5 tips for marketing on Facebook

10 May

By Tim Busbey, owner, Addison’s Compass Public Relations

Today, we presented a seminar on Social Media Marketing in conjunction with the Ashland Area Council on Economic Development. This was the third seminar in a series on digital marketing in the 21st Century. The first seminar served as an overview to digital marketing, offering a quick summary of the options available, including websites, blogs, email, QR codes and social media. The second seminar focused on websites and how to better use them in marketing. Today’s seminar focused on using Facebook and Twitter to market your business.

As part of today’s seminar, I presented 10 tips for building your fanbase in Facebook and converting those fans into customers. I’m going to share the first five with you. If you’d like to read the other five, you can email me at tim@addisonscompass.com and I’ll be happy to share them with you.

Facebook is closing in on 700 million members. In just 5 short years, the site has become a phenomenon that has totally changed our culture and how we share information and interact with people. It is up to us as marketers to tap into that energy, that power, and discover the best ways that we can use it to market our businesses.

Here are 5 of my 10 tips for building a fanbase and converting those fans into satisfied customers.

1) Spread the word – everywhere!
Every chance you get, let people know about your Facebook page. If your customers don’t know that your page exists, they don’t have the opportunity to “like” it. So put the word out about your page everywhere.

In newspaper ads. On radio ads. On flyers. In your store. On your website. In an e-mail to your mailing list. In your e-mail signature. On your business cards. In your blog. On your Twitter account.

Anywhere someone might read about your business, include the link to your Facebook page, too. And the best part – all these ways are free or very low cost.

This is a great way to let your existing customers know about your page. But it also gives them a way to share the news with their friends who aren’t customers.

In a fan survey by the DDB Worldwide, a global marketing firm, they found the No. 1 reason people become fans of a brand is because someone invited them to the page. Either the company told them about the page or one of their friends told them about it. If you invite them, they will come. But if you never let people know about your page, there is no point even being on Facebook.

2) Be consistent
Once you set up and start your Facebook page, don’t be a stranger. If your page becomes a ghost town, that is a major turn-off to any customers or potential customers. Posting something on your page once every three months is no way to build your fanbase and build relationships with those fans. Just like a face-to-face relationship, it takes time and effort to build online relationships and trust.

There is no magic answer to how many times you should post on your page. You want to make sure your message stands out and doesn’t get lost, but you don’t want to annoy people, either. So you have to work to find a balance.

Most experts suggest posting at least once a day, but no more than three times a day. If you don’t feel you have the time to keep up with that, at least be sure to post several times a week. Trial and error will help you determine what frequency of posts works best for you and your business.

But no matter how many times you end up deciding to post, be sure you keep up with it and be active with your fanpage.

3) Interact with your fans
If someone takes the time to leave a comment for you on your page, the least you can do is take the time to respond. If you don’t, it sends the message that you don’t care about your customers. You should consider your social media sites as an extension of your customer service efforts, as much as they are part of your advertising or marketing efforts.

As part of this effort, you must make sure to respond to negative comments as well as positive ones. Research shows that 64% of people have a more favorable opinion of a brand if they respond to both positive and negative comments.

Besides, most people who take the time to become a fan of your page probably are not going to blast you on your page. And if someone does, many of your true fans likely will jump to your defense.

When you interact with your fans, it’s important to find the right tone. With social media, you can write in a slightly more conversational tone than most of your business writing. Your fans want to feel that there is a human being on the other side of the computer.

4) Share valuable content
Content is king in social media. People love to devour information. Just this week, a study came out showing that Facebook is the second leading driver of traffic to news sites, following only Google. That means people are clicking on links in their Facebook news feed to get to major news sites.

As marketers, we have to take advantage of people’s desire to consume mass amounts of information. How do we do that? By sharing content on your Facebook page. Whether it’s a link to a blog or article you wrote, or a link to a blog or article you read on someone else’s page, these links will engage your fans and also help drive traffic to your blog or website.

Make sure the content is interesting, useful and relevant. Don’t damage your company’s online reputation by posting irrelevant spam.

5) Add photos and videos
People love to see other people’s photos. Nothing catches the eye when glancing through your newsfeed that a photo. But what people love even more than other people’s photos is pictures of themselves. Posting photos you have taken at an event is a great way to get people’s attention. Encourage your fans to look for themselves in the photos and tag themselves. This engages your fans, and also spreads the word about your business through their newsfeed. Each of their friends will see that they tagged themselves in a picture on your fanpage.

If you enjoyed these first 5 tips and thought they were useful, please email me at tim@addisoncompass.com and I’d be happy to share the whole presentation with you.

If you need some help with social media and using them to help your business, ask us how we can help.

Social media marketing – Let us guide you on your excursion

6 Apr

by Tim Busbey, owner, Addison’s Compass Public Relations

Social media is the fastest growing section of the Internet. In 2010, Facebook’s 600 million users spent more than 49 billion minutes on the social networking site. This was an increase of 80 percent, according to comScore’s “The 2010 Digital Year in Review” report. Experts are predicting a similar spike this year. Twitter has grown to an estimated 190 million users in less than five years. The latest social media trendsetter, Foursquare, boasts nearly 7 million users after less than two years.

In spite of this exponential growth in social media usage, many businesses have been slow to incorporate social media into their marketing plans. The reasons often have to do with lack of staff or budget issues, or concerns about how social media can benefit their business. However, using social media to effectively get the word out about your business and build relationships with potential customers doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive or take a whole team of marketers.

Social media marketing is about building relationships with your customers and potential customers. A professional writer can help you reach out to cyberspace and convey your company’s message in a clever, unique, memorable way that will keep people coming back for more, and help build a level of trust with them – a key factor in driving sales.

At Addison’s Compass, we offer 3 social media packages, tailored to fit the social media marketing needs of any business. We will help your business get moving in the right direction.

Our 3 packages are:

The Straight and Narrow 
The Scenic Route
The Super Highway

Call us or email us to find out how we can put our collective 25 years of writing and marketing experience to work for your business. You can reach Tim at tim@addisonscompass.com or 419-565-5823, and Erin at erin@addisonscompass.com or 419-651-7934.

Associated Press (AP) Announces New Changes in Tech Terms

24 Mar

By Erin Al-Mehairi, owner Addison’s Compass Public Relations

We both remember distinctly sitting in our Journalism classes (at Bowling Green State University for Tim and Ashland University for Erin, both in Ohio) and having to memorize the AP (Associated Press) Style Book. It was a task, especially when taking numerous other English classes which taught you the complete opposite of your Journalism writing classes in regards to punctuation and so forth! However, it paid off as we both have used it every day in our respective fields, with Tim working in the newsroom and Erin working as a PR professional preparing materials for the media.

Each year AP evaluates new terms and how they’re used and predominately written by people, and though usually strict with their way of writing, do send out several changes a year. Current changes are more often than not with tech terms as technology and its use of writing spirals a mile a minute.

Currently changed as of the end of last week, is one they held fast and firm to for a very long time. They changed the use of e-mail, with a hyphen, to just email. This reflects common usage, as well as does removing the space between the words cell phone, making it cellphone and smart phone, making it smartphone.

These are common words we use every day in writing for the web and will make writing smoother and easier especially in typing on a smartphone or i-pad. Speaking of the web, remember last year the AP changed the ever held Web site to website. It seems one-word, no capitals is the new “in” way to write.

In the AP style book, which can be found in online form and even on your phone in the form of an app for i-phone, lists the definition for emails as such:

email — Acceptable in all references for electronic mail. Many email or Internet addresses use symbols such as the at symbol (@), or the tilde (~) that cannot be transmitted correctly by some computers. When needed, spell them out and provide an explanatory editor’s note. Use a hyphen with other e-terms: e-book, e-business, e-commerce.

Some other common techie terms you may mistake when writing for media are below, written in AP style for your reference:

cyberspace
webmaster
website
Internet
webcast
database
home page
intranet
logoff
online

At Addison’s Compass Public Relations, we take writing in AP Style very seriously. We prepare your press releases, social media releases, articles, and anything else written for the media or web in AP Style. Media love this, it takes them much less time to copy-edit your material and heightens the chances of getting your information published!!

If you have any questions, drop us a line. We’d be happy to help.

Are Bees Allowed in the Office? (Working from home)

14 Apr

Sunshine is on my mind. Beautiful days just have a way of cleansing my soul. Isn’t is great how it can motivate your spirit for loving, for working, for writing, for doing? I had a very hard few days this last week, but today I’ve got the sunshine and my kids. I can hear the birds chirping, and I can relish in the smiles on my girls faces as they enjoy a snack on the porch. I think the best thing that could have ever happened to me would be my life right now. I had a chance to take a risk and stay home, working from home, building a business, and making my own decisions. Sure, it has its ups and downs, but being able to write while I sit on the porch listening to the birds, the wind chimes, feeling the breeze on my toes and the noises of summer, basking in the sun’s rays and the beautiful flowers, I know that I couldn’t ask for anymore than what I’ve got. My office is about as eco-friendly as you can get, considering I’m sitting outside and enjoying the nature. Two of my children are sitting on either side of me and I can take a moment from the computer to open the bottle of Miracle Bubbles so they can blow circles into the wind (and maybe some on my hair too). I can pause for a moment and go see the bee buzzing in the daffodil. I can roll my eyes when my son says that bees are attracted to his stripe shirt because of “some random fact he knows.” Basically, I can enjoy my career and I can enjoy my children at the same time. Hopefully they will grow up knowing that family is just as important as work.

What is the best thing about working from home during the summer for you?

In Honor and Hope for Breast Cancer Awareness

5 Sep

It is that time of year again that I love. Fall smells, colors, crisp air, and sweatshirts.  It is also time for me to embark on hosting another year of the In Honor and Hope for Breast Cancer Awareness Contest.  That name encompasses all that goes into this event.  An artistic contest, a Chamber luncheon for women during National Business Women’s Week in October, and an auction to raise funds for the Ashland County Cancer Association. 

Last year I had a name for the contest called Express Yourself for Honor and Hope. I supposed I’d still like to think that works for the contest. Just don’t want to get everyone confused during the marketing of the concept.  But that is what starts it all, and embodies what I’m trying to do.  I want women everywhere, and of course in my community, to come together and express themselves through their talent.  Some women may paint beautiful watercolors, or another might quilt or crochet, another may write poetry, and another may make gorgeous jewelry.  I want everyont to be able to be included with their particular talent. I just ask that it be PINK, BREAST CANCER AWARENESS related, therapuetic, feminine, or serene. Some will partake in the most artistic part of it all, which is to decorate a padded bra in a themed design!  Yes, decorate a bra!  This is the greatest way for us to share our womanhood and honor those who’ve been dealt the card of breast cancer. Tastefully done, can you imagine what creative display that will be able to show our community? The bras will then be auctioned off in the silent auction taking place this year at the ACCA’s Taste of Ashland event.

If you consider making a bra, buy about a 36 C padded bra. Paint or dye it a color you want. Decorate it with a theme and give it a fun name or write a story to go with it.  Below, I will add photos of some other bras decorated across the United States.  There are a myriad of items out there that you can decorate a bra with and make it into a piece of art that any woman would love to display.

If decorating a bra isn’t your thing, please enter the contest with your talent.  There are so many things that come to mind when you THINK PINK!!  For a contest entry form, please go to my Web site at www.addisonscompass.com under fundraisers, or e-mail me at erin@addisonscompass.com

Watch for more updates and writings on this cause here and join the Facebook Fan Page at www.facebook.com/InHopeandHonorforBreastCancerAwareness. Hope to hear from you!

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WonderWomen: Women’s Issues for Today’s Society

2 Sep

The Wonder of Overcoming Obstacles and Odds

Women entrepreneurs are surging to the forefront these days.  They are small business owners, mompreneurs, network marketing magicians, and consultants.  Commonly known as “the queens of multi-tasking,” women certainly know how to be mothers, wives, philanthropists, business owners or employees, and more.  They take on the role of caregiver, nurturer, provider, teacher, taxi, coach, and amid all of that, try to stay true to themselves and their dreams.  This is a tremendous balance of time, energy, and self. It takes great commitment to life.

 The Bible tells us about a good woman in the passage Proverbs 31:10-31.  She is often referred to now as just “the Proverbs 31 woman.” Being like the Proverbs 31 woman has been a goal for many women for generations.  This model woman takes care of the children, the home, a business, investments, servants, does charity work, lends a hand to a neighbor and friend, and more.  She does it all with joy and a seemingly unending amount of energy.  Though this woman has been something for many to strive towards, it also has been an enormous stressor for many, too, who feel that they must accomplish this all, or they are not the woman that God would expect them to be. Somehow, they are less than a woman and can’t live up to the standards.  So, what happens when a woman somehow falls from perfect health?  Or a chronic disease strikes a woman’s physical well-being and makes her feel even less of a woman? She must learn what tasks are the most essential for her to keep undertaking.  Sometimes lesser priorities can wait.  Sometimes a meal isn’t cooked and the dishes aren’t done.

Women overcome obstacles and odds of all shapes and forms. But what women struggle with the most is forgiving themselves and knowing that no matter what they do, it is enough as long as they do it all with love in mind.  Love for children, for spouse, for work that makes them happy, for friends, for church, for others, and yes, even for people with whom they struggle. 

My insights into overcoming obstacles in life are:

  • Self-talk!  This isn’t just looking into the mirror each morning, but rather it is talking to yourself mentally throughout the day and giving yourself a pep talk. Don’t rely on others for reassurance or motivation, it comes from within. The nicest compliments you can get are from yourself. Motivating yourself builds your character.
  • Do the things that make you happy.  If you are happy inside, then it will show on the outside.  Finding joy in your life can help you deal with your snags and hiccups.  Life is never perfect, but finding happiness amid struggle is an even better feeling of accomplishment.
  • Surround yourself with quality people.  Sure, we all want people to be a listening ear, but we also want people that remind us about the joy in life, motivate us to be the best person we can be, and soar in our successes. 
  • Have a strong faith. As long as Jesus is by your side, you are never alone. What a great comfort that is!  It is so wonderful to be able to uplift our cares to Him and surrender them to Him.  What a reassurance to know that He does not give us anything that we cannot handle with His strength and mercy. 
  • Center yourself.  Organize your life on paper (or computer or blackberry!) and plan ahead.  Even the most impulsive of people can still do this.  It doesn’t mean there aren’t times for play; it just is a way of de-cluttering the list and focusing the mind in order to be able to complete goals.  The less clutter we have, physically AND mentally, the better we feel.

I hope to explore different women overcoming obstacles and odds in their lives and remaining optimistic and successful.  If you know of a woman like this, please drop me a line and suggest her to me.  Maybe you are even one of them. I would love to connect.  E-mail me at erin@addisonscompass.com.

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Wake-up Call | SUCCESS Magazine | What Achievers Read

28 Aug

Erin was interviewed and quoted in SUCCESS magazine when leaving her job in 2009 and starting her own business. Here is a link to the national magazine!

Wake-up Call | SUCCESS Magazine | What Achievers Read