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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: 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 and add this vanity address to the signature box on all of your outgoing emails.

An example is “Join me on Facebook at”

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?

Five Reasons Your Business Should be on Facebook

Facebook boasts over 500 million users with 50 percent of those users who log in everyday. According to Facebook, the average user has 130 friends. If that’s not enough to convince you that you should have a presence on Facebook, here are five more reasons:

1. Your friends are on Facebook. The best way to market and promote your book or speaking engagements is to tell your friend on Facebook. Let’s do the math on the potential reach for the so-called average user. Say you have 130 friends who each have 130 friends. You tell your 130 friends about your book. Your 130 friends tell their 130 friends about your book. You’ve just told 16,900 people about your book! If 10% of them bought your product, that’s 1,690 products sold. Not bad for unpaid advertising!

2. You can instantly promote your product and services on Facebook. Create events for seminars or workshops featuring your product. If your seminar or workshop made a positive impact on an attendee, they can post their reaction on their wall to further your reach.

3. Your competition is on Facebook. Here are some examples of small businesses using Facebook’s “like” page or groups to promote their product or service:

Facebook Fan Pages
The Equine Dentist with 4,167 likes
HySmith Automotive and Truck Repair with 451 likes
The Tulsa Dentist with 6,603 likes
Jack’s Home Improvement with 551 likes

Facebook Groups
Dentist with 2,228 members

4. Customers are on Facebook. You can reach out to your customers who are on Facebook. If they love your product or service, they can post their review on their profile for all of their friends to read. Instant referrals!

5. Your target market has a group on Facebook. Let’s say you own an automotive accessories business. Here are some groups on Facebook that you could reach with your product:

Pimp My Ride with over 16,000 members
Automotive with 251 members

There are thousands of groups with special interests on Facebook. You could reach that group with your product or service message.

Just think, with a few clicks you could reach hundreds of people for your business. Of course there’s a strategy and tactic for connecting on Facebook. If you would like to know more, call me at 816.332.0720 or send an e-mail to HYPERLINK “” with your questions. If you have a Facebook success or not-so-success story, I want to hear it.

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.

Is Your Facebook Profile for Sale?

Is your Facebook inbox flooded with friend requests? Be wary of accepting requests from people you barely know. Slimy marketing companies are setting up fake Facebook profiles to collect information for their purposes.

A client of mine, Gerald Wicklund, is fighting a fake Facebook profiler right now. The way it works is you receive a request to friend someone you barely know. However, you and the stranger have a gazillion mutual friends. You accept the request because your Aunt Mimi and Uncle Bobo wouldn’t friend that person unless they knew them right?

Not so fast. Uncle Bobo may have accepted strange person’s friend request because Aunt Mimi is a mutual friend. But Aunt Mimi may have accepted the request because Englebert is a mutual friend. Can you see how the deception can go on and on?

One unscrupulous marketer has advertised Facebook profiles for sale on Ebay. Another marketer advertises “warm leads” via Facebook fans. Or buying Facebook fans. One of those fans could be you.

Your profile could be for sale right now as a warm lead! How can you find out if your profile is for sale? That’s another topic in itself. In the meantime, be careful of accepting friend requests from people you barely know. Next time – should you buy followers on Twitter?

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