You should build your network before you need it.
They charged him $25 for his debit card being declined.
Here’s what happened:
Do you think cable companies should be even be on social channels if they are not equipped to handle issues? Or is it a necessity, like having a call center?
We, ourselves, are having a nightmare with Comcast trying to get business internet. It’s been 10 days, 5 different people, and still no clear answer on when we might get either a visit for a site inspection or to get internet.
Is it a lost cause for certain service companies to be in social channels if their core service is broken?
You know my mission is to create jobs for all of you via structured, self-paced training.
We are combining the knowledge of our industry friends to assemble these certifications.
If you have stuff you’d like to share, hit me up and we’ll promote you!
2014 is going to be an incredible year, especially for anyone doing social lead gen.
For those of us over 30 that remember the old TV jingles, raise your hand if you’re sure.
Meanwhile, you’ll be seeing less and less of me, as I go back into my cave to help build the logic that drives this system. My title is now Chief Technology Officer to reflect this.
I’ll pop out for the occasional NBA game, but it will be others that need to be the figureheads– the experts in each of their relevant areas.
This is the year that inbound marketing, social marketing, SEO, marketing automation, and PR are on a collision course. We are building the plumbing that will help you tie all your audiences and your content together.
Did you know that you can hit “promote” on your personal status updates– you as a user, as opposed to what you post on your page? Like this…
But for your $6.99 you don’t get any real stats, unlike the rich detail on impressions, actions, and conversions from promoting a post on a page (not your profile).
So I decided to post on my public figure page– it’s a page, not a profile.
And I found this juicy article about a snake-handling reality TV show preacher who died of a snake bite.
I think these folks are nuts, but that wasn’t the point.
I spent $15 boosting this post.
Yes, the guy who rails against boosting posts has been doing it quite a bit.
And talking about himself in the third person.
And here are the results:
We drove 108 clicks to that article.
And 76.9% of these were men, predominantly 25-34 years old.
Just imagine if this was to one of our sites, instead of USA Today.
And imagine if we had retargeting set up on our target site to continue the stalking– er, I mean, nurturing.
There is such convenience in being able to boost a post right there from the timeline.
I didn’t have to select a goal, since Facebook infers this from my link share.
I didn’t do any targeting except to select snake handlers and glossalia (speaking in tongues).
I think I’ve been bit with the Facebook boost post bug.
Do you boost posts?
I’m at 4,990 friends now.
Every week, I purge another 40 so I can add a fresh 40 friends.
It used to be that the 5,000 cap was friends plus pages you liked- total connections.
Now it’s just friends.
If you go to your profile and click on friends (the screenshot above), Facebook lists your “best” friends first. So if you want to ditch the dormant ones that you may have added a long time ago, you’d have to scroll to the end.
Even with a speedy 100 mbps internet connection, you’d be waiting an unpractically long time to get to the bottom of the list. And there is no reverse sort.
What to do?
- One answer is just to have a lot of followers– I have 41,319.
- Others say you can create a public profile page (mine is at fb.com/getfound), but it’s not the same.
- The cynical say that it’s impossible to have more than a handful of real friends, which is why the 5,000 cap exists.
- So some just mass delete everyone and start again, similar to declaring email bankruptcy.
I made the mistake years ago of accepting anyone’s request.
But now relationships matter more to me.
I have to guard my time jealously, as should you.
Mari Smith taught me this lesson.
So here’s the practical solution:
1) Go to https://www.facebook.com/
Facebook identifies the folks you haven’t spoken to in a while. Maybe you’ll want to uncheck a few folks that fell through the cracks. When you click the “add to acquaintances” button at the bottom, they go to a special group.
My apologies to anyone reading this who is in the suggestions.
2) Now go to your lists page at https://www.facebook.com/
3) Time to start pruning!
I like to manually review each person, usually by seeing which friends we have in common.
To my knowledge, there is no “mass purge” option, though someone has likely built an app to do this. If you find it, let me know.
Probably not within Facebook’s rules. Remember they got mad at Burger King a few years ago for giving people a Whopper if they unfriended 5 people.
Slightly tedious, but a nice walk down memory lane and helping you focus on who you should be prioritizing spending time with.
What about you?
A steady stream of cold water coming down on me.
Raindrops keep falling on my head, they keep falling…
So we wanted Delta to know about it– to have a little fun.
My buddy, Alex Houg, put the video on youtube, while Max put up the ads.
We targeted the 140 folks who work at the major airlines in their headquarters cities and are executives. On Facebook, that’s 140 people.
As you can see, we were able to reach 114 of them, which is 81%.
And we were able to get 17 of these folks to click on it, which is 15%.
So over half the video views are from airline executives.
Interestingly, we got more clicks from executives at American Airlines and United than other airlines. Perhaps they have larger workforces or PR teams that care more.
We didn’t get any clicks from Delta.
7 of the 34 folks who are executives at United airlines clicked to watch the video.
Notice that we have broad category targeting of “executives and management”.
We could target by the actual job titles as precise interests, but it will likely be smaller.
And it’s highly likely that some of the folks who saw this video forwarded it along to colleagues.
What United exec wouldn’t get a chuckle by sharing this with a co-worker?
So the true “cost per click” is understated.
With awareness or activism campaigns, it’s more about reaching just a few people than about trying to maximize the CTR or getting lots of clicks. You need only to get noticed from that particular person to achieve your objective– and it doesn’t even require a click.
Above, you can see the frequency is 3 to 4, meaning that the average person saw the newsfeed post 3 or 4 times. So while we reached 114 people, we served about 500 impressions.
Total cost of $10.26– the price of going to the movies.
- Promote your stuff. Ironically, the best way to generate business is to never tout your own stuff. Let your knowledge speak for itself and let others speak for you.
- Read your slides. The best presenters don’t even use PowerPoint. If you know your stuff, the slides are just eye candy. If you’re presenting a technical paper, as opposed to an inspirational keynote, it may be different.
- Say “uh” or “ah” a lot. You might not notice it. Ask friends to count for you. Go to ToastMasters to practice your speaking skills. It was huge for me. Costs almost nothing– probably have one at your workplace.
- Come just for your session. Try to spend time with the other speakers in the speaker room before you’re up. Get a sense of the audience by attending some of the other sessions. Go say thank you to the folks behind the scenes who make it all possible. It’s the hour after you finish speaking that you generate the most business. Make yourself available.
- Forget to promote your session. If you’re are at a show with multiple tracks, you might be speaking against a “big name” in another track at the same time. By learning the agenda and reaching out to other speakers, you can cross-promote each others’ sessions from the podium. I happen to like to run Facebook posts to folks attending the show. Have you seen them?
- Give the same presentation again. One of my favorite techniques at conferences is to personalize the first minute in such a way that the audience knows we made it just for them. For example, we’ll do Facebook graph search examples with the names of friends who are speaking or other companies there. Maybe we’ll create a voiceover or cartoon that pokes fun at a burning issue at the show.
- Bomb the feedback form. If you are in the top third of speaker ratings, the organizers will likely ask you back next year. Do the first 6 things here properly and you’ll get rave reviews.
I was at McDonalds recently and noticed the writing on the bag: “Made with 100% Real Beef.” And then something to the effect of “And with a number like that, you can’t get any better.” Reminds of the breakfast cereals that are made “with” 100% real honey— meaning that they have a giant vat of cereal and high fructose corn syrup, and someone with a squeeze bottle squirts in a few drops of 100% real honey.
After all, it’s made “with” 100% real honey, beef, leather, or whatever— as opposed to being made “of” that item.
Whether marketing and advertising are just different shades of lying is a philosophical debate. But what’s not a question is the number of charlatans out there fleecing clients on PPC and SEO. This is not just run of the mill “we’ll get you to #1 in the search engines” kind of talk—- these are professionals that charge insane rates.
One of our clients is a major fast food chain that spends 6 figures a month with us on a full range of PPC, SEO, email, and webmastering. We partnered with an SEO company that in one of first meetings attempted to claim that he could at-will stop people from linking to the client’s site.
When one of our guys asked how exactly this could be done (since I could just create a blog post and link to the site), he said that it was proprietary technology. After 2 1/2 months of keeping this guy on, with no improvement on rankings, we got rid of him— not before he attempted to ask for more fees, and also trumpeted the value of his RSS network, and 3 way linking strategy.
His final gasp was to mention using Twitter as one of the keys to driving more leads for the client. It wasn’t a bad run for this guy, who makes a living getting first page rankings on no-traffic terms.
So if you want to make an easy living fleecing corporate clients, do this (I’m not kidding— this is so easy):
Proclaim that you are an expert at SEO: create a local meetup group (with 2 other conspirators) and say that you founded the “SEO experts” group in your city. Join a few professional organizations, such as SEMPO (yes, they are legit).
Put up a canned website with huge logos for Google, Yahoo, MSN, Verisign and other network: saying that you are partners with them in advertising. List yourself in a few directories.
Get a few clients: Word of mouth marketing is easy. You won’t be keeping clients very long, so make sure you have a steady inflow of new clients to replace the ones who find out they’re getting fleeced.
Don’t have references? That’s okay— mention that your clients are confidential. After all, you wouldn’t want other clients to know about what we’re doing for you, right? In your initial client meeting, spend the whole time talking about 301 redirects and 200 status codes— sound ultra technical, especially if you can’t actually program. Don’t worry, the client doesn’t know how to program either, so your cover will hold.
Create ranking reports: Using your proprietary technology (just pay for a subscription at seomoz.com or seobook), create a monthly ranking report on terms that you choose. The key is to choose terms that have no traffic and nobody else is competing for.
Choose 4 and 5 word search phrases: go for “large, custom blue widget manufacturer Los Angeles”, not “widget” or “blue widget”. Claim that the longer terms are “higher relevance.” When the client asks for how long it will take to get results, say that nobody really knows the search algorithms except Google and Yahoo themselves— and that anyone who makes firm promises is a charlatan. This excuse will buy you lots of time.
Set up a few WordPress sites: Using those search terms you listed, buy the domains. To flush out this snake oil peddler mentioned above, we ranked on “franchise review site”. Within a couple days, you’ll be on the first page of Google for that term— if not in position 1. If you’re sophisticated with programming, auto-generate a bunch of fake content by scraping other blogs.
Or follow what bluehatseo.com has to say about this. Not needed—- buying a few domains and putting up free wordpress templates is sufficient here.
Proclaim victory!: Whew, it’s been a LOT of hard work, but look— we got a #1 ranking on these 5 terms. If you want to get more mileage out of it, do it with lots of fanfare and spread out the results over time. If you deliver these results right away, they’ll think it was easy.
Go on vacation for a few weeks, then come back and proclaim victory. If there’s someone who’s smart about SEO in the client meeting, who asks questions about whether those terms have traffic, babble on about how you have to take a holistic approach to SEO and that many factors will affect rankings.
Collect fees as long as you can: If you’re lucky, nobody will ask any questions. But if they do, be ready with these excellent comebacks:
Why aren’t rankings on my main terms going up?:
“Sometimes you take two steps forward and one step back”— fluctuation in results is perfectly normal. Your site needs more unique content. We’re going against some strong competitors here, so it will take some time.
But PPC seems to be driving traffic and leads, not SEO: PPC is a short-term solution that is bleeding you money. The real pro’s recognize that organic results are more trustworthy to users— and getting in naturally will save you money over time.
I don’t understand what you’re doing— in fact, I don’t think you’re doing anything:
There are many factors involved here that only trained professionals like myself will understand. I go to a lot of conferences to network with other people like me who don’t know anything either. We have a proprietary RSS network and series of blog sites— I’m sure you can understand why we don’t divulge trade secrets.
I don’t see any more inbound links than when we started:
Okay, the client must have talked to someone else, since they didn’t know what an inbound link was before. You know you don’t have much longer with this client.
Throw a Hail Mary: “I don’t think we’ve been giving your account the proper level of service here. What I’d recommend is that we move you to a premium package at $__k more per month, which will allow us to put more effort on your initiatives.” If they don’t go for that, try to talk about social media optimization and the power of online communities, Web 2.0, twitter, and such.
As a final effort to block this other firm that the client has been talking to, try to scare him with the risks of black hat SEO, that they could get banned FOREVER.
What’s sad is that this is pretty close to what has happened at a major client— the difference being that we actually put up the WordPress sites to reveal the trick. I know— it’s bad etiquette to expose the tricks that other magicians use. But someone is eventually going to realize that it’s a magic show and that the coin was behind your hand all along— and that there was a hidden compartment with a mirror hiding what was in that supposedly empty box.
Well, in this case, the box actually was empty.
If you are an SEO who is making money doing what I’ve described above— kudos to you for living by your wits. But now it’s time to learn some real skills to place in your bag of tricks.