Social Media Marketing – I Don’t Care If I Get Likes!

I do social media marketing for me and my clients. It can sometimes seem like a waste of time or a pointless endeavor, but most of the goodness that comes to me in the form of being able to share things that I actually like and use with the people of my tribe!


10 Social Media Sad Truths

Social Media Marketing - Why I Don't Care About Likes1. No one will notice. I have spent YEARS building up numbers and goodwill by sharing great stuff. If you are starting social today, there is a good chance no one will notice for a couple of months at least. It is a grind, not a sprint.

2. It will not fix your sales overnight. We often see business owners who have heard that “social” will help them sell stuff. Rarely if ever have we seen someone start selling right out of the gate (meaning in 3 months or less). Again, social is an accumulation of goodwill built up over time.

3. There are no quick fixes. I have read many articles about why buying likes on Facebook is stupid (from Joe Loomer, Social Media Today and even the Huffington Post). There is no shortcut to building up your social properties.

4. You cannot track the ROI of social media. As you saw in the video, there was tangible proof on the sales side that there WAS an ROI on social media. You could see that there were click and actual sales, although the “analytics” definitely did not bear that out. If you try to do A LOT of social and then follow it through to the logical conclusion of sales you will make yourself insane.

5. You have to be specific. As you build your social media empire, you need to know specifically what each post is meant to do. Some might be to seem interesting so people will follow you, some might be to drive traffic to your website and some might be to sell something like I did with the webinar link in the video.

6. If you do nothing but scream “buy my stuff” no one will follow you. It seems tempting to want to see an ROI (return on investment) for your efforts. But know for sure that if you spend all your time and energy trying to get people to spend money, no one will want to “friend, follow or like” you.

7. You still have to talk to humans online. If all you are doing is broadcasting out and never talking back to the people who are your friends and followers, you will wind up with very few results. Social is not just a way to send out messages into the universe, it is a communications tool that requires back and forth.

8. You still have to talk to humans in person. This one is such a disappointment to me. At first I thought that you could just “do social” online and never have to go out and meet with people ever again. But you will grow your online social media networks the most from actually getting out and talking with other human beings.

9. Social is not a silver bullet. I see too many companies who think that if they are “doing social” they don’t have to do any other marketing. In fact social is just another tool to use for building business, it is not the only thing you need to do. You still need a database and a mailing list, print and promotions.

10. Social is not simple. It is funny, we do social marketing for a select group of clients and find that they understand the gargantuan task that is posting, liking, friending, sharing and all the other bits on a daily or weekly basis. But new people who call to find out are under the impression that it is “fun” to “mess around on social” so it should be easy. Social done right for business has an executable plan and reason for everythign that is done (if you are doing a good job!)

So there you have it, the benefits and sad truths about the state of social. For me, I look at it as a really cool way to share my message, make some money and reach some new people I couldn’t meet face-to-face. What I don’t see it as is the only thing I have to do to make a solid business!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead


Social Media Marketing - Why I Don't Care About Likes

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.


A great tool to use is 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


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 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 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 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????

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 ( 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 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.


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 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 >>

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.

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…



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


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


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


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 – Twitter Tool


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

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


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


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.
  • – 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

  • – 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.


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 ( 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?


  • 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?


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


  • 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)?


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


  • 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?


  • 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?


  • 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?


  • 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, 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 or 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 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 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 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 #marketing #denver
  • FREE Internet Marketing Training – Learn Our Successful IM Secrets | July 16th #marketing #denver
  • FREE Internet Marketing Training – Learn Our Successful IM Secrets | July 16th #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! #marketing
  • Denver Marketing Course :: Free training July 16th, Presented by the M&M Monsters #marketing
  • FREE in-person Internet Marketing Course – #Denver, CO #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 ( – 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!
  • Social media marketing services – Check Us out for all your #smm needs!
  • Social media marketing services – Check Us out for all your #smm needs!

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

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
  • SMM & Marketing Svcs #smm
  • AMAZING Social Media Marketing Co. :: #smm
  • Need social media? #smm

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
  • 100 Free Marketing Ideas :: #marketing
  • Need Marketing HELP? Free resource 100 Free Marketing Ideas #marketing
  • BRILLIANT! 100 Free Marketing Ideas #marketing
  • Free & Good! Yep…100 Free marketing ideas #marketing

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 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 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


  • 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 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, 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 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!


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 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.


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.


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.


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 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 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 – 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)


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 Constant Contact or Office Auto Pilot (the one I use) yet, start today. Figure it out and start building a list! Send them informative emails. I KNOW, you are all clamoring about what to send, send something that is related to your business!
  • Pick up the phone – Call them to see if they got what you sent! Your mailing made this a much warmer call.
  • Social Media Marketing – Post something about this on your social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or LinkedIn. Be careful not to be too salesy, just something good and interesting for them to enjoy that is related to your business.

With my coaching clients, I recommend that we have “theme months” where we pick a theme and market to that using multiple sales channels. I can’t stress enough that you should pick a theme for this month RIGHT NOW, set up some of these layered sales outlets and get started bringing in more prospects and sales!

— — —

If you would like to find out more about my Small Business Marketing coaching programs today, give me a call 727-415-9165.

Facebook New And Improved Friend Lists! Social Media Marketing

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

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

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

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

Check out Facebook’s Improved Friend List Post

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

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

The BIGGEST Facebook Mistake – Social Media Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The BIGGEST Facebook Mistake – Social Media Marketing

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

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

Social Media Marketing – How To Get Comments On Your Posts

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

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

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

Does It Matter How Many Comments You Get?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The NUMBER ONE Most Important Social Media Commenting Idea!

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

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

Social Media Marketing – Questions By The Numbers

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

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


The Good About The Social Media Marketing Numbers

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

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

The Bad About The Social Media Marketing Numbers

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

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

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

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

The Ugly About The Social Media Marketing Numbers

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

11% – the percentage of people who say they would buy something that was only offered to Facebook fans – So you work up a huge Facebook campaign, pay Facebook to get users to your fan page (there has been a 70&#37 increase in the price of Facebook ads during the first half of 2011) and then have the slight chance that one of those 11 out of a hundred would buy? Give me a break.

Social Media Marketing By The Numbers Wrap Up

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

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

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

Social Media Marketing – Twitter Hashtags or Facebook Page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What To Post On Social Media – Curating Content

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

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

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

Thanks to Joanna for the pic!

Social Media – Curating Content

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

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

Stop Trying To Be THE EXPERT

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

So How Can You Curate Content?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Using iGoogle To Find Content

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

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

Using Google Alerts To Find Content

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

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

Do Bad Social Media Marketing “Tricks” Actually Work

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

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

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

Twitter Trending Hashtags Twitter Trending Hashtags

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

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

All you #towelday fans, get your bed and bath supplies at

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

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

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

Twitter @ Tricks

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

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

Fake Facebook Likes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tagging On Facebook

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

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

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

Facebook Marketing – Application Scams and Viruses

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

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

DO NOT Play Games On Facebook

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

Stik Facebook Spam

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

You Are In This Picture Facebook Scams

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

Check Out Who Visited Your Profile Scams

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

Rules Of Thumb For Avoiding Being A Facebook Spammer

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

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

General Information About Facebook Scams

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

Facebook For Business – May 2011 Updates

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

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

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

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

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

Weird Random Facebook Changes

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

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

Changes To The Facebook Groups

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

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

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

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

How They Are Counting “Likes” To Your Fan Page

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

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

photo courtesty of

The Thank You Economy – gary vay-ner-chuk

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

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

Small Town Living

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

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

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

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

You HAVE To Talk To Them

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

It Won’t Happen Overnight

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

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

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

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

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

Small Business Marketing MagicFacebook Business Page Lies

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

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

Social Media Marketing Will Result In Immediate Sales

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

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

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

You Can “Go Viral” And Your Business Will Explode

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

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

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

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

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

Social Media Marketing – Should Facebook Be Your Main Site

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

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

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

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

Why Facebook As Your Primary Site Is A Terrible Idea

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why You Should Outsource Your Social Media Marketing

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

What Is A Social Media Marketing Expert

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

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

Who Is NOT A Social Media Marketing Expert?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Types Of Business Should Outsource Their Social Media Marketing?

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

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

Social Media Marketing – Social Media REAL Results

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

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

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

Social Media Marketing Results and Goals

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

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

To Get Them Into Your Database

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

To Sign Up People To Work With You

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

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

To Stay In Front Of Prospects Without Spamming Them

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

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

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

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

– – – –

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

New Facebook Business Pages – What It Means For Marketers

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

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

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

My FAVORITE Facebook Business Page Change!

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

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

How to make commenting on your pages as a human work

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


My second favorite Facebook Business Page Change

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

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

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

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

Other Facebook Business Page Changes Of Note

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

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

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

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

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

Small Business Marketing and Facebook Privacy Settings

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

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

Facebook Privacy Settings and the Small Biz Owner

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

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

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

How SHOULD You Set Your Privacy Settings For Small Business?

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

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

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

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

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

Do Not Get Taken By Social Media Snake Oil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook Business Pages How To Have A Custom Page

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

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

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

Facebook Business Page PictureFacebook Business Page Picture

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

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

Facebook Business Page JPG ImageFacebook Custom Page Using A JPG

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

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

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

Successful Components of a Facebook Business PageFacebook Custom HTML Pages

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

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

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

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

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

Burning Your List – Mobile, Email, Twitter or Facebook

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

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

Mobile List Burning

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

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

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

Email List Burning

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

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

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

Social Media List Burning

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

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

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


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

Facebook Marketing Making Lists

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

Facebook Marketing Making ListsSuper basic Facebook Friend Management Overview

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

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

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

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

Some types of friend lists you might use are:

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

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

How and why to make an everyone list on Facebook

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

How to invite people to your Facebook Event

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

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

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

Social Media Marketing Twitter Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Twitter Marketing for Small Business Goes Mainstream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social Media Marketing Do Not Be THAT GUY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook Marketing How To Get More Referrals

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

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

Facebook Marketing Social Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clearwater Local Internet Marketing For Tampa Bay

If you are looking for Tampa Bay and Clearwater local internet marketing, you can not do better than Personalized Marketing! Helping you understand and utilize website and blog design, social media marketing, video marketing or email communications for your business.

Local Internet Marketing Clearwater TampaStacy Hansen is really taking the internet marketing marketing world by storm and her clients are the ones benefiting from it! So what kinds of services does Stacy offer and why should you consider adding them to your business whether you hire Stacy or not!

  • Website and blog design – Stacy works with us to help get your blog off of the ground the RIGHT WAY!
  • Social media and networking – Facebook and Twitter are great ways to market your business and your blog! She will help you market goods and services through these powerful marketing medium.
  • YouTube Videos – Video marketing is one of the emerging forms of marketing and you can get your business on the cutting edge and take over market share!
  • Email Marketing – When you maintain regular contact with your client via email your sales and leads WILL increase!

Improving your business leads and sales with a blog, video marketing or email campaigns can make all the difference in your business’ success, especially in this more challenging business climate. I cannot say it enough, market share you gain now will not go away when the market turns again!

If you would like to find out more about your Clearwater local internet marketing options for the Tampa Bay, Marketing Artfully works closely with Personalized Marketing to provide the highest quality internet marketing solutions for your business!

Stacy Hansen
Personalized Marketing


Social Media Marketing Twitter Grader

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

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

Social Media Marketing Twitter Grader

Social Media Marketing

It shows that I started about a year and three months ago and how it progressed over time.

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

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

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