Lorrie Thomas
Digital Marketing Alone Will Not Make You a Superhero

I sometimes feel like I am punching people with tough love when I break the news that digital marketing is not going to make them successful. Digital marketing is absolutely part of the equation, but the tools need to be driven with some serious human KAPOW to really pack some punch into the equation!

YOU (not the tools) will make you successful!

Look at web marketing (websites, online advertising, social media marketing, search marketing, etc.) like this:

YOU are Batman, Web Marketing is Robin. Stay with me on this one….Batman is the leader, the one on the front lines while Robin acts as your trusty sidekick – he has your back, but he’s not going to make it alone!

Batman is NOTHING without Robin, but Robin could not strike out on his own and be ok either. It’s a synergistic dream team!

I love to help people build and optimize their marketing so it does act as a trusty sidekick – making you look good, reinforcing your message, keeping you out there, communicating, serving, supporting and selling…(it has your back!)

Digital Marketing will not magically make you a superhero. When you get in the hero mindset and are really ready for success, then the tools become VERY useful!

You grow when you have a great support system in place. Make sure your digital marketing is optimized to brand, build and boost business, when it is, you’ll be in much better shape to pack some marketing POW! into your business.

Remember: You can’t hide behind your computer and expect to make money honey!

Marketing is the act of building awareness, connecting, communicating, serving, supporting…all to make sales.

Don’t count on digital marketing to do it alone, get in the mental mindset to have your superhero pants on at all times!

Lorrie Thomas
If You Build It….They Won’t Come

In the movie Field of Dreams, the protagonist (played by Kevin Costner) hears a voice in his Iowa cornfields…”If you build it…he will come.”

It doesn’t work that way with web marketing.

If you launch a new website, blog, Facebook page or anything online, people will not come unless you make an effort to get people to come!

Marketing is about making relationships. This is not a passive act. Relationships take effort, energy and enthusiasm.

Web marketing includes online advertising, email marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing and content marketing. If you don’t act, don’t expect anything to happen.

If you want results, you must be genuinely enthusiastic about what you are offering. You have to be willing to put in the effort (which might include hiring help to delegate some of the work). Lastly, you need energy…positive, proactive energy. While this might sound a little woo-woo, in the 10+ years I have run my digital marketing agency, my most successful clients are the ones who radiate energy and put energy into voicing their value and values.

Web Marketing RxNeed a Healthy Dose of Marketing Rx? Take 3 V’s:

1) Offer Value to your customer by sharing content (that has value to them) and communicate your value
2) Marry your with content with your Values (this will help you attract your ideal client)
3) Publish content consistently to solidify your Voice

 You will have a great voice online when your web marketing communicates your value and your values!

Virtual Marketing Hugs!

 

 

Lorrie Thomas
Measuring Social Media Marketing Success

social media marketing successWhen I hear people talk about measuring social media marketing success in myopic terms like growing followers, or getting direct sales, I feel like a marketing intervention needs to be staged. Social media absolutely supports sales, but it’s a piece of the overall marketing puzzle. You can’t expect one social media post will make you money honey! For any of you wondering how to measure social media marketing success, here is what you need to know.

#1 – Start By Understanding the Five Factors for Social Media Marketing Success.
There are five factors for social marketing success: credibility, usability, visibility, salability, and scalability. Sales do not happen unless all factors are attended to. Knowing and managing these five factors will help get you know what to focus on, what needs to be optimized and where your strengths and weakness lie.

Credibility is believability. Social media marketing helps people know, like, and trust you. Are you sharing content that really matters? Are your cover photos designed to be on brand? Are you consistently posting content that benefits your target audience?

Usability is how easy your social media assets are to use. This can include the ease of being able to easily navigate or search your blog, having the right share widgets installed on your blog and optimized properly, or having the right Facebook template installed so your page is well organized.

Visibility is how well you are found on social media. You can be the most qualified expert or company, but if nobody knows about you, then you have a problem. Visibility can come from boosting Facebook posts, increasing your social media posts by using great tools like Hootsuite.com and being more mindful of using hashtags when you post. Blogging and social media content can also help boost your search engine visibility, so determine the right phrases to include in your posts.

Sellability is how well you help people understand your value. Every social media profile description needs to clearly communicate who you are, what you do and whom you serve. This includes your LinkedIn summary, Twitter description, Instagram description, Facebook about area and more.

Scalability is how solid your social media foundation is. When you create great content and you commit to creating content for social media regularly, this content is an investment! It builds and compounds over time like a great stock investment. I love how I am able to reference old blog posts by simply searching the blog toolbox. I have content to share for my company and my clients companies for a lifetime thanks to the continual development of quality content!

#2 – Measure Social Media Success Against Your Social Media Strategy 

We do not plan to fail, we fail to plan. What is your social media marketing strategy? Don’t have one? If you need help, know that your social media marketing needs to be bigger than you or your organization. Have an overarching theme – think broadly about the topics you will address. Learn more about this by reading my post on keeping social media strong. Part of your planning needs to include deciding who is responsible for managing your brand’s social media efforts. Neglected social media creates a poor impression of a business, just like an abandoned storefront. Ensure your social media cover photos are consistent with your brand, when you write posts, use phrases in your text or hashtags that you want to be searched and found on, and plan for outreach. Many brands build into their social media marketing plan a budget for Facebook ads, Instagram ads and sometimes initially search ads to drive traffic to a site or blog.

#3 – If You Don’t Think Your Social Media Marketing is Paying Off, Revisit Your Approach

It’s not uncommon to feel like your social media isn’t “successful”. When I was interviewed by Intuit’s Small Business blog for an article called, Why Social Media Isn’t Paying Off for Your Business, I outlined tips businesses can do to make their investment work. If you don’t feel like things are not working out for you with social media, follow these tips for social media marketing success:

  • Plan your social media marketing journey
  • Be conversational – this is social media after all!
  • Teach and educate, I call this markeding (marketing and education)
  • Make social connections
  • Have fun!

Social media marketing is a journey, NOT a destination. Success is about building trust, serving customers, supporting sales, increasing engagement, building your brand, boosting awareness and communicating news.

If you feel like you need social media support, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Virtual marketing hugs,

 

Lorrie Thomas
Blog Writing Optimization Tip: Cut Time Out of Text

Follow this simple tip to optimize your blog writing and reduce social media marketing stress:
When possible, cut dates and time references from your blog posts.

I’m a big believer in using old content to make new social media posts. Without dates and time references, your blog posts are more likely to remain timeless, which makes them easily re-share-able!

time content marketingTo keep old (but great) content current, remove the date stamp in your blog posts. A blog post that shows it was written years ago is often considered to a reader to be dated. By taking the dates off, you instantly remove this issue. I love being able to share great content my clients wrote that is years old, seeing one great effort getting more marketing mileage makes me so happy!

The other simple blog writing optimization tip is to avoid time references in text. For example, words like “recently” or “today” or “this week” as in no time at all the post will not be recent, today or the week you write it.

Blogging is one of the best things you can do to brand, build and boost business. If you are going to take the time to write a great blog post, recycle it. Cutting time references helps make content repurposing seamless!

Happy, healthy marketing!

 

Anne Orfila
Old School Rules Still Apply in The New Web World

I have been in the wild web world longer than many of you who are reading this. I’m a Gen X, not a Millennial. Most likely, the biggest differentiating factor between me and a Millennial who is doing the same type of web marketing work as I currently am, is that I worked in an office. Sure, sure, you’re saying that so have you. But my first job was in a serious mega corporation that wasn’t full of young people aspiring to hit it big with IPOs and stock options. My employer was already on the stock market and I had the bigwigs from New York breathing down my neck for sales revenue reports, forecasts, and whatever else they needed. This also happened to be my first job out of college. I was young, but eager to be a team player, and a fast learner. What I learned in those 3 years of corporate life was something I have taken with me to every job since. Old school office etiquette works wonders. Even in this current fast-paced web world.

Mind your manners in the wild web world. What is old school etiquette in the office? Basically, it’s using proper manners in the workplace. Etiquette applies to “netiquette” too! Show respect to your coworkers and their privacy, speak (or email or call) politely, mind your (political, religious, controversial) opinions, use “please” and “thank you” whenever appropriate, keep your voice down, ask to borrow other people’s office supplies, keep team members in the loop, show up to meetings on time, stay at home when you are sick (unless you are already home, then just be thankful for your work-from-home job!)

I’ve been working at home for more than a decade, but I never let my etiquette slip. Since my clients, and Web Marketing Therapy coworkers are all over the U.S., all of my work and most of my correspondence is done electronically so my office manners have been transposed a bit to fit the web world, but the gist is still the same.

Follow These Old-School Rules in Today’s New-School Web World:

  • Keep your emails clear, polite, to the point, and prompt. If there is something you need, be clear to ask for it…nicely!
  • Emails should not be one word or in all lowercase. I don’t care if you reply from your phone! You don’t talk in one word sentences (and even if you do), your emails should not just be one word sentences.
  • Address the recipient with a pleasant greeting such as “Dear xxx”, “Good Morning, xxx”. Not “Hey”
  • Confirm receipt of work emails from clients, even if you haven’t completed it. Occasionally something doesn’t get delivered and if your client is used to a confirmation, than they’ll know if you haven’t received their email.
  • Use “please” and “thank you” whenever necessary.
  • Your email subject needs to reflect what your email is about.
  • Don’t forward anything personal (jokes, political statements, funny cartoons, chain letters, etc.,) to clients, even if you are on “friendly” terms.
  • Stick to a basic font (Arial, Helvetica), in a “regular” size, and use black.
  • Do not use ALL CAPS, EVER.
  • No profanity belongs in any client email.
  • Temper the exclamation points, the bolded words, and underlining.
  • Avoid shortcuts for words: “u” for “you”, “bc” for “because”, “gr8” for “great” and so forth.
  • Use emoticons sparingly.
  • If there are multiple people on a message you receive, decipher whether it is appropriate to “reply all” or to just reply to the sender.
  • Keep your client or coworkers in the loop. You may be half way through a project, but it’s always nice to send them a brief status email update so they know that you are working on it.
  • Sign off your emails with a pleasantry such as “Sincerely”, “Warm Regards”, “Kind Regards” and include a signature with your contact information.
  • Notify clients and coworkers of vacations or times when you are away from your office.
  • Use your out-of-office assistant when taking extended time away from work.

Whether you are Gen X or a Millennial, don’t be afraid to throw in some old school office etiquette in the new wild web world. After all, courtesy, respect, and professionalism never go out of style.

Anne Orfila
How to Set Up a Facebook Messenger Auto Reply

While the web never sleeps, most companies are not (and cannot be!) online 24/7. While many business owners check their email and voicemail accounts religiously (ahem, we know who you are!), some may forget – or check less often – other messaging services like Facebook Messenger. Although you can’t always reply quickly to messages you receive via Facebook Messenger, you want to make sure that potential customers feel heard and don’t slip through the cracks. Slow is the same as stop on the web! 🙂

One way to make sure your potential customers voices are “heard” even when you are not online is to set up an instant auto reply to any Facebook messages that come through. Facebook gives you the opportunity to set up an auto response with the “Response Assistant” setting. Note that you have to be on a business template to have this service (learn more about Facebook templates in our WMT blog post).

The cool thing about setting up a Facebook Messenger auto reply is that it is customizable (up to 250 characters). If you are not a Facebook Messenger person, direct them to call you, email you, visit your website (or all 3!). You can also personalize it to reply with person’s first name (or last name) so the message seems less generic. Here’s an example of ours:

Facebook Tip: Setting Up an Auto Reply on Facebook Messenger

To set your autoreply, go to your Facebook page and go to to ‘Settings’ > ‘Messaging’ and choose ‘Response Assistant’.

How to set up a Facebook Messenger Auto Reply

 

Click ‘Yes’ next to Response Assistant (lower in the page) and start composing your message.

Setting Up a Facebook Message Auto Response
Setting up your Facebook Response Assistant is one of the easiest tasks that you can do. We recommend you utilize this feature – even if you are good about responding to Facebook messages – because it lets the sender know that their message is valued and that you won’t leave them hanging.

Happy Social Media Marketing!