The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

facebook marketing

Brad Pitt at the Burn After Reading premiere

Image via Wikipedia

Unfortunately there was too long of a list of dumb client questions to pick from when it comes to  social media marketing.

The good news I figured out pretty quickly I was the common denominator between these unrelated clients. By my second big engagement, it became clear I wasn’t explaining the rules of the game.

Finally coming to the realization not everyone is an early adopter – well I didn’t know what they didn’t know.  I made bad assumptions that we were on the same page and then found myself if countless meetings wasting hours on, as my brother would say,“covering it up kitty.”

Latching onto the concept of managing client expectations, early this year I guest posted at Convince And Convert and actually created a pretty tight “Client Pre-Nup” you can download for free here. It’s a great social media audit you use for your potential clients.

The reality is, you don’t know what you’re doing and neither does your client.

Don’t get me wrong. I know most of you have good intentions and big plans. Been there done that.  But if you don’t know for a fact your client will execute on their end and uphold their end of the bargain, then you my friend are going to go down in shame as another casualty of the blame game.

It’s a no win situation.

Unless you can pull out a document to prove you “warned” them you’ll find yourself answering questions like this…

#1 “I Want To Go Viral. How Much Will That Cost?”

The sound of crickets fills your head.

You feel like a deer staring at the light of train getting to wreck into your agency.

Taking a deep breath, no blinking, shoulders back, you say…

“Going viral is NOT an outcome, it’s a happening.” Lori R Taylor

Are you guys with me?

You say this and you’ll see your customer’s head will nod.  You’ll feel the knot in their stomach relax as you start of on the right foot, building a teeny bit of trust.

But most importantly this is where you make sure they understand clearly if they don’t step up and allocate resources internally then you might as well take be taking a hill in Iraq with bb and water guns. And allocate resources doesn’t mean Betty Lou in accounting sending you a check, as your client tunes into YouTube waiting to be the next Double Rainbow phenomenon.

As an example, I have a futures trading friend, Hubert, who makes a boatload as a trader. Even as an internet marketer with a real deal membership site he kills it.

And do you know how he starts out EVERY sales presentation?

With the TRUTH.

“Look there are NO guarantees in trading. You will probably sign up for this and lose your ass. So if you can’t afford to lose money, don’t sign up.”

For Real.

This is how he starts every single webinar with a close rate is 30%+ and refund rate close to zilch. And so should you.

Moral of the story:

Be Hubert. Quote Lori. Win the limbo with the lowest run set on the bar possible to manage client’s expectations when it comes to social media marketing.

#2 “I Only Want Buyers As Fans On My Facebook Page, Can You Do That?”

Yeah and I want to have a three way with George Clooney and Brad Pitt on my birthday.

Too many agencies are selling social media services as a lead generation channel. The fact many brands use Facebook advertising to get more fans would be your first clue it’s not as easy as it sounds to get the attention of the users on Facebook.

However, once you do, your fan page should be valued  as a powerful touch point with your existing customers. Your goal should be to interact with your customer base in a two way conversation to stay top of mind. It’s a great workhorse to help you build the lifetime value of a customer.

Social media marketing strategies are optimized best when tied into a customer loyalty strategy to make good customers great.  

Giving your raving fans something to talk about, be excited about or even be curious about, can help you  “spread the word” about your product or service. The right promotion can help you really extend your brand reach.

It’s not to say you can’t tap into Facebook insights or other tools to track traffic to your online site.  That’s exactly what you should be doing.  This type of data will allow you to support as your social media presence grows, so do your sales or activity around your brand.

The most important thing you can do is set up at CRM scoring system for your overall customer base. This means you can look at your customers and be able to say who is a great customer and who is a terrible customer.  It allows you to append data points to build a model for social media marketing.

A Facebook page allows you to interact with your fans to get more insights into who they are and which ones matter the most.

Once you are able to start connecting the dots between social media and your sales channel, you’ll begin to be able to accurately determine the ROI of your efforts.  Knowing where your best customers come in contact with you outside of the sales channel, puts you in a much stronger position to amp up your direct response efforts.

But if you’re selling social media as the “must have” link to increase sales you’re selling yourself, the client and the medium short.

Moral of the story

Remind your clients it’s not an eye for an eye, ok?  A thousand new fans does not equal a thousand new sales.

#3 “I Only Have 200 Links For My Website”

True story.

I have a pain in the butt health insurance client. Yeah, I know yawn. (Which is part of the problem, but that’s another post.) Knowing what we were up against, we created a very good consistent conversational content strategy for SEO to drive traffic.

How good?

In February 2011 they had a Page Rank 0.  I started SEO in April and in June 2011 we were at a Page Rank 5.

Instead of jumping up and down, they were counting links!!

Think about it.

You, me and twenty other people in a room. We all reveal the rankings of our site with number of links. Others with PR5 sites have thousands of links, I have 200.  Which one impresses you?

Exactly.

But it’s always harder to explain this to them after they write the check than before they do.  You have to tell them you focus on writing awesome content to get the best links, not the most.

You catch my drift? 

It’s your job to educate your customer upfront.

Make sure your client knows it’s about staying on top of the trends, capitalizing on them where you can and maintaining flexibility and fluidity in your overall approach. Set tangible goals by being clear on benchmarks of where they are now, the obstacles to getting where you want to go and what a homerun hit would look like should it happen.

Make sure they understand what an A, B, C or even F looks like – don’t make promises you can’t control. 

Moral Of The Story:

And be clear nothing is set in stone, your plan in a guide complete with contingency plans should the worst OR the best happen.

What’s My Point?

The bottom line of all of this is for big brands the social media marketing channel is new.

Your clients are nervous.

They like shouting, not having conversations.

They are fearful of losing control of their campaigns. And they just want to win, but don’t really know what a win looks like.

If you want to not be face planted on the carpet they call you on every single week because your client is sitting in the dark, waiting for Brad Pitt and George to show up.

What Do You Think?

Who else has learned something like this the hard way?

What are some dumb things your clients have said?

Please share so we can all do a better job of getting on the same page in the beginning as we work diligently to climb onto the new york times best seller list of awesome successful social media campaigns.

Social media marketing | Facebook Fan Pages MakeoverWho likes change? Not many people.

(Unless of course it’s your idea.)

In the case of Facebook, going more than 30 days without a major change seems to be a pipe dream.

Facebook is notorious for the, “hare today gone tomorrow” strategy forcing you to keep your ears and eyes wide open to prepare to adjust your social media marketing strategy on Facebook.  And while the tortoise won the race, it did have to actually enter, so get up off the sidelines now if you want to get in the game and start optimizing your brand’s social media strategy.

Now is the time to leverage the new format on Facebook to amp up your brand to make sure they know who you are and what you stand for the minute you land on their page.

Here are 3 simple things you can do right now, in just a few minutes, to get moving in the right direction:

1.  Choose tab names (up to 35 characters) with strong emotional appeal.

The tabs across the top of the page in plain sight have now been moved to the left side bar.  This just means you have to get a little more creative with getting them interested in you.  Now that you have up to 35 characters for the name of your tab, you have a better chance to use a strong call to action instead of a boring couple of words.  Consider have a tab called  “What I Can Do For You” instead of About Me.

2.  Use photos to tell a story.

As the article from Social Media Examiner “How To Optimize Your Facebook Fan Page for Visual Branding” breaks down, a picture says a thousand words.

Microcenter Brand

Optimize To Realize ROI

Start by making sure your image on the left hand side of the page (aka your “profile photo” on a regular Facebook page) is optimized by using a large banner so you can add marketing copy ( call to action), like I’ve shown here from my client Microcenter who hired me to be their social media consultant and manage their social media marketing campaigns.

 

 

 

Note it is well branded but simple focused on giving their fans a reason to like us (giving away ipad2) and has an arrow pointing down to where they should click to like.

Also make sure the photos going across the page horizontally are carefully chosen and visually tell your story in a way that is meaningful to your audience.  It’s important to note too much text can confuse your visitor.

Remember you are selling the like, not your entire brand.

Give them one reason to click yes and you got what you needed.  By using photos to tell your story, you will grab their attention and have a better chance to connect emotionally which means you have a great opportunity to make a life long connection.

3.  Create a default welcome tab for fans to land on after they like you.

You can customize messages weekly on your tab, which can now be done within Facebook verses using an outside company to put an application on your page. With the new iframe applications it isn’t hard to have your blog show up in this frame, keeping it very dynamic.

The welcome tab is key to converting Facebook fans into lifetime fans by getting them into YOUR funnel outside of Facebook with giveaways, contests, etc. I strongly recommend changing your messaging on your default page at least 2 times per month, if not more.

For more ideas on how you can really give your audience a visual on your brand, please check out this great article at Social Media Examiner…

As of March 10, 2011, it became official—the new Facebook page layout was applied to all fan pages. Now that the dust has settled, bugs addressed and some tweaks made, admins can now focus their attention on making the most of what Facebook has given them, which is a LOT of screen real estate!

Essentially, the new page layout gives over two-thirds of the available screen space to brands (see the red boxes in the image below), with Facebook reserving only its narrow blue band at the top and the right column for its own content.

Read more here….