Strategic Social Media

There are a lot of billboards out there.  I have never seen someone pull over on the highway, take out their phone and call the number on a billboard to make a purchase.  Have you ever seen that?

By that logic, billboards are a HUGE waste of money.

This analogy is what I always say to social media skeptics.  Obviously, the point of a billboard is not to create direct sales.  It is to keep a business or product top-of-mind for a potential customer, so when the customer finds themselves in need of a given product or service, they think of the advertiser.

It is helpful to think about social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and email lists in basically the same way.  It doesn't matter if no one clicks on your Facebook link.  They are seeing your posts, again and again, for free.  The same with your emails.

If you've done any advertising, you know that the more subscribers a newspaper has, and the more viewers you can reach on a certain TV show, the more those ads will cost.  On social networks, you can achieve 'impressions' that rival traditional advertising methods - for free.

What's more, imagine if you saw an ad you liked in a magazine and you could share it will all of your friends simply by clicking a button.  That's Facebook.  And even if you would never share a magazine ad with your friends, it is what LOTS of people do on Facebook.

It is entirely possible for anyone to learn the tips and tricks of effective social media campaigns.  All is takes is time and practice.  If you have a ton of free time on your hands - go for it, and let us know what you learn.

If you don't have a ton of free time to read up on social media tools, figure out how they work, test our different campaigns, analyze the results, and tweak what isn't working, then you might consider working with us.  We can help you set up a program in as little as one month, and you can take it from there or you can just tell us what you'd like your business to achieve, and we'll build and run a social media program to help you do it.

Either way - if you're ready to put the power of social media to work for you, send us an email here.

Extreme Website Makover

Many businesses and organizations have a website that was really great - ten years ago - and now could really benefit from an online makeover.  Usually these folks have no illusions about this, they just never seem to get around to it. Here's a reality check:

You can have a stunning new website in as fast as two weeks and for as little as $1,500. 

A good website gives you the ability to make content change easily, with editing code. It is versatile and make great use of visuals to engage your audience. It offers many opportunities for your traffic to convert into customers or subscribers. Is integrates with your social networks. It has a robust system of analytics that allow you to see how many people came to your site, how long they stayed, and what they looked at.

 We have several projects in progress and I will add them to the before and after section below as they are completed. But take a moment to scroll down and look at the before pictures, then click on them to see the after.

 If your beautiful new website was up and running next month, what could that do for your business or organization? Get started now.

Before and After

Click to see the new!

Click to see the new!

Homepage Video

When someone comes to your website, you generally have precious-little time to grab their attention and communicate your message before they move on.

If you look at your homepage now, what is there that will accomplish that goal?  How hard to people have to work to get what you are trying to tell them?  If you are satisfied with what people see in the first few seconds on your website, congratulations and please share your tricks in the comments.

If you are not satisfied with how visitors experience your website, consider adding a homepage video.  I define a homepage video as a short (less than 2 minutes) video that is embedded on your homepage that is carefully crafted to deliver your key messages to your visitors.

There have been a few posts on this topic, but what I find most compelling is that many major organizations that are either web-specific business or BIG companies with people who can research what works best on the web are all using them (see GM, Apple).

I have a bunch of these videos in the works and will add them here as I finish them.  Imagine what a difference one of these would make with your online visitors.  If you want to talk about what it would take to make one, please get in touch.

Polar Pediatrics - Anchorage, AK

The Kobuk - Anchorage, AK

Sunrise Inn - Cooper Landing, AK

2008 Democratic Convention - Denver, CO

Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce

Talkeetna, Alaska is the town that inspired Northern Exposure.  I had the pleasure of conducting a social media training at the April meeting of the Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce (great website!).  The meeting was held at the Flying Squirrel Cafe (delicious) and it was packed.  Here is a clip of the presentation highlighting the power of Social Media and what did right.

I went through the basics of website strategy, and we had time to discuss how and why to use blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and the importance of video.  Two questions were raised in the meeting that I couldn't answer immediately, so I have posted the answers below.

As I said in my presentation, Facebook changes all the time, and this information is good as of the time of posting.

1.  How do I 'like' Facebook pages from my business page?

To have your business page 'like' another page, you need to 'use Facebook as' your business page.  You can do that by looking in the upper-right-hand corner of your Facebook page, and selecting the drop-down menu there.  Select your business page and then go find the pages you want to 'like' and 'like' them.

Be sure to switch back to 'use Facebook as' your personal account when you are done, or your friends will start getting strange notes from your business as you accidentally post personal things from your business page :).

Remember, Facebook is quirkey, so if it isn't working for you, try refreshing, or just make a note to try again tomorrow.  This does work - at least when Facebook is working.

2.  How do I pick which 'likes' show up as my top 'likes' on my business page?

As of March 30, 2012, Facebook switched all pages to the 'Timeline' format.  That means things are a little different.  The things you 'like' as you business page now display on the rights side of your timeline like this:

If you don't do anything, Facebook is supposed to randomly populate that space with up to 5 'likes'.  If you care about which 'likes' are featured there, the person who administers the page can set them by clicking the 'edit page' button in the 'manage' menu from the admin panel.  Ok that is confusing, so here is a picture:

Then, click the 'featured' item in the left menu and then click the 'add featured likes' button.

Once you have done that, you can click, click, click, your favorites to feature them on your page, rather than having Facebook choose for you at random.

I hope that answers the question.  If not, or if this bring up more questions, please use the comments section, and we'll discuss.

What a Website is for

If I were to ask you what a website is for, you would probably tell me that it is a tool to promote your business or organization online and communicate what you are about to whoever stops by. Fair enough, so they search for you, the find you, they learn about you and . . . then what?

Websites are indeed promotional tools and are essential to communicating what you are about, but there is another critical piece that many organizations, particularly small ones, overlook. If a visitor to your site leaves without taking any action, they will probably never be back.

Your website's purpose is to convert traffic.

Converting traffic can mean a lot of things, but it is best to think of it like this: You want as many visitors as possible to take some action that will add them to your network. Whether they sign a petition, become a fan on Facebook, or make a purchase directly, you want them to do something that will allow you to reach out to them again.

If your site has a good conversion rate, even a small amount of traffic, over time, will grow into a large lists of people that you can reach out to again, and again, for free. Want to promote a sale or contest? You could spend a bunch of money on an ad campaign to reach 10,000 people, or you could send an email and post on Facebook for free to reach the same numbers.

There are people on your website right now. What do you have up there that can convert them?


One of the most frequent missed opportunities I see in websites involves links. There are two things you want to be careful about:

1: Is this link going exactly where I want?

2: If a visitor clicks this link, will I lose them?

In number one, the most frequent issue I see involves Facebook and Twitter. People will link to the homepages of these social networks and not to their own profiles. It drives me crazy! Linking to does nothing for your visitor, as the link will take them to their own profile (if they are signed in) and they will then have to search for you all over again. Be sure to link to your profile on those sites. For example:

Join us on Facebook
Join us on Facebook (Incorrect)

In number two, it is important to have a great respect for the awesome distraction power of the internet.  If your links take people off of your pages, you may never see them again.  That is why its important to have your links open new pages (leaving your page open in the background).  For example:

You should hire this social media consultant. (Correct)
You should hire this social media consultant. (Goodbye)