Saturday, June 30

FREE Facebook Tech to Connect Workshop July 25 at Microsoft Campus

Facebook Tech to Connect

Have family in Seattle? Join me at Microsoft Campus, Building 33 for a FREE Get Connected workshop on Facebook, Video Chat, Safe Socializing on the Internet and more - co-sponsored by AARP Wednesday July 25. Lunch will be provided! Reserve your seat today. Space is limited. RSVP online or call 877-926-8300 toll free

Thursday, June 28

Google+ vs Facebook: Get Smart with Brand Page Strategy INFOGRAPHIC

I came across this infographic full of good data. But they left out some major points, which tell exactly why Google+ isn't working out for US business right now:
  •  Student is the number one occupation of Google+ users. Coming in way behind for second place is Software Engineer, third is Consultant
  • Currently, only 32% of users are from the United States
For now, focusing your business on Google+ might not be for you. Remember? Fish where the fish are!

Tuesday, June 26

Win Expert Advice for your Small Business at the new Dymo EndiciaThinking Forward

Today I’m helping DYMO Endicia unveil Thinking Forward, a new online resource they’ve created for you and other small business owners with expert information, tips and tools to help you move your business forward.Please join me there and enter to win a consultation with me.
DYMO Endicia has partnered with ecommerce and business experts Marsha Collier and John Lawson to bring small business owners the chance of a lifetime:
Two lucky business owners will win a 1-hour phone consultation with either Marsha or John. Ask your burning business questions, get expert advice, and discuss your management strategies with online sales and marketing gurus.
Want to win? Fill out a short form right here. 
Meet Marsha Collier

Monday, June 25

10 Groundbreaking Stats on Social Commerce: Why eCommerce Will Never Be the Same [Infographic]

It's not your old e-commerce anymore, social commerce is taking over the online shopping arena. The infographic below was developed by the folks at Want Technlogies from data aquired at IRCE 2012. There, successful brands revealed their internal site metrics - sharing their users’ behavior and how they’ve been able to leverage those basic human yearnings (sharing, discovery, fantasy) and turn them into more sales.


Tuesday, June 19

How Pinning on Pinterest Can Benefit Your Business Bottom Line

If you haven’t created a Pinterest account for your online store, it might be time to jump on the bandwagon.

Shopify, a service that provides ecommerce capabilites to 25,000 online stores, assessed whether Pinterest posts were actually leading to sales. The results were surprising and impressive: Pinterest is the 3rd largest referral source to ecommerce sites, behind Facebook and Twitter.

However, customers referred by Pinterest spend an average of $80 per order— that’s twice as much as Facebook users typically spend.

If that’s not enough to get you to sign up, click through to see even more Pinterest statistics. 

Infographic courtesy of Shopify.   


Monday, June 18

Facebook EdgeRank: How it Helps -or Hurts- Your Business Page

You might assume that your Facebook fans see all the posts you make. After all, they like your page, right? Wrong!

Behind the scenes of Facebook, there is a news feed algorithm that determines who sees your posts in the news feed and who doesn’t. It’s called the EdgeRank, and it’s something worth looking into if you want to understand how many different factors play into the success of your Facebook fan page.
Facebook's Edge Rank and Fanpage Toolkit Social Commerce and Marketing
As seen in the graphic above, by @ladyxtel, Facebook’s EdgeRank may seem complicated at first glance. Upon further investigation, though, it’s actually only a matter of a few factors (plus some secret code) that make the whole thing work! Essentially, the EdgeRank is an ever-changing “score” for your page and the posts it publishes, and that score determines who sees each post and how far a single post travels through the news feed.
Though the specific algorithm (code) behind the ranking system is kept secret by Facebook, we can break down the three other most important factors in computing the EdgeRank. These factors will have the biggest impact on your Facebook marketing efforts, and should therefore be considered of utmost importance in your marketing plan.
1. The affinity score between the viewer and the creator. Facebook keeps tabs on how frequently a user interacts with a certain friend or brand page. The more a user views a particular brand page or engages with their posts (by liking or commenting), the higher the affinity score between that user and brand. For example, if I always “like” and comment on Fanpage Toolkit’s status updates, Facebook raises the affinity score between Fanpage Tooklit and my personal profile, making it more likely that Fanpage Toolkit posts will continue to show up in my news feed. Basically, this is a positive feed-back loop.
2. The weight of each type of engagement action and post type. Facebook “weighs” each form of engagement with a post (like, comment, share, etc.) and factors this weight into the EdgeRank. We’ve heard that studies have shown a “like” has a smaller engagement weight than a comment, for example, while a “share” has the greatest, most influential weight of all actions. Similarly, the type of post you make as a brand page carries a weight factor. Photo posts, for example, have more weight than a plain text status update or link. Think about the weight of your posts and how your fans engage with the posts when considering your content strategy. With these facts in mind, theoretically, a photo posted from your brand page that is then shared by many fans would create the highest weight in the EdgeRank, exposing your post to the maximum number of users. More on that below.
3. The time of posting (or how old a post is). This is the most logical factor in determining the EdgeRank. Older posts have less of an Edge, simple as that. Just like Twitter, the Facebook news feed is an ever-updating stream of information. As posts get older throughout a day, the less likely they are to appear to users. In the case that a post receives engagement (after it has passed its prime time), users may see the post brought back to the surface of the news feed. But, in general, page admins should keep time of posting in mind when creating content.
So, we see that a clear factor in one’s EdgeRank is the type of content posted from brand pages. Are you taking that content factor into your posting strategy? Do you alternate what types of posts you create for your fans? Some of the most memorable posts by brand pages I can remember are photos, and of those posts, the brands usually get a “like” out of me and their fans. In the best cases, I share their photo. It’s no wonder, then, that photos were found to earn the most engagement per fan in studies of Facebook posting strategies. In a great post by Small Business Search Marketing, the results are clear. Photos earn the most engagement.
Photos Show Most Engagement and Fanpage Toolkit Social Commerce
The beauty about posting engaging photos is that the more a single user interacts with your content (a photo, for example) the more that future content of yours is likely to show up in their news feed! By making the connection to fans with content such as a photo, in the first place, you set yourself up to increase your page’s EdgeRank.
After learning about what the EdgeRank is, and for those wondering how their page ranks in the scheme of things, you can certainly try out EdgeRank Checker for yourself, as they offer a great, comprehensive service for pages interested in increasing their visibility on Facebook.

Sunday, June 17

Modern Dad 2.0: Today's 68 million Dads have a New Parenting Style

The image of moms getting together at the play park to compare notes and swap stories is timeless. Today, much of new media geared to moms is the high-tech version of this meeting of the minds.
It's time for moms to move over, because modern dads are using their social media skills to brag and commiserate about their offspring and fatherhood. In past generations, dads were removed from the day-to-day care and feeding of their offspring, but times are changing. Diaper commercials no longer just feature mom and baby…new ad campaigns feature dads in a variety of baby care, shopping, and cooking scenarios. Dads are taking on more child care responsibility and talking about it online

Saturday, June 16

Top 10 Reasons to Text Your Dad This Father’s Day

It might be 2012, but some of our fathers are still not keen texters. It’s true-- they might have all the latest gadgets, fast toys, and even snazzier ties. But, might be stuck plunking away on the computer with email or still picking up the phone to (gasp!) call.
When should you text Dad and bring him into this decade?
Well this Father’s Day, of course.
But if you’re struggling to find the right topic to make Dad smile,
we have some suggestions:
1. Text Dad about his car - every father’s favorite toy.
Dad, Don’t worry. You didn’t forget where you parked the car again. I have it.

2. And because we don’t always have Dad’s car, don’t forget to text him when you need a ride.

Friday, June 15

Small Business: Lots of Work, Low Pay for Entrepreneurs - but Getting Better

A new Citibank® survey reveals perpetual reinvention rewarded by grateful employees and customers. The surveyed small businesses and found that 23 percent of owners have gone without pay for at least a year as they work to keep their businesses afloat in a tough economy.
Small business owners like myself are struggling to stay afloat, but most that I speak to keep fighting the fight. Small business can turn on a dime if they stay on top of expenses, margins and bottom line. I predict that those of us who continue to morph and change to build our businesses, will do very well. An entrepreneurial spirit combined with good business sense will surely succeed.
I pulled the percentages below, because many I know (including myself) have experienced these issues...
  • 78% have taken less profit
  • 70% worked more hours than usual
  • 69% Used their own money to help the business survive
  • 54% say they have gone without a paycheck in order to keep the business running.
  • 23% of owners have gone without pay for one year or more.
  • 38% said their employees worked overtime without pay
  • 18% of owners said employees either missed paychecks or had paychecks delayed.
"Small-business owners risk everything to pursue their dreams and are willing to do what it takes to make it," said Maria Veltre, Managing Director, Citi Small Business. "Their personal sacrifices, passion and ability to adapt have positioned them to capitalize on improving business conditions."

Following are the full results from Citibank:

Friday, June 1

Do Customers Want or Use Social Channels for Service? Reach Your Customer!

Guest post from Mitch Lieberman:
Customer Service using Social Media Channels is a nascent discipline, which is good, because fewer customers than most people think are actually using it – but its time will come.  Just look at the usage from the customers perspective, barely 17%. American Express and ECHO just published some findings that paint an interesting picture. I would also challenge some of the results, or methods, or both. Not because I know better, but because I am confused about what exactly they are asking and how they asked. When these results are compared with some recent research (company perspective) I conducted with  thinkJar, there is a bit of a gap between what companies are spending time and money on, and what their customers are actually using.