Twitter Marketing – How To Do Competitive Analysis (Spy On Your Competition)

Twitter Marketing - How To Do Competitive Marketing Analysis

I had an epiphany last week that I truly don’t know who my competition is. Then I started to think about why that is and overall I came to the conclusion that it is because it varies depending on the marketing platform. In years past your competition was the guy down the street who does the same thing that you do. Today, competition comes from across the globe and on multiple marketing channels.

With that in mind I am trying to figure out who my competition is across the interwebs and I am dragging you along for the ride!!!

See last week’s post about finding your competition on Facebook

Competitive Analysis For Twitter Marketing

Let’s start with why you would want to know who is your competition on Twitter. Some really basic reasons come to mind including:

1. So you can target their followers with paid marketing
2. So you can see what they are posting and try to emulate that
3. To make sure you are keeping abreast of what is going in social media for your industry

Notes about Twitter…

Figuring out my competition on Facebook was much easier than on Twitter. For Facebook I primarily have my profile (person) and my business page (marketing artfully). On Twitter I have found that having one “main” account (taradactyl) is fine, but having little niche accounts actually makes more sense for growing a targeted, rabid following. For example, my EbookNerds and TweetingHomes grow much faster because they have a targeted focus (self publishing and real estate).

So for the purposes of this post, I am going to try and figure out who my competition is for Real Estate Marketing (tweetinghomes) on Twitter.

Twitter Advanced Search

The easiest way to start is to do a simple search in the Twitter search bar for your industry. After you do that you can check out the competition and find out more even more by following the hashtags (like #realestate #marketing).

The Twitter advanced search tool allows you to search a number of different criteria including keywords, hashtags and even within a defined geographic criteria.

The Devils You Know

So in real estate marketing, there are some big players who have been around for a very long time. Brian Buffini, Hobbs Herder and Tom Ferry are three who come to mind. I am sure you have some of the “usual suspects” in your industry.

You will want to check out their profiles to see if they are actively working their accounts and if they have any best practices you can copy.

Google Searches

Many times you can do a Twitter search for a specific type of Twitter account and people will have made a blog post about it. For example you could search Google for “best marketing people on twitter” and get a number of different posts recommending people to follow.

You can also find the top listings for “real” search and then check their Twitter accounts to see if they are actually using Twitter as a marketing tool.

Tweepz

A great tool to use is Tweepz.com. This site lists Twitter accounts according to various criteria like how many followers and the date the account was created. A REALLY good resource for finding people to follow or scoping out your competition.

Well hopefully that helps! There isn’t as much agony over figuring out your Twitter competition as there is on other sites. It is pretty straight forward and easy to check out!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead


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

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

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

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

Social Media Listicles

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

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

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

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

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

My results may shock you!

Popular on Twitter

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

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

Popular On Google Plus

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

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

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

Current listicle titles that Google+ is showing as popular:

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

Popular On Pinterest

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

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

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

Popular On YouTube

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

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

Popular On Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Listicle Research

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

Wrapup

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

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

Social Media Marketing Systems For Success!

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

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

Social Media Systems

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Make content that fulfills your needs.

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

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

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

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

Finding other people’s content.

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

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

5. Scheduling your own content.

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

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

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

It is a marathon

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

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

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

Call me!

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

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

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

– – –

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

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

Sincerely
Dave Negri

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

My Twitter Empire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why They Help

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

Archive of cool stuff to read

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

Promoting our content

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

People know the Taradactyl

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

Getting Twitter Followers

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Post

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

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

Bufferapp

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

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

What you post matters

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

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

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

No better way to connect with fancy people

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

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

I give him Klout and share that on Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

Hashtags

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

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

Advertising on Twitter

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

ads.twitter.com

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

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

What To Do Next

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

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

Thanks for reading…

XOXOX

Tara

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

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

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

New Twitter Look and Feel

New Twitter Look and Feel

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

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

Old Twitter Look and Feel

Old Twitter Look and Feel

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

New Twitter Timeline

New Twitter Timeline

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

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

Old Twitter Timeline

The Old Twitter Timeline

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

New Twitter Mobile

New Twitter Mobile

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

Old Twitter Mobile

twitter-post-mobile-befores

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

Read the whole Twitter update

out top suggest next step resources

Get Some Help! New Media Marketing Strategy Session

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

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

Find out more TODAY! >> Click here

The Best SEO and Social Media Tools

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

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

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

Quick Sprout – SEO and Social Shares

four-stars

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

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

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

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

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

>> Check out Quick Sprout

Buzzsumo – Social Media Sharing

five-stars

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

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

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

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

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

>> Check out Buzzsumo

Hashtagify.me – Twitter Tool

five-stars

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

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

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

>> Check out Hashtagify.me

Ritetag – Twitter Tool

Three Stars

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

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

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

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

>> Check out Rite Tag

Click To Tweet – Twitter Tool

five-stars

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

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

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

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

BEST “do one thing” plugin or website ever!

>> Check out Click To Tweet

Retweet Lab – Twitter Tool

four-stars

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

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

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

>> Check out Retweet Lab

Trending Sites

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

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

Social Sharing Sites

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

MISC Sites We Like For Data Analysis

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

New Media Marketing

New media marketing ebook

New Media Marketing Strategies: Oh The Tangled Web We Weave

There is a lot of information out there about how to set up your social and websites, but very little about how to actually work them to increase your brand reach and sales funnel. This book is an in-depth guide on how to dominate your niche.

Throughout we cover the background for each topic so you know what worked before and what you should avoid now, tips for using the sites including universal best practices and in-depth marketing strategies.

get-it-now-amazon

Social Media Setup Package For Real Estate Marketing and Realtors

While there is no “Realtor Marketing” there are things that Realtors have to be aware of when setting up their real estate social media and websites. Our President is a former Realtor and currently licensed active in the state of Florida. She KNOWS the special ins and outs to watch for when setting up your social sites.

Your buyers or sellers are looking for you! CAN THEY FIND YOU?

Social Media Setup For RealtorsThere’s no question that in today’s competitive Real Estate market, you simply are not in business until your customer can locate you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, or even Google+!

Right now, more than 700 billion minutes are spent on Facebook EVERY MONTH! Every week, over a billion tweets are posted on Twitter. Social media and instant communication are here to stay. GONE are the days of sitting by the phone waiting for potential clients to call. No matter how many signs you post or business cards you give away, you simply cannot compete with the voice of Social Media. And aren’t you excited? The internet has given you a platform to establish credibility, build relationships, and demonstrate your expertise!

We understand! Creating new profiles and business pages on all the relevant platforms can be confusing and time consuming, and may not even reach the people who want what you have. You need someone who not only understands marketing and social media, but also understands the business of Real Estate to lead you out of the chaos and into the streams of your potential clients.

That’s where we can help. Our Social Media Set-up Services for Real Estate are designed to take the stress out of figuring out the where, when and how, giving you a powerful voice and helping you target your perfect customer every time!

The right social media presence can put your products and services exactly where they need to be – in front of the eyes of your perfect customers! Our team of marketing experts helps you choose the right sites for your business. We take care of setting up custom, professional, fully optimized profiles and pages on your selected sites. We create custom graphics to keep your brand message consistent and exciting. We even place industry relevant, optimized content on your pages according to your desired customers user preferences. Then we work with you to develop your launch strategy, guaranteeing your social media success.

Our all-inclusive, professionally designed and implemented Social Media Set-up Services are very competitively priced at just $750 and include:

  • Half hour marketing consultation to make sure the setup goals are YOUR goals
  • Custom graphics (profile, background, cover & header images, etc.)
  • Fully Optimized Profiles on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest*
  • Professionally designed Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn** Business/Company Pages
  • SEO’d (Search Engine Optimized) Short and Long Descriptions and Graphics for each
  • Customized Launch Strategy
  • 2 Weeks of Pre-Scheduled, Industry relevant posts to fortify your presence

we never spam and a real human will call you to find out more about what you need. we don’t sell our list and work one-on-one with all of our clients!

Need more? For a limited time only get your Blog AND Social Media Set-Up for the low, low price of just $1250 (saves $250) ! Call Today (727) 415-9165

Social Media Setup Package: Get All Your Social Media Sites Setup or Updated All At Once

Our social media setup package is the best in the business, hands down. We have helped hundreds of small business owners and entrepreneurs get their social media empire up and running and can help you too.

Your customers are looking for you! CAN THEY FIND YOU?

Social Media Setup For Small BusinessThere’s no question that in today’s noisy marketing climate, you simply are not truly in business unless you can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, or even Google+! Creating new profiles and business pages on all the relevant platforms can be confusing and time consuming, and may not even reach the people who want what you have.

That’s where we come in. Our Social Media Set-up Services are designed to take the stress out of figuring out the where, when and how, giving you a powerful voice and helping you target your perfect customer every time!

The right social media presence can put your products and services exactly where they need to be – in front of the eyes of your perfect customers! Our team of marketing experts helps you choose the right sites for your business. We take care of setting up custom, professional, fully optimized profiles and pages on your selected sites. We create custom graphics to keep your brand message consistent and exciting. We even place industry relevant, optimized content on your pages according to your desired customers user preferences. Then we work with you to develop your launch strategy, guaranteeing your social media success.

Our all-inclusive, professionally designed and implemented Social Media Set-up Services are very competitively priced at just $750 and include:

  • Half hour marketing consultation to make sure the setup goals are YOUR goals
  • Custom graphics (profile, background, cover & header images, etc.)
  • Fully Optimized Profiles on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest*
  • Professionally designed Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn** Business Pages
  • SEO’d (Search Engine Optimized) Short and Long Descriptions and Graphics for each
  • Customized Launch Strategy
  • 2 Weeks of Pre-Scheduled, Industry relevant posts to fortify your presence

Order the Social Media setup

BONUS OFFERING (Limited Time Only): Act now and you can choose to have your Social Launch announced to our massive existing network of 500,000 followers globally! Additional fees apply.

Need more? For a limited time only get your Blog AND Social Media Set-Up for the low, low price of just $1250 (saves $250)! Learn more, Call today! (727) 425-9165

*Pinterest includes setting up your account and creating 5 industry specific boards with 5 posts each.
**You MUST have an email at your company’s domain (yourname@yourcompayswebsite.com) to set up a LinkedIn Business Page. If you need help setting up a professional website – we do that too!

Social Media For Realtors

Looking for Realtor Specific Social Media?

Check out our Realtor Social Media setup package!

Social Media Setup Package For Small Biz

How To Get Engagement On Social Media…Ask Questions!

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

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

Why do you want engagement like this?

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

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

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

Questions to ask to increase interactions on social media

Cool questions:

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

Sports:

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

Food and Beverage:

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

Fashion:

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

Locations:

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

Technology:

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

Personal:

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

Weather or Location:

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

Favorites:

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

Holidays:

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

Business:

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

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

Small Business Marketing – 5 Things To Check Today!

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

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

Your Email Signature

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

Tara Jacobsen - Old Email Signature Line

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

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

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

Tara Jacobsen - New Signature

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

Your Website Layout

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

Marketing Artfully - Old Layout Design

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

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

Your Social Media Descriptions

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

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

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

Taradactyl Twitter Profile

Your Social Media Graphics

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

Marketing Artfully Old Business Page Banner

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

Marketing Artfully - New Facebook Timeline

Make sure you like all your profile pictures

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

Tara Jacobsen - Old LinkedIn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lists On Social Media Sites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Biggest Social Media Marketing Mistake, Bar None

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

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

No photos in Facebook intended posts:

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

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

How you post to Facebook

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

the size of photos in facebook

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

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

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

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

The mother of all photo sites, Pinterest

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

How to make interesting pinterest photos

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

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

Google Plus Photos and Posting

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

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

Videos In Blog Posts

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

Pictures and videos in blog posts

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

Why Photos Matter

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

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

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

Social Media Marketing For Small Biz FREE Email Course

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

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

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

What this social media marketing FREE email course is not:

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

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

How it works

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

What the course covers:

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

Sign Up Now!

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

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

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

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

Top 5 Reasons You HAVE To Have A Website

1. You own it!

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

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

2. Not everyone is on Facebook

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

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

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

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

3. Facebook changes the rules, A LOT

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. People like people not pages

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

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

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

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

How Does Social Media Work [VIDEO]

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

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

So this is how social media works:

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

Now, what are our takeaways?

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

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

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

Advanced Twitter Tutorial – Hashtags and Lists

So today we are talking about Twitter and how to use Hashtags and Lists in an advanced way! … don’t forget to check out the bonus tips below the video.

Advanced Twitter Tutorial - Hashtags and ListsCan you do a video or a blog post that illustrates such things as hashtags and lists – but from the point of view of the “other guy” – in other words, I love all the stuff you do that shows how we should optimize our Twitter accounts by using hashtags, lists, etc… but I would like to see all of that from the perspective of the user that we are doing all of this for. I really can’t figure out how people use hashtags and other things to find content that actually interests them or whatever. While I like Twitter the way I use it (and I genuinely do), I can’t help thinking that I really still don’t get it. I think it would be great to see that, and it would help me to have a better handle on why I do what I do when I use Twitter for my business. I get it on an intellectual level, I think… I understand in theory why I do what I do. I just probably never would have used Twitter if it weren’t for my business… and I feel like I’m still missing some of the “why”. IDK… just thought it might make a good post – to flip the perspective.

Thanks to Donna Thornton of Onederous Tribe for the great question!

Twitter Hashtags

If you are just starting out, you may not be as familiar with Twitter Hashtags. They are used to categorize a group of posts…in the video we talk about #smm which is actually a way to find all the “social media marketing” posts that people have shared.

There are literally THOUSANDS if not MILLIONS of hashtags. A great way to find them is to use the Hashtag Dictionary or just do a search for your words in the Twitter search and see what everyone else is using.

HASHTAG BONUS – I hear A LOT that you should come up with your own hashtag and get it to trend on Twitter. First off, if you are using one for your business (like I could use #MarketingArtfully) no one else on the face of the earth knows about it and you are going to have to do A LOT of work to get them to notice. Non-generic hashtags are more for places like #homedepot, causes like #KONY2013 or events like #olympics2014. There are MUCH better things that you can spend your marketing time on than trying to get something to trend on Twitter for an hour or so.

HASHTAG BONUS PART DEUX – That said, you can make it really easy to track favorites and shares on your Twitter (and now Facebook) posts by using your own, customized hashtag. Again let’s say I used my own hashtag like #mmmonsters (for our Marketing and Media Monsters site) and then be able to search and thank and follow people who have liked and shared my “stuff”.

Software Suggestions

In the video I show you a bit of Tweet Adder (which I LOVE for automating and making some of my Twitter tasks easier!) – aff link

Twitter Lists

It is REALLY worth finding out more about the Twitter lists! I especially like following the people who have listed me AND using the lists of others to find people to follow!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can post multiple times and reach different markets

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make some lists

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

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

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

Get some tools!

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

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

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

Finally – Have multiple accounts

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

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

Twitter Marketing Wrapup

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

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

Social media marketing – How To Make Interesting Twitter Tweets

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

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

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

Twitter Tweet Strategy

Do NOT send out the same message over and over

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

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

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

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

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

Make your tweets look different every time!

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

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

They all say the same thing but look very different!

What’s in it for them?

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

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

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

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

Social Media Marketing – 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! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Indirect Benefit of Social Media Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My #1 Tip For Writing Great Email Newsletters, Blog Posts, Recording Videos and More!

Number one tip for writing great email newslettersI never talk about my number one tip for anything because things change, I learn something new, and generally marketing is moving target so I have to stay nimble like a tiger.

But today, I am throwing down with my #1, all time, most important, never goes out of style tip for writing great email newsletters, crafting amazing blog posts, recording stunning videos and every other sort of marketing that you do. In fact, it is one of the main, evergreen tenants of good marketing theory and I don’t we are talking about it enough!

You are only talking to one person.

There, for you High D’s who are worried that this is going to take too long, I have just blurted it out, for the rest of you, follow along!

When we are crafting blog posts or email newsletters, oftentimes we are thinking about all the people who are reading, listening or generally going to consume our info. We use terms like, “you all”, “you guys” or “everybody”. But think about it for a minute. Almost EVERY piece of content is being seen by just one person sitting at their computer or looking at it on their smart phone.

How To Go About Writing Great Email Newsletters, Articles or Blog Posts and Record Amazing Videos

Unlike “the news” which really is made for mass consumption, your written words are going to be sent out via email or over the internet. There will not be a gang of people sitting in a room waiting to read your pearls of wisdom, there will only be one person clicking that link and reading your words.

The easiest way to write for one person is to get a real person (or two) in your head and write as if you are talking to them. In another post I did for our Marketing and Media Monsters site I wrote today about new age marketing, I was thinking of two gals, Andye Murphy and Regina Sisco. Some of the ideas were specific to each of their businesses and I got double the great tips out because each has a little different business.

Another thing to check when you are producing content is are you saying YOU more than you are saying I or WE. If you are saying “we do this”, “I am” or “our tools” too much, your reader or listener will get grouchy and abandon all hope of you helping them! Howie Jacobson has my favorite saying, “are you we’ing all over them?” (read it out loud, it is really funny!) This is a SUPER easy way to tell if you content is great.

Last but not least, my besty the Colorado Connector talks A LOT about the WIFM (what’s in it for me) Channel that people are always playing in their heads. If your content is all about me, what I do or how I can help them, they will go away. Every person wants to know that you like them, that you care about their problems and that you have the solution for solving those problems.

Seriously, just making sure that you are talking to one person will make a tremendous difference in how your marketing is received! Now, go look at your web pages, listen to your videos and check out your last couple of email newsletters. Do not beat yourself up, just start a list of what you need to fix and grind through it. Then, start writing as if you are talking to your friends or best clients. Write as if you are telling them something and watch the accolades roll in!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outsourcing Your Social Media Marketing

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

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

Social Media Marketing Manager

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

Social media marketing manager benefits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Going Viral – How Social Media Marketing Gets Spread

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why one thing will probably not go viral

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

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

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

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

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

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

check out Deborah’s videos (the CrazyIrishRealtor)

Really going viral

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

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

The moral of the story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can you pay someone to interact with your brand?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s jump right into the fray with…

Facebook Social Media Marketing!

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

Facebook is for generating interest in your industry!

Things to do on Facebook:

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

Twitter Social Media Marketing

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

Twitter is for computers and immediate communication!

Things to do on Twitter:

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

Google Plus Social Media Marketing

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

Google+ is for search engine marketing!

Things to do on Google+:

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

YouTube Social Media Marketing

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

YouTube is for video marketing!

Things to do on YouTube:

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

Pinterest Social Media Marketing

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

Pinterest is how marketing will be in the future!

Things to do on Pinterest:

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

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

Join our small business marketing clubJoin Our Marketing Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You are alienating almost half of your potential client base!

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

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

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

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

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

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

You will lose all of the people some of the time

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

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

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

You CAN disagree without being disagreeable!

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

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

Final Thoughts About Politics On The Facebook

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

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

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

Pinterest Marketing – Video Training Course

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

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

What it is…

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

What it is not…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BONUS PINTEREST MARKETING VIDEOS

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

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

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

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

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

1. Google+ Search

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

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

2. Google +1 button

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

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

3. Fast indexing

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

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


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

Pinterest Marketing – Damn I Almost Screwed Up Big!

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

Social metrics pro - Pinterest Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don't make this fatal pinterest marketing mistake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social Media Marketing – Chinese Water Torture

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

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

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

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

Social Media Marketing – Consistency Is Key

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

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

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

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

Small Business Marketing Doodle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Social Media Platforms Do You HAVE To Do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What NOT To Do Social Media Marketing Wise

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

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

HOW TO GET HELP

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

Google Universal Search – How Google+ Effects Small Business Marketing

So yesterday I talked about “getting to the top of google” and touched on how google has different results for different people (that is called google universal search). Today we are going to take a visual peek at what that looks like in real world small business marketing searching and how utilizing social media and especially Google+ makes a huge difference!

Small Business Marketing, Google+ and Universal Search

Google plus one universal searchAs a social media marketing company, we get our peeps on the Google+ and circle related people for them. BUT what does that mean in the real world? If I listened to the rumors, Google+ doesn’t have very many people using it and it isn’t as fun as Facebook for the average user, right?

In the picture, searching with Tara Jacobsen (me) logged into google, I get ALL kinds of people results. I get to see how many of my friends have plused one the blogger link, I have a picture of that nice Darren Rowse from Problogger, whose blog I read and who I have circled on Google+. Along those lines, Jay Baer is also in my circles, and there is his happy little face, big as life. The other search was done with proxify.com which anonymizes the search and takes out preferences and friend links. There you can see some are the same links, but no Jay, AND it added a video result (not sure why the video icon didn’t load, but I promise it worked!).

Google plus one universal searchBut maybe that is just me, right? Nope! This is another result from one of our realtor client’s account. Deb Ward, Clearwater Realtor Extraordinaire, is friends with Stacy Hansen, so when we did a search for ENTREPRENEUR MARKETING using her account, up jumped the result!

So whether you believe in Google+ plus as a social platform or not, I am totally ON BOARD as a way to increase search engine rankings for our peeps!

Gary Vaynerchuk The Thank You Economy – Is It Scalable?

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

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

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

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

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

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

For example:

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

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

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

Thanks Gary…I think it is scalable!

Advanced Social Media Marketing – How To Post To Facebook Timeline

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hate On Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GodvineGodvine

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

Klout For Good WWFKlout and WWF

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

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

Social Media Marketing – What You Should Be Doing Now

Social media marketing is HARD! I have never worked with a marketing platform that changes more than this giant kerfuffle of sites and places that you need to have a presence on, oh and they change it constantly so that you have to be on top of what you should be doing now!

A little bit of social media marketing background. I just checked the “when did you join Twitter” website and it says I started my Taradactyl twitter account on November 30,2007. WOW, That is going on 5 years now and over that time I gathered well over 10,000 followers. The reason I start there is that this was my first foray into using social media as a marketing platform. According to facebook, I started over there July 21, 2008 after talking with a friend who said it might have some further marketing implications than posting pictures of kitties and puppies.

Upon discovering that social media marketing would work for me, we decided that we would take our mad marketing skills and start doing social media for clients. At the start, this was relatively easy as it was just a dorky LinkedIn profile, a Facebook Profile and a Twitter account that was fed by a blog. BOY did we think we were cutting edge, and dang, looking back was it easy-peasy compared to today. Basic graphics and post some stuff, and BANG you are done.

Today I have to say that if you are NOT a graphics artist or video maven, social media, website design and blogging are out of the reach of most small business owners. We have targeted for our clients the top social media sites that are effective for small business marketing today (I will break out what we recommend below, just remember that if you are reading this tomorrow it may have changed again by then…:)

Blogging for social media marketing

Blogging for social mediaI am a HUGE proponent of blogging for social media marketing. I have this site and get SCADS of opportunities from having a big robust site with lots of content. People find us through SEO (search engine optimization), I have a place to put my speaker stuff, talk about entrepreneur marketing and discuss small business and social media marketing. Because I take the time to write good content and have a strong opinion, people read what I write and I have become an expert in my industry.

Now let’s talk about blogging for the small biz owner. Seriously, who has the time to post 1-2 times per week, getting “pinable” pictures in there for your additional social media sharing (more about “pinability” later)? Additionally, aggregator sites like networked blogs and rss graffiti no longer have the impact of posting so you need to pop over to Facebook and the like to post your entry.

Having a blog means having graphics, the overall look and feel, marketing buttons, and blog post pictures.

Facebook for small business marketing

Social media marketing facebook page and profileOkay, I go back and forth on this one. Originally, we used the customer’s profile (human) to do marketing, then we switched when Facebook launched business pages, and now I am in a quandary. I REALLY like some of the new features of the business pages and you HAVE to have one like the old yellow page ad was mandatory, BUT…and I think this is a HUGE but for our small business people (not corporations, small biz owners) people don’t like to talk to your brand, they like to talk to YOU.

What does this mean marketing-wise? We manage lots of different types of social media, restaurants, resorts, doctors, realtors, art sites, etc. Some of them have great results talking as a page (our restaurants are especially effective this way), but the realtors, spa owners and the like bomb as pages. If you are considering hiring a new hairdresser (ladies, you KNOW what a big deal this is), you don’t care as much about the salon as the service and personality of hairdresser right?) This makes it hard. How much personal information to share while still keeping a professional demeanor.

I share mostly marketing on my Tara Jacobsen profile but do have pictures of my puppy after having tater tots. The tater tots post got a lot of likes and comments, while some of my marketing posts fall on the floor with a thud. Seriously, most people are on the Facebook for socializing and learning more about people, and not so much for buying stuff.

Does this mean you can ignore a page and only use your person, nope! It could change again and you would be WAY behind the curve AND it is just a cost of doing business today. You have to have a presence, both as a person and a business.

Twitter for small business marketing

Social media profile - taradactylEveryone who loves twitter, raise their hand. Okay, the two of you can put your hands down now. But seriously, twitter is a GREAT platform for social media marketing. It allows you to post your message, target specific geographic or cultural users and computers love twitter.

WHAT? Why would computers like Twitter? Twitter has what is called an “open API” which means developers can make programs that pull from twitter. You can hook your blog directly to Twitter and there is nothing to stop it from appearing to all your followers. You can use hashtags (#) to mark your posts as being in #denver or about #marketing.

It is also easy to connect with people on the Twitter. I have “talked” with best selling authors, my marketing heroes and even a politician (accidentally) once.

Google+ for social media marketing

google plus small business marketingGoogle+ is still in it’s infancy. The thing to know about it is that THE GOOGLE owns it. Seriously. Right now, that is all that we need to worry about. You need a business page, you need a profile and you need to post on there.

The other thing you want to do is to start circling people (same as adding friends on the Facebook). You can have 5,000 people in your circles and can target different industries.

As a business tool, right now, it is not that great, but it will be!

YouTube for small business marketing

Videos, that’s right, videos are going to be half of the backbone of the new internet within a few years. People do not have time to read anymore, they want to watch a quick 2 minute video that gets the point across. Think about it, what if I had a video right below here where I TELL you my top pics instead you reading them. I can tell you that I had to CRAM all of this into 2 minutes which was not easy BUT now I will have a place to put a backlink to my blog and you get to “hear” my picks instead of reading them!

Pinterest for small business marketing

Social Media Marketing - PinterestAgain, this is a rather new entry to social media marketing scene and I have heard from more than one person that Pinterest is for women. Not so and I will tell you this one or one like it will be a hot player in the next few years.

So what is pinterst? It is a visual photo sharing site. You can make “boards” with your interests and save things to look at later. So let’s talk about this. I have a board with marketing (of course), a board for good website buttons for future reference, a board on crafting and a board on bees. Most of my repins (sharing on Facebook) come from my success quotes, but I am building a circle of friends on here just like I did on Twitter and Facebook in the past.

WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP

Okay, I know for many of you who have reached the bottom of this page, doing this type of marketing is out of the question time-wise and ability wise (believe me, I KNOW, I was sad this morning thinking about all the changes we would have to make our clients new Facebook business page timelines next week!!!)

That having been said, if you think this is too much to handle and would like to find out how to hire a top-notch social media marketing company, give us a call today to find out more!!! 727-415-9165

Facebook Commenting – EXACTLY What To Say or Do!

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

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

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

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

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

Commenting on someone else’s post publicly

Facebook Commenting - Like comment share

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

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

Liking A Post

Facebook commenting - liking a post

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

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

Commenting On A Post

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

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

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

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

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

More advanced comments

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

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

Really heartfelt and pertinent to the conversation

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

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

Sharing Something On YOUR Wall

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

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

Sharing (or Posting) To Someone Else’s Wall

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

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

Direct Messaging

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

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

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

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

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

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

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

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

 

Small Business Marketing Doodle

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

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

Social Media Marketing – QUIT BEING SO RUDE!

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

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

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

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

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

What I got back was this in a direct message:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social Media Marketing – Should You Join Little Social Networks

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

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

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

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

Time

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

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

Small Business Marketing Doodle

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

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

Small Business Marketing Doodle
How Do They Make Money?

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

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

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

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

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

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

So Do You HATE All Little Social Networks?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday Fun – Growing Big Lists Some Practical and FUN Tips

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

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

It Is Just Like Kindergarten Valentines – Everybody Gets One

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

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

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

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

Get Curious

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

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

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

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

Again Kindergarten Rears Its Head – Share Your Toys

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

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

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

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

The Wrap Up

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

Social Media Marketing Mistakes – Not A Good Start

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

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

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

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

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

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

Small Business Marketing Entrepreneur Doodle

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

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

Small Business Marketing Entrepreneur Doodle

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

Starting Your Social Media With No Info

Social media marketing mistakes - no info

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

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

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

Social Media Marketing Mistakes – Bad Privacy Settings

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

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

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

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

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

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

What to say on facebookPosting as a human

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What NOT To Post On Your Facebook Profile For Business

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

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

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

What To Talk About For Business On Your Profile

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

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

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

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

thanks to Logo & Wallpaper collection for the photo!

Marketing Artfully

Social Media Marketing Services   Marketing Speaker   Small Business Coaching
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Looking for someone to do all those pesky social media and blogging tasks? We do it all!   Want a fun, informative Marketing Speaker who will make a huge impact on your audience?   Need a boost to get your business to the next level? Systems to get you more success!

Small Business Marketing – Layering Your Marketing Message

Small business marketing is all about getting prospective customers to notice you. I KNOW, you think that small business marketing is about getting them to BUY from you, but first they have to know you exist!

Small Business Marketing - LayeringThe easiest way to get people to notice you is to show up everywhere they go, from in person, to their mailbox, online at social media and in their email inbox. This process of being everywhere is officially called layering and should be part of a planned structured marketing campaign.

LL Bean is stalking me. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the LL Bean gang! They have American made clothes (I am from the rust belt near Pittsburgh so this has always mattered to me). Their clothing is unbelievably high quality and they have a no questions asked return policy. Seriously, you can wear your shoes, clothes or coats for YEARS and if something goes wrong, they will make it right, no questions asked.

Years ago I got on their mailing list and they have continued to send me catalogs, even though I have not ordered in quite some time. Sort of nice, but did not compel me to buy.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing LL BeanSo today I opened my Facebook and they had posted a message about extreme weather clips on the LL Bean Facebook page. Not a picture of their product with a link (although they have them too!), a video from the weather channel about terrible cold weather.

Small Business Marketing Tip – So NOW I am thinking about cold weather in conjuction with LL Bean! They have snuggly warm coats and slippers in case it snows like that here.

 

Email Marketing

Email marketing LL BeanAfter cruising the Social Media and noticing the LL Bean clip (I didn’t watch the video but got the gist and the association stuck). I popped open my inbox to delete messages (I mean read my email…hehehe). What showed up there? An email from LL Bean!

Now I am in marketing so I tend to notice when things happen like this, but I am also human and the urge to buy something from LL Bean is getting greater and greater!

 

Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing LL BeanSo, as most of you know I am an internetty kind of gal. I get leads from the internet, teach internet marketing classes and have every whiz-bangy kind of appliance needed to access the internet at my disposal.

That having been said, I rarely BUY things on the internet. I go to stores and look at catalogs (doh, I just happen to have an LL Bean catalog handy!). Sending me a catalog will definitely make this layering marketing work better for the Bean!

 

How To Do Layering For Small Business Marketing

So you are a small business owner or entrepreneur and you are thinking to your self (in a really snarky tone, I can hear you) that you do not have the millions of dollar advertising budget that LL Bean has! That figuring out all that technology is going to take time and money you don’t have.

Here are some easy ways for small business owners to capitalize on what we have seen here today!

  • Direct mail marketing – There are two ways to do direct mail marketing on a shoestring. Print dinky postcards on colored paper, 4 to a sheet or buy them from Vistaprint for pennies on the dollar. I checked yesterday and the cost for a postcard stamp is 29 cents so the cost to do a 100 piece mailing should be less than 50 bucks total. I am getting ready to send a 100 piece dinky postcard mailing this week and will let you know what the response rate is!
  • Email marketing – if you are not using an online database like