Category Archives: MarkEDing

Anne Orfila
2018 Social Media Marketing Plan and Recommendations

Has the New Year brought a new focus to your social media marketing plan? 

Image via Pixabay.comIf you are sticking to the same-old 2017 social media marketing plan, than this blog post is for you! As the world wide web is constantly shifting and changing, so is social media. Some changes are little, some are big, but all should be paid close attention to if you want to keep your marketing strategy at the forefront. Read on for highlights from some of the major platform players and our recommendations.

Facebook – There will be a shift in the 2018 Facebook newsfeed to focus on organic posts that friends and family share to maximize “meaningful interaction” amongst users. Live streaming popularity will grow more. In terms of advertising, stricter “codes of conduct” were enforced in 2017 and will continue moving forward (Facebook hired more staff specifically for “content monitoring”).

Facebook Recommendation – If you are doing organic posting, keep it up. The more “spontaneous” and the less ad-like, the better. These types of “real life” posts tend to generate more “likes” and comments. Don’t be afraid to include questions to engage your audience. If you do not advertise with Facebook, consider it. As the Facebook feed begins to show more posts that are friends/family oriented, your business posts might get seen less. So the one way to get posts shown is to pay for them. In some cases, money does talk! Also, any ads that you pay for on Facebook will get shown on Instagram too. This is huge because Instagram is huge (see next point).

Instagram – Instagram announced that approximately 800 million people use Instagram every month. It is popular across the generations and not going away any time soon.

Instagram Recommendation – Keep your marketing up on Instagram. Post more frequently than you did in 2017 (which may be daily for some businesses or three times a week or four times a day; whatever you did last year, try to up it). Create a unique hashtag for your brand or business and use it on every post. Post a wide variety of content including videos, tips, quotes, and pictures (that you took, not stock photos). Utilize Instagram stories (which is more popular than Snapchat) to highlight photos or videos. These are highlighted at the top of the page in a bar that people can scroll through so they have great visibility and they expire after 24 hours, creating a sense of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) which makes people “want” to view them.

Twitter – Twitter was the slowest growing social media platform in 2017 and will most likely continue to struggle. They increased the character count (to 280) but may switch things up in 2018 to get the audience excited again.

Twitter Recommendation – Keep an eye on Twitter but if funds or time is limited, focus more efforts elsewhere.

Google+ – Although not as widely popular as other platforms, it is a powerful search engine tool for companies because the content gets indexed and shows up in search results. Only 70% of companies have a Google+ profile.

Google+ Recommendation – Don’t have a Google+ profile? Get one! The benefit of indexing and appearing in search results in the world’s most popular search engine is worth it, even if your Google+ audience is small.

Pinterest – Pinterest has over 200 million monthly users and they have some unique features – such as Pinterest Lens, Buyable Pins, and Rich Pins – that keep users on Pinterest and, more importantly, keeps them coming back. 2018 will see more advancement in their in-stream buying options which makes it easy for users to move from a pin to a purchase without leaving the app.

Pinterest Recommendation – Keep your Pinterest account current and robust. Post to your account but also follow and re-pin content that is valuable to your brand or business. If you sell items online, try Buyable Pins. You have nothing to lose and only revenue to gain.

LinkedIn – Here’s a secret about LinkedIn. This platform is not just for connecting business people. Many businesses have a LinkedIn company page to increase their company’s visibility and credibility. Recent research shows that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at lead generation than Facebook or Twitter and members are 50% more likely to purchase from a company they engage with on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Recommendation – If your company does not have a LinkedIn page, you need to add this to your social media arsenal ASAP. Note that the LinkedIn page needs to be separate from your personal page. If you do have a LinkedIn company page, keep it current with advice, educational information, inspirational quotes, and updates on your company. Don’t forget to invite your LinkedIn connections to follow it.

Blog – A blog keeps your website “active” and provides useful up-to-date information to your readers. It also gives your brand or business a “voice” that is more intimate than the content on your website which can create (or further) relationships and trust within your audience.

Blog Recommendation – Some people find that it’s hard to write or hard to find the time to write something lengthy. All blog posts do not have to be novellas! If you are struggling with blog writing, develop a strategy that is easy to stick to (perhaps three posts a month to 1) promote a product 2) highlight an employee 3) post your favorite motivational quote). Or if blog writing consistently is too intimidating – or time consuming – hire someone who can do it best for you!

When you are planning your social media marketing plan, keep in mind: 

The 5 top reasons people follow brands on social media are for:

  1. Promotions and discounts
  2. Information and updates
  3. Customer service
  4. Entertaining content
  5. Ability to offer feedback

Final recommendation – 2018 social media marketing is going “back to basics”. Posts should be more relatable on a personal level and less like an ad (unless you are paying for ads!).

We wish you happy, healthy marketing in 2018!



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!

Lorrie Thomas
Content Marketing That Multitasks – The How-To Hire Article

One of my favorite content marketing pieces that I advise my service-based business clients to create (or create for them) is the “how to hire” article. No matter what industry you are in, there are things that you know potential clients should ask when interviewing service providers, but may not know to. These questions and the answers can help a lead see you as the right choice faster and spare them from hiring the wrong company. The How-To Hire Article multitasks in three main ways.

Visibility. The title of a “how to hire” article usually has your profession name in it and sometimes your geographic location, helping to pull in searches. Title examples:

  • How to Hire The Right CPA
  • Hiring an Austin CPA for Your Business
  • Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Stylist
  • Ask These Three Questions Before Hiring a Wardrobe Stylist
  • What to Ask Before Hiring An Atlanta Web Marketing Company

Little easy titles, simple post to write, big online marketing asset. These questions kick off your article and when used in in the meta title and the url and the body of the text, the content might be picked up by a potential client searching for your services too. We call this “pull marketing” since the content pulls a prospective client in versus having to “push” ads to help generate visibility.

This content marketing piece can also be something you post to social media from time. We are big on reposting great content! Recycling is great for the planet and it’s awesome for your content marketing too!

Credibility. A client of ours has been creating content for a third-party industry publication that is very well known in his niche. He emailed us saying he had a huge potential client lead and that client was interviewing other people before they made a decision, a smart thing for a consumer to do. When he sent the after-meeting follow email, he included a line in the follow up email along the lines of:

As you interview other ________s, my recent article on titled How To Hire A __________ will serve as a great reference. It includes what to look for, questions to ask and more.

Any service professional can be an expert…you become the authority a client wants to hire by owning your awesomeness…owning your awesome is accelerated when you author content. In the word authority is the word author!

When my team and I are supporting Web Marketing Therapy and Wild Web Women clients, our work includes online PR, pitching our clients to journalists who are looking for expert advice to fill an article they are working on. My clients who do active content marketing make the cut 90% more than a non-content creating client does. Why? Simple. We can either pitch the writer referencing content that is already on the website (how’s that for multitasking marketing?) or if the client gives expert advice, we can turn that advice into content (yay, way to repurpose effort) and lastly, we can say ________ writes extensively on the topic of ______ as you can see on her website and blog (include link) which shows the client can talk the talk, but also walks the walk.

Sellability. When you actually SHOW what you KNOW it can help reinforce someone’s decision to hire you. Anyone can say they are the best choice, but when you actually document what you know, it reinforces this knowledge to the potential customer and to yourself.  

I coined the term MarkEDing® with my clients to help convey an ethical, effective and an easier approach to marketing. In a short 7 minute talk, I explained the concept of MarkEDing, how it works in today’s influence economy and how it can give everyone regardless of income, size or experience the power to have a place in business. (It’s worth a watch, fun and funny but will make a mark on your marketing brain!)

The wonderful, wild web world has taken the elitism out of marketing and allows service and product providers to market in a way that could never have been done before. MarkEDing is not about touting your products and services, it is about educating your current and prospective customer.

Take the time to write that “How to Hire” article. It will be a therapeutic exercise to reinforce your distinction, selling power, knowledge and will multitask for your marketing for years and years!

The fabulous thing about content marketing online is that the effort builds and compounds over time…a good investment for your visibility, credibility and sellability!

Virtual marketing hugs!

Branding success

Lorrie Thomas
Branding for Success: What You Need To Know

Today’s digital world has altered the way we think about and approach branding. Here are some branding success points to mind to keep your company “on brand” and your content marketing “on purpose”.

No matter how new or old your brand is, it’s always a healthy branding exercise to identify your value and values then make sure your content marketing voices this to brand, build and boost business!

Branding for Success: What You Need To Know

NUMERO UNO: Branding today is still about the classics (offering value) but be sure to voice your values too!
Valued brands are clear about and are very comfortable communicating their values. Values can be philosophy, charity, approach to work and life interests. Voice your value and values though content -web, blog, and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and video) to create brand affinity.

NUMERO DOS: Embrace your AUTHORity status!
Anyone can be a an expert – the most successful brands are authorities. In the word authority is the word AUTHOR! Write, post great content and get into markeding®! markeding® is a mashup of the words marketing and education. Successful branding is not about pushing products and services, it’s about educating your market. You become an authority via authoring educational content.

NUMERO TRES: Do not stress!
When clients get on my marketing therapy couch, I advise them to stop letting people “should” on them. There are so many “you should…” comments made to folks personally and professionally as they build their brands. Don’t get caught up in the chaos. Listen within. Stop listening to the should’s and focus on the could’s that support voicing your value and values.

If marketing is stressful, overwhelming or gives you any “ick…yuck” feelings, then there is something very wrong with what you are doing.

Marketing (branding, social media, messaging, everything!) is about maximizing relationships…that is wonderful and lovely. Your brand needs to support your value and values…happy, healthy brands are gleeful in voicing this!

If you need marketing advice or support, feel free to reach out to us, I’m happy to get you on the fast-track to success!
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Lorrie Thomas
Having a Healthy Marketing Mindset

For the decade+ I have been in marketing, I have heard these statements from clients, students and conference attendees:

“I don’t have the budget to do marketing”
“Marketing is so expensive”
“Marketing is overwhelming”
“I’m just not good at marketing”
“Marketing is so stressful”

These naysayers were great professionals with great organizations. I wanted to know why not-so-great companies were getting great marketing results and these great folks were still suffering in so-so-ville? I was sick of hearing all these victim-like statements so I began to break down why people made statements like the ones above to help get more great people over these negative mindsets and on the path to making great marketing breakthroughs. The problem boiled down to three things:

  1. Mindset
  2. Lack of Education
  3. Marketing Approach


Marketing is not overwhelming or yucky (think used car salesman and informercial marketing and big expensive ads) but one of the barriers to marketing success was that so many people think about it this way!  Marketing is GREAT!  It helps people know you, like you, trust you and support you if you are doing it strategically!  It’s also not all about numbers.  Marketing success is not about having a lot of people or followers on Facebook or millions of website visitors or gajillions of leads. Sure, some people sell to the masses and live with the classes, but there ARE riches in the niches too!  It’s about quality over quantity. It’s about connecting with your IDEAL customer.

Mindset applies to who you chose to do your marketing and how you think about yourself. I love these kind of statements: “My sister’s friend is sucking at managing my website, but I don’t want to hurt his feelings or make my sister mad so I keep using him.” Ummmm, (insert tough love) so you’re going to continue to look like poo poo online because you’re afraid to let him go? This is not about him or your sister, it’s about you and your success.  Do you value yourself and your success?  Think about it that way?  Don’t be a victim.  And you don’t have to have any breakup drama if you shift your mindset to approach the firing professionally. Try “I am putting all my web work on hold while I do some rebudgeting'” (and change all your passwords).  Then it’s not about him or you.  No egos shattered, game over.

Break down all of those beliefs marketing is hard, overwhelming, expensive or that you have to tolerate crappy vendors. In therapy, you have to bring all of your crap up to the surface to break it down – the same applies to having a crappy mindset about marketing. Until you can see the problem, you can’t stop the problem. You can’t heal until you address what your internal barriers are. It’s all mindset. If you can believe it, you can conceive it and that applies to negative AND positive thoughts. Success comes in CANS, failure comes in CAN’Ts!


Once you past your marketing fear, then you can truly begin to get educated.

What you don’t know can hurt you.  Being willing to be educated is key. You don’t need a PhD in marketing, but you do need to give a sh*t and ask questions of your vendors, staff or read an article or two once in a while.

Marketing is everything – branding, the way we answer our telephone calls and emails – even down to the way we invoice. Once you educate yourself on the true meaning of marketing, you approach it in a healthier way.

I didn’t write a book on Online Marketing for my health.  I wrote it to help great people get educated. I also have marketing video courses that you can watch to self-educate. You can also search this blog too for tips and just open your eyes to what other people are doing with ads, social media, content marketing and more.

Be open to learning and Think marketing + education = markEDing®. MarkEDing is educating yourself on marketing.

markEDing® is also about how you approach marketing, which leads me to point #3:

Approach to Marketing

Marketing that is educational in focus is effective, ethical and usually helps make your approach to marketing easier! Ads that explains what you do, a great tagline, blog posts that teach, podcasts, social media posts and even graphics need to help someone understand – just be educational! markEDing® (marketing + education) works. And that’s the type of content viewers are drawn to.

Changing your mindset, getting educated, and then approaching marketing in a different way is how to play to win big with marketing.

In today’s digital marketing world, modern consumers are reliant on information at their fingertips, you have to get in the education mindset to connect with a consumer in a way that works.