Tuesday, May 26, 2015

8 Things a Business Should Do on Facebook

One of the worst things I see companies do on Facebook business pages is using Facebook as a one-way broadcast medium. Like we're living in the 1950s.

Huge mistake! How much do you enjoy all that relentless sales hype, event announcements, discount deals, and we-oriented messaging? This old fashioned strategy really turns people off. It's annoying and counter-productive.

It's a futile attempt to use social media like traditional advertising venues: billboards, print ads, TV commercials, direct mail.

Constantly pushing product and reposting content from suppliers makes your Facebook page seem cold, impersonal, unsociable.

Is that the image you want to project? I rather doubt it.

Here are 8 ways to use Facebook for competitive advantage and to increase sales:

1. Share your expertise -- educate customers and they'll consider you the Go To Person in your field, the expert, the specialist they know, like and trust.

Answer questions that customers typically ask. If you don't know what these questions are, your business is in serious trouble.

2. Ride on the coat tails of a topic that's already viral, building a conceptual bridge from the hot news item to your products.

3. Click Like, Share, and comment on the Facebook posts of others. Post comments that contribute insight and experience to a conversation, especially if it's related to your industry or products.

4. Show photos of CEO, owner, manager, staff at charity events, company picnics, employee parties, participating in non-profits, etc. to convey sense of connection to your community.

5. Share photos of personal things that humanize you: family gatherings, shopping trips, favorite sports teams, what you had for lunch, what music you're listening to lately, causes you care about.

6. Display photos and video of your products being used by customers to solve specific problems.

7. Promote other businesses and organizations in your community, instead of constantly blabbering about yourself, your company, your products. When you promote other entities, be sure to link to their website, or give contact details (land address and phone number).

8. Stop thinking social media is a one-way communication platform -- start participating like a normal Facebook user, interact with others, start conversations based on your industry, customer needs, and problems your products solve.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Robert Scoble tips on using Facebook

Facebook tips presented by Robert Scoble on Facebook.

1. SHARE three posts from someone else about stuff you are interested in. If it's your friend's kids, you'll see more kid photos. If it's tech/entrepreneurialism, you'll see more of that.

2. Write five original posts about the same topic. You'll see even more of that same topic on your feed. I remember when I wrote about the Napa earthquake. My feed, within 30 seconds, became nothing but earthquake news. Most of the time I write about tech news and post videos with entrepreneurs, so most of my feed is exactly that.

3. Turn off as much privacy as you are comfortable with. Especially let people follow you, instead of friend you. Then post some things to public. You'll find your posts start getting an audience you never knew existed. Most of you are WAY too private. By the way, you can still post to just your family even after you turn on following. Each post has its own privacy.

4. Make sure your bio is up to date and public. Most people don't make it easy to find them. You'll find coworkers and friends start finding you.

5. PUT EVERYONE in either "close friends" or "acquaintance" lists. That makes your feed dramatically better (I've done this on dozens of people's accounts and it always works).

6. Unfriend people who do not post to Facebook or engage with anyone else. You'll find your posts start getting reach they never did before. Why? Facebook only releases your posts to a few people at first and watches what they do with it. If you have friends who never like, never share, never comment, and never post their own things, THEY HURT YOU.

7. Make sure you like, comment, and share other people's items. That teaches Facebook what kinds of things you like to see in your feed.

8. Hide things you don't want to see more of. For instance, I hide almost all selfies, things with quotes, things with memes, things that make me stupider. Funny, now Facebook is showing me far fewer of those things. (Each post has a "I don't want to see this" item in the drop down on right side of each post, which is how you hide things from your feed. I use that every day on many posts and Facebook continues to get better because of that).

9. Unfollow people who are too noisy. Even your real life friends and family. If you put them in lists (you did follow #5 above, right) you can still see all their things by clicking on the list. But your main feed will get dramatically better.

10. Check your event page at least once a month. Make sure you decline things you aren't going to and accept things that you will. That makes those events go viral and helps everyone's calendar out.

11. Check ALL of your Facebook settings once per month and make sure they stay the same. Really important on mobile apps. I find if I delete the app and then reinstall it, all my settings go back to default. Understand each setting.

12. Turn on all security features like two-factor authentication. People who do that generally don't get hacked. Don't care? You will when you get hacked. Do the same for your email and other social services too.

13. Make sure you have at least 10 public posts if you are trying to make friends. Make sure those posts say something about you and your passions. If they are only selfies, don't be shocked when people don't accept your friend requests. (I won't accept ANYONE as a friend if they don't post at least some geeky/business items to public).

14. Don't let people post to your profile without your approval. I find that people who do that usually have crappy content and it almost always is a flag.

15. Make at least 400 friends. People with fewer than that number of friends almost always are crappy at Facebook.

16. If you are going to friend someone with 5,000 friends you MUST have at least 50 common friends first. Why? They can't add more friends and use this as a sort of social proof to make sure you aren't a jerk (jerks generally don't keep that many friends). If you are going to friend a normal person, then you better remind them how you know them and it helps to have at least five common friends first, so they know that you aren't just a spammer.

17. Most content does NOT get to you. If you want to see more from specific people, VISIT THEIR PROFILES at least once a week and engage on their content. Or, even better, put them in a list and visit that list. Lists show all. Your main feed only shows you the most popular stuff from them (and that's not really true, Facebook's algorithms look at a variety of things to figure out what to show you). In general you are only seeing one out of 10 of my posts, if that. So you gotta visit my profile more often to make sure you get it all.

18. On Mobile, make sure Facebook's app can know where you are. That not only makes features like Nearby Friends possible, but also makes your feed have a few items from your location.

19. Mostly post using Facebook's native tools/apps/web site. Those who repost Twitter into here tend to be crappy at Facebook and engagement. Same with those who mostly use Buffer or other tools like Hootsuite.

20. Engage in your own comments, as well as those of others. For people like me I look for signs you will engage and not just post. Plus, it helps you learn from others and encourages them to comment, which helps get your posts more reach too.

21. You can reorganize the stuff on the left. I show how I do it in comments, but you on the web version of Facebook you can click little icons next to each item and reorganize them. I put lists up top so I can get to those fast.

22. Treat Facebook like a meal. You wouldn't just serve me pasta with no sauce, right? So, if you only have a feed with your kids photos, that is like pasta with no sauce. You DO have interests other than your kids, right? Same for those who post only selfies. You only interested in yourself? Or those who post only animals. You only interested in animals? Or, those who only post memes. Really? That's what you want to be known for? OK, but I don't need to stay your friend, either. Make sure you make your friends smarter and show that you have a diverse set of interests.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Google Your Personal or Company Name

Have you Googled your personal name or company lately? What comes up on the first page of search results? Those are the platforms you need to consider putting more content on and updating more frequently.

Here are my Google results for "Steven Streight":

(1) Twitter
(2) GooglePlus
(3) Pluperfecter (my current blog)
(4) LinkedIn
(5) Vaspers the Grate (my old, abandoned blog)
(6) About Me
(7) YouTube
(8) Vimeo
(9) Facebook
(10) InterBusiness Issues
(11) The Peorian
(12) SlideShare
(13) Pinterest
(14) Spokeo
(15) Internet Archive (interview with 49 Media)
(16) Rhizome
(17) SoundCloud
(18) SEO Chat Forums
(19) Peoria Journal Star
(20) Bloomberg BusinessWeek (Heather Green discusses my blog post about the Importance of Taglines)


I abandoned Twitter about 5 years ago, but recently started posting tweets again.

GooglePlus is what I use as a bookmark service, since I can search my own content there, unlike Facebook.

Pluperfecter is my personal/business blog dealing with SEO, social marketing, web content, and my music projects.

LinkedIn serves as an online resume and collection of my published articles. I also post updates there to promote links to my blog and to my clients' blogs.

About Me is a nice online presentation of my credentials and articles, which automatically displays each new blog post. It's great for SEO.

YouTube is mostly my music project videos.

Vimeo is an alternative to YouTube. I haven't uploaded a video there for several years.

My Facebook recently went from private to public, for SEO purposes.

I have quite a few articles published at InterBusiness Issues.

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Str8 Sounds at Gracie's Grill - Saturday, April 25, 2015


If you can believe your eyes and ears,
it's Str8 Sounds live, on stage,
in performance -- electronic music
with techno floppings around
and some synthesizer noise din.

April 25, 2015
7 PM - 8 PM

Gracie's Grill
1021 Cummings Lane,
Washington, IL.

Matt Andrews Benefit Concert

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Key to Modern Marketing is Content

The key to modern marketing is Content. 

Content will make Google decide your website is authoritative and up to date. Frequent original content will make your website climb higher in search results pages.

But content is not king. Content is slave to the needs and interests of customers. Content can never be "just tell people what we do and what we sell." That's 1950s advertising mentality.

Today you must be a Teacher if you want to sell a product or promote an agenda. Teach information. About why you got into this field. About how your industry has evolved. About unique features of your product. About what differentiates you from competing vendors.

But mostly -- About experiences of customers and how to best solve their problems.

When I stumble into a client who really "gets" Content, I know the business will be wildly successful and we're both going to be raking in the cash. Why? Because 98% of businesses, your competitors, don't have a single clue.

Most of your competitors still think Content is something a web design team dreams up for your website, the goal being to aggressively push products on docile consumers.

No. A thousand times No. Content must be you talking with your customers about what they're going through. And how you have the answer, solution, fix.

Correct Content. Content that meets actual current needs. That's 80% of SEO.

Search engine optimizing means having webpages that answer typical questions customers are asking in online searches.

Thus, you must know what those questions. You need to personally mingle and engage in conversations with customers in the real world, on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, wherever your customers are having discussions about the problems your product solves.

When a client is fanatic about Customer Education, and is already an avid Teacher, you're in a win-win situation of guaranteed victory. Sales and brand loyalty are on their way.
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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cell Phone Dementia - test yourself

Cell Phone Dementia, a new and debilitating mental illness. 

These kids are NOT "looking at the mobile tour app," I am quite sure of that. Unless their teacher demanded that they do so.
They're on Snapchat or Tumbler or Facebook or texting the person sitting next to them. Neck surgeons love this behavior. I predict that in the next 20 years or so, most of these kids will be getting neck surgery from all that hunching over.

Test yourself for Cell Phone Dementia:

* uncontrollable and increasing addiction to cell phone use
* using cell phones in inappropriate situations (constantly talking or texting when driving, walking, dining, on the bus, visiting with others, getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, etc.)
* fiddling with your cell phone whenever you have downtime (even when you're not on the phone or you only have a very few minutes to kill)
* compulsively finding someone to call as soon as you leave the office or land in a plane
* feeling uncomfortably "untethered" and fidgety when not on cell phone
* being oblivious to environment while on cell phone
* taking "cell phone breaks" (like the old "cigarette breaks") at work or play
* sleeping with cell phone under pillow or next to bed
* hallucinating a "phantom cell phone ring" when it's not actually ringing
* experiencing unbearable anxiety when unable to be connected 24 hours a day
* phobia about missing text messages and not responding to them immediately, no matter how unimportant they may be
* obsessing over trivial Facebook updates.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

SEO makes your website more productive

A web designer builds you a website. It looks okay to you. You feel good about it. You shouldn't.

A website without SEO (search engine optimization) is a website that has very little traffic coming to it. It won't generate sales. It just sits there. You think you've got a web presence -- but all you have is an inert piece of internet real estate that's not productive. It's close to being no web presence at all.

You fire employees who aren't productive. Your website needs to be effective in attaining business goals, too. There are methods for evaluating the effectiveness of a website.

If your website is not resulting in people calling your business (via a phone number exclusive to the website alone, so you can track them), people submitting contact forms, signing up for your newsletter, watching your videos, etc. -- that website is a dud. You wasted your money.

SEO can solve this problem. SEO includes proper implementation of HTML meta tags, H tags, robots.txt, XML site maps, Schema.org, Google Hummingbird semantic search requirements, conversational content, and much more.

I give clients monthly SEO reports that show how SEO is causing their website to shoot higher and higher in search results for various keywords. These reports can be verified independently, so you know the SEO results are real.

Super-charge your website. Transform it into a high powered sales tool, with SEO values that your competitors, I guarantee, are clueless about.

Since almost no websites are properly implementing SEO, you'll have a huge competitive advantage.

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