Every email message you send is an opportunity for someone to unsubscribe from your mailing list. Every Tweet or Facebook post is an opportunity to lose a follower or a fan. Every blog post is an opportunity to lose an RSS subscriber. Please keep this in mind when sending out any content or correspondence without substance.
This past holiday season, as we approached the new year, I decided to take the opportunity to prune my email subscriptions. This would drastically reduce the amount of email I would have to sort through on a daily basis. Beyond going into a new year with a fresh start, another great reason that this time of year works for inbox housekeeping is that many businesses, bloggers, and other companies use this time of year to send out greetings via email. This gives you a perfect target list to start your unsubscription resolution.
Now, this might come off as sounding a little crass, but these holiday greeting emails do me no good and simply serve as a task for me to delete. Unlike traditional holiday cards, email greetings do not impel me to hang them up for my clients to see or allow me to walk past them on a bulletin board to feel good about. Printing them to hang just feels silly, and wouldn’t look good. They simply fill my inbox, and create more work. This annoys me, more than a little. Although I appreciate the gesture and the good will, I would much prefer a traditional holiday greeting card. It means more, and a personal handwritten note inside means even more.
I know that it is more costly and time consuming to have a card designed, and taking the time to write them out and mail them is a lot of work. I feel this extra effort and expense would go a long way to strengthen the relationships you have with your clients and business associates.
If sending out physical cards is not within your budget, and you are dead set in sending out an email greeting, consider writing a personal note in every one of them. It takes more time, but would feel so much different to read. Maybe make a joke about a project or job you worked on together, or mention the name of a family member or pet. This small gesture means the difference between an email blast and a true holiday greeting.
This same theory can be applied year round, and even into micro-blogging or social media posts. Always try to offer value, especially when taking up someone’s time. Whether consciously or not, it makes a difference in how they feel. You never want your email or marketing message to feel like a nuisance or cause any discomfort. Holiday greeting or not, if I feel I was just another email address on your email list, I am unsubscribing.
That being said, I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday season. See you in 2013!
So, do you want to know what makes your Facebook posts show up to your fans, and why some do not? This is a great post from Copyblogger that goes into the details.
…before you hit that publish button and close your laptop, you should know that there’s more to a great blog post than just writing it.
Because no matter how amazing your writing is, very few people will discover it by chance.
Here’s the deal… Facebook can use anything that you post. It’s that simple.
Facebook is a free service that is completely optional for you to use. It is completely optional for you to share your feelings, photos, videos, location, check-ins, or anything else that you post to Facebook. Once you do so, you do not have protection of that content unless it is protected in your privacy settings. Even then, Facebook can use that content to show you ads, build new features that are content dependent, or otherwise analyze the content in order to customize Facebook around your interests. For instance, if you check in to a sushi restaurant, post photos of your beloved dragon roll, and then comment all about it with your friends, Facebook may show you ads for local sushi restaurants forever and ever. If Facebook ever comes out with a Sushi Finder app, you’re going to know about it because your data shows that you like sushi.
You may feel that is an invasion of your privacy, and I may feel that way too, but it’s not. Facebook data mining works a lot like when a bad guy gets arrested on TV. They have the right to remain silent, and anything they say can and will be used against them.
What you do have are options, including the option to not use Facebook.
You have privacy settings that allow you to control who can see, share, and post on your behalf. You have privacy settings to choose if you show up in search results or not. You have the option to be a ghost or to be completely open for all the world to see. You can change those privacy settings by going here: http://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=privacy.
By posting a message to your Timeline forbidding anyone from sharing, archiving, or otherwise using the content you post has absolutely no bearing on the laws, rules, or terms of service that actually do apply to your privacy.
I’m not going to go into detail about Facebook’s Terms of Service or Privacy Policies, but I do encourage you to read and understand them, simply because you have already agreed to them by using Facebook. When you signed up, you checked a little box that says so…so you might as well go do that.
Here are the links:
This commencement speech, by author Neil Gaiman, is an amazing collection of advice for anyone who works in the creative arts. His stories of success, failure, and how the universe responds when you create things just for the money is a great listen for any artist, designer, programmer, photographer, or just about anyone who creates for a living. ”Make Good Art!”
- Neil Gaiman commencement address explains the artist’s life (boingboing.net)
- Neil Gaiman – The Best Commencement Speech You May Ever Hear (20 Minutes) (fourhourworkweek.com)
- Inspirational words for artists from Neil Gaiman (damiengwalter.com)
- MAKE GOOD ART: Neil Gaiman’s Commencement Speech at the U of Arts in Philly (likethephoenixpyre.wordpress.com)
Dear local business owners, please stop creating Facebook Profiles for your business and start creating Facebook Pages!
Phew, there… I said it.
I don’t know if I should chalk this up as a pet peeve, simple lack of attention, or that this might even be Facebook’s fault for not making it clear enough, but it really bothers me when I get a “friend request” from a local business. Not the local business owner, the business. Let’s make this really simple. If you are filling out a registration form and are asked for your first and last names, and you enter First Name: Acme and Last Name: SupplyCompanyInc you are doing something wrong.
Facebook has three main areas in which to organize content. 1) Facebook Profiles, 2) Facebook Groups, and 3) Facebook Pages. Of course, Facebook gets more complicated than that, but those are the three biggies.
Facebook Profiles are simply that, user accounts for real people that act as an identity for that person when using Facebook. They also allow you to interact with third party websites as yourself. This is for you! First name, last name, email address, all of that belonging to you. This is where you accumulate friends, post photos from your personal life, and “Like” certain businesses, organizations, celebrities, products, brands, and other things (like your local business).
Facebook Groups are created by one or more people (with their Facebook Profiles) to organize around an idea. It may be an interest group like Waffle Lovers of Texas, or it might be an organization or group like a Jeep Club or Book Club. It is a great way to have “members” who can post, discuss, and interact with each other around an idea or organization without having to inject all of that niche content into their personal profiles. You may still want to share a photo or post, or even choose to intermingle much of the content if the group is about something that really matters to you. Either way, Groups are simply that, groups of people.
Facebook Pages (where I will focus the remainder of this post) are for businesses, organizations, physical places, brands, celebrities, musicians, authors, and anyone else that wants to interact with “Fans” who “Like” that brand, topic, business, place, or person. This is where almost every local business should have their primary Facebook presence. The beauty of Facebook Pages is that you don’t need a separate user account (Facebook Profile) to have a Facebook Page. In fact, you can manage as many Facebook Pages as you like. You can manage all of your Facebook Pages by simply interacting with it while logged into your regular Facebook Profile.
I’ll explain that a little more. All you need to do to post as your business is to log into your regular everyday Facebook Profile (as yourself) and visit your page. That’s it. Then, when you post to your page, you are posting as your business.
The advantages of choosing a Facebook Page over a Facebook Profile for your local business are numerous. The first of which is, it’s the right way to do it. It is more professional, it organizes your content without the need to log out and back into Facebook, and Facebook provides tools to you as that page administrator that you do not get with a regular Facebook Profile.
Another advantage is that it is a one click, one-way interaction to gain a new Fan. All someone has to do is click the little “Like” button on your page, and they’re connected. No need to request a friend and wait for approval.
You also get statistics, called Insights, which give you details about your page. You will see the number of new Likes you have received, the depth in which your posts are viewed and even some basic demographic data about your Fans. This is a great place to post business photos, your hours of operation, specials, deals, sales, and even a few words of wisdom. This is where you do business on Facebook. If you have a physical location, you can see who has checked-in there. You can also run marketing campaigns from here to get more people to Like your page.
The purpose of this post is not to teach you how to market your business on Facebook, it is simply intended to set you in the right direction. I hope it has done that. If you have any questions about Facebook marketing, Pages, or anything else, feel free to post in the comments below.
- Facebook Page vs. Profile: The Heavyweight Championship Bout (blogs.constantcontact.com)
- So You Have a Facebook Page … Now What? (blogs.constantcontact.com)
- How to Get More Likes on Facebook Pages (mizwhiz.com)
This infographic details the facts and thoughts behind the “shop local” trend that is sweeping the country. Click the source link for more information.
This is a pretty good read. It points out the great things happening behind the scenes to enrich the experience of the customer and helps explain why Apple’s products seem to sell themselves.
Here’s a preview of numbers one and two from the list:
- Stop selling stuff. When Steve Jobs first started the Apple Store he did not ask the question, “How will we grow our market share from 5 to 10 percent?” Instead he asked, “How do we enrich people’s lives?” Think about your vision. If you were to examine the business model for most brands and retailers and develop a vision around it, the vision would be to “sell more stuff.” A vision based on selling stuff isn’t very inspiring and leads to a very different experience than the Apple Retail Store created.
- Enrich lives. The vision behind the Apple Store is “enrich lives,” the first two words on a wallet-sized credo card employees are encouraged to carry. When you enrich lives magical things start to happen. For example, enriching lives convinced Apple to have a non-commissioned sales floor where employees feel comfortable spending as much time with a customer as the customer desires. Enriching lives led Apple to build play areas (the “family room”) where kids could see, touch and play on computers. Enriching lives led to the creation of a “Genius Bar” where trained experts are focused on “rebuilding relationships” as much as fixing problems.
You’ll have to click the Source link below to read the rest.
Looking to get your business on the next big social network? Try Google+ because your competition won’t be there until late 2012 at least.
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