The Promotion Game

When a Game is really a marketing tool, Empire Avenue

Promote your brand, your business using the best in the business.

Have you ever thought just how much exposure you could get using the best in the business if money was no object?  The best social media marketers are ready to promote your business and they don't accept cash for payment.  They do however accept "virtual currency".

Empire Avenue is an online "stock market" used by other businesses and more importantly, social media experts.  To play the game you basically buy and sell other players stock and complete "Missions" to gain additional "eaves" (the virtual currency used in EA). At this point you may be asking yourself what this has to do with advertising and promoting your business.  Simple... you create missions to reward other players (using the virtual currency "eaves") for promoting your business.  Others promote your business, the very epitome of "social media" and social proof.

How it works; to begin with you must have some social accounts.  This can be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Instagram or whatever.  You create posts using your social accounts and post "Missions" offering others "eaves" for promoting your posts. For example, you tweet (#Twitter) about a new product.  You create a Mission offering 25,000 eaves (or more or less, it's up to you) to fellow EA members to retweet your post.  You launch your mission and people start sharing your content and collecting their reward.  It's really simple and takes just minutes. Your tweet gets retweeted to thousands, maybe tens or hundreds of thousands of people and it cost you nothing but "virtual" currency. Here's a video overview

Hope you catch up to me on Empire Avenue at

Google +:

Don't Shake the Hook

I have the great fortune and honor of working with a wide range of businesses and organizations. This privilege provides me with direct access to the great and not so great uses for social media and Web 2.0.  This posting is going to focus on engaging your audience and not wasting the social capital you have cultivated.

What caused me to think about this as subject matter?  A non-profit I volunteer with has a Facebook page. They created a secondary page for an event. They are now promoting the secondary page to the audience of the primary page with posts like:

Like our page XXX to stay up to date on RxxxTxxHxxxxx.  (RTH is a one-time event).

What??? Why would they do this?  I asked... and received no real answer.  Why would someone that is already following them be asked to follow a separate page competing for space on their newsfeed? Why would the pull people from their main page to a one-time event page?

It seems they have many people, volunteers and paid employees that have admin access.  This creates issues such as posts competing for audience attention, posts that lack consistency and overall planning and posts that simple are not worth posting because they do not follow any best practices or lack relevant information.

Wow.... No wonder their overall page and individual posts appears to engage very little of their audience.

Think about yourself for a moment. You find a product or service you like. You check them out online. Might be a blog, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest page, or maybe Google+.  Doesn't so much matter. What does matter is your found something that you identify with and "like", "follow" or "add". Whatever the correct action is for the particular page.  You start receiving content and engage with the brand.  The odds of you buying that product or service in the future is now sky-high. (much has been written on buying habits of fans so I won't go into that here.)

What if that brand, product or service suddenly changed their messaging, frequency or quite simply started putting out posts that didn't interest / engage you? Would your impression change?  Would it change for the better or worse?  Overall your feeling for the brand would change in a negative way and with it possibly any future purchasing decisions might not "automatically" be for that brand.
  • Stay consistent without becoming stale
  • Don't confusing your fan
  • Be original
  • Don't post long rambling posts or posts of irrelevant subject matter
  • and don't post with several distinctly different "voices"
If you find yourself turning off your fans you run the risk of losing them as customers. Chances are your competitors are more than happy to fill the void both in terms of social content which ultimately could turn into sales revenue and subsequent brand loyalty.

Designing and Executing Cross Promotions

Cross promoting between five local retailers worked out great.

Use social media to attract, retain and gain customers. See results. I'll show you how, I'll explain it to you and you and your fellow local retailers will grow.

See two complimentary promotions that can be easily advertised on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and email that will produce immediate results.

Social Media Managers React to the New Facebook

Lately Facebook has sent out some major signals on just how they are going to conduct business moving forward.  Like Facebook or not, if you own, manage or have any interest in business you need to be aware of these changes and just what they mean.

Since the now famous Facebook IPO, there has been tremendous pressure on Facebook to provide more consistent value in the forms of revenue streams.  Two things have happened in the last few weeks that should cause businesses and marketing managers either delight or fear.

1.  Facebook announced Facebook Gifts.

Facebook users will be able to send birthday, holiday and other gifts.  You know all those birthday reminders that pop up?  Soon you will be able to click an icon or link next to the persons name and send a gift.  A message can also be sent to the recipient’s Facebook Timeline or as a private message. The recipient of the gift enters his or her address, so the giver doesn’t have to worry about that.

A few thoughts on this.  First WOW! - that could be supremely convenient for users.  Two, what a powerful opportunity for Facebook to make huge amounts of money.  Three, how impersonal. I want my friend to at least "think" I put some efforts into their gift.  Four, out of my hundreds and hundreds of "friends" I only buy gifts for a few so frankly it's no big deal.  Whatever your thoughts - this has potential to be huge and change the e-commerce landscape!

2.  If your a Social Media Marketing Manager that pays any attention to stats you probably noticed post views declining in the last week or two. This seems to have happened the same time Facebook modified their Offers platform, eliminating the ability to post Offers for free.  Also, this seems to have coincided with the whole "Fake Likes" "cleanup".  I presume so that Facebook could basically explain to businesses the drop in post views has to do with many fake "likes" not that Facebook changed any algorithms or anything.  Accessing the stats at Page Data, 14 of the top 30 brands and pages experienced negative growth in the past week.

It's clear that Facebook is reducing the ability to promote pages and brands on their platform without paying them to do so.

Where Facebook is going, how Facebook will look a year from now, and how businesses and consumers use and what they expect from Facebook will be completely different from today that much is clear.  As a Social Media manager you need to think about your current strategy and how to adapt to maximize the new Facebook for your brand and business.

Time Your Tweets Terrifically Tomorrow

Business is not about "doing", business is about "achieving". A simple statement that has no argument. When it comes to SMM you can tilt the playing field in your favor; knowing the "right way" to do things and knowing the "right time" to do things.

Let's focus on the "right time". When is the "right time" to "tweet" or share on Twitter? Earlier in the year released their findings and I, along with many other people shared the news. Here is my original post:

To summarize, "According to the study and results published by, the link shortening and tracking service, to get the most clicks to your link on Twitter post between 1:00pm - 3:00pm. Fewest clicks result from posting after 3:00pm on Friday and on weekends. Posting after 8:00pm should be avoided."

Additionally I urged readers to perform their own testing. I have for several months since the report came out and here's what I found.  For testing purpose I used two separate accounts, Stumble Upon and Crowdbooster.

Test Results

The stats for my Stumble Upon account indicate best times to post to Twitter are at 3:40am, 1:50pm and 3:15pm as shown in the graph.  This is very similar to the report but I would have totally missed the very early morning time period which appears to be quite significant to my particular followers.

However, based upon my Crowdbooster account the best time to post to Twitter is between 10-11am Central which would be 11am-12noon EST., see highlighted section. 

Based on Crowdbooster I need to post to Twitter almost two full hours earlier than the Stumble Upon report and there is no indication of an early morning bump.

So now we have the report, and my own findings using Stumble Upon and Crowdbooster. All times Eastern: Report: 1pm-3pm
Stumble Upon:  3:40am-6:00am, 1:50pm-3:15pm
Crowdbooster: 11:00am - 12:00pm


These findings illustrate that we can get close to finding the "right time" to post on Twitter and definitely maximize efforts but there is no simple one-size fits all answer.  If you have not yet started your own testing I hope you see the importance of doing so and monitoring results for your firm or clients.  Your results may duplicate these findings or you may find an entirely different "best time" for posting.

A Promotion Worth Repeating

Check in offer
Just finished up with an interesting promotion for a client using Foursquare check-ins and a baseball ticket giveaway. Here is the concept, goal and results.


Basically, the client continually offers a Foursquare check-in. They give away a free margarita for every check in, are very happy with the results, and see the number of check-ins grow each month. They receive just about 5x’s more check-ins monthly than their competitors and promote check-ins online and in-house.


The owner received four free baseball tickets from a supplier and wanted to use them to promote the business. I suggested having a contest using Foursquare, picking a date and rewarding the Mayor of Foursquare on that date with a pair of the tickets.


Increase check-ins on Foursquare by adding a promotional element / contest. The Foursquare Mayor on a selected date would be given two baseball tickets as a thank you / reward.


Promote contest for two weeks prior to promotion deadline.


Foursquare check-ins increased 40% during the two week promotion period. Additionally, check-ins maintained an 11% ongoing lift when compared to before the contest.

Additional brand impressions: 2700

Cost per each additional viral impression under $0.03 each

Assumptions, each customer that checked in has a modest viral reach of 130 friends.

Estimated cost per pair of tickets $100

Needless to say this client is very excited about these results and looks forward to additional promotions in the future.

How to Measure Your Facebook Reach Locally

How many Facebook users does your business reach locally?  How many total Facebook users are in the local market?  Simple questions that are easily measured and tracked using existing information that is readily available.  Most business owners I speak with don't have the first clue what these figure are.

If you own a retail store, restaurant, nightclub or other venue that generates a majority of its revenue on a local basis, measuring and growing your Facebook reach on a local basis may have a profound impact on the overall health of your business.  Here's how.
Local facebook likes

Step 1. Determine quantity of Facebook users in local market.

Step 2. Determine quantity of Facebook users that "Like" your business.

Step 3. Determine baseline percent.

Step 4. Create your Smart Goal.

Step 5. Act and measure.

Step 1.  To determine how many Facebook users are in the local market you have to look at Facebook "Ads".  You don't have to actually create an ad but you do have to open the ad application and select the City in the Choose Your Audience section.  Enter your City and the quantity of Facebook users will populate automatically.  You can also specify by zip code.

In this example I would be targeting the zip code of 90210 which has over 323,000 Facebook users.

For full documentation and creating a Facebook ad see

Step 2.  To determine how many Facebook users "Like" your business, simply look at your Insights page, "Likes" selection.  The section labelled "Cities" details "The number of people that liked your Page as of xx/xx/xxxx broken down by city.  This is based on the users estimated home location.

Step 3.  You now have the two figures necessary to determine your "Reach".  This creates your baseline percentage.

Step 4.  Determine what "Reach" goal is.  Want  to maintain the current percentage?  Double it?  Triple it?  Remember to make your goal a SMART Goal for better results.

Your SMART Goal might read something like; the marketing department (or specific person) of Business X will increase local Facebook reach from X% to Y% of overall local Facebook users in the next X days.

So it might read something like; Mary will increase local Facebook reach from 15% to 25% of overall local Facebook users in the next 60 days.

If you need a refresher on SMART Goals I do into further detail in the article Ensure Your Social Media Efforts are Paying Off.

Step 5.  Act on your new initiative and measure your results at the end of each month. Ask your customers to "Like" your business on Facebook. This can be done in your venue with signage, in print ads, using Facebook ads and landing pages, on radio, any number of ways that fit your budget and goals.

Measuring Engagement Levels in Social Media

Social Media Marketing success is based almost entirely on how well you engage your customers. I qualify with "almost" because I believe if your efforts are not supporting a quality brand, product or service you could do most everything perfectly and still not get great results.

Social Media pros know they need to measure their efforts and adjust to consistently and systematically improve engagement with their audience.   Here are a number of great tools that create visibility and allow you to monitor your effectiveness.

Measure Your Overall Effectiveness Across Multiple Channels


The Klout Score measures influence based on your ability to drive action. Every time you create content or engage you influence others. The Klout Score uses data from social networks in order to measure:
  • True Reach: How many people you influence
  • Amplification: How much you influence them
  • Network Impact: The influence of your network
Peer Index

Peer Index scores your online influence, rewarding for positive interactions and mitigating negative ones.
Crowdbooster shows re-tweets stats and graphs plus Facebook impression counts and interactions

Crowdbooster helps you achieve an effective presence on Twitter and Facebook. We show you analytics that aren't based on abstract scores but numbers that are connected to your business and your social media strategies: impressions, total reach, engagement, and more. We then give you the tools and recommendations you need to take action and improve each one of these metrics.

Social Bakers

Socialbakers has developed an application that makes it easy for to get sophisticated metrics on our performance through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Facebook Specific

EdgeRank Checker (Ranking by day, time, post, all the details)

EdgeRank is an algorithm that ranks objects in the Facebook News Feed. Pages receiving high EdgeRank Scores will be more likely to show up in the fans news feed instead of Pages with low EdgeRank Scores.

Why is EdgeRank Important?

If a Brand generally has low EdgeRank objects, then the Brand’s updates will be seen by less people. This means that their Facebook marketing budget is being less effective than it could be. Brands that are succeeding with high EdgeRank objects are leveraging their Facebook budget by multitudes. The difference between leveraging and being punished by EdgeRank is substantial. The difference can result in a 5x difference in exposure.

0 – 10 is below average
11 – 20 is average
21 – 30 is above average
31+ is excellent

Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights provides Facebook Platform developers and Facebook Page owners with metrics around their content. By understanding and analyzing trends within user growth and demographics, consumption of content, and creation of content, Page owners and Platform developers are better equipped to improve their business and create better experiences on Facebook.

Talking About This: (TAT) This figure represents how many of your fans have interacted by any or all of the following; Liked your Page, Liked a Post Goals, Liked an Image, Shared or commented.  Between 4% and 8% of followers engaging equals good results and are the most cited figures by industry experts.

Likes and Shares: When someone Likes or Shares content on your page

Check Ins: When someone Checks-In to your venue on Facebook.

Twitter Specific

Tweet Grader

Twitter Grader is a free tool that allows you to check the power of your twitter profile compared to millions of other users that have been graded.

Just enter your twitter username (password not needed) and you'll get an instant grade and report. It's easy.  Ratings are on a 1-100 scale

Retweets; if you get a lot of retweets from your followers you are doing a good job of providing them content they enjoy and want to share.
Clicks; if your followers are clicking and following your links you have established a positive relationship with your followers.

Stumble Upon URL Shortener shortens and provides Twitter click statistics when you create and post using their service. Also provides recommended times to post based upon previous results. is an URL shortening service for online publishers, bloggers and StumbleUpon members that allows you to simultaneously syndicate your content to multiple social media websites. With you can now post your best content on Twitter and Facebook with one click.

Bitly URL Shortener shortens and provides click statistics and graphs.

bitly is the easiest and most fun way to save, share and discover links from around the web. We call these links bitmarks, and you can use bitly to remember, curate and share them.

FourSquare Specific

Check-Ins; On Foursquare success is measured in number of check-ins
Tips (Recommendations); are great on Foursquare as Tips left about your venue are seen by everyone viewing your venue on Foursquare and may influence, positive or negative.

Get More Social Media Ideas and How To

Drive more business; How to Launch Facebook Offers, Brand Building on Facebook, Best Time to Post on Facebook and Twitter, How to Super Charge your Facebook, How to use Facebook and Linked In groups

Please share the tools you use by posting a comment below.

Tools for Measuring Social Media Marketing Results

In the article, Ensure Your Social Media Efforts are Paying Off I detailed how to create Smart Goals to define expectations and realistic goals for your Social Media Marketing efforts.  This post, Social Media Tools for Measuring Results is about creating those relationships between things that are measurable and you can qualify and those things that are not worth the resources to measure and instead are quantified.
Mouse and tools

If you have created a proper Smart Goal, your goal should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound.  So let's use the example in Ensure Your Social Media Efforts are Paying off and define a Smart Goal for measuring.

Smart Goal - Using Social Media increase revenues 10% within the next 60 days.

Specific - yes, increase revenue 10%
Measurable -  yes, we can measure revenue
Attainable - yes, 10% is possible
Relevant - yes, we are using Social Media and I am the person to do this
Time Bound - yes, in the next 60 days

The most difficult part of this will be to determine how much revenue is based on social media marketing.  Let's create a few "facts" for our example.

We will create a hypothetical restaurant names SoCal Steaks.

Current figures:  (Using the same example we created in Ensure Your Social Media Efforts are Paying Off).

Weekly Sales = $50,000
Customers Served = 2000
Ave per Customer = $25

Social Media Networks Usage

SoCal Steaks has a Facebook fan page. Is listed on Foursquare but has not claimed the venue. SoCal also has a Twitter account that is not really used.  The current stats are as follows:

Facebook Fans: 500
  • Check-Ins per day: 1
  • Check-Ins per week: 7
  • Check-Ins per fan: 0.2%
  • Current new Fan rate:  2 per week
  • Updates: 2 per week

Foursquare Check-Ins per day: 1

Twitter Followers: 50
Tweets:  2 per week (Twitter account is tied to Facebook account)

Stats and Figures

Using the current stats we know:

14 total Check-Ins per week (7 FB + 7 FS).
Check-Ins per Facebook Fan: 0.2%
Check In Revenue:  $350 ($25 ave sale x 14 check-ins per week)
Check In Revenue as a % of Total Revenue: .7%  (FB + FS combined)

We place a value of a Facebook fan to equal $0.10 cents revenue ($50,000 revenue / 500 Facebook Fans). We will adjust later as we learn more but let's say $0.10 to start.  So, to increase revenues 10% which equals $5,000 per week we would need to add 50,000 fans at a value of $.10 each. That's not possible, realistic or feasible.

Let's look at this differently. We need to determine how many Facebook fans come into the restaurant and how often. We can do this by asking them on Facebook with a Poll. We can create a Check-In Special or Facebook offer, both of which are also a great tracking tools.

Creating A Check-In Special or Facebook Offer and Measuring

A Facebook Check In and Offer are two different things.  Both are basically a special that will allow us to track how check-ins relate to fans and revenues.  The added benefit of a check-in is they do it at the venue and every time a fan checks in they broadcast to their friends they are at SoCal Steaks.  A great added bonus which should bring in more customers as well.

By the customer broadcasting the check-in to their friends we might also see an increase in our new fan rate. We determined our current rate to equal 2 new fans per week. If we see this increase to 10 per week and we previously determine each fan is worth $0.10, then we also realize a virtual worth of $1.00 that should be deducted from the cost of the Check-In.

Here's how to Create Facebook Offers in Minutes.

How Much Does a Check In or Offer Cost

There is no charge from Facebook to create either.  There are different types of Check-Ins or Offers you can create. One that is a % off, one that is a free item, one that is a dollar value off. I prefer and recommend the free item. Why? The cost of the item is much less than the value. For example, a free dessert that sells for $7.00 will cost under $2.00 normally.

How Much Does a Check In or Offer Bring in Revenue

Calculate the revenue using the sale, less the cost of the dessert. You may find the average sale goes up. In the case of the free dessert, the customer may add a coffee to go with the dessert. The added profit from the coffee will partially offset the cost of the dessert making the cost minimal.

ROI per Check In Customer

Cost of Check-In: $1.00 (Food cost $2 - Fan increase $1(10 x .10))
Revenue: $25+ in revenue.
ROI: $24 per check in.

This would equate to running an a print ad for $500 and generating $12,000 in sales.  Something any business owner would take every day of the week.  Fantastic!  Remember, when you run an ad with a coupon in the local newspaper or where ever you need to add the cost of the ad when determining ROI.

Print Ad Example:

Coupons redeemed:  100
Food cost: $2 per unit
Ad Cost:  $300

Food Cost Total $200 (100 x $2) + Ad Cost ($300) = Total Cost $500 or $5 per customer.
ROI: $20

You can see the ROI for a Facebook check-in is $24 compared to a print at ROI of $20.  Use this formula with your exact figures and see which is more profitable for your venue.

Quick Update

At this point it is important to note that we need to be seeing an overall increase of sales otherwise we are cannibalizing typical sales.  We want to add sales, not see the same sales with the increased cost of the Check In Special or Offer.

Do a quick tally of Sales / customer = Ave sale per customer.  This should be done weekly if not daily.

Progress with Facebook Check-Ins

Week 1:  10 Check-Ins
Week 2:  15 Check-Ins (50% increase)
Week 3:  22 Check-Ins (32% increase)
Week 4:  29 Check-Ins (32% increase)
Total after 4 weeks:   76 check-ins total, weekly change +32%

Total Facebook Fans

Week 1:  520; +20
Week 2:  555; +35
Week 3:  580; +25
Week 4:  610; +35

These figures are examples, track your actual figures and determine your rate and projections.

Let's remember our goal is to increase sales revenue $5000 per week which equals 200 new customers.

Projections at a sustained 32% increase in check-ins

Week 4: 38 (29 x 1.32 rate increase)
Week 5: 49 (38 x 1.32 rate increase)
Week 6: 64 (49 x 1.32 rate increase)
Week 7: 83 (64 x 1.32 rate increase)
Week 8: 108 (83 x 1.32 rate increase)

These figures are examples, track your actual figures and determine your rate and projections.

During our week 4 review we would determine that our efforts to add 200 more weekly customers using strictly Facebook Check-Ins and see at Week 8 we would have 108 customers and would fall short by 92 customers.  We would need to modify our Smart Goals, or add more Social Media Marketing initiatives.

At this point the decision might be made to add Foursquare Check Ins.  Foursquare Check Ins work the same as Facebook but potentially bring new customers into the venue.  Remember, with Facebook Check-Ins and Offers you are primarily reaching fans that "Like" you.  Foursquare opens up your Check-In to everyone using Foursquare.  To start using Foursquare and create check-ins see How To Foursquare and Drive Business

Measuring Tools - Part 3

Social Media pros know they need to measure their efforts and adjust to consistently and systematically improve engagement with their audience.   Here are a number of great tools that create visibility and allow you to monitor your effectiveness.

I hope this 3 part article gives you some good ideas and provides a working framework to start, measure and succeed in your Social Media Marketing efforts.

Get More Social Media Ideas and How To

Drive more business; How to Launch Facebook Offers, Brand Building on Facebook, Best Time to Post on Facebook and Twitter, How to Super Charge your Facebook, How to use Facebook and Linked In groups

Ensure Your Social Media Efforts are Paying Off.

Are your Social Media efforts paying off?  Yes or No?  How do you know?  Define paying off? If you're a small business, a marketing professional, or trying to sell your services in Social Media you must to be able to provide simple answers to this direct, but complex question.  So, the answer to the question, "What are the results of our Facebook spend"  better not be, "We got a lot of likes." And it can't be, "things are going good."  You need to specifically illustrate how your Social Media Marketing efforts are supporting business goals and paying off.

Every business needs to know the results from activities and use of resources.  Nothing frustrates upper management and business owners more than guesses, hunches or evasive answers.  The challenge becomes quantifying and qualifying your efforts and defining success.  If you can do this you will win more business, or will become an indispensable superstar with a valued opinion well on your way to reaching your career goals.

Example in Action

Let's say you are responsible for the Marketing for a restaurant and you want to generate $260,000 more annually which equals $5000 more dollars in sales per week.  $5000 dollars may be huge or small for your particular situation or venue so please replace this figure with something more relevant but let's use $5000 for this example.

You know or should know what each customer generates on average for revenue.  In our example for nice round numbers lets say that each customer equals $25 in sales.  How many new customers do you need in your restaurant to reach your goal?  That's easy, $5000 (sales) / $25 (ave per customer) = 200 new customers. This is 200 more customers coming in each week.  Is 200 new customers attainable and realistic?  How much of an increase over existing customers is this?  For example, if you're currently serving 2000 customers per week then a 10% increase seems attainable.

For the sake of this example let's assume you have the capacity and resources to serve 200 more customers and do it well.  You have seating space is available, staffing is available, and the other intangibles that are required.  Your first step to attaining 200 more weekly customers is to map out a plan starting with creating a Smart Goal.

Smart Goals

The first steps towards determining if Social Media efforts are successful is to define success.  The most effective way to do this is with Smart Goals.  (If you are not familiar with the Smart Goal concept, Google it.  It's one of the basic fundamental tools used in successful business.)  Follow the Smart Goal framework to create your Social Media Marketing goal.

Specific | Measurable | Attainable | Relevant | Time Bound

Smart Goals
Specific - To make goals specific, they must tell a team exactly what is expected, why is it important, who’s involved, where is it going to happen and which attributes are important.
A specific goal will usually answer the five "W" questions:
  • What: What do I want to accomplish?
  • Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
  • Who: Who is involved?
  • Where: Identify a location.
  • Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
 Measurable - The thought behind this is that if a goal is not measurable, it is not possible to know whether a team is making progress toward successful completion.  A measurable goal will usually answer questions such as:
  • How much?
  • How many?
  • How will I know when it is accomplished?
Attainable - While an attainable goal may stretch a team in order to achieve it, the goal is not extreme. That is, the goals are neither out of reach nor below standard performance, as these may be considered meaningless.  An attainable goal will usually answer the question:
  • How: How can the goal be accomplished?
Relevant - The fourth term stresses the importance of choosing goals that matter.  Relevant goals (when met) drive the team, department, and organization forward. A goal that supports or is in alignment with other goals would be considered a relevant goal.  A relevant goal can answer yes to these questions:
  • Does this seem worthwhile?
  • Is this the right time?
  • Does this match our other efforts/needs?
  • Are you the right person?
Time Bound - This is a target date or set of dates and creates urgency.  A time-bound goal will usually answer the question:
  • When?
  • What can I do 6 months from now?
  • What can I do 6 weeks from now?
  • What can I do today?
Complete step 1 by creating your Smart Goal.

Step 2, Once your goal is created... begin Step 2, Tools for Measuring Social Media Marketing Results.

Get More Social Media Ideas and How To
Drive more business; How to Launch Facebook Offers, Brand Building on Facebook, Best Time to Post on Facebook and Twitter, How to Super Charge your Facebook, How to use Facebook and Linked In groups

Custom Facebook Page Examples

Looking to get more out of your Facebook fan page? How about more engagement and more growth for your business. In previous posts we talked about how much a Facebook fan is worth. Now, let's highlight elements of pages we've created for clients that have helped them engage their customers, develop fans and grow their businesses.

Testimony From Business Owners Shown in Video

Beanies has had a great working relationship with Net Profits for the past few months. James has increased our Facebook activity and has gotten us involved with other social media. I have been and will continue to recommend him to business associates. He has gone over and above what I hired him to do. I have seen an increase because of his efforts and plan continually working with James.
~ Marcia Endicott

James brought a lot of great ideas for my bussiness (sic). With his help, we increased our facebook activity and customers at the door. He is very knowledgeble (sic) with marketing tools and computer software. I would defenetely (sic) recommend him to anybody who want to increase their bussiness (sic).
~ Mike Tsirlin

Enjoy the video. Hope it gives you many great ideas.

I show you how to create custom Facebook pages and tabs in How to Super Charge your Facebook.

Get More Social Media Ideas and How To

Drive more business; How to Launch Facebook Offers, Brand Building on Facebook, Best Time to Post on Facebook and Twitter, How to Super Charge your Facebook, How to use Facebook and Linked In groups

Launch Facebook Promoted Posts in Minutes

Facebook has made available Promoted Posts.  The idea behind promoted posts is to get your posts into the News Feed of your fans and their friends.

All promoted posts will show in the news feeds of the people who like your Page and, when they interact with the post, to their friends. These posts will be labeled as "Sponsored" in the news feed. Promoted posts will not be shown in the right-hand column of Facebook as an ad normally would.  Thus, other than the words "Sponsored" they appear as a normal post would

To create a Promoted post:

1.  Go to the sharing tool to create a post you normally would.

facebook promoted post on Net Profits Media
2.  Enter your post details.  Create the eye-catching headline that will engage your fans.

3  Click on the Promote drop-down button and set your desired budget. The budget you set is a lifetime budget and not a daily budget.

4.  Click Save

facebook promoted post on Net Profits Media
Note: that the budget you set for your promoted post is a lifetime budget that will run over the entire duration of your promoted post. Just like with ads, you may be billed daily to the primary funding source you’ve designated in your Ads Manager, and only for the amount that is used to run your campaign. You can view your primary funding source as well as access invoices from the gear drop-down in the "Promote" button, or from your Ads Manager.

facebook promoted post
Promote any post you've created in the last 3 days.

1.  Go to any post you've created in the past 3 days on your Page timeline
2.  At the bottom the post, just below where people can add a comment, you'll see the Promote button. Click on it.

Note:  Pages need to have at least 400 likes before Promoted Post is available for that page.

Additional Help:

Get More Social Media Ideas and How To
Drive more business; How to Launch Facebook Offers, Brand Building on Facebook, Best Time to Post on Facebook and Twitter, How to Super Charge your Facebook, How to use Facebook and Linked In groups

Additional Resources:

Promoted Post Video distributed by Facebook
facebook promoted post on Net Profits Media

5 Easy Steps Turn Likes Into Results

Facebook thumbs up success
More is better. To be better is to have more. That’s what we’re typically told. With Facebook this same idea rings true more often than not. Survey the landscape on Facebook and see that most every page displays the Facebook iconic “thumbs up” and number of “Likes”, THE badge of “Social Proof”.

To be successful with digital marketing business owners and marketers need to approach each “Like” or “Follow” as a beginning rather than an end. Success using Web 2.0 tools should not be measured solely in the number of acquaintances we make. Focus must be on how deeply we engage and keep our business fresh in people’s minds while generating sales. While Web 2.0 is about “enable and facilitate”, growth, and sometimes even business survival depends on the “marketing” aspect of “Social Media Marketing.” Ultimately, marketing leading to sales are the results that matter.

The following can help you turn Facebook Likes into more results; and that more is better.

1. Start with a Compelling Offer

In Facebook Offers we detail how to create a compelling “Offer”. Design campaign offers with your customer in mind. Put yourself in their shoes. Read your offer out loud and see if it makes sense. Read it to a friend, spouse, and family member. Get their feedback. Sometimes we can become too familiar with our own work that things make sense to us because we’re subconsciously filling in blanks or interpreting our message. Don’t fall into that trap. I think we’ve all run across offers like that before. You probably tuned them out completely or maybe even stopped following that company figuring if they can’t craft a simple message how can they do anything right.

If your offer is customer centric, makes sense, gives value, easy to redeem / use your customers will respond and tell their friends about it. I created an offer for a client that went viral and 5x times the number of views as the client had “Likes”. This is the exact Offer I use as an example in Facebook Offers.

2. Build and Execute a Campaign Plan

The most successful campaigns aren’t single, one and done posts. They will generally span a few weeks as they build, peek and taper off. Your customers may need to see on offer a few times before they respond. That’s normal. Consider testing a measuring a few variations of your message during the build period. Stick with the message getting the best results.

3. Create a full Campaign and Promotion Plan

Promote your offer across your various channels. Use Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Fousquare, Google +, email to get your message out. You will need to tailor your message for each platform. Keep the core message consistent. Make sure your customer that might see the promotion on different channels can tell it’s the same promotion, otherwise this may lead to confusion and confusion kills engagement and results.

4. Once Engaged Stay Engaged

Great marketers keep fans engaged once a campaign ends. It’s at this time you are fresh in their minds and they are most likely to respond. Now is the time to start a two way conversation. You’ll have a few days to get feedback more readily than at any other time. Ask questions, gather feedback and engage.

5. Keep Going with a Fresh Campaign

In step 2 we talked about a 2-3 week plan, in step 4 we talk about engaging and feedback. That translates into about a 4 week timeline for each campaign. Take your time to analyze the results, then, start a new campaign. Repeat successful results but not campaigns. Be careful and do not train your customers to come to think of your brand or business as a steady discounter. You want to use campaigns to engage fans and stimulate sales. Vary your campaign. You may not want to train your customers to put off buying from you at full price because you got into a predictable pattern.

Get More Social Media Ideas and How To

Drive more business; How to Launch Facebook Offers, Brand Building on Facebook, Best Time to Post on Facebook and Twitter, How to Super Charge your Facebook, How to use Facebook and Linked In groups

How To Foursquare and Drive Business

explore foursquare
Explore with Foursquare
Businesses are driving revenues using social media tools such as Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter and more. Today we’re focusing on Foursquare; what it is, why it’s popular, how it can drive customers into your business and the analytics available.

Foursquare it’s very social, very engaging and a very different experience from other social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. GPS functionality, ease of use and gaming attributes make discovering new places fun, rewarding and a quest on its own.


Foursquare is a leader in mobile social networking and local merchant services. Foursquare mobile applications leverage gaming dynamics to help users meet up with their friends on the go, discover what’s nearby, save money, unlock coupons and deals and post reviews of places they’ve been.

Foursquare Data (updated April 2012)
Users: 20+ million worldwide
Check-ins: 2+ billion, millions more each day
foursquare badges
Foursquare Badges
Businesses using Foursquare: 750,000+

How Customers Use Foursquare

People use Foursquare on a local level to broadcast to their friends where they are. They also use Foursquare to find local deals and specials which may be the differentiators in deciding what restaurant to go to or what night spot to meet up with friends at.

When visiting new communities Foursquare has a “Search” feature that allows customer to discover places. These are categorized as Top Picks, Specials, Food, Coffee, Nightlife, Shops, Arts & Entertainment, and Outdoors. Top Pick and Specials categories are reserved for those businesses that are top choices or offer specials.

Activities on Foursquare have point values and it’s these point values that drive the gaming excitement and uniqueness of Foursquare. For example, a new check-in may be worth +3 points. Connected friends compete to see who can score the most points, collect the most badges or determine who the “Mayor” of a venue is.

Customers also leave “Tips” which are similar to reviews and their own images of the places they have been.

How Businesses Benefit

Foursquare allows you to find new customers and form deeper connections with your best ones. When people check in on Foursquare at your business they are broadcasting to their friends and their social networks that they are at your business. This is an endorsement and mention for your business, and we all know referrals are a great way to drive foot traffic.

New Customers & Traffic Generators

With Specials, businesses reward their customers and bring more attention to their venue and generate new business. When a businesses runs a special the listing gets highlighted and stands out considerably from those not running specials.
Special Offer
  • Swarm Special , Example, "If 30 people check in at once, get 25 cent wings" 
  • Friend Special, Example, “Check in with 3 friends and get a free dessert” 
  • Flash Special, Example, "The first 10 people that check in after 8pm get 25% off their order" 
  • Newbie Special, Example, "Get a free cupcake on your first check-in" 
  • Check-in Special, Example, "Get a free appetizer when you check in"
Reward Existing Customers
  • Loyalty Special, Example, "Get a free cookie every 3rd check-in"
  • Mayor Special, Example, "Mayor gets 20% off their entire bill"
Note: Specials are only for claimed venues. If you have not yet claimed your business on foursquare, click here to get started. You need a Foursquare user account to claim a venue. You do not have to have a smart phone to create an account, although it does make it easier to understand once you’ve used it on a smart phone. You can get started in just 90 seconds. I explain how here.

Once you’ve claimed your venue and started offering specials you will want to promote your special online and offline. Promote your specials online using Facebook, Twitter, your website, wherever you can. Offline use flyer's, window stickers, chalkboards, whatever and wherever you can to draw traffic. Read more including case studies and results achieved here.

In this video I show you step by step how to create a special in under 4 minutes.

Visibility: Your Customer & Stats

Once you’ve claimed your business on Foursquare, you get full access to real-time data about your customers, including:
Foursquare stats
Foursquare Stats
  • Total daily check-ins over time
  • Your most recent visitors
  • Your most frequent visitors
  • Gender breakdown of your customers
  • What time of day people check in
  • Portion of your venue’s foursquare check-ins that are broadcast to Twitter and Facebook
It’s super useful, and can be used to tailor your Specials (or even your business).

Get Started

You can get started in just 90 seconds. I explain how here. Remember, you need a Foursquare user account to claim a venue. You do not have to have a smart phone to create an account, although it does make it easier to understand once you’ve used it on a smart phone.

Claim your venue Head on over to this page to claim your listing and get full access to all of Foursquare’s free tools.

Create a Special After you’ve claimed your venue, start creating Specials (for free!) to get new customers and reward your loyal ones.

Grow your business Engage your customers, learn more about them, and help new ones find you. The foursquare Merchant Platform has all the tools you need.

Get More Social Media Ideas and How To

Drive more business with How to Launch Facebook Offers, Brand Building on Facebook, Best Time to Post on Facebook and Twitter, How to Super Charge your Facebook, How to use Facebook and Linked In groups

Facebook and Linked In Groups Drive Traffic

Getting traffic to your website or blog can be tough,especially if you are a small business or an individual blogger. The good news is two of the biggest social media networks have tools to tap allowing instant access to targeted audiences. These tools are called Groups. Groups on Facebook and Linked In are exactly what a “group” sounds like. Like-minded people connected for the purpose of sharing resources, insights, best practices, getting advice, mentoring, etc.

Join Our GroupJoin Groups to post messages, either by starting a new message (conversation) or by responding to an existing thread. Include a link(s) to your website or blog. Many groups allow polls and have simple tools for creating and monitoring them.

When posting, be aware of the group rules which are usually linked for all to see. Be sensitive to the number of post you create and aware of how group members perceive the nature of your posts. You certainly don’t want to be seen as an intrusive spammer. Some Groups give warnings; some just kick out offending members. Each group has different rules.

Facebook Groups

According to Facebook, Groups are close circles of people that share and keep in touch on Facebook.

Find Groups on Facebook is using the Search tool.
Simply enter your keyword or term and click the search icon. Here’s an example using the term Blogging.  Once the results are returned, click the link at the bottom that says see more results. You will then see “All Results”. From here you are able to filter. Simply select “Groups”.

Hover over the name of the group to get a short description of the group. Clicking on the group name will take you into the group page where you have read access. Join and you’ll be able to post and spread your messages to the group members.

Learn more about Facebook Groups

Linked In Groups

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 120 million members and growing rapidly. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals.

There are Groups useful for engaging your audience with practically any professional interest. In fact at the time of writing this article there are 1,294,632 Groups on Linked In. Narrow down and target relevant Groups by subject using the search tool.

Linked In also provides a valuable summary of each group:
  • Group name
  • Group description
  • Number of members
  • Quantity of discussions this month
  • Number of members from your network
Learn more about Linked In Groups

When to Post to Groups

Once you know the best time to post you can zero in and get the best results and most traction from your post. Armed with the day and time of when your fans most engage with your brand you are now able to post that awesome special or promotion that drives in business and rings the cash register. We previously covered this subject with study results and testing methods at Best Time to Post.


Groups are a great way to reach and engage a targeted group of people that have an interest in your product or service. Join a group today and drive traffic to your website or blog.


James Meyer

Net Profits Media, LLC
Port Washington, WI 53074
p: 414-687-7018
Twitter: @NetProfitsMedia