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This series has really got a ton of traction. When I say that I am not meaning traffic and all that, I am referring to mind shift. The idea that these fake experts and social media celebrities have taken over this industry has really struck a chord with more people than I thought. I mean many of us agree on the idea I present in this series, but I did not expect the up-in-arms mentality and desire many are displaying.

The number of people sharing experiences, calling people out by name and banning together around this idea has been nothing short of inspiring. Many of us have expressed these feelings to each other individually or in small groups, but it appears that it is going beyond that now. I got permission to share a few examples of what I have been seeing.

I received this comment from my long time friend @jayvee4you

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The Power of Your Story

This morning I heard a presentation from John Stevenson, owner of Client Kudos, a business that tells client stories. John reminded me of how powerful story telling can be for businesses. I’m a writer by trade who has spent the last 10 years in the online world. John brought me back to the value of the printed word.

“Meaning + Memory = Stickiness,” he said during his presentation. Sharing the relevancy of your product and services in a memorable way increases engagement – my words. I admire John’s campaign to eliminate the corporate brochure. I’ve written hundreds of corporate brochures and have tried to incorporate the elements of story into the copy.

The building blocks of a story are anecdotes or a sequence of events and actions that end in a moment of reflection or what does this mean to the reader. Elements that move the reader include challenges, journeys, finds and what it all means. In other words, why should I care about your story?

Last night I read a blog post by Scott Stratten of @unmarketing (Twitter) about Facebook events. He told his story of being invited to an event that was thousands of miles away and irrelevant to him. In this case it was a “hands-on” singles mixer. Scott is a happily-married guy and wondered how he merited an invitation to a “hands-on” singles mixer. I don’t even want to think of what “hands-on” means lol!

Scott’s post resonated with me because I get lots of Facebook invitations to events that are halfway across the country. His point was that these invitations could kill Facebook. Hopefully Facebook has on their radar fixing the functionality of events.

Scott shared an anecdote, pulled out the meaning of that anecdote for all of us and for Facebook. What’s your story? Start with a simple anecdote. If you need help telling your story, contact John at js@clientkudos.com. Tell him that Leilani sent you.

Yelp Works

I walked into Deke’s BBQ which is down the street from where I live to pick up my customary burnt ends sandwich. “Are you the one that put something about me on the Internet,” the owner asked. “Yeah, I wrote a review about you on Yelp.” He smiled, “Thank you, I’ve had people come in from Michigan and other states because of your review.”

He gave me some free soft drinks because of the review. What can I say? Yelp works. I’ve been yelping off and on for about year. I’m crazy busy with zero time to write but I decided to start yelping because of my soft spot for the mom and pops who don’t have big ad budgets to market their services. If you don’t know what’s the big deal with Yelp, it is a site where you can find reviews on almost every restaurant and business.

In Deke’s BBQ case, the customers searched for barbecue in East Kansas City or Raytown and pulled up my 4 star review. Deke’s BBQ looks like a little house from the outside but the BBQ has big flavor. My review pulled those customers from the “big name” barbecue places in Kansas City – Gates, Smokehouse etc. into his little place on the corner.

Do you use Yelp to find restaurants, events and businesses near you? Do you “Yelp” about them?

Turn Check-ins into Cash for Your Business

“When I checked into your restaurant on Facebook, over 1300 of my friends saw that I was here,” I explained to a restaurant owner. He stared blankly at me because he didn’t understand how my check-in could turn into dollars for him. A check-in is when a customer checks in to your venue through Facebook or their Foursquare account.

When checked in at the Livestrong Park for a SportingKC game, Facebook displayed a list of my friends who were there at the same time. I could have connected with them on Facebook to meetup for the game’s after party.

Brenda Roberts, owner of RSVP MedSpa is turning her check-ins into customer loyalty and more business. She is the first business owner I’ve met who understands the dollar value of check-ins. Her clientele are primarily upper middle-class men and women who are already on Facebook or Foursquare.

When they sign in for an appointment, her staff ask them to check into Facebook or Foursquare as well via their smartphone. “We reward customers with discounts the more they check-in,” she says. If they don’t have a smartphone, they are offered an iPad to check in.

“One lady wanted the discount so badly that she checked 20 times that day,” she laughs. “I told her that she had to physically check in.” How do you turn check-ins into dollars for your business?

Here’s a takeaway from Brenda:
#1 Offer a reward for frequent check-ins. Whether its a discount or some freebie, people love to accrue savings.

#2 Offer an easy way for your customers to check-in. If they don’t have a smartphone, have an iPad on hand for them to use.

Now turn those check-ins into dollars!

Facebook Launches Group Chat, Video Calling

Facebook announced today incorporating Skype’s video application and launching the new group chat redesign. Facebook users won’t have to download the application since it will be another utility within Facebook.

“The social infrastructure is important to the industry as it develops and we’re leaving the apps to entrepreneurs to create,” said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. “This is a different strategy compared to other internet marketing companies that prefer to build everything in-house. We want to focus on what we do best.

Suspended Twitter Account Message & Dangerous Links

One of my clients received an email from admin@twitter.com notifying them that their account was suspended. Beware of this fake email message. When I clicked on it, it launched a pop-up ad with a link to download a file to reinstate the account. Do not download the file!

I didn’t download the file since it was obvious from the series of ads that this was not from Twitter. Another Twitter danger – clicking on a link in a tweet from someone you barely know. I did this and was led to a yucky picture. The person said the picture was a picture of him helping his kid and when I clicked on the link it was gross!

So ignore emails from admin@twitter.com about your account being suspended and don’t click on links in tweets from followers you barely know.

Prison Bathroom at Raytown Park

Yesterday I took my kids to Kenagy Park in Raytown. We visit that park almost everyday because it has a pond, walking trail, playground and skateboard park. I’ve never used the bathrooms until my daughter begged me to take her to the bathroom. I walked in and was stunned by no doors, no tissue and no running water in the sink.

Last summer Bob Smith, a board member on the Raytown Parks & Recreation board, asked me to apply to be a board member because the board had no representation from North Raytown and surprise – I actually use the parks! I don’t know who serves on that board but I would like to see their faces when they walk into this bathroom.

Being a social media marketer, I posted the picture of the bathroom on my Facebook page with 1,300+ friends. I emailed the mayor of Raytown a note about the bathroom and picture of the conversation on my wall. I have yet to hear from the mayor. Maybe he has never visited the bathroom because he’s too busy doing mayorly things like approving more ordinances.

But here are some of the comments I received from the bathroom post.


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