What Works On Social Media? 38 Super Amazing and Popular Listicle Titles

Answering some major marketing questions today like…do listicles work equally well across the social media marketing platforms? Is it worth my time to make listicles?  A will I be able to look myself in the mirror after listical-ing?

What Works On Social Media? 38 Super Amazing and Popular Listicle TitlesSo I heard a question about “Listicles” the other day and wasn’t absolutely sure that I knew that term. Well over the few days I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about what listicles are. Functionally a listlicle is a blog post that has a number associated it with it. So my (ironic) title, 38 Super Amazing Listicle Titles is actually a listicle itself (very meta I know!)

When I started this journey I was very ANTI LISTICLE. I find those types of posts to be hyperbolic and rarely are something that I would be interested in reading about anyways (think, “36 of Usher’s Sweetest and Sexiest Moments“). Now, you might be loving on the Usher and hating on me for bashing this, but really, I am a business person with little interest in celebrity gossip.

Social Media Listicles

Since most of my readers are business people like me, let’s step back a minute and figure out what purpose a listicle serves for marketing. It is supposed to be sharable and create viral-ity so that people are compelled to come to your blog to read about your interesting list.

I find that my listicles work the other way. I get great traffic from the Google search engine to 3 of my top 5 posts that are listicles, 100 Great Email Subject Lines, Real Estate Marketing | 100 Great SEO Keywords for Realtors, and 100 Great Twitter Tweet Examples.

These three posts count for over 4,500 hits a month to my website!

But today I wanted to take a look and see how social media could boost listicles by looking at what the most popular types are according to each social media network.

Here are my findings based on the purely unscientific results of either clicking the “popular” tab on the social sites or doing an internet search of historic data. I made this post because I was fearful that only by turning teeny-bopper and hooking all my lovely marketing posts to celebrity gossip could I survive.

My results may shock you!

Popular on Twitter

Let’s start with my biggest fail. I spent hours searching on “best Twitter Tweets” or “popular Twitter Tweets” and came up with two ho-hum ones in that whole time. On the popular lists for Tweets NONE of them were about listicles. They were funny and clever, biting and caustic, but none where “link bait” listicle articles.

Not a good start but nice to know my lovely Twitter feels like I do about these types of posts!

Popular On Google Plus

Next I headed over to Google Plus to see what was trending using their Explore tool. Now, Google’s idea of popular (4 likes and a couple of shares) is a little different than mine. None of the posts listed here had even a hundred likes, but that is what Google+ is saying is popular so who am I to argue.

This site seemed the most interested in listicles with about a 1 in 20 ratio of “normal” posts to listicles. While not out of hand, at least the Google+ algorithm seemed to think that listicles were okay to show.

(note: I think that it depends who you are following. Based on the fact that most of the ones shown on my account were marketing related, I used a couple of client accounts to check for popular posts that were not marketing related!)

Current listicle titles that Google+ is showing as popular:

Overall I have to say that photography posts and less hyperbolic business posts were considered popular more often than celebrity or “shocking” posts were.

Popular On Pinterest

The next site I checked out restored my faith in humanity! Using the “popular tool” in Pinterest I was able to find a great array of kinder, gentler listicles without the major come-ons or puffery.

While listicles were present, about 1 in 30 popular posts, “Pinterest Popular” is much more about the pictures and less about shocking headlines.

While it is just an observation (after looking at about a gagillion Pinterest posts), the ladies of Pinterest are looking for “cute, easy and fast” more than any other kind of listicle!

Popular On YouTube

There is a “Popular on YouTube” channel. Now, I am not sure if this is an official channel, but after having checked out a bunch of other sources, this one seemed the most on target.

I was super surprised at the video listicles that were popular on YouTube (only about 1 in 50 videos). Because so much of YouTube is dominated by celebrity news and gossip, I expected that the listicles that would shine would be of the “Usher” variety. But NO! Many of the most popular were actually useful and not over-the-top screaming “read me”.

Popular On Facebook

So where are all those over-the-top, crazy sounding, hyperbolic blog posts being shared if not on social media sites like Pinterest, Google Plus and YouTube. Well, you guessed it! On the Facebook!

While I cannot share the links to these posts as Facebook is a closed system, here are the top listicles:

  • 30 of the Most Powerful Images Ever
  • 40 Must-See Photos From The Past
  • 40 Maps They Didn’t Teach You In School
  • 22 Unbelievable Places that are Hard to Believe Really Exist
  • 33 Amazing Ideas That Will Make Your House Awesome
  • 31 Haunting Images of Abandonded Places That Will Give You Goosebumps
  • Top 10 ways to ensure your best people will quit
  • The better than Ultimate Guide To Landing Page Optimization

(Note: Some of the listicle posts from Bored Panda list and some others from the internet randomly.) 

Overall really pretty tame based on some of the titles that I have seen out there (think, 23 Frightening Tinder Messages That Prove Romance Is Dead.) It seems that even the people cruising Facebook for entertainment are not wiling to go that far off the reservation when posting listicles.

Additional Listicle Research

What Works On Social Media? 38 Super Amazing and Popular Listicle Titles

Wrapup

Well I have to say that overall the listicle seemed at the end of the day more meaningful than I originally thought, but ultimately less important than it gets credit for. None of the sites popular lists were crawling with listicles in any true way, although there did seem to be a place for them in the marketing mix. I am not sorry that I wrote my 38 Super Amazing and Popular Listicle Titles that work on social media post, although I do feel like the outcome was a little bit ambiguous.

Where I actually see the most opportunity, based on my admittedly flawed research data is YouTube and Pinterest. Both seem to have a spot for listicles that is not quite so skeevy feeling as they are on Facebook!

Buffer Versus Hootsuite – Which One Wins?

There is a big social media marketing tools controversy in my world, Buffer versus Hootsuite. My marketing besty swears by Hootsuite and is a true power user who has been a fan for years. I on the other hand love the Buffer and have a few other friends who swear by it. But who is right?

Here is a video showing the “back ends of each and why I like/hate them!”

So for the skinny, here is my take on each of these social media marketing tools!

Buffer Versus Hootsuite | Social Media Posting Tools ReviewedBoth are very affordable (about $10 a month-ish for the paid versions). Both are very stable platforms that have been around a long time and are rarely down or mess up posting. That said, there are some real differences in how easy they are to use day-to-day for my work.

For the purposes of this post I am going to break down 4 areas, Scheduling, Reporting, RSS Feeds and Interactions.

Bufferapp.com

Bufferapp is the one that I use for my own personal posting. I have used it off and on for about 2 years and am super happy with it!

Scheduling

  • Pro: I can schedule easily using my browser. The photo interface is not the greatest and sometimes it is hard to get the pictures to pull in, but in that case I just upload the photo directly from my desktop.
  • Pro: I can “shuffle” the posts after I have loaded them so I don’t look like a giant spammer when I have 20 of my past blog articles going out all at once.
  • Pro: I can “scoot” each post around, up or down on a post by post level (I LOVE THIS ONE!)
  • Pro: I can set each different social network to post a different amount (so I can have Twitter post 3X a day and LinkedIn post 2X a day).

Overall, this is where Buffer cleans Hootsuite’s clock!

Reporting

  • Pro: I don’t have to set anything up, there is a tab for each of my social networks built right in.
  • Pro: It is pretty easy to scroll down and see what has been going on.
  • Con: They have a really lame-ish way of showing me what has been doing well, not a way to sort the posts from the most popular to the least popular.

RSS Feeds

  • Pro: SO easy to get feeds into the system, just post the website and they pull it in.
  • Pro: I love that I can pull in feeds for each different account (this matches Gary Vaynerchuk’s thoughts that each platform has a different type of need! Fun stuff for Facebook, serious for LinkedIn, etc.)
  • Pro: It is easy to post and modify them with my special characters, hashtags, etc.

Interactions

  • Con: Buffer is the huge loser here, they don’t have any way to see who has commented on the posts. You will have to log into each social network to check and see if anyone is talking to you.

Hootsuite.com

Scheduling

  • Pro: Super nice photo review and change feature.
  • Con: Cannot “shuffle” posts at all (a huge downer for me).
  • Con: Cannot pick each network for how many times to post a day. The choice is global so I went with 2.

Reporting

  • Pro: Have a great sorting function so that you can see the most popular posts that you have shared.
  • Con: You have to request every single report that you want to track and would have to keep going back and forth to see each.

RSS Feeds

  • Con: You have to have a different tab for each feed/kind of feed instead of being able to associate them with the various social media networks.
  • Con: It is really kerfuffly to get the feeds in, you have to load them from the websites and frequently I am not able to accomplish it (like in the video)
  • Con: To have all the feeds I use in Buffer I would have a HUGE tab that would be really hard to review and manage.

Interactions

  • Pro: Well Hootsuite wins this one by default, Buffer doesn’t have this functionality.
  • Pro: It works really well! It is easy to see who is talking to you and follow along with the conversations.

Overview

Based on all of this, you may wonder why I don’t just use Bufferapp.com for all my work. Well, they have a very strange pricing structure. To accomplish what I need for my clients would cost almost $100 a month instead of the $10 that I pay for Hootsuite. One of the reasons I did not include this in my comparisons is that for most of you the 12 social networks you can add to Buffer will be more than enough. For me, the 12 is leaving out a bunch that I would like to add to my personal account but which are actually in my overflow for Hootsuite.

For most of you, I would recommend that you try Buffer and if you are super sad that you can’t do it all in one place then move over to Hootsuite.

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Disclaimer, I have a paid account with both Bufferapp.com and Hootsuite.com. I use the Buffer account for my personal internet empire and the Hootsuite for my client work. The Hootsuite link is an affiliate link and I will get paid a little bit if decide to buy. Buffer does not have an affiliate program but I love them anyways.

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Marketing Strategy Workbook

The Last Marketing Strategy Workbook - Marketing ArtfullyIf you like this kind of thing and are looking for a comprehensive marketing solution written for smart business people, check out the Last Marketing Strategy Guide You Will Ever Need!

In it I break down all the aspects of having a fabulous business and an amazing marketing plan…but wait, that is not all, it doesn’t end there! I will update you about the latest marketing tools and strategies you need to make more sales! find out more

B2B Business Development Using Social Media

B2B Business Development Using Social MediaMarketing for B2B Business Development became confused in 2008-2009 when social media took off. Before that marketing was relatively easy to do, just put your ad in the yellow pages and maybe a couple of trade publications, clap your hands and call it done for the year. Maybe if you were really hard-core you had a drive-to-web campaign using direct mail, but basically, it was pretty contained and involved just paying and then waiting for leads to roll in.

This style of marketing is called direct response and it is really the straightest line from paying for a marketing item (like having an email blast go out to a targeted list), to generating leads directly because of that action, following up on them and then making a sale. The really nice thing about this is you can say you spent X amount of dollars to have the piece produced, sent it using your database which costs X amount per month, got X amount of leads and converted X number of those leads into closed business.

The old days were great!

Excessive Clutter

Now, you might be asking if I am saying that you shouldn’t do direct selling…well no! There are still numerous ways to direct response that are effective. But we are talking about Social Media and Business Development today and that is a totally different animal.

When the social sites exploded onto the scene (and by these we are saying sites like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest) they stretched out marketing an almost unbearable amount. Add to that blogs, TV and movies on demand, email, texting and all the other ways that we are bombarded with marketing messages each day and it is no wonder that doing marketing started to feel like a three ring circus instead of a business play.

Getting your marketing message to the right people is more important now than ever.

Pure Business Development

Let’s look again at what marketing is and has always been. A way to put a message about your company in front of people who might be interested in what you are selling and then having them call for a quotation, learn more by visiting your site or do some other action that puts them into your “pipeline” where you can followup and convert them into a buyer.

That is business development. Somehow social media as a marketing channel got put on a different level from other marketing. It was held to a standard that no marketing could attain…every post you make, every video you shoot, everything should lead directly to a sale. A fun thing to banter around is “what is the ROI of social media”.

I think this is because of the effort that has to be expended to succeed at social media. It is not enough to just throw up a Twitter page, you have to get followers, find content, post frequently and then respond when someone actually talks to you. You have to track on the back-end and see how many website hits your Twitter efforts are generating, follow that through to confirmed leads and then closed business.

Oh and that person who “found” you on Twitter might have visited your website first, checked out your YouTube videos and finally looked at your Twitter account before deciding to actually contact you. Jay Baer, author of Youtility states, “customers will contact a sales rep only after independently completing 60 percent of the purchasing decision process”.

The marketing process has turned around, now your customer is researching you and your offerings BEFORE ever reaching out to talk with you.

Targeting The Right Customers

The very first thing that you need to do when starting your business development efforts on social media is to figure out who your customers are. Are they large multinational corporations where you have to get to a decision maker who is closely guarded, or are they a young startup where the founder is on the social circuit and you can reach her directly? Are they small companies who use social media themselves or are they larger and you really need provide content that the person who is looking for your products or services will be searching for.

Some of types of customers we target for our social media clients include:

Parent Companies – There are often some really big opportunities behind the closed doors of multinational companies. Viewing their social media, you have to know that it is being handled by minions and that the marketing department is sanitizing all the messages you may be sending to reach out to their executives or purchasing departments. For this type of mission, you may have to work hard, doing targeted paid advertising to reach these decision makers. You can also check LinkedIn and Twitter to see if your decision maker is using either of those.

Distributors – One of the most fun B2B targets is when you want to find companies who would think that your product would be a good fit for their product line. The conversation about representing you is much nicer when they have seen all your great social media and come to you asking about your product or service. This is easily accomplished by following and liking their content, targeting industry resources and joining industry groups. Once you have established your authority in those places, being considered becomes a no brainer.

Complimentary Companies – Another way to increase your social engagement is to find companies that provide similar but not competing products or services. Sharing their information, industry accolades and posts is a great way to start a conversation about how you can work together.

End Users – Sometimes is can seem like all you should do is target your actual business-to-business contacts, but that is truly missing an opportunity. As a manufacturer, corporation or company, you need to present your product or service in the marketplace so that end users can see it in action and be enthused about. Think of a company like CSX which does freight shipping. They do a lot of video and commercial advertising on political and business programs, trying to be top of mind when busy executives are making decisions about how to move their freight around the country. Due to the size of the contracts, they can get their “ROI” easily if those spots secure just one multi-year contract. All the rest would be gravy.

Your Sales Channels – Promoting businesses that are representing your product is a great way to cement the relationship and increase sales up the supply chain. Oftentimes as the producer of a product or service, you need to the one that is promoting the companies that represent you and providing them with social content that they can share with their networks. Nothing that you do to help a dealer or distributor will hurt sales and could actually increase your ROI as their orders increase.

Going Where Your B2B Customers Are

Common wisdom says if you are doing B2B Social Media marketing you should use LinkedIn and nothing else…sigh. Nothing could be further from the truth than that! For every business we have ever worked with, there have been multiple social media platforms that they could use with a targeted plan and message. Just because you are doing business-to-business marketing, don’t rule out Pinterest or Facebook, depending on which level of customer you are trying to reach.

Sometimes your “business” customers can look more like consumers and sometimes your ideal prospect will be in love with Instagram and not use anything else socially. Ruling out all other social platforms to focus exclusively on any one channel is a recipe for disaster and may be why there are so many questions about the ROI of social. If you have spent thousands of hours “working” LinkedIn and not gotten anything out of it, maybe there are other social sites that could be more effective for your business.

If you would like to find out more about our manufacturer marketing, click here, all others check out our marketing services page!

Social Media Marketing Systems For Success!

Social Media Marketing Systems For SuccessSocial media marketing is supposed to be all loosey goosey, just surfing around the internet, having fun and finding great “stuff” to share. But if you are doing social media marketing for your business, it stops being fun and starts to be work.

Do you have enough posts to go out? Have you gotten the right mix of sales messages to industry posts? For goodness sakes, how much time are you really supposed to be spending each week on this?

Social Media Systems

If you are like most entrepreneurs, systems is not your favorite word. Wasn’t working for yourself supposed to mean that you could be free? That you would be master of your time and that no one (not even you) was going to be looking over your shoulder to see if you getting everything done?

That said, systems are what is going to make your social media marketing bearable! Here are some things to do to make all that effort worthwhile:

1. Write down what your goals are for social media.

Are you trying to get people to your website? Do you want them to fill out your email form? Are you trying to get in conversation with targeted sales prospects? Knowing this will help you plan out your strategy.

2. Set up a weekly posting schedule that includes having those goals met.

For example, if you want to get people on your email list, you need to post your free offers at least a couple of times a week (every week). We see too many business owners posting their free offer one time and thinking that it is going to hang around and generate leads. Unfortunately, you have to post every piece of content multiple time to have a chance of reaching even a fraction of your followers.

If you are trying to connect with key influencers or sales prospects, set up some lists in your accounts so you can be sure to see their postings. Comment, like and share on the stuff that they post. Engage with them by having two or three times a week on your to-do list that you deliberately seek them out.

3. Make content that fulfills your needs.

We are setting up a local Denver business directory website and have some pages that we want to share frequently. This means that we cannot have just one picture on that page to post to Pinterest or share to social sites, we need to have multiple images that we can rotate through, mixing up the graphics so people don’t lose interest. Additionally, someone might respond to the picture of the young businessman and someone else might be attracted by the fun older woman. You have to know your demographic and figure out what the best ways to reach them are!

You also have to have some kind of written content or a HUB where you can send people to. This site has over 300 different articles that I can share on my social media websites. Too often we find that a company will have a static website with 4-5 pages. There is just not enough there to provide a range of different posting opportunities for social. We recommend using a blog website and posting content at least once a week. Done for a year, that would be 52 articles that could be added to the social sharing mix.

4. You have to have an easy way to find and share other people’s stuff.

We recommend having at least two posts a day to most social media websites like LinkedIn, Facebook pages and Google+ Pages. This will show anyone coming to your social properties that you are active PLUS it will allow you to post your marketing content more because it will be less spammy when woven into all those other posts. We use a combination platter to accomplish this.

Finding other people’s content.

First off, we use BlogLovin.com to store all kinds of RSS feeds that are in the same industry or have fun, sharable content. We can fly through those and schedule out a bunch of different types of postings for a whole week relatively easily (I would schedule at least an hour a week for just this part)

Second, we get email newsletters from trusted sources and pop some of that content into the mix to keep things fresh. We also keep our eyes open when we are surfing around and sometimes find bits that would make sense for our feeds.

5. Scheduling your own content.

In amongst all this sharing should be targeted posts about your offers, sales messages and calls to action. You should have an editorial calendar of what you are writing and posting so that you can accurately gauge if your results are working. For example, we are launching that Colorado site and selling social media services. This post is part of our lead generating since many business owners will read all this stuff and say, “but can’t you do all this for us?”

We will be spending the next month crafting graphics, writing posts and generally making sure that all our efforts are focused towards those two ends.

We have recently switched back to Hootsuite.com for most of our social scheduling. For less than $10 a month we can have everything in one place for ourselves and our clients. We had been using Bufferapp.com but the cost for their business accounts was just prohibitive for how much we do.

It is a marathon

After hearing all that, you might want to tear your hairs out. How can you get all that content done, all those pictures made and all those posts scheduled?

One thing that makes us sad is when people come to us and want to have social media success in a month. They say things like, “if I don’t see a return within a couple of weeks, I am going to try something else.” Social media marketing doesn’t work like that. You have to get started and build up your efforts over time, growing your followings and interacting with people and brands.

This is not a quick fix to your sales efforts, it is impossible to make enough content or pictures BEFORE you get going. You have to build these things over time, with focused energy and a social media marketing system in place.

Call me!

If all this seems like too much work, give me a call today! We can help you get a plan and implement it for you so you can do actual work instead of spending all your time on social media. Tara (727) 415-9165

Should You Write Your Blog Posts For Google or Social Media?

Content Marketing - Should You Write Blog Posts for Google or Social Media?The question of whether to write for Google or social has been banging around in my head a lot lately when thinking about content marketing. The happy, friendly answer of course is that you can write great content that does BOTH…big smiley face. But I am not really sure it is possible to do Google and social well.

This question came to mind a couple of different ways:

First: I did a really neat search on Similar Web for this blog, Marketingartfully.com. They had some good “stuff” that was presented in a pretty manner but what came glaring out at me was that 75% of all of my visitors come from Google search traffic.

75% Google Search Traffic

Now that amounts to a fair bit of traffic so YAY! But my numbers from Social were deplorable…

6% from social

and that is with me and my business partner sharing these posts on our HUGE social networks. So I started thinking…what the hell is going on here?!?!?!

Second: We set up a fair amount of blogs for our clients and they always want to get to the first page of Google for words like “Tampa Real Estate” or “Best Restaurant Denver”.

In the first case, they would have to build a giant site, garner a ton of real backlinks and take a relatively long time to get there. There are already other sites who have done that work for years and there is no way to jump to the front of the line.

The other kind of client is thinking about ranking well for a search term that doesn’t come up all that often in search. Currently Google is showing NO traffic for the keyword “best restaurant denver”. Now, that doesn’t mean there is no traffic at all, just not consistent traffic. Mostly when I want to find a great restaurant I will check Yelp first (they have a real scoring system, not just who is best at SEO) or ask my friends on Google+ or Facebook.

Lastly: My biz partner and I have talked for years about how we get traffic to our respective websites. She always used PLR (Private Label Rights) or duplicate content which is not Google-cool. She is a much better social media marketer than I am, sharing and building interesting networks of real people (I talk about marketing all the time so my real friends tend to try to be supportive but sometimes roll their eyes a lot!).

Long story short, in today’s world there is no one “right” way to do it and there are things that crossover, but I am a staking a claim – your one little blog post can’t be great for search and social at the same time! You have to pick a side!!!

Let’s start at the top – Headline

Google search results for entrepreneur marketingGoogle likes factually correct headlines with words to match search. As you can see here, all the results for the search “entrepreneur marketing” have those exact words somewhere in the title. Now I have heard like everyone else that Google killed SEO and now it understands words so you can just write about any old thing and it will figure out you mean “entrepreneur marketing”, but a couple of minutes on the search engine will show you these kinds of results for your industry!

Social. That is all well and good but knowing that most people who are going to find and share your post to social media will not take the time to rewrite your headline to make it more interesting does not bode well for our factually correct headline words. I like the fact that Vala added a personal endorsement on his post, but none of those headlines would really jump out at me in a buzzfeed kind of way. You can see that there are many hashtags (#entrepreneur) and @mentions but are those enough to counteract the bland dryness of the good for Google headlines?

Twitter headline listings

Buzzfeed-style sharable headlines are more along the lines of scandal, intrigue or mystery…

Buzzfeed headlines

Now, maybe I could write scandalous marketing headlines that would be intriguing AND search friendly, but would serious business people who are actually looking for marketing help really respond to that? I don’t really think so.

- – – A break for blatant social media link baiting – – –
Click To Tweet >>
SCANDALOUS Blog Post Reveals The Secret Behind The #SocialMedia versus #Google Controversy [JK] http://ctt.ec/sf3dq+

- – – Now back to our regularly scheduled programming – – -

Next comes content

Google generally adds up all the content in the blog post and figures out if what you say you are talking about in your headline is what you are actually talking about in your post. They also check to see if the user “bounces” meaning that they see the search result, click the link to the post and then come right back to check another search out.

While it is true that you could do a super fun headline like “Funny Realtor Postcards that will make you laugh so hard you pee your pants“, at the end of the day it is up to your content to support that title. The funny realtor postcards blog post is actually about how to have cute headlines for your print marketing, but I am not sure they are THAT funny.

I can only assume that someone seeing that title in social would expect pictures of postcards and not be thinking about reading a 1,000 word blog post on how to do direct mail marketing.

Pictures matter

There are at least 5 different sizes of pictures that you need to satisfy social. (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+). Pinterest likes a really tall photo that spans a couple of rows of listings (like the one at the top of this post!) and Google Plus likes a really wide post that they will make huge in the feeds like this.

Google wide photo

If you are primarily considering sharing your picture to social, you want to give enough information in the picture that someone could get the idea of what you are talking about just by looking at it THEN you want to make sure the words on the picture match the content of the blog post.

Plain jane social media pictureIf you are just writing a blog and not sharing it socially, then any old picture will work (or you could even skip the photo entirely). This is good enough to give you an idea that we are talking about social media and that is about all we are trying to accomplish.

Should You Write Blog Posts For Social Media or GoogleThis one though is great for sharing. It is 1200X800 so it will be big enough to show up well if shared on the social sites and anyone seeing it will know that it is about social and that it is a blog post about content marketing.

That is just the tip of the iceburg about pictures for social (it is such a big topic we wrote a whole book about it!)

Can you do both?

I really do try to make my blog posts Google friendly, fore-going social stuff. That said, it is pretty easy to make the graphics “social friendly” too. At the end of the day I am much more concerned with making Google happy than making social happy which shows up in my deplorable social numbers!

Do you try to do social or Google in your content marketing? Please leave a comment below to let me know!!

Buy The Book!

Graphic Design For Social Media Marketing EbookGraphic Design for Social Media Marketing

If you are checking this book out, you have probably figured out that pictures and good design matter to marketing, that your marketing efforts are becoming more and more image based, and that you HAVE to get with the program and start doing better, prettier, more compelling pictures in order to keep up.

The cool thing is that with just a few “tweaks” you can take your graphics from amateur to brilliant and this book will show you exactly how! We talk extensively about how images can capture a mood or evoke a feeling immediately, how to position text on an image to create impact, and generally how to make your marketing marvelous with pictures and graphics.

>> Get it on Amazon!!!

 

The Super Advanced, No Bullshit Twitter Marketing Plan For Dave (and You!)

Super Advanced Twitter Marketing Plan for DaveYes that is right, this post is a comprehensive answer about doing Twitter marketing that I wrote for Dave. Luckily for you I like Dave and am willing to tell him all my best Twitter secrets! In it I tell you what I do, why I do it and how it helps my marketing efforts.

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Our client Dave was watching our web show #4, the one where we talk about building big social media networks and he got a little feisty. He said,

I love your podcast but you know when you talk about networks my head hurts. Then you say to grow the network that you like the most…what you do if you don’t like any of them????

Sincerely
Dave Negri

Now, Dave one of the nicest guys we know, but he is also sort of a marketing guy. He runs an awesome podcast about how contractors can increase their business using marketing (ContractorsSecretWeapon.com) and is not afraid to try new things but social media just makes him grumpy. I figure if Dave is disgruntled with social, you might be too!

My Twitter Empire

If you are a Twitter kid, this post is going to make your little heart sing, but you have to remember that you can’t focus exclusively on Twitter. I am fortunate to have “elves” who can do the manual posting for me on the other social networks, but I can’t just ignore big dogs like Pinterest (which I love but do poorly), Google+ (which is a great SEO tool) and Facebook (let’s not talk about Facebook…sigh). That said, Twitter is the only one that I am in every day.

For those of us with multiple interests, Twitter is really cool. They do not object to having multiple accounts for the same person, you just have to have different email addresses for each. I set up forwarding addresses in my hosting to cover this.

Years ago having a generic Twitter account like my @Taradactyl twitter handle was cool. You could talk about a general topic like “marketing” and people would follow your account. That account has over 18,000 followers and is really a huge asset for my company. That said, it is harder now to grow a generic account unless people are actually following you (more about that later).

@tweetinghomes – This one is for realtors. Another old one, it got most of its followers when it was a little easier. In actualality I had set it up years ago and just let it churn, posting cool stuff and ignoring it. I also had set up TwitterFeeds to share other people’s stuff so there was a little boost for that too. Every time realtors I had set up posted on their blogs, twitterfeed would post that link automatically. It has about 5,500 followers at this point and is a nice one to have, but not really on my radar much.

Today it is much easier to grow an account if you have a specific target market. Some of my more recent accounts are:

@Ebooknerds – We are writing a book a week for a year so I am pretty interested in book marketing. This account is where I share all the cool stuff that I am learning and writing about in regards to self publishing. It is the fastest growing of all of our accounts, with about 600 followers at this point.

@Searchynerds – I love figuring out how to do keyword marketing and seo so having this one is really just a great way to share all the research that I do about SEO and search. It has about 750 followers and has been growing slowly.

@smmnerds – I have to read about all of social media for my business and I didn’t want to mess up my other Twitter accounts with stupid Facebook shares so I started this one. No one likes it. There are only a handful of followers (maybe because I don’t love it either!)

@emailnerds – about email marketing, I think you can see the theme here! 574 followers

@mandmmonsters – the account for our Marketing and Media Monsters personal brand. We need to do a little work on this one because it is stuck at 2001 followings and we only have 1,715 followers so we need to either get more followers or stop following as many people so the ratio is better. (Twitter has a 2,000 follow limit until you get this even and then there is a ratio thingy, don’t worry about it, just try to get over 2,000 followers fast). Screwing around with this is a good thing to do on a Sunday afternoon watching the World Cup, unfollowing all the icky people and following key people who are going to help your account grow.

I also just started @PodcastNerds and @VideoMkgNerds because we are doing a podcast show and a web show so I know I will be researching these topics and have fun stuff to share.

>> @TweetyNerds – if you are reading this post you HAVE to follow my Tweetynerds account! I post lots of great info about how to use Twitter. I do so love the Twitter.

Why They Help

So overall I have about 30,000-ish followers over a wide range of marketing channels. This is not an earth shattering number in the Twitter world, but the cool thing is that when I have something I want to talk about people are there to listen. Here are the reasons why I like having them…

Archive of cool stuff to read

One of the reasons that I think my accounts do so well is that I actually read almost all that I post. OR if I haven’t read it, I would be interested in reading it. I sorta-kinda use my Twitter feeds to save stuff I might want to reference later.

Promoting our content

I generate A LOT of content and if I posted all of it on one account, it would seem very spammy. With this in mind I schedule the promotion of our stuff over time over all the accounts, mixing it in with the other relevant posts.

People know the Taradactyl

When you love Twitter and have an active Twitter account, people will remember your Twitter handle. Being the Taradactyl is now part of my soul and it makes me smile. It makes other people smile too.

Getting Twitter Followers

Posting great stuff. Let’s start with the bullshit answer that really does work. Posting great, highly targeted stuff will make people follow your accounts. They will set up auto-tweets that share your bits every time you post because they can feel confident that you will not be a douche bag spammer.

Following other people. People who like Twitter are actually looking for people to follow who are cool. If you follow other people, some of them will follow you back.

Your signature line of your emails. I don’t want people to “Like my Facebook page” or “Connect on LinkedIn”, I want them to follow me on Twitter. People will do the thing they like best first so I don’t give them an option. On my email signature they can connect with me on Pinterest, Twitter and Google+ (things I care about) but NOT Facebook or LinkedIn.

On your website. You should have a link to your social media properties on your website. I have not gotten militant enough to take the Facebook and LinkedIn ones off there yet, but there may come a day.

NOT on your website. One thing I think is dorky is when people put a widget with their Twitter feed on their websites. You have done all that work to get someone to actually visit your site and now you are going to send them off down the Twitter rabbit hole. I don’t think so!

Following YOU This one is for Dave! If you are an author, speaker, podcaster, web show host or other celebrity (no matter how minor), people will want to stay in touch. Make sure you have the link to your Twitter account in all your books and posts and show notes. People will be following YOU not your account.

How To Post

Having all those accounts is great but how the heck do I get cool stuff on them all the time? I use a paid Bufferapp.com account. It is $10 a month to have multiple social media accounts and all I have on mine is my Twitter. (I do have another account for my other social properties, but this one is just Twitter).

What happens is you set up Buffer on your browser with a little button and any time you find something good you hit the button and pick which account to share it to. Because I am already surfing the web for this kind of content, it is easy to fill up the scheduled slots.

Bufferapp

I don’t spend any time thinking about what, when or how to post, I just find things that I find interesting and post them. Interesting things ALWAYS include my content, I just make sure that is not the only thing I am sharing.

I stick to the genre specific accounts (email, twitter, etc.) except for occasional posting of my stuff that gets broadcast across all the channels!

What you post matters

So if you just hit Buffer and post the title of the post, that is better than nothing. BUT I find that having a real call to action makes the retweets and shares more likely. Consider these recent posts, which would you rather retweet? I have to guess the ones with some oomph and personality!

The last one is not very sexy. It doesn’t have my personality in it. There are no special characters to make it stand out from the crowd. If your whole Twitter feed is just a series of shares, you are going to be one sad panda.

>> Get the Twitter Cheat Sheet and make your Twitter marketing better!

No better way to connect with fancy people

Joel Comm is a pretty big deal in the marketing world. I have met him in person and he is a cool cat who I might want to interview on our web show. But there is no reason in hell that Joel Comm will want to be on a show as little as ours is right now…unless…hmmm…maybe he knows me a little as a friend because I do nice things for him!

I share his blog posts on my Twitter, making sure to tag him with his @joelcomm handle

I give him Klout and share that on Twitter

Notice that the favorite on this post is from the man himself!

I also have him on a Twitter list so that I can check and see if there is anything he posted that I can retweet. He will be notified or notice on his posts that I did that.

Now, this does seem a little stalker-ish when put all together like that, but really, I just share his stuff occasionally. He has great content that my people would like anyways, is funny and clever and a genuinely nice person that I am happy to promote.

I am also stalking @seanplatt, @chrisbrogan and other cool people that I follow.

It is really amazing to me the level of access you can get to “real” famous people today.

Hashtags

Hashtags are one of the main ways people find neat stuff on Twitter. You will want to figure out what hashtags other people use that you might be able to include in your posts. My favorite hashtags are #marketing, #socialmedia, #twitter, #amwriting and more.

This is a wicked cool tool to use to find out what hashtags match your industry >> Hashtagify.me

Advertising on Twitter

We have gotten the very best results of any of our paid marketing on the Twitter! The neat thing is that the ads are about the length of Adwords ads without all the management hassles. You just put up two posts, give it a couple of days, see which one is better, take the bad one down, put another one up and keep going. It is SO much easier than any of the other paid social media or search marketing channels.

ads.twitter.com

We target accounts that we find in our Analytics which match our regular followers. So for TARAdactyl, there are 10 other accounts that seem similar when checked by Twitter. We start with those as our target ad reach and then add extra accounts depending on what we are selling. For example, if we are promoting a sales book we might add @Gitomer who is a sales guy and who has a relatively large following.

What we do not do is add anyone with millions of followers like Gary Vaynerchuk or Tony Robbins. People with accounts that large are no longer talking to a particular audience, they are now just broadcast personalities and not good for us to use in our marketing efforts.

What To Do Next

If you are down here you must REALLY like Twitter (or Dave!) Here are some next steps in case you want more:

  1. Check out our ebook about social media marketing on amazon, it has good stuff mainard
  2. Follow the tweetynerds twitter account to stay current on twitter
  3. Get the Twitter cheat sheet

Thanks for reading…

XOXOX

Tara

What Does The New Twitter Look Mean For Small Biz Marketing?

What Does The New Twitter Look Mean For Small Biz Marketing?Twitter is changing how your profile and stream looks, whether you like it or not. The first thing that jumps to mind when I see it is that it is totally a Facebook clone now which makes me sad. One of the reasons I like Twitter so much is the ease of use and clean layout. This update seems to make things a little more fancy…sigh.

Here are the new look and the past look so you can see the differences:

New Twitter Look and Feel

New Twitter Look and Feel

In the new version, there is a wide-wide graphic at the top and underneath are your tweet stats including number of tweets, photos and videos, following, followers, favorites and more (the “more tab” holds the lists).

There is no background image, nor is there a way to modify the arrangement or add any additional personal information.

Old Twitter Look and Feel

Old Twitter Look and Feel

I liked the old look and feel much better as it had the information about the person right up front and center where I could see it. I actually use that information a lot when deciding whether or not to follow someone. Those bits have moved to the left under the profile picture.

New Twitter Timeline

New Twitter Timeline

According to Twitter, the new timeline will allow you to “pin” an important post to the top and your highest quality tweets (the ones that people like and retweet the most) will be a larger size than the old ones.

It is easier to select which view to see of the profile, right now I see tweets, tweets and replies, but supposedly you will also be able to choose only tweets with photos or videos.

Old Twitter Timeline

The Old Twitter Timeline

The size of pictures included does not seem to have changed. It appears that 800 height by 1200 width is still the aspect ratio that they display. If photos are larger they display the middle area like Facebook does.

New Twitter Mobile

New Twitter Mobile

I pulled both the new and the old on both the Twitter App and the Google Chrome browser and this looks very similar to the old desktop Twitter. One thing to note is that the only part of the wide-wide picture that shows is the middle. We will have to watch where those pictures “cut off” so as not to have a ridiculous header in mobile.

Old Twitter Mobile

twitter-post-mobile-befores

Not much change here but important to note that on both versions it is important to have some of your posts include photos.

Read the whole Twitter update

out top suggest next step resources

Get Some Help! New Media Marketing Strategy Session

New Media Marketing Strategy SessionWhat does this change mean to your Twitter marketing efforts? How have the recent changes at Facebook hurt your views and what should you do next? Is Pinterest right for your business and if so, what should you be “pinning”?

It is almost impossible to keep up, but with a New Media Strategy Session, you will know that your business is on the cutting edge of what is working today on the social networks!

Find out more TODAY! >> Click here

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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New media marketing - social media strategies bookNew Media Marketing Strategies: Oh the tangled web we weave!

Looking for some real strategies to improve your social media marketing efforts? This book is full great tips for how to make a real marketing channel from social.

No “gold rush” ideas, just solid information that will help you to grow your social presence (and make your website better too!)

Includes all the top social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google Plus.

>> Get it on Amazon

The Best SEO and Social Media Tools

The Best SEO and Social Media ToolsWe find all kinds of great social media tools and SEO analysis sites, but I am not sure we have ever shared them with you!

There are literally thousands of tools that can show you all different aspects of what is working and not working with your internet marketing efforts. We have broken them down into different sites with various functions.

If you have one that I missed, please feel free to send me a message or leave a comment below. I am happy to find new tools myself and would definitely consider adding it if it really helps!!

Quick Sprout – SEO and Social Shares

four-stars

Quick Sprout - Social Media and SEO ToolsSprout social is a free SEO and Social Media analysis tool. Functionally, you put in your website and up to three competing websites. They return three kinds of data.

Website Analyzer: Speed, SEO warnings including that my descriptions are too long (they all say that, I am fine with it), backlink counter, social media shares (this seems pretty neat but the numbers for Facebook and LinkedIn seem low and the Pinterest number (0) is factually incorrect), top keywords and SEO recommendations.

Social Media Analysis: This is pretty cool! You can see each of your posts, pages and category pages, seeing where you might want to share more socially or find out which of your content has the best social reach.

Competitor Analysis: A general overview of how your SEO and other bits stack up against your competition. Not that helpful BUT you could do the main search for each of your competitors and then compare to see where they have chinks in their armor that you could exploit.

Neatest Feature: You can download your report in PDF or Excel format.

>> Check out Quick Sprout

Buzzsumo – Social Media Sharing

five-stars

Buzzsumo Social Media Monitoring ToolsBuzzsumo allows you to put a keyword or domain in to find out what has been shared the most in the category you have selected. I started with “Marketing” and that was absolutely too broad a term to produce any sort of actionable results.

“Social Media Marketing” returned more targeted results BUT they were all from the top players in the industry (Social Media Examiner, Entrepreneur, Mashable) but there were 63 pages of results and by going to further down pages I was able to find some new places to get content to share and find out what the social communities where interested in.

It is really interesting to note which are popular on LinkedIn (10 ways to generate media buzz for your startup) and which are Twitter darlings (A social media myth debunked). Depending on your main social site target, you would want to title your posts in very different ways to attract the attention of the various networks.

You can search both by keyword and find the top influencers in that category.

Neatest Feature: There are some really neat filtering tools. Sort by date, type of post and even see “regular people” instead of just the usual suspects.

>> Check out Buzzsumo

Hashtagify.me – Twitter Tool

five-stars

Hashtagify Twitter ToolsThis is one of my all time favorite Twitter tools. It has a similar technology to what google used to have with showing the connections to various keywords, just this time with hashtags.

Functionally you put in a Hashtag and it shows the most related hashtags. For “marketing” we got leadership, branding, advertising, SEO, socialmedia, social, sales, and business. Clicking socialmedia I got SM, SMM, infographic, facebook, seo, twitter. It is a really great way to find out which hashtags are related!

The top influencers section shows the top 6 people ranking for the hashtag and has a great little flyover that shows how many followers each has. This is great for finding out who to follow on Twitter and to have rock solid data for who to use in your targeted Twitter paid marketing efforts.

>> Check out Hashtagify.me

Ritetag – Twitter Tool

Three Stars

Rite Tag - Social Media ToolsTo log in you use the open auth login through Twitter. They then rate each of your posts as to how likely they are to be shared.

X – if you don’t have a hashtag. This is why they got three stars. If you have no hashtags it is always an X, even if you are mentioning someone with authority. I get it, it is important to have hashtags but not helping with any data if there is no hashtag it doesn’t actually mean that “this tweet has no chance of being discovered”.

! – are infrequent or overused tags. The nice thing is they give you a drop down recommendation of other related hashtags that would be better to use next time. I used “podcasting” and they recommended that I use “podcast” instead.

✓ – is the best one! This is a post that is using a good hashtag that is not overused or under represented.

>> Check out Rite Tag

Click To Tweet – Twitter Tool

five-stars

Click to tweet social media toolsAlright, I gave Click To Tweet a five star BEFORE I looked around and found out that they have a wordpress plugin. Now I am sort of wishing that I had a six star graphic.

Functionally what happens is that you pick a phrase that you want people to tweet out and the super snazzy plugin builds the tweet automatically. You can include hashtags and encourage the sharing of your content.

If your content is good and you have a good community that likes to share your stuff you can get some good reach by using Click To Tweet. This is the code that you use to insert your tweet into the “text” tab of your wordpress site.

[Tweet “AWESOME READING :: The Best SEO and Social Media Tools #SEO #SMM”]

BEST “do one thing” plugin or website ever!

>> Check out Click To Tweet

Retweet Lab – Twitter Tool

four-stars

retweet lab - social media and twitter toolsRetweet Lab, provided by Hubspot, has A LOT of data to help analyze your tweets to see what is working and what is not. You can see:

  • Which day of the week is best
  • Which hour of the day is best
  • Tweet length
  • Reading grade level
  • Sentiment
  • Capitalization percentage (how many words have capital letters)
  • Most retweetable words
  • Hashtags
  • Quotations
  • Links
  • Calls to action (asking for “please retweet” “please RT” or “retweet if”)
  • Questions

Neatest Feature: There is a graph that shows which of your words are retweeted the most. Mine are #1, conversions, wrong, #smallbiz, resource, and practices. This is powerful data to find out how to generate even more retweets to your content!

>> Check out Retweet Lab

Trending Sites

There is a value to know what is trending now on search and the social sites. You may be able to jump into something that is happening right now. That said, avoid adding to conversations about disasters, deaths or other bad things. More so, think about when the lights when out for the Superbowl a couple of years ago and Oreo jumped into the conversation.

  • Google Trends – This is great for finding out what is trending across the Google-verse.
  • Trendsmap – Pretty cool tool for seeing what is trending on Twitter geographically.
  • Twitter.com – You can modify your Twitter trends a bit changing your location to get more geographically targeted trends. Simply click “change” on the left hand side box.
  • Google Plus Explore – A really good look into what hashtags are trending on Google+.
  • Popular on Pinterest – See the movers and shakers among the Pinterest pins.

Social Sharing Sites

  • Bufferapp.com – We cannot recommend any site more highly for sharing to your social networks. There is a free version but we do pay the $10 per month to have 12 accounts.
  • Hootsuite – When we have to have date control of our posts we use Hootsuite.
  • Social Oomph – Schedule tweets and other social posts.

MISC Sites We Like For Data Analysis

  • Uber Suggest – Super tool for figuring out related keywords. Could possibly use Google search for this but they do a nice job of grouping them together by category.
  • Google+ Ripples – Great for seeing how content is shared across Google+.
  • Pinterest Web Analytics – We haven’t used this one yet (because we are using Pinterest as personal accounts) but looks like it could have some amazing data.
  • Social Searcher – Kind of a fun search engine that returns results from Facebook, Twitter and Google+ side by side.

New Media Marketing

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How To Get Engagement On Social Media…Ask Questions!

How To Get Engagement On Social Media - Ask Questions!A big topic of conversation around here is how to get engagement on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Another big “discussion” topic is how stupid it is to foster that engagement by asking inane questions.

My business partner is big on these. She is a question asking fool and I was actually skeptical that this would work. I wouldn’t answer silly questions on Facebook so why would anyone else…or so I thought! Come to find out I am compelled to answer some of these silly questions when she posts them and I KNOW that they are just to get engagement…sigh.

Why do you want engagement like this?

Since I have a trouble with this, I am sure you are asking yourself the same kinds of things…if I sell real estate or jeans or business services, why would I want to go off topic and ask questions that have NOTHING to do with my product or service? Here are the only things that I can think of to justify this:

  • It works. Because social is about more than selling, people DO respond. They WANT to share their personal thoughts and feeling so you get engagement. Which leads us to..
  • It matters that people talk to you. Most of the sites use an algorithm that measures how often someone talks to you and then serves up additional “views” based on those connections. Facebook is a huge one for this. If you can get a number of people to talk to you about something non-business related, you get more opportunities to talk to them about things that truly matter.
  • Custom messages. Last but not least in my book…they tell you things about themselves that you can use later to sell more! How cool would it be to take the answers to each of these questions and include them as tags in your database and then send customized messages based on their likes and dislikes? I haven’t done this (yet) but would love to hear if it is working for you!

So what kinds of questions should you ask? Rebekah was very nonchalant about this and said, just ask them “this or that”. She can come up with millions of them off the top of her head. I on the other hand do not have this creative bone so I made her give me some examples. I will admit, once we got started it became easier and more fun to “play along”. Here are some of the best ones we came up with…feel free to use them in your social media postings AND make sure to swing back around and let me know which ones worked best!!!

Questions to ask to increase interactions on social media

Cool questions:

  • Who was your childhood hero?
  • Who was your favorite teacher?
  • Who is your favorite superhero?
  • Winnie the Pooh or Underdog?
  • Guns and Roses or Metallica?
  • Alfred Hitchcock or Steven King?
  • If you had a million dollars what would you do with it?
  • What are you doing this weekend?

Sports:

  • Sox or Yankees?
  • Soccer or football?
  • Skiing or ice skating?
  • How bout them (insert home team)?

Food and Beverage:

  • Beer or wine?
  • Steak or chicken?
  • Vegetarian or carnivore?
  • Hotdogs or hamburgers?
  • What is your comfort food?
  • Pizza or tacos?
  • Chicken or egg?
  • Chips or pretzels?
  • Tootsie Rolls or M and Ms?
  • Donuts or Bagels?
  • Hot sauce on eggs?

Fashion:

  • Shoes or sandals?
  • Who has more fun? Blonds, Brunettes or Redheads?
  • High heels or flats?
  • Suit or jeans?

Locations:

  • Did you come from a big city or small town?
  • Cozumel or Paris?
  • California or New York?
  • What was your all-time favorite vacation spot?
  • What is your favorite hometown landmark?
  • What’s your favorite thing to do in (insert town name here)?

Technology:

  • iPhone or Android?
  • Mac or PC?
  • Twitter, text or talk?
  • In person meetings or Skype?

Personal:

  • Who was your biggest crush?
  • Who was your first crush?
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • Do you have any brothers or sisters?
  • Did you go to prom?
  • Have you ever smoked?
  • Have you ever skinny dipped?
  • Have you ever been on a blind date?
  • Have you ever missed an appointment?
  • Have you ever lied on a job application?
  • Are you married?
  • Do you have kids?
  • Do you mind telling people how old you are?
  • Do you have pets?
  • Would you let your kids get a hampster?
  • Do you have any allergies?
  • Do you go to the doctor when you are sick?

Weather or Location:

  • Summer or winter?
  • Spring or fall?
  • Live up north or down south?
  • What part of town are you from?

Favorites:

  • What is your favorite book of all time?
  • What is your favorite movie of all time?
  • What is your favorite album of all time?
  • What is your favorite rock band of all time?
  • What is your favorite Disney Movie of all time?
  • What is your favorite Broadway musical of all time?
  • What is your favorite black and white movie musical of all time?
  • What is your favorite quote?

Holidays:

  • How do you celebrate New Years Eve?
  • Open presents on Christmas Ever or Christmas day?
  • Does the Tooth Fairy come to your house?
  • Do your kids still believe in Santa?

Business:

  • What do you do?
  • Do you have a Facebook page?
  • How’s business?
  • What do you love most about your business?
  • Do you have a favorite customer?
  • Who was your favorite customer of all time?
  • What is your biggest business goal?
  • Are your goals written down?
  • Do you have a vision board?

Well there you have it, some questions to get you started getting engagement on social media…if you have more, please leave a comment below and I will add it to the list!!!

Small Business Marketing – 5 Things To Check Today!

Small Business Marketing - 5 Things To Check TodayOkay, we all are busy and life gets in the way of us having optimal online lives. Today, yes TODAY, you should take a peek at these 5 things and see if they are still working for you! Some of you may not be able to change certain ones, but the ones you can, either schedule time to change or do right away!

I KNOW, you are swamped today, but aren’t you swamped everyday? These are things that will make a huge difference to your success this year and are basically easy fixes!

Your Email Signature

Seriously, this is the one thing that EVERYONE you talk to sees EVERY time you send them a message! Here is my old signature line…not heinous, but not setting the world on fire either…

Tara Jacobsen - Old Email Signature Line

So how do you figure out what needs to be there? First off, what is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING you want them to do? For me it is to get into my database and I don’t have the option for that anywhere…sigh. When I fixed this, you will notice that I broke up the word “FR|E|E” so that I would not get stuck in everyone’s spam filters.

Next are my contact bits…moved a couple of things around here and eliminated the link to my Facebook business page. Heaven forbid they sign up for that as Facebook shows so little of what I actually post there. That time has passed and now I just want them in my database!

Finally, I have used the avatar on the left FOR YEARS so I am keeping her active, BUT there is a school of psychiatry that says that “seeing” us in an email is just as good as “seeing” us in real life. I finally took a selfie that I like enough to include on my emails so my friends and clients can see me. I also made it a little smaller since so many people are using phones to access their email now.

Tara Jacobsen - New Signature

Still busy but have my call to action and the picture of me. I will use it for a little bit and see how it goes.

Your Website Layout

Now if you are using a “real” website, moving things around is probably a nightmare, but for those of us who are using wordpress, sliding things around is relatively easy peasy. I noticed the other day that it was REALLY hard to find the newest posts on Marketing Artfully. They were there, just down in the bottom with no pictures. As I really do want people to read my stuff, I am going to move some things around a bit!

Marketing Artfully - Old Layout Design

So I moved the recent posts up into the middle of the home page, reduced the number of small business marketing posts and added real estate marketing and customer demographic posts to the mix.

Now, there are other things that I think could do with some fixing, like I have TOO MANY competing things on the sidebar, but today is just the basics and I got those fixed! Check out the new layout with the recent posts front and center…

Your Social Media Descriptions

It is amazing how out of date these can get fast. I did this with my Twitter just a couple of weeks ago and was AMAZED at how off target it was. Make sure that you have the following bits in your social descriptions:

  • Links to your MOST IMPORTANT THING
  • Hashtags if appropriate (like on google or instagram)
  • Keywords like you use on your website (social profiles show up well in the google search)
  • What you are currently offering, most important to least important

Here is my updated Twitter profile that talks about EXACTLY where my business is TODAY:

Taradactyl Twitter Profile

Your Social Media Graphics

Okay, I admit I am not the best at practicing what I preach but WHAT WAS I THINKING when I did my Facebook business banner THIS WAY. It doesn’t use any of the imagery I use in anything else, it doesn’t have Marketing Artfully green, and my logo might as well not even be on there for how present it is. What happened was, I saw a technigue and wanted to try it and was less than impressed…so I left it there?!?!?

Marketing Artfully Old Business Page Banner

So this one is not going to set the world on fire, but at least it is congruent with my branding and it is better than what it was (that is our theme for today…good enough is good enough!) I also changed out the avatar which leads me to the last tip…

Marketing Artfully - New Facebook Timeline

Make sure you like all your profile pictures

I hated my LinkedIn profile picture and they MADE me use a “real” picture instead of my beautiful avatar lady who always looks great and never gets old. That said, I did (finally) get a picture that I didn’t hate so I swapped it out…this icky old one for my shiney new selfie:

Tara Jacobsen - Old LinkedIn

It is VITAL that you find a picture of yourself that you like. If you don’t have one, you are less happy with your social overall and will not be as effective.

Don’t let anyone tell you the “right” kind of picture. As you can see, mine is obviously a selfie, not perfect and DEFINITELY not professionally done, but I like it!

There you have it, my top 5 things that you need to check on your small biz marketing!!!

PS – all changes where made in the hour it took to write this post so don’t make this harder than it has to be, get some stuff fixed and then put the rest on your to-do list for fixing soon!

Social Media Marketing Success – Using Lists To Stop Driving Yourself Nuts!

Social Media Marketing Success - Using ListsI have to say that the amount of content that I am exposed to daily is overwhelming. My day starts with checking the news on my USA Today app, going through email (not much news there, mostly spam I have to delete) and then I head over to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Klout and Pinterest. If I spent just 15 minutes doing each one, I would  have wasted 2 hours out of my day right off the bat (and 15 minutes would be a low estimate for some of them!)

So how do I make sure that my time is spent productively? Using lists makes it MUCH easier to fly through my day! On each of the social sites, I add people and companies to lists of things that I want to see and interact with, cutting my social time down to about half an hour and providing ONLY the content I want….

…which leads me to a question that you MUST ask yourself. Are you producing content that someone would add to a list? This is different across social media and here are a couple of things to think about:

Facebook – FB, being inherently social requires that you share a bit of yourself, your hobbies, funny bits and maybe some good quotes. FB is NOT the place to go on a rant, post provocative info or blast the other political party. You HAVE to remember that half of the county is Republican so sending out a snarky Sarah Palin post will make about half of your friends unhappy. Thinking of posting a “funny” gay bashing cartoon, most people have a friend or family member that is gay and while they may chuckle along with you, it doesn’t do anything for either of yours’ social standing. Something to remember…they may not unfriend you for doing this and you may have the feeling that everyone agrees with you. This can be because the people who have grown tired of your rantings have hidden you from their wall and now only people who agree with you entirely are seeing your posts.

Twitter – Twitter is simple. People are not necessarily wanting to see your whole breadth as a person, more-so they are looking for great information about single topics like marketing (YAY!), weight loss, business, camping, goal setting and the like. We have found that having a TIGHT Twitter timeline can be a very powerful thing. One of our Twitter accounts has gained over 500 followers in a little less than 2 months by focusing exclusively on the topic of Search and Search Engine Optimization. Having such a tight account makes it easy for someone to feel good about following us, they KNOW that they will get only information that they would be interested in.

LinkedIn – This one is a enigma to me. Generally all I see is recruiting, nationally recognized figures and large corporation content. So roll with it! Figure out how to post things that they might find interesting AND share the great national content that they produce. ALL posts on LinkedIn should be business related in some fashion.

Google Plus – Google Plus is for search! You can be a little more free wheeling with Google Plus because mostly people are not interacting with you on the level that Facebook requires. The main benefit of Google Plus is to grow large networks and then share content from your website or blog with keywords attached in the comments. This will make your posts show up in the “regular” Google search and is a super powerful tool!!!

Pinterest – The blessing of Pinterest is that you can have as many boards with varied interests that you like. The only thing that I make sure is that I have business related boards at the top and bottom of my profile. I feel like personal people (say people who follow my scrapbooking board will be more likely to “dig” for relevant info while business people are looking to look at the top and scroll to the bottom to see if they “like” me enough to follow my profile.

This is all great, but how can using lists for your social media marketing increase your effectiveness? I told you about all these social sites because I think it is important to know the FOCUS of the social media property before developing lists! Having a great list on Facebook will not automatically translate to a great list on Twitter!

Lists On Social Media Sites

Facebook – Let’s start with 800 lb. gorilla in the room! Facebook is nice and can be a really good site to build relationships and get referrals from. That said, I think that there is a really strategic way to increase your influence on Facebook with lists…

  • Profile lists – Your friends and family. If you are using FB for business, it can be VERY had to find the posts that you “really” want to see (like those from your Daddy and husband). With this in mind, you need to make a list of Friends and Family that you can check at will without waiting for Facebook to show them in your timeline.
  • Profile lists – Business friends. Now this is still a list of real people, not businesses. These would include key influencers you are targeting, clients, referral partners and basically anyone who you want to connect with business-wise.
  • Profile lists – Pages. Now this is where it gets powerful. Facebook thinks that comments from humans are more important than comments from pages so you can really help boost and make an impression on the page owner if you have a targeted list of business pages. Just remember, A LOT of these pages are managed by social media managers so you may not get as big a bang for your bucks as you might on say, Twitter. But still worth-while!
  • Profile lists – Groups. Same as pages, just groups.
  • Page lists – Pages. As your page, you can make lists of complimentary businesses, other local businesses and industry leaders who are using a page instead of a profile (pages can only interact with other pages – they can’t talk or comment to people although they could share a post). It is really powerful to interact as the page as this is one of the primary ways you can get likes now-a-days.

Because Facebook limits what you see on your wall, it is extremely important to have these kinds of interactions available through your pages and posts lists.

Twitter – AMAZING! Okay, I am biased because I like the Twitter so much, but Twitter lists are GREAT for finding and sharing (retweeting) information from your key influencers (again, industry peeps, clients, prospects and referral partners). Here are some reasons to do Twitter lists…

  • Filtering – There is SOOOO much information flying around on Twitter that without making lists, you cannot possibly find the great needles in the haystacks.
  • Retweeting – This is the highest compliment that you can give on Twitter. Sharing someone’s post is a great way to attract their notice.
  • Real People – Many Twitter accounts are actually the real person! This is a way to get access to people that you might never have a chance to talk with in “real life”.
  • Finding Content – There is A LOT of great stuff on Twitter that you can save to share for later on your social networks. That said, without having lists of types of content you will have a hard time finding anything good.

Pinterest – The cool thing about Pinterest is that lists are kinda-sorta built right in. By following boards instead of people, you will get only the “stuff” they post that is of interest to you. That said, there are no lists on Pinterest yet which is a real bummer. Moving right along…

Google Plus – You can easily make lists in Google Plus – they are called Circles and Google has made this easier than any of the other social networks. One thing to note about Google Plus circles is that you should try to limit them to 99 people or pages so that you retain the ability to email out your posts when you have something important. Sharing content works much the same as on Facebook with some notable exceptions:

  • Profile lists – You can mix up pages and people in these lists although I try to make Biz Page lists and people lists to keep my lists cleaner. I definitely look at people stuff before I look at business page stuff.
  • Biz lists – One superior thing here is that pages CAN like and circle people.
  • Engagement – Like and share from both lists to your profile and business pages!

LinkedIn – The most disappointing lists. Sigh. So on LinkedIn you can make lists in your contact book to email out to your contacts but you cannot make true lists of real people that you are connected to. What you can do is use Interests > Pulse to get easy access to industry leaders and people who LinkedIn as deemed as “Influencers”.  These can include journalists, best selling authors or industry titans. You can also add “channels” like marketing or innovation and companies that are big enough to attract LinkedIn’s notice. It is a good way to get content to share, but honestly, I doubt that many of these are real people, more likely they are being managed by Social Media Managers and are not a great way to reach key people.

There you have it! Lists for the top social media sites (I also have lists for my feed reader and Klout but seriously, how long can this post get?) If you have any great info about making lists on social, please make sure to leave me a comment below!

The Biggest Social Media Marketing Mistake, Bar None

So today we are going to talk about the biggest social media marketing mistake companies are making, bar none. If you are one of those that wants to know the answer and move on, it is not including pictures in your blog and social posts.

For those of you who want more, I think this post is going to be a big eye opener today. I am going to show how people are using photos well and how some are crashing and burning.

No photos in Facebook intended posts:

MIT Facebook pageMost of you know about MIT (the technology school) and they have GREAT info, but according to this article, Sharing fast and slow: The psychological connection between how we think and how we spread news on social media by www.niemanlab.org, this is how their Facebook page ALWAYS looks. Full of the MIT Magazing logo. Sigh.

No matter how brilliant your “stuff” is, if you don’t have a picture in it for sharing purposes, you are going to be fighting the inertia of most people’s overwhelm. You need to have something snazzy to grab their attention.

How you post to Facebook

I was talking to a gal the other day who did not want to have to use the native platform (logging into Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and preferred to use a service like Bufferapp.com or Hootsuite.com to schedule ALL of her posts. The problem with that is that the photos pull in differently depending on HOW you post them and the size of the image in the post. Here are four different posts, which I tried valiantly to maintain in their actual size comparison.

the size of photos in facebook

The first one was posted the same way that the second one was (with Bufferapp.com) the only difference being that the photo in the post was SO tiny that it could not be pulled in as a large photo (it would have pixilated).

The second post is actually not all that bad, it is big enough to attract notice in the news feed and the photo in the post was large enough that Facebook could pull it in easily!

The third one is a good example of how Facebook crops photos. I would have been better off to move the words to the middle instead of having them at the top so that they would be more centered when FB pulled it in.

Lastly (and obviously the best), I hand posted this, uploading the photo and then adding the link and words. Using the native format (logging into Facebook to post) makes a huge difference and should be used when possible!

The mother of all photo sites, Pinterest

Before Pinterest, we all had sorta-kinda okay pictures in our our posts that matched what we were talking about. Smart marketers today though, know that having a call to action when a photo is shared will make a BIG difference in how much traffic you get through Pinterest.

How to make interesting pinterest photos

As you can see, photo one was from the old days and was marginally close to the topic of the article, Is Honest Affiliate Marketing An Oxymoron. That said, because Pinterest is a visual and sharing site, NO ONE has bothered to read the words below it. They do not know that this is a blog post and really the only sharing opportunity I have is if someone likes spiders – which will NOT help to get traffic to my marketing blog!

Both the other photos have a strong call to action and let the reader know what the accompanying site and photo are about. These get shared very well and currently Pinterest is the fourth largest source of traffic on my website.

Google Plus Photos and Posting

Last but not least photo-wise is Google Plus. The same holds true that uploading a photo directly to Google+ makes it big and beautiful (good for people). That having been said, I have heard around that if you post a picture and put a link in the comments it will not show up in Google search as this is a tactic they recognized that the spammers would use to game the system.

With that in mind, it is good to post your important posts a couple of times to Google Plus, once with the link pulling the photo and once with the photo loaded separately so that you can take advantage of both types of benefits.

Videos In Blog Posts

You may follow some of the big names in marketing like I do and one thing that I notice is that they have a screen capture of the video they are including AND the video. The reason for this is that they can then post and pin the photo, pulling directly from the post. If all they have is a video, that will not pull in when posting to Facebook and the like.

Pictures and videos in blog posts

thanks to MarieForleo.com for doing such a good job at this!

Why Photos Matter

The Biggest Social Media Marketing Mistake - It's All About The PicturesIf you are a pinner (using Pinterest) please click the “pin it” link. If I had just used the photos in this post, you would have been able to “pin” them BUT would not have had the option to pin the picture that tells what the post is actually about! That would have greatly decreased the number of shares I would get on Pinterest and would have hurt my efforts across all the social media sites.

Never have pictures been so important to marketing as they are today and I fully believe that the biggest social media marketing mistake people are making is to not take advantage of the power of photos or pictures in their posts.

>> If you are a small business owner and would like some help with your marketing, please check out our social media marketing services page!

Social Media Marketing For Small Biz FREE Email Course

Free Social Media Marketing CourseHave you ever scratched your head and wondered how the heck everyone else knows about social media marketing when you are just struggling to keep up with the latest trends. And forget marketing, you are just flailing around hoping that one of your posts will “go viral” and make all this hard work worth it.

Stop right now! Social media marketing involves strategy and you CAN learn how to make the social sites work for your business.

We have put together a course that will help you to understand HOW social works, WHY it is so important to your business and WHAT you should do to make the most of your time.

What this social media marketing FREE email course is not:

  • A how to set up your sites…you can get that on YouTube
  • A lame-o fluff piece…it is pure content that will help you figure out Social Media once and for all
  • This is not for using social media, well, socially…all emails and videos will show you how to use social to market your business

When you take this course you will get advanced marketing marketing concepts that marketing pros usually charge between three hundred and three THOUSAND dollars for!

How it works

Every other day you will get an email with another aspect of social media marketing. We stagger them so that you will have time to do a little work on each property before going to the next one!

What the course covers:

  • Why Social Media Is Important
  • B2B or B2C
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Website Integration
  • Drive To Email List

Sign Up Now!

we respect your privacy and never sell our list…please don’t forget to confirm your email address so you can start the course! (it can take a few minutes to come in and you might need to check your spam folder!)

Where Should You Share Your Blog Posts?

Where should you share your blog posts 2013-2014Today’s question comes from reader Rae Ann Dougherty of Green Cleaning Products LLC. Rae Ann asks…where should you share your blog posts in late 2013 or early 2014? She mentioned sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Digg, De.i.cio.us, Stumble Upon, Technorati, Yahoo Buzz!, Blink List and Tumblr.

The landscape has changed so much that it is hard to know as a business person where you should spend your time and energy! Now, this is a post about where to share your blog posts, NOT about where you should publish content, which is a whole different ball of wax and can include sites like Rebel Mouse, Medium and the like.

In thinking about this, I want to break down the three types of content sharing…social sharing, search sharing and bookmarking. Social sharing sites include things like Facebook, Search sharing is on Google or the other search engines and bookmarking is less about sharing and more about making a list of relevant sites.

Let’s break it down by my numbers…we are going to look at two of my sites..this one that is O-L-D and gets lots of search engine traffic and which has old share links across the web (maybe not the best example for most of my readers) and www.MandMMonsters.com which is new (under a year old) and does not have the benefit of being already indexed on lots of sites.

Social Sharing:

Social sharing includes sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. I KNOW that there are myriad more but these are the ones that have the most traffic and mass of humans to be able to share and consume your stuff. (Whether you should be on tiny social networking sites is a post for another day).

Web visits from social sharing sites

As you can see, Pinterest is overwhelmingly the top spot for sending traffic (and that is knowing that most of our stuff being B2B was not that hot on Pinterest a year ago…:) I find it awesome that using the bufferapp.com tool is actually helping our traffic.

Search Sharing:

This one is a little more confusing as I do not see Google Plus broken out as a line item for Marketing Artfully as it is so integrated into Google the search engine so I am not sure if there is just no traffic from Google Plus or if it is actually just being absorbed by the Google numbers. That said, I did see three click throughs for google plus broken out on the MandMMonsters.com site.

Web Visits From Search

Bookmarking Sites:

At one time, getting a front page link on Digg was a real coupe. Today Digg has faded into obscurity and no longer is the driving force it once was. There are some old sites like Digg and Reddit, some (good for me) sites like Stumbleupon and some that aren’t taking individual posts anymore like Technorati. As there is not as strong a social sharing component, I am not sure that these are as valuable as they once were BUT please note that I only really share to Stumbleupon at this point so my numbers are skewed that way.

Web visits from bookmarking

So, based on the numbers, I would say that spending time on social and increasing your search are good uses, I will continue to do stumbleupon because I find stuff there to share, but overall will not be taking any time to submit to directory sites from now on.

PS – this “where should you share your blog posts” data is skewed. It is based purely on what we are doing currently and just because we are not getting traffic from some of the sites may have more to do with the fact that we are not focusing on them than the fact they wouldn’t send traffic if we didn’t do a bit more. I used the data I had at hand!

How To Set Up Your Twitter Profile With Marketing Strategy

How To Set Up Twitter Profile Marketing StrategySo we have a reader question today…how to set up your Twitter profile with more of a marketing strategy and less of pop culture feel?

This is a more advanced tutorial so I am not going to start with, go to Twitter.com and put in your name and email. I am assuming that you have an account and that you have verified your email address.

First big question – should you change your twitter name or handle?

We get this one a lot. If you have just set up your account, change away. If you picked an offensive name or one that will be shut down once you get successful, change away. BUT, if you have had it for any length of time and have followers, links from your website and other web properties, I would leave it alone and focus on what matters, a great profile and posting amazing content.

ps – when I say one that will get shut down…for example the term “realtor” is trademarked by the National Association of Realtors, if you have a tiny account, they will leave you alone using it. The problem is that once you get successful, they will do a cease and desist, causing heartache and strife to your amazingly successful Twitter account.

Parts of your Twitter account and what they are good for

Twitter SettingsAll the bits that you need to work on will be in the gear > settings. We will break down the simple, straight forward bits and then talk about strategy.

  • Account: Has your user name, email and timezone…this is pretty straight forward.
  • Security and Privacy: For the love of all that is holy, DO NOT CHECK PROTECT MY TWEETS. Seriously, if you are using Twitter for marketing, you have to make the barrier to finding your stuff low! I check location, email, website visits and promoted content (I am in marketing, I like ads!)
  • Mobile: I ignore this! I keep my phone separate from my social media.
  • Email Notifications: Now, it will be tempting to turn all of these off BUT, if you are doing Twitter marketing connecting with people and thanking them for sharing your “stuff” is important. This is a totally personal preference and will be up to you (I only turn off “I am sent a direct message” because that is what the spammers use)
  • Profile: This is where you can really shine…we will cover it more in depth later. One thing NOT to do is to connect your Twitter to your Facebook. Choosing this will post your tweets on your FB and could make you look VERY spammy on FB. If you want connect your Facebook to your Twitter that is TOTALLY acceptable though www.facebook.com/twitter.
  • Design: This is also a place to set yourself apart for people who see your profile on the internet. That said, with more people accessing your profile through apps it isn’t as vital as it once was. I DO recommend you make it less generic (I notice when people have the generic twitter background and think they are schmoes). If you want to see some fancy twitter backgrounds go ahead and check out the link. One reason I don’t have all my contact info on my background is that the links are not clickable so do not actually serve as a back link or a way to reach me, functionally, the background is just a giant picture. I use my profile area to generate backlinks.
  • Apps: This is where you will see all the apps connected to your account. It is worth it from time to time to take a peek, but generally not an area of marketing focus. That said, I DO NOT RECOMMEND that you join a followback app or a “who unfriended me” app as these are thought of very unfavorably by real Twitter users.
  • Widgets: These are used to put your twitter bits on your website. As my only goal for my website is to get people on my email list, I do not put a twitter feed that could distract them on my site.

Setting Up Your Twitter Profile – What and Why

 

 

Accounts in this video:

Setting Up Your Twitter Profile – How To

Parts of Your Twitter Profile

  • Profile Photo: This should be a picture of a human optimally, could be your logo but surprisingly enough people mostly like to connect and share with other humans. I have heard that “changing it up” helps keep things interesting. I feel like “changing up dilutes your brand and doesn’t give people a way to learn to know, like and trust you!
  • Header: Not sure that this is that important other than making sure that it doesn’t compete with information and clickable links that sit on top of it. This could be something you change up, but I have so much more important uses of my time.
  • Bio: The most important bit for marketing. You need to make sure you get your keywords into here. I had a client who was an author who named his book “marry yourself first”…this would not be great to have people find your profile and follow you. You would want to talk about “self help” or “personal development” instead. Also, please make sure to get your actual function into the bio. Use terms that describe your title, doctor, author, direct sales, realtor, etc. You can also make hyperlinks here BUT don’t overdo it. Keep it to one that really makes a difference.
  • Location: While it is nice to have your actual town here, you may do better to get followers by choosing the biggest close location.
  • Website: This one is easy peasy, put your primary website here. If you are linking to a sub page for capturing email addresses you will need to have a direct link to it. For example I don’t use a shortner to get people to a landing page on my website, I use a top level domain name www.100FreeMarketingIdeas.com. This is because people are sick of getting scammed on the internet and they want to be able to see where a link goes before they commit to spend their time checking it out.

 

So there you have it…A LOT of information that will help with setting up your Twitter profile with marketing strategy and thought. If you have any further questions please leave a comment below and I will add it to the mix!

Social Media Marketing – Why Pictures of Kitty Cats Work So Well

Social Media Marketing - Why Pictures of Kittys Work So WellEver wonder why Kitty Cats are such a phenomenon on the internet? There you are, cruising the Facebook or Pinterest and a cute picture of a Kitty pops up and you can’t help smiling…and you hate cats! One of the big mysteries of social media marketing is why pictures of cats work so well, let’s try to break it down.

Disclaimer…while I am trying to be “scientific” about my research, most of these observations about Kitty Cats and social media marketing are anecdotal and should not be considered factual or used in any journals or reports!

I can has cheezburger - cnetThe kitty cat phenomenon first came to light for me when the “LOL cats – laugh out loud cats” showed up on I Can Has Cheezburger. According to this article, the first I Can LOL cat appeared January 9, 2007. Back then there wasn’t as much kitty competition BUT they did a great job of pairing funny cat pictures with funny sayings, spawning 6 years so far of funny cat pictures.

 

Dog swimmy poolWhat they did right…so I think that the nerve they hit was based entirely on the fact that we all love small furry creatures who are beholden to us. In my home I have a dog (who has me wrapped around her finger) and a cat who rules the home. As my husband and I didn’t have kids right away, our pets became our children and receptacle for all my baby talk, “whose a good dog, whose a good dog?”

This picture says it all, I KNOW not a cat but, what cold hearted bastard can look at this picture of a tiny creature with a cute saying and NOT have that “awwwww” reaction.

Kitty Cats and Social Media Marketing

Now, cats are cute and all, but how do they help with social media marketing? For this I have to turn to my partner in crime, the Media Monster Rebekah Welch!

I have grilled this woman relentlessly about why, as a marketing company, B2B business, heck even as a hair salon or lawyer, should ANYONE for business use kitty cats in their marketing. Sigh, it just doesn’t seem to make sense that you would want to brand yourself with a little cat instead of posting something “serious” that relates to your business.

Okay here is the scoop…people like cats, dogs, funny monsters, babies, bunnies, monkeys and panda bears. We also like cars with faces, sweet flowers with faces, heck anything on the site Cuteoverload.com is a candidate to post on the “cute-o-meter”.

Fanpop pictureAccording to this article about Neoteny from Princeton, we are predisposed genetically to liking creatures with big eyes and “cute” features so we will put up with our babies who depend on being cute for us to care for them.

In some really creepy bits, it is also why old guys like young girls better, they still have the big eyes disproportionate to how how large their faces are (like in the anime pictures – this one is from fanpop.com).

So now we know WHY cute pictures work, now tell us the HOW!

Here is the whole scoop…you find a cute picture of a kitty or ducky or other thing that people will “like” and “share”. You make sure to attribute the picture ON the picture so you don’t mess yourself up and then you post a link under the picture to whatever you are trying to drive traffic to.

Screen Capture - Cute dog in swimming poolThis example shows that I am trying to remind people to like our Marketing and Media Monsters facebook fan page which has NOTHING to do with a cute puppy picture BUT which will follow that picture around Facebook as it is shared and liked by other people.

Unfortunately social media is about more than business and marketing (I KNOW, that is just wrong but a fact). People go there to find cute stuff, get a smile or connect with their friends and acquaintances and the more things you can share which will spark a viral sharing frenzy the better.

That said, I would NEVER put this on my business pages, and feel a little funny about doing it on my profile…BUT should I get 5 or 10 more likes and increase my edge rank in Facebook, I will probably get over it!

What are you still doing here, head on over to the google and find some cute stuff to post RIGHT NOW!

How Does Social Media Work [VIDEO]

How Does Social Media Work?Ever wonder how social media actually works? What you have to do to get someone to add your link to their site or share your stuff…see how the process really works!

So I was minding my own business yesterday and a guy named Rohan Ayyar emailed me a really nice letter about wanting to guest post on my blog. I said no (I always say no!) but we did get into a nice back and forth and come to find out he had a really good link to share with me. That sparked a bunch of link clicking that led me to finding the King of Link Building and now I will be sharing his posts out to my social networks…see how it all went down:

So this is how social media works:

  1. Rohan (who has a really cool list of free seo tools) sent me an email asking to guest post which led to…
  2. a rejection, but he sent me a really great link back to the post “Throw Away Your Form Letters (or Five Principles to Better Outreach Link Building)” which led to..
  3. a link to the King of Link Building, Justin Briggs so I…
  4. added him to feed reader which I share with my 50,000 plus direct connections!

Now, what are our takeaways?

I DO think that reaching out to people via email with some forethought and consideration is effective. Rohan was great about the fact that I wouldn’t publish a post that would get him a link from my (pretty high ranking) blog. BUT because he sent me someone else’s link, and was nice, I gave him a keyword targeted backlink for no work, just because!

You DO have to produce great content that other people will like and share. It is very funny to me that this is such a key point in marketing. Before marketing was about telling people about you and then they bought. Now it is about helping them first before they want to hear anything about you.

Some of our clients and peeps want to know the ONE THING that they can do to gain social media success. That one post or video that will “go viral” and get all the hard work done at one time. That is just not how it works. You need to have LOTS of stuff out there that people can find, like, share and spread. Going for one big thing is a recipe for failure. Do LOTS! Start now!

Twitter Marketing – 5 REAL Tips To Make Your Twitter Marketing Better

Twitter Marketing - 5 Real Tips To Make Your Twitter Marketing BetterI LOVE Twitter Marketing. My reasons are many but primarily it is because they have an open API and I have a multitude of tools that I can use on my computer AND my iPad that make communicating with people easier.

Additionally, there are so many fewer people there than on the Facebook that I have a chance to cut through the clutter and actually be effective.

So why twitter marketing? Here are my 5 best tips for how to make your Twitter Marketing better!

You get to talk to talk to people who you would never have access to in real life!

It is amazing to me that yesterday I had conversation (all-be it a REALLY short one) with best selling author Jay Baer who has a book coming out this week and who was promoting it on the Twitter. He posted something and I shared it with my networks. The funny thing about this is that we (Me and the Media Monster, Rebekah Welch) saw him at a conference we attended where he was the keynote. Now, he didn’t know-know me, but he did know my twitter handle (taradactyl – follow me!).

At that same event, we met a lady who was a little, um, bossy and things could have taken a grouchy turn until I whipped out, “we are friends on Twitter! I am the Taradactyl” and immediately everything went from ho-hum to “oh my gosh” and “nice to meet you”.

Twitter Tip: When you share something from someone you are trying to “meet” on twitter, make sure to include the @ sign and their twitter handle. So in Jay Baer’s case, this was the tweet I shared.. Wanna help a great author? Pre-order Youtility by @jaybaer http://buff.ly/120E0CL can’t wait to get this one!!! There was nothing in it for me other than I am a fan and I think his stuff will help my peeps. Do enough of these and you WILL get noticed!

You can post multiple times and reach different markets

Tweet Generator | Twitter Tweet AdderI read a study, sorry I don’t have the link, that said at 24 posts per day on Twitter engagement goes down. So you could post 24 times a day and still not be seen as a spammer on Twitter – as long as your stuff is AMAZING and HELPFUL. What does that mean? I cannot post “Social Media Marketing Company – Denver CO” with a link over and over and expect anyone to follow me and share that. What I can post is information about marketing from other people, my blog posts, my videos, more information about marketing, and then, like one in 10 or 15 times a marketing message that is blatant. I have earned the right to do that by having such great content!

Think about it, you post 24 times a day about your industry on Facebook and you would get dropped like a hot potato, if not banned from the network outright! Oh the complaints your loving friends and family would throw your way!

Twitter Tip: When you are posting an event or a link to important content, make sure that you do not use the same words over and over! So if we are having a marketing event here I would not post…

  • FREE Internet Marketing Training – Learn Our Successful IM Secrets | July 16th http://goo.gl/V7v2O #marketing #denver
  • FREE Internet Marketing Training – Learn Our Successful IM Secrets | July 16th http://goo.gl/V7v2O #marketing #denver
  • FREE Internet Marketing Training – Learn Our Successful IM Secrets | July 16th http://goo.gl/V7v2O #marketing #denver

Instead I would use the Tweet Generator to post these which look very different and will appeal to a broader range of people!

  • FREE Marketing Training, Denver CO, July 16th – Check it out! http://goo.gl/V7v2O #marketing
  • Denver Marketing Course :: Free training July 16th, Presented by the M&M Monsters http://goo.gl/V7v2O #marketing
  • FREE in-person Internet Marketing Course – #Denver, CO http://goo.gl/V7v2O #marketing

Make some lists

Alright, this is a biggie that everyone talks about and no one really knows how to implement! You need to make a list of the same types of people who are your prospects using your customer demographics data. So one of my target markets is realtors. So I made a list of realtors on my twitter (https://twitter.com/TARAdactyl/realtors) – there are about 200 in there and growing every day. So why is that list helpful to me as a marketing person?

1. If I am going to be sharing something that is real estate marketing related, I can check out the realtors list first and retweet an article or two of theirs BEFORE I post my thing. Remember, just because I am following them and have them listed, doesn’t mean that they follow me yet or that I am on their radar at all! By doing that I can help them, they will probably swing back and thank me for sharing their things and check out my recent posts and profile. I KNOW, you are thinking that is A LOT of work for one retweet. Well, if just one of those people is really well connected you will notice that you get an additional 20 or 30 followers all at once. Now THAT is something worth getting.

2. Every once in a while I check who has me listed. Many times I will swing around and follow all those people who cared enough to list me. SO WHAT you think…well consider if you make a list of all the top industry leaders you know (or would like to get to know) and just 10 percent of them followed you because you listed them? Getting followed means that you have a chance to market and show your expertise in a way you would never have access to in real life!

Get some tools!

The best thing about twitter is the third party tools that you can use which make the service even better! Here are some I use…

  • TweetAdder – I LOVE the tweetadder for setting up RSS feeds to autopost and also doing auto retweets (VERY selectively).
  • Tweet Generator – This is our tool that lets you “spin” your tweets
  • Janetter – The only app that I have found which lets me use the List functions on the iPhone and iPad…LOVE them
  • Twitter fake followers – Fun way to see if your (or your competition) has fake followers
  • Twitter Analytics – Seems weird that these live in the ads section – or maybe just a brilliant marketing ploy!
  • Buffer – AWESOME for posting stuff you find on the Twitter

There are the basics, if you have some more good ones, please leave a note it the comment section and I will check them out!

Finally – Have multiple accounts

Nicely enough, having multiple accounts does not violate the terms of service for Twitter. So why should you try to grow multiples? I have my main account that is sacred and my “real” place (taradactyl). BUT I also have an account that talks about nothing but email marketing (emailnerds). That is the “what’s in it for them account”. They don’t have to guess at whether they will “like” me, if they like email marketing, they will like what I post there!

Twitter Tip: So how does that help? First off, I am getting followers who might never like me-me. Second off, I find lots of great things to post about email marketing because I find it interesting and I am not turning my main account into email marketing central. Lastly, I can, every once in a while, post something that leads to my free offer or a sales product we are selling that is relevant to that niche. Again, I have earned the right by posting LOTS of amazing stuff over there that is not spammy-spammy.

Twitter Marketing Wrapup

Alright, I am not saying that this is my last plea for you to love the Twitter, but this is my best stuff. If any one thing resonated with you, PLEASE give it a try and see if you can’t get some traction!

As always, if you have any good tips I missed, please leave a comment below!

Social media marketing – How To Make Interesting Twitter Tweets

Social media marketing – How To Make Interesting Twitter TweetsSocial media marketing is easy, everybody says. Just post on the Twitter and you will get millions of dollars everyone says. Bah humbug!

If you have been on Twitter for any length of time, you know that Twitter tweets are fast moving and your Twitter feed is FULL of crap (and naughty girls but that is a problem for another day!) If your tweets do not stand out, you will be just a part of the crowd!

I am working on a post showing 100 great twitter tweets and DAMN it is slow going finding good examples! That said, what would make YOUR Twitter Tweets interesting…here is a quick video to get you started!

Twitter Tweet Strategy

Do NOT send out the same message over and over

Think about it, if your twitter stream looks like this don’t you think you look spammy…

  • Social media marketing services – Check Us out for all your #smm needs! http://marketingartfully.com
  • Social media marketing services – Check Us out for all your #smm needs! http://marketingartfully.com
  • Social media marketing services – Check Us out for all your #smm needs! http://marketingartfully.com

What if we took the exact same idea and link and made it look a little different like this…

  • Professional SMM Services :: Check Us out for #smm http://marketingartfully.com
  • Professional SMM Services :: We know how to ROCK your #socialmedia http://marketingartfully.com
  • Social media marketing services – Check Us out for #socialmedia http://marketingartfully.com
  • Social media marketing services – We know how to ROCK your #smm http://marketingartfully.com

Just by taking a little bit of time and using the Tweet Generator, we can get four posts of varying lengths in about 2 minutes!

Make your tweets look different every time!

Okay, so one of the things that I did here was to use different characters in my tweets like :: and a hypen. Using ampersands, CAPS, hypens, punctuation and other interesting do dads makes your tweets look more interesting too! Check out these Fancy Schmancy tweets!

  • Marketing & Social Media Services – #smm http://marketingartfully.com
  • SMM & Marketing Svcs #smm http://marketingartfully.com
  • AMAZING Social Media Marketing Co. :: #smm http://marketingartfully.com
  • Need social media? #smm http://marketingartfully.com

They all say the same thing but look very different!

What’s in it for them?

Last but not least, don’t do what I just did! Most people are not on Twitter to “buy your stuff”. They are there to learn, find out new info or discover something that will make them money, thinner, happier or any number of other things. Going for the HARD SELL is recipe for disaster.

Instead, give them something of value that leads them into your pipeline…

  • FREE Resource – 100 Free Marketing Ideas #marketing http://100freemarketingideas.com
  • 100 Free Marketing Ideas :: #marketing http://100freemarketingideas.com
  • Need Marketing HELP? Free resource 100 Free Marketing Ideas #marketing http://100freemarketingideas.com
  • BRILLIANT! 100 Free Marketing Ideas #marketing http://100freemarketingideas.com
  • Free & Good! Yep…100 Free marketing ideas #marketing http://100freemarketingideas.com

Well there you have it, how to make interesting twitter tweets! That is it for your social media lessons today!

Social Media Marketing – 50 Ways To Get More Shares On Social Media

50 Plus Ways To Get More Shares On Social Media MarketingSo the Holy Grail of social media marketing is to “go viral” and get millions of views of one of your posts, videos, etc. What about instead if you tried to get more shares on the general posts you send out there?

I am not good at math but I am good at marketing and having one post that “goes viral” is much less effective than having 100 posts that get shared at a much lower level but have a much broader reach. Some people who have had a message go viral spend the rest of time trying to duplicate that to no avail.

So what should you do? Try to get a broader reach by having people like, share or otherwise interact with your content. For each interaction, your social reach goes up and you have more and more chance that new and different people will share your “stuff”.

So let’s get started!

Blatantly ask for the like or share

  • ‘Like’ if you agree, then ‘Share’ with others.
  • Pass this wonderful XXX on to all your family and friends!!
  • Check it out and “Like” the page
  • Please share…
  • please everyone share !!!!!!
  • Do give-a-ways that require sharing using tools like Raffle-Copter or GroSocial
  • Like and share ♥ – don’t know if the little heart made any difference but it did stand out.
  • Feel free to share and tag pictures! – seems to be encouraging people to share on their wall, crowdsourcing content!
  • To win your chance to win XXX all you have to do is like our page, and like and share this post. Winner will be announced when this post has 100 likes.
  • Please share this page with Ashford Oaks Neighbors. – I like the specificity of this one!
  • LIKE, COMMENT, SUBSCRIBE, SHARE & POST!!!!
  • Let’s have some input and I will make it happen. Please SHARE this so that lots see it and comment.
  • Why not share our page. We’ll be posting up some yummy recipies soon!
  • Like if you agree, Ignore if you disagree!
  • (LIKE & SHARE)
  • Hit “like” if you’re willing to cruise with Carnival. Comment if you’re not.

Asking questions to get comments

  • Caption this?
  • Anyone interested?
  • Comment with your thoughts: should we….?
  • What is your favorite holiday?
  • What is your favorite….?
  • …other —> Comment below.
  • This ring true for you?
  • Yes or no? gets good feedback because easy for your friends and fans
  • True or false?
  • What could you do with…?
  • Why do you…?
  • Ask multiple choice questions (pick A, B, or C)
  • Can you give me your feedback on this?
  • Where do you go to….?
  • What is your best tip for…
  • What is the best…
  • What do you think of all the…
  • What is the strangest thing you have ever done to…
  • Do you like?
  • Which is better…

Post what people want

Now I am not a huge proponent of posting “stuff for stuff’s sake”, but if you are here, you are probably trying to get a foothold of more likes, follows, connections or something else important and posting “popular” content in and among your normal postings can help that!

  • Quotes from famous people
  • Quotes with pictures you make (these work great for me as I can use them on the Facebook AND Pinterest!)
  • Cats, everyone likes kitties!
  • Celebrities
  • Happy things – I did a search to see if happy things are shared more than sad things, no results yet, could someone mathy please research this and get back to me…:)
  • Industry related INTERESTING information – just found a great post for our Realtors to share that was houses made out of unusual things like an airplane!
  • Smart things – my favorite place to find smart AND funny things is the “I fucking love science” page on Facebook. With over 4 million likes, it renews my faith in humanity that smart, clever humor is okay too!

Post when it matters

Unless you are targeting Mountain time people (like I sometimes do), you should post all content at a relevant time for Eastern folks. In addition, I use these times as a guide not a hard and fast rule as sometimes you can be too cute for your own good and jump in when EVERYONE is doing it and miss out on the slower times’ opportunities.

  • Twitter appears to like the afternoon the best with 5pm being the optimal time to get retweets, that said, noon and 6pm are also good times to tweet!1
  • On the Facebook, good times to post are noon and 7pm and one post every other day will increase sharing opportunities (I think this is because FB doesn’t show EVERY post you have to EVERY person who could see it. Because of this, you increase your chances of being shared more if you post less often.1

Don’t be shy

  • You should tweet out your blog posts at least 4 times for maximum exposure and sharing opportunities. I recommend using Hootsuite for this so that you can schedule them for the day you post, later the following day, a couple of days later and a week or so later, mixing up the times.2

Common courtesy

  • Sometimes it is hard to figure out who has shared your “stuff” but if you see that someone has, make sure to acknowledge them by liking their page or profile, sending a message to thank them and sharing something of theirs!

Some places I used to research this article…

One final note, this is an article about legitimate ways to get more interaction with your friends and fans. It is intended to help my small business owners with their social media marketing and should in no way be confused for “like farming” which a pox on society and a scammers dream.

What Is The ROI On Social Media Marketing – Probably Not What You Think!

What Is The ROI On Social Media Marketing - Probably Not What You Think!So a couple of years ago, selling social media marketing was an uphill slog. Our business owners were amazed that anyone would consider messing around on Facebook or Twitter as actual marketing. Luckily today we have a better handle on the fact that social media marketing is similar to having a yellow page age in years past. If you don’t have it, then you aren’t in business.

That said, one question that keeps coming up over and over is….what is the ROI (Return On Investment) for social media marketing?

This term, bandied about by everyone from marketing “experts” to grandmothers, actually comes from the manufacturing industry and accountants who want a direct outgoing cost to match with a direct incoming profit.

With businesses that have been drilled in cost accounting principles almost 100 years old, this is their paradigm: the view that any amount of money that goes out the door other than taxes can have a return, and those returns can be compared across any investments….problem with Social Media is that it generates multiple returns, and only some of those are sales. Awareness, assists, advocacy and avoided costs are just some of the extra benefits a business can receive through participation in social media, and not all of those can be turned into a dollar figure.

great story about SMM and ROI here! go ahead and read it, I will wait here until you come back…:)

The Indirect Benefit of Social Media Marketing

So now we know that the expectation is that you will spend one dollar on social media market and you will directly receive one dollar (or more) back. Okay, there are ways to do that including driving traffic to a specific page, having an amazing offer on that page, getting someone new’s contact information, then sending them an offer and having a percentage of the people accepting it. I do believe this is best accomplished with pay-per-click marketing like Adwords, but people with big networks can do the same thing without paying. (BONUS…grow big networks)

The problem with this type of marketing is that as soon as you stop paying, the faucet shuts off and you were right where you started (with a few more leads hopefully).

The brilliance of social media marketing is that you are growing a huge network of people who WANT to hear your industry information and who, when ready and also looking for a marketing message. They will NOT go away the first time you stop paying (but they will if you stop posting consistently). So what can honestly expect from social media marketing?

check-out-our-social-media-marketing-servicesBranding – Years ago I was NOT a huge proponent of branding, the reason being that sending 10,000 postcards or paying for multiple full page ads in magazines is cost prohibitive (according to Quirks Marketing Research, the average cost of a full page, full color ad is $3,500, which would pay for basic social media marketing for 7 MONTHS, not just targeting readers of a magazine, but everyone on the internet! As the cost of branding yourself has gone down, so have the channels available (Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.)

Multiple Platforms – One of the reasons it used to be easier to do your marketing was a matter of scale. One neighborhood newspaper, three TV stations, one yellow pages. Now there are hundreds (if not thousands) of places for people to consume media. They are looking at social media sites, their tables, Netflix, their phones, and there are no longer 5 places but 5,000 places to be! Having a strong social media plan means being on as many of the sites that people are visiting because it is all about them and how they conduct their content consumption!

Crooked Line – The hardest part of social media marketing is the not knowing where and when being out there will make a difference. One of our peeps just told us about this opportunity:

Just received another FB Realtor referral! When I asked the obvious question why me? the Realtor said that I’m active on FB and friends with her OP and she looked at my profile and picked me! Ya gotta love the power of social media:)

Now, there is no way that we could know she would get a referral in this agent’s geographic area, nor could we know that that the OP was important to target. What we did know was that the broader and more prolific her contacts on the social media were, the more chances she would have for getting this kind of message.

So, what is the ROI of social media? About the same as attending your local Rotary or Chamber of Commerce meetings consistently, just on a global scale! Making those connections and “being out there” is the same online and off, just the opportunities grow as your networks grow!

Social Media Marketing – What If I Do Not Want To Share Everything?

Social media marketing is all about connecting with people on the interwebs, gaining their attention to talk or notice your “stuff” and then maintaining that connection through communicating with them, sometimes across multiple channels or social media sites.

Social Media Marketing - Why do I have to share everything?First off, I just want you to know that for a public personality I am a pretty introverted kind of gal. I have a core group of friend-friends and a wide range business-friends who I have met through speaking, networking or from the internet through social media or my website.

I spend A LOT of time behind the computer doing work and then reaching out to talk and share on the internet. I write blog posts and post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and several other social sharing site, BUT those are things that I purposefully and proactively share.

What I am not so happy about is the inter-connectivity that many companies require. I was reading this morning and there was a really cool program that would show you your Google grade for your company’s name. While I could do that pretty easily by doing a search on the Google itself, it seemed like it would have some added functions that caught my eye…UNTIL they said that I had sign up through Facebook and hook it to my account.

Seriously? What does my Google search have to do with Facebook and why would I want to post those connections there? The developers have obviously jumped on the social media band wagon and are pushing for me to share EVERYTHING about every aspect of my life with my “friends”. Let me just tell you, my friend-friends know about what I do because I call, text, email or otherwise communicate with them, NOT in full view of everyone else on Facebook.

Now, I have to say that I am less snarky about things that connect to my Twitter, but still, why does everything have to be connected?

I am not a twelve year old girl who wants everyone to know that I like David Cassidy (the Justin Bieber of my time) on Spotify, I do not need stray and random strangers wishing me happy birthday through an app, and I don’t need the world to know that I am looking for a bumble bee placemat on Etsy.

I have started to boycott apps that only allow signups through social media. They don’t do it to make my life better, they do it so that every move I make on their app causes a subsequent notification on my (rather large) social networks, in effect endorsing their program.

I have a feeling that I am not the only one who feels this way and I hope that this will change over time. If I want to endorse something, believe me, I know how to hit the share button. BUT being forced to do social media marketing by companies with nothing more than an app is definitely not something I believe in!

PS – We do social media marketing for business clients and they often ask why they have to use their person as the face of their company. Sigh, it is because people like people better than companies, but it is getting harder and harder each day for me to justify why their online actions should all be fodder for the world to see. I am still a proponent of using social media to market your business, just not for having everyone seeing that you play Ninja Chicken when you take you lunch break!

Social Media Marketing – Why You Should Outsource Instead of Keeping It In House

Social Media Marketing - Why You Should Outsource Instead of Keeping It In HouseSocial media marketing is a mainstay of business today. No matter how stupid you believe tweeting and pinning and liking are, in the end there is a tremendous value to being present online WHEREVER your customers and prospects are.

Used to be business dictated how people found out about them and how they were projected in advertising and the media. You bought an ad, placed a yellow page listing or had a write up in the newspaper that you basically controlled. Today, consumers are out there talking about you and your brand, searching the internet to find out what your company is all about and making buying decisions based on what they find.

Yesterday we had a business owner call to say that there were bad comments out there on a website and he wanted to know what one thing he could do to make that go away. Unfortunately there is no one thing. There are ten spots on google every time someone does a search and he will need to fill those up with LinkedIn listings, website and blog listings, Facebook and Google Plus profiles, YouTube videos and all other manner of data about his company in order to battle that.

So what if no one is talking bad about your company. You are okay with sticking your head in the sand and ignoring social media right? Hmmmm no! Having one website that was supposed to carry the load for your entire marketing efforts may have worked in 2003, but today, you need to be visible across a wide range of media. Your customers all have a favorite and if you aren’t on there, your competitors will be attracting their attention before they even get around to searching for your products or services!

Outsourcing Your Social Media Marketing

So now you know why you need it, why can’t you just hire someone in house to do your social media marketing? That way you can look over their shoulder and manage everything internally. Here are my Top 10 reasons for why this is a very bad idea!

1. It is cost prohibitive to get someone that is good. The AVERAGE salary for a social media marketing manager according to Salary.com is $101,969 a year. This does not include benefits that anyone decent will require.

Social Media Marketing Manager

2. The benefits package for this employee will be another expense. In addition to the salary requirements, you have another $12,550 to cover Social Security, retirement, healthcare, etc.

Social media marketing manager benefits

3. Getting someone with marketing experience. Social media marketing is not about social media, it is entirely about marketing. While learning the tools of how to accomplish the tasks is important, you would not hire a surgeon just because she had a good way with cutting her food. Knowing the company’s goals, what you want to accomplish and the best ways to do that are skills that are learned over the years. There are four hour courses that some of the so call “social media experts” take to learn the tools and then put themselves out there as gurus. Make sure to ask how long your in house employee has been doing marketing.

4. Staying current with the trends. Social media marketing and SEO are a moving target. You cannot learn something today and think that it will be the same in a year (or even the next two months). One glaring thing that comes to mind here is the practice of using posting services like Hootsuite. While there is a place for those, all you need to do is take a peek at your Facebook timeline to see that there are not nearly as many Hootsuite auto posts as there are real people who hand posted.

5. Keeping up with training. Another huge annual cost you will be bringing in house is training. Your employee will need to take courses and attend conferences and training events to stay current with the technologies. We spend between $6,000 and $10,000 annually in training for our employees and our marketing expert. The problem with spending this money on an employee is that all that know-how walks out the door if they leave.

6. A commitment to keeping jobs in America. One thing we do hear is that companies are sick of outsourcing US dollars overseas. This can make hiring a person for your company seem like a patriotic thing to do. We agree whole heartedly and there are social media marketing companies who are not outsourcing work (we know, we are one of them!). Simply ask if their employees are in the US or if they employ overseas workers when you are doing your due diligence.

7. Lots of hands. If you have your social media in house and your employee becomes sick or unable to do their job, there is no one to step in and pick up the ball. When you outsource your work, the social media marketing company should have multiple employees who can step in and take over your posting at a moments notice.

8. No animosity. Another big problem we find is that employees who are leaving or getting ready to leave on bad terms have sometimes tampered with or otherwise disrupted marketing channels before heading out the door. We have had more than one company contact us to see if there is a “secret” to getting their Facebook page back after a disgruntled employee has changed passwords or deleted pages. When you are working with an outside company, their workers are do not have any “skin in the game” to hurt your company. In fact, we hire all “seasoned” women who are proud of the job they do and who have never stepped a toe over the line without asking first.

9. Time and consistency. We have worked with a number of big (and small) companies who have every intention of hiring a social media marketing manager to, well, do the social media tasks. What we have found is that this person rapidly becomes busy doing other company things and the focus on tweeting, answering messages and generally minding the social media store gets diluted. Having an outside company dedicated to this allows your marketing department to keep the goals and focus in mind while directing the outsourcing agency, but the work still gets done.

10. Doing what you do best. If your company is not a social media marketing company, then the focus of your business needs to stay on your industry and not get mired in the social media flavor of the day. Utilizing internal talent to be doing outward facing tasks is definitely not the highest and best use of their time. It is fine to have sales people working with specific prospects, but your company as a whole has to have a plan in place to take advantage of this huge (and multi-legged) marketing opportunity.

Are we biased because we ARE a social media marketing company, probably! But I have to say that all of these are items that we have encountered in our work with companies and they are valid problems in this internet, social media based world.

If you have any questions about this or would like to talk about opportunities for hiring a social media marketing company to outsource your work to, please give us a call today! 727-415-9165

Going Viral – How Social Media Marketing Gets Spread

Going viral and being seen by MILLIONS of people is the goal of most small business owners. They want to make sure their social media gets picked up and “liked”, “thumbs upped” or generally approved of by the masses. That having been said, is it better to “go viral” or better to build a strong internet foundation that will last through the next google update? Additionally, is it important to be popular on just one social network, or should you spread your efforts over many, increasing your social media marketing reach?

Why humans want to be popular on one social media marketing platform

Going Viral - How Social Media Marketing Gets SpreadLet’s start with why we humans like to be popular on our favorite social media site. I have a young photographer friend, Emmet who takes AMAZING pictures. He is looking to have hundreds (or preferably thousands) of likes on his Instagram pictures.

He has built up a nice following (142 people who have indicated that they are following his work). So what is the problem with being popular on Instagram? Because he is in the 12-17 year old age demographic, he is focused primarily on mobile. You can reach him easily by texting, but not so much if you email him (I think he may check his email a couple of times a month). So Emmet’s world view is that becoming popular on a mobile social sharing site is the goal.

Now, if you are an oldster like me (in the 45-54 year old demographic) you are probably not so focused on your phone. You are probably on Facebook, check your emails and even like receiving direct mail (gasp). So what should Emmet do to increase his reach?

  • If he is going to keep concentrating on Instagram as his sole place to post pictures, he needs to drive traffic there! So he could post a link to his Instagram page on Facebook, include it in his outgoing signature line of his emails, send a postcard that tells you his link, etc.
  • If his goal is to get his pictures seen by a wider audience, he should consider posting them on Pinterest (a photo sharing site), putting them on Flickr.com with a creative commons license so people can use them and share them, and even post them on Facebook. If he increases his audience, he will increase his likes.
  • Finally, if he takes more pictures, there will be more to like and catch someone’s eye, leading them back to find out what else this guy has to offer. He is very focused on having only amazing pictures (which I applaud) but a couple of notes. You have to do something A LOT to get better at it (my husband who is a great photographer also has taken tens of thousands of pictures to get a body of work that he is starting to become proud of…his first ones were not great, they are AMAZING now). You also have to have a wide range of photos for people to choose to like. I like his picture of a lizard VERY much, someone else, maybe not so much!

See all of Emmet’s work on Instagram here…Emmet on Instagram

Why one thing will probably not go viral

So, our young friend is being picky about the quality of pictures he posts and wants to be recognized in a big way…sounds silly right? Well I have talked to HUNDREDS of small business owners who have the same idea. They want to make one high quality, amazing video that they can post up on YouTube, go viral and then rake in the big bucks. The problem with that is that most small biz owners want to make a commercial about their business, highlighting the features and benefits of working with them and showcasing the company owner.

How many of you zoom though every commercial on your television through the use of your DVR? I know I do. I will even start recording something, then watch a half hour something else so that I can skip through the first one without commercials when I am ready.

So if you are planning on having a commercial for your company go viral….hmmmm….not so much. So what is popular on YouTube? you can click the link to check today, this week, this month and all time

I had thought it would be soldiers coming home, or cute kitties, but come to find out it rock videos mostly. A funny man named Psy, Jennifer Lopez and Justin Beiber. NONE of these is a commercial for anything. In fact, I did a really cool post on superbowl commercials and how many views they got on YouTube….the one with Eminem about Detroit (one of my all time favorites) that aired a couple of years ago had had only about 20,000 views a week after airing and it was on the superbowl for goodness sakes.

So how do you get viewers for your videos? Make lots of them!

Deborah Ward (Emmet’s mom) is my friend and a Clearwater Realtor. She has over 20,000 views on her videos…want to know how many the highest one has? About 2,000 for one Emmet made about a software product years ago. The other 18,000 have come 1,000 or 1,500 at a time…some with 34, etc. The old ones have more views than the new ones (they have just been there longer). So what does that mean in the real world? Deborah has sold a fair number of houses with leads from her videos. She is Irish so Irish people like her, she talks funny so she is interesting to listen to, overall, she is friendly and makes LOTS of videos (near as I can tell she has about 108 right now!)

check out Deborah’s videos (the CrazyIrishRealtor)

Really going viral

So we did have a client who went viral, Green Cleaning Products LLC, and our friend Rae Ann. She had had a free offer for a full sized product of her green cleaning products up for almost two years when one day the Mommy bloggers found it. Within hours she went from hundreds of views a month to 10,000 views in a day, got over 4,000 submissions for a free product and added a bunch of people to her mailing list. A true viral success story, right?

Um, not so much. It cost her a pretty penny to mail out all of those items, and the rate of reorder is dismal (the Mommy bloggers just wanted free stuff, not green cleaning products). But her web hits probably went through the roof, right? Um, not so much again…while she did get some carry over on her hits, in general her traffic has since settled back down to pre-viral levels. What has happened is she grew her mailing list and she is able to market ongoing, but if you figured out the cost of mailing, etc and how much each lead cost, she probably had other (more cost effective) ways she could have grown her list.

The moral of the story

So, this is a real tortoise and the hair kind of story. You can “go viral”, “burn your list” or do other things that will give you a big splash in the pan OR you can be like the turtle who wins in the end, growing a large, sustainable internet city that can not be torn down with one site closing or google changing an algorithm.

If I had to choose between going viral with my social media marketing or having my big networks of responsive people who know me, like me, trust me and think I know what I am doing…I will pick raving fans EVERY time over a quick hit of people who are just out there!

Social Media Marketing – People Don’t Want To Interact With Your Brand

Social media marketing is FULL of common wisdom. I hear all the time that we should get people interacting with our brands. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are lots of brands that people want to interact with! I can think of a few that tickle my fancy like Starbucks and Hank’s Frozen Custard in Conneaut Lake PA. That having been said, there are literally thousands of brands that I buy and see every year which I don’t love enough to interact with…

Social Media Marketing - Interacting with brandSo I was reading the Harvard Business Review today (not usually such a classy reader so I HAD to name drop!). They were writing about why you should make a cell phone app but there were some bits in there that really resonated with me,

“In short, brands can create loyalty by being more personable, helpful and likable. But that’s not enough. Brands may be saying that they want engagement and conversations with consumers, but that’s not what consumers want. (Do you really want to “engage” with your grocery store? No. You want to get your food and go home.)” HBR Article Link

I think that MOST people do not want to interact with MOST brands. That creates a large gap between business and their customers. If you are taking time to build a business page, obsessing over how many likes and trying to keep your profile separate from your biz page, you may be wasting time and shooting yourself in the foot! So does that mean I think you don’t have to have a business page or that you shouldn’t post business pictures on Pinterest, not just no, but hell no. Potential customers are checking out your business on the internet and if you are missing or haven’t posted in months I guarantee they will move on to a more connected company.

What I am saying, is that as a small business, you HAVE to be the face of your company! Mashable has Pete Cashmore, Amazon has Jeff Bezos, Wendy’s had Dave Thomas, the lists go on and on. While customers like using the products and services of a company, the fall in LOVE with the person who is the face and soul of it.

Can you pay someone to interact with your brand?

So what about if you try harder, spend more and shout about your business. Wouldn’t all that attention FORCE the market to notice your business? Can’t you just buy attention?

My husband interacts with the Wisconsin Badgers and the Minnesota Vikings. He grew up in Minnesota and went to the University of Wisconsin. He is an “Apple” guy who owns every computer, phone, iPad, etc. on the planet and has to order the new ones on the first day. He shoots photos with his Nikon camera and drives a Jeep (we had one before, sold it and then had to get another one).

So what if we decided that we would try and make him a Cowboys fan, driving a Subaru with a Windows phone in his hand and Canon on his hip? We could slather him with Facebook ads touting the benefits of Subaru, Google Adwords him to death with Windows ads and stream Dallas highlights to him on his phone 24 hours, 7 days a week. Do you think that will change his mind or his habits? Nope, probably will just annoy him that we were interrupting his fabulous life with things that didn’t add anything and were generally distracting to him.

You could spend all the money in the world and you wouldn’t change ANYTHING about him (that is why the 18-25 demographic is so highly coveted, but that is a post for another day!)

So what should you do? You can’t spend your way out, you can’t yell your way out, you need a strong social media marketing plan that will allow you to grow a following, send out relevant and interesting content and MAYBE sell stuff. Generally your social media marketing should be filling your sales funnel, NOT acting as a salesman!!

If you would like to find out more, check out our social media marketing services or call us today 727-415-9165!

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:

Join our small business marketing clubJoin Our Marketing Club

We KNOW frustrating it is to find a great new marketing concept that you think will work for your industry, only to find out that you wasted your time! We give you industry based marketing ideas that you can use today to grow your business!!! Find out more about industry based marketing

FREE Realtor Marketing Event Tampa Bay – Pinterest Marketing

Free Realtor Marketing Event Tampa Bay - Pinterest Join us for this FREE Realtor Marketing Event, where you will learn the ins and outs of Pinterest Marketing from Tara Jacobsen, Marketing Speaker and realtor marketing expert!

(just FYI – while this is a Realtor Marketing Event, anyone is welcome! we will be covering A LOT of information that would be relevant to anyone doing Pinterest Marketing!)

Some of the things we will cover in this event are:

  • Why do you need ANOTHER social media network
  • How do you do Pinterest for BUSINESS?
  • How to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your website
  • How to make and name boards
  • Why SEO (search engine optimization) is so important
  • What to pin
  • The top mistakes businesses make on Pinterest
  • And more!!!

Sign Me Up!

I need to know a little more first…:)

Okay, now that I know you are at least a little intrigued, also know that we will be covering strategy, developing a real plan for how to use this new social media network so it benefits you and your business. Not a canned speech, you will walk out the door knowing what to do going forward.

There will be A LOT of audience participation, meaning you will find out how to market your business effectively on Pinterest and we will all gain great ideas from working together.

Cost:
FREE!

When:
November 15th
9am-11am

Where:
The Safety Harbor Resort and Spa
105 N. Bayshore Dr.
Safety Harbor, FL 34695
http://safetyharborspa.com/

Sign up!

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

SEO Tips…Taking Over A Long Tail Keyword On Google And Social Media

SEO tips abound AND I have heard recently that “SEO IS DEAD” – I put those caps in on purpose so you can understand how adamant the discussion is! That having been said, I think that there is definitely a place for SEO in social media as well as on your website or blog.

So first off, let’s see what term we are going to attack…there are a couple of places that I go to find this but first we need to know what we are trying to accomplish. You can do this two ways…if you have a product to sell, then you want to get a keyword (or keyword phrase actually) that will help you sell more of those. If you want to get more traffic to your website, then it behooves you to piggy back on a popular phrase you already have on your website!

While I target small business and entrepreneur marketing primarily, I do have a little niche in Realtor Marketing that I like to keep healthy. I started up this site when I was just getting out of real estate in 2008 and so initially the Google ranked me for that term and I have been successful at keeping that connection, even while building up more authority as an entrepreneur or small business marketer.

In this video we are going to look at the difference between picking low hanging fruit keywords (ones that compliment what you already rank for) or how to find new keyword phrases to be able to rank for and sell stuff.

So now we have a keyword we are going to look trying to rank for (pinterest marketing tips)…what can we practically do?

  • Should I send all the pinterest marketing tips traffic to plain jane marketingartfully.com or should I send them to my sales page for my pinterest marketing course (this is the one that I chose – Pinterest Marketing – Video Training Course)
  • Next I went to my Google+ account and plus-oned the page (I can do some of these things from the post with the likey-likey plugin thingy (YES that is the technical term!) I made sure to use the search term while plussing it… see the google post
  • Next on my SEO list is Pinterest. Now, Pinterest does show up in google searches BUT if you SEO your pin right it will show up in pinterst searches too so over to the pinterest I go! link to pinterest pin
  • Shoop, shoop, shoop on over to the Twitter to tweet with a #Pinterest #Marketing Tips – throw in those hashtags on twitter when possible!!! see the twitter tweet
  • Over to the Stumble Upon to link it up! see the stumble upon link
  • Ahhh the facebook….Facebook is closed system so I am going to try and do a note and see if that gets us anywhere with our pinterest marketing tips keyword! so lame…can’t make links but…here is the Facebook note link

SEO Tips - Taking over a long term keyword on google and social mediaNow, there are about a million other places that I could make a link….like YouTube (see the youtube video with the link back and the keywords here), Tumblr, Squidoo, etc…but as a start I think I have a good chance of something somewhere winding up ranking on this keyword on Google’s universal search! find out more about google’s universal search for small business.

So, hopefully I have made a good case for why you would want to use these SEO tips to go about taking over a long term keyword that could help you grow a certain aspect of your business! Google is important but so are the social media sites and even offline marketing and sales.

PS – If you got all the way down here I wanted to give you something a little more (more advanced and more technical!) If you noticed the link to the Google Universal Search post has keywords and is linking INTERNALLY back to post on my website…this is great for making google know what your site is about because YOU control the keywords!

PSS – If you knew that, maybe you don’t know yet that while naming your Pinterest boards is important, maybe more so is filling out the descriptions so you turn up in search well! Just sayin…:)

Pinterest Marketing – Video Training Course

Pinterest Marketing is on the lips of every small business owner these days. You hear about it, you know you are missing something, but do you REALLY need ANOTHER social network. Besides that, you don’t know how to make money using it and darn it, you aren’t spending any more time friending and liking and what-all without making some scratch on the other end!

This Pinterest Marketing video training course is designed for the small business owner in mind. It is NOT techy talk but real world marketing information that will make getting your marketing efforts off the ground with Pinterest and get you out WAY ahead of your competition!

What it is…

  • Over 20 videos walking you through what and how to post…even if you don’t have a website…even if you don’t have Photoshop.
  • Real world examples of WHAT will work for your business
  • How to sell on Pinterest without looking like a spammer
  • How to build connections and grow a following that wants to hear from you
  • Ongoing updates if something new comes along (okay we all know something new will come along – I will keep you in the loop!)

What it is not…

Please do not buy this if you are trying to figure out how to set up your account. My suggestion is that you go to the YouTube and Google “setting up Pinterest” and you can find LOTS of that kind of information there. This is a medium to advanced strategy guide that will help you get beyond “I have a Pinterest page” and into ACCOMPLISHING SOMETHING!

Oh, it is also not pretty. I could have built a huge membership site around it and charged five times as much, BUT that was not appealing to me and hopefully you will appreciate the price…just $19 for all of this Pinterest goodness! As I am always super honest, I assume that when people get in there and ask questions I will be making more videos to answer them…when that happens the price WILL go up and you will get even more great info for the same low price today!!!

There is close to three hours of training and over 20 videos all separated out into 5-10 minute segments so you can pop in and get EXACTLY what you need. Should you want to do them in one sitting, it is doable BUT mostly I figure you want to get it, find out what to do and get out!

But what is it REALLY like? Well here is the first overview so you can see what all the hype about Pinterest is…

yeah nice…but what does the REAL meat look like…what can you expect to learn…thought it would be fun to show you the surfing through the seasons video to give you an idea of the types of things we address in the course…marketing not hype!!!

Just a head’s up, in real life these are BIG files that allow you to go full screen and see LOTS of details!

Glyn said…”Tara Jacobson is the best! Helping us all to understand this strange new world of social media. Pinterest is my favorite now!”

Okay, still not sure…well here is the list of videos you will get…PLUS this is not one of those coming soons where I still have to make them or you get one every couple of weeks, pay and you get access to them all immediately!

  • Pinterest Overview
  • How To Follow People – General Friend Finding
  • How To Follow People – Using Email Notifications
  • How To Follow People – Strategic Friending
  • Setting Up Boards – Variety of Interests
  • Setting Up Boards – Naming Conventions
  • Setting Up Boards – Don’t Spam / Spotting Spammers
  • How To Pin – Easy Peasy Repins
  • How To Pin – From The Web
  • How To Pin – Advanced Using Your Content
  • What To Post – Popular On Pinterest
  • What To Post – Surfing The Seasons
  • Design – Using Filters
  • Design – Using Filters Dark
  • Easy Design – Free Photo Tree Quote
  • Easy Design – Free Photo H&B Quote
  • How To Make Quotes – Paid / Free Picture
  • Medium Design – Hard Luck
  • Medium Design – Boats
  • Advanced Design – Photoshop
  • Advanced Design – Photoshop Sales Banner

BONUS PINTEREST MARKETING VIDEOS

  • Gut Checks – What To Post and Finding Things Out
  • Finding Out What Is Hot From Your Email
  • Pinterest Success Without Photo Shop
  • Pinterest Marketing Even If You Have No Site!
  • SEO for Pinterest – Just The Facts

Social Media Marketing – 3 Reasons You Can No Longer Ignore Google+

For me, Google+ and social media marketing go together like oreos and beer…not great together but superb on their own! Today we have a guest post from a marketer who talks about why you can’t ignore Google+ in your social media marketing efforts. Should you want a detailed description of how Google+ effects your page rankings, please see our previous post Google Universal Search – How Google+ Effects Small Business Marketing.

— — —

Social Media Marketing - 3 Reasons You Can No Longer Afford To Ignore Google+Google is notorious for releasing widgets that enhance our lives both personally and professionally. From their search engine, gMail, Google Docs, the Android operating system and now Google+. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past year, in late June 2011 Google launched their social network, Google+. It quickly rose in popularity with early adopters and initially there was constant talk about this being the Facebook killer and it would be the be-all end-all of social networks.

That talk has since stopped, but with over 250 million registered users, we can’t simply ignore this network. You must understand that it won’t overtake Facebook but it does have a lot of great benefits for your business, let’s take a look at a few of them.

1. Google+ Search

When you’re doing a search query in a search engine you get a lot of results back and sometimes it’s difficult to decipher which are worth it. With Google’s Search+ functionality, Google can personalize the results based on people in your network. When you search for a term—say, “jewelry Minneapolis, MN” — Google will populate the SERP with content that is personalized to you. Photos, links and status updates that are related to people in your Google+ network are more likely to be above the fold.

Transforming search results by interactions, connections and activity you have on Google+ is powerful because it instantly adds social proof to a page in the user’s eyes because a friend or colleague said this page was valuable. It is a crucial piece for SEO because it can boost a company’s page to the first listings when it normally would have been buried deeper.

2. Google +1 button

The +1 button has changed within Google+ and isn’t as apparent as it used to be — you must now hover over to see it — but that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. When someone +1s your site, page or content, Google leverages this in personalized results. This is one the key indices of social proof in the network, much the same as a Facebook like.

It is crucial to make your +1 and social sharing buttons easy to find because if sharing is seamless and easy your users will be more likely to do it. Many organizations have implemented a floating sidebar that scrolls down as the user goes down the page. It’s always right in front of them, which is key.

3. Fast indexing

Google wants its products to be relevant and since they have their own brand to protect, they are able to index Google+ pages very quickly. Unlike when you add a new page to your website where it may take several days or weeks for Google’s spiders to crawl the content, G+ posts are sometimes indexed within minutes. You can see the benefit of this especially for timely content.

Google is a force to be reckoned with and it’s important to follow their trends because they have a lot of control over how your business is shown in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). They’re giving you the tools to succeed with their platform, so use them. Don’t underestimate Google. As a wise musician once said, “If you don’t like funerals, don’t kick sand in a ninja’s face.”


Jayme Pretzloff is an accomplished young marketer whose passions lie within SEO and social media marketing. He currently works as the Online Marketing Director for Wixon Jewelers, the premier jewelry store in Minneapolis, MN and serves as the Marketing Advisor for Blue Line Defense who teach Minnesota Permit to Carry courses.

Pinterest Marketing – Damn I Almost Screwed Up Big!

So Pinterest Marketing….a really neat, visual marketing tool and I want to make sure I am using it to its fullest potential. With that in mind, I saw the COOLEST plugin the other day (Social Metrics Pro). What it does is show me how widely each of my posts has spread…YAY!

Social metrics pro - Pinterest Marketing

So what the heck is all the red about? Red is the color of the posts that have zero to 4 links on the social media. I check Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Stumble Upon. Now, I run a social media marketing company, so you would think that my boxes would all be green and that I would be sunning beside a beach on Bora Bora. Not quite! I did do this for one of our big clients and HIS boxes are all green and beautiful, the cobbler’s kid and all that.

So, how did I almost screw up my entire small business marketing empire you ask?

Questions for a social media marketing expertTHIS is a good pin for Pinterest…it says what the topic is about and has some repins and likes on Pinterest. Going forward, I will be designing the photos for my blog pages to be either pretty, a success quote that matches the topic OR the title of the post so that I can share it to Pinterest and get some repins and likes…turning more of my boxes green! see it live on my How To Evergreen Marketing Pinterest board

Funny Realtor Postcards - Realtor MarketingTHIS is a picture from an old post about Funny Realtor Postcards that I want to pin on Pinterest. It has a number of problems, starting first with the fact that it is a small photo that will NOT look good on the Pinterest. Also, it DOES NOT have a call to action to tell anyone there is a post behind it OR that it is about realtor marketing (one of my other main keywords along with small business marketing and entrepreneur marketing).

First a note about your blog posts….if you have been doing this as long as I have, you probably have A LOT of blog posts. Some are rock stars, pulling in tons of hits from the google or social media and some that are meh. I have to say that some of my off the cuff, just had to get the word out posts are MUCH higher ranking than ones that I spent hours researching and pouring my heart and soul into. You find out which are which by checking your Google analytics.

NOW, do I feel like this is sometimes a self fulfilling prophecy? SURE! But numbers don’t lie and when I am going back to make pictures for these rock star posts to pin on the Pinterest (YEP – we are FINALLY getting to how I almost screwed up), these are the guys that I am going to target first!

So, I have this nice little post, chugging along, getting hits every month with a picture in it. What was my first thought? HMMMM should take down the dinky picture, beef it up and re-launch the post to the internet via Pinterest with the BRAND NEW PICTURE! WHEEEEE GREAT IDEA….

Don't make this fatal pinterest marketing mistake

There was something not quite right about this, but was not sure what…SHIT! All of the pictures from my brilliant posts are ALREADY in the google. They are on the google search results for images and COULD be the reason for the great response. Never the less, I NEVER want to take anything down that is in the google helping in its own little way (it is the cumulation of all those bits that make for LOTS of visitors).

SO, easy peasy, DO NOT take all of your old pictures out of your posts. Add new, call to action, clickable photos to the ones that are rock stars and then pin the new pictures! FIRST BIG DUH of the day!

Second DUH came when I realized that I was going to be one heck of spammer if I did ALL of posts on one day. This is a marathon and not a sprint. Updating old posts, adding pictures and pinning them will be a process, one that should take weeks, not days to get you the best results.

Hope this helps AND if you like what you read, please leave me a comment and let me know how you found this post…google, twitter or PINTEREST!!!

PS – Can you guess which picture I used to pin it? This is how you have to start thinking in the post video and picture marketing world!!!

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!

10 Things To Ask Your Social Media Marketing Expert

10 Questions for Your Social Media Marketing ExpertBeing a social media marketing expert is a truly dubious distinction! I spend my life explaining that social media marketing is just a tool in your entire marketing arsenal, so today, I am throwing down the gauntlet and letting you know 10 things your social media marketing “expert” should know!

  1. How long have you been doing marketing? This is a tricky one because social media marketing experts are only a few years old, but those of us who are old dogs in marketing marketing have been around a lot longer. Doing a social media “campaign” is not the same as having a solid marketing plan for your company.
  2. How much training have you received in social media marketing? Our company spends well in excess of $10,000 a year to stay up on the latest social media marketing trends. Seriously, something you learn today is going to be obsolete in 3 weeks so this training has to be ongoing.
  3. Do they teach social media marketing? Having a marketing company is great, but the best of the best in each industry is compelled to get out there and teach. It makes you have clarity to your message AND the input you get from the field is truly invaluable!
  4. Do they have a wide range of client types? This is a weird one to social media! You would think it would be great to hire a niche marketer BUT that means their contacts are limited to that industry and social media is about having access to a wide range of people across multiple industries.
  5. Are the just going to post for you? When we started doing social media marketing, it was all about having something to post and following enough people. Today the playing field is much tougher and it takes more than plopping a link down and following 5 people a day.
  6. Are they using humans? There are NUMEROUS tools that can automate your social media. Problem is that each comes with a glitch (like if you post with a service, the share button does not show up on Facebook). We have found that hand posting gives our clients the most visibility and best response.
  7. Are they using American humans? Okay, I try not to get too political but this one is near and dear to my heart. I think that there are multiple reasons for using people from our country for our companies. Coming from the rust belt of PA, I saw jobs leave, never to come back… so… the ESL (English as a second language) problems, posting from strange time zones, bringing work back to the US.
  8. Do they buy likes? There are numerous services out there who will buy likes or follows, etc. We have done so in the past for clients and they make the numbers look better but serve no real function. If the company you are interviewing is guaranteeing a certain number of likes they are missing the point of posting AMAZING content and finding real fans!
  9. Do you own your empire when you are done? This is a HUGE one! I see many companies out there who offer services as long as you pay them BUT once you are not using them, your empire crumbles because they own your “stuff”. Make sure they can hand it off to you when you are done using them!
  10. Do they LOVE marketing? I am in in the internet marketing space all the time and see many classes offered to “Become a Social Media Marketing Expert in 5 hours” or “Take this class and be a local marketing expert”. I can tell you, the people who are actual EXPERTS in their field live and breathe their industry (probably like you love your industry!) If your marketing person is not passionate about marketing, how can they be passionate about marketing your company?

Alright, I could go on and on (I had about 13 before I decided to edit…:) BUT these are all questions that you should ask whomever you decide to have as your social media marketing expert!

Okay, here are a couple of more! Do they specialize in certain social media sites that work for their clients, do they have a graphic artist on staff, are they keeping up with the times or selling re-hashed stuff that worked 2 years ago but which has passed…okay, promise I am done!!!!

Oops…was putting the picture in the post and came up with…do they use social media for themselves? They do not have to have MILLIONS of connections but they should have a presence that you can find on each of the social media sites!

Social Media Marketing – Chinese Water Torture

Social media marketing always makes me think of the old Chinese Water Torture method, drip, drip, drip!

Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later win a little more. - Louis L’AmourWhen you are doing any kind of marketing, it is always your goal to make a HUGE bang, a BIG splash, heck, why not go whole hog and buy a Superbowl ad and get the word out to MILLIONS of people at once!

Unfortunately, social media marketing is not like that. There is A LOT of demand for attention and there is a VERY short shelf life for your “stuff” so you have to keep on doing it, growing it and trudging on, day after day!

Now, please don’t get me wrong….I LOVE this stuff…growing big networks is HARD and the strong survive! I also see a bunch of people come onto the scene and then fade away slowly as they get busy and bored (GREAT for me and my clients!!!!)

Social Media Marketing – Consistency Is Key

So you get up on Monday morning and decide that today is the day, you are going to start REALLY hitting the social media marketing hard…onto the sites.

First question, do you do Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ or Pinterest (the new darling of the social media world). Unfortunately, you really do need to have a hand in each. Your future clients may be on the Twitter, tweeting their hearts out or they may be Pinning pictures over at Pinterst. I think it is important to do them all, but here are my top reasons for each of the ones that we focus on:

  • Facebook – I think you HAVE to have a presence on Facebook for your human and your business. It IS a huge time sucker, BUT for right now it is a way to have a strong showing where people already are. The drawbacks I see are people building their whole business model on Facebook without having a “HUB” where they are driving all of the traffic to (their main website that they own). Facebook is a tool, not something that you should build your business on! Make sure to have a strong person (profile) and business page too.
  • Twitter – I KNOW, you think Twitter is stupid BUT it is a super good tool for getting keywords and information out about your business. People who use Twitter are very committed and you cannot afford to ignore them in your social media marketing. The fact that it is open source means that developers had made tools to use it that you cannot even imagine which help spread the word about your business!
  • YouTube – within three years the first contact anyone makes with your company will probably be through a video or a picture. Most of what you share will be short bursts of “stuff” and you have to get in a good habit of having videos out there on the internet describing your services, showing your personality or featuring your products. In the meantime, YouTube is like any other social network, you can get subscribers and make connections with other users…start this immediately!
  • Google+ - I wrote a whole post about why you need to circle people on Google+ to show up well in search. Google has integrated G+ into the search and you cannot afford to ignore it, even if you don’t love the social networking aspect of the service.
  • Pinterest – this is a funny one…I DO think Pinterest is important because of the photo sharing aspect BUT it is still in its infancy. That having been said, you should at least dip a toe in, start getting content up there and then start making friends. The downfall I see is that there HAVE to be compelling photos to share that link back to your site (like the photo for this post) or no one will want to share them.

Having started this and not wanting to make this the Magna Carta, I will break out each of the social media marketing sites to let you more about what you should be doing on each to make the most of your efforts!

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

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!

Gary Vaynerchuk The Thank You Economy – Is It Scalable?

Okay, gotta get this out on the table first so there are no unpleasant police surprises…:) I am semi-stalking Gary Vaynerchuk…not in the creepy way, but in the way that my dog (who is a super scaredy-cat) thinks that it is okay to stay at home alone if one of Gary’s keynotes is playing in the background because I listen to them so much! Oh and I have seen him a couple of times in person, have both of his books…well…maybe need a 12 step…BUT…

Gary Vaynerchuk - is it scalable?He sent me a present!!! Okay, I know he sent LOTS of people a present BUT I still felt great about it and think he is an even cooler guy than before!

For those of you who do not know, Gary’s book, The Thank You Economy is about how having a connection with people from the online world is super important and vital to your small business marketing going forward. BUT, the one thing I hear about all the time is people asking him, “is it scalable” to have thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of “friends” online? How do you make them ALL feel like they know you?

Well, you send them an email asking them to help get your book higher on the Amazon rankings, PLUS a promise to send something super out later. No promises when later, just later. No promises what later, just later. No expectations, just a good communication.

Then, many months later, another email verifying an address. Asked and answered. Then….drumroll please…a box of really cool stuff comes in the mail!!!!

Now I am surely not on the scale of Gary, but I have some big networks, speak a lot in public and KNOW that a lot of people look down on the fact that I cannot honestly be “friends” with all of them….well no. Seriously, they are all not someone who I would see or talk to on a day to day basis, but they are people who at least know me a little and probably feel like they could reach out for help if they needed it!

For example:

  • Yesterday a fellow who had attended one of my classes called me and asked if I do website hosting, I DO NOT! But gave him a really great referral for a lady who could help. SCORE – helped the man AND gave a referral to a friend-friend.
  • Also yesterday, got an email from an old friend-ish. He was writing an ad and had some of his HTML messed up on a link. He sent me an email and I fired right back with the fixed code. Now, could/would I do that if I was super busy speaking or meeting with a client? Nope. BUT if I am there and he needs help, HELL YES I am going to help!
  • Lastly, I am often able to use my social capital to help charities who need a new roof, or a Facebook page like or even just a bump in traffic, all cool things I sometimes do for “friends”. I don’t do it every time someone asks, but if it is something I support I am glad to help!

So is The Thank You Economy scalable – pretty much! Do some people feel left out, ignored or otherwise disgruntled, I am sure they do! Are there always going to be that type of people? Yep!

Long story short (too late I know), so if you are worried you will have TOO MANY FRIENDS or TOO MANY CONNECTIONS, stop that. Get more friends, be nice to them and see what happens!!!

Thanks Gary…I think it is scalable!

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!

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam – How To Spot A Spammer On Pinterest!

How to spot a spammer on pinterestSpotting a spammer is pretty easy. Most of them do not even try to hide their nefarious activities, screaming at us to BUY, BUY, BUY and generally making marketing hard for the rest of us marketing pros.

With a new social media platform coming on scene with a lot of fanfare like Pinterest has, OF course the slimey spammers are going to be out in full force to make things icky for everyone.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest for social mediaSo, for those of my small biz peeps who have been too busy working to follow all of the social media trends, Pinterest is a new, free, photo and video based social media site. It allows you to save picture from around the internet, organize them into “boards” and then share them with your friends (less socially and more visually based marketing).

There are some really neat things you can do to capitalize on the power of the visual BUT there are also creepy spider people around who are looking for ways to corrupt this wonderful, amazing tool (can you tell I am over the moon for the Pinterest?)

Here is a really quick video to show you how to spot spammers!

So basically look for:

  • Too many boards
  • Lots of boards with only one pin
  • Incongruent pins and board names
  • Too many following and not enough followers
  • No description at the top
  • No likes
  • Bogus twitter account

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

Social Media Marketing – QUIT BEING SO RUDE!

Social media marketing seems like it is the PERFECT place to market your small business. You can “make friends” then answer everything they talk about with your product as the answer. You can spam their message box, selling your products unrelentingly until they unfriend you, leaving a swath of torn and bleeding bodies of people who used to like you.

Okay, maybe I need to have a little less coffee this morning, but I have hit the end of my patience! Social media marketing IS NOT about spamming people. It is NOT about selling your products, services or opportunities to anyone who even remotely talks about something sorta close to what you sell!

So lets break this down FIRST so you know what bits of the business I am referring to:

  • Profile – this is the person on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ AND your regular account on Twitter (they do not have a separation)
  • Company Page – on Facebook and Google+ you can interact with people as your company instead of your human
  • Direct message – this means that you send the person a non-public message behind the scenes
  • Posting on their wall – when you go to someone’s page or biz page and post your marketing message on an internet property they own

Social Media Marketing - Quit Being RudeSo what got my panties all in a twist about rude social media? Well the other day I posted a video about a young mother who had a heart attack and shared this, “My mommy died of a heart attack..but she was older (not much but a little). Ladies…know the signs and get help FAST!!!” – a really personal bit of information about myself and I was sincerely trying to make sure ladies knew the warning signs of a heart attack. There was no business in it, just a heartfelt piece to post.

What I got back was this in a direct message:

Love all of your posts Tara – appreciate your dedication to motivate! Regarding the heart attack video post. I would love for you to see this short clip www.PromotionalURLDeleted.com it addresses the link between oxidative stress & all major disease (heart disease #1 killer in women) Unfortunately many products make claims that are untrue. We’ve all heard it so many times that we don’t want to hear about 1 more. Protandim has 3rd published scientific studies and one by The American Heart Assoc. Hope you have 10 minutes to spare to watch the ABC News report. Would love to answer any questions you might have! Stay warm~

So I get these from time to time from spammers, but this was beyond the pale. Sorry your dead Mom and all, but will you watch a 10 minute infomercial about how to join my MLM team? SERIOUSLY.

Social Media Marketing, Quit Being RudeNext up was less horrific but still did not feel good at all. There is a LOVELY woman in my networking groups who I admire A LOT for her class, until now. So I posted a link about a blog I did on how to use video reviews to generate sales. Now this was informational only, I do not sell video marketing although I do teach it in my classes. This is what I got back…

Hi. Reading your info on the video marketing. What if you could have all your testimonials on video, all your trainings pass code protected or pay-per-view? One of our products is a 24/7 webshow that’s branded and marketed to you. You can even run your own infomercials. If you’re interested, I can send you information on the products. Let me know. Have a great day!

Seriously, I KNOW she cut and pasted that directly from her sales material and NO I don’t want information (MORE spam) from her about her product that she is trying to hard sell me. So what could she have said that would not be rude?

  • This is the message I sent her back – hey girl! thanks for the info – I have a client who sells video marketing so would use her if I did pick one… that having been said…make sure you make a comment on my post like “SOOOO glad to see that more and more people are using the video marketing” – that is a nice way to point out that you have those services without hard core selling!
  • She could have said – I LOVE all of your information about video marketing, I have a great piece about how video testimonials help increase sales, would you like to read it?
  • OR, did you ever need someone to talk about the benefits of video marketing at any of your events? I have a great presentation that I give to help small business people get started with video marketing!

OF COURSE, none of that works after you hard core spam someone. SHOUTING buy my stuff, buy my stuff rarely makes the human at the other end feel warm and fuzzy.

Some other fun rude social media marketing messages I have gotten lately (I am just cutting and pasting here people, no need to make these up when they are coming in every day!)

  • My I introduce my business to your Facebook page and post it there?­­­­­­ – what he is asking (a complete stranger) is if he can use my social capital to introduce his page to all my friends so he doesn’t have to do the hard work of building his own networks…NOT!
  • Tara, Good morning ! (name deleted to protect the guilty) from Ohio here. I was wondering if you might be interested in taking a look at an incredible new rewards program that is sweeping the country We are in pre launch until February, but our membership is growing at a rapid pace as people are anxious to utilize the benefits of being a member For more information go to www.PromotionalURLDeleted.com This is just a short 4 minute overview.Thank you for your time and consideration I hope you have a great day ! – seriously? I am going to stop looking at pictures of puppies and kitties and watch his 4 minute infomercial?
  • Hi there . do not hesitate to like us at http://www.PromotionalURLDeleted.com – awww thanks for thinking of me, I am sure that you have my very best interests at heart spamming me like this…no worries, I am running right over to “like” you page right now…NOT!

SERIOUSLY, every one of these people could have crafted a message that was less spammy and salesy. They could have added to the conversations rather than just vomiting their products all over me. While I PROBABLY would not have responded to any of them anyways, I DEFINITELY will remember how they made me feel – less than human.

Please, please, please – remember that there is a human being at the other end of that spam you are sending. She doesn’t want to read company propaganda, she doesn’t want to buy your stuff on the Facebook, AND she will not forget that you treated her like piece a meat, rather than a person!

Social Media Marketing – Clearwater and Tampa

Social media marketing is the not so new yellow pages. If you want to succeed as a Clearwater or Tampa area business, you NEED to make sure you are addressing your social media marketing efforts!

What is Clearwater and Tampa social media marketing?

Social Media Marketing Tampa Clearwater

Social media marketing is using Web 2.0 and sharing properties like Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google Plus to get your message out there. Unfortunately, social media marketing is not like traditional marketing which required money and little time. This new marketing medium requires time and could be done absolutely for free!

You MUST:

  • Post blog posts relevant to your industry so you show up on google for your targeted keywords (for this post I am trying to rank for Social media marketing Tampa, Clearwater – if you are here, you probably searched those terms!)
  • Be active on Facebook including growing Friends, Fans, commenting, posting and more
  • Master Twitter since computers can use your Twitter information to spread your message farther and wider than you ever thought possible!
  • Grow your Connections on LinkedIn for business
  • Get a firm foothold on Google Plus now while it is still in its infancy, all the people you get now will mean more sales in the future
  • Videos are the wave of the future and you have to get a YouTube channel started today (whether you work with us or not!)

What Makes The Clearwater and Tampa Marketing Areas Different?

Clearwater and Tampa, heck the whole West coast of Florida, are weird. There are SO many service industries and jobs that it can be hard to stick out from the crowd. Add to that, you need to appeal to locals for steady business, but HAVE to be found by people who are coming into the area to vacation to boost your sales.

If you are not trying to attract locals and out of towners, you are missing the marketing boat!
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

What Clearwater Tampa Social Media Is NOT

Here is the really hard part about social media marketing…it is not linear. It used to be if you bought a bigger yellow page ad than everyone else, you got more calls. Today, you need to be an SEO genius (seriously, how many different ways can people search for your company offerings?), a researcher to find great related content that you can post, a writer to have things to offer, a videographer to shoot fun, engaging videos of yourself and MORE…WOW!

We would love to say that you can start today and have a huge social media empire tomorrow or that you will get a gagillion blog hits in a month. Those things just aren’t true…nor is the fact that you can get ranked on page one of google, or that you are guaranteed to ANYTHING ONLINE. The only people who could guarantee you of those things own the websites and even they don’t do that!

So what should you do?

  • Get really good at social media. Study for hours a day, post frequently, monitor your social media properties and keep up with all the changes that happen on almost a daily basis OR…
  • Hire your nephew who is “really good at computers” to do your social media marketing, even though he has no marketing experience what-so-ever and would rather be out with his friends
  • Hire “SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERTS” who jumped on the bandwagon last year, took a class and hung a shingle saying they are experts (free tip – ask how long they have been doing this!)
  • Hire marketing experts like us who know that social media properties are just tools we use to help you get your message out!

Give me a call today to find out more! 727-415-9165

Friday Fun – Growing Big Lists Some Practical and FUN Tips

Growing big lists is not hard…it just takes some time and effort (sorry, I know that is not as fun as the title sounded BUT might as well get it out of the way at the start!)

So here are my tips for growing big lists, in no particular order:

It Is Just Like Kindergarten Valentines – Everybody Gets One

I talk to lots of people who are proud that they know everybody on their Facebook list. They have real connections with them and feel like they are “real” friends. Growing big lists means suspending that model and feeling like everyone is a friend, whether you know them or not.

Here is my plea for considering this! I have “friends” on Facebook who I have never met, who came to my Christmas party at my house because I invited them. Now you might not want the general population dropping by, but I have tens of thousands of connections across the internet and have NEVER had someone take advantage of the fact that you could find me in person if you wanted to. (one note – I have a house full of people and animals PLUS a six foot six bear of a husband, if you are a single gal, you might want to be a little more careful than I am about publishing your info)

Also, it is not an all or nothing thing…you could keep your Facebook sacred, but grow big lists on Twitter or LinkedIn. Just because you decided to use one for “real” communication does not mean that you have to do that over all your social media platforms.

Also, stop worrying that you will “friend” or “circle” unsavory people. I have unfriended people who spam me, taken porn people off of my Twitter and blocked people who do not add to my general well being. I just take the stance that you are a “friend” until you prove otherwise!

Get Curious

How To Grow Big Lists - Dinking AroundThis picture is of me dinking around on the Google Plus this morning. I thought, huh, wonder if I could find an easy way to get some media contacts. I searched and found two neat sites (Circle Count and G Plus Search). From there I searched and found a place that had some media contacts and then another place with some more. BINGO! I made a circle of newspapers.

So what am going to do with a circle of newspapers. I really don’t know right this minute but here is what is going to happen (I guarantee it, I have done this before and the best predictor of future results is past results).

  • Some of those newspapers will follow me back! I have 72 and will get at least 10 percent of them that will check their followers and find my cute taradactyl picture and follow me back after seeing I am a real person (note, you can’t just put up a profile and leave it at that).
  • Then, people who circle them will check and more people will circle me because I follow a newspaper they like.
  • Eventually google plus will open up their interface and someone will make an auto follow tool that will check who people follow and suggest me because I am on a list.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Seriously, that is my plan? Yep. It would be GREAT if I could just get everyone in the universe to follow me like they do Ashton Kutcher or that dark haired girl who got married and divorced really fast, but that is not going to happen. I am just a schmoe who likes marketing and small business so the universe is not anxiously waiting to hear my every word. I have to get out there and hustle to find them first so that they can find out how cool and rocking I am!

Again Kindergarten Rears Its Head – Share Your Toys

This is a biggie – you have to stop worrying that people will steal your stuff or use what you have before you do! So what did I do with my circle of newspapers? Did I:

  • A – Hoard it, wringing my hands together and chuckling that I have something and no one else can have it?
  • B – Send it to one friend who like a lot and who I know will get a kick out it (this happens sometimes)
  • C – Post it on the interwebs so anyone in the world could copy it and use it – DING DING DING – we have a winner!

When I was realtor (for about 10 minutes), I got to a lot of sales doing a community newsletter. Because of that, real estate offices asked me to come in and teach THEIR agents how to use a community newsletter to get more listings (these were offices in my marketplace). I did, going so far as to give them a copy to take home and use at will. To this day, one agent has used that same format and gotten great results. SERIOUSLY, I gave out about 600 copies and one person used it.

If you share you things, people will like you. If people like you, they will share their things with you (I have a 100 Free Marketing Ideas handout I have made 1,000’s of dollars from and I never have to look for new free things, people email them to me!)

The Wrap Up

So, when you want to grow big lists, be nice, share your things and like other people. Pretty easy peasy!

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!

How To Grow a List | Small Business Marketing

How to grow a list is a big topic in my small business marketing world! That is probably my number one question I get, followed close on its heals by what should I send to that list?

Getting Started – What Kinds Of Lists Should You Be Growing?

Growing an email listThere are SO many different lists we have to manage now. Small business marketing has never had such a wealth of ways to communicate with their clients, customers and prospects before.

That having been said, all those lists can quickly get out of hand and unmanageable. PLUS, how do you know that your list building efforts are actually going to pay off?

Here are just a few of the lists that you should be cultivating:

  • Email list – lifeblood of your business!
  • Facebook friends
  • Facebook likes (business page connections)
  • Twitter followers
  • LinkedIn connections
  • Google+ circles
  • YouTube subscribers and contacts
  • Misc industry related groups and websites

This is just a start of the lists you should have, but it is a good start! Having people who you can talk to is vital to your online (and offline) marketing success.

Why Should You Care About Your Lists

There is a secret society of people with big lists (I KNOW, it sounds like the Illuminati of old, but it is true!). I have big lists of social media contacts, website readers and email recipients and almost every day someone contacts me to see if I will post something for them, or send something for them or basically sell out my lists for money. I choose not to do this as it could harm my relationships with these people, but growing big lists and monetizing them is one business model that unfailingly works well.

Here it comes…the secret to building big lists! Drumroll please, work like a farmer.

You think I am kidding, right? Nope. I love the concept of “thinking like a hunter, working like a farmer”. What you want to do is figure out who to target with your lists and then grind out growing them. While there ARE ways to jump start a list (doing affiliate emailings to someone else’s list is one biggie, but it costs money or credibility OR buying a list) but most of them work about as well as you think they might, not at all. the one exception to this is buying a direct mail list, they usually have between a 2% and 4% response rate

Just the other day I heard a snake oil concept about growing a Facebook Profile to 5,000 then magically transferring that over to a business page (which allows sales while the profile does not). While that instantly made me think YAY, I immediately knew that I would not do that for myself or my clients. Seriously, that would be the fastest way I can think of to get banned from Facebook if it is even possible to do.

If you are a small business owner and not a spammer, there are things that you should and should not do. Here are some examples:

  • DO start growing your lists by finding people who you are interested in and who interest you, then interact with them
  • DO schedule some time each day to grow each of those lists (I schedule 20 minutes a day for list building)
  • DO make easy for people to join your lists (have your contact info on your business card, have an opt in form on your website, offer something free for joining, etc.)
  • DO add every human you meet in person to your list
  • DO have a signup sheet or contest to collect names at in person events
  • DO get that stack of business cards off of your desk and into a database program like Constant Contact or Office Auto Pilot (what we use)
  • DO NOT buy an email list of people to spam
  • DO NOT try “tricks” to get big lists (they ALWAYS backfire)
  • DO NOT listen to internet marketers – this is a HUGE secret! Internet marketers are great at making money OFF OF YOU! Seriously, if they are actually raking in $70,000 a day selling something, do you REALLY think that they are going to be selling a $47 ebook on how to make money on the internet? They are great at building big lists and sending out hope to people, NOT at helping you actually succeed.

So, what do people with big lists talk about when they are chatting with each other? How to grow lists…:) Seriously, this is really interesting to some of us and could almost be considered a talent (a kind of twisted, not fun, grind it out talent, but a talent none the less). WHO KNEW on November 30, 2007 when I started tweeting that Twitter would grow to become important to marketing. I did not, but I knew that it couldn’t hurt to get an account and start growing it. (Google+ is at the same point now, make sure you jump in there and get started TODAY).

Just by jumping in then, I was able to increase my reach and grow followers easily. The same thing happened when Facebook started their pages, back then you could get anyone to like your pages and trade suggestions to like, but now it is MUCH harder to get likes.

So, make sure you are staying ahead of your competition by focusing on building your lists. Put time for it on the calendar and make a strategic plan to implement!

Neat tool I used to find out how long I have been tweeting!

Small Business Marketing Entrepreneur Doodle

small business marketing planning callIf you would like to find out some specific suggestions and goals for your small business marketing list building efforts (plus a handy-dandy worksheet I use to make it easier), give me a call today or check out our Small Business Marketing Planning Call today!

Small Business Marketing Entrepreneur Doodle

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!

Marketing Artfully

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Google Plus Pages for Small Business Marketing

Google plus business pages for small business marketing are here! Here is my take on how to make a Google Plus page for a small biz (which may be a little different than what you would do for a giant corporation!)

Check out the Marketing Artfully google plus business page!

Google Plus Pages for Small Business MarketingLet’s start at the beginning. You get your page at the right side of your Google Plus Profile. Then up jumps the question of whether you are a location (brick and mortar business), a brand (like Snickers or Crest), a Company, Institution or Organization (that is what Marketing Artfully is!), Arts Entertainment or Sports or Other (don’t pick other, it is hard to classify other and you may miss opportunities).

Next comes your tagline – 10 words that describe your business (these should be your 3 main keywords!). Add an avatar – this is a square like the other Google Plus Profiles so no big, beautiful banner yet. Tell your friends – DO NOT do this yet, there is nothing on your page!!!

Post some stuff, circle some people and bang – you are ready to go!

HUGE NOTES – Make sure to circle your own page so you can find it (there didn’t seem to be an immediate link in google search to it, even using the plus sign). Also, fill in your about us (looks like a good place to drop a couple of targeted backlinks and add some photos so it is pretty!)

Google Plus Direct Connect

Okay, this looks like a biggie and something that is out of our control! What it functionally is the ability to add that page from google search by using the plus sign (+) before the brand. In the description below the Google Plus text says, “You can automatically add Google+ pages to your circles from Google Search. Just add + in front of the page you’re searching for. Directly connect with pages this way from now on?”. I answered yes!

Google Plus Direct Connect

Google Plus Direct Connect looks like it should be a post all by itself as this is what hooks to google search and adding to the circles, BUT since we are not able to DO anything about it, lets move on to a FACEBOOK to GOOGLE comparison.

Facebook To Google Translation

Okay, they say there are only like 6 stories in the world and that every other thing comes from that. Social media is like that and if you can figure out what make them similar, the learning curve can go down considerably!

Share on Google+ Is Like Share on Facebook – functionally this takes the page you liked and shares it on your human profile.

Share on google plus business pages

Circle on Google+ is like Like on Facebook – I made a circle named brands so I can keep all my businesses together for now!

Add google business pages to circles

Google Plus Pages Terms of Service Notes

If you would like to read the entire Google Plus Pages terms of service, click the link. Here are my top notes that apply to our clients:

  • You may not display third party advertising on your Google+ Page. – Functionally this means that you can sell any of YOUR products or services on the page but not have anything like affiliate marketing or paid for ads from a third party.
  • Subject to the Google+ Pages Terms, any Google+ user may create a Google+ Page, but only users with authority over the subject matter may administer the Google+ Page. – YAY! We can work on our client’s pages legally!
  • Any contests, sweepstakes, offers, coupons or similar promotion on your Google+ Page must also comply with the Google+ Pages Contest and Promotion Policies. – Looks pretty liberal if you are doing good not evil!

Nothing amazing here. If you are conducting your business above board and simply trying to get the word out, you should be fine!

Social Media Marketing Services

If this all seems like to too much to do, check out our social media marketing services and we will get you set up on this and all the other social media properties right away!

Free Social Media Reporting Tools

Free social media reporting tools are used to check how your social media marketing efforts are working. While I wish there was just one tool that worked well, we have found that using a nice mix of them gives you a broader, more comprehensive picture of what is going on. Additionally, because they all use different metrics, you will see different places that you can work to make your social media better! You may also like yesterdays post Free Website Reporting Tools.

Free Social Media Reporting Tools

When I was doing the research for this I found that there were actually two types of tools, social media reporting tools (which showed what you were doing and how it is going through the internet) and social media monitoring tools (which show when people are talking about you or your brand). Because we work with mainly small business owners, the monitoring feature is less vital and so we focus on doing the front end right with great content and sharing.

Klout Social Media Reporting Tools FreeKlout

Klout is GREAT for seeing an overall picture of what the internet perceives your brand as. They aggregate your information across multiple social media properties like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube (plus a couple of more).

What you see is:

  • Who you influence (who responds to or shares your posts)
  • What topics the social media world thinks you are about – this is especially good for making sure you are staying on target topics wise
  • Seeing what your “style” is – I am listening and focused which I could change by being more interactive and proactive

This is good for a quick hit to see how your overall social media message is going.

Twitalyzer free social media reporting toolsTwitalyzer

This one gives you a snapshot view of what is going on across a number of different reporting tools like Klout and Peerindex, in addition to their own reporting.

They show you a lot of good details like:

  • Who has been interacting or sharing your “stuff” recently
  • What your twitter style is – I am considered an Everyday User
  • How many followers you have and how many people you follow
  • What topics and communities you tweet about the most – the funny thing is that this shows different items than Klout does, hence the reason for checking across a number of different free social media reporting tools

Twitter counter - free social media reporting toolsTwitter Counter

This one is pretty basic, showing how many followers you have an how many people you have followed. What I like though is that you can break that number down by hourly, weekly, monthly, three months or six months. Additionally, they project how many twitter followers you will have, given your current rate of adding people.

Free twitter reporting tools - twitter graderTwitter Grader

I have a fondness for this one as it has been around A LONG TIME in twitter years. It is basically just a snapshot of how long you have been tweeting, how many followers you have, how many you follow and a neat graph that shows that progression over time.

Peerindex - Social media reporting tools freePeerindex

Much like Klout, this one aggregates a number of different social media properties but the really nice thing is that it includes the ability to add your blog feed also!

Some of the things it reports are:

  • A really neat chart to show whether you are basically spreading information about arts, technology, science, medical, lifestyle, sports, politics or business
  • How you compare to similar uses according to audience and authority
  • General stats for your social media properties and blog
  • Topics you post about

Overall, I have to feel that if I could only pick one, this would be it. It has the ability to add all my main properties like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and my blog (would like to Google Plus on there too but it is not available at the time I wrote this post).

Plusclout - Social media reporting tools freePlusClout

I am not really sure what this is measuring at this time, although I am so pleased to see at least the start of a free social media reporting tool for Google Plus that I had to add it in here at the end!

:: If you would like to find out more about our Social Media Marketing Services, click the link and talk to us today! ::

Free Website Reporting Tools

Free website reporting tools are used to check not only the number of hits that you get, but also the “reach” that your posts are getting through social media and other internet sources. These free website reporting tools are the ones we use to measure how well our clients blog sites are doing.

One thing to remember though, is your audience. If you are talking about healthy eating or gluten free recipes like our FitNuts, you will see a higher ranking and broader reach than if you are selling something like Denver bookkeeping services which has a much smaller target audience.

Free Website Reporting Tools

Free website reporting tools - Website GraderWebsite Grader

Website Grader is a good utility tool to check how well your website is set up and how much content there is that has been indexed by the search engines.

They check things like:

  • Does your site have a blog
  • How often your posts are shared on social media
  • How many indexed pages your site has
  • What reading level your content is written for (I don’t believe in dumbing it down to the 5th grade reading level as common wisdom suggests, write how you talk and people will like you more!)
  • Is your metadata like your title tags and keywords written correctly and different for each page or post
  • Do you use header tags
  • Are there too many images on your site (my sites ALWAYS have too many images!)
  • How old is your domain and how long until it expires (the search engines like knowing that you will be around for a while)
  • How many backlinks you have
  • Whether you have a mobile version of your site available

If you have a new site (under a year old), there is nothing that you can do about some of these things but give it some time and make sure everything else is set up solidly.

Google Analytics Free Website Reporting ToolGoogle Analytics

Okay, I know what you are thinking, EVERYONE says to use Google Analytics! Yep, because it is world class reporting for FREE! Back in the day, we paid hundreds of dollars a month to get the information that you get from analytics for free. That having been said, I use it for normal things (like seeing how many hits I get), but also for seeing which pages to optimize on my website and where to place ads to get the best possible return.

What to use Google for:

  • Check how may web hits you get – duh!
  • See what your bounce rate is. Having a high bounce rate means that people are coming to your site and then leaving quickly (common wisdom says within 10 seconds). If your bounce rate is high, consider optimizing your site for faster speed or lose some of those lovely pictures.
  • Check your content to see which pages or posts are visited most often. I found by doing this that almost 75 percent of my traffic goes to about 10 pages and my home page is not one of them! This is where I place targeted ads for products or services that I want to sell.
  • See when people come to your site. I get VERY little traffic to my site on the weekend. I checked to see if this was a self fulfilling prophecy by writing rockstar posts on a Saturday and still nothing. SO, in my world, writing during the week will increase who gets to see my posts. You should also see WHEN people come to your site. If your traffic comes from another time zone, it may be worth posting when they are reading (morning, lunch time and after work).
  • I obsessively check my sources to see where I am getting traffic from. Because I am a marketing speaker, I get lots of direct traffic (meaning they typed the name of my website directly into the address bar). I also check to see if I am getting links from other websites or social media. One good way to know where to buy advertising is to see where traffic comes from and then ask if they will let you put an ad on their site.

Okay, there are a million posts about using Google Analytics free website reporting tool so I won’t go on and on, just know that this is bees knees for hard core detailed information about your site.

Social Mention - Free Website Reporting ToolsSocial Mention

This one was new to me, but I have fallen in love with it. While you can put anything into the search bar, we use it to track the reach of blog posts. Simply put your website url into the search bar and it will return a list of the places that your site has been posted or shared.

Some of the places they track are:

  • When someone tweets or re-tweets your page or post
  • If a page has been linked to as a reference in another page or post
  • If someone has used a tool like ClipMarks to save your page for later
  • Links from video sites
  • Search engine links
  • I even had a listing from Plurk (I don’t know what a plurk is but I still liked it!)

So what can you do with this? Check and see which topics get shared the most and write about them more. See who was nice enough to share your content and thank them. See if you should be focusing more on social media, bookmarking or some other area.

Notes About Using These Free Website Reporting Tools

The reason I did the research to find these tools was so that we could have good (free) reporting tools to let our clients see how their blogging was working. I also like to see how MY site is doing.

What I did to make it more manageable was to set up my tools and then bookmark them (I have both my website reporting and my social media reporting tools under the colorful folder title of “tara reporting”). Then when I want to see what is going on, I simply run down the bunch of them and take a peek.

When you start this, you are going to be tempted to look every day, don’t do that. Checking that often will just cause you to make decisions based on very limited data (never a good idea). Instead, check once a week and then once a month do an in depth analysis and formulate your plan for the upcoming month.

:: If you would like to find out how we use these free website reporting tools to help our clients succeed, check out our small business marketing services! ::

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!

Social Media and Blogs Are The New Yellow Pages

Social Media and blogs are not going to save a dying business, they are not going to generate a million visitors in a couple of weeks and they are not going to fix a flawed product or service (no matter how many times the media says they will!)

That having been said, Social Media and blogs are the new Yellow Pages! In the old days, you paid your $800 a month to be in the yellow pages so that people could look you up and find your business. If you were not there, you basically did not exist. Well today’s social media and internet landscape is much the same. Someone will do a search for your industry or keywords, find your company and (this is where it gets crazy), check about a million sources to see if you are who you say you are company-wise and person-wise.

I think this comes from the love hate relationship we all have with the internet. We LOVE the convenience of searching and finding a bunch of different options, we HATE that there are scammers and charlatans behind every bush and we need to make sure that we are not going to get ripped off.

So, picture your customer sitting at his keyboard looking for your product or service. He finds you listed on the Google and then starts to check and see if you are a legitimate business. He checks Facebook and Twitter, he Googles your name and your company name, he even may do a search for something like “scams” to see if there are bad comments about you one the internet.

We had a client who was furious that he had built a HUGE eCommerce website with tons of information on it. A prospective buyer checked that out, then went to Twitter and posted a comment and even went to his Facebook Biz page and asked a question. Our client thought that they should have stayed on his site and bought the product (which was about $60 – not a huge commitment). Well, that is just not how the world works anymore. Your prospects are going to be searching all over to see if there is anymore info about you, BEFORE they pick up the phone or hit that buy button.

Social Media Side Note – If they ask a question on your Facebook page or Google Plus, it means they are interested, answer them!!! Do NOT delete questions (as I see so many biz owners doing), it shows interaction and that you are interested in your customers!

What ARE Social Media and Blogs Good For?

So if social media is not to SELL, SELL, SELL, and blogs are not going to make you a millionaire, what the heck ARE they good for? Here are some of the things blogs and social media can help with:

  • Unfortunately, in today’s rough market, they can let people know you are still in business. Too many companies have gone under to let us feel totally comfortable thinking that our favorites will always be around. THIS is why you need to keep posting every week on your blog, the Facebook and Twitter so that there is no question about your viability and involvement.
  • Brand building, each time someone sees and interacts with your company or you online, you are given a free opportunity to get in front of them with your brand, products or services.
  • You can use a blog to rank higher in the search engines that your website can. Due to the RSS Feeds and the way that they are built, blogs that are posting frequently (once or twice a week) will tend to rank better than a static website for a search term. You can also send this Google love back to your “real” website if you have one.
  • YouTube is a GREAT way to incorporate video into your blogs and branding efforts. The video that is in this post was sent out to the agent who I featured (Palm Harbor Realtor, Julia Fishel the Pinellas Peach) so all my people got to see it, all her people got to see it, I can post it on Twitter, my Facebook business page, post on Google Plus and incorporate it into a blog post.

Having social media and blogs works well for your business as long as you keep working it. Unfortunately, it is stop and die proposition so you HAVE to make sure you are active on each marketing channel each week! The easy way to understand how this works is to think how you use the internet, mostly you check Google if you don’t have a referral from a friend, if you do have a referral, you will do a search for that company or product. THEN you will check around a bit to see what they are all about, THEN you will buy.

If you have not updated your Facebook Business Page this week, get in there and do it. If you blog has been sitting idle, write a post! Get things moving and you will be pleasantly surprised at the results!!!!

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If all this Social Media sounds like too much work, check out our Social Media Marketing Services page for more about how we help small business owners manage their online presence!

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!

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&#37 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!

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!

What To Post On Social Media – Curating Content

As a small biz owner, figuring out what to post on social media can be a hugely time consuming process. This is actually called “Curating Content” and can help make you a thought leader in your space!

Curating Content - How To Find Things To Post On Social MediaIn the old days, information was shared at museums. If you wanted to find out about cool dinosaurs, you went to the Smithsonian and read about them on the little cards beside the bones. Barring a trip to Washington, you went over to the Encyclopedia Britannica and looked them up or even went to the library and took out some books about the subject.

The problem with all of these methods is that they were filtered by “experts” who had massive academic degrees under their belts and were incredibly knowledgeable BUT you were still only getting thoughts and opinions about what THEY thought were important.

Thanks to Joanna for the pic!

Social Media – Curating Content

Fast forward to today! The encyclopedia has been replaced by Wikipedia, where anyone with a wealth of knowledge about a certain topic can join the discussion and add their facts to the conversation. I KNOW, Wikipedia is not the source for all knowledge, but it is a damn good place to start! AND it has the added benefit of being free, so that knowledge is not being reserved for the people who can afford to shell out hundreds of dollars to own it!

There are also thought leaders in the real world and on the internet who are sources for specific knowledge. I follow Gary Vaynerchuk and Seth Godin for some of my marketing ideas and Chris Brogan on Google Plus for interesting tidbits. Andy Jenkins and Howie Schwartz are good resources for training and…the list goes on and on. What they all have in common is a strong voice and the willingness to talk about other people and where THEY get their inspiration for brilliant ideas.

Stop Trying To Be THE EXPERT

When someone is trying to be “THE EXPERT” (caps intentional), they like to portray that they got there on their own with no help from anyone else. They pontificate and bluster and we hate listening to them. The new experts are the ones who have consumed THOUSANDS of hours of information about a topic and who are knowledgable and helpful about sharing that information with other people. They frequently cite their sources and give credit to other thought leaders freely, knowing that their value does not depend on keeping the shameful secret that they don’t know everything! Seriously, the Emperor with no clothes and the Great and Powerful Oz have all been outed! Knowledge is free and I am just as likely to look for great ideas from a fellow with 7 friends on Facebook as I am to listen to someone with millions of hits to their blog each month, as long as he is passionate about his topic!

So How Can You Curate Content?

In a previous post I talked about how to use Google Alerts and iGoogle to get content for your social media empire. So you have your links, now what do you do with them so that you don’t look like a spammer or an idiot?

So there you have it, content curation and what to post on social media for small biz owners and entrepreneurs. If you like this kind of thing you will LOVE our Marketing Artfully University which has how to marketing videos for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Google Plus – A Handy Dandy Overview For Small Biz Owners and Entrepreneurs

Google Plus is going to be a great tool for small biz owners and entrepreneurs, once it gets a little bigger! So you should wait right? WRONG! There is SUCH a first responder advantage to getting in there (especially business owners who are NOT social media nuts like I am!)

Google Plus Small Biz EntrepreneursCircle me on G+! http://gplus.to/taradactyl

Basically, if you get in there early, everyone else can find you. If you come to the party late, you have to go find everyone.

For me, this is a no-brainer so, Step 1 get into google plus (if you need an invite, send me a message with your email address, preferably a gmail address, and if you seem like a real person I will send you an invite).

Setting Up Your Google Plus Account

This one is dead easy! Make sure to fill out all of the bits INCLUDING links to your other social media profiles, blogs, websites, etc. I would make sure that the first paragraph is stunning and that your blurb expresses who you are (sometimes that is all someone will know about you before deciding to put you into a circle!)

As with any social media site, this should be about you and what you can do for THEM! Make sure your bio tells them that you will be posting FABULOUS content about your industry and you are excited to be doing that.

Making Circle Friends

Circles are the strongest piece of the puzzle for me. They allow you to segregate your lists into pieces (I have circles for Denver Friends and Denver Realtors – I would put Denver Realtors into the little circle AND into the big general circle). There has been A LOT of talk about why having too many circles is bad, but I am convinced that this is my sweet spot. In this example, if I was doing a general marketing class in Denver I would post it to my Denver Friends circle – if it was a Realtor Marketing class, I would just post it to my Denver Realtors.

Google Plus CirclesBIG TIP about circles! If you don’t include the “Public” circle when you are posting things, it will look like you are not active SOOOO….make sure you use Public, Your Circles AND Extended Circles so that everyone you know, the public and people who circle your circles can see your posts.

Google Plus Overview For Small Business Owners

Here’s the skinny, if you are a small business owner or entrepreneur using social media marketing, I would love to see you spend a couple of minutes diving into Google Plus today! If nothing else, post a couple of things, set up your profile and add your clients (who are on already) to your circles!

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!!!

Finding Content For Your Social Media Marketing – iGoogle and Google Alerts

Finding content for your social media marketing is always a challenge! It seems like there is never enough time to surf around and find good solid links to share, but wait! Finding great content is EASY once you know about iGoogle and Google Alerts.

Using iGoogle and Google Alerts to find Social Media ContentSmall business owners and entrepreneurs are inundated with requests for their time. If you are lucky enough to have a staff, rarely are they going to be able to do your social media tasks for you. This leaves A LOT of tasks for the small business owner to accomplish if they want to get all their Tweeting, Facebooking and Connecting done each day.

Using iGoogle and Google Alerts to help you passively find great social media content is a no brainer. Each of these services will PUSH content that you can use to post, relevant, current content that people want to read!

Using iGoogle To Find Content

iGoogle (http://www.google.com/ig) is a free service that lets you set up your “homepage” as a feed reader which will show your favorite content from blogs that you follow. This allows you to pick and choose from all different kinds of things to post.

If you need a little help with the RSS Feeds part, please check out this great post: Small Business Internet Marketing – RSS Feeds

Using Google Alerts To Find Content

Google Alerts (http://www.google.com/alerts) works a little differently. You set up targeted keywords and google will send you daily or weekly updates of the new content that has been produced in relation to those keywords. This service is also free and makes it REALLY easy to get great social media content into your inbox daily!

If you would like to find out EXACTLY how to use iGoogle and Google Alerts to find great social media content, check out MarketingArtfullyUniversity.com where we teach small business owners, entrepreneurs and Realtors to use internet tools to save time and gain market share!

Do Bad Social Media Marketing “Tricks” Actually Work

I am a honest to goodness marketer, in the trenches every day and working hard to do the best for our professional clients. But every now and then I think about putting a black hat on and seeing if any of these social media marketing tricks actually work!

Bad social media marketing tricksDisclaimer: These are actually “black hat” techniques, and I DO NOT recommend you do any of these things if you are a professional business person growing an internet empire. Just nice to look at some bad social media marketing tricks from time to time so you know what NOT to do! Black hat means that spammers do them, with no regard for “burning accounts” which is why we do not recommend them for business people.

Frequently I get emails from readers or someone who has seen me speak with a great new idea that they learned in a class. Some are WONDERFUL (keep them coming) and some are downright guaranteed to get you banned from whatever social media platform you are using at the time!

Twitter Trending Hashtags Twitter Trending Hashtags

If you have spent any time at all on Twitter, you have probably noticed that there are trends that show up on the bottom right hand side. These are the ten or so topics that people are talking about the most on Twitter currently. They change frequently and you can find out what is happening in different areas of the world based on those words. Hashtags are user generated keywords that start with the pound sign (#) so for today, the term #towelday is trending which is a reference to the author of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, an obscure book loved by a small-ish group of rabid fans.

So if you were black hatty, what would you do? Send out a tweet that looked something like this:

All you #towelday fans, get your bed and bath supplies at http://spammersareus.com

Do marketing tricks actually work?Basically, you are hijacking everyone’s joy at a book reference and trying to game it for personal gain. Which leads me to this joker! This morning #askjustin (as in the Beiber boy) was trending. Young girls world wide were asking why Justin wouldn’t love, talk, follow them. In the midst of all this Bieber fever was a tweet that read:

Got any tips for other kids marketing online? What about their parents?

So what was that person trying to accomplish? They were trying to push into a conversation that really was not about them but that was trending highly for that day. I checked and they commented on the #towelday hashtag also. At the end of the day, who would they get to follow them and would those people actually be interested in what they had to say when it was all garbage? (note: their twitter account has 97 followers at this time so I have to say that I think this tactic is a FAIL)

Twitter @ Tricks

On twitter you can talk directly to someone by using the @ symbol right before their user name (so to talk to me you would say @Taradactyl). These posts will show up on that person’s feed and the thought is that someone who likes that person will see the post and then follow your name and you will get a new follower or two.

This happens A LOT to a fellow that I follow @garyvee who writes about social media. Gary Vaynerchuk is a best selling author with a huge following (880,000 plus today). People will post something that has NOTHING to do with him but add the @garyvee hashtag, hoping that he or his following will notice them. Lame!

Fake Facebook Likes

This is an ongoing battle for us! We want to get as many “likes” for our clients business pages as we can BUT we want them to be real people so the numbers tend to be lower than we would like. That having been said, having a thousand “Fake Likes” doesn’t seem to be a benefit to real business.

So what are fake likes? When a marketing company offers to get you 5,000 fans to your page, most (if not all) of the ones that they generate are feople (fake people) that they have set up accounts for. These feople are nothing more than a free email address with a photo and accomplish nothing other than helping them to sell more fake like programs. Feople have no friends, they are not going to share your information, they are not going to comment or build a community around your page. Stupid Feople.

Posting A Link To Your Business Page When You Make A New Friend

This is a biggie right now! Say you ask someone to be your friend on Facebook and they say yes, nice! Then you go to their wall and say “hi” thanks for being my friend, you are still on the side of the good guys. Then say you post a link to your Facebook Fan page with a paragraph about why it is so great – DOH, just stepped over the line to icky and could get a “spam comment” which could lead to your account being disabled.

Posting on someone’s wall without their permission is VERY invasive. That is where they post things that THEY like, it is not a marketing platform for YOUR business. We take these off of our clients walls as soon as they arrive and generally might unfriend that person.

Note: The “rules” are a little different for pages, oftentimes you can post a link to your page on another business page if you see that this is acceptable to them and you are not a direct competitor!

To me, this one is just common sense. If you owned a roofing company, you would not go stick a sign in the yard of a new friend advertising your roofing company without their permission. They would feel REALLY weird if you did that without asking, same thing on the social media!

Tagging On Facebook

Tagging on FacebookI am hoping this fad has come and gone, but it was HOT, HOT, HOT for a while! The plan was to post a picture with a link to the product that you were selling and then “tag” someone with a lot of friends in the photo when you don’t even know them!

So in this example, I have a picture from my website posted in my Facebook Photos for my Small Business Marketing Facebook page. I then say “tag this photo” and add someone to it that has NO connection, they are not in it, they are not sponsoring my product, nothing. The hope is that this will show up on their wall and someone will see it and either like my page or buy my product – REALLY?!?!?! This goes back to the creepy, doing things that don’t feel right to sell your product. I KNOW the spammers were getting banned right and left for doing this, but their goal is to get in and get out, not build a business.

My take on all these bad social media marketing tricks is that providing great content and information, over time will win for small business owners! It is truly the old turtle and the hare, slow and steady wins the race.

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!

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/

The Thank You Economy – gary vay-ner-chuk

Ok, I just got done reading The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk and have some things from it that our small business peeps should know about! The Thank You Economy is a followup to his bestseller Crush It! and I have been following him for quite a while, liking his info, approach and delivery.

Gary Vaynerchuk Thank You EconomyHere is my take on what is important from the book BUT it is worth buying to hear the whole thing as there are bits that do not translate well into a blog post (you need the whole she-bang!)

Small Town Living

The internet and social media are making our lives a lot more like small town USA. You can “talk” to people you haven’t seen in almost 30 years as if they are in the same room with you, watching what they do for fun, seeing their kids grow up and “liking” pictures of their puppies. I am uniquely positioned to understand this small town mentality as I graduated with about 75 kids in my high school class in Northwestern Pennsylvania (many of them are friends on Facebook and I am having dinner with someone I haven’t seen in forever this coming October when she comes to town!)

The other part of living in the steel belt of America was that we knew about buying American and supporting local businesses. Our electricity came from a cooperative, not a huge corporate conglomerate and we could ask the guy who owned the welding store to get “right” colored welding caps that all the kids made popular in high school (I am sure he thought we were nuts, but he sold A LOT of welding caps).

As the internet gets bigger, our connections to other people are actually becoming closer. Everyday I see a friend who is in a strange town asking where the best places to go for dinner are. Usually friends answer, BUT what if a restaurant owner was on Facebook or Twitter and “invited” her to come to his place? How powerful would that conversation be? It is best to think of Facebook and Twitter for business as if you are sitting in a diner and happen to overhear someone next to you asking a question. It is polite to lean over and tell them something great about what you do or sell (or promote a friend’s product or service). What it is NOT appropriate to do is start screaming at them, BUY MY STUFF, COME TO MY SITE, or GET INTO MY DATABASE!

These interpersonal connections can sometimes seem weird to corporate types and even small business owners. They say that they don’t want to have to put their personal life out there for everyone to see. Well, too bad! In today’s day and age, people are more savvy. They know when big business outsources their call centers overseas it takes jobs away from Americans. They also know the whole story about why Dave Thomas named his business Wendy’s (after his daughter) and that Sam Walton was a basically good guy who was determined to make his (ultimately) HUGE company a decent place to work. These VERY successful men knew that they had to be the face of their business for it to succeed, same goes now!

You HAVE To Talk To Them

Another good bit was about how small business types need to care about everyone who is interested. YES, you have to answer all those tweets, likes and comments BUT that means someone is interested. We had a client who was VERY upset that he had to answer questions from Twitter and Facebook. His thinking was that all of that was on his website and they should go look for it there. Well, not to beat a dead horse, that is NOT HOW IT IS TODAY! Today someone will see your banner, click to your site, follow a link to Facebook to see if you talk to your customers and (gasp) have the audacity to post a question they have BEFORE they buy your product. That is the downside, the upside is that they might like your product and become an online evangelist for you! They will tweet about it to their followers, post how well it worked on their wall and generally spread the love MUCH further than they ever could have before!

It Won’t Happen Overnight

Lastly, I liked the part about social media and marketing in general being a marathon and not a sprint. We get new clients who are sad that they have not seen the millions of dollars of sales that they expected in the first 30 to 60 days. Sigh. This is not like putting an ad in the New York Times and watching the order roll in. Building up your networks and growing relationships is not a wham bam thing, it takes time and consistency for the masses to know that you are in it for the long haul. I have NEVER seen anything like social media for showing the flaws in a company’s sales funnel, customer service or general attitude. They can fake it for a while, but if they are in it to make big bucks and not passionate about what they do, it shines through! Gary talks about the Old Spice commercials and how well they did, and then how they drop the ball by ignoring all of the people that they had gotten interested. Their “campaign” was a sprint and the real magic would have happened if they had run a marathon!

If you would like to find out more about Gary V and see him in action, take a peek at his Keynote speeches, I play them in the background when I need a kick in the pants (just watch out, they are NOT PG generally, he is a cusser!) So here is your mission, watch Gary’s vidoes, and then go buy The Thank You Economy BEFORE you decide to hire a marketing company like us to do your Social Media! It will help your success and save us both a lot of heartache down the line!

Link Disclaimer – There are links in this post but they are not affiliate links for two reasons, first I wanted to give @garyvee his due with no form of profit from my end and two, stupid amazon hates affilates in colorado so I can’t use them and the google interface is so kerfufully that I have not taken the time to master it. FYI – if you do have to put affiliate link disclaimers in YOUR posts, don’t cookie-cutter them or you will start to rank for your disclaimers, distracting the google from what your site is really about. That having been said, mine are out of control so don’t copy them!

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!

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.

Why You Should Outsource Your Social Media Marketing

Huge Disclaimer, it is no wonder that I say you SHOULD outsource your social media, I have a social media marketing company! But in all fairness, I took quite a bit of time researching this post and will try to offer a fair and balanced outlook!

What Is A Social Media Marketing Expert

should you outsource your social media marketingA true social media marketing expert is actually a marketing expert who is using social media as ONE of the tools in their marketing arsenal. Every bit of marketing touches the social media platform including branding, sending a cohesive message, targeting the correct prospect, lead followup and more, all the way through the sales cycle and onto a sale.

Okay, so a social media guru is actually an expert marketer. What makes an expert? Malcolm Gladwell’s, The Outliers: A Story Of Success, is the closest thing I have ever found to explain what a true expert is. In it, he talks about becoming an overnight success AFTER spending 10,000 hours learning your trade or craft. So, if you are looking for a social media marketing expert, ask them how long they have loved marketing AND how long they have been working in the field. Just FYI, 10,000 hours is 20 hours a week for 10 years or 40 hours a week for 5 years.

Who Is NOT A Social Media Marketing Expert?

I am on A LOT of mailing lists and get all kinds of come-ons from people wanting to sell me get rich quick schemes. One of the biggies right now is to sell either social media marketing or local marketing and start raking in the dough. An expert has NOT taken a class called anything like this:

  • New Webinar! Become a Local Marketing Expert
  • 10-no-4 Days to Become a Social Media Expert
  • Make money as a social media strategist
  • How to become an internet marketing expert in a short time…
  • This came in when I was writing this post, “The real kicker is that: most of your revenue is pure profit! Stuff we consider “basic” is mind blowing to most, if not all, local business owners.”

Should You Outsource Your Social Media Marketing Or Keep In In House?

So now we have established what a social media marketing expert is, the next question is should you outsource it to an agency or company or keep it in-house? Here are some of the reasons I feel that you should NOT keep it in house, based on our experiences coming in AFTER a company has fired the in-house guy or gal.

  • To hire a true expert you are going to have spend BIG bucks. If you are not looking at hiring someone who has just left college, the kid who types really fast or a 10-no-4 day “expert”, you are looking at paying that person between 60K and 80K a year. We have some great horror stories from the trenches about how “the kid” set up the whole business network under his own name, left the company and reeked havoc for the next few months. Hiring a reputable company to do your social media eliminates this problem.
  • You are going to have to provide benefits and taxes for that employee which would not be necessary if you outsource.
  • If you are hiring a marketing guru, you are still probably going to have to get them some admin help. I can tell you this from experience, the person who is creative and has a brilliant marketing mind DOES NOT possess the “do the same thing every day and make sure all the boxes are checked” gene. We hire great “elves” who implement the marketing plans that we work out with our customers. Our elves are super organized and LIKE to make sure that all the tasks get done!
  • There are economies of scale for a business to buy the latest software and attend the high level trainings needed to stay up-to-date. When you are spreading the cost of these items over multiple clients, it makes sense to keep to the cutting edge! We spend about 12K in training each year and could spend more if time and budgets were not at a premium!
  • We have programmers and others on notice to help when the Social Networks change what we need to do. The easiest example of this is Facebook eliminating the FBML capabilities that we used to use to make pages. I got our programmer on it and he sent over the two page document on how we should do it now!

Okay, Why SHOULD You Keep Your Social Media Marketing In House?

I can hear you now, but we want to have control over what that person is doing and how they are spending our money and time! That is a valid point and will have to be taken into consideration. I CAN tell you that with frequent communication with your marketing company, you can stay on top of this easily.

No one loves my company like I do – If you are a small company or a start up, the owner or manager can probably do a bit of social media marketing. My question to you is, I KNOW you love your company, but do you love marketing? Having the best intentions in the world doesn’t help if you do not have the technical and education chops to back them up.

I can get an intern to do it for free
– I have tried interns, you teach them, they work for a bit and then leave. Walking back the cat to figure out what they did can take your next marketing person hours or days to figure out! Additionally, you get what you pay for and when you are paying nothing it is hard to expect the kind of dedication that you can get from a real business.

I am in a super niche market – Now, I am the first to say that social media marketing is not for every company. If you are a manufacturer who makes a product that only 10 companies in the country purchase, social media may not be the way to go. Our suggestion for this type of company is to have the most techy person who talks go on LinkedIn and target those 10 companies (this could also be done by the CEO if she has time). Attaining the level of technical knowledge for this type of work can counter-productive to outsourcing. That having been said, we have found very few companies that cannot benefit from social media and marketing in general.

What Types Of Business Should Outsource Their Social Media Marketing?

  • Business to consumer businesses do well on Social Media as they have a product that people would be interested when they are just surfing around having fun on Facebook or Twitter. Additionally there are neat ways to bring items to market that consumers look on favorably if done right.
  • Business to business marketing is trickier, as you need to position yourself correctly to find comparable areas to market in and be very careful to make sure that your offerings are social, not salesy. I see this done wrong all the time!
  • Local companies are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the power of social media because of the ability to target geographic regions in friending and following. These types of businesses fair VERY well in the social media realm.
  • Businesses with lots of “stuff” are great to promote. If you hold meetings with different topics, sell a million kinds of shoes or have a ton of different product offerings (like pawn shops and ebayers, social media can be a great way to get the word out!
  • Highly regulated industries. Okay I know that I am going to take heat on this one, BUT I have to say that a financial services guy who positions himself correctly would have a very bare playing field to compete on. This takes finesse and should work within the bounds of your state or federal licensing.
  • Restaurants and bars have fun people doing fun things. We have a couple of restaurants that we work with and they are the neatest peeps because of the activity and the fact that they are inherently social anyways!

There you have it, multiple reasons to outsource your social media marketing. If you are interested in finding out more about social media marketing, give us a call at (727) 505-5384 or request a free small biz marketing quote!

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!

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!

Real Life Networking – Making Marketing Work

Real life networking can make a huge difference in how fast you can grow your business. Getting out there and talking to groups of people who have the ability to hire you can produce high quality leads.

Real Life Networking MarketingBUT, (you are saying to yourself), if that is the case, why are you schlepping around to 20 networking events a month and getting no business? There are myriad considerations that you need to look at to determine if you are doing the right kind of networking. Here are my top tips:

How To Pick A Networking Group

Picking a networking group based on demographics – If you are selling a product that only is used by companies with 25 or more full time employees, networking off of meetup.com may not work for you. You may have to join Chambers of Commerce or industry trade groups to get the kind of buyer prospects you are looking for. On the other hand, if you work with small business owners (like we do), many of the meetup groups are perfect for finding propects who may be able to use our services.

Picking a networking group based on interest – If you are involved in boat sales, picking a networking group that is involved in boating or water sports will fit the bill. In this case, you better be passionate about the product you are selling or they will spot you as a phony a mile away! This kind of networking requires that you know a lot about your industry, AND it is a brilliant place to get speaking opportunities.

Picking a networking group based on the time it meets – This is SUPER important. If the networking groups you belong to all meet at night and you are an early bird, you may miss meetings and also not be at your best to shine. I would love to join some of the networking groups that meet in the evening around here but know that I would be cranky and would find excuses to get out of them. Instead I focus on finding groups that meet during business hours with the kinds of prospects I am looking for!

How To Pitch Yourself or Your Product

Know what you are selling – It is impossible for people to buy something from you if your product offerings are vague. Stand up and say in a clear voice, “I sell X” OR “I work with X types of businesses to…” OR even the old standby “I am looking for the types of clients who…” I attend a bunch of networking events where people talk about their services like THEY don’t know what they are selling. “Well, we work with, um, I guess the kind of people, ah, well I guess I like to work with”. ARGG. NO ONE is going to give you their hard earned money unless they know that you are going to give them a value for it!

Tell them what is in it for THEM – Instead of saying “we are a metrics focused company with legacy technology, leveraging the power of the internet…”, say “we help small business owners get their websites found on the internet”. I see A LOT of selling features versus selling benefits at networking events.

Do not tell them everything about your company all at once – I have seen many networkers come to one networking event and never show up again. Invariably, these people spend about 10 minutes in the middle of the 1 minute commercial telling everything about their company, as fast as they can. This never works, “real” members roll their eyes and stop hearing you after about a minute and half!

Marketing Materials to bring to Real Life Networking

There are some great pieces that you should bring to networking events and I rarely see anyone with handouts so you are going to stand out even more.

  • Your business card – make sure you have your Facebook and Twitter names on this too. Businesspeople are looking for how to stay in touch with you which will equal more sales!
  • An offer for a free consultation – offer a 15 minute free phone consultation. Basically you are getting people to make your follow up calls for you!
  • Upcoming events – if you are having an open house or sale, give people a handout with the date, time and location. Extra credit if you print it on a colored piece of paper that will stand out from the rest of the papers!
  • Your brochure – I order mine from VistaPrint so that I can buy them cheaply enough to give to everyone I meet. Having a high end brochure that you are afraid to “waste” is a recipe for disaster.
  • A coupon – offer a discount coupon good for a set period of time or a set dollar amount.

If you are going to take your time to go to networking events, make sure you are using that time to the best of your abilities. Take every opportunity to speak if they have a member spotlight, get business cards from everyone and enter them into your database. Do one on ones with people who could help your business or be a prospective client. In general, make it worth your time and effort!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

Social Media Workshop – Lakewood Sept 20

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

Lakewood and Denver Small Business Owners come out and learn social networking like Facebook 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 media 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 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 and Twitter

Workshop info:

Intelligent Office
225 Union Blvd. #150
Lakewood, CO 80228

Dates & Times – September 20 8am-Noon
Class Sponsored By Debbie Stevenson – LIVEWELL INTERNATIONAL
Call Debbie with any questions or to make your reservation! 303.332.4059

Thanks to Joy Phelan of http://LakewoodBookkeepingAccounting.com for providing the venue!!!

Seating is limited to the first 14 people to respond – don’ t miss out

Social Media 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

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?

Dates & Times – September 20 8am-Noon
Class Sponsored By Debbie Stevenson – LIVEWELL INTERNATIONAL
Call Debbie with any questions or to make your reservation! 303.332.4059Websites versus blogs

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.

How To Get More Twitter Followers 2010

Twitter marketing IS easier with lots of followers. The more people who are on your Twitter list, the more chance you have of one of them doing something you want! So here it is, how to get more Twitter followers.

How To Add Twitter Followers 2010Yesterday I was cruising through my email and saw one from a client. She was forwarding a message from a guy with 140K plus Twitter followers and I assume that she wanted me to get her that many. Well I have been doing this for a while and I have about 7K. So I thought that I would check twitdir.com and see where that many followers would place him….in the top 1,000 of 75 MILLION according to RJ Metrics.

So if I have so few compared to some other people, what am I to do? Get more Twitter followers of course! Now I am not trying to get hundreds of thousands, just shooting to beat the guy ahead of me in Westminster, CO! It is much easier to attain manageable goals than to shoot for the moon so I am going to have to hit about 15K by the end of the year.

This is not a post about how to get thousands of followers overnight. I have tried all of those “add your twitter name here and get 5,000 followers” scams in case they would help our clients. None of them actually worked and one of them even auto-posted spam to my Twitter account daily…argg. I never got many followers from them AND most that I got were porn or robots.

How To Get Twitter Followers

Here are my top ways to get more Twitter followers in no particular order with a note on the paid service.

  • Follow people and they will follow you back. Some even use an automatic service like SocialOomph.com to do so (we do) which makes the process seamless.
  • Add a “follow me on twitter” link to your outgoing email messages
  • Add your twitter name to your business cards
  • Add a “follow me on twitter” to your Facebook Profile
  • Add a twitter button to the sidebar of your blog
  • Use a service like TweetAdder to increase the ease of getting new followers – PAID. This is one that we use for our clients.
  • Sign up and use Twellow.com to find new followers in your area or an industry that you are interested in targeting
  • Add #FF (Follow Friday) tags to your posts and recommend your friends on Twitter
  • Provide useful information in your posts – this sounds stupid but if you do get someone to pop by and consider following you, they will probably take a pass if you only have one or two things posted OR if your links are all hard sell spam.
  • Target the people you want to follow – not everyone is going to like my marketing schtick so I make sure to target small biz owners, mlms, entrepreneurs and Realtors.

Expensive ways to get Twitter followers

While researching this article I found some REALLY expensive suggestions and nothing new that I would try but if you are so inclined you could (1) offer to $1 to charity for every new follower for a week, (2) buy an existing twitter account that already has lots of followers – probably violates the terms of service or (3) pay for followers from a company – I saw one that would sell you 100K followers for $3,500 but that also seems to be a violation.

In general, marketing on Twitter is much like marketing on other media. You need to offer a great product, get the word out and then build a following. On Twitter your product is NOT what you sell, it is providing information about your industry, suggesting other resources that might be helpful AND selling your goods or service. NO ONE is going to want to follow you on Twitter if you are just one big spammy mess.

My twitter handle is www.Twitter.com/Taradactyl for small business and www.Twitter.com/TweetingHomes for Realtors.

If you would like more help with Social Media Marketing check out our DIY Social Media Videos.

If you would like to leave your twitter name so that we can follow you, please feel free to list your industry and a link (I do monitor this and will not post you if you are a bad neighborhood like porn, gambling or pharmaceuticals).

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.

Social Media Marketing Twitter Events

Social media marketing with twitter events is an easy and FREE way to get your event message out there AND to let your attendees know about what is going on in and around your venue.

Social Media Marketing Twitter EventsWhenever I tell my clients and workshop attendees about this they always think that there is something they have to sign up for in able to be able to take advantage of twitter. Not so. All you need to do is let your sponsors and attendees know that you are going to use #eventname. That is the pound sign or hash tag plus your shortened event name.

In the case of the last big event I spoke at, the abbreviation used was #affcon. If you had done a search for that on twitter you would have found a sort of running commentary of what is going on at your venue from attendees who like to use Twitter. Please note, if you would like to find out who is tweeting you MUST do it within a couple of days as Twitter and search.twitter.com do not archive tweets for long after the event.

So, we are having a charity event called 7 Minutes in Marketing Heaven. This is a two part event, one in Colorado in July and one in Florida in August. I will use the same tag #7minutes for both events and will encourage people at the event to “tweet” about it when they are there.

This marketing opportunity is not something that will be available for years, BUT you can…

  • Get additional people to attend
  • Get more free marketing help
  • Schedule tweetups for your guests (by saying something like #7minutes tweetup at Teds 5:30)

Most small business owners are not involved in Twitter on this level so they do not think about using this marketing channel. BUT, just because you are not interested in it does not mean that it cannot help grow your event!

Twitter Marketing for Small Business Goes Mainstream

I frequently talk to my small business owners about fun twitter marketing things we can do. The normal response is glazed eyes and protestations that it will not work for them! Today, the New York Times had a GREAT article about small business owners who are leveraging twitter to gain market share – Twitter for small business marketing has FINALLY gone mainstream.

Twitter marketing for small business goes mainstreamOne of the most interesting interviews was the owner of a software company that has been able to leverage his social media channels into real website traffic and a allowed him to be a evangelist for his company.

(Mr. Berry) posts about interesting articles, blog links and anything that strikes him as surprising. “The key thing is being interesting,” he said. Mr. Berry said he believed that his Twitter stream generated 10 to 20 percent of the traffic that came to his company Web site. If he can pique interest and establish himself as a trusted authority, he said, customers are more likely to buy his products and services. Read the whole story!

The small business marketers featured in this story have small local twitter lists and HUGE twitter followers. Some use it to talk to customers and some use twitter for quasi focus groups. Unilaterally, all had a goal in mind for their social media efforts and executed a plan instead of feeling like they were just “messing around”.

Some goals small business owners can have for their Twitter Marketing Strategy…

  • Grow your email list – if you have a great call to action on your website, drive Twitter people to your site to sign up
  • Grow your Facebook Fan Page subscribers – send people to your fan page for specialized info
  • Ask questions about upcoming products or services you are developing
  • Paste links to older evergreen blog posts to drive traffic to your blog
  • Become an authority on something and grow a large Twitter following who like and trust you

Those are the Twitter Marketing do’s, here are the don’ts

  1. Do not misunderstand who your followers are… If you have a twitter list of small business owners, DO NOT try and sell them baby products, even if you have a high commission on that item and you think it is great.
  2. Do not send spam messages over and over again. Just because you can load your affiliate link into software that will send it out every 15 seconds doesn’t mean you should.
  3. Do work like you are a human. Take some time to think about what your twitter list would be interested in and find more of that. Be honest with yourself, would you like the stuff you are posting or are you just going through the motions.

Twitter marketing is actually easy, fun and can be profitable if done right! Now that the NYT says it is okay for small businesses to market on Twitter, get out there and get started today!!!!

If you would like to learn more about Social Media Marketing for small businesses – check out our Social Media Marketing Videos!

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!

Realtor Marketing Is Social Media Necessary

Realtor marketing has come a long way from carrying around a huge listing book on your buyer appointments. BUT is all of the new realtor marketing hype important and is social media REALLY necessary.

Realtor marketing social mediaIf you listen to the hype, every agent must now spend as much time marketing as I do (and I am a full time marketer!) They must be blogging, tweeting, friending, getting on foursquare, emailing and more every day. Well, in the interest of letting you guys off the hook, that is not true!

Let’s take a reality check and talk about what you really must do to accomplish your profession…write contracts, show houses, attend listing appointments, attend closings. That sound about right? I have been a Realtor so I know what it takes to make money and not one of those things involve learning new technologies.

The sound of silence I am hearing from my fellow Realtor Marketing experts is overwhelming and if you are a realtor who wants to convince yourself that you are okay with not ever marketing again, stop here and you can feel vindicated.

The wonderful San Diego Realtor, Kris Berg, wrote an article today about whether social media marketing is bad business for Realtors. I agree with most of what she said BUT have a different viewpoint of the success.

I have talked to Realtors this month who have gotten listings through postcards, had come list me’s because of a blog post and one who does about 98 percent of her lead generating through blogging. I DO think that marketing works and that any agent who wants to stick their head in the sand and rely solely on prospecting or calling their sphere is a little naive.

That having been said, if you are a Realtor I think you fall into 3 different categories…let me know what you guys think!

  • New Realtors or Realtors in transition in this new market – If you do not have a bunch of listings or buyers in the car, your ONLY full time job as a Realtor is to get more of one or the other. I have seen agents who do not currently have a buyer and only have a couple of listings tell me they are working full time – doing what? If you have more time than money it is SO worth your time to learn how to use all of the social networks, set up your blog, mack out your company site, set up your emails, and generally get your house in order. I suggest doing this at open houses where you COULD get a client but that is up to you.
  • Seasoned agents or Technophobes with no clients or computer skills – In this day and age, if you refuse to learn the computer, you are falling further behind every day. It is not cute to see an agent who cannot even check her email or send a pdf for signatures. Today’s savvy buyers and sellers generally expect an agent to be proficient at the basics at least, so get out there and try some new stuff. If you don’t know how to do anything, hire the front desk person to teach you an hour a week. If you are truly that clueless though, the time it would take you to set up everything is lost time. Hire someone to set up your empire and then focus on learning to use it and grow your social networks until…
  • If you are a successful Realtor with buyers and sellers then your time should be spent with buyers in the car, on listing appointments (well you get the drift). If you like doing techy things, do them when you have time. My buddy Deb Ward loves tinkering BUT has people to load her listings and do her marketing tasks so that she can be doing Realtor work. I work with two other successful agents who know where their time is best spent so I take care of getting their “stuff” set up and updated, with anything they do as just gravy. We have made blogs for a bunch of Realtors, since learning to set them up has no value to them, while producing content is fun for them.

Today’s agent can feel like they are failing all of the time. If they are busy, the stress of dragging those properties, kicking and screaming, to the closing table is huge. If they are not busy, they feel like they should be doing more realtor marketing, most times they just don’t know what or how. Guys, give yourself a break! Whatever you are doing is fine, just remember to keep adding to that everyday and you will get there!!!

If you would like to find out more about our DIY Realtor Marketing or our Marketing Maintenance for Realtors plan, please give me a call!

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

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!

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!!!

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 Media Marketing Twitter Grader

My social media marketing empire is driven by an overall grand scheme but basically it is just doing a lot of stuff often. Sorry that is so NOT specific, but I can tell you that much of my social media marketing success is because I had a nice idea, set it up and then sort of kinda ignored it until it got big enough to be interesting. So what does this have to do with twitter grader?

Twitter Grader is Cool! It allows you to see how you twitter account is doing and also to see how your followers have increased over time. Here is picture of my Taradactyl account followers over time:

Social Media Marketing Twitter Grader
Social Media Marketing
It shows that I started about a year and three months ago and how it progressed over time.

As you know, I am big on “what you measure you can change” so it is fun to see how many Twitter followers I have gotten and how that increased when I pay attention to trying to get more. Each straight up part means that for a little while I concentrated on getting more followers.

So take a peek at how many followers you have and see how that has increased over time. I have to say, Rae Ann over at Green Cleaning Products is really focused on getting more followers and she is just starting out so it is fun to watch. Her twitter account is www.twitter.com/cleansgreen and she is doing all the things that we talk about in our social media how to videos! She is up to a couple hundred twitter followers so far and I can not wait to see how many she can get…:)

If you would like to add your twitter link here, please leave a good comment and we will see if we can get you some more followers!

New Google Search Features and What They Mean

There are some big changes in how Google delivers search results. The three that I am obsessed with right now are the Google and Twitter real time search results, the Google local search functions and the Google “your friends” search results.

Google Real Time Twitter SearchGOOGLE REAL TIME TWITTER RESULTS

Google returns twitter results in real time right on the search page. Did you know that? Did you think of how that could effect what you post on Twitter? Now don’t get me wrong, they are not posting up to the minute “tweets” on every topic BUT they are posting tweets on trending topics like they did during the superbowl for “superbowl ads”. There they were returning real time twitter results at the top of the search page right under the first organic listing.

So when you post to twitter are you using your keywords? Google is a giant database that has nothing to use to categorize your information other than words (OK – I know that they are working on categorizing videos too but that is a post for another day!) SOOOO when you post a tweet about your blog post or a Facebook note or something else that leads from your breadcrumbs back your main site, make sure you great keywords as part of your 140 characters!

Here is some great insider information on the google blog about the real time twitter search results.

GOOGLE LOCAL SEARCH RESULTS

This one is pretty annoying to marketers. Basically it means that Google can change the results you are shown based upon your IP address, whether or not you are logged into google when searching and even some of what you have searched for and clicked on previously.

This means that although you do a search and your site shows up in the top ten results on the first page, that may not be the case all across America (or even across town). The way to check and see if you are seeing a true result is to go to a proxy site like the elegantly named Hide My Ass and THEN type in the google search site. This will allow you to see what search results are coming up without all the baggage that comes with using your computer at your home or office.

Additionally, this means that there is no easy SEO solution!!!! If someone calls you and guarantees that they can get your site on the first page of google for a search phrase, ask them how they are going to accomplish that so it works globally. Additionally, paying lots of money for one search phrase is silly – if you are going to spend that kind of money use adwords and get lots of search phrases!

YOUR FRIENDS GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS

Google Friend Search ResultsLast but not least, Google now tells me the search results that my friends are returning. My blogging buddy Michael Martine over at Remarkablogger is “ranking on the first page” of my search results for internet marketing because google knows that he is is in my gmail contacts. THAT IS HUGE! That means that people google thinks are connected to me will see MY results on the first page.

Many times small business owners want me to tell them how social networking benefits them. They want to know that all that effort they are putting in makes a difference. Well, if you had asked me last week for a really great reason to have friends, and twitter friends and big contact lists in google I may have answered differently. Today with google buzz starting up and then seeing these new search results, I am more committed to growing large networks than ever!

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!

Social Networking Workshop – January 14th

Last Social Networking Workshop Until June!
JANUARY 14TH FROM NOON-4PM

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

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

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?

Workshop info:

Where – ASK Training International
18 Garden Center
Broomfield, CO
United States
80020

Dates & Times – January 14, Noon – 4PM
Class Sponsored By Your Marketing Voice!

Cost: ONLY $100

Seating is limited to the first 12 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?

Learn how to use Social Networking from Top 10 Internet Tools

Social Networking for Small Business
Social Networking for Small Business

This is not a “how to use social networking” post. It is more a why social networking can help your small business and how you can set up systems that will allow you to use it the right way – not as a stand alone marketing magic pill but as a stable part of your small business marketing plan.

What Kind of Effort Will You Have To Make For Your Social Networking Marketing Success

If you are looking for a get rich quick scheme to do 5 minutes of social networking a week and getting major benefits, you are going to be disappointed. That having been said, it doesn’t take much time to get your social networking set up and then minimal time a day to keep it going.

It should take you about 4 hours to set up Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter plus your other programs that make using them easy. There are some tricks that make a real difference but mostly you need to make sure you:

  • Pick a hub to drive everything to! I drive people back here to Marketing Artfully from Facebook but send people from LinkedIn and Twitter to my Facebook page sometimes instead of right to my site
  • Include a link to your website, blog or whatever you are using as your Hub to send all of your people to
  • Fill out anything they ask you to – many times they use the information in past jobs and volunteer activities to find connections for you
  • Remember to use a call to action that benefits your readers like “check out our information to help you..” or “find out more about making the most of your..”
  • DO NOT try to overtly sell on Social Networking sites, do that by driving people to your home page and then sell there

I offer a social networking how to video series that will help you get up and running fast if you like to do it yourself. NOTE: We offer lifetime updates and will be raising the price to $47 starting January 1st so if you think you are intested in it, please buy now before the price increase – you will get all the new videos too!

What Kinds of Leads Can You Expect To Get

Social networking leads are strong leads! They are from people who have some kind of relationship with you, not just people who stumbled upon your website and filled out a contact us form. Some leads that I got recently are:

  • Digital Pickle – a digital conversion for photos and vhs tapes company to set up their social networking
  • A social networking class attendee who found me through Facebook
  • Blog prospects and LOTS of website hits from twitter!

If you have any great recent social networking success stories, please make sure to leave them in the comments!

What Tools Should You Use To Make Social Networking Easy

The two primary tools that I use to make my social networking easier are Twitterfeed and Hootsuite. These two tools allow me to spend about 15 minutes a day and get great results.

  • Twitterfeed.com – sends all of my blog posts to twitter.com automatically
  • Hootsuite.com – allows me to update all of my social networks at the same time AND also allows me to schedule tweets for later

Overall, it should not take more than a couple of hours a week to keep your social networking updated regularly!

If you would like to have your social networking empire set up for you, we do a $250 social networking setup that makes getting started effortless!

How To Use Email For Marketing | Learn How To Make Hyperlinks

Twitter Tools – How To Use Twitter Effectively!

I have been on a mission to find the ultimate twitter tools to review (and to make twitter time cost effective for my small business!) With that in mind I have researched the best the internet has to offer twitter-wise and have my findings and suggestions here. Now you may be asking yourself, why so much twitter info in one place? Well I have found that if I make a big page like this where I “remember” all I have learned about twitter I don’t have to keep re-learning the same things!

Don’t forget – we also offer a social networking video course that walks you though setting up all your social networks and how to use them to increase your business!

Ultimate FREE Twitter Tool Review

These are the things that I am using or have seen great reviews from others who use them! If you have a great tool I have missed, please feel free to leave a comment and I will check it out – that having been said, don’t try to spam my gang, I moderate your comments and will not publish spammy stuff!

Ping.FM – This is the free tool that I use to update my big three networks on my basic status updates like “writing a twitter review page”. I haven’t found it to be wonderful for sending out links but I think it has that capability.

TweetLater.com – I use this one for my heavy twitter lifting! It allows me to send out a message anytime someone follows me (I drive people to my facebook profile), it automatically follows anyone who follows me AND I could set it up to tweet stuff for me automatically (haven’t done this yet but will soon!) One word of caution – it does allow you to “unfollow” anyone who won’t follow you. I DO NOT recommend this both personally (I live in abundance and that is SO counter-intuitive) and professionally (twitter seems to dis-like this practice and could suspend your account!)

Hootsuite.com – I have heard good things about this service and it seems to be similar to tweetlater.com, I think it is just a matter of preference!

Twitterfeed.com – Twitter Feed sends all the blog posts that I write to twitter AUTOMATICALLY! It was a little convoluted to set up but SO worth the time!!!

TwitterGrader.com – Really neat site that shows how many twitter followers you have over time!

LocalTweeps.com – Cool way to find twitter-ers who are local to your area or your target niche!

http://sur.vey.me/ – Make surveys for twitter, it was SUPER easy. I made one and will update this post with the results!!!

Twixplode.com – Free course from Sean Malarkey on how to grow a twitter following. I am only part way through but got some good info from what he has sent so far! I did not find ANY disgruntled people talking about Sean or his product.

XavierMedia.com – I used this free twitter follower service and did see a small spike in my followers. It works like a pyramid scheme where your name goes at the bottom and more and more people follow you based on how far it gets. It did not seem malicious and worked okay although I am not sure that I got targeted followers.

Hashtags.org – Allows you to see what is trending hot on twitter in real time. It is great for targeting tweets IF that topic is in you niche market!!

Twellow.com – Yellow pages for twitter. A free service and really easy to use!

Tweetadder.com – Free to $55 – seems to be a really good service. I have not used it yet but will update the post when I get more info!

WeFollow.com – Free service, you can add yourself to, it doesn’t seem to help all that much until you have a bunch of followers.

Paid Twitter Tool Recommendations

Opennetworker.com -Top Linked’s networking arm. I used the free Top Linked in Linked In for a while and got okay results. You have to manually invite people and there is no twitter alternative. I paid about $50 for year membership to Open Networker and WOW – I have doubled my linked in and gotten about 500 new twitter followers in the first couple of days. If you are going to pay for something – this is REALLY GOOD!

TwitterPowerSystem.com – Sells for $77 and seems to be a good source of information! Will update with more info if I buy it!

Social Networking Videos By Marketing Artfully – I SO recommend these for new social networkers! (they are mine!)

Not So Impressed With Twitter Tools

Disclaimer – I have not bought or used and of these tools and so am just going by the other things that I have seen out there. Please know that being on this part of the list DOES NOT mean that these tools are evil or not worth purchasing, they are just not what I would choose to spend my money on!

TwitterTrafficMachine – only $25 and claims to be able to help you get thousands of followers AND has a great affiliate program. I found some pretty harsh criticism about it so cannot recommend it to my tribe.

Tweetergetter – this one is about $9 and claims that you will tens of thousands of followers. Again, harsh words were spoken and so not a fan favorite over here.

Twitter4Marketing – This one charges a sliding scale for how many twitter followers you want from $80 to $360. I have to stand my Open Networker recommendation above since you get twitter and linked in for one price!

Lop.net – Charges ONE THOUSAND dollars per month. Nuff said.

The Power of Your Lists – List Building for Businesses

There is power in having lists of people who are interested in what you have to say! It used to be that you had to spend thousands of dollars to have access (one time) to a list that someone like infousa.com had, and the people on the list didn’t even know you. That is SERIOUS cold calling and is SO not for me!

Today’s small business owner can build their own list super easily and for VERY little money!

BUT you are going to have to give up the feeling that you can can control your list(s). It used to be that I had one list – my newsletter subscribers. I DO have control of that list. I send out bi-monthly newsletters with marketing information and have a VERY low unsubscribe ratio because I deliver EXACTLY what I promised when they signed up! That list comes from having a blog and a newsletter signup (if you are brand new to blogging and want some help setting one up we have small business blogs for sale!) The newsletter signup is done through my database and is a little more convoluted, although Constant Contact does make it much easier to grow a email newsletter list.

Super Easy Ways to Grow Other Contact Lists

Nowadays, it is easy to grow lists all over the internet. I consider these to be my micro-lists and point them all back this blog with almost everything I do. Now that micro-list moniker doesn’t mean that they have fewer people than my “real” email marketing list – in fact my Twitter list has over 1,300 people on it today. What I do mean is that my influence on that list is smaller. They do not anticipate contact from me the way my email list does. They come and go more easily than my email list does. That doesn’t make them less important to me, just different.

Here are some of my list places:

  • Twitter – ABSOLUTELY the easiest place to grow a list. There is LOTS of following over there and now that I am driving people from Twitter to Facebook, I feel like I am accomplishing something! Find out more about How To Use Twitter For Small Businesses
  • Facebook – It is easy to grow your list on Facebook too! They are called “friends” and to start get your real friends, then their friends, then people who share your interests. Want another friend? Add me on Facebook!
  • LinkedIn – I think the hardest place to grow a list BUT worth it! You can join groups that allow “open networking” where you can add people.
  • Meetup – These are people who like to meetup with me in person (I like that!), you can email these people ONLY about the meetup that you are involved with, nothing else!
  • Individual Groups and Communities – I belong to Iwomanlife.com and freeenterprisewarriors.com and activerain.com where I have communication opportunities with other people. I will say that I have not had the success with these media that I have had with the big three (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook)
  • Smaller Sites – I have people that follow my youtube.com updates and who are on mybloglog.com. Some people follow my digg.com updates. All these things are bonuses that come from things I do anyways and are never going to set the world on fire but it all adds up!!!
  • Feedburner - Last but not least, Feedburner sends many of you updates when I post to this blog. Some of you get them on a reader and some get them via email. However you get them, thank you for reading!

Twitter Day – How to use twitter for your small business!

So I am determined to get some value out of twitter and social networking for my business! With that in mind I have set out on a mission to figure out how to make twitter work for me and my tribe…:)

These are my twitter numbers right now (I did follow a bunch of people this morning so that number is a little skewed!) 963 Followers, 1060 Following

Now I have to say to start, if you are just getting into twitter this will be a little harder for you. I have been on twitter for a while and so have updates that people can see and decide to follow me. If you are new make sure you (1) set up a twitter account, (2) post some updates relevant to your business and (3) follow some other people (they will probably follow you back!).

Here are some of the things I have done to get more followers and actually make twitter work for me!

  1. Followed a bunch of people directly from Twitter – FREE
  2. Signed up for Xavier Media’s get more followers program – FREE
  3. Signed up for Tweet Later which sends a message out automatically for me to ask people to be my Facebook friend also (if you would like to learn more about this, I wrote about it on my marketing artfully facebook page, while you are there, make sure to become a fan!) – FREE
  4. Signed up for some groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that allow you to post your twitter link (it looks like this http://www.twitter.com/taradactyl) – FREE

If I do anything else I will make sure to post it here but for now I am all tweeted out!

Social Networking and Blogs – How Do They Get You More Business?

Join Twitter and get a tons of money, be a Facebook user and get a million clients, get LinkedIn and EXPLODE your business, or build your blog and get a gagillion readers!!! If that is how you think it works then this is probably not the post for you! You WILL be disappointed. Using the internet is just like real life, getting new customers and growing your business is hard work.

So how can you REALLY get new business on the internet using blogs and social networking? I am going to tell you some stories from my experience, you can then extrapolate them to your business!

GETTING AN INTERVIEW WITH WOMENOF.com

So I blew into town (Westminster, CO) with my marketing roadshow and decided to re-build my marketing business here in Colorado. To meet people I joined the Elle Group – a networking group for small business owners. I have met close to 100 small business owners face-to-face thus far. At one of those sessions I got invited to another networking session and said “yes I would go”. I met a girl named Tara there who is big on Facebook. I became her Facebook friend. 

that is the first online thing – you CANNOT grow your business sitting at home in front of a computer, sometimes you have to meet humans!

She posted a message telling us to ask about marketing opportunites with WomenOf.com. I asked. She had a fellow call me and, long story short, I am being interviewed for an online video on Monday! WHOO WHOO – how fun!!! The three pivot points in this story are “friending” Tara, being open to talking with her about opportunities and having a great blog. When they went online and checked me out to see if I should be interviewed, they found this blog and validated their decision because of the information that I have here about marketing!

GETTING BUTTS IN THE SEATS AT MY EVENTS

When I speak I like having humans there! In the past when I wanted to invite people, I would make a flyer, send some emails and wonder if anyone was showing up.

Now I use Facebook and LinkedIn to send a messages about my event to people who are my “friends” or “connections”, who have already raised their hands and said they are interested in hearing from me. The amazing thing to me is that is just the tip of the iceburg! Once a person who is in my sphere accepts, the programs tell everyone in their sphere. 

Last month I taught Social Networking in Clearwater and my buddy Brian P. Forrester, the mortgage man, said that he was going to be coming. One of his connections saw that and came too! It was amazing that on a Wednesday afternoon in Clearwater I could get about 25 people into a room to hear me speak! 

So what is the moral of the story? Social networking will not make you a galillionaire overnight. You will still have to network with humans. BUT there are tools out there that exponentially increase your message and if you are not taking advantage of them, you are leaving business on the table!

Want to save yourself time getting started? Check out our social networking how to videos!

Building A Community – How it helps your social networking, email list and life!

How can you build a community, online and offline? According to Miriam Webster a community is “the people with common interests living in a particular area”. In the past your community was limited by proximity and by who you could meet face-to-face. If you wanted to meet someone new you had to ask a friend for an invitation or hope for a chance meeting.

The internet has changed the definition of community! With social networking, blogs and email we are able to have a MUCH bigger community that is not limited by proximity. That having been said, meeting humans face to face is still a great way to build community and your online influence!

Ways to build an in-person community

  1. Your family and friends - when you are thinking of community you sometimes forget your closest connections. During the days when I was a (successful) realtor, my husband generated many of my leads through his work friends. I asked him to find out who would let me send them info about the real estate market in Clearwater and then contacted them through email, direct mail and popbys (fun treats I sent into work).
  2. Networking with humans - I recently moved to the Denver and Boulder area and had zero friends or contacts. I checked on meetup.com for local networking events that were related to business and have been able to add close to one hundred new contacts to my database and found a few really great contacts that may turn into friends. In the past this process would have taken YEARS instead of about 8 weeks. One note – don’t jump on new networking friends with your message…meet them, show them you will continue to come back and then ease into your message. No one likes to be SOLD HARD when they are networking!
  3. Teach classes - I teach social networking classes to anyone who will listen. I am setting up an internet mastermind group that will teach all kinds of online money making skills. I teach realtors how to service their listings. Basically if I can get 5 people to hold still I will start up a class…:) So how does that help? I add them to my database, I am an authority in whatever I am teaching, AND I stay in contact with them through my bi-monthly newsletters.

Ways to build an online community

  1. Join social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter! These allow you to add people from your real-life networking AND will let you connect with new people that are not geographically desirable but who are interesting and a potential client or referral source for your business.
  2. Start a blog – A blog pushes information about your business to potential clients. NO ONE will read repetitive sales ads but LOTS of people may be interested in learning more about your specialty. You are reading this post (I assume) because you are a small business owner who is interested in growing their business. If you are looking for cooking tips sign up to read updates from a cooking site, if you are selling mortgages, health care products or lawn furniture start an informative blog and find people who are interested in that!
  3. Start an email list. These are people who expect regular communication from you. Again, I cannot stress this enough, they expect information that is helpful to them or interesting NOT sales ads! It doesn’t matter how often you communicate with them, some do once a day, some do twice a month like I do. Make sure you send them relevant info AND include a call to action – sell something, grow your facebook page fans, ask for an appointment, whatever as long as you have a REASON for communicating with them in addition to the info!

Well that is it! Do that and you WILL succeed. People will be in your corner and will want to help you grow your business AND you can help grow theirs!!!

Social Networking Will Replace Google?

So why do I think social networking will replace google and how does that make this post a followup to telling the truth? (I wrote a post a couple of days ago about why I think that telling the truth is the best way to conduct business!)

Firstly, I attended a Jeffery Gitomer training session and he said that “truth” is going to be the new standard for business and he cited the Enron bunch as people who scammed the system and got caught, much to the detriment of their businesses. Well that training was BEFORE the huge financial meltdown that has occurred because of what is perceived as Wall Street defrauding the public.

Secondly, I then attended a training session (I get A LOT of training!) where a tech guy said that google will be irrelevant in 5 years. GOOGLE and IRRELEVANT in the same sentence? How can that be?!?!?! Well it just so happens I agree with him to a point. I DO think people will still “Google” you to see if you are who you say you are, BUT I also think that social networking will become so large that if you need a referral you will just ask someone you know – online!

Many of my online “friends” I have never met in person but I trust them and their judgement. If I needed a plumber here in Colorado (I am new), I would NOT go to the yellow pages OR google, I would ask my online realtor friends if they had a good referral! If I needed a dentist, doctor, printer, good travel agent, ANYTHING, I would ask my “friends” first. And as more and more people join these networks it will become more apparent that goole will be less attractive and referrals more-so.

So have you googled yourself lately in relation to your business? Does it show you? Check out “Tara Jacobsen Marketing” and you will see LOTS of entries that show that I am who I say I am on google – that is a very good thing!

Twitter and Google Great Lead Generating Tools

People ask me ALL the time how they can do the things that I recommend! Whether I am saying that they should comment on other people’s blog posts, read lots of different blogs or sign up for Twitter, frequently they say that they have NO TIME for all that “work” on the internet!

Well I can honestly say that Twitter is one of the easiest ways to add to your lead generating tool box! Just go to www.twitter.com and sign up.

Some suggestions:

  • Pick a good name that people will either recognize (I am TARAdactyl of course) or is descriptive of your business like the MeekTeam or is descriptive of your industry like REMarketer.
  • Have a good picture or avatar, I can’t tell you how many faces I see that are not recognizable but I sure knew when the bloodhound blog guys come by as they have a droopy old bloodhound as their picture.
  • Fill out your profile – if someone does come by to check you out you need to make sure you sound interesting. For the meantime, just put something, you can come back and finesse this later if you don’t have time now!

To keep track of all the blogs I like I have a secret! I use Google’s free tool to have my homepage show me things that I might find interesting. If I am super busy I just hop on the regular Google search and do whatever is needed BUT if I am looking for great posts to comment on or ideas to jump off of for a blog post – nothing is better!

I have done a video to show you how to use Twitter to lead generate and how to add a site into the Google homepage reader – enjoy!

For more great Lead Generating Tips visit Thrive Client Contact System!