Latest Event Updates

More on Facebook Boost

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Facebook Road Show - BTV Got ClicksI went to the #facebookroadshow last week in Burlington and enjoyed the presentation, however, as an Event Marketer, I was a little surprised that some key components for a roomful of social media junkies were overlooked:

1)  Not one hashtag on any of the attractive blue Facebook folders for us to broadcast in real-time.  I had to stumble around on Twitter before I found the #facebookroadshow for the good ol’ #btv.

2)  The Burlington Small Business Page Facebook set up for us didn’t work until 4 days after the event.  If this were some local yocal outfit, I’d understand, but this is FACEBOOK… I was a little surprised.

Okay, enough kavetching (is that how that’s spelled?  Somebody’ll call me out on it.)  The case studies were compelling, the presentation smooth, they kept the audience until the end w/ a great prize of $2500 in Facebook ads, so that all went over well.  They had a full house, too – and bagels.  Great bagels.

Some of the things Facebook’s rolling out are pretty neat.  I’ve already told you my thoughts on the Facebook Boost in this last exciting Got Clicks episode… proceed with caution.  But this just happened while I was visiting the Burlington Business Group – when I clicked on notifications, Facebook has told me that 3 of my posts are performing better than 95% of my other blurbs.  Hmmm…

Facebook Got Clicks screenshot
Facebook’s recommendations on what to boost for Got Clicks.

As a marketer, I think that’s pretty darned clever, don’t you?  Facebook’s going out of its’ way to tell me which posts would be a good bet for a boost.  Kinda cool, however, once you start boosting, you’ll notice your spend gets progressively more pricey.  And when you stop?  Expect your reach to plummet.  That’s why it’s important on a business page to keep engaging with other businesses.  Don’t just visit your own page and stop there – go on your business feed and start conversations.  Join business groups where you can comment as your business profile.  If you can’t comment as your business, then encourage others to “like” your business page.

Facebook has a long way to go before they make it more business friendly.  Some of you may be scratching your head wondering if Facebook is even worth the time for your business.  My answer?  A very emphatic yes.  If you wanna know why, peruse my blog or better yet, just set up a time to talk and I’ll help you formulate a master plan for your social media domination.

My wish list for Facebook?

  • Make it easier to join a business group as your BUSINESS profile, not your personal one.
  • Have the business home page newsfeed easily accessible on a smart phone.
  • Show a few more ways to increase “likes” to your business page.

I hope the Facebook Santa’s listening…


Exporting Contacts from Linked In? Yes. Facebook? Google+? Not so much

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I had a friend of mine message me on Facebook asking how to consolidate all of her contacts from Facebook, LinkedIn and Google +.  I thought this would be relatively easy and started putting a Yahoo account together so I could import my contacts, then export to a spread sheet.  The answer?  You can’t do it anymore:

I was feeling a bit like Facebook and Google+ are the Hotel California, you can checkout anytime you like, but your contacts can never leave.  This is good news for folks who want to know their contact information is private, yet a pain in the neck for those of us who’d like to have our own personal friends and contacts in one place.  LinkedIn DOES make it very easy to upload your contacts – I’ve spelled it out here:

Bottom line?  Download your contacts while you can in LinkedIn and stay tuned on any work-arounds for Facebook and Google+.  If you have any ideas, I’m all ears – this is a really interesting turn of events concerning privacy and ownership of information you upload into these social media giants.

Event Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

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I've Got Clicks, Do You?I was asked to donate my services recently to a group asking me to speak about internet marketing.  I sent them my bio, seminar details and the name of my company.  About a week out, I was looking to promote the event on my own Facebook and Twitter feeds to generate more interest, but I didn’t see any hash tags, much less a landing page for the event.  When I asked the organizer where to find any information, I found a page on a local town chamber website that had the date and location of the event, but nothing else.  No times, no agenda, no list of speakers.  When I asked about this, the answer came back, “well, we’re just volunteers.”  Sorry, I’m not buying it.  If you’re asking people to donate their time and talent for your event, it’s a slap in the face if you don’t bother to promote them properly.

If you’re charged with running an event, here are some tips to ensure you have quality speakers return to your event and that you attract the right audience:

Logos and Company Names:  I received the brochure the day before the event and saw my course, “I’ve Got Clicks, Do You?” renamed to “I Have Clicks, Do You?”  Seems like a small thing, however, Got Clicks is the name of my company – they were seriously messing with my branding.  I called asking for it to be corrected – my bad.  I should have e-mailed the corrected copy.  When I opened my brochure, it said: “I Got Clicks, Do You?” making my company sound like some hickster with a 5th grade education.   Take the time to get the logos, taglines and branding correct on your printed materials and send them out at least a week in advance for proofing before actual printing.

Social Media for Marketing:  Yes, hashtags are used both on Facebook and Twitter now to identify topics of conversation.  Tell your participants and vendors what tags you have come up with for your group so that others can talk up the event.  You paid good money for those pretty posters and newspaper ads – why on Earth would you skimp on something that’s free and thousands millions of people use every day?  It’s great to create the event on Facebook, but keep POSTING updates on the page so people get excited about it.  Post about the speakers, topics, prizes, silent auction, vendors, admission, etc.  Start your hashtags early so participants can keep track of the event and what’s happening in advance.  You’ll be creating a buzz that costs you nothing but time.

Yes, Twitter is for Events:  Use Twitter to announce the next speaker, useful quotes, and hashtags relevant to the conversation; something like this:

#nichemarketing discussion at #YourEventNameHere at 1:30 #sheraton #btv

Feed Your People:  If you have a professional speaker come either for a reduced rate or free, the least you can do is offer them lunch.  Don’t assume they’ll just fend for themselves, actively go down and offer it to them.  Chances are, they’re setting up the room for their talk and might not have a chance to grab a bite.  Going the extra mile to offer this courtesy really pays off in the end.

Feedback:  Don’t wait until the end of the conference to get feedback on a speaker.  Put a special offer on each feedback form that’s put into a drawing to win a juicy prize at the end of the day.  Make sure you have a box participants can drop their feedback form into to preserve their privacy and make it feel like a contest.  Promoting the big prize throughout the day ensures audience members stay until the end to see if they’ve won.

Seminar vs. Trade Show:  While big conferences like RSA and ALA have seminars going simultaneously right on the tradeshow floor, NEVER have this environment for a smaller event attracting under 100 people.  Setup workshops in smaller rooms so that your vendors will have time to sell.  Keynote speakers should be in the main hall, however, no longer than an hour and a half – then open the floor up for vendors.  If your seminar takes up the entire conference hall, the vendors won’t be able to sell – and they won’t be back next year.

Amenities:  Find out if your facility has high speed internet (kinda crucial for a talk on social media…) what the password is into the system, where the electrical outlets are, do they need microphones and lastly, where are the restrooms?

Taking care of the details will help you have a great show that attracts not only an audience, but quality vendors and speakers for next year.

What the Heck is Empire Avenue?

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208I had been told to try Empire Avenue a couple of months ago and quite frankly, I just didn’t get it.  I got busy, I ignored it.  I joined a very active social media group on Facebook and they devote a day to promoting their Empire Avenue links.  I felt like the kid who was always tagged “it” and never really “got” Hide and Seek until I just took a day of educating myself on the merits of this little social media game.  It’s much more productive than any session of Candy Crush and has numerous possibilities if you’re in the serious game of increasing likes and engagement with your social media marketing.

For starters, watch this tutorial from Lisa Cash Hanson – it is excellent on how you get started.  The really cool part of Empire Avenue is the missions.  You need to gain “eaves” (akin to dollars) in order to afford a mission.  Invite friends to buy “shares” of your stock.  The more engaged you are on social media and in the game, the higher your net worth.  My video below shows my very first mission and within 4 minutes, I already had retweets of my post:

I’m by no means an expert at this, however, it is a powerful tool for engaging others to help you promote your page, event, business, etc.  Wide open for your imagination.  For those of you veteran Empire Avenue players, I’m all ears for tips and tricks on improving my skills on playing this wonderful game and improving my reach on Social Media.

Rebranding: It’s More Than a Pretty Logo

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Sarah Spencer Got Clicks 2013When I went from brunette to blonde about a year ago, I was scared to death.  I was excited about the new color, yet, I wasn’t sure if it would suit my personality, my style.  Would I fall victim to “dumb blonde” syndrome?  While I had fun being blonde, I did go back to my “roots” and I’m chillin’ with the brunette thing again and loving it.  When you start thinking about branding your company, it’s a much bigger commitment than changing the color of your hair, but it can sure stir up some strong emotions:

  • Fear, (will they like my new style?)
  • Excitement, (I can’t wait to ditch this old, tired persona, )
  • Confusion, (is this good for business?)

I’m starting work with a very smart client who recognizes that her shop has out-scaled her branding.  She’s known for one product,( in fact, she’s won numerous awards for it,) yet that niche has turned to a nightmare because she’s limited to one small window of opportunity for her business.  Niche marketing is great, but you need to look down the road at other products and services.  It’s healthy for businesses to reinvent themselves, just make certain you do it in a way that doesn’t confuse your existing following.

1)  Brand with Sense:  I know there’s been a lot of talk about the value (or devaluing) of keywords lately, but if you use common sense, you’ll know that if your domain name contains the keywords your customers will be typing into a search, it’s a pretty good idea to start with a solid domain name that tells what your product is in milliseconds.

2)  Brand Across Platforms:  If you’re going to change your image, go all the way.  Don’t leave your blog with the old imagery and your website branded with the new logo.   Check your content, too.  Find and replace your old tag lines with new ones that will resonate with your customers.

3)  Brand Your Social Media: Make sure your social media keeps up with the new branding.  Yes, you can change the name of your business in both Facebook and Twitter.  Here’s a GREAT youtube video on changing your name in Facebook and a very concise article on changing your name in Twitter

4)  Respond:  If you’re a brick-and-mortar entity, you know some are going to balk at change – it’s human nature.  The most important thing you can do is get clear on how you feel about your branding and then spread that vibe through every media channel you can think of – Facebook, Twitter, Yelp.  Make sure you respond promptly to your customer fan base with the reasons you made the change.  It doesn’t need to be a diatribe, something like, “Yes, we loved the success we had with ABC brand, but now that we offer so much more, we feel the new name, DEF expresses more of our products and services.  Thanks for the feedback, come back and see us and let us know in person how we can serve you in the future.”

Yes, it’s scary to rebrand, but sometimes it’s smart and necessary.  If you need help with this very big step, I’m all ears…

How Does Facebook Know Which Stories to Show?

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I’ve been playing around with the Facebook boost and really loved it – initially.  Now I’ve noticed without the boost, my views are lagging on my Got Clicks page on Facebook.  Why??  Here’s my video of using Boost:

I did some digging around and connected to Facebook for Business which has some great content for those of us wanting to know the Holy Grail of Facebook Algorithms.  Here are some great pointers that we know instinctively, but also, there are some new algorithms Facebook has just trotted out:

Whenever someone “hides” your comments from their newsfeed, it’s a ding against your page and will lower your ranking for Facebook.  Your content will either appear lower down on the newsfeed or not at all.  So, to avoid this penalty, follow these tips:

– Make your posts timely and relevant
– Build credibility and trust with your audience
– Ask yourself, “Would people share this with their friends or recommend it to others?”
Think about, “Would my audience want to see this in their News Feeds?”

How Does News Feed know which stories to show?
By letting people decide who and what to connect w/ and by listening to feedback. When a user “likes” something, that tells the newsfeed they want to see more of it. When it’s hidden, of course it tells newsfeed to display less in the future.

How Does the News Feed Algorithm respond to signals from you?                                                                                                                                 Facebook responds by the actions of you and your followers:                                                                                                                                                           – How often you interact w/ a friend, page or public figure                                                                                                                                                                 – The number of likes, shares and comments a ost receives from the world at large, as well as your friends
– How much you’ve interacted w/ this type of post in the past
– Whether you and others are hiding or reporting a given post.

There are also some new features on Facebook that will change the playing field a bit:  Story Bumping and Last Actor:

Story Bumping –
Allows engaging posts you haven’t seen to be bumped up to the top of News Feed later in the day.  There’s more on this in Justin Lafferty’s article that I’ve picked the highlights from below:

Lars Backstrom, Facebook’s Engineering Manager for News Feed Ranking, discussed Story Bumping with reporters:

What can we do to make it so people aren’t missing these important stories? Maybe the position 1 and position 2 stories were a little bit better, but that story that was just below the fold, we really would’ve preferred to see that rather than (another story) … which just happened to be the newest thing. So we had this idea, “Let’s change the model slightly.” Before, I said, whenever you come to feed, we’re going to take all the stories that are new since your last visit and put those at the top. Let’s just tweak that a little bit, and instead of taking all the new stories, we’ll take all the stories that are new to you.

Last Actor –
Takes the last 50 engagements a user has performed and gives those users a slight bump up in News Feed ranking.

I’m bummed that my Facebook page isn’t getting as many eyeballs as before I used the Boost, however, I recognize Facebook needs to make a buck as we all do.  Content is King, however, dollars may speak a bit louder…

Facebook: It’s More Than Toast – 5 Conversation Starters for Business

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Mark Johnson Show WDEV with Sarah Spencer of Got Clicks
Sarah Spencer of Got Clicks and Mark Johnson, WDEV

Last week, I was on the Mark Johnson Show talking about internet marketing and of course, the typical questions came up: why do I care about a picture of somebody’s toast?  A lot of people don’t “get” Facebook; what does her toast have to do with me selling my stuff?  Every good sales pro knows:  people buy people.  They buy the storyteller, toast and all.  Facebook is all about storytelling.  Blogging is about elaborating on the story.  You sell when your story’s compelling enough to convince your customer that you’re The One.

So you don’t think Facebook fits in your business model?  Maybe it doesn’t – not every personality works for Facebook.  Many balk at the idea of having to set-up a personal page in order to start your Facebook business page.  For that client, LinkedIn may make more sense.  For clients who don’t have a lot to say, a Twitter account may work better.  Yes, take your comfort level into account, but more importantly, find out where your customers hang out.  When you can envision your customers, you’ll have a much better chance of reaching them and making it easy for them to buy from you.

Facebook Conversation Starters:

Here are 5 Tips to help you start a conversation on Facebook:

  • Like Your Clients – If you’re not following your clients on Facebook, why not?  If you’re a B-to-B business, “like” their business pages.  If you’re B-to-C, your business page cannot follow an individual, however, give them a reason to like your page.
  • Offer Incentives – I offer $10 off my Got Clicks Tweak consultations for clients who “like” my page.  Thank those who take advantage of it.
  • Comment on Client Pages – Facebook is not all about you – once you “like” client pages with your own page, go ahead and comment on their feeds.  Ask questions that will help them get clients.
  • Share  –  It doesn’t hurt to share your client’s page with your Facebook fans.  Chances are, they’ll appreciate it so much, they’ll be more than happy to reciprocate.
  • Contests – I created a contest landing page that I change out on my Facebook page.  Here’s a video to show you how to do it: