How NOT to use Facebook to Promote Your Business

imagesWe have helped quite a few independent businesses get started with solid Online Internet Marketing methods and advice. We recognize how social media usage, search engine optimization and online marketing can be just as difficult and off-topic from their core knowledge as Quickbooks and Accounting practices.

Even with this understanding, I’m a little surprised to be pointing out the obvious of how NOT to use your Facebook page to win business and influence friends in 2013.

But, apparently its worth reminding business owners that social networks are the front store that most potential customers will see before ever walking in your door.

Don’t give people an excuse to walk past your storefront…but definitely don’t give them an excuse to throw mud and trash on it either.

Need an example? Annie Colbert at Mashable has just posted this article that summarizes a recent Facebook meltdown by Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro.

 

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Are you Kevin Bacon Close to your Customers?

Are you Chuck Norris Bacon Close to Your Clients?

Chuck Norris Bacon Number

Google just added a new search option, called the Bacon Number. Adding Bacon Number to an Actor or Celebrity name will calculate and display the other actors that have mutually worked with Kevin Bacon or your provided actor in the same movie. Or worked with an Actor that later worked with one of them. For each actor that is needed to link the original actor to Kevin, that counts as one degree of separation.

This fun little actor trivia game is based on Six degrees of separation, a concept that refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer. It was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy and popularized by a play written by John Guare.

So, now that you have Google’s help, see if you can find an Actor with a Bacon Number greater than 3. You’ll likely be amazed how small, or tight, the “Hollywood” industry appears when viewed from a “How Connected Are They” search tool.

Unfortunately, your industry doesn’t have a Bacon Number Tool, but it is almost certainly as connected. You are probably no more than 3 degrees, and no further than six degrees, away from every client or potential client. And they are that close to each other as well.

This close connectivity within an industry, or a community, is what makes social networking so effective for businesses, even small ones. Ask your next new customer how they found out about you. If it’s a person, thank them on your Facebook page and Twitter.

Three ways to use LinkedIn.com more Effectively

LinkedIn.comWe’re very excited to see LinkedIn’s continued growth in popularity as well as the tweaks and redesign of their site and content promotion. As it’s popularity and respect has grown, it presents more and more opportunity to companies and individuals to promote their message.

Here’s a good start it improving your use of LinkedIn:

LinkedIn.com: 3 Ways to use it more efficiently.

Link Bait only a Typesetter Could Love

I had a friend suggest I take a look at a humorous Youtube video they stumbled across. Several of us enjoyed watching it in the office, but it takes a special kind of viewer to enjoy this one. I know I’ve seen clients roll their eyes upward during any conversation about the emotion or imagery created by a…

wait on it…

Particular. Font. Type.

Yeah, I get it. Only professionals really care about the finer points of their jobs. Sure, a Serif by any other treatment is a Sans Serif to another. But, watching this kind of short video can help communicate how font choices may indeed create some indirect emotion or imagery. Plus, if you’re a marketing techno geek, it’s cheeky and fun.

So, without further ado, here’s a peak at the last Font Conference:

SXSW: Bing gets Social. Google Wants to Paint Too Much SEO Black.

The SEO community is all-a- buzz about an SXSW presentation on Search Engine Optimization. Two really interesting items resulted from a panel with “Mr. Google”, Matt Cutts and Bing’s counterpart, Duane Forrester. Both of them discussed interesting aspects to their approach. One that matters for larger businesses, one for smaller businesses.

The SEO blog-o-sphere is chattering about an audio post from SEOLand of the SXSW discussion. Essentially, Matt is pre-announcing an upcoming change that may target websites that are “overly optimized”.  He was defensively responding to a question about the increasing frequency of top results being irrelevant to the actual search. They want to stop fluff sites from over-ranking relevant sites, including Mom & Pop shops. Previously, his stance was a site couldn’t be overly optimized, unless using black hat techniques.

Most businesses seem to struggle with doing the basic fundamental best practices across all avenues of their online marketing, so this approach is likely a good thing. Now, don’t misinterpret Matt. Good, solid SEO techniques are still critical to ranking higher on Google’s Search Engine Result Page (SERP) as shown in this video:

The real news for smaller businesses is Duane’s response, just following Matt’s. Because of  Bing’s continued relationship with Facebook, their response to this issue is to promote what users on Facebook are sharing and liking. This will help content rise even if no links point to it.

Microsoft also announced more about their deal with Twitter.  Duane stressed that products or services from smaller or newer businesses will receive higher search results if social network amplification is occurring. (Meaning, someone sharing or liking something that was exposed to them from someone in their network, which is further shared by someone another degree away.)

Duane’s response exposes Google’s current weakness that Bing could exploit if it can attract enough searchers.

Google Search Risks Relevancy to promote Google+

Google Search is rolling out “Search Plus Your World”. Basically, they are officially blending in your personal content and related friends’ content into your search results on Google.com. But, even if you aren’t logged into Google+, they are promoting Google+ business and brand pages beyond the obvious relevancy they deserve, especially compared to the content they already index from Twitter and Facebook. Ignoring the impact of unveiling to you how much personal data they have, this decision clearly shows them favoring their properties, content and brand products over the relevancy of the search results.

This means that you can no longer rely on Google as your only search engine. (You shouldn’t anyway, of course). Rome has started burning.

Danny Sullivan, renowned Search Engine Land Editor, has a well written article with annotated screenshots of his initial research. See what you think and let us know if you think Google’s “Search Plus Your World” or SPYW, spys deep enough into Twitter or Facebook. Or whether it spys too deep everywhere.

Life is Motivating and Demotivating. Sometimes It Needs Help.

As part of my job, I tend to keep an eye out for interesting viral videos or ones that should go viral. While this next one likely won’t see millions of views, it should.

If you want to feel refreshed in your journey…or merely need a jump start to get going, spend the two and a half minutes to watch this clip. If you don’t have time, there’s a message half way through that could forever change your life, time-wise. Kudo’s go out to the first person commenting how to find more time to do what you love!