Saying You are on Facebook Does Not a Social Strategy Make

This past week I visited a local restaurant that was preparing for the holiday season by advertising their holiday parties on a board right when you walk in.  Also on that board, were requests to “Follow us on Twitter” and “Like us on Facebook”.  So I tried to find them on Facebook, and being more knowledgeable than most with Facebook, I thought I would find them right away.  But, there are two pages for this one specific business.  It was also difficult to find them on Twitter, since they add “NY” to their name.

On their lobby sign, they don’t even tell you how to find them.  What’s their twitter name?  How are they listed in Facebook?

This is the position so many businesses find themselves in lately.  They have gone through the trouble and expense of creating a Facebook page (or two)… and then nothing.  People click “like”, they collect fans, people even write on their wall, and then … nothing.

This particular restaurant hadn’t updated their Twitter account since May, and has never actually engaged on their Facebook page(s).

Is this a social strategy?


So, what makes a good social strategy?

A good social strategy has four main components:

  1.  Identify your goals
  2. Find your audience
  3. Decide on performance indicators
  4. Schedule and manage

Identify Your Goals:

Any good marketing plan, whether social or traditional, requires that you start at the beginning.  What do you want this specific marketing to accomplish?  Do you want more customers?  Do you want to establish your brand as an expert in a specific field?  Until you know what you want to accomplish you will have no way to move your plan forward.

Find Your Audience:

You will need to determine where your customers are spending their on-line time.  Are they on Facebook or Twitter?  Is LinkedIn more appropriate for your business?  This will all depend on the type of business you have and the specific client you are trying to reach.

Set Your Performance Indicators:

Social media can be measured.  You can determine how many people visit your blog, website, or Facebook page.  You can analyze what content is getting shared and retweeted and when that content is being posted.  You just need to determine which of these items are important to the campaign you are running.

Schedule and Manage:

Once you know what your goals are, where you will be concentrating your efforts, and what you are looking to monitor, it’s time to set out your schedule.  Who is tweeting on behalf of the company?  When will posts be made to Facebook, and who is responsible for responding to your customers?

These steps will help you begin to envision your social media strategy, in hopes that you can offer your clients an engaging, responsive, and embracing community.



7 Steps for a Successful Social Media Strategy

The Key to Developing a Social Media Strategy

Social Media Strategy in Four Steps


Social Media is Work

Conversation Prism Brian SolisIt’s true.  Anything worth doing is worth doing well. And social media is no different.  If you want to be successful in social media, you need to work at it.  You can’t just create a Facebook page, Twitter account, and LinkedIn profile, add very little content, and expect people to show up.

Because, unfortunately, people won’t show up.  It’s the same with any retail business.  You can’t hang up a sign, open our doors, and expect people to show up.  It just won’t work.  You need to put in the effort.

My last cliche’ — You get out of social media what you put into it.

So, what do you need to do to be successful in social?  For me, it is a 2 step process:

1.  Find and post great content

2.  Engage with your customers


How to Find Great Content

In order to really find content that your audience is interested in, you should watch and listen.  See what they are talking about.  Ask questions.  Even use Polls within Facebook or your e-mail newsletters to find out what they want to learn about.

Once you have an idea what they are interested in, check out sites like StumbleUpon, Alltop, Digg, and Diigo for articles that fit into the categories you’ve decided you’re going to share.

And then share.  And don’t forget to ask that your clients comment and share the articles that are of interest to them.  If you don’t ask, they won’t share.  It’s that simple.


Engage With Your Customers

So, you’ve been posting and asking that the articles be shared.  But that is only half the social media battle.  You also need to be engaging with them.

What, exactly, does that mean?  It means replying to their comments, thanking them for sharing, asking questions, and offering help.

Don’t just post articles, pictures, and stories and walk away.  Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn aren’t meant to be stagnant bulletin boards, where you post a flyer and never look at it again.

This all takes time.  There is no question about it.  But with tools such as Hootsuite, and Tweetdeck, you can spend some time each week scheduling posts, so all that is left is engagement.

Always remember, that if you want people to engage with you, you must do the same.

So, how are you engaging your customers?  What have you found to provide the highest level of engagement?  Which network do you engage with the most?  Sound off in the comments!



Is Keeping Up Social Media Hard Work? 

5 Tips:  Making Social Media Seem Less Like a Chore and More Like an Investment

Hard Work in Social Media Marketing Does Pay Off

6 Ways Social Media is Like Ironman

Why is Social Media so Hard? 5 Ways to Relieve the Stress 

Image courtesy of:  Brian Solis, The Conversation Prism

The Top 8 Reasons I’m Thankful for Social Media

Thank you for Sharing and ConnectingIt’s Thanksgiving weekend here in the United States, and this time every year people show appreciation for their friends, family, co-workers, and this year, jobs.  But I wanted to thank one more thing…Social Media.

So, I ask that you indulge me in listing my top 8 reasons that I am thankful for Social Media.  I know it’s a bit self-serving, but today, at the start of the holiday season, I ask you to follow along.

I’m thankful for social media because:

  1. Social media gives us the opportunity to connect with friends and family long lost.  Whether from high school, or just lost over time, we can wish them a “Happy Holiday.”
  2. Social media keeps us connected to the world.
  3. Social media allows us to know exactly how our friends and family are feeling, and to respond immediately.
  4. Social media allows us to share important events with those that can’t or are unable to be there in person.
  5. Social media allows us to connect with people we may never have met before.
  6. Social media helps us realize that no matter what we are going through, we are not alone.
  7. Social media allows us to solicit and receive advice from people we trust, without having to ask.
  8. Social media allows us to brag about our kids, new job, new car, new life, and have people join in the celebration.

So, there you have it.  My reasons for being thankful for social media.  What are yours?  I’d love to know.

And, Happy Thanksgiving.



Facebook Users Now Separated by 4.74 Degrees  

Friends with Benefits: Do Facebook Friends Provide the Same Support as Those in Real Life?  

The Moral Benefits of Facebook

But You Don’t Look Sick.Com

Why Not “Buffer” Your Social Posts – A Review

Buffer App - Be Awesome on Social MediaOne of the hardest things for people new to social media to understand is the time it takes to post and engage within the various social media platforms.  And, it’s true.  To actively engage with your followers, fans, and subscribers does take time.  But, finding the information and scheduling the posts doesn’t have to be a large part of that time.

Enter Buffer, where their tagline is, “Be awesome on Social Media.”

What is “Buffer”?

Quite simply, it is a tool to allow you to share content on any schedule that you choose.

After linking your Twitter and Facebook accounts, you decide what times you would like the app to post or tweet for you, up to four times per day.  Then, all you have to do is fill your “buffer” with great content, and they take care of posting or tweeting at the pre-determined times.

How can I “Buffer”?

Using Buffer could not be easier.  There are add-ons and plug-ins for all major browsers, including Chrome and Firefox.  Just install the add-on, and when you are on a website you want to share, click the buffer icon, and either add it or share it immediately.  It’s that simple.

And, if they don’t have a plug-in for you, just e-mail the link, with whatever text you wish as the subject line, and it is added to your buffer.  This is also great to add items from your mobile phone, as well.

Do you use the web interface of Twitter?  Well, Buffer is there, as well, making it incredibly easy to buffer your re-tweets.

How do I Buffer?

What about “Analytics”?

Buffer also gives you great analytics for every post sent, including re-tweets, click through, and number of people reached.  This is great information so that you can analyze and evaluate timing and content that is of interest to your followers.

Buffer Analytics

How much does all this awesomeness cost?

Buffer, for the majority of users, is completely FREE.  That’s right, for free, you get to add one twitter account, one Facebook account, and have 10 items in your buffer.

Need more?  There are plans for $10 per month giving you 50 posts in the Buffer and 5 social accounts, and $99 per month which offers unlimited posts in the Buffer and unlimited social accounts.

There are many tools available to help schedule posts and that offer analytics, including Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and Sprout Social, and I don’t believe Buffer is meant to replace these tools.  It is only another tool in the social media tool chest, making our sharing of great content even easier.

Tools and Resources




Sprout Social

Who’s Listening, Revisited

Who is ListeningA few weeks ago, I wrote about companies and their “listening” skills, entitled, “Listening Tools: Who is Listening to You?”  And, after the announcement from Facebook two days ago, I thought it necessary to revisit this topic, if only to demonstrate the importance of communication and listening.


A few weeks ago, Facebook introduced many changes to the newsfeed, including the Ticker (which I wrote about here) and “Top Stories” shown at the top of the news feed, regardless of whether that is what you wanted to see.

People revolted.  No, they didn’t leave Facebook, they just did what we do today – complained on Facebook about the changes.  Some people even went so far as to complain directly to Facebook.

Well, guess what?  They listened.  That’s right, on November 10, 2011, Facebook announced that it was going to start giving users a choice as to what they see at the top of the news feed:  “Highlighted Stories First” or “Recent Stories First”.

Facebook Sorting


As I had originally written, Hilton Hotels had been notified of a blog post written by my wife, and they immediately responded to her, via Twitter.Hilton Online Twitter Conversation

But that wasn’t the end of the story.  My blog had been tweeted out by Basil Puglisi, with a mention of Hilton’s Twitter account (@HiltonOnline), which I then, re-tweeted.

What followed was a great conversation with Hilton, thanking me for sharing the article, and talking about my travel plans for 2012.  You can be sure that I will go out of my way to stay at a Hilton property, if only to reward them for being so proactive in the social space.

So, why is this so important?

Why does it matter if brands like Hilton or Facebook are listening so intently to their audience?  Well, for one, I will now go out of my way to stay at a Hilton property.  They have secured my future business, and I have spoken about them to numerous groups over the past week.  I’ve become a brand advocate for them.  And, if they can create a brand advocate, just by engaging in conversation, imagine what you can do for your brand.

People want to be talked to, not at.  People want to matter to the brands that matter to them.  Listening allows brands to make their customers feel important, even to the person that may or may not travel in 2012.

So, in the end, listen to what’s being said.  And, after listening, respond.  It’s the best way to engagement.  It’s the best way to your own brand advocates.



Facebook Restores Newsfeed to Previous Design, Sort of

F8’s Big Facebook Changes: Timeline, Ticker, News Feed, Apps

Facebook Brings Recent Stories Option Back to News Feed






How Do You Do It? – My Super-Secret (shh!) 6 Tips for Blogging Success

Check out these mind-blowing statistics on this blog:

  • 1,085 Posts
  • Over 72,000 viewers to date
  • In nationwide syndication
  • Publishes on the Kindle
  • Publishes 7 days a week and mostly twice on weekdays (but not on holidays)

Those stats are for the extremely popular blog, Fearless Competitor. Then the question invariably comes up. “We struggle to post once a week. How many writers do you have for Fearless Competitor?” – most expect 8 or more.

The answer is One. One man. The Fearless Competitor!

The next comment is something we hear frequently. How the Hell does one person create so many great posts? I struggle to post once a week!

How Do You Do It?

(In fact, Mike Volpe, Chief Marketing Officer at Hubspot said to me “Jeff, at Hubspot we have many writers for our blog and it publishes frequently. But you are almost as prolific and you’re just one person. I have no idea how you do it.” When you can stump Mike Volpe, you’re doing something right. And Mike invited me to appear on HubspotTV, now called Marketing Update.)

In this post, I’ll share 6 tips on how YOU can learn to be a VERY prolific blogger too. And for each tip, we share an example post from Fearless Competitor, so you can see how it is done.

1. Create one or more weekly events, shows, etc.
Create a regular weekly show – same day, same time each week. Keep doing it. We created the B2B marketing show “Laugh and Learn with Find New Customers“. It runs every Friday at 11am ET. If you post 5 times a week, you’re 20% done.

2. Find inspiration in everything
Read a great article or find a great TV show? Read an interesting blog article? Is there a lesson in it? Then write about your thoughts. Check out ‘5 Lessons a B2B Marketer Can Learn from “Breaking Bad.”’

3. Report on the news
What’s happening in your industry? (Act-On Software buys MarketBridge; Eloqua files to go public.) Something else happening? Share what you think about the news. Check out “The Life Lesson from Plaxico Burress

4. Invite guest posts
Have top experts in your industry? Contact them and invite them to write guest posts for you. Check out “Developing an Integrated Content Marketing Strategy That Works” by Joe Pulizzi, co-author of Get Content, Get Customers.

5. Re-energize old posts
A very cool feature of is the ability to copy posts. Find a really good post you wrote in 2009 and copy it. Then edit it and freshen it up. Bingo. Brand new post! Check out “How to Gain Customer Trust – Insights by Guy Kawasaki” – which I published a couple of times.

6. Use Slideshare.
Take a presentation you did, upload it to Slideshare and record an audio track for it. Then match your audio up in Slideshare. (Contact me if you don’t know how to do this.) Slideshare has a very cool embed feature, so the viewer can see your slideshare right in the blog post. Check out “The Power of B2B Lead Nurturing.” for a great example of embedding a presentation in a blog article.

We also suggest you use your keywords (Like lead generation company) and use them in your blog posts. (Google loves frequently updated blogs.) so it really helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). And Hubspot found an active blog gives a company 57% more leads.

We hope you found these tips helpful. What do you think? We love your comments and sharing. Good luck with your blog.


Laugh and Learn with Find New Customers

The Power of B2B Lead Nurturing

How to Gain Customer Trust – Insights by Guy Kawasaki

Developing an Integrated Content Marketing Strategy That Works

The Life Lesson from Plaxico Burress

5 Lessons a B2B Marketer Can Learn from Breaking Bad

Facebook: So My Business Has a Page – Now When do I Post?

850 million people are on Facebook.  That’s 1.7 Billion eyes that have the potential to see and engage with your posts.


But, exactly, when can you guarantee that the most possible eyes will see everything that you are posting?  How do I know if “now” is good enough?

It seems that there is a science to this, and social scientist Dan Zarella from Hubspot, has found that there are specific days and times that are best for posting to Facebook, and specific days that are best for having your posts shared.

As we review the best and worst times to share, something to keep in mind (depending where you are located) is that almost 50% of the population is located on the East Coast of the United States, and therefore, the timing of your posts should take into account this group.

The Best and Worst Days

So, what are the best days to post to Facebook?  The research has shown that the best day to have content shared is Saturday.  That’s right, it seems that this is the day when most people have the time to catch up with their Facebook friends, and share everything that they may have missed throughout the week.

So, when shouldn’t we post?  The days of the week with the lowest shares seem to be Monday and Thursday.  Keep this in mind when looking at your schedule of postings throughout the week.

The Best and Worst Times

Now that we know what the best day of the week to post is, what about timing?  Should I post all day?  Are there specific times when my posts are more likely to be seen?

Glad you asked.  The best time of the day, by far, seems to be noon, with 7pm a close second.  What this means is that your content is more likely to be seen and shared if you post it at 12pm and at 7pm (corresponding to lunch hours and after dinner hours).

The worst?  Any time before 8am and between 1pm and 4pm.  These times are the most likely to have your posts ignored by your fans and followers.

How Many Posts Per Day?

Now that we know the best days and times, just how many posts should we be sharing on a daily basis?  According to the research, the optimum number of posts per day is .5.  What exactly does this mean?  Very clearly, it means don’t overwhelm your followers.  Don’t post 5 times per day, and certainly don’t post numerous items in succession.  We all hate spam, and the more you post, the more likely it will be that your followers will consider your posts to be unnecessary and therefore spam.  You should also re-think your policy of posting daily, as the research indicates this may also overwhelm your fans.

In the end, engaging at any time is worthwhile, and these are only statistics.  Maybe you notice your fans are very active early in the morning.  Or you are trying to reach teachers, with no access to Facebook at noon.  Make sure to take your audience into consideration when determining the best schedule for you and your business.

What’s working for you?  When have you found is best to post?




Social Times

Black Box Social Media

Social Media Marketing and Monitoring Conference [Review]

On Wednesday, October 12, 2011, as a member of DBME, I attended the Social Media Marketing and Monitoring Conference hosted by Our Social Times, at the Tribeca Theatre.  The conference covered everything from Location-Based advertising to the future of Social Media, and featured a keynote address by Peter Shankman and a closing panel that included Erik Qualman.

The Best

Peter Shankman (founder of HARO and the founding editor of AOL News, The Geek Factory) started the crowd laughing and thinking with his great tips, such as:

  1. There is no excuse to not try something;
  2. Everyone has a back-up plan for failure.  Try having one for success.
  3. Be different to reach your audience
  4. Reach out to the people in your network and start a conversation.

His four rules for social media success:

  1. Be transparent;
  2. Be relevant to your audience;
    Having an audience is a privilege, not a right;
  3. Don’t rely on the brand – make sure to embrace your concept;
  4. Learn to write.

Christine Perkett, Perkett PR, kept the crowd involved with her take on Humanizing Your Brand, as it relates to Business-to-Business marketing, telling the crowd that it is important to remember that you are talking to humans when dealing with companies, and reminding us that regular common courtesy goes a long way in social — remember to thank your customers!

The second to last session of the day was presented by Constant Contact, and offered what I felt was the best hands-on tips for creating a well-rounded social media strategy.  Joshua Mendelsohn offered his 10 steps (although I turned it into 11) for a great social medai strategy:

  1. Build a marketing strategy not a social media strategy;
  2. Include a social call to action;
  3. Build campaigns not emails or posts;
  4. Connect your social sites to email;
  5. Focus your message;
  6. Have more to say?  Save it for later;
  7. Think mobile;
  8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should;
  9. Find out what your audience wants and respond to it;
  10. Create a great customer experience — there is no marketing cure for sucking;
  11. Rinse and repeat — keep learning and improving.

Every tip offered is one that should be put to use immediately!

The Rest

The day was broken up by three case studies in the different uses of social media, focusing on The Children’s Place, WGN America, and TheGrio (NBC).  These three case studies all really spoke about using egagement to grow your fan base and converting your fans into customers.  The unfortunate part was that these are all nationwide companies with larger than normal budgets, and based on the questions presented from the audience we all felt that the sysrems emplyed by these groups would not transfer to the small business.

Finally, the last session of the day was to cover the Future of Social Media Marketing.  I believe the attendees were looking to these experts for some guidance as to where we would be in 2012.  Unfortunately, the over-riding theme of this panel was that the future of social media is what we, as marketers, will make of it.  Are we willing to step out of our marketing comfort zones?  Are we willing to empower our employees and customers to become brand advocates?  Or are we going to continue down the road we are already on?

What is your company doing?  Are you a brand advocate?

Our Social Times

Geek Factory


Constant Contact


Will Facebook’s New Feature Make Your Business “Tick”

Over the last few weeks, Facebook has seen many changes to the news feed, but the one change that seems to be causing the most criticism is the “Ticker”, which sits to the right of the page, over your contacts. 

No matter how you feel about this new feature, the Ticker is here to stay.   Let’s take a look at how this change will affect the way we interact with each other and the way brands will interact with us, in the short term.

What is the Ticker?

Specifically, the Ticker is a scrolling status feed of all updates and notifications of your friends interactions on Facebook.  Whether they comment on a friends picture, or like a new brand it will show up here.  This is very different from the newsfeed, as it displays your friends interactions, comments, questions, and conversations immediately, in real time.  If you don’t see it on your wall, it is sure to be here, as it is happening. One advantage of following the feeds through the ticker is the ability to respond, in real time, to your friends posts and comments, straight from the ticker itself.

 How will Facebook use the Ticker?

So, now that everything we do, no matter how small, our friends will see the comment. How will Facebook and marketers use this?

As we interact with more and more applications through Facebook, these interactions will aggregate through the Ticker.  As we engage with our friends (if we see they are listening to a certain song on Spotify, we can then listen to the same song at the same time), Facebook will monitor these interactions, and if enough people take part, may move the whole conversation to the Top News section of our news feed.

Facebook will decide what’s important to us, based on the number and frequency of interactions of our friends.

But will people monitor this fast-moving section of our News Feed?  Initially, I found the Ticker an annoyance, taking up screen real estate, and shrinking my contacts list.  But, one week later, I find myself checking in with the Ticker, more and more, to see what my friends are talking about.  I have even taken action based upon something I saw in the Ticker, which I may have missed in the News Feed (I “Liked” a company page that I had never really thought about before).

 Overall, I feel that people are still very undecided on this new way to interact, but if it’s used properly, I think it may become a valuable interaction tool.

 How can brands best utilize the Ticker?

This is a question that I believe will be decided by the 800 million Facebook members.  As of now, there are very few applications that are able to make use of the Ticker (Spotify and Netflix are two), so it is hard to tell how this will affect future interaction.

However, as more brands are able to stir interaction on their pages, more of their updates may be seen on the Ticker, thereby spurring even more page interactions.  In addition, as a page administrator, you can see, in real-time, when a comment is posted on your page, and assuming your settings permit, respond as that brand, immediately!  Wow, did you just see that?  You can respond to your clients, members, associates, and evangelists in REAL TIME!  For now, I see this as the best use of the Ticker for brands – an immediacy that cannot be matched by just monitoring the news feed.

Where do you see the Ticker heading?  Love it or hate it?  As a brand, how are you using it?


Tumblr VS WordPress

According to statistic reports, as of January 2011, the 4 year old site has 20,873,182 users. For the same period, the older site (by 4 years), announced they have 20,787,904 websites powered by

This is the first time anybody overtook, and it became kind of big news among the blogosphere. To set the record straight, it is important to note that numbers do not include the open sourced blog platform, where people have websites they host themselves. The comparison is between the two hosting blog platforms only.

Still, it is clear that many individuals have been signing with Tumblr more than they have been signing with Which one is better? Well, that depends on why you want a site or a blog and what you want to include in it.

What do they have in common?

  • Both are free.
  • Each site has free themes which can be easily installed.
  • Both can be customized.
  • Both can be updated from any computer or device that has internet connection.
  • Both allow you to name your page the way you choose.
  • Both are well known and popular, with good reputation.
  • Both have export capabilities. If you want to move your site, you can.
  • Both allow importing content from other content management systems.


Ease of use

  • No installation or configuration of the program on your computer is needed.
  • User friendly dashboard
  • Easy upload of multimedia files
  • Custom designs (which do require payment) are cheaper on Tumblr than on WordPress
  • Easy to update from a mobile device
  • Has a built in community functions that allows following like-minded bloggers, reblogging what they wrote and “liking” it, which makes Tumblr a more community oriented site.


  • The server cannot be controlled by the user; it has to be hosted by the site. However, you can use a unique url that does not include .tumblr at the end.
  • The user has complete control over the content and can move his site or blog to another platform.

Design and customization

  • Has one basic layout and it must be applied to every page on the site. They now added page support to make the navigation between pages much easier.
  • Supports only 3rd party calendars and contacts, but it requires knowledge in coding.

Social Integration

  • Built in. You can post and link to twitter automatically. You can also connect it to your Facebook page.


Ease of use

  • Downloading their program is necessary, but it offers many more options and settings.
  • The design and functionality of the page is more cumbersome and requires some learning.
  • Allows multiple pages, download of plug-ins, widgets and sidebars.


  • With the user has to use their server. supports sites hosted by another server.
  • The site can be easily expanded to replace the current site.
  • People who have not designed the site but have administrative rights can post on the site without much effort.

Design and customization

  • Many page layout options.
  • Ability to use different layouts for different pages.
  • Allows including native calendars and contact forms.

Social integration

  • Can be done with the help of plug-ins.
  • has publisize allowing for sharing with Facebook Pages, Twitter, Yahoo, etc..

The ongoing consensus among experts is that Tumblr is more user friendly, fun and easy to blog. Its design is slick and simple, modern and big. It is geared more toward pictures and media than WordPress.

Both can be customized but WordPress is more extensive and flexible. If you don’t need an extensive e commerce site with forms, listings, heavy content and advertising, Tumblr is simpler.

But the biggest difference is in the ease of social integration on Tumblr that is built in, while it has to be added to with different plug-ins. Tumblr functions as a cross between a website and a Facebook profile, while WordPress is more dry and functional.

Some companies in entertainment, news and fashion have blogs through Tumblr. The Washington Post Innovations, Newsweek, The Huffington Post and Rolling Stones are some examples. Musicians and photographer seem to flock to Tumblr as well. hosts sites of top brands like CNN, National football league and TED.


Digital Media Monthly

Text - DIGITALETHOS to 22828 to sign up!