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.

Share

Tags: , , ,

31
May

Does Exclusive Excuse Poor Customer Service?

   Posted by: Gary Wagnon   in Ninja Marketing

Last Sunday my wife, daughter and daughter-in-law were out to lunch and they decided to go look at wedding dresses, since our daughter is getting married.  Since there was a bridal store in the same shopping center I agreed to tag along (not that my opinion was either asked for or needed.) What happened next left me scratching my head.

We were greeted by a young girl behind the counter whose first words were, “Do you have an appointment?” No we explained, we were just starting to look and want to get some ideas. The young girl went on to explain, “We work by appointment only.  Here’s the catalog and our card so you can make an appointment.”  Being rather sensitive to customer service, I didn’t say a word. But after the girls looked through some dresses and were again told they couldn’t try any on, we left. All three of the ladies begin to comment on how rudely they been treated and how they had no desire to come back to the store.

What I realized was the atmosphere the store was trying to portray was that of exclusivity. Now I understand the need for the appointment to try anything on since they only had limited sales associates and dressing rooms. I get that. But should the exclusive atmosphere warrant a snooty first impression?  Should it be an excuse for poor customer service?

First of all, it’s a national chain store so that employees have no stake in the business. Secondly, my guess is that the local management has bought into the exclusive nature and doesn’t understand how to incorporate that with good customer service.

They could have easily gotten their message across in a way that would made my daughter want to come back. The greeter behind the counter could have explained why the appointment was necessary (we want to give you our undivided attention while we help you select the perfect gown.) She could have also given them a quick tour of the store, pointing out the different dresses and how the displays were organized, as well as encourage them to ask any questions they might have.

The question is, what impression  do your prospective customers get when they call or come in your business? Are they really welcomed or treated like an imposition? You will probably say they are welcomed and treated royally. But would they say that?  Here are a couple of ways you can find out.

1.  Have a secret shopper visit your business and give you their impression. Do it anonymously. Ask someone you know to arrange a shopper and offer them something for their time (a gift card, restaurant certificate or something similar. Not a discount at your store.)  This way you get an unbiased opinion.

2.  Install an inbound tracking line on your phone that can be recorded. Monitor that recording periodically and review it with your sales and customer service staff.  Better still have someone outside your business review it and give you their honest opinion.

3.  Ask recent customers to evaluate your service and your staff. Again make it worth their time by giving them something in return.

4.  Conduct periodic training with everyone that comes in contact with both customers and prospective customers. Focus on attitude, especially with regard to abrasive customers.

Not every customer or prospective customer will be pleasant. They may have just gotten chewed out by their boss, been dealing with screaming kids all day or are  just mad at the world.  It’s not you, but if you don’t bowl them over with your expertise and service, it will be about you. They will walk out vowing never to shop there again and tell tweet it, Facebook it, pin it and write reviews about their experience.

Make it your goal for every person that walks through your door or calls on the phone to end with a smile and a desire to do business with you again.

Oh by the way, the ending of my story.   We went from this store to a locally owned store where they offered stellar customer service even though we didn’t have an appointment. They spent time with us and were genuinely interested in helping my daughter, who,  by the way,  found exactly what she wanted and will probably buy from them.  Attitude goes a long way!

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.

Share

Tags:

25
May

What’s My (tag)Line?

   Posted by: Gary Wagnon   in Marketing, Ninja Marketing

The subject came up last week in my ninja marketing dojo class while talking about LinkedIn headlines. I related the story of the networking event where I was an exhibitor. I had a lady come up to my table and when I asked her what she did and she said “I’m not supposed to tell you.” She had just come from a seminar with networking guru who told the audience not to say what they did. I quizzed her further and she finally said something like “I help businesses realize their bottom line potential.”  Okay, do you work for some clandestine operation?  Would you have to kill me if you told me?

I think she missed the speaker’s point, which was to peak someone’s interest in what you do, not make them play 20 questions to pry the answer out of you.  Let’s face it, I’m just not going to work that hard to find out what you do.

Your tagline, whether it’s in a face to face networking situation or on your social media sites should be listener/reader centered.  For example, when asked, I could say, “I do website design, search engine optimization and social media.”   Besides the fact that it’s boring, it’s also all about me. Sure I told you I do but in your mind you’re thinking, “I have a website, I don’t know what search engine optimization is and I’m on Facebook.  NEXT!”

A better introduction would be, “I help business owners create an online marketing presence that puts them head and shoulders above the competition, using website design, search engine optimization and social media to improve their search engine rankings, increase their traffic and convert more browsers into buyers.”

Do you see the difference? This tagline is centered around the listener. It still explains what I do, but in terms of what I can do for them. Now they are thinking, “my website doesn’t do that and I’m not getting a ton of business off Facebook.  I need to know more.”

The center of our universe is “ME”.  My problems, my pleasures, my concerns.  Sounds like an opera singer tuning up, “me, me, me, me.”  Make your initial venture into someone’s ME universe be about them.  How can your product/service make their life easier, save them money, make them more efficient or reduce the pain?  When you tap into the nerve center of your prospective customer/client, your message resonates with them and they want to know more.

Your tagline makes all the difference in the world. Is yours a conversation starter or a conversation ender?

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.

Share

Tags: ,

19
Apr

The Marketing Magic Bullet

   Posted by: Gary Wagnon   in Ninja Marketing

“Anthony Sullivan here with the Marketing Magic Bullet. This amazing product is guaranteed to make you number one on Google and Bing, get you 5000 Facebook likes, 10,000 Twitter followers, make your YouTube videos go viral and literally blow up your blog with traffic, all for the amazing low price just $19.95+ shipping and handling.”

Okay, so maybe this sounds a little far-fetched, but I would be willing to bet if you saw this ad on late-night TV you would be digging for your credit card in a heartbeat. As business owners we are desperately searching for a one-stop solution to our online marketing dilemma. We long for those days when we turned our advertising over to a yellow page, tv, radio or newspaper rep and forgot about it.

Today’s marketing landscape is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in the fact that the cost can be very minimal or even free. The curse is the time and effort that it requires. Business owners are now required to learn a new set of skills.  Skills like marketing, copyrighting, videography and public relations, to name just a few.

During a recent workshop I was conducting, many of the questions the participants asked revolved around how to quickly reach a large number of people. It’s a common theme, whether it’s a workshop on e-mail marketing, social media or blogging. Participants come with the hope that they will learn some secret formula that will let them e-mail 5000 new potential customers or build a huge Facebook or Twitter following that will instantly buy their stuff. Instant gratification, instant payoff.

If you want the magic bullet, the secret formula to online marketing success, here are some suggestions.

  1. Trade your salesman’s hat for a teacher’s – Become an educator.  Teach your customers about your product or service, what makes you different and how your product/service can solve their problem.
  2. Be a giver rather than a taker – Provide your existing and prospective customers with valuable information they will thank you for.
  3. Share the wealth – If you would like to double your followers, give your existing contacts an incentive and a reason to share your information. Let’s face it, the average consumer isn’t thinking about you. While they could easily share your content, it never crosses their mind. Why don’t you ask them to? Why not give them a good reason to share?

So at least for now, until I can strike a deal with a good pitch man, the Magic Marketing Bullet isn’t on the market. You’re going to have to put in the effort yourself to create good content and build solid relationships and engagements if you want a successful online marketing presence.

Does anyone have Anthony Sullivan’s phone number?

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.

Share

Tags: , , ,

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.

Share

Tags: , , , ,

18
Mar

Use Your Inside Voice – Writing Blog Content

   Posted by: Gary Wagnon   in Ninja Marketing

Writing blog contentAs you’re writing your blog, keep in mind the audience you’re addressing. Unless you’re writing to 12th grade English teachers or for the Washington Post, don’t worry about the grammatical format. Write for your audience. And most importantly write in your own voice. You are most effective when you write like you are speaking.  Here are some ideas to express your inner voice.

1. Talk To Your Audience – Rather than imagine writing your blog for thousands of people to read, imagine writing it for your ideal client. Or better still, imagine that you’re talking to your best friend. The personal nature of this type of writing will create an instant connection with your reader. They will feel like you are speaking to them directly.
2. Avoid Tech Speak – Unless your audience is the technical person, avoid using industry terminology and use consumer language instead. For example, if your blog is about online security for personal computers or small businesses, don’t use terms like “risk assessment” and “business continuity”, but instead use “virus protection.” On the other hand, if your target audience is the IT person, then use industry terms. You wouldn’t talk over the head of the consumer so don’t write over their head.
3. Use Humor – If you can get a smile or a chuckle out of your audience, your article will be more memorable. Everything doesn’t have to be so serious. A funny story or even a slightly snarky approach gives the reader the message you enjoy what you do.
4. Vary Your Content – Keep your readers on their toes. By varying your content you keep them interested and anticipating your next post. If you use humor one time, ask and answer a question the next. Some other types of content you can use are videos, charts or graphs, lists, industry related reviews, or guest blogs.
5. Be A Problem Solver – Unless you’re blogging in the entertainment industry, your readers typically have a problem they want to fix or want a solution that will make their life easier. If your post can solve their need, your social capital as the expert goes up.

Most important – be yourself.  If you write your blog as you, it will be easy to maintain a consistent message from one blog to the next.

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.

Share

Tags: , , ,

Once again online privacy is in the news. On March 1, Google will be implementing their new unified privacy policy, which has sparked a firestorm of controversy. If you’re a Google user, you’ve seen multiple notices of the upcoming change to their privacy policy. But what does it really mean.

The essence of the new privacy policy is that Google will share one privacy policy across all its products. What has people in an up roar is the idea that what you search for can translate over to ads you may see in Gmail for example. Let’s say you watch a video in YouTube about widgets. You then go to Google to search for something totally unrelated, but there is an ad for Acme Widgets.

Despite the up roar, this is not new. Microsoft has the same unified privacy policy, which would include Hotmail, Bing and Internet Explorer. And Facebook’s privacy controversies have been well-documented.

While you have no choice but to either accept privacy policy or not use any Google product, there are some things you can do. By default, Google tracks your browsing history, apart from what you’re computer tracks. A check of my Google browsing history showed sites from as far back as 2007, which was probably about the time first I set up a Gmail account. (I have had three desktop computers over that period of time.)

You can opt out of browsing history in Google by going to www.google.com/history and logging in with your Gmail address and password.  (If you have set up a Google account with a different e-mail such as an AOL account to login to YouTube for example, then you would login with that e-mail address and a Google password you created.) This will bring you to the history page where you can see everything you’ve searched for while logged in to a Google account. You can remove all or some of the searches selectively. You can also pause Web history by clicking the “Pause” button at the top. At any time you wish to resume tracking your history, just click the “Resume” button.

How to change your Google Search Browsing History

The bottom line is as long as you are choosing to use a free service such as Google or Facebook, you are subject to their terms and conditions (remember that little checkbox that said “I accept these terms”?).  And how is this different from watching your favorite show on television? The advertisers know that the viewing audience is a targeted fit for their product. (And who’s to say that technology is not already in place to monitor what we DVR or watch on-demand.)

So the privacy debate rushes on. Do we close our Facebook account, stop using Gmail or Yahoo or Hotmail so we can maintain our complete privacy? In today’s world, what really is happening is we are trading our privacy for connectivity.

What are your feelings about privacy versus connectivity?

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.

Share

Tags: , ,

When was the last time you gave serious thought to what you’re business is about? For many, the last time was when they wrote their business plan. Businesses are created because the owner saw a niche that they could fill or they traded a paycheck for business ownership.

As a business grows and evolves, so do its strengths and weaknesses. But often times, the marketing message of the business does not change to reflect those. For your businesses stand out above the competition, you must focus on your strengths rather than trying to be like the competition.

Here are some questions to help you identify your strengths and regain your focus.

  1. What do we do better than the competition?
  2. What does the competition do better than we do?
  3. Why would a customer choose to do business with us?
  4. What do our customers say they like about our service/product?
  5. Do we really give good customer service? If so, how specifically do we provide good service?
  6. Is price a factor in closing a sale?

I went through this exercise with a prospect of new website client recently and the answers were eye opening.  When I asked what they did better than the competition, they answered, “we all do about the same thing.” So why would I choose your business if you are the same as everyone else? And doesn’t it come down to price at that point? If you’re no different than the competition, then I’m going make my decision based on the lowest price.

During a different interview, I asked the same question and the response I got was, “we are better at customer service.” Oh yeah. That’s the same thing the competition said about you. How do you know you give better customer service? What specifically do you do that’s above and beyond the norm? And how do you measure and monitor your customer service? You may not hear complaints but that doesn’t mean your service was that good. The silence of customers leaving may speak louder than their words.

 

Find your strengths and shout those throughout your marketing messages. Facebook them, tweet them and blog about them. Make your service or product special. While talking with client that does mobile auto repair, we replaced the phrase “basic diagnostic test” with “Company Name Comprehensive Initial Diagnostic test.” Did he change any of his procedures? No, but now the message conveys a whole different meaning.

What are your strengths? And what is the message your sending?

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.

Share

Tags: , ,

31
Dec

Ninja Marketing in 2012 – 5 Trends To Watch

   Posted by: Gary Wagnon   in Ninja Marketing

2011 is all but a memory. Over the past 12 months we have seen changes to Facebook (of course you can say that about any 12 month period), major changes to Google’s search algorithm (again no big surprise), the growth of mobile computing and Google making a big splash in social media. For online marketing, the inevitable change is both frustrating and exciting. What will 2012 hold in store?

1.  Social search will increase as social media site become even more interactive – Social search is one of the pieces of the online holy Grail, the billions of dollars up for grabs. Google already controls the search portion of the equation while Facebook dominates the social side.  Google + hopes to make a dent in that domination.

2.  Google + will play a larger part in search rankings –  The abuse of external linking has long been a concern of Google. Starting with Google’s Panda update, paid link exchanges and low content quality sites began to feel the sting. But with the launch of Google plus and the +1 button, Google now has a viable link popularity component for their algorithm. Look for active Google + sites to rank well in 2012.

3.  The effect of video on search engine results will continue to grow – YouTube continues to be the second largest search engine on the web. Improved technologies allow the content of YouTube videos to be indexed by Google, making them fertile ground for keywords and search engine optimization.

4.  Expanded customer interaction on Facebook – As more and more time is spent on Facebook, the growth of customer interaction will continue to climb. Look for e-commerce to become more prominent as companies search for alternative ways to connect with their customers.

5.  Activity versus engagement – Through the majority of 2011, activity was the norm in social media.  Posting to a business page with regularity constituted activity for most businesses. But with the October Facebook change, posting frequently is not enough to land on the news feed of fans. Today it requires engagement – posting content that fans will like, comment on or share. It requires much more thought to generate content that fans can easily interact with.

One prediction that’s an absolute certainty to come true, 2012 will see even more changes to the social media and online marketing landscape that we saw in 2011.

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.

Share

Tags: , , , ,

We have a love-hate relationship with change. We want the latest technology, like cell phones or IPads.  But we complain vehemently when Facebook changes their layout or anything on their page. We look forward to the new TV season but we continue to do business as usual.

We are creatures of habit, not wanting to stray far from our comfort zone.  Or as Captain Barbosa would say “Yer off the edge of the map, matie.  Here, there be monsters.”  Okay, so maybe we’re not afraid of monsters, and it’s not really the great unknown that we hate about change.  So why do we resist change when it comes to marketing our  business?

Unlike any other time in recent history, marketing and advertising are undergoing radical changes. Even back when television advertising rose to prominence, it was still an interruption marketing model – we interrupt this program for a word from our sponsors. But first the internet and now social media have changed that drastically.

Marketing today is all about relationships. We’ve heard the marketing gurus preach “know, like and trust” as it relates to building rapport for years.  Loosely translated, that meant salesperson must find a way to communicate with the customer. However today, the trust factor is often built long before a salesperson gets involved.

Long before a prospect walks through the door or picks up the phone, they’re doing their homework, their due diligence. It starts at the website then moved to social media sites. If they find a self-centered, “me first” message or a good old-fashioned sales pitch, they hit the back button and check out the next business. But if they find a customer focused, value message, they are moved much further down the decision making path.

Here are 5 changes to a business as usual approach for your online marketing presence.

  1. You vs. We – Review the home page of your website and count the number of times it says “we.”  The more “we’s” there are the faster visitors will leave the site.  Remember, they don’t care about you – only what you can do for them.
  2. Call To Action — Does your website tell the visitor what action they should take? While you may think it’s obvious the visitor will call you upon seeing your awesome site, they may be looking for the e-mail button. A simple “Call Now” followed by the phone number increases the chances they will contact you.
  3. No High Pressure Sales — A common mistake of social media newbies is thinking “I now have 200 friends I can sell to.” Every other post on Facebook is about their current special or their incredible product or service. And they wonder why social media doesn’t work.
  4. Boring Content — Tweeting or Facebooking the pictures of your lunch every day is not likely have friends or followers waiting expectantly for the next installment (unless you’re a food reviewer.) Share something that makes people think or that will elicit a response.
  5. Interaction Is King — Having an audience is one thing but having an audience that is engaged is golden. An engaged audience will not only remember your content but eagerly anticipate your content.

What are you doing to move from business as usual to become a master of online marketing?

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.

 

Share

Tags: , , ,

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.