26 Jul 2010
With Facebook surpassing 500 million active users and over half of them logging in daily, the ability to connect and create brand ambassadors has never been more accessible for businesses. Recent studies show that the average Facebook fan is worth $136.38 (from Syncapse).
- On average, fans spend an extra $71.84 they would not otherwise spend on products they describe themselves as fans of, compared to those who are not fans.
- Fans are 28 percent more likely than non-fans to continue using a specific brand.
- Fans are 41 percent more likely than non-fans to recommend a product they are a fan of to their friends.
The cost of entry into a Facebook Fan Page is zero and there are some easy tips to create engaging content. With hundreds of thousands of “fan” pages out there, how can you make yours stand out? The DrinkNectar fan base has grown to 3000 and I’ve been looking at ways to take the page to the next level. Below are five fabulous Facebook finds (some of which I’ve incorporated, others that are coming soon).
- Change your wall options to show “Yours + Others” posts. You’re not holding a one way conversation here. Pages that just broadcast aren’t very engaging.
- Don’t just sell, ask open ended questions. You have fans, they want to engage with you. If you sell mattresses, ask about their sleep. If you make quilts ask about their stitch patterns. Generate conversation and you’ll generate loyal brand ambassadors.
- Post. Having a few hundred or even a few thousand fans does you no good if you don’t post regularly. The average Facebook person has 126 friends. That feed can fill up pretty quickly. If you post once a week you’re making maybe a few dozen impressions at best.
Don’t have a blog for your business? Uh…hmmm…well, first let me tell you that you NEED ONE. It is one of the single best ways to generate search engine optimization for your key words AND it provides a great resource for your customers to connect with you. For those that have a blog, NetworkedBlogs lets you connect your existing blog feed to their network of 300,000 blogs. This will help you get found and is a great additional resource to connect your amazing writing to your Facebook friends/fans/likers. Once you have your blog connected it’s easy to add the application as a tab to the top of your fan page. You can also connect your blog to twitter so new posts tweet automatically and you can choose to re-post your articles to your Facebook feed as a status update.
Involver is a suite of tools that can help connect your Facebook fans with your other social networks (Twiiter, You Tube, Flicker). The application also offers cool interactive photo sharing, slide shows, music, PDF files and a host of other advanced features. Involver offers nine free applications along with pro and premium services for the more advanced user. At the minimum you can connect your Twitter and YouTube accounts to Facebook tabs for free!
Struggle with measuring your ROI for Social Media? The key is to develop a measurable way to track results. How do you measure your investment in the phone book? Do you keep track of every time your phone rings? Promotions Facebook Application lets you create custom promotions that you can build and launch in a matter of minutes (sweepstakes, quizzes, coupons, contests, group coupons, email lists and more). Promotions has been used by Pepsi, Universal, AT&T, Sony and more. There is a small charge of $5 per promotion and $1 per each day you run the campaign.
FBML is Facebook Markup Language. Basically, it’s HTML for Facebook. FBML allows you to configure your Fan Page with custom tabs. If you know HTML, you’ll be set in no time. If you don’t have any experience with HTML, like me, I highly suggest you work with a web developer who can quickly and easily add all of the custom apps you want. To save you time and money, map out what you want your custom welcome tab to do/say before you meet with a developer. Sadly Facebook recently removed the Boxes tab/app from the system which eliminated adding custom left side panel items on your Facebook page…boo Facebook. If you’ve ever wondered how Pepsi or Reese’s (shown below) gets their fancy welcome screens…BAM…FBML. With a little bit of work, you can play like the big boys.
Now that you’ve discovered five fabulous Facebook finds…do the cool thing and “share” or “tweet” or “like” to spread the word. Oh, by the way, that is the sixth fabulous Facebook find…add a social plug in to your blog. The one on this page is called Links Alpha.
13 Jul 2010
Fancy yourself a social media guru? Think you know it all when it comes to implementing a successful social media strategy? Are you a business or brand, just now thinking of taking a bite out of Twitter and Facebook? Quick Bites (Rick Bakas, Baldwin Press 2010) book has something for everyone.
I first met Rick Bakas in November 2009 when I jumped into blogging. Being the new kid to the playground I knew enough to watch the other kids to see who was an influencer, who was a bully and who the popular kids were. I quickly saw how Rick used social media to engage people in his work with the St. Supery brand. In fact, this very concept is bite number 61 in the book, “Engage Influencers.”
“Find people on social media sites that align with your brand who can become brand ambassadors…” (There is more to it, but I’ll let you discover it yourself)
Rick was even kind enough to provide a quote for an article I was writing. I misspelled his name in the article and to make matters worse, I did it again about a month later by misspelling his title. Feeling slightly embarrassed, I reached out and offered my genuine apology. Rick was gracious to forgive.
Forward the clock several months into the future, Rick announces the launch of his new book, Quick Bites 75 Savory Tips for Social Media Success, on May 6 during one of his signature Twitter tasting events. I immediately ordered the book. Why? Why would I order a book, having very little knowledge of what its contents would be?
- I know Rick and I’ve seen him in action. Whether you agree with his approach or not, he is seeing results.
- He has a track record of success. From his days at NIKE to working on accounts like the Denver Broncos and Oregon State University, Rick has shown he knows a thing or two about branding.
- Trust. Over the month’s I’ve grown to trust that Rick’s message through twitter was consistent, sincere and engaging.
When you receive the book, be prepared…it is not something you necessarily sit down and read like a self help book or novel. In fact, it’s only 80 half sized pages in length. This is a book of aha moments, reminders, and behavior motivators. I would venture to guess that even the majority of the top “gurus” out there could be reminded of a few things.
I’m going through a crisis of action with my brand as I work through the next steps of leveraging momentum for business ideas. I have to say, I keep a copy of Quick Bites next to my PC just as a friendly reminder. Whether it’s from the seemingly no brainer #8 “Don’t be a Spammer,” to the ouch reminder #24, “Be Humble,” I’ve been inspired to create a more consistent brand and message with every bite that I digest.
Quick Bites is a cookbook full of ingredients to be successful using Social Media. I highly recommend it for anyone serious about developing their brand using Twitter, Facebook and other social tools. If you’re a business that doesn’t know a tweet from a twit, consider this your first bites to chew on. One important reminder that crosses over from cooking to social media is the last item in the book:
Know When to Turn It Off
Just like in cooking if you forget to turn it off, you’ll end up burning out and ruining the whole thing.
01 Jul 2010
The 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference is in the books. I’ve enjoyed reading all the posts and looking at everyone’s pictures. Thank you so much for posting them. Below is my video recap of the event. I’ll be doing one final post sharing my thoughts on the opportunities for making the event better. Please see my previous posts on:
A Tweet Recap of Posts About 2010
Disclaimer – I didn’t edit any of these tweets
yakyakwine #WBC10 and a Half, a Blog from Walla Walla : http://www.yakyakwine.com/2010/07/wbc10-and-half-even-more-part.html
ConsciousWine #wbc10 #wine conference highlights blog post: http://consciouswine.com/blog.php/consciousfriends/what-i-learned-in-walla-walla/
WineingWoman New blog post: What Can I say about WBC? http://www.thewineingwoman.com/2010/06/what-can-i-say-about-wbc/
- On Sean Boyd of Rôtie Cellars: http://reignofterroir.com/2010/06/24/sean-boyd-of-rotie-cellars-walla-walla/
- And a Walla Walla AVA primer. An interview with David Stephenson of Stephenson Cellars:
Rick Bakas A video greeting from WBC10
TravelingGrape WBC10 Day 1 – Yakima Valley – http://thetravelinggrape.com/blog/2010/06/24/wbc10-day-1-yakima-valley/
RESOURCE: Panel replay of How to Convert your Readers from other Bloggers to Consumers with @seattlewinegal, @palatepress and @andreawine? http://bit.ly/b2u2Ff #wbc10
This YouTube channel also includes the Keynote speech from Steve Heimoff and others
TravelingGrape WBC10 Day 1 – Yakima Valley – http://thetravelinggrape.com/blog/2010/06/24/wbc10-day-1-yakima-valley/
melanie0 Latest Dallas Wine Chick Post: What I Learned at #WBC10 http://www.dallaswinechick.com/top-things-learned-at-wbc10/
Mamandesfilles WBC’10 Meet The Sponsors http://vinoverve.com/2010/07/07/wbc10-meet-the-sponsors/
paulgwine - It’s easy to criticize? http://www.paulgregutt.com/2010/07/easy-to-criticize.html
WineTonite The foundation of Washington wine. http://www.winetonite.com/2010/07/01/the-foundation-of-washington-wine/
MattWineHeimer A visit to K-Vintners http://www.wineheimer.net/2010/07/visit-to-k-vintners.html
Olsen Estates share pictures from the conference
Food Truck Times Taco trucks and wine – the review
28 Jun 2010
The other night I had a dream. It must have been set about 10-12 years in the future. Facebook was still around. HR5034 had failed and wineries were still able to ship directly to consumers. Everywhere I looked wineries were engaging with customers through social tools, conversations were happening and brand loyalty was increasing with each new interaction and conversation. As I surfed the bliss of this new future world from the portable holographic display pad, I stumbled across an amazing feature. I was talking with a winery on Facebook and noticed a mention of new releases. I loved their 2007 Syrah and wondered how the 2017 release tasted on older vines. To my surprise and wonderment a WINES tab led me to a Facebook page where I could learn about the new vintage. I clicked the futuristic “BUY NOW” button and purchased the wine. Approximately 8.4 seconds later the wine materialized at my front door. I used the retinal scanner to verify my age and proceeded to remove the floating argon enclosure with the red atom inversion gas release device.
Wait. Facebook pages where you could directly buy wine. This obviously was a dream.
THIS IS NO DREAM – GAME CHANGING ECOMMERCE FOR WINERIES ARRIVES
June 23, 2010 Cruvee revolutionizes direct marketing for wineries that have their data in the FREE yourwineyourway.com data management service. Participating wineries can now add a “Wines” tab to their Facebook page that describes their wines and directly links to a purchasing opportunity, enriching their presence on the premier social network and significantly increasing their ability to convert their fans to actual consumers.
The future is here for wineries to convert interactions on Facebook to actual sales. Paul Mabray, Chief Strategy Officer of VinTank and digital kung fu wine master, talks on Skype about the importance AND “stupid simple” new feature.
If you’re a winery reading this:
- Go to yourwineyourway.com
- Sign up (IT’S FREE)
- Enter your wine data – it will be syndicated to 50+ wine sites/tools/locations
- Click the “Add To Facebook” button
- Sell wine
I recently learned a few things about social media on my quest for a person to mow my lawn. I own a rental home that fortunately pays for itself every month. The tenants are good, the rent is low and the tiny little 650 sq foot home and 180 sq foot loft have been a good investment so far. Last summer (pre wine blog), I was eager to mow the yard, lay bark, pull weeds, and clean up the house. This spring, and now summer, more demands have been placed on my time (reviewing wine can be a full time gig, but someone has to do it). This got me thinking about the small business owner and social media.
There are usually two reasons to pay for any service. The first is lack of knowhow; the second is lack of time. I pay someone to change my oil because I never paid attention to my dad when he was trying to show me (that and I don’t want to monkey with it in the Lexus). I do my own taxes because I know how to do it. Plus, I find it kind of challenging to see how much money I can keep the government from getting each year. Now, I understand the second reason to pay someone…lack of time. I know how to mow yards. I actually enjoy the sense of accomplishment. This year, I find myself lacking the time to do it. The yard needs to be mowed. No one needs to convince me of the importance of a mowed yard. I just don’t have the time. $100 per month to keep the yard mowed now seems like a value.
This brings me to the comparison with Social Media and its integration into a business’ overall customer service and marketing strategy. No doubt you realize the importance of an integrated marketing and customer service strategy. No doubt you’ve heard the importance of social media, search engine optimization, and monitoring your brand. Chances are you just don’t have the time or you don’t have the knowhow. Unless you want to be the only business on the block looking all ghetto with weeds and ten foot tall grass, it might be time to hire a consultant to help get your social lawn in order.
Five Social Media Tips Learned From My Lawn Mowing Service
1. Just because someone calls themselves a lawn mower, doesn’t mean they should mow your yard.
The first guy I called had an ad on Craigslist. I called him, told him what I needed, and we agreed to meet at the house for a consultation before noon on Saturday. I postponed my Saturday plans to start at 1pm. As the morning progressed, I still hadn’t heard from Mr. Craigslist. Finally at about 11am, I got a call. No kidding, the dude seemed hung over from the night before. He barely remembered anything we talked about and wanted to stop by at 2PM. I told him I already had plans and that we agreed to “before noon” and said, thanks but no thanks…click.
Be discerning in your search. Make sure your “consultant/guru” follows through and is professional. There are a lot of flakes in the world.
2. Talk through the job so you know which lawn to mow and how you want it done
The second guy I called was from the phone book. His voice message was professional and he indicated that he would call back if I left a message. About 20 minutes went by and I got a call. We talked through the job, address and timing. We exchanged a bit of information and I waited for him to call back with an estimate. 30 minutes later I get a call back, “Did you say 4804 E 33rd?” “No,” I replied, “2804 E 33rd.” Okay, let me give you a call back in a few minutes. Luckily he didn’t mow the wrong house!
Be sure to clarify your struggles, objectives and goals. Don’t just hand over the reins and let someone take over your brand, voice and customer interaction. If you don’t make these clarifications, you may just end up mowing someone else’s yard and starting over again later.
3. Negotiate the price to fit what you need done
Once the guy found the right house, we connected to negotiate on terms and price. He offered to mow the yard for $50 the first mow and then $30 every week after that. Personally, I wasn’t ready to pay that. We negotiated it down to $40 for the first mow and $25 each week through June and then every other week in the hot months of July/August/September. I knew my budget. I know that paying to have the yard mowed every week in the hottest months of the year is a little overkill (especially since the tenants don’t water very regularly and I don’t weed-n-feed).
The point here is don’t just accept what the consultant/guru is offering. Do you really need ALL the bells and whistles to begin with? It’s okay to start with some of the basics and work your way into more consultation. Start with a Facebook page and some regular page updates. Move forward a little later with brand monitoring and SEO. It’s your business, move at the pace and budget you’re comfortable with.
4. Follow up with the work and clarify objectives
I rarely have a need to go to the rental house. The renters are great and the units pretty much run themselves (except that one time when the sewer pipe froze for 3 days. $6000 later…never mind). In this case, I was hiring a company that I knew very little about and I wanted to make sure they were following up on our agreement. For a few days I decided to alter my morning run so I could run by the house. The day after the agreed upon date I ran by and the lawn wasn’t mowed. “Hmmm, very curious,” I thought. I didn’t have time to follow up that day, but the next day the lawn still wasn’t mowed. Granted, I hadn’t paid any money, but I was still curious as to why things hadn’t been done. The grass wasn’t going to stop growing. As it turns out, I misunderstood the timing. When he said Thursday, I thought he meant the one we had coming up. He actually meant the next one in the line-up. All has been perfect since.
The thing to keep in mind here is don’t just hand over the task to someone and walk away. It’s important to follow up and check in to make sure that your agreed upon objectives are being met. If there is miscommunication, re-clarify goals and timelines.
5. Make payment on invoice and not up front
There is no way in hell I was going to pay a lawn mowing service up front for mowing the yard. The business I hired was great, they sent me a bill at the end of the month that was due upon receipt. I’m not paying up front for that type of service. Do the job and then get paid.
I believe this is true when hiring a consultant/guru too. Set an objective. Clarify the work with your expectations. Agree on a price for the work. Receive an invoice at the END of the month. If you’re not happy with the work or they’re not meeting your expectations, talk it through. We’re not talking rocket science here.
One other little bonus to add that I want to pass on that I learned from my Dad…watch and learn. I wonder how much money I could have saved in life, if I just would have paid attention to my Dad. Don’t just let the consultant/guru take over, watch and learn. Someday, you might be able to fire his ass and do it yourself.