Archive for the ‘Social Media Marketing’ Category

12
Jun

New Facebook Plugin for WordPress

   Posted by: Gary Wagnon Tags: , ,

Facebook has created a new plugin that works directly with WordPress sites, either WordPress.com sites or self-hosted sites.  When you create a new post, the plugin will allow you to mention a page, which will add the post to the timeline of the page you mention.  It also allows you to mention friends in a post and have it show up on their wall as well.  Since the post are created via a Facebook App, it comes from within Facebook and your post gets the Edgerank benefit.

The link to the plugin is https://developers.facebook.com/wordpress/.

More details will come shortly.  I will do a video shortly with the details.

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4
Jun

A Big Week of Changes for Facebook

   Posted by: Gary Wagnon Tags: , , ,

Not only were the financial officers of Facebook busy this week but so were the programmers. Three significant changes were launched to Facebook.  While they may not be considered major by some, they are significant changes. Here’s a recap of what changed.

Page Administrator Levels – Up till now it’s been possible to have multiple administrators Facebook business page. You simply had to be a friend of the page and then the owner of the page (the first admin) could assign administrative privileges to you. Those permissions gave every admin full control of the page, including the ability to remove admins and make changes. While this is very convenient especially when employing a social media firm to manage your business page or assigning the task to a employee, it was not the most secure practice.

Now page owner can assign one of five different levels of admin privileges, ranging from full administrator privileges down to insights analyst. The chart below explains the different levels and the amount control given to each level.

 Facebook Admin Levels

To add or change his administrator, go to your admin panel, account settings select Admin Roles from the list on the left.  You will see each person that has it admin privileges, with their default role of Manager. Click the down arrow beside manager and select the level you want to assign to that person. Remember, initially anyone with admin privileges can change anyone else’s role so I would advise you, if you’re the page owner, to set everyone else to Content Curator or lower.

Scheduling Page Posts – One of the most needed features in Facebook has been the ability to pages. While there are software programs like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck `give you the ability to schedule a post, Facebook did not always give those posts the same importance as a post made within Facebook.

But it was also important that your post you made during the times when more of your fans would see it. So that was not always possible with your schedule. Many of us opted to trade the potential penalty to our posts in favor of timeliness.

Now posts can be scheduled up to six months in advance from within Facebook. You now have the control of the day and time of the post and have it recognized in the Edgerank considerations.

Facebook Scheduled Posts

From your status update, you will see a new clock icon in the lower left-hand corner. Clicking the icon, you will be prompted to add a year, then a month, date, and finally a time. The Post button turns into a Schedule button. Your schedule posts can be viewed in your activity log from your admin panel.

 

Individual Status Update Insights – While you have always had the ability to view the Insights for your business page, now each status update has its own insights displayed below the post.

 Facebook Post Status Insights

This can be very helpful, especially since many people check their FB Page Insights infrequently. With this, now you can see how well each status update you make performs. This instant feedback should help you craft more engaging posts.

What do you think about the new changes and how will you use them?

Gary Wagnon is the owner of 800biz Ninja Marketing Strategies and the Ninja Marketing Dojo, a program designed to help businesses master all aspects of online marketing.  The goal of the Ninja Marketing Dojo is to improve search engine rankings, increase web site traffic and convert more browsers into buyers.

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Last week, my wife and I attended a concert by TransSiberian Orchestra of their CD Beethoven’s Last Night.  Besides the incredible theatrics and pyrotechnics, the music was phenomenal.  But what really got me think was, “What would Beethoven think if he heard his music performed today by a rock band?”  I would have to think he would be amazed  as well as pleased to hear how it has survived for 200 years.

That started me thinking about how the online marketing channels have changed and evolved.  Our marketing message is the same, developing customer trust and brand recognition.   But the presentation and the delivery of the message has changed.  Old school thinking is to have an elaborate presentation (tv commercial, print advertisement or radio spot) and blast your message out.  Today, interruption marketing (traditional advertising) is not nearly as effective as permission marketing using social media.  Why should your prospect trust your ad, when within a matter of minutes, they can have dozens of friend recommendations for what you offer.

To bring this back to my TSO concert experience, would I be writing this article had it been a traditional chamber orchestra performing the same music.  Not likely.  Not because the message of the music was any less extraordinary.  The difference is in the delivery of the message.  Being an old rock and roller, I associate with driving beat of the drums and bass guitar, the roller coaster of emotions from the melody and the soul piercing vocal performance.  There’s a good chance I would have slept through a chamber orchestra.

Know your audience and choose the message and channel that’s right for them.  In old school marketing, advertisers didn’t run tv commercials for laundry detergent on ESPN.  Their audience isn’t tuned in to that channel.  If you audience is B2C (business to consumer), LinkedIn may not be the place to connect with them.  On the other hand, if your target audience is executives and CEO’s, Facebook may be a waste of your time.   While it seems like a no brainer to be where your audience/customer/clients are, oftentimes, business owners get caught up in the hype about a specific social media channel, then wonder why it didn’t produce any results.

Target your message to the channel your audience is on.  If you do it well, you will be a rock star in your industry and the standing ovation you get will be the ringing of your cash register.

Gary Wagnon is the owner of 800biz Ninja Marketing Strategies and the Ninja Marketing Dojo, a program designed to help businesses master all aspects of online marketing.  The goal of the Ninja Marketing Dojo is to improve search engine rankings, increase web site traffic and convert more browsers into buyers.

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28
Sep

Is Your Facebook Business Page Irrelevant Now?

   Posted by: Gary Wagnon Tags: ,

With the new change to Facebook’s layout, the updates from your Facebook business page may be getting lost in the news ticker. Where once the Most Recent view on your Facebook newsfeed would give a chronological listing of every action and every update from all of your friends plus the business pages you like, now that option is gone.  Your business page may have just become invisible!

Facebook’s new layout uses the Edgerank algorithm to determine the top stories like it always has, but now the recent stories are being filtered as well. As a result many business page updates are only visible in the fire hose of the news ticker. Unless the business page update generates likes, comments or shares, it’s not going to have what it takes to escape the ticker and make the main news feed.

Does this mean Facebook business pages are no longer relevant? Given the way many businesses treat their business page updates, the answer would be yes. Posting information that does not encourage interaction is going to be lost. Creating a post just to be seen will no longer work. Unless someone is watching the news ticker when a post is made, like Twitter, the update will flow out of sight quickly.

Facebook Business Pages Interaction

To escape the confines of the ticker, the business page must become truly social. Businesses should focus on experiences rather than sales messages. Where once it was only possible to “like” something in a post, now any action verb can be used. Now it’s possible to “try” a product or service, “read” a book or an article, “watch” a video or any other action. By integrating action into status updates,  they become more shareable and interactive.

As Facebook continues to evolve into the social destination of the web, more and more emphasis is being placed on applications and advertising. Apps will become the interactive link between business pages and the news feed of those following them.

Will Facebook become like Google where the ability for a small local business to compete will be so complex or costly that it’s no longer effective? While that remains to be seen it is most definitely a case for diversifying marketing efforts rather than solely concentrating on Facebook.

What are your thoughts?

Gary Wagnon is the Sensei of the Ninja Marketing Dojo, a comprehensive online marketing course designed to relieve the frustration business owners and manager face when trying to understand online marketing.  Using a martial arts model, students will build on foundational principals, mastering each level before advancing.

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Maybe you are Bruce Wayne by day and Batman by night.  Or just maybe, you’re clients and colleagues know you as Professor or Your Honor, but your high school classmates know you as “HotRod”.  Nothing is more comforting to hear than, “Hi, I’m Dr. Hotrod Smith and I’ll be operating on you today.”

Facebook is the great connector.  We reconnect with classmates we haven’t talked to in years.  With them, we relive memories, embarrassing moments and teenage milestones.  Plus, it’s fun.  But sharing that picture of ourselves may not exactly further our professional image.  I’m sure lots of us have those past skeletons (like streaking the quadrangle in college), but we don’t exactly put them on our resume.

 

Enter the new Facebook Friends lists.  Facebook launched their expanded Smart Friend List feature this week.  With this change, your friends can now be categorized into four pre-defined categories, Friends, Family, Acquaintances and geographic location.  You have always had the ability to create lists but the process of posting to a specific list was cumbersome and obscure.  Today it’s prominently displayed next to the share button on your status update.

When the Friends Smart List feature launched, it automatically assigned friends to your local area list.  It also assigns some family members to the Family group (although I had to add a couple of my immediate family members.  They were in the “List suggestion” section, which made it easy to add.)  You will have to initially add people to the other lists.  In the beginning, it may be a little time consuming, but if you add new friends to lists as you confirm them, it will be much easer.

Maintaining Your Two Personalities

I frequently hear clients and social media students ask, “How can I keep my business and personal life separated?”  Smart lists make that very easy.  But more than that, it can be a good practice to enhance your marketing message.  Chances are, your friends may not be the least bit interested in your business marketing content.  And when your professional connections are “eavesdropping” on your conversations with friends, they probably won’t be able to follow along or even be interested.  Either group may tend to filter out your updates since they aren’t pertinent to them.

A better practice would be to target your updates to the group of friends it is directed to.  Create a list of professional or business friends and post only business related content to that group.  Meanwhile, create another list of friends that you post your personal updates to.  Each list then sees content they should be interested in and will be more attuned to each post you make.

There will be some friends that will fit both categories, so assign them to both.  They won’t receive duplicate posts, but they will receive posts anytime you update either list.  Some of your content will be appropriate for everyone.  In those cases you can post to Friends and everyone will receive it.

 

One thing you should know about Smart Lists.  When you post to a list, there is an icon on the “Like  Comment” line below the post.  The icon will either be a globe (Public), friends or a cog (lists).  By mousing over the icon, you will see a message that shows what the update was shared to friends, friends of friends or the name of the Smart List.  For that reason, you may want to be cautious with your list names.

List can be useful in many ways, such as announcing local events.  What other ways have you used the list feature?

Gary Wagnon is the Sensei of the Ninja Marketing Dojo, a comprehensive online marketing course designed to relieve the frustration business owners and manager face when trying to understand online marketing.  Using a martial arts model, students will build on foundational principals, mastering each level before advancing.

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I have scoured the Internet, unsuccessfully, trying to find a Hermione Granger Time Turner from Harry Potter.  Apparently they were all destroyed in 1996 in the battle at the Ministry of Magic.  Oh well it sure would’ve been helpful.

The challenge for business owners today is finding time to manage their online marketing efforts & social networks.  A business owner could easily spend 8 hours  a day just doing social media.  But unfortunately most owners wear many hats and marketing is only one of them.  Customer service and the day-to-day operations do take priority.

Here are five time-saving ninja marketing tips to manager your social networks.

  1. Schedule 30 minutes first thing in the morning and 30 minutes right after lunch or in the late afternoon to review your social networks.  Interact with all comments made to your posts and comment or retweet posts made by friends and followers.
  2. Use an aggregator to monitor your social networks.  Programs such as Tweetdeck, and Hootsuite are 2 such services that will pull the feeds from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn into one site for monitoring,  commenting and sharing.
  3. Schedule your updates.  One great feature of both Tweetdeck and Hoot Suite is the ability to schedule your tweets or Facebook updates in advance.  Once a week you can plan your week’s updates, and schedule them for the day, time and even the specific site you want them posted to.
  4. Install the Hoot Suite plug-in for Firefox.  If you use Firefox as your browser, Hoot Suite offers a plug-in that makes it easy to share articles and blog posts to Facebook,  Twitter and LinkedIn and even schedule them to post at a more desirable time.
  5. Combine your Facebook and Twitter feeds into Google +.  Even though the aggregator programs have not yet incorporated Google + into their platform, there are G+ apps already that will add your Twitter and Facebook feed so it can be monitored with your G+.

Do you have any other time saving tips?  Feel free to share them.

Are you new to Google + or curious about how to get started?  Download my free Guide to Google + at www.800bizninjamarketing.com. Gary Wagnon is the CMN (Chief Marketing Ninja) at 800biz Online Marketing Solutions.  Using an integrated approach to online marketing (combining web site design, search engine optimization, social media and action driven content), 800biz specializes in helping businesses stand out above the competition and drive more traffic to their door.

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26
Aug

Facebook Announces New Privacy Settings

   Posted by: Gary Wagnon Tags: , ,

Whether a reaction to Google + or a planned system improvement, Facebook has added a new local of privacy that is rolling out starting today.  Many of the changes revolve around the way content is shared.

Profile Controls

First change is you greater control to the visibility of your profile.  With each section of your profile such as music, movies, religious preferences or political views, you’re able to choose who can see each of those areas.  The changes are made directly on the profile editing page where previously the changes were made in the account settings.

An in-line cue or icon will provide a visual indication of who can see each element.  Choices are to make the content public, only seen by friends, are customized for a friend list.  A “view profile as” feature has been added so you can see how your profile will look in different situations.

Tagging

Tagging individuals in photos, status updates or location tags is a popular practice.  Currently, individual control is either limited or unavailable.  With the new settings you can approve or reject any tag before they appear in your profile.  This includes photos and status updates.  This can be turned on or off the pending on user preference.

Given the new tagging controls, Facebook now allows the user to tag anyone in a photo regardless of whether they are a friend or not.  Of course the tag will have to be approved unless you set your privacy controls to always allow tags.  The dilemma with always allowing tags means you do not have control over your image.  As a business professional, protecting the image we portray should be vitally important.

Some of the other features you will see are changes to Facebook places and a “Nearby” icon in mobile apps for tagging locations.

The privacy and safety groups are hailing the changes is positive actions.  For business owners it will require some adjustment to the way they interact with other people.  But with everything Facebook, standby.  About time you master this something else will change.

Gary Wagnon is the CMN (Chief Marketing Ninja) at 800biz Online Marketing Solutions.  Using an integrated approach to online marketing (combining web site design, search engine optimization, social media and action driven content), 800biz specializes in helping businesses stand out above the competition and drive more traffic to their door.

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29
Jul

Blogging In The Shower

   Posted by: Gary Wagnon Tags: , ,

Some people sing in the shower but I do my best writing and blogging in the shower. Of course the paper does gets a little wet.

Last night while meeting with a group of social media enthusiasts, the question came up about what do you write. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. In fact I could probably retire if I had a dollar every time I heard it. But the truth is so many “experts” write about, or speak about the importance of writing blogs, articles, or e-zines. The cold hard facts are this: most business owners aren’t writers.

If you look up business owner in the dictionary I’m pretty sure the definition says a person that works 12 hours a day, seven days a week. So the thought of creating a regular routine of writing for a blog or website doesn’t conjure up good thoughts. Where is the time going to come from? What am I going to say? And who’s going to read it?

Assuming you can block off an hour or so a week to write your blog, does that mean you’re going to have the light bulb go off with an insightful or witty idea? That’s where my shower moment comes in. Your moment might be driving to an appointment, or working out at the gym or just before going to sleep. So the key is to jot a note down that will remind you when you’re ready to write.

Here are a few other ideas to help you build your content library.
• As you read newsletters and trade journals in your industry, watch for ideas that your customers or clients would find interesting or helpful. Either save the article or jot down the main points so during your writing time you can re-spin this article with your take on it. A word of caution: don’t just reprint the article. While people might find this information helpful it’s not your information so you’re not getting credit for being the expert.
• Think about 10 frequently asked questions about your business. That’s a natural choice for articles.
• What are 10 things you wish your customers knew or would do.
• How to tips – if you’re in a service related business give your reader ideas how they can save money, save time, improve product life or any number of helpful hints.
• Be a resource – in my case, since my readers are interested in online marketing, it stands to reason they would probably be interested in tips on keeping their computer running from an expert in my network. While I am not the originator of the content, I’m the one that gets the thanks for passing that information on.
• Use a guest blogger – along the same lines as the idea above, inviting a guest expert to contribute is a good way to keep the volume of valuable information flowing through your site. Plus it’s a good way to expand your reach into your guests network.

So until they make waterproof paper that works in the shower keep a regular note pad handy or your smart phone. For smart phone users you might try Evernote. This app will let you write or voice record your ideas for you to later retrieve from your computer or phone when you’re ready.

Gary Wagnon is the master Ninja traffic generator for 800biz Online Marketing Solutions. Using a combination of action-centered web site design and the latest search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, combined with efficient and effective use of social media, 800biz creates an online presence that helps it’s clients stand out above the competitors and drive more traffic through the door.

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17
Jul

Google Plus — Another Flop in the Waiting?

   Posted by: Gary Wagnon Tags: ,

Google Plus, the latest attempt from the Big G, to break into social media, has begun.  By invitation only at the current time, Google Plus is the buzz all over the tech and social media sites.  But will it be another flop (any one remember Google Wave)?

The structure of Google Plus revolves around circles.  As you connect with friends, you assign them to a circle.  The process is as easy as dragging them to the circle where you want to assign them.  You can then filter your updates and your news streams to the specific stream, helping to cut through the clutter that’s so prominent, especially on Twitter.

The signup is ultra easy if you already have a Google profile.  Simply sign up with your gmail or Google profile email and your in.  If you don’t have either, it’s just takes a few minutes to complete.  One confusing step, when you first sign up it asks if you want to connect your Picasa photos.  The choices are Yes and Quit Google + Setup.   If you don’t have a Picasa account, it won’t matter.  If you have a Picasa account and link it, the folders there will not be visible in Google + unless you share each folder.

As with all other social media sites, completing your profile should be your first priority.  You can add videos, links and even photos.

Other cool new features in Google + are Hangouts, Group Chat and Sparks.  Hangouts uses Google voice and video plugin.  You can create a group video or audio chat from within Google +.  It does require you download and install the Google voice application.  Once installed, you can Hangout with an entire circle, share YouTube videos

Group chat allows you to talk to members of your circles in a text chat format, much like Facebook’s chat function.  It’s a quick way to send a message while they are online and much faster than email.

Sparks is another Google Plus feature.  Sparks finds stuff you are interested in and delivers them to your Google Plus page.  It searches news feeds and blogs to find the most relevant content (in Google’s estimation.)  By entering the keywords in the search box, a stream is created for that term and is updated daily.

Google Plus also has an app for Androids.  Pictures and videos shot from an Android phone can automatically update to your private album making it easier to edit and share them.  One feature of the mobile app is group huddle.  No need to make numerous phone calls to confirm dinner plans for the evening.  A group huddle can pull all parties together in a simple chat.

Whether Google Plus will be another monumental flop, or a homerun, remains to be seen.  For my money, I’m betting Google Plus takes it’s place along side Facebook as a player in social media.  What do you think?

Gary Wagnon is the master Ninja for 800biz Online Marketing Solutions. Using a combination of action-centered web site design and the latest search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, combined with efficient and effective use of social media, 800biz creates an online presence that helps it’s clients stand out above the competitors and drive more traffic through the door.

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How would you like to be on your competitor’s Christmas card list? Well if you do these really well you might even get a gift basket from them.

So here is a list of 10 things that will make your competition not only smile but be genuinely happy you’re out there.

1. Not having a web site – Let’s face it, if you don’t have a website, no one’s going to find you, so you’re not much threat to the competition. Since 75% of all purchase decisions start online, your competitor will love you for not being there.

2. Not claiming your Google places page – An unclaimed Google places page or maps page is like having a Yellow Pages with no phone number or address. But the big difference is, you’re leaving the details open for anyone else to edit. And with the new Google layout showing the listings on the map so prominently, your competition will probably be sending you birthday cards and thank you notes for all the customers you’re missing.

3. Having a “Me To” website – You have a website like everyone else with a couple pages that give a basic outline of what you do. After all, everyone knows what your business does, right? But you competitor’s site explains in great detail what they do. A prospect visits your site and doesn’t see what they’re looking for, but they find it on your competitors site, you make your competition happy once more.

4. It’s all about me – Your website extols the virtues of how great your business is. Your fantastic customer service, your low prices, your quality product, blah, blah, blah. Your competitor, on the other hand, has figured out it’s not about them; it’s about the prospect. The prospect does not care how wonderful your service is, how great your product is or anything else about you. They only care about whether you can either fix their problem or remedy their pain. Whoever does this best, wins.

5. Web site has no call to action – You go to all the effort to drive traffic to your website only to educate your prospect, then watch them go to your competitor and purchase. Businesses get so concerned about not being pushy that they don’t even create any call the action on their website. Your competitor’s site not only educates the prospect, but makes it easy for them to act, whether via online order or phone call.

6. I don’t do social media – Of the 251 million people in the US on the Internet, 203 million of them are on Facebook. What are the chances some of them are your prospects? Your competitor, on the other hand, is out there building relationships with not only your prospects, but probably even your customers.

7. I have a high school/college kid doing my social media – While it’s true that teenagers are all over Facebook, and can post photos, tag people, like, share, and do all the other things that you don’t understand, social media for business it is COMPLETELY different. You wouldn’t even consider hiring an advertising or marketing person based on the fact that they sold their Xbox on Craig’s list so they could buy the new PS3? Your competitor hired a professional to create a social media plan that they religiously follow.

8. Having an incomplete social media profile – Have you ever noticed at a seminar or tradeshow they give you nametags? Is that just because they had money left over in the budget? No. It’s so you can network and build relationships with the people that are there. So having an incomplete profile on social media sites is like not only having no name tag but wearing a paper bag over your head. There’s not going to be a lot of interaction and you’re certainly not going to build any relationships.

9. Social media is a great selling opportunity – After all, you have a captive audience of Likers/Followers/Connections, why not fire away with your sales message? You’re probably one of those that go to a family reunion, pass out business cards and make your sales pitch to everyone there. Your competitor is giving valuable information, tips and helpful hints to her Likers/Followers/Connections. Her connections are growing and you wonder why yours are.

10. Social media takes too much time besides I don’t care who had Cheerios for breakfast. – Who has time to wade through the dribble on Facebook or Twitter? You have a business to run, marketing to do, and customers to keep happy. Meanwhile, your competitor has discovered a set of tools that let him/her not only schedule and manage their social media, but also monitor what’s being said about them online. They are developing relationships and handling customer service issues in real time before they become a problem.

Do a couple of these things and you stay on your competitors Christmas card list. Do several of them and there’s a chance you will get invited to the Christmas party…as an employee.

Gary Wagnon is the master Ninja traffic generator for 800biz Online Marketing Solutions. Using a combination of action-centered web site design and the latest search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, combined with efficient and effective use of social media, 800biz creates an online presence that helps it’s clients stand out above the competitors and drive more traffic through the door.

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