4 Tips to Help Generate Local Sales

Getting your website optimized for search and generating traffic is only one part of successfully marketing your site or your product online. While link building and sharing content is always necessary and a good strategy to increase traffic, often your main target audience and most likely customers are in a much more narrow demographic: local.

Getting your business in front of this key demographic involves many of the same techniques as getting traffic elsewhere on the Internet, but with a few minor adjustments. Here are three valuable ways to help get a little bit more of that local base on your site or in your store.

Stats say that 20 percent of all searches on desktops are local searches. More importantly, 50 percent of mobile searches are local! Don’t lose out on these customers!

Search Engine Local Listings

Everyone knows the importance of Google when it comes to search. What not eveyone knows is just how important they can be for local businesses. Having your company listed on Google Places can be an amazing way to get more people to see your business. Go on over to Google Places and you will be able to add your business if it isn’t already on there, including your address, hours, and category.

What this does is allow for your business to show up when people search for what you offer in your area. If you are a local flower shop, you will have the opportunity to shop up and be on the map when people search for flowers in your area. Google Local results are very different than simple search results as Google looks to connect shoppers or customers with companies that offer what they are searching for in their immediate area.

Be sure to fill out any and all information when creating these profiles. Google will show your business on the map and show your address when people in the immediate area search for you. Be sure to put the right category on your business so you can be found more easily also.

You can also sign up for Google Places and show up in local search results without a website. Just an address or service area and a phone number will get you listed. Think of this as being a free entry into the most populated and used yellow pages ever.

For the price of free and the chance to be seen by so many potential customers, there is no good reason to not have a Google Places page filled out.

Don’t forget to visit Bing Places while you are at it. Bing is carving out a nice little share of the search market and there is no reason to ignore another opportunity to be found.

Same goes for Yahoo! Local. Get yourself on there!

Have a look at getlsited.org’s Local Search Ecosystem chart to get an idea of just how many options there are to be found.

Locally Focused SEO

Search engine optimization can be summed up as an effort to point people searching for specific things towards your website, and trying to rank as highly as possible in search results for what people are looking for. Often, so much effort is put on the major keywords of a business that regional descriptions are taken for granted.

You may be the best guitar store in all of your city, but if all of your SEO focuses are on keywords such as guitars, strings, Fender, Les Paul, etc., but not much effort is put into focusing on the location of your store, you might not be drawing the best visitors. Of course it is always good to have web traffic, but I would bet most companies would take less traffic and more customers if given the chance.

Be sure when creating content on your website to mention where you are now and then. If you are blogging about your company and your product, be sure to include the locational phrases that your customers may be searching for or searching from.

As always when talking about SEO, put your emphasis on writing for your customers and not the search engines. Having said that, remember that the search engines are there and that they are looking to you for help knowing what your site and each page is about. Write for the customers, but don’t be afraid to remind the search engines just where those customers are.

Be sure to look for local blogs and directories to list your site. Getting inbound links to your site is always good and connecting with other local businesses is as well. Double win.

Pay Per Click

There are times when you will want to use CPM (pay for impressions) and times you will want to use PPC (pay per click). This is one of the times you want to use the pay-per-click. Targeting your campaigns towards people in specific areas and within a specific demographic will target your search to near pinpoint precision. Restricting your budget to “per click” allows you to bid for people in your market searching for what you are offering. Create multiple landing pages and multiple ads to try to find the best conversion rate to sales and you will have a good idea as to how much you should be budgeting on your campaigns.

Nothing wrong with doing CPM marketing, of course. Either way, be sure to target specific targets and demographics to get your message and your ad in front of the right eyes. Having a blog and a great website is wonderful, but having good, meaningful, targeted traffic is even better.

As with any advertising online, experiment with different ads and formats and see what is working. Thin out the herd as things show themselves to be successful and you will end up creating very effective ads.

Local Social Media Marketing

As a part of your social media marketing, local businesses have sites that they can use more effectively than non-local businesses. Are you watching your Yelp reviews and responding to them? If you are a restaurant, is your profile in your control on Urban Spoon. Be sure to pay attention to the social media sites that are available to you as a local business and be active on them. Run Foursquare promotions when it is applicable and get involved with the local online community. Being active immediately gives you the edge over your competitors that choose to not be active. Take any advantage you can get.

Moral of the Story

When it comes to having a local business, the point of your website is often to get local potential customers to your store or on your webpage. Targeting them through ads and offering your business information in local search results will better help you connect your local business with real local customers.

Tips on Creating an Effective Facebook Profile

Step one of creating a business page on Facebook is to create a page and make your profile. Since you are planning on representing your business with this page, care should be taken to be sure it reflects your business in the way you want it to. Here are a few tips for first time page creators.

Safety First

Always use caution when launching a new social media profile. Using Facebook for business is not identical to using it for your personal life. Keep the two separate and always remember which one you are using. Many businesses have suffered greatly because someone posted content to a business profile thinking it was their personal profile. Put only your pertinant business information in your business profile and always remember to be extra careful with passwords. No need risking your entire business’s reputation on a mis-handled password…

Naming Yourself

Obviously you want your Facebook business name to represent your business, but there may be times that you need to use something else. Ideally, all of your social media profiles will have the same name or handle, but if you can’t get your name the same everywhere, be smart about it and minimize the damage.

Maybe you are representing XYZ Golf Club and you have secured “XYZgolfclub” as your user name everywhere. You get to Facebook and “XYZgolfclub” is not available. Uh oh. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do in this spot. Your best option is to go with something that still fits well and is memorable on a business card or marketing material. Maybe you can still grab “XYZgolf” or “XYZgc” or “golfXYZ.” It isn’t the end of the world. The point is, when naming your page on Facebook, stick with the branding that your company uses and only deviate by necessity.


Your images in your profile matter. If your company has a good logo that you use everywhere, this is certainly a place you could use it. Some people will choose to put pictures of people — business owners, clients, customers, etc. If you own a store, a photo of the storefront would work. What matters is that your picture says something viewers and allows customers to identify with what it is showing. There is a whole world of research into branding and what you could use in your profile picture, but most importantly, don’t leave it blank and don’t skimp on quality. The only thing worse than no picture is a low-quality one. Put a little effort into your pictures. It will show that you did.

Be a Customer

When you look at your own profile, put yourself in the shoes of one of your customers. What would you be looking for? Is your phone number there? Your web address there? A map or address? How about the ‘About’ page? Tell your customers a story and show off what your business is. It doesn’t have to be a sales pitch, but for many customers, your profile is as far as they will go before they decide if they want to do business. Your contact information should not be difficult to find and your personality should come across on your page.

Your Facebook profile is often the first impression your business gets to make with customers. Don’t waste this virtually free marketing opportunity by treating it like it has no value because it has no cost.

Tips For Running A Successful Social Media Marketing Campaign

For many businesses, advertising online has become their primary marketing plan. With social media sites offering free to cheap opportunities to promote your business and interact with your customers, it is no surprise that it is so popular. Being online and advertising or interacting and marketing isn’t always easy however. Knowing the ways you can utilize the Internet will help you and your business get the most out of the resources available.

The main reason people use social media to market is not just that it is free to be on. It is that you can interact one-on-one with your customers in ways that traditional marketing doesn’t allow. You get to build trust and build relationships with people. Talking to your customers not only works for customer service, but it also provides valuable feedback and allows you to build your business in the way that your customers want.

Having goals and a plan in place before you get into your social media marketing campaign will allow you to track your progress and build off of your plan. Comparing your plans with what is going on in real time allows you to adjust the plan if necessary or more importantly, to react to what your customers are saying in real time to add on to the plan for the long term.

Another reason social media marketing has become some popular is the ability to cross-promote on different platforms. When you publish something to your website or your blog, you can point Facebook fans in that direction to read it. You can post it to Twitter and LinkedIn for more exposure. Perhaps you have a photo or a recipe that you want to share. You can have different audiences for the same content on Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, for example.

Remember that there are different demographics on all of these platforms, but that often times, you will have a lot of carryover. The larger demographics vary, but the common ingredient for your business is that your message is going out specifically to fans of YOURS that are on these platforms. Be aware that your one post may hit the same customer five times if they follow you on all platforms. It is always advisable to customize your content for each platform so your audience gets the message in the way they want to be marketed to.

Don’t forget that the key to social media marketing is relationship building. Don’t overwhelm your audience by constantly selling to them when there are many times that it is far more appropriate to simply talk to them. Not every post should be selling something. Heck, not even half should. The majority of posts should be conversation.

Social media marketing is a powerful tool. Use it to talk to your customers and build relationships. Having a strong, likable brand will translate into more sales than having a page that tries to sell the most often. Be a friend to your customers and good things will happen.

Facebook Advertising 101

Facebook is not just for friendly chatting and pictures. It’s actually quite a powerful advertising tool. We’ve gone over social media marketing plans before and you are hopefully well aware of Facebook’s marketing power already. Entering into advertising on Facebook can be intimidating but certainly should not be ingnored.

From your business page, you can opt to advertise your page or boost a post. You can alternatively launch the full Facebook Advertising section from your personal account and manage ads from there. I recommend doing things this way to get into advertising on Facebook.

Pick Your Target

One thing Facebook allows you to do is to define who your audience for your ads. Picking your target demographic is something that should be easy, considering you should know who you are marketing to in your day-to-day marketing. One thing Facebook allows though that other options do not is to narrow down your ad to only people that have already ‘liked’ things on Facebook. If you sell weightlifing accessories, you can target only people who already ‘like’ weightlifting, fitness, exercise, etc. Picking your target is essential to making sure your message sees the right eyes.

Using Facebook’s Tools

Facebook advertising doesn’t have the biggest learning curve. Granted, if you don’t know what CPC or CPM mean you may have to do some research first, but overall it is a very useable interface. If you found Google Adwords a bit intimidating, Facebook adverstising will likely be a bit easier to get a hold of for you.

As I recommend with anything, jump right in and play around for a little bit. Don’t start your campaign until you are comfortable with what you are doing, but play around and see what things look like and soon enough you will get the grasp of it.

As you get more comfortable, you can explore different ads using CPC and CPM methods, as well as Facebook optimized ads to see what is getting you the best results for your dollar.

Setting Your Budget

Budgeting for Facebook Ads comes in two different flavors — per day and per campaign. You can set your maximum daily budget for a specific ad and run it for a specific amount of time, or you can set a lifetime cap for the ad and run it for a specific amount of time. If you are just starting out and only want to spend a few dollars, you can try a campaign for just $5 or $10 per day and get some decent results with minimum risk. Once you better understand Facebook Advertising, you can up the budget.

Personally, I have found that you can get a slow and steady increase in Facebook likes and a pretty decent bump in your reach early in a page’s life with just a few dollars. As your page grows, you will have to increase your budget to compete with other bigger pages, but getting started certainly can be done for not a whole lot.

If you have experience with CPC or CPM marketing, you can play around with your ads and your budget even more to maximize your potential reach and results.

Observe and Immitate

Probably the best advice you can ever take to online marketing is to observe what the companies you admire are doing and do that. Of course you don’t have the budget to always promote like the big boys, but you can often learn quite a bit about how they are promoting things. Make note of their ads – what they look like, how often you see them, the different versions of the same ad, where you see them, etc. If you want to learn about Facebook advertising, watch the companies that are successful and learn from them. That, and just try. Trial and error will always lead you to a better place.

Know Your Goals

If you want to get likes, there are ads just for that. If you want to get a particular post to more eyes, there are ads for that also. Explore the options that Facebook has and you will more than likely find an ad that works just for what you need. Try it out and spend a few dollars and you will learn a lot as you go.

Like any other form of marketing, knowing your goals and customizing your campaign to reach them is critical. Make several versions of your ads and track them. Work towards your goals and you will find Facebook advertising just might become an integral part of your online marketing strategy.

6 Signs It Is Time To Update Your Website

Is your website still the same as when you first launched it? Has your traffic unexepectedly dwindled? Things move pretty fast on the Internet and if you aren’t current with today’s trends in both design and marketing, you just might be left behind.

With the amount of business that you stand to make from your website, why would you waste this opportunity to have the best possible marketing tool you can in your website. Here are six reasons that you might want to consider a fresh coat of paint on that old barn.

Your Site Doesn’t Match Your Brand

If you have relatively new marketing collateral — business cards, flyers, letterhead, etc. — your website better well match them. If you commissioned a new look for your physical marketing materials and your website is completely different, you are hurting your brand and your chances of converting visitors to sales. The simple way to do things is that when you are ready to change one thing, change them all. Keep things uniform to avoid confusion.

You’re Out of Date

There are going to be times that you don’t even change your overall look or your logo but your website just gets stale. That’s because trends change faster in web design than they do in print design. Your logo and colors can stay the same but your site will look dated if it isn’t up to par with what designers are putting out now. Pay attention to the big brands — Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. and look at what they are doing in desing. Your site doesn’t have to match it, but it also shouldn’t look like you are stuck in 1998. Stay current and informed and you’ll know when it is looking old.

No Blog Means No Fresh Content

It’s tough to rank well in the search engines without updating your site’s content regularly. If your site is just a handful of HTML pages uploaded to your server that never get updated, you are limiting yourself. With the abilities of Content Management Systems (CMS) these days to instantly add or change your content, you are missing out by not having one. If you have a full-time web guy to work on your HTML pages, you are probably fine. But if you do it all yourself and nothing has been updated in a few years, you might want to add a blog. Blogging has many, many benefits beyond search rankings. Putting a blog on your site is admittedly not for every business, but it is for way more than it isn’t.

It’s Just Old

This is kind of an “all of the above” point. If your site just hasn’t been updated lately, content or design, it is probably time to do that. Update your “About” page with recent news or developments. Update your “contact” page to make sure all of your information is accurate. Update the design to the current styles and trends. Update the backend to make sure you are up to current web standards. Do you know if your site renders well on mobile? Or IE7? Things change technically on the web often and not updating your site will be very apparent to your customers if you make it obvious. Budget for a new coat of paint and some optimization every year or so and you’ll thank yourself later.

Generate Leads

Does your site have a way to get new clients? Do you collect email addresses or have obvious calls to action to allow your visitors to opt in for more information? If not, get to updating! Customers more often than you think will opt in to products or brands that they like and you are left with a built in marketing tool to collect information. This gives you the opportunity later to tell a built in audience of people that already like you that there is a new product or a new special available. You have a website for a reason. It is a marketing tool. Don’t be afraid to embrace that.

Social Media Integration

If you have a website (and you are on my website) you should be active on some social media networks. And if you are, you sure as heck better be cross-promoting things and sharing across mediums. On your website, that means at the very least making your social media links obvious and apparent. If a visitor would prefer to stay in touch via Twitter or Facebook, make it easy for them. Not everyone does things the same way. Provide the options for them to stay informed and leave it at that. If you are posting good content, give your visitors the option to share it. Let them pin it, tweet it, post it, +1 it, etc. Everyone does things differently. All you can do as a business owner is provide them the ability to do it their way.


If you’ve made it this far and you don’t need an update, congratulations! You are doing a good job on your website! If you see one or two things here that you are in need of doing, start making plans to update soon. If you see three or more that need attention, we should be in touch… Honestly, there are loads of great designers out there and even some awesome WordPress themes that can do all of this. Treat your website like the rest of your marketing needs. Do it right and stay on it or you will be hurt by it struggling more than you know.

Social Media Marketing Gameplan – Track & Optimize

Many people think that having a social media strategy just means posting content and sharing links. That’s certainly part of it, but there is so much more. Not only all of the things that we went over in analyzing, developing and implementing your plan, but also in maintaining it.

All marketing is ongoing. If you think you are done or it is on cruise control, you are no longer marketing. You are just slowly being lapped by your competitors. To know what direction to steer the ship after you’ve gotten it started, you need to continue the plan, keep your eyes ahead and constantly be monitoring your progress.

Figuring out what is working and what is not and adjusting accordingly is arguably the most important part of the entire process.

Tracking, Metrics, Insights, Analytics & Other Tools

It should go without saying at this point that if you have a website, you should be monitoring its stats. There is no good reason at this point that you don’t have Google Analytics on your site to track your traffic. While you’re at it, most of the sites you are using or are going to be using offer some form of stats/metrics/analytics for you to gauge your campaign success with.

Here are a few tools you will want to get familiar with:

  • Google Analytics – One of Google’s most impressive services, Analytics allows you to track website visits in every conceivable measurable way, including conversions and sales, content, mobile, advertising, and social analytics. In fact, Google Analytics is so in depth that you may never actually experience all of its power without being a metrics analyst. My advice is to have the code installed on your site immediately if you don’t already have it, then learn small pieces as you go. As you get more comfortable, we’ll get into more advanced uses. Google Analytics is a beast, but not one you should be intimidated by. You should be anxious to get to know it inside and out. And soon.
  • Google AdWordsIf When you run Google AdWords campaigns, you will also have access to all of the statistics in that department. Now, running an AdWords campaign is a full time job to many, so again, don’t tread lightly here. Read up, research and dig into your stats when you get access to them. Another thing that AdWords includes is the Google Keyword Planner (formerly Keyword Tool). This tool allows you to build, maintain, search and otherwise research your keywords and plan your advertising, SEO, and other important aspects of your site. On an overall level, this is a very important tool, even if it isn’t straight up social media marketing. It all ties together in the master plan.
  • Google Webmaster Tools – Again, if you have a website, you should have a Google Webmaster Tools account set up. This doesn’t necessarily track stats, but it will track your site’s overall competency level. From finding broken links to your sitemap, your Webmaster Tools will often be the first to tell you when there is a technical issue on your site. Get registered, create a sitemap and pay attention to what these tools tell you.
  • Facebook Insights – As administrator of a Facebook page, you have access to their metrics tool, called Facebook Insights. This allows you to track the success of your Facebook page and quickly see certain stats. The Insights page gives you access to your Likes, Reach, how individual posts do, and engagement. These stats can be downloaded as a spreadsheet to allow for further, deep analysis also. Being able to see what kind of posts are being most responded to or reaching the most people can be an integral part of building or expanding a social media campaign.
  • Facebook Ad Campaign Manager – Part of Facebook’s tools also include a Campaign Manager for any ads you run, allowing you to analyze the success of your advertising campaigns. After you set your budgets and create your ads, this is where you will see just what is going on with your campaigns. Probably not as insightful (imagine that!) as Insights, but a strong management tool that you should get familiar with anyway.
  • Twitter Analytics – This is a tougher one. There are many sites out there that offer some kind of Twitter analytics, but none that seem as simple as what Facebook or Google offer. For me, I prefer to monitor my Twitter accounts on third-party apps like Tweetdeck, Followerwonk and Hootsuite. These (and more) sites offer a variety of tools to see who is following you, your interactions, and a handful of demographics to help you better determine how to proceed on Twitter. If you advertise with Twitter, you also have access to insights through Twitter themselves.
  • SEO Tools – I’m not going to get into detail here, since this is an article all of its own. Heck, it’s a business of its own. But checking your rankings and keeping tabs on where you are on the search engine results page (SERP) is not to be ignored. These days, there are extensions you can simply add to your browser that will give you SERP rank info, Alexa rankings, backlink info and much, much more. Get yourself one of these extensions at a minimum. At most, get very familiar with SEOMoz and maybe even lurk a few forums to learn what you are looking for when optimizing. SEO can be a very complicated field, but like many things online, doing something is better than nothing. Google “current SEO trends” to see what is in and what is out to know what you should be doing. Don’t waste your time stacking up keywords to rank higher when it isn’t going to do anything but hurt you. Pay attention to current trends to make sure your site is on the right track. When you have the time and/or money, invest some real time into true optimization. If you don’t have a LOT of time to learn it, invest in your company by getting a pro to consult with you or handle your SEO.

Get familiar with these tools and make them a part of your daily routine. Perhaps you create a folder in your bookmarks that is all stats and you just check it every day. Make sure things look normal and when you have time, dig a little deeper in each one.

Measuring Success

When we came up with our strategy, part of the development process was to define success. You should have certain goals that you are working towards. Maybe they are web traffic based, maybe they are all about social media followers. Either way, you have something to measure your success upon. If you are seeing positive results, reinforce that with investing more towards what is working. If something is lacking, attack it.

Some sites struggle to gain traction in certain regards. You might have traffic but no conversions. Work on optimizing conversions by analyzing your traffic flow. Create multiple landing pages on your site and focus your marketing at them. If you notice one ad is converting far more traffic than another, you have learned what kind of ad you should be running and what kind of landing page you are sending people to. Repeat this process over and over and over and you will turn your site into a well-oiled machine.

The same goes for gaining followers. I have seen great success from Facebook ad campaigns with small budgets and I have seen success with posting on LinkedIn Groups pages for gaining likes. Depending on what niche your site is in, there are a variety of ways to try to gain traction and get more followers. Experiment with different techniques, but as always, keep checking the analytics to see what is working and what is not. As the song says, “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.”

Keep a constant list of your goals. As you approach or reach one goal, set another. You should always have a short term goal you are working towards, and all of your short term goals should be working towards the long term goals.

Step Back and Look

When you work on a site everyday, it is easy to lose focus of the big picture. Every now and then, you need to step back and look at the entire brand from a distance. Look at all of your social media profiles together. Do they all speak in the same tone? Does your brand have a uniform voice? They don’t need to be identical, but you also probably don’t want to have any lone, wild wolves out there spreading a different message or using the wrong tone. Take a look as a whole and see what the picture looks like.

One thing to look for as you review the sites is your line of engagement. This is the line you need to walk carefully in social media. Can you look at your Facebook page and see how you could be annoying your fans? Can you look at your Twitter page and see where someone might unfollow you? Look objectively at your sites on occasion and you just might find something that is impossible to see on a day-to-day basis. Embrace the regular, mini-self-audit.

Lastly, make sure when you look objectively that you can put yourself in the user’s place. Are your links easy to share? Is your content easy to find? Is your site user friendly? Never stop auditing your site and looking for what is wrong. If you only look for what is right, you are leaving everyone else to figure out what is wrong. To keep improving, you have to be critical before others have a chance to be.


Well, after over 6,000 words, the Impero Media Social Media Marketing Gameplan is as complete as I’m willing to call it. Realistically, it is always a work in progress, but the basics that I originally outlined on paper are now here on your screen. Every site is different and I can’t promise that this exact plan is for everyone. I can say that having no plan is not an option. Take this plan and make it your own. Build on it. Pick certain parts that you like and add your own.

Social media marketing is not a science. It is an evolving form of business marketing and it changes every year, every month and on some level, every day. If you are new to digital marketing, I feel confident that reading this entire gameplan will help you. If that is the case, I’d love to hear from you! If it isn’t the case, I’d still love to hear from you. Tell me what worked for you or what didn’t work. The whole idea of this final part was to track and optimize the process. I’m no different. What doesn’t work off of this gameplan will get adjusted as things that work better become apparent.

I’m working on a full-format PDF version of this gameplan if anyone is interested. If you don’t see a link in the footer to it, send me a message and I’ll be sure to get you a free copy once I get it finished.

Best of luck in your social media marketing endeavors. I hope this gameplan comes in handy for you and your business.

The Impero Media Social Media Marketing Gameplan

Social Media Marketing Gameplan – Implement

In all honesty, developing and analyzing your social media marketing gameplan is the easy part. That means the implementation of the plan is the hard part. It’s time to take all of the work you have done and put your plan in place.

With your plan of action created, you already know which networks you will be active on and posting on, as well as how often and generally what kind of content you will be sharing. Seems like it will be easy to just go ahead and publish things and get going, right?

Well, sort of. If you have brainstormed enough content and pre-written blog posts and bookmarked relevant links you want to share, yes, this part will be easy. Just schedule and post. If you are planning on writing and sharing as you go, you have a full-time job ahead of you. It is definitely easier to have things pre-made, but it also comes at the cost of immediate relevance. You don’t want to share links or be creating blog posts about things that everyone else in your niche shared weeks or months ago. It is a good idea to have some pre-written content to schedule after your launch, but also leave room for new and immediately relevant content on a day-to-day basis.

So how should you publish your content and implement your social media strategy gameplan and what goes into implementation?


facebookscheduleNot scheduling some posts is just asking to make things harder. I think there is a very fine, actually thick, line between scheduling and automating. You can set posts up to post on all platforms 24 hours a day if you want. That doesn’t mean it is the best way to do things.

If you are planning on having two Facebook posts per day, you can easily schedule them right from your Facebook page ahead of time. Pick hours that statistically are best for your market and genre. If you are marketing towards local businesses that are open from 8 AM to 5 PM everyday, you might want to post your two posts at 10 AM and 1 PM everyday, or something similar. There is no good reason to be posting at 11 PM if your target audience is unlikely to see it or more importantly, act on it at that time. Be conscious of the hours that are most optimal with each site you are posting on and stick to those windows. Generally speaking, stick to business hours and early in the day for most sites. I personally find Twitter to be relatively effective at all hours, but Facebook to be far more effective before lunch. Trial and error for sure, but have a plan and schedule accordingly.

There are other sites, such as Hootsuite, that allow you to schedule posts on most platforms. This can be a very effective tool to plan your entire social media strategy from one place. They have free and pro plans and allow scheduling for sites such as Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn, either all at the same time or posted on each individually. Sharing your content where you want and when you want is far more effective than sharing it all at once in every location. Ideally, your audience will be following you on multiple channels, so you need to be careful not to spam them and overshare simultaneously.

How To Interact

We discussed creating a voice and determining who and how will speak to your audience. The next step is to determine how that voice will share content. Generally speaking, I feel that an 8 or 9-to-1 ratio is about right for interacting vs. selling to your audience. What that means is that for every one post you make selling your company or a product, you are posting another eight or nine times without selling anything. The goal is engagement, not just selling.

When you interact on social media sites, you should be interacting, not just selling. The goal is to talk to your customers or clients and create a conversation. Give them good content that makes them happy, entertains them and engages them. If you are a graphic designer, share content about design or typography now and then. Post photos that interest you and are related to your niche. Share good content from other people or businesses and engage in conversation with them also. Be the social media account you want interacting with you. Talk, engage and share. That’s what social media is all about and what you want your customers to do, isn’t it?

When it comes to selling on social media, you certainly don’t want to ignore it. Make that one post in your optimal ratio worth it. Offer exclusive discounts through social media to make your customers feel like they are getting a special deal. Measuring ROI on social media is not the easiest thing in the marketing world, so offering an exclusive online offer and measuring how much it is cashed in is a simple, effective tool to see how things are working.

Create Good Content & Share Good Content

Social media today is all about content marketing. Create and share good content and you will see positive results. Write for your customers and not for the Google robots and you will see positive results. Pick the right social media platforms to be active on and be good at it. Don’t try to be decent on EVERY platform on the Internet.

Like I’ve said before, social media marketing is not rocket surgery. Create and share good content and you are on your way. Give your customers and clients a chance to share your content also. Be sure to have buttons on your website to allow others to share things easily. Don’t be afraid to talk to people online. Start conversations on Twitter or just jump right into a conversation.

If you’re an introvert, the good news is that you can post and publish good content and good things will happen. If you are outgoing, you are in Position A to excel at social media marketing.

Create your plan and stick to it. Join the never-ending conversations that are always going on online. In today’s generation, you need to be at the party to be successful, even if you are late to the party.

SO now you are ready to implement the plan you have created. The only step left is to monitor and optimize your plan over time. Tracking analytics and trends will tell you what to do in the future. We’ll go over what to look for and how to optimize things in our final installment in this series next. Until then, you have all the pieces of the puzzle and are ready to jump into social media marketing.

This is not the hardest business in the world, but it is an ever-changing and time consuming one. If this seems like something you need to do but just don’t have time to do it, I know just how to fix that. Let’s talk and I will help you analyze, create and develop your plan so you have more time to commit to the things that drive your business on a daily basis.


The Impero Media Social Media Marketing Gameplan

Facebook Updates News Feed, Introduces Story Bumping

Facebook rolled out another batch of changes to its News Feed today and also took the time to explain a bit of its process in determining just what users see when they visit the site. In an attempt to clarify just how and what users see, they also introduced a pair of new features and the elimination of an old one.

Facebook News Feed Gets Updated

Gone is the “Edge Rank” system and in are new features called Story Bumping and Last Actor. These are all part of their elaborate algorithm to determine just what makes the top of the News Feed.

According to Facebook, the new News Feed algorithm basically observers users’ interactions and takes into consideration the following:

  • How often you interact with the friend, Page, or public figure (like an actor or journalist) who posted
  • The number of likes, shares and comments a post receives from the world at large and from your friends in particular
  • How much you have interacted with this type of post in the past
  • Whether or not you and other people across Facebook are hiding or reporting a given post

Essentially, Facebook takes all of this information and gives each post a score. They then use this score to help figure out where to place the story and possibly for how long and how often the story is visible. With the addition of Story Bump, stories that may not have made the top of the News Feed at one point may be reintroduced at a later time.

The Story Bump allows for stories that you perhaps skipped at one time to be higher up on the News Feed at a later time, as it will get cycled back into the feed with the current time’s story scores.

The other feature introduced, Last Actor, takes into consideration who users have interacted with recently and places a higher score on their future stories. If you ‘Like’ something from someone at 8AM, you may see more of their updates later that day. The same goes for gauging users interactions in recent months. Those they have interacted with more may be featured more prominently on their News Feed than other users.

It remains to be seen how this will affect, if at all, business page posts and how they will be scored. It stands to reason that they will be graded similarly, thus allowing your reach to be tied into who likes and comments on your page. In an effort to help make the algorithm and how they do things more transparent, they also are running a Facebook for Business blog to keep things out in the open. I can’t imagine it will be long before we have some more information on how this update can be implemented in a business’s social media strategy.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates and additional information as we monitor this change.

Venture Beat