The Power of a Social Network Post Policy Thursday, Jan 12 2012 

A segment of a social network

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I work with a variety of clients. Some of them simply want a Twitter or Facebook set up, others want an actual social media campaign. The clients who simply want one of those networks running get just what they ask for- the other guys? They work with me to supply content and optimize their websites and let me work with their web teams to create landing pages so I can actually convert the communities they want me to build!

But before you can get into running a full on campaign you really do need your ducks in a row — you need a solid foundation for your social networks including a strong post policy, content schedule, and a single message / point of view / voice.

This week I had the pleasure of building just such a foundation for two of my major clients. When my firm came in to the scene both of these clients had their social networks registered and were doing what most businesses do at first: someone or several someone’s at their offices was asked to “make updates” to their social networks. These updates were unsurprisingly sporadic, often off message and generally lacking in any consistency whatsoever.

Their numbers were in the toilette and they were driving no traffic to their site, but rather than throw in the towel they decided to ask the important question, “Why isn’t this working and how can we do it right?” (That’s a question I ask myself, by the way, and every marketer should not be afraid to be self-critical when they aren’t getting the desires results)

So, I stepped in, looked at the companies previous analytics and found what type of posts their fans responded to most and thought about what caused these reactions. Using that “actionalble data” I drew up a specific post policy working from a pre-written template I generally keep handy. For most corporations (most, not all) the following template works almost without fail:

Post five times a week, once every week day.

Include 1 educational post which reminds users what the company is or does.

Include 1 discussion piece in which the company takes a position on a given issue which is derived from their mission statement.

Include 1 outside link to anything relevant to either the company or their fans to demonstrate connectedness to the brand’s community at large.

Include 1 shareable media post such as video or images.

Include 1 sales message directing users to a landing page, product or website which is optimized to allow users to spend their money right then, right there.

The point of this generic post policy is that it emphasises familiarity and engagement with a corporation so that when a sales message is sent users are prepared to respond to it- kind of like a micro-version of lead nurturing.

Its also important that these posts all filter through one final editor (usually your social media director who eats, sleeps, lives and breaths on-point messaging and community development) so that each post can be evaluated resulting in consistent voice & style, avoiding two competing concepts of what the company’s message may be (no two people think exactly alike) and so that the final editor can weave a consistent story over multiple posts.

So how did this work out for my clients? Well… I’ve done this type of thing before- but never with national brands. On a local business level post consistency and a solid policy can help you slowly build a following and show a steady drip of new activity on your social networks. When you combine pre-existing brand recognition with a dynamic post policy which takes the brand’s unique user expectations into account? It was a flood.

Triple digit increases in new likes, new activity and site traffic across the board for both of these clients. This resulted not only a good pat on the back from my boss, but also new opportunities for our firm. After demonstrating to these clients that we could, with some minor tweaking and good planning, show them measurable returns from social media they opened up to us and allowed us to expand our campaign. In short we got their trust- and your client’s trust is in the end way more valuable than their monthly checks.

How To Make a Facebook Reveal Page with iFrame Wednesday, Jan 11 2012 

This post is by request, is about how to make a facebook reveal page and builds upon the previous blog about managing a facebook Advertising campaign.

A facebook reveal page is a custom landing page hosted on your server and linked to a facebook app which creates a custom tab on your facebook page which shows one sales message to a non-fan and encourages them to click “like” at which point they receive a new “fans only” message.  An example of how this works would be going to a new band’s facebook page, seeing a picture or content which promises a free download if people click “LIKE” and once those people do click “LIKE” the page changes so they see a link to the free download.

The marketing potential of this is obvious and Page’s which use custom Reveal tabs convert a lot more users than pages which do not. So how do you start? Well its a tricky process if you’re a small business owner and not a web developer, but you’ll have to become a developer (quite literally) to accomplish this task!

Step 1: Become a Facebook Developer

It sounds fantastic- but really anyone can become a facebook developer  by searching “Developer” and choosing the App marked “Developer”. You will need a verified Facebook account to become a developer, meaning you must have at some point provided Facebook with a credit card or phone number. If you have not yet done so you will be prompted to Verify your account during this process.

Step 2: Create Your First App

What? No training? None needed! Just click on the “Apps” button of http://developers.facebook.com/ and then on the Create new App tab in the upper right.

You will be prompted to input the App Display Name (Why not choose “My First Landing Page” ?). You do not need to worry about the Namespace option as custom tabs do not necessarily require this function. Once you have chosen your App Display Name and agreed to Facebook’s terms click Continue. You will be prompted to answer a Capcha for security.

You will be taken to your App’s editing page. There’s a lot on this page but take special note of the two strings of random numbers at the top marked APP ID and APP SECRET- you will need them soon!  For now, however, you can put this page aside and move on to creating your actual landing pages.

Step 3: Create Your HTML landing pages.

What the Facebook App you created in Step 2 does is take an actual HTML website you host on your server and tell Facebook to take that website and drop it on your Facebook page.  But there’s some funky code and special PHP files involved with doing this. I’ve done this work for you so if you want to work from a template please download my custom template from the following link:  http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19566792/landingpagetemplate.zip

In this zip file you’ll find the following items:

likeimage.jpg – Element of yourlikepage.html

notlikeimage.jpg – Element of yournotlikepage.html

yourlikepage.html – What users see when they LIKE your page

yournotlikepage.html – What users see BEFORE they LIKE your page.

index.php – A bit of code to help facebook figure out what to show when

facebook.php – A lot of code to help facebook out

addtext.txt – A link to help associate your app and html with your page.

The images I provided are crude, and you can change them at your discretion keeping in mind that a maximum width of 519 pixels will work best on your facebook page. The HTML files are fully editable meaning you can place video, links, slideshows and anything else allowed by HTML documents. Go wild- the design end and marketing end of this is all you, kids! When you’re done creating what your pages will look like go on to the next step.

Step 4: Using your APP ID, APP SECRET and UPLOADING YOUR PAGE

Use notepad to open index.php from the template. You’ll see a bit of code but all you have to worry about is copy and pasting your APP ID and APP SECRET from your Facebook app where prompted

$app_id = “APP_ID_GOES_HERE”;
$app_secret = “APP_SECRET_GOES_HERE”;

Click “Save” and then open “yourlikepage.html” in note pad and copy and paste your APP ID where indicated

appId : ‘APPLICATION_ID’,

Click “Save” and then do the same for “yournotlikepage.html”

Once finished use an FTP program to upload all the files to a unique web directory. I suggest using “http://www.yourdomain.com/facebook/” to keep things straight.

Step 5: Creating Your Tab

Assuming you followed the directions in Step 4 and uploaded your files to “http://www.yourdomain.com/facebook/” go back into your Facebook Developers account and start to edit your App’s BASIC settings. You can leave most of it alone, but scroll down to the bottom and where Facebook asks you to select how your app will integrate with Facebook select “Page Tab” which should be the very last option.

For your Page Tab Name choose something like “Welcome” as users will see this name.

Under page tab URL input: “http://www.yourdomain.com/facebook/”

Under page tab SECURE URL input: “https://www.yourdomain.com/facebook/”

If your web host does not offer HTTPS then get a new web host and join the rest of us in 2012.

You may leave the final field blank as you do not want users editing your page.

Click “Save Changes” and then click on “ADVANCED” under settings in the top left hand corner.

There are many fields here, but you only need to change one. Scroll all the way down and under Canvas Settings make sure that the HEIGHT option is “settable” or you’ll get ugly scroll bars on your landing page!

Step 6:  Enable Your App & Set it as the Default Landing Page

You’re almost there! Remember that addtext.txt document in the template? You will need that to enable your new fancy App on your Facebook Page. Open the text in notepad and where it asks for APP ID input your APP ID

https://www.facebook.com/dialog/pagetab?app_id= APP_ID_GOES_HERE&display=popup&next=http://www.facebook.com

Copy and paste the text into your web browser’s Address Bar and click “enter” and you will be taken to a page which lets you install the App to any Pages you administrate. Select the desires page and you’re almost there!

Once the App is installed go to your Facebook Page and click “Edit Page” and go to the “Manage Permissions” tab.

There should be a field titled “Default Landing Tab” which has a drop down menu. Click on the drop down menu and your new app should be listed among the other selections. Choose your App and then save your progress.

And that’s it! Now when new users see your page they’ll be greeted with a unique message and when they click “LIKE” a new message will appear! Have fun kids.

English: The Facebook Man. Facebook is celebra...

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Facebook Advertising: How To Do It Right Monday, Jan 9 2012 

Swift Heart Rabbit staring at the Spirit's spe...

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Most people who know me know I’m in a band. As this blog is designed for small business owners I’ll assume you don’t yet know me so let me tell you- I’m in a band. Our band leader realized the other day that I do marketing for a living and we began to discuss a social strategy for the band’s upcoming saleables (shirts, CDs).

Well, the singer went off, ran a facebook advertising campaign because of how much I talked about them, and came back this week telling me: It didn’t work.

To which I replied, without thought, “You did it wrong.”

How did I know this? Because Facebook Advertising is as easy to screw up as it is effective, which is “very” in both cases. So in case you were wondering about how to approach a Facebook campaign…

Start with a goal. The goal can be anything trackable, but it must be trackable. The most easy thing to track is the number of “likes” your page has, some other things to think about however include page activity, comments, interactions and of course website / page hits generated from facebook.

Next decide what type of reach your advertisement needs to accomplish the goal you’ve chosen. For example, if you want 10,000 new fans then you’ll probably not reach your goal if you target 10,000 people unless you have the best ad copy ever written and the most focused target audience of all time.  If you experience average results and your goal is 10,000 new fans then you might want to target a million people, or ten million people.

Also, choose your interest targeting carefully. The benefit of social media is hyper-accurate-targeting, and just like on Google you’ll find a lot of competition for common terms. Don’t just think about your product but think about the content of your advertisement. For example if you’re selling makeup and your advertisement focuses on how the product can make someone look younger- don’t just target people who like “make up” or “fashion”. Target people who like “Recess” and “kickball” and other “youth” oriented things as your ad text will resonate with them.

The worst, and most expensive, thing you can do is expect it all to happen “right now” and your add to run itself. If you run a 1 day add with a high budget and don’t even look at your Insights, you’re going to over pay for your ad. The longer you run an ad and the better it performs the lower CPC you’ll get. And to know how well its doing you’ll need to run two ads to test out different text, images, and targeted users to see which works better.

Just think, if you run an add for two weeks and you get 500 clicks and that meets your goal you’ll be happy. But what if you could have had 2,000 clicks if you had a better advertisement? So choose one ad as your “control” ad, and another ad as your “test” ad and try out different things with the test ad over two weeks, see which works better. If your test ad starts doing well, make it your primary ad and start testing again.

Also don’t forget to adjust your ad bid, or how much you’re paying per click. If you are paying 50 cents a click, and you could be paying 30 cents, or even 3 cents- wouldn’t you want to know? Pay attention to your ad account. Every day.

The best part about facebook ads is the new “likes” and clicks they drive without you actually paying for it- its the “friends of friends” effect. When someone sees their buddy just “liked” your page, they’ll be inclined to check it out as well!

There are other things you can do- and the next blog will talk about Facebook Landing Pages (well worn territory) but I’ll do my best to make it very easy for you.

 

Page to Page Facebook Activity Works Friday, Jan 6 2012 

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Image via Wikipedia

I’m an organic social media type fellow. I love to be behind my master dashboard (something my company cooked up which will soon be available to the public) and schedule posts and watch real time analytics. In short, I love talking to people and telling stories about my clients.

So when my employer (@everymerchant) gave me access to a Facebook page our biggest client “forgot” about (our contract was to run all *existing* social sites, so I was prevented from creating one for them! Dumb, eh?) I got excited. Not because the page was doing well, it certainly was in rough shape, but because I had a veritable blank slate to work with.

My challenge? Build a facebook following under brand restrictions (can’t be edgy) and with zero advertising budget. DAMN!

So I fell back on the old tactic which started my career (and, incidentally, raised me a few grand in college which I promptly spent on beer and horror movies- worth every penny!).

I talked. Online.

Brain crushing, eh? But I didn’t just “post into the air” to zero followers hoping that somehow, someway, someone would accidentally search for my brand and randomly be enthralled by my wit and high quality content. I “rode the ticker” by doing targeted “page to page” likes and engaging other brands which, while not in competition with my client, that my client’s customers would frequent. I didn’t just log in and spam, “CLICK MY PAGE” either. I spent a few minutes every day having real conversations with folks in the threads and showing a genuine interest in the topics.

Well every time I logged in to my client’s account a new notification popped up in the corner and my engagement levels sky rocketed. To be fair- facebook is kind in that it doesn’t provide Insights that go below “zero” so the only direction my client’s analytics *could* go was up.

In short this was just targeted advertising. If I jumped into a major discussion with folks I already knew were interested in my brand all it took was a few basic practices to inspire them to click on my client’s icon.

I kept my posts short, 1 or 2 sentences at most. In long discussion threads all but the most passionate will skip over the big blocks of text (tl;dr). Also if your post is between two other people in an active exchange your potential customers simply have to read your post to get to the next post (its human nature, we’re taught to read *everything* in grade school, not skim)(don’t debate me and tell me Internet users just skim, its different in real time chat when the posts are not in excess of 140 words).

I kept my posts relevant and made sure to generate discussion, not debate. Even if I was just agreeing with a previous poster, or the original poster, I contextualized my replies in a way that agreed with my client’s message and company.

I kept my voice and posts consistent, when they saw my client’s avatar they knew I wasn’t going to suddenly bend left and confuse people. I was a reliable source of opinion.

In the end, the other brand’s I communicated with benefited from longer converastions which kept users on their page longer, and my client benefited from increased visibility and… the only analytic most clients even look at… more “likes”.

So if you’re a small business owner- log in as your Facebook Page and cherry pick a couple dozen pages with whom you know you can have good discussions. Watch as the followers of that brand, and their friends who see their posts in the Ticker, discover your brand.

 

 

Social Media in Iowa and Advice for Authors Wednesday, Jan 4 2012 

English: Governor Mitt Romney of MA

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One of my favorite sites Read Write Web (congrats on becoming part of SAY media!) posted an interesting article on the recent Iowa Caucus and the predictive power of social media. There were many conclusions from the article, and things to consider, but in short the message was that the poll results did not match up with predictions based on social buzz. Their explanation for this fact was that while social media is a way for candidates to engage their fans and keep them up to date on their platform and events, that doesn’t mean that social media is a way to predict voting. There’s some wisdom in that, but also some marketing interpretations that are very useful.

While RWW focused on Twitter buzz, I’ll focus on Facebook reach. One thing most people don’t really realize about facebook pages is that they provide a very very powerful analytic- “Friends of Friends

This “friends of friends” stat is a pretty useful indicator of the maximum potential reach of any given post. The nature of social media is that a conversation you have with an individual is in a lot of ways a conversation with all of THEIR friends. So what does this mean? Well, if you take the average number of friends people have on facebook, and factor that into the population of a given community (America in this instance, or more particularly registered republicans) it works out that you generally need 20% of a population to have a potential 100% reach.

What that means is if your page is “liked” by 20% of a demographic, the friends of those who like you will usually cover the other 80%.

Before the polls I made some predictions among friends of the “top three” that would show based on the maximum potential reach of their facebook pages, assuming that the reach was an indication of engagement (loyalty).

I’d chose Mitt Romney (over 1,000,000 fans) as the winner, Ron Paul as Number 2 (the closest to Mitt with over 600,000) and left the number 3 spot to Newt (a respectable 200,000 fans).

Well was I right? Absolutely not. Ok, Mitt did win that particular poll, and Paul was dropped from second to third, Newt dragged in at 4th and some guy from PA with 50k facebook fans won the whole contest.

So what happened? Well, in short Santorum did not need a million facebook fans to sweep up in Iowa- his message of conservative social values in a State with many white evangelical Christians took the prize. Why? Well, forgive me for generalizing, but the evangelical vote is usually “single issue” – and that issue is “is he a good Christian?” Mr. Ron Paul’s foreign policy was of little importance as he just doesn’t have the religious clout as Santorum.

So what does this mean for marketing? Know your audience. Know them really well. You can have all the numbers on God’s Green Earth and still fail with your message.

This applies to Apple’s recent talk about allowing indie authors to submit their works to the book store for the iPad. In my writing group (I write books) the issue came up and there was a LOT of chatter about if it was good, bad, or worth looking at.

There are about as many Kindles as there are iPads on the market. So if you’re just running a numbers game you should expect that the market for indie authors (who sell primarily through Amazon for the Kindle) just doubled, right? Well, Kindle readers are “Single Issue” buyers. 100% of sales on Kindle are books 100% of the time. Can you say the same for the iPad? iPad users break their time up between web apps, games, movies, news, other media and then somewhere down the line… books.

When marketing a book for download on Amazon you know that your audience is primarily readers and you don’t have to compete with anything but other writers. With the iPad? You have to compete with Twitter, Facebook and Angry Birds for people’s time (note: I have no idea what Angry Birds is or if its on the iPad but I see a lot of memes about it so…)

Conclusions? Who you market to is as important as what you market. Predictions based on social media? Mitt Romney again #1 in NH, Paul #2, and Santorum will be lamenting his unfortunate situation with Google in 4th place.

 

I’ll update when I’m proved wrong by reality!

Your Community, Your Spokespeople Tuesday, Jan 3 2012 

Social Media Outposts

Image by the tartanpodcast via Flickr

At times being a social media marketer can be frustrating. Depending on the client you may spend more time educating them on what social media is (and isn’t) than you do actually marketing! It was with these similar frustrations that I vented on my facebook (its private) about a (nameless) client who wanted me to simply build up massive lists and post pictures of their print ads on their page.

A buddy of mine responded back with a little bit of amusement, but then said he knew of a page which was “doing it right” as he said.

The kid linked me to his local radio station (Radio 104.1 WMRQ) and for a moment I thought he worked for the station. He was so open about what a great station they were and how impressed he was that they actually cared about / responded to his posts that I assumed he was an intern. So I asked him if he worked for WMRQ…

He doesn’t work for WMRQ, but he does listen and when their little add appeared in the corner of his facebook page he clicked “LIKE” because they were familiar and they had his trust.

So, just to recap what happened:

WMRQ spent anywhere from $0.05-$0.50 to get this guy to click. They nurtured the connection over time by posting content, replying to comments and engaging users in a very genuine way (they have 18K “likes” and over 2k people talking about the page, and every single one of those users matters to WMRQ). This kid then came out in public (his profile is not private) and talked about what a great radio station WMRQ is. He’s got four four digits in friends and is active daily, people trust this kid.

So WMRQ’s chump change just got them a ton of impressions, at least me as a new fan, and more bang for their buck than a newspaper advertisement could possibly manage. Oh and this glowing blog.

So you small business owners out there- if you’re just thinking of social media as a digital billboard then delete your accounts, you’re hurting your brand reputation if you’re not engaging your audience and treating them the same way online as you would if they walked in your doors or called the office.

Lessons from Ocean Marketing’s Fail Tuesday, Dec 27 2011 

English: English: Mike Krahulik, co-creator of...

Don't mess with this guy. He's level headed, professional and has a wide audience. Do not mess with him.

Ocean Marketing is the focus of a lot of internet discussion, all of it bad. For those who don’t read Penny Arcade or have not seen this story I’ll recap:

Ocean Marketing represents a company who makes a really cool Game Controller.

A customer, who was dealing with a shipping delay of said controller, reached out to Ocean Marketing who handles the company’s customer support.

The man behind the helm at Ocean Marketing told the customer, ” put on your big boy hat and wait it out like everyone else.”

Then it got worse.

Long story short, the customer service rep at Ocean Marketing tried to win an internet flame war (ha) and ended up mentioning PAX (“PAX East is a three-day game festival for tabletop, videogame, and PC gamers. “- according to paxsite.com) and well… The head of Pax, Mike Krahulik, got involved. Mike also runs http://www.pennyarcade.com, and as he said in this email thread, its pretty popular.

As you can see from the thread, the emails sent by Ocean Marketing are pretty damming. The result has been a fiasco resulting in name calling and changed twitter handles to try and manage some kind of damage control from OM’s end.

What’s even better than name dropping PAX and having Mike Krahulik get right in your face and breaking the story of your poor customer service to the gaming community?

Having the following phrase on your website’s front page: Your brand is no stronger than your reputation- and will increasingly depend on what comes up when you are Googled.

Try and Google “Ocean Marketing” right now. I’ll wait until you’re done laughing.

But the title if this blog is “lessons” from the fail- the “fail” is recorded on the Internet forever.

So how could Ocean Marketing have recovered from this situation? Well, for starters they could have avoided the situation altogether by creating a set of simple guidelines for customer service, and having a community director (like me) oversee all communications.

Codification isn’t the straight jacket it seems like and could have avoided letting this email exchange turn into the biggest failure of customer service in recent memory. But lets say the community director was drunk (Who, me?) and missed it. What could have been done?

Well for starters the community director would be fired (drinking on the job?) as well as the customer service rep. Or at least moved to a different department. Somewhere far away from the public.

A public statement owning their mistake would have helped, too. That public statement would acknowledge the fact that a mistake was made, offer reasons for the mistake (lack of oversight and basic customer service practices), an apology to their client and the customer (dave) and also a clear promise of HOW these mistakes will be avoided in the future.

To do right by their client they should have resigned from the Avenger controller account and taken their name as far away from their client as possible. People are already taking their rage out on the wrong person here- a lot of heat is being directed at Ocean Marketing, yes, but the client is suffering from people who assume the Avenger creator is to blame. He isn’t. The only mistake he made was going with a PR company whose website clearly made promises they couldn’t keep.

In fact, Ocean Marketing could have benefited from this epic gaffe by turning around, handling it right, and then engaging other businesses in the lessons they learned from poor quality control of their team members. Speaking engagements from the head of Ocean Marketing on, “What we did wrong” would be worth 50 bucks a ticket in my opinion. They could spin this, if they wanted to, into a situation where they are not the “worst example of customer service in history” but they are “the best example of how to learn and grow from a mistake”.

 

Social Media is not just Twitter, Facebook! Tuesday, Dec 27 2011 

SOCIAL MEDIA is a verb in my world. SOCIAL MEDIA happens when a digital media source engenders a social activity between business and user. In my world this means, 9 times out of 10, getting a user to take part in a conversation or action on a website.

And this is why I am a web designer’s worst nightmare.

The first thing I tell any client is that social media isn’t just posting stuff to facebook and twitter. In fact these “icon networks” as I call them are last on my list of priorities when designing any campaign.

Sounds funky, right? Well, consider your product. Unless you’re selling status updates a facebook page or twitter account isn’t really going to get you a whole lot of revenue. Where does revenue come from? For my clients, from their website or brick and mortar store.

So for me, social media begins on a website where I join with the marketing team and business owner to define what actions a user should take when they are on that website. All the “icon networks” are there to support that action.

Thus, a web designer may come up with a beautiful looking website full of wonderful graphics, powerful links and the world’s coolest logo. Then I walk up behind them, nod sagely and ask: So what does it do?

Then they get mad. Then, when I start suggesting ways to make the website “do something” they get irate. My ideas come from the perspective of “function” which often jacks up a designer’s concept of “form”. Well- too bad. We’re in the business of making money.

An anecdote: This weekend I had a long discussion with one of my major clients. The “action” they wanted on their website was for people to sign up to their mailing list (Why? Because unless someone accidentally googled this company they would not ever end up on the website, so they needed a way to retain users off site and engage in email marketing tactics).

Well the site was getting six figure traffic but collecting zero emails for the mailing list. I put on my, “Think like a user” cap and looked at the site. The mailing list function was a small box somewhere behind the fold (they had to scroll down to see it) that just said, “Sign up for our mailing list”

Well that’s a weak call to action! Call to actoins involve VERBS! And, believe it or not, “signup” is not a verb (source: http://notaverb.com/signup). See?

So I had them move the Signup form to a more natural and prominent place on the page and “socialize” it.

This began with a new call to action- now instead of “signup” it says, “Get involved”. Ok, get is an “irregular” verb, but at least its a verb! But to make the signup form more social I had them add a bit of text on the privacy policy. A simple, “We will never share your email” is sufficient. That little text now makes this a two way conversation that goes like this:

They land on the website.

A powerful message explains why the website is there.

A simple call to action requests that users get involved.

The user looks at the signup sheet and the company says, “We won’t share your email.”

The user thinks, “Oh, good- but what ARE you going to send me?”

Well, the website replies, “Updates on simple ways you can support the cause without leaving your computer.”

The user goes, “Ok, that’s good. I’m game.” and signs up.

This is much different than the original “conversation” happening between website and users. That conversation went like this:

“Sign up for our website.”

“No.”

What I’m saying here is that your website needs to be optimized to anticipate these imaginary “conversations” between user and site, and be ready to convert visits into sales. If you don’t have that, you’re wasting your time with every single twitter or facebook post which drives people to that site.

So look at your own business’ website. What roadblocks are there between the user and the action you want them to take? How can you solve them? What’s more important- form or function? Which makes more money?

Let me know if you have a website that needs a juice! I’m happy to drop advice on blog readers and friends.

Stay social,

M.

English: YOKOSUKA, Japan (Nov. 24, 2009) Chief...

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

Use Your Analytics on Social Platforms Thursday, Dec 22 2011 

TrackerSuite.Net, a Web-based product

Image via Wikipedia

I have a wide fauxcabulary. A fauxcabulary is a list of words which are basically nonsense but I’m forced to use in a business environment because well… If I said what I meant clearly all hell would break loose.  The first time someone said,”Bullet Point these Price Initiatives for me?” I asked, “You mean tell you how much this costs?” I was nearly tossed out on my thrift store clothed behind.

But Actionable Metrics is not fauxcabulariy- its your lifeblood as a social marketer. What are Actionable Metrics? Just what they sound like, measurements which suggest a course of action. For instance, if you post 100 times a day about turtle wax and once a day about bike chains, and the bike chains post gets your clicks? Well, then you know you’ve stocked your twitter lists with bike messengers and not car owners and, depending on your product, you can either change who you engage with or change your message.

Such was the case with one of my favorite clients last week. The client shall remain nameless, but we share office space with them and I take my smoke breaks with them. I’d been running a low level twitter campaign for them. I was waiting on some other things to come into place, so I wasn’t really building their following just yet. I would seek out and connect with a few locals (their business is local) and automate some messages about their product, but nothing major.

Well, I’ll be damned if I wasn’t seeing a 50% click through rate (Pretty easy, actually, with a small list, also tracked via bit.ly and @everymerchant ‘s soon-to-hit-market social media software). What really got me though, was that the majority of those clicks were coming before and after the business day and that the most clicks were on the product oriented blogs that the business was posting.

Well, this told me something- people were interested in product specifics, and those people had jobs.

So I changed my tactics. I took down all the content I had automated and replaced it with product details and changed the timing of the posts to peak hours of the previous month’s click throughs.

Will it work? Don’t know, have to wait until I’ve given it enough time to turn over. And, as much as it sounds reasonable  it may still *not* have been the right move. But you have to be rubber, flexable and listen to your fans and your data.

Hit me up at @pallanteMichael some time and we’ll talk about it.

Pretend To Be A User Wednesday, Dec 21 2011 

This (attributed to ) originally appeared duri...

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I was recently working with some partners on a charity’s Facebook page. We were having a little trouble getting everything we wanted in place because, like any good Americans, we wanted it all and we wanted it now! We wanted our landing page to have reveal tabs and donations page to have “tweet to friends”, our posts to be written by Benjamin Franklin and our art carved by Michaelangelo! Erm. Yes.

Well the one thing we were forgetting is that community development is a long term goal, not an instant conversion. We should be happy we get a “like” to start with and thrilled to get a donation down the road.

We’d gotten in so deep at that point our page plan was a mess! So what did we do?

We took a step back, had a couple beers and logged out of facebook went to our facebook page and said, “Lets pretend we’ve never heard of this charity ever. It doesn’t matter how we got here, but now we’re here. What do we see?”

Then we started asking questions: Having looked at our landing page for 2 seconds do we know what the page is about? is it worth a like? Why not? What can we do to make it worth a like? Ok, now we liked it- now what? And so on…

In short we went through the “conversion” process and decided exactly how a completely uninformed lead should be nurtured to becoming a donor / spokesperson for our cause.

And that, really, was our goal- to create donors! But we’d forgotten our strategy and gotten mucked up in tactics. Always remember a tactic supports a strategy! On their own tactics are a waste of bandwith. We all love new toys but what good is Voltron’s sword arm without the head? Savvy?

@pallanteMichael😉

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