Archive for the 'social media' Category

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.

Marketing on Facebook 101: Posting Status Updates People Want to Read

I’ve made my living writing stuff that hopefully people want to read. If they don’t read it, then I can’t pay my mortgage and my kids don’t eat. Let’s say I have an urgency to write status updates that people want to read. 😀

I have over 1,300 friends on Facebook and set my news feed so I can read updates from all of my friends, not just the ones I interact with. I found out today that Noa is in a relationship, Lisa is looking for an apartment, and Molly drove to Texas and went deep-sea fishing. I read these updates because I care about Lisa, Molly and Noa who announced his relationship.

Scott Stratten author of “Unmarketing” said it perfectly when he wrote, “A business doesn’t care about your product or service until you care about them.” So many status updates read like a newsfeed of product announcements, special offers, discounts etc. with no comments. Lisa, Molly and Noa got a response from me because I care about them.

By its very nature, Facebook is a social site. To that end, a business must care about their targeted fans. How do we show that we care? We post updates that they are interested in, not just product announcements and special offers. One study that I read stated that 80% of your updates should be about stuff your audience cares about and 20% pitching your wares.

And interestingly enough, the updates that get shared the most are images, followed by videos then text. The goal of your status updates is to engage your customers and prospects, not just sell. If your fans are into country music, why not post a video of a country music artist that they like? Or if your company supports Make-A-Wish, and your fans connect with that cause, then share updates from the Make-A-Wish page.

I try to mix it up as far as status updates — videos, interesting images and text. My goal is to build a community within the business page so fans look forward to the updates. One of my clients is a CARSTAR. During the winter season, I posted tips on driving on ice. The owner said that a driver came to the store and told him how much she appreciated reading the advice about driving in winter weather.

The key is to create a relationship between your business with your customers or prospects. Get your customer to talk to you and you’re establishing brand loyalty. Get them to share your updates and you’ve extended your reach! Next time – 10 Ideas for Status Updates.

Marketing on Facebook 101: Setting Up Your Business Page

I manage 18 pages for small to medium-sized businesses. Creating the page is the first step to setting up your business on one of the largest social networking sites. This page can either help build your business or show Facebook users that you don’t know what you’re doing on Facebook. My goal is to help you build your business.

First of all, I’ve seen business owners inadvertently set up their business as a personal profile page. I understand why someone would make this mistake since the functionality of creating a business page and interacting with other pages as that business hasn’t been available until April 2011. A personal profile page is vastly different from a business page. Below is a summary of the differences.

Personal Business
5,000 friends limit Unlimited fans
You send messages You send updates
You post messages on your friends wall You post messages on the walls of other pages

Facebook displays different options depending on the type of page you select. For example, a local business is different from a company or organization page. You may need to experiment with a couple of different page setups before finalizing your selection. You can set your page to be viewed by admins only while experimenting with different options.

Moving Your Business From a Personal Profile to a Business Page
If you have set up your business under a personal profile, you need to create a business page. It’s easy to create a business page but the tricky part is getting your friends on your business profile page to join your business page. I recommend a time-sensitive incentive such as a offering a drawing for a $25 gift card to get your friends to join your business page.

I also recommend suggesting the page to your friends to further draw them to your business page. You could also offer a new look such as a custom welcome tab. I’ll go into creating a custom welcome tab in a later post. In the meantime, ask me any questions regarding transitioning your business personal profile page to a business page.

Naming Your Page
After you have 25 fans, you can pick a name of your page. Instead of a line of characters, you could create a link such as http://www.facebook.com/yourpagename and add this vanity address to the signature box on all of your outgoing emails.

An example is “Join me on Facebook at Facebook.com/YourPageName.”

Choose your name with care because you can’t change it. Next time, “Creating Your Profile Picture.”


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