I wrote this about my entrepreneurial journey, especially how we got started. I titled it somewhat provocatively, but the point is that I needed to reduce the distractions in my life to think clearly, to figure out what I really wanted to do.
The TV had filled our lives with noise. In the silence, we could hear our thoughts, our dreams.
Facebook has changed the Like Sources in Insights, adding more sources and changing some of the names of existing sources. At first glance, this makes it more confusing, but I think it helps to have more insight into where exactly your likes are coming from.
This is how Facebook Insights used to show your Like Sources. If you’ve got the new Insights, you might see something like this.
We haven’t done an interview in a while, and I’m especially pleased with this one because it focuses on an interesting industry: book publishing.
Maegan Chadwick-Dobson manages social media for Tara Books, an independent publisher based in India. Tara Books has an awesome Facebook page with lots of lovely photos of their books, events, and “the Book Building.” The Twitter account shares interesting info as well, and Maegan is behind it all! We asked her about social media, marketing to an international audience, and more.
My questions and comments are in bold.
You share a lot of interesting updates on Facebook. Do you keep a publishing calendar or just decide at the moment what you’re going to post today?
I recently got a question about how to learn SEO, and thought that is a great topic for a weekly round-up! Here are some of my favorite blogs and resources.
Moz (previously SEOmoz) is where I go to most often when I need an answer. They have great explanatory guides on anything from title tags to canonicalization. Their blog also has in-depth articles on a range of SEO topics, including this recent one on redirects and their effect on your website.
And if you’re new to SEO, their beginners’ guide might be a good place to start.
I’m really excited about this new table on Markitty. It appears at the bottom of your Today page.
As the table heading says, these are the links you’ve shared on Facebook and Twitter this month. We’ve put them all in one table and included the number of posts, impressions, likes, and stories for Facebook, and tweets, retweets, and favorites for Twitter.
Twitter is a tricky medium to get right, and many, many brands make a few simple mistakes.
Not Following Anyone (or Following Too Few People)
Twitter is a social medium. If you’re not following anyone, that tells me you’re not interested in listening, only talking. If you’re a big brand with tens (or hundreds) of thousands of followers, you can get away with this, but small businesses can’t.
Listening’s necessary, but why are you on Twitter if you’re not tweeting?
When I looked for marketing ideas for the Fourth of July for this week’s round-up, I couldn’t find much for social media posts, which surprised me. So if you’re looking for ideas, here are some I have.
The Fourth of July is the American Independence Day. If you’re marketing to customers in the U.S., don’t miss this opportunity of doing a special promotion or marketing message. I’ve put together some ideas from other bloggers.
Mistakes happen. Someone mixed up a customer order or made up a bill wrong. You send out an email to the wrong list. There’s a bug in the rice. (This happened to me not so long ago.)
No matter how hard you try, how good your employees are, or how rigorous your quality-control process is, some things slip through the crack.
It’s how you manage after the mistakes where your company’s culture and customer support shows. How you handle the customer after she complains, or after you discover the mistake, determines whether you can manage to retain her.
When I got that tiny bug in my rice, the restaurant manager apologized profusely and when I refused another serving of rice, offered another dish as replacement. We were at a lunch buffet, but for the rest of the meal, we got served at the table. It’s been some months, and I still remember the incident, but I have mostly good feelings about that restaurant. In contrast, I’ve had many experiences at other restaurants where the wait staff made a mistake but were quite blasé about it.
So I found this recent email from the CEO of PowToon both amusing and admirable.
Not much. Your marketing should be dictated by the preferences of your target customer segment anyway, and there is often less difference between marketing to small businesses and marketing to consumers than there is between marketing to small businesses and marketing to large businesses.
Is marketing less important for B2B?
One presumed difference between B2B and B2C is that B2B is driven more by sales and references, and B2C by advertising and marketing. But that difference is due more to the value of the product and the length of the sales cycle than to any inherent differences in marketing practice. For high-value products (like a large IT consulting contract), you have to hand-hold the customer through the process and (gently) nudging them towards the sale. Because a big amount of revenue hinges on every deal, there is a lot more resources spent on having each deal come through than it would if you were selling a SaaS product or an iPad app (even if they’re also business products).
But the differing value of products matters in B2C as well: if you’re selling apartments, reputation and word-of-mouth are critical: and you’d expect to have to nurture the customer and nudge her towards the sale.
According to the BIA/Kelsey report, 97% of consumers use online media before making local purchases. Google Research showed that 9 out of 10 internet searches resulted in a follow up action, such as calling or visiting the business. Mobile searches triggered an additional action or conversion 73% of the time; and 28% of mobile searches resulted in a store visit or purchase.
I’m not sure whether I’m more excited or wary about Facebook hashtags, but I do think it’s a game-changer. I took a look at how small businesses are using hashtags on Facebook, and what we can learn from them.
Don’t: overuse them.
We’ve seen this on Twitter all this while, and now it’s on Facebook: overuse of the hashtag. Don’t use a bunch of synonyms in your hashtags — just use one or two hashtags that might be most relevant.
If you’re a small-business owner or marketer, you know your best customers by name. You know why they are good customers — which goes beyond being just regular to being easy to work with, or maybe they give you constructive feedback. If you’re a B2B business, you know their business challenges. If you’re a bakery, you know Donna loves cheesecake and is allergic to walnuts.
Why is this an advantage? Because it makes it so much easier to tailor your marketing and sales to them. To tell Donna she might want to try the new mango cheesecake just in and that you’re baking a fresh set of nut-free brownies. Big businesses have to get sophisticated CRM systems to keep track of that stuff… but small businesses can do it more organically and easily.
Your Website Performance table on Markitty is a quick snapshot of your website over the current month and the previous three months. It gives you a quick look at how your website data is trending, answering questions such as:
Are visits increasing but unique visitors decreasing? (Do you need to reach out to more new visitors? Are your visitors becoming more loyal?)
Are visits decreasing but page views going up? (Are your visitors more engaged with your website?)
Is average visit duration increasing over time? (It should!)
Looks like all social media sites are making tons of changes. Here are some recent changes that affect small businesses.
Facebook has removed a number of features, including sponsored stories — which is great, because we’re all tired of those sponsored “your friend likes this page” updates. But I’m sad that they’re killing questions (though why not call them polls, Facebook)?
The other big Facebook change is the introduction of hashtags: this could really change the game for Facebook, by making search and discovery much easier. Marketers, start optimizing your Facebook posts!
With these updates and having added the ability to tag people, LinkedIn’s begun to look eerily like Facebook and Google Plus. And Facebook’s trying to be more like Twitter, earlier with timelines and now hashtags. Which begs the question: if they’re all the same, should we bother trying to be present on all of them or just focus on one? Or maybe automated cross-posting is the answer (please, no).
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Markitty’s new Average Performance by Post Type table compares all your post types this month so you can see what’s worked best for you. (Don’t forget to click on Previous Monthto see what happened then.)
Only have one or two post types in the table? Try experimenting with a few different post types and see what works for you!