The Day I Met Facebook

This photo-heavy post is out of the ordinary, but it’s a bit out of the ordinary when Facebook comes to your town!

[Downloadable PDF of my notes regarding Growing Your Small Business on Facebook included.]

Kati McGee of Facebook

Katie McGee of Facebook presented our session this morning, then patiently and very knowledgeably answered our questions this morning.

Download my notes from the session here: Facebook Brings Businesses and People Together

Congressman Pete Olson addresses us, as small business owners, calling us the job-creators of America and talking about the importance of having a Federal Government who supports us.

Congressman Pete Olson addressed us, as small business owners, calling us the “job-creators of America” and discussed the importance of having a Federal Government who supports us.

Kati McGee of Facebook

Kati took us on a whirlwind tour of how business and people connect on Facebook using tools like Graph Search, Nearby, News Feed and Facebook Ads.

Chris Herndon of Facebook

I said I was wearing my “Facebook blue” today. Chris Herndon said I just needed flip flops and hoodie and I’d fit right in!

Lindsey Lucas of Lean on Me Events

Lindsey Lucas of Lean on Me Events joined me. Visit her Page at Lean On Me Events and watch for some updates coming soon!

Paul Sherland of IX Brand SEO Services Company

I was happy to run into Paul Sherland of IX Brand SEO!

Justin Szatny of First Colony Church of Christ

You’ll have to excuse the selfie of Justin Szatny of First Colony Church of Christ and me. You do what you’ve gotta do!

Rob Dobson of Red Pup Media

Rob Dobson of Red Pup Media asks Kati McGee questions in a small group after the session.

I didn’t get photos, but I wanted to shout out to Shelly Roth of Springboard Works (Thanks for the seat!), Carole Billingsley of Seek Social Media and James Kallman of SMO Edge. Nice to finally meet you all in person!

Download my notes from the session here: Facebook Brings Businesses and People Together

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The Restaurant Menu Strategy that Boosts Social Search Rank and Delivers Killer Social Proof

Nearby“Table for four, please.”

“Okay. I can seat you right away.”

“Awesome!”

Four menus and a four-top later, your restaurant is set up to make a good impression.  You’ve got the best ingredients, attentive servers and great cooks. But many restaurants will miss the opportunity to leave a stellar impression beyond the four sitting at this table.

Want to earn a higher search ranking in social media? How about some killer social proof of the best your restaurant has to offer? Get more check-ins with your regular menu and specials menus.

We’ll look at three strategies for encouraging check-ins at your restaurant.

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The Simple Tweak that Turns Your Restaurant Menu into a Social Media Magnet

IMG_2926Virtually every person who steps into a restaurant gets the same thing. I’m not talking about your famous peach cobbler or the hottest sushi roll. Everyone gets a menu.

Now, there are exceptions to every rule. My husband had a standing weekly breakfast with a friend at a local taco shop. When the owner would see one of them pull into a parking space, instantly there would be two Diet Cokes on the table and the cook would start one order offajita egg and cheese tacos and one order of fajita steak and cheese tacos. No menu required for these guys. But, like I said, there are exceptions to the rule.

(P.S. I’m quite certain they looked at the menus on their first visit.)

Nearly everyone sees a menu, so why not make it social?

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Five Strategies to Prepare Your Local Business for Graph Search

Screenshot-SearchFacebook’s search has been lacking for quite some time now. Even to the point of not being able to locate Pages, even Pages I administrate, at times. (?!?) Or I’ll search for someone, only to have piles and piles of irrelevant results. It’s sporadic and lacks intuitive options for filtering results.

Search change has been a long time coming.

It’s Facebook, change is inevitable.

[Read more...]

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Is print marketing “thriving” or “over”?

Clients tell me all the time that their print ads do translate into sales. Print remains an effective medium. It’s not dead, contrary to what many digital marketers will tell you. It is true that the world is becoming a more digital place and I believe that print marketing must adapt to be inclusive of digital marketing. An effective print campaign, paired with a great social media strategy, can increase the ROI (return on investment) for print because suddenly the door is opened to the social circle of the initial reader. The potential for exponential exposure now exists in a way a traditional circulation couldn’t generate alone.

How can you super-charge your print media advertising dollars this year?

[Read more...]

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Common Facebook Mistakes of Brick-and-Mortars and How to Dump Them

Your brick-and-mortar’s Facebook Page could be turning off potential Fans or worse, customers, without even trying.

Time for a “turn-off” check.

How would you like to eliminate eight common mistakes of Facebook Place Pages?

How local businesses can avoid Facebook blunders that cost Fans and sales

[Read more...]

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How to Handle Negative Feedback: Raging Critics, Raving Fans and Kindergarten Lessons


A Tale of Two Customer Complaints

Business 1: Sent a crew into my backyard to repair a problem with their cables underground in the utility easement. I subscribed to their wireless phone services, but not cable/internet. During the process of using a backhoe to dig an 18 foot deep hole in my yard the day before Independence Day, they repeatedly knocked out my internet connection from our provider. Knowing this particular company had the means of providing me with a temporary internet connection via hotspot, I headed to social media on my iPhone to ask for help. After all, I had no internet! That’s no bueno when your business is social media. The short version is that despite a quick response time and multiple phone calls over the next week, they were unwilling to meet my need for a temporary internet connection while they worked. They ended up losing my entire family as mobile customers the minute the iPhone 5 came out.

Business 2: Announced a webinar to current customers in which they promised to offer a great deal on an upgrade to their deluxe technology package. Excited, I signed up and when the time came, tried to log on to the webinar, but couldn’t. I wrote on their Facebook Wall about how disappointed I was to be unable to log in and how I was hoping to be able to take advantage of the upgrade. The initial response I received was essentially a half-hearted “bummer”. I countered and actually, received some “likes” from friends. They gave me a direct phone number. After that conversation, I received a personal phone call from the company president the very next day. He explained the offer and extended it to me. I felt like a valuable customer and have been met with stellar customer service ever since.

Clearly, both scenarios have left an impression on me as a consumer months later. As a business-owner, I was reminded of some key strategies to address one of the questions I’m most commonly asked, “How do I handle negative feedback in social media?”

“How do I handle negative feedback in social media?”

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The Backwards Way to Get More Fans

A huge social media following is not your goal.

The tribe that we are all building in social media is critical for the goal, but sheer numbers are not the end that we seek. A crowd is important for getting your message heard. But in most cases, the goal isn’t even the message. As a business or organization in social media, you must not forget that your goal is sales; your goal is memberships; your goal is donations.

The means to this end may surprise you.

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The Heart of the Matter: Reflections of a Professional Facebooker

Today. Today is the day that my family begins to gather from far away to enjoy some much-needed time together. And I’m happy. Today also marks the day that my friend (and best next-door neighbor ever) undergoes treatment for breast cancer. And I feel pain with her and her family. I pray for her healing. It’s the kind of day where circumstances cause me to focus in on what matters most.

It’s the kind of day where circumstances cause me to focus in on what matters most.

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How a Fitness Club’s Social Media Strategy Can Really Pack a Punch

TITLE Boxing Club Missouri City/Sugar Land, TX, a boxing gym coming soon to Fort Bend County, demonstrates that subtle nuances can make a big impact. Prior to launching the case study, I asked TITLE Boxing Club for the three adjectives they MOST wanted people to use when describing their business. ”Effective”, “fun” and “empowering” were the words TITLE Boxing Club selected. I really liked the words that TITLE Boxing selected because they are words that easily associate with an experience. That experience is especially a driving force when your core business is fitness. I loved the energy of group fitness classes. It brought me back time and time again. The atmosphere at a race keeps me signing up to run more. On the other hand, the bruised backside after my first cycling class was a bad enough experience to cause me to avoid any other cycling class. The instructor and class veterans assured me that I’d get protective callouses in time. For me, that wasn’t a great sales pitch. I’m still a cycling class dropout.

The words and images you choose to associate with your business are packed with more power than you probably realize.

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