facebook promoting your business and growing your authority about (carpet cleaning, house painting, your spa or resort, real estate, healthy living, fill in the blank). Do you think your OPINION about the electoral process is something that will change a democrat to a pro-lifer or a republican to suddenly say, spend away! we have plenty to go around. Not likely! If you are an expert in your field, I want to learn from you about your industry, NOT your personal political opinions!

You CAN disagree without being disagreeable!

So say you absolutely have a burning desire to talk about politics on your social media. How about this? Only post the good things, without all the snarky, other side bashing comments. Believe me, if you check in to the Republican National Convention with a comment about how neat it is to see all the balloons, I can figure out your stand WITHOUT thinking that you will never understand me! How about putting a local candidate’s sign in your yard and snapping a snazzy picture of your house? That would show your loyalties without screaming obscenities about the other side.

If you HAVE to comment about something someone has said, BELIEVE me, a measured response will have a much better chance of changing opinions than spewed rhetoric that will just cause back and forth hate. If you are trying to change opinions and not just trying to raise ire, TALKING not shouting works the best.

Final Thoughts About Politics On The Facebook

I almost didn’t write this post as I DO think that you have the right to think and feel however you like. The problem is that potential customers also have that right and sometimes they don’t match. I truly do not care if my dry cleaner is a screaming liberal or my coffee shop barista is a flaming republican. I like differences in people (it is what I think makes them interesting in a bug under glass kind of way!)

What I do think about is who I would enjoy working with and where I can spend my money. It is lame and trite, but I wish we could all just get along and sell something!

A neat graphic I found while writing this that has no bearing on marketing:
a chart of what the different parties talked about at the national conventions – source, NY Times

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Social Media Marketing – What Size Should Your Pictures Be On Facebook

what size should facebook photos be?So this morning one of my Facebook friends asked, “what size should pictures be on Facebook” which got me thinking, while I have a an incredibly affordable ebook out there about how to do photos for facebook ($3 bucks for goodness sake), some of you may not know WHY you need to take a peek at what you are posting and how it looks to the average bear!

First off, the answer is, we like to have photos that are 400 pixels wide by 400 pixels tall. The reason for this is that they look GREAT on Facebook, look great on Google Plus and look good on Pinterest boards (there is a little cropping but I am pretty okay with that!)

As you can see, if you just plop a link into the feed, you get a wimpy little photo that is almost invisible in the feed. It also makes for a pretty lame looking Timeline. Back up, rewind…the feed is where you see all of the different posts from all your friends and likes, your timeline is when they click the link on your name and then see everything YOU have posted since the dawn of time!

The second set is of a tiny picture that looks even worse in our estimation. It shows up wimpy in the feed AND has a bunch of grey area around it in your timeline. Please, please, please, make sure you know what size your pictures are that you are posting to facebook! (top tip..I use a browser tool called MeasureIt…just go to google and search for measure it for chrome or measure it for firefox and you can add it to your browser).

The last photo was a big beautiful 400 plus each way picture… a REALLY clear winner in the attention game!

So next time one of your friends asks, what size should your pictures be on Facebook, you can say…at least 400X400!

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Social Media Marketing – What Social Media Platforms Do You HAVE To Do?

Social media marketing is getting out of hand! I say that KNOWING that there is not enough time in the day for small business owners to Pin, Post, Friend, Follow and all the other bits that are required to get anywhere at all with social mediam marketing.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_work3.html#B953AZXmw5BozJBx.99So lets break it down two different parts, the actual “stuff” to send and the growing big networks.

I tend to think that growing big networks should ALWAYS come first. I have over 50K first person connections on social media and so when I tweet, people retweet, when I post something, I get likes and follows and other great things.

My best social media nerd friend and I (not to name any names, Rebekah), have a seriously funny thing we say to each other when someone comes to us wanting to make $15,000 a webinar like Chris Brogan does. To make $15,000 a webinar, start by using gotowebinar.com, then set up a landing page, then BE Chris Brogan. HUH? You aren’t Chris Brogan? Then chances are you are not going to make 15K right out of the gate!

What people like Chris and I know is that having big networks makes it easier to do everything. You have more people to talk to and share and it more fun when others are playing along with what you do!

The downside of big networks is managing OVERWHELMING amounts of notices, emails and connections. Yesterday I was at an event and told someone I get between 1,000 and 2,000 emails a day. They were like, really you meant a month right, NOPE, per day! I get twitter notifications, I get facebook notifications, I get messages from my blog(s) and from my clients. I am signed up to email newsletters and message boards and talk back and forth on them about marketing and things that interest me.

Choosing to have big networks means managing these communications in a way you can live with. I miss things occasionally and have to apologize for that. I regularly check into actual sites to see if someone talked to me and I miss the message. I HAVE to limit my phone calls, intro meetings and one-on-ones to people who want to hire me or my company. In some ways, having big networks means having LESS real engagement and more surface engagement with lots of different people.

One of the main ways that I handle this is to have my AMAZING assistant talk to people. I hear all the time what an asset she is to my business and people all just LOVE Shell. Seriously, it is SO much better to have a real person for them to talk to who is not me!

What Social Media Platforms Do You HAVE To Do?

Let’s start with the standard small business marketing disclosure. If you are a mega corporation with millions of dollars to spend on advertising, do them all. If you are an itty bitty company with just you, do what you can and if you are just doing for fun, not profit, you are reading the wrong blog. We are here for small biz marketing and that is what you will get!!!

So let’s talk about these one at a time and how they effect different types of business:

Facebook: Facebook is now a standard marketing channel that you have to have to appear normal and functioning. I am sad that this is so since B2B and some mid sized companies struggle to get great interactions their business pages BUT never-the-less, you HAVE to have a biz page at the least. In a perfect world you also HAVE to use your personal profile. Humans like to talk to humans more than businesses and you really shoot yourself in the foot if you don’t utilize you profile.

Twitter: Twitter being an open source product means that computers are SUPER happy with Twitter. Your posts, if keyworded right, can spread throughout the twitterverse and reach further than you ever thought possible. It is also relatively easy to get followers on twitter, making it less of slog to get big numbers. You need to do the twitter.

LinkedIn: If you are going B2B, are the head of your company or your division and LIKE to talk to people one on one and grow relationships, LinkedIn is for you. This one is hard to farm out to a social media marketing company as it requires real connections and technical knowledge to succeed. I am not a huge fan of LinkedIn because of the onsey-onsey-ness of it all. (our company does not help with LinkedIn marketing)

Google Plus: I waxed elquent the other day about google plus and why it matters to have people in your circes in my post, Google Universal Search – How Google+ Effects Small Business Marketing, so I won’t go into it much here except to say that there IS a value to circling people, plus oning posts and engaging on G+, which puts it in the big three for me!

YouTube: YES YouTube is a social network AND a video sharing site. They are owned by google so it is vital to have videos AND they allow you to subscribe and interact with other people on YouTube. Imagine how your videos views would go up if you had a large following of subscribers! YouTube is a MUST do in today’s social media landscape.

Pinterest: Pinterest is a media darling, BUT I do think that it is going to be force to be reckoned with, for SOME companies. I find it to be the most effective with B2C and smaller companies at this point. So do we ignore it for big guys? NOPE! What if you could have been one of the starting users on Facebook years ago. What about Twitter? One of the reasons I have so many followers is that I have been on there a L-O-N-G time. So YES, get on the Pinterest, start some boards and start getting followers now, while it is still in it’s infancy!

Klout: A twitter addon that greatly increases interaction and allows you to target key people in your industry.

What NOT To Do Social Media Marketing Wise

I joined a website called Empire Avenue about a month ago and messed around with it a bit. It seemed to have a good premise and was great for finding people to connect with…BUT I HAVE to do it every day or my score goes down. I am a speaker, coach and trainer. I have a family and don’t work on the weekends. I am okay with consistency BUT not FORCED consistency at all costs. I am probably going to abandon it as having a lot of Empire Avenue connections DOES NOT directly equate to lots more targeted REAL social media connections.

Every couple of days I get a message from ReferralKey.com that asks if I want more business. This is a site, sort of like LinkedIn that allows people to connect. So if you find something that is sort of like (fill in the blank), DON’T do it! Just join the one that it IS instead. A site that is like Facebook, with FourSquare and dollop of Twitter has very little chance of competing with the ACTUAL sites that ARE like that!

HOW TO GET HELP

Okay, so if you are a small business owner and need help with all these sites, I am happy to say that we can help! Give me a jingle today (727-415-9165) to find out more (I PROMISE an actual person will call you back!!!) or visit our social media marketing page to find out more about our services!

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Advanced Social Media Marketing – How To Post To Facebook Timeline

As an advanced social media marketing whiz, I often say all chirpy, “it is so easy, it will just take you 5 seconds”. Well learning how to post pictures and links to the new Facebook timeline so they look pretty and attract attention REALLY is easy and shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to comprehend and a couple of minutes to do!

Advanced Social Media Marketing – Posting Links and Pictures To Your Timeline

Okay, this is not just a recap of what I talked about in the video, although I do think there are some good points there. When you are taking the time and energy to post to your Facebook Timeline, it can seem like doing ANOTHER step like pulling a picture is just TOO MUCH HASSLE!

So here are some REAL reasons to do it beyond just, it seemed like a good idea:

Advanced social media marketing - Timeline PhotosEngagement on pictures is MUCH higher than if you just post a link – as you can see in the picture, just the real estate you get for a photo rather than pulling in a link is amazing.

I timed doing it both ways…way one, finding a link and posting it from a past blog post on my website, 47.1 seconds. Finding a link and posting it from a past blog post, saving the picture and uploading it from my desktop instead of letting Facebook pull it in, 66.0 seconds. This amounts to a difference of 18.9 seconds (you don’t have to do the math…I used a calculator!)

So let’s say you are slower than I am and it takes you THREE TIMES as long, the minute that it will take to post a picture to your Facebook timeline instead of doing the pull in post can make a huge difference in how often it appears on your friends wall, in addition to how often they notice it and engage in your postings.

Looking for more advanced social media marketing help? Keep your peepers open for our advanced social media marketing training coming soon!

Vitriole and Hate On Facebook – Not Good For Small Business Marketing!

The level of vitriole and hate on Facebook is amazing to me as a human, let alone as a small business marketing expert. The reason for this post is to maybe let some business types know how their comments look from the other end of the Facebook AND to offer some suggestions about how to promote your agendas and beliefs in a positive way.

Hate on FacebookNotes about this post…1. I TRY not to be mad on the Facebook as it looks bad, that being said, I have occasionally (like yesterday) vented my anger at people who do not put their email address on their business cards or further back, people who spam on Facebook. I am not a saint, just a little more judicious about who I want to alienate on the Facebook and 2. No names were used and this is not about civil liberties, free speech or any other thing. This is about how you are perceived on social media by potential customers who would like to buy things from you or your company.

Hate On Facebook

So I took a little walk around the Facebook block today after seeing a post denigrating witches (a group I have some friends in). Now I know that this person is not thinking this is hate (because I know him well), but…heck it is hate. Here are some of the other things I found on Facebook this morning…

  • Last night, at Bible Study, I was thinking Islam is against homosexuality. Islam is against abortion. Christianity is against homosexuality. Christianity is against abortion. I’m totally confused about just what religion, if any, oblahblah really follows!
  • I will never pay any taxes to support abortion in any form. It would have to be over my dead body! I use to wonder how these things happened in red china ,the ussr, and nazi germany. I have not lived this long to ever give in to that. I have worked all my life helping and saving lives, not only as a nurse,but volunteering as a red cross nurse and helping pregnant girls etc. How can this evil be growing in our once beautiful country????
  • Criminalizing abortion again? Let’s not let this country be run by over-zealous bible thumping bigots with no sense of practicality and flexibility.
  • This is a little old but someone needs to tell me that they agreed with this. 1.2 Billion of our tax dollars given to black farmers only! How come this was never reported in the Lame street liberal media?
  • Bill O’Reilly – #1 among the most misinformed people in America. The perfect love story.
  • Gays are demons, swine-bandits and crocodiles. In a sane society, they would all be hunted down by the police and brought before a court of law for prosecution. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case in Europe and America, but virtue still reigns in Africa. Perhaps it is not too late for the west to return to the path of righteousness?
  • your representative is leading the charge to get those queers in uniform back in the closet where they belong.
  • For somebody to say this is repugnant enough, but to take away our rights by law and claim to be doing it FOR us, shows once again the hypocricy of the GOP party.

Those were just a few of the comments I found and they represented the opinions of people who…

  • hate gays
  • hate republicans
  • are anti abortion
  • are pro abortion
  • think the liberal media is biased
  • think fox news is the worse network ever
  • truly believe the GOP is killing america
  • or think democrats are killing america
  • god is good, if you are not following his teachings you are going to perish in the fires of hell
  • say that bible thumpers have no place in america
  • actually said that blacks and women should go back to their place
  • want the world to be how it was when they were young
  • or think that there is some kind utopia where we could all live in peace if big business would just go away
  • keep the guns, shoot the unwilling
  • lose the guns, they are the root of all evil
  • execute all rapists and child molesters immediately
  • work to fix the problem of child abuse by spending money on programs to help the needy

Whew…that was…well disturbing to say the least. So what EXACTLY am I trying to say here? I am saying that as small business owners, doing small business marketing, you CANNOT afford to alienate potential customers by sounding off with hate filled rhetoric on your Facebook wall.

I KNOW, it seems like everyone agrees (or disagrees) with you. I KNOW you have the right to have opinion and voice them. But here are some fun statistics….there are a little more than 300 million people in the United States, in the last election (2008), 49% of the men in this country who voted voted for Obama (our Democratic nominee) and 48% voted for McCain (our Republican nominee). A poll done at the end of 2011 showed that 78% of the respondents self-identified themselves as Christians. Some women are pro-choice, some are pro-life. Some people are gay supporters, some are anti-gay. To my uneducated eye, it really seems to be about 50-50 on just about every issue out there.

As a small business marketing pro, I can tell you that most of my customers cannot afford to alienate half of the potential buying pool for their product or service. Image you are a plumber who works on pipes. Are you going to turn down a job because the client is against your political idealism, is it even going to come up or do they just need their dishwasher fixed.

Believe me, I DO understand idealism and sticking to your beliefs, but do you really have to share them with the buying public?

So, how would you be able to share you viewpoint and beliefs without running afoul of what I am starting to feel like, the marketing nazi? BE POSITIVE!!!! And I mean positive without that snarky thing after, so no, “dogs are great! and all you cat lovers who think you know the right kind of pet are stupid and uneducated”.

Two of my favorites who do this AMAZINGLY well are GodVine and the World Wildlife Fund.

GodvineGodvine

What I think they do well is spread the good parts of Christianity, the love and acceptance and GREAT THINGS HAPPENING, without judgement and stating that their way is the only way. While I have not seen the inside of a church in a while, I do visit Godvine almost every day, watching a great coming home story or a dog rescue. They epitomize how to share a message without having to hit people over the head with it! (PS – I shared the story about the dog and his military dad on my Facebook wall).

Klout For Good WWFKlout and WWF

Okay, this another favorite, Klout and WWF (World Wildlife Fund) paired up (IE – the WWF did a marketing campaign with Klout). I LOVE that this has a real marketing component! So the thing that jumped out at me was the free FB Timeline photos you could download. Happy pictures of polar bears and pandas without one dying or starving animal in sight (I KNOW, shock and fear sell, but not to me, I am all about the positive!) The idea is that Facebook peeps can use the photos with the WWF logo on the picture, a subliminal reminder to help and support the WWF.

So now I feel like I have written war and peace about the subject of HATE ON FACEBOOK. I am really hoping that getting this off of my chest will make a difference in how my small biz peeps post to their Facebook accounts! Happy, not hateful. Sunshiney, not snarky. Just remember that no one wants to work with someone who is perpetually angry so be aware of what you look like from the other side!

Facebook Commenting – EXACTLY What To Say or Do!

Facebook commenting, it can be stressful if you don’t know what you are doing. It can also make people mad if you do it wrong. So what should you do? Give up social media marketing altogether? Nope! I thought it would be helpful to tell you EXACTLY what to say or do to stay out of hot water!

The first thing we have to start with is what you are trying to accomplish by commenting, liking or sharing. Social NETWORKING is just like meeting a person in real life.

If you were at a mixer and someone came up to you and showed you their product spouting off all of its great attributes before you even introduced yourself, that would be creepy, right? What about if you did know them a little bit and were talking about the local football team and they stopped, grabbed their bag and pulled out a brochure and said, “our product is just like football, buy it now”, still doesn’t feel good. Or worse, they come over to your house (post on your wall) and spray paint a marketing message about their product on your front door…gasp!

How about this instead, what if you see them at networking a time or two (like you do online), wave (like), talk a couple of times (make comments) and they start to notice you are all about your industry. Passionate about helping people and posting great content. They comment on some of your posts and then direct message you (send a private email) asking about your products or services. It happens every day!

So lets start from the easiest to the the most advanced. At each step of the way I will tell you what it is, how to do it and what it looks like on the other end!

Commenting on someone else’s post publicly

Facebook Commenting - Like comment share

So when you are commenting on someone else’s post, you can do three things:

  • you can “like” it – which simply shows the poster that you liked what they posted or
  • you can “comment” – and leave a message
  • you can “share” it – so you can share it to your timeline (profile) or you can share it to someone elses profile

Liking A Post

Facebook commenting - liking a post

Liking a post is a great way to dip your toe in, add to the conversation or possibly grow your friends.

Social media marketing opportunities: as you can see, if you are are one of the ones that shows up as “liking” it, you may get someone to click through and ask you to be a friend. What you WILL do is let the poster know you care about what they posted!

Commenting On A Post

Facebook - commenting on a postSo now you are ready to move onto commenting and ZAP, you seize up, not knowing what to say. Commenting will mean that OTHER people will see what you are saying. SERIOUSLY, you cannot go wrong if you leave a genuine comment about something you have read, seen or watched.

A post comment will show up on THEIR timeline, but not yours very often (it might say something like, tara commented on joe blows post)

Social marketing opportunities: you can build relationships by leaving a shorter, more basic comment or possibly add new friends who see how insightful you are because of your comments!

Examples of basic comments (okay, here is a HUGE list of comments I pulled from the facebook, some are mine, some are my friends, modify them to suit your life/industry)

  • I was curious about that as well!
  • Yikes!
  • It’s totally awesome!
  • Aw what a great way to start my day!!
  • ditto!
  • Great seeing you today!!
  • that sounds amazing!
  • Miss You!
  • love the new profile pic!!:)
  • makes for a good weekend!
  • HappYness

More advanced comments

  • LOL..exactly…I don’t read the instructions…they are made to confuse you. I count the pieces and then throw the instructions out..
  • I agree with Suzie…time for a visit to Colorado!!
  • I have heard, more than once, that Marilyn was a size 12! YAY!
  • This will be a great event! Go and have some fun!
  • He did a lot, must have believed what he said.
  • Good photo to put with your ‘Beware of Dog’ sign…looks very convincing!
  • One of the Best books I ever read was “Failing Forward” by John Maxwell. States the same thing:)

Social media marketing opportunities: this is a way to join the conversation and share something a little more about yourself. Could be that someone who read John Maxwell’s book would like the fellow who posted that comment because they share a mentor. This is a way to build relationships with people who have posted something and which you respond to.

Really heartfelt and pertinent to the conversation

  • Well said love! And thank god I’m not guilty of any of these…. I think social media etiquette is helpful to know. But sadly many of us don’t…yet. Just more areas to be conscious– I’ll practice”receiving” what I post to see how it feels on the other end before hitting send. Thanks darlin! (this comment promted this post – thanks Andye Murphy, Rock and Roll Shaman!)
  • AWWW! This poor baby! So happy someone stepped in and saved her! What is WRONG with people?
  • It IS going to be a great time. Good friend and publicist extraordinaire Joe Blow will also be there!
  • OH MY GOSH!!! Thank you SOOOO much for this wonderful testimonial!!!
  • AGREED! Honestly the only reason I have used a phone book in the last 10 years is a.) as a booster seat for kids, and b.) as kindling to start a fire. When I had my brick and mortar salon I spent TONS of money on having a listing + ad for YEARS – not ONE client came from that.
  • Thanks for the article! I also read the article that was mentioned in it, What is Considered Link Exchange… great info! Thanks again! You are always so relevant Joe!

Social media marketing opportunities: these are more in depth comments that reveal more about you or share how much you like the post. I do not think it is EVER relevant to respond to someone else’s post with a link for them to buy your stuff. I do not even think it is okay to respond with a, “I wrote this post and since you talked about this topic you should read it” comment. People are posting things to start a conversation or share their opinion or show something that is important to them, not opening the door for you to sell something. Tread lightly here!

Sharing Something On YOUR Wall

Facebook Commenting - Sharing Something To Your WallIf you find something SO good that you want to share it with your friends, you can share it to your wall. Because you are posting on your own timeline, it is a free for all! You can comment on it however you wish, and you get extra credit if you use the @ sign to acknowledge the original poster (so I put @Deborah Ward and it made a hyperlink to her profile).

Social media marketing opportunities: sharing something someone else posted is a GREAT way to gain social capital. This shows that you liked them and their “stuff” enough to share it with your peeps. I share a lot of charity pleas, daddy’s who want people to vote for their kids things and inspirational things. Sharing instead of just copying and posting shows that you recognize where it came from first, as Martha says, a very good thing!

Sharing (or Posting) To Someone Else’s Wall

DANGER WILL ROBINSON, DANGER! Posting something on someone else’s wall should be done judiciously! This is like going over to their house and sticking a sign in their yard without their permission. This is so important that I had to make a video to show the ins and outs of sharing to somoeone’s wall.

Social media marketing opportunities: there are NO social media marketing opportunities for sharing on someone else’s wall. That is their world and you should only post things that you think will add to their lives.

Direct Messaging

This is a little different than commenting, but I think it needs to be addressed. Being able to send whatever you want to another person and no one else will see it is a powerful action. Two things to remember about this:

  • They are not sitting on the Facebook, waiting for you to send them a marketing message
  • They can copy and paste it to anywhere they like so it is not actually private

Direct messaging is not for selling. It is still for growing relationships and starting a conversation. So you could say, “thanks for the great post today, could I share it with my team”. This will open up the door to them asking, a team of who or they will say “sure”! They might ask about your business and what you do.

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Now you are thinking, all this commenting crap is great, but when do I get to sell?

On YOUR TIMELINE, you can sell infrequently on your own wall (you will see I post about getting ready for classes – people then Direct Message me and ask me about them or mark in the comments that they want to know more which opens the door to my posting a link). BONUS – if you want to REALLY get good social media karma, ask about something to prime the pump for your friends! They will love you for it!

In commenting and direct messaging, you NEVER get to sell unless they ask first! I HATE that they changed it from social networking to social media. This opened up the doors to people thinking that they could do marketing and sales on the Facebook, and just don’t think that is the case. NOTE – You can sell on your business page, but that is a post for another day!

So I hope this helps…did not intend it to be a 1,500+ word post BUT this is such an important subject I thought it deserved the time!

 

Small Business Marketing Doodle

Social media marketing servicesOkay, most small biz owners are overwhelmed, disgusted or confused by social media. What is it, why do they need it and how should they fit it into their already busy schedule?

We work with small biz owners to help implement a social media marketing plan that will work for their company! Find out more about our social media marketing services or call today to talk with real live human being! 727-415-9165

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  • thanking freinds for liking your post
  • thanking fb friends for liking post
  • Thanks friend for liking my profile picture comments

Social Media Marketing – Should You Join Little Social Networks

Social media marketing, is not having friends or connecting with old acquaintances, but actual marketing that is about brand building, getting new opportunities and when possible, generating leads for your business.

Social Media Marketing - Little NetworksSocial networks (like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+) are places where people gather to communicate, share pictures of their doggies, quotes, and just random bits of their life. If you had asked someone even a few years ago if having an omelet for breakfast would be worth telling the world about, they would have looked at you like you had a brain problem, but many of us now share A LOT of the minutia of everyday life online through these media.

Right now, there are some main social networks where people share their info and which communicate with each other pretty well:

  • Facebook (first really big one)
  • Twitter (great for searching, computers and getting to people you never thought you could reach!)
  • LinkedIn (more for industry, not just a job board anymore but not as SOCIAL unless you can devote a LOT of time and attention)
  • Google+ (a late-comer but owned by google so fast out of the gate and one of my favorites!)
  • Foursquare (good for local businesses)

Time

So how do you decide how many social networks you should join? I go by which ones have the most people that I am going to get opportunities from. What kinds of opportunities do you ask? People to sign up for my mailing lists, opportunities to speak on webinars or in person, leads for our social media marketing company, potential coaching clients, basically the same leads I am trying to get by writing targeted blog posts every day or so.

Notice I did not say sales. In service industries or big ticket training programs or expensive products, the chance that I will post something and someone will buy it on the spot are pretty slim. NOPE, social media marketing is about kissing the girl, not getting to third base on the first try! (thanks to that nice @garyvee for the Paradise By The Dashboard Light analogy)

Small Business Marketing Doodle

Social media marketing servicesOkay, most small biz owners are overwhelmed, disgusted or confused by social media. What is it, why do they need it and how should they fit it into their already busy schedule?

We work with small biz owners to help implement a social media marketing plan that will work for their company! Find out more about our social media marketing services or call today to talk with real live human being! 727-415-9165

Small Business Marketing Doodle
How Do They Make Money?

The next thing I check is how do they make money. Google makes money from selling advertising, Twitter has a less clear profit model, but they are working on it. Facebook sells ads and LinkedIn sells premium memberships with enhanced communication capabilities.

Little social networks that want to grow up to make lots of money need people. They will make VERY little on the front end and OOODLES when they have millions of users. Unfortunately, with the exception of the big 4, I have not found other social networks with lots of people yet. Not to say someone won’t come along BUT it doesn’t make sense for me TIMEWISE to join 100 little networks, hoping that they will grow.

I will give you a perfect example…Plaxo. Plaxo came along early and was very proactive about connecting with Facebook, in fact, you could have all your FB posts go over to Plaxo. Huh, not as many people, same stuff over there as is on Facebook….why not just use Facebook?

But Someone Asked Me To Join A Little Social Network and I Don’t Want To Disappoint Them!

Because I have big networks across multitudes of platforms, I get “invited” by other people to join other networks that they belong to. Little networks with nothing particular to set them apart from the big networks I have. Some warning signs of little networks that are not wise to spend your time on:

  • it is a “craigs list” style website – why not just use craigs list?
  • like facebook, with a little linkedin and some twitter thrown in – seriously? first off, having that many interfaces would be a nightmare to use and again – why not use the ACTUAL Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter?
  • NOT like Facebook, we focus on creating relationships with our members – Facebook COULD be about relationships if you choose to use it that way, so could Twitter and LinkedIn

So Do You HATE All Little Social Networks?

I do NOT hate little social networks with a purpose other than copying big social networks.

I have a client who started a social network for lightworkers and metaphysical people (who I believe are an underserved market) and is busting her ass to get members and grow her business. I belong to this and contribute to her offerings when I can BECAUSE her client base are people who fit well into the consultation and coaching part of my business.

There are some up and coming social networks I like a lot (some are tools for using with social networks but they have a social factor too!)

  • Pintrest – a visual kind of bulletin board where you share social stuff
  • Instagram – Mobile picture sharing site that works with Facebook
  • Spotify – for music sharing
  • Tumblr – a micro posting site (this one is a dark horse, have it on here because there are socially connected people pushing for it!)
  • Klout – tracking your social capitol and can share with others (I am writing a whole post about this one – keep your peepers open for it!)

So how did I pick this list? They are ones that come on my radar because friends use them or they get press or I just find them cool. That does NOT mean that I should spend all of my time growing friends and followers on them, but it does mean I will make an account and see how it goes, using them when I have time.

So let’s cut to the chase, if you are doing social media marketing and are focused on it as an aspect of brand building, networking and promoting your business, joining a million little social network wanna-bees does not make sense. What does make sense is to focus on the big 4 and have a smaller presence on a few smaller networks that make sense to you personally!

If you have a network that you ADORE and want to share here, please leave a comment and I will review it…we all may find a great new “place”! If you are just a spammer, I read all comments before publishing so don’t waste your time!!!

Social Media Marketing Mistakes – Not A Good Start

Social media marketing mistakes come in all shapes and sizes but one the major pitfalls is have a (REALLY) bad start! This paired with having your security settings dialed so far back that no one can see anything will really hurt your social media marketing efforts!

social media marketing mistakes - no photoSocial Media Marketing Mistakes – No Photo

When you first set up your accounts, they want you to use a photo of yourself, an avatar that you use frequently (like I do) or even in a pinch your company logo.

If you have no photo uploaded on your profile, you will show the default for that website (this picture is of my FourSquare account and the people who want to be my friends). If you were looking at this, what would your impressions be? I connected with the happy gentleman, Robert B. and did NOT connect with the one that was blatantly marketing their logo (badly) or the two people who didn’t bother to have a photo or even a bad logo.

Social media marketing mistakes part 2Facebook and photos. Okay, we have LOTS of clients and many of them do not want to use their own photo on Facebook. They use a picture of their dog (strange), a picture of their child (creepy to be friending a 5 year old), a quote or other things that give no indication of who they are. BELIEVE ME, I hate every photo ever taken of me so years ago I started using an avatar of me for everything. Not the best answer, but at least branding-wise I am consistent and there is a human face for people to gravitate towards.

As you see in this picture, the two top people did not have a photo so I did NOT “friend” them.

Small Business Marketing Entrepreneur Doodle

Social media marketing servicesOkay, most small biz owners are overwhelmed, disgusted or confused by social media. What is it, why do they need it and how should they fit it into their already busy schedule?

We work with small biz owners to help implement a social media marketing plan that will work for their company! Find out more about our social media marketing services or call today to talk with real live human being! 727-415-9165

Small Business Marketing Entrepreneur Doodle

People who are approving your friend requests make these types of decisions in a split second, one at a time so Step 1 – make sure your social media profile has a photo, preferably of a person.

Starting Your Social Media With No Info

Social media marketing mistakes - no info

Okay, this one really hit a nerve with me for the blatant problems I see. While his identity has been hidden to protect him, I do not consider him innocent of the crime of bad social media!

  • First off, he looks like serial killer! The picture taken from his computer with the light behind him is TERRIBLE and threatening!
  • Secondly, he hasn’t added any posts before circling me so there is no reason for me to add him to my circles (a real missed opportuntity)
  • Finally, I checked his about us page and there was nothing on there except his home town – fail

Okay people, I have been doing this internetty thing for a while now and was fortunate to start early when it didn’t matter if you posted good stuff or had good pictures or even that you were interesting, but times have changed and you have to put at least a little effort to get any results.

Social Media Marketing Mistakes – Bad Privacy Settings

Social media marketing mistakes - bad privacy settingsI KNOW you have heard all the “stranger danger” talk on the Facebook about how if you don’t have all of your privacy settings dialed back to the nth degree murderers and thieves will be able to steal your identity, plunder your home and ravish your wife.

Okay, a little dramatic but seriously, the other day someone sent out a “DANGER, DANGER” message that people could see your phone number on Facebook if you didn’t set your privacy right. Okay…my phone number is on my website, my business cards and my marketing materials. Having some Facebook people see it too is not that big a deal. (in fact I wrote a whole post about this you might want to read Small Business Marketing and Facebook Privacy Settings if you would like to find out more)

Seriously, does this lady think that I will just approve her friend request with knowing anything about her. No hometown, no interests, no work, no nothing? NOT!

So in conclusion, don’t be “that guy” and make these social media marketing mistakes. If you are using social media for your small business, make sure you take a little time, look over your stuff and see if you need to make some tweeks to increase your effectiveness!

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What To Say On Your Facebook Profile For Business – Social Media Marketing

What to say on your Facebook profile for your business? This is a big one for many small business owners. While you do want to jump into the conversation or post witty remarks, you also don’t want to be the schmoe who does a mis-step or ruins your company with a badly worded post. So what SHOULD you say on Facebook?

What to say on facebookPosting as a human

Let’s start with who you are posting as. First off, you post as a human on your profile page. These posts can be fun and humorous, related to your favorite causes or charities, about your pets, kids, travels, etc.

What they should ALSO be is about your business. If you meet me for cocktails at happy hour, you will notice that I talk about marketing A LOT. It is my business but also my passion. With this in mind, I post marketing things on my Facebook wall often and the people who know me in real life know that this is what is like to be around me. That having been said, I DO NOT often post “sell me” messages on there. For instance:

  • I WOULD say, “getting ready for my class on social media marketing on Tuesday, the handout is going to be AMAZING”
  • I WOULD NOT say, “sign up for my class on social media marketing, the price is $49″

Overt selling should be done on your business page which you can share (infrequently) on your profile. Now, I do have one friend who has been VERY successful selling HARD on her profile, BUT she has grown a following two or three times over as her human keeps getting banned from Facebook for violating the terms of service. Here at Marketing Artfully, we focus on growing sustainable, long term internet properties so I do not recommend that, BUT it is one way of doing things.

What to post on facebookDon’t forget, posting (putting up your own content) is only half of the equation. Commenting on other people’s posts is also a way to get engaged. In this post, I shared a bit about myself, mentioning my father-in-law and commenting on this post. The author (a person who is not a friend friend, commented back, strengthening our online friendship.

I KNOW, Facebook friends are not “real”, EXCEPT that I had a Christmas party at my home and two of the 30 or so people there were ONLY Facebook friends who I had never met in real life before. SO happy to get some new peeps and have a great story to tell here!!!

what to post on your facebook profile for businessThis post is by a real life friend, but is one of my favorite quotes of all time. It is empowering and uplifting and would in no way embarrass any business owner who posted it.

So great quotes, uplifting pictures, info about a charity or event that helps others is ALWAYS acceptable!

What NOT To Post On Your Facebook Profile For Business

This one is SO going to get me in trouble but I have to say it…STOP posting information about politics, religion and sex if you are using your Facebook for business. If you are only using it for personal use, talk about whatever you like!

If you are posting about politics, religion or sex, it may seem like you have finally found an outlet for your passions. There is a platform where you can find like minded people who will commiserate and agree with your point of view (or argue with you if you like that kind of thing). That having been said, it comes across as being angry… angry at the government, angry at the people who don’t share your religious viewpoints, angry at people who do not share your opinions on same sex marriage, abortion, gun ownership, the death penalty or any of the other polarizing issues that face us every day.

As a small business owner, let’s just look at politics. Our country is almost equally divided between Democrats and Republicans. Can you truly afford to alienate HALF of your potential customers by airing your political opinions on a platform that just keeps getting bigger and bigger each day? That is a really big line in the sand to draw when it comes to making a living.

What To Talk About For Business On Your Profile

Here are just some of the things that are great to post:

  • Links to articles or videos about your industry that you or someone else has posted
  • Gentle sales messages about your products or services (one example is to put a picture about the new item you added to your shop and how excited you are about it, NOT this is available today for $17.95)
  • Pictures of you at work
  • Pictures of you with your happy clients
  • Pictures of your pets, kids, house
  • Uplifting quotes, photos, sayings
  • Shoutouts to friends or clients (use the tagging feature of Facebook)
  • Links to help your favorite charities (I recently helped to get a pre-school a new roof by sharing a Pepsi contest for them)
  • Things in your life you are proud of like your kids accomplishments, new clients, major milestones like accomplishing goals
  • Funny things you find (I am not that into funny things, but they are some of the most shared items on Facebook!)

Basically, if you find something interesting, post it! I would recommend that they all be positive rather than negative (do YOU like hanging around with someone who is bitching about everything all the time?)

If I have missed anything, please do not hesitate to post a comment! OR if this sounds like too much work, check out our Social Media Marketing Services page to find out how to get some help!

thanks to Logo & Wallpaper collection for the photo!

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Facebook New And Improved Friend Lists! Social Media Marketing

SO glad Facebook rolled out their new and improved friend lists! Social media marketing is hard enough without fighting the network’s algorithms to see content and have people to interact with!

Facebook Improved Friend Lists - Social media marketingSo what does this mean to us as marketers? For me, it means getting to see MUCH more of what is going on with people who are important to growing my business, keeping clients happy and more!

Client Example - I have a “Clients” list, knowing that their child had a great day at soccer may not be vital to our business relationship, BUT sometimes they do post things that are important to acknowledge. Being able to pop in and check what my clients are talking about is one of the things I like about Google Plus!

Additionally, I can keep and eye on what prospects are talking about and jump in with helpful ideas, which COULD lead to them hiring my company for their social media marketing services.

Check out Facebook’s Improved Friend List Post

To me this is a gamechanger for Facebook IF the majority of the 500 million users figure out how to use it! Because Facebook so severely limits the posts that show up in the recent wall, views of client’s posts have dropped dramatically. Here is a great post about how using Hootsuite can decrease your posts edge rank.

As with everything new on the social networks, we will have to see how this works for increasing interaction, BUT I have to say that it is definitely a step in the right direction. I am SERIOUSLY PRO the new Facebook Friend list changes!

The BIGGEST Facebook Mistake – Social Media Marketing

This is UNIVERSALLY the BIGGEST Facebook mistake made by small business owners, entrepreneurs and Realtors. If you are doing social media marketing, you need to check this today!

You are sitting at your email and BAM…you find out that people can see your email address on Facebook! The sender makes it seem like that is HORRIFIC so you rush right over to Facebook and change your privacy settings so NO ONE can see your email, darnit! Now, most of us have our email on our business cards and websites, so I am not sure this is the tragedy that you might think…

but BAM…oh my gosh, another email saying that you need fix your contact settings so no one can see your phone number…trotting to Facebook to dial back my digits…

BAM…just read a web post that said stalkers like to use your photos from Facebook to track you down and murder you in your sleep…Facebook…no photos…

BAM…shoot they are reading my wall posts and stealing my identity…no wall posts…

BAM….holy heck…have to make HTTPS because someone sat in a Starbucks and stole 50 Facebook logins in 27 seconds…

Facebook Mistakes - Bad Privacy SettingsOkay, you may have figured out that this is all ridiculous hype that is just feeding into the fear that most people have about social media. Seriously, take a step back and THINK before you buy into a scary email and think about how it will effect the number of “friends” you get!

The picture to the left shows the difference between someone who has hidden ALL of her information and someone who allows at least a little information to show so that people can make a good decision whether to “friend” her or not! The lady on the left was kind enough to let me know she was female, but NOTHING ELSE. No job, no location, no photos, no wall, no nothing. She asked me to be her friend so I know she is trying to gain friends, but her privacy settings are so dialed back that she is effectively a non-person when I check to see if I should like her.

The BIGGEST Facebook Mistake – Social Media Marketing

I had over 50 friend requests on Facebook and thought I would walk you through the decision making process of how people are deciding whether to friend you or not. You have probably never sat and watched how someone goes through their friend requests so this could be pretty eye opening!

So, if you got through all 12 minutes of Facebook Profile mistakes, you know why it is so important to make sure your settings allow people to see more about you than whether you are male or female! Take a couple of minutes today and unhide all that great info about you that will make someone want to make friends with you!!!

Social Media Marketing – How To Get Comments On Your Posts

Social media marketing is a bear! It can feel like you are posting all day and no one is commenting or even listening. Don’t let a lack of comments get you down, you never know who might be out there watching and not talking.

How to get social media comments - social media marketingThe picture that I have on this post was taken out front of my house with an iPhone and the app TruHDR (one of my faves). I noticed when I got inside that I had my thumb in the picture – doh! If I was “smart” I would have cropped it out and had a “good” picture to post (most of our clients want everything to be perfect). What I did was post it to my Facebook with the comment, “they are paving the road! and my thumb…:)”. I got 7 comments and a couple of likes. Social media is about being human and humans are not always scripted and perfect.

This goes for companies too! When Dominos Pizza started losing market share, they did not curl up and die, they said that they would have to change their sauce and the quality of their pizza and sales rose. Many small biz owners are SO concerned that they look perfect that they become bland and boring! Snazzy it up a bit! If you would like to find out about other companies who have admitted to being less than perfect, check out the Washington Post’s, Behind Domino’s mea culpa ad campaign.

Does It Matter How Many Comments You Get?

Getting blog comments and getting social media comments follow the same formula as all regular human interaction. There is research from 2006 that shows this perfectly (and given that the stats haven’t changed in the intervening years, tend to be pretty compelling). According to Jakob Nielsen,

In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.

So think about that, for each commenter you have on one of your posts, there are potentially 90 people who will see it and never comment, BUT they saw it none-the-less! This is why you will go to a party and have someone you have never heard of say, “I am your Facebook friend” or “I see you on Google Plus all the time”. They see YOU and what you are doing, whether they talk to you online or not!

Funniest part of the Participation Inequality post was, “How to Overcome Participation Inequality – You can’t.” You can’t make people comment if they don’t want to, you can only post things that ENCOURAGE commenting and hope that someone jumps in to get the ball rolling.

Additionally, (I promise I will get to ideas of what to post to get comments soon), you need to be aware of WHEN you are posting things and who might be online at the time. If you are a nightbird and posting all your “stuff” at midnight, it may be pushed down everyone’s wall by the time they get up, OR you may have a hoard of people who are all up in the middle of the night with you who jump in to comment because there is not all that much else going on.

Timezones and posting matter too! If you are trying to target overseas customers, working on Eastern time won’t cut it. You are going to have to do some posting and commenting when it is mid morning and early evening THEIR time. Test this and see if it makes a difference in how many comments you get!

Social Media Ideas – What To Post To Get Comments On Your Posts

If you skipped down here, go up and read the rest, we will wait for you..:)

  • Personal items – The people working on the street outside my house are not inherently interesting, BUT it shows that I do not talk about marketing and small business all the time! It makes me more of a person and less of a company. I would say if you use social media for business that you should not talk about your baby, dog, husband, girlfriend or any other super personal thing TOO MUCH but that doesn’t mean that you can never talk about them! One guy who really gets this right is Daniel Webster Johnson. He is a Colorado Realtor who traipses around every morning taking pretty pictures of the Colorado countryside and his dog. It REALLY works for him!
  • Quotations – Now please note, these should only be quotations that have meaning to you. Just popping something up there everyday with no background as to why it is interesting is not that great a practive. I like quotationspage.com for quotes, the search engine is good and they have LOTS! Another good things to do is make up your own quotes – one fellow, Imran Rahman, has Imranisms. It always gives me a chuckle to see what he has posted!
  • Selling With People – You CAN sell if you are giving credit to other people at the same time! Kirsten McKay Smith is especially good at it on her Passion Rockstars page which is a clearinghouse for her to talk to her team (and people who follow it may also want to become a member of her team after seeing how neat she is!)
  • Great Links From Your Industry – I am always looking for new things that could help my clients increase traffic or get more clients. Frequently I find good resources that I share with my online community. I also save these for my newsletter so they do double duty!
  • Post your videos – people like to see interesting things and if you can pop out a quicky video about your industry or a topic that will appeal to everyone, you can get some good interaction. Remember to be QUICK! 2 minutes or less.
  • Things from your past that are interesting – Could be reference to Woodstock from our baby boomer friends or a really great Muppet Movie clip. Just make sure you let us know WHY it is important to you!
  • Open Ended Questions – Ask your friends and circles an INTERESTING question that does not work with a yes or no answer. According to Buddy Media, Posts that END with a question (rather than having it at the beginning or middle) have a 15% higher engagement rate.
  • Trending topics – It is okay to comment on current events, I just make sure to stay out of religion and politics. Just think, if you are PRO REPUBLICAN or PRO DEMOCRAT, you are effectively alienating about half of the rest of your customers. I had a funny thing happen the other day, a fellow who was selling insurance threw out the term “Obamacare” and giggled like it was stupid. I can tell you, he DID NOT KNOW that would be offensive to some people in the room who would then choose someone else to work with. I KNOW, some people like to be very partisan on their social media and that is their choice. As a small business owner, I cannot afford to lose that many potential new clients. Nuff said.

The NUMBER ONE Most Important Social Media Commenting Idea!

Talk back. That is right, if you get one comment, talk back. If you get two, talk back again. People are more apt to interact with your posts if they know that there is a real person on the other side! If someone posts something nice on your wall, thank them. In general, just interact as you would with plain old humans you would come into contact in your day-to-day life.

If this sounds like TOO MUCH WORK, check out our Social Media Marketing Services!

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Social Media Marketing – Questions By The Numbers

Social media marketing is all the rage in the media! For our small biz owners it has become a must have line item in their advertising budget, but does the hype match the numbers. Here is my take on a really cool infographic from Mashable about the numbers behind social media!

Social Media Marketing - By The NumbersSo let’s start out on the right foot – some of the numbers are for brands like Coca Cola with VERY deep pockets. Our small business owners and entrepreneurs are much less likely to have budgets to match big brands like AE Games and Under Armour, BUT we can take some tips from them for our own social media marketing efforts!

 

The Good About The Social Media Marketing Numbers

Social media marketing - what to share4 Billion – The number of things shared on Facebook every day. Facebook is a place for sharing information about your business in a SOCIAL way, not a “sell my stuff” way. Using Facebook to curate content is a wonderful way to make yourself a thought leader in your space. Additionally you CAN use it to sell, just not directly. So, for a realtor, they can post a picture with a message that they saw a great house that their first time home buyer did not like but which they thought was great! This Realtor has just said a number of different things, first that they are still in business (sad but true, people need to hear this frequently in this day and age). Second that they work with first time home buyers and third they have the opportunity that ANOTHER buyer might raise their hand and ask questions about that house.

400 – the number of checkins at New York Steak House Angelo & Maxie’s in 45 days. Holy cow, if this is the number on an infographic, it is a pretty big number. I can’t help but think that with a little bit of a concerted effort, our restaurant marketing customers could get numbers like that in 45 days! Simply by offering a free drink with proof of checkin, you could get a fair number of people to sign up per day, and all you need is 10 a day to make it!

The Bad About The Social Media Marketing Numbers

65.5 Million – the number of plays for Evian’s “Roller Skating Babies” over 2 years. The thing that drives me mad about this is…wait for it…how much more water did they sell? Did paying A LOT of money to have CGI babies made actually increase the sales of their product. With over 290,000 results on google for a search about this campaign, I was unable to find out how much the ad cost or the ROI on the campaign. Our clients see numbers in the millions and want that for their videos. Let me tell you, the chances of a video about a dog bed going viral are nil. The better thing for small biz owners to do is make great videos and A LOT of them. The more videos you have, the more of a chance that you will find an audience who comes back again and again as raging fans.

Propaganda About How Great The Ad Is
Skating Babies Make Evian Commercial a YouTube Hit [Video]

52% – the percent of ACTIVE Facebook users that use the site each day. – people see the 52% and think it is half of 750 million. Not so, it is half of the number of active users which Facebook does not post on their Facebook Stats page.

4 Billion – The number of things shared on Facebook every day. This is a tricky one because it was in the good things too! The fact that 4 BILLION things get shared means that your sharing is less than a drop in the bucket and that the chances of everyone seeing your post is non-existant. I have to tell you, I have close to 4,000 friends and I know that the number people that actually see what I post is a much smaller number than that. Facebook picks and chooses among the things that your friends post to see if they are “important” enough to show you in the Recent Feeds. Unfortunately for me, they do not think that my Father In Law’s or husband’s posts are interesting enough to show me. If I cannot see family posts, what are the chances that your customers are seeing your sales messages?

The Ugly About The Social Media Marketing Numbers

$1.34 – Eventbrite sales driven by a Facebook Like as compared to just 80 cents for a tweet – This to me is INCREDIBLY telling. While we can pay for fake likes for our clients, having them will not increase sales or ROI. That means that the cost of getting real likes has increased dramatically along with cost per sale for those people who do like the page. Twitter, on the other hand with their open system, allows us to post and follow and interact globally without the increased cost of Facebook’s closed system.

11% – the percentage of people who say they would buy something that was only offered to Facebook fans – So you work up a huge Facebook campaign, pay Facebook to get users to your fan page (there has been a 70% increase in the price of Facebook ads during the first half of 2011) and then have the slight chance that one of those 11 out of a hundred would buy? Give me a break.

Social Media Marketing By The Numbers Wrap Up

I am sure if you have gotten this far you think I am anti social media marketing which is weird because that is what we sell! I am SO NOT anti social media marketing, I am anti social media hype. We spend a good part of the day explaining to clients that social media is like the yellow pages of old:

  1. You have to have a social media presence to be in business. The yellow pages cost about $800 per month and was just a cost of doing business. You had to have your company in there or people did not know you were in business. Social media is like that!
  2. Your customers and potential customers WILL check to see if you are active on these social media platforms. Think about it, if you were going to hire someone and pay them thousands of dollars, don’t you think you would google them to see what is going on with them? The surprising thing is that even if they are going to pay you $60, they are still checking to see if you are a viable company.
  3. The Yellow Pages didn’t sell anything. For some reason, social media customers think that their Facebook Fan Page is going to sell for them. The Yellow Pages did not sell for them so why should social media. In the good old days, you would get a phone call and someone would ask about your business and what you had to offer. THEN then would come down and check you out. OR they would come down to see you and a salesperson would approach and say, “how can I help you?”, after which you might make a sale.

I think that if small business owners look at social media marketing services as a way to increase brand awareness, lead generate and stay in communication with customers and prospects, they will probably be happy with the results. If they think that social media marketing is going to bring hordes of buyers knocking down their doors, they are probably going to be sadly disappointed AND don’t get me started on how long it takes to grow big networks, that is definitely a post for a different time!

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Social Media Marketing – Twitter Hashtags or Facebook Page

Social media marketing is a big part of what we do today to promote our clients and I am always checking out what the “big money” is doing! Are they using Twitter Hashtags or Facebook pages as the call to action?

Yesterday I was watching the boob tube and saw the trailer for 30 Minutes or Less, a summer slapstick comedy thingy that I would NEVER go to see BUT I was facinated by their call to action!

Most movies and big brands are using a Facebook page as their call to action. The cool thing about this is that there was no mention of Facebook at all, just a twitter hashtag at the end – #30MOL (30 Minutes Or Less).

So why is that exciting to a small business marketer like myself? Here are my take-aways for small business:

  • By giving a hashtag for the twitter-verse to use, they make sure that EVERYONE is using the same tag – hashtags are democratic and there is no set list for what to use. Had they not done that, there could have been hundreds of different streams of talk on twitter about the movie, but they would have lost the impact of millions of tweets and their topic trending.
  • I find it VERY interesting that the customer demographics for marketing purposes must have shown a trend for their movie watchers to be on twitter more than on Facebook. One of the reasons that I pay attention to these things is that I do not have multi-million dollar marketing budgets to use for research. This movie having Twitter hashtags instead of a Facebook page may signal that there is a shift from Facebook to Twitter in the age demographic they are targeting.
  • Doing a Twitter search for the hashtag shows that they are already getting buzz – mostly that people cannot wait for the movie to come out. NOW, if you think Twitter is stupid, you probably don’t get why this matters or why they should talk about it, BUT… This is what we are always saying, some people like twitter, some people like Facebook, some of us LOVE Google Plus, no matter your feelings, when you market your business you HAVE to hit all the large social media outlets!
  • While the TV trailer did have the Twitter, the actual 30 Minutes Or Less webpage had a “like this on Facebook” top and center (with 303,189 likes right now – days before the opening).

twitter hashtags for moviesI have to say that I feel the same as Mr. @Smellsworth – I like to encourage big business when they do something different!

So how does this affect little business? Well, in your small business marketing efforts, you may want to include a fun hashtag. We have a chicken farmer coming on board and may be using #chickenchat for his hashtag. Remember, just designating a hashtag doesn’t mean anything unless you promote it so keep your eyes out for upcoming Twitter Hashtag (and chicken) updates!

Is Google Plus A Facebook Killer?

Google Plus is setting out to be a Facebook Killer. Thanks to my friend Cyndee Haydon, Clearwater Realtor, I am IN and messing around with the new system!

Is google plus a facebook killer?So, what does this new social media platform mean for real small business owners RIGHT NOW? Not so much. Like all social media thingy-ma-bobbies, if you are not going to participate, you will get no results. That having been said, if someone invites you, make sure to sign up! (Check out my post on Social Networking First Responder Advantages).

So after an extensive 10 minute mess around with Google Plus, what are my feelings?

  • I like google – all of my google stuff is hooked together and they pulled my contact list in, set up my profile for me and generally it works like the other google stuff so I am happy!
  • HUGE PRO – It seems to have WAY more control of who sees what you post. You set up circles and can then share things with just people in those circles or publicly.
  • It has a place to upload videos – not sure yet if these will then be on YouTube – more on that to come when I have more time to mess around.
  • Cons – there aren’t many people on it yet so it is not so interesting.
  • Cons – you have to be invited by someone already using it, a la the start of gmail when you had to get an invite.
  • The interface is truly lovely, plain and easy to use!
  • Did not see a business page section yet – have to see how this plays out!

So, does this mean that Google Plus is going to be a Facebook Killer? Who knows? Facebook has a gagillion people using their service BUT they have lost sight of WHY some people use it.

Google Plus CirclesIn my social media workers world, we all have noticed that getting a business page “liked” is almost impossible at this point. You can no longer “suggest to friends” as they don’t send an email to notify someone that you suggested that page. You can’t upload your database, well you can, BUT they do not tell anyone you did that so no one responds. The general consensus is that Facebook wants us to pay for ads to get pages “liked”. Well, not sure of the great value of having lots of likes AND if they are going to spend hard earned money elsewhere, we would rather have our peeps pay to have their website or blog visited than to have their Facebook page liked.

At every social media class I give I remind them of AOL. I was in internet hosting and website development in 2001 and AOL was HUGE. When they merged with Time Warner, it was AOL who did merging. Well, today they are no longer a player and popular culture things do come and go! The best way to use Social Media for your small business is to stay agnostic. Do a little of FB, a little Twitter, some LinkedIn, LOTS of YouTubes (had to throw that one in) and now a bit of Google Plus.

I KNOW, we all wish there was just one thing we had to like the Yellow Pages in the old days, but those days are gone. We don’t know if Google Plus will be a Facebook killer but we do know that something will be. Worth the time to set up your Google plus if you get an invite and then wait and see!!!

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What Social Media Marketing Is Not!

Social media has become the buzz word for small business marketing. Everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and get a piece of this new media channel, without realizing that there is a huge amount of time that needs to go into their efforts.

What Social Media Marketing Is NotAt first, when small biz owners decide to use the Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to grow their customers and prospects, they are all shiney and happy. They are going to get a piece of those 600 million people, all ready to buy their product or service TODAY and all it takes is a little tweeting, right?

They set up their profiles, but don’t want to give TOO much personal information because, really, what does it matter, they are just here to SELL, SELL, SELL! Then they wait for the orders to roll in. Tick, tock, tick, tock. No orders.

What happened? Social media marketing is the promise that all you have to do is show up and great things will happen, right?

The Real World of Social Media Marketing

I liked when social media marketing was originally called social networking. That is truly a more descriptive term for what happens on the different internet properties. I KNOW, you have heard that it is like a real-life networking event and you get it, BUT…

There are no buts about social networking, it is JUST like real world networking. You “meet” someone through Twitter or Facebook, say something nice about what they are doing, talk back and forth with them and establish a connection that will hopefully lead to a sale or referral somewhere down the line.

You would not attend your first networking event with new people and start by handing out credit card signup forms, would you? Not if you want to be invited back! When you are getting started with social media marketing, dip a toe into the waters and offer something of value to the people who are considering increasing your relationship.

Setting Up A Social Media Strategy

So what exactly SHOULD you do to increase your likability on social media? Here are some of the things that small biz owners can do:

  1. Post relevant industry information that would be interesting to readers (for a painter, this could mean posting the new colors for the season with a comment about how that translates to their geographic location)
  2. Make Friends, Likes, Followers and Connections in your geographic area and share interesting events and information (for Realtors, this could mean posting area happenings, links to attractions and only then, open house events and new listings)
  3. Find complementary links (for an exercise guru, posting healthy recipes makes sense)
  4. Share your clients and prospects triumphs (if someone has something great that they post, share it or retweet it to your following!)

What Is A Good Sales To Information Ratio

We get this question A LOT! A good sales to information ratio on social media is at least 5 to 1. Five non-sales, non-selfish posts to one salesy, or self serving posts. Again, this goes back to real-world networking! If you are at an event and introducing a friend around to everyone, talking her up to the crowd and generally helping her business, when you do slide in a request to sit down and talk business, she is more receptive to hearing what you have to say.

Some Final Tips

First, don’t try to be fake on social media. If you are a nerdy, engineer type in person, your online friends will like you for that on Social Media. Outgoing and crazy in real-life, you have much more latitude to cut it up online. Remember, at the end of the day, if you are successful at getting a sale, you are still the one that will show up to work with them!

Second, unless you are truly passionate about politics or religion, keep it off your Social Media radar. Talking too much about left or right wing politics can turn off roughly 50% of the people who might have wanted to work with you. Having EVERY post reference your religious preference can be off-putting to the online people you connect with. That having been said, if you live and breathe these topics, it will show up when you do anyways and being fake won’t change that!

Third, get ready for changes. It used to be that we could buy a yellow page ad once a year and be done with marketing. Now-a-days, you have to be willing to roll with the changes that happen, sometimes on a daily basis. Something that works great for you on Facebook may change overnight and you must be willing to adapt. Accounts get frozen or canceled, groups come and go, but once you have the ability to build big networks, you just move on and start building again. The one company that I always think of when I start to get complacent is AOL. If I had told you in 2001 that AOL would out of the picture by the middle of the decade, you would have been astounded. Networks change, sites change and it is the bold marketer who takes those changes and makes a great impact!

Facebook Marketing – Application Scams and Viruses

Facebook marketing is generally fun! We have a process by which we make sure that our clients get great exposure and connect with the most people and companies possible. That having been said, there are A LOT of application scams and viruses so tread carefully if you are using Facebook for business!

Facebook Marketing Scams and VirusesI admit, I am basically writing this to send to my clients so they know what to click and what not to on the Facebook. Some of you may agree or disagree about the validity of some of my suggestions, if you are unhappy, get your own blog, these are all applications that we have found to be detrimental to the business personas we are trying to achieve online!

DO NOT Play Games On Facebook

Farmville, Mafia Wars and other Facebook games may seem like a super-fun way to while a couple of minutes away during the day. Because they are socially tied in, when you harvest a crop or shoot a bad guy, it shows up on your friends (and clients’) walls. Imagine them, sitting and waiting for a vital email from you and the next thing they see is that got a high score on bejeweled! Now, I am sure that you were playing while you were eating lunch or returning calls or any of the million other things that you have to do to stay alive in a day BUT you don’t have to broadcast that to everyone who is connected to you on Facebook! While this is not actually a virus or a scam, I don’t think that gaming has any place on Facebook for a business professional!

Stik Facebook Spam

Stik is a Facebook App that asks for peer recommendations and then wants to spam your friend’s walls with all kinds of useless information. We work with LOTS of Realtors who love to push these kinds of things out but HONESTLY, it is spam and will get you unfriended faster than you can shake a stick! Here is a great post about “Social Media SPAM – Is Stik.com good for your facebook profile?” that says it better than I ever could!

You Are In This Picture Facebook Scams

Any time you get a notification from a friend that says “you look wonderful in this picture” or “OMG, did you see what you did on this video”, step lightly! If they require you to “allow” an app to access your account to see what horrible fate has befallen your image, DO NOT CLICK ALLOW!!! It is a spammer app that will then send that same message to everyone on your friends list.

Check Out Who Visited Your Profile Scams

This is a big one I get almost every day! There is NOT a way to see who has simply typed your name into the search bar to look you up. When you see this message, it means that one of your friends got fooled and a spyware or virus app wants to bother all YOUR friends now too. DO NOT CLICK ALLOW – do you see a theme here people, if you have to click allow to see something, it is one that you DO NOT want to let into your FB world!

Rules Of Thumb For Avoiding Being A Facebook Spammer

The worst part of being fooled into clicking some of these Facebook malware programs is that it makes YOU look like you are a spammer! Whether you intended to or not, you put your friends on the spammers radar by randomly clicking things that you should know better than to click! Here are some good rules of thumb to avoid being taken in:

  • If it seems to good to be true, it is! Social media is no different than anywhere else. NO ONE is going to give you an iPad for free OR get you 10,000 fans overnight or any of the other wild things out there. Have some common sense and think to yourself, does this make sense?
  • Generally people are nice on Facebook. Because Facebook has a self monitoring feature of letting people unfriend you if you are a jerk, rarely will anyone send you a message that says someone else posted a picture or a video of you looking like a fool. These types of scare tactics prey on our insecurities but are mostly imaginary. What horrible things you think are happen on FB (almost like High School) mostly aren’t! Just keep track of what you are tagged and posted in and you will be fine (if they want you to hit “allow” to see it first, altogether now, DO NOT CLICK THE LINK!)
  • If it seems totally self serving, it probably is. Stik is totally PUSH marketing that is telling people that you are in business and they better damn well listen to you. Social media is not like that, it is more around the corner marketing and NO ONE likes having your marketing message on their wall, ESPECIALLY if you can not control where it goes!

General Information About Facebook Scams

I KNOW, there are probably a hundred different privacy settings that you can use to try to avoid these slimey spammers, but at the end of the day, using your common sense will do more to help your Facebook Marketing avoid application scams and viruses than any privacy settings can ever do. Stop clicking random strange things and you should generally be fine!

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Facebook For Business – May 2011 Updates

Facebook is not made for business, rats! I KNOW, it is to talk with your peeps, share photos of your puppies and generally schmooze. BUT many of us have found it is a great lead generating source and there are bits that can be great for business if done correctly. Here are my most recent notices and what they may mean for small business marketing.

Facebook for Business - May 2011 UpdatesFacebook For Business – Making Your Business A Person

One of the biggest no-no’s I see on Facebook that small business owners name their profile their business name. Not only does this violate the terms of service BUT it also confuses the public when we then launch them a real business page. Stop doing this!

There are a couple of real-life reasons that it does not make sense to do your business as a person:

  1. If you have a person, you have friends. These are people that you can invite to your events easily and use the “suggest to friends” feature within Facebook. You can also “update fans of your page” when you have an event. To give you an example, I have 751 “likes” on Marketing Artfully, of which 280 of those people are my friends (more on the fuzzy math of friends and likes later). My events are local so I have my friends separated into lists of Tampa friends and Denver friends and invite the correct people appropriately. The fans of my page are automatically filtered by Facebook and so are easy to invite geographically desirable potential attendees.
  2. You can only have 5,000 friends, you can have unlimited “likes”. This is not always a factor to small business owners who use smaller, more industry targeted numbers BUT it is a factor.
  3. You are not supposed to SELL on your profile. If you make your business a person, the amount of sales talky-talk that you can do before you are banned is GREATLY decreased! I have one friend who has had to redo her person three times because they banned her so often for selling on her profile!

Weird Random Facebook Changes

Weird random facebook changesOkay, today this fun little box popped up on the right of my PROFILE and said “related stories” when I was posting about one of my speaking events. Not sure I really think that they were related, but barring that, this could mean that if we post things on the profile that are a little more geographically targeted (I said “denver friends”) and a little beefier, that Facebook could pull our content out and post is as something that others could like right from their walls. This DID NOT seem to “sponsored” meaning a paid FB ad. As far as I can tell, this DOES NOT happen on the business pages.

All of your friends updates DO NOT show on your wall. I am sad! Facebook has decided that my husband is not important and that I should not see his posts. He is definitely someone I want to know about, but not visible to me unless I type his name in the top and specifically check what he has been talking about. I HAVE set my settings to show ALL friends and pages but no Johnny J. I have also noticed that I do not get notifications when everyone interacts with me, just some of the people (I have friends that have mentioned this too). If you want to see more than just what Facebook thinks is important, make sure you click the “most recent” tab instead of using the “top news” and know that you still might not be seeing everything.

Changes To The Facebook Groups

New Media PR Consultant, Rebekah Welch, the Colorado Connector gave me some great pointers about the changes to Facebook Groups. We do not aggressively use the groups so I fall back to her expertise in this matter!

As the “old” groups are archived and we are, “upgraded” to the new format, there are some SIGNIFICANT changes that are going to affect how people connect. One being that groups are now limited to ONLY 250 members. (A serious hit …for group owners with 300, 500, 1,500 – like us!) Another being that fb will remove ALL of the members of the old group – and group owners will have to get (250) of their old members to migrate to the new page. Invites also will be affected – group owners will only be able to directly communicate with invitees until the list reaches 4,999. At 5,000 you lose the ability to update your invitees.

While pages are great for being indexed on browsers (groups are not), all updates you share with your “fans” or “like” – ers are essentially sent to what equates to a spam folder in the message area. Most people don’t realize it’s there, so they never look at it. THIS is one reason why some folks have slower conversion results with a fan page as opposed to a group page where messages go directly to the FB inbox. SO, while pages allow you to have unlimited followers, you can’t exactly interact with them effectively.

Being a SEO junkie, I was never a fan of groups and now have even more reason to not love them. I also do not like that the organizer has the ability to add me all willy-nilly to groups randomly without my prior permission and that most business owners do not take the time to interact with their groups. Hosting a group is a big time commitment and if you are not going to be in there interacting EVERY day, it is mostly a wasted effort. I have to say, that this is the one area that LinkedIn trumps Facebook. If you are going to make a commitment to starting a group, the messaging capabilities and interactions are much more robust on LinkedIn than on FB.

How They Are Counting “Likes” To Your Fan Page

On this one, I am as lost as the rest of you. In the past, the number of “likes” to your page seemed to be separate from the number of friends that you had who liked your page. ALL of our clients have had the numbers of “likes” as reported by FB drop dramatically in the last month and I am thinking that this is because they have changed their “fuzzy math”, NOT because hundreds of people have just decided to unlike at the same time. Additionally, I have not seen that there is a reporting function for Business Pages that like your page. We LOVE the new interactions that pages can have with each other and utilize that effectively for driving new Likers, BUT I do not see a way to know how many pages like your page (although you can see how many pages your page likes). Whew, that makes sense to me but not sure that it translates well to writing!

If anyone has more information about these numbers, please feel free to leave a comment!!!

photo courtesty of http://www.flickr.com/photos/pshab/498122926/

Small Business Marketing Magic – There is no get rich quick!

Small business marketing magic is a lie! There is no get rich quick scheme that can grow you a sustainable, ongoing marketing plan. Having a good marketing plan that feeds into your Small Business Lead Generating Sales Funnel, is hard work and not something that you should expect overnight.

Small Business Marketing MagicFacebook Business Page Lies

Yesterday I was working away diligently and got a call. It looked like one of my client’s numbers so I answered. A lady wanted to know if we sold Facebook fans. I asked her if she wanted us to help her grow her page with real people and she said no, that she wanted to know about getting 10,000 likes right away. Sigh. We have clients who have paid some money (eighty-nine bucks) for 1,000 likes. They got about 400 total new likes and honestly, they were not real Facebook people. They were profiles that were auto-set up with a photo and very limited info. They had no friends, they had no updates, basically they were just one like from someone who would never share your page, comment or care about what you do.

I cannot see any way that having 10 or 10,000 fake fans will help anyone grow and told her so. She then brought up the fact that there were LOTS of companies selling this so it must be real! I told her that I would love to lose 15 pounds a week and that there are lots of companies selling that also. Doesn’t make it so!

Social Media Marketing Will Result In Immediate Sales

Small Biz owners are always surprised when we tell them that social media will not be likely to get them SALES in the first month. The first month of getting your social media and internet empire set up is a building process. It involves building a Facebook business page, branding your Twitter and YouTube channels, making videos or writing blog posts. All of these things are vital to showing the world that your company has a strong online presence.

So, does that mean sales will start flooding in once you have your empire set up? Nope. Sorry to be the bearer of more bad news BUT, social media is a great channel for getting people interested, doing networking and talking about your business in a way that will spark an interest in what you do. No matter what the hype is, Facebook will not sell a million of your products if they do not sell at that rate in the open market. What it WILL do is act as a great source of leads, leads that have to be nurtured and grown, just like you would in the real world.

Many times I hear that people don’t want to spend all that time talking to people online. I think they want people to call and say, “give me 10 of those widgets”. The best way to think about social media is to equate it to real life networking. If you have ever gone to a networking event and had someone chew your ear off about how great their product is, that will give you an idea of how some people come across online. The SOCIAL in social media means that you will have to talk with them (either through messaging or emails) before they are going to want to call and place an order.

You Can “Go Viral” And Your Business Will Explode

I wrote a post the other day about Trying To Go Viral With Your YouTube videos. Some of the data that I found was astounding like only 80,000 hits on a video that had Eminem, a commercial on the superbowl and a cost of 9 million dollars. That is a REALLY high cost per hit.

Going viral online is like getting on the Oprah Show. We ALL dream about producing something that is so brilliant that everyone wants to share it and we can get rich and retire to Aruba. The fact is, Oprah rarely features companies on her show and going viral mostly involves people, pets or kids doing something funny and non-commercial.

It is much better to try and capture a target like “going viral to people who want to buy or sell a house in the Stratford Lakes subdivision”. Not going to be a lot of people, but are going to be people people who are interested in working with you! For a pizza shop, going viral nationally will not do all that much to increase business, but if you can get videos of the neighborhood kids enjoying your pies, they may share them with their friends who can comfortably reach your business by car or on foot.

So, there are three small business marketing magic myths busted! Really, all it takes is hard work and time to promote your business. Not sexy but the truth!

PS – Next post is going to bust the loch ness monster, yetis and the fat guy in the big red suit wide open!

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Social Media Marketing – Should Facebook Be Your Main Site

In our social media marketing world, the option of using Facebook as your main site is coming up more and more frequently! I cannot tell you how opposed I am about this being a viable option.

Social Media Marketing Should Facebook Be Your Only SiteI KNOW, Facebook is one huge party and there is nothing that cannot be done with it! If you listen to the current wisdom, you should tank ALL of your other marketing activities and spend all of your time marketing on Facebook.

If you are in the FB is the only option camp, you may be surprised to know that the other half of the people email me and ask me if they should do anything on it because it is not effective at all.

Seriously, Facebook and social media marketing in general is not the second coming, nor is it the devil incarnate. It is simply a marketing channel that most companies can use effectively as long as they have a clear vision of what they are trying to accomplish.

Why Facebook As Your Primary Site Is A Terrible Idea

I do not know if I am saying this strongly enough, but having Facebook as your only marketing focus is a TERRIBLE idea. Here are just a few of the reasons:

NUMBER ONE reason it is a bad idea – You DO NOT own anything on Facebook. Per the terms of service, Facebook has the right to cancel your account for any number of reasons that you have no control over. Our number one suggestion is to have a blog or website as your main hub as you have absolute control over it, can back it up and re-launch it if you need to. We have seen MANY people grow a large following, only to have to start over if their account is canceled.

Facebook changes A LOT – Because Facebook is the boss of you, they can change anything at the drop of a hat. Just recently they changed the entire platform that Facebook custom business pages are built on. They also changed how we can interact as humans and as our businesses (this time was a good change, next time maybe not so much).

Facebook is not Google – Consider your searching habits. If you are looking for something do you do a search on Facebook or do you go to Google? This is not to say there is not a lot of referral business going on on Facebook, just that it is not great at showing up on the Google.

So, am I saying that marketing on Facebook is a wasted effort – NOT AT ALL. What I am saying is that you should have a primary hub website or blog that is the focus of your marketing efforts and that Facebook should be one of the important things that helps drive traffic to that site!!! No social media marketing efforts are wasted, they just are not the only thing you should be doing!

Click here if you would like to find out more about outsourcing your social media marketing.

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Social Media Marketing – Social Media REAL Results

Social media marketing like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube is a tricky beast. It can be time consuming and if done wrong, super spammy. That having been said, social media can produce REAL results for your small business!

We do social media marketing for small business owners and oftentimes during the sales process they ask us what kind of results they can expect from our efforts. I THINK that they are asking what kind of SALES can they expect to receive within a couple of days of starting, but that is just conjecture on my part!

Social media marketing is not a direct line kind of thing. It is more like grabbing a tigers tail and hoping that he is going where you want to go! I read the best post the other day about why Facebook marketing does not work, it is worth a read for sure. The nice thing about this article is that it comes from an agency who has really deep pocket clients who have made the mistakes that our small biz marketing peeps cannot afford to make.

Social Media Marketing Results and Goals

I was talking to a client the other day and he was VERY focused on growing his database so that he could send them marketing messages. With that in mind he had developed a series of four different autoresponders with GREAT content. The problem was his front-end pitching of it. Basically by reading what he was saying, you could tell immediately that his goal was to get you in his database which would turn anyone off.

With social media marketing (actually with all marketing) we have to know that there are humans at the other end of line. Our goals for using social media have to be REALLY clear so that we know what we are trying to accomplish with our efforts. Here are a couple of goals that you could have in social media:

To Get Them Into Your Database

Social media marketing resultsIf you are talking A LOT with someone on social media, check out their information. Often they will have their email or phone number on there, add them to your database. Additionally, you can have a great teaser and a link that you can post judiciously that will allow people to opt into your database but don’t be a spammer about it! Here is a link to one of my clients FREE ebooks about “How To Buy USA Real Estate” that could be a good carrot! The photo shows how you can add it to your Facebook profile without looking like a spammer.

To Sign Up People To Work With You

Social Media Marketing ResultsOne of my favorite online MLM marketers is Kirsten McKay Smith of Passion Parties. She REALLY knows how to engage her clients, team members and prospects on Facebook. THIS Is the kind of thing that can happen when you are out there. She had a prospect who she “friended” on Facebook. Now that could have gone nowhere as many of our leads do BUT through communicating on the Facebook, Kirsten stayed in touch and when her prospect was ready was there to sign her up immediately.

Kirsten is also an author of the What It Takes To Make A Million Dollars In Direct Sales books, unsurprisingly, this same thing works for sales of her books. In fact, I saw on there the other day someone asking about when her forth volume was set to come out! Gotta think that will lead to some sales.

To Stay In Front Of Prospects Without Spamming Them

Social media marketing social media real resultsThe picture is a lead that I got yesterday from a prospect. The content basically said that she had met me at a talk that I gave over a year ago and had implemented some of the suggestions that I gave and had great results for her company. NOW, she is at another company and is interested in finding out about the services that I offer. YAY! So how did this happen? Was it because I set up a Facebook profile a year ago, ignored it and then magically someone wanted to buy something?

Nope! This is the process that this prospect went through:

  • She attended a class that I gave
  • I put her into my database AND asked her to be my Facebook friend
  • She did not need my product or service right then BUT we saw each other on the Facebook, I liked some of her stuff off and on, generally she still knew I was out there in the business
  • She sent me a message through Facebook asking about my services

Now, will she turn into a client, maybe. BUT the whole point is to fill up your pipeline with people who are curious about what you do and make sure to pay attention to them. Have to say that having them as Facebook friends is a super easy way to do that!

- – - –

I do not know if you know this or not, but we have a Small Business Marketing and Social Media membership site will all kinds of great information about how to actually DO some of the things that we talk about over here! In fact, I am going to be adding some new videos TODAY that cover how to do these kinds of posts that get results for your social media efforts!!!

New Facebook Business Pages – What It Means For Marketers

Facebook is at it again, yesterday they rolled out their new business pages so here is an update on what the changes mean and how we are going to implement them for our clients.

Facebook Business Page Changes UpdateFacebook as a way of changing things around on us without asking if we want changes (imagine that!) Overall I have to say that I am positively giddy about the changes that they have made and as it looks like we are going to have switch by March anyways, let’s dig and see what they have been up to this time!

Note: As we always tell our clients, FACEBOOK owns our pages and all the content, period the end. With this in mind, it is super important to keep up with the changes that they make BUT also important to know that things could change at the drop of a dime so you have to keep up with them as they happen!

My FAVORITE Facebook Business Page Change!

My favorite facebook business page changeWhile most of the changes seem to be more cosmetic than anything, allowing us to comment on our own pages as a human is my absolute favorite! I have a feeling that this one is going to increase the amount of interaction that happens on the page! As people, we are more inclined to find comments by humans interesting rather than the page itself adding to the conversation.

As you can see, I am logged in as Tara Jacobsen, making a comment on my Marketing Artfully page and it shows up as my person rather than just another post by the page. For social media types this is BRILLIANT as we can now make ourselves admins on the page again so that we can comment on our clients posts as something other than the page!

How to make commenting on your pages as a human work

Settings for commenting on your pageYou are going to have to go into the settings of your page and UNCHECK the box next to “Always comment and post on your page as PAGE NAME even when using Facebook as YOUR NAME”.

 

My second favorite Facebook Business Page Change

Commenting on a page as a pageThis one is a little trickier! Now you can comment on another business page as YOUR business page. Again, I can only think that this will help us as it will get more people to check out your page when you make insightful comments on OTHER pages. As you can see on the left, I made a comment on Personalized Marketing’s business page as both Tara Jacobsen (the person) AND as Marketing Artfully (the business page).

I suggest using this feature to comment on pages in complimentary industries (Realtors can comment on Home Inspection pages, Pet Sitters can comment on Dog Food Pages). DO NOT use this for evil and hijack someone else’s page, BUT as a marketing tool, STELLAR!

Facebook account settingsTo make this one work you have to have done Step 1 and made your commenting on YOUR pages done by your human. Next you are going to have to go to the top right and select “Use Facebook as a Page”. This brings up a whole list of the pages that you admin for, simply select the page that you want to comment as and you are set to go!

A couple of things to note, I had to “Like” the page as my page before I could comment AND it was super easy to switch back to being “Tara Jacobsen” instead of Marketing Artfully. I just clicked account again and it gave me the option to go back to being me.

Other Facebook Business Page Changes Of Note

Facebook Business Pages Changes Left NavigationFeatured pages – If you go into your “Edit Page” mode, you will see Featured Pages which allows you set the other pages that you like. Make sure to feature your friends’ pages, business partner pages and clients.

Featured page owners – You know how it was impossible to show who owned the page, no more!!! Now you can just set the owner as the human who owns the page.

Left Navigation – To move the left navigation around, just click edit and it is a drag and drop. As the top four only show, I suggest adding your notes, YouTube, event and your blog. All things humans might be interested in about you.

Custom Facebook Business Pages – This was a big one for me, I was worried that these were going away but the work perfectly! New people to your page still see the pretty landing page, old likers see the wall.

If you are a small business owner and think this is all too much to take in, just know that our client didn’t have to lift a finger today, we did all these changes for them! Find out more about our Social Media Marketing Services today!

Small Business Marketing and Facebook Privacy Settings

If you are using Facebook for your small business marketing efforts, how you set up your privacy setting could have a HUGE negative impact on your success.

Small Business Marketing and Facebook Privacy SettingsIf you are playing around on Facebook with a little business thrown in or are a personal user, this post is not for you. I am talking ONLY to small business owners who wish to use this valuable marketing channel to grow their contacts, sell products and grow relationships online for business purposes.

Facebook Privacy Settings and the Small Biz Owner

You can dial up or dial down how much people who are not your friends can see. I have found that this can impact how many people are willing to be your friend, whether you are instigating the connection or they are seeking you out. The business owner in the top picture KNOWS that the more information that she shows, the more likely that someone will be interested enough to “friend” her. She says where she works, where she went to school and where she lives now, BEFORE you click to become her friend.

Facebook profile setting for small business marketingThe person in this profile has done everything possible to assure that I will not be her friend. She has a fake picture and locked down her information so that I have to be her friend BEFORE I can see anything about her. In the beginning when everyone wanted more friends, this might have worked but now she is facing a LONG climb to get a decent number of friends.

Think about it, would you want to start a friendship with a real human who did not tell you anything about themselves? I wouldn’t. I like to know a little before I will even consider hitting that “become my friend” button.

How SHOULD You Set Your Privacy Settings For Small Business?

Again, if you are using the Facebook for personal use these settings may not be for you, BUT if you are going to be using it for business, these are the suggestions that I am making and how I have my account set up!

  • Posts by me – EVERYONE (I want them to be able to see how cool I am without having to be my friend!)
  • Family – EVERYONE
  • Relationships – EVERYONE
  • Interested in and looking for – EVERYONE (Now all I have is networking, BUT if you are wanting to keep your dating preferences under wraps you might want to limit this one)
  • Bio and favorite quotations – EVERYONE (this one is vital to showing you are a well rounded human)
  • Website – EVERYONE (OF COURSE! kinda the point)
  • Religious and political views – FRIENDS ONLY (I don’t have anything listed here BUT no sense alienating someone before I even get a shot!)
  • Birthday – EVERYONE
  • Places I check in to – FRIENDS ONLY
  • Include me in “People Here Now” after I check in – I check YES, this is personal preference
  • Edit album privacy for existing photos. – See comments below
  • Photos and videos I’m tagged in – FRIENDS OF FRIENDS (I thought about making this everyone but it is dependant on someone else so this is okay for now)
  • Can comment on posts – EVERYONE (I monitor my account pretty well and delete any spam so I am good with this AND might make some new friends I wouldn’t have “met” otherwise)
  • Friends can post on my Wall – EVERYONE (only do this if you check often so you don’t get a wall of spam)
  • Can see Wall posts by friends – EVERYONE
  • Friends can check me in to Places – DISABLED (I don’t need my friends to do this for me)
  • Mobile phone – FRIENDS ONLY (please DO NOT limit this, if a prospective client wants to call, don’t make them jump through hoops to find your number!)
  • Other phone – FRIENDS ONLY
  • Address – FRIENDS OF FRIENDS (This ONLY shows your city, state and zip, NOT your street address. I WOULD allow access to this!)
  • IM screen name – FRIENDS ONLY
  • Email Address – FRIENDS ONLY

When you are changing these settings so that only your friends can see things, PLEASE remember that you should assume that NOTHING you do on Facebook is truly private. I NEVER send anything by Facebook email that I would be sorry to see posted on my wall. I NEVER post a picture and think that only a few people will see it if I make my privacy settings right. If I want to talk privately with a client or a friend I call or email them outside of Facebook!

Well there you have it, Small Business Marketing and Facebook Privacy Settings. Hope that helps setting up your account to be able to get the most friends, the easiest way possible!

PS – If you would like to find out how to have US handle these for you, give us a call at (727) 505-5384 to find out more about our Social Media Marketing Services!

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Social Media Marketing Services – Facebook and BranchOut

Facebook app developers have something new out everyday and since we do social media marketing services, we get the heads up early! Today’s latest and greatest is BranchOut, which seems to be an app that makes Facebook more like LinkedIn.

Social Media Marketing Services BranchoutIf you have spent any time over here, you know that I am not a super-fan of LinkedIn for most small business owners because of its focus on job seekers and large corporate interactions. As this is a small business and entrepreneur blog, many of our readers are not positioned to take advantage of most of what LinkedIn offers so why would l want to add an app to Facebook which would make it more LinkedIn-y.

Well, I will tell you what I told my clients, if it DOES take off, I want them to be positioned so that they are the ones being asked to connect rather than having to go out and connect! Check the link if you would like to read a bit more about my Social Networking First Responder Advantage.

Facebook BranchOut Connection

For those of you who use Facebook for small business marketing rather than to play games, Apps are little programs developed by outside interests that run inside of the Facebook framework. This is one of those apps and the developers have done a really nice job of making it easy to set up and use.

Setting Up BranchOut For Facebook

  • Simply log into your Facebook account then put http://apps.facebook.com/branchout/ in your address bar OR search for BranchOut in your Facebook search bar
  • BranchOut will ask you to allow it to access your Facebook information, friends, etc., if you want to use this app you MUST let it – I have not found it to be spammy or to have sent any horrific messages to all my friends, just the ones that I suggested they contact.
  • Next it will ask you to connect to your LinkedIn account – if you have your LinkedIn account set up well, go ahead and say YES! It makes it much easier to grow your network and you don’t have to fill out a whole bunch of fields. Note that it will overwrite anything you previously entered into BranchOut.
  • It will ask you to connect with people – doing this puts a message on their wall so I used mine judiciously BUT remember that DO want to give your friends the first responder advantage too so it is not a bad thing!

That is it – it takes me about 5 minutes to set up a BranchOut account for our social media services clients so time is not a huge factor here!

Things I like about BranchOut for Facebook

  • It is SUPER easy to set up
  • It might take off and then I am going to like it even more
  • It didn’t spam my entire list of friends
  • It shows that I have over 100,000 connections which is a good marketing number to use in advertising
  • It shows my network and how many connections they have – this is good as I can then see how many more I need to get to beat the next guy up!

Things I do not like about BranchOut for Facebook

  • It has SUPER cheesy “awards” it gives for levels of connections. Now I am not a recognition person so getting a pat on the head never makes me excited BUT I know some people like this as evidenced by the popularity of the FourSquares and GoWallas of the world.
  • It is not super clear what they consider a “connect” – do I have to instigate it to get credit or is it about which of my friends are on there in general?
  • I stand by assessment that LinkedIn is more for job seekers and corporate types, BUT if they can add a more small business function I am on board – time will tell!

My esteemed recommendation to small biz owners is to take the 5 minutes to set it up, ask a couple of friends to connect and then see how it goes!

Find out more about our social media marketing services!

New Facebook Profile For Marketing

The new Facebook profile seems to have a much better application for marketing than the old one did! Some vital demographic data is front and center now – YAY!

New Facebook Profile for MarketingWhen FB launched the new Facebook Profile yesterday, I was initially horrified (like everyone else) at the changes. I had pictures up there, sigh, I hate pictures. It was cluttery and I found it hard to see what people are posting to see if I will like them. Then I noticed some good things and realized that the changes were GREAT for marketing so I am solidly on the new profile bandwagon.

Things To Do Marketing-Wise On Your New Facebook Profile

Okay, this is going to mean looking at your profile information, AGAIN, but take a peek at what you are showing when someone visits you for the first time and decides whether to friend you. Is you message something that will make them stand up and take notice, OR is it blah to the point of being a detriment.

Following New Friends

Okay, this was where Facebook won my heart. Instead of having to dig down into someone’s profile to see if I want to “friend” them, I can see exactly who they are and if they are someone that would be a good fit for me. I tend to focus on Realtors around the country, MLM marketers, small business owners and people who live in Denver or Tampa Bay. These are all potential clients for me and I have set up lists to cover these categories. NOW, I do not spam these people on my facebook profile BUT I do ask them to be a fan of Marketing Artfully’s Facebook Page so I want to make sure they are someone who fits the customer demographics that I have set for my company.

Additionally, I think that this will hurt the spammers who are making ghost accounts on Facebook. We had a client who paid good money for more “Likes” and got a whole bunch of non-humans from the wrong part of the country. Having this new profile will make a HUGE difference in this respect. ALSO, it is vital that you set your privacy setting to show EVERYONE EVERYTHING. Think about it, when someone asks to friend you and it says their information is blocked, don’t you wonder if they are real. If you are using Facebook for marketing, know that you need to keep your information available to potential clients!!

Additional Resources

If you want to know HOW to do things instead of what to do, here are some helpful links on some of the new facebook profile tasks!

  • Great description about how to get the New Facebook Profile from PC Magazine
  • The “official” Facebook Launch Page
  • Here is a really fun post about messing with your facebook profile pictures (I am not using it for fun BUT this could be effective for some companies)

We are going to have some additional posts over at the DIY Marketing for Small Business Membership Site later today if you are signed up!

Small Business Marketing and Social Media Marketing Services

Check Out Our Social Media Marketing Services

Looking to outsource your social media marketing services to an affordable and reputable Marketing company with over 15 years of online experience? We have worked with hundreds of small business owners like you to make the most out of your website, social media and SEO marketing dollars.

Some of the marketing areas that we cover include:

Perfect Client Targeting – If you don’t know EXACTLY who you are marketing to, you can’t get the results you want! The process starts with a comprehensive marketing drilldown meeting to make sure we are on the same page as you are, ensuring that our efforts match your intended outcomes.

Social Sites Setup (Branding) – the next step is to build out your internet empire, including branding and graphic design. It is vital that your social sites maintain a consistent brand image and message across the various channels.

SEO – Search engine optimization is not just for websites anymore. We research the keywords that are most important to your company and make sure to incorporate them into all we do, including profile setup and posting.

Content Curation – All content shared by you does not have to be produced by you. We have a research team that will find and schedule relevant content from approved sources that we can include in your marketing and posting mix.

Content Creation – That said, content is a cornerstone of social media. We create blog posts, graphic images and other branded content that can be used on blogs, Pinterest, Facebook and other social media outlets.

Social Media Posting – Consistency is key with social media marketing. Our “elves” post for you on either a daily or weekly basis, ensuring that when a prospect or customer checks out your social media site they are current and relevant.

Social Media Monitoring – All the social media sites encourage communication, both publicly and behind the scenes through messaging. We will monitor those communications and respond either with “stock” answers you supply or by notifying you of the messages and facilitating the return communications.

Want to find out more about our social media marketing services? Either request a quote (a real live person will get back with you!) or check out our Social Media Marketing for Small Business email course which will walk you through how social works and how small business is using it effectively today.Thank you for checking out our small business marketing services!

If you have any quick questions about our services, please give us a call today…(727) 415-9165

Check Out Our Social Media Marketing Services

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Do Not Get Taken By Social Media Snake Oil

It is easy to get taken by social media snake oil. We all want to find the “easy button” for getting our Facebook and Twitter done and out the door, but sadly I have found that most things I or my clients try tends to be little more than pouring money down the drain.

Social Media Snake OilSo what IS social media snake oil? It is the promise that if you add your name to a list you will get 1,000 followers or pay $49.95 you will get more business page fans. It is the promise that setting up a million accounts will get you a million customers.

I have the unhappy prospect of telling you that there is no real easy solution to social media success. The best things that I have found to work are just plain boring and involve working every day towards a focused goal. Sorry to be the one to have to tell you this!

Some of the recent Social Media Scams that we have seen:

  • Pay just $49.95 and we will get you 500 Facebook Business Page Followers in two weeks – We had a client who decided that slow and steady was not so fulfilling and he decided to try this out and see if he could get a “jump start” on his “likes” by buying them. Well, he has about 100 new people over the two week period so they SURELY didn’t hit the mark they promised. AND when we look at who they are, every one of them is a made up person. There is no information at all about them except for a stock photography picture and their sex. I am VERY sad that this one didn’t work as I would have liked to have more people on my business page too!
  • Set up 1,000 Facebook Accounts with the push of a button – You may see where this one is going, I am sure that the people selling the “get 500 fans” service have done something like this. From a small business point of view there is ABSOLUTELY no benefit to you to have 1,000 dummy Facebook accounts. You cannot possibly post on them and people are not fooled by seeing these hooked to your business.
  • Join this list and get 10,000 Twitter Followers in a week – Twitter has very strict rules about the ratios you must maintain to increase your followers. The chances that you could get 10,000 followers in a week are slim. Additionally, what they typically do is put you on a list that then gets sent out to other schmucks who are supposed to send it out to….well you get the picture. Ponzi schemes only work for the people at the top, never the people who buy them.
  • Join this list and get 10,000 Twitter Followers in a week PART 2 – Another way that you get scammed by Twitter meanies is that they get you followers by autoposting to your account frequently. Anyone who has been on Twitter lately has seen the “I got 10,000 Twitter Followers by using… I was horrified when I signed up for one of these and they started spamming my account. We always check out these things BEFORE we sign up our clients for them!!!!
  • Find out who has been searching for you on Facebook Apps - There are A LOT of apps on Facebook that do nothing more than propagate themselves and some are even spreading viruses. Be very careful about using an app that requires you to sign up or give authorization before seeing what you are doing. I have seen numerous friends fall for this one recently and then feel bad because they are spamming their Facebook friends.

In general you can look at online hype with the same jaundiced eye you would use if someone walked up to you in the street and said they could get you 1,000 business cards to put in your rolodex. Do you think that there would be any benefit to having those cards? Especially if you had to pay for them!

From our work with our accounts and client accounts, the best way to use social media for business is to be honest and thoughtful, doing things the way that the terms of service require and staying inside the lines. By doing this we are growing our client accounts daily and have had great success from ALL sorts of places.

How To Find Stuff To Post On Social Media

Finding “stuff” to post on social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can seem like an overwhelming task. Here is a GREAT way to find things that you can use to add interesting items to your social media properties.

Finding Stuff To Post On Social MediaWe have lots of clients and I can tell you that finding interesting items to post on their Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can sometimes seem overwhelming. Mostly we do a search on Google for the industry that they are in, find some relevant news item and then post it, starting from scratch everyday.

Well my favorite computer pal, Twitter, has come to my rescue! I have been telling my social media classes for the last 6 months that Twitter is gold for getting your content picked up and distributed on services like FlipBoard for the iPad and now my new darling paper.li. Paper.li will allow you to set up a newspaper that lists the best posts posts from the day on three different criteria:

  • A twitter user and all his or her followers – this one is not great for me because I have thousands of followers and they may not be in the correct categories to help me develop my marketing content.
  • A specific twitter hashtag – for example the marketing hashtag looks like this #marketing – I am not sure that this will get you the most content as we often do not use a hashtag when posting blog posts or articles. You could wind up with a lot of sales and affiliate links.
  • A specific twitter list – okay, here is the MONEY idea! Just make a list of the best twitter-ers in the marketplace talking about your subject and then every day the paper.li people will aggregate the posts from twitter on that subject and spit you out a newspaper that you can use for content ideas!

Here is my “newspaper” on Marketing, The Marketing Junkies Daily if you would like to see how this works!

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If you would like to find out more about using hashtags and how to set up your newspaper and incorporate it into your social media empire, I recommend getting our DIY Social Media Marketing Videos! They are only $47 for a lifetime membership!

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Facebook Groups, Friend Lists and Business Pages

Facebook Groups, Friend Lists and Business Pages are hot questions for small business owners in my inbox right now. Since Facebook launched Groups Version 2.0 last week my peeps have all wanted to know what the difference are between the three.

Facebook Groups Business Pages ListsHere is a screen capture of your groups, you find them on the left hand side under your name (if they are not there, click the “see more” to find them). Once there you can see your groups, your friends groups and the groups other people have invited you to.

From reading about where why FB may have implemented these new groups, I get the impression that the 5% of people using the Friend Lists was not enough of a adoption rate for the gang over at Facebook so they decided to make it easier for normal humans to categorize people. Also, the privacy settings that could accomplish this same thing are REALLY onerous to use. In a bit I will break down what seems to be the best uses of the different types of Facebook applications for business.

Making A New Facebook Group

New Facebook GroupsTo add a Facebook Group go to www.Facebook.com/Groups (while you are logged in) and then click “create group”. Once there you get a dropdown with the choices of Open, Closed or Secret. I cannot begin to tell you how much I do not believe ANYTHING on Facebook is ultimately secret so I highly recommend you do not pick secret. To add people, click in the big white box and start typing their name. Once you have added people, the normal Facebook box comes up and you have the option to post a link, photo, video, event or document. You can also add a picture to your group or chat with them all at the same time through the group interface.

Added you to a facebook groupAdding a message to my group (which I set as open) did not post that message on MY profile but my buddy Deb Ward DID get this message the next time she logged in, “Tara Jacbosen added you to a group”. This is one of the big grouchy things that I have heard A LOT online, ANYONE who is your “friend” can add you to a group – it is more of an opt out than an opt in kind of gig.

Here is a Facebook Groups overview video from the FB gang.

Facebook Groups, Friend Lists and Business Pages

Because my readership is comprised of small business owners, if you are a mega business and have tens of thousands of “fans” or “likes” on your business page, this is not the post for you, nothing to see here, move along. If you are a small business person, I will reiterate what I tell everyone – FRIENDS are the lifeblood of Facebook. Friends are necessary for the new groups AND for making lists of people. I have about 3,000 friends and have added them this pretty aggressively so worrying that you will run out friends fast is an unwarranted fear for most small business owners.

If you watched the FB video, you will see that you can also make an email address to contact all the members of your group offline. I STRONGLY recommend that you use your email database (like Constant Contact or Ace Of Sales) for this instead of Facebook.

Uses for Facebook Groups

Here are some suggestions that I have heard for using groups. As my primary use for FB is business related, most of them have no real draw for me, BUT they could be useful for you!

  • Contact your family – if you are hesitant to post pictures of your children that everyone on your friends list has access to, this may be a GREAT way to avoid unwanted viewing of your family.
  • MLMers or businesses with a sales team – you may want to share certain things with your team only. I have to say for this function I use GoToMeeting ($50 a month) or Webex (Free) instead as I can do real time screen captures and also save them for future viewing.
  • Have a “special” group that you send messages to – I made a marketing peeps group and invited people who were REALLY interested in marketing. Within an hour I had someone request to join the group!
  • Here is an article from Duct Tape Marketing with some more good uses!

Uses for Facebook Business Pages

As far as I can tell, Facebook business pages are still the only area that FB has designated a “sell” zone. It violates the terms of service to sell aggressively on your profile and I can’t imagine that people on your groups are going to love getting daily sales message emails either. We are seeing great results from our clients who have gotten a custom Facebook page and recommend this for any small business owner.

  • Online Events – We always make our events attached to the business pages. For online events like webinars and teleseminars, you can notify the people who like your page AND your friends.
  • In Person Events – We also add our events to the business page as we generally charge for admission. This way I do not even put a toe over the line to violate those terms of service.
  • Videos – We have handy dandy videos on the pages that help people AND make them more likely to “like” our page.
  • Notes – Notes are a BRILLIANT way to get some SEO love from Google – they index fast and stay up about a month or so before dropping down in the rankings.
  • Paid Advertising – It is REALLY easy to advertise with Facebooks paid advertising using your business page.

Overall, I can say that we are still going to be focusing on business pages for our clients. There is no sense in building up a great group when that functionality is so easy already in the business page.

Uses for Facebook Friend Lists

Okay, here is my pitch for why friends are so important to small business owners. I KNOW you can get THOUSANDS of likes for your business page, but have yet to see anyone but celebrities, big companies, hard-core internet marketers or silly things gain that kind of following. For business building, I find that having “just” 5,000 raving fan friends will trump having gagillions of people liking something that is inane and not at all related to generating actual sales.

  • Friend lists allow you to laser target geographic areas – there is a dropdown box at the top of the Friends page where you can select cities. Because I speak in Colorado AND Florida, I have a Tampa Friends list and a Denver Friends list. Just do a search and then add your friends who live in proximity to that list.
  • Likes on my business page are stuck there – when I do a new business page I can invite my friends by suggesting it. I have yet to find a way to cross promote my business pages to each other.
  • Events – adding an event to any of my pages allows me to “suggest to friends”!
  • New Facebook Groups – even your new groups rely on having friends to invite.

All in all, I use a business page to conduct business, I use my friend lists to laser target messages about events and sales opportunities and I am not sure that I am going to jump on the groups bandwagon just yet. If you have some great ideas about how you are using any of these Facebook features, please leave a comment and I will add it to the post with a rocking keyword linkback!

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Optimizing Your Social Media Accounts

Optimizing your social media uses many of the same principles that optimizing a website does. You need to know what keywords your are trying to rank for and then set up your social media accounts to optimize for those terms.

Optimize Your Social MediaThe goal for optimizing any of your web properties is to let the power of computers work to help people find you. For websites and blogs, you are optimizing the content so that search engines like Google can find you. For social media optimization, you want to make sure that people can find you when they are searching on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For me the major benefit of successfully optimizing my social media is that I now PULL people to ask to be my friend, fan or connection, rather than having to go out and find people myself!

Where To Start Optimizing Your Social Media

In this article I will address each of the big three (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) with the ways that you can make your accounts easier to find and index.

Facebook Optimization

  • Facebook Email – if you generally use one email for your “real” mail and another email for spam, make sure to use your real email for Facebook. Email searches is one of the ways that people can find you on Facebook.
  • In your profile fill out all the different areas (I skip Religion, Politics and Relationships) but make sure to add current city, hometown, intrests and books my clients like. These are clues that will help people find you.
  • You can do Notes on both your FB profile and business pages. These notes are indexable by Google so make sure to make in text hyperlinks to your website or blog. Visit How To Make A Hyperlink if you need help!
  • On your Facebook Business Page make sure to name it something real. Having a “fun” name is fine but having something related to your brand or industry will make you easier to search out when people are looking for a company like yours.
  • A custom Facebook business page is the best way I have found yet to pass love onto Google from FB. They are VERY affordable and if you use actual words and pictures (rather than one big pretty image) you could get another ranking on page one from Google for a key search phrase.

LinkedIn Optimization

  • On LinkedIn they helpfully allow you to add your “website” and “blog”. If you select “other” instead you can use keywords to link to your website or blog from LinkedIn instead.
  • Your current occupation is SUPER important. Instead of listing yourself as one umbrella title, make sure you list each of your job functions as a separate job. For example I should have Small Business Marketing Owner, Marketing Speaker and Social Media Marketing Expert.
  • Make sure to fill out your old jobs and put the specializations you have. A friend recently called and said her husband got a plum consultation gig because he had something like “deciduous clay” in his past jobs and they needed someone with that knowledge!
  • Again use your “real” email so people can find you easily! The pain of sorting through some junk is SO worth the pleasure of having people come to you!

Twitter Optimization

  • Make sure to put in your location – NO you cannot put two locations at once like Denver Boulder since that is not really a place. Make sure to put your city and state, just like it is on mail you get – i.e. Clearwater, FL.
  • Put a link to your website, I get some really great traffic from people checking out my Twitter profile.
  • Fill out your bio, making sure to put all kinds keyword rich, searchable terms. There are people out there looking to add your industry, hobbies and other fun facts to their twitter follow-ees. This is another great way to PULL people to you rather than having to find them one by one.

If all this optimizing your social media accounts sounds like too much work, please check out our small business marketing services page!

Using Facebook For Non Profit Fundraising

Using Facebook for Non-Profit Fundraising is a great way to get your message out to numerous people quickly. The added bonus is that Facebook, like all social media is FREE!

Facebook For Non Profit FundraisingSo WHY is Facebook so good for helping to raise money for non profit organizations? Mostly it is because the viral nature of Facebook encourages sharing your passions, both personal and business. This positions non profits in a great way to help make more money for their organization online!

Using Facebook For Non Profit Fundraising Case Study

So I was trolling around on FB today and BAM I saw where my Father-In-Law, Wally McGuire, is trying to raise money for a video about his unique brand of teaching at the Storm King Art Center. Now just let me tell you, he is an accomplished artist and teacher who has worked with Storm King for years so he has the teaching chops to be featured in a video. That is the first thing you MUST have – a REALLY good, believable cause.

Next I realized that he had accidentally done a GREAT job of posting it because he used a Facebook Note. These are visible outside of the Facebook framework and are not limited to Facebook users. Here is the note about Wallys Excellent Video Adventure!

Some things he did right:

  • He shared the note with all his friends
  • He posted it more than once
  • He put a way for people to donate by check (more about that later)

Now for what he could have done better…

Facebook For Non Profit Fundraising Tips and Tricks

Facebook Causes – Facebook has a really neat built in application called Causes which is great to use for fundraising. BUT there is no way you can set-it-and-forget-it with your cause. You MUST tend and nurture it or it will not be a huge fundraising source for your charity as show in this Washington Post article about To Nonprofits Seeking Cash, Facebook App Is Not So Green Here are some of the best articles I have found about using Facebook Causes:

Facebook Custom Business Pages – Having a business page is standard fair now, non profits who want to stand out need to step it up a notch and get noticed need to have a custom facebook business page! Here are my top reasons why this is so important:

  • With a business page, you can control all aspects of your message, AND you can invite people to be “fans” of your page
  • You can keep people engaged with updates about how your projects are going and what their money is being used for, creating an ongoing stream of donations
  • You can easily add a PayPal button to your page and people can make immediate donations. The people raising money for my father-in-law decided that they did not want to give PayPal the %5 or so cut that any credit card company takes, but we are working to get that button on there. More people will pop into PayPal than will walk downstairs, write a check, find an envelope, get a stamp and run to the post office. There are TOO many points of failure there to make me feel good!

Well there you have it – some quick down and dirty tips for using facebook for non profit fundraising! If you have any other tips, let me know in the comment section OR if you have great links to helpful info, they are welcome too!

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Facebook Classified Ads Check Out Marketplace

Facebook classified ads are as simple and hard as the rest of Facebook! We choose to use the Facebook Marketplace for our services clients to post their listings. The photo is showing Joy Phelan, Lakewood CO Bookkeeper, two ads for her services.

Facebook Classified Ads MarketplaceThe marketplace was pretty easy to set up. Simply go to the search bar at the top, type in Marketplace and add the application to your page. Once you have that set up you will instructed to set up an account on OOdle.com which is where your listings actually live. Once you have set up your listings, they will automatically share on your profile page’s “My Listings” tab.

Some drawbacks and pluses…I try and keep my business sales info on my business page. To date I have not figured out how to make my listings show up on my business page, they live on my Tara Jacobsen profile. That seems to be good and bad. Since I do not have an IN-YOUR-FACE link to my business page, I worry that people will not be able to easily find out about Marketing Artfully. The plus was the ease of setting it up and coordinating it with my Facebook business page.

There is an oodle pro service that starts at $30 per month and seems to target Realtors, Car Sales, Recruiters and Items For Sale. Not sure that my services clients will benefit from this enhanced service. For realtors and others, oodle only allows one listing to be posted at a time so this may be a good fit for you if you want to post your listings on your profile page. Using a link to your postlets still is the free way to do this!

If you are interested in detailed videos on how to do this and many other social media marketing tasks, check out our social media videos!

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Facebook Business Pages How To Have A Custom Page

Facebook Business Pages have come a long way and having a custom page is starting to be as important as having a website or blog! Custom business page design can be hard or easy depending on your level of technical ability. Here are a couple of different ways to make a custom page from easy to hard!

Facebook Custom Business Page DesignThere are all kinds of little bits and pieces of a custom facebook page that add up to a great look and feel.

To start, let’s talk about why a custom facebook page is so important. As you know, facebook is closed system that is not indexed by Google (one of the reason I like Twitter so much, but that is for another post). Two places on Facebook ARE indexed by Google though, custom landing pages made using the FBML application and Notes. Notes are a great way to make a quicky, keyword rich post that will rank well for a little while. Custom pages have the ability to contain much more information and perform multiple functions.

Facebook Business Page PictureFacebook Business Page Picture

We are going to start by looking at a Facebook Business Page Picture. There do not seem to be any limits on how big these can be and you can use a thumbnail picker to decide which bits represent your page when you are posting or commenting. Generally we make clients pictures 180 pixels wide by 500 pixels tall. This leaves plenty of room to put a picture, logo, contact information and even a stock photo if we like.

As with everything else about your page, it is super important to have clear branding and to make sure that there is cohesive feel between your picture and your other websites and offline materials. This is a SUPER easy way to make your page look more important, even if you never touch a bit of FBML code.

Facebook Business Page JPG ImageFacebook Custom Page Using A JPG

The next easiest way to make a Facebook custom page is to create one image that you can use as a the entire page. You will need to access the FBML application within Facebook and then write a little bit of code to show the picture. If you do not know how to use FTP to upload a picture, you can always store it on Flickr.

The easiest way to make a picture like this is to use a software like Photoshop or Illustrator, BUT if you do not have access to those, I have it on good authority you can use something like PowerPoint and then just Export it as a .jpg file. This picture should be no wider than 520 pixels and can pretty much be as long as you like. Remember that your load time will be affected by how big the file is so make sure to “save for web” which will make it 72dpi (dots per inch).

The drawback to using a picture instead of FBML code is that there is not much for Google to index, which leads me to…

Successful Components of a Facebook Business PageFacebook Custom HTML Pages

This is my favorite type of custom Facebook pages and is the one that we use for clients and the Marketing Artfully page. There are a number of great parts to it including:

  • A message to “like” the page at the very top which encourages participation
  • Actual navigation links which we use to send people to our “real” website
  • Links to our social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
  • A newsletter signup form so that people can be added to our database
  • LOTS of great text for Google to index

Now building one of these pages is not for the faint at heart. There is CSS, FBML and HTML involved which make it a little difficult for the average bear (I had my in-house programmer make this one!) I would recommend buying one of the templates out there or else having a web design company handle it for you (hint hint). If you do have a bit of HTML knowledge and want to do it yourself, do a Google search for free business page templates. I found a couple out there that were okay BUT they didn’t have all the bells and whistles I wanted for Marketing Artfully or our peeps.

Well there you have it. Easy-peasy to hard core programming. I am not a huge jump on the bandwagon kind of gal BUT I can see these pages serving us for at least a year so decided to bite the bullet and get them going! If you would like to see the examples in action, click on the pictures. If you would like to see a couple more check out How To Buy USA Real Estate and Magical Bookkeeping Solutions!

If that seems like too much WORK! Have Marketing Artfully create your custom Facebook Business Page Design!

Burning Your List – Mobile, Email, Twitter or Facebook

Burning your list means that you oversaturate your message to a group of people. I am here to tell you that a list of people who have said you can contact them on a regular basis is a beautiful thing to waste.

burning your list mobile email social mediaYears ago we all had a rolodex of people we could call or send a holiday card to. Today we have MANY different types of lists, phone numbers, email, Facebook, Twitter, even people who follow us on Digg or other bookmarking sites. When you have a list, your responsibility is to treat it with respect.

Mobile List Burning

When I saw that the internet marketers were pushing mobile marketing I thought, OH NO, here we go again! I worked in the telemarketing industry in the early 1990′s and saw what constant phone calls where doing to people who were eating dinner or getting their family ready to head out the door. Marketers could buy a list of phone numbers and incessantly call until legislation stopped that practice.

Now mobile marketers are using my cell phone to call, text, send push notifications and perform other horrific things that I did not specifically say they could. For example, Gowalla asked me when I downloaded a geotargeting app if I would accept push notifications AND that I could turn them off in the settings. What they did not tell me what there is no GLOBAL turn off, I have to go into each and every person and turn it off manually. I feel lied to and have decided to stop using the service.

Now my stopping using Gowalla is not going to be their death knell BUT I do teach many classes on marketing and I will be promoting FourSquare instead. A blip on the radar, but you get enough blips and you are out of business!

Email List Burning

When you set up your “real” email list, you should have explicit permission to send them out through asking the person when you take their card or having a double opt in feature on your list. So what about all these “new” list building techniques where you have multiple lists and feel that you have more permission to spam some of them than others (I KNOW – you got them through a free offer but that DOES NOT give you permission to send them content every day for the rest of their lives).

I LOVE the internet marketers. These are the guys and gals who are making things happen and who portend new online marketing trends. Those of you who are internet marketers email lists are probably aware of their “launches” where they send out a dozen emails and their friends all send you a dozen of the same emails. Well these marketers have hit a wall called “launch fatigue“. Their list members have basically said that they are not going to keep buying $1,000 products every week, no matter how many emails they get about it.

On a smaller level small business owners and entrepreneurs can burn their own lists. By changing the frequency of your mailings from 1 per day to 3 per week to 1 per month back to 1 a day, you will confuse your readers. They will not know what to expect and will become disenchanted with your marketing. Keep it consistent and try to avoid sending totally self serving messages more than a couple times a year.

Social Media List Burning

Your friends and followers are on lists too! Now these lists are the property of Twitter and Facebook BUT you have access to talk with these people on a regular basis. The worst thing you can do to these lists is burn them out with a repetitive marketing message.

On Twitter you can be more marketing-y since no one sits there and reads all of your posts BUT if your feed is nothing but affiliate links or sales messages, you will have to spend lots of time getting new followers to replace the ones that drop off. If nothing else, make sure to “feed” your feed with lots of great content from blogs to offset your marketing messages.

On Facebook I try and make sure that my profile is mostly real info about me – NOW know that I don’t do much but marketing so there is a lot of talk about that but selling is done on my business pages. Occasionally I will post an event or something else on my profile but for the most part it is a sell free zone. As this is in line with Facebook’s terms of service I SHOULD be okay but have to tell you, you do not own this list and cannot export it so be careful to stay on Facebooks good side!!!

SOCIAL MEDIA TIP!

Try and get your Facebook and Twitter peeps into your email list! If you ever lose your account you don’t want to lose touch with those people!!!!

Social Media – Facebook Changes Business Pages

Social media marketing is a moving target. Just when you get something done, they change the rules. This time Facebook has changed the size of the area you have to use on your custom business pages!

Social Media Marketing Facebook Changes Fan PagesThis update is not news to those of us who follow this kind of thing. Facebook has been talking about this since the spring and now it is officially going to launch as of August 23.

By using an HTML-like website code, FBML (Facebook Markup Language), you can make a website-like page that you can direct new viewers to on the first visit to your business page (like the Marketing Artfully page to the left). After they “Like” your page they see the Wall instead of your custom page. You set this page by going to “edit page” and then selecting your custom page tab.

Social Media Marketing Changes Business PageHaving a custom landing page allows you put links on your Welcome Page, or to have a great graphic looking page that drives people right to your main website hub like Largo Home Staging Pro, Kelly McFrederick’s landing page. If you are already her Fan, check out the “Welcome!” tab.

Here is the official word from Facebook, “To make your Page easier to browse, we’re simplifying a couple things: 1. Boxes are going away (including the Boxes tab); 2. All custom tabs will be narrower (520 pixels). Read full announcement from Facebook.

Facebook Marketing Making Lists

Facebook marketing becomes MUCH easier for small business owners when you have lists of your friends segregated. These are all practical working suggestions for what to do on Facebook!

Facebook Marketing Making ListsSuper basic Facebook Friend Management Overview

Once you have added your friends to Facebook, getting them sorted out can be an overwhelming task. I can tell you that it takes about 2 hours when you have a couple of thousand as I did last night. To get started, log into Facebook and on the top right hand side select account and then “edit friends”. There you can see your current lists of Friends, which ones you have recently added, who in what list and more general information.

How to make lists of Facebook friends and sort them the easy way

This to me is one of the most powerful pieces of having Facebook friend lists. At the top you will click on “create new list”. Then you will want to add people. You will only have to do this one time for your current friends, then after that you will be able to add new friends to the lists a few at a time.

To find people by city or job, select browse and then use the second dropdown to narrow them down.

Some types of friend lists you might use are:

  • City (plus) friends – I have Tampa Friends and Denver Friends
  • Job type – I work with small business owners, MLM (multi-level marketers) and Realtors…I have a list for each of these types of business owners
  • Groups and Associations – if you belong to a leads group, networking group or even your alumni association, you might want to have them in separate list
  • Mega Networkers – I have a super special list of mega-networkers who have big networks like I do…occasionally I send things out to them to get out their groups

Do not make too many or they will be hard to maintain.

How and why to make an everyone list on Facebook

The most counter-intuitive thing I heard was to make an “everyone” list. It seems like you ALREADY have everyone on a big list BUT it is neat to have so that you can suggest pages or invite people to events all at one time with the “select all” feature.

How to invite people to your Facebook Event

Once you have your lists, inviting people to your events is easy-peasy! If it is a local event just pick your “City Friends” list, if it is a national event you can use your everyone gang.

If you have extra questions about how to any of these things, we have a GREAT social media training videos for just $47 lifetime membership!

This post is a work in progress, please feel free to add your suggestions to the comments.

Local Marketing Facebook and Yelp and Gowalla

Local marketing on sites like Facebook, Yelp and Gowalla took a huge leap forward today. More practical applications for small business owners seem to be on the horizon!

Local Marketing Facebook Gowalla Foursquare YelpLocal marketing is really coming into its own with sites like Yelp.com, Foursquare.com and Gowalla.com for local small businesses. I have been telling everyone I meet with to get on there and the first question I get is “why”. Sigh. Why not guys? If it takes off, you are out ahead of the curve, if it does not, you are out 5 minutes of your time.

Facebook also announced their somewhat local marketing play where you can “like” something on the local site yelp.com and it will be added to your profile, allowing marketers to target you for advertisements on the Facebook PPC network. Ed Dale wrote a passionate and interesting post about the “facebook bombshell” this over on his blog. Also make sure to check out Facebook’s Connect with your friends on your favorite websites.

Another neat thing I saw was how gowalla and the New Jersey Nets partnered to provide free seats to a game, attempting to increase fan awareness, concession sales and sports apparel sales at the venue. The super neat thing is that they did not use any traditional media like radio, tv or banner ads to drive the campaign, just social media. One of the reasons I am so interested in gowalla specificially is that Gary Vaynerchuk of Vayner Media and bestselling author of Crush It, is a Gowalla investor and advisor. This may give these guys an edge BUT don’t miss out on hitting all the other ones too!!!

These are big things that you should be aware of marketing wise whether you are a local company or even self employed, a work from homer, realtor or loan officer. I am getting my clients set up for these services to test the waters on how to maximize their presence creatively and will have tutorials over on the membership site in the DIY small business marketing areas later this month so keep your eyes out for them!

Social Media Marketing Do Not Be THAT GUY

Social media marketing may be free BUT it takes up all your time. To combat that I see people doing things that are spammy and which do not compliment their business model like this…

Social Media MarketingVince is probably a great guy and he is billing himself as a “Sincere Online Marketer” BUT he is not considering his audience and how things are perceived on the other end of the interwebs! He did things when it was convenient for him all at one time NOT when it would have the highest impact or results.

He obviously had the time to sit down and ask a bunch of people to join the pages he is promoting without considering that it would show up as a series of ever increasing spam. Sooooo what is Vince to do?

  • He could use some of the free online scheduling tools like hootsuite.com or socialoomph.com to schedule his posts (but that would not have helped in this case)
  • He could have segmented his friends into lists (anytime someone mentioned dogs he could have added them to his doggie people list)
  • He could have scheduled time to do this every morning, sending one a day for 5 days (now you may say that would have limited the amount he could do – YES! I can guarantee you if Vince sends me 5 of these EVERY day I will just unfriend him, no harm no foul BUT he loses the chance to connect with me and the network of people I have AND I am categorically refusing to Fan any of the pages he sent today!)

Another thing I see small business owners do is mix their message! They have a huge twitter following so they decide to sell affiliate products to that list, not considering who the audience is!!! Taradactyl on twitter is actually ME, Tara Jacobsen so I have mostly marketing but some doggie stuff, charities I support and some affiliate links that co-incide with my audience. When I want to talk about lampshades and cool rusty car parts I do that over on WestDecorating where the audience is interested, even though it is a small group of people!!!

So make sure you are not being “that guy”. Take the time to consider your audience and schedule your “stuff” so that there is the highest most targeted impact!

If you would like to find out how we can take all this Social Media Marketing off of your hands visit our Small Business Marketing Services page today!

What is the difference between social media marketing and social networking

Social Media Marketing and Social Networking ARE different and how you approach them are going to determine your success or failure.

social media social marketingWhen I started talking about the new marketing tools like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn a while ago, everyone was calling it Social Networking. Just recently I have noticed a shift to Social Media and could not understand the change. After much research into semantics, I think I have the answer, at least enough for me to sleep at night!

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is deliberately promoting a product or service that your company or business sells. It is a sales platform much like using the yellow pages or having an ecommerce website.

Some of the ways to use social media marketing:

  • Twitter – having keyword targeted twitter accounts which are geared towards gaining followers who are interested in your product or service and may want to buy from you.
  • Facebook Fan Pages – having a company focused page that is somewhat salesy, while still providing great information and value to your Fans.
  • You Tube Videos – designed to “feed” your blog or website with targeted content that could lead to a sale.

This is definitely my area! While I am not an ABC kind of gal (always be closing), I am definitely focused on my business and driving traffic to my web properties and sales.

Social Networking

Social networking is more like “real world” networking. You gather a group of people with like interests and talk among yourselves for the good of the common whole. Sales and marketing are generally done offline or via private message and are not telegraphed as your goal for connecting.

Some of the ways to use social networking:

  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn is ALL about social networking rather than social media! It is about making connections with people and getting opportunities by asking a friend of a friend to introduce you to someone of influence.
  • Twitter Personal – This kind of twitter account is more friendly and tells more about you as a person, sort of chronicling your daily life and interests. Not to say that you can never sell on this kind of account BUT you are going to be WAY less salesy.
  • Facebook Profile – Facebook says that there is one human, one profile. You should not have multiple profiles for yourself as I can assure people will inevitably find the wrong one to friend…:) Your profile is a way for people to talk with you about what you are doing. You can still talk about your work BUT hard-core sales info will fall flat here. Make sure to put some personality in there!

While I like Facebook and talk with my friends, sharing pictures and a bit about my life, Social Networking is SO not for me. I think this is why LinkedIn seems so difficult for me since I AM interested in people’s companies and what they are doing work wise and the setup is to slide into that sideways rather than asking outright.

So what is your approach? Make sure to leave a comment about how you are using Social Media and Social Networking WITH links to your pages or profile…:)

Marketing Artfully Fan Page – http://facebook.com/marketingartfully
Taradactyl on Twitter – http://twitter.com/taradactyl

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10 Reasons To Use Social Media For Small Business Marketing

Here are my Top 10 reasons to use social media specifically for your small business marketing efforts. Small business owners and entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to take advantage of social media when it is just becoming mainstream.

Happy Social Media MarketingWhy should I use social media like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for my small business is ABSOLUTELY the question that I get the most! Many small business owners feel that social media is a big time waster that does not have a great way of tracking results. They also think social media is a fad that will fade out over time.

For those of you who ARE using social media, this list might help you to move it up on your lead generating to-dos. For those of you who are considering using it (and if you have read this far you are at least CONSIDERING it), this may help tip you over to giving it a try!

Small Business Marketing and Social Media

  1. Social media is on google – Ranking well on google is the goal for many small business websites. Your page rank and placement is vital and talk for another day BUT you do not have the power that sites like Twitter and Facebook have. They rank well all by themselves so hooking yourself to them can only help increase your website traffic on your main site.
  2. You can be the top 10 results for your business – When someone does a search for your business or business name, it would be nice if you controlled the message. If you have done something as simple as fill out the profiles on social media sites, you will come up as separate results. There will be a Facebook result, a Twitter result, a LinkedIn result…well you ge the picture!
  3. It is free – I am not sure that any of us have gotten used to this. All you have to do is trade time for marketing. Dang. If you told me 10 years ago that I could have as much free small business marketing as I wanted FOR FREE I would have laughed in your face. Websites cost in the tens of thousands, yellow pages were exorbitant and print advertising was the only other option for local marketing.
  4. It is easy – There is a low barrier to entry for small business owners who may not be technology geniuses – if grandmas can learn to use Facebook, surely with a little help you can too! I work with lots of small business owners who are doing it themselves on the social networking front and succeeding. If you would like to learn how please check out my social media videos. If you would like to skip learning all about social media for your small business and get help at a VERY affordable cost, I recommend Stacy Hansen at Personalized Marketing and Amber Montel at Your Marketing Voice.
  5. You can schedule your social media – this is a biggie for me! I take some time each week to schedule tweets and postings on my Facebook pages. Because I am doing this all at once, I am not distracted by the shiney things I see over on those sites and can more properly manage my time!
  6. You can use it to drive traffic to your website or blog – I touched on this earlier but this is a REAL BIGGIE! Each and every communication you do on social media can be used to send traffic back to your website or blog. With a structured plan in place, you can make sure that all of your efforts are geared to capturing email addresses or selling your products or getting new readers.
  7. You CAN measure it – Back in the day when we were doing print or mailings, it was harder to measure what the results were for the money you spent. Yes, you could set up a separate phone line to answer calls but did you REALLY track that? With social media efforts, you can see exactly how many of your website hits came from Twitter, you can check and see if Facebook sends more than LinkedIn and MEASURE your results!
  8. You can reach people who you would never have access to – I talk to some REALLY neat people who would have been too far up the foodchain before for me to have access to before like best selling authors and marketing geniuses. Instead of having to figure out how to “get around the gatekeeper”, you can “friend” or “fan” that person and most times they will answer you. With LinkedIn you can see EXACTLY how many degrees of separation there are and ask your business colleagues to “introduce you” to that hot prospect.
  9. The law of large numbers – I have about 2,000 people in Facebook who I am connected to, and about 6,000 each on Twitter and LinkedIn. That is almost 15,000 people who have raised their hand and said that they are at least a little interested in what I have to say. If I tried I could probably have a whole lot more. Those are crazy numbers of free marketing prospects to talk with every day. I also have about 100 people who get this blog every time I post. That is really neat that they are interested enough in what I have to say that they will give up time to read it!
  10. You will still have an early adopter advantage – I talked about this before in another post (Social Networking First Responder Advantage) but it bears repeating. If you get in early (and we are still early here), you can stake out your place on the Social Networks and gain early adopter status!

BONUS – This is not really a reason, just something to think about. Big companies have morons working for them. They do crazy stupid things like the mean guy at Nestle who got into a “pissing contest” with someone who was visiting the Nestle Fan Page, probably based on a mandate that he got from “corporate”. Nestle stock prices dropped and a worldwide boycott could ensue over some really stupid comments by an employee with too few brains and too much power.

Because most small business owners are closer to the message, this will not happen to your company. You will probably sit down with someone who will be monitoring your social media and say, “we LOVE our customers, make them happy”. When someone blesses you by talking about your product or service, jump in there and talk back to them. Every communication with a human is a possible win for your small business so wade on in and give it a try!

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Social Media Marketing Is Facebook Beating Google

Social media marketing and especially Facebook is taking over Google for driving traffic to my website. More traffic is great but social media marketing success is less predictable. So is Facebook beating Google on my site.

Social Media MarketingI attended a workshop a couple of YEARS ago where the speaker said that Facebook would take over Google as the search engine of choice for most people. I do not think that Twitter was even on the radar at that point yet. According to Facebook, they have more than 400 million active users today.

As a search engine, Facebook is a very subjective, easy to use tool. I have to say that when I want a good local place to eat lunch I Facebook my Denver friends rather than searching in google.

So how does Social Media Marketing matter to your website or blog?

Over the last 30 days I have been obsessing about getting more traffic to my website. I have increased the last rolling month by over 200 visitors and my bounce rate has gone up a couple of percent because of the new traffic. So where has that traffic come from?

  • Stumble upon (642 Visitors) – now this is not your typical social media outlet BUT I have to say that there ARE people who have signed up to “follow” me on it so I am counting it! There are other sites like Digg and Technorati that also send me traffic but they are not counted in that number.
  • Google organic (302 Visitors) – that covers 254 different keywords with between one and ten hits per keyword.
  • Direct (272 Visitors) – I think that this is from people who are just typing in my url from marketing pieces or coming from a link in an email. This is the hardest to track.
  • Social Media Combined, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (107 Visitors) – I do not try on the social media front enough. Sigh. April will have to be “see how many hits I can get with social media” month! That having been said, for the same month long timeframe last year I got 13 hits from social media. Almost 10 times as many! And I think I was trying harder then…:)

So is Google irrelevant. Not to me. I LIKE keyword marketing and the challenge of ranking well for targeted keywords. I like being able to have empirical data that tells me what is working and what does not.

That having been said, I like using Hootsuite.com because I can get stats from there about clickthroughs to my tweets. I like being able to target tremendously tight niches using Facebook advertising and I like the challenge of getting ever larger numbers of fans and followers.

So, long story short (too late I know), I do not think Google is going to go away anytime soon and I am not throwing all of my eggs into the Twitter, Facebook OR Google basket. I am spreading the joy that is my website all around the internet so that when the next big thing comes along (which it will) I am positioned well with my content at the ready to capitalize on it!

If you would like to find out about how to effectively implement Social Media Marketing, please click the link!

Facebook Marketing How To Get More Referrals

Facebook marketing is all about keeping in touch with people in a very friendly kind of way. Getting and giving referrals becomes SO much easier because of the low technology barrier and connections that you have within Facebook itself.

There are three kind of business owners I find out there in regards to Facebook Marketing:

Facebook Marketing Social Media

  • The ones that think it is stupid and a time waster – If you read my blog with any consistency I doubt you are one of THOSE people but if you are, leave now!
  • The ones that do not get it but understand that it is a marketing channel and who at least take a little time to chat there, play games or even have a business page.
  • The last group is people who are dedicated to using every marketing trick in the book and who understand that any good marketing program takes time. I LOVE these people!

So my buddy and client Brian P. Forrester of Tri County Mortgage sent me an email today from Facebook. A client he had not spoken with for over 8 months said her nephew needed to be pre-qualified for a loan and could he give her a call. Digging deeper, Brian said that, “She knew me from before, but I am not sure I would have been top of mind if not for FB.”

Click the link if you would like to keep up with Clearwater Mortgage man Brian P. Forrester on Facebook…:) Make sure to “friend” him!

Now I KNOW all your clients and past customers are referring machines for you and that you tell them at the end of every phone call that “you are never too busy for their referrals” BUT, and this may come as a shock to you, most people are not great at recommending ANYONE. They do not want to seem pushy or recommend someone that is a bad choice for their friend.

When you are doing Facebook Marketing and are out there with a bunch of friends or fans, there is a good chance that people will be more willing to refer to you. You may already be friends with that person through a contact or they can suggest you as a friend so the new person can see you are a normal business person dedicated to providing great service.

Additionally, they are already using Facebook so they do not have to search for your phone number or email, they can just type in your name and then message you.

SO, if you are not on Facebook, at least check it out today. If you ARE on Facebook, find some new ways to get your message out so that you can get more leads!

If you would like to learn to use Social Media Marketing like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to grow your business check out our social media videos. I am going to be adding a video today on some practical Social Media Marketing tips! The cost is just $47 for a lifetime membership but as I add more it could go up so get in early!!!

Incoming search terms:

  • how to get referrals from facebook

Small Business Marketing Focus Social Media Marketing Month

Having a small business marketing focus is one of my very favorite things to talk about! When you pick a marketing topic to feature each month, you can laser target your traffic and help to sell one of your products effectively. This is social media marketing month over here at Marketing Artfully!

Small Business Markting FocusSo what does having a small business marketing focus look like in the real world?

This month I am targeting selling my social media do it yourself videos and my Boulder social media workshop. These are some of the things that I do that will make a difference in how well I do:

  • All of my speaking engagements are about social media. I am doing the Boulder class AND a free social media workshop with New Business Denver.
  • I have already used www.hootsuite.com to schedule sales tweets. I am also doing a little split testing to see if I get better conversions with the price included or without.
  • Every week I will be doing a blog post targeted to social media. Since I post every day, if I just did social media posts my readership would want to kill themselves after 20+ posts. If you post on a lesser frequency, you could blog about the same topic all month.
  • I will be doing some videos that will compliment my posts with links back to my site.
  • I have refreshed some of my free website links that specifically target keywords like social media, facebook, linkedin and twitter.

Now I know most of you do not sell marketing but this will work with any kind of business and will get you more traffic from google and the other search engines. This is because when you have a concentrated effort, you are reinforcing multiple times that you site is about a specific set of keywords. Since the search engines like to serve relevant content, they will notice that your site is a great fit.

Extra credit – If you have done all of these things and are looking for something else to do, you can practice cross linking your posts! Make sure you use your keywords. For example, I could link to my Social Media Marketing Twitter Grader post from this social media marketing post and get some internal linking google love!

Boulder Social Networking Workshop – March 23

RESCHEDULED FOR APRIL!!!

Small Business Owners, Social Networking is Not A Gimmick, Hype Or A Fad … It’s Just A Smarter Way Of Generating REAL LEADS!

Boulder and Denver Small Business Owners come out and learn social networking like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter the easy way! You will leave class with all of your systems set up the right way AND with tools to use that will make managing your social networking a breeze!

Every Small Business Owner knows that social networking SHOULD be part of their marketing toolbox, but who has the time to spend weeks (or months) getting it set up? What if I told you that you could have your entire social networking empire (including facebook, linkedin and twitter) set up in just four hours, with no stress?

Marketing Expert Tara Jacobsen can show you how to make the most of your time using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

Workshop info:

Intelligent Office
4450 Arapahoe Ave. No. 100
Boulder, CO 80303

Dates & Times – March 23, 1PM – 5PM
Class Sponsored By Your Marketing Voice
Call Amber Montel of Your Marketing Voice with any questions (720) 338-6996

Seating is limited to the first 15 people to respond – don’ t miss out

Social Networking Hands-On Workshops

Here are just a few of the things we will cover….

How social networking works – there is a lot of confusion out there about how to get actual business from social networking
· Why it matters to google
· How it can increase your website traffic

Twitter – simple secrets to automate Twitter entirely while still getting results!
· How to set up your account the right way!
· How to find followers (even in your town)
· Tools to increase your followers
· Hook up your blog

Facebook – pages, groups, profiles, what really works to get more customers!
· Facebook overview
· How to set up facebook the right way
· How to set up your facebook business page
· Adding events
· How to get friends

Linkedin – how to make the most of the opportunity to connect with past friends, clients and customers!
· How to set you your account
· How to get connections the right way
· Linked in groups

How To Track Your Social Networking Progress
· Numbers of followers, friends and connections
· Number of incoming hits
· Setting up a plan for social networking success

On Purpose Networking:
· Goal setting and tracking
· What to write about (hands on idea generating) So how exactly do you get all this great hands-on help?

Social Networking First Responder Advantage

It seems like everyday someone invites me to join a new social network. From Facebook to Twitter to Google and about a gagillion more. So, is it worth your time to fill out all those profiles and does filling them out obligate you to actually USE the site?

Twitter BirdThis is a purely subjective answer based on my experiences, if you find that I have not mentioned one that works great for you or that you feel is awesome, please feel free to post in the comments!

While I don’t participate in every site I sign up for, I do think that there is first responder benefit to joining social networks as early in the process as possible. If I join when there are only two thousand people and it takes off to have fifteen million people later, every person who joins after me has a chance of finding me. If I join at the fifteen million person mark, I have to go find all those people myself.

Additionally, there is a tipping point to everything. Once you have about 500 Facebook friends, suddenly people start asking you to be their friend instead of you having to go find them. The same thing happens on Twitter and LinkedIn, making building large networks easier.

That having been said, I generally only use Facebook and Twitter with any regularity. They have lots of users and are the current media darlings. BUT (and this is HUGE but), do not get complacent and think that if you grow a huge Twitter following that you are set for the next five years. These things come and go in a matter of months or years!

That is why being spread out over a number of different networks can really make a difference to your small business or entrepreneurial online marketing success!!!

Here are just a few of the places that you can post your information online:

Facebook Marketing Getting Personal

Marketing Artfully was recently featured in New Business Denver for social networking (more about that coming later!) I have been getting some great questions about Facebook from the readers and when I answer them I will share with you, my loyal readers. The first question is one I get A LOT, can you keep your Facebook personal profile separate from your Facebook Business Pages? My question back is, should you?

Facebook MarketingHere is the question…

I just have a question for you – you recommend joining facebook, but you specified NOT to create a business account. I already have a personal facebook account that I’ve been intentional about keeping separate from my business. Can I create a personal account for my business instead of a business one- how do I go about this? I’m feeling so confused!

Facebook’s terms of service say a personal profile needs to be a human and that each human can only have one personal account. So in my case I am one human (www.facebook.com/tara.jacobsen) with one personal profile. Right now I have 1,532 “friends” of Tara Jacobsen. You should absolutely NOT set up your business as a person since it is not a human…:)

Facebook allows you to set up multiple Business Fan Pages, so since I have multiple sales channels I have one fan page that is my Marketing Artfully general fan page and one that targets Realtor Marketing. I also have ones for my other interests like Western Decorating and Photography Marketing, but since those are more personal passions I don’t spend as much time on them.

Now to be totally honest with you, it is VERY hard to find out that my pages are associated with my profile unless I deliberately try and show people. I can share my page posts on my personal profile BUT it doesn’t do it automatically and I don’t share every marketing post with my general friends, just the ones that I think will benefit the general population.

So if you are concerned that your “friends” will be inundated with marketing messages from your business page you are wrong. That having been said, it is VERY hard to get fans for your Business page if you are adamant about not combining the two pieces. It is SO much easier to make friends than fans and many times your friends are aware that you are passionate about your business anyways and probably would not be surprised to know that you like things related to your profession.

Hope that helps clear up some of the questions. My take on it is that the line between your public and personal lives are blurry anyways and the internet has made that ever more evident. If you are going to be successful marketing your business with Facebook I would just hang your love for your business out there and let the chips fall where they may. My husband (a programmer and FABULOUS photographer) keeps threatening to “unfriend” me because I talk about marketing all the time!

Facebook Hits 250K Users!

I thought you might like to see how the progression of facebook looks! Think about it, as a small business owner, how do you ignore this HUGE media outlet. If you would like to be my friend, I am at www.facebook.com/tara.jacobsen

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