Marketing Monday

Tech Thursday: Getting Reviews for Your Business

Think about it. When you’re looking for a new store or restaurant, need something fixed on your car, or are just in a new place and want to explore, what’s the first thing you’re going to do? Ask for suggestions! With today’s access to information, you can find reviews pretty much at the snap of your fingers.

This week’s video offers some ideas for businesses that are looking for ways to get more online reviews. After all, it’s a great resource for getting new customers!

A Complete Guide To Short Tracking Links: The Where, Why, and How

You may have noticed weird looking links in your online life,  like in your Facebook or Twitter feed. And you may also notice them in places like magazines.

Here’s an example (I blurred part of the page name because it’s a naughty word):


These,, and other links are basically short links. People use these services to make shorter links… and to track those links.

First, let’s talk about the short part.

The actual link above, unshortened, would be:

As you see, that’s way longer. That link would barely fit in a tweet by itself, let alone leaving room for any kind of commentary. Because Twitter has a 140 character limit.

But you may ask yourself, “Facebook has no limits. Why do I care about using short links on Facebook?”

This is where the tracking part comes in:


We see that this link was first shortened in 2013, so this isn’t new news. The 6,566 clicks in the last hour is likely from this one Facebook share.

Now the ‘I ******* love science’ Facebook page isn’t owned (at least that anyone knows of) by National Geographic (the place where the flying squid article was posted). So the only way the can know if people are clicking on something they are sharing on a website that doesn’t belong to them is to use a  short/tracking link.

If you are sharing a link to your own website, you can see the data (who clicks and beyond). But these short/tracking links are specifically for:

1) When you need something short (like you have a magazine article and want to send people to the online video corresponding to it). The less someone has to type, the less likely they are to mistype!
2) When you need to track something you can’t normally (a click to a Twitter profile from Facebook, a link to another website, etc.)

So let’s look at this flying squid post in more detail:

76,702 people clicked on the link (from
35,986 people liked it (from Facebook post)
8,819 people shared it (from Facebook post)1,719 left a comment (from Facebook post)

A majority of your fans/friends will never say a word about what you post. As you see, most people don’t. The lowest commitment thing you can do when someone shares a link is click on it. The next level of interest is liking it, etc. The highest level of interest is someone saying something about it… and as you see most people never get there. Of the 76,000+, less than 2,000 people actually said something about it.

So thinking the only people interacting with you are your commenters is a mistake. Many people will tell you what they like (and don’t) silently with a click (or a lack of click).

The I ***** love science Facebook page is smart: they are actively tracking what people do and don’t like and refining what they share accordingly.

And now that you know that you can make tracking links using services like bitly (free), you can do the same!

Tech Thursday: Using Pictures to Market Your Business

True Story: a picture is worth a thousand words. With all the technology out there these days, taking pictures is easier than ever. But how can you use them to market your business?

In this video, we share a few things you can take pictures of to increase engagement on your business’s social media platforms. Enjoy!



Paid Ads: The Juice Cleanse of Marketing

Juice_AdI came up what I thought was a good analogy for paid ads versus marketing.

Paid ads are kind of like a juice cleanse.

Juice cleanses (and paid ads) give you a boost.

Maybe your weight loss has plateaued or  you’re feeling sluggish. Juicing for a few days can help your body reset, in part because it is something different for your body to be doing that’s also healthy.

If you are in a rut with Facebook likes or want to get people to your newly launched website, some paid ads over a short period can do the trick. It’s not bad for your online presence to do ads, mainly it’s just not something most people do often.

Juice cleanses (and paid ads) intentionally restrictive.

In giving you relatively few options, juice cleanses allow you to isolate some variables. How does the cucumber versus the berry juice make you feel? You aren’t comparing other variables in your life like exercise and amount of sleep; you are seeing how certain juices effect how you feel.

Paid ads can allow you to concentrate on the words you are using or the demographic you are targeting versus performance. Sometimes in trying to track too much, we can’t isolate data from our websites, Facebook pages, and other online properties. A paid ad over a set period allows us to look at a limited set of factors on our bottom line.

Juice cleanses (and paid ads) are most helpful if you are already relatively healthy.

Much like you need to live your life in a healthy way for the juice cleanse to make a meaningful impact, you have to be maintaining your website and other online platforms for the paid ads to help anything.  Otherwise, you are just signing up to be hungry.

What do I mean? If you are paying for Google Ads to send people to an ineffective website or Twitter Ads to go to a Twitter profile that hasn’t been updated in six months, you’ll definitely be wasting your money in addition to your time.

Juice cleanses (and paid ads) not meant to be something you do forever.

No one expects you to consume juice only, every meal, for the rest of your life. It’s not only too restrictive to be realistic, it could also become a little boring.

Paid ads aren’t meant to be a continuous large part of your marketing efforts and budget. They are meant for specific testing (Ex: How does ‘specialty tea’ versus ‘premium tea’ perform in my target market?) or a specific campaign (I want more new people to see my month long contest.)

Much like doing a juice cleanse, if you don’t get why and how to use paid ads, you aren’t going to get a ton out of the experience except a dwindled bank account and dashed expectations.

I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again, when I work with people, paid ads (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are less than 10% of any budget I work on. They have their place but I’d rather spend money connecting in meaningful ways with customers and potential customers than paying warm bodies to click on a link.

There are times and places for juice cleanses. And there are times and places for paid ads.

Tech Thursday: How to Get More E-mail Subscribers

How do you get more email subscribers without spending lots of money on a list or stooping to the level of spammer? Here are a few ideas (some of them obvious but hey, we all need to be reminded of obvious)! Next week, Kassie steps from behind the editing to star with me in a video, stay tuned!

Making OK Videos: How I’m Using Mediocre To Get To Great

So for the past month, I’ve been making a weekly video.

Last week, I had to send my laptop in for repairs… and guess who thought they copied the movie they made ahead of time onto their other computer but didn’t? I had to make a whole other movie… and edit it. In about an hour to stay on my Thursday self imposed deadline.

I’ve gotten mostly supportive comments, which I appreciate. But I know that I need a wireless mic, a better background and lighting, and lots of other stuff. I don’t have any illusions that I’m fantastic.

Here is my inspiration for my videos, something I read almost six months ago but found as this cool animation:

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

So the point? I know I am only going to get better if I keep producing. And while I trust my taste, I can’t quite execute what I want.

In an attempt to make myself feel better, I went and found Marie Forleo‘s first video. She’s a business person I admire a lot:

Marie Forleo’s First Video:

And for comparison, here is her three years later (with a studio and a production team):

Marie Forleo’s Latest Video:

Will I ever be that amazing? Maybe not. But I’m only going to get better after I produce a volume of work.

To those of you who haven’t seen my Youtube channel yet:

And to those of you thinking about being creative and holding yourself back because it’s not perfect, I hope you see me making my cheesy videos and understand that a year from now, when you’re watching my pretty good videos from the same spot, you might have wished you took action now too.

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