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!

Incoming search terms:

  • real estate social media
  • engagement social media

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 – Should you buy likes, followers and views?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psychologically I think there is value to having higher numbers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Should you buy fake followers

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

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

Twitter Counter - Twitter Following Stats

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

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

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

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

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What Social Media Marketing Is Not!

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

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

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

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

The Real World of Social Media Marketing

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

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

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

Setting Up A Social Media Strategy

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

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

What Is A Good Sales To Information Ratio

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

Some Final Tips

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

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

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

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!

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.

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!

Incoming search terms:

  • a list of fb groups to advertise your business
  • facebook business groups

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!

Incoming search terms:

  • using facebook for fundraising
  • how to raise funds for non profit on Facebook
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Facebook Classified Ads Check Out Marketplace

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

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

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

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

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

Incoming search terms:

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Facebook Business Pages How To Have A Custom Page

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

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

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

Facebook Business Page PictureFacebook Business Page Picture

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

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

Facebook Business Page JPG ImageFacebook Custom Page Using A JPG

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

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

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

Successful Components of a Facebook Business PageFacebook Custom HTML Pages

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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!

Unintended Marketing Consequences Beware Beware

Unintended marketing consequences pop up at the most inopportune times! If you are not minding your goals, it is easy to run off the track with something new and shiney that does not do what you thought it did.

Unintended Marketing ConsequencesI have to say that I hear about all kinds of new marketing ideas every day from blogs I read, email lists, readers who send me ideas and friends who know I like marketing. Some of them are G-R-E-A-T and some have put a really bad mojo on my marketing efforts. That is why I generally test out anything I am going to recommend on my stuff first. At least if I mess my Marketing Artfully or Tara Jacobsen marketing up I can usually fix it!

Recent unintended consequences…:)

  • MarketingArtfully.com redesign – to all you email readers out there, you may not know that I redid Marketing Artfully’s look and feel. While it is BEAUTIFUL, I have to say that it DID make some time changes necessary. In the past I could knock out a post in about 15 minutes and bang, up it went. Now there is more juggling around with image sizes, categorizing and more. Not a deal breaker but DEFINITELY did not know that would be the result!
  • Adding everyone to Gist – Now I do not know if www.gist.com is going to take off BUT like all things that pop up I joined in case it does do well (here is my take on Social Networking First Responder Advantages). That having been said, uploading everyone all at once to that one was a major ick factor. It wound up creating the same mess that I have now trying to follow all my real friends online stuff.
  • Getting more of the kind of clients you DO NOT WANT! My biggest beef with unintended consequences is when you are very successful but have started down the wrong road. This has happened to me a couple times where I built a successful client base but did not like the work I was doing. Argg. Be very careful to plan who you want to work with BEFORE you get started with what kind of marketing to do

If you have any neat bad marketing mojo stories, please feel free to share them here!!!

PS – The title of this post cracks me up, the Beware Beware part comes from the movie Labyrinth and funny rock people say that in a really spooky voice…I am cracking myself up over here this morning!

Incoming search terms:

  • marketing consequences

Social Networking Workshop February 2nd

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

Tampa Bay 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:

Where – Snookers – Best Restaurant Tampa Bay
606 North Pinellas Avenue
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

Dates & Times – February 2, Noon – 4PM
Class Sponsored By Personalized Marketing
Call Stacy Hansen of Personalized Marketing with any questions 727-505-5384

Cost: ONLY $100

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?

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

Social Networking Workshop! October 19-20th Westminster CO

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 set up in just four hours, with no stress?
Workshop info:

Where – ASK Training Conference Room 18 Garden Center, Suite 102, Broomfield, CO 80020
Dates & Times – October 19th, 8AM – 10AM October 20th NOON – 2PM
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?

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!!!