Has Social Media Really Changed?

As a small business owner who likes to connect with other small business owners… I get to hear my fair share of griping about social media. It’s confusing (it is), the algorithm (pick your channel) is suppressing reach, it’s a hassle, I hate keeping up with trolls…

Probably the one that plucks at my own heart strings the most is how it – particularly Facebook – raises obstructions to organic connection with potential followers, fans, customers, or clients.

So…. yes. I get it.

In 2012, I had a Facebook Page on which I spent virtually nothing. With in a year, I popped up to 2000 followers. What’s more, we (and by we, I mean the followers of the Page) had good interaction. On a daily basis, we chit-chatted about things – usually related to the Page topic, even loosely, but not always. I did buy one ad – ran it for a single day – to build an email list. Otherwise, we were able to interact regularly.

Why? Two reasons:

  1. Because if I posted, the post went to people’s newsfeeds.
  2. Because I responded, and so did others in the community.

These weren’t just static posts, memes to be chuckled at and shared. These were jumping off points for sharing things about our day, launching discussion, or sharing ideas.

Recently, I was sent this article from the Buffer blog, and asked for my opinion.
Why I Think Social Media is For Branding and Engagement, Not Traffic or Revenue.

(Go ahead and pop over to read the article. I’ll be here when you get back.)

In response to the inquiry about my opinion, I have a couple of thoughts.

  • Well, yes. But that’s not new. Social Media has always been a place where potential customers can get to know your business,and current clients can send a quick pm or post to ask about hours, availability, or a customer service issue. That’s branding right there. And let’s face it, if someone is asking about your hours, or policy, or needs help with an issue, I certainly hope you’re actively responding (I’m not a big fan of the private message bots). Active, personal responses are engagement. #amirite #sothispartisnotnew
  • <ahem> I don’t sell directly on Facebook (although some of my clients do). But there are some folks out there rakin’ in the bucks and they are doing so strictly on social media.

It’s not a big secret how, either. My bet is that you’ve seen – and probably clicked like – on these efforts. Want to know who these people are? Okay, so- you know those posts you see in your feed, a bunch of your Facebook friends liked the post, so Facebook is showing it to you? And it’s a really cool mermaid necklace/salad chopper/gadget for drawing angles? Yes. Those things. They’re for sale, and here’s how it works: The seller identifies a trending product, creates a landing page, and then runs a Facebook ad that very specifically targets people who love mermaids and buy jewelry (or eat lots of salad or do lots of handyman projects, you get the idea). These ads aren’t running because Facebook is brilliantly hypnotizing people into getting out their credit cards to buy ads. They’re running because other people are actually getting out their credit cards to buy mermaid necklaces, salad choppers, and gadgets for drawing angles. Lots of them. for this reason, I firmly disagree that social media is “not for” revenue.

As for the traffic issue – To my mind, this goes back to the engagement issue. Scenario: a blog is published, and shared on a social media channel – with enough content to give the reader a clear idea of the topic and that there’s more if you follow the link to the full article. Of the people who see your post*, some will scroll on by. Some will comment without bothering to read the entire article (so keep that in mind when you post your snippet). And, some will follow the link to read the entire article. And that, right there, is traffic.

So – what has really changed in social media? The users.

The users who are your target customers/clients/community are savvier. They know the platform. They have lightning speed – partly because they are so comfortable with the tech, partly because the social media channels have gotten better at being easy to use, and partly because they have to be fast. They’re busy. They’re scanning email in line at the grocery store, they’re scrolling through Instagram while waiting to pick up their lunch order.
I agree with the writer that there is an experience of “content shock.” The social media world is crammed with images, video, and memes clamoring for the users’ attention. It’s a matter of self-protection to screen out what the algorithm does let through.

So make it worth their time and worth their attention.

And, absolutely, above all, when you have engagement, respond. If people have made it clear that you are worth their time, be sure to demonstrate that they are worth your time in return. *Acknowledged, social media channels have placed “barriers” for business interests to pay for reach. Well, it’s their property. Your website is yours. You don’t expect your business to run for free. It’s not really fair to expect any social media channel to run for free. Do your homework, and spend your time (and, sometimes, yes, your money) where it will work the best for you, your business, and your customers.

Unlock the Mystery of Keywords on WordPress

There’s a great, simple, easy, and (wait for it) free tool for WordPress sites that make using keywords in posts an articles a breeze. In this video, I take a sample article (thank you, Free PLR Article Directory) and improve it according to the the easy-to-use tools in Yoast SEO.

Was this helpful? Please let me know in a comment below or on Facebook. Thanks – I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

sign showing we like you too. good facebook citizen

Be a Good (Facebook) Citizen

So – I am not one of those people who works at home in my pajamas. If you are, good for you! Me, I can’t do it. It has an effect on my mindset. I need to be ready to go, mentally, and how I’m dressed is part of that mindset.
Mindset is important. We all know how much more we can get done when we’re “in the zone.” It’s not just about the quantity of work, it’s about the quality as well. When you’re in the right frame of mind, you put out a lot, and it’s generally “better” than those days where things aren’t quite coming together the way you hope. I firmly believe that mindset is a big issue in how we handle social media. Not everyone will agree, and I’ll say right here: Only you can define what works for you. But this has been on my mind for a long time, and I’d like to share just a few of my thoughts.
Offline, most of us try to be good citizens. We don’t litter, avoid jaywalking, and really do try to remember to use our turn signal. Sometimes we even let the other guy take the left turn before we proceed through the intersection. Being a good citizen, exercising civility is something that makes life better for everyone (including ourselves). Why wouldn’t you want to be a good Facebook citizen?
The same thing is true online. Each social channel media channel has a slightly different culture, and today I’m only going to talk about Facebook. Following these simple guidelines will help you stay that person people who’s posts make other smile – not cringe.

  1. Don’t immediately accept a friend request. Seriously, whether you immediately recognize the person or not, visit their profile page. Do you know them? If you don’t, how many friends do you have in common and who are they? This can be a big clue to why they want to connect. If you do know them, still check out the profile. Make sure this looks like the person you know offline. If you don’t have time to check, then just let the request sit. It will wait for you. They don’t spoil.
  2. Make your friend list private. This is probably the single most important thing you can do. It’s a very common scam for people to phish (copy) a profile and then send friend requests to all of the friends of the person they are decoying. They’re using your established relationship as a trust basis to ultimately run a financial scam. A new, more recent version, is when one of these unsavory folks phishes only the Messenger account. They still copy the Facebook profile picture and send requests to your friends, but don’t create a separate Facebook profile. Don’t fall for it. If you can’t link to their profile from within Messenger, ask pointed questions to see if this is the person you know. But – to get back to my point: This scam doesn’t work when you have your friends list private. The whole point of this scam is to abuse the trust your friends have in you. Protect your friends from dealing with these jerks by keeping your friend list private. No temptation, and the scammers move on.
  3. Don’t add people to your Facebook group without getting their permission first. Just.don’t. Ask. It’s not a big deal to ask, and then you know what their interest level is.
  4. No vaguebooking. Got a bone to pick with someone? Don’t post about it on Facebook and just “not name names.” It’s not good form. It’s not edifying. If you can – let it go and move on. And if you can’t do that, then deal with the issue but don’t electronically air your dirty laundry. Ew.
  5. Cheer others on. Facebook has its pros and cons, but one of my favorite things about it is that, every day, I can easily support and encourage people. We don’t always have time we’d like to chat with friends, but in just a few seconds, we can bring some sunshine into their day with a comment (Congrats!). I’ll let you in one a secret. I am a reactionary reveiwer. When I have a bad experience with a company, I head online… and start writing reviews for other companies. Companies and businesses that have served me well – I sing their praises! I feel great, they get an endorsement, and my comments help other people to know businesses that can be trusted. Sure, I write a bad review when called for. But I think people would rather read where to go than spend their time reading what to avoid. I’ll tell you from experience: writing good reviews has always made me feel better that writing a well-deserved bad one.

Need some help with your social media? If managing your social media seems as if it should be obvious but feels like being lost in the woods, make an appointment for a free consultation. We can help you make social media work for you (and not the other way around).

Are You Spinning Your Wheels on Social Media?

At this point in the twenty-first century (can you believe it’s nearly 20% over?), most of us have a very big chunk of experience on social media. That’s not the same as having professional experience. One of the upsides of having a lot of professional experience is that I no longer waste my time when it comes to social media. My time is valuable, and I know how to use it best. Most of the time I first speak with a new client, our social media conversation goes in one of two directions:

  1. They have social media channels. Why don’t they get more interaction/sales/likes?
  2. They spend an enormous amount of time and energy working their social media channels, and have nothing to show for it.

I don’t do either of the above. Let’s take a quick look. They have social media channels. Why don’t they get more interaction/sales/likes? The answer to this lies in Analytics (also called Insights on Facebook). Who has liked you? Who actually follows you? When are they online? When you use hashtags, do you get more or less interaction? These answers may not be spelled out (sometimes they are), but they are there. Social media isn’t a billboard on the side of a highway. It’s social – give people something motivating to click, like, or share. They spend an enormous amount of time and energy working their social media channels, and have nothing to show for it.To be honest, when they’re telling me about all the time and actions they’re taking, these folks never mention results. When I ask – I get answers ranging from “nothing” to “I don’t know.” The “nothing” results always puzzle me – why keep spending your time (and money) in fruitless action? The “I don’t know’s” are on the right track. If only there is a way to know. Well, usually, there is. And if there isn’t a direct way, there’s a workaround to help you figure out what is working so you can stop spending your efforts on what isn’t.

I generally share with clients that I am a believer in social media marketing – that is, in buying well designed, curated, and monitored ads. But, with most of my clients, we don’t get there for months. Because the fact is, if you’re not managing your social media, you are absolutely not ready to use it to market anything.

If you’re just looking to burn calories, maybe build some endurance – then a stationary bicycle that just spins the wheels while you pedal up a sweat will do. But if you actually want to go somewhere, you need to have contact with the road while you’re pedaling.

Do you want to take your social media to the next level, but you don’t think your ready? Set up a call. We can get your rolling – and show results.

Five Easy Steps for Using the Post Tool in WordPress

Using the Post Tool is super easy. If Pecan Media Services set up your WordPress website, the post tool is also super important. You may be using it for:

  • blog posts
  • Newsletters
  • Even sales listings

Here’s how you add a new post:

  1. Click Add New
  2. Give your post a title
  3. Add your content
  4. Add a featured image If we set up your site, the featured image is really important.
  5. Publish

Need a little more guidance? No worries. Check out the video below:

Frustrated with your website? Click here and book a free 30-minute consultation with us. Free.

First Things First: Get Them On Your List

Welcome – And Why You Should Get Them On Your List First

One of the most important things you’re going to do for your business is to build your email list. When people tell you that, “the money is in the list” they’re not just using keywords. They are speaking truth. Think about it: when you build an email list you have access to your audience 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and – most important – you own the list.

Why List Building?
It’s (really) this simple: Having a strong email list allows you to increase your income at virtually anytime…

  • if you understand your audience fully,
  • if you know their problems,
  • and if know great ways to solve them.

Remember the old school address books? Your list is like an address book made up just of customers or clients. They might be current clients, prospective customers, or both. Imagine having a little book where you could directly give someone a call – someone who has already told you they’re interested. What if you could “call” (or email) them all at once about a product that they want? That’s your list.
But, you need to do it right so that only targeted list members are lucky enough to make it onto your list because you choose only the right products and right services to market specifically to them while also providing a lot of value outside of what you sell to them.

Enjoying the article? It’s an excerpt from our full guide to list building. Click here or on the picture at right to download your free copy.

What This Challenge is About
This challenge is about using cornerstone content to build your email list with in-content opt-in offers, sometimes also called content upgrades. Cornerstone content has other names such as “epic content” and “pillar content”. In a nutshell, it’s in-depth but broad content that covers a lot of material and helps bring your audience to you, keep them on your site, and educate them about the things your audience cares about. By keeping it broad you give yourself more opportunity to include in-content offers to build your list.
Why List Building Needs to Be a Priority
When you make list building a priority – when you actively work to get your audience on your email list – you can bring them back to your site again and again while you also make offers, educate them, and provide a lot of value to them without having to constantly chase customers. People who sign up for your email list, assuming they’re targeted and your offers are consistently great, can also help you spread the word about new offers helping you get more buzz.
How Content Plays a Role in List Building
Content is the foundation of everything. It’s content that brings people to your website, and it’s content that they’ll download onto their computer when they get on your email list, and it’s content that you’re going to send in email to add value to their lives and make offers that help them solve their problems.List building is so important that you should think of it as your main goal when working on marketing, brand awareness, and adding value to your audience. Your website may be the hub of operations, but your email list is the foundation for the longevity for your business.
Still working on your list? Not sure how to get started? Click here to get our comprehensive guide to building your list.

Just WHAT Is In-Content List Building?

List building is not just an important part of building a successful business today – it’s foundational. It doesn’t matter whether the business is online or offline, brick-and-mortar or completely digital – it doesn’t matter. Every business needs to focus on list building to ensure they have an active and responsive audience. Ongoing list building ensures you can can keep your business going and can even provide indicators for future income over time.

You may have heard the common terminology for building your email list: opt-ins, freebies, or lead magnets are words you may have heard. In-content list building is simply putting the freebies within the content of your website. They can live on your blog posts, within cornerstone content, on your about page and elsewhere.
Let’s look at a few examples:
The best way to explain how this works is to give you a few examples of in-content opt-in offers that help build your list.

  • Example #1: Your website is targets people on low-carb diets. You write and publish articles about multiple different types of low-carb diets and the reasoning behind each. Within the content, you can link to an opt-in offer that gives even more in-depth information about low-carb diets. You might offer a “low-carb diet starter kit.” The kit could include a 7-day menu, a shopping list, and recipes along with tips to stick to the diet.
  • Example #2: An individual blog post that you publish is “How to Choose a Good Web Host.” Your opt-in offer could be an extensive comparison sheet of the various type of hosts, including pros, cons, costs, and ratings of how good their customer service is.
  • Example #3: Your website is directed toward mothers who are homeschooling elementary age children. You write a blog post about teaching letters and numbers to your own children. There’s a link to your freebie embedded within the content of that blog post. The freebie could be coloring sheets with letters and numbers on them that your audience can download, print, and let their children color.

As you can see, there is still a freebie, opt-in, or lead magnet, it is simply presented in a new way instead of site-wide. It is included within the content the potential customer is reading at the time. The opt-in adds increased value by offering additional information to what the viewer is consuming at the moment. This makes it more likely they’ll sign up because they want that freebie because it’s so relevant to them right at that moment.
By having several in-content opt-in options you not only give more opportunities to get onto your email list, but you give different segments of your audience an even better reason to sign up. Because of how intensely targeted they are, in-content offers, make these types of list members more valuable and typically more responsive to your offers.
In-content list building is an effective way to ensure that your business keeps growing while you continue to add exceptional value using and reusing the content that you create for them. It may seem like a lot of work, but the truth is, it’s more effective than almost any other list building method and will build your list big and healthy if you keep in mind your audience as you create content and opt-ins for the content.
Not sure where to start with list building? At Pecan Media Services, we specialize in the details of work like this. Click HERE and get our comprehensive guide to list building absolutely FREE

Enjoying the article? It’s an excerpt from our full guide to list building. Click here or on the picture at right to download your free copy.

A Quick Way To Get Started: Add Opt-In At The Bottom Of Your Posts

Our last post in this series focused on in-content opt-in offers. Now, let’s get started creating a quick one so that you can put this in action. There are several high converting spots to add an opt-in outside of your sidebar, slide, or pop-up offers.

An easy – and effective – way is to add an opt-in at the bottom of every blog post. If someone reads all the way to the bottom of a blog post, they are already interested and more likely to be interested in an offer.
This type of offer is considered a site-wide offer even though it appears at the bottom of each post. (You could also put a different opt-in at the bottom of each post you create based on the category that you use.)
The Technology
To add opt-ins, you’re going to need to create a download / thank you page where you add the opt-in as well as a sign-up form. You can do this in a few ways but at the absolute minimum, you need to purchase email autoresponder software. At Pecan Media Services, we have experience in multiple autoresponders, including Aweber.com, Convertkit.com, or Drip.com. But, for most of our clients, we recommend (and use ourselves) MailChimp. Your autoresponder allows you to create the form that you use to collect an email address to add to your list.
You’ll need to create at least one landing page for the opt-in offer: the thank you/download page. You can do this easily by simply creating another page on your website that is not added to the menu and is not indexed for search. You can also accomplish it with specialized landing page software that works with the email autoresponder software such as leadpages.net, instapage.com, and ConvertKit.com has landing page ability too. For most of us, however, a basic page on our own websites does the trick.
You may need a plugin that helps automate some of the processes, especially if you have numerous opt-ins created that you can add to a blog post based on the category that the blog post appears in. This can make it a lot simpler and faster, but you don’t have to have it. There are several such as Thrive Leads put out by Thrivethemes.com and Optinmonster.com.

You’ll also need to create the freebie itself for downloading. This can be as simple as creating a document in in Word and then turn it into a PDF file. You can make it look really professional using the software you already own, or you can hire someone to create a professional design that will make it really stand out. How you do it is up to you, but remember this, people are used to getting PDF documents as downloads.
Choose the Right Blog Posts

Enjoying the article? It’s an excerpt from our full guide to list building. Click here or on the picture at right to download your free copy.

Before creating your opt-in, analyze your blog posts to find out which blog posts already get the most views and comments. Even though this opt-in may end up being a site-wide opt-in, you want to reach the most active and engaged part of your audience. To do this, create something specifically for the most read posts on your website.
Once you’ve decided what your opt-in will be, outline it, and create it. Once created, get it up on your site so that it can be downloaded so you can start building your list as soon as possible.
The faster you get it up the faster you’ll start building your list.
Ready to build your list like crazy? Click here or on the image above and get our comprehensive guide

Why In-Content List Building Works

When you’re focused on list building it’s better to have many points of entry to your list, just like it’s best to have many points of entry to your website. You can get more points of entry into your website via your social media activity, guest posting, and even via paid ads. The more points of entry you have, the more traffic you’ll receive to your website. That means more of your audience will also see the in-content lead magnets you’re offering, and more will sign up and end up on your email list. In-Content List Building…

  • Ends Side Bar Blindness Consumers can (and will) block out the information on your sidebar so they can focus on reading your content. Most people don’t want to be sold to and have long ago become resistant to offers. In fact, the word offer itself can trigger a site visitor to stop looking. But, putting your offers within the content of your blog or website avoids this problem.
  • Grabs Your Audience’s Attention When you put additional information (especially free information) within the content of your website, it’ll become more apparent to your audience that this is something they should pay attention to. This is true whether it’s in a blog post, as a content upgrade to give additional information, or under your blog posts.
  • Provides Relevancy Putting an opt-in within the content of your post or website also helps provide relevancy. When presenting a freebie this way, you’re forced to be laser targeted so that it has something to do with what the audience member is currently looking at. That makes it more likely that they’ll download it and subscribe to your list.
  • They’re Already Interested Another reason in-content lead magnets work so well is that the person reading the content where the lead magnet sits happens to already be very interested in the topic they’re reading. This makes them much more likely to download the lead magnet and sign up for your email list.
  • Gives Deeper Understanding In-content lead magnets are very laser targeted and designed to give a deeper understanding of your customers’ problems and pain points and – most importantly – solutions. They also help them understand what type of quality you provide to your audience.
  • Provides Multiple Points of Entry When you put several different in-content lead magnets on your website with each being specific to your goals and objectives, they provide your audience multiple points of entry onto your email list. This in turn helps you service several segments of your audience.
  • Offers More Opportunity to Show Your Expertise Another factor with in-content email list building is that the more opt-in offers you provide, the more opportunities you have to show your audience your expertise level. The deeper you can go with the information, the better. st.

Enjoying the article? It’s an excerpt from our full guide to list building. Click here or on the picture at right to download your free copy.

List building is craft. Like anything, the more you “practice’ the better your results will be. Over time, you’ll need to revisit and revise your opt-ins as your audience’s and your business’s) needs change. One of my favorite sites in terms of opt-in use is HubSpot, Check them out, and you’ll see great examples of how they use in-content opt-in offers to build their email list.
Need support with creating or managing an opt-in? Pecan Media Services can help. Click HERE to get our COMPREHENSIVE guide

The More Focused the Offer, The Better

When using in-content list building practices, remember:
Focus is everything.

  • The more targeted your offers are to your ideal audience, the more effective they will be.
  • The more targeted they are, the better they will help your audience.
  • The more targeted they are, the more value they add.

But the most important thing is, the more targeted the offer, the more likely they are to take advantage of the offer. To create a highly targeted opt-in, offer here are some things to consider.

Enjoying the article? It’s an excerpt from our full guide to list building. Click here or on the picture at right to download your free copy.

Know Your Audience
You hear this constantly because it’s so important, but I can’t say this enough. Continuously pay attention to your typical client/customer. What you see, hear and read will not only help you create better products and services but also to create better lead magnets as well. Once you develop your ideal customer persona, consider also making them for subsets of this audience so that you can focus in even further. For example, if an audience consists of divorced women who want to learn to get on with their life there will be subsets of this population:

  • divorced women with kids,
  • divorced women without kids,
  • divorced women who wanted a divorce,
  • divorced women who didn’t want a divorce
  • and more.

If your products are right, you can dig deeper with your targeting.
Know Your Products & Services
Not everyone create the product or service they sell. If this describe you, and your business promotes other people’s products, it’s still up to you to understand the products and how they really work well beyond the sales page information. The best way to do this is to buy and use the product. There are situations where you may be able to contact the producer and get a free review copy. Otherwise, you’ll need to buy the products so that you can know them inside and out.
Determine Goals & Objectives
You don’t leave home without knowing your destination. And if you don’t know the route, you look it up or plug it into your GPS. Run your business with this same small (but key) attention. Before you create any type of content, know what the point of it is. Why are you creating this freebie? What content will the freebie go with? What do you want the audience to do? What do you want them to learn? How do you want them to feel about the content once they have download it and put it to use?
Follow this Rule: One Problem Means One Solution
Focus on only one problem and one solution at a time. This is the best use of a lead magnet. Your audience wants the solution and they want it fast. They want it instantly, In-content list building gives them this by presenting a solution right smack in the middle of the discussion of their problem.
Expand your Content
One way to create an effective lead magnet is to expand on the content in the blog post. For example: You’ve posted a recipe for roasted chicken. You’re making a lot of assumptions that they know how to carve the chicken… but what if you added a lead magnet to the recipe on how best to carve the chicken to serve it? How many people who want that extra information will grab it and sign up for your email list?
Help Them Do Something
This is the perfect opt-in for a a “how to” blog post. Try including an opt-in within the content that is a checklist that they can use to ensure that they don’t miss a step.
Know Where the Lead Magnet Should Be Placed
Before you even create the opt-in, decide where you’re going to put it for maximum impact. You can put it in more than one post, too, so long as it has something to do with other content and fits. But first, knowing where you want it will help you focus it better. After that, you can use it elsewhere if you want to.
Creating highly targeted offers requires that you understand your audience as well as your products and services. Use this information to help you make better lead magnets because each will have a specific reason for existing. Eventually, you’ll get so good at thinking about list building and lead magnets it will be second nature with each type of product you create.
Still working on your list? Not sure how to get started? Click here to set up a free call with us and we’ll talk you through what you need to do, and (if you’d like) how we can help. Our rates are competitive, and your first call will cost you nothing but your time. Let’s talk.