All Sizzle no Fire

(Photo credit: Wikipedia) It is freezing in the north east but a good fire will increase the temperature in my house my 10 degrees.  I bought a face cord of cherry wood 2 weeks ago that came in damp, but I figured if it sat in the garage, it would dry out in time. I figured wrong. I tried to make a fire when temperatures here hit -10 and I got a little of sizzling but no fire.  The wood refused to burn.   I tried splitting it (imagine me with an ax!) , adding kindling, paper, basically grabbed everything I could get my hands on to get a fire burning - but the wood would not ignite at all. I was exhausted with the effort and finally, I just gave up - cranked the thermostat up and sat down annoyed and discouraged. From the emails and questions I've been getting, this is the way a lot of you feel about the efforts you've been putting into social media.  So, I've decided to do develop something I've been thinking about for a number of years - The Social Networking Masters Class. [Tweet "Get the fire going in your Social Media by attending"] All the classes are online, they incorporate text, screen shots and videos to help you get the fire cranking in your Social media efforts.  Once you master these techniques, know how to create goals and measure success, you will go from sizzle to fire in a short period of time. I look forward to seeing you in the Social Networking Masters Class!  

Authenticity, Egos and Social Media

Sometimes I have a hard time watching the Social Media space.  I see people, business owners, doing "it" wrong, I cringe and want to say something, but don't (unless I know them REALLY well).  After all, who am I to judge... ? When it feels like you're in the space to wrack up some cash, it just smells bad. If you were a chef yesterday and an internet guru today, it makes me think twice about doing business with you.   I am not talking about people like Gary Vayhnerchuk, he's more then proven his abilities and expert status (plus he's a blast to listen to - go subscrube to his blog).  I am talking about someone you never heard of before, came out of nowhere and was forced to make a job change, so hopped into this space.  For all I know, the chef a brilliant marketing strategist and just kept it secret for decades, which is why I don't say anything... but... where's the build, where's the chat, where's the relationship building?  Perhaps this is the "rebranding" of a person that is yet to be completed, but it still smells bad. So here's a little food for thought... Who are you?  Let people get to know you.   Better yet, get to know yourself.  Is what you're doing what you really want?  If not, where do you want to be?  If it looks like you're in it for the money, it won't work - not in the social media space anyway.  There are ample life and career coaches to help you get in touch with your inner guru and break you out into doing what you are truly passionate about.   Maybe the [...]

The Fan Gates are Gone! Facebook Business Page Timeline (update 2)

OK - so all the time you spent on creative incentives to like your page have gone "poof" with the new Business Timeline profiles.  What's a business to do to engage visitors enough to like them? The Cover Photo: Ask a question - consider what problem you solve - one idea I had for a client is to post a photo of confused parents / students with a question mark and just say "Got Questions... We've got Answers". Highlight a product What does your service do for others?  Is there a good graphic that reflects that? Less is more.. From the Timelines I've seen, the simpler graphics have the greatest impact. Include your URL in the Summary - it's clickable and can drive traffic directly to your web site Pin important posts (Facebook taking cue from Pinterest?) :  You can keep a post at the top.  This is a good tactic to highlight an info-graphic or important tips.  Posts are pinned for up to 7 days. Use the Star - this will make a post go the full width of the page. Add milestones - When did you start, when did you add a new product / service, how have you grown over the years?  This can really beef up your following as you are not only sharing what you know today, but sharing the history of how you came to be where you are. Views and Apps:  Show up under the cover photo.  This is an expandable section that highlights events, installed apps, custom pages, etc... Activity Log (in admin panel) - Shows you all page posts, gives you complete control over what shows up in the Timeline.  You can change post dates, highlight posts, hide posts, etc. [...]

Timeline for Facebook Business Pages

Today is launch day for Facebook Business pages.  I held off writing this until I had a chance to play with it. I converted and published the NewWard page:  take a peek here:  The cover photo replaces your "landing tab". The cover photo gives you the opportunity to brand your page and show off some nice items, but Facebook doesn't want you to get too spammy about it.  Keep it clean and neat, and not too much text please (You will see a pop up when you change your cover photo giving you the rules).  Cover photos are 830x350. Custom tabs run across the top, right below the cover photo.  They are not as obvious as they were before, but not hidden either.   If you have too many tabs a "see more" will appear. What's interesting is that people can now contact you privately via the FB messaging system.  You can see those when you click on the Admin drop down panel.  The admin panel button is located to the top right of your cover photo.  When you click on it, you can see your insights, notifications and messages. You can add business milestones and "pin" posts to stay at the top of the page.  People you are personally connected to that commented on the page have their posts higher in the timeline (for the admin) so you can see them and interact easier.  I personally prefer it to be all chronological, but we'll see how it goes.   Similar to personal timeline profiles, you can chose which interest boxes show up under the cover photo. I like the "Build an Audience" button.  Speaks more to what a business owner is trying to accomplish by using Facebook. [...]

Why Use Facebook Groups?

Image via CrunchBase Yesterday Facebook Groups got a little upgrade.  At the top you can now see photos of members, which click through to their personal profile. I played with Group Cover photos to add a little pop to the group, and I personally think it looks much better and it lets you quickly identify which group you are in. Facebook groups are useful for people who wish to discuss things outside of the general public's' eye.  Say a board of directors who want to brain storm, or for private group coaching. Groups can be set up as public - but since they are not indexed by Google, they are a bad choice for business.  A Facebook Page / Business profile is far more useful for brand engagement.  A private group is searchable in Facebook, but only the members can see the posts.  This is the best option for most uses.  Then there are secret groups.  They are neither searchable nor can the posts be seen.  Don't let secret groups give you a false sense of security, my basic philosophy still holds true - what you post online can be shared with or without your knowledge, so use caution. Groups have a few fun features: 1) They are searchable:  If you recall a topic or keyword you can search the group for the post.  Since groups list posts in chronological order, some posts may get lost in the chaos of conversation. 2) You can adjust your notification settings.  Click on the notifications button to turn notifications on or off (default is on).  You can leave notifications on and avoid getting emails by clicking on settings and removing the check box next to your email address. Have you used [...]

Facebook Changes – Fast and Furious

Isn’t it fun to wake up and have everything turned upside down and inside out? Well, let’s see if we can clear up a few things. The New Facebook Newsfeed Page: When you first log in, you see your “top stories”. These are the stories Facebook thinks you are most interested in based on your interactions, how many people liked and commented on it and who you have listed in your “Close Friends” list. If you haven’t visited in a while, the top of that page will have photos (I like to new photo album layout) and status updates. These stories are marked with a blue corner. You can remove something from Top stories by hovering over it and clicking on the little down pointing arrow that shows up. To Edit the News Feed stories – hover over newsfeed in the left hand column and click on edit. From here you can chose to hide (or unhide) stories. The right hand “ticker”: Your most recent updates are now constantly scrolling in a window on the right hand side, very Twitter like. You can’t close the ticker window, but you can hide it by moving the scroll bar. To view a story in the ticket window, just hover over it. You can also hide a story by clicking on the little down arrow. While Facebook says your privacy settings have not been changed, you should take a peek at them and make sure you control what updates of yours show up in the ticker window. Changes to Pages: The most noticeable one is ”Friend Activity”. This shows you how your friends have interacted with the page. More to come... Want to know what the Future Holds?

Giving Thanks

Imagine how wonderful it would feel to receive a random thank you just for participating in the community. Here's your homework starting next week: Make note of status updates throughout the week that resonate with you.  Maybe it's a cool quote, a new pearl of wisdom, something that made you laugh out loud... it can be anything. At the end of the week - post up a Thank You in your status, and tag those people who made your day / week / a moment a little bit brighter. Try it on Facebook (use the @ to tag people) Twitter, Linked In, etc.. See what a difference it will make in your interactions...  You will feel the joy you felt in the moment you first read the orignal post, and the person will be encouraged to keep posting wonderful messages. I think it can really make a difference in our interactions. Thoughts?

Social Media – Making a Case for Non-Profit use

Let's face it, when it comes to going "viral" there are few tools that out pace social media.  The exact tools may differ, but with passion behind the project, goals outlined and a good strategy, social media can increase awareness and fund raising. Articles: Brooklyn Autism: A great case study, Reported ROI = $25 dollars for every dollar spent: Help Hadassah Heal:  Raising $2,500 in 48 hours. California Parks Foundation:  how the CPF built a successful Facebook Fan Page Autism Speaks - Using Social media top promote events How one man raised $91,000 for Charity:  the story of 12Kfor12K challenge The above illustrates how the use of tools like, blogs, Facebook and Twitter, in particular help increase advocacy among Not for Profits.  It's never about asking for money, it's always about getting people to believe in your mission.  Once you have them by the heart, the dollars will follow. What tools have you used in your NFP Social Media campaigns?

Why Bother With Social Media?

The telephone has become such a common fixture in our society that we use it without giving it a second thought.  Be honest, have you ever said yourself, “I have no time to use the phone.”?  Email has become a similar commonality in our everyday lives.  Whether we like it or not, Social Media is on its way to entering into the same category. Consider this: You go to your favorite pizza place and check in on Four Square (  The people you are connected to on Facebook ( and Twitter ( see that you are at “Joe’s Pizza” and assume it is a place you enjoy visiting.  Your best friend happens to be walking down the same block and, having seen your Facebook update, knows you are at Joe’s.  He decides to stop in and have a slice with you.  You enjoy the surprise; have some quick conversation over slices and soda then part ways to head back to work. What happened? 1)      You created awareness among your sphere of influence for Joe’s pizza 2)      You connected with a friend who you haven’t had the chance to chat with in a while 3)      Your spirits are lifted and you return to work a little cheerier. This is what Social Media is about.  Connecting with each other in such a casual manner that it is a part of our every day conversational lives. The advantage of Social Media for business is obvious.  By having a presence in various social media Web sites, you give your customers and the opportunity to help spread the word about your business.  You also give your customers and prospective customers the ability to ask questions, stay up to date on [...]

A New WordPress Surprise

I am not new to Wordpress.  I have been building client sites on the Wordpress platform for a number of years.  Yet, every so often something surprises me. I have a client who uses the Featured Content Gallery on three sites.  To use the plug in, you need to use custom fields in your post. Well, when I installed Wordpress 3.1 and moved the site to my servers, I was shocked when I looked at the posts and saw NO custom fields.  After momentary panic,  I looked around the FCG support forums and found this helpful link.  Basically, WP 3.1 hides a lot of  post info by default.  Panic over. I've set up my post and page edit screens to my liking.  Moved some boxes around and feel considerably more in control of my WP environment.  Give it a try, you will to.

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