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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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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?

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.

Marketing on Facebook 101: How to Build Your Fan Base

How would you like a fan that was so crazy about you that they dressed up and wore make up for you?

Instead of picking on other Facebook pages, I’m going to use pages that I manage to share some insights on building fans. The tips I’m sharing with you are from the trenches of creating content that attract or repel fans from joining pages. The pages that I manage had no budget for attracting fans. Every fan won to a page has been carefully cultivated.

The easiest way to illustrate tactics for winning fans is to compare why one page has fans and another page struggles with adding fans. Let me start with my most successful page that I manage – the Santa page with over 20,000 fans from every country. My friend has a seasonal Santa business and wanted a way to quickly gain visibility for his business. When I created his page in October 2010, I had no idea that he was the only Santa on Facebook at that time.

Here are some ways that we grew his fan base:
Sent a press release announcing the page. Of course novelty and timing worked for us. Fox 4 News called 5 minutes after I sent the news release. The Lee Summit Tribune and Lee Summit Journal quickly followed. Then the Kansas City Star. He even got interviewed by the L.A. Times.

Associate with a cause. After we got some news coverage, the page spiked to 5,000 fans by the end of November. We partnered with the City Union Mission for a toy drive. Several of my friends who own retail businesses agreed to be a drop-off location. I sent another news release and the toy drive got more news coverage. We quickly gained thousands more fans.

Suggest to a friend. My friend and I suggested the page to everyone of our friends. I think I had about 500+ friends and he had 200. That “Suggest a Friend” campaign gained another couple hundred.

When Christmas rolled around, we were close to having 10,000 fans. Fan growth was driven primarily by offline public relations. I’m a huge proponent of building a public relations campaign into promoting your Facebook page. I’ve seen pages languish with no fans – I have one right now – because of the lack of offline promotion.

Here are some other ways to build your fan base:

Add the link to your page to your signature box in all of your outgoing emails. “Join me on Facebook at .”

Create an incentive for joining the page. Donate $1 to a cause for everyone who joins or giveaway an item in a drawing.

Launch a Facebook ad campaign to draw visitors to your page. Add a custom tab as a landing page as part of the ad campaign.

Print business cards with the name of your Facebook page to further drive visitors to your page.

Add the link to your Facebook page to your web site. If you have a retail location or office where your clients drop in regularly, promote the page with signage.

Creating a Facebook page with no offline promotion may work for someone like Justin Bieber. But if you’re a mom and pop shop or a small to medium-sized business, then you need to build in offline promotion into your social media efforts. Just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come.

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.”

Customer Service a ‘la Twitter

Do you have a problem with a service or product? Forget the 1-800 line where you’re on hold and may talk to someone who barely speaks English. Try to contact your company via Twitter for a faster response.

I received a faster response using Twitter compared to VistaPrint and LivingSocial’s 1-800 line. I had built a web site for a client and paid his monthly hosting fee while he was out of town on a business project. Months passed by and I contacted him to see if he still wanted the web site. He didn’t want the site and I was stuck with the site and bill.

I called Vista Print’s 1-800# line several times to no avail. Both times I was put on hold and told that they would have to get supervisory approval. The last time the person told me she would call me back when her supervisor authorized the termination of the site. I waited a week and didn’t get the call.

Frustrated, I turned to Twitter. I tweeted my problem to @VistaPrint. Within hours I received a response.

I sent a direct message instead. The site was shutdown and I received a full refund.

My husband bought a deal from LivingSocial hoping to buy me some Mother’s Day Flowers. It was a $15 for $30 but he failed to read the fine print that FTD was charging $21 to $30 for delivering the flowers. “What kind of a deal is that?” He screamed at the laptop.

He called the 1-800 line and was put on hold for what seemed like forever. “Honey I don’t know what to do with this. I can’t speak to a living human being and I’m going to lose $15.” I told him that I would turn to Twitter.

He never uses Twitter and thinks its another online game. I tweeted @LivingSocial. They asked me to DM his account information. In just a few hours he gets a refund and some extra LivingSocial bucks for the inconvenience.


“Wow,” was his response when I told him how fast his problem was solved on Twitter.

How about you? Have you turned to Twitter when you were frustrated with your 1-800 phone experience?

Should You Buy Twitter Followers?

This is a true story of one of the biggest mistakes I made. One of my clients told me that they wanted a couple thousand followers by the end of the month. I knew the client had about 400 LinkedIn connections and a little over 300 followers at that point. I thought I needed some outside help to build up his following.

I purchased a service that promised over 1,000 followers in 2 weeks. What followed was a nightmare of foreigners, porn service providers and other sleazy folks following him. “Leilani, help! I’m getting flooded with new followers. Where are they coming from?”

I checked my client’s Twitter account and lo and behold, all sorts of folks whose tweets were in Russian, Spanish, Chinese and numerous other languages were following him. Plus a host of hot looking chicks with salacious tweets that made me blush. I was shocked at how graphic can you get in 140 characters or less.

I immediately asked the company to terminate the campaign and shut down the account. It took 3 days for the company to stop the onslaught of questionable followers. I cleaned up the account by not following or deleting the new friends as much as I could.

The hard lesson I learned is that you can’t buy friends. Take the time to nurture your niche, your brand and build your following. The people that choose to follow you should do so for a reason – they want to learn from you, teach you, connect with you or all of the above. They shouldn’t want to follow you just so you auto-follow and they gain numbers and look like an influencer on Twitter when they’re really a poser.


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