Are You “Eating Your Own Dog Food”? The biggest key to succesfully leverage social media

So often we see companies that want to “leverage social media” but aren’t actively engaged in digital communities. It’s an easy mistake. you get busy. Digital relationships become less important to manage than the ones with customers who call or walk into your business.

But this transactional view of digital media is the marketing equivalent of a startup that doesn’t eat it’s own dogfood. Credibility suffers when visibility declines.

Activity in the Right Communities Produces Measureable Value

Key is understanding which communities are valuable and tracking a way to connect from digital community to realized revenue. It’s the stuff that most agencies don’t want to dig into because it requires *gasp* accountability to the metrics.

we see this as the biggest change in the digital marketing realm. we know if it’s really working. more visits are real. increased inbound calls are real, foot traffic is real, ticket sales are real, product sales are real.

If you aren’t getting these from the digital environment maybe its time to rethink your dogfood.

Why Your Facebook Page Is About To Lose Likes

Don’t Panic..

Facebook is releasing a really logical much overdue change that may improve your engagement stats.

Facebook is updating page likes counts to remove likes from deceased and permanently inactive facebook accounts.

As of writing this article every facebook page shows every like ever earned. But what happens when some of those likes are from deactivated accounts? or memorialized users who have passed away?

Facebook has decided to remove their likes. this means going forward your like numbers will be a little more fluid as humanity changes. the like number is becoming more ephemeral. more of a barometer for who likes you right now. not who ever liked you at any time in history.

If you have a relatively new facebook page and only a few dozen followers you may not notice a change at all. If you have Thousands, or MIllions of fans collected over the last several years this “small” change could swing your like numbers somewhat significantly.

This is a really good time to explain to your team why reach, engagement and growth rate are for more important than total likes. If you have likes a s part of your social media success metrics or not many team members may benefit from this feedback now. Infact this correction in like numbers may increase your engagement rates.

 

 

Facebook News Feed to Deprioritize Brand Posts That Look Like Ads

Facebook announced today that it will begin limiting the number of “promotional Page posts” in the News Feed starting in January. That means you’ll see fewer posts from brands asking you to buy products or enter promotions and sweepstakes. The great part here is Facebook (theoretically) is listening to the users with this change. though it may be pressure from stakeholders to increase ad sales by squeezing brands access to consumers (hard to say). either way they released a blog post today saying the following:

We asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.

In order to build a better experience for users Facebook is now automatically deciding if your brand post “looks like an ad” and will show it to fewer of your fans in their news feeds. The subtle messaging here (if you want to run a cheap advertisement, pay for a cheap advertisement) Pair this with the rules around promoted posts not being more than 20% text in any image and you’ve got Facebook really trying to bring the experience back to be social interaction between people not a never ending barrage of “buy my stuff” posts and Clickbait.

Top 3 things Facebook Users said make posts feel too promotional:

  1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads
Examples of these types of Page posts:
tiger-therapy-fauxpostBunny-Puzzle-Clickbait

What you can do to keep your posts visible:

Make sure your brand is posting real content. Post photos, videos, links and updates that add value for your fans without asking them to “Buy right now” put your fans getting value before you getting sales and the fans will help you get more sales. Even if it’s only because they will actually see your content compared to your competitors whose self  promotional posts will find diminishing returns for the next few months.

Read the fill blog post here: https://www.facebook.com/business/news/update-to-facebook-news-feed

Step By Step Social Customer Discovery via Facebook for less than $50

 

The first step to launching/ marketing  a new business, product, or service is to make sure there is a product/ market fit.

The lean startup methodology says identify customers BEFORE you deploy resources to build a product or service

You must ID product market fit before any other work happens otherwise you risk wasting resources building the wrong thing. Instead of spending countless hours and tens of thousands of dollars building a product that no one wants you can test small and determine if your product solves a problem people want solved. Most products or services can save thousands in development by learning what customers want instead of guessing.

Lets say we are going to launch a new line of trendy kids clothing patterns for toddlers that moms can download and sew called KidCouture

Here is what you need

A description of your customer

Who will buy this? it’s not the toddlers. It’s probably moms, and not just any moms but moms who like to sew and make clothes for their kids. Not just any clothes though, trendy clothes. Now that we know who we are serving we need to figure out why they will buy from us.

A clear value proposition

This must be a one sentence or phrase description of what you will deliver to your prospective customer. This is the center of your business model.

The narrower the focus the better. Even if your product will do lots more figure out the shortest way to describe the core benefit of what you will do.

For our clothing patterns we think that moms will want these patterns because they are trendy, easy to make, and cheaper than fashion brands. So we will want to test Three functional Benefits

  • Easy to make
  • Value for money
  • Design conscious

Remember we are testing here so we can see if we have a fit with the market. we don’t want to test just one idea we want to test a couple ideas and see which one connects.

Our first 3 value test value props are:

  1. KidCouture downloadable DIY clothing patterns you can easily make for your toddler.
  2. Clothe your kid for less without looking homespun KidCouture downloadable patterns you can sew.
  3. Have the best dressed baby on the block download designer patterns you can sew for your toddler from KidCouture

Remember we are looking to see if people want this so all we need now is a way to test if they will respond to one of these value propositions.

 

Describe how you plan to deliver on the value proposition

The value proposition gets the potential customer to come to our test page. From there we want to see if we can get signups for our mailing list. We need to give them just a little more info to support the value prop, then get out of the way and let them respond.

We can test a description like:

KidCouture takes top designs from brands like Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Prada, and Alexander McQueen and shrinks them to toddler proportions then provides you with a pattern and some ideas for colors and materials to bring the designer look to your DIY Kid clothes.

All of our patterns are easy to follow and will have your kid looking fierce in no time.

Ask for an email address

You are looking for early adopters here so they are people who like to be first and like to know what others don’t. play on that. you will revise once you have some established market to go after the middle of the bell curve but right now we only need to talk to the early adopters because they are who will try us out anyway.

Try:

Get on the insider list to receive our first sample patterns the minute they are available signup with your email below.

Promote the Page

Your value propositions will be your ad text. since we want moms we are going to Facebook first. Where we can target

123,260 people
who live in the United States
between the ages of 25 and 45
inclusive who are female
who like #Sewing, #Fashion, diy fashion make clothing 3 or making clothes
who are in the category Parents (child: 0-3yrs)

We can reach these moms on facebook for less than $0.75 per thousand impressions. To get a good sample we want to get at least 50k impressions so a budget of $37.50 is enough for our first test

Track Your Results

There are three key metrics we want to find from this campaign.

  • how many ad views does it take to get a click to the landing page
  • how many landing page views does it take to get an email signup
  • Are there enough customers in this market assuming a 2 to 5% conversion rate from your email signups?

This quick test should take just a few days to run and give you information that you can continue to build from to make better decisions about product market fit.

If the numbers support moving forward you can go into product development. If the numbers do not support going forward go back and re-test with market parameters, or with different value propositions until you have enough results to decide to move forward, or pivot your concept.

Top 25 Internet Roundup: The Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook Advertising, Promoted Tweets to App Timeline, The 8 Principles of Product Naming, The Anatomy of an Effective Web Design, and Writing Great Subject Lines

Facebook Marketing

The Do’s and Don’ts of Advertising on Facebook
Yes, you should consider advertising. Yes, you can start with Facebook ads. Yes, you can learn how to Continue reading Top 25 Internet Roundup: The Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook Advertising, Promoted Tweets to App Timeline, The 8 Principles of Product Naming, The Anatomy of an Effective Web Design, and Writing Great Subject Lines

Internet Roundup: Top 25; Pros and Cons of Facebook’s Subscribe Feature, Epic Uses of Embedded Tweets, Finding Inspiration on Fast Food, Turning Small Projects Into Big Profit and Email Marketing Services Reviewed.

Facebook Marketing

See What Attracts People to Your Business’s Facebook Page
Content matters. Looks matter. Everything you do on Facebook matters when it comes your customer’s attention and interests.

Continue reading Internet Roundup: Top 25; Pros and Cons of Facebook’s Subscribe Feature, Epic Uses of Embedded Tweets, Finding Inspiration on Fast Food, Turning Small Projects Into Big Profit and Email Marketing Services Reviewed.

Internet Roundup: Top 25; Killer Facebook Campaigns, How to Fix a Twitter Faux Pas, Small Business Predictions for 2012 and a Secret Sauce for Awesome Email Subject Lines.

Facebook Marketing

How To Get 41% More Likes On Your Facebook Posts

Take it to the next level without much effort by following these easy steps. It’s all about understanding.

Continue reading Internet Roundup: Top 25; Killer Facebook Campaigns, How to Fix a Twitter Faux Pas, Small Business Predictions for 2012 and a Secret Sauce for Awesome Email Subject Lines.

Internet Roundup: Top 25; The Value of Facebook Fans, Back to Basics with Twitter, What You Can Learn from Rachel Ray and Email Still Lives Above Facebook.

Facebook Marketing

Understanding the Value of a Facebook Fan
Each fan will bring money so you need to start working on your best strategy.

Continue reading Internet Roundup: Top 25; The Value of Facebook Fans, Back to Basics with Twitter, What You Can Learn from Rachel Ray and Email Still Lives Above Facebook.

Local marketing Tactics for Facebook, “Gold Rush” and New Twitter Ads!

7 Money Saving Ways For Local Businesses To Market Themselves On Facebook
A little advice that can have a huge impact for a small business with big dreams.

Local marketing is different than other marketing, and there are Facebook features that only work with local businesses, so local Facebook marketing has to be different as well.

http://www.allfacebook.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/local-facebook-marketing-business

10 Quick Tips for Photoshop Users
Texture, grid, brushes, layers, etc. Quick lessons that should stay in your brain.

http://designm.ag/resources/quick-photoshop-tips/

Why entrepreneurs should be watching Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush”
Gold Rush is extra interesting to me because it has all the elements of an engaging startup story, but in a completely different context than my world.

A TV programme that allows us entrepreneurs to scream at the television, hoping they’ll hear our advice… One day.

http://www.workhappy.net/2011/11/why-entrepreneurs-should-be-watching-discovery-channels-gold-rush.html

Twitter Adds ‘Top News’ and ‘Top People’ to Search Results
With no word from the official Twitter Blog, it looks like the microblogging service is slowly and quietly rolling out two new features to its search functionality: “Top News” and “Top People.”

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/28446/Twitter-Adds-Top-News-and-Top-People-to-Search-Results.aspx

Like BJ’s Wholesale Facebook Page, Feed The Hungry
If you ‘like’ their Facebook page, the unsold food will end up at a local Feeding America bank instead of a dumpster. Easy karma? I thought so.

http://www.allfacebook.com/like-bj%E2%80%99s-facebook-page-feed-the-hungry-2011-11

Inbound Marketers, No Sleep and Apple’s Simple Marketing Manifesto.

It’s already November, and I hope you’re getting ready for Holiday season!
Here’s today’s Top Five: enjoy!

101 Signs You’re an Inbound Marketer .
Number 40 being my favourite… #youknowwhy via @HubSpot


8 Days A Week: How to find an extra 24 hours for your freelance business .
Because we’ll have time to sleep when we turn 60… and even if we don’t make it to 60 years old, we’ll have eternal rest.


Collection of useful illustrator tutorials #3
;
It’s playtime! (Just don’t let your boss catch you)

 

Apple’s Simple Marketing Manifesto
Literally, as simple as 1, 2, 3… can we learn something from it?

 

Network Solutions, North Social Launch Facebook Fan Page Marketing

Genius? You tell me.

 

Facebook Sharing, Privacy and Places Update puts Foursquare and Google+ in Facebook’s Sights

Over the last week or so since Facebook announced closing down Facebook places for check-ins many have thought Facebook was letting go of the location based check-in feature and foursquare wouldn’t have to worry about the competition.

Facebook vs Foursquare

Facebook has made it easier, integrated check-ins into the main features of Facebook. All a user has to do is click the location icon on their status update and choose a location or type the name of one from a list.

Facebook Vs. Google +

Many heralded the circles function on G+ and the ability to share only with certain groups part of why Google + could be a Facebook Killer. Just a month and change after G+ launches and now Facebook allows you to share posts only with certain people or groups.

The low down on the new Facebook sharing, location, and privacy updates:

How does sharing my location work?

Sharing your location lets you tell family and friends where you are as you’re posting. There are two main ways to do this.

  1. Tell people you’re at a specific place
    To include a specific place when you post, like a restaurant or event, click the icon and type in the name of the place or event. To say you’re there with others, click the icon and type in their names. As always, you can control who sees this post by choosing an audience before you publish it.Others can add you to where they are, too. When friends tag you somewhere, that post shows up on your profile. If you want to review posts you’re tagged in before they go on your profile, you can turn on Profile Review
  2. Include your general location
    Instead of a specific place, you can choose to include the city or area you’re in. This will appear next to the timestamp of your post. We’ll suggest where you’re nearby. If we’re off or you don’t want to say what city you’re near, you can remove it by clicking the “x” that appears when you hover over the location tag.You can also fill in your current city yourself. If you add your general location, it’ll stay on for future posts until you shut it off. So, the next time you post, your general location will be added to that post. Once removed, it’ll stay off until you add it back to your post.

Who Can See Things I Share?

If you don’t remember who you shared with or changed your mind about who to share with, you can check the audience inline, right next to the post. Just review the icon that shows you which audience you picked: Public (Maximum audience for adults)

Friends of Friends (Maximum audience for minors)

Friends (+ friends of anyone tagged)

Only me

Custom (Includes specific groups, friend lists or people you’ve specified to include or exclude)  <—( lookout G+ this one is aimed at you)

The audience selector is next to each post you make; it’s not on a separate settings page. The tool remembers the audience you shared with the last time you posted something and uses the same audience when you share again unless you change it.

You can go back and change the audience for any post you made by clicking the menu to pull down your options.

Parting Thoughts:

Shutting down places was not Facebook withdrawing from geo-location but upping the ante and going full on with the integration to the main interface. This makes every business having their Facebook place page set up even more important than ever!
Second Facebook just used social media for one of it’s best features, they listened to all of the chatter about how much people like circles on Google+ and figured out a way to build the features people want into the Facebook experience. If this feature sees rapid adoption among Facebook users Google+ may wind up being about as cool as Google wave.

How To Stand Out in a Sea of Web Content

The Great Wave by Aurore Colson

You’ve heard it said that content is king but with the 30 billion shares per month on Facebook, 200 million tweets per day on twitter and more than 48 hours of video posted to you tube each minute. How will your content for your business actually get noticed in that massive deluge of information?

The Answer: Passion

The beauty of the web for users is the ability to find exactly what we want when we want it. And most importantly to stay connected to subjects we are passionate about. People are passionate about sports, about decorating, about cooking, about wine, about celebrity gossip, about humanitarian efforts in Japan. As marketers it is our job to find topics of passion around which business owners and customers will connect in a meaningful way.

People Don’t Care About Things. They Care About Experiences with Things.

That is what our blogs, our videos, and our social shares have to center on if we want them to be meaningful. Engage readers, viewers, friends and tweeps in experiences, conversations, and topics they care about and make the things we sell a part of that larger experience.

Sell hotdogs? Instead of blogging about hotdogs try blogging about baseball (according to the national hot dog and sausage council major league ballparks were predicted to serve almost 22 million hotdogs per season! ). Discuss the fine points of the difference between a Dodger dog, a Chicago dog or a hot dog at Fenway or Yankee stadium.

Talk to Your Customers

People become passionate because of the experiences they have had. Find real stories that connect customers to you and to each other and build communication around the topics of those stories. Being the connection point between customers with shared passion will make your brand part of the glue in their relationships with each other.

A Motorcycle event promoter redesigned all their promotional content for a Memorial Day motorcycle show around honoring fallen U.S. troops. Fans responded with social shares, comments, and huge event response because they wanted to honor those they were close to. Sure they were Bikers and they wanted to go to a bike show, but the social traction gained by connecting to that larger issue massively improved the pre and post-show sharing. Following the event the tagline “Because They Died We Still Ride” continued to circulate the web.

What Passion Points Can You Tap into with Your Customers?

What passion points are consistent between your leadership, staff, and customers? Leverage some of those things as the center of your Facebook content.

Top 10 Most Viewed Internet Marketing Blog Posts of 2010

I’ve scoured over the site stats to let you all know what you thought was the most important content I’ve provided this year. Here are the results. in 2010 the 10 most viewed articles I’ve written are listed below.

The content ranges from Facebook, to Foursquare, to wordpress plugins but the big buzz in 2010 you can probably guess TWITTER. If you missed some of these articles please give ’em a read your peers liked them so you might to.

Please comment and let me know if you would like to see any followups to these in 2011 or add any updated insights since some of these were published quite some time ago in internet years.

Number 10: Social Media Offers Intimacy of Classic Mom and Pop Local Businesses

Number 9: Marketers Say Email is Delivering Better than Social Networking

Number 8: How Discoverable are You on Social Media?

Number 7: Philanthopy + Social Media + Leverage = Awesome!!!

Number 6: How 1 Tweet Generated National News Coverage for a Small Company in Less Than 24 Hours

Number 5: List of Active FourSquare Badges

Number 4: Shrek Gets Social!! Shrek’s 5 Rules for Winning Big with Social Media

Number 3: 100 Facebook Marketing Techniques You Can Use Right Now

Number 2: Top 10 WordPress Plugins to Turbo Charge Your Internet Marketing Efforts

Number 1: 20 Twitter Bios that demand Attention

How to Add an Email Subscription Box to Your Facebook Page.

Give your fans a way to sign up for your emails directly from Facebook.  It’s easy, and an effective way to grow your email list naturally.

Facebook –> Email

In the last 10 years I have been in this industry despite Spam, inbox overload, and everything else E-mail has remained the number one performing component of internet marketing campaigns for most of my clients.

E-Mail still Kicks Butt! there I said it. 34% open rate 15% Click through rate (those are the averages I see in email campaigns for my clients across 6 different indisutries)! I love social media but even facebook isn’t that powerfull….yet…but it is the best gateway to e-mail list growth there is.

Now with Facebook being as important (possibly more so for small brands) as your website many people are asking me if they can include an email subscription box on their Facebook page.

You can and I’m gonna show you how!

First, you’ll need a couple of things:

Once you’ve added the Static FBML Application to your Facebook page, click to edit the page, and scroll down to the part where it shows the FBML box(it’s on the left near the bottom). Click to edit that box.

You should see a box pop up that lets you set a title and enter FBML. The FBML box is actually where you paste your HTML form code into.

Once you’ve done that, hit “Save Changes”. Now go back into the edit menu and select the option “Application Settings”. Your widget will show up as a tab on your Facebook page Make sure to give it a good name that people will want to click on.

How Discoverable are You on Social Media?

I’ve been shouting from the rooftops for 4 years that social media will become more relevant that search marketing and it’s becoming more true by the day. YouTube is now more searched than Yahoo!  Facebook recently celebrated its 400 millionth member, twitter content is being aded to the library of congress.  

How visible you are on a  the most-visited social sites? The question is, How discoverable are you? A solid brand marketing on perhaps one or two is increasingly important.

  • You can’t just set up profiles on social networking sites and disappear. A consistent presence says something important about your leadership style that you’re to be taken seriously. Having long-ago entries as your most recent leads potential customers to make assumptions about you that aren’t beneficial to your business goals. Activity is critical to mainting a valueable presence in social media.
  • Do your homework on these sites; go where your best prospects or most valueable influencers are. Keep the 80/20 Principle in mind when it comes to social marketing. Don’t waste 80% of your social networking time and energy interacting in groups that don’t have the juice to impact your business goals. Build relations with the 20% of qualified connections in whom you see evidence of meaningful business coming your way.
  • Join sizable groups that are relevant; participate in the discussions (this is a big deal for Linked-In users especially). Engage, participate and put forth an informed point-of-view. Share up your knowledge; engage people if you want them to click your way. Let them see how knowledgeable you are, and how what you know can move their interests forward. Serve as an excellent resource, contributing good ideas don’t Sell and Shamelessly self promote.
  • There must be value in interacting with you. Use your social space to converse, to solve a problem or to educate people, versus using it to talk solely about your products or services. Treat Your network as if they’re already your customers. Focus on delivering actionable tips and trend information that people can use for growth or other benefits.

This is how to build a community and position yourself as a leader in your field. The more solid the information you consistently add to the web, the more discoverable your footprint on Google and within social networks.

Exclusive: Guess Who Else Is Coming to Dinner? Twitter-Microsoft Bing Deal Confirmed, but so Is Facebook-Bing.

Twitter – Bing  deal and Twitter – Facebook deal puts bingon path to offer unique advantage over Google in searching realtime conversations on the web.

Major potential SEO impact of links in Twitter feeds and facebook status updates.

read the whole article: Exclusive: Guess Who Else Is Coming to Dinner? Twitter-Microsoft Bing Deal Confirmed, but so Is Facebook-Bing.

My key takeaway here, if Bing begins to index Twitter and Facebook status updates it will make the value of micro blogging even higher in developing link relevancy and inbound link volume for search marketers.

Look for the near future to include leveraging twitter and Facebook conversation streams as part of your overall search strategy.

The Cocktail Party Perspective: a simple analogy to help you be a courteous and effective social media marketer

Social Networks Are Like a Giant Cocktail Party
Social networks can be best described as a 24/7 global cocktail party. You can meet and engage people with no restrictions on time or geography and share insights, opportunities, and information to build deep relationships.

Your customers are posting genuine information about their likes, dislikes, and personal preferences, demographics, location and more. You can cross reference this data and gain customer insight without the expense or headache of focus groups or surveys.

The key is to remember this is not a commercial forum. The job of the social network is not for you to spam your prospects and customers with marketing messages. Your goal is to choose the right network or networks and provide valuable communication that leads to mutual benefit between you and your network.

The network also allows new prospective customers to see background on you based on who you are already connected to and find unbiased commentary on your business. (which exists online weather you are leveraging it or not). You should at minimum use social networks to be aware of your customer’s views of your brand.

If you view your social media use from this perspective you should generate value for both yourself and your friends, fans, customers, contacts, connections, supports and anyone else on your social media radar.